Ahl al-Bayt:The Celestial Beings on the Earth


Author(s): Allama Husayn Ansariyan

Translator(s): Ali Akbar Aghili Ashtiani

Publisher(s): Ansariyan Publications - Qum

Category: The 12 Imams

Topic Tags: Ahlul Bayt Miscellaneous information: ISBN: 978-964-438-873-6

Featured Category: Introducing the Ahlul Bayt

Person Tags: 12 Imams (a.s.)

Added entry: Aghili Ashtiani,Ali Akbar

Subject: Family of the Prophet in the Qur'an

Congress Classification: BP104 /خ2 الف8204952 1387

Dewey Classification: 297/159

National bibliography numbers: 1519878


سرشناسه : انصاريان، حسين، 1323 -


عنوان قراردادي : اهل بيت عليهم السلام عرشيان فرش نشين .انگليسي

عنوان و نام پديدآور : Ahl al- bayt: the celestial beings on the earth/ Hussein Ansariyan; translated by Ali Akbar Aghili Ashtiani.

مشخصات نشر : Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2008= 1387.

مشخصات ظاهري : 295 ص.

شابك : 978-964-438-873-6

يادداشت : انگليسي.

يادداشت : چاپ دوم.

موضوع : خاندان نبوت در قرآن

موضوع : خاندان نبوت -- احاديث

موضوع : چهارده معصوم

موضوع : چهارده معصوم -- احاديث

شناسه افزوده : عقيلي آشتياني، علي اكبر، 1325 -، مترجم

شناسه افزوده : Aghili Ashtiani,Ali Akbar

رده بندي كنگره : BP104 /خ2 الف8204952 1387

رده بندي ديويي : 297/159

شماره كتابشناسي ملي : 1519878


A wonderful book that gives one a better understanding of the purified household of the Holy Prophet (S).

Translator’s Note

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

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and his pure progeny.

I would like to thank the honorable manager of Ansariyan Publication, Mr. Tajj Muhammad Taqi Ansariyan, who commissioned me to translate this book into English - a book that gave me a better understanding of the purified household of the Holy Prophet.

I have intentionally chosen a simple style and diction for the translation of this book so that it can be communicated easily to the dear readers.

The translation of this book is dedicated to two honorable ladies who were gracious to me in my life: the late Hajiah Massoomeh Hazrati Ashtiani, may her soul rest in peace and Parvin Dokhat Nooraee Ashtiani, as well as my dear son, Arya and my dear daughter, Aida, who have been intimately connected to the Holy Quran.

I beg to Allah Almighty to help me to be a true follower of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s).

I would also like to thank my dear friend, Mr. Badr Shahin for editing this book. I owe him a lot.


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Akbar Aghili Ashtiani

Character of Ahl Al-Bayt

The Necessity Of Getting To Know The Ahl Al-Bayt


The necessity to get to know the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and follow them has been recommended by the Holy Prophet (S) according to the verse 23 of Chapter al-Shura:

(Love for my relatives) brings about happiness in this world and the hereafter, while to neglect them causes perdition (42:23)

Addressing Mu’alla ibn Khunays, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

يا مُعَلَّي ! لوْ أنَّ عَبْداً عَبَدَ اللّهَ مِائةً عامٍ بَيْنَ الرُّكْن و المَقامِ، يصُومُ النَّهارَ وَيَقوُمُ اللَّىلَ حَتَّي يَسْقُطُ حَاجباهُ عَلي عَيْنَيْهِ، وتَلْتَقِقي تَرَاقيهِ هَرَماً، جَاهِلاَ بحَقنَا لَهُ ثوَابٌّ.

O Mu’alla, if a servant of Allah worships Him between the Rukn (corner) and Maqam (standing-place) of Kabah for a hundred years, keeping fast on all days and performing prayers on all nights so much so that his life comes to an end, but is negligent about our rights, there will be no reward for him.(1)1

Getting to know the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) on the basis of the Quranic verses and authentic narrations will remove all veils of ignorance from our eyes.

When we come to understand that titles such as – ‘People for the Reminder’, ‘The Truthful’, ‘The Benefactors’, ‘The Pious’, ‘The Strivers’, ‘The Believers’, ‘The Patient’, ‘People of Understanding’, ‘The Straight Path (sirat)’, ‘The Way (sabil) to Allah’, ‘The Revenge of Allah’, ‘The Face of Allah’, ‘The Eye of Allah’, ‘The Side of Allah’, ‘The Ear of Allah’, ‘The Spokesmen of Allah’, ‘The Friends of Allah’ - all refer to the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), we will learn how to benefit from them

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1- Thawab al-Amal wa-Iqab al-Amal, 445

with guidance and using them as the Noah's Ark. It is they –

who are firmly rooted in knowledge…(4:162)

We can also quench the thirst of intellect, heart and spirit with the pure drink of their knowledge.

Should we wish to win Allah's favor, we must follow Ahl al-Bayt wholeheartedly, on the basis of the following holy verse:

قُلُ إ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اَللَّهُ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اَللَّهُ

Say, if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you. (3:31)

Getting to know the Ahl al-Bayt leads to getting to know Allah, and the Holy Quran as well as it develops intuition. This will serve as a factor for self-purification and morality too. This will certainly save us from hellfire. Love for Ahl al-Bayt will make it possible for us to cross the sirat (the bridge over the Hell leading to Paradise).

The Holy Prophet has been quoted by Sheikh Qunduzi (a Hanafite scholar) to say:

مَعْرِفَةَ آل مُحَمًّدٍ بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَحُبُّ آل مُحَمَّدٍّ جَوَازٌ عَلى اصَرَاطِ، وَالوِلأيةٌ لآل مُحَمَّدٍ أمَانٌ مِنَ العَذَابِ.

Getting to know the family of Muhammad (S) is means for being saved from the fire. Love for the family of Muhammad (S) will ease crossing the sirat as well as, give immunity from chastisement.(1)

When we come to know about Ahl al-Bayt in the Holy Quran and the traditions, we open the gate to prosperity in this world and the hereafter and shut the gate of perdition.

Sheikh Sulayman Qunduzi and Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Juwayni, two outstanding fair-minded Sunni scholars have quoted that the Holy

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1- Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 78/1 H. 16

Prophet (S) has said about Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Imams following him,

يَا عَلِىُّ! أنا مَدِىنةٌّ العلمِ و اَنٌتَ باَبٌهَا، وَلنْ تٌؤْتَي المَديِنَةَ إلأ مِن قِبَلِ اَلبَابِ، وَكَذِبَ مِنْ زَعَمَ أنَّهُ يُحِبُّنِي وَىُبْغِضُكَ، لأِنَّكَ مِنَّيِ وَأنَا مِنْككَ. لَحْمُكَ لَحْمِي، و دَمُكَ مِنْ دَمِي، وَرُوحِكَ مِنْ رُوحِي، وسَرِيرَتُكَ مِنْ سَرِيرَتِي، وعَلانِيَتُكَ مِنْ عَلانِيَتِي، و رَبِحَ مَنْ تَولأكَ وَ خَسِرَ مَنْ عَادَاكَ، وَفَازَ مَنْ لَزِمَكَ وَهَلَكَ مَنْ فَارَقَكَ. مَثَلُكَ وَمَثَلُ الأئِمَّةِ مِنْ وُلدِكَ بَعْدِي مَثَلُ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ ؛ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا غَرِقَ. وَمَثَلُكُمْ كَمَثَلِ النئُّجُمِ، كُلَّمَا غَابَ نَجْمٌ طَلَعَ نَجَمٌ أِليي ىَومِ القِيَامَةِ.

O Ali, I am the city of knowledge and you are the gate thereof. The city cannot be entered except through its gate. The one who is thinking he loves me but has enmity towards you is false in loving me, for you are of me and I am of you. Your flesh is my flesh, your blood is my blood, your spirit is my spirit, your inward is my inward, and your outward is my outward. (You are the leader of my ummah (community), you are the caliph after me.) Whoever loves you, will gain; whoever is your enemy, will suffer losses; whoever accompanies you, will find salvation; whoever is separated from you, will go to ruin. The parable of you and the Imams following you is the parable of Noah’s Ark. Whoever enters it, will find salvation and whoever disobeys will drown. The parable of Ahl al-Bayt is the parable of stars. Whenever a star

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disappears, another star will appear until the Judgment Day.(1)

Allah recommends His servants to resort to His covenant, which necessitates getting to know Hablullah:

وَاَعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اَللَّهِ جَمِيعاً وَلَا تَفَرَّقُواْ

And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited. (3:13)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said about the meaning of this covenant with Allah:

آلُ مُحَمَّدٍ، صَلْوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ، هُمْ حَبْلُ اللَّهِ الْمَتِينُ الَّذِي أمَرَ بِللإعْتِصَامِ بِهِ.

The Household of Muhammad is the covenant of Allah as recommended by Allah.(2)

Ahl al-Bayt, who are the oceans of knowledge and endowed with virtues, had been chosen by Allah to give the good news of Paradise to the believers and warn the unbelievers of the chastisement in Hell.

Getting to know Allah and the Judgment Day, understanding spiritual concepts and true meaning of the Holy Quran, having an understanding of the traditions set by the Holy Prophet, attaining virtues, happiness in this world and the hereafter, being immune from vices, having the power to resist satanic temptations, and experiencing piety can be made possible only through knowing the Ahl al-Bayt and following their teachings.

The Ahl al-Bayt - as inferred from the Holy Quran and authentic narrations - are the source of all material and spiritual blessings. Without knowing and following them, a man is deprived of all the blessings.

Quoting the Holy Prophet, the Hanafite Sheikh Sulayman Qunduzi and Ibrahim ibn Juwayni say:

Holy Prophet said, “O Ali, write what I am dictating to you.” Ali said: “O Allah’s Messenger, are you afraid that I will forget it?”

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1- Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 95/1
2- Tafsir al-Ayyashi, 194/1 Hadith 123

The Holy Prophet said: “I have asked Allah to make you the one who has memorized all the facts, yet write it down for the sake of your partners.” Ali said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Who are my partners?” The Holy Prophet said: “The Imams in your progeny for whose sake, rain will fall from heaven and prayers will be answered and Allah will fend off tribulation from ummah. Mercy will also be sent down from heaven due to their presence. This is their first one (referring to Imam Hasan). This is their second one (referring to Imam Husayn).” Then, the Holy Prophet said: “And the Imams who will follow Imam Husayn.”(1)

The Meaning Of Ahl Al-Bayt

A group of scholars nurtured by the oppressive rulers misused their socio- scientific positions to justify the legitimacy of those tyrants in order to gain something in the world.

Hence, they distorted religious facts with special enmity and bias in order to please the domineering rulers. In this regard, they have presented interpretations that have no validity from the viewpoint of the Holy Quran and narrations from the Holy Prophet. One of these distortions relate to the word Ahl al-Bayt mentioned in the Holy Quran.

Ahl al-Bayt in the Holy Quran

In verse 33 of the Quranic Chapter, the Allies (al-Ahzab), we read:

لِىُزْهِبَ عَنكُمْ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ ويُطَهِرَكُم تَطهِيراً إِنَّمَا ىُرِيدُ اللَّهُ

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), and to purify you with a thorough purifying. (33:33)

The pronoun - kum, meaning ‘you’ in Arabic, does not obviously refer

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1- Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 73/1, Chapter 3, Hadith 8.

to the wives of the Holy Prophet as misinterpreted by those biased scholars who intended to create a deviation in the Muslims’ opinion.

Although they knew that the Holy Prophet’s wives including Aishah and a group of their own scholars considered Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from the offspring of Imam Husayn (a.s.) as the members of Ahl al-Bayt, their enmity with the Shiites motivated them to distort the truth to please the Abbasid and Umayyad rulers.

The Meaning Of Ahl Al-Bayt In Narrations


Numerous narrators have reported that the Holy Prophet has mentioned Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and the Infallible Imams from Imam Husayn's issue as Ahl al-Bayt. Those narrators are: Ummu-Salamah, Aishah, Abu-Said Khidri, Abu-Barazah Aslami, Abul-Tamra Hilal ibn Harith, Abu-Layla Ansari, Anas ibn Malik, al-Bara ibn Azib, Thawban ibn Bajdad, Jabir Ansari, Zayd ibn Arqam, Zaynab daughter of Abu-Salamah Makhzumi, Sad ibn Abi-Waqqas, Subayh, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Umar ibn Abi-Salamah, Umar ibn Khattab and Wathilah ibn Asqa.

The most reliable books of Sunni scholars have recorded the true meaning of Ahl al-Bayt as reported by those narrators. Shiite scholars too, by relying on the Holy Quran and the said narrations, as well as their own authentic books, attach their hearts to the Ahl al-Bayt. They consider them as the true leaders and successors of the Holy Prophet. Hence obeying the Ahl al-Bayt is deemed obligatory and a means for salvation in this world and the hereafter.

We suffice to relate a few narrations here to

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please the heart of Ahl al- Bayt’s lovers:

Narration One

Reporting Tamimi, al-Awwam ibn Hawshab said, “One day when I went to see Aishah, she had seen Allah’s Messenger calling for Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn saying:

أَللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلأءِ أهْلُ بَيْتِي، فأدْهِبْ عَنْهُمْ الرِّجْسَ وَطَهَّرْهُمْ تَطْهِيراً.

O Allah, these are the people of my House (Ahl al-Bayt). So keep away uncleanness from them and purify them with a thorough purifying.(1)

Narration Two

Jumay ibn Umayr says:

One day, my mother and I went to see Aishah. My mother asked her to tell us about the Holy Prophet’s interest in Ali (a.s.). Aishah said: Among the men, Ali is the most loved by Allah’s Messenger. I have seen myself that he placed Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn under his cloak saying: O Allah, these are my Ahl al-Bayt. Keep away any uncleanness from them and purify them with a thorough purifying. I too went forward to put my head under the cloak but Allah’s Messenger kept me away! I asked: Am I not your Ahl al Bayt? He answered: you are good, you are good. (2)

Narration Three

Reporting Umar ibn Khattab, Isa ibn Abdullah ibn Malik says: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying:

أيُّهَا النَّاسُ! إنِّي فَرْطٌ لَكُمْ وَإنَّكُمْ وَارِدُونَ عَلَىَّ الحوضَ؛ حَوْضاً أعْرَضَ مِمَّا بَيْنَ صَنْعَاءَ وَبُصْرَي، فِيهِ قِدْحَانٌ عَدَدَ النُّجُومِ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ، وَإنِّي سَائِلُكُم حِينَ تَرِدُونَ عَلىَّ عَنِ الثَقَلًيْنِ، فَانْظُرُو كَيفَ تُخَلَّفُونِّى فِيهِمَا: اسَّبَبِ الأكْبَرِ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، طَرْفُهُ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ وطَرْفُهُ بِأيْدِكُمْ، فَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِهِ وَلاتُبَدِّلُوا، وعَِتْرَتِي أهْلِبَيْتِي، فَأنَّهُ قَدْ نَبَّأنِيَ اللَّطِيفُ الخَبِيرُ أنَّهُمَا لَّن يَقْتَرِقَا حَتَّي يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الحَوْضَ... أهْلُ بَيتِي مِنْ

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq, 382
2- Shawahid al-Tanzil, 61/2, H. 682

وَلِدِ عَلِيٍّ و فَاطِمَة و الحَسَنِ و الحُسَيْنِ و تِسْعَةٍ مِنْ صُلُبِ الحُسَيْنِ، أئِمَّةٍ أبْرَارٍ. عِتْرَتِي مِنْ لَحْمِي وَدَمِي.

O people, I am leading you and you will come to me at the pond; a pond - the expanse of which is from Sanaa to Busra and is as much as the expanse of the stars. Therein is the golden chalice. When you come to me, I will ask you about the two valuable things (thaqalain ). So be careful how you deal with them after me. The first is Allah’s Book, a rope that stretches from the heavens to the earth. So hold fast on to it. And the other is my Family (Ahl al-Bayt). Allah has informed me that the two will never separate until they come to me at the Pond…My family members are Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn and the nine persons who will issue from Husayn and who are the beneficent Imams. My Ahl al-Bayt are my flesh and blood.(1)

Narration Four

Musa ibn Abd-Rabbih says: I heard from Husayn ibn Ali in the Prophet’s Mosque at the time of his father Ali (a.s.), saying: I have heard the saying of Allah’s Messenger:

ألأ إنَّ أهْلَ بَيتِي أمَانٌ لَكُمْ فَأحِبٌّوهُمْ لِحُبِّي و تَمَسَّكُوا بِهِمْ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا. عَلِيٌّ وسِبْطَايَ وَتِسْعَةٌ مِنْ وُلْدِ الحُسَيْن؛ أئِمَّةٌ أمَنَاءُ مَعْصُومُونَ. ألأ إنَّهُمْ أهْلُ بَيْتِي و عِتْرتِي، مِنْ لَحْمِي و دَمِّي .

Behold! My Ahl al-Bayt are security and mercy for you. Therefore, love them for my sake and resort to them so that you will never

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1- Tafsir al-Burhan, 9/1

go astray… These are Ali, my two grandsons and nine borne of Husayn who are trustworthy and infallible Imams. Behold! They are the Ahl al-Bayt and my honour - from my flesh and my blood(1)

Now it has become clear that the Shiites, by relying on the Holy Quran and traditions, resort to Ahl al-Bayt, accept their Imamate, follow them and declare with evident proof based on the books written by both Shiite and Sunni scholars, that the Ahl al-Bayt are none other but Ali ibn Abi-Talib, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and nine infallible Imams (a.s.) from the issue of Imam Husayn.

The Necessity Of Getting To Know Ahl Al-Bayt In The Narrations

It is unanimously agreed in the science of logic that when ‘presenter’ is being discussed, the presenter who introduces a fact must be superior to the ‘presented’ so as to be able to present the fact as it really is. So after proving the Imamate of Ahl al-Bayt and the fact that they are the inheritors of the Prophet’s knowledge and have been inspired by Allah, we could say that who is better presenters in this universe than the Ahl al-Bayt themselves in order to make their self known? We have no option but to know the Ahl al-Bayt for getting to know their character and knowledge, for no one has an all-encompassing knowledge about them.

Getting to know Ahl al-Bayt will lead to salvation, nearness to Allah and a true understanding of Islam. In this relation, Imam Ali (a.s) has said:

أسْعَدُ انَّاسِ مَنْ عَرَفِ فَضْلَنَا، وَتَقَرَّبَإ إلَي الَّلهِ

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1- Kifayat al-Athar, 170, Bihar al-Anwar

بَنَا، وَأخْلَصَ حُبَّنَا، وَعَمِلَ بِمَا إلَىْهِ نَدَبْنَا، وَانْتَهَى عَمَّا عَنْهُ نَهَينَا، فَذَاكَ مِنَّا وَهُوَا فِى دَارِ الْمُقَامَةِ مَعَنَا.

The happiest people are those who recognized our superiority and excellence, sought nearness to Allah through us, loved us sincerely, acted according to what we called for, and stopped doing what we have prohibited. Such people are from us and they will be with us in the eternal Paradise.(1)

Zara’ah says: I said to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.): After getting to know Allah, which deed is most excellent? The Imam said:

مَا مِنْ شَىْءٍ بَعْدَ الْمَعْرِفَةِ يَعْدِلُ هَذِهِ الصَّلأةَ، وَلأ بَعْدَ الْمعْرِفَةِ وَاصَّلأةِ شَىْءٌ ىَعْدِلُ الَّزَّكَاةَ، وَلأ بَعْدَ ذَالِكَ شَىْءٌ يَعْدِلُ اصَّومَ، وَلأ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ شَىْءٌ يَعْدِلُ الحَجَّ، وفَاتِحَةٌ ذَالِكَ كُلِّهِ مَعْرِفَتُنَا، وَخَاتِمَتُهُ مَعْرِفَتُنَا.

After getting to know Allah, nothing is equal to daily prayers. After prayer nothing is equal to paying the poor-rate; and after these nothing is equal to observing fasting, and after these nothing is equal to (going on) Hajj (ritual pilgrimage). Yet, the beginning and end of all is to get to know us.(2)

We should learn about the quality of prayer, poor-rate, fast and Hajj from the Ahl al-Bayt in whose house the Quranic verses were revealed and who are the inheritors of the Prophet’s knowledge. This learning is not possible except by getting to know their culture, teachings and injunctions.

The Holy Prophet has been reported as saying:

مَنْ مَنَّ الَّلهُ عَلَيْهِ بَمَعْرِفَةِ أهْلِ بَىتِي وَ وِلأىَتِهِمْ فَقَدْ جَمَعَ الَّلهُ لَهُ الْخَيْرَ كٌلَّهُ

He, who has been favored by Allah to get to know

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1- Ghurar al-Hikam: 115, H. 1195
2- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1478

my Ahl al-Bayt and their Imamate, has certainly had all the goods gathered for him by Allah.(1)

Reporting Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) in the interpretation of the following verse:

وَمَن يُؤْتَ ألْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْراً كَثِىرا.ً

He grants wisdom to whomsoever He pleases, and whosoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good… (2:269)

Abu-Basir says:

طَاعَةٌ الَّلهِ وَ مَعْرَفَةٌ الإمَامِ

It )great good) is to obey Allah and to get to know the Imams.(2)

Ahl Al-Bayt, The Best Creatures


Amongst all the creations in the universe, be that be only physical or spiritual, the creation which is a combination of physicality and spirituality, are the best ones.

The reason for superiority of each of these three groups over one another is determined by Allah, His spiritual favor, the capacity of creature, perfect faith, the praiseworthy deed or other reasons which are unknown to us, may underlie this selection. To give further explanation of the issue, we will give examples from the best of these three groups.

The Best Places

In the Holy Quran and narrations, certain places and pieces of lands have been mentioned as having a special value for Allah on account of His Mercy and favor bestowed upon it or because of performance of certain religious rituals therein. Desecration of such places is unlawful for all.

Kabah And Its Vicinity

The piece of land on which the Kabah stands, was chosen by Allah. This choice has given it both dignity and superiority, making it distinct among all other places. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has been reported as saying:

أنَّ الَّلهِ اِخْتَارَ مَنْ كُلَّ شيءٍ شَيْئاً وَ اَخْتا رَ

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1- Bisharat-al-Mustafa: 176
2- Al-Kafi, 158/1

مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَيْئاً وَاخْتَارَ مِنَ الأرْضٍ مَوضِعَ الْكَعْبَةِ.

Allah has chosen one thing from among all things and has chosen the Kabah from among all the places on the earth.(1)

Kabah was the first House to be built on earth, in a blessed and bounteous city for the guidance of the people of the world. Clear signs of spirituality and the station of Prophet Abraham were placed there. Whoever enters that place shall be secure:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ {96} فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ

وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ {97}

Most surely, the first house appointed for men is the one at Bekka, blessed and guidance for the nations. In it are clear signs, the standing-place of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it shall be secure. (3:96-97)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

مَنْ اتَى الكَعْبَة فَعَرَفَ مِنْ حَقَهَا و حُرمَتِهَا لَمْ يَخْرُجُ مِن مَكَّة إلأ وَقَدْ غَفَرَ الَّلهُ لَهُ ذُنُوبَهُ وَ كَفَاهُ الَّلهُ مَا يُهِمُّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ دُنْياهُ وَآخِرَتِهِ.

Whoever comes to the Kabah and recognizes part of its holiness, his sins will be forgiven by Allah Who is sufficient for his affairs this world and the Hereafter.(2)

The Best Days And Nights

The Holy Quran attracts people’s attention to such nights as the Grand Night and the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah as well as such days as the Days of Allah in order to make themselves worthy of the grand rewards by taking advantage of these unique

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1- Wasa’il al-Shia, H. 17649
2- Wasa’il al-Shia, H. 17652


The Grand Night

In the words of the valuable al-Safi Exegesis (tafsir), Ibn Abbas narrates that the Holy Prophet was told about a man from the Children of Israel who had carried arms over his shoulder for a thousand months, for Jihad (holy war) in the way of Allah. The Holy Prophet was shocked at hearing this and wished that his community (Ummah) would have undertaken such a rewarding task. So, he raised his hands in prayer, saying, “O Allah, You have set my ummah the shortest time in terms of life and the minimum opportunity for deeds.”

Allah then granted him the Grand Night saying, “The Grand Night in each month of Ramadhan until the Judgment Day, while being short in terms of time and with little opportunity for deeds, is better for you and your ummah after you, than a thousand months during which the believing man of the Children of Israel carried arms for Jihad in the way of Allah.”

The First ten Nights of Dhu’ l-Hijjah

The first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah, as the Holy Quran describes, are among the well-known months (2:197). They are the best times during which the Major Hajj is performed on the Mount Arafah on the ninth day, the obligatory passing of the night in Mashar on the night of tenth and the Feast of Sacrifice on the tenth day.

When the month of Dhul-Hijjah would arrive, the righteous among the ummah would make an extraordinary effort to worship and serve Allah. These days and night are excellent in terms of virtues and

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blessings. The Holy Prophet has been reported as saying:

Good deeds and prayers to Allah are not better in any time than in these days and nights.(1)

Days of Allah

The Days of Allah (ayyamullah) are the days of victory or failure, the sweet and bitter days, the days of manifestation of Allah’s mercy to the believing nations or Allah’s wrath on the unbelievers.

It is praiseworthy to pay attention to ayyamullah for learning lessons from the past events. Allah has mentioned ayyamullah in the Holy Quran to awaken nations:

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُو سَي بِأَيَتِنَآ أَنْ أَخْرَجْ قَوْمَكَ مِنَ اٌلظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَي اٌنُّورِ وَذَكِّرْهُم بِأَيَّمِ اٌلَّلهِ.

And certainly We sent Musa with Our communications, saying: Bring forth your people from utter darkness into light and remind them of the days of Allah. (14:5)

Besides this, the ayyamullah are the best time for repentance, engaging in prayer and doing praiseworthy deeds.

The Best Human Beings

What makes a human being superior to others is his faith, knowledge and piety. Believing people are better in value than others and the scholars who practice their faith are superior to believers and the people of piety are of the highest value. In this relation, the Holy Quran has delicate and precise references:

}11 يَرْفَعِ اٌالَّلهِ الَّزِينَ ءَ امَنُ اْمِنْكُم وَاٌللَّزِينَ أُوتُواْ اٌلْعِلْمَ دَرَجَتتٍج وَاٌلَّلهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ {

Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees; and Allah is Aware of what you do. (58:11)

A believer’s value is such that both the Holy Quran and narrations consider kindness towards a believer as

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1- Mafatih al-Jinan, 413

kindness to Allah and His messenger, assistance to a believer as assistance to Allah and His messenger, to please a believer as to please Allah and His messenger and to vex a believer as to vex Allah and His Messenger. Reporting the Holy Prophet, Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said:

مِنْ سَرَّ مُؤْمِناً فَقَدْ سَرَّنِي، وَمَنْ سَرَّنِي فَقَدْ سَرَّ الَّله.

Whoever makes a believer happy has indeed made me happy and whoever makes me happy has certainly made Allah happy.(1)

مَا عُبِدَ الَّلهُ بِشَيْءٍ أحَبَّ إليى الَّلهِ مِن اِدْخَالِ اسُّرُرِ عَلى الْمُؤْمِنِ.

Allah has not been worshipped with anything better than making a believer happy.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

لَقَضَاءُ حَاجَةِ إمْرِئٍ مُؤْمِنٍ أحَبُّ الَى الَّلهِ مِنْ عِشْرِينَ حِجَةٍ كُلُّ حِجَّةٍ يُنْفِقُ فِيها صَاحِبُها مِائةٌ ألْفٍ.

To meet the needs of a believer is better in Allah's view than Hajj performed by a pilgrim who spends a hundred thousand Dinars on each Hajj.(3)

أنْ اُشْبِعَ رَجُلاً مِنْ إخْوانِي أحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْ أنْ أدْخُلَ سُوقَكُمْ هَذَا فَأبْتَاعُ مِنْهَا رَاساً فَاُعْتِقُهُ.

If a man feeds one of my brothers-in-faith, it is better for me than entering the market, buying off a slave and setting him free in the way of Allah.(4)

People of knowledge

The Holy Prophet (S), about the superiority of scholars, has said:

فَضْلُ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى سَائِرِ النَّاسِ كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أدْنَاهُمُ.

The superiority of men of knowledge to others is like my superiority to the humblest of them.(5)

فَضْلُ العالِمُ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَة الْبَدْرِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الْكَوَاكِبِ.

The superiority of a scholar to a worshipper (with no knowledge) is

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1- Al-Kafi, 188/2
2- Al-Kafi, 189/2
3- Al-Kafi, 193/2
4- Al-Kafi, 203/2
5- Tafsir al-Safi, 675/2

like the superiority of the full moon to other stars.(1)

ثَللأثَةٌ يَشْفَعُونَ إلَى الَّلهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيُشَفَّعُونَ: الأنْبِياءُ ثُمَّ العلَمَاءُ ثُمَّ الشُهَدَاءُ.

On the Day of Judgment, three groups will intercede with Allah and their intercession is accepted: the Prophets, the scholars (ulama) and the martyrs.(2)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

عَالِمٌ يُنْتَفَعُ بِعِلمِهِ أفْضَلُ مِنْ سَبْعيِنَ ألْفَ عَابِدٍ.

A scholar (alim) who benefits from his knowledge is better than seventy thousand worshippers (with no knowledge).(3)

People of Piety

About the people of piety, the Holy Quran says:

إِنًّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اٌلَّلهِ أَتْقَكُمْ.

Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious. (49:13)

The Holy Prophet says: On the Day of Judgment, Allah will address people in this way:

أمَرْتُكُمْ فَضَيَّعْتُمْ مَا عَهِدْتُ إلَيْكُمْ فِيهِ، وَرَفَعْتُمْ أنْسَابَكُم! فَلْيَوْمَ أرْفَعُ نَسَبِي وَ أضَعُ أنْسَابَكُمْ، أيْنَ

الْمُتَّقُونَ؟ إنَّ أكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ الَّلهِ أتْقَاكُم.

I ordered you (to obey and keep away from Satan) but you ignored the covenant and you exalted your ancestry (which is of no use for this world and the Hereafter); Today, I promote the ancestry that links my servants to me and abase your ties (with your ancestry). Where are the people of piety? Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious.(4)

Ahl al-Bayt, the Best Creatures

Since human value lies in the balance of justice, faith, knowledge and piety, based on the Quranic verses and narrations – the faith, knowledge and piety of Ahl al-Bayt is more than that of other creatures having intellect such as the angels, Jinn and human beings. Their faith is

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1- Awali al-La'ali: 357/1
2- Tafsir al-Safi: 676/2
3- Al-Kafi, H 8
4- Majma al-Bayan

at its zenith and their knowledge of past and future about esoteric and exoteric facts is perfect and their piety is at the highest level. They are superior to all other creatures. Hence, their Imamate (leadership) is incumbent upon all. Without obeying them, people will be like blind, dead and animals although they may be appear to be living and may claim to see, have knowledge and be a human being.

Common sense requires that a learned person must be followed by the unlearned, a scholar by the ignorant, a specialist by the non-specialist, a guided person by someone who is lost and a prayer leader by a worshipper. So, beyond doubt, if a man does not follow Ahl al-Bayt, he will not walk on their straight path, and will not benefit from their life-giving culture which is the exegesis of the Quranic verses. If he does not obey their instructions, he will gain nothing. However, if he resorts to the Holy Quran and Ahl al- Bayt, he will never go astray nor will his life be wasted.

Both Shiite and Sunni scholars have reported the following narration, reported by the Holy Prophet:

إنِّي تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ مَا إنْ تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعدي:أحَدُهُمَا أعْظَمُ مِنَ الأَخَرِ، كِتاَبَ الًّلهِ، حَبلٌ مَمْدُودٌ مِنَ السًّماءِ إلَى الأرْضِ، وَعِتْرَتِي أهْلَ بَيْتِي،وَلَنْ يَفْتَرِقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَليَّ الْحَوْضَ،فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ تُخَلَّفُونِّي فِيهِما.

Verily, I am leaving among you two valuable things. You will not go astray after me as long as you adhere to them. One is greater than the other.

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They are the Book of Allah, which is a rope stretched from the heavens to the earth, and my Household. They will never separate from one another until they come to me at the Pond. Be careful how you deal with them after me.(1)

The Truth Of Ahl Al- Bayt

In view of Quranic verses and narrations previously mentioned and based on the Quranic verse, Mubahalah (mutual curse), which reads:

فَمَنْ حآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِنم بَعْدِ ما جآءَكَ مِنَ اٌلْعِلْمِ فَقُل تَعَالَوْاْ نَدْعُ أَبْنَآءَنَا وَأَبْنَآءَكُمْ وَنِسآءَنَا وَنِسآءَكُم وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُم ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتَ اَلَّلهِ عَلَى اَلْكَذِبِيِنَ

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 self and your self, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars (3:61)

In this holy verse, Imam Ali (a.s.) has been interpreted to be the ‘self’. It has been proven that the light of Imam Ali (a.s.) is the root of all eleven infallible Imams. His light is same as that of the light of Holy Prophet with only a physical difference.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) in an important narration has said:

إنَّ الَّلهَ كَانَا إذْ لأكَانَا، فَخَلْقَ اَلْكانَ وَالْمَكَانَ، َوخَلَقَ نُورَ الأنْوَارِ الَّذي نَوَّرَتْ مِنْهُ الأنْوارُ،وَأجْري فِيهِ نُورَهُ الَّذِي نَوَّرَتْ مِنْهُ الأنْوارُ‘ وَهُوَ النُّورُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنْهُ مٌحمَّدا وعَلِيَّاً.

Allah existed when ‘existence’ was not there. So He created the existence and space and created the light from which other lights

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1- Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 663/5, Bihar al-Anwar 118/23, H. 36

were illuminated and that is the light from which Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.) appeared.(1)

In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

O Ali, you and me were created from the same light. Then, that light was placed in the loins of Adam until it divided into two parts in the loins of Abd al-Muttalib, one part was placed in the loin of Abdullah and the other part in the loins of Abu-Talib.(2)

For this reason, there is no light or soul nearer to the Holy Prophet than the light and soul of Imam Ali (a.s). It is due to the same intimacy that on the Night of Ascension (Nocturnal Ascent), Allah spoke to the Holy Prophet in the voice of Imam Ali. There was also a covenant of brotherhood between Muhammad and Ali so unity and brotherhood was manifest outwardly. It is for the same reason that the Holy Prophet has said:

إنَّكَ تَسْمَعُ مَا أسْمَعُ وَأسْمَعُ وَ تَرَى مَا أرى.

You hear whatever I hear and you see whatever I see.(3)

Based on authentic narrations, Ali is the inner part of Muhammad and Muhammad is the Divine emanation. It is Allah’s will that Imamate is the inner part of Muhammad’s Prophethood so that the inner part will be with Muhammad wherever he is present. Therefore, the Holy Prophet’s mission would not be perfect without the Imamate of Imam Ali. The Holy Quran says:

وَإِن لَّمْ تَفُعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسالَتَهُ

If you do not do this, then you have not delivered His message. (5:67)

The rank of Imam

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1- Al-Kafi, 441/1, H. 9
2- Bihar al-Anwar, 11/5, H. 12
3- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 234

Ali’s Imamate is such that he can dominate the entire universe by witnessing what is visible and invisible with Allah’s permission. Therefore, we cannot attain the love for Muhammad and Allah without having love for Ali, for Ali is the gateway to Allah and the light of Muhammad and Ali itself is the beginning and end of this universe:

بِكُمْ فَتَحَ الًّلهُ وَبِكُمْ يَخْتِمُ، وَإيَابُ الْخَلْقِ إلَيْكُمْ.

Allah began with you and with you He will conclude and the return of creation is towards you.(1)

It is worth mentioning that narrations in all the most reliable Islamic reference books consider the features of the Twelve Infallible Imams as the same in all areas, for their creation is from the same light of the Holy Prophet.

We should say that with the exception of Prophethood, all the features of the Holy Prophet have been manifested perfectly in the infallible Imams and all of them, as they themselves have said, are Allah's Attributes:

نَحْنُ، وَالَّلهِ، أسْماؤُهُ الْحُسنَى.

By Allah, we are the Most Excellent Names (al-asma al-husna).(2)

It is for the same reason that the people of the world are indebted to Ahl al-Bayt who have a right over them and observe that the right is incumbent on them. In this relation, one of the infallible Imams has been reported to say:

ادُّنْيا وَمَا فِيها لِلَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَلِرَسُولِهِ؛ فَمَنْ غَلَبَ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مِنْها فَلْيَتَّقِ الَّلهَ وَلْيُؤَدِّ حَقَ الَّلهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَي وَلْيَبُرَّ إخْوانَهُ، فَإنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلُ ذَالِكَ فَالَّلهُ وَرَسُلُهُ ونَحْنُ بُراءُ مِنهُ.

The world and whatever is therein belongs to

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1- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha
2- Al-Kafi, 145/1, H. 4

Allah, the Blessed and Almighty, His Messenger and us. Therefore, whoever obtains something from it should be most careful of his duty and be benevolent to his brothers. If he fails to do so, Allah, His messenger and we despise him.(1)

At any rate, the root of Ahl al-Bayt is the Holy Prophet (S) who gave his light to Ali (a.s.) and Fatimah (a.s.) and with the matrimony of these two wonderful seas of spirituality, there appeared eleven Imams to guide the world’s nations.

Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari who was favored by the Ahl al-Bayt until the end of his life has said: When Allah revealed the following verse:

يأَآيُّهَا اٌلَّذِين ءَامَنُواْ أَطِىعُواْاٌللهَ وأَطِىعُوالرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى اٌلأْمْرِ مِنكُم

O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you …

I said to the Holy Prophet, “O Allah's Messenger, we know Allah and the Messenger, but who are those in authority the obedience to whom is equal to the obedience to you?" The Holy Prophet said,

هُمْ خُلْفَائِي، يَا جَابِرُ، وَأئِمَّةٌ الْمُسْلِمِيِنَ مِنْ بَعْدِي. أوَّلُهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ، ثُمَّ الْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ، ثُمَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنُ، ثُمَّ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيِ الْمَعْرُوفُ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ بِالبَاقِرِ، وَسَتُدْرِكُهُ يَا جَابِرُ، فَإذَا لَقِيَتَهُ فَأقْرِئْهُ مِنَّي السًّلأمُ، ثُمَّ الصَّادِقُ جَعْفَرُ بْنٌ مُحَمَّدٍ، ثُمَّ مُوسَى بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، ثُمَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُوسَى، ثُمَّ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، ثُمَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، ثُمَّ الحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، ثُمَّ سَمِيِّي وَ كَنِيِّي، حُجَّةٌ الَّلهِ فِي أرْضِهِ وَبَقِيَّتُهُ فِي عِبَادِهِ، اِبْنُ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ، ذَالِكَ الَّذِي يَفْتَحُ الَّلهُ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ عَلى يَدَيْهِ

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1- Al-Kafi, 401/1, H. 2

مَشَارِقَ الأرْضِ وَ مَغَارِبَهَا، ذَالِكَ الَّذِي يَغِيبُ عَنْ شِيعَتِهِ وَأوْلِيَاءِهِ غِيْبَةً لأيَثْبُتُ فِيهَا عَلَى الْقَوُلِ بِإمَامَتِهِ إلأ مَنِ امْتَحَنَ قَلْبَهُ لِلإيمَانِ.

Jabir, they are my successors and leaders of Muslims after me. The first of them is Ali ibn Abi-Talib, then Hasan and Husayn, then Ali ibn Husayn, then Muhammad ibn Ali, known as Baqir in the Torah. You will see him. When you see him, greet him on my behalf. Then comes Jafar al-Sadiq and after him Musa ibn Jafar and after him Muhammad ibn Ali and finally one who has my name and will be Allah’s argumentation (hujjatallah) on the earth, the son of Hasan, the same Imam whom Allah has appointed to conquer the east and the west, the same Imam will be hidden from the eyes of the Shiites and his friends. At that time, no one will be firm in his belief in his Imamate unless those whom Allah has purified their hearts for faith.

Another noteworthy point about the truth of Ahl al-Bayt in narrations related by the holy Imams is their resemblance to a good tree. Answering a question asked by Amr ibn Hurayth about the good tree mentioned in the Holy Quran, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

رَسُولُ الَّلهِ أصْلَهَا، وَ أمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَرْعُهَا، وَالأئِمَّةٌ مِنْ ذُرَّيَّتِهِمَا أغْصَانُهَا، وَعِلْمُ الأئِمَّةِ ثَمَرَتُهَا، وَشِيعَتُهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَ وَ رَقْهَا. وَالَّلهِ، إنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لَيُولَدُ فَتُورِقُ وَرَقَةٌ فِيهَا، وَ إنَّ المُؤْمِنَ لَيَمُوتُ فَتْسُقُطُ وَرَقَةٌ مِنْهَا.

Allah’s Messenger is the root of the tree, Amir al-Muminin is its trunk, the Imams from his issue

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are its branches; the recognition of the Imams is its fruit and the believing Shiites are their leaves. By Allah (I swear), when a believer is born, the tree gives a new leaf; and when a believer dies, a leaf falls off.(1)

The Light Of The Ahl Al-Bayt

The Truth of the Holy Prophet

Since the Holy Prophet is inwardly and outwardly the root of Ahl al-Bayt and their spiritual dignity, we must get to know the Holy Prophet thoroughly in order to know Ahl al-Bayt.

Based on narrations, four truths are referred to as the first creatures:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ النُّورُ

The first thing Allah created was light.(2)

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ القَلمُ.

The first thing Allah created was pen.(3)

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ العَقَلُ.

The first thing Allah cre ated was intellect.(4)

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ نُورِي.

The first thing Allah created was my light.(5)

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ رُوحِي.

The first thing Allah created was my soul.(6)

The Holy Prophet himself is, owing to the signs of wonder that flow from his sacred interior and the truths that emanate from his heavenly heart, the perfect meaning of light, pen, and intellect in these statements. It is for this very reason that the Holy Prophet has in the last two narrations introduced his light and soul as the first creations. Although these four names are different in appearance, they are identical in referring to the Holy Prophet himself.

We will discuss this important point by invoking the Holy Quran and narrations based on reason, without any bias:


Defining light, the philosophers say that light is a truth which is manifest by itself and

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1- Al-Kafi, 428/1, Tafsir al-Safi, H. 886/1
2- Ilal al-Shara’i: 593, H. 44
3- Sharh Usul al-Kafi, chapter 4, H. 1
4- Awali al-La'ali: 99/4, H. 141
5- Awali al-La'ali: 99/4, H. 140
6- Bihar al-Anwar: 309/4

makes other things manifest. Intellect in the aforesaid narration means a truth. It is a medium between man and all information and truths in the creation. The Holy Quran describes the Holy Prophet as a light-giving torch:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا {45} وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُنِيرًا {46}

O Prophet! Surely, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of good news and a bearer of warning. And, as the one who invites towards Allah, by His permission, and is a light-giving torch. (33:45-46)

The Holy Prophet was light - that is the same as truth, which is luminous in all aspects. He gave light to all others. He knew the entire truth inwardly and outwardly. He was eagerly willing to make others aware of the truth of their existence and their relation with the outward and inward of universe.

This is the meaning of light as mentioned by theosophists:

Light is a quality, being manifest by itself to reveal other things.(1)

Based on many authentic narrations, Allah created the light of Muhammad (S) before all creatures and then created the other truths of light, intellect, spirit, and material from the rays of his light. He, then, removed the veil of darkness from the face of all creatures thanks to the blessing of this light. Actually, Allah made him a medium of realization between Himself and all other creation. Based on the Holy Quran (33:46), the Holy Prophet has described himself as the sun:

أنَا اشَّمْسُ.

I am the sun.(2)

What a wonderful comparison!

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1- Majma al-Bahrayn: 504/3
2- Maani al-Akhbar: 114

The sun is the origin and source of solar system. All the planets of solar system depend on the sun. There was a time when Mars, the Earth, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto were parts of the sun. When Allah willed to create the solar system in its present-day form, a big explosion occurred in the sun and a series of actions and reactions followed. As a result the parts that had been separated were placed at a distance on a special orbit. Presently, they all move attracted to the sun and are illuminated by the sun.

Likewise, the light of the Holy Prophet was created before all other creatures and due to Allah's will, all truths emanate from that source of light manifesting themselves on the earth thanks to the light of Muhammad (S). Just as the planets of the solar system are the same as the sun but of a different shape and, on the words of philosophers, in a state of reduced individuation, so also are the heavenly creatures reduced individuation of the light of the Holy Prophet. In this relation, the Holy Prophet has been reported as saying:

أنَا اشَّمْسُ، وَعَلِّيٌّ الْقَمَرْ، وَ فَاطِمَةٌ الزُّهْرَةٌ، وَالْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ الْفَرْقَدَانِ.

I am the sun, Ali the moon, Fatimah Venus, Hasan and Husayn two stars.(1)

In this narration, the comparison made by the Holy Prophet, who is the most eloquent speaker, shows the wonderful nature of the narrations that compare a spiritual truth to a physical manifestation in creation. Firstly, it

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1- Maani al-Akhbar, 114, H. 2

makes it known for all that the truth of Muhammad (S) is nearer to Allah than the rays of the sun to its source. Secondly Muhammad (S) is the medium for realization of all creatures. They are indebted to him and he has a claim on all creatures for material and spiritual rights.

. تُرْحَمُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ وَالرَّسُولَ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا

And obey Allah and the Apostle, that you may be shown mercy (3:132)

… وَلِلرَّسُولِ خُمُسَهُ لِلَّهِ فَأَنَّ شَيْءٍ مِنْ غَنِمْتُمْ أَنَّمَا وَاعْلَمُو

And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle… (8:41)

The ownership of all blessings belongs to the Holy Prophet by the permission of Allah. And we benefit from the blessings he gives us. Hence, we should pay him what is due to him and the profit of what we give returns to ourselves thanks to the favor and generosity of the Holy Prophet.

… لَكُمْ فَهُوَ أَجْرٍ مِنْ سَأَلْتُكُمْ مَا قُلْ

Say: Whatever reward I have asked you, that is only for yourselves… (34:47)


Pen in the aforementioned narration means a truth that determines all spiritual and inward (esoteric) affairs and registers happiness, guidance and favors, and spreads mercy for the world’s nations with the hand of Allah's will.

Pen, in one sense, is the truth of Muhammad (S) by whom Allah has sworn in the Holy Qur'an:

ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ

Nun; I swear by the pen and what the angels write. (68:1)

Pen, in another sense, is the mission of the

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Holy Prophet who determines the happiness and prosperity of anyone who has the merit and spreads mercy for the nations with its guidance and binding laws:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ

And we have not sent you but as a mercy to the world. (21:107)


Intellect, in its primary meaning, is the truth of Muhammad (S) who is not only the first creation but also the most-loved by Allah:

وَعِزَّتِي وَجَلألِي، مَا خَلَقْتُ خَلَّقاً هُوَ أحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْكَ.

By my Glory and honor (I swear), I have not created anyone more loved to Me than you.(1)

Now that the narrations have introduced the Holy Prophet as the dearest and most-loved by Allah, why should we not regard intellect, the most-loved creation, as the Holy Prophet himself? He is indeed the universal intelligence; and all the signs of intellect and intelligence, which are the most positive and useful phenomena in universe, manifest themselves in the Holy Prophet.


Spirit, based on the Holy Qur'an, is from the realm of ‘Command’ that comes to existence with the word ‘Be’ and not from the position of creation, which is the origin of material elements:

 أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ

Surely, His is the creation and the command. (7:54)

The spirit whose truth is not known by anyone is the outcome of the Divine Decree and comes into existence with the word ‘Be’:

وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ

And when He decrees an affair, He only says to it – Be - so there it is. (2:117)

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ

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1- Al-Kafi, 10/1, H 1


And they ask you about the soul (spirit). Say: the soul is one of the commands of my Lord… (17:85)

Spirit is the first creation of Allah, as has been mentioned by the Holy Prophet:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ رُوحِي.

The first thing Allah created was my spirit.

The Holy Prophet wishes to make others understand him using different expressions according to people's capacity. That is why, on one occasion, he says:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ النُّورُ

The first thing Allah created was light.

On another occasion, he says:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ القَلمُ.

The first thing Allah created was pen.

On other occasions, he says:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ العَقَلُ.

The first thing Allah created was intellect.


أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ نُورِي.

The first thing Allah created was my light.


أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ رُوحِي.

The first thing Allah created was my spirit.

With this explanation, we conclude that there is a unity in meaning of light, pen, intellect, and spirit, all of which refer to one truth - the truth of Muhammad (S). Therefore, Allah created the truth of Muhammad (S) consisting of light, pen, intellect, and spirit directly from His own light and created other beings for his sake. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) says:

خَلَقَ الَّلهُ الْمَشِيئَةَ بِنَفْسِهَا ثُمَّ خَلَقَ الأشْيَاءَ بِالْمَشِئةِ.

Allah created the Divine decree by itself and then created all beings by means of the Divine decree.

That is to say, Allah created the Divine decree, which is another name for the light of Muhammad (S) without any medium and then created other beings from the light of Muhammad (S). Without the

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light of Muhammad (S), which is an expanded Grace, no relationship between the Creator and the created is possible. Therefore, the manifestation of Allah and the light of His perfect beauty is the Grace of Muhammad (S) and the intuitive decree and the light of the Holy Prophet as mentioned in the following narration:

إنَّ الَّلهَ خَلْقَ الْعَقَلَ، وَهُوَ أولُ خَلْقٍ مِنَ الرُّوحانِّيينَ، مِنْ يَمِينِ الْعَرْشِ مِنْ نُورِهِ

Allah created intellect and it was the first of spiritual creations to be made from His light on the right side of the throne.(1)

The Perfect Light of Ahl al-Bayt

Based on the following authentic narration reported on the authority of the Holy Prophet:

The first thing Allah created was my light.

And, based on the fact that Ahl al-Bayt are the manifestation of this light, we should admit that Ahl al-Bayt are light in essence and this light is the light of Allah which cannot be put out by the puffing of the ignorant ones:

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouth, but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse. (61:8)

The famous Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, which is a well-documented form of Ziyarah (statements addressed to the Holy Infallibles when their tombs are visited) composed by Imam al-Hadi (a.s), is recited in the Ziyarah of all the infallibles; we read:

خَلَقَكُم الَّلهُ أنْوارأ.

Allah created you in the form of light.(2)

Again in the same Ziyarah, we read:

وَأنَّ أرْوَاحَكُم وَ نُورَكُم وَطِينَتَكُمْ وَطِينَتَكُمْ وَاحِدَةٌ، طَبَتْ

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1- Al-Kafi, 85/1, H. 4
2- Al-Faqih: 613/2


Your souls, light and forms are the same; pure and pious altogether.(1)

In the famous Ziyarah Warith, we read:

أشْهَدُ أنَّكَ كُنْتَ نُوراً فِي الأصْلأبِ الشَّمِخَةِ وَالأرْحَامِ الْمُطَهَّرَةِ.

I testify that you were light in the lofty loins and pure wombs.(2)

In the Books of Maqtal (story of Imam al-Husayn's martyrdom), we read that when Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (al-Sajjad) was placing his father's body, with the head cut off, in the grave, he said:

أبَتَاهُ، أمَّا الْدُّنْيَا فَبَعْدَكَ مُظْلِمَةٌ وَأمَّا الآخِرَةُ فَبِنُورِ وَجْهِكَ مُشْرِقة.

"O father, the world is in dark after you and the Hereafter is illuminated with your light."(3)

The follower of Ahl al-Bayt, Abu-Khalid Kabuli says: I asked Imam al-Baqir to explain the following holy verse:

فَئَامِنُو بِاٌ لَّلهِ وَرسُولِهِ وَالنُّورِالَّذِى أنْزَلْنَا...

Therefore believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Light which we have revealed…(64:8)

The Imam said:

يَا أبَا خَالِدِ! النُّورُ، وَالَّلهِ، الأيِمَّهٌ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ إلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ. وَهُم، وَالَّلهِ، نُورُ الَّلهِ، ألَّذِي أنْزَل. وَهُم، وَالَّلهِ، نُورُ الَّلهِ فِي السَّماواتِ وَفِي الأرْضِ. وَالَّلهِ يَا أبَا خَالِدٍ، لنُّور الأمامِ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمؤْمِنينَ أنْوَرُ مِنَ الشَّمْسِ الْمُضِيِئَةِ بِالَّهَارِ. وَهُم، وَالَّلهِ، يُنَوِّرُونَ قُلُوبَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَ يَحْجِبُ الَّلهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ نُورَهُمْ عَمَّنْ يَشَاءُ فَتُضِلُّهُم. وَالَّلهِ يَا أبَا خَالِدٍ، لأ يُجِبُّنَا عَبْدٌ وَ يَتَوَلأنَا حَتَّى يُطَهَّرَ الَّلهُ قَلَبَهُ، وَلأ يُطَهِّرُ الَّلهُ قَلَبَ عَبْدٍ حَتَّى يُسَلِّمَ لَنَا وَ يَكُونَ سِلْماً لَنَا؛ فَإذَا كَانَ سِلْماً لَنَا سَلَّمَهُ الّلهُ مِنْ شَدِيدِ الْحِسَابِ وَآمَنَهُ مِنْ فَزَعِ ذ ذيَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ الأكْبِرِ...

“O Abu-Khalid, by Allah (I swear), the Imams are that light until the Day of Judgment; and by Allah, they are

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1- Al-Faqih: 613/2
2- Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 113/6, H. 17
3- Pishwaye Shaheedan: 230

the light of Allah in the heavens and on the earth. O Abu-Khalid! By Allah, the light of the Imam in the hearts of believers is brighter than the sun shining in daylight. By Allah, the Imams give light to the hearts of believers. Allah, may He be honored and glorified, hides their light from whomever He wishes whereby their hearts become dark. By Allah, O Abu-Khalid! No one loves us but those whom Allah has purified their hearts; and Allah does not purify a servant’s heart unless that servant surrenders himself to and is at peace with us. Therefore, if one is at peace with us, Allah will keep one safe from Reckoning and from fear on the Judgment Day.”(1)

To live with the love for Ahl al-Bayt and to follow them in all material and spiritual aspects is like living the life of Prophets. Reporting the Holy Prophet, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّ أنْ يَحْيَا حَيَاةً تُشْبِهُ حَيَاةَ الأنْبِيَاءِ وَيَمُوتَ مِيتَةَ تُشْبِهُ مِيتَة الشُّهَدَاءِ وَ يَسْكُنَ الجِنَانَ الَّتِي غَرَسَهَا الرَّحمَنُ، فَليَتَوَلَّ عَلِيًّا وَلْيُوَالِ وَلِيَّهُ وَلْيَقْتَدِ بِلأئِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ، فَإنَّهُمْ عِتْرَتي خُلِقُوا مِنْ طِينَتِي.

أللَّهُمَّ ارزُقْهُمْ فَهْمِي وَ عِلْمي. وَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُخَالِفِينَ لَهُمْ مِنْ أمَّتِي؛ أللَّهُمَّ لأ تُنِلْهُمْ شَفَاعَتِي.

If one likes to live a life similar to Prophets, die as a martyr, and dwell in a Paradise - all the trees of which are planted by Allah, one should accept the leadership of Ali, make friend with his friends and follow the Imams after him, for they are my household

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1- Al-Kafi, 194/1 H. 1

(Ahl al-Bayt) and they have been created from my essence. O Allah! give a share of my understanding and essence to them. Woe to their enemies from among my ummah! O Allah let not their enemies have my intercession.(1)

The Ranks Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Man’s Descent And Ascent

Man has gone through certain stages to reach his material existence and the world; and he has to go through other stages to return to where he used to be with a qualitative difference:

كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ

As He brought you forth in the beginning, so also shall you all return. (7:29)

Evidently this course of ‘from Allah to Allah’ is not something special for human beings; rather, all creatures have a descending and ascending course making the circle perfect. Nevertheless, this course in human beings who are the superior creatures is perfect.

Man goes through the stage of ‘the best made’ to the material ‘the lowest of the low’. Then in an evolutionary cause, he returns to Allah after his epistemological and existential dimensions undergo change.

There are those distinguished human beings among all men, who have the power of leadership and enjoy amplitude. These go through this stage more perfectly. Among all perfect human beings, the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt are the most superior of beings. They go through this stage in the most perfect way.

Stages of Man’s Descent

Every being, including humanity, has a stage where ‘he was a thing not worth mentioning’. Then he becomes ‘a thing worth mentioning’.

The first stage is ‘shadow’ - it is the time when man is hidden or unobservable in

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1- Al-Kafi: 208/1 H. 3

the Divine knowledge. This is the stage of ‘a thing not worth mentioning’. Then Allah wills to manifest man and man becomes ‘a thing worth mentioning’. In this stage, man deserves the Divine Decree of ‘Be’:

إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ

His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it - Be, so it is. (36:82)

This stage is materialized into an epiphany with an unimaginable speed:

وَمَا أَمْرُنَا إِلَّا وَاحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ

And Our Command is but one, as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)

About ‘a thing not worth mentioning’, the Holy Quran says:

أَوَلَا يَذْكُرُ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَمْ يَكُ شَيْئًا

Does not man remember that We created him before, when he was nothing? (19:67)

And on his becoming ‘a thing worth mentioning’, the Holy Quran says:

هَلْ أَتَىٰ عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ حِينٌ مِنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْئًا مَذْكُورًا

There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning. (76:1)

This is the stage of entity when something exists but not worth mentioning. From the above said verse, it is inferred that this stage is when man becomes worth mentioning due to the light of the Holy Prophet.

Evidently everything that is addressed by Allah and receives the decree of ‘Be’ from the Creator of the universe cannot be a pure nothing. This is so because a pure nothing cannot be addressed. Therefore, although we did not exist externally, we were in the knowledge of Allah.

One must say that Divine decree and His

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creation came together to create man:

أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ ۗ 

Surely, His is the creation and the command. (7:54)

Commenting on this wonderful being, the Holy Quran says:

إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ صَلْصَالٍ مِنْ حَمَإٍ مَسْنُونٍ…

…Surely, I am going to create a mortal of the essence of the black mud fashioned in shape. (15:28)

…إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ طِينٍ

…Surely, I am going to create a mortal from dust. (38:71)

The above two and other verses refer to the material creation ‘in the lowest of the low’ and then Holy Quran says:

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِنْ رُوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

So I have made him complete and breathed into him of my spirit, fall down making obeisance to him. (15:29)

Based on the aforementioned verses, man is a comprehensive being and is distinct from other creatures.

Ahl al-Bayt’s Distinction

Based on the Quranic verse, the Ahl al-Bayt, whether when they were in Allah’s knowledge or when they were created, were distinct from other human beings, as they are all from the same tree and light while other human beings are from different trees:

أنَا وَ عَلِيٌّ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، وَسَائِرُ النَّاس مِنْ شَجَرِ شَتَّي.

Ali and I are from the same tree while other people are from a different tree.(1)

Their capacity and magnitude cannot be compared to other human beings in any position. It is for this reason that it is said, based on authentic narration, that Allah created them from light before the creation of other beings and bestowed knowledge upon them. The Holy Quran says about the importance and dignity of the

p: 35

1- Al-Iqbal:296, Bihar al-Anwar 106/99

man who is addressed to by Allah:

وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ

And it is not for any mortal that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger and revealing by His permission what He pleases; Surly He is High, Wise. (42:51)

Excellent examples of these people are the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt. They were addressed by Allah due to the Holy Prophet’s mission and the Ahl al-Bayt received what was revealed to Allah’s messenger.

Describing Imam Ali (a.s.) who is one of the Ahl al-Bayt, the Holy Prophet says:

Surely, you hear what I hear and see what I see.(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.) had reached the highest stage of knowledge that a creature could reach, in a way that he would decisively say:

مَا كُنْتُ أعْبُدُ رَبَّاً أرَهُ.

I do not serve a Lord whom I have not seen.(2)

It was also Imam Ali (a.sز) who said:

لَوْ كُشِفَ لِيَ الغِطَاءُ مَا ازْدَدْتُ يَقِيناً.

If all the veils were removed, a bit would not add to my certainty.(3)

Since there was no veil between him and Allah and he was a medium between people and Allah due to his knowledge, and so the Holy Prophet had said:

أنَا وَ عَلِيٌ مِن نُورٍ وَاحِدٍ.

Ali and I are from the same light.(4)

Angels had prostrated themselves before the perfect man due to his knowledge of the Names. This prostration was due to the legal position and

p: 36

1- Nahjul-Balaghah, Sermon 234
2- Al-Kafi, 98/1, H. 6
3- Ghurar al-Hikam, 119, H. 2086
4- Awali al-La'ali: 124/4, H. 221

not the natural personality of the perfect man. It is for this reason that since then all angels have been under the spiritual power of the perfect man. Presently, all angels and other beings are under the eyes of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) - may Allah expedite his reappearance.

The Capacity Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Commenting on the capacity of the angels, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

الثَابِتَةٌ و فِي الأرَضِينَ السُّفْنلَى أقْدَامُهُم، وَالمَارِقَةٌّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ الْعُلْيَا أعْنَاقُهُم.

Among them are those also whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are projecting into the skies.(1)

That is to say the angels are abstract truth hence they encompass the cosmos and have the universe under their cover. Based on narrations, the same abstract truth has manifested itself in the heart of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt. Since the Holy Quran dawned upon the heart of the Holy Prophet, nothing that emanates from him and his Ahl al-Bayt is but the truth, for man cannot have two hearts - one containing the truth and the other containing falsehood. Therefore, Ahl al-Bayt are nothing but the truth; they say nothing but the truth and do nothing but the truth. They are mercy for the world nations and all people enjoy their truth whether they want or not.

Since perfect men have reached up to the Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), it has become tangible for them:

فِي كِتَابٍ مَكْنُونٍ  لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ 

In a book that is protected; none shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:78-79)

These men are beyond limits

p: 37

1- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 1

of nature and time; they have stepped on the past and future, that is to say, they have the time under their feet. For this reason, they are aware of the past and the future. They see the past as it happened and the future as it will happen. Do we not read in the Holy Quran that Allah showed to His Messenger during the Night Ascension the future of the universe until the Judgment Day and its aftermath:

ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ  فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ  فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَىٰ  مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ  أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ  وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ  عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَىٰ  عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَىٰ 

Then he drew near; then he bowed, so he was the measure of two bows or closer still. And He revealed to His servant what He revealed. The heart was not untrue in (making him see) what he saw. What! Do you then dispute with him as to what he saw? And certainly he saw Him in another descent, At the farthest lute-tree: Near which is the garden, the place to be resorted to. (53:8-15)

During the Night Ascension, Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet the essence of the Day of Judgment in the form of heaven and hell. So, the Holy Prophet not only has an understanding of the past and future and he also sees them all. Since Allah’s Messenger with all his spirituality is manifest in the Ahl al-Bayt, they too are aware of the past and the future.


p: 38

doubt, the prayer of those who have such capacity and devotion cannot be compared with anyone else in a way that one second of their prayer is better than the prayer of men and jinn together. In this relation, the Holy Prophet says:

لَضَرْبَهٌ عَلِيٍّ يَوْمَ الْخَنْدَقِ أفْضَلُ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ الثَّقَلَيْنِ.

One blow of Ali’s sword in the Battle of the Ditch is better than the prayer of men and jinn.(1)

Ahl Al-Bayt, The Holy Quran’s Counterpart

A duty undertaken by all human beings especially Muslims is to understand the Holy Quran and to put into practice its teachings, which is the same as shown by lives of Ahl al-Bayt. The Holy Prophet during an illness, which led to his passing away, came out of his house while leaning on Imam Ali and Ibn Abbas. Leaning on one of the pillars of Medina Mosque, which was then the trunk of a palm tree, said to the people who were gathered in the mosque:

ألأ فَمَنْ. إنَّهُ لَمْ يَمُتْ نَبِيٌ قَطٌّ إلأ خَلَفَ تِرْكَةً؛ وَ قَدْ خَلَّفْتُ فِيكُمُ الْتَّقَلَيْنِ كِتَابَ الَّلهِ وَ أهْلَ بَيْتِي

. ضَيَّعَهُمْ ضَيَّعَهُ الَّلهُ

No prophet has passed away without leaving something behind him. I too leave behind me for you two valuable things, namely the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt. Be aware, whoever ignores them will be ignored by Allah.(2)

Imam Ali (a.s.) too has said:

إنَّ الَّلهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالى طَهَّرَنَا و عَصَمَنَاَ وَجَعَلَنَا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ وَحُجَّتَهُ فِي أرْ ضِهِ؛ وَ جَعَلَنَا مَعَ الْقُرْآنِ وَجَعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ مَعَنَا لأ نُفارِقُهُ و لأ يُفَارِقُنَا.

Allah, the Blessed

p: 39

1- Al-Iqbal: 467, Awali al-La’ali: 86/4, H. 102
2- Al-Ihtijaj, 70/1

and Exalted, has purified us from uncleanness making us infallible. He made us the witness upon people setting us as a proof on the earth. He placed us with the Holy Quran and placed the Holy Quran with us. We will never part company with the Holy Quran nor will the Holy Quran part company with us.(1)

Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) are the protected Quran, containing all meanings of the Book of Allah, aware of the manifest and hidden verses and the ones practicing the Quranic teachings. They are the practical examples of the Holy Quran and the full manifestation of the Book of Allah. Therefore, people should be, especially the Muslims, dutybound to the Holy Quran, then they would be dutybound to Ahl al-Bayt as well.

As for how the ummah took heed of the Holy Prophet’s recommendation about the Holy Quran and its counterpart, that is the Ahl al-Bayt, we should be aware of Ibn Dharr’s answer to Imam al-Baqir’s question:

One day, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) asked Ibn Dharr if he had heard some hadiths. Ibn Dharr said, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger, the Holy Prophet said, “I am leaving among you two valuable things; one is greater than the other; the Book of Allah and my Ahl al- Bayt. If you resort to then, you will never go astray.”

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “O Ibn Dharr, if you ever meet Allah’s Messenger and he asks you what you have done about these two valuable things, what will your answer be?”


p: 40

1- Al-Kafi, 191/1, H. 5

Dharr started weeping bitterly and said,

!أمَّا الأكْبَرُ فَمَزَّقَنَاهُ، وَأمَّا الأصْغَرُ فَقَتَلَاهُ

“Alas! We have torn apart the Greater one and killed the smaller one.”(1)

Ahl al-Bayt are the Holy Quran’s counterpart hence they have all the features of the Book:

The Holy Quran is full of knowledge. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is light. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is balance. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is pure. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is guidance. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is an intercessor on the Judgment Day. So are the Ahl al- Bayt.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Knowledge

The Holy Quran says that when Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) sent back the emissaries of Queen Sheba, he said to the chiefs of his court:

قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ  قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ ۖ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ  قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِنْدَهُ قَالَ هَٰذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ ۖ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ 

He said: O chiefs! Which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission? One audacious among the Jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong and trustworthy of it. One who had the knowledge of

p: 41

1- Rijal al-Khashshi, 219' Bihar al-Anwar: 159/10, H. 12

the Book said: I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye. Then when he saw it settled besides him, he said: This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self sufficient, Honoured, (27:38-40)

In another place of the Holy Quran, we read about one who has the knowledge of the Book:

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا ۚ قُلْ كَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ

And those who disbelieve say, “You are not a messenger.” Say, “Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you. So is he who has knowledge of the Book.”13:43)

In the earlier verse, the Arabic preposition min (of) that comes between ilm (knowledge) and kitab (Book) means “part of”, whereas in the latter verse, there is nothing between these two words, meaning one who has the entire knowledge of the Book; one whose witness to Prophethood is the same as the witness of Allah. This one must be the most knowledgeable after the Holy Prophet. This person - as the grand Shiite commentators relying on narrations related to Ahl al-Bayt and great Sunni commentators relying on their own narrations state - is no one but the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s) who was not older than twenty!

Abu-Said Khidri, a reporter of hadith accepted by Sunni scholars, says:

سَألْتُ رَسُولَ الًّلهِ عَنْ قَولِالَّلهِ تَعَالَى: (وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ) قَالَ: ذَالِكَ أخِي عَليٌّ

p: 42

بْنُ أبِي طَالِبِ.

I asked Allah’s Messenger, Who is the one intended by Allah’s saying, ‘so is he who the knowledge of the Book’” The Holy Prophet answered, “He is my brother, Ali ibn Abi-Talib.”(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.), having been asked about the meaning of the same verse, has said:

أنَا هُوَ الَّذِي عِنْدَه عِلْمُ الْكِتابِ

I am the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book.(2)

When Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked by Abd al-Rahman ibn Kuthayr about the meaning of the following verse,

“One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in twinkling of an eye” -,

the Imam, spreading his fingers and putting them on his chest, said:

. كُلُّهُ الْكِتَابِ عِلْمُ ، الَّلهُ وَ ، عِنْدَنَا وَ

By Allah, the entire knowledge of the Book is with us.(3)

Referring to Ahl al-Bayt, Allah’s Messenger said:

هُمْ خُزَّانِي عَلَى عِلْمِي مِنْ بَعْدِكَ : قَالَ لِيَ الَّلهُ تَعَالَى

Allah has told me: They are the treasurers of My Knowledge after you.4(4)

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s) has said:

نَحْنُ أبْوَابُ الَّله‘ ونَحْنُ الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ، وَنَحْنُ عَيْبَةٌ عِلْمِهِ، وَنَحْنُ تَرَاجِمَةٌ وَحْيهِ، وَ نَحْنُ أرْكَانُ تَوْحِيدِهِ، وَنَحْنُ مَوضِعُ سِرِّهِ.

We are the gates to Allah; the straight path; the container of His knowledge; the interpreters of His revelation; the pillars of monotheism; and the closet of His secrets.(5)

Imam Ali Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

ألأ إنَّ الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي هَبَطَ بِهِ آدَمُ وَ جَمِيعَ مَا فُضِّلَتْ بِهِ النَّبِيُّونَ إلَى خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ، مُحَمَّدٍ! فَأيْنَ يُتَاهُ بِكُم؟ وَأيْنَ تَدهَبُونَ؟

Beware! The knowledge brought down by Adam and the excellent

p: 43

1- Shawahid al-Tanzil: 400/1
2- Basa’ir al-Darajat: 216, H.21
3- Al-Kafi, 229/1, H. 5
4- Al-Kafi: 193/1, H. 4
5- Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 35, H. 5

deeds of the Prophets, up to the last one of them, is with the Progeny of the seal of the Prophets. So to which deviated way are you pushed and where are you going?(1)

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

نَحْنُ، أهْلَ البَيتِ، مَفَاتِيحُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَوْضِعُ الرِّسَالَةِ وَ مُخْتَلَفُ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَمَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ.

We, the Ahl al-Bayt, are the keys of Mercy, the destination of the Prophetic mission, the haunt of angels, and the source of knowledge.(2)

Imam Zayn al-Abidin has said:

مَا يَنْقِمُ النَّاسُ مِنَّا؟ فَنَحْنُ، وَالَّلهِ، شَجَرَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ وَبَيْتُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ وَمُخْتَلْفُ الْمَلأئِكَةِ.

Why do people harbor grudge against us? By Allah, we are the tree of Prophethood, the house of mercy, the source of knowledge and the haunt of angels.(3)

Ahl al-Bayt know the Chief Name (al-ism al-a’dham) of Allah; they are familiar with all languages; they are aware of the past and the future; they have the knowledge of the Divine Books and they see what has happened and what will happen. Ahl al-Bayt are the House of Allah, Noah’s Ark, the Quran’s counterpart, the excellent people, those who are in authority, people of Reminder, roots of truth, source of Divine mission, pillars of world and the guardians of faith.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Devotion


Due to their complete knowledge of Allah, Ahl al-Bayt are in a permanent state of submission to Him. Their association with people, their silence and speaking, their eating and drinking, their marriage and business, their war and peace, their presence at home and on journey, their wearing of clothes, their listening and looking,

p: 44

1- Tafsir al-Qummi, 368/1
2- Fara’id al-Simtayn, 44/1
3- Al-Kafi, 222/1, H. 1.

their sleep and wakefulness, their weeping and smiling - to sum it up, all their behaviors and deeds were all filled with devotion.

The devotion of Ahl al-Bayt is based on the knowledge of Allah, His love and a sense of duty, and not because of fear of Hell or a desire for Paradise.

The opinion of Ahl al-Bayt about their own and different kinds of prayer shows that their devotion was with a pure intention, away from any doubt. Nevertheless, they considered their prayer to be unworthy before the All- magnanimity of Allah. Comparing their prayer with that of Allah’sMessenger, they start weeping.

Imam Ali (a.s) has been reported as saying:

مَا عَبَدْتُكَ طَمَعاً فِي جَنَّتِكَ وَلأ خَوْفَاً مِنْ نَارِكَ! وَلَكِنْ وَجَدْتُكَ أهُلاً لِلْعِبَادَةِ فَعَبَدْتُكَ.

I served You (O Lord) not on account of desire for Paradise or fear of Hellfire; but I found You the worthiest of being worshipped. So, I decided to serve You.(1)

The Imam (a.s.) also says:

إنَّ قَوماً عَبَدوا الَّلهَ رَغَبَة، فَتِلكَ عِبَادَهُ التُّجَّارِ! وَإنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدوالًّلهَ رَهْبَةً، فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْعَبِيدِ! وَإنَّ قَوماً عَبَدوا الَّلهَ شُكْراً، فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الأحْرَارِ.

Some people serve Allah out of desire for reward. This is the prayer of the merchants. Others serve Allah out of fear, which is the prayer of slaves. Still others serve Allah out of gratitude, this is the prayer of the freeborn.(2)

By Allah! If Allah would tell Ahl al-Bayt that I have removed Paradise and hell from the universe and there is no such a thing as reward and punishment, the quality and

p: 45

1- Awali al-La’ali: 404/1, H. 63
2- Nahj al-Balaghah, 237

quantity of their prayer would not be changed a bit. Imam al-Baqir (a.s) narrated the following:

One night, the Holy Prophet was in Aishah’s house, he was engaged in praying so much so that Aishah said, “O Allah’sMessenger! Why are you making yourself so tired while Allah has forgiven your faults (if at all there were any) in the past and future?” The Holy Prophet said,

اَفَلأ أكُونُ عَبْداً شَكُوراً؟

"Should I not be a grateful servant before Allah?"(1)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has further said:

Allah’s Messenger prayed so much so that Allah revealed the following verse,

طه مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ

Ta-Ha! We have not revealed the Quranto you that you may be exhausted. (20:1-2)

The worship of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was so wonderful that the Imams have said that no one can worship Allah as much as Imam Ali did. Like Allah’s Messenger and Imam Ali, the other members of Ahl al- Bayt were unique in worship. It is for this reason that they attained the station of wilayah (divinely commissioned leadership) and they were able to do extraordinary works in addition that they had the right of intercession and leadership over men and jinn hence obeying then was obligatory for all.

The Meaning of Devotion

Devotion is to coordinate all activities and inactivates, as well as life and death with the will of Allah based on a pure intention:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say: Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord

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1- Al-Kafi, 95/2 H. 6

of the worlds. (6:162)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has been reported as saying:

الْعُبُودِيَّةٌ جَوْهَرَةٌ كُنْهُهَا الرُّبُوبِيَّةٌ

Serving Allah is a noble act leading to Godliness.

Stages of Devotion

To attain devotion, one must go through certain stages as follows:

Stage one is to control oneself by promoting the quality of prayer with a pure intention as required by Allah:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ...

And as for those who strive hard for us, we will most certainly guide them in Our ways… (29:69)

إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا...

If you are careful of your duty to Allah, H e will grant you a distinction… (8:29)

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ ...

Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil. (29:45)

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil. (2:183)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ...

O you who believe! Seek assistance through patience and prayer. (2:153)

At this stage of submission, man overcomes his carnal desires.

Stage two is to control imaginative faculty, which is one of the wonderful faculties present in the human beings. Due to this faculty, man's mind jumps from one subject to another through association of ideas. This faculty is not under our control; rather, we are under its wonderful control. It is for this reason that it is sometimes impossible for us to concentrate on a certain subject without being distracted. The imaginative faculty pushes us this way and that way like when we try

p: 47

to have presence of mind in our prayer but we cannot.

The followers of spiritual path at this stage overcome their imaginative faculty making it submissive. The result is that when the soul of the worshippers desires to go up, there will be neither disturbance nor any disruption.

Based on the following holy verse,

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability (2:286)

man should turn his mind to Allah in prayer to the extent of his ability. Islam does not approve of mortification, which is strict self-discipline as exercised by some ascetics. Heart's attention to Allah will certainly paves the way for the presence of mind and concentration.

Stage three is to promote soul in a way that it will be in no need of body while body is in full need of it. Soul and body are in need of each other. The life of body depends on soul, which is its guardian. The reason soul can be in no need of body is that in certain activities, it can do without body. This might happen for a few seconds or permanently. This is called ‘ouster of body’. The illuminist philosopher, Sohrawardi, has said:

We do not recognize a theologian as a theologian unless he can ‘oust his body’.

Mirdamad says:

We do not recognize a theologian as a theologian unless ouster of body is internalized for him so that he can realize it whenever he wishes.

Stage four is to bring

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the body under personal control in a way that man can do extraordinary deeds in relation to his body. In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

مَا ضَعُفَ بَدَنٌ عَمَّا قَوِيَتْ عَلَيْهِ النَّيَّةٌ.

Body does not show weakness when there is strong intention.(1)

Stage five is the highest stage in which even the nature is brought under the influence of man's will. The miracles of the Prophets, Imams and saints are of this category. Miracles are of the type of personal initiative to do extraordinary works with the help of Allah. Extraordinary works, such as turning a rod into a serpent, healing the blind, giving life to a dead person and knowing about a hidden secret, are all examples of miracles.

Some people have the impression that the miracle worker has no part in the extraordinary work and Allah realizes it, for miracles are outside human power. This is a wrong impression, for the Holy Quran expressly considers the messengers as the miracle workers who do so with Allah's permission. This permission is to grant a kind of authority, which is the source of miracles, and if Allah does not will, he denies the authority:

وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ بِآيَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ...

And it was not meet for an apostle that he should bring a sign except with Allah's permission. (40:78)

According to this Quranic verse, the miracle workers are Prophets who, with the permission of the Creator, are the executors of the Divine will and signs of Him. As for their miracles, Prophets

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq, S 53, H. 6

are aided by the invisible source. In the story of Prophet Sulayman and the Queen of Sheba, we read: One who had the knowledge of the Book said:

I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye… (27:40)

The Holy Quran says that the extraordinary work was performed as a result of a kind of knowledge, which can be acquired with a link to the protected Book and nearness to Allah. Therefore, the Holy Quran agrees that man can do extraordinary deeds and bring about changes in universe with self-purification. They are all the result of nearness to Allah and everyone can do so to the extent of his affinity with Allah.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported Allah's Messenger as saying that Allah Almighty says:

مَا تَقَّرَّبَ إلَيَّ عَبْدٌ بِشَيْءٍ أحَبَّ الَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَانَّهُ لَيَتَقَرَّبُ الَّيَّ بالنَّافِلَةِ حَتَي أحِبَّهُ، فَإذَا أحْبَبتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ وَلِسَانَهُ الَّذِي يَنْطِقُ بِهِ وَيَدَهُ الَّذِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا. إنْ دَعَانِي أجَبْتُهُ وَإنْ سألَنِي أعْطَيْتُهُ.

A servant cannot seek nearness to Me through any means that may be more beloved to Me than (carrying out) religious duties. He may seek My nearness through supererogatory prayers so that I may love him. If I do, I will be his hearing, his sight, his tongue, and his hand. Then, I will certainly answer him when he prays Me and I will grant him that which he asks from Me.(1)

The only way to be perfect is submission to Allah the result of which

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1- Al-Kafi: 352/2, H. 7

is godliness and doing extraordinary works.

Ahl al-Bayt, due to their devotion, have reached a station by which they are nearer to Allah than any other mortal, including angels. This is the reason why their power of working miracles is so great.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Absorption In Allah

In a narration, we read that in the Battle of Uhud, an arrow had pierced Imam Ali’s leg. The pain was so severe that he would not allow anyone to take it out of his leg. When the Holy Prophet was informed, he said, “Postpone it to the time of prayer.” When Imam Ali (a.s) was engaged in prayer, the arrow was taken out of his leg because he was so absorbed in prayer that he did not feel the pain.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) reported that when Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) was reading a part of Imam Ali's Book on prayer, he would say to himself,

مَنْ يُطِيِقُ هَذَا؟ مَنْ يُطِيقُ هَذَا؟

"Who can have such tolerance? Who can have such tolerance?"

He would then try the same prayer(1).

One day, Jabir ibn Abdullah asked Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.),

“O Son of Allah’s Messenger! Do you not know that Allah created Paradise for you and for your friends, and created the Fire for the ill wishers and for your enemies? So, what is all this hard working for?” Imam Zayn al-Abidin said:

O Companion of Allah’s Messenger! Do you not know that Allah forgave all the past and future faults for my ancestors? Nevertheless, the Holy Prophet never put aside obeisance and submission to Allah

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1- Al-Kafi: 163/8, H. 172

and kept on worshipping Him. May my parents be sacrificed for him! When he was asked, “Has not Allah said in His Book, ‘…that Allah may forgive your community their past faults and those to follow’?" Allah’s Messenger answered, “Should I not be a grateful servant?”(1)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

كَانَ أبِي يُصَلَّي فِي جَوفِ الَّيلِ فَيَسْجُدُ السَّجْدَةَ فَيُطِيلُ حَتَّي نَقُولَ: إنَّهُ رَاقِدٌ.

My father prayed in the middle of the night. His prostration would be so long that we would think that he had gone to sleep.(2)

This is the Ahl al-Bayt’s station of absorption in Allah in a way that they are being separated from their bodies and this world, and “They are nearer to Allah’s spirit than the rays to the sun.”(3)

As for Imam Hasan’s worship, it is narrated that he was the most pious of his time. During the season of Hajj, he would walk barefoot from Medina to Mecca. Whenever he would think of death, he would start to weep. When the word ‘grave’ was mentioned to him, he would weep, for then he would think of the Judgment Day. Whenever he thought of Sirat, he would weep; and whenever he thought of Reckoning before Allah, he would cry and faint.

When he was preparing himself for prayer, he would shiver out of fear of Allah; and whenever he was speaking of heaven and hell, he would become disturbed. Then, he would pray to Allah for heaven and seek His refuge from Hellfire. Whenever he recited a verse beginning

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1314
2- Qurb al-Isnad: 415
3- Al-Kafi, 1662/2, H. 4

with ‘O you who believe’, he would say, “Here I am, O Allah, here I am.”(1)

When the Imam was performing ablution, his limbs trembled and his face got pale. When it was asked of him, “Why are you in such a state?” he would say, “O Allah! Your guest is at your threshold; O Forgiving Allah! A Sinner has come to you! O Allah! Forgive my sins by Your Greatness.”(2)

In a narration, we read that: One day Imam al-Baqir (a.s) went to see his father, Imam Zayn al-Abidin. Imam al-Baqir was thinking that his father had reached a stage in devotion that no one had ever reached. So, he says that as my father was thoughtful, he became aware of my presence only after sometime. When he saw me crying, he said, “Fetch me one of Imam Ali’s writings about prayer.” As I did so, he asked, “Who can pray like Ali ibn Abi-Talib?”(3)

As for Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.), it is related that he was the most pious, the most knowledgeable, the most generous, and the most honorable of his time. He would always perform his supererogatory prayers at nights linking them to the Morning Prayer and would be engaged in recommended acts of worship until sunrise. Then he would prolong his prostration until Noon Prayer, saying:

أللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ الرَّاحَةعِنْدَ الْمَوتِ وَالْعَفْوَ عِنْدَ الْحِسَابِ.

O Allah! I am asking You to ease death and forgiveness at Reckoning.

In one of his prayers, he would say:

عَظُمَ الدَّنْبُ فَلْيَحْسُنِ الْعَفْوُ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ.

Grave has been

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq, 178, H. 8
2- al-Manaqib: 14/4
3- al-Manaqib: 149/4, Kashf al-Ghummah: 85/2

the sin of Your servant; so, let forgiveness from You be nice.

He would weep for fear of Allah. He cared for his own family and relatives more than others. He would go to the needy at nights with a basket full of coins, flour and dates. He was in the prison of the Abbasid tyrannical rulers for years until he was martyred. He influenced other prisoners so greatly that they all repented to Allah. It is narrated that whenever Harun al-Rashid went to the top of the prison, he would see some clothes in one of its corners. One day he asked the jailor, “What are those clothes I see everyday?” The jailor said, “These are not clothes; this is Musa ibn Ja`far who is in prostration every day from sunrise to sunset!”

About the torturers of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s), Salih ibn Wasif, the chief jailor, says, “What is to be done? I appointed two persons to torture him. After observing the Imam’s worship, they were so impressed that they themselves started worshipping Allah in such a manner that surprised everybody.” I summoned up them, asking why they had changed, why they had stopped torturing him, what they had seen. They said, “What should we say about a man who fasts the days and is engaged in prayer at nights? When he looks at us, our bodies start shivering and such awe overwhelms us that we cannot control ourselves.”(1)

Ahl Al-Bayt, The Whole Truth

Since Ahl al-Bayt stand at the highest level of devotion, submission

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1- Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid, 334/2

and endeavor, they reflect the whole truth like a mirror.

Their station of devotion and submission is a manifestation of Allah’sAttributes, their moral virtues, strong faith and a jumping board for gaining nearness to Allah in readiness to meet Him.

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) describes Ahl al-Bayt as such:

أسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم يَا أهْلَ بَيتِ النُّبُوَّةِ، وَمَوضِعَ الرِّسالَةِ، وَمُخْتَلَفَ الْملائِكَةِ، وَمَهْبِطَ الْوَحْىِ، وَمَعْدِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ، وَخُزَّانَ الْعِلْمِ، وَ مُنْتَهَى الْحِلْمِ، وَأُصُولَ الْكَرَمِ، وَقَادَةَ الأُمَمِ، وَأوْلِياءَ النِّعَمِ، وَعَنَاصِرَ الأبْرارِ وَ دَعَائِمَ الأخْيَارِ، وَسَاسَة الْعِبادِ، وأرْكَانَ البِلادِ، وَأبْوَابَ الأْيمَانِ، وَأُمَناءَ الرَّحْمنِ، وَسُلالَة النَّبِيِّينَ، وَصَفْوَةَ الْمُرسَلينَ، وَعِتْرَةَ خِيَرَةِ رَبِّ الْعالَمينَ وَرَحْمَةٌ اللَّهِ وَ بَرَكاتُهُ، أسَّلامُ عَلى أئِمَّةِ الْهُدى، وَمَصَابِيحِ الدُّجى، وَأعْلامِ التُّقى، وَ ذَوِى النُّهى، وَأُولِى الْحِجى، وَ كَهْفِ الْوَرى، وَوَرَثَةِ الأنْبِياءِ، وَمَثَلِ الأعْلى، وَالدَّعْوَةِ الْحُسْنى، وَحُجَجِ اللَّهِ أهْلِ الدُّنْيا وَالأخِرَةِ والأُّولى وَرَحْمَةُ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، ألسَّلامُ عَلى مَحَالِّ مَعْرِفَةِ اللَّهِ، وَمَسَاكِنِ وَ بَرَكَاةِ اللَّهِ، وَمَعَادِنِ حِكْمَةِ اللَّهِ، وَحَفَظَةِ سِرِّ اللَّهِ، وَحَمَلَةِ كِتابِ اللَّهِ، وَأوْصِياءِ نَبِيِّ اللَّهِ، وَذُّرِّيَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلِهِ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، أسَّلامُ عَلَى الدُّعَاةِ الَى اللَّهِ.

Peace be on you, O Household of the Prophet! You are the center of the Divine mission. Unto you the angels return to adopt your opinions and to learn from you. You are the destination of the Divine revelation; the originating source of mercy, the treasures of wisdom, the ultimate in forbearance, the foundation of generosity, the leaders of all nations. You administer and distribute bounties without interruption. You are the elements of virtue and pillars of goodness.

You direct and guide mankind, protect and support the lands wherein people

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live, let in and lead them on to faith. The Beneficent Lord has assigned to you the responsibility of dealing with His Benevolence; you are the distinguished descendent of the Prophets, the cream of the noble born children of the Messengers, the pure family of the "Best individual", in the assessment of the Lord of the worlds!

Peace be on the Guides (Imams) who show the Right Path, fill the darkness with light, teach and demonstrate the awareness of boundaries laid down by Allah. Peace be on the exponents of the views and beliefs which acquaint with awareness of Allah, wherever you are, there are the blessings of Allah, the wisdom of Allah is deposited with you, the secrets of Allah have been put in your safe keeping, you know the Book of Allah by heart, you are the successors of the Prophet of Allah, peace be on you who invite people unto Allah.(1)

All the Prophets who came before the Holy Prophet of Islam and their books were an attempt to pave the way for the advent of Allah’s Messenger so that all creatures, especially human beings, move towards perfection - thanks to these noble ones who are the rope, shadow, and trustees of Allah. For this reason, they made a covenant to prepare the ground for the advent of the root of Ahl al-Bayt, namely, the Holy Prophet.

وَلَمْ يُخْلِ سُبْحَانَهُ خَلْقَهُ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ مُرْسَلٍ أوْ كِتَابٍ مُنْزَلٍ أوِّ حُجَّةٍ لأزِمَةٍ.

Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet

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1- Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah

deputed by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument.(1)

Based on this, the Holy Prophet says:

نَحْنُ الآخِرُونَ السَّابِقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

We are the last ones in this world but foremost on the Judgment Day.(2)

Shiite and Sunni reference books of Hadith have reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

آدَمُ وَمَنْ دُونَهُ تَحْتَ لِوَائِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Adam as well as all the other human beings will be under my banner on the Judgment Day. (3)

Due to their extensive ability and knowledge, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragon of “The last ones are the foremost and the foremost are the first ones and nothing is like them.”(4)

The reason for being ‘foremost’ is that Ahl al-Bayt are the beginning and the end of the universe as Allah has so willed. In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) refers to this same truth:

Allah opened the gate of universe and truth with you and will end it with you. The people will return to you and their reckoning is with you.(5)

Therefore, all the Prophets set the ground for the presence of Ahl al-Bayt among creatures. These noblemen were sent to produce a link between Allah and His creatures leaving no excuse for nations of the world.

Actually their existence on the earth is concurrent with the fall of the sun, which is the noon of universe. Then the afternoon of universe begins and universe will become contracted. When the era of the advent of the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) and that of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 1
2- al-Manaqib, 269/3
3- al-Manaqib, 214/1
4- Sahih al-Bukhari: 2/2, T 1
5- Al-Ziyarah al-Jami`ah al-Kabirah

expedite his reappearance) comes to an end, and the sun sets, all the universe will merge into an absolute contraction and the second darkness begins after the passage of millions of years of the first darkness. At that time, Allah will say:

لِمَنِ اٌمُلْكُ اٌلْيَوْمَ؟

To whom belongs the kingdom today? (40:16)

Then, according to the Holy Quran, the Judgment Day begins: an eternal day without any night.

Neither the Holy Quran nor have the narrations made any reference to “the Judgment Night”; rather it is the Day of Judgment. As the day begins with the rising of sun, the Judgment Day too will begin with the light of Muhammad who has been described as a light-giving torch in the Holy Quran (33:46). He will be the first to enter the presence of Allah on that day. With his being the Face of Allah and His Light, the scene of the final gathering will be illuminated and an eternal day would emerge:

وَأشْرَقَتِ اٌلأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهاَ وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَبُ...

And the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord and the Book shall be laid down. (39:69)

In view of its content, this verse refers to the Judgment Day and most of the narrations consider the light of the Lord as the Holy Prophet and the Infallible Imams.

With the dawn of the Light of Allah, which is the light of Muhammad, the morning of the Judgment Day will dawn and a permanent day will begin.

Thanks to this light, the entire truth will show itself and all

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hidden secrets will be disclosed and then the Reckoning will begin.

Reporting the Holy Prophet (S), Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said:

أنَا أوَّلُ وَافِدٍ عَلى العَزِيزِ الْجَبَّارِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَة، وَكِتَابُهُ ؤأهْلُ بَيْتِي، ثُمَّ أمَّتِي، ثُمَّ أسْألُهُمْ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وِأهْلِ بَيْتِي؟

I will be the first to stand before Allah along with His Book and Ahl al-Bayt and then my ummah. Then I will ask my ummah, “How did you treat the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt?” (1)

Ahl Al-Bayt; Ark of Salvation

The pure souls of Ahl al-Bayt and their light were created before other creatures; they were placed around Allah’s Throne. They were engaged in glorifying Allah until He put each of those pure souls in a body at the proper time and revealed them among people for their guidance as a favor:

خَلْقَكُمُ اللَّهُ أنْوَاراً فَجَعَلَكُمْ بِعَرْشِهِ مُحْدِقِينَ حَتَّي مَنَّ عَلَيْنَا بِكُمْ فَجَعَلَكُمْ بُيُوتٍ أذِنَ اللًّهُ أنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُدْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ.

Allah created you in the form of light; He then kept you closely attached with his Throne until you were sent down to this world as a favor to us. He allowed you to pronounce and praise His Name aloud in the Houses of Allah.(2)

O Ahl al-Bayt, you were like Noah’s Ark from the time you were placed around Allah’s Throne to save those who have fallen into the whirlpool of tribulation:

فَبَلَغَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ أشْرَفَ مَحَلِّ الْمُكَرَّمِينَ وأعلَى مَنَازِلِ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ وَ أرْفَعَ دَرَجَاتِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ.

Allah made you reach the noblest position of glory, the highest station that was nearest to Him, and the loftiest status

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1- Al-Kafi: 600/2, H. 4
2- Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah

among those of the Messengers.(1)

O Ahl al-Bayt, you have attained such spirituality through knowledge, faith and offering help to people in this world that you have reached the position of the most honorable prophets.

Authentic books of Hadith have reported Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) as saying: When Adam fell from heaven, he was deprived of associating with the angels and lost a garment of dignity which covered his private parts, he said to Allah,

أللَّهُمَّ بِجَاهِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلِيٍّ وَ فَاطِمَةَ وَالْحَسَنِ وَالحُسَيْنِ وَ الطَّيَّبِينَ مِنْ آلِهِمْ لَمَّا تَفَضَّلَتَ بِقَبُولِ تَوْبَتِي وَ غُفْرَانِ زَلَّتِي وَإعَادَتِي مِنْ كَرَامَتِكَ إلَى مَرْتَبَتِي.

“O Allah! By the honor of Muhammad, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and the purified ones of Ahl al-Bayt, do me a favor by accepting my repentance, forgiving my sin and giving back my dignity.”

Allah answered, “Verily, I accept your repentance, turn to you with pleasure, send my bounties and blessings to you, restore your position by My grace, and make perfect for you your share of My mercy.” This is the meaning of Allah’s words,

فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

"Then Adam received some words form his Lord, So He turned to him mercifully; surely He is oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (2:37)"

Abu-Dharr, touching the door of Kabah said I have heard Allah’s Messenger say:

ألأ إنَّ مَثَلَ أهْلِ بَيْتِي فِيكُمْ مَثَلُ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ؛ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا هَلَكَ.

Beware! The parable of my Ahl al-Bayt among you is like Noah’s Ark. Whoever enters it will be saved and

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1- Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah

whoever refuses to enter it will suffer perdition.(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.) is reported to say:

Were it not for saving and guiding people, Allah would not have sent us to this world. We were engaged in glorifying Him around His throne. We are not people of the world; rather, we have been sent to rid you of atheism, carnal desires and ignorance, and to promote you to the zenith of humanity. We have come here to lead you from darkness to guidance. Now that the situation is like that, place your hands in our hands and promise loyalty so that we will save you from this tumultuous sea to the shore of safety.

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

نَحْنُ سَفِينَةٌ النَّجَاةِ؛ مَنْ تَعَلَّقَ بِهَا نَجَا، وَ مَنْ حَادَ عَنْهَا هَلَكَ. فَمَنْ كَانَ لَهُ إلَى اللَّهِ حَاجَةَ فَلْيَسْألْ بِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

We are the boat of salvation. Whoever holds on to it will be saved, and whomever keeps away from it will meet perdition, whoever has a request from Allah should ask for it through us, the Ahl al-Bayt. (2)

Addressing Kumayl, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

يَا كُمَيْلُ! قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ قَوْلاً – وَاُلمُهَاجِرُونَ وَالأنْصَارُ مُتَوَا فِرُونَ يَوماً بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ يَومَ الْنِّصْفِ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ- قَاىِماً عَلْى قَدَمَيْهِ فَوْقَ مِنْبَرِهِ. عَلِيٌ وَا بْنَايَ مِنْهُ الْطَّيِّبُونَ مِنِّي، وَهُمُ الطَّيِّبُونَ بَعْدَ أُمِّهِمْ، وَهُم سَفِينَةٌ مَنْ رَكَبِهَا نَجَا وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا هَوَى؛ النَّاجِي فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَالهَاوِي فِي لَظَى.

O Kumayl! One day, while the Helpers (Ansar) and the Immigrants (Muhajirun) who had gathered to follow for the Afternoon

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1- Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 94/1, H. 1
2- Fara'id al-Simtayn: 37/1

Prayer in mid-Ramadhan while Allah’s Messenger was stationed on his pulpit, he said: Ali and his two purified sons are from me and I am from them; they are like a ship - whoever boards it will be saved and whoever refuses to do so, will drown. The saved one is in heaven and the drowned will be in Hellfire.(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.) has also said:

مَنِ اتَّبَعَ أمْرَنَا سَبَقَ، مَنْ رَكِبَ غَيْرَ سَفِنَتِنَا غَرَقَ.

Whoever follows our command will be successful and whoever enters any ship other than ours will be drowned.(2)

As we know, stars help those traveling by sea to come to the shore of safety. In a narration, the Holy Prophet (S) compares Ahl al-Bayt with stars in terms of safety:

الْنُّجُومُ أمَانٌ لأِهْلِ الأرْضِ مِنَ الْغَرقِ، وَأهْلُ بَيْتِي أمَانٌ لأُمَّتِي مِنْ الإخْتِلأفِ؛ فَإذَا خَالَفَتُهَا قَبِيلَةَ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ اخْتَلَفُوا فَصَارُوا حِزْبَ إبْلِيسَ.

Stars are a source of guidance for those living on the earth and my Ahl al-Bayt are a source of safety from differences. So, if any Arab tribe challenges them, they will be engaged with discrepancies among each other and hence become a party to Satan.(3)

إنَّمَا مَثَلُ أهْلِ بَيْتِي فِيكُمْ مَثَلُ بَابِ حِطَّةٍ فِي بَنِي إسْرَائيلَ؛ مَنْ دَخَلَهُ غُفِرَ لَهُ.

Verily, the parable of my Ahl al-Bayt is like the gate of Hittah (forgiveness) for the children of Israel. Whoever goes through it will be forgiven.(4)

Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

نَحْنُ بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُوَ بَابُ السَّللأمُ، مَنْ دَخَلَهُ نَجَا، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهُ هَوَى.

We are the gate of Hittah, which is the gate of

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1- Bisharat al-Mustafa: 30
2- Ghurar al-Hikam: 16, H. 2028-2029
3- Al-Mustadrak: 16, H 2028 - 2029
4- Al-Mujam al-Saghir

peace and safety. Whoever enters through it will be saved and whoever refuses will meet perdition.(1)

ألأ إنَّ الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي فِي هَبَطَ بِهِ آدَمُ وَجَميَعَ مَا فُضِّلَتْ بِهِ الَّبِيُّونَ إلَى خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّنَ فِي عِتْرَةِ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ فِي عِتْرَةِ خَاتِمِ النَّبِيِّينَ، فَأيْنَ يُتَاهُ بِكُمْ؟ وَأيْنَ تَدْهَبُونَ؟ وَإنَّهُم فِيكُمْ كَأصْحَابِ الْكَهْفِ، وَمَثَلٌهُمْ بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُمْ بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُم بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُمْ بَابُ السِّلْمِ فِي قَولِهِ تَعَالَى:

. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ

Beware, the knowledge that Adam brought with him and the knowledge of all Prophets are with the Ahl al-Bayt. So why are you bewildered and where are you bound to go? Ahl al-Bayt among you are like the People of the Cave and like the Gate of Hittah. They are the gate to peace and safety mentioned in the words of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ

O you who believe! Enter into submission one and all, and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan (2:208)(2)

Addressing Imam Ali (a.s.) the Holy Prophet (S) said:

مَثَلُكُمْ يَا عَلِيُّ مَثَلُ بَيْتِ اللَّهِ الْحَرَامِ؛ مَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ فَمَنْ أحَبَّكُمْ وَوَالأكُم كَانَ آمِناً مِنْ عَذَابِ النَّارِ. وَ مَنْ أبْغَضَكُمْ كَانَ اُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ. يَا عَلِيُ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى اٌلنَّاسِ حِجُّ اٌلبَيْتِ مَنِ اٌسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَنْ كَانَا لهُ عُدْرٌ فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ. وَمَنْ كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ. وَمَنْ كَانَا مَرِضاً فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ، إنَّ اللَّهَ لأيَعْدُرُ غَنِياً وَ لأ فَقِيراً فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ. إنَّ اللَّهَ لأيعْدُرُ غَنِّياً وَلأ فَقِيراً وَلأ مَريضاً وَلأ صَحِيحاً وَلأ بَصِيراً

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1- Al-Mujam al-Saghir
2- Tafsir al-Ayashi:1 102/1. H. 1

فِي تَفْرِيطِهِ فِي مُوَالأتِكُمْ وَمَحَبَّتِكُمْ.

O Ali! The parable of you, Ahl al-Bayt, is like the sacred House of Allah. Whoever has entered it is safe. So whoever loves you will be immune from Hellfire and whoever harbors a grudge against you will be thrown into it. O Ali! Based on the Holy Quran,

"… and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it (3:97)" -

there is however an excuse for the one who is poor or sick. However, Allah will not accept the excuse of either the poor or the rich or the sick or the healthy who fail to love you, the Ahl al-Bayt. (1)

The Holy Prophet (S) has also said:

إجْعَلُوا أهْلَ بَيتي مِنْكُم مَكَانَ الرَّاسِ مِنْ الجَسَدِ وَمَكَانَ العَيْنَيْنِ مِنَ الرَّاسِ. فَإنَّ الجَسَدَ لأ يَهْتَدي إلأ بِالرَّأسِ وَلأيَهْتَدي الرَّأسُ إلأبِالْعَيْنَيْنِ.

Consider my Ahl al-Bayt as the head is to the body and the two eyes are to the head. The body cannot find the way except with the head and the head cannot find the way except with the eyes.(2)

It now becomes clear as to why the companions of Ahl al-Bayt during their lives considered them as head and eyes without whom life was nothing but blindness, bewilderment and perdition.

Although at the Night of ‘Ashura’, Imam Husayn (a.s.) gave his companions the choice to revoke allegiance to him and leave him, they unanimously decided to stay with him.

Beyond doubt, if a person loves them truly and invokes them from

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1- Al-Khasais al-Aimmah: 77
2- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 482, H. 1053

the bottom of the heart, the Ahl al-Bayt too will respond lovingly and accept him with open arms because they are the manifestation of Allah’s Attributes. They love people and favor them permanently.

It was due to the same love and favors that on the Day of Ashura Imam Husayn (a.s) tried to delay his martyrdom so as to give a chance to save another human being from atheism, ignorance, and being lost. It was for the same reason that he kindly addressed the enemies in the battlefield with his heart broken and his body injured. It was thus that , two brothers named Abu’l-Hutuf ibn Harth and Sa’d who had been in the army of the Khawarij in the Battle of Nahrawan and in the army of Yazid, impressed by the Divine nature of the Imam, joined Imam Husayn’s camp, fought against the enemies and were martyred.

Ahl Al-Bayt And The Straight Path


Based on clear verses of the Holy Quran, one who does not go to extremes in moral and mental situations is the executor of Allah’s decrees in all aspects of his life, not influenced by socio-political upheavals, not tempted by Satan, among the devoted servants of Allah, engaged in good deeds, helpful to people, and is propagating knowledge and faith is considered as Imam:

قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا

He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. (2:124)

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

And we made them Imams who guided people by Our

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Command, and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of the prayer and the giving of the alms, and us (alone) did they serve. (21:73)

Based on the exegesis of the Quranic verses, ‘The straight Path’ is the path which exists between the Creator and the created and following that path makes man reach the station of nearness to Allah, to achieve a great victory, and to be saved from eternal. Commenting on the Straight Path, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَا قَصُرَ عَنِ الغُلُوِّ وَارْتَفَعَ عَنِ التَّقْصِيرِ وَاسْتَقَامَ، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ طَرِيقُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ.

The straight path in this world is a path without extremes, it is right and firm; and in the Hereafter, it is the believers' path towards heaven.(1)

Imam Ali’s definition of the straight path overlaps the Ahl al-Bayt, for they were straight and moderate in all aspects of life and away from extremes. Their guidance will lead people to heaven on the Judgment Day.

One must note that there are certain words and expressions in the Holy Quran the meaning of which cannot be comprehended for people. Hence, we must learn about them from the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) that are the teachers of the Holy Quran and its commentators.

What is inferred from Sirat is nothing but path but what this path is, how long it is, what its quality and quantity are, and how we can walk on that path cannot be understood from the words. For this

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1- Tafsir al-Safi: 54/1

reason, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt are commissioned by Allah to express these facts. Without seeking help from their extensive knowledge on the Holy Qur'an, we will certainly go astray:

… هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ

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. (62:2)

Allah who has revealed the Holy Quran to the Household of the Prophet has manifested its meaning and interpretations in the purified hearts of those people endowed with learning so that other people will know about those words including the word Sirat through them.

Commenting on the holy verse:

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

‘Keep us on the right path (1:6)’

Imam al- Sadiq (a.s.) has said: The verse says, Guide us to the straight path - that is to say, guide us with your company on a path which will lead us to your love and heaven; the path which will prevent us from our caprices that ends in perdition.(1)

Can we really get to know Allah and His Love without the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt who are truly godly beings? Can we go to heaven without their guidance, teachings and intercession? Are we able to be safe from carnal desires without being in the fortress of their Imamate?

If we claim that we can be safe from losses and perdition by resorting to the Holy Quran alone and there is no

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1- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 305/1, H. 65

need for the Imam of guidance, this will definitely be against the Holy Quran. Therefore, we should decisively say that the meaning of the straight path is the Holy Quran and its paragon, namely the Ahl al-Bayt; and these two are interdependent with no separation between them.

Without Ahl al-Bayt, there will be neither straight path in the meaning of the Holy Quran nor any understanding of its subtleties. In this relation, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

نَحْنُ الطَّرِيقُ وَصِراطُ اللَّهِ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ إلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى.

We (Ahl al-Bayt) are the Road and the Straight Path towards Allah.(1)

Ahl al-Bayt themselves are truly the straight path of Allah, for their knowledge of Him is comprehensive. Hence, we should believe in the Lord Who has been introduced to us by the Ahl al-Bayt in addition to through the verses of the Holy Qur'an - both the decisive and the allegorical. Although Allah’s decrees are comprehensible, it is only with their spiritual power and guidance that a man can win His pleasure and nearness. Without following Ahl al-Bayt, we will certainly go astray.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked about the meaning of Sirat. He said:

Sirat means a path taking towards recognition of Allah - the Exalted and Glorious.(2)

Is there in this universe any way of getting to know Allah save through the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.)? If we cannot know Allah by Ahl al-Bayt, the godliest beings, then through whom can we get to know Him?

It is the Ahl al-Bayt who with their Divine knowledge have introduced

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1- Bashair al-Darajat: 62, H. 10
2- Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 32, H. 1

to us the meanings of Allah, the Judgment Day, jurisprudence, morality and truth for people. Hence, people are required to refer to them in order to understand all truths. Elaborating the word Sirat, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

وَهُمَا صِراطانِ. صِرَاطٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَ صِرَاطٌ فِي الآخِرَةِ. فَأمَّا الصِّراطُ فِي الدُّنْيَا فَهُوَاالأمَامُ الْمُقْتَرَضُ الطَّاعِةِ؛ مَنْ عَرَفَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا واقْتَدي بِأمْرِهِ مَرَّ عَلَي الصِّرَاطِ الَّذي هُوَا جِسْرُ جَهَنَّمَ فِي الأخِرَةِ. وَ مَنْلَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ فَتَرَدَّى فِي الدُّنْيَا زَلَّتْ قَدَمُهُ عَنِ الصِّرَاطِ فِي الآخِرَةِ فَتَرَدَّي فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ.

There are actually two Sirats: one in this world and another in the Hereafter. Sirat in this world is the Imam and to follow him is incumbent on all. One who recognizes and follows him will pass the bridge over Hell leading to Paradise; while one who does not recognize him will slip from the Sirat falling into Fire.(1)

Therefore, based on the Quranic verses and authentic narrations, the true path leading to real knowledge of what will result in salvation in this world and the Hereafter, are the Ahl al-Bayt.

Followers of the Right Path

Man, if he follows the life-giving teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt, will be endowed with the knowledge of Allah, be helped do his obligatory and recommended acts, avoid sins and stay away from pollutions.

Was Salman, the Persian, not a Zoroastrian first and then became a Christian? And, by following Ahl al-Bayt, he reached such a supreme station about which the Holy Prophet has said,

سَلْمَانُ مِنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

Salman is from us, Ahl al-Bayt.(2)

Had Abu-Dharr not been

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1- Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 32, H. 1
2- Bihar al-Anwar, 348/22, H. 64

a nomadic shepherd who, by resorting to Ahl al-Bayt, reached such a supreme station about which the Holy Prophet has said:

No one under the sky or on the earth is as truthful as Abu-Dharr.(1)

Was Bilal not an Ethiopian black? By following Ahl al-Bayt, he reached such a station about which the Holy Quran says:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you the most careful of his duty. (49:13)

By getting to know Allah through Ahl al-Bayt, all the said people became Allah's true servants and reached a station becoming paragons of adherence to Ahl al-Bayt until the Judgment Day.

Prophet Joseph (a.s.) was Allah’s true servant who resisted against the temptations of the vizier’s wife for seven years at the prime of his life saying: I seek refuge with Allah in response to her request. While the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) are the truth itself of the straight path. They are in essence a such a manifestation of the path to Allah were that they became one with truth itself. They only saw Allah; they only obeyed Allah; and they served only Allah. For this reason, with the permission of Allah, they became a source of Grace for the world’s nations.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Allah’s Viceregents


Allah’s attributes are not merely verbal; rather; they are objective and having external realization. The first attributes that manifested themselves from the invisible God at His will are four according to a narration, and seven according to another, which can somehow refer to

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1- Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, 259/8

the same name. The first attributes are the Ever-living, the All-knowing, the All-Powerful, and the Speaker.

Each of these attributes has a domain and property for itself and there is a longing in them for manifestation. Since ‘Allah’ is comprehensive of all attributes, it generally holds other Attributes and does not allow an Attribute to emerge alone.

The Universe’s Need for Allah’s Vicegerent

Each part of the universe that was materialized with Allah’s Most Excellent Names is governed by that Attribute. It is so necessary beyond doubt that someone comes into existence to be a full manifestation of Allah’s Chief Name and create a balance among the concrete Names of Allah so that they will not interfere with each other.

In other words, the universe is in need of a perfect man who is the manifestation of all Most Excellent Names as well as the Chief Name so as to be able to administer all the affairs as Allah’s vicegerent with His permission. Even angels who are abstract beings and each of them is assigned with a special duty -

وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَعْلُومٌ 

And there is none of us but has an assigned place (37:164) -

are in need of Allah’s vicegerent (khalifat allah) so as to control them in their affairs and to teach them what is necessary.

To sum it up, based on Quranic verses and narrations, the universe is in need of khalifat allah even if no human beings had been created. The first human being of our kind, Adam, was also in need of khalifat

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allah so that his affairs would be administered justly. Hence he himself was khalifat allah in order for that position to be a link between him and Allah.

Based on this imperative need, Allah chose a vicegerent for Himself and made him rule over universe:

…إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً

I am going to place in the earth a khalifah - Vicegerent- (2:30)

This khalifah would rule the highest stages of the universe. Although the earth is the lowliest of the low, potentially this position is the highest in terms of ranks on the earth. This most passive element is the only element, which can collect within itself all Attributes of Allah’s and become the most active element of universe thanks to its mere passiveness.

… وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا

And He taught Adam all the names (2:31)

Features of Allah’s Vicegerent

Since a khalifah knows all the Names, he can be a teacher for all creatures. Since Allah has made khalifah teacher of angels, He has made him teacher of all other creatures too.

وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنْبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاءِ هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ  قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ  قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنْبِئْهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَنْبَأَهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ

And He taught Adam all the names and then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right. They said: glory be to thee! We

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have no knowledge but that which thou has taught us; surely thou art the knowing, the wise. He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names. Then when, he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I say to you that I surely know what is ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth and (that) I Know what you manifest and what you hide. (2:31-33)

A khalifah due to his knowledge and understanding of Allah's Most Excellent Names objectively and subjectively lies at the core of the universe. He must lie in the center of it to be able to teach to the angels, administer them in relation to their affairs and urge them to do special missions. In other words, a khalifah must be perfect in terms of knowledge and capacity and superior in terms of infallibility and justice so as to be able to distinguish between the objective beautiful Names of Allah and other creatures.

A khalifah is a person who has gone through the lowest stages of existence up to its highest ones.

A khalifah is a person in whom the knowledge of the Book and the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) has been internalized. He is one who is benevolent and has acquired such virtues as generosity, contentment, chastity and courage, and has become the manifestation of Allah's Most Excellent Names.

A khalifah is one who emerges at any time with one of Allah's Names, which is proper to that time, making that Name rule. It is at

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this station that he is absorbed in Allah and takes the course toward Him. After receiving the baptism of Allah, he will reach a position where he can do extraordinary works with the permission of Allah. Then his heart becomes Allah's Throne and finds Allah sitting on it:

الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ

The All-Compassionate sat himself upon the throne. (20:5)

Merits of Allah’s Vicegerent

In a sacred Hadith (Words of Almighty Allah), we read:

لأيَسَعُنِي أرْضِي وَلاسَمَانِي، وَلَكِنْ يَسَعُنِي قَلَبُ عَبْديَ الْمُؤْمِنَ.

I am not contained in heaven or the earth; but I am contained in the heart of my believing servant.(1)

It is a believer’s heart that can undertake the vicegerency of Allah’s Most Excellent Names by which Allah rules over the universe. Referring to the creation of the Holy Prophet, another sacred Hadith reads:

لَوْ لأكَ لَمَا خَلَقْتُ الأفْلأكَ.

Were it not for your sake, I would not have created the universe.(2)

Ahl al-Bayt, Allah’s Most Perfect Vicegerents

Allah's true vicegerent is the Holy Prophet, for he is the first being to have been created, the most perfect manifestation of Allah's Attributes and a collection of truth and Allah's light:

The first thing Allah created was my light.(3)

Narrations say that the light of the Holy Prophet was created many thousand years before the creation of the universe. About the light of Imam Ali (a.s), it has been said that he was together with the Holy Prophet in the invisible World. One of these lights became Prophet and the other became Imam. In this connection, the Holy Prophet says:

خُلِقْتُ أنَا وَعَلِيٌ مِنْ نُورٍ وَاحِدٍ.

Ali and I were created

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1- Awali al-La'ali: 7/4, H. 7
2- Ta’wil al-Ayat al-Zahirah: 430
3- Awali al-La'ali: 99/4, T 140

from the same light.(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.) who is Allah’s intimate friend is the heart of Allah’s Messenger as he shares with him everything except Prophethood. The Holy Prophet (S) says:

آدَمُ وَمَنْ دُونَهُ تَحْتَ لِوَائِي يَومَ الْقِيَامَةِ؛ فَإذَا حَكَمَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ أخَذَ أمِيرُالْمُؤْمِنِينَ اللَّوَاءَ.

Adam and others are under my banner on the Judgment Day. When Allah judges among His servants, Amir al-Mu'minin (i.e. Imam Ali) will hold the banner.(2)

Therefore; if the mission of all the Prophets led to the mission of the Holy Prophet, the Imamate of all prophets is based on the Imamate of Imam Ali (a.s.) who was inwardly present with all prophets and outwardly with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Hence, the Imamate of Allah's Messenger is united with the Imamate of Ali.

True vicegerents; Means of Grace

Any station that is attained by a person must be through the Ahl al- Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:

وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ

And seek means of nearness to Him. (5:35)

We are advised to "hold fast to Allah's cord." Ahl al-Bayt have been reported as saying:

نَحْنُ حَبْلُ اللَّهِ الْمَتِينُ.

We are the firm cord of Allah.3

It is a requirement to follow the Imamate of Ali (a.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.). in order to receive the Divine Grace - whether it is knowledge or daily food. The Holy Prophet says:

أنَا مَدِينَةٌ الْعِلْمِ وَ عَليٌّ بَابُهَا، فَلأتُؤتَى الْبُيُتُ إلإمِنْ أبْوَابِهَا.

I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Whoever wishes to enter the city and seek its wisdom must first come to the gate.

Aban ibn

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 236
2- al-Manaqib: 23/2

Taghlib, a trustworthy narrator, says: I asked Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), “What for has Allah set the Shiites free from Hellfire?" The Imam answered, “On account of their acceptance of Ali's Imamate.”(1)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s) is reported as saying in the famous narration of Salsalat al-Dhahab (Golden Chain),

لأ إلَهَ إلأ اللَّهُ حِصْنِي؛ فَمَنْ دَخَلَ حِصْنِي أمِنَ مِنْ عَذَابِي.

(Almighty Allah says) There is no god but Allah is my fortress. Whoever enters it will be safe from punishment.

Imam al-Ridha (a.s) adds,

...بِشُرُوطِهَا وَأنَا مِنْ شُرُوطِهَا.

Accepting my Imamate is the requirement for entering the fortress.(2)

Therefore, prophethood of Allah’s Messenger and Imamate of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Infallible Imams are the indisputable requirements for monotheism. It is for this reason that it has been said that task of one is the task of the other two.

Allah has professed His unity, Prophethood and Imamate:

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ

Allah bears witness that there is no god but He… (3:18)

وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُ

…and Allah knows that you are most surely His Apostle … (63:1)

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ

Only Allah is your Wali and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (5:55)

Ahl al-Bayt are truly a means of Divine Grace and if it were it not for their sake, no one would be blessed with that Grace. Since they are near to Allah and are at the station of certainty, whoever wishes to reach this station must resort

p: 76

1- Safinat al-Bihar: 553/1.
2- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 135/2, H. 4

to them:

Allah started with you and will end with you and to you is the return of the people.(1)

The light of Ahl al-Bayt is such that even the angels who are abstract cannot bear their light, so, they fall in prostration when they seeing their light, thinking of it as Allah's Light. It has been narrated that when Allah’s Messenger, accompanied by (Archangel) Gabriel at the Ascension Night reached the third heaven, the angels ran away first and then started falling in prostration, saying:

سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ‘ رَبُّنَا ورَبُّ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَلرُّوحِ، مَاأشْبَهَ هَذا النُّورَ بِنُورِ ربَّنَا!

Glory and Holiness be to our Lord; Lord of angels and the Spirit. How close this light to the light of our Lord is.(2)

At any rate, Allah’s vicegerency among people is a features of the Ahl al-Bayt. According to a narration, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has been reported to say:

الأئِمَّةٌّ خُلَفَاءُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي أرْضِهِ.

The Imams are Allah's vicegerents on the earth.(3)

In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

وَ أعزَّكُّمْ بِهُداهُ، وَخَصَّكُمْ بِبُرْهَانِهِ، وَانْتَجَبَكُم لِنُورِهِ، وَأيَّدَ كُم بِرُوحِهِ، وَ رَضِيَكُمْ خُلْفَاءَكُمْ خُلْفَاءَ فِي أرْضِهِ، وَحُجَجاً عَلْى بَرِيَّتِهِ.

He strengthened you with His omnipotence, equipped you with His guidance, distinguished you with His clear Proofs, glorified you with His Light, confirmed you with His Holy spirit, and chose you to represent Him on His earth.

Ali ibn Hassan says: Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) was asked about the Ziyarah of Imam al-Kadhim (a.s). He answered: Perform prayer near mosques and say,

السَّلأمُ عَلَى أولِيَاءِ اللَّهِ وَ أصْفِيَاءِهِ. السَّلأمُ عَلَى أمَنَاءِ اللَّهِ وَ أحِبَّاءِهِ.

p: 77

1- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 272/2, H. 1
2- Ilal al-Shara’i: 312/2, Ch. 1, H. 1
3- Al-Kafi: 193/1, H. 1

السَّلامُ عَلَى أنْصَارِ اللَّهِ وَخُلَفَاءِهِ.

“Peace be upon the favorites of Allah and the chosen ones. Peace be upon the trustees of Allah and the beloved ones. Peace be upon the supporters of Allah and His representatives.”(1)

About khalifah, Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) says:

هُوَ الَّذِي. يُنَادَى بِهِ يومَ الْقِيَامَةِ: أيْنَ خَلِيفَةُ اللَّهِ فِي أرْضِهِ؟

On the Judgment Day, Allah’s vicegerent will be called, “Where is Allah’s representative on His earth.”(2)

In Dua Arafah, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) describes the Ahl al-Bayt as Allah’s representatives on the earth:

وَخُلَفَائِكَ فِي أرْضِكَ.

…and Your vicegerents on Your lands.(3)

Ahl Al-Bayt, Successors Of The Prophet

Many narrations, reported by both Shiite and Sunni scholars, refer to Ahl al-Bayt as the Holy Prophet’s successors. These narrations are so uninterruptedly reported that there is no doubt about them. Due to their moral, spiritual and scholarly features, Ahl al-Bayt alone deserve to be successors of the Holy Prophet. To be the Prophet’s successor and representative is their Divine right and no one else deserves it. The Holy Quran reads:

لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

My covenant does not include the unjust. (2:124)

Caliphate is the indisputable right of a person who has all the characteristics of the Holy Prophet except prophethood. It is only the Ahl al-Bayt who have such features. About Amir al-Muminin and the Imams after him, the Holy Prophet has said:

فَهُوَ سَيِّدُ الأوْصِيَاءِ. اللُّحُوقُ بِهِ سَعَادَةٌ، وَاالْموتُ فِي طَاعَتِهِ شَهَادَةٌ. وَاسْمُهُ فِي التَّورَاةِ مَقْرُونٌ إلَى اسْمي. وَزَوجَتُهُ الصِّدِيقَةٌ الْكُبْرَى إبْنَتِي. وَابْنَاهُ سَيِّدَا شَبَابِ أهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ ابْنَايَ.وَهُوَ وَهُمَاوَالأئِمَةٌ بَعدَهُمْ حُجَجُ اللَّهِ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ بَعْدَ النَّبِيِّينَ. وَهُم أبْوابُ الْعِلمِ فِي أمَّتِي. مَنْ

p: 78

1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 63, H. 92
2- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 271/2
3- Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, Prayer: 47.

تَبَعَهُم نَجَا مِنَ النَّارِ، وَمَنِ اقْتَدى بِهِمْ هُدِيَ إلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ. لَمْ يَهَبَبِ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مَحَبَّتَهُمِّ لِعَبْدٍ إلأ أدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّة.

He is the master of all vicegerents. Prosperity has been attached with him. Death in obedience to him is martyrdom. His name is attached to mine in the Torah. His wife, the Grand Veracious Lady, is my daughter. His Two sons, the masters of the youth of Paradise, are my sons. He and his two sons along with the Imams after them are Allah's representatives for the people after the Prophets. They are the gates of knowledge in my ummah. Whoever follows them will be saved from Hellfire; and whoever follows their examples will be guided. Whoever is given their love by Allah will enter heaven.(1)

Imam Husayn (a.s) has said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى مُحَمَّداً عَلَى خَلْقِهِ، وَأكرَمَهُ بِنُبُوَّتِهِ، وَاخْتَارَهُ لِرِسَالَتِهِ.ثُمَّ قَبَضَهُ اللَّهُ إلَيهِ وَقَدْ نَصَحَ لِعِبَادِهِ، وَبَلَّغَ مَاأرْسِلَ بِهِ. وَكُنَّا أهْلَهُ وَأوْلِيَاءَهُ وَأوْصِيَاءَهُ وَوَرَثَتَهُ وَأحَقَّ النَّاسِ بِمَقَامِهِ فِي النَّاسِ.فَاسْتَأثَرَ عَلَينَا قَومُنَا بِذَالِكَ فَرَضِينَا، وَكَرِهْنَا الفُرقَة، وَأجَبْنَا الْعَافِيَة وَ نَحْنُ نَعلَمُ أنَّا أحَقُّ بِذَالِكَ أحَقِّ الْمُسْتَحَقَّ عَلَينَا مِمَّنْ تَولأهُ.

Allah chose Muhammad for his people, honored him with prophethood, and chose him for the mission. He then took his soul after he had advised Allah's servants and communicated to them what he had been sent for. We, his household, are his vicegerents and inheritors and the worthiest of holding his position. But our people denied us this position seizing it from us. We submitted to this bitter event. We dislike division

p: 79

1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 21, H. 5

and favor peace although we know for sure that our claim to this right is more deserving than those who have taken it from us.(1)

Authentic narrations indicate that Allah’sMessenger appointed Imam Ali (a.s.) and the eleven other Imams as his successors according to Allah's decree. Describing Ahl al-Bayt, Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

هُمُ الأئِمَّةٌ الطَّاهِرُونَ وَالعِتْرَةُ الْمَعْصُومُونَ وَالذُّرِّيَّةٌ الأكْرَمُونَ وَالْخُلَفَاءُ الرَّاشِدُونَ

They are purified Imams, infallible household of noble offspring and guided vicegerents.(2)

Ahl al-Bayt are the chosen ones and the manifestation of Allah’sAttributes, endowed with features of the prophets as well as morality and faith of the Holy Prophet in a way that the fair-minded Sunni scholars have referred to it by reporting that Holy Prophet has said:

مَنْ أرَادَ أنْ يَنْظُرَ إلَى آدَمَ فِي عِلْمِهِ، وَ إلَى يَحْيَ بْنِ زَكَرِيَّا فِي زُهْدِهِ، وَإلَى مُوسَى بْنِ عِمْرَانَ فِي بَطْشِهِ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ إلَى عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ.

One who wishes to look at Adam’s knowledge, Noah’s understanding, John’s piety and Moses’ firm acts should look at Ali ibn Abu-Talib.(3)

A Similar narration reports the Holy Prophet as saying:

مَنْ أرَادَ أنْ يَنْظُرَ إلَى آدَمَ فِي عِلْمِهِ، وَإلَى نُوحٍ فِي تَقْوَاهُ، وَإلَى إبْرَاهِيمَ فِي حِلْمِهِ، وَ إلَى مُوسَى فِي هَيْبَتِهِ، وَ إلَى عِيسَى فِي عِبَادَتِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرُ إلَى عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ.

One who wishes to look at Adam in his knowledge, Noah in his piety, Abraham in his tolerance, Moses in his formidableness and Jesus in his submission should look at `Ali ibn Abu-Talib.(4)

Therefore, the vicegerents and Imams after the Holy Prophet are twelve in number, all

p: 80

1- Tarikh al-Tabari: 357/5
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 174/25, H. 39
3- Rawdhat al-Wa’idhin: 128/1
4- Kashf al-Yaqin: 53

of whom have been appointed by Allah to have authority over people. However, the pseudo-scholars following the Umayyad school think that these position and features are found in families other than that of the Holy Prophet. Hence they ignored Allah’schoosing the Holy Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt, and resorted to their own choice even though the Holy Quran says:

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ ۗ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

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. (28:68)

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ 

And it behooves not a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter… (33:36)

مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

What has happened to you? How do you judge? (68:36)

To prove the right of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and denounce those who have chosen others as leaders thus preparing the way for division among the Muslim nation, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) resorts to the Holy Quran and says:

ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

That is the grace of Allah: He gives it to whom He pleases. And Allah is the Lord of mighty grace. (57:21)

In this relation, Amir al-Muminin says:

عِتْرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الْعِتَرِ، وَاُسْرَتٌهُ خَيْرُ الاُسَرِ، وَشَجَرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الشَجَرِ.

Muhammad’s descendants are the best descendants, his kinsmen ar ethe best of kin and his tree

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of lineage is the best of trees.(1)

Addressing Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, the Holy Prophet (S) said:

إنَّكُمْ أصْحَابِي، وَعَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ أخِي وَمِنِّي وَأنَا مِنْ عَلِيٍّ. فَهُوَبَابُ عِلْمِي وَوَصِيِّي. وَهُوَا وَ فَاطِمَةٌ وَالْحَسَنُ وَالحُسَينُ هُمْ خَيْرُ الأرْضِ عُنْصُراً وَ شَرَفاً وَ كَرَماً.

You are my companions. Ali ibn Abu-Talib is from me and I am from him. He is the gate of my knowledge and my successor. Ali, Fatimah, Zasan and Husayn are the best on the earth in terms of honor and dignity.(2)

Ahl Al-Bayt And Contentment

Ahl al-Bayt, due to their knowledge of Allah and their ability, are the manifestation of Allah’s most excellent Names, for their whole lives are nothing but pure belief in Allah as the One and Only God. Their will and wrath are those of Allah. In this connection, Imam Husayn (a.s.) has said:

رَضَا اللَّهِ رِضَانَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

Allah’s will is our will. (3)

Ahl al-Bayt are pleased with whatever Allah is pleased with. Men, in their evolutionary course, reach a stage where they have ‘love’ and ‘wrath’. This love and wrath is compatible with Allah’s love and wrath. Nevertheless, there is a superior stage where their love and wrath is not considered concordant with Allah’s love and wrath for a person who says I am pleased with what Allah is pleased with. He withstands and at this stage of plurality, is when the spiritual follower sees both himself and Allah. However, for one who stands at the station of unity, only one will and one wrath exists. At this stage, a

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah, 209, Sermon: 94
2- Yanabi al-Mawaddah: 332/2, H. 973
3- Kashf al-Ghummah: 29/2

spiritualist follower is in the station of annihilation in Allah. For this reason, Ahl al-Bayt say:

Allah’s will is our will.

In this relation that Imam Husayn (a.s.) say:

وَأسِيرُ بِسِيرَةِ جَدِّي وَأبِي.

I live in the style of my grandfather - the Holy Prophet and my father - Ali.(1)

Some people are believers in the surface, but are unbelievers from the viewpoint of the Holy Quran. They turn their back on Allah when their interests are not in line with their belief:

وَإِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ

And when they are called to Allah and His Apostle that he may judge between them, a party of them turn aside. (24:48)

They desire for Allah not for His sake, but for theirs:

وَإِذَا مَسَّ الْإِنْسَانَ الضُّرُّ دَعَانَا لِجَنْبِهِ أَوْ قَاعِدًا أَوْ قَائِمًا فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَنْ لَمْ يَدْعُنَا إِلَىٰ ضُرٍّ مَسَّهُ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ


And when affliction touches a man, he calls on us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove his affliction from him, he passes on as though he had never called on Us on account of an affliction that touched him. (10:12)

These people and their likes are self-centered; all their affairs, including their worship, are aimed at gaining something worldly. They are just merchants. However, for godly people, whatever they do is aimed to seek Allah’s pleasure. Those who pray sitting or lying on their sides even when they cannot perform prayer standing:

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 328/44

وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Those who remember Allah - standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth. (3:191)

Although Ahl al-Bayt, in their capacity as human beings, have polarization, love, enmity, passion, wrath and inclination, all of them are under the cover of godly amity and detachment. The Holy Quran has determined the criterion of godly amity and detachment. Based on this criterion, Ahl al-Bayt’s deeds are Allah-oriented so much so that they have made Satan submissive. The Holy Prophet says:

كَانَ شَيْطانِي كَافِراً، فَأعَانَنِي اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ حَتَّى أسْلَمَ بِيَدَيَّ.

My Satan was unbeliever; but Allah helped me against him until he embraced Islam through me.(1)

Ahl Al-Bayt And Submission

Ahl al-Bayt’s submissions to Allah’s will is not a state that they are compelled to reach. Rather, it is a truth that they have attained at its climax with their personal efforts. Their station of submission is said to be the last of several stations a spiritualist follower has to go through. It is said that few spiritualist followers have ever reached this station, for it especially belongs to the Holy Prophet, the Holy Imams and the saints. Imam Husayn (a.s.) is reported as saying:

إنَّا أهْلُ بَيتٍ نَسْالُ اللَّهَ فَيُعْطِينَا، فَإذَا أرَادَ أرَادَ مَا نَكْرَهُ فِيمَا يُحِبُّ رَضِينَا.

We, the Ahl al-Bayt, beseech Allah and He grants us. So, if He wills to do that which we abhor, provided that it will bring about

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1- Tarikh Baghdad: 331/3

His pleasure, we submit.(1)

Ala ibn Kamil says: I was sitting in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) when a woman from the house of the Imam started wailing. The Imam rose up and then sat down saying, “Surely we belong to Allah and unto Him do we return.” He kept on repeating so until he said,

إنَّا لَنُحِبُّ أنْ نُعَافَى فِي أنْفُسِنَا وَ أوْلأدِنَا وَ أمْوالِنَا، فَإذَا وَقَعَ الْقَضَاءُ فَلَيسَ لَنَا أنْ نُحِبَّ مَا لَمْ يُحِبَّ اللَّهُ لَنَا.

We favor safety as regards life, property and our children but when there is Divine decree, we do not love what Allah does not love for us.(2)

In this connection, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

نَدْعُو اللَّهِ فِي مَا نُحِبُّ، فَإذَا وَقَعَ الَّذِي نَكْرَهُ لَمْ نُخَالِفِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فِيمَا أحَبَّ.

We call on Allah for what we love to be given to us but if something happens that we do not love, we will not oppose it. (3)

Qutaybah al-A’sha says: I went to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) to visit his child but found the Imam sad at the threshold. I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! How is your child?” The Imam said, “By Allah, he does not feel well.” Then he went inside the house. He was delayed for an hour and then came out with no sign of sorrow in his face. I thought his child was better. So, I asked,“How is the child?” The Imam answered, “He passed away.” I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! How is it that when he

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1- Maqtal al-Husayn by al-Khawarzmi; 147/1
2- Al-Kafi: 226/3, H. 13.
3- Kashf al-Ghummah: 150/2

was alive, you were sad but now that he has passed away you are no longer sad?” The Imam said,

إنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيتِ نَجْزَعُ قَبَلَ المُصيبَةِ، فَإذَا وَقَعَ أمْرُ اللَّهِ رَضِينَا بِقَضاَءِهِ وَسَلَّمْنَا لأِمْرِهِ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, wail before calamity comes; but when Divine decree comes, we are pleased with it and submit to His Decree.(1)

Ibrahim Ibn Sad reported that: Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) heard wailing of mourners from his house while a group of people were gathered around him. He went inside and then returned. He was asked if the wailing was for death of anyone. He answered affirmatively. The attendants condoled him and they were surprised at his patience. The Imam said:

إنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيتِ نُطِيعُ اللَّهَ فِي مَا نُحِبُّ وَ نَحْمَدُهُ فِي مَا نَكْرَهُ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, obey Allah for what we love and praise Him for what is unpleasant.(2)

Ahl Al Bayt And Infallibility


Infallibility (ismah) is a special intuitive state keeping man from committing sin and closing all doors to temptations. From this view, we can consider infallibility as something cognitive, which requires cognizance and something existential, for it is a virtue that man can obtain in his evolutionary strive with Allah’s favor.

Cognitive and pragmatic infallibility are virtues merely related to cognition and perception while some others are only pragmatic. For example, justice is a pragmatic virtue in man, which has nothing to do with man’s intuitive dimension. This valuable virtue keeps man from intentional or unintentional fault but ismah saves from ignorance, fault, negligence, oblivion, sophistry, and sinning. Therefore, an infallible (masum) is

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1- Al-Kafi: 225/3, H. 11
2- al-Manaqib: 165/4

immune from any error in perception in the realm of cognizance, immune from wrongdoing in pragmatism, and immune from mistake in propagating religion.

The intuitive truth belongs to theoretical intellect; and abstaining from committing sins is related to pragmatically intellect though the origin of ismah of pragmatic intellect is the same as cognizance and intuitive intellect.

Ahl al-Bayt’s Infallibility

Based on the Holy Quran and narrations, the Ahl al-Bayt are infallible at the level of theoretical and pragmatic intellect; that is to say, they perceive everything correctly, execute it correctly, and convey their knowledge and insight to people correctly. So, there is no fault, ignorance or error in their understanding; nor is there error, rebellion or oblivion in the realm of pragmatic intellect.

About the Ahl al-Bayt’s infallibility, the Holy Quran says:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)

Allah’swill is aimed at purifying the knowledge and deeds of Ahl al-Bayt. Hence, He has made them masum in their knowledge and deeds.

If we are emphatically advised not to interpret the Holy Quran without the help of Ahl al-Bayt, it is because no human beings but Ahl al-Bayt are immune from misunderstanding and misinterpreting the Divine Book.

Man's Knowledge and Act

In ordinary human beings, there is a great difference between insight and action as well as between knowledge and the act. The gap between theoretical and pragmatic intellect becomes wider when man takes distance from his godly nature

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and sublime human position. Hence, one of these two intellects is always stronger or weaker than the other. The more man walks towards perfection the closer will be these two wings of flight come towards each other towards and at a point they will become one, in the same way that knowledge and act are one for the angles. In the first truth, which is the Holy Prophet, we can see the zenith of this unity.

Allah’s Knowledge and Act

As for Almighty Allah, knowledge and act are exactly the same and the two are exactly in His power:

وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْ رَبِّكَ مِنْ مِثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَا أَصْغَرَ مِنْ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرَ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ

And there does not lie concealed from your Lord the weight of an atom in the earth or in the heaven. (10:61)

وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا

And your Lord is not forgetful. (19:64)

Allah is pragmatically free from any evil deed. One of these indecencies is injustice about which the Holy Quran says:

وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

And your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone. (18:49)

In the sight of Almighty Allah, every evil deed, however small, is blameworthy. He says exonerating Himself from it:

كُلُّ ذَٰلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا 

All this - the evil of it - is hateful in the sight of your Lord. (17:38)

Ahl al-Bayt’s Knowledge and Act

In the light of the previous discussion, we come to the conclusion that ismah is not solely cognitive or pragmatic, for the Prophets and the Imams, being godly, are infallible both in knowledge and

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deeds. For this reason, their knowledge and act are a proof until the Judgment Day for the people of all ranks.

Why Are Ahl al-Bayt Infallible?

Reporting Ibn Umayr, Muhammad ibn Babawayh in his valuable book, Dhakhirat al-Ibad, narrates the following: During my association with Husham ibn al-Hakam, I did not find but four best words only when I asked him, “Is the Imam infallible?” He answered, “Yes, he is.” I asked, “For what reason?” He said,

إنَّ جَمِيعَ الذُّنُوبِ لَهَا أرْبَعَةٌ أوْجُهٍ لأ خَامِسَ لَهَا: الْحِرْصُ وَ الُحَسَدُ وَ الْغَضَبُ وَالشَّهْوَةُ. فَلأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ حَرِيصاً عَلَى هَذِهِ الدُنْيَا وَهِيَ تَحْتَ خَاتَمِهِ. وَلأيَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ حَرِصاً عَلَى هَذِهِ الدُّنْيَا وَهِيَ تَحْتَ خَاتَمِهِ. وَلأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ حَسُودَاً لأنَّ الإنْسَانَ إنَّمَا يَحْسِدُ مَنْ هُوَا فَوقَهُ. وَلأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَغْضَبَ لِشَيْءٍ إلأ أنْ يَكُونَ غَضَبُهُ للَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. وَ لأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَتَّبِعَ الشَّهَوَاتِ وَ يُؤثِرَ الْدُّنْيَا عَلَى الآخِرَةِ،لأنَّ اللَّهِ حَبَّبَ إلَيْهِ الآخِرَةَ كَمَا حَبَّبَ إلَيْنَا الدُّنْيَا... فَهَلْ رَأيْتَ أحَداً تَرَكَ وَجْهَا حَسَناً لِوَجْهٍ قَبِيحٍ وَطَعَاماً لِطَعَامٍ مُرٍّ...

All sins are rooted in greed, jealousy, wrath and lust. How can the Imam be greedy of the world when the whole world is under his command? How can the Imam be jealous while all creatures are below him? How can the Imam be wrathful when his wrath is for the sake of Allah? How can the Imam be lustful when he sees beautiful faces and blessings in heaven through contemplation and intuition?

Infallibility, the zenith of Piety

Ismah is virtually the light of theoretical and pragmatic intellect. An infallible man has the power to prevent the

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influence of illusion on theoretical intellect and to prevent the influence of lust and wrath on pragmatic intellect so that he will not be polluted with sin and he will strive voluntarily towards virtues and perfection. Pragmatic infallibility is the highest degree of piety which will become manifest in behaviors and deeds.

All the infallible Imams fully receive from Almighty Allah what is related to the guidance of man, comprehend it perfectly, fulfill it properly and convey it to others. This is only possible through intuition, for a man, in the world of illusion, presents his imaginations on the findings of intellect hence misleads others:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّوا قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ

Have you not seen those who have changed Allah's favor for ungratefulness and made their people to alight into the abode of perdition? (14:28)

The Infallibles Are Not Tempted by Satan

Should man live in the sanctuary of pure reason, he will be immune from inward and outward Satans:

لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

I will certainly lie in wait for them in thy straight path. (7:16)

Iblis (Satan) who threatens to mislead all human beings with all his power cannot find his way in a person who himself is a straight path, for Sirat which represents the infinite power of Allah is immune from all temptations. For the followers of the spiritual path, the straight path and the wayfarer are the same. Meanwhile, Satan lies in wait in the beginning of the path and not in the middle or in the final stages. Therefore, those who have

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traversed the major sections of the path by performing their religions obligations and have reached the stage of devotion are immune from temptations:

...وَلَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ  إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

I will certainly cause them all to deviate, except the servants from among them, the devoted ones. (15:39-40)

The Infallibles’ Knowledge and Act

One who has reached the station of cognitive and intuitive devotion do not misunderstand anything nor does he commit any error or have doubt in relation to perceptions, for the receiver of message is an abstract soul and the sender of message is Allah Who is pure knowledge. About the cognitive ismah, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

مَا شَكَكْتُ فِي الْحَقِّ مُدأريتُهُ.

I have never had any doubt since the time I was presented with the truth.

This indicates that Imam Ali had reached the final stage of reunion with Almighty Allah. He had comprehension of the far-fetched truths, which is not available but for a masum through knowledge and intuition. Therefore, Imam Ali is the paragon of ‘There is no doubt in it’.

As for pragmatic ismah, we should say that those who have attained devotion reach this stage. This is when lust, wrath, jealousy, arrogance and hypocrisy have no way into his sanctuary.

An infallible person has gone through the stages of polarization, lust, wrath, love, enmity, like and dislike. He has reached the station of amity and detachment, which is the most perfect and the most valuable stage. One who has reached this latest stage considers Satan as the most hostile enemy of his inward and outward being. Hence,

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he suppresses Satan in the hardest way and comes under the guardianship of Allah:

إِنَّ وَلِيِّيَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ ۖ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى الصَّالِحِينَ

Surely, my guardian is Allah Who revealed the book and He befriends the good. (7:196)

It is the same righteous ones who will inherit the earth due to their ismah in perceptions and deeds:

أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

My righteous servants shall inherit it. (21:105)

Infallibility; Not Exclusive

When a man reaches the stage of devotion, he will be on a safe path. He is now a righteous and is placed under the guardianship of Allah. In this case, he will be immune from the temptations of Satan who has confessed that he will not harm the devoted ones. The word ‘devoted ones’ has a general meaning. Therefore, everyone can reach the station of ismah with endeavor, discipline and worship. Whatever is gained in the universe is due to Allah's favor:

وَمَا بِكُمْ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ

And whatever favor is bestowed on you it is from Allah. (16:53)

Allah is the True Agent

Man cannot possess anything without Allah having a part in it. Every being's existence is contingent on the Necessary Being. Hence, if there is any perfection in man, it comes from Allah. Even the true agent behind teaching common knowledge is Allah:

عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

He taught man what he knew not. (96:5)

We plough the land, sow the seeds and irrigate it but it is Allah who makes the seeds grow and come to fruition:

أَأَنْتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ

Is it you that cause it to grow, or

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are we the causers of growth? (56:64)

Self-Purification; Premise of Infallibility

Man can attain ismah with discipline and self-purification. So ismah is not solely for the Prophets and the Imams; rather when one is Prophet or Imam, he is infallible, but not the opposite.

Man can keep himself from error, sin, and oblivion by self-purification. He can do so before puberty so as to be masum at puberty thanks to training and purification. Even those who have committed sins or errors can become masum in the future with the same method. One who enjoys Divine training may reach a stage of ismah where one will be immune from error in scientific issues:

إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا

If you are careful of your duty to Allah, He will grant you distinction. (8:29)

Distinction means to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, by observing piety and in the light of discipline received from the saints, man can become a distinguisher of good and bad. In that case, he will neither misunderstand nor act wrongly. If it is said that a distinguisher may not know certain things, it is because like other virtues, ismah too has certain ranks.

Prophethood and Imamate Are Exclusive

Ismah is not exclusive. What is exclusive is Prophethood and Imamate which none can attain with endeavor even if one is totally purified:

اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

Allah best knows where He places His message. (6:124)

The Prophets are one hundred and twenty four thousand in number, and the Imams after the Holy Prophet are twelve in number; but ismah

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is a station available for anyone. Lady Fatimah (a.s) was neither a prophet nor an Imam, but she was masum. Mary, too, was masum.

Man enjoys such capacity that he can prepare for himself the ground for the manifestation of such blessing with knowledge and practice so that Allah will grant the station of ismah to him or her:

وَآتَاكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ

And He gives you of all that you ask Him. (14:34)

This ‘asking’ is based on talent and Allah does not allow any talent to go to waste.

Ismah Can Be Acquired

One must note that ismah is an optional virtue in knowledge and action, hence it is a virtue, which, can be acquired in the light of Allah’sfavor. Therefore if a masum has not done something wrong, it means that he has opted not to commit anything wrong and not because he has been created masum by nature. Masum, as the Holy Quran says, is always equipped with Divine reasoning internalized in man and in this way man has suppressed the inner enemy and carnal desires.

Sin From The Viewpoints of the Infallible

A follower of the spiritual path and a masum see the evil nature and the result of the sin as it really is:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا

As for those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies. (4:10)

Since the inner part of sin is fire, one who realizes this is immune from even thinking of sinning. At the end of the story

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of Aqil who requested more than his right from the public fund, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

وَأجَبُ مِنْ ذَالِكَ طَارِقٌ طَرَقِنَا بِمَلْفُوفَةٍ فِي وَ عَا ئِهَا وَ مَعْجُوجَنَةٍ. شَنِئتُهَا كَأنَّمَا عُجِنَتْ بِرِيقِ حَيَّةٍ أوْقَيْئهَا. فَقُلْتُ: أصِلَةٌ أمْ زَكَاةٌ أمْ صَدَقَةٌ؟ فَذَالِكَا مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَينَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ. فَقَالَ: لأ ذَا وَلأ ذَاكَ؛ وَ لَكِنَّهَا هَدِيَّةٌ. فَقُلْتً: هَبْلَتُكَ الْهُبُولُ! أعَنْ دِينِ اللَّهِ أتَيْتَنِيلِتَخْدَعَنِي؟ أمُخْتَبِطٌ أنْتَ أمْ ذُو جِنَّةٍ أمْ تَهْجُرُ؟

A stranger incident is that a man comes to us in the night with a closed flask of honey paste yet I disliked it as though it was the saliva of a serpent or its vomit. I asked him whether it was a reward, or zakat (poor-tax) or charity, for these are forbidden to us, members of the Prophet's Household. He said it was neither this nor that but a present. Then, I said: Childless women may weep over you. Have you come to deviate me from the religion of Allah, or are you mad, or have some Jinn overpowered you, or are you speaking without senses?(1)

Imam Ali who is infallible sees bribe as the vomit of a serpent that a wise man never longs for.

Those who can really see are not ignorant

Imam Ali (a.s) describes the angels in a way that indicates how ismah has been internalized in them. Their description shows that they are watchful not to be caught in the trap of Satan. They are neither ignorant nor forgetful:

لأ يَغْشَاهُمْ نَومَ الْعُيُونِ وَلأ سَهُوُ الْعُقُولِ، وَلأ فَتْرَاةُ الأبْدَانِ وَلأ غَفَلَةٌ النَّسْيَانِ.

The sleep of the eye or the slip of

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah: 346, Sermon: 224

the wit or languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness does not effect then.(1)

The Prophets and the Imams are like angels in being immune from error in thought, forgetfulness and indecent acts.

Human Power and Ismah

It is not that a masum is incapable of committing sin, rather he can commit sin but he never does so. At any rate, ismah both in its cognitive and pragmatic dimensions is not such that it will ruin the requirements of human power, for each power has requirements, which can be met lawfully and unlawfully. The sense of hearing likes sweet songs; the sense of seeing enjoys beautiful scenes; and so on. Hence, we should satisfy our senses lawfully.

Ahl al-Bayt, at the zenith of Ismah

The Holy Prophet says about the infallibility of the Ahl al-Bayt and himself:

أنَا وَ عَلِيٌ وَالْحَسَنُ وَالحُسَينُ وَ تِسْعَةٌ مِنْ وُلْدِ الْحُسَيْنِ مُطَهَّرُونَ وَ مَعصُومُونَ.

I, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the nine of the sons of Husayn are purified from uncleanness and are infallible.(2)

About himself and Lady Fatimah and the twelve Imams (a.s), the Holy Prophet )s) has also said:

إنَّا أهْلُ الْبَيتِ قَدْ أذْهَبَ اللَّهُ عَنَّا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ.

We are Ahl al-Bayt. Allah has purified us from all overt and covert uncleanness.(3)

In a clear statement on the ismah of the Prophets and the Imams, Imam al- Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

الأنْبِيَاءُ وَالأوْصِيَاءُ لأ ذُنُوبَ لَهُمْ، لأنَّهُم مَعْصُومُونَ مُطَهَّرُونَ.

The Prophets and their successors have no sin, for they are infallible and purified.(4)

Lady Fatimah, Imam Ali and the eleven sons of these two honorable persons have introduced themselves as

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah: 39, Sermon: 1
2- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 64/1, T 30
3- Al-Firdaws: 54/1
4- Al-Khisal: 608/2, H. 9

purified from all pollutions and uncleanness as well as the devoted servants of Allah, who have closed all the doors to carnal desire and Satan.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Allah’s Favourite

Self-Purification Makes Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s Favorites

Ahl al-Bayt’s being purified from uncleanness and being endowed with good qualities is the reason for their being Allah’s favorites. In the Holy Quran, Allah has praised them with their best quality, which is a thorough purification and their access to the hidden truth:

لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

None shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:79)

Due to their knowing of the hidden truth, Ahl al-Bayt are aware of the whole universe and act in accordance with the Divine decrees and the best deeds. These features show that the devotees have been trained and chosen directly by Allah. Self-purification, awareness of the hidden truths and realization of Allah’s commands have made Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s favorites:

وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

He loves those who purify themselves. (2:222)

Ahl al-Bayt’s morality is a manifestation of their self-purification. Such morality like justice, reliance on Allah, patience, faith, certainty, repentance, jihad and self-sacrifice have made Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s most favorites:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ

Surely, Allah loves those who turn much to Him. (2:222)

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

Surely, Allah loves those who trust Him (3:159)

The Favorites with the Holy Prophet

As the Ahl al-Bayt were the favorites with Allah, they were the favorite with the Holy Prophet, for he loved but what Allah loved. Umm-Salamah has reported that one day Allah’s Messenger was sitting at home. Fatimah brought a small pot with dish of flour in it. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Where is Ali

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and his two sons?” Fatimah answered, “They are at home.” He said, “Tell them to come here.” After some time, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and Fatimah were walking towards Allah’s Messenger. As soon as he saw them, he took his cloak (kisa) which was on the bed and covered them, saying:

أللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلأءِ أهْلُ بَيْتِي، فَأذْهِبْ عَنَهُمُ الرِّجْسَ وَطَهِّرْهُمْ تَطْهِيراً.

O Allah! These are my household and my favorite ones; so, remove wickedness from them and make them pure a perfect purification.

At this time, Almighty Allah revealed the Verse of Purification:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

أتَى رَجُلٌ إلَى النَّبِيِّ فَقَالَ: يا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، أيُّ الْخَلَقِ أحَبُّ إلَيكَ؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ _ وَأنَا إلَى جَنْبَهِ _: هَذَا وَ ابْنَاهُ وَ أُمُّهُمَا. هُم مِنِّي وَأنَا مِنْهُمْ. وَهُمْ مَعِي فِي الْجنَّةِ هَكَذَا. وَ جَمَعَ بَيْنَ إصْبِعَيْهِ _.

A man came to Allah’s Messenger saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who is your most favorite one?” The Holy Prophet said, “This (Ali), his two sons and their mother are. They are from me and I am from them. In Paradise, they will be as close as two fingers to


Obeisance to Ahl al-Bayt Makes you Allah's Favorite

Anyone who wishes to be Allah’s favorite must endeavor to purify himself internally and externally by obeying Him, His Prophet (s.a.w), and Ahl al- Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ

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1- Kashf al-Ghummah: 45/1
2- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1007

ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is forgiving, Merciful. (3:31)

The Holy Prophet, the obeisance to whom will make us Allah’s favorites, has emphatically ordered his ummah to love Ahl al-Bayt from the bottom of their hearts and to obey them under all circumstances in order to be Allah’s favorite. He has said:

أحِبُّوا اللَّهَ لِمَا يَغْدُوكُم مِنْ نِعَمِهِ، وَأحِبُونِي بِحُبِّ اللَّهِ، وَأحِبُّوا أهْلَ بَيْتِي لِحُبِّي.

Love Allah for the blessings He has bestowed on you; love me because of your love for Allah; and love my household because of your love for me.(1)

In another important narration, the Holy Prophet says:

مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يَحْيَا حَياتي وَ يَمُوتَ مَمَاتِي وَ يَسْكُنُ جَنَّة وَيَسْكُنَ جَنَّةَ عَدَنٍ غَرَسَهَا رَبِّي فَلْيُوَالِ عَلِياً مِن بَعَدي وَليُوَالِ وَلِيَّهُ وَليَقْتَدِ بِالِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِي؛ فَإنَّهُمْ عِتْرَتِي، خُلِقُوا مِنْ طِينَتِي وَرُزِقُو فَهْماً وَعِلْمَاً. وَوَيْلٌ لِلمُكَذِّبِينَ بِفَضْلِهِمْ، القَاطِعِينَ فِيهِمْ صِلَتِي، لأ أنَالَهُمُ، اللَّهُ شَفَاعَتِي.

Anyone who wishes to live and to pass away like me and to abide in an eternal Paradise the trees of which have been planted by my Lord must love Ali after me, love his lovers and follow the Imams after me, for they are my Household who are created from my essence and endowed with knowledge. Woe to those who deny their excellence and do not observe my kinship with them. I will not intercede for them.(2)

How To Be Allah’s Favorite?

If man wishes to become Allah’s favorite, he must follow the Ahl al-Bayt the head of whom

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1- Al-Amali, by al-Saduq: 364, H. 6
2- Kanz al-Ummal: 103/12, H. 34198

is Allah’s Messenger. This adherence will lead man gradually to spiritual purification to the extent of his capacity. Hence, he will become Allah’s favorite. To reach this station, it is only possible through Ahl al-Bayt, for they are the straight path and the best guides for the followers of spiritual path.

The criterion for being Allah’s favorite is being like the Ahl al-Bayt who have asked us to compare ourselves with them to see whether we are liked or disliked by Allah:

فَإنَّكُمْ وَسِيَلَتِي إلَى اللَّهِ، وَبِحُبِّكُمْ وَبِقَرْبِكُمُ أرُجُو نَجَاةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ.

You, the Ahl al-Bayt, are our means towards Allah. We set our hope on your station and love to be saved by Allah.(1)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that the only thing that will bring heaven to us is having devotion in worshipping Allah and saying that there is no god but Allah. Devotion is to act according to Allah’s commandments, to abstain from committing sin and to adhere to Ahl al-Bayt. When the Holy Prophet was asked what devotion is and how it is related to there is no god but Allah, he answered:

It is to act to what I have been sent for and to love my Ahl al-Bayt.

They asked him whether love for Ahl al-Bayt’s and acceptance of Imamate was part of the said formula, he said: yes.(2)

The same matter is expressed by Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) in a Hadith in Salsalat al- Dhahab (Golden Chain) in another way of reporting:

كَلِمَةٌ لأإلَهَ إلأ اللَّهُ حِصْنِي، فَمَنْ دَخَلَ حِصْنِي أمِنَ مِنْ

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 249/99, H. 9
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 13/3, H. 30

عَذَابِي؛ بِشُرُوطِهَا وَ أنَا مِنْ شُرُوطِهَا.

There is no god but Allah is my fortress. Whoever enters it will be immune from my punishment on one condition, which is acceptance of my Imamate.(1)

Therefore, one who has no love for Ahl al-Bayt has not professed the unity of Allah either and he will be resurrected on the Judgment Day as an atheist.

To please Ahl al-Bayt is to please Allah

When one, by devotion, becomes Allah’s vicegerent, one becomes a manifestation of Allah; hence, to respect him and his commands is to respect Allah:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ

Surely, those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah. (48:10)

In this case, all people are duty-bound to obey him, for he can intercede with Allah for people. He has, in fact, reached a station where his pleasure is the pleasure of Allah. Allah attaches great importance to what pleases the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt so much so that He says:

فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا ۚ

We shall surely turn you to a kiblah which you shall like. (2:144)

In the Holy Quran, Allah has explicated the moral values and lifestyle of Ahl al-Bayt explicitly and implicitly so as to set models for us. Here are some examples:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

Surely those who believed and those who fled (Their home) and strove hard in the way of Allah (2:218)

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا

We only feed you for Allah’s sake we desire from you neither reward nor thanks. (76:9)

إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ

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1- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 135/2, H. 4

وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah. (6:162)

Ahl Al-Bayt, Source Of Mercy


The linguistic meaning of mercy is kind or forgiving attitude shown towards somebody by one who has the right or power to punish. Mercy in the Holy Quran is accompanied with various concepts and paragons. Mercy is a Divine truth and one of Allah’s attributes shown towards all beings especially man. All creatures are manifestation of Allah’s general and particular mercy.

Mercy in the Holy Qur'an

The Holy Quran has raised the question of mercy, some of which are referred to here:

1. The Holy Quran considers mercy to be the prophetic mission, which is a source of perfection for human beings and their salvation from the problems of this world and the punishment of the Hereafter. Allah knows whom He should bestow His mercy upon as a result of his merit and whom He should send to convey His communication and to guide people:

وَاللَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ

Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy. (2:105)

2. The Holy Quran considers ease at some religious obligations especially those related to retribution and blood money as Allah's mercy:

ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ

This is alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. (2:178)

3. The Holy Quran considers sublime morality, softness and courtesy as Allah’s mercy on human beings:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ

Thus, it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently. (3:159)

4. The Holy Quran considers the removal of punishment of

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those who deserve it on the Judgment Day as a mercy of Allah:

مَنْ يُصْرَفْ عَنْهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَقَدْ رَحِمَهُ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْمُبِينُ

He from whom is averted on that day, Allah indeed has shown mercy to him and this is a manifest achievement. (6:16)

5. The Holy Quran considers belief in and attention to Allah’s mercy for a sinner a source of encouragement for repentance, telling the Holy Prophet to assure people that Allah has ordained mercy Himself on them. Therefore, one who has committed an indecent act out of ignorance and then has repented will receive Allah’s mercy for He is the Most Merciful:

وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ ۖ أَنَّهُ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

And when those who believe in our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you, your Lord has ordained mercy on Himself, (so) that if any one of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright, then He is Forgiving, Merciful. (6:54)

6. The Holy Quran, in most verses, has been introduced as mercy from


فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ ۚ

So indeed there has come to you clear proof from your Lord, and guidance and mercy. (6:157)

7. The Holy Quran, in most verses, tells people that they will face perdition if they do not seek Allah’s mercy or they do not expose themselves to it:

فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنْتُمْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

So were it

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not for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, you would certainly have been among the losers. (2:64)

8- The Holy Quran which guides the people to the Divine truth and spiritual values does not consider Allah’s mercy without reason rather considers it as a source of salvation, happiness, a cause for entering Paradise and something special for the benefactors:

إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Surely the mercy of Allah is nigh to those who d o good. (7: 56)

9. The Holy Quran considers Allah’s mercy a factor, which rids man of hardships, liberates him from enemy and from the oppressors and tyranny:

فَأَنْجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِنَّا وَقَطَعْنَا دَابِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا ۖ

So We delivered him and those with him by mercy from Us, and We cut off the last of those who rejected our communications. (7:72)

10. The Holy Quran considers expansion of breast, spiritual capacity and sublimity of spirit, which is a source of Divine grace, as Allah’s mercy:

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْمًا

Then they found one from among our servants whom We had granted knowledge from ourselves. (18:65)

11. The Holy Quran considers the Holy Prophet source of mercy to the worlds:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ

And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. (21:107)

12. The Holy Quran considers regeneration of plants in the spring as a sign of Allah's mercy:

فَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ آثَارِ رَحْمَتِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ

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شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Look then at the signs of Allah’s mercy, how He gives life to the earth after its death, most surely He will raise the dead to life; and He has power over all things. (30:50)

13. The Holy Quran considers Allah’s mercy which manifests itself in every being as something comprehensive and the smallest thing which cannot be seen even with the most powerful scientific devices is not outside Allah’s mercy:

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ

And My mercy encompasses all things. (7:156)

14. The Holy Quran considers the unbeliever’s despair of Allah’s mercy as features of unbelievers:

إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

Surely none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people. (12:87)

15. The Holy Quran considers Allah’s mercy for people to be better than just what they achieve through gain of wealth and position. Therefore, it is best for people to seek Allah’s mercy through faith, righteous deeds and sublime morality instead of spending their lifetimes in gaining extra wealth and property:

وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

And the mercy your Lord is better than what they amass. (43:32)

Source of Mercy

In view of the aforementioned verses, we should admit that there is nothing more valuable than Allah’s mercy in this universe. The source of this mercy in this world and the Hereafter are the Ahl al-Bayt as referred to by Imam al-Hadi (a.s) in the Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah.

Therefore, if anyone wishes to be immune from Allah’s punishment, to be endowed with sublime morality, to have a chance of repenting, to have a

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full share and benefit from the Holy Quran, to have expansion of breast, or to have an easy reckoning and not to be touched by despair, one must adhere to Ahl al-Bayt. This is so as to obtain what was brought up in the aforementioned verses and to be blessed with Allah’s guidance, favor and grace.

The Holy Prophet’s recommendation about Ahl al-Bayt during twenty-three years of his mission was that it is impossible to understand the Holy Quran without them. Zayd ibn Arqam, a trustworthy Sunni narrator, is reported as saying:

قَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ يَوماً فِينَا خَطِيباً بِمَاءٍ يُدْعَي خُماًّ، بَيْنَ مَكَّة وَالْمَدِينَةِ، فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأثنَى عَلَيهِ وَوَعَظَ وَذَكَّرَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: "أمَّا بَعْدُ، ألأ أيُّهَا النَّاسُ، فَإنَّمَا أنَا بَشَرٌ يُوشَكُ أنْ يَاتِيَ رَسُولُ رَبِّي فأُجِيبُ. وَأنَا تَارِكٌ فِيكُمُ الثَّقَلَيْنِ: أوَّلُهُمَا كِتَابُ اللَّهِ، فِيهِ الْهُدى وَالنُّورُ، فَخُذُوا بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِهِ." فَحَثَ عَلَى كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَ رَغَّبَ فِيهِ، ثُمَّ قَال: "وَأهْلُ بَيتِي. أذْكَّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أهْلِ بَيْتِي أُذَكَّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أهْلِ بَيتِي أذَكَّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أهْلِ بَيتِي."

One day, Allah’s Messenger stopped at Ghadir Khumm, a place between Mecca and Medina, and delivered a sermon. After praising Allah, he said, “I am a human who will pass away soon. So I am leaving two worthy things behind. One is the Book of Allah being guidance and light. Hold fast on to it.” He encouraged people in relation to the Holy Quran, saying, “…and then to my Ahl al-Bayt. I remind you of Allah in relation to my Ahl al-Bayt. I remind you of

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Allah in relation to my Ahl al-Bayt.”(1)

Manifestations of Ahl al-Bayt’s Mercy

The Ahl al-Bayt are sources of mercy. Anyone who resorts to them by getting to know them and their knowledge and by loving and obeying them will enjoy Allah’s mercy, favor and grace during his lifetime, at deathbed, in the duration between his death and Resurrection and or the Judgment Day.

In this relation, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

إنَّمَا أحَدُكُم حِينَ يَبْلُغُ نَفَسُهُ هَهُنَا يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ فَيَقُولُ:أمَّا مَا كُنْتَ تَرْجُو فَقَدْ أعْطِيَتَهُ! وَ أمَّا مَا كُنْتَ تَخَافُهُ فَقَدْ أمِنْتَ مِنْهُ!" وَ يُفْتَحُ لَهُ بَابٌ إلى مَنْزِلِهِ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ، وَيُقَالُ لَهُ: " أنْظُرْ إلَى مَسْكَنِكَ فِي الْجنَّةِ، وَانْظُرْ هَذَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَعَلِيٌ وَالحَسَنُ وَالحُسَيْنُ رُفَقَؤكَ". وَ هُوَ قَوْلُ اللَّهِ:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ  لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ.

When the breath of one of you comes to his throat, the Angel of Death comes down on him saying, “You were granted what you longed for; you were given safety for what you were afraid of.” Then a gate of Paradise is opened to his house; he is said, “Look at your abode in Paradise; behold! These are Allah’s Messenger, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and your friends.”(2)And these are the words of Allah:

They shall have good news in this world’s life and in the hereafter. (10:63-64)

The Holy Prophet has said:

وَالَّذي نَفْسِي بِيَدَهِ، لأ تُفَارِقُ رُوحٌ جَسَدَ صَاحِبِهَا حَتَّى تَأكُلَ مِنْ ثِمَارِ الْجَنَّةِ أوْ مِنْ شَجَرَةِ الزُّقُومِ. وَحِينَ تَرَى مَلَكَ الْمَوْتِ تَرَانِي وَتَرَى عَلِياًّ وَ

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1- Sahih Muslim: 1492/4, H. 2408
2- Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 124/2, H. 32

فَاطِمَة وَ حَسَنَا وَ حُسَيْنَا. فَإنْ كَانَ يُحِبُّنَا، قُلْتُ: "يَا مَلَكَ الْمَوْت، إرْفِقْ بِهِ؛ إنَّهُ كَانَ يُحِبُّنِي وَيُحِبُّ أهْلَ بَيتِي." وَ إنْ كَانَ يُبغِضُنَا، قُلْتُ: "يَا مَلَكَ الْمَوتِ، شَدِّدَدْ عَلَيْهِ؛ إنَّهُ كَانَ يُبْغِضُنِي وَ يُبْغِضُ أهْلَ بَيْتِي."

I swear by the One in Whose hand is my life, a soul never leaves the body of a person without eating of the fruits of Paradise or of the Zaqqum (bitter) Tree (of Hellfire). When he sees the Angel of Death, he will also see - Ali, Fatimah, Hasan Husayn and me. If he is one who loved us, I will tell the Angel of Death to befriend him, for he loves me and my Ahl al-Bayt; and if he is our enemy, I will tell the Angel of Death to be tough with him for he is the enemy of my Ahl al-Bayt and me.(1)

Ahl Al-Bayt, Pillars Of The Heavens And The Earth

If heavens are firm in their positions and the earth is stable with its movement; if the world beings and those living on the earth are safe, it is all thanks to Ahl al-Bayt, their spiritual light and their favor as they themselves have referred to it. Obviously, only those having a pure heart and righteous deeds believe it. In this relation, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

إنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ بَابُ اللَّهِ الَّذي لأيُؤتَي إلأ مِنْهُ، وَسَبِيلَهُ الَّذِي مَنْ سَلْكَهُ وَصَلَ إلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ. وَكَذَالِكَ كَانَ أمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ، وَجَرَى لِلأئِمَّةِ وَاحِداً بَعْدَ وَاحِدٍ. جَعَلْهُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أرِّكَانَ الأرْضِ أنْ تَمِيدَ بِأهْلِهَا.

Surely, Allah’s Messenger

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1- Bisharat al-Mustafa: 6

is Allah’s gate through which only one can enter and the path of Allah through which only one can reach Allah. Amir al-Muminin too is as such the same after him. The same is true for the Imams, one after the other. Allah has made them pillars for the earth so that it will not shake its habitants.(1)

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) says:

نَحْنُ الَّذِينَ بِنَا يُمْسِكُ اللَّهُ السَّمَاءَ أنْ تَقَعَ عَلَي الأرْضِ إلأ بِإذْنِهِ، وَبِنَا يُمْسِكُ الأرْضَ أنْ تَمِيدَ بِأهْلِهَا، وَبِنَا يُنْزِلَ الْغَيْثَ، وَبِنَا يَنْشُرُ الرَّحْمَة وَ يُخْرِجُ بَرَكَاتِ الأرْضِ. وَلَوْ لأ مَافِي الأرْضِ مِنَّا لَسَاخَتْ بِأهْلِهَا.

We are the ones for whose sake Allah holds the earth firm so that it will not fall down except by His permission and preserves the earth for our sake so that its inhabitants will not be shaken up. He sends rain for our sake, spreads mercy for our sake and brings out the blessings of the earth. The earth would swallow its inhabitants if we were not on the earth.(2)

The Holy Prophet (S) said:

النُّجُومُ أمَانٌ لأِهْلِ السَّمَاءِ، فَإذَا ذَهَبَتِ النُّجُومُ ذَهَبَ أهْلُ السَّمَاءِ. وَ أهْلُ بَيْتِي أمَانٌ لأهْلِ الأرْضِ، فإذَا ذَهَبَ أهْلُ بَيتِي ذَهَبَ أهْلُ الأرْضِ.

The heavenly beings feel safe and secure with stars. Whenever the stars disappear, the heavenly beings leave, too. My Ahl al-Bayt too make the earthly beings feel safe; whenever my Ahl al-Bayt leave, the earthly beings will leave too.(3)

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

نَحْنُ بَيْتُ الُّنُّبُوةِ وَ مَعْدِنُ الْحِكْمَةِ وَ أمَانٌ لأهْلِ الأرْضِ وَنَجَاةٌ لِمَنْ طَلْبَ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are

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1- Al-Kafi: 197/1, H. 3
2- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 186, H. 15
3- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 379

the household of Prophethood, the source of wisdom, the safety for the earthly beings and salvation for those seeking salvation.(1)

Firmness of heavens and stability of the earth are due to the spirituality and favor of Ahl al-Bayt. Their heavenly assets and spiritual power belong solely to them. No one in heaven or on earth is equal to them in rank, yet with this entire asset to their credit, they are humble.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Character Builders

One of the features of the earth and perhaps other planets is that they have mines such as of gold, silver, agate, turquoise, diamond, copper and iron. Everyone in the world considers mine as a valuable and a useful asset for human life. Exploring mines, exploiting them, transferring minerals to technical workshops and transforming those minerals to instruments are occupations existing from very old times. Gold is one of the mines, which has been extremely valuable for human beings. Throughout history, man has been trying to explore gold, separate it from ores take it to factories, and turn it into bullion. Then, gold is given to either artisan to change it into currencies, bank reserves to activate the economy of a country, or turn it into necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings to satisfy the instincts of those tracking beauty.

What is noteworthy is that all heavens and the earth are like a mine and the omniscient (All-Knowing) of this mine is Allah. The All-knowing God has also created a gold-like being out of this mine placing him on this planet

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1- Nathr al-Durar: 310/1

so that his instinctive talents, vicegerency, and intellectual capabilities will emerge and he will be able to materialize his prosperity and happiness in this world and the Hereafter. This will be materialized only if man follows the heavenly teachers who are chosen by Allah so that they will turn him into a Divine being. Allah has directed man to heavenly architects who are unique in building human characters.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Model For Wayfarers


So far, we have said that a follower of truth must set Ahl al-Bayt as his model in all aspects of his life. Allah has shown the ways leading to attaining virtues and perfection by following the path of the infallible Imams. Evidently we cannot reach their rank, for they have achieved such a position that even Archangel Gabriel could not reach:

لَوْ دَنَوْتُ.أُنْمُلَةً لأحْتَرَقْتُ.

If I go foreword by an inch, I will burn myself.(1)

Models for Human Beings

Allah has made Ahl al-Bayt models for human beings to follow so that everyone, according to his capacity, will benefit from their knowledge:

أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا

He sends down water from the cloud and then watercourses flow with water according to their measure. (13:17)

In the interpretation of the verse, we read that Allah sends water and knowledge from heaven so every riverbed benefits from it according to its capacity. The riverbed, which is deeper and wider can benefit more from the water of life and be promoted to an excellent position. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

Certainly, you have in

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1- al-Manaqib: 178/1

the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar. (33:21)

Being an excellent exemplar is not something particular to Allah’s Messenger, for Allah and the Holy Prophet (S) have said that this position is transferred to Ahl al-Bayt after Allah’s Messenger, since they are his true successors. Being an excellent exemplar is a legal position, which the Ahl al-Bayt have inherited from the Holy Prophet.

The wayfarers of the path of Imamate and those wishing to associate with angels and hearing their glorification as well as the devotees better know that they cannot possibly reach sublime positions without adhering to Ahl al-Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Prophet (S) says:

الرُّوحُ وَالرَّاحَةٌ وَالنَّضْرَةُ وَالْيُسْرُ وَالْيَسَارُ وَالرِّضَا وَ الرِّضْوَانُ وَالمَخْرَجُ وَالْفَلَجُ وَالقُرْبُ وَالمَحَبَّةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِمَنْ أحَبَّ عَلِياً وَانْتُمَّ بِالأوْصِيَاءِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ

Happiness, convenience, mercy, tiumph, wealtj, improvement, pleasure, contentment, solution of problems, amd love for Allah and His Messenge are all for the one who loves Ali and follows the Imams after him.(1)

Imam al-Rida (a.s.) says too:

مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يَنْظُرُ إلَى اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ حِجَابٍ وَ يَنْظُرَ اللَّهِ إلَيْهِ بِغَيْرِحِجَابِ فَلْيَتَوَلَّ آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَلْيَتَبَرَّا مُحَمَّدٍ وَلْيَتَبَرَّأْ مِنْ عَدُوِّهِمْ وَلْيَتَامَّ بِإمَامِ الْمُؤْنِينَ مِنْهُم، فإنّهُ إذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ نَظَرَ اللَّهُ إلَيْهِ نَظَرَ إلَى اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ حِجَابِ.

Whoever is glad to see (the Mercy of Allah) without any veil and Allah sees him (i.e. spreads mercy on him) without veil must accept the Imamate of Holy Prophet's Family, hate their enemies and follow the Imam of the believers from among them. In this case, when the Judgment Day

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1- Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 169/1

comes, Allah will look at him without veil and he will look at Allah without veil.(1)

Since the Ahl al-Bayt have gone through all stages of devotion and submission to Allah and have been endowed with all virtues, they have become the excellent exemplars for all.

Worldly People Fail To Understand Ahl al-Bayt

Whoever resorts to Ahl al-Bayt in every aspect of life will benefit from their truth to the extent of their capacity and understanding. Those with a small or medium capacity, by adhering to Ahl al-Bayt, can somehow comprehend their truth. However, those who are submerged in worldly affairs and do not wish to get out of this state are like –

…كَمَنْ مَثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِنْهَا …

… him whose likeness is that of one in the other darkness whence he cannot come forth (6:122).

These people do not wish to comprehend the inner part of the Holy Quran and Ahl al-Bayt, for their hearts are so dark that there is a veil between them and Allah. This veil is the result of sins, corruption, bias and rancor:

وَتَرَاهُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَهُمْ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ

And you will see them looking towards you, yet they do not see. (7:198)

They can see, but they have no insight. Prejudice has covered their inner sight:

أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِي غِطَاءٍ عَنْ ذِكْرِي

Their eyes were under a cover from My Reminder. (18:101)

Truth is Not Hidden

Ahl al-Bayt are not hidden in the same way that Allah is not hidden. If a group of people cannot see Allah with their insight, it is because they are under a cover of

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1- Al-Mahasin: 60/1, H. 101

ignorance whereas Allah is Manifest and pure Light:

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. (24:35)

None of the visible and invisible truths, i.e. Divine signs, is under a cover. It is man who is under the cover of sins and is deprived of seeing Allah. In this relation, Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) says:

ألْحَمْدُ للَّهِ الْمُتَجَلِي لِخَلْقِهِ بِخَلْقِهِ.

Praise be to Allah who is Manifest before His creation because of themselves.(1)

Abu-Basir reports: One day, Imam al-Baqir (a.s) and I entered the mosque. He said to me, “Ask people if they can see me.” So, I asked everyone whom I met whether he saw the Imam. Surprisingly, the answer was (no) whereas the Imam was standing right in front of them. At this time, Abu-Harun, a blind man, entered the mosque. The Imam said, “Now, ask Abu-Harun if he can see me.” So I asked him whether he could see Imam al-Baqir. He answered, “Yes, I can. Don't you see him standing here?” I asked, “How could you understand? Are you not blind?” He answered, “How can I not see while the Imam is a shining light?”

Ahl Al-Bayt, Means Of Perfection


Plant seeds do not grow or bear fruit without being directly in contact with the soil. Evidently, the soil must be good, for if the soil is contaminated, seeds will not grow and will perish. Therefore, seeds will not grow or bear fruit unless there is the means of a good soil:

وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لَا

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1- Nahj al-Balaghah: 157, sermon 108

يَخْرُجُ إِلَّا نَكِدًا ۚ

And as for the good land, its vegetation springs for the (abundantly) by the permission of its Lord, and (as for) that which is inferior (its herbage) comes forth but scantily (7:58)

Mediation or means is necessary not only in relation to seeds but also for the realization of every truth so much so that nothing can be realized and nothing reaches perfection without a mediation or means. Houses cannot be built without architects and bodies cannot grow without food. Eyes cannot see without light and ears cannot hear without waves nor can a man attain worthy position without any mediation.

Man’s dignity is to become Allah’s vicegerent but can he attain such sublime spiritual position without any mediation? Never!

However, mediation with which man can find his way to the realm of faith, morality, good deeds, and finally piety is a truth that has been expressed by the Holy Quran.

Ahl al-Bayt’s Mediation

The Holy Quran considers only the Infallible Persons as having the position of mediation between Allah and man for leading to faith, good deeds, morality and their meeting with Allah. These infallible persons are none but the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) who can familiarize man with the past and future as well as the teachings and wisdom of the Holy Quran. There is not a bit of corruption, defect or fault, whether overt or covert, in Ahl al-Bayt. In this connection, the Holy Prophet (S) says:

إنَّا أهْلُ الْبَيْتِ قَد أذْهَبَ الَّلهُ عَنَّا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا

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We, Ahl al-Bayt, are those from whom Allah has removed any hidden or manifest uncleanness.(1)

Allah’s Messenger has said the following regarding the revelation of the Verse of Purification:

نَحْنُ أهْلُ بَيْتٍ طَهَّرَ هُمُ اللَّهُ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are purified by Allah.(2)

In an important fragment, Imam Ali (a.s) says:

إنَّمَا أمَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِطَاعَةِ الرَّسُولِ لأنَّهُ مَعْصُومٌ مُطَهَّرٌ لأنَّهُ مَعْصُومٌ مُطَهَّرٌ لأيَامُرُ بِمَعصِيَتِهِ. وَإنَّمَا أمَرَ بِطَاعَةِ أولَى الأمْرِ لأنَّهُمْ مَعْصُومُونَ مُطَهَّرُونَ لأئَامُرُونَ بِمَعصِيَتِهِ.

Allah has decreed (His creatures) to obey the Messenger, for he is infallible and purified and he does not order to sin. He has decreed to obey those in authority, for they are infallible and purified and they do not order to sin.(3)

Imam Hasan (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ أهلُ بَيتٍ أكْرَمَنَا اللَّهُ بِالإسْلأمِ، وَاخْتَارَنَا وَاصْطَفَانَا وَاجْتَبَانَا فأذْهَبَ عَنَّا الرِّجْسَ وَ طَهَّرِنَا تَطْهِيراً. وَالرِّجْسُ هُوَ الْشَّكُّ، فَلأ نَشُكُّ، فَلأ نَشُكُ فِي اللَّهِ الْحَقِّ وَ دِينِهِ. وَطَّهَّرَنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أفَنٍ وَغَيَّةٍ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are those whom Allah has honored by Islam, chosen from among all creatures, removed any uncleanness, and purified a thorough purification. Uncleanness is the same as doubt. We never have any doubt about Allah and His religion. He has also purified us from infirmity or error.(4)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) too has said:

إنَّا لأ نُوصَفُ. وَكَيفُ يُوصَفُ قَوْمٌ رَفَعَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْسَ؟

We cannot be described. How can a group from whom Allah has removed uncleanness be described?(5)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ الشَّكَّ وَالمَعْصِيةَ فِي النَّارِ،لَيْسَا مِنَّا وَلأإلَيْنَا.

Doubt and sin are in Fire. They are neither from us no do they come to

p: 116

1- Al-Firdaws: 54/1
2- Al-Durr al-Manthur: 606/6
3- Ilal al-Shara’i: 1231/1, H. 1
4- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 561
5- Al-Kafi: 182/2, H. 16


In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

وَأشْهَدُ أنَّكُمْ الأئِمَّةٌ الرَّاشِدُونَ الْمَهْدِيُّونَ الْمَعصُومُونَ المُكَرَّمُونَ... عَصَمَكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الزَّلَلْ، وَآمَنَكُمْ مِنَ الْفِتَنِ، وَ طَهَّرَكُمْ مِنْ الدَّنَسِ، وَ أْهَبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ وَ طهَّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً.

I bear witness that all of you are guide leaders, rightly guided, infallible, highly reveredÖ Allah preserved you guiltless and free from error, kept you safe from unruly disorderliness, freed you from dirt, removed uncleanness from you and cleansed you with a thorough cleansing.(2)

Verily, Allah Who is free from any defect has placed Prophethood and Imamate in an ‘household’ free from any uncleanness so that men can realize the dignity that they deserve through their mediation, be immune from infidelity, carnal desires and sins, have a happy life in this world and finally meet Allah and abide in Paradise forever:

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ

This is a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men from utter darkness into light. (14:1)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ

O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you. (4:59)

So far, we have reported important narrations from the books of Shiite and Sunni scholars.

Based on the Holy Prophet's saying, ‘those in authority’ the obedience to whom is like obedience to Allah and to His Messenger stands for the Twelve Infallible Imams from the Holy Prophet’s Household. In that saying, the names of the twelve Imams have been mentioned.

Ahl Al-Bayt, A Link To Allah

Man is instinctively

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1- Al-Kafi: 400/2
2- Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 97/6, H. 1

inclined towards perfection and Allah is the peak of perfection. Therefore, man has a natural inclination towards Allah and in this relation he is trying hard to reach the peak of perfection. If man is truly devoted to Allah, this inclination motivates him to walk on the path of Him:

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنْسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ

O man! Surely you must strive (to attain) to your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him. (84:6)

Since reaching the peak of perfection requires going through certain stages, higher stages cannot be reached without going through lower stages. This is because in the system of universe one cannot possibly skip a stage from among other stages. Therefore, one who wishes to reach the peak of perfection must go through the stage of professing the prophethood of Muhammad who was the first manifestation of Allah and he must profess the Imamate of Ali, for he is the gate to the Holy Prophet’s knowledge:

أنَا مَدِينَةٌ الْعِلْمِ، وَ عَلِيٌ بَابُهَا.

I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.(1)

Hence, it is impossible to reach the peak of perfection without resorting to Imam Ali’s Imamate and benefiting from his abundant knowledge. One who is inclined towards the peak of perfection must remove all doubts by following Ahl al-Bayt before beginning his spiritual journey, engage in worship and good deeds, assist his fellow human beings, because without adhering to Ahl al-Bayt, one cannot follow Allah's Messenger nor can one meet Allah.

Addressing Imam Ali (a.s.), Allah’s Messenger

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 343, H. 1


مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يَلْقَى اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ آمِناً مُطَهَّراً لأيَحْزُنُهُ الْفَزَعُ الأكْبَرُّ فَلْيَتَوَلَّكَ وَلْيَتَوَلَّ ابْنَيْكَ الحَسَنَ وَالحُسَيْنَ، وَعَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَينِ وَمُحَمَّدَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَ جَعْفَرَ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ مُوسَى بْنَ جَعْفَرٍ وَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ مُوسَى وَ مُحَمَّداً وَ عَلِياً وَالْحَسَنَ ثُمَّ الْمَهْدِيَّ، وَهُوَ خَاتَمُهُمْ.

Whoever is pleased to meet Allah safe, purified and not sad about the horror of the Judgment Day must wholeheartedly accept the leadership of you, your two sons - Hasan and Husayn, Ali ibn Husayn, Muhammad ibn Ali, Jafar ibn Muhammad, Musa ibn Jafar, Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad, Ali, Hasan and then al-Mahdi - their seal.(1)

In an important narration, Allah’s Messenger is reported as saying:

مَا بَالُ أقْوامٍ إذَا ذُكِرَ عِنْدَهُمْ آلُ إبْرَاهِيمَ فَرِحُو وَاستبْشَرَوا، وَإذَا ذُكِرَا عِنْدَهُمْ آلُ مُحَّمَّدٍ اشْمَأزَّتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ؟ وَالَّذي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ أنَّ عَبْداً جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِعَمَلِ سَبْعِينَ نَبِّياً مَا قَبِلَ اللَّهُ ذَالِكَ مِنْهُ حَتَّي يَلْقَاهُ بِوِلأيَتِي وَوِلأيَةِ أهْلِ بَيْتِي.

What is the matter with the people who get happy whenever they are reminded of the family of Ibrahim but they are disturbed whenever they are reminded of the Family of Muhammad? By Allah in whose Hand is Muhammad's life (I swear), if on the Judgment Day a servant comes with the deeds of seventy prophets, Allah will not accept those deeds unless he meets Him bearing love for me and my Ahl al- Bayt. (2)

In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

وَأشْرَقَتِ الأرْضُ بِنُورِكُمْ، وَفَازَ الْفَائِزُونَ بِوِلايَتِكُمْ، بِكُمْ يُسْلَكُ إلَى الرِّضْوانِ، وَعَلى مَنْ جَحَدَ وِلايَتَكُمْ غَضَبُ الرَّحْمَنِ.

Your light lights up the earth;

p: 119

1- Kitab al-Ghaybay by al-Tusi: 136
2- Al-Amali; 140

those who love and cherish you attain their end and conduct themselves to Paradise; and those who forsake your friendship earn displeasure of the Most Compassionate Lord.

One who is inclined towards the peak of Perfection must first get to know Ahl al-Bayt and then adhere to them. In this connection, the Holy Quran says:

إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ

If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you. (3:31)

If you love the peak of perfection, follow the light of the heavens and the earth and the manifestation of the chief Name so that you will become one of Allah's favorite servants. Love for Ahl al-Bayt has its roots in the love for the peak of perfection that is sought by everyone instinctively. If the Ahl al-Bayt are His favorites, it is because they are the best path for meeting Allah. In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

نَحْنُ الْصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ.

We are the straight path.

Ahl al-Bayt are not only the path but they are Allah's rope extended from the heavens to the earth. Holding fast by the covenant of Allah can lead us to the peak of perfection.

Furthermore, Ahl al-Bayt are extended from Allah's grace which is the truth of Muhammad extended to all borders of the earth:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ

Have you not considered the work of your Lord, how he extends the shade? (25:45)

Whoever is inclined towards the peak of perfection will grasp it in order to reach Allah:

وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ

And seek means of

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nearness to Him. (5:35)

Ahl Al-Bayt In Divine Books

Ahl Al-Bayt from the Quran’s View Point


Beyond doubt, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragons of such Quranic terms as faith, jihad, migration, devotion, certainty, sublime morality, righteous deeds, night prayer, wakefulness at dawns, truthfulness and generosity, as is confirmed by ShiIte and Sunni scholars. The Holy Quran has spoken explicitly about the Holy Prophet who is the root of Ahl al-Bayt; whereas it has spoken implicitly about Ahl al-Bayt. Since the readers of the Holy Quran are people of reason, thought and understanding, they realize that certain Quranic verses do not have any paragon other than Ahl al-Bayt who know how to interpret it:

وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ

None knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge. (3:7)

In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

نَحْنُ الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ وَ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُ تَاوِيلَهُ.

We are those who are firmly rooted in knowledge and we know its interpretation.(1)

The Holy Prophet's Character in the Holy Qur'an

The Holy Quran explicitly says about the magnificent character of the Holy Prophet,:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ

Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. (33:56)

In narrations, we read that – “Allah’s blessing to the Prophet is His special mercy for him; and the angels’ blessing is to ask Allah’s favor or mercy for him.”(2)

The Holy Quran gives such an excellent dignity to the Prophet considering the allegiance to him to be equal to allegiance to Allah:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ

Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah. (48:10)

Obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet

This is what the Holy

p: 121

1- Al-Kafi: 231/1, T 1
2- Tafsir al-Safi: 201/4

Quran says about obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet, the result of which is a great profit in the world and the hereafter:

وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle he indeed achieves a mighty success. (33:71)

The Holy Quran regards the companionship of the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous people all as a result of obeying Allah and His Prophet (S):

وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا

And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good; and a goodly company they are! (4:69)

The Holy Quran considers obeying the Holy Prophet just like obeying Allah. This is a good reason, which proves the superiority of the Holy Prophet over all other creatures in the universe:

مَنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ ۖ

Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah. (4:80)

The Holy Quran considers obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet as the reason for entering Paradise; and turning one’s back to them is a cause of painful punishment:

وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّ يُعَذِّبْهُ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle, He will cause him to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; and whoever turns back, He will punish him with a painful punishment. (48:17)

The Holy Quran considers obeying the Holy Prophet as a cause

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of gaining Allah’s mercy:

وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

Obey the Apostle so that mercy may be shown to you. (24:56)

Bishr ibn Shurayh Basri says: I asked Imam al-Baqir (a.s), “What is the most hopeful verse in the Holy Quran?”

He Imam answered, “What do your people say about it?”

I said, “They say that the following verse is the most hopeful:

يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ

O my servants who have acted extravagantly against their own souls; do not despair of the mercy of Allah (39:53)”

The Imam commented, “We, Ahl al-Bayt, do not say this.”

I asked, “What do you say then?”

The Imam answered, “We say that the following is the most hopeful:

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ 

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased (93:5)

The word give in this verse stands for [the right of] intercession. By Allah, it is intercession. By Allah, it is intercession.”(1)

According to another narration; it has been pointed out that the Holy Prophet is pleased because he has sent forth Ahl al-Bayt and their followers to Paradise.(2)

Ahl al-Bayt in The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran has explicitly spoken of Ahl al-Bayt in the Verse of Purification whereas in other verses it has referred to signs that conform to none but them.

Abdullah Ibn Jafar says: I was in the presence of Muawiyah with Hasan and Husayn when Muawiyah asked, “O Abdullah Ibn Jafar! How much do you respect Hasan?” I answered, “O Muawiyah! One day, during his rule, Umar ibn Khattab sent me to Ali ibn

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1- Tafsir Furat: 570, T 734
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 143/6, Chapter: 7, H. 10

Abu-Talib saying, ‘I want to compile the Quran in a book. Send me what you have written of it.’ Ali said to me, ‘By Allah, he will kill you if you take to him my version of the Quran where for some of the verses I have written my interpretations.’ I asked, ‘What for?’ The Imam answered, ‘Allah says:

لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

None shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:79)

We are the purified ones. We are the paragon of this verse:

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۖ

We gave the Book in inheritance to those whom we chose from among Our servants (35:32).

We are the chosen ones and such parables as ‘good word’ or ‘good tree’ have been revealed about us."(1)

The Holy Quran reads,

مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَا يَبْغِيَانِ فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا اللُّؤْلُؤُ وَالْمَرْجَانُ

He has made the two seas to flow freely so that they meet together. Between them is a barrier, which they cannot pass. There comes forth from them pearls both large and small.

These holy verses certainly refer to Ahl al-Bayt. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

عَلِيٌّ و فَاطِمَةٌ الْبَحْرانِ، الْلُّؤْلُؤُ وَالْمَرْجَانُ الْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ.

Ali and Fatimah are the two seas; and the pearls are Hasan and Husayn.(2)

In the words of another narration, the word "al-shaf` (the even)" mentioned in Surah al-Fajr (No. 89) refers to Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn; while the word al-witr (the odd)" refers to Imam Ali (a.s.).

In reliable Shiite books of Hadith, there are over 314 narrations,

p: 124

1- Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays: 834, H. 42
2- Tafsir al-Qummi: 344/2

which confirm that the word ‘near relatives (dhul-qurba)' in the Holy Quran refers to Ahl al-Bayt. Likewise, Sunni scholars have interpreted the ‘near relatives’ into Ahl al-Bayt and the purified Imams.

The Holy Quran reads,

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them; there glorify Him therein in the mornings and the evenings. (24:36)

Anas ibn Malik and Buraydah say, “When Allah’s Messenger recited the above mentioned verse, a man rose up asking, "Which houses are they?" Allah’s Messenger replied, “These are the houses of the Prophets.” Then, Abu-Bakr rose up, pointed to the house of Ali and Fatimah and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Is this house one of them?” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes, it is one of the best.”(1)

Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) are the paragons of the spiritual truth as pointed out in the following holy verse:

رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ ۙ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ

Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and the eyes shall turn about. (24:37)

These noble individuals fear the Judgment Day while their faith, deeds, sublime morality and devotion are superior to those of all people of the world.

Ahl Al-Bayt In The Bible


The Holy Quran states that the signs and features of the

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1- Shawahid al-Tanzil: 533/1, H. 567

Holy Prophet have been mentioned in the former scriptures especially the Torah and the Gospel. Knowing the Prophet by verses in the Torah and the Gospel, Jews and Christians were waiting for his advent before his ordainment so as to overcome their enemies under his rule and attain spirituality through following him:

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ

Those who follow the Apostle Prophet, the ummi whom they find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospel. (7:157)

In a Hadith reported from Amir al-Muminin, a Jew said to Allah’s Messenger, “I have read about your descriptions in the Torah as such - Muhammad son of Abdullah, born in Mecca, immigrates to Medina, is neither rough nor bad-tempered. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and you are His Messenger. Here is my wealth. Spend it as Allah orders.”(1)

Speaking of the Holy Prophet, Jesus Christ (a.s) has said:

وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ ۖ

And when Jesus son of Maryam said: O Children of Israel! Surely I am the apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the torah and giving the good news of Apostle who will come after me, his name being Ahmad. (61:6)

Jesus Christ and Paraclete

The Gospel According to John

In the Chapters 14-16 of the Gospel according to John, Jesus (a.s.) gives the good news of a person coming after him by the name

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 465, H. 6

of Paraclete whom he calls master of the world and his religion existing forever. In 14:16 of the same, Jesus (a.s.) says:

And I will beg the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever.

In verse 15:26, Jesus (a.s) says:

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes forth from with the Father, ‘he’ shall bear witness concerning me.

The word Paraclete in Syriac means praiseworthy which is translated into Arabic as Muhammad and Ahmad.

The Book of Enoch (Andreas)

In the Book of Enoch, good news have been given about the Holy Prophet of Islam by the name of Paraclete along with the manes of Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn called as the axis and the aim of universe. Enoch used to live in Babylon. One day while he was in the temple, he received revelation of God. He then told his companions the following story:

One day, there was a dispute between the children and grand children of Adam as to who the superior creature is. Some of them said, “Our father Adam whom God created with His hand and blew His spirit into him, made all the angels prostrate before him, made him the teacher of angels, granted him the vicegerency on the earth and made other being obedient to him, was the superior creature.” Another group said, “Angels are superior to our father Adam for the former never rebelled against God whereas Adam disobeyed

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His command hence he and his wife were driven out of heaven. At most, God had mercy on them, accepted his repentance and promised heaven to his believing children.”

Some others said, “The superior creature is Archangel Gabriel who is the trustworthy of the Lord of the worlds.” The dispute was so hot that they brought it up with Adam. Addressing his children, Adam said, “Lend me your ears so that I will tell you who the superior creatures are. When God created me and blew into my body of His spirit so that I was settled, I saw the Divine Throne with five illuminated shadows whose light, glory, and beauty amazed me. I asked, “O Lord, who are these glorious lights?” God said, “These are My superior creatures as well as mediators between Me and My creatures. Were it not for their sake, I would not have created you, the heavens, the earth, Paradise, Hellfire, the sun, and the moon.”

I said, “O Lord! What are their names?” God answered, “Look at the shank of the Throne.” When I did, I saw these five holy names: Paraclete (Muhammad) Elia (Ali), Titeh (Fatimah), Sheppar (Hasan), and Shoppair (Husayn). There was also an inscription reading: O My creatures! Glorify Me for there is no god save Me and Muhammad is My Messenger.”

The Gospel of Barnabas

The verses 39:14-28 of the Gospel of Barnabas express a similar idea as follows:

When Adam rose up, he saw on his steps an inscription shining like the sun that read:

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There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. Then, Adam opened his mouth saying: O Lord! Praise to You for Your Grace in creating me. But I beseech you to tell me what is the meaning of ‘Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger’. Allah answered: Hail to you, my servant Adam. I truly tell you that you are the first human I have created. The one you saw is but your son. He will come to this world after many years. He will be My Messenger for whom I have created everything.

He will soon give light to the world; he is the one whose soul has been laid in the beauty of heaven sixty thousand years before I created anything. Then Adam beseechingly said: O Lord! Give this inscription to me on the nails of my fingers. So Allah gave him the inscription on his thumbs. On the nail of his right hand’s thumb was ‘there is no god but Allah’ and on the nail of his left hand’s thumb was ‘Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger’. Then, the first human kissed those words with a father’s love, touched his eyes saying: Auspicious will be the day you will come soon to the world.

Fakhr al-Islam, in his book, Anis al-Alam, says:

A pre-Islamic manuscript of the Gospel on parchment was found in the library of Protestant Christians, as a part of Jesus’ last will and testament to Simon whose other name was Peter, it said: O Simon! God has advised you about the

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Master of the Messengers and His beloved, Ahmad, the owner of the red camel, the moon- faced, the pure-hearted, and the strong-bodied, who is a great man of Adam’s children, mercy for the people of the world, and an ummi (i.e. inhabitant of Umm al-Qura; Mecca), Arab Prophet. God said to me. O Jesus! Tell the children of Israel to acknowledge and believe in him. I said, O Lord! Who is that great man? God said: O Jesus! He is Muhammad, God’s Messenger for the universe. Happy is this prophet and happy are those who give ears to him. I will appoint him as prophet 610 years after you.

Allah’s Promise to Abraham

Allah’s promise to Prophet Abraham about Ishmael is the promise of mercy, glory, and abundance in the generation of Muhammad and the Twelve Imams from his issue. This promise has been expressly mentioned in 17:20 of the Book of Genesis:

And for Ishmael I have heard thee: behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will very greatly multiply him; twelve princes will he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

Actually, God has blessed Ishmael through Prophet Muhammad and the Twelve Imams from his issue.

In verses 42:13-20 of the Gospel of Barnabas, a reference has been made to the same promise:

I truly tell you that every prophet who comes is for one nation and that is the Mercy of Allah. So his words are only for that nation. But when God’s Messenger comes, his mercy is for all

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the nations who accept his teachings. He will come soon to fight the oppressors and to put an end to the worship of idols to disgrace Satan, for God has promised Abraham as such. He said: Behold! I will bless all the nations on the earth through your generation. O Abraham, as you broke the idols, your generation will do the same.

In Chapter 208 of the same Book, we read:

I truly tell you that the son of Abraham is Ishmael and from his issue will come Messiah as promised to Abraham and all the nations will be blessed due to him. When the chiefs of Jewish priests heard it, they became angry saying loudly: We must stone him to death, for he is from the issue of Ishmael. They denied the religion of Moses. So each of scribes and Pharisees took stones to put Jesus to death but he was hidden from their eyes and left the temple.

Allah’s promise about Ishmael is the same as the meaning of Ishmael (Allah heard you). Granting a son to Abraham was actually answering to his prayer in the same way that the Holy Prophet is reported as saying:

أنَا دَعْوَةُأبِي إبْرَاهِيمَ.

I have been demanded by my father, Abraham. (1)

The Torah, the Gospel, and all the Prophets have given the good tidings of the advent of not only the Holy Prophet but also his successor, Imam Ali. They have also spoken of Ahl al-Bayt. The Prophets have even wept sadly over the calamities that befell

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1- Al-Manaqib: 232/1

Imam Husayn (a.s.).

A Very Important Event

Nasr ibn Muzahim, in his book of Waq’at Siffin (one of the oldest books that were written nearly in the age of the Holy Imams), has reported that Habbah al-Arani, a companion of Imam Ali, to say:

When we landed in the region of al-Riqqah on our way of Siffin Battle, we camped near a monastery in which a Christian monk was engaged in worship. Seeing our soldiers, he came out of the monastery and headed for Amir al-Muminin, saying, “In this monastery, there is a book I have inherited from my ancestors; a book written by the disciples of Jesus during his lifelime. I would like to show the book to you.” The Imam said, “Go and bring it here.”

The monk fetched the book and asked the Imam to give him permission to read it. Then, he began to read, “In the Name of Allah; Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. It is recorded in the Preserved Tablet that God will appoint from among the people of Mecca a prophet who will teach them the Book and Wisdom and will guide them to the right path and one of his signs is that he is neither rough nor bad-tempered. He is a man who when walking among people does not raise his voice nor does he compensate sin by sin, rather he forgives all. As for the community of that prophet, they are very thankful to God, praising Him under all conditions. Their tongues are tamed for the professing

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grandeur and glory of God. Their eyes will be tearful from fear of God. God will give victory to that Prophet over the arrogant.

When he passes away, his community will be divided with rancor and enmity. They will have differences and then get together and keep on living as long as God wills. A man from his community will cross by the Euphrates. This man will invite people to good and forbid them from evil. His judgment among people will be just, never issuing an unjust order. The world to him is less in vlaue than the ashes blown away by wind on a stormy day. For him, death will be more pleasant than drinking of water by a thirsty person! He will fear God in hiding and give away in the path of Allah openly. He is not afraid of anyone who blames him on the straight path. Anyone who is living in these cities at that time and believes in that prophet will have heaven as his reward. And, everyone who understands this righteous servant crossing by the Euphrates must help him."

After reading from the book, the monk said, “You are that righteous servant of God. I will come with you and will not leave you so that what will happen to you will happen to me. If you are martyred, I will be with you to be martyred. Hearing this, Amir al-Muminin wept and said, “Thanks Allah; He has not forgotten me as He had my

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name among benefactors.” The monk accompanied the Imam and never left him until he was martyred in Siffin Battle.

After the end of the battle, Imam Ali ordered the martyrs to be buried. Some were missioned to find the body of the monk and when they found it, the Imam stood at his head saying, “He is from us, Ahl al-Bayt.” Then, the Imam himself dug a grave for him and buried him as a Muslim.(1)

Ahl Al Bayt In The Psalms Of David

The Rule of Imam al-Mahdi

Referring to the age of Imam al-Mahdi, Quranic verses read:

وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

The end is for those who guard against evil. (7:128)

Narrations also testify that the rule of Imam al-Mahdi will come about at the end of the world:

دَوْلَتُنَا آخِرُ الدُّوَلِ.

Our rule will be the last rule.(2)

Quranic verses have stipulated that this news has been mentioned in the books of the former prophets:

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

And certainly We have written in the Psalms, after the remembrance, the earth shall be the inheritance of My righteous servants. (21:105)

This verse predicts the future when evil will be removed from the world, for the word inheritance is used when a person or a group of people do not exist anymore and another group inherits their property or position.

What Is God’s Message in the Psalms Of David?

The content of the aforementioned verse has been mentioned in Psalm 37:

Fret not yourself because of the wicked…for they will soon fade away like the grass. Trust in the Lord, and do good; …Take delight in the Lord. Be still before the Lord… For

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1- Waq’at Siffin: 147
2- Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid: 384/2

the wicked shall be cut off; but those who wait for the Lord shall Possess the Land. Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more… But the meek shall possess the Land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at him; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He sees that his day is coming. The wicked draw the swords and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy… and their bows shall be broken. Better is a little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken; but the Lord upholds the righteous.

The Lord knows the days of the blameless and their heritage will abide forever; they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance. But the wicked perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pasture, they vanish like smoke they vanish away… for those blessed by the Lord shall possess the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off. The righteous shall possess the land, and dwell upon it for ever… wait for the Lord, and keep to His way, and He will exalt you to possess the Land; you will look on the destruction of the wicked. But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

Ahl Al-Bayt From The Viewpoint Of Mystics

Merits And Virtues Of Ahl Al-Bayt In Mystics’ Narrations


I know that

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whoever believes in Muhammad but does not believe in his offspring is not true. (Attar Nayshaburi)

We will not attend any assembly where the names of Muhammad’s Household are not mentioned. (Abu-Said Abul-Khayr)

Sadi! If you wish to enjoy the pleasure of love and evergreen blossom of life, it is enough to absorb the love of Muhammad and his Household. (Sadi of Shiraz)


There are few philosophers, theologians and narrator of traditions, historians, jurisprudents and men of letters who have not said or written something about Ahl al-Bayt, their dignity and their personality. Yet, mystics seem to have spoken and written more than the others, for they have probed more into various dimensions of human beings and into the features, virtues and station of Ahl al-Bayt. Hence, a separate chapter is devoted to their speech, viewpoints and description.

Most of the material used in this chapter belongs to Sunni mystics for two reasons: Firstly, to become clear that the station of Ahl al-Bayt and their sublime morality are not only adhered to by their followers but the followers of other sects also attracted are to them. Secondly, there are truths in their writings, which indicate that what is attributed to Ahl al-Bayt is not false or imaginative. Rather, these are indisputable historic facts. What is mentioned here is only an abstract of what the mystics have said about Ahl al-Bayt.

Abul - Fadhl Meybody And Khajeh Abdullah Ansari


Abu-Bakr al-Naqqash has reported Imam Ali as saying:

One day, a Jew came to me saying, “In your book, there is a verse the meaning

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of which is difficult to understand. If you clarify it for me, I will become Muslim.” “Which verse is that?” I asked. The Jew said, “The verse is: keep us on the right path. If you are already on the right path, why are you asking for it?” I said, “A group of prophets and God’s friends have already entered Paradise and attained an eternal prosperity. We are asking Allah to keep us on that path which led them to Paradise.” The Jew was convinced and he converted to Islam.(1)

One day, Imam Ali (a.s) came home to find Hasan and Husayn crying. He asked for the reason. Lady Fatimah (a.s.) said, “They have not eaten for a whole day.” A pot was boiling on fire at the same time. Imam Ali (a.s) asked, “What is in the pot?” Lady Fatimah (a.s) answered, “There is plain water only.” Imam Ali (a.s) became so distressed that he took his cloak to the market and sold it for six Dirhams. He had no sooner bought something for eating than he met a beggar shouting, “Whoever offers to Allah a good gift, he will have a better one for himself. Imam Ali (a.s) offered to him whatever he had and, when he came back home, he told the story to Lady Fatimah (a.s). She said, “Allah bless you, O Abul-Hasan! You are always benevolent!”

Imam Ali (a.s) was set to go to the mosque to offer prayer when he saw a nomadic selling a camel.

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1- Kashf al-Asrar: 18/1

He said, “O Abul-Hasan, I am selling this camel. Would you like to buy it?” Imam Ali (a.s) said, “I do not have money.” The nomadic said, “I sell it to you until booty comes or you get something from the public fund.” Imam Ali (a.s) bought that camel for sixty Dirhams and went his way. Another nomadic came to him, “O Ali! Will you sell this camel to me?” Imam Ali (a.s) said, “Yes, I will.” “How much do you sell it for?” asked the man. Imam Ali (a.s) said, “Whatever price you say.” He said, “A hundred and twenty Dirhams.” Imam Ali (a.s) said, “I do.” He then returned home. Telling the story to Lady Fatimah (a.s) he said, “I will give sixty Dirhams to the nomadic and take the other sixty for ourselves.”

So he went out to look for the man. On his way, he met the Holy Prophet who asked, “Where are you going?” Imam Ali (a.s.) told him the story. The Holy Prophet rejoiced, greeted and gave him good news, “O Ali! That man was not an Arab. The first man who sold you the camel was Archangel Gabriel and the second man who bought it was Archangel Michael. The camel too was one of the camels of Paradise. This is the good gift you offered to Allah by helping that beggar. Allah, may He be honored and glorified, has said:

مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا

Who is it that will offer to Allah a

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goodly gift (2:245)(1)

الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً

As for those who spend their property by night and by day, secretly and openly… (2:274)

This verse was revealed on the occasion that Imam Ali (a.s.) had four Dirhams and in his house there was no one but him. He gave away all four Dirhams to beggars, one by night, one by day, one secretly and one openly.

The members of the Mubahalah (mutual curse) were five: the Holy Prophet, Lady Fatimah, Imam Ali, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn. The Holy Prophet put his mantle upon them saying,

ألَّهُمَّ هَؤُلأءِ أهْلُ بَيْتِي.

“O Allah, these are my Household.”

At this moment, Archangel Gabriel came and said, “O Muhammad! am I from your Household?” The Holy Prophet said, “You are from us.” Taking pride in this, Archangel Gabriel said,

مَنْ مِثْلي؟ وَأنَا فِي السَّمَاءِ طَاوُسُ الْمَلأئِةِ، وَفِي الأرْضِ مِن أهْلِ بَيتِ مُحَمَّدٍ.

“Who can be like me while I am the chief of angels in heavens and a member of Muhammad’s Household?”(2)

Ali al-Murtadha (the well-pleased) - cousin of Muhammad al-Mustafa (the well-chosen Prophet) and spouse of the Lady of the Judgment Day, Fatimah al-Zahra (the luminous lady) who was the guard of caliphate and the head of Allah's favorites - was the peer of ismah and Prophethood, the source of knowledge and wisdom. Devotion, truthfulness, certainty, trust in Allah, piety and abstinence were his motto and garment. He was the impetuous lion, the holder of Dhul-Fiqar (the lethal sword), and the master of the Muhajirun and Ansar.

Conquest of Khaybar


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1- Kashf al-Asrar, 662/1
2- Kashf al-Asrar: 151/2

day before the Conquest of Khaybar, the Holy Prophet said:

لأعْطِيَّنَّ الْرَّايَةَ غَداً رَجُلاً يَفْتَحُ اللَّهُ عَلَى يَدَيهِ، يُحِبُّ اللَّه وَ رَسُولَهُ، وَيُحِبٌّهُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

Tomorrow, I will give this standard to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and Allah and His Messenger love him.

All night, all the companions were thinking about the truthful man to whom the standard of Islam and the banner of victory ‘there is no god but Allah’ would be given. The next day, the Holy Prophet asked, “Where is Ali ibn Abi-Talib?” They answered, “O Allah's Messenger! He has sore eye.” He said, “Bring him here.” As he was brought, the Holy Prophet put forth his tongue on his eyes. He was healed and a new light was found in his sight; so, the standard of Islam was given to him.(1)

Imam Husayn and a Beggar

It is narrated that Imam Husayn (a.s) saw a beggar and asked him about his lineage. The man said that he was son of so-and-so. The Imam said, “May Allah bless you; I was looking for you. Your father had claim of a few Dirhams over my father. Now it is time for me to pay my father's debt to you.” With this pretext, he gave him the dirhams and thanked Allah.(2)

The Marriage of Imam Ali and Lady Fatimah

One day, the Holy Prophet came to the Mosque holding a branch of basil in his hand. He said to Salman, “Summon Ali.” Salman went to Ali saying, “O Ali! Go and see Allah’s Messenger!” Ali said, “O Salman! How did you find Allah's

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1- Kashf al-Asrar: 151/3,150
2- Kashf al-Asrar: 106/5

Messenger at this hour?” Salman said, “He was very happy like a shining moon.”

Ali came to the Holy Prophet who gave him that branch of basil. It had a very sweet-smell. Ali asked, “How sweet-smelling this is! What is it?” The Holy Prophet said, “It is a gift from the paradisiacal women for the marriage of my daughter, Fatimah.” Ali said, “To whom will she be married, O Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “She will be married to you, Ali! I was sitting in the mosque when an angel came in a way I had never seen before, saying: My name is Mahmud and my station in heaven is Nedia. A third of night had passed when I heard a call from the layers of heaven saying: O archangels, heavenly creatures and cherubim! Get together in the fourth heaven. All got together. The inhabitants of Paradise were present too. A decree said: O Archangels and Favorites of the King! Recite the Quranic chapter: The Man (Insan or al-Dahr).

Then, Tuba Tree was ordered to offer the marriage of Ali and Fatimah Zahra to heavens! At this time, Tuba started shaking whereby Jewels, pearls and ornaments showered down. Then, there came a decree to put a pulpit of a white pearl under Tuba Tree. An angel went up the pulpit praising Allah and greeting all the prophets. Then Allah called: O Gabriel! O Michael! You are two witnesses of Fatimah, and I, the Lord, am Fatimah’s Guardian! O Cherubim and heavenly

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creatures! I take you as witnesses that I gave Fatimah in marriage to Ali. Give the good news to My beloved that we made this marriage in heaven, you do the same on the earth.

So, the Holy Prophet invited the Muhajirun and Ansar on the same occasion. Turning his face to Ali, the Holy Prophet said, “O Ali! This was decreed in heaven. Now I give Fatimah to you in marriage against four hundred Dirhams as marriage portion. Do you accept it?” Ali said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I accepted her marriage to me.” Allah’s Messenger said, “Allah bless you.”(1)

Imam Ali’ s Knowledge

Ibn Abbas is reported as saying: One night, Ali said to me, after you have accomplished your night prayer, come to me so that I can give you a gift. It was a night shining with moonlight. Ali said, “What is the meaning of (the letter) alif in Surah al-Hamd (No. 1)?” I said, “O Ali! You know it.” So, he started speaking and spoke for an hour on the alif and another hour on (the letter) lam. He did the same with the other letters and when he finished, the sun was rising. I found that my knowledge as compared to Ali’s was like a small pond is before a sea.(2)

In praise of Ibn Muhammad, Jafar al-Sadiq

(He is) the king of the nation of the Chosen Prophet, proof of prophethood, truthful agent, scholar of research, fruit of the hearts of Allah’s Favorites, a dear child of the prophets, explicator of Ali, inheritor of prophet,

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1- Kashf al-Asrar: 49/7
2- Kashf al-Asrar: 686/10

mystic lover, Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s). We have already said that we need a separate book to give the full account of prophets, companions and Ahl al-Bayt. Since Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s) is one of Ahl al-Bayt, a wayfarer and is reported on more occasions, we will say a few words about him.

Those who follow Imam al-Sadiq are the Twelvers; that is Shiite Muslims who believe in the Imamate of Twelve Imams. If we wish to use just one epithet to describe his character, the truthful (unaffected) would be the best. He was trustworthy and a perfect leader. He was the guide of spiritual followers, the Imam of Muslims, a man of letters, mentor of Divine lovers, prayer leader, the most noble of the pious, a man of truth, and a peerless interpreter of the Holy Quran. He has quoted Imam al- Baqir on many occasions. It is strange that the Twelvers have this impression that Sunni Muslims have nothing to do with Ahl al-Bayt. This is a wrong impression. I know that whoever believes in Muhammad but does not believe in his offspring does not truly believe in Muhammad (S). A Shafiite love for Ahl al-Bayt was to the extent that he was accused of being heretic hence put in jail. He too composed a line of poem saying:

رَفْضاً حُبُّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

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فَلْيَشْهَدِ الْثَقَلأنِ أنِّ رَافِضِي لَوْ كانَ

If love for Muhammad's Family is heresy, let all jinn and men testify to my heresy.

It has been reported that once Dawud al-Tai came to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Give me a piece of advice, for my heart has turned black. You have an excellence over all creatures hence you have a right to give us pieces of advice.” The Imam said, “Abu- Sulayman! I fear that on the Judgment Day my great grandfather will reproach me as to why I have not observed the right of adherence. Only Allah is the most deserving of all treatments and dealings.” Dawud burst into tears and said, “O Allah! You – the one whose entire being is from the Holy Prophet, whose constitution is based on proof and reason, whose grandfather is Allah’s Messenger and whose mother is the all-chaste Lady is this much humble, then how can Dawud be proud of his deed!

It is reported that they saw al-Sadiq wearing a precious fur coat. They said, “O Son of Allah”s Messenger! This is not becoming for Ahl al-Bayt!” The Imam took the hand of the person into his sleeve. He had worn coarse woolen clothes stinging the arm. Al-Sadiq (a.s) said,

هَذَا لِلْحَقَّ وَهَذَا لِلْخَلَقِ!

“This is for Allah, and that is for people.”

In praise of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s)

(He is) the proof for the people who

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have dealings with Allah, reason for the people of vision, Imam who is the offspring of the prophet, chosen of the followers of Ali, companion of the manifest and hidden, Abu-Jafar Muhammad Baqir whose other name was Abu-Abdullah and he was called al-Baqir.

He was known as well versed in all sciences, knowledge, and fine points. He was renowned for argumentation and demonstrative proof. Commenting on this holy verse:

... فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّه

Whoever disbelieves in Shaitan and believes in Allah…)2:256)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says: What deters you from Allah is the Satan. Behold, the veil, which has kept you from Him. Try to remove that veil, for one who has a veil before his eyes cannot claim nearness to Allah.(1)

Abul – Qasim Al-Qushayri

Maruf ibn Fayruz al-Karkhi was one of the spiritual guides whose prayer was answered. He was one of the devotees of Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha and became Muslim at the hands of the Imam. Maruf reports: I was bound to Kufah when I met a man called Ibn al-Sammak. He would give pieces of advice to people saying, "Whoever turns his back on Allah, Allah will turn His back on him too. And whoever turns to Allah, Allah will have mercy on him and all people will be with him." His words appealed to me; so, I turned to Allah and abandoned everything save serving Ali ibn Musa al- Ridha. I said this to the Imam who said: If you take the advice, it is sufficient."(2)

Husayn ibn Ali was walking home

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1- Tadhkirat al-Awliya: 20,125
2- Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah: 28

when he met several children. They had some pieces of bread. So, they invited him to have some. After having a piece of bread, Husayn took them home giving them food and clothes and saying: They were better hosts, for they had nothing more than what they had but I have more than what I gave away.(1)

It is reported that Shaqiq al-Balkhi asked the meaning of magnanimity from Jafar ibn Muhammad (al-Sadiq). The Imam asked, “What is your opinion?” Shaqiq said, “If we are given, we will thank and if it is withheld, we will wait.” Imam al-Sadiq said, “Dogs in Medina will do the same.” Shaqiq said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! What is magnanimity then?” The Imam replied, “If we are given, we will give away and if we are not given, we will wait.”(2)

A man who had come from Mecca fell asleep in Medina. When he woke up, he thought his purse had been stolen. Seeing Imam Jafar, he seized him by the collar, saying, “You have taken my purse!” The Imam said, “How much money was in it?” He said, “A thousand Dinars.” Jafar took him home and gave him a thousand Dinars. When the man went to his place, his purse was there! He apologetically came back to the Imam bringing back the money. However, the Imam did not accept it saying, “We will not take back what we have given.” The man said, “Who is this person?” They said, “He is Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s).”(3)


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1- Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah: 223
2- Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah: 363
3- Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah: 363

is reported that Paradise longs for three persons: Ali, Ammar and Salman - may Allah be pleased with them all.(1)

It is reported that Amir al-Muminin Ali (a.s.) - May Allah exalt his esteem - called out at a slave but he did not take heed. The Imam called him again, yet the slave took no heed. The Imam called him again but he took no notice. Rising up from his place, Ali saw him lying down. So he asked, “Did you not hear me?” He said, “I heard you.” The Imam asked, “Then why didn’t you come?’ The slave said, “Such a noble man as you are, I knew I was free from punishment, so I was lazy.” The Imam said, “I set you free for the sake of Allah, the Honored and Glorified.”(2)

Muhammad Al-Ghazzali

Abul-Hasan Madaini reports: Hasan, Husayn and Abdullah ibn Jafar - may Allah be pleased with them all - were on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Leaving their camel load in a place, they went to an Arab old woman when they were hungry and thirsty. They asked her, “Do you have anything for drink?”

She said, “Yes, I do.” She milked her sheep and gave them milk. Again they asked, “Do you have anything to eat?” The old woman said, “I have no food but you can slaughter the sheep and eat it.” So, they slaughtered the sheep and ate of it, saying, “We are from the tribe of Quraysh. When we go back from pilgrimage, come to us.

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1- Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah: 582
2- Al-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah: 394

We will treat you nicely.” Then they left.

When the old woman’s husband came home, he became angry saying, “You have given the sheep to people you do not know.” After a while, the old woman and her husband came to Medina out of poverty. They had to pick up droppings of camels and sell them to make their ends meet.

One day when the old woman was passing through the alley, Hasan who was sitting at the door noticed her and said, “Do you know me?” She said, “No, I do not.” Hasan said, “I am the one whom you hosted.” He then ordered a thousand sheep and a thousand Dinars to be given to her and then he sent her along with his servant to Husayn.

“What did my brother give to you?” Husayn asked. She replied, “A thousand sheep and a thousand Dinars.” Husayn gave her the same.(1)

Addressing Lady Fatimah, the Holy Prophet once said, “I give you the good news that you are the doyenne of the women in Paradise.” Fatimah said, “What are Asiyah and Mary then?” Allah’s Messenger said, “Each of them was the doyenne of the women of her time; but you are the doyenne of all women in entire world of all times. All of you are in houses, adorned with precious stones with no suffering or preoccupation.” Then, Allah’s Messenger said, “I have given you in marriage to my cousin who is a master in this world and the master of

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1- Kimyaye Saadat: 167/2

my ummah in the Hereafter.”(1)

Whenever Ali ibn Husayn performed ablution for prayer, he would look pale in face. When he was asked about it, he would say, “Do you not know before whom we are standing?”(2)

One day when Ali ibn Husayn was on his way to mosque, a man swore at him. The servants made an attempt to do something but the Imam said, “Stop it! What is hidden to you from us is more! Are you in need of anything?” The man was ashamed. So Ali ibn Husayn gave him a thousand Dirhams and a garment. The man was going away saying, “I bear witness that he is but the son of Prophets.”(3)

Abu – Said Abul - Khayr

Baba Hasan was prayer leader of our spiritual guide (Sheikh), Abu-Said. Under the Sheikh, Sufis followed his leadership. One day when he was performing the Morning Prayer, he came to qunut (Communion) saying, “Blessed and Exalted is our Lord, greetings be upon Muhammad.” He went into prostration. When he completed his prayer, our Sheikh asked him, “Why did you not send greeting upon the Household of Muhammad, and why did you not say: O Allah send greetings upon Muhammad and upon the Household of Muhammad?” Baba said, “The companions have divided opinion as to whether or not to say ‘The Household of Muhammad’ in the first tashahhud and qunut and so to be on the safe side, I did not say it.” Our Sheikh said, “We will not attend any assembly where the names of Muhammad’s Household

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1- Kimyaye Saadat; 186
2- Kimyaye Saadat: 414/2
3- Kimyaye Saadat: 421

are no mentioned.”(1)

Our Sheikh has reported: A Jew came to Amir al-Muminin Ali (a.s), asking, “Who is Allah the glorified?” At this question, the Imam’s face turned pale saying, “Allah existed without the attribute of ‘existence’ and without the quality as He exists forever. Nothing precedes Him, for He is before everything. He is infinite. He exceeds all extremes. Did you understand, Jew?” The Jew said, “I bear witness that whoever says anything but this is false. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.”(2)

Our Sheikh, Abu-Said, said: I saw in dream that whoever sends greetings upon Allah’s Messenger a thousand times every Friday night will see him in his dream. We repeatedly did so and saw the Holy Prophet in our dream with Fatimah sitting near him. He was rubbing his hand on the head of Fatimah saying, “This is the doyenne of the women of the worlds.”(3)

Mustamli Bukhari

Ali ibn Abu-Talib is the master of the mystics. The ummah unanimously agree that he has the authority of all prophets, because he has said that which no one has ever said and no one will ever say.

Hasan ibn Ali was given poison six times. On five occasions, the poison was not effective but on the sixth time, it was when Husayn ibn Ali came to his bed saying, “O brother! Tell me who has given you poison, so that I will take complete vengeance on him!” Hasan said, “O my brother! Neither my father Ali nor my mother

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1- Asrar al-Tawhid: 204/1
2- Asrar al-Tawhid: 248/1
3- Asrar al-Tawhid: 268/1

Fatimah nor my grandfather Muhammad nor my grandmother Khadijah nor any of our Household was talebearer. If Allah forgives me on the Judgment Day, I will not enter Paradise unless I forgive one who gave me poison."

One day, Hasan was eating a piece of bread. At this moment, a man came to him saying, “I have a debt of ten thousand dirhams.” Hasan said, “Give him ten thousand dirhams to pay his debt.” They gave the money to the man and he went away.

To say something about the morality of Husayn, one day when he was having his food, a slave girl was standing over his head with a bowl in her hand. Suddenly, the bowl fell off her hand. Husayn had a look at her. The slave girl quoted a section of the holy verse, “Those who restrain the anger.” Husayn said, “I forgive you.” The slave girl added, “And Allah loves the benefactors.” Husayn said, “You are free for the sake of Allah.”

What can we say about the virtues and excellent qualities of those who are parts of the Holy Prophet?

Abul Hasan Hajwiri Ghaznawi

A few words in praise of Ahl al-Bayt

Ahl al-Bayt enjoy a high rank for having been purified. Each of them has an excellence in spirituality and they are all models among their own tribe. Allah willing I wish to mention some of their virtues here.

The dear one of the Holy Prophet, the sweet basil of the well-pleased Imam, the apple of the eye of the Luminous Lady, Abu-Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali - May Allah honor

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his dignity - was well-versed in the spiritual path and interested in its fine points. When determinists took over and people of seclusion were dispersed across the world, Hasan al- Basri wrote a letter to Hasan ibn Ali (a.s) saying:

Peace of Allah be to you, son of Allah’s Messenger and apple of his eye. Mercy and blessing of Allah be to you. You - members of Banu-Hashim - are like ships afloat on seas and you are like shining stars and guidance. Whoever follows you will be rescued, like those who were aboard Noah’s Ark. O son of Allah’s Messenger, we are at a loss and we would like to know what you think on this issue, for you are from the issue of the Prophet and your link will never be cut off. Your knowledge comes from that of Allah Who is your protector.

Receiving the letter, Hasan (a.s.) wrote back:

Whoever does not believe in destined good and evil on the part of Allah is an unbeliever; and whoever attributes his sins to Allah is wicked; that is to say, denying the fate. What we have accepted in our religion is fate. Attributing sins to Allah is determinism. Therefore, a servant is free in acquisition to the extent of his capability given by Allah. Thus religion lies in between determinism and fate.

It is reported that a Bedouin was passing by while Hasan (a.s.) was sitting at the threshold of the house. A Bedouin started swearing at him and his parents.

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Hasan rose up, saying, “O Bedouin! If you are in need of food, I will give you food and if you are thirsty, I will give you water. What is the matter with you?” The Bedouin kept on abusing Hasan and his parents. Hasan told his servant to bring a purse of golden coins and said, “O Bedouin! I beg your pardon, this is all we have at home and I offer it to you.”

Hearing this, the Bedouin said, “I bear witness that you are the son of Allah's Messenger and I have come here to test your forbearance. This is the virtue of the great ones for whom praise or blame is equal and they never change because of unkind words.”

The candle of the Muhammad’s Household and the master of his time – Abu Abdullah al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi-Talib (a.s.) - may Allah be pleased with them, was Allah’s favorite, the center of the people of tribulation, and the one slain on the plains of Karbala. Those who have heard this story unanimously agree that as long as the truth was manifest, he was a follower of truth but when truth was missing, he drew out his sword and did not find comfort until he had sacrificed his dear life for the sake of Allah. His virtues are too well known to be mentioned here.

The inheritor of Prophethood, the torch of the ummah, the wronged master, the deprived Imam, the ornament of the servants of Allah, Abul-Hasan Ali

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ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abu-Talib (a.s.) was the most honorable worshipper of his time. He is known for his intuition of delicate points. A story tells us that when Husayn along with his children were killed in the plain of Karbala and there was no one to look after the women, he was ill and Husayn called him Ali the junior (Ali Asghar).

When they were brought on bare camels to Syria before Yazid ibn Muawiyah - may Allah abase him - a person said, “How is your day, O Ali from the Household of Mercy?” He said, “Because of unkindness of our people, our morning was like that of the people of (Prophet) Musa because of the plight of the people of Pharaoh who killed their children and unveiled their women in a way we do not know the day from the night.”

Husham ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the story goes, was circumambulating the Holy Kabah. He wished to kiss the Black Stone but failed to find his way to it due to the huge crowd. So he went up the pulpit and delivered a sermon. After some time, Zayn al-Abidin Ali ibn Husayn entered the Mosque for circumambulation with a face as bright as moon and a garment with sweet scent. When he came near the Black stone, the pilgrims made room for him to kiss it out of respect for him. Observing such a scene, a man from Syria said to Husham, “The pilgrims did not make

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room for you who are a governor. Who is that good looking young man for whom the pilgrims made way near the Black stone?”

Husham said, “I do not know him.” He had the intention that the people of Syria do not recognize or follow him nor show interest in his Imamate. Farazdaq, the poet who was standing there, said, “I know him.” They said, “Who is he?” Farazdaq said, “He is the one whom the land of revelation and even the Sacred House know very well…” He also composed some lines in praise of Imam and Ahl al-Bayt. Hearing this, Husham became angry and had him jailed in a prison between Mecca and Medina.

When the Imam heard the story, he sent him twelve thousand Dirhams with a message saying that we did not have more than this. Farazdaq sent back the silver coins saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I have composed many poems for silver with false eulogy; however, what I have composed is for the sake of Allah and love for His Messenger and his offspring.” When the message reached Zayn al-Abidin, he said, “Send these silver coins back and say: O Abu- Firas! If you love us, do not ask me to take back what I have given away from our property.” It was then that Farazdaq was convinced to take the silver coins.(1)

The virtues of Zayn al-Abidin are too numerous to be mentioned here.

Sa’di Of Shiraz

Sa’di do not suppose that the way of Chastity

Is anywhere

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1- Kashf al-Mahjub: 85-95

but following Mustafa -

Who is honorable in character,

Beautiful in qualities

The Prophet of people, and mediator of followers,

The Imam of all Prophets, the leader of the way,

The trustee of Allah, the descending place of Gabriel,

The intercessor of men, the Lord of Resurrection Day,

The guiding leader, high judge of the court of Accounts,

The inter-locator whose Mount Sinai is the whole universe,

and all rays are the reflection of His light,

the orphan who had not compiled the Qur'an,

and washed away the holy books of several nations.

One night he rode, and rose to high heaven

And in worth and rank was elevated above angels.

He rode so swiftly in the land of proximity to Allah,

That Gabriel was left behind at Sadreh

What admirable eulogy can I offer you?

O people's prophet, peace be upon You!

The salutation of angels be upon your soul,

On your descendants and followers.

O Allah; I beg you by the children of Fatimah

To end my life with devotion to the Prophet's lineage.

Whether you grant my wish or not

I shall make my entreaty to the family of the Prophet.(1)

Sayyid Haydar Amuli And Sheikh Muhyo Al-Din Ibn Arabi


Sayyid Haydar Amuli in his mystical-theological exegesis of the Holy Quran entitled al-MuHit al-Adham wal-Bahr al-Khidhimm, has pointed out the following:

Be it known to you that the truths and secrets in the Holy Quran are Divine truths and secrets descended on purified souls from a sacred realm. Allah Himself has said,

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ فِي كِتَابٍ مَكْنُونٍ لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

Most surely it is an honored Quran, in a book that is protected;

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1- Boostan of Sa’adi translated into English by Aladdin Pasargadi, Rahnama Publication, 2000

none shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:77-79)

Therefore, the Holy Quran is not revealed to anyone but those who have attained perfection and are free from sins and disobedience called uncleanness. Again Allah says,

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ ۖ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ

Unclean things are for unclean ones and unclean ones are for unclean things and the good things are for good ones and the good ones are for good things. (24:26)

These purified souls are none but the Prophets, the Messengers and the Imams who truthfully followed them. It is for this reason that we claim that ‘those who are firmly rooted in knowledge’ are the Prophets, Messengers, Imams, Allah’s favorites and then the inheritors of monotheism. Therefore, no one else can be included in their group as it has been pointed out by the elder Sheikhs. In this connection Allah says,

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)

In this verse, Allah alludes to the purification of Ahl al-Bayt and their being free from sins and disobedience. Uncleanness can mean atheism and paganism or sin and debauchery. In the first meaning, Ahl al-Bayt are necessarily free from these sins. In the second meaning, the word ‘purify’ cannot be applied to them unless Ahl al-Bayt are also not far from it. The sins and debauchery are the worst uncleanness and here Allah Himself has testified

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to their purification.

The great Sheikh Muhyi al-Din Ibn Arabi refers to the same meaning in getting to know the secret of Salman and his joining Ahl al-Bayt, which has a moral long story.(1) Supporting what we have said so far, let us quote the following as a proof for those who deny it:

Know this! May Allah support you! Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq in a Hadith has reported Allah’s Messenger as saying,

مَوْلَى الْقَومِ مِنْهُمْ.

The servant of each nation is a person from among them.

Allah’s Messenger has also said,

أهْلُ الْقُرَانِ هُمْ أهْلُاللَّهِ وَ خَاصَّتُهُ.

The people of the Holy Quran are men of Allah and His favorites."

Allah too says,

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ ۚ 

Surely as for My servants, you (Satan) have no authority over them. (17:65)

Therefore, the submission of every servant of Almighty Allah on whom the right of another servant will be decreased to the extent of that right and that person will have an authority on him. For this reason, he will not become a devoted servant. This has caused the devoted servants to be detached from people in order to resort to mountain and deserts and escape from people. They are keen to rid themselves of everything. I have met many of them during my trips.

Purification - A Heavenly Food For Devoted servants

Since the Holy Prophet was a devoted servant, Allah purified him and his Household thoroughly and removed uncleanness from them, which is what is considered as indecency and defect. None can be included in Ahl al- Bayt saved the purified. The Holy Prophet by

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1- Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah; Vol. 1, Ch. 29

saying, “Salman is from us - Ahl al-Bayt”, testifies that Salman has been purified.

Ahl al-Bayt, A Paragon of Purification

Allah Almighty has testified to the purification of Ahl al-Bayt and removal of uncleanness from them. None but a purified one can be included with them. As soon as one is included with them, they will receive Allah’s favor. So what do you think of Ahl al-Bayt themselves?

They are actually the paragon of purification. The following Quranic verse indicates that Allah has made Ahl al-Bayt share His forgiveness with His Messenger:

لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ

Allah may forgive your community their past faults and those to follow (48:2)

Based on this verse, Allah has purified His Messenger through His forgiveness. For this reason, whatever is considered sin for us is a sin only in appearance if committed by Allah’s Messenger because no blame follows him either from Allah or from us. Therefore, all the offsprings of Fatimah and those included with Ahl al-Bayt such as Salman will be subject to the above mentioned verse until the Day of Judgment. They have been purified by the honor of Muhammad and Allah’s favor and they will be raised to life with forgiveness.

Love for Ahl al-Bayt; Desire of the Messenger

The Holy Prophet has not asked any reward other than love for his near relatives. In this lies the secret of strengthening the ties of relationship with him. How can anyone who does not respond positively to the Holy Prophet’s demand hope for his intercession? One who has the love for something will be

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always with it. Hence, the one who adheres to the love for Ahl al-Bayt, through the right of having claim, will not take to them to ask for what comes to him from them. A true lover of Ahl al-Bayt has said: Whatever the beloved does is good.

Love for Ahl al-Bayt Is Love for Allah

If your love for Allah and the Holy Prophet is true, you will naturally love Ahl al-Bayt and whatever comes to you from them, even if disagreeable is a favor from Allah for their love.

The Secret of Ahl al-Bayt and Some of Their Features

Now that we have spoken of the spiritual poles of this station and the fact that the Ahl al-Bayt are chosen by Allah, we should know that no one knows anything about their secret except the sacred ones. Al-Khidhr, may Allah be pleased with him, is one of the greatest ones among such personalities. In this regard, Allah has testified that He bestowed His mercy on him and gave him from His own knowledge that Prophet Moses had to learn from.

One secret of getting to know the station of Ahl al-Bayt and what Allah has given attention to is their high rank in knowledge. One of the other secrets is their knowledge of Allah’s plan for their enemies who claim to love Allah’s Messenger. The Holy Prophet himself has recommended the love for his Ahl al-Bayt and he himself is one of them. However, most people have not done what Allah’s Messenger asked them to do on the order of Allah. They did not obey Allah and His

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Messenger, nor did they take his relatives as friends except those who did something for them. These people love their desires and they are in love with themselves. What has been said so far, has been said by the great Sheikh (Ibn Arabi). It is aimed at getting to know how to love and make friends with them, the dignity and virtues of Ahl al-Bayt and about purification, ismah, the secrets of the Holy Quran by adhering to them and knowing such personalities as Salman…(1)

After quoting this chapter from al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, Sayyid Haydar Amuli, may his soul rest in peace, in his commentary further elaborates on Ahl al-Bayt. Yet to be brief, we have even summarized Ibn Arabi’s statements. What Sayyid Haydar Amuli writes on the opinion of Ibn Arabi is his own opinion too. Hence, we have not devoted a separate chapter to Sayyid Haydar.

We bring this chapter to conclusion with a poem by Ibn Arabi as quoted by Sulayman ibn Ibrahim Qunduzi (1220-1294) in Yanabi al-Mawaddah.(2)

Find no peer for Ahlal-Bayt

For they are people of witness

Enmity with them is a big loss.

Love for them is a great prayer.

The Culture Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Morality Of Ahl Al-Bayt


Morality of Ahl al-Bayt is a collection of their godly and human virtues towards their fellow human beings. On many occasions, the infidels, atheists, and pagans were attracted to Islam because they had been influenced by the morality of Islam represented by Ahl al-Bayt. Free from errors and vices, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragon of virtues for all human

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1- Tafsir al-Muhit al-Azam: 447/1
2- Yanabi al-Mawaddah: 174/3, Chapter: 65

beings until the Day of Judgment.

Morality of the Holy Prophet

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) reports:

Ali ibn Abi-Talib (a.s.) was tasked by the Holy Prophet to go to the market and purchase a shirt. He went to the market and purchased a shirt for twelve dirhams. The Holy Prophet asked, “How much did you pay for it?”

“Twelve dirhams”, said Imam Ali (a.s.).

“I do not like it so much! I would like to have a less expensive one. Is the seller ready to take it back, if so, please return it?, ” Holy Prophet (S) said to him

“I do not know, Allah’s Messenger,” replied Imam Ali (a.s.).

“Go and see whether he agrees to take it back or not,” asked the Holy Prophet (S)

Ali took the shirt alongwith him and returned to the market to ask the seller, “The Holy Prophet wants a shirt which is less expensive in price than this. Are you ready to pay back our money and take back the shirt?”

The seller accepted it; Ali took the money and returned to the Holy Prophet. Then they both went towards the market. On the way, the Holy Prophet saw a slave-girl crying.

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

“My master gave me four dirhams and sent me to the market for shopping. I do not know how I lost the money. At present, I am scared to go back home.”

The Holy Prophet gave her four dirhams from those twelve dirhams and said, “Buy what you want and go back home!” Then, he went to the market, purchased

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a shirt for four dirhams and put it on.

On his return, he saw a naked man; he immediately took off his shirt and gave it to him. He returned to the market and purchased another shirt for four dirhams. He put it on and took to the way towards his house. On the way, he saw the same slave-girl sitting, puzzled, embarrassed and perplexed.

“Why didn’t you go back home?” he asked.

“O Allah’s Messenger, it is too late. I am afraid they might beat me, for I have been slightly delayed.”

“Let us go together. Show me the way to your house! I will intercede for you with them so that they may not bother you.”

The Holy Prophet accompanied the slave-girl. As they reached the house, the girl said, “This is the house.”

The Holy Prophet said in a high voice from behind the door, “O people of the house, peace be upon you.” He did not get any reply. Thus he said again, yet there was no reply. For the third time, he saluted, and they replied, “O Allah’s Messenger, peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”

“Why did you not reply for the first time, didn't you hear my voice?”

“Of course, yes! We heard your voice the first time and came to know that it was you!”

“Then what was the reason for your delay?”

“O Allah’s Messenger! We love to hear your voice again and again. Your salaam is peace, blessing and grace for our house.”

“This slave-girl of yours was delayed.

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I came here to ask you not to pester her.”

“O Allah’s Messenger! Because of your gracious visit, this slave-girl is free from now on.”

The Holy Prophet said, “Thanks to Allah, how blessed these twelve Dirhams were; which became the dress of two naked persons and a slave-girl got her freedom.”(1)

Five Moral Habits of the Holy Prophet

Allah’s Messenger has been reported by Imam al-Baqir (a.s) to say:

خَمْسٌ لَسْتُ بِتَارِكِهِنَّ حَتَّى الْمَمَاتٍ: لِبَاسِي الصُّوفَ، وَرَكُوبِي الْحِمَارَ مُؤكِفَاً، وَأكْلِي مَعَ الْعَبِيدِ، وَخَصْفِي الْنَّعْلَ بالْيَدِ، وَتَسْلِيمِي عَلَى الصِّبْيَانِ سُنَّةَ مِنْ بَعْدِي.

I will not quit five habits until the moment of my death: wearing coarse clothes, riding a mule without packsaddle, eating with the slaves, weaving footwear with my own hands, and saluting children so that it will become a tradition after me.

A Jew Becomes Muslim By the Holy Prophet

Imam Musa (a.s) quoted Imam Ali (a.s) as saying, “Allah’s Messenger owed a few dinars to a Jew, so he asked for it. The Holy Prophet said, “I can't pay it now.” The Jew said, “I will not leave you until you have paid my money.” The Holy Prophet said, “Then I will sit beside you.” He sat beside that Jew for a long time during which he performed all his prayers.

The Holy Prophet’s companions made an attempt to intimidate him. Looking at them, the Holy Prophet asked, “What are you going to do with him?” They said, “O Allah's Messenger! A Jew is taking you a hostage like that!” The Holy Prophet said, “Allah has not commissioned me to do any injustice to non-Muslims.”

When the

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1- Al-Khisal: 271/1, H. 13

day came to an end, the Jew said, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. I give away a portion of my wealth for the sake of Allah, O Messenger! I swear by Allah what I did to you was to see whether you are the same person described in the Torah. I have read your description in the Torah that Muhammad, son of Abdullah, will be born in Mecca; he will migrate to Medina. He is neither rough nor furious. He is neither foul-mouthed nor does he use indecent words. I testify to the oneness of Allah and your Prophethood. This is my wealth at your disposal. Spend it as Allah has commanded.”(1)

Interest-Free Loan For The Needy

Reporting his father, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) says, “A needy came to the Holy Prophet asking for help. The Holy Prophet (S) asked, “Is there anyone here to give an interest-free loan?” A man from the Ansar rose up saying, “I have such a loan.” The Holy Prophet said, “Give four vessels of date to this man.” The man did so.

After sometime the man came to the Holy Prophet and asked for the repayment of his loan. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “We will pay it in the coming days.” The man came another time, hearing the same words. But when he came for the third time, the Holy Prophet smiled and said, “Is there anyone here to give an interest-free loan?” A

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 465, H. 6

man rose up saying, “O Allah's Messenger! I have it.” The Holy Prophet asked, “How much is that?” The man said, “As much as you wish!” The Holy Prophet said, “Give eight vessels of date to this man.” The man said, “You owe me only four vessels.” The Holy Prophet said, “The other four vessels are for you too.”(1)

Eating with the Poor

Reporting his father, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) says, “During the time of the Holy Prophet, the needy had to spend nights in the mosque because they had no home. One evening, the Holy Prophet broke his fast with the needy in the mosque in a stone vessel. Since the food had been blessed by the Holy Prophet, thirty people ate from it and then took the rest of the food for their wives.”(2)

Piety and Contentment

Quoting his forefathers, Imam al-Ridha reports: Allah’s Messenger said: An angel came to me saying, “O Muhammad! Your Lord has sent greetings to you saying - I will fill Mecca with gold if you wish so.” But the Holy Prophet raised his head toward the sky and said, “O Lord! I will eat my fill one day to praise You and remain hungry to beg you.”(3)

Amazing Humbleness

Ibn Abbas reports that the Holy Prophet would always sit on the earth; he would eat sitting on the earth; he would milk the sheep; and he would accept the slaves’ invitation to share barley bread on their tablecloth. (4)

Sympathy with People

Among the homeless poor people who used to live in the mosque, there was a believer who

p: 166

1- Qurb al-Isnad: 44
2- Qurb al-Isnad: 69
3- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 30/2, H. 36
4- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 393, H. 866

was poor and indigent. He would follow Allah’s Messenger in praying and never lost congregational prayer. The Holy Prophet (S) had sympathy for him and closely watched his needs. The Holy Prophet (S) kept on saying, “O Sa’d, I will make you needless if I gain something.” A long time passed but the Holy Prophet did not gain anything. Hence, his sympathy for the man increased. Allah Almighty Who was watching this, sent Archangel Gabriel to him with two dirhams saying, “Allah is aware of your sorrow about Sa’d. Would you like to make him needless?” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Yes.” “Give these two dirhams to him to start a business.”

Taking the two dirhams, the Holy Prophet (S) left home for the mosque to perform his Noon Prayer where Sa’d waiting for him. He said, “Do you like business?” Sa’d said, “Yes, I do. But I do not have money.” The Holy Prophet gave the two dirhams to him and said, “Start a business with this and seek the Divine food.” After completing his prayer, the Holy Prophet said, “Go after business from now on, for I was very sorry for you”. Sa’d did so in a way that he bought goods for one dirham selling them for two dirhams or bought goods for two dirhams selling them for four dirhams.

In this way, he made a fortune and his business became brisk. He went so far as to find premises near the mosque and set up his business

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there. He became so engaged in his business that he no longer took heed of Bilal’s call for prayer and would not come to the mosque. One day, the Holy Prophet said to him, “O Sa’d! You are so much preoccupied with the world that you have failed to perform prayer with the Prophet! What has happened to your previous spirituality?” Sa’d said, “Shall I waste my property? I have no option! I have to sell my goods to people and receive the price and to purchase goods from people and pay for them!”

The Holy Prophet (S) thus became sadder for Sad than before when he was poor and indigent. At this time, Gabriel came to the Holy Prophet saying, “O Muhammad! Allah is aware of your sorrow for Sad. Which one do you like best, the former or the present condition?” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “The former conditions, for he is in a situation now that this world has ruined his hereafter.” Gabriel said, “Tell Sa’d to return the two dirhams you gave him. When he does so, he will be back to his former conditions.”

So the Holy Prophet (S) went to Sa’’d and told him affectionately, “O Sa’d! Don’t you want to return our two dirhams?” Sad said, “Yes, I will, along with two hundred dirhams!” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Only those two dirhams!” Sa’d gave the two dirhams back to the Holy Prophet and soon he lost what he had gained. Thus, he returned to

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the former situation.(1)

Kindness against Ingratitude

Quoting Imam Ali, Imam Musa reports:

The Holy Prophet was always benevolent and benefactor yet he was never appreciated by people. He was kind to Quraysh, Arabs and non-Arabs. We Ahl al-Bayt are the benefactors but our benefaction is not appreciated. The chosen believers too are like us.(2)


Reporting Imam al-Sadiq, Abu-Basir narrates:

Allah’s Messenger would always eat like a servant; sit on the earth like a servant and act upon the fact that he was a servant of Allah.(3)

A Permanent Cure

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said: A Bedouin woman was passing by the Holy Prophet who was eating while sitting on the earth. She said, “O Muhammad! I swear by Allah that you eat and sit on the earth like a servant of Allah.” The Holy Prophet said, “Woe to you! Who is more deserving than me to be a servant of Allah?” The woman said, “Give a morsel of your food to me!” The Holy Prophet gave her a morsel. The woman said, “No, give me the morsel from your mouth!” The Holy Prophet brought out the morsel from his mouth and gave it to her. The woman never experienced any pain in life until she died.(4)

Honoring A Nobleman

Hatam al-Ta’i was a noble, generous, and kind Arab. He would make food of a camel’s flesh every day to feed people. He was doing this whole-heartedly and with devotion. Nevertheless, he died before the advent of Islam. After Hatam, his son Adi succeeded him; he was as generous as his father. It is

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1- Al-Kafi: 312/5, H. 38
2- Ilal al-Shara'u: 187.
3- Al-Mahasin: 456/2, H. 386
4- Al-Mahasin: 457/2, H. 388

said that one day a man asked him for one hundred Dirhams. Adi said, “By Allah, this is nothing, ask for more!” When a poet eulogized him, Adi said, “Wait for me to give you a reward before you read the eulogy.”

In the 9th A.H., the Holy Prophet sent a group headed by Imam Ali to Ta’i tribe to invite them to Islam but they fought them and were defeated. Most of the Ta’i people were taken captives along with a considerable booty. Adi, a Christian by faith, escaped to Syria, leaving his sister Safanah among the captives. She stood up before the Holy Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! My father has passed away, my guardian who is my brother has escaped to Syria, so be gracious to me.” The Holy Prophet ordered to give here new clothes and send here respectfully to Syria.

Seeing this, Adi was surprised. When his sister told him about the Holy Prophet’s gracious behavior, Adi asked for an advisable act. The sister said, “You would better go to him, for it would be a source of pride for you to believe in him, should he be a prophet and it would be an honor for you should he be a king.” Adi moved quickly. He went to the mosque and introduced himself to the Holy Prophet who invited him to his house.

On the way home, an old woman came to the Holy Prophet and held him standing for a long time speaking of

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her needs. The Holy Prophet too was patiently listening to her! Adi said to himself, “This is not the attitude of the kings to speak with the needy in this manner.” When they reached home, the Holy Prophet made Adi sit on the mattress while he himself sat on the earth facing him. Adi said, “It is not good for me to sit on this mattress when you sit upon the ground.” The Holy Prophet said, “You are our guest!”

Then the Holy Prophet said, “Perhaps you look at the actual poverty and indigence of Muslims and our numerous enemies that you do not accept Islam. But this situation will not last long.” Hearing this, Adi willingly embraced Islam, defended Ahl al-Bayt after Allah’s Messenger and remained steadfast until the end of his life. He fought along with Imam Ali in the battles of Camel, Siffin and Nahrawan for the sake of Allah. In the Battle of Jamal (Camel), he lost one eye and three of his sons were martyred in the front of justice against injustice.(1)

Great Forbearance

Anas ibn Malik says: A Bedouin came to the Holy Prophet, took his cloak by hand and drew it in a way that its edge left an abrasion on the Holy Prophet’s neck. Then he said, “Order to bestow on me of Allah’s property which is with you!” The Holy Prophet smiled and ordered to give to him what he needed.”(2)

Courtesy towards the community

Whenever the Holy Prophet noticed the absence of a brother-in-faith for three days, he

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1- Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d; 4
2- Makarim al-Akhlaq: 17

would inquire about him. He would pray for his people if they were not near by and would rush to visit them if they were ill.(1)

Honoring a Guest

One day the Holy Prophet had a lot of guests at home. Jarir Ibn Abdullah entered the house but could not find a place to sit. So, he had to sit outside. Seeing this, the Holy Prophet spread his shirt for him to sit on. Jarir picked up the shirt, put it on his face and kissed it.

Salman says: I went to see the Holy Prophet who was leaning on a cushion. When he saw me, he offered his cushion to me saying: O Salman! Allah will have his mercy on a Muslim who offers a cushion for his brother-in-faith when he comes to visit him.(2)

Respect for Kindness

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) said: When a foster sister came to see the Holy Prophet, he spread his cloak for her to sit on. He also started to speak to her with a smile on his lips. When she left, her brother came to the Holy Prophet but his behavior was quite different. When asked why they were not treated equally, the Holy Prophet said: I respected the sister more because she was more kind to her parents.(3)

Forgiving the Enemies

When the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca with his strong army of twelve thousand soldiers, he treated people so kindly that they were all surprised. No one could believe that a victor could treat the defeated party in this way.

People of Mecca had gathered

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1- Makarim al-Akhlaq: 19
2- Makarim al-Akhlaq: 21
3- Kitab Al-Zuhd: 34, H. 88

in the Sacred Mosque to see the leader of Muslims and Islam come out of Kabah and judge those who committed all kinds of persecution against him for thirteen years. However, after breaking the idols, the Holy Prophet came out of Kabah to address the people of Mecca as such, “O people! You were bad kinsmen and neighbors for me. You expelled me from my hometown and fought against me in an unmanly way. You did not spare any attempt to persecute my friends, my companions or me. You killed my uncle, Hamzah. You fought against Allah’s Messenger so I have the right to avenge myself on you. Based on this right, your men must be killed, your wives and children must be taken captive, your property must be seized by the conquerors, and your houses must be demolished. Yet I leave the judgment to you. What do you think?”

Suhayl ibn Amr, representing his people, said, “We speak good and think good. You are an honorable brother and an honorable nephew who has power over us.” These words impressed the tender-hearted Prophet in such a way that his eyes were filled with tears. People of Mecca started weeping. Then the Holy Prophet said, “I do the same thing as my brother Joseph did. There is no sin upon you today. May Allah forgive you; He is the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.”(1)

A Graceful Generosity

Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Saidi says: I made a cloak of black and white wool for the Holy Prophet

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1- Al-Kafi: 225/4, H. 3

and he liked it. While touching it, he asked, “What a good cloak this is!” A nomadic Arab who was present there said, “Give me this cloak!” The Holy Prophet immediately took it off and gave it to him.” (1)

Helping a brother-in-faith

Abu-Sa’id Khargushi in his book, Sharaf al-Nabi writes: A needy companion of the Holy Prophet got married and asked him something. The Holy Prophet went to Aishah’s house saying, “Do we have anything to help this companion?” A’ishah said, “We have a bag with flour in it.” The Holy Prophet gave it to the companion while they had nothing for themselves.(2)

Forgiving a Foulmouthed Man

Ka’b ibn Zuhayr was an idolater who was steadfast in his idolatry until the conquest of Mecca. One of his indecent works was poem of reproach and satire about Allah’s Messenger. He and some other atheists who were extremely biased in their paganism and in committing horrible crimes against Islam were so detested that the Holy Prophet made Muslims dutybound to shed their blood upon the conquest of Mecca.

Hearing this, Ka’b ibn Zuhayr, with his poetic talent, composed an ode eulogizing the Holy Prophet and set out for Medina where he introduced himself to Abu-Bakr and beseechingly asked to take him to the Holy Prophet so that he might forgive him.

Abu-Bakr accepted his request and took to the Holy Prophet. He covered his face with his turban so that nobody would recognize him, said, “O Allah’s Messenger! This Arab man wishes to embrace Islam.” The Holy Prophet stretched out

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1- Nasikh al-Tawarikh: 584/2
2- Sharaf al-Nabi: 69

his hand and Ka’b pledged his allegiance, saying, “My father and mother are at your disposal, O Allah’s Messenger! This is the station of one who seeks refuge with you. I am Ka’b ibn Zuhayr.” He immediately recited the ode eulogizing the Holy Prophet. When he finished, the Holy Prophet rewarded him with his stripped cloth from Yemen, accepted his Islam and forgave him.

Behavior towards the Chief of Hypocrites

Abdullah ibn Ubay who was the chief of hypocrites in Medina and his friends did not spare any attempt to persecute the Holy Prophet and Muslims. They were spying in favor of the enemies of Islam and insisted on hypocrisies so much so that Quranic verses were revealed on their being deprived of Allah’s mercy and their punishment on the Judgment Day. Nevertheless, they did not stop their hypocrisy nor did they repent. When the Holy Prophet returned from Tabuk, Abdullah ibn Ubay fell sick and was close to death.

Based on the Quranic verse,

 يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ

He brings forth the living from the dead (6:95) -

his son, a true and pure-hearted youth, was favored by the Holy Prophet and Muslims. Based on the Quranic verse,

..وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ..

And you shall do good to your parents (2:83) -

he would visit his father everyday as a religious duty. This good son of Ubay asked the Holy Prophet to visit his father to save the dignity of the family. Hence, the Holy Prophet too visited his father to preserve the dignity of a man who was a true believer.

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Out of sympathy, the Holy Prophet said to Abdullah ibn Ubay, “I forbade you to make friends with the Jews but you did not accept it. Now is it not time to do away with the love of the enemies of Allah and depart for the hereafter?” In response, Abdullah said, “Asad ibn Hurarah was the enemy of Jews but this enmity was of no avail when he was on the verge of death. This is not the time to reproach me. I am on the verge of death. I would like you to perform prayer for my dead body and give me your shirt so that I will be buried with it.” The Holy Prophet gave his outer shirt to him generously.

But Abdullah said, “I want the shirt which has touched your holy body.” The Holy Prophet complied with his request and gave his under shirt to him. After Abdullah's death, the Holy Prophet condoled his son, attended the funeral service, prayed for him and in response to people’s protest said, “My shirt, prayer and pardon will not be of avail for him.” Following this manly and generous act, a thousand persons of the Khazraj embraced Islam."(1)

Behavior towards the Companions

The Holy Prophet would visit his companions and inquire about their health in the same way that they would visit him and inquire about his health. He would bid them a fond farewell as they would bid him a fond farewell. He would hug them as they would hug him. He would

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1- Nasikh al-Tawarikh: 234/3

kiss them

as they would kiss him saying, “My father and mother are at your disposal.”

If the Holy Prophet was invited to a party even at midnight, he would accept it. When he was riding, he would not allow anyone to be on foot at his service. If it were possible, he would make him ride with him; if not, he would say, “You go to the appointed place, I will come after you.” When he passed by children, he would salute them.(1)

Helping a Mother!

It is reported that certain slaves from Bahrain came to the Holy Prophet making a line before him. There was a woman among them, who was crying. The Holy Prophet asked, “Why are you crying?” The woman answered, “I had a son sold to Banu-Abs”. The Holy Prophet asked, “Who sold him?” The woman said, “Abu-Usayd al-Ansari did.”

Furious, the Holy Prophet said to Abu-Usayd Ansari, “Get on the horse and return her son as you have sold him.” The man got on the horse and after some time returned him.(2)

The Holy Prophet said, “Whoever separates a mother and her children, Allah Almighty will separate him from his friends.” (3) The Holy Prophet has also said, “Never go to the nest of birds at night nor scaring them from their nests, for night is a time of rest for them.”

Sublime Morality

Ibn Abbas reports: One day, the Holy Prophet was sitting in the mosque along with his companions when a Bedouin entered carrying a sword and a lizard in his lap and

p: 177

1- Sharaf al-Nabi: 67
2- Daa’im al-Islam: 60/2, H. 162
3- Awali al-La'ali: 249/2, H. 20

shouting, “O Muhammad! You are a sorcerer as well as a liar!” The companions wanted to kill him but the Holy Prophet stopped them.

Turning to the Bedouin, he said, “O Arab brother! Who are you looking for?” The man said, "I am after Muhammad, the sorcerer and liar.” The Holy Prophet said, "I am Muhammad but I am neither sorcerer nor liar. Rather I am Allah’s Messenger.” The Bedouin said, “I swear by idols that were it not for your dignity I would have killed you with this sword. I swear by Lat that I will not believe you unless this lizard believes you.” The Holy Prophet said, “O lizard! Who am I?” The lizard said, “You are Allah’s Messenger.” With this, the heart of the Bedouin was illuminated with the light of faith so he truthfully testified to the oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad. He further said, “O Allah's Messenger! When I entered this mosque there was no man more hostile than me to you and now there is no one loves you more than I do.”(1)

Tolerating Hardships

It is reported that one day the Holy Prophet along with one of his companions went to the desert of Medina. He saw an old woman at a well intending to draw water but she could not. The Holy Prophet went near her saying, “O Old Lady! Would you permit me to draw water for you?” She said,

إِنْ أَحْسَنْتُمْ أَحْسَنْتُمْ لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ

“If you do good, you will do good

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1- Manhaj al-Sadiqin: 370/9

for your own souls (17:7)”

The Holy Prophet went to the well, drew up the bucket, filled her water-skin, put it on his shoulder and said to the woman, “Go ahead and show me the way to your tent.” The companion insisted that he should carry the water-skin but the Holy Prophet said, “I am more deserving than anyone else to carry the load of my nation.”

The old woman led the way and the Holy Prophet was followed her until they reached her tent. The Holy Prophet put down the water-skin and set out for Medina.

The old woman entered the tent saying to her children, “Get up and bring the water-skin in.” They asked, “O mother! How did you carry this heavy water-skin up to here?” She said, “A sweet-speaking young man carried it for me.” They asked, “Where did he go?” She said, “He went that way.” The children of the old woman went after the Holy Prophet. When they recognized him, they said, “Mother! This is the man you believe in and are eager to see.”

The old woman and her children ran after the Holy Prophet until they reached him and started kissing his hands. The old woman who was weeping said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I did not recognize you. Forgive me for being insolent to you. How can I apologize?” The Holy Prophet consoled her, prayed for her children and retuned them kindly.(1)

Never Annoy People

It is reported that one day, the Holy Prophet had fever and that day was the

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1- Manhaj al-Sadiqin: 370/9

turn of being in Hafsah’s house. On that day, Aishah cooked barley soup for the Holy Prophet and a slave-girl took the pot to Hafsah’s house.

At the door, Hafsah said, “What is this?” The slave-girl said, “This is barley soup that Aishah has cooked for Allah’s Messenger.” Hafsah was very disturbed to hear this, saying, “Aishah has infringed my right. Can’t I cook barley soup? Is my love for the Holy Prophet any less than hers?” Then she took the pot from the slave-girl and threw it down so the pot broke and the barley soup spilled on the earth.

The Holy Prophet took a piece of the pot in which there was a little soup and ate it saying to the slave-girl, “If Aishah asks you whether the Prophet ate from it, say yes and do not tell her what you have seen or heard here so that there will be no cause of annoyance between them.”

It was after this event that the following verse was revealed,

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

And most surely you conform yourself to sublime morality. (68:4)


It is reported that when Mecca was conquered, Ikrimah, son of Abu-Jahl, escaped to Yemen. When he was informed that Allah’s Messenger would not blame anyone for his past faults and would not take him to task, he returned to Mecca and to the Sacred Mosque. Seeing him, the Holy Prophet rose up, spread his cloak for him and kissed him between the eyes. Ikrimah said, “I loved the Holy Prophet more

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than myself, my father, and my son.” Ikrimah became Muslim. He truly believed in Islam and was martyred in one of the battles.(1)

Asking For Fair Price

A Bedouin came to the Holy Prophet saying, “I have several camels for sale but I have no idea of their price in the market of Medina. I am afraid of being deceived by buyers. Would you come to the market with me giving your knowledge in this field?” The Holy Prophet said, “Bring the camels to me and present them one by one.” He did so and the Holy Prophet priced them each.

The Bedouin went to the market and sold the camels for the price the Holy Prophet had said. Coming back, he said, “You guided me and I made a huge profit. Now accept something from me and take of this money whatever you wish.” The Holy Prophet said, “I expect nothing.” The Bedouin said, “Accept a gift from me.” The Holy Prophet said, “I am not in need of anything.” The Bedouin insisted. The Holy Prophet said, “Now that you insist, bring me a female camel which gives milk provided that you have not separated it from her young.”(2)

Gathering Wood For Making Fire

The Holy Prophet and his companions were on a journey. When they alighted in a place, the Holy Prophet ordered them to slaughter a sheep. One of them said, “I will slaughter it.” The second said, “I will skin it.” The third said, “I will cook it.” The Holy Prophet said, “I will gather wood for making

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1- Manhaj al-Sadiqin: 371/9
2- Sharaf al-Nabi: 75

fire.” The companions said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Take no pains! We will gather wood for fire.” The Holy Prophet said, “I know you would; but Allah hates to see His servant enjoy a state of privilege among his friends and companions and distinguish between himself and the others.”(1)

A Gracious Generosity

It is reported that the Holy Prophet and Jabir ibn Abdullah were riding a camel belonging to the latter. Allah’s Messenger asked him to sell him the camel. Jabir said, “My father and mother are at your disposal! It is yours.” The Holy Prophet told Bilal to give the money to Jabir. Jabir said, “O Allah’s Messenger! To whom should I entrust the camel?” The Holy Prophet said, “May you enjoy the camel and its price and may Allah bless this transaction.”(2)

Examples Of Imam Ali’s Moral Virtues

Imam Ali (a.s) Intervenes

Imam Ali (a.s.) was once passing by date sellers when he saw a slave-girl crying. He asked the reason, and she said, “My master sent me with one dirham to buy dates. I bought the dates from this man and took them home. But my master did not like them. I have returned them but this man refuses to take them back.” Addressing the date seller, Imam Ali said, “O servant of Allah! This is a slave-girl having no authority of herself. Give back her one dirham and take back the dates.”

The date seller rose up and showed him a fist. People said, “What have you done? This is Amir al-Muminin.” The man turned pale and started to gasp out

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1- Sharaf al-Nabi: 79
2- Sharaf al-Nabi: 68

of fear. He took back the dates and returned the one dirham to her. He then said, “O Amir al- Muminin! Be pleased with me.” The Imam said, “The fact that you have amended your conduct has satisfied me. I am pleased only to see that you have given people their due right."(1)

A Beautiful Pardon

Amir al-Muminin had sent an agent to arrest Labid ibn Utarad al-Tamimi for having uttered certain words. The agent passed by the alley of Banu- Asad where Nuaym ibn Dajajah al-Asadi captured Labid. When he was arrested, the Imam ordered a physical punishment. Nuaym said, “By Allah, to be with you is humiliation and separation from you is atheism!” The Imam said, “I pardon you. Allah says:

ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ السَّيِّئَةَ

“Repel evil by what is best (23:96)”.

As for your saying, ‘to be with you is humiliation’ it is something bad you have acquired; and as for ‘separation from you is atheism’ it is something good you have acquired. So tit for tat.”(2)

Another Example of Pardon

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) once entered Mecca for some affairs. He saw a Bedouin clutching the curtain of Kabah and saying, “O Lord of the House! The House is Yours and the guest is Yours. Every host prepares certain means to receive his guest. Tonight, bless me by receiving me.” Addressing his friends, Imam Ali said, “Are you not listening to this Bedouin?” They said, “Yes, we are.” The Imam said, “Allah is too Great to return His guest empty-handed!”

On the second night, Imam Ali found

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1- Al-Manaqib: 1112/2
2- Al-Kafi: 268/7, H. 40

the same man clutching the same pillar of Kabah saying, “O Almighty! There is no one mightier than You! By Your Honor! Honor me in a way no one knows how! I resort to you by the honor of Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad! Grant me something no one but You can grant and avert from me what none but You can avert!”

Amir al-Muminin said to his friends, “By Allah! These words are the chief name of Allah in Syriac. My beloved, Allah’s Messenger, has informed me that tonight this Arab has asked for Paradise from Allah and his prayer was granted and asked for the aversion of Hellfire, which was granted too!”

On the third night, Imam Ali (a.s) again saw him in the same place saying, “O Allah Who is not contained in a space and no space is devoid of Him! Give this Arab four thousand Dirhams as sustenance!” Imam Ali went forth saying, “O Arab! You asked Allah to host you, and He did; you wished Paradise; and it was granted to you; you asked for aversion of fire; and your prayer was granted; tonight, you are asking for four thousand dirhams?” The Arab said, "Who are you?” The Imam said, “I am Ali ibn Abu-Talib.” The Arab said, “By Allah! You are the one I desire and you can meet my need!” The Imam said, “O Bedouin! Ask for it.” The man said, "A thousand dirhams for dowry; a thousand for paying my debt; a

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thousand for purchasing a house; and a thousand for running the affairs of my life!” The Imam said, “You have been fair in asking for your needs. Whenever you left Mecca for Medina, ask for my house.”

The Arab stayed in Mecca for a week and then came to Medina looking for Amir al- Muminin, shouting, “Who will lead me to the house of the Leader of the believers?” Husayn ibn Ali who was then a child said, “I will lead you to his house. I am his son.” The Arab asked, “Who is your father?” Husayn said, “Amir al-Muminin, Ali ibn Abi-Talib is my father.” He asked, “Who is your mother?” Husayn said, “Fatimah al-Zahra, the doyenne of the women of the world is my mother.” He asked, “Who is your grandfather?” Husayn said, “Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib is my grandfather.” He asked, “Who is your grandmother?” Husayn said: “Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid is my grandmother.” He asked, “Who is your brother?” Husayn said, “Abu- Muhammad, Hasan ibn Ali, is my brother.” the Bedouin said, “You have got the whole world! Go to Amir al-Mu'minin and tell him that the Bedouin whose needs you had guaranteed to meet in Mecca is beside your house.”

Husayn entered the house saying, “O father! The Bedouin whose needs you have guaranteed to meet is at the door.” Addressing Fatimah, Imam Ali said, “Is there any food at home for this Bedouin?” Fatimah said, “No.” Hearing this, Imam Ali

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put on his clothes and went outside home saying, “Call Abu-Abdullah, Salman the Persian.” When Salman came, the Imam said, “O Abu-Abdullah! Put to sale the orchard whose trees the Holy Prophet planted!” Salman too sold the orchard for twelve thousand Dirhams. Imam Ali took the money and called for the Bedouin. Four thousand dirhams were given to him to meet his needs and forty dirhams for his expenses.

The news spread among the needy in Medina. They too came to Imam Ali. A man from the Ansar went to Fatimah’s house and informed her of the event. Fatimah said, “May Allah reward you for this news.” Ali was sitting there giving away handfuls of Dirhams to the needy so much so that there was nothing left for him."(1)

Pardoning Talhah

After the Battle of the Camel, Musa ibn Talhah was brought to Imam Ali who said, “Say three times: I seek forgiveness of Allah and I repent to Him.” Then he was set free. Addressing him, Imam Ali said, “Go wherever you wish and take for yourself whatever you find of horses and weapons in the camp. But fear Allah in your future life and stay at home.”(2)

Helping the Orphans

Although Amir al-Muminin was aware of the situation in the realm of Muslims and paid special attention to the situation of the orphans, widows and the needy, he would sometimes act like an ordinary person to give lesson to rulers and to the community.

One day, he saw a woman carrying a water-skin on her back. He

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1- Al-Amali: 467, H. 10
2- Al-Manaqib: 114/2

took the water-skin from her and placed it on his back. When he inquired about her situation, she said, “Ali ibn Abu-Talib sent my husband to the battle where he was killed. Now I am alone with my children and I have to work for others to make the ends meet.” Imam Ali returned home but had no peace of mind during the whole night. In the morning, he took a basket, put some meat, flour and dates in it and set out for the woman's house. Some friends suggested carrying the basket but the Imam said, “Who will carry the heavy load for me on the Judgment Day?” Reaching the woman's house, he knocked at the door.

“Who are you?”

“I am the man who brought the water-skin for you. Now I have brought some food for the children.”

“May Allah bless you and judge between us and Ali.”

She opened the door. Entering the house, he said, “I wish to do some good acts. Allow me either to knead the flour and bake it or to look after the children.” The woman said, “I will knead the flour.”

Imam Ali too cooked the meat and fed the children with his own hand saying to each child while putting morsel in his mouth, “My son, forgive Ali if he has failed in his duty towards you.” When the bread was ready, the woman said, “O servant of Allah! Put fire in the oven.” He did. When flames rose up, he brought his face near

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the fire and said, “Taste the heat of fire. It is the punishment for those who fail in their duty towards orphans and widows.”

By chance, a woman from the neighboring house came in. Recognizing him, she cried at the woman, “Woe to you, don't you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Amir al-Muminin!” The widow came forward and shamefacedly cried, “Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon.” The Imam said, “No, I beg your pardon, for I failed in my duty towards you.”(1)

Carrying a Heavy Load

Imam Ali bought dates from the mart of Kufah putting them in a corner of his cloak. People rushed to him to carry the dates, but he refused, saying, “One who has a wife and children is more deserving of carrying them.”(2)

Bare-Food on Five Occasions

Zayd ibn Ali reports: Ali would walk bare-footed holding his sandals in his left hand on five occasions: Feast of fast-breaking (Eid al-Fitr), Feast of Sacrifices (Eid al-Adha), Fridays, on visiting the sick, and during funeral service. He would say, “These five occasions are the places of Allah and I would like to be bare-footed therein.”(3)

Moral Behavior In The Market

Amir al-Muminin would always walk by himself in the market, showing the way to those who had lost their way, helping those who were incapable, reciting the following Quranic verse to the shop-keepers while passing by them,

تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا ۚ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

As for that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt

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1- Al-Manaqib: 115/2
2- Bihar al-Anwar, 54/41, H. 1
3- Al-Manaqib: 104/2

themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard against evil. (28:83)

Those On Foot Not To Follow Riders

Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Amir al-Muminin, once, was riding when his companions started following him on foot out of respect. At this moment, he turned to them saying, “Are you in need of something?” They said, “We would like to accompany you.” The Imam said, “Go back, for walking or running on foot along with a rider will be a cause of corruption for the rider and a cause of humiliation for those on foot.”(1)

A Jew Becomes Muslim

During Imam Ali’s caliphate, Shurayh was the judge. The Imam came to the court with a Jew so that Shurayh will judge between them. The Imam said, “The cuirass which is in your hand is mine, for I have neither sold it nor have I given it as a present.” The Jew said, "The cuirass is mine and now it is in my hands." Shurayh asked the Imam to present a witness. Imam Ali said, “Qanbar (his servant) and Husayn testify that the cuirass is mine.” Shurayh said that the ‘sons’ testimonies for their fathers are not valid nor are those of servants, for they will witness in their favor. Imam Ali said, “Woe to you, Shurayh! You have certainly made several mistakes. Firstly, I am your leader and you obey Allah because you obey me and you know that what I say is not false. Secondly, you claimed that Qanbar and Husayn have witnessed in my

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1- Al-Mahasin: 629/2, 12, H. 104

favor. The punishment for this is to judge among the Jew for three days.”

The Imam sent the judge to a Jewish neighborhood to judge among them and then to come back to his place of work. When the Jew heard that although Ali had two witnesses but did not misuse his authority and the judge too passed a judgment against him, said, “This is truly the Leader of the believers.” Hence he became Muslim; he confessed that the cuirass belonged to Imam Ali, it had fallen off the Imam’s black and white camel during the Battle of Siffin and he had taken it for himself.(1)

Justice in The Court

Once, a complaint was lodged by a plaintiff before Umar ibn al-Khattab - the Caliph in those days. Both parties of litigation had to appear before the court and lay their complaints. The one against whom the complaint was lodged was Imam Ali (a.s). Convoking both parties, Umar went and sat down on the seat of judgment.

According to the Islamic law, both parties ought to station next to each other and the principle of equality before the Tribunal should be respected. Accordingly, the Caliph called out the plaintiff by name and beckoned him to stand up in a peculiar place before the judge. Then he turned to Ali and said, “O Abul-Hasan! Place yourself next to your plaintiff.” On hearing these words, Ali became apparently angry.

The caliph said, “O Ali, do you not want to stand next to your adversary?” Ali said, “No,

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1- Hilyat al-Awliya: 139/4

that is not the reason for my anger; the reason is that you have not entirely respected the norms of justice, for you called me respectfully by my nickname Abul-Hasan but you called the other person by his ordinary name.” Umar hugged the Imam and kissed him between the eyes saying, “May my father be your ransom! Allah guided us with your mediation and brought us out of darkness into light through you.”(1)


After the Battle of the Camel, when Amir al-Muminin was about to leave Basrah for Kufah, he said, “O people of Basrah! Why are you displeased with me?” Referring to his shirt and cloak, the Imam said, “By Allah, I paid the price of this shirt and cloak through spinning. So why are you trying to find fault with me?” Referring to the purse, which he held in his hand, the Imam said, “By Allah! The money in this purse is from selling what I have produced in Medina. If there is anything with me more than this, I will be a traitor.”(2)


Being a child, some children of my age and I went to Rahbah one day. We saw Ali (a.s.) standing beside a pile of gold and silver coins, pushing the people backward from falling onto it. He, then, distributed the coins among them and took nothing home!

When I returned home, I said to my father, “Today I have seen the wisest and the most unwise person in my life.” My father asked, “Who is he?” I

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1- Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 65/17
2- Al-Manaqib: 98/2

said, “He is Amir al-Muminin…” As I told him the whole story, my father said, “O son! You have seen the best man.”(1)

No Desire For Wealth

Qanbar, Imam Ali’s servant, asked his master to go to a room where he had hidden bags full of gold and silver vessels. The Imam asked, “What are these?” Qanbar said, “You always divide every thing among the people but I have reserved all these for you.” Imam Ali (a.s.) asked, “Would you like me to bring fire into my house?” He was angry, drew his sword and broke those vessels into pieces ordering him to divide them among the people. He further said, “O Gold and silver! Deceive anyone but me.”(2)


Fudhayl ibn al-Ja’d reports: The main reason that the Arabs did not support Imam Ali was the wealth. He never preferred an Arab to a non-Arab or an aristocrat to an ordinary man. He never made compromises with the chiefs of tribes or with the kings. This is why people abandoned Ali and joined Muawiyah.

Ali (a.s.) complained to Malik Ashtar about his companions, failure to support him and the fleeing of some of them to Muawiyah. Malik Ashtar too would say, “O Amir al-Muminin! Some people cannot tolerate your justice, for they are the people of the world! May Allah pave the way for your justice, oppress your enemies, disperse them, foil their plan and break their unity against you: Surely He is aware of what they do.”

In response, Ali (a.s.) said, “As for our just

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1- Al-Gharat: 35/1
2- Al-Gharat: 36/1

acts, Allah says:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۗ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ

Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it; and your Lord is not in the least unjust to the servants. (41: 46)

As for your opinion that justice is hard for them hence they abandoned us, Allah knows that they did not leave us for any injustice. They left us for worldly riches, which they will leave anyway and on the Judgment Day. They will be questioned whether they fought for the world or Allah! As for saying that we do not give to them from the public fund, we cannot give them more than what they deserve. Allah says:

كَمْ مِنْ فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

How often has a small party vanquished numerous hosts by Allah’s permission, and Allah is with the patient. (2:249).

Allah had commissioned Muhammad as a prophet with a small number of people around him but they increased in number and He honored them while they had been humiliated. If Allah wills, He will support us to remove our problems and sorrows. I approve of your union, which pleases Allah. You are the most benevolent and trustworthy of them with me, Allah willing.”(1)

Public Fund

One night Imam Ali (a.s.) entered the house of public fund for apportioning the funds. At this time, Talhah and Zubayr came to him. The Imam put out the torch before him and ordered to bring another

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1- Al-Gharat: 46/1

torch from his house. They asked the reason. The Imam said, “The oil in that torch belonged to the public fund and it was not right to speak to you under its light.”(1)

Old Garment

Harun ibn Antarah reports while quoting his father: I went to the presence of Ali at Khawarnaq. He was wearing a coarse old garment shivering from cold. I said, “O Amir al-Muminin! You and Ahl al-Bayt, like others, have a share in the public fund. So why aren’t you using your share?” The Imam said, “By Allah, I do not take anything from the public fund. The garment I am wearing is the same I brought from Medina and I have no garment other than this.”(2)

No Love Of Wealth

Aqil ibn Abd al-Rahman reports: My aunt, wife of Aqil ibn Abi-Talib, came to see Ali in Kufah while he was sitting on a packsaddle. At this time, a wife of Ali, from Banu-Tamim, entered. I said, “Woe to you! Your house is full of goods and here Amir al-Muminin is sitting on a packsaddle!” She said, “Do not blame me! By Allah! He put everything which is unfamiliar to him in the public fund.”(3)

Giving Clothes To The Naked

One day when Imam Ali (a.s.) was in the presence of the Holy Prophet, he was found wearing a worn-out garment. So Allah’s Messenger said, “What happened to the good garment I gave you?” Ali (a.s.) said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I saw one of your companions complaining about his own bareness and that of his wife. So I gave

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1- Ihqaq al-Haqq; 539/8
2- Kashf al-Ghummah: 173/1
3- Al-Manaqib: 97/2

it away knowing that Allah will give me a better one.”(1)


Imam Ali (a.s) had four dirhams with him once. He divided them into four. He gave away one dirham for the sake of Allah by night and one dirham by day. He gave away the third dirham secretly and the fourth openly. The following holy verse was revealed on the same occasion,

الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

As for those who spend their property by night and by day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward from their Lord and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve (2:74)

Charity Changes People

Ibn Abbas has commented on the above-mentioned story, saying about the following holy verse,

رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ ۙ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and eyes shall turn about; That Allah may give them the best reward of what they have done, and give them more out of His grace; and Allah gives sustenance to whom He pleases without measure (24:37-38).

He says: The occasion of the revelation was that one day the Holy Prophet gave Ali three hundred dinars, which they had given to him

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1- The Path of Ali: 42

as gift. Ali (a.s.) said: I took the money and said to myself by Allah, I will give such a charity with these dinars that Allah will accept. When I completed the night prayer with Allah’s Messenger, I took a hundred dinars and left the mosque. On my way, I came across a woman to whom I gave one hundred dinars. The following day, people said, “Ali has given charity to a corrupt woman!” It was a grant sorrow for me.

The night of that day, I performed the night prayer, took a hundred dinars in my hand, left the mosque and said to myself, “By Allah! I will give a charity, which will be accepted by my Lord. I saw a man and gave away the one hundred dinars to him.” The following day, the people of Medina said, “Ali has given away a hundred dinars to a thief.” Again a great sorrow came to me but said to myself, “By Allah! I will give a charity tonight that Allah will accept from me.”

So, I performed my night prayer with Allah’s Messenger and then left the mosque having a hundred dinars with me. I saw a man to whom I gave the money. The next day, the people Medina said, “Last night, Ali gave a hundred dinars to a rich man.” Again, a great sorrow came to me.

I went to Allah’s Messenger and told him the story. The Holy Prophet (S) said: O Ali! Gabriel says to

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you: Allah has accepted your charity and purified your acts: The one hundred Dinars you gave as charity was put at the disposal of a corrupt woman who repented to Allah and used the money as earnings for her living. She also intends to get married with this money.

The charity of the second night went to a thief who repented thereafter and used the money for running a business. The charity of the third night went to a rich man who had not paid alms for years. He went home and blamed himself saying, “How miser I am! This is Ali ibn Abu-Talib who gave away a hundred Dinars to me while he has nothing whereas I am a rich man who has not paid his obligatory alms!” So, he reckoned his alms and put it aside. It was for this reason that Allah revealed the above-mentioned verses.(1)


Both Shiite and Sunni scholars report: One day Ali was extremely hungry so he asked for food from Fatimah who said, “There is no food except the one I preferred to give to you than to myself as well as Hasan and Husayn two days ago.” Ali asked, “Why didn't you tell me to prepare a food for you?” Fatimah said, “O Abul-Hasan! I was ashamed to charge you with what is not in your power!”

Ali left the house, went to the Holy Prophet (S) and borrowed a dinar to buy food. On his way, he met al-Miqdad who said, “Whatever

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1- Al-Manaqib: 74/2

Allah wills (will come to pass)!” Ali gave his one dinar to him, went to mosque, lay down and went to sleep! Allah’s Messenger went to the mosque and found Ali in that position. Awakening him, the Holy Prophet asked, “What did you do?” Ali told him the story and then prayed with the Holy Prophet (S). When Allah’s Messenger completed his prayer, he asked, “O Abul Hasan! Do you have any food to share with you?” Ali kept quiet and gave no answer out of shame.

Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) to have the dinner with Ali that night. So they both set out for Ali’s house. When they entered the house, Fatimah was engaged in prayer and behind her was a big bowl steaming. Fatimah brought that big bowl which was replete with food and placed it before her father and her husband. Ali asked. Where has this food come from? She said: From Allah’s Favor and Benevolence,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Surely, Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure (3:37)

The Holy Prophet (S) put his hand between the two shoulders of Ali saying, “O Ali! This is in lieu of your dinar.” Then he was choked with tears saying, “Thanks Allah that I have not died to see in my daughter what (Prophet) Zachariah saw in (Saint) Mary.”(1)

An Extraordinary Example of Altruism

The Battle Of Camel

Imam Ali (a.s.) made his utmost effort not to enter battle so that no one would be killed. When he was informed in Medina that the

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1- Al-Manaqib: 76/2

leaders of the Camel Army have left Mecca for Basrah, he quickly left Medina to hold talks with them. He sent them a letter through Sasa’ah, a great man of Basrah.

In that letter, he gave them advice with the utmost degree of kindness and magnanimity. Once again, he sent Ibn Abbas to al-Zubayr to talk to him saying, “Do not go or speak to Talhah, for it will be useless. Speak to al-Zubayr who is softer. Tell him, your cousin says: In Hijaz you were my friend. How come you have become my enemy in Iraq?”

Then, he sent a letter to Talhah and al-Zubayr through Imran al-Khuza’i that read, “Though people may deny, but I did not go to people rather they came to me to pledge allegiance with me. Their allegiance with me was not out of fear, force or allurement. If your allegiance has not been out of fear, repent quickly and turn to Allah. You claim that I have killed Uthman! I leave the judgment to unbiased people. Anyone who is condemned should be punished. You two elderly men of Quraish! Stop behaving like this before this disgrace will be accompanied with Hellfire.”

When Imam Ali arrived in the land of Zaviah on his way to Basrah, he performed a four-Rakah prayer saying, “O Lord of heavens and what cast shadow on them! O Lord of the earths and what they have on shoulders! O Lord of the Great Throne! This is Basrah! I ask

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You to put the good of this people in my hand and I seek refuge in You from their evil. O Lord! These people have disobeyed me, rebelled against me and have broken allegiance with me. O Lord! Preserve the blood of Muslims and let not any blood be shed!”

When Ali was placed against the army of Basrah, he called, “O people! Do not make haste!” Then the Imam called Ibn Abbas ordering him to go to Talhah, al-Zubayr and Aishah and call them to Allah. Then Ammar ibn Yasir, the great companion and elderly man of truth, stood between the two armies, addressing the army of Basrah as such he said, “O people! It is not fair that you have kept your wives behind curtains while you have brought the Holy Prophet’s wife to be faced with arrows and swords.” Then he went to Aishah, asking, “What do you want?” Aishah said, “I am here to seek the revenge of Uthman!” Ammar said, “May Allah on this day kill the oppressor, perish the rebel and destroy falsehood.”

Then, addressing the army of Basrah he cried out, “O people! Do you know which of the two parties has had a hand in killing Uthman?” The arrows were coming towards Ammar. The answer was arrows! Ammar came to Ali saying, “O Amir al-Muminin: What are you waiting for? They have no goal but killing with arrows showered on the army of Ali. There has been no permission for battle yet!” Imam Ali

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(a.s) addressed his army as such, “Who is here to take this Quran to the people and call them to it? Whoever does this will be killed but I will guarantee his going to Paradise.” A young man by the name of Muslim rose up, saying, “O Amir al-Muminin: I will take the Quran to them and do what you said.” He took the Quran, went to the enemy and called them to the Quran. They pierced his body with spear. He fell on the ground and was martyred. Was killing with spear an answer to logic?

Ali told his army to be prepared for battle but not start it. Ibn Badil, a brave soldier, brought the dead body of his brother saying: O Amir al- Muminin! Until when should we wait? Should they kill us and we look on?” The dead body of another soldier was brought to Ali but he still did not give the permission to fight. He just said, “O Lord! You are the Witness.” Then, he turned to his army saying, “Have mercy on the people!” Then, he took off his armor, rode on the mule of the Holy Prophet, went to the battlefield and cried out, “O Zubayr! Come to me.” Al-Zubayr came to the field with full arms. Seeing that Ali called al- Zubayr to the field, Aishah said to herself, “Woe to me, my sister Asma - al Zubayr's wife - will became a widow!” When Aishah was told that Ali has come

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to the battlefield without arms, she calmed down.

In the battle field, Ali hugged al-Zubayr, saying, “Why have you rebelled against me?” Al-Zubayr said, “I have come to take the revenge of Uthman!” Ali said, “May God kill either of us who has had a hand in the killing of Uthman.” Then he spoke softly to him reminding him of Allah’s Messenger, who had said, “You will fight Ali and you will be the wrong party.” Al-Zubayr said, “I seek Allah's forgiveness. If I had not forgotten this word, I would not have rebelled.” The Imam said, “Zubayr! Now, go back.” Al-Zubayr said, “How can I go back? My going back would be considered as fear, a disgrace which cannot be washed away.”

The Imam said, “Go back before disgrace is accompanied with Hellfire.” Al-Zubayr went back and as soon as he intended to go out of the Army of the Camel, his son Abdullah cried out, “Where are you going?” Al-Zubayr said, “My Son! Ali reminded me of something I had forgotten.” The son said, “This is no the case, you are afraid of the swords of the Hashimites!” The father said, “No, I remembered what the time had made me forget. Are you blaming me for fear?” He took the spear and attacked the right wing of Ali’s army.

Then addressing his soldiers, Ali (a.s.) said, “Let no one fight him. Open the way for him. They have provoked him!” Al-Zubayr so attacked both sides of the army.

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No one fought him or resisted against him. Returning to his army he said to his son, “Does a timid man act like that?” Then he took his way and left.

Ali’s kindness towards the enemy made a hero of him in the battlefield. Did the Army of the Camel realize that what the Holy Prophet had foreseen was not particular to al-Zubayr alone but everyone who fought Ali would be a wrongdoer?

Again Ali came to the battlefield and called Talhah saying, “Why did you rebel against me?” Talhah claimed that he wanted to take the revenge of Uthman. Ali said, “May Allah kill either of us who has had a hand in killing Uthman. Haven’t you heard the words of the Holy Prophet saying: (O God) Befriend one who befriends Ali and bear enmity to one who bears enmity to Ali. Were you not the first man who swore allegiance with me and breached your allegiance? Allah says:

فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ

Whoever breaks his faith, he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul (48:10)

Expressing his regret, Talhah said, “I seek Allah’s forgiveness.” He went back. Sensing that Talhah intends to leave the battlefield, Marwan ibn Hakam threw an arrow towards him. Talhah died immediately without having a chance to inform the people of Basrah of their treacherous and unjust act which he and al-Zubayr had planned.

Addressing his army, Ali (a.s.) said, “When you defeat the Army of the Camel, do not kill the wounded and

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the captives, nor follow the deserters, nor expose people’s private parts, nor cut anyone’s ears or noses, nor loot anyone’s property except what they leave in the battlefield.”

The enemy’s defeat was certain. Yet, no order of attack was issued. The Army of the Camel attacked the right wing of Ali’s army, pushing them back. It was at this moment that the order of attack was issued and the Army of the Camel suffered a disgraceful defeat, this is Ali’s kindness towards the enemy and his mercy on people in the battlefield. Does history remember a ruler to have behaved like this towards the rebels?

The Battle of Siffin

Siffin was a region by the river Euphrates. When the army of Ali (a.s.) reached it, he was told to block the army of Muawiyah from having access to the river, but Ali did not accept the idea. Muawiyah took advantage of this situation, seized all the ways leading to the river and blocked the army of Ali from having access to the river.

By his command, the army opened ways to the river. To retaliate, Imam Ali’s companions decided to block Muawiyah’s army from access to river, but again Ali did not permit. The Battle of Siffin lasted for eighteen months. The offensive by Ali’s army was started hoping that the Syrians would give up and less blood would be shed!

The Battle Of Nahrawan

The best definition we can use in describing the Kharijites is that they were people afflicted with the disease of enmity with Ali (a.s.) and they

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did not stop this enmity until they had killed him. If we use the word disease here it is because enmity with anyone needs a reason. A person bears enmity to someone for personal reasons, for being jealous of that person’s position, for having been hurt or harmed by that person, for having experienced a tyranny, a family feud or religious differences. None of those reasons existed for those who were hostile to Ali. They simply could not see Ali alive and victorious.

These people were in the army of Ali (a.s.) in the Battle of Siffin but when he overcame the enemy, they drew their swords against him and deprived him of victory. They did not accept the intelligent arbiter Imam Ali (a.s.) had chosen and selected the arbiter who was Ali’s enemy! They were the enemies of Muawiyah too but unknowingly assisted him and compelled Ali to accept the mediation of the arbiters.

When the treachery of mediation became clear, they started to disagree with Ali (a.s.) so much so that they disrespected him in his presence and absence. Ali too had left them to themselves showing no reaction to what they said and did.

Ali’s friends who could not tolerate hearing their sarcastic and insulting remarks would often ask Ali to suppress and imprison them or check their activities. However, Ali would not agree, saying, “As long as they do not do anything against us, we will not harm them nor will we cut their stipend from the public fund.

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We will allow them to come to the mosque but if they kill anyone, we will retaliate.”

The inner disease of Kharijites was being intensified. Hence, they could not stay in Kufah, for they saw Ali there. So, they left it for Nahrawan. Still Ali let them act freely and had nothing to do with them. When he set out to suppress Muawiyah, he wrote a letter as such, “We are going to suppress your enemies, a common enemy; come long with us.” The Kharijites did not accept the offer and declared war against him! Still Ali (a.s.) did not go to them and set off for Syria. Ali was asked to put an end to the enmity of Kharijites first and then set out for Syria. It was not accepted and the order to move to Syria was issued.

Ali’s army was or the way to Syria when news reached that the Kharijites have become active, forcing people to curse Ali and anyone who does not comply with it, is killed. Ali headed for Nahrawan, the Kharijites base. He still refused to enter battle against them. So, he started to admonish and guide them. He managed to dissuade many of them from fighting though they refused to assist Ali in suppressing Muawiyah. Those Kharijites who were dissuaded to fight Ali (a.s.) returned to Kufah but remained Ali’s enemies.

Same people sowed the seeds of Kharijites in the history of Islam and the rest did not accept any option but fighting and preferred

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death to living with Ali. So they attacked Ali’s army with the motto of ‘we are going to Paradise’. Still no order of counterattack was issued until one of Al’s soldiers was killed. It was then that Imam Ali said, “It is now the right time to fight them."Ali’s army started its attack, which put the Kharijites to flight.(1)

A Light Diet

Suwayd ibn Ghaflah reports: I went to see Imam Ali (a.s.) while he was in governor’s seat. A bowl of sour yoghurt was set before the Imam, the smell of which I could feel. A loaf of bread of barley the husk of which I could see was in his hand. The Imam was breaking the dry bread either with his hand or with his knee!

At this time, I said to Fidhah, his slave-girl who was standing by him, “Don’t you fear Allah for treating this old man as such? Don’t you sieve the barley flour?” Fidhdhah said, “He has asked me not to sieve the flour.”

Ali asked, “What are you talking about?” I told him the story. At this time, Ali (a.s.) said, “May my parents be ransom for the one for whom the flour was not sieved, nor did he ate fill bread of wheat for three straight days until he passed away.”(2)

One Of The Days

Abu-Matar, one of the inhabitants of Basrah, reports: I was coming out of Kufah Mosque when suddenly a man called from behind, “Hold up your garment which makes it last longer and cut your hair short, if

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1- The path of Ali: 53
2- Kashf al-Yaqin: 86

you are a Muslim.”

I followed him while he had covered himself with a cloak and held a lash in his hand, like a Bedouin, “Who is this man?” He said, “I find you a stranger in this city!” I said, “Yes, I am a man from Basrah.” He said, “This is Ali, the Leader of the believers.”

I followed him until he reached the neighborhood of Banu-Mohit, which was the market-place of camels. There, he said, “Sell but do not take oath, for it will destroy goods and blessing.” Then, he went to date sellers. There, he found a slave-girl crying. He asked the reason. She said, “This man sold me date for one dirham but my master did not like it and he does not take it back.” The Imam said, “Take back your date and give her back the one dirham, for she is a slave and has no authority.” He pushed the Imam back! I said, “Do you know this man?” He said, “No.” I said, “He is Ali ibn Abi-Talib, the Leader of the believers.”

The man took back the date and gave back her money. Then, the man said, “I hope you are pleased with me.” He said, “Now that you have given people’s right, I am pleased with you.” Then while passing through the date sellers, he said, “Give of these dates to the needy so that Allah will bless your business.”

Then he went to fishmongers telling them to be careful not to sell the

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fish, which has died in water! Then, he went to the market of canvas sellers and visited an old man selling canvas and said, “I want a shirt for three dirhams.” As soon as the man recognized him, he refused to sell anything to him. He went to another seller but since he too recognized the Imam, he did not buy from him until he came to a young man. He bought a shirt for three dirhams; he put it on while praying as such to Allah,

ألْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَزَقِنِي مِنَ الرِّ يَاشِ مَا أتَجَمَّلُ بِهِ فِي الْنَّاسِ وَ أوَارِي بِهِ عَوْرَتِي.

Praise be to Allah who provided me with a good garment to adorn myself and to cover my private parts with.

He was asked whether these were his words or he had heard it from Allah’s Messenger. He said, “I heard from the Holy Prophet saying it while he was wearing a garment.”

Amidst this, the father of the young man arrived. He was told that his son had sold a shirt for three dirhams to Amir al-Muminin. Turning to his son, he asked, “Why did you charge more than two dirhams?” The father took the one dirham and came to Amir al-Muminin who was now sitting with Muslims at the gate of Rahbah, saying, “O Amir al-Muminin! Take this one dirham!” The Imam asked about the story of this dirham. The man said, “The price of the shirt was two Dirhams.” The Imam said, “He sold it with consent and

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I bought it with consent.”(1)


In the eighth year after Hijrah, Allah’s Messenger conquered Mecca. The House of Allah was purified from the filth of idols with Ali’s idol-breaking act. Allah’s Messenger sent groups to propagate Islam and to invite people to monotheism. He did not declare war. One of these persons was Khalid ibn Walid who was dispatched not as fighter but as propagator. On his way Khalid came to a tribe one of whom had killed his uncle in the pre-Islamic era and had looted whatever belonged to him.

When Khalid was alight near the water sources of Banu-Judhaymah, they took arms. Khalid said, “Put aside your arms, for people have become Muslims.” He had their hands tied and killed whomever he wished. When the news came to Allah’s Messenger, he raised his hands saying, “O Lord! I seek immunity from what Khalid has done!” Then, the Holy Prophet sent Ali with money to look into their affairs.

Ali gave them back whatever Khalid had taken from them. He paid the blood money for all and the extra money, which Ali had with him, was paid to them by the command of the Holy Prophet. When Ali came back, the Holy Prophet said that what he had done was good and right. In the words of Yaqubi, the Holy Prophet said, “What you have done is better than the red camels.” It was at this time of addressing Ali (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah said, “May my father and

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1- Kashf al-Ghummah: 163/1

mother be your ransom.”(1)

The Blazing Iron Bar

Muawiyah asked Aqil to tell him the story of the blazing iron bar. Aqil said: Life had become extremely hard for me. I pleaded with my brother Ali but he took no heed of it. One day, I took my children in whose appearance poverty and indigence could be seen to visit Ali (a.s.). He said, “Come at night so that I will give you something.”

At night, when one of my sons was holding my hand led me to Ali, I said to my son, “Go and sit at a distance.” Having the expectation that Ali (a.s.) would be giving me a purse of money, I stretched out my hand. But what I touched was a blazing iron bar. I withdrew my hand with a loud cry. At this moment Ali said, “This is the iron bar blazed by the fire of the world. How will be our situation on the Judgment Day when we are fastened with the chains of Hell?” Then he recited this verse:

إِذِ الْأَغْلَالُ فِي أَعْنَاقِهِمْ وَالسَّلَاسِلُ يُسْحَبُونَ

When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged (40:71)

Imam Ali (a.s.), commented, “You have no right on me except what Allah has made obligatory for you. Go back home!”

Muawiyah was extremely amazed and said, “Alas, alas! Women are barren to give birth to his peer.”(2)

An Extraordinary Example of Piety

Imam al-Sadiq has been reported by Muawiyah Ibn Ammar to say: If there were two options for Ali to do something for the sake

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1- Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah: 430/2
2- Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 253/11

of Allah, he would choose the harder. O people of Kufah, you all know that when he was ruling in this city, he used his income in Medina for living. He would put the roasted flour he ate in a bag and seal it not be mixed with anything else. Who was more pious than Ali in the world!(1)

Dry Bread And Sour Yoghurt

Nadhr ibn Mansur has reported, as said by Aqabah ibn Alqamah: I went to Ali’s house in Kufah, finding before him a bowl of sour yoghurt which harmed me as well as several pieces of dry bread. I said, “O Amir al- Muminin! Are you eating such a food?” He said, “Allah’s Messenger ate from bread drier than this.” Referring to his garment, Ali (a.s.) said, “Allah’s Messenger would wear a garment with a more rough texture. If I do not follow his example, I fear not to join him.”(2)

Self-Sacrifice and Generosity

In the Battle of the Camel, the soldiers who fought along with Imam Ali (a.s.) were twelve thousand in number. When the fighting came to an end with the defeat of the enemies, Amir al-Muminin had the public fund divided with each person having five hundred Dirhams as a share. Ali took the same amount of dirham for himself. Addressing the public fund, he said,

غُرِّي غَيْرِي.

Deceive anyone but me.

After the division of the public funds, a man came about saying, “O Amir al Muminin! My heart was with you although I could no take part in the battle. Do me a favor by

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1- Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 201/2
2- Al-Gharat: 55/1

giving something to me.” The Imam gave his share to him, going back home empty-handed.”(1)


One day, Amir al-Muminin was in a gathering of his companions. While a biased man of Kharijites was present, the Imam was admonishing his friends. His heavenly words were so charming which impressed that blind- hearted man but because of his inner enmity to Ali, he impudently said, “May Allah kill him for his unbelief. How knowledgeable he is!”

Hearing such insolence, the companions of the Imam made an attempt to kill him but Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “Grant a respite; calm down; either curse against curse or pardon against sin.”(2)

A Model Of Generosity

An indigent man came to Imam Ali (a.s.) saying, “I am suffering from three diseases: body, poverty, and ignorance.” The Imam said, “O Arab brother! You should see a physician for your physical disease, a wise man for ignorance and a generous person for poverty.”

The Arab said, “You are a physician, a wise man, and a generous man at the same time.” Amir al-Muminin ordered three thousand dirhams to be given to him from the public fund and said, “Spend one thousand dirhams on your physical disease, one thousand dirhams on your poverty and one thousand dirhams on your ignorance”.(3)

Favoring A Servant

When Amir al-Muminin ruled over the vast Islamic territories, he along with Qanbar (his servant) went to a draper, asking, “Do you have two shirts for five dirhams?” The young draper said, “Yes, but one is better than the other; one costs three dirhams and the other

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1- Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 249/1
2- Nahj al-Balaghah: 880, Maxim, 412
3- Jami al-Akhbar: 138

costs two dirhams.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “Bring both of them.”

When the young man brought the two shirts, the Imam said to Qanbar, “Take the shirt which costs three dirhams.” Qanbar said, “O Amir al-Muminin! You go up the pulpit and deliver sermons for people. You take the better one.” The Imam said, “Qanbar! You are young and have the desires of a young man. I am ashamed before Allah to count myself superior to you! I heard Allah’s Messenger saying: Whatever you wear, let your servant wear too and whatever you eat let your servants eat too.” Then, the Imam put on the shirt, which cost two dirhams realizing that the sleeves were too long so he said to the draper, “Cut the sleeve short a little bit.” He did so and said, “Let me fold it, old man!” The Imam said, “Let it be as it is. There is no time for such a thing.”(1)

Guidelines to rulers

Abd al-Rahman ibn Sulayman says reporting from Imam al-Sadiq (a.s): Amir al-Muminin sent a man to the desert of Kufah to collect alms, saying:

O servant of Allah! Fear Allah and do not prefer the world to the hereafter. Be careful about what I have entrusted you with. Guard Allah’s right until you reach such and such tribe. Place yourself in their region with out residing near their houses.

Then proceed towards them solemnly so as to be among them. Greet them and say: O servants of Allah! The friend of Allah has sent

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1- Al-Gharat: 65/1

men to you to receive what is due to Allah from you. Is there anything due to Allah in your property to pay to the friend of Allah? If anyone them of answers negatively, say no more. If a rich man answers affirmatively, go with him, without intimidating him. Do not promise (of anything) but good to him until you reach his camels and cattle.

Do not go among them unless you are given permission, for most of them belong to him. Say to him: O servant of Allah! Will you permit me to go among them? If he says yes, do not go among the camels and the cattle like a rough man who has an upper hand. Divide them into two halves. Then let him choose the one he likes. Do not protest him for his choice. Divide the remaining into two. Keep on this division until what is due to Allah will remain and then collect it. If he asks you to cancel the division, accept it. Mix them altogether and so the same as you have done before until you collect of the camels and cattle what is due to God.

Then take for yourself an agent who is benevolent, Muslim, sympathetic, trustworthy and a safe keeper who does not treat them roughly. Therefore send to me immediately whatever you collect of each of the tribes to be put in a place Allah has commanded. If your emissary brings them here, advise him not to hide

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the young camel from its mother, nor milk it fully so as to harm the young camel, nor tire it by riding but to ride them equally, to take them to a place to drink water, not to push them from pasture to the plain road when they are having rest and at times it is hard for them, to make use of them softly so that Allah willing, they will come to us fat and fleshy, not tired out or exhausted so that they will be divided according to the Book of Allah and the tradition of Allah's Messenger.

This attitude will make your reward greater and is closer to your interest. Allah will look at them, you, your endeavor and sympathy with the one who has sent you and the ones who need the alms. Allah's Messenger has said: Allah favors an agent who does his best to obey his leader with sympathy.(1)

Fighting Oppression

Imam al-Baqir has reported: One Day when Amir al-Muminin was returning home, found a woman waiting. Seeing him, she came near and said, “I am in trouble. My husband oppresses me. He has turned me out form the house and has threatened to beat me. If I go to him, he will beat me. I request you to do justice between us.” Amir al-Muminin said, “O Servant of Allah! It is too hot now. Wait until it cools down in the afternoon. Then I shall come with you and redress your grievances.” The woman said, “If

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1- Al-Gharat: 75/1

I stay out too long, I am afraid it may increase his anger.”

For a moment he bowed his head and then raised it up saying to himself:

By Allah, one should not delay getting justice to the oppressed. The right of the oppressed should certainly be taken from the oppressor; and every fear should be taken out from her heart so that she maystand boldly before the oppressor and demand her right.

The Imam further asked where her house was and she told him. He accompanied her to her house, stood at the door and called out loudly, “O master of the house! Peace be upon you.” A young man came out. He was her husband. He did not recognize the Imam; he found that an old man of about sixty years had accompanied her and assumed that she had brought him for support and mediation, but he kept silent. At this moment Ali said, "This lady has a complaint against you. She says that you have done injustice to her and turned her out of the house. Besides you have threatened to beat her. I have come here to tell you to fear Allah and be kind to your wife.”

The man said, “In what way does it concern you if I have not treated my wife well? Yes, I had threatened to beat her, but now, since she has brought you to plead for her, I shall throw her into fire and burn her alive.”

Ali was disturbed by the

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impudence of the man. Drawing out his sword, he said, “I am admonishing you from bad deeds but you are replying me in such manner clearly saying to burn this woman in fire! Do you think there is no authority in this world?” His loud voice drew the attention of the passers by and a huge crowd gathered. Whoever came saluted him respectfully saying, “Peace be on you Amir al-Muminin.” When the rude young man realized as to whom he was talking, he trembled and supplicated, “O Amir al-Muminin! Forgive me. I confess my faults and promise that henceforth I shall obey my wife.” Ali turned to the woman and told her to go to the house and cautioned her not to behave in such a manner that her husband had to be angry again.(1)

Moral Virtues Of Lady Fatimah


Note: Some people die leaving no traces. Others leave an impact during their lifetime and are put into oblivion after their death. Others are influential throughout the time. Some people have a physical presence in history and they continue to live through their descendants, grandchildren, mausoleums, and such art works as those of Michaelangelo, which are immortal in the west. Others are immortal by their behavior. In religious literature, we call this immortal behavior tradition.

Still further, there are people who leave behind a heritage of spirituality and knowledge. Jesus Christ (a.s) and Aristotle are two examples respectively. To sum it up, some personalities have such an aptitude as to survive in history in any one

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1- Al-Manaqib: 106/2

of the three dimensions we have just discussed. Nevertheless, Lady Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet, had all the three dimensions of life assimilated in her.

Physically, Lady Fatimah (a.s.) has fifty million descendants. The Imams and the righteous men are her offspring. There is no woman who has had such a tangible presence in history.

In terms of mausoleums, it is something strange with Fatimah (a.s.). While famous personalities such as Sa’di, Hafidh, Avicenna, Shah Jahan and Nur Jahan in Taj Mahal keep a physical presence in the world though the mausoleums associated with them, Lady Fatimah (a.s.) though lacking a shrine, continues to exist physically in the world even after her death. This is really a paradox.

Fatimah’s physical presence is highlighted knowing that the Fatimid Dynasty founded a ruling system in Africa in her name. The immortal epic of Nasir Khosrow Alawi, ‘I am a Fatimid’ reflects the same physical presence. The Fatimid rulers in commemoration of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra founded the al-Azhar University, the most famous scientific-religious center of Sunni Muslims in Egypt.

In terms of knowledge, Lady Fatimah (a.s.) has had a dynamic presence too. Sulayman Kittani, a Lebanese Christian writer, Louis Massigngon, a French Orientalist, and Professor Henry Corbin are some of the famous personalities who have written books on the heritage of knowledge which Lady Fatimah has left behind.

As for model of behavior in history, we can say that this young woman who did not live more than eighteen years left behind such tradition of behavior

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about which Imam al-Mahdi has said:

وَ فِي إبْنَةِ رَسُول اللَّه ِ لِي أسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة.

There is a model for me in the daughter of Allah’s Messenger. (1)

Sociologists believe that the reason behind crisis of the young generation in the third world is absence of a model for behavior. In this relation, Lady Fatimah serves as a model for all the youths, for she has a genuine personality with a halo of sanctity around her. What follows is a perspective of moral virtues and behavior of Lady Fatimah followed by the viewpoints of famous people.

Enduring Hardships

Imam al-Sadiq has reported: One day, the Holy Prophet entered Fatimah’s house and found her wearing a coarse dress, grinding flour with her own hands, and breastfeeding her son. Seeing this situation, his eyes were full of tears. Turning to her, he said, “O my honorable daughter! Endure the hardships of this world so as to attain the sweetness of the Hereafter.” Fatimah answered, “I praise Allah for His blessings and thank Him for His favor.”(2) At this time, the following verse was revealed:

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased. (93:5)


One day, Salman the Persian went to the door of Lady Fatimah’s house to carry out the Holy Prophet’s order of preparing food for a newly converted Muslim Arab. Hearing Salman’s request, Fatimah said, “I swear by Allah that Hasan and Husayn went to sleep with empty stomach. Nevertheless, I would not reject a good deed especially that

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 178/53, Chapter: 314, T 9
2- Al-Manaqib: 342/3.

it has turned to my house. Salman, take this dress of mine to Simon the Jew and buy for it three kilos of dates and three kilos of barley!”

Salman took the dress to Simon and told him the story. Simon’s eyes became tearful, saying, “This piety in this world is what (Prophet) Moses had foreseen in the Torah. Therefore, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.”

After converting to Islam, he gave three kilos of dates and barley to Salman who took it to Fatimah. She ground the barley with her own hands, baked it and gave it to Salman. He said, “O daughter of Allah’s Messenger! Take some of this for Hasan and Husayn.” Fatimah answered, “I will not take anything from what I have given away in the way of Allah.”(1)

Ask More Questions

A woman went to the presence of Lady Fatimah saying, “I am an old and weak mother who makes a lot of mistakes in my prayer. I have been sent to you to know how to perform my prayer.” Lady Fatimah said, “Ask any questions you wish.” The woman asked ten questions all of which were answered by Lady Fatimah with a good mien.

However, the woman was ashamed of her many questions. She said, “I will not bother you any more!” Lady Fatimah said, “Ask any more questions.” In order to boost her morale, she said, “If a person is asked to carry a heavy load to a high

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1- Rayahin al-Shariah: 130/1

place and he is given a hundred thousand dinars as reward, will he feel tired in view of that reward?” The woman said, “No.” Lady Fatimah (a.s) said, “I am rewarded by Allah more than that for every question which I answer. Hence, I never get tired. I heard Allah’s Messenger saying: On the Judgment Day, scholars will be in the presence of Allah and they will be rewarded to the extent of their knowledge and the efforts they have made for propagating Islam and guiding people."(1)

Neighbor First!

Lady Fatimah (a.s.) used to pray Almighty Allah at night and weep out of His fear so heavily that it would awaken his children. Imam Hasan says: One Friday night, I saw my mother standing in the altar while she was in bowing and prostration positions until the dawn, praying for everybody except herself! I said: “Mother! Why aren't you praying for yourself?” She said: “My dear son! Neighbor first!”

Lady Fatimah (a.s.) constantly reminded her children of Allah’s Messenger who considered children as bouquets of flowers. She would also send her children to him.(2)

Intimacy With The Holy Quran

The honorable daughter of the Holy Prophet had a strong intimacy with the Holy Quran. Salman reports: The Holy Prophet sent me to Fatimah’s house for doing something. I waited a little at the door until she saluted me. I heard her reciting the Holy Quran and grinding something without having someone to serve her.(3)

The Blessed Necklace

Jabir Ansari has reported: After performing the afternoon Prayer, the Holy Prophet sat in the altar

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1- Al-Mahajjah al-Bayda: 30/1
2- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 236/1
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 46/43

of the mosque, speaking to people. At this time, an old Arab wearing threadbare clothes and unable to stand on his feet entered the mosque. Seeing him, the Holy Prophet consoled him and asked after his health. The old man said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I am hungry; I need food. I am naked; clothe me; I am indigent; give me something.”

The Holy Prophet said, “I have nothing to give you. But the one who shows you to a benefactor is like one who has done the good. Go to the house of one who loves Allah and the Prophet and Allah and Prophet love her too; one who prefers Allah to herself. Go to Fatimah’s house, which is in the neighborhood. O Bilal! Guide this man to there.” The old man went with Bilal. The old man stood near the door and in a loud voice and said,

أسْلأمُ عَلَيْكُم عَلَيْكُم يَا أهْلَ بَيتِ النُّبُوَّةِ، وَ مُخْتَلَفِ الْمَلأئِكَةِ، وَ مَهْبِطِ جِبْرَءِيلَ الرُّوحِ اللأمِينِ بِاتَّنْزِيلِ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

Peace be upon you O Household of the Prophet! You are the seal of the Divine mission; unto you the angels turn from the presence of the Lord of the world.

Lady Fatimah answered from within the house, “Blessings and peace of Allah be upon you. May I know who you are and what you need?” The old man softly and gently said, “I am an old Arab. I am hungry and I do not have clothes and I am helpless. I went to

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your beloved father, Allah’s Messenger, and he sent me here.”

It had been three days she and her family had anything to eat. It was three days since hunger had struck her home. It was three days since water was the only food for them but for Fatimah it was not a matter of hesitation or doubt.

She had nothing but a small sheepskin which she used as a carpet and bedding for her beloved sons. She gathered it up and with an apology presented it to the old man, saying, “I hope Allah will give you better than this.” But the old man did not take it saying, “O daughter of the Prophet! What can I do with this? I am hungry!” Fatimah, looking astonished, glanced around the small house so that she could find something else. Suddenly she remembered the necklace that her cousin (Hamzah’s daughter) had given her. She quickly unfastened it and gave it to the old man; saying, “Sell it and I hope Allah will solve your Problem!” The old man took the necklace, blessed her and returned to the Prophet. The Prophet, upon hearing from the old man what had happened, said with tears in his eyes, “By all means your problems will be solved because the doyenne of the world women has blessed you with it.”

Ammar ibn Yasir, who had been watching, moved closer to the Prophet, saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Will you give me permission to buy this necklace?” The Prophet said,

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“Ammar, whoever buys this necklace will be saved from Hellfire.” Ammar turned to the old man and asked, “How much will you sell this necklace for?” The old man replied, “I need money to buy clothes and food, and money for my journey so that I can go to my city. I will sell it for that much money.”

Ammar who had sold his share of booty from the Battle of Khaybar and had a little money said, “I will give you 20 dinars and 200 dirhams for this necklace.” The old man’s eyes shone with happiness. He said, “You are a generous man.” Ammar gave to him what he had promised.

The old man came to the Holy Prophet who asked him, “Are you satisfied now?” The man said, “Yes, may my parents be your ransom!” The Holy Prophet said, “So give a reward to Fatimah for what she has done for you.” The old man raised his hand in prayer saying, “O Allah! Bless Fatimah with what no one has so far seen or heard about!” Allah’s Messenger said Amen to the old man’s prayer, turned to his companions and said, “Allah has granted this to Fatimah in this world: I am her father and no one in the world is like me. Ali is her husband and had he not been there, there would be no suitable spouse for her. Hasan and Husayn are her sons who are the leaders of the youths of Paradise.”

The Holy Prophet,

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who was sitting with Miqdad, Ammar and Salman, said, “Should I say more about Fatimah?” They said, “Yes, Allah’s Messenger!” So he said, “Gabriel came to me saying: ‘When the soul of Fatimah is grasped and she is buried in her grave, two angels will ask her: Who is your Lord? She will say: Allah is my Lord. When she is asked who is your friend she will say: The one who is near my grave, Ali ibn Abu-Talib.’ Be aware that Allah has assigned a group of angels to protect her from above as well as from the right and left sides. They are with her in her lifetime and her grave, constantly saluting her, her father, her husband, and her children. So whoever visits my grave after my death has indeed visited me in my lifetime; whoever visits Fatimah has indeed visited me; whoever visits Ali ibn Abu-Talib has indeed visited Fatimah; whoever visits Hasan and Husayn has indeed visited Ali; and whoever visits the offspring of Hasan and Husayn has indeed visited the two Imams.”

Hearing this, Ammar took the necklace, perfumed it with scent, put it in an expensive cloth, called his slave and said, “Take this to the Prophet and after this you will belong to him.” The slave took the necklace to the Prophet and told him what Ammar had said. The Holy Prophet said, “Give my regards to Fatimah, give her the necklace and tell her that you are now in her custody.” Fatimah

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took the necklace in surprise and told the slave, “You are free in the way of Allah.” The slave started laughing and said, “I am surprised at the blessings of this necklace. It has satisfied a hungry person, clothed a naked person, fulfilled the needs of another, freed a slave and in the end returned to its owner.”(1)

Fatimah’s Bequest

Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin reports: Lady Fatimah had seven orchards, which she had been endowed from Banu-Hashim and Banul-Muttalib. She had appointed Ali (a.s.) and after him Hasan and Husayn as its custodians.

Said about Lady Fatimah

Quoting from Sharh al-Masabih, Zayn al-Arab says:

Fatimah was called Batul, which means “broken off”. There was no one was like her in virtue.

Quoting from al-Manaqib, al-Harawi says:

Fatimah was called Batul meaning “interrupted” because she was matchless.

Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Talhah al-Shafii has said:

Fatimah was endowed with virtues, which were particular to her. She enjoyed characters for which other honorable souls competed.

Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Dhahabi has said:

There are many reasons that Fatimah could be proud of. She was tolerant, benefactor, contented, and grateful.

The Lebanese Christian writer, Sulayman Kittani says:

Fatimah was chaste. She was the paragon of the Holy Prophet’s virtues, which had borne the fruit of a genius for morality and creativity. Her weak body was the vessel of her crystal soul so as to be effaced in the Source from which her father dawned.

Aishah has said:

I found no one superior to Fatimah except her father.

The Egyptian scholar, Bint al-Shati says:

Fatimah was the most beloved among the Holy Prophet’s daughters

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1- Bisharat al-Mustafa: 137

and the most similar to him in terms of temperament and constitution. Allah willed that only she would be subject to purification and the mother of all the Imams from the progeny of the Holy Prophet.

In his book, Nafahat min Sirat al-Sayyidah Zaynab (Fragrances from Lady Zaynab's Conducts), professor Ahmad Shams Basi points out:

Fatimah was the best among the world women and the doyenne of the women in the hereafter.

Dr. Ali Ibrahim Hasan has said:

Fatimah’s life is a unique page among the pages of history. We see here all the grandeur and magnitude. We stand before a personality that came into existence with a halo of wisdom and splendor around her; a wisdom the source of which cannot be found in philosophers’ books but the outcome of spiritual experiences and a splendor not coming from kings or wealth but coming from the very depth of her soul. Perhaps it was Fatimah’s unique grandeur that compelled Aishah to say: I found no one superior to Fatimah except her father.(1)

Morality Of Imam Hasan


Quoting his grandfather, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu-Talib was the most pious, the most devoted and the best of the people of his time. When he was on Hajj, he would often walk on foot and on many occasions bare-footed to the Holy Mosque. He would cry or be fainted whenever he remembered death, grave, resurrection on the Judgment Day and crossing the Sirat. He would be writhing like a snake-bitten whenever he was reminded of heaven

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1- Quoted from Alam al-Nisa by Ali Muhammad Ali Dakhil

and hell. He would ask Allah for heaven and sought refuge in Allah from hell.(1)


Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has reported: A man passed by Uthman ibn Affan who was sitting in the mosque asking for money. Uthman ordered five dirhams to be given to him. The man said to Uthman, “Guide me to one who can relieve my pain.”

Uthman asked him to go to those generous youths, indicating with his hand a place in mosque where Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and Abdullah ibn Jafar were sitting. The man saluted them and asked for money. “Begging is not permissible save for three cases, blood money with compassion, debt with a broken heart and poverty which is intolerable. Which is your case?” The man said, “I am afflicted with one of them.” Imam Hasan ordered fifty dinars to be given to him. Imam Husayn too ordered forty-nine dinars to be given to him, and Abdullah ibn Jafar too ordered forty-eight dinars to be given to him.

After having received these Dinars, the man passed by Uthman once again. Uthman asked, “What did you do?” The man said, “I passed by you asking for money. You helped me only with five dinars and did not ask me any question either; but that generous young man having thick hair asked me something while giving me fifty dinars. The second one gave me forty nine Dinars and the third forty eight Dinars.” Uthman said, “Who can relieve your pain like these generous young men? They have

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 178, H. 8

appropriated knowledge and insight for themselves and have gathered wisdom and benevolence in them.”(1)


Imam Hasan’s humility was such that one day he was passing by some needy people sitting on the earth and eating pieces of bread. Seeing Imam Hasan, they said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Come and share the food with us!” Imam Hasan dismounted and said, “Allah does not like the arrogant.” He was engaged in eating with them. He invited them to his house a few day later, giving them food and clothes.(2)

Write Down Your Needs

A man came to the presence of Imam Hasan asking him to fulfill his needs. The Imam said, “Write down you needs and give it to us.” When he read his letter, he gave him twice the amount he had asked for. One of those present said, “How blessed this letter was!” The Imam said:

It was more blessed for us, for it placed us among the benefactors. Don’t you know that a good deed is one which is done without anyone ask for it? But what is given when it has been asked for is a low price against the honor of the needy person. Perhaps a needy person who has spent the night between fear and hope and has no idea of whether his needs will be accepted or rejected will receive little money against his being dishonored should you give him only to the extent of his need.(3)

Extraordinary Example of Generosity

A needy man once came to the presence of Imam Hasan who gave

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1- al-Khisal: 135/1, H. 149
2- Al-Manaqib: 23/4
3- Sulh al-Hasan 42-43

fifty thousand dirhams and five hundred dinars saying, “Bring someone to carry it for you.” When he brought a porter, the Imam gave his cloak to him saying, “This is the wage of one who carries it.”(1)

Giving Away All Savings

An Arab came to the presence of Imam Hasan, “Give him whatever savings we have.” They gave him twenty thousand dirhams. The Arab said, “My master! You did not give me permission to tell you my needs and recite a eulogy in praise of you.” The Imam composed a poem saying, “The fear of disgracing one who has needs urges us to give away before he expresses his needs.”(2)

Feeding A Hungry Dog

One day, Imam Hasan saw a black slave having a loaf of bread in front of him. The slave would eat a morsel of bread and give a morsel to a dog near him. Imam Hasan asked, “What compels you to do so.” The slave said, “I am ashamed of eating myself and not giving the dog anything.” The Imam said, “Do not move from this place until I come back.” The Imam went to the master of the slave and purchased him together with the orchard he was working in. He set the slave free and gave him the orchard.(3)

Morality Of Imam Husayn


Imam Husayn (a.s) is reported as saying:

I am sure that Allah’s Messenger believed that the best deed after prayer was to make a believer happy provided there is no sin involved.

The Most Generous Man!

A Bedouin arrived in Medina asking for the most generous man living there. They guided

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1- Al-Manaqib: 16/4
2- Al-Manaqib: 16/4
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 352/43, Chapter: 16, H. 29

him to Imam Husayn. The Bedouin entered the mosque and found Imam Husayn praying. He stood in front of the Imam, reciting a poem with the following content, “Whoever knocks at the door of your house will not be desperate. You are the paragon of generosity. You are a haven. Your father put the unbelieving rebels to death. Were it not for your sake, our life would be a hell.”

Imam Husayn saluted the Bedouin, then said to Qanbar, “Is there any of Hijaz holdings left?” He said, “Yes, about four thousand Dinars.” The Imam said, “Bring it here, for he is more deserving of it than us.” Then, he took his cloak off his shoulders, wrapped the money in it and gave it to him, reciting a poem with the following content, “Take this holding from me and accept my apology. Know that I would like to be kind to you. If the reins of the rule were in our hands you would be showered with generosity; but the vicissitudes displace the affairs and presently we can give away only a little.”

The Arab took the holding from the Imam while his eyes were full of tears. The Imam said, “What I have given to you is a little.” The Arab answered, “The reason I am crying is that I wonder how the earth will eat this giving hand.”(1)

What A Sorrow!

Imam Husayn (a.s.) went to visit Usamah ibn Zayd who had fallen sick. Usamah kept on saying, “What a sorrow!” The

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1- Al-Manaqib: 66/4

Imam asked, “Dear brother! What is sorrow for?” He said, “I owe sixty thousand dirhams.” The Imam said, “I promise to pay it.” He said, “I am afraid that I will die before my debt is paid.” Imam Husayn said, “I will pay it before your death.” He did so.(1)

Helping The Needy

In the events of Karbala, they found a scar on the shoulder of Imam Husayn. When Imam Zayn al-Abidin was asked about it, he said, “This is a mark left by the heavy leather bag replete with what the widows, orphans and the poor needed, which my father carried on his shoulders."(2)

Honoring A Teacher

Abd al-Rahman al-Salami taught Surah al-Fatihah to one of Imam Husayn’s sons. When the child recited before the Imam, he gave the teacher a thousand dinars as well as gifts. They objected to the Imam’s act, but he said, “What I have given to him cannot make up for what he has done.”(3)

Seek My Pleasure

There was an argument between Imam Husayn and his brother, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. In a letter to Imam Husayn, Muhammad wrote, “Dear brother! Ali is my and your father. In this relation neither I am superior to you nor are you superior to me. Your mother is the daughter of the Holy Prophet. Should my mother possess all the gold of the world, she cannot be equal to your mother in terms of virtues. When you read the letter, come to me and seek my pleasure, for you are more deserving of good deeds than me.

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1- Al-Manaqib: 65/4
2- Al-Manaqib: 66/4
3- Al-Manaqib: 66/4

May peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.” After reading the letter, Imam Husayn went to his brother and there was no argument between them any more.(1)


On the day of Ashura (the tenth Muharram), Imam Husayn was told to submit to the rule of Yazid and pledge allegiance to him. The Imam replied:

وَاللَّهِ لأأعْطِيِكُم بِيَدِي إعْطَاءَ الذَّلِيلِ وَلا أفِرُ فَرَارَ الْبَعَبِيدِ.

By Allah! I will not put my hand in your hand like the abased people nor will I escape from the battlefield like slaves.

Raising his voice, the Imam added:

عِبَادَ اللَّهِ، إنِّي عُدْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لأ يُؤمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحسَابِ.

O servants of Allah! I seek refuge to my Lord and Your Lord from every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.(2)

Better Greeting

Anas reports: I was in the presence of Imam Husayn when his slave-girl entered the room presenting a bunch of basil as greeting. The Imam said, “You are free in the way of Allah!” I said to the Imam, “She presented an inexpensive bunch of basil to you and you set her free!” The Imam said, “Allah has taught us courtesy as such when He has said:

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُمْ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَاۗ

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better greeting than it or return it, surely Allah takes account of all things. (4:86)

Therefore, in this case, a better greeting was to set her free.

Man’s Value

An Arab came to the presence of Imam Husayn saying, “O son of Allah’s

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1- Al-Manaqib: 66/4
2- Al-Manaqib: 66/4

Messenger! I have undertaken to pay blood money but I cannot afford it. I said to myself that I will ask it from the most generous man and I don’t find anyone more generous than Ahl al-Bayt.” The Imam said, “O Arab brother! I will ask you three questions. Should you answer one of them, I will give you a third of what you need. If you answer the second question, I will give you two-thirds of it and finally if you answer all the three questions, I will give to you all you need.”

The Arab said, "Will you – a man of knowledge and honor - ask questions from such a person as me?” The Imam said, “Yes, I heard my grandfather saying that everyone’s value is to the extent of his knowledge.” The Arab said, “All right, ask me your questions. I will answer if I can. Even if I can’t answer your questions, I will learn them from you.” The Imam asked, “What is the best deed?” The Arab said, “Belief in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is salvation?” The Arab said, “Trust in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is an ornament for men?” The Arab said, “Knowledge accompanied with forbearance.” The Imam said, “What if there were no forbearance?” The Arab said, “A wealth accompanied by generosity.” The Imam said, “What if there was no generosity?” The Arab said, “Indigence accompanied by patience.” The Imam said, “What if there was no patience?” The Arab said,

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“A thunderbolt coming down from heaven to burn such a person who deserves it.” The Imam smiled, gave him a purse of one thousand dinars as well as his ring with a gem worth two hundred dirhams saying, “O Arab! Give the one thousand dinars to your creditors and leave the ring for living expenditures.” The Arab took them reading the holy verse,

اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُۗ

Allah best knows where He places His message. (6:124)(1)

Morality Of Imam Zayn Al-Abidin


A relative of Imam Zayn al-Abidin who was standing beside him, raised his voice and started to abuse him. The Imam did not answer him until he went back to his house. At this moment, the Imam said to his companions, “Did you hear what this man said? I would like you to come with me to hear my response.” The Imam put on his shoes and set out with his companions saying to himself,

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ 

…and those who restrain their anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of the good. (3:134)

When they reached the house of that man, the Imam introduced himself to the servant who conveyed it to his master. The man who seemed to be looking for trouble came out. He was sure that the Imam had come for retaliation; rather, the Imam said, “My brother! A few minutes ago, you were standing beside me and said such and such words against me. If I am the one whom you described, I will ask

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1- Jami al-Akhbar: 137, Chapter: 96

for Allah’s forgiveness; but if what you said about me is not true, may Allah forgive you.” The man kissed the Imam’s forehead, saying, “What I said about you is not true and it is more deserving of me.”(1)

The Lepers

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: One day, Imam Zayn al-Abidin was passing by the lepers while he was riding. The lepers who were eating invited the Imam to share food with them. The Imam said, “I am fasting; otherwise, I would sit with you.” When the Imam reached home, he had some food prepared, invited the lepers and ate with them.(2)

Forgiving A Neighbor

Husham ibn Ismail was appointed as ruler of Medina by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. One of the grandsons of Imam Ali (a.s) reports: Husham ibn Ismail was a bad neighbor who persecuted Imam Zayn al-Abidin greatly. When he was dismissed, he was brought to public with his hands tied, on the order of Walid ibn Abd al-Malik for retaliation. While he was under arrest near Marwan’s house, Imam Zayn al-Abidin passed by and greeted him. The Imam had already advised his companions not to offend Husham.(3)

A Hidden Charity

There were families in Medina whose needs were fulfilled without knowing wherefrom. When Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn passed away, they found out that it was the Imam who had secretly helped them.

It is also reported: Imam Zayn al-Abidin would come out of house at nights with a purse full of dirhams and dinars. He would go from one door to another leaving some dirhams and dinars at

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1- Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid 145/2
2- Al-Kafi, 132/2, H. 8
3- Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid: 147/2

the door of each house. Only when he had passed away, they found out that the benefactor had been Imam Zayn al-Abidin.(1)

Prayer And Charity

Abu-Hamzah Thamali has reported: I saw Imam Zayn al-Abidin in prayer while his cloak was falling off his shoulders but he did not make any attempt to hold it until he completed his prayer. I asked about it. The Imam said, “Woe to you! Do you know before Whom was I standing? Prayer is not accepted save with full concentration and presence of heart.”

A Quranic Pardon

One of the slave-girls of Imam Zayn al-Abidin was pouring water on his hands while performing ablution when all of a sudden the ewer hit and hurt the Imam's face. The Imam raised his head towards her. The slave- girl said: Allah says, “Those who restrain their anger.” The Imam said, “I restrained my anger.” The slave-girl said, “…and pardon men.” The Imam said, “I pardoned you.” The slave-girl said, "…and Allah loves the doers of good.” The Imam said, “You are free in the way of Allah.”(2)

Day of Loss

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) reported: There was a clown in Medina who would make people laugh. One day he said to himself, “This man (Imam Zayn al-Abidin) has made me helpless to make him laugh!” So, when the Imam was followed by two of his servants, he passed by the clown. Seeing the Imam, the clown walked behind him, drew his cloak and ran away. The Imam did not pay any attention to the clown but people went after him

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1- Ilal al-Shara’i: 231/1, H. 8
2- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 201, H. 12

and took back the cloak. Addressing people, the Imam said, “Who is this man?” They said, “He is a making people of Medina laugh.” The Imam said, “Tell him there is a day for Allah in which idle people will suffer losses.”(1)

Unknown Among Travelers Kindness To A Camel

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: When he was passing away, Ali ibn al- Husayn said to his son, Imam al-Baqir, “I have gone on Hajj on this camel for twenty times and I have not given it a lash. Bury it when it dies so that it will not be eaten by wild animals, for Allah’s Messenger has said: Any camel which goes to Arafah for seven times, Allah will make it one of the blessings of Paradise and place blessing in its offspring.” When the camel of the Imam died, they buried it.(2)

Giving Away His Food

When Ali ibn al-Husayn was fasting, he would have a sheep slaughtered, its meat cut into pieces and cooked. At sunset while he had not broken his fast, he would order to bring the bowls, fill them and take them to such and such houses until there was no more food in the pot. Then, they brought bread and date for the Imam to break his fast with.(3)

Helping The Needy

When dark overwhelmed Medina and people were at rest, Imam Zayn al-Abidin would come out of house to go to the needy people and divide among them the food which he carried in a bag on his shoulder while covering his face so that none would know him. On

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 220, H. 6
2- Thawab al-Amal wa-Iqab al-Amal: 50
3- Al-Kafi: 68/4; H. 3

many occasions, he would stand waiting at the doors so that they would come and take their shares. When they saw him face to face, they would say: “He is the possessor of bag!”(1)

The Story of Grapes

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: Imam Zayn al-Abidin was very fond of grapes. One day, they had brought fresh grapes to Medina. His wife bought some of them for him to break his fast with. When they brought them before him and he stretched out his hand to take some, a needy person knocked the door and asked for something. The Imam told his wife to take the grapes for the needy person. She said, “Some of it was enough for the needy person.” The Imam said, “No, By Allah; take all of it for him.” The next day, again they bought grapes for him but an indigent person came to the door and the Imam gave him all of the grapes. The third night, no needy came. So the Imam ate the grapes saying, “We did not lose anything in it, thanks to Allah.”(2)

Nobility in Childhood

Abdullah ibn Mubarak reports: When I was on Hajj to Mecca, I caught sight of a seven or eight year old child walking alongside a caravan of pilgrims with no provision with him. I went forward, saluted him and asked, “With whom did you cover the desert?” He said, “With the Beneficent Allah.” He looked great to me. I asked, “Where is your provision, my son?” He said, “My piety is my

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1- Al-Manaqib: 163/4
2- Al-Manaqib: 154/4

provision and my Lord is my goal.” He looked magnanimous. I asked, “Which lineage do you come from?” He said, “Abd al-Muttalib.”

“Which family?” I asked.

“Hashim”, he said.

“Which branch”, I asked.

“Ali – Fatimah”, he said.

“O my master! Have you composed a poem?” I asked.

“Yes, I have”, he said.

“Recite part of your poem,” I asked.

The Imam recited a poem with the following words:

We are those sent to the pond of Kawthar. We give water to some and repel others. None can attain salvation but through our mediation. One who loves us will not suffer losses and one who makes us happy will receive happiness from us and whoever harms us will be of low birth. One who usurps our right will be punished on the Judgment Day!

Then I lost sight of him until I came to Mecca. After I had completed my Hajj rituals and returned to al-Abtah, I saw a circle of people round someone. It was the same child with whom I spoke. I asked who he was. They said that he was Zayn al-Abidin.(1)

Asking For Forgiveness

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has reported: My father sent his slave on mission but he delayed in fulfilling it. He lashed him with one stroke. The slave said, “O Ali ibn al-Husayn. You send me on a mission and hit me!” My father cried, saying, “My son! Go to the grave of the Holy Prophet, perform a two-unit prayer and say: O Lord: Forgive Ali ibn al-Husayn on the Judgment Day.” Then he said to the

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1- Al-Manaqib: 155/4

slave, “You are free in the way of Allah.”

Abu-Basir says: I said to the Imam, "May I be your ransom. It seems that setting a slave free is the atonement of hitting him!" But the Imam kept silent.(1)


Imam al-Ridha reports: Ali ibn al-Husayn hit his slave on one occasion. Being sorry, he entered home, took off his shirt and while giving a lash to his slave said, “Hit Ali ibn al-Husayn!” The slave refused to do and the Imam gave him fifty dinars.(2)

Mother’s Right

Imam Zayn al-Abidin has said, “You are the most benevolent man but you don’t eat from the same plate with your mother while she likes to.” The Imam said, “I don’t like to stretch my hand to reach a morsel which my mother has an eye on it hence being disowned by her.”

From that time on, he would put a cover on the plate of food when eating with his mother so he would put his hand under it and ate the food.(3)

Security Against Loan

Isa ibn Abdullah reports: Abdullah was on the verge of death. The creditors had gathered in his house claiming their dues. He said, “I don't have anything to pay you. Refer to either of my cousins, Ali ibn al-Husayn or Abdullah ibn Jafar to pay my debt to you.” The creditors said,

“Abdullah ibn Jafar is a man of long-term promise. He is negligent too. Ali ibn al-Husayn, though not wealthy, is truthful. Hence, he is a better option for us.” The news reached Imam Zayn al-Abidin.

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 92/46, Chapter: 5, H. 79
2- Kitab Al-Zuhd: 45, Chapter: 7, H. 119
3- Al-Manaqib: 162/4

He said that he would undertake to pay the debt at harvest time, while he had no grain at all. When it was harvest time, Allah destined for him a certain amount of money with which he paid all the creditors’ claim.(1)

An Extraordinary Example of Forbearance

A man insulted Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.). His slaves made an attempt to attack him. The Imam said, “Let him go. What is hidden of us is more than what he is saying about me.” Addressing the same man, the Imam said, “Do you need anything?” The man was ashamed. The Imam gave his garment to him together with a thousand dirhams. The man said loudly, “I bear witness that you are the son of Allah’s Messenger.”(2)

Reaction To Backbiting

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) reached a group of people who were talking behind his back. He stood near them saying, “If you are true about what you say, may Allah forgive me; and if you are lying, may Allah forgive you.”(3)

Forgiving The Child’s Killer

Imam Zayn al-Abidin had a few guests; he asked his servant to be quick in preparing the food. The servant hastily brought the iron grid on which the meat had been grilled but it fell off his hand on the head of the Imam's child who was on the ground and killed him. Addressing the servant who was shocked and trembling from fear, the Imam said, “You did not do it intentionally. Therefore, you are free in the way of Allah.” He then took part in the funeral service of his child.(4)


Imam Zayn

p: 243

1- Al-Kafi: 97/5, T 7
2- Al-Manaqib: 157/2
3- al-Khisal: 517/2, H. 4
4- Kashf al-Ghummah: 80/2

al-Abidin had a needy cousin and the Imam would go to the door of his house as an unknown man giving him a few dinars. But the cousin would say, “Ali ibn al-Husayn does not observe ties of relationship towards me. May Allah not give him a good reward!”

The Imam heard what he was saying but forbore it and did not wish to reveal his identity.

When Imam Zayn al-Abidin passed away, his cousin, whose nightly assistance had been cut off, realized that it was Imam Zayn al-Abidin who fulfilled his needs. For this reason, he rushed to the Imam’s grave and wept bitterly.(1)

Morality Of Imam Muhammad Baqir


Muhammad ibn Munkadir reports: I never thought Ali ibn al-Husayn to leave an excellent successor after him until I saw his son, Muhammad. I wanted to give him a lesson, but he gave me one:

On a hot day, I went to Medina where I saw Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) leaning to work with his large frame with support of his two slaves. I said to my self, “A great man of Quraish working at this hour of day in search of the material world! I will certainly give him an advice.” I approached and saluted him. While he was gasping, he greeted me back. Sweat was pouring from his head and face because of hot weather. I said, “May Allah improve your affairs. A great man of Quraish seeking the world at this time of the day! What will happen if death overtakes you in this situation?”

Taking his

p: 244

1- Kashf al-Ghummah: 106/2

hands off the shoulders of the two slaves and leaning against the wall, he said, "By Allah, if death overtakes me and I am in this situation, I will be in a state of obedience to Allah by which I can preserve my value from you and people. I am afraid of death only when I am committing a sin!” I said, “May Allah bless you! I intended to give you advice but you gave me advice.”(1)


Hasan ibn Kuthayr reports: I was complaining about indigence and unkindness of brothers-in-faith to Imam al-Baqir (a.s) who said, “A brother who is fond of you when you are rich, but cuts off his relations with you when you are in need, is a bad brother!” Then the Imam ordered his slave to give me a purse of seven hundred Dirhams, saying, “Spend this for the moment and inform me when it comes to and end.”(2)


The companions of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) report: the Imam allowed us to give away between five hundred and six hundred thousand dirhams and he was never tired of giving gifts to brethren, emissaries and those who had set their hope on him.(3)

Forbearance With A Christian

Imam Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn had the title of Baqir, that is to say ‘One who analyzes’. He was called Baqir al-Ulum meaning one who analyzes the knowledge. A Christian, in a mockery and ironic way playing on words of Baqir, misinterpreted to Baqara called him, “You are Baqara (cow)!” Without expressing any annoyance or

p: 245

1- Al-Kafi: 73/5, T 1
2- Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 166/2
3- Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 167/2

anger, the Imam replied calmly, “No, I am not baqara but I am Baqir.” The Christian said, “You are the son of a lady-cook.” The Imam said in reply, “It was her job, which is not considered an insult or disgrace to her personality.” The Christian said, “Your mother was black, immodest and had an abusive tongue.” The Imam said, “If whatever you attribute to my mother is true, I pray Allah to forgive her and absolve her sins, and if it is a lie, may Allah forgive you for your lies and slander.”

Observing such a clemency from a person who had the authority to submit a non-Muslim to different persecutions was sufficient to provoke a revolution in the soul of the Christian and invite him towards Islam. Later on, he embraced Islam. (1)


Salma, a slave-girl of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), reports: the Imam’s brothers-in-faith would always come to visit him and the Imam too, received them with the best food, gave them a good garment and dinars. I said to the Imam, “You will become needy as a result of this generosity!” The Imam would say, “O Salma! Good deeds are but giving gifts to brothers-in-faith and praiseworthy deeds.” Imam al-Baqir would allow between five and six hundred thousand dirhams to be given away to brothers-in-faith. He would never get tired of associating with his brethren, saying, “Recognize the actuality of the friendship of your brothers-in-faith from the feelings you have in your hearth towards him.” He was never heard

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1- Al-Manaqib: 207/4

calling anybody with disgraceful names; he would rather call them with their best names.(1)

Wife’s Rights

Hasan Zayyat of Basrah reports: My friend and I went to the presence of Imam al-Baqir while he was sitting in a well-decorated room with a purple mantle on his shoulder. He had trimmed his beard and blackened his eyes with kohl. I was full of questions. Realizing this, the Imam said, “Hasan! You and your friend may come to me tomorrow.” I said, “Very well, may I be your ransom!” The next day, we went to see him. He was sitting on a mat and wearing coarse clothes. He turned to my friend and said, “O brother of Basrah! When you came to me yesterday, I was in my wife's room. It was her turn. The room was hers as well as all the articles. She had made up herself for me and I had to make up myself for her. Don't give way to gloomy thought about me.” My friend said, “May I be your ransom. By Allah, something passed in my mind but Allah removed it now and I know that truth lies in what you said.”(2)

Praying Together

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: Any time an event saddened my father, he would gather women and children and then raise his hands in prayer and they would say Amen.(3)

Surrender To Allah

A group of people went to the presence of Imam al-Baqir (a.s). This visit coincided with the illness of one of his children. They found him sad and restless.

p: 247

1- Kashf al-Ghummah: 118/2
2- Al-Kafi: 448/6, H. 13
3- Al-Kafi: 487/2, H. 3

They said, “By Allah, if anything happens to him, we might see from him what we do not approve of.” It was not long time when they heard the Imam wailing. He came back to his friends with open face. They said to him, “May we be your ransom! We were afraid that if something happened we would see you more sorrowful.” The Imam said, "We would like to see one whom we love safe and sound but there is Allah’s decree, we will surrender to what He loves."(1)

Prayer At Night

Quoting Imam al-Sadiq (a.s), Ishaq ibn Ammar has reported: I was spreading my father’s bed and waiting for him to come. When he would go to his bed and sleep, then I would go to mine. One night, he was late. I went to the mosque to look for him. While all people had gone home, I found him alone in the mosque in prostration. I heard his lamentation, saying,

سُبْحَانَكَ أللَّهُمَّ رَبِّ حَقاً حَقاً. سَجَدْتُ لَكَ يا رَبِّ تَعَبُّداً وَرِقاً. ألْلَّهُمَّ إنَّ عَمَلِي ضَعِيفٌ فِضَاعِفهُ لِي. أللَّهُمَ قِنِي عَذَابَكَ يَوْمَ تَبْعَثُ عِبَادَكَ، وَتُبْ عَلَيَّ إنَّكَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ.

Glory be to You, O my Lord, with true glory! I am prostrating myself before You, O my God, worshipping and serving You! O Allah! My deed is weak; (please) double its reward. O Lord! Preserve me from Your punishment when You resurrect Your servants. Accept my repentance for You are the best Accepter of repentance and the most Merciful.(2)

Morality Of Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq


Muawiyah ibn Wahab has reported: I was

p: 248

1- Al-Kafi: 226/3, H. 14
2- Al-Kafi: 323/3, H. 9

with Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) in Medina intending to go to the market. Suddenly, he fell into prostration. When he rose is head, I asked for the reason. He said, “I just remembered Allah’s blessings on me.” I said, “Near the market where people are going and coming?” The Imam said, “None saw me.”(1)

Helping Non-Shiites

Mualla ibn Khunays has reported: At a drizzling night, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) left home to the shelter of Banu-Saidah. I followed him, but suddenly something dropped from his hand. He said, “In the name of Allah”. He then asked me to search for it with my hand and give it to him if I find it. I suddenly touched pieces of bread spreading on the earth. I gave to the Imam whatever I had found. Then I saw a bag full of bread in the Imam’s hand. I said, “Would you kindly permit me to carry them for you?” The Imam said, “No, it is I who must carry it. Nevertheless come along with me.” We reached the shelter of Banu-Saidah and came across a group of people who were asleep. The Imam hid one or two loaves under their clothes. When he helped the last person, we returned to our place. I said, “May I be your ransom! Do they know the truth?” The Imam said, “I would help them with salt if they knew it.”(2)

Helping The Relatives

Abu Jafar Khathami has reported: Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) gave me a purse of gold coins and asked me to take it to

p: 249

1- Basa’ir al-Darajat: 495, H. 2
2- Al-Kafi: 8/4, H. 3

such and such man of the Hashimites without telling him who had sent them. I gave the purse of gold coins to that man who said, “May Allah give a good reward to one who has sent it to me. He does it every year and I can live with it until next year, whereas Jafar al-Sadiq with all his wealth does no give me anything!”(1)


A traveler from among pilgrims who was in Medina fell into sleep. When he woke up, he thought his purse had been stolen. He searched for the purse and found Imam al-Sadiq, whom he did not know, praying. He caught the Imam accusing him of stealing his purse! The Imam asked, “What was in it?” He answered, “One thousand dinars.” Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) took him home and gave him a thousand dinars. When the man returned to his place, he found his purse. So he went back to the Imam’s house apologizing. But the Imam refused to accept the money, saying, “What I have lost will not return to me.” The man asked, “Who is this generous man.” They said, “He is Jafar al-Sadiq.” The man said, “This generosity is particular to him.”(2)

Say Your Request

Ashja Salami came to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq finding him ill. He sat besides him asking about the cause of illness. The Imam said, "Quit asking about the cause of illness. What is your request?" Ashja composed a poem praying to Allah for the health of the Imam. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) asked

p: 250

1- Al-Manaqib: 273/4
2- Al-Manaqib: 274/4

to his servant, “Do you have anything on you?” He said, “Four hundred Dinars.” The man said, “Give it to Ashja.”

An Extraordinary Example of Kindness

Sufyan al-Thawri came to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) while the Imam was pale. He asked for the reason. The Imam said, “I always warned my household not to go on the rooftop. I entered home finding one of my slave-girls climbing the ladder while holding one of my children in her arms. As soon as she saw me, she started trembling out of fear and my child fell from her arms and died immediately. My paleness is not for the child but because of the fear that overwhelmed the slave-girl. I twice told her that she was not to blame. I then set her free in the way of Allah.”(1)

Do Not Disclose Your Poverty

Al-Mufadhdhal ibn Qays reports: I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq, complaining to him about my situation and asking for prayer for me. The Imam asked his slave-girl to bring the purse, which came from Abu-Jafar. When she did, he said, “This purse has four hundred Dinars. Spend it on your needs.” I said, “May I be your ransom! By Allah, I did not intend to receive money. I had just come here to ask you to pray for me.” The Imam said, “I will pray for you; but from now on, do not disclose your poverty to people, for you will be abased.”(2)

Honoring A Guest

Abdullah ibn Yafur reports: I found a guest with Imam al-Sadiq (a.s). The guest rose

p: 251

1- Al-udad al-Qawiyyah: 155
2- Rijal al-Kashshi: 184

up to do something in his house. The Imam prohibited him from doing anything and he himself did what was supposed to be done. The Imam further said, “Allah’s Messenger has prohibited hosts from asking the guest to do anything.”(1)

Attitude Towards Two Needy Persons

Musmi ibn Abd al-Malik has reported: we were at Mina in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq and a group of Shiites. There were grapes before us and we were eating from them. A beggar appeared and demanded for help. The Imam picked up some grapes and wanted to give to him. The beggar refused it and said, “Give me money!” The Imam said, “Excuse me, I do not have money.” The beggar became disappointed and went away. After taking a few steps, the beggar regretted in making his decision and asked for the grapes to be given to him. The Imam did not give him the grapes.

A short time afterwards another beggar came asking for help. The Imam took a cluster of grapes and offered it to him. The beggar accepted it and said, “Praise belongs to the Lord of the worlds Who granted me my sustenance.” The Imam, hearing these words, ordered him to wait and gave him two handfuls of grapes. The beggar praised Allah for the second time. The Imam again told him to wait and not to leave. Then he turned towards one of his companions and asked, "How much money do you have with you?"

The man searched his pockets and found about twenty dirhams.

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1- Al-Kafi: 283, H. 1

He gave it to the beggar on the order of the Imam. For the third time, the beggar thanked Allah and said, “Praise only is due to Allah. O Allah, You are the Bestower of bounties and there is no associate for You.” Hearing these words, the Imam took off his garment and gave it to the beggar. Now the beggar changed his words and uttered some thankful words to the Imam and went away. We presumed that if the beggar had continued thanking and praising Allah in the same way as before, the Imam would have assisted him more.(1)

Praying To Allah

Abdullah ibn Yafur has reported: I heard Imam al-Sadiq, while raising his hands towards the sky, saying, “O Lord! Do not leave me even a moment to myself.” His eyes being tearful, the Imam turned to me and said, “O son of Yafur! Allah left (Prophet) Yunus, son of Matti (Matthew) less than a moment by himself and a calamity came about.” I said, “Did he go as far as being ungrateful to Allah?” The Imam said, “No, but dying in that situation would be perdition.”(2)

Patience In Hard Conditions

Qutaybah al-A’sha has reported: I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq to visit his ill son. I found the Imam sad and worried at the door. I asked, “May I be your ransom! How is the child?” Then Imam said, “By Allah! He is badly afflicted!” The Imam entered the house, stayed there for an hour and returned to us with shining face. It looked

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1- Al-Kafi, 49/4, H. 12
2- Al-Kafi: 581/2, H. 15

as though the sorrow had left Imam. I said hopefully to myself that may be the child had probably improved. So I said, “May I be your ransom! How is the child?” The Imam said, “He died!” I said, “May I be your ransom. When he was alive you were sad but now that he has died you are no sadder. How is it that?” The Imam said, “We, Ahl al-Bayt, are anxious before the calamity; but when Allah’s decree is passed, we are content with it and we are in a state of submission to Him.”(1)

Paradise, A Reward For Prayer

Abu-Basir has quoted Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.): I was circumambulating the Kabah when my father passed by me. Observing that I was sweating and endeavoring in performing my prayer, he said to me, “My son Jafar! When Allah loves a servant, He rewards him with Paradise and accepts little acts from him.”(2)

Kindness To Servants

Hafs ibn Aishah has reported: Imam al-Sadiq sent a slave on a mission. The slave was delayed for sometime. So the Imam went after him and found him sleeping. He sat near him and started to fan him. When the slave woke up, the Imam said, “You had no right to sleep at this hour. You should sleep at night and work for us during day.”(3)

Working Hard For Living

Abu-Amr al-Shaybani has reported: I saw Imam al-Sadiq in coarse garment, with a spade in his hands working and sweating in his orchard. I said, “May I be your ransom! Give the spade to me to do it.”

p: 254

1- Al-Kafi: 225/3, H. 11
2- Al-Kafi: 86/2, H. 4
3- Al-Kafi: 87/8, H. 50

The Imam said, “I like to work hard for living under the sun.”(1)

Worker's Wage

Hannan ibn Shuayb has reported: We hired a group of people to work in the orchard of Imam al-Sadiq. When the work was finished, the Imam said to Mutib, “Pay the wage of workers before their sweat dry up.”(2)

Lawful Profit

Abu-Jafar Fazari has reported: Imam al-Sadiq called his servant, gave him a thousand dinars and said, “Be prepared for making a journey to Egypt for doing business, for our dependents have increased.” The servant prepared certain goods and set out for Egypt with the caravan of merchants. When they were near Egypt, they met a caravan leaving. They asked about the goods needed by people in Egypt, they said, “What you have is rare in Egypt.” So, they agreed to sell their goods with a good profit!

Having sold their goods, they returned to Medina and went to see Imam al-Sadiq. Having two purses of a thousand dinars each, the servant said, “May I be your ransom! One purse is the principal and the other is the profit”. Imam al-Sadiq said, “This is a huge profit! How did you sell the good?” The servant told the Imam the whole story. The Imam said, “Glory be to Allah! Did you collude to sell the goods with a high profit to Muslims?” Then he took one of the purses and said, “This is the principal money and I am not in need of its profit. Striking with a sword in a battlefield

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1- Al-Kafi: 76/5, H. 13
2- Al-Kafi: 289/5, H. 3

is easier than seeking what is lawful.”(1)

Morality Of Musa Al-Kadhim

Worshiping Allah and Serving The People

Imam Musa ibn Jafar al-Kadhim was the most pious, the most versed in jurisprudence and the most generous of the people of his time. It has been reported that he performed supererogatory prayers linking them to the Morning Prayer and then he was engaged in benedictions until dawn. He would fall in prostration without raising his head until noon. The Imam prayed a lot and repeated the following invocation:

أللهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ الرَّاحَة عِنْدَ الْمَوْتِ والْعَفْوَعِنْدَ الْحِسَابِ.

O Lord! I ask you ease at deathbed and forgiveness on the Day of Reckoning. The sin of Your servant is great but forgiveness is with You.

The Imam always cried out of fear of Allah so much so that his face became wet with tears. He would look into the affairs of his family and relatives more than anyone else and would appease the needy in Medina at night. He would always carry a basket of flour and dates as well as a purse of dirhams and dinars to give to them but no one knew where this favor came from.(2)

Contentment and Generosity

Muhammad ibn Abdullah Bakri has reported: I went to Medina to take a loan but no one offered me any. So I said to myself, “I better go to Imam Musa and tell him about my grievances.” Hence, I went to his plantation, which stood on the heights of the city. The Imam came to me along with his servant. He had a basket in his hand with pieces

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1- Al-Kafi: 161/5, H. 1
2- Al-Kharaij wa’l-Jaraih, 896/2

of meat, which I shared with him and then he asked me about my needs. I told him the story and we set out for his house. He went inside and after a few seconds, he came out giving me a purse of three hundred dinars. Being satisfied, I mounted the mule and left Medina.(1)

An Extraordinary Example of Generosity

Mansur Dawaniqi (the Abbasid ruler) asked Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.) to attend the Festival of Nowruz (New Day) to receive the gifts from all walks of life. The Imam answered, “The Nowruz Festival is a tradition for the Persians.” Mansur said, “I observe this festival as a policy for strengthening ties with the army. I ask you by God to attend this festival.” The commanders of the army came to the Imam, congratulated him on the occasion and presented him with gifts.

The servant of Mansur who was standing next to the Imam, counted the gifts one by one. At the end of the festival, an aged man came to the Imam saying, “O Son of daughter of Allah’s Messenger! I am a needy man who cannot present you with a gift. Instead, I have three lines of poem, which my grandfather has composed for your grandfather, Husayn ibn Ali. He thus recited the poem. Imam Musa said, “I accepted your gift. Please sit beside me. May Allah bless you.” Raising his hand towards the servant of Mansur, Imam Musa said, “Go to the Emir, inform him of the gifts and ask what he is going to

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1- Kitab al-Irshad: 232/2

do with all these gifts.” The servant did the mission, came back and said, “Mansur says: All the gifts belong to you. Do as you wish.” Imam Musa said to the old man, “Take all these gifts which is my grant to you.”(1)

Morality Of Imam Ali Ibn Musa Al Rida


Ibrahim ibn Abbas has reported: I never saw Imam al-Ridha say any unkind words to anyone or interrupt anyone. The Imam would never reject anyone whose needs he could fulfill nor would he ever stretch his legs before his companions. He never insulted his servant nor would he ever spit on the ground. He never laughed but smiled.

When he was sitting in a private place, he would have the tablecloth spread before him, making the slaves, housekeeper and servants sit with him to share the food. He slept few hours and kept vigil most of the time. He would fast the first day, midmonth and the last day of the month, saying, “Should you fast in this way, it is as if you are keeping fasting all the days.” He would give money as charity and did benevolent acts secretly. He would do most of his good deeds at night. None has seen his like in terms of virtues.(2)

Feeding The Needy

Muammar ibn Khala has reported: When Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) wanted to eat, a big tray was brought before him and he would pick up from the best food which was on the table, put it on the big tray and sent it for the needy people. Then he recited

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1- Al-Manaqib: 319/4
2- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 184/2, Chapter: 44

the following verses,

فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ  فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ

But he would not attempt the uphill road. And what will make you comprehend what the uphill road is. (It is) the setting free of a slave; Or the giving of food in a day of hunger; to an orphan, having relationship; Or to the poor man lying in the dust. (90:11-16)

Then the Imam would say, “Allah knows that it is not easy for all human beings to set slaves free; hence, He has made feeding the needy a way for His servants to enter Paradise."(1)

Honoring All Human Beings

A man from Balkh has reported: I was accompanying Imam al-Ridha in his journey to Khorasan. One day he asked for food and made all the black and white servants sit to share it with him. I said to him, “May I be your ransom! It would be better if there were a separate table for them.” The Imam said, “Say nothing. Allah is One, our father is one, our mother is one and the reward is for our deeds.”(2)

Helping A Needy Traveler

Al-Yasa ibn Hamzah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Ridha (a.s) where a group of people asked him questions about what was lawful and unlawful. A tall man joined the gathering and said, "Peace be to you, O son of Allah’s Messenger! I am a devotee of yours and of your ancestors. I am returning from

p: 259

1- Al-Kafi: 52/4, H. 12
2- Al-Kafi: 230/8, H. 296

Hajj. I have lost my money and my provision. I have nothing on me to travel furthermore. Should you help me to reach my hometown, Allah has blessed me. When I reach my hometown, I will give as charity what you have given me; for I am not entitled to charity.”

Imam al-Ridha said, “May Allah bless you. Take a seat here." Then the Imam released the people and there were only the Imam, Sulayman Jafari, Khaythamah, the needy traveler and I. Then the Imam said, “Will you give me permission to enter the chamber?” He then turned to Sulayman Jafari and said, “Allah has improved your affair.” The Imam entered the room, closed the door and stretched his hand out of an opening saying, “Where is the man from Khorasan?” The man said, “I am here.” The Imam said, “Take this purse of two hundred dinars, spend it for your living costs, seek blessing of Allah, don’t give any charity and leave this house so that we will not see each other!”

When the traveler left, Sulayman said to the Imam, “May I be you ransom, you were both kind and generous. Why did you cover your face then?” The Imam said, “In order not to see humiliation and abasement in his face for having fulfilled his needs. Have you not heard this Hadith from Allah’s Messenger: ‘One who hides his good deed is like one who makes pilgrimage to Mecca for seventy times. One who reveals vices will be degraded

p: 260

and one who hides evil will be forgiven.’ Have you not heard the old saying: ‘When I go to him to fulfill my needs, I will return home while I have saved my face.’”(1)

A Worker's Wage

Sulayman ibn Jafar has reported: I was with Imam al-Ridha for doing a task. I had the intention to go back home but the Imam asked me to stay with him that night. We set off for the Imam’s house but we arrived at sunset. On entering the house, Imam al-Ridha had a glance at his slaves who were busy building a stable with mud. He suddenly saw a black worker who was not his slave. When he asked about him, they said, “He is helping us and we will give him some money at the end.” The Imam asked, “Did you talk about his wage?” They said, “He is satisfied with what we will give him.”

Imam al-Ridha was upset on hearing this. I said, “May I be your ransom! Why are you so upset?” The Imam said, “Had I not prohibited you from employing people without first coming to agreement about their wage? Know that if a person works for you without his wage being fixed, if you give three times his wage, he will think that you have not paid his due wage, but if you fix his wage first and then pay it, he will appreciate your promise and even if you pay a little extra money to him he will become grateful."(2)



p: 261

1- Al-Kafi: 23/4, H. 3
2- Al-Kafi: 288/5, H. 1

al-Hawawi has reported: when Imam al-Ridha arrived in Nayshabur on a black and white mule, I was accompanying him and the scholars of Nayshabur had come to say welcome to the Imam. When he left to the neighborhood of Marbaeh, they took the rein of his mule saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! We ask you through the mediation of your purified forefathers, tell us a Hadith.” Imam al-Ridha who had a cloak of fur on, put his head out of the mule litter saying:

Quoting Allah’s Messenger, my father reported: Gabriel informed me of Allah saying. I am verily Allah; there are no god but Me. O My servants! Worship only Me and know that anyone of you who meets Me by bearing witness that there is no god but Allah wholeheartedly and with devotion has entered My fortress; and whoever enters My fortress will be immune from My chastisement.

They asked, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! What is devotion in the Oneness of Allah?” The Imam answered, “Obeying Allah, obeying Allah’s Messenger and obeying the Imamate of Ahl al-Bayt.”(1)

A Letter to His Son

Bazanti has reported: I read a letter written by Imam al-Ridha to his son, Imam al-Jawad with the following content:

O Abu-Jafar! I was informed that they will take you out through the small gate which indicates their envy lest you might help people. I ask you through the right I have on you, to go and come through the big gate. When you mount, make sure to have dirhams and dinars with

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1- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 588, H. 1220

you. Give away whenever someone asks you for help. Do not give away less than fifty dinars. Should your aunts ask you for something, do not give away less than twenty-five Dinars. I wish that Allah will exalt you. Therefore, give away and be not afraid of indigence.(1)

Giving Away His Shirts

Rayyan ibn Salt has reported: I was at the door of Imam al-Ridha’s house in Khorasan. I said to Muammar, “Do you dare to ask my master to give me one of his shirts and the dirhams which have been minted in his name?”

Muammar reported: I immediately went to the presence of Imam al-Ridha but before saying anything the Imam said, “O Muammar! Wouldn’t Rayyan like me to give him one of my shirts and some of the dirhams I have?” I said, “Glory be to Allah! This is exactly what he said at the door!” The Imam smiled and said, “Successful indeed is the believer. Tell him to come to me.” So we went to the presence of the Imam. I saluted him and he answered my salutation, asked for two of his shirts and gave them to me. When I rose up to leave, he put thirty Dirhams in my hand.(2)

Paying off a Heavy Loan

Abu-Muhammad Ghaffari has reported: I had a heavy debt; so, I said to myself, “I have no option for paying off my debt except that of seeking help from my master Abu’l-Hasan Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha.”

So, I set off for the Imam’s house in the morning. When I reached there,

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1- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 812, Chapter: 30, H. 20
2- Qurb al-Isnad: 148

I asked for permission to see the Imam, and when I entered the room, the Imam said, “Abu-Muhammad! I am aware of your need. We will pay off your debt.” When evening came, I was served the dinner and the Imam then said, “Will you stay with us or leave?” I said, “Master, should you fulfill my need, I prefer to leave.” Then the Imam gave me a handful of dinars. I bid him farewell and went to a place I could see the dinars. He said, “O Abu- Muhammad! They are fifty dinars; twenty-six are for paying off the dept, and twenty-four for the living expenditures.” The next morning when I looked at the Dinars precisely, I did not see that Dinar, yet it was not less than fifty Dinars either!(1)

Morality Of Imam Al-Jawad


Imam al-Jawad was unique in terms of knowledge, forbearance, eloquence, devotion and other moral virtues despite his being underage. He had a wonderful aptitude for answering scientific questions on the spot. Like his purified ancestors, Imam al-Jawad paid much attention to physical appearance and cleanliness.

A Blessed Letter

A man of the tribe of Banu-Hanifah from the region of Bost and Sistan has reported: I came to know Imam al-Jawad when I was on my Hajj to Mecca. It was the beginning of the reign of al-Mutasim, the Abbasid ruler. We were sitting round a tablecloth and while some of the friends of the Abbasid ruler were also present, I said to the Imam, “May I be your ransom! Our governor has love

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1- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha, 218/2

for Ahl al-Bayt and I am charged to pay tax to him. Should you consider it advisable, kindly write to him to do me a favor by canceling the tax. To observe dissimulation aimed at preserving the life of the ruler of Sistan, Imam al-Jawad said, “I do not know him!”

I said, “May I be your ransom; as I have already said he is a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt and your writing to him will be useful for me.” Imam al-Jawad picked up a piece of paper and wrote, “In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. The holder of letter speaks well of you. What is left of your deeds is the good ones. So be kind to your brethren and know that you will be taken to task by Allah for an atom’s weight of your deeds.”

The letter holder reports: The news of the letter had reached the governor of the region, Husayn ibn Abdullah Naysaburi, before my arrival. So before I reached Sistan, he had come to the gate of city to welcome me. I gave him the letter. He kissed and put it on his eyes, saying, “What do you need?” I said, “I have been levied a tax which I cannot afford to pay.” He ordered the tax to be written off, saying, “As long as I am the governor of this region, don't pay tax.” He then asked about my dependents. I gave him the number of my dependents. So

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he ordered a regular pension to be given to me. After this event, I did not pay tax as long as I lived nor did he stop sending me gifts until he passed away.(1)

Protecting the Oppressed

Ali ibn Jarir has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Jawad when a sheep of the house was missing. At this time, one of the neighbors was brought to the Imam on charge of theft. The Imam said, “Woe to you! Let him go. He has not stolen the sheep. The sheep is in such and such man’s house. Go and find it there.”

They went to the same house finding the sheep there. They arrested the owner of the house, tore his clothes into pieces and beat him up, but he took an oath that he had not stolen the sheep. They brought him to the Imam who asked, “Why have you oppressed him? The sheep had entered his house and this man was not aware of it.” Then the Imam appeased him and gave him an amount of money to make up for his clothes and beating.(2)

Dignity of Imam al-Jawad

After the martyrdom of Imam al-Ridha (a.s), people kept on blaming Mamun, the Abbasid ruler. Wishing to acquit himself of the crime, he left Khorasan for Baghdad and wrote a letter to Imam al-Jawad (a.s) inviting him to Baghdad with much honor.

The Imam set off for Baghdad, but before seeing the Imam, Mamun went hunting. On his way, he came across a group of children who

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1- Al-Kafi: 5/111, H. 6
2- Bihar al-Anwar, 47/50, H. 22

were standing on the way. Imam al-Jawad too was standing there. Observing the pomp of Mamun, the children dispersed off. However, the Imam did not move from his place! He was standing in his place with the utmost degree of calm and dignity until Mamun came near to him. He was amazed to see the child. Drawing the reins of the horse, Mamun asked, “Why did not you clear the way like other children?” The Imam replied, “O Caliph! The road was not narrow nor had I committed anything wrong to escape from you! I don’t think you will punish anyone without having committed anything wrong.” Mamun was even more surprised when he heard these words.

The boy’s beauty had attracted him so he asked, “What is your name, boy?” The Imam said, “My name is Muhammad.” He asked, “Who is your father?” The Imam said, “Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha.” When Mamun heard of the child’s descent, he was no more surprised and was ashamed of hearing the name of the Imam whom he had martyred! He sent greeting to the pure soul of the Imam and went away.

When he went back to wilderness, he caught sight of a francolin and let a falcon go after it. The falcon disappeared for sometime but when it returned, it had a small fish still living in its beak. Mamun was surprised to see it; he took the fish in his hand and returned to the same place where he had seen Imam

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al-Jawad. Again the children ran away but the Imam did not move from his place. Mamun said, “Muhammad: What is it in my hand?” Through inspiration, the Imam said, “Allah has created seas; clouds rise up from seas; small fish come up with clouds; kings falcons hunt them; the kings take them in their hands and test the Household of the Prophet!” Mamun was surprised more to hear this, saying, “You are truly the son of al-Ridha! Such wonderful acts are possible only by the son of that honorable man.”(1)

Mamun’s Trickery

Mamun played every trick to make Imam al-Jawad as worldly and sensual as himself. However he failed in his plot until he gave her daughter in marriage to the Imam. On the wedding night, he ordered a hundred slave-girls who were the most beautiful to hold a chalice each in their hands to welcome the Imam in the bridal chamber with much pomp and glory. The slave-girls did as they had been ordered but Imam al-Jawad paid not attention to them.

Mamun had to call Mukhariq, a music performer who had a sweet voice and played violin. Mukhariq said to Mamun, “O Leader of the Faithful! If you wish al-Jawad to have a desire of the world, my voice will suffice it.” Mukhariq sat face to face with the Imam and started singing. He sang in a way that all the people of the house gathered round him. Then, he started playing violin. He did so for one hour but Imam

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 91/5, Chapter: 5, H. 6

al-Jawad looked neither at right side not left side. Finally the Imam raised his head saying, “Fear Allah, O you long-bearded man!” At this moment the violin fell from the hands of the music performer and he enjoyed it no more until he died.(1)

A Shafiite’s Opinion about The Imam

Kamal al-Din Shafii, a great Sunni scholar, about Imam al-Jawad writes: This (Imam Muhammad al-Jawad) Abu-Jafar is the second Muhammad. The first is Muhammad al-Baqir. He has a high-ranking position. He is renowned everywhere. His broad-mindedness and sweetness os speech have attracted everyone. He was destined to die young. He lived a short life but he was a source of benefits for all. Everyone who saw him bowed to him and benefited from his knowledge. He was a source of light, which illuminated everything. Both intellect and mind benefited from his knowledge.(2)

Morality Of Imam Al-Hadi


Abu-Hashim Jafari has reported: I was afflicted with a bad poverty; so, I went to Abul-Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad. When I sat in his presence, he asked, “Abu-Hashim! Which of the bounties of your Lord will you thank?” I could not speak nor did I know what answer to give to the Imam. He said,

رَزَقَكَ الإيمَانَ فَحَرَّمَ بَدَنَكَ عَلَى النَّارِ. وَ رَزَقَكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فأعَانَكَ عَلَى الطَّاعَةِ. وَ رَزَقَكَ الْقُنُوعَ فَصَانَكَ عَنِ التَّبَدُّلِ.

“Allah has given you faith as sustenance hence made your body immune from hellfire. He has also given you good health hence helped you to obey Him. And He has given you contentment as sustenance hence made you immune from unrestrained way of living.

O Abu-Hashim!

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 61/50, Chapter: 26, H. 37
2- Matalib al-Saul fi Manaqib Al al-Rasul: 140

I have started speaking to you with these words, for I had the impression that you were going to complain to me of One Who has given you all these blessings. Meanwhile I have ordered one hundred dinars to be given to you.”(1)

Sanitation and Climate

Fahham Mansuri reports while quoting his uncle,: One day Imam al-Hadi (a.s) said, “I was brought reluctantly to the city of Samarra (literally meaning one who sees it becomes happy). Now if they make me leave this city, I will do it reluctantly.” I said, “Why is that, my master?” The Imam said, “For its good climate, its sanitation and its little diseases.”(2)

Special Favor Towards Shiites

A group of people from Isfahan including Abul-Abbas Ahmad ibn Nazar and Abu-Jafar Muhammad ibn Alawiah report: In Isfahan, there was a man of Shiite faith named Abd al-Rahman. He was asked, “Why in our time you have made belief in the Imamate of Ali al-Naqi (a.s) incumbent upon yourself?” He answered: I have seen something which made the Imam’s leadership obligatory to me: I dare to say I was a needy man and one year, the people of Isfahan sent me along with other persons to the court of al-Mutawakkil, the Abbasid ruler, to plead for justice.

We were in Mutawakkil’s court when the order to summon Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ridha was issued. I asked some of the persons present in the court who was this man. It was said that he was an Alawi and the heretics believe in his Imamate. Mutawakkil might

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1- Man-la-Yahduruhul-Faqih 401/4, H. 5863
2- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 281, H. 545

have summoned to kill him. I decided not to leave this place to see what he looks like.

Finally, when the Imam came on a horse while people were standing on the two sides of the road, I was watching him. As soon as I saw him, I began to love him and said: May Allah relieve him from the evil of Mutawakkil. He was looking only at the mane of his horse without paying attention to his right or left side. I was also praying for him. When he was passing by me, he turned his holy face towards me and said, “Allah has answered your prayer, prolonged your life, and made your wealth and children abundant.” Hearing this, I trembled and fell down among my friends, they asked, “What happened?” I said, “Just a blessing and said no more.”

I then returned to Isfahan. Allah gave me such a fortune that in addition to what I have outside my house, I have assets worth several thousands of dirham at home. I am also blessed with ten children. I am now seventy and odd years, believing in the Imamate of that honorable Imam who knew what was in my mind and whose prayer Allah answered in relation to me.(1)

Healing a Leper

Abu Hashim Jafari has reported: A man from Samarra was afflicted with leprosy hence life had become hard for him. One day, he was complaining to Abu-Ali Fahri of his plight. Abu-Ali said, “Should you ask Abul-Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn

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1- Al-Kharaij wal-Jaraih: 392/1, 11

al-Ridha to pray for you, your disease will be healed.”

One day when the Imam was returning from Mutawakkil’s house, the leper who was sitting on the way rose up to get close to the Imam to ask him to pray for the healing of his disease. Before he could ask, the Imam said three times, “Go aside; Allah will restore your good health”, while pointing to him with his holy hand. Abu-Ali Fahri later saw the leper who had told him about his meeting with the Imam. Abu-Ali said, “The Imam had prayed for you before you asked him to do so. Be sure you will have your good health restored soon.” The leper went home. The night passed; and when it dawned there was no sign of leprosy on his body.(1)

Kindness To Relatives

Dawud ibn Qasim Jafari reports: I had gone to say farewell to the Imam in Samarra before going on Hajj. He came out with me and when he came to the end of the retaining wall, he descended and I descended too. The Imam drew a circle on the ground saying, “O uncle! Take what is inside this circle for spending during your Hajj.” I pounded on the earth with my fist and found a bar of gold containing two hundred misqals of gold.(2)


Muhammad ibn Talhah has reported: One day, Imam al-Hadi left Samarra for a village for an important case, which had come about. An Arab came to meet him. So, the man was told

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1- Al-Kharaij wal-Jaraih: 399/1, 11
2- Al-Manaqib: 409/4

that the Imam had gone to such and such place. The Arab too went to that village to see him. The Imam asked, “What do you need?” He answered, “I am an Arab from Kufah who believes in the Imamate of your great grandfather, Ali ibn Abu-Talib. I have a heavy debt, which is hard to pay. I find no one but you to pay my debt.” The Imam said, “Be happy.”

The Imam received him as a guest, and in the morning said, “I will ask you something that you should not oppose!” The Arab said, “I will not oppose to what you do.” The Imam wrote a note in his own handwriting admitting that he owed the Arab a certain amount of money, which was more than the Arab’s debt. Then the Imam said, “Take this note and bring it to me in Samarra. There will be a group of people beside me. Show this note, speak harshly and demand your money.” The Arab agreed and left the Imam.

When the Imam reached Samarra, a group of the companions of the ruler were with him when the Arab arrived, showed the handwriting, demanded the money and spoke as the Imam had advised him. Imam al-Hadi spoke softly to him and promised to pay his debt. The story of Imam al-Hadi and the Arab reached Mutawakkil. He ordered to take thirty thousand Dirhams for Imam al-Hadi. When The Imam received the money, he did not touch it until the

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Arab came. Then the Imam said, “Take this money, pay your debt, spend the rest for your living expenditures and accept our apology.” The Arab said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! By Allah! I expected only one third of this money but Allah knows where to place His message He took the money and left for home.”(1)

Choosing A Name For A Child

Ayyub ibn Nuh has reported: I wrote a letter to Imam al-Hadi saying, “My wife is pregnant. Pray to Allah to give me a son.” Imam al-Hadi wrote back, “When your son is born, name him Muhammad.” My wife gave birth to a son whom I named Muhammad.(2)

Morality Of Imam Hasan Al-Askari


From among the letters sent by Imam Askari to Ali ibn Husayn ibn Babawayh of Qum, there is a letter in part of which special attention has been paid to him and to all Shiites, indicating that a true Shiite enjoys a high value for the infallible Imam. Parts of the letter read:

عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّبْرِ وَانْتِظَارِ الْفَرَجِ. قَالَ النَّبِيُّ: أفْضَلُ الأعْمَالِ إنْتِظَارُ الْفَرَجِ. وَلأ يَزَالُ شِيعَتُنَا فِي حُزْنِ حَتَّى يَظْهَرَ وَلَدِي اَلَّذِي بَشَّرَ بِهِ الَّبِيُّ يَمْلأُ الأرْضَ قِسْطاً وَعَدْلاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَ ظُلْماً. فَاصْبِرْ يَا شَيخِي يَا أبَا الْحَسَنِ عَلِيُّ، وَأمُرْ جَمِيعَ شِيعَتِي بِالصَّبْرِ، فَإنَّ الأرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ، وَالْعَاقِبَةٌ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ، وَالسَّللأمُ عَلَيْكَ وَ عَلَى جَمِيع شِيعَتِنَا وَ رحْمَةٌ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، وَصَلَى اللَّه عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِه.

You have the duty to be patient and await the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi, for Allah’s Messenger has said: The best deed of my ummah is to

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1- Kashf al-Ghummah: 374/2
2- Kashf al-Ghummah: 385/2

await the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi. Our followers are eagerly waiting for the reappearance of my son the news of whose coming the Holy Prophet has given in order to fill the world, which has been replete with injustice, with justice. O Dear Sheikh Abul-Hasan Ali, be patient and invite all Shiites to patience. Beyond doubt the earth belongs to Allah and He will give it as legacy to anyone of His servants that He wishes to and the good end belongs to those who guard against evil. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you and on all Shiites and peace of Allah be on Muhammad and his progeny.(1)

Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Hasan ibn Muhammad of Qum has reported: The great persons of Qum told me that Husayn ibn Hasan ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Jafar al-Sadiq openly drank wine in the city of Qum. One day I went to the door of Ahmad ibn Ishaq Ashari who was the head of charitable bequests in Qum, for a need. But he did not give him entry permission. So Husayn ibn Hasan sorrowfully returned home!

A few days later, Ahmad ibn Hasan set off for Mecca on Hajj. When he reached Samarra, he was denied permission to see Imam Hasan Askari! He cried for a long time until the Imam gave him permission to see him. After being received by the Imam, Ahmad said, “O son of Allah's Messenger! Why did you deny me permission to see you; while I am

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1- Al-Manaqib: 425/4

Shiite and your follower?” The Imam said, “Because you sent away our cousin from your house!” Ahmad started crying and took an oath that he had done so in order to forbid him from drinking wine. The Imam said, “You are right but you should have honored them because of his relation to us.”

When Ahmad returned from Mecca, the dignitaries of Qum came to see him and Husayn too was with them. When Ahmad saw Husayn, he rose up, welcomed and honored him and made him sit in a high place. Husayn ibn Hasan was surprised by this behavior; so, he asked Ahmad the reason for it. Ahmad ibn Ishaq told him what had happened between Imam Hasan Askari and him. Hearing this, Husayn ibn Hasan repented his evil deed, returned home, broke all the bottles of wine, became a pious man, and retired to mosque until death took his life and he was buried near the shrine of Fatimah Masumah.(1)


Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ibrahim has reported: Earning a livelihood had become hard for us and indigence had overwhelmed us. My father told me to take him to the presence of Imam Hasan Askari for he had been described as a generous man. I said to my father, “Do you know him personally?” He said, “I do not know him nor have I seen him.”

On the way, my father said, “How good it will be if he orders five hundred dirhams to be given to us, two hundred

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1- Bihar al-Anwar, 323/50, Chapter: 4, H. 17

for clothes, two hundred for flour and one hundred for living expenditures.” I said to myself, “I wish he would give me three hundred dirhams so that I would buy a horse for one hundred dirhams, I would spend one hundred for living costs and I would buy clothes for one hundred and then I would go to the region of Jabal.” When we reached the door of the house of Imam, his slave came towards us saying, “Ali ibn Ibrahim and his son Muhammad may enter.” When we entered the room and saluted him, the Imam said to my father, “What kept you from coming to visit us?” My father said, “My master! I was ashamed of seeing you in this position.”

When we came out of the house, the Imam’s servant gave him a purse saying, “This is five hundred dirhams, two hundred dirhams for clothes, two hundred dirhams for flour and one hundred dirhams for living expenditures.” He gave me a purse to me too, saying, “This is three hundred Dirhams, one hundred Dirhams for buying a horse, one hundred Dirhams for clothes, and one hundred for living costs. Don't go to Jabal rather go to Surrah in Iraq.”(1)

Morality And Character Of Imam Al-Mahdi


The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s), due to restrictions imposed on them from every side, had no chance to fully reveal their capacities. The Imam of the Time, may Allah expedite his reappearance, will have a chance to reveal his multi-dimensional capacity as foreseen by the Holy Prophet

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1- Al-Kafi: 506/1, H. 3

and the Imam’s of Ahl al-Bayt. Therefore, his behavior, conduct and temperament have a dimension wider than those of the other Imams.

In most narrations, we read that the time of Imam al-Mahdi will be replete with bloodshed and killing. In certain narrations, it has even been pointed out that Allah will remove love for the enemies from the heart of Imam al-Mahdi so much so that people will say,

...لَيْسَ هَذَا مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، لَو كَانَ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ لِرَحِمَ!

This is not from the Household of Muhammad. Were he from the Household of Muhammad, he would have some mercy.(1)

However, one must note that when Imam al-Mahdi reappears, the world will be in the enemies’ hand and they will strongly resist him. In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ قَائِمَنَا إذَا قَامَ اسْتَقَبَلَ مِنْ جَهَلَةِ النَّاسِ أشَدَّ مِمَّا اسْتَقْبَلَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ مِنْ جُهَّالِ الجَاهِلِيَّةِ.

When our Imam rises up, he will find people more ignorant than that of the time before Allah’s Messenger.

In this case, Imam al-Mahdi will have no option other than resorting to war and a revolutionary decisiveness. When the resistance of the sworn enemy is broken, justice, welfare, peace and security will prevail everywhere. What follows are narrations showing the morality and corrective character of Imam al-Mahdi in relation to the world and man at large:

Resemblance To The Holy Prophet

Looking at Husayn, Imam Ali said:

إنَّ ابْنِي هَذَا سَيِّدٌ كَمَا سَمَّاهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ سِّداً. وَسَيُخْرِجُ اللَّهُ مِنْ صُلْبِهِ رَجُلاً بِاسْمِ نَبِيِّكُم، يُشبْبِهُهُ فِي الْخَلْقِ وَالْخُلْقِ.

This son of mine is a master as

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1- Bihar al-Anwar: 354/52, H. 13

the Holy Prophet has called him a master and from his issue will come a man who has the same name as the Messenger of Allah and resembling to him in creation and character.(1)

Abdullah ibn Ata reports: I asked Imam al-Sadiq about the character of Imam al-Mahdi, and the Imam said:

يَصْنَعَ مَا صَنَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ

He will do what the Holy Prophet did.(2)

Quoting Allah’s Messenger, Ibn Abbas has reported:

التَّاسِعُ مِنْهُمْ، قَائِمُ أهْلِ بَيْتتِي وَ مَهْدِيُّ أمَّتِي، أشْبِهُ النًّاسِ بِي فِي شَمَائِلِهِ وَ أقْوَالِهِ وَأفْعَالهِ.

The ninth of them, the support of my Household and al-Mahdi of my ummah is the most similar to me in appearance, speech and deed.(3)

Abu-Muhammad Hasan ibn Ali Askari (a.s) was quoted by Ahmad ibn Ishaq ibn Sa’d as saying:

ألْحَمْدُ لِلًّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُخْرِ جْنِي مِنَ الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى أرَانِي اْلْخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعدي، أشْبَهَ النَّاسِ بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ خَلْقاً وَ خُلْقا.ً

I praise Allah that before I die He has shown me my successor who is the most similar to Allah’s Messenger in appearance, speech and deed.(4)

Quoting Qatadah, Kab al-Ahbar has reported:

ألْمَهْدِيُّ خَيْرُ النَّاسِ...مَحْجُوبُ الْخَلأئِقِ.

Al-Mahdi is the best of the people… the most beloved of people.(5)

Dispensing Justice

Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (a.s) was asked, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Who is the support of you Ahl al-Bayt?” The Imam said:

الرَّابِعُ مِنْ وُلْدي ...يُطَهِّرُ اللَّهُ بِهِ الأرْضَ مِنْ كُلِّ جَوْرٍ... فَإذَا خَرَجَ أشْرَقَتِ الأرْضُ بِنُورِهِ، وَوُضِع مِيزَانُ الْعَدْلِ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فَلأ يَظْلِمُ أحَدٌ أحَداً.

It is the fourth of my sons. Through him, Allah will remove injustice from the Earth. When he reappears, the earth

p: 279

1- Bihar al-Anwar: 39/51, H. 20
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 352/52, H. 108
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 379/52, H. 187
4- Kamal al-Din: 118/2.
5- Aqd al-Durar fi Akhbar al-Muntadhar: 152

will be illuminated with his heavenly light. He will dispense justice among people so much so that no one will do any injustice to others.(1)

Quoting his father, Ali ibn Aqabah has reported:

إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِم،ُ حَكَمَ بِالْعَدْلِ وَارْتَفَعَ فِي أيَّامِهِ الْجُورْ...وَرَدَّ كُلَّ حَقٍّ إلَى أهْلِهِ.

When Al-Mahdi rises up, he will rule with justice; there will be no injustice in his time and he will restore justice to its owner.(2)

Quoting Allah’s Messenger, Imam Ali has expressly said:

آخِرُهُمْ إسْمُهُ عَلَى اسْمِي. يَخْرُجُ فَيَمْلأُ الأرْضَ عَدْلاً كَمَ مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَظُلْما

The last of them (i.e. the Imams) has my names. He will reappear and fill the earth with justice when it is replete with injustice.(3)

Quoting Allah’s Messenger, Imam Ali has reported:

...وَمُنَادٍ يُنَادِي:هَذا الْمَهْدِيُّ خَلِيفَةٌ اللَّهِ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ. يَمْلأُ الأرْضَ قِسْطاً وَعَدْلاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوراً وَ ظُلْماً. وَذَلِكَ عِنْدَمَا يَصِيرُ الدُّنْيَا هَرَجاً وَ مَرَجاً، وَ يَغَارُ بَعْضُهُم عَلَى بَعْضِ؛ فَلأ الْكَبِيرُ يَرْحَمُ الصَّغِيرَ وَلأ القَوِيُ يَرْحَمُ الَّعِيفَ، فَحِينَئِذٍ يَأذَنُ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِالْخُرُوجِ.

The herald will call: This is al-Mahdi, Allah’s caliph. Follow him. He will make the earth replete with justice when it is filled with injustice. Allah will permit him to reappear at a time when chaos will overwhelm the world - some will attack the others by night, the grown-ups will have no mercy on the small ones, nor will the powerful be kind to the weak. (4)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has reported:

أوَّلُ مَا يُظْهِرُ الْقَائِمُ مِنَ الْعَدْلِ أنْ يُنَادِي مُنَادِيَهُ أنْ يُسَلِّمَ صَاحِبِ الْفَرِيضَةٍ الْحَجَرَ الأسْوَدَ وَ الطَّوَافَّ.

The first sign of al-Mahdi's justice is

p: 280

1- Kamal al-Din: 371/2, Chapter: 35, H. 5
2- Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 384/2
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 379/52, Chapter: 27, H. 186
4- Bihar al-Anwar: 380/52, H. 182

that a herald on his behalf will call: One who is performing minor Hajj should give his place to one on whom major Hajj is incumbent.(1)

There are a hundred and twenty narrations on how al-Mahdi will make the earth replete with justice.

Peace and Security

Imam Ali (a.s.) has reported:

وَلَوْ قَدْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا...لَذَهَبَتِ الشَّحْنَاءُ مِنْ قُلُوبِ الْعِبَادِ

When our support rises up, enmity will leave the people’s hearts.(2)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has reported:

فَيَبْعَثُ الثَّهلاثَمِائَةٍ وَالبِضْعَةَ رَجُلاً إلَى الآفَاقِ كُلِّهَا...حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ الْعَجُوزُ مِنْ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبَ فَلا يَنْهَاهَا أحَدٌ.

When three hundred and odd companions of the Imam rule across the world, a feeble old woman in the east will set off for the west in peace and security.(3)

Quoting his father, Ali ibn Aqabah has reported:

إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ ... أُمِّنَتْ بِهِ السُّبُلُ

Should the Rising Imam rise up, all roads will become safe.(4)

Public Welfare

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has reported:

مَنْ أدْرَكَ قَائِمِ أهْلِ بِيتِي مِنْ ذِي عَاهَةٍ بَرَأ وَمِنْ ذِي عَاهَةٍ وَمِنْ ذِي عَاهَةٍ بَرَأ وَمِنْ ذِي ضَعَفٍ قَوِيَ.

Should those who have been hurt see the support of the Ahl al- Bayt, they will be relieved; and the feeble ones who see him will become powerful.(5)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has reported:

إنْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا ...يَطْلُبُ الرَّجُلُ مِنْكُمْ مَنْ يَصِلُهُ بِمَالِهِ وَيَأخُذُ مِنْ زَكَاتِهِ فَلأ يُجَدُ أحَدٌ يَقبَلُ مِنْهُ ذَالِكَ. إسْتَغْنَى النَّاسُ بِمَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ.

Should our support (al-Mahdi) rise up, a man from among you will look for a needy person to help him and to take alms from what is incumbent to him; but he will not be able to find such a

p: 281

1- Al-Kafi: 427/4, H. 1
2- Al-Khisal: 626/2, H. 10
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 341/5, H. 91
4- Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 384/2
5- Bihar al-Anwar: 335/52, H. 68

person to accept it from him; and people will become independent due to what Allah has given them out of His grace.(1)

Quoting the Holy Prophet, Imam Ali has reported:

يَاتِيهِ الرَّجُلُ وَالْمَالُ كُدْسٌ فَيَقُولُ؛ خُدْ.

Everyone will go to him with wealth accumulated beside him and will ask al-Mahdi, “Grant something to me.” And he will say, “Take whatever you wish.”(2)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has reported:

إذَا ظَهَرَ الْقَائِمُ...يُعْطِي النَّاسَ عَطَايَا مَرَّتَينِ فِي السَّنَةِ وَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ فِي الشَّهْرِ رِزْقُهُمْ فِي السَّنَةِ وَيَرِّزُقُهُمْ فِي الشَّهَرِ رِزْقَيْنِ وَيُسَوِّي بِيْنَ النَّاسِ حَتَى لأتَرى مُحْتَاجاً إلَى الزَّكَاةِ. وَ يَجِيءُ أصْحَابُ الزَّكَاةِ بِزَكَاتِهِم ْ إلَى الْمَحَاوِيجِ مِنْ شِيعَتِهِ فَلأ يَقْبَلُونَهَا . فَيُصِرُّونَهَا وَيَدُورُونَ فِي دُورِهِمْ فَيَخْرُجُونَ إلَيْهِمْ فَيَقُولُونَ: لأحَاجَةَ فِي دَرَاهِكُم!

When the Rising Imam reappears, he will give away to people twice a year and he will provide people with sustenance twice a month equally so that you will not find anyone in need of alms. The alms-payer will come to the needy followers of al-Mahdi but the needy will not accept his alms. The alms-money will be put in a purse to be taken to the houses of the Shiites, who will come out of their houses, addressing them: We are not in need of your money!

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has further reported:

وَيَجْتَمِعُ إلَيْهِ أمْوَالُ أهْلُ الدُّنْيَا كُلِّهَا مِنْ بَطَنِ الأرضِ وَظَهْرِهَا، فَيُقَالُ لِلنَّاسِ: تَعَالَو إلَي مَا قَطَعْتُمْ فِيهِ الأرْحَامَ فِيهِ الدَّمَ الْحَرَامَ وَ رَكَبْتُمْ فِيهِ المَحَارِمِ، فَيُعْطِهِ أحَدٌ قَبْلَهُ.

All the people’s wealth, both inside and outside the earth will be accumulated for al-Mahdi and then they will be

p: 282

1- Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 386/2
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 379/52, H. 186

said: Come to what for which you became merciless and shed the blood unlawfully and for which committed sins. Here, Imam al-Mahdi will award to people such a grant that no one has ever awarded.

The Holy Prophet has said:

يَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ خَلِفَةٌ يُعْطي الْمَالَ وَلا يَعِدُّه عَدّاً.

At the end of the world, there will be a caliph who will divide the wealth without counting them.(1)

Allah’s Messenger (S) has also said:

وَ يَمْلأُ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَ أُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ غَنِىً.

At the time of al-Mahdi, Allah will make the hearts of the community of Muhammad free from want.(2)

Removing Harms From Shiites

Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

(ألْمَهْدِيُّ) يَكُونُ رَحْمَةً لِلمؤْمِنِينَ وَعَذَاباً عَلَى الْكَافِفرِينَ.

Al-Mahdi is a source of mercy for believers and punishment for the unbelievers.(3)

Imam Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) has said:

إذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا أذْهَبَ اللَّهُ عَنْ شِيعَتِنَا الْعَهَةَ.

When the Rising Imam rises up, Allah will remove all harms from the Shiites.(4)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

(نْ قَامَ قَائِمُونَا) يُوسَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَى شِيعَتِنَا، وَلَو لأ مَا يُدْرِكُهُمْ مِنَ السَعَادَةِ لَبَغَوْا.

At the time of al-Mahdi, Allah will improve the situation of the Shiites, for if they are not happy, they will rebel.(5)

Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) has said:

إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ أذْهَبَ اللَّهُ عَنْ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ الْعَاهَةَ وَ رَدَّ إلَيهِ قُوَّتَهُ.

When our support rises up, he will remove harms from believers and restore them their power.(6)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ جَاءَتِ الْمُزَامَلْةٌ؛ وَ يَأتِي الرَّجُلُ إلَى كِيسِ أخِيهِ فَيَأخُذُ حَاجَتَهُ لأيَمْنَعُهُ.

When our support rises up, the era of concord will come about and every

p: 283

1- Aqd al-Durar fi Akhbar al-Muntadhar: 161
2- Ibid
3- Kamal al-Din: 376/2, H. 7
4- Bihar al-Anwar: 317/52, Chapter: 22, H. 12
5- Bihar al-Anwar: 341/52, Chapter: 27, H. 91
6- Bihar al-Anwar: 364/52, Chapter: 27, H. 138

person takes what he needs from the purse of his brother without being prevented.(1)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has also said:

لَمَّا أسْرِي بِي أوْحَى إلَيِ رَبِّي...وَ بِهِ (الْمَهْدِيِّ) أنْتَقِمُ مِنْ أعْدَائِ وَهُوَ رَاحَةٌ لأِوْلِيَائ، وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَشْفِي قُلُوبَ شِيعَتِك مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ وَالْجَاحِدِينَ وَالكَافِرِينَ.

During the Night of Ascension, Allah said to Holy Prophet (S) about al-Mahdi: I will take revenge from enemies through him. He is the source of tranquility for My friends and it is he who will calm the Shiites from experiencing of revenge of oppressors and unbelievers.(2)

Promoting Intellect, knowledge and Morality

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَ وَضَعَ يَدَهُ عَلَي رُؤوسِ الْعِبَادِ، فَجَمَعَ بِهِ عُقُولَهُمْ، وَأكْمَلَ بِهِ أخْلأقَهُمْ.

When our support rises up, he puts his hand on the heads of the servants whereby he promotes their wisdom and morality.(3)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إذَا قَائِمَنَا إذَا قَامَ مَدَّ اللَّهُ لِشِيعَتِنَا فِي أسْمَاعِهِمْ وَأبْصَارِهِمْ حَتَّي لأيَكُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَينَ الْقَائِمِ بَرِيدٌ؛ يُكَلِّمُهُمْ فَيَسْمَعُونَ وَ يَنْظُرُونَ إلَيْهِ.

When our support rises up, Allah will strengthen the Shiites’ vision and hearing where by there is no need for a link between them and the standing Imam. He will speak to them while they listen to and look at him.(4)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has also said:

ألْعِلْمُ سَبْعَةَ وَ عِشْرُونَ حَرْفاً. فَجَمِيعُ مَا جأءَتْ بِهِ الرُّسُلُ حَرْفَانِ. فَلَمْ يَعْرِفِرالنَّاسُ حَتَى الْيَوْمَ غَيْرَ الْحَرْفَينِ فَإذَارقَامَ قَائِمُنَا أخْرَجَ الْخَمَسَةَ وَالْعِشْرِينَ حَرْفاً فَبَثَهَا فِي النَّاسِ وَ ضَمَّ إلَيهَا الْحَرْفَيْنِ حَتَّى يَبُثَّهَا سَبْعَةَ وَ عِشْرِينَ حَرْفاً.

Knowledge has twenty-seven parts. What the prophets have brought are two parts and people do not know more than these two parts

p: 284

1- Al-Ikhtisas: 26
2- Kamal al-Din: 251/1, H. 2
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 336/52, chapter: 27, H. 71
4- Bihar al-Anwar: 336/52, Chapter: 27, H. 72

to date. When our support rises up, he will bring with him the other twenty-five parts and spread the m among people so that they will become twenty-seven parts all together.(1)

Final Rule

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ دَوْلَتَنَا آخِرُ الدَّولِ. وَلَمْ يَبْقَ أهْلُ بَيتٍ لَهُم دَوْلَةٌ لأ مَلَكوا إلأ مَلَكُوا قَبْلَنَا، لِئَلأ يَقُولُوا إذَا رَأوا وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِين سِيرَتَنَا: إذَا مَلَكْنَا سِرْنَالابِمِثْلِ سِيرَةِ هَئُلأءِ! وَهُوَا قَوْلُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى:

Our rule is the last one. No dynasty will come after our rule lest they will say if the rule were ours we would act like them. This is the meaning of Allah’s saying:

The good end is for those who guard against evil.(2)

How to Salute Imam al-Mahdi?

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

Should you survive as to see him, when you look at him, say:

أسَّلأمُ عَلَيْكُمْ أهْلَ بَيْتِ الرَّحْمَةِ وَنُّبُوَّةِ وَمَعْدِنَ الْعِلْمِ وَمَوضِعِ الِّسَالَةِ السَّلأمُ عَلَيكَ يَا بَقِّيَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي أرْضِهِ.

Peace be upon you, O people of the House of the Prophet and of Mercy, source of knowledge, and seat of Divine Mission. Peace be upon you, O Allah’s Reminder on the earth.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Altruism


Self-sacrifice and preferring others interests above their own is an inherent feature of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.). It can be seen in the life of each of them so much so that they helped both those who were and those who were not entitled to it. The Holy Prophet has said:

إنَّا لَنُعطِي َيْرَ الْمُسْتَحِقِّ حَذَراً مِنْ رَدٍرالْمُسْتَحِقِّ.

We give away to all out of fear of rejecting a needy person.(3)

Abu Tamzah Thamali says: I heard Imam Zayn

p: 285

1- Bihar al-Anwar: 336/52, Chapter: 27, H. 73
2- Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 384/2
3- Uddat al-Dai: 101

al-Abidin (a.s.) saying to his slave-girl, “Feed any needy person who passes by my house.” At this time, I said to the Imam, “But everyone who wants something and stretches out his hand is not needy.” The Imam said,

أخَافُ أنْ يَكُونَ بَعْضُ مَنْ يَسْألُنَا مُحِقاً فَلا نُطْعِمُهُ، وَنَرُدُّهُ، فَيَنْزِلُ بِنَا أهْلَ البَيْتِ مَا نَزَلَ بِيَعْقُوبَ.

“I fear to reject the one who asks for help as a needy and we fail to feed him. Then it may happen to us Ahl al-Bayt, what had happened to Prophet Jacob.”(1)

Ahl al-Bayt’s self-sacrifice was such that they sometimes gave away whatever they had in the way of Allah.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said,

إنَّ الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ قَاسَمَ رَبَّهُ ثلأثَ مَرَّاتٍ حَتَّى نَعْلاً وَنَعْلاً وَثَوْباً وَ ثَوباً وَدِينَاراً وَدِينَاراً.

“Hasan ibn Ali gave away his shoes, garments and dinars in the way of Allah.”(2)

An Extraordinary Example of Altruism

Hasan Basri says: One day, Imam Husayn (a.s.) approached his orchard to find his slave sitting and eating some bread. He sat under a palm-tree closely observing him. The slave threw a piece of bread for a dog nearby for every piece of bread, which he ate himself. At the end, he thanked Allah saying, “O Allah, bless me and my master as You blessed his parents. You are the best of the Merciful.”

At this time, Imam Husayn rose up and called him by name. The slave who was frightened rose up and said, “My master! O master of all believers! I did not notice you. Forgive me.” The Imam said, “You should

p: 286

1- Ilal al-Sharau: 45/1, Chapter: 41, H. 1
2- Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 11/5, H. 29

forgive me, for I entered the orchard without permission!” The slave said, “Are you saying this because of your excellence, magnanimity and generosity?” The Imam said, “I saw you feeding the dog while you were eating yourself. Why?” The slave said, “My master, while I was eating, the dog was looking at me and I was ashamed of its look. Besides, it is the dog, which guards your orchard and I am your slave. We both live on what you give us.”

Imam Husayn started crying and said, “You are free in the way of Allah and I give away one thousand dinars to you!” The slave said, “Even if you set me free, I would like to work in your orchard.” The Imam said, “One must practice what one preaches. I entered the orchard without your permission and I am now giving it away to you with whatever in it.” The slave said, “If you have given away this orchard to me, I too will give it to your followers.”(1)

Generosity under the hardest conditions

It is noteworthy that Ahl al-Bayt did not cease to give away even under the hardest conditions. In this connection, they have related: When a needy person heard that a community had gathered in the desert of Ninawa on the Day of Ashura, he set off for that place. Seeing him, Imam Husayn asked about his situation. The man said, “I am a needy man and I have heard that a large group of people have gathered here. I said

p: 287

1- Maqtal al-Husayn: 153/1

to my self perhaps they might give me something.” The Imam said, “Stand here and do not go away.” The Imam went to his camp and wrapped in a cloth what the man needed and gave it to him. The man became happy and went away!

Forgiving The Guilty

Ubaydullah ibn al-Hurr al-Jufi was a moody person who was for justice at one moment and for injustice at another. Sometimes, he was neutral too! Although he was from Iraq, he rushed to help Muawiyah in the Battle of Siffin. He was at the service of Ahl al-Bayt’s archenemy that is Muawiyah throughout the battle and fought against Imam Ali (a.s.). Thinking that he could not live in Iraq any longer, Ubaydullah went to Syria along with Muawiyah after the end of the battle.

There was a rumor in Iraq that Ubaydullah ibn al-Turr had been killed in the battle. Hence, his wife married Ikrimah ibn al-Khabis. Hearing this news, Ubaydullah who was very fond of his wife decided to return to the city of Kufah to make his wife divorce her new husband. Muawiyah warned him against going to Kufah, saying, “If you go there, you will be killed by Ali’s sword!” Yet, he answered, “I have no fear of going there, for I am going towards justice. Ali’s morality is different from yours. He is heavenly and will dispense justice.”

So, Ubaydullah came to Kufah. First, he went to see the new husband of his wife but the man refused to divorce her. Ubaydullah, who

p: 288

could not resist him, went to Kufah Mosque to see Ali (a.s.). He found a large group of people surrounding Imam Ali and lodged his complaint. Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “Aren't you the same person who helped Muawiyah against me in the Battle of Siffin and drew sword against believers?” He answered “I have not come here to be questioned rather I have come here to find a solution. Return my wife to me.”

Imam Ali ordered to his servant to bring the husband of the woman. He called on him to divorce his wife so that she will marry her first husband. The man said, “My wife is pregnant.” Imam Ali ordered a house to be hired and the woman was transferred there. A nurse too was hired at the cost of Amir al-Muminin to take care of her until the time of delivery so that she will later marry her first husband after observing all the legal procedures.(1)

Forgiving offences and ignoring unkindness of others was an act of manliness for the Ahl al-Bayt. Allah’s Messenger has said:

مُرُوءَتُنَا أهلَ الْبَيتِ الْعَفْوُ عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَنَا وَإعْطَاءُ مَنْ حَرَمَنَا.

The manliness of us, Ahl al-Bayt, means to forgive one who has done injustice to us and to give to one who has withheld from us.

Ahl al-Bayt did not utter this truth just verbally. They always practiced it. Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has reported: A Jew woman poisoned a piece of meat and brought it to the Holy Prophet (S) so as to kill him.

p: 289

1- Al-Kamil: 287/4

When her plot was divulged, the Holy Prophet interrogated her, “What made you to do this?” She said, “I said to myself that this meat will not harm him if he is Allah’s Messenger and will rid people of his rule if he is a king.” Hearing this, the Holy Prophet pardoned her.(1)

Ibn Abil-Hadid, in Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, describing Imam Ali, has said: He was the most tolerant in forgiving the offenders and the most forgiving towards the guilty ones. The truth of this claim is proved in the Battle of the Camel when he defeated Marwan ibn Hakam, the most hostile enemy, but forgave him.(2)

Forgive Me for the Sake of Hasan and Husayn

Allah’s Messenger ordered an offender to be arrested to punish him. The fugitive offender tried to hide himself in one house then another to escape punishment. He kept himself from being seen by the people for sometime but it was hard to continue with this act. One day, he was looking through a small window when he saw Hasan and Husayn (a.s.) passing by. He opened the door, came out, put them on his shoulder and set out for the Prophet’s Mosque. When he entered the mosque, the Holy Prophet was on the pulpit. So he loudly said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I ask you by these two honorable persons to forgive me.” The Holy Prophet forgave him with kindness and tolerance.(3)

Forgiving the corrupt on the Earth and Anti-Islam Fighters

A person who was in the presence of Imam Ali in Basrah asked him, “What is the punishment of a person who enters battle against

p: 290

1- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 38
2- Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 22/1
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 318/43, Chapter: 13, H. 2

Allah?” The Imam said, “Banishment, amputation of hand or foot, or execution, based on the Quranic order.” He asked, “If this person is Harithah ibn Zayd, what will be the order?” The Imam said, “He is subject to the same order.” He said, “O Amir al-Muminin! Harithah had come to ask you for forgiveness!” The Imam said, “Let him come here.” When Harithah entered, he fell to Imam Ali’s feet, but the Imam took his arms and said, “Rise up! Allah has forgiven you.”(1)

Ahl Al-Bayt And Humbleness

Humbleness is an outstanding feature in the lives of Ahl al-Bayt.

Ibn Masud reports: A person came to the presence of Allah’s Messenger and when he started to speak, he was trembling. The Holy Prophet (S) said,

هَوِّنْ عَلَيْكَ! فَلَسْتُ بِمَلِكٍ.

“Calm down; I am not a king.”(2)

Another person reports: A group of people and I went to the presence of the Holy Prophet (S) and said, “You are our master.” The Holy Prophet said,

السَّيِّدُ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالى.

“Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is the Master.”(3)

Abu-Basir reports: Imam al-Sadiq went to the public bath whose owner said, “Let me evacuate the public bath for you!” Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said,

لأ حَاجَةَ لِي فِي ذَالِكَ. ألْمُؤمِنُ أخَفُّ مِنْ ذَالِكَ.

“No, it is not necessary. The pious believer does not bother for those things.”(4)

It is also reported that Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) went to a public bath. A person who had not recognized him said, “O gentleman! Rub me with this flannel!” Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) did so. At this time people who were in the

p: 291

1- Fiqh al-Quran: 368/1
2- Makarim al-Akhlaq: 16
3- Sunan Abi-Dawud, 254/4
4- Al-Kafi: 503/6, H. 37

bath introduced Imam al-Ridha to him, the man became ashamed; he made an apology and an attempted to draw himself aside. However the Imam calmed him with his words and kept on rubbing him with the flannel!(1)

Humility is like a seed, which when sown in the earth will bear abundant fruits. With their humility, the Ahl al-Bayt made the realm of obedience come to fuition. Some of these fruits are knowledge, awareness and vision. They have been chosen as leaders of guidance until the Judgment Day because of their in-depth insight into the truth of universe. Hence, all should be aware that to take lead ahead of them will cause perdition and to ignore them will cause bewilderment. The Holy Prophet has said:

فَلأ تَسْبِقُوهُمْ فَتَهْلِكُو، وَلأ تُعَلَّمُوهُمْ فَهُمْ أعْلَمُ مِنْكُمْ.

Do not take lead ahead of my Ahl al-Bayt, for you will come to perdition nor do your teach them, for they are more knowledgeable than you.(2)

He has also said:

فإنَّهُمْ أحْلَمُكُمْ صِغَاراً وَ أعْلَمَكُمْ كِبَاراً. لأيُدْخِلُونَكُمْ فِي ضَلألَةٍ وَلأ يُخْرِجُونَكُمْ مِنْ هُدىً.

Be aware that Ahl al-Bayt are the wisest in childhood and the most knowledgeable in their maturity. They will never misguide you nor will they take you out of true guidance.(3)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said to Salamah ibn Kuhayl and Hakam ibn Utaybah:

شَرِّقَا وَ غَرِّبَا، فَلأ تَجِدَانِ عِلْماً صَحِيحاً إلأ شَيْئاً خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

You will never attain sound knowledge neither in the east nor in the west but with us, Ahl al-Bayt. (4)

The Imam has also said:

نَحُنْ خزَّانُ عِلْمِ

p: 292

1- Al-Manaqib: 362/4
2- Al-Kafi: 294/1, H. 3
3- Bihar al-Anwar 23:144
4- Al-Kafi: 399/1, H. 3


We, the Ahl al-Bayt, are treasures of Divine knowledge.(1)

Imam Husayn has said:

مَا نَدْرِي مَا يَنْقِمُ النَّاسُ مِنَّا! إنَّا لَبَيْتُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَ شَجَرَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ وَ مَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ.

We do not know why people harbor enmity against us while we are from the House of mercy, the tree of Prophethood and the source of knowledge.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) reports: When it was noontime, Ali ibn Husayn performed his prayer and then was engaged in invocations and greeted the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) as follows:

أللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ: شَجَرَةِ النُبُوَّةِ وَ مَوْضِعِ الرِّسَالَةِ وَمُخْتَلَفِ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَ مَعْدِنِ الْعِلْمِ وَأهْلِ بَيْتِ الْوَحْيِ.

O Allah; Send greetings on Muhammad and on the descendents of Muhammad, the evergreen tree of Prophethood, the destination of the Divine messages, the academy where angels came to learn and know, the depository of wisdom, and the household of Divine Revelation.

Culture Of Ahl Al-Bayt: Excerpts

Ahl al-Bayt’s culture is the most perfect moral, ideological, socio- political, educational and scientific culture, a large section of which has been compiled by the believing Shiite narrators. Such books as al-Kafi, Man-La-Yahdhuruhu-l-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, al-Istibsar, Basair al- Darajat, al-Mahasin by al-Barqi, al-Amali by Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Khisal, Jami al-Akhbar, Ilal al-Sharai, al-Wafi, al-Shafi, Nur al-Thaqalayn, Bihar al-Anwar, Wasail al-Shiah, Mustadrak al-Wasail, al-Awalim, al-Mahajjah al-Baydha…. etc. contain narratives on the culture of Ahl al-Bayt, the practice of which will ensure good life in this world and the hereafter, as well as Allahss pleasure and the eternal Paradise. The Holy Prophet has said:


p: 293

1- Al-Kafi: 192/1, H. 3
2- Nuzhat al-Nadhir: 85

خُلِقْتُمَ لِلْفَنَاءِ، بَلْ خُلِقْتُمْ لِلْبَقَاءِ. وَإنَّمَا تُنْقَلُونَ مِنْ دَارِ.

You were not born for extinction, rather for survival. With death, you are only displaced; that is you are transferred from one house to another house.(1)

He has also said:

إنَّ أخْوَفَ مَا أخَافُ عَلَى أمَّتِي الْهَوَى وَطُولُ الأمَلِ.

I fear two things for my ummah: carnal and far-away desires.(2)

He has also said:

عِزُّ الْمُؤْمِنِ اسْتِغْنَاؤُهُ عَنِ النَّاسِ، وَفِي الْقِنَاعَةِ الْحُرِّيَةٌ وَالْعِزُّ.

A believer’s honor lies in his independence from people and his freedom and honor lie in contentment.(3)

Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

الْمَرْءُ يُوزَنُ بِقَولِهِ وَيُقَوَّمُ بِفِعْلِهِ؛فَقُلْ مَا تَرْجَحُ زِنَتُهُ، وَافْعَلْ مَا تَجِلُّ قِيمَتُهُ.

Man is evaluated by his words and assessed by his deeds. Therefore, say what makes your words weighty and act in such away that makes your behavior valuable.(4)

He has also said:

تَحَلَّوا بالأخْذِ بالْفَضْلِ وَالْكَفِّ عَنِ الْبَغْيِ وَالعَمَلِ بالْحَقِّ وَالإنْصَافِ مِنَ النَّفْسِ.

Adorn yourself with moral virtues and avoid tyranny. Behave justly and be fair to all.

He further says:

يَنْبَغِي لِلْعَاقِلِ أنْ يَحْتَرِسَ مِنْ سُكْرِ المَالِ وَسُكْرِ الْقُدْرَةِ وَسُكْرِ الْعِلْمِ وَسُكْرِ المَدْحِ وَسُكْرِ الشَّبَابِ؛ فَإنَّ لِكُلِّ ذَلِكَ رِيَاحاً خَبِيثَةَ تَسْلُبُ الْعَقْلَ وَ تَسْتَخِفُّ الوَقَارَ.

Man should preserve himself from being intoxicated with wealth, power, knowledge, praise, flattery and youth, for each of these intoxications are poisoned winds which obliterates wisdom and reduces a man’s dignity.(5)

Lady Fatimah (a.s) has said:

إنِّي أحِبُّ مِنْ دُنْيَاكُمْ ثَلأثاً: الإنْفَاقَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، وَتِلأوَةَ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، وَالنَّظَرَ إلَى وَجْهِ أبِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ.

I love three things of your world: giving away in the way of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah, and looking at the

p: 294

1- Bihar al-Anwar: 78/58
2- Al-Khisal: 51/1, H. 62
3- Waram Collection: 169/1
4- Ghurar al-Hikam: 317
5- Ghurar al-Hikam: 66

face of my father - Allah’s Messenger.(1)

Imam Hasan (a.s.) was asked the meaning of magnanimity; he replied:

شُحُّ الرَّجُلِ عَلَى دِينِهِ، وَ إصْلأحُهُ، وَقِيَامُهُ بالْحُقُوقِ.

Zeal for faith, rectification of wealth, observation of Allah's and people's rights, as well as manliness and fairness.(2)

Addressing Imam Husayn (a.s.), a man said, “I am a sinner. I cannot refrain from committing sin. Give me an advice.” The Imam said:

إفْعَلْ خَمْسَة أشْيَاءَ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِءتَ. فأوَّلُ ذَلِكَ: لأ تَأكُلْ رِذْقِ اللَّهِ وَأذنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالثَانِي: أخْرُجْ مِنْ وِلأيَةِ اللَّهِ وأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالثَلِثُ: أطْلُبْ مَوْضِعاً لأيَرَاكَ اللهُ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئتَ. وَالرَّابِعُ: إذَا جَاءَ مَلَكُ لِيَقْبِضَ رُوحَكَ فَادْفَعْهُ عَنْ نَفْسِكَ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالْخَامِسُ: إذَامَالِكٌ فِي النَّارِ فَلأ تَدْخُلْ فِي النَّارِ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ.

Do five things and then commit any sin you wish: Firstly, do not eat sustenance given by Allah and then commit any sin you wish. Secondly, come out of the guardianship of Allah and then commit any sin you wish. Thirdly, go to a place where Allah cannot see you and then commit any sin you wish. Fourthly, when the Angel of Death comes to take your life, escape from him and commit any sin you wish. Fifthly, when the gatekeeper of the Hell intends to throw you into it, do not enter and then commit any sin you wish.(3)

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) has said:

وَأمَّا حَقُّ وَلَدِكَ فَتَعْلَمَ أنَّهُ مِنْكَ وَمُضَافٌ إلَيكَ فِي عَاجِلِ الدُنْيَا بِخَيرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ، وَأنَّكَ مَسْئولٌ عَمَّا ولِّيِتَهُ مِنْ حُسْنِ الأدَب وَالدِّلالَةِ عَلَى رَبِه وَالْمَعُونَةِ لَهُ عَلَى طَاعَتِهِ فِي نَفْسِهِ، فَمُثابٌ

p: 295

1- Musnad Fatimah al-Zahra
2- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 235
3- Jami al-Akhbar: 130

عَلى ذَلِكَ وَ مُعَاقَبٌ، فَاعْمَلْ فِي أمْرِهِ عَمَلَ الْمُتَزَيِّنِ بِحُسْنِ أثرِهِ عَلَيهِ فِي عَاجِلِ الدُّنْيَا، الْمُعْذِرِ إلَى رَبهِ فِيمَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ بِحُسْنِ الْقِيَامِ عَلَيهِ وَالأخْذُ لَهُ مِنْهُ.

The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world. You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct, pointing him in the direction of his Lord, and helping him to obey Him. So, act towards him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing.(1)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِلشَّرِّ أقْفَلاً، وَجَعَلَ مَفَاتِيحَ تَلْكَ الأقْفَالِ الشَّرَابَ. وَالْكَذِبُ شَرٌّ مِنَ الشَّرَابِ.

Allah has set locks for evil things so as to protect men from their harms. Wine, this intoxicating liquid, is the key to all evil things. Telling lie is worse than drinking wine.(2)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

إنَّ مُدْمِنَ الْخَمْرِ كَعَابِدِ وَثَنٍ؛ وَتُورِثُهُ الإرْتِعَاشَ وَتَهْدِمُ مُرُوئَتَهُ وَ تَحْمِلُهُ عَلَى التَّجَسُّرِ عَلَى الْمَحَارِمِ مِنْ سَفْكِ الدِّمَاءِ وَرُكُوبِ الزِّنَا.

A habitual drunkard is as an idolater. One who always drinks wine will be afflicted with palsy and his morality will diminish. Drinking wine makes man so bold in committing sin that he will not refuse to shed blood nor engage in adultery.(3)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إحْذَرْ مِنَ النَّاسِ ثَلأثَةً: الْخَائِنَ وَالظَّلُومَ وَالَّمَّامَ؛ لأنَّ مَنْ خَانَ خَانَكَ، وَمَنْ ظَلَمَ لَكَ سَيَظْلِمُكَ، وَمَنْ

p: 296

1- Man-La-Yahdhuruhul-Faqih: 621/2, H. 3214
2- Al-Kafi: 338/2, H. 3
3- Al-Amali, H. 1

نَمَّ إلَيْكَ سَيَنِمُّ عَلَيْكَ.

Avoid three groups of people when associating with and making friends: traitor, oppressor, and talebearer. One who commits treason in your interest one day will commit treason against you another day. One who oppresses another for your sake will oppress you soon. One who tells tales to you about others will tell tales to others about you soon.(1)

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s) passed by a dark-colored man. He saluted him, sat beside him, spoke to him for a while and expressed his readiness to meet his needs. Some people who were watching this scene, said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Do you associate with this person and ask about his needs?” The Imam said:

عَبْدٌ مِنْ عَبِيدِ اللَّهِ وَأخٌ فِي كِتَاب اللَّهِ وَ جَارٌ فِي بِلأدِ اللَّهِ. خَيْرُ الآبَاءِ آدَمُ وَأفْضَلُ الأدْيَانِ الإسْلأمُ.

He is one of the servants of Allah and based on the Holy Quran, he is our brother-in-faith and our neighbor in the cities of Allah. Adam who is the best father and Islam, which is the best religion, have linked us to him.(2)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

وَلْيَكُنْ نَفَقَتُكَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ وَعِيَالِكَ قَصْداً.

Be moderate in your expenditures on yourself and your family.(3)

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ أطَاعَ هَوَاهُ أعْطَى عَدُوَّهُ مُنَاهُ.

One who obeys his carnal desires has realized the desires of his enemy.(4)

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) has said:

إذَا كَانَ زَمَانٌ الْعَدْلُ فِيهِ أغْلَبُ مِنَ الْجَورِ، فَحَرَامٌ أنْ يُظَنَّ بِأحَدٍ سُوءاً حَتَّى يُعْلَمَ ذَلِكَ مِنْهُ. وَإذَا كَانَ زَمَانٌ الْجَوْرِ، أغْلَبُ مِنَ الِّعَدْلِ، فَلَيْسَ لأِحَدٍ أنْ يَظُنَّ بِأحَدٍ

p: 297

1- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 315
2- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 413
3- Fiqh al-Ridha: 254, 37
4- Alam al-Din: 309

خَيْراً مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ذَلِكَ مِنهُ.

When justice prevails in a society rather than injustice, it is unlawful to be suspicious of any person unless he commits an evil act. But when injustice prevails in society, it is not good to be optimistic about anyone unless his good act is witnessed.(1)

The Holy Prophet has said:

Parents will be rewarded greatly by Allah. They say, “Our Lord! What is all this favor for? Our good deeds are not worthy of such a reward.” They will be replied, “All this reward is for teaching the Holy Quran to your children and for making them aware of Islamic culture.”(2)

Ahl Al-Bayt And The Holy Quran

Beyond doubt, understanding the Holy Quran does not depend solely on knowing the meaning of the Arabic words or on being familiar with the Arabic literature. Were it so, Allah would not have introduced in His Book the people of the Reminder, who are Ahl al-Bayt according to the narrations related by both Shiite and Sunni Muslims, as the teachers of the Holy Quran.

Considering that Allah has introduced teacher for the Holy Quran, understanding the main parts of this Book which according to Imam Ali contain “Its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion, its repealing injunctions and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and compulsory ones, its permissible and the general ones, its clear and obscure ones” is not a layman’s job.(3)

People from all walks of life, whether academicians or theologians, intellectuals or non-intellectuals, scholars or laymen, mystics or philosophers need to refer to valid

p: 298

1- Alam al-Din: 312
2- Tafsir al-Imam al-Askari: 449, H. 297
3- Nahj al-Balaghah: 52, First Sermon

narrations and reports by Allah’s Messenger and Ahl al-Bayt so as to enter the profound sea of the Holy Quran. They have to board the ship of their knowledge in order to find the truth.

Should they choose a path other than this, they will have to impose their own findings on the Quranic verses as the meaning of this Divine Book; hence they will inflict irreparable damage on themselves and on Muslims by doing so.

Commenting on the Holy Quran, Allah’s Messenger has said:

ظَاهِرُهُ أنِيقُ وَبَاطِنُهُ عَمِيقٌ. لأتُحْصَى عَجَائِبُهُ وَلأتَبْلَى غَرَائِبُهُ.

It has a well-arranged and well-decorated appearance and it has a profound inward aspect. Its marvels cannot be counted and its wonders will never get old.(1)

How can we possibly understand the Holy Quran when Allah’s Messenger describes it as such? Only those should speak of the interpretation of the Holy Quran who are firmly rooted in knowledge as described by the Divine Book itself. According to valid and genuine narrations, those firmly rooted in knowledge are no one but the Holy Prophet and his purified Ahl al-Bayt. Should the implicit verses of the Holy Quran be interpreted and the interpretation accepted without seeking help from Ahl al-Bayt, it would certainly lead man to atheism and perdition. These verses must be interpreted by those firmly rooted in knowledge and literal meaning must be avoided.

As for the interpretation of abrogating and abrogated, dependent and independents as well as general and particular verses, it should be done by Ahl al-Bayt. Any personal interpretation of

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1- Al-Kafi: 298/2, H. 2

the Quranic verses will make man afflicted with an irreparable loss. As an example, we read the following in the Holy Quran,

يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ

The hand of Allah is above their hands. (48:10)

Hand does not mean a physical hand rather it means ‘Power’. Should we take hand as the real hand, we have thought of Allah as having a body, which is an evident blasphemy. Therefore, the interpretation of the above-mentioned verse is: the power of Allah is above all powers.

Another example is 17:72 of the Quran:

وَمَنْ كَانَ فِي هَٰذِهِ أَعْمَىٰ فَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ أَعْمَىٰ وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا

And whoever is blind in this world, he shall also be blind in the hereafter; and more erring from the way.(17:72)

If we take the literal meaning of ‘blind’, we have to believe that those believers who stood at a high rank in terms of faith and good deeds and were favored by the Prophets and the Imams are deprived of seeing the scenes in Paradise - a belief that does not conform with 43:71 of the Quran:

وَفِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِيهِ الْأَنْفُسُ وَتَلَذُّ الْأَعْيُنُ

Therein shall be what their souls yearn after and wherein eyes shall delight (43:71)

Therefore, we should give in to the Ahl al-Bayt’s interpretation of the word, which is ‘blind-hearted’ not ‘physically blind’.

Thus, we realize that the implicit verses need an interpretation not based on the appearance and the literal meaning of the word but it must be interpreted in another way. This is exactly what Allah has entrusted to those firmly rooted in

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وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ

None knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge. (3:7)

Those who are firmly rooted in knowledge are those who enjoy a firm and true knowledge in which there is no change. It is knowledge that Allah has caused to shine in the hearts of His servants; namely, the Prophets and the Imams. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

نَحْنُ الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ وَ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُ تَاوِيلَهُ.

We are firmly rooted in knowledge and we know how to interpret the Holy Quran.(1)

Truly the only knowledge, which is not subject to change and is different from the knowledge of all scientists and scholars, is the knowledge of the Prophets and the Imams, which is fixed until the Resurrection Day. This is so because their knowledge is Divine and based on intuition; that is to see the truth with the eyes of the heart. Beyond doubt such hearts never make an error in realizing the truths and in finding the manifest and hidden secrets of the universe.

Ahl Al-Bayt, The World And The Hereafter

Ahl al-Bayt were extremely active in all aspects of life for the good of this world and the Hereafter and did not give up the struggle. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

لأتَكْسَلُوا فِي طَلَبِ مَعَايشِكُمْ، فَإنَّ آبَاءَنَا كَانُوا يَرْكُضُونَ فِيهَا وَ يَطْلُبُونَهَا.

Do not be lazy in earning a living, for our forefathers were running after it while seeking it.

Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali has reported: Once in Medina, I became very hungry and to find a

p: 301

1- Al-Kafi: 213/1, H. 1

job, I went to the vicinity of Medina when I saw a woman gathering a lump of clay to be mixed with water. I went to her and agreed that for each bucket of water, she would give me a date. Hence, I filled sixteen buckets with water in a way my hands were blistered. I washed my hands and went to the woman and said: “See the blisters in the palms of my hands!” The woman gave me sixteen dates and I went to see the Holy Prophet to whom I told the story and he shared the dates with me.(1)

Abdullah ibn Hasan says:

وَاللَّهِ، أعْتَقَ عَلِيٌّ ألْفَ أهْلِ بَيْتٍ بِمَا مَجَلَتْ يَدَاهُ وَ عَرَقَ جَبِينُهُ.

By Allah (I swear), Ali set free one thousand slaves in the way of Allah with the wage he had earned with blisters in the palms of his hand and the sweat of forehead.(2)

Abd al-Ala says:

On a hot day of summer, I met Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) who was working hard. I said, “May I be your ransom! You have a high rank before Allah; why are you giving yourself so much trouble?” The Imam said,

يَا عَبْدَا الأعَلَى! خَرَجْتُ فِي طَلَبِ الرِّزْقِ لأسْتَغْنِيَ عَن مِثْلِكَ.

“O Abd al-Ala! I have come out seeking my daily bread so as to be independent of your like.”(3)

Ali ibn Hamzah says: I saw Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) working on a farmland. While his two feet were soaked with sweat, I said, “May I be your ransom! Where are your men?”

p: 302

1- Man-La-Yahdhuruhul-Faqih: 157/3, H. 3575
2- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 286/1
3- Al-Gharat: 91/1

He said, “One who was better than my father and me worked with his hands on this farmland.” I asked who he was. The Imam replied, “Allah’s Messenger, Amir al-Muminin and my forefathers who worked with their hands. This is the duty of the Prophets, Messengers, their successors and the righteous ones.”(1)

Ahl al-Bayt, in addition to working hard for earning a living, were working hard for the Hereafter so much so that no one could be their equal in terms of praying and spirituality. They encouraged their followers to pray and act piously; they considered salvation in the Hereafter contingent on submission to Allah and prayer and bewared them of desiring for salvation without having piety and fear of Allah.

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has been quoted by Jabir al-Jufi to say:

يَا جَابِرُ، أيكْتَفِي مَنِ أتَّخَذَ التّشَيُّعِ أنْ يَقُولَ بِحُبِّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ؟ فَوَ اللَّهِ مَا شِيعَتُنَا إلأمَنِ إتَّى اللَّهَ وَ أطَاعَهُ. وَمَا كَانُو يُعَرَفُونَ إلأ بِالتَّوَاضُعِ وَالتَّخَشُّعِ وَأداءِ الأمَانَةِ وَكَثَرَةِ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ، وَالصَّوْمُ وَالصَّلأةِ، وَالْبِرِّ بِالْوَالِدَيْنِ، وَتَّعَهُّدِ لِلْجِيرَانِ مِنَ الفُقَرَاءِ وَأهْلِ الْمَسْكَنَةِ وَالْغَارِ مِينَ وَالأيْتَامِ، وَصِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ، وَتِلأوَةِ الْقُرْآنِ، وَكَفِّ الألْسُنِ عَنِ النَّاسِ إلأ مِنْ خَيْرٍ، وَ كَانُوا أمَنَاءَ عَشَائِرِهِمْ فِي الأشْيَاءِ.

O Jabir, do you think that it is sufficient for those who claim being Shia to say that they cherish us; the Prophet’s Household? By Allah I swear, our Shia are only those who fear and obey Allah. Their signs are modesty, submission, fulfillment of the trusts, very much reference to Allah, fasting, offering prayers, piety to (their) parents, aiding the

p: 303

1- Al-Kafi: 75/5, H. 10

neighbors especially the poor, the destitute, the indebted, and the orphans, truth, reciting the Quran, and avoiding mentioning people except for praising. In addition, they are the most trustful of the people of their tribes.

I said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Today, we do not know anyone who is having all these features.” The Imam said:

يَا جَابِرُ، لأتَدْهَبَنَّ بِكَ الْمَذَاهِبُ! حَسَبُ الرَّجُلُ أنْ يَقُولَ أُحِبُّ عَلِيَّاً صَلَوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَأتَولأه؟ فَلَوْ قَالَ إنِّي أُحِبُّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ آلِهِ، وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ خَيرٌ مِنْ عَلِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلأمُ ثُمَّ لأيَتَّبِعُ سِيرَتَهُ وَلأ يَعْمَلُ بِسُنَّتِهِ مَا نَفَعَهُ حُبُّهُ إيَّاهُ شَيْئاً، فَاتَّقُواللَّهَ وَاعْمَلُو الِمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ. لَيْسَ بَيْنَ وَبَينَ أحَدٍ قَرَابَةٌ. أحَبُّ الْعِبَادِ إلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ أكْرَمُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ أثْقَاهُمْ لَهُ وَأعْمَلُهُم لَهُ وَأعمَلُهُمْ بِطَاعَتِهِ. يَاجَابِرُ، مَا يَتَقَرَّبُ الْعَبْدُ إلَى اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى إلأ بِالطَّاعَةِ. مَا مَعَنَا بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَلأ عَلَى اللَّهِ لأِحَدٍ مِنْكُمْ حُجَّةٌّ. مَنْ كَانَ للَّه مُطِيعاً فَهُوَ لَنَا وَلِيٌ، وَمَنْ كَانَ للَّهِ عَاصِياً فَهُوَ لَنَا عَدُوٌّ، وَلأتُنَالُ وِئلأيَتُنَا إلأ بِالْعَمَلِ وَالْوَرَعِ.

No, Jabir. Do not misunderstand the matter. Is it enough for a man to claim that he loves and follows Ali? If he claims that he loves the Prophet (S), who is preferable to Ali (a.s.), but he does not follow his traditions and does not act upon his instructions, his claim will be definitely useless. Hence, you should fear Allah and work for the cause of obtaining that which He has in possession. There is no relation between Allah and anybody. The most

p: 304

favorable and honorable servants of Allah are the most fearing and pious.

O Jabir, the only means through which a servant seeks to gain Allah’s favor is obedience to Him. We - the Prophet's Household - do not carry a patent for saving from Hell. Likewise, none of you has a claim against Allah. He who obeys Allah is only our disciple and whoever disobeys Him is our enemy. The loyalty to us cannot be gained except by means of diligent work and piety.(1)

Addressing Fudhayl, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said:

بَلِّغْ مَنْ لَقِيتَ مِنْ مَوَالِينَا عَنَّا السَّلأمَ وَ قُلْ لَهُمْ: إنِّي لأ أغْنِي عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئاً إلأبِوَرَعٍ. فَاخْفَظُوا ألْسِنَتَكُمْ وَكُفُّوا أيْدِيَكُمْ. وَعَلَيْكُمْ. وَ عَلَيْكُمْ بِاصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلأةِ، إنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ.

Send greetings to our friends and say: We cannot remove Allah’s chastisement unless you adopt piety. Therefore, hold your tongues, cease to commit any sin, be patient and perform prayer, for Allah is with the patient.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq has said:

مَعَاشِرِ الشِّيعَةِ! كُونُو الَنَا زَيْناً وَلأ تَكُونُوا عَليْنَا شَيئاً. قُولُو الِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً، وَاحْفَظُوا ألْسِنَتَكُمْ وَكُفُّوهَا عَنِ الْفُضُولِ وَ قَبِيحِ الْقَولِ.

O Shiite community! Be an ornament for us! Do not do anything indecent! Speak to men good words! Hold your tongues! Avoid being talkative and using a foul language.(3)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) further says:

يَابْنَ جُنْدَبٍ! بَلِّغْ شِيعَتَنَا وَ قُلْ لَهُم: لأتَدْهَبَنَّ بِكُم ااْمَذَاهِبُ!فَوَ اللَّهِ لأ تُنَالُ وَ لأيَتُنَا إلأبِالْوَرَعِ وَالإجْتِهَادِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَ مُوَاسَاةِ الإخْوَانِ فِي اللَّهِ وَاَيسَ مِنْ شِيعَتَنَا مَنْ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ.

O son of Jundab! Convey our message to our followers and say to them:

p: 305

1- Al-Kafi: 74/2, H. 3
2- Daa’im al-Islam: 133/1
3- Al-Amali: 400, H. 17

Let not other trends mislead you, for, by Allah, our friendship cannot be attained save by piety and hard work in the world as well as sympathy with brothers-in-faith. One who oppresses people is not our follower.(1)

Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) say: Committing sins and indecent acts are features of our enemies. Our followers avoid such things. The Shiites are neither usurers nor usurpers; they are neither adulterers nor thieves; they are neither traitors nor breakers of promise; they are neither oppressors nor deniers of people's rights; they are neither tormentors of their wives nor tormentors of their children, they neither break anyone's heart nor slander people.

What Ahl al-Bayt taught people specially their followers who believed in Allah, giving people their due rights, practicing according to the Holy Quran, following the Holy Prophet, obeying his rightful successors and keeping away from all sins. Addressing Abd al-Adhim al-Tasani, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

أبْلِغْ عَنِّي أوْلِيَائِي السَّلأمَ وَقُلْ لَهُمْ أنْ لأ يَجْعَلُوا للشَّيْطَانِ عَلَى أنْفُسِهِمْ سَبِيلاً. وَ مُرُهُم بِاصِّدْقِ فِي الحَدِيثِ وَأدَاءِ الأمَانَةٍ. وَالْمُرْهُمْ بِالسُّكُوتِ وَ تَرَكِ الْجِدَالِ فِيمَا لأيُعْنِيهِم وَإقْبَالِ بَعْضِهِمْ عَلَى بَعْضِ وَالْمُزَاوَرَةِ، فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ قُرْبَةٌ، وَلأ يَشْغَلُوا أنْفُسَهُم بِتَمْزِيقِ بَعْضِهِم بَعْضاً.

Convey my greetings to my friends and say to them: Expel Satan from yourselves. Be honest and truthful. Avoid idle talks and keep silent. Visit each other most often. By this, you can attain nearness to me. Avoid dispersion and don't vex others.(2)

Ahl al-Bayt have always warned their followers against committing sin and oppression, saying:

وَإيَّاكُمْ وَمَعَاصِيَ اللَّهِ أنْ تَرَكَبوهَا، فَإنَّهُ

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1- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 303
2- Al-Ikhtisas: 247

مَنِ إنْتَهَكَ مَاصِيَ اللَّهِ فَرَكِبَهَا فَقَدْ أبْلَغَ فِي السأءَةِ إلَى نَفْسِهِ.

Beware of sins, for whoever commits sin will be unjust to himself.

The only way to avoid loss and perdition is to follow Ahl al-Bayt, which entails Allah’s pleasure, Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession as well as happiness in this world and the hereafter.

In a letter to the Shiite community, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has given important guidelines on ideological, moral and social issues as well as family life, peaceful coexistence in this world and issues related to the hereafter the excerpts of which are as follow:

وَاعْلَمُوا أنّهُ لَيْسَ يُغْنِي عَنَّكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ أحَدٌ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ شَيْئاً؛ لأ مَلَكٌ مُقَرَّبٌ وَلأ نَبِيٌّ مُرْسَلٌ وَلإ مَنْ دُونَ ذَلِكَ. فَمَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ تَنْفَعَهُ شَفَاعَةٌ الشَّافِعِينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ فَلْيَطْلُبْ إلَى اللَّهِ أنْ يَرْضَى عَنْهُ. وَاعْلَمُوا أنَّ أحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِ اللَّهِ لَمْ يُىصِبْ رِضَا اللَّهِ إلأ بِطَاعَتِهِ وَ طَا عَةِ رَسُولِهِ وَ طَاعَةِ اللَّهِ، وُلأةِ أمْرِهِ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، صَلْوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ. وَمَعْصِيَتُهُم مِنْ مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ، وَ لَمْ يُنْكِرْ فَضْلاً عَظَمَ أو صَغُرَ.

Know that none of the Allah’s creatures including Archangels and Prophets can remove an iota of Allah’s punishment from you. Therefore, anyone who wishes to benefit from the Intercessors’ mediation should ask Allah to be pleased with him. Be it known to you that none of Allah’s creatures won His pleasure save by obedience to Him, His Messenger and the Imams from the Household of Prophet Muhammad. Disobedience to them is as disobedience to Allah; hence, their virtues should not be denied.(1)

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1- Al-Kafi: 11/8, H. 1

Followers Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Love For Ahl Al-Bayt


We who are strongly in need of Allah’s mercy, favor and special attention must choose a path the final stage of which is Allah’s pleasure hence Paradise. In order to win Allah’s favor, we need mediation to find the truth. Based on Quranic verses, this mediation is love for Ahl al-Bayt and compliance with their teachings.

In order to love Ahl al-Bayt, we should first get to know them. When we see their moral virtues and spiritual beauty we will automatically love them. This love makes human receive baptism of Allah and become like the Beloved One in all aspects. One must note that love and friendly relations will come about only when we get to know our Beloved. Even in metaphorical examples of love, one never falls in love unless he sees the beauty of the beloved.

When one loves, one will automatically do one’s best to comply with whatever the beloved wishes and will be baptized by the Beloved in a way that both the lover and the beloved become identical.

The Holy Prophet’s words “Salman is from us, Ahl al-Bayt” is the best proof. Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a valuable truth, which Allah has determined as a reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet:

قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ

Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (42:23)

Based on narrations related by Shiite scholars and others related by Sunni scholars, the near relatives are Ahl al-Bayt.

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The important point in this Quranic verses is the word love intermingled with obedience.

Is it not surprising that Allah has not refered to performing prayer, Hajj, fast, almsgiving and poor-rate as reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet (S). Instead He has stipulated the word love in order to show the love for Ahl al-Bayt and obedience to them are above all other truths. Should there be no love for Ahl al-Bayt, there would be no virtues for the abovementioned acts.

The Holy Prophet is quoted as saying:

لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ أسَاسٌ، وَأساسُ الإسْلأمِ حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

There is a basis for everything; and love for us, Ahl al-Bayt, is the basis of Islam.(1)

Imam Ali (a.s) has said: I heard Allah’s Messenger say:

أنَا سَيِّدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ. وَأنْتَ يَا عَلِيُّ وَالأئِمَّةٌ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ سَادَةُ أُمَّتِي. مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ وَالأنَا فَقَدْ وَالَى اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ أطَاعَنَا فَقَدْ أطَاعَ اللًّهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانَا فَقَدْ عَصىَ اللَّهَ.

Ali. I am the master of Adam’s children and you, and the Imams after you are the masters of my ummah. Whoever loves us has loved Allah. Whoever is hostile to us has been hostile to Allah. Whoever obeys us has obeyed Allah and whoever disobeys us has

disobeyed Allah.(2)

Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a gift, which Allah bestows on the pure hearts of worthy people. Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

إنِّي لأعْلَمُ أنَّ هَذَا الْحُبَّ الَّذِي تُحِبُّونَنَا لَيسَ بِشَيْءٍ صَنَعْتُمُوهُ؛ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ صَنَعَهُ.

I know the reason why you love us. It is not something

p: 309

1- Al-Kafi: 46/2, H. 2
2- Al-Amali: 476, H. 16

spontaneous; rather, it is a love made by Allah.(1)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

إنَّ حُبَّنَا يُنْزِلُهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ خَزَائِنَ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ كَخَزَانِنَ الْذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ، وَلأيُنْزِلُهُ إلأ بِقَدَرٍ، وَلأيُعْطِيهِ إلأ خَيرَ الْخَلَقِ. وَإنَّ لَهُ غَمَامَةً كَغَمَامَةِ الْقَطْرِ؛ فَإذَا أرَادَ اللَّهُ أنْ يَخُصَّ بِهِ مَنْ أحَبَّ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ أذِنَ لِتِلْكَ الْغَمَامَةِ فَتَهَطَّلَتْ كَمَا تَهَطَّلُ السِّحَابُ فَتُصِيبُ الْجَنِينَ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ.

Allah sends down love for us from the reasuries underneath His throne, like the treasuries of gold and silver. This love is sent down only to a certain extent to the best of people. It is like a cloud bringing rain with it. So, whenever Allah wills, He sends it down so as to come to an embryo in a mother’s womb.(2)

Since love for Ahl al-Bayt is a heavenly gift and the gift is offered only to friends, love for them is a sign of Allah’s love for human being.

Signs of Love For Ahl al-Bayt

Love for Ahl al-Bayt is not only a sign of Allah’s love for man, but it is also a sign of other truths as follows:

First: Based on several narrations, love for Ahl al-Bayt is a proof of one’s noble birth. Imam Ali (a.s.) quotes the Holy Prophet as having said to Abu- Dharr:

يَا أبَا ذَرٍّ! مَنْ أحَبَّنَا _ أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ _ فَلْيَحْمِدِ اللَّهَ عَلَى أوَّلِ ... الْنِّعَمِ...طِيبِ الوِلأدَةِ. إنَّهُ لأ يُحِبُّنَا إلأ مَنْ طَابَ مَوْلِدُهُ.

Whoever loves us, Ahl al-Bayt, must thank Allah for the first blessing… Nobility of birth; for whoever loves us is of noble (i.e. legitimate) birth.(3)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.)

p: 310

1- Al-Mahasin: 149/1, H. 62
2- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 313
3- Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 455, H. 1018

has said:

مَنْ أصْبَحَ يَجِدُ بَرْدَ حُبِّنَا عَلى قَلْبِهِ فَلْيَحْمِدِ اللَّهَ عَلَى بَادِئِ النَّعَمِ... طِيبِ الْمَوْلِدِ.

Whoever wakes up in the morning and feels the cool breeze of our love must thank Allah for the first blessing; purity and nobility of birth.(1)

Second: Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a proof of purity of heart. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

وَاللَّهِ وَاللَّهِ، لأ يُحِبُّنَا عَبْدٌ حَتَى يُطَهِّرَ اللَّهُ قَلْبَهُ

By Allah, none loves us unless those whose hearts have been purified by Allah.(2)

Third: Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a sign of true belief and acceptance byAllah. Allah’s Messenger has said:

عَاهَدَنِي رَبِّي أنْ لأ يَقْبَلَ إيمَانَ عَبْدٍ إلأ بِمَحَبَّةِ أهْلِ بَيْتِي.

My Lord made a promise to me that He will not accept any of His servants’ belief without love for Ahl al-Bayt. (3)

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

إنَّهُ لَعَهْدُ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ إلَيَّ أنَّهُ لأيُحِبُّنِي إلأ مُؤْمِنٌ وَلأ يُبْغِضُنِي إلأ مُنَافِقٌ.

The Ummi Prophet expressly said to me that no one but a believer loves me and no one but a hypocrite harbors rancor against me.(4)

He has also said:

لَوْ ضَرَبْتُ خَيْشُومَ الْمُؤْمِنِ بِسَيفِي هَذَا عَلَى أنْ يُبْغِضَنِي مَا أبْغَضَنِي؛ وَلَوْ صَبَبْتُ الدُّنْيَا بِجَمَّاتِهَا عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِ عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِ عَلَى أنْ يُحِبَّنِي مَا أحَبَّنِي؛ وَذَلِكَ أنَّهُ قُضِيَ فَانْقَضَى عَلَى لِسَانِ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ، صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أنَّهُ قَالَ: يَا عَلِيُّ! لأ يُبْغِضُكَ مُؤمِنٌ وَلأ يُحِبُّكَ مُنَافِقٌ.

Even if I strike the nose of a believer with my sword to oblige him to hate me, he will never hate me; and even if I pile all the wealth of the world before a hypocrite

p: 311

1- Al-Amali, 475, H. 13
2- Da’aim al-Islam: 73/1
3- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 204/1
4- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 60/2, Chapter: 31, H. 235

to love me, he will never love me. This is because it is a verdict pronounced by the tongue of the Prophet - may Allah bless him and his descendants - as he said: O Ali, a believer will never hate you and a hypocrite will never love you.(1)

Requirements of Love for Ahl al-Bayt


Ahl al-Bayt are not in need of superficial love; rather, they require love which has its medium with it so as to reveal its amazing signs. Here are some requirements of the love for Ahl al-Bayt:

1. Acting according to the decrees

One of the requirements of love for Ahl al-Bayt is that a lover should never stop endeavoring in the way of Allah by making Ahl al-Bayt’s behavior and deeds as models for his life. The Ahl al-Bayt have said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَلْيَعْمَلْ بِعَمَلِنَا.

Whoever loves us must do whatever we do.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إنَّمَا شِيعَةٌ جَعْفَرٍ مَنْ عَفَّ بَطْنَهُ وَ فَرْجَهُ وَ عَمِلَ لِخَالِقِهِ وَ رَجَا ثَوَابَهُ وَخَافَ عِقَابَهُ.

A partisan (Shia) of Jafar is only he who guards his body and desires from what is unlawful, endeavors for his creator, hopes for His reward, and fears His punishment.(3)

2.Taking Ahl al-Bayt’ s Friends As Friends (Tawalli)

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

فإنْ كَانَ يُحِبُّ وَلِيَّنَا فَلَيْسَ بِمُبْغِضٍ لَنَا، وَإنْ كَانَ يُبْغِضُ وَلِيَّنَا فَلَيْسَ بِمُحِبٍّ لَنَا.

If he takes our friend as a friend, he is not our enemy; and if he is the enemy of our friend, he will not be our friend.(4)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ تَوَلَّى مُحِبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّنَا.

One who loves our friend will be certainly our friend.(5)

3. Disavowal of Ahl al-Bayt’s enemies (Tabarri)

One of the requirements of love for Ahl al-Bayt is

p: 312

1- Nahj al-Balaghah: 447, Saying: 45
2- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 104
3- Sifat al-Shia: 11
4- Al-Amali, 334, H. 4
5- Al-Muqniah: 485

to take their enemies as enemy. Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

فَمَنْ أحَبَّ أنْ يَعْلَمَ حَالَهُ فِي حُبِّنَا فَلْيَمْتَحِنْ قَلْبَهُ، فَإنْ وَجَدَ فِيهِ حُبَّ مَنْ ألَّبَ عَلَيْنَا فَلْيَعْلَمْ أنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوُّهُ وَ جِبْرِيلَ وَ مِيكَائِيلَ، وَاللَّهُ عَدُوُّ الكَافِرِينَ.

One who wishes to know whether he love us should test his heart. If he feels love in his heart for those who make people our enemy, then he must know that Allah, Gabriel and Michael are his enemies. After all, Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.(1)

He has also said:

فَإنْ شَارَكَهُ فِي حُبِّنَا حُبُّ عَدُوِّنَا فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا وَلَسْنَا مِنْهُ.

If one who loves us loves our enemies, he will certainly not belong to us nor do we belong to him.(2)

4.Tribulations and Calamity

Nothing is more effective than tribulations and calamity in purifying a man and improving his character. Allah tests His devoted servants with tribulation, calamity, poverty, hunger, bereavement and other incidents so as to make them steadfast on patience, resistance, and endurance; hence, He paves the way for them to enter Paradise. The Holy Prophet, addressing Abu-Said Khidri who was complaining from poverty, said:

إصْبِرْ! فَإنَّ الْفَقْرَ إلَى مَنْ يُحِبُّنِي مِنْكُمْ أسْرَعُ مِنَ السَّيْلِ عَلَى أعْلَى الْوَادي وَ مِنْ أعْلى الْجَبَلِ إلَى أسْفَلِهِ.

Be patient, for poverty rushes toward those who love me with a speed more hasty than that of a flood coming down from the peak of a mountain.(3)

Abu-Dharr expressed his love for the Holy Prophet (S) who replied:

اللَّهَ اللَّهَ! فأعِدَّ لِلْفَقْرِ تِجْفَافاً، فَإنَّ الْفَقْرَ أسْرَعُ إلَى مَنْ يُحِبُّنَا مَنْ يُحِبُّنَا مِنَ السَّيْلِ مِنْ أعْلَى

p: 313

1- Al-Amali: 148, H. 243
2- Tafsir al-Qummi: 171/2
3- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 85/4

الأكَمَةِ ألَى أسْفَلِهَا.ُّّ

If so, then prepare yourself a cover for indigence! Indigence comes to one who loves us with a speed more hasty than that of a flood coming down from the peak of a hill. (1)

Difficult Test

A narration reads: One day, Allah’s Messenger came across a man of Ansar who said, “May my parents be your ransom, O Allah’s Messenger! The expression I see in you visage makes me sad. What is the story?” Looking at the man’s face, the Holy Prophet said, “It is Hunger!” Hearing this, the man became restless; he rushed to his house to find something and bring it for the Holy Prophet, but he could not.

So, he rushed to Banu-Quraydhah to draw water from well and receive dates as wage. After collecting the dates, he came to the Holy Prophet, placing the dates politely in front of him, and asked him to eat. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Where did you get these dates from?” The man told him the whole story. The Holy Prophet said, “I suppose that you love Allah and His Messenger.” The man said, “I truly do. I swear it by Him Who appointed you as Prophet with the truth; I love you more than my children, my family and all my wealth.” Addressing the man, the Holy Prophet said, “If so, then prepare yourself for indigence, patience, and a cover for tribulation. Verily, by Allah Who appointed me as Prophet, poverty and tribulation come to one who loves me with a

p: 314

1- Al-Mustadrak: 367/4

speed more hasty than a flood coming down from the top of mountain.”

Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فَلْيَسْتَعِدَّ عِدَّةً لِلْبَلأءِ.

One who loves us must prepare himself for tribulation.(1)

Imam al-Baqir visiting Muhammad ibn Muslim

Muhammad ibn Muslim, one of the best companions of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), narrates: Although I did not feel well, I traveled to Medina. When Imam al-Baqir was informed of my arrival, he sent me a bowl of syrup through his servant who said, “Drink this, for the Imam has told me not to return before you drink of it.” I drank from that syrup which was scented with musk. After drinking it, when I rose up and did not feel sick anymore.

So I decided to go and see the Imam who welcomed saying, “May you be healthy, come in, come in.” I entered the room, greeted the Imam and kissed his hands and head. He asked, “Why are you crying?” I replied, “May I be your ransom. I cry because of being away from my home, the journey to the hereafter, indigence and the fact that I cannot stay with you.” The Imam said, “As for indigence, Allah has decreed it for our friends. Tribulation and calamity rush towards them. As for being away from home, set Imam Husayn who is in a faraway land near the Euphrates as an example. As for the journey to the hereafter, know that a believer is always lonely in this world until he departs to the land of Allah’s mercy. As

p: 315

1- Al-Gharat: 401/2

for saying that you would love to stay with us, know that Allah is aware of what is in your heart and He will reward you for it.(1)

5. Mutual Love

It is noteworthy that a man’s love for Ahl al-Bayt will lead to their love for him too. Even if love for Ahl al-Bayt has no other blessing, it will cause them to have love for him. So which asset is more valuable than this?

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: One day, my father and I entered the Prophet’s Mosque. He was passing by groups of people but he paid no attention to them until he stood near a few people and said, “By Allah, I love your good scent and your souls.”(2) These people were Shia.

Ahl al-Bayt’s love for their devotees is to the extent that if one ignores the devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, they will ignore him.

In a gathering, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Why do you make light of us?” A man from Khorasan said, “We seek refuge to Allah from making light of you.” The Imam said, “You are one of those who made light of us. Did you not hear such and such man who asked you to give him a ride but you ignored him? By Allah, You made light of him. So anyone who makes light of a believer has disrespected Allah.”(3)

6. Love for Ahl al-Bayt eases agony of Death

One of the hard moments in human life is when man is at the point of death. At this stage, all veils are removed

p: 316

1- Al-Ikhtisas: 52
2- Al-Amali, 722, H. 522
3- Al-Kafi: 89/8, H. 73

before his eyes. Based on his beliefs and morality, man sees truths, which can be painful or joyful. A man becomes happy when he sees the result of his love for Ahl al-Bayt.

Abdullah ibn Walid says: Under Marwan’s rule, I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) who asked me about my identity. I said, “I am a man from Kufa.” The Imam said:

مَا مِنْ بَلْدَةٍ مِنَ ابُلْدَانِ أكْثَرُ مُحِبّاً لَنَا مِنْ أهْلِ الْكُوفَةِ وَلأ سِيَّمَا هَذِهِ الْعِصَابَةِ. إنَّ اللَّهَ جَلَّ ذِكْرُهُ هَدَاكُمْ لأمْرِ جَهِلَهُ النَّاسُ، وَأحْبَبْتُمُونَا وَأبْغَضَنَا النَّاسُ، وَاتَّبَعْتُمُونَا وَ خَالَفْنَا النَّاسُ، وصَدَّقْتُمُونَا و كَذَّبَنَا النَّاسُ، فَأحْيَاكُمْ اللَّهُ مَحْيَانَا وَ أمَاتَكُمْ مَمَاتَنَا. فَأشْهَدُ عَلَى أبِي أنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ: مَا بَيْنَ أحَدِكُمْ وَ بَيْنَ أنْ يَرَى مَا يُقِرُّ اللَّهُ بِهِ عَيْنَهُ وَأنْ يَغْتَبِطَ إلأ أنْ تَبْلُغَ نَفْسَهُ هَذِهِ _ وَ أهْوَي بِيَدِهِ إلَى حَلْقِهِ.

People of no city are fonder of us than the people of Kufa, especially this Shiite group. Allah has guided you to a truth of which other people are unaware. That is why you befriended us and others harbored our enmity. You confirmed us while the others denied us. May Allah make your living and death like those of us. I bear witness that my father said: There is no distance between one you and the source of delight and the envied but the soul's reaching the throat. (1)

In a narration, the Holy Prophet (S) describes the moment when a believer dies and enters the hereafter as such:

The Angel of Death says to the believer, “Look

p: 317

1- Al-Kafi: 81/8, H. 38

above your head.” Then he will see stages of Paradise and the castles therein that the people of the world cannot comprehend. The Angel of Death will say, “These are the blessings, wealth, your dependents and your worthy issues who will be with you. Are you pleased with Allah’s favor in place of what you will leave in this world?” The believer will say, “Yes, by Allah.”

Then the Angel of Death will say, “Look.” And the believer will look and see Muhammad (S), Ali (a.s.) and the purified ones of the Household of Muhammad and Ali in the uppermost of heaven. The Angel of Death will say, “Can you see them? They are your masters and Imams who are your companions. Are you pleased with them instead of being separated from the world?” The believer will say, “Yes, by my Lord.”(1)

Evidently it is in this state that man considers leaving this world and departing to the hereafter as something pleasant and never wishes to come back to this world. Some other truths which the devotees of Ahl al-Bayt will see at the moment of death are the angels of mercy who convey Allah’s good tidings and His greeting to them:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ  نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنْفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ نُزُلًا مِنْ غَفُورٍ رَحِيمٍ

As for those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then

p: 318

1- Tafsir al-Imam al-Askari: 239, H. 117

continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden that you were promised. We are your guardians in this world's life and in the hereafter, and you shall have therein what your souls derive and you shall have therein what you ask for: A provision from the Forgiving, the Merciful. (41:30-32)

Being at the point of death, Abu-Dharr who had lost his endurance asked his daughter to search for water and food in the desert, for he was starving! Because he was a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, he had been banished to the desert of Rabadhah by the tyrannical rule. He had been deprived of everything but since he loved Ahl al-Bayt, he tolerated all the calamities and hardships.

When his daughter came back empty-handed, she said to her father, “I could not find any water nor any food.” Finding him in the agony of death, she put his head on the lap and listened to his words, “Unto Him is Peace, upon Him is peace, He is peace, through Him is peace and from Him is peace.” She asked, “O father; none is here.” Abu-Dharr said, “My daughter, the Angel of Death is here saying, ‘Allah has said: salute Abu-Dharr before taking his life:

Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord. (36:58)’

I am greeting back the salutation of my Beloved!”

Truly the one who loves Ali and his Household, will be loved not only by them

p: 319

but also by Allah.

7. Presence of Ahl al-Bayt at the point of death

One of the horrible moments in a human life is when he parts with everything. With the arrival of the Angel of Death beside deathbed, man feels the bitter experience of being away from home; but for a devotee of Ahl al- Bayt, the situation is quite different, for he will see his guardians and an indescribable joy overwhelms him.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked, “Is a believer displeased when his soul is taken?” The Imam said, “By Allah, a believer is restlessly waiting for the Angel of Death to come and to take his soul. The Angel of Death will say: ‘O friend of Allah! Be patient. I swear by Him Who appointed Muhammad (S) as a Prophet, I am more compassionate to you than your father. Open your eyes and see the Prophet, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and the Imams before you.’ Then the believer opens his eyes and will see Ahl al-Bayt.”(1)

8. Immunity from Chastisement

A man who is immune from pollutions and evil acts due to his love for Ahl al-Bayt in this world and is immune from fear and sorrow at the point of death will certainly be immune from chastisement on the Judgment Day. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said:

فَيُوحِي اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ إلَيهَا: يَا فَطِمَةُ! سَلِينِي أُعْطِكِ، وَتَمَنَّيْ عَلَىَّ أرْضِكِ. فَتَقُولُ: ألَهِي! أسْألُكَ أنْ لأ تُعَذَّبَ مُحِبِّيَّ وَمُحِبِّي عِتْرَتِي بِالنَّارِ. فَيُحِي اللَّهُ إلَيهَا: يَا فَاطِمَةٌ! وَ عِزَّتِي وَ جَلألِي وَارْتِفَاعِ مَكَانِي، لَقَدْ آليْتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي مِنْ قَبَلِ أنْ أخْلُقَ السًّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ

p: 320

1- Al-Kafi: 127/3, H. 2

بِألْفَىْ عَامٍ أنْ لأ أعَذِّبَ مُحِبِّيكِ وَ مُحِبِّي عِتْرَتِكِ بِالنَّارِ.

On the Judgment Day, Allah will address Lady Fatimah (a.s.) as such: ‘O Fatimah! Ask me and I will grant to you, and wish something and I will make you pleased.’ Lady Fatimah will say: ‘I ask You not to punish the devotees of my progeny and me with fire.’ Allah will say: ‘O Fatimah! By My honor, glory and grandeur I took an oath on Myself two thousand years before the creation of heavens and the earth that I would not punish the devotees of your progeny and you with the fire.’(1)

Bilal ibn Hamamah reports: One day, the Holy Prophet was coming towards us happily. Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf asked, “O Allah’s Messenger; what is the reason for your being happy?” The Holy Prophet said, “A good news has come to me from my Lord: When Allah willed to give Fatimah to Ali in marriage, He ordered an angel to shake the tree of Tuba whereby written leaves were spread. Allah ordered angels to collect those leaves. When the Judgment Day will come, this angel will look for the devotees of Ahl al- Bayt to give them one of these leaves with the following inscription on it: This is a letter of respite from hellfire by my brother, my cousin and my daughter for the safety of men and women among my ummah from fire."(2)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

وَاَللَّهِ، لأ يَمُوتٌ عَبْدٌ يُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَ رَسُولَهُ وَ يَتَوَلَّي الأئِمَّة فَتَمَسُّهُ

p: 321

1- Interpretation of Manifest Verses: 474
2- Yanabi al-Mawaddah: 460/2


By Allah (I swear), every servant who loves Allah and His Messenger and accepts the leadership of the Imams and then dies, hellfire will not touch him.(1)

One of the results of loving the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and following them is immunity from hellfire on the Judgment Day.

The Holy Prophet has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ حَشَرَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى آمِناً يَوْمَ الْقِيَمَةِ.

As for one who loves us - the Ahl al-Bayt, Allah will make him to associate with us on the Day of Judgment.(2)

9. Passing The Sirat

Immunity from slipping off the Sirat is a result of loving Ahl al-Bayt. The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

أثْبَتُكُمِّ قَدَماً عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ أشَدُّ كُمْ حُبّاً لِأهْلِ بَيْتِي.

The most steadfast of you on the Sirat is one who loves my Ahl al-Bayt more. (3)

He has also said:

مَا أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ أحَدٌ فَزَلَّتْ بِهِ قَدَمٌ إلأ ثَبَّتَتْهُ قَدَمٌ أُخْرَى، حَتَّى يُنْجِيَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Everyone who loves Ahl al-Bayt, even if one of his feet slips, his other foot will keep him steadfast and firm until Allah will save him on the Day of Judgment.

10. Ahl al-Bayt and Forgiveness

Love in human being is an actuating motor, which motivates him to go forwards to his Beloved. This love compels him to purify himself from all pollutions, repent and turn towards all moral virtues. If we read in narrations that love for Ahl al-Bayt will lead to forgiveness of our sins, we should not have the impression that it will give us permission to commit sins. If our love for Ahl al-Bayt be true, it will give

p: 322

1- Rijal al-Najashi: 39
2- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 88/2, Chapter: 31, H. 220
3- Fadha’il al-Shia: 6, H. 3

us the ability to purify ourselves.

Al-Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi, with a moment of reflection, loved Imam Husayn. This love made him give up his high-ranking position and the worldly riches. He repented with a true repentance so that his sins were forgiven and he was engaged in jihad, the most praiseworthy deed, and experienced the most sacred truth, that is martyrdom. This is only the result of love! Based on this reality, Allah’s Messenger said:

حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ يُكَفِّر الذُّنُوبَ وَ يُضَاعِفُ الْحَسَنَاتِ.

Love for Ahl al-Bayt will remove all sins and increase virtues.(1)

Imam Hasan (a.s.) has said:

وَإنَّ حُبَّنَا لَيُسَاقِطُ الذُّنُوبَ مِنِ إبْنِ آدَمَ كَمَا يُسَاقِطُ الرِّيحُ الْوَرَقَ مِنِ الشَّجَرِ.

Surely, love for us will make sins fall down away from the children of Adam as the wind make the leaves fall down from trees.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا لِلَّهِ وَأحَبَّ مُحِبَّنَا لأ لِغَرَضِ دُنْياً يُصِيبُهَا مِنْهُ وَ عَادَى عَدُوَّنَا لأ لإحْنَةٍ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَعَلَيْهِ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ مِثْلَ رَمْلِ عَالِجٍ وَ زَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى لَهُ.

Whoever loves our devotees and us for the sake of Allah, and not for a worldly purpose, he antagonizes our enemy, not because of personal rancor. His sins will be forgiven on the Judgment Day even if they are as many as the sands of a desert and foams of the seas.(3)

11. Associating with Ahl al-Bayt

Shiites, who have received the baptism of Ahl al-Bayt due to their love for them, expect to be associated with Ahl al-Bayt on the Judgment Day. The Holy Quran supports

p: 323

1- Al-Amali: 164, H. 274.
2- Al-Ikhtisas: 82
3- Al-Amali 156, H. 259

this truth:

وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِنَ عَلَيْهِمْ اللَّهُ أَنْعَمَ الَّذِينَ مَعَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ وَالرَّسُولَ اللَّهَ يُطِعِ وَمَنْ رَفِيقًا أُولَٰئِكَ وَحَسُنَۚ وَالصَّالِحِينَ

And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah and the Apostle, have bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! (4:69)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) is reported as saying:

حَقٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ أنْ يَجْعَلَ وَلِيَّنَا رَفِيقاً لِلنَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصّاَلِحِينَ، وَ حَسُنَ أُلَئكَ رَفِيقاً.

It is up to Allah to make our friend associate with the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. What a goodly company are they!

The Holy Prophet has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فِي اللَّهِ حُشِرَ مَعَنَا.

One who loves us for the sake of Allah will be associated with us.(1)

Abu-Dharr went to the presence of the Holy Prophet saying, “I love certain people but I do not like them practically.” The Holy Prophet said, “Man will associate with one whom he loves.” Abu-Dharr said, “I love Allah, His messenger, and his Ahl al-Bayt." The Holy Prophet said,

الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أحَبَّ.

“You will associate with one whom you love.”(2)

Imam Husayn (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا لِلَّهِ وَ رَدْنَا نَحْنُ وَهُوَ عَلَى نَبِيِّنَا هَكَذَا _ وَضَمَّ إصْبِعَيْهِ.

Whoever loves us for the sake of Allah; we will meet the Prophets together.(3)

Yazid ibn Muawiyah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Baqir (a.s) when a man who had come from Khorasan on foot entered the room. Showing blisters on his feet, the man said, “By Allah, nothing

p: 324

1- Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 256/1, H. 189
2- Kifayat al-Athar: 300
3- Al-Amali 632, H. 1303

but love for Ahl al-Bayt has brought me here.” The Imam said,

وَاللَّهِ، لَوْ أحَبَّنَا حَجَرٌ اللَّهُ مَعَنَا.

“By Allah, even if a stone love us, Allah will make it associate with us.”(1)

Hakam ibn Utaybah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) while the room was packed with people. All at once, an old man with a walking stick in his hand entered the room saying, “Peace be upon you, O son of Allah’s Messenger, and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings.” He said nothing more. The Imam greeted him back. Addressing the crowd, the old man said, “Peace be upon you.” He kept silent. Those who were present greeted him back. Then the old man turned to the Imam and said, “By Allah, I do love you and love your devotees. By Allah, I love you not for a worldly purpose but my love is pure. By Allah, I hate your enemies. By Allah my hate is not because of a personal rancor. By Allah, what is lawful to you is lawful for me and what is unlawful to you is unlawful to me. Now, may I be your ransom. Is there any hope of salvation for me?”

The Imam said, “Come near, come near.” The Imam made the old man sit beside him. He then said, “O gentleman! A man came to my father, Ali ibn al-Husayn asking the same question. My father replied: ‘If you die, you will meet Allah’s Messenger, Ali, Hasan and

p: 325

1- Tafsir al-Ayyashi; 167/1, H. 27

Husayn and Ali ibn al- Husayn. Your heart will become glad and your eyes bright. When your death comes, you will welcome it happily with the honorable recorders; and if you survive, Allah will make you with us in the highest rank.’ ”

Hearing this, the old man started crying loudly which made others present cry too. At this moment, the Imam wiped the tears off the old man’s face. The old man said to the Imam, “O son Of Allah’s Messenger! May I be your ransom. Give me your hand.” The old man kissed the Imam’s hand, put it on his eyes, bid him farewell and went away.

The Imam who was looking behind him turned to the crowd and said,

“Anyone who wishes to see a man of Paradise should look at this man.”(1)

12. Paradise, Reward of Love For Ahl al-Bayt

Love for Ahl al-Bayt, which is a heavenly gift, is to act according to Ahl al-Bayt’s teachings. The reward of such will be Paradise.

In an excellent narration, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said: Once when the Holy Prophet was traveling, he dismounted and performed five prostrations. When he mounted again, one of the companions asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! We have noticed something which you did for the first time.” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes, Gabriel came to me and gave the good news:

Ali is a man of Paradise; that is why I prostrated before Allah. When I raised my head, he said: Fatimah too is among the people of Paradise; that is why I prostrated, and

p: 326

1- Al-Kafi: 76/8, H. 30

when I raised my head he said: Hasan and Husayn are the leaders of the youths of Paradise; that is why I prostrated before Allah, and when I raised my head, he said that the devotees of them too are people of Paradise. That was why I prostrated myself. When I raised my head, he said that the devotees of their devotees too are people of Paradise. I again prostrated myself before Allah.”(1)

Imam Zayn al-Abidin once became ill. A group of companions came to visit him enquiring after his health. He thanked Allah and asked after their health. They all said, “By Allah, we love you.” The Imam said:

مَنْ أحَبَّنَا لِلَّهِ أسْكَنَهُ فِي ظِلٍّ ظَلِيلٍ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يَوْمَ لأظِلَّ إلأ ظِلُّهُ.

Allah will place whoever loves us for the sake of Allah under a shade on the Judgment Day when there is no shade save that of Him.(2)

Yunus said to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), “My love and friendship for you and the way Allah made me know your rights is more beloved to me than the whole world.” When he finished, the sign of vexation was visible in the face of the Imam who said,

يَا يُونُسُ! قِسْتَنَا بِغَيْرِ قِيَاسٍ. مَا الدُّنْيَا وَ مَا فِيهَا؟ هَلْ هِيَ إلأ سَدُّ فَوْرَةٍ أوْ سِتَرُ عَورَةٍ؟ وَ أنْتَ لَكَ بِمَحَبَّتِنَا الْحَيَاةُ الدَّائِمَةٌ.

“O Yunus! You made an improper comparison. What is the world and what is therein? Is it anything other than eating to a full or covering of private parts whereas through your love for us,

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1- Al-Amali: 21, H. 2
2- Tuhaf al-Uqul: 379

you will attain eternal life?”

Truly, love for Ahl al-Bayt is source of eternal life, which begins with a happy death and continues until eternity:

ألأ وَمَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ بَشَّرَهُ مَلَكُ الْمَوتِ بِالْجَنَّةِ، ثُمَّ مُنكَرٌ وَنَكِيرٌ. ألأ وَمَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ يُزَفُّ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ تُزَفُّ الْعَرُوسُ إلَى بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا.

Whoever dies with love for the Household of Muhammad will be given the good news of entering Paradise by first the Angel of Death and then by Munkar and Nakir (Two interrogators in grave). Whoever dies with the love of the household of Muhammad will be taken to heaven just as a bride is taken to the bridegroom’s house.(1)

Keep Company With Ahl al-Bayt

Muhammad ibn Walid says: I asked Imam al-Jawad, “Is there any reward for doing a service for Ahl al-Bayt?” The Imam said, “Imam al-Sadiq had a slave who used to look after his mule when the Imam would the mosque. One day, he was sitting beside the mule when a group of people came from Khorasan. A man from among them said to the slave, "Can you tell Imam al-Sadiq to replace you with me and in exchange for this I will give all my wealth to you?” The slave said, “I should first consult with the Imam.”

The slave came to the Imam saying, “May I be your ransom. You know about my long service to you. Do you prevent me from having a wealth if Allah gives such a wealth to me?” The Imam said,

p: 328

1- Bisharat al-Mustafa: 197

“I will give to you of my wealth and keep you from others.” The slave told the Imam the whole story. The Imam said, “If you are reluctant to serve us and that man is willing to do so, we will accept it.”

When the slave went away, the Imam called him saying, “For your long services, I will advise you and then you can choose between the two. When the Judgment Day comes, the Holy Prophet will be hanging from Allah’s light and Amir al-Muminin will resort to Allah’s Messenger; the Imams will resort to Amir al-Muminin; and our followers (Shia) will resort to us; they will enter where we will enter; and they will abide where we will abide.” The slave said, “No, I will not leave you but remain at your service, for I prefer the hereafter to this world.”

The slave came out of the house with his answer. The man who was waiting for the slave said, “You have come back with an expression in your face different from that you went in!” The slave told him the story and took him to Imam al-Sadiq who accepted his loyalty and ordered one thousand dinars to be given to the slave. After a while, the man rose up to bid the Imam farewell. He asked him to pray for him and the Imam did.”(1)

13. Love For Ahl al-Bayt Put s Hearts at Rest

Love for Ahl al-Bayt not only resolves difficulties at the point of death and the hereafter but also relieves worldly problems. One of the blessings

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1- Al-Kharaij wal-Jara’ih: 388/1, Chapter: 10

of the love for Ahl al-Bayt is that it puts the hearts at rest, which is a blessing for the man who lives in this world of anxiety and restlessness. Imam Ali (a.s) says:

" _ قَالَ : مَنْ أحَبَّ اللَّهَ إنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَةُ _ " أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوب

وَرَسُولَهُ وَأحَبَّ أهْلَ بَيْتِي صَادِقاً غَيْرَ كَاذِبٍ وأحَبَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ شَاهِداً وَغَائِباً، ألأ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ يَتَحَابُّونَ.

When the verse –

“now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest,” (13:28)

was revealed, Allah’s Messenger said: This is about one who loves Allah and His Messenger, loves my Ahl al-Bayt truly and not falsely, loves believers both in the past and in the future. By Allah’s remembrance they love one another.(1)

Truly one whose love for Allah, the Holy Prophet, Ahl al-Bayt and the believers is true has tranquility and peace of mind. Any traitor, thieves, oppressors, usurpers, bribe-takers, usurers, ogles, adulterers, corrupts, defrauders, deceivers, and sinners can never enjoy peace of mind and tranquility. However, the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt who are clean from all these pollutions enjoy peace of mind and their hearts are set at rest.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) reports: The Holy Prophet asked Ali, “Do you know about whom the following verse was revealed:

those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts at rest (13:28)?”

Imam Ali replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” The Holy Prophet said,


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1- Al-Durr al-Manthur: 642/4

فِي مَنْ صَدَّقَ لِي وَآمَنَ بِي وَ أحَبَّكَ وَ عَشِيرَتَكَ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ وَ سَلَّمَ الأمْرَ وَ لِلأئِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ

“It is about one who acknowledges me, believes in me, loves you and your family, and submits his affairs to you and the Imams after you.”(1)

Anas ibn Malik, an authentic narrator for Sunnis, says: the Holy Prophet recited the above-mentioned verse and said, “Do you know who these people are?” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger, who are they?” The Holy Prophet said, “They are the Ahl al-Bayt and our followers.”(2)

Resort To The Ahl Al-Bayt


When a devotee of and one who is obedient to Ahl al-Bayt faces a difficulty which external factors fail to resolve, it will be certainly resolved if he truthfully beseeches Ahl al-Bayt to intercede for him with Allah.

Holding Mourning Sessions For Ahl al-Bayt

One of the subjects highlighted by Ahl al-Bayt is to hold sessions for propagating their life-giving culture and commemorating the tragic events they went through, especially that of Karbala. After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn in Karbala, the Shiites, encouraged by Ahl al-Bayt, have tried to hold mourning ceremonies whereby to teach people the Quranic concepts, narrations, true sciences of Islam and injunctions related to jurisprudence and to hold the torch of guidance with the help of Allah.

The devotees of Ahl al-Bayt have established many mosques, schools, charitable institutes, interest-free funds and orphanages, thanks to these sessions. Millions of people have enjoyed the blessings of such institutions.

Addressing Fudhayl ibn Yasar, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) asked, “Will you get together and talk about us?” I said, “Yes.”

p: 331

1- Tafsir Furat: 207, H. 274
2- Interpretation of Manifest Verses: 239

The Imam said,

إنَّ تِلْكَ الْمَجَالِسَ أحِبُّهَا. أحْيُو أمْرَنَا، فَرَحِمَ اللَّهُ مَنْ أحْيَا أمْرَنَا.

“I am fond of these assemblies. Enliven our affair with them. May the mercy of Allah be upon one who enlivens our affair.”(1)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ إجْتَمَعَ مَعَ آخَرَ فَتَذَاكَرَ أمْرَنَا، فَإنَّ ثَالِثَهُمَا مَلَكٌ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمَا. وَمَا إجْتَمَعَ مَعَ مَعَ آخَرَ فَتَذَاكَرَ أمْرَنَا، فَإنَّ ثَالِثَهُمَا مَلَكٌ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمَا. وَمَاإجْتَمَعَ إثْنَانِ عَلَى ذِكْرِنَا إلأ بَاهَى اللَّهُ بِهِمَا الْمَلأئِكَةَ، فَإذَا اجْتَمَعَ إثْنَانِ عَلَى ذِكْرِنَا إلأ بَاهَى اللَّهُ بِهِمَا الْمَلأئِكَةَ فَإذَا اجْتَمَعْتُمْ فَاشْتَغِلُوا بِالذِّكْرِ، فَإنَّ فِي إجْتِمَاعِكُمْ وَمُذَاكَرَتِكُمْ إحْيَاءَنَا.

May Allah have mercy on a person who sits with another and speaks about our traditions. When two persons speak about our affair, the third of them will be an angel who will pray forgiveness for them. When two persons get together and commemorate us, Allah will be proud of them before angels. When you get together, be engaged in commemorating us, for in this way you will enliven us.(2)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ جَلَسَ مَجْلِساً يُحْيي فِيهِ أمْرَنَا لَمْ يَمُتْ قَلْبُهُلايَوْمَ تَمُتْ قَلْبُهُ يَوْمَ تَمُوتُ الْقُلُوبُ.

Whoever sits in an assembly where our affair is enlivened, his heart will not die when all hearts die.(3)

Weeping For Ahl Al-Bayt


Weeping is a state that comes about when man faces a certain event. We weep when our hearts are broken or sometimes, we weep for joy. Weeping is a truth that the Prophets, Imams and Allah’s favorite servants have been involved in especially at dawns when they were engaged in supplications and invocations. It has been

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1- Qurb al-Isnad: 18
2- Al-Amali: 224, H. 390
3- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 294/14, Chapter: 28, H. 48

considered as cure for some esoteric pains such as separation. Allah’s favorite servants found relief for their afflicted and grieved hearts with it. Today, weeping is considered in the West as treatment for curing certain psychological cases and psychologists prescribe it.

Allah mentions weeping as a sign of true believers:

وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَىٰ أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوا مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۖ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ

And when they hear what has been revealed to the apostle, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth. (5:83)

There are many narrations about weeping for fear of Allah at midnights and dawns as related by Ahl al-Bayt, which can be collected together as a book.

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.), in the supplication of Kumayl, says:

يَا إلَهِي وَ رَبِّي وَ سَيِّدي وَمَوْلاي! لأيِّ الأُمُورِ إلَيكَ أشْكُو؟ وَلِمَا مِنْهَا أضِجُّ وَأبْكِي؟ لألِيمِ الْعَذَابِ وَ شِدَّتِهِ؟ أمْ لِطُولِ الْبَلاءِ وَمُدَّتِهِ؟

My God! My Lord! My Master! My Protector! For which things would I complain to You, and for which of them would I lament and weep? Is it for the pain and severity of chastisement or for the length and period of tribulation?

In Dua Abi-Hamzah Thamali, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) says:

فَمَا لِي لا أبْكِي؟ أبْكِي لِخُروجِ نَفْسِي، أبْكِي لِظُلْمَةِ قَبْرِي،أبْكِي لِضَيقِ لَحْدي، أبْكي لِسُؤالِ مُنْكَر وَ نَكِير إيَّايَ، أبْكي لِخُرُوجي مِنْ قَبْري عُرْيَاناً ذَلِيلاً حَامِلاً ثِقْلِي عَلى ظَهْرِي.

Why should I not cry? I am sad on account of my departing soul. I cry in fear of the darkness of the

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grave. I cry in dread of the narrowing walls inside the dugout hole. I cry in awe of the questioning Munkar and Nakir would direct at me. I cry over my plight when I will come out naked, in shame, from my grave, loaded with burden on my back.

One of the instances of weeping is to weep for the calamities, which befell the Ahl al-Bayt especially the master of the martyrs, Imam Husayn, which is considered as a prayer and has a great reward. It is a cure for mental disturbances, preparation for repentance, and a cause of Allah’s mercy.

In an authentic narration, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ تَذَكَّرَ مُصَابَنَا وَبَكَى لِمَا ارْتُكِبَ لِمَا ارتُكِبَ مِنَّا كَانَ مَعَنَا فِي دَرَجَاتِنَا يَومَ الْقِيَامَةِ. وَمَنْ ذُكِّرَ بِمُصَابِنَا فَكَى وَ أبْكَى لَمْ تَبْكِ عِينُهُ يَومَ تَبْكِي الْعُيُونُ.

One who remembers our calamities and weeps for what has befallen us will have the same rank with us on the Judgment Day. And one who reads our calamities and weeps or makes others weep will not weep when all eyes are full of tears.(1)

Addressing Musmi, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “You are from Iraq. Have you visited the grave of Imam Husayn?” Musmi said, “There are many enemies of Ahl al-Bayt in Basrah. I fear they will report me to the rulers hence I will be persecuted.” The Imam said, “Do you ever remember what was done to Husayn?” Musmi said, “Yes, I do.” The Imam said, “Do you lament?” Musmi said, “Yes. By Allah, I lament

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1- Al-Amali: 73, H. 4

in a way my family see its signs on my face. In that state, I can’t eat.”

The Imam said, “May Allah have mercy on you for your lamentation. You are one of those who will be happy when we are happy and you will be sad when we are sad. Beyond doubt you will meet my forefathers when you will die. You will be recommended to the Angel of Death; you will be given news about something delightful before you die and the Angel of Death will be more kind to you than your mother.”(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, addressing Imam Husayn (a.s.):

“You are a lesson (of weeping) for every believer!”

“Am I, father?” Imam Husayn (a.s.) asked.

“Yes, my son”, answered Imam Ali (a.s.)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ ذَكَرَنَا أوْ ذُكِرْنَا عِنْدَهُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْ عَينِهِ دَمَهٌ مِثْلُ جَنَاحِ بَعُوضَةٍ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ ذُنُوبَهُ وَلَوْ كَانَتْ مِثْلَ زَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ.

Whoever remembers us and weeps, Allah will forgive his sins even if they are as much as foam of sea.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq has also said:

نَفْسُ الْمَهْمُومِ لِظُلْمِنَا تَسْبِيحٌ، وَهَمُّهُ لَنَا عِبَادةٌ، وَكِتْمَانُ سِرِّنَا جِهَادٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ...يَحِبُ أنْ يُكْتَبَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ بِالذَّهَبِ.

A moment of sorrow for the injustice done to us is like the glorification of Allah. Grieving over us is as prayer and hiding our secrets is considered as holy war. These words should be written with gold.(3)

Harun Makfuf (the blind) has reported Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) to say:

وَمَنْ ذُكِرَ الْحُسَينُ عِنْدَهُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْ عَينَيْهِ مِنَ الدُّمُوعِ مِقْدَارَ جَنَاحٍ ذُبَابٍ كَانَ ثَوَابُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ

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1- Kamil al-Ziyarat: 101, Chapter: 32, H. 6
2- Tafsir al-Qummi: 292/2
3- Al-Amali, 115, H. 178

وَجَلَّ وَ لَمْ يَرْضُ لَهُ بِدُونِ الجَنَّةِ.

One who remembers Husayn and weeps for him will be rewarded; and Allah is not content with anything less than Paradise for him.(1)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

فَعَلَى مِثْلِ الحُسَينِ فَلْيَبْكِ الْبَاكُونَ، فَإنَّ الْبُكَاء عَلِيهِ يَحُطُّ الذُّنُوبَ الْعِظَامَ.

A weeper should lament over Husayn, for weeping for him will do away with sins.(2)

Addressing Ibn Shabib, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

إنْ كُنتَ بَاكِياً لِشَيْءٍ فَابْكِ لِلْحُسَينِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ بَكَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأرضُونَ لِقَتْلِهِ...إنْ بَكَيْتَ عَلَى الْحُسَينِ حَتَّى تَصِيرَ دُمُوعُكَ عَلَى خَدَّيْكَ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَكَ كُلَّ ذَنْبٍ.

If you wish to weep for anything, weep for Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi-Talib, for heavens and the earth wept for him when he was slain. If you weep for Husayn to the extent that your tears run on you cheek, Allah will forgive all your sins.(3)

From narrations that recommend weeping for Imam Husayn, we can infer the following points:

• Weeping is accepted from believers. In this case, Allah grants a great reward.

• Weeping of a believer is valuable to the extent of his adherence to Ahl al-Bayt.

• Weeping of man will be valuable if his intention is pure in seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt.

• Weeping of man will be valuable if he does not commit sin, does not rebel against Allah, does not have an immoral life and is not a source of evil and misfortune for people.

• Based on Quranic verses and narrations, on the Judgment Day, a believer’s

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1- Kamil al-Ziyarat; 100, Chapter: 32, H. 3
2- Al-Amali: 128, H. 2
3- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 299/1 Chapter: 28, H. 58

weeping will turn into Allah’s mercy and forgiveness as well as Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession.

In order to make you believe as to how one thing may change into another, we ask you to pay special attention to the following article:

The Question of Transformation in the Holy Quran


The Holy Quran expressly speaks about changing of one thing into another (transformation) at Allah’s will in the material and spiritual fields.

In Material Field

وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِي الْأَنْعَامِ لَعِبْرَةً ۖ نُسْقِيكُمْ مِمَّا فِي بُطُونِهِ مِنْ بَيْنِ فَرْثٍ وَدَمٍ لَبَنًا خَالِصًا سَائِغًا لِلشَّارِبِينَ

And most surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle; We give you to drink of what is in their bellies-- from betwixt the feces and the blood-- pure milk, easy and agreeable to swallow for those who drink. (16:66)

Is it not wonderful that, when Allah wills, pure and agreeable milk with different valuable products comes from between feces and bellies, which man hate? Reflection on this issue brings man out of ignorance to the knowledge of Allah.

The Holy Quran says about the bees:

ثُمَّ كُلِي مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ

Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colors, in which there is a healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect. (16:69)

What does Allah’s will really do? A tiny insect flies miles from its hive, eats of the fruits, while knowing them

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precisely, returns to its hive without losing its way and gives us a nutritious material!

Allah’s will brings out of water, soil, air and light, fruits, seeds, cereals, grain, vegetables, flowers, herbs for animals which cannot be counted nor can their quality and quantity be measured.

No one is aware of how water, soil, air and light change into all these wonderful blessings! The Holy Quran says:

رِزْقًا الثَّمَرَاتِ مِنَ بِهِ فَأَخْرَجَ مَاءً السَّمَاءِ مِنَ وَأَنْزَلَ بِنَاءً وَالسَّمَاءَ فِرَاشًا الْأَرْضَ لَكُمُ جَعَلَ الَّذِي


Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and who sends down rain from the cloud, then brings for the subsistence for you. (2:22)

The question of changing one thing into another in the material field is as noteworthy as the universe itself and it cannot be discussed within the short space of this book.

In Spiritual Field

Reflection on Quranic verses proves that any good deed done by human beings will be changed into Allah’s pleasure and will be sent to heaven. Likewise, every evil act done by human beings will turn into eternal torment.

True repentance will turn Allah’s wrath into mercy. True prayer will turn vices into virtues. Fasting will turn into a shield against Hellfire on the Judgment Day.

What is given as rewards to the righteous and punishment to the evildoers on the Day of Judgment is an embodiment of their deeds changed into Paradise or hell:

أَمَدًا وَبَيْنَهُ بَيْنَهَا أَنَّ لَوْ تَوَدُّ سُوءٍ مِنْ عَمِلَتْ وَمَا مُحْضَرًا خَيْرٍ مِنْ عَمِلَتْ

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مَا نَفْسٍ كُلُّ تَجِدُ يَوْمَ بَعِيدًا

On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that evil, there were a long duration of time. (3:30)

يُظْلَمُونَ لَا وَهُمْ كَسَبَتْ مَا نَفْسٍ كُلُّ تُوَفَّىٰ ثُمَّ ۖ اللَّهِ إِلَى فِيهِ تُرْجَعُونَ يَوْمًا وَاتَّقُوا

And guard yourselves against a day in which you shall be returned to Allah; then every soul shall be paid back in full what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. (2:281)

This is even more evident than all in the verse on eating the property of orphans, which will turn into fire in the bellies of the unjust:

نَارًا بُطُونِهِمْ فِي يَأْكُلُونَ إِنَّمَا ظُلْمًا الْيَتَامَىٰ أَمْوَالَ يَأْكُلُونَ الَّذِينَ إِنَّ

As for those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire. (4:10)

Whatever we do will remain in an invisible world and one day we will see them face-to-face. If our deeds are beautiful, they will change into paradise and if they are ugly, they will turn into fire of hell.

It is related that a woman came to the Holy Prophet asking a question. She was short and when she left, Aishah referred to her being short with her hands. Allah’s Messenger said, “Take a tooth-pick to remove bits of meat from between your teeth!” Aishah said, “But I have not eaten

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anything!” The Holy Prophet asked her to do what he had said. Aishah did so and a bit of meat came out of her mouth! Actually the Holy Prophet showed to Aishah the invisible result of backbiting in this world:

ۚفَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ مَيْتًا أَخِيهِ لَحْمَ يَأْكُلَ أَنْ أَحَدُكُمْ أَيُحِبُّ بَعْضًا بَعْضُكُمْ يَغْتَبْ وَلَا

…nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. (49:12)

In a Hadith, we read:

إنَّمَا هِيَ أعْمَالُكُم تُرَدُّ إلَيْكُم.

All torments are the deeds that you have done and they return to you.

Visitation On To The Graves Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Visiting the graves of Ahl al-Bayt from near and far distance, especially enduring hardships on this way, has been recommended to the believers; an act which will have great reward.

On visiting the Holy Shrine of the Holy Prophet, it has been related:

If people abandon visiting the grave of the Holy Prophet, Muslim leaders have the duty to encourage them to do so, for abandoning visitation to his holy shrine is unkindness to him, which is unlawful to Muslims.(1)

Quoting Imam al-Sadiq, Sheikh Saduq has reported:

إذَا حَجَّ أحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَخْتِمُ حَجَّهُ بِزِيَارَتِنَا لأنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ تَمَامِ الْحَجِّ.

Whoever performs Hajj rites must complete it with paying visit to us, for to visit our graves makes Hajj perfect.(2)

Imam Ali (a.s.) is reported as saying:

أتِمُّوا بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ حَجَّكُمْ إذَا خَرَجْتُم إلَى بَيْتِ اللَّهِ، فَإنَّ تَرْكَهُ جَفَاءٌ، وَبِذَالِكَ أمِرْتُمْ. وَأتِمُّا بِالْقُبُورِ الَّتِي ألْزَمَكُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ زِيَارَتَهَا وَ حَقَّهَا وَاطْلُبُوا الرِّزْقَ عِنْدَهَا.

Make your Hajj rites perfect by visiting

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1- Wasail al-Shia: 24/11, H. 14149
2- Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 262/2, H. 28

the Holy Prophet’s grave, for to abandon that would be an unkind act and against courtesy. You have been enjoined to perform this visitation. Also visit the graves, which Allah has made obligatory and seek your sustenance beside those graves.(1)

Quoting his grandfather, Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik has reported: One day I went to the presence of Lady Fatimah. She greeted me and asked, “What have you come here for?” I said, “Seeking blessings and reward.” Lady Fatimah said (a.s.), “My father told me that whoever salutes him and me for three days, Allah will make Paradise obligatory to him.” I asked, “During his and your life?” She said, “Yes, and also after our death.”(2)

Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying:

مَنْ زَارَنِي غُفِرَتْ لَهُ ذُنُوبُهُ وَلَمْ يَمُتْ فَقِيراً.

Whoever visits my grave; his sins will be forgiven and will not die as poor or distressed.(3)

Imam Askari has said:

مَنْ زَارَ جَعْفَراً وَأبَاهُ لَمْ يَشْكُ عَيْنَهُ وَلَمْ يُصِبْهُ سَقَمٌ وَلَمْ يَمُتْ مُبْتَلَىً.

Whoever visits the tombs of Imam al-Sadiq and Imam al-Baqir will not have defect in his eye, will not be diseased, and will not die afflicted.(4)

The Holy Prophet has said:

مَنْ زَارَ الحَسَنَ فِي بَقِيعِهِ ثَبُتَ قَدَمُهُ عَلَى الصِّراطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيهِ الأقْدَامُ.

Whoever visits Imam Hasan in Baqi Cemetery, his foot will remain steadfast on the Sirat when his other feet will slip.(5)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) is reported by Muhammad ibn Muslim as saying:

مُرُوا شِيعَتَنَا بِزِيَارَةِ قَبْرٍ الحُسَينِ بْن عَلِيٍّ، فَإنَّ إتْيَانَهُ مُقْتَرَضٌ عَلَى كُلٍّ مُؤْمِنٍ يُقِرُّ لِلْحُسَيْنِ بِلأمَامَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ.

Enjoin our followers

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1- Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 9/9, Chapter: 3, H. 11
2- Al-Muqniah: 474, Chapter: 20
3- Al-Muqniah: 474, Chapter: 20
4- Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 78/6
5- Bihar al-Anwar: 141/97, Chapter: 1, H. 14

to visit the grave of Imam Husayn, for visiting his grave is incumbent upon every believer who admits his Imamate.(1)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported as saying:

مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرَ الحُسَيْنِ لِلَّهِ وَفِي اللَّهِ، أعْتَقَهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَ آمَنَهُ يَوْمَ الْفَزَعِ الأكْبَرِ وَلَمْ يَسَالِ اللَّهَ حَجَةَ مِنْ حَوَائِجِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ إلأ أعْطَاهُ.

Whoever visits the grave of Imam Husayn for the sake of Allah and in His way will be set free from hellfire, spared on the Day of the Greater Lamentation, and Allah will grant him whatever his needs are in this world and the hereafter.(2)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has also said:

مَنْ لَمْ يَاتِ قَبْرَ الْحُسَينِ حَتَى يَمُوتَ كَانَ مُنْتَقَصَ الدِّينِ مُنْتَقَصَ الإيمَانِ، وَإنْ أدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ كَانَ دُونَ المُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الجَنَّةِ.

Whoever does not visit the grave of Imam Husayn before his death, his faith is not perfect. Even if he enters Paradise, his rank will be lower than that of other believers.(3)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرَ الْحُسَينِ بِشَطِّ الْفُرَاتِ كَانَ كَمَنْ زَارَ اللَّهَ فَوْقَ عَرْشِهِ.

Whoever visits the grave of Husayn at the bank of the Euphrates is like the one who has visited Allah on His Throne.(4)

How To Thank The Blessing Of Ahl Al-Bayt


In the Holy Quran, all human beings have been asked to offer thanks for all material and spiritual blessings that Allah has given to them and to avoid being ungrateful to these blessings. Based on narrations related by Ahl al-Bayt, offering thanks means to avoid using these blessings where Allah is not pleased and that blessings must be used in the same way that

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1- Kamil al-Ziyarat: 121
2- Kamil al-Ziyarat; 145, Capter 57, H. 7.
3- Kamil al-Ziyarat: 193, Capter: 57, H. 2
4- Thawab al-Amal wa-Iqab al-Amal: 85

Allah has ordered.

There are two Quranic verses, which make offering thanks obligatory on human beings:

وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ لِي اشْكُرْ أَنِ عَامَيْنِ فِي وَفِصَالُهُ وَهْنٍ عَلَىٰ وَهْنًا أُمُّهُ حَمَلَتْهُ بِوَالِدَيْهِ الْإِنْسَانَ وَوَصَّيْنَا

ۖتُطِعْهُمَا فَلَا عِلْمٌ بِهِ لَكَ لَيْسَ مَا بِي تُشْرِكَ أَنْ عَلَىٰ جَاهَدَاكَ إِنْ وَ الْمَصِيرُ إِلَيَّ

كُنْتُمْ بِمَا فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ مَرْجِعُكُمْ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ ۚإِلَيَّ أَنَابَ مَنْ سَبِيلَ وَاتَّبِعْ ۖمَعْرُوفًا الدُّنْيَافِي وَصَاحِبْهُمَا


And we have enjoined man in respect of his parents - his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years, saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did. (31:14-15)

These Holy verses address all human beings, man and woman, young and old, scholar and layman. The part, which reads,

“Be grateful to Me and to both parents” –

is in imperative form that has to be complied with. Beyond doubt, disobeying such command is a grave sin for which Allah has promised a certain torment.

In this Holy verse, Allah has not provided any condition for being grateful to one's parents. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying: A man came to the Holy Prophet saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Enjoin me.” The Holy Prophet

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لاَ تُشْرِكْ بِللَّهِ شَيْئاً وَ إنْ حُرِّقْتَ بِالنَّارِ وَعُذِّبْتَ إلاَّ وَ قَلْبُكَ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإيمَانِ. وَوَالِدَيْكَ فَأطِعْهُمَا وَبِرَّهُمَا حَيَّينِ كَانَا أوْمَيِّتَيْنِ وَ إنْ أمَرَاكَ أنْ تَخْرُجَ مِنْ أهْلِكَ وَ مَالِكَ فَافْعَلْ، فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الإيمَانِ.

Do not associate anything with Allah and even if they burn or torment you as regards monotheism, endure it while you heart is sure of your faith; be kind to your parents both when they are living or dead and even if they asked you to give up your family and wealth, do so, for acceptance of this shows your faith.(1)

Out of the four persons of fighting in the battlefield, Miqdad said to the Holy Prophet, “My father is in the front against us: he has entered battle against you; would you give me permission to attack and kill him?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Let someone else do it, for if you kill your father in the way of Allah, your life will become short!”

Thanking the Blessing of Ahl al-Bayt

When the position of parents – whether they be Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, or laic - is so high, how much higher will be the position of Ahl al-Bayt who have a right of Imamate, loyalty and educational leadership on all human beings? They are Noah’s Ark in this world and the hereafter and obedience to them will guarantee a man’s happiness and prosperity.

To give Ahl al-Bayt’s their due right is to get to know them, to love them, to consider them as Noah’s Ark, and to obey their commands in all aspects of

p: 344

1- Al-Kafi, 158/2, H. 2

life. This is the way to offer our thanks for the blessing of Ahl al-Bayt.



A perfect recognition of the Ahl al-Bayt is beyond human capacity. With numerous translations and interpretations of the Holy Quran throughout centuries, every new generation realizes that there are concepts in the Holy Quran, which have not been discussed as yet. The same thing can be said about Ahl al-Bayt.

All throughout the past fourteen centuries, many books and dissertations have been written on them; yet, there are still many things that have not yet been written or said. From narrations related by Ahl al- Bayt, we infer that getting to know Ahl al-Bayt has many stages.

The Holy Prophet has said:

يَا عَلِيُّ! مَا عَرَفَ اللَّهَ وَ أنْتَ: وَ مَا عَرَفَنِي إلأَّ اللَّهُ وَ أنْتَ: وَمَا عَرَفَكَ إلأَّ اللَّهُ وَ أنَا.

O Ali! No one knows Allah save you and me; no one knows me save Allah and you; no one knows you save Allah and me.(1)

The Holy Prophet has also said:

مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَعْرِفْ إمَامَ زَمَانِهِ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّة.

One who dies and does not know his Imam has died the death of one who lived in the era of ignorance (i.e. has not recognized Islam).(2)

The Holy Prophet has introduced dying without knowing the Imam of the time as dying in the pre-Islamic era of ignorance. On one hand he has counted the knowing of Ahl al-Bayt at a very limited level and the level of knowing Allah and Ahl al-Bayt on another.

From these

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1- Interpretation of Manifest verses; 139/1, H. 18
2- Al-Kafi: 19/2

narrations, we infer that human beings have different capacities of getting to know the Ahl al-Bayt. Salman, the Persian is quite different from Abu-Dharr in terms of knowing Ahl al-Bayt. Abu-Dharr’s knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt is different from that of Miqdad.

Quoting his great grandfather Ali ibn Husayn, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has reported:

وَاللَّهِ، لَوْ عَلِمَ أبُوذَرٍ مَا فِي قَلْبِ سَلْمَانَ لَقَتَلَهُ! وَلَقَدْ آخِى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ بَيْنَهُمَا، فَمَا ظَنُّكُمْ بِسَائِرِ الْخَلْقِ؟ إنَّ عِلْمَ الْعُلَمَاءِ صَعْبٌ مُسْتَصْبٌ لاَ يَحْتَمِلُهُ إلأ نَبِيٌ مُرْسَلٌ أوْ مَلَكُ مُقَرَّبٌ أو عَبْدُ مُؤْمِنٌ إمْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قَلْبَهُ لِلأيمَانِ. وَإنَّمَا صَارَ سَلْمَانُ مِنَ الْعُلَمَاءِ لأنَّهُ امْرُؤٌ مِنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيتِ فَلِذَلِكَ نَسَبْتَهُ إلَى الْمَاءِ.

By Allah (I swear), if Abu-Dharr knew what was in the heart of Salman, he would kill him, though Allah had made a contract of brotherhood between them. How would you then judge about other people? Surely the scholars’ knowledge is hard to understand and burdensome! No one can endure it but a Prophet, an archangel or a believing servant whose heart Allah has tested with faith. Only Salman became a man of knowledge, for he was from us, Ahl al-Bayt. That is why I attributed him to the scholars. (1)

On one occasion, Imam Ali (a.s.) said to Abu-Dharr:

إنَّ سَلْمَانَ لَوْ حَدَّتَكَ بِمَا يَعْلَمُ لَقُلْتَ: رَحِمَ اللَّهُ قَاتِلَ سَلْمَانَ!

If Salman informed you of what he knew, you would say: May Allah have mercy on Salman’s killer.(2)

It has been reported that faith has ten ranks: Salman was in the tenth rank, Abu-Dharr in the ninth and Miqdad in the

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1- Al-Kafi: 401/1, H. 2
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 373/22, Chapter: 11, H. 2


As it is seen, faith is based on knowledge. Therefore, ranks of faith are deeply rooted in the ranks of knowledge.

Exaggeration - A Threat To Faith

Throughout history of Shiism, exaggeration has been a potential danger threatening the Shia faith. We can say that there has never been an epoch in the history of Shia without exaggerators being there. There has never been a time when the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt have not resisted against this destructive current of exaggeration and have not condemned it. Surprisingly, we still witness exaggerators here and there in our time, which is the age of the technology of data and advanced sciences.

Exaggeration has its roots in two factors: lacking sufficient capacity for learning the knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt and overflowing of emotions and its dominance over intellect.

The Holy Prophet has said:

لَوْلأَ أنْ يَقُولَ الضَّالُّونَ مِنْ أمَّتِي مَا قَالَتِ النَّصَارَى فِي عِسَى بْنِ مَرْيَمَ، لَقُلْتُ فِيكَ قَوْلاً لاَ تَمُررُّ بِمَلإٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ إلاَّ أخَددذُوا اْتُّرَابَ مِنْ تَحْتِ قَدَمَيكَ يَسْتَشْفُونَ بِهِ.

Were it not for fear that exaggerators of my ummah say about you what Christians said about Jesus, son of Mary, I would say something about you that you would not pass by any people unless they would take the soil under you feet to be healed therewith.(2)

A man by the name of Sa’d asked Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), “Who is an exaggerator?” The Imam said,

(الْغَالُونَ) قَومٌ يَقُولُونَ فِينَا مَا لاَ نَقُولُهُ فِي أنْفُسَنَا. فَلَيسَ أُولَئِكَ مِنَّا وَلَسْنَا مِنْهُمْ.

“They are people who say something about us which we do not

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1- Al-Khisal, Tadiths: 48-49
2- Yanabi al-Mawaddah: 200/1

say about ourselves. They are not from us and we are not from them either.”(1)

Imam al-Sadiq has said:

شِيعَتُنَا مَنْ لاَ يَمْدَحُ بِنَا غَالِياً.

Our followers are those who do not eulogize us exaggeratedly.(2)

In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying:

وَ أحِبُّوا أهْلَ بَيْتِ نَبِيِّكُمْ حُبَّاً مُقْتَصِداً وَلاَ تَغْلُوا.

Be moderate in loving the Household of your Prophet and do not exaggerate.(3)

Evidently, the young generation who are the great support of every school of thought, every society and every culture, if exposed to exaggerators inroad, the biggest blow will be dealt to the Muslim society, the school of thought and culture.

The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, with their Divine insight have warned the new generations against the blight of exaggeration. In this relation, Imam al- Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إحْذَروا عَلَى شَبَابِكُمُ الغُلاَةَ لاَ يُفْسِدُوهُمْ، فَإنَّ الغُلاَةَ شَرُّ خَلْقِ اللَّهِ.

Beware of exaggerators who might ruin the youngsters, for exaggerators are the worst creatures.(4)

In another Hadith, after speaking about Allah’s attributes, Imam al-Ridha says:

نَحْنُ آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ النَّمَطُ الأوْسَطُ الَّذِي لاَ يُدِكُنَا الْغَالِي وَ لاَ يَسْبِقُنَا الْتَّالِي.

We, the family of Muhammad, are moderate people. Those who overstate our position do not understand us. And, those who understate our position fail to supersede us. Know that the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt have made the right path distinct from the wrong; no excuse is accepted from anyone.

اَللَّهُمَّ أحْيِنَا حَيَاةَ مُحَمَّدِ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَ أمِتُنَا مَمَاتَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَارْزُقَنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا زِيَارَةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ شَفَاعَةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَ لاَ

p: 348

1- Bihar al-Anwar: 101/67, Chapter: 47, H. 6
2- Bihar al-Anwar: 164/65, H. 16
3- Bihar al-Anwar: 269/25, H. 12
4- Al-Amali: 650, H. 1349

تُفَرِّقْ بَيْنَنَا وَ بَيْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَ اجْعَلْنَا مِنْ شِيعَةِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ.

O Allah, make me live like Muhammad (S) and his household lived. And, make me die like Muhammad (S) and his household died. And make the visitation of the grave of Muhammad (S) and those of his household, the intercession of Muhammad (S) and his household in the hereafter available to us. And make no separation between us and Muhammad (S) and his household and place us among the followers of Muhammad (S) and the household of Muhammad (S).

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al-Zumar: 9
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