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Subject: 40 Quranic Verses Proving Caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s)
The Path of the Ahle Bait (a.s.)
All praise is for Allah, Who created man in the best form and guided him to the upright religion and the clear path. Thereafter, He endowed him with intellect as an innate proof that guides towards its Creator. He raised the Prophets (a.s.) and appointed the successors (a.s.) as the apparent proofs, assisting them as guides towards His commands and prohibitions. He distinguished them with explicit miracles and bright signs to complete His arguments and perfect His bounties. Blessings and salutations be upon the most perfect of the proofs, the best of the Messengers, Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.), the guides towards the best of paths. Now, the humble and needy slave of Allah, the Needless, ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali al-Musawi al-Bahbahaani’ (may Allah, the High, raise them all along with their infallible ancestors (a.s.)), says, It is narrated from our master, Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.) who narrates on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), “Whoever from my nation memorizes forty traditions that are
essential (for his religious affairs), Allah will raise him on the Day of Judgment as a learned scholar.” Since the books of traditions and their explanations have made it easy for the readers to become deeply learned, and the abundance of these works amongst the people have become inexcusable reasons for memorization of these traditions, I desired to collect forty traditions as explanations for forty verses of the Holy Quran vis-à-vis the mastership of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny (peace be upon them all). I have explained them according to what Allah, the High, has gifted to me of their understanding and granted me their knowledge. Then, I say:
The commentary of the word of Allah, the High: .قل كفى بال شهيدا بينى و بينكم و منْ عنده علم الكتاب ِ َِ ْ ُ ِْ ُ َ ْ ِ َ َ ْ ُ َْ َ َ ْ ِْ َ ً ْ ِ َ َ ُْ “…Say: Allah is sufficient as a Witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.” Imam Baqer (a.s.) informs, “(This verse) implies us and Ali (a.s.) is the first of us, the most superior of us and the best of us after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).” A similar tradition is narrated from our master, Imam Sadeq (a.s.).
When a person asked Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) about his most excellent virtue, he (a.s.) recited the aforementioned verse and said, “The phrase ‘whoever has knowledge of the Book’ refers to us.” When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was asked about this verse, he (s.a.w.a.) replied, “It refers to my brother Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.).” In another tradition, from our companions, it has been narrated: I was with Imam Abu Ja’far (a.s.) in the mosque conversing when someone from the progeny of Abdullah Ibn Salaam passed. I said, ‘May I be held your ransom! He is the son of whom the people say that ‘whoever has knowledge of the Book’ refers to him!’ Imam (a.s.) retorted, “No. This verse refers to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). Five verses were revealed concerning him (a.s.), one of which was ‘…Say: Allah is sufficient as a Witness…’.” Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says, “He is Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).” Imam Sadeq (a.s.) was asked as to who is more learned, the one who has knowledge from the Book or the one who has knowledge of the Book? He (a.s.) replied, “The knowledge of the one who has knowledge from the Book when compared to the one who has knowledge of the Book is to the extent of what a fly takes with its wing from the water of the ocean.” Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) says, “Know that the knowledge with which Adam (a.s.) descended from the sky to the earth and all that was conferred on the Prophets (a.s.) till the Seal of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.) is available in the progeny of the Seal of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.).”
The renowned Sunni jurist, Ibn al-Maghaazeli al-Shaafei narrates from one chain while Sa’labi narrates from two chains that this verse refers to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). It is appropriate to discuss (the aforementioned verse) in three levels: (A) The qualification of our master, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his pure progeny (a.s.) for the phrase ‘whoever has knowledge of the Book’ and its non-applicability for other than them (a.s.), as the precedence of the object over the verb in the noble tradition proves. Also, the revelation of the verse in favour of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) does not in any way contradict its general application for the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny. (B) The enumeration of the verse as a virtue of superiority. (C) It is the most superior virtue of our master, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), as the tradition of al-Ehtejaaj suggests. Before commencing the discussion, it is necessary to relate a preface comprising of six issues by which the above three levels will be clearly explained: (I) Is the joining of the testimony of the one who has knowledge of the Book with the testimony of Allah from the kind of the combination of one just person’s witness with another just person, or is it from the category of combining one evidence with another evidence? (II) The implication of the word, ‘the Book’.
(III) Is the mode of testimony of Allah and that of ‘the one who has knowledge of the Book’ oral or practical? (IV) Explanation of the cause of attaining knowledge and certainty from the testimony of ‘the one who has knowledge of the Book’ in a way that it be considered as an independent proof. Moreover, it deserves to be regarded as equal to the testimony of Allah, the High, and independent in establishing the Messengership of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). (V) Does the addition of the word ‘knowledge’ to ‘the Book’ imply generality or not? (VI) Whether Surah Ra’d, which contains the verse, was revealed in Makkah or Madinah?
1. As for the first issue, it is clear that the unison of one independent evidence and proof with another evidence necessitates the non-admissibility of short-coming and incompleteness in the testimony of Allah, the High, for it to be completed with another testimony and evidence. Perhaps, the precedence of the phrase ‘a Witness between me and you’ by Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, over the conjunct noun (‘the one who has knowledge of the Book’) testifies to this meaning just as the usage of the scale of فعيل ))شهيداinstead of the simple nominal noun فاعلnotifies that the attribute of testimony is to establish evidence and not merely an occurrence. Each of the two testimonies is in itself a complete proof and a definite argument for the Prophethood and Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). There is no scope to argue that the joining of the testimony of ‘the one who has the knowledge of the Book’ with that of Allah is from the kind of bringing together hypothetical evidence with certain evidence. For, it is not wise and advisable to fasten to a hypothesis at this level and to regard it as an evidence to achieve the aim for three reasons: 1. Validity of a hypothesis at this level is unimaginable because validity is either essential like in a scientific argument or it is imposed subjugation like a
document, paths and legal authorities and jurisdictions. While, both of these types of validity are contradictory at this level. As for the first type, it is clear due to the essential invalidity of a hypothesis. The second type is nonapplicable as subjugation and devotion at this level is unimaginable because it is an offshoot of the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood. Hence, it is unreasonable to regard it as circumstantial evidence for his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood. 2. Subjugation to hypothesis is admissible only in instances of ignorance of reality and lack of knowledge in support of it (reality) or against it. Hence, it is incorrect to regard hypothesis as a proof for his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood despite the presence of certain knowledge, which is the testimony of Allah, the High. Specially, when He has placed His evidence a priori in the Holy Quran. 3. The principles of religion, due to their significance, are not to be proved except through certain knowledge. Hypothesis or hypothetical arguments can be considered only in the branches of religion, not in the principles. Indeed, Allah, the High, has condemned the nation that inclined towards hypothesis and conjecture in the principles of their beliefs. He says,
.ِن يتبعون ال الظن و ان الظن ل يغنى من الحق شيْئا ً َ ّ َ ْ َ ِ ْ ِْ ُ َ ّ ّ ّ ِ َ ّ ّ ّ ِ َ ْ ُ َِّ ْ ا ً “They do not follow but conjecture and conjecture cannot provide them anything from the truth.” Then how can He use (hypothesis) as an argument to establish the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which He Himself has prohibited from following or even inclination towards it? Objection: It is possible to say that the mention of ‘the one who has knowledge of the Book’ is used only for confirmation and must not be considered independently and hence, his testimony being hypothetical and unreliable will not be contradictory.
Answer: His conjunction with the name of Allah necessitates his partnership in the matter i.e. his testimony being sufficient to prove the Prophethood and establishment of argument upon the denying unbelievers for his (s.a.w.a.) messengership. Therefore, your objection is ruled out. Objection: Allah, the High, has argued in the Holy Quran in numerous instances without certain knowledge. For example, (a) َ ْ ُ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ ْ ُ ْ ِ ِ ْ ّ َ ْ َ ْ َُ ْ َ ْ ِ ْ َ ِ ْ ِ ْ ُ ً َ ِ ّ ِ َ ِ ْ َ ْ ِ َ ْ َ ْ َ َ َ و ما ارسلنا من قبلك ال رجال نوحى اليهم فاسالوا اهل الذكر ان كنتم ل تعلمون ِ ِ ْ َ ّ َ ِ َ ّب .بالبينات و الز ُر “And We have not sent before you except men to whom We have revealed unto them. Then ask the people of remembrance if you know not about the proofs and books.” According to some commentators, the people of remembrance, who are supposed to be asked, are the people of the Book from the Jews and the Christians. Their testimony was not the cause of knowledge of the witnessed one for the questioners, since they were the worshippers of idols, who were the deniers of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and considered it as improbable that Allah would send a human as a Messenger. Similarly, they (idol-worshippers) also denied the Jews and the Christians and hence their testimony would not be beneficial because Allah, the High, did indeed raise a Messenger as a human despite what they testified to the deniers. b. َ ْ ِ ْ ِ ْ ِ َ ُ َ ََ َ َ ْ َ ُ ْ َ ُ ْ َ َ ٌ َ ْ َ َْ َ ُ ع او لم يكن لهم آية ان يعلمه ُلمآء بنى اسرآئيل
“Was there not a sign with them which the learned from the children of Israel knew?” The testimony of the scholars of the children of Israel was not fruitful to establish the truthfulness of the Messengership and to gain certain knowledge about it as these scholars were not infallible. Hence, their witness was merely a conjecture. c. ِ ِ ْ ِ َ َ ْ ِ َ ْ ِ ْ ِ َ ْ ِ ٌ ِ َ َ ِ َ َ ِ ِ ْ ُ ْ َ َ َ ُ ْ َ ََ ْ ُ ْ ِ ْ َ َ ِ ْ ِ ْ ِ ل قل ارأيتم ان كان من عند ا ِ وكفرتم به و شهد شاهد من بنى اسرآئيل على مثله ْ ُْ َْ َْ َ َ َ َ .فآمن و استكبرتم “Say: Did you see if it was from Allah and you disbelieved in it while a witness from the Bani Israel testified upon the like of it, then he believed but you were arrogant.” So, the testimony of the witness from the children of Israel was not the cause of certain knowledge of the witnessed one. Answer: The phrase ‘the people of remembrance’ refers to the infallible and pure Ahle Bait (a.s.) as the traditions of both the sects have proved. This does not contradict the fact that those who were ordered to ask were the disbelievers, who denied the Ahle Bait (a.s.) as well as the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). For, the purpose of questioning is to search the questioned one for the establishment of proof and evidence, a cause for action, as has been proved by the phrase ‘about the proofs and books’. The relation of the order to question due to their ignorance necessitates that the order to question is connected to the ignorance of the ordered one, who has been sent to acquire certainty and not merely to question even if it does not lead to knowledge.
Even if we consider that the people of remembrance implies the people of the Book from the Jews and the Christians, the purpose of questioning them too is to seek proof and evidence from them and not merely to consider their statement as a verification without any proof and evidence. In any case, there is no order in the above verse to follow a hypothesis or conjecture or to be inclined towards it, as has been imagined. As for the scholars of Bani Israel, which the verse deems as a sufficient sign and an apparent proof: If, knowledge and certainty in the above instance implies that of the correctness of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood and the truthfulness of his (s.a.w.a.) Messengership, then the ‘learned scholars’ in this instance are those who migrated from their native places before his (s.a.w.a.) proclamation to the place of his (s.a.w.a.) migration, that is, the mountain of Ohod that they may find him (s.a.w.a.), believe in him (s.a.w.a.), help him (s.a.w.a.) and were expecting victory over the Arabs through him (s.a.w.a.). So much so that the Arabs complain about them to the Tubba’, who confined them. After he (Tubba’) came to know that their purpose was to find the Quraishi Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), he believed in him (s.a.w.a.) and made the tribes of Aws and Khazraj to stay with them to guard them (the Jews) and as helpers for the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when he (s.a.w.a.) reappears. It is known that their knowledge and certainty about the arrival of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his (s.a.w.a.) migration to this place – which was the cause of their migration from their familiar and comfortable native places to this place – before his (s.a.w.a.) actual advent, their bearing intense difficulties from the Arabs and their seeking victory over the Arabs through him (s.a.w.a.) were not except because of the news of their Prophets (a.s.) and the presence of his (s.a.w.a.) report in their Books. For, there was no way during those times to gain knowledge and certainty about
him (s.a.w.a.) except through the news of the Prophets (a.s.) and their Books. It is also known that this knowledge became the cause of their certainty about the correctness of the Prophethood of our Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The proof of this – that the word ‘scholars’ implies the scholars before the proclamation – lies in the fact that the ‘Chapter of Shoaraa’ was entirely revealed in Makkah except from the verse: “ والشعراء يتبعهم الغاوونAnd as to the poets, those َ ْ ُ َ ْ ُ ُ ُ َِّ ُ َ َ ّ َ who go astray follow them” till the end of the chapter. As, these excepted verses were revealed in Madinah, as has been mentioned by Shaikh Tabarsi (r.a.) in his exegesis ‘Majma’ alBayaan’. None of the scholars of Bani Israel had accepted Islam in Makkah and whoever believed amongst them did so after the migration of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Hence, prior to migration, there was nobody amongst them who testified to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that Allah, Mighty and Glorified be He, would seek His own testimony and that of the People of the Book against the disbelievers from the polytheists. This view is supported by the fact that He has deemed their knowledge as a sign for them and not their testimony because at that time (in Makkah) they were not present at all to testify. If it implies the knowledge and certainty about the correctness of the mastership of our master, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his presence in the ancient scriptures, then this would be in concordance with the interpretation of the preceding verse, which is, َ ِ ِ ُ ْ َ ِ َ ُ َ ِ َ ِ ْ َ َ َ ُ ِ َ ُ ّ ِ ِ َ َ َ َ ِ َ َ ْ ّ َ ُ ِ َ َ ُ ّ َِ .وإنه لتنزيل رب العالمين. نزل به الروح المين. على قلبك لتكون من المنذرين
“And most surely this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Faithful Spirit has descended with it, Upon your heart that you may be of the warners” about the mastership of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) as has come in Al-Kaafi and Basaaer al-Darajaat from our master, Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (a.s.) who said: “Surely it is the mastership of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).” And in Tafseer al-Qummi, from our master Imam Sadeq (a.s.) who said: “It is the mastership which descended for Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) on the Day of Ghadeer.” It implies the believers after proclamation or before it, those who were informed that the mastership of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is transcribed in the ancient scriptures. Thus, their testimony would be beneficial for their certainty as it compounds two conditions, which are: the reliability of the testimony and the witnessed being evident, not merely theoretical. As for the witness from the children of Israel, it implies either Prophet Moosa (a.s.) as has been explained by some of the commentators or another Prophet or any of their successors. By no means does it imply anyone who has testified from the Jews after the proclamation of our Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood due to his not being an infallible. For, the entire chapter of Ahqaaf was revealed in Makkah while none of them (i.e. the Jews and Christians) had accepted Islam in Makkah, leave alone providing testimony for his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood and Messengership. The author of Majma’ al-Bayaan, under the verse “while a witness from the Bani Israel testified” writes, ‘It refers to Abdullah Ibn Salaam; “upon the like of it” means ‘for it i.e. he witnesses that it is from Allah. It is also said “upon the like of
it” implies ‘upon the Old Testament’ as has been narrated from Masrooq. It is also said, ‘The witness is Moosa who testified upon the Old Testament just as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) testified for the Quran because the chapter was revealed in Makkah while Ibn Salaam accepted Islam in Madinah. I say: There is no proof for his interpretation of the verse in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam. On the contrary, its contraevidence is present i.e. the descent of the entire chapter in Makkah. The assumption that the entire chapter was revealed in Makkah except this verse because of it being in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam is naught but a baseless surmise of the interpreter, lacking support from any tradition or document. His reference to Ibn Abbas in Majma’ al-Bayaan like his interpretation of ‘with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ as Abdullah Ibn Salaam is also an error. For, soon it will follow that Ibn Abbas was the one who insisted vehemently that this verse was revealed concerning our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and does not befit anyone except him (a.s.). Briefly, human wisdom independently judges the falsity of an argument without evidence. Then how can Allah – Pure is His State – argue in His Majestic Book without any evidence and even proceeds to declare such an argument as a sufficient and certain proof for disputation? II. Apparently, the definite article ‘ ’الin the word ‘( ’الكتابthe Book) is لم للعهدi.e. the noun (in this case ‘the Book’) is known both to the speaker as well as to the addressee. Thus, it is dedicated either to the Holy Quran, in which is the explanation of all things or to the Preserved Tablet ( )اللوح المحفوظin which everything is written; other than all the revealed Books like the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms, etc. If the definite article ‘ ’الis ‘ ’اللم للجنسi.e. which includes the genus of the mentioned noun, then it would include all the heavenly
scriptures, since there is no scope to intend any single book from it at this level. Thus, in implication, both interpretations will be regarded as one. III. As for the method of testimony, then these are various. As for the testimony of Allah, it is practical because it is clear that Allah, the High, did not converse with the people by initiating a voice from the tree or its like as He did with His Spoken One, Prophet Moosa (a.s.), due to the incompetence of the people to attain this great position. So, Allah’s testimony for the Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) implies the manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands to verify his (s.a.w.a.) claims. From amongst these miracles, rather the greatest of these, is the revelation of the Holy Quran upon him (s.a.w.a.), which was the ultimate in eloquence and expression. To the extent that He challenged the Arabs with it. The most eloquent and articulate speakers and litterateurs of the time were helpless in bringing a chapter like it, notwithstanding the fact during the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), eloquence and literature was widespread and the Arabs were known to possess exceptional skills in both of them. It is obvious that to manifest miracles and extraordinary feats at the hands of a liar is evil and uncalled for. Allah is High and Pure than to perform such an act. As for the testimony of ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’, it is both oral as well as practical. Oral testimony is verbal acknowledgement while practical testimony implies his (a.s.) following the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), obeying his (s.a.w.a.) commands and refraining from his (s.a.w.a.) prohibitions. Objection: It cannot be said that the term ‘( ’شهيدwitness) is from ‘ ’شهودwhich means presence physically or from the aspect of knowledge and information and the scale of ‘ ’فاعلor ‘ ’فعيلis
used for concealment or ambiguity. It is realized only for the person who bears the characteristic of Prophethood. As for the expression of witness compatible to the performance of the testimony, then he only comes after prior information is given about him. Like you say, ‘I bear witness for such and such thing’ or ‘I am witness for it.’ In such an instance, firstly, there is no clear information about the testimony of Allah, the High, and secondly, the prior information about Allah’s testimony concerning his (s.a.w.a.) messengership is not the cause of manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands. Answer: Allah’s – High be His Glory – command to argue against the deniers of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership by sufficing with His testimony and that of ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ is essentially a prophecy about it. Had Allah not accompanied His prophecy with His testimony about his (s.a.w.a.) messengership through the manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands, it would not have been an evidence for the deniers of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership nor would have been the argument complete upon them. Essentially, merely the claim of the plaintiff that ‘Allah, the High, knows and testifies for the truth of my plaint’ without displaying any proof of His verification externally, will not be an evidence against the denier. Then how Allah – High be His Glory – suffices merely by informing about his (s.a.w.a.) messengership as a proof against the denier of Prophethood, while He – Mighty and Glorified be He – clearly states ُ ِْ ُ َ ِ ْ َ َ ْ ُ َ ْ ََ ِْ َ ً ِ َ ِ ِ َ َ ْ ُ ً َ ْ ُ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َ َ َ ِ ّ ُ ُ ََ ويقول الذين كفروا لست مرسل قل كفى بال شهيدا بيني وبينكم ومن عنده علم الكتاب ِ َِ ْ And those who disbelieve say: You are not a messenger. Say: Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.
Objection: It can be argued that the said verse was revealed to console His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that Allah, the High, knows ‘you are His messenger; thus, the refutation of the disbelievers will not harm you’. The verse is not used as an argument against them that the testimony of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership would necessitate the manifestation of miracles at his (s.a.w.a.) hands. Answer: Had the verse been “Allah is sufficient as a witness and whoever has knowledge of the Book” without mentioning the command ‘Say’ in its beginning and embracing the phrase ‘between me and you’, such a probability would perhaps been acceptable. But the very mention of the command ‘Say’ in its beginning and the presence of the phrase ‘between me and you’ makes it very explicit that it has been used as an argument and a refutation against the unbelievers and deniers of his (s.a.w.a.) messengership. IV. The removal of the veil depends on the explanation of the meaning of ‘knowledge of the Book’ The term ‘knowledge of the Book’ does not imply only its apparent form because knowledge of this variety can occur without infallibility and following of carnal desires, as is clear. And whoever is fallible and follows his lust and desires, his testimony will neither lead to knowledge and certainty nor will it be acceptable to the intellect. Then how is it worthy to make the testimony of such a person equal to the testimony of Allah and an independent argument to establish the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)?!! Thus, the phrase ‘knowledge of the Book’ implies the knowledge of the apparent of the Book as well as its concealed, its interpretation and its descent, its hidden meanings and the secrets buried in it; a knowledge that is divinely gifted, not acquired. Such knowledge does not befit except the one who is
infallible and pure from mistakes and errors, committed deliberately or out of forgetfulness. Only then will his testimony lead to knowledge and certainty, acceptable to wisdom and worthy of being equated with the testimony of Allah, the High. Verily, the method of extolling the knowledge of the unseen is not confined in the declaration of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that he is aware of the same. Otherwise, it would necessitate that his (s.a.w.a.) testimony does not establish his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood. As the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) knowledge of the unseen and his (s.a.w.a.) infallibility is an offshoot of the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood, how can his (s.a.w.a.) testimony be a proof for that which is an offshoot of the validity of his (s.a.w.a.) testimony? Therefore, the knowledge of the unseen just as it uncovers beforehand the declaration of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after the verification of his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood, similarly it reveals in advance the manifestation of his (s.a.w.a.) signs from the miracles and the extraordinary feats at his (s.a.w.a.) hands as and when required to establish his (s.a.w.a.) argument. Like, it was manifested from ‘the one who had the knowledge from the Book’; he was Asif Ibn Barkhiyyah, the successor of Prophet Sulaiman Ibn Dawood (a.s.) when he brought the throne of Queen Bilqees before the batting of the eyelid. V. It is clear that the addition ( )الضافهin similar instances leads to generalization. Then, when it is said, ‘Zaid has the knowledge of jurisprudence or grammar’, it does not mean that he only knows a few of its contents. I certainly do not imply that the addition of the infinitive to its subject ( )فاعلor its object ( )مفعولleads to generalization in its entirety or absoluteness. Like the beating of Zaid or seeing of Amr, etc. does not mean generalization in essence. Verily, the addition of the infinitive as a word or a meaning to the correctness of every part of it is that it should be related to it
apparently in encompassment or generalization except when the encompassment or generalization is extraordinary. Therefore, the ownership of the slave, his liberty, his freedom, purchasing of the house and selling it, etc. return to generalization, apparent in it, except the like of beating of Zaid and seeing of Amr for the nonordinariness with relation to beating and seeing of each of their parts. VI. The chapter under consideration was revealed in Makkah as has been narrated by al-Neshaapouri from Saeed Ibn Jubair and similarly, al-Baghwi has narrated in Ma’alem al-Tanzeel. When these prefaces (the aforementioned six prefaces) have become clear for you, it must have become extremely comprehensible and unambiguous to interpret the term ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk due to the following reasons: (a) The adequacy of the testimony of ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ in proving Prophethood which is a principle of religion. He has made it in the presentation of His testimony dependent on its resulting in knowledge and certainty, while this testimony is dependent on the establishment of his infallibility and purity, which again is dependant on the intention of knowledge with the apparent of the Book and its concealed, even if some of it necessitates purity and infallibility. It is known that Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk from the scholars of the Jews did not reach the status of infallibility; otherwise they would not have stayed on the religion of Prophet Moosa (a.s.) which was abrogated by the religion of Prophet Isa (a.s.). For surely, their remaining on the religion of Prophet Moosa (a.s.) was either due to their stubbornness against the truth or due to their ignorance. Both these instances are contrary to the level of infallibility. When it is proved that he is not infallible,
then his acceptance of Islam is not bound by the truth, since in all probability, just as the cause in his acceptance of Islam could be his knowledge about the Prophethood of our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) from the Old Testament – as is apparent – it is also likely that fear and greed could be the factors for his Islam. Therefore, his acceptance of Islam and his testimony for the truthfulness of our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is unacceptable as an argument. (b) The addition of ‘knowledge’ to the noun ‘Book’ ()علم الكتاب implies generalization and encompassment, as you already know. Thus, the phrase ‘knowledge of the Book’ would factually mean the entire Book in which nothing is left. There is neither a wet thing nor a dry thing but that it is found in it. Had it implied a part of its knowledge, then Allah, Mighty and Glorified be He, would have used the word ‘from’ ( ,)منwhich is used to denote part of the whole in such an instance. Just as it has come in the story of Asif Ibn Barkhiyyah when Allah says, ‘و قال الذى عنده علم ٌ ِْ ُ َ ْ ِ ْ ِ ّ َ َ َ ِ َِ ْ َ ِ “ ’من الكتابAnd the one who had knowledge from the Book.” The knowledge of the Book in its entirety was not possessed by all the Prophets (a.s.) as is apparent from the verses of the Holy Quran and the traditions. Then surely, their knowledge was confined and limited. This distinction was reserved only for our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his pure and infallible successors (a.s.). Then how can one interpret this verse with all its glory for the scholars of the People of the Book from the Jews and the Christians?!! (c) The entire chapter of Ra’d was revealed in Makkah while Abdullah Ibn Salaam and all the scholars of the People of the Book accepted Islam in Madinah after migration. Hence, Saeed Ibn Jubair questions, ‘How can this verse descend in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam while the whole chapter was revealed before migration?’
Objection: al-Kalbi and Muqaatel are of the view that the chapter is revealed in Makkah except the last verse which descended in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam. Answer: Their view in considering the last verse as an exception from the chapter, which was revealed in Makkah, and being in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam – as is apparent from their statement – is not because they have come across a tradition to support their idea. Certainly, their opinion that it has descended in favour of Abdullah Ibn Salaam is erroneous and it has become clear for you that such a perception is warped and dishonest. The reason for this view is the lack of deliberation on the facets of the verse. Had they truly deliberated and pondered over it, it would have become more than clear for them. It is certainly clearer than sunlight during the day that ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ is not applicable for the one who has accepted Islam from the scholars of people of the Book. Thus, nothing remains except the traditions that have come down from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his pure progeny (a.s.) stating that this verse have been revealed in favour of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and continues to apply on the Imams (a.s.) from amongst his descendants. For surely, they are infallible, pure and possessing the knowledge of the Book in its entirety, its apparent as well as its concealed, its interpretation and its descend, its clear as well as ambiguous verses, its abrogating and abrogated verses. As for the view that the phrase refers to Allah, the High, and the conjunction is merely explanatory – as has been attributed to some – is extremely stupid and inane. For, (in Arabic grammar) a conjunction cannot be used for elaboration when there is a separator between the two conjunct nouns, as is in this case. Had it been so, it would be necessary to place the phrase ‘a
witness between me and you’ (which is the separator) after the two conjunct nouns. Whatever has been said by al-Zajjaaj that the phrase under consideration should be read as ‘ ’من عنده علم الكتابthat is, both the ِ َِ ْ ُ ِْ ِ ِ ْ ِ ْ ِ alphabets ‘ ’مand ‘ ’دare having ‘ ’كسرهand which is translated as ‘from Him is the knowledge of the Book’ is wrong. Anyway, even if the verse is recited in this manner and we assume it to be right, it would only mean that the knowledge of the Book is gifted from the side of Allah to whosoever He gifts. Then, it would not contradict the interpretation of the traditions that the persons who are gifted this knowledge are our masters Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny. Thus, even such a recitation would be concurring and compatible with our view. Yes, if he read ‘ ’و عنده علم الكتابthat is, the word ‘ ’منis dropped ِ َِ ْ ُ ِْ ُ َ ْ ِ َ from the beginning of the phrase, it would be what he has mentioned as a reason in the sentence. Objection: The one who denies the root, that is, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is bound to deny the branch, that is, the successor (a.s.). Hence, the latter’s (a.s.) testimony will not hold water with regards to the truthfulness of the former (s.a.w.a.) and for the denier, such a testimony has no value. Then how, Allah – Mighty and Glorified be He – seeks his testimony for proving Prophethood and uses it as an argument against the deniers of Prophethood and Messengership and also deems it to be sufficient? Answer: The testimony of the branch will not suffice only when the acceptance is dependant merely on acknowledgement and confession, notwithstanding the manifestation of his level and his position i.e. he (a.s.) being the knower of the Book, informed about everything, possessing the power to perform miracles and
extraordinary feats and finally, on the basis of intellect, adorned with the attributes of infallibility and truth. But since the testimony is provided considering such a level and position, so much so that the witness is not mentioned with his name, but by his attribute in order to draw the attention of the denier about his (the witness’) state and that he may refer to him. So, when the witness manifests before the denier the evidence of his effects, the attribute of the witness and the truthfulness of the witnessed one is unveiled for the denier. Thus, such a testimony is decisive in dispute and essentially, establishes the claim, even though the denier may not acknowledge due to obstinacy. When it is clear for you from what we have explained that the phrase ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ in the holy verse is not applicable for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk, the inevitable conclusion is that whoever has interpreted it for Ibn Salaam or others like those who have accepted Islam from the scholars of the people of the Book, has indulged in whimsical interpretation, due to negligence about the special characteristics included in the noble verse. As for the traditions originating from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or the Ahle Bait (a.s.) vis-à-vis its interpretation, both Shia and Sunni chains are unanimous that this verse has been revealed in the glory of our master Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). Not a single quote originating from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) or the Ahle Bait (a.s.) has interpreted it for Abdullah Ibn Salaam. Thereafter, its revelation in the glory of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is not contradictory to its application in its general meaning for the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny, because the revelation in his (a.s.) glory is from the aspect of his being the first, the most superior and the most perfect of its
applications, and not because it is confined only and only to him (a.s.). If at all the limitation has to be applied, it is for keeping away the like of Abdullah Ibn Salaam and others from being the applications of this verse. Thus, we conclude the discussion of the first level. From what we have explained, the state of the second level, in fact even the third, also becomes clear, a reality that will not be hidden from the one who has inhaled the fragrance of the knowledge of the Book, with the Grace of Allah – the High – and His Guidance. For surely, all the virtuous excellences either emanate from this magnificent virtue or is bound by it. From it is infallibility and purity as explained by the Verse of Purification (,)آيت التطهير proved by the saying of Allah – the Mighty: َ ْ ِ ِ ّ َ َ ْ ُْ ُ َ َ ْ ُ ّ ْ َُ َ ْ ِ ّ َ َّ َ يا ايها الذين آمنوا التقوا ال و كونوا مع الصادقين O you who believe! Fear Allah and be from the truthful ones. The phrase ‘truthful ones’ refers to him (a.s.) and his infallible descendants (a.s.). The noble verse under discussion essentially proves their infallibility for two reasons: a) Since Allah – Mighty and Glorified be He – has deemed his (a.s.) testimony to be sufficient in proving the Prophethood and Messengership of the chief of the Prophets (a.s.), hence it prenecessitates infallibility, purity and non-attribution of any mistake or error to his holy being (a.s.). Otherwise, his (a.s.) testimony would not have sufficed. Nay, He has regarded his (a.s.) testimony equal to His own, which establishes the ultimate
level of his (a.s.) infallibility and purity because like justice, infallibility has various levels. Therefore, although the leaving of the preferable acts ()ترك الولي is not permissible for the great Prophets (a.s.) ( ,)اولوا العزمthe same is permissible for the other Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.), while, the fact remains that all the Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.) were infallible. b) The knowledge of the Book in its entirety, its apparent as well as its concealed and its descent as well as its interpretation, as you know from the usage of the addition denoting its encompassment, obviously pre-necessitates the perfection of infallibility, the ultimate purity of the self and the totality of holiness. Explanation: Surely the knowledge of the apparent of the Book as well as its concealed, even if it is a part of it, cannot be acquired. It is a divine endowment. None is worthy of it except the one in whom gather all the praiseworthy attributes and noble virtues, from which are infallibility and purity. Allah – the High – grants this virtue to whosoever He pleases as per the level of his capacity. Therefore, the levels of the Prophets (a.s.) vary; from them is the one who has been given one alphabet, somebody has been given two alphabets or three alphabets or more. None from the Prophets (a.s.) and the successors (a.s.) has been given all the alphabets except our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his successors (a.s.). The withholding of this grant is certainly not on account of niggardliness from the side of Allah – the Endower. Transcendent is Allah from such an accusation, a great transcendence. His non-endowment of all the alphabets is because of their lack of capacity for the same. For, His granting all the alphabets to our Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his infallible successors (a.s.) proves their being on the highest plain of perfection, its ultimate and complete level, beyond which no
stage or level can be imagined. Obviously, from these perfections are infallibility and purity. From his (a.s.) virtues is that he (a.s.) is the brother of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in this world as well as the hereafter, as also the self of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as declared by the Verse of Malediction (.)آية المباهلة From his (a.s.) virtues is his (a.s.) being the guide while the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is the warner. From his (a.s.) virtues is mastership and leadership and that he (a.s.) is having more authority upon the believers than they themselves just as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had more authority on the believers than they themselves. Then surely, all of these great positions emanate from what has been included in the verse under discussion. As for being the brother of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and his (s.a.w.a.) self, it can only be worthy for the one who is at his (s.a.w.a.) level of knowledge, infallibility and all other attributes of perfection. Indeed, from whatever we have explained, it has become manifest that the term ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ proves the collection of all these attributes in him (a.s.), from the aspect of documents as well as intellect. As for guidance, then it depends on two criteria: knowledge and infallibility. For, violation of guidance is committed either due to ignorance or opposition, deliberately or out of forgetfulness. With knowledge and infallibility, guidance can never be violated or transgressed. Inevitably, the person having these two attributes
has to be a guide. Thus, the conclusion of the contents of the verse in this regard is most clear and most apparent. The same applies for mastership and leadership. Further Elaboration: Verily, the eligibility of a person for being referred to in religious or worldly affairs depends on his knowledge, insight and trustworthiness in his field. For, without knowledge and insight, he cannot perform his tasks just as without trustworthiness, there is no guarantee of him misusing his knowledge. Thus, the eligibility for reference depends on the level of insight and trustworthiness. As a result, it is not permissible for the one whose insight is deficient and his trustworthiness weak to rule and dominate the one who is superior to him in insight and trustworthiness. So, the qualification and suitability for the absolute mastership, the great leadership and general chieftainship in religious as well as worldly affairs is dependant on the knowledge of all the divine laws and infallibility that protects from forgetfulness, mistake and deliberate perpetration. For what we have elucidated, it must have become amply clear for you that these two qualities of the highest degree are found in ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’. Then, turning away from him (a.s.) and referring to the one who does not possess these qualities is against divine nature and the evident principle of intellect. Allah – Mighty and Glorified be He – questions: َ .أفمن يهدي إلى الحق أحق أن يتبع أمن ل يهدي إل أن يهدى فما لكم كيف تحكمو َ َ َ َ ْ ِ َِ ْ َ ّ َ َ ّ َ ُ ّ َ َ َ ّ ّ َ ِ ّ َ ِ ّ َ ُ ْ َ َ َ َ ُ ْ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ ُ ن
“Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?” From what we have explained, it is manifest that the word ‘whom’ in the phrase ‘with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ establishes the leadership of the one who qualifies for this attribute and his appointment as caliph from the side of Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) along with his complete mastership. Nay, it also proves that this leadership is confined to him (a.s.). Moreover, this distinction is proved through ‘ – ’دليل لمthe ِّ philosophical argument in which the effect is proved through its cause – just as it proves his (a.s.) infallibility and purity through ‘ ِّ – ’دليل انan argument in which the cause is proved through its effect. Objection: Its evidence for the eligibility and suitability of the one who possesses these qualifications for imamate is acceptable but not the confinement of leadership to him (a.s.) because of the permissibility of establishing other causes in its place. Answer: The authority of reference ( )المرجعيةfollows knowledge ّ and trustworthiness. Non-admissibility of other attributes instead of these two in the eligibility of the authority of reference is from the evident principles (of intellect). Objection: Yes, reference of authority follows knowledge and trustworthiness and hence, the leadership of the one who is totally devoid of knowledge in religion and trustworthiness is unwise. But, to say that this reference of authority should be vested only with the one who has the knowledge of the Book in its entirety coupled with infallibility that protects from deliberate as well as unintentional sins and errors is not correct. Nay! It is even permissible for the one who has some religious knowledge and a little trustworthiness to lead the one who is infallible and
having the entire knowledge of the Book for some exigency or general welfare. Therefore, those who were a little trustworthy and had some knowledge in religion, were given precedence in Imamate and leadership over Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) by the Ahl-e-Hall-o-Aqd (the Council of the Elite) taking into consideration some exigency or public welfare that they foresaw. Answer: (A) Verily, you have known the eligibility and suitability of a person for being reference of authority in a matter according to his insight and trustworthiness in it. It is not permissible to appoint for a post someone who is not trustworthy in some of its aspects or does not have total insight in it. Appointment of the one who is defective in his insight or lacks trustworthiness is like the appointment of the one who is sometimes untrustworthy and ignorant. Thus, it is evident that the one who lacks (these two qualities) – when compared to the one who exceeds him in both of them – is ignorant and untrustworthy. Leadership implies Caliphate of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in religious as well as worldly affairs and the compulsion of his obedience on the nation in whatever he orders or prohibits. It (Caliphate) is a majestic affair, being an offshoot of his recognition of the divine laws and his trustworthiness in it. Those who had assumed this position (of Caliphate) before Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), definitely did not possess complete knowledge of the divine laws, as they referred to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in most of the problems which they could not solve; a fact documented in the books of both the sects (Shias as well as Sunnis). The second caliph had declared on innumerable occasions, ‘‘ ’لول علي لهلك عمرBut for Ali, Umar َ َ ُ َ َ َ َ ّ َِ َ ْ َ would have been destroyed’. It is famous that he had uttered these words on seventy occasions. Briefly, the lack of their
knowledge vis-à-vis the authority they had assumed is evident and irrefutable. (B) Most certainly, Imamate is the Caliphate of Allah – the High – and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and not a representation of the people and hence, they do not have any choice in delegating it to whomsoever they please. Thus, the authority in its appointment is only Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.). The Ummah does not enjoy any right in the appointment of the Imam or employing the exigency of their view concerning it. (C) Surely, in every era, not more than one person can be the Imam of the people, as acknowledged by the second caliph who said, ‘“ ’ل يجتمع سيفان فى غمد واحدTwo swords cannot be accommodated ٍ ِ َ ٍ َ َ ْ ِ ِ َ ْ َ ُ ِ َْ َ َ in one sheath.” All other people of the Ummah have to be under his obedience and allegiance. Therefore, a person has to be either an Imam or a follower. Now, if the one who has the knowledge of the Book and is infallible from mistakes is subjected to the obedience of a person who is not infallible and a sinner, can there be anything more evil near the intellect than this? No, never. Objection: From what you have explained, it is proved that the phrase ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ is not applicable for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk. But, the descent of the verse in favour of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is not established with a decisive argument because the traditions that have come down in this regard are from one source (,)اخبار آحاد which do not lead to certainty. Then how can they suffice in proving Imamate, a principle of religion, for which nothing short of certainty would suffice? Answer: On the basis of whatever we have explained through decisive arguments, just as this verse is not applicable for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk, it has also been proved that it is
distinctly related to our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny. Explanation: The noble verse provides for a decisive proof that amongst the witnessing believers on his (s.a.w.a.) Prophethood and Messengership, there is somebody who possesses the mentioned quality. Had this not been the case, Allah would not have ordered His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to argue about his (a.s.) testimony against the one who denies his (s.a.w.a.) Messengership from the unbelievers. Moreover, it is essential that this witness should be well-known or introduced with the introduction of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). Had anybody else other than him (a.s.) been introduced, a tradition would have come about him. But, the non-availability of any tradition for anybody else other than him (a.s.) in this incident is a decisive argument for its non-application for others. It is clear for you that to interpret the verse for Abdullah Ibn Salaam and his ilk from the scholars of the people of the Book who accepted Islam is nothing but whimsical interpretation and shows ignorance about the particularities of the verse. For, the distinction of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) with this great endowment manifests, as per the consensus of the Muslims, that he (a.s.) is the most knowledgeable of his nation, after it has been proved by the above verse that some of the witnessing believers for the Messengership of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) possess this characteristic. So, if we state that this verse is in favour of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), the purpose is achieved. But, if someone argues that it is for somebody else, then it would give rise to two possibilities: Either he (a.s.) was not the most learned of his nation or this other person has the knowledge of beyond the knowledge of the Book since he is more knowledgeable than the knower of the Book! Obviously, both these possibilities are false and incorrect. As for the first one, it is evident. As for the second, that too is wrong because the Book is
all comprehensive. There is no other knowledge beyond it, lest Allah – the High – would have distinguished Himself with it. As per our explanation, it can be seen what has been narrated from Ibn Abbas when he said, ‘By Allah! It is none other than Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). Indeed, he (a.s.) is the knower of the explanation as well as the interpretation, the abrogating as well as the abrogated, the permissible as well as the prohibited.’ That is, there was none in the nation who was informed about all these aspects except Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and hence, it is improbable that it was revealed in the glory of anybody else but him (a.s.). Also, it is clear from the traditions that only those who do not follow the Ahle Bait (a.s.) think that the phrase ‘the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book’ is for Abdullah Ibn Salaam. While, the infallible Imams (a.s.) and their followers like Ibn Hanafiyyah, Ibn Abbas, Zaid Ibn Ali, Saeed Ibn Jubair, etc. have cautioned us that this verse is not applicable on Abdullah Ibn Salaam. It is only for our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and there is none amongst them who has claimed it for a third person. When a decisive argument has proved the falsity of its application for Abdullah Ibn Salaam, it is determined that it is our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and there is no scope for a third probability. Note: After the noble verse has proved that the entire ‘knowledge of the Book’ is with our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his (a.s.) progeny, it would have become clear for you that they (a.s.) are more knowledgeable and more superior than the (four) great Prophets (a.s.) because the knowledge of the latter was limited and they did not have the entire ‘knowledge of the Book’.
It has been narrated from Muhammad Ibn Abi Umair from Abdullah Ibn al-Waleed al-Sammaan, who says, Imam Sadeq (a.s.) asked him, “What do the people say about the great Prophets (a.s.) with regards to your master viz. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)?” He says, “I said, ‘They do not give anyone precedence over the great Prophets (a.s.).’” He (a.s.) retorted, “Allah – Blessed and High be He – says about Moosa (a.s.) ً .و كتبنا له فى اللواح منْ كل شىء موعظ َ َ َ ْ َ َ ُ ِ ْ َ ْ َ ِ ِ ُ ّ َ ْ ٍ َ ْ ِ َة “And We ordained for him in the tablets admonition of every thing…” But He did not say ‘every thing’ (i.e. He said ‘of every thing’). About Eesaa (a.s.) He says: ِ ْ ِ َ ْ ُ َِ ْ َ ْ ِ ّ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َ َ ّ َ ِ َ .و لبين لكم بعض الذى تختلفون فيه ُ “…and that I may make clear to you part of what you differ in; …” But for your master viz. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) He says, .ل ك ٰفى بال شهيدا بينى و بينكم و منْ عنده علم الكتاب ِ َِ ْ ُ ِْ ُ َ ْ ِ َ َ ْ ُ َْ َ َ ْ ِْ َ ً ْ ِ َ ِ ِ َ ْق ُ “…Say: Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.” And He – Mighty and Majestic be He – says, ٍ .و ل رطب و ل يابس ال فيْ كتاب مبي َ َ َ ْ ٍ َ َ َ ْ ِ ٍ ِ ّ ِ ِ َ ٍ ُ ِ ْن “…nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.”
And the knowledge of this Book is with him (a.s.).” Then indeed, our master Imam al-Sadeq (a.s.) taught the narrator the method of derivation of what he (a.s.) has explained from the Majestic Quran. It is clear from this that the knowledge of each of the great Prophets (a.s.) is according to what his (a.s.) Book contained and that the Majestic Quran contains everything; it is the chief of the Heavenly Books just as our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) is the chief of the Prophets (a.s.).
 Al-Khesaal, p. 541, The Chapter of Forty; Sawaab al-A’maal, Tr. No. 300; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 2, p. 153, Chapter ‘One who memorizes forty traditions.’
 Surah Ra’d (13): Verse 43.  Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 299; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 214 and 216.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 301.  al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 1, p. 232.  Al-Saafi, vol. 3, p. 77 narrating from al-Majaalis.  Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 214; Al-Saafi, vol. 3, p. 77 with a little variation.  Tafseer al-Qummi, vol.1, p. 367  Referring to the verse of Surah Naml (27) where Asif Ibn Barkhiya is referred to as the one who has the knowledge from the Book – Translator.  Tafseer al-Qummi, vol.1, p. 367.
 Tafseer al-Qummi, vol.1, p. 367.  Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 304 narrating from Ibn Maghaazeli, p. 314.  Surah Najm (63): Verse 28.  Surah Nahl (16): Verses 43-44.  Surah Shua’ra (26): Verse 197.  Surah Ahqaaf (46): Verse 10.  Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 240-242; Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 210-212; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 38-43; al-Saafi, vol. 2, p. 137.  It was revealed pre-migration – Translator.  Surah Shoaraa (26): Verse 224.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 182.  Surah Shoaraa (26): Verses 192-194.  Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 412; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 73; Tafseer al-Qummi, p. 474.  Refer Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 9, p. 81.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 9, p. 81.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 9, p. 84.
 It should be borne in mind that the Holy Quran is not a miracle only from the aspect of eloquence and literature and is not confined only to the Arabs. Rather, it is a miracle with regards to its concepts and teachings which will remain unparalleled and unmatched for the whole mankind till the Day of Judgment. – Translator.  Surah Ra’d (13): Verse 43.  Objection: The addition has come in the meaning of ‘from’ ( )منjust as it comes in the meaning of ‘for’ ( )اللمand ‘in’ (.)في Probably, the addition is in the meaning of ‘from’ ( )منand its usage in this instance is not but in the meaning of denoting a part of the whole (.)تبعيض Answer: (1) The addition comes in the meaning of ‘from’ only when it is from the genus of the added one ( )مضافlike ‘the ring of silver’ and ‘the cloth of cotton’. While, in this case, ‘the Book’ is not from the genus of ‘knowledge’ as is apparent. (2) Whatever has come in the meaning of ‘from’ has come only for explanation and not to denote a part of the whole. (3) The research – as we have explained the discussion in its place – that the addition only implies specification, it is always in the meaning of ‘for’ ( )اللمonly. It is correct to use ‘from’ for explanation in place of both ‘from’ and ‘for’ in some instances; not that the addition comes in its meaning. (4) The appearance of the addition in generalization in such an instance is clear and mere probability of its opposite is irreproachable. So, it is apparent that the usage of denoting part
of the whole is not due to imposition, as is imagined. It is only signifies the particularization of the instance.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 273.  Refer to Qaamoos under the root of .قتلHe was Muqaatel Ibn Sulaimaan, who is regarded as an unreliable interpreter.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 273.  Ibn Abbas narrates, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) say, “I, Ali, Hasan, Husain and nine of Husain’s descendants are pure and infallible.”’ – Yanaabee al-Mawaddah, p. 425, published at Istanbul.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 301.  Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 6, p. 301.  That is, the second and the third levels, from the three levels that we have mentioned in the beginning of the discussion and which is necessary to talk about it.  Surah Taubah (9): Verse 119.  Surah Yunus (10): Verse 35.  Al-Ghadeer, vol. 6, p. 327; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah of Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, vol. 12, p. 205.  Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 357; the phrase ‘the permissible as well as the prohibited’ is not found in it.
 Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 357-358; Tafseer al-Burhaan, vol. 2, p. 303.  Surah A’raaf (7): Verse 145.  Surah Zukhruf (43): Verse 63.  Surah Ra’d (13): Verse 43.  Surah An’aam (6): Verse 59.  al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 2, p. 140. &&&&&&&&&&&&
In the Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful “…Say: Allah is sufficient as a Witness between me and you and whoever has knowledge of the Book.” Surah Ra’d (13): Verse 43. Who in the Quranic verse is referred to as ‘whoever has knowledge of the Book’? What does the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have to say about this verse? What does the reputed Sunni jurist, Ibn al-Maghaazeli al-Shaafei have to say about it? What is the viewpoint of Arabic literature?
Read our comprehensive analysis of the first Quranic verse in the 40-part series on the Quran and the virtues of Ahle Bait (a.s.) by clicking below: http://www.seratonline.com/2009/08/10/1658/first-verse/ www.seratonline.com The Path of Ahle Bait (a.s.)
IMAM ALI (A.S
Imam Ali (A.S.), the son of Abi Talib, was born on the 13th of Rajab (Lunar Calendar) 23 years prior to the prophet’s immigration to Yathrib, inside the holy Ka`aba in holy Mecca. His mother was Fatima bint Asad of the Hashimi family. He enjoyed martyrdom on the 21st of the month of Ramadhan in the mosque of Kufa (Iraq) and was .buried in holy Najaf, in the year 40 of Hijra
The Mosque .Allah’s Sacred House
It is the first place set up for the worship of Allah in the holy city of Mecca. People from many far places make their
journeys towards it to pray to Allah and seek His blessing. ?Has anyone ever heard of a child born in this sacred House
this is Allah’s grace, He gives it to whom He ... pleases, and Allah is Ample - giving [Maida: 54]
Yes, it was Allah’s grace bestowed on one born in His .Sacred House
The Favoured Child
Fatima, the daughter of Asad ibn Abdi Munaf, was a righteous woman who believed in Allah. She was the wife of Abi Talib, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.). She was the only woman who gave birth to her baby at such a Sacred House of Allah. She gave birth to her son in the holy mosque set up by Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) many ,thousands of years ago. The holy Quran says
We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismael, saying: Purify And My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion, and for those who bow down, and for those who prostrate. [The Cow: 125]
The holy mosque of Ka’aba is the most sacred place in the world. It was a clear Divine sign of Allah’s will for a child to be born in the Holy House. A child was, indeed, born in that place. The parents were very happy at his birth. They called him Ali. The name signifies highness and sublime office in conformity with the sacred place where .this unique childbirth took place
At the very first moment of his birth, his mother Fatima bint Asad realized his unique status. Similarly, her relatives and family members predicated such a high office. He was a healthy, quiet, active, and dynamic baby. His mother sometimes used to call him “Hayder,” (this name is attributed to a lion). He grew up as brave as a lion, nothing could frighten him. He was polite and loving. He treated his parents kindly and was ready to help whoever needed some .help. Everyone loved him for his good qualities It was the Divine will to expose one of the Muslim heroes. Since his early childhood, he grew up in the house .(.of the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H The story of his childhood caused all people to wonder: He was born in the most sacred house of and was raised by .the best of Allah’s creatures: Muhammad son of Abdillah In those days, the people of Mecca worshipped idols and bowed to the stone and wooden objects which could do them neither good nor harm. They used to drink wines and gamble. Since childhood, Ali never turned to those idols nor bowed to them. He never took to bad deeds since he was in the company of the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) who taught him every good quality. He would listen to him, .comprehend his words, and act accordingly Ali was not yet 10 years old when Allah the Almighty chose Muhammad to delwier the Divine mission of Islam. Ali was the first male to believe in his prophethood and to .support him in his struggle
The bounties of Allah bestowed on him since his birth in the Sacred House, then his stay at the Propht’s house, then his being a pioneer in believing in the religion of Islam. He was chosen for a special role: to become one of Allah’s .signs
Surely Allah has chosen him in preference over you, and He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and in physique, and Allah grants His kingdom to whomsoever He pleases, and Allah is Ample- giving, Knowing.
Ali (A.S.) was of a medium height, rather stout, full of energy and activity that was to the benefit of Islam, and in support of the Messenger of Allah. Some idolaters used to slander the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) who tried to avoid them, while Ali was always ready to confront them. He was ready .to punish whoever tried to hurt the Prophet
And Warn Your Nearest Kin
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was ordered by Allah to warn his relatives and to invite them to Islam. He, therefore, invited them to his house and said to them, “Allah has sent me to you to convey to you His message. You should give up the worship of idols. You should worship Allah the One God, the Lord of the World. Who among you supports me in ”?my mission and thus be my minster and successor
No one answered him except Ali (A.S.) who was then a teenager. He stood up and said, “I do believe in your ”!message, and I do support you, O Messenger of Allah It became common knowledge that Ali would be his minister and successor. The event spread among all people and became another of Allah’s favours bestowed on Ali .(.(A.S
And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is Affectionate to the servants. [The Cow: 207]
When the Messenger of Allah decided to immigrate from Mecca to Yathrib (Al-Medina Al-Munawrah) at the order of Allah, he (P.B.U.H.) informed Ali (A.S.) of his intention. It was a dangerous night; the armed Qurayshis surrounded the Prophet’s house and decided to assassinate him at dawn. Ali slept in the Prophet’s bed and was not afraid of exposing himself to the dangerous attack. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) managed to leave the house safely. The previously quoted Quranic verse refers to this great sacrifice of Ali for the sake .of Allah. It was again a Divine favour bestowed on him
And We made of them Imams to guide by Our command when they were patient, and they were certain of Our communications. [Al-Sajda: 24]
At the order of Allah the Almighty, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) performed the marriage of his daughter Fatima
to Ali who was the most pious of all, next only to the .Messenger of Allah Ali was endowed with a sound knowledge and great talents. Fatima was most pious and obedient to Allah. Both were of unique example that should be followed. Through marriage, they gave birth to the purified Imams whose names and qualities were revealed to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). This is how Allah rewards His righteous servants. Allah the Almighty gave Ibrahim the good news of .a son and a grandson, although Ibrahim was then very old
Then We helped those who believed against their enemy, and they became the uppermost. [Al-Saff:14]
Following the Prophet’s immigration to Yathrib (AlMedina Al-Munawara), the infidels waged wars against the Muslims, and many battles took place. Some Muslims were afraid of fighting those battles, and some would flee the battlefield at the crucial moments. Only Ali was always ready to help. He created fear in the heart of the enemy. His bravery and might helped achieve victory for the Muslims in many battles and helped in the spread of Islam. He managed to defeat the enemies one after the other. For instance, in the battle of the Trench (or Al-Ahzab), Amro ibn Widd, the most brave of the Qurayshis, managed to cross the Trench that the Muslims had dug round the city to halt the enemy’s advance. He challenged the Muslims and called them to fight him. No one dared come out to fight him except Ali. It was a crucial moment. The infidels’ greatest goal was to confront and destroy the Muslims. The enemy surrounded them from all sides. Ali came forward and faced Amr. With
one stroke of his sword, he killed him and achieved a great victory for the Muslims and a great defeat for the infidels. Similarly, during the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khaibar, and Hunain, Ali was always nearby to achieve victory, .destroying the enemy of Islam Regarding Ali’s role in the battle of the Trench, the Prophet used to say, “Ali’s stroke in that battle was better ”.than the worship of all mankind
The hypocrites in Al-Medina were more dangerous than the enemy: They lived among the Muslims and expressed belief in their tongues. But they secretly conspired against .the Muslims. They even spied for the enemy During the battle of Tabuk, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) put Ali in charge of Al-Medina to protect it againts the plots of .the hypocrites The hypocrites, who were vexed by the Prophet’s decision, spread the rumour that the Prophet was displeased with Ali and no longer desired his presence near him in the .battles Ali heard the rumour and felt very sad. He followed the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) who was few miles away and expressed his wish to accompany him. He also informed him of the hypocrites’s rumour. The Prophet said to him, “O Ali! Do not listen to such rumours. Are you not pleased to be to me
as Haroun was to Musa when he appointed him in his place? ”.You are to me as was Haroun to Musa Ali felt at ease when he heard the Prophet’s words, and people perceived the high status of Imam Ali as a .representative of the Messenger of Allah and his successor
The Christian Delegation
On the 24 of Dhil-Hijja (Lunar calendar), the 10th year of Hijra, a Christian delegation of 60 prominent bishops and priests came to Al-Medina to challenge the Prophet .(P.B.U.H.) and to put his prophethood to test They entered the Prophet’s Mosque. Fourteen of them were of high office, dressed in splendid attire, carrying their crosses. They tolled their bells and performed their prayers. The Muslims were angry but the Prophet calmed them and said, “Leave them now, we shall have a talk with them ”.later The Prophet invited them to embrace Islam. He ordered them to give up the worship of the cross, not to eat pork, and to consider Jesus as a Prophet, not as a deity. When they asked him who the father of Jesus was, he recited to them :this Quranic verse
Surely the likeness of Isa (Jesus) is with Allah as the likeness of Adam: He created him from dust then said to him: Be! and he was. This is the truth form your Lord, so do not be (one) of those who dispute (about it). [Al-Imran: 59]
But the Christian delegation insisted on calling Jesus a deity, so the Prophet was ordered by Allah to challenge them, through prayer, to invoke a curse on the liars. The Quranic verse 61, chapter Al-Imran, was then revealed. The delegation asked for time to discuss the matter. When they were alone, their chief said, “If Muhammad comes with the noble persons of his tribe, then he is not a Prophet, and we can challenge him. If he comes with his nearest and dearest, then we had better not challenge him because he is a real Prophet; otherwise, if we challenge him, nothing will remain ”.from Christianity
Holy Quran says
whoever disputes with you in this matter after But what has come to you of the knowledge, say, “Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and our souls (nearest and dearest) and your souls (nearest and dearest), then let us humbly pray and so lay the curse of Allah on the liars.
The next morning, while the Christians were waiting, they were stunned to see the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) leading his household. He came carrying Al-Hussain and holding AlHasan’s hand (his grandsons). Fatima (daughter, mother, and wife) followed her father the Prophet, and her husband Ali followed her, carrying the banner of Islam. Ali was the .(.soul nearest and dearest to the Prophet (P.B.U.H
The members of the delegation were afraid of praying, and they were ready to pay the Jizia (non-Muslims’ tax) and thus have the right to keep their own beliefs. They promised .not to conspire against the Muslims Through that Quranic verse (Al-Imran: 61), all Muslims and non-Muslims became aware of Ali’s and his family’s sublime office. His two sons according to the book of Allah (Al-Imran: 61) are the sons of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), and Ali in this very verse is the Prophet’s soul. Such a fact is the greatest favour of Allah bestowed on Ali (A.S.) whom Allah .the Almighty designated for a sublime role
And when We made the House a pilgrimage for people and a (place of) security, and (said): Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined to Ibrahim and Ismael saying: Purify My House for those who go round it and for those who abide in it and for those who bow and prostrate. [The Cow: 125]
Islam achieved a complete victory when holy Mecca was invaded in the 8th year of Hijrah. The holy Prophet ordered Ali to climb on his shoulder and remove all the idols that were placed on its rooftop. All the idols were thrown down and crushed into pieces. It was not an easy task to break down the idols which the Arab tribes worshipped. But Ali was not afraid of breaking all of them. Just as he had destroyed their brave men with his sword, he destroyed the idols they used to worship. It was another favour of Allah .bestowed on him to accomplish such a task
One day the Messenger of Allah said to him, “O Ali! No one knows you more than I do, and no one knows me more ”.than you do The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was quite aware of Ali’s sublime status and his important future role as a truthful successor and protector of Islam and the Book of Allah. He would do his best to teach the Muslims the Holy Quran and its interpretation. He would be the head of the believers of the Muslim community. The infallible Imams would be from his progeny. He (P.B.U.H.) was sure that Islamic science and knowledge would spread through Ali and his successors. He used to say, “Ali is always with the Truth, and the Truth is always with Ali. Ali is the best listener who ”.comprehends what he hears The Prophet was sure of Ali’s sublime role because Allah the Almighty had informed him of it, hence he became his best teacher. He kept him near him to teach him all that he knew. He taught him the Quranic sciences and ordered him to keep a record of those sciences in a book. Ali had that book, a precious treasure kept by his sons and .(grandsons, the blessed Imams (peace be upon them all
Apostle! Deliver that which has been revealed to O you from your Lord; and if you do not, then you have not delivered His message (at all), and Allah will protecl you from the people.
It became necessary for the Messenger of Allah, to inform the people of Ali’s sublime office. When the above mentioned verse was revealed to him, he was on his way back from his last pilgrimage to holy Mecca in the 10th year of Hijrah. He was then accompanied by more than 120,000 .pilgrims from different Islamic places Although he (P.B.U.H.) performed his mission during the period of 23 years, this Quranic verse (Al-Maidah: 67) refers in particular to a certain message; it was: to appoint his successor, and that it equalled all his efforts in calling people to Islam during all those long years in holy Mecca and Medina. Hence, he immediately stopped the caravans of pilgrims at a place a few miles away from Mecca. He then ordered those who were ahead to come back to the place of gathering which is known as “Ghadir [swamp] Khum”, and those who were behind to join the others. A pulpit with a sunshade was set up for him. He got up the pulpit and addressed the attendants. He said, in his long and important sermon, “Am I not the master of every believer?” They all said, “Yes, your are.” He then took Ali’s hand and raised it up for all to see Ali and declared him as his successor in authority. He said, “To whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master. O Lord! Befriend Ali’s friends, and be the enemy of his enemies. O Lord! Help whoever helps him, and defeat whoever confronts him. O Lord! Keep the truth ”.at his side wherever he turns All the believers then came and congratulated Ali (A.S.). The first to do so was Umar ibn Al-Khatab who said to Ali, “Rejoice, O son of Abi Talib! You have become my master (guardian) and the master of every believing man and ”.woman
It was a major event witnessed by tens of thousands of pilgrims who performed the Hajj that year. In fact, Ali (A.S.) was one of Allah’s clear signs, some of Allah’s treasure spared for the sake of Islam, and for the benefit of Muslims. He comes next to the Messenger of Allah. The .infallible Imams are chosen from his and Fatima’s offspring There are many Quranic verses that refer to those who are worthy of Islamic leadership. Some of them refer to the pioneers who embraced Islam, and surely Ali (A.S.) was the first. Other verses refer to those who struggle bravely and who do not flee the battle field; those who love to struggle for the sake of Allah more than they love their wives, children, and wealth. Everyone knew that Ali was at the head of such opponents of the enemies of Allah. He was the most pious, the most brave and the nearest to the Messenger of Allah. They were all sure that he was qualified for the .(.Muslims’ leadership after the Propfet (P.B.U.H The Messenger of Allah informed all the Muslims of Ali’s sublime qualities and status, so that nobody would :doubt it. The Holy Quran says
...such is the grace of Allah; He gives it to whomsoever He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.
In fact, the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) and Ali (A.S.) are the greatest bounties bestowed by Allah on His .creatures
Had people been aware of such bounties, they would have enjoyed Allah’s full bounties and blessings, and He would have helped them to enjoy every kind of knowledge ,and true civilization. The Holy Quran says
Had they kept to the (right) path, We would have certainly given them to drink of abundant water.
The Muslims today are in a dire need for such a sublime example in order to follow his footsteps and act accordingly. Ali was a pioneer in accepting Islam. Prejudice and fanatism of the era of ignorance did not tarnish him. He wholeheartedly loved Islam and struggled day and night for its sake. He suffered from the infidels’ harms and was ready to die in the Prophet’s bed in order to save the Messenger of Allah from the infidels’ plot. He particpated in all the Muslim battles and was the most brave. He feared no human being and was firm in his belief in the Almighty, the One and only Lord of the World. He used to say, “If the unseen is uncovered to me, my certain belief (in Allah) will not ”.(increase (it is quite perfect Being such a unique figure in faith and bravery, Imam Ali raised his children Al-Hasan, Al-Hussain, and Zainab, besides his companions: Malik Al-Ashtar and Maytham AlTammar, to be embodiments of his school of thought, the most perfect school whose headmaster was born in the Sacred House of Allah and who enjoyed martyrdom in the sanctuary of a mosque while he was performing his prayers .at the early dawn
His school is the school of struggle in words and in deeds for the sake of the truth and justice, for the sake of Islam, and for the sake of Allah. It is the school of the .winners in this life and in the hereafter Did the murderer Abdul Rahman ibn Maljim Al-Muradi, the Kharijite, think that he had put an end to Imam Ali’s life when he struck him with his poisonous sword on 19th of ?Ramadhan, 40th year of Hijrh Surely not! The great ones live through their ideas and conduct, though their bodies perish. Imam Ali is still amid us in his teachings and in his faith. It is our responsibility to follow his example. Surely we are to be called to account on .the Day of Jugement
Holy Quran says
stop them, for they shall be questioned. And [Saffat: 24]
reader will come across words such as .Abu, Aba and Abi .Abdullah/ Abdallah/ Abdillah
.A .1 .2
The change of the vowel is related to the grammatic rule .regarding subjective or objective noun cases and A.S .B The letters stand for words: Peace be upon him and .Alaihi/Alaiha/ Alaihum Al-Salam: Peace on him/ her/ them .Bint” means: daughter of; “ibn” means: son of “ .C
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