The Ahlulbayt a.s in the Quran
The Infallibility of Ahlul Bayt in the Holy Quran
For proving the infallibility of the Imams (a.s.), the famous Tat’hir verse from the Holy Quran is mentioned here:
إِنَّما يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ البَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً
And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.1
Some points are mentioned here regarding the exegesis of this verse and explaining this reason.
Revelation Reason of Tat’hir Verse
Undoubtedly, the mentioned verse has been revealed about Messenger of Allah (S), Imam Ali (a.s.), Hadrat Fatimah (s.a.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), and Imam Husayn (a.s.). There are numerous facts in this regard in the Shi’ah and Sunni books. For instance, Ayishah says, “One morning the Messenger of Allah (S) came out wearing a black wool cloth. Then Hasan (a.s.), Husayn (a.s.), Fatimah (s.a.), and Ali (a.s.) came. Then Prophet Muhammad (S) placed them beneath his cloak and said, “And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.”2
Umm Salamah says, “The verse, And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless was revealed to the Prophet (S) in my house. Then Hadrat Fatimah (s.a.) brought a container of food for him. Messenger of Allah (S) told her, ‘Invite your husband Ali (a.s.) and your sons Hasan (a.s.) and Husayn (a.s.) to have food with me.’ When all of them came and were eating, the verse was revealed. So Prophet Muhammad (S) placed all of them beneath his cloak and said three times, ‘O Lord! These are my household; take away pollution and sins from them and make them pure.’”3
Umar Ibn Abi Salamah says, “The verse And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless was revealed in the house of Umm Salamah. Then Messenger of Allah (S) called Fatimah (s.a.), Hasan (a.s.), and Husayn (a.s.), spread his cloth on them, and said, ‘O Lord! They are my household. Take away pollution from them and purify them.’ Umm Salamah stated, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Am I included with them?’ He replied, ‘You have your own place. You are good too.’”4
Zaynab says, “When the Messenger of Allah (S) saw that blessings are descending from the heaven he stated, ‘Who will invite Ali (a.s.), Fatimah (s.a.), Hasan (a.s.), and Husayn (a.s.)?’ I said, ‘I do.’ When they gathered, the Messenger of Allah (S) spread his cloak on them and joined them beneath it. Then Gabriel was descended with this verse.”5
Abu Sa’id Khidri says, “This verse (Tat’hir) was revealed about five people; the Prophet (S), Ali (a.s.), Fatimah (s.a.), Hasan (a.s.), and Husayn (a.s.).”6
Imam Hasan (a.s.) stated in his sermon, “We –the Prophet (S)’s Household– are the people about whom the verse: And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless was revealed.”7
The gathering of as’habi kisa’ (people of the cloak) and revelation of Tat’hirverse is one of the main events of Prophet Muhammad (S)’s mission.
As’habi kisa’ were five; the honorable Prophet (S), Imam Ali (a.s.), Fatimatal Zahra’ (s.a.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), and Imam Husayn (a.s.).
As is revealed from the traditions, when Tat’hir verse was revealed to the Prophet (S), he sent someone to Imam Ali (a.s.), Hadrat Fatimah (s.a.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), and Imam Husayn (a.s.) and invited them to his house. Then he placed all of them on a carpet and sat beside them.
Afterward, the Prophet (S) spread his cloak or a cloth on them and joined them himself. Then he recited the Tat’hir verse and said, “O Allah! They are my Household. Take away pollution and sins from them.” Apparently, this event has happened in the house of Umm Salamah, the Prophet (S)’s wife.
The same five people have narrated the happening for others. Moreover, ‘Ayishah and Umm Salamah, the Prophet (S)’s wives, ‘Umar, the son of Abi Salamah –who was trained in Prophet Muhammad (S)’s house– Zaynab –who was raised in Prophet (S)’s house– as well as Thawban, the freed slave of the Prophet (S) and Wasilatibni Asqa’, the Prophet (S)’s maid have narrated this for other people. All these individuals were among close companions of Messenger of Allah (S). They can be considered eye witnesses of the event.
Some other companions of the Prophet (S), such as Anas Ibn Malik, Abul Hamra’, Abu Sa’id Khidri, and Ibn Abbas have also narrated this event, though they have not witnessed it directly.
For six or seventeen months, the Messenger of Allah (S) recited the Tat’hirverse loud in front of Hadrat Zahra’s (S) house, every morning he was going to the mosque for Morning Prayer and said, “O Ahlul Bayt! Prepare for establishing the prayer!”8 He wanted to inform the companions of it and confirm the event.
Instances of the Ahlul Bayt
The Ahlul Bayt means the members of the promised house. According to the traditions, the promised house is the house of Umm Salamah –Prophet Muhammad (S)’s wife. The Tat’hir verse was revealed in this house, in which the Prophet (S) invited Imam Ali (a.s.), Hadrat Fatimah (s.a.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), and Imam Husayn (a.s.), throw a cloak on them and himself, and recited the Tat’hir verse.
He placed only these four people beneath the cloak with himself, not letting Umm Salamah to accompany them, to exclude any other one from the Ahlul Bayt, who were five. Prophet Muhammad (S) did so for fear that someone in the future claims to be included among the Ahlul Bayt. He always stipulated that the Tat’hir verse was only revealed about Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn (a.s.).9
Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), and Imam Husayn (a.s.) always referred to the Tat’hir verse for proving their virtues and were never denied in this case.
Exegesis of the Tat’hir Verse
Two points need mentioning for clarification of the verse:
1. Rijs (abomination) lexically means filth and is used in two meanings in Holy Quran. The first meaning is apparent religious impurity. The Holy Quran states,
قُلْ لا أَجِدُ فِيما أُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ مُحَرَّماً عَلى طاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَماً مَسْفُوحاً أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ
“Say: "I find not in the Message received by me by inspiration any (meat) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine,- for it is an abomination "”10
The second meaning is internal carnal impurity that is disbelief, transgression, and sin. The Holy Quran states,
وَأَمّا الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ فَزادَتْهُمْ رِجْساً إِلى رِجْسِهِمْ وَماتُوا وَهُمْ كافِرُونَ
“But those in whose hearts is a disease,- it will add doubt to their doubt, and they will die in a state of Unbelief.”11
2. Obviously, the disbelievers do not suffer from apparent filth and the Almighty Allah has not asked them to avoid outward impurity. Rather, carnal impurities, such as disbelief, dissension, and malice are considered disobeying Allah.
The question now is that if the rijs mentioned in the Tat’hir verse is used in the first meaning or the second one. The advantage pointed out for the Ahlul Bayt is used with the word innama (surely), which shows specialty in Arabic. If this characteristic of the Ahlul Bayt was only purity of superficial filth, it could be for all the Muslims, and not an advantage for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) to be praised by the Exalted Allah and honored in many instances.
Will in the Holy Quran
Human will is an inner state and a prerequisite of optional acts. Human will sometimes bring about accomplishment of wishes and sometimes not. Not everything human wishes is objectively realized. Allah’ deeds are out of knowledge, will, and option. Allah’ will, however, differs from human will and always accomplishes ambitions. The Holy Quran points out two kinds of will for the Almighty Allah; Will of the genesis and Will of the religion. Allah’s Will of the genesis means realization ambitions by knowledge and option with no exception.
The Holy Quran states,
إِنَّما أَمْرُهُ إِذا أَرادَ شَيْئاً أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
“Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, "be", and it is!”12
Allah’s religious Will does not command realization of things; rather He regulates certain rules and verdicts and wants the servants to follow them, so that His command will be externally realized.
The Holy Quran states about Ramadan fasting,
فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَنْ كانَ مَرِيضاً أَوْ عَلى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ اليُسْرَ وَلا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ العُسْرَ
“So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties.”13
Allah’s Will in this case is Will of religion. In other words, since the Almighty Allah has willed not to take the servants into trouble for Sawm (the Ramadan fasting), He has permitted the patients and travelers not to fast in Ramadan and perform it in other months.
The question now is that if Allah’s Will mentioned in the Tat’hir verse is of genesis or of religion. If this Will is of religion, the verse would mean that Allah has wished to purify the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) from carnal impurities, hence regulating necessary verdicts and presenting them to the Ahlul Bayt. This assumption is not logically acceptable, since such verdicts are not only dedicated to the Ahlul Bayt, but to all the Muslims.
Moreover, this assumption is not compatible with the word innam (verily), which has a limiting meaning. If the mentioned assumption was true, Prophet Muhammad (S) could allow Umm Salamah to come beneath the cloak too to be included in the Tat’hir verse.
She was at least among the believers. As a result, Allah’s Will in this verse is Will of the genesis. In other words, the Almighty Allah has originally wished to purify the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) from carnal impurities, such as disbelief, polytheism, and sins, creating them this way. They are, in fact, completely away from carnal impurities and are infallible.
Based on the same exegesis of this verse, being among the Ahlul Bayt is considered a virtue and honor by the infallible Imams (a.s.) and they were never denied.
Therefore, numerous traditions have mentioned the Tat’hir verse for proving the Imams’ (a.s.) infallibility, such as the ones below:
Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) stated, “Allah says in Holy Quran, ‘And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.’ Therefore, He purified us from inner and outer vices and led us in the path of truth.”14
The Messenger of Allah (S) after reciting the Tat’hir verse said, “My Ahlul Bayt (Household) and I are purified from sins.”15
Imam Hasan (a.s.) stated, “We are the Prophet (S)’s Ahlul Bayt. Allah honored us by Islam, selected us, and cleaned us from filth and sin. Rijs means doubt. So we have no doubt in Allah and His religion. He purified us from any impurity and deviation.”16
The Itrat (Household); Most Valid Religious Source
The honorable Messenger of Islam (S) was commissioned by the Almighty to introduce his Household (Itrat), as a source of Islamic sciences, to the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah (S) did so when returning from his last Hajj pilgrimage (Hajjatul wida’) at Ghadir Khum (Ghadir pool). When he reached Ghadir on his way back to Medina, Gabriel descended with this verse,
يا أَيُّها الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ ما أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَ إِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَما بَلَّغْتَ رِسالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَهْدِى القَوْمَ الكافِرِينَ
“O Apostle! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And God will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For God guideth not those who reject Faith.”17
Although it was very hot, Prophet Muhammad (S) stopped in that desert for performing Allah’s order. He sent for the Hajjis, who had proceeded, to come back and called on those, who were behind, to travel faster. When all the Hajjis gathered in one place, the Prophet (S) ascended a pulpit –made from camels’ saddles– and performed a long sermon, called the Ghadir sermon. This event is narrated in various traditions, one of which is cited here:
Ziyad Ibn ‘Arqam says, “When Messenger of Allah (S) was returning from Hajjatul Wida’, he stopped in Ghadir Khum. First he ordered to remove brush hood from beneath the trees. Then he performed a sermon and said, ‘It is as if I am invited by the Exalted Allah and I have accepted it. I trust two precious things among you, one of which is better than the other; Allah’s Book and my Itrat (Household).
Beware of maintaining these two trusts. They will not separate until the Resurrection.’ Then he continued, ‘The Exalted Allah is my Lord and I am the master of all the believers.’ He then held Ali’s (a.s.) hand and said, ‘Anyone whose guardian is I, Ali (a.s.) is his guardian. O Lord! Befriend those who accept Ali’s guardianship and dislike his enemies.’”18
Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib has narrated the same tradition, adding this sentence, “Prophet Muhammad (S) began his speech this way, ‘Am I not more deserved to interfere in the believers’ issues than themselves?’ The congregation said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! In fact you are so.’ So the Prophet (S) stated, ‘He (Ali) is the guardian of anyone whose guardian is I.’”19
Bara’ has added after this tradition, “Then Umar Ibnil Khattab met Ali (a.s.) and told him, ‘O Ali! May this position be pleasant for you! Now you are the guardian of every man and woman.’”20
The Ghadir tradition has been recorded in valid Shi’ah and Sunni books with different statements and texts and has always been referred to by Imam Ali (a.s.) and other infallible Imams (a.s.). This tradition is mutawatir (narrated successively) and with an authentic document. Many great companions of Messenger of Allah (S) have related this tradition, such as:
Abu Harirah, Abul Ali Ansari, Abul Hiytham Ibnil Tihan, Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Qahafah, Umar Ibn Khattab, Uthman Ibn Affan, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Hasan Ibn Ali, Husayn Ibn Ali, Fatimatal Zahra’, Usamatibni Ziyad, Umm Salamah, Prophet Muhammad (S)’s wife, Anas Ibn Malik, Bara’ Ibn azib, Jabir Ibn Samarah, Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari, Hazifatibni Asid, Hisan Ibn Thabit, Khazimatibni Thabit Ansari, Zubiyr Ibn Awam, Ziyad Ibn Arqam, Ziyad Ibn Thabit, Abu Sa’id Khidri, Salman Farsi, Miqdad Ibn Amri Kandi, Abbas Ibn Abdul Mutallib, Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abdullah Ibn Umar Ibn Khattab, and Ammar Ibn Yasir21, may Allah be content with them all!
The Content of the Ghadir Tradition
Some facts are understood from the Ghadir tradition:
1. The Messenger of Allah (S) introduced the Holy Quran and the Itrat (his Household) as two precious entities in presence of a great number of Muslims, saying, “I trust these two things among you to see what you will do with them.” And according to some narrations he said, “If you seek help from them, you will never go astray.”
2. Prophet Muhammad (S) also said, “The Holy Quran and the Itrat will be together until the Day of Judgment.” No one can say that there is no need to the Itrat when the Quran exists or vice versa.
3. As the Holy Quran is the greatest and richest source of religious sciences, teachings, verdicts, and rules, the Muslims are obliged to benefit from it for solving their religious issues. The Prophet (S)’s Itrat is also a source of religious sciences and teachings and the Muslim should use it for acquiring religious knowledge, following the infallible Imams’ (a.s.) behavior and speech.
Resorting to the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (S)’s Itrat, which is stressed in Ghadir (or thaqalayn) tradition and other traditions, is realized this way, not by superficial respect or rituals.
The Itrat and its Instances
Itrat lexically means the progeny and includes Prophet Muhammad (S)’s Household or the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), about whom the Tat’hir verse is revealed, as some texts of thaqalayn tradition has quoted the phrase, “my Itrat, my Ahlul Bayt”. It is narrated from Imam Husayn (a.s.), “Amiral Mu’minin (a.s.) was asked, ‘What is the meaning of Itrat in the words of Messenger of Allah (S)?’ Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, ‘The Itrat are I, Hasan, Husayn, and nine Imams from Husayn’s progeny, the ninth of which is Mahdi, Qa’im of the Ahlul Bayt. They will not separate from Allah’s Book and the Book will not separate from them until they are presented to Messenger of Allah (S) in the hawz (Kawthar, fountain in the Paradise) on the Last Day.’”22
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has quoted from his father and grandfathers (a.s.) from Prophet Muhammad (S), “I leave two precious trusts among you; Allah’s Book and the Itrat, my Ahlul Bayt. They will not separate from each other until they will be presented to me in the Kawthar fountain.” Then he stuck his two thumbs together and said, “This way.” Then Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari stood up from the crowd and asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Who are your Itrat?” Prophet Muhammad (S) answered, “Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and the Imams from the progeny of Husayn until the Resurrection.”23
Appointment of Imam Ali
The most important part of Ghadir sermon is appointment of Imam Ali (a.s.) to guardianship and caliphate. Ziyad Ibn Arqam, after the mentioned tradition, has quoted from the Prophet (S), “The Exalted Allah is my Lord and Guardian and I am the master and guardian of all the believers.” Then he caught Ali’s hand and stated, “Anyone whose master and guardian is I, now Ali is his master and guardian.”
Obviously, the Messenger of Allah (S) has introduced Imam Ali (a.s.) as the guardian or ruler of the Muslims in this tradition. Both the words wali and mawla (mentioned in various forms of this tradition) mean the same; that is someone who deserves to interfere in others’ affairs.
Ziyad Ibn ‘Arqam says, “The honorable Prophet (S), after performing the sermon, asked the people to take oath of allegiance with Ali (a.s.). The people said, ‘We heard and obey the command of Allah and His Messenger (S).’ The first people to take oath of allegiance with Prophet Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.) were Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman as well as Talhah and Zubayr.”24 It was then that ‘Umar shook hands with Imam Ali (a.s.) and said, “May this be pleasant for you! From now on you are the guardian of every believing man and woman.”25
Prophet Muhammad’s Recommendations about Imam Ali
The honorable Messenger of Allah (S) had pointed out inner virtues and scientific stance of Imam Ali (a.s.) for the Muslims many times during his prophetic mission, stating the obligation of following and obeying him. This way he prepared people’s minds for acceptance of Imam Ali’s (a.s.) guardianship and Imamate. There are thousands of traditions recorded in the Shi’ah and Sunni books in this regard, some of which are mentioned here:
Ibn Abbas says, “The Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘If you like to live and die like me and live in the Paradise my Lord has prepared, you should accept Ali’s (a.s.) guardianship after me, befriend his friends, and follow the Imams after me. They are my Itrat, are created from the same essence as I was, and possess my understanding and knowledge. Woe to those who deny the Imams and ignore my kinship right; my intercession will not include them.’”26
Hadhifat Ibni Yaman said, “Some of the companions told the Prophet (S), ‘O Messenger of Allah! Don’t you appoint Ali (a.s.) as caliph?’ The Prophet (S) stated, ‘If you accept his guardianship, he will guide you to the right path.’”27
Abu Sa’id Khidri has narrated that Messenger of Allah (S) stroke Ali’s shoulder and said, “O Ali! You have seven characteristics, about which no one can argue in the Last Day; you are the first believer in Allah, you are the most loyal to Allah’s promises, you are the most firm of all in performing Allah’s orders, you are the kindest to the people, the most just in dividing properties, the most learned in judging, and the best in the Resurrection.”28
Umm Salamah said, “I heard from Messenger of Allah (S) who said, ‘Ali is with the Quran and the Quran is with Ali and they will not separate until the Day of Judgment.’”29
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. If someone seeks knowledge, he should enter the gate.” 30
‘Ayishah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘Ali accompanies the truth and the truth accompanies Ali; they will not separate until the Resurrection.’”31
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated, “Everyone who likes to resort to my religion and be on board of the salvation ship should follow Ali Ibn Abi Talib, befriend his friends, and dislike his enemies. He will be my successor and caliph after my demise. Ali is the Imam of Muslims and hope of the believers. His speech, orders, prohibition, follower, and companion are just like those of mine. Not helping him is not helping me.” 32
These and tens of other traditions, which can be considered successive in meaning, reveal that the honorable Prophet (S) has had a mission from the Almighty Allah to introduce Imam Ali (a.s.) as the Imam and successor after himself to the Muslims and prepare the conditions for formal appointment of Imam Ali (a.s.), which was finally realized in Ghadir Khum.
Recommendation about the Ahlul Bayt
The honorable Prophet of Islam (S) always attempted to attract Muslims’ attention to his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) by using the terms ‘kindness’, ‘love’, ‘friendship’, etc. during his mission. An instance of such speech is:
Ibn Abbas said, “When the verse, Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin."33 was revealed, some of the Prophet (S)’s companions asked him, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are the people that the Almighty Allah has ordered loving them?’ Prophet Muhammad (S) replied, ‘Ali and Fatimah and their progeny.’”34
Ibn Abbas has also narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S), “Allah’s servant does not move in the Hereafter except that he is asked of four things; how he has spent his lifetime, how he has used his body, how he has gained and spent his property, and of the affection of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).”35
Ibn Abbas has narrated from Prophet Muhammad (S) who said, “The example of my Ahlul Bayt is like Noah’s ship; the one who boards it will be saved and the one who resorts to it will get salvation and the one who denies it will be drowned.”36
Prophet Muhammad (S) had not merely meant expressing superficial verbal –or even hearty– affection. This is not the remuneration of his hardships in prophetic mission; rather, he had meant encouraging the Muslims to follow the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and learn religiousness from them, as is explicitly stated in Safinah (the No’ah ship) tradition.
Affection for the Ahlul Bayt
Affection means loving. It is used in the same meaning in the traditions too. Affection for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is so important in Islam that the Holy Quran introduces it as the remuneration of Prophet Muhammad (S)’s mission.
The Messenger of Allah (S) is addressed in the Holy Quran and asked to tell the believers, Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin."
Prophet Muhammad (S) has enjoined the Muslims to loving his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) –including Ali (a.s.)– in many traditions, considering it the best means of salvation.
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated, “Anyone who wants to resort to Allah’s firm knob should have affection for Ali and my Ahlul Bayt.” 37
The Prophet of Islam (S) stated, “The first thing which is asked about in the Hereafter is affection for the Ahlul Bayt.”38
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated, “Anyone who loves my Ahlul Bayt will be resurrected with me in the Hereafter.”39
Prophet Muhammad (S), holding Ali’s hand, said, “Someone who thinks he loves me, but he does not love Ali, is a liar.”40
Amiral Mu’minin, Imam Ali (a.s.), has quoted from the Prophet (S), “I will mediate for four groups in the Resurrection; the lovers of my Ahlul Bayt, those who have accepted guardianship of my Ahlul Bayt and hated their enemies, those who fulfill requests of my Ahlul Bayt, and those who help my Ahlul Bayt in their affairs.”41
As is observed, the Holy Quran and Prophet (S)’s traditions have strongly emphasized the affection for Prophet Muhammad (S) Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), considering it as a way to reach salvation. Now we should see who the Prophet (S)’s Ahlul Bayt are. Are they all his close relatives or certain people among them? Some traditions can help clarify the issue.
‘Isma’il Ibn Abdul Khallaq says, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) asked me, ‘What do the people say about the Quranic verse, Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin."’ I answered, ‘May I sacrifice for you! They say the verse is about the Prophet (S)’s close relatives (zil qurba).’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, ‘They lie. The verse is revealed about us, the Ahlul Bayt; Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn; people of the cloak.’”42
Abdullah Ibn ‘Ajlan has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.), who said about the exegesis of mentioned verse, “The close relatives (zil qurba) are the Imams (a.s.).”43
These and many other traditions –about the Tat’hir verse– imply that Prophet Muhammad (S)’s close relatives (zil qurba), mentioned in this verse are Imam Ali (a.s.), Fatimatal Zahra’ (S), Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn, and other infallible Imams (a.s.) from Imam Husayn’s progeny.
These noble Imams (a.s.) always introduced themselves as zil qurba, Ahlul Bayt, and source of Prophetic sciences and were never denied by anyone. Therefore, according to the verse under discussion, all the Muslims oblige themselves to love the Prophet (S)’s Ahlul Bayt, showing this affection by composing poems, eulogizing, and visiting their shrines and tombs.
Now we should see what real affection is, how it is realized, and what consequences it has?
Affection means loving someone. It is an inner sense in which the lover is attracted to the beloved; a sense that is perceivable but not describable. Affection has different levels, the highest level of which is called love. Affection can be for the people or the objects, but it certainly has a criterion. This criterion may be the beloved one’s beauty, handsomeness, good ethics or behavior, or his usefulness.
One of the results of affection is that a lover always tries to honor and satisfy the beloved and even sacrifices himself for his beloved, which is a sign of real affection. Expression of affection may be unreal without a practical sign.
The Holy Quran and the traditions mention Allah’s affection for the servants, who have at least one virtue, such as, “Surely Allah loves the pious”, “Surely Allah loves the purified”, “Surely Allah loves the good-doers”, “Surely Allah loves the repentant”, “Surely Allah loves the reliers on Allah”, “Surely Allah loves the patient”, “Surely Allah loves the just.” The Exalted Allah, who has created the servants and granted them all the blessings, wants the servants to obey His orders and forbiddances, so that their salvation in this world and the Hereafter is guaranteed.
Allah’ affection for His servants, however, is not a carnal sense, since He is away from occurrence of phenomenon. Allah’s affection means His granting Mercy to the servants for reaching perfection.
The Holy Quran also mentions the servants’ affection for the Almighty Allah.
يا أَيُّها الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَنْ يَرْتَدَّ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِى اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى المُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الكافِرِينَ يُجاهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلا يَخافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لائِمٍ ذ لِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشاءُ وَاللَّهُ واسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“O ye who believe! If any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will God produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of God, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of God, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And God encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things.”44
The Almighty Allah suggests mutual affection to the believers in this verse and introduces Jihad in Allah’s path as a sign of believers’ real affection for Allah.
In another verse, obeying the Prophet (S)’s orders is considered a sign of true fondness. The Holy Quran states,
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Say: "If ye do love God, Follow me: God will love you and forgive you your sins: For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."45
As a result, the believers who claim to love Allah, but do not emphasize it by practicing religious duties and the Prophet’s commands, do not have a real affection and their affection for the Almighty is not useful for them.
Affection for zil qurba (the Prophet’s close relatives) and his Ahlul Bayt is the same. Since the Prophet’ (S) Ahlul Bayt –the infallible Imams (a.s.)– were guardians of the religion and promoters of Prophet Muhammad (S)’s mission, the Muslims are asked to accept their guardianship and follow them. Our affection for the infallible Imams (a.s.) is real in case we set them our leaders and follow their speech, behavior, and ethics. The people who claim to be the Imams’ (a.s.) lovers, but do not perform their commands, deceive themselves and such superficial affection will not save them. The infallible Imams (a.s.) have always emphasized this point, as will be mentioned in the future.
The Imamate Position
True recognition of Imamate position and defining the people who filled this position is an important issue for the Muslims, as mentioned in many traditions. The science of kalam46 discusses if certain characteristics are necessary for Imamate position, or if everyone can get it. If the former is true, what are these qualities? In other words, is Imamate an innate position or a conventional one –obtained by being appointed? Can it decay?
The same discussions exist in case of prophet hood, but it is proved that prophet hood is a real innate position for attaining which inborn qualifications are necessary. If Prophet Muhammad (S), for instance, was appointed as prophet, it was because of his own virtues. No other person could be appointed to that position by the Exalted Allah. Prophet hood means direct relation of a selected person with the unseen world and obtaining Divine sciences and teachings from the Almighty Allah. Not everyone deserves such an important duty.
Some issues are proved about prophet hood that are briefly mentioned here:
1. Human life is not limited to this world; there will be another life after death with bliss or misery.
2. Human salvation or misfortune in the Hereafter is the result of his deeds and ethics in this world.
3. Human being is unable to recognize the best plan for his life and needs Allah’s guidance.
4. The All-Knowing All-Wise Allah, who has created human beautiful and delicate, has had a purpose. Allah knows well human material and spiritual needs and the secret of his salvation or unluckiness. The Exalted Allah never leaves His servants in deviation, rather He has sent prophets (S) for guiding humans with the necessary sciences, teachings, plans, and duties, so that the signs are completed for the servants. This way, the necessity of sending the prophets (S) is confirmed.
The same theorem affirms the prophets’ (S) science and infallibility. In other words, Allah’s purpose of sending the prophets (S) is fulfilled only if all the necessary sciences are presented to them and the prophets (S) are completely away from mistakes and wrongdoing in acquiring, maintaining, and declaring the revelation sciences to the people. It is also proved in philosophy and kalam that revelation sciences are not like acquirable and conceptual sciences, which are acquired by our senses from the outside world.
Revelation sciences are illuminating facts revealed to the Prophet (S)’s soul and he observes them with his inner sight and hears with his inner hearing. That is why the Prophet (S) does not commit mistakes and sins and is infallible. Such a person should be followed and can be ‘the best pattern’ (Uswatul hasanah) for the people. Denying or doubtfulness about the necessity of the prophet’s sciences and infallibility is like denying the necessity of existence of the prophet.
In sum, the prophet is a complete, noble, and selected human in terms of spiritual aspects. He can make relations with the unseen world, acquire religious sciences, teachings, and commandments, and convey them to the people exactly. This is the lofty position of prophet hood, which ordinary people cannot attain. However, the prophet is like other people in terms of material aspects. He needs Allah in his essence and all his behaviors and deeds. His sustenance is provided by the Almighty Allah. He may get tired and ill and he needs medicine for getting well. He gradually ages and cannot help his appointed death.
The real position and advantages of the prophets become clear from above discussion.47
The lofty position of the Imams can be understood from what was mentioned about the prophet’s position, since Imamate is continuation of prophet hood. Some points should be born in mind in this regard, which have been proved elsewhere:
1. Prophet Muhammad (S) was the last prophet and Islam is the ever-lasting religion until the Resurrection.
2. The Prophet (S)’s mission was only 23 years. He had to solve the problems of new Muslims and could not teach all Islamic sciences, teachings, and commandments to all the Muslims to be maintained for the future Muslims.
3. A great amount of Islamic commandments are political, social, judiciary, economical, etc. which were executed by the Messenger of Allah (S) among the ummah. He had the guardianship of ummah and defended Islam.
As a result, a person or some persons should accept all the Prophet (S)’s duties and attempt in realizing his purposes. Such people are called the Prophet’s caliphs or Imams and have guardianship on the people and continue the Prophet (S)’s path. The Imamate is completion of the religion and an organization for the Muslims. As human being needs a prophet, he needs an Imam. Allah’s purpose of sending the prophets (S) for guiding the people is fulfilled well only in case the prophet is followed by the Imams to pursuit his goals; otherwise the Prophet (S)’s mission will not be accomplished.
It is concluded that the Imam should be fully aware of religious teachings, sciences, and commandments just like the prophet, so that the people access true commandments of Islam in Prophet (S)’s absence throughout the ages.
The Imam should also be away from mistakes, forgetfulness, and wrongdoing in maintaining religious commandments and declaring them to the people, just as the prophet is; otherwise Allah’s blessings for the servants will not be completed. Such an infallible learned person should be obeyed and is people’ leader and Imam from Allah.48
The major difference between the Prophet (S) and the Imams is that the Prophet (S) met the revelation angel and received religious commandments and rules from Allah, but the Imams do not benefit from revelation and direct relation with the Exalted Allah; they receive religious sciences, teachings, rules, and commandments from the Prophet (S).
In sum, the Imam is a perfect selected person, aware of religious sciences, teachings, and commandments, and away from fault, sin, and forgetfulness. His knowledge and deeds are so perfect that all human virtues are materialized in his personality and he can be the people’s Imam and leader. Denying or doubting about any of these innate advantages equals denying the necessity of existence of Imam and hence denying the necessity of existence of the Prophet (S).49
It should be emphasized again that the Imam –just like the Prophet (S) – is materially an ordinary person, created by Allah. He needs the Almighty in his essence, deeds, sustenance, and other wishes. If he gets sick, he goes to the doctor to be cured. He ages by the passage of time and surrenders to the death when its appointed time comes.
As Allah states in the Holy Quran,
قُلْ لا أَمْلِك لِنَفْسِى نَفْعاً وَلا ضَرّاً إِلّا ما شاءَ اللَّهُ وَلَوْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ الغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الخَيْرِ وَما مَسَّنِىَالسُّوءُ إِنْ أَنَا إِلّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say: "I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as God willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith."50
The conduct of the Prophet (S) and infallible Imams (a.s.) was this way; they asked their requests from Allah, not others. They thought resorting to others prevents granting of the prayers. They never told the people, “Resort to us for answering your requests!” Rather, they recommended the people to be hopeful only of Allah and ask their requests from Him, because everything is in Allah’s hands. No one is able to fulfill the requests except the Almighty. The conduct of the Prophet (S) and infallible Imams (a.s.) was so when praying. Some instances of this manner are cited here:
Amiral Mu’minin, Imam Ali (a.s.), told his son, Imam Hasan (a.s.), “Only ask your Lord, since granting and depriving is only in His power.” 51
He also stated, “You ask something from His treasures of Mercy no one else can grant you. You ask him long life, health, and abundance of sustenance and no one but He can grant them.” 52
Moreover, Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “Only resort to the One who has created you, gives you provisions, and has created you beautiful.”53
The fourth infallible Imam, Imam Sajjad (a.s.), states in his prayer, “Praise be to Allah, Who I ask, whenever I want, for granting my request and to Who I talk privately for saying my request whenever I wish, without any mediator. So He grants me my request. Praise be to Allah, Who I only pray to, and if I prayed to others, my prayer would not be granted. Praise be to Allah, Who I am hopeful of, and if I were hopeful of others, I would become disappointed.”54
Imam Sajjad (a.s.) stated in another prayer, “Anyone who attends to Your servants for his request or consider one of them the means to success has deprived himself from goodness… And You have stated, ‘How is a needy asks from another needy and a poor attends to another poor?’55
According to mentioned traditions and prayers as well as hundreds of other prayers in du’a collections, such as Sahifah Nabawiyyah, Sahifah Alawiyyah, Sahifah Sajjadiyyah, and Sahifah Al-Kadhimiyyah, the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad (S) and infallible Imams (a.s.) has been direct requesting from the Exalted Allah when having a request, with no mediator. This conduct was the result of their powerful belief and pure monotheism; they clearly knew that no one can do anything for them, but Allah.
We, the Shi’ah, follow the Messenger of Allah (S) and infallible Imams (a.s.), when praying. We know Allah the All-mighty in the world and ask Him when in need. If we pray and weep in the Imams’ (a.s.) shrines, vowing to Allah by them, we do not mean that they have an independent effect. It is because we have a better spiritual mood to pray to Allah in shrines and mosques. Our avow, cries, resorts, and mourning are for the same reason too.
The Real Position of the Imam with three Advantages
As mentioned before, prophet hood and Imamate are two real positions with three characteristics:
1. Awareness the religiousness sciences, teachings, commandments, and rules, ethics, worshipping and non-worshipping duties, and in sum awareness of all that is revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S) and effects human salvation in this world and the Hereafter.
2. Infallibility of mistakes, forgetfulness, and sins in maintaining religious commandments and conveying them to the people.
3. Infallibility of wrongdoing or ignoring religious rules.
The mentioned characteristics are truly the prerequisites of prophet hood and Imamate positions, by which the Muslims can recognize their Prophet and Imams and believe in them.
Two Devious Beliefs
If someone is doubtful about some or all of the characteristics of the Prophet or the Imams, he has not known them well and has committed taqsir (delinquency) and is called muqassir. A muqassir person is the one who denies the Prophet (S)’s or the Imams’ (a.s.) comprehensive knowledge, is doubtful about their infallibility of mistakes, sins, or forgetfulness, knows them fallible like other humans, or attributes a wrongdoing to them.
Such devious beliefs are wrong, with whatever reason. The argument against this wrong belief, as pointed out before, is that any of such beliefs means denying necessity of sending prophets (S) or necessity of appointment of Imams (a.s.).
Ghuluw (hyperbole) means extravagance in a belief. The late Allamah Majlisi defines ghuluw this way, “Ghuluw about the prophet or the Imam is belief in their Divinity, their being Allah’s partner in worshipping, creation, or granting sustenance to the servants, or manifestation of the soul of one of them in another person’s body and uniqueness of these two.
It may also be the belief that the Prophet and Imams are aware of the unseen without Allah’s help, that Imams are Messengers, or that recognizing the Imams is enough and the servants do not need obey Allah or avoid sins.” Then he continues, “All these beliefs are infidelity and going out of the religion, as emphasized by logical reasons, Quranic verses, and many traditions. The infallible Imams (a.s.) have rejected the people with such beliefs and announced their infidelity.”56
Qulat (those who believe in quluw) go to extremes in believing in Imamate, consider the Imams, Allah’s selected servants, beyond humans, and sometimes assign Allah’s specific attributes to them.
The qulat consider the Imams (a.s.) Allah’s partners in managing world issues, such as granting sustenance to the servants, granting people’s wishes, descending the rain, healing the patients, removing calamities, or forgiveness of the sins, slaughtering livestock in their path. Some of claimers of shi’ism replace performing religious deeds, doing the obligatory deeds and avoiding the unlawful deeds with superficial expression of affection to the Prophet (S)’s Ahlul Bayt.
Such devious beliefs are not only in contrast with logical reasons, Quran’s text, and infallible Imams’ (a.s.) conduct, but also considered infidelity. Sometimes the holders of such beliefs are religiously doomed to murder.
Abu Hashim says, “I asked Imam Ridha’ (a.s.) about the qulat and mufawizzah. Imam (a.s.) stated, ‘The qulat are infidels and the mufawwizah are polytheists. Anyone who interacts with and accompanies them, has food or drink with them, marries them, trusts them, confirms their speech, or helps them even by saying a single word, will go out of guardianship of Allah, His Messenger (S) and the Ahlul Bayt.’”57
Mufazzal Ibn Yazid says, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) mentioned the companions of Abul Khattab58 and the qulat and said, ‘O Mufazzal! Do not accompany them, nor eat or drink water with them, nor shake hands with them, nor receive their heritage.’”59
Two companions of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) came to him and said, “Mufazzal Ibn ‘Umar says that you –the Ahlul Bayt– define the servants’ sustenance.” Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, “By Allah that no one defines the servants’ sustenance except Allah. I once could not provide my family’s provisions and got upset. I thought about it until I could provide food for my family, then I became relaxed. May Allah curse Abul Khattab who attributes lies to us.” The two companions said, “Should we curse Abul Khattab and avoid him?” Imam (a.s.) replied, “Yes.” So his companions did so and said, “Allah and His Messenger (S) hate Abul Khattab too.”60
Zararah says, “I told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘One of the children of Abdullah Ibn Sanan believes in tafwiz (devolving).’ Imam (a.s.) asked, ‘What is tafwiz?’ I said, ‘They believe that the Exalted Allah created Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.), then devolved the world issues to them. Now they create, give sustenance, and give death and life.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, ‘He is Allah’s enemy and lies. If you saw him, recite this verse:
أَمْ جَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ شُرَکاءَ خَلَقُوا کَخَلْقِهِ فَتَشابَهَ الْخَلْقُ عَلَيْهِمْ قُلِ اللَّهُ خالِقُ کُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَ هُوَ الْواحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ
‘Or do they assign to Allah partners who have created (anything) as He has created, so that the creation seemed to them similar? Say: "Allah is the Creator of all things: He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible."’61
Zararah says, ‘When I recited the verse for that person it was as if there was stone in his mouth (He could not defend his belief anymore).’”62
Abdur Rahman Ibn Kathir says, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told his companions, ‘May Allah curse Mughayrat Ibn Sa’id and the Jew woman, who visited him and learned magic and odd things from him. Mugayrah attributed lies to my father, so the Almighty Allah took his belief from hims. Some other people attributed lies to me. Allah will make them taste the heat of iron.’
By Allah, we are only His servants; He created and selected us. We have no power to bring advantage or disadvantage for ourselves. If the Almighty has Mercy on us, it is from He and if He punishes us, it is because of our own deeds.’
By Allah that we have no argument against Allah! We cannot free ourselves from the Fire. We die like other people and will be placed inside a grave. Then we will be resurrected and reckoned about our deeds in the Hereafter. Woe be to them! May Allah curse them! They upset Him. They upset Messenger of Allah (S), Amiral Mu’minin (a.s.), Fatimah (s.a.), Hasan (a.s.), Husayn (a.s.), Ali Ibn Husayn (a.s.), and Muhammad Ibn Ali (a.s.) in their graves. I am the son of Prophet Muhammad (S). You see that I am fearful of Allah’s wrath in my bed, while they sleep comfortably in their beds. I beg Allah and weep from His fear, but they are asleep. I am frightened of Allah’s punishment in mountains and deserts. I take refuge to Allah from this stupid man (Abul Khattab). May Allah curse him!’”63
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) stated, “Be careful that the qulat do not lead your youth astray! The qulat are the worst creatures of Allah, because they belittle Allah’s greatness and consider divinity for His servants.”
By Allah that qulat are worse than the Jews, the Christians, and the infidels. If they come to us, we do not accept to see them, but we will accept a muqassir.” The Imam (a.s.) was then asked, “O son of Messenger of Allah! What is the reason?” Imam Sadiq (a.s.) replied, “Because a ghali is used to abandoning prayer, fasting, Zakat, and Hajj and cannot leave his habit. A muqassir, however, will practice his obligatory deeds when he finds out his fault.”64
Imam Ridha’ (a.s.) said in his prayers, “O Lord! I take refuge in You for changing the states and abilities. Wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa bik (And there is no power except from You) O Lord! I take refuge in You and hate the people who lie about us. O Lord! I take refuge in You from the people who say things about us that we do not say.”
O Allah! Creation is done by You and You grant sustenance. I worship You and ask help from You. You are the Creator of us and our fathers; from the first one to the last one. O Allah! Divinity is for You and does not deserve anyone else. I curse the Christians who belittle Your magnitude and the people who attribute greatness to Your other servants. O Lord! We are your creatures and servants, not owners of our advantage and disadvantage, nor our life and death. We avoid anyone who thinks we are his Lord or supposes that the servants’ creation or sustenance is in our hands, just like the avoidance of Jesus from the Christians.”
O Lord! We have not invited them to this belief, so do not scold us for what they say and save us from such invalid qualities. Perish them from the earth; if they remain on the earth they will lead Your servants astray and make them infidels.”65
Abu Basir Says, “I told Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘People say some things about you.’ Imam (a.s.) asked, ‘What do they say?’ I said, ‘They say that you know the number of rain drops, stars, trees’ leaves, sands, and the weight of seas’ water and deserts’ soil.’ Imam Sadiq (a.s.) raised his head to the sky and stated, ‘Subhana Allah! Subhana Allah! (Glory be to Allah!) By Allah not! Only Allah knows these things.’”66
Ibn Mughayrah says, “Yahya Ibn Abdullah and I visited Imam Abul Hasan (a.s.). Yahya told Imam (a.s.), ‘May I be sacrificed for you! People think that you know the unseen.’ Imam (a.s.) replied, ‘Glory be to Allah! Put your hand on my head; by Allah that my hair bristled from hearing this. By Allah that everything I say I narrate from the Messenger of Allah (S).’”67
The Motives of Ghuluw (Hyperbole)
The qulat and their supporters have had different motives, some of which are mentioned in the traditions as follows:
1. Ignorance. We read in a letter from Hadrat Sahibul ‘Amr, Imam Mahdi (a.j.), ‘O Muhammad Ibn Ali! The ignorant from the Shi’ah and the people who do not value their religion as much as a fly wing tease us. I take Allah, the Prophet (S), the angels, and Allah’s prophets and Imams as well as anyone who hears this witness that I take refuge in Allah and His Messenger (S) from the people who say that we know the unseen sciences or are Allah’s partner in His sovereignty, or attribute positions to us other than what Allah has defined for us. Surely, Allah, the angels, the prophets (S), and the Imams (a.s.) avoid such people.’68
2. Material misuses. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) stated about three of the qulat, namely Abul Ghamar, Ja’far Ibn Waqid, and Hashim Ibn Abi Husham, “They misuse people’s property by our names and invite people to what Abul Khattab invites. May Allah curse Abul Khattab and the people who invite others to Abul Khattab and anyone who invited people to him before.”69
3. Extravagance in affection. Imam Ali Ibn Al-Husayn (a.s.) stated, “The Jews attributed what they believed in to ‘Uzayr, out of extreme affection. Therefore, ‘Uzayr is not one of them and they are not like him. The Christians, too, attributed what they believed in to Christ, so Christ is not one of them, nor are they his followers. The same is true about us (the Ahlul Bayt). A group of the Shi’ah loves us so much that they attribute what the Jews said about ‘Uzayr and what the Christians said about Jesus to us; therefore, they are not our followers, nor are we from them.”70
Summary and a Warning
As was mentioned, one of the major problems of infallible Imams (a.s.) and Shi’ism has been the creation of two devious trends of ghuluw and tafwiz. These invalid beliefs harmed the Imams’ (a.s.) honor and Shi’ism sect, making the people pessimistic about them. Unfortunately, this danger was plotted by pretenders of Imams’ (a.s.) affection, who belittled the Exalted Allah’s greatness because of ignorance, untrue expression of affection, or due to financial misuses, considering the Imams’ (a.s.) Allah’s partners in some of His attributes. They deceived some gullible people by publicizing these ideas, thus threatening the Shi’ism sect.
In such conditions, the infallible Imams (a.s.) did not remain silent before these invalid eulogies and struggled with superstitious opinions behind them. They introduced the heads of these fabricated beliefs as infidels, cursing, abandoning, and even allowing their murder, in order to inform their simple-minded followers. Thanks to this conscious step by the infallible Imams (a.s.), this major plot was removed in a way that there is no remnant of the ghulat and mufawwizah today. Of course, the Shi’ah scholars have always attempted to guard true Islamic beliefs and campaign devious opinions.
It is worth mentioning that religious scholars and dignitaries should be aware of misusers, now and in future, who plot to deceive the masses especially at the time of social crises. They do so by telling hopeful stories, groundless dreams, unreliable quotations, and doing some untrue deeds and eulogies.
It may also be possible that the mentioned people propagate ghuluw or tafwiz beliefs consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, religious authorities should always be conscious of and campaign against invalid opinions, just as their predecessors.
1. Surah Al-Ahzab 33: 33.
2. Sahih Muslim, Vol 4, p. 1883.
3. Yanabi’ul Mawaddah, p. 125.
4. Yanabi’ul Mawaddah, p. 125.
5. Yanabi’ul Mawaddah, p. 126.
6. Yanabi’ul Mawaddah, p. 126.
7. Yanabi’ul Mawaddah, p. 126.
8. Majma’ul Zawa’id, Vol 9, pp. 168 & 169.
9. Majma’ul Zawa’id, Vol 9, p. 167.
10. Surah Al-‘An’am 6: 145.
11. Surah Al-Tawbah 9: 125.
12. Surah Yasin 36: 82.
13. Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 185.
14. Ghayatul Maram, Vol 3, p. 199.
15. Al-Badayah wan Nahayah, Vol 2, p. 136; Biharul Anwar, Vol 35, p. 213, Bab 5.
16. Biharul Anwar, Vol 10, Bab 9, p. 138.
17. Surah Al-Ma’idah 5: 67.
18. Mustadrak Hakim Niyshaburi, Vol 3, p. 109.
19. Al-Bidayah wan Nahayah, Vol 5, p. 229.
20. Al-Bidayah wan Nahayah, Vol 5, p. 229.
21. Al-Ghadir, Vol 1.
22. Biharul Anwar, Vol 23, p. 147.
23. Biharul Anwar, Vol 23, p. 147.
24. Al-Ghadir, Vol 1, p. 508.
25. Al-Bidayah wan Nahayah, Vol 5, p. 229.
26. Hilyatul Awliya’, Vol 1, p. 128.
27. Hilyatul Awliya’, Vol 1, p. 104.
28. Hilyatul Awliya’, Vol 1, p. 106.
29. Nurul Absar, p. 80.
30. Yanabi’ul Mawaddah, Vol 1, p. 75.
31. Ghayatul Maram, Vol 5, p. 283.
32. Ikmalud Din, Vol 2, p. 376.
33. Surah Al-Shura 42: 23.
34. Ghayatul Maram, Vol 3, p. 233.
35. Ghayatul Maram, Vol 3, p. 92.
36. Dhakha’irul Uqba, p. 20.
37. Biharul Anwar, Vol 27, p. 79.
38. Biharul Anwar, Vol 27, p. 79.
39. Biharul Anwar, Vol 27, p. 79.
40. Biharul Anwar, Vol 27, p. 79.
41. Biharul Anwar, Vol 27, p. 79.
42. Rawzatul Kafi, p. 80.
43. Al-Kafi, Vol 1, p. 413.
44. Surah Al-Ma’idah 5: 54.
45. Surah ‘Ali ‘Imran 3: 31.
46. Speculative Theology.
47. For more information, you can refer to kalam and philosophy books.
48. The same issue is understood from many Quranic verses and traditions. For more information on this, you can refer to kalam books about “Imamate”.
49. All the issues related to “Imamate” are authored in detail in the book General Issues of Imamate and the book Patterns of Excellence, as well as former sections of the present book.
50. Surah Al-‘A’raf 7: 188.
51. Nahjul Balaghah, Book 31.
52. Nahjul Balaghah, Book 31.
53. Nahjul Balaghah, Book 31.
54. Mafatihul Jinan, Du’a Abu Hamzah Thumali.
55. Sahifah Al-Sajjadiyah, Du’a 13.
56. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 346.
57. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 273.
Abul Khattab , a head of the qulat, lived in Imam Sadiq’s (a.s.) age. He deceived a group of the masses and founded an invalid religion. His full name was Muhammad Ibn Ta’las and his nickname Abul Khattab and Abu Ziynab. He was originally from Kufah, but lived in Medina for acquiring knowledge and the traditions of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), as his companion.
At first he had no deviation; therefore some traditions are narrated by him. However, he was a fool person. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has stated about him, “Abul Khattab was a fool, …” Then he left Medina, went to other cities, and gathered some stupid people around himself by deceiving them, fabricating incorrect traditions, and attributing them to Imam (a.s.). Then he founded an invalid religion with superstitious infidel beliefs. First he claimed that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has taught him Allah’s Grand A’zam Name and has set him his successor. Then he went even further and claimed prophet hood and then prophetic mission. He said, “Ja’far Ibn Muhammad Imam Sadiq is Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah, so obey me!”
He and his father recommended some unlawful deeds, such as adultery, theft, and wine-drinking. They did not oblige prayer, fasting, and zakat. At the beginning, they gave Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and other infallible Imams positions beyond their real positions, introducing them as prophets and messengers. Then they even claimed the Imams are Allah. They said, “The Imam is not merely the person you can observe; rather he has been a superior light, which has come to this world after passing some levels, and materialized in the form of a human.”
When his void beliefs and deeds were reported to Imam Sadiq (a.s.), the Imam (a.s.) raised his hands toward the heaven and said, “May Allah, His angels, and all the people curse Abul Khattab. By Allah that he is infidel and polytheist. He will accompany the pharaoh in the Hell.” Later, Abul Khattab and some of his followers were killed and the remnant was divided into several groups, continuing their deviant practice for years. For more information, you can refer to the book Al-Milal wan Nihal by Shahristani and firaqush Shi’ah by Nubakhti and rijal books.
The authors of rijal books have controversy over Mufazzal Ibn ‘Umar Kufi mentioned in the same tradition. Some consider him one of the qulat and follower of Abul Khattab, rejecting the traditions he has quoted. Some others regard him a real Muslim and a companion of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), considering his ghuluw belief a scandal. The reason for this controversy is various traditions attributed to infallible Imams (a.s.) and recorded in tradition books, either rejecting or approving him. A group of rijal scientists have found a solution; he has been one of qulat and follower of Abul Khattab at first, but accepted the truth, abandoned Abul Khattab, and joined Imam Sadiq (a.s.) later.
Therefore, the traditions Mufazzal has narrated when being a ghali are denied and the ones narrated after his repenting are valid.
Assessment of this issue needs a long discussion in rijal science, which is not possible in the present book. For more information, you can refer to Mu’jam Rijal Al-Hadith by the late Ayatollah Sayyid Abul Qasim Khu’i, Majma’ur Rijal by ‘Inaytullah Ali Qahbali, Qamusur Rijal by Muhammad Taqi Tastiri, Bahjatul Maqal by Mulla Ali Alyari, and other rijal sources.
59. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 296.
60. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p.301.
61. Surah Al-Ra’d 13: 16.
62. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 343.
63. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 289.
64. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 265.
65. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 343.
66. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 394.
67. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 293.
68. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 267.
69. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 319.
70. Biharul Anwar, Vol 25, p. 288.