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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Book: They ask you about the Imams (pbut)


The Author: Sheikh Dr. Akram Barakat

Publisher: Bayt As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wan-Nashr (As-Siraj House for


Culture and Publishing)

First Edition: Beirut, 2014 AD - 1435 AH

Special thanks go to translator "Fouad Rustom"


All Rights Reserved

They Ask You About


The Imams (PBUT)

Author
Sheikh Dr. Akram Barakat

In the name of Allah,


the Most Gracious,
the Most Merciful

A Series of Al Qaem Pulpit Sermons

These issues address the needs of society


and explain the program leading man to
happiness in both worlds.
Sheikh Akram Barakat discussed these
subjects from Al Qaem pulpit in Beiruts
southern suburb, after which he made
them available in writing in the hope
they will earn your satisfaction.

Introduction:
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, the Most
Merciful
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allahs
blessing and peace be upon the noblest of His creatures,
Muhammad and his purified and virtuous household.
The dialogue sessions continue inside Al- Qaem
mosque. Part of these sessions focused on the issue
of the imamate and the stature or value of the Imams
(pbut). This issue encouraged me to repeat the answers
and publicize them via the rostrum of the mosque. Next,
I recorded them in this book as part of the series of Al
Qaem pulpit in the hope that it will benefit the seekers
of knowledge and add to my weight of good deeds on
the Day of Judgment, the day when wealth and sons
avail not (any man), save him who brings unto Allah a
whole heart.
Akram Barakat
Al-Qaem Mosque, Beirut, Lebanon
2013 AD - 1434 AH

Lesson [1]

What is the meaning of Imamate


based on the Shiite terminology?
The Imam according to language and the
Holy Quran

The word Imam, according to language, means the


one followed, the guiding one,(1) despite the destiny
(good or bad) of such guidance. The holy Quran uses
the term Imam in the same linguistic meaning. Allah the
Exalted said, And We made them chiefs who guide
by Our command...(2) ...Lo! I have appointed thee
a leader for mankind...(3) Allah the Exalted said
regarding the imamate of evil, And We made them
patterns that invite unto the Fire...(4)
The Imam according to common accounts

The accounts of both Shiites and Sunnites reported a


speech regarding the magnitude of the position of the Imam
(1) AL-FAYOUMI, Ahmad, al-Mesbah al-Mounir (The Luminous Lamp), first edition,
Qum, Dal al-Hijra (publishing house), 1405 AH, p. 23
(2) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Anby (The Prophets), verse 73
(3) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 124
(4) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Qaa (The Stories), verse 41

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

who plays a key role in the fate of the Muslim. The Shiites
report the Prophet (pbuh&hh) as saying: Anyone who
dies while ignoring the Imam of his time dies ignorant.(1)
The Sunnites reported an extract that is similar to
this speech. For instance, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal
reported Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) as saying,
Anyone who dies without an Imam dies ignorant.(2)
In his book Sahih (The Correct) Ibn Habban
reported the Prophet (pbuh) as saying, Anyone who
dies while lacking an Imam dies ignorant.(3)
10

The story of al-Jahiz reads, Anyone who dies


without an Imam dies ignorant.(4)
(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), audited by Ali Akbar al-Ghafari,
fifth edition, Tehran, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah (Publishing House), 1363 AH, p. 268. ATTOUSI, Muhammad, Ar-Rasael al-Ashr (The Ten Messages), publishing edition unknown,
Moassasat An-Nashr Al-Islami (Publishing House), publishing date unknown, p. 317. AsSadouq, Ali Bin Babaweih, al-Imamah Wat-Tabassour (The Imamate and Insight), audited
by Imam Mahdi School, first edition, Qum, Imam Mahdi School, 1404 AH, p. 2.
(2) IBN HANBAL, Ahmad, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, publishing edition unknown,
Beirut, Dar As-Sadir (publishing house), publishing date unknown, vol. 4, p. 96. ALHAITHAMI, Ali, Majma Az-Zawayed, publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyyah (publishing house), 1408 AH, vol. 5, p. 218. AT-TABARANI, Suleiman,
al-Mojam al-Kabir (The Great Dictionary), audited by Hamdi Abdul Majid As-Salafi,
second edition, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath al-Arabi, publishing date unknown, vol. 19, p. 388.
AL-MUTTAQI AL-HINDI, Alaa Ed-Dean, Kanz al-Ummal (The Treasure of Workers),
publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Moassasat Ar-Risalah (Publishing House), 1409
AH, vol. 1, p. 103
(3) IBN HABBAN, Sahih Ibn Habban (The correction of Ibn Habban), audited by
Shuayb al-Arnaout, second edition, published by Moassasat Ar-Risalah, 1414 AH, vol.
10, p. 434.
(4) AL-JAHEZ, Amro, al-Othmaniyah (The Othmanite), audited by Abdul Salam Muhammad Haroun, publishing edition unknown, Egypt, Dar al-Kitab Al-Arabi (publishing
house), publishing date unknown, p. 301.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Also the book Yanabei al-Mawaddah (The


Fountains of the Loving Kindness) reads, Anyone
who dies ignoring the Imam of his time dies
ignorant.(1)
This kind of Hadith (speech) with its different
phrases emphasizes the level of concern of the prophet
(pbuh) pertaining to the issue of the Imamate.
However, in interpreting or understanding this issue
of the Imamate, there remains differences between the
Sunnites and Shiites. For example, the Sunnites say that
the Imamate represents the headship assigned to the people
after the prophet (pbuh). On the other hand, the opinion of
the Shiites can be explained by the following points:
The meaning of the Imamate according to
the Shiites

The meaning that was presented by the Shiite


ideology orbits around three positions:
1- The religious authority
In our previous book, They ask you about the
prophets, we mentioned that the Islamic religion,
regarding its legislation, has been completed based
on two elements. They are: the holy Quran and the
Prophetic Sunnah (Tradition of the Prophet). This

(1) AL-QANDOUZI, Suleiman, Yanabei al-Mawadah (The fountains of affection), audited by Sayyid Jamal Ashraf al-Husseini, first edition, Uswah for Printing and Publishing, 1416 AH, vol. 3, p. 456.

11

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Sunnah refers to the sayings, deeds and decisions of


Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh). However, a question
comes to the fore:
Was Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh) successful in
informing the people of all the details of the Sharia?
Answer: if we examine the stage of the informing
of the Prophetic Sunnah, we will recognize a very
important issue. The stage lasted 23 years. The great
Prophet (pbuh&hh) lived for thirteen of these years in
Makkah, and for ten of these years in Medina.
12

As for the 13 years in Makkah, at that time, only


a small number, not more than 400 Muslims at best,
believed in the prophet (pbuh&hh).(1)
Most of these were wronged and oppressed Muslims
resulting in two migrations of about 70 families in total
to Abyssinia. Consequently, these were disconnected
from the learning of the Islamic education from Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh&hh).
During these years in Makkah, the polytheists
severely pressurized the Prophet (pbuh&hh) and the
remaining Muslims with him. They also prevented
him from delivering his message to others to an extent
where they besieged him together with a group of the
(1) AL-MUTAHHARI, Murtada, al-Imamah (The Imamate), translated by Jawad Kassar,
first edition, Qum, Manshourat Um al-Qura (Publishing House), 1417 AH, p. 77.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Hashemites in the canyons of Abi Talib for as long as


three years, where they faced serious famine.
Anyone who studies this stage of Islam in Makkah
will clearly realize that the prophet (pbuh&hh) did not
have the opportunity to deliver his message save but
the principles of the beliefs coupled with a few aspects
of the doctrine. This issue is also clear in the verses of
the holy Quran that were revealed in Makkah.
The issue that corroborates this reality is that the task
of fasting, one of the first ramifications of the religion,
was revealed in Medina, not in Makkah.
These years of Islam in Makkah resulted in the
migration of the Prophet (pbuh&hh) to Yathrib (ancient
name of Medina). There, he spent ten years which were
engaged in wars and conquests, etc Add to this the
disputes that took place between the tribes within the
new Muslim community. History recorded during the
prophetic period in Medina more than eighty battles,
conquests, deployment of troops and other incidents.
It is evident that these wars and conquests
represented hindrances thwarting the detailing of the
Islamic doctrine as well as the noble prophetic Sunnah
(tradition).
Cleric Ash-Shaheed al-Mutahari (RIP) said, If we
decide to look with a blind eye to the evident reality

13

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

in Makkah and Medina and assume that Allahs


messenger (pbuh&hh) employed during these 23
years of his mission the method of the mentor, who
was engaged only in classes and teaching the people,
still, this period of time remains insufficient for the
Prophet (pbuh&hh) to unfold to the people the
meaning of Islam.(1)

14

Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh&hh) was forced to


employ a solution in order to inform and preserve his
Prophetic Sunnah which together with the holy Quran
provides the complete legislation or jurisprudence.
This divine solution was the divine cultivation of an
exceptional individual who could represent the bank of
the Prophets knowledge and his Sunnah as well as be
the protector of the true religion. The person chosen to
be the protg of the divine generosity and prophetic
teachings was Ali Bin Abi Talib (pbuh).
This issue provides us with a clear explanation to
the long sessions that took place between Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh&hh) and Imam Ali (pbuh) coupled
with their extreme adherence to each other, about
which Imam Ali [commander of the faithful (pbuh)]
would express saying, And I would follow him like

(1) AL-MUTAHHARI, Murtada, al-Imamah (The Imamate), p. 77.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

the cub that follows its mother.(1) Imam Ali (pbuh)


would describe the Prophet (pbuh&hh) saying, If I
ask Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) he would answer
me and if I cease my questions he would initiate
me.(2)
Reports confirmed that this special mentoring was
the instruction of the divine inspiration. For example,
Abu Naeem al-Hafez Ash-Shafeei (died 430 AH)
reported ascribing Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) as
saying, O Ali, Allah the Exalted instructed me to
favor you and teach you to understand. Hence,
the verse and that the remembering ears might
remember was revealed to me. And you are a
remembering ear of knowledge.(3)
In order for this divine role to be completed
regarding the information of the divine legislation and
the prophetic Sunnah, the Prophet (pbuh&hh) defined
that there was an entrance to the doctrine, that its
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), audited by Muhammad al-Baqir al-Bahboudi and Yahya al-Abideen Az-Zanjani and Kathim al-Musawi
al-Myamwi, second edition, Beirut, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath (publishing house), 1403 AH,
vol. 14, p. 475.
(2) AS-SAFAR, Basaer Ad-Darajat (Insights on Grades), Baseerati Publishing, Qum,
p. 198.
(3) Holyat al-Awliyaa, Manshourat Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyyah (publishing house), Beirut, first edition, 1409 AH, vol. 1, p. 67. AL-JUWAINI, Faraed As-Simtain, audited by
al-Mahmoudi, Manshourat Moassasat Ar-Risalah (publishing house), Beirut, 1409 AH,
vol. 13, p. 136. AL-HULLI, al-Hassan, Kashf al-Yaqeen (Revealing Certainty), audited
by Ali Al Kawthar, first edition, Qum, Majma Ehyaa Ath-Thaqafah al-Islamiyah publishing, 1411 AH, p. 52.

15

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

knowledge had a door; and that he who wishes to grasp


must enter through it. Hence, the Prophet (pbuh&hh)
said, I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its door.(1)

16

The period of the life of Imam Ali, the commander


of the faithful (pbuh) especially when considering the
conditions that encompassed it was insufficient for
him, while performing this great role, to complete the
deliverance of the information of the prophetic Sunnah.
Hence, the commander of the faithful (pbuh) entrusted
his two sons Hassan and Hussein (pbut) with the details
of the pure doctrine so that they could perform the role
of the legislative authority as explained earlier for
the people. This issue reveals to us the secret behind
the words of the Prophet (pbuh&hh) for which he was
famed, Hassan and Hussein are two Imams, sitting
or standing they are.(2)
The divine volition planned for this purified Sunnah
to be delivered to these pure leaders, each in turn, so that
each Imam could perform his pioneering role. Hence,
Hussein (pbuh) treasured the sciences of Islam with his
(1) AT-TARMATHI, al-Jame As-Sahih (The Correct Volume), Manshourat Dar Ehyaa
At-Turath publishing house, Beirut, 1983, vol. 5, p. 637. AL-HULLI, al-Hassan, Kashf
al-Yaqeen (Revealing certainty), p. 57. AL-ARABALI, Ali, Kashf al-Ghummah (clearing
gloominess), second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Adwaa (publishing house), 1405 AH, vol. 1,
p. 113. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal (The Treasure of Workers), vol. 13, p. 148.
AL-QANDOUZI, Suleiman, Yanabei al-Mawadah (The Fountains of the Loving Kindness), al-Alami publishing, Beirut, p. 70.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 1, p. 78.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

son Ali, Zein El Abideen (pbuh), who was famed as


Sajjad. Sajjad (pbuh) treasured these sciences with his
son Baqir (pbuh). Baqir (pbuh) treasured them with his
son Sadiq (pbuh). Sadiq (pbuh) treasured them with his
son Kathim (pbuh). Kathim (pbuh) treasured them with
his son Ridha (pbuh). Ridha (pbuh) treasured them with
his son Jawad (pbuh). Jawad (pbuh) treasured them
with his son Hadi (pbuh). Hadi (pbuh) treasured them
with his son Askari (pbuh). Lastly, Askari treasured
them with his son, the revolutionist of the household of
the prophet, the authority Imam Mahdi (may Allah the
Exalted hasten his advent). With him, the chain of light
will complete. The Imams of Ahlul Bayt (pbut) together
with the holy Quran are the twins of the legislation that
were left behind by Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) who
commanded his nation to adhere to them when he said,
Behold, I am leaving amongst you the two weights,
the book of Allah and my family, my household (to
whom if you adhere you will never go astray after
my departure), and they will never part until they
advance towards me by the river basin.(1)
The previous speech commanding adherence to
Ahlul Bayt (the household of the Prophet (pbut)) refers
(1) AT-TABARI, Muhammad, Al-Mustarshid (The Guidance Seeker), audited by Ahmad
al-Mahmoudi, first edition, Qum, Moassasat Ath-Thaqafah al-Islamiyah (publishing
house), 1415 AH, p. 560. Refer to the book Hadith Ath-Thaqalayn (The two weights
hadith) that was printed in Cairo by Dar At-Taqreeb Bainal Mathahib al-Islamiyah, and
it collected the attributions of this speech in the books of the Sunnites.

17

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

to them as the preservers of the prophetic Sunnah,


which refers to the religious authority, which is one of
the ranks of the Imamate.
Al Jameah (The Collector), the book of the
prophetic Sunnah

18

The household of the Prophet (pbut) stressed on their


God-given authority regarding religious legislation
through their words in a book titled al-Jameah. This
book contains the prophetic Sunnah and was dictated
by Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) to Imam Ali (pbuh)
who recorded it with his own hand. An example can
be found in the words of Abu Baseerah who said, I
visited Abu Abdullah (pbuh) and said to him: May
I die for you; your followers (Shiites) are saying that
Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) taught Ali (pbuh) a
door [of knowledge] that opens into one thousand
doors. He (pbuh) said: O Abu Muhammad,
Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) taught Ali (pbuh)
one thousand doors, each of which opens into one
thousand doors. He [Abu Baseer] said: this is truly
knowledge. He (pbuh) said: O Abu Muhammad, we
also have Al Jameah, and what do they know about
al-Jameah? He [Abu Baseer] said: May I die for
you; what is al-Jameah? He (pbuh) said: a sheet of
paper that is 70 cubits long, each cubit equals to the
arm of Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh), and by him it

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

was dictated and with the right hand of Ali (pbuh) it


was recorded. It explains all legal and illegal issues
and everything that the people need, even the tiniest
of matters.(1)
Regarding al-Jameah book, Imam Sadiq was
quoted as saying, The science of Ibn Shabrama(2)
went astray once he experienced al-Jameah,
dictated by Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) and
handwritten by Ali (pbuh). Al-Jameah left others
speechless. It includes the science of legislation
(Halal and Haram). The embracers of paralogism
sought science through paralogism hence, they
were distanced further and further from what is
right. The religion of Allah cannot be attained by
paralogism.(3)
Some accounts confirm that al-Jameah book is one
of the signs of the Imamate. For example, Imam Ridha
(pbuh) was quoted as saying, The Imam has signs:
the most knowledgeable, the wisest, the godliest,
the mildest, the bravest, the most generous, and the
most worshipful. He also possesses al-Jameah, a
(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), Vol. 1, P. 239.
(2) Ibn Sharma is Abdullah the son of Shabrama, a Kufiyan and a Sunnite scholar and
jurisprudent. He worked as a judge for al-Mansour in the territory of Kufa. Refer to:
AL-HOULLI, Ibn Dawood, Rijal Bin Dawood (The Men of Davids Son), audited by
Muhammad Sadiq Al Bahr al-Ulum, publishing edition unknown, Najaf, Al-Haidariyah
Printery, 1972, pages 19 and 120.
(3) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), Vol. 1, P. 57.

19

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

seventy cubits long sheet of paper, filled with all the


needs of the children of Adam (pbuh).(1)

20

Therefore, al-Jameah book was inherited by the


Imams, each in turn. For example, Umm Kulthum,
a daughter of Ali (pbuh) was quoted as saying,
When the commander of the faithful (pbuh) was
stricken by Ibn Maljam, may Allah curse him, he
summoned his two sons Hassan and Hussein (pbut)
and commanded them; he gave Hassan his seal, [a
sword] Zul Fiqar, [ the books] al-Jafr al-Abyad, alJafr al-Ahmar, al-Jameah, and Mushaf Fatimah.(2)
2- The political leadership
There is no doubt that Islam is a religion which is
not limited in its legislation to the life of the individual
or the small community like the family, blood family,
neighbors, and similar sorts. Instead, Islam is a religion
that aims to regulate the life of mankind in its entirety.
This task cannot be achieved but by a government that
implements the rules and regulations of the Islamic
Sharia or doctrine. Therefore, leaving the nation without
first pointing out its ruler is not logical. This matter
(1) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Khisal (The Qualities), audited by Ali Akbar alGhafari, publishing edition unknown, Qum, Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing house),
1403 AH, p, 528.
(2) AL-AMILI, Yusuf, Ad-Durr An-Natheem (The Rhymed Pearls), publishing edition
unknown, Qum, Moassasat An-Nashr al-Islami (publishing institution), publishing date
unknown, p. 422.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

was addressed in the story of one of the companions of


Imam Sadiq (pbuh), Hisham Bin al-Hakam who said:
I aimed for Basra, and reached there on Friday.
Hence, I went to the mosque where I saw Amro
Bin Obaid wearing one mantle of black wool and
another that covered him. A group of people lined
asking scientific matters. When the lines made way
I sat in front of him politely. I asked him: Oh man
of science, I am a stranger. Will you allow me to ask
you a matter? He said, yes. I asked: do you have
an eye? He said: son, what kind of question is this
that you ask me? I said: this is the matter that I
ask. He said: ask, although this matter of yours is a
matter of stupidity. I said: answer this question of
mine. He said: yes I have an eye. I said: what can
you see with it? He said: colors and people. Next
I asked: do you have a nose? He said: yes. I said:
what do you use it for? He said: I smell odors with
it. Next I asked: do you have a mouth? He said: yes.
I said: what do you use it for? He said: I taste with
it food. Next I asked: do you have a heart [brain]?
He said: yes. I said: what do you use it for? He said:
I distinguish with it all that which is sensed by the
aforementioned organs? I said: Are these organs
independent of it or not? He said: not. I said to him:
Why do these organs need the heart? We know that
they have powers of sensation pertaining to taste,

21

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

22

sense of smell and sight when operating soundly. He


said: Son, when I have doubt regarding my sight,
taste or sense of smell I return to my heart and thus
attain certainty, hence doubt will be removed. I said:
are you saying that the almighty creator created
the heart to address the doubt of the organs of the
creation? He said: yes. I said: well, the presence
of the heart is a necessity to remove the doubt of
the organs? He said: yes. I said: you are claiming
that Allah the Exalted did not leave these organs
without an Imam to which they can return in order
to distinguish between doubt and certainty, true
and false. Therefore, how can the creation be left
without an Imam to whom they can return when
they are in doubt and questioning? Consequently,
he became silent and contemplated. After a minute,
he lifted his head and turned to me and said: Are
you Hisham Bin al-Hakam? ...(1)
Returning to our subject, reaching the Islamic goal
regarding the regulation of the life of people requires
a governor with specifications that relate to important
issues, the most important of which requires that he be:
1- A man who understands the Islamic legislation so
that he can rule under its light.
(1) AL-BRUJARDI, Ali, Taraef al-Maqal (The essay masterpieces), audited by Mahdi
Ar-Rajaei, first edition, Qum, Maktabat Ayatollah al-Uthma al-Marashi An-Najafi, 1410
AH, Vol. 2, P. 562-563.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

2- Entrusted with the implementation of legislation


pertaining to the life of people.
3- Worthy of supervising the affairs of government such
as administration, politics, economics, sociology,
and other fields.
Add to the aforementioned points the resume of the
intellectuals with their basics. Should several people
provide these conditions, one must refer to the most
complete amongst them.
At this point, a critical question arises regarding
the performance of Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh)
pertaining to the ruler who should succeed him. Did the
Prophet (pbuh&hh) leave the nation without pointing
him out or without giving indications to his qualities or
even defining him in person?
The ruler pertaining to qualities and
assignment

In order to implement or reach the aim behind


the human perfection on the level of the community,
the divine wisdom necessitates the definition of the
ruling successor who must succeed Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh). However, should this issue take place
by defining the general qualities of the ruler or by
appointing him?
In fact, political leadership after the prophet is not

23

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

the only title that society requires, religious expertise


must be added in advance to the qualities. The fact
that the religious expertise necessitates inerrancy,
which is a quality of divine choice, explains why Allah
the Exalted necessitated that a religious authority be
appointed after the Prophet (pbuh&hh) as a political
leader his knowledge in the doctrine as part of the
complete circle of perfection that he attains through
his inerrancy is extraordinary as is his trustworthiness
when entrusted with the implementation of the doctrine.
This is a trustworthiness of inerrancy not integrity.
24

Hence, the Imam who succeeds the Prophet


(pbuh&hh) acquires both the ranks of religious
authority and political leadership.
3- The special moral rank
Added to the two aforementioned ranks of authority
and leadership, the Shiite ideology presented another
rank of the Imam, which is the rank of the perfect
human being that must be distinguished with a special
bond with Allah the Exalted. The household of the
Prophet (pbuh) expressed this issue as saying, With
Allah, we have conditions that no favored angel can
tolerate(1)
Moreover, the Imam must attain a special knowledge,
(1) AL-KHOMEINI, Ruhullah, al-Hokouma al-Islamiyah (The Islamic State), second
edition, Beirut, Imam Khomeini Cultural Center, 1429 AH, p. 56.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

which can be manifested through several generosities.


Some of these generosities will be explained later.
Conclusion:

25

Lesson [2]

Are the Imams infallible? What


is the evidence?
One of the standards of the Shiite ideology establishes
the infallibility of the twelve Imams. They proved this
issue using rational and traditional evidence.
The rational evidence to the infallibility of
the Imams

We mentioned in our previous book They ask you


about the prophets that the mind accepts the fact
that the inerrancy of the prophet is necessary to receive
inspiration and consequently preach it. Any mistake
in this field would do harm to the divine aim, which
necessitates delivering the doctrine that outlines the
map toward mans perfection. Besides, based on rational
evidence, Allahs selection of the prophet (pbuh&hh),
to be the receiver of His revelation necessitates his
inerrancy from wrongdoing. Since following the Prophet
(pbuh&hh) is essential for people regarding their path
towards perfection, any sin on his part would damage his

27

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

image as the paradigm and would encourage people to


take the path towards wrongdoings since he was chosen
by Allah the Exalted. This issue might even shake the
peoples belief in the Prophet (pbuh&hh) considering
that his sin would render his credibility questionable.
The previously mentioned inerrancy of the prophet
(pbuh&hh), which is based on rational evidence, applies
also to the Imam (pbuh), the trustee and religious
authority who succeeds the prophet (pbuh).
28

Why? Although the Imams (pbuh) learning of


the doctrine was confined to one mediator, who was
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh) in person, yet still, the
doctrine required a special memorization by the Imam
so that he could complete its delivery to the people.
Consequently, because the divine aim cannot be
achieved but by delivering the message to the people
and because the legislative message is preserved by the
Imam (pbuh), the heart necessitates that he be inerrant
in order to preserve this doctrine and deliver it to the
people. This indicates that Allah the Exalted carefully
selects the Imam (pbuh) for this role. The selection of
the Imam, according to the Shiite ideology, belongs to
Allah the Exalted and not to the Prophet (pbuh&hh),
although he was granted permission to choose freely.
Since the Imam (pbuh) is the selection of Allah
the Exalted this necessitates his inerrancy from

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

wrongdoings. Any wrongdoing on his part, as someone


selected from amongst the people by Allah the Exalted,
would lead people to the two previous perils:
1- Leading closer to embrace the path towards
wrongdoing considering that the one selected by
Allah sins hence others may also sin!
2- The shaking of faith while receiving legislation from
him as his wrongdoings may cause them to question
his integrity.

In conclusion, the religious authority of the Imam,


which means his role in preserving the religion, is the
only rational evidence to his inerrancy.
The traditional evidence to the inerrancy of
the Imams

There are several Quranic verses and prophetic


speeches that indicate to the inerrancy of the Imams
(pbut). Here we mention some of them:
A. The Quranic verses indicating the inerrancy
of the Imams (pbut)
1. Allah the Exalted said, And (remember) when his
Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands and
he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed
thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said: And
of my offspring (will there be leaders)? He said:
My covenant includeth not wrong-doers.(1)

(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 124.

29

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

This verse proves that the divine positions including


the imamate, which are a covenant from Allah the
Exalted, will not be assigned to the wrongdoers.
Allah the Exalted saying wrongdoers means
that each person who has wronged himself will
not receive the divine covenant, in other words the
imamate. It is evident that he who commits a sin,
even a small one, wrongs himself. In other words,
the one who can receive the covenant of Allah must
be protected from all wrongdoings.
30

We proved previously that the imamate of the Imams


(pbut) is a selection, purification and delegation by
Allah the Exalted. Hence, it can only be assigned to
the inerrant men.
2. Allah the Exalted said, Allahs wish is but to remove
uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household,
and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.(1)
We will explain the meaning of the verse in two points:
First point: uncleanness means dirt, which is
more general than impurity.
The evidence is Allahs saying, So shun the filth
of idols (2) Hence, sin derives from this same filth.
Therefore, Allah the Exalted tells us in this verse
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-aj (The Pilgrimage), verse 30.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

that He wishes that Ahlul Bayt [the household of the


prophet (pbuh&hh)] be free from all kinds of dirt,
including fault and wrongdoing.
Second point: the divine volition is of two types:
I- This is the creational volition, where the aim does
not linger behind the volition. Instead, it is achieved
forcefully without any choice on the part of the
object. Example: the creation of the universe, the
movement of the planets, etc
II- This is the legislative volition, which derives from
Allah the Exalted. However, freedom is given to
man in order to choose whether to practice or refrain
from it, such as the two obligations of salat [prayer]
and sawm [fasting] as well as other similar duties.
Allah the Exalted wants the people to perform them,
yet He left a margin for them to choose, where man
has the willpower to perform them or not.
The question is: What is the aim behind His saying,
Allahs wish is but to remove uncleanness far from
you?(1) Is it creational or legislative?
Answer: The divine legislative volition of Allah
the Exalted concerning removing uncleanness is not
specific to only certain people. Instead, it is required
by every human being. This issue was not specifically
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.

31

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

designed to be performed by only Ahlul Bayt [the


household of the Prophet (pbut)].
Therefore, this issue leads us to say that the aim
behind the volition in the verse is creational, which
does not accept tarrying such as in His word, But His
command, when He intendeth a thing, is only that
He saith unto it: Be! And it is.(1)

32

The previous explanation means that Allah the


Exalted, with His creational volition, prevents the
perpetration of wickedness by Ahlul Bayt (pbut).
In other words, they are inerrant and protected from
wrongdoing. In the previous book, They ask you
about the prophets, we said that inerrancy expresses
a special knowledge that is granted as a gift by Allah
the Exalted. It renders the inerrant person capable of
seeing obedience in its perfect form of beauty and sin
in its perfect form of ugliness. This gifted issue casts
clarity on the image of objects, projecting their reality.
Therefore, the inerrant man will not be encouraged to
commit any wrongdoing or abandon obedience. We
also said that such prevention happens by his free will,
not by the creational coercion.
Based on this issue, the creational volition that is
designed to remove uncleanness from Ahlul Bayt
(pbut) must also be associated with the emanation of
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Y-Sn (Ya Sin), verse 82.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

this special knowledge upon them, rendering them


inerrant by their own free will, with a guarantee that
they will not fall into the forbidden zone.
Who is Ahlul Bayt, the household of the
Prophet (pbut)?

Based on the previous explanation of the verse, the


meaning of the term Ahlul Bayt (pbut) exists only in
the words of the Shiites when regarding the inerrant
imams. Why?
All other Muslim sects and divisions do not give
recognition to inerrancy pertaining to any of the relatives
of the Prophet (pbuh&hh). The Shiites alone stress on
the inerrancy of Lady Fatimah Az-Zahraa (pbuh) as well
as the inerrancy of the twelve Imams (pbut).
Nevertheless, a number of the traditions of the
Sunnites reported that Ahlul Bayt (pbut) refers to: Ali,
Fatima, Hassan and Hussein (pbut).
For example, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal reported
that the Prophet (pbuh&hh) said, He brought Ali
and Fatima nearer and seated them in front of him
as he also seated Hassan and Hussein, one on each
leg of his. Next, he circled them with his gown (Or
he said: a cover), after which he recited this verse:
Allahs wish is but to remove uncleanness far from
you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with

33

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

a thorough cleansing.(1) And he (pbuh&hh) said: O


Allah, these are my household, and my household is
mostly entitled.(2)

34

In another script, Ibn Hanbal stated as well quoting


Umm Salamah as saying, That the Prophet (pbuh&hh)
was in her residence when Fatimah brought him a
vessel containing Khazeera(3). She entered to see him,
and he said to her: call your husband and two sons.
And she [Umm Salamah] said: hence Ali, Hussein
and Hassan came. They all entered to see him, and
sat eating from that Khazeera while he lay on a seat
with a Khaibarian cover beneath it. ()
() She said: While I was praying in the room,
Allah the Exalted revealed this verse: Allahs wish
is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk
of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough
cleansing.(4) She said: Hence, he held the cover and
covered them with it after which he brought his hand
out to face the sky and said: O Allah, these are my
household and my own family; remove uncleanness
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.
(2) IBN HANBAL, Ahmad, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, vol. 4, p. 107.
(3) Kazeera: meat that is chopped into small pieces while water is frequently poured on
top. Once it is cooked, flour is sprinkled on top (IBAN AL-ATHEER, Muhammad, AnNihaya Fee Ghareeb al-hadith wa al-Athar, adited by Tahir Ahmad Az-Zawi and Mahmoud Muhammad At-Tanahi, fourth edition, Qum, Moassasat Ismaelyan, 1346 AH,
vol. 2, p. 28).
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

away from them, O Ahlul Bayt, and purify them


perfectly; O Allah, these are my household and my
own family; remove uncleanness away from them,
O Ahlul Bayt, and purify them perfectly. She said:
So I inserted my head , and said: And I am with
you O messenger of Allah. He said: your end will be
good, your end will be good.(1)
Sahih Muslim reported Aisha as saying, The Prophet
(pbuh&hh) went out at midday covered with an unsewn
cover with inscriptions made from black hair. Suddenly,
Hassan Bin Ali came and he let him enter [under his
cover]. Next, Hussein came and he let him enter. Next,
Fatima came and he let her enter. Next, Ali came and he
let him enter. Then he said: Allahs wish is but to remove
uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and
cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.(2)(3)
Moreover, Sunan At-Tarmathi quotes Omar Ibn Abi
Salamah, the foster child of the Prophet (pbuh&hh), as
saying:
When the following verse [Allahs wish is but
to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of
the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough
(1) IBN HANBAL, Ahmad, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, vol. 6, p. 292.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.
(3) AN-NAISABOURI, Muslim, Sahih Muslim, publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Dar
al-Fikr (Publishing House), publishing date unknown. vol. 7, p. 13.

35

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

cleansing(1)] was revealed to the prophet (pbuh&hh)


inside Umm Salamahs house, he summoned Fatima,
Hassan and Hussein and he crowned them with a
cover with Ali behind him, whom he also crowned
with the cover. He said: O Lord, these are my
household. Remove uncleanness away from them
and purify them perfectly. Umm Salamah said: and
I am with them O messenger of Allah. He said: You
are what you are, and your end will be good.(2)

36

In addition, in his book al-Mustadrak, at-Tirmidhi


reported al-Hakim who quoted Umm Salamah as saying,
Inside my house the following verse was revealed
[Allahs wish is but to remove uncleanness far from
you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with
a thorough cleansing(3)]. She said: therefore, Allahs
messenger (pbuh&hh) summoned Ali, Fatima,
Hassan and Hussein (pbut) and he (pbuh&hh) said:
O Lord, these are my household. Umm Salamah
said: am I not one of your household? He (pbuh&hh)
said: your end is good but these are my household.
O Lord, my household is mostly entitled. Al-Hakim
commented on this speech saying: This is a true
speech mentioned also by al-Bukhari. However,

(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.
(2) AT-TIRMIDHI, Muhammad, Sunan at-Tirmidhi, audited by Abdul Wahab Abdul Latif, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Fikr (publishing house), 1403 AH, vol. 5, p. 30.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 33.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

they did not release it.(1)


Scholar Hashim al-Bahrani counted more than
seventy reports, most of which belong to the Sunnite
scholars.
They prove that the cleanness verse was revealed in
favor of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussein
(pbut).(2)
Another source of the Shiites is the report of AsSaddouq using a source that quotes the commander
of the faithful (pbuh) saying that Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh) said to him, O Ali, this verse was
revealed in your favor and the favor of my two
grandsons as well as the Imams from your progeny.
I said: O messenger of Allah, how many Imams will
succeed you? He (pbuh&hh) said: You O Ali, your
two sons Hassan and Hussein, and after Hussein
his son Ali, and after Ali his son Muhammad, and
after Muhammad his son Jafar, and after Jafar
his son Moussa, and after Moussa his son Ali, and
after Ali his son Muhammad, and after Muhammad
his son Ali, and After Ali his son Hassan, and after
Hassan his son the authority, a child of Hassan. This
(1) AL-HAKIM AN-NAISABOURI, Abu Abdullah, al-Mustadrak, audited by Yusuf Abdul Rahman al-Marashli, publishing edition unknown, publisher unknown, publishing
date unknown, vol. 2, p. 416.
(2) AL-BAHRANI, Hashim, Ghayat al-Muram (the utmost wish), audited by Ali Aashour,
publishing edition unknown, publisher unknown, publishing date unknown, p. 287-293.

37

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

is how I found their names inscribed on the leg of


the throne. Hence, I asked Allah the Exalted about
this issue and He said: O Muhammad, they are the
Imams that will succeed you, purified and inerrant;
and their enemies are cursed.(1)
The speeches that denote infallibility

Two speeches denoting the infallibility of the Imams


should suffice. The first concerns the inerrancy of
Ahlul Bayt (pbut). The second concerns the inerrancy
of Imam Ali (pbuh).
38

The evidence to the infallibility of Ahlul


Bayt (pbut)

Al-Hakim reported in his book al-Mustadrak


affirming Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) as saying,
Behold, I am leaving amongst you the two weights,
the book of Allah and my family, my household, and
they will never part until they advance towards me
by the river basin.
Al-Hakim commented saying: this speech is true
based on the terms of Ash-Shaikhain (the two scholars),
and yet they did not announce it.(2)
Moreover, Ahmad Bin Hanbal reported in his

(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), audited by Muhammad al-Baqir al-Bahboudi and Yahya al-Abideen Az-Zanjani and Kathim al-Musawi
al-Mayamwi, third edition, Beirut, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath, (publishing institution), 1403
AH, vol. 26, p. 326
(2) AL-HAKIM AN-NAISABOURI, Abu Abdullah, al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, P. 148.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Musnad quoting Allahs messenger as saying, Behold,


I am leaving amongst you the two weights, one is
weightier than the other, the book of Allah, a rope
that is extended from heaven to earth, and my
family, my household, and they will never part until
they advance towards me by the river basin.(1)
In the book Yanabei al-Mawadah (the fountains of
affection), al-Qandouzi reported affirming the Noblest
Prophet (pbuh&hh) as saying, Behold, I am leaving
amongst you the two weights, the book of Allah and
my family, my household. And they will never part
until they advance towards me by the river basin.
And you will not stray if you follow and adhere to
them. (2)
In a different phrase, al-Qandouzi reported affirming
the Noblest Prophet (pbuh&hh) as saying, Behold, I
am leaving amongst you the two weights, the book
of Allah and my family, my household. If you adhere
to them you will never go astray. Watch how you
succeed me regarding them. And they will never part
until they advance towards me by the river basin. It
was revealed to me by the Subtle, the Aware.(3)The
two weights speech is frequently reported by Muslims.
(1) IBN HANBAL, Ahmad, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, vol. 3, p. 14.
(2) AL-QANDOUZI, Suleiman, Yanabei al-Mawadah (The fountains of affection), vol.
1, P. 113.
(3) Same previous source.

39

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Its recognition and the authenticity of its attribution


are not questionable. It proves the inerrancy of Ahlul
Bayt (pbut). Why? It is impossible for the Prophet
(pbuh&hh) to ask that one seek religion from an
authority with such determination and decisiveness
to later discover mistakes in the words of this
authority.(1)
Evidence to the infallibility of Imam Ali
(pbuh)

40

AL-HAKIM AN-NAISABOURI narrated in his


book al-Mustadrak quoting the prophet (pbuh&hh) as
saying, Allah have mercy on Ali; O Allah, associate
righteousness with him wherever he is. Al-Hakim
added: this is a true speech according also to Muslim,
yet they did not release it.(2)
These words, being a supplication of the Prophet
(pbuh&hh), will definitely be answered; hence,
righteousness will definitely associate Ali (pbuh)
wherever he is. Consequently, he is inerrant.
Moreover, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi reported in his
book Tarikh Baghdad (The history of Baghdad) quoting

(1) AL-MUTAHHARI, Murtada, al-Imamah (The Imamate), translated by Jawad Kassar,


p. 75.
(2) AL-HAKIM AN-NAISABOURI, Abu Abdullah, al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, P. 124. ATTIRMIDHI, Muhammad, Sunan At-Tirmidhi (the traditions of at-Tirmidhi), audited by
Abdul Wahab Abdul Latif, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Fikr (publishing house), 1403
AH, vol. 5, p. 297.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Ibn Thabit Moussa, known as Abu Zar, as saying, I


visited Umm Salamah and saw her crying as she
mentioned Ali. He added: I heard Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh) saying: Ali is with righteousness and
righteousness is with Ali; and they will never part
until they approach me by the river basin on the
Day of Judgment. (1)

41

(1)AL-KHATIB AL-BAGHDADI, Ahmad, Tarikh Baghdad (The History of Baghdad),


audited by Mustafa Abdul Qadir Ata, first edition, Beirut, Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyyah (publishing house), 1417 AH, vol. 14, p. 322. IBN ASAKIR, Ali, Tarikh Madinat Dimashk
(The History of Sham city), audited by Ali Sheeri, publishing edition unknown, Beirut,
Dar al-Fikr (publishing house), 1415 AH, vol. 42, p. 449. AZ-ZAMAKHSHARI, Rabei
al-Abrar wa Nousous al-Akhbar (The Spring of the Righteous & News Scripts), audited
by Abdul Amir Mohanna, first edition, Beirut, al-Alami publishing house, 1992, vol. 2,
p. 173. The same content was reported by several Shiite sources (Refer to: MURTADA,
Jafar, As-Sahih min Sirat al-Imam Ali (pbuh) (The Correction from the Biography of
Imam Ali), first edition, Qum, Maktab al-Elam al-Islami (Islamic Media Bureau), 1430
AH, vol. 4, p. 236.

Lesson [3]

The extent of exaggeration or


disappointment pertaining to the
Imams?
Allah the Exalted said, Do not exaggerate in your
religion...(1)
Based on the interpretation of al-Asfahani
terminology, exaggeration means, Going beyond
limits. Moreover, in the book al-Musbah al-Munir
(The Shining Lamp), exaggerated (derived from
exaggeration) means according to religion: went
harshly and extremely beyond the limit.(2)
Exaggeration in previous religions

The holy Quran emphasized that exaggeration in the


Jewish and Christian religions occurred reaching the
limit of the deification of certain individuals. Allah the
Exalted said, And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nis (The Women), verse 171.
(2) AR-RAGHIB AL-ASFAHANI, Hussein, al-Mofradat (The items), second edition,
source unknown, Daftar Nahisr al-Kitab (publishing house), 1414 AH, p. 613.

43

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the


son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths.
They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved
of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How
perverse are they! (1)

44

Based on the statement of the expert scholar AtTabtabaei, Ezra is the one who: Renewed the religion
of the Jews and collected the books of Torah. Later,
he reintroduced them as the Torah after they were
lost in the catastrophe of Bakhat Nassar, the King
of Babylon who conquered their countries, ruined
their temple, burned their books, killed their men,
captured their women and children and the weak
amongst them, and dragged them along to Babylon.
There, they stayed for almost a century. Later, when
Koresh the king of Iran conquered Babylon,
Ezra, who was revered by him, intermediated for
them. Therefore, he permitted him to take the Jews
back to their countries and to rewrite the Torah for
them after they had lost its copies For his great
services, they highly esteemed and revered him as
well as named him the son of god.(2)
The aim behind the words they imitate the saying
of those who disbelieved of old is that they acted
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat At-Tawbah (The Repentance), verse 30.
(2) AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Tafsir al-Mizan (The Scales Interpretation), fifth edition, Beirut, al-Alami (publishing house), 1983, vol. 9, p. 243.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

similarly as the disbelieving nations that preceded them:


They are the pagans, worshipers of idols. Among
their gods are: the father, the son, the mother, the
wife, the trinity, the traditional gods of the pagans
in India, China, ancient Egypt(1), and others.(2)
Allah the Exalted said, They indeed have
disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son
of Mary.(3) This is why Allah the Exalted addressed
the people of the scripture saying, O People of the
Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor
utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The
Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger
of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto
Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah
and His messengers, and say not Three - Cease!
(It is) better for you! - Allah is only One Allah. Far
is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that
He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens
and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as
Defender.(4)

(1) This is how it was noticed in the script of scholar AT-TABATABAEI. It is preferred
to say: the ancient.
(2) AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Tafsir al-Mizan (The Scales Interpretation), vol. 9, p. 244.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Midah (The Table Spread), verse 17.
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nis (The Women), verse 171.

45

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Exaggeration at the time of Prophet


Muhammad (pbuh)

Since its beginning, Islam has never been safe from


exaggeration. For example, sheikh or scholar al-Kishi
narrated a speech that was attributed to Imam Sadiq
(pbuh) as saying, A man came to the messenger of
Allah (pbuh&hh) and said: Peace be upon you my
god. He (pbuh&hh) said: What is wrong with you?
May Allah curse you; my god and yours is Allah.(1)
Exaggeration at the time of Imam Ali (pbuh)

46

The two Imams Sadiq and Baqir (pbut) were quoted


as saying, When the commander of the faithful
(pbuh) finished with the citizens of Basra, seventy
men from Zut(2) came to greet him in their own
language. He replied to them in their own language
and said: I am not as you say. I am a servant of
Allah, a creature. They denied his words and said:
you are him. He said: if you do not stop and take
back what you have said about me and repent to
Allah the Exalted I will punish you to death.
They refused to repent and take back their
words. Hence, he instructed that deep holes be dug
(1) AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Ekhtiyar Marifat Ar-Rijal (Recognition Choice of Men),
publishing edition unknown, Qum, Moassasat Al al-Bayt, publishing date unknown,
vol. 2, p. 589.
(2) The Zuts are people from Sudan and India (AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Taqi, Rawdat
al-Muttaqin (the garden of the pious), vol. 7, p. 84).

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

for them. They were dug and connected together


by tunnels. They were pushed into the holes with
their heads covered. Consequently, fire was set in
one of the empty holes and the smoke found its way
towards them and they died.(1)
Exaggeration at the times of the Imams,
descendants of the commander of the faithful
(pbuh)

1- Scholar al-Kishi (RIP) reported an authenticated


speech that a man informed Imam Ridha (pbuh)
while quoting Yunus Bin Thibyan as saying: One
night, as I was circling the Kaaba, suddenly
a sound came from above my head yelling: O
Yunus, I am Allah the only god; serve Me and
establish worship for My remembrance. I looked
up and saw Abul Hassan [Imam Ridha (pbuh)](2).
Consequently, Abul Hassan (pbuh) became
angry and said to the man: Get lost, May Allah
curse you and curses whoever speaks to you. May
Allah curse Yunus Bin Thibyan one thousand
times followed by a thousand curses and may
each curse drag you to the bottom of hell. I testify
that he also called him evil.(3)
(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad Bin Yacoub, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 7, p. 259-260
(With our indication that this story is poor regarding its corroboration).
(2) It seems from the story that the man who reported it is convinced with it.
(3)AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 264.

47

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

2- Scholar al-Kishi (RIP) reported Sahel Bin Ziad alAdami as saying, Some of our companions wrote
to Abil Hassan al-Askari (pbuh) saying: May I
die for you my lord. Ali Bin Hasaka claims to be
a follower of yours, and that you are the ancient
prime, and that he is your door and prophet, and
that youve instructed him to encourage this issue.

48

He also claims that salat [prayer], zakat [poordue or obligatory charity], hajj [pilgrimage], and
sawm [fasting] all lead to knowing you and knowing
anyone similar to Ibn Hasaka pertaining to what he
claims of Babism and prophecy; thus, he [a man of
this condition] is a perfect believer whose duty of
salat, sawm and hajj is dropped. He also mentioned
all the legislations of the religion and that the aim
behind this entire issue is your proven divinity. The
people liked his saying. Would you be generous to
your followers and give them an answer that would
save them from doom. He said that he (pbuh) wrote:
Ibn Hasaka is a liar. May Allah curse him. Know that
I do not recognize him as one of my followers. What
is wrong with him? May Allah curse him. I swear in
Allah that Allah sent Muhammad and the prophets
before him with the true religion, salat, zakat,
sawm, hajj, and wilayah [guardianship]. Besides,
Muhammad (pbuh&hh) invited only to Allah the
One and only, Who has no partner. And we are the

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

commanders from his descendants, the servants of


Allah. We do not make partner (in any form) to Him.
If we obey Him He will mercy us. If we disobey Him
He will punish us. We have no argument against
Allah. Instead, the argument belongs to Allah the
Exalted against us and against all his creatures. To
Allah, I absolve myself from what they say. Therefore,
abandon them, let Allah curse them.(1)
After this presentation of the matter of exaggeration
in Islam and the religions that preceded Islam, we come
to the point of defining exaggeration and our attitude
towards it.
The extent of exaggeration

We can understand from the religious scripts that


exaggeration happened in the following cases:
1- Claiming divinity for man
Allah the Exalted said, O People of the Scripture!
Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught
concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus
son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His
word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit
from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers,
and say not Three - Cease! (it is) better for you! Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His
(1) AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Ekhtiyar Marifat Ar-Rijal (Choosing to recognize the men),
publishing edition unknown, Qum, Moassasat Al al-Bayt, 1404 AH, vol. 2, p. 804.

49

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son.


His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the
earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.(1)
Imam Ridha was quoted as saying, Whosoever
reaches the limit of deifying the commander of the
faithful becomes one of the deservers of Allahs
anger and one of those who have gone astray(2)

50

2- Claiming independent creation for man


Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Regard
us as creatures, and say about us whatever you wish
and you will not exaggerate.(3)
Creationism has been constrained as being
independent; however, there is no objection in dependent
creationism. In other words, this is the formation of a
previous image with the power and permission of Allah
the Exalted as in the case of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)
Allah the Exalted said:
Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness
of a bird (4)

(1) The holy Quran, Surat An-Nis (The Women), verse 171.
(2) AT-TABARSI, Ahmad, al-Ehtijaj (The Argumentation), publishing edition unknown,
holy Najaf, Dar An-Noman (Publishing House), 1386 AH, vol. 2, p. 233
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 279
(4) The holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 49.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

3- Claiming independent lordship for man


Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Seek
the lord to Whom we all return and say about us
whatever you wish.(1)
The meaning of lordship is management. It was
constrained to being independent because attributing the
dependent lordship to man is permissible. For example:
the lord of work, the lord of the home, and other
similarities such as in His words about the angels, And
those who govern the event.(2) The angels govern the
event yet this lordship of theirs is not independent from
Allah the Exalted. Instead, it depends on his volition and
permission. One of the other reports that forbade believing
in the independent lordship and management is the extract
from the supplication of Imam Ridha (pbuh), which reads,
O Lord, to You I absolve myself from those who say
about us what we do not say about ourselves O
Lord, whosoever claims that we are gods, we absolve
ourselves from him. And whosoever claims that the
creation belongs to us and that we plan its sustenance
we absolve ourselves from him like Jesus (pbuh)
absolved himself from the Nasserites. O Lord, we
did not invite them to whatsoever they are claiming.

(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 283.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat An-Nzi`t (Those who drag forth), verse 5.

51

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Therefore, condemn us not for their saying(1)


4- Claiming prophecy for others after the seal of
Prophets (pbuh&hh)
Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Allah
damns whosoever says that we are prophets; and
Allah damns whosoever believes this issue.(2)

Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was also quoted as saying to


one of his companions, O Abu Abdullah, I absolve
myself from whoever claims that we are prophets.(3)

52

Khalid Bin Nujeih was quoted as saying, I visited


Abu Abdullah [Imam Sadiq] (pbuh) while some
people were present. I sat in a corner and thought:
how ignorant they are regarding the person they are
mentioning. And he [the Imam] called me saying:
we, I swear in Allah, are created servants; I have
a lord that I worship; if I do not worship Him, in
fires He will torment me. I said: I only say about
you what you say about yourself. He said: regard
us as servants of Allah and say about us [our merits]
whatever you wish except prophecy.(4)
(1) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Etiqadat fee Deen al-Imamiyah (Convictions in the
Religion of the Imamate), audited by Essam Abdul Sayyid, second edition, Beirut, Dar
al-Mufid (publishing house), 1414 AH, p. 99.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 296.
(3) AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Ekhtiyar Marifat Ar-Rijal, vol. 2, p. 515.
(4) ASH-SHAHROUDI, Sheikh Ali al-Manazi, Mustadrak Safinat al-Bihar (Following
the Oceans Ship), audited by Hassan Bin Ali An-Namaazi, publishing edition unknown,
Moassasat an-Nashr al-Islami (Publishing Foundation), 1419 AH, vol. 7, p. 52.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

5- Believing that assignment is dropped with knowledge


Previously, we read the story of Imam Askari (pbuh),
in which it was reported that Ali Bin Hasaka claimed that
salat, sawm, zakat, and hajj all lead to the Imam(1); hence,
such belief would lead to conceiving that the assignment
is dropped once the Imam is recognized. Consequently,
it leads to abandoning the assignment in a practical form.
At this point, it was reported that Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
was quoted as saying, The exaggerator is accustomed
to abandoning salat, zakat, sawm, and hajj(2)
Scholar al-Majlisi mentioned other issues pertaining
to exaggeration. He said: The exaggerated belief
in the Prophet (pbuh&hh) and the Imams (pbut)
occurs when saying that they are gods or partners
of His Exaltedness pertaining to worship, creation,
bestowal, saying that Allah the Exalted is amongst
them or unified with them, saying that they know the
unseen without revelation or inspiration by Allah the
Exalted, saying that the Imams (pbut) are prophets,
saying that knowing them absolves all obligatory
services and that there is no assignment when sins are
abandoned. Believing in any of these issues simply
means atheism, disbelief and apostasy as proven by
rational evidence, verses and reports(3)
(1) AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Ekhtiyar Marifat Ar-Rijal, vol. 2, p. 804.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 265.
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 346.

53

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

The stand of the Imams (pbut) towards


exaggeration

I- The Imams of Ahlul Bayt (pbut) harshly and severely


faced exaggeration and the exaggerators. This issue
can be seen in the following scripts:

54

Imam Askari (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Abul


Hassan Ar-Ridha (pbuh) said: Whosoever reaches
the limit of deifying the commander of the faithful
becomes one of the deservers of Allahs anger and
is amongst those who have gone astray. Moreover,
the commander of the faithful (pbuh) said: Say
about us [our merits] whatever you wish but never
take us to the level of divinity. Never exaggerate
like the Nasserites. I absolve myself from the
exaggerators. As a result, a man approached and
said: O son of Allahs messenger: describe us
our lord! People in the past differed regarding
their understanding. Therefore, Ar-Ridha (pbuh)
described Him as best as he could and glorified
and exalted Him above all that is not applicable
to His Sublimity. The man said: You are like my
father and mother O son of Allahs messenger; a
companion of mine embraces your guardianship
and claims that all these descriptions belong to
Ali (pbuh) and that he is Allah, the lord of the
worlds. When Ar-Ridha (pbuh) heard his words

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

he trembled with fear, started sweating and said:


Allah is exalted above all that they associate (with
Him)! He is exalted highly above the saying of
the infidels! Was Ali not eating with the eaters,
drinking with the drinkers, marrying with the
wedded, speaking with the speakers, as well as
a humble servant before the almighty Allah,
to Whom he pleaded for mercy? If this is a god
hence, anyone of you is a god because he shares
with him these characteristics which point to each
event with its description.(1)
II- Imam Sadiq was quoted as saying, May Allah curse
Abdullah Bin Saba because he claimed divinity
for the commander of the faithful, who, I swear
in Allah, was truly a commander of the faithful,
and an obeying servant of Allah. Damned will be
whosoever falsifies our words. Some people say
about us what we do not say about ourselves. To
Allah, we absolve ourselves from them. To Allah,
we absolve ourselves from them.(2)
The Imam (pbuh) was also quoted as saying, May
Allah curse al-Mughirah bin Saeed, he would lie on
behalf of my father thus was punished by branding.
(1) AT-TABARSI, Ahmad, al-Ehtijaj, vol. 2, p. 233-234.
(2) AT-TABARSI, Ahmad, Khatimat al-Mustadrak (The Conclusion of the Follow-ups),
first edition, Qum, Moassasat Al Albayt le-Ehyaa at-Turath (Publishing House), 1416
AH, vol. 4, p. 143.

55

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

() May Allah curse anyone who says about us


what we do not say about ourselves. May Allah
curse anyone who removes us from the position of
servitude to Allah Who created us, to Whom is our
return and shelter, and Who controls us.(1)
The Imams warning about negligence

56

In the anti-exaggeration statements of the Imams


of Ahlul Bayt (pbut), we can notice that we should be
cautious about feeling free to deny their perfections,
which could lead to being negligent towards their
recognition and towards the obviousness of their
perfection. At this point, Imam Baqir (pbuh) was quoted
as saying, O Aba Hamza, place not Ali in a position
lesser than that in which Allah placed him; and raise
him not above that which Allah raised him.(2)
Warning about both exaggeration and negligence,
Imam Ridha (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Ibrahim
Ibn Abu Mahmoud said: and I said to Ridha: O
son of Allahs messenger, we have news about the
merits of the commander of the faithful (pbuh)
and your merits O members of the household. It is
a report from your dissentients. We never learned
anything like it from you. Should we embrace it?
He said: O Ibn Abu Mahmoud: My father told
(1) AL-FADLI, Abdul Hadi, Usul al-Hadith (Principles of Speech), third edition, Beirut,
Moassasat Ummul Qura (Publishing Foundation), 1421 AH, p. 147.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 283.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

me quoting his father who quoted his grandfather


quoting Allahs messenger (pbuh) as saying: He who
listens to a speaker worships him. If the speaker
speaks on behalf of Allah the Exalted, he worships
Allah. If the speaker speaks on behalf of Satan,
he worships Satan. Imam Ridha (pbuh) added: O
Ibn Abu Mahmoud: Our dissentients fabricated
news regarding our merits and they divided them
into three sections: one is exaggeration; the second
is negligence regarding our rights; the third is
declaring the defects of our enemies. Therefore,
if people hear exaggeration regarding us, they
will deem our Shiites as infidels and attribute the
saying of our divinity to them. If they hear about
negligence they will think it exists within us. If they
hear about the defectiveness of our enemies by
naming them they will accuse us of defectiveness
by naming us. Allah the Exalted said: Revile not
those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they
wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance.(1) O Ibn
Abu Mahmoud: if people are driven right and left,
adhere to our way; he who adheres to us, we will
adhere to Him; and he who separates from us, we
will separate from Him.(2)
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-An`m (The Cattle), verse 108.
(2) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Oyoun Akhbar Ar-Ridha (The fountains of Ar-Ridha
News), publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Moassasat al-Alami (Publishing Foundation), 1404 AH, vol. 2, p. 272.

57

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

The previous explanation provides us with numerous


reports forbidding exaggeration, consequently giving
us an opportunity to talk about their merits. We will
present a number of expressions regarding such merits.
The commander of the faithful (pbuh) was quoted as
saying, Never exaggerate about us. Say that we are
servants of god after which you can say whatever
you wish about our merits.(1)

58

He (pbuh) was also quoted as saying, Know this


Abu Zar, we are servants of Allah the Exalted
and we are His authority amongst His creatures.
Never regard us as gods. Count as you wish of our
merits; however, you will never reach the trueness
of our nature or its conclusion. Allah the Exalted
gave us that which is much greater and beyond the
description of your describers or the intellect of
your intellectuals. If you recognize us in this form
then you are the believers.(2)
He (pbuh) was also quoted as saying, I am the
commander of every faithful man and woman, past,
present and future. I have been supported with the
spirit of greatness. However, I am a servant of the
servants of Allah. Never name us gods. Say about
our merits whatever you wish; you will never fathom
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 270.
(2) Same previous source, vol. 26, p. 2.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

our god given merits, even the tenth of the ten.(1)


Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying to his
companion, Never raise a construction beyond its
tolerability otherwise it will collapse. Regard us as
creatures and say about us whatever you wish and
you will not reach [our reality].(2)
The standardized rebuttal of a speech

Ahlul Bayt (pbut) designed a standardized rebuttal


to reject words transmitted from them should these
words not apply to the creature. Should these words be
possibly applicable to the creature, Ahlul Bayt (pbut)
encouraged that they be embraced, recognized and
attributed to them. For example, Imam Sadiq (pbuh)
was quoted as saying, Anything that reaches to
you from us, which is likely in the creatures, and
is beyond your comprehension, do not reject it and
return it to us. Anything that reaches to you from
us, which is unlikely in the creatures, reject it and
do not return it to us.(3)
The Imams invitation to moderation

The conclusion pertaining to forbidding exaggeration


and inadvertence requires that the believer be a man of
moderation in his view of Ahlul Bayt (pbuh).
(1) Same previous source, p. 6.
(2) Same previous source, vol. 25, p. 279.
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 264.

59

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

This issue was expressed by Imam Baqir (pbuh)


in his words, O people of the Shiites [followers] of
the family of Muhammad, be the Numruqa(1) [the
medium pillow]; and to you the exaggerator will
return and the successor will follow.(2)
The meaning of Numruqa is the pillow. It is
evident that the very low pillow or very high pillow
is uncomfortable. The most comfortable pillow is the
medium one.
60

The meaning of the speech was explained by Ibn


Abul Hadith saying, It means that the household of
Muhammad (pbuh&hh) is the middle party between
the two dispraised parties. Therefore, anyone who
exceeds them must return to them; and anyone who
fails in following them must catch up with them.
In the same sense, Imam Ali (pbuh) openly spoke
about negligence that succeeded exaggeration. Hence,
he (pbuh) was quoted as saying, It is the crme of
the nation of Muhammad (pbuh&hh), the medium
Numruqa to which the exaggerator returns and to
where the negligent reaches.(3)

(1) Numruqa, an Arabic term for the middle pillow


(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 66, p. 75.
(3) Same previous source, vol. 66, p. 75.

Lesson [4]

Do the Imams possess universal


guardianship, and if so, what is
the evidence?
Prior to answering this question, we must define the
meaning of universal guardianship.
Universal guardianship based on language

1- Guardianship
The Arabic term wilayah plus other similar words
such as walayah, Waali, Mawla, Muwalat,
etc are all derived from the word Walee.
Derivatives of this Arabic term have been counted at
236 words in the holy Quran, 124 of which were nouns
and 112 of which were verbs.
The original meaning of the word wilayah is
nearness or closeness, two beings that are close to each
other without any partition. For example: when we say
that Zayd in the first row is followed by Samir who is
followed by Essam, it means that the second is nearer

61

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

to the first and the third is nearer to the second without


any partition between. Therefore, when we write,
Read the following, it means that the line that we
wish to be read is the nearest to the word following
without a barrier. Based on this issue, the meaning of
walee is the nearest.

62

Hence, the walee of the dead person is the one


nearest or closest to him. There is another derivative
of this term which is waali, which means governor.
Hence the waali [governor] of the city is the closest
of people to its administration. This is why the closest
circle to the governor in his jurisdiction was named
wilayah, which means guardianship.
Some scholars realized that a number of the
derivatives of the word wilayah have another
meaning, which is authority or power. For example,
the waliy [guardian] of the dead person is the closest
to him and the one with the authority or power to
administer the preparations for his funeral and burial
as well as other issues. The waali [governor] of the city
is the closest to its administration and the one with the
power to rule it.
Scholar At-Tabtabaei said, Once the wilayah, a
special closeness regarding moral issues, is imposed,
it becomes necessary for the guardian to administer
his issues as a mediator. The guardian becomes the

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

successor of the dead person and must administer


his inheritance. Therefore, the inheritor guardian
has the right to administer the legacy that was
under the control of the dead person. Moreover,
the guardian of the underage inheritor can
administer the financial matters of the underage
person. Another example is the support guardian
who administers the issues of the one supported
to make him stronger in defense. In conclusion,
Allah the Exalted is the guardian of His servants
and administers their affairs in this world and the
hereafter. There is no guardian but Him. He is the
Guardian of the believers Who helps them manage
their religious affairs through guidance, invitation,
success, victory and other issues. The Prophet is the
waliy [guardian] of the believers supported by a
universal right to rule them in their favor and they
must refer to legislation and justice. The ruler is the
guardian of the people and must rule them based on
the scales of his government.
There are other issues of the wilayah [governorship]
that come in this same context, such as adherence,
alliance, neighborhood, divorce, kinship, affection,
covenant, etc Allah the Exalted said, they would
not turn their backs (to the foe)(1) In other words,
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 15.

63

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

they do not turn their backs towards the frontline during


war and they administer their affairs. Allah the Exalted
said also, if ye turn away...(1) from accepting it
[the guardianship]. This means you turned away from
accepting it. In other words, you went nearer to the side
that opposes it by turning away from it; you turned your
faces closer to the side that opposes it by turning away
from it. In conclusion, the meaning of wilayah regarding
its derivatives is nearness or closeness, which obliges a
certain right to administer and manage the affairs.(2)
64

1- Creational and universal

The word creational derives from the word


creation which is the process of producing an event,
resulting in its being, be and it is. In other words, Allah
the Exalted creates a being by simply telling it, be
and it is. Hence, the creation of something means
causing it to happen.(3)
Based on the previous issues, the linguistic meaning
of the creational guardianship, when attributed to man
for example, tells us that man has a special nearness
and a certain God-given authority in order to cause
something to happen.
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Midah (The Table Spread), verse 92.
(2) AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Tafsir al-Mizan (The scales interpretation),
publishing edition unknown, Qum, Manshourat Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing
house), publishing date unknown, vol. 6, p. 12.
(3) IBN MANTHOUR, Muhammad, Lisan al-Arab (The tongue of the Arabs), vol. 13,
p. 363-364.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

In other words, man is capable of controlling himself


enabling him to cause anything he wishes to happen.
This harmonizes with the conscientious feeling of man.
It is a conscience which informs him that he has the
authority to talk whenever he wishes, walk, sit, etc
In other words, whenever he wishes to talk he does not
require another means to do so. Moreover, he does not
feel that such an act is under the direct control of any
external power. In other words: each man possesses
the creational guardianship authority of himself, which
enables him to cause whatever he wishes to happen.
The creational guardianship based on
terminology

The term creational guardianship was not


mentioned in the holy Quran or in the noble speeches
[traditional hadith]. Therefore, its meaning cannot be
found in the noble or holy scripts. It is a term that was
used by scholars. Moreover, some scholars mentioned
that there is no such term but in the words of the latest
scholars.(1)

He who follows up the sayings of the scholars, who


employed this term, will realize that they differed regarding
its interpretation. It reaches the level where one reads or
hears someone denying the creational guardianship while
(1) AL-HAERi, Kazim, al-Imamah wa Qiyadat al-Mujtama (The imamate and community leadership), Qum, Baqiri, 1416 AH, p. 119.

65

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

proven by another, yet will discover that they do not differ


from each other. For instance, one might have a different
explanation of the creational guardianship than another,
yet they continue to agree regarding the content.
Because our aim is not counting the different
interpretations of the creational guardianship, it will
suffice to present the most notable interpretation among
the other interpretations, which is the guardianship that
renders the universe under the authority of the guardian.
The authoritative guardianship
66

Its meaning
In saying that the prophet or the Imam has an
authoritative guardianship over creation, we mean
that Allah the Exalted granted him a kind of power so
that he could bring about extraordinary events that are
uncommon such as: healing the sick by rubbing them
with his hand, bringing back the dead, controlling the
wind to transport for him whatever he wishes, etc
To further clarify the meaning of the authoritative
guardianship we say: according to Islam, it is taken
for granted that similar examples of these events took
place by the prophets in the past. For instance, Prophet
Suleiman (pbuh) had the wind at his disposal. Prophet
Jesus (pbuh) had the ability to cure the leper and restore
vision to the blind by simply rubbing his hand over

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

them. Prophet Yahya (pbuh) brought back the dead and


would shape out of clay the image of a bird then blow
spirit into it to become a bird. However, there have been
differences in interpreting how these events occurred.
There are two main opinions of interpretation:
First opinion: the one who performed these super
powers was Allah the Exalted in a direct form and it
was not the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) would
simply place his hand on a being and would only
invoke. The power came from Allah the Exalted Who
would directly bring back the dead and cure the leper.
The same issue applies to the control of the wind. Some
people described this issue as similar to the water tap. In
other words, this issue that contradicts with nature or the
normality is like the water inside the tap, the opening of
which does not take place by the hand of man but by the
direct hand of Allah (figuratively speaking).
Allah the Exalted opens it whenever He wishes
without rendering this kind of power and guardianship
at the disposal of the Prophet (pbuh) to enable such
events occur. Consequently, this opinion contradicts
with the creational guardianship. For instance, Prophet
Jesus (pbuh), when bringing back the dead, did not act
with such guardianship as when he walked, talked or sat.
Instead, he needed to invoke Allah the Exalted so that
He intervenes in a direct form to achieve these issues.

67

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Second opinion: Allah the Exalted gave the prophets


(pbut) and the guardians an authoritative guardianship
to cause unusual events to happen. For example,
Prophet Jesus (pbuh), with the permission that Allah
the Exalted gave him, brought back the dead, and cured
the sick similarly as he talked, walked, sat, etc.

He (pbuh) had the guardianship enabling these


issues occur. It is definite that all the events caused by
this guardianship were caused with the permission of
Allah the Exalted and in accordance with His volition
under which the Prophet (pbuh) acted in harmony.
68

From the aforementioned, we can notice that the


difference in understanding the creational authoritative
guardianship was not limited to the Imams of Ahlul Bayt
(pbut). The debate on this issue concerned the granting
of such power to man, whether a prophet, an Imam or a
similar guardian. Therefore, the first examples that we
will address will concern the authoritative guardianship
granted to the prophets after which we will address the
subject of the authoritative guardianship granted to the
inerrant Imams (pbut).
Is the authoritative guardianship possible?

Before discussing the established evidence on the


creational authoritative guardianship that was granted
to the prophets (pbut) and the Imams (pbut), we must
first establish a substantial issue. Is this guardianship
possible or impossible?

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

It is evident that the part which needs proof is


the impossibility. Everything is possible unless its
impossibility is first proven. Anyone contemplating
on the authoritative guardianship will clearly discover
that it is not impossible for Allah the Exalted to grant
this sort of guardianship to man as well as there is no
reasonable objection that disproves such guardianship.
Instead, the events of the authoritative guardianship that
were discussed by the holy Quran, which were named
Miracles, are rather in a position of breaching the law
of nature and normality, not the position of breaching the
law of reason. We clarified this issue in our book They
ask you about the Prophets. Hence, he who denies
the authoritative guardianship must limit his denial to its
superficial establishment without letting his denial reach
the limit of saying it is impossible due to the clarity of its
reasonable possibility as we mentioned earlier.
Astonishment and disapproval

The possible authoritative guardianship comes with


repercussions. The person who claims its existence
must give proof. The person who denies it must also
provide proof. On the other hand, mere astonishment
or mere exclusion should not be embraced to deny the
authoritative guardianship. The human intellect cannot
understand several facts; therefore, how can someone
deny something that is possible by simply excluding it?

69

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

70

The Imams of Ahlul Bayt (pbut) warned about


embracing denial due to psychological intolerance
pertaining to narrations on its rejection. For example,
an established report quoted al-Hizzaa as saying: I
heard Abu Jafar (pbuh) saying, The dearest of my
companions is the most pious, most expert, and
most secretive of our tradition. The worst of them
to me and mostly resented is the one who hears a
speech being attributed to us and narrated on our
behalf, after which he rejects it, denies it and deems
its embracer an infidel. He does not know, perhaps
the speech came from us and we are its source. If it
did, he would be expelled from our guardianship.(1)
The established evidence on the
authoritative guardianship

The previous discussion informs us that studying the


evidence on the authoritative guardianship is limited to
the proving of its occurrence, not to its possibility. The
only source available to prove such guardianship is the
reported scripts. Based on this issue, we will present a
number of the Quranic verses and the noble speeches
that establish the authoritative guardianship.
1- Allah the Exalted said, Lo! I come unto you with
a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out

(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad Bin Yacoub, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), fourth edition,
Tehran, Dar al-Kitab (publishing house), 1365 SH, vol. 2, p. 223.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into


it and it is a bird, by Allahs leave. I heal him
who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the
dead, by Allahs leave.(1)
This verse of the holy Quran clearly announces that
the one who fashions out of clay the likeness of a bird
is Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
The final question regarding this issue: Did it happen
by the direct intervention of Allah the Exalted without
Prophet Jesus (pbuh) having a role [guardianship] in this
issue? Alternatively, did it happen based on the gifted
guardianship of Allah the Exalted? In other words, was
this issue like the tap that Allah the Exalted directly
opens at will or did Prophet Jesus (pbuh) have a gifted
guardianship regarding this issue?
The answer becomes clear when we contemplate on
the reported verbs in the verse, which are: I fashion,
I breathe, I heal, and I raise [the dead]. These are
present verbs. It is known that the present verb means
continuation and renovation. There is a difference
between saying I helped this poor man, and saying I
help this poor man. The first saying indicates to a help
that happened in the past. The second saying indicates
to the continuation of such help. Therefore, Allah the
Exalted saying I fashion with the remaining verbs
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 49.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

indicate that this act is continuous and renewal. This is


closer and more suitable to the guardianship, not to the
notion that likens this issue to the tap.
Allah the Exalted saying by Allahs leave is
to push away the peril that leads to embracing Jesus
(pbuh) as a god distinct from Allah the Exalted, like in
the saying of the Nasserites. In conclusion, all matters
take place in accordance with the will and permission
of Allah the Exalted.
72

This is the superficial meaning of the verse. Another


meaning can be found in the allegory that requires
proof, which we will discuss accordingly.
2- Allah the Exalted said, So We made the wind
subservient unto him, setting fair by his command
whithersoever he intended.(1)
The verse means that the wind has been placed under
the control of prophet Suleiman (pbuh), setting fair by
his command whithersoever he intends.(2) The verb
setting is a present continuous verb that indicates
continuity. This means that Prophet Suleiman (pbuh)
has a guardianship that places the wind at his disposal
to be sent wherever he may wish.
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat d (The Letter Saad), verse 35
(2) AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, al-Mizan (The scales), publishing edition
unknown, Qum, Manshourat Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing house), publishing date
unknown, vol. 17, p. 205.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

3- Allah the Exalted said, He said: O chiefs! Which


of you will bring me her throne before they come
unto me, surrendering? A stalwart of the jinn
said: I will bring it thee before thou canst rise
from thy place. Lo! I verily am strong and trusty
for such work. One with whom was knowledge
of the Scripture said: I will bring it thee before
thy gaze returneth unto thee. And when he saw it
set in his presence, (Solomon) said: This is of the
bounty of my Lord, that He may try me whether
I give thanks or am ungrateful.(1)
This verse discusses the question of Prophet
Suleiman (pbuh) concerning the one capable of
bringing the throne of Belkis all the way from Yemen
to Sham, the place of the court of Suleiman (pbuh).
The answer of Asif Ibn Barkhiya I will bring it thee(2)
indicates his capability of doing so before the gaze of
Suleiman (pbuh) returns. Hence, this is another evident
example of such creational authoritative guardianship.
This verse brings about a new issue, assigning the
authoritative guardianship to persons other than the
prophets (pbut). At this point, the owner of the guardianship
is Asif Ibn Barkhiya, the trustee of Suleiman (pbuh).
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Naml (The Ant), verses 38-40
(2) IBN IBRAHIM, Ali, Tafsir al-Qummi (al-Qummi interpretation), third edition, Qum,
Dar al-Kitab (publishing house), 1404 AH, vol. 2, p. 128.

73

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

The springboard of the creational


authoritative guardianship

74

In the previous verse, one can notice that it identified


the owner of the creational authoritative guardianship
as One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture
and not as Asif, or another name. According to
Arabic literature, the scholars believe that the presence
of the description instead of the name is to indicate
to the secret or reason behind the description of the
event. Hence, the secret behind the capability of Asif
Ibn Barkhiya in bringing the throne of Belkis before
the return of the gaze of Suleiman (pbuh) was that he
possessed knowledge from the scripture.
Some reports stressed on this meaning. For example,
Imam Baqir (pbuh) was quoted as saying, The
supreme name of Allah is formed of seventy three
letters. Asif knew only one. Hence, he uttered it to
cause the earth swallow the distance between him
and the bed of Belkis, thus he held the bed with his
hands and the earth returned as it was, faster than
the blink of an eye.(1)

In another report, Abul Hassan Sahib al-Askar


(pbuh) was quoted as saying, The supreme name of
Allah is seventy three letters. Asif had one letter. He
uttered it causing the earth to be pierced making
(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 230.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

way between him and Sheba, hence, he took the


throne of Belkis with his own hands and gave it to
Suleiman after which the earth leveled back in less
than the blink of an eye.(1)
There are other reiterated reports on the same subject.
It seems that summing up the verse together with
the harmonizing reports means that there is one aim
behind the book and the supreme name. Certainly it is
not the holy Quran because it was not revealed at the
time of Suleiman (pbuh). Therefore, the aim must be
the guarded tablet or the Quranic fact that is mirrored
by the holy Quran through the verses or the previous
sacred books. In any case, the aim behind the book and
the supreme name is a special spiritual science,
which represents the springboard of the creational
authoritative guardianship.
Special knowledge, cognizing the universe

Blending special knowledge with the creational


guardianship harmonizes with the thesis of the holy
Quran, which on the surface narrates certain cognition
of the universe that we will see in the following verses:
1- The seven heavens and the earth and all that is
therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but
hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their
(1) Same previous source.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

praise. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving.(1)


The superficial meaning is the true praise, which
must result from understanding regardless of the
manner of such understanding.
2- Hast thou not seen that Allah, He it is Whom
all who are in the heavens and the earth praise,
and the birds in their flight? Of each He knoweth
verily the worship and the praise...(2)
3- The thunder hymneth His praise (3)
76

4- Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the


earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing
it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo!
he hath proved a tyrant and a fool.(4)
5- O ye hills and birds, echo his psalms of praise!(5)
6- If We had caused this Quran to descend upon a
mountain, thou (O Muhammad) verily hadst seen
it humbled, rent asunder by the fear of Allah.(6)
There are other verses that report the existence of
certain feelings that belong to the heavens and the
earth from which a sense of fear derives; or perhaps
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Isr (The Night Journey), verse 44.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nr (The Light), verse 41
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), verse 13.
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 72.
(5) The Holy Quran, Surat Saba (Sheba), verse 10.
(6) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-ashr (The Exile), verse 21.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

they have an awareness from which praising derives


regardless of the type of such feelings and awareness
that they possess.
Based on the previous explanation, we can further
understand the meaning or the reason why man should
have the guardianship that makes the universe at his
disposal. For example, when Allah the Exalted grants
him special knowledge with which he can reach an
understanding with the universe to reach harmony, this
issue will create the entrance to the guardianship for
the expert man coupled with the universes harmony
and accordance.
Therefore, learning the secret of nature makes way
to control it. The scientific progression in our present
time brings the idea closer.
The more man understands the secrets of nature and
progresses along with such knowledge the more he can
achieve issues that were deemed wonders prior to these
modern discoveries. One example is the transmission
of mans image and sound from one extremity of the
earth to the other in a very short period of time which
has become an ordinary process.
Knowing that silent discovery led man to this point,
therefore, how far can the special knowledge and the
unravelling of the secrets of nature lead man knowing

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

that its language of the unseen represents the base for


mans journey in his relation with the universe?
The trustees [Imams (pbuh)] of the
universal authoritative guardianship

We mentioned previously that proof, requested


by any man, of the existence of the authoritative
guardianship is in the holy scripts of the holy Quran
and the noble prophetic tradition.

78

The reports quoted from the Imams of Ahlul


Bayt (pbut), which established their authoritative
guardianship regarding the universe, were numerous.
In presenting some of them, we begin with a report
that hovered around the principle of the authoritative
guardianship pertaining to the story of Asif, who had
some knowledge of the book, hence, establishing that
the Imams (pbuh) possessed a guardianship that is far
wider than Asifs guardianship.
1- Book al-Kafi (the sufficient) reported Sudeir as
saying: Abu Baseer, Yahya al-Bazzaz, Dawood
bin Katheer and I were present at the court of Abu
Abdullah (pbuh). Suddenly he came out furious.
When he took his seat he said: LO! Some people
claim that we know the unseen.

Only Allah the Exalted knows the unseen. When I


wanted to hit my maid so-and-so, she escaped from

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

me. Hence, I no longer knew her whereabouts.


Sudeir added: as soon as he left his seat and reached
home, Abu Baseer, Miassir and I entered and said
to him: May we die for you. We heard you saying
such-and-such regarding your maid. We also know
that you have a special and great knowledge but
we do not say that you know the unseen. He (pbuh)
said: O Sudeir, did you read the Quran? I said:
yes. He (pbuh) said: did you read from the book of
Allah the Exalted the following words: one with
whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: I will
bring it thee before thy gaze returneth unto thee?(1)
I said: May I die for you, I read it. He (pbuh) said:
did you recognize the man and did you know the
knowledge of the scripture that was with him? I
said: tell me. He (pbuh) said: it is the equivalence of
one drop of water in the green ocean; hence, what
is the value of this pertaining to the knowledge
of the book? I said: May I die for you. How little
this is. He (pbuh) said: O Sudeir, what is greater
than this is the knowledge granted from Allah the
Exalted about which I will tell you. O Sudeir, did
you read from the book of Allah the Exalted the
following words: Say: Allah, and whosoever hath
knowledge of the Scripture, is sufficient witness
between me and you.(2) I said: I read it, may I die
for you. He (pbuh) said: Therefore, who is more
(1) The holy Quran, Surat An-Naml (The Ant), verse 40.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), verse 43.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

intelligent, the one with the entire knowledge of


the book or the one with partial knowledge of the
book? I said: the one with the entire knowledge of
the book. Hence, he pointed with his hand towards
his chest and said: We have the entire knowledge
of the book I swear in Allah. We have the entire
knowledge of the book I swear in Allah.(1)

80

2- Several stories have been reported regarding the


supreme name [entire knowledge] and the part that
Allah the Exalted granted to Asif. We did not present
them completely in order to maintain the order of
thoughts and avoid any interlacement. This is why
we will present only one of them in completion.

Book al-Kafi (The Sufficient) reported Jabir quoting


Imam Baqir (pbuh) as saying, The supreme name
of Allah is formed of seventy three letters. Asif
knew only one and he uttered it making the earth
swallow the distance between him and the bed
of Belkis hence grabbed the bed with his own
hand and the earth returned to its normal shape
faster than the blink of an eye. We [The Family of
the Prophet] know the seventy two letters of the
supreme name. Allah the Exalted kept to Himself
one letter in His own unseen. There is no might or
strength except in Allah the Supreme the Great.(2)

(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 257.


(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 230.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

3- Sheikh al-Mufid, in his book al-Ekhtisas (The


Specialization), reported an established report about
Abbaan al-Ahmar quoting Imam Sadiq (pbuh) as
saying, O Abbaan, how can the people deny the
words of the commander of the faithful (pbuh)
when he said: If I am willing I could lift this leg of
mine and strike with it the chest of Ibn Abu Sufyan
in Sham pushing him out of his bed while they do
not deny Suleimans trustee Asifs grabbing of the
throne of Belkis and bringing it to Suleiman before
his gaze returned to him? Isnt our Prophet (pbuh)
the best of Prophets (pbut) and his trustee (pbuh)
the best of trustees? Why dont they equalize him
with the trustee of Suleiman? Let Allah be the
judge between us and those who denied us our
rights and rejected our merits.(1)
The previous evidence, let alone other proofs that
we have not mention, represents the background of
the saying of Imam Khomeini (RIP) in his book alHukumah al-Islamiyah (The Islamic Government),
The Imam possesses a position of commendation,
a level of sublimity, and a creational guardianship
to which submits all the atoms of this universe.(2)

(1) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Ekhtisas (The Specialization), audited by Ali Akbar


al-Ghafari and Mahmoud az-Zarandi, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid (publishing
house), 1414 AH, P. 212-213.
(2) AL-KHOMEINI, Ruhullah, al-Hukumah al-Islamiyah (The Islamic Government),
second edition, Beirut, Markaz al-Imam al-Khomeini ath-Thaqafi (Imam Khomeini Cultural Center), 1429 AH, p. 56.

81

Lesson [5]

Are the Imams (pbut) the means


regarding emanation?
Understanding the means regarding
emanation

The aim from the word emanation is the divine


bounty. This bounty can only be reached through
them and through their mediation because they are the
mediators regarding such emanation. This issue has
been presented based on two explanations of mediation
which are:
First explanation: They are the mediators that led to
the creation of the world, based on several reports that
talked about the world of the lights that existed before
the existence of this materialistic world. Moreover,
Allah the Exalted created in that realm of illuminations
the lights of Muhammad and his household (pbut), and
through them He created the world of the material.
These are some reports:

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

1- Know that Allah the Exalted created me and


created Ali from the light of His greatness two
thousand years before He created the creation,
when there was no celebration or glorification.
Then, He created my light and from it He created
the skies and the earth, and I swear in Allah, that
I am more sublime than the skies and the earth.
Next, He created the light of Ali Bin Abi Talib
(pbuh), and from it He created the throne and
the chair, and Ali Bin Abi Talib is more sublime
than the throne and chair.
84

Next, He created the light of Hassan, and from it


He created the tablet and the pen, and Hassan is
more sublime than the tablet and the pen. Next, He
created the light of Hussein, and from it He created
the gardens and the women with lustrous eyes, and
Hussein, I swear in Allah, is more sublime than
the gardens and the women with lustrous eyes.
Next, the easts and wests darkened and the angels
complained to Allah the Exalted pleading with Him
to lift this darkness from them. Therefore, Allah
the Exalted uttered a single word from which He
created a spirit. Next, He uttered another word and
from that spirit He created a light and combined
the light with that spirit raising it before the throne.
Consequently, the easts and wests bloomed with
light. This was Fatimah Az-Zahraa (pbuh). This is

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

why she was named Az-Zahraa [The Illuminant];


her light caused the skies to blossom.(1)
2- In the book Salim Bin Qays, the noblest Prophet
(pbuh) was quoted as saying, O Ali, you and I
were created from two pillars of light that hung
beneath the throne and glorified the King two
thousand years before He created the creation(2)
3- Imam Baqir (pbuh) was quoted as saying, The
commander of the faithful (pbuh) said: Allah the
Exalted the Blessed is one and only. He is alone
in His oneness. Later [following His oneness], He
uttered a single word that became a light. Next, He
created from that light Muhammad (pbuh&hh)
as well as created me and my progeny. Next, He
uttered another word and it became a spirit, and
Allah placed it inside that light and placed the
light inside our beings. Hence, we are the spirit
of Allah and His words. With us He finds reason
to question His creation. Thereon, we continue to
survive in a green shade, where there is no sun, no
moon, no night, no day, and no eye to blink. We
worshipped, glorified and praised Him before He
created the creation.(3)
(1) AL-QUMMI, Shathan, al-Fadael (The Merits), publishing edition unknown, holy
Najaf, al-Matbaah al-Haidariyah (publishing house), 1381 AH, p. 129.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 40, p. 44.
(3) Same previous source, vol. 53, p. 46.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

4- Salman al-Farsi (The Muhammadian) was quoted


reporting Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh) as saying,
Lo! My household and I were a light with
endeavor before the hands of Allah. That was
two thousand years before He created Adam.
That light praised and the angels praised in
harmony(1)

86

It is evident that these reports agree to the existence


of the realm of lights which existed prior to the
existence of the materialistic world. They also agree
that Muhammad (pbuh&hh), in the sense of reality, not
the sense of humankind, existed prior to the creation of
Adam (pbuh) along with the other luminous reality, Ali
(pbuh). They both existed along with their progeny the
Imams (pbut) plus Lady Az-Zahraa (pbuh). Some of
the previous reports openly stated that the materialistic
world was created from these luminous entities, which
explains why they are the mediator regarding the divine
emanation that accords with the first meaning.
Mediator regarding emanation is not merely
a religious idea

The reports were not the only principle to discuss the


mediator regarding emanation, which accords with the
first meaning. Regardless of the naming mediator,
this issue has been discussed by the philosophical

(1) Same previous source, vol. 53, p. 46.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

ideology before Islam. Platone for example, lived in


the third century, and was quoted as saying that the
first object that emanated from Allah the Exalted was
the mind, which is lesser in perfection than Allah
the Exalted. The mind is a generosity of Him and a
reflection of His light.
From it, a second mind emanated as a reflection of
the light of the first mind and as a perfect soul that stood
at the boundaries of the rational world, closer to the
tangible world. From this perfect soul, the uncountable
emanations emanated.(1)
A number of Muslim philosophers agreed with
the original idea of mediator regarding emanation.
For instance, some of the Mash-shaoun (walkers)(2)
explained that the first thing that emanated from
Allah the Exalted was the primary solo mind. Next,
the second mind emanated and in sequence ten minds
emanated. The tenth is the active mind that led to the
world of nature.(3)
(1) ZIYADAH, Man, Mawsouat al-Falsafa al-Arabiya (Arabic philosophy Encyclopedia), publishing edition unknown, place unknown, Mahad al-Enmaa al-Arabi (Arabic
Cultivation College), publishing date unknown, vol. 2, p. 1057.
(2) The followers of Aristo were named walkers because Aristo taught as he walked or
because they walked in sequence beginning with the mind. Among the Muslim walkers
are: al- Farabi and Ibn Sina.
(3) AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Nihayat al-Hikmah (The Utmost Wisdom), fourteenth edition, Qum, Moassasat An-Nashr Al-Islami (Publishing House),
1417 AH, p. 382.

87

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

In addition, As-Suhrawardi declared his faith in


the idea of mediator regarding emanation and that the
primary creature is one single light and the highest in
degree amongst all perfections.(1)

88

Some philosophers in their faith in the mediator


regarding emanation launch from a very sensitive
issue, which we will explain in the following words:
the vast materialistic world cannot withstand being the
primary creation of Allah the Exalted, the highest in
perfection among creatures. For example, an electrical
lamp cannot withstand the direct conduction of a
high electrical voltage. This same case applies to the
materialistic world. It cannot withstand being the
primary creature. Therefore, there should be a mediator
that led to its creation. This is what we define as the
mediator regarding emanation.
The idea of the mediator regarding emanation
existed in the philosophical ideology as a general
theory regardless of its implementations. Repeated
stories stressed on the idea of the occurrence of this
mediation, which is represented by the primary light
that I am happy to call the Muhammadian reality, which
was recognized by the ideology of several philosophers
of Islam to be the presented mediator required for the
(1) ZIYADAH, Man, Mawsouat al-Falsafa al-Arabiya (Arabic philosophy Encyclopedia), vol. 2, p. 1059.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

emanation and creation of this world.


Second Meaning: The Prophet and the Imams (pbut)
are the mediators of Allah the Exalted, ever existent in
such a sense of emanation. In other words, Allah the
Exalted created a system for this world that is based on
its administration by the perfect man.
Postulations prior to answering

Before we begin establishing or denying this


meaning we must mention two issues:
First: There is no doubt, as previously said, that any
man saying there is another god with an administration
that is independent from Allah the Exalted is an
exaggerator regarding faith and any embracer of such
an idea is a cursed exaggerator.
Second: The mind does not protest a mediator
that is not independent from Allah the Exalted in the
framework of the divine lordship. An example is Allah
the Exalted allowing some angels to manage some
matters. Allah the Exalted said, And those who
govern the event.(1)

(1) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nzi`t (Those who drag forth), verse 5.

89

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

His exaltedness also said, And those who


distribute (blessings) by command.(1) An example
is in delegating the angel of death as a mediator to
claim lives. Allah the Exalted said, Say: The angel of
death, who hath charge concerning you, will gather
you(2) There is also Gabriel, the mediator angel of
revelation. Allah the Exalted said, Which the True
Spirit hath brought down.(3)

90

Third: As we said previously, it would be wrong to


deny the concept by simply rejecting it. Some reports
indicated this issue such as a previous report quoting
Imam Baqir (pbuh) as saying, The dearest of my
companions is the most pious, most expert, and most
secretive of our tradition. The worst of them to me
and mostly resented is the one who hears a speech
being attributed to us and narrated on our behalf,
after which he rejects it, denies it and deems its
embracer as an infidel. He does not know, perhaps
the speech came from us and we are its source. If it
did, he would be expelled from our guardianship.(4)

(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Adh-Dhriyt (The Winnowing Winds), verse 5.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat As-Sajdah (The Prostration), verse 11.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Ash-Shu`ar (The Poets), verse 194.
(4) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad Bin Yacoub, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), fourth edition,
Tehran, Dar al-Kitab (publishing house), 1365 SH, vol. 2, p. 223.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Answer

Based on the previous issues, discussing the mediator


regarding emanation in the second meaning limits the
perfect man, such as the Prophet and the Imams (pbut),
to being dependent mediators, whom Allah the Exalted
renders as a means to pour out His generosity upon the
world.
This concept is possible according to the mind as
previously said. Therefore, there is no room to believe
in accepting or denying it but through the holy Quran
and the noble Hadith.
In the context of the answer we say:

1- Denying the concept by means of verbal evidence


suffers great difficulty. The evidence that limits the
administration of the universe to Allah the exalted
can be understood as a form of independency.
In other words, Allah the exalted solely and
independently emanates His generosity upon this
universe. However, this issue does not disagree
with the existence of another being as a mediator
regarding such emanation.
For instance, His words But His command, when
He intendeth a thing, is only that He saith unto it:
Be! And it is(1) can also be interpreted as being a
process of independency. However, when Allah the
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Y-Sn (Ya Sin), verse 83.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

92

Exalted wishes to take the life of a human being the


concept tells us that the angel of death is delegated
as a subordinate to achieve this task without being
totally independent as previously mentioned. This
same issue applies to other cases such as in His
words, Lo! Allah graspeth the heavens and the
earth that they deviate not, and if they were to
deviate there is not one that could grasp them after
Him. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving.(1) This
verse stresses on the fact that Allah the exalted is the
One Who grasps the heavens and the earth. Should
anyone other than He grasp them this would result
in their deviation. However, this does not disagree
with the fact that Allah the Exalted can assign the
angels or other creatures as subordinate mediators
to do such a mission, but not as independents. This
same issue applies to His words, Know they not
that Allah enlargeth providence for whom He
will, and straiteneth it (for whom He will).(2) Yet
still, this issue does not disagree with the fact that
Allah the Exalted can assign an angel or another
creature as a subordinate mediator regarding the
emanation of providence in a dependent form that
submits to the will and volition of Allah the Exalted.
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Fir (Originator), verse 41.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Az-Zumar (The Troops), verse 52

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Regarding the reports that could be understood in a


sense denying mediation, these same reports could
also be misunderstood indicating to independent
delegation, which is a false issue and evident
exaggeration as previously said, such as in the
words of Imam Rida (pbuh), Whosoever claims
that the creation belongs to us with providence,
we disavow him like Jesus the son of Mary
disavowed the Nasserites.(1)
This report can be understood in the sense of the
dependent delegation.
2- Nothing in the holy Quran indicates that the Prophet
and the Imams (pbut) are mediators regarding
emanation.
3- There are reports that could be understood in the
sense that the Prophets and the Imams (pbut) are
mediators regarding emanation, as previously
explained such as:
I- The recitation of Az-Ziyarah al-Jamiah (The
Collective Tribute) by Imam Ali al-Hadi (pbuh),
which reads, With you Allah unfolded, and
with you He seals. With you He sends down
the saving rain and with you He holds back the
heaven from falling on the earth. With you He
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 343.

93

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

lifts the distress and removes the harm. You


possess what His messengers revealed and His
angels brought down. To your grandfather He
sent the True Spirit.(1)

94

II- There is the report that was quoted from Imam


Sadiq (pbuh) lecturing on how to visit and recite
a tribute to Imam Hussein (pbuh), With you
Allah seals; with you He effaces what He
wills; with you He establishes; with you He
removes humiliation out of our necks; with
you Allah fulfills the revenge of every believer
that quests; with you the earth will grow its
trees; with you the trees will grow their fruit;
with you the sky will bring down its rain and
subsistence; with you Allah removes distress;
with you Allah brings down the rain; with you
the earth will melt while it holds your bodies
and while its mountains deviate from their
anchorages. The will of the lord regarding
His providence descends to you and emanates
from your houses.(2)
III- There is the report of Aswad Bin Saeed. He said:
(1) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad Bin Ali, Man La Yahdoroho al-Faqih (Unattended by
the Jurisprudent), second edition, Qum, Moassasat An-Nashr (publishing house), publishing date unknown, vol. 2, p. 615. AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Tahtheeb al-Ahkam (Verdicts Rectification), audited by Hassan al-Musawi al-Kharasani, third edition, Tehran,
Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah (publishing house), 1364 SH, vol. 6, p. 99.
(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 4, p. 576-577.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

I was visiting Abu Jafar, Imam Baqir (pbuh) and


he addressed me first without my asking him,
saying: We are the argument of Allah. We are
the door of Allah. We are the tongue of Allah.
We are the face of Allah. We are the eye of Allah
amidst His creatures. We are the guardians of
Allahs command amongst His servants.(1)
IV- There is the report of Marwan Bin Sabah who said
that Abu Abdullah (pbuh) said, Allah created
us and beautified our images. He made us His
eye amidst His servants, His speaking tongue
amidst His creatures, His open hand unto His
slaves, opened with clemency and mercy, His
face through which He is addressed, His door
through which He is found, and His treasures
in His heaven and His earth. With us the trees
have blossomed, the fruits have ripened, and
the rivers have flown. With us He brings down
the rain from the sky, and grows the grass of
the earth. With our worship [praying like we
do] Allah is worshiped. If it were not for us
Allah would never have been worshipped.(2)
Several scholars embraced these reports and other
similar ones telling that the prophet (pbuh&hh) and the
(1) Same previous source, vol. 1, p. 145.
(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 144.

95

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Imams (pbut) are mediators regarding the emanations


(generosities) of Allah the Exalted pertaining to
the universe and people. Others interpreted these
emanations as happening due to their blessings
because of their special stature and nearness to Allah
the Exalted.

96

At this point, we are not discussing in details the


evidence of these reports. Instead, we wish to stress
on a basic idea, addressing these concepts with a
scientific and open-minded spirituality. The previous
reports do not offer conclusive evidence that the
prophet (pbuh&hh) and the Imams (pbut) are mediators
regarding emanations. In fact, they remain in the level
of the assumptive dogmas. On the other hand, the
previous verses and reports do not produce acceptable
scientific evidence that denies the acceptance of
mediation regarding emanation.
Consequently, from a methodical point of view,
denying these merits and generosities of the Imams
(pbut) is unacceptable with all due respect to those who
embrace these reports with a different approach that
leads towards the denial of the origin of this concept mediation regarding emanation.

Lesson [6]

Is the knowledge of the Imams


human or divine?
This question branches into several questions
regarding their knowledge or science.
1- Is their knowledge human or divine?

There are two ways to learn sciences:

First: The natural human learning by reading, seeing


and other similar methods. Allah the Exalted said,
And Allah brought you forth from the wombs
of your mothers knowing nothing, and gave you
hearing and sight and hearts that haply ye might
give thanks.(1)
Second: The divine learning, which is known as the
present knowledge. This word has been taken from the
words of His Exaltedness regarding the ancient sage
al-Khadir (pbuh). The verse reads, unto whom
We had given mercy from Us, and had taught him
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nal (The Bee), verse 78.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

knowledge from Our presence.(1) This verse informs


us that his knowledge was a special knowledge gained
from the presence of Allah the Exalted.
Allah the Exalted defined the methods of the present
knowledge in His words, And it was not (vouchsafed)
to any mortal that Allah should speak to him unless
(it be) by revelation or from behind a veil, or (that)
He sendeth a messenger to reveal what He will by
His leave. Lo! He is Exalted, Wise.(2)
98

These methods are three:


1- Revelation: some people interpreted it as a method
that feeds the heart, during wakefulness or sleeping.
2- Letting hear: such as Allahs talking to His prophet
Moses (pbuh).
3- The angel of revelation: the traditional method
in teaching Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh) and
several other prophets (pbut).
We must understand that making the messenger (the
angel) as another method of revelation guides us to
the aim behind revelation, enriching the heart directly
without any medium.
Following these explanations a question arises. Is
the knowledge of the Imams (pbuh) human or divinely
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Kahf (The Cave), verse 65.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Ash-Shra (The Consultation), verse 51.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

present? If the answer is divinely present, to which of


the three previous sections does it belong?
Answer: The reports explained that the Imams
(pbuh) had three scientific sources:
The first is the very Honorable Prophet (pbuh&hh)
who accompanied Imam Ali (pbuh) in his lifetime and
taught him the prophetic tradition (Sunnah) that was
limited to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh). Therefore,
the source of this tradition is Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh).(1)
The second is the inherited books. The reports
confirmed that there are special books that were
inherited by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (pbut). Some
of them were dictated by Allahs messenger, such as
Al-Jameah book that contains the prophetic tradition,
bringing us back to the first source. Others were the
undistorted and correct divine books. There are other
books that reported certain unseen aspects such as the
book of Fatimah (pbuh) and al-Jafr book, which we
will discuss in a dependent form later.
The third is the spirit, which is explained in the
following statement:
A quotation from Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was reported
when Ibrahim Ibn Omar asked him: tell me about the
(1) Refer to our book, They Ask you about the Prophets.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

100

knowledge that you have acquired. Is it something that


you learned from the mouths of your men [ancestors],
one after another, or is it something that you have
present and was inhered from Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh)? The Imam (pbuh) said: The issue is
much greater than this. Did you hear the words of
Allah the Exalted from His book (And thus have
We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our
command; Thou knewest not what the Scripture
was, nor what the Faith.)(1)? He said: I said yes.
He (pbuh) said: Therefore, when He gave him that
spirit he obtained the knowledge with it. And this
is how it remains; once it reaches a servant he will
obtain with it knowledge and understanding.(2)
It is evident that the two issues that were mentioned
by the questioner (from the mouths of your men, from
the inherited books) form a part of the popular human
means. On the other hand, the issue pertaining to the
knowledge of the Imam is much greater, pointing to the
fact that their sciences are from His divine presence. To
be more precise, it is the gifted spirit by the command
of Allah the Exalted.

(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Ash-Shra (The Consultation), verse 52.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 62.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

What is the spirit?

There are two interpretations or opinions: The first


says it is Gabriel (pbuh). The second says it is a creature
that is much greater than Gabriel (pbuh). Next we will
focus our discussion on the second opinion.
Abi Baseer was quoted as saying: I asked Abu
Abdullah As-Sadiq (pbuh) about the words of Allah the
Exalted (They are asking thee concerning the Spirit.
Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord)(1) He
(pbuh) said: A creature that is greater than Gabriel
and Michael And it belongs to the kingdom.(2)
This story indicates two issues:
First: The spirit belongs to the dominion of the
kingdom, the world of absolutions. It is also called
the world of commandment, derived from His words,
Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord.(3) It is
opposite to the world of corporeality.
Second: The spirit is greater than Gabriel and
Michael.
Explaining the reason why the spirit is greater than
Gabriel and Michael, Al-Mazandarani said: It is
greater than both based on rank and knowledge.
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Isr (The Night Journey), verse 85.
(2) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Etiqadat fee Deen al-Imamiyah (Beliefs in the religion of the imamate), p. 50.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Isr (The Night Journey), verse 85.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

None of the angels have been proven to be greater


than it. Moreover, the angels did not possess
knowledge of all things as they confessed when they
said: (We have no knowledge saving that which
Thou hast taught us.)(1)On the other hand, that
creature the spirit possesses all knowledge.(2)

102

Some reports stated that the spirit is not an angellike creature. One example is the report of Saad alEskaf. He said, A man came to the commander of
the faithful (pbuh) asking him about the spirit, is
it Gabriel? The commander of the faithful (pbuh)
said to him: Gabriel is one of the angels whereas
the spirit is different from Gabriel, and repeated
this issue to the man. He [the man] said: youve
spoken grave words. No one claims that the spirit is
not Gabriel. The commander of the faithful (pbuh)
said to him: you have strayed narrating the words
of deviators. Allah says to his Prophet (pbuh&hh):
The commandment of Allah will come to pass, so
seek not ye to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted is He
above all that they associate (with Him). He sendeth
down the angels with the Spirit of His command(3)
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 32.
(2) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi Wa Ar-Rawdah (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient & the Garden), audited by Abul Hassan ashSharani, first edition, Beirut, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath al-Arabi (publishing house), 1421
AH, vol. 6, p. 78.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nal (The Bee), verses 1-2.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

the spirit differs from the angels peace be upon all


of them.(1)
It seems that this spirit is the one meant from the
term Ruhul Qudus (The Holy Spirit), which came in
the report of Jabir al-Jufi when he asked Imam alBaqir (pbuh) about the knowledge of the world. He
(pbuh) said: O Jabir, the prophets and their trustees
possess five spirits: the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of
Faith, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Strength, and
the Spirit of Lust. Through the Holy Spirit, O Jabir,
they knew what existed beneath the throne and
whatsoever is beneath the sod.(2)
Al-Hassan Bin Ibrahim was reported quoting Imam
Al-Sadiq (pbuh) as saying: The prophets and their
trustees possess five spirits: the Spirit of Body, the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Strength, the Spirit of Lust,
and the Spirit of Faith. The believers possess four
spirits save the Holy Spirit: the Spirit of Body, the
Spirit of Strength, the Spirit of Lust, and the Spirit
of Faith. The disbelievers possess three spirits: the
Spirit of Body, the Spirit of Strength, and the Spirit
of Lust. He added: the Spirit of Faith adheres to the
body unless a grave sin is committed. Once a grave
sin is committed the spirit will depart it. Where
(1) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi Wa Ar-Rawdah (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient & the Garden), vol. 6, p. 78.
(2) Same previous source, p. 72.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

the Holy Spirit resides, a grave sin will never be


committed.(1)

104

Quoting Abu Abdullah As-Sadiq (pbuh), Al-Mufdil


Bin Omar was quoted as saying, I asked him about
the knowledge of the Imam regarding the regions
of the earth while he resided relaxed inside his
home with his gown? He said: O Mufdil, Allah the
Exalted provided the Prophet (pbuh&hh) with five
spirits: the Spirit of Life with which he moved and
walked, the Spirit of Strength with which he rose
and struggled, the Spirit of Lust with which he ate,
drank and married women, the Spirit of Faith with
which he believed and practiced justice, the Holy
Spirit with which he embraced the prophecy. Hence,
when the Prophet (pbuh&hh) departs the Holy
Spirit is transferred to reside within the Imam. The
Holy Spirit does not sleep, it is never inattentive, it
does not play or flaunt. The other four spirits sleep,
can be inattentive, and they play and flaunt. The
Holy Spirit was a method of clarity.(2)
Ali Bin Asbat quoted Asbat bin Salim as saying:
A man from the residence of Heet asked him in
my presence about the words of Allah the Exalted:
And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad)
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 25, p. 54.
(2) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient), vol. 6, p. 72.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

a Spirit of Our command(1). Hence, he said: Ever


since Allah the Exalted sent down that spirit to
Muhammad (pbuh&hh) it never ascended again to
the heaven and it remains inside us.(2)
Abu Ayoub al-Khazzar was reported quoting Abu
Baseer as saying: I heard Abu Abdullah As-Sadiq
(pbuh) saying: They are asking thee concerning the
Spirit. Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord.(3)
He said: A creature much greater than Gabriel and
Michael. It was never present with anyone in the
past save Muhammad (pbuh&hh) and it remains
with the Imams guiding them; and not everything
that is asked is found.(4)
Muhammad Bin Muslim was reported quoting
Abu Jafar al-Baqir (pbuh) explaining the words of
Allah the Exalted And thus have We inspired in thee
(Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest
not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith.(5) He
said: A creature of the creatures of Allah, greater
than Gabriel and Michael, accompanied Allahs
messenger (pbuh&hh) informing and guiding him;
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Ash-Shra (The Consultation), verse 52.
(2) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient), vol. 6, p. 75.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Isr (The Night Journey), verse 85.
(4) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient), vol. 6, p. 76.
(5) The holy Quran, Surat Ash-Shra (The Consultation), verse 52.

105

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

and it resides with the Imams after him.(1)


In conclusion, the knowledge of the Imam is divinely
present by means of the Holy Spirit that accompanies the
Imams with knowledge as it accompanied the Prophet
(pbuh&hh) before them. The discussion remaining
concerns the mechanism of such companionship.
The mechanism of communication between
the spirit and the Imams (pbut)

The reports mentioned three points pertaining to


how the Imams obtained special knowledge. They are:

106

1- The special speech


Imam Jawad (pbuh) was reported quoting the
commander of the faithful (pbuh) as saying to Ibn Abbas,
The night of predestination is due every year; and
on that night of each year the predestination of the
following year is predetermined. For this reason, we
are the entrusted guardians of Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh). I asked: who are they? He said: I and
eleven of my own progeny, the inspired Imams.(2)
Ibn Uthainah was reported quoting Zararah as
saying, I heard Abu Jafar al-Baqir (pbuh) saying:
The twelve nobles of the household of Muhammad
are all inspired, the progeny of Allahs messenger
(1) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient), vol. 6, p. 74.
(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 247.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

(pbuh) and the progeny of Ali. Allahs messenger


and Ali (pbuh) both are the fathers.(1)
Pertaining to the meaning of the inspired,
Hassan Bin Mahboub was reported quoting al-Ahwal
as saying: I asked Abu Jafar al-Baqir (pbuh) the
difference between the messenger, the prophet, and
the inspired. He said: the messenger is the one visited
by Gabriel in person, seeing and talking to him, and
this is the messenger. The prophet on the other hand
is the one who sees in his sleep like the vision of
Abraham, which was the case of Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh) before revelation until Gabriel (pbuh)
came from Allah with the message.
Muhammad (pbuh&hh), was given both prophecy
and the message that was revealed to him from Allah
through Gabriel in person. Among the prophets is one
who is given both prophecy and message, hence he saw
visions in his sleep while the spirit visited and talked
to him but could not witness them during wakefulness.
The inspired on the other hand is the one who is inspired
(talked to) thus hears without seeing, and he does not
see visions in his sleep.(2)
Abdullah Bin Bakir was reported quoting Zararah
as saying: I asked Abu Abdullah As-Sadiq (pbuh)
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 72.
(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 176.

107

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

108

the difference between the messenger, the prophet,


and the inspired. He said: the messenger is the one
visited by the angel who brings to him the message
from his lord, saying: He commands you to do such
and such. The prophet does not witness the angel,
the news is delivered into his heart and he would
resemble the unconscious person who sees in his
sleep. I said: how would he know that what he saw
in his sleep was right? He said: Allah establishes it
until he knows it is right but he does not see the
angel. The inspired is the one that hears the voice
and does not witness a presence.(1)
2- Inspiration
Inspiration is the noun of inspire. It was also
defined as the occurrence of knowledge within the
soul without learning, experiencing or thinking.(2)
Several reports stated that inspiration is one method
of knowledge of the Imams (pbut). Some reported
Abdul Aziz Bin Muslim quoting Ali Bin Moussa ArRidha (pbuh), while delivering a long speech, as saying,
When Allah the Exalted chooses a servant to take
care of the affairs of His servants, He opens his
bosom to do so, treasures inside his heart fountains
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 78.
(2) This definition belongs to Ibn Aashour At-Tunisi (Refer to: AL-HAYDARI, Kamal,
Elm al-Imam (The knowledge of the Imam), reported by Ali al-Abadi, first edition,
Qum, Dar Farqad (publishing house), 2008, p. 274).

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

of wisdom, and teaches him sciences via inspiration.


After that, he finds no difficulty in answering, and
no confusion in regarding what is right(1)
Moreover, Abu Jafar al-Baqir (pbuh) was quoted as
saying, On the nights before Fridays, we witness
a great deal of matters. In conclusion he says: The
trustees [commanders] reach the point where they
are inspired with great knowledge matching the
greatness of crowds.(2)
Moreover, Ibn Abbass said: I heard Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh) saying: Allah the Exalted gave me five
and gave Ali five. He gave me the volumes of speech
and gave Ali the volumes of science. He made me
a prophet and made him a trustee. He gave me alKawthar and gave him As-Salsabil. He gave me
revelation and gave him inspiration(3)
In addition, Ali Bin Yaqteen said: I said to Abul
Hassan (pbuh): Is the knowledge of your knower
heard or inspired? He said: it can be heard and
inspired or both together.(4)

(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 202.


(2) AS-SAFFAR, Muhammad, Basaer Ad-Darajat (Insights on Grades), publishing edition unknown, Tehran, Manshourat al-Alami (publishing house), 1404 AH, p. 150.
(3) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Khisal (The qualities), publishing edition unknown,
Qum, Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing house), 1403 AH, p. 293.
(4) AS-SAFFAR, Muhammad, Basaer Ad-Darajat (Insights on Grades), p. 337.

109

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

3- Tapping
Abu Baseer said: I asked Abu Abdullah As-Sadiq
(pbuh): Regarding the matter about which the
Imam is asked while having no prior information
concerning it, how does he find its knowledge? He
replied: it is scratchily scratched up into the heart
or tappingly tapped into the ear.(1)

110

Eissa Bin Hamza Ath-Thaqafi was reported saying:


I said to Abu Abdullah As-Sadiq (pbuh): Sometimes
we ask you while you hasten the answer. Other times
you contemplate after which you answer us. He
said: Yes; it is being tapped and scratched into our
ears and hearts. Hence, if it is tapped or scratched
we speak, and if it is held back we hold.(2)
In conclusion, the introductions regarding the
methods of the spirits companionship to the Imams tell
us that the process is either by the special speech, or by
inspiration, or by tapping. It seems that these three kinds
are the sum of one. An example of this can be found in
several scripts regarding this field. One example is the
words of Abul Hassan (pbuh), Scratching into the
hearts is inspiration whereas tapping into the ears
is the commandment of the lord.(3)
(1) AS-SAFFAR, Muhammad, Basaer Ad-Darajat (Insights on Grades), p. 336.
(2) Same previous source.
(3) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. xxx1 p. 264.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Whenever they wish to learn Allah will


guide them

One question remains: Is their present knowledge


existent at all times?
Several reports stated that whenever the Imam
wishes to learn Allah the Exalted will guide him.

One of these reports quotes Imam As-Sadiq (pbuh)


as saying, Whenever the Imam wishes to learn he
is guided.(1) Another quotation of Imam As-Sadiq
(pbuh) reads, If the Imam wishes to learn something
Allah will instruct him.(2) A third quotation of Imam
As-Sadiq (pbuh) reads, If the Imam wishes to inform
he informs them.(3) Some scholars rejected these
reports protesting their weak reference(4). On the other
hand, others embraced their content such as Sheikh
Muhammad Hussein al-Mothaffar who said about
them: And this section may represent the medium
level and the middle cushion.(5)

(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 258.


(2) Same previous source.
(3) Same previous source.
(4) AL-HAYDARI, Kamal, Elm al-Imam (The Knowledge of the Imam), p. 397-398.
(5)

111

Lesson [7]

Do the Imams (pbut) possess


unseen knowledge?
The meaning of the unseen

Ibn Manthour said: The unseen: is everything


invisible to you(1) whether in the past, present or
future.
Pertaining to the linguistic meaning, the holy Quran
used the term unseen. For example, regarding the
unseen of the past Allah the Exalted said, This is of
the tidings of things hidden. We reveal it unto thee
(Muhammad).(2) Pertaining to the present, Allah
the Exalted said, Who believe in the Unseen (3)
Pertaining to the future Allah the Exalted said, if
they had known the Unseen (4)

(1) IBN MANTHOUR, Muhammad, Lisan al-Arab (The Arabs Tongue), publishing edition unknown, Qum, Nashr Adab al-Hawza (publishing house), 1405 AH, vol. 1, p. 654.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 44.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 3.
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat Saba (Sheba), verse 14.

113

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Witnessing (visibility) contradicts with the unseen


(invisible), which means presence according to
the language. Ar-Raghib said, Witnessing is the
presence(1), whether it happens by viewing or by
insight. As in the case of the unseen (invisible), the
holy Quran used the word witnessing in the same
linguistic meaning. Allah the Exalted said,
Knower of the Invisible and the Visible (2)
Is the knowledge of the unseen limited to
Allah?
114

Several Quranic verses read that the knowledge of


the unseen is limited to Allah the Exalted, such as in
His words:
1- And with Him are the keys of the Invisible. None
but He knoweth them.(3)

2- Then say, (O Muhammad): The Unseen


belongeth to Allah.(4)
3- Say (O Muhammad): None in the heavens and
the earth knoweth the Unseen save Allah(5)
However, unlike these verses, there are other verses
that explain how some servants of Allah the Exalted
(1) AL-FAYOUMI, Ahmad, al-Mesbah al-Mounir (The Luminous Lamp), p 324.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Az-Zumar (The Troops), verse 46.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-An`m (The Cattle), verse 59.
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat Ynus (Jonah), verse 20.
(5) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Naml (The Ant), verse 65.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

are informed by Him pertaining to the unseen. Some of


these verses read:
1- It is not (the purpose) of Allah to leave you
in your present state till He shall separate the
wicked from the good. And it is not (the purpose
of) Allah to let you know the Unseen. But Allah
chooseth of His messengers whom He will, (to
receive knowledge thereof).(1)
Al-Wahidi reported As-Sadey quoting Allahs
messenger (pbuh&hh) as saying, My nation
has been presented to me in its images as it has
been presented to Adam. I was informed of
those who will believe in me and those who will
disbelieve. The hypocrites knew of this issue
and they ridiculed it saying: Muhammad claims
that he knows who will believe in him and who
will disbelieve. We are with him yet he cannot
recognize us. Hence Allah the Exalted revealed
this verse.(2)
2- (He is) the Knower of the Unseen and He
revealeth unto none His secret; Save unto every
messenger whom He hath chosen(3)
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 179.
(2) AL-WAHIDI, An-Naisabouri, Asbaab Nuzoul al-Ayaat (The Reasons for Revelation),
publishing edition unknown, Cairo, Moassasat al-Halabi (publishing house), 1388 AH,
p. 88.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Jinn (The Jinn), verses 26-27.

115

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Harmonizing the verses

The previous verse means that Allah the Exalted


reveals His unseen to His chosen messenger. Hence
the question: how can we harmonize between this verse
and the previous verses that limit the knowledge of the
unseen to Allah the Exalted?

116

In other additional words, there is no doubt that


Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh) crowns those whom
Allah the Exalted has chosen of His messengers.
Therefore, Allah the Exalted informs him and reveals
to him His unseen. But how can we harmonize
between this category and the previous verses that
limit the knowledge of the unseen to Allah the Exalted?
Moreover, how can we harmonize it with the verse of
Allah the Exalted by the very tongue of His messenger
Muhammad (pbuh&hh), which reads, Had I
knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance
of wealth(1)?
Answering the question plus contemplating over
these verses explain two issues:
One: the knowledge of the unseen is limited to Allah
the Exalted in an independent form. Therefore, no one
can obtain such knowledge independently from Allah
the Exalted. This explains the three verses that limit the
knowledge of the unseen to Allah the Exalted. However,
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-A`rf (The Heights), verse 188.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

this issue does not prevent Allah the Exalted from


being generous to a number of His servants, informing
them with a part of His unseen knowledge. Therefore,
this number of informed servants will possess such
knowledge as subordinates not as independents.
There are examples of this theory in the holy Quran.
For instance, Allah the Exalted refers the receiving
of the souls [of people] to Himself saying, Allah
receiveth (mens) souls at the time of their death, and
that (soul) which dieth not (yet) in its sleep(1) On
the other hand, we notice that Allah the Exalted refers
the receiving of the souls, in other verses, to someone
else other than Him. Allah the Exalted says, Say: The
angel of death, who hath charge concerning you, will
gather you(2) Allah the Exalted adds, He is the
Omnipotent over His slaves. He sendeth guardians
over you until, when death cometh unto one of you,
Our messengers receive him, and they neglect not.(3)
When harmonizing between these verses, we will
find that collecting the souls in an independent form
belongs to Allah the Exalted. However, this issue does
not contradict with assigning such task to others such
as the angels in a subordinate and dependent form.
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Az-Zumar (The Troops), verse 42.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat As-Sajdah (The Prostration), verse 11.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-An`m (The Cattle), verse 61.

117

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

The same case applies to these verses of Allah the


Exalted:
1- Allah is Creator of all things(1).

118

2- Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of


a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by
Allahs leave.(2) Therefore, creating, which means
forming from previous matter, belongs to Allah
alone in an independent form, such as creativity
and foundation out of nothing. At the same time, by
means of subordination and dependency on Allah
the Exalted, it would be suitable to attribute this task
of creating to Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
The same case applies to His words, Lo! All power
appertaineth to Allah;(3) and His words, might
belongeth to Allah and to His messenger and to the
believers(4)
Two: Regarding the verse that denies Muhammad
(pbuh&hh) his knowledge of the unseen, we can notice
that such denial was in the form of the speaking person
with independent knowledge. For example, the verse
(Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have
abundance of wealth)(5) comes in the form of the
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Az-Zumar (The Troops), verse 62.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 49.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat An-Nis (The Women), verse 139.
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Munfiqn (The Hypocrites), verse 8.
(5) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-A`rf (The Heights), verse 188.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

first person, who seems to be saying: I, on my own,


independently from Allah, do not know the unseen.
Regarding the verse in which Allah the Exalted
informs and discloses the unseen, it came in the form
of the active voice, which is Allah the Exalted. Here
are some examples: In the two previous verses we can
read: (let you know the Unseen...)(1) refers to Allah,
and (chooseth of His messengers whom He will)(2),
also refers to Allah. Moreover, we can read: (revealeth
unto none)(3) refers to Allah, and (Save unto every
messenger whom He hath chosen) (4), also refers to
Allah.
These forms bring us to the following conclusion:
I, the man, even if I am the seal of the prophets, still,
I, on my own, know not the unseen. The unseen belongs
only to Allah. Hence, He is the one Who reveals and
informs to whom He has chosen.
Allah informs His prophets of the unseen

Accordingly, we present a number of the verses that


tell us how Allah the Exalted revealed the unseen to
some of His prophets and righteous servants.
1- Allah the Exalted said, The Romans have been
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 179.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 179.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Jinn (The Jinn), verses 26-27.
(4) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Jinn (The Jinn), verses 26-27.

119

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

defeated. In the nearer land, and they, after their


defeat will be victorious. Within ten years.(1)

120

These verses were revealed at the time of the war that


took place between the Romans and the Persians,
the two super powers that ruled the ancient world.
They fought for the countries of Sham and other
lands. The verse foretold of an unseen event that
was about to take place in the near future. Sheikh
Zuhaili said in his exegesis of the holy Quran: This
is tidings of the unseen pertaining to an event
in the future that was supported by factuality.
The verses were revealed when Sabur, the
king of Persia ruled over the countries of Sham and
its adjacent countries of Al-Jazeera as well as the
outermost limits of the Roman countries. Hence,
Heraclius the eastern Roman emperor, was
forced to seek refuge in Constantinople, and was
besieged within for a long period of time. But the
state returned later to Heraclius. For example, after
the revelation of the Romans chapter of the Quran in
622, Heraclius, in a few years (in 627), established
his first conclusive victory for the Romans against
the Persians in Nineveh at the banks of the Tigris
river. The Persians after this defeat broke the siege
of Constantinople. The King of Persia Opervez
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Ar-Rm (The Romans), verses 2-4.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

was killed in 628 by his own son.(1)


2- Allah the Exalted said, Allah hath fulfilled the
vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall
indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship,
if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven
and cut, not fearing. But He knoweth that which
ye know not, and hath given you a near victory
beforehand.(2) Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh)
informed the Muslims that they will open Makkah
in the future, which became a fact. It is evident that
this was a prediction, information about the unseen
future that was transmitted by Allah the Exalted to
His Prophet (pbuh&hh), which he saw as a vision.
3- Allah the Exalted said,And We inspired the
mother of Moses, saying: Suckle him and, when
thou fearest for him, then cast him into the river
and fear not nor grieve. Lo! We shall bring him
back unto thee and shall make him (one) of Our
messengers.(3) This verse tells us that the mother
of Moses had been informed of the unseen future
although she was not one of the Prophets or Trustees.(4)
(1) AZ-ZUHAILI, Wahba, At-Tafsir al-Mubin fi al-Aqeedah wa Ash-Shariah wa alManhaj (The Enlightened Exegesis of the Dogma, Shariah and Methodology), first edition, Beirut, Dar al-Fikr (publishing house), 1411 AH, vol. 21, p. 49.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Fat (The Victory), verse 27.
(3) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Qaa (The Stories), verse 7,
(4) AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Tafsir al-Mizan (The scales interpretation),
vol. 16, p. 87.

121

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

The unseen knowledge of the Imams

Consequently, asking about the unseen knowledge


of the Imams (pbut) is a question concerning an issue
that is possible, not impossible. It is found exclusively
in the religious scripts of the holy Quran and the Noble
Speeches of the Prophet; the mind cannot prove its
existence.

122

In fact, the accounts confirmed that Allah the Exalted


bestowed His blessing upon the Imams (pbut) granting
them knowledge of the unseen pertaining to several
matters. We will present them in the following titles:
I- The Prophet (pbuh&hh) teaches the unseen to his
household (pbut). The Noble Prophet (pbuh&hh) was
quoted as saying, There is no land that is fertile
or sterile, and no group that misguides a hundred
or guides a hundred unless it is brought to my
knowledge; and I taught it to my household.(1)
II- Inheriting the unseen knowledge from the Prophet
(pbuh&hh)
Reports have increased regarding the Prophetic
Households inheritance of Allahs messenger
(pbuh&hh). Some of that which they inherited
pertains to the knowledge of the unseen. On this
issue, the following scripts have been reported:
(1) AS-SAFFAR, Muhammad, Basaer Ad-Darajat (Insights on Grades), p. 317.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

1- In his reply to Amro Bin Hazzab who denied


the Imams (pbut) their knowledge of the unseen
giving the reason that the unseen is known only
to Allah the Exalted, Imam Ar-Ridha (pbuh) was
quoted as saying, Allah does say: (He is) the
Knower of the Unseen and He revealeth unto
none His secret; Save unto every messenger
whom He hath chosen(1); for instance, Allahs
messenger is chosen by Allah and we are the
inheritors of that messenger who was informed
by Allah with His chosen unseen. Therefore, our
knowledge pertains to what has been and what
will be until the Day of Judgment.(2)
2- Abu Abdullah Ibn Jundub was reported saying
that Abul Hassan Ar-Ridha (pbuh) wrote to him
saying, But then, Muhammad (pbuh&hh)
was the trustee of Allah pertaining to His
creation. When his soul was claimed we, the
household, became his inheritors. Hence, we
are the trustees of Allah in His land. We have
the knowledge of afflictions and deaths, and
that of the ancestors of the Arabs, and that of
the birth of Islam. And we recognize the man
by the trueness of his faith as soon as we see
him as we also know the trueness of hypocrisy.
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Jinn (The Jinn), verses 26-27.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 49, p. 75.

123

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

And our Shiites are stated by their names and the


names of their fathers. Allah took oath from us
and from them. Their arrival is our arrival and
their entrance is our entrance. No other embraces
the religion of Islam but us and them. We are the
superior saviors. We are the remaining legacy of
the Prophets. We are the sons of the trustees. We
are the ones categorized in the book of Allah the
Exalted. We are worthier, amongst all people, of
the book of Allah. We are worthier, amongst all
people, of the messenger of Allah (pbuh&hh)(1)
124

3- Dureis al-Kanasi was reported saying: I was


visiting Abu Abdullah As-Sadiq (pbuh) with
Abu Baseer present, when Abu Abdullah (pbuh)
said: David (pbuh) inherited the knowledge
of the Prophets (pbut), and Suleiman (pbuh)
inherited David (pbuh), and Muhammad
(pbuh&hh) inherited Suleiman (pbuh), and
we inherited Muhammad (pbuh&hh), and we
have the books of Abraham (pbuh) and the
Tablets of Moses (pbuh)(2)
III- Imam Ali (pbuh) discloses his knowledge of the
unseen.
Imam Ali (pbuh) declared his knowledge of the
(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 223.
(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 225.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

unseen in more than one occasion. For instance, he was


quoted as saying:
1- I swear in Allah, if I wish to tell each man of you
about his beginning and end and all his affairs
I could. However, I fear that you might give up
your faith in Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh). Yet,
I will unbosom it to the elite of people whom can
be trusted. I swear in the One that sent him with
righteousness, and chose him from the people, I
only say the truth. He has entrusted me with this
entire legacy, informing me of the death of the
perished, and the salvation of the saved plus the
outcome of this issue. All that he expressed over
my head he phrased into my ear and told me of
its secrecy.(1)
2- After thanking Allah and extoling His greatness,
hear me people: I myself poked the eye of sedition
when no one else dared while its darkness gloomed
further and its mad covetousness increased. Ask
me before you lose me. I swear in the One Who
controls my soul, anything you ask me about
anything from now until the Day of Judgment,
about any category that guides a hundred or
misguides a hundred, I will tell about its croaker,
leader, guider, the atmosphere of its ride and the
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 34, p. 217.

125

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

station of its caravan, who will be murdered of its


people and who will die naturally(1)
IV- The Imams derive from the sons of the commander
of the faithful (pbuh), announcing their knowledge
of the unseen.

126

1- Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, I swear


in Allah we have been given the knowledge of
the firsts and the lasts. Consequently, one of
his companions asked him: May I die for you;
do you have the knowledge of the unseen? The
Imam (pbuh) said: Woe unto you! I know who
resides in the loins of men and the wombs of
women. Woe unto you! Widen your chests,
open your eyes, and let your hearts grasp(2)
2- A man named Abi Baseer was reported quoting
Imam Baqir (pbuh) as saying, I swear in
the One Who controls my soul; I possess the
knowledge of the Prophet (pbuh&hh), the
knowledge of the past and the knowledge of
what is going to be from now until the Day of
Judgment.(3)

(1) Same previous source, vol. 41, p. 348.


(2) Same previous source, vol. 26, p. 27.
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 110.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

The Imams and their Knowledge of the


times of their deaths

If the Imams (pbut) possess the knowledge of the


unseen, they must know the times of their deaths.
Hence, a question arises: If they do so, wouldnt their
optional undauntedness be deemed suicidal?
Imam Ali (pbuh) knew that he would be stricken by
the sword on the ninth night of Ramadan of the stated
year. He knew that it would happen inside the mosque
at the hand of a particular acquaintance of his. Besides,
he saw him just before prayer time. Hence, isnt his
coming forward to practice prayers deemed as a sort of
boldness leading to death?
The same case applies to Imam Hassan (pbuh) and
his poisoning as well as the rest of the children of Imam
Hussein (pbuh).
Answer:

The Imams (pbut) act based on their divine


assignment, even if they know it might lead to their
death. It is natural for the assignment of the person who
is cognizant of the special knowledge that is disclosed
to him to be different than that of the assignments of
others. Therefore, Imam Ali (pbuh), when he departed
his home to the mosque, it was obedience to the
commandment of Allah the Exalted. Imam Ar-Ridha
(pbuh) explained this issue clearly in his answer to the

127

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

person who asked him about the reason of his departure


while knowing what was going to happen. The Imam
(pbuh) said: However, he was given a choice that
night; let the determinism of Allah the Exalted
take its course.(1) This issue means that he, with a
free will, went ahead with submissiveness to his divine
assignment.

128

The answer is clarified further when Imam Baqir


(pbuh) was quoted as saying, O Hemran, Allah the
Exalted planned their destiny, decreed it, sealed it, and
determined it with a free choice. Next, he processed
it. Therefore, with the advanced knowledge that
they obtained from Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh),
Ali, Hassan and Hussein (pbut) revolted whereas,
with [this same] knowledge, some of us maintained
our silence.(2)
To clarify the answer, Scholar al-Majlisi said:
Their legitimate verdicts depend on the
superficial sciences, not the revelatory sciences.(3)
Sheikh al-Mufid added: A man who does not protest
his servitude to Allah in being patient regarding
martyrdom and in being submissive regarding
slaughter, Allah will take him to a degree where no
(1) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient), p. 39.
(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 262.
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 48, p. 236.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

man can reach In this sense comes the kindness


regarding such assignment to such people which no
others could endure. In this sense, the commander
of the faithful (pbuh) was not someone casted by
his own hands to ruin or someone who encouraged
himself to perform an act that the mind condemns.(1)
Attention:
We must understand that the previous paradox
pertaining to the knowledge of the Imams regarding
their deaths does not challenge the saying: whenever the
Imam wishes to learn Allah will give him knowledge,
which we explained earlier in our discussion pertaining
to knowledge in this world. Based on this saying, death
would come to him without his desire in knowing so.

(1) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Masa`el al-Akbariah (The Akbarian Issues), audited


by Ali Akbar al-Elahi al-Kharasani, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid (publishing
house), 1414 AH, p. 70.

129

Lesson [8]

What is the truth and


significance behind the inherited
books of the Imams (pbut)?
We mentioned previously that the accounts
confirmed the existence of several books that the
Imams inherited, one after another. At this point, we
will present the most important of these books with an
explanation on their truth and significance with respect
to the infallible Imams (pbut).
1- Al-Jafr

Al-Jafr in language
The word Jafr, according to language, has four
meanings:
I- It is the lamb that has matured with a stomach and
wide sides.(1)
(1) AL-FAYOUMI, Ahmad, al-Mesbah al-Mounir (The Luminous Lamp), p. 103. IBN
FARIS, Ahmad, Mojam Maqayees al-Lugha (Language Standards Dictionary), audited
by Abdul Salam Muhammad Haroun, (Publishing Edition Unknown), Qum, Islamic Information Bureau, 1404 AH, vol. 1, p. 466. .

131

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

II- It is the wide well that was not built by stones.(1)


III- It is the male child whose muscles and abdomen
have grown.(2)
IV- It is the calf (baby camel).(3)

132

Al-Jafr in the Accounts


The reports interpreted the Jafr as being the leather
from a lamb(4); others interpreted it as being the leather
from an ox(5). Regarding the truth of this leather and
its task, the reports provided four meanings of the Jafr,
which are:
1- The white Jafr
It is simply a container (case) made of sheep leather,
containing four sets of holy books, which are:
1-1- The books of Abraham (pbuh).
1-2- The Torah of Moses (pbuh).
1-3- The Psalms of David (pbuh).
1-4- The Bible of Jesus (pbuh).
(1) AZ-ZUBEIDI, Muhammad, Tajj al-Arous (The Brides Crown), vol. 4, p. 143. IBN
MANTHOUR, Muhammad, Lisan al-Arab (The tongue of the Arabs), vol. 4, p. 143.
(2) AZ-ZAMAKHSHARI, Asaas al-Balagha, (The Foundations of Eloquence), publishing edition unknown, Cairo, Dar Ash-Shab (publishing house), 1960, p. 61.
(3) IBN MANTHOUR, Muhammad, Lisan al-Arab (The tongue of the Arabs), vol. 4,
p. 142. AZ-ZUBEIDI, Muhammad, Tajj al-Arous (The Brides Crown), vol. 3, p. 143.
(4) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 46.
(5) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 241.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

1-5- The first books of Allah, such as the Scriptures


of Idris (pbuh).
1-6- The book of Fatimah (pbuh).
1-7- Al-Jameah book (which has been explained
previously as the book of the prophetic tradition).
Later, we will discuss the book of Fatimah (pbuh).
2- The red Jafr
It is a container (bag) also made of sheep leather,
containing the weapon of Allahs messenger (pbuh).
Describing both the white Jafr and red Jafr, Imam
Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, They are two
integuments with their wool and hair; one is stuffed
with books and the other with the weapon of Allahs
messenger (pbuh).(1)
3- The Oxs leather
In our book, we addressed: The truth of Jafr
at the Shiites as being the leather of an ox, a large
container (bag) containing both the white and red Jafr.(2)
4- The Jafr book
The reports stated that among the books that were
inherited by the Imams (pbut) was the Jafr book that
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 38.
(2) Refer to: Barakat, Akram, Haqiqat al Jafr End Ash-Shia (The truth of Jafr at the
Shiites), sixth edition, Beirut, Bayt As-Siraj (publishing house), 2012, p. 53.

133

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

contains The knowledge of deaths, tribulations and


disasters plus the knowledge of what has been and
what will be until the Day of Judgment.(1)
Another report states that the content of the Jafr was
a gift from Allah the Exalted to His Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) which was dictated to Imam Ali (pbuh), and
recorded by his own hand.(2)

134

From its size, it seems to be (simply sheep leather);


scripted with complete secrecy in a way that only the
Imams (pbut) can understand. It was categorized by
some reports as being an object that can be observed
by only a Prophet or the Trustee of a Prophet.(3)
In their special knowledge, the Imams (pbut) would
rely on the Jafr, as an indication to the divine inheritance
that indicates to the harmony of the one Imamate (one
leadership). This inheritance goes all the way back to
Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh) who dictated the content
of this Jafr. This issue proves their Imamate (rightful
leadership).

(1) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Kamal Ad-Deen (The Perfection of Religion), publishing edition unknown, Qum, Moassasat An-Nashr al-Islami (publishing house), 1405 AH.
p. 353.
(2) Barakat, Akram, Haqiqat al Jafr End Ash-Shia (The Truth of Jafr for the Shiites), p.
60-61.
(3) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Oyoun Akhbar Ar-Ridha (The fountains of Ar-Ridha
News), vol. 1, p. 31.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

2- Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh)

Mushaf Fatimah (the book of Fatimah) has been


mentioned by several reports. Some of them belong
to recognized sources such as the true report that was
narrated by al-Kulaini (RIP) in his book al-Kafi (The
Sufficient), quoting Abi Obaidah as saying: Abu
Abdullah was asked by some of our companions
about the Jafr. He said: it is the leather of an ox full
of knowledge. Asked: what about al Jameah? He
said: it is a paper that is seventy cubits in length
as wide as the leather of the thigh of a large camel.
It contains all that which the people need. It does
not miss any affair, even the penalties for harming
others. Asked: what about Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh)?
He was silent for a while and then said: You are
searching for what you wish and for what you do
not wish. Fatimah lived 75 days after the death of
Allahs messenger (pbuh&hh). She cherished great
grief for her father. Gabriel (pbuh) would attend to
provide her with great solace for her father.
And he would bestow peace upon her soul telling
her about her father and his whereabouts, informing
her about what will happen to her descendants. Ali
(pbuh) would record all his words. This is Mushaf
Fatimah (pbuh).(1)
(1) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 241.

135

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

This report defined a number of the issues relating


to the conversation of the angel with Lady Fatimah AzZahraa (pbuh), which are:
1- The reader is the angel Gabriel (pbuh).
2- The listener is Lady Fatimah Az-Zahraa (pbuh).
3- The recorder is the commander of the faithful, Ali
Ibn Abi Talib (pbuh).
4- The occasion is condolence following the departure
of Allahs messenger (pbuh).
136

5- The book is Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh).


Questions about Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh)

To address the facts regarding this book, we answer


the following questions:
Q1: What is the meaning of Mushaf?
Some people might think that the word Mushaf
means at this point the Quran. In fact, this is not true.
The Mushaf as the language experts stated is The
volume of the written sheets between the two folds.

(1)

(1) AL-JAWHARI, Ismael, As-Sihah (The Corrections), audited by Ahmad Abdul Ghafour al-Attar, fourth edition, Beirut, Dar al-Elm Lil Malayeen (publishing house), 1407
AH, vol. 4, p. 1384. IBN MANTHOUR, Muhammad, Lisan al-Arab (The tongue of the
Arabs), vol. 9, p. 186. AL-FARAHIDI, Al-Khalil, al-Ayn (the Eye), second edition, audited by Mahdi al-Makhzoumi and Khalil as-Samirraei, Qum, Moassasat Dar al-Hijra
(publishing house), 1409 AH, vol. 3, p. 120. AZ-ZUBEIDI, Muhammad, Tajj al-Arous
(The Brides Crown), vol. 6, p. 161.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

It is another expression of what we call nowadays


The volume. This is why we notice that author alJahiz named each volume of the volumes of his book
al- Hayawan [The Animal] as Mushaf. In the
end of the first volume he wrote: The first Mushaf
is concluded and will be followed by the second
Mushaf of al-Hayawan book. In his second volume
he wrote: The second Mushaf is concluded and will
be followed by the third Mushaf of al-Hayawan
book. Etc(1)
Dr. Nassir Ed-Deen al-Assad said on the sources of
the pre-Islamic poetry: And they would name the
collected book Mushaf, and they mean the book in
general, not only the Quran.(2)
Although the term Mushaf has been repeatedly
used to indicate to the holy Quran after the arrival of
Islam, yet its fame in this sense did not prevent it from
being used to indicate to its wide semantic meaning.
Moreover, the term Mushaf was not solely designed
for the holy Quran, neither in the holy book that did
not originally mention the word Mushaf nor in the
Prophetic Tradition.
(1) AL-JAHIZ, Abu Othman, Al-Hayawan (The Animal), audited by Abdul Salam Muhammad Haroun, Beirut, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath al-Arabi (publishing house), vol. 1, p. 388.
Vol. 2, p. 375. Vol. 3, p. 539. Vol. 4, p. 492. Vol. 5, p. 604. vol. 6, p. 512. Vol. 7, p. 263.
(2) AL-ASSAD, Nassir Ed-Deen, sources of the pre-Islamic poetry, fortieth edition, Cairo, Dar al-Maaref publishing house, 1969, p. 139.

137

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Therefore, it is better to avoid naming the book of


Fatimah (pbuh) as Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh) because the
Shiites are being accused of having their own Quran
known as Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh).
Q2- What is the content of Mushaf Fatimah
(pbuh)?
The reports discussed the content of Mushaf Fatimah
(pbuh) while addressing two issues: the denied content
and the established content.
138

The denied content:


The reports denied that Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh)
contained the two following issues:
A- The Quran
Some of these reports were quoted from Imam Jafar
As-Sadiq (pbuh) as saying:
- And Fatimah left behind a Mushaf that is
not the Quran.(1)
- And Mushaf Fatimah, Lo! I swear in Allah
that I do not claim it is a Quran. (2)
- I have Mushaf Fatimah; it contains none
of the Quran.(3)
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 4142.
(2) Same previous source, p. 45.
(3) Same previous source, p. 45.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

- Mushaf Fatimah; it contains none of the


book of Allah.(1)
- And we have, I swear in Allah, Mushaf
Fatimah; it does not contain any verse of the
book of Allah.(2)
- And we have Mushaf Fatimah; Lo! I
swear in Allah, it does not have any letter of
the Quran.(3)
B- The religious rules
The report of Hammad Bin Othman quotes Imam
Sadiq (pbuh) as saying:
The hypocrites will come up to surface in the
year twenty eight and one hundred. I say this
because I looked into Mushaf Fatimah Lo! It
contains nothing of licit or illicit issues. However, it
contains the knowledge of what will be.(4)
The established content:
The reports contents indicated that Mushaf Fatimah
(pbuh) contains the following issues:
1- The position of the Greatest Prophet (pbuh&hh)
In the authentic sheet of Abi Obaidah, Imam Sadiq
(1) Same previous source, p. 48.
(2) Same previous source, vol. 47, p. 271.
(3) Same previous source, vol. 26, p. 46.
(4) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 240.

139

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

(pbuh) was quoted as saying, And Gabriel (pbuh)


would attend to provide her with great solace for her
father while bestowing peace upon her soul telling
her about her father and his whereabouts And Ali
(pbuh) would record it in the book of Fatimah.(1)
2- The future of the progeny of Az-Zahraa (pbuh)
In the same previous story: And he would inform
her about what will happen to her descendants after
her departure.(2)
140

3- The future events


Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying,
Regarding Mushaf Fatimah, it contains the
inevitabilities.(3)
In another previous report, it reads, the
knowledge of what is going to be.(4)
4- The names of the prophets and the trustees
Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, No prophet
or trustee unless it is written in a book that I have(5)
in other words, this is Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh).(6)
(1) Same previous source, p. 241.
(2) Same previous source.
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 26, p. 18.
(4) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 240. AL-MAJLISI,
Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 47, p. 32.
(5) IBN BABAWEIH, Ali, Al-Imamah Wat-Tabassour (The Imamate and Insight), audited and published by Imam Mahdi School, Qum, 1404 AH, p. 51.
(6) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 47, p. 32.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

5- The names of the kings


Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, And
regarding Mushaf Fatimah, it contains the
inevitabilities and the names of those who reign
until the day when the hour rises.(1)
Benefiting from the content

Based on the reports of Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh),


anyone who contemplates on its content will benefit
from it as a book that speaks of the history of mankind
with all its past, present and future events. For instance,
it contains the names of the prophets and trustees.
We also know that the first man was a prophet. This
means that it discussed the history of mankind from
the beginning. It also contains the names of the kings
to be until the Day of Judgment. This also means that
it discussed the future of mankind until its end. The
topic does not only concern the names of the prophets,
trustees and kings, it also concerns all the events of
mankind in its entirety.
This means it discusses the future of the progeny of
Lady Fatima (pbuh). It also contains discussion about
the rise of the universal state of righteousness led by
her great grandson, the guided one, Imam Mahdi (may
Allah hasten his advent). Therefore, Mushaf Fatimah
(pbuh) is the book of the divine plan for the caravan of
(1) Same previous source, vol. 26, p. 18.

141

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

mankind from its very existence until the day when the
hour rises.

142

At this point, we can understand that the words


contained in the Mushaf were simply to provide AzZahraa (pbuh) with solace and to bring comfort to
her soul. Yes, the tragedy will strike her progeny yet
despite its magnitude the conclusion will be the
achievement of her great grandson, the last of the
twelve trustees, who will conclude the quest of the
divine project, the dream of the prophets and trustees,
the universal state of justice.
Undoubtedly, these tidings bestowed comfort on
her soul, eased her sadness over her fathers death,
and provided her with the happy news concerning the
success of the divine project, which will be achieved at
a certain phase in life.
Benefiting from the descent of Gabriel
Imam Khomeini (RIP) understood Gabriels descent
to visit Lady Zahraa (pbuh) as a matter of recognizing
her as a woman of great importance and stature. On this
matter, he said in his own words, The issue of a visit
by Gabriel to a person is not an ordinary matter.
Never think that Gabriel would come to any person
or that it would be possible for him to do so. This
issue necessitates that there be harmony between

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

the soul of the person visited by Gabriel and the


stature of Gabriel
This merit of Zahraa (pbuh), despite the greatness
of her other values, is regarded as the highest save the
prophets. No other person has been awarded with such
a merit.
Moreover, not all the prophets were awarded such
merit. It was only granted to those of high ranks and to
the greatest trustees who hold similar ranks. This is one
of the merits that belong to the honorable lady Zahraa
(pbuh).
Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh) presents evidence to the
Imamate
As in the case of the Jafr book, Mushaf Fatimah is
a confidential book that the Imams (pbut) referred to
regarding their special knowledge, which indicates
to their knowledge being inherited from the Prophet
(pbuh), which also indicates to their Imamate.(1)
3- The Tablet of Fatimah (pbuh)

It was reported that it was a green tablet that Allah


the Exalted presented to His Prophet (pbuh) and was
inherited by the succeeding Imams. This tablet is a
small book with a clear script containing the names
(1) Refer to: Barakat, Akram, Haqiqat Mushaf Fatimah End Ash-Shia (The Truth of
Mushaf Fatimah for the Shiites), sixth edition, Beirut, Bayt As-Siraj (publishing house),
2012, p. 172-174.

143

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

of the twelve Imams [trustees] with a number of their


descriptions and ranks as well as their major roles.
We can notice this issue in the following
report:

144

Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, My


father [Imam Baqir (pbuh)] said to Jabir bin
Abdullah al-Ansari: I need you for a favor. When
are you less busy that we may gather in privacy in
order to ask you concerning it? Jabir said: Anytime
that you desire. Hence, one day, he sat with him in
privacy and said to him: O Jabir, tell me about the
tablet that you saw my mother Fatima the daughter
of Allahs messenger (pbuh) holding in her hand.
What did my mother tell you of what was written
on that tablet?
Jabir said: I swear in Allah that I visited your
mother Fatimah (pbuh) during the life of Allahs
messenger (pbuh). I congratulated her on the birth
of Hussein (pbuh) and saw in her hand a green tablet
that I thought was made of emerald. I saw on it white
writings like the color of the sun. I asked her: May I die
for you O daughter of Allahs messenger (pbuh), what
is this tablet? She said: This tablet was presented by
Allah to His messenger (pbuh). It contains the name of
my father, my husband, my two sons, and the names of
the trustees from my children. My father gave it to me

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

as a good tiding. Jabir said: Your mother (pbuh) lent it


to me and I read it and made a copy of it. Hence, my
father [Imam Baqir (pbuh)] asked him: O Jabir, would
you show it to me? He said: yes. My father walked
with him to Jabirs house where he brought out a sheet
of paper. He said: O Jabir, look to your book [sheet of
paper] so I can read to you [by heart]. Jabir looked to his
copy while my father read, and no word was missing.
Jabir said: I swear in Allah, this [the following] is what
I saw written on the tablet:
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most
Merciful
This is a book from Allah the Mighty, Wise; sent to
Muhammad, His Prophet, light, ambassador, haven, and
guide; brought down by the True Spirit from the Lord
of the worlds. Glorify O Muhammad My Names and
be thankful for My benefaction. Never be ungrateful of
My bounties. I am Allah the one and only one God, the
breaker of the tyrants, the helper of the wronged, and
the owner of the religion. I am Allah the one and only
one God. Whosoever begs for graces other than from
Me or fears justice other than Mine, I will condemn
him to a sufferance that no other will endure from the
worlds. Therefore, worship Me and depend on Me.
I never sent a prophet unless I assigned a trustee for
him prior to the completion of his days and the end

145

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

146

of his time. I chose you from amongst the prophets


and favored your trustee from amongst the trustees.
I was generous when I gave you your two cubs,
your grandsons Hassan and Hussein. Hence, I made
Hassan the core of My knowledge after the days of
his father passed. I also made Hussein the treasurer of
My revelation and honored him with martyrdom and
ended his life with happiness. He is the best of martyrs,
the highest in rank amongst the martyrs. I entrusted
him with My complete words and My solid reason;
through his offspring I reward and punish: Their first
is Ali, the master of the worshipers, the crown of My
past guardians; and his son Muhammad, the splitter of
My knowledge and the core of My wisdom resembles
his praiseful grandfather; those suspicious of Jafar
will be doomed, and the one challenging him is as if
challenging Me; it is righteous for Me to honor Jafar
and I will make him happy regarding his followers,
partisans and supporters; after him, I chose Moussa
who experienced a blinding horrible sedition, yet the
chord of My obligation is never severed and My reason
is ever present; and My guardians will be watered with
the most perfect cup. Whosoever denies any one of
them denies My blessing. Whosoever changes one
verse of My book invents a lie against Me. Woe unto
the defecting fabricators after the end of the term of
Moussa; [next] My beloved servant and My goodness

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

is [now] in Ali, My guardian and supporter, upon whom


I will place the gown of prophecy and test him with its
knowledge. He will be killed by an arrogant fiend and
will be buried in Medina, which was built by the good
servant, neighboring the worst evil of My creatures.
It is righteous for Me to please him with Muhammad,
his son and heir, the inheritor of his knowledge. He is
the core of My knowledge, the treasurer of My secret,
and My authority over My creatures. Any servant who
believes in him I will make the heaven his destiny and
I will allow him to intercede for seventy people of his
household who have been doomed to the hellfire.
I will seal with happiness his son Ali, My guardian,
supporter and witness of My creatures and the trustee
of My revelation. From him I will bring the one that
will invite to My path and treasure My knowledge,
Hassan, and I will complete this issue with his son
Muhammad as a mercy to the world. On him rests the
perfection of Moses, the radiance of Jesus, the patience
of Job. In his time, My servants will be humiliated and
their heads will fall down like the heads of the Turks
and Kurds, killed and burnt. They will be afraid, living
horrors and terror. The earth will be dyed with their
blood. The shock and awe will spread amongst their
women. Those are truly My guardians. With them, I
will push away all blinding seditions. With them, I will

147

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

remove the tribulations and push away the shackles and


restrains. Such are they on whom are blessings from
their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided.(1)
Abdul Rahman Bin Salim said: Abu Baseer said:
If you heard nothing in your life save this speech
it would suffice you. Hence, hide it except from its
deservers.(2)
The significance of this tablet is evident regarding
the stipulation of the names of the twelve Imams (pbut).
4- The book of Imam Ali (pbuh)

148

It is simply an exegesis of the holy Quran based on


its blessed revelation, an explanation of the reasons for
the revelation, and a differentiator that distinguishes
the revocatory verses from that of the revoked.
Ibn Jizzi al-Kalbi said: And the Quran, at the
time of Allahs messenger, was divided into sheets
and remembered in the hearts of men.
When Allahs messenger died, Ali Bin Abi Talib
stayed at home and gathered it based on the order
of its revelation.(3)
(1) Refer to: BARAKAT, Akram, Haqiqat Mushaf Fatimah End Ash-Shia (The truth of
Mushaf Fatimah at the Shiites), p. 57-59.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 36, p. 197.
(3) AL-GHARNATI, Al-Kalbi, At-Tas-Heel Lee Ulum al-Quran (Simplifying Quran
Sciences), audited by Abdullah al-Khalidi, fourth edition, Beirut, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi
(Publishing House), publishing date unknown, vol. 1, p. 4

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Sheikh Mufid said: The commander of the faithful


collected the revealed Quran from its first to its last,
and he authored it in order, hence, he placed the
Meccan verses ahead of the Medinan verses, and
the revoked ahead of the revocatory.(1)
The report reads that Ali said to Talha: O Talha!
Each verse that Allah revealed to Muhammad
(pbuh&hh) is in my possession dictated by Allahs
messenger (pbuh&hh) and recorded by my hand.
And the exegesis of each verse that Allah revealed
to Muhammad (pbuh&hh) is dictated by Allahs
messenger (pbuh&hh) and recorded by my hand.(2)
The fate of the book of Imam Ali (pbuh)

As-Saddouq mentioned that the commander of the


faithful (pbuh), after collecting the Quran, brought it to
the people and said: This is the book of our lord as
it has been revealed to your prophet. They said: we
have no need for it, we have the same as you have.(3)
Another story mentioned that Ali (pbuh) told them:
I swear in Allah, you will never see it after this day
of yours, it was my obligation to inform you when I
(1) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Masael as-Sarawiyah (The Sarawiyan Issues), audited
by Saeb Abdul Hamid, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid (publishing house), 1414
AH, p. 79.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 89, p. 41.
(3) As-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Etiqadat As-Saddouq (As-Saddouqs Convictions),
first edition, Qum, world conference of Sheikh Mufid, 1993, p. 79.

149

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

collected it for you to read.(1)


The Imams inherited this book one Imam after
another until it ended with Imam Mahdi(2) (may Allah
the Exalted hasten his advent). This book reads,
If he rises up He will declare the Mushaf (book)
that Ali wrote.(3)

150

(1) AL-FAYD AL-KASHANI, al-Mawla Mohsen, Tafsir as-Safi (The Interpretation of


Safi), second edition, Qum, Moassasat al-Hadi (publishing house), 1416 AH, vol. 1, p.
36.
(2) Refer to: BARAKAT, Akram, Haqiqat Mushaf Fatimah End Ash-Shia (The truth of
Mushaf Fatimah at the Shiites), p. 147-148.
(3)

Lesson [9]

What is the reality of Al-Bidaa


(changeable pre-designed
destiny) with respect to the
Imams (pbut)?
Knowledge of Allah the Exalted

We believe that Allah is the absolute perfect. He is


the knower who experiences no ignorance in the field
of His divine knowledge. Allah the Exalted said:
Lo! Nothing in the earth or in the heavens is
hidden from Allah.(1)
And with Him are the keys of the Invisible.
None but He knoweth them. And He knoweth what
is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falleth but He
knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the
earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a
clear record.(2)
(1) The Holy Quran, Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 5.
(2) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-An`m (The Cattle), verse 59.

151

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Whether ye divulge a thing or keep it hidden, lo!


Allah is ever Knower of all things.(1)
Imam Ali (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Nothing
escapes Him, not the number of the drops of water,
not the stars in the sky, not the sandy winds in the
air, not the creeping of the ants in the savanna, and
not the transporter of dust in the dark of the night.
He knows the places of the falling leaves and the
silent blink of the eyes.(2)
152

Imam Baqir (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Allah


is light with no darkness in it, knowledge with no
ignorance in it, and life with no death in it.(3)
Imam Kazim (pbuh) was quoted as saying, He
timelessly maintains the knowledge of things before
creating things, similarly His knowledge of things
after creating things.(4)
The reports of al-Bidaa and the Shiites
accusation

Despite all the clarity that was reported by the


Quran, the Prophet (pbuh&hh) and Ahlul Bayt (pbut),

(1) The Holy Quran, Surat Al-Azb (The Combined Forces), verse 54.
(2) IBN ABI TALIB, Imam Ali, Nahjul Balagha (Peak of Eloquence), audited by Sheikh
Muhammad Abdu, Qum, Dar Ath-Thakhaer (Publishing House), 1412 AH, vol. 2, p. 98.
(3) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad Bin Ali, at-Tawhid (The Unification), publishing edition unknown, Qum, Manshourat Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing house), publishing
date unknown, p. 138.
(4) Same previous source,

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

the Shiites have been accused because of their belief


that Allah changes His opinion hence, moving from a
state of ignorance to a state of knowledge.
The reason behind this accusation was the
misunderstanding of the many reports that were
reported from Ahlul Bayt (pbut), such as the issue of
al-Bidaa. Here are some of the reports:
A report of Imam Baqir or Sadiq (pbut) reads: No
worship of Allah equals al-Bidaa.(1)
Other reports of Imam Sadiq (pbuh) read:
- No magnification of Allah equals al-Bidaa.(2)
- No prophet is prophesized until he recognizes
Allah with five issues: al-Bidaa, volition (3)
- No prophet is ever sent but to forbid the wine
and admit al-Bidaa to Him.(4)
- If only people knew the reward resulting from
discussing al-Bidaa issue they would never
have ceased to discuss it.(5)
It is conclusively evident, based on the ideology of
Ahlul Bayt (pbut) that al-Bidaa concept does not aim
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 4, p. 132
(2) Muhammad Bin Ali as-Saddouq, at-Tawhid (The Unification), p. 333.
(3) Same previous source, p. 333.
(4) Same previous source, p. 334.
(5) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 1, p. 148

153

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

to place Allah the Exalted in a position of knowing


after ignorance. For example, Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was
quoted as saying, Whosoever claims that Allah the
Exalted feels sorry after ordaining something, for
us, he is a denier of Allah the almighty.(1)
However, what is the aim of al-Bidaa concept which
maintains this great value?

154

The answer is tied to our belief in destiny and


fatalism. We believe that Allah the Exalted predesigned
the destiny of matters and engineered them right from
their beginning until their end. These matters include
creation in its entirety, even the deeds of people. Allah
the Exalted predestined everything. For example,
Allah the Exalted predestined that the earth rotates
around the sun, the moon around the earth, and that
the night and day alternate each other. Moreover, His
Exaltedness predestined that Adam (pbuh) live the life
that he lived, and that I live as you will live from such
a time until such a time [second, minute, hour, day,
month, and year].

(1) AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul al-Kafi (Explaining the Principles of the Sufficient), vol. 6, p. 89

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

However, with this sort of faith comes a great


question:
Does fatalism overpower the volition of Allah the
Exalted?
1- The answer of al-Mujabbirah (the compelled)
group:
Yes it rules, based on some reports, such as the
report of Bukhari quoting Abu Hurairah quoting the
Prophet (pbuh&hh) as saying, The quill has dried
up regarding your destiny.(1)
An-Nawawi explains this speech saying, And the
angel who is assigned with the sperm task says: O
Lord, wretched or glad is he? Hence, they register
and registered are his deeds, age and livelihood,
after which the pages are folded and nothing will be
added or erased.(2)
In Sahih al-Bukhari, Adam (pbuh) and Moses
(pbuh) argued. Moses (pbuh) said to him: O Adam,
you are our disappointing father. You took us out of
heaven. Adam (pbuh) said to him: O Moses, Allah
chose you as His speaker and predestined your fate
with His own hand. Therefore, why blame me for
(1) SUBHANI, Ja`far, al-Elahiyyat (Theologies), third edition, Beirut, ad-Dar al-Islamiyah (Publishing House), 1409 AH, p. 549.
(2) AN-NAWAWI, Sharh Moslem (Explanation of Moslem), publishing edition unknown,
Beirut, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi (Publishing House), 1407 AH, vol. 16, p. 549

155

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

an issue that Allah predestined for me forty years


before He created me?(1)
- Omran bin Haseen reported a man saying: O
messenger of Allah, are the residents of heaven
distinguished from the residents of hell? He said:
Yes. He said: Then, why are deeds performed? He
(pbuh&hh) said: each acts in accordance to that for
which he was created or to that which was made
available to him.(2)
156

This bold question of the man represents a substantial


paradox regarding this matter because ones belief in
fatalism creates desperation hindering the individual
and community from changing.
From this point of view, the Umayyads publicized
this dogma in order to justify their regime and tyranny.
Each time the people returned to Muawiyah and his
workers regarding their economic depression, they
would read these words of Allah the Exalted, And
there is not a thing but with Us are the stores
thereof. And we send it not down save in appointed
measure.(3)
One of the nice reports that challenged this kind of
(1) AL-HASANI, Hashim Marouf, Dirasat Fil Hadith Wal Muhaddithin (Studies in the
Speeches and Narrators), second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Taaruf (Publishing House), 1398
AH, p. 228.
(2) SUBHANI, Ja`far, al-Elahiyyat (Theologies), p. 549.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat Al-ijr (The Rocky Tract), verse 21.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

logic was the act of Ahnaf Bin Qays when he replied


to these people saying, Allah divided livelihood
between His servants with justice. However, you
stood in the way between them and their livelihoods.
Let us return to the question: does this fatalism rule
the volition of Allah the Exalted?
2- The answer of the Shiites:
No, it does not, based on several verses of the Quran
and the speeches of the honored Prophet (pbuh&hh).
Some of the verses of Allah the Exalted read:
A- Allah effaceth what He will, and establisheth
(what He will), and with Him is the source of
ordinance.(1)
B- Lo! Allah changeth not the condition of a
folk until they (first) change that which is in
their hearts(2)
C- And I have said: Seek pardon of your Lord.
Lo! He was ever forgiving. He will let loose the
sky for you in plenteous rain. And will help
you with wealth and sons, and will assign unto
you Gardens and will assign unto you rivers.(3)
D- And if the people of the townships had
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), verse 39.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), verse 11.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat N (Noah), verses 10-12.

157

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

believed and kept from evil, surely We should


have opened for them blessings from the sky
and from the earth. But (unto every messenger)
they gave the lie, and so We seized them on
account of what they used to earn.(1)
E- And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah,
Allah will appoint a way out for him. And will
provide for him from (a quarter) whence he
hath no expectation.(2)
158

F- And had he not been one of those who glorify


(Allah). He would have tarried in its belly till
the day when they are raised.(3)
Other reports of the Shiites that corroborate are:
A- The honorable Prophet was quoted as saying,
Charity placed in hand drives away the
sudden death and prevents seventy kinds of
afflictions.(4)
B- The commander of the faithful (pbuh) was quoted
as saying, Increasing your plea for forgiveness
brings in livelihood.(5)
D- Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying,
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Al-A`rf (The Heights), verse 96.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat A-alq (The Divorce), verses 2-3.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat A-fft (Those who set the Ranks), verses 143-144.
(4) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 4, p. 3
(5) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 90, p. 278.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Supplication prevents fatalism; and a faithful


person may sin thus forbidding himself from
bestowal.(1)
E- Imam Baqir (pbuh) was quoted as saying,
Kinship ties add weight to deeds, grow capital,
prevent affliction, facilitate questioning, and
lengthen age.(2)
Other reports of the Sunnites that corroborate
this issue are:
1- Al-Hakims extraction from Ibn Abbass:
Cautiousness is useless with fatalism,
however, Allah, out of supplication, effaces
what He wills regarding fatalism.(3)
2- Abu Hurairah was quoted quoting the Prophet
(pbuh&hh) as saying, Nothing but supplication
prevents fatalism, and nothing but dutifulness
lengthens age.(4)

(1) Same previous source, p. 288.


(2) AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient), vol. 2, p. 150
(3) ASH-SHAWKANI, Muhammad, Fat al Qadeer (The Almightys Conquest), publishing edition unknown, source unknown, Alam al-Kutub (Library), publishing date
unknown, vol. 3, p. 89
(4) AL-MUTTAQI AL-HINDI, Alaa Ed-Deen, Kanz al-Ummal (The Treasure of Workers), vol. 2, p. 67

159

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

160

Summary
In summary, what do we understand from the verses
and noble scripts? Allah the Exalted engineered the
fate of man. However, His kindness renders such
engineering reversible and prone to change. Allah the
Exalted maintained a margin for man through which
he can plead or perform a deed in order to change his
fate. For example, based on the basic engineering, a
certain person may be predestined to live forty years.
However, Allah the Exalted might lengthen his age by
adding ten more years if that person donates charity.
Hence, man can maintain his hope to change his future
and destiny under the umbrella of the volition and
might of Allah the Exalted.
The commander of the faithful, Ali Bin Abi Talib
(pbuh) expressed this issue when he moved away from
a falling wall. Hence, some people asked him: Are
you running away from the ordinance of Allah? And
the Imam (pbuh) replied: I run away from Allahs
ordinance to His judgment.(1)
Based on the dogmatic terminology, this is called
the pierced (changeable) ordinance as opposed to
the (unchangeable) predestined ordinance. Believing
in such a margin of change by man (under His
Exaltednesss volition) is called al-Bidaa faith.
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), Vol. 56, P. 3

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

It is evident that he who does not believe in this


margin - the possibility for man to change, for the
society to change and develop away from desperation could be driven into slothfulness or even into embracing
the way of evil as long as he believes that this is all
predestined by Allah the Exalted to the point of no
return. From this point of view, it was reported that:
The best magnification ever practiced to Allah the
Exalted is al-Bidaa.(1)
A kind story regarding al-Bidaa

Imam Abu Jaafar (pbuh) was quoted as saying,


While a poor-looking young man was sitting with
Prophet David (peace be upon him and upon our
Prophet and his household), he would usually sit
for a long period of time keeping silent. Suddenly,
the angel of death visits the prophet saluting him.
The angel of death looks sharply at the young man.
Hence, Prophet David (peace be upon him) said: did
you look at this one? He said: yes, I was instructed to
take his spirit after seven days in this same position.
David (pbuh) expressed sympathy towards him and
asked: young man, do you have a wife? He said:
no, I never got married. David (pbuh) said: visit soand-so (a man who was of great reverence of the
children of Israel) and say to him:
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 4, p. 107.

161

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

162

David (pbuh) instructs you to wed me to your


daughter. You must marry her tonight, and take
whatever you need regarding the dowry to him, and
be with her. After seven days, come back and meet me
here in this same position. Therefore, the man gave
him his daughter in marriage and he slept with her and
spent seven days. After that, he met David (pbuh) on
day eight. David (pbuh) asked him: young man, how
did you find what you have experienced? He said: I
have never been more grateful and happier than this.
David (pbuh) said: be seated. The man sat while David
(pbuh) waited for his death. However a long time
passed, thus, he (pbuh) said: go home and be with your
wife. Come back after seven days, on day eight. When
the man returned on day eight and sat with him nothing
happened. Another week passed and the man came on
day eight and sat with him. Suddenly the angle of death
came and David (pbuh) asked: didnt you tell me that
you were instructed to take the life of this young man
after seven days? He said: yes. He (pbuh) said: eight
and eight and eight days have passed! He said: Oh
David, Allah the Exalted reacted to your compassion
towards him and hence he extended his life for another
thirty years.(1)

(1) Same previous source, p. 112.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

What did we learn from the previous


subject?

A-

Al-Bidaa doctrine, according to the


aforementioned explanation, has been publicized
based on the reports of the Sunnis and Shiites.
However, the protest by some Sunnis against
the Shiites is based on their understanding of
the meaning of al-Bidaa, not on what the Shiites
believe.

B- The term al-Bidaa according to the Shiites does


not aim to place Allah the Exalted in a position
of miscalculation or unawareness concerning
a certain issue. This thinking contradicts with
their faith regarding the knowledge of Allah the
Exalted and the absolute. Instead, the aim is the
aforementioned explanation.
C- The reason behind choosing the term al-Bidaa
without any other is equal to the holy Qurans
choosing of the term plan and plot, which were
attributed to Allah the Exalted in his words: And
Allah is the best of planners.(1) There is also
his verse, They are planning a plot. But I am
planning a plot.(2)
(1) Surat l `Imrn (Family of Imran), verse 54. Surat Al-Anfl (The Spoils of War),
verse 30.
(2) Surat A-riq (The Night Comer), verses 15-16

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

It is evident that we do not mean by planning and


plotting the negative expression that races into the minds
of people. This is because when these descriptions are
given to Allah the Exalted they must be weeded
from the negative aspects and must be used according
to their perfect subject or the meaning that they hold.
This is the case of the term al-Bidaa.

164

Lesson [10]

The meaning and evidence


concerning the return of the
Imams (pbuh)
The return of the Imams (pbuh)

Several scripts were reported mentioning the return


of the Imams (pbuh), the return and departure. Some of
these reports are:
1- Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, He, who
does not believe in our return, is not one of us.(1)
He (pbuh) was also quoted as saying, The first one
for whom the earth will split asunder to return to
the world is Hussein Bin Ali(2)
He (pbuh) was also quoted as saying, And
the grand lord Muhammad, the messenger of
(1) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Masael As-Sarawiyah (The Sarawiyan Issues), audited
by Saeb Abdul Hamid, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid publishing house, 1414 AH,
p. 30
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 53, p. 39.

165

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Allah, will attend accompanied by the grand saint


- the commander of the faithful, Fatimah, Hassan,
Hussein, and the Imams(1)
Concerning how to pay a visit to Imam Hussein
(pbuh), Imam Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying:
And I testify that I believe in you and I am
certain of your return.(2)
There is a tribute titled as Al Yasin when facing
the sacred tomb. It reads, And that your return is
true there is no doubt of it.(3)
166

The return of the believers and disbelievers

The reports were not limited to the return of the


Imams (pbut) solely. Instead, the issue is more general
including those who embraced pure faith and those
who embraced pure infidelity and part of those who
embraced polytheism. For example, explaining the
holy verse And (remind them of) the Day when We
shall gather out of every nation a host(4) Imam
Sadiq (pbuh) was quoted as saying, Any believer who
is killed will return in order to die naturally. Only
the one who embraced pure faith will return or the
(1) Same previous source, p. 14.
(2) AL-FAYD AL-KASHANI, al-Mawla Mohsen, al-Wafi (The Sufficient), vol. 14, p.
1582.
(3) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 53, p. 171.
(4) The holy Quran, Surat An-Naml (The Ant), verse 83.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

one who embraced pure infidelity.(1) He (pbuh) was


also quoted as saying, The return is not general; it is
special. No one will return but those who embraced
pure faith or embraced pure polytheism.(2)
Sheikh Mufid said in his book Tashih al Etiqad
(Correcting the Belief): He reported Sadiq (pbuh)
as saying pertaining to the return: When the riser
rises, only he who embraced pure faith or embraced
pure infidelity will return to the world. Other than
these two, no one will return until the Resurrection
Day.(3)
The frequent reports of the return

Scholar al-Majlisi stated in his book, Bihar alAnwar (Oceans of Light), that the reports pertaining
to the return equal almost Two hundred established
speeches reported by more than forty people of the
trusted crme and notable scholars.(4)
The value of believing in the return

Despite the frequent speeches reported on the return,


still, they did not reach the limit that renders the issue
as a doctrinal necessity, which would condemn its
(1) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 53, p. 53.
(2) Same previous source, p. 39.
(3) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, Tashih Etiqadat al-Imamiyah (Correcting the Beliefs of
the Imamiyah), audited by Hussein Darkahi, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid (Publishing House), 1414 AH, p. 90.
(4) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 53, p. 122.

167

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

denier as being a renegade. Nevertheless, it remains a


principle of the religion.
Sheikh Muhammad al Hussein Kashif al Ghataa
said, Religiousness regarding Shiism does not
necessitate ones belief in the return as its denial
does not cause harm(1)
Two opinions of the Shia regarding the
return

168

Added to the previous accounts, two opinions of


the Shiites surfaced regarding the explanation of the
return:
First opinion: This is the return of the bodies
To explain the soundness of their opinion they used
the following measures:
First: The probability of the return
It is obvious that before discussing any issue one
must attain its probability. Therefore, had this issue
been impossible to the mind, discussing its happening
would not have taken place initially. It is obvious that
the case of the return is like the case of the resurrection
of the dead on the Day of Judgment, both being probable
according the reasonable point of view.

(1) KASHIF AL-GHATAA, Muhammad, Asl Ash-Shia wa Usulaha (The Foundation of


the Shiites with their Origins), audited by Alaa Al Jafar, first edition, source unknown,
Moassasat al Imam Ali (Publishing House), 1415 AH, p. 167.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Second: The event of the return in the past


Sheikh Saddouq (RIP) said, We believe in the
return as a true issue. Allah the Exalted said:
Bethink thee (O Muhammad) of those of old, who
went forth from their habitations in their thousands,
fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and
then He brought them back to life.(1) Those people
formed seventy thousand homes and were each
year afflicted with plague. Hence, the rich [strong]
would depart seeking their livelihood and the poor
[weak] would linger behind due to their feebleness.
Therefore, the plague would lessen in those departing
and increase in those staying. Those staying would
say: had we departed the plaque would have not
stricken us. And those who departed would say:
had we stayed we would have been afflicted with
their same affliction. In the end, they agreed to
depart altogether and they settled at the seashore.
As they settled their belongings, Allah called upon
them: die and they all died. The travelers brushed
them off the road where they remained as long as
Allah wanted.
Later, a prophet of the prophets of the children of
Israel named Ramia passed by them. He said: (If you
wish O Lord, you could bring them back to life and
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 243.

169

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

they would build your countries, give birth to your


servants, and serve you with those who serve you).
Allah the exalted revealed unto him: would you like
me to bring them back to life for you? He said: yes.
Allah brought them back to life and He sent them
with him. Therefore, those people died to return to the
world to die again based on aging.(1)

170

Third: the event of the return in the future


They drew their conclusion on the event of the return
from Quranic verses and Noble Prophetic words that
we will display as follows:
Quranic Verses
1- Allah the Exalted said, the Day when We shall
gather out of every nation a host of those who
denied Our revelations(2) The words in this
verse refer to a categorized gathering whereas the
gathering on the Day of Judgment will be general
based on His words, and We gather them
together so as to leave not one of them behind.(3)
Abu Baseer was quoted as saying, Abu Jafar
[Imam Baqir (pbuh)] said to me: Do the people
of Iraq deny the return? I said: yes. He said:
(1) AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Etiqadat fee Deen al-Imamiyah (Beliefs in the religion of the imamate), p. 60-61.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat An-Naml (The Ant), verse 83.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Kahf (The Cave), verse 47.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

They should read the Quran: the Day when


We shall gather out of every nation a host of
those who denied Our revelations (1) (2)
2- Allah the Exalted, They say: Our Lord! Twice
hast Thou made us die, and twice hast Thou
made us live. Now we confess our sins. Is there
any way to go out?(3)
The two takings of life are regarded as one death in
this life and one death after the return in this life.
The two revivals refer to one revival when returning
and one revival on the Day of Resurrection.
One can notice that the exegete of this verse refers
to the return; however, there is another suitable
interpretation in saying that the aim behind the two
deaths is one death in this world and one death after
the horn is blown for the first time when the spirits
of the partition world will also die. The two revivals
indicate to one revival in the partition world, where
Allah the Exalted will render either the believer or
disbeliever live inside a perfect body. The second
revival will happen on the Day of Judgment.
Second Opinion: The return of the regime
A group of Shiites interpreted the words on the
(1) The holy Quran, Surat An-Naml (The Ant), verse 83.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 53, p. 40.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat Ghfir (The Forgiver), verse 11.

171

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

172

return in order to indicate to the return of the regime


at the time of Imam Mahdi (may Allah the Exalted
hasten his advent). Sayyid Murtada considered that
this interpretation of this group was due to their
inability to defend the cause of the return. He said:
Those among our companions who interpreted
the return as a return of the regime coupled with
the command and control apart from the return of
people and the revival of the deaths are a group of
Shiites who were incapable of supporting the return
case and the clarification of its possibility, and that
it contradicts with the assignment. They depended
on this interpretation due to the reported news on
the return.
Sheikh Tabarsi said, Some people of the
Imamiyah sect interpreted the news on the return
as a return of the state with command and control
without the return of people due to their conviction
that the return contradicts with the assignment.
This opens the field to discuss the confusion
pertaining to the saying on the return of the bodies.
Paradoxes regarding the return of the
bodies

Firs paradox: Saying that the return of the bodies


contradicts with the divine assignment to man brings
about a question: How can man be given assignment

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

after realizing the truth?


Answer:
I- It is not obvious that the return will contain an
assignment for all the returners. Instead, the aim
of the return is to humiliate some people while
valuing others by showing them their Imam
(pbuh) and his state.
II- The case of the returners will be like the case of
those whom Prophet Jesus (pbuh) brought back to
life after their death in order to live again amongst
the people. Hence, it would be natural for them to
live like other assignees, witnessing the truth and
realizing the true assignment. Therefore, how can
we explain the condition of those who witnessed
with their own eyes the great miracles such as
the parting of the sea for Moses (pbuh) and the
changing of his staff into a snake?
Second paradox: Why should the disbelievers
return after death to find a second chance of tyranny
after witnessing the punishment of Allah the Exalted in
the life of partition and after becoming convinced that
their deeds were wicked?
Answer:
It is not obvious that they will return back to their
evilness. Instead, their return might happen so that they

173

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

may be tried for their crimes as well as witness Imam


Mahdi (may Allah the Exalted hasten his advent) and
his state, which they always protested and obstructed,
and which would increase their psychological torture.

174

Sheikh Mufid gave another answer that he presented


pertaining to the assumption that they may return to
tyranny. He said: This is not more amazing than
the disbelievers who witness in the life of partition
their ongoing punishment, which they will see as a
necessity after being confronted with the proof of
their deviation in the secular world. At this point
their words will be: when they are set before
the Fire and say: Oh, would that we might return!
Then would we not deny the revelations of our Lord
but we would be of the believers!(1) And the answer
of Allah the Exalted would be: Nay, but that hath
become clear unto them which before they used to
hide. And if they were sent back they would return
unto that which they are forbidden. Lo! They are
liars.(2)(3)
3- Is this return a kind of reincarnation or
transmigration?
Answer: No, this is incorrect. Reincarnation or
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Al-An`m (The Cattle), verse 27.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat Al-An`m (The Cattle), verse 28.
(3) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Masael As-Sarawiyah (The Sarawiyan Issues), p. 36.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

transmigration means that the soul of the dead person


will move to a different body after death whereas the
return means the return of certain souls of people with
their same bodies, which is similar to the case of the
Day of Resurrection.
Sayyid Murtada said: Know that the explanation
which the Imamate Shiites embrace tells us that
Allah the Exalted will bring back, at the time of the
advent of the Imam of our time, Mahdi (may Allah
the Exalted hasten his advent), people of his Shiites
who died before his advent, in order to support him
and witness the rise of his state as well as bring
back people of his enemies so that he can revenge
from them. Hence the Imam (may Allah the Exalted
hasten his advent) and his Shiites will be happy in
witnessing the emergence of righteousness and the
rise of the word of its embracers.(1)
Sheikh Mufid said in his book Awael al-Maqalat
(The Primary Essays): Saying that there is a return
means that Allah the Exalted will bring people from
the world of the dead to this world with their same
previous forms. Hence, one team of them will be
honored while another team will be dishonored.
The righteous will be distinguished from the
(1) Ash-SHARIF AL-MURTADA, Rasael Ash-Sharif al-Murtada (Letters of Ash-Sharif
Al-Murtada), publishing edition unknown, Qum, Dar al-Quran (publishing house), 1405
AH. vol. 1, p. 125.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

wicked, and the wronged will be distinguished from


the tyrants. This will happen at the time of the rise
of the Guided One of the household of Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh).(1)
The philosophy of the return can be profoundly
discussed by evoking to mind the purpose behind
Allahs creation of man, marching on the way towards
perfection. This perfection can be understood as of two
paths:
176

First: The path of the individual who achieves


perfection through chasteness and marching on the
way of worship.
Second: The path of the community. As in the case
of the individual who marches on the way towards
perfection, the human caravan marches towards its
social perfection.
If we contemplate on the general path of the human
caravan throughout history and by observing the main
stations that protruded along with the old stout-hearted
messengers, we will notice the following issues:
I- Allahs Prophet Noah (pbuh) experienced a
human society that did believe in communication
between Allah and man via messengers. Allah the
(1) AL-MUFID, Muhammad, Awael al-Maqalat (The Primary Articles), audited by Ibrahim al-Ansari, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid publishing house, 1414 AH, p. 78.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Exalted said, And We verily sent Noah unto


his folk, and he said: O my people! Serve Allah.
Ye have no other Allah save Him. Will ye not
ward off (evil)? But the chieftains of his folk,
who disbelieved, said: This is only a mortal
like you who would make himself superior to
you. Had Allah willed, He surely could have
sent down angels. We heard not of this in the
case of our fathers of old.(1)
From those who survived with him onboard the ark,
Prophet Noah (pbuh) was capable of building a
community that believed in such communication.
II- After Noah, Allahs Prophet Abraham came to
challenge a society that ascribed partners unto
Allah the Exalted. Allah the Exalted describes
the story of Abraham saying, When he said
unto his father and his folk: What are these
images unto which ye pay devotion? They
said: We found our fathers worshippers of
them. He said: Verily ye and your fathers were
in plain error. They said: Bringest thou unto
us the truth, or art thou some jester? He said:
Nay, but your Lord is the Lord of the heavens
and the earth, Who created them; and I am of
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Muminn (The Believers), verses 23-24.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

those who testify unto that.(1)


Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was capable of building a
society of unification.
III- After Abraham, Allahs Prophet Moses (pbuh)
came to establish a community of legislation by
progressing from the individual legislator to the
communal legislator.

178

Allah the Exalted said, We gave unto Moses the


Scripture, and We appointed it as guidance for the
children of Israel(2) Allah the Exalted also said,
And We wrote for him, upon the tablets, the lesson
to be drawn from all things and the explanation of
all things(3)
IV- This progression was a necessity for mankind
in order to become the community of the divine
regime that practices the laws of Allah the Exalted
on land. Therefore, this role was expected to
belong to Allahs Prophet Jesus (pbuh). However,
the several obstacles that hindered his mission,
especially by the Jews, necessitated that he be
lifted by his lord unto Him to pass on this role
to Imam Mahdi (may Allah the Exalted hasten
his advent) who will achieve the universal and
(1) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Anby (The Prophets), verses 52-56.
(2) The holy Quran, Surat Al-Isr (The Night Journey), verse 2.
(3) The holy Quran, Surat Al-A`rf (The Heights), verse 145.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

global divine and Muhammadian state that was


foretold by the holy Quran. Allah the Exalted
said, He it is Who hath sent His messenger
with the guidance and the Religion of Truth,
that He may cause it to prevail over all religion,
however much the idolaters may be averse.(1)
Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hh) had
to mention the inevitability of the existence of such
communal and human integration by saying, Even
if one day remains from the world, Allah, Mighty
and Majestic be He, will prolong that day until He
sends in it a person of my own household to fill the
earth with justice and equity as it has been filled
with tyranny and injustice.(2)
The state of Imam Mahdi (may Allah the Exalted
hasten his advent) represents the peak of human
progression. This is why the intellectuals exert utmost
efforts to pave the road for such a state although they
may be slain on the way of its achievement. Here resides
the significance of ones belief in the return that will
bring back the people of insight and knowledge. They
will witness the state that they always anticipated and
for which they exerted great efforts to pave the road for
its birth. And they will meet their Imam towards whom
(1) The holy Quran, Surat At-Tawbah (The Repentance), verse 33.
(2) AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), vol. 51, p. 74.

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They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

they persistently expressed eagerness while reciting


the following supplication of Ahd (allegiance):
O Lord, if death, which You rendered as a fixed
ordinance for your slaves, separates between me
and him, make me rise again out of my grave while
wearing my shroud, waving my sword, raising my
arms, and answering the call of the caller in city or
in desert.(1)

180

The devotion of the divine scholar, Sayyid Ali Bin


Tawous reached a point where he commanded his
son saying, If I was summoned to meet Allah the
Exalted, and forwarded prior to the advertence, and
was not included amongst the people of the return
and presence, I command you again and again
and command anyone of my progeny and children
and the children of my children, and ask Allah the
Exalted and His angels to be my witnesses to this
will of mine: If you see him and are honored with
such divine happiness and are given permission
to speak before his prophetic presence, say the
following words: That my father Ali is your humble
servant, fully committed and will accept whatever
pleases you. Please accept him in your presence. He
asks your permission to honor him by saluting you
and by asking the bestowal of peace upon you. He is
(1) Same previous source, vol. 83, p. 61.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

humbly asking in your presence to provide him with


all that he needs and he humbly persists with his
plea due to your stature, Allahs blessing and peace
be upon you. You are worthy [capable] of making
him achieve his hopes and desires.
He also asks your kin and nobles to accept his
will as delivered by this informing servant standing
in your presence; that he be one of your dear ones
in order to acquire his needs from Allah the Exalted
and his need from you. Upon you, he asks the
blessings of Allah to be showered and he is keen to
meet your infallible fathers and yourself.(1)

(1) IBN TAWOUS, Ali, Kashf al-Mahajjah Lee Thamrat al-Muhjah, publishing edition
unknown, holy Najaf, al-Matbaah al-Haidariyah (publishing house), 1370 AH, p. 154155.

181

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Sources and References


The Holy Quran
(A)
AZ-ZAMAKHSHARI, Asaas al-Balagha, (The
Foundations of Eloquence), publishing edition unknown,
Cairo, Dar Ash-Shab (publishing house), 1960.
AL-FARAHIDI, Al-Khalil, al-Ayn Kitab (The Eye
Book), audited by Mahdi al-Makhzoumi and Khalil asSamirraei, Qum, second edition, Qum, Moassasat Dar alHijra (publishing house), 1409 AH.
KASHIF AL-GHATAA, Muhammad, Asl Ash-Shia wa
Usulaha (The Foundation of the Shiites with their Origins),
audited by Alaa Al Jafar, first edition, source unknown,
Moassasat al Imam Ali (Publishing House), 1415 AH.
AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Masa`el al-Akbariah
(The Akbarian Issues), audited by Ali Akbar al-Elahi alKharasani, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid (publishing
house), 1414 AH.
AL-MUFID, Muhammad, Awael al-Maqalat (The
Primary Articles), audited by Ibrahim al-Ansari, second
edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid publishing house, 1414 AH.

183

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

AL-WAHIDI, An-Naisabouri, Asbaab Nuzoul al-Ayaat


(The Reasons for Revelation), publishing edition unknown,
Cairo, Moassasat al-Halabi (publishing house), 1388 AH.
(B)
AS-SAFFAR, Muhammad, Basaer Ad-Darajat
(Insights on Grades), publishing edition unknown, Tehran,
Manshourat al-Alami (publishing house), 1404 AH.

184

AL-MAJLISI, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar


(Oceans of Light), audited by Muhammad al-Baqir alBahboudi and Yahya al-Abideen Az-Zanjani and Kathim
al-Musawi al-Myamwi, second edition, Beirut, Dar Ehyaa
At-Turath (publishing house), 1403 AH.
(D)
AL-HASANI, Hashim Marouf, Dirasat Fil Hadith Wal
Muhaddithin (Studies in the Speech and Narrators), second
edition, Beirut, Dar At-Taaruf (publishing house), 1398
AH.
AL-AMILI, Yusuf, Ad-Durr An-Natheem (The Rhymed
Pearls), publishing edition unknown, Qum, Moassasat AnNashr al-Islami (publishing institution), publishing date
unknown.
(E)
SUBHANI, Ja`far, al-Elahiyyat (Theologies), third
edition, Beirut, ad-Dar al-Islamiyah (Publishing House),
1409 AH.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

As-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Etiqadat As-Saddouq


(As-Saddouqs Convictions), first edition, Qum, world
conference of Sheikh Mufid, 1993.
AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Etiqadat fee Deen alImamiyah (Convictions in the Religion of the Imamate),
audited by Essam Abdul Sayyid, second edition, Beirut, Dar
al-Mufid (publishing house), 1414 AH.
AL-HAYDARI, Kamal, Elm al-Imam (The Knowledge
of the Imam), reported by Ali al-Abadi, first edition, Qum,
Dar Farqad (publishing house).
AT-TABARSI, Ahmad, al-Ehtijaj (The Argumentation),
publishing edition unknown, holy Najaf, Dar An-Noman
(Publishing House), 1386 AH.
AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Ekhtiyar Marifat Ar-Rijal
(Recognition Choice of Men), publishing edition unknown,
Qum, Moassasat Al al-Bayt, publishing date unknown.
AL-MUTHAFFAR, Muhammad Hussein, Elm al-Imam
(The Knowledge of the Imam), second edition, Beirut, Dar
al-Zahraa (publishing house), 1982.
AL-MUFID,
Muhammad,
al-Ekhtisas
(The
Specialization), audited by Ali Akbar al-Ghafari and
Mahmoud az-Zarandi, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid
(publishing house), 1414 AH.
(F)
AL-JUWAINI, Faraed As-Simtain, audited by al-

185

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Mahmoudi, Manshourat Moassasat Ar-Risalah (publishing


house), Beirut, 1409 AH.
ASH-SHAWKANI, Muhammad, Fat al Qadeer (The
Almightys Conquest), publishing edition unknown, source
unknown, Alam al-Kutub (Library), publishing date
unknown.
AL-QUMMI, Shathan, al-Fadael (The Merits),
publishing edition unknown, holy Najaf, al-Matbaah alHaidariyah (publishing house), 1381 AH.
(GH)
186

AL-BAHRANI, Hashim, Ghayat al-Muram (Utmost


Wish), edited by Ali Aashour, publishing edition unknown,
publisher unknown, publishing date unknown.
(H)
BARAKAT, Akram, Haqiqat al Jafr End Ash-Shia (The
Truth of Jafr for the Shiites), sixth edition, Beirut, Bayt AsSiraj (publishing house), 2012.
BARAKAT, Akram, Haqiqat al Jafr End Ash-Shia (The
Truth of Jafr for the Shiites), sixth edition, Beirut, Bayt AsSiraj (publishing house), 2012.
BARAKAT, Akram, Haqiqat Mushaf Fatimah End AshShia (The truth of Mushaf Fatimah for the Shiites), sixth
edition, Beirut, Bayt As-Siraj (publishing house), 2012.
AL-JAHIZ, Abu Othman, Al-Hayawan (The Animal),

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

audited by Abdul Salam Muhammad Haroun, Beirut, Dar


Ehyaa At-Turath al-Arabi (publishing house).
Holyat al-Awliyaa, Manshourat Dar al-Kutub alElmiyyah (publishing house), Beirut, first edition, 1409
AH.
AL-KHOMEINI, Ruhullah, al-Hukumah al-Islamiyah
(The Islamic Government), second edition, Beirut, Markaz
al-Imam al-Khomeini ath-Thaqafi (Imam Khomeini
Cultural Center), 1429 AH.
(I)
As-Sadouq, Ali Bin Babaweih, al-Imamah WatTabassour (The Imamate and Insight), audited by Imam
Mahdi School, first edition, Qum, Imam Mahdi School,
1404 AH.
AL-MUTAHHARI, Murtada, al-Imamah (The Imamate),
translated by Jawad Kassar, first edition, Qum, Manshourat
Um al-Qura (Publishing House), 1417 AH.
(J)
AT-TARMATHI, al-Jame As-Sahih (The Correct
Volume), Manshourat Dar Ehyaa At-Turath publishing
house, Beirut, 1983.
(K)
IBN TAWOUS, Ali, Kashf al-Mahajjah Lee Thamrat
al-Muhjah, publishing edition unknown, holy Najaf, al-

187

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Matbaah al-Haidariyah (publishing house), 1370 AH.


AL-ARABALI, Ali, Kashf al-Ghummah (Removing
Gloominess), second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Adwaa
(publishing house), 1405 AH.
AL-HULLI, al-Hassan, Kashf al-Yaqeen (Revealing
Certainty), audited by Ali Al Kawthar, first edition, Qum,
Manshourat Majma Ehyaa Ath-Thaqafah al-Islamiyah
(publishing house), 1411 AH.

188

AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Kamal Ad-Deen (The


Perfection of Religion), publishing edition unknown, Qum,
Moassasat An-Nashr al-Islami (publishing house), 1405
AH.
AL-KULAINI, Muhammad, al-Kafi (The Sufficient),
audited by Ali al-Ghafari, fifth edition, Tehran, Dar alKutub al-Islamiyah (Publishing House), 1363 AH.
AL-MUTTAQI AL-HINDI, Alaa Ed-Dean, Kanz alUmmal (The Treasure of Workers), publishing edition
unknown, Beirut, Moassasat Ar-Risalah (Publishing
House), 1409 AH.
(KH)
AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, al-Khisal (The Qualities),
audited by Ali Akbar al-Ghafari, publishing edition
unknown, Qum, Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing
house), 1403 AH.
AT-TABARSI, Ahmad, Khatimat al-Mustadrak (The

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Conclusion of the Follow-ups), first edition, Qum,


Moassasat Al Albayt le-Ehyaa at-Turath (Publishing
House), 1416 AH.
(M)
IBN HANBAL, Ahmad, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal,
publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Dar As-Sadir
(publishing house), publishing date unknown.
IBN FARIS, Ahmad, Mojam Maqayees al-Lugha
(Language Standards Dictionary), audited by Abdul Salam
Muhammad Haroun, publishing edition unknown, Qum,
Islamic Information Bureau, 1404 AH.
AL-ASSAD, Nassir Ed-Deen, Masadir Ash-Shir alJahili (sources of the pre-Islamic poetry), fortieth edition,
Cairo, Dar al-Maaref publishing house, 1969.
AL-HAKIM AN-NAISABOURI, Abu Abdullah, alMustadrak ((The Follow-ups), audited by Yusuf Abdul
Rahman al-Marashli, publishing edition unknown,
publisher unknown, publishing date unknown.
AR-RAGHIB AL-ASFAHANI, Hussein, al-Mofradat
(The items), second edition, source unknown, Daftar Nashir
al-Kitab (publishing house), 1414 AH.
ZIYADAH, Man, Mawsouat al-Falsafa al-Arabiya
(Arabic Philosophy Encyclopedia), publishing edition
unknown, place unknown, Mahad al-Enmaa al-Arabi
(Arabic Cultivation College), publishing date unknown.

189

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

ASH-SHAHROUDI, Sheikh Ali al-Manazi, Mustadrak


Safinat al-Bihar (Following the Oceans Ship), audited by
Hassan Bin Ali An-Namaazi, publishing edition unknown,
Moassasat an-Nashr al-Islami (Publishing Foundation).
AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad Bin Ali, Man La Yahdoroho
al-Faqih (Unattended by the Jurisprudent), second edition,
Qum, Moassasat An-Nashr (publishing house), publishing
date unknown.

190

AT-TABARANI, Suleiman, al-Mojam al-Kabir (The


Great Dictionary), audited by Hamdi Abdul Majid AsSalafi, second edition, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath al-Arabi,
publishing date unknown.
AT-TABARI, Muhammad, Al-Mustarshid (The
Guidance Seeker), audited by Ahmad al-Mahmoudi, first
edition, Qum, Moassasat Ath-Thaqafah al-Islamiyah
(publishing house).
AL-FAYOUMI, Ahmad, al-Mesbah al-Mounir (The
Luminous Lamp), first edition, Qum, Dal al-Hijra
(publishing house), 1405 AH.
AL-MUFID, Muhammad, al-Masael as-Sarawiyah (The
Sarawiyan Issues), audited by Saeb Abdul Hamid, second
edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid (publishing house), 1414 AH.
ALHAITHAMI, Ali, Majma Az-Zawayed, publishing
edition unknown, Beirut, Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyyah
(publishing house), 1408 AH.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

(N)
IBN ABI TALIB, Imam Ali, Nahjul Balagha (Peak of
Eloquence), audited by Sheikh Muhammad Abdu, first
edition, Qum, Dar Ath-Thakhaer (Publishing House),
1412 AH.
IBN AL-ATHEER, Majd Ed-Dean, An-Nihaya Fi
Gharib al-Hadith Wa al-Athar, Audited by Tahir Ahmad AzZawi and Mahmoud Muhammad At-Tanahi, Ismaelyan
Foundation, 1364AH.
AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Nihayat alHikmah (The Utmost Wisdom), fourteenth edition, Qum,
Moassasat An-Nashr Al-Islami (Publishing House), 1417
AH.
(O)
AL-JAHIZ, Amro, al-Othmaniyah (The Othmanite),
audited by Abdul Salam Muhammad Haroun, publishing
edition unknown, Egypt, Dar al-Kitab Al-Arabi (publishing
house).
AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad, Oyoun Akhbar Ar-Ridha
(The Fountains of Ar-Ridha News), audited and presented
by Hussein al-Alami, publishing edition unknown, Beirut,
Moassasat al-Alami (Publishing Foundation), 1404 AH.
(R)
AL-HOULLI, Ibn Dawood, Rijal Bin Dawood (The Men
of Davids Son), audited by Muhammad Sadiq Al Bahr al-

191

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Ulum, publishing edition unknown, Najaf, Al-Haidariyah


Printery, 1972.
AZ-ZAMAKHSHARI, Rabei al-Abrar wa Nousous
al-Akhbar (The Spring of the Righteous & News Scripts),
audited by Abdul Amir Mohanna, first edition, Beirut, alAlami publishing house, 1992.
Ash-SHARIF AL-MURTADA, Rasael Ash-Sharif alMurtada (Letters of Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada), publishing
edition unknown, Qum, Dar al-Quran (publishing house),
1405 AH.
192

AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Ar-Rasael al-Ashr (The


Ten Messages), publishing edition unknown, Moassasat
An-Nashr Al-Islami (Publishing House), publishing date
unknown.
(S)
IBN HABBAN, Sahih Ibn Habban (The Correction
of Ibn Habban), audited by Shuayb al-Arnaout, second
edition, published by Moassasat Ar-Risalah, 1414 AH.
AT-TARMATHI, Muhammad, Sunan At-Tarmathi (AtTarmathi Traditions), edited by Abdul Wahab Abdul Latif,
second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Fikr publishing house, 1403
AH.
AL-JAWHARI, Ismael, As-Sihah (The Corrections), audited
by Ahmad Abdul Ghafour al-Attar, fourth edition, Beirut, Dar
al-Elm Lil Malayeen (publishing house), 1407 AH.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

MURTADA, Jafar, As-Sahih min Sirat al-Imam Ali


(pbuh) (The Correction from the Biography of Imam Ali),
first edition, Qum, Maktab al-Elam al-Islami (Islamic
Media Bureau), 1430 AH.
AN-NAISABOURI, Muslim, Sahih Muslim, publishing
edition unknown, Beirut, Dar al-Fikr (Publishing House),
publishing date unknown.
(SH)
AL-MAZANDARANI, Muhammad Saleh, Sharh Usul
al-Kafi Wa Ar-Rawdah (Explaining the Principles of the
Sufficient & the Garden), audited by Abul Hassan ashSharani, first edition, Beirut, Dar Ehyaa At-Turath al-Arabi
(publishing house), 1421 AH.
AN-NAWAWI, Sharh Moslem (Explanation of Moslem),
publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi
(Publishing House), 1407 AH.
(T)
AL-QUMMI, Ali Bin Ibrahim, Tafsir Al-Qummi
(Al-Qummi Interpretation), third edition, Dar al Kitab
(Publishing House), 1404 AH.
IBN ASAKIR, Ali Bin al-Hassan, Tarikh Madinat
Dimashq (The History of Sham City), audited by Ali Sheery,
publishing edition unknown, Beirut, Dar al-Fikr publishing
house, 1415 AH.
AL-BRUJARDI, Ali, Taraef al-Maqal (Essay Chef

193

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Doeuvre), audited by Mahdi Ar-Rajaei, first edition, Qum,


Maktabat Ayatollah al-Uthma al-Marashi an-Najafi, 1410
AH.
AL-BRUJARDI, Ali, Taraef al-Maqal (Essay Chef
Doeuvre), audited by Mahdi Ar-Rajaei, first edition, Qum,
Maktabat Ayatollah al-Uthma al-Marashi an-Najafi, 1410
AH
AL-KHATIB AL-BAGHDADI, Ahmad, Tarikh Baghdad
(The History of Baghdad), audited by Mustafa Abdul
Qadir Ata, first edition, Beirut, Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyyah
(publishing house), 1417 AH.
194

AZ-ZUBEIDI, Muhammad, Tajj al-Arous (The Brides


Crown), audited by Ali Sheery, publishing edition unknown,
Beirut, Dar al Fikr (publishing house), 1411 AH.
AZ-ZUHAILI, Wahba, At-Tafsir al-Mubin fi al-Aqeedah
wa Ash-Shariah wa al-Manhaj (The Enlightened Exegesis
of the Dogma, Shariah and Methodology), first edition,
Beirut, Dar al-Fikr (publishing house), 1411 AH.
AS-SADDOUQ, Muhammad Bin Ali, at-Tawhid
(The Unification), publishing edition unknown, Qum,
Manshourat Jamaat al-Modarriseen (publishing house),
publishing date unknown.
AT-TABATABAEI, Muhammad Hussein, Tafsir alMizan (The Scales Interpretation), fifth edition, Beirut, alAlami (publishing house), 1983.
AT-TOUSI, Muhammad, Tahtheeb al-Ahkam (Verdicts

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Rectification), audited by Hassan al-Musawi al-Kharasani,


third edition, Tehran, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah (publishing
house), 1364 SH.
AL-GHARNATI, Al-Kalbi, At-Tas-Heel Lee Ulum alQuran (Simplifying Quran Sciences), audited by Abdullah
al-Khalidi, fourth edition, Beirut, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi
(Publishing House), publishing date unknown.
AL-FAYD AL-KASHANI, al-Mawla Mohsen, Tafsir
as-Safi (The Interpretation of Safi), second edition, Qum,
Moassasat al-Hadi (publishing house), 1416 AH.
AL-MUFID, Muhammad, Tashih Etiqadat al-Imamiyah
(Correcting the Beliefs of the Imamiyah), audited by
Hussein Darkahi, second edition, Beirut, Dar al-Mufid
(Publishing House), 1414 AH.
(U)
AL-FADLI, Abdul Hadi, Usul al-Hadith (Principles of
Speech), third edition, Beirut, Moassasat Ummul Qura
(Publishing Foundation), 1421 AH.
(Y)
AL-QANDOUZI, Suleiman, Yanabei al-Mawadah (The
Fountains of Affection), audited by Sayyid Jamal Ashraf alHusseini, first edition, Uswah for Printing and Publishing,
1416 AH.

195

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Contents
Introduction:...................................................................................7
Lesson [1]
What is the meaning of Imamate based on the Shiite
terminology?....................................................................................9
The Imam according to language and the Holy Quran.......... 9
The Imam according to common accounts............................ 9
The meaning of the Imamate according to the Shiites........ 11
Al Jameah (The Collector), the book of the prophetic
Sunnah...................................................................................... 18
The ruler pertaining to qualities and assignment................. 23
Lesson [2]
Are the Imams infallible? What is the evidence?.......................27
The rational evidence to the infallibility of the Imams........ 27
The traditional evidence to the inerrancy of the Imams...... 29
Who is Ahlul Bayt, the household of the Prophet (pbut)?... 33
The speeches that denote infallibility.................................. 38
The evidence to the infallibility of Ahlul Bayt (pbut).................. 38
Evidence to the infallibility of Imam Ali (pbuh)................. 40

197

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Lesson [3]
What is extent of exaggeration or disappointment
pertaining to the Imams?.............................................................43

198

Exaggeration in previous religions...................................... 43


Exaggeration at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).... 46
Exaggeration at the time of Imam Ali (pbuh)...................... 46
Exaggeration at the times of the Imams, descendants of
the commander of the faithful (pbuh)....................................... 47
The extent of exaggeration.................................................. 49
The stand of the Imams (pbut) towards exaggeration......... 54
The Imams warning about negligence................................ 56
The standardized rebuttal of a speech.................................. 59
The Imams invitation to moderation................................... 59
Lesson [4]
Do the Imams possess universal guardianship, and if so,
what is the evidence?....................................................................61
Universal guardianship based on language.......................... 61
1- Creational and universal................................................. 64
The creational guardianship based on terminology............. 65
The authoritative guardianship............................................ 66
Is the authoritative guardianship possible?.......................... 68
Astonishment and disapproval............................................. 69
The established evidence on the authoritative guardianship.70
The springboard of the creational authoritative
guardianship.............................................................................. 74

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Special knowledge, cognizing the universe......................... 75


The trustees [Imams (pbuh)] of the universal
authoritative guardianship......................................................... 78
Lesson [5]
Are the Imams (pbut) the means regarding emanation?..........83
Understanding the means regarding emanation................... 83
Mediator regarding emanation is not merely a religious
idea............................................................................................ 86
Postulations prior to answering........................................... 89
Answer................................................................................. 91
In the context of the answer we say:.................................... 91
Lesson [6]
Is the knowledge of the Imams human or divine?.....................97
1- Is their knowledge human or divine?.............................. 97
What is the spirit?.............................................................. 101
The mechanism of communication between the spirit
and the Imams (pbut).............................................................. 106
Whenever they wish to learn Allah will guide them.......... 111
Lesson [7]
Do the Imams (pbut) possess unseen knowledge?.................... 113
The meaning of the unseen................................................ 113
Is the knowledge of the unseen limited to Allah?.............. 114

199

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Harmonizing the verses..................................................... 116


Allah informs His prophets of the unseen......................... 119
The unseen knowledge of the Imams................................ 122
The Imams and their Knowledge of the times of their
deaths...................................................................................... 127
Answer:.............................................................................. 127
Lesson [8]
What is the truth and significance behind the inherited
books of the Imams (pbut)?.......................................................131
200

1- Al-Jafr............................................................................ 131
2- Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh)................................................. 135
Questions about Mushaf Fatimah (pbuh).......................... 136
Benefiting from the content............................................... 141
3- The Tablet of Fatimah (pbuh)........................................ 143
We can notice this issue in the following report:............... 144
4- The book of Imam Ali (pbuh)........................................ 148
The fate of the book of Imam Ali (pbuh)........................... 149
Lesson [9]
What is the reality of Al-Bidaa (changeable pre-designed
destiny) with respect to the Imams (pbut)?....................................151
Knowledge of Allah the Exalted........................................ 151
The reports of al-Bidaa and the Shiites accusation...................152
Does fatalism overpower the volition of Allah the
Exalted?................................................................................. 155

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

A kind story regarding al-Bidaa......................................... 161


What did we learn from the previous subject?.................. 163
Lesson [10]
The meaning and evidence concerning the return of the
Imams (pbuh)..............................................................................165
The return of the Imams (pbuh)......................................... 165
The return of the believers and disbelievers...................... 166
The frequent reports of the return...................................... 167
The value of believing in the return................................... 167
Two opinions of the Shia regarding the return................. 168
First opinion: This is the return of the bodies.................... 168
Second Opinion: The return of the regime......................... 171
Paradoxes regarding the return of the bodies.................... 172
Sources and References..............................................................183
Contents.......................................................................................197
Other Publications of the Author..............................................203

201

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

Other Publications of the Author


1- Haqiqat al-Jafr end Ash-Shia (The truth of al-Jafr Book
with respect to the Shias), Dar As-Safwah (Publishing
House)
2- Haqiqat Mushaf Fatima end Ash-Shia (The truth of
Fatimas Quran with respect to the Shias), Dar As-Safwah
(Publishing House). This book won the Best Book
Prize in 2003 A.D. at the International Commandment
Festival in Iran.
3- Wilayat al-Faqih, Bayn al Badaha wa al-Ekhtilaf (Supreme
Jurist Leadership, amid intuition and differences), Dar
As-Safwah (Publishing House). This is a Masters thesis
that was awarded excellence coupled with commendation
and recommendation for publishing.
4- Dourous Fi elm Ad-Dirayah (Lessons in cognitive
science), Dar As-Safwah (Publishing House), approved
for use by the religious studies curriculum.
5- Mizan as-Siyar Wa As-Solouk (The Scale of Biographies
and Conduct), Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr
(As-Siraj House for Culture and Publishing).
6- Kayfa Tajal Waladaka Salihan (How to make your child
righteous?), Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr

203

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

(As-Siraj House for Culture and Publishing).


7- Kayfa Tarje Kama Waladatka Ummuk (How to leap
back to the day when your mother gave birth to you?),
Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr (As-Siraj
House for Culture and Publishing).
8- Limaza Noqallid? Kayfa Wa Man? (Why do we imitate?
How and Whom?), Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa AnNashr (As-Siraj House for Culture and Publishing).
8-1- Why do we imitate? How and whom? English issue.
(Noun Center for printing and translation)
204

8-2- Pourquoi imiter? (suivre un concept) Comment? Et qui?


French issue. (Noun Center for printing and translation)
9- Wa Layal (in) Ashr (And by ten nights) - Inspirational
Ashura, Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr (AsSiraj House for Culture and Publishing).
10- Nidaa Ar-Rahil (Departure invitation (Death and
the Partition [amid both words]), Dar As-Siraj LithThaqafah Wa An-Nashr (As-Siraj House for Culture and
Publishing).
11- Dalil al-Arousayn (The bride and bridegroom manual,
from Engagement to Marriage), Dar As-Siraj LithThaqafah Wa An-Nashr (As-Siraj House for Culture and
Publishing).
11-1- The bride and bridegroom manual, from Engagement
to Marriage, English issue.

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

12-Barqiyyat al-Hussein peace be upon him (Al Husseins


telegram), Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr
(As-Siraj House for Culture and Publishing)
13- Thalath Houqouq Lihayat Zawjiyyah Najiha (Three
rights made for a successful marital life), Dar As-Siraj
Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr (As-Siraj House for Culture
and Publishing).
14- Saadat Az-Zawjayn Fi Thalath Kalimat (The spouses
happiness in three words), Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa
An-Nashr (As-Siraj House for Culture and Publishing).
15- Hakaza Takoun Saeedan (Finding Happiness), Dar AsSiraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr (As-Siraj House for
Culture and Publishing).
16- Wa Atmamnaha Biashr (And with ten we concluded it)
Inspirational Ashura, Dar As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa
An-Nashr (As-Siraj House for Culture and Publishing).
17- Al-Masael al-Mustafat Fi Ahkam At-Tahara Wa AsSalat (The chosen issues regarding the legal opinions of
purification and prayer).
18- Ahkam An-Nisaa (The legal opinions of women issues).
19- At-Tableegh Min Wahei At-Tajribah (Information
inspired by experience).
20- Paulo em busca da verdade (Paulo, in search of the
truth), Portuguese issue.
21- ISLAM NO ORACAO A <<Assalat>> (Prayer in
Islam), Portuguese issue.

205

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

22- Khoyout Al Qubbaah (Hat linings), Dar As-Safwa


(Publishing House).
23- Hayek Al Qubbaah (Hat weaver), by Imam Sayyid
Abdul Hussein Sharaf Ed-Dean, Dar As-Safwa
(Publishing House).
24- Shahrullah (The month of Allah Decorum Occasions
Commanders), Bayt As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa AnNashr (Lantern House for Culture and Publishing).
25- Yasalounaka An Allah (They ask you about Allah),
Bayt As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr (Lantern
House for Culture and Publishing).
206

25-1- They ask you about Allah, English issue.


26- Yasalounaka An al-Anbiyaa (They ask you about the
prophets), Bayt As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr
(Lantern House for Culture and Publishing).
27- Yasalounaka An al-A`emmah (They ask you about
the Imams peace be upon them), Bayt As-Siraj LithThaqafah Wa An-Nashr (Lantern House for Culture and
Publishing).
28- Yasalounaka An al-Waley (They ask you about the
guardian), Bayt As-Siraj Lith-Thaqafah Wa An-Nashr
(Lantern House for Culture and Publishing).
29- Kayfa Nabni Mujtamaan Arqa (How do we build an
advanced society).
30- Kayfa Natawasal MaAn-Nas (How do we communicate
with the people).

They Ask You About The Imams (pbut)

31- Qafilat al-Bashariyah, Min Safinat Nuh Ela Dawlat


al-Mahdi (The caravan of mankind, from the time of
Noahs ark until the time of the state of al-Mahdi the
guided one; may Allah hasten his advent).
32- Takfir (accusing another of apostasy), Islam regulations
and Muslims practices, al-Amir Publishing House,
Beirut, Lebanon.
33- They ask you about the Day of Resurrection, as-Siraj
House for Culture and Publishing, Beirut, Lebanon.
34- This is Allahs Messenger, as-Siraj House for Culture
and Publishing, Beirut, Lebanon.
35- Lectures on Islamic Culture, as-Siraj House for Culture
and Publishing, Beirut, Lebanon.
You can review all these books and more
at siraj-alqaem website.
www.sirajalqaem.com
akrambaraket@sirajalqaem.com

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