Am I a Shia of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)?
By: Vahid Majd
To appear in the Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies, Spring 2009.

Among people who express their love and respect for the household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) 1, there are many who introduce themselves as their Shia (follower) without being aware of the accountability and the risk of such a big claim. Being a Shia of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and his Ahl al-Bait 2 (PBUT) is certainly an ultimate goal for every believer as Allah has commanded the believers of all generations to follow their examples. However, He also required the believers to be truthful in their claims.

The acronym “PBUH&HF” refers to phrase “peace be upon him and his family.” 2 Ahl al-Bait means People of the House. However, the Ahl al-Bait of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) as specifically defined by him and believed by the Shia, refers only to the divinely selected individuals of his house: his daughter (Lady Fatima (PBUH)) and the twelve divinely appointed leaders (Imams) after him. The twelve Imams include the Prophet’s son-in-law and cousin, Imam Ali (PBUH), Imam Ali’s two sons, Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husain, as well as nine descendants of Imam al-Husain (PBUT), ending with the master of our time, Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH), may Allah hasten his relief.

Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press)

The questions that may arise in this issue are as follow: When is one allowed to claim this title? What are its requirements and its responsibilities? What is the destiny of the people who love the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and his Ahl al-Bait, and acknowledge their authority and guardianship (al-Walaya), but fall short in following them in practical sense? Are such people considered believers? If so, will they be punished for their sins? Will they receive the intercession of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)? If so, when will they receive their intercession? There is an invaluable Hadith 1 from Imam Hasan alAskari (PBUH), the eleventh Imam of the Ahl al-Bait of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), answering all these questions. This Hadith also includes eleven Hadith, in which the Imam (PBUH) quotes some of his ancestors in order, namely, the Prophet (PBUH&HF), Lady Fatima (PBUH), and the first nine Imams (PBUT), on this subject. 2

A Hadith is a saying or tradition of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) or his Ahl al-Bait (PBUT). The Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is an implicit saying of Allah induced in his heart. In addition, whatever a divinely appointed Imam says is a Hadith, which has been either implicitly transferred to his heart through the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and the chain of the previous Imams (PBUT) or has been explicitly heard by him through the same chain traced back to the Prophet (PBUH&HF). 2 Normally, an Imam would give the divine teaching without every time reminding that it was narrated from his forefathers from the holy Prophet (PBUH&HF). However, it was a common practice among the Imams that when one of their forefathers had an explicit saying concerning an issue, they would usually mention that specific Imam’s name, and narrate it as explicitly having been spoken by him. In this manner, beside remembering that Imam and showing their respect to him, they wanted to reaffirm the previously recorded narrations and to remind people about what

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Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press)

The entire text of this Hadith is originally found in a Tafsir 1 attributed to Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (PBUH), under a section titled, “On the meaning of Shia”, pp. 306320. It is also related in Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 65, pp. 154163, Hadith 11. However, many of the sayings inside this Hadith can also be found independently in other wellknown books of Hadith attributed to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and other Imams (PBUT). What follows is the English translation of this precious Hadith along with some explanatory notes and supplementary information from the holy Quran and the sayings of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) in the footnotes.

had been previously concluded as Allah’s decree through their (fore)fathers’ words. 1 The Tafsir of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (PBUH) is the collection of his interpretations concerning very limited parts of the verses of the holy Quran as compiled by two of his students who had a chance to stay in his residence for some years while he was under housearrest. According to Ibn Shahr Ashub, this Tafsir originally was comprised of the interpretation of the entire Quran in 120 volumes, but only a small portion of it survived, which includes the interpretation of the first two chapters of the holy Quran.

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recognizes the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and all the twelve Imams (PBUT) as the only medium of approach towards Allah. As stressed at the end of this tradition and in many other well-established traditions. 47:34. 1 Hence. compete for its levels!” 1 It is a well-known belief in Islam as emphasized by many verses of the holy Quran and explained in detail by the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and the divinely-appointed Imams (PBUT) that the final destiny of a person who dies as a believer in the sight of Allah. 4:116. as he admits other methods. 2:217. Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) said. 3:91. 5:72. the holy Quran. “Be watchful of (your duties toward) Allah. a believer is one who believes in Allah. O Shia! Certainly. a disbeliever (Kafir) in what Allah commanded. and approaches towards Him.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) The Hadith Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (PBUH) narrated: ( 1 ) The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said. According to the Quran and the traditions. and the exclusive source of divine knowledge for getting all His instructions in terms of beliefs and practices. A person who does not recognize any one of these facts is either: not guided (Dhaal). you will not miss Paradise even if your ugly deeds slow you down in reaching it. a believer will be purified from his sins either by the calamities that befall him in this world. 24:39. only disbelievers and polytheists will remain in Hell forever and will never be permitted to enter Paradise. As we will see in this Hadith later. 4:140. for instance. 2:161-162. so that he could be admitted to Paradise after a thorough purification. His unique path. ideas. is Paradise irrespective of the sins he has committed during his life-time. and/or by possibly long but limited punishments in the Hereafter. does not associate any one with Him in obedience of Him. Concerning the fate of the disbelievers and polytheists see. and/or a polytheist (Mushrik) in the obedience of Allah. 7:40. or by the severity of his death. “The lowest limit of polytheism is that one originates an opinion (in the domain of religion) and then loves and hates 4 of 32 .

vol. while. Moreover. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. 3. he serves the Satan. introduces Himself to him and he accepts obedience to Him. in reality. The least thing that categorizes a servant as a Dhaal (unguided) is that he does not know the proof of Allah. “The lowest limit of the recognition of the Imam is to believe that he is the peer of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) without the degree of prophethood and he is his inheritor. and after him. vol. Hadith 16). blessed in His (name) and exalted is His (remembrance). whom Allah has commanded to his obedience and made accepting his guardianship (Walaya) obligatory” (al-Kafi. He thinks he serves what Allah has ordered. then his son Ali. Hadith 1). or unguided (Dhaal)?” The Imam (PBUH) replied. “What are the least specifications by which a servant is categorized as a believer. return every (religious) issue to him and accept his words. but also requires to know and to acknowledge 5 of 32 . al-Hasan. and (to believe that one should) submit to him in all matters. and He introduces His prophet to him and he accepts obedience to him. and if he is prohibited he will quit.. then my son Musa. if a command reaches him) he will obey. because if he is commanded (i. 2. and now reflect on (my) answer! The lowest limit that categorizes a servant as a believer is that Allah. then his son Hasan. p. then Muhammad Ibn Ali. “Yes.e.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) based on it” (Man La Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih. then his son al-Hujja” (Bihar al-Anwar. “You asked your question. The least thing that makes a servant a disbeliever is that he assumes something that Allah prohibited (in reality) as a thing that Allah has commanded. disbeliever. Hadith 4955. who is His witness over His servants. then al-Husain. This Hadith not only specifies the requirements of faith concerning the right of the Imams. Bihar al-Anwar. then his son Ali. Imam Ali (PBUH) was once asked. and sets it as a religious command (without any divine evidence having reached him) and adheres to it. and obedience to him is obedience to Allah and obedience to His Messenger.” I asked. then Ali Ibn al-Husain. and to believe that the Imam after the Messenger of Allah is Ali Ibn Abi Talib. then me. then his son Mohammad. 2. 36. and He introduces to him His Imam—who is His proof on His earth and His witness over His creation—and he accepts obedience to him. 572. p. vol. 414. the mighty and the majestic. 407. Hadith 42). p. “O the Commander of the Believers! Is he a believer even if he is ignorant of everything other than what you described?” He (PBUH) said. p. vol. 304.

nor for hugging the beautiful heavenly maidens. falls into unlawful deeds. they will be cleansed by the adversities and tyrannies of the rulers and the illness in their body so that they arrive at their graves purified. Mohammad and Ali (PBUT) shall tell him. their departure shall become severe and shall die in disgrace so much so that most people around them shall be dispersed and they shall die in disgrace to atone for their sins. “Does anyone among people who love you and love Ali (PBUH) enter Hell?” He (PBUH&HF) replied. “You are impure and are qualified neither for being in the company of your (divinely) chosen masters. arrives on Day of Judgment filthy and impure. and thus. As for those who have less and lighter sins. some of such people shall enter the outer level of Hell and shall be punished for some of their sins. and violates the decreed customs of the religion. Among them are some who approach death while still some sins remained for them.” Therefore. They the names and the lineage of the specific twelve individuals who are exclusively entitled to this position by Allah. After this period. (to rescue each one of them) their masters shall dispatch a chosen one of their Shia who shall pick him up (from the Hell) just as a bird picks up the seed. nor for being in the movement place of the close angels. wrongs the believing men and women. You will not reach what is therein unless you are cleansed from what is herein of the sins. “He who befouls his soul by disobeying Mohammad and Ali (PBUT). while some shall be afflicted with the hardships of the Gathering Place (on the Day of Judgment) for some of their sins. 6 of 32 .Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) was asked.

p. Moreover. By My might and majesty! I shall not send out from this world a servant whom I want to punish (forever) until I take every good deed of him and exchange it either with good health in his body. 78. Certainly. 294. 176. 7 of 32 . purification shall be made possible through the outer level of Hell. Or. 1 For people who have more grave sins.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) shall be purified when the remaining people leave them after burial. alSaduq. p. Otherwise. I shall increase his tension at the time of his death. Hadith 3). p. He makes the time of his death more difficult to him as an expiation. 444. They are not entitled to be called our Shia (our followers). constrained sustenance. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) narrated from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) that Allah said. If not that. Hadith 4. vol. Allah afflicts him by sorrows in this world as atonement for it. but they may be called our lovers. the supporters of those who adhere to us. “By My might and majesty! I shall not send out from this world a servant on whom I want to have (special) mercy until I take every sin of his and exchange it either with an illness in his body. they shall be cleansed by the calamities on the Day of Judgment. vol. The latter individuals have the most severe punishment among people who love us. “When the sin of a servant increases and nothing (of his good acts) is found to atone for it. And if anything still remains of his sins. and if anything still remains of his good deeds I shall make death easy for him” (alKafi. Our Shia are only people who 1 Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. Hadith 15). and yet for worse sins.. 2. the record of his evil deeds will be wiped out)” (al-Amali. or horror in his worldly life. He punishes him in the grave so that he may meet Allah on the Day of Judgment without anything that could witness to any of his sins (i. extensive sustenance. Allah makes his body sick to compensate for his sins. or peace and security in his life. and the enemies of our enemies.e. Bihar al-Anwar.

and the wrath and punishment of Allah as much as they adhere to him and his commands. and if an unlawful relation becomes possible for him. Observing al-Walaya by people means adhering to the guardian and acknowledging his authority by heart. both observation and protection are matters of degree. adopt our traditions. and is not of their Shia during his/her unexpected and momentary arrival in error. wrongdoing. spiritual assistance. “O Messenger of Allah! Someone looks at the women of his neighbor. 1 A man came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HF) and said. In practice. he does not avoid it.” Another person said. care. which also terms one as a lover of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) and a believer in the sight of Allah. 2 Guardianship (al-Walaya) expresses a bilateral relation between the guardian and the people.” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) became angry and said. On the other hand. they want to stress that a Shia by definition is a devoted and observant follower. the minimum acceptable level of observing alWalaya. “Bring him to me. Alternatively. “O Messenger of Allah! He is one of your Shia who believes in you and Ali as his guardians 2 and keeps aloof from 1 It should be made clear that these series of traditions do not necessarily imply that the Shia are sinless. is acknowledging the authority and the guardianship of the divinely-appointed leaders by heart and by 8 of 32 . However. a Shia might have sudden slips. and action. a person is a Shia of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) as long as he/she strictly follows them. Therefore. rather. and guidance for his adherents.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) (try their best to) follow us. the action of al-Walaya by the guardian means offering protection from evil. one can say. one should not claim the honor of “the Shia of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)” if he/she does not try his/her best to follow their footsteps and if complete obedience to them has not yet become his/her character. A divinely appointed guardian guards his adherents against misguidance. spiritual destruction. sin. Hence. support. and take after our deeds. tongue. but such mistakes should not represent his/her general behavior that is to hold fast to the examples of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT).

he has indeed obeyed Allah. charity. “al-Walaya is superior since it is their passkey and because the guardian is the guide and standard for all these actions… The pinnacle of the religion. and is a true monotheist in obeying Allah. and al-Walaya. says. “Which one is superior?” He (PBUH) answered. “Do not say he is our Shia since this is certainly a tongue.” Moreover. “Islam is established by five things: prayer. Zurara (RA) narrated that Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) said. in effect. and Allah shall protect you from (evil) people. It should be emphasized that al-Walaya is considered as the greatest pillar of faith. acknowledged Allah’s authority. 9 of 32 . performs pilgrimage all his years. 2. but does not recognize the guardianship of the divinely appointed guardian so as to adhere to him and to act according to his direction. pilgrimage. fasts all his days. which terms one as a Shia and an absolute believer. tongue and action. its key and its gateway. vol. pays for charity all his wealth. Hadith 5). Allah. 19. This fact can be readily verified by the Verse 67 of Chapter 5 of the Holy Quran. which was revealed in Ghadir Khum just before Prophet’s official announcement concerning the Walaya of Imam Ali (PBUH): “O Messenger! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord and if you do not.” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) replied. A person who has acknowledged Allah’s representative has. p. but for anyone who turns away. he is not entitled to any reward before Allah and is not of the people of faith” (al-Kafi. we have not sent you as a protector’ (4:80). and establishing al-Walaya has been the ultimate goal of religion and the fruit of the entire efforts of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF). ‘Whoever obeys the Apostle. you have not conveyed His message at all. this minimum level only protects one against remaining in Hell forever. the mighty and the majestic. On the other hand.” I asked. its maximum level is full acknowledgment by heart. Whoever believes in the divinely-appointed guardians is a believer under the guardianship of Allah.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) your enemies. and whoever turns away from them is a disbeliever under the guardianship of Satan. completely wards off Allah’s punishment. In fact. fasting. Even if one establishes worship all his nights. As discussed in this Hadith. and the means of the satisfaction of the merciful Lord is obedience to the Imam after his recognition.

and the first who shall meet me on the Day of Judgment. and what you mentioned concerning this man is not of our deeds. “Ya’sub” originally means the chief of honeybees around which other bees gather. Similarly. it is a slander from you as he is not unrestrained as you 1 According to the lexicon. 1. the king (Ya’sub) 1 of the religion. though he is among your Shia!” The Commander of the Believers (PBUH) replied. vol. and not our Shia. our Shia follow us and obey us in our deeds. “Ya’sub of the believers”. the Prophet (PBUH&HF) titled Imam Ali (PBUH) in different occasions as “Ya’sub of the faith”. support. p. the leader of the pious. and wealth is the resort (Ya’sub) of the disbelievers (Bihar al-Anwar. 599). chief. Hadith 17). and “Ya’sub of the religion”. and the executor of the will of the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds was told. p.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) slander. (by claiming so) one lie or two has just been recorded for you. the Commander of the Believers (PBUH). then you have committed a lie because he is only our lover. “O Ali! You are the first who believed and acknowledged me. You are the resort (Ya’sub) of the believers. In several traditions. if he loves our friends and hates our enemies and is not careless about committing any sin. You are the greatest truthful (Siddiq al-Akbar) and the perfect distinguisher (al-Faruq) who distinguishes between the truth and the falsehood.” ( 2 ) Moreover. the chief of the prosperous. 10 of 32 . 213. master. resort. Verily. 38. shelter. and the elder of the believers and the maintainer of the religion and faith. “Surely a certain individual has been excessive to his soul by committing deadly sins. and to which they are loyal (Lisan al-Arab. It means the king. Abu Dhar (RA) narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) saying to Imam Ali (PBUH). If this person wrongs himself by committing sins and yet he loves us and hates our enemies. “Verily. vol. For instance.

” (30:10) According to the traditions. “Allah does not keep anyone in the Fire (of hell) forever except the people of disbelief. ‘Enough is regret for the repentance.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) said.” 1 A believer believes that all of what Allah has prohibited should be avoided and that Allah has decreed a specific punishment for each sin. And Allah states. A believer is always repentant while a disbeliever does not feel sorry before Allah for his misconducts. and a disbeliever in Allah’s view. ‘For the unjust there is neither a protecting friend nor an intercessor whose intercession is accepted. However. This is because he does not believe in the punishment that Allah decreed for that specific sin in the Hereafter. misguidance and polytheism… No believer commits a sin except that his action offends him and he becomes regretful. if one persists in committing a sin.’ (40:18)” I asked. If he is tempted by Satan and commits a sin in the state of negligence. if he feels free in committing sins 1 and does not love us or does not hate our enemies. indulging in a sin leads one to disbelief and rejecting the signs of Allah. faith will return to him as soon as he becomes mindful and regrets his misconduct. a person who does not regret the sin that he has committed—even if he has committed it only once—is considered an insistent (Musir) sinner. In other words. ‘He who is delighted by his good deed and is saddened by his evil deed is a believer.’ He (PBUH&HF) also said. Ibn Abi Umair narrated: I heard Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (PBUH) saying. and does not care to commit that sin again in the future. denial. he who does not regret the sin that he has committed is not a believer and is not entitled to intercession as he is unjust. All other requirements mentioned for repentance are for its perfection. which is the essence of repentance (Tawba). Verily. “O son of the 11 of 32 . the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said. and it is regret that obligates one to comply with them all. then you have committed a two-fold lie. In Quran we read: “The outcome of those who persisted in committing evil deeds was that they denied the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.’ On the other hand. his heart will gradually reject the truth. Believing in the penalty of the Hereafter makes one distressed and regretful for his sin. Regret is a voluntary internal reaction of a believer to his sin by which he guards his heart against decline and maintains his faith. On the other hand.

p. Indeed.” She came back and informed her husband of the reply.” She went to her and asked her about it. p. and a person who insists (on evil) shall not be forgiven because he does not believe in the penalty of what he has committed. 351. Hadith 6. and once he regrets he is repentant and becomes entitled to intercession. 407. One with whose religion Allah is pleased regrets for the sins he has committed due to recognizing its consequence on the Day of Judgment” (al-Tawhid. then he is of our Shia. On the other hand. vol. On the other hand. his record remains cleared. he becomes a disbeliever with a record replete with greater sins. because once he becomes careless about his sins. “Go to Fatima the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF). Hadith 1). Bihar al-Anwar. and considers them small. “No great sin shall remain (great) with asking for forgiveness (Istighfar) and no small sin shall remain (small) with insistence (Israr). the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said. “Tell him if he acts upon what we have commanded and restrains from what we have prohibited. and ask her whether or not I am of their Shia. ‘They do not intercede except for whom He is well-pleased. Hence. 12 of 32 . otherwise. As for the saying of Allah. And the religion is confession to the recompense for the good and evil deeds. “Woe onto me! Who then will release me from the sins and errors? (PBUH). “O Aba Ahmad! No one commits a great sin knowing that he will be soon chastised for that except that he regrets for what he has committed. he is considered insistent (Musir) in sin. overlooks them. he is not. if he does not regret it. so long as he remains regretful and asks for forgiveness. Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF)! How come is he not a believer if he does not feel regretful for the evil deed he has done?” He (PBUH) replied. a man said to his wife. Lady Fatima (PBUH) replied. 8. one should always view his sins great and should constantly keep himself in the state of regret and repentance. Had he believed in that punishment he would have surely regretted.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) ( 3 ) In another case. He cried saying.’ (21:28) it means they do not intercede except for whom Allah is pleased with his religion.

He shall receive terrifying and unclear news. In contrast.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) This way. a person whose situation is unclear for him is a believer (in our Walaya) who has acted extravagantly against his soul. the mighty and the majestic. and never belittle the punishment of Allah.” He (PBUH) replied. or by torment in the upper layer of Hell until we rescue them from it due to our love and transfer them to our presence (in Paradise). and are hostile to those who are hostile to us. “To its expert you came down! The one who dies shall face one of these three cases: He shall receive either the glad tidings of everlasting blessings. our enemy (that is a person) who opposed us is the one who shall receive the news of everlasting punishment. and submit to our authority by their hearts and their tongues are not considered our Shia if they disobey our commandments and prohibitions in other issues. Lady Fatima (PBUH) replied. I will be in Hell Fire forever because people who are not their Shia will be in the everlasting Fire. love those who love us. he shall remain in the state of grief and horror and his situation will not be clear to him as he does not know to which group he belongs. Thus. do not (just) lean on (our intersession). for among those who wrong their souls 13 of 32 . by various hardships of the Day of Judgment. do (good). “Tell him it is not so. obey (Allah’s commandments). Ali Ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) was asked. they will be in Paradise after they are chastened and cleansed from their sins by afflictions and calamities (in this world). but Allah shall not equate him with our enemies and shall release him from Fire by our intercession. or the tidings of endless punishment. Our Shia are of the chosen ones in Paradise. or else. The adherent of our Walaya who was obedient to our commands is the one who shall receive the glad tidings of perpetual bliss. Nonetheless. People who love us. On the other hand.” Her wife came back and reported to Lady Fatima (PBUH) what her husband said. 1 1 Imam al-Jawad (PBUH) narrated from his ancestors that the Commander of the Believers. “Describe death to us.

one who takes this route shall not receive our intercession until after the pain of punishment strikes him and after he perceives the dreadfulness of the Hell (alKafi. he (PBUH) continued.000 years of punishment. 1 As can be seen in these series of traditions. 153. it is naturally expected that he opposes and dislike his friend’s enemy. Having true love alone for Allah rationally implies being hostile to His enemies. say instead. their sons. and is a natural resultant of true love.” (58:22). if this is not the case. 1 are some who shall not reach our intercession except after 300. Do not say. vol. I am one of your Shia. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. and is merely a show due to hypocrisy. p. enmity against their enemies is also stressed. even though they were their fathers. but do not return to the sins nor lean on our intercession. 469. love you. (Ma’ani al-Akhbar. then you are telling the truth. “Whoever loves a disbeliever has indeed hated Allah. a man said to Imam al-Hasan Ibn Ali (PBUH). their brothers. for by Allah.. but love those who opposed Allah and His Messenger. it implies that such love is not real. p. Hence. “The friend of an enemy of Allah is an enemy of Allah” 14 of 32 . Hadith 2. and whoever hates a disbeliever (for the sake of Allah) has indeed loved Allah. and are hostile to your enemies.. The intercession of Muhammad (PBUH&HF) and our intercession wipe off your sins. otherwise. Hadith 9). O Shia. However. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. p. I am among those who adhere to your guardianship. hating is not an independent issue. Hadith 9). Moreover. This purely rational reality is also testified by the holy Quran: “You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day.. or their kindred. whenever love for Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) is mentioned. Moreover.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) ( 4 ) In addition.. “I am one of your Shia!” He (PBUH) replied. 5. then do not increase your sins by claiming such a noble status that you do not deserve. “O Servant of Allah! If you are obedient to us concerning our commandments and our prohibitions. 288. “. 6. When one really loves a faithful and sees that another person shows hostility to his friend due to his faith. vol.” Then. Bihar al-Anwar.

p.” ( 5 ) Similarly. p. however.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) (In this case. Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) said. “By Allah! Our Shia are only those who are watchful of (their duties toward) Allah and obey Him. “Certainly. Furat al-Kufi. 1 Say. 63. Bihar al-Anwar. Certainly. Bihar al-Anwar. Hadith 3).) you are (still) in a good state and towards a good ending. Nahj al-Balagha. vol. p. 228. “Be mindful of Allah and do not claim that which Allah considers a lie and a sin. According to the traditions. 411. p. 428. 237. forbearance from speaking about people except in goodness. 605. and should hate disbelievers but love their good actions. Bihar al-Anwar. Bihar alAnwar. vol. 46. Sermon 154. abundant remembrance of Allah. p. 75. 66. vol. Hadith 71. p. “Certainly. Hadith 290). kindness to parents. al-Saduq. 175). p. Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) said. fraud. One important thing. fulfillment of trust. and that they are the trustees of their tribes in their properties” (Tuhaf al-Uqul. recitation and adherence to the Quran. Hadith 114). 295. fasting. A quite similar saying is reported from Imam Ali (PBUH) (cf. Hadith 567. 65. our Shia are people whose hearts are free from every dishonesty. They are only known by humility and submission (before Allah). however. “O Son of the Messenger of Allah! I am one of your Shia!” He (PBUH) said. titled “on the virtues of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)”). Imam Baqir (PBUH) said. 215. a Shia of Ali (PBUH) is one whose actions confirm his words” (al-Kafi. p. Hadith 8. 1 Imam al-Kadhim (PBUH) said. Allah may love a servant but hate his action. one should love believers but hate their wrong actions. and may hate a servant but love his action” (al-Amali. and corruption. 234. is the correct assignment of love and hate to the type of person and the type of action. p. Hadith 1). indebted and orphans in their neighborhood. vol. vol. 8. p. 15 of 32 . “Is religion other than love and hate?” (Tafsir. truthfulness. someone said to Imam al-Husain Ibn Ali (PBUH). I (al-Amali. care for the poor. prayer. al-Saduq.

“O Servant of Allah! If you are like Ibrahim about whom Allah said. Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) said. because we enjoy more when we spend it on our brothers.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) am of people who acknowledge your authority and love you. “Then. then you can only be counted as a people who love us. while he was cheated by your lie! O Servant of Allah! Tell me which one of these two pleases you more: When you spend your money on yourself or when you spend it on your brothers in faith?” He replied.. and if your heart is like his. “Do not show off to me because I am one of the Shia of the family of Muhammad (PBUH&HF). you will be afflicted with paralysis or leprosy that will not leave you until death as atonement for this lie. say. then you are among our Shia. “You do not have any preference over him by the Lord of Ka’ba. you are not among our Shia. ‘And verily of his (i. we are of people who love you and hope for salvation by means of your love. “When I spend it on myself. someone said to Imam Ali Ibn al-Husain (PBUH). However. “O Son of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF)! I am one of your most sincere Shia!” He (PBUH) told him. if your heart does not resemble his heart which was pure from any deception and ill-will (against the believers).” ( 7 ) And in the presence of Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) a man was arguing with another one saying.” At this time.” He (PBUH) said. Ali’s) Shia was Ibrahim when he sought nearness to his Lord with a submissive heart’ (37:83-84). Otherwise.” ( 6 ) Furthermore. Hence. if you persist on this wrong claim knowing that it is a lie.” 16 of 32 .e.

Anyone who claims to “adhere” to the customs of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) should naturally “reject” other customs. he is not truthful in his claim and is a polytheist in his obedience to Allah because he has associated human-generated 17 of 32 . The judge said. “It is not what you think! I am crying for myself and you. the judge of Kufa. the titles Rafidhi and Shia refer to the same fact and cannot be realized separately. which emphasizes the fact that a true follower (Shia) of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) is always a true rejecter (Rafidhi) of their enemies and their methods. Thus. I cry for myself because by considering me a Rafidhi. it was mentioned to Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) that Ammar al-Duhni went to testify something before Ibn Abi Laila. The judge told him. Ammar stood up to leave while trembling and weeping. just disavow from this sect so that you become our brother. If the title of rejecter offends you. ideas.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) ( 8 ) Once. you have attributed to me a noble rank that I do not deserve. upon witnessing the signs of Moses (PBUH).” Ammar replied. Therefore. Woe onto you! Indeed Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) has narrated to me that ‘the first people who were called Rafidhi were the magicians who. the term rejecter (Rafidhi) has been used for anyone who rejected all that Allah disliked and acted according to all that Allah commanded. followed him. Pharaoh called them rejecters as they rejected his custom. otherwise.’ 1 Who is like them in this era? 1 This piece that praises the rejection of enemies of Allah and their customs appears at the middle of the series of traditions concerning adherence to Ahl al-Bait (PBUT). and were patient to all that befell them.” Upon that. “Cease! Your testimony is not accepted since you are a rejecter (Rafidhi). etc. “You are a man of knowledge and Hadith. rejected the command of Pharaoh. believed in him.

Bihar al-Anwar. he has indeed adhered to the most trustworthy handhold which shall never break” (2:258). See also the explanation in the footnote towards the end of this article on the meaning of monotheism. and will be entitled to a great punishment if He questions me unless my masters rectify it for me by their intercession. the mighty and the majestic.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) And indeed. Hadith 57. Allah. I will be considered negligent if He overlooks me. the mighty and the majestic. Ali Ibn Ibrahim alQummi. and that how your body could endure the divine punishment for disgracing one of the most honorable names. states in the holy Quran. ‘O Ammar! Have you truly rejected falsehood and acted according to Our commands?’ Then. Imam alRidha (PBUH) interpreted “Taghut” as those who usurped the rights of the family of Muhammad (PBUH&HF) and “the most trustworthy handhold” as the guardianship of the Commander of the Believers (Imam Ali) and the Imams after him (cf. the mighty and the majestic. under the commentary of this verse). “Had Ammar had sins greater than the heavens and the earth. my cry for you was for the greatness of your lie by calling me with other than my name. vol. saying. In fact. condemns me for that. p. “Whoever claims to recognize us but he adheres to other handholds is a liar” (Ma’ani al-Akhbar. 399. “He who rejects Taghut and believes in Allah. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said. 83. 18 of 32 . and his good deeds have multiplied in the sight of Allah. p. I cried for myself because admitting this noble title for myself passed through my mind in a moment and I fear that Allah. On the other hand. Hadith 7). they have certainly wiped off from his record by uttering these words. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. rejecting falsehood has priority over accepting the truth and is its prerequisite. such that each one of his smallest deeds even to the extent of a ideas and methods with the divine instructions that have reached him through Allah’s representatives. Tafsir. 2.” Upon hearing this account.

Is he like Salman. “We were passing by a person in the market who was proclaiming that he is an earnest Shia of Muhammad and his family (PBUT). Miqdad. active in obeying Him and His commands. Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (PBUH) was told. and their horror from the pleasures of the world is seen in their manner.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) mustard seed has become a thousand times greater than this world. cognizant of Allah and His religion. By remembering his Shia. They have yellow complexions due to staying awake for midnight worship. They are the guiding lamps in any darkness. They are emaciated as a result of devotion. and are guided by means of His love. Miqdad. and then overcharges an unfamiliar layman who wants that merchandise by imposing it on him. “O Nawf! My Shia are. Abu Dhar. Their divine education is recognized in their faces. he loses his customer. and Ammar’ while he undervalues (people’s goods) when he buys. and Ammar?! We seek refuge in Allah from such an idea. Imam Musa (PBUH) said. and he was hawking certain cloth for more money. 1 1 Nawf once asked Imam Ali (PBUH) to describe the characteristics of his Shia. dry lips for uttering the remembrance (of Allah). bleary eyes because of (abundant) weeping. he informs the original seller that he does not want the merchandise (that he had already bought) except for a lower price regardless of his debit. in any event.” ( 9 ) In addition. Abu Dhar. the Imam (PBUH) wept and said. and empty stomachs by (exercising) hunger. “One who knows the value of his soul will not be wasted nor will he act ignorantly. He purchases something (with deferred payment) for a certain price. and hides the defects of the merchandise before his customer (when he sells). If. and the 19 of 32 . Do you know whom this man resembles? He resembles a person who claims ‘I am like Salman. by Allah. and obligate themselves to withdraw (from pleasures of the world).

They do not bear enmity in their heart against those who preceded them in submission. and feel hostile towards their enemies’?” ( 10 ) When Ma’mun (L) appointed Imam Ali Ibn Musa alRidha (PBUH) as heir apparent. “I am occupied. When they were disappointed from meeting the Imam they said to his secretary. vol. “At the door. Bihar al-Anwar. Their evil in them is under their control. there are some people who request to meet you. distrusting the sinful environments.. but he (PBUH) turned them away every time. ‘I am among those who love Muhammad and the family of Muhammad (PBUH&HF). p. They say they are of the Shia of Ali (PBUH)”. (They live unknown such that) they are not noticed or appreciated when present. They came the following day saying the same thing and were treated similar to the previous day. 177.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) However. 65. Hadith 34). They burden themselves while people are at rest as a result of their service. love people who believe in their guardianship.” Therefore. p.e. his secretary came to him and said. 20 of 32 . and noble people of wisdom. the secretary dismissed them. and are not remembered when absent. 576. These are my most pleasant followers (Shia) and my most honorable brothers. Hadith 1189. Dismiss them. They continued to come at the door of the Imam’s house for two months saying the same. what prevents him from saying. al-Tusi. Their hearts are (full of) sympathy. Ah! I wish so much to meet them!” (al-Amali. and their demands are little. and do not follow them without proof. “Tell our master we are the Shia of your father Ali Ibn Abi Talib (PBUH). sincere. (PBUH). they move from place to place to safeguard their religion). sweet basils in any society. They are clever. Indeed. They are like foxes who (stealthily) escape with their religion (i. He (PBUH) answered. their souls are chaste.

and He forgives much (of the sins)’ (42:30). neglect the great rights of your brothers in faith. observe Taqiyya 1 when it is not required. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said. They reproached you and I followed them accordingly. al-Taqiyya refers to concealing belief in the case of danger. but he (PBUH) neither returned their greetings nor did he permit them to sit. and Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr who neither disobeyed any of his commands nor did they commit his prohibitions of any kind. his Shia were al-Hasan (PBUH). they asked. The root of this term is Waqa.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) our enemies have rejoiced to see that you are avoiding us. “Recite: ‘Whatever of affliction strikes you is because of your own deeds. “For your claim that you are the Shia of the Commander of the Believers (PBUH)! Woe on to you! Verily. which means “to 21 of 32 . “O son of the Messenger of Allah! What is the reason for this humiliation after that harsh avoidance? How could anyone of us live after this affliction?” At this point. I followed none but my Lord. fall short concerning many obligatory deeds. We will leave this time and will distance from our city due to the shame and humiliation that befell on us and because we cannot tolerate the pain resulting from the rejoicing of the enemies in our city. Ammar.” This time. and 1 In the language of Hadith. “For what reason. Imam Ali Ibn Musa (PBUH) permitted them to enter. O Son of the Messenger of Allah?” He (PBUH) replied. the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF). Salman. Abu Dhar. They entered and greeted him. While standing.” They asked. al-Miqdad. and my pure fathers after him on this issue. al-Husain (PBUH). You said you were his Shia while you contradict him in most of your actions. the mighty and the majestic. the Commander of the Believers (PBUH).

‘Allah has ordered me to be lenient (Mudaaraat) with people as much as he has ordered me to fulfill the obligatory deeds’. acknowledgement and recognition of faith is the required action of heart (cf. O Sufyan! He who applies Taqiyya in the religion of Allah. Thus. to preserve. 34. 2:98. to shelter. In modern terms.” (Ma’ani al-Akhbar. to shield. A believer is required to conceal his belief and even is allowed to utter disbelief if otherwise substantial danger threatens him or other believers. 9:3. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. al-Kafi. Surely. p. But speak to him with a gentle word so that he may take warning or feel afraid’ (20:43-44). he shall indeed ascend to the climax. 9:16. vol. 5:51. p. And when the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) intended a trip. the holy Quran. told them to call him with proper title and then speak to him. He (PBUH&HF) also said. However. 60:1. by definition. 396. The believer. for he has indeed transgressed (all bounds). the mighty and the majestic. it was the Sunna of Ibrahim al-Khalil (PBUH). Notice that Allah commands us to disassociate ourselves from the disbelievers (those who have heard the message of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) but rejected it). 9:1. 9:23. This is an internal action. “O Sufyan! Observe Taqiyya. The traditions also confirm this meaning. al-Taqiyya can be translated as “diplomacy”. 4:101). said to Moses (PBUH) and Aaron (PBUH). a person that between you and him is hatred will appear as if he is your friend and intimate.” The meaning of alTaqiyya is very close to that of Mudaaraat. ‘Go both of you to Pharaoh. and he who does not own his tongue shall regret. which means tolerating people and getting along with them. vol. avoid friendship with them. p. is required to always maintain and practice faith in his heart. and take them as enemies (cf. ‘Repel (evil) with what is best. we can never unite with the disbelievers in 22 of 32 . 72. Bihar al-Anwar. a believer is also required to put his belief into practice outwardly when he can. Verily Allah. the mighty and the majestic. (for the security of the city during his leave) he used to conceal it and act as if another person would leave. Hadith 18). Surely Allah educated him (in the art of) Taqiyya and said (to him). Hadith 1). But none is granted such achievement save those who exercise patience and self-restraint. Allah. that way.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) safeguard. 385. This attitude is the opposite of hypocrisy in which one conceals disbelief in his heart and shows belief. 2. According to the traditions. Hadith 20. and none is granted it save the owner of the great prosperity’ (41:34-35). 3:28.

love people under your guardianship. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said. “O Son of the Messenger of Allah! We ask forgiveness from Allah and return to Him from our saying. one should control his apparent relationship with the disbelievers such that it could not gradually undermine the disgust from them in one’s heart. “Then. go and come to them sixty times consecutively and offer them my Salaam for verily their sins were wiped off by asking for forgiveness and because of their repentance. Come near! Come near!” He (PBUH) embraced them and then asked his secretary how many times he met them.” He (PBUH) said to him. loved him. welcome to you my brothers and my friends.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) leave Taqiyya when it must be observed. “Now. 23 of 32 . and were the enemy of his enemies. Our cooperation with them at times in a worldly matter may only be due to Taqiyya as a diplomatic. However. you will perish unless a mercy from Allah rectifies it for you. Now. He answered.” They said. Look into their problems and present them and their families with gifts and financial aids. In order to maintain faith.” At this time. I would not have denied your saying. superficial. they deserve high respect due to their love for us and accepting us as their guardians. loved those who adhere to him. you claimed such a noble position that if your actions do not confirm your saying. and circumstantial relation.” reality. and we cannot accept them in our heart. “sixty times. We say as our master taught us that we love you. Had you said you believed in his guardianship (Walaya). and are the enemy of your enemies.

the latter. “I did not remind my generosity to the people that I gave charity and did not hurt their (feelings). Today. and He did not say by reminding to or annoying only the people to whom you give charity.” He said. “How come.’ (2:264)” He said. “Why are you so happy?” The man answered. “How could I ruin my deed while I am one of your sincere Shia?!” He (PBUH) replied. “Of course. I gifted each one of them with money.” He asked. and this is why I am delighted. the mighty and the majestic. “O Son of the Messenger of Allah! I have heard your father saying. “Ah! Certainly you just invalidated your benevolence and charity to your brothers. “Recite the saying of Allah. the most deserving day to make a servant happy is a day that Allah helps him give charities and alms to his believing brothers and solve their problems. appearing very happy and delighted. ‘O you who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by annoyance. the mighty and the majestic.” The Imam (PBUH) said. a person came to Imam Muhammad alJawad.” The Imam replied.” 24 of 32 . They came to me from another city. I received ten believing brothers who were needy and had dependents. O Son of the Messenger of Allah?” The Imam (PBUH) replied. said you should not nullify your generosity by reminding or by annoyance. He (PBUH) asked. Do you believe annoying the people that you helped is greater or annoying us and the angels who scribe your deeds?” The person answered. son of Ali al-Ridha (PBUH). It includes all harassments. “By my life! You deserve to be happy if you have not nullified your deed and if you do not nullify it later.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) ( 11 ) In addition. “Allah.

al-Miqdad. love people who love you. “Our sincere Shia (in the ancient nations) were Hizqil (Khirqil). “I ask for forgiveness from Allah and repent to Him. Do you equate yourself with them? Didn’t you annoy us and the angels by such a claim?” The man said.” He said. Woe onto you! Do you know who our sincere Shia are?” He replied in the negative. ‘Then a man came running from the farthest part of the city. and the companion (mentioned in the chapter) of Yasin about whom Allah said. “Surely. Chapter 40.’ (2:82) They are those who believe in Allah. the Imam (PBUH) said. The Imam continued. 25 of 32 . and Ammar. (who was) the believer of the family of Pharaoh 1.” ( 12 ) Imam al-Askari (PBUH). and I repent from the claim that you and the angels rejected since whatever you deny is what Allah has denied. Abu Dhar. O my folk! Obey the messengers]’ (36:20) and (their examples in this nation were) Salman. they are companions of the Garden wherein shall they abide forever. name Him by His names and do not attribute to 1 cf. then. added: … “Indeed. “Certainly. what should I say about myself?” He (PBUH) replied. the holy Quran. [saying. ‘Those who have faith and do good deeds. the reward of your charity has just been returned to you and was saved from nullification. Then. love you. you have bothered me and them and have cancelled your charity. “This is what I believe. the Shia of Ali (PBUH) are those about whom Allah. the mighty and the majestic. “Say: I am of people who acknowledge your Walaya. said.” At this time.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) The Imam (PBUH) said. Verse 28. and I am hostile to your enemies.

trustworthy breasts. and do not miss them on the actions that He commanded them. and his superiority over them is like the superiority of the heavens over the earth. What I tell you is not just my saying. while (in this comparison) earth is just a tiny particle. p. believe in Ali after him as a master. 1 The Shia of Ali (PBUH) are those who give their brothers ‘preference over themselves even concerning the things that they themselves urgently need’ (59:9). They are humble and God-fearing worshippers by night and brave as a lion by day” (Bihar al-Anwar. which is the basic requirement of 26 of 32 . observing monotheism (alTawhid) is the foremost condition towards becoming a Shia of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT). direct themselves according to his actions. the prophethood (of Muhammad). Hadith 38).Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) Him other than His names. his Hadiths). They are neither disclosers of the secrets. 180. an Imam. Such is the above saying of Allah ‘do good deeds’ (2:82).. rather I am relating the explicit saying of Muhammad (PBUH&HF). and sober-minded people of patience. After belief in the monotheism (alTawhid) 2.e. which means they fulfill all the obligations.” “The Shia of Ali (PBUH) are those who do not worry in the path of Allah whether death receives them or they receive death (like in a battle). nor are they ostentatious disobedient. They are those whom Allah do not see them on the actions that He forbade them. and that his merits outweigh the merits of the Prophet’s nation all together. and a noble chief that no one in the nation of Muhammad (PBUH&HF) can equate him. acknowledge Muhammad (PBUH&HF) in his sayings (i. Monotheism. “They are impregnable fortresses. 65. vol.” “The Shia of Ali (PBUH) are those who follow Ali’s example in honoring their brothers in faith. 2 As we can see from this Hadith. and the 1 Describing the Shia of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT). Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) said.

the intellectual sense of alTawhid is defined as regarding Allah free from the two extreme limits of resemblance (Tashbih) and denial/disproval (Ta’til. the Imams replied in the affirmative. believing that one should acquire all the knowledge of religion only from Allah’s representatives and should not associate any idea or opinion derived from human sciences with the divine instructions given by the Prophet and his successors. but added that by saying this. which are His creation. Moreover. 265. (cf. one has no way towards Allah by himself. observing Tawhid means. In the language of Hadith. matchless. one should regard Him outside the two limits of resemblance and disproval. beside practicing monotheism by being selective concerning the input information he receives. On the other hand. In the intellectual level. 3. and thus. al-Kafi. He can never be comprehended by reason. believes that He is undeniable. Believing in any resemblance between the Creator and the creation even in the most abstract levels and concepts is associating Allah with His creation. and belief in the uniqueness of His path (which we refer to as practical monotheism). Hadith 29). p. while admitting that Allah is not comprehendible. 1. In other words. a 27 of 32 . a true monotheist tries his best to conform his actions to the divine instructions that have reached him in the form of traditions. peace be upon them. otherwise He is limited. Hadith 2. the reason testifies that He is undeniable due to the existence of His abundant signs. vol. a monotheist. al-Tawhid means believing that Allah is unique. and has no resemblance of any kind with His creation. Moreover. vol. Therefore. Therefore. Bihar al-Anwar. Notice that uniqueness does not refer to the number “one” since anything that can be expressed by a quantity is limited (cf. is established at two levels: Belief in the uniqueness of Allah (which we call intellectual monotheism). Based on the intellectual monotheism. which is practical monotheism.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) faith. the first sermon of Nahj al-Balagha by Imam Ali (PBUH)). In practical level. intellectual monotheism rationally guides one towards a deeper level of monotheism. which signifies a limitation for Him. because Allah is the Creator of our reason. attaining the pleasure of Allah is rationally impossible unless through the door that Allah Himself may open to His creation by sending a representative. p. Ibtaal). 82. Both levels are proven by independent reason. When different Imams were asked if one could say that Allah is an existing thing.

vol. 9. Hadith 4). 311. but he accepts what comes from His Lord. In this manner. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said. p. vol. “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said. Hadith 68). Hadith 1). and if the speaker is from Satan.. 2. 1. “How do I practice monotheism?” He (PBUH) answered. 2.” (alKafi. 2. p. “O Yunus! Do not be an innovator (in the domain of religion). p. 269. In one of his Tawqi’ (written piece of document) Imam Mahdi (PBUH) wrote. 1. “Verily. he serves Allah alone and does not associate anyone in his obedience to Allah. p. p. “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said. Then. Hadith 1. the Imam (PBUH) continued. p. Yunus Ibn Abdurrahman narrates: I asked Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (PBUH). “O Ibn Abi Mahmud! If 28 of 32 .’” Then.” (Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha. 171. He who adopts a religion by hearing from other than the door that Allah has opened for His creation. he has surely worshipped/served him. and whoever left the Book of Allah and the sayings of His Prophet (PBUH&HF) has become a disbeliever” (al-Kafi. p. vol. Thus. According to the Quran and the traditions. “And the trustworthy door on Allah’s revelation is Muhammad (PBUH&HF). “Seeking the knowledge of the religion from other than us (Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)) is equal to denying us” (Mustadrak Safinatul Bihar. the person has indeed worshipped Satan’”. is a polytheist. 1. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) continued. Whoever looked into his opinion has perished. Hadith 4. Hadith 22. “O Kumail! Do not take anything (related to the religion) except from us so that you become of us” (Tuhaf al-Uqul. vol. 56. 105. Bihar al-Anwar. vol. Imam Ali (PBUH) said. vol. 10). practical monotheism. Imam Ali (PBUH) said to Kumail. 65. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said. Bihar al-Anwar. p. vol. 74. Whoever left the Ahl al-Bait of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) has gone astray. p. Hadith 10). vol.. 45. Allah necessitates for him (as punishment) to go astray towards destruction. ‘He who adopts a religion without hearing (from Allah’s Messenger). A similar narration exists in al-Kafi. a believer does not take his religion from his opinion. Shaikh Ali al-Namazi. is a requirement of faith and is necessary for salvation in the Hereafter. the person has indeed worshipped Allah. which is the very essence of al-Walaya (submitting to the guardians assigned by Allah in order to obey Him alone). ‘He who listens and inclines towards a speaker. 377. if the speaker is from Allah.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) believer observes monotheism by controlling his output actions only according to the divine standard. Bihar al-Anwar.

pp. “Whatever has come from the Commander of the Believers (Ali (PBUH)) should be accepted and whatever he has forbidden should be abandoned. pp. Basa’ir al-Darajat. and His Messenger (PBUH&HF). 64. the mighty and the majestic. and he is like the one who has taken partners besides Allah. vol. vol. 67. “Whoever associates a leader who is not assigned by Allah with a leader who is assigned by Allah is a polytheist and has associated partners with Allah” (alKafi. 344. He who tries to precede him is like the one who tries to precede the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF). Bihar al-Anwar. vol. 1. 373. then believes in it. Hadith 10. 1. p. 199-200. vol. 1.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) leadership (of the Imams). and for the Messenger of Allah was superiority over everything that Allah created. He who tries to find fault in any of his orders is like the one who tries to find fault in Allah. 128. Hadith 16). Hadith 8). Hadith 63. a believer has indeed more rights than the Ka’ba” (Bihar al-Anwar. vol. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. 434. O Abi Mahmud! Safeguard what I just narrated to you as I have gathered (in it) for you all the goodness of this world and the Hereafter. vol. 130. p. A similar narration from Imam al-Jawad exists in al-Kafi. Kitab al-Ghaiba. vol.) rejecting any of his minor or major commands is equivalent to taking partners with Allah (in obedience)” (al-Kafi. 1 Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said.” (al-Kafi. Several authorities narrated from Imam al-Baqir (PBUH) and Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) who said. p. p. for surely whoever stays with us we will stay with him. Furthermore. 220-221). Hadith 1. 16. 358. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha. “The rejecter of us (or our sayings) is a disbeliever and is a rejecter of Allah. He owns the same rights of obedience and superiority as did Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HF). and disassociates from anyone who opposes him on that (without divine instruction). 65. 27. steadfast in our path. vol. Hadith 1 & 2. vol. pp. Hadith 24). p. Hadith 115). “By Allah. p. 2. 6. vol. 2. al-Nu’mani. Hadith 33394.” (Wasa’il al-Shia. p. 39. the greatest obligations are fulfilling the rights of the brothers in faith 1 and acting you see that people take the routes of the East and the West. 303. 29 of 32 . 196197. Hadith 6. 1. p. (Since he commands on behalf of Allah. and whoever separates from us we will separate from him. Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said. Bihar al-Anwar. p. Certainly. & 3. the simplest thing that could take away the faith of a person is ‘to call a small stone as a seed’. Hadith 53.

a mercy from Allah that is dispatched to him. your hand. p. he is indeed detached from the guardianship of Allah. However. “Do their rich have compassion on their poor? Do their well-doers forgive their wrongdoers? Do they share their property (with the poor)?” I answered. 2. and learn but do not act upon them. Hadith 11). your property. “There is no strength except by Allah. which is attached to guardianship of Allah. vol. if he denies him concerning his demand while being able to fulfill it. If one opposes any of them. p. he has stepped out of the guardianship of Allah. The forth right is that you should be his eye. 173. “The number of Shia in our place is great!” He (PBUH) asked. p. and your tongue.” I said. the mighty and the majestic. and he does not give him shelter and aid when he can. it is. “O Mu’alla! I am concerned about you and fear that you become negligent and do not safeguard them. vol. “The easiest right (to fulfill) among them is to like for him what you like for yourself and dislike for him what you dislike for yourself. “He has seven obligatory rights.The fifth right is that you should neither be full when he is hungry. “May I be sacrificed for you! Tell me what they are. your foot. vol. “When a brother in faith seeks refuge or appeals for help from someone.” (al-Kafi. vol. 2. Hadith 4). and should not oppose his request. It is narrated that Imam alKadhim said. 235).” He (PBUH) said. “No!” He (PBUH) said. In a similar Hadith. and his covering (before others).” I said. p. Mu’alla Ibn Khunais said: I asked Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH). 313). 71. and has no share of the religion of Allah.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) Imam al-Kadhim (PBUH) said. 366. “When a faithful brother comes to someone with a demand. The third right is that you should have care for him by your soul. he has indeed wronged himself and ill-treated that (mercy)” (Bihar al-Anwar. left His obedience. his mirror (before himself). The second right is that you should proceed towards fulfilling his needs and gaining his satisfaction. Imam al-Kadhim (PBUH) said. his guide. he has indeed attached him(self) to our guardianship (Walaya). 71. “What is the right of a believer over other believers?” He (PBUH) replied. Abu Isma’il said to Imam al-Baqir (PBUH). If he fulfills his request. nor wear a favorite cloth when he is without 30 of 32 .” He (PBUH) said. “Proceeding towards fulfilling a need of a faithful is better than residing and fasting inside Masjid alHaraam for two months” (Bihar al-Anwar. without doubt. the mighty and the majestic” (al-Kafi. “They are not Shia. The Shia are those who behave so.

vol. 291. p. In fact. accept his invitation. you should (regularly) send your servant to aid him in washing clothes. and cooking and cleaning in his house. 2. It also makes us more cautious of using this term for ourselves and others in the future. learning these traditions leads us to refine our goals. and nor quench your thirst when he is thirsty. However. and initiate to fulfill his need in person before he is obligated to ask for it. we might feel that we are far away from the prescribed standard in practice. Learning these facts increases our love and respect for the title of Shia and those who deserve this revered title more than ever. it is a duty of every believer to learn the ideal goals set by the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and his Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) and to consider them reachable by an ordinary human with the help of Allah. Most important of all. we should look into its positive aspects. and should not be compromised due to one’s weaknesses. Hadith 12). It is only in this proper clothing. visit him if he is sick. p. They also teach us the right method of approaching towards these sacred goals. 224. Bihar al-Anwar. it must be correctly viewed.” Conclusion After studying this set of traditions as well as other complementary traditions provided in the footnotes. vol.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) upon Taqiyya before the enemies of Allah. The sixth right is that if you have a servant and he cannot not have one. attend his funeral if he passes away. And the seventh right is that you should acknowledge his oath. the mighty and the majestic” (Rawdhat al-Wa’idhin. you have joined his Walaya to your Walaya and your Walaya to the Walaya of Allah. instead of being disappointed. 31 of 32 . Since goal is a matter of faith. Once you comply with all these rights. 71. the mighty and the majestic.

32 of 32 . which certainly pleases Allah and guarantees one’s salvation. In the next step. and become ready for a change. one needs to approach these goals in practice to the extent of one’s ability.Safinah International Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies (Article in Press) situation that one can maintain a faith that is acceptable by Allah.

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