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Issue 1, Vol.

2, Number 2 - Friday, 13th February, 2015

Ayatullah: History
behind the title

Editors: Syed Yasir Abbas & Dr. Ameer Ali Badami

Pearls of Wisdom
Hisham ibn al-Hakam who
states that Imam Musa ibn
Jafar (peace be upon them),
addressed him thus:
"O Hisham! Amr almu'minn Ali (as) used to
say:
Of the signs of a man of reason,
one is that he has got three
characteristics:
He replies only when he
is questioned;
Speaks when all others
fail;
And Advises what is
suitable for the good of
a person.
One who has none of these three
said qualities is stupid.'"
"Amr al-muminn, Ali (as)
further added:

Page 4

Lessons from Battle of


Uhud by Ayatullah
Khamenei (dz)

Page 3

Page 2

The Awakening
Spiritual journeying in the
Words of Imam Khomeini (ra)

Published in: Bangalore, Complimentary Copy

The 400 principle books of Hadith Collection

Ul arbaa mia meaning: the 400 Principle Books) are 400 hadith collections which
were collected by the transmitters of hadith directly from the Prophet (s) and Imams
(a) in the early centuries of Islam.
They were sources for later hadith references; and one criterion of authenticity for
next generation of hadith scholars was the existence of at least one of these "Usul" in
the reference of a hadith. The content of these collections was hadiths from the
Infallible Imams (a) in different fields of rulings, traditions, sermons, supplications
and commentaries of the Qur'an. Collecting them was being carried out by the
companions from the time of Imam 'Ali (a) until Imam Hasan al-Askari (a) and the
number of those companions has sometimes been reported to have been exactly
four hundred, most of whom were companions of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a).
The Importance of these Ul arbaa mia: Apparently, the trustworthiness of such
Usul is that the companions of Imams (a) would instantly write down hadiths from
them upon hearing them which lowered the possibility of forgetting them or
modification of their wording. This claim is approved by Sayyid b. Tawus's report
in Muhaj al-da'awat saying that, a group of the companions of Imam al-Kazim (a)

would attend his presence having pen and paper and recorded anything he said or any
ruling he gave.
There were more than 400 Usul available at the time of Imams (a), however those
which were verified and approved by Twelver Shi'as have been 400 ones. The
authors to those 400 Usul have been all reliable and trustworthy, however they were
not all Twelver Shi'a. In al-Fihrist, ''Shaykh al-Tusi'' says, Although some of the Shi'a

authors of the Usul have been following corrupted schools; however, their works (in
trustworthiness & authenticity) are reliable.

No one should preside over a


meeting except when he
possesses either all the three or
at least one of the above
qualities. If a person without
having the three or (at least) any
one of the three said qualities
presides over a meeting then he
is just stupid."

Destiny of Ul arbaa mia: Before writing the Four Books (al-Kafi, Man la
yahduruh al-faqih, al-Tahdhib and al-Istibsar) Usul have been carefully preserved
and kept safe. However, after the Four Books, there was less care about guarding
the Usul; mostly due to lack of order in their topics which made the reader's access
to them difficult. On the other hand, the Four Books had included and arranged all
the content of those usul. Most usul have been available in their original form until
the time of Ibn Idris al-Hilli (d. 664 AH).

Reference: Al-Kafi, the book


of Reason & Ignorance, Page
no. 47, Published by WOFIS.

At the end of al-Sara'ir, he quoted some hadiths from them in a section called
Mustatrafat al-sara'ir. What is now left from those usul is 16 usul which are
completely brought at the ending part of Mustadrak al-Wasa'il. Some of these 16
usul have also been published individually too.

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The Awakening, Issue 1, Vol. 2, Number 2

Page 2: Muslim Ummah

Lessons from Battle of Uhud by Ayatullah Khamenei (dz)


When you take a look at the history of Islam, you realize that what Islam &
the Holy Prophet (s) did in this regard was near-miraculous. I would like
to refer to one instance of this. As you know, in the Battle of Uhud,
Muslims gained a victory at first, but then they were defeated due to the
greed of certain people in their camp. Some of the Muslims - such as
Hamza and other people - were martyred & the rest fled to the mountains.
At the end of the battle, the enemies left the battlefield happily, and
Muslims were left with a sad memory. The Holy Prophet (s) told his
companions to collect the bodies & take them to Medina, they left Uhud
for Medina. There were wounded people & bereaved families among
those who returned to Medina, and they were carrying the immaculate
bodies of the martyrs. Medina was in chaos partly due to weeping & sad
elegies for the martyrs, & partly due to the defeat in the battle. These
things were all bitter to the Muslims.
On the night following that bitter event, the Holy was revealed: "Those to whom the people said: Surely men
Prophet (s) was informed that it had occurred to some have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but this
of the polytheists that they could totally annihilate the increased their faith, and they said: Allah is sufficient for
Muslims before going home. This news spread to the us & most excellent is the Protector" [Quran, 3: 173]. They
people of Medina. A number of people who could not said God was sufficient for them, & they left everything
control their tongues started to spread the news. There to Him. Just see the greatness of this understanding: You
are always some spiteful or ignorant people who are the one who is doing the work, it is your muscles
spread bad news like a flash. As soon as such people that are working, it is your thought that is directly
hear something, they start to spread it, regardless of involved, it is your hand that is writing, but the work
whether it is accurate or not. There were such people at that is done is an act of God - everything is left to Him.
that time, just as there are today. They started to Leaving something to God does not mean that we
spread the news in Medina. They started saying such should stand by and say that God will take care of
things as, "We are done. These people are going to attack everything. No, this is not how God works. It is equally
us. We should be scared." They began to dishearten the wrong to think that it was you who did something
people of Medina. This was where the Holy Prophet (s) prominent or made an achievement and feel proud as a
stepped in. It is necessary to utilize the spirit of result. If Allah the Exalted does not bestow assistance,
guidance & grace on you, you cannot do anything, and
prophethood in such circumstances.
The Holy Prophet (s) told the people to gather in a you will not achieve any results.
mosque, & they did so. He said, "I have received reports When these two elements come together, your work
that the enemies have gathered in a place. They are waiting becomes the right kind of work. That is to say, if on the
for you to let down your guard so that they can attack. You one hand, you rely on God, seek assistance from Him,
should go and kill them all tonight." The people said they believe that He is watching you & accept that what you
were ready. The Holy Prophet (s) said, "No, only those are doing is in fact being done by God, and on the other
who took part in the Battle of Uhud today should go." He hand, you invest all your energy in the work you are
asked only the tired and wounded soldiers to go and doing, then you are moving in the right direction. "And
fight the enemies, nobody else. Some people were they said: Allah is sufficient for us, and most excellent is
surprised at first, but then they realized what a good the Protector" [Quran, 3: 173]. This Ayah is a description
order it was. Those who had fought in the Battle of of such people, and the outcome of their work is
Uhud - and had been exhausted and slightly wounded mentioned in the next ayah. "So they returned with favor
- gathered there immediately. Then the Holy Prophet from Allah and (His) grace. No evil touched them, and they
(s) ordered them to go and eliminate the threat. Those followed the pleasure of Allah." [Quran, 3: 174] They went
who had been wounded in the battle and were willing and crushed the enemy without receiving a single
to retaliate by attacking the enemies were the ones who wound or blow. They managed to annihilate the enemy
were directly involved. They had not just heard and seize their possessions. Not only did they manage to
second-hand accounts of the battle. The Holy Prophet foil the enemy's plot, but they also managed to create a
(s) mobilized them & told them to go & fight the source of wealth for Medina & the government of the
enemies. These people - who were limited in number - Holy Prophet (s).
mounted their horses and left for the place where the We are supposed to keep these things in mind. These are
not just some historical details. They are not memories.
enemies were lying in ambush. They took the enemy
They are lessons. We are supposed to keep these realities
troops by surprise & crushed them. Then this holy ayah
in mind & make use of them in our daily lives.

The Awakening, Issue 1, Vol. 2, Number 2

Ayatullah
Ayatullah (The sign of Allah), is a title
that has been used for top ranking
Shi'a scholars since the early
14th/20th century.
The title was first given to Hasan b.
Yusuf b. 'Ali b. Mutahhar, widely
known as: al-'Allama al-Hilli. After
the establishment of the Seminary in
Qum by Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri,
other great Fuqaha (Jurists) also
became referred to with this title.
Titles such as, Thiqat al-Islam, Hujjat
al-Islam, Muhaqqiq, 'Allama and
Ayatullah were first used for specific
individuals as expressions of respect:
In the 4th/10th century, the
title, "Thiqat al-Islam" was
given to al-Kulayni.
In the 5th/11th century, the
title, "Hujjat al-Islam" was
given to Muhammad alGhazali.
In the 7th/13th century, the
title, "Muhaqqiq" was given
to Ja'far b. Hasan al-Hilli
In the 8th/14th century, the
titles, "'Allama" & "Ayatullah"
were given to Hasan b. Yusuf
al-Hilli
All of these titles remained exclusive
for the above mentioned scholars for
several centuries. As time went on,
they gradually came into general
usage for other scholars.
First Scholar to be given the title of
"Ayatullah":
Hasan b. Yusuf b. Mutahhar al-Hilli
was the first scholar to be given the
title of "Ayatullah". He is well-known
by his other title, al-'Allama al-Hilli.
Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani (d.852/1448)
refers to 'Allama al-Hilli as Ayat fi alDhaka, (a sign of intelligence). Sharaf
al-Din Shulistani, Shaykh Baha'i and
'Allama Majlisi, mention al-'Allama alHilli with the title: Ayatullah fi al'Alamin (the sign of Allah in the
worlds). Mulla Muhammad Baqir
Majlisi uses the same title for Shams
al-Din Muhammad b. Makki.

Page: Titles for Shia Scholars

Hujjat al-Islam
ujjat al-Islm is a title for some Muslim scholars, mostly used for Shi'ite
religious sholars in the last century. It first became popular during the rule
of the Qajar King, Fath 'Ali Shah (Reign 1212-1250/1797-1834). Sometimes
the title Hujjat al-Islam wa al-muslimin is used to show more respect.
Etymology: The Arabic word hujjat literally means a clear proof which
silences the opponents. The word has been used in the same sense in the
Qur'an. In Shi'ite hadiths, the prophets & the Imams have been considered
as examples of hujjat. The word hujjat has been used together with other
words (like hujjat al-din, hujjat al-haqq, hujjat al-islam) to make titles of
respect for scholars, judges, and religious authorities.
Sunni Usage: Among the sunnis, hujjat al-islam is a proper title for
Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Ghazzali (d. 505/1111). Of course, sunni
biographers have sometimes used this title for other scholars, such as the
hadith scholar Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Nishaburi (d. 261/874), etc.
Shi'ite Usage: In previous centuries, the title hujjat al-islam was
occasionally used for Shi'ite scholars, for example by al-Shaykh al-Baha'i
in reference to al-Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381/ 991), in a letter from the shi'a
Twelver scholar Yusuf b. Hatim al-Shami (d. 676/1277) to his mentor
Sayyid Ibn Tawus (d. 664/1265), etc.
More Recent Usage: In later periods, the title hujjat al-islam became even
more popular so that it was used for other clerics than the high-ranking
Shi'ite scholars in Iran & Iraq. Other titles also came to be used, for
example Thiqat al-islam, hujjat al-islam wa al-muslimin, Ayatullah, and
Ayutallah al-'uzma. Although there is no offical rule for the use of the titles,
social status, reputation, and scholarly rank were also significant in its
use.
According to custom, hujjat al-islam is no longer confined to high-ranking
scholars, and it is used for the clerics who have completed a substantial
part of their studies in fiqh & usul al-fiqh. Those who have reached the
first level of ijtihad are called by the title hujjat al-islam wal-muslimin.

Thiqat al-Islam
Thiqat al-Islm is a general respectful title for some Imami scholars. Also,
it is uniquely used for Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Kulayni. In recent
decades, the title signifies certain level of Shi'a seminary studies.
Lexicology and terminology: Lexically, Thiqat means: a reliable and
trustworthy person. In 'ilm al-Rijal, it is used to explicitly confirms the
trustworthiness (Withaqa) and Justice ('idalat) of a narrator. It seems that
in the combination of Thiqat with Islam, both lexical and terminological
merits were properly taken into account.
First Application: Thiqat al-Islam was first used as a title for Muhammad
b. Yaqub al-Kulayni (329/940) the compiler of al-Kafi. It is even regarded
as a unique title solely for him; which in general use refers to al-Kulayni.
According to Kazim Mudirshanechi, al-Kulayni was known as Thiqat alIslam in his time. Seemingly, the first who used this title for al-Kulayni in
his works is al-Shaykh al-Baha'i; after him numerous Shi'a scholars used
this title for al-Kulayni.
The Reason of calling al-Kulayni as Thiqat al-Islam: Shaykh 'Abbas
Qummi believes al-Kulayni became reputable as Thiqat al-Islam because
he was known by his accountable & reliable position by both Shi'a &
Sunni sects, and both sects used to refer to his Fatwas on different matters.
This reason seems to be applicable for all who were known by this title
rather than just al-Kulayni. For example Mazandarani in his commentary
on Usul al-Kafi & al-'Allama al-Majlisi in Bihar al-Anwar both use the title
Thiqat al-Islam for al-Shaykh al-Tusi & al-Tabrisi which seems to be based
on the above mentioned reason.

Page 4: Spirituality

The Awakening, Issue 1, Vol. 2, Number 2

Spiritual journeying in the Words of Imam Khomeini (ra)


by Sayyidah Iram Zahra Zaidi

What is considerably noticeable in the mystical thoughts of Imam Khomeini is


his placing importance on young age as a starting point for self-development
and self-purification. According to him, the older a person becomes, the firmer
and more deep-rooted false beliefs and evil deeds become, and the more
difficult it is to rectify them. In addition, unlike young age, mans willpower,
like other mental powers, weakens with old age, making the spiritual struggle
harder. Addressing those who neglect to remember God, he wrote:
"Lo the negligent! Wake up and prepare for the journey to the hereafter
because the call is made, It is the time of the journey! Until you have not lost
your youth, try to do good deeds, purify your hearts, unlock the locks of the
heart, and remove the veils [that prevent light enter the heart] because young
people are closer to God and Heaven, and they can succeed in self
purification while the aged cannot. If worldly chains and Satanic traps are
neglected during young age, they will become more deep rooted and stronger.
The deceits of Satan and ones Commanding Soul (al-nafs al-ammarah , the soul
which is not purified and commands to do bad things) are so dangerous that
one cannot guarantee he can be reformed during old age; he cannot postpone
self-purification and repentance until the old age when corruption within the
self becomes massive and the willpower to purge ones soul becomes weak or
even non-existent."(Reference: Hawzah Magazine , issue 49.)
Moreover, as for basic duties of the wayfarer to God, he
also regarded mystical self-monitoring (al-muraqabah )
and self-examination (al-muhasabah) as necessary for
purifying ones self and being immune from the
Commanding Soul and Satan:
"It is obligatory for the one who treads the path of the
hereafter to make every possible effort to protect his
knowledge and practice from the Commanding Soul
and Satan, to inspect and ponder on his actions and -

intentions carefully, to determine the departure point


& of his spiritual journey, to prepare spiritual food for
his soul, and not to disregard Satanic deceptions and
traps[For this purpose,] first, he should pay careful
attention to himself, like a kind physician and a
compassionate nurse, and should inspect the defects of
his spiritual journey; second, he should not disregard
seeking refuge in God in private through supplication
and invocation."
(Reference: The Mystic Soul of
Ruhullah , pp.128-129.)

Humility of Ayatullah Khui (ra)


by Maryam Banu

As for the great humility of Ayatullah Khui, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani said:
"Our master used to highly revere the religious scholars. I remember when
Ayatullah Muhsin Hakim taught a course in a mosque after Ayatullah Khuis
class there. Once after class, Ayatullah Khui was still in the instructors place due
to students discussion and questions when Ayatullah Hakim suddenly entered
the mosque. Seeing him, Ayatullah Khui nervously picked up his shoes and
books, stood up and apologized."
On different incidents, our master used to mention the names of his brilliant
students in class, praising them. Also, whenever a religious scholar gave him a
valuable writing as a gift, he would write something in praise of it. In both his
youth & old age when he was the religious authority of the Shia world, he
humbly lived the simple life of a religious student. Whenever he entered a
gathering, he said Salam loud and clear to all those present. He was never
heard saying anything negative. Among the other virtues of this impeccable man
are his assistance to the destitute, peaceful treatment of his opponents, kindness
to children, forgiveness, and broadmindedness.

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