THE LIFE OF IMAM MUSA BIN JA'FAR

ID BOOK

THE LIFE OF IMAM MUSA BIN JA'FAR

AL-KAZIM

By: Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Translated by

Jasim al-Rasheed

Dedication

To him who has given a new life and knowledge to generations.

To the renewer of the intellectual renaissance in Islam.

To Imam Abu 'Abd Allah, Ja'far al-Sadiq, Peace be on him.

With both my hands I raise this humble effort with which I have been honored through writing a research on the life of his son Imam Musa; his testamentary trustee and his only successor in (taking) part in his ordeal and affliction, hostage to prisons, ally of pain, like of the Messiah, Isa b. Mariyam, in devotion, piety, and asceticism. So, be bounteous to me, great Imam, through accepting (this research) that it may be a store for me on the day of Coming to Allah.

The Author

INTRODUCTION

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

If a researcher reviews any side of the life of Imam Musa, peace be on him, he will surely find a generous, brilliant legacy full of good and beauty, having bountiful giving and a brilliant guidance for the community.

Surely Imam Musa’s life in all dimensions is distinguished by firmness for the right, steadfastness in front of events, luminous behavior concerning which no deviation and crookedness have been reported. It is marked by balance and is harmonious with that of the great Prophet, with his line and direction, and with his literal sticking to Islam.

p: 1

Among the unique aspects that marked his personality is the steadfastness in front of the difficult events and the hard ordeals showered upon him by his contemporary tyrants, who went too far in persecuting him and punishing him severely. (For example), Harun al-Rashid insisted on wronging him; he intentionally arrested him and threw him in dark prisons where he remained for many years suffering from pain and misfortunes; nevertheless he showed no grumble, no complain, and no impatience toward that which had befallen him; on the contrary he showed gratitude to Allah and praised Him very much for giving him devotion to serve Him and giving him dedication to obey Him.

The biographers have unanimously agreed that Imam Musa was the greatest of the people in obeying and worshiping Allah to the extent that he had calluses like that of a camel because of too much prostration (for Allah); he had calluses just as his grandfather, Imam Zayn al-Abidin had and had been given the nickname of Dhu al-Thafanat (the one with calluses). He stunned the intellects through his too much worship when he was a prisoner. He fasted by day and spent the night sleeplessly for worshiping Allah, so al-Fedl b. al-Rabi‘ made a statement about the worship of the Imam, peace be on him, when he was a prisoner in his house. This shows that the Imam freed himself from the world and devoted himself to Allah. We will mention this statement when we speak about the imprisonment of the Imam.

p: 2

Harun was astonished at the Imam’s too much piety and worship. He showed his astonishment when he said: “Surely, Musa is one of the monks of the Hashimites.”

When Imam Musa was imprisoned in al-Sindi’s house, he dedicated himself to worshiping Allah; he was always busy remembering Him, the Exalted. Al-Sindi’s family looked down upon the Imam and saw his behavior which was similar to that of the Prophet’s, so al-Sindi’s sister believed in the Imamate, and as a result of the Imam’s behavior, Kashajim, al-Sindi’s grandson, became one of the eminent Shi‘ites of his time.

Surely, this behavior dominates hearts and feelings, for it is full of the meanings of highness, nobility, renouncing the world, and devotion to Allah.

Yet among the qualities of the Imam’s noble personality is generosity. The historians have unanimously agreed that he was the most generous of the people, the greatest of them in giving to the needy; his purses were proverbial, so the people said: “We wonder at him to whom Musa’s purses come while he complains of poverty.” He bestowed upon the poor and the deprived in the dark night lest someone should recognize him; he generously spent what he had on the weak and the afflicted; he showered them with too much giving; and he saved many of them from the bitterness of poverty and deprivation.

The narrators have unanimously agreed that Imam Musa, peace be on him, had immense abilities of knowledge; he was the most knowledgeable of the Muslims of his time. The (religious) scholars and the reporters surrounded him; they hurried to write down his religious edicts concerning all mishaps and events; they reported on his authority all kinds of knowledge and art, especially as concerning Islamic legislative system; he provided them with his own generous abilities. In this respect he is regarded as the first of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt to split open the chapter of the lawful and the forbidden[1].

p: 3

After his father Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, Imam Musa, peace be on him, managed the affairs of his science university. The university is regarded as the first cultural foundation in Islam and the first institute from which a group of great scholars on whose top were the Imams of the Islamic school graduated. It played an important role in developing the intellectual life and growing the scientific movement in that time. It lasted for many times conveying the sprit, guidance and message of Islam. It aimed at spreading awareness and an intellectual renaissance. We will talk about its results in the chapters that follow.

Imam Musa was the most brilliant of the Imams of the Muslims in knowledge, taking care of spreading the Islamic culture and displaying the Islamic reality.

In addition to his many unique tendencies is his clemency and his restraint of anger; clemency was among his qualities and elements. The historians have unanimously agreed that he repelled offence with kindness and guilt with pardon just as his grandfather the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had done. He repelled offence, harm, and detested things issued from those who had harbored malice against him with patience and beautiful forgiveness, to the extent that he was nicknamed al-Kazim (the restrained); this nickname is the most famous of all his nicknames.

If we review the Imam’s unique tendencies and abilities and what has been reported on his authority in the fields of behavior and morals, we will find him full of all the elements of humanity and its constructive, good concepts. I (the author) hope that this book will include some sides of the Imam’s brilliant tendencies or at least shed light upon him.

p: 4

The Shi‘a do not sanctify the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, with sanctification void of deep awareness; rather with sanctification really and essentially depends in all dimensions on accuracy, scrutiny, and perception according to their reliable proofs that are far from argument and discussion. Surely the faith of the Shi‘a, rather of all the Muslims, concerning the requirement of showing love toward Ahl al-Bayt is taken from the reality and essence of Islam and from the core of it’s message. For Islam has made it incumbent on all Muslims to have in their souls and inner souls the deepest affection and the sincerest love. This has been shown in Ayat al-Mawada, in which Allah, the Exalted, says: “Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relative.”[2] The explainers of the Qur’an have unanimously agreed that this verse has been revealed concerning Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them[3]. Imam al-Shafi‘i refers to the meaning of the verse through his statement:

O Family of Allah’s Messenger, love for you is a religious duty revealed by Allah in the Qur’an.

Authentic hadiths on the requirement of the love for Ahl al-Bayt have been ensured by many lines of transmission. The Prophet said: “I fight him who fights them and make peace with him who makes peace them.” He compared them to the Holy Qur’an when he, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “I leave behind me among you two things which, if you cleave to them, you will never go astray, one is greater than the another-that is Allah’s Book which is a rope extended from the heaven to the earth, and my family, my household. They never scatter until they come to me at the (sacred) waters (of Heaven). Take care how you follow me with regard to them.”[4]

p: 5

The Muslims have unanimously agreed on reporting Hadith al-Thaqalayn, which is the most authentic of the prophetic traditions and most famous of them. It contains one of the important sides of the Islamic faith. Besides it is the clearest of all the proofs on which the Shi‘ites depend regarding devoting the Imamate to Ahl al-Bayt and regarding their being protected from errors and inclinations. For the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, compared them to the Holy Qur’an, to which falsehood shall not come from before it nor from behind it; they do not leave each other. It is natural that any disobedience issued from (Ahl al-Bayt) in respect with the religious precepts was regarded as scatter from the Holy Qur’an, for the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family had negated their leaving each other until they would come to him at the sacred waters (of the Heaven). Therefore, the meaning of the tradition about the infallibility of Ahl al-Bayt and the requirement of love for them is manifest and clear.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, repeated this tradition in other places, for it aims at saving the community and its straightness from deviation in the ideological fields and others. That is if it does not cleave to Ahl al-Bayt, does not go before them and does not stay behind them.[5]

He, may Allah bless him and his family said: “My household is like Noah’s Ark. Whoever embarked it was safe and whoever remained behind it drowned. My household among you is like the gate of forgiveness (Baab Hitta) among the children of Israel; whoever entered through it was forgiven.”[6] In his valuable book al-Muraja‘at, Imam Sharaf al-Din has said: “And you know that the meaning of their being like Noah’s Ark is that whoever resorts to the blessed Imams to take the fundamentals and branches of the religion from them is safe from the chastisement of the fire. Whoever remains behind them is like him who took refuge in the mountain on the Day of the Flood, that it might protect him from Allah’s punishment; yet that drowned into the water and this is in the fire; I seek refuge in Allah.

p: 6

“The meaning of their compared to the Gate of Forgiveness (Baab Hitta) is that Allah appointed that gate as one of the aspects of humbleness before His magnificence and as a sign of submitting to His decree; in this manner it was a reason for forgiveness. This is the point of resemblance. Ibn Hajar tried it when he said: ‘After he had mentioned these traditions and the like.’

“And the point of their being compared to the Ark is that whoever loves and magnifies them as gratitude for the favor of Him Who has honored them and follows the guidance of their scholars is safe from the darkness of the acts of disobedience. Whoever remains behind them drowns in the see of the ingratitude for the favors and perishes in the deserts of tyranny. And as for the Gate of Forgiveness (Baab Hitta), it is that Allah had regarded entering that gate, the Gate of Ariha or Bayt al-Maqdis, along with humbleness and seeking forgiveness as a reason for forgiveness. And He has appointed for this community the love for Ahl al-Bayt as a reason for it (forgiveness).”[7]

These are some traditions in respect with Ahl al-Bayt. They are clear in their meaning about the requirement of the love for them. The Muslims have unanimously agreed on this matter. However, the thing that concerns us is that we should mention the aspects of this sincere love the Shi‘a have and which really has the mark of excessiveness and immoderation toward Ahl al-Bayt, just as their opponents have accused them while they are innocent of that. I (the author) think that the speech about such researches is one of the reasons for spreading friendship among Muslims and making peace among them. Meanwhile it removes from our way the evil enmities, the results of disunity and division the generations have left behind them.

p: 7

Surely the aspects of the love the Shi‘a show toward the pure family (of the Prophet) are as follows:

Firstly, surely the Shi‘a take the fundamentals and branches of the principal features (ma’alim) of the religion from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt. They have unanimously agreed that the worship according to their sayings, their deeds, and their justificatives are part of the Sunna which should in kind be put into practice. In this manner the Shi‘a have built their ideological frame on what has been handed down from Ahl al-Bayt. In the legislative fields they do not follow other than them from among the rest of the Muslim schools. That is not because of the partiality or fanaticism for Ahl al-Bayt. Rather, this has been stipulated by the decisive traditions reported from the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

Among these hadiths is Hadith al-Thaqalayn and other authentic ones. The hadiths are ensured by many lines of transmission. The Muslims have unanimously agreed on them. The hadiths clearly indicate the requirement of cleaving to the pure family (of the Prophet). They also require the Muslims to worship according to what has been reported from them after dogmatization or regarded supposition regarding issuing them (the haditihs) from them.

This meaning has fully been clarified, explained, and proved by His Eminence, the late, Sharaf al-Din, may Allah have mercy on him. He has said in his valuable book al-Muraja‘at: “Surely, our worship in the basics of jurisprudence (Usool) through other than al-Ash‘ari’s school and in branches through other than the four schools is not because of partiality, fanaticism, doubt about the independent reasoning (ijtihad) of the Imams of these schools. (And not because) the fact that they have no justice, no faithfulness, no honesty, and no exaltedness in knowledge and deed.

p: 8

“But it is due to the fact that the religious proofs have made it incumbent on us to adopt the school of the Imams from among the Prophet’s household, (who were) the place of the message, frequently visited by the angels, place of descent of inspiration and revelation. So we have devoted ourselves to them in the branches and beliefs of the religion, the principles and rules of jurisprudence, the knowledge of the Sunna and the Book, the sciences of ethics and behavior and good manners. (That is out of) yielding to the rule of the evidences and proofs, and (due to) worshiping according to the Master of the prophets and the messengers, may Allah bless them all.

“If the proofs allow us to oppose the Imams from among Mohammed’s family or if we are able to obtain the intention of seeking nearness to Allah, the Glorified, in the place of performing (worship) according to the school of other than them, we will follow the majority (jamhur). For that is as a sign of confirming the agreement of friendship and of strengthening the bonds of brotherhood. However it is the proofs that interrupts the believer’s viewpoint and come between him and what he desires.”

And he added: “I do not think that someone dare to say that they (the Imams of the schools) are better in knowledge or deed than our Imams. For our Imams belong to the pure family (of the Prophet). They are the life ships of the community, the gate for its forgiveness, security for it from difference in religion, eminent men for guiding it, the important men of Allah’s Apostle, and his survival ones among his community. And he (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, had said: ‘Do not go before them nor remain behind them, lest you should be perished, for they are more knowledgeable than you.’ However, it is policy, and what will make you realize what it required in the early stage of Islam!’’[8]

p: 9

The head of al-Azhar, Shaykh Saleem, has confirmed this brilliant side of Imam Sharaf al-Din’s speech. He has said: “Rather, it may be said that your twelve Imams are better to be followed than the four Imams and other than them. For all the twelve (Imams) are in agreement on one school they had clarified and confirmed while the difference in all the chapters of the jurisprudence of the four (schools) is famous. So its sources cannot be understood and set right; and it is well-known that what one person clarifies is not exactly equal to what twelve Imams clarify, all this is of (the things)

concerning which the just has no pause and the unjust has no viewpoint.”[9]

Shaykh Shaltut, head of al-Azhar Mosque, has confirmed this aspect. He has declared that the Imami jurisprudence is the firmest of all Islamic jurisprudence in original thought, deep reasoning, and closeness to reality.

It is natural that this aspect to which the Shi‘a have cleaved and declared in all fields has no side of immoderation; yet it is distinguished by moderation and has no deviation in all dimensions.

Secondly, the Shi‘ites have unanimously agreed that the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, are from among the honored servants of Allah, that they say nothing before Him and act according to His commands, and that they are the followers of the Reminder. They maintain that their Imams were charged with authority, Allah’s residue, His choice, His party and containers of His knowledge, that they are the rulers over mankind, pillars of the country, gates of faith. They think that Allah preserved them from temptations, purified them from defilement, kept away the uncleanness from them, and thoroughly purified them.

p: 10

Imam ‘Ali, the commander of the faithful has described them in his statement: “They are the life of knowledge and death of ignorance; their clemency tells you of their knowledge; their outward (tells) you of their inward, and their silence (tells you) of their wise reason; they do not oppose the truth nor do they differ over it; they are the supporters of Islam, intimate friends for seeking refuge; through them the truth has returned to its origin, the falsehood has been removed from its place and its tongue has been cut off from its source; they have comprehended the religion with the mind of awareness and care, not with the mind of hearing and narration, for the narrators of knowledge are many (while) those who take care of it are few.”[10]

The great poet of Islam, al-Kumayt, has described them in one of his wonderful poems, saying:

They are close to generosity and far from the injustice in the ties of the precepts.

They give right answer on the matter over which the people differ. They have established the rules of Islam.

They are sufficient protectors at war when it becomes hot.

They are like rain when the people suffer from drought; they are like a shelter for the nursemaid of orphans.

They are overweighing in opinion, having perfect justice in behavior, and knowledgeable at heavy affairs.

They are leaders, but they are not like those who rule the people and the sheep in the same way.[11]

p: 11

These are some qualities of Ahl al-Bayt described by the poet of faith, al-Kumayt. It is worth mentioning that al-Kumayt was a contemporary of them. He associated with them, tried their ethics, so he believed in them, Allah’s peace be on them, as a copy having no second in the history of mankind in knowledge, generosity, and taking care of the religion. He hurried to struggle for them, composing on them his poems called al-Hashimiyat, which give an account of a great side of the Shi’ite beliefs giving proofs of them, sometimes through verses of the Holy Qur’an and sometimes through the Prophet’s traditions (sunna).

Any way, the Imami Shi‘a renounce immoderation concerning their Imams and they have unanimously agreed that the excessive are deviated and rebels against the religion.

Surely the reality of excessiveness means raising the Imam to the rank of Allah, the Worshiped. The excessive said to Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him: “You are! You are!”

“What am I,” he asked them.

“You are Allah, the Creator,” they answered.

He asked them to repent, but they did not withdraw from their error, so he intended to burn some of them. While they were driven to the fire, they said: “Surely, he is Allah! It is He who chastises with fire!”[12] This is the thinking of the excessive: atheism in the religion, rebellion against worshiping Allah, and apostasy from Islam. As for the attitude of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt toward them, it was severe and violent. They decided that the excessive had to be killed, that it was forbidden for the Muslims to associate with them, and that they had to be isolated from Muslim masses. Imam Musa, peace be on him, cursed Muhammed b. Bashir when he was excessive in respect with him. He invoked Allah against him and renounced him.[13]

p: 12

Surely, the belief of the Shi‘a concerning the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt has been taken from the spirit and core of Islam, and it has, praise belongs to Allah, has no excessiveness nor deviation from wise thinking, but it is clear and pure; besides it is distinguished by originality, logic, and proof.

Thirdly, surely the most prominent aspect of worshipping the Shi’a show toward their Imams is that they commemorate their remembrance and praise their outstanding merits. They hold commemorative ceremonies to mention the heavy misfortunes and calamities that had befallen their Imams. They review their behavior and their ideals full of fear of Allah, love for good, general deeds, devotion to the way of truth and service of the community. The Shi‘a also visit their pure shrines in order to ask the blessing of them and to seek nearness to Allah through them, for such visitations are the greatest of all kind of aspects of love Allah has made incumbent on Muslims to show toward the Prophet’s family.

These are some aspects of the friendship the Shi‘a show toward the Imams, peace be on them; such friendship has neither defect of excessiveness nor immoderation in love for them; according to this moderate love, we will talk about Imam Musa, peace be on him, with faithfulness and sincerity. In this respect I am (the author) a researcher loyal to truth through every possible way.

The thing that requires a question is that we find no Imam from among the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt could peacefully and tranquilly live and was far from fear, terror, and exhaustion. All the Imams suffered from the severest kind of wrong, injustice, and persecution; their sorrowful end was either killing or poison. Perhaps, the most important reasons for that, as we think, are as follows:

p: 13

According to their social rank and their general authority over the community, the Imams, peace be on them, were responsible for taking care of the community, keeping its rights, and securing its interests. They did not confirm the surfeit of the oppressive and the hunger of the oppressed. They criticized the rulers of their times for their policy. It is worth mentioning that the rulers paid no attention to good, general acts. They depended on selfishness, enslavement, and forcing the people to do what they had disliked. Many of those rulers such as Muawiya b. Abu Sufyan, Yazid b. Muawiya, Merwan b. al-Hakam, and the like were not earnest in the affairs of the subjects or were loyal to their matters or looked after their interests. Rather it has been reported that they were serious in spreading social oppression and showing injustice toward their subjects, that they devoted themselves to pleasures and impudence; for example, their palaces were full of a sector of singers, songstresses, and wine. They did not remember Allah and the hereafter though they claimed that they represented Islam, which entrusted them with undertaking the affairs of the religion. However, they did not represent it at any way, for their behavior was contrary to all its laws and precepts; that is according to the unanimous agreement of all the historians.

The attitude of the infallible Imams, peace be on them, toward the ruling tyrants of their times was distinguished by severity and strictness; toward them they did not incline to peace and silence; rather they declared resistance and opposition against them, and that is of two kinds:

p: 14

1. Positive Resistance

Yazid b. Mu‘awiya, the tyrant of his time, made public unbelief and atheism. He rebelled against the will of the community. He decided to debase it, to enslave it, and to force it to do what it disliked. So Imam Husayn, peace be on him, chose this revolutionary way. He, peace be on him, was forced to declare the revolution. For he, peace be on him, came to know that his supporters were few in number, that his friends would desert him, that the swords and the spears would compete with each other to plunder his holy body. He stated that when he was in Holy Mecca, saying: “I am as longing for my ancestors as Ya’qub was longing for Yousif. The death I will meet is better for me; I can see the desert wolves cutting off me limbs between al-Nawawis and Karbala, filling their empty stomachs with my own flesh; their is no escape from the day has been written by the pen.”[14]

Imam al-Husayn told the people about what he would meet in Kerbela such as cutting off his limbs on its highland, his yearning for this brilliant fate through which his beliefs aiming at achieving social justice among people won a victory.

The Master of Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn, performed this great sacrifice to remove from the body of the community that error practiced by the Umayyad government. His holy martyrdom played an effective role in waking and enlightening the Muslim masses, for revolutionary operations were increased to the extent that they were able to overthrow the Umayyad government and remove all its traces from the Arab and Muslim world.

p: 15

2. Negative Resistance

This sound way was chosen by some pure Imams because they knew that the positive resistance would be not useful for overcoming the events due to the standing political conditions which would certainly abort the revolution and damage the Islamic matter. Accordingly they declared the negative resistance of whose aspects were that it was forbidden to cooperate with the ruling machinery of government and to plead cases in its courts just as it has been written down by the Imami jurists in the book of judgment. This was a useful way with a great effect on achieving the sound objectives the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, wanted. This negative way was confirmed by Imam Musa, peace be on him during his talk with Saffwan al-Jammal; we will mention it in the chapters that follow.

This brilliant policy was followed by Mr. Ghandi during his liberating India, for he made it forbidden for the Indians to cooperate with the British Colonialism and to respond to it. This policy was wonderfully successful, for the colonists were forced to withdraw from India and to grant it a political independence.

Unfortunately, the ‘Alawid revolutionists from among the Hassanid and the like did not follow this moderate, constructive policy whose slogan the Imams, peace be on them raised. For they hoisted the flag of the revolution against the Umayyad and the Abbasid governments. Their revolution was unsuccessful because they did not carry it out according to some sound plans, so their revolution failed and brought about to them many problems and difficulties and made them lead a life full of immortal pain and misfortunes.

p: 16

The ruling authorities were fully aware of this negative resistance on which the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, depended. For this reason they spread detectives among all the circles and they in detail informed them about what happened in they country. They reported to Harun al-Rashid the story of Saffwan al-Jammal when he intended to sell his camels he hired out to him during the season of the hajj responding to the advice of Imam Musa, peace be on him. So Harun sent for him and wanted to killed him, but he changed up his mind; any way, the then standing governments used all their organs to work against Ahl al-Bayt and used against them all the following ways:

1. They met them with increasingly violence and persecution. They went too far in abasing and wronging them to the extent we cannot describe because of its atrocity and bitterness. Concerning this Abu al-Ferajj al-Asfahani has singled out a book called “Maqatil al-Talibiyyin”, in which he has mentioned all kind of the hard ordeals and heavy punishments that included all the ‘Alawids.

2. They laid an economic siege to the ‘Alawids to undermine their power. For example, Harun al-Rashid intended to practice this policy against Imam Musa. When he traveled to Yethrib (Medina), he generously gave to the children of the Prophet’s companions except Imam Musa. He did not give him any thing suitable to his rank. So (his son) al-Ma’mun asked him about that and he answered: “Surely, his poverty is more loveable to me than his riches; if I gave him something of which he is worthy, he would mutiny against me.” He appointed observers and spies over the people who gave money to the Imam. This measure brought to him severe financial straits and troubles. Such was the policy of those rulers toward the infallible Imams. It was marked by imposing poverty on them; all the ‘Alawids suffered from abject poverty during the days of al-Mutawakil, who subjected to displeasure and vengeance all those who gave money to them; the Imams were so poor that they had nothing in their houses except one cloak. When one of them wanted to go out, he put on the cloak as a garment.[15] Al-Mutawakil intended to stop all their economic incomes.

p: 17

3.They veiled them from the Islamic world, imposed severe observation and fearful pursuit on all those who cooperated with them. Of course, this led to the appearance of different tendencies among the Shi‘a, and the Imam of guidance had no room to unite the ranks of the Shi‘ites and to remove the ideological tendencies that took place among them.[16]

4. They went too far in practicing severity against the Shi‘a and poured upon them severe kind of painful torture. Imam al-Baqir spoke of the hard ordeals the Shi‘a faced during the days of the Umayyad government. He said: “Our Shi‘ites (followers) are killed everywhere. Their hands and their legs are cut off due to suspicion and accusation. Those who show love toward us and devote themselves to us are imprisoned; their money is plundered and their houses are demolished.”[17]

All the Umayyad and the ‘Abbasid governments employed their propaganda organs against the Shi‘a to the extent that the love for Ahl al-Bayt became shame and defect. The Shi’ite was regarded as unsuccessful and loser. Some Umayyads and ‘Abbasids decided that love for Ahl al-Bayt was an apostasy from the religion and rebellion against Islam. To all of this, the poet of the faith and struggle, al-Kumayt, refers:

They indicate with their hands to me and their statement is: verily this is unsuccessful, while the indicters are more unsuccessful (than me).

A sect has accused me of unbelief and a sect says that I am an evil-doer and guilty.

They criticize me for (my) love for you out of their deception and deviation; rather they mock (at me), while I wonder at them.

p: 18

They say: “His inclination and opinion are Turabi; (such was) I called and nicknamed by them.”[18]

Any way, the authorities opposed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when they took severe measures against the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. For the Prophet ordered the community to show love toward his family, to take care of them, and to honor them in all things.

The ruling authorities of those times thought that the Imams had no objectives in government except that they aimed at spreading justice and equality, applying the precepts of the Qur’an on the general, real life of the Muslims. However, this did not agree with their policies aiming at selfishness, enslavement, and spending the money in the public treasury on the dissolute and the mischievous. They harbored malice against all those who demanding social reform and justice.

In addition to all of that, many of those rulers harbored malice against the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt because the Muslims unanimously agreed on honoring, magnifying, and praising them and their merits. Al-Mansur was fully aware that Imam al-Sadiq was away from the political movements of his time, that he did not intend to assume a government or an authority, and that he prevented the ‘Alawids from declaring a revolution against him. Besides he came to know that the Imam had given him good news of his assuming the Caliphate. Nevertheless, he did not leave him to lead a life of tranquility and security that he might spread the knowledge of his grandfather among the Muslims. He brought him more than one time to his capital trying to assassinate him.

p: 19

There was no reason for that except having malice against him due to his great personality and rank among the Muslims. Yet another example of that is Harun al-Rashid. He knew that Imam Musa did not intend to dispute with him for his authority or to transgress against him. That is because the Imam had no forces on whom he depended to dispute with him and to revolt against him. Nevertheless, he severely punished him, threw him into dark prisons, put poison in food and gave it to him to eat in order to put an end to him. The reason for that is that he envied the Imam and had grudge against him because of his high rank among the Muslims.

The time of Imam Musa was full of heavy crises and events of which were the revolts marked by violence and shedding blood. The most important revolt was that which overthrew the Umayyad government, for the Muslim people enthusiastically hurried to declare a revolt against that government that spared no effort to debase them and to deprive them of all the life requirements.

The slogan of the revolt was the summons to al-Rida from among Mohammed’s family; the people responded to him, for their hearts were thirsty for him, and for Mohammed’s family were the first base of great objectives the Muslim society wanted, such as justice, freedom, and equality.

The masses supported this revolution to protect and preserve it, and to offer for it much more sacrifices. For they believed that there was no way for their dignity and protection from selfishness and persecutions except assuming government by the ‘Alawids, the rulers of justice, protectors of truth, the refuge for the oppressed and the persecuted.

p: 20

None thought that the revolt implied the summons to the ‘Abbasids, for this family had no positive deed for serving the masses. They met no oppression or persecution from the Ummayad family. They were happy and tranquil because the authorities spent too much money on them, secured for them livelihood and wealth as well as they had no brilliant past; rather the history of some of them was full of perfidy and treason toward the community.

Any way the revolt deviated from its original plan and headed for conveying the government to the ‘Abbasids, who appointed Abu Muslim al-Khuresani as a general leader of the revolt and trusted him, but he went too far in shedding blood for no reason. So the historians have unanimously agreed that he was a sinful blood-shedder. They have maintained that he paid no attention to any crime he committed, regarded as easy destroying selves and souls, punished the innocent because of the guilty, punished those who came to him due to those who turned away from him, killed out of suspicion and accusation. They have said that he killed thousands of people. This indicates that he had no faith in Allah and the hereafter; nevertheless, the ‘Abbasids adopted all his terrorist plans; some sources show that it was the ‘Abbasid who entrusted him with that.

Any way, the ‘Abbasids undertook the government through shedding seas of blood and heaping up mountains of the bodies of the innocent. When they took the reins of government, they massacred the ummayyads and their followers, spread among them murder and severe punishment. As for Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, he did not confirm that; he asked the authorities to pardon and forgive them. This shows us the unique humanity of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. For they did not incline to quenching their thirsty for revenge upon their enemies whatever their offences toward them were, for their custom was pardon, gentleness, and kindness to those who showed enmity toward them and wronged them.

p: 21

Abu Salama, a head in the ‘Abbasid government and an active member in leading their revolution, tried to entrust the caliphate to the ‘Alawids. Whether this was as a deception and a trick of him or out of seriousness and loyalty, he sent messages to Yethrib (Medina) and his messenger handed one of his messages to Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who ordered the message to be burnt in a fire was in front of him.

The messenger demanded him of a reply and he said to him: “The answer is just as you have seen.” Then the messenger went to Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya and his brother handed to them the letters of Abu Salama; he found in them an urgent response to his request. Imam al-Sadiq advised them not to be deceived by that, for they would not assume the affair, but they did not take his advice and thought that it was as sign of envy of him toward them, as the narrators say. Shortly after that, the ‘Alawids declared their revolt against al-Mansur; the masses surrounded them; the jurists and the eminent Muslim thinkers confirmed their revolt, but it failed because the Abbasid forces were able to suppress it and put an end to it-this has fully been explained in this book.

When the ‘Alawids lost their revolt, their heads were carried on the tops of the spears and were displayed in all countries and cities just as was the condition during the days of the Umayyad government. Al-Mansur paid no attention to the bonds of the womb relationship between him and the ‘Alawids. For, after that, he spared no effort to kill and pursue them. In this respect, he excluded neither old men nor children; rather he included them all in a torture which cannot be described because it was very severe to the extent that the ‘Alawids wished that the Umayyad government would return though it was severe and torturing.

p: 22

These severe measures taken be al-Mansur against the ‘Alawids left deep sadness in Imam al-Sadiq’s and his son, Imam Musa’s souls, for they saw al-Mansur severely punishing their cousins, while they had no way to support and save them from that in which they were.

Among the problems of which the time of Imam Musa was full of was the destructive intellectual movements such as unbelief and the like that aimed at putting an end to Islam and to demolish its supports. These movements extended to many Islamic countries and did their best to play with the philosophy of the Islamic ethics, to deny all the religions, to urge the people to perform the forbidden, to play with the general manners, and to corrupt the rest of the social regulations.

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and his son Imam Musa faced and resisted those beliefs and to refute them with scientific proofs.

In addition to these destructive beliefs there were other beliefs attacked the Islamic world in those times. The beliefs summoned their followers to disunite the social ties, to divide the Muslims, and to mislead the public opinion in many sides of their ideological life, so Imam Musa and his father Imam al-Sadiq undertook enlightening the Muslims and warning them against them. The book has objectively contains a speech about all of that.

In the fields of the social service, there is nothing more important than spreading the merits of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be of them, display their behavior and affairs, for they supply the society with the requirements of renaissance and progress. The Muslims are in need of a brilliant guidance arising from the message of Ahl al-Bayt aiming at self-denial, sacrifice in the way of Allah, and the movement toward the fruitful, constructive deeds.

p: 23

Surely, the Muslims live in bitter conditions; they lead a life of discords and disorders. For the colonial forces have played with their own constituents, deprived them of their fates, strengthened among them all factors of weakness and corruption to the extent that they have led a life of abasement and disgrace. We believe that the Muslims cannot make any progress unless they follow the behavior and teachings of Ahl al-Bayt, for in every side of them there is a meeting of original, free awareness, ideals, and perfect belief in the rights of the community. Perhaps, we participate in the field of the social service through our research on the life of Imam Musa, peace be on him.

This book was published in 1378 A. H. and was out of print. Those who are concerned in such researches asked me to reprint it; I (the author) put their request before the great beneficent, al-Hajj Muhammed Jewad ‘Ajeena, the son of the notable Hajj, Muhammed Jewad Ajeena, and he responded to me, may Allah protect him. We thank him and may he be successful in printing the book. I ask

Allah to grant him a success that he may give life to the remarkable deeds of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, and to give him much more reward. Surely He, the Exalted, is the Guardian of that and has power over it.

My brother, His Eminence, great Shaykh, Hadi al-Qarashi did me a favor through revising the chapters of the book; His Eminence also did me a favor through revising many books and benefited me in finding some information relating to the life of Imam Musa, peace be on him. After the serious research, I have found that some chapters of the book I have written are in need of re-writing and analyzing; also I have changed my mind concerning some researches of the book. The reader will find that this edition is different from the previous one because it contains an addition; moreover it is distinguished by the good printing of which al-Adab Press is famous.

p: 24

In the end of the introduction, I hope that those who are concerned in these researches will do me a favor through criticizing and re-writing this work, that we may all be able to serve this community; surely He, the Exalted, has power over rightness and success.

Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Holy Najaf

Dhu al-Hijja 1st, 1389 A. H.

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Fiqh al-Islami, Medkhel li Diraset Nizam al-Mu'amelat, p. 160.

[2] Qur'an, Surat al-Shura, verse 23.

[3] Al-Razi, Tefseer, vol. 7, p. 406. Al-Durr al-Menthur, vol. 7, p. 7. Al-Nisaburi, Tefseer. Abu Na'eem has narrated through his chain of authority on the authority of Jabir, who said: "A Bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and said to him: 'O Muhammed, show me Islam, and he said to him: 'You should bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One without a partner, and that Muhammed is His servant and His Apostle.' He asked: 'Do you ask of me any reward for it?' He answered: 'No, but love for near relatives.' He asked: 'My or your relatives?' He replied: 'My relatives.' Give (me your hand) to pledge allegiance to you. May Allah's curse be upon those who do not love you and your relatives. The Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: 'Amen!'"

[4] .Al-Turmidhi, Seheeh, vol. 2, p. 308. Asad al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 12.

[5] Heyat al-Imam al-Hasan, vol. 1, p. 90.

[6] Mejjma' al-Zewa'id, vol. 9, p. 168.

[7] Al-Muraja'at, p. 54.

p: 25

[8] Ibid., pp. 40-41.

[9] Ibid., p. 144.

[10] Shaykh Muhammed 'Abda, Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 259.

[11] Al-Hashimiyat.

[12] Al-Tenbih wa al-Radd 'alaa Ahl al-Buda', p. 14.

[13] Al-Kashi, Rijal, p. 298.

[14] Al-Luhuf, p. 33.

[15] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin.

[16] 'Aqa'id al-Zaydiya.

[17] Sharh al-Nahjj, vol. 3, p. 15.

[18] Al-Hashimiyat.

Chapter 1

His Birth and His Childhood

The unique aspect by which Islam has been distinguished from the rest of the other religions and social schools is that it has raised the slogan of equality. It has demolished the barriers among the people, adopted that in an effective way, prepared all its powers and abilities to apply that on the arena of life, regarded that as one of the elements of its civilization and an important factor in building its social structure.

According to Allah's Law, people are as equal as the teeth of a comb. No one has a distinction over another and no people have superiority over another. They are on one level with respect to their rights and dignity; there is one distinction among them except through piety and good deeds that bring man near to his Lord, send him far from the factors of evil, the inclinations of recklessness and vainglory.

Islam has brought such beliefs bringing hearts together, uniting feelings and sentiments. On these principles the summons to Islam has been based; Islam has ordered its followers to kill with their swords those who intend to destroy such fundamentals lest there should be a gap through which their union and unity is divided.

p: 26

The Umayyads turned away from this Islamic basic rule and carried a pickax to demolish it because it opposed their pagan inclinations and their class interests. So they with some mad powers tried to erase it from the Islamic life; this is clear in their going too far in dispraising and scolding those who married an Arab slave girl; they not only do that, but also they severely punished them. One of their tyrannical governors came to know that a person belonged to Saleem's tribe married a slave girl, he ordered him to be brought, whipped a hundred times, separated from his wife, his hair, his beard, and his eye-brows to be shaved.[1] According to the Umayyads' traditions, such a person committed a crime and caused mischief in the land and was worthy of punishment.

The Umayyads deprived the child of a slave girl of assuming any office in the state and undertaking any public job. They claimed that he had no qualification for it.[2] Through this pagan thinking, the Umayyad tyrant, Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik, advanced as an argument against Zayd b. 'Ali, the martyr of honor and refusal, saying to him: "I have been informed that you mention the caliphate and desire it. You are not entitled to it because you are the son of a slave girl."

Zayd opposed him and aimed at him an arrow of his flowing reason, saying to him: "Surely, mothers do not prevent men from (achieving their) objectives. Isma'il's mother was Ishaq's servant girl. Nevertheless, Allah sent him as a prophet, made him the father of the Arabs, and took out of his backbone the best of the prophets, Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family."[3]

p: 27

When the Umayyads adopted this abominable policy contrary to the real Islam, Ahl al-Bayt opposed it through denying and defaming it. They hailed what their grandfather, the great Savor, may Allah bless him and his family, had brought such as just equality among the Muslims. They gave as clear, political examples of it to confirm it. For example, Imam Zayn al-'Abidin freed a slave girl of his and married her. So his opponent 'Abd al-Malik made use of this deed and began criticizing him. He sent him a letter in which he blamed him, saying: "Now then, I have heard that you have married your slave girl. You know that there are among Quraysh your equals through whom you are glorified in marring and begetting children; therefore, you have not thought of yourself, nor have you retained your children. Greetings."

When the Imam received the letter, he read it and understood that there was a belief of paganism standing among its lines and words. So he, peace be on him, refuted him with his answer in which appeared the beliefs and objectives of Islam, saying: "Now then, I have received your letter in which you have scold me due to my marrying my slave-girl. You have claimed that there are among the Quraysh women (equal to me) through whom I am glorified in marrying and begetting children. There is no glorious ascent and no generous increase higher than Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. She had been possessed by my right hand and has been freed by me through the command of Allah's will, Mighty and Majestic be He. Through her I have sought His reward. Then I have returned her according to His Law. Whoever is pure in his religion, none of his affairs bring him about a defect. Through Islam Allah has raised meanness, completed defect, and taken away blame; therefore, no blame is placed on a Muslim, but the blame is placed on al-Jahiliya (pre-Islamic beliefs)."[4]

p: 28

These are the beliefs of Islam in respect with justice and equality. According to them, the real honor belongs to the obedience to Allah and cleaving to His religion, so he who educates his own self, prevents it from committing sins and the forbidden, and conforms to Allah's religion is the unique person who has excellence in Islam. As for superiority through racism and the rest of the other material considerations, they are not included in the excellence and honor with Allah.

No one should harbor malice against the Imam when he married a Muslim slavegirl after he had emancipated her, for he through that did not oppose Allah's Book, and the Sunna (practices) of His Prophet.

Surely, Islam has proudly and gloriously treated all Muslims equally, regarded the Muslim male as equal to the Muslim female, and abolished all the pagan distinctions. An example of that is that the great Prophet married his slave-girl, Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, to his retainer Zayd b. Haritha, who was not equal to her in her social rank. As for the story of Juwaybir, the destitute, the miserable, it is well-known and written in detail. Through this Islam has established a basic rule for the bond of marriage; it is based on the unity in religion and love in Allah.

When Islam spread in the first times and its brave mujahidin liberated many lands of the world to summon them to Allah, the movement and bringing of the slaves became very wide. We think that many kinds of such slaves were taken illegally, for the ruling authorities in those times did not observe the Islamic precepts in respect with them.

p: 29

Any way, Yethrib markets were full of slave traders who brought slaves to sell them; a street in Baghdad was called Slave Street[5], in which slaves were shown and sold.

As for the attitude of Ahl al-Bayt toward those unfortunate slaves, it was merciful and kind to them. They bought some of them as possible as they could, and freed them for Allah's sake. An example of that is that Ahmed b. Musa al-Kazim copied the Qur'an and bought it to buy for it some slaves and freed them for Allah's sake; he freed a thousand slaves through his handwork. The Imams not only showed kindness to them through releasing them, but they also held them through giving them a lot of money that they might be in no need of what was in the hand of the people; in this way they could get rid of slavery and poverty.

Imam Musa motivated and urged his companions to marry female slaves, saying: "Marry female slaves, for they have cleverness and intellects many women do not have."[6]

Ahl al-Bayt not only were kind to slaves, but they also married female slaves to indicate that Islam had abolished discrimination and to destroy the severe measures taken by the Umayyads toward them.

Imam Musa's mother was among those women brought to be sold in Yethrib market; Allah singled her with merit and honor through making her a container for the Imamate, virtue, and dignity.

As for how Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq got married, it has been narrated by b. 'Akkasha al-Asadi. We will briefly mention his narration as follows: "I (b.'Akkasha) visited Imam Abu Ja'far al-Baqir, peace be on him. His son Abu 'Abd Allah was standing before him to hand some grapes. 'He turned to us to give us some teachings on the manners of having food, saying. The old man and the young boy must eat grapes one by one; those who think that they do not get full must eat it three or four (by three or four); and you eat it two by two because it is recommended.'"

p: 30

Ibn 'Akkasha said: "I looked at Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq and saw that he became a grown-up; I asked his father to marry him, saying: 'My master, why do you not marry Abu 'Abd Allah, for he has attained puberty.' The Imam told me that he had decided that; there was a purse (of money) before him and he said to me: 'A slave trader will come and stop at Maymun's house; we will buy him (al-Sadiq) a slave-girl for this purse (of money).'"

The people left the Imam's house. Shortly after that b. 'Akkasha along with a group of his companions visited the Imam. When they had sat down, the Imam told them about the arrival of the slave-trader and the slave-girl. He asked them to buy the slave-girl for the purse they have seen before. They all arose and their hearts were full of happiness and delight. When they reached the slave trader, they asked him to show them the slaves he had. He told them that he had no slave girl except two sick ones. They asked him to bring them and he did. They chose the one who was about to get well. He wanted to sell her for seventy dinars. They asked him to reduce her price, but he refused. They opened the purse and found seventy dinars wherein. They gave the money to him, took the slave-girl, and brought her to the Imam, who praised and lauded Allah, became happy and asked the slave-girl:

"What is your name?"

p: 31

"Hamida,"[7] she answered with a voice dripping shamefulness.

The Imam gave her a medal of honor and dignity, saying: "You are praiseworthy (Hamida) in this world and praised (Mahmuda) in the hereafter."

The Imam happily turned to his son and granted her to him.[8] Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) married her; she was the dearest, most beloved, and preferred of all his wives to him.

The historians have differed over her name and origin: it was said that she was from al-Andulus and her nickname was Lu'lu'a.[9] It was said that she belonged to the Berbers[10] and was the daughter of Salih, al-Beriberi.[11] It was said that she was Salih's sister.[12] Some historians believed that she was from Rome.[13] It was said that she belonged to one of the greatest families of the non-Arabs.[14] Many historians have neglected her lineage and not mention it.

Mrs. Hamida was generously treated in her house; the 'Alawid women took care of her and respected her.

Also Imam al-Sadiq did her a lot of favor, for he came to know that she had plentiful, perfect reason, and good faith. He greatly lauded her, saying: "Hamida is as purified from defilement as a gold ingot; the angels guarded her until she gave to me and the Imam after me a dignity from Allah."[15]

This lady was righteous, pure and free from defects; he soul was full of faith and righteousness. Imam al-Sadiq supplied her with his knowledge to the extent that she became on top of the women of her time in knowledge, piety, and faith. He entrusted her with teaching the Muslim women the religious aspects.[16] She was entitled to occupying this rank and to be the most brilliant of the women of her time in chastity, jurisprudence, and perfection.

p: 32

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Aghani, vol. 4, p. 150.

[2] Al-'Aqd al-Fereed, vol. 4., p. 160.

[3] Ibn al-Atheer, al-Kamil, vol. 5, p. 84.

[4] 'Ayan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 480.

[5] Murjj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 316.

[6] Al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf, p. 55.

[7] Al-Nefha al-'Anbariya, p. 15. It is a handwritten book and is available in the Public Library of Imam Kashif al-Ghta'. It has been mentioned in it that her name was Nabbata.

[8] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 476. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 232.

[9] Mir'at al-'Uqool, vol. 1, p. 451. Ma'lim al-'Ittra.

[10] Keshf al-Ghumma, vol. 3, p. 2.

[11] A'lam al-Wara. Bihar al-Anwar. In al-Menaqib vol. 4, p. 323, her name is Hamida al-Musaffat (the purified one), daughter of Sa'id al-Berberi.

[12] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Kulafa', p. 39.

[13] Al-Sayyid Damin b. Shaddqam, Tuhfat al-Azhar wa Zulal al-Anhar. It is a handwritten book and is available in the Library of Imam Kashif al-Ghita'.

[14] Al-Anwar al-Behiyya, p. 87.

[15] Bihar al-Anwar, vol., 11, p. 232. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 477. A'yan al-Shi'a, second part of vol. 4, p. 5.

[16] Al-Anwar al-Behiyya, p. 78.

The Blessed Baby

The time after the Imam's marrying her lengthened, life was tranquil; house life was full of delights, prevailed by love, leaving formality, and avoiding bitter obscene language.

She became pregnant during that happy period of time; she was taken to Allah's Sacred House by Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) when he went to perform the religious duty of the hajj. After they had finished the ceremonies of the hajj, they came back to Yethrib (Medina). When they reached al-Abwa'[1], Hamida felt labor and she sent for the Imam telling him of the matter, for he had asked her not to precede him in respect with his child. Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq was having food a long with a group of his companions. When he heard of the good news, he hurried to her. Shortly after his arrival, Hamida gave birth to one of the masters of the Muslims and of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt.

p: 33

The world shone with this blessed baby like whom none was born at his time and was greater than him in bless, benefit, and favor toward Islam.

He was born (and his birthday) indicated that he would be the most pious of the people, the kindest of them to the poor, the greatest of them in tiredness and ordeals for Allah, the greatest of them in worship and fear of Allah.

Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) hurried and received his baby; he performed for him the religious ceremonies of birth; he said the adhan in his right ear and the iqama in his left ear.

The first picture Imam Musa saw was that of his father like whom there was none under the sky in highness, greatness and importance after his forefathers. The first word he heard was that of monotheism having the full meaning of faith.

Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) returned to his companions smiling, so one of them asked him: "My master, may Allah make you glad and make us your ransom, what has Hamida done?"

The Imam gave them good news of his blessed baby telling them of his great affair, saying: "Allah has given a boy to me; he is the best of those Allah has created."

Yes, he was the best of those Allah has created in knowledge, piety, rightness, and cleaving to the religion. Imam al-Sadiq informed his companions of that his son would be among the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, to whom obedience Allah made incumbent on His servants, saying to them: "Follow him; by Allah, he will be your leader."[2]

p: 34

Imam Musa was born at al-Abwa'. It was said that he was born in Yethrib (Medina).[3] This (narration) is contrary to the unanimous agreement of the historians. He was born in the year 128 A. H.[4] It was said that he was born in the year 129 A. H.[5] That was during the reign of 'Abd al-Malik b. Merwan.

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Abwa' is a village in Medina. The gave of the pure one Amina b. Wahab, mother of the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, is in it. It was said that it was called al-Abwa' because many epidemics happened in it. Thabit, a linguist, said that it was named al-Abwa' because it was full of floods. This justification is good. Mu'jam al-Buldan, vol. 1, p. 92.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 230. Dela'il al-Imama.

[3] Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 4, p. 395.

[4] Tehdhib al-Tehdhib, vol. 10, p. 34. Al-Tebeqat al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 33. Noor al-Abbsar, p. 135. Al-Menaqib, vol. 4, 323. Keshf al-Ghumma, vol. 3, p. 2.

[5] A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 3. It has been mentioned in Tuhfat al-Azhar that he was born before the rise of dawn of Tuesday, in the month of Sefer, in the year 127 A. H. It has been mentioned in Behar al-Ansab that he was born on Sunday, Sefer 7. A narration similar to this has been mentioned in the book al-Durus.

General Food

Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, did not stay for a long time in al-Abwa'; rather he left it and headed for Yethrib (Medina). When he arrived in it, he immediately made a banquet to honor his baby; he gave food to the people for three days.[1] His followers came to him, congratulated him on his blessed baby and took part in his delight and gladness.

p: 35

_____________________________________________

[1] A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 3.

His Pure Childhood

Imam Musa made general progress during his childhood. He sucked at the breast of faith and was brought up in the lap of Islam. Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, fed him on his sympathy and kindness. He poured down upon him rays of his great soul, guided him to noble habits, and directed him to brilliant behavior. So during his early age all the elements of the Islamic education gathered in him to the extent that during his childhood he attained perfection and education none had ever attained.

Love and Honoring

Imam Musa made good progress during his childhood. He was tranquil and received life with welcome and honoring. Everyday his father showered him with his plentiful sympathy. The Muslim masses met him with care and honoring. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, gave preference to him over the rest of his children; he showed toward him love he did not show toward any other than him. Among the aspects of his love for him is that he gave him a piece of ground called al-Basariya, which he had bought for twenty-six thousand dinars.[1] He was asked about the extent of love for him and he answered: "I wish that I had no child other than him lest none should take part in my love for him."[2]

While still young, Imam Musa said some words that amazed his father, who said: "Praise belongs to Allah Who has made you as a successor instead of the forefathers, a delight in the place of the children, and a substitute for the friends."[3]

p: 36

The Shi'ites believe that the office of the Imamte is like that of the prophethood irrespective of favoritism, zeal out of the sentiment of love, except confirming virtue and praising faith. Accordingly Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, declared his strong love and firm affection for his son. For he came to know that he was a real copy of him in talent and genius. Besides he came to know that he would be the Imam after him over the community of his grandfather.

_______________________________________________

[1] Dela'il al-Imama, pp. 49-50.

[2] Al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf, p. 54.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 237.

His Features

The narrators of traditions have described Imam Musa's features, saying: "He was very brunet."[1] It was said that he had a black color.[2] It was said that he had a bright color, of medium height, and had a thick beard.[3] Shaqiq al-Balakhi has described him, saying: "He had a good face, was very brunet and weak-bodied."

______________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Sebbagh, al-Fusool al-Muhimma. Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 112.

[2] 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 185. Al-Nefha al-'Anberiya, p. 15. In it the author has added that he was self-possessed and open handed.

[3] A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 9.

His Veneration and Esteem

Imam Musa had veneration similar to that of the prophets. The features of the pure Imams from among his forefathers appeared on his face. When some saw him, he respected and admired him. His veneration and esteem was described by Abu Nu'as, the poet of the 'Abbasid royal palace, when he met him on the road, saying:

p: 37

If the eye sees you without doubt and doubt opposes you, the heart will confirm you.

And if some riders appoint you as an Imam, your knowledge will lead them, so the riders see guidance through you.

I have made you as my sufficiency in my affairs, and he whose sufficiency is you does not fail.[1]

These poetry lines are one of the gushes of the soul and one of the kinds of awareness of living conscience. That is because Abu Nu'as spent the days of his life in amusement and impudence and lived on the dining tables of the 'Abbasids. He showed this sweet-smelling praise toward the Ahl al-Bayt at the time when someone praised them faced punishment and displeasure. He was urged to declare such praise by the Imam's reality and ideals of which there was no like during his time.

The lights of the Imam dazzled the poet of al-Ma'arra, Abu al-'Ala, and he composed a poem on lamenting Abu Ahmed, the Imam's grandson, saying:

Because of his majesty in the soul, your grandfather, Musa, is regarded as the character in Surat al-'Araf.[2]

Abu al-'Ala had no good opinion of anyone, nor did he praise anyone unless he tested him and came to know of his reality, but when he heard of Imam Musa and knew that he was unique, he praised and described him.

______________________________________________

[1] Al-Menaqib, vol. 4, p. 318.

[2] Seqeta al-Zind.

The Inscription of his Ring

As for the inscription of his ring, it displays that he cleaved to Allah and devoted himself to Him. It is as follows: "The kingdom belongs to Allah only."[1]

p: 38

______________________________________________

[1] Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 112.

His Kunyas

(His kunyas are): Abu al-Hasan, Abu al-Hasan al-Madi, Abu Ibrahim, Abu ''Ali, Abu Isma'il.

His Nicknames

As for his nicknames, they indicate the aspects of his personality and sides of his greatness; they are as follows:

Al-Sabir (the Patient)

Because he was patient toward the pain and the misfortunes he met form the tyrannical rulers, who punished him severely and treated him with all kinds of wrong and detested things.

Al-Zahir (the Brilliant)

Because he was brilliant through his holy ethics and his bright generosity through which he represented the ethics of his grandfather, the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family.

Al-'Abd al-Salih (the pious worshipper)

He was given the nickname of al-'Abd al-Salih because of his (too much) worship and exertion in obedience (to Allah) to the extent that proverbs were coined about him throughout times and generations. He is famous for this nickname with the narrators of hadith; those who narrated on his authority said: "Al-'Abd al-Salih has related to me."

Al-Sayyid (the Master)

Because he was one of the Muslim masters and one of their Imams; due to this nickname he was praised by the famous poet, Abu al-Fath who says:

I am the servant of the noble master; wherever I am, he is given my best regards. And if I am the servant of the noble, them I am free and the time is my servant.[1]

Al-Wafi (the Faithful)

Because he was the most faithful human being who was created in his time; he was loyal and kind to his companions and followers; rather he was loyal even to his opponents and those who harbored malice against him.

p: 39

Al-Amin (the Trusted one)

He was trusted in the full meaning of the word; rather his great personality was full of trust-he was entrusted with the affairs and precepts of the religion and with the affairs of the Muslims. He gained this nickname just as his grandfather, the great Prophet, had gained it and attained through it the confidence of all the people.

Qa'id al-'Askar (the Commander of the Troops)

Among his nicknames is Qa'id al-'Askar.[2] Shaykh 'Abbas al-Qummi, Thiqatual Islam and a famous researcher, may Allah make bloom his grave, has said: "The reason for giving such a nickname to the Imam, peace be on him, is that he represented al-Mansur on the Day of al-Nouruz. Meanwhile the troops and their commanders paid a visit to him. None of his forefathers and sons had undertaken such a ceremony, so he was given this nickname on this occasion."[3]

Al-Kazim (the Restrained)

He was given this nickname because he restrained his anger toward those wrongdoers who severely punished him and subjected him to exhaustion, to the extent that he died a martyr of poison in a dark prison. He did not show his pain and sorrows to anyone; rather he thanked Allah for that. Ibn al-Athir has said: "He (Musa) is known for this nickname due to his patience, gentleness, and repelling evil with kindness."[4]

Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya (the One with a pure soul)

He was given this nickname because he had a clear soul which was not spoiled by neither the sins of life nor by the defilement of material, to the extent that it became high and unique.

p: 40

Bab al-Hawa'ijj (the Gate of Needs)

This is the greatest of his nicknames in mentioning, the most famous of them in circulation and spreading. The non-Shi'a and the Shi'a know well that when a distressed or a sad person visit the grave of Musa, Allah relieves his pain and sorrows, and that when someone seeks sanctuary in his holy shrine, his needs are granted. He returns home cool-hearted and tranquil, free from sudden events and the calamities of days. All Shi'a, rather all Muslims, of different classes and tendencies, believe in that; for example, Shaykh and head of the Hanbalis, says: "When a certain matter worries me, and I visit the grave of Musa b. Ja'far, Allah, the Exalted, make easy to me what I like."[5]

Imam al-Shafi'i says: "The grave of Musa b. Ja'far is a tried antidote."[6]

The disasters of time and misfortunes of days overburdened a group of poets and writers, so they resorted to him and sought refuge with his shrine asking Allah through him to raise their ordeals, to remove their tribulation and detested things, so Allah remove that from them. We have read many of their eloquent poems. If we want to mention all their poems, then we have to write a big book; but we will mention some of them. Among them is al-hajj Muhammed Jewad al-Baghdadi, who visited the grave of the Imam asking him for granting his need, saying:

O he who is the namesake of the epithet of Moses, I have come to you walking toward your grave and intending (to visit you) from my homeland.

p: 41

Our needs are not granted except through the Gate of Hope, al-Jewad's grandfather.

Ayat Allah al-'Uzma Aal Bahr al-'Ulum, Sayyid Mahdi Aal Bahr al-'Ulum, may Allah light his grave, have hemstitched the above-mentioned two lines, saying:

O he who is the namesake of the epithet of Moses, I have come to you walking while love is my mount and love for you is my provisions.

Harm has afflicted me; my poverty has made me head for your grave intending (to visit you) from my homeland.

Our needs are not granted except through the usual Gate of Needs, near the see of generosity, at the Gate of Hope, al-Jewad's grandfather.[7]

'Abbas al-Baghdadi, the orator, has made them five, saying:

You are still doing good to mankind, giving sanctuary to him who comes to you and take care (of him).

If the vast space is unable to bear me, O namesake of the epithet of Moses, I will come to you running; and love is my mount and love for you is my provisions.

You are rain for those who have no rain; were it not for your abundant knowledge, existence would vanished.

I swear by Him Who is Exalted and Almighty, needs are not granted for us except at the Gate of Hope, al-Jewad's grandfather.

Yet another example of those who composed poetry on this subject is the great, genius poet, the late Sayyid 'Abd al-Baqi al-'Umary, who says:

If your affairs become narrow or difficult, resort to Abu al-Rida, Musa b. Ja'far, al-Jewad's grandfather; seek refuge with him and use him as a means (for granting your needs).[8]

p: 42

During his lifetime, Imam Musa was a place of flight and shelter for all Muslims. After his death, he is also an invincible fortress for those who seek refuge with him. For Allah, may His name be exalted, has gifted him with granting the needs of those who seek refuge with his shrine; to this meaning Thabit al-Wa'iz has referred in his poem in which he has praised Yehya b. Ja'far, Abu al-Fedl:

Yehya b. Ja'far is in the eastern side, and Musa b. Ja'far is in the western side.

That intercedes with Allah, the Generous, for us, and this (intercedes) with the pure Imam (for us).[9]

Most Muslims believe that Allah removes affliction and harm through resorting to the shrine of the Imam, peace be on him. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reported a story on the authority of an eye-witness who saw a woman who lost her mind and was very worried because she was told that her son had committed a crime. The local authority had arrested and imprisoned him; the woman began running toward the shrine of Imam Musa seeking refuge with it; a rogue who did not believe in the Imam asked her: "Where to?"

"To Musa b. Ja'far," she replied, "for my son has been imprisoned."

"Surely, he has died in prison," explained the rogue sneeringly.

His words hurt the woman and she said with pain: "O Allah, show me your power by him who has been killed in prison!"

Allah responded to her prayer- her son was released and the mocker's son was imprisoned due to the crime ascribed to the former.[10] In this manner, Allah wanted to show her His power and to show to that person the dignity of the Imam with Allah. I (the author) personally was afflicted by one of the ordeals of the world and was about to fold my life, so I hurried to the shrine of Imam Musa, peace be on him, with a good intention, so Allah relived me and removed what had afflicted me. No one has doubt about this aspect by which the Imam has been marked except those who have doubt about their religion and Islam.

p: 43

Since the dawn of history, the Muslims have believed in this (quality of the Imam) and thought without doubt that Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, have a noble position with Allah, that tribulation is repelled through them, and that Allah is asked for rain through them. Just as Jabir b. 'Abd Allah (al-Ansari) said during his talk with Imam ''Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him; praising Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, al-Farazdaq says in his poem called al-'Asma':

He belongs to the people for whom love is religion, toward whom showing hatred is unbelief, to whom nearness is a refuge and place of preservation.

Evil and affliction are driven away through love for them; kindness and favors are increased through it.

Surely their graves are shelter and refuge for askers.

Al-Jawahry says:

Those who have installed their houses and their graves as guide for those who ask about the generous.

Those who have effaced the darkness of ignorance and showed the lamp of reason.[11]

Allah has gifted them with His favors and distinguished them by a great position, whether they are dead or alive.

________________________________________________

[1] Ibid., p. 133.

[2] Tuhfat al-Azhar wa Zulal al-Anhar.

[3] Al-Kuna wa al-Alqab, vol. 1, p. 167.

[4] Mukhteser Tarikh al-'Arab, p. 209.

[5] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 1, p. 120. Al-Shi'a wa al-Tarikh.

[6] Tuhfat al-'Alam, vol. 2, p. 20.

[7] Al-Sayyid Mehdi Behr al-'Uloom, Divan. It is a handwritten book and is available in the Library of al-'Allama al-Sayyid Sadiq Behr al-'Uloom.

p: 44

[8] 'Abd al-Baqi, Divan, p. 133.

[9] Al-Nijoom al-Zahira.

[10] Tarikh Baghdad.

[11] Al-Jewahiri, Divan, vol. 3, pp. 177-178.

Chapter II

His Genius and Superiority

Before we talk about the immoderate cleverness by which Imam Musa, peace be on him, was distinguished in his early childhood, we have to talk about the educational factors that form a unique personality; Imam Musa attained the most wonderful means and results of such education.

The educationists and others have mentioned the factors leading to an educational entity and behavioral results of a person; they are as follows:

Heredity

The scientists of heredity and psycho think that heredity is among the effective reasons for the psychological formation and mental growth. They say that cleverness and all kinds of intellectual maturity of a person directly depend on heredity. The branch not only resembles its origin in its formal aspects but also it resembles it in its qualities. Concerning its smallest attributes, Heksely says: "All signs and characteristics of an organic being belong to heredity or environment. The hereditary formation puts the limits of that which is possible; environment decides that this possibility will be a fact; therefore, hereditary formation is the ability to react with any environment through a special way."

This means that all signs and qualities in man's living systems belong to heredity or environment or society where man lives. Mendil has confirmed this hereditary aspect called conjugation heredity. He says: "Surly many hereditary attributes pass without division or change from one of the origins or from both of them to the branch."

p: 45

Janjaz has established that in his statement: "Surely every man has hidden hereditary abilities, but the appearance of each ability depends on the conditions encompassing these abilities when they grow."

Islam had discovered this phenomenon before it had been discovered by the scientists of heredity and psycho. It has been reported from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, that a man belonged to the Ansars came to him and said to him: "O Allah's Apostle, this is my cousin. I am so-and-so, son of so-and-so (counting ten forefathers). She is the daughter of so-and-so (counting ten forefathers); there is no Abyssinian in her lineage nor in mine, but she has given birth to this Abyssinian." Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, bowed his head and then he raise it and said: "Surely you have ninety-nine races, and she has ninety-nine races. When the races come together, they move, and each race of them asks Allah, the Great and Almighty, to let its like to go to it. Stand up! He is your son; he has not come to you except through a race of yours or of hers."

The man left taking his wife and his son by the hand. In another tradition, (the Prophet) said: "Choose (good women) for your sperms, for ethics pass from fathers to children (al-'iriq dassas)."

The Holy Qur'an refers to the smallest attributes carried by heredity. Narrating from His Prophet Noah, Allah the most High, says: "And Noah said: My Lord, leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers, for surely if you leave them, they will lead astray your servants and will not beget any but immoral, ungrateful (children)."[1] The verse clearly indicates that the beliefs of unbelievers and atheists pass through heredity from fathers to children. The encyclopedias of hadith are full of hadiths reported on the authority of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. The hadiths indicate the reality of heredity, its laws, and its great importance in man's life.[2]

p: 46

In the light of the hereditary rule, we decide that Imam Musa, peace be on him, inherited from his forefathers, peace be on them, all the attributes that distinguished them from all people, such as generosity, clemency, love for good, kindness to men, and full dedication to general, good deeds.

____________________________________________

[1] Surat Nuh, verse 26.

[2] Al-Nizam al-Terbewi fi al-Islam.

The Family

Surely the family is one of the basic factors in building the educational entity and finding the social acquirement of someone's manners. It has a perfect effect on forming the child's character and on making him acquire habits staying constantly with him throughout his lifetime. For the child imitates the others in habits and behavior. Mander says: "Surely, the child-in the smallest habits staying constantly with him, in the most important qualities, in the general attitude toward people, in the general viewpoint through which he thinks of life or work, in all these things-is an imitator to a great extent. Perhaps imitation is sometimes conscious and intentional, but in most cases it is unconscious. If the child imitates well-mannered people, he will be impressed by their morals and their sentiments. In the first place this impression is regarded as an imitation, but quickly it becomes a habit, and the habit is a second nature; imitation is one of the two ways through which the individual attributes are acquired and personal ethics are formed."[1]

According to this viewpoint, Imam Musa was unique in his attributes and essentials. For he grew up among a family who was the origin of piety, guardian of wisdom and knowledge, visited frequently by the angels, place of descent of inspiration and revelation, and to whom belonged all noble qualities and virtues in Islam.

p: 47

Imam Musa was brought under the care of his father, Imam al-Sadiq, the like of whom human history has ever known in faith, piety, and all tendencies except his forefathers, the pure Imams. Concerning him, his student Malik b. Anas said: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and (none) come to someone's mind more meritorious than Ja'far b. Muhammed al-Sadiq in knowledge, worship and piety." 'Amru b. al-Muqdam said: "When I looked at Ja'far b. Muhammed (al-Sadiq), I came to know that he belonged to the descendents of the prophets."[2] The martyr, Zayd b. 'Ali, peace be on him, said: "In every time there is a man from among us, Ahl al-Bayt, whom Allah advances as a proof over His creatures. The proof of our time is my nephew, Ja'far; he who follows him does not go astray; he who opposes him is not rightly guided."[3] This great Imam planted in the soul of his son Musa all his ideals and tendencies to the extent that he became, according to his early life and education, one of the unique Muslim thinkers and of the most prominent Muslim Imams.

___________________________________________

[1] 'Ilm al-Nefs fi al-Heyat.

[2] Tehdhib al-Tehdhib, vol. 2, p. 104.

[3] Al-Menaqib, vol. 2, p. 147.

The Environment

Those who are concerned in educational researches have unanimously agreed that environment is one of the most important factors on which education depends. It is it that forms instincts and habits in the child's self; so if it was good, its effects would also be good; if it was polluted with mal factions and deviation, the young would certainly suffer from the defects and blights wherein.

p: 48

Surely man, in his behavior, is not subject to his inward formation only, but also he is subject to outward factors that react with him and affect him. In this manner, environment imprints its effects in the inward thoughts and the depth of soul; through it a high degree of social perfection is achieved when it is good.

Surely if the social environment is stable and the family is not disordered, they will make the behavior of the young righteous, gentle, and void of deviation. The UNISCO has made a research on the non-natural effects on the child's self. After the specialists had made an elaborate research (in this respect), they stated the following: "Without doubt, the environment that is psychologically stable and the united family whose members live in an atmosphere of mutual sympathy is the first foundation on which the adoption of the child from sentimental viewpoint is based. The child later depends on this foundation in fixing his social relationship hypothetically; if the child's personality is distorted by the parent's bad treatment, he is unable to associate with society."[1]

As for the environment where the Imam lived, it was religious and prevailed by human values and ideals. As for the house in which he lived, it was one of the institutes of virtue, and of the schools of faith and piety; it was flooded by love, avoiding formality, leaving bitter, and obscene language; in this manner all the elements of high education were secured for the Imam.

______________________________________

[1] UNISCO, the Effects of Family and Society on the Young under 13, p. 35.

p: 49

Cleverness and Genius

The psychologists have divided cleverness into two kinds: social cleverness, and abstract one. Concerning the difference between them, they have said: "Surely social cleverness means understanding people in a right manner and associating with them with wisdom and reflection. As for the abstract cleverness, it means understanding concepts and symbols of which is understanding scientific schools and making distinction between the correct and the incorrect from among them."[1]

In his early age Imam Musa attained both kinds of cleverness; that was through his understanding the people, his behavior toward them with wisdom and reflection, his understanding the facts of affairs, his knowledge of hidden things the great religious scholars had not understood.

Yet another aspect that fills hearts with admiration and astonishment is that Imam Musa, peace be on him, in his early age, was able to encompass different kinds of sciences and knowledge, though the early age does not help man do that. This matter cannot be justified except in what the Shi'ites believe and are unanimous on it. That is that the Imam should throughout the stages of his lifetime be the most knowledgeable of the people of his time. He should be the greatest of them in reflection, and encompassing all the things the community needs in all fields. Moreover, his knowledge should be divine and not acquisitive just as that of the prophets.

Not only the Imam had such an aspect, but also all the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, shared him with it. For example, his grandson al-Jewad was the youngest of all the Imams; nevertheless, the Shi'a resorted to him and believed in his Imamate after the death of his father Imam al-Rida, peace be on him. He was then about seven years old, but al-Ma'mun held a meeting and summoned the greatest religious scholars in order to examine him in the most important, ambiguous, and difficult questions. They asked him about them and about various kinds of sciences and knowledge, and he answered them successfully. They admired him, and some of them believed in his Imamate. The biographers of Imam al-Jewad have unanimously agreed on writing that on his authority.

p: 50

We will mention some of Imam Musa's attitudes during his early age to indicate his great scientific abilities.

_________________________________________

[1] Mejelet Heyatek, vol. 6, p. 157, an Essay by Professor Thorindik.

With Abu Hanifa

Abu Hanifa was among those who believed in the (doctrine) of compulsion and summoned (the people) to believe in it. This belief maintains that the act that issues from man is not created by him and does not issue from him through his choice. Rather it is created by Allah and issues through Allah's will, and that man's will and power has no relationship in finding any deed whether it issues from him through his choice or he is forced to perform it. The Shi'ites have unanimously agreed that such a belief is invalid and incorrect. Besides the jurists have established that it is false; they have conscientiously decided that any optional act should be preceded by some voluntary prerequisites which are as follows:

1. One must imagine the thing in mind.

2. His soul must incline to it.

3. He should perfectly be sure of its advantage.

When these prerequisites are perfect in the horizon of soul, the will clings to deed, and man strives to find it or orders it to be performed, whether it is good or ugly, and there is no coercion or compulsion on man to perform it.[1]

Any way, Abu Hanifa was on top of those who believed in compulsion; he traveled to Yethrib (Medina) to debate with Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, on this belief, while he was famous for his being the opponent of it. When he arrived in it, he headed for the Imam's house. He sat in the corridor waiting for a permission to enter. While he was sitting there, a boy came out walking slowly. He asked the boy: "Where does the stranger relieve nature?"

p: 51

The boy turned to him and said to him: "Slowly!" Then he sat down politely, leaned against the wall, and began to give him an answer to his question, saying: "Avoid the banks of rivers, the places where fruit fall, the courtyards of mosques, and the middle of a road. Hide yourself behind a wall; you should not face the qibla (direction to the Kaaba) nor have your back towards it; and relieve nature where you wish." He explained to him the places where it is detested or forbidden to relieve nature, so Abu Hanifa was dazzled and astonished because he had not thought that there was a boy who had such a scientific ability.

"What is your name?" asked Abu Hanifa.

"Musa b. Ja'far b. Muhammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib," was the answer.

When Abu Hanifa came to know that the boy was a branch of the Tree of the Prophecy and the Imamate, he became tranquil, and then he asked him about the question he had prepared for Imam al-Sadiq, saying: " Boy, from whom does disobedience (issue)? Does it issue from Allah or from the servant?"

The Imam answered him, saying: "Either it issues from Allah and not from the servant at all, so Allah does not punish the servant for what he does not do; or it issues from the servant and Allah, and Allah is a stronger partner. Therefore, the stronger partner has no right to punish the weak for a sin in which they are equal; or it issues form the servant and not from Allah. So If He wills to pardon (him), (He will pardon him), and If He wills to punish (him), (He will punish him); and Allah is He whose help is sought." According to the rational restriction, this conclusion is full of all the elements of the firm scientific proofs man cannot invalidate or refute.

p: 52

Abu Hanifa became dazzled and astonished, so he raised his voice, saying: "I am satisfied with what I have heard!"

He went out defeated; inability appeared on his face. He did not met with Imam al-Sadiq; the Imam's answer to him and his inability to replay him became famous among the scientific circles; accordingly, a poet composed a poem on the answer of the Imam, peace be on him, to Abu Hanifa, saying:

Our deeds through which we are dispraised have three meanings when we perform them: either our Lord create them by Himself, so we are not blameworthy when we perform them,

Or He shares them with us, so the sin that befalls us will befall Him,

Or my Lord has no sin in performing them, so the sin belongs to him who performs them.[2]

This attitude indicates that Imam Musa had abundant sciences and knowledge during his early age. For he understood what the intellects of the great religious scholars did not understand. For example, Abu Hanifa was unable to stand before his flowing thinking. He found no way to safe and preserve his position except withdrawing from him and avoiding discussing with him any subject matter; this attitude shows that the Imam had abundant knowledge and cleverness none had in such an age except his forefathers, who were singled out with the Imamate.

__________________________________________

[1] Professor Ayat Allah al-'Uzma al-Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'I has explained these affairs and given more proofs of them. That is in his researches in Science of Islamic Fundamentals ('Ilm al-Usool). He has given decisive proofs of that compulsion and authorization are invalid. He has established the affair between two affairs in which the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt believed. I (the author) have mentioned that in my book Teqrirat Ayat Allah al-Khu'I in Science of Islamic Fundamentals ('Ilm al-Usool).

p: 53

[2] Al-Murteda, Amali, vol. 1, pp. 105-106. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 4, p. 1049.

His Decision against Abu al-Khattab

Muhammed b. Maqlas al-Asadi, better known as Abu al-Khattab, was among the Imams of the atheists in the Arab and Islamic world. He spoiled the religion of the young Muslims. That was through his originating a belief through which he launched a war against all the Islamic regulations; the principles of his thought has been mentioned by al-Qadi, Abu Hanifa al-Maghribi, who said: "He (Abu al-Khattab) claimed that Ja'far b. Muhammed was Allah, be He raised far above his statement. When his companions were overburdened by performing the religious duties, they came to him and said: 'Abu al-Khattab, make light for us (the religious duties).' So he ordered them to leave them to the extent that they left all the religious duties and performed the prohibited. He permitted them to bear witness to each other through falseness. He said: "He who recognizes the Imam is permitted to perform all the forbidden things."[1]

Abu al-Khattab's destructive beliefs appeared in Kufa at the time when the political disorders reached the zenith and the summons to the 'Abbasids was opening its way firmly and successfully. The conditions helped him gather around him some Kufan men to teach them his beliefs and to show them the plans of the summons, meeting, and appearance.[2] When Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, heard of his heresy and unbelief, he disavowed him and openly cursed him, for he was among his companions and followers, then he renounced (his doctrine) after that. 'Isa al-Shalqani hurried to Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, to ask him about his opinion of this dangerous atheist, and he, peace be on him, answered: "Isa, what has prevented you from meeting with my son (Imam Musa) to ask him about all what you desire?

p: 54

Thus, 'Isa went to Imam Musa, who was then a young boy studying in his room. When the Imam, peace be on him, saw 'Isa, he had answered him before he asked him. He said to him: "Isa, surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, made a covenant through the prophets for the prophethood and they never turned away from it. He made a covenant through the testamentary trustees for religious obligations and they never turned away from it; He gave faith to a people for a time and then He deprived them of it; as for Abu al-Khattab, he is among those who were given faith and deprived of it."

'Isa admired the Imam's answer, so he rose for him embraced him and kissed his forehead and said: "May my father and mother be your ransom, offspring, one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing."

Then he turned to Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) and told him about the wonderful talents of his son Imam Musa, peace be on him. So Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) said to him: "Isa, If you ask this son of mine about what is between the two covers of the Qur'an, he will give you an answer to it with knowledge."

Then he ordered his son to be brought out of the study. At that time 'Isa believed that Musa, peace be on him, was an Imam, that he was the heir apparent and successor of his father over all the people.[3] Yet another example of Imam Musa's immoderate cleverness is that he came to his father carrying a tablet (lawh) with him. His father made him sit in his lap and said to him: "My little son, write: Abandon ugly things and do not perform them!" When he wrote that, his father said to him: "My little son, complete it." He completed it saying: "If you perform good deeds to someone, then increase them." Then the Imam gave another statement to his son and ordered him to complete it, saying: "You will meet from your enemy all tricks."

p: 55

He completed it saying: "If the enemy schemes against you, do not scheme against him." The Imam became happy with his son' talents and genius; he embraced him, showed his admiration toward him, and said: "Offspring, one of the other!"[2] Another example of the sings of his genius in his childhood is that which has been reported by Saffwan al-Jammal, who said: "I (Saffwan al-Jammal) asked Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, about the leader of this affair (after him). He said: 'The leader of this affair is one who does not fool and play.'"

Saffwan said: "While he was relating to me about that, Abu al-Hasan Musa, who was then a young boy, came towards us along with a young sheep. He addressed the young sheep, saying: 'Prostrate to your Lord!' So Abu 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, took and embraced him, and then he said to him: 'May my father and mother be ransom to you, O you who do not fool and play!'"

We have mentioned these attitudes that show a great part of his cleverness and genius as if he, through this wonderful cleverness, did not passed any of the stages of childhood.

_______________________________________

[1] De'a'im al-Islam, p. 64.

[2] Herekat al-Shi'a, p. 73.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 237.

[4] Al-Menaqib, vol. 2, p. 380.

Chapter III

School of Imam al-Sadiq

Among the most important things of which Islam has taken care in its brilliant message is spreading cultural awareness and making public knowledge among people, for this reason it has made seeking knowledge as a religious obligation. It is incumbent on all Muslims to undertake it in order to develop their life in the economic and political fields, and to make them as a righteous community having a wise leadership for the peoples and nations of the world.

p: 56

Surely Islam believes in knowledge and its creative ability in making a human civilization. It shows that man cannot reach his sound objectives in building his society except through the foundation of scientific awareness standing on understanding and reflecting on the facts of affairs. Besides it has regarded armament with knowledge as an individual and a social necessity.

The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt played a positive role in giving life to the scientific life and to develop it in the world of Arabs and Islam, in spite of the harassment they met from the ruler of their times. Among the most prominent activities they rendered in this way was founding a science school aiming at spreading all kinds of knowledge, freeing the opinions of the Muslims from ignorance and dullness. We will mention some affairs of this school as follows:

The First Founder

The first founder of this great school was Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, the first pioneer of knowledge and development in Islam. He spared no effort to spread sciences and educate the Muslims; he used the Kufa Mosque as a school where he delivered from his pulpit his golden sermons full of economics, politics, administration, philosophy, ethics, enlightening awareness aiming at establishing good behavior and morals. He singled his companions and disciples with his brilliant knowledge taken from that of the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, so they learned from him theology, monotheism, jurisprudence, Islamic legislation, eloquence, and the like. Then they supplied the Islamic world with their books and their legacy. Some of them were 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas, the great scholar of the community and great authority of the Qur'anic sciences. Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali, the first teacher of Arabic grammar.

p: 57

Abu Rafi' was the first to write on the science of military expeditions and biographies in Islam[1]; he wrote the book al-Sunan wa al-Ahkam wa al-Qada'[2]; the Companions (of the Prophet) admired and magnified this book.[3] There are many writers like these scholars who have lighted the intellectual life in Islam. After his father, Imam al-Hasan, the sweet basil and first grandson of the Prophet, developed those science foundations and took care of them, but these foundations were moved from Kufa to Yethrib (Medina) after the Iraqis had deserted him. He, peace be on him, used the Mosque of the Prophet as an institute for giving his scientific lectures. The narrators of traditions have mentioned some of his eminent students and the narrators of his sayings. They are al-Hasan al-Muthanna, al-Musayyab b. Nujba, Swayd b. Ghafla, al-Ala' b. 'Abd al-Rahman, al-Sha'bi, Hubayra b. Barkam, al-Asbagh b. Nabbata, Jabir b. Khuld, Abu al-Jauwaz, Isa b. Ma'mun b. Zarara, Naffala b. al-Ma'mum, Abu Yehya Umayr b. Saeed al-Nakha'i, Abu Maryam b. Qays al-Thaqafi, Tuhrub al-Ajali, Ishaq b. Yasar (the father of Muhammed b. Ishaq), 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf, Sufayn b. al-Layl, and 'Umar b. Qays al-Qufun.[4]

Yethrib flourished during that time and became the richest of all the Islamic cities in science, literature, and culture.

After the death of his brother, Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him, undertook taking care of that institute and supplying its students with different kinds of science. However, he did not last for a long time because he met a difficult affliction and trial from the tyrant of his time, Yazid b. Mu'awiya, who made public unbelief and atheism. So Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him, thought that the religious duty made it incumbent on him to sacrifice his valuable blood for the religion of his grandfather. He also felt that he had to sacrifice his star children and his household for the sake of the word of monotheism and to save the Muslims from the tyranny and violence of the Umayyads. Through that he could record for the truth and the thought the most wonderful, noblest, and highest sacrifice in human history.

p: 58

After the martyrdom of the one who refused injustice (i.e., Imam al-Husayn)[5], his son Imam 'Ali b. al-Husayn devoted himself to worship. He fasted by day and spent night in worship. So he became like an old small-sized water-bag out of too much worship. Moreover he suffered from the painful sorrows that attacked him during all the periods of his lifetime due to the calamities and misfortunes had befallen his father. The tragedy of Kerbela was standing in front of him. He was drowned in a current of pain and sadness. So he is regarded as one of the five tearful persons who represented sorrow and agony in the world of existence. In spite of these strong sorrows that did not leave him, he, peace be on him, played an important role in supplying the religious scholars and the narrators with his traditions on different kinds of sciences and arts. Many traditions have been reported on his authority by his sons: Muhammed, Zayd, and 'Abd Allah. Many traditions have also been narrated on his authority by Abu Salam b. 'Abd al-Rahman, Tawus b. Kasan, Abu al-Zanad, 'Asim b. 'Amr b. Qattada, Asim b. 'Ubayd Allah, al-Qa'qa' b. Hakeem, Zayd b. Aslam, al-Hakam b. 'Utayba, Habeeb b. Abu Thabit, Abu al-Aswad Muhammed b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Nawfal, Muslim al-Butayn, Yehya b. Saeed al-Ansari, Hisham b. Urwa, 'Ali b. Zayd b. Jadd'an, and the like.[6]

These narrators have reported on his authority different kinds of sciences. They have also reported on his authority al-Saheefa al-Sajjadiya, which is regarded as the Gospel of Mohammed's household; that is because it contains intellectual wealth distinguished by deciding the rules of morals, the principles of virtues, the sciences of monotheism, and the like.

p: 59

They have narrated on his authority the Treatise on Rights (Risalat al-Huquq), which is the most wonderful treatise written in Islam. For it has shown the creative rules for the rights of the state against the people, the rights of the people against the state, and the rights of the Muslims against each other. It has also decided the general programs for the principles of education, the types of behavior, the precepts of teaching, the rights of the teacher against the learners, and the like from among the rights that are necessary to men in their individual and social life

They have reported on his authority the authentic wise sayings, valuable opinions, and proverbs; through all these things Imam 'Ali b. al-Husayn contributed in building the scientific life, and developing the intellectual life on the earth.

After the death of his father, Imam Muhammed al-Baqir[7], peace be on him, took care of that religious foundation and supplied its scientists and students with the Islamic sciences and morals. During his time science institutes flourished; some scientists surrounded him to learn his brilliant sciences; he was the only authority in the Islamic world in his time for the religious sciences; concerning him Malik al-Juhni says:

When the people seek for the knowledge of the Qur'an, Quraysh rely on him.

If someone asked where is the son of the daughter of the Prophet, you would gain through him the wide branches (of knowledge).

You are like stars shine for night-travelers, (you are) like mountains which have inherited vast knowledge.[8]

p: 60

The scholars of his time lowered themselves before him[9] in recognition of his high scientific position the like of which none had.

The reliable narrators have reported on his authority great abilities of the jurisprudence of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on him. Some of these narrators are: Zarara b. A'yun about whom Imam al-Sadiq has said: "Were it not for Zarara, I would think that the traditions of my father would get lost.[10] Muhammed b. Muslim heard from him thirty thousand traditions[11]. Abu Basir and his brothers concerning whom Imam al-Sadiq has said: "Were it not for these, the traditions of the Prophet would be cut off and be effaced.[12] 'Abd al-Malik b. A'yun, for whom Imam al-Sadiq invoked Allah, saying: "O Allah, surely Abu al-Daris was with Your choice from among Your creatures, then place him among the household of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, till the Day of Judgement."[13] His traditions have also been reported by 'Amr b. Dinar, who is one of the authors of the tradition books called "the Six Authentic Books", (al-Sihaah al-Sitta). Yet other examples of the narrators of his traditions are: al-A'rajj, al-Zuhri, Abu Jahdam, Musa b. Salim, al-Qasim b. al-Fedl, al-Awzaa'i, Ibn Jurayh, al-A'mash, Shayba b. Nassaah, 'Abd Allah b. Abi Bakr, 'Amr b. Hazm, 'Abd Allah b. Ata', Bassam al-Sayrafi, Harb b. Surayh, Hajjajj b. Artara, Muhammed b. Sawqa, Makhul b. Rashid, Mu'ammar b. Bassam,[14] and other than them. The scientific life flourished and grew in the period of the School of Ahl al-Bayt, which supplied the Islamic world with all the essentials of the intellectual renaissance.

p: 61

_____________________________________

[1] Te'sees al-Shi'a li 'Uloom al-Islam, p. 232.

[2] A'yan al-Shi'a, vol., part 2, pp. 34-35.

[3] Al-Nejashi, Rijal, p. 5.

[4] Heyat al-Imam al-Hasan, vol. 2, p. 280. It has been quoted from Ibn 'Asakir's History.

[5] Al-Zuhri has said: "I have never seen a Qereshi better than 'Ali b. al-Husayn." He has also said: "I have never seen anyone greater in jurisprudence than him." Ibn Weheb has said on the authority of Malik: "There was none among the household of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, like 'Ali b. al-Husayn."

[6] Tehdhib al-Tehdhib, vol. 7, p. 305.

[7] He was given the nickname of al-Baqir because he was well-versed in knowledge. It was the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who had given him this nickname before he, peace be on him, was born. Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who has said: "It will happen that you will live until you meet one of my children descended from al-Husayn, called Muhammed, who will spilt wide open knowledge. When you meet him, recite my greeting to him." A narration similar to this in meaning has been mentioned in Ibn Qutayba' 'Uyoon al-Akhbar, vol., p. 212.

[8] Al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraaf, p. 52.

[9] Mir'at al-Jinan, vol., p. 248.

[10] Al-Keshi, Rijal, p. 88.

[11] Ibid., p. 112.

[12] Ibid., p. 113.

[13] Ibid., p. 117.

[14] Tehdhib al-Tehdhib, vol.9, p. 350.

p: 62

At the Time of Imam al-Sadiq

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, caused the springs of knowledge and wisdom to gush out on the earth. He opened to the people doors to knowledge they had not known before; he filled the world with his knowledge, as al-Jahiz said.[1] The people transmitted from him knowledge. The knowledge was circulated by the riders and its fame spread in all the countries, as Ibn Hajar stated.[2]

Among the most prominent activities Imam al-Sadiq made to spread and make public knowledge among the people was his developing the School of Ahl al-Bayt and supplying it with the elements of life and survival. This school has been ascribed and added to him because of his positive role in widening and promoting it from a special level to a high level through which it became the highest of all the scientific institutes and schools in all the times. Imam al-Sadiq's school enlightened human thinking, made the Islamic reason appear, developed human society, produced a choice of scholars, leaders, and inspired thinkers who spared no effort to spread all kinds of knowledge and to ripen the intellectual life at that time. So they were worthy of taking the medal of the golden time in Islam.

Those who made some researches on Imam al-Sadiq's school said: "Some great thinkers, philosophers, and scholars graduated from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq's intellectual school. The Islamic civilization and the Arab though are indebted to this intellectual school for development, progress, and everlastingness, (and they are indebted) to its den Imam al-Sadiq for scientific glory and valuable inheritance."

p: 63

Imam al-Sadiq's school released thinking and spread scientific awareness through employing a great group of scholars who educated and set right the Muslims and made them progressive in the scientific fields. The following is a brief review on the affairs of this great institute during the time of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him.

________________________________________

[1] Al-Sendubi, Resaa'il al-Jaahiz, p. 106.

[2] Al-Sewa'iq al-Muhriqa, p. 120.

The factors of Development and Prosperity

As for the factors that led to developing and progressing the School of Imam al-Sadiq, they are as follows:

1. The Islamic world in the time of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, was sinking under discords and disorders, swinging in corrupt inclinations and private tendencies, prevailed by the parties that led to the disunion of the society and the disagreement of its sectors, and witnessed the outbreak of the war in all cities and regions. That is because the Umayyad Empire collapsed, the 'Abbasid state was established, the Muslims turned away from knowledge and sciences and headed for those terrible events. Some of them supported the previous regime and some of them supported the new one; they were busy defending their political beliefs and this distracted them from seeking knowledge and religious guidance.

Imam al-Sadiq seized this appropriate opportunity and began spreading the Islamic culture that was part of the Islamic message. The Muslims again found the opportunity to return to the Islamic regime that had made it incumbent on them to seek knowledge as one of the religious duties. They found in the grandson of the great Prophet the leader who would direct them to build their civilization and scientific entity, so they intended to attend his school to supply themselves with its brilliant knowledge.

p: 64

2. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, was apart from intervening in any of the affairs of the Umayyad and 'Abbasid governments. He did not practice any positive act against the political objectives of the two states. He was isolated from all the people who loved him and intended to please him. The local authority did not observe him nor did it harass him and prevent him from spreading his sciences. He found a vast opportunity before him to open the gates of his school and to supply his students with all kinds of knowledge and sciences. The great scholars, narrators, and traditionists hurried to join his institute. He, peace be on him, found them as good helpers to achieve his reformative, immortal message, that enlightened the intellects of the Islamic society and saved it from the sediment of ignorance and dullness.

3. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, himself undertook the affairs of this institute and took care of it. The Muslims of all different tribes and tendencies have unanimously agreed that he was the most brilliant of all the Muslim Imams in knowledge, jurisprudence, and talents. It is natural that the personality of a den has an effect on making the school successful and prosperous.

The Public Center

Imam al-Sadiq chose Yethrib, the land of emigration and place of descent of inspiration, as a place for his great school and institute; thanks to his efforts, Yethrib became one of the cities of science in Islam and one of the institutes of sciences.

p: 65

As for the place of giving lectures, it was, of course, the Mosque of the Prophet where the Imam gave his lectures and lessons on all arts. The Imam sometimes gave his lessons in the courtyard of his house. Through his students Yethrib became prosperous, regained its activity and position in guiding the Islamic society.

The Science Delegations

When Imam al-Sadiq opened the gate of his school, all the pioneers of virtue and knowledge from different Islamic countries hurried to join it. That is because they intended to learn the sciences of the Imam and educate themselves with the precepts and teachings of the religion. Besides joining the school of Ahl al-Bayt was regarded as one of the requirements of honor and pride with the Muslims. Professor Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Ahl has talked about the science delegations who joined the school of the Imam, peace be on him, saying: "Kufa, Basrah, Wasit, and al-Hijaz sent to Ja'far b. Muhammed their children who belonged to all tribes such as Banu Asad, Ghani, Mukhariq, Tay, Saleem, Ghatfan, Ghaffar, al-Azd, Khuza'a, Khath'am, Makhzum, Banu Dabba, and Quraysh, especially Banu al-Harith b. 'Abd al-Muttalib and Banu al-Hasan b. 'Ali. A crowd of the free and the children of the retainers from among the notables of this community from among the Arabs and the Persians, especially the City of Qum[1], traveled (to Yethrib to join the school of the Imam).

The Muslim country took part in sending its children to the school of the Imam, the grandson of the great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to learn his pure sciences and to study the religious precepts under him. Through that the Islamic society won a wonderful victory in supporting the scientific movement and taking part in building its entity.

p: 66

_____________________________________________

[1] Ja'far Bin Muhammed, p. 59.

The Number of its Students

When the School of Imam al-Sadiq opened its doors for all the children of the Muslims, a great number of the pioneers of science hurried to join it. The narrators mentioned that their number was four thousand students.[1] This number is great in comparison with the other science institutes of that time. Among them were great scholars and traditionists some of whom became the Imams and heads of some Islamic schools, and who transmitted from the Imam vast knowledge the riders circulated and whose fame spread throughout the countries.[2]

Al-Hafiz Abu 'Abbas b. 'Uqda al-Hamadani al-Kufi wrote a book on the name of the traditionists who reported traditions on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq; he has mentioned the biographies of four hundred thousand narrators of them.[3] In his book called al-Mu'tabar, al-Muhaqiq (al-Hili) has said: "In his time, vast sciences spread from him (Imam al-Sadiq) through which he dazzled the intellects; a group of the traditionists reported on his authority; their number is about four hundred thousand traditionists." Sayyid Muhammed Sadiq Nasha'at has said: "Ja'far al-Sadiq's house was like a university and was always embellished by the great scholars (specialists) in hadith, explanation (of the Qur'an), wisdom, and theology. The session of his lessons was most times attended by two thousand and some times by four thousand famous religious scholars; his students who attended his session and lectures collected his traditions in a group of books regarded as an encyclopedia for the Shi'ite of Ja'fari doctrine."[4] Accordingly, the scientific movement widened at that time, and its waves included the following times and spread light, guidance, and righteousness among all the Muslims.

p: 67

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Irshad. A'lam al-Wara. Al-Mu'tabar. Al-Anwar. Al-Dhikra.

[2] Al-Sewa'iq al-Muhriqa, p. 120.

[3] Tarikh al-Kufa, p. 40.

[4] Imam al-Sadiq wa al-Medhahib al-Arba'a, vol. 1, p. 62.

Its Branches

Most of those who graduated from the school of Imam al-Sadiq returned home while they had vast scientific wealth. When they settled in their homelands, they played an important role in spreading the Islamic culture, establishing science institutes and religious clubs that educated souls and raised the level of morals. The religious institute established in the Mosque of Kufa was the greatest of all those institutes. For it was attended by the nine hundred religious scholars from among whose who were graduated from the school of Imam al-Sadiq. Likewise, al-Hasan b. 'Ali al-Washsha'[1] has been related to us, saying: "I (al-Hasan b. 'Ali al-Washsha') found in this mosque (i.e., the Mosque of Kufa) nine hundred old men (traditionists); they all said: 'Ja'far b. Muhammed related to me.'"

[2] For this reason, the scientific movement vastly widened to the extent that it included all the Islamic regions. This has been mentioned by professor Sayyid Meer 'Ali al-Hindi: "It goes without saying that the publication of science at that time released intellect. So the philosophical discussions became public in all the cities of the Islamic world. It is worth mentioning that this movement was headed by the grandson of 'Ali b. Abi Talib whose name is Ja'far and whose nickname is al-Sadiq. He was a man with a wide horizon of reflection and unfathomable reason. He was well-versed in the sciences of his time. In fact, he is regarded as the first to found the philosophical schools famous in Islam. Not only those who became the heads of the Islamic schools attended his scientific seminar, but also the seekers of philosophy and the philosophers from the remote regions attended it."[3]

p: 68

Many knowledgeable families in Kufa studied sciences under Imam al-Sadiq, and then they became famous for jurisprudence and hadith such as the family of Hayyan al-Taghlubi, the family of A'yun, Banu 'Attiya, the family of Banu Darrajj, and other than them.[4] These families honored Imam al-Sadiq when he resided in Kufa for two years during the days of al-Saffah. His house was among the Banu of 'Abd al-Qays. The Shi'a crowded before him to ask him about religious edicts and the precepts of their religion. Concerning this crowd and their too much going to him, Muhammed b. Ma'ruf b. al-Hilali has related to us, saying: "I went to al-Hira to (visit Ja'far b. Muhammed al-Sadiq), but I had no ability to reach him because there were many people. On the fourth day the people left him; he saw me and brought me near to him; then he went to visit the grave of (Imam 'Ali) the Commander of the faithful; I followed him; while I was walking with him, I heard his speech."

Any way the school of the Imam and all the science foundations that branched from it established the edifices of knowledge and virtue in the Islamic world.

______________________________________

[1] Al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. Ziyad al-Washsha' was Bejeli and Kufi. He was among the great figures of this sect. He devoted himself to Imam al-Rida, peace be on him. He is regarded as among his loyal companions. He wrote many books of which were: Thawab al-Hajj, al-Manasik, al-Nawadir, Masa'il al-Rida, and others. This has been mentioned in the book al-Ta'liqat, p. 103.

p: 69

[2] Al-Mejalis al-Seniya, vol. 5, p. 28.

[3] Ja'far Bin Muhammed, p. 59.

[4] Tarikh al-Kufa, p. 408.

His Professional Students

Many students of Imam al-Sadiq specialized in a group of sciences and arts. Among those who were specialists in philosophy, theology, and the researches on the Imamate were Hisham b. al-Hakam, Hisham b. Salim, Mu'min al-Taq, Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah al-Tayyar, Qays al-Masir, and the like. Those who specialized in the science of Islamic jurisprudence and its principles, exegesis, and the rest of the religious sciences were Zarara b. A'yun, Muhammed b. Salim, Jameel b. Darrajj, Burayd b. Mu'awiya, Ishaq b. Ammar, Ubayd Allah al-Halabi, Abu Basir, Aban b. Taghlub, al-Fudayl b. Yasar, Abu Hanifa, Malik b. Anas, Muhammed b. al-Hasan al-Shaybani, Sufyan b. 'Uyayina, Yehya b. Sa'eed, Sufyan al-Thawri, and the like. The specialist in chemistry was Jabir b. Hayyan al-Kufi, the most famous chemist in the world, as Fandik has said. The specialist in the Philosophy of Existence and Secrets of Creation was al-Mufaddal b. 'Amr, who has also mentioned in his book which was dictated to him by Imam al-Sadiq most chapters of medicine such as physiology, blood circulation, germs, anatomy, and others.

Surely, the School of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, had proudly preceded science institutes in founding specialization in scientific studies.

Recording Sciences

Imam al-Sadiq urged his students to write down his lessons and lectures on most sciences and arts lest they should be disordered and lost; he emphasized this summons in other places.

Abu Basir has narrated, saying: "I visited 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) and he asked: 'What prevents you from writing? You do not keep (your information) unless you write them down. A group of people from Basrah asked me about something; they had recorded it before they left me.'"

p: 70

Abu Basir has narrated, saying: "I have Heard Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) say: 'Write down (your information), for you do not keep (them) unless you write (them) down.'"

'Asim has said: "I have heard Abu Basir say: 'Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: 'Write down (your information), for you do not keep (them) unless through writing (them) down.'"[1]

His students responded to this brilliant summons that deeply aimed at enlightening human reason and spreading knowledge among the people; his companions recorded sciences. For example, Aban b. Taghlub has written the following books:

1. Kitab Ma'ani al-Qur'an (a book on the Meanings of the Qur'an).

2. Kitab al-Qira'at (a book on the recitations of the Qur'an).[2]

3. Kitab al-Fada'il (a book on the outstanding qualities).

4. Al-Usool fi al-Ruwaiya (Principles of Narration).

5. Aghareeb al-Qur'an

Muhammed b. 'Ali al-Bajali al-Kufi, better known as Mu'min al-Taq, has written the following books:

1. Kitab al-Imama (a book of the Imamate).

2. Kitab al-Ma'rifa (a book on knowledge).

3. Kitab Ithbat al-Wasiya (a book on proving the will).

4. Kitab al-Radd 'alaa al-Mu'tazila fi Imamat al-Mafdul (a book on refuting the beliefs of the Mu'tazilites in the Imamate of the less excellent).

5. Kitab fi amar Talha wa al-Zubayr wa 'Aa'isha (a book on the affair of Talha, al-Zubayr, and 'Aa'isha).

6. Kitab If'al, La Taf'al (a book on do, do not do).

7. Al-Munazara ma'a Abu Hanifa (a book on the debate with Abu Hanifa).[3]

p: 71

Hisham b. al-Hakam, Abu Muhammed al-Baghdadi, has written books on various sciences and arts; his seventeen books has been mentioned by Ibn al-Nadeem; we will mention it in his biography when we deal with the companions of Imam Musa, peace be on him.

Al-Mufaddal b. 'Amr has written a book on Monotheism (al-Tawheed). The book is one of the greatest of the Islamic books; in it he has dealt with the creation and formation of man, the secrets and wonders in his organs; he has also dealt with some medical researches.[5]

Jabir b. Hayyan has written a book on chemistry. The book consists of one thousand pages including the Imam's treatises, which are five hundred treatises; these treatises are rich sources to scientists.[4] The scientists of this science have taken a great a advantage from it. All men of knowledge from among the Muslims and the orientalists have lauded Jabir and admired his efforts. The following is a wonderful statement of professor 'Abd al-Rahman Bedawi, who has shown his admiration toward Jabir's personality, one of the candles of that school: "The researcher in the history of the Islamic thought cannot find a personality more wonderful and fertile than that of Jabir b. Hayyan. He had a personality that went too far in vagueness. Mystery surrounded it to the extent that it was about to be a legend. It was high in thinking to the extent that man stands today astonished before the scientific, philosophical viewpoints full of depth and life it gives to us.

p: 72

(Man stands astonished) before this general soul prevailed by the spirit of enlightenment and human tendency that inclined to fathom all the secrets, and to feel the creative divine powers that spread in it. So it raises man to the divine station, and hope incited it to make a continuous progress that keeps pace with mankind in its development. The personality whose spiritual portion is this will be alive forever, for it is among the living, always examples for man who progressively walks on his way to achieve the ideal (model) on earth. Scientific, philological, and civilization research cannot finish it completely whatever effort it makes in this way. Rather it will continue in remoteness whenever it goes deeply into the way to it, and its extent will increase whenever man touches its dimensions; today we are farther away from perceiving it generally other than encompassing its main lines and its guiding trends."[6]

Jabir b. Hayyan was among the leading personalities of the School of Imam al-Sadiq and was one of its brilliant, eminent men who are really regarded among those who established the cultural movement in the Islamic world and other than it.

Yet there are a great number of the genius students of the Imam who wrote books on various sciences. They are Zarara, Abi Basir, Isma'il b. Khalid, and the like. In his book called al-Dhari'a,[7] the late of Islam, Shaykh Aaghaa Buzurg, may Allah make shine his grave, has written the biographies of a hundred traditionists who have classified the students of Imam al-Sadiq. These big books are regarded as vast encyclopedias; they have become as sources for the Shi'ite doctrine and a proof of its scientific and intellectual wealth.

p: 73

_____________________________________________

[1] Wasa'il al-Shi'a. Kitab al-Shehadat, Chapter 8.

[2] Ibn al-Nedim, Fihrast, p. 308.

[3] Ibid., p. 250. Shaykh al-Tusi, Fihrast, p. 121.

[4] Our friend, late, Shaykh Muhammed al-Khalili has commented on it and fully explained it. He has shown the sciences and the secrets and the medical researches that agree with modern science. He has entitled it Amali Imam al-Sadiq. It is in two volumes.

[5] Al-A'lam, vol. 1, p. 186, first edition. Mir'at al-Jinan, vol. 1, p. 304.

[6] Al-Ilhad fi al-Islam, p. 189.

[7] Al-Thari'a, vol. 6, pp. 301-374.

Pride and Glory

The students of Imam al-Sadiq took a pride in their attending the session of his lectures. They were very proud on that and regarded joining his school as among the achievements that qualified them to the high positions in the Islamic society. Among those who prided themselves on that is Abu Hanifa, who has said: "Were it not for the two years, al-Nu'man would be perished."[1]

Abu Hanifa took a pride in the days when he attended the lessons of Imam al-Sadiq and regarded them as the best of the stages of his scientific life. Malik b. Anas has talked about his teacher Imam al-Sadiq, saying: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and (none) came to someone's mind more meritorious than Ja'far b. Muhammed al-Sadiq in knowledge, worship and piety."[2]

In another place he has talked about him, saying: (I saw Ja'far b. Muhammed. He used to smile very much. When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was mentioned in his presence, his face became yellow. I did not see him talk about Allah's Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, except he performed an ablution. I visited him frequently for a time. I saw him except in three qualities: he prayed or kept silent or recited the Qur'an. He did not talk about the things that did not concern him; he was among the (religious) scholars and worshipers who feared Allah."[3]

p: 74

Surely, it is an act of the truth that Abu Hanifa and Malik b. Anas were proud on their joining the school of the Imam and attending his researches. For he, peace be on him, was the original source of the sciences he inherited from his forefathers and from his grandfather, the great Prophet, who had caused the sources of knowledge and wisdom to gush out on earth.

______________________________________________

[1] Al-A'lam, vol. 1, p. 186. Al-Tuhfa al-Ithna 'Ashariya, p. 8.

[2] Al-Tawassil wa al-Wasila, p. 52.

[3] Ibid.

Its special Nature

Surely the School of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, had a special nature by which it was distinguished from the rest of the other foundations. It was the self-independence which was marked by that it was not affiliated to any official organ of government, so the authority had no chance to employ it in any of its political purposes, for it has no power over it. It enjoyed great freedom whether in its teaching programs or in its intellectual fields. It did not receive from the ruling authority any economic or material help. Rather it was separate from it and was away in its behavior from all the external effects; it was run according to the Islamic brilliant teachings; it followed a clear way far from crookedness and deviation; its aim was to serve the community, and its pioneer was the truth.

Al-Mansur tried to bring the Imam near to him and to earn his affection. In the meantime he tried to attain the trust of his students and his followers; he wrote to him: "Why do you not fear us just as the people do?"

p: 75

The Imam answered him about his plan and his behavior, saying: "We have nothing of the world for which we fear you; you have nothing of the hereafter for which we hope you."

Imam al-Sadiq had nothing of the vanities of the world, so he had no fear of the authority of al-Mansur; meanwhile al-Mansur had nothing of the pleasures of the hereafter in order that the Imam might hope him and communicate with him. Then al-Mansur followed another way; he wrote to the Imam: "Surely (we want you) to make friends with us in order to advise us."

The Imam answered him: "Whoever desires the hereafter should not make friends with you; whoever desires the life in this world should not advise you."

Through these words full of all the elements of truth, the Imam expressed his behavior concerning turning away from authority and refraining from cooperating with it. Mr. Asad Hayder has talked about this brilliant nature by which the school of the Imam was distinguished. He has said: "The nature and program by which the school of Imam al-Sadiq was distinguished from the rest of the Islamic schools was that it was spiritually independence. It did not yield to the regime of the authority. It did not give an opportunity to the rulers to intervene in its affairs or to have a hand in guiding it or applying its regulations. For this reason it was not possible for those in charge of authority to employ it for their personal interests or to make it cooperate with them in the affairs of the state.

p: 76

It was impossible even though they spared no effort to achieve it. The school warred against the wrongdoers from the beginning and did not incline to them. Likewise, there was no relationship between them and it, no harmony between it and them. That is because of this program it followed and the nature by which it was distinguished. The School was liable to danger, so the dispute between it and the state became strong. The enmity between them magnified. For neither the state was ready to yield to the program of the school to earn its affection and be happy with its help nor the school was ready to yield to the will of the state in order to support it, serve it, and cooperate with it. How would that be so? (Certainly, that would not be so), for since its beginning the school had related to the two important things (al-Thaqalayn): the Book of Allah, and the family of His Messenger. They were connected to each other and helped one another. They did not separate from each other in performing their duties that aimed to direct and guide the community. That is because the Qur'an prevents (Muslims) from helping the oppressive and inclining to them: And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped (11, 113).[1]

All the science foundations followed this brilliant program. They followed the program and behavior of the school of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him. An example of them is the Holy Najaf and Qum Theological Schools, for they both followed the original objectives declared by Imam al-Sadiq and used by him as a slogan and program for his school, such as refraining from making relationship with the ruling authorities and cooperating with them.

p: 77

______________________________________________

[1] Imam al-Sadiq wa al-Medhahib al-Arba'a, vol. 3, p. 13.

The Authority fears the Imam's School

The ruling authorities were afraid of the Imam's school, for it became larger; many people attended it, studied the Imam's science, told the others about it, spread the merits and outstanding qualities of Ahl al-Bayt. These things made al-Mansur sleepless and he had fear for his political interests. He was fearful because he thought that the people would admire Imam al-Sadiq, so he entrusted Abu Hanifa with testing the Imam through the most difficult and ambiguous questions. Now, we will let Abu Hanifa tell us of that: "I have never seen anyone more knowledgeable than Ja'far b. Muhammed. When al-Mansur brought him, he sent for me and said: 'Abu Hanifa, the people have admired Ja'far b. Muhammed. So prepare for him difficult questions.' I prepared for him forty questions. Then he sent for Ja'far when he was in al-Hira. He brought him and I came in to him. Ja'far b. Muhammed was on his right hand. When I looked at him, I venerated him more than I venerated Abu Ja'far al-Mansur. I greeted al-Mansur and he asked me to sit down. He turned to him (Imam al-Sadiq) and said to him: 'Abu 'Abd Allah, this is Abu Hanifa!' 'Yes, I know him', he, peace be on him, replied.

"Then al-Mansur turned to me and said: 'Abu Hanifa, ask Abu 'Abd Allah about your questions.' I asked him about them and he answered me, saying: 'You say so-and-so; the people of Medina say so-and-so; we say so-and-so. Perhaps we follow (you and them) and perhaps we oppose (you and them). I asked him about the forty questions and he showed no defect in any of them.'"[1]

p: 78

This attitude indicates that the authority had harbored malice and rage against the Imam and that it was cautious of him; likewise it indicates that the Imam had great scientific abilities.

Al-Mansur intended to battle against the Imam's school, to disparage it and to isolate the Imam from the community. So he turned his eyes towards Malik b. Anas, dignified and honored him in order to put him face to face with the Imam and to make him an authority for the community. He entrusted him with writing a book in order to force the people to put the book into practice. However, Malik refused to respond to him, but he forced him to do that and said to him: "Write it, for there is no one more knowledgeable than you at the present time."[2] So Malik wrote his book called al-Muwatta'. Al-Rashid ordered his governor over Medina not to decide any affair without consulting Malik. He sat on the ground in order to listen to his speech.[3]

The state supported Malik and employed all its propaganda organs to spread his doctrine and to force the people to follow it. It did all these things to turn the people from the doctrine of Ahl al-Bayt whose position became high due to Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him.

Meanwhile al-Rashid went too far in magnifying and honoring Abu Yousif, for the latter was the student of Abu Hanifa and publisher of his doctrine, to the extent that he appointed him over the judicial power. No judge was appointed over Iraq, Iran, and Syria except through the advice and order of Abu Yousif.[4] Al-Rashid said to him: "Abu Ya'qub, if I had permission to include you in my lineage and to make you take part in the caliphate with which I am entrusted, then you are entitled to it."[5]

p: 79

In this manner, the 'Abbasid authority spared no effort to found some Islamic doctrines, to honor their founders and take care of them. It forced the community to follow their beliefs and to put into practice their religious decisions. Through this procedure, al-Mansur opened the doors to the mental persecution; then the 'Abbasid kings followed him in repressing the religious awareness taken from the message of Ahl al-Bayt.

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al-Hafiz.

[2] Al-Zarqani, Sharh al-Muwatta', vol. 1, p. 8.

[3] Al-Zawi, Manaqib Malik.

[4] Al-Maqrizi, Khutat, vol. 4, p. 144.

[5] Ibn al-Qaya, al-Mukafa'a, p. 63.

The Teaching Programs

The Imam's valuable lectures and researches dealt with all kinds of traditional and rational sciences, theology, morals. They also dealt with high culture such as the science of Islamic jurisprudence, hadith, the sciences of the Holy Qur'an, medicine, chemistry, botany and other sciences that have perfect effects on the social progress. The most prominent science the Imam analyzed and fully explained is jurisprudence; he dealt with all its chapters such as the acts of worship ('Ibadat), dealings, contracts, and iqaa'aat.

The Imam did not limit his researches to the scientific side only; rather he elaborated on spreading social manners, noble moral traits, the rules of behavior, and the like. The following is a brief review on some of them:

Noble Moral Traits

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, urged his companions and his followers to endow themselves with noble moral traits and good deeds in order that they might be a righteous model of the society. In this respect some commandments have issued from him; among them are his commandments to his son Imam Musa; in them he has mentioned: "O my little son, surely whoever is satisfied with that which is apportioned to him is rich. Whoever extends his hand to that which is in the hands of other than him dies poor; whoever is not satisfied with what Allah apportions to him accuses Allah of His decree; whoever deems his own slip small regards as great the slip of the other than him.

p: 80

"O my little son, whoever unveils (the defects) of other than him, the defects of his own house are unveiled. Whoever pulls out the sword of wrong is killed by it; whoever digs a well for his brother falls into it; whoever associates with the foolish is degraded; whoever mixes with the scholars is respected; whoever enters the entrances of evil is accused.

"O my little son, take care not to despise men lest you should be despised; be careful not to enter that which does not concerns you lest you should be debased because of that.

"O my little son, say the truth whether it is for you or against you.

"O my little son, recite the Book of Allah; spread Salam (greetings). Enjoin the good; forbid the evil. Communicate with him who cuts you off. Start (conversation with) him who keeps silent toward you. Give him who begs you. Beware of slander, for it plants enmity in the hearts of men; be wary of mentioning the defects of men, for the position of him who mentions the defects of men is like the position of a target.

"O my little son, if you seek generosity, then stick to its origins. For surely generosity has origins; the origins have an origin; the origins have branches; the branches have fruit; the fruit is not good except through a branch; no branch except through an origin; and no firm origin except through a good origin.

"O my little son, if you visit, then visit the good; do not visit the wicked, for they are like the stone whose water does not gush out, like the tree whose leaves do not get green, and like the land whose grass does not become good...."[1]

p: 81

These commandments are full of good deeds. They include noble moral traits, the foundations of virtues and the standards of behavior. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, continuously supplied his children and his companions with such valuable commandments and useful lessons, that they might summon the people to righteousness and guidance. He, peace be on him, sent to his companions a letter in which he urged them to cling to noble moral traits and good deeds. In the letter he has mentioned the following: "You should show love for the Muslim poor people, for he who disparages them and shows haughtiness toward them deviates from the religion of Allah. Know that he who abases a Muslim, Allah detests him. Therefore, fear Allah in respect with your brothers, for their right against you is that you should love them, for surely Allah commanded his Prophet to love them. So he who does not love those to whom Allah has made love a must disobeys Allah and His Apostle. He who disobeys Allah and His Apostle and dies in this state dies as one of the deviators.

"Be careful not to wrong each other, for surely it is not of the qualities of the righteous, for surely he who wrongs (people), Allah turns his wrongdoing against himself, and the help of Allah is for him who is wronged and he gains success from Allah.

"Be careful not to envy each other, for envy is the origin of unbelief.

"Be careful not to help (someone) against a wronged Muslim who invokes Allah against you and He responds to him, for surely our father Allah's Apostle has said: Surely the supplication of the wronged is granted.'

p: 82

"Be careful not to let yourselves be greedy for something from which Allah has prohibited you, for if someone violates something from which Allah has prohibited him, Allah prevents him from entering the Garden."[2]

Through these commandments Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, summoned his companions to perform good deeds and to follow high values that send man far from evil and direct him at perfection. He has mentioned numerous commandments similar to these in which he urged his companions to endow themselves with noble moral traits and good deeds.

___________________________________________

[1] Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, pp. 79-80. An account similar to it has been mentioned in Hulyat al-Awliya', vol. 3, p. 135.

[2] Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p. 76.

Justice

Without doubt justice is the vein which beats in the body of society. On it is based the life, security, and stability on earth. The Imam gave a lecture on it; he has described it with the most wonderful meaning and briefest statements, saying: "Justice is sweeter than the water a thirsty person finds; how wide justice is even if it is little! Fear Allah and be just, for you find fault with the people who do not establish justice."

The free peoples have struggled for a long time to establish justice, for they have regarded it as their highest aim. Justice was among the main aims the Imam's school supported and spread among the Islamic society.

Preferring the Truth

Imam al-Sadiq always lauded the truth and regarded it as the Shadow of Allah on earth. He described it to his companions as the essence of faith, saying: "Surely it is an act of faith is that you prefer the truth even if it harms you to falsehood even if it benefits you."

p: 83

Surely following the truth and its followers and preferring it to personal interests is the most important of all realities Islam has underlined and the Imam's school had supported.

Bringing together the People of Separation

The best and most loveable works to Allah is bringing together the people of separation to the extent that the Greatest Legislator (Allah) has permitted lying, which is the greatest of all the ruinous sins, for correcting discord, raising disputes, spreading love and peace among the people. Imam al-Sadiq urged his companions to put into practice this noble deed, saying: "The alms Allah loves is setting the people right when they are hostile to one another and bringing them together when they separate from each other."

Surely the reconciliation in the full sense was the highest objective of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, who dedicated themselves to it and for it they met too much persecution and injustice.

Oppression

The intellects of mankind throughout generations and times have admitted that oppression is ugly and abominable. That is because it is the source of corruption and crimes. All kinds of oppression have been prohibited by Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who has said: "He who puts oppression into practice, he who helps him, and he who is satisfied with oppression are three partners."[1] He, peace be on him, prohibited the Muslims from cooperating with the oppressive or to share with them any positive work that led to spread their influence or to strengthen their authority. He was asked by a companion of his about whether it was permissible for him to build houses for them or to dig a river for them, and he answered: "I dislike to make a contract with them….Surely the helpers of the oppressive will enter the hellfire on the Day of Resurrection."

p: 84

"He, peace be on him, talked to his companions about the greatness of the crime of oppression with Allah, saying: "Guard against oppression, for surely the supplication of the oppressed ascends to the heaven." He talked to them about the ugliest kind of oppression, saying to them: "No oppression is greater than that against which one can find no helper except Allah." There are other sayings similar to these reported on his authority concerning warning against oppression and forbidding all its kinds. Likewise, in his valuable, numerous lectures, he, peace be on him, explained to his companions the dangerous harms resulting from oppression. This indicates that he took great care of establishing security and peace among the people.

_______________________________________________

[1] Al-Kafi, Chapter on Oppression.

Cooperation

Imam al-Sadiq urged his companions to cooperate firmly with each other, for this bring about to them love and friendship. In this respect Saffwan al-Jammal has narrated, saying: "I was with Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) when a Mecca man called Maymun visited him and complained to him of (his inability) to rent (a house). He turned to me and said: 'Rise and help your brother.' I rose with him and Allah made easy his rent; I returned to my session and Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) asked me: 'What have you done in respect with your brother's need?' 'Allah has granted it to him, may my father and mother be your ransom,' I replied. 'Your help to your Muslim brother is more loveable to me than your circumambulating the Kaaba for one week,' he said.'"

p: 85

He, peace be on him, said to Jameel b. Darrajj: "Among the good deeds is kindness to brothers and striving for accomplishing their needs, for such deeds silence Satan, remove (the doer) far away from the fires, and make (him) enter the gardens. Jameel, tell your noble companions about this tradition."

"May I be your ransom, who are my noble companions," asked Jameel

"Those who are kind to brothers in difficulty and ease," replied the Imam.[1]

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Saduq, al-Khisal.

His Words about Allah

Surely to know Allah is the most important of all the Islamic duties. The Imam urged his companions to cling to it. He discovered to them its great results, saying: "If the people knew the virtue of having knowledge of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, they would not stretch out their eyes to the pleasures Allah gives to the enemies such as the splendor and luxury of the life in this world, their life in this world be less than that on which they tread, would take pleasure in having knowledge of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, would enjoy it with the enjoyment of him who is in the gardens along with the friends of Allah. Surely to have knowledge of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, is comfort against any loneliness, a companion against any isolation, light against any darkness, strength against any weakness, and a cure against any malady."

Then he, peace be on him, explained to his companions the sufferings and terrible chastisement the friends of Allah, the Exalted, met from His enemies, saying: "A people before you were killed, burnt, sawed. They felt that the earth was narrow thought it was wide; nevertheless, nothing turned them away from their beliefs...And they did not take vengeance on them for aught except that they believed in Allah, the Mighty, the Praised (85:8). Therefore, ask (Allah to give you) degrees like theirs; be patient toward the misfortunes of your time and you will reach their efforts."[1]

p: 86

This wonderful description has encompassed the true nature of the Allah-fearing and included their real life, their struggle, and their firm belief in Allah.

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Kafi, al-Rouda.

The Qualities of the Believers

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, explained to his companions and the students of his school the qualities of the believers and of Allah-fearing, that they might follow them and their model. He has said: "The believer has strength in religion, determination with mildness, faith with certainty, devotion with knowledge, activity through guidance, piety along with straightness, knowledge along with clemency, politeness along with gentleness, generosity in a right way, moderation during riches, patience during poverty, pardon in time of ability, obedience to Allah through giving advice, an expiration during an appetite, piety through a desire, sticking to struggle, prayer along with devotion (to Allah), steadfastness during a hardship. He is venerable during adversities, grateful during ease. He does not backbite nor does he show haughtiness, nor does he cut off womb relatives. He is neither feeble nor rude nor rough. His eye does not precede him, nor does his stomach disgrace him, nor does his private part overcome him. He does not envy the people. He does not revile nor is he reviled nor does he steal. He helps the oppressed and has mercy on the miserable. He is tired of himself while the people find themselves in comfortable position with regard to him. He does not beseech the exaltedness in the world nor is he impatient toward the abasement therein. The people are with their own concern while he is busy with his own concern. None finds a defect in his decision, feebleness in his opinion, waste in his religion. He guides him who seeks advice from him, helps him who helps him, withdraws from obscene language and ignorance."[1]

p: 87

He, peace be on him, has described the believer saying: "The believer is not believing unless he has perfect reason. He has no perfect reason unless he has ten qualities: good from him is hoped: Evil from him is safe. He regards his own too much good as little and regards the little good of other than him as much. He regards his own little evil as much and regards too much evil of other than him as little. He is not fed up when he is asked to accomplish needs nor is he bored with seeking knowledge throughout his lifetime. Humbleness is more loveable to him than exaltedness and poverty is more loveable to him than riches; he is satisfied with a simple food in this world. When he meets some one, he says: 'He is better and more pious than me.' When he meets someone who is better than him, he shows humbleness toward him in order to follow him. When he meets him who is more wicked and lower than him, he says: 'Perhaps, the evil of this is manifest and his good is hidden.' When he does that, he becomes high and a master over the people of his time."[2]

Piety

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, advised his companions to refrain from the things prohibited by Allah. Among his statements to them are the following: "Cling to piety, for that which is with Allah is not attained except through piety." [3]

He, peace be on him, has said: "Cleave to fear of Allah, piety, diligence, truthful talk, returning the things deposited, good moral traits, good-neighborhood. Be summoners to yourselves without your tongues; be ornaments and not be disgrace."[4]

p: 88

We are content with this small group of his high teachings with which he has supplied the Islamic society and through which he has decided the rules of manners and the rules of conduct.

_____________________________________________

[1] Al-Kafi, Usool, vol. 2, p. 209.

[2] Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Majalis.

[3] Al-Kafi, Usool, vol. 2, p 76.

[4] Ibid.

In the Time of Imam Musa

Imam Musa, peace be on him, made good progress during his lifetime at the great school of his father. He was the most prominent of all the brilliant scholars; likewise, he shared his father in giving scientific lectures, supported him in strengthening the school and making it progressive in the cultural fields. When his father passed away, he undertook the affairs of this great school and spread virtues. For this reason the scholars and the narrators surrounded him. They did not separate themselves from him nor did they leave him. They recorded his traditions, his researches, and his religious verdicts; for example, Sayyid b. Tawus[1] narrated that the companions of the Imam and his special associates attended his sessions and there were in their sleeves thin ebony boards and pencils. When he said a word or gave a religious edict on a certain event, they hurried to write it down. These scholars have narrated on his authority all kinds of science; thanks to his and his father's efforts, the scientific movement included all the Islamic and Arab cities and its scientific inheritance has been transmitted by generations one by one.[2]

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Sayyid b. Tawus is a great Sayyid, knowledgeable, worshipper. His name is Rady al-Deen Abu al-Qasim 'Ali b. Sa'd al-Deen b. Ibrahim al-Husayni. He lived in al-Hilla. He was given the nickname of al-Tawus due to the beauty of his face and the coarseness of his legs. He was among the great and notable Sayyids. He was their head. He had many books indicating his abundant knowledge. His good qualities and his knowledge have been mentioned by al-Sayyid Muhammed Baqir al-Khunsari in his book Roudat al-Jinan, vol. 3, pp. 43-47. In the book al-Kuna wa al-Alqab, vol. 1, p. 338, it has been mentioned: "Sayyid Ibn Tawus undertook the affairs of the union of the Talibiyyin. He sat in a green dome and the people visited him. He died on Monday, Dhi al-Qi'da 5th, in the year 664.

p: 89

[2] Al-Anwar al-Behiyya, p. 19.

Chapter IV

His Ideals

Through his talents and genius, Imam Musa could reach the highest human levels and values; due to his abilities and powers he became one of the unique thinkers and among the wonderful examples of good and perfection on earth.

The Imam was the object of pride in the Islamic world. That is because of his virtues and achievements such as vast knowledge, clemency, gentleness, liberality, kindness to men, steadfastness in front of events, and other noble tendencies which are sanctified by every man who believes in ideals and honorable humanity; we will deal with his tendencies and qualities as follows:

His Imamate

Allah gifted him with the Imamate and singled him out with the general deputyship on behalf of his grandfather, the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family; he was one of his testamentary trustees of authority and his successors over his community. The 22Shi'a maintain that the Imamate is similar to the prophethood Allah does not gift to anyone except the good people who are pure from defilement and sins and void of all kinds of oppression and false things. It is one of the highest divine offices none undertakes except him who is the best of all creation and most honorable of them to Allah. It is necessary for us to pause in order to give an account of the Imamate, for it is automatically and objectively related to our subject matter.

The Meaning of the Imamate

The theologians have defined it, saying: "The Imamate is the general presidency of one person over the affairs of the religion and the world." Therefore, the Imam, according to this definition, is the general leader and president who has the general authority over the worldly and religious affairs of men, so all people should follow him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, is more appropriate for authority over the believers than themselves, and so is the Imam according to the stipulation of the sermon of the Prophet , may Allah bless him and his family, on the Day of Ghadeer Khum when he appointed Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, as an Imam and a successor over the Muslims after him.

p: 90

The Necessity of the Imamate

Surely the Imamate is among the rules and principles of Islam. The Muslims are in agreement on the necessity and requirement of the Imamate. That is because Islamic Law is a group of precepts and rules. So it contains the prescribed punishments, the government according to what Allah has revealed, enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, jihad in the way of Allah, protecting the religion, and other precepts one cannot establish without an Imam who undertakes carrying them out. Ibn Taymiya says: "Surely the authority over the affairs of men is the greatest of all the religious duties; rather the religion cannot be established except through it; that is because Allah has made obligatory enjoining good, forbidding the evil, helping the oppressed; likewise the rest of that which Allah has made obligatory such as jihad, justice, administering the prescribed punishments, and (these things) are not put into effect except through force and authority."[1]

Surely it is necessary for the Muslims to establish their political and religious entity through an Imam who undertakes their affairs, solves their problems according to the Book of Allah, and the Sunna of his Prophet, and treats them with justice and pure truth.

Surely the Imamate is one of the requirements of the Islamic life; man cannot function without it; through it man can achieve the great justice Allah desires on earth.

The most important affairs require the Imamate are helping men know Allah and obey Him, supplying society with the essence of faith and piety, sending it far from the tendencies of evil and delusions.

p: 91

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Siyasa al-Shar'iya, pp. 172-173.

Agreement on the Necessity of the Imamate

The Muslims have unanimously agreed that the Imamate is required and necessary except the Kharijites who have said: "Imposing the Imamate is not required of people, but they should practice the truth among them."[1] This belief is false and invalid. For the narrations have been reported on a wide scale about the necessity of the Imamate. It has been reported from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who has said: "He who dies and does not pledge an allegiance (to an Imam) dies like those who died in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance." He, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "He who separates himself from the community dies like those who died in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance. He who fights under the standard of fanaticism, sides with a group or summons (people) to a group or helps a group and is killed, then his death is like that of those who were killed in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance."[2]

Ibn Khaldun has said: "Surely installing the Imam is required. It has been known that it is required according to the unanimous agreement of the companions (of the Prophet). That is because when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, passed away, his companions hurried to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr and entrusted him with their affairs. Such was the procedure in the times that followed; the people were not left to lead a life of chaos; this is well-established as an unanimous agreement on the necessity of installing the Imam."[3]

p: 92

Since the dawn of their history, the Muslims have unanimously agreed that appointing an Imam is required and that the Islamic life does not run well without him.

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Milal wa al-Ahwa', vol. 4, 87.

[2] The tradition has been narrated by Muslim and al-Kisa'i.

[3] Al-Muqaddama, p. 151.

The Duties of the Imam

Islam has entrusted the Imam with great responsibilities. It has made it incumbent on him to guard the interests of the Muslims, to take care of their affairs, to develop their life, to send them far from all the factors of decline and backwardness. Those who are concerned in these researches have mentioned some important duties the Imam should carry out, and they are as follows:

1. The Imam should keep the religion, guard Islam, and protect it from those who make light of values and morals.

2. He should protect the Islamic country, defend the sacred things in order that the people may move about in their livelihood, travel and feel that their souls and properties are safe.

3. He should fortify the frontiers of the Muslims with the reinforcements and an adequate number of fighters in order that the enemy may not find a gap through which he violates the sacred things and sheds the blood of a Muslim or an ally.

4. He should struggle against the stubborn unbelievers in order that they may become Muslim or enter the protection of Islam, i.e., he should undertake the right of Allah through causing His religion prevail over all religions.

p: 93

5. He should carry out the Islamic precepts, settle disputes in order that the oppressive may not transgress, and the oppressed may not become weak.

6. He should administer the prescribed punishments, that the sacred things may be protected, souls and properties may be preserved.

7. He should choose those trusted and well-qualified, entrust authorities to those trustworthy and loyal, that works may accurately be done by the well-qualified, and properties are kept by the trusted.

8. He should collect the funds of the war booty gained without fighting, zakat, land taxes (kharaj) on that which the Islamic law has made obligatory whether according to a certain text in the Qur'an and the Sunna or according to deriving religious decisions without any injustice and tyranny.

9. He should estimate soldiers' pay and what each person deserves of the public treasury without any extravagance and stinginess; he should pay it to them in a fixed time without any delay or advance.

10. He should supervise the public affairs by himself, not depending on his governors or his rulers. For the trusted may break the law, and the loyal may cheat people. In this respect Allah, the Exalted, says: O Dawood, surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice and do not follow desire, lest it should lead you astray from the path of Allah.[1]

In the two books called al-Sahihayn[2] there is a narration on the authority of Ibn 'Umar, who has said: "I have heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say: 'All of you are guardians and all of you are responsible for your subjects. The woman in her husband's house is a guardian and is responsible for her subjects; the servant (who is in charge of) the property of his master is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects.'" He has said: "I have heard that from the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and I think that he has said: 'The man (who is in charge of) the property of his father is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. Therefore, all of you are guardians and all of you are responsible for your subjects'"

p: 94

Al-Turmidhi[3] has published a tradition narrated by 'Amru b. Murra al-Juhni, who said to Mu'awiya: [I have heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say:] "If the Imam close his door at the faces of the needy and the miserable, Allah closes the gates of the heavens and the earth at the faces of his shortcoming, need, and misery."

Addressing al-Ma'mun, his minister, Muhammed b. Yazdad, said:

He who guards the world is surely worthy of that he should not sleep when all the people are asleep.

How do the eyes of him whom two worries of his affair, revocation and rectification, annoy sleep?[4]

These duties have been described as an including constitution; if we put them into practice in the language and idioms of the time, they would be higher and more inclusive than those of the rulers in the international constitutions.[5]

Whoever ponders over what has been transmitted from 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, sees that the duties of the Imam, peace be on him, are more inclusive than that. For they include morals, virtues, and building the society that lives under justice and the truth, from which are uprooted all kinds of opportunism, wrong, and corruption. I (the author) have in detail talked about that in my book Nizam al-Hukum wa al-Idara fi al-Islam.

______________________________________

[1] Surat Sad, verse 26.

[2] Al-Bukhari, vol. 9, 62. Muslim, vol. 12, 213.

[3] Al-Turmidhi, Sahih, vol. 6, p. 73.

p: 95

[4] Ma'athir al-Anafa fi Ma'lim al-Khilafa, vol. 1, p. 59.

[5] Dawlat al-Qur'an, p. 82.

The Qualities of the Imam

The Imam must have all the good tendencies, high attributes, noble ideals such as knowledge, piety, easy opinion, original thinking, perfect awareness of what the community needs in all fields; those concerned in the Islamic, political science of jurisprudence have mentioned the qualities the Imam must have as follows:

1. He must have the comprehensive conditions of justice such as refraining from great sins and not insisting on small sins.

2. He must have knowledge of deriving religious decisions on mishaps and precepts.

3. He must have sound senses such ears, eyes, and tongue, that he may perceive things through them.

4. He must have limbs sound of any defect that may prevent him from movement and quick rising.

5. He must have an opinion leading to ruling his subjects and managing their interests.

6. He must have bravery and help leading to protecting the Islamic country and struggling against an enemy.

7. He must have a lineage, i.e. the Imam should be from Quraysh.

These qualities have been mentioned by al-Mawardi and Ibn Khaldun;[1] other qualities have been mentioned by al-Juwany, al-'Ayjy, al-Jurjany, and al-Faraby. I (the author) have in detail mentioned these qualities in my book Nizam al-Hukum wa al-Idara fi al-Islam.

The Shi'a maintain that the Imam should be the most meritorious of all people in talents, genius, and that he must have the following:

p: 96

________________________________________________

[1] Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya, p. 4. Al-Muqaddama, p. 135.

Infallibility

The Shi'a maintain that the infallibility of the Imam is a basic rule in the Imamate and among the primary principles in their ideological entity. The theologians have defined the Imamate, saying: "Surely the Imamate is a grace from Allah, Who grants it to the most perfect and best of His servants to Him; through which he (the servant) refrains from committing sins and crimes intentionally and unintentionally." This belief has brought about to the Shi'a many accusations and criticisms. A group of people has accused them of excessiveness and immoderation in love for their Imams. However, if we resort to the proofs, we will find them confirm the beliefs of the Shi'a. Aayat al-Tathir is a sufficient proof of that; Allah, the Most High, says: Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.[1] This verse clearly indicate the infallibility of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, of sins and their purity from deviation and defilement. That is because the will of keeping away the uncleanness-namely acts of disobedience-has been limited by the word innama (only), which is the strongest of all the determiners. The definite article al (the) has been added to the predicate, the word tahara (purity) has been repeated. All these words, according to the Arabic Terminology, indicate limitation and specialization. Likewise it is impossible for the willed thing to remain behind Allah's will that has decided to keep away the uncleanness from them; in this respect Allah, the Exalted, says: His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it: Be, so it is. By that their infallibility of sins and acts of disobedience is established.[2]

p: 97

Similarly, hadith al-Thaqalayn clearly indicates their infallibility. In it the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, has compared his family to the Book. The Holy Book is immune from mistakes and slips, and so is the family of the Prophet. Otherwise, the comparison between them is incorrect. The conclusive proofs of the infallibility of the Imam are available, so it is not permissible for others to criticize the Shi'a for it. This has been explained by 'Allama, Shaykh Muhammed Ameen Zayn al-Deen, who has said: "What shall the Shi'a do when they have been forced by the nature of Islam itself to (embrace) this belief? What shall they do when they have been led by the texts in the Qur'an, the authentic books on traditions, and rational proofs (to this belief)? What shall they do when they have fully been led by these demonstrations to this result?

"Does the infallibility they have stipulated in the Imam of Muslims take him out of the class of Mankind and add him to gods, as those who fabricate lies against them say?

"Is infallibility itself a divine part? Do we believe in incarnation when we impose it as a condition in the Imam? Does divinity have parts in order that infallibility regarded as one of them, and that this fabrication can stand on one foot? Has the Muslim general populace not imposed it as a condition in the message of the Messenger? Did it have this stipulation there? Did anyone criticize it there with such a criticism? Infallibility is a condition in the message of the Messenger as the Muslim general populace maintain even if their schools have differed over this condition: Was infallibility available only in the time of the prophethood or even before his time?"

p: 98

The Shaykh has added, saying: "Only the Shi'a of Ahl al-Bayt maintain that infallibility is a condition in the message of the Messenger, and that the Imam throughout the stages of his life should be infallible of all kinds of sin and defect even mistake, heedlessness, and inattention.

"Infallibility is a great, psychological balance. It is formed when all the psychological forces are equal and when each of them reaches the maximum degree man is able to reach. Then the rational forces fully control all these forces, instinct, pillars, that they may not deviate (from them) and may not be exploited in a work by other than them.

"This self immunity makes man far above the lowness in his nature. It makes him refrain from the sliding in his will, the deviations and crookedness that precipitate in the area of the unconscious, as the psychologists say, and change into complexes that control his motives, his behavior, his inclinations, and his talents. And then unwillingly drives him to disobey truth and to escape from justice. This self immunity arouses perfect man's feelings lest he should be heedless. It makes him high through his talents and radiance lest he should fall into error or stumble. It guarantees to him his psychological health from all sides; this is the infallibility the school of Ahl al-Bayt has imposed as a condition in the supreme president of the Islamic government; I think that this stipulation is very clear and wise."[3]

Surely scientific thinking decides that the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, should be infallible is correct, as for the opinion that opposes it, it is very far from the thinking based on evidence and proof.

p: 99

Yet, there is another thing; the thing is that the Shi'a believe that the Imam should be the most knowledgeable and meritorious of all people in scientific abilities. This belief has fully been clarified, explained, and established by His Eminence, late Shaykh, Muhammed Rida al-Muzaffer, who has said: "As for his knowledge-namely the Imam's knowledge-he receives the divine knowledge and precepts and all the teachings through the Prophet or the Imam before him. When something has happened lately, it is necessary for him to know it through inspiration through the holy ability Allah, the Exalted, has deposited in him. When he heads for something and desires to know it as it is through a way with which he makes no mistake. All of that is based on the rational proofs and not on the teachings of teachers, though his knowledge is increaseable and strengthenable. For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: My Lord, increase me in knowledge!"

Having given proofs of that, he has added, saying:

"This subject matter is clear in the history of the Imams, peace be on them. They were like the Prophet Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, for no one educated and taught them even reading and writing from their childhood to the age of ritual puberty. None has proved that they attained schools or studied under a teacher a certain thing, though they had a matchless, scientific position, immediately answered all the questions about which they were asked, the word 'no' was not uttered by their tongues. They did not postpone the answer to another time in order to study or consider it carefully. If we study a biography of a Muslim jurist, narrator, and scholar, we will find the teachers under whom he studied, the well-known persons from whom he took the narration and knowledge, his inability to answer some questions, and his doubt about a lot of information, just like mankind throughout times."[4]

p: 100

His Eminence Imam Kashif al-Ghita' has mentioned the qualities of the Imam, and especially as it concerns his scientific talents, saying: (He-namely the Imam-should be the most meritorious of the people of his time in all virtues and most knowledgeable of them in all sciences. For he should perfect men, purify their souls, educate them with knowledge and good deeds; He it is Who raised among the illiterates an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom. The imperfect (person) cannot perfect (men); one who is void (of knowledge) does not give (knowledge), so in respect with the outstanding qualities, the Imam is inferior to the Prophet and superior to men."[5]

This is the frank opinion of the Shi'a concerning the knowledge of the Imam, which has no excessiveness of which their opponents have accused.

_____________________________________________

[1] Surat al-Ahzab, verse 33.

[2] We have fully explained the meaning of the verse in the first volume of the book Hayat al-Imam al-Hasan, pp. 69-74.

[3] Al-Islam, pp. 283-285.

[4] 'Aqa'id al-Imamiya, pp. 51-54.

[5] Asl al-Shi'a wa Usoolaha, p. 103, al- 'Urfan edition.

The Designation of the Imam for the Imamate

The Shi'a have unanimously agreed that neither the community nor those in power have the right to designate the Imam, that electing the Imam is null and void, and that choosing him is impossible, for the Imam is similar to the prophet. The prophet is not designated according to man's election and desire, and so is the Imam. That is because the Infallibility, which is a condition in the Imamate with them, is not known by anyone except Allah, Who is fully aware of the secrets of souls and inward thoughts. So He it is Who grants it for whom He pleases of His servants and chooses for the office of the Imamate and Caliphate. As for that whether it is permissible to nominate and elect the Imam and the prophet for these divine offices, it is that Allah Who designate them. This has been shown in the Holy Book in which Allah, the Exalted, has said: O Dawood, surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice. [1] And your Lord creates and chooses whom he pleases; to choose is not theirs; glory be to Allah, and exalted be He above what they associate (with Him).[2] The Imamate is just like the prophethood concerning which there is no need to resort to the election and will of the community. The Shi'a have concluded this belief from the successive traditions transmitted from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. Among these traditions is that which has been given as a proof by (Imam al-Mehdi), the Proof of Allah (hujjat Allah) and His vicegerent over His creatures. He will make straight the crookedness of the right, set right those corrupt precepts have been fabricated by some people and ascribed to the religious regime, the rightly-guided one of this community, may Allah hasten his coming. That was when he was asked by Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah about the reason why men are prevented from choosing an Imam for themselves, and he, peace be on him, answered him, saying:

p: 101

-Do they choose a righteous person or a mischievous one?

-A righteous one.

-Is it possible that they may choose the mischievous one when none knows the righteousness and mischief that comes to the mind of other than him?

-Yes.

-So this is the reason I have given to you with a proof your reason trusts. Tell me of the apostles Allah chose and revealed the Books to them, confirmed with inspiration and infallibility when they were the great figures of the communities and the most rightly-guided to be chosen. From among them were (Musa) Moses and 'Isa (Jesus); though they were abundantly wise and perfectly knowledgeable. If they intended to choose (someone), was it possible for them to choose a hypocrite and they had thought that he was a believer?

-No.

-Though the epithet of Musa (Moses) had abundant reason and perfect knowledge, and received the inspiration, he chose some hypocrites. That was (when) he chose seventy men from among the notables of his people and had no doubt about their faith and loyalty. Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: And Musa chose out of his people seventy men for Our appointment. To His words: For they said: Show us Allah manifestly; so the lightning overtook them on account of their injustice. We have found that the one Allah had chosen to be a prophet chose the mischievous and not the righteous; he thought that they were righteous. So we have come to know that none has the right to choose except Allah, Who knows what hearts hide and what minds conceal."[3]

p: 102

Surely man's abilities fall short of perceiving the righteous through whom the community becomes happy; so this subject matter is in the hand of Allah, the Most High, Who knows hidden affairs.

______________________________________________

[1] Surat Saad, verse 26.

[2] Surat al-Qasas, verse 68.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 13, p. 127.

The Statement of Imam al-Rida

The deepest of all the proofs of the Imamate, the greatest of them in encompassing, including and explaining this office and in (showing) the impossibility of electing someone for it is the talk of Imam al-Rida, peace be on him, with 'Abd al-'Aziz b. Muslim. The Imam has explained many sides of the Imamate; the following are some texts of the talk:

'Abd al-'Aziz b. Muslim has said: "In the days of 'Ali b. Musa al-Rida we were in Maru. We held a meeting in its mosque; the people discussed the affair of the Imamate; they mentioned many differences over it; after the talk had come to an end, I rose and (went) to visit Imam al-Rida, peace be on him. I told him about what the people had discussed; he, peace be on him, smiled and said:

"'Abd al-'Aziz, the people have become ignorant; they have been deceived in respect with their religions. Surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, did not take unto Himself His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, till he completed for him the religion. He revealed to him the Qur'an in which there are details about all things, in which He has explained the lawful, the forbidden, the prescribed punishments, and all necessary things. He, the Great and Almighty, has said: We have not neglected anything in the Book.[1] In the Farewell Pilgrimage, which was in the last time of the Prophet's span, He revealed: This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.[2]

p: 103

"The subject matter of the Imamate is part of the perfection of the religion. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, did not pass away until he explained to his community the principal features of their religion. He clarified to it its way, left it seeking the truth, installed for it 'Ali as a signpost (of knowledge) and an Imam, and explained to it all the things it needed. So whoever claims that Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, has not completed His religion refuses the Book of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted; whoever refuses the Book of Allah, the Most High, is an unbeliever.

"Do they know the importance of the Imamate and its place among the community, so their choice in respect with it is permissible?

"Surely the Imamate is greater in importance, larger in affair, higher in position, more invincible, and farther in fathom than that men can reach it through their intellects, attain it with their opinions, or install an Imam through their election.

"Surely Allah singled out Ibraheem, the bosom friend, peace be on him, with the Imamate after the prophethood. The friendship is a third rank, and an excellence through which he had honored him and lauded his name. So He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. So the bosom friend said out of his pleasure with it: And of my offspring? Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: My covenant does not include the unjust. So this verse has invalidated the Imamate of all the unjust till the Day of Judgment. And it (the Imamate) has been limited to the choice.

p: 104

Then Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, honored him (Ibraheem) when he appointed his offspring as the people of choice and purity; when He, may He be magnified and exalted, said: And We gave him Ishaq and Ya'qub, a son's son, and We make them all good. And We made them Imams who guided (people) by Our commands, and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of the alms, and Us (alone) did they serve.[3] So it (the Imamate) was still among his offspring. They inherited it one by one a century after a century till it was inherited by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: Most surely the nearest of people to Ibraheem are those who followed him and this Prophet and those who believe and Allah is the guardian of the believers.[4] He was singled out for it, so he entrusted it to 'Ali according to the Command of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, according to the description Allah has made obligatory, so it (the Imamate) was entrusted to him and his children, the chosen ones, Allah has given knowledge and faith in His words, may He be magnified and exalted: And those who are given knowledge and faith will say: Certainly you tarried according to the ordinance of Allah till the day of resurrection.[5]

"Therefore, it is entrusted to 'Ali's children only till the day of resurrection, for there will be no prophet after Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family; so from where do these ignorant choose? Surely the Imamate is the position of the prophets and legacy of the testamentary trustees (of authority). Surely the Imamate is the vicegerency of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, and of the Messenger, position of Imam ('Ali), the Commander of the faithful, and inheritance of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them.

p: 105

"Surely the Imamate is the reins of the religion, regulation of the Muslims, righteousness of the world, and exaltedness of the believers. Surely the Imamate is the growing foundation of Islam and its high branch; through the Imam the prayers, zakat (alms), fasting, the hajj, jihad are performed; war booty gained without fighting and endowments are secured; the prescribed punishments and precepts are administered; the frontiers and borders are protected.

"The Imam makes lawful what Allah has made lawful, forbids what Allah has made forbidden, administers the punishments prescribed by Allah, defends the religion of Allah, summons (men) to the way of his Lord with wisdom, good exhortation, and conclusive argument."

The Imam, peace be on him, elaborated on the attributes of the Imam, his perfection and genius given to him by Allah; after that he has stated that men fall short of knowing the reality of the Imam and perceiving his excellence, saying:

"So who is it he who reaches the knowledge of the Imam and is able to choose him? How far! How far! Intellects have failed. Insights have become perplexed. Hearts have become confused. Eyes have failed. The great have become too low. The wise have become bewildered. The clement have fallen short. Orators are unable. The intelligent have become ignorant. Poets have fallen silent. Writers have become unable. The eloquent have become tired to describe one of his affairs or one of his excellence. So they have acknowledged incapacity and falling short; how is he described or his core depicted or a thing of his affair understood or is available he who replaces him or sufficient as he is? No, and how?

p: 106

"How far election still is from this (Imam)? How far intellects still are from this? Where is the like of this? They thought that was available in other than the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family; by Allah, their souls have deluded them and made them desire falsehood; so they have ascended a slippery ascent; (which make) their feet slip to the bottom! They want to install the Imam through unjust, dull, and defective intellects and through misleading opinions, so they have increased (themselves) nothing except farness; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away. They have desired something difficult, told lies, and strayed off into a remote error. They have fallen into perplexity, for they have intentionally left the Imam; and the Shaytan made their deeds fair-seeming to them, so he kept them back from the path, though they were endowed with intelligence and skill.

They have turned away from the choice of Allah and of His Apostle to their choice while the Qur'an calls them out: And your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; to choose is not theirs; glory be to Allah, and exalted be He above what they associate (with Him).[6] And Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: And it behoves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter.[7] And He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: What has happened to you? How do you judge? Or have you a book wherein you read, that you have surely therein what you choose? Or have you received from Us an agreement confirmed by an oath extending to the day of resurrection that you shall surely have what you demand? As them which of them will vouch for that, or have they associates? Therefore, let them bring their associates if they are truthful![8] And He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: Do they not then reflect on the Qur'an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.[9] Or has Allah set a seal on their hearts so they do not understand? Or have they said: We hear, and they do not obey? Surely the vilest of animals, in Allah's sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who do not understand. And if Allah had known any good in them He would have made them hear, and if He makes them hear they would turn back while they withdraw.[10] They said: We hear and disobey.[11] That is the grace of Allah: He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.[12]

p: 107

"Accordingly, how do they choose the Imam? And the Imam is the knowledgeable one who does not be ignorant. The guardian who does not draw back, the origin of sacredness and purity, (of) piety and asceticism, (of) knowledge and worship, distinguished by the summons of the Messenger. He is of the children of the purified, chaste (lady). There is no defect in his lineage; no noble equals him. So the lineage is from Quraysh; the top is from Hashim; the family belongs to the household of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, the consent is from Allah, the honor of the nobility; the branch is from 'Abd Manaf. He has growing knowledge and perfect clemency; he is versed in the Imamate (and) knowledgeable in policy. Obedience to him is obligatory. He undertakes (the office of the Imamate) according to the Command of Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, he is loyal to the servants of Allah and observes His religion."

After this, Imam al-Rida has presented the knowledge of the prophets and of the Imams, saying:

"Surely Allah grants success to the prophets and the Imams, the blessings of Allah be on them. He gives to them some of his stored knowledge and wisdom He does not give to any other than them. So their knowledge is superior to the knowledge of the people of their time; then reflect on these words of Him, the Exalted, is he then who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?[13] And these words of him, the exalted, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good.[14] And His words, may He be magnified and exalted, concerning Taloot: Surely Allah has chosen him in preference to you, and He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and physique, and Allah grants his kingdom to whom He pleases, and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.[15] And He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said to His Prophet: and Allah's grace on you is very great.

p: 108

And He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said concerning the Imams from among the household, the family and the progeny of His Prophet: Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We have given to Ibraheem's children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom. So of them is he who believes in him, and of them is he who turns away from him, and hell is sufficient to burn. [16] If Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, for the affairs of His servants, He will open his heart for that, deposit in his heart the sources of wisdom, and inspire him with an inspiration. So, after that, he does not fail to give any answer, and concerning it he does not deviate from correctness. He (the Imam) is infallible, confirmed, successful, directed, safe from mistakes, slips, and stumbles. Allah singled him out with that, that he may be His proof over His servants and a witness over His creatures. That is the grace of Allah: He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.

"Therefore, are they able (to find) the like of this (person) and choose him? Or does the one chosen by them have such attributes and they give him precedence (over them)? By the House of Allah, they have exceeded the truth and thrown the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew nothing. In the Book of Allah there are guidance and cure; nevertheless they have thrown it (behind their backs). They have followed their desires, so Allah has dispraised, detested, and make them miserable when He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: and who is more erring than he who follows his low desires without any guidance from Allah? Surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.[17] And He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: for them is destruction, and He has made their deeds ineffective.[18] And He, may He be magnified and exalted, has said: Greatly hated is it by Allah and by those who believe. Thus does Allah set a seal over the heart of every proud, haughty one."[19]

p: 109

Imam al-Rida's speech has come to an end.[20] It is full of the most wonderful kinds of proofs of the Imamate. It indicates that the Imamate is required, and that it is impossible for men to choose and elect an Imam. It also shows that it is only Allah, the Exalted, Who chooses for this high office whom he pleases of His servants. It displays that such servants must have the attributes of good and perfection, the purity of soul, the clearness of self. They must not yield to the motives of inclination, the tendencies of evil and vainglory, that they may be righteous for guiding men, planting the essence of trust and virtue in their souls.

_____________________________________________________

[1] Surat al-An'am, verse 38.

[2] Surat al-Ma'ida, verse 3.

[3] Surat al-Anbiya', verses 72-73.

[4] Surat Aal 'Uumran, verse 68.

[5] Surat al-Rum, verse 56.

[6] Surat al-Qasas, verse 68.

[7] Surat al-Ahzab, verse 36.

[8] Surat al-Qalam, verses 36-41.

[9] Surat Muhammed, verse 24.

[10] Surat al-Anfal, verses 21-23.

[11] Surat al-Baqara, verse 93.

[12] Surat al-Hadeed, verse 21.

[13] Surat Yunus, verse 35.

[14] Surat al-Baqara, verse 269.

[15] Surat al-Baqara, verse 247.

[16] Surat al-Nisa', verses 54-55.

[17] Surat al-Qasas, verse 50.

[18] Surat Muhammed, verse 8.

[19] Surat al-Mu'min, verse 35.

[20] 'Uyoon Akhbar al-Rida, vol. 1, pp. 216-222. Usool al-Kafi.

Texts on the Imamate

Surely the Shi'a maintain that the Imam is appointed according to the texts, and there is no other way for that. Accordingly it is incumbent on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to appoint him who will succeed him. Likewise it is incumbent on the Imam to appoint his successor to whom men should resort. All the tradition books that deal with such a subject matter are full of different kinds of texts on that. For example, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, has said concerning the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali) on the day (of the assembly) at the house: "This is my brother, my trustee, and my successor among you, so listen to him and obey (him)."[1] Al-Tabarani has published the following tradition on the authority of Selman al-Farisi, who has said: "Allah's Apostle has said: 'Surely my trustee, the place of my secrets, the best one I will leave behind me, who will fulfill my promise, and carry out my religion will be 'Ali b. Abi Talib.[2] In his Hulyat al-Awliya', Abu Na'eem al-Hafiz has published the following tradition on the authority of Anas, who has said: "Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: 'O Anas, the first one to come to you through this door is the Imam of the Allah-fearing, master of Muslims, leader of those famous nobles, and last of the testamentary trustees (of authority).'" Anas has said: "'Ali came and Allah's Apostle rose cheerfully; he embraced him and said to him: 'You will carry out (my religion) on my behalf, make them (men) hear my voice, and explain to them that over which they differ after me."[3]

p: 110

In his book al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani has published the following tradition on the authority of Abu Ayyoob al-Ansary, on the authority of Allah's Apostle, who has said: "O Fatima, did you not know that Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, looked thoroughly over the people of the earth and chose your father from among them and made him a Prophet. Then He looked over them a second time and choose your (present) husband and made him a trustee of authority; Allah inspired me to marry you to him."[4]

Al-Muhib al-Tabari has reported the following tradition on the authority of Anas, who has said: "We said to Selman al-Farisi: 'Ask the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, about his trustee of authority, and he asked him: 'O Allah's Apostle, who is your trustee of authority?' 'Who was the trustee of Musa?' he asked. 'Yushi' b. Nun,' replied Selman. 'So surely my trustee, my inheritor, (the one who) carries out my religion on my behalf, and fulfills my promise is 'Ali b. Abi Talib."[5]

Al-Muhib al-Tabari has reported the following tradition on the authority of Burayda, who has said: "Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: 'Every prophet has a trustee and an inheritor, and that 'Ali is my trustee and inheritor.'"[6]

Numerous Prophetic traditions ensured by many lines of transmission have been narrated by the two parties (i.e., the Shi'a and the Sunna) on the Imamate of the two grandsons and sweet basil (of the Prophet), peace be on them. Concerning them the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "You are two Imams, and your mother has (the right) to intercede (with Allah for men)."[7] Referring to al-Husayn, he may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "This is an Imam, son of an Imam, brother of an Imam, and father of nine Imams."[8] In his book al-Ikmaal, al-Saduq has published the following tradition on the authority of Selman, who has said: "I visited the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and there was al-Hasan b. 'Ali (sitting) on his thigh. He was kissing him on the mouth and saying: 'You are master, son of a master; you are an Imam, son of an Imam, brother of an Imam, and father of the Imams. You are the proof of Allah, the son of His proof, father of the nine proofs from your backbone; their nine (one) will be their Qa'im (the one who will undertake the office of the Imamate).'"[9]

p: 111

Hadith books are full of Prophetic traditions that confines the Imamate to the twelve Imams who are all from Quraysh. For example, Jabir b. Samra has narrated, saying: "On Friday, the eve of stoning al-Aslami, I heard Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say: 'The religion is still standing until the Hour begins, and there will be over them (men) twelve caliphs who are all from Quraysh.'"[10]

In his book al-Ikmaal, al-Saduq has published the following tradition on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, who has said: [Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said:] "The Imams are twelve. The first of them is 'Ali and the last of them is al-Qa'im; they are my successors and my trustees (of authority).'"[11]

Al-Hafiz Abu Na'eem has narrated the following tradition on the authority of Ibn Abbas, who has said: "Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: 'If a man desires to be pleased to live as I do, dies as I do, resides in Adan Garden my Lord has planted, then let him follow 'Ali after me and follow his friends and imitate the Imams after me. For they are my family who have been created of my clay and given understanding and knowledge. Woe unto those from among my community who deny their excellence and cut off their relationship with me (due to their cutting off their relationship) with them; may Allah do not make my intercession include them.'"[12]

p: 112

In addition to these Prophetic traditions are those have been narrated by those trustworthy and religious traditionists on the authority of the Imams from among Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, concerning their designating each other. For example, when he was about to die, the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, designated his son Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. He said to him: "My little son, Allah's Apostle has ordered me to make you as a trustee (of authority) and to give to you my books and my weapon. (That is) just as Allah's Apostle had appointed me as his trustee (of authority) and given to me his books and his weapons. And he has ordered me to order you that when death was close to you, you had to give them to your brother al-Husayn." Then he turned to al-Husayn and said to him: "And Allah's Apostle had ordered you to hand them over to this son of yours-and indicated with his hand to Zayn al-'Abidin." Then he took 'Ali b. al-Husayn by the hand and said to him: "And Allah's Apostle had ordered you to hand them over to your son Muhammed; recite to him the greetings of Allah's Apostle and of mine."[13]

Hadith books contain hundred traditions similar to the ones mentioned above and that indicate that texts on the Imamate are required and other than them is invalid; the Shi'a have depended on them in building their beliefs in the Imamate.

_____________________________________________

[1] Kanz al-'Ummal vol. 6, p. 392.

p: 113

[2] Ibid., p. 154.

[3] Hulyat al-Awliya', vol. 1, p. 63.

[4] Kanz al-'Ummal vol. 6, p. 153. Majjma', vol. 8, p. 353.

[5] Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 178.

[6] Ibid. In al-Manawi's Kunuz al-Haqa'iq, p. 121, it has been mentioned that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "Every prophet had a testamentary trustee and an inheritor. And 'Ali is my testamentary trustee and inheritor."

[7] Al-Ithaf Bihub al-Ashraf, vol. 129. Nezhat al-Mejalis, vol. 2, p. 184.

[8] Minhajj al-Sunna, vol. 4, p. 210.

[9] Al-Muraja't, p. 228.

[10] Saheeh Muslim, Kitab al-Imara. Musnad al-Imam Ahmed b. Hanbal, vol. 5, p. 89. Saheeh al-Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 164.

[11] Al-Muraja't, p. 227.

[12] Hulyat al-Awliya', vol. 1, 86.

[13] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 151. Usool al-Kafi.

The Texts on his Imamate

Part 1

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, informed his followers of the Imamate of his son Musa, peace be on him, when the world shone with his birthday. On every occasion he told them of that and asked them to keep that a secret for fear for them and his son of the ruling authority. When the Imam, peace be on him, was seventy years old, a group of his followers hurried to him to ask him about the Imam after him to pledge allegiance to him and to resort to him in respect with the affairs of their religion. He answered them that the Imam after him would be his son Musa, peace be on him; the following is the presentation of these texts:

p: 114

1. Al-Mufaddal Bin 'Umar

Al-Mufaddal Bin 'Umar al-Ju'fi[1] was among the prominent Shi'ites and one of their famous, great figures. He asked Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed, peace be on him, about the Imam after him to follow him and to adopt his Imamate, and he, peace be on him, answered: "Mufaddal, the Imam after me is my son Musa, the hoped, awaited successor."[2]

2. Yazid Bin Sulayt

Yazid Bin Sulayt[3] was trustworthy and trusted. He was among the men of piety and knowledge. He and a group of his companions made the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca). On his way, he met Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), who was accompanied by his sons and retainers. He hurried to the Imam to ask him about the Imam after him, saying: "May my father and mother be your ransom; you are the purified Imams; none escapes from death; who is the Imam after you?" The Imam, peace be on him, indicated with his hand to his son Musa and explained his ideals with which he was endowed. He said: "He has the knowledge of wisdom, understanding, generosity, knowledge of that which men need and of the affairs of their religion over which they differ. He has good manners and good neighborhood; he is one of Allah's gates; he has another (quality) that is the best of all these (qualities)."

-May my father and mother be your ransom, what is it?

-Allah, the Most High, will bring forth from him the succor of this community, its relief, its knowledge, its light, its understanding, and its wise man, the best baby and youth. Through him Allah will prevent bloodshed, correct discords, bring together the people of separation, make peace among (them), clothe the naked, satisfy the hungry, make the fearful safe, and send rain down. Men obey him; the best middle-aged one and young man; his words are a decision; his silence is knowledge; he explained to men that over which they differ."[4]

p: 115

The Imam, peace be on him, told them about that with which Allah had gifted his son such as that He placed among his progeny the rightly-guided one (Mahdi) of the family of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, of whom the Prophet and the Imams after him gave good news. He will set right crookedness, the regulations of the world and the religion. He will not come till corruption prevails, oppression becomes public, chaos spreads, deviation from the religion becomes famous, the earth is full of discords and disorders; may Allah bring about his early reappearance, place us among those who summon to him and support him.

3. Dawud Bin Kuthayr

Dawud Bin Kuthayr hurried to Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) to ask him about the Imam after him, saying: "May Allah make me your ransom and make me die before you, I am afraid that something may happen, to whom shall I resort?" "To my son Musa," replied the Imam.

Dawud became assured with this answer; his conscience rested; he had no doubt and perplexity about the knowledge of the Imam; just as he has said: "I have no doubt of Musa even a twinkle of an eye."[5]

4. Al-Fayd Bin al-Mukhtar

Al-Fayd had the honor of visiting Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. A conversation took place between them about Abu al-Hasan Musa; while they were talking about his affairs, he entered; Abu 'Abd Allah turned to al-Fayd and said to him: "Fayd, he is your leader about whom you have asked me; rise and admit his right."

p: 116

Al-Fayd hurried and began kissing the Imam on the hand and the head; he asked Allah to prolong his lifetime; then he turned to Abu 'Abd Allah and asked him: "May I be your ransom, shall I tell someone of him?" "Yes," replied the Imam, "your family, your children, and your companions."

Through this tradition we understand that the Imam and his followers kept the affair of the Imamate a secret for fear of the oppressive authority. So al-Fayd went to his loyal companions and gave them good news (of the Imamate of Musa). Among them was Younis b. Zabyan, who wanted to be sure of (the news) and went to the house of Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq); when he reached the Imam, he said to him: (Younis, the affair is just as al-Fayd has told you." Accordingly, Younis left cool-hearted; he was flooded by happiness and delight out of this grace he attained.[6]

5. Ibraheem al-Karkhi

Ibraheem al-Karkhi visited Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. While he was sitting with the Imam, Abu al-Hasan Musa came. Ibraheem rose for him and Abu 'Abd Allah said to him: "Ibraheem, he is your leader after me. Some people will perish through him, and some others will be happy through him. May Allah curse those who will kill him and double chastisement against their souls. Allah will bring forth from his backbone the best of the people of the earth of his time, the namesake of his grandfather and inheritor of his knowledge. The tyrant who belongs to the children of so-and-so will kill him after unique miracles out of envy of him, but Allah will attains His purpose though the polytheists may averse." By him he meant Muhammed al-Mahdi, may Allah bring about his early reappearance, the namesake of the Prophet and the one similar to him in destroying oppression and putting an end to the oppressive.

p: 117

He talked about his son Allah had gifted with grace and dignity, saying: "Allah will bring forth from his backbone twelve rightly-guided ones. He will distinguished them by his dignity and place them in the abode of His Holiness; he who follows the twelve one from among them is like him who draws his sword before Allah's Apostle to defend him."

When Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, reached these words, some Umayyad hirelings broke into his house, and he, peace be on him, stopped his talk. Ibraheem wanted him to complete it but he did not do that; so he left Yethrib (Medina) for his homeland. In the following year he had the honor of visiting the Imam while he felt burning desire for hearing the rest of his speech. The Imam, peace be on him, understood that and said: "Ibraheem, he will remove distress from his Shi'ites after long straits and tribulation, impatience and fear; so blessed is he who lives during his time." Then he said to him: "That is enough for you, Ibraheem."

Ibraheem was pleased with this speech of the Imam and said: "I have never returned with a thing more delightful and happier to my heart than this (speech)."[7]

6. 'Isa al-'Alawi

`Isa b. 'Abd Allah al-'Alawi visited Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed to ask him about the Imam after him, saying: "If some thing happened-may Allah not make me see such a thing-who should I follow?"

He, peace be on him, pointed to his son Musa.

p: 118

"If anything happened to Musa, who should I follow," asked 'Isa.

"His son," replied the Imam.

"If anything happened to his son," 'Isa went on, "and he left a big brother and a small son, who should I follow?"

"His son; it is always this," answered the Imam.

"If I do not recognize him and his place?"

"You say: O Allah, I follow the one from among Your proofs from among the children of the last Imam who has remained, for that is enough for you."[8]

7. Mu'adh Bin Kuthayr

Mu'adh Bin Kuthayr[9] visited Imam al-Sadiq to ask him about the Imam whom he should follow after him, saying: "I ask Allah, Who provided your father with you for this position, to provide you with one of your offspring for the same position before your death."

"Allah has granted that," he answered.

"May I be your ransom, who is it?"

He pointed to his son Musa, who was sleeping, saying: "This one who is sleeping." He was at that time a boy.[10]

8. Mansur Bin Hayim

Mansur Bin Hayim visited Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) asking him to designate the Imam after him, saying: (May I ransom you) with my father and mother. There is a great coming and going among men about (the succession). Since that is so, who is it?"

"This is your leader," replied Abu 'Abd Allah.

He pointed to Abu al-Hasan Musa; then he tapped the right shoulder of Abu al-Hasan (Musa). He was at that time, as far as I know, about five years old.[11]

p: 119

9. Sulayman Bin Khalid

Sulayman Bin Khalid has narrated, saying: "I and a group of my companions were sitting with Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. He called for his son Musa. When he stopped in front of him, he turned to his companions, saying: 'It is your duty (to follow) this man after me. By Allah, he is your leader after me.'"[12]

10. Saffwan al-Jammal

We have previously mentioned his narration we have given as a proof of the cleverness and genius of Imam Musa during his childhood.

___________________________________________

[1] We will mention his biography when we talk about some of the Imam's narrators and companions.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 234. Al-Irshad.

[3] His biography will come.

[4] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 234.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 309, vol. 11, p. 234.

[7] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, 235.

[8] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 309. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 235.

[9] Mu'adh Bin Kuthayr al-Kisa'i was among the special group of Imam Abu 'Abd Allah. He is among the jurists and great figures of the Shi'ite sect. This has been mentioned in al-Ta'liqat, p. 335.

[10] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 244. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 308. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 235. Al-Irshad, p. 264.

[11] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 309.

[12] Al-Irshad, p. 265. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, p.310.

Part 2

11. Ishaq Bin Ja'far

Ishaq b. Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq has narrated the following, saying: "One day I was with my father when 'Umran b. 'Ali asked him: "May I be your ransom, to whom shall we and the people turn after you?"

p: 120

He answered: "To the owner of two yellow clothes. He who is coming out of the door to you."

'Ali was yearning for and looking at him who was coming out of the door. They did not wait long before Imam Musa came out of the door. He was still a boy and was wearing two yellow garments.[13]

12. 'Ali Bin Ja'far

'Ali b. Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, has narrated, saying: "I heard my father Ja'far b. Muhammed, peace be on him, say to a group of his close associates and followers: 'Treat my son Musa with kindness. He is the most meritorious of my children and the one who will succeed after me. He is the one who will undertake my position. He is Allah's proof (hujjat) to all his creatures after me.'"[14]

13. Zayd Bin Asbat

Yazid b. Asbat visited Iman Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him, during his illness of which he passed away; the Imam turned to him, saying: "Yazid, do you see this (pointing to his son Musa)? When you see that the people differ over him, then bear witness for me that I have told you that Yousif's sin in his brothers' sight when they had thrown him into the well was that they envied him. That was when he told them that he had seen eleven stars and the sun and the moon making obeisance to him; similarly this boy shall be envied."

Then he called for his sons: 'Abd Allah, Ishaq, Muhammed, al-'Abbas, and Musa. He said to them: "This-pointing to his son Musa-is the testamentary trustee of the testamentary trustees, the scholar of the scholars, and a bearer of witness to the dead and the living."[15]

p: 121

14. Salama Bin Muhriz

A hypocrite from among the 'Ajaliya has criticized the Shi'a for their belief stipulating that an Imam should be succeeded by an Imam. The hypocrite said that Imam al-Sadiq had no successor to replace him. He mentioned that in the presence of Salama b. Muhriz. When the latter heard the words of the former, he became displeased and went to the Imam, peace be on him to inform him about his words and to ask him to designate an Imam after him. He said to him: "My master, a man from among the 'Ajaliya said to me: 'How long will this an old man remain (alive) for you? He will die within one or two years, and then you will have no Imam to follow."

Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq said to him: "Why have you not said to him that Musa b. Ja'far has attained the age of ritual puberty?"[16]

15. Zarara Bin A'yun

Zarara b. A'yun[17] has narrated, saying: "I visited Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. There was with him the master of his children Abu al-Hasan Musa, and there was in his assembly a corpse covered with a garment. Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, ordered me to bring him Dawud al-Raqqi, Hamran, and Abu Baseer. I went out to bring them and came across al-Mufaddal b. 'Amr, who was heading for the Imam. (Meanwhile) I saw the people going to the house of the Imam. I quickly went and brought the people to him. When they had the honor of meeting him, he, peace be on him, turned to Dawud al-Raqqi and said to him: 'Uncover Isma'il's face.' He uncovered his face and he was a motionless corpse. He, peace be on him, asked Dawud al-Raqqi: 'Dawud, is he alive or dead?'

p: 122

"'My master, he is dead.'"

He showed him to all those who attended his assembly to make them bear witness to his death; he asked them to acknowledge and admit his death. He did that to refute the claims of some Shi'ites who maintained that Isma'il would be the Imam after his father, for he was righteous and abundantly knowledgeable. He, peace be on him, wanted to return them to reason and correctness and to tell them that the Imam after him was his son Musa. Then he ordered Isma'il to be prepared for burial. He was washed and shrouded. Then the Imam ordered al-Mufaddal b. 'Amr to uncover Isma'il's face again that the people might see him and be sure of his death and that they would have no doubt about that. After that he wanted to increase them in certainty and to remove doubt from them, so he turned to all his companions and asked them: "Is he alive or dead?"

They all confessed his death, so the Imam, peace be on him, raised his hands towards the heaven, saying: "O Allah, bear witness, for surely those who say untrue things will have doubt about him. They desire to put out the light of Allah-he pointed to his son Musa- with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse. Then the Imam ordered Isma'il to be buried in his final resting place. After he had laid him to rest in the narrow space within the grave and poured the earth over him, he turned to his companions to remove doubts and suspicions from them, asking: "Who is the one who is dead, shrouded, perfumed, and buried in the grave?"

p: 123

"He is Isma'il," they all said.

"O Allah, bear witness!" Then he took his son by the hand and said: "He will be the truth; the truth will be with him and (issue) from him till Allah inherits the earth and those who are on it."[18]

Imam al-Sadiq confuted with these repeated declarations all those who had doubts and suspicions about the Imamate of his son Isma'il. More than one time He explained to them that the Imamate was not in his hand but it was in the hand of Allah, the Exalted, Who grants it for whom He pleases of His servants. Abu Baseer has narrated, saying: "I was with Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. His companions mentioned the testamentary trustee (of authority) and Isma'il. So the Imam turned to them and said: 'No, by Allah! Abu Muhammed that (the affair of the Imamate) does not belong to us; no one except Allah, may He be magnified and exalted, Who designates (the Imams) one by one."[19]

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, declared that the affair of designating an Imam was not in his hand. However, it was in the hand of Allah, Who chooses from among his servants those who have good tendencies and noble talents. Accordingly, none has the right to choose the Imam; a special group of the Shi'ites knew this subject matter and believed in it. In this respect Zareef b. Nafi'[20] has narrated the following: "While I was (sitting) with al-Husayn b. Zayd and his son 'Ali, Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, passed by us. He greeted us and went away. I asked al-Husayn: 'May I be your ransom, Musa is known as the Qa'im of the household of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family?'

p: 124

"'If someone knows him, then it is he." Then he said: "And how does (none) know him? And he has the writing of 'Ali b. Abi Talib and the dictation of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.'"

His son asked him: "Why do my father Zayd b. 'Ali have not that?"

"My little son, surely 'Ali b. al-Husayn and Muhammed b. 'Ali are two masters and Imams of men. So, my little son, your father Zayd kept close to his brother, followed his example, and studied jurisprudence under him."

"My father, if something happens to Musa, peace be on him, will he designate one of his brother as his testamentary trustee?"

"No, by Allah, he will designate none as his testamentary trustee except his son."[21]

16. A Shi'ite

A Shi'ite visited Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq and asked him to designate the Imam after him, and he, peace be on him, answered: "Your seven one is he who will undertake the office of the Imamate (Qa'im); he is the namesake of the owner of the Torah." By the owner of the Torah he means Musa b. 'Umran, peace be on him.[22]

17. A Companion of his

One of his companions had the honor of meeting him and asked him to designate the Imam after him, and he, peace be on him, replied: "Count the days." He counted them beginning from Sunday. The Imam asked Him: "How many days have you counted?" "Seven days," he answered.

Imam al-Sadiq explained, saying: "The Saturday of the Saturdays, the Sun of the times, the Light of the months, the one who does not fool and play, your seven one who will undertake the office of the Imamate (Qa'im)." Then he pointed to his son Musa.[23]

p: 125

With this narration we will end our speech about some texts have been reported on the authority of Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed, peace be on him, concerning the Imamate of his son Musa, peace be on him. They indicate that his Imamate is certain. As we have previously mentioned that the Imamate is the most important favor with which He singled out Ahl al-Bayt, for it includes all the elements of righteousness and perfection. We will mention his other ideals that uncover the secrets of his Imamate as follows:

________________________________________________

[13] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 244. Al-Irshad, p. 265. Bihar al-Anwar.

[14] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 244. Al-Irshad, p. 266.

[15] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 236.

[16] Ibid., p. 237.

[17] Zarara b. A'yun al-Shaybani was among the leading Shi'ites and on top of their religious scholars in jurisprudence, tradition, and theology, as Ibn al-Nadeem said. Imam Abu 'Abd Allah was so proud of him that he appointed him as a jurist to give religious decisions to the Shi'ites. He said to al-Fayd b. al-Mukhtar: "If you want a tradition, take it from this sitting one." He indicated to Zarara with his hand. He, peace be on him, said: "Were it not for Zarara and the like of him, my father's traditions would come to an end." Zarara narrated many traditions on the jurist of Ahl al-Bayt. All what he narrated were correct and acceptable. As he had close relationship with Ahl al-Bayt, his opponents criticized him. They accused him of many accusations and criticism. However, they did not degrade his position and his dignity. For all the people know that Zarara served knowledge and religion. He, may Allah have mercy on him, died in the year 150 A. H. See his biography in Al-Keshi, al-Najashi, al-Fihrast, al-Ta'liqat, Lisan al-Mizan, and the like.

p: 126

[18] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 237.

[19] Ibid., p. 227.

[20] Zareef b. Nasih was a Kufan. He grew up in Baghdad. He is reliable in traditions. He wrote many books of which were al-Diyat, al-Hudud, al-Nawadir. This has been mentioned in the book al-Ta'liqat, p. 186.

[21] Zayd b. 'Ali, p. 193. It has been quoted from the book Qurb al-Isnad, a handwritten book.

[22] Farid Wajjdi, Da'irat al-Ma'rif, vol. 9, p. 594. Al-Milal wa al-Nihal.

[23] Ibid.

His Scientific Talents

Imam Musa, peace be on him, was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time in all rational and traditional sciences; his knowledge was divine and not acquisitive just like that of the prophets and the testamentary trustees of authority and not like that of men. The Shi'ite theologians have given a torrent of reliable proofs of that. Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed al-Sadiq has bore witness to the abundant knowledge of his son Imam Musa, peace be on him. Concerning him he has said to Isa: "If you ask this son of mine about what is between the two covers of the Qur'an, he will give you an answer to it with knowledge."

And he has said concerning him: "He has the knowledge of wisdom, understanding, generosity, knowledge of that which men need and of the affairs of their religion over which they differ."

The sufficient evidence for his abundant knowledge is that the religious scholars have narrated from him all kinds of the sciences of the religion and other than them, to the extent that they have filled books with them, and written many books to the extent that they have called him the Scholar (al-'Aalim).

p: 127

Al-Shaykh al-Mufeed has said: "The people have reported traditions on the authority of Abu al-Hasan Musa, and they have become very numerous; he was the most knowledgeable in the law during his time."[1]

_____________________________________________

[1] Al-Irshad, p. 272.

His Worship and Fear of Allah

Point

Imam Musa grew up in the house of sacredness and piety, in the institute of worship and obedience (to Allah), as well as he inherited from his forefathers the love for Allah, faith in Him, and loyalty to Him. For they had sacrificed them souls in His way, done their best to spread his religion and to put an end to polytheism and misguidance. So Ahl al-Bayt were the foundation of fear of Allah, the origin of faith and thought; were it not for them, no worshiper would worship Allah, no monotheist would profess His Unity, no religious duty would be performed, no sunna would be established, and no Islamic law would be permissible.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, saw all kinds of fear of Allah standing in his house. For example, his father Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, had, as Malik says, three qualities: "He was either fasting or praying or mentioning (Allah); he fed the poor and clothed the naked to the extent that he had left nothing of food and clothes to his family."[1] He generously spent all that in the way of Allah and in order to seek nearness to him.

Imam Musa saw his father do that, and he acquired it and it became one of the elements of his self and of his personality. The historians have said that he was the most worshipful of the people of his time[2] to the extent that he was given the nickname of al-'Abd al-Salih (the pious worshipper) and of Zayn al-Mujjtahideen (the ornament of those who spent night in prayer). That is because no man has ever seen someone equal to him in worship and obedience to Allah. We will give some examples of his obedience and worship as follows:

p: 128

_________________________________________

[1] Saffwat al-Safwa, vol. 2, p. 98.

[2] Jawhart al-Kalam, vol. 2, p. 98.

His Prayers

The most beautiful and valuable hour to Imam Musa, peace be on him, was that when he was alone with Allah, may His name be exalted. He devoted himself to Him with all his feelings and sentiments. The narrators have mentioned that when he stood before Allah, the Most High, to perform the ritual prayers or to say a whispered prayer or to supplicate, he wept so much, his heart beat and became disordered out of fear of Allah. He spent most his time in performing prayers; he used to pray supererogatory prayers throughout the night so that he would make them extend until the morning-prayer, then continue them until the sun rose. He would remain prostrating himself before Allah without raising his head from prayer and praising Allah until the sun came near to descending (from its midday zenith).[1] One of the aspects of his obedience to Allah is that he entered the Mosque of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, at the beginning of the night and prostrated himself before Allah for a long time and said sincere words out of fear of Him: "The sin is great with You! Therefore let forgiveness seem good to You, O Worthy to be fear and Worthy to forgive!" He repeated these words with turning to Allah in repentance, submission, and weeping till morning.[2]

When the tyrant of his time, king Harun al-Rashid, threw him into the dark cells of prisons, he devoted himself to obedience and worship to the extent that he with that dazzled and perplexed the intellects. He thanked Allah for giving him free time to worship Him, saying: "O Allah, you know that I used to ask You to give me free time to worship You. O Allah, You have done that. To You be praise."[3]

p: 129

The Imam set a record in worshipping, for none was like him in obeying Allah and devoting himself to Him; his soul adored Allah and deep faith in Him took root in his heart.

Al-Shaybani[4] has talked about Imam Musa's too much worship, saying:

"In some tens of years Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, would perform a sajjda after the whiteness of the sun until its coming near to descending (from its midday zenith). His opponent Harun al-Rashid acknowledged that he was the ideal of turning to Allah in repentance and faith; that was when he kept him in the prison of al-Rabi'.[5] He looked from the top of the palace and saw a garment thrown in a special place of the house and did not change its place. He would be astonished at that and ask al-Rabi': 'What is that the garment I see at that place every day?'

"Commander of the faithful, that is not a garment; that is Musa b. Ja'far; every day he performs a sajjda after the sunrise to its coming near to descending (from its midday zenith)," replied al-Rabi'.

So Harun was dazzled and showed his admiration toward Imam Musa, saying: "Surely he is among the Hashimite monks."

Having heard Harun acknowledging the Imam's asceticism and renouncing the world, al-Rabi' turned to him and asked him to release the Imam and not to harass him, saying: "Commander of the faithful, why have you harassed him in prison."

Harun replied him with an answer void of mercy and piety, saying: "How far! There is no escape from that!"[6]

p: 130

Surely Harun knew the achievements and asceticism of the Imam, but he was blinded by his craving after the world and his loving the kingdom, and so he exerted pressure on him. We will fully explain that when we speak about the heavy misfortunes and black ordeals the Imam met from Harun.

When the Imam was imprisoned in her brother's house, al-Sind b. Shahik's sister has narrated the following on his worship, saying: "Surely when he had performed the evening prayer, he praised Allah, gloried Him, until midnight. Then he rose and performed prayers until morning, so he performed the morning prayer. Then he praised Allah until the sun rose. Then he sat down until forenoon. Then he slept and woke before the sun came near to descending (from its midday zenith). Then he performed the ritual ablution and performed prayers until he performed the afternoon prayer; then he praised Allah until he performed the sunset prayer; then he performed a prayer between the sunset and the evening prayers; so this was his behavior till he died."[7] These examples indicate that the Imam was very fond of worship and that he devoted himself to Allah. He was most times busy performing prayers; he prostrated himself in prayer so much that he had calluses like those of a camel; he had a boy and he ordered the boy to cut off those calluses from his forehead and nose; a poet has hinted at that, saying:

A callus became long out of his long sujud, so his forehead and his nose ulcerated.

p: 131

He thought that his free time in prison was as his wish and as a favor for which he thanked Allah for a (long) time.[8]

___________________________________________

[1] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 276.

[2] Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 4, p. 293. Kanz al-Lugha, p. 766.

[3] Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 4, p. 293. Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 379.

[4] Al-Shaybani's name is Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammed b. al-Hasan. He was the retainer of the Banu Shayban. He attended the assembly of Abu Hanifa for two years. He studied Islamic jurisprudence under Abu Yousif. He wrote many books. He spread the knowledge of Abu Hanifa. Al-Shafi'i has said: "I have took from the knowledge of Muhammed b. al-Husayn as equal as a camel's load." He has also said: "When someone asked (me) a question, I knew the hatred on his face except Muhammed b. al-Husayn." Al-Shaybani died in al-Ray in the year 187 A. H. He was then fifty-eight years old. This has been mentioned in the book Tabaqat al-Fuqaha'

[5] Al-Rabi' b. Yunus was the chamberlain of al-Mansur. Then he became his minister after Abu Ayyub. Al-Mansur inclined to him and depended on him very much.

[6] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 298.

[7] Abi al-Fida', Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 12.

[8] Al-Anwar al-Bahiyya, p. 93.

His Fasting

Imam Musa spent most days of his lifetime obeying Allah. He fasted by day and performed prayers by night, especially when he was imprisoned by Harun; he did not leave all kinds of the recommendable prayers such as fasting and the like; he thanked and praised Allah for giving him free time he spent worshipping Him.

p: 132

His Performing the Hajj

Imam Musa sincerely performed all the things Allah loved and recommended; among these things is that he performed the hajj on foot, while the high born camels were driven before him. He along with his brother 'Ali b. Ja'far and all his family performed the hajj four times. 'Ali b. Ja'far talked about the time when they covered their ways, saying: "The first journey lasted for twenty-six days; the second took twenty-five days; the third was twenty-four days; and the fourth lasted for twenty-one days."

He most times kept away from the road to the House of Allah and withdrew from the people, for his heart and mind had clung to Allah, the Most High. One time he, peace be on him, performed the hajj and none accompanied him. All those who have written the biography of the Imam have unanimously agreed that a story took place between him and Shaqeeq al-Balakhy.[1] The story reads as follows:

Shaqeeq al-Balakhy went out to make the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca) in the year 149 A. H. or in the year 146 A. H. He stopped at al-Qadisiya. When he resided in the place, he began supervising the pilgrims and took care of their readiness (for the hajj). While he was busy looking at the pilgrims, he saw, as he says, a handsome, brown, and thin young man wearing a woolen garment on his clothes sitting alone and withdrawing himself from the people far away from their affairs and from associating with them. He (Shaqeeq al-Balakhy) thought that the young man belonged to Sufis and wanted to be a heavy burden on the pilgrims, for he had no provisions. Shaqeeq al-Balakhy decided to go to him to scold him, that he might refrain from that in which he was and return to rightness. When he approached him, the young man gently said to him: "O Shaqeeq al-Balakhy, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin."

p: 133

He said no word more than these words. Then Shaqeeq al-Balakhy left him and went away. He was dazzled, remained perplexed in thinking and intellect: Who ordered the young man to utter his name and know his inner thoughts? He admired him very much and was assured that he was among the righteous servants of Allah. He repented of his neglecting his affairs, so he decided to go to him in order to ask him for pardon and to forgive him his sin. He hurried to him but did not find him. When the caravans stopped at the Valley of Fudda, Shaqeeq al-Balakhy saw his companion praying, shaking with fear of Allah, and his tears flowing down his cheeks. He kept silent until he finished his prayer. Before he asked him (for pardon), the young man had turned to him and said: "O Shaqeeq, recite: And most surely I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does good, then continues to follow the right direction.

Then Shaqeeq left him and went away. He roamed in a current of suspicions and thoughts, then he began saying: "O Allah! How wonderful! He revealed twice what my soul had hidden! Surely he is among the righteous! He is one of the rightly-guided who turns to Allah in repentance!" He reflected for a long time on his affairs. Any way, the caravan walked and began covering the desert. When it arrived at al-Abwa', Shaqeeq went out to wander at it. Suddenly he saw the young man. He hurried to him. He found him standing by a well to take some water with a coffeepot. The coffeepot fell into the well and the young man glanced at the heaven; he addressed Allah with submission and faith, saying:

p: 134

"You are my drink of water when I become thirsty and my food when I desire food!

"My Lord! My Master! I have none except You! Therefore do not deprive me of it!"

He said no word more than these words and suddenly the water began rising to the top of the well; the coffeepot was floating on it. He stretched out his hand and took it; then he made the ritual ablution out of it. He performed four ruk'as and then he bent down a sand hill. He took a handful of sand and put it into the coffeepot. He stirred it and drank some of it. Shaqeeq greeted him and said: "Give me some of the food with which Allah has provided you!"

"Shaqeeq, Allah still bestows upon me outwardly and inwardly," explained the Imam, "therefore you must have good opinion of your Lord." Then he gave the coffeepot to Shaqeeq and he drank out of it and found in it fine flour and sugar. Shaqeeq said that he never drank something more delicious than it. He lasted for some days and he had no appetite for food and drink. Then he left him and went away. He did not meet him in any place except in Mecca. He found him beside Qubat al-Shirab in the dark night standing and performing prayers with humbleness, moaning, and weeping. He continued performing that till the light of dawn appear; then he rose and went to Hashiyat al-Mataf and performed the two ruk'as of the dawn. Then he performed the morning prayer with the people; then he went to the House (the Kaaba) and circumambulated it after the sunshine; then he went out of the House and Shaqeeq followed him in order to greet him and to have the honor of meeting him. He found that the retainers and the followers had surrounded him. He admired that situation and hurried to ask those around him about the owner of that situation, and it was said to him: "This is Musa al-Kazim." Accordingly, Shaqeeq was sure that the Imam was worthy of such a miracle on which[2] a poet has composed a poem, saying:

p: 135

Ask Shaqeeq al-Balakhi about what he has seen of him.

He said: When I performed the hajj, a pale, thin, brown person.

He was alone and had no provisions. I was always thinking of him.

I imagined that he would beg the people; I did not know that he would perform the major hajj.

When we stopped at (al-'Abwa), I saw him on the red sand him.

He was putting sand into the coffeepot. I called him out and my intellect was perplexed.

Give me a drink. When he gave the drink, I saw that it was fine flour and sugar.

I asked the pilgrims who was it? It was said: "This is Musa b. Ja'far."[3]

The story of Shaqeeq shows some of the Imam's miracles and that he was endowed with faith and knowledge of what souls hidden.

____________________________________________

[1] He was among the great worshippers and ascetics in the Islamic world. In the beginning, he was a doubter, and then he turned to Allah in a sincere repentance. He gave as alms his money amounted three hundred thousand dirhams. He also gave as alms his three hundred villages. When he died as a martyr at the Battle of Golan, he had no shroud. He wore coarse woolen garments for twenty years. He said: "I have put the Qur'an into practice for twenty years, to the extent that I have distinguished the world from the hereafter through one these words of Him, the Exalted: And whatever things you have been given are only a provision of this world's life and its adornment, and whatever is with Allah is better and more lasting. He died as a martyr at the Battle of Golan in the year 194 A. H.

p: 136

[2] Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 112. Jawharat al-Kalam, pp. 140-141.

[3] Matalib al-Sa'ul, p. 84. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 55. Al-Manaqib.

His Reciting the Qur'an

The Holy Qur'an was the comrade of the Imam during his privacy and his companion during his loneliness. He recited it with scrutiny and reflection. He was the best of the people in reciting it. When he recited it, the listeners became sad and wept.[1]

Hafs has talked about his reciting the Qur'an, saying: "His reciting (the Qur'an) was sadness. He recited it as if that he addressed a person."[2] In this manner, he recited the verses of the Holy Qur'an. He carefully considered its teachings and moral rules; he reflected on its commands, its prohibitions, and its precepts.

________________________________________________

[1] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 379.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 265.

His Weeping out of Fear of Allah

Imam Musa, peace be on him, was the greatest of the people in fear of Allah; he was as afraid of Allah as his grandfather, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was. Concerning his fear of Allah, the narrators have said: "He used to weep so much out of fear of Allah that his beard would be wet with tears."[1]

____________________________________________

[1] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 247.

His Releasing Salves

Yet another example of his obedience to Allah is that he, peace be on him, was merciful and kind to slaves, so he released a thousand slaves for Allah's sake, beseeching His good pleasure, and seeking nearness to Him.[1]

p: 137

______________________________________

[1] Yousif b. Hatam al-Shami, al-Durr al-Nazim. It is a precious handwritten book available in the Library of al-Hakim.

His Renouncing the World

Imam Musa was on top of those who renounced the world and turned away from its ease and vanities. He headed for Allah and desired the comfort and dignity He has prepared for him in the Abode of Everlastingness. Ibraheem b. 'Abd al-Hameed has related to us about his great asceticism, saying: "I visited him in his house where he used to pray. I saw nothing in the house except a basket, a hung sword, and a copy of the Qur'an."[1] He led a simple life and lived in a simple house that was void of even the furniture the poor had; this indicates that he renounced the world and turned away from it. It is worth mentioning that enormous funds were collected for him, legal rights send to him by the Shi'ites in the Islamic world. Besides he owned al-Basariya and other lands that yield him important funds, but he generously spent all those funds on the miserable and the deprived for Allah's sake and beseeching his good pleasure. He, peace be on him, always recited to his companions Abu Dharr's behavior, the great companion of the Prophet, and the model for self-negation, renouncing the world, and turning away from its pleasure. He, peace be on him, said: "May Allah have mercy on Abu Dharr, who said: 'May Allah dispraise the world on my behalf after two barely loaves of bread. I eat one at lunch and the other at dinner, and after the two woolen cloaks; I use one as a loincloth and the other as a garment.'"[2]

p: 138

In this manner he, peace be on him, put before his eyes the behavior of the immortal, great companions of the Prophets, may Allah bless him and his family. He praised their names, recited to his companions their brilliant behavior, that they might follow their example in the life in this world.

_____________________________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 265.

[2] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 134.

His Generosity and Liberality

Imam Musa, peace be on him, is the highest example for man's perfection in his talents. Among the noble talents standing in him it is that he was generous and open-handed in giving. Undoubtedly, liberality indicates the goodness of soul if it is for good and kindness and not for other reasons such as show-off and reputation, for such an act is not of generosity; rather it opposes it in the full sense of the word.

Real generosity and actual liberality appeared in Imam Musa al-Kazim. He was cited as an example for generosity and kindness. For the miserable and the deprived resorted to him in order that he might save them from the abject poverty and the inferno of misery. The historians have unanimously agreed that he, peace be on him, spent on them all that which he had for Allah's sake. He besought neither reward nor thankfulness from any body; on the contrary he secretly sent his gifts to the poor lest the abasement of need should be seen on the face of the receiver. Through that he besought Allah's good pleasure, for this reason he went out in the dark night and sent his gifts to the weak class while they did not know who sent them such gifts. He sent them purses containing money ranging from two hundred dinars to four hundred dinars;[1] his purses were proverbial, so his family said: "We wonder at him to whom Musa's purses come while he complains of paucity and poverty."[2]

p: 139

He was so kind that when he heard that someone harmed or wronged him, he sent him a purse of one thousand dinars.[3] Generally speaking, the poor in Yethrib (Medina) lived on the Imam's secret gifts. The historians have mentioned a group of those upon whom the Imam lavishly spent; we will mention only the following:

1. Muhammed al-Bakri

Some people in Yethrib (Medina) were in debt to Muhammed al-Bakri, so he went to them to ask them to repay the debts; he asked them for the repayment of the debts and insisted on that for a long time, but he took nothing of his debts. It came to his mind that he had to go to Imam Musa to have the honor of meeting him and to complain to him of need and poverty. He went to him and he had been in one of his estates at Niqma. When he reached the place of the Imam, the Imam came out (to receive him); with the Imam was a servant carrying a basket in which there was some chopped-up meat. They all ate some of the meat. Then the Imam asked him what he wanted. So he told him his story. The Imam, peace be on him, arose and entered the house. Then he came out and ordered his servant to go away lest he should see the asker and he felt abasement. He gave him a purse in which was three hundred dinars-perhaps it was more than his debts. Muhammed took it, thanked the Imam for it, invoked Allah for him, and went away.[4]

p: 140

2. Black Servant

Imam Musa along with his servants and some of his children left Yethrib (Medina) for his estates at Saya; before reaching them, they had a rest in one of the neighboring places. It was very cold. While they were sitting, an eloquent black servant came out to them. The black servant was carrying on his head a boiling pot. He stopped in front of the Imam's servants and asked them:

- Where is your master?

- There he is. They indicated with their hands to Abu al-Hasan (Imam Musa).

- What is his Kunya?

- Abu al-Hasan.

He stopped in front of him, begging him and saying:

- My master, I want to gift this porridge to you!

The Imam, peace be on him, accepted his gift and ordered him to give it to the servants. He gave it to them and went away. It was only a short time before he came back carrying a bundle of wood. He stopped in front of the Imam and said to him:

- My master, I want to gift this bundle of wood to you!

The Imam, peace be on him, accepted his gift and ordered him to fetch him a firebrand. He went for a short time and then came back carrying a firebrand. The Imam order his name and his master's one to be written. He ordered a son of his to keep their names for the time of need. Then they went to their estates. They remained there for some days and then they headed for the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca). The Imam, peace be on him, performed Omra therein. Having finished it, he ordered Saa'id to look for the black servant's master. He said to him: "When you come to know of his place, then inform me of it, that I may walk to him, for I hate to send for him while I am in need of him."

p: 141

Saa'id went and looked for the man till he found him. He recognized him and understood that he was among those who believed in the Imamate. He greeted the man and he asked about the arrival of the Imam. Saa'id denied that. Then the man asked Saa'id about the reason for his coming. He told him that he had traveled for some needs. The man was not satisfied with his answer. He thought that the Imam had come to Mecca. Saa'id said good-bye to him and returned to the Imam. The man followed him. Saa'id turned and saw the man walking behind him. He wanted to leave him but he could not. They both walked until they reached the Imam.

When they stopped in front of him, he, peace be on him, rebuked Saa'id for telling the man of his coming. Saa'id apologized to the Imam for that he had not told the man, and that it was he who willingly followed him. When the man sat down, the Imam turned to him and asked him:

- Do you sell your servant so-and-so?

- May I be your ransom, the servant, the estate, and all my possessions are yours!

- As for the estate, I do not want to deprive you of it.

The man tried to convince the Imam to accept the estate, but he refused to accept it. Then the Imam bought the estate and the servant for a thousand dinars. Then he released the slave and gifted the estate to the man. He did that as kindness for kindness and good for good. Thanks to Imam Musa, Allah enriched the slave to the extent that his children became among the rich and the money changers in Mecca.[5]

p: 142

3. 'Isa Bin Muhammed

'Isa b. Muhammed al-Qurtubi has said: "I planted melons, cucumbers, and gourd in a place in al-Jawaniya (village) by a well called Um 'Izam. When the blessing approached and the plants ripened, grasshoppers attacked them and ate them up. I paid a hundred and twenty dinars for sowing then and buying two camels. While I was sitting, I saw Imam Musa b. Ja'far walking towards me. He greeted me and said:

- How are you?

- It has become as black, barren land.

- How much have you paid to sow your land?

- A hundred and twenty dinars including the cost of two camels.

The Imam, peace be on him, turned to 'Arafa and ordered him: "Give to al-Mugheeth's son ('Isa) a hundred and fifty dinars."

Then he said to 'Isa: "Therefore, you have profited thirty dinars in addition to the two camels."[6]

4. A Poor Man

A poor man visited Imam Musa and begged him. The Imam, peace be on him, intended to test the poor man in order to give him some money as equal as his knowledge. He asked him:

- If you were given to wish in this world, what would you wish?

- I would wish that I would be provided with piety in my religion and that I would fulfill the rights of my brothers against me.

The Imam, peace be on him, approved his answer and ordered him to be given a thousand dinars.[7] History books are full of numerous examples of his kindness to the miserable he showered with his generosity and beneficence to the extent that he made them in no need of begging.

p: 143

Yet another example of his generosity is that he gave a banquet on the occasion of one of his children. He gave food to all the people in Yethrib for three days. One of those who envied him criticized him for that, and he, peace be on him, said to him: "Allah gave to Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, all the things He had given to His prophets and gave him things He did not give to them. He, the Most High, has said to Sulayman b. Dawud: This is Our free gift, therefore give freely or withhold, without reckoning[8]."[9] He, peace be on him, said: "One of the things that bring about forgiveness is giving food."[10]

He, peace be on him, thought that property was insignificant except that it should be spend on satisfying the hungry and clothing the naked. He took this noble attribute from his forefathers, who were the models of generosity, liberality, and kindness.

_____________________________________________

[1] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 13, p. 28. Kanz al-Lugha, p. 766.

[2] 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 185.

[3] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 13, p. 27.

[4] Ibid., 28.

[5] Ibid., pp. 29-30. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 10, p. 183.

[6] Ibid., p. 29. Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 243.

[7] Al-Wasa'il, Chapter on al-Amr bi al-Ma'ruf.

[8] Qur'an, Surat Saad, verse 39.

[9] Furu' al-Kafi, Baab al-Wala'im.

[10] Al-Wasa'il.

His Clemency

Islam has taken great care of fixing clemency in the souls of Muslims and made it as a custom for them. Many traditions have been narrated from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the Imams of guidance; the traditions urge Muslims to be clement. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "O Allah, enrich me with knowledge and adorn me with clemency." He, may Allah bless him and his family, has also said: "Allah does not strengthen (anyone) with ignorance, nor does He abase (anyone) with clemency." Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, has said: "The good is not that your possessions and your children are many, but the good is that your knowledge and your clemency are much." Imam Zayn al-'Abidin has said: "Surely I admire the man whose clemency sets him right during his anger." Imam al-Sadiq has said: "Clemency is a sufficient helper."[1]

p: 144

This aspect was one of the most prominent qualities of Imam Musa, peace be on him. He was proverbial in his clemency and restraining his anger; he pardoned those who wronged him and forgave those who show enmity towards him. He not only did that but also he showed beneficence toward them and showered them with his favors in order that he might remove from their souls evil and selfishness. The historians have mentioned many examples of his examples. They have narrated that one of the grandsons of 'Umar b. al-Khattab wronged Imam Musa, cursed his grandfather Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. One of the Imam's followers intended to kill 'Umar's grandson, but the Imam prevented him from doing that. He decided to solve the problem in another way. He asked some people about his place and they answered that he was planting at one of the outskirts of Medina. He, peace be on him, disguised, mounted his mule and went away. He found him on his farm and went towards him. Al-'Umary ('Umar's grandson) shouted at the Imam, saying: "Do not walk on my plants!" The Imam paid no attention, for he found no other way to follow it. When he reached him, he sat beside him, treated him with kindness, said to him good words and asked him with gentleness and leniency:

- How much have you paid to sow your land?

- One hundred dinars.

- How much do you hope to acquire from it?

p: 145

- I do not know the unknown.

- I only asked you about what you hope it would bring you.

- I hope that it will bring me two hundred dinars.

The Imam, peace be on him, gave him three hundred dinars and said to him: "This three hundred dinars is for you and your plants are as they are." Al-'Umary changed and was ashamed of himself out of what he had neglected concerning the right of the Imam. The Imam, peace be on him, said good-by to him and went to the Mosque of the Prophet. He found al-'Umary was sitting there. When he saw the Imam walking towards him, stood up for him and called out: "Allah knows best where to put his (prophetic) mission."

His companions jumped (in surprise) towards him criticizing him for this change in his attitude towards the Imam. He disputed with them and recited to them the achievements and noble deeds of the Imam and invoked Allah for him. So the Imam, peace be on him, turned to his companions and said to them: "Which was better-what you wanted or what I wanted? I have put right his attitude to the extent you have now become acquainted with."[2]

The Imam treated with kindness his opponents and all those who harbored malice against him. He put before his eyes these words of Him, the Exalted: Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend. In this manner he gave to his companions a wonderful lesson on how should they advise and guide men. He explained to them that the summons and propagation to Islam should be based on the exalted truth, depend on good-heartedness and clemency.

p: 146

Yet another example of his clemency is that he, peace be on him, passed by a group of those who envied him and showed hostility towards him. Among them was Fuhaym b. Hayyajj. He ordered one of his followers to cling to the bride of the Imam's mule and to claim that it was belonged to him. The man went towards the Imam and clung to the bride of his mule and claimed that it belonged to him. The Imam came to know of his purpose. He dismounted his mule and gave it to him.[3] In this manner he, peace be on him, gave to mankind a typical example of exalted clemency.

He, peace be on him, advised his children to have this excellent attribute and to pardon him who wronged them. He brought them all together and advised them to have that, saying: "My children, I advise you to (follow these) commandments: Whoever memorizes them avails himself of them. When a comer comes to you and makes you hear detested things in your right ears and then he goes to your left ears and apologizes to and said: 'I have said nothing.' Then accept his apology."[4]

These commandments make us understand that the Imam had great clemency and great morals from which many social advantages result. For accepting a wrongdoer's apology and refusing to return like for like are among the most important means leading to friendship, love, unity, and removing hatred from the hearts of men.

_______________________________________________

[1] Al-Nizam al-Tarbawi fi al-Islam.

p: 147

[2] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 13, pp. 28-29. Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 247.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 277.

[4] Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 220.

His Directions

To direct and guide men to correctness is among the most reformative affairs of which the Imam took care, for he played an important role in saving a group of those the world drowned and swept away with its trends. Thanks to his teachings and preaching to them, they abandoned error and misguidance and became notables. In this respect the historians have mentioned many examples of directions; they have narrated his story with Bishir al-Hafi, who drank wine, spent his nights and days in impudence and prostitution. The Imam passed by Bishir's house in Baghdad. He heard the singers singing and the flutes were loudly being played. Meanwhile he saw a slave girl coming out of his house carrying some sweepings and throwing them in the street. He turned to the slave girl and asked her: "Slave girl, is the owner of this house free or servant?"

"He is free," she replied.

"You are right," retorted the, "if he was servant, he would fear his Lord."

The slave girl came into the house while Bishir was at the wine table, so he asked her: "What delayed you?" She gave him an account of what took place between her and the Imam. Accordingly, Bishir quickly went out to catch up with the Imam. He repented at his hands, apologized to him and wept.[1] After that he educated himself and clung to Allah out of knowledge and faith to the extent that he surpassed the people of his time in piety and asceticism. Concerning him Ibraheem al-Harbi has said: "Baghdad did not graduate anyone more perfect in intellect and greater in preserving the tongue than Bishir b. al-Harith. He had an intellect in each of his hair."[2]

p: 148

Bishir turned away from the adornments of the life in this world and was satisfied with contentment concerning which he has said: " If contentment has nothing except enjoying the glory of sufficiency, that will be sufficient." And he began to recite:

Contentment has brought me a perfect glory, and there is no glory more glorious than contentment.

Take it as a capital for yourself and make it as a commodity after piety, and you win two states: You are in no need of the miserly and are happy in the gardens through patience for an hour.

Bishir complained of the people of his time and hated to mix with them; that is because of the paucity of the believers and the good, and because the wicked and the errant were many. For this reason he decided to refrain from associating with many people, to the extent that al-Ma'mun asked Ahmed b. Hanbel to ask Bishir to permit him to visit him, but he refused and did not respond to him. [3] Among his poems on his complaining of the people of his time is the following:

The men whose deeds are hoped and who forbid all evil deeds have passed away.

And I have remained among the successors who adorn each other, that an ugly-conducted person man defend an ugly-conducted on.[4]

He got ride of the world and devoted himself to Allah to the extent that he became among the leading knowers; all that was due to the instructions and preaching of the Imam to him.[5]

p: 149

Another example of those whom Imam Musa guided to the right way is al-Hasan b. 'Abd Allah, who was a remarkable personality with the kings renouncing the world, enjoying the good, forbidding the evil, and fearing no censure of any censurer in respect with Allah. He met with the Imam, peace be on him, and he said to him:

- Abu 'Ali, I approve your behavior and am pleased with it, but you have no knowledge; therefore seek knowledge.

- What kind of knowledge (do you mean)?

- Study the science of Islamic jurisprudence and seek hadith.

The man (al-Hasan b. 'Abd Allah) went and wrote down the hadith on the authority of Malik and the jurists of Medina. Then he showed them to the Imam, peace be on him, and he did not accept them and directed him to the jurisprudence of Ahl al-Bayt, to take the religious precepts from them, and to adopt their Imamate. The man (al-Hasan b. 'Abd Allah) yield to that and became guided.[6]

Imam Musa, peace be on him, urged the people to perform good deeds. He guided them to righteous acts and warned them against the meeting with Allah and the Day of Judgment. He heard a man wishing death, and he asked him:

- Is there any relationship between you and Allah, that He may side with you?

- No.

- Therefore, you invoke the everlasting destruction.[7]

The Imam took care of guiding the Muslims to fear of Allah and good deeds. We will mention his excellent commandments and valuable teachings when we deal with his scientific and literary legacy.

p: 150

_____________________________________________

[1] Al-Kuna wa al-Aqab, vol. 2, p. 150.

[2] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 7, p. 73.

[3] Al-Kawakib al-Durriya, vol. 1, p. 208.

[4] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 7, p. 77.

[5] Bishr died in Baghdad in the year 227. His grave is beside the Mesjid of al-Imam al-'Azam.

[6] Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, p. 407, al-Najaf edition.

[7] Al-Ithaf Bihub al-Ashraf, p. 55.

His Kindness to Men

Imam Musa was loyal to the Muslims and kind to them. He granted the need of all those who came to him and they left him while they were happy and tranquil. He, peace be on him, thought that making people happy and granting their needs were among the most important good deeds; for this reason he did not fail short of responding to the distressed and raising oppression from the oppressed. He permitted 'Ali b. Yaqteen to take part in the government of Harun al-Rashid and regarded (the atonement for working with the ruler) as a justification for him. So some destroyed people resorted to the Imam, and he removed their pain and filled their hearts with hope and mercy.

Among those whom the Imam, peace be on him, helped was a Persian person against whom were enormous funds for the government of al-Ray (Persia) and he was unable to repay them and he feared that he would be deprived of his possessions. He reflected for a long time on what he would do. He asked the people about the governor of al-Ray, and they told him that he was a Shi'ite; so he intended to seek the help of Imam Musa. He traveled to Yethrib (Medina). When he reached it, he had the honor of meeting the Imam. He complained to him of his critical condition. The Imam supplied him with a letter to the governor of al-Ray. The letter reads as follows:

p: 151

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Know that there is a shade under the throne of Allah; none resides in the shade except him who does his brother a favor or dispels his worries or delight him. This is your brother.

Greetings.

The man took the letter and went away. After he had performed the hajj, he went to his homeland. When he arrived in it, he went to the governor at night. He knocked on the door of his house, and his servant came out and asked him:

- Who are you?

- The messenger of Musa, the steadfast.

The servant hurried to his master and told him of that, and he came out bare-footed. He received him, embraced him, and kissed him on the forehead. He repeated that many times and with yearning asked him about the Imam. The (Persian) person handed the letter to the government, and he arose for the letter and kissed it. When he read it, he ordered his servant to bring his money and his clothes. He gave to the person a half of them and said to him:

- Brother, are you pleased?

- Yes, by Allah, and you have increased that!

Then the governor called for the record and ordered his debts to be canceled and freed him from them. The man went out while his heart was full of happiness and delight. He intended to reward the governor for his kindness and favor. He decided to go to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca), to invoke Allah for him, and to tell the Imam about his kindness and favor. When the season of the hajj came, he went to Mecca. Then he headed for Yethrib. He met the Imam and told him about the kindness and favor of the governor, and he, peace be on him, was very pleased with that. The man asked the Imam:

p: 152

- My master, are you pleased with that?

- Yes, by Allah, it has delighted me. By Allah, it has delighted Allah, the Most High, my grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali).

This indicates that the Imam took great care of the affairs of the Muslims, and that he had great wish for granting the needs of men. With this example we will end our talk about the ideal attributes of Imam Musa.

Chapter V

Recording of the impressions and sentiments full of admiration 1

Another aspect of the lifetime of Imam Musa, peace be on him. Perhaps this aspect is the deepest and more inclusive of all his other aspects. Most Muslims have unanimously agreed that he was great and magnified, that he was on top of the Muslim Imams in his knowledge, fear of Allah, asceticism, and clinging to the religion, and that he perfumed the world with his behavior, conduct, and firm faith. The great scholars, the writers, and the like have recorded their impressions and sentiments full of admiration and magnification. The following is a presentation of that:

1. Imam al-Sadiq

Imam al-Sadiq has praised his son's excellence; he has explained to Muslims his talents and genius, saying: "My son Musa is the like of 'Isa, son of Maryam."[1] And he has said: "He has the knowledge of wisdom, understanding, generosity, knowledge of that which men need and of the affairs of their religion over which they differ; he has good manners and good neighborhood; he is one of Allah's gates."

p: 153

Numerous traditions have been reported from him, and they praise the excellence of Imam Musa, peace be on him, and show his achievements and talents.

2. Harun al-Rashid

Harun al-Rashid, the mortal opponent of the Imam, has admitted that Imam Musa had talents and remarkable deeds, and that he was more entitled to the Caliphate than other than him. He declared that when his son al-Ma'mun asked him about the reason why he admired and magnified him, saying to him: "My little son, this is the Imam of the people, the Proof of Allah's mercy to His creation (Hajjatullah) and His caliph among His servants. I am outwardly the Imam of the masses by force and through oppression, while Musa b. Ja'far is the Imam in truth. And surely he, by Allah, is more worthy of being the successor of the Messenger of Allah as the caliph than I am and anyone else among all the people. And by Allah, If you yourself attempt to take such caliphate from me, I shall take it away from you even if that means gouging your eyes, for power is blind." He has added, saying: "O my little son, this is the inheritor of the knowledge of the Prophets; this is Musa b. Ja'far. If you desire sound knowledge, you will find it with this."[2]

3. Ibn al-Saa'i

Concerning Imam Musa, Ibn al-Saa'i has said: "As for Imam (Musa) al-Kazim, he was the owner of the great prestige, tremendous glory. He spent the night in prayers and the earnest in diligence. His miracles took place in the presence of the witnesses. He was famous for acts of worship and persevering in the acts of obedience. He spent night prostrating himself in worship and performing prayers. He spent daytime in giving alms and fasting; due to his immoderate clemency and his pardoning those who aggressed against him he has been called Kazim (the suppresser of fury). He repelled the wrongdoers with his kindness to them and repelled those criminals with his pardoning them; due to his too much worship he has been called al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah). In Iraq he is known as Baab al-Hawaa'ijj (the Gate of Needs to Allah), for the needs of those who implore Allah through him are granted. His miracles perplexed intellects and required that he had an unshakable position of honor with Allah."[3]

p: 154

4. 'Abd Allah Bin As'ad al-Yafy

"Imam Musa was righteous, worshipful, generous, clement, and with great prestige. He is one of the twelve infallible Imams, according to their beliefs. He was called al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah) due to his too much worship. He was munificent and generous. Some people harmed him, and he sent them a purse in which was a thousand dinars."[4]

5. Ibn al-Jawzi

"Musa b. Ja'far was called al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah). He was clement and generous. When some one harmed him, he sent him money."[5]

6. Abu Hatim

"Musa b. Ja'far is trustworthy and very truthful. He is one of the Imams of Muslims."[6]

7. Al-Qarmani

"Musa is the great, unique Imam. He is the Proof (of Allah). He spent his night in performing prayers and his daytime in fasting. He is called Kazim due to his immoderate clemency and his pardoning those who aggressed against him. He is known as Baab al-Hawaa'ijj (the Gate of Needs to Allah), for those who implore

Allah through him to grant their needs are never be disappointed."[7]

8. Muhammed b. Ahmed al-Dhahaby

"Musa was among the good and wise and one of the pious servants. He has a known shrine in Baghdad."[8]

9. Khayr al-Deen al-Zargaly

"Musa b. Ja'far al-Sadiq b. al-Baqir, Abu al-Hasan, the seventh of the twelve Imams with Imami Shi'ites. He was among the masters of Banu Hashim. He was the most worshipful of the people of his time and was among the great, good scholars."[9]

p: 155

10. Al-Hasan Bin 'Abd Allah al-Bakhshy

"He (Musa) was the Imam of great prestige and performed many good deeds. He, may Allah be pleased with him, spent his day (in performing prayers) and was fasting by day. He was called Kazim due to his immoderate pardoning those who aggressed against him. In Iraq he is known as Baab al-Hawaa'ijj (the Gate of Needs to Allah), for those who implore (Allah) through him to grant their needs are never be disappointed. He had manifest miracles and illustrious qualities. He ascended the pinnacle of honor and was over it. He aspired to the zenith of qualities and reached the highest one of them."[10]

11. Ahmed Bin 'Abd Allah al-Khazrajy

"Musa b. Ja'far b. Muhammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib al-Hashimi, Abu al-Hasan al-Kazim al-Medani reported (traditions) on the authority of his father. His son 'Ali al-Rida, his two brothers 'Ali and Muhammed and a group (of traditionists) narrated (traditions) on his authority. Abu Hatem has said: '(Musa) is trustworthy and very truthful. He is one of the Imams of the Muslims.' Yehya b. al-Husayn has said: 'When someone harmed him, he sent him a purse in which was a thousand dinars. Al-Mehdi imprisoned him and then released him.'"[11]

12. Ibn Hejer al-'Asqelani

"Musa b. Ja'far b. Muhammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali, Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi, better known as al-Kazim is very truthful and worshipful; he is of the seventh class."[12]

13. Al-Sayyid 'Ali Fikry

"One of the men of knowledge has said: 'Al-Kazim is the Imam with great prestige, unique, the Proof (of Allah), and a scholar. He had understanding and religion of which none had more."[13]

p: 156

_____________________________________

[1] Muhammed Farid Wajjdi, Da'irat al-Ma'rif, vol. 9, p. 594.

[2] Yanabi' al-Mawada, vol. 3, p. 32.

[3] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa', p. 39.

[4] Mir'at al-Jinan, vol. 1, p. 394.

[5] Mukhtar Saffwat al-Safwa, p. 152.

[6] Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 10, p. 34.

[7] Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 112.

[8] Mizan al-I'tidal, vol. 3, p. 209.

[9] Al-A'lam, vol. 3, p. 108.

[10] Al-Nur al-Jali fi Nasab al-Nabi, p. 97.

[11] Khulasat Tahdhib al-Kamil, p. 334.

[12] Al-Taqreeb, p. 366.

[13] Ahsan al-Qasas, vol. 4, p. 132.

Recording of the impressions and sentiments full of admiration 2

14. Dr. Zaky Mubarek

"Musa b. Ja'far was among the masters of the Hashimites and the Imam who was given precedence in knowledge and religion."[1]

15. 'Ali Bin Muhammed al-Maliky (Ibn al-Sabbagh)

"His (Musa's) manifest excellence and his miracles, his illustrious virtues and attributes bear witness that he chose the top of honor and ascended it, aspired to the zenith of qualities and reached the highest of them; the upper part of the back of sovereignty became lowly before him and he mounted it; he was given a free hand to choose the clear booties of glory, and he chose the clearest of them."[2]

16. Al-Fedl Bin al-Hasan al-Tabrasi

"The people well know that Abu al-Hasan Musa was the greatest of al-Sadiq's children in importance, the highest of them in the religious position, and the most eloquent of them in tongue. He was the most worshipful of the people of his time, the most knowledgeable of them, and the best of them in the science of Islamic jurisprudence."[3]

p: 157

17. Muhammed Ameen Ghalib

"The 'Alawids followed the example of the great man, Imam Musa al-Kazim, who is famous for fear of Allah and to much worship, to the extent that the Muslims called him al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah). He was also given the nickname of al-Rajjl al-Salih (the righteous man). They likened him to Musa b. 'Umran's companion, who has been mentioned in the Qur'an. He was generous and munificent."[4]

18. Ibn Ma'iya

"Imam Musa al-Kazim was given the kunya of Abu al-Hasan and Abu Ibraheem. His mother was a slave-wife. He had great merits and a high prestige. Al-Hadi imprisoned him and then released him due to a vision he saw (in his sleep). Then al-Rashid imprisoned, and he passed away a martyr in prison."[5]

19. Al-Sayyid Kazim al-Yemeni

"Musa al-Kazim is the Prophet's fifth grandson; he is the seventh Imam (from among the Imams of the Shi'ites). He was called al-Kazim because of his suppressing fury and his clemency. He went out at night carrying purses in which were dirhams. He gave them to those who wanted his beneficence. His patience and behavior were proverbial. When he performed the evening prayer, he continued praising Allah and supplicating him till midnight. When he performed the morning prayer, he praised Allah until the sunrise; this was his habit."[6]

20. Muhammed Bin 'Ali Bin Shahrashub

"The Imam (Musa) was the greatest of all the people in importance, the highest of them in religious position, the most generous of them, the most eloquent of them in tongue, and the bravest of them in heart. So he was singled for the honor of authority, won the inheritance of the Prophet, assumed the office of the succession. He was the Prophet's descendant and was entrusted with succession."[7]

p: 158

21. Al-Sayyid Damen Bin Shedqam

"The true Imam Abu Ibraheem and Abu al-Hasan Musa al-Kazim b. Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was a generous Sayyid. He was a clement Imam, namesake of the epithet of Musa (Moses). He was patient and grieved. He was the Commander of the troops, the possessor of the brilliant honor, manifest glory, and pure lineage. He was righteous, trusted, patient, fasting, and worshipful. He was the ruler of the subjects and poisoned martyr. His miracles took place in the presence of the witness. He was diligent in the acts of worship and persevering in the acts of obedience. He spent night in performing prayers and fasted by daytime. He struggled in the way of Allah, repelled the wrongdoer with his kindness, and restrained his anger. His clemency and favors spread. He was the Commander of the Army. He was buried in the cemeteries of Quraysh."[8]

22. 'Ali Bin Muhammed al-Sufi

"Musa was righteous, self-possessed, and freehanded. It was said that his family said: 'We wonder at him to whom Musa's purses come and he complains of paucity (of money)."[9]

23. Muhammed al-Sebbaan

"As for Musa al-Kazim, he was well known among the people of Iraq as the Gate through whom Allah grants needs (Baab Qada' al-Hawaa'ijj 'Inda Allah). He was the most worshipful of the people of his time, and among the great, generous scholars."[10]

24. Ahmed Bin Hajar al-Haythemi

"Musa al-Kazim inherited his father's sciences, knowledge, perfection, and excellence. He was called al-Kazim due to his too much pardon and clemency. He was well known among the people of Iraq as the Gate through whom Allah grants needs (Baab Qada' al-Hawaa'ijj 'Inda Allah). He was the most worshipful of the people of his time, the most knowledgeable and generous of them."[11]

p: 159

25. Ahmed Bin Ya'qub (Ibn Waadih)

"Musa b. Ja'far was the greatest of the people in worship; he reported (traditions) on the authority of his father."[12]

26. 'Abd al-Wahaab al-Sha'raany

"Musa al-Kazim is one of the twelve Imams; he is the son of Ja'far b. Muhammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib. He was given the nickname of al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah) because of his too much worship, his diligence, and his performing prayers by night. When someone harmed him, he sent him money."[13]

27. Al-Nebehaani

"Musa al-Kazim was among the leading Imams from among our Sayyids, Aal al-Bayt, who guided men to Islam, may Allah bless them all, let us make use of them, make us die while we love them and their great grandfather."[14]

28. Muhammed Bin Telha al-Shafi'i

"Musa al-Kazim b. Ja'far, peace be on him, is the Imam with great prestige and importance. He was diligent and earnest in diligence, famous for miracles. He spent the night performing prayers and spent daytime in giving alms and fasting. He was called Kazim due to his immoderate clemency and pardoning those who aggressed against him. He repelled those criminals with his pardoning them; due to his too much worship he has been called al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah). In Iraq he is known as Baab al-Hawaa'ijj (the Gate of Needs to Allah), for the needs of those who implore Allah through him are granted; his miracles perplex intellects and require that he has an unshakable position of honor with Allah."[15]

p: 160

29. Al-Shaykh al-Mufeed

"Abu al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, was the most religious of the people of his time, the most knowledgeable of them in the science of Islamic jurisprudence, the most generous of them, and the noblest of them in spirit. He was the kindest of men to his family and his kin. He used to search out the poor of Medina during the night and take them a basket, in which was money, flour and dates. He would bring that to them without them knowing in any way that it was from him."[16]

30. Hefs

"I have never seen anyone greater in fear for himself than Musa b. Ja'far, nor have I seen anyone whom the people hoped more than him."[17]

_________________________________________

[1] Sharh Zahr al-Adab, vol. 1, p. 132.

[2] Al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 214.

[3] 'Alam al-Wara fi 'Alam al-Huda, p. 178.

[4] Tarikh al-'Alawiyyin, pp. 157-158.

[5] Sabk al-Dhahab fi Sabk al-Nasab.

[6] Al-Nafha al-'Anbariya fi Ansab Khayr al-Bariya, vol. 2, p. 383.

[7] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 383.

[8] Tuhfat al-Azhar wa Zalal al-Anhar.

[9] Al-Majjdi, a valuable handwritten book available in the Library of Imam Kashif al-Ghita'.

[10] Is'f al-Raghibeen, p. 213.

[11] Al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqa, p. 121.

[12] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 145.

[13] Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, p. 33.

[14] Jami' Karamat al-Awliya', vol. 2, p. 229.

[15] Matalib al-Sa'ul, p. 83, Iran edition.

[16] Al-Irshad, p. 271.

[17] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 265.

Recording of the impressions and sentiments full of admiration 3

31. Al-Shiblanjy

p: 161

"One of the men of knowledge has said: '(Musa) al-Kazim is the Imam with a great rank, unique, the Proof (of Allah), and a scholar. He spent the night performing prayers and the daytime in fasting. He was called al-Kazim due to his immoderate clemency and pardoning those who aggressed against him. He is known among the people of Iraq as Baab al-Hawaa'ijj ilaa Allah (the Gate of Needs to Allah), for those who implore Allah through him are successful."[1]

32. 'Ali Bin 'Isa al-Arbeli

"The qualities of al-Kazim, peace be on him, his virtues, his manifest miracles, his signs, his illustrious attributes, and his imagination bear witness that he chose the top of honor and ascended it, that he aspired to the zenith of qualities and reached the highest of them, that the upper part of the back of sovereignty became lowly before him and he mounted it, that he was given a free hand to choose the clear booties of glory, and he chose the clearest of them.

"You have been left along with the good to take it; you choose and select of it.

"So you have chosen the best of it, and (the people) ask for more favors you do.

"His origins have become tall and reached the highest rank of greatness; his branches have become good and extended where (none) can attain. Glory comes to him from all his borders; honor is about to drip from all his sides. (Glory has come to him from here and there, and it was for him in the gathering of the floods.) Rain clouds are a drop of his generosity. The copious waves are a gulp of his gulps. The pure, excellent number of his slaves and his retainers (clung to him) as if that Sirius clung to his right hand. The transit Sirius has no dignity, and as if that the gardens looked like his morals; the spring garden stricken by rain has no generosity, while he (Musa) is a white spot in the face of time.... He is brighter than the moon and the sun, rather he is, by Allah, higher in position than these attributes, more exalted, nobler, and more growing in race than these qualities. How do praises fathom his quantity? Or how do the concern of the eloquent reach describing his glory? Or how do good pens move in the fields of his attributes? Or how do the imagination of illusions run in mentioning his states?

p: 162

He repressed fury and fasted during summer. His origin is noble; his glory is new and old; the nature of his glory is beautiful; he is responsible for all that with which he is described. The fathers are great; the children are generous; the religion is strong; the truth is manifest and clear. Al-Kazim is strong and trusted in respect with the command of Allah; the essence of his favor is expensive and precious; whoever describes him does not tell lies nor does he take an oath. He received the standard of the Imamate with (his) right hand; so he, peace be on him, aspired to good deeds; none is equal to him; I take an oath that he and his forefather have such attributes. He has many great excellence and qualities responsible for making his position high; nevertheless they are little in comparison with him. Whatever merits and objects of pride are mentioned, they are truthful in respect with them (Ahl al-Bayt) but they are impossible in respect with other than them. To them belong the great; from them the scholars and the generous learn; it is they who guide (men) to Allah, the Most High; therefore follow their guidance."[2]

33. Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi

"Imam Musa was liberal and generous. When he heard that someone intended to harm him, he sent him a purse in which was a thousand dinars. He put two hundred or three hundred or four hundred dinars into purses and divided them (on the poor) in Medina. When the purses of Musa b. Ja'far reached someone, he became in no need (of others)."[3]

p: 163

34. Dr. Muhammed Yousif Musa

"We can say that Imam Musa al-Kazim was the first to write (a book) on the science of Islamic jurisprudence was. He died in prison in the year 183 A. H. His writing was answers to questions under the title Islamically permissible and prohibitive."[4]

35. Shaykh Sulayman (Khaja Kelan)

"Musa al-Kazim was his (father) inheritor in sciences, knowledge, perfection, and excellence. He was called al-Kazim due to his too much pardoning and clemency. He is known among the people of Iraq as Baab Qada' al-Hawaa'ijj (the Gate of granting Needs). He was the most worshipful of the people of his time, the most knowledgeable of them, and the most generous of them."[5]

36. The genealogist Ahmed Bin 'Ali

"Musa al-Kazim was great in virtue, self-possessed, and open-handed. He was given the nickname of al-Kazim due to his suppressing fury and his clemency. He went out during the night carrying purses of dirhams. He gave them to those whom he met and to him who wanted his kindness. Musa's purse was a proverbial. His family said: 'We wonder at him to whom Musa's purses come while he complains of paucity (of money).'"[6]

37. Mahmud Bin Weheeb al-Qeraghuly

"Musa b. Ja'far was his (father) inheritor in sciences, knowledge, perfection, and excellence. He was called al-Kazim due to his too much pardoning and clemency. He is known among the people of Iraq as Baab Qada' al-Hawaa'ijj 'inda Allah (the Gate of Needs to Allah). He was the most worshipful of the people of his time, the most knowledgeable of them, and the most generous of them."[7]

p: 164

38. Muhammed Ameen al-Suwaydi al-Baghdadi

"Musa al-Kazim an Imam with a great prestige; he performed many good deeds. He performed prayers during the night and fasted during the daytime. He was called al-Kazim due to his showing immoderate pardon towards those who aggressed against him."[8]

39. Dr. 'Abd al-Jebbar al-Joumerd

"Imam al-Kazim is Musa b. Ja'far b. Muhammed b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. He has a history full of asceticism, piety, generosity, and gentleness. He was nicknamed al-Kazim because he kindly treated those who wronged him."[6]

40. Jamal al-Deen al-Atabeki

"Musa was called al-'Abd al-Salih (the righteous servant of Allah) due to his worship and was called al-Kazim because of his knowledge. He was born in Medina in the year 129 or 128 A. H. He was a knowledgeable, virtuous, exalted, generous, and praised master. His supplication was granted."[10]

These great scholars have mentioned their opinions of Imam Musa in their books. They show that the Imam was respected and admired, as well as they indicate that he had the following qualities:

1. He was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time and the most learned of them in the science of Islamic jurisprudence.

2. He was diligent in the acts of worship and of obedience to Allah, to the extent that none was equal to him.

3. He was the most clement of the people and the greatest of them in suppressing fury, and that he repelled those who wronged him and aggressed against him with pardon and kindness.

p: 165

4. He was the most generous of the people, so his purses of money were proverbial, and those who received them were in no need of others.

5. He is the Gate of Needs to Allah; Allah, the Most High, has gifted him with this miracle and favor; He grants the needs of those who implore Him through him, and they return to their homes while they are tranquil.

6. He had miracles that dazzled intellects.

7. He was the kindest of men to his family and his kin.

8. He was the most eloquent of men.

9. He is among the Imams of Muslims and one of Allah's proofs over His creatures.

10. He was very humble and gentle.

The historians have mentioned an account that confirms this noble aspect of the Imam; they have said: "He (Imam Musa) passed by an Iraqi person with an ugly appearance. He stopped at him, greeted him, and talked with him for a long time. He promised to grant his needs and to accomplish his affairs. Then he went away. A companion of his was displeased with his act. The companion criticized and censured the Imam, saying: 'Son of Allah's Apostle: Why did you stop at this person and promise to grant his needs while he was in need of you?'"

The Imam was displeased with question, and he answered him according to the teachings of Islam, which make no distinction between Muslims, saying: "He is one of Allah's servants. He is a brother in the Book of Allah and a neighbor in the land of Allah. We are brought together with him by Adam, the best father, and Islam, the best religion. Perhaps the time make us in need of him, and he sees us, after show-off toward him, humbly (standing) before him."

p: 166

Making distinction between Muslims has nothing to do with Islam, for they are equal, and the best of them In Allah's sight is the best of them in fear of Him.

With this soul full of faith and piety Imam Musa, peace be on him, cured those sick souls full of selfishness and social blights.

These qualities present in the Imam are the reason for his greatness, the unanimous agreement of the scholars on admiring him and of Muslims on showing love for him.

__________________________________________

[1] Nur al-Abbsar, p. 135.

[2] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 255.

[3] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 13, pp. 27-28.

[4] Al-Fiqh al-Islami, p. 160.

[5] Yanabi' al-Mawadda, p. 362.

[6] 'Umdat al-Talib, p. 185.

[7] Jawharat al-Kalam fi Madh al-Sada al-A'lam, p. 139.

[8] Saba'ik al-Dhahab, p. 73.

[9] Harun al-Rashid, vol. 1, p. 177.

[10] Al-Nijoom al-Zahira, vol. 2, p. 112.

Chapter VI

Some of His Intellectual Legacy

As for the Imam's intellectual legacy with which he supplied his companions and the students of his school, it is part of the most wonderful, intellectual wealth the Imams of the Muslims left behind them and of the most precious, scientific heritage the Muslim scholars left behind them. That is because it contains many sciences such as the science of wisdom, theology, the science of Islamic jurisprudence, of exegesis, of hadith, and other sciences. Besides it includes his wise sayings, his valuable opinions that deal with the rules of conduct, ethics, and the rules of friendship. It is full of all excellent kinds of eloquence. The following is a brief account of it:

p: 167

His Treatise on Reason

Point

Reason is the creative force Allah has given to man, with which He has ennobled him, by which He has distinguished him from the rest of beings, and through which He has made him His vicegerent on earth. Through his reason and thinking, man is able to employ beings, to discover their secrets, to uncover their mysteries, to invade space, to reach planets, and to discover what is on their surfaces. Thank to his reason, man has reached all these things and he will reach things deeper and more inclusive than they.

By virtue of his reason, his reflection, and his knowledge, man has reached these astonishing discoveries. Imam Musa has talked about the effects of reason and given some Qur'anic verses as proofs of its excellence; that was during his gold talk with which he supplied his student Hisham b. al-Hakam. This tradition is regarded as part of the intellectual wealth has been reported from the Imam. Sadr al-Mute'liheen, al-Akhwend Mulla Sadra, has philosophically explained the tradition.[1] He has said: "This tradition contains the explanation of the reality of reason in the mentioned meaning. I mean the fourth rank of the four reasons mentioned in psychology. It contains most attributes characteristics, and praise of reason. It contains great Qur'anic sciences and noble Devin purposes the like of which is not available in the knowers' many books and is not known in the results of the thoughtful scholars with authentic ideas except those one of the pure Imams reported or narrated on their authority or on the authority of one of the general populace ('amma) on the authority of the chosen Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The tradition includes some titles on sciences such as theology, cosmology, astronomy, topology, psychology, setting right morals, purifying souls from vices, civil policies, sermons, commandments, asceticism, dispraising the world, the hereafter, the return to Allah, dispraising the unbelievers, the ignorant, their evil final result, the change of their growth into that of beasts, their being deaf, dumb, and blind, for they do not understand, and other knowledge and sciences...."

p: 168

We will present the text of the tradition of the Imam, peace be on him, along with a brief explanation some of which we have quoted from what the philosopher of Islam, Shaykh Mullah Sadra, has mentioned in respect with his explanation to this tradition. Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said:

"O Hisham, surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has given good news to the men of reason and understanding in His Book, saying: Therefore give good news to My servants, those who listen to the word, then they follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided, and those it is who are the men of understanding."[2]

The Imam, peace be on him, has given this verse as a proof of giving precedence to the men of the sound intellects over other than them, for Allah has given good news to them of guidance and success. The verse the Imam has quoted has a group of the scientific advantages; we will mention two of them:

____________________________________________

[1] Shaykh Mullah Sadra's name is Muhammed b. Ibrahim al-Shirazi. He was wise, famous and had knowledge of Allah. He was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time in wisdom. The author of the book al-Salafa has said: "He (Mullah Sadra) mastered all arts of wisdom." Mullah Sadra has the four books. He explained the book Usool al-Kafi and some Qur'anic verses. He died in Basrah in the year 1050 A. H. This has been mentioned in the book al-Kuna wa al-Alqab.

p: 169

[2] Qur'an, Surat al-Zumer, verses 17-18.

Deduction is obligatory

When man faces some correct and incorrect affairs, when his guidance depends of the correct and his misguidance depends on the incorrect, then it is incumbent on him to distinguish between them, that he may know the correct from among them and he follow it, and that he may know the corrupt from among them and he keeps far from it. It is natural that such a distinction do not happen except through establishing proof and argument. This indicates that thinking and deduction in such an affair is obligatory.

Guidance is Occurrence

The verse demonstrates that guidance is new and incidental; it is well-known that every incidental must have a founder also it must have and acceptor. As for him who finds guidance, He is Allah, the Most High; for this reason He has ascribed it to Himself, saying: Those are they whom Allah has guided. As for those who accept it, they are the men of straight intellects, and to this meaning He, the Exalted, has referred in His words: and those it is who are the men of understanding. It is well-known that man accepts guidance through his reason and not through his body and limbs. If he had incomplete reason, it is impossible for him to acquire knowledge and understanding. Shaykh Mulla Sadr al-Deen, may Allah have mercy on him, has established a proof of the incidence of guidance and of its Doer, Who is Allah, the Exalted. He has elaborated on that.

p: 170

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, completed for men the proofs through reason, and helped the prophets with the explanation, and guided them to His Lordship through demonstrations, when He has said: And your Lord is one God! There is no god but He; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the haven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand."[1]

In his tradition, the Imam has mentioned that Allah completed the souls of His prophets through virtuous reason, that they might be proofs over His servants and guides for them to the way of good and salvation. If Allah had not given them sound reason, they would not have been appropriate for leading and guiding the nations, for the incomplete one cannot complete other than him.

Indeed Allah helped his prophets through explaining the truth and the truthful verses. He guided them to His Lordship and showed them the way to know Him and to profess His Unity through decisive proofs bearing witness to His Existence and indicating His Oneness; the verses He has given as proofs are from among the traces of his creation. It is well-known, as the logicians say, that the effect indicates the cause; the creature indicates the Creator. The verse the Imam's tradition has included contains a group of the great creatures that can be given as evidence for the Existence of Allah, the Most High, they are as follows:

p: 171

____________________________________________________

[1] Surat al-Baqara, verses 163-164.

Evidence for the Existence of Allah

The Creation of the Heaven and the Earth

Surely among the great, illustrious signs of Allah is His creating the heavens He has decorated with the stars that swim in the space and move in their orbits and are far from each other according to the laws of gravity. They move and attract each other according to the Command of Allah, the Most High. The size of a star is tens of thousands as much as the size of the earth; some stars are many millions larger than the earth; they move in their orbits and curves and do not collide with each other; they indicate the Existence of Allah, may His power be great. His Eminence, the Imam, late Shaykh Muhammed 'Abda has said: "These heavenly bodies are composed of constellations. Each constellation has a firm, perfect system; their systems do not invalid each other, for they all have a general system that indicates that it has issued from One God, Who has no associate in His creation, His arrangement, His wisdom, and His regulation. The nearest constellation to us is that which they call the solar system they ascribe to our sun that gives light to our earth and it is the reason for giving life to plants and animals. The satellites of the sun are different in sizes and dimensions; each of them has become stable in its orbits; the ratio among them has been kept by a Divine ratio. Were it not for this system, these stars moving in their orbits would go in different directions and collided with each other, and the worlds would be perished out of that. So this system is a sign of the Divine mercy as well as it is a sign of Allah's Oneness...."[1]

p: 172

Surely the modern science has discovered many stars, to the extent that if we counted 1500 stars at a minute, it would take us 700 hundred years to count them. As for the earth in comparison with them, it is less than a dot over a letter in a library containing a half million books of medium size.[2]

Without doubt, the stars have not come into existence by chance. Are they the regulator and creator of these worlds? How are these organized, complicated operations are explained with an explanation depends on chance and random? "How can we explain this regularity in the phenomena of the cosmos, the causal relationships, integration, purpose, harmony, and balance that in harmony with all the phenomena, and their effects pass from an age to another? How does this cosmos function without the regulating Creator, Who has created and originated it, and regulated the rest of its affairs?"

John William Kotsu has said: "Surely this world where we live is so perfect and complicated that it is impossible for it to arise from the pure chance. It is full of wonderful things and complicated affairs that are in need of a regulator and which cannot be ascribed to a blind fate. Without doubt the sciences have helped us increase, understand, and estimate the phenomena of this cosmos; they, thereby, have increased our knowledge of Allah and our faith in His Existence."[3]

________________________________________________

[1] Tafseer al-Manar, vol. 2, p. 60.

[2] Allah Yatajalla fi 'Asr al-'Ilm, p. 48.

[3] Ibid., p. 48.

p: 173

The Earth

Among the wonderful signs of Allah is His creating this planet where we live; He, the Most High, has made it turn on its axis one time every 24 hours. The earth moves at a speed of 1000 miles per hour. If this planet turned on its axis at the speed of 100 miles per hour, then night and day would be ten times as many as they are now, the sun would burn all plants in summer; in cold nights the plants and animals on it would become frozen. Likewise if the sun came close to the earth more than it is now, the rays would be so much that the life on it would be impossible. Similarly if the sun became far from the earth more than it is now, the vice versa would happen, the rays wold be few, the severity of cold would be too much that the life on it would be impossible. If the earth was as small as the moon or its diameter was quarter of its present diameter, it would fall short of keeping atmosphere and water that encompasses it; the heat would be too much that it brought about death. If its diameter was twice as much as its present one, then its gravity to bodies would be twice as much as it is now. Accordingly the height of the atmosphere would decrease and the atmospheric pressure would increase, and it would have a strong effect on life. For the distance of the cold regions would be very wide, and the distance of the residential areas would quickly decrease. Accordingly human societies would separately live or they would live in distant regions; therefore isolation among them would increase; travels and communications would be impossible; rather it would be a kind of imagination.[1]

p: 174

If the earth was as big as the sun, then its gravity to the bodies on it would be 150 folds, and accordingly the height of the atmosphere would decrease; the weight of an animal would be 150 folds and mental life would be impossible in general.[2]

Allah has singled out the earth with another quality. He has made for it a thick atmosphere. The atmosphere is estimated at 800 k.m. It is composed of elements necessary for life. It prevents deadly meteors from reaching the earth and lets heat moderately reach it, that plants and animals may live on its surface; besides it plays an effective role in carrying waters and water vapor from the oceans to the continents. Were it not for it, the continents would be arid lands. As some planets do not have such an atmosphere, life did not appear on them. For example, Mars has such an atmosphere, but it is very thin and inappropriate for life, for it is void of oxygen. Venus has an atmosphere, but it contains carbon dioxide and this makes it inappropriate for life; similarly the moon has an atmosphere, but it is thin and void of elements necessary for life such as oxygen.[3]

Yet another distinction Allah has given to the earth. He has made it roan, that it may be illuminatable and lightable. He has made it middle in solidity, that walking on it may be possible and that it may accept plants and plowing; moreover, there are signs and wonders in the waters, the rivers, and the mountains on it, and the minerals in it.

p: 175

His Eminence late Imam Kashif al-Ghitaa' has said: "Indeed among the signs by which we pass every time and in all conditions is the earth where we live, from which we live and with which we live, from which is our beginning, and to which is our return. From it We created you and into it We shall send you back. We still walk on the earth. We plow and plant it. We lead a life of ease and comfort on it. We employ it in all the affairs of life. The earth still copiously give us its boons and its blessings, while we are inattentive and heedless and turn away from the signs on it. We are unmindful of the great power, illustrious creation, the proofs of greatness and power on it. The earth contains uncounted elements and endless characteristics. You sow into it the grains of wheat, and they give you many folds of its kind. You sow into it broad beans, lentils, and other seeds different in taste and

characteristics, and they return them to you doubled substitutes. You sow in the same earth the stone of a date-palm, the seeds of grapevine, fig and apple cuttings and other kinds of fruit, and they produce delicious fruit different in tastes and qualities."

The Shaykh, may Allah have mercy on him, has said: "The earth is the mother of three born things: inanimate beings, plants, and animals; it takes care of them with the three supporters: water, air, and the sun. Therefore, it is the life and death; therein is illness, and from it comes the medicine. The stars of the heaven may be counted. As for the stars of the earth, they cannot be counted."

p: 176

Yes, neither the stars of the earth, nor its minerals, nor its elements can be counted. The Qur'an and the hadith always magnify the affair of the earth and refer to it directly or indirectly: Have We not made the earth to draw together to itself, the living and the dead. And the earth, He expended it after that. He brought forth from it its water and its pasturage. Then let man look to his food, that We pour down the water, pouring down (it) down in abundance, then We cleave the earth, cleaving it asunder, then We cause to grow therein the grain, and grapes and clover, and the olive and the palm, and thick gardens, and fruits and herbage.[4]

Surely the keen thoughts and the great intellects that have employed all the means of modern science have not reached analyzing all the elements of the earth and bringing forth all its treasures, while it is among the creatures of Allah, rather it is the simplest of them all. Therefore glory belongs to Him! How great His power and creation are!

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Takamul fi al-Islam, vol. 4, p. 66.

[2] Allah Yatajalla fi 'Asr al-'Ilm, pp. 10-11.

[3] Al-Takamul fi al-Islam, vol. 6, p.128.

[4] Al-Ard wa al-Turba al-Husayniya, pp. 10-13.

The Difference between the Night and the Day

Another example of the signs of Allah, the Most High, is the difference between night and day. The scholars of exegesis have mentioned two meanings of the alternation. The first meaning of the difference is that it is creation (ifti'aal) taken from khalqahu, yakhliqahu (He created it; He creates it); when the first goes and the second comes, so the meaning of the difference between the night and the day is their alternation in going and coming. The second meaning is that they are different in length and shortness, light and dark, increase and decrease. As they differ in time, they also differ in place. For example, a certain hour that is morning in a certain place of the earth is noon in another place, afternoon in a third place, evening in a fourth place, etc. That is due to the sphericity of the earth. This difference arises from the solar system that indicates the Unity and Existence of Allah. There are uncounted interests result from this difference such as regulating the affairs of mankind of which are seeking earning and livelihood during the day, seeking rest and sleep during the night[1]. Yet there are other vital interests the scholars have mentioned concerning the secret of this difference that shows the

p: 177

Existence of Allah, the Most High, His beautiful creation, and His great power.

________________________________________

[1] Tafseer al-Razi, vol. 2, pp. 65-66.

The Running of Ships

Another example of His signs is the running of ships on water. Were it not for that water is middle in thinness and lightness, ships were unable to run on it; likewise, were it not for the winds that help them run in different directions according to the purposes of men, they would be not useful. Allah has made the winds middle in calmness, for if they were stormy, ships would be destroyed, as well as the materials of ships such as wood and iron are among the creation and finding of Allah, the Exalted, though men make them.[1] All these affairs we have mentioned are among Allah's deeds and signs.

__________________________________________

[1] Ibid., p. 68.

The Coming down of Rain from Clouds

Another example of the signs of Allah, the Most High, is His sending down rain from clouds; rain is among His wonderful creatures and His illustrious power. He has created it composed of oxygen and hydrogen; its elements differ from each other. He has made rain a reason for giving life to growing bodies. He has said: And We have made of water everything living. He has also made it a reason for the life, daily bread, and livelihood of man; and in the haven is your sustenance and you are not promised of it.

The Scared Verse has declared that rain gives life to the earth, for it has the force of the animal and the plant life, though the force is far in comparison with the animal force. So when rain comes down to the earth, grass and other plants on which man and animals live appear. Or the coming down of rain gives rise to the appearance of plants, flowers, and basil that clothes the earth in a beautiful garment that pleases and delights those who look at it. This is the meaning of giving life to the earth; all these things are sings and proofs of the Existence of the Maker and His illustrious power.

p: 178

If man carefully considers plants and corps and the wonders wherein, he will believe in Allah's power, His beautiful making and designing, for plants come forth as equal as the needs of mankind in certain times. The plants that grow in spring are not available in autumn; those that grow in summer are not available in winter. Besides trees and fruits are different in color, taste, and scent though they are given the same water and come forth from one land; if man carefully considers all these things, he will believe in His Lord, and his heart will not deviate from the way of faith.

The Spreading of Animals on the Earth

Among Allah's great signs is the spreading of animals on the earth different in kind, category, appearance, honor, meanness, manners, natures, and life. Man belongs to animals, but he is the most honorable and highest of them. He is the vicegerent of Allah on His earth, for he is an example to all that which is in the earth and the heaven. That is because he is aware, perceptive, and acquainted with many total and partial facts and information, for he himself is a world; rather he is a larger than a world as Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, says:

"Do you thing that you are a small body while the larger world is hidden in you?"

According to his structure, man is among Allah's great signs; he has small, uncounted systems of which is the eye that has telescopic and microscopic systems, 130 million light receivers that are the tips of the optic nerves. The lid with lashes moves involuntary, protects the eye by day and night, and keeps it from dust and the sun. The eye has a liquid called tears that is the strongest purifier and sterilizer; it has other systems that are strong proofs of the Existence of Allah. Man has the ear that is the most astonishing of man's systems. For it has the ladyrinth, concerning which the scientist Korthy has said: "The ladyrinth contains the Eustachian Tubes that are between its two spiral, and semicircular tubes; the spiral part has 4000 small bows connected to the auditory nerve in the head."

p: 179

How long are these bows?

What size are they?

How have they been made?

They are so accurate that they perplex intellects, so glory belongs to Allah, the Maker, the Former!

Man has a nose; the nose is among Allah's great signs. The center of this sense is a limited area of the mucous membrane that covers the inside of the nose. It is called the area of smell; it is void of lashes; it has some thin, long olfactory cells that covey effects to the brain; that is in a part of the nose and it is the main entrance of the respiratory system on which man's life depends.

Man has a skeleton composed of 206 bones connected to each other through the joints moved by the muscles. These bones are regarded as a factory in the body, for they form red and white blood cells that are the foundation of life. About 180,000,000 of these cells die every one minute, for they defend the body against the microbes entering it. As well as the bones are regarded as a store for keeping the additional food whether that is in the bones themselves such as fatty and albuminous materials or on the bones themselves such as lime materials.

The bones are astonishing, for they are appropriate to the purpose for which they have been created. For example, the bones of the skull that protect the brain are solider than other than them, and are thicker than them, for they protect small, thin thissuses.

p: 180

Yet there are other astonishing systems such as the nervous system, the reproductive system, the lymph system, and the muscular system.[1] They clearly indicate Allah, the Former, the Creator, for they cannot be formed by chance, for the talk about chance has become a fable in which none believes even those who have little thinking and feeling.

_________________________________________

[1] Allah wa al-'Ilm al-Hadith. Al-Saduq, Amali. Allah Yatajalla fi 'Asr al-'Ilm. Al-'Ilm yad'u ila al-Iman.

The Changing of the Winds

Another example of the signs of Allah is His changing the wind, for it blows in south and north, comes and goes; this is how it is changed.[1]

The wind is the movement of the air available in the low layers of the atmosphere when it blows parallel to the surface of the earth; the wind blows at different speeds; it sometimes blows at a speed of one hundred km per hour, and it is called storm. When it is over this speed, it is called hurricane. Perhaps, it blows at a speed of two hundred km per hour; the wind is the important factor for conveying and distributing water vapor. Likewise, it is the most important means for pollinating plants; it has been established that a great part of plants is not pollinated except through the wind. Allah, the Most High, has said: And We send the wind fertilizing, then send down water from the cloud so We give it to you to drink of, nor is it you who store it up.[2]

p: 181

______________________________________________

[1] Al-Tabari, Tafseer, vol. 2, p. 65.

[2] Qur'an, Surat al-Hajer, verses 22.

Clouds made subservient

Among the signs of Allah, the Exalted, is His making clouds subservient; He makes them subservient in certain times that He may give life to mankind and earth. If clouds continue for a long time, they will be harmful, for they veil the rays of the sun and spoil all compound things that depend on dryness. When they stop, drought happens, so man and animals perish. They come in certain times and seasons for general interests.

Clouds are formed due to the condensation of water vapor in the air. The height of clouds is different according to their kinds; some of them are close to the surface of the earth such as fog; some of them are about 12 km high such as the thin cirrostratus.

When the speed of the ascending wind is more than 30 km per hour, the drops of the formed rain do not come down, for the wind resist them. When the drops scatter, they are charged with positive electricity and are isolated from negative electricity carried by the wind. After a short time, they are fully charged with electricity. When the two charges approach each other by means of the wind, the electric discharge takes place through a spark passes between them. The lightning lasts for a short time and is a broken line. Then the thunder is heard; it is the sound waves caused by the air. Then clouds spread through the sky and rain comes down from it, so the earth takes the water Allah decrees for it.

p: 182

Therefore, think about how the wind generates two kinds of electricity in clouds and makes rain come down.[1] This happens through the arrangement of Allah, the Great, the Omniscient.

In his Tafseer, al-Tantawi has talked about clouds and their advantages, saying: "Do you wonder why clouds do not rise more than 16,000 cubits in the air? The nearest cloud is that which touches the surface of the earth and such a cloud is rare in some countries. If clouds touch the surface of the earth, they will harm animals, plants, and men's possessions. If they were very high in the sky and could not be seen, rain and snow would suddenly come down while men were heedless of them and did not guard against them, so the harm would be inclusive."[2]

_________________________________________

[1] Allah wa al-'Ilm al-Hadith, pp. 174-175.

[2] Tafseer al-Jawahir, vol. 1, p. 155.

The verse on the Existence of Allah 1

These are some proofs in the verse on the Existence of Allah, the Most High, Who is the Origin of the worlds. Imam Musa has given these verses as evidence for supporting the reality of faith in Allah, and for freeing reason from the fables of polytheism.

The following is another part of the speech of Imam Musa, peace be on him, who has said: "O Hisham, surely Allah has given that as evidence for knowledge of Him that they have a Regulator. So He has said: And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the starts are made subservient by His commandment; most surely there are signs in this for a people who ponder.[1] And He has said: He it is Who created you from dust, then from a small life-germ, then from a clot, then He brings you forth as a child, then that you may attain your maturity, then that you may be old-and of you there are some who are caused to die before-and that you may reach an appointed term, and that you may understand.[2] And He has said: And (in) the variation of the night and the day, and (in) what Allah sends down of sustenance from the cloud, then gives life thereby to the earth after its death, and (in) the changing of the winds, (and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth) there are signs for a people who understand.[3]

p: 183

And He has said: He gives life to the earth after its death; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you that you may understand.[4] And He has said: And gardens of grape and corn and palm trees having one root and (others) having distinct root-they are watered with one water, and We make some of them excel others in fruit; most surely there are signs for a people who understand.[5] And He has said: And one of His signs is that He shows you the lightning for fear and for hope, and sends down water from the clouds, then gives life therewith to the earth after its death; most surely there are signs in this for a people who understand.[6] And He has said: Say: Come I will recite to you what your Lord has forbidden to you-(remember) that you do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents, and do not slay your children for (fear of) poverty-We provide for you and for them-and do not draw nigh to indecencies, those of them which are apparent and those which are concealed, and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined you with that you may understand.[7] And He has said: Have you among those whom your right hands possess partners in what We have given you for sustenance, so that with respect to it you are alike; you fear them as you fear each other? Thus do We make the communications distinct for a people who understand."[8]

p: 184

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has given these verses as proofs of the Existence and Oneness of Allah, the Most High. We have elaborated the speech on some of them. The Imam, peace be on him, has repeated them to draw attention to that the proofs are reliable. If a wise man carefully considers them, he will believe in that and have no doubt about that. For this reason Allah, the Exalted, has repeated them in His wise Book. Then Imam Musa, peace be on him, has mentioned some ruinous sins and crimes the Qur'an has made forbidden and that are as follows:

1. Polytheism.

2. Disobeying the parents.

3. Slaying children for fear of poverty.

4 Apparent and concealed indecencies.

5. Killing the respected soul.

Were it not for that the book would be unduly long, we would elaborate on explaining the rest of the verses the Imam has quoted in his speech. Now, we will move to another part of his speech. He, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then He (Allah) has preached to the men of reason and made them desire for the hereafter, saying: And this world's life is naught but a play and idle sport, and certainly the abode of the hereafter is better for those who guard (against) evil; do you not then understand?"[9]

Imam Musa has given this verse as evidence for that Allah, the Most High, makes His wise servants desire for the abode of everlastingness and ease, and that He has dispraised this world's life for it is confined to amusement and play.

p: 185

Accordingly, the wise should renounce the life in this world, avoid the evil and the forbidden wherein, and perform good deeds for the everlasting abode has been prepared for the Allah-fearing and the righteous. Now, we will go to another part of his speech; he, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then He has frightened those who do not understand His punishment, saying: Then We destroyed the others. And most surely you pass by them in the morning, and at night; do you not then understand?[10] And He has said: Surely We will cause to come down upon the people of this town a punishment from heaven, because they transgressed. And certainly We have left a clear sign for a people who understand."[11]

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted these sacred verses as proofs of His, the Exalted, destroying those who did not understand from among the bygone communities. The verses were revealed concerning the people of Loot when they denied Allah and disbelieved in his communications. So He, the Most High, caused His punishment to come down upon them and placed their homeland in a bad-smelling, ugly lacke and placed it by a permanent road by which passers-by passed in the morning and at night. For this reason He, the Exalted, has said: And most surely you pass by them in the morning, and at night.[12] He, the Most High, made them a lesson and an admonition to those who understand. He warned them against opposing and disobeying the Apostles and the righteous, for the final result of opposition and disobedience is destruction and ruin.[13]

p: 186

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, surely reason is with knowledge. Allah, the Exalted, has said: And (as for) these examples, We set them forth for men, and none understands them but the learned."[14]

He, peace be on him, has cited this sacred verse as evidence for that reason accompanies knowledge, for all kinds of reason do not leave knowledge, nor do they separate themselves from it. Concerning the reason for the revelation of this verse, the explainers of the Qur'an have said: "Why do Allah set forth examples of beasts and insects such misquotes, flies, and spiders while the examples must be set forth of something important?" This thinking is poor, for comparison is eloquent when it has a strong effect on soul. For example, when a wise man says to someone who backbites others: "You backbite them as if that you ate the flesh of a dead animal!" This statement of his is more effective in deterring him than his saying: "Most surely backbiting is forbidden or it brings about admonition and enmity among people."

In His statement and none understands them but the learned, Allah, the Most High, has referred to that none can understand the reality of things and distinguish between the correct and incorrect from among them except those who have science and knowledge; none understands that except the learned.[15] Now, will move to another part of the speech of Imam Musa.

He, peace be on, him has said: "Then He (Allah) has dispraised those who do not understand, saying: And when it is said to them: Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! We follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor do they follow the right way.[16] And He has said: And the parable of those who disbelieve is as the parable of one who calls out to that which hears no more than a call and a cry; deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they do not understand.[17] And He has said: And there are those of them who hear you, but can you make the deaf to hear though they will not understand?[18] And He has said: Or do you think that most of them do hear or understand? They are nothing but as cattle; nay, they are straying farther off the path.[19] And he has said: They will not fight against you in a body save in fortified towns or from behind walls; their fighting between them is severe; you may think them as one body, and their hearts are disunited; that is because they are a people who have no sense.[20] And He has said: What! do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?"[21]

p: 187

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the sacred verses as proofs of dispraising those who have no sense. We will explain some of their meanings that the Imam's quotation may be clear:

The first verse has dispraised those who follow their ancestors and their Shaykhs in the religious affairs without sense and evidence, for they are urged to follow them by ignorance, stupidity, and fanaticism. The verse was revealed concerning the Jews when Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, summoned them to follow Islam, but they refused it and said that they would follow what they found their fathers upon, for they were better than them.[22] If the Jews had sound intellects and mental maturity, they would understand that sound reason did not confirm imitation in the beliefs should be followed according to sound scientific proofs, for they are the foundations of man's life and behavior. In his Tafseer, Shaykh Muhammed 'Abda has said: "If the imitators had intellects through which they understood, then this narration along with its style would be sufficient to make them disgust imitation. For in every creed and generation they turn away from that which Allah has revealed as a sign of liking that which they find their fathers upon.

This ugliness is enough for them, for the wise do not prefer imitating any of men whatever great his reason is and whatever good his behavior is to that which Allah has revealed. For all the opinions of those sane are liable to mistake. And the behavior of those rightly-guided may be errant. Therefore, there is no trust in any religion save that which Allah has revealed, and there is none preserved except him whom Allah preserves, so why do the sane turn away from what Allah has revealed and follow their fathers while they claim that they believe in the Revelation. If they had no faith in the inspiration, then they must turn away from imitation due to these words of Him, the Exalted: What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor do they follow the right way.[23]

p: 188

The second verse is related to the first one and completes it, for Allah, the Most High, has given an account of the state of the unbelievers who insisted on the blind imitation when they were summoned to follow Islam; then He has given to the listeners an example of their state lest they should be deceived by them; He has described them as cattle or as beasts that do not understand the call of a shepherd to them; in other words, they only hear his voice but do not understand its meaning; similarly those who follow the religion of their fathers do not reflect on the summons of the truth and do not understand it; therefore, they are in the same position with respect to those who do not understand; this is the worst criticism and dispraise to those who do not understand.

In the third verse Allah, the Exalted, has given an account of the state of some unbelievers who were very rude, dull, and stupid. That is because they heard the verses and the proofs were recited to them concerning the authenticity of the mission of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. However they were deaf in respect with that they did not realize and understand the meaning, that it was useless to summon them to follow this religion, for they were mentally and psychologically very sick, to the extent that the cure and advice did not profit them.

In the fourth verse Allah has addressed His Prophet in order not to hope for the faith of some unbelievers because they were as cattle in respect with that they did not make use of the illustrious verses they had heard. Rather they were worse than cattle, for the cattle obey their owner who takes care of them, find their pastures and drinking places, and return to their folds. As for the unbelievers, they do not obey their Lord and Creator and Provider nor do they thank Him for His favors and boons. As well as animals do not paralyze any of their forces deposited in them. Rather they spend each power on that for which it has been created. As for the unbelievers, they have paralyzed their mental forces, so they lose the original nature in which men have been made, and that is the knowledge of Allah and faith in him, so they are worse than beasts.

p: 189

The fifth verse has dispraised the unbelievers, for they have three dispraised qualities:

1.They are cowardly during war.

2. Their fighting between them is sever.

3. Their hearts are disunited.

Allah, the Most High, has given a reason for these three qualities, and the reason is that they are not sane, for the sane cannot be cowardly. No fighting takes place between him and other than him, for this arises from ignorance and stupidity by which the believers are not distinguished. To this meaning Imam Musa, peace be on him, has referred in his statement: "The believers are as one hand against those other than them." That is because they have united opinions and one trend, so disunity and division among them is impossible.

_________________________________________

[1] Qur'an, Surat al-Nahl, verse 12.

[2] Surat al-Mu'min, verse 67.

[3] He has derived this from the meaning of the verse 4, Surat al-Jathiya.

[4] Qur'an, Surat al-Hadeed, verse 17.

[5] Surat al-Ra'd, verse 4.

[6] Ibid, Surat al-Rum, verse 24.

[7] Surat al-An'am, verse 151.

[8] Surat al-Rum, verse 28.

[9] Surat al-Rum, verse 32.

[10] Surat al-Saffat, verses 136, 137, 138.

[11] Surat al-'Anqabut, verses 33-34.

[12] Ibn Kuthayr, Tafseer, vol. 4, p. 20.

[13] Rooh al-Ma'ani, vol. 7, p. 313.

[14] Qur'an, Surat al-'Anqabut, verse, 43.

[15] Al-Razi, Tafseer.

[16] Qur'an, Surat al-Baqara, verse 169.

[17] Surat al-Baqara, verse 171.

[18] Surat Yunus, verse 42.

[19] Surat al-Furqan, verse 44.

[20] Surat al-Hashr, verse 14.

[21] Surat al-Baqara, verse 44.

p: 190

[22] Al-Tibyan, vol. 1, p. 188, Iran edition.

[23] Al-Manar, vol. 1, p. 100.

The verse on the Existence of Allah 2

The sixth verse was revealed concerning the Jewish scholars who said to their Muslim relatives: "Cling to that which you follow!" They did not believe in Islam.[24] They had better believe in Islam, and then they had to order other than them to cling to it. With this verse we will end our talk about explaining the verses Imam Musa, peace be on him, has cited as evidence for dispraising those men who has no sense. Now, we will mention another part of Imam Musa's speech; he, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then Allah, has dispraised the majority, saying: And if you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: Allah. Say:(All) praise is due to Allah; nay! most of them do not know.[25] And He, the Exalted, has said: "And if you ask them Who is it that sends down water from the clouds, then gives life to the earth with it after its death, they will certainly say: Allah. Say:(All) praise is due to Allah. Nay, most of them do not understand."[26]

The Imam, peace be on him, has quoted the three verses as proofs of dispraising most men, for they veil from their selves the truth, go deeply into falsehood, and drown into pleasures except those upon whom Allah have mercy and whom He brings forth from utter darkness into light. We will briefly explain the verses as follows:

p: 191

In the first verse Allah, the Most High, has addressed His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, but He meant someone other than him; or the address is for him and for other than him. If the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, obeyed the majority of the people and followed their desires and inclinations, they would lead him astray from the religion and turned him away from the truth.

According to its meaning, the second verse indicates that the majority of the people say what they do not know, that they do not believe in Allah in their hearts; rather faith runs on their tongues and does not enter their hearts.

In the third verse Allah, the Most High, has addressed His Prophet, saying: "If you ask the polytheists: Who sends down from heaven water that is the reason for their livelihood and their life, they would answered him that it was Allah, the Exalted, Who created all the possible things." Nevertheless, they associate others with Allah and serve some of His creatures that can create nothing; therefore, we thank Allah for that they have showed the proof and confessed that the Creator of the origins and branches of boons is Allah, the Most High. So the praise Allah, the Most High, has mentioned is like the praise on seeing someone afflicted.[27] Now, we will present another part of the speech of Imam Musa, peace be on him. He has said: "O Hisham, then He has praised the minority. He has said: And very few of my servants are grateful.[28] And He has said: And very few are they.[29] And He has said: And a believing man of Firon's people who hid his faith: What! Will you slay a man because he says: My Lord is Allah.[30] And He has said: And those who believe, and there believed not with him but a few.[31] And He has said: but most of them do not know. And He has said: And most of them do not understand. And He has said: And most of them do not perceive."[32]

p: 192

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the scared verses as proofs of that Allah has praised the believers who are few in number. The traditions reported from Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, have mentioned that. For example, Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, has said: "The believing female is rarer than the believing male, and the believing male is rarer than the red sulfur." The reason for this rarity is that the real faith in Allah is the greatest rank in perfection man can attain.

Where are many hindrances that prevent man from reaching such a kind of faith such as bad education and environment and other hindrances that veil man from his Creator and make him go too far in committing sins.

These words of Him, the Exalted, and very few of my servants are grateful, does not mean that man must say: praise belongs to Allah; rather they mean that he must spend all that which Allah has bestowed upon him on His creatures in His way. This is a great rank that does not issue from anyone except from him who knows Allah and believes that all boons and blessings issue from Him. Accordingly, man should perform good deeds and purify his own soul, and then he is among the grateful to Allah; the gratefulness in this meaning is among the highest ranks by which none is marked except very few. Now, we will present another part of the Imam's speech; he, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then He has mentioned the men of understanding with the best mentioning and adorned them with the best ornaments. He has said: He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind.[33]

p: 193

And He has said: And those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.[34] And He, the Exalted, has said: Most surely in the creation of heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand.[35] And He, the Exalted, has said: Is he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like him who is blind? Only those possessed of understanding will mind.[36] And He, the Exalted, has said: What! he who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter and hops for the mercy of his Lord! Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.[37] And He, the Exalted, has said: (It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good, that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful.[38] And He, the Exalted, has said: And certainly We gave Musa the guidance, and We made the children of Israel inherit the Book, a guidance and a reminder to the men of understanding.[39] And he, the Exalted, has said: And continue to remind, for surely the reminder profits the believers."[40]

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the sacred verses as evidence for praising the perfect wise and their surpassing over those other than them. Allah, the Exalted, has praised them with the best attributes and given them the highest qualities. We will present a brief explanation of the meaning of the verses, that the quotation of the Imam may be clear.

p: 194

The first verse indicates that Allah, the Most High, has given to some of His servants wisdom that is the greatest gift and the most magnified quality. Concerning its definition it has been said: "It is the knowledge whose use is great and whose advantage is magnificent."

Allah, the Most High, has described those who are gifted with wisdom as ones who are given great good; He has also mentioned that none knows the meaning of wisdom or the Qur'an except the men of understanding.

In the second verse Allah, the Exalted, has described His servants with perfect reason with three attributes:

1. They are firmly rooted in knowledge.

2. They have faith in Allah.

3. They acknowledge that all things are from Allah.[41]

Allah, the Most High, has decided that those who have these noble attributes are the perfect sane, who are the men of understanding.

As for the third verse, we have previously explained and clarified it.

The fourth verse has criticized those who equalize those who have knowledge of the precepts of the Qur'an and those other than them, though the difference between them is as the difference between the blind and the endowed with eyesight, between the living and the dead.

The fifth verse displays the difference between him who spends the night in obeying Allah and other than him who spends his times in amusement centers and pleasures, and turns away from mentioning the Name of Allah; therefore, how are they equal?

p: 195

The sixth verse says that the wise Qur'an has great secrets, magnificent knowledge, and illustrious verses, so Allah has revealed it to His servants, that they may ponder over it and understand it, but the verse has shown that only those with sound reason carefully consider it.

The seven verse indicates that Allah, the Most High, made the children of Israel inherit the Book and know it by heart; He granted that to them, that it might be guidance and reminder for the possessors of intellects.

In the eighth verse Allah has addressed His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to continue reminding men and not to pay attention to the ignorant who do not understand and ponder over his summons. The verse indicates that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had to elaborate on spreading teaching and spiritual forces, and that none would make use of that except the believers.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely Allah, the exalted, says in His Book: Most surely there is a reminder in this for him who has a heart-i.e. reason.[42] And He, the Most High, has said: And certainly We gave wisdom to Luqman-i.e. understanding and reason."[43]

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has mentioned that the word heart has been mentioned in the first verse does not mean the special organ available in man and all animals. Rather it means the reason that perceives total and partial meanings and knows the realities of things; indeed it is man's spiritual entity. The second verse refers to the boon Allah, the Exalted, bestowed upon Luqman, for Allah had given him wisdom, which was the greatest and most magnificent boon.

p: 196

___________________________________

[24] Majjma' al-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 98.

[25] Qur'an, Surat Luqman, verse 25.

[26] Surat al-'Anqabut, verse 63.

[27] Rooh al-Ma'ani, vol. 6, p. 423.

[28] Qur'an, Surat Saba', verse, 13.

[29] Surat Saad, verse 24.

[30] Surat Ghafir, verse 28.

[31] Surat al-An'am, verse 37.

[32] Surat al-Ma'ida, verse 103.

[33] Surat al-Baqara, verse 269.

[34] Surat Aal 'Umran, verse 7.

[35] Surat Aal 'Umran, verse 190.

[36] Surat al-Ra'd, verse 19.

[37] Surat al-Zumer, verse 9.

[38] Surat Saad, verse 29.

[39] Surat Ghafir, verse 53.

[40] Surat al-Dhariyat, verse 55.

[41] It means that both clear and ambiguous verses issued from Allah.

[42] Qur'an., Surat Qaaf, verse 37.

[43] Surat Luqman, verse 12..

Luqman's wise sayings

Then Imam Musa, peace be on him, began reciting to Hisham Luqman's wise sayings and commandments, saying: "O Hisham, most surly Luqman has said to his son: 'Be humble to the truth and you be the sanest of all the people; the sane during (saying) the truth are few. O my little son, most surely, the world is a deep sea in which many people have drowned. Therefor, your ship therein should be fear of Allah, its loading should be faith (in Allah), its sail should be reliance (on Him), its guardian should be reason, its guide should be knowledge, and its helm should be patience.'" In his speech, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has mentioned the commandments of Luqman, who advised his son to be humble to the truth, which is that man should see that he has no existence except through the truth, that he or other than him has no force except through Allah. Humbleness is the best deed; it has been narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, that he has said: "Whoever is proud, Allah lowers him; and whoever is humble for Allah, Allah raises him."

p: 197

Most surely when man gets rid of selfishness and haughtiness, Allah increases him in honor and excellence.

Luqman has compared the world to a sea; the point of resemblance is that the world changes, its appearance and conditions change every moment, so the beings on it are like the waves of a see, liable to vanishing and annihilation. Perhaps the point of resemblance is that the world is like the sea over which men pass. Similarly is the world through which men pass and go to the hereafter; souls wherein are like travelers; the bodies are like ships; the ships carry them from the world to the Abode of Everlastingness; certainly a large number of men drown into the world; they drown into it because they rush upon pleasures; the world is like the sea that brings about drowning and perishing, so there is no salvation and safety from it except through the ship of fear of Allah and righteousness whose sail should be reliance on Allah and dependence on Him in all affairs; likewise there should be reason that is the guardian and captain of this ship; the guidance of reason is knowledge; therefore, the relationship between them is like the relationship between the light and the lamp, the sight and the eye. In spite of these qualities, man must be patient, for he cannot be close to his Lord except through a strong struggle against his own soul.

Another part of the speech of the Imam Kazim

Now, let us move to another part of the speech of the Imam, peace be on him, who has said: "Most surely, there is a guide for every thing: the guide of reason is reflection; the guide of reflection is silence. There is a mount for every thing: the mount of reason is humbleness; enough for your ignorance is that you mount that from which you are prohibited.

p: 198

"O Hisham, Allah has sent His prophets and apostles to His servants for nothing but to reflect on Him. Therefore the best of them in answer is the best of them in knowledge (of Him). The most knowledgeable of them in the affair of Allah is the best of them in reason; and the most perfect of them in reason is the highest of them in rank in this world and the next."

In his last statement, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has concluded that the prophets are noble and virtuous due to their perfect intellects. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful: "O 'Ali, if men seek nearness to Allah through different kinds of good deeds, then you seek nearness to Him through reason, that you may precede them." Surely, abundant reason is the best thing with which man endowed, for he through it reaches the happiness in this world and wins the hereafter.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely, Allah has two proofs over men: outward proof and inward one. As for the outward proof, it is the messengers, the prophets, and the Imams. As for the inward proof, it is reason."

"O Hisham, most surely, the sane is he whose gratitude is not occupied by the lawful nor does his steadfastness is overcome by the unlawful."

In the last paragraphs of his speech, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has dealt with some states of the wise who are grateful to Allah, the Most High, in spite of the many favors He bestow upon them, and who are steadfast regardless of misfortunes and disasters.

p: 199

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, whoever empowers three (things) over three (things) is as if that he helped (them) demolish his reason. Whoever makes dark the light of his reflection through his drawn out expectations, erases his original wisdom with his surplus speech, and puts out the light of his learning a lesson with his own pleasures as if that he helped his desire demolish his reason. Whoever demolishes his reason spoils his religion and his life in this world."

In his speech, the Imam has mentioned that man has two different forces; they are reason and low desire; each of them has three qualities that contradict the other ones. As for the qualities of reason, they are: reflection, wisdom, and learning a lesson (from experiences); as for the qualities of the low desire, they are: drawn out expectations, surplus speech, and indulgence in pleasures.

As for the drawn out expectations in the world, they prevent man from reflecting on the affairs of the hereafter and make him desirous of the affairs of this world; this is the meaning of Imam Musa's speech: "Makes dark the light of his reflection through his drawn out expectations." Most surely, drawn out expectations make darkness replace the light of reflection and veil reason from moving about in the good field.

As for the surplus speech, it erases the original wisdom from soul.

As for the indulgence in pleasures and devotion to desires, they blind the heart, take away the light of faith, remove the light of the insight and of learning lessons (from experiences). Therefore, whoever empowers these three evil qualities over his own soul, certainly help them demolish his own reason; whoever demolishes his reason, certainly spoils his religion and his life in this world.

p: 200

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, how do your deeds grow with Allah while you have diverted your heart from the Command of your Lord and obeyed your low desire due to your overcome reason?

"O Hisham, steadfastness during loneliness is a sign of strong reason. So whoever has knowledge of Allah, isolates himself from the people of this world and those who crave after it, desires that which is with Allah. Allah is his bosom friend during loneliness, enriches him during poverty, and exalts him without a clan.

"O Hisham, the truth has been found for the obedience to Allah; no salvation except with obedience; obedience is through knowledge; knowledge is through learning; learning becomes firm and strong through reason; no knowledge except from a divine scholar; the knowledge of science is through reason.

" O Hisham, little work from a scholar is doubly accepted; much work from the men of low desire and ignorance is refused."

Imam Musa, peace be on him, means that little work performed by a scholar is accepted; the reason for that is that knowledge clarifies hearts, purifies souls and makes man know Allah, the Exalted.

And the excellence of every deed is equal to its effect on clarifying the heart, removing veils and darkness from the soul; it is different according to persons. Perhaps little work is enough for clarifying a person's soul due to his gentle nature and his thin veils. Perhaps the good deeds that issue from a person has no effect on clearing the soul of the person himself due to his rude nature and the thick veils covering his soul.

p: 201

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely, the sane is satisfied with the small thing of the world along with wisdom and is not satisfied with a little thing of wisdom along with the world, so his bargain brings gain.

"O Hisham, most surely, the sane leave the surplus of the world; just imagine how much more sins are! Renouncing the world is of excellence; giving up sins is of (the religious) duty."

He, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely, the sane carefully consider the world and its inhabitants and come to know that it cannot be attained except through hardship. They carefully consider the hereafter and come to know that it cannot be obtained except through hardship, so they seek through hardship the more permanent one.

"O Hisham, most surely, the sane turn away from the world and desire for the hereafter, for they know that the world is a requester and in request; the hereafter is a requester and in request. So whoever requests the hereafter, the world requests him till he takes his livelihood in full from it; whoever requests the world, the hereafter requests him and death comes to him and spoils his life in this world and in the next."

As for explaining the statement of the Imam, peace be on him: "The world is a requester and in request," it is that the world delivers the apportioned livelihood to those who are in it; in this meaning it is a requester. As for that it is in request, it is that its inhabitants strive to attain the boons wherein. As for that the hereafter is a requester, it is that death comes and the inevitable fixed term happens to all those who are in the world, so it requests them in order to carry them from the world to it. As for that the hereafter is in request, it is that its righteous inhabitants strive to perform good deeds, that they may be safe from the punishment and the censure.

p: 202

The Imam, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, whoever wants riches with out money, the rest of the heart of envy, and safety in religion, then he should implore Allah, the Great and Almighty, and ask Him to perfect his reason. So whoever becomes sane is content with that which suffices him. Whoever is content with that which suffices him becomes rich; and whoever is not content with that which suffices him never attains riches.

"O Hisham, most surely, Allah has given an account of the people of Salih, who have said: Our Lord, make not our hearts to deviate after You have guided us aright, and grant us from You mercy; surely You are the most liberal Giver. That was when they came to know that their hearts deviated and returned to their blindness and badness. Surely whoever has no knowledge of Allah does not fear Allah. Whoever has no knowledge of Allah does not fasten his heart to the firm knowledge he sees and whose reality he finds in his heart. None is so except him whose deeds are in agreement with his words and his inward confirms his outward; that is because Allah, may His Name be Great, has not shown the hidden, inward part of reason except through a manifest part of it and a speaker on its behalf."

In his last statements, the Imam, peace be on him, has referred to that if a believer's heart is not illuminated by the Light of Allah and his reason is not rightly-guided by the guidance of Allah, he is not safe from deviation and apostasy after his adopting Islam. The Holy Qur'an has referred to this phenomenon; Allah, the Most High, has said: That is because they believe, then disbelieve, so a seal is set upon their hearts. And He, the Exalted, has said: And whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while unbeliever. For this reason the righteous always ask Allah not to deviate their hearts and not to go astray from His religion, for, according to its formation and structure, human soul is not safe from Satan's whisperings and delusions, and especially when it is not granted success to avoid them.

p: 203

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has said: 'Allah is not served through a thing better than reason. Man's reason is not perfect unless it has various qualities: unbelief and evil from him are safe. Reason and good from him are hoped. The surplus of his money is spent. The surplus of his speech is prevented. His share of the world is only daily bread. He is not full of knowledge throughout his lifetime. Abasement along with Allah is more beloved to him than exaltedness along with other than Him. Humbleness is more beloved to him than high rank. He regards as much the little good from other than him and as little his own good. He sees that all men better than him, and that he is the most wicked of them in his soul. This is the perfect affair."

The Qualities of the sane and the characteristics of their deeds

Giving as proof of the meaning of his speech, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the speech of his grandfather, Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in which he has mentioned the qualities of the sane and the characteristics of their deeds.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, the rational do not tell lies even if their interests are in them.

"O Hisham, he who has no reason has no manhood; and that the greatest of men in importance is he who does not see that the world is important for himself. As for that your bodies have no value except the Garden; therefore do not sell them for other than it."

p: 204

The explanation of what the Imam, peace be on him, has mentioned in his speech, "As for that your bodies have no value except the Garden; therefore do not sell them for other than it," is that it is inappropriate to sell the bodies for something other than the garden. The author of the book al-Wafee has narrated from his teacher an explanation to the statement of the Imam; the text of the explanation is as follows: "Surely, bodies decrease day by day; and that is because the souls from them head for another world, so if the soul is happy, then the purpose of one's effort in this world and the devotion of his bodily life are for Allah, glory belongs to Him, and for the comfort of the Gardens. That is because he follows the way of guidance and righteousness as if that he sold his body for the Garden as a bargain with Allah, the Most High, and for this reason Allah has created him. If it (the soul) is unhappy, then the purpose of his effort and the devotion of his fixed term and his life span is for associating with Satan and the chastisement of the fires. That is because he follows the way of error as if that he sold his body for the perishing lusts and animal pleasures that will become burning fires, that are today hidden and concealed from the senses of the inhabitants of the world, and that will appear on the Day of Judgment, And the hell shall be made manifest to him who sees, as a bargain with Satan; and those who treated (it) as a lie were lost."[1]

p: 205

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, surely the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has said: 'Surely, among the qualities of the sane is that he must have three qualities: He answers when he is questioned. He utters when the people fall short of speaking. And he suggests an opinion that sets right his people. So whoever has nothing of these three qualities, then he is foolish.

"Surely, the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, has said: 'None sits in front of the assembly except the one who has these three qualities or one of them. If he has nothing of them and sits (in front of the assembly), then he is foolish.'

"Al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, has said: 'If you request the needs, then request them from those qualified to them.' He was asked: 'Who are those qualified to them?' 'Those of whom Allah has given an account in His Book and mentioned them: Only those possessed of understanding will mind.' He has said: 'They are the possessors of intellects.'

"And 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him, has said: 'Sitting with the righteous brings about righteousness; the morals of (religious) scholars increase reason; obeying the just rulers perfects exaltedness; investing money perfects generosity; guiding the seeker of advice fulfilling boons; refraining from harm completes reason and relieves the body sooner or later.

"O Hisham, surely the sane do not talk with him who accuses them of lying. They do not ask him who prevents them. They do not promise that which they do not fulfill. They do not hope for that through which they are scolded. And they do not undertake that which they miss because they have no ability (to undertake it)."

p: 206

In the last paragraphs Imam Musa, peace be on him, has referred to the determination and caution in respect with their words, their honor and position, and their undertaking that which they do not attain.

This excellent message has come to an end according to the narration of Thiqat al-Islam Shaykh al-Kulayni.[2] In his book Tuhaf al-Uqool al-Hasan b. 'Ali al-Harrani has mentioned an addition to the above-mentioned message; whereas al-Kulayni has neglected the addition. We have decided to quote some paragraphs of it without any commentary preferring brevity and completing advantage; and that is up to readers.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "Whoever prevents himself from the honors of men, Allah will release him from his stumble on the Day of Judgment; he who suppresses his fury toward men, Allah will suppress His fury toward him on the Day of Judgment.

"O Hisham, it has been found in the sword of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family: 'The most insolent in Allah's sight is he who hits other than him who hits him, and kills other than him who kills him. Whoever follows other than his follower, then he disbelieves in that which Allah has revealed to Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family. Whoever originates a heresy or lodges a heretic, Allah will accept from him neither a favor nor a compensation on the Day of Judgment.'

"O Hisham, the best thing through which the servant seek nearness to Allah after knowledge of Him is (performing) prayers, obedience to the parents, giving up envy, vainglory, and pride.

p: 207

"O Hisham, set right your day that is before you; think which a day it will be and prepare an answer for it, for most surely you will be stood and questioned. Learn a lesson from the time and its people. Ponder over the changes and states of time, for most surely the future part of the life in this world is just like the part of it that has passed; therefore, take an example from it. 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him, has said: 'Surely all that over which the sun rises in the east of the earth, its west, its sea, its land, its plain, and its mountains is like a shade in the sight of a friend of Allah's and of men of knowledge of Allah's right.' Then he has said: 'Is there a free man who leaves the world for its inhabitants, for there is no value for your souls except the Garden; therefore, do not sell them for other than it. For whoever is satisfied with the world in stead of Allah, then he is satisfied with the mean.'

"O Hisham, most surely all men see the stars, but none follows them but those who know their movements and stages; and similarly you study wisdom, but none of you follow it except those who put it into practice.

"O Hisham, it is written in the Bible: 'Blessed are those who have mercy upon each other; these are upon whom Allah will have mercy on the Day of Judgment. Blessed are those whose hearts are purified; these are who fear the Day of Judgment. Blessed are the humble in the world; these are who will ascend the pulpits of the Kingdom on the Day of Judgment.

p: 208

"O Hisham, little speech is great wisdom; therefore, stick to silence, for leaving it is a good deed; the little of it is a burden; the light of it is among the sins. Therefore, fortify the door of clemency, for surely the door to it is patience. Allah, the Great and Almighty detests the one who laughs without a reason and the one who walks for no need. The ruler should be like a shepherd; he should not be heedless of his subjects nor should he show haughtiness toward them. Therefore, feel shame of Allah in secret just as you feel shame of men in public. Know that a wise word is the believer's object; therefore, stick to knowledge before it is raised; its raising is that your scholar is absent from among you.

"O Hisham, learn of knowledge that which you do not know; teach the ignorant of what you learn; magnify the scholar due to his knowledge and leave disputing with him. Make friends with the ignorant; do not dismiss them, but bring them near (to you) and teach them.

"O Hisham, most surely if you fall short of showing gratitude for a boon, you are in the same position with respect to him who performs an evil deed and you will be punished for that. The commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), the blessings of Allah be on him, has said: 'Most surely, Allah has servants whose hearts have been broken by fear of Him and silenced them from utterance. They are eloquent and sane; they compete with each other for Allah through pure deeds. They do not regard as many the many (deeds they perform) for Him, nor are they satisfied with the few (deeds they perform) for Him; they think that they are wicked while they are sane and pious.

p: 209

"O Hisham, shamefulness is of faith; faith is in the Garden. Obscenity is of estrangement; estrangement is in the fire.

"O Hisham, speakers are three: winner, safe, and perishable. As for the winner, it is he who praises Allah; as for the safe, it is he who keeps silent; and as for the perishable, it is he who enters into falsehood. Most surely Allah has made the Garden forbidden to every one ill-deed doer, obscene, shameless, paying no attention to what he says and to what is said about him. Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him has said: 'O you who seek knowledge, surely this tongue is a key to good and evil; therefore, set a seal on your mouth just as you set a seal on your gold and bills.

"O Hisham, bad is the servant who is double-faced and tongued, praises his brother when he sees him, backbites him when he is absent from him, envies him when he is given, and deserts him when he is afflicted with a misfortune. Surely the quickest of good in reward is kindness; the quickest of evil in punishment is aggression; the most wicked of Allah's servants is he with whom you dislike to sit down due to his obscenity. Men shall be thrown on their faces into the fire because of their obscene words; part of one's good Islam is that he should leave that which does not concern him.

"O Hisham, man is not a believer unless he is fearful and hopeful; he is not fearful and hopeful unless he performs (good) deeds for Him Whom he fears and hopes.

p: 210

"O Hisham, Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: 'I swear by My might, My exaltedness, My greatness, My power, My radiance, and My highness in My place, if a servant prefers My desire to his desire, I will place riches in his soul, make him take care of his life in the hereafter, stretch out My hand to him during his loss, the heavens and the earth will guarantee his provision, and I will be for him from behind the trade of every trader.

"O Hisham, stick to gentleness, for, most surely, gentleness is a blessing, and foolishness is ill-omen. Most surely, gentleness, piety, and good manners make houses flourishing and increase daily bread.

"O Hisham, these words of Him, the Exalted: Is the reward of goodness is aught but goodness? concern the pious and the wicked; whoever is done a favor, he should reward for it. The reward is not that you do a favor as he does a favor, that you may see your favor. If you do a favor as he does, then the favor belongs to him due to the beginning.

"O Hisham, the world is just like a snake-a soft thing to touch but a deadly poison is in its head; men with understanding guard against it but boys swoop down on it with their hands.

"O Hisham, be patient to obedience to Allah, and be patient to acts of disobedience to Allah, for the life in the world is an hour. You find neither delight nor sadness in the part of it that passes, and you do not know that part of it that will come. Therefore, be patient to that hour and you will be delighted.

p: 211

"O Hisham, the world is just like the water of a sea; the more the thirsty drinks of it, the more thirsty he is until it kills him.

"O Hisham, be ware of pride, for whoever has in his heart a little bit of pride does not enter the Garden; pride is the garment of Allah, so whoever disputes with Him over His garment, He will throw him down on his face into the fire

"O Hisham, whoever does not reckon himself every day does not belong to us; if he performs good deed, he must increase it; if he performs evil deeds, he must ask Allah to forgive him of it and turn in repentance to Him.

"O Hisham, the world appeared before al-Maseeh, peace be on him, in the image of a blue woman, and he asked her: 'How many husband have you married?' 'Many,' she answered. 'Have they all divorced you?' he asked her. 'Rather, I have killed them all,' she replied. 'So, woe unto the rest of your husbands! Why do they not learn a lesson from the past?' he asked her.

"O Hisham, surely the eye is the light of the body; if the eye is luminous, the whole of the body seeks light (from it); the light of soul is reason; if the servant is sane, he has knowledge of his Lord; if he has knowledge of his Lord, he knows his religion; if he has no knowledge of his Lord, he does not establish His religion; the body does not last except through a living soul, similarly the religion does not last except through a true intention; the true intention is not firm except through reason.

p: 212

"O Hisham, surely plants grow in a plain and do not grow in solid rocks; similarly, wisdom grow in the heart of the humble and do not grow in the heart of the proud and tyrannical. That is because Allah has regarded humbleness as the tool of reason and regarded pride as the tool of ignorance. Do you not know that whoever raises his head high towards a ceiling, he breaks it; and that whoever lowers his head, he shades himself under it, and it covers him? Likewise whoever does not behave humbly before Allah, Allah lowers him; and whoever behaves humbly before Allah; he raises him.

"O Hisham, how a ugly poverty after riches is! How ugly offence after piety is! The uglier than that is the servant who serves Allah and then he leaves serving Him!

"O Hisham, life is not good except for two men: an aware listener, and a speaking scholar.

"O Hisham, nothing better than reason has been apportioned among mankind; the sleep of the sane is better than the staying up at night of the ignorant.

"O Hisham, Allah's Apostle has said: 'When you see a believer keep very silent, seek nearness to him, for he delivers wisdom; a believer speaks a little bit and works very much; a hypocrite speaks a lot and works a little bit.

"O Hisham, Allah revealed to Dawud, peace be on him, to say to His servants: 'They should not place between Me and them a (religious) scholar fascinated by the world. For he turns them away from My reminder, the way of love for Me and of performing whispered prayers to Me. They are the highway men from among My servants; the least thing I will do toward them is that I will take away from their hearts the sweet love for Me and performing whispered prayers to Me.

p: 213

"O Hisham, whoever feels haughtiness in himself, the angels of the heaven and the earth curse him; whoever shows pride and impudence toward his brothers, he opposes Allah; whoever claims that which he does not have, he yields (to something) other than his reason.

"O Hisham, Allah, the Most High, revealed to Dawud: 'O Dawud, warn your companions against loving desires, for those who have clung to the desires in the world, their hearts have been veiled from Me.

"O Hisham, be ware of showing pride toward My friends and of being insolent through your knowledge. Therefore, Allah detests you, so your life in this world and the next will not benefit you after His showing detestation toward you; be in this world like him who lives in a house that does not belong to him; rather he waits for a departure.

"O Hisham, sitting with the men of religion is an honor in this world and the next. Consulting a loyal, sane (person) is a good fortune, blessing, right guidance, and success from Allah; therefore, when a loyal, wise person gives you a piece of advice, then be ware of opposing (him), for in that is the ruin.

"O Hisham, beware of associating with men and of being intimate with them, but when you find sane and trustworthy from among them, then associate with them, and escape from the rest of them just as you escape from predatory animals. When the sane performs a deed, he should feel shame of Allah. When He (Allah) singles him for boons, he must let someone other than him take part in them. When you faces two affairs and you do not know which one is good and correct, then think of which one is nearer to your desire and oppose it, for many correct things result from your opposing your desires; beware of seeking wisdom and placing it among the ignorant."

p: 214

Hisham asked the Imam: "If I find a man seeking wisdom but his reason have no capacity for it?"

"Then gently advise him. If his heart becomes narrow, then do not subject yourself to an affection."

Then the Imam elaborated on his speech, saying: "Beware of the response of the haughty, for knowledge is abased when it is dictated to him who does not understand."

"If I do not find him who questions me of it?" asked Hisham.

"Then make use of his being ignorant of questioning (you) of it, that you may be safe from the affection of the statement and the great affection of the answer. Know that Allah do not raise the humble according to their humbleness, but He raises them according to His Greatness and Glory. He does not make the fearful safe according to their fear (of Him), but He makes them safe according to his generosity and munificence. He does not gladden the sad according to their sadness, but according to His compassion and mercy. Therefore, what is then your idea about the Most Forgiving, the Merciful, Who forgives him who shows enmity toward Him; just imagine how much more is (the reward of) him who seeks His good pleasure and chooses the enmity of the creation for Him.

"O Hisham, whoever loves the world, the fear of the hereafter goes from his heart. When a servant is given knowledge and he increases his love for the world, he increases his farness from Allah, and Allah increases his anger against him.

p: 215

"O Hisham, surely the wise, sane man is he who leaves that which he cannot do; much correctness is in opposing mean desires; whoever draws out his expectations performs evil deeds.

"O Hisham, if you saw the course of the fixed term (death), you would forget (your) expectations.

"O Hisham, beware of greed; you must be hopeless of that which in the hands of men; deaden greed from the creatures. For surely greed is the key to humiliation; it embezzles reason, wears out manhood, defiles honor, and takes away knowledge. You must resort to your Lord and rely on Him. Struggle against your own soul, that you may repel it from its mean desires, for (such a struggle) is an obligation on you just as the struggle against your enemy."

Hisham asked him, which enemy is the most obligatory in struggle (jihad)

(The Imam answered): "The nearest of them to you and the greatest of them in showing hostility to you, the most harmful of them to you, the greatest of them in showing enmity toward you, the most hidden of them in person to you in spite of his nearness to you. He who provokes your enemies against you is Iblis (Satan) who is entrusted with whispering into the hearts (of men). Therefore, your enmity toward him should be intense. He must not be more patient in struggling against you to destroy you than you in struggling against him, for he is weaker than you in his strength, and less in harm through his much evil. If you resort to Allah, then you will follow the right path.

p: 216

"O Hisham, he whom Allah ennobles with three (things), then He is gentle to him: Reason suffices him the burden of his mean desires, knowledge suffices him the burden of his ignorance, and riches suffices him the fear of poverty.

"O Hisham, guard against this world and guard against its inhabitants. For the men wherein are of four kinds: a bad man embracing his mean desires; a learner and reciter (of the Qur'an), the more he increases in knowledge the more he increases in haughtiness; He shows superiority through his recitation and knowledge toward those who are inferior to him; and an ignorant worshipper who makes little of those who are inferior to him in his worship, he wants them to respect and magnify him; and the possessor of insight who is learned and knowledgeable of the way of the truth he loves to undertake, but he is incapable or overcome; so he cannot undertake that which he knows; therefore he is sad and grieved out of that, while he is the most outstanding of the people of his time and the most notable of them in reason."[3] This is the end of these valuable commandments containing the fundamentals of the virtues, morals, the rules of conduct, and ethics. The Imam has placed in them general programs that set right individual and social life.

________________________________________________

[1] Al-Waafi.

[2] Tuhaf al-'Uqool, pp. 390-400.

[3] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 13-20. It has also been mentioned in the book al-Waafi, vol. 1, p. 26-28.

His Treatise on the Oneness of Allah

p: 217

Yet another example of Imam Musa's valuable legacy is his treatise of the Oneness of Allah; it is, though brief, supported with some theological proofs of the existence of Allah, the Most High, and of explaining His positive and negative attributes. This treatise is, as the historians have reported, an answer to a letter sent to him by al-Fath b. 'Abd Allah, asking him about that, so he, peace be on him, has answered him as follows:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Praise belongs to Allah, Who has inspired His praise to His servants, made them know His Lordship by nature, proven His existence through His creatures, given his signs as proof of His power, whose Selfness abstains from attributes, whose figure eyes cannot see, Whom imaginations cannot encompass. There is no period for His existence and there is no limit for his staying. Feelings do not include him and veils do not veil him. The veil between Him and them is His creation for them; that is because it is impossible to that which in their selfness. His (selfness) abstains from possible (attributes); there is a difference between the Creator and the created, Limiter and the limited, Lord and a vassal. (He is) the One without interpreting counting. He is the Creator not in the sense of movement, the All-seeing not through an instrument the All-hearing not in need of an instrument, the Witness not through touching, the Hidden not through covering (Himself with a veil), the Manifest and the Clear not through the wideness of a distance. It is impossible for intellects to ponder over His eternity.

p: 218

His staying deters ambitious reason (from understanding Him); sharp eyes fail before his core; His existence overcomes occupying imaginations. The beginning of religion is to know Him; the perfection of knowledge of Him lies in (the acknowledgement of) His Unity, the perfection of His Unity is the denial of attributes from Him. (This is) because of the testimony (of the reason) that the description is other than the described, that the described is other than the description; (this is) because they both bear witness that this is a comparison that is impossible to the Eternal. So whoever describes Allah certainly limits Him; whoever limits Him certainly accounts him; whoever accounts him invalidates His eternity. Whoever says 'how' asks Him to be described. Whoever says 'in what' includes Him. Whoever says 'on what' has no knowledge of Him. Whoever says 'where' (regards all places as) void of Him. Whoever says 'what is He' depicts Him. Whoever says 'how long' gives Him a period (of time). He is knowledgeable when was nothing known; Creator when was nothing created; Lord when was nothing a vassal. Such is described our Lord; and (He is) far above that through which the describers describe Him.[1]

This letter full of the fundamentals and rules of the Oneness of Allah has come to an end. Many of its words has been narrated on the authority of Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Any way, the words of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt resembles each other in theology, for they established its rules, its fundamentals, its evidence, and its proofs. This science has been known through them; its fundamentals and rules have been taken from them.

p: 219

______________________________________________

[1] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 139-140.

Al-Bida'

Point

Al-Bida' is a vague, complicated, theological subject matter. The Muslims have differed over it. The Shi'a have unanimously agreed that it is correct, and that they have to adopt it. The Sunnis have denied it and criticized the Shi'a for it and regarded it as among the criticisms facing their ideological entity. Perhaps, the reason for this, as we think, is that they have not objectively understood the meaning and reality of al-Bida' the Shi'a maintain. So they have criticized them for it. It is necessary for us to pause to deal with it before we present the Imam's opinion concerning it.

The Meaning of al-Bida'

In the language al-Bida'-an extended noun (isim mamdud)-has been derived from al-budu meaning manifestation; and it is a name of a fresh, new opinion which its owner approves and prefers to his first opinion. [1] In the tradition: "It seems to Allah, the Great and Almighty, that He is going to try them." That is to say that He has decreed that; and that is the meaning of al-Bida'.[2]

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Sihah. Al-Qamoos. Asas al-Balagha.

[2] Al-Bidaya, vol. 1, p. 109.

The Reality of al-Bida' in the Sight of the Shi'a

The Shi'a have maintained al-Bida', and the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, have declared it; it has been reported that they have said: "Allah has not been served through a thing like al-Bida'." The great scholars have established through sufficient proofs the possibility and necessity of conforming to it, but not in a general meaning, just as we will explain it. Among those who have objectively and inclusively discussed it is Ayat Allah al-'Uzma al-Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'i; he has decided it in his research and written it in his Bayan. We will mention the text of what he has written in his al-Bayan. He has said: "Al-Bida' in which the Imami Shi'a believe lies in the evitable decree. As for the inevitable (decree), it does not stay behind. It is necessary that the will associates with that which the decree associates. The explanation to that is in three parts:

p: 220

"The first is Allah's decree of which He informs none of His creatures, and the stored knowledge He has possessed alone. Without doubt al-Bida' does not lie in this part; rather it has been mentioned in many traditions reported on the authority of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, that al-Bida' arises from this knowledge.

"In his al-'Uyyun, al-Shaykh al-Saduq has narrated on the authority of al-Hasan b. Muhammed al-Nawfali that al-Rida, peace be on him, said to Sulayman al-Merwazi: 'I have reported on the authority of Abi 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, that he said: 'Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has two kinds of knowledge: stored and hidden knowledge none knows except He; al-Bida' is of that. The knowledge He taught to His angels and His apostles, so the scholars from among the House of your Prophet know it.

"In Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Shaykh Muhammed b. al-Hasan al-Saffar has narrated on the authority of Abi Baseer on the authority of Abi 'Abd Allah, who said: ''Surely Allah has two kinds of knowledge: stored and hidden knowledge none knows except He; al-Bida' is of that. The knowledge he taught to His angels and His apostles and His prophets; and we know it.[1]

"The second is Allah's decree of which He told His Prophet and His angels that it would certainly happen; without doubt al-Bida' is also not of this part, though it is different from the first part that al-Bida' does not arise from it.

Al-Rida, peace be on him, said to Sulayman al-Merwazi in the above-mentioned tradition reported by al-Saduq: "'Ali said: 'Knowledge is of two kinds: a kind of knowledge Allah taught to His angels and apostles, so what He taught to His angels and apostle would be; He neither deceives Himself nor His angels nor His apostles; and there is with Him a kind of knowledge stored of which He informs none of His creatures; He advances what He pleases and delays what He pleases; He makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases.'"[2]

p: 221

Al-'Ayyashi reported on the authority of al-Fudayl, who said: 'I heard Abu Ja'far (al-Sadiq) say: 'Among the affairs are the affairs that certainly happens. Among the affairs are the affairs that concerns Allah, of which He advances, makes to pass away, and establishes what He pleases; He informs none of that. As for that which the apostles brought, it would be. He neither deceives Himself nor His Prophet nor His angels.

The third is the decree about whose occurrence in outside Allah told His Prophet and His angels, but it depends on that Allah's will does not associate with something contrary to it; al-bida' happens in this part (according to His words): Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book. Allah's is the command before and after."

His Eminence (al-Sayyid al-Khu'i) has concluded that al-Bida' in which the Shi'a believe is the third part of the decree according to a group of traditions reported on the authority of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. After that he has added a full explanation to the reality of al-Bida', saying: "Al-Bida' is in the dependent decree called the tablet of making to pass away and establishing. Conforming to the possibility of al-Bida' does not require ascribing ignorance to Allah, the Most Glorious. In this conforming to al-Bida' there is nothing opposing His Greatness and Majesty.

Maintaining al-Bida' is the frank confession that the world is under the sovereignty of Allah and His power over creating and preserving it, and that the will is valid in things eternally and always. Rather through maintaining al-Bida' the difference between the Divine knowledge and that of the creatures is clear, for the knowledge of the creatures, though they are prophets or testamentary trustees, does not encompass that which the knowledge of Allah, the Most High, encompasses, for surely some of them- though they are knowledgeable, through Allah's teaching them, of all the worlds of the possible things-do not encompass that which Allah's stored knowledge, which He alone possesses, encompasses, for they do not know the will of Allah. For there is a thing-or His non-will except when Allah, the Exalted, tell them in a certain manner.

p: 222

Maintaining al-Bida' requires that the servant devotes himself to Allah, asks Him to grant his supplication, to suffices his concerns, to give him success to the acts of obedience, and to send him away from disobeying him. Therefore, denying al-Bida' and conforming to that what the pen of decree writes certainly, without any exception, requires the believer's despair in this belief of granting his supplication. For most surely what the servant requests from his Lord, though the pen of decree writes putting it into effect, certainly is, and there is no need of supplication and imploring; and if the pen writes something contrary to it, it will never occur, and supplication and imploring will never benefit him. When the servant is hopeless of granting his supplication, he will leave imploring his Creator, for it is useless; similarly are the acts of worship and alms concerning which it has been reported on the authority of the infallible (Imams), peace be on them, that they increase lifetime, livelihood, and other things the servant demands.[3]

After this (explanation), Sayyid al-Khu'i has confirmed his opinions through (some Qur'anic) verses and traditions reported by both sides (i.e. the Sunnis and the Shi'ites) in respect with the necessity of al-Bida' and the requirement of maintaining it.

This is the opinion of the Shi'ites of al-Bida', just as it has been mentioned by Ayat Allah al-Khu'i. Their opinion is frank and manifest; evidence and proof require its correctness.

_________________________________________

[1] Shaykh al-Kulayni has narrated it on the authority of Abu Basir. Al-Waafi, Chapter on al-Bida', vol. 1, p. 113.

p: 223

[2] Shaykh al-Kulayni has narrated it on the authority of al-Fudayl b. Yasar on the authority of Abu Ja'far. Ibid.

[3] Al-Bayan fi Tafseer al-Qur'an, vol. 1, pp. 271-276.

Criticizing the Shi'ites

Al-Bida' in which the Shi'a believe, just as we have mentioned, does not deviate from the scientific rules and does not oppose the Islamic rules, but their opponents criticize them for it; they explain al-Bida' with an explanation different from what the Shi'a think. The following is a brief account of some criticizers:

1. Sulayman Bin Jareer

Al-Shahristani has narrated the following from Sulayman b. Jareer, who has said: "Surely the Imams of the Rafidites (the Shi'ites) have put two beliefs for their followers-the first is the belief in al-Bida'. So when they say: the affair of its imminence will be for them then the affair is not according to what they had said, they will say: Allah, the Exalted, has an opinion of it.

"Concerning it (al-Bida') Zarara b. A'yun has composed poetry:

"These are signs come in their time, and you have no way (other than) what Allah ordains.

"Were it not for al-Bida', I will call him not past and describe al-Bida' with a description for him who changes.

"Were it not for al-Bida', He was not and then He acted freely and was like the fire that always flamed.

"The second is (practicing) the precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya), so whenever they want a thing, they talk about it; and when it is said to them: this is a mistake, they say: We had said it out of (practicing) the precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya)."[1]

p: 224

2. Al-Fakhr al-Razi

Explaining these words of Him, the Exalted: Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book, al-Fakhr al-Razi has said: (The Rafidites have said:) "It is permissible for Allah (to practice) al-Bida', that means that He believes a thing, then the affair appears to him in a manner different from that which he believes."[2]

3. Ahmed Ameen

Dr. Ahmed Ameen has said: "We have seen that some Shi'ites maintain al-Bida' the Jews have denied. The earliest one to maintain it was al-Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd, who summoned (the people to follow) Muhammed b. al-Hanafiya. Al-Shahristani has said: 'Al-Mukhtar maintained al-Bida' because he claimed that he had knowledge of the occurrence of the circumstances either through an

inspiration inspired to him or through a letter from the Imam. If he promised his companions that something would happen and it happened as he had predicted, he used it as proof of his truthful claim; and if it had not happened just as he had predicted, he would have said: 'Your Lord has an opinion of it.' He did not differentiate between the abrogation and al-Bida'; so if abrogation was permissible in the (religious) precepts, then al-Bida' is permissible in the traditions (akhbar).' Many Shi'ites believe in the doctrine of al-Bida' and used it in many of their historical subject matters; and one of their Imams has said: 'Allah is not served (through a belief) better than al-Bida'.' For it opens the door to repentance in seeking forgiveness from Allah; and the Jews were the strongest to oppose al-Bida'."[3]

p: 225

These people have criticized the Shi'a for their maintaining al-Bida', but they have no opinion near to reality, that is because they do not understand the reality of al-Bida' in which the Shi'a believe.

_______________________________________________________

[1] Sharh Usool al-Kafi.

[2] Al-Razi, Tafseer.

[3] Fajjr al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 354.

The Jews deny al-Bida'

The Jews were the first to deny and change al-Bida'. They believe that when the pen of ordinance and decree wrote the things in eternity, it was impossible for the will to associate with (something) opposite and contrary to it. For this reason they have said: "Allah's hand is tied up from expansion and contraction, taking and giving; that is because the pen of the ordinance wrote it; therefore change and alternation is impossible in it."

Imam Musa's Opinion

Imam Musa has talked about al-bida' during his talk with al-Mu'alla b. Muhammed, who asked him about how Allah knew things, so he answered him with an answer in which he dealt with the most important phiosophical and theological subject matters.

He, peace be on him, has said:

"He (Allah) knew and willed, desired and ordained, decreed and carried out, so He carried out what He decreed, decreed what He ordained, and ordained what He desired. Therefore through His knowledge was the will, through His will was the desire, through His desire was the ordainance, through His ordainance was the decree, through His decree was the carrying out. Knowledge precedes the will; the will is the second; the desire is the third. The ordinance is resting on the decree through carrying out. Therefore, to Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, belongs al-bida' in what He knows when He wills and in what He desires for ordaining the things. So when the decree happens though carrying out, then there is no bida'. Therefore, the knowledge of the known before it is; the will in the willed before it becomes material; the desire in the desired before fulfilling it, the preordainance of these known things before detailing and connecting them in material and time; and the decree through the carrying out is the final (one) from among the done (things) with bodies perceived through the senses from among (the things) endowed with color, wind, weight, measure; and those that creep and toddle from among mankind and jinn, birds and animals and other than that from among that which perceived through the senses.

p: 226

So to Allah, the Exalted, belongs al-bida' in respect with them from among that which has no material; therefore when the material, the understood, the perceived happen, then there will be no bida'; and Allah does what He pleases. Thus, through knowledge He knows the things before they are. Through the will He knows their attributes and their limits; and He creates them before showing them. Through the desire He distinguishes their beings in their colors and attributes. Through the ordainment He ordains their nourishment and knows their first and their last. Through the decree He explains to men their places and lead them to them. Through the carrying out He describes them and clarifies their affairs; and that is the ordinace of the Mighty, the Knowing."

This speech full of the most wonderful and ambiguous, theological topics has come to an end; therein the Imam has explained the stage of Allah's knowledge where al-bida' happen. We have previously explained that.

Faith in Allah

When souls are full of faith in Allah, they are clear from sins and are safe from deviation; through faith justice and love prevail (society), virtue and affection spread, all kinds of social vices such as oppression, deception, and aggression come to an end.

Allah sent the prophets and the apostles to His servants to plant in their souls this noble quality. Imam Musa has spoken of faith and preferred it to all kinds of deeds; that was when a person asked him and he answered him, saying:

p: 227

-O Scholar, tell me: Which deed is the best in Allah's sight?

-That which his deed is not accepted except through it.

-And what is that?

-Faith in Allah, which is the highest of deeds in degree, the fullest of them in share, and the noblest of them in rank.

-Tell me of faith: Is it words and deeds or words without deeds?

-The whole of faith is deed; and words are of that deed according to an obligation from Allah; it is manifest in His Book; its light is clear; the proof of it is firm; the Book bears witness for it and summons (men) to it.

-Describe that to me that I may understand it.

-Surely faith has states, degrees, layers, and positions: of it is fully complete, of it is manifestly incomplete, and of it is outweighingly additional.

-Is faith complete, incomplete, and additional?

-Yes.

-How is that?

-Surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has made faith obligatory on man's limbs, divided it on them, and distributed it on them. Each of his (man's) limbs is entrusted with part of faith other than that with which its sister has been entrusted. Of them is his reason, through which he realizes, grasps, and understands, and which is a commander over his body through which limbs bring and send (nothing) except through its opinion and command. Of them are his two hands through which he strikes sharply, his two legs with which he walks, his pudenda which incites him, his two eyes through which he sees, and his two ears through which he hears. He (Allah) has imposed (a kind of faith) on heart other than that which He has imposed on the tongue, imposed on the tongue other than that He has imposed on the two eyes, imposed on the two eyes other than that He has imposed on the ears, imposed on the ears other than that He has imposed on the two hands, imposed on the hands other than that He has imposed on the legs, imposed on the legs other than that He has imposed on the pudenda, and imposed on the pudenda other than that He has imposed on the face. As for the faith He has imposed on the heart is acknowledgment, knowledge, acceptance, submission, contract, consent that there is no god but Allah, Who is unique and without partner, Single, on Whom all depend, has not taken a consort nor a son, and that Muhammed, may Allah, bless him and his family, is His servant and His Prophet.[1]

p: 228

___________________________________________

[1] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, pp. 38-39.

Science

The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt carried the torch of the scientific renaissance in the Islamic world. They established in its cities the principal features of the intellectual life; they seriously summoned the Muslims to build their life on the foundation of scientific awareness; hadith and fiqh encyclopedias are full of the traditions reported from them and that make (Muslims) desirous of knowledge.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, took care of this creative summons; he ordered the Muslims to be serious in acquiring knowledge and understanding the religion; he warned them against acquiring some science of which they took no advantage in developing their life. The historians have narrated that Imam Musa entered the Mesjid of the Prophet, peace be on them, and saw some people surrounding a man, magnifying him and going too far in honoring him. So he, peace be on him, said to one of his companions:

-What is that (man)?

-'Allama (a scholar).

-(In which science) is he 'allama?

-He is the most knowledgeable in the lineage and battles of the Arabs.

-Such a science does not harm him who has no knowledge of it and does not benefit him who has knowledge of him.

Then Imam Musa turned to his companions and explained to them the beneficial science for whose acquiring they had to spend their life. He said to them:

"Science is of three kinds: a clear verse or a just (religious) duty or a standing sunna, other than them is surplus."

p: 229

Genealogy or having knowledge of events of a war do not grow intellect nor it makes a human civilization nor it creates a progress and development in the life of the Muslims. For it is a science that does not harm him who has no knowledge of it and does not benefit him who has knowledge of him. For this reason the Imam regarded it as unimportant and urged the Muslims to spend their time on science other than it.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, talked to his companions of that which they had to know. He, peace be on, has said to them: "I have found the knowledge of all the people (encompassed) by four things:

1. You should know your Lord;

2. You should know what He has done for you;

3. You should know what He wants from you;

4. You should know what would make you abandon your religion.

These four points has been explained by His Eminence, late, Sayyid Muhsin al-Ameen, who has said: "The first (point means that it is) obligatory (on you) to have knowledge of Allah, which is a favor. The second (point) is that you should know the boons He bestows upon you and you should thank and serve Him for them. The third (point) you should know what He wants from you in what He has made obligatory on you and commanded you to perform it, that you may perform it according to the limit He wants from you, so through that you are worthy of reward. The fourth (point) is that you should know the thing that makes you disobey Allah in order to avoid it."[1]

p: 230

_____________________________________________

[1] A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 57.

Obtaining Understanding in Religion

Imam Musa urged the Muslims to obtain understanding in religion and to have knowledge of the religious precepts. He has said to them: "Obtain understanding in the religion of Allah, for obtaining understanding is a key to the inner self, a perfect act of worship, a means for high positions and great rank in religion and the world. The superiority of a learned man over mere worshippers is like the superiority of the sun over the stars. Whoever does not obtain understanding in his religion, none of his deeds pleases Allah."

A Companion of his asked him about the religious precepts he needed, saying: "Can men leave the question about what they need?"

He, peace be on him, said: "Men cannot leave what they need in the respect of the affairs of their religion."

Sitting with (religious) Scholars

Imam Musa, peace be on him, ordered his companions to accompany (religious) scholars and to sit with them, that they might make use of their sciences and their morals and to follow their behavior. He, peace be on him, has said to them: "Talking with a (religious) scholar on dunghills is better that talking with an ignorant (person) on cushions."

The Excellence of Jurists

Imam Musa, peace be on him, lauded the excellence of jurists who are the signposts of religion and have memorized Allah's Book. Reporting traditions on the authority of his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, on the excellence of jurists, he, peace be on him, has said: "Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: 'Jurists are entrusted by the apostles except when they enter the world."

p: 231

A Companion of his asked him, saying:

-O Allah's Apostle, what is their entering in the world?

-Following the supreme ruler (sultan); when they do that, then beware of them for your religion.

Work

Islam has declared its certain summons to work and earn; Allah, the Most High, has said: But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah's grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.[1]

Islam has summoned men to work and urged them to continue it, that they may be positive in their lifetimes enjoying earnestness and activity, that they may benefit others and make use (of their work). It has made them hate negative life and neglecting work that results in hindering economy, spreading poverty and neediness in the country.

Hadith books are full of traditions reported on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and his testamentary trustees concerning urging (Muslims) to work and giving work good qualities, so it (work) is jihad, honor, worship, and of the behavior of the prophets.

The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, themselves practiced work, that the Muslims might follow their example. For example, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, worked on one of his farms. In this respect Abu 'Umar al-Shaybani has related, saying: "I saw Abi 'Abd Allah (Ja'far al-Sadiq), peace be on him, carrying a spade in his hand, wearing thick loincloth and oozing sweat. Thus, I said to him: 'May I be your ransom, let me help you!' He, peace be on him, said: 'I like to see man be harmed by the heat of the sun for seeking his livelihood."[2]

p: 232

Imam al-Kazim worked for earning the daily bread of his family. Al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. Hamza has narrated, saying: "I saw Abi al-Hasan Musa working on a land of his. His feet were soaked with sweat, so I asked him: 'May I be your ransom, where are the men?'

-'Ali, the one who is better than I and my father worked with his hand?

Al-Hasan was dazzled and asked him:

-Who is he?

-Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), and all my forefathers worked with their hands; work is of the behaviors of the prophets, the apostles, and the righteous.[3]

Through that Imam Musa, peace be on him, has given (men) a wonderful lesson on Islam, which is the religion of work and activity, and which says that whatever high is the position of a person is he is ordered to work to prevent himself and his family from that which is in the hand of the people.

______________________________________

[1] Qur'an, Surat al-Jumm'a, verse 10.

[2] Al-'Amal wa Huqooq al-'Amil fi al-Islam, p. 135.

[3] Men Laa Yahdarahu al-Fadeeh, vol. 3, p. 53.

Warning against Laziness

Islam has warned (Muslims) against laziness, for it paralyzes the economic movement, freezes man's abilities, and spoils society. It has been mentioned in the traditions reported from the Imams of guidance that they have sought refuge in Allah from laziness; it has been mentioned on the authority of one of them, saying: "O Allah, I seek refuge in you from laziness, boredom, and flagging." Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said to a companions of his: "Beware of laziness and weariness, for they are a key to all evil things; most surely he who becomes lazy performs no right (against him); and he who becomes weary is not patient toward any true (thing)."[1]

p: 233

Imam Musa b. Ja'far, peace be on him, has advised a son of his to be earnest in his affairs and to be cautious of laziness. He, peace be on him, has said: "Beware of laziness and boredom, for they prevent you from your share in this world and the next."

Imam Musa, peace be on him, hated laziness, unemployment and the one who had such qualities, for they lead to poverty, lowness, and losing manhood. Whoever has them is regarded as among the dead, who have neither thinking nor contemplation.

Moderation

Imam Musa has advised his companions to be moderate and refrain from wastefulness and extravagance, for they bring about the removal of boons. He, peace be on him, has said: "Whoever is moderate and content enjoys his boons; whoever wastes and goes too far (in spending) loses his boons."

He, peace be on him, has said: "Whoever is moderate never becomes poor."

Surely, among the features of Islamic economy is the prevention from extravagance, for it brings about the loss of possessions, corruption of morals, spread of lax morals and negative traits of character, excitement of malice and hatred in the souls of the poor who find no plenty of money. We have subjectively and inclusively talked about this aspect in our book "Work and Worker's Rights in Islam."

_______________________________________________

[1] Al-'Amal wa Huqooq al-'Aamil fi al-Islam, p. 140.

Noble Moral Traits

Islam has brought noble moral traits and regarded them as a basic rule in its brilliant message. The Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "I have been appointed as a prophet to complete noble moral traits." Through his morals, he, may Allah bless him and his family, was a model for noble humanity; after him, the Imams of guidance followed him in spreading noble moral traits and good deeds; that was through their behavior, their commandments and teachings to their companions.

p: 234

Imam Musa took care of this aspect; he always advised his companions to have noble qualities, that they might be a good model for society through their behavior, and that they might spread the concepts of good and righteousness among men. We will deal with what has been narrated on his authority in this respect.

Generosity and good Manners

Imam Musa, peace be on him, urged his companions to be generous and to have good manners. He has said: "The generous and polite is under the protection of Allah; He does not leave him until He makes him enter the Garden. Allah sends out none as a prophet except the generous. My father recommended generosity and good manners."

Piety

Imam Musa, peace be on him, always advised his companions and his followers to refrain from things made forbidden by Allah. He has said: "I always heard my father say: 'He about whose piety the women kept in seclusion do not talk does not belong to our followers."

Patience

He, peace be on him, advised his companions to cling to patience when they faced a disaster or a misfortune, for impatience takes away the reward Allah has prepared for the patient. He, peace be on him, has said: "One is not worthy of the reward of a misfortune except through patience and (saying) we belong to Allah and to Him is our return."

He, peace be on him, has said: "Surely patience during affliction is better than well-being during ease."

p: 235

He, peace be on him, has said: "Misfortune is one for the patient and two for the impatient."

Silence

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has advised his companions to cling to silence. He explained to them its advantages, saying: "Silence is among the doors to wisdom; it brings about love and is a proof of all good things."

Pardon and Restoration

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has urged his companions to pardon those who wrong them and treat them kindly. He has also encouraged them to make peace among people. He has explained to them the result of the good-doers and peace-makers and their reward with Allah, saying: "On the Day of Resurrection a caller will call out: 'Let those who have reward with Allah stand,' none will stand except those who pardon (men) and make peace (among them)."

Saying good Words

He, peace be on him, has ordered his companions to say good words and to do men good favors. He said to al-Fedl b. Younis: "Inform in a good manner and say good (words) and do not be imma'a!"

-What is the imma'a?

-Do not say: I am with men and among them. Most surely, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "O People, they are two ways: the way of good and the way of evil; therefore, the way of evil must not be more lovable to you than the way of good."

Saying the Truth

He has ordered his companions to say the truth and to show it and to refrain from falsehood, saying: "Fear Allah and say the truth though therein is your destruction, for therein is your salvation; O So-and-so, fear Allah and leave falsehood though therein is your salvation, for therein is your destruction."

p: 236

Good Neighborhood

He, peace be on him, has advised his companions to do good to their neighbors and to be patient toward bearing harm and detested things issue from them, saying: "Good neighbor is not refraining from harm, but good neighbor is showing patience toward harm."

Relieving Sanctuary-seekers

He, peace be on him, has urged his companions to relieve the sanctuary-seekers and to grant their needs, saying: "If a sanctuary-seeker go to his brothers to relieve him and they do not do, then they cut off their relationship with Allah, the Great and Almighty."[1] He has ordered them to grant the needs of men, saying: "If a believer comes to his brother (in religion) for a need, then he is a mercy Allah, the Blessed and High, drives to him. If he accepts him, then he makes him follow Allah through us; if he refuses to grant his need and he can grant it, Allah empowers over him a snake created from fire to bite him in his grave until the Day of Resurrection." And he, peace be on him, has said concerning him who does not refuse to grant the need of his believing brother: "Surely, Allah has on earth servants who strive to grant the needs of men; they are safe of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever delights a believer, Allah will delight his heart on the Day of Resurrection."[2]

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Wasaa'il, Chapter on al-Amr fi al-Ma'ruf wa al-Nahy 'an al-Munker.

[2] Ibid.

Diffrent subjects

Paying Visit to Brothers

p: 237

Imam Musa has ordered his companions to show affection to each other, to harmonize with one another and to visit each other, for such deeds bring about love, spreading affection, as well as they lead to a great reward from Allah. He has said: "Whoever visits his believing brother for Allah, not for other than Him, seeking through him a reward from Allah, Allah entrusts with him seventy thousand angels from the time when he leaves his house to his return to it calling him out: 'You are happy, and the garden is happy with you. You will abide a house in the Garden!'"

Consent with Allah’s Decree

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has urged his companions to be consent with Allah’s decree and to be submissive to His will and command, saying: “Whoever has knowledge of Allah should not regard the provision from Him as slow and should not accuse Him of (injustice) in His decree.”

Gratitude for Bounties

He, peace be on him, has advised his companions to show the bounties given by Allah and to be grateful to Him for them. He has said: “Talking about the bounties given by Allah is gratitude, and leaving that is ingratitude. Therefore connect the bounties given by your Lord to gratitude, fortify your possessions through paying zakat, repel tribulation with supplication, for supplication is a shield that repels tribulation even if it is adopted with an adoption.”

Reckoning Soul

He, peace be on him, has urged his companions to reckon their selves and to ponder over their deeds; if they are good, they must increase them; if they are evil, they must ask Allah to forgive them and to be pleased with them. He has said: “He who does not reckon himself every day does not belong to us. If he performs good deeds, he must increase them; and if he performs evil deeds, he must repent of them and ask Allah to forgive him.”

p: 238

Consultation

He, peace be on him, has advised his followers to consult each other in respect with their affairs and not to be obstinate. He has said: “Whoever consults (others) is praised during correctness and excused during committing a mistake.”

Evil Deeds

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has prohibited his followers from having dispraised deeds and performing evil deeds. That is as follows:

Following Mean Desires

He, peace be on him, has said: “Guard against the easy ascent when its slope is rugged; surely my father has said: ‘Do not leave the soul alone with its mean desire, for its mean desire destroys it; leaving the soul alone with what it desires harms it; preventing the soul from what it desires cures it.”

Disobedience of Parents

He, peace be on him, has said: [Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said:] “Be obedient (to your parents) and restrict yourself to the Garden; be disobedient and rude and restrict yourself to the Fire.”

Regarding Sins as Small

He, peace be on him, has said: “Do not regard as much good and do not regard as little few sins, for few sins come together and become many; fear (Allah) in private, that you may be just.”

Joking

He, peace be on him, has said to a son of his: “Beware of joking, for it takes away the light of your faith and makes (men) disparage your manhood.”

His Supplications

p: 239

Imam Musa devoted himself to Allah; he mentioned Him, the Most High. He supplicated Him with the supplication of those who turn to Allah in repentance. Supplication books have many of his supplications. As for the advantage of supplication, he has talked about it through his statement: “Adhere to supplication, for most surely supplication and request from Allah repel tribulation even if it is ordained and decreed and nothing has remained but carrying it out. When Allah, the Great and Almighty, is supplicated and asked, He turns away tribulation.”

He, peace be on him, has again talked about the advantages result from supplication, saying: “When a tribulation befalls a believing servant and Allah, the Great and Almighty, inspires him with supplication, the tribulation is about to be removed. When a tribulation befalls a believing servant and he refrains from supplicating (Allah), the tribulation lasts for a long (time); therefore when tribulation comes down, adhere to supplication and imploring Allah, the Great and Almighty.”[1] We will briefly present some of his supplications:

His Supplication against Someone who wronged him

He, peace be on him, supplicated with this holy supplication during his qunut against the ‘Abbasid Caliph who was a contemporary of him and made him suffer from various kinds of pang and pain. We will present the full text of the supplication, that, through it, what the Imam met from the tyrants of his time may be clear:

“O Allah, surely I and so-and-so son of so-and-so are two of your servants! Our forelocks are in Your hand. You know our resting place, our depository, our return, our abode, our secret and open deeds. You know our intentions and encompass our minds. Your knowledge of what we show is just as Your knowledge of what we hide. Your knowledge of what we conceal is just as Your knowledge of what we make public. None of our affairs is hidden from You; none of our conditions is covered from You. No fortress protects us from You; no sanctuary guards us from You and no place to flee from You. The fortresses do not preserve the unjust from You. His fighters do not struggle for him against You. No overcomer attempts to overcome You through his standing by him; You catch up with him wherever he walks and have power over him wherever he goes. Therefore the wronged from among us seeks refuge in You. The vanquished from among us relies on You, resorts to You, seeks help from You when deserted by the aider, cries to You for help when neglected by the helper, seeks shelter in You when banished by the courtyards, knocks on Your gate when doors with bolts are closed before him, reaches You when the heedless kings are veiled from him. You know what happens to him before he complains of it to You; You know what sets him right before he supplicates You for it; therefore praise belongs to You, O Aware, Knowing, Most Kind!

p: 240

“O Allah, and that it certainly was in Your previous knowledge, Your firm decree, Your going on determination, and Your valid command. Your will is in process among all Your servants, happy and unhappy, pious and sinful. You have given so-and-so power over me, and he has wronged me with it, aggressed against me through his position, showed audaciousness and mighty through his authority with which You have invested him, showed tyranny and pride through his high state which You have given to him. Your giving respite to him has deluded him and Your clemency toward him has made him tyrannical, so he has aimed at me with detested things toward which I am impatient, intentionally performed to me evil (things) before which I am feeble. I cannot seek justice from him because of my frailty nor can I gain a victory over him because of the paucity (of my supporters); therefore I have entrusted his affair to You and I have relied on You in respect with his affair.

You have threatened him with Your punishment, warned him through Your power, and frightened him with Your vengeance, but he has thought that Your clemency toward him is out of weakness, and Your giving respite to him is out of feebleness. None has prevented him from (doing) another, nor has he been prevented from a second by a first. However, he has gone too far in his error, continued doing wrong, persevered in his enmity, and increased his tyranny, out of audaciousness toward You. O my Master and Protector! Undertake Your wrath You do not withhold from the oppressors. So here I am, O my Master, wronged under his authority, abased in his courtyard, transgressed, apprehensive, fearful, terrified, and vanquished. My patience has become little; my strength has become narrow.

p: 241

The ways have been closed before me except (the one leading) to You; the directions have been blocked up all around me except a direction to Your. My affairs have become ambiguous in repelling his detested things. The opinions have become dubious to me in removing his oppression; the one from among Your creatures I have asked for help has deserted me; the one from among Your servants to whom I have clung has handed me over. So I had consulted my adviser and he advised me to beseech You. I had asked my guide to show me the right way and he showed me none except You. Therefore I have come back to You, O my Protector, lowly, willingly, miserable, knowing that there is no relief for me except from You, and there is no salvation for me except through You. Fulfill Your promise in helping me and grant my supplication; that is because Your words are true and are not refuted and changed.

Certainly You, Blessed and Most High You are, have said: and he who has been oppressed, Allah will most certainly aid him; and You, Majestic is Your eulogy and Holy are Your names, have said: Supplicate Me and I will respond to you. So I am going to do what You have commanded me not by making You feel obliged. How can I make you feel obliged and You have guided me to it; therefore, respond to me just as You had promised me, O You Who do not fail to perform the promise. I certainly know, my Master, that You will some day take vengeance on the oppressors for the oppressed; I am sure that some time You will punish the usurper for the usurped. That is because no obstinate precedes You; no opponent comes out of Your grasp. You do not fear the escape of a escaper, but my impatience and dismay do not reach the patience toward Your deliberateness and waiting for Your clemency. So Your power, my Master, is over all powers; Your force overcomes all forces. Every body will return to You even if You give them time; all oppressor will come back to You even if You respite them. O My Master, certainly Your clemency toward so-and-so, Your long deliberateness toward him, and Your giving him time have harmed me.

p: 242

Despair is about to dominate me were it not for trust in You and certainty in Your promise. So if it is in Your valid decree and Your going on power that he will turn to You in repentance or repent or withhold from wronging me or refrain from the things I detest and leave the great (sins) he commits (through wronging) me, then bless Muhammed and his family and let that fall into his heart before You remove Your blessing You have bestowed upon him and before You muddy Your good You have done to him. If Your knowledge of him is other than that of his station through which he has wronged me, then I ask You, O Helper of the wronged and transgressed, grant my supplication. Bless Muhammed and his family and overtake him in his place of safety with the overtaking of a Mighty, Powerful One. Surprise him during his inattention with the surprise of a Victorious King. Deprive him of his blessing and his authority, disband his troops and his helpers. Completely tear apart his kingdom, thoroughly scatter his supporters, isolate him from Your blessing for which he has showed neither gratitude nor kindness. Strip him of the shirt of Your Exaltation toward which he has showed no good turn.

Snap him, O Snapper of the tyrants. Destroy him, O Destroyer of the bygone generations. Ruin him, O Ruiner of the oppressive nations. Abandon him, O Abandoner of the rebellious groups. Cut off his lifetime; take his properties; efface his trace; cut off his news; put out his fire; make dark his house; ball his sun; make him give up the ghost; smash his legs; cut off his head; rub his nose in the ground; hasten his death. Leave neither shield for him unless you destroy it, nor support for him unless You snap it, nor a union unless You scatter it, nor a post of loftiness unless You lower it, nor a pillar unless You undermine it, nor a tie unless You cut it off. Show us his helpers and troops as slaves after the exaltation; make them disunited after their unity, bow their heads after their show-off before the community. Relieve, through the removal of his affair, the fearful souls, the grieved hearts, the perplexed community, and the lost mankind. Show, through his removal, the suspended, prescribed punishments, the effaced laws (sunan), the neglected precepts, the changed, principal features (of religion), the distorted verses, the deserted schools, the abandoned places of worship, and the demolished shrines.

p: 243

Through it (his removal) satisfy the hungry, hollow stomachs.

Water, through it, the exhausted palates and the thirsty livers. Through it give rest to the tired feet. Strike him with an affliction that has no sister (lit. no like), with an hour when there is no abode, with a misfortune with which there is no refreshment, and with a stumble from which there is no release. Make lawful his forbidden things; muddy his ease. Show him Your most violent seizing, Your ideal vengeance, Your power that is over all powers, Your force that is mightier than his. Overcome him for me through Your strong strength and Your severe punishment. Protect me from him through Your protection. Afflict him with poverty he cannot redress and with evil he cannot cover. Entrust him to himself in what You desire. Surely You do what You desire! Release him from Your force and power and entrust him to his force and power.

Remove his scheming through Your scheming; repel his will through Your will. Sicken his body; orphan his children; decrease his fixed term; disappoint his hope; remove his state; prolong his wailing; make him busy with his own body. Do not set him free from his sadness. Turn his trickery into error, his affair into disappearance, his comfort into removal, his earnestness into lowness, his authority into vanishing, and his final result into the most wicked result. Make him die of his fury if You intended to make him die; let him remain in grief if You intended to let him remain. Protect me from his evil, his backbite, his slander, his influence, and his enmity. Glance at him with a glance through which You destroy him; for most surely You are strongest in prowess and strongest to give an exemplary punishment.”[2]

p: 244

From this holy supplication we conclude that Imam Musa met heavy misfortunes and exhausting pain from his opponent, for he did not supplicate against him with this supplication unless he filled his heart with severe sadness and bitter pain.

His Supplication in Seeking Needs

He, peace be on him, supplicated with this supplication when he was poverty or lack-stricken:

“O Allah, I ask You through him whose right against You is great to bless Muhammed and his family, to provide me with putting into practice the knowledge of Your right You have taught me, and to make easy to me Your provision of which You have deprived me.”[3]

His Supplication for Help in Repaying Debts

A Companion of the Imam’s complained to him of his accumulated debts against him, and he, peace be on him, wrote him the following supplication and ordered him to supplicate (Allah) with it:

“O Allah, repay to all Your creatures their complaints against me, small and great, through ease and well-being from You, and that which my strength cannot reach, my own hand cannot embrace, my body, my certainty, and my soul cannot endure. So repay it on my behalf from the plentiful You have from Your favor. Then do not let anything of it remain behind me to settle it of my good deeds. O Most Merciful of the merciful! I testify that there is no god apart from Allah, Who is unique and without partners, that Muhammed is His servant and His Prophet, that the religion is just as He Has legislate, that Islam is just as He has described, that the Book is just as He has revealed, that the speech is just as He has related, and that Allah is the Clear Truth. Allah has mentioned Muhammed and his Household in a good way, and He has greeted Muhammed and his Household with (the greeting) salam.” [4]

p: 245

His Supplication for Seeking Veil

Imam Musa, peace be on him, sought veil through the following supplication and sought protection with it:

“I have trusted in the Living, Who does not die; I have fortified myself in the Possessor of the might and invincibility; I have sought help from the Possessor of the magnificence and kingdom. O My Protector! I have submitted to You, so do not hand me over. I have trusted in You, so do not desert me. I have sought refuge in Your easy protection, so do not dismiss me. You are the Object of requests and to You is the flight. You know what I conceal and make public; You know the stealthy looks and that which the breasts conceal; therefore withhold from me, O Allah, the hands of the oppressive from among all the jinn and the men; heal me and make me well, O Most Merciful of the merciful!”[5]

It is enough for us to mention this number of his holy supplication that indicates that he devoted himself to Allah and clang to Him. Many of his supplications have been mentioned in the books al-Iqbal, Muhajj al-Da’awat, and other than them have been written on this subject.

______________________________________________

[1] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 553.

[2] Muhajj al-Da'wat, pp. 67-72.

[3] Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 553.

[4] Ibid., p. 373.

[5] Muhajj al-Da'awat, p. 373.

Sermons and Commandments

He gave high advice and valuable teachings to his companions and his followers; he, peace be on him, always warned them against the chastisement and punishment of Allah and made them fear the hereafter; the following are some of his commandments:

p: 246

His commandments to a Son of his.

He, peace be upon him, has said to him: “O my little son, beware that Allah sees you (commit) an act of disobedience from which He has prohibited you. Beware that Allah misses you during an act of obedience He has commended you (to perform). Adhere to diligence. Do not take out of yourself falling short of worshipping Allah, for surely they do not assign to Allah, the Great and

Almighty, the worship due to Him. Beware of joking, for it takes away the light of your faith and makes (men) disparage your manhood. Beware of laziness and boredom, for they deprive you of your share in this world and the next.”[1]

Directions and Guidance

He, peace be on him, has given to all Muslims general directions in which he has mentioned:

“Experiences are sufficient education; the passage of time is a (sufficient) lesson; the morals of him with whom you associate are (sufficient) knowledge; the remembrance of death is a (sufficient) barrier against sins and offences. The wonder of wonders is those who are on diet and drink lest they should be infected by a malady, but they do not guard against sins out of fear of the fire when it burns their bodies.”[2]

General Advice

He, peace be on him, advised his companions to organize their time and to educate their souls, saying: “Try hard, that your time may be four hours: one hour is for supplicating Allah, one hour for the affairs of the livelihood, one hour for associating with the brothers (friends) and the reliable ones who let you know your defects and who are inwardly loyal to you, and one hour for that you are alone with yourselves (and) for non-forbidden things. Through this hour you have power over the three hours. Tell yourselves of neither poverty nor a long lifetime, for whoever tells himself of poverty becomes miserly. Whoever tells himself of a long lifetime becomes greedy. Appoint for yourselves a share of the world through giving them something lawful they desire, that does not defile manhood, and in which there is no immoderation. Seek help from that for the affairs of your religion, for it has been reported: ‘Whoever leaves his life in the world for his religion or leaves his religion for his life in the world does not belong to us.”[3]

p: 247

Urging for Doing Good

He, peace be on him, has said: “He whose two days are equal is cheated. He whose end of his two days is more wicked than them is cursed; whoever does not know the increase to his own soul is in a decrease; whoever is in a greater decrease, it is better to him die than to remain alive.”[4]

With this brief presentation we will end our talk about his sermons and teachings and we will deal with another apart of his heritage.

__________________________________________________

[1] Al-Waafi, vol. 3, p. 78.

[2] Al-Durr al-Nazim.

[3] Tuhaf al-'Uqool, p. 409.

[4] Al-Ithaf Bihub al-Ashraf, p. 55.

His Debates and Discussions

Imam Musa, peace be on him, entered eloquent debates and discussions with his opponents; likewise he debated with some Jews and Christian scholars. He, peace be on him, confuted all of them through sufficient proofs he gave to them concerning the correctness of his beliefs and the falsehood of theirs. They have acknowledged their incapability and their failure, the Imam’s abundant knowledge and his superiority over them. The following are some of his debates:

1. With Nafee‘ al-Ansari

Imam Musa, peace be on him, visited Harun (al-Rashid’s) palace. When the chamberlain of the palace saw him, he received him with honoring and welcome, gave him precedence over other then him to meet Harun. In the waiting-room was Nafee‘ al-Ansari. When he saw that honoring and welcome, he burnt with anger, turned to ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who was with him, and said to him:

p: 248

-Who is this Shaykh?

-Do you not know him? This is the Shaykh (Chief) of the family of Abi Talib; this is Musa b. Ja‘far

Nafee‘ criticized the ‘Abbasids for their honoring Imam Musa, saying: “I have never seen someone more incapable than this group of people who welcomes and honors a man who is able to remove them from their throne; when he comes out, I will treat him badly!”

‘Abd al-‘Aziz scolded, saying: “Do not do that! For they are the Household (of the Prophet). When someone addresses them in a bad manner, they brand him through an answer for life.”

When the Imam ended his meeting with Harun and came out of him, Nafee‘ angrily walked towards him, caught the reins of his mount, and asked him:

-Who are you?

-Fellow, if you want (to know) the lineage, then I am the (grand) son of Muhammed, the one loved by Allah, the (grand) son of Isma‘il, the one whom Allah ransomed with a great sacrifice, and the (grand) son of Ibraheem, the bosom friend of Allah. If you want (to know) the city, it is that to which Allah, the Great and Almighty, has made the hajj obligatory on Muslims and on you, if you belonged to them! If you want to vie in glory (with me), by Allah, the polytheists from among my people did not regard the Muslims from among your people as their equals when they said: “Muhammed, let our equals from Quraysh meet us (in battle)! Leave the reins of my mount!

p: 249

Nafee‘ went away while he was unable to see his way out of shame and disgrace with which the Imam branded him.[1]

2. With al-Fedl b. al-Rabi‘

Harun al-Rashid paid a visitation to the tomb of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. So Imam Musa, peace be on him, met him. When the meeting was over, the Imam came out and passed by Muhammed al-Ameen, son of (Harun) al-Rashid, who turned to al-Fedl b. al-Rabi‘ and commanded him: “Admonish this!” So al-Rabi‘ arose and asked the Imam:

-What! Is this the animal on which you meet the Commander of the faithful? If you were seeking (something) on it, you would not obtain it and if you were being sought (while you were on it), you would not escape.

-It is beneath the vanity of horses and above the lowliness of asses and the best of matters are those that are moderate.[2]

The Imam left him and went away. Confusion, tiredness, and incapability appeared on al-Fedl’s face.

3. With Abu Yousif

Harun al-Rashid ordered Abu Yousif[3] to ask Imam Musa in his presence, that incapability might appear on him and he would use it as a means to degrade his dignity. When the Imam, peace be on him, met them, Abu Yousif asked him:

- What do you say about making shade (from the sun) for the person consecrated as (muhrim)?

- It is not permitted.

- Shall he pitch a tent and enter it?

p: 250

- Yes.

- What is the difference between the two places?

- What do you say about a menstruating woman-does she compensate the prayer?

- No.

- Does she compensate the fasting?

- Yes.

- Why?

- In this manner it has been mentioned, and in this manner this has been mentioned.

Abu Yousif kept silent and gave no answer. Shame and incapability appeared on his face, so Harun said to him:

- I think you have done nothing!

- He has given me an irrefutable answer![4]

Imam Musa left them and went away while sadness and unhappiness dominated them.

4. With Abu Hanifa

Abu Hanifa visited Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and said to him: “I have seen your son, Musa, pray while the people were passing before him. He did not prevent them from that.”

Abu ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, ordered his son to be brought before him. When he stood before him, he asked him: “O My little son, Abu Hanifa says that you pray and the people pass before you.”

“Yes, father,” replied Imam Musa, “the One to Whom I pray is nearer to me than them; Allah, the Great and Almighty, says: We are nearer to him than the jugular vein.”

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, was very delighted and glad when he heard these wonderful words of his son, so he rose for him, embraced him, and said to him: “May my father and mother be your ransom, O he in whom secrets have been deposited!”[5]

p: 251

5. With Harun al-Rashid

Harun al-Rashid ordered Imam Musa, peace be on him, to be arrested, and he stayed in prison for many years. Then he ordered him to be brought in his palace. When he was brought and sat down, Harun al-Rashid turned to him and angrily asked him:

- Musa b. Ja‘far, are land taxes collected for two caliphs?

- Commander of the faithful, I seek refuge for you with Allah that you should bear the sin committed against me and your own sin, and that you accept falsehood from our opponents against us. You have come to know that lies have been fabricated against us since the death of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family; you have knowledge of that. I ask you through your kinship to Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to permit me to relate to you a tradition related to me by my father on the authority of his forefathers on the authority of my grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

- I have given you permission.

- My father has told me on the authority of his forefathers on the authority of my grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, that he has said: “Surely when kinship touches kinship, it moves and shakes.” Therefore, give me your hand!

Accordingly, Harun felt pity (for him) and his anger disappeared. He stretched out his hand to him, drew him towards him, and embraced him for a long time; then he brought him nearer to him while his eyes were bathed in tears; he turned to him and said to him some words full of sympathy:

p: 252

- You and your grandfather are truthful. My blood has moved and my veins have shaken to the extent that compassion has dominated me and my eyes has flowed with tears. I want to ask you about something that has been on my mind for a time; I have asked none about it. If you answer me about it, I will release you and do not accept the words of anybody against you. I have been informed that you never tell lies; therefore, tell me the truth about what I ask you.

- If I had knowledge of it and you gave me security, I would tell you about it.

- I would give you security if you told me the truth and left the precautionary dissimulation for which you had been known, O Fatima’s sons.

- Ask me about whatever you wish.

- Why have you been given preference over us while you and us belong to one tree, the Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib, we, and you are one (tree), so the Banu al-‘Abbas and you are the children of Abi Talib. They are two uncles of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and they have the same kinship to him?

- We are nearer to him.

- Why is that?

- That is because ‘Abd Allah and Abi Talib belong to one father and mother; your father al-‘Abbas does not belong to the mother of ‘Abd Allah and Abi Talib.

- Why have you claimed that you have inherited the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and (that) the uncle veils the cousin, and Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has died, and Abu Talib had died before him, and al-‘Abbas, his uncle, was alive?

p: 253

- I ask the commander of the faithful to exempt me from it and to question me about all chapters other than it.

- No, you should answer (it)!

- Give me security.

- I had given you security before the speech.

- It has been mentioned in the speech of (Imam) ‘Ali, peace be on him: “None, male or female, has (the right) to share (the inheritance) with the child of the backbone (sons, daughters, and grandsons) except the parents, the husband, and the wife. It has not been established that the uncle shares the inheritance with the child of the backbone. However, Taym, ‘Adi, and the Umayyads have said that the uncle is a father; that is their (personal) opinion without a reality and no tradition (reported) on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.”

Then Imam Musa, peace be on him, mentioned to him a group of the jurists of the time who gave a religious decision on this matter similar to that his grandfather, (Imam ‘Ali) the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had given. He, peace be on him, has added his speech to that: “The earlier general populace have narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, that he has said: ‘‘Ali is the most capable of you in giving legal decisions.’” Similarly, Umar b. al-Khattab has said: ‘‘Ali is the most capable of us in giving legal decisions.’ And it (judgement) is a comprehensive noun, for it includes all things such as recitation (of the Qur’an), religious duties, and knowledge through which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, praised his companions.”

p: 254

After Imam Musa, peace be on him, had given this irrefutable proof, Harun al-Rashid asked him to give him more explanations, so he, peace be on him, said: “Surely the Prophet did not bequeathed those who did not emigrate and did not establish their pledge of allegiance until they emigrated.”

Harun asked: “What is your proof?”

He, peace be on him, said: “These words of Him: and (as for) those who believed and did not fly, not yours is their guardianship until they fly.[6] And my uncle al-‘Abbas did not emigrate.”

Harun turned yellow and burst with anger, so he said to the Imam:

-Have you told any of our enemies or our jurists about that?

- No, and none had told me about it except you.

He calmed down and asked:

-Why have you permitted the non-Shi’ites (‘amma) and the Shi’ites (khassa) to ascribe you to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and to call you: O Sons of Allah’s Apostle, and you are the sons of ‘Ali, and one is ascribed to his father, and Fatima was a container, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, is your grandfather on the side of your mother?

- If the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was raised from the dead and proposed to your daughter, would you respond to him?

- Glory belongs to Allah! And why do I not respond to him? Rather I would through that pride myself on the Arabs, the non-Arabs, and Quraysh

p: 255

- But he would not propose (to my daughter) and I would not marry (her) to him.

- Why?

- Because he begot me and did not beget you.

- Well-done, Musa!

- Why have you said that you are the Prophet’s progeny, while the Prophet had no progeny, the progeny belongs to the male and not to the female, and you are his daughter’s children?

- I ask you, by the right of the kinship, to exempt me (from that)

- No, you should tell me about your proof, O ‘Ali’s sons, and you are, Musa, their chief and the Imam of their time; I do not exempt you (from that).

- Will you give me permission to answer?

- Give (me the answer).

- Allah has said in his book: and of his descendants, Dawud and Sulayman and Ayyub and Yousif and Harun; and thus do We reward those who do good (to others). And Zakariya and Yehya and Isa and Ilyas; every one was of the good.[7] Who is ‘Isa’s father, O Commander of the faithful?

- ‘Isa had no father.

- Allah has ascribed him to the descendants of the prophets through Maryam; similarly, we have been ascribed to the descendants of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, through our mother Fatima, peace be on her.

Nevertheless, Harun asked Imam Musa to give him more evidence and proofs. So he, peace be on him, responded to him, saying: “Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.[8] None claims that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, made someone enter under the cloak (kisa’) when he challenged the Christians to a contest of prayer to Allah

p: 256

(mubahala) except ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. Therefore the explanation of the words of Him, the Exalted, is: Our sons are al-Hasan and al-Husayn; our women is Fatima; our near people is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. He has added another proof to this proof: “Surly the (religious) scholars have unanimously agreed that Gabriel said on the Day of Uhad: ‘O Muhammed, surely this is the help from ‘Ali.’ So he (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, has said: ‘Surely he (‘Ali) is of me and I of him.’ So he (Gabriel) has said: ‘And I am of you.’”[9]

Harun stopped his argument and found no way to follow, for the Imam gave undoutable, conclusive arguments.

Then Harun asked the Imam to write him a brief, comprehensive letter on the affairs of the religion, and he, peace be on him, wrote him the letter that reads as follows:

________________________________________________

[1] Nizhat al-Nazir fi Tenbeeh al-Khatir, p. 45.

[2] Zahr al-Adab, vol. 1, p. 132.

[3] Abu Yousif's name is Ya'qub b. Ibrahim al-Ansari. He was born in the year 113 A. H. He died in Baghdad in the year 282 A. H. He was a traditionist, and then he followed opinion. He studied jurisprudence under 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Layla and Abu Hanifa. He was appointed as a judge by Harun al-Rashid. This has been mentioned in Tabaqat al-Fuqaha', p. 113.

[4] Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, p. 429.

[5] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12, p. 283.

p: 257

[6] Qur'an Surat al-Anfal, vol. 72.

[7] Surat al-An'am, verses 84-85.

[8] Surat Aal 'Umran, verse 60.

[9] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12, pp. 274-275.

A brief, comprehensive letter on the affairs of the religion

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All the affairs of the religion are four: the affair over which there is no difference; it is the unanimous resolution of the community on the necessity to which they are forced. The traditions on which there is unanimous resolution; they are the utmost degree before which all doubts are brought, from which all events are derived. The affair in which doubt and denial are possible, so the way to it is to consult its men, the argument of it is of that which has been established to those who embrace it from the Book on whose explanation there is unanimous resolution or a sunna from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, over which there is no difference. Or analogy whose justice intellects know and which the special group and the general populace of the community cannot doubt and deny. These two affairs of monotheism and those inferior to them to the wound money and those inferior to it. These are the presented (things) before which the affairs of the religion are brought. Therefore you can choose the thing established through a proof and refuse the one whose correctness is vague to you. So whoever mentions one of these three (matters), then it is the conclusive argument Allah has explained to His Prophet in the words of Him: Say: Then Allah’s is the conclusive argument; so if He pleased, He would certainly guide you all.[10]

p: 258

The ignorant knows the conclusive argument; he comes to know it through his ignorance just as the learned knows it through his knowledge; that is because Allah is just and does not wrong (anyone). He advances the knowledge of His creatures as an argument against them. He summons them to know what they do not know and deny.

Imam Musa had gone away after Harun rewarded and honored.[11] He guided his opponent-the so-called the Caliph of the Muslims and Commander of the faithful-to the affairs of the religion and explained to him the position of Ahl al-Bayt and the correctness of their sayings and confirmed his beliefs with the most reliable evidence and proofs.

The traditionists have mentioned his other debate with Harun. I (the author) think that is debate is one of the fabricated narrations, and that it is nearer to imagination than to reality; it reads as follows:

Harun al-Rashid made the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca), so the police prevented the pilgrims from entering the House while circumambulating it. While he was busy circumambulating and surrounded by royal guards, a Bedouin hurried to the House and began circumambulating it along with him, so the chamberlain walked towards him and commanded him, saying:

-Fellow, go away from the face of the Caliph!

-Surely Allah has regarded men as equal in this place when He said: The Sacred Mosque which We have made equally for men, (for) the dweller therein and (for) the visitor.

p: 259

The chamberlain left him and went away. Whenever Harun al-Rashid circumambulating the Kaaba, the Bedouin was before him. When he arose to kiss the Black Stone, the Bedouin preceded him and kissed it. When he went to the Standing Place to perform a prayer wherein, the Bedouin preceded him and prayed before him. So he became angry and ordered his chamberlain to bring the Bedouin before him, and he ordered him:

-Respond to the Commander of the faithful!

-I do not go to him, for I am in no need of him! He must come to me, for he is in need of me!

The chamberlain went to al-Rashid (and told him of the Bedouin’s words), and he said: “He is truthful!”

Then he went to him. When he approached him, he greeted him and asked him:

-O Bedouin, shall I sit down?

-Do not ask permission from me, for the place does not belong to him; it is the House of Allah; He has installed it for His servants. If you like to sit down, then sit down; if you like to go away, then go away!

Harun al-Rashid sat down while he was furious and angry and scolded the Bedouin, saying:

-Woe unto you! Are you the one who vies with the kings?

-Yes; and I have knowledge to which you must listen!

-Therefore, I am going to ask you. If you cannot (answer my questions), I will harm you!

-Does your question belong to a learned one or to an obstinate one?

p: 260

-Rather a question belongs to a learned one!

-Sit down and question.

-Tell me: What is your (religious) duty?

-Surely the (religious) duty is one, five, seventeen, forty-three, forty-nine, one hundred and fifty-three, one out of twelve, one out of forty, five out of two hundreds, one throughout the (life) time, and one for one.

So Harun al-Rashid laughed and sneeringly said:

-Woe unto you! I ask you about your (religious) duty while you answer in an arithmetical way!

-Do you not know that the whole of the religion is arithmetic; if the religion was not arithmetic, Allah would not prepare reckoning from creatures. Then he recited (these words of Him ): and though there be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, (yet) will We bring it, and sufficient are We to take account.

-Explain to me what you have said; otherwise I will ordered you to be killed between al-Safa and al-Marwa!

So the chamberlain begged Harun, saying:

-Pardon him for Allah and this Standing Place!

So the Bedouin laughed at his words, and Harun was angry with him and asked him:

-What has made you laugh?

-I wonder at you, for I do not know who is the more ignorant than you, who makes slow the death that has come or who makes haste the death that has not come yet.

Al-Rashid commanded:

-Explain what you have said!

-As for my words: the (religious) duty is one, they are that the whole of Islam is one and it has five ritual prayers that are seventeen rakka‘s: forty-three sajjdas, forty-nine takkbirs, and a hundred and fifty-three tasbihs. As for my statement: one out of twelve, it is that fasting during the Month of Ramadan is one out of twelve months. As for my statement: one out of forty, it is that whoever has forty dinars, Allah has made it incumbent on him (to pay) a dinar. As for my statement: five out of two hundreds, it is that whoever has two hundred dirhams, Allah has made it incumbent on him (to pay) five dirhams. As for my statement, one throughout (life) time, is the hajj of Islam. As for my statement: one for one, it is that whoever sheds blood unjustly, then it is obligatory to shed his own blood. Allah, the Most High, has said: life is for life.

p: 261

So Harun (al-Rashid) admired the Bedouin’s abundant knowledge, saying: “What a generous man!” Then he ordered him to be given a purse of money. So the Bedouin asked:

-What made me deserve this purse of money? Through speech or through your questioning me?

-Rather through speech.

-I am going to question you about a certain matter. If you answered it, the purse of money would be yours in order to give it as alms in this Holy Place. If you did not answer it, you had to add another purse of money to it, that I might give it as alms to the poor of the district from among my people.

Accordingly, Harun ordered another purse of money to be brought and said to him:

-Ask about whatever you like!

-Tell me about the beetle: Does it feed or suckle its young?

So Harun turned yellow and was dominated by anger, and he said:

-Woe unto you! Is it I whom is asked about such a question?

-I have heard from him who had heard from Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, that he said: “Whoever is appointed as a ruler over some peoples is granted an intellect like those of theirs.” You are the Imam of this community; when you are questioned about any of the affairs of your religion and of the (religious) duties, you must answer it. Have you any answer to it?

-Explain to me what you have said and take the two purses of money.

p: 262

-Surly when Allah created the earth, he created the insects of the earth without feces and blood. He created them from earth and made them feed on it. When the young insect leaves its mother, it does not feed it nor does it nurse it, and it lives on earth. So Harun said: “By Allah, none has been tried with such a question.”

The Bedouin took the two purses of money and went away. A person followed him and asked him about his name, and suddenly he was Imam Musa al-Kazim, peace be on him. The person came back to Harun and told him about that, and he said:

“This leaf must be of that tree!”[12]

We have doubt about this narration for the following reasons:

1. Imam Musa vied with Harun al-Rashid for performing the hajj and prayers; this rivalry is far from the guidance and behavior of the Imam, and no religious deed resulted from it.

2. Harun did not recognize the Imam throughout this debate that took a long time, while he fully knew him.

3. The Imam took two purses of money from Harun, whereas he was very far above such a deed, for he was famous for that he refused Harun and did not submit to him or those kings of his time.

4. The story, which is questions and answers, is weak and illogical; therefore it is nearer to imagination than to reality. It was created by the excessive and the Mufawada; it has no share of correctness, as I (the author) think.

p: 263

____________________________________

[10] Qur'an, Surat al-An'am, vol. 149.

[11] Tuhaf al-'Uqool, pp. 407-408.

[12] Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, pp. 427-429.

With some Jewish Scholars

A delegation of Jewish scholars visited Imam al-Sadiq to debate with him on Islam. When they had the honor of standing before him, they asked him about the evidence and proof of the prophecy of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family:

-Which miracle is a proof of the prophethood of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family?

His (Allah’s) dominating Book that dazzles the intellects of beholders along with the lawful and the unlawful He has given, and other than them; if we mentioned it, it would take us along time to explain it.

-How can we come to know that this (miracle) is just as you have mentioned?

Imam Musa, though young, asked them:

-How can we come to know the verses Allah (revealed) to Musa (Moses) according to what you describe?

-We have known that through the narration reported by the truthful.

-Therefore, know the truthfulness of what I have told you through the answer of the boy (Imam Musa) Allah has taught without teaching and knowledge from narrators.

Imam Musa dazzled the Jews, and they believed in his words, which were really a miracle, and became Muslims, saying: “We bear witness that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammed is the Apostle of Allah, that you are the guiding Imams and the proofs of Allah over his creatures.”

p: 264

When Imam Musa mentioned this proof and the people became Muslims at his hand, Abu ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) arose and kissed him on the forehead and said to him: “You are the one who will undertake the office of the Imamate (qa’im), after me.” Then he (al-Sadiq) ordered clothes and gifts to be given to them. They thanked him for that and went away.”[1]

_____________________________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 4, p. 148.

With Burayha

Burayha was among the leading personalities of the Christians and among their brilliant scholars. He looked for the truth and sought guidance, so he associated with all the Muslim sects; he debated with them but did not reach the objective he wanted. The Shi’ites and Hisham b. al-Hakam were described to him, and he along with a hundred Christian scholars. When they sat down, Burayha questioned Hisham about the most important ideological and theological matters. Hisham answered them, and then they all went to have the honor of meeting with Imam Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. Before they met him, they had met with Imam Musa, so Hisham told him about his debates and speech with Burayha. Thus, the Imam turned to Burayha and asked him:

-O Burayha, what about your knowledge of your Book?

-I am knowledgeable of it.

-What about your trust in the explanation on it?

-Just as I have knowledge of it.

Then, he, peace be on him, recited to him the Bible and read to him its chapters. When Burayha heard of that, he believed that the religion of Islam was true, that the Imam was of the Prophet’s Tree, and he said to him: “I have sought you or the like of you for fifty years.”

p: 265

Then he and his wife became Muslims; they went to Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, and Hisham told him that they became Muslims at the hand of his son Musa, peace be on him. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, became pleased, turned to Hisham and said to him: “Offspring, one of the other.”

Burayha asked Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq): “From where have you brought the Torah, the Bible, and the Books of the prophets?”

“We have them,” replied the Imam, “we have inherited them from them; we read them just as they had read them; we say them just as they had said them; surely Allah does not appoint over the earth a proof who says that he does not know when he is asked.”

Burayha associated with Imam Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) and was among his most loyal companions. When the Imam moved to the Abode of Everlastingness (lit. passed away), Burayha associated with Imam Musa till he died during his lifetime.[1]

___________________________________________

[1] Ibid, vol. 4, p. 147.

With a Monk

There was a monk in Syria (Sham). The Christians glorified and magnified the monk. The monk preached to them once a year. Imam Musa met him on that day when he was surrounded by monks and people. When the Imam sat down, the monk turned to him and asked him:

-Fellow, are you a stranger?

-Yes.

-Are you from us or against us?

-I am not from you.

-Are you from the community upon which (Allah) has mercy?

p: 266

-Yes.

-Are you from among its scholars or from among its ignorant?

-I am not from among its ignorant.

The monk became confused and began to ask the Imam about the most difficult questions he had, saying:

-How is that the origin of the Tree of Tuba is with us, in the Abode of Isa (Jesus), with you, in the Abode of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, and its branches are in every house?

-It is just like the sun whose light reaches every place and situation while it is in the heaven.

-Why does the food in the Garden not run out and not decrease even though they eat of it?

-It is just like the lamp in the world from which (men) take fire while it does not decrease.

-What is the extended shade in the Garden?

-The time before the sunrise is the extended shade. Then he recited these words of Him the Exalted: “Have you not considered (the work of) your Lord, how He extends the shade?”

-Why do the inhabitants of the Garden not relieve the nature while they eat and drink?

-They are just like the embero in its mother’s womb.

-How do the servants in the Garden serve its inhabitants without being ordered?

-When man is in need of a thing, his limbs know that, so the servants know that and carry it out without being ordered.

-Are the keys of the Garden (made) of gold or silver?

p: 267

-The keys of the Garden are the servant’s words: “There is no god but Allah!”

-You are right!

Then the monk and his people became Muslims.[1]

These are some of the Imam’s arguments and debates; we will mention another part of them in a chapter of the book.

His Composing Poetry

As for his composing poetry, it is very little. Al-Shaykh al-Mufeed has mentioned a poem of his recited by his son Imam al-Rida to al-Ma’mun and ascribed it to his father:

Repel detested things through comfort; you may someday do not see what you dislike.

Perhaps one conceals himself and the eyes compete for him though he is concealed.

Perhaps the polite withholds his tongue for fear of answering though he is eloquent.

Perhaps the venerable similes out of harm while his mind moans du to its severity.[2]

Dhu al-Nun al-Mesri has mentioned that he passed by a village called Betidsar during his tourism and saw a wall on which the following poetry lines have been written:

I am the son of Mina, al-Mish’arayn, Zamzam, Mecca, and the Magnified Kaaba.

My grandfather is the chosen Prophet; my father is he whose authority is incumbent on all Muslims.

My mother is the chaste (one) from whom (men) seek light if we do not number her as equal to Maryam (Mary).

The grandsons of Allah’s Apostle are my uncles and (fore)fathers; his pure (grand)sons are nine stars.

If you cling to the cord of their authority, you will be successful on the day when the successful will be rewarded and you will lead a life of ease and comfort.

p: 268

The Imams of this creation are after their Prophet; if you do not know that, then know (it).

I am the ‘Alawid, the Fatimid who is full of fear; days fill man with (fear).

Thus, I feel that the earth is narrow through it is wide; I cannot obtain the sky through a ladder.

So I have stopped at the house in which I have written my poetry; therefore, read and acquaint yourself with whatever you like.

Dhu al-Nun said that he came to know that the writer of the above-mentioned was an ‘Alawid who escaped from the authorities during the Caliphate of Harun (al-Rashid).

Al-Mejjlisi assumed that the poetry lines were composed by Imam al-Kazim, peace be on him, who went to that place and wrote them in order to complete the proofs against his opponents. These opinions are impossible because Imam Musa did not escape from the authorities and did not hide himself from them; rather he was in Yethrib (Medina) criticizing Harun (al-Rashid) and the other kings of his time; he did not escape from the authorities and was not afraid of their oppression. We will in detail mention that.

Comprehensive Sayings:[3]

Imam Musa, peace be on him, has wise sayings in which he has mentioned some moral and social affairs; this is an addition to what we have mentioned. We have preferred to mention them without any explanation or commentary. He, peace be on him, has said:

Do not remove the modesty between you and your brother; keep some of it, for removing it is removing shame.

p: 269

Your helping the weak is the best kind of alms.

Whoever suffers injustice knows its severity.

The ignorant wonder at the wise more than that the wise wonder at the ignorant.

Begging is incorrect except in three (situations): the blood money one cannot pay, heavy loss, and object poverty.

The believer is stronger than the mountain; (one) can take something of the mountain with a pickaxe, but (none) can take anything of the believer’s religion.

Making over trusts to their owners and truthfulness win provision; treason and lying win poverty and hypocrisy.

‘Ubayd Allah b. Ishaq al-Mada’ini asked Imam Musa: “Surely the man sees me and swears by Allah that he loves me; shall I swear by Allah that he loves me?”

And he answered him: “Try your heart. If you love him, then swear (by Allah); otherwise do not (swear by Him).”

Whoever undertakes that which is not his work, his work is lost and he is disappointed.

There is no good in life except for an aware listener and a speaking scholar.

Surely your righteousness results from the righteousness of the supreme ruler (sultan); the supreme ruler (sultan) is just like a merciful father; therefore love for him what you love for yourselves, and hate for him what you hate for yourselves.

He, peace be on him, has said to Muhammed b. al-Fedl: “O Muhammed, belie your ear and your eye in respect with your brother (lit. friend) even if fifty persons bear witness for you (against him). If he says something to you, then believe him and belie them and do not spread anything that disgraces him.

p: 270

Whoever supplicates before lauding Allah and calling down blessings upon Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, is like him who shoots an arrow without a bowstring.

The best kind of worship after knowledge is waiting for relief.

Showing affection to men is a half intellect.

Many worries bring about old age.

Hastiness is foolishness.

A small family is one of the two easy things.

Whoever saddens his parents disobeys them.

A favor is not a favor but for those who have a religion and a lineage.

And Allah sends down help according to a burden and patience according to a misfortune.

If oppression is more than truth, then one has no right to have a good opinion of another until he comes to know that he has it.

A believer is just like the scales of a balance; the more his faith is the more his tribulation is.

Imam Musa attended a dead person who was lowered into his grave and said: “Surely the thing whose end is this is worthy of abstaining; and surely the thing whose beginning is this is entitled to be feared.”

The burden of the religion and the world has become intense. As for the burden of the world, it is that when you stretch out your hand to (attain) it, you will find a wicked person who precedes you to (attain) it. As for the burden of the hereafter (the religion), it is that you find no helper to help you against it.

p: 271

Do not give to your brothers (something) of yourself that harms you more than it benefits them.

He, peace be on him, has said: “My father took me by the hand and said: ‘O My little son, surely my father Muhammed b. ‘Ali took me by the hand and said: ‘Surely my father ‘Ali b. al-Husayn took me by the hand and said: ‘My little son, do good to all those who ask you for it. If they deserve it, then you hit its place. If they do not deserve it, then you deserve it. If a person curses you on your right (hand) and then he moves to your left (hand) and apologizes, then accept his apology.’”

When men completely despise the world, Allah makes them enjoy it and blesses them wherein; when men completely love it, Allah makes them hate it.

He, peace be on him, mentioned a tyrant in his gathering, saying: “By Allah, if he has become exalted through injustice in the world, he will become low through justice in the hereafter.”

Whoever brings a detested thing to his brother begins it with himself.

Whomever is born by poverty, riches spoils him.

When two (persons) curse each other, the higher of the (in rank) degrades to a lower rank.

The believer is the brother of a believer on the side of his mother and father though he is not born by his parents. Cursed is he who accuses his brother; cursed is he who does not advise his brother; cursed is he who submits himself as a captive to his brother; cursed is he who veils himself from his brother; and cursed is he who backbites his brother.

p: 272

The paucity of loyalty is a defect in manhood.

A good deed by a good deed is a shackle nothing can open except a reward or gratitude.

If fixed terms appear, expectations are disclosed.

The paucity of gratitude makes (one) abstain from performing good deeds.

The head of generosity is making over trusts to their owners.

Whoever has no admonisher of his own soul, his enemy (Satan) has power over him.

The cheated is he who of whose lifetime an hour is decreased.

He whose morals are many is not famous for evil.

Whoever leaves requesting high ranks due to that his hope is cut off from them attains no important (thing).

The more appropriate knowledge to you is that which is not righteous to you to work except with it. The most incumbent knowledge on you is that which you are responsible for working with it. The most required knowledge is that which leads you to the righteousness of your heart and shows you its corruption. The most praiseworthy knowledge in the final result is that which increases the reason of the wise. Therefore do not busy (yourself) with the knowledge that does not harm you if you are ignorant of it; and do not be heedless of the knowledge that increases your ignorance when you leave it.

Beware of withholding from (spending money) on the acts of obedience to Allah lest you should spend twice as much as it on the acts of disobedience to Allah.

p: 273

Whoever speaks of Allah perishes; whoever seeks presidency perishes; whoever is vainglorious perishes.

A man asked Imam Musa about a generous person, and he, peace be on him, replied: “Surely your speech has two meanings: If you are asking about the creatures, then the generous person is he who performs that which Allah has made obligatory on him. The miser is he who refrains from that which Allah has made obligatory on him. If you mean the Creator, then He is generous when He gives and He is generous when he withholds, for if He gives you, He gives you that which does not belong to you; and if he withholds you, He withholds you from that which does belong to you.

Surely if some people accompany the supreme ruler (sultan) that the believers may use them as caves, they will be safe on the Day of Resurrection.

One jurist who saves one of our orphans who can not see us through teaching him that which he is in need of is more violent to Iblis than a thousand worshippers. For the worshipper takes care of himself only; and this (jurist) takes care of himself along with the servants of Allah-male and female-in order to save them from the hand and disobedience of Iblis; for this reason he is better in Allah’s sight than a million worshippers.

‘Abd Allah b. Yehya said: “I wrote to Imam Musa in a supplication: Praise belongs to Allah (to) the end of His knowledge. And he, peace be on him, wrote back: ‘Do not say (to) the end of His knowledge, for there is no end to His knowledge, but say to the end of His good pleasure.’”

p: 274

If men commit sins they have not to do, Allah subjects them to tribulations they do not expect.

‘Ali b. Swayd al-Sa’i said: “I questioned Abu al-Hasan al-Awual about the words of Him, the Exalted and Great: And whoever trusts in Allah, he is sufficient for him. And he, peace be on him, has said: ‘The trust in Allah is degrees: of them is that you trust in Him in all your affairs, so you should be satisfied with what He does to you. You should know that He gives you nothing but good and favors; you should know that the decision regarding that belongs to Him; and you should trust in Him in respect with it and other than it.

Allah has mercy on the inhabitants of the earth as long as they love each other, make over trusts to their owners, and work with the truth.

Do not neglect the right of your brother depending on that which is between you and him, for he whose right you neglect is not your brother; let not your brother be stronger in (establishing) relationship than your abandoning him.

Surely the prophets, their children, and their followers were singled out with three qualities: maladies in the bodies, fear of the supreme ruler (sultan), and poverty.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, said to a son of his: “Do not take out yourself of the limit of curtailment in respect with the acts of worship and obedience to Allah, for surely none worships Allah with the worship due to Him.”

p: 275

He, peace be on him, said: “Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: ‘Most surely I do not enrich the rich due to his dignity with Me nor do I impoverish the poor due to his abasement with Me; I try the rich with the poor through that. Were it not for the poor, the rich would not deserve the Garden.’”

If you do not feel shame, then do what you like.

Al-‘Abbas b. Hilal al-Shami said: “I said to Abi al-Hasan Musa: ‘May I be your ransom, men admire him who eats the most simple food, wears coarse clothes, and shows reverence.’ So he, peace be on him, said: ‘Did you not know that Yousif (Joseph) was a prophet, son of a prophet? (However) he used to wear silk mantles brocaded with gold. He sat on the thrones of the Pharaohs and ruled. The people were in no need of his clothes, but they were in need of his justice. An Imam is required to be just and fair; when he says something, he says the truth; when he promises something, he fulfills his promise; when he passes a judgement, he judges equitably. Allah has not forbidden wearing a particular type of clothes or eating a particular type of food earned through a lawful way; rather He has forbidden the unlawful, little or much. And most certainly Allah has said: Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah which He has produced for His servants, and the agreeable things of the sustenance.’”

p: 276

Musa b. Bukayr has said: “I asked Abu al-Hasan (Musa), peace be on him: Which is older, unbelief or polytheism?’ And he answered me: ‘As far as I know that you do not debate.’ I said: ‘Hisham b. Salim ordered me to question you.’ So he answered me: ‘Unbelief is older and is denial. Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: But Iblis (did it not). He refused and was proud.’”

‘Ali b. Suwayyid said: “I asked Aba al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, about the weak (at faith), and he wrote back to me: ‘The weak (at faith) are those whose proofs are not raised and they do not know the difference. If they know the difference, then they are not weak.’”

‘Ali b. Suwayyid said: “I asked Aba al-Hasan Musa about the self-admiration that spoils deeds, and he, peace be on him, replied: ‘Self-admiration is degrees: Of them is that the evil-deed of a servant is made fair-seeing to him so much so that he considers it good. So he admires it and thinks that he does well; of them is that the servant believes in his Lord and lays Allah under obligation, while it is Allah Who lays him under obligation in respect with it.’”

Whoever seeks this livelihood through a lawful way to profit through it himself and his family is just like the one who struggles in the way of Allah. If he becomes helpless, he must borrow a loan on the account of Allah and His Apostle in order to maintain his family. If he dies and had not repaid the loan, then it is incumbent on the Imam to repay it. If he (the Imam) does not repay it, then its burden is on him. Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them...and those in debts. And this (person) is poor, needy, and indebts.

p: 277

Imam Musa, peace be on him, said: “Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: ‘Whoever gives religious decisions to men without knowledge, the angels of the heaven and the earth curse him.’”

The truthful is better than the truth, and the good-doer is better than good-deeds.

‘Ali b. Ja‘far said:

-I asked my brother Musa b. Ja‘far: Is a believer a miser?

-Yes.

-Is he a traitor?

-No, nor is he a liar.

Then he said: “Surely my father related to me on the authority of his forefathers on the authority of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who has said: ‘A believer may have all qualities except lying and treason.’”

Imam Musa, peace be on him, said: “A man asked Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family: ‘What is a father’s right against his child?’ He, may Allah bless him and his family, replied: ‘He should not call him by his name, nor should he walk before him, nor should he sit in front of him, nor should he make men curse him.’”

He, peace be on him, said: “Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘Whoever enters upon morning and does not intend to wrong anybody, Allah forgives him what he has committed.’”

He, peace be on him, said: “A man came to Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and asked him: ‘O Allah’s Apostle, what is the right of my child against me? And he, may Allah bless him and his family, replied: ‘You must give him a good name and educate him.’”

p: 278

The best property is the date-palms growing in mud and giving fruit during drought.

I (the author) have confined myself to this number of Imam Musa’s comprehensive sayings. He has another legacy on refuting the unbelievers and other than them. I shall present it when I deal with the problems of his time. The following are some books from which I have quoted the valuable sayings:

1. Muhammed b. al-Hasan al-Hir al-‘Amili, al-Wasa’il.

2. Al-Saduq Muhammed b. ‘Ali al-Qummi, Men La Yahdarahu al-Faqih.

3. Abi Ja‘far Ahmed b. Muhammed al-Barqi, al-Mehasin.

4. Abi Ja‘far Muhammed b. Ya’qub al-Kulayni al-Razi, Usool al-Kafi.

5. Al-Saduq Muhammed b. ‘Ali al-Qummi, ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Rida.

6. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Ameen al-‘Amili, A‘yan al-Shi‘a.

7. Muhammed b. Ahmed al-Dhahaby, Mizan al-I‘tidal.

8. Al-Shibrawi, al-Ithaf fi Hub al-Ashraf.

9. Al-Shiblenji, Noor al-Abbsar.

10. Al-Tabrasi, al-Ihtijajj.

11. ‘Abd Allah b. Ja‘far al-Humayri, Qurb al-Isnad.

12. Muhsin al-Qashani, al-Wafi.

13. Ahmed b. Abi Ya‘qub, better known as b. Wadih, Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi.

14. Waram b. Abi Firas, Majjmu‘at Waram.

15. Al-Hasan b. ‘Ali, Tuhaf al-‘Uqul.

16. Al-Husayn b. Muhammed al-Halawani, Nazhat al-Nazir fi Tanbeeh al-Khatir.

_______________________________________________

[1] Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, p. 427.

[2] Al-Amali, p. 150.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 286.

Chapter VII

The Collapse of the Umayyad Government

Imam Musa, peace be on him, was in an early age during the violent revolution against the Umayyad government. His holy age, as the narrators say, was over four years. This period of time allows its owner to carry into his inner self many of the views and pictures that pass by him, especially when they are of the heavy events. For they, without doubt, affect his inner self and react with it and leave in it many impressions, just as the psychologists say.

p: 279

In his early age, Imam Musa saw or heard the violent revolution against the Umayyad government that included all the Islamic regions. Many terrible events accompanied that revolution; for example, there were mountains of the corpses of the victims, and sees of blood were generously given to get rid of that black government standing on injustice, exploitation, and turning away from human's rights.

We are not busy with writing a research on the foundation of the Umayyad government and explaining the reasons for establishing it, for that is something hurts one's feelings and leaves the flames of sadness in hearts. Surely this government was established to isolate Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, and remove them from leading the community, according to the results concluded from the Consultative Council designed for this purpose. Throughout its stages, this government was accompanied by many social problems that had an effect on the Islamic general life and losing the original objectives Islam seeks under its rule such as spreading justice, equality, welfare, and ease among men.

All Islamic, constructive concepts were completely freezed; the expectations of Islam in finding a society free from ignorance, dullness, miserly, and poverty were lost.

The noble life for which Islam strove was changed into a dark life prevailed by pre-Islamic tendencies, dominated by oppression, tyranny, and deviation from humanitarian values.

It is necessary for us to pause to look for the reasons that folded that black government and removed its detested existence from the Islamic world. Surely the speech of that has a close relationship, as we think, with the research on the Life of Imam Musa. For it shows us that Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, during those terrible times, faced ordeals, suffered from bitter oppression and severe tyranny, that their followers suffered from massacres, prisons, pursuit, severe punishments, that all the Muslims met mass persecutions distinguished by depriving from freedom, paralyzing economy, spreading, misery, poverty, chaos in their regions. It is natural that all these things had a great effect on forming Imam Musa's life and made it full of deep sadness and intense sorrow. The following is a brief presentation on some of those events:

p: 280

Ahl al-Bayt meet Severe Punishments

The prominent thing in the Umayyads' policy is that they directed all their administrative, economic, and political organs of government to persecute Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on him, and to punish them severely; the following are some aspects of their policy:

1. They made it incumbent on all Muslims to curse and disparage Ahl al-Bayt; they made it a religious duty on Muslims; they asked and punished them if they did not curse them. So the orator began and ended his sermon with cursing the pure family (of the Prophet), who were equal to the Holy Qur'an. Those ruling authorities were so mentally and socially low that the opportunists and those who sold their conscience sought nearness to them through disparaging and cursing the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The historians have mentioned that an ugly person hurried to al-Hajjajj and raised his voice, saying: "O Emir, my family has wronged me when they have named me 'Ali. I am poor and miserable. I am in need of the gifts of the Emir!"

Al-Hajjajj forced a laugh and said to him: "That is an act of gentleness through which you have gained access (to us). I have appointed you over the office so-and-so!"[1]

Surely the offices and the properties of the state were given to the bastards and the stupid without reckoning because they cursed Ahl al-Bayt, from whom Allah took away defilement and whom He fully purified.

That moved the hidden malice and fury in the souls of the believers and those committed by their religion, and they hurried to declare their displeasure with the Umayyads; among them was the inspired poet, Kathir b. Kathir, who has said:

p: 281

May Allah curse him who curse 'Ali and Husayn, whether they are common or leaders.

Are those whose grandfathers pure and their uncles noble cursed?

The birds and doves are safe whereas the Messenger's family is not safe at the Standing Place (of Ibrahim).

O House, you are good and your owners are good! Welcome to the Household of the Prophet and Islam!

The mercy and peace of Allah be on them whenever one safely rises.[2]

These lines describe the general displeasure and deep sadness that resulted from disparaging Ahl al-Bayt; similarly they show the most truthful and purest affection toward them.

2. The authorities employed education as means to war against Ahl al-Bayt, and it was the most dangerous means on which they depended to support their purposes. They entrusted the school teachers with feeding the children on the spirit of hatred and enmity to the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and with going too far in planting this wicked tendency in their souls, that an offspring harboring malice against the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, might grow. That was the most destructive and dangerous means to Islam, for it separated the Muslims from the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to whom affection Allah has made obligatory in the firm text of His Book. The results of this bad policy are still standing until this day of ours.

p: 282

3. The Umayyads formed committees to fabricate and embellish traditions on the defects of Ahl al-Bayt and to fabricate traditions on praising and lauding the companions (of the Prophet) and the Umayyads. Among the fabricated traditions are: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: "Surely the family of Abi Talib are not my friends; my friend is Allah!" Abu Hurayra, the head of these committees, narrated that the Messenger said: "Surely Abu Talib is in a shallow (place) of fire!" It was Abu Hurayra who narrated many traditions on the unbelief of Abi Talib, the believer of Quraysh, protector of Islam, and defender of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, during the most critical and difficult attitudes; the reason for that he wanted to decrease his importance and to degrade his achievements and outstanding qualities.

Any way, the Umayyad authorities took care of the committees of fabrication and spared no effort to spread their fabricated traditions against Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, that they might mislead the public opinion and turn it away from the family and progeny of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

4. The Umayyads went too far in killing the pure family (of the Prophet), for they stretched out their sinful hands to those pure souls to whom Allah has made affection incumbent on all Muslims. They had a role in assassinating Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, as I (the author) have established. Mu'awiya assassinated the first grandson and plant of sweet basil of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. That was when he ordered his (al-Hasan's) wife, Ju'da daughter of al-Ash'ath,[3] to put poison into his food. After him, (his son) Yazid committed the most horrible crime shook human conscience through his annihilating the pure family of (the Prophet) on the hills of Kerbela'. This horrible tragedy, with which the Islamic world was afflicted, brought about a general feeling of displeasure toward the Umayyads and gave rise to many violent revolts against that government that had the qualities of the pre-Islamic period.

p: 283

The tyrant of the Banu Merwan, Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik, killed Zayd b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him. This dirty, wicked person ordered the head of Zayd to be put in his gathering and ordered those who came in to him to tread on the face of Zayd with their shoes, while Zayd was a piece of the liver of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

Hisham wrote to the governor of Kufa to let Zayd crucified and not to bring him down the gallows, that he might abase the 'Alawids and quench his thirst for revenge. The pure body of Zayd remained crucified on the gibbet; the sun melted it and the winds scattered dust over it. They put guards around it lest it should be taken and buried. Then the authorities ordered the great body to be burnt and scattered in the air.[4]

The Umayyads intentionally killed Yehya b. Zayd, the great revolutionary. The family of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, met in the way of Allah murder, severe punishment, injustice, humiliation from the Umayyads, who, through that, violated the sacredness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in respect with his family, who was worthy of care and sympathy.

Any way, the various kinds of disasters and misfortunes the pure family (of the Prophet) faced throughout the Umayyad reign brought about the displeasure of the good and the religious. Likewise, they gave rise to the unity of the forces and moved the Islamic peoples to declare their great revolt that overthrew the Umayyad government.

p: 284

_________________________________________

[1] Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali, vol. 2, p. 336.

[2] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 336.

[3] Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn.

[4] 'Aqaa'id al-Zaydiya.

The Shi'a are persecuted

During the Umayyad reign the Shi'a faced increasingly tyranny and persecution; the authorities wreaked their wrath upon them and met them with all kind of violence, for they were the aware force that urged the peoples to oppose injustice and to battle against oppression.

All the bloody revolt that frightened the Umayyad authorities depended on the Shi'a, who led the struggle, summoned to social justice and inspired the peoples with the spirit of sacrifice for faith and thought.

During the most critical and intense of all conditions in crisis and complication, the Shi's resisted injustice and combated tyranny and freed the society from abasement and enslavement; they, for the sake of that, faced the most violent problems and the

most of them in anguish and bitterness. Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, talked about them, saying: "Our followers (Shi'a) in all cities were killed; their hands and legs were cut off due to suspicion; whoever loves us and devotes himself to us is imprisoned, his property is plundered, and his house is demolished."[1]

After the Year of the Peace Treaty (with Imam al-Hasan), Mu'awiya wrote letters to all his governors in which he mentioned: "Look for him who loves 'Ali and his family; erase him from the Divan; cancel his salary and provision." Then he sent them another letter: "Whomever you accuse of following these people (i.e., the Shi'a), then punish him severely and demolish his house."[2]

p: 285

The Shi'a faced tiredness and exhaustion to the extent that none can imagine it. The greatest of them in ordeal were the Shi'a of Kufa during the days of Mu'awiya, who appointed over them Ziyad Bin Abeeh, who had knowledge of them, so he spread among them killing and execution. He killed them everywhere, cut off their hands and their legs, knocked out their eyes, crucified them on the trunks of the date-palms, made them homeless, and dismissed them.[3]

This abominable policy spread displeasure and complaints among all the Muslims, for they had not been familiar with this policy and had not known it before, and for they had not met from the previous governments such persecutions and severe punishments.

As the Shi'a faced such persecutions and tyranny, they spared no effort to overthrow the Umayyad government and to destroy its throne. They organized their ranks, formed secret organizations that did their best to enlighten the public opinion and send it to the fields of struggle and sacrifice, that they might get rid of the Umayyad government.

________________________________________

[1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 15.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali, vol. 2, p. 348.

The Battle of al-Hurra

The most important tragedies with which the Islamic world was afflicted was the Battle of al-Hurrah, at which the dignity of Islam and the sacredness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, were violated. For the military leadership made lawful shedding blood and violating the honors after occupying Yethrib (Medina). The Umayyad arm went too far in that in a way which none had known in respect with using severity and rudeness. It made lawful killing women, innocent children, and violating honors. The people of Medina resort to the tomb of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and sought refuge in it, for they thought that its sacredness would protect them from the aggression. However those wild people paid no attention to its sacredness and did not fear its greatness. They intentionally killed them and violated their honors in the Mesjid of the Prophet. A

p: 286

European historian has commented on this sad event, saying: "Surely the effect of this event on the whole of the Islamic world was immense and terrible as if that the Umayyads wanted to settle their debts when the Messenger, while his army treated them with mercy and sympathy. They made homeless and killed the best youths of Medina and its blessed men. They forced the rest of them to pledge allegiance to Yazid b. Mu'awiya on that they were slaves and on that he would rule over their blood, their properties, and their families. He (Yazid) ordered those prevented from that to be branded in the neck.

"During the reign of the Umayyads, the City of the Messenger became like an oasis in a desert; gloomy depression and deep-black darkness surround it all around its four sides. Medina never regained its past times to the extent that it became during the time of the Umayyads the city of the ancient times."[1]

The Muslims were terrified by this abominable event at which none paid attention to the sacredness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in respect with his neighbors, who lodged him, supported him, and protected him during the ordeal and loneliness of Islam. Nevertheless, their shedding blood was made lawful, their honors were violated, their properties were plundered, and they were forced to pledge allegiance to Yazid and to regard themselves as slaves to him. This painful disaster ended with waves of displeasure and complaints. The people talked about it during their gatherings. It was among the firmest reasons that led to unifying the forces and mobilizing the public opinion for the great revolution that overthrew the Umayyad government.

p: 287

_____________________________________________

[1] Mukhtasar Tarikh al-'Arab, p. 75.

The Policy of Unbelief and Oppression

The certain thing over which the historians have not differed is that the Umayyads had no Islamic tendency; rather they had those tendencies in the pre-Islamic period. Islam did not penetrate their inner selves, rather it flowed on their tongues out of fear of the edge of the sword and the heads of the spears. When they embraced this religion, they began scheming against it and waiting for opportunities to vengeance on it. When Uthman b. 'Affan, the chief of the Umayyads, undertook the affairs of the Muslims according to the terrible plan which was designed by the Consultative Council, Abu Sufyan, the leaders of the Umayyads hurried to the tomb of Hamza, the master of martyrs, and kicked, saying: "O Aba 'Ammara, the affair for which we yesterday engaged in a sword fight is in the hands of our boys, and they are playing with it."

Then he went happily; he came in to 'Uthman and said: "O Allah, make the power similar to that in the pre-Islamic period, make the kingdom belong to those who have usurped it, and make the projections of the earth belong to the Umayyads!"[1]

Certainly, Abu Sufyan said the words of unbelief before Uthman, who was the Caliph of the Muslims, but he did not blame him nor did he punish him.

This atheistic tendency was standing in Mu'awiya, and he believed in it throughout his lifetime. He expressed this belief during his dangerous talk with al-Mughira b. Shu'ba; through it he revealed his pre-Islamic beliefs and his unbelief in Islam. The following is the text of his talk as it was narrated by Mattraf b. al-Mughira, who said: "My father, al-Mughira, and I visited Mu'awiya. My father went to him frequently and talked with him. Then he came to me and told me about Mu'awiya and his reason and admired what he saw from him. One night he came and did not have dinner; he was very grieved. I waited him for an hour and I thought that (he was grieved) for something happened to us or to our work. So I asked him:

p: 288

"-Why can I see you grieved this night?

"-O My little son, I have come from the most wicked of all the 'people.'

"- And what is that?

"I was alone with Mu'awiya and said to him: 'Surely you have attained your wishes, O Commander of the faithful; therefore, if you show justice and spread good, for you have become an old man, and if you take care of your brothers from among the Banu Hashim and their womb relatives. By Allah, today, they have nothing of which you are afraid. And he said to me: 'How far! How far! The brother of Taym ruled and acted justly, and he did what he did, by Allah, but when he perished, his name perished except that a sayer says: 'Abu Bakr!' Then the brother of 'Adi ruled, so he strove and applied himself (to the office of the caliphate) for ten year, by Allah, but when he perished, his name perished except that a sayer says: 'Umar!' Then our brother Uthman ruled, so he ruled as a man and none was like him in lineage. He did what he did and (the people) did what they did to him, by Allah, but when he perished, his name perished and what had been done toward him is mentioned. And the brother of the Banu Hashim is mentioned five times a day: 'I bear witness that Muhammed is the Apostle of Allah!' So all deeds after this (call), may your mother lose you, will completely be buried!'"[2]

p: 289

This speech clearly indicates Mu'awiya's unbelief and his harboring malice against the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. For he was terrified and disturbed by mentioning his name five times a day during the adhan. If he had found a way, he would erase his name and efface the principle features of his religion. Because of his strong hatred to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, he did not call down blessings upon him for forty Fridays. He was asked about that and he answered: "Nothing prevents me from mentioning his name except that some men turn up their noses (at me)!"[3]

This atheistic phenomenon in all its dimensions was present in his son Yazid; that is because he declared unbelief and apostasy from the religion after he had taken the reins of government. He has declared the word of atheism when he said:

Hashim played with the dominion so indeed,

No news came, nor there was a revelation revealed.

And in this manner if we deal with the behavior of most Umayyad kings, we will find it full of unbelief and malice against Islam. They all tried to efface its lines and to put out its light. Were it not for that there is abundant knowledge in its principles and the care of Allah, its standard would be folded and it would have neither a name nor a trace.

The Umayyads ruled the Islamic community with the atheistic policy having no faith in Islam as a basic rule in the fields of government, administrations, economy, and policy. They changed all the vital programs Islam had established to set right the society. They stopped the criminal punishments, regarded as lawful what Allah had made unlawful; they built their laws on judicial errors, killed (many people) due to doubt and accusation, plundered the properties and wealth of the Muslims. Sadeef b. Maymun, a creative poet, has referred to that through his supplication against the oppression and tyranny of the Umayyads, saying: "O Allah, our fayya' has become alternation after the division! Our authority has become dominance after the consultation! Our covenant has become legacy after the choice of the community! Amusement centers and stringed instruments have been bought for the portion of the orphan and the widow. The Zimmis have ruled the Muslims; the sinners from among the districts have undertaken their affairs. Therefore, no defender defends those oppressed. No compassionate one looks at them through the eye of mercy. No deterrent deters him who wrongs them; no possessor of compassion satisfies their very thirsty livers; so they are the men of weakness and loss, the allies of depression and abasement; the plants of falsehood has ripened, reached its end, contained grains, become well-arranged, firm and stable.

p: 290

"O Allah, enable a hand of the truth to reap them, cut off their spikes, smash their stems, scatter their unity, and disunite them; that the truth may appear in the best manner, in the most perfect light, and in the greatest blessing!

"O Allah, we have known some qualities of ourselves that do not hold us back from responding to the summons! It is You Who do favors for all the creatures and undertake doing good to all those who ask from you! Therefore, give to us of our affair according to Your generosity, Your munificence, and Your boons! For surely You decree what You please and do what You wish!"[4]

Sadeef's supplication contains a wonderful description of the Umayyad policy that violated the Muslims' rights and denied all the high values Islam brought, warred against all its principles and teachings.

Any way, the Umayyads ruled the Islamic countries with a policy based on unbelief and deviation from the will of the community. The Muslims thought that the anti-Islamic won a victory when the Umayyads won the government. This meaning has been mentioned in what Fikelson has written: "The Muslims regarded the victory of the Umayyads, headed by Mu'awiya, as a victory of the pagan aristocracy that declared itself as the enemy of the Apostle and his companions, and against which Allah's Apostle struggled until he put an end to it. The Muslims were patient along with him for struggling against it and resisting it till Allah granted them a victory over it, and they put an end to it, and they built on its ruins the pillars of the Islamic religion, the tolerant religion that has regarded men as equal in sorrow and in joy and removed the control of a group of people who disparaged the poor, abased the weak, usurped the properties. For this reason we are not amazed when the Muslims hated the Umayyads, their haughtiness, their pride, their moving the past spites, and their inclination to the spirit of the pre-Islamic period."[5]

p: 291

The Muslims have no doubt that the Umayyads were the enemies and opponents of Islam, that they did their best to die down its voice and to put out its light, and that they embraced it to undertake the authority and to achieve their private interests. This has been emphasized by Allama Dozy, who has said: "Surely the general Muslim populace think that some Umayyads embraced Islam to achieve their own interests, and that they had no right (to undertake) the Caliphate nor other than it, for certainly the policy of the Umayyads aimed at making the Caliphate as a kingdom like that of Kasra (in Iran). There is nothing indicative of that more than the words of Mu'awiya: 'I remove the kings from office!'"[6]

Surely whoever runs over the Umayyad policy concludes that it aimed at spread atheism, make public unbelief, destroy the pillars of Islam, and remove its entity. That is because the Umayyads performed destructive operations against it such as annihilating its great figures: Hajar b. 'Adi, 'Amru b. al-Hamaq al-Khaza'i, Maythem al-Tammar, Rasheed al-Hajjri, and the like of them from among the leaders of the Islamic thought.

This anti-Islam policy required the uprising of the masses and their unanimous agreement on warring against the Umayyads and removing their state and authority.

_____________________________________________

[1] Ibn 'Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 407.

[2] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 357.

[3] Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali, vol. 2, p. 149.

[4] Tabaqat al-Shu'ara', pp. 37-38.

[5] Tarikh al-Islam al-Siyasi, vol. 1, p. 398.

p: 292

[6] Muluk al-Tawa'if wa Nazarat fi Tarikh al-Islam, p. 381.

Fiscal Policy

Islam has a creative economy that refreshes peoples, increases their individual income, and removes from them poverty and deprivation. It has made it incumbent on the state to observe the general economy, to increase production, and to spend the public treasury on the vital interests. It has made it unlawful to spend little or much of the money of the community on other than its economic and industrial development, according to the well-known plans of the fiscal policy in Islam.

The Umayyads turned away from this brilliant policy and went far away from it. 'Uthman b. Affan was the first to deviate from it, for he spent the money in the public treasury on the Umayyads and the family of Abi Mi'yat. He singled the notables, the nobility, and the influential men with great gifts and immense wealth; meanwhile he deprived the general populace of spending on them. Accordingly, this crooked policy led to his failure, and the good and those religious were displeased with him. They demanded him to refrain from it, but he paid no attention to them and insisted on carrying out his policy, so the Muslims revolted against him. The knocked him down and he weltered in his blood. 'Uthman exhausted the Muslims and made them face intense tiredness throughout the days of his government; similarly, he strained them after his death, according to the unanimous agreement of the historians!

Throughout their reign, the Umayyads followed 'Uthman's policy; they singled themselves and their followers with properties and wealth, but they deprived the community of enjoying welfare; they chose all its wealth and economic sources and left the image of poverty standing in all the houses of the Muslims. An example of that is that the Egyptian governor resorted to the Umayyad King, Sulayman b. 'Abd al-Malik and complained to him of the sufferings of the Egyptians such as persecution and the heavy taxes imposed on them, saying to him: "O Commander of the faithful, I have come to you because the subjects have become exhausted and overstrained. I see that you have to treat them with kindness and to reduce the land taxes due on them, that they may be able to build their own country and to improve their livelihood. Therefore, do that because you will attain it in the next year."

p: 293

This is the right and just thinking, but the tyrant (i.e. Sulayman b. 'Abd al-Malik) did not understand that and answered him through his wicked tendencies, saying: "May your mother lose you! Take the milk! If it stops, then take the blood and the skin!"[1]

Is there oppression more excessive and severer than this one?

Is there disdain in human's rights and dignity like this one?

Sulayman b. 'Abd al-Malik intended to destroy the society and deprived it of life and elements. When this excessive oppression spread, the governors sought nearness to the Umayyad kings through exposing the subjects to oppression and tyranny. The historians have reported that 'Ubayd Allah b. al-Hajib, the collector of the land taxes in Egypt, wanted to seek nearness to Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik. He wrote to him that it was likely to increase the land tax on the Egyptian land, and he commanded him to add a qirat to a dinar! [2]

In this manner the Islamic lands sank under heavy poverty and deprivation; they were deprived of all their elements and were owned by such rouges, who spend the land taxes on dissoluteness, prostitution, and despoiling morals, and who did not spend such properties on the general interests.

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Jahshyari, pp. 51-52.

[2] Tarikh al-Harakat al-Fikriya fi al-Islam, p. 42.

Additional Taxes

The Umayyad authorities went too far in exhausting and straining the subjects; they deprived them of their fates and their economic abilities, that was through their imposing on them taxes the Muslims had never known nor their religion had decided. The historians have mentioned different kinds of those severe taxes of which are the following:

p: 294

1. Taxes on industries and crafts. [1]

2. Taxes on marriage and on writing a proposal.[2]

3. Taxes on the rents of houses.[3]

4. A tax on Nawruz; Mu'awiya was the first to legislate it and it reached ten million dirhams. [4]

5. The tax on those who became Muslims.[5] The reason for that is that the Umayyad kings wanted to paralyze the Islamic movement and to prevent it from spreading.

The important thing in these additional taxes is that they were not limited, rather their affair was in the hands of the governors and the collectors; it was they who estimated it according to their wishes and inclinations. Bendili Jawza has talked about those heavy and intense additional taxes, saying: "They (the additional taxes) were greater in pressure than land and poll taxes, for they were not fixed nor were they based on an acceptable rule; rather their amount depended on the governors' wish."[6] Sahib Akhna, who was in Egypt, asked 'Amru b. al-'Ass to tell him about the amount of the toll tax due on him, and he answered him: "If you gave me (a toll tax extending) from the ground to the ceiling, I would not tell you about what is due on you. You are a treasury for us. If he (the king) increases (the tax) due on us, we will increase it on you; and if he reduces it for us, we will reduce it for you."[7]

In the concepts of social oppression there is no concept greater in pressure than this oppression on the human society, for the peoples were treasury or a garden of these rulers, as 'Amru b. al-'Ass said. Mu'awiya has said: "The earth belongs to Allah, and I am the vicegerent of Allah; therefore, if I take of the property of Allah, then it belongs to me; and what I leave, it will be permissible to me!"

p: 295

Surely this abominable policy moved the displeasure of the society and inflamed the sentiments and feelings with the essence of revolt and struggle for overthrowing that government and removing its existence and traces.

_________________________________________

[1] Ibid.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 129. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 23.

[3] Al-Wizara' wa al-Kittaab, p. 24.

[4] Tarikh al-Harakat al-Fikriya fi al-Islam, p. 42. Tarikh al-Tamaddin al-Islami, vol. 2, p. 22.

[5] Tarikh al-Tamaddin al-Islami, vol. 2, p. 21.

[6] Tarikh al-Harakat al-Fikriya fi al-Islam, p. 42.

[7] Tarikh al-Tamaddin al-Islami, vol. 4, pp. 79-80.

The Choice of the Properties

The Umayyad government spared no effort to make the Muslims poor and hungry, so it followed all ways leading to spreading neediness and poverty among them; among the ways the Umayyads followed to make the Muslims poor is choosing properties. An example of that is that Mu'awiya wrote to Ziyad b. Abeeh, his governor over Iraq, to choose him the yellow and the white (lit. gold and silver).[1] Accordingly, Ziyad commanded his governors not to divide among the Muslims neither gold nor silver.

Mu'awiya wrote to Wardan, his governor over Egypt: "Add a qirat (to the tax due on) each Egyptian." So Wardan wrote him back: "How can I add (it) on them while they are in a time when it is impossible to add it on them?"

The rest of the Islamic countries faced the same condition. An example of that is that a brother of al-Hajjajj's confiscated the properties of the people in the Yemen.[2]

p: 296

The Umayyads circulated the property of Allah and enslaved His servants, just as the Truthful One and the Trusted One (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, had predicted in respect with that which his community would be afflicted under the Umayyad, tyrannical government. This policy moved the displeasure of the general populace and they decided to declare the revolution against the Umayyads and to overthrow their oppressive, tyrannical government.

_____________________________________________

[1] Ibid., p. 79.

[2] Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 474.

The People refuse their own Possessions

As the taxes were heavy, the weak farmers refused and abandoned their own farms; some of them registered them in the name of an Arab personality or in the name of a statesman, that they might protect them. They gave them a portion of their agricultural crops.[1] During the reign of al-Hajjajj, a great number of them registered their lands in the name of Muslima b. 'Abd al-Malik.

During those dark times the Muslim peoples met the most difficult wrong and persecution. They toiled and gave the fruit of their efforts to those tyrants who spent them on impudence, prostitution, and pleasures.

This bitter condition continued until the reign of the noble one, 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz, who ordered those additional taxes to be canceled,[2] and the society felt in his time a kind of ease and welfare. When his reign came to an end, unhappiness returned to the people. For Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik ordered those taxes to be returned. He wrote to his governor a letter in which he has mentioned: "Now then, for surely 'Umar was vainglorious; so leave what you came to know during his reign and return the people to their first class whether they are fertile or infertile, like or dislike, live or die!"[3]

p: 297

When this royal decree reached the governors, they oppressed the people and harassed them through returning the taxes to their first condition.[4]

The Umayyads deviated from the right path, turned aside from justice, and separated themselves from the straight way; this is the reason for that the Muslims unanimously agreed on hating them throughout the periods of the Islamic life.

________________________________________

[1] Al-Wizara' wa al-Kittaab, p. 118.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 129.

[3] Al-Idara al-Islamiya, p. 114.

[4] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 55.

The Governors and the Tax collectors

The Umayyads chose governors and collectors from among the foreigners such as Ziyad b. Abeeh, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, Bisr b. Abi Artat, Samra b. Jundub, Khalid al-Qasri, al-Hajjajj b. Yousif al-Thaqafi, and the like from among the tyrannical oppressors. Through their political and administrative activities they established that they were the enemies of mankind and that they knew neither mercy nor compassion nor any noble quality by which man is distinguished from grazing livestock.

The Umayyads empowered those rude rouges over the necks of the Muslims, and they went too far in wronging them, violating their sacred things, and taking their properties. Al-Nimri explained to 'Abd al-Malik b. Merwan the tyranny of his governors and their persecuting his people to the extent that they became poor and escaped in the desert, and that there was nothing with them except weak camels, saying:

O Vicegerent of the Most Merciful One, surely we are true people who prostrate in the early morning and the late afternoon.

p: 298

Surely the governors disobeyed you on the day when you commanded them, and brought, if you knew, low misfortunes.

They took the noble master standing and shackled, and cut off the middle of his chest with the whip.

When they left nothing of his flesh on his bones and nothing reasonable in his heart, they brought their title deed to a plump one whom the whips made cowardly and fearful.

They took his camels, and he became sitting and cannot leave the houses.

He calls the Commander of the faithful and in front of him is a wide desert through which the winds draw tails.

He is like the hoopoes whose wings the shooters have broken and that coo in the middle of the road.

O Vicegerent of the Most Merciful One, surely the livestock of my clan have become defeated groups.

They (my clan) have taken care of Islam; they have not left their paying Zakat, nor have they lost saying: There is no god but Allah.

They covered al-Yamama; they were driven away as if that they were people who hit oppressors with something.

For two spring months their milk ewes have tasted nothing but bitter, salty, bad, and withered trees.

Yehya have come to them and made firm a contract the Muslims regard as heavy.

Letters have left their rich poor after the riches and their poor emaciated.

I have left my people. Shall they entrust their affairs to you or shall they wait for a short time?[1]

p: 299

In these poetry lines al-Nimri has described the frightful tyranny and the horrible persecutions the governors poured upon his people. This oppression also lasted to the time of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz, who was the most just of the Umayyad kings, as they say. That is because his governors spared no effort to take unjustly the properties of the people. Addressing him, Ka'ab al-Ash'ari said:

If you protect what follows you, then the governors of your land are wolves in the country.

They do not respond to that to which you summon unless you cut off heads with the sword.

In the hands of brave ones endowed with insight; in their striking there are restraints and punishment.[2]

While 'Umar (b. 'Abd al-'Aziz) delivering a sermon on the pulpit, a man interrupted him, saying:

Surely those whom you have sent in its countries have left your letter and regarded as lawful the unlawful.

Those whose clothes are dirty (are sitting) on the pulpits of our land; all of them tyrannize (the people) and all of (the people) complain (of them).

You want a just one from among them to undertake the trust. How far is the trustworthy Muslim![3]

The governors and the collectors went too far in persecuting the Islamic society and depriving it of its economic elements. They did not do that willingly; rather the Umayyad kings commanded them to do it; it was they who urged them to plunder and shared them with that which they took from they people. This meaning has frankly been mentioned in what Fanflotin has said: "And in stead of that the Caliphs-the Umayyad Caliphs-took measures to punish the governors and to prevent them from oppression, we find them shared with them in their interests of the properties which they collected through those exposed ways. This means that the Caliphs were consent with the bad behavior of the governors toward the people of the country, as well it is a proof of that some of them was at first interested in the interests of the central treasury."[4]

p: 300

Certainly the Umayyad kings did not punish their governors and their collectors for what they committed such as excessive oppression, and plundering the properties of the community in a horrible way. It was they who urged them to do that; the more oppressive and tyrannical the governor was, the more close to them he was. For example, Ziyad b. Abeeh was the closest of all the people to Mu'awiya, to the extent that he made him belong to him in lineage. That was due to his violence, tyranny, quick assassinating the Muslims. Yet another example of that is al-Hajjajj b. Yousif al-Thaqafi. He was the nearest of all the governors to 'Abd al-Malik (b. Merwan) and the most preferred of them to him, to the extent that he entrusted the affair of Iraq to him and he acted freely wherein and in whatever a way he wished. That is due to his violence and his going too far in shedding blood.

Any way, the tyranny and oppression of the governors toward the Muslims was among the reasons for the great revolt that overthrew the regime of the Umayyad government and folded its authorities.

____________________________________________

[1] Hayat al-Imam al-Hasan, vol. 2, p. 202.

[2] Al-Jahiz, al-Bayyan wa al-Tabiyyin, vol. 3, p. 358.

[3] Ibid., 359.

[4] Al-Siyada al-'Arabiya, p. 28.

Showing Despise toward the Peoples

The prominent thing in the Umayyad policy is showing disdain toward the Islamic peoples, for the Umayyad kings went too far in disparaging the rights of their peoples. For example, al-Walid b. Yazid has said:

p: 301

Leave your mentioning the family of Sa'd, for we are greater (than them) in number and properties.

We rule the people by force, humiliate them, and punish them severely.

We take them to the pools of humiliation to abase them; we do not fall short of inflicting loss upon them.

This poet has described the excessive disdain in the right of the community and making light of its will and values.

In his speech he gave before the children of the Emigrants and the Ansar in Yethrib (Medina), 'Abd al-Malik b. Merwan said: "I cure the affair of this community with nothing except with the sword, that your spear may be straight. You retain the early emigrants' deeds but you do not perform anything like them; you order us to fear Allah but your forget that in respect with yourselves. By Allah, after this station of mine, if someone orders me to fear Allah, I will cut off his head!"[1]

This severe, terrible thinking is full of sinful tyranny toward the community, for he thought that he had to look after it through spreading killing, fear, terrorism, and not through spreading justice and welfare among it.

Ibn al-'Ass has said: "Al-Sawad (Iraq) is a garden belongs to Quraysh!" This means that al-Sawad was owned by the Umayyads and not by its inhabitants, for they were as their slaves who had neither freedom nor choice. This was the thinking of the Umayyad policy in all its periods; it paid no attention to the existence of the community; and this was among the most important reasons for overthrowing and collapse of the Umayyad government.

p: 302

_____________________________________________

[1] Nizam al-Hukum wa al-Idara fi al-Islam, p. 285.

Their Persecuting the Non-Muslims Subjects

In its wonderful, genuine legislation, Islam has required showing respect toward all the religions and securing the dignity of their followers and granting them full freedom, for they have the right to enjoy the same rights of the Muslims as long as they are under the protection of Islam.

Surely it is not an act of Islam to persecute any person whatever his or her inclinations and beliefs are unless he or she makes a discord or mischief in the land. Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the pioneer of the great justice during his international time, has said: "People are of two kinds: They are either your brother in religion or your like in creation."

Islam has positively adopted the slogan of justice and equality among men within its Islamic frame, but the Umayyad policy through all its plans carried the pickaxe to destroy what Islam adopted in the fields of the social reform. So it treated the non-Muslim subjects (Zimmis) with a severe treatment that did not agree with the essence and guidance of Islam. The historians have narrated that Usama b. Zayd al-Tenwakhi, who was appointed by Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik over collecting land taxes, attacked the Zimmis and exhausted them; he took their properties and branded them in the hand. [1] 'Abd al-'Aziz b. Merwan made poll tax obligatory on the monks; and it was the first poll tax to be taken from them.[2]

p: 303

Surely the tyranny and oppression of the Umayyads included all the citizens and not the Muslims only. This affair required all the people to harbor malice and hatred against their government.

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Maqreezi, Khutat, vol. 1, p. 395.

[2] Ibid.

Their Oppressing Non-Arab Muslims

The Umayyad policy decided to deprive the non-Arab Muslims of all the natural rights of man. So it treated them as grazing animals and met them with increasingly violence and persecution, though they embraced Islam, which has declared human rights and just equality among all classes. As well as there was among them a great class of Muslim great figures and thinkers, and that a great part of the Islamic conquests were achieved through their efforts and struggles. Unfortunately, the Umayyads did not fall short of abasing and exhausting them. The historians have narrated detested kinds of that tyranny. Mu'awiya, the Kasra of the Arabs, opened a door to oppression and tyranny towards them. He violated their sacred things and unjustly shed their blood. He summoned both al-Ahnaf b. Qays al-Temimi and Samra b. Jundub al-Hilali and said to them: "I think that these red ones (Persian Muslims) have become greater in number, and that they have turned away from the ancestors.

I see as if that they would revolt against the Arabs and their supreme authority. So I have decided to kill part of them to build a market and a road; what do you think?" Samra confirmed him; al-Ahnaf opposed him and convinced him not to do that.[1] The Umayyad kings after him followed this wicked plan; they abased the non-Arab subjects and deprived them of salaries and provision. A person from Khuresan came to 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz and asked him for justice and equality, saying: "O Commander of the faithful, twenty thousand non-Arab subjects made military campaigns but they take neither salaries nor livelihood. A similar number of them from among the Zimmis has become Muslim but they still pay toll taxes."[2]

p: 304

The Umayyad authorities met them with deprivation and injustice. They deprived them of salaries and daily bread, though they were like the rest of the fighters in making military campaigns and conquering countries. This (treatment) made them displeased (with the Umayyads), showed wide enmity toward them, and joined all the revolts against them. In his book al-Arab wa al-Mawali, al-Jahiz has said: "'Abd al-Rahman b. al-Ash'ath revolted against al-Hajjajj b. Yousif. He warred against him. Al-Hajjajj b. Yousif met what he met from the reciters (of the Qur'an) from among the people of Iraq. Most those who fought against him were from among the people of Basrah, so he gathered them together after his suppressing that revolt and said to them: 'You are unbelievers and non-Arabs; your reciters (of the Qur'an) are more entitled to you!' Then he scattered them wherever he wished in the remote countries and engraved in the hand of each man of them the name of the city to which he was sent."[3]

The Umayyads were so blindly fanatic that they did not regard the no-Arab subjects as equal to them. So they called them by their names and surnames. They did not call them by kunyas, for the kunyas had the sense of equality. They did not let them walk in front of them or with them in the same line except behind them. They did not appoint any of them as a commander over an Arab army; and they did not permit any of them to be an Imam and to pray over the corpse of an Arab. When they invited a non-Arab subject due to his knowledge or excellence, they made him sit down at the dinning table in the way to the baker, that whoever saw him came to know that he was a non-Arab. When an Arab returned from market carrying something, he gave it to a non-Arab to carry it, and he had not to refuse it. When he saw him riding (an animal) and wanted him to dismount, he did.[4]

p: 305

The historians have mentioned may examples of this collective persecution toward the non-Arab subjects, so this treatment of the Umayyads opposed Islam, which ordered its follower to spread justice and equality among men whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, white or black.

This racial discrimination divided the word of the Muslims, spread spites and differences among them; likewise, it urged the non-Arab subjects to be in the vanguard of those who revolted against the Umayyads and destroyed their government and kingdom.

_______________________________________________

[1] Al-'Aqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 270.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 134. Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 19.

[3] Al-'Aqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 271.

[4] Duha al-Islam, vol. 1, pp. 18-34.

The Dissoluteness of the Umayyad Kings

The Umayyad kings indulged in prostitution and impudence. They threw themselves into pleasures, desires, and disdaining moral values. Accordingly, neglect and weakness spread throughout their days; drinking wine and gambling became public. The government spent much money on the singers, the dissolute, and the mischievous; it brought all the instruments of amusement and singing. The

following are some of their dissolute kings:

Yazid Bin 'Abd al-Malik

Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik devoted himself to wine and songstresses; he was called the dissolute of the Umayyads; he fell in love with two of his female slaves: one was called Habbaba and the other was called Sallama. He spent the days of his lifetime with them. One day Habbaba sang him:

There is heat between the throat and the palate!

p: 306

It does not become calm nor it goes down, that it may be cold!

He was so delighted that he lost his mind. He began flying in the air and she sneeringly said to him: "O Commander of the faithful, I have a need with you."

He unconsciously said: "By Allah, I will fly!" She began making fun of him and sneering at the community that empowered him over it, saying to him: "To whom will you entrust this community?"

"To you," he replied.

Then he turned to her and began kissing her hand, while she was playing with him and making fun of him.

One day he went for a walk in one of the Jordanian districts. His female slave Habbaba was with him. He and her drank wine. When he became drunk, he threw a grape at her. The grape entered her mouth. She choked to death on it. He lost his mind due to the death of this songstress. He left her for three days. He did not bury her to the extent that she became bad-smelling. He smelt her, kissed her corpse, and wept over her, while she was a motionless corpse. One of his special group talked to him concerning her and he permitted her to be buried. He sadly returned to his palace and heard one of his female slaves say:

Enough for sadness that the lover who is madly in love sees the houses of his lover left and deserted!

p: 307

He wept bitter tears; sadness and sorrow controlled him. He stayed for seven days in his palace; he did not met the people as a sign of mourning and sadness for this sinful female slave. Then his brother Muslima advised him to go out to meet the people lest he should be famous for this evil deed, and they would turn away from him. He responded to his advice and went out to meet the people.[1] This deed is a proof of the immorality of this sinful person. Islam was indeed afflicted with this person and the like of him from among the sinful who took the reins of government.

________________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 57.

Al-Walid Bin Yazid

An authentic tradition has been narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, that he said: "A man called al-Walid will be among this community. He will be more wicked toward this community than Pharaoh toward his people." Al-Awzaa'i confirmed that he was al-Walid b. Yazid.[1] This dissolute tyrant (al-Walid) went too far in prostitution; he was the first to bring singers from other countries; he sat with the amusers; he spread wine, amusement centers, and playing on musical instruments; corruption spread and the people drank wine during his time. He was fond of wine, so he described it with an exact description, saying:

May a (wine) as yellow as saffron the traders bring to us from 'Asqalan

It shows you fine dust; and the width of the vessel is a veil for it without the touching of the fingertips.

p: 308

It has bubbles; whenever it decanted, you see it like the flash of Yemeni lightning.[2]

Al-Walid b. Yazid was so dissolute that he wanted to build on the Kaaba a dome where he intended to drink wine and to look down upon the circumambulation of the Kaaba.[3] But Allah came between him and that; He broke his back and punished him with the punishment of One Almighty. That was when Yazid b. al-Walid along with a group of his household overcame; they killed him, cut off his head and installed it in Damascus.[4]

Another example of this dissolute, reckless person is that Bin 'Aisha al-Qarashi[5] sang him through his words:

In the morning of immolation I saw some Houris negating the resolution of patience.

They looked like the stars in their rising places going round the full moon in the evening.

I went out and expected seeking reward, but I came back heavily loaded with sin.[6]

Al-Walid became so delighted that he went crazy. He turned to Bin 'Aisha and said to him: "You have done the Commander of the faithful a favor! Repeat it by the right of 'Abd Shams! Repeat!"

He repeated it to him and he said to him: "By Allah, you have done well! Repeat it by the right of Umayya!"

He mentioned his forefathers one by one saying by the right of so-and-so, that he might repeat it to him. He repeated it to him several times while he was drunk and did not understand anything. The wine spoiled his reason and he occupied himself with kissing Bin 'Aisha's limbs and organs one by one, to the extent that he reached his private part. After a conflict lasted for a long time between them, this dissolute person, so-called the Commander of the faithful and Caliph of the Muslims, was able to kiss Bin 'Aisha's private part in a disgraceful way. Then he took off his clothes and put them on him. He was naked and his private part was apparent. They brought him clothes and he put them on. Then he gave him a thousand dinars, gave him his mule, and ordered him to ride it on his carpet. Then he said good-bye to him saying to him: "You have left me on tenterhooks!"

p: 309

This is a brief outline on the prostitution and dissoluteness of the Umayyad kings and their going too far in amusement and corruption. This matter brought about spreading malice against them and hatred toward their government.

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Murtada, Amali, vol. 1, p. 79.

[2] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 147.

[3] Al-Murtada, Amali, vol. 1, p. 89.

[4] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 73.

[5] Bin 'Aisha is 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Ubayd Allah. His mother 'Aisha is the mother of Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Ubayd Allah. He was a Temimi belonged to Quraysh. His kunya was Abu Sa'eed. Sumayya, the mother of Ziyad b. Abeeh was among his grandmothers.

[6] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 148.

The Fanaticism between the Yemenis and the Nazaris

Among the most important factors that led to the vanish of the Umayyad government is that a conflict broke out between the Yemenis and the Nazaris and an enmity among them increased. This matter brought about the weakness of the state. That is because the Yemenis joined the 'Abbasid State. This conflict was found by the 'Alawids. That was when al-Kumayt, the great poet of Islam composed his poem called al-Hashimiya and praised Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, through it. Then he went to 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan, and he asked him to write poetry to move spites among the Arabs, that a discord might happen and be a reason for removing the Umayyad government. Al-Kumayt responded to him and composed wonderful, enthusiastic poetry in which he mentioned the outstanding qualities of his people, the Yemenis, and prepared them to the Qahtanis. The following is part of what he has written:

p: 310

To us belong the moon of the heaven and all the stars to which the rightly-guided indicate with their hands.

I have found Allah when He has made the Nazaris exalted and made them live in Mecca.

He has appointed the noble qualities only for us, the back for the people, and the forehead for us.

His poetry had a great impression on the hearts, to the extent that spites arose among the two tribes; hatred and enmity spread between them. Meanwhile, Di'bil al-Khaza'i, the poet of Ahl al-Bayt, supported the Qahtanis. I (the author) think that

there was an agreement between the two poets on that, for they were both among the poets of Ahl al-Bayt, and they both set a record in the deepest affection and friendship toward them. Among what Di'bil said in response to al-Kumayt is the following:

Recover from your blame, O Da'ina! The passage of the forty (days) is enough for you (to stop your) blame.

Have you not been grieved by the events of the nights that cause to turn white the forelocks and the tufts.

I greet the distinguished from among the leading members of my people; you have greeted (them) on our behalf, O Medina.

Israel's family belongs to you, and you boast of the non-Arabs.

The demand of al-Kumayt is not a demand of vengeance, but we have been satirized due to our supporting (the Prophet).

Nazar knows that my people boast of their supporting the Prophet.

p: 311

The two tribes vied with each other for their outstanding qualities and their noble deeds, to the extent that the hostility between them became wide and included the inhabitants of the villages and the deserts; it spoiled their hearts.

These two families disunited, while they had been regarded as the greatest of the inhabitants of the Arab Peninsula in number and influence. As a result, Merwan b. Muhammed al-Ju'di, the last Umayyad Caliph, sided with the Nazaris; and this urged the Yemenis to deviate from them and joined the summons to the 'Abbasids. Accordingly, the entity of the Umayyad government became very weak.[1]

___________________________________________

[1] Ibid., pp. 159-163.

The Results of the Events

The Islamic world was afflicted with the terrible events resulted from the tyrannical Umayyad policy in economy and administration. They are as follows:

1. The Local Revolts

Many local revolts broke out in most Islamic countries as a sign of vengeance on the authorities and of hatred toward them, such as the revolts of the 'Alawids and of the Kharijites. Those revolts were connected, stunned the authorities, and undermined their economic and military entity. Of course these revolts resulted from spreading social oppression, losing justice and equality among the Muslims. If the Umayyad governments had followed, in their internal policies, the high object Islam sought under its government, they would not have been afflicted with disasters and disorders.

2. The Summons to the 'Alawids

Secret parties were formed in Kufa and Medina (Yethrib), and they, through their organs, summoned the people to al-Rida from among the family of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, and intended to return the Islamic Caliphate to Aal al-Bayt, peace be on them.

p: 312

The program of the summons was full of the following:

A. They spread among the Muslims the verses and the traditions that talked about the excellence of the pure family of the Prophet. It is worth mentioning that these verses and traditions made it incumbent on Muslims to take care of the family of the Prophet, to show love to them, and to resort to them. Among the ways the summoners followed is the following:

-Is there anyone among you who doubts that Allah, the Great and Almighty, had not appointed Muhammed as a prophet and had not chosen him?

-No.

-Do you doubt that Allah had not revealed to him His Book in which are the things made lawful and unlawful by Him and His laws?

-Do you think that his successor is not from among his family and his household?

-Do you doubt that Ahl al-Bayt are not the origin of knowledge and owners of the legacy of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, which Allah taught to him?

-No.[1]

This way made the people follow Ahl al-Bayt and yearn for the days of their government.

Al-Mansur al-Dewaniqi traveled through the countryside and sought praising Ahl al-Bayt. I (the author) think that he was entrusted with task.

B. They propagated the disasters and misfortunes the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, met. Such disasters and misfortunes were so painful that they made the people harbor malice against the Umayyads and revolt against the then regime.

p: 313

C. They gave good news of the genuine objectives and ideals the Prophet's pure family sought such as spreading security, ease, welfare among the people, putting an end to all kinds of social deception and oppression. They also propagated that there was no government could guarantee the dignity of the Muslims, kept their rights, and achieved their hopes except that of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, that followed the government of Islam and put into practice its justice and equality.

D. They made the people understand that they met ordeals and disasters during the Umayyad government because the Caliphate was separated from Ahl al-Bayt, the guardians over the revelation and equals to the Holy Qur'an. They showed them that the first Companions of the Prophet gave an opportunity through their shelter (saqifa) to the anti-Islam forces to take the reins of authority and to go too far in abasing the Muslims and forcing them to follow what they disliked.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, took precautionary measures: He entrusted the caliphate to the great figures from among his family, that he might protect the community from deviation and mischief, and that he might make it socially developed. If the early Muslims had followed him in this respect, those ordeals and misfortunes would not have happened in the Islamic world, and that it would not have been afflicted with the Umayyad government, that enslaved the servants of Allah and usurped His property.

This creative summons made progress in the atmospheres of the Islamic world, invaded sentiments and feelings, for the Muslims believed in it as a basic rule for their social development and for saving them from the tyranny, oppression, and dictatorship of the Umayyads.

p: 314

The summons to the 'Alawids was based on religious and social awareness. This was affirmed by al-Qasim b. Mujashi', a leading member of the 'Abbasid state, when he sent a letter of witness to al-Mahdi, saying: "Allah bears witness that there is no god but He, and (so do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge, maintaining his creation with justice; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise. Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam. I bear witness for that; I bear witness that Muhammed is His servant and His Messenger; I bear witness that 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, is the testamentary trustee of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and inheritor of the Imamate after him."

When al-Mahdi read the last statement in the letter, he threw it away and angrily looked at him. So al-Qasim asked him: "We revolted against the Umayyads according these conditions, didn't we?" Al-Mahdi answered him that they departed from that when the affair went well with them and only they ruled the kingdom.

This clearly indicates that they summoned the people to that 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was the testamentary trustee of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, his successor after him over his community, and that he was among the progeny of those who inherited the knowledge of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and were the lifeboats of this community. Therefore, there was no escape from their being the leaders of the community and from returning the Islamic, supreme authority to them.

p: 315

3. The General Disorder

The general disorder and discords spread all over the Islamic world, for terror and fear of the standing government prevailed it. Al-Harith b. 'Abd Allah al-Ju'di, a famous poet, has described the existing state of affairs throughout the country, saying:

I stay overnight standing to observe the stars when the first of them go higher and run.

That is because of the discord that has included all those who pray.

Those who are in Khuresan, Iraq, and Syria are sad because it has occupied them.

Because of it (the faces of) the people look like a deep-dark night.

The foolish scold both the ignorant and the sane.

The people are in an anguish because of which the pregnant are about to miscarry their babies.[2]

The poet wonderfully and exactly described the conditions of the people, for he has mentioned all the discords and the disorders that befell them. Al-'Abbas b. al-Walid, a poet, has described the conditions of the society, saying:

Surely I seek refuge for you with Allah from discords that become high and then rush.

Surely the people have become tired of your policy; therefore hold fast to the pillar of the religion and be deterred.

Do not offer yourselves as meat to whose people who are like wolves, for surely when wolves are given meat, they enjoy it.

Do not split your own bellies with your own hands, and then neither regret nor impatience benefit (you).[3]

p: 316

Al-Walid has said: "The discords were as big as the mountains. They were poured down upon the people due to the Umayyad policy based on oppression and severe punishment. Accordingly, those discords brought about a general revolt before which no force in the Islamic world could stand.

____________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 5, p. 17.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 9, p. 38.

[3] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 105.

The Great Revolt

All Muslim peoples violently revolted, destroyed all the shackles and the barriers on whom they were laid, called out to the overthrowing of the Umayyad government, and summoned (each other) to follow al-Rida from among the family of Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus, the local authorities were unable to suppress the revolt that widened and increased.

The Founder of the Revolt

The certain thing is that the 'Alawids were the first to plan the revolt and to design its programs and ways. That is because they suffered from the tyranny and oppression of the Umayyads. So they spared no effort to overthrow the Umayyad government, while, in the first place, the 'Abbasids took no part in it. They were apart from taking in any political act; rather they were submissive to the state and supported its policies. Meanwhile the Umayyads granted them gifts and secured for them more salaries, that they might win their affection and undermine the entity of the 'Alawids and the Muslims might look at them with a normal look. That is because they performed no positive deed for the interests of the Islamic society.

p: 317

The 'Abbasids adopted the revolt when weakness and collapse appeared in the Umayyad government and when they were sure of the successful of the revolt. So they joined the 'Alawids. The historians have differed over how they joined the revolt. A party of them has maintained that when Sulayman b. 'Abd al-Malik was afraid of Abu Hashim b. Muhammed b. al-Hanafiya- an 'Alawid, prominent leader- he attracted him through the summons to him, and he responded to him. When he went to him, he showed him affection and met him with more magnifying and honoring. But he managed his killing. He put some poison into (his food) on his way to al-Hamimiya where the 'Abbasids lived. When he felt the nearness of his fixed term, he entrusted his affairs to his brother Muhammed b. 'Ali, revealed his secrets to him, and made him know the names of the summoners in the countries. Some historians have maintained that Abu Hashim did not entrust his affairs to Muhammed b. 'Ali. But when he stopped at him, and he saw his critical condition, he asked him gradually until he told him about that which was with him. When Abu Hisham died, Muhammed b. 'Ali found the files in which were the secrets of the summons and the names of the summoners.[1]

Any way, the 'Abbasids adopted the affairs from that moment and began harmonizing and organizing the revolt.

________________________________________

[1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 2, pp. 140-141.

The Center of the Revolt

The summons to the revolt against the Umayyad government was hold in Yethrib (Medina). When Abu Hashim was assassinated, the center of the revolt was transferred to al-Hamimiya, in the Balqa' of al-Sham; it became the center of the revolt. In it the plans were drawn, the revolutionary programs were designed and sent to the summoners in Kufa, the homeland of the 'Alawid summons; it was also sent to the summoners in Khuresan, which was famous for showing enmity toward the Umayyads, who persecuted the Persians who inclined to Shi'ism.

p: 318

The summoners were sent to Khuresan as traders, and they propagated the evil deeds of the Umayyads and mentioned the misfortunes and disasters that befell Ahl al-Bayt. The people of Khuresan responded to the summons and joined it. [1] Muhammed b. 'Ali described the Khuresanis and asked them to be more active wherein, saying to them: "Stick to Khuresan, for there is a great number (of people) in it, and apparent steadfastness. There are sound chests and empty hearts have not been divided by low desires and not distributed by creeds. They are fighters who have bodies, shoulders, upper parts of the back, and frightful voices. Now then, surely I can see a good omen in the East and the rising place of the lamp of the world and the creatures."[2]

The summoners gave much more activity in Khuresan until the summons appeared and became strong in it, for the people of Khuresan spared no effort to protect and keep it. They firmly believed that it would protect them from the tyranny and exploitation of the Umayyads.

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Fekhri, pp. 122-123.

[2] Ahsan al-Taqaseem fi Ma'rifat al-Aqaleem, pp. 293-294.

Al-Abwa' Conference

The Hashimites held a conference at al-Abwa'; at the conference they discussed the affairs of the summons and appointing the candidate from among them to the caliphate. The conference was attended by Ibrahim, the Imam, al-Saffah, al-Mansur, Salih b. 'Abd Allah, 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan, his two sons Muhammed and Ibrahim, Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah, and others. Salih b. 'Ali delivered a sermon among them, saying: "You are the people to whom the eyes of the people stretch out. Allah has brought you together at this place; therefore, have an unanimous agreement on one of you; and then scatter in the cities and supplicate Allah, may Allah grant you a victory and help you..."

p: 319

Abu Ja'far al-Mansur retorted: "Why do you deceive yourselves? By Allah, you know that the people incline and quickly respond to this young man-he indicated with his hand to Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan."

"You are right; surely we know that!" they all answered.

They rose and pledged allegiance to Muhammed; then he was given a pledge of allegiance by Ibrahim the Imam, al-Mansur, al-Saffah, and the rest of those who attended that meeting.[1]

However, the 'Abbasids were not loyal to this pledge of allegiance; they broke their promise and violated their covenant. They secretly worked for their own interests. They made the summoners understand that and asked them to keep that secret lest the 'Alawids should revolt against them and the people should not respond to them, for they had no social base and no clear history. For this reason they advised the summoners to work secretly and ordered them to summon the people to al-Rida from among the family of Muhammed.

Anyhow, the 'Abbasids used the summons to the 'Alawids as a slogan to attain the trust of the community and to win the affection and sympathy of Ahl al-Bayt.

______________________________________

[1] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 256.

Abu Muslim is elected

Ibrahim al-Imam, the chief of the 'Abbasid family, elected his retainer Abu Muslim al-Khuresani as a general leader for the revolutionary movement and made it incumbent on the summoners and the Shi'ites to obey him. He has mentioned the following in his letter he sent to the Shi'ites in Kufa and Khuresan: "Surely I have appointed Abu Muslim (as a commander over you); therefore listen to him and obey him. I have appointed him as a commander over Khuresan and what it has overcome."[1]

p: 320

The historians have unanimously agreed on that Abu Muslim was then 19 years old, that he was alert, sensitive, iron-willed, murderous, treacherous, and merciless, and that he was the most skillful of the politicians in weaving conspiracies and plots.

All the people were astonished when Ibrahim al-Imam nominated him to this important office, for he was still young and had few experiences. Accordingly, some of the summoners refused to obey him or to yield to his commands.[2] But Ibrahim made it obligatory on them to listen to him and obey him. After that, they had no escape from following him.[3]

______________________________________

[1] Al-Tabari, the Events of the Year 128 A. H.

[2] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 295.

[3] The historians have said: "Abu Muslim killed all those who opposed him."

Ibrahim's Teachings to Abu Muslim

Ibrahim al-Imam required his retainer Abu Muslim to follow the following instructions full of sins, detested things, and violating the religion: "O 'Abd al-Rahman, you belong to us Ahl al-Bayt. So follow my teachings: Look at this district of the Yemen; honor them, be among them, for surely Allah will not complete this affair except through them. Look at this district of Rebi'a and accuse them of their affairs. Look at this district of Mudar; they are the enemy near in house; therefore kill him about whose affair you doubt or of whom you have something in yourself. If you are able not to let an Arab-speaking person, then do. Kill those children who are five spans of the hand."[1]

p: 321

If these teachings were correct, then they would indicate that Ibrahim al-Imam had no knowledge of the humanitarian ideals and had no relationship with Islam that has forbidden shedding blood unjustly.

Abu Muslim put Ibrahim's instructions into practice and went too far in shedding blood and violating the sacred things. He unjustly killed six hundred Arabs apart from those who were killed at the war, according to the texts of the historians. So he spread sadness, mourning, and losing children in the country of the Muslims. These deeds are not performed by those who have religious or humanitarian tendency.

________________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 295.

In Khuresan

When Abu Muslim was appointed as a military commander by the 'Abbasids, he immediately headed for Khuresan to lead the combatants to the field of the war to put an end to the Umayyad government. When he arrived there, he met with the summoners and the leaders and delivered a speech, saying: "Let your hearts feel bravery, for it is of the reasons for victory. Mention spites very much, for they urge (you to stick to) boldness; stick to obedience, for it is the fortress of a warrior."[1]

He skillfully and wonderfully organized the movement. He described to the people the corruption of the Umayyad government that ruled them through oppression and exhaustion. He told them that he would spread justice, ease, and welfare among them. So the hearts responded to him, the masses of Khuresan welcomed him, and surrounded him. Through that the first core of the 'Abbasid army was formed.

p: 322

The only thing through which Abu Muslim could win a victory and overcame the events was tribalism in Khuresan. For the Yemenis disagreed with the Mudaris. Abu Muslim fed and kindled this enemy phenomenon. He aroused anger in their hearts when they were about to unite to war against him. He urged them to take vengeance on each other. In this manner he was able to distract them from warring against him.

______________________________________

[1] Al-'Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 1, p. 158.

With Nasar Bin Sayyar

When Nasar b. Sayyar came to know that Abu Muslim became strong and his influence became firm, he sent a letter to Merwan, the Umayyad king, asking him to help him before his government would be burnt with the fire of the revolt. In his letter he wrote the following poetry lines:

I can see the remains of the ash look like the gleam of a fire that is about to have a flame.

For surely a fire is kindled with some sticks, and the beginning of a war is a speech.

So, if the wise of a people do not put it out, then its wood would be bodies and heads.

I say out of amazement: I wish I knew whether the Umayyads were awake or asleep.

If they have been sleeping up till now, then say to them: Wake up! It is time (for you) to wake up!

Merwan was unable to answer him; he wrote to him and told him about his weakness and incapability of putting out that fire, saying to: "The witness can see what the absent cannot see!"

p: 323

When Nasr was hopeless of his help, he sought help from the ruler of Iraq, Yazid b. 'Amru b. Hubayra. He wrote him a letter and ended the letter with these poetry lines:

Inform Yazid and the best saying is the most truthful; I have come to know that there is no good in lying.

I have seen some eggs in the land of Khuresan. If they are hatched, they will bring about something wonderful.

They are two -year-old young birds; they have grown up and grown features, but they do not fly.

If they fly and none wangles toward them during this period, they will kindle the fires of a terrible war.

Yazid said to the carrier of the letter: "Say to your leader: There is no victory but through a large number (of fighters); and I have no man with me."[1]

Nasr thought of a way to get rid of the crisis, so he sent to al-Kirmani and Shayban al-Khariji the following poetry lines:

Inform Rabi'a in Maru and those in the Yemen to be angry before that anger will not profit (them).

And to declare war, for the people has declared a war in whose edges wood is burnt.

What is the matter with you that you fight one another as if that the men with intelligence were absent from your opinion?

And you leave an enemy who has encompassed you and who has neither religion nor lineage?

We do not know Arabs similar to you among the people, nor (do we know) pure non-Arabs if their ancestry is traced back.

p: 324

They are the people who narrate from the Prophet sayings of which I have never heard, and which the Books have never mentioned.

Whoever asks me about the origin of their religion, surely their religion is that the Arabs should be killed.[2]

Nasr's attempts for overcoming the events were useless, for the revolt widely spread, the cities of Khuresan surrendered one by one, Abu Muslim was delighted at the victory he won and recited the following:

Through firmness and secrecy I have attained that before which the Umayyad kings are feeble when they mobilize (their fighters).

With my efforts I still striving (to shed) their blood, while the people have heedlessly slept in Sham (Syria).

Until I stroke them with the sword, and they woke up of a sleep which none before them had slept.

Whoever grazes sheep in a land with lions and neglects them, a lion will undertake grazing them.[3]

The troops of Abu Muslim occupied the cities and the fortresses and inflicted heavy damages on the enemy in souls and properties. As for Nasr, he was unable to stand before those immense forces. So he rode his horse and ran away; he passed through the desert between al-Ray and Hamadan and died of sadness in its unknown regions.[4]

Abu Muslim occupied Khuresan and the neighboring towns and villages. Then headed for Iraq to occupy it; his troops walked like waves; over them waved black standards that were the symbol of the 'Abbasids. They occupied Iraq without any resistance. In this manner the government of the 'Abbasids appeared at the hands of Abu Muslim.

p: 325

We will talk about the end of the Umayyad government, the murder of its king Merwan, the different kinds of exhaustion and severe punishment the Umayyads met from the 'Abbasids when we talk about the time of (Abu al-'Abbas) al-Saffah.

Surely the talk about the factors that led to the overthrowing of the Umayyad government is necessary to the research on the life of Imam Musa, peace be on him, for he spent part of his life hearing of those social crises that changed the course of the general life. He was twenty-one years old when the Umayyad government was overthrown. This period allowed him to convey to his inner self many views and pictures that passed by him. He saw that the revolt deviated from its course, for it was returning the government to Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, that the community might enjoy justice, welfare, ease, and tranquility. Unfortunately, it conveyed the caliphate to the 'Abbasids, who went too far in killing the 'Abbasids, pursing them, punishing them severely, filling their houses with sorrow, losing children and mourning. Of course, these things had strong effects on the soul of Imam Musa, peace be on him, to the extent that it was full of intense sorrow and deep sadness.

___________________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 305.

[2] Ibid., p. 304.

[3] Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 1, p. 282.

[4] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 204.

Chapter VIII

At the Time of al-Saffah

Kufa received the pledge of allegiance to Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah with much silence out of fear, many worries and disorders. That is because the Umayyad government was still standing and controlling most Islamic regions. Meanwhile the Umayyad king was camping on the bank of al-Zaab River along with a great army composed of over one hundred thousand horsemen from the Arab Peninsula, Syria, and Mousil; whereas the 'Abbasid Caliph had no forces except those in Khuresan and its outskirts and Kufa. Neither Basrah nor Wasit entered the frame of the pledge of allegiance (to him), as well as the summons to the caliphate was to al-Rida from among the family of Muhammed, and the 'Abbasids were not mentioned. That is because the masses struggled for the 'Alawids, who were the first pillar for social justice and the guarantee of the interests of the community.

p: 326

None thought that the 'Abbasids would assume the caliphate, for the souls were full of doubts about them. That is because some of them were famous for treachery and treason toward the community during its most critical conditions and hours. An example of them is 'Abd Allah b. al-'Abbas. He betrayed Allah and His Apostle when he joined the camp of Mu'awiya in the dark night. That was after he had taken a bribe to desert (Imam al-Hasan), the grandson of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The thing that made the Muslims increased their doubt about them is that they submissive to the Umayyad government throughout its periods of time and performed no positive deed in resisting the tyranny and oppression of the Umayyads.

Any way, Kufa received the procession of Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah on Friday, Rabi' al-Awal 12, 132 A. H. when he was heading for the Mosque. After he had performed the prayer, Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah went up on the pulpit, though he was ill, and delivered an eloquent, wonderful sermon in which he lauded the 'Abbasids, saying:

O People of Kufa, you are the place of love for us and the house of affection toward us. It is you who have not changed from that and you have not been turned from that by the wrong of men of tyranny against you until that it has happened that you have lived in our time, and Allah has brought you our state; therefore, you are the happiest of all the people with us and the most honorable of them with us; I have added a hundred dirhams to the salary of each of you. So surely it is I the one who sheds (blood), makes things permissible, revolts (against the Umayyads), and makes them wail.

p: 327

After him, his uncle Dawud delivered an eloquent speech in which he praised the 'Abbasids and dispraised the Umayyads, saying:

O People, by Allah, we have come out for this affair not to increase silver and pure gold nor to dig a river nor to build a palace; rather the disdain of their usurping our rights and the angry for our cousins have made us come out. We have not hated your affairs; certainly your affairs had burnt us when we were on our beds. The bad behavior of the Umayyads toward you, their abasing you, their possessing alone your Fayyi', your alms, and your booties made us intense toward them. To you belong the covenant of Allah, the Blessed and Most High, and the covenant of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family; and the covenant of al-'Abbas, may Allah have mercy on him, is against us that we shall rule among you according to what Allah has revealed, put into practice among you the Book of Allah, and behave toward the special groups and the general populace according to the behavior of Allah' Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

He made the people of Kufa desire for gifts and giving. He heaped promises upon them, so they craned their necks and listened to him. He emphasized to them that the new state would achieve for them political and social justice, and behave toward them with a behavior based on the pure truth. Then Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah descended the pulpit. He and his uncle Dawud b. 'Ali entered the princely palace. As for Abu Ja'far al-Mansur, he stayed in the mosque to take the pledge of allegiance from the people. He continued taking the pledge of allegiance from them until he led them in the afternoon, sunset, and evening prayers; and then he went on it until a late hour of the night.[1]

p: 328

Abu al-'Abbas did not stay for a long time in Kufa, the 'Alawids' place; he went out of it and stayed in the camp of Abu Salam al-Khallal, in Hammam A'yun. Then he ordered al-Hashimiya (city) to be built, that it might be the capital of his government.

____________________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 325.

The Battle of al-Zaab

When Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah undertook the office of the caliphate, he sent his military forces headed by Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali to fight against the Umayyad king, Merwan al-Himar (the Donkey). 'Abd Allah along with his great army walked and covered the desert; they met the army of the enemy at al-Zaab, near al-Mousil. The standards of the 'Abbasids were carried by some men riding camels called al-Bukht. He used the wood of willow and other trees along with them in stead of spears. When Merwan saw them, he became terrified and asked those who were around him: "Do you not see that their spears are as thick as date-palms? Do you not see that their standards on those camels are as black as black clouds?"

While he was looking at them with a heart full of terror and fear, large groups of ravens flew and alighted in front of the army of 'Abd Allah, so their blackness connected with that of those black standards, and they became like the black night, so Merwan became very afraid and asked: "Do you not see that the blackness has connected the blackness, to the extent that they all have become like black, thick clouds?"

p: 329

Then Merwan turned to a man beside him and asked him with terror and fear:

-Do you not know the commander of their army?

-'Abd Allah b. 'Ali b. al-'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib.

-Woe unto you! Is he one of al-'Abbas's sons?

-Yes.

-By Allah, I wish that 'Ali b. Abi Talib was in his place in that rank!

Merwan was sure of his inevitable fate; he wished that the conqueror would be Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, that he might meet them with pardon, kindness, and forgiveness. Any way, the man did not understand Merwan's statement and thought that he accused Imam 'Ali of cowardice, so he opposed him, asking:

-Why do you say that concerning 'Ali though he is brave?

-Woe unto you! Although 'Ali was brave, he was religious! The religion is other than kingdom! We narrate on the authority of our old people that 'Ali and his sons had nothing to do with kingdom![1]

The fire of the war broke out between the two parties. Immediately the armies of the Umayyads were fully defeated. Merwan and some groups of his army escaped. They reached Mousil, but its inhabitants prevented them from entering it out of fear of the vengeance of the 'Abbasid, victorious army. Then he headed for Harran but he was unable to stay in it. Accordingly, he went to the city of Hams followed by the 'Abbasid armies. Then he entered Damascus, and its governor wanted to help him, but he was unable to do that due to his short time. The enemy followed him. For this reason he headed for Jordan and found it hoisting the 'Abbasid standards. He left it and stopped in Palestine. He came to know that Damascus was overthrown at the hands of the 'Abbasids, and he was full of terror. As a result he left his place in Palestine and headed for Egypt. He stopped in a village called Boseer. He lived there in a church; nevertheless the armies of Salih reached him in a dark night. A bloody fight took place between the two parties. Merwan was killed during the fight. A Kufan cut off his head and took out his tongue, but a cat came and took it from him![2]

p: 330

With this fight the 'Abbasids put an end to the Umayyad government, which ruled people with oppression and tyranny, caused mischief in the land, exploited the properties of Allah, and enslaved his servants. Accordingly, Allah severely took vengeance on the Umayyads; He made their kingdom come to nothing and their victory become alienation; He has written to them disgrace and shame throughout times.

Merwan's head was carried to Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah. When he saw it, he prostrated for a long time. Then he raised his head and said: "Praise belongs to Allah, Who has not leave our vengeance toward you and toward your people! Praise belongs to Allah, Who has granted us a victory over you and made us overcome you! I do not mind when death strikes me, while I have killed a thousand Umayyads, and I have burnt Hisham's corpse for the sake of my cousin Zayd whose corpse they had burnt. Then he recited the following:

If they drank my blood, they would not quench their thirst, nor the blood of them all would quench my thirst!

Then he faced the Qibla, prostrated again, and recited the following:

Our people refused to treat us with justice, so the sharp swords in our right hands and drips blood have treated us with justice.

When they (the swords) mixes with the men's heads, they would leave them destroyed like ostriches' eggs destroyed on earth.

Then he turned to those who attended his gathering and said to them: "As for Merwan, we have killed him for my brother Ibrahim. We have killed all the Umayyads for al-Husayn, those who were killed with him and after him from among the children of our uncle Abu Talib."[3]

p: 331

Through that the kingdom of the 'Abbasids established, and al-Saffah became a king over the Muslims in all over their countries.

_____________________________________________

[1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 7, p. 134.

[2] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa'.

[3] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 7, p. 131.

The Umayyads escape

When the Umayyad state collapsed, the Umayyads became fearful; their hearts were full of terror and dismay; for this reason some of them runaway into the desert. Among those who escaped were Merwan's two sons, 'Abd Allah and 'Ubayd Allah; along with them were a group of their womenfolk and of their companions. They headed for the country of the Nubians, and their king honored them. They sought refuge in his country, but he refused that out of fear of the 'Abbasid authorities. Thus, they fearfully went out (of his country) and went to Bijawa, but its king fought against them. They went away heading for the Yemen while their souls were full of impatience and panic. Then they found two roads. There was a mountain between the two roads. 'Ubayd Allah took a group of them and followed one road, and 'Abd Allah headed another group and followed another road. They thought that they would meet each other after an hour.

The walked throughout the day; they wanted to came back but they were not able to. As for 'Ubayd Allah, he met one of the Abyssinian (military) vanguards. He warred against them, and finally he was killed. The Abyssinians took his companions as prisoners of war and plundered their supplies. Then they left them naked and bare-footed. They (the Umayyad prisoners) were so thirsty that they urinated in their hands and drank their urine; they kneaded sands with it and ate it. Then they caught up with 'Abd Allah b. Merwan, who was more tired and exhausted then them. There were some women walking with 'Abd Allah b. Merwan. They were naked and bare-footed. They felt pain after the long walk and drank urine, to the extent that their lips cracked open. They arrived in al-Mandib and stayed there in for a month. The people there collected something for them. Then they went out of it and headed for Mecca while they were wearing the uniform of the porters.[1]

p: 332

Allah let down upon them this severe punishment and exhausting fear, so He has made them among the greatest lessons and examples to the enemies of peoples.

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, pp. 84-85. Ibn 'Abd Rabba, al-'Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, pp. 198-199.

Genocide

The 'Abbasid government pursued the Umayyads and uprooted them without leniency and mercy. It killed and annihilated them everywhere. The following are some examples of the annihilation and severe punishment the Umayyads met from the 'Abbasid government:

1. In Basrah

Sulayman b. 'Ali killed and severely punished the Umayyads in Basrah. He executed a group of them. Then he ordered them to be drawn by the legs and to be put on the road, to the extent that dogs ate them. Some Umayyads hidden themselves such as 'Amr b. Mu'awiya, who was fearful and hid himself for a long time, to the extent that he felt that the earth was narrow, so he went to Sulayman b. 'Ali and stood before him, and he did not recognize him. He said to him while abasement and defeat appeared on his face:

-The (people in the) country has expelled me, (and I have come) to you; your favor has shown me the way to you. So either you kill me, and I will find rest or you send me safely, and I will be secure.

-Who are you?

He introduced himself to him, so he felt pity for him and said to him:

-Welcome! What is your need?

p: 333

-Surely you are the most of the people (to protect) our womenfolk and the nearest of them to them, while they have fear for us.

-May Allah spare your blood and make abundant your properties![1]

Then he gave him security and wrote a letter concerning that to al-Saffah, and he accepted it.

2. In Mecca and Medina

Dawud b. 'Ali killed a group of the Umayyads in Mecca and Medina. Ibrahim b. Haram recited him some poetry lines in which he urged him to continue pursuing and putting an end to them, saying:

May Allah not forgive Merwan, nor Umayya a complaint! What bad (their) tyrannical gathering is!

They were like 'Ad, so Allah destroyed them in the same manner through which he destroyed the erring from among (the people of) 'Ad.

None of the Hashimites will accuse me of lying even if I account very much.[2]

Shaykh Muhammed al-Khudari felt sorry for what Dawud b. 'Ali did toward them, saying: "To the extent that he did not let any of them stay (alive) in order to satisfy the vengeful desire that clang to the hearts of the 'Abbasids, nor did that intense savagery make them ashamed."[3]

Al-Khudari felt sorry for killing the Umayyads, but he did not felt sorry for what they did to the family of the great Prophet such as killing them, taking them as prisoners of war, and what they inflicted on the free Muslims such as severe punishments, exhaustion, torture, and the like from among atrocities and scandals. It was decreed for them to meet that, for Allah has ordained curse and disgrace for the oppressive and decreed that they shall meet their end full of loss and bad fate. Any way al-Khudari did not look at reality through anything but through a black perspective. Fanaticism ate his heart, and he adored his Umayyad masters. He wept for their conditions and felt pain for their fate!

p: 334

3. In al-Hirah

When the affair went well with Abu al-'Abbas, he pursued them. When he found any of them, he executed him, that he might strengthen his kingdom and his authorities, please his 'Alawid cousins, and respect the sentiments of most citizens whom the Umayyad authorities afflicted with disaster. Sulayman b. Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik asked him for security, and he gave him security. He and a group of the Umayyads came in to him in al-Hirah. While they were sitting, his chamberlain came in to him and said to him: "O Commander of the faithful, a veiled, black man from al-Hijaz riding a highborn horse asking (you) for permission (to come in to you). He does not tell (me of) his name. He swears (by Allah) not to uncover his face until he sees you."

"This is my retainer Sadif. Let him enter," was the answer.

Sadif entered. When he entered and saw al-Saffah surrounded by the Umayyads, who sat on cushions and chairs, he became angry and asked him to recite some enthusiastic poetry lines to him. He permitted him, and he recited them with anger and fury, saying:

The foundations of the kingdom has become firm through the masters including all good from among the 'Abbasids.

Through the chiefs who were advanced in the past, and (through) the firm, open-handed masters.

O Commander of those who are free from dispraise, O head who is the highest of all the heads,

You are the guide and guidance of the Hashimites! How many a people hoped for you after despair!

p: 335

Do not release 'Abd Shams from his stumble! Cut off all his tall palm-trees and plants!

Let him settle where Allah settled him, in the abode of abasement and misery!

Their fear (of you) has made them show their affection (to you), while they have harbored malice against you!

Remember the death of al-Husayn, Zayd, and of the one who was killed by al-Mihras,

And the Imam in Harran who has become a hostage to a grave in loneliness and forgetfulness!

These poetry lines inflamed al-Saffah's heart; fury fully seized him, to the extent that it appeared on his facial expressions. One of the Umayyads felt that and said: "By Allah, the black man has killed us!"

Al-Saffah flamed with anger, so he shouted at the Khuresanis: "Take them!"

The Khuresanis took them and severely hit them with batons, to the extent that they fell to the ground on their faces. Then al-Saffah ordered the dining table to be spread on them, and it was spread on them. The food was put on it. Al-Saffah and his attendants sat and had food. They heard their moaning until they all perished. Delight appeared on the face of al-Saffah, and he said: "Throughout my lifetime, I have never eaten a meal more agreeable than this one!"

Then the food was raised from them. Their bodies were drawn and thrown away on the road, and most of them were eaten by dogs.[4] Sadif looked at them, and he became delighted and tranquil. So he said:

p: 336

The Umayyads desired that the Hashimites would be pleased with them; and their (martyrs called) Zayd and al-Husayn would be in vain.

No! (I swear by) the Lord and God of Muhammed, (the Hashimites would not be pleased with them) until they annihilated their unbelievers and traitors.[5]

After al-Saffah had killed the Umayyads and erased them from the world of existence, he became delighted and rejoiced, so he said:

O Umayyads, I have annihilated your gathering, so how much more my (attitude would be) toward the past one.

That the fire will bring you together makes my soul good; it will compensate you (for your crimes) of its flame with evil compensation.

You have been afflicted with, may Allah not release you from your stumble, a jungle lion who rises against the enemies.

If my fury is due to past (things issued) from you, then I have been afflicted with you through something with which my Lord is pleased.

In this way was the end of the wrong-doers and enemies of nations; there end was killing, destruction, disgrace, and shame!

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Kamil, vol., 5, p. 206.

[2] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa', p. 4.

[3] Al-Muhadarat, p. 49.

[4] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa', p. 10.

[5] Al-'Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, p. 207.

The 'Abbasids dig up the Graves of the Umayyads

The 'Abbasids pursued their Umayyad opponents while living, just as we have mentioned. Then they turned to their dead. They dug up their graves and burnt their remaining decayed bones. That took place when the 'Abbasid armies occupied Damascus. So 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali, commander-in-chief, commanded his fighters to disinter the graves of the Umayyads. They dug up the grave of Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan and found nothing therein except a piece of thread like ash. They disinterred the grave of 'Abd al-Malik b. Merwan and found in it a skull. They dug up the grave of Yazid b. Mu'awiya and found therein remains looked like ashes. Then they took out the corpse of Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik and flogged it, crucified it, and scattered it in the air.[1]

p: 337

With this subject matter we will end our talk about the Umayyads and what happened to them such as defeat and destruction.

_____________________________________________

[1] Al-Kamil, vol. 5, p. 205.

Al-Saffah and the 'Alawids

None expected that the 'Abbasids would undertake the caliphate, for the great revolt that overthrew the Umayyads was for the 'Alawids; the cheers of the demonstrators were summoning the people to follow al-Rida from among the family of Muhammed. This summons was the slogan of the revolutionaries who gave many sacrifices for it. The 'Abbasids themselves did not dream of that, for al-Saffah and his brother al-Mansur had pledged allegiance to Muhammed Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya, but the fates withdrew the affair from the al-'Alawids and carried it to the 'Abbasids.

When the Kingdom went well with Abi al-'Abbas, he did his best to please the 'Alawids. He gave them many gifts, received them with different kinds of magnification and honor, put an end to their Umayyad opponents. The relationships between him and them were apparently clear and friendly, but, indeed, the 'Alawids were full of deep sadness and intense sorrow, for the 'Abbasids schemed against them and possessed alone the caliphate without asking their opinion.

Any way, the 'Alawids went to Abi al-'Abbas when he was in al-Anbar to congratulate him on his assuming the caliphate. But Muhammed and Ibrahim did not go to him. Al-Saffah had doubt of them; he turned to their father and asked him:

-What has prevented them from coming along with those who have come to me from among their household?

p: 338

-They have not come not because of a thing the Commander of the faithful dislikes.

Al-Saffah unwillingly and reluctantly accepted the excuse. The thing that increased the worries and disorders of al-Saffah due to Muhammed and his brother is that when he built al-Anbar city to take it as his capital, he entered it along with his brother Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) and 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan. While he was walking between them and showed them what was in the city such as factories and palaces, a slip of tongue issued from 'Abd Allah when he recited the following two poetry lines:

Do you not see that Jawshan builds palaces whose profits belong to the children of Nufayla.

He hopes that he will live as long as Noah did; and the Command of Allah happens every night.

Abu al-'Abbas's face turned yellow. So Abu Ja'far al-Mansur turned to 'Abd Allah and asked him:

-Do you think that your two sons will certainly undertake the caliphate?

-No! By Allah, I have not thought of that, nor have I wanted it. They were mere words ran on my tongue; I paid no attention to them.

These words displeased al-Saffah. When the 'Alawids decided to go to Yethrib (Medina), he gave them many things, sent with them a man of his trustworthy men, and said to him: "Provide lodgings for them; do your best to comply with their wishes. When you are alone with them, show inclination toward them and hatred toward us and their being more appropriate for this affair more than us. Account for me what they say and what issues from them during their travel and arrival."

p: 339

When 'Abd Allah arrived in Yethrib, he held a meeting with his sons, and they asked him about all things, small and great. He explained to them the conditions and moved them to revolt (against Abu al-'Abbas). That man attended their meeting, and he memorized all their words. When he returned to Abu al-'Abbas, he informed him of all what he had seen of al-Hasan's sons, and he boiled with anger at them; and al-Mansur became very angry with them.

Those who sought nearness to the authorities created slanders saying that the 'Alawids had summoned the people to break the pledge of allegiance to al-Saffah. Al-Saffah had no patience with that, so he wrote to 'Abd Allah a letter in which he mentioned the following poetry line:

I want his friendship and he wants my death. The one who makes excuses to you is one of your bosom friends from (the tribe of) Murad.

Thus, 'Abd Allah sent him a letter in which he refuted his claims and wrote in the bottom of it the following poetry lines:

And how does he want that while you are from him in the same position with respect to him as the aorta is to the heart?

And how does he want that while you are from him and your lighter takes fire from mine?

And how does he want that while you are from him, and you are a head and guide for Hashim?[1]

Abu al-'Abbas made sure of that, and his fear calmed down; yet (his brother) Abu Ja'far al-Mansur urged and moved him to attack Muhammed and Ibrahim, so he rebuked him and said to him: "Whoever exerts pressure (on people) alienates (them); whoever is flexible regrets; and to feign inattention is among the qualities of the generous."[2]

p: 340

He treated the 'Alawids with treatment of those politically experienced. He did not show harm or detested things toward them; rather he feigned affection and sympathy to them.

______________________________________________

[1] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 97.

[2] Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 159.

Imam al-Sadiq's Attitude

The attitude of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, was distinguished by neutrality, resorting to peace and tranquility, and refraining from any political activity. The Imam came to know that any political activity would fail and would bring the community nothing except inclusive harm that would destroy the society and bring about to it many disasters and misfortunes.

The Imam insisted on this sound plan on his attitude toward the 'Alawids and the summoners to the 'Abbasid state. The following are explanations to that:

1. With the 'Alawids

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, predicted that the 'Abbasids, and not the 'Alawids, would assume the caliphate after the overthrowing of the Umayyad government. He went too far in advising the 'Alawids and warned them against seeking rule. The historians have narrated many of his initiatives in this respect. An example of that is that they have narrated that the 'Abbasids and the 'Alawids held a meeting during the Umayyad governments and decided to pledge allegiance to Muhammed Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya. So they sent for Imam al-Sadiq and presented that before him, but he prevented them from that and said to them:

"Do not do (that), for the affair has not come yet."

'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan became angry and thought that the Imam envied his son; yet the Imam looked at him with a look of mercy and compassion, saying to him: "No! By Allah, that does not urge me, but this-indicating with his hand to Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah, his brothers, and their sons are other than you."

p: 341

The Imam rose excited, so 'Abd al-Samad and Abu Ja'far al-Mansur followed him and asked him:

"O Abu 'Abd Allah, do you say that?"[1]

"Yes! By Allah, I say it and know it."

The Imam, peace be on him, went too far in advising 'Abd Allah, that he might turn away from that affair and not to involve himself and his two sons in it. He, peace be on him, said to him: "By Allah, neither you nor your sons will undertake it (the caliphate), but they (the 'Abbasids) will undertake it. Your sons will surely be killed."[2]

The Imam had taken this knowledge and inspiration from Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, for he was his testamentary trustee, inheritor of his knowledge, keeper of his wisdom, and place of his secrets.

He, peace be on him, gave them a piece of advice to save them (from killing); he told them that they would not assume the caliphate. If they had taken his advice, they would have saved themselves from destruction and hardships, and the community would not have been afflicted with their disasters. Any way, they, may Allah have mercy on them, are excused in this respect. That is because they met abasement and humiliation from those reckless authorities, which spared no effort to force them to follow what they disliked, so they went to the fields of struggle as free people and died honorable under spearheads. We will in detail talk about that when we talk about the tyrannical one, Abu Ja'far al-Mansur.

p: 342

2.With Abu Salama

When the Umayyad state was about to collapse under the pressure of the 'Abbasid Armies and their uninterrupted attacks against it, Abu Salama, called Wazir Aal Muhammed, thought that he had to hand over the caliphate to the 'Alawids. Whether he was earnest and loyal or plotter and deceiver, he wrote (letters) to three of them and showed them his viewpoints; they were Imam Ja'far b. Muhammed, 'Abd Allah al-Mahdi, and 'Umar al-Ashraf b. Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him. He gave the letters to one of their retainers who inhabited Kufa and said to him: "In the first place, go to Ja'far b. Muhammed al-Sadiq, peace be on him. If he responded, then you could cancel the other two letters. If he did not respond, then you could go to 'Abd Allah al-Mahdi. If he responded, then you could cancel the letter of 'Umar al-Ashraf. If he did not respond, then you could meet 'Umar.

The messenger traveled to Yethrib (Medina). When he arrived in it, he started meeting Imam Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him, told him about the speech of Abu Salama and gave hi the letter at night, and he, peace be on him, took it and said to him: "As for Abu Salama, he is a follower of other than me!"

The messenger said to the Imam: "Read the letter and answer it as you think."

The Imam said to his retainer: "Bring nearer the lamp."

The retainer brought it nearer, and the Imam put the letter into the fire, and it burnt. Thus, the messenger asked him:

p: 343

-Do you not write an answer to him (Abu Salama).

-You have seen the answer!

Then he, peace be on him, recited the following poetry line of al-Kumayt:

O You who kindles a fire whose light is for other than you; and O wood gatherer whose woods in a rope of other than yours!

As a result, the messenger left him and went to 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan. He gave him the letter, and he read it and became delighted with it. On the following morning, 'Abd Allah rode (his horse) and went to the house of Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him. He came in to him, and he rose for him, welcomed and magnified him, saying:

-O Abu Muhammed, what has brought you?

-It is too great to be described!

-What is it?

-This is Abu Salama's letter in which he has asked me to assume the caliphate at the time when our followers (Shi'ites) from Khuresan have come to him.

The Imam, peace be on him, became displeased and said to him: "O Abu Muhammed, when have the people of Khuresan been your followers? It was you who sent Abu Muslim to Khuresan; and it was you who ordered them to dress in black. Do you recognize any of them through his name or his voice? How have they become your followers, while you do not recognize them nor do they recognize you?"

'Abd Allah began arguing with him, and he, peace be on him, stopped his speech and said to him: "Allah has come to know that I have made it incumbent on me to advise all Muslims; therefore, how do I refrain from advising you? So do not make yourself desire for false things, for they (the 'Abbasids) will undertake this state; and a letter similar to the one that has come to you had come to me!"[3]

p: 344

Through his brilliant speech, the Imam predicted an unknown period of time, enlighten it with his own knowledge, and removed from it all kinds of confusion and ambiguity. He foretold that the 'Abbasids would certainly assume the caliphate and that it was useless to oppose them. After some years his prediction and truthfulness concerning that became true.

Any way, the Imam fully understood the course of events, so he refused to accept Abu Salama's proposal, for the latter's proposal, if he was serious in it, was not due to his faith in the rights of Ahl al-Bayt; rather it resulted from losing his interests and hopes; why had he not responded with them before that time full of dangers? For surely the 'Abbasid Armies that crept to occupy Iraq were not the followers of the 'Alawids. Rather they were the followers of the 'Abbasids, for their summons had great effects on them; therefore, how would the Imam respond to the summons of Abu Salama or walk on the unknown ways of those black trends surrounded by destruction and dangers? 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan responded to him, but he earned nothing from him except that he exposed himself and his family to inclusive destruction.

The affair of this summons was clear to the 'Abbasids; it made them worried and disordered, so they decided to kill him. The historians narrated that Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah and Abu Ja'far al-Mansur agreed that al-Mansur had to go to Khuresan to visit Abu Muslim and to talk with him about the affair of Abu Salama and to ask him to assassinate him. As a result al-Mansur went there and met with Abu Muslim. He told him about the affair, and he asked: "Has Abu Salama done it? I will be sufficient to him on your behalf!" Then he summoned one of his military commanders called Marar b. Anas al-Dabbi and commanded him: "Go to Kufa and kill Abu Salama wherever you find him!" Marar along with a group of his fighters headed for al-Kufa. Abu Salama chanted at night with al-Saffah, who affected pardon and pleasure with him. Marar and his fighters sat in his way. When Abu Salama came out at midnight, they hurried to kill him; in the morning they propagated that it was the Kharijites who killed him.[4] Through that the affair of Abu Salama was over at the dawn of the summons to the 'Abbasids.

p: 345

3. With Abu Muslim

When Abu Muslim came to know about the reality and treachery of the 'Abbasids, he attempted to hand over the authority to Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, thus he wrote to the Imam a letter in which he mentioned: "Surely I have shown the word and summoned the people to (refrain from) following the 'Abbasids. Therefore, if you wish, then none is better than you!"

The Imam, peace be on him, wrote him an answer in which he showed wisdom, awareness, and perceiving the realities of the affairs. In the letter he mentioned: "You are not among my followers, nor the time is mine!"[5]

Yes! How would Abu Muslim be among the followers of Imam Abu22 'Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be on him, who was of great importance in Islam?

Certainly, the companions and the summoners to the Imam were good, cleaved to their religion, and preferred obedience to Allah to all things.

How would the Imam be pleased with receiving the authority from Abu Muslim, who regarded as lawful all the things made unlawful by Allah and unjustly shed the blood of the Muslims?

_________________________________________

[1] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 555.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 184. Al-Aadaab al-Sultaniya, p. 137.

[4] Al-Tabari, the Events of the Year 132 A. H. Abu Muslim was killed in Rajab 15th. That was a month after the defeat of Merwan.

[5] Al-Milal wa al-Nihal, vol. 1, p. 241.

Abu Muslim repents

Finally Abu Muslim repented for the ruinous offenses and the sins he committed; he ascribed all things he done to al-Saffah. That was mentioned in the letter he sent to Abu Ja'far al-Mansur. In it he has mentioned: "I have adopted your brother as an Imam and regarded him as a guide to religion due to kinship and the will he clamed that it came to him. So through me he lowered the darkness of error; and he placed me in the lasso of the discord. He commanded me to punish (the people) for suspicion, to kill them for accusation, and not to accept any excuse (from them). As a result, through his commands, I violated some forbidden things whose maintenance Allah decreed, shed blood whose sparing Allah made obligatory, withdrew the authority from its men and handed it to those other than them.

p: 346

Therefore, if Allah pardoned me, then it would be through a favor of him; and if he punished (me), then it would be through what my hands had earned; and Allah does not wrong the servants."[1]

In his letter, Abu Muslim has shown his repent, his barbarism, and his rudeness. Besides he has indicated that he, according to al-Saffah's commands, shed blood, violated forbidden things, made public panic, and spread terror.

Abu Muslim has made a statement similar to the one mentioned above. He sent the statement to Abu Ja'far al-Mansur. In it he has mentioned: "Now then, surely I have adopted a man as an Imam and a guide to the things Allah has made obligatory on his creatures; the man was knowledgeable and had close kinship to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family; he has deemed me as ignorant through the Qur'an, and he has altered it (the Qur'an) from its places craving after a little thing from which Allah has withhold his creatures; he is like the one who expresses with arrogance; he has commanded me to pull out the sword, to raise mercy, not to accept any excuse, and not to release (any person) from his stumble. I have done that in order to make firm your supreme authority, to the extent that those who have no knowledge of you have come to know you; those who are your enemies have obeyed you; Allah has made you manifest after that disappearance, abasement, and lowness."[2]

p: 347

In this important statement, Abu Muslim has mentioned al-Saffah's qualities such as deception, error, and being void of man's values.

He felt remorse and repent of the great sins he had committed, to the extent that he did no hope that Allah would forgive him them. He supplicated at 'Arafat: "O Allah, surely I am going to turn in repentance to you of that which I do not think that you will not forgive me it!"

He was asked: "Is it difficult for Allah to forgive you your sins?"

He replied: "Certainly, I have woven a garment of oppression as long as the state belongs to the 'Abbasids. How many a female crier met me when the oppression became aggravated! Therefore, how will Allah forgive him whose opponents are these creatures?"[3]

Certainly, Abu Musa spoiled the affair of his life in the next world and sold his religion for establishing the 'Abbasid kingdom. He repented (of his sins) but repent does not benefit him. Allah will not be kind through pardoning and forgiving him who unjustly shed the blood of the innocent and spread in the country of the Muslims losing children, sadness, and mourning.

____________________________________________________________________

[1] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10, p. 208.

[2] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 10, p. 64.

[3] Al-Kuna wa al-Alqab, vol. 2, p. 151.

Al-Saffah dies

Al-Saffah became sick; he suffered from intense and severe pain for several days.

When he became critically ill and death was at hand, he sent for his nephew 'Isa b. Musa; in another narration (he sent for) his uncle 'Isa b. 'Ali. He handed him a closed letter and wrote on the envelope:

p: 348

From the servant and friend of Allah,

To the family of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, friends, and all the Muslims.

He asked him to keep his affair secret until he died, that he might read the letter to the people. None came to know whom he appointed as successor after him.[1]

Al-Saffah died on the night of Sunday, Dhu al-Hijja 12, 136 A. H.[2] When he died, 'Ali b. 'Isa shrouded him with his garment; he kept his death secret to the people. In the morning, he summoned some 'Abbasids and the high-ranking statesmen; and then he announced to them the death of al-Saffah. He brought to them the closed letter of the pledge of allegiance. He opened (and read) the letter before them; he found that al-Saffah had appointed his brother Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) as successor after him, and that he had appointed his nephew 'Isa b. Musa b. Muhammed as a hire apparent. Then he commanded those present to pledge allegiance to Abu Ja'far al-Mansur. After that he buried him in his palace according to his will.[3]

Al-Saffah's lifetime ended in this manner full of shedding blood and violating the forbidden things. He ended his lifetime with imposing his brother al-Mansur as a caliph over the Muslims, and he was the most wicked of the creatures of Allah and the evilest of all Muslim rulers in meanness and deviation from justice. For he spared no effort to make the Muslims poor, to spread panic and fear all over the Islamic world, just as we will mention it in detail.

p: 349

With this point we will end our talk about Imam Musa, peace be on him, during the time of al-Saffah. As a result, during his youth and prime of his lifetime, he witnessed the ordeal and misery of the Islamic society during those terrible periods when he lived, for when he got rid of the tyranny and oppression of the Umayyads, he became under the pressure of the 'Abbasid government. So he suffered from tyranny, despotism, wrong, and exhaustion; and the 'Abbasid authorities went too far in making poor the Muslims, plundering their wealth and generously spent it on dissoluteness and prostitution, just as the condition was during the Umayyad government. Of course, such practices had great effects on the life of Imam Musa, peace be on him, and on its carrying sadness and sorrow.

________________________________________________

[1] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p.348.

[2] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 181.

[3] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 181.

Chapter IX

During the Time of al-Mansur

Al-Mansur had no previous convictions, nor had he any achievement, that he might deserve the caliphate that was the greatest office in Islam. He had neither humanitarian tendency nor honest quality that would qualify him to undertake the affairs of the Muslims. The historians have unanimously agreed that he was ignoble, miserly, mean, low, treacherous, and murderous. They have said that he ruled the Muslims with the policy of him who did not believe in Allah and the hereafter, that he spread among them fear and exhaustion and deprived them of their economic requirements. To the extent that they wished the return and the days of the Umayyad government though they were full of severity and torture. One of those who lived through the two states has said:

p: 350

Would that the tyranny of the Banu Merwan lasted for us; and would that the justice of the Banu 'Abbas be in the fire!

The great revolutionary, Muhammed Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya, has said in his talk he stated concerning the tyranny and oppression of the 'Abbasids: "We had took vengeance on the Umayyads, but the 'Abbasids are less in fear of Allah than them. The argument against the 'Abbasids is more obligatory than it is against them; the people (the Umayyads) had noble deeds and favors Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) did not have."[1]

Abu Ja'far al-Mansur went too far in shedding blood, to the extent that none can describe it. He killed (people) for suspicion and accusation, turned away from all the people even his family when he annihilated its members and cut off their heads; that is ascribed to his malice and recklessness. He has been described by professor al-Sayyid Meer, who has said: "Al-Mansur was deceptive; he did not hesitate at all in shedding blood; his severity is ascribed to his excessive malice, whereas his successor did not kill anybody except after much reflection and scrutiny. Generally speaking, Abu Ja'far was careless of his violence and reckless of his assassination; his treatment towards 'Ali's children is regarded as the worst page in the history of the 'Abbasids." Al-Seyuti has said: "Al-Mansur was the first to find the gap of the difference between the 'Abbasids and the 'Alawids, while they had been as one bloc."[2]

Ibn Hubayra,[3] one of al-Mansur's contemporaries, has described him, saying: "I have never seen a man in war or in peace more cunning, difficult, and watchful than al-Mansur, to the extent that he besieged me along with a group of Arab horsemen. We spared no effort to attain something of his troops but we were unable because he firmly controlled his fighters and was very alert."[4]

p: 351

Through his violence and scheme he could established the 'Abbasid state and controlled fully all the organs of government.

The severest kind of oppression he practiced was that toward the 'Alawids. He treated them with violence and persecution none can describe; he wreaked his wrath upon them and punished them severely; he paid not attention to his womb relations with them and their kinship to the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family. As for Imam Musa, peace be on him, he witnessed all kinds of ordeals and exhaustion that befell his family; these practices had great effect on his soul, which became a place of pain and sadness.

Imam Musa, peace be on, spent twenty years of his lifetime during the time of al-Mansur. He witnessed that abominable policy that carried the signs of death and annihilation to all the subjects. It is necessary for us to talk about the aspects of his personality, his policy, and his practices. That is because the research on such topics has a close relationship with the life of Imam Musa, for it describes to us the time when he lived, the fatigue and tiredness from which the Muslims suffered, and for that had and effect on his impressions. The following is a brief account of al-Mansur's personality:

___________________________________________

[1] Abu al-Farajj al-Asfahani, al-Aghani, vol. 10, p. 106.

[2] Mukhtasar Tarikh al-'Arab, p. 184.

[3] Ibn Hubayra's name is 'Amr b. Sa'd b. 'Adi al-Fazari. He was the governor over the Iraqis for six years during the time of Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik. He was given the kunya of Abu al-Muthanna.

p: 352

[4] Al-'Asr al-'Abbasi, p. 68.

The Aspects of al-Mansur's Personality

Point

As for the aspects for which al-Mansur has been known and were among his elements and selfness, they are as follows:

1. Miserliness

Without doubt, miserliness is the only source of all psychological vices; therefore, the one who has it is void of all kinds of generosity and nobility; this quality urges him to go too far in committing sins and throws him in ruinous evil.

This evil tendency was among the most prominent aspects of al-Mansur, for he was a proverbial for his miserliness. He subjected the Islamic state to inclusive famine, misery, and deprivation. Because of his intense miserliness he was given the nickname of al-Dewaniqi.

Ibn al-Athir has said: "Al-Mansur was named al-Dewaniqi because of his miserliness. That was when he ordered a trench to be dug in Kufa (and ordered) a danaq to be given (to the workers) and to be spent on the digging. The danaq is one sixth a dirham." Then he has said: "In the year 155 A. H. al-Mansur ordered a wall and a trench to be built and dug around Basrah and Kufa. He ordered those workers who built the wall and dug the trench to be given five Dirhams. After they had finished that, he ordered them to be brought together and forty dirhams to be taken from each of them. Concerning that the poet has said:

O My people, what have we met from the Commander of the faithful?

p: 353

He gave five (dirhams) to each of us and took forty (dirhams) from each of us![1]

Having finished building Baghdad, al-Mansur settled an account with the commanders of his army and forced them to return that which was with them, to the extent that he took fifteen dirhams from some of them. [2] He would settle an account with the workers even it was an amount of danaq or habba.[3] As for the aspects of his miserliness, they are as follows:

____________________________________________

[1] Al-Kamil.

[2] Al-Fekhri, p. 118.

[3] 'Inwan al-Majjd, p.161.

He deprived himself of pleasures

His miserliness urged him to deprive himself of enjoying the pleasures in life. He avoided luxury; he wore coarse garments; perhaps, he patched his own shirt with his hand. Concerning him, Imam al-Sadiq has said: "Praise belongs to Allah Who tried him with his own poverty in his kingdom!"[1]

One of his female slaves saw him wearing a patched shirt, and she sneeringly asked him: "Does a caliph wear a patched garment?"

He smiled and answered her: "Woe unto you! Have you not hear the words of the poet, Bin Harama:

"Man may attain honor though his shirt is old and the pocket of his shirt is patched!"[2]

Certainly al-Mansur did not attain honor; rather he reached the deep bottom of meanness and lowliness!

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Fekhri, p. 115.

[2] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 1, p. 57.

His showing Miserliness toward his friends

Al-Mansur was miserly to himself and his friends. He gave them nothing generously, nor did he think of helping them. He had a friend called al-Wadin b. 'Atta' during his poverty and neediness. He sent for the friend when he undertook the office of the caliphate. When he stood before him, he asked him about his conditions and his affairs:

p: 354

-O Abu 'Abd Allah, what do you have?

-The good the Commander of the faithful know!

-What about your family?

-Three daughters, a wife, and their servant.

-Do you have four (persons) in your house?

-Yes.

He asked him about that several times, to the extent that al-Wadin thought that he would give him something as a gift, but he, after long thinking, raised his head and said to him: "You are the richest of all the Arabs, for there are four spindles turning in your house!"[1] Such was his personality full of meanness; it had no ray of pity and mercy.

___________________________________________

[1] 'Asr al-Ma'mun, vol. 1, p. 294.

His Depriving the Writers of Giving

The Umayyad government spent lavishly upon the poets and the writers, so literature flourished and its market became active; the social circles looked at this class with great importance, for the state took care of it and honored it. When al-Mansur became a caliph, he went too far in abasing them, destroying them, depriving them of giving, and preventing them from coming in to him. He did not permit them to visit him except after many efforts. For example, Abu Nuhayla went to him and stopped at the door of his palace and asked for permission to visit him; yet he did not give him permission, whereas the Khuresanis and other than them went in and came out without paying attention to him. Moreover they laughed and sneered at him. One of his friend saw him in that state of abasement and disgrace and asked him: "How do you see the state in which your are?"

p: 355

He answered him through these following poetry lines he improvised and in which he described the state in which he was:

Most Allah's creatures do not know which of Allah's creatures (I am) when they meet (me).

Many a garment is spread and folded; and many a pallium is bought and boiled for a retainer or for the master of a retainer. Woe unto the public treasury! What has it met?[1]

Certainly the thing that urged al-Mansur to make little of this educated class was miserliness.

The historians have narrated an example of his stinginess and his turning away from poets as follows: "Al-Mu'ammal b. Umayl visited al-Mehdi, al-Mansur's hire apparent, and praised him with a wonderful poem that moved his feelings, and he gave him twenty thousand dirhams. His secretary sent al-Mansur a letter in which he informed of the affair. When the letter came to him, and he came to know of the affair, he boiled with anger and immediately sent his son a letter in which he criticized his deed, saying: "You had to give four thousand dirhams to the poet after his standing at your door for one year!"

Then he sent the secretary of al-Mehdi a letter in which he commanded him to sent him the poet immediately. The secretary send for the poet, but he did not find him. He was told that he headed for Medinat al-Selam. So he sent some of his police men and ordered them to arrest him. They stood by the bridge of al-Nehrwan. They asked those who passed by them about al-Mu'ammal. Al-Mu'ammal passed by them, and they asked him about his name, and he told them about it. They arrested him, and he was about to die out of fear and panic. They brought him to al-Rabi', al-Mansur's chamberlain. They told him that they had found him, and he commanded them to bring him in. When he stood before him, he turned to him angrily and asked him:

p: 356

-Are you al-Mu'ammal b. Umayl?

-Yes, may Allah set right the Commander of the faithful!

-Did you go to an inexperienced boy and cheated him?

-Yes, may Allah set right the Commander of the faithful! I went to a generous boy. I deceived him and he was deceived. So al-Mansur became calm. Then he commanded him to recite the poem to him, and he recited it, saying:

He is the Mehdi but he looks like the bright moon.

This and this resemble each other; therefore they make clear the vague to him who is endowed with eyesight.

So this is a night lamp in the dark; and this is the lamp of light by daylight.

But the Merciful (Allah) has preferred this to that through the pulpits and the thrones and through the strong kingdom.

So this is an emir and that is neither emir nor a minister.

The decrease of the month makes this die away; and this is brilliant during the decrease of the month.

So he is different from the pure vicegerent of Allah through him the pride of the proud becomes high.

The kings become weak when they come to you from easy and difficult places.

Your father preceded the kings to the extent that they became sumbling and tired.

You have come after him running quickly; and you have no flagging when you run.

So the people have said: They are in same position of the meriting and the deserving.

p: 357

If the old one precedes, then he is qualified for precedence; he has the merit of the old over the young.

If the young reaches the range of the old, then the young has been created from the old.

Al-Mansur admired this wonderful, short poem that has contained the most beautiful signs of lauding and praising him. He said to him: "By Allah, you have done well! But this (poem) is not equal to twenty thousand dirhams. Where is the money?"

He answered him that it was present and he was shaking with fear and panic. He commanded his chamberlain to take the money, and to give him four thousand dirhams. The chamberlain responded to that.

The historians have narrated another example of his miserliness: "On his way to Mecca, al-Mansur ordered a singer to be brought to sing him. Selem, the singer, was brought to him. He sang him songs, and he became delighted to the extent that he was about to fall off his horse. He gave him a half dirham, and he criticized him for that, saying to him:

-O Commander of the faithful, I sang Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik and he gave me ten thousand dirhams.

Al-Mansur furiously looked at him and said to him:

-He had no right to give you (money) from the public treasury.

Then he ordered his chamberlain al-Rabi' to take the money from him, so he begged him and sword (by Allah) that he had nothing of that money. He went on begging al-Mansur, and he left him provided that he should sing him songs back and forth without money.[2]

p: 358

Bishr, the astrologer, has said: "Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) sent for me in the evening. He sent me to (carry out) a certain affair. When I came back, he raised a side of his prayer rug, and there was a dinar. He said to me: 'Take this (dinar) and keep it. I took it and I still have it lest he should demand it, for he had not told me to talk possession of it.'"

When he decreed that the subjects should wear tall hats, Abu Dulama, a humorous poet, criticized him for his miserliness, saying:

We had expected that the Imam would increased (our wages), but the chosen Imam has increased the hats in length!

We see them on the heads on men; they look like those hats clothed in burnooses worn by the Jews![3]

Al-Mansur did his best to monopolize and to hoard the wealth of the community; he spent nothing of it on public interests, so he spread poverty and misery all over the Islamic countries.

_________________________________________

[1] Abu al-Farajj al-Asfahani, al-Aghani, vol. 18, p. 148.

[2] Ibid., vol. 13, p. 110. Tarikh al-Kulafa', p. 267.

[3] Tarikh al-Kulafa', p. 262.

With al-Mehdi

Al-Mehdi was the most preferable of the people and the nearest of them to al-Mansur, to the extent that he appointed him as his crown prince; nevertheless, he turned away from him for a simple material affair. Al-Mansur's servant, Wadih, has related, saying: "One day, while I was standing beside Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur), al-Mehdi came in to him. He was wearing a new, black, outer garment. He greeted (us) and sat down. Then he rose and went away. Abu Ja'far looked at him, for he loved and admired him. When he (al-Mehdi) was in the middle of the corridor, he tripped over his own sword, and his black (garment) was torn. He rose and went away paying no attention to it. When al-Mansur saw that, he lost his mind. Then he ordered him to be brought back, and he angrily attacked him, saying: 'O Abu 'Abd Allah, (do you) regard (my) talents as little? Or are you ungrateful (to Allah) for the boon? Or do you have little knowledge of the misfortune? It seems that you are ignorant of that which for you and that which against you!'"[1]

p: 359

He bitterly admonished his son for an insignificant thing to which most people do not pay attention.

Wadih reported that he came in to al-Mansur, and he said to him: "'Look for torn clothes and collect them. When you come to know that al-Mehdi will come, bring them before he comes in. There should be patches along with them.' I did that. Al-Mehdi came in and found his father trying patches on the torn clothes. He smiled and said to him: 'O Commander of the faithful, for this reason the people say: 'They crave after the dinar and the dirham!' He did not mention the danaq lest he should move his feelings. So al-Mansur said to him: 'Whoever does not repair his torn clothes has no new (ones). The winter has come. We are in need of clothes for the family and the children.' Thus, al-Mehdi said to him: 'At my expense are the clothes of the Commander of the faithful, of his family, and of his children!' He said to him: 'Do that!'"[2]

Al-Mansur's female slave, Khalisa, has related, saying: "I came in to al-Mansur and found him complaining of toothache. When he heard my voice he said: 'Come in!' I came in and saw him putting his hand on his temple. He kept silent for an hour, and then he asked me: 'How much money do you have?' 'One thousand dirhams,' I replied. 'Put your hand on my head and take an oath,' he commanded me. I was afraid of him, so I said to him: 'I have ten thousand dinars.' 'Bring them to me,' he retorted. I came in to al-Mehdi and al-Khayzaran. I told them about what had happened, so al-Mehdi kicked me with his foot, and asked me: 'What made you go to him? He has no pain. Yesterday he asked me for money, so he feigned illness. Carry to him that about which you have told him.' When al-Mehdi came to him, he asked him: 'O Abu 'Abd Allah, why do you complain of poverty while Khalisa has such a mount of money?'"[3]

p: 360

He turned away from his son al-Mehdi while he was the most preferable of all the people to him. The reason for that is his miserliness and meanness.

_______________________________________

[1] 'Asr al-Ma'mun, p. 93.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh.

[3] Ibid., the Events of the Year 158 A. H.

With the Jurist Ibn al-Samman

The jurist Azhar al-Samman was al-Mansur's friend before his undertaking the caliphate. He went to him when he became a caliph, and he asked him:

-What is your need?

-I am in debt (to someone) for four thousand dirhams; my house is demolished; and my son wants to consummate the marriage with his wife.

He ordered an amount of money to be given to him and prevented him from coming to him, saying to him:

-After this do not come to me and ask me to grant your needs!

-I will do.

After several days, Ibn al-Samman came to him, and he angrily looked at him and asked him:

-What has made you come to me?

-I have come to you not ask you to grant my need, but I am a Muslim!

-I think that you have come to us for that for which you had come to us for the first time! Do not come to us and ask us to grant your need and do not come to us as a Muslim! Then he ordered a gift to be given to him.

Ibn al-Samman went out and, shortly after that, he returned, so al-Mansur asked him:

p: 361

-What has made you come back?

-I have come to you not to ask you to grant my need and not as a Muslim. However, I have come for a supplication I had heard from you. I would like to learn it from you.

-Do not learn it, for it is not granted. That is because I have supplicated Allah with it to rid me of you, and He has not done it! He dismissed him and gave him nothing.[1]

_________________________________________

[1] Ibid.

With his Governors

Al-Mansur deprived his governors of money and straitened them. The historians have mentioned many examples of his oppression toward them. They mentioned that he entrusted a man with a certain work, and he completed it. The man came in to him and settled an account. He rose and intended to go away, but al-Mansur said to him:

-I made you a partner in my trust and appointed you over one of the Muslims' taxes, but you misappropriated it!

-I seek refuge for you with Allah, Commander of the faithful! I have taken nothing of that except a dirham that is in my sleeve. I have taken it to hire a mule to carry me to my family, that I may enter my house and have nothing of the wealth of Allah and of your wealth.

So al-Mansur said to him: "You are truthful! Give us our dirham!" He took the dirham and put it under his woolen mat."[1]

His governor, Ziyad b. 'Abd Allah al-Harithi, sent him a letter in which he asked him to increase his salary. The letter was so eloquent that al-Mansur admired it and wrote an answer to it, saying: "When riches and eloquence come together in man, they make him ungrateful. The Commander of the faithful feels pity for you for that; therefore, be satisfied with eloquence!"[2]

p: 362

Al-Mansur was so miserly and ignoble that the evil deeds of the world and those of the kings came together in him.

___________________________________________

[1] Ibid.

[2] Tarikh al-Khulafa', p. 267.

The Reasons for his Miserliness

Al-Mansur was excessively miserly because he was wicked and mean and had no faith in Allah.

Before his attendants and his special group, al-Mansur talked about the reasons that urged him to go too far in making the subjects poor and straitening them, saying: "Ibn al-A'rabi was truthful when he said: 'Starve your own dog, and it will follow you!'"

So Abu al-'Abbas al-Tusi opposed him, saying: "O Commander of the faithful, I am afraid that someone may give it a loaf of bread, and it will follow him and leave you!"[1]

May a handful of dust be on al-Mansur and on all those rulers who make light of their subjects! This tyrannical ruler tried to subjugate the people through starving them, and not through spreading justice and welfare among them.

Al-Mansur also talked about the reasons that urged him to monopolize huge amount of money in his own treasuries and to spend nothing of it on public interests, saying: "He whose wealth is little, his men are few. He whose men are few, his enemy has power over him; he whose enemy has power over him, his kingdom becomes weak; and he whose kingdom becomes weak, his protected things are violated!"[2]

He based his opinion on monopolizing money and refraining from spending it on the Muslims. Without doubt, he is the most prominent of those whom Allah, the Most High, has meant in these words of Him: And as for those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah's way, announce to them a painful chastisement. On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of heal, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoard up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoard."[3]

p: 363

_______________________________________

[1] 'Asr al-Ma'mun, vol. 1, p. 93.

[2] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 121.

[3] Qur'an, Surat al-Tawba, verses 34-35.

His Despotism

Al-Mansur was despotic in all the affairs that concerned his kingdom; he did not consult anyone in respect with his measures. He opposed all those who advised him. The historians narrated that he sent for his nephew, 'Ali b. 'Isa, and commanded him to fight against Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah, and he said to him: "O Commander of the faithful, consult your uncles."

He rebuked him, saying to him: "Where is Ibrahim b. Harama's speech:

'You visit the one whose secrets the people do not shake violently, nor does he exchanges secrets with the ears in respect with that which he tries.

'When he does something, he concludes it; and when he says that he is going to do (it), he carries it out.'"

Then he said to him: "Go away, O man! By Allah, other than me and other than you is not wanted. And it is that either you leave or I leave!"

With such pride he governed over the people and over all their abilities. He always recited the following poetry lines of al-Haythem b. 'Adi to show his arrogance and despotism:

Surely my spear, which is like a spring, is not driven to despair by neither the touch of the spears nor by oil nor by fire.

When I reward a traitor, I will be safe of his ways. When I frighten a safe person, I will make the land upset through him.

p: 364

Come to me and lower some of your eyes; I am nearer to all persons than their neighbors.[1]

This indicates that he was reckless, vainglorious, and despotic in the affairs of the Muslims. This crooked policy led to spreading terror and fear among all the people.

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 9, p. 316.

His Assassinations

Al-Mansur enjoyed severe punishments, shedding blood, and assassinations. He intensely and rudely went too far in practicing such things. History has never known massacres similar to those committed by him. There was no ray of pity and mercy in his inner self. He was delighted with the wailing of the orphans, the lamentation of the female slaves, and the moaning of the wounded.

This tyrannical, bloodthirsty person assassinated a group of the heads of his state and of those who established his supreme government. For he was beware of them and afraid of their power. We will mention some of them as follows:

1. Abu Muslim

It was Abu Muslim who established the 'Abbasid state. Were it not for him its flag would not have been hoisted, nor its name would have been mentioned; nevertheless al-Mansur turned away from him and rewarded him with the reward of Sinmmar[1]. Al-Mansur summoned the head of his bodyguards, 'Uthman b. Nuhayk, along with Shabib b. Wajj, and Abu Hanifa Harb b. Qays. He said to them: "When Abu Muslim come in to me, stop behind the door. When I clap my hands, come in and kill him." He summoned Abu Muslim, gave him security, and received him with too much welcome and honoring. Then he lodged him in one of his palaces. Abu Muslim came and sat in the room next to that of al-Mansur. He was told that al-Mansur was busy. He sat for a long time. He was given permission, and he entered. He greeted him, but he furiously looked at him and asked him:

p: 365

-Tell me why did you precede me on the way to Mecca?

-I hated our gathering around the water lest it should harm the people.

Then he began counting his detested deeds and blaming him, and he apologized to him for that. When his censure was too long, he said to him:

-This should not be said to me after my showing extreme courage and that which (issued) from me.

So al-Mansur shouted at him: "O Son of the wicked woman! By Allah, if there was a female slave in your place, she would take your place! You destroyed our state and our power! If that was up to you, you would not cut the husk of a date stone!" Abu Muslim apologized to him for that, but his apology was useless. Al-Mansur loudly clapped his hands, and the people came in to him drawing their swords. Abu Muslim felt that death was close at hand, so he begged al-Mansur, saying to him:

-Let me stay (alive) for your enemy!

-Which enemy is more hostile than you?

The swords took Abu Muslim while he was saying: "Pardon me! Pardon me! Pardon me!"

The people finished him off, so al-Mansur improvised:

You claimed that the debt would not be repaid!

So take your share in full through the measure, O Abu Muslim!

You were watered out of a glass out of which you watered (the people), and that was in the mouth bitterer than colocynth![2]

p: 366

Then he ordered his corpse to be thrown into the Tigris, and it was thrown into it.[3] Through that Abu Muslim's lifetime was treacherously folded at the hand of al-Mansur; and through that Abu Muslim lost the affair of his life in this world and the next; and that is the very clear loss!

2. 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali

Al-Mansur gave security to his uncle 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali and decided not to assassinate him due to the fact that he revolted against him. However, he broke his promise. He summoned his crown prince 'Isa b. 'Ali and said to him: "Keep 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali until I return from the hajj. Do not oppress him. That is because he is my uncle and brother of the present from among the Shaykhs of your household." Then he secretly summoned him and said to him: "O 'Isa, surly this (i.e., 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali) intended to remove the caliphate from you and me. You are my crown prince; you will undertake the caliphate, so take him and cut off his head. Beware of that you be calm and weak lest you should oppose the affair I have schemed." Then he went to Mecca.[4]

'Isa consulted his secretary, Yunus b. Abi Farwa, and informed him of the affair, and he said to him: "Surely this man has openly handed over his uncle to you before his relatives, while he has secretly commanded you to kill him. He intends to kill him at your hand, and then he will condemned you for killing him and kill you. I think that you have to hide him in your house and tell none about his affair, that you have to send someone to al-Mansur to tell him that you have killed him. If he demand you him openly, then you hand him over to him openly. Beware of that you bring him secretly."[5]

p: 367

'Isa did that and made public among the 'Abbasids that he had killed him. When al-Mansur came back from Mecca, the 'Abbasids went to him. They talked with him about the affair of his uncle, and he said to them: "In your presence I handed him over to my hire apparent and commanded him (to treat him kindly). I asked him about him, and he said that he had died." Then he summoned 'Isa. When he stood before him, he shouted at him:

-Why have you killed my uncle?

-You had commanded me to kill him.

-I had not commanded you to do that.

-This is your letter you had written to me concerning him.

-I had not written it.

When 'Isa understood that al-Mansur was earnest in his attitude, he had fear for himself and said to him:

-He is with me.

-Hand him over to Abi al-Azhar al-Muhalab b. Abi 'Isa. So he was still imprisoned with him until al-Mansur ordered him to kill him. So he along with a female slave came in to him. He started with 'Abd Allah. He strangled him until he died. Then he put him on the bed. Then he turned to the female slave to kill her, and she said to him: "O Servant of Allah, I want you to kill me in a way other than this!" He turned his face away from her. Then he ordered her to be strangled. He put her on bed and put her had under his ('Abd Allah's) side, and his hand under her side. They seemed that they had embraced each other. Then he ordered the house to be demolished on them. He summoned the judge, Ibn 'Allam, along with group of people to inform them of the affair. The two corpses were brought out and were buried in their final resting-place.[6]

p: 368

3. Muhammed Bin Abi al-'Abbas

Al-Mansur employed a Christian doctor to kill those he did not want to kill openly. The doctor was rude and merciless. He assassinated a group of innocent people through his medical prescriptions according to al-Mansur's orders. Among those he killed was Muhammed b. Abi al-'Abbas. Al-Mansur ordered him to do that, and he made a deadly poison to him. He waited for an illness to happen to him. He suffered from a fever in his body, so he consulted him. He gave him that poison to drink. He drank it, and it cut off his intestines. Immediately he died. His mother brought suit to al-Mansur against him, and he ordered him to be flogged thirty times and to be imprisoned for several days. Then he ordered him to be released and to be given three hundred dinars. These are some of al-Mansur's assassinations that indicate that he had a wicked soul void of pardon and mercy. He was able to treat them kindly and to keep an eye on them if he was afraid that they would revolt against him. However, that was far away from his tendencies full of spite and severity.

___________________________________________

[1] Sinmmar was a Roman. He built king al-Nu'man, son of Imru' al-Qays, his palace called al-Khuwarniq in the outskirts of al-Kufa. After he had finished building the palace, al-Nu'man ordered him to be taken up to the top of the palace and to be thrown down.

[2] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 355.

p: 369

[3] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 399.

[4] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 266.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 230.

His Ruinous Offences

The history of this tyrannical, bloodthirsty person (al-Mansur) is full of crimes and ruinous offences, for he followed a policy contrary to Allah's Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. He terrified the Muslims; he spread terror, panic, and fear all over the Islamic countries; and he put an end to the cultural and social life in Islam. We will deal with some of his offences as follows:

1. His Frightening the Civilians

Al-Mansur treated the people of Yethrib (Medina) with persecutions, violence, and tyranny. He deprived them of all their economic elements such as the supplies sent by sea and land.[1] Through this economic war he wanted to subject them to misery and famine, that he might distract them from revolting against him and from criticizing his policy. He appointed Rabah b. 'Uthman al-Murri as a governor over them. Rabah was rude and merciless; souls turned away from him because he was ill-tempered. When al-Mansur appointed him as a governor, he gathered the people and ascended the pulpit. He announced to them his terrorist policy having the signs of death and torture, saying:

"O People of Medina, I am the snake son of snake, cousin of Muslim b. 'Aqaba; I will destroy your green lands and annihilate your men! By Allah I will turn it into a desert where no dog will bark!"

p: 370

This statement shows that he was tyrannical, dissolute, paying no attention to the men's lives and dignity. He decided to rule the country through committing inclusive annihilation and rendering the people homeless. May Allah help the Muslims with those ordeals and misfortunes that melted their hearts and filled their souls with sorrows and regrets. After this wild, predatory person had finished his severe speech, some of those present rose and answered him with most violent words, saying with one tongue: "By Allah, son of the one who was flogged twice, you must refrain from (doing this) or we will prevent you from (annihilating) us."

Immediately this sinful rouge sent a letter to the 'Abbasid king telling him about the disobedience of the people of Medina to him and their insisting on mutiny against him. When the letter reached him, he wrote to the people of Medina a letter full of warning and threading. He ordered his governor to recite it to them. When the letter came to him, he gathered them and recited it to them. In it he mentioned:

O People of Medina, surely your governor wrote to me and mentioned your cheating, your disobedience, your evil viewpoints, and your turning away from pledging allegiance to the Commander of the faithful. The Commander of the faithful has sworn by Allah that if you do not refrain from (disobedience), he will turn your security into fear, prevent you from the sea and the land, send to you thick-hearted and far-wombed men (who will attack you) in the middle of your houses, do what they are ordered. Greetings!

p: 371

Some enthusiastic and free people opposed him, saying: "You are a liar, son of the one who was flogged twice!" Then they threw stones at him from all directions. He escaped in fear to his fortified, wide house. He closed it and sought protection in it. Ayyub b. Salam al-Makhzumi, a follower of the authority, came in to him and provoked him to punish the revolutionaries severely, saying: "May Allah set right the Emir, the rabble have done that; therefore cut off their hands and flog them on the backs!"

Some Hashimites advised him not to pay attention to the statement of this slave who turned away from his country and his countrymen. They advised him to send for the notables and the nobility and to recite to them al-Mansur's letter to see their viewpoints concerning it. He responded to that and sent for them. He recited to them al-Mansur's letter. Hafs b. 'Amr b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Awf al-Zuhri and Abu 'Ubayda b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Azhar said to him: "By Allah, you are a liar! You did not command us and we did not disobey you! You did not summon us, and we did not oppose you!"

Then they turned to the messenger and representative of al-Mansur and asked him:

-Will you inform the Commander of the faithful of us?

-I have come for nothing except for that!

-Say to him: "As for your statement that you will turn the security of Medina and of its inhabitants into fear, it is that Allah, the Great and Almighty, has promised us other than that. Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: And that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with me. So we will serve Him and associate aught with Him."[2]

p: 372

Al-Mansur treated the people of Medina with severity and alienation. He did not respect their being neighbors to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, nor did he pay attention to their forefathers who established this religion and consolidated its foundations.

2. His Making little of the Kaaba

Al-Mansur disbelieved in Islam and turned away from all its principles and objectives. He tried to move the Kaaba from its place to Dar al-Salam. Meanwhile he built a huge building in his capital Baghdad and called it al-Qubba al-Khaddra' (the Green Dome) as a sign of making little of the Holy Kaaba.[3] Through this he showed his disbelieve (in Islam) and his apostasy from the religion.

3. His Embezzling Properties

Al-Mansur spared no effort to exhaust and persecute the subjects, so he plundered and embezzled their properties. The historians narrated that he took the properties of the people, to the extent that they had nothing. The amount he took from them was eight hundred million dirhams;[4] on this day of ours it is equal to four thousand million dinars according to the value of the currency.[5] In his last will to his son al-Mehdi, he mentioned: "I have collected properties to you, to the extent that no caliph before me had collected them."[6]

His fiscal policy was based on plundering, embezzling, choosing, and unjustly taking properties. As a result he made misery and poverty prevail all over the Islamic regions.

4. His Punishing the 'Alawids severely

The ordeal of the 'Alawids during the time of al-Mansur, the tyrannical, was the severest and most tragic of all ordeals, for he poured upon them all kinds of torture, met them with increasingly violence and tyranny. He annihilated their old and young; he had no mercy on any of them. The severe punishment that befell them was many times as much as what they met during the Umayyad government, so concerning that it has been said:

p: 373

By Allah, the Umayyads had not done to them one tenth of what the 'Abbasids did!

Di'bil al-Khaza'i, the poet of the thought, has described the disasters and the misfortunes that befell them, saying:

All the districts which we have come to know from among Dhi Yemen, Bakr, and Muder took part in (shedding) their blood just as the butchers take part in slaughtering a camel.

They killed them, took them as prisoners of war, burnt them, and plundered them just as the invaders did in the land of the Romans and the Khazars.

I think that the Umayyads were excused when they killed them; and I think that the 'Abbasids have no excuse.

They have meant the most violent problems, the severest disasters and misfortunes in ordered that they might liberate the Islamic society and save it from tyranny and despotism. They proudly went to the fields of jihad and struggle. They died honorable and free. So they illuminated the way to the free and the combatants. They have opened to them the doors to struggle and jihad, and planned to them the way to getting rid of the government that practiced abasement and enslavement.

Before we talk about what had happened to them during the time of al-Mansur, we must present the reasons for their revolt and struggle:

________________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 5, p.261.

[2] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, pp. 110-111.

[3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p.197.

[4] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 121.

p: 374

[5] Abu Ja'far al-Mansur, p. 416.

[6] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol.23, p. 349.

The Reasons for the Revolt

As for the reasons that urged them to declare their violent revolt against the Umayyad and the 'Abbasid governments, they are as follows:

1. The Sense of Responsibility

According to their clear lineage, the 'Alawids thought that they were responsible for protecting the society, driving away disasters and misfortunes from it. In some of his words, Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has shown the reasons for his refraining from pledging allegiance to Abu Bar, saying:

O Allah, You know that that which (issued) from us was not for competing for the supreme authority (sultan), nor was it for beseeching a thing of the overleft of the vanities, but that we may return the principle features of Your religion and show the reform in Your country. Therefore the oppressed from among Your servants is safe, and the suspended from among the punishments prescribed by You is put into practice.[1]

Imam 'Ali refrained from pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr for these noble objectives, for he thought that he was responsible for taking care of the community and establishing inclusive reform in its land. So he expressed his displeasure toward those caliphs who preceded him.

The 'Alawids thought that the Islamic communities in those dark times sank under heavy oppression, tyranny, and poverty. So they went to the fields of jihad and struggles to liberate them. For example, Muhammed b. Ibrahim al-'Alawi went to Kufa to ask about the conditions of the people, to feel them, and to get ready (for the revolt). While he was walking in a street in Kufa, he saw an old woman following loads of dates, collecting them, and putting them in an old bag she carried. So he could not walk. He went to ask her about her deed, and she answered him, saying: "Surely I am a woman and has no husband to provide for me; I have daughters having no work; therefore I follow this way to feed myself and my children."

p: 375

He became motionless, burst into tears, and said to her: "By Allah, you and the like of you will make me revolt against (the 'Abbasids), and they will shed my blood!"[2]

This feeling full of mercy and sympathy toward the poor and the deprived urged them to battle against the oppressive and to oppose the tyrannical rulers who possessed alone the properties and food of the community. As a result they went to the fields of jihad to struggle against tyranny and despotism.

2. Self-esteem and Refusal

The 'Alawids were disposed by nature for glory, dignity, nobility, and generosity. Thus, the tyrannical authorities of their times spared no effort to abase them; and they could not bear with abasement, so they competed with each other for martyrdom, that they might enjoy dignity. When Yazid b. Mu'awiya tried to force Imam Husayn, the grandson and plant of sweet basil of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to pledge allegiance to him and to obey him, he went to the fields of jihad and declared on the Day of al-Taff his immortal words in which he described refusal in the brilliant full sense of the word. He, peace be on him, has said: "Most surely, the bastard son of the bastard (Yazid) has focused on two (choices) between death and abasement; and abasement is far away from us! Allah, His Apostle, the believers, the good lap, the pure wombs, the proud noses, and the refusing souls refuse on our behalf to prefer obeying the ignoble to the death of the noble!"[3]

p: 376

These luminous words rotated along with the orbit and embraced it, so they have become a wonderful lesson for the mujahideen from among his children. When the tyrannical one, Hisham, tried to abase Zayd b. 'Ali, he said: "When people dislike the heat of the swords, they become low."

When some people blamed him for revolting (against the 'Abbasids) and frightened him with death, he said to them:

She came early to frighten me with death as if that I was apart from life.

So I answered her: Surely death is a water-place, and I will be watered out of the water-place![4]

When the Umayyads went too far in forcing Yehya b. Zayd to accept humiliation and abasement, he revolted against them and addressed his own great soul, saying:

"O Zayd's son, has Zayd not said: Whoever loves life lives low?

Be like Zayd, for you are Zayd's soul and take a thick shade in the Gardens!"[5]

O Yehya, by Allah, you are Zayd's soul; you are a piece of the liver of your grandfather, the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. You carried in your great inner self self-esteem and refusal, so you refused to lead a life full of abasement and wrong, you walked to the field of battle with desire and yearning, that you might die free and noble!

Through their sacred revolts, the 'Alawids have filled the history of Islam with pride, honor, and glory. They have described to Muslim peoples throughout their life stages the way to struggle for freedom and dignity.

p: 377

3. Deprivation of their Rights

The ruling authorities went too far in wronging the 'Alawids and depriving them of all their natural rights. They spread among them poverty and neediness, met them with persecution and deprivation after the death of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. They deprived them of the one-fifth (khums) which was made obligatory by Allah to them. They confiscated Fadak from them lest they should be strong. They possessed alone the affairs of the caliphate and government. They turned away from the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and went too far in degrading their social rank.

In his sermon "al-Shaqshaqiya", Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has shown his deep sadness for losing his right. He has many statements in his Nahjual Balagha in which he has shown his displeasure with plundering his legacy and authority.

The souls of his children were filled with this opinion, and they struggled for a long time to regain their rights. When Di'bil al-Khaza'i recited his poem to Imam al-Rida, peace be on him, and reached this poetry line:

"I can see that their fayya' is divided among other than them while their hands are void of it," he became sad, turned his holy hand, and said with sorrow and sadness: "Yes, by Allah, they are void!"

The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt and their followers had such feelings, so they struggled for them. They made many sacrifices, to the extent that the prisons and the grave yards were full of them; and they faced the most violent and severest problems.

p: 378

These are some factors that urged the 'Alawids to revolt against the tyrannical governments of the Umayyad and the 'Abbasids.

_________________________________________

[1] Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 18, explained by Muhammed 'Abda.

[2] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 521.

[3] A narration similar to this has been mentioned in Ibn 'Asakir's Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 333.

[4] Al-Roud al-Nadeer, vol. 1, p. 75.

[5] 'Aqa'id al-Zaydiya.

Imam Bin al-Sa'i's Statement

Imam al-Siba'i, a jurist, has talked about the reasons for the revolt of the 'Alawids. His statement is full of reliable proofs of his beliefs as follows: "Surely whoever carefully considers Islamic history certainly comes to know that all those from among the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, came out in revolt because they were liable to disasters, straits, poverty, and abasement. The Umayyads gave to non-Arabs and Arab paupers hundred thousands of dinars. They gave to them estates, appointed them as governors over the countries, and employed them as ministers while they were stingy toward the 'Alawids, that they might subject them to straits and severe ordeals. So the Fatimid ('Alawid) was unable to find the cost of a Negro female slave to marry her in order to protect his chastity, nor was he able to find the value of a clothe to cover his own body. He saw those disgraceful (persons) who went too far in (serving) the Umayyads, helping them in their gatherings, took part in their drinks, their debauchery, and their dissoluteness (lead a life of) boons and exaltedness and roll in all kinds of welfare.

p: 379

For this reason the Fatimid groups were moved by their honor and manhood, and they went out in revolt, not in disobedience nor in breaking the pledge of allegiance, but they said that the earth of Allah was wide. So one of them emigrated to one of the earth's sides in which was a people from among the community of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family. When he reached them, the enthusiasm of the religion moved them, and they respected and honored him; their hearts became familiar with him, and they joined him. So when his news reached the Umayyads, they said: 'He has come out in revolt, by the Lord of the Kaaba!" They sent to him commanders and soldiers and they continued (to do so) until they left him a martyr. Such were the 'Abbasids. That happened because Allah had chosen to try the family of His Prophet in this perishing world (to make them live) in Paradise in the everlasting hereafter. Throughout all times Allah has made them the mirror of the conditions of the people in that time toward Allah, the Most Exalted. The time when Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, were honored, protected, given security, and their needs were granted was good in Allah's sight, and vice versa. Moreover, they (Ahl al-Bayt), may Allah be pleased with them, has a high position and great rank with Allah, the Most High. Through them Allah has guided the community and removed darkness from it; and their grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family, is mercy for all people.

p: 380

Love for them is a religion, affection for them is guidance!

Hating them is unbelief, and helping them is piety![1]

Imam b. al-Siba'i's viewpoint is very trustworthy. In other word, the 'Alawids came out in revolt and died free and honorable under the shade of spears because the Umayyads and the 'Abbasids went too far in depriving them of their natural rights and materially straitened them. So they could not keep barely alive and cover their own bodies.

After this brief presentation on the reasons that urged the 'Alawids to came out in revolt, we have to return to the tyranny and exhaustion they met from al-Mansur as follows:

______________________________________

[1] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa', p. 26.

His Spying on the 'Alawids

Al-Mansur came to know that all the Muslims loved the 'Alawids, for they were distinguished by good manners, good lineage, generosity, abundant knowledge, and other qualities that enabled them to undertake the office of Islamic Caliphate and to lead the community. He also came to know that some people hated him because he was marked by stinginess, miserliness, severity, alienation, tricks, and other vices and evil deeds, in addition to the evil deeds of his family who was famous for their treason toward the community.

Al-Mansur wakefully spent his nights reflecting on oppressing the 'Alawids and scheming against them. At last he decided to send someone to spy on their affairs and to come to know of Muhammed and his brother Ibrahim. So he chose a man and sent with him a letter to Muhammed on behalf of the Shi'ites who mentioned their obedience (to him), their hurrying (to him), their sending money and gifts. The man went to Medina. He came in to 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan and asked him about his son Muhammed, and he concealed his news. He frequently went to him and insisted on asking him about him. So 'Abd Allah was deceived by him and said to him: "He (Muhammed) is in Mount Juhayna." He ordered him to pass by 'Ali called al-Aghar to guide him to his place. Al-Mansur had a Shi'ite secretary. The secretary wrote a letter to 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan and informed him of the spy. When his letter came, they were afraid, so they sent Abu Habbar to Muhammed and 'Ali, al-Hasan's sons, to warn them against the man. Abu Habbar went out and reached Muhammed in his place.

p: 381

He found him along with a group of his companions sitting in a cave. That spy was with them. He was the loudest of them in voice and the greatest of them in humbleness. When he saw Abu Habbar, he feared him and came to know that he would disclose his affair to the people. Abu Habbar said to Muhammed: "I have a need with you." He rose and went with him, and he told him about the affair of the man and advised him to kill him. However, Muhammed did not respond to him. Then he advised him to shackle him and to deposit him with his womb relatives, and he responded to that. When the man felt that which was schemed against him, he escaped and hid himself from them. They looked for him but did not find him. He went in disguise to al-Mansur and told him about the affair.

Al-Mansur summoned 'Aqaba b. Salam al-Azdi and said to him: "I want you (to go) for an affair in which I am concerned. I am still looking for a man for it; perhaps you are he. If you are sufficient to it on my behalf, I will promote you." So 'Aqaba said: "I hope that I will accept the reflection of the Commander of the faithful on me." As a result al-Mansur commanded him to hide his personality, to conceal his affair, and to meet him at a time he appointed to him. Al-Mansur said to: "These cousins of us have refused all things except scheming against our kingdom and assassinating us. They have followers in Khuresan in a village called so-and-so. They wrote (letters) to them and send them the alms due on their properties, and some gifts from their country. Therefore, take clothes, gifts, and other materials and go to them in disguise along with a letter we will write on behalf of the villagers. Then head for them. If they change their mind, then show love toward them and bring them near. If they insist on their own viewpoint, you must know that and beware (of them). So head for 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan and meet him with humbleness and asceticism. If he opposes you, then be patient and go to him again until he becomes intimate with you and makes mild with you his temper. If he shows you his agreement, then quickly come tome."

p: 382

'Aqaba went to Yethrib (Medina). He came in to 'Abd Allah and gave him the letter. However, 'Abd Allah denied and rebuked him; yet he continued going to him until he accepted his letter and his gifts and became intimate with him. 'Aqaba asked him about the answer, and he said: "As for the letter, I will write to none, but you write to them on my behalf. Send to them my greetings and inform them that I will go out in revolt." 'Abd Allah appointed to 'Aqaba the time of going out in revolt. 'Aqaba returned to al-Mansur and told him about the affair.[1] He became extremely disordered and carefully considered it. He did not find any way more successful than his traveling to Yethrib, that he himself might undertake suppressing the movement and put an end to his 'Alawid opponents.[2]

____________________________________

[1] Al-Kamil, vol. 4, pp. 370-371.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 9, p.181.

His Arresting the 'Alawids

Al-Mansur waited for the season of the hajj. When it came, he and his attendants traveled to the Sacred House of Allah. After he had finished its ceremonies, he returned to Yethrib. He was accompanied by 'Aqaba b. Salam, who was a spy on the 'Alawids. Before his travel, he instructed him, saying: "When al-Hasan's son along with 'Abd Allah meet me, I will honor him, raise his position, and invite him to lunch. When we finish having our food and look at you, stand before him, and he will turn away his eyes from you. Then turn and poke his back with your great toe until he fill his eye with you. Beware of that he sees you while eating." When al-Mansur reached Yethrib, he was received by the Hasanid. Among them was 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan. Al-Mansur received him with care and honoring, seated him beside him, ordered food to be put before them. They ate some of the food, and he looked at 'Aqaba. He rose and carried out that which al-Mansur entrusted to him. Then he jumped and sat before al-Mansur. So 'Abd Allah became afraid of him and said to al-Mansur: "Release me (from my stumble)!"

p: 383

The wicked, dirty one (al-Mansur) shouted at him: "May Allah not release me if I release you!"[1]

Then he ordered him to be shackled and thrown into prison. So he along with a group of the 'Alawids were shackled and imprisoned in Merwan's house. Three saddle-bags filled with hay were put under him. The governor of Medina sent him some men, and they warned him against the violence and vengeance of al-Mansur. They asked him to tell them about the place of his two sons, that he might leave prison. Thus, 'Abd Allah turned to al-Hasan b. Zayd[2] and said to him: "O My nephew, by Allah, my tribulation is greater than that of Ibrahim, peace be on him. Surely Allah, the Great and al-Mighty, ordered Ibrahim to slay his own son; and that was an act of obedience to Allah; nevertheless Ibrahim said: Most surely this is a manifest trial.[3] And you have come to me (to ask me) to bring my sons to this man (al-Mansur) to kill them; and that is an act of disobedience to Allah, the Great and Almighty. Therefore, O My nephew, I am on bed and do not sleep; and I am, as you see, in need of sleep!"[4]

'Abd Allah's ordeal in respect with his two sons was the hardest and severest of all ordeals, for he had fallen into two misfortunes. He had no escape from them; either he had to stay in a dark prison suffering from pain or he had to inform (the authorities) of his two sons and expose them to death. However he chose to sacrifice his own soul, that they might carry out their task and save the community from the government and tyranny of al-Mansur.

p: 384

_______________________________________

[1] Al-Kamil, vol. 4, p. 371.

[2] Al-Hasan b. Zayd b. al-Hasan b. Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He narrated traditions on the authority of his father and his cousin 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan. A group of traditionists narrated traditions on his authority. Ibn Hayyan has mentioned him among the trustworthy narrators. Al-Mansur appointed him as a governor over Medina for five years. Then he was angry with him and imprisoned him. Then al-Mehdi released him. Al-Zubayr has said: "Al-Hasan was virtuous and noble." 'Ali b. Harama has praised him with some poems. Al-Hasan b. Zayd was the father of the great lady, Nafeesa. He died on his way to Mecca in the year 168. A. H. He was then eighty-five years. 'Ali b. al-Mehdi performed the prayer over him. This has been mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 2, p. 279.

[3] Qur'an, Surat al-Saffaat, verse 106.

[4] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 216.

His Transferring them to Iraq

The 'Alawids stayed in the prison of the tyrannical, bloodthirsty one (al-Mansur) in Yethrib for three years. They suffered from the most frightful and greatest one of all misfortunes in ordeal and severity. The good and those sticking to their religion were displeased with their being prisoners. The gatherings talked about their ordeal and about what would happen to them in the time of this tyrannical one (al-Mansur). The spies informed al-Mansur of the grumbles of the general populace and their criticizing him, and he decided to perform the hajj and investigate the affair of the 'Alawids, that he might took required measures

p: 385

In the year 142 A. H. he traveled to Mecca. After he had finished the rites of the hajj, he returned and headed for al-Rabadha. He stayed there and was received by Rabah his governor over Yethrib. He commanded Rabah to go to Yethrib and fetch the 'Alawids. Rabah went to it, ordered the 'Alawids to be brought out of prison, shackled, and brought to the Mesjid of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The people had already overcrowded to see them. Some of them were crying and others were silent; they were astonished at that misfortune. Rabah cursed and insulted the 'Alawids. Then he ordered the people to curse them, but they curse him and al-Mansur instead.

Imam al-Sadiq's anguish

Imam al-Sadiq was distressed by the destructive misfortune that happened to his household. He became very sad. He saw them when they were about to be transferred, so he wept bitter tears. Then he turned to al-Hasan b. Zayd and said to him: "O Abu 'Abd Allah, by Allah, after (this attitude), none of the things made forbidden by Allah will be kept. By Allah, neither the Ansar nor their children were loyal to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, when they pledged allegiance to him at al-'Aqaba."

Then he, peace be on him, mentioned to him the story of al-'Aqaba, saying to him: "Surely, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to 'Ali: 'O Allah, exert pressure on the Ansar!'"[1]

'Abd Allah b. Ibrahim al-Ja'fari narrated on the authority of Khadija, daughter of 'Umar b. 'Ali, who said: "When they (the 'Alawids) were stopped at the door of the Mesjid called the Door of Gabriel, Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) looked at them while the whole of his cloak was thrown on the ground. Then he looked at them through the door of the Mesjid and said three times: 'May Allah curse you, O People of the Ansar! You had not promised Allah's Apostle nor had you pledged allegiance to him in order (to do) this! By Allah, I am adhering (to you) but I have been overcome!' And none can drive away the decree!' Then he rose, took one of his sandals, and put it on. The other was in his hand. He was drawing the whole of his cloak along the ground. Then he entered his own house and stayed in it for twenty nights weeping by day and night."[2]

p: 386

The Imam's heart melted in sadness; and his soul roamed in a current of suspicions and pain. He inclined to weeping in order that he might lighten the anguish of the misfortune and the sadness.

______________________________________

[1] Ibid., pp.219-220.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 47, p. 283.

His Letter to 'Abd Allah

Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, sent a letter to 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan to console him on the painful misfortune that befell him. The following is the text of the letter.

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

To the righteous descendants and good progeny from among the children of his brother and his cousin

Now then, if you and those from among your household who were transferred with you have possessed alone the misfortune that has befallen you, you have not possessed alone sadness, fury, depression, and the painful heartache as I have done. Because of that (misfortune) impatience, worry, and anguish have affected me just as they have affected you. However, I have resorted to that which Allah, the Great and Almighty, has ordered the Allah-fearing(to do)- such as patience and good consolation- when He said to His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family: And wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord, for surely you are before our eyes.[1] And when He says to His Prophet: So wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord, and be not like the companion of the fish.[2] And when He says to His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family when (the polytheists) maimed Hamza: And if you take your turn, then retaliate with the like of that with which you were afflicted; but if you are patient, it will certainly be best for those who are patient.[3] So Allah's Apostle became patient and did not punish (them).

p: 387

And when He says: And enjoy prayer on your followers, and steadily adhere to it; We do not ask you for subsistence; We give you subsistence, and the (good) end is for guarding (against evil).[4] And when He says: Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return. Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.[5] And when He says: Only the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure.[6] And when Luqman says to his son: And bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage.[7] And when He says on behalf of Musa: Musa said to his people: Ask help from Allah and be patient; surely the land is Allah's; He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases, and the end is for those who guard (against evil).[8] And when He says:

Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.[9] And when He says: Then he is of those who believe and charge one another to show patience, and charge one another to show compassion.[10] And when He says: And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient.[11] And when He says: And how many a prophet has fought with whom were many worshippers of the Lord; so they did not become weak-hearted on account of what befell them in Allah's way, nor did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves; and Allah loves the patient.[12] And when He says: The patient men and the patient women.[13] And when He says: And be patient till Allah should give judgment, and He is the best of the judges.[14] Verses similar to these are many in the Qur'an.

p: 388

O My uncle and cousin, know that Allah, the Great and Almighty, never pays attention to the distress of the world toward his friend for an hour; and that there is nothing more beloved to him than distress, toil, and tribulation along with patience, and that He, the Blessed and Exalted, never pays attention to the ease of the world toward his enemy for an hour. Were it not for that, His enemies would not kill his friends, frighten them, and prevent them; and His enemies were safe, tranquil, high, and manifest. And if it were not for that, Zakariya and Yehya b. Zakariya were not unjustly and aggressively killed through the oppression of an oppressor. And if it were not for that, your grandfather, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, was not unjustly killed when he undertook the affair of Allah, the Great and Almighty, likewise your uncle al-Husayn b. Fatim, may Allah bless them, (was killed) out of persecution and aggression.

And if it were not for that, Allah, the Great and Almighty, would not say in His Book: And were it not that all people had been a single nation, We would certainly have assigned to those who disbelieve in the Beneficent Allah (to make) of silver the roofs of their houses and the stairs by which they ascend.[15] And if it were not for that, He would not say in His Book: Do they think that by what We aid them with of wealth and children, We are hastening to them of good things? Nay, they do not perceive. [16]

p: 389

And were it not for that, it would not have been mentioned in the hadith: "Were it not for that the believer became sad, I would make for the unbeliever an iron head cloth, so his head would never have ache." And were it not for that, it would not have been mentioned in the hadith: "Surely, the world is not equal to a mosquito's wing in Allah's sight." And were it not for that, the unbeliever would not be given a drink of water of it (the world). And if it were not for that, it would not have been mentioned in the hadith: "If the believer was on the top of a mountain, Allah would send to him an unbeliever or a hypocrite to harm him." And if it were not for that, it would not have been mentioned in the hadith: "When Allah loves people or loves a servant, he pours upon him tribulation with pouring; therefore, when he gets out of a grief, he falls into (another) grief."

And if it were not for that, it would not have been mentioned in the hadith: "No two qualities are more lovable to Allah, the Great and Almighty, with which His believing servant can bear in the world, than restraining anger and keeping patient toward a misfortune through a good consolation and expecting a reward (from Allah)." And if it were not for that, the companions of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, would not have supplicate (Allah) to prolong the lifetimes of those who wronged them, to make their bodies healthy, to give them abundant wealth and many children. And if it were not for that, it would not have reached us that when Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, singled out a man with through asking Allah to have mercy on him and to forgive him, he would die a martyr. Therefore, O My uncle, cousin, my cousins, and my brothers, stick to patience, consent, submission, and entrusting (your affairs) to Allah, the Great and Almighty, and consent with patience to His decree, clinging to obedience to Him, and submitting to His orders. May Allah pour down upon us and you patience, end our lifetime and yours with reward and happiness, save us and you from all misfortunes through His force and strength. Surely He is Hearing, Nigh; and may Allah bless His Choice from among His creatures, Muhammed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family."[17]

p: 390

This letter was as consolation to them for what they suffered such as hard ordeals and misfortunes, likewise it has laudation and praise to them. If they had unlawfully gone out in revolt against al-Mansur, Imam al-Sadiq would not have felt pain for them and praised them, for the office of the Imamate is just like that of the Prophethood far away from prejudice and rushing through any of the sentiments of love. The thing that indicates that they were on the right course is that he, peace be on him, yearningly looked forward to know their news. Khallad b. 'Umayr al-Kindi, the retainer of the family of Hajr b. 'Adi, reported: "I came in to Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, and he asked: 'Have you any knowledge of the family of al-Hasan?"

Khallad said: "News from them came to us, and we did not want to start with it. So we said to him: 'We hope that Allah will make them well.' And he, peace be on him, said: 'How far they still are from well-being?' Then he loudly cried, and we cried with him."[18] In addition to that is the praise has been mentioned in respect with them. Khallad narrated on the authority of his father on the authority of Fatima daughter of al-Husayn, peace be on him, who said: [I have heard my father say:] "Some people who belong to you will be killed or suffer a misfortune on the bank of the Euphrates (Iraq). The first did not precede them, nor will the last catch up with them; none of your children will remain (alive) except them."[19]

p: 391

Any way, the 'Alawids went out in revolt against al-Mansur through awareness of the essence and guidance of Islam that made it incumbent (on Muslims) to oppose oppression and to resist tyranny and wrong.

__________________________________________

[1] Qur'an, Surat al-Toor, verse 48.

[2] Surat al-Qalam, verse 48.

[3] Surat al-Nahl, verse 126.

[4] Surat Taha, verse 132.

[5] Surat al-Baqara, verses 156-157.

[6] Surat al-Zumer, verse 10.

[7] Surat Luqman, verse 17.

[8] Surat al-A'raaf, verse 128.

[9] Surat al-'Asr, verse 3.

[10] Surat al-Balad, verse 17.

[11] Surat al-Baqara, verse 155.

[12] Surat Aal 'Umran, verse 146.

[13] Surat al-Ahzab, verse 35.

[14] Surat Yunus, verse 109.

[15] Surat al-Zukhruf, verse 33.

[16] Surat al-Mu'minun, verses 55-56.

[17] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 47, pp. 299-301. Al-Iqbaal, pp. 49-51.

[18] Ibid., p. 302.

[19] Ibid.

At al-Rabadha

The caravan of the 'Alawids left Yethrib. When it was three miles far from it, they were made to dismount their camels. Blacksmiths were brought to them, and they put their legs into shackles. The shackles of 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan were so tight that he moaned out of pained; so his loyal brother asked the blacksmiths to put them around his legs, and they put them around them. In this manner he has become the ideal for truthful brotherhood.

When the caravan reached al-Rabadha, the 'Alawids were ordered to dismount their camels while they were shackled and burnt by the sun. Then al-Mansur ordered Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah to be entered to him.[1] When he stood before him, he received him with cursing, insulting, and defaming; he accused him of things we do not want to mention because they were ugly. This wicked, dirty person (al-Mansur), whose history is full of shame and disgrace, did not refrain from accusing (the 'Alawids of ugly things) and fabricating lies against them.

p: 392

The sinful oppressor (al-Mansur) ordered his policemen to take off 'Abd Allah's clothes. They did and left him naked. Then he ordered them to flog him, and they flogged him one hundred and fifty times. 'Abd Allah felt pain, while al-Mansur was delighted and happy. A policeman flogged 'Abd Allah on the face, and he said to him: "Refrain from flogging me on the face, for it has sacredness like that of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family."

However, al-Mansur commanded the policeman, saying: "Flog him on the head! Flog him on the head!"

So he fogged him thirty times on the head. Then he ordered his neck and hands to be tied to a piece of wood. Then he was taken out naked and was entered into a room where his companions sitting. He looked like a black man, for the flogging changed his color and made his blood flow; he received a whip stroke on the eye, and it made it bleed. A retainer of Abu Ja'far's asked him: "Shall I cover you with my cloak?" "Yes, may Allah reward you good," he replied, "by Allah, that I am naked is more intense to me than the flogging I have received." The retainer covered him with his cloak.[2]

In that state Muhammed asked for water, but none gave him water to drink except a man from Khuresan. The man went to him and gave him water to drink. Shortly after that, al-Mansur passed by them, so 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan reminded him of the favors and kindness of his grandfather the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, toward al-'Abbas, al-Mansur's grandfather, when he was brought as a captive, saying to him: "We have not treated your captives on the Battle of Badr in such a way!"

p: 393

However, al-Mansur turned his face away from him, for he hurts him with his words. Then he ordered the 'Alawids to be taken to Iraq.

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 10, p. 81.

[2] Al-Tabari, vol. 6, p. 179.

At al-Hashimiya

The caravan of the 'Alawids covered the desert and quickly took them to graves and prisons. When it reached al-Hashimiya, al-Mansur ordered the 'Alawids to be thrown into dark prisons, to the extent that they were unable to know the times of the prayers, so the divided the Qur'an into five parts. They performed the prayers according to the end of each part.[1]

Al-Mansur ordered Muhammed b. Ibrahim to be brought before him. Muhammed was so handsome that the people went to look at him. When he stood before al-Mansur, he turned to him, and sneeringly asked him:

-Are you the one who called the yellow silk?

-Yes.

-By Allah, I will kill you in a way with which I have never killed any of your household.

Then he ordered a built column to be emptied, and it was emptied. Muhammed was entered into the column, and he was bricked up in it alive.[2]

The policy of this sinful oppressor (al-Mansur) toward the 'Alawids was distinguished by all kinds of bad deeds and offenses, for he did not pay attention to the sacredness of Allah's Apostle in respect with his grandsons, and intentionally annihilated them in a way matchless in the history of mankind.

p: 394

The police of al-Mansur was so rude. An example of their rudeness is that 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan, the head of the 'Alawids, asked for water. Some of them asked permission from al-Mansur to give him water, and he permitted that. He brought him cold water. While 'Abd Allah was drinking water, Abu al-Azhar went to him and violently kicked the glass with his foot, so 'Abd Allah's front teeth fell into the glass.[3]

The 'Alawids stayed in the prison of al-Mansur; they suffered from severe misfortunes. They performed the ritual ablution in their places, to the extent that they became bad-smelling. Some of their retainers brought them perfume of musk and ambergris, that they might through it remove the abominable smell, but it was useless. Their feet became swollen, then the swelling crept into their hearts, and most of them died. The tyrannical one (al-Mansur) ordered the prison to be demolished on the rest of them, and it was demolished. Most of them died; among them was 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan.[4]

This tragedy, immortal in the world of sorrows, was full of different kinds of disasters and misfortunes, for through it the sacredness of the great Prophet was violated in respect with his progeny. That is because al-Mansur paid no attention to their sacredness, nor did he fear Allah in respect with them.

Those pure persons sacrificed their own souls for Allah to save His servants from the wickedness of that ruling group who disbelieved in all the values of mankind.

p: 395

This great tragedy moved waves of displeasure with the 'Abbasids. After long times Abu Firas al-Hamadani satirized the 'Abbasids for this abominable crime their grandfather al-Mansur committed. He has said:

You badly reward the Hasanid, whose father and mother were guiding eminent men.

Neither pledge of allegiance nor oath nor kinship nor covenants prevented you from (shedding) their blood.

Why did you not pardon those taken prisoners without any reason for those who had pardoned your prisoners (at the Battle of) Badr?

Why did you not stop your whip from striking the one called the Yellow Silk? And (why did you not) refrain from cursing the grand daughters of Allah's Apostle?

None of those souls belong to Allah's Apostle was far from whips; therefore was Mecca far (from them?)

The Banu Harb harmed them in away less than yours, though their crimes were great.

How many a clear perfidy you have toward the religion; and how many a blood for Allah's Apostle is with you.

You think that you are his followers while the blood of his pure grandsons is on your finger-nails.

How far! Neither kinship nor womb (relationship) is close (to him) one day as long as morals and self-esteem have been send far.

The love of Selman for him was a womb (relationship), while there was no womb (relationship) between Noah and his son.[5]

This poetry contains deep sadness for the misfortunes and the disasters that befell the 'Alawids during the time of al-Mansur and all the 'Abbasid kings, who severed the bonds of the womb relationships and kinship, and denied the kindness the great Apostle did to their grandfather al-'Abbas when they returned that through severely punishing his family and descendants.

p: 396

__________________________________________

[1] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 225.

[2] Al-Tabari, vol. 9, p. 398.

[3] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 243.

[4] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 225.

[5] Al-Ghadir, vol. 3, p. 238.

His confiscating the 'Alawids' properties

When al-Mansur ordered the 'Alawids to be arrested and to be thrown into dark prisons, he ordered his governor to confiscate all their properties and to sell their slaves.[1] Besides he ordered the properties of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, to be confiscated. When al-Mansur perished, al-Mehdi returned them to Imam Musa, peace be on him.

______________________________________

[1] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 10, p. 81.

The Revolt of Muhammed al-Zaki

Muhammed b. 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan was among the leading 'Alawids in his knowledge, his jurisprudence, his bravery, and his generosity. He had all kinds of hereditary and acquisitive merits. He was called Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya and Sarih Quraysh, for neither his mother nor his grandmothers were slave wives; rather his forefathers and grandmothers belonged to Quraysh. The people called him al-Mehdi of whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, gave good news.[1] In this respect the poet says:

We hope that Muhammed will be an Imam through whom the revealed Book lives.

Through whom Islam is good as it became corrupt, and (through whom) a miserable, dependent orphan lives.

He will fill our land with justice as is filled with misguidance, and will bring that which I expect.[2]

He was similar to his grandfather the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in his behavior and morals. The people of Medina thought that if it was possible for Allah to send a prophet after Muhammed, may Allah bless him and his family, he would be he.[3]

p: 397

All the Hashimites nominated him for the caliphate. Al-Mansur al-Dewaniqi served him, ordered the clothes he worn, and held his mount, that he might seek nearness to him. He and his brother al-Saffah pledged allegiance to him twice. When the 'Abbasids usurped the government, Muhammed severely felt pain and summoned the people to pledge allegiance to him, and they responded to him. Muhammed and his brother Ibrahim hid themselves, while the summoners to them traveled trough the cities summoning the people to them. Their father 'Abd Allah urged them to revolt (against the 'Abbasids) and moved them to struggle against them. He said to them: "Surely, If Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) has prevented you from living as honorable, he cannot prevent you from dying as honorable."[4]

When Muhammed heard of the death of his father along with his 'Alawid cousins in the prison of al-Mansur, and of different kinds of punishment and torture which happened to them, he and his brother Ibrahim decided to declare the revolt on a certain day. Muhammed declared it in Yethrib on the due day, as it was said. The people pledged allegiance to him; they were delighted with their pledging allegiance to him. His army occupied the official offices and controlled the public treasury. The people of the Yemen and Mecca hurried to pledge allegiance to him. Many people gathered to show obedience and submission to him, and he rose among them and delivered a sermon. He praised and lauded Allah, and then he said: "Now then, O people, it is clear to you that this tyrannical, the enemy of Allah, Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) has built a green dome as a sign of opposing Allah in His kingdom and of belittling the Holy Kaaba, while Allah punished Pharaoh when he said: "I am your most high lord! The most appropriate of people in undertaking this religion are the children of the Emigrants and the Ansar, who helped them. O Allah, surely they have made lawful the things you made unlawful and made unlawful the things you made lawful. So they have given security to him whom You frightened and frightened him to whom You gave security. Therefore, count them in number, and kill them separately, and leave none of them!

p: 398

"O people, surely, by Allah, I have come out in revolt among you while I think that your not men of strength and intense. However I have chosen you for my self; I have come to this (city) while the pledge of allegiance has been taken to me in all those cities where Allah is served."[5]

This oration indicates that the pledge of allegiance was taken to him from all the Islamic regions. However, some of those who commented on his speech thought that al-Mansur schemed against him. It was he who ordered his governors to write letters to Muhammed and to respond to his summons, that he might hurry to declare the revolt before he ended his plans, and that al-Mansur might put an end to it in the bud.

Any way, when al-Mansur hear of the revolt, he sent an army of about four thousand horsemen and appointed over it his crown prince, 'Isa b. Musa, as commander in chief. The army covered the desert and reached Yethrib (Medina). When Muhammed came to know of the arrival of the army, he spread his fighters all over the streets and the lanes. Before the outbreak of the battle, he addressed his army, saying: "O People, we have gathered you to fight (them); we will entrust the mountain passes to you. The enemy is close to you and is many in number. Victory is from Allah, and the affair is in His hand. It seems to me that I have to give you permission (to leave) and to make easy the ways to you; there fore, whoever wishes to stay, he can stay; and whoever wishes to leave, he can leave."

p: 399

This oration belongs to someone who was deserted, had no trust in victory and no hope in overcoming the events due to the fact that his army was few in number while that of the enemy was great in number. He did not force his companions to battle against the enemy, nor did he depend on the means of deception and misguidance. So manhood and nobility were clear in this attitude of his.

When the opportunists and those ambitious heard his speech, they deserted him. Accordingly, none remained with him except his very loyal companions,[6] who had no ability to defend him. So 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far[7] hurried to him and said to him: "My father and mother be ransom for you; surely you have no ability (to defeat) what I have seen, and with you there is none honest to fight (them). Therefore, go now and join al-Hasan b. Mu'awiya in Mecca, for most your companions are with him."

Muhammed answered him according to the honor and nobility his great soul had, saying: "O Abu Ja'far, by Allah, If I went out, the people of Medina would be killed. By Allah, I will not return until I kill or be killed. You are free in respect with me. So go wherever you wish."[8]

If Muhammed had left Yethrib (Medina), al-Mansur's Army would have occupied it, treated the people with an extreme severity, and violated all the sacred things. Thus, Muhammed thought that he had to stay therein and to sacrifice himself for security and safety of the people.

p: 400

The battle broke out between the two sides. After a terrible conflict between the forces of the truth and those of falsehood, the great leader, Muhammed Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiya, was badly wounded and fell on the ground and knelt down. The sinful one, Hemid b. Qahtaba, shouted at his fighters, saying: "Do not kill him!" Then the rogue (Hemid b. Qahtaba) himself went and cut off his holy head,[9] that he alone might commit the sin and enter the Hell-fire!

With this one of the most wonderful page of the pages of the holy jihad ended, and the greatest reformative movement in the Islamic world was folded, while it aimed at spreading justice, prevailing of security and ease among the people.

The good forces collapsed; the hopes of the free were destroyed, for they lost their high leader, who was for them as a light stand in the way of struggle and jihad.

________________________________________

[1] Ghayat al-Ikhtisar, p. 12.

[2] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 243.

[3] Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 213.

[4] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 243.

[5] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 9, p. 219.

[6] Ibid.

[7] 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far was the eldest of his brothers after Isma'il but he did not have a position of honor with his father similar to the rest of his father's sons. He was suspected of opposing his father's teaching; and it is said that he used to mix with the Hashwiyya and was inclined towards the beliefs of the Murji'a. He claimed the Imamate after his father and argued that he was the eldest of the surviving brothers. A group of the followers of Abu 'Abd Allah, peace be on him, followed him in his declaration. Later must of them went back to the doctrine of the Imamate of his brother Musa, peace be on him. We will explain that. This has been mentioned in Tanqeeh al-Maqaal, vol. 2, p. 174.

p: 401

[8] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 9, p. 224.

[9] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin.

The Revolt of Ibrahim al-Zaki

Ibrahim b. 'Abd Allah was among the leading thinkers and one of the eminent men of his time in his knowledge, his courtesy, his good manners, and his good management. His pure soul was full of faith in the right of the community. So he went to the fields of jihad to save it from the government of enslavement and abasement. He intended to establish among its lands the Islamic justice and the Qur'anic laws.

The thing for which Ibrahim was famous was that he had an iron will; he was alert and sensitive. Al-Mansur increasingly wanted him to be arrested, so he spread spies on him. Ibrahim could sit on the dinning tables of al-Mansur, and he did not recognize him. He mentioned that, saying: "The looking (for me) in al-Mousil forced me to sit on the dinning tables of al-Mansur. He came to it (al-Mousil) to look for me. The (people of) the land expelled me, and I found no allowable place. He imposed searching (for me), spread spies (on me), and invited the people to his lunch. However, I came in among those who came in, and ate among those who ate, and then I went out. As a result he refrained from looking (for me)."

This boldness is a proof of his unique abilities that placed him on the level of the great, who do not think of defeat, and whose determination is not changed by difficult events. The sad news of the murder of his brother came to him while he was on the pulpit and delivering a speech, so he recited the following poetry lines:

p: 402

O Abu al-Manazil, O best of knights, whoever is bereaved of you in the world is indeed bereaved!

Allah knows that if I fear them and the heart is fearful of them, they will not kill him, and I will not hand over my brother to them until we all die or we all live!

Then his tears flowed on his holy face, and he praised his brother, and composed some words out of his sadness, saying: "O Allah, You know that Muhammed went out in revolt to show anger for You, to remove these heavy (days), and to prefer Your right; therefore have mercy on him, forgive him; make the hereafter the best resort and return for him in the world."

He elegized his brother with these poetry lines:

I will lament for you through the thin, white (swords) and the spear, for surely through them the seeker attain his revenge.

We are the people who do not weep for their perishing one, even if he breaks their backs.

I am not like the one who mourns for his brother with tears he makes through pressing the water of his eyeball with pressing.

But I relieve my heart through an attack with which I inflame firebrands among their phalanxes.[1]

The heroism in the brilliant sense of the word was present in this wonderful attitude Ibrahim adopted, for the murder of his brother did not weaken his determination; rather it increased him in faith and determination, and he continued his struggle.

p: 403

Ibrahim declared his great revolt against al-Mansur in Basrah, so the Muslims responded to him and joined his summons. Sufyan b. Mu'awiya, the governor of Basrah, was among those who supported him. He always contacted with him and informed him of al-Mansur's new decisions concerning Basrah. He helped him very much with the affairs of the revolt.

Ibrahim occupied Basrah and sent the summoners to him to al-Ahwaz, Persia, Wasit, and al-Meda'in. These countries responded to him and pledged allegiance to him. The flag of the 'Alawid state waved over them. The news of the violent revolt successively came to al-Mansur, and he became afraid, frightened, and impatient. Al-Hajjajj b. Qutayba came in to him and saw him hitting the ground with his scepter and reciting:

I have installed myself as a target for spears; surely the head does the like of that!

So al-Hajjajj said to him: "May Allah make your glory last and grant you a victory over your enemy, you say just as al-A'sha has said:

"'And if their war is kindled among them and is heated for them after its being cold, it will find someone who is patient toward its heat, the attacks of wars, and their repetition."

Al-Mansur said to him: "O Hajjajj, surely Ibrahim has come to know my rough side, my difficult direction, and my coarse horn. He has been encouraged to walk towards me from Basrah by these countries neighboring the troops of the Commander of the faithful; the people of Iraq have agreed with him on opposition and disobedience to me. I have shot each country with its own stone and every district with its own arrow. I have sent to them a noble, blessed, victorious one, 'Isa b. Musa along with many troops and equipment. I have sought help from Allah against him (Ibrahim) and regarded Him as sufficient to him, for surely the Commander of the faithful has neither strength nor force except through Him."

p: 404

When Ibrahim had troops supplied with numbers and equipment, he decided to go to war against al-Mansur. However, his companions from Basrah advised him to stay in Basrah and to send the troops; if they had escaped, he would have reinforced them with other than them. Some people from Kufa said: "Surely there are many groups of people in Kufa. If they saw you, they would die before you; and if they did not see you, many reasons would hold them back (from fighting)." As for Ibrahim, he responded to the viewpoint of the Kufans. As a result he himself headed for al-Mansur to war against him. If he had stayed in Basrah, he would have overcome those events and won a victory.

Al-Mansur sent an army of fifty thousand fighters to battle against Ibrahim. He appointed 'Isa b. Musa, his crown prince, as a command-in-chief over the army and appointed Hemid b. Qahtaba as commander over its vanguard. He said to him when he saw him off: "Surely these wicked people (the ast3rs) claim that when you meet Ibrahim, your companions will wander about one time in order to find him, then they will come to, and the final result will be yours."

Ibrahim along with his troops covered the desert; he was heard reciting al-Qatami's poetry lines:

If a wise man manage the affairs, then Whayb will end what he can do.

The disobedience to the one who is compassionate to you is of that which increases you in strength when you hear from him.

p: 405

The best of things is that which you receive from him, and not that you follow him with following.

But when the leather is cut, is won-out and defective, so artisans are overcome.[2]

This indicates that he repented of his walking (towards al-Mansur), for he came to know that if had stayed in Basrah, it would have been better for him. Then he along with his troops headed for Bakhimra, and not for Kufa lest the honors should be violated and the children should be killed. Some people advised him to walk towards Kufa, for it would be more guaranteed, but he did not respond to them out of fear of what we have mentioned.

The fire of the war broke out between the two sides, and al-Mansur's army was defeated and its vanguards reached Kufa. So al-Mansur was afraid, intended to escape, and mentioned the words of Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, concerning that the 'Abbasids would win the government. That was when he said to al-Rabi': "Where is the statement of their (Imam called) al-Sadiq? How have our children not attained it (the government)? So where is the emirate of the boys?"

When he was besieged and straitened, he ordered the camels and other animals to be put at all the gates of Kufa, that he might escape from it.

Al-Mansur's troops returned after their defeat because of a river they found and were not able to pass it. So they all came back. Ibrahim's companions had moved through water, that they might fight on one front. Thus, when they tried to escape, the water prevented them from escaping. Ibrahim along with some of his companions resisted. Hemid b. Qahtaba fought against them and sent their heads to 'Isa. A treacherous arrow came and fell into Ibrahim's mouth, and he changed his place and said to his companions: "Bring me down!" They brought him down off his mount, and he said: "Allah's command is a sealed determination! We wanted an affair, and Allah wanted other than it."

p: 406

His companions and his special group gathered around him to defend him and to fight on his behalf. So Hemid b. Qahtaba said (to his troops): "Attack that group (of fighters) to remove them from their places and to know that around which they have gathered." They attacked them and removed them from Ibrahim. They cut off his holy head and brought it to 'Isa. So he prostrated and sent the head to al-Mansur.[3]

With this one of the most wonderful pages of holy jihad was ended and a great person in the Islamic world was folded, while he intended to put an end to oppression and tyranny, and to return the honorable life in Islam.

When al-Mansur, the wicked and evil one, heard of the murder of the great martyr (Ibrahim), he was about to fly out of happiness, for he achieved all his hopes and expectations. He found delicious the food which was before him, and he said to those around him: "Ibrahim intended to prevent me from (having) such a food!"[4]

Surely, the revolt of Ibrahim al-Zaki was not for the enjoyments and pleasures of the world; rather it was for destroying evil deeds, annihilating oppression, and saving the people from the terrorist government that ruled them during the days of al-Mansur.

Surely that immortal revolt was for achieving ideals, putting the Qur'anic laws into practice among the general life of the people.

Al-Mansur happily turned to those present in his gathering and said to them: "By Allah, I have never seen one more loyal to Merwan's children than al-Hajjajj!"

p: 407

So al-Musayyab b. Zahra al-Dabbi opposed him and showed him that they obeyed him more than al-Hajjajj did to his masters, the Umayyads, saying: "O Commander of the faithful, al-Hajjajj did not precede us to an affair, and we remained behind him. By Allah, Allah did not create on earth someone more beloved to us than our Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. You ordered us to kill his children, and we obeyed you and did (that); therefore, are we loyal to you?"

His words hurt al-Mansur, and he shouted at him: "Sit down! May you not sit down!"[5]

Al-Mansur possessed alone the kingdom after the revolt of the 'Alawids. After that, the tyrannical and arrogant one, al-Mansur, went too far in oppressing and exhausting the subjects. That was because the good forces of which he was afraid were defeated. As a result he became earnest in punishing the 'Alawids severely and in uprooting them. In the following pages we will deal with the different kinds of exhaustion they faced and which cannot be described out of its atrocity and severity.

_______________________________________

[1] Ibid., 342.

[2] Al-Kamil, vol. 5, p. 18.

[3] Ibid., p. 224.

[4] Al-Mas'udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 224.

[5] Ibid.

His Putting them in Columns

When the revolt of the 'Alawids was suppressed, al-Mansur looked for the rest of the 'Alawids. He put those he found into empty columns built of plaster and bricks. He found a handsome boy of al-Hasan's. He handed over the boy to a builder and ordered him to put him into an empty column and to brick him up. He entrusted one of his reliable persons with carrying that task. The builder put the boy into the empty column. He felt pity for him, and he left for him an outlet in the column, that some air might enter through it. He said to the boy: "Do not worry! Be patient! For surely, I will take you out of this column when it gets dark!"

p: 408

When it became dark, the builder came and took the 'Alawid (boy) out of it and said to: "Fear Allah in respect with (shedding) my blood and that of those workers with me. Hide your person; for surely I have taken you out of the column in the dark, for I have fear that your grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah and his family, will be my opponent before Allah on the Day of Judgment." He asked the boy to hide his person, and he asked him to tell his mother of that, that her soul might be good, and her impatience might be less. The boy escaped, and none came to know where he lived. The builder reached the house appointed by the 'Alawid boy, and he heard sound like that of bees out of crying. He knew that it was the boy's mother. He told her about the story of her son and went away from her.[1]

_____________________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol.47, pp. 306-307. 'Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, vol. 1, p. 111.

The Case of the 'Alawids' Heads

The story of the case is full of sorrows and anxieties, for al-Mansur filled it with the heads of the 'Alawids, old, young, and children. He ordered Rita, al-Mehdi's wife, not to let al-Mehdi open it and not to come to know about it except after his death. Al-Teberi has narrated it in his book al-Tarikh. The following is its text: "When al-Mansur decided to perform the hajj, he sent for Rita, al-Mehdi's wife, and ordered her about what he wanted. He entrusted her with and gave her the keys of the cases. He walked towards and made her take an oath. He confirmed the oath lest she should open some of the cases and inform anyone even her and al-Mehdi except that she came to know of his death. When she came to know of it, only she and al-Mehdi had to sit together to open the case. Al-Mehdi had been in al-Ray when Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) went to the hajj. When he came from al-Ray and went to Medinat al-Salam (Baghdad), Rita gave him the keys and asked him not to open the cases and not to inform anybody of them until she came to know of al-Mansur's death. When al-Mehdi heard of the death of al-Mansur and he undertook the caliphate, he along with Rita opened the door. Suddenly he found a big case where was a group of the Talibiyyin dead in whose ears were labels on which were their lineage. Among them were children, young men, and many old men. When al-Mehdi saw that, he became terrified. He ordered a bit to be dug, and they were buried in it. Then he ordered a shop to be built on them."[1]

p: 409

Al-Mansur kept and stored that case for the day on which property will not avail, nor sons. He stored it for the Day of Decision, and the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands.

_________________________________________

[1] Al-Tabari, vol. 6, p. 320, first edition.

The 'Alawids ask al-Mansur for Mercy

The 'Alawids asked this tyrannical one (al-Mansur) for mercy. However, neither human feelings nor the close kinship moved him to pardon them. He went to the Sacred House of Allah. While he was walking among his procession, the daughter of 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan walked towards him and recited to him the following, gentle poetry lines:

Have mercy on the young children of Yazid, surely they have become orphans because they have lost you, not because they have lost Yazid!

Have mercy on the toothless old people who are in chains and shackles in prison!

If you punish us due to our crime, then we will be killed out of it everywhere!

If you are generous through the womb kinship among us, then your grandfather is not far from our grandfather![1]

Yet this gentle entreaty did not move his severe mind, and he said to her: "Have you reminded me of him, 'Abd Allah's daughter?"

Then he ordered him to be killed in the ground prison, and he breathed his last in it.

Through this action al-Mansur reached bottomless meanness and severity!

__________________________________________

[1] It has been mentioned in the book Tadhkirat al-Khawas, p. 230: "The statement of Fatima, daughter of 'Abd Allah, 'Have mercy on the young of Yazid,' was a slip of tongue. That is because 'Abd Allah b. al-Husayn had no son called Yazid, nor there was among the family of Abu Talib a person called Yazid except Yazid b. Mu'awiya b. 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far.

p: 410

Imam al-Sadiq passes away

Imam al-Sadiq suffered all kinds of misfortunes and pain during the time of al-Mansur. He saw the exhaustion and the ordeals from which the Muslims suffered and saw the different kinds of punishments and torture the 'Alawids met. His being safe from al-Mansur was a miracle in spite of his guarding against taking part in any of the political fields. This can be established through his famous tradition: "Safety has become rear, to the extent that requesting it has become hidden, for surely if it is (attained) through a thing, then it is about to (be attained) through inactivity. If it is sought through inactivity and is not found, then it is about (to be attained) through silence; and the happy is he who is busy with his own soul."

Al-Mansur tried to kill him several times, but Allah turned away his plot from him. He summoned him several times while he was bursting with anger. He tried to kill him, but Allah drove away his evil from him. One day he commanded al-Rabi' to go to him. However, al-Rabi' sent his son Muhammed to him. He ordered him to bring him in the state in which he was, saying to him: "Go to Ja'far b. Muhammed. Climb the wall. Do not open any door to him lest he should change his condition. However, come down (the wall) and go to him." Muhammed carried out the orders. He found the Imam standing and praying. After the Imam had finished his prayer, Muhammed said to him:

p: 411

-Respond to the Commander of the faithful.

-Let me put on my clothes.

-We have no way to do that.

He brought the Imam as he was and made him come in to al-Mansur, and he angrily said to him: "Why do you not give up your envy, your oppression, and your plotting against this 'Abbasid house. Allah will increase you nothing through that but intense envy and unhappiness through which you cannot attain what you have expected."

So the Imam said to him: "By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, I have done nothing of this. I lived during the reign of the Umayyads. You have come to know that they were the most hostile of creation to us and you, and that they had no right (to assume) this authority; nevertheless, by Allah, I did not wrong them, nor did they hear any evil from me, though I turned away from them. O Commander of the faithful, how do I do that while you are my cousin, the nearest of the creation to me in womb kinship, the greatest of them in giving and kindness to me? So how do I do that?"

Al-Mansur bowed his head for an hour. Then he raised his head and said: "You are false and sinful!"

He brought out a file of letters. He threw the file to him and said to him: "These are your letters to the people of Khuresan. In them you have summoned them to break their pledge of allegiance to me and to pledge allegiance to you instead of me."

p: 412

The Imam said to him: "By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, I have not done that. I do not regard that as lawful, nor it is of my creed. I am among those who believe in obeying you in all circumstances. I have reached an age that has made me too weak to do that. If I intended to do that, then send me to one of your prisons until death comes to me, for it is close to me!"

The wicked, ignoble one (al-Mansur) shouted at him: "No! No dignity!"

He bowed his head. Then he stretched his hand to the sword, drew a span of the hand of it, caught its hilt, and then he sheathed it. After that he said rude words to the Imam: "O Ja'far, do you not feel shame of this white hair and this lineage? Why do say false words and sow dissension among the Muslims? You want to shed blood and stir up discord between the subjects and the rulers!"

The Imam said to him: "No, by Allah, O Commander of the faithful, I have not done that. These are not my letters, nor that is my hand writing, nor that is my seal."

Al-Mansur drew a cubit of the sword, and then he sheathed it. He admonished the Imam, and he apologized to him. He drew the sword except a little bit of it, and then he sheathed it. He bowed his head, and then he raised it and said: "I think that you are truthful!" He commanded al-Rabi' to bring him a perfume of musk and ambergris (ghaliya). He took some of it and put it on the Imam's beard. The Imam's beard was white, and it turned black due to the perfume. He went too far in honoring and magnifying the Imam. The reason for that is that he saw a proof of his Lord, so he pardoned him.[1]

p: 413

Al-Mansur harbored malice against Imam al-Sadiq because the Muslims had unanimously agreed that he was great. Al-Mansur's name went out before the Imam's brilliant name. The Islamic world talked about his reputation and carried his merits and knowledge. The tyrannical, arrogant one (al-Mansur) tried to bring the Imam gradually to his procession when he wrote to him: "Why do you not visit us just as the people do?"

He thought that the Imam, peace be on him, would respond to him like those whom the world deluded. He did not know that the Imam, peace be on him, refrained from contacting with him, for he put before him these words of Him, the Exalted: And do not incline to those who are unjust lest the fire should touch you. When Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, read al-Mansur's letter, he answered him: "We have nothing of the world for which we fear you, nor have you anything of the hereafter for which we hope you, nor are you in a blessing on which we congratulate you, nor do you regard it as a wrath, that we may console you for it. Therefore, why do we visit you?"

However al-Mansur did not understand the Imam's speech, for the world deluded him, and the love for kingdom and authority blinded his heart. When he read the Imam's letters, he answered him: "Surely you make friends with us to advise us."

The Imam, peace be on him, wrote an answer to him, saying: "Whoever likes the world should not advise you; and whoever likes the hereafter should not make friend with you."

p: 414

Al-Mansur failed in achieving his hopes. Imam Musa, peace be on him, met with him. Some flies sat on al-Mansur's face and he drove them away with his hand, but they came again, to the extent that he became bored with them, so he turned to the Imam and asked him: "O Abu 'Abd Allah, why did Allah create flies?"

The Imam, peace be on him, paid no attention to him and indifferently answered him, saying: "In order to abase tyrants with them!" That answer displeased al-Mansur, and that the Imam paid no attention to him annoyed him. As a result he thought for a long time to assassinate him.

The tyrannical one (al-Mansur) decided to commit the most dangerous atrocity and the greatest crime in Islam, pay no attention to disgrace and the fire. He gave a deadly poison to his governor over Yethrib (Medina) and commanded him to put it into food and give it to the Imam to eat. When the Imam had the food, the poison cut off his intestines. The Imam felt severe pain and painful aches. When he felt that his decreed death was close at hand, he ordered his family and his relatives to be brought. When they gathered around him, he gave them this valuable teaching: "Surely our intercession do not include him who makes light of prayers."

Then he secretly entrusted his son Imam Musa, peace be on him, with his affairs and gave him his special teachings. He also entrusted the office of the Imamate to five people, who were Abu Ja'far al-Mansur, Muhammed b. Sulayman, 'Abd

p: 415

Allah, Musa, and Hamida. He did that because he had fear for his son of the infidel authority. That became clear after his death. For al-Mansur wrote to his governor and commanded him to kill the testamentary trustee of the Imam if he had been appointed. So his governor wrote back to him that they were five people, and that he was among them. Al-Mansur said that he had no way to kill those people.

The pain of the Imam became intense, and he suffered from severe aches. When his decreed death was close at hand, the Imam recited some verses of the Holy Qur'an. He secretly addressed his Lord and implored him until his pure soul joined the Garden of the Abode. That great soul the like of which was not created in the past and the future, except his forefathers, in clemency, knowledge, kindness, and showing sympathy to all people rose high to the High Comrade (Allah).

The head of Islam and first guide of the Islamic caravan who spared no effort to enlighten human thought and to spread the essence of knowledge and virtue among people passed away. His death was among the dangerous events with which the Islamic world was afflicted; its gravity shook the world.

The outcry from the houses of the Hashimites became loud. The crying and wailing from the houses of Yethrib (Medina) became loud. Many people hurried toward the Imam. They were either silent or crying or astonished or wailing for the demise of the great Imam, who was for them as shelter and place of flight in all their affairs.

p: 416

Imam Musa, peace be on him, was broken-hearted; his soul melted in sorrows and regrets. He prepared his father for burial while he was shedding tears. He washed the pure corpse and shrouded it with two Shatawi garments he used during the ritual consecration, with a shirt and a turban belonged to Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, and with a garment Imam Musa, peace be on him, bought for forty dinars. After he had prepared him for burial, Imam Musa, peace be on him, prayed over him. Then the holy corpse was carried on fingertips. The crowded masses surrounded it. He was brought to the holy cemetery of al-Baqi' and was buried in his final resting place beside his father al-Baqir and his grandfather Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him. The famous poet Abu Hurayra stood on the edge of the grave and praised Imam al-Sadiq with these poetry lines:

When they carried him on their shoulders, I said:

Do you know what are carrying to the earth? The one who is like a rock that falls off the top of a lofty height!

In the early morning the people poured dust upon his grave, while he had been on the crossroads![2]

Having finished burying and praising Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, the Muslims walked towards Imam Musa to console him on his painful misfortune, and he thanked them for their consolations. Then he came back home accompanied by his household and his loyal companions. Then he ordered a light to be put in the place where his father died according to the sunna. The light was kindled every day until Imam Musa, peace be on him, was arrested in Iraq.[3]

p: 417

Imam Musa undertook the great office of Imamate after his father's death; his holy age was then twenty years,[4] and al-Mansur was in the tenth year of his reign.

________________________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 47, pp.195-199. Muhajj al-Da'awat, p. 192.

[2] Usool al-Kafi.

[3] Al-Jawahir, Kitab al-Tahara.

[4] Saffwat al-Saffwa.

The Shi'ites follow Imam Musa

When the Shi'ites were afflicted with the death of their great spiritual leader, Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, they imitated his son Imam Musa. The people all over the countries that adopted the Imamate sent delegations to appoint the Imam after Abi 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. Those delegations went to Yethrib (Medina). They met with Imam Musa, adopted his Imamate and pledged allegiance to him. That is because he had all the qualities his father had such as knowledge, piety, righteousness and other high moral qualities that were not available except with those Allah protected from slips, purified from defilement, and chose to guide His servants to the straight path.

Hisham b. Salim, a Shi'ite master and notable, related about how he and his companions resorted to Imam Musa after the death of his father, saying:

I (i.e. Hisham b. Salim) and Muhammed b. Nu'man (known as) Sahib al-Taq were in Medina after the death of Imam Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq). The people had agreed that 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far was the leader of the affair (sahib al-amr) and the one who would undertake the office of the Imamate after his father. My companions I and came in to him. When we sat down, we asked him the following questions:

p: 418

-How much poor-tax (zakat) should be paid on two hundred dirhams?

-Five dirhams.

-How much on a hundred dirhams?

-Two and a half dirhams.

They were astonished at this religious decision that has no relationship with the Islamic Law. That is because the minimum amount of dirhams is two hundred dirhams; and there is nothing on that which is less than it. Hisham sneered at this religious verdict that has no concept:

-By Allah, you are declaring the doctrine of the Murji'a.

-By Allah, I do not know the doctrine of the Murji'a.

Hisham and Muhammed left him while they could not see the way out of pain and sadness, for they did not come to know the Imam who would undertake the office of the Imamate after Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq). Then Hisham said: "(Shall I go) to the Murji'ites, the Qadarities, the Mu'tazilites, to the Zaydites, to the Kharijites?"

While Hisham and Muhammed were roaming in a current of suspicions and thoughts and were reflecting on a doctrine to follow, they saw an old man indicating with his hand to Hisham to follow him. Hisham thought that the old man was among the spies of al-Mansur and could understand their speech. He fearfully turned to his companion and ordered him to go away from him, that only he might be punished. He followed the old man, and he took him to Imam Musa b. Ja'far, peace be on him. When he came in to him, he became tranquil. When he sat down, the Imam turned to him and said to him with kindness and affection: "To me, not to the Murji'ites, nor to the Qadarities, nor to the Mu'tazilites, nor to the Zaydites...."

p: 419

Hisham became happy, for he found his objective when the Imam told him about what he had in his inner self. This is one of the marks and signs of the Imamate. Then Hisham asked him the following question:

-May I be your ransom, has your father gone?

-Yes.

-Has he left through death?

-Yes.

-Whom shall we follow after him?

-If Allah wills, He will guide you to that man.

-May I be your ransom, your brother 'Abd Allah claims that he is the Imam after his father.

-'Abd Allah intends that Allah should not be worshipped (properly).

-Who is in charge of us after him.

He answered him with an answer similar to his first one, and Hisham asked him:

-Are you him?

-I am not saying that.

Hisham made a mistake in his speech, and he corrected his mistake, saying:

-Do you have an Imam over you?

-No.

He admired and magnified the Imam, to the extent that none knew except Allah. Then he said to him:

-May I be your ransom, may I question you like I used to question your father.

-Question. You will be informed but do not spread (the answer) around. For if you do spread it around, then slaughter will take place.

Then he asked him many questions, to the extent that he came to know that the Imam was a sea (of knowledge) which could not be exhausted out of his abundant knowledge and merit. After he had come to know him and been sure of his Imamate, he asked him:

p: 420

-May I be your ransom, the Shi'a of your father is lost (without a leader). May I put this matter to them and summon them (to follow) you? For you have taken (a promise of secrecy from me).

-Tell those of them whose righteousness you are familiar with, but take (a promise of) secrecy from them. For if it gets spread around, there will be slaughter. And he pointed to his neck with his hand.

Then he went out while he was tranquil and happy-hearted due to what he had found. So his friend hurried to him and asked him:

-What happened to you?

-Guidance.

Then he told him the story, and they both went to Zarara and Abu Basir. After they had met with them, they told them about the Imam's tradition. Thus, Zarara and Abu Basir hurried to the Imam and asked him some questions. He answered them, and they were sure of his Imamate. Then the Shi'ite masses went to the Imam in groups and pledged allegiance to him and acknowledged his Imamate. The overwhelming majority of the Shi'ites adopted his Imamate except the companions of Ammar al-Sabati, for they insisted on their own thoughts.[1]

After his father, the Imam, peace be on him, took care of the affairs of the Shi'ites, spreading the Islamic principles, supplying the religious scholars and the students with different kinds of knowledge. Due to these deeds the government kept an eye on him. Accordingly he was unable to communicate with the Shi'a openly; likewise the Shi'a were unable to declare their beliefs and principles.

p: 421

_____________________________________

[1] Al-Mejalis, vol. 5, p. 328.

Al-Mansur's Policy is criticized

Al-Mansur followed a policy through which he opposed Allah's Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. For he killed the innocent, violated honors, plundered properties, threw the free into prisons, pursued the thinkers, and uprooted the progeny of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. These actions excited waves of displeasure against him. For example some great Muslim figures criticized him. The following are brief lines on each of them:

1. 'Abd Allah b. Tawus

'Abd Allah b. Tawus al-Yemeni[1] along with Malik b. Anas visited al-Mansur. Al-Mansur turned to him and said:

-Tell me about your father.

-My father related to me: "The greatest of people in torture on the Day of Resurrection is the one whom Allah makes a partner in His supreme authority, and he makes oppression enter it through his governing."

Al-Mansur became displeased, and great anger appeared on his face. Malik was sure that his companion would be killed. He brought together his clothes lest they should be stained by 'Abd Allah's blood. Then al-Mansur turned to 'Abd Allah and commanded him:

-Give me the inkwell!

He did not give it to him, so al-Mansur shouted at him:

-Why do you not give me the inkwell?

-I fear that you may write an act of disobedience with it!

Al-Mansur found no answer. He ordered 'Abd Allah to be brought out. 'Abd Allah went away and left al-Mansur burst with anger and rage.[2]

p: 422

2. Sufyan al-Thawri

Sufyan al-Thawri[3] came in to al-Mansur. When he sat down, he turned to al-Mansur and bravely said to him:

-Fear Allah! You have occupied this position and reached this place through the swords of the Emigrants and the Ansar, while their children die of hanger! 'Umar b. al-Khattab performed the hajj and spent nothing except fifteen dinars; he used to stop under the trees!

Al-Mansur sneeringly said to him:

-You want me to be like you!

-Do not be like me, but be less than that in which you are and higher than that in which I am!

So al-Mansur shouted at him:

-Go out!

Al-Thawri opposed him and threw at him an arrow of his flowing knowledge, saying:

-Surely I know the position of one man! If he becomes righteous, all the community will be righteous!

-Who is it?

-You, Commander of the faithful!

He burnt his heart with his words.[4] Then he left him and went away.

3. Ibn Abi Dhi'b[5]

Some great Muslim jurists visited al-Mansur when he assumed the caliphate. His gathering was fearful. For he sat on furniture brocaded with pearls and precious stones. Many guards drawing their swords surrounded him. They were waiting for issuing his orders to execute any person whatever he was. When the jurists sat down, al-Mansur angrily looked at them and said:

-Now then, people of jurists! Something from you reached the Commander of the faithful, and it has displeased him, and he has no patience with it! You are the most appropriate of the people in showing obedience and advise secretly and openly to him whom Allah has appointed as caliph over you!

p: 423

The religious leader Malik b. Anas showed obedience to him and refuted those who informed him of them, saying:

-O Commander of the faithful, Allah, the Most high, has said: "O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you should harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done."

So al-Mansur's excitement and anger abated, and he turned to them and asked:

-What a kind of man am I in your viewpoints?

-Am I among the just Imams or among the unjust ones?

Malik begged him through Allah and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to exempt him from the answer, and he exempted him. However, Ibn Sam'an, a pseudo clergyman, explained to him that he was the shadow of Allah in His earth, symbol of justice, and the one who made peace among the people, saying: "You, by Allah, the best of men, O Commander of the faithful. You make the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah, struggle against the enemy, make the roads safe, the weak feel safe through you from the strong; the religion is established through you; therefore you are the best man and the most just Imam."

Ibn Sam'an flattered al-Mansur through these cheap words that are of those hirelings and slaves, and that issued from a soul disposed by nature for abasement and hypocrisy. Then al-Mansur turned to Ibn Abi Dhi'b and asked him: "I adjure you before Allah, what a kind of man am I in your sight?"

p: 424

And he stood before him like a roaring lion; he was not afraid of that terrible view; he did not fear the severity of the tyrannical authority; he was good-hearted and had strong faith. He said to him: "By Allah, I think that you are the worst man; you have possessed alone the wealth of Allah and of His Apostle, the portion of the near of kin, of orphans, and of the needy. You have ruined the weak, exhausted the strong, and confiscated their properties; therefore, what is your answer before Allah tomorrow?"

Ibn Abi Dhi'b hurt al-Mansur with his words, and he became angry and shouted at him: "Woe unto you! What are you saying? Do you understand? Look! What is in front of you?" He indicated with his hands to the swordsmen.

Ibn Abi Dhi'b paid no attention to him and said to him: "Yes. I have seen some swords. It is death; there is no escape from it. Soon death is better than late one."

He destroyed his entity through this frankness that issued from a good heart. Then he left him and went away.[6]

4. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Ziyad

'Abd al-Rahman b. Ziyad al-Afriqi went to visit al-Mansur. However he waited at the gate of his palace for a month. He was unable to came in to him. Then he was given permission to see him. When he sat down, al-Mansur asked him:

-What made you come?

-Tyranny has appeared in our country, so I have come to inform you (of it), but suddenly I have come to know that tyranny has begun to come out of your own house. I have seen evil deeds and prevailing oppression; I thought that was because of that the country was far away from you. However, whenever I come nearer to you, (I feel that) the affair is worse."

p: 425

Al-Mansur became displeased with his words, and ordered him to be brought out.[7] 'Abd al-Rahman visited al-Mansur another time, and he asked him:

-What is the difference between my authority and that of the Umayyads?

-In you authority I have seen all kinds of tyranny I saw in theirs!

-We have no helper.

-'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz said: "A supreme ruler (sultan) is like a market to which is brought that which is sold in it. If he is pious, they will bring him their piety; and if he is sinful, they will bring him their sins."

Al-Mansur kept silent and said nothing.[8]

5. A great Reformer

A great reformer criticized al-Mansur for his policy that opposed the truth and justice. History has not mentioned the name of this great reformer. Any way, this reformer told al-Mansur about his crimes and censured him for his acts. He said to al-Mansur during his circumambulating the Kaaba: "O Allah, surely I complain to you of the appearance of error and corruption on earth, and of greed that comes between the truth and its men."

These words stunned al-Mansur, the tyrannical and arrogant one. So after he had finished circumambulating the Kaaba, he ordered the man to be brought. When the man stood before al-Mansur, he asked him about his words. The man asked al-Mansur for security and not to punish him if he had showed the truth, and al-Mansur gave him security. He said to him:

-Surely the one who has greed to the extent that he has come between the truth and its people is you, O Commander of the faithful.

p: 426

-How have I greed while I have gold and silver, the sweet and the sour are under my grasp?

-Surely, Allah has appointed you as a ruler over the Muslims and their properties. But you have placed between you and them a veil of plaster and bricks, and chamberlains with weapons. You have ordered them not to let anyone come in to you except so-and-so; you have not ordered them to let those oppressed, sorrowful, weak, poor, hungry, and naked come in to you, while they all have rights against these properties. When those people you have chosen as your special group and preferred to your subjects have seen that properties are collected to you while you do not give them (to people), and you gather them and do not divide them among (the people), they said: "This (al-Mansur) has disobeyed Allah and His Apostle. Therefore, why do we not betray him while he has employed himself for us?" Accordingly, they have agreed on that they have not inform you of the stories of the people except that which they want. When a governor opposed them, they send him far and expelled him, that they may degrade his position and importance. When you and they have become famous for that, the people have magnified and respected you and them. Your governors are the first to flatter them through gifts, that they may gain power to oppress your subjects. Then this has been done by those powerful and rich from among your subjects, that they may wrong those inferior to them; therefore, the land has become full of greed out of oppression and corruption.

p: 427

These (people) have become your partners in your supreme authority while you are heedless (of them). When someone comes to complain (to you of them), he is prevented from coming in to you. When he wants to bring his story before you, he is prevented from doing that. You have appointed someone to solve complaints. The oppressed one frequently comes to him, and he dismisses him out of fear of your entourage. When he cries out before you, he is hit, that he may be an example to those other than him. You see (these deeds) but do not reflect (on them)! So Islam does not last on account of these (deeds). You, Commander of the faithful, collect properties for your children while Allah wills a woman to miscarry her baby, and it will have no wealth, and while there is a miserly hand that takes all properties. Allah will show kindness to that baby until it becomes a grown-up, and the desire of the people toward him becomes great. It is not you who give, but it is Allah Who give without measure. You collect properties to establish and strengthen your kingdom while Allah has shown you what He had done to the Umayyads in spite of the gold and the silver they had collected, and in spite of the men, the weapons, and the horses they had prepared. You collect properties to seek an objective more important than that in which you are whereas, by Allah, there is no position higher than that in which you are except that which cannot be obtained except through an act of disobedience (to Allah).[9]

p: 428

Through these statements, this great critic has shown all kinds of oppression and tyranny the Muslims met from al-Mansur and his treacherous hirelings who plundered the wealth of the community and veiled from al-Mansur the stories of the subjects and what they suffered such as pressure and tyranny. For if an oppressed one went to him, they prevented him from coming in to him. When he raised his voice through complaining and seeking help, they severely punished him, that he might be an example to those other than him. Meanwhile, al-Mansur veiled himself from the subjects; he did not take care of their interests and did not reflect on raising their standard of living. He devoted himself to hoarding up and storing properties and spending nothing of them on the Muslims.

6. 'Amru Bin 'Ubayd

'Amru b. 'Ubayd[10] met with al-Mansur and bravely said to him:

-Nothing has been done behind your door according to Allah's Book and the Sunna of His Prophet.

-What shall I do? I said to you: "My ring is in your hand, so you and your companions come and help me."

-Summon us through your justice, and we will generously help you; surely there are a thousand complaints behind your door. Solve some of them, and we will come to know that you are truthful.[11]

All these pieces of advice to al-Mansur went in vain. For he went too far in practicing tyranny and oppression. He was not cautious of the punishment of Allah, nor was he afraid of the Day of Resurrection.

p: 429

___________________________________________

[1] 'Abd Allah b. Tawus b. Kaysan al-Yemeni was a jurist and knowledgeable of Arabic sciences. He harbored malice against Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. He died at the time of al-Mansur. This has been mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 5, pp. 267-268.

[2] Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 188.

[3] He is the Shaykh of Islam and master of those whom memorized the Qur'an by heart. Abu Usama has said: "Do not believe him who tells you that he has seen the like of Sufyan." Ibn Dhi'b has said: "I have not seen anyone like al-Thawri in Iraq." He was born in the year 97. He sought knowledge while he was still young. His father was among the religious scholars in Kufa. He hid himself at the time of al-Mehdi because he said the truth. He died in Basrah in the month of Sha'ban, in the year 161 A. H. This has been mentioned in Tadhkirat al-Hafiz, vol. 1, pp. 190-192. He took his knowledge from Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, for he was among his students.

[4] Al-Musamarat, vol. 1, p. 98.

[5] Ibn Abi Dhi'b is Muhammed b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Qarashi al-'Amiri, al-Medani. He was a jurist. Ahmed b. Hanbel has said: "Ibn Abi Dhi'b was better than Malik, but Malik was greater than him in purifying the traditionists." Al-Waqidi has said: "He (Ibn Abi Dhi'b) was the most wonderful and best of all the people." Ibn Abi Dhi'b was born in the year 80 A. H. He said the truth and did not fear the authority. When al-Mehdi came into the Mosque of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, all the people rose for him except Ibn Abi Dhi'b. So it was said to him: "Rise! This is the Commander of the faithful!" He said: "Men should rise for the Lord of the world!" He died in the year 159. This has been mentioned in Tadhkirat al-Hafiz, vol. 1, pp. 179-181.

p: 430

[6] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 2, pp. 185-187.

[7] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10, p. 215.

[8] Tarikh al-Khulafa', p. 268.

[9] Mukhtasar Akhbar al-Khulafa', pp. 17-18.

[10] 'Amru Bin 'Ubayd al-Basri was the Shaykh of the Mu'tazilites and among their famous ascetics. His grandfather was taken as a prisoner of war in Persia. His father was a weaver, and then he became a policeman in Basrah during the time of al-Hajjajj. 'Amru was famous for his knowledge and his renouncing the world. Concerning him al-Mansur has said:

All of you seek hunting except 'Amru b. 'Ubayd.

'Amru has treaties and books of which are al-Tafseer, and al-Radd 'alaa al-Qadariya. He died near Mecca. Al-Mansur lamented for him. We have not heard that a caliph lamented for a person except him. This has been mentioned in the book al-A'lam, vol. 2, p. 736.

[11] 'Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, vol. 2, p. 337.

Imam Musa with al-Mansur

Imam Musa, peace be on him, witnessed all the misfortunes and disasters that befell his household and his family, so his soul had deep sadness and bitter sorrow; nevertheless he was patient, regarded Allah as sufficient to him, and restrained his anger.

The Imam did not take any part in any of the political affairs, nor did he join the 'Alawid revolutionaries, for he came to know that their movement would not succeed. For this reason al-Mansur refrained from harming him and from subjecting him to detested things. He asked him to represent him on the Day of al-Nouruz and to receive the gifts were given by the notables, the nobility, military commanders to the Caliph. That was legislated by Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan and was followed by the kings after him. Accordingly, the Imam, peace be on him, refrained from responding to al-Mansur, saying: "I have investigated the traditions narrated from my grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and found no tradition on this 'Id, which is a tradition (sunna) of the Persians and which Islam has erased. I seek refuge in Allah from that I give life to that which Islam has erased."

p: 431

However, al-Mansur paid no attention to that such a tradition was Islamically unlawful, and insisted on that the Imam had to represent him on that day to comply with his Persian fighters who used to celebrate it. The Imam had no escape from responding to him. So he sat in his place, and the notables and the leaders came in to him in order to congratulate him and to give him gifts. There was with him a person appointed by al-Mansur to write to him the gifts. Meantime a shabby, old man came in to the Imam carrying a gift most precious of jewels and most expensive of all the things given to him. The old man stood in front of the Imam and said to him: "O My master, I am a poor man and have no money to give to you. Any way, I will gift you with three poetry lines my grandfather said in praising your grandfather al-Husayn."

"Welcome to you and to your gift! Recite what he said." retorted the Imam.

The old man began saying:

I wondered at the sword that rose over (you), and its equal escaped on the Day of the Battle when dust rose over you.

(And I wondered at) the arrows that penetrated you in defense for the free ladies who called out your grandfather while their tears were copious.

Why did those arrows not become weak? And why did that esteem and admiration not prevent them from (penetrating) your body?[1]

p: 432

Accordingly the delights on that day turned into a funeral ceremony full of sorrow and sadness for the Master of martyrs (Imam al-Husayn), peace be on him.

The Imam, who was full of grief and sadness, turned to the old man said to him: "I have accepted your gift! Sit down! May Allah bless you!"

Then he raised his head and said to the servant: "Go to al-Mansur and tell him about these gifts and (ask him about what) he will do with them."

The retainer went to al-Mansur and told him about the Imam's speech, and he told him that all the gifts were a gift to the Imam. He returned to the Imam and told him about al-Mansur's answer. As a result the Imam, peace be on him, gave all those gifts to the old man as a sign of honoring his grandfather, who praised the Master of martyrs (Imam al-Husayn), peace be on him, through these nice poetry lines.

The narration has not mentioned in which country the Imam, peace be on him, represented al-Mansur. Did he represent him in Yethrib (Medina) or in Baghdad? It has neglected that; besides al-Mansur was famous for miserliness and stinginess. This brings about a doubt about the narration.

_______________________________________

[1] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 380. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p.264.

The Death of al-Mansur

Al-Mansur decided to go to Mecca. He thought that he would die during his travel. He roamed in a current of suspicions and thoughts, so he said: "Surely I was born in the month of Dhi al-Hijja, undertook the caliphate in Dhi al-Hijja, and I think that I will die in Dhi al-Hijja, this year."[1] Thus, he entrusted his affairs to his son al-Mehdi and appointed him as a king after him. He gave him the following teachings that show his terrorist policy: "Surely I have left three kinds of bad people: The poor who hope nothing except your riches; the fearful who hope nothing except your security; and the prisoners who hope none for release except from you. So when you become a ruler over them, make them taste welfare; do not lavishly extend aid to them. I have collected to you properties no caliph before me had collected. I have collected to you retainers no caliph before me had collected. And I have built to you a city the like of which is not available in Islam."[2]

p: 433

Certainly al-Mansur not only left three kinds of bad people, but also he left all the people in such conditions. He terrified them, deprived them of security and ease, spread poverty and famine among them, and filled the prisons with the free and the reformers.

Any way al-Mansur's procession left Baghdad and covered the desert. When he was far away from Kufa, he felt a severe pain. Thoughts came to his mind, and he said to al-Rabi': "Quickly take me to the Sacred House and Security of my Lord, for I want to escape from my sins!"

He reached the last station of his road, so al-Rabi' said to him: "We have reached the Well of Maymoon." And al-Mansur said to him: "Praise belongs to Allah! Can you take me to the Kaaba?" He was critically ill, so al-Rabi' was unable to continue walking. He stopped there and prevented the people from coming in to al-Mansur. The tyrannical, arrogant one (al-Mansur) perished on Saturday morning, Dhi al-Hijja 6, in the year 158. He made the people taste all kinds of oppression and fear.

This page full of tyranny, sins, and offences was folded. The Muslims did not come to know a ruler more tyrannical, more violent, and severer than al-Mansur.

Imam Musa, peace be on him, was then thirty years old. He spent his youth during the reign of this tyrannical one (al-Mansur). He was broken-hearted and sad. He felt pain out of sadness for the Muslims and out of patience for what the 'Alawids met such as severe punishments and painful torture. We will see him off here, that we may meet him at the time of al-Mehdi.

p: 434

_________________________________________

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 43.

[2] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 349.

Chapter X

At the Time of al-Mehdi

The Islamic world received the government of al-Mehdi with more joys and delights. That is because of what it had met during the time of al-Mansur such as severity, strictness, and tyranny in the governing they ended with his death. For al-Mehdi was more tractable than his father and was famous for generosity, open-handedness, refraining from severity and rudeness.

When al-Mehdi ascended the throne, he issued a royal decree to release all the political detainees and prisoners except those killers and mischief-makers. He also returned the movable and the immovable properties his father unjustly and aggressively confiscated to their owners. He returned to Imam Musa what his father had taken from Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him. The reason for that is that he undertook the kingdom that led a life of stability and tranquility. Besides he received the great wealth his father had collected while he was stingy toward himself and the community; so neither he nor it enjoyed the blessings of that great wealth. Unfortunately, al-Mehdi spent that great wealth on amusement, dissoluteness, gifts to the hirelings and the dissolute. The weak class did not make use of it, for he did not give anything of it, and for he had no concern except satisfying his pleasures and going too far in lavish expenditure, luxury, and dissoluteness.

Any way al-Mehdi cannot be compared to his father, for he was contrary to him in most his qualities and deeds, but he inherited from his father an intense enmity toward the 'Alawids and their followers, for he detested them very much. He inherited that from his father al-Mansur, thought that he would not last in undertaking the government and authority except through destroying the 'Alawids and their followers. In the following we will deal with some of his qualities and his deeds and what Imam Musa, peace be on him, met during his time.

p: 435

His Dissoluteness

The Islamic Caliphate is the shadow of Allah on earth; therefore, it was necessary for it to represent the objectives, reality, and guidance of Islam; and it was necessary for it to be kept from futility and temptations, and to be far above amusement and dissoluteness. Any way it has not reported that many of the Umayyad and the 'Abbasid rulers were far away from the abominable things and amusement were forbidden by Allah. For they turned the Islamic caliphate into theaters for dance, pleasure, and corruption. If they had taken off the garment of the caliphate, they would have preserve Islam and kept its ideals.

Amusement, dissoluteness, liquidity, and corruption spread among the people during the time of al-Mehdi. Bashshar's poems circulated; the people memorized his love poetry. The honorable and the enthusiastic were displeased with that. An example of that is that Yazid b. Mansur came in to al-Mehdi and asked him to stop Bashshar and to prevent him from writing love poetry, and al-Mehdi summoned him and prohibited him from that. In this respect Bashshar says:

I lived among plants of sweet-basil, wine, and flowers under the protection of a good gathering.

I filled the land among Faghfor,[1] al-Qayrawan, and the Yemen with poetry to which the people pray just as the errant pray to an idol.

Then al-Mehdi prevented me from that, so my soul turned away (from that) due to the good deed of the successful one who quickly understands.

Therefore, praise belongs to Allah with Whom there is no partner, nothing will stay forever.

p: 436

Yet Bashshar secretly went on composing love poetry and practicing dissoluteness. In this respect he says:

I have seen a good view of a slave girl's face, and I ransomed it.

She sent for me to offer for sale the garment of youth while I had folded it.

By Allah, the Lord of Muhammed, I did not betray, nor did I intend (to betray).

I refrained from it; perhaps accidentally tribulation came, and I did not seek it.

Surely the Caliph refused (it); when he refuses a thing, I also refuse it.

The gallant King prevented me from the women and I did not oppose him.

Rather, I was loyal and broke neither covenant nor promise.

It is I who is towering over the enemies; and when praise is expensive, I will buy it.

I incline to the amusement of the drinking companion though I feel no appetite for it.

The lover's house fills me with longing when I leave in the early morning.

The Caliph has prevented me from (going to her) though I have not hated her.

Bashshar has also said:

I have buried love, so I will not visit neither Sulama nor Saffra' as long as the turtle dove cooks.

I have left the communication with her for the sake of the Mehdi of mankind and conformed to the covenant between us, which is not betrayal.

Were it not for Muhammed (al-Mehdi), I would kiss her on the mouth or I would break my fast through her.

p: 437

By my life, a sin has burdened my own soul, so I do not want to commit sin by sin.[2]

Al-Mehdi straitened Bashshar in the beginning, and then he released him. Then a current of dissoluteness and prostitution carried Bashshar away. He is regarded as the first to establish the amusement during the 'Abbasid government. Al-Jahiz says: "In the first place, Bashshar veiled himself from the singers, and then he said: 'Pleasure is in witnessing joy through approaching him who delights me; there is neither good nor pleasure in keeping away (from him)."[3]

He (al-Mehdi) was informed of the voice of Ibrahim al-Mousili and his good songs, so he brought him near to him and promoted his position.[4] When he practiced dissoluteness and amusement, the people had suspicions about him and accused him of different accusations; to this meaning Bashshar b. Burd al-'Uqayli refers when he satirized him:

The Caliph fornicates his aunts, plays with the tambourine and the scepter.

May Allah replace him by other than him and put Musa into the heat of the canes. [5]

Al-Jahiz mentioned that al-Mehdi loved songstresses and hearing songs, that he was fond of a slave girl called Jawher whom he bought, and that he composed poetry on her.[6] He was fond of drinking wine, to the extent that his minister Ya'qub b. Dawud prohibited him from that, saying to him: "Do you do that after performing prayers in Mesjid?"

However, he paid no attention to his advice and took the advice of some dissolute poets who recommended him to continue drinking wine and not to pay attention to his minister's speech, saying:

p: 438

Put Ya'qub b. Dawud aside and drink sweet-smelling wine![7]

Al-Mehdi gave free rein to his desires, his pleasures, and his dissoluteness, to the extent that his son Ibrahim and his daughter 'Aliyya inherited that from him. Accordingly Ibrahim was the head of the singers, and 'Aliya was on top of the songstresses and the musicians in Baghdad.

_______________________________________________

[1] A Chinese king.

[2] Duha al-Islam, vol. 1, pp.112-114.

[3] Al-Tajj, p. 35.

[4] Abu al-Farajj al-Asfahani, al-Aghani, vol. 5, p. 5.

[5] Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 265.

[6] Akhlaq al-Muluk, p. 34.

[7] Al-Fekhri, p. 167.

His Lavish Expenditure and Extravagance

Al-Mehdi spent on his sensual desires all the great properties al-Mansur had plundered from the Muslims and left behind. He spent them on pleasures and dissoluteness and left the community suffer from poverty and misery. He spent lavishly to the extent that he made the people astonished with him. An example of his lavish expenditure and extravagance was that when he married his son to Mrs. Zubayda. He celebrated a great festival and spent fifty million dirhams of the properties of the Muslims. He held the festival in the Palace of al-Khuld on the bank of the Tigris. He invited the people from all the cities before some months. They hurried to him and indulged in the hope of attaining enormous properties. They stopped at al-Mehdi as guests. Al-Mehdi had ordered various kinds of furniture to be brought. Examples of that are gold and silver containers, Armenia excellent carpets and rugs the 'Abbasids took from the Umayyad government. Those carpets and rugs were of the possessions of al-Walid b. Yazid, who was fond of them, for he decorated the floor and the walls of his palace; they were the most excellent things given as presents to the caliphs. Concerning them, Marco Polo, the explorer, has said: "The eye has seen nothing more beautiful and better than them." Al-Mehdi also ordered clothes brocaded with gold, perfume of different kinds, boxes full of jewels, precious ornaments, maids, retainers, and boys to be brought.

p: 439

On the night of the wedding, Zubayda was clothed in a shirt brocaded with great pearls the like of which none had ever seen and whose value none could estimate, for it was very precious. He ordered her to be clothed in the budna of the wife of Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik; the budna is a shirt; most of it is made of gold; it consists of only two Awkeias (127 gram); and the rest of it is gold. Then he ordered her to be adorned with ornaments, to the extent that she was unable to walk due to the many jewels she wore. Mitz says: "Neither the Persian kings, nor the Roman Caesar, nor the western kings had practiced such a thing."

The Hashimite women came, and they were given a garment brocaded with gold, a bag full of dinars, and a vessel full of silver. The retainers filled the gold containers with dirhams and the silver containers with dinars and gave them to the notables; they added to that perfume of musk and ambergris.[1] In his book al-Diyarat, al-Shabishty has mentioned: "When al-Mehdi married his son to his niece Um Ja'far, he prepared for her furniture, boxes full of jewels, ornaments, crowns, wreaths, gold and silver domes, and perfumes. Then he ordered the budna of 'Abda, Hisham's wife to be given to her." He (al-Shabishty) added: "The like of the budna and of the beads that were in it had never been seen in Islam. There were two lines of ruby on the front and the back of it; and the rest of it was decorated with great pearls the like of which was not available."[2] It was said that the estimators were

p: 440

unable to estimate these pearls because they were very expensive.[3]

This is an example of the lavish expenditure and of making light of the Muslims' properties of which Islam took great care and required (the rulers) to spend them on public interests, and made it forbidden for them to choose any of them.

Yet another example of al-Mehdi's lavish expenditure is that he bought a very precious gem of ruby for three hundred thousand dinars. The money was in bags. When they were put one on the another, they became like a mountain. When al-Mehdi received it, he gave it to his son al-Hadi.[4]

Through these examples we can understand his lavish expenditure and extravagance. Who could at that time criticize the Caliph and say to him that those properties belonged to the community and he had no share of it, nor had he the right to dispose of them?

________________________________________

[1] Bayna al-Khulafa' wa al-Khula'a, pp. 25-26.

[2] Al-Diyarat, p. 100.

[3] Tuhfat al-'Arus, p. 36.

[4] Al-Jawahir, p. 61.

The Influence of Woman

According to her nature, woman follows the sentiments that achieve her desires, so how is it correct for them to dispose of the affairs of society? Al-Saffah and al-Mansur felt that, and they did not allow woman to enter the political affairs. Any way, when al-Mehdi undertook the office of the caliphate, the woman had an influence in it. An example of that is that his wife al-Khayzaran had an authority and a strong influence on the palace, the drinking companions, the chamberlains, the doctors, and the like; she brought near whomever she pleased and sent far whomever she pleased. For example, she harassed Bakhtshiyu' b. Jorjis, a famous doctor, and she forced al-Mehdi to return him to Jind Nisabur.[1] Since that day the influence of the women increased and became strong, to the extent that it reached zenith in the middle and end of the 'Abbasid state; this affair led to disorders and instability among the people.

p: 441

___________________________________________

[1] Al-Quttfi, Akhbar al-Hukama', p. 101.

Bribe and Oppression

Al-Mehdi occupied himself with amusement and pleasures, so he neglected the affairs of his subjects. Accordingly, his wicked governors plundered properties and striped the people of their wealth. Bribe greatly spread among all the officials, especially as it concerns Egypt. For its governor was Musa, who went too far in collecting land taxes. He doubled it on the crop of each feddan. Besides he imposed land taxes on the owners of shops in markets and of cattle. He took bribe in respect with laws. To this meaning the poet refers in his saying:

If al-Mehdi came to know of what Musa and Ayyub did in Egypt when they inhabited it, he would not accuse Ya'qub of advice.[1]

Al-Mehdi himself intentionally wronged the people and unjustly behaved toward their rights. He ordered taxes and wages to be imposed on the markets in Baghdad.[2] He exerted intense pressure on the citizens. The people on whom land taxes were imposed met strictness and torture to the extent that there is no way to describe it.[3] If someone raised his voice to complain of (taxes) or to seek help (from the ruler), he would be sent to graves or to prisons.

________________________________________

[1] Al-Wilat wa al-Qudat, p. 125

[2] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 134.

[3] Al-Jahshyari, p. 103.

His Taking care of the Fabricators

Al-Mehdi brought near a bad group of religious scholars whose minds were not educated by the teachings of the religion, so they supported the oppressive and gave them good nicknames and noble attributes, that they might seek nearness to them and crave for their world. They neglected the Islamic ideals, so they followed greed and avarice, and strove for material. They abased themselves before the kings and the sultans, so they encompassed them with a halo of sanctification and magnification. They told the community that the kings and the sultans represented the will of Allah and that they were far above errors. It is these fabricators who destroy Islam and distort its principal features. Al-Mehdi brought near a group of such slaves, and they wrote false things in elegant style and fabricated lies on praising and lauding al-Mehdi. Examples of them are Abu Ma'shar al-Sindi, who was the most lying person under the sky;[1] and Ghayyath b. Ibrahim, who came to know that al-Mehdi was fond of doves and loved them. So he related to him on the authority of Abu Hurayra that he said: "There is no precedence except through a hoof or a spearhead or a wing!"

p: 442

So al-Mehdi ordered ten thousand dirhams to be given to him for his fabricating the tradition. When Ghayyath went away from al-Mehdi, he said to those sitting with him: "I bear witness that he fabricated (a tradition) against Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Allah's Apostle did not say that, but he (Ghayyath) intended to seek nearness to me."[2]

Although al-Mehdi came to know that Ghayyath fabricated (a tradition) against Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, he gave him an amount of money as a gift. In this manner he encouraged the movement of fabricating traditions and spared no effort to develop it, while it was the most dangerous disaster with which Islam was afflicted, for it degraded its importance and entered many fables into it. We will mention that in a much more explanation when we talk about the problems at the time of the Imam.

___________________________________

[1] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 6, p. 346.

[2] Ibid., vol. 2, p. 193.

His Showing Enmity toward the 'Alawids

Al-Mehdi inherited from his father an intense enmity toward the 'Alawids and their followers, so he was full of malice and hatred toward them. The reason for that is that the 'Abbasids had no right in undertaking the government, for the revolt against the Umayyad government was declared for the sake of the 'Alawids, the defenders of the truth and justice in Islam.

The revolt had the nature and reality of Shi'ism, for the revolutionaries adopted it as a slogan for them, and they struggled for it. For this reason the 'Abbasids joined the summons. The proof of that is that al-Mehdi came in to Abu 'Awn, who was the dearest of his companions to him and the most preferable of them to him, to visit him. Al-Mehdi asked him to mention his needs, that he might grant them. Abu 'Awn said to him:

p: 443

-My need is that I want you to be pleased with my son 'Abd Allah, for your anger toward him has lasted for a long time.

-O Abu 'Abd Allah, your son has not followed our way, and he is contrary to your and our opinions. He criticizes the two Shaykhs (i.e. Abu Bakr and 'Umar) and says bad words against them.

-By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, he is still following the affair for which we went out in revolt (against the Umayyads) and summoned (the people) to it. If you have changed your mind, then command us to follow what you like, that we may obey you.[1]

This statement indicates that the revolt against the Umayyad government was Shi'ite in the full sense of the word. Yet there is another example indicating that: Al-Qasim b. Mujashi' sent his will to al-Mehdi, that he might bear witness for it, in it he mentioned: "Allah bears witness that there is no god but He, and (so do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge, maintaining his creation with justice; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise. Surely the religion with Allah is Islam. I bear witness for that; and I testify that Muhammed is His Servant and His Apostle, and that 'Ali b. Abi Talib, was the testamentary trustee of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family and inheritor of the Imamate after him."

When al-Mehdi read the last statement of the will, he threw it away and did not read the rest of it.[2] A special group of the 'Abbasids believed in that and firmly believed that the revolt was declared for Shi'ism. However, the 'Abbasids who usurped the government deviated from that for their own ambitions and for their ascending the throne.

p: 444

Any way, al-Mehdi harbored intense malice against the 'Alawids. As for the aspects of that enmity, they are as follows:

________________________________________

[1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, the Events of the Year 169.

[2] Ibid., vol. 6, p. 397.

His Spending a lot of Money on Disparaging the 'Alawids

Al-Mehdi spent enormous amount of money on disparaging Ahl al-Bayt and on degrading their importance. Some hireling poets came to know that the way to get rich was through disparaging Ahl al-Bayt and going too far in dispraising them, so they fabricated lies in order to satirize them. Among such slave poets was Bashshar b. Burd, who was famous for unbelief and atheism. He came in to al-Mehdi and recited to him his poem in which he said:

O Son of him who inherited the Prophet Muhammed excluding the womb relatives.

The Revelation has stopped the dispute between the children of the daughters and you, so it is too late to dispute.

Women have no religious duty along with men; concerning that Surat al-An'am has been revealed.

How is, and that is not, that the children of the daughters inherit the uncles?[1]

So al-Mehdi gave him seventy thousand dirhams for that to encourage him and those dishonest other than him to disparage Ahl al-Bayt. When Imam Musa, peace be on him, heard of Bashshar's poem, he was very displeased and spent that night upset and in pain. He heard someone reciting to him poetry lines contrary to that of Bashshar, saying:

How is it, and it is not, that the polytheists are the pillars of Islam?

p: 445

The children of the daughters have their share of their grandfather, whereas the uncle is left without share.

There is no relationship between the released one and the inheritance; the released one prostrated out of fear of the sword.

Ibn Shullah remained stopping and puzzled by it, and the womb relatives prevent him (from that).

Surely Fatima's son, whose name is mentioned, attained the inheritance excluding the cousins.[2]

When al-Mehdi spread disparaging Ahl al-Bayt, some poets began seeking nearness to him through satirizing them. Among them was Merwan b. Abi Hafs, who recited before him this poem in which he said:

Do you want to cover the stars and the moon of the sky with your hands?

Or do you refute a statement from your Lord Gabriel conveyed to the Prophet, and he said it?

The last verse in (Surat) al-Anfal bears witness for their inheritance, while you want to abolish it.

When al-Mehdi heard that, he crept from his place of praying and sat on the rug. He did not control himself, so he said to him:

-How many poetry lines does it (the poem) have?

-A hundred lines.

He ordered a hundred thousand dirhams to be given to him, and he said to him: "This is the first time I give it to a poet during the caliphate of the 'Abbasids."[3]

Al-Mehdi granted these important properties in order to degrade the importance of Ahl al-Bayt. It is worth mentioning that he and the rest of his family did not assume the office of the Islamic caliphate except through the name, struggle, and sacrifices of the 'Alawids.

p: 446

______________________________________

[1] There is nothing refers to this meaning in Surat al-An'am. Besides it does not contain any of the precepts of inheritance.

[2] Al-Tabrasi, Ihtijajj, vol. 214. It was said that the poetry lines belonged to Muhammed b. Yehya al-Taghlubi. This has been mentioned in the book al-Shi'r fi Baghdad, p. 110.

[3] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 3, p. 144.

His distressing his Minster Ya'qub

Ya'qub b. Dawud had a great influence with al-Mehdi, to the extent that he was loyal to him in love and taking part in all his affairs. He announced that in his official divan. Concerning that Muslim al-Khasir says:

Say to the Imam whose caliphate has come to gift him with a right not refused.

The best friend from whom you get help with piety is your brother in Allah, Ya'qub b. Dawud.

Ya'qub overcame al-Mehdi on his affair, so all his affairs were in his hand, and he managed them as he wished. Some of his friends harbored malice against him and envied him for that great influence, and they asked al-Mehdi to send him far from his office, but he did not accept that from them and refrained from responding to them. Those who envied him practiced various ways to send him far from his office. Al-Mehdi passed by a wall and saw a poetry line written on the wall:

What a generous man you are, O Mehdi! Were it not for that you had adopted Ya'qub b. Dawud!

But he paid no attention to this line and ordered to be written under it this statement: "In spite of the writer! Woe to his grandfather!"

p: 447

When his enemies despaired of him, they begged the Umayyads and asked them to revolt (against the 'Abbasids). In this respect Bashshar says:

Rise, O Umayyads! Your sleep has become long! Surely the Caliph is Ya'qub b. Dawud.

Your caliphate is lost; therefore look for the vicegerent of Allah between the flute and the lute.[1]

When al-Mehdi closed all the ways before his opponents, they followed another way through which they could remove his blessing and inflict a disaster on him. They said to al-Mehdi that Ya'qub inclined to the 'Alawids, that he was among their helpers and the summoners to them, that he was one of them when they revolted against his father, that he was the secretary of Ibrahim b. 'Abd Allah, that he and Muhammed went in revolt against al-Mansur in Yethrib. When al-Mehdi heard of these points, he fully changed his mind, and roamed in a current of suspicions and worries. So he decided to try Ya'qub and to know his real attitude. He ordered the floor of his palace to be covered with furniture brocaded with flowers. He also wore clothes brocaded with flowers. He ordered a pretty slave girl to stand by him. Then he summoned Ya'qub to his palace. When Ya'qub came in, al-Mehdi showed delight and happiness, and gave him all that valuable furniture along with that beautiful slave girl. Then he asked him to kill an 'Alawid person. Ya'qub responded to that. He took a strong oath to carry that out. Ya'qub along with the 'Alawid person and the slave girl went away. When he sat in his house, he talked with that 'Alawid, and he came to know that he was a perfect, ripe writer. The 'Alawid begged al-Mehdi through various ways to pardon him and to release him. He responded to him and gave him an amount of money to seek help through it against his time and his ordeal. The slave girl whom al-Mehdi gave to Ya'qub as a gift was a spy on him. So she went to al-Mehdi and told him fully about the talk. Accordingly, al-Mehdi sent policemen and spies to arrest the 'Alawid, and they arrested him. When they brought him to al-Mehdi, he ordered him to be hidden. Then he ordered Ya'qub to be brought. When he stood before him, he asked him about the 'Alawid, and he told him that he had executed him. Al-Mehdi asked him:

p: 448

-Is he dead?

-Yes.

Then al-Mehdi commanded him to put his hand on his head and to swear by Allah, and he did that. He said to a retainer of his: "Bring him who is in the house!"

When Ya'qub saw the 'Alawid, he became bewildered and was not able to say any word. As a result al-Mehdi said to him: "Now, it is lawful for me to shed your blood! If I prefer to shed it, I will shed it!" Then he ordered him to be imprisoned forever in an underground prison (al-Mattbaq), and all his properties to be confiscated.

Ya'qub remained in prison until the caliphate of al-Rashid. Then Khalid b. Yehya al-Barmaki interceded with al-Rashid for Ya'qub, and he pardoned him. He came out of prison, while he was emaciated, blind, and subservient.[2] This attitude is a proof of that al-Mehdi harbored malice against the 'Alawids and their Shi'ites (followers).

_____________________________________

[1] Abu al-Fida', vol. 2, p. 10.

[2] Al-Wizara' wa al-Kittab, pp.119-121.

With Imam Musa

In the beginning of his government, al-Mehdi did not harass Imam Musa. He did not subject him to detested things, nor did he treat him badly. In stead of severe punishment, he thought that it was sufficient for him to put him under an intense supervision. When the fame of the Imam spread among the circles, al-Mehdi did not control his anger, and he intentionally ordered him to be arrested. However, he quickly released him, for he saw a proof from his Lord, just as we will mention. We will deal with some attitudes that happened to the Imam along with explaining his arrest.

p: 449

His giving a Proof of that Wine is forbidden

Al-Mehdi made a pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah. When he had finished the rites of the hajj, he went to visit the grave of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He spent enormous amounts of money on the people of Medina. The Imam met with him. When he sat down, al-Mehdi asked him the following question:

-Is wine forbidden in the Book of Allah? The people know wine but they do not know that it is forbidden.

-Yes. It is forbidden in the Book of Allah.

-In which place is it forbidden?

-In the words of Allah, the Great and Almighty: Say: My Lord has only prohibited indecencies, those of them that apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice. Then he, peace be on him, explained to him the meanings of the verse, saying:

As for His words: those of them that apparent, meaning open fornication and the flags the prostitutes hoisted in the pre-Islamic period. As for His words: as well as those that are concealed, meaning the women whom fathers married. This concerns the people before the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. If a man had a wife and died, his son married her if she was not his mother, so Allah prohibited that. As for the sin, meaning wine itself, for Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, says in another place: They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men. So the sin in the Book of Allah is wine and games of chance, and in both of them there is a great sin.

p: 450

Al-Mehdi admired the Imam and turned to 'Ali b. Yaqtin and said to him:

-By Allah, this is a Hashimi religious verdict.

-By Allah, you are truthful, O Commander of the faithful, praise belongs to Allah, Who has not made this knowledge come out of you, O household!

Ibn Yaqtin hurt al-Mehdi with these words, and he said to him: "You are truthful, O Rafidite!"[1]

____________________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 4, p. 48.

The Borders of Fadak

When al-Mehdi decided to return the confiscated properties to their owner, Imam Musa, peace be on him, came in to him. He saw him busy with that, so he turned to him and asked him:

-Why is our confiscated property not returned to us?

-What is it, O Abu al-Hasan?

-Fadak.

-Determine its boundaries to me.

-Its boundaries are: Jabal Uhd, Arish Masr, Sayf al-Bahr, and Domat al-Jandal.

-Are all these the boundaries of Fadak?

-Yes.

Al-Mehdi's face turned yellow and angry appeared on his facial expressions. Thus, he said: "This is too much! I will try it!"[1]

_______________________________________

[1] 'Umdat al-Akhbar fi Medinat al-Mukhtar, p. 316.

His Widening al-Mesjid al-Haram

Al-Mehdi ordered the Holy Mosque in Mecca (al-Mesjid al-Haram) to be enlarged along with the Mesjid of the Prophet. That was in the year 161 A. H.[1] The owner of the houses neighboring to the two Mesjids refrained from selling them to the government. Accordingly, al-Mehdi asked the jurists of his time whether it was possible for him to force them to do that. In his gathering was 'Ali b. Yaqtin, who advised him to ask Imam Musa, peace be on him, about that. He regarded his opinion as correct and wrote a letter to his governor over Yethrib (Medina) to ask the Imam about that. When the letter reached him, he went to the Imam and questioned him, and he wrote an answer as follows: "If the Kaaba has occupied (the houses of) the people, then the people are worthier (than it) of its building; and if the people have occupied the courtyard of the Kaaba, then the Kaaba is more entitled (than them to regain) its courtyard."

p: 451

When al-Mehdi received the answer, he ordered the houses to be demolished and added to the courtyard of the two Mesjids. The owner of the houses restored to Imam Musa and asked him to write them a letter to al-Mehdi concerning that, that he might give them money in exchange for their house. He responded to them and wrote al-Mehdi a letter concerning that. When al-Mehdi received the letter, he gave them gifts and pleased them.[2] This is not a kind of the appropriation which is nowadays called Public Interest Appropriation just as it has been understood by some contemporaries. Rather, this is a religious decision that follows its special proofs that say that the Jami' (mosque) has a courtyard, and that it is not forbidden to demolish the house of him who occupies it. Al-Muhaddith, al-Hafiz Abu al-Khattab ascribed the story to Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, with al-Mansur.[3] That is impossible, for history has mentioned that al-Mansur did not achieve any constructional movement.

______________________________________

[1] Al-Ya'qubi, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 393.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 4, p. 248.

[3] Al-Nibras, p. 24.

Imam Musa is arrested

When the Imam's fame and name spread all over the cities, al-Mehdi became angry with and harbored malice against him. Al-Mehdi had fear for his throne and thought that his kingdom would not be stable except through arresting the Imam. So he wrote a letter to his governor over Medina and ordered him to send the Imam to him immediately. When the governor received the letter, he went to the Imam and told him about that. Soon the Imam, peace be on him, prepared himself for travel. When he, peace be on him, arrived in Zubala, Abu Khalid received him with depression and sadness. The Imam looked at him with pity and mercy, saying to him:

p: 452

-Why do you look depressed?

-Of course, I am depressed because you are going to this tyrannical one (al-Mehdi); I have fear for you.

The Imam, peace be on him, quietened his fear and told him that he would face no harm during that travel of him. He appointed a time to pass by him. Then the Imam left him and headed for Baghdad. When he arrived in it, al-Mehdi ordered him to be arrested and thrown into prison. Al-Mehdi slept that night and dreamt of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, who was displeased and sad. He heard him addressing him: "O Muhammed, but if you held command, you were sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship!"

So al-Mehdi rose with fear and terror. Then he sent for his chamberlain al-Rabi'.

When al-Rabi' stood before him, he heard him repeating the sacred verse. Al-Mehdi ordered Imam Musa to be brought. When the Imam walked toward him, he rose, embraced him, and made him sit beside him. Then he said to him with sympathy and gentleness:

-O Abu al-Hasan, I dreamt of the Commander of the faithful, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, (and heard him) reciting to me so-and-so. Will you promise that you will not go out in revolt against me and my children?

-By Allah, I have not done that, nor is it among my affairs!

-You are truthful. O Rabi', give him three hundred dinars and return him to his home in Medina.[1]

p: 453

Al-Rabi' escorted the Imam, made his affairs firm, and released him at night. In the morning the Imam was on the road to (Medina). He covered the desert and reached Zubala on the day when he had appointed to Abu Khalid. Abu Khalid was impatiently waiting for the Imam. When he saw him, he hurried to him and kissed his hands with happiness. The Imam understood his too much delight, so he said to him: "Surely, I will return to them; and I will not get rid of them!"[2]

With that he, peace be on him, meant that Harun al-Rashid would arrest and throw him into his prisons until he breathed his last. Al-Mehdi brought the Imam to Baghdad one time. The Imam spent twenty years of his lifetime during the time of al-Mehdi. During that period of time, he spread knowledge and supplied the youths with different kinds of sciences and arts. This period was the most important of his lifetime when he established the edifices of knowledge, virtue, and morals.

__________________________________

[1] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 13, pp. 30-31. Wafayat al-A'yan, vol. 4, p. 493.

[2] Nur al-Abbsar, p. 136. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 252.

The Death of al-Mehdi

The historians have differed over the reason for the death of al-Mehdi. It was said that he went hunting and chased a gazelle. The gazelle entered an old house, and he followed it. The door of that old house was narrow. He hit his backbone against that door, and it was badly injured. So he died on the same day. It was also said that one of his slave girls was jealous of the slave girl whom he loved and to whom he was loyal, so she put a poison into a food, and al-Mehdi ate it while he did not come to know of the poison. Any way, when he died, his household were impatient to his death, and sadness prevailed them. After his death some of his slave girls worn sackcloth as a sign of sadness and mourning for him. To them Abu al-'Atahiya has referred in his saying:

p: 454

They went wearing embroideries and came back wearing sack cloth.

There is a butting day for every a butter of the time.

You will not remain (alive) even if you live as Noah did.

Therefore, wail over your own self if there is no escape from that you should wail.[1]

With this we will end our speech on the time of al-Mehdi and on what Imam Musa met during it.

__________________________________

[1] Al-Fekhri, p. 157.

Chapter XI

At the Time of al-Hadi

At the Time of al-Hadi

Musa al-Hadi received the Islamic caliphate during its tender youth, the bloom of its wet branch, its perfect strength and its abundant wealth. A pledge of allegiance was given to him while he was in the bloom of youth. For he was, just as the narrators say, twenty-five years old.[1] He was reckless and vainglorious. He went too far in committing sins and practicing dissoluteness. Allah relieved the people from him in the beginning of hi