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In the name of All°h, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Topic of Discussion: Topic of Discussion: Topic of Discussion: Topic of Discussion: Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th # Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th # Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th # Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th #5 55 5 [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion #5 55 5 ] ]] ]
Lectures on Akhl°q given by His Eminence
Ayatull°h al-`U®m° al-Ø°jj ash-Shaykh N°•ir Mak°rim ash-Sh¢r°z¢ (may All°h protect him)
Translated by Saleem Bhimji – www.al-mubin.org – email@example.com
)) Ýöb›Ï òÈî“Ûa@ ((
Topic: Greatness of the Shi`a
Our ethical discussion today is a continuation of the topic on the Greatness of the Sh¢`a (··, ¸.·).
The late `All°mah Majlis¢ (may All°h shower him with mercy) has presented a very detailed discussion in
relation to both the Greatness of the Sh¢`a (··, ¸.·) and the Characteristics of the Sh¢`a (··, ..) and he
narrates many a¶°d¢th in regards to these two issues.
We feel it is very important that all of us read these a¶°d¢th and know for ourselves - and then convey to
others (the meaning of these a¶°d¢th) so that those people who feel proud just because they have the title of
Sh¢`a attached to them will know that to be a follower of the teachings of the Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be upon all
of them) (and to be called a Sh¢`a) is not an easy task.
In our discussion today, we narrate one Øad¢th which even though does not speak about the Greatness of the
Sh¢`a directly, however it does address the responsibility that the true Sh¢`a must fulfill.
This Øad¢th from Im°m Ja`far ibn Mu¶ammad as-Æ°diq (prayers be upon him) is one in which only a few
words, he addressed Ab£ Ba•¢r in regards to the character of the Sh¢`a.
Text of Øad¢th:
¸· ¸ `- - ¸· .¸,· ' · ·, . : · .¯ ' · ' · ) ·`,· ' `··` :( · ·,· ¸-· ' . . ... · . ' `-
.¯¯· ' · · ¯ · · . : . · · . `, ¸ : · `, . `. ` = . ' · · ' · . . . ' . · ) · .., ' ·· (
: ¸.· ...·, ' · ·` - . : .· : · ·· `.·- ...
Explanatory Translation: Explanatory Translation: Explanatory Translation: Explanatory Translation: It has been narrated from Mu¶ammad ibn Ism°`¢l from his father that he said, “I
was with Ab¢ `Abdill°h (Ja`far ibn Mu¶ammad as-Æ°diq, prayers be upon him) when Ab£ Ba•¢r entered into
our company. He was panting and breathing heavily when the Im°m turned towards him and asked him to
speak about what was troubling him. Ab£ Ba•ir said that old age had taken over him and was finding it very
hard to breathe and that he was on the verge of leaving this world however worse than all of this, he was
worried what his state would be after death and where he would end up. The Im°m said to him, ‘Why are
you speaking like this when you have the honour of being classified as a Sh¢`a?’ At this point, the Im°m went
on to list the greatness and reasons why one who is a Sh¢`a should be proud and every time the Im°m
mentioned a point, he said to Ab£ Ba•ir, “Does this not bring pleasure to you (since you possess this
characteristic)?” Ab£ Ba•¢r would reply to the Im°m that, “Of course, may I have sacrificed for you, please
Continuing on, the Im°m (prayers be upon him) then said, “O’ Ab° Ba•ir! Surely All°h has spoken about
you, our Sh¢`a in the Qur˜°n when He said, “ ““ “For over My servants no authority shalt thou (Sha¢ß°n For over My servants no authority shalt thou (Sha¢ß°n For over My servants no authority shalt thou (Sha¢ß°n For over My servants no authority shalt thou (Sha¢ß°n) have ) have ) have ) have” ”” ”
and verily I swear that All°h has not intended any other servants of His in this verse except the A’immah and
their Sh¢`a (followers).”
In relation to Sha¢ß°n, there are many questions that the youth have recently brought up, and thus it is
necessary to review these queries.
Question Question Question Question 1 11 1: :: : Why did All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) create this filthy, despicable creature known as
Sha¢ß°n since he is able to whisper evil thoughts to us and thus, takes us away from the path of happiness
whereas we were created to traverse the path of happiness and success?
Answer Answer Answer Answer 1 11 1: :: : All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) did not create Sha¢ß°n as Sha¢ß°n - rather, He created him
pure and there was even a time when he was classified amongst the Angels and thus, was not a creation that
was made to influence others. Rather, he was a righteous creature and was amongst the pious, spiritually
close worshippers in the presence of All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him).
However, after choosing the wrong path, he lost his spiritual direction and through his pride and seeing
himself as greater (that ™dam) and through his envy and jealousy, ended up following his low desires.
Thus, he sought status and greatness (over ™dam) and fell from his rank.
Therefore, the original cause for the spiritual fall of Sha¢ß°n was due to him following his low desires. Even
today, if a person does not follow his low desires (in this life), then there is no way that Sha¢ß°n can influence
In relation to Sha¢ß°n, the Qur˜°n mentions that:
' . ¸ ' ` ´ ¯ . · ¸ ' ´ · ¸
“But he became conceited and developed pride in himself and thus, he was one of the disbelievers.”
And because of this, All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) lowered him to the status that he currently has
and thus, with this said, Sha¢ß°n was not always Sha¢ß°n as we know him to be.
S£rah al-Øajr, Verse 42
Bi¶°r al-Anw°r, Volume 65, Page 51
S£rah al-Baqarah, Verse 34
Retort to Question Retort to Question Retort to Question Retort to Question 1 11 1: :: : If Shaiß°n was a part of the group of Angels - and as we know that Angels do not have
the ability to make decisions on their own and thus, are all under the command of All°h (Glory and
Greatness be to Him) - then how did he disobey the orders and turn away from the commands of All°h
(Glory and Greatness be to Him)?
Answer: Answer: Answer: Answer: Sha¢ß°n was not an Angel that he did not have the power to make his own decisions, rather, he was
of the Jinn.
Question Question Question Question 2 22 2: :: : As it is commonly known, we are all created for happiness and prosperity:
· - `. ' - `¸ ' . ` ¸ . , `· ` ` .
“I (All°h) did not create the Jinn and Mankind except that they would (all) worship Me.”
With this said, why was it necessary to have a creation such as Sha¢ß°n that would irritate people and that too
a creation that can not be seen and thus, it is not possible to defend ourselves from him? This (in our
opinion) goes against the actual purpose of the creation of mankind.
Answer Answer Answer Answer 2 22 2: :: : The Qur˜°n states that Sha¢ß°n can not influence anyone through his own accord as the doors to the
heart of each person are closed to Sha¢ß°n. Thus, it is the person himself who opens the door of his heart to
Sha¢ß°n. In reality, there is not a single despicable creation that can in any way influence either the country
that a person lives in nor the soul of a person:
` ` = ` `· · ¸ ' ¸ . . `· ' ¸ `· `. · `· ` ¯ ..
“His authority (that of Sha¢ß°n) is over those only who take him as patron (Wal¢) and who join partners with
That person who sets up Sha¢ß°n as a partner to All°h and follows him (Sha¢ß°n) will be called a Sha¢ß°n on
the day of Judgment!
· ¯ . `¸ · `, ´ `. · `¸ ` = . . ' · . · `. ` ´ `. · ' - ` ` `. · · `·. . ¸ `·. ' . ` ´ `.
“I (Sha¢ß°n) had no authority over you except that I called and invited you and you listened to me: therefore,
do nor reproach or blame me, but rather, blame your own souls.”
It is worthy to note that Sha¢ß°n himself is one of the means or instruments towards perfection for the human
being that is striving to become a perfect or complete person since struggling and fighting with him (Sha¢ß°n)
would lead to strengthening ones’ own inner faith.
In his book the Philosophy of History, one of the well known writers of the West named Toinby writes that,
“I have studied all of the nations of the world and did not find a single civilization except that at one time or
another, they were put face to face with a powerful foreign enemy and in order to defend themselves, they
gathered all the people together and in the end, were victorious.”
S£rah al-Na¶l, Verse 10
S£rah al-Nahl, Verse 100
S£rah Ibr°h¢m, Verse 22
Thus, there is a wisdom in why Sha¢ß°n exists just as if there was no lower desires in a human being, then the
mystics (`Uraf°) would not become as strong as they are in their closeness to All°h (Glory and Greatness be to
The Qur˜°n mentions that:
. · · . ¸`, : · `, . `. ` = .
“Certainly Sha¢ß°n has no control or authority over My true servants.”
The meaning of this verse is not that Sha¢ß°n has no control over the Sh¢`a, rather, All°h (Glory and Greatness
be to Him) is telling us that He is the defender and protector of those people that come towards Him and
This is truly a grand station and it is one of the reasons that those who are true Sh¢`a should have pride that
they are not under the influence of Sha¢ß°n.
However the meaning of this verse is that those people who are under the influence of Sha¢ß°n are not true
Sh¢`a, and therefore this verse actually increases our responsibility as followers of the Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be
upon all of them).
The Sh¢`a are not people who are Ma`•£m (sinless) and thus, it is possible that Sha¢ß°n can go after them
however the Qur˜°n tells us that:
. ' ¸ ' ` . · · ` `. `. ~ · ¸ ' ` `, = . ¯ ` · , · `· `. `· ` . ` .
“When a thought of evil from Sha¢ß°n assaults those people that have consciousness of All°h, then they bring
All°h to remembrance, and thus they can see straight (the true path) once again!”
When those people that have tawq° are faced with the evil whispers of Sha¢ß°n and rush towards the
remembrance of All°h (they bring to memory the rewards and punishments that All°h has mentioned) then
in His remembrance, they once again open their eyes to the realities around them.
It is possible that Sha¢ß°n can come towards a Sh¢`a however he can not control one who is a Sh¢`a and thus,
the responsibility of those who are followers of the Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be upon all of them) is very heavy.
Because of this, the powers of Sha¢ß°n can have no influence on the individual, society, printed-press, market
place and in the temporal and spiritual life of the person and if this happens (Sha¢ß°n takes over) then this is a
sign that the person is not a true Sh¢`a.
It is our prayer that All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) gives us the success to have the pride of being
classified as one of those who is a true Sh¢`a.
…and all praise belongs to All°h, Lord of the Worlds, only the mistakes are mine. (Tr.)
S£rah al-A`r°f, Verse 201