Excerpts from Abrahamov’s article about Imam Rassi’s” Theory of the Imamate”

Al-Ḳāsim Ibn Ibrāhīm’s Theory of the ImamateAuthor(s): Binyamin AbrahamovSource: Arabica, T. 34, Fasc. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 80-105Published by: BRILLStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4056845Accessed: 30/10/2010 04:54Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=bap.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.BRILL is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Arabica.http://www.jstor.orgAL-KASIM IBN IBRAHIM’S THEORY OF THE IMAMATE*BYBINYAMIN ABRAHAMOVAL-KASIM ibn Ibr&him ibn Isma’il ibn IbrThim ibn al-Hasan ibntX al-Hasan ibn ‘All was born in 169/785. The biographical sourcesprovide no information about his youth, but he probably grew up in al-Madina. Al-Kasim came to Egypt before 199/815 and stayed there till211/826. The reason for his coming to Egypt is uncertain. One sourceindicates that he was sent to Egypt by his brother Muhammad to gainrecruitsw ho would sweara llegiancet o the latter,b ut others ourcesm akeno mentiono f any such recruitingm issioni n Egypt.A lso, al-Kasimw asnot likely to have prepared a rebellion in Egypt, as is related by laterZaydite sources, in addition to his religious activity (see below). Afterleaving Egypt al-Kasim settled in al-Rass near al-Madina where he diedin 246/860.A l-Kasima ppearsi n his writingsa s a teachera nd preachero fthe true religion, and its defender against internal enemies (oppressors,sinners,a nthropomorphistsa)n d externale nemiesa s well (philosophers,ChristiansM, anicheans)H. e was influencedt o a largee xtentb y Mu’tazilismand his writings paved the way for the acceptance of Mu’tazilitedoctrines by the later Zaydites of Yemen. Al-Kasim’s main theologicalsubjects are as follows: the arguments for the existence of God and thecreation of the world, God’s unity and qualities, theodicy, belief andunbelief, the imamate1.IThe aim of this article is to examine al-Kasim’s theory of the imamate,comprising three main themes: a. The obligation to appoint an imam b.* The present article is a revised version of a chapter of my Ph.D. thesis, originallywritten in Hebrew, on the theological epistles of al-Kasim ibn Ibrahim. The work wascarried out under the supervision of Prof. M. Schwarz.1 See W. Madelung, Der Imam al-Qasim ibn Ibrdhim und die Glaubenslehre der Zaiditen,Berlin 1965, pp. 86-96. B. Abrahamov, The Theological Epistles of al-Kdsim Ibn Ibrdhim,unpublished Ph. D. thesis, Tel Aviv University, 1981, vol. 1.Arabica, tome xxxiv, 1987.[2] AL-KASIM IBN IBRAHIM 81The signs attesting to the legitimate imam and c. A refutation of theRafidite doctrines concerning the imamate.At the beginning of his discussion of the imamate question in al-KasimMadelunga sserts:< <Al-Kasimdo es not mentiont he imamateq uestioni nhis five principles2. It is indirectlyi nterwoveni n the fifthp rinciple,a nd inmost of the rest of his works he does not deal with it at all. Evidently itwas not his special concern. Certainly he was a Zaidite to such an extentthat he considered the wrong decision concerning the succession to theProphett he sourceo f all evils in Islam.Y et the consequenceso f this faultseemed to him much graver than the fault itself. Al-Kasim’s adherentswere clearly much more interested in the imamate question than al-Kasim himself. Quite a few questions that were directed to him dealt withthe imamate. In response to a question about the necessity of theimamatea nd the sign indicatingt he legitimatei mama l-Kasimc omposedhis Kitab tathbit al-imdma (see below)3>>.However, the fact that al-Kasim does not mention the imamatequestioni n his five principleso f Islamd oes not provet hat <<iwt as not hisspecial concern>>F. urthermore,t he question of emigrationf rom theabode of unjust people does not figure as a principle, although al-Kasimdeems it very important and devotes a long epistly entitled Kitdb al-hidjrato it. In contradistinctionto this, the thirdp rinciple,t he promisea nd thethreat, occupies little space in his writings. As a rule, the relativeimportanceo f al-Kasim’sn otions need not be evaluateda ccordingt o thecriteriono f his five principless, incet he latterd o not sum up all his views,but, as Madelung notes, do contain a summary of most of his arguments4.Most of al-Kasim’s theological epistles deal with the first twoprinciples, God’s unity and God’s justice.The imamate question, not in its political aspect 5, occupies animportant position in al-Kasim, and he devoted several works to it:2 The five principles of Islam according to al-Kasim are as follows: a. God is one b.God is just c. God both promises and threatens d. The Kur’an is a homogeneous bookwithout contradictions, and the Sunna is what is mentioned in the Kur’an and what theKur’an intends e. It is forbidden, where oppressors rule, to use property and to engage incommerce and profits making. See al-Kasim, Min kaidmihi, MS. Berlin (W. Ahlwardt,Verzeichnis der arabischen Handschriften der Koninglichen Bibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin 1887-1899, BD 4, S. 290, nu. 4876, Glaser 101), fol. 132a-132b. The text of the five principles wasedited by E. Griffini in RSO 7 (1917), pp. 605 f, and also by M. ‘Imara in Rasd’il al-‘adlwa’l-tawhid, Cairo 1971, vol. I, p. 142. (Cf. Madelung, Der Imam, pp. 104-105).3 See Madelung, Der Imam, p. 141.4 See ibid., p. 104.Cf. ibid., p. 150.82 B. ABRAHAMOV [3]Kitdb tathbit al-imdma and Kitdb al-imama6, which deal with thenecessityo f an imama nd his signs, Kitdba l-radd’ alda l-rdfldaa nd Kitdb6 In MS. AmbrosianaC 186 (see E. Griffini,R SO 8 (1919-1920)p, p.2 93-297,n o. 442(C1 86) the epistle is entitled al-‘ihtidjddfji ‘l-imdma.P arts of it were publishedi n R.Strothmann’s Das Staatsrecht der Zaiditen, Strassburg 1912, ch. 2. Madelung (Der Imam,pp. 99-100)d oubtst he authenticityo f this work for some reasons:a . The languageo f theepistlei s poor and sometimesi ncorrectT. he differenceb etweeni t and the likelya uthenticKitdb tathbita l-‘imdmab, oth of which treat the same subject,i s very striking.b . TheZaydiyya’so pponents,a ccordingt o Kitdba l-imdman, amelya l-Murdji’aa, l-Kadariyyat,h eenemieso f the Prophet’sf amily,o r Ali’s enemies( al-Nawasib)a nd al-Khawaridaj re notmentioned in al-Kasim’s other epistles. The adversaries he always mentions are theHashwiyyaw, ho are missingh ere.Y et this list of adversarieesx actlyf its the list of enemiesmentioneds everalt imes in the juridicalw ork attributedt o Zayd ibn ‘All (See Madelung,Der Imam, p. 55). Possibly the expression Kadariyya still indicates the opponents ofpredestinationM. adelung,t hen, concludest hat the authorw as certainlya Zayditeo f theold Kiific school. But it is evident that already at an early stage the work passed into al-Kasim’s collection of epistles, since Ibn Nadim (Kitib al-f hrist, ed G. Flugel, Leipzig 1871,p. 193) and Abu Tilib al-Natik (Kitdb al-ifdda ft ta’rikh al-a’imma al-sdda, MS. Berlin,Glaser 37, fol. 25b) include it in al-Kasim’s writings.Madelung’sc onclusiond oes not seems ufficientlyw ell-foundedW. hilet he stylei s ratherinferior,a l-Kasim’ss tyle is not homogeneouse, ven in epistlesM adelungc onsiderst o begenuine. His style in Kitdb al-radd ‘ald al-zindik and Kitdb al-radd ‘ala al-nasdrd – a forcedand crude rhymed prose (sadj) – is different from the style in Kitdb al-dalil al-kabir, whichis also written in rhymed prose, but is neither forced nor crude. And his style in the latter isdifferent from that in Kitdb al-mustarshid (See my The Theological Epistles, vol. II,pp. 108-142. MS. Berlin, fols. 71b-81a), in which, as in other works, he does not writesometimesi n rhymedp rose. In his Kitdba l-masd’i(l MS. Brit. Mu. Or. 3977)h e does notuse rhymedp rose at all. Al-Kaisimse emst o have initiallyw ritteni n rhymedp rose,b ut inthe course of time he gradually gave it up, so that his late epistles (e.g. Kitib al-dalil alsaghir)eschew this style.Contraryt o Nyberg’sd oubts as to the authenticityo f Kitdba l-radd’ alda l-zindik( SeeOLZ, 32(1929),p p.432 ff), Bergstrassecro ncludest hat both this work and Kitdba l-radd’alda l-nasdraw erew rittenb y al-Kasim,b ut the latterw as writtens omewhatl atert han theformer (See Islamica 4 (1929-31), pp.295 ff. Madelung, Der Imam, p.90 f.) The style ofKitdb al-radd ‘ald al-nasdrd is noticeably less crude than that of Kitdb al-radd ‘ald al-zindik.Moreover,t he key wordm a’din( source,o ccurringin al-Kasim’sK itdba l-masd’ilf,o l. 57b.Cf. MadelungD, er Imam,p . 143),w hichr eferst o the Prophet’sf amilya s a sourcei n whichthe imamc an be found,a ppearss everalt imesi n the sames ensei n Kitdba l-‘imdma(S eee .g.MS. Berlin, fol 57a, 1.1 6, 57b, 111. 2-13).T here is a possibilityt hat one of al-Kasim’sdisciples wrote what he had heard from his master, and this might explain the mistakesoccurringf rom time to time in the text.The Murdji’aa re mentionedi n al-Kasim’sw ritingsb oth by namea nd by theird octrines(See Kitib al-masd’il, fol. 47b. Kitdb al-dalil al-kabir in my The Theological Epistles vol; II,p. 41 (MS. Berlin, fol. 17a.) Kitdb al-‘adl wa’l-tawhid, in Rasd’il al-‘adl wa’l-tawhid, ed. M.’Imara,C airo 1971,p p. 121-122T. hel ast epistlei s consideredb y Madelungt o be spurious).As to the Kadariyya, when in Kitdb al-‘imdma the author includes them among hisadversariesh, e meanst he proponentso f predestinationn, ot its opponents.T he formera reexplicitlym entionedin al-Kasim.I n responset o a questionp osedb y his son Muhammada sto what is meant by the designation Kadariyya he says: <the Kadariyya are those whouphold compulsion? (al-mudjbira. See Kitdb al-masd’il, fol. 47a). Also there is nothingsurprisingin includingt he enemieso f the Prophet’sf amilya mongt he adversarieso f one[4] AL-KASIM IBN IBRAHIM 83al-radd ‘ald al-rawafid min ashdb al-ghuluww7 which deal with therefutation of the Rafidite doctrines concerning the imamate.who holds that an imam shouldb e of this family.A s to the Khawaridjt,h ey were of theopinion that an imam should be elected, (See El2, vol. IV, p. 1076), and this may be thereason why al-Kasim, who opposes this view, counts them as his adversaries.Madelung’sc onclusiont hat the authoro f Kitdba l-‘imdmaw as a Zayditeo f the earlyKiific school is untenable. The Batriyya, who formed the doctrines of the early Zayditeschoolo f Kiufah, eldt hat an imams houldb e appointedb y a councilo f electors( shurd)a, ndsome of them held that accessiont o the imamatew as the privilegeo f everyd escendanto fAli who took to the swordi n supporto f his claim( See MadelungD, er Imam,p . 50). But al-Kasim,w ho, in my opinion, is eithert he authoro f Kitdba l-‘imdmao r the author’sf irstsource,d isagreest hat an imam shouldb e appointedb y a council. In Kitdba l-‘imdmaa l-Kasim asks: <<HowG od’s messengerm, ay God bless him and give him peace, imposed(farada) the imama upon Abii Bakr, did he name him for you (sammdhu lakum bi- smihi wa-‘aynihi), or indicate him by his quality (dalia ‘alayhi bi-sifatihi), or leave it to a council(tarakahd shzurd)o, r keep silent (sakata)?>>( See ibid. MS. Berlin, fol. 55a, 114. -6.)Al-Kasim rejects all these four ways of appointing an imam by the usual Kalamdialecticaml ethodo f arguing( See ibid.,f ol. 55a-57a).F inallyh e drawst he conclusiont hatMuhammad named his successor according to a message from God (Abu Bakr ismentionedb y name),b ut afterh imt he legitimateim ams houldb e appointedo n the basiso fhis relationship(k ardba)t o the Prophet,h is being the most obedient,p ious and wisesto fpeople( See ibid., fol. 57a-fol.5 8). The imamate,a ccordingt o al-Kasim,i s to be found in aknown place (i.e. in a single specific person): ‘inna al-‘imdma ld takuinu ‘illdf imawdi’ ma’riif(See ibid.,f ol. 57a, 1.1 2).N owhered oes al-Kasimi ndicater ebelliona s a sign characteristicof the imam.It may be assumedt hat the authorw as a Djariidite.T he Djaruiditedsi d not approveo fthe imamate of Abii Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, but declared that the Prophet hadappointed’Al-i his legatee( wasi)- to be the legitimateim am.T heyr epresentedth e viewthat the communityh ad made a mistakea nd transgressedG od’s preceptsw hen it sworeallegiancet o the firstt hreec aliphsa nd not to ‘All( See MadelungD, er Imam,p p. 44-46,a l-Nashi’, Kitdb ‘uszul al-nihal, p.42, in J. van Ess, Fruhe Mu’tazilistische Hdresiographie,Beirut1 971).( Aboutt he authorshipo f Kitdb’ usula l-nihalw, hichi s attributedb y J. van Essto al-Nashi’a l-Akbars, ee W. Madelung<, <Fruhme u’tazilitischHe aresiographied:a s Kitabal-Usuidl es Ga’farb . Harb?>D>e r Islam,5 7(1980),p art2 , pp.2 20-236).W hereasa ccordingto kitdba l-imdmait is evidentt hat al-Kasima pprovedo f the imamateo f AbuiB akr and’Umar, whom he mentions without rejectingt hem. The Djaruiditesh eld that everydescendanto f al-Hasana nd al-Husaync ould be an imamb y risingi n rebellion( khurudj).See MadelungD, er Imam,p . 47. And as we haves een,a l-Kasimw as not of the opiniont hatrisingi n rebellionw as a sign characteristioc f the imam.W e shall see below that notionsexpressed in Kitdb tathbit al-imama appear also in Kitab al-imdma.7 Madelunga lso doubts the authenticityo f this epistle. See Der Imam,p p. 98-99. Heargues that the names of al-Kasim and four of his brothers appear in the epistle (See MS.Berlin,f ol. 147)a nd that its style is differentf rom that in Kitdba l-radd’ aida l-rdfldaB. utfinally, since there is a connection between the two epistles with regard to the contents,Madelung draws the conclusion that Kitdb al-radd ‘ald al-rawdfid was composed inaccordancew ith al-Kasim’sc onception,b y a disciple,p robablyo ne of his sons, who allfigured in al-Kasim’s life time as well versed in his writings.It is not clearw hy Madelungd rawsa differentc onclusionc oncerningK itdba l-‘imdma,althoughh e has the samed ata as in Kitdba l-radd’ alda l-rawdfidi,. e., the worksd isplayadifferencein style, but a similarityin contents,a nd biographeras nd bibliographerdso notdoubt the authenticityo f either.84 B. ABRAHAMOV [5]IIMost of the sects in Islam held that the obligation to appoint an imamwas absolute. Only the Nadjdites, a sub-sect of the Kharidjites, AbiiBakr al-Asamm and Hisham al-Fuwati, opposed this principle, maintainingthat if all the people are righteous and just, all of them are equalto one another, and there is therefore no reason to obey one of them8.The controversy has been over the proof that the appointment of animami s obligatory- whetheri t is based upon reason( bi’l-‘ak[)o r upontradition (bi’l-sam’), i.e. the Kur’an and the Sunna. The proof fromreason for the appointment of an imam is expressed in the assertion thatif a society did not have an imam, it would be destroyed, since everyperson would aspire to attain his goals without taking into considerationothers’ needs and feelings, and this would lead to robbery and killing9.Most of the Mu’tazilites held that the appointment of an imam wasincumbent upon the community first according to reason and secondlyaccordingt o tradition,w hereast he ‘Asheariters atedt raditioni n the firstplace and reason in the second 0. In this matter the Twelver Shl’itesThe sole worko f those attributedto al-Kasim,w hosea uthenticityca n be totallyd eniedi sKitdba l-kdmial l-munira, refutationo f the KhawaridjT. heZ ayditei mamsd o not mentionit, it does not occuri n the MSS. in whicha ll al-Kasim’sw orksa re included,i ts style is verydifferentf rom al-Kasim’s,a nd the answerst o the Khawaridsj uggestt hat the authori s aShl’ite Imami. Cf. Madelung, Der Imam, pp. 102-103.8 See al-Shahrastani, Kitdb nihdyat al-akddmfi ‘ilm al-kaldm, ed. A. Guillaume, Oxford1931, pp.481f . idem., Kitdba l-milalw a’l-nihalr, ep. of W. Cureton’se d. (London 1846)Leipzig 1923, p.92. Al-‘Ash’arl, Kitdb makalat al-isldmiyyin wa-‘ikhtildf al-musailin, ed.H. Ritter,W iesbaden1 963,p .125,11.1 1-12,p .460,11.9-11.A l-BaghdadiK, itdb’ usi7al l-din,Istanbul1 928,p p.271f . Accordingt o the Mu’tazilitet heologiana l-Nashi'( See J. van Ess,FruheM u’tazilitischep, p.49 f. arts. 82-83 of the Arabict ext) the Mu’tazilaw ere dividedinto two groupsi n regardt o the obligationt o appointa n imam.O ne maintainedth at thisobligation was absolute, the other that the Muslims had the right to appoint an imam ornot. Al-Asamm is not mentioned by al-Nashi’ (See ibid) among those who denied theobligationt o appointa n imam.A ccordingt o al-Nashi’h e assertst hat in disorderlyt imes,when one imamc annotr ule,t herem ay in fact be severali mams.T hus al-‘Ash’arl’sr eportabout al-Asamm would seem to be based on an implication rather than on a clearstatement. Cf. W. M. Watt, The Formative Period of Islamic Thought, Edinburgh 1973,pp. 226-227.J . van Ess, ((Al-Asamm)>E,l 2, Supplementp, p. 88-90.9 Cf. Ibn Khaldiin,M ukaddimae, d. Biilak, pp.4 3-44, 187. trans. by F. Rosenthal,London 1958, pp. 91-93, 380-381.10 See H. A. R. Gibb, o(Al-MdwardiT’sh eoryo f the Khilafah>I>s,l amicC ulture2 (1937),p.25. Al-Baghdidi,o p. cit. But some Mu’tazilitesA, biu’ Ali al-Djubba’iA, buiH ashima l-Djubba’ia nd’Abda l-Djabbarh, eld that the obligationt o appointa n imamw as basedo ntraditiono nly. See Madelung,D er Imam,p . 143. Abd al-Djabbara, l-Mughnifl abwdba ltawhidwa’I-‘adlv, ol. XX, partI , ed. ‘Abda l-HalimM ahmiida nd SulaymanD unya,p p. 17-40. Cf. Sayf al-Din al-Amidi,G hdyata l-mardmfl ‘ilma l-kaldme, d. Hasan Mahmiid’ Abdal-Latif, Cairo 1971, pp. 364ff.[6] AL-KASIM IBN IBRAHIM 85followed the Muetazilite”s , while the later Zaiditesd ecidedi n favor oftradition 12. Al-Kasim based himself upon both reason and tradition.According to al-Kasim the obligation to appoint an imam is derivedfrom the necessity of defending the community from its external enemies,the weak persons from the strong ones and the holy places. The imam isthe one who watches people to induce and guide them to obey God’sprecepts. If there were no imam, people would be lost13. <<Afterth eProphet people cannot dispense with an imam. If they do, they will shedblood and violate prohibitions. The strong person will overwhelm theweak one and the rules and the punishments( al-ahkim wa’l-hudz7wd)i llbe nullified”?>>.Al-Kasim states that the obligation to appoint an imam is connectedwith the wisdom (hikma) observed in Creation. God created the universe,since he wished (ardda) and chose (ikhtdra) to create it15. It is inadmissibleto assume God, the Wise, creating things then wishing todestroy them; He created things in such a manner that they can exist. Hecreated, for example, various kinds of food by which man can benourished. Also the division of the year into seasons, months, days andnights for the benefit of man, and the animals that man can enslave,demonstrate that God created things for man’s existence’6.The existence of human beings from infancy to maturity is dependentupon parents (‘abd’) who take care of their children and maintain them.The parents-sonsc hain reachesb ack to the first father,w ho was taughtby God how to exist, i.e., to know the damage and the benefit ineverything and to know how to punish the evil-doer and reward the’7 righteous person .Al-Kasim divides man’s life into three periods (tabakdt). In the firstperiod,t he periodo f upbringing( tabakata l-tarbiya)p, eople are dependentupon their parents. In the second period, the period of working toacquire food (tabakat ‘i’timil al-‘aghdhiya), they are independent of theirparents. In the third period of doing good and evil (‘iktisab’8 al-hasanaSee Ahmad Mahmuid Subhi, Nazariyyat al-‘imdma ladd al-shi’a al-‘ithna ‘ashariyya,Cairo 1969, pp. 69-77. Madelung, ibid.12 See Madelung, ibid.13 See Kitdbt athbita l-‘inmma in The TheologicaEl pistles,v ol. II, p.206, 1. 10-p.2 07,1.1 0 (MS. Berlin,f ol. 82a-82b).K itaba l-‘imdmaM, S. Berlin,f ol. 57a.4See ibid., 1. 10.15 Al-Kasimi dentifiesG od’s will with His choice.C f. al-Baghdadi’,U sulla l-din,p . 102.16 See Kitabt athbita l-‘imdmap, p. 207-209( MS. Berlin,f ols. 82b-83b).17 See ibid., pp. 209 f (MS. Berlin fol. 83a f.).18 The verbsk asabaa nd ‘iktasabaa re used in kalamp riort o al-Ghazali n the senseo fperforminga ctionsf or which one is responsibleS. ee M. Schwarz,? Acquisition( kasb)i n86 B. ABRAHAMOV [7]wa’l-sayyi’a), they need a guide and an instructor,w ho can punisht hem.In this period, the desire for sex and food is implanted in men, and ifthere were not someone to limit and curb it, people would fight againsteach other to satisfy their desires and consequently the world would bedestroyed 9. God cstablishedm arriaget o limita nd curbt he sexuald esireand other known restrictions to limit people in their other activities.Whoevert ransgressesth ese restrictionsis punished.P eople need a guideto teach them these restrictions, and this guide is the imam. Also, theimam punishes people if they disobey him, and rewards them if they obeyhim. In this manner people are kept safe20.Al-Kasim infers the obligation to appoint an imam also from twoprecepts, prayer and almsgiving. Since the prayer on Friday is directedby an imam, and the imam is mentioned in the Friday sermon21, theremust be an imam to direct the prayer, and since the prayer is anobligation imposed upon Muslims, there is an obligation to appoint animam.T he precepto f almsgivingt oo cannotb e fulfilledw ithouta n imamwho takes money from people and distributes it afterwards to the22 poorThe notion that an imam should be appointed since the precepts arefulfilled by people because of his presence and activities is generallyexpressedi n Kitaba l-‘imama:< <Knowth at the most obligatoryp recepti sthe precept of the imamate (i.e., appointing an imam) (afrad al-fard’idwa-awkaduhd fard al-‘imdma), since all precepts do not exist exceptthrough it (li-‘anna djami’ al-fara’id ld takuinu ‘ilid bihd). It is forbidden tochange this precept in any way (wa-ld yadjuizu tabdilfaridat al-‘imdma),since its change (lit. since in it) entails (lit. there is) damage which is notentailed by the change of another precept (lit. which is not in anotherprecept) (li-‘anna fl/hd al-fasdd md laysa fi ghayrihd) 23 ,,.Early kaljm>>, in Islamic Philosophy and the Classical Tradition, eds. S. M. Stern,A. H. Hourani and V. Brown, Oxford 1972, pp. 355-387.19 See Kitdb tathbit al-‘imama, pp.210f. (MS. Berlin 83b, f.). The distinction al-Kasimmakes between the second and third periods is not justified, since according to al-Kasimhimselfw orkf or acquiringfo od musta lso be limited( Seei bid.).T hus,t herei s no differencebetween the second and third periods.20 See ibid., pp. 211 f (MS. Berlin 83b, f.).21 The mention of the imam in the Friday sermon is not explicitly stated by al-Kasimbut implied in the following: wa-man kdnat tu’kadu lahu fa-mutakaddim kabla takaddumihd<.<Hefo r whom the prayeri s establishedp recedest he prayer)>i.b id. p. 222 (MS.Berlin, fol. 87a).22 See ibid.23 See Kitib al-‘imdma, MS. Berlin, fol. 56b, 112. 2-23. In Kitdb al-masd’il (fol. 58)Muhammad, al-Kasim’s son, says that many of God’s precepts can be fulfilled onlythrough an imam. Cf. Madelung, Der Imam, p. 144.[8] AL-KASIM IBN IBRAHIM 87The obligation to appoint an imam also evidently figures in theKur’an. First al-Kasim shows that God chooses some of His creaturesand prefers them to others. He refers, for example, to the following verse:?He it is who has madey ou vice-gerentso f the eartha nd has raiseds omeof you above othersi n rank. .. >>(s iira6 , v. 165)24.T hen he quotesv erses(suira2 , v. 124,s iira 32, vv. 23-24)s tatingt hat God appointedI brThima nimam and also the other imams among the children of Israel. Accordingto al-Kasim’s interpretation of siura 3, v. 68 and siira 2, v. 129,Muhammadi s the heir of IbrThim<. <‘Verilyth, e people who are nearestto Ibrahim are those who followed him and this prophet and those whohave believed. God is the defender of the believers’. (siira 3, v. 68).Muhammadt, hen, inheritedt he prophethoodf rom IbrThima nd Ismaeil,and the call of IbrThima nd Isma’ilc ame to him since they said: ‘O, ourLord, raiseu p amongt hem a messengero, ne of themselves…'( siira2 , v.129)>>25 .But ?the most obvious proof and the most illuminating revelationconcerning the obligation of the imamate and (the fact) that it isobligatoryo n the community( wa-‘abyand alil. wa-‘anwatra nzil.fi wudjuibal-‘imdma.w a-mdy adjibum inhd’ ald’l-‘ummai)s God’s saying: ‘O youwho have believed, obey God and the messenger and the men of power(‘ulu al-‘amr) amongst you. If you quarrel about anything, refer it toGod and the messenger, if you have come to believe in God and theLast Day, that is the best interpretation(‘l it. that is better and faireri ninterpretation)(. sfira 4, v. 59). God, may He be blessed and exalted,ordered to obey the men of power with His ordering to obey Him andthe messenger. God, may He be blessed and exalted, orders only aknown thing (wa-ld ya’muru tabdraka wa-ta’dla ‘illd bi-ma’lam ghayrmadjhal)>>2A6c. cordingt o al-Kasim,t he men of power are the imams.The last quoted verse appears as proof of the obligation of the imamatealso in Kitdb al-imdma and after quoting it there al-Kasim adds, <<Godorderedt o obey that which is known (fa-‘amarab i-td’atm a’luimg hayrmad]h)?>2>7 .The only tradition figuring in al-Kasim as proof of the obligation ofthe imamate is: ?Whoever dies without having an imam, dies like anidolater (lit. dies an idolatrous death. man mdta ld imdm lahu mdta mita24 See also siira 28, v. 68, suira 17, v. 21, suira 43, v. 32, siira 17, v. 70. Kitab tathbit al-‘imdma, p.204 (MS. Berlin. fol. 81b).2″ See ibid., pp. 205 f (MS. Berlin 82a), p. 223 (MS. Berlin fol. 87a.f).26 See ibid., p. 206, 11. 3-7 (MS. Berlin fol. 82a).27 See Kitdb al-imdma, MS. Berlin, fol. 57a, 117. -9.88 B. ABRAHAMOV [91djdhiliyya) 28. An allusion to this tradition figures in Kitdb al-‘imdmawhere al-Kasim says that if there were no imam, the religion would againbecome idolatrous (lit. the religion would return to be idolatry. waradja’aal-din djfhiliyya)29.IIIAfter provingt he necessityo f the imamatea nd inferringi ts obligationfrom reason as well as from the Kur’an and the tradition, there is a needto know who is the imam. According to al-Kasim, the imam’s identitymust be evident and the signs attesting to him must be unequivocal, sothat no unrightful pretender to the imamate can attribute it to himself.Only an undoubtedi mam can deter transgressorsb y inflicingp unishmentand bestowing reward to the obedient30.The imams31 are divided into three kinds: a. the messengers and theprophets (rusul, ‘anbiyd’) b. the legatees (‘awsiyd’)32 of the messengersand c. the successorso f the prophets( khulafda’ l-‘anbiyd’), who are alsocalled imams (‘a’imma). The distinction between the messengers, thelegatees and the imams is evident through the signs by which they can beidentified.A l-Kasimr ecognizest he prophets,w ho are of the highestr ankamong the imams,t hroughm iracles( ‘ayaytt)h at have occurredt o them.He mentions the miracles of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad3 3.

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Imam Zaid’s Biography (chapters 3,4,5 and6)

Chapter Three: Imam Zayd on Political Terrain

Reasons and Motivations—————————————

The Start and Constructive Phases—————————–

Imam Zayd Bids Farewell to His Grandfather’s City——-

Imam Zayd in al-Sham——————————————

Imam Zayd and Hisham Face to Face————————-

A Flagrant Plot—————————————————-

Imam Zayd in Kufah———————————————

Preparing for Armed Conflict———————————–

Dispatching Emissaries and Covert Activities—————-

The Legality of Opposition to Oppressors——————–

Persistent Objectives———————————————

Chapter Four: Armed Confrontation

The Start of the Revolution————————————-

The Battle Flow—————————————————

Nasr Ibn Khuzaymah and Early Reinforcements————-

Hoisting the Banner and Fulfiment of Deen——————

Kufah Under Imam Zayd’s Control—————————-

The Tragic Infliction———————————————

The Eternal Will————————————————–

Chapter Five: In the Aftermath of the Revolution

The Honorable Remains—————————————–

Persecution of Imam Zayd’s Supporters———————-

The Consequence of Oppressors——————————-

Imam Zayd: A Continuing Revolution————————

Chapter Six: Zayd’s Legacy

Some Names of Zayd’s Companions and Narrators——–

His Books and Missives—————————————–

Closing————————————————————-

References and Citations

Chapter Three

Imam Zayd on Political Terrain

Reasons and Motivations

When justice is the order of the day people live without those mental disturbances associated with tyranny. People become innovative and creative. Life takes on a pleasant air. But when rulers turn nasty and become symbols of adoration while they trample over people’s rights and silence the voices of advice all the while excluding competent and qualified talent from participation and production, at that time life becomes disruptive and unquiet. Society begins to lose its cohesion. The decent quality of life begins to turn acrid. And the social arena is open to chaos and mayhem. These dynamics begin to translate into public discontent and popular disapproval of the authoritarian decision makers. The stage is set for popular motion towards a form of government that will guarantee social justice and the respect and treasure of human rights.

If things get worse and the rulers begin to tighten their noose around their citizens it is only to be expected to have a public explosion that tries to obtain the end of tyrannical rule and all its devices and stratagems for concealment and deceit.

Muslims during the second half of the first hijri century were subjected to a pack of Umayad rulers who seized power by force; and this power was not just any power it was the Islamic khilafah. Then they steered the affairs of state in the wrong direction. This resulted in the best and brightest in the ummah coming together and working on dismantling the Umayad power holders and relieving them of their tyranny generating positions.

One of the most outstanding figures to lead the movement against this Umayad lapse was Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali (AS). He worked on reinstating the right to oppose deviant rulers by the Muslim public, and towards that end he planted the seeds of revolution against oppression.

Referring to Imam Zayd’s writings and epistles we may acquaint ourselves with the main reasons and justifications for his revolt against the Umayad body politic. And that includes:

1- The Umayads were in violation of Islamic standards and did not observe the shared Islamic values that all other Muslims adhered to. This was expressed in how the Umayads played “cut and loose” with Islamic laws and hudud. A feature of Umayad rule was to kill innocent people. The rulers did not spare themselves indulging in vice and clubhouse pursuits. They had no second thoughts about stifling public expression while working on curtailing freedom of assembly and conscience. They turned Islamic khilafah into hereditary rule, for which any incompetent and bungling son can assume the highest office in the land: not because of his pious heart and enlightened brain but because of his genetic material!

2- The Umayads assaulted and insulted what Muslims hold dear to them. They went as far as having the Prophet of Allah being maligned and defamed in front of Hisham [ibn ‘Abd al-Melek] who expressed no objection. Imam Zayd said: “I saw Hisham who was in the presence of a person cursing the Prophet of Allah (P). I said to the foul-mouth: Woe to you O kafer! If I were in a position to do so I would send you to your Maker and expedite your blazing penalty.” And then Hisham said to me: Ease off our acquaintance, O Zayd! Zayd said: By Allah [because of that] I was determined even if it is only me and my son Yahya who are going to carry arms against [this tyrant] to perish; and so be it.”[1] Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb, Fatimeh the daughter of Allah’s Prophet (P) and Imam Husayn were all anathematized (damned) from the minbars during Jumu‘ah prayers in they years of this Umayad dynasty.

3- The Umayads showed fiscal irresponsibility. The wealth and revenues of the Islamic lands were laundered and pirated by a clan who spent it on their bellies and body parts. Consequently, Islamic society had to endure economic crises and hard times. It has been reported that Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek – who was known for his stinginess – needed six hundred or seven hundred camels to carry his wardrobe.[2]

In a letter sent by Imam Zayd to the people of Mosul (Iraq) he says: “I am aware of the plight you are in and the religious persecution you endure as well as your deteriorating livelihood. Your blood has been shed and your resources have been confiscated.”[3]

4- There was an official line of jeering and affronting the Prophet’s progeny. Methodical and day-to-day efforts from the royal court attempted to disparage their prestige. The official line was to intimidate and harass the Prophet’s extended family.

The Umayad kings were known to dismiss any advice and ignore anyone who would try to talk some sense into them [the Umayads] about this whole issue. Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek exemplified the arrogance and corruption of power when he stood up in the masjid in Makkah once and said that he will hack off the head of anyone who would say to him: Ittaqi Illah [Fear God]![4]

Some historians exaggerated the facts as they claimed that Imam Zayd had a personal ax to grind. Had they known that such personal scores are never capable of establishing principles and sustaining methodical opposition to tyranny.

The Start and the Constructive Phases


It was in Madinah that Imam Zayd established his broad movement. Initially it was underground and secretive. Its development was unhurried; that is because the general public was afraid to confront brutal and iron-fisted rulers. Especially if we know that Madinah was still tending to its wounds. The Madinians were suffering that after shock of the pitiless and savage Umayad military campaign led by Muslim ibn ‘Uqbah. The image of the folks of al-Husayn who had returned from the tragedy of Karbala was still fresh in their minds. The losses were stupefying. As if the verses of the poetry composed by Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali were ringing in everyone’s ears:

O city of our grandfather           could you no longer be ours

To you we have returned           accompanied with sorrow and tears

We left and imparted you          with family and all who is dear

Now whoever is left is back       we have lost our men, sons, and heirs

until she says:

Our husbands and bread-winners        are at al-Taff, dead, no longer near

Their heads have been hacked                      they butchered our sons without fear

Zayd’s activities were first pronounced within his family structure. They assisted and supported him. They felt for him and were keen on protecting him. Jaber al-Ja‘fi said: I was told by Muhammad ibn ‘Ali: My brother Zayd ibn ‘Ali — it appears –  will carry arms in opposition and will be killed. Obviously, he is doing what is right. Woe to anyone who forsakes him, and to anyone who fights him, and to he who kills him.

Jaber said: When Zayd was preparing to revolt I said: I heard your brother say you will be killed…

He said to me: O Jaber! I cannot remain silent when the Book of Allah has been violated and when the state has become an evil and a monstrosity.[5]

When Imam Zayd realized that the pace was slow in Madinah he benefitted from Hajj to move on and mobilize the potential in Makkah. There he met many personalities from different lands. He sensed they were supportive of the principles of justice and we longing for freedom. He was thus encouraged to go to other lands and people.

When he arrived at Kufah he found a social ambiance unlike Madinah. People were fed up. In public people were speaking up against Umayad persecution. This boosted his morale and gave him hope for mobilizing a corrective trend to set the ummah back on track; even though he was aware of how these same people behaved with his grandfather Imam Husayn. His family cautioned him that these people may not honor their word. But deep down inside Zayd had to honor the conscience pulse in him. Something had to be done for these people who were strained and troubled. “I would wish to be hanging from the furthest star in the heavens and then drop and be sliced to pieces if that means that Allah will bring order to the ummah of Muhammad.”[6] This type of motivated and morally charged young man is rare indeed.

Imam Zayd returned to Madinah with one thing on his mind: how do you redeem the ummah from its condition of mistreatment and subservience?

Imam Zayd Bids Farewell to His Grandfather’s City

Meanwhile, Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek was keeping an eye and getting information on Imam Zayd’s activities and writings. The wali [ruler] of Madinah wrote to him saying: “Zayd is turning public opinion in Madinah against you.”[7] Hisham then began to think of ways to entrap Zayd. He instigated some points of contention with Zayd via his cousins the descendants of Imam al-Hasan. This was meant to side-track Imam Zayd from concentrating on his critique of the regime. But then Zayd realized what was really at work and made up with his cousins. Zayd said to the ruler of Madinah who was Hisham’s vassal and who was instrumental in trying to drive a wedge between Zayd and his cousins: “You have united the descendants of Allah’s Prophet in a way unattainable by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.”[8] At that point Hisham and his functionary knew that they will not be able to sidetrack Zayd into petty issues. Then Hisham decided to try to get Zayd to al-Sham (the Levant) where he can keep a close eye on him. Imam Zayd having received information through different parties felt compelled to go to al-Sham. And he went there reluctantly.

Before he left Madinah he went to pray in the masjid of his grandfather – Allah’s Prophet (P) where he stood and expressed the following du‘a:

O Allah! You know I am compelled, constrained, and bound. It is not my choice or wish to do so. O Allah! Spare me his conspiracy. Cloak me with the garment of innocent pride so that I do not give in to the pomp of royalty. And so that I am not afraid of his troops. O Allah! Give me the words and articulation to say the truth and to support it without being apologetic or inferior to “the power of the state.” O Allah! Bring my heart to your guidance. Show me Your Sustaining power which will in my eyes make his power petty and his pulse vain. O Allah! Throw trepidation into his heart and quandary in his character. Protect me against his scheme.

Then he said:

I shall leave my fatherland and the abode of my asylum. I may not return

Then he approached the tomb of Allah’s Prophet (P) and prayed beside it. After leaving prayers he said: Peace be to you O Prophet of Allah. Peace be to you O Messenger of Allah. Peace be to you the quintessence of Apostles and the noblest of emissaries. Peace be to you the beloved of Allah. This may be my last day in your city and I may never see your tomb or minbar again. Father! I am leaving with difficulty. I have become a prisoner in this land. I ask you al-shafa’at (intercession) with Allah, the Exalted, the Extolled so that He may support me with the confidence of yaqeen (certitude), and the pride of taqwa. I ask for a final testimonial which will place me in the company of my honorable fathers and my impeccable folks.

Imam Zayd in al-Sham

Meanwhile the news that Zayd was on his way to Damascus arrived before Zayd did. Pros and cons were anticipating his arrival. Once he did arrive he was put under “house arrest” at a place called al-Rusafah[9]. He then became the focal point of scholars and students who went to see and learn from him. Overnight al-Rusafah became a hub of scholarly, fiqhi, and literary activity.

In al-Sham Imam Zayd found people who were genuinely fooled. Deen was not entrenched in its deepest meanings. The Umayad establishment had employed pseudo-‘ulema who were busy tailoring religion to the diktats of the state. They told the people that the ruler is dispensed to them by Allah; and that he and his partisans are the people of haqq, and if these rulers do things that seem ridiculous or abhorrent it turns out that these things are Allah’s qadar (predetermination) and qada’ (decree). And whatever these ridiculous and abhorrent things are they do not exclude these rulers from the title of Iman. Therefore, there can be no justification for revolting against them. Besides, they are the people of qiblah, aren’t they!? There were other religious concepts that were slanted and angled. To buttress this whole machination, hadith s were concocted and supportive arguments were produced in the form of philosophies. While Imam Zayd was in al-Sham he tried to set the record straight and bring out the lost components of Islam.

Imam Zayd and Hisham Face to Face

Conceited individuals are obsessed with glorifying themselves. Some of them actually begin to believe that nobility originates from their peculiar condition, sweat and quality. When a brave-heart comes along and destroys this illusion and vaporizes this myth the self-conceited self-destruct. He sees that his vain and glory have been jammed. Thus, he reacts to try to regain his vanity which only exists in his imagination. The ominous part of this whole episode is that this egotist’s reaction employs everything at its disposal: power, potential, and politics.

But for this all to happen there has to be an element of adventure and sacrifice from a brave soul and a free mind which is not much concerned with “the consequences” but rather is more concerned with Allah’s power presence than any tin pot dictator. In this context Allah’s Prophet (P) said: “The superior shahid (martyr) is a man who stands up to an imperious despot and orders him to fear Allah’s power and to desist from breaching the commandments of Allah, and follows that up with momentous resistence. If he dies in the process he is a superior shahid.”[10]

Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek was conceited and thought he had a halo around his head. He imagined himself beyond reproach and rebuke. But Allah would have Imam Zayd bring Hisham to the real world and have his fantasies evaporate.

Hisham ignored the arrival of Imam Zayd to al-Sham for more than a month. After that he had his first encounter with Imam Zayd. Hisham stuffed the room with all his subordinates who were instructed to mingle and socialize and to ignore Imam Zayd. This was Hisham’s first psychological shot. He thought that this would contribute to an erosion of Zayd’s morale.

When Imam Zayd entered the royal court he greeted everyone with salam (peace). But Hisham and his underlings ignored him. Imam Zayd immediately sensed an air of scheming. Then he emphatically said: “Peace be to you the cross-eyed; and you merit this description!” The artificial and pre-planned social atmosphere was deflated; and the royal scheming ceased. At this point Hisham was furious and he sought to put an end to Zayd’s courage by intimidations and humiliations.

He said: “You are Zayd who holds hopes for the khilafah. How can you aspire to such a thing when you are a slave-woman’s son?! These are the types of peeving comments that Hisham was best at: he would try to sink a person’s virtues and take pride in his own ancestry. He thought that by coming from a lineage of royalty his is automatically entitled to purity, chastity, and majesty. Imam Zayd wanted him to understand that his mode of thought is a residual of jahiliyah (pre-Islamic ages), which Islam came to delete. He said to him: “O Hisham! Mothers are never men’s obstacles on their way to their goals. I do  know of a Prophet sent by Allah who is a son of a slave-woman and who is so much loved by Allah. He is Isma‘il the son of Ibrahim. And in this case Prophethood which was achieved by Isma‘il is more important than khilafah. And besides, he being a son of a slave-woman did not exclude him from becoming the father of the Arabs, and the father of the preferential of Prophets: Muhammad (P). If mothers were any consideration in this regard then Allah would not have had him a Prophet.”

After that Imam Zayd said to Hisham that he stated the facts for the record and to give virtue its due. Otherwise, Zayd had an ancestral line that cannot be matched. He said: “How do you impugn a man whose grandfather is Allah’s Prophet (P) and whose father is ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb?!”

Hisham was flabbergasted. He could not find the right words to speak. Imam Zayd realized this and said to him: “Ittaqi Illah ya Hisham” (Fear Allah, O Hisham).

Hisham uncontrollably and in anger reacted by saying: “Is it someone like you ordering someone like me to fear Allah?” Once again Hisham provides us with a sample of his behavior. He thinks that just because he has some worldly, “religious,” and social rank that he is no longer in a position to be assessed and criticized. His head swarms with the false praise and the cheap talk that comes from his subordinates. This places him in a position far beyond reality and away from the facts of life.

Imam Zayd wanted to talk some sense into Hisham and provide him with the bitter truth that usually upsets ego maniacs, so he said to him: “O Hisham! Allah has not elevated anyone above listening to the word Ittaqi Illah (fear [the power of] Allah), nor did Allah denigrate anyone as to be as insignificant and not worthy of counseling [those in power] by saying: Ittaqi Illah.” These are words bursting with wisdom and in the best tradition of Muhammad’s (P) eternal teachings.

At this point Hisham realized that Zayd is not someone who will scramble for words or be caught off balance. So Hisham expressed himself like all authoritarians and said to Zayd: “You have just confirmed all the information I have on you… Who told you to place yourself where you do not belong and think of yourself very highly? You should be smarter than that and you should behave appropriately. You should never talk terms with your higher authority and you should not disagree with your leader.”

Imam Zayd replies in a measured and poised way: “Whoever places himself where he does not belong has offended his Lord, and whoever elevates himself beyond his rightful position has forfeited his self identity, and whoever is unable to assess his own self is unable to get to know his Lord, and whoever confers with his leader while disobeying his [legitimate] authority perishes. O Hisham! Do you know who does such things? It is he who disobeys his Sustaining Lord, behaves as if he is his Creator’s superior, and claims to be what he is not. I state emphatically that I have given you my words of advice and tried to have you see the way.”

These words hit Hisham like a thunderbolt. He in a fit and a rage stood up and uttered words to the effect that he is unable to take on Zayd verbally and mentally. He said to his hired hands and minions: “Take him out of my presence and do not let him dwell among my troops.”

Then Zayd said to him: “You will find me where it annoys you most.” Imam Zayd left while stating his well-known expression: “People who dislike the ardor of swords are candidates for humiliation.” It is also reported that he said: “Whoever is cozy with holding on to worldly life shall experience humiliation unendingly.”

Hisham was later told of these words by Zayd. And he realized something that he had been ignoring, he said to his hirelings and assistants: “And you claim that this [Prophetic] household are a thing of the past? Not so when a person like this [Zayd] is their successor.”[11]

A Flagrant Plot

After that heated exchange in the court of Hisham, royalty began to concoct and connive until they figured that Zayd should be preoccupied with travel. This would expose him to dangers. Have him go from al-Sham (Damascus) to Iraq; and then from Iraq to Hijaz (Arabia). And that was pretty much the way it was. This new scheme was as follows:

*Imam Zayd should be made to leave al-Sham where the news of his scholarly status and outspoken eloquence began to spread.

*His exodus should be to Iraq not to settle there but to be on the turf of Yusuf ibn ‘Umar al-Thaqafi one of the Umayad butchers who was known for his shoot first and ask questions later mentality. This may put some fear into Zayd or it may end his “adventure.” The Umayads were known to instigate their functionaries against their enemies of the Prophet’s descendants. Contracting gruesome tasks to mercenaries or “hit-men” is a well established course by tyrants by which they escape the condemnation of history.

*And if Zayd survives that he should be led to al-Madinah without respite, for if he were to stay in Iraq (where he had been before) he would become “a national security risk” for the Umayad regime. This plan was put into effect with all its contingents.

The triggering mechanism was a Khaled ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qasri who was Yusuf ibn ‘Umar’s predecessor as “governor” of Iraq. This Khaled was deposed and thrown into the dungeons of the regime where he “confessed” to Zayd being in possession of money belonging to the state treasury!

Imam Zayd in Kufah

After a long journey Imam Zayd arrived at Kufah and arriving with him were the functionaries of Hisham who delivered to Yusuf ibn ‘Umar a letter from Hisham with instructions: “to keep the people of Kufah at a distance from [Imam] Zayd as his tongue is razor-sharp and his words are transcendental.”[12]

Upon arrival in Kufah Zayd was straightaway escorted to Yusuf ibn ‘Umar who demanded the money [allegedly in Zayd’s possession]. Zayd said: How could Khaled have given me this money when he was maligning my fathers from his pulpit?[13] Then Yusuf began to browbeat and threaten. Then Imam Zayd said to him: “Spare me your eruptions and fury. I am not your accessory against whom you may take vindictive action. Hold me up to the standards of Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet and not to yours and Hisham’s gages.”[14]

And so Yusuf ibn ‘Umar also came to realize that Zayd is not one who accepts half-measures or a bullying around. So he had Khaled al-Qasri brought in. He said to him: This is Zayd ibn ‘Ali. Tell us what you gave him.

Khaled said: By Allah, beside Whom there is no divinity, I did not give him any amount of money. The only reason you bring him here is to do him wrong.

The plot was exposed. Yusuf ibn ‘Umar approached Imam Zayd and said to him: “The commander in chief [Hisham] ordered me to have you leave al-Kufah upon arrival! Zayd said: Give me three days of relaxation before I embark on my journey out of here. He said: But I cannot do that. So Zayd asked for one day, and the reply was not even one more hour.”[15]

Zayd left with Yusuf ibn ‘Umar’s escorts.

Supporters and partisans of Imam Zayd in Iraq were aware of these developments. They kept a close eye on events. When they knew he was leaving Kufah they followed him to an area called al-‘Atheeb from where the escorts returned. Then his supporters went to him and told him: Where will you go O son of Allah’s Prophet? Will you leave Kufah where you have one hundred thousand swords ready to fight against the Umayad clan? We beg Allah that you stay. They insisted until he agreed and returned with them to Kufah.[16]

Preparing for Armed Confrontation

“O Allah! As we are surrounded by deceptive sedition, and as we are overcome by the fold of confusion, we have been reduced by indignity and deprivation, we have been ruled by those we do not trust with Your deen. Our affairs have been exploited by those who take issue with Your judgement and take-it-out on Your servants. Our revenue has become exclusively theirs, our leadership positions have been usurped, and the trust belonging to us has been turned into a hereditary affair from degenerate groin to degenerate groin. Widows’ and orphans’ shares and allocations are used to buy entertainment places. It is open season by cold and conniving officials on Allah’s wealth. Truly committed Muslims have become subordinate to people under administrative government care (Ahl al-Thimmah). Every deviant has a local civic responsibility. There seems to be no one to protect anyone from ruin, and no one to check the excesses and abuses of state. No one in a position of authority cares. Fellow-feelings and understanding is absent for anyone in need of it. It is an atmosphere of total loss, of an unnerving bondage, and an overall slump and suffering.

O Allah! The fields of injustice are ready for harvest. The season is upon us.

O Allah! Leave no support system or mechanism for injustice. Prepare for the task of uprooting it an able hand that is willing to go beyond the surface and to penetrate the bunch. Let there be no command positions for tyranny and bring down its super and sub structure.

O Allah! Extinguish its false spark, de-brain its head, tackle its troops, and terrorize its droves.

O Allah! Leave injustice with no remnants. Abolish its bogus status, break its chains, take the edge out of its sword and the wind out of its sail.

O Allah! Show us injustice’s cohorts far apart rather than their stilted intimacy, show us their division instead of their common cause, and rip the masks off their identities so that they stand exposed to all the ummah.

O Allah! Hasten the daybreak of justice and extend it forever with its young spirits and victorious souls.

O Allah! Revive with social and state justice broken hearts; unite desperate spirits. Bring back with it Your forlorn commandments and Your lurched laws. Have it fill the empty stomachs of the wretched and the poor. Vitalize with it fatigued bodies… do so with Your might and Your Grace, O Sustainer of the worlds. Amen.”[17]

Likewise did Imam Zayd pray and plead with Allah every time he looked around and realized people were in agony and distress.

In strict secrecy Imam Zayd returned to al-Kufah and began preparing for armed conflict. There were three tasks he had to do:

Dispatching Emissaries and Covert Activities

Imam Zayd brought together hand-picked ‘ulema, men of arms and chivalry, and patricians. All were of superb moral quality. Their deen and commitment was beyond doubt. He had them “stationed” in different lands as “publicists” for the cause and to try to gain support and allegiance for Imam Zayd. They were to prepare as much as possible public opinion for revolution.

Among his assistants in al-Kufah and al-Basra and surrounding areas were: Abu Khaled al-Waseti, Abu al-Jarud, Mu‘mmar ibn Khuthaym, Nasr ibn Khuzaymah, and Mu‘awiyah ibn Is-haq.

His delegate to al-Riqqah and vicinity (in present day Syria) was Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad. There were many who were won over and gave their allegiance in this area.[18]

Zayd wrote to Helal ibn Khabbab in the area of Mada’en where he was a judge. Consequently the people of Rey (in present day Iran) responded favorably and they also gave their allegiance.

Zayd sent al-Fadl ibn al-Zubayr and Abu al-Jarud to Abu Hafeefah al-Nu‘man. When they reached Abu Hafeefah he was ill. They sought out his support, to which he replied: “He [Zayd] has by all means a just and right cause. He is the most knowledgeable person we know about in our time. Convey to him my greetings and tell him my ailment makes it difficult for me to carry arms with him.” Abu Haneefah gave them thirty thousands dirhams to give to Zayd to be used for the jihad; and he said: “If I recover I will join him in his revolt.” He also said: “Zayd’s combat resembles the combat of Allah’s messenger on the Day of Badr.”[19]

The reknown hafez and the famous narrator Mansur ibn al-Mu‘tamer al-Salami corresponded with the ‘ulema and would approach with tears in his eyes saying: “Answer the call of Allah’s Prophet’s son.”[20]

‘Uthman ibn ‘Umair al-Faqih went with Zayd’s call to al-A‘mash and his circle of scholars. After reading Imam Zayd’s letter, al-A‘mash said: “I think no one knows of Zayd’s exceptional quality more than I. Communicate to him my greetings of peace. Say to him that al-A‘mash tells you: ‘I do not trust the people will carry through this with you. Had we found three hundred from us who were willing to carry arms with you we would be the first to endure the responsibilities of war.”[21]

Shu‘bah said: I heard al-A‘mash say: ‘Had it not been for an ailment I have I would be on may way [with Zayd]. By Allah! I sense he will be betrayed as was his grandfather and uncle.”[22]

After a year long campaign to drum up support for Imam Zayd the number of those who pledged allegiance were more than fifteen thousand warriors.[23] Prominent among them were distinguished ‘ulema, huffaz [memorizers of the Quran], and its reciters. They all came from different backgrounds and affiliations. A Shi‘i, a Mu‘tazili, and a Murji’ all were on an equal footing as they hastened to enlist in Imam Zayd’s military campaign. The scholars of his time were very supportive of Zayd’s revolution. Up to this point the momentum was promising.

Sulayman al-Razi said: “Never have I seen in my life a day filled with manpower support, packed with arms and robust men along with their knowledge of the Quran and fiqh than was the case with the companions of Imam Zayd.”[24]

Topping the list of his supporters was his brother Muhammad al-Baqer. Even though he was not yet prepared to enlist, he was, though, a keen observer of Imam Zayd’s movements. He would say to his friends: “He [Zayd] is the “ace” of Bani Hashem. If he calls on you respond to him, and if he asks you for help and victory, then offer him help and victory.”[25]

His nephew Imam Ja‘far al-Sadeq wanted to accompany his uncle Zayd the last time he left from al-Madinah to al-Kufah. He said to him: “I am with you, uncle.” To which Zayd replied: “Do you not know that we are in complementary positions: one of us has to bear arms and the other has to stay behind, for if we both take up arms, who will tend to our family?” Ja‘far stayed behind on instructions from his uncle Zayd, but he sent his two sons ‘Abdallah and Muhammad with him.[26] He said: “Whoever dies with my uncle Zayd it is as if he died with al-Husayn, and who ever dies with al-Husayn it is as if he died with ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb, and who dies with ‘Ali it is as if he died with the Prophet (P).”[27]

Imam Zayd’s revolution had substantial support and considerable popularity.

Scholarly support may be attributed to two things: First, Imam Zayd’s revered status as they all attested to his knowledge and entitlements. Second, society was in need of change because oppression and injustice were all too prevalent.

The “law” had banned Imam Zayd from being in Kufah so he had to go underground. He would always move from one house to the next and from one neighborhood to the other. If someone sought to pay allegiance to Imam Zayd he would be escorted both ways under deep cover.

His missives (written letters) were carefully carried and delivered across areas and lands to be communicated to distant public opinions. It has been reported that a man with a cane was hastily walking one day. The soldiers deployed by Yusuf ibn ‘Umar who were posted on the thorough ways to frisk people stopped this man. They asked him: Where are you from? And he said: From al-Sham. They checked him but could not find anything suspicious. Then one of them took his cane and began to look it over. He found a piece of wax glued to it. He took the wax out and discovered that the cane was hollow, and in its chamber were pages of a letter. After extracting it out it turned out to be a letter from Imam Zayd to the inhabitants of Mosul![28]

This story has two observations. First, the extent to which the regime was on alert against its enemies, and especially the potential of Imam Zayd. Second, Imam Zayd was at an advanced stage of underground activities.

Imam Zayd’s revolution was discovered after one year of stealth movements only days before his uprising. This may be attributable to a compact society, an iron handed regime, and the proliferation of mercenaries and the faint hearted.

The Legality of Opposition to Oppressors

Islam is a blue-print for humanity. It defines the direction for mass movements. It also takes note of rulers and citizens in this context. And popular movement contravening Allah’s directives is – sooner or later – doomed. There are procedural issues that have to be watched attentively so as to avoid instability and to secure justice and order.

No doubt deviation by a native is not as consequential as deviation by a sovereign. A sovereign’s deviation causes rumbles and ripple-effects throughout society. Sometimes the consequences are denial of human rights and the total disregard for human dignity. Ergo, people yearn for justice, freedom, love, and prosperity.

Due to the fact that this is a crucial fixture of life, Islam provides for an assembly of qualified and experienced advisers whose credentials permit them to monitor the course of the decision making process away from personal interests or dogmatic/fanatic considerations:

Let there be a category of people who publicize the good and who

command the [common sense] right and ban the [common sense]

wrong-doing.                                                                                                                             3: 105

When a sovereign deviates these qualified and learned individuals render their advice and directives. All peaceful means should be exhausted to correct such political errors. If the sovereign insists on his course of political deviation and proves impervious to any good counsel and office they should force him to abide by Allah’s order. This may first take the form of verbal communication. After that there may be ultimatums, threats, and even civil disobedience. The last measure towards this end is the use of arms. An errant tyrant could destroy his own society if he is permitted to get away with breaking Allah’s laws: “You will indeed enforce the [common sense] good and you will indeed ban the [common sense] evil or else Allah will impose on you the worst among you; and then your best come calling on Allah but they merit no [divine] response and solace.”

In view of the “supreme rulers” this Islamic perspective on corrective political action is the most dangerous component of Islam. They are scared stiff of its implications and possibilities. That is why they have been working overtime to obfuscate this perspective if they are unable to wipe it out altogether. To this end they have an army of opinion makers. They allocate budgets and material incentives to have some hadith(s) circulate that would infer religious immunity on dictatorships and emperors. The iron-fist ruler’s worst nightmare is to see the principle of jihad come alive in the social context of his own citizens and constituency.

Imam Zayd spent long and laborious times trying to resuscitate the principle of political and principled dissent from arbitrary and subjective governance. He lectured and penned on the subject. He substantiated his position with faithful and authentic hadith he heard from his fathers who in turn attributed it to Rasul-Allah (P). One such hadith is quoting the Prophet (P) to have said: “The best of martyrs is he who takes issue with a tyrannical ruler, advises him of taqwa and admonishes him for disobeying Allah. If this jihad is sustained and the person is killed [by the autocratic ruler(s)] he ranks the highest among martyrs.”[29]

It has also been reported on the same authority that Allah’s messenger (P) said: “O ‘Ali! Nearest to me among the martyrs on the Day of Resurrection and more deserving of my company besides Hamzah and Ja‘far is a person who carries arms and opposes a dubious and deviant leader until he dies.”[30] There are other ayats and hadith pertaining to the legality of breaking with an oppressive head of state.

Persistent Objectives

“People! I still hear what some of you are saying: the Umayad clan are our spoils of war; we shall shed and spill their blood, do what we want with their wealth, and have the final say on their affair! These are baseless judgements and misplaced motivations. You can fight fire with water. I’m surprised there are people who are rash and heedless. How does anyone entertain such thoughts? Is he basing his words in the Book of Allah? Or the Sunnah of His Prophet (P)? Or is he as covetous as to think I would be inclined to such things? Far from it! Far from it!”[31]

This was Imam Zayd’s comment upon hearing that some of his partisans were saying that they will pass judgement on the lives, blood, and wealth of the Umayad clan and their nationals. This is a clear indication that Imam Zayd did not for once entertain feelings of revenge against the Umayads with all that they did to him. A person with a divine mission knows that he cannot sugar-coat a vengeful drive with an ideological coating and a religious flavor; any attempt at including personal vendettas in an issue like this will inevitably torpedo it.

The goals of Imam Zayd were of a divine magnitude in which he knew that all his efforts had to be in harmony with heavenly guidelines. Armies will never withstand the heat of the war and sustain its staying power if they are not grounded in noble aims and a higher cause. This can only come from a pure and uncontaminated ideological persuasion. This is ultimately more important than material weapons and physical armaments. A hightened morale and a vibrant understanding of things converts what is few into what is many, and an apparent loss into a prolonged gain, and the love for martyrdom into a demand.

Imam Zayd’s eternal objectives glowed throughout his writings, his allegiance, and his missives. They may be summarized as follows:

*Breathing life into the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and an upkeep of Islamic sanctuaries.

*A life of integrity within a climate of justice and honesty.

*A fair distribution of the common-wealth and an end to official lavish and ostentatious spending.

*Defending the oppressed and helping the dispossessed.

*Due respect to the Prophet’s offspring (Ahl al-Bayt), fending for and protecting them.

These were the strategic concerns of the time; and for which Imam Zayd gave his precious life.

Imam Zayd understood that some of his supporters and aids may not be able to see this whole affair with the required clarity of vision and purpose. Some may be motivated by feelings of revenge and blind sympathy for the Prophet’s responsible family members. Zayd had to reiterate the importance of drawing a line between a holy cause and some transient emotions.

It may be true that we may owe the Prophet’s persecuted progeny the intensity of our feelings and even our own lives to protect them; but Imam Zayd wanted that to be a means and not an end. He said to his admirers and supporters: “Do not say we bear arms as an expression of anger for you (Ahl Al-Bayt); rather say: we bear arms to express our anger for Allah and His deen.”[32]

He also knew that there will be people bearing arms with him in opposition to the Umayad regime not to bring about an eventual victory but only because they calculated that to be the opportune time to settle their score with the Umayads.

Many of his supporters may have felt elated just to be with him and they expressed such a feeling by saying as long as they are with him they do not care what objective they  are fighting for! They may not have been sure whether the enemy they were fighting deserved to be fought! Some people can only see things from their own parochial perspective. People according to their positions in life are bound to fluctuate between knowledge and ignorance, courage and cowardice, and certainty and doubt.

Victory over an enemy is problematic in the absence of a clear vision and a firm belief. In there absence it is questionable whether we have a vital ummah or even hope. For this reason Zayd said to his companions: “Subjects of Allah! Do not kill your enemy while doubting the validity of your positions. If you do you will lose sight of Allah’s course and cause. Rather be internally firm on what you are doing… firm on your battlefield. Allah rewards you for your certainty as He would reward you for the truth (al-haqq). Whoever kills another person while doubting the dead person’s dalalat (deviation) is like killing someone without haqq (justification and authority). Subjects of Allah! Be sure of what you are doing… be certain.”[33] Long lasting defeat is the share of those who “went forth from their homelands full of self-conceit and a desire to be seen and praised by men.”

8: 47

But if they step onto the battlefield for the sake and cause of Allah then they “shall have gardens through which running water flows.”    3: 198

Chapter Four

Armed Confrontation

The Start of the Revolution

Imam Zayd spent fourteen months in Iraq. He moved incognito from and to urban and rural areas. He corresponded with people of insight telling them to break with the heavy-handed regime by joining the ranks of the mujahideen. During that whole time-period Yusuf ibn ‘Umar al-Thaqafi had informers and spies throughout the land trying to gauge what Imam Zayd and his followers were doing.

After the Imam finished the initial preparations for the military encounter he agreed with his companions that the launching day of the revolution should be the first day of the month of Safar (122 HE). Subsequently he sent his emissaries to adjacent lands to prepare for the hour of reckoning.

Hisham had received some information about Imam Zayd. He felt uneasy. He expressed his extreme apprehension towards this movement because he knew how firm, influential, and determined Imam Zayd was. Hisham ordered Yusuf ibn ‘Umar to be in hot pursuit of Imam Zayd.

Yusuf ibn ‘Umar redoubled his efforts and increased the number of his informants and undercover agents. He ordered his security forces to check pedestrians and to interrogate suspects. After long and hard work he managed to identify one of the places in which Imam Zayd used to spend some time. He ordered his men to break in there at night. They found that Imam Zayd had changed his location and was not inside. They apprehended two men and hauled them off to Yusuf ibn ‘Umar who tried to extract some information from them but was unable to do so. He threatened to kill them but still without any results. (A true Muslim on this type of mission is more keen on his cause than on his life). When everything else failed they were executed. They were the first two martyrs in this instalment of eternal revolutionary pursuit.

Imam Zayd knew of their execution. He was upset about it. He knew that his program has had been exposed. He had to take control of this situation with courage and wisdom so that the revolution will not be preempted. He moved to the residence of Mu‘awiyah ibn Is-haq on the outskirts of Kufah. He called whomever he could of his companions to a meeting. They, henceforth, began to prepare in earnest for a military stand-off and any surprise attack by the regime. Yusuf ibn ‘Umar realized that he will no longer be able to easily take on Zayd and his companions. He was even afraid of being taken as a prisoner of war or that he may fall into a siege of sorts. He stayed in the city of al-Hirah at a distance of three miles from Kufah. There he was training his soldiers and receiving reinforcements from al-Sham. Both sides now were preparing for the inevitable.

The Battle Flow

At the residence of Mu‘awiyah ibn Is-haq in full military gear Imam Zayd appeared to his companions for the first time on a white mule. His garment was white, it concealed an armor. His headdress was black. He had a sword and carried a copy of the Quran. He stood and said: “O People! Help me against the litter of al-Sham. I seek for anyone who does so a secure appearance on the Day of Resurrection until he passes the si-rat and enters paradise.

Then he said: Ask me. By Allah, whether it is a question pertaining to halal and haram (the lawful and the unlawful), or to the verses of obvious meanings and the verses of imperceptible meanings, or about proverbs and chronicles, I have an answer for you. I have not reached this position and taken this stand except after having read the Quran, honed the obligations and injunctions, the supererogatory and ethical conduct. I have come to know the revealed word as well as the unrevealed meaning (ta’wil). I came to understand ayats that abrogate and ayats that were abrogated, ayats of clear meaning and ayats of possible meanings, the specific and the general. In my household I am the most versed on the requirements of the ummah, and I am on a foolproof and certain path to my Sustainer.”[34]

Then Imam Zayd looked around at his companions and realized that there were only a few of them. So he sent one of his most courageous men al-Qasem ibn Kathir to the streets of Kufah to call out to the public the motto: Ya Mansur amet (O Victorious! court death). People were called to Zayd’s camp. One contingent of Umayad soldiers interrupted the troops and they fought on until he was wounded and fell to the ground. He was taken to Yusuf ibn ‘Umar who ordered the executioner to cut off his head. He became the first martyr to fall in combat.

Nasr Ibn Khuzaymah and Early Reinforcements

One of Imam Zayd’s outstanding companions was Nasr ibn Khuzaymah. He was known for his enthusiasm and devotion. He was to Imam Zayd what Malek al-Ashtar was to Imam ‘Ali (AS). He, like others, had left Kufah to garner support from adjacent areas and to prepare them for the military task ahead. Extenuating circumstances forced him and those with him to prematurely join Zayd’s detail. When he reached the environs of Kufah he was intercepted by a legion of Umayad military personnel. He and his men engaged them in battle and rooted them. He then proceeded to Imam Zayd’s camp where he raised the spirits of the fighters there.

Hoisting the Banner and Fulfilment of Deen

Imam Zayd began to arrange the military formations and assign military responsibilities to his men. In the first show of force Nasr ibn Khuzaymah stood on Zayd’s right while Mu‘awiyah ibn Is-haq was on his left. The flags of jihad were lifted and strips of cloth were tied to the head. Zayd was at long last happy. For the first time words were choking in his mouth because of his elation and high spirit as his dream is being fulfilled. He finally found himself where he always belonged: in the ranks of jihad practicing the ultimate ‘amr bi al-ma‘ruf and nahy ‘an al-munkar (commanding the good and interdicting the evil). He burst out saying: “Thank Allah that He has accomplished my deen for me. I was ashamed of myself thinking I would approach Rasul Allah while not being able to enjoin the good and forbid the wrong.”

Then he said to his companions: “By Allah! I do not care if in the process of implementing Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet I would have to be thrown into a blazing fire after which I go on to Allah’s mercy. No one comes out today in support of me except that he will be in the divine company and in the presence of Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatimeh, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn (P). Folks of fiqh and intellectuals! I am Allah’s evidence against you. I extend my hand to you so that we all together are able to put Allah’s regulations into motion and to work Allah’s will as expressed in His Holy Book. We will share the war booty equally. Ask me about your deen; and if I am not able to answer all your questions then go and have anyone that satisfies you and is more knowledgeable than me to rule over you. By Allah! I have not lied since the time I could distinguish my right from my left hand. And I have never been in violation of Allah since I realized He will take me to task for it.”

Then he said: “O Allah! For You I have taken up arms and opposition. It is You I am seeking; I request your satisfaction with me. I am in pursuit of Your enemy. Be [O Allah] victorious to Yourself, Your Deen, Your Book, Your Prophet, Your Prophet’s household, and to the dearest of Your committed Muslims. O Allah! This is my effort to You and You are the source of help.”[35]

Kufah Under Imam Zayd’s Control

Yusuf ibn ‘Umar sent some of his men to the streets of al-Kufah to terrorize its people. He called people to a meeting at the central masjid (mosque). The city was put under a curfew and people were banned from carrying or possessing arms. Rumors began to circulate about an army soon to arrive from al-Sham.

But Imam Zayd along with his supporters went to break the siege imposed on the mosque and to reassure the people of Kufah. On his way to the masjid a fierce battle erupted between him and Umayad infantry. Zayd scored a military victory there. When he reached the area of the mosque he identified himself by his motto and banners were passed through the windows of the mosque. Nasr ibn Khuzaymah was calling out: “People of Kufah come out of your humiliation to the ‘izzah/glory [of Allah] and from obscurity to the guidance [of Allah]. Come out to the prosperity of this world and the next because as you are you have neither.” But their old propensity was irresistible: treachery and betrayal. They apologized and said that they could not fight because of the [imaginary] siege and sanctions regime clamped on them.

Zayd’s companions spread throughout Kufah. Imam Zayd ordered them to publically declare: Whoever turns in his weapons will be safe. There were mopping up operations against the Umayad remnants in the city. All of a sudden the Umayad militia that had come from al-Hirah showed up. The Imam’s companions engaged them, the fighting was ferocious, they fought valiantly until the Umayads retreated. Then Imam Zayd gathered his companions and said to them: “Fight for victory with me over the folks of al-Sham. By Allah! Anyone who does so I will take him by the hand to paradise. By Allah! If I but knew of anything better to satisfy Allah than to fight against these iniquitous forces from al-Sham I would do so. I remind you of what I said earlier: do not pursue to kill those who are in retreat, do not “finish off” those who are wounded, do not open up new fronts. I heard them cursing ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb. Take them on from all directions.”[36]

The military duels continued between both camps. The  Umayad corps were increasing but the cavalry of Imam Zayd was decreasing. Imam Zayd turned to Nasr ibn Khuzaymah and told him: O Nasr! I’m afraid that the people of Kufah are repeating what they did with Imam Husayn! Nasr replied: I would give my life for you; by Allah I will continue to strike with my sword with you until I die!

The Tragic Infliction

Imam Zayd and his companions fought with chivalry. They fought until the bitter end. None dare do them in. When the Umayads figured it was useless to continue in this manner they barricaded themselves behind walls and hills. Then they used another type of warfare: they began shooting their arrows at Imam Zayd and his companions.

The sun began to set. And with it the radiating light of forbearance and sacrifice also set. Night fell on the hillsides. It covered the valleys and the plateaus. Voices were silent; weapons have spoken and the smell of death was in the air. Kufah was sad and in a state of sorrow when its inhabitants once again tarnished it with their treason and perfidy.

During those moments of deafening silence at the head of the forces the voice of Imam Zayd could be heard. He was saying: Al-Shahadah… al-Shahadah. I thank Allah that He has blessed me with it. People ran to the source of the voice and they found the epic Imam in a pool of blood. An arrow had penetrated his forehead. When he felt the sting of that arrow he raised his voice with those eternal words. He had expressed it all: his objective and his hopes.

It is noteworthy that Imam Zayd was born at sunrise and he died at sunset.

Imam Zayd’s companions withdrew. The Umayads thought that they did so because of nightfall. The companions gathered around their Imam. A physician came and realized that the arrow was fatal; it had penetrated his brain, a brain that was always thinking about the Muslims’ well being and how to rid them of their social and political maladies.

The Eternal Will

Yahya came to his father’s corpse crying. Blood was still oozing. The arrow was still embedded in the skull. Yahya took his shirt and wiped the blood off his father’s face. He said to him: Glad tidings to you, the grandson of Allah’s Prophet. You will be joining Allah’s Prophet, ‘Ali, Fatimeh, Khadijeh, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. They will all be pleased with you.

The Imam said: True my son; but what will you do?

Yahya said: I will struggle against them unless I find no support.

He said: Yes, my son. Do struggle against them. By Allah, you are firmly right, and they are firmly wrong. Your casualties are in paradise and their casualties are in the fire.[37]

That was the Imam’s will. And that was his heritage to reawaken the reality of this deen by taking on unjust rulers… loving what is good for people… and the ultimate sacrifice for such lofty goals.

He then parted for eternal peace and to the company of his Maker and His true promise:

Behold, Allah has bought of the committed Muslims their lives and their possessions, promising them paradise in return, [and so] they fight in Allah’s cause, and slay, and are slain: a promise which in truth He has willed upon Himself in [the words of] the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Quran. And who could be more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice, then, in the bargain which you have made with Him: for this: this is the triumph supreme!                         9: 111

Imam Zayd paid with his life for the Quran and for all the vital elements for the ummahs honor, pride, and dignity. He traded Allah for his soul… by sacrificing, by saying the truth. Nothing can be superior to this trade and this transaction. The Imam advanced and he could not have had anything better. He satisfied his living conscience. He raised the insignia of jihad very high although it bore his and his companions’ blood. He raised it for all the peoples of the world as a guide to their freedom and self-respect.

Chapter Five

In the Aftermath of the Revolution

The Honorable Remains

Imam Zayd’s revolution did not end with his death. It had delayed reaction effects as people began to break the chains of political slavery even though they knew this is an uphill struggle. Acts of violence by the regime continued against the followers of Imam Zayd and his ideas of freedom. Monarchs and military dynasties demonstrated vicious and virulent types of persecution beyond any imagination.

The Umayads had the lion’s share of this dreaded sordidness and malevolence. No custom or tradition could tame their vileness. A century and some years prior to Imam Zayd’s martyrdom the Umayad mistress Hind bint Abi Sufyan wanted to eat the liver of Hamzah, the shining shahid, after she had ripped his torso apart. At Karbala they mutilated the body of al-Husayn, the founding father of freedom lovers. They trampled his body with their horses. And now Imam Zayd’s body.

These facts were known to the followers of Imam Zayd who paused to think how and where to bury his body lest it be subject to the same insanity. Then they all decided to bury him in a water creek.

Under the cloak of night, they stopped the flow of water. Then they dug the grave and placed the remains in it. After which they opened the water dikes to have it flow in its natural course. They all parted before fajr.

Upon hearing of Imam Zayd’s death the Umayads rejoiced. They were jubilant at a death that would have been mourned by Allah’s Prophet (P). The Imam was killed and he no longer was there for them to see. But still they were percolating with hatred; and they would not simmer down until they foundd the grave and dug up the body and did with it what they did with the bodies of other shahids (martyrs).

The following day an excessive award was announced for anyone who could provide information about Imam Zayd’s burial place. Some sick and pathetic individuals divulged the information. The Umayads dug it up and brought the body out of its grave. They could care less for any traditional or religious teachings on this matter.

It was not enough for them to have him killed

they had to dig, crucify, burn, and drown him[38]

The remains were put on a camel taken to and dumped in front of the royal palace. There the head was decapitated.

Yusuf ibn ‘Umar al-Thaqafi had the head sent to al-Sham. After the head arrived and Hisham saw it he ordered that the head be put on display in all the provinces. A ploy by which he thought he would be able to terrorize the people from thinking of doing what Imam Zayd did. In other words, he wanted to kill them psychologically.  The head passed through many lands until it reached al-Madinah. And at the grave-site of Allah’s Prophet (P) and in contempt and disrespect to the Prophet (P) the head was raised and posted for the public to see. The people of Madinah were summoned to the masjid (mosque) and told they had to disavow ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb and Zayd ibn ‘Ali.[39] Then the head was taken to Egypt and posted at the central masjid for days. After that the head was taken away and secretly buried there.

Al-Meqrizi said: His effects are still there between Keiman and Egypt. People go there for the barakah (blessing). At ‘Ashura people are especially keen on going there. Some said a du‘a there is accepted and the place has an air of light to it.[40]

The body is said to have been nailed to a cross in a state of nakedness in Kufah. It is also said that spiders wove a web to cover the private parts of the body. Every time the spider-web was removed the spiders would spin another one.

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Jaber al-Habal the poet of Ahl al-Bayt composed some poetry describing this incident.

In front of this unclothed body people would remember that devout and lovable personality of Zayd. Their eyes would water and their spirits would soar.

When the Umayads realized that Zayd’s words are reverberating and his positions were being rethought by the public they decided to have his remains obliterated. They ordered that his body be burned and his ashes be scattered on land, the air and the sea. Yusuf ibn ‘Umar said: By Allah, O people of Kufah! I will have you eat him in your food and drink him in your water.[41]

They brought down your body and torched it to the fire

They wanted to burn your honorable and pure remains

They in an act of hate threw you into the burning fire

This also expressed their hate for Muhammad (P) and their hate for you to be given a normal burial.[42]

All attempts at wiping out the effects of Imam Zayd failed. In the place where he was nailed a casket was constructed. People from many parts of the world still go there. Another casket was built at the same place in Egypt where his head was buried. And that also lives on to our present day.

Persecution of Imam Zayd’s Supporters

Tyrannical rulers are in the habit of building their reputation on a heap of skulls belonging to their opponents. They go through the routine schedule of killing and banishing their adversaries. A tyrant will do practically anything to remain on his seat of power. And if he is able to capture one of his antagonists he tries to sample him with all types of torture as a deterrent for future potential adversaries. Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek and his “federal” employees were no exception. After they killed Imam Zayd they went after his followers. The Umayad officials did all they could do to end any and all “remnants” of their opponents. They were liberal with their executions and “state terror.” They did not spare women and children. They even went beyond the traditions and norms of the jahiliyah (pre-Islamic practices). Historians have documented some gruesome and unhappy events. Here are some of them:

*A girl who had advised her mother to shelter a daughter of Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali was called in by the Umayad authorities. When she arrived she was given one hundred lashes and her house was demolished.

*A woman who had assisted Imam Zayd at one time was arrested. When she came to court the verdict was that her hand and foot should be cut off. She pleaded to have her foot cut off first so that she may manage her clothes before her hand is cut! But they cut both off and did not stop the blood flow and she bled to death. Then her husband was summoned only to have his head cut off.[43]

*Yusuf ibn ‘Umar sent for Imam Zayd’s wife who was from the tribe of Ezd. She was brought to him. When she entered his court he said to her: O enemy of Allah! You married Zayd ibn ‘Ali? She said: yes of course I did. And had he asked for your daughter’s hand I would have given her to him. Yusuf ibn ‘Umar was enraged. He said: take her clothes off and bring me the whip!

She said: woe to you the enemy of Allah. I am a woman; how dare you order my clothes be ripped from me? He said: do not mind her; tear her clothes off and then she was lashed repeatedly and mercilessly.

She said to Hisham: How do you do this. I am a distant aunt of yours. I am from the tribe of Ezd and so is your mother?

Yusuf ibn ‘Umar said: damned is he who is your nephew.

She said: Yes, and damned is she who is less a family person than you… your mother.

Then Yusuf ibn ‘Umar said to his henchmen: Kill her.

They all began to hit and strike her violently and savagely, while she would say: I cannot believe you are a person attached to freedom; you cannot be an Arab when you want to kill by the sword; you slave of the Thamud clan.

She was thus tortured until she died; may Allah bless her. Then Hisham gave his orders that her body be dumped onto the street. Her cousins waited for nightfall and went to recover her body and bury it.[44]

A woman having the fragile physical capacity for such persecution, a woman who was created for feminine and family matters even she could not escape the momentum of revolution and thus was exposed to what is characteristically un-feminine. She registered an honorable resistance and a spirit lifting example for jihad for all women everywhere.

These were glimpses that were related to us by historians and there are many more that litter the course of the Umayad past. But what was not recorded by history may have been even more tragic.

The Consequence of Oppressors

A victim relieves himself of agony and hard-times by releasing warm tears down his cheeks. Some of life’s circumstances are unkind. But this universe operates in a larger sphere of divine justice. Allah has promised to take action against totalitarian rulers: And do not think that Allah is unaware of what evildoers are doing: He but grants them respite until the Day when their eyes will stare in horror… (14: 42).

This divine action may begin in this world before the next: such is their ignominy in this world. But in the life to come [yet more] awesome suffering awaits them… (5: 33).

Allah expedited his retributive action against those who had a role to play in killing Imam Zayd (AS) and mutilating his body. Historians tell us that the butcher ‘Ali ibn Abdullah the Abbasid took Hisham’s body out of his grave and ordered that the body be struck until it is shredded. Upon extracting the body from the grave it appeared to have been preserved with some astringent. Then his body was put on a cross and then it was incinerated. After that the ashes were thrown to the wind. What was done to Imam Zayd by Hisham, in a twist of events, was then done to Hisham.[45]

As for Yusuf ibn ‘Umar al-Thaqafi he was killed. A rope was attached to his corpse and children dragged his body in the streets of Damascus. Then the body was cut to pieces and raised on the city doors of Damascus.[46] Abu Ghassan al-Thaqafi said: the people of al-Sham told me they saw the corpse of Yusuf ibn ‘Umar with ropes attached to his limbs and being dragged around.[47]

Yusuf ibn ‘Umar’s chief of police Kharrash ibn Hawshub (who supervised the burning of Imam Zayd’s body) was lashed a thousand times. His stomach was slit open, and then his body was thrown to the dogs. After that it, too, was incinerated.

Another degenerate and pervert by the name of al-‘Ala’ ibn Zaid who came with a load of wood and sold it to stoke the fire that was burning Imam Zayd’s corpse and who was reported to have said: I came with this load as a service to Allah to have this pervert (meaning Imam Zayd) burned. And it was less than three weeks after that and this same person burned inside a home while having a (homosexual) affair with a lad.[48]

Imam Zayd: A Continuing Revolution

Imam Zayd’s movement was the first spark that fueled a popular explosion which eventually dismantled the oppressive Umayad dynasty. All the Umayad pomp and pride were gone forever. The phoney masks were ripped off of that regime. And even though Imam Zayd became a martyr, his movement did not end with his death. Each drop of his blood became a flame that burns Allah’s enemies and glows up showing the rest of us the way. His words still reverberate in the ear of history.

Al-Ya‘qubi said: “When Zayd was killed and the ghastly details followed many supporters of the Prophet’s descendants (Shi‘is) began to agitate in Khurasan. They gradually began to pick up momentum; their numbers began to increase and the facts began to circulate. Many people were now aware of the Umayad farce and how they harmed and injured the Prophet’s household. News spread far and near.”[49]

Several years after Imam Zayd was martyred his son Imam Yahya led the eternal  march for justice in Khurasan following his father’s line. He launched his campaign by saying:

Son of Zayd! Did not Zayd say                    whoever loves life lives shamefully

Be like Zayd! You are his passion       and rest in the shaded shades of bliss

The movement had its ripple effects as time passed by until the rise of Imam Muhammad ibn Abdullah, known as al-Nafs al-Zakiyah (the pristine spirit). He revolted in al-Madinah and shook the thrown of the Abbasid state (in Baghdad). He remembers Imam Zayd with these words: By Allah! Zayd has revived Prophetic concepts that have long been effaced. He worked on correcting what had gone zig-zag of this deen. We cannot but be enlightened by him.”[50]

To follow him in revolutionary succession was al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali al-Fakhkhi in al-Madinah. He revolted against the Abbasids also. He remembers Imam Zayd with these words: “One of the virtues of Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali is that he took a stand for Allah and called people to the Book of Allah and to a struggle against tyrannical rulers. By Allah! Zayd ibn ‘Ali has opened the door of paradise for us. Enter therein peacefully and securely.”[51]

The revolutionary fallout reached Yemen. In it Imam al-Hadi stated in revolutionary defiance: “I yearn for a day like the day of Zayd ibn ‘Ali.”[52]

The echoes and rumbles of revolution were to be found everywhere. Revolts erupted in Iraq, Yemen, Hejaz, Morocco, northern Persia and central Asia and almost everywhere there is tyranny.

Revolutionaries will never disappear or die. When there is oppression there has to be resistance and opposition.

Chapter Six

Zayd’s Legacy

Some Names of Zayd’s Companions and Narrators

Imam Zayd left us with a wealth of enduring ideas. He drew on his blood and he inked them with his pen. His blood traced for us the road to freedom. He also left us with a community of first-rate disciples who went to faraway lands preaching deen as it is: not tainted by officials and not second to the status quo. Some of Zayd’s remarkable disciples and narrators were:

*Abu Khaled al-Waseti who was imprisoned until after Imam Zayd (AS) was killed.

*Abu Haneefah al-Nu‘man ibn Thabet who spent two years in the scholarly circle of Imam Zayd. About these two years Abu Haneefah says: “Had it not been for these two years I would have died down.”

*Shu‘bah ibn al-Hajjaj who used to preface his reference to Imam Zayd by saying: We were told by the incomparable of Hashemites.

*Mansur ibn al-Mu‘tamer an Imam and a hafez. He would go with Imam Zayd to the ‘ulema and call on them to be involved in the jihad with tears and watery eyes.

* ‘Uthman ibn ‘Umair Abu al-Yaqthan – the faqih.

*Isma‘il ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Suddi the well known mufassir (exegesist).

*Abu Hamzah Thabet ibn Dinar al-Thumali, he and his three sons went to the battlefield with Zayd.

* ‘Abdullah ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali otherwise known as al-Kamel.

*Harun ibn Sa‘d al-‘Ajali.

*Abu al-Jarud Ziyad ibn al-Munthir al-A‘ma.

*Jaber ibn Yazid al-Ja‘fi.

*Imam Yahya ibn Zayd (AS).

*Ja‘far ibn Muhammad al-Sadeq.

*Isma‘il ibn Abi Khaled al-Ahmasi… and others.[53]

His Books and Missives

He left us with a compilation of books and letters which are considered to be the first ever written books in the history of Islamic culture. Following are some of his works:

1- Majmu‘ al-Imam Zayd. In it are Zayd’s quotes and fiqhi discourses. It has been published under the title: Musnad al-Imam Zayd under the supervision of the eminent scholar ‘Abd al-Wase‘ ibn Yahya al-Wase‘i, may Allah bless him. We are in the process of reviewing and reproducing it with a new format.

2-Tafsir Gharib al-Quran, recently published and verified by Dr. Hasan Muhammad al-Hakim.

3- Manasek al-Hajj wa al-‘Umrah, printed in Baghdad.

4- Majmu‘ Rasa’el wa Kutub al-Imam Zayd. I have just finished reviewing and verifying it. It is now being printed. It contains the following:

a- Resalat al-Iman which explains the meaning of Iman and some details about the offenders who are people of the qiblah.

b-Resalat al-Safwah: it defines who Allah’s elites are, it also speaks about Ahl al-Bayt and how Allah chose them to guide people.

c-Resalat Madh al-Qillah wa Thamm al-Kathrah, this is a dialogue between Imam Zayd and people from al-Sham. In it he quotes many ayats from the Quran that hail the “minority” and assail the “majority.”

d- Resalat Tethbit al-Wasiyah: in it there is evidence that the Prophet (P) willed that ‘Ali (AS) be his successor.

e- Resalat Tethbit al-Imamah: in it there are admonitions that ‘Ali (AS) was the most qualified to lead after the Prophet’s death.

f- Resalat ela ‘ulema al-Ummah which is Zayd’s letter to the scholars of the ummah in which he calls on them to bear their responsibilities and support him in his revolution.

g- Resalat al-Radd ‘ala al-Mujberah: these are a few pages that express Zayd’s opinion about predetermination, meant to be a respond to extremist fatalists.

h- A Exchange between Zayd and people of al-Sham concerning the death of ‘Uthman and the minority vs. majority affair.

i- Al-Resalat al-Madaniyah: answers to questions he received from al-Madinah.

j- A compilation which includes some of Zayd’s dialogues, answers, sermons, poetry, missives, and short presentations.

k- Al-Resalat al-Shamiyah: answers by Imam Zayd to one of his companions questions from al-Sham.

l- An answer to Wasel ibn ‘Ata concerning the concept of Imamat.

m A collection of poetry attributed to Imam Zayd.

n A collection of du‘as related to Imam Zayd.

o- The tafsir (explanation) of Surat al-Fatihah

p- Meanings of some unclear verses in the Quran.

q – Manasek al-Hajj wa al-‘Umrah

************

Closing

That was Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali. A scholar and a knight. A leader and an ascetic. His lifetime is an open book and a discourse for action and movement. His personality is the prototype for people with an Islamic mission.

His was a life dedicated for the betterment of the ummah, full with honesty and altruism, all combined in one character.

He fell as a martyr for us, future generations. He wanted us to have the values and concepts embedded in true Islam and not the Islam of forgery and contamination.

He did not want us to receive a contorted Islam; he saw to it that his blood was shed and his body was mutilated for us to obtain a fresh Islam.

It behooves us to be appreciative of Imam Zayd’s sacrifices by moving forward in the same direction he did, to preserve our impeccable Islam. He was interested in having the Muslims draw from the source of Islamic knowledge and the Islamic model of behavior which Allah’s Prophet (P) offered us all. Be faithful. Keep the faith, and do not disparage their sacrifices and their heritage.

Allah remains our source of inspiration and our guide. All thanks are due to Him the Lord and Sustainer of the universe. And may His peace and blessings be upon Muhammad and his pure and polite progeny.

References and Citations

1-Abu al-Husayn Zayd al-Shahid, by al-Sayyed Muhsen al-Amin; Mu’assasat Ahl al-Bayt (AS).

2- Al-A‘lam, by Kheir al-Din al-Zarkali, Dar al-‘Ilm li al-Malayeen, Beirut, 5th edition.

3- A‘yan al-Shi‘ah, by Muhsen al-Amin, verified by Hasan al-Amin, Dar al-Ta‘aruf li-al-Matbu‘at, Beirut.

4-Al-Aghani, by Abu al-Faraj al-Asfahani, corroborated and appraise by a committee of literature scholars, Dar al-Thaqafah, Beirut, 4th edition.

5- Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyeh (manuscript) by al-Murshid bi-Illah.

6- Ansab al-Ashraaf, by Ahmad ibn Yahya ibn Jaber al-Balathuri, assessed by Muhammad Baqer al-Mahmudi, Dar al-Ta‘aruf li al-Matbu‘at, 1971 CE – 1397 HE edition.

7- Al-Irshad Ila Sabeel al-Rashaad, by al-Imam al-Qasem ibn Muhammad, reexamined and commented upon by Muhammad Yahya Salem ‘Azzan, Dar al-Hikmat al-Yamaniyah. 1st edition.

8-Al-Ifadah fi Tarikh al-A’immah al-Sadah, by al-Imam Abi Taleb Yahya ibn al-Husayn al-Haruni, critiqued by Muhammad Yahya Salem, 1st edition 1417 HE – 1996 CE.

9- Al-Iman, by al-Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali (AS), reexamined by Muhammad Yahya Salem ‘Azzan, currently being printed along with Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd.

10- Al-Bahr al-Zakhkhar also known as Musnad al-Bazzar, by Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd al-Khaleq al-‘Atki al-Bazzar, reexamined by Dr. Mahfuz al-Rahman Zein Allah, Mu’assasat ‘Ulum al-Quran, Beirut, 1st edition.

11- Taj al-‘Arus Min Jawaher al-Qamus, by Muhammad Murtada al-Husayni al-Zubaidi, reexamined by Ibrahim al-Terzi, Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

12- Tarikh al-Tabari, also known as wa Tarikh al-Umam al-Muluk, by Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Mu’assasat al-A‘lami li al-Matbu‘at, Beirut, 4th edition.

13- Tarikh al-Kufah, Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Buraqi, reexamined by Muhammad Sadeq Bahr al-‘Ulum, Dar al-Adwa’, Beirut, 4th edition, 14-7 HE – 1987 CE.

14- Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi, Ahmad ibn Ya‘qub ibn Ja‘far known as al-Ya‘qubi, Dar Sader, Beirut.

15- Al-Tuhaf Sharh al-Zulaf, Majd al-Din ibn Muhammad al-Mu’ayyadi, reexamined by Muhammad Yahya Salem and ‘Ali Ahmad al-Razehi, 2nd edition.

16- Tasmiyat Men Rawa ‘An al-Imam Zayd (AS) Min al-Tabi‘een, Imam Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-‘Alawi, reexamined by Saleh ‘Abdullah Qurban, 1st edition.

17- Tafsir Furat al-Kufi, Abu al-Qasem Furat ibn Ibrahim ibn Furat al-Kufi, reexamined by Muhammad Kathem, Mu’assasat al-Tab‘ wa al-Nashr – Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, Tehran, 1st edition

18- Tahtheeb al-Kamal fi As-ma al-Rijal, Imam al-Mazzi, reexamined by Dr. Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf, Mu’assasat al-Resalah, 2nd edition.

19- Tahtheeb Tarikh Dimashq, ‘Abd al-Qader Badran, Dar al-Maseerah, Beirut, 2nd edition.

20- Taysir al-Mataleb fi Amali al-Sayyed Abi Taleb, Imam Abu Taleb Yahya ibn al-Husayn al-Haruni, Dar Maktabat al-Hayat, Beirut.

21- Al-Theqat, Muhammad ibn Habban ibn Ahmad Abi Hatem al-Besti, Da’erat al-Ma‘aref al-‘Uthmaniyah, 1st edition.

22- Al-Jawhar al-Thameen fi Seyar al-Muluk wa al-Salateen, Ibn Daqmaq, reexamined by Muhammad Kamal al-Din ‘Izz al-Din ‘Ali, ‘Alem al-Kutub, 1st edition.

23- Al-Hada’eq al-Wardiyah fi Manaqeb A’emmat al-Zaydiah, Hamid ibn Ahmad al-Mahalli, (manuscript).

24- Hayat al-Imam Zayd, Muhammad Yahya Salem, (manuscript).

25- Hayat al-Imam Muhammad al-Baqer, Baqer Sharif al-Qurashi, Mu’assasat al-Wafa’, Beirut, 2nd edition.

26- Al-Khutat al-Meqriziah (Al-Mawa‘eth wa al-I‘tebar bi Thikr al-Khutat wa al-Aathar) Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn ‘Ali al-Meqrizi, Maktab al-Thaqafah al-Diniyah, Cairo, 1st edition.

27- Diwan al-Habal, Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Jar al-Habal, reexamined by Ahmad Muhammad al-Shami, al-Dar al-Yemeniyah for distribution and publication, 1st edition.

28- Al-Rawd al-Nadir, al-Qadi Sharaf al-Din al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Siyaghi, Maktabat al-Mu’ayyad, al-Ta’if, 2nd edition.

29- Zahar al-Adab, Abu Is-haq al-Husari, reexamined by Dr. Zaki Mubarak, Dar al-Jeel, 4th edition.

30- Zayd Ibn ‘Ali al-Muftra ‘Aleihi, Saleh Ahmad al-Khatib, Manshurat al-Maktabat al-Faisaliyah, 1st edition, 1984 CE.

31- Al-Zaydiah, Ahmad Mahmud Subhi, Dar al-Zahra li al-I‘lam al-‘Arabi, Cairo, 2nd edition, 1404 HE – 1984 CE.

32- Sirr al-Silsilah al-‘Alawiyah, Abu Nasr al-Bukhari, compilation and commentary by al-Sayyed Muhammad Sadeq Bahr al-‘Ulum, this edition reexamined and reviewed by al-Qubaisi Mustafa, Dar Qabis, 1st edition.

33- Seyar A‘lam al-Nubala’, al-Thahabi, reexamined by a committee of verifiers, Mu’assasat al-Resalah, 4th edition.

34- Al-Shafi, al-Mansur bi-Illah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah ibn Sulayman (4 parts in 2 volumes), Manshurat Maktabat al-Yemen al-Kubra, San‘a, printed by Mu’assasat al-A‘lami li al-Matbu‘at, Beirut, 1st edition.

35- Al-‘Aqd al-Thameen fi Bayan Mathaheb al-A’immat al-Hadeen, Imam ‘Abdulllah ibn Hamzah (manuscript).

37- Majmu‘ Kutub al-Imam Zayd, in the process of being published, reexamined by Muhammad Yahya Salem ‘Azzan.

38- Al-Muheed bi al-Imamat, ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Zaydi, (manuscript).

39- Musnad al-Imam Zayd (complete), by the prominent Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali (AS), Dar Maktabat al-Hayat, Beirut.

40- Al-Masabih fi al-Seerah, Abu al-‘Abbas al-Hasani, (manuscript).

41- Al-Ma‘aref, Ibn Qutaibah, reexamined by Dr. Tharwat ‘Ukashah, Dar al-Ma‘aref, 4th edition.

42- Maqatel al-Talebiyeen, ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Asfahani, reexamined by Ahmad Saqr, Beirut.

43- Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy, Imam Muhammad ibn al-Mutahhar, (manuscript).

44- Nur al-Absar fi Manaqeb Aal Bayt al-Nabi al-Mukhtar (P), by Sheikh Mu’min ibn Hasan Mu’min al-Shablanji a third Hejri century scholar (in its margin is Is‘af al-Raghibeen fi Seerat al-Mustafa wa Fada’el Ahle Baytihi al-Tahireen, by Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Sabban, Dar al-Fikr, last edition.

45- Wafayyat al-A‘yan wa Anba’ al-Zaman, Abu al-‘Abbas Shams al-Din Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Khallekan, reexamined by Dr. Ihsan ‘Abbas, 8 volumes, Dar Sader, Beirut.


[1]Taysir al-Mataleb fi Amali al-Sayyed Abi Taleb, p. 83

[2]Mentioned by Ibn Daqmaq in al-Jawhar al-Thameen in Seyar al-Muluk wa al-Salateen, p.99. Even though the number may be an exaggeration but it demonstrates the ostentatious lifestyle of such rulers. Incidentally, Ibn Daqmaq is an “anti-Shi‘i.”

[3]Al-Futuh, Vol. VIII, p. 115.

[4]This was mentioned by [al-sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman] al-Sharqawi in his book A’immat al-Fiqh al-Tis‘ah {The Nine Fiqhi Imams).

[5]Amali Abi Taleb (Chapter VII), narrated by al-Imam al-Murshid bi-Illah in Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyah (manuscript) and by Imam al-Mansur bi-Illah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah in Al-‘Aqd al-Thameen (manuscript).

[6]Zayd’s words in Maqatel al-Talebiyeen, p 129, as well as in Tayseer al-Mataleb.

[7]Al-Kamel fi al-Tarikh, by Ibn al-Athir, Vol. V, p 85

[8]Ibid, Vol. V, p 85

[9]Al-Rusafah is an ancient city in the Syrian desert where Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malek resided.

[10]This hadith was narrated by the Zaydi al-Hafez Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn in Al-Muheet bi-al-Imamah (manuscript) on the authority of Imam Zayd and his fathers.

[11]See Tarikh Ibn ‘Asaker, Vol VI, p 22, as well as Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyah (manuscript).

[12]Zahr al-Adaab, by al-Qairawani, Vol I, p 118; also words to this effect in [Tarikh] Al-Ya‘qubi, Vol II, p.255.

[13]Ansab al-Ashraf, p 232. Some historians note that Khaled ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qasri was moved by Imam Zayd and desisted from maligning the Prophet’s descendants and that was why he was thrown into prison and tortured.

[14]Al-Masabih (manuscript).

[15]Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi, Vol II, p256

[16]Al-Futuh, by Ibn al-A‘tham, Vol VIII, p 111

[17]This is an excerpt of Imam Zayd’s du‘a after he left al-Sham and a few days before he took up arms. Narrated by al-Murshid bi-Illah in Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyah. Ibn ‘Asaker refers to a portion of this du‘a in Tarikh Dimashq, Vol VI, p. 70. But he attributes it to Sadeef ibn Maymun.

[18]Al-Masabeeh, Abu al-‘Abbas al-Hasani (manuscript)

[19]Al-Masabeeh, (manuscript), p 306, see also Zayd ibn al-Imam ‘Ali, by Muhammad ‘Ali al-Dukhayil, p118.

[20]Ansab al-Ashraf, Al-Balathuri, p134; Seyar A‘lam al-Nubala, by al-Thahabi, Vol V. p298.

[21]Maqatel al-Talibiyeen, p 148

[22]Wafiyyat al-A‘yan, Vol. II, p.400 in the chapter about the second generation Muslims who quoted Imam Zayd. What is meant by his uncle is al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (AS).

[23]Ansab al-Ashraf, p 237

[24]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy – Sharh Musnad al-Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali (manuscript).

[25]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy, Vol I, p. 3 (manuscript); Al-Hada’eq, Vol I, p 141 (manuscript); Hayat al-Imam al-Baqer, p. 243.

[26]Majmu‘ al-Imam al-Hadi (manuscript) p. 220 (deluxe edition); al-Jawharah al-Khalisah min al-Shawa’eb, by al-Damighani (manuscript)

[27]Al-Muhit bi al-Imamat (manuscript), Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy (manuscript) Vol I, p 5

[28]Al-Futuh, Vol VIII, p. 114-115

[29]Al-Muhit bi al-Imamat

[30] Quotes from Al-Muhit bi al-Imamat. (manuscript).

[31]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd (the section on his speeches and missives).

[32]Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol I, p 238

[33]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd (the section on Imam Zayd’s missives).

[34]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy (manuscript); Taysir al-Mataleb, p 78; Amali al-Saduq, p 286.

[35]Taysir al-Mataleb, p 80; Masabih Abi al-‘Abbas al-Hasani; Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy, Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah (all manuscripts)

[36]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy, (manuscript)

[37]Al-Masabih, by Abi al-‘Abbas al-Hasani (manuscript), p 219; Al-Imam Yahya Ibn Zayd al-Imam al-Tha’er, p 11-12.

[38]Al-Saheb Ibn ‘Abbad’s poetry, see Al-Hada’eq al-Wardiyah

[39]Tarikh al-Kufah, p. 365

[40]Is‘af al-Raghibeen, p 41; Nur al-Absar, p.217; Al-Bahr al-Zakhkhar, Vol I, p 226

[41]Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi, Vol II, p. 256.

[42]Poetry by al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Jaber al-Habal.

[43]Ansab al-Ashraf, p. 255

[44]Al-Futuh, Vol VIII, p. 123.

[45]Nur al-Absar, p. 215; Ma’ather al-Abrar, (manuscript), Al-Ithninyeh, (manuscript)

[46]Amali al-Murshed bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyeh (manuscript).

[47]Tarikh Dimashq, by Ibn ‘Asaker, 29/99 (abridged)

[48]Ghurbal al-Zaman, p. 120; Amali al-Murshed bi-Ilah al-Ithnyniyeh, (manuscript)

[49]Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi, Vol. II, p. 256

[50]Al-Tuhaf Sharh al-Zulaf, p 28

[51]Al-Rawd al-Nadir, Vol I, p. 105.

[52]Al-Ifadah fi Tarikh al-A’immah al-Sadah.

[53]Two hundred and fifty names appear from bibliographic sources as Imam Zayd’s companions and narrators. Most are well known. They are mentioned in my book: Al-Imam Zayd Dirasatun wa Tahlil (Imam Zayd: A Study and an Analysis).


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Imam Zaid’s Biography (ch. 2)

Chapter Two: Imam Zayd: A Cultural Revolution

Contents of Chapter 2:

Islamic Culture: Pro-Active and Re-Active——————-

Imam Zayd and Cultural Correctness————————–

Reinvigorating the Role of the ‘Ulema————————

Correcting Confused Concepts———————————

The Truth About Iman

Explaining the Meaning of Qadar (Predestination)

The Many and the Few

Consolidating the Ma‘ruf and Dismantling the Munkar

The Status of Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s Household)

Who Are Ahl al-Bayt?

The Privilege of Ahl al-Bayt

The Post Prophetic Khilafah

Leadership After al-Hasan and al-Husayn

Words of Wisdom————————————————

Chapter Two:

Islamic Culture: Pro-Active and Re-Active

Islam was ushered into human affairs to salvage peoples and nations from the cesspool of behavioral degeneration. Islam was meant to set man free of all lusts, desires, and the evil concentration of power which causes man to victimize fellow-man. Islam is the way to a higher standard of human life that provides happiness and salvation. The initial course of Islamic struggle and action  was initiated by Allah’s Apostle Muhammad (P); who would also outline and explain the future of this affair. He (P) left a blueprint that explains how man should arrange and deal with developments along this line of action.

When we review the consequences of man’s cultures we realize that the Islamic culture did produce unique genius characters. It formulated outstanding missionary personalities who changed the course of life. Pre-Islamic feuding and hostility ridden societies were to become cooperative, brotherly, and virtuous societies. Slaves who were prior to Islam without family lineage and without tribal affiliation were transformed by Islam to bold communicators of the faith with the sky as limits…

Certainly, the culture that was able to transform human beings at that time is able to do it today and in the future, here and everywhere. That is because Islam’s principles are definitive and secure. It responds to the varying stages of life and it is not subject to the mutations of circumstances and the aberrations of worldly conditions. Islam, in a sense, is factually relevant and practically workable. To this end injustice is demonized, guidance is glorified, and morality is beautified. All these are principles that tolerate no alteration whatever the human status is. A mirror reflects the true image, and Islam reflects true values. This would mean that the resultants of Islamic rationale is one and constant from the first generation until the last one, or in the initial legislative age of Muslims and in all ages to follow. If Islam was left to take its human course it would be able to transform mankind today as it did at the start.

The Prophetic model of governance (al-Khilafah) degenerated into an arbitrary monarchy (mulk ‘adud), when the Muslim populace became the subjects of an Umayad clique and their supporters [whose obsession it was to have the Islamic orientation blend into their inner-circle interests and pursuits] This type of clannish power concentration came out of a process of deception and malice. The Umayads had no legitimacy for their reign. In the Islamic reference of things their administration was unlawful. More to the point, according to the movement that is generated by an adherence to the principles and ideology of Islam these Umayad rulers should be toppled. To preserve their seats of power the Umayad rulers sought to subvert Islamic information that would expose their unlawful conduct and their outlawed governance. This is one of the most dangerous things to do. Because it means that if these rulers are able to have it their way the budding generations of Muslims will not have the mind-set that will sustain an Islamic opposition to injustice and tyranny in the highest office in Muslim lands. That is why the minds of those times were bombarded with information that renders Muslims factions and feuding opinions. Muslims in this course of official entrapment were to spend the rest of their lives looking for illusive answers. To sum up the Umayad agenda:

1- People [Muslims] should understand that everything that happens in life: justice and injustice, obedience and disobedience, etc… is predestined and there is nothing man can do about it.

2- Redeeming faith has to be understood by the masses of people to be an abstract acknowledgment of Allah by verbalizing al-Shahadatain (the two testimonials); which do not necessarily mean that there are any rights and obligations to follow from this acknowledgment!

3- A Muslim may engage in vice and he has nothing to worry about because the Prophet (P) will intercede for him on the Day of Judgement. And if he does eventually enter hell he will inevitably leave it after having atoned for his sins!

4- The rulers and their accomplices are the people of haqq; and whoever disagrees with them has broken with the jama‘at [consensus community] for which he deserves the death sentence or banishment!

5- It is not permissible to oppose an oppressive ruler unless he demonstrates transparent kufr!

6- The human intellect should be marginalized and [questionable hadith] narratives should trump the mindful understanding of Islamic principles!

To this end the Umayads employed cheap scholars and greedy individuals. A torrent of literature was produced to accommodate the official line. All this was presented with a religious vocabulary and in the form of “hadith” and what amounts to a sacred and sinless first generation of Muslims. All of this was made possible due to government sponsorship; and it became “mainstream” in the ummah. All of this was accompanied by a frenzy official crackdown on the true and sincere bearers of Islam. The Umayads were able to isolate these free souls from society at large. They calculated that by adhering to this agenda they could withhold the truth and the facts from the peoples’ minds.

This official deviation did not prevail. The genuine and faithful Muslims were not about to surrender or evade this travesty of the facts and the shenanigans that go with it. Many competent Muslims took a stand and produced their scholarly opposition to this grand falsification of the state. There in effect was a mental war that was waged by the devotees of Islam to protect Allah’s words and guidance from the machinations of officialdom. This battle of the minds continued until the truth surfaced and the lies sank.

Imam Zayd and Cultural Correctness

We spoke above about the cultural context in which Imam Zayd lived and the type of knowledge he acquired. We realized that he had access to unpolluted sources of information. This made him capable of over-growing and by-passing the officially tainted mental atmosphere of his time. He was able to out-grow the inhibitions and the negativism of his generation. He developed a conviction and a determination that brought his ambitions and goals within reach. Most of his behavior and positions were a result of his trend of thought as he trekked through his cultural milieu undiminished by its distractions and distortions. He felt accountable to his higher principles and convictions and not to material allurements or circumstantial apologizes.

Imam Zayd was well aware of the dangerous conspiracy against the Islamic paradigm and master-culture. He took it upon himself to defend and deter with zeal and zest. To this end he was in contact with like-minded ‘ulema. He was at work trying to align and adjust convoluted concepts about Islam at the grassroots level. He was working on many fronts: lecturing, writing, composing poetry, debating, and doing all that is possible to redress and sort out the vital issues of Islam.

Some of his priorities were:

Reinvigorating the Role of the ‘Ulema

When an individual becomes a public figure his words as well as his deeds become illustrious. People view him with an aura. Feeling responsibility gains a new meaning and intensity. The figure in the public eye becomes the possession of the ummah. He no longer feels “free” to behave according to his peculiar preferences and inclinations. He is expected to act in a capacity that behooves his status and trusted position. If he does abdicate this position of trust and begins to conduct himself according to his tendencies and self-centered preferences this all reflects negatively on the ummah he belongs to and could very well impede its progress. The ‘ulema are and have been in the ummah’s public eye. They are considered to be the heirs of the prophets. Therefore, to begin you have to begin with them.

At an early stage of his meritorious life, Imam Zayd endeavored to revitalize the role of the ‘ulema. He sought to minimize their [theoretical] differences as a means of freeing them from prejudices. He met during the time of hajj with people from different vicinities and variations of the ummah as his first step in reconstructing a consolidated and unified populace. He spoke to people who were accessible and corresponded with others who were in far-away lands.

One of his accomplishments was to send a written message to the ‘ulema in the ummah. This message expressed his “calling.” In it he clarified that “the affairs of the ummah can be restored by the “agency” of the ‘ulema; these affairs may also deteriorate through the “agency” of the ‘ulema if they exchange Allah’s orders and commands for aiding and abetting despots and dictators.”[1] In addressing the ‘ulema, Imam Zayd called upon them to assume their scholastic responsibilities which places them in the limelight of the ummah and gives them status and prestige. To them he said: “You, the assembly of ‘ulema, are in a position of public recognition. Your piety is attested to. Your affiliation with Allah is acknowledged. Your study of the Quran is granted. You have prestige in the public eye. You are honored in the urban and commercial centers. The most powerful members of society look up to you; while the dispossessed yearn for you. Even those who are beyond your sphere of influence revere you. You proceed other notables on many occasions. You remain distinguished in whatever company you are in. You are sought whenever an appeal is made in the public interest. You are the pace-setters. All of this is because of your knowledge of Allah’s right by those who are lesser than you in rank and station.[2]

Imam Zayd was the contemporary of many well-known ‘ulema who either were on the progressive side of history or on the regressive side of it. These types are to be found almost anytime, anywhere. They may be put in the following categories:

1- Activist ‘ulema who are principled and determined within well defined and well established concepts and paragons. They interact with Allah directly in all their conduct and occupation. They have reached a high standard in their personal lives and they went out to see that standard established in society around them. To reach this goal they endeavored to raise the level of thinking in the public realm and to stimulate a social movement forwards. They did not ask how much that would cost them. These turned out to be the supporters of Imam Zayd and his partisans on all fronts: from the mental to the military.

2- ‘Ulema who were satisfied with their personal salvation. They were not very much concerned with “social salvation.” Some of them may have feared the consequences; others may have been sluggish, and others may have been irresponsible. Imam Zayd considered this to be a betrayal of the ummah. He addressed these types of ‘ulema by saying: “Do not be mindless of Allah’s preferential right. Do not waste His directives. If you fail in this regard you are akin to physicians who have collected their money but demented their patients, or like shepherds who get paid to take the flock to pastured lands but wind up taking them to barren lands, or the likes of guards who turn over the fortress to its enemies… By He who sustains Zayd’s life, if you were to explain to people what you know and impress them with the truth that you have a grasp of you will destabilize the despotic structure and root out the foundations of tyranny.[3]

3- ‘Ulema who are skeptical and pessimistic. These types see the facts of world affairs through the tilts of their ego. They come out and give reality a taint of their subjective and despondent selves. They are known for their self-centeredness and envy, as well as their doubts of others. They take liberty in presenting the issues in their own unobjective way.

4- The court ‘ulema (or the status quo scholars). These are the ones who are all too willing to be the mouthpieces and the instruments of the masters and monarchs. They are used to fabricating accusations and falsifying the facts about activist ‘ulema whose goal it is to change the course of an errant regime. Propaganda that comes out of the man of the cloth is more effective than that coming out of barons and kings.

Imam Zayd spent a good deal of his time and effort confronting these ‘ulema of disrepute. The danger of religious personalities supercedes by leaps and bounds the danger of potentates and royal executives. That is because religious figures have a spell on the conscience of people; they are able to draw them into blind and mindless imitation. They penetrate into the psychology of people and may cause a rational crisis. But a tyrant can only exert “outside” influence. He may use force and clamp down on people. The crisis here is circumstantial and dissipates once the tyrant is no longer in control. Unlike the religious damage that dwells inside a person and is not circumstantial, which means even if a person goes to Mars he will still have a polluted mind and a disturbed conscience to live with! In some instances the official tyranny and oppression becomes the motivation for revolt and resistence, unlike “religious subterfuge” which chips away at every movement for change and renaissance on one side and which reinforces and rationalizes tyranny and oppression on the other side!

“You scholars of disrepute! You have attempted to score out Allah’s Holy Book! You have attempted to deface the deen altogether. Consequently, it escaped in fleeing fashion from you. Due to your shameful acts the blood of the champions of haqq from the Prophet’s descendants (P) has been shed. Their heads were raised on the spears, their bodies were chained, they were humiliated, they felt the agony, endured grief, they were mortified, and debilitated and fatigued.”[4]

Imam Zayd pointed to the opportunistic attitude of these cunning and conniving scholars who were anxious to gain proximity from oppressors. To that he said:

“You scholars of infamy! You have secured your place with tyrants because of your scheming. You have gained worldly possessions by keeping company with overlording kings. In the process you have violated the deen and quashed the Quran. Your knowledge is Allah’s evidence against you. But eventually when death approaches and the final hour arrives you will painfully know the extent of what you have been accomplices to.”[5]

Needless to say a pioneering Muslim has to know whom to follow. Society has to get together around virtuous and involved ‘ulema while taking issue with other “whimsical” ‘ulema so that the lines are drawn.

Correcting Confused Concepts

When we review the books of Imam Zayd we find that he paid close attention to the “hot” issues of his time and age. He worked on correcting some skewed and lop-sided ideas. The most challenging crisis of any religious momentum is unreliable and error-prone concepts. If everyone understands his ideas in his self centered way he will take a stand and defend his rational position and then begin to judge others through this personalized view. This inevitably will lead to sterile disputes and harsh judgements. What is to follow are some concepts which Imam Zayd commented on:

The Truth About Iman

Iman is an application program of convictions and beliefs which glows inside the depths of man with a grip on man’s heart, mind, and soul. The further this seeps into man’s psychology the more pronounced it is in man’s reality. This process leads to internal conscientious crystallization and external material perfection:

[Know that true] committed Muslims are only those who  trust Allah and His Apostle and have left all doubt behind, and who strive hard in Allah’s cause with their possessions and their lives: it is they, they who are true to their word!                                                       49: 15

For this reason Iman is a sublime goal and a privileged objective that generates glad tidings:

Allah has promised those who commit to Him and do good works [that] theirs shall be forgiveness of sins, and a mighty reward.

5: 9

When people of aggression and disobedience found themselves outside the perimeters of Iman, in the grip of Satan, not concerned with repentance and restitution, when they realized where they are they began to finagle with the concept of Iman so that it may admit them and their shenanigans and chicanery. In doing so they claimed that qibla praying but oppressively ruling and shari‘ah violating kings are still within the sphere of Iman. They constricted Iman to a verbal acknowledgment of deen without physically and practically opposing shirk, and upholding Quranic commandments, and abiding by moral conduct becoming of Iman.

To give this slant a religious flavor they clung to extrapolative texts. To this end they claimed that any disobedient  man short of shirk is pardonable, and they quoted:

Verily, Allah does not forgive ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin unto whomever He wills.

4: 49

and so I warn you of the raging fire – [the fire] which none shall have

to endure but that most hapless wretch who gives the lie to the truth

and turns away [from it].                                                                                        92: 14

These mis-ideas were promoted and publicized in a systematic way that sought to diffuse and deflate the meaning of Iman. And these unsound ideas became a belief that was represented and justified by nitwits and simpletons whose interests and ignorance took precedence over the facts.

Imam Zayd led the charge to correct this anomaly by writing his book Al-Iman in which he summarized the Quranic concept of Iman with further explanation of its foundations. The following is a summary of the book:

*Iman is both an expression and a physical exertion: “Iman and good deeds is like the spirit in the body; if you separate the two they perish and if you combine them they flourish.” And “Iman is two: an Iman that confirms the truth and an Iman that generates man’s good work and raises his guard against Allah’s retribution and power.” And Iman “is founded on substructures and extensions. Iman has a beginning, a center, and an end. Its beginning is the divine duty upon the ummah to acknowledge Allah and His Apostle. That was followed by its [Islamic] religious obligations. Its end is when the spirit exits its sphere of worldly life and obligations in a state of confidence and comfort for having lived a life in the service of Allah.”

*The Quran tells us that the obligations of nations were introduced incrementally as Allah “assigned His prophets (P) to their peoples to bear witness that there is no authority/deity except Allah, and to follow that up by bearing Allah’s covenant. Anyone who follows through with this process in sincerity will have access to paradise.” Then Allah “designated for every prophet a [different] law and way of life,” that was binding on prophets and their respective societies. Musa’s people were vouchsafed the Sabbath. Whoever honored the Sabbath was rewarded paradise; and whoever violated the Sabbath in principle or in action was condemned to suffer the anguish and the fire that is prepared by Allah for behavioral desecration of the Sabbath.”

“Then Allah sent ‘Isa (Jesus) with the eternal word of faith: there is no authority/deity except Allah, and with the Scripture of faith with its particular law and way of life. The concept of the Sabbath was no longer the legal reference of the time. Now ‘Isa had to be acknowledged in his complimentary role to Musa (Moses). Whoever followed the instructions and teachings of ‘Isa would qualify for bliss, and whoever denied ‘Isa and insisted on the obsolete ways of Musa was in disobedience of Allah and incurred His fire.”

“Then Allah sent Muhammad (P). Muhammad was instructed by Allah to have people adhere to Allah alone, to worship, honor, and conform to Him and to no one or nothing else. This was done in Makkah for ten years. Whoever followed Muhammad (P) and his deen would secure paradise. At this time these followers were not duty-bound or required to fight or pray or perform the hajj or fast the month of Ramadan. Up to now anyone who died bearing witness to the facts presented by Muhammad (P) without being guilty of shirk would be a candidate for paradise. Allah will not take to task and punish anyone who follows Muhammad (P) while in Makkah except if he were to equate or associate other(s) with Allah, the Merciful.

To confirm this Allah revealed in Makkah the Scriptural chapter of Bani Israel:

For your Sustainer has ordained that you shall conform to none but

Him…

until He says:

And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, you can

never rend the earth asunder, nor can you ever grow as tall as the

mountains! The evil of all of this is odious in your Sustainer’s sight:

this is part of that knowledge of right and wrong with which your

Sustainer has inspired you. Hence do not set up any other                   deity/authority side by side with Allah, lest you be cast into hell, blamed

[by yourself] and rejected [by Him]!                                                    17: 23-29

During the time these ayats were revealed in Makkah Allah did not threaten with the fire those who violated these commands until He said:

Hence do not set up any other deity/authority side by side with Allah,

lest you be cast into hell, blamed [by yourself] and rejected [by Him]!

Then Zayd mentions ayats revealed in Makkah which menace the mushriks by having the hell-fire in anticipation of them if they insist on their shirk:

and so I warn you of the raging fire – [the fire] which none shall have

to endure but that most hapless wretch who gives the lie to the truth

and turns away [from it].                                                                                        92: 14-16

As well as:

And, verily, on that Day they all will share in their common suffering. Verily, thus shall We deal with all who were lost in sin: for, behold, whenever they were told, “There is no deity/authority save Allah,” they would glory in their arrogance and would say, “Shall we, then, give up our deities at the bidding of a mad poet?”            37: 33-36

*After the first phase of the Muhammadi mission religious obligatory assignments followed “until when Allah ordered Muhammad (P) to seek asylum away from Makkah, in Madinah. Military duty was to become a responsibility. And Islam was then constructed on five pillars: the Shahadah (the oral testimonial that there is no deity/authority except Allah), the established [social standard] of salat, the systemic distribution of money: zakat, the Hajj, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Then Allah disclosed via revelation to His Prophet (P) the verdict of adultery:

As for the adulteress and the adulterer – flog each of them with a

hundred stripes…                                                                                                                      24: 2

Then Allah says concerning an innocent a sacred life that has been killed:

But whoever deliberately kills another committed Muslim, his requital

shall be hell, therein to abide; and Allah will condemn him, and will

reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.

4: 93

But Allah does not condemn a committed Muslim.

Allah also declared through Scripture:

Behold, those who sinfully devour the possessions of orphans but fill

their bellies with fire: for [in the life to come] they will have to endure

a blazing flame.                                                                                                                         4: 10

*After these divine assignments and duties settled into the social reality of Madinah and when the qualities of Iman were pronounced, at that time whoever failed to fulfill and live up to this standard of life was excluded from the circle of Iman, in His words:

Behold, those who barter away their bond with Allah and their own

pledges for a trifling gain – they shall not partake in the blessings of the

life to come; and Allah will neither speak to them nor look upon them

on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He cleanse them of their sins; and

grievous suffering awaits them.                                                                     3: 77

Zayd pointed to the claim of the Murji’ah (the fatalists – those who believed that they were powerless to change their destiny) who say:

Verily, Allah does not forgive the ascribing of divinity/authority to

aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin to whomever He

wills…                                                                                                                                                4: 48

by referring them to the unequivocal and clear ayats of the Quran from which the following can be derived: those who commit disobedient acts even if they are qibla folks are not included in [God’s] will. For if Allah wanted to forgive the qibla folks altogether He would have said:

Verily, Allah does not forgive the ascribing of divinity/authority to

aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin.

He would not have made an exception and said: to whomever He wills.

Then he said: for those who have gone astray in understanding this ayat I shall provide its explanation:

although He forgives any lesser sin to whomever He wills…The definition and description of those whom Allah willed to forgive is:

If you avoid the great sins which you have been enjoined to shun, WE

shall efface your [minor] bad deeds, and shall cause you to enter an

abode of glory.                                                                                                                          4: 31

Whoever Allah has taken to task for a major sin even if he belongs to the qibla shall suffer the consequences because Allah does not rescind His word. And whoever comes to you with arguments contrary to the Quran do not believe him; rather suspect him. Allah’s words are the panacea and not these other misinforming words pertaining to Allah’s will.

Allah the Exalted says:

And [both] the Jews and the Christians say, “We are God’s children,

and His beloved ones.” Say: “Why, then, does He cause you to suffer

for your sins? No, you are but human beings of His creating, He

forgives whom He wills, and He causes to suffer whom He wills…

5: 18

Whoever wants to be forgiven from these types should abandon Judaism and Christianity. The same is applicable to the folks of qibla: if they want to be forgiven they should abandon their penalty incurring violations.

After this ayat Allah revealed other ayats that indicate there is a punishment for disobeyers even if they are people of the qiblah. Of these ayats:

But whoever deliberately slays another committed Muslim, his

requital shall be hell, therein to abide; and Allah will condemn him,

and will reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.

4: 93

It may not accord with your wishful thinking – nor with the wishful

thinking of the followers of earlier revelation – [that] he who does evil

shall be requited for it, and shall find none to protect him from Allah,

and none to bring him support.                                                                   4: 123

The Quran has established the fact that the munafiqs are in the deepest pits of the fire “while the munafiqs are neither mushriks nor mu’mins. The Extolled and Glorified says:

Behold, the munafiqs seek to deceive Allah – the while it is He who

causes them to be deceived [by themselves]. And when they rise to

pray, they rise reluctantly, only to be seen and praised by men, only

seldomly conscious of Allah, wavering between this and that, [true]

neither to these nor those. But for him whom Allah lets go astray you

can never find any way.                                                                                          4: 142-143

Allah refuses here to include this segment of people among the mu’mineen (committed Muslims.) He also refuses to include them among the mushriks.

Explaining the Meaning of Qadar (Predestination)

Exploring the unfathomable meanings of predestination or predetermination is tantamount to treading a slippery slope. For this reason Imam ‘Ali (AS) said:

Predestination is a deep and incomprehensible sea. It is a path of darkness which you should not pace. It is Allah’s secret which you should not attempt.[6]

As was the case with other sensitive issues the issue of qadar or predestination or fate was another one of those “controversial” issues that was widely instigated by Umayad officialdom. Al-Qadar was presented as this inescapable force that has imposed particular rulers who were also by the circular definition of qadar forced to do terrible things. Due to the public-relations definition at that time of qadar these rulers were granted power. By the same twist of logic it is qadar that placed these rulers in a pool of infractions and offences. It was due to this myth-information of qadar that innocent people were killed and truth speaking ‘ulema were banished. There was no escaping the tentacles of this qadar! To add insult to injury if you were molded by officially sanctioned opinions you had to believe in this qadar and accept the consequences with a broad vision and a healthy attitude!

The Umayad royals were very excited about this view of qadar. Their court clergymen did all they could to promote this type of understanding which served as a mental line of defense for the royal class.

Imam Zayd expressed his thoughts on this issue. He did so with caution and perceptual experience. He did not exclude disobedient and violating Muslims from Allah’s [retaliatory] qadar, neither did he exempt them from breaching Allah. He said: “What I say and am convinced is true is that you should read the Quran and mentally focus on its meanings to find out what Allah wants and what He demands and this should be attributable to Allah, but whatever else Allah dislikes should be attributable to its performer… I am satisfied to say that offenders of Allah do not operate beyond the power sphere of Allah. That should not be excused if they defy Allah. And whoever says that he is in possession of his own deeds with Allah is guilty of shirk; and whoever says he is in possession of his own deeds with the exclusion of Allah is guilty of kufr. I tend to believe that the right course in this regard is for a subject of Allah to follow and implement those teachings and instructions coming from Allah. If I do such a thing I am in a position to thank Allah, but if I err and disregard or contravene Allah then I find myself in need of asking Him forgiveness. If you encounter those who insist on their sins and mistakes do so with [at least] facial features of objection so that you gain with Allah. Whoever humiliates people who infringe on Allah will gain His gratification.”[7]

Imam Zayd objected to what al-Mujberah had to say when they denied that man has an independent will and capacity. He said: “They claim that Allah did not equip man with an ability to repel intrusive and protruding forces into man’s heart. They claim that He forced them to endure such internal interferences as they were made [by Allah] that way. In such a way they attach moral weakness to Allah, the while they absolve their own selves and all others of this moral failure. They even said that He is responsible for all our movements be they acts of devotion or acts of infraction. He will hold us accountable on the Day of Judgement for things that He did as He created [the acts of] kufr, zena, shirk, thulm, jawr, and sefah (defying Allah, adultery, equating others with Allah, tyranny, oppression, and deceit). Had He not created these things – as they claim – and compelled us to do them we would not on our own be able to deny Him or associate others with Him. We would not have been able to accuse his Prophets of lying, or to abandon His Scriptures, or even to kill His Apostles and saints. But when He created all this and compelled us to do these things we had no choice but to become the performers of His will and fate. For that He was angry with us and He threw us into the fire for ever.

“Absolutely not so. By His grace, this is not the way to describe the most prudent Judge. Rather He created them for obligations, with an ability, with reason, with commandments, and with prohibitions. He ordered us to do what is right and good and He never intrudes into this process. He ordered us to withhold from doing what is wrong and evil and He never allured otherwise. He has guided us to the point of seeing and distinguishing between the two intersects: one to virtue and the other to vice, and He said do whatever is in your capacity to do by choosing what is right and rightful and avoiding what is wrong and harmful… The Mujberah and the Mushabbehah (comparisonites) excluded themselves from being responsible for doing what is wrong and unsuitable such as acts of oppression, tyranny, and deceit while attributing all this to Allah in toto. They said that Allah created them for this misfortune and created them  to do what is incorrect and fallacious. Then He will punish us in the fire and will not do injustice to us.

“How much more ridiculous can you get? How can anyone attribute more injustice to Allah than what they say? By Allah, this is not the description of the Most Merciful, the Mercy-giving who demands justice, perfection, and Who bars insults and systemic evil.”[8]

The Many and the Few

To say that more people or the overwhelming majority of people are determinants of the haqq and to follow that up by saying that the small number of people should join the crowd is not an accurate way of getting to know the truth (haqq). Al-Haqq and al-Batel cannot be distinguished by the numbers they command: be they the few or be they the many. These followers have no impact (positive or negative) on a concept.

Unfortunately, this yardstick was imposed on Islamic thought. It gained prominence during the Umayad reign especially during the years of Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek, which corresponds to the crucial years in the life of Imam Zayd. The fallout of that was a polarized and intense standoff between the proponents of this idea and Imam Zayd. Imam Zayd never considered numbers to be qualifiers for what is haqq and what is batel. Even a few who are obedient to Allah will become the jama‘at of Muslims; while the pronounced majority who are disobedient to Allah become the folks of bida‘ (religious improvisations). This conclusion is Quranically based. Many promoters of the majority verses minority mental image were opportunists steeped in empty talk who were misleading public opinion, for this reason Imam Zayd took them on strictly from a Quranic viewpoint to which no one could object. Imam Zayd chronicled the ayats that refer to a majority to show they were in a bad light, as well as those ayats that refer to a minority to show they were in a good light. This proves that large numbers are not intrinsically indicative of the haqq. Likewise, small numbers are not intrinsically indicative of batel. The jama‘at are the folks of haqq even if they are numerically insignificant. And the furqah are the folks of batel even if they are numerically superior.

To this end Imam Zayd says: “Heretofore, there are people in this ummah who are speaking about jama‘at. They contend that they are the majority; and that they are Allah’s evidence of the truth as opposed to the minority. They say that the minority in the ummah are people of religious improvisations and deviations. But we hear Allah (exalted, extolled, and glorified be He) in His revelation of Scripture to His subject and servant Muhammad (P) inform us of previous nations and peoples pertaining to Nuh, Hud, Saleh, Shu‘aib, Ibrahim, Musa, Dawud, Sulayman, ‘Isa, and Muhammad (P) some of whom are salutary apostles and not just “page-pundits”, we hear Him say that the followers of haqq, jama‘at, and prophets were minorities, while the folks of religious improvisations and expediencies were the majority. We heard Allah speak very highly of these minorities, while assailing the majority for their ignorance, foolishness, lies, and errant ways. He warns righteous people not to be swept by their public statements.”[9]

Consolidating the Ma‘ruf and Dismantling the Munkar

The Quran calls for an ummah that secures haqq and honesty. Of it Allah speaks:

You commit to Allah and the Last Day, and consolidate the ma‘ruf

and dismantle the munkar.

3: 114

This consolidating of the ma‘ruf (common sense goodness) and dismantling of the munkar (self-evident systemic vice) guarantees the wholesomeness of Islam as a doctrine and repels the assaults of evil from all directions. This is a method of eternalizing Allah’s message and putting the ummah on the right course within which we will have proper Muslim conduct, without man victimizing his fellow man. In this setup man belongs to Allah in a relationship of conformity and abidance.

The well being of this ummah is contingent on it being as Allah says:

You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth

for [the good of] mankind: you consolidate the ma‘ruf and you                dismantle the munkar.                                             3: 110

Regrettably, this very central concept of practical Iman became a target of those who tried to void it of its dynamic. Many tyrants deployed their agents and gave them facilities and finances to obliterate the momentous and activist meanings of this concept.

But they cannot silence the voice of truth. Its roar will continue. It was Imam Zayd who in that pitch-dark night of tyranny raised the voice of objection and confrontation with all who were trying to undermine the bases of this deen. He reiterated that consolidating the ma‘ruf and dismantling the munkar is a religious duty which cannot be annulled or short-circuited. This concept is not for leisurely purposes to be tended to at someone’s discretion. It also cannot be applied selectively to the average man while excluding the ruler from its scope. Nor is it correct to take the poor to task while looking the other way if the ayat speaks to the rich. Those who are in power are not above this concept and those who are powerless are not to bear the brunt of it. Imam Zayd took on Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek who announced that he speaks for Allah. He tried to de-legitimize any opinion coming from an opposition and even sound advice. Hisham said: If anyone tells me ittaqi-Illah {fear [the power of] Allah} I will chop his head off! But Imam Zayd said it with dignity and honor: Ittaqi-Illah ya Hisham [Fear Allah O Hisham!]… to which Hisham said: Is someone like you telling someone like me to fear Allah? Imam Zayd replied: No one is above being told: ittaqi-Illah and no one is below being told ittaqi-Illah.

In his epistle to the ummah Imam Zayd called for actuating the consolidation of the ma‘ruf and the dismantling of the munkar. An excerpt as he addresses the ‘ulema:

Allah has definitely distinguished you. Your prestige is recognized by all people of thought. In this light Allah says to you:

And [as for] the committed Muslims, both men and women – they are

integrants [allies] of each other: they consolidate the ma‘ruf and they

dismantle the munkar, and their standard [in life] is salat, and they

render the zakat, and pay heed unto Allah and His Apostle. It is they

upon whom Allah will bestow His grace: verily, Allah is almighty, wise.

9: 71

Allah began by quoting the privilege of consolidating the ma‘ruf and dismantling the munkar, then He followed that up by pointing to the status of those who are involved in this awesome task of His subjects… Be advised that if this injunction were to be active and ma‘ruf is integrated and munkar is dismembered we would have all our obligations performed honestly, be they undemanding or demanding obligations.”[10]

When the banners of jihad were over his head he said: “Thank Allah that He has perfected His deen for me. By Allah I would not be satisfied if I were to meet Muhammad (P) while I am amiss of al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahyi ‘an al-munkar.[11]

The Zaydi school of thought has followed the same course of reinvigorating this principle and advancing it. The Zaydi ‘ulema have even incorporated this principle into the bases of deen (Usul al-Deen).

The Status of Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s Household)

The Prophet’s family is held in high respect by Muslims. Their honor and adulation is overwhelming. Only those who are mentally dense or hold some type of grudge or harbor an obscurity can deny this. Common sense and courtesy would have any sane person acknowledge appreciation and express thanks when it is due. This expression of appreciation and thanks to the articulate Apostle and merciful Messenger (P) is an expression of higher culture and spiritual refinement.

But there are many who ask: But who are Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s family)? And why are they privileged? And what are the reflections of that privilege? How does divine justice figure into all this?

These concerns have been expressed more often than not recently. The more research is done in this area the more questions appear and obviously the age of Imam Zayd figures predominantly in this context.

Imam Zayd himself tried to explain this issue; he tried to specify this privilege and its consequences far away from zealotry and hyperbole. A thorough and precise clarification of these issues is enough to arrest some problematic concerns on one hand and some false assertions on the other hand. We may summarize Imam Zayd’s opinion as follows:

Who Are Ahl al-Bayt?

There has been a commotion of ideas about the meaning of Ahl al-Bayt; especially as it is found in the ayat:

For Allah only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome,

O you members of the [Prophet’s] household {Ahl al-Bayt}, and to

purify you to utmost purity.                                                                                   33: 33

The most notable comment explaining Ahl al-Bayt is:

Allah’s Prophet, ‘Ali, Fatimeh, al-Hasan, al-Husayn (AS) who are referred to as the five folks of the mantle (Ahl al-Kisa).

Or what is meant is the five folks of the mantle and the descendents of al-Hasan and al-Husayn.

Or it could mean the Prophet’s wives (P).

Or it could mean the ummah to which the Prophet was sent.

There are those who point to the first two interpretations above and quote the hadith of the mantle (hadith al-Kisa) as well as other evidence to this effect. There are also those who take a zealous position and affirm that what is meant by Ahl al-Bayt are the wives of the Prophet (P). Some paraphrased this enthusiasm in poetic verses saying that the Prophet’s household includes all his followers be they Persians, Africans, or Arabs.

Imam Zayd tipped the rational balance in explaining who they are and what the word means. He considered that the word Ahl al-Bayt is inclusive of all three interpretations. Evidence can be quoted to justify each interpretation. Allah says about Musa: and appoint for me, out of my kinsfolk, one who will help me to bear my burden. (20: 29) The meaning here does not suggest wives.  And then Allah says in the narrative about Prophet Lut: Thereupon We saved him and all his household – all but an old woman, who was among those who stayed behind. (26: 171) It appears that the meaning of household here is Lut’s descendants. They were considered to be his family after his wife took herself  out of this family company. It also infers that Lut’s wife was one of his family members because she was identified as an exception even though she in a physical sense belonged to Lut’s family.

And in Allah’s words: [and] after having bound one another by an oath in Allah’s name, they said: “Indeed, we shall suddenly fall upon him and his household by night [and slay them all]; and then we shall boldly say to his next of kin, ‘We did not witness the destruction of his household – and, behold, we are indeed men of truth!’”                             27: 49

In this context the word Ahl refers to people other than his own people.

In the ayat 33 from Surah al-Ahzab (called ayat al-tat-hir) the meaning vacillates between two indications. The first one is the context indication which suggests that the meaning of Ahl al-Bayt is the Prophet’s wives (P). And the other indication is the change in the form of speech by replacing the antecedent female noun (Prophet’s wives) with a pronoun referring to the plural masculine. Imam Zayd comments on this saying: “He [Allah] said: for Allah only wants to remove from you [i.e.: ‘ankum] {in Arabic it is the masculine plural pronoun} O you members of the [Prophet’s] household. He [Allah] did not say for Allah only wants to remove from you: [‘ankunna] (the feminine plural pronoun). [12] Zayd adds that the privilege gained by the wives of the Prophet (P) is because of their intimate relationship with him; but his family are more privileged because they are more confidential than his wives. This aspect is understood from the ayat:

O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any of the [other] women, provided that you remain [truly] conscious of Allah.                 33: 32

These wives of the Prophet (P) were not privileged because of their fathers, mothers, or tribe. Rather their status of privilege came from their relationship to Allah’s Prophet (P). How then does not the Prophet’s family precede in status other Muslim families, and his heirs other heirs?!”[13]

The Privilege of Ahl al-Bayt

Imam Zayd drew a distinction between what he called creational privilege which man has no access to. Such privileges pertain to a person’s abilities, features, and human  provisions. And gainful privileges which man acquires through work and motivation. He considered the former as an indication that people are of varying prerogatives and advantages however common their race or ideological orientation. He said that this is a divine bounty which no one has any control over. “But Allah’s favors are dispensed to people without people having any say in that God-specific  process. It is only Allah who chooses and selects [at this level of human initiation.]”[14] It should be clear at this point that there is no conflict between creational prerogatives and divine justice, especially when we realize that there is no penalty or reward consequences to this.

Zayd views this as insufficient for a person to become an example or a behavioral model. A person needs to acquire other qualifications that render him at the level of emulation. “The most deserving of the Prophet’s family to be admired boundlessly and followed is the one who is entrusted by the Muslims… who they can vouch for in his understanding, knowledge, and expression of the truth, as well as the Prophet’s Sunnah (P). It is he whom Allah guides people with and who passes on to them his most reliable understanding and knowledge. His discourse on the haqq offers Muslims access to the milestones of their deen.”[15]

Imam Zayd considers the Prophet’s posterity to be the most qualified behavioral models. In expressing this view he relies on historic dynamics and comparative history of nations. To this end he says: “If you are seeking knowledge about a guiding ummah — by Allah’s leave – you should look into the generous Quran. Has Allah ever commissioned a Prophet without denominating his household? Has Allah ever revealed Scripture without appointing a solidarity of folks to uphold it via His Apostle ? Then Allah tells you of those who reached salvation from among them and of those of them who perished. I draw your attention to those who were favored by Allah to have been saved by keeping company with His Prophets, and to those who have become the folks of haqq after the Prophets (P). If you realize that in Scripture it is the folks and family of the Prophet and their followers who at the end of the day are saved, and that the residual of Prophetic struggle are the descendants of these Prophets (P), then you should be aware that this ummah will not be saved except as those who were saved afore-time when there was a general breakdown in the understanding their deen and when they went to war because of it.”[16]

To avoid having someone go overboard with this concept, turning Allah’s favors into a form of prejudice or racism by claiming that the Prophet’s family are infallible and immune to mistakes, Zayd said: “I assert, they (the Prophet’s posterity) are like other people who are endowed and who err. These prerogatives that we speak about are not the share of everyone, only the selective. Whoever expresses a default is taken to task for it; if his loss is anonymous his affair remains with Allah; if Allah wills, He punishes, and if He wills He forgives; provided he [the behavioral model] does not mislead people. Another proviso is that he not tamper with established meanings of Islam to have people follow suit. If this becomes the case he and his followers bare the full responsibility of deviation.”[17]

Zayd also said: “We are like everyone else; we have among us the error prone and the unflawed. Ask us and do not accept from us anything which is contrary or irreconcilable with Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet (P).”[18]

The Post Prophetic Khilafah

One thing leads to another; speaking about the “khilafah” during the time of Imam Zayd which refers to Umayad rule leads to speaking about the initial khilafah after the Prophet (P) passed on. How did it actualize, and by what merits? And what is the legal and  shar‘i basis for selecting a khalifah? And who was most qualified after the Prophet (P) to succeed him?

The Prophet’s family and their exponents viewed ‘Ali (AS) as the number one candidate to succeed the Prophet (P). His qualifications acceded the others: he was one of the first to accept Islam, he was distinguished by a lionhearted military career, his jihad and taqwa were one of a kind, his knowledge was singularly impressive, he was related to the Prophet’s bloodline. Add to that many of the Prophet’s hadith that nominated him for that position.

Another segment of Muslims thought that Abu Bakr was more deserving of this position. He deserved it through the process of shura (collective consultation); and the circumstances of that time were amenable to his becoming the leader.

Imam Zayd’s opinion agreed with those of his family. He said: “When the lifetime of  Allah’s Prophet (P) was adjourned the most deserving of people to lead the people was ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb. When ‘Ali’s lifetime was brought to an end the most deserving of people to lead the people was al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali; and when he died the most deserving of people to lead the people was al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali.”[19]

He pointed to two references giving Imam ‘Ali (AS) the priority to lead the Muslims. One of them was Tathbeet al-Wasiyah (The Confirmation of the Will), and in it there are statements attributed to the Prophet in which he advises that the khilafah after him should be the responsibility of ‘Ali. The other is Tathbeet al-Imamat (The Confirmation of the Imamat). In it there are descriptions and elucidations of who deserves to lead the Muslims after the Prophet (P) and how it all applies to Imam ‘Ali.

Leadership After al-Hasan and al-Husayn

The divine message was represented by both Scripture and Apostle (revelation and prophet). Each had a role to play. Scripture contains the foundations of divine doctrine and the outline of deen. While the Apostle was the receptacle of this Scripture via revelation and inspiration. He communicated its contents to people. He was there to answer to their questions. He also was there to refute and dismiss innuendo and accusations posed by opponents and deniers. This task needed a particular prophetic personality who could perform feats and marvelous events. He should also be free of errors that would be detrimental to his mission and role as a publicizer and communicator of Scripture.

The Prophets’ role ends with their death. But Scripture remains, and it remains the responsibility of its adherents within their capacity. They are not expected to be carbon-copies of Prophets: flawless and miraculous. The initial task was initially done: Scripture was revealed and the Prophet publicized and spread it. What is left to be done is to take the process forward. The difference between the role of Prophets and the role of Imams and activists is well known.

Imam Zayd holds that Ahl al-Bayt are the meritorious to lead. He says: “If they say who is worthy of leadership after al-Husayn? Say: the intimates of Muhammad (P), his children (meaning al-Hasan and al-Husayn). The best is the most steeped in deen, who relates to Allah’s Book, who is armed for the cause of Allah. They are the leaders of the Muslims in all their legal and moral affairs, and that includes all devout and pious Muslims.”[20]

Some particulars of an Imam. He says: “Know that none of us should be promoting himself for this affair until we have gained the following: knowing the particulars of Scripture, being aware of its expanding and vying meanings, knowledge of candid and exclusive meanings, the sequence of revelation, abrogating and abrogated ayats, the knowledge of halal and haram, the abrogating Sunnah – what preceded it, and how to draw analogies with it, knowledge of transgressors is a must as well as the history of shirk. Another qualifying matter is the single minded determination to engage the enemy in jihad, to defend the Muslims, to sacrifice life and limb to this end without any vacillation or abrogation of Allah’s injunctions. These are the qualities that command obedience within the household of the Prophet (P).”[21]

Furat ibn Ibrahim al-Kufi relates a narrative from Abi Hashem al-Rummani who has it on the authority of Imam Zayd (AS) who said in a long discourse: “I avow that none of us – the descendants of both al-Hasan and al-Husayn – never claimed to be imposed leaders on all the Muslims (by this he may be referring to the issue of divine appointment and the Prophetic text). I affirm that my father ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn did not say so as I lived with him until he passed on. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali did not do so either as I also lived with him until he passed away. My nephew did not utter such a claim neither, after him. Then he said: An Imam from among us who commands the leadership of the Muslims is he who bears arms and upholds the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His triumphant Prophet (P). How can Muslims have a leader (Imam) who is imposed on all the Muslims, who lives in bedroom comfort, withholding the argument for his legitimacy, with a closed door policy, and with rampant injustice. We know nothing of this behavior!”[22]

He is also reported to have said: “Our understanding of an Imam is not someone who sits at home, dressed in his garment, too lazy to be involved in jihad. Our understanding of an Imam is he who defends his turf, and is active in jihad, and is protective of his constituents.”[23]

To the best of our knowledge Imam Zayd did not vouch for anyone in the position of Imam except for ‘Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn (AS).

Words of Wisdom[24]

Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali said:

*A fair person does not custom make his share [of justice]. And an oppressor cannot even spare himself [of the consequences of injustice].

*Take notice of zealotry and the fanaticism of pre-Islamic times. They both are capable of ruining the deen and generating hypocrisy.

*The absence of a well-established scholar is a fracture to this deen whose   replacement is next to impossible.

*Whoever consolidates the ma‘ruf should avoid the munkar; and whoever is on the course of justice should be patient with the bitter truth.

*Each spirit yearns for its distant desire; blessed is he who is content, and woe unto he who has confiscated someone’s right or fabricated a forgery.

*Fear Allah’s power in matters that seem irrelevant when obeying Him, matters that do not decrease His dominion if they became your bases for disobeying Him.

*I have no second thoughts about upholding Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet (P) if that means I would have to endure a blazing fire. Because after that I pass on to Allah’s grace and mercy.

*I assert that since I could distinguish my right hand from my left hand I have never told a lie, I have never violated any of Allah’s commandments since knowing Allah will take me to task for that.

*An ignorant person has eight characteristics:

1- He gets angry for no apparent reason.

2- He gives without having the right to give.

3-He exhausts his body in the pursuit of batel (fallacies).

4-He is shallow on distinguishing his friend from his enemy.

5- He misplaces and mismanages things.

6-He has confidence in people he has not tried.

7- He speaks endlessly without any benefit.

8- He gives the benefit of doubt to irresponsible and irrational people.

*Servants of Allah! Do not wage war against your enemy on dubious grounds. This will cause you to go astray. You should establish the facts then go to war. Allah rewards you for the certainty that comes from the facts as He rewards you for adhering to the truth. Anyone who kills anyone else on the basis of doubt it is as if he killed someone without justification.

*He was told that some of his companions were saying we will take the law into our own hands and take revenge against the Umayads: their lives and their wealth, as we shall do to their citizens. When Zayd heard of this he spoke out and said: People! I am still hearing of someone who is saying: the Umayads are our spoils of war; we shall shed their blood, we shall plunder their wealth. We shall have the final word, and our public debates shall carry the day!! This is a judgement void of evidence, a wreckless compulsion. A wrong cannot be corrected by another wrong. I am surprised someone utters such things. Does he think he is drawing on Allah’s Book in what he says, or from the Sunnah of His Prophet (P)? Or is he inclined by false pride, seeing that he is on the right side. My support for such inclinations is at a distance of leaps and bounds.

*Iman and good deeds are like body and soul: if they separate they parish and if they combine they thrive.

*Whoever speaks to you contrary to what the Quran says do not believe him, rather suspect him. Have Allah’s words the balsam of your hearts.

*Affairs are adjusted by the hands of ‘ulema; they also go wrong by the same hands if these ‘ulema barter Allah’s commandments for the assistance of oppressors.

*A tongue that is familiar with expressing deceitful language, lies, and fraudulence is a tongue that twists away from haqq. This tongue is no longer useful but rather harmful.

*Hearing is an avenue to the heart. You have to be careful of what goes your heart’s way.

*Allah’s right concerning your companion: you should be gentle with him, you should be forthcoming. Don’t deny him your dialogue; speak to him from your perspective and give him your advice.

*Failure of expression is a slip. Denial after knowledge is a slue. Vacillation in matters of deen is stress.

*I affirm my wish to be in the highest star above and then to fall unto earth to be cut into pieces to make it possible for Muhammad’s ummah to regain its correct course.

*Allah has not placed people above being advised to fear His power presence; and He has not unnoted anyone for not deserving to be advised of Allah’s power presence.

*No people are aversed to the flaming edges of swords except that they pay for that by being humiliated.

*Do not say: We are on the war path because we need to avenge you. Say we have done so for Allah and His deen.

*Whoever falls in love with life falls down from glory.

We are like other people. Some of us make mistakes and some of us are “perfectionists.” Ask us, and do not accept from us  whatever disagrees with the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (P).

********


[1]An excerpt from Imam Zayd’s Risalah to the ummah.

[2]Ibid

[3]From Imam Zayd’s Risalah to the ummah’s ‘ulema.

[4]Ibid

[5]Ibid

[6]Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah

[7]Extracted from an answer to a question received by Imam Zayd from al-Madinah (Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd), the section on Imam Zayd’s answers and fatwas.

[8]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd, the section in which he answers the fatalists.

[9]Madh al-Qellah wa Themm al-Kethrah (Hailing the Minority and Assailing the Majority).

[10]From Imam Zayd’s Risalah (Epistle) to the ummah.

[11]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd (The Compilation of Imam Zayd’s Epistles).

[12]Al-Safwah

[13]Ibid

[14]Ibid.

[15]Ibid

[16]Ibid

[17]Ibid

[18]The Book of Irshad by Imam Qasem ibn Muhammad, p. 82 (reviewed by the author). All other quotes are from al-Safwah, by Imam Zayd (AS).

[19]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd, the section with Imam Zayd’s commentaries.

[20]Ibid, and Tathbeet al-Wasiyah (The Confirmation of the Will)

[21]Ibid, the section on Imam Zayd’s commentaries.

[22]Tafsir Furat al-Kufi, p. 475.

[23]Al-Usul fi al-Kafi, Vol. I, p. 357.

[24]These quotes were taken from Imam Zayd’s books and commentaries. Most come from the book: Majmu‘ Kutub wa Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd, which I reviewed and published.

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Imam Zaid ibn Ali ibn alHusayn’s Biography (ch. 1)

Compiled By Muhammad Yahya Salem ‘Azzan

Reviewed and Approved by Badrul Deen ibn Amir uddeen Al Houthi

Contents of Chapter One:

Chapter One: Life Stages and Personality Development

Birth and Blooming of Imam Zayd

The Environment and Circumstances Surrounding Imam

Zayd’s Development———————————————–

Personality Features————————————————

Devotion and Reverence——————————————-

His Courage———————————————————-

His Articulation and Eloquence ———————————-

His Austerity and Self-Discipline——————————–

Sincerity and Altruism———————————————

As a Scholar——————————————————

Imam Zayd: Kin and Fellow of the Quran——————–

The Quranic Meaning of Waywardness and Guidance——

Imam Zayd: Refined by the Sunnah—————————

Imam Zayd and Rationality————————————-

Imam Zayd’s Fiqh————————————————

Imam Zayd as Viewed by His Contemporaries————–

Respect and Reverence —————————————–

Introduction

Several years ago I began to put together a biographical book about Imam Zayd Ibn ‘Ali. In the process I came upon many references: manuscripts and printed material. And as I began going through these  references I began to discover an outstanding person. His life history and struggle exemplified the Scriptural persona. Zayd’s life pattern was a paradigm of da‘wah (and man with a mission) for Allah and the sacrifice that goes with it.

*Zayd was a confluence of noble features and idealistic traits. His courage and valor rendered him a thunderbolt that struck against the tyrannical ruler. This gained him the distinction of being known as “usher of jihad.” His regard for Allah deterred him from violating Allah’s commandments, for he knew there is a divine penalty for that. He experienced the pains and the agonies of the ummah. He would rather have his own physical self fall from Pleiades to earth and to be shredded in the process if that would result in the prosperity of the ummah.

*Zayd depleted himself in his devotion to Allah. His senses were charged with Allah. At times his intimate dedication to Allah would render him  unconscious. The “hope and fear” verses of the Quran would sway him as a tree that wobbles in the midst of a twister.[1]

He was in a constant vigil with Allah; and for that he was known as the “attendant of the Quran.” His brother, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali described this quality in him by saying: “My brother Zayd would read the Quran and weep to the extent that we thought he perished.”[2]

*Zayd was a man of profound and extensive knowledge; he became the attraction of students and learners. His speech and delivery were grandiloquent and florid. His words were moving and articulate. Even his avowed enemy Hisham confessed to this saying: “His tongue is sword-shaped and razor-edged. His articulation is beyond magic and litany.”

*In issues of social reform, Zayd had to deal with vicious ideas; he had to contend with a social mind-set that believed that its oppressive ruler is its fate and inevitable predestination. This social mind-set believed that the tyrannical ruler’s entourage are the upholders of the truth; thus, taking issue with the munkar of tyranny is tantamount to insubordination and illegitimate defiance of authority punishable by banishment or crucifixion. Imam Zayd’s society was under the impression that a ruler is as invulnerable as to be beyond tolerating criticism and beyond accepting advice. The public was also tainted with other such nonsense.

*As life would have it, Zayd had to contend with implacable and cruel adversaries. The masses were outfoxed by the powers that be. Potential allies were in many cases opportunists. And the resources and wherewithal for change were limited.

*Zayd made the ultimate sacrifice for defending the truth, he became a martyr. His flowing blood and battle-scarred body were his contribution to shake up the ummah. He sought to pull the society of his time out of a creeping mortification and ineptitude. He also tried to salvage the intellectual integrity of the time which was increasingly assaulted by frivolous statesmen and statements.

*Imam Zayd’s physical presence came to an end but his soul lives as a shahid (martyr). His clarion call reverberates throughout time. His battle-cry against oppressors and tyrants ring recurrently wherever there are dictators and despots.

I spent an extended period of time researching this outstanding personality only to find out that expressing the facts about Zayd’s personality is a lesson and an example for those who bear the responsibilities of Scripture. In a sense, Zayd is a watchtower for all who are on their missionary way to Allah… In my pursuit of reconstructing the facts about Zayd I encountered many cris-crossing subjects, the chapters and details were daunting so I finished this work before life would consume my priorities onto other endeavors.

Out of all that I decided to abridge it all in the account and pages that follows. This work may become the harbinger of a more assiduous narrative to follow this book. This book is referenced as apt as possible and will have to suffice until such time arrives when the more detailed original is finally published. I ask Allah to have this book of service and to give me the wherewithal to finish the original in-depth research of mine about Imam Zayd, for Allah’s will shall be done…

Finally, if there is an inexact expression, or a sub-standard wording, or an incomplete description it is all due to my frail human knowledge for which I ask Allah His help to do better. And He is the Source and the Reference.

Muhammad Yahya Salem ‘Azzan

Sa‘dah, Yemen          Muharram 1417

May 1996

Preface

After the atrocious tragedy that befell Ahl al-Bayt (the people of the Prophet’s household) at Karbala which claimed the life of Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali as well as most of the rest of his followers-in-arms an air of fear and intimidation gripped [Muslim] society as a whole. Any grassroots movement for change was anathematized by the high-handed regime. People kept a “low profile.” They could only watch as events unfold. People basically had no recourse for any type of corrective action when that action applied to the rulers of the day.

Many people were busy trying to make ends meet as they were placed in an economic vicious circle. Much of the (Islamic) state’s revenue was spent and squandered by a ruling hierarchy that was busy with its entertainment and leisure.

Honorable military commanders could no longer spend their precious time on duty guarding a corrupt ruling class so they preferred to go to the war-fronts for their jihad obligation and to participate in the military triumphs of the ummah. Still, the outstanding military figures were harassed and subject to the royal absolutism from which they tried to flee by going to the frontiers. Famous commanders were viciously killed by the Umayyads such as Tareq ibn Ziyad and Musa ibn Nusair.

Forward looking ‘ulema who would not bend to official diktat were placed in prisons where they were tortured and severely beaten. Some left prison either to become a refugee or an assassin’s target. A case in point is Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyib, Sa‘id ibn Jubair, al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan al-Rida, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Leyla, and other prominent second and third generation luminaries.

During such critical times Imam Zain al-‘Abideen – who was the senior figure in the Ahl al-Bayt inner circle – advised his partisans to work on educating and motivating the Islamic public, out of which may emerge a more confident Islamic social order. With proper Islamic information and orientation — the reasoning was — there will be hope to launch a movement for governmental change.

Pre-Birth

During the lifetime of Zain al-‘Abideen there was talk within the kinship line of the Prophet (P) of a “Zayd” who will be born and who will take on the powers of injustice, support the oppressed, and work for change and fairness. Word had it that he will be killed, crucified with no clothes on; all this was to happen in the land of Kufah. One such narrative:

The Prophet (P) one day cast his sight on Zayd ibn Harithah and wept. He said: “Murdered for the cause of Allah in my ummah, stripped of his rights of my descendents will have his name;” and he (P) pointed to Zayd ibn Harithat. Then he (P) said: “Come unto me O Zayd! Your name endears you to me; you are the namesake of the dearest of my children: Zayd.”[3]

On the authority of Abi Ja‘far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali who said that the Prophet (P) said to [his grandson al-Husayn] : “From your progeny there will be a man by the name of Zayd who will on the Day of Judgement along with his supporters bypass many front rank fellows of Paradise. They all will enter Paradise without scrutiny.”[4]

One day Abu Hamzah al-Thamali approached Zain al-‘Abideen who said to the former: Abu Hamzah! Should I apprize you of a vision I had? Abu Hamzah said: Sure O son of Allah’s prophet. He said: In my vision I saw Allah’s prophet (P) escorting me to paradise and betrothing me to a very attractive looking woman the likes of which I have never seen. And then he (P) said to me: O ‘Ali son of Husayn! Name your child Zayd who will soothe you.”[5]

There was a divine purpose for all this. Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi ‘Ubaid had bought a Sindi lady whose name was Jida. She turned out to be of moral and religious character. She was also known to be chaste and well mannered. So he said I know of no one more deserving of her than ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn. He then sent her to ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn who had her choose her preference of his sons. She said she only wants Zain al-‘Abideen who consequently married her.[6]

Abu Hamzah said, I went to Hajj in a subsequent year and I called on ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn. When I came upon him he was carrying a small infant. He told me: this is the fulfilment of my vision; my Sustainer has actualized it.”[7]

Khalid ibn Bakir said: my uncle Muhammad ibn Isma‘il said: Son! I bear witness that I was at ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn’s residence when [his son] Zayd was still a young boy. Zayd had fell and injured his face. His father was tending to his wounded face and saying: I invoke Allah’s protection for you, lest you be the crucified of Iraq. We had mentioned that one of us by the name of Zayd will be crucified in public in Iraq… and whoever deliberately stares at his private part will have Allah exposing his face to the fire.[8]

These and other such discussions were the talk of the time. Whatever the degree of authenticity of these deliberations is, the fact that gruesome events happened to Imam Zayd can only have us thinking about them twice.

It was only a matter of time and we had a feeling that something was about to  actually happen. Predictions became assertions, as Zayd ibn ‘Ali came to life and drafted a historical course of struggle and opposition to arbitrary authority and dictatorial designs.

Chapter One

Life-Stages and Personality Development

Birth and Blooming of Imam Zayd

As ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn was absorbed in his usual supplications and invocations after salat al-Fajr (morning prayer) anticipating another day, he was interrupted by good news: his virtuous wife Jida had given birth; a moment he had been patiently waiting for. As good fortune would have it the birth and the break of day were simultaneous.

At the instant he heard of this good news Zayn al-‘Abideen offered two rak‘ats of prayer as a token of thanks to Allah. Then he opened the Quranic Scripture in search for a name thus to glance the following ayat:

Allah has promoted the mujahideen far above those who remain

passive…                                                                                                                         4: 95

Then he closed the Holy Book. He followed that by offering more rak‘ats to Allah. Then he opened the Sacred Scripture again and read the first line which said:

But do not think of those who have been slain in Allah’s cause as dead.

No, they are alive! With their Sustainer have they their sustenance.

3: 169

Then he went and volunteered more rak‘ats to Allah; after which he took the bountiful Book and read the following ayat:

Behold, Allah has bought of the committed Muslims their lives and         their possessions, promising them paradise in return, [and so] they

fight in Allah’s cause, and slay, and are slain: a promise which in truth   He has willed upon Himself in [the words of] the Torah, and the

Gospel, and the Quran. And who could be more faithful to his

covenant than Allah?

Rejoice, then, in the bargain which you have made with Him: for this,

this is the triumph supreme!                                                                                  9: 111

After that Zayn al-‘Abideen closed the Holy Writ and struck one hand upon the other saying: Indeed we are all for Allah and indeed we are all returning to Him. I have been consoled by this newly born. He is Zayd. By Allah I find no one of [Imam] Husayn’s progeny more of a liaison than he on the Day of Judgement and his fellows of more preference than others.[9]

These were to be prognostications of a newly born in a noble family. The father, Zayn al-‘Abideen, felt pity on the day of Zayd’s birth. The father thus was caught between the horrible recollections of the past and the painful expectancies of the future.

Then Zayn al-‘Abideen went to take his first look at his eventful son; a son who generated in his father feelings of sympathy for his death that preceded the feelings of joy for his birth. The father gave his son his birth rites: he said the azan in his right ear, then he pronounced the iqamah in his left ear, and then he invoked Allah’s name as his Guard from the accursed Satan.

In was in the affectionate care of the foremost educator and mentor: Zayn al-‘Abideen that Zayd grew up. Zayd was engulfed by the compassion of his father. He was breast fed with virtue, and he was virtually surrounded by moral conduct from all sides. Besides that, his share of knowledge was extracted from the Prophet’s posterity. Zayd enjoyed unique access to both high standards of ethics and education.

As time went by and Zayd went from infancy to adulthood his father was closely watching his motivations and movements. He observed that his son was a free soul who  resisted offences and was caring for the poor. He could never reconcile with tyranny and oppression. These observations would bring back memories to the father of the day Zayd was born and the ayats he read in the Holy Quran as well as the in-family chats about a Zayd who takes issue with injustice and is a champion of genuineness, who will die as the aggrieved party and who will be crucified in the city of Kufah (Iraq). Zayn al-‘Abideen could not help but feel a tragic future every time he took a thoughtful look at his son Zayd.

Correspondingly, Zayd would at times lay eyes on his father and notice a sorrowful look on his face. This was especially so whenever the battle of Karbala was on his mind. Zayn al-‘Abideen still had vivid recollection of the savage treatment that his family and supporters were subjected to by the Umayyads in Karbala. Zayd could see the past through the expressions on his father’s face. He could also reconstruct some of those bloody events. All of this impacted and prepared Zayd’s “personality of mission” and his role in as far as the ummah’s future politics and paladins are concerned.

The Environment and Circumstances Surrounding Imam Zayd’s Development

Imam Zayd lived during the latter half of the Umayyad era, an era that lasted for nearly a century,[10] and was teaming with incidents and changes on many levels.

As for political affairs: During Zayd’s boyhood the ruler was al-Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Melek who was known for his ostentatious lifestyle as well as his petrifying policies. His term of office was one of double-dyed reign as attested to from more than one source.[11]

After his death (96HE) his brother Suleiman ibn ‘Abd al-Melek ruled. Suleiman was known for his gluttony and habitual eating to excess. It is said that he was a victim of his insatiable appetite and died in the year 98 HE.[12]

The next ruler was the upstanding khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. Imam Zayd was one of his associates when he was the governor of Medina during the reign of al-Walid and Suleiman. Zayd continued to correspond and advise him when he became khalifah. ‘Umar showed due respect to Zayd and said about him: Zayd is a very honorable man in what he says and in what he does (in his speeches and in his deen.[13]

‘Umar was followed by Yazid ibn ‘Abd al-Melek (101 HE). This succession was due to a “royal decree” by Suleiman ibn ‘Abd al-Melek. This ruler spent his time indulging in entertainment and the “good life.” He had a lover by the name of Hubabah; once he threw her a grape that landed in her windpipe causing her to choke and die. Her death broke his heart. He left her body in the palace until it deteriorated and turned foul. After that he was inflicted with tuberculosis and died in the year 105 HE.[14]

He was succeeded by the brutal dictator Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek who was known for his sadism and extreme cruelty. He was also infamous for his ultra stinginess and malice.[15] At that time Imam Zayd was thirty years of age.

Social Variables: Government corruption was in no small degree responsible for a breakdown of moral values. The extended family concept was dwindling, doweries were soaring, individuals who lacked good judgement were quickly climbing the social ladder, and the “entertainment industry” was gaining ground. It got so bad that one of the Umayyad princes summoned all the singers in Hijaz and lavished them with multiple prizes. One singer by the name of Ma‘bad was given ten thousand dinars.[16] Corruption was eroding the features of the Islamic society. It was the ‘ulema who managed to preserve a balance of social sanity in which we had an otherwise deteriorating if not disintegrating Islamic social order. These ‘ulema did their best to check this slide by extending and expanding public knowledge and education along with a particular emphasis on “religious values.”

Intellectual and Cultural Changes: The Umayyad time-period may be referred to as the age of regression, dissension, intellectual clashes, and sectarian strife. Such ideas that would argue for predestination and others that would argue for man’s free will settled into incompatible positions. Rulers for their own personal interests entered the fray once in support of one side and then (in a political balancing act) in support of the other side. The sway of the Khawarej became popular and their agents increased. Polarization of opinions became common. Then came the Mu‘tazilites (the rationalists) only to be followed by their nemesis.

Poetry (a good gauge of public opinion at the time) was now composed with a particular emphasis on “making love,” amusing or stimulating distractions, “palace poets,” (praising the king instead of praising the Lord). This poetry was now in the service of the powers that be and the status quo.

Sycophants and mercenaries were recruited to fabricate hadith (quotes of the Prophet (P) that would rationalize or explain royal fiat. The lucrative incentives were there.[17]

This pretty much describes the Umayyad track. And this is not to exclude positive developments within particular circumstances and events which are to be encountered in almost every generation, the Umayyad included.

Personality Features

Imam Zayd had the traits of a man on a mission to establish a just order. He was firm in his conviction; he was brave, caring, sincere, and thoroughly honest. His was an on-going affair with the Notable Quran. He inherited good qualities. His father was Zayn al-‘Abideen; his grandfather was al-Imam al-Husayn, and his brother was al-Baqer. He was nurtured in a prophetic family of outstanding character. Zayd combined the valor of ‘Ali with the sense of honor of al-Husayn, with the devotion of Zayn al-‘Abideen, with the sagacity of al-Baqer. He was well known for his exemplary moral quality that was bequeathed to him from converging and complementary sources. In short, he was the embodiment of all that is good.

Devotion and Reverence

Zayd’s devotions and rituals were beyond what is ordinary or usual. His deep personal and private knowledge of Allah overwhelmed his self, spirit, and state of nature. At times when Allah’s name is mentioned he would lose consciousness… When he listened to the promising or punishing ayats of the Quran he would swerve like a tree subjected to the strong currents of the wind.[18] His brother, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali said: When my brother Zayd read the Quran he would cry, and we would think he was on the verge of passing on.”[19]

Imam Yahya the son of Zayd recalls his father’s daily devotionals: Allah bless my father. He was so dedicated. Little was his sleep during the night, much was his fasting during the day. He spent time during the day praying, and when night arrived he slept for a short while only to wake up and spend the core of the night in his worship and supplication. At times he would stand and beseech Allah with tears running down his cheek until the break of dawn. At the break of light he would prostrate himself and pray the early morning prayer and follow that by invoking Allah’s blessings and mercy until sunrise. From then on he would go out and fulfill his immediate duties. At high noon he would return to his niche praising, exalting, and thanking the Glorious Sustainer. Then he would offer his noon salat and sit down. Then he would offer his afternoon salat and follow that up with more supplications and prostration. Once the sun went down he would perform his sunset and night prayers.[20]

This heart and mind consuming devotion by Imam Zayd was not the type that people are accustomed to, the type that pacifies or marginalizes. There are rituals that have the effect of neutralizing the human being, but Zayd’s devotion and rituals were motivating and fulfilling.

His Courage

To have courage is to be psychologically prepared to take on danger as it interferes with goal achievement. And the more the goal is noble and the commitment to it is deep the more psychological formulation is needed until eventually there is no longer a fear of danger. It is along these lines that Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali acquired his courage. Abu Mu‘ammar Sa‘id ibn Khathim said: We were in the quarters of Shabib ibn Gharqad when we heard the sound of approaching horses. All of us were frightened as we thought it may be [a contingent force belonging to] Yusuf ibn ‘Umar. At that time I realized no one was as exuding courage and showing contempt for danger than Zayd ibn ‘Ali. He did not interrupt his speech nor did he show any indication of fear. When the horses passed by and we were released he came to us and said: some of you may be afraid of an impending danger; but I do not intend to take on deviant authority because of some earthly interest, nor do I do so for financial gains, I do it solely for the sake of Allah and as a means of accessing Him. And whoever has Allah as his motivational objective then there is nothing that comes his way that can frighten him.[21]

Due to this type of psychological potential he challenged tyrants and their functionaries. He was able to speak the truth to their faces. He was effective in disarming them by sound argument before confronting them with weapons. He continued along this course until his words eventually blended with his blood. This became the kindling matter for freedom, a freedom that erodes despotism and lights the torch for the rest of humanity; a humannity looking for its way out of the totalitarian tunnel.

A scan of his bold initiatives during his lifetime and we appreciate his determination and heroism. One narrative has it that the troops of the Levant (al-Sham) who were approaching from the direction of al-Hirah were confronted with this lion-heart who was able to fell more than two thousand of them between al-Hirah and al-Kufah.[22]

His Articulation and Eloquence

The contemporaries of Imam Zayd were unanimous about his superior ability to communicate and convince his audience. Zayd was an interlocutor who commanded his words. His expressions were easy and graceful. His method of delivery was thoughtful and conclusive. Even his avowed enemy Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek said of him: His tongue was razor sharp, sword swift, and in a higher place than wizardry and liturgy.[23]

It has been narrated that people would assemble around when Zayd would discourse with Ja‘far ibn al-Hasan about the issue of revenue and financial contributions of the ruler. People would memorize Zayd’s words as if they were poetry or prodigious precedents.[24]

Kumayt ibn Zayd al-Asadi a renowned poet and a man of letters during that time said of Imam Zayd: I have never seen anyone more fluent than Zayd ibn ‘Ali.”[25]

Khaled ibn Safwan a well known sermonizer and oratorical speaker said: Eloquence, articulation, asceticism, and devotion came to an end with Bani Hashem only to commence with Zayd ibn ‘Ali.[26]

It also has been reported that the outstanding grammatician Seebaweyh would quote some of Imam Zayd’s poetry [apparently as grammatical citations.][27]

Imam Zayd set the tone for the high spirits of men in pursuit of their Islamic mission. Words have to be chosen; sentences have to be effective, and expressions have to be moving. Zayd was well versed and well prepared along these lines. Words are captivating even if their content is of an inferior logic; likewise words are disenchanting even if their intended logic is superior!

His Austerity and Self-Discipline

Imam Zayd was familiar with the facts of life; he knew how driving and volatile life can be. He viewed life as a transient reality. Thus did he spend his time in life as a Spartan. His words to his Sustainer say it all:

O Allah! I ask Thee gravity away from this world, and a dislike for it and its fans. This world’s plenty is inadequate; its iniquity is harsh, its assembly dissipates, its goodness is polluted, its current becomes obsolete, its favors turn sour. Whatever is missed in this world becomes a grief and whatever is gained becomes a sedition, except [O Allah!] for those You have harbored. I ask Thee to guard me from this world. Do not have us satisfied with this world and its content, for it is a world that betrays all who have confidence in it, and it disappoints all who trust it. Those whose share and investment are in this world will be disappointed by its earnings and dividends.[28]

Imam Zayd spent his worldly life away from its temptations, avoiding its pitfalls. He says:

By Allah, I have never lied since I could distinguish left from right and I have never violated any sanctity of Allah since I realized He punishes such violations.[29]

He once said to a friend of his:

Aba Qurrah! By He who knows the blood life of Zayd ibn ‘Ali, this Zayd has not profaned any of Allah’s sanctities since childhood. Aba Qurrah! Whoever obeys Allah will find creation obeying him.[30]

He would say to his companions:

People! The best form of conformity to Allah is devotion and the most honorable provision man can have is a sense of Allah’s power presence. So be devoted in this world and provide yourself for the next.[31]

Zayd’s devotion and austerity were vouched for by the scholars of his time. ‘Amer al-Sha‘bi said: I have not seen anyone more abstentious than Zayd ibn ‘Ali.[32]

Abu Khaled al-Waseti said: I have not seen a Hashemite more devoted and self-denying than Zayd ibn ‘Ali.[33]

Sincerity and Altruism

Imam Zayd had dedicated his life to Allah. He would only think about what would be in the best interest of the ummah and what would satisfy its Creator. He would never hesitate to do whatever would serve the ummah and be to its advantage. One of his famous quotes:

By Allah! If I knew that Allah’s gratification is in my sparking a fire and placing my own self in it, I would not hesitate to do so.[34]

He says in his address to the ummah:

I affirm by Whose permission I call upon you, and by Whose order I advise you, I do not seek preference over any committed Muslim, nor do I want to harm any affiliate. My wish is to spare you the doom of those who perish and to guide you away from iniquity. I would rather set a fire and throw myself into it rather than incur Allah’s wrath and be transfixed to this worldly life. I so desire your salvation and redemption. If you respond positively to our invocation you will be felicitous, well off, and prosperous.[35]

The more a person (like Imam Zayd) becomes devout and sincere to his Lord by carrying the burden of the ummah’s frustrations and expectations, the more he is selfless and the more sacrifices he makes.

Above were some quick references to some of Imam Zayd’s qualities. There are other aspects to his watershed lifetime that can only be expressed in poetic terms as bland language is incapable of capturing his cascading features.

As a Scholar

Medina was a city very well known for its concentration of ‘ulema. It was an encyclopedic city of sahabis, tabi‘een, and the figures of Ahl al-Bayt. Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali sought knowledge at an early age. He was involved in scholarly competition within Medina’s intellectual circles. He invested a considerable amount of time in personal achievement and in expanding his scholarly horizons. He gained a firm position in the sciences of his time. He knew that he had to equip himself with rational tools to be able to contend with the trends and moods of his time; and he did so within perspective and within context.

Those who left an intellectual imprint on Imam Zayd were: his father ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-‘Abideen, his eldest brother Muhammad al-Baqer, the sahabi Abu al-Tufayl ‘Amer ibn Wathilah, Aban ibn ‘Uthman, ‘Ubaidullah ibn Abi Rafi‘, and others.[36]

Much has been said about the relationship between Imam Zayd and Wasel ibn ‘Ata’. Which one was the student of the other? Who was influenced by the other? Historical documents do mention that Imam Zayd did meet Wasel ibn ‘Ata’ as he met with other ‘ulema in al-Sham, Kufah, and Basra. They had their dialogues as is expected when scholars converge and meet with each other. Imam Zayd, though, was older than Wasel and of more scholarly depth. Wasel did seek out Imam Zayd’s opinions and solutions. History though has not been as generous as to register all these encounters and answers by Imam Zayd.[37] As for those who claim that Imam Zayd was a student of Wasel ibn ‘Ata’ and was influenced by Wasel’s ideas concerning Imamat there is no substantiation or historical validity.

Imam Zayd: Kin and Fellow of the Quran

Historical precedence proves that any idea, movement, or mission based in the Quran is bound to the Quran’s infinite nature. It accompanies the Quran into people’s lives. This may be one reason that Imam Zayd’s thought has been preserved throughout the passage of time against all odds. Imam Zayd adopted the Quran as a perpetual guide and an accurate criterion, and a secure refuge. His initiation and his remuneration were from and to the Quran.

At an early time in his life Imam Zayd contemplated the meanings of the Quran. He practically allocated thirteen years of seclusion with the Quran: reading and understanding it as a program and a system emanating from practical behavior. Abu al-Jarud once said: I entered Medina and every time I would ask about Imam Zayd I would be told: He is the Quran’s kith and kin.[38]

Imam Zayd secluded himself to be in the companionship of the Quran; a seclusion that took him on a long sojourn into the world of facts and mysticism. This self-imposed seclusion began to have its effects on his behavior as well as his trend of thought and “creativity.” Some narrators convey to us an incident in which Imam Zayd asks his brother Muhammad al-Baqer to pass on to him a book belonging to their grandfather Imam ‘Ali (AS). After a while the book is handed over to Imam Zayd. After reading through it Imam Zayd says that I found whatever I was searching for in this book in the Quran. Abu Ja‘far wanted to quiz him and so he said, “Could I ask you some questions?” And Zayd answered : yes, go ahead and ask. Abu Ja‘far opened the book and began to ask Imam Zayd to which Imam Zayd gave answers written in this book. To this Abu Ja‘far commented: “For father and mother’s life! You are one of a kind. God grace your mother who gave you birth. She gave birth to a replica of your forefathers.[39]

In this instance Imam Zayd’s answers were carbon copies of Imam ‘Ali’s answers. This is attributable to the fact that they both were well versed and well entrenched in the meanings of the Noble Quran.

Explaining the Quranic Text

The tafsir (explanation) of the Quranic meanings during the sahabi and tabi‘i (first and second generation Muslims) times was readily available to many people. These early exegesis (tafsirs) did not dwell on clarifying the meanings of ayats per se as much as they focused on explaining the meanings of terminology and nomenclature. But then as time passed by the Quranic text was not easily understood for many reasons. And then each era’s scholars began to exert effort to bring out the diminished and exclusive meanings of the Quran. Some of these interpretations had the flavor of the particular scholar’s specialty: some of these scholars emphasized the linguistic quality of the Quran, others placed more emphasis on the fluent articulation of the Holy Text, yet there were others who focused on the fiqhi or doctrinaire contents of Scripture. With this variety we have what we have today of tafsir.

Imam Zayd (AS) developed a peculiar interest during a lifetime sojourn with the Quran. His concern was to establish a Quranic theory of knowledge that is inclusive of human mental discoveries. To do that he sought to assimilate unexplained words and unaccounted for intimations in the ayats of the Quran into a cognizant rendition which came out in book form called Tafsir Gharib al-Quran (The Interpretation of the Quran’s Mystifying Words).

He proceeded by studying all the clusters of ayats that centered around a particular theme. In doing so he extracted or developed relative and substantial cognitive contents. Eventually he began to put together a Quranic paradigm which would integrate the issues and affairs of life and thought processes. A closer look at Imam Zayd’s books and epistles reveals that they are a thematic rendition of the Quran’s meanings. A review of Imam Zayd’s works (which we have reexamined and published) brings out the penetrating and deep understanding Imam Zayd had of the Impeccable Quran; it also shows how he was brilliant to put these sublime meanings in human language. The following are some excerpts of his tafsir.

The Concept of “Harm” in Allah’s Book

‘Ubaidullah ibn al-‘Ula says: I heard a person ask Zayd ibn ‘Ali (AS) about what does “harm” mean in the Book of Allah, such as when Allah says:

Said he: “Do [you really think that] they {the idols} hear you when you invoke them, or benefit or do you harm?”                   26: 73                                                                                                                                                 Say [O Prophet]: “It is not within my power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to myself…                                10: 49

Zayd (AS) said: as to the verse: Said he: “Do [you really think that] they {the idols} hear you when you invoke them, or benefit or do you harm?” what is meant hear is: do you think that these idols will bring you to life or cause you to die?

As for Allah’s words: Say [O Prophet]: “It is not within my power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to myself… this means that I do not have it within my control to actualize what benefits me nor do I have any management of repelling what would eventually inflict me.

“Harm” may also mean hard-times and an act causing pain or damage as in His words:

And if Allah should impact you with crisis…          6: 10

or:

… and are patient in crisis and hardship…              2: 177

One interpretation of “harm” is drought as is ascertained from the ayat:

And [thus it is:] whenever We let [such] people taste [some of Our] grace after hardship has visited them…                 10: 21

The word grace in the ayat above refers to rain which explains the word “hardship” in the ayat above which refers to drought in the context of the Quranic discourse.

The word “harm” could also mean danger as in:

And whenever harm [danger] befalls you at sea…             17: 67

It could also mean “an impairment of health” as this ayat says:

And [remember] Job, when he cried out to his Sustainer: “Harm [Ailment] has befallen me…                                                  21: 83

For [thus it is:] when harm [affliction] befalls man, he cries out unto Us,he be lying on his side or sitting or standing…       10: 12

The word “harm” in the Quran could also mean devaluate:

Verily, they who are bent on denying the truth and on barring [others] from the path of Allah, and [who thus] cut themselves off from the Apostle after guidance has been vouchsafed to them, can in no way harm [devaluate] Allah; but He will cause all their deeds to come to naught.

47: 32

The meaning of “hand” in the Quran

Ubaidullah ibn al-‘Ula said, I heard Zayd ibn ‘Ali say about the following ayat:

And the Jews say, “God’s hand is shackled; and manacled [by Allah] are their hands because of this their assertion. No, but wide are His hands stretched out…                                             5: 64

Imam Zayd says that the reference here is to Allah’s magnanimity and generosity. In other verses in the Quran the words speak of Allah: “giving abundantly.” In Arabic discourse when it is said that a person is indebted to another person’s hand it is another way to express how one person extends is helping self to another person.

Allah also says:

And neither allow your hand to remain shackled to your neck…

17: 29

and this, according to Imam Zayd, this  means do not withhold your hand from spending in good causes as it would be tantamount to having your hand tied to your neck.

Allah also says:

Said He: “O Iblis! What has kept you from prostrating yourself before that [being] which I have created with My hands?

38: 75

This would mean that “I [God] personally created him [Adam] without parents. This is not a specific reference to human-like “hands” as much as it is a reference to Him as a whole being responsible for Adam’s creation. It could very well be that Allah said to Adam “be” and he was without ever having His “hands” involved in the act of creation.

Also:

…and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand…

39: 67

“right hand” in the above ayat refers to His ability and potency. Likewise:

rolled up in His right hand… would refer to His possession and dominion. It is like saying: If it is in my hand it is mine. Which does not necessarily and literally mean that I have it clenched in my fist. There are examples of this in Arabic poetry.

The Meaning of Waywardness and Guidance in the Quran

Ubaidullah ibn al-‘Ula said: I heard a man asking Zayd ibn ‘Ali about the Quranic statement:

Have you ever considered [the kind of man] who makes his own

desires his deity, and whom God has [thereupon] let go astray, knowing

[that his mind is closed to all guidance]…                                  45: 23

…however, He lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], and guides

aright him that wills [to be guided]…                                                  16: 93

…and the Samaritan has led them astray…                                 20: 85

Oh, woe is me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend!

Indeed, he led me astray from the remembrance [of God] after it had

come unto me!                                                                                                                         25: 28-29

…and preserve me and my children from ever worshiping idols – for,

verily, O my Sustainer, these [false objects of worship] have led many

people astray…                                                                                                                          14: 35-36

What does “to be led astray” in the above verses mean? What does it mean when someone is misguided?

Zayd ibn ‘Ali said that it has a variety of meanings:

Mis-guidance coming from Allah the Exalted may be understood in two ways. One way is that the definition of a wayward person as being mis-guided comes from Allah; remember the definition itself not the actual act by man comes from Allah. It would be like saying a person is a criminal. The description of “criminal” is after the fact. By defining a criminal act and its perpetrator we are not condemning anyone to a criminal lifetime. The other meaning is to forsake and abandon. Hence, a person goes astray because as a consequence of his disobedience of Allah he is deserted and eschewed by Allah. Subsequently, that means that Allah will not accompany or succor someone who has chosen to take issue with Allah. This would be like saying a father ruins his son if he fails to amend the pervert and obnoxious behavior of his son. But in fact the father never facilitated or approved of his sons wayward choices. Besides, a person has enough common sense and access to Allah to deter him from deviant choices. But after all this, if the final choice is to disregard Allah then all evidence goes against him.

A human misguiding another human, or being misguided by Satan takes the form of allurement, temptation, and deception. If a human-being is enticed or seduced to disobey God then he is misguided and misled. This particular meaning is not applicable to God, as He never tempts or deludes anyone into His disobedience.

As for idols (that cannot hear or see) being the source of mis-guidance as in:

…inasmuch as they said [to their followers], “Do not ever abandon

your gods: abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa‘, and neither Yaghuth nor

Ya‘uq nor Nesr!”

And so they have led many astray…                                                     71: 23-24

The explanation of this type of mis-guidance is traced not to lifeless idols but to their intrinsic choice to equate idols to God or replace Him with them. Their deifying of material objects worshiped as God explains why they are mis-guided. This would be like saying a particular lady drives a particular man crazy or to insanity even though this lady may not know the man at all. In a “round-about-way” the man, with the idol as catalyst, goes astray.

Likewise, guidance is in a variety of norms. Such as:

… and guided them unto a straight way…                                            6: 87

…[on the strength thereof] you, too, shall guide [men] onto the straight

way…                                                                                                                                                 42: 52

…and made them leaders who would guide [others] in accordance with

Our behest…                                                                                                                            21: 73

In the above ayats we realize Allah is telling us that He guides, His prophet (P) guides, and so do the committed Muslims.

When Allah guides, it means that He establishes the truth, encourages its access, and designates it as such. This we understand from the illustration in the following ayat:

And as for [the tribe of] Thamud, We offered them guidance, but they

chose blindness in preference to guidance…                              41: 17

This means that Allah showed and clarified to them the issue of being guided.

He says:

Verily, We have shown him the way: [and it rests with him to prove

himself] either grateful or ungrateful.                                                 76: 3

Another aspect of guidance from Allah is His ‘ismat (immunity of man). The above ayat exemplifies man’s choice of having to gain it or of choosing to lose it.

Guidance from the Prophet (P) and the committed community of Muslims is in the form of elucidating and demonstrating guidance through words and necessary action.

Imam Zayd: Refined by the Sunnah

In addition to the Holy Quran, the Sunnah is the complimentary and comprehensive source that man needs for laws and legislation within which an Islamic personality can grow, thrive, and have its flourishing ideas. Thus will life take on a course of integrity and prosperity. For that reason the Sunnah has been the concern of scholars and researchers throughout Islamic history.

During the Umayyad reign, the Sunnah was strained and stressed. Personal preferences, ethnic inclinations, and political priorities had their impact on the narration of the hadith (the Prophet’s precedents). Facts pertaining to the Prophet’s model were stuffed or skewed with fabrications and distortions. The Prophet’s pace-setting Sunnah was polluted with bida‘ (prevarications and fraud). The speckless Sunnah was menaced and almost undermined had it not been for men who vowed their lives to preserve it; they exerted their best efforts to distinguish it from intruding accretions that came from political and personal quarters. They devised ways and means to identify true hadiths from fancied ones.

Foremost in this regard was Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali who was one of the first to collect and critique the body of hadith literature. It is narrated that he compiled his book Musnad al-Imam Zayd and wrote it himself. He circulated it to his inner circle of companions before he embarked on his course of martyrdom. It was the first book to classify the hadith into fiqh sections.

One of the criteria that was emphasized by Imam Zayd in the process of verifying a hadith’s authenticity was to place it in the faultless context of the Quran and draw a comparison between meanings. When asked by some of his admirers about “controversial” hadith, he replied: Know that no prophet parted with his society before leaving them with compelling and binding evidence that affirm Allah’s truth and facts. Whatever fallacies and fables follow are a product of the generations that follow such prophets. Prophets (P) had people “put words in their mouths.” Allah’s final prophet (P) said: When you hear a hadith place it in the Quranic reference and if it is agreeable it may be related to me and I stated it; but whatever hadith seems to be contrary to established Quranic meanings that it is not from, I did not utter it, and I am extricated of its consequences.[40]

He also said: You will never produce a hadith confirming me except if I am able to substantiate it by Allah’s Book.[41]

Imam Zayd and Rationality

The human intellect has its field of activity within which it goes to work. Inside this range of thought there can be no barrier or religious “off-limits.” In this designated area the mind is expected to work objectively and sometimes judgmentally. Sometimes though, there are factors that veto or interfere with this mental pursuit, such as sentimentality, fanaticism, selfishness, and all other issues in which emotion is apt to precede the intellect. There are also some areas beyond the reach of human intellect and mental scrutiny, such as metaphysical issues, matters pertaining to how man’s behavior with God should be, and basically all otherworldly and paranormal phenomena.

It would appear that it was within these parameters that Imam Zayd exercised his mental faculty. Relying on the mind and intellect Imam Zayd pondered the sensual world, but when it came to the extrasensory or the unnatural he did not rely on the mind per se. In this case his reliance was upon the eternal miracle: the Sacred Quran. But he still held that the human mind should function within its given guidelines. He said in the introduction to his book: Al-Iman (Divine Commitment): I advise you to adopt Allah’s Book as a trend setter, inspiration, and guide. You should always be second to it in whatever you favor or dislike. You should always suspect your own selves whenever at variance with the Quran. For the Quran is a cure for those seeking a remedy. It is light for those seeking a guide. It is a lifesaver for those who utilize it. Whoever is instructed by it is sure to reach his destiny, and whoever rules by it does so with justice. It tips the balance of arguments. Whoever contradicts it denies God. In it you will find the news of those preceding you in time, the news of the end of time, and the news of your affairs as they are exhausted by time.[42]

In his books, epistles, and other works Imam Zayd stimulated the mind to arbitrate some disputes and to focus on propositions. He encouraged the mind to relate what is tangible to what is not; and to detect the movement of history, the sequence of events, and the proper variables of the past.

Imam Zayd’s Fiqh

Imam Zayd is considered to be the founder of a substantial school of thought. He was known for his practical and in-depth fiqh. His ideas were fertile. The basis of his paradigm and fiqh is grounded in Islamic jurisprudence: the Quran and the Sunnah. It has been said that a person came to him inquiring about his opinions to which Imam Zayd responded: Whoever relates to you something about me which your heart refuses to accept, and which is contrary to what you know of me, and which you have not learned from me, something which you are not able to find in Allah’s Book, then know I have nothing to do with it. But if there is a basis for it in Allah’s Book, and it seems to correspond to the truth, and you can relate it to me and you find it compatible to my course of thought then accept it; for the truth comes from its folks and it reverts to them.[43]

Zayd relied on Usuli (principles of jurisprudence) criteria in his fiqhi deductions and reasoning. Most of these criteria were not registered at that time and he did not dictate them to his circle of students which was customary at the time. Some of these criteria are  recognizable by studying and examining his fiqh. Some Zaydi scholars of following generations identified these criteria and standards as did the followers of other schools of Islamic thought.

One of the most famous books on the fiqh of Imam Zayd is Al-Majmu‘ which is published today under the title: Musnad al-Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali. It circulates widely among the Zaydis (the followers of the Zaydi math-hab). This book has been researched, quoted, and referenced.[44]

There is also Manasek al-Hajj wa al-‘Umrah (The Rituals of Hajj and ‘Umrah); published in Baghdad, Iraq.

Some of Imam Zayd’s works have been narrated by his students. Imam Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Muradi quotes works of Imam Zayd in his books; especially, Al-Amali (known as Amali Ahmad ibn ‘Isa). So does al-Hafez Abu Abdillah al-‘Alawi in his famous book Al-Jami‘ al-Kafi.

I found a book attributed to al-Shahid Hamid al-Muhalla of the 6th Hijri century under the title: Fiqh al-Imam Zayd wa As-habeh within which there are rare quotes about Imam Zayd.

Noteworthy here is the fact that the Zaydi fiqh today is not all the work of Imam Zayd alone. Rather it is a fiqh that threads together the scholastic deductions and opinions of legal scholars affiliated with Ahl al-Bayt who worked within a general framework of Usul al-Fiqh beyond the confinements of one particular Islamic school of thought and not limited to the methodology of a peculiar scholar.

For this reason the prominent scholars of the Zaydi school of thought are faqihs in their own right on a par with the Imams of the four schools of Islamic thought who command followers due to their substantiated fiqh whose Usul are well known and well explained.

Imam Zayd as Viewed by His Contemporaries

Imam Zayd climbed the intellectual ladder until he was recognized and his star shined. He delved into the details of his generation’s body of knowledge and humanities and gained the acknowledgment of his contemporary peers. They all admitted his leading scholastic accomplishments, namely:

* The testimony of his eldest brother and unique mentor Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (AS) who said: Zayd has been endowed with privileged divine knowledge[45]; ask him as he knows what we do not.[46]

He replied to someone asking about Zayd: You ask me about a man who is resounding with fervent commitment and knowledge from head to toe and who is the master of his folks.[47]

*The testimony of his nephew, his classmate, and youth companion Imam Ja‘far al-Sadeq (AS) when he says: By Allah, he was more than any one of us the avid reader of Allah’s Book and the astute to understand Allah’s deen.[48]

*The testimony of Imam Abu Hanifah al-Nu‘man ibn Thabet the renowned scholar of Sunni fiqh who said: In his generation I have seen no one better equipped for fiqh, no one more knowledgeable and more sharp and eloquent. He [Zayd] was second to none.[49]

*The testimony of the distinguished hadith narrator Sulayman ibn Mahran al-A‘mash who commented: I have not seen among them (meaning Ahl al-Bayt) anyone preferable, knowledgeable, and more articulate than him [Zayd.][50]

Respect and Reverence

Imam Zayd (AS) was a personality that commanded the respect of creative people; be they commanders, scholars, communicators, ascetics, and others. His character was refined and his standards were high. All talented people expressed their admiration for his outstanding personality. Not to mention that Imam Ja‘far ibn Muhammad al-Sadeq and ‘Abdullah ibn al-Hasan al-Kamel who used to hold Zayd’s mount [horse] and fix his attire to his saddle.[51]

Al-Baqer said: Zayd is the language that I speak.[52] He also said: No one of us was born to resemble ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb more than him [Zayd.][53]

*Selemeh ibn Kaheel said: I have not seen anyone more articulate about Allah’s Book than Imam Abi al-Husain [Zayd].[54]

*Abu Is-haq al-Subai‘i said: I saw Zayd ibn ‘Ali but I haven’t seen anyone of his folks a close competitor. He supercedes in knowledge and in privilege. His articulation was superb and his expressions and self denial were unsurpassed.[55]

* ‘Abdullah ibn Hasan al-Kamel said: ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb drew the line between us and people; Zayd ibn ‘Ali drew the line between us and the Shi‘ah. Whoever follows him is a Shi‘i and whoever does not follow him is not a Shi‘i. I have not seen in our crowd or in other crowds anyone like him.[56]

*Ja‘far al-Sadeq once said to one of his fellows: I do not think you will see any of us the likes of him [Zayd] until the end of time.[57]

*Al-A‘mash said: In all the folks of Zayd ibn ‘Ali there is no equivalent to Zayd ibn ‘Ali. I know of no one in them who excels him. He is outspoken, a man and a scholar. Had they honored their word to him he would have set them on the straight and obvious path.[58]

*Imam Abu Hanifah al-Nu‘man said: I have not seen anyone equal to Imam Zayd, no one more versed and steeped in knowledge than he.[59]

Imam Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Nafs al-Zakiyah said: By Allah! Zayd did renew the discontinued codes and edicts of prophets; he adjusted what had gone religiously off-track. We cannot but benefit from Zayd’s enlightenment. Zayd is the Imam of [all] Imams.[60]

In speaking about Zayd, Shu‘bah ibn al-Hajjaj would state: I was addressed by the foremost of Hashemites: Zayd ibn ‘Ali.[61]

Sufyan al-Thawri put it this way: [Zayd] stood in for [al-Imam] Husein ibn ‘Ali (AS). He was the most versed human concerning Allah’s [Holy] Book. I affirm: women have not given birth to the likes of Zayd.[62]

Al-Baqer (AS) asked about Zayd and Abu Hamzah al-Thumali answered: I have not seen among Arab youth anyone who compares with him.[63]

Abu al-Jarud said: I assert that no one was given a life-time paramount to Zayd ibn ‘Ali, except for his forefathers.[64]

***

with them.

At an early stage of his meritorious life, Imam Zayd endeavored to revitalize the role of the ‘ulema. He sought to minimize their [theoretical] differences as a means of freeing them from prejudices. He met during the time of hajj with people from different vicinities and variations of the ummah as his first step in reconstructing a consolidated and unified populace. He spoke to people who were accessible and corresponded with others who were in far-away lands.

One of his accomplishments was to send a written message to the ‘ulema in the ummah. This message expressed his “calling.” In it he clarified that “the affairs of the ummah can be restored by the “agency” of the ‘ulema; these affairs may also deteriorate through the “agency” of the ‘ulema if they exchange Allah’s orders and commands for aiding and abetting despots and dictators.”[65] In addressing the ‘ulema, Imam Zayd called upon them to assume their scholastic responsibilities which places them in the limelight of the ummah and gives them status and prestige. To them he said: “You, the assembly of ‘ulema, are in a position of public recognition. Your piety is attested to. Your affiliation with Allah is acknowledged. Your study of the Quran is granted. You have prestige in the public eye. You are honored in the urban and commercial centers. The most powerful members of society look up to you; while the dispossessed yearn for you. Even those who are beyond your sphere of influence revere you. You proceed other notables on many occasions. You remain distinguished in whatever company you are in. You are sought whenever an appeal is made in the public interest. You are the pace-setters. All of this is because of your knowledge of Allah’s right by those who are lesser than you in rank and station.[66]

Imam Zayd was the contemporary of many well-known ‘ulema who either were on the progressive side of history or on the regressive side of it. These types are to be found almost anytime, anywhere. They may be put in the following categories:

1- Activist ‘ulema who are principled and determined within well defined and well established concepts and paragons. They interact with Allah directly in all their conduct and occupation. They have reached a high standard in their personal lives and they went out to see that standard established in society around them. To reach this goal they endeavored to raise the level of thinking in the public realm and to stimulate a social movement forwards. They did not ask how much that would cost them. These turned out to be the supporters of Imam Zayd and his partisans on all fronts: from the mental to the military.

2- ‘Ulema who were satisfied with their personal salvation. They were not very much concerned with “social salvation.” Some of them may have feared the consequences; others may have been sluggish, and others may have been irresponsible. Imam Zayd considered this to be a betrayal of the ummah. He addressed these types of ‘ulema by saying: “Do not be mindless of Allah’s preferential right. Do not waste His directives. If you fail in this regard you are akin to physicians who have collected their money but demented their patients, or like shepherds who get paid to take the flock to pastured lands but wind up taking them to barren lands, or the likes of guards who turn over the fortress to its enemies… By He who sustains Zayd’s life, if you were to explain to people what you know and impress them with the truth that you have a grasp of you will destabilize the despotic structure and root out the foundations of tyranny.[67]

3- ‘Ulema who are skeptical and pessimistic. These types see the facts of world affairs through the tilts of their ego. They come out and give reality a taint of their subjective and despondent selves. They are known for their self-centeredness and envy, as well as their doubts of others. They take liberty in presenting the issues in their own unobjective way.

4- The court ‘ulema (or the status quo scholars). These are the ones who are all too willing to be the mouthpieces and the instruments of the masters and monarchs. They are used to fabricating accusations and falsifying the facts about activist ‘ulema whose goal it is to change the course of an errant regime. Propaganda that comes out of the man of the cloth is more effective than that coming out of barons and kings.

Imam Zayd spent a good deal of his time and effort confronting these ‘ulema of disrepute. The danger of religious personalities supercedes by leaps and bounds the danger of potentates and royal executives. That is because religious figures have a spell on the conscience of people; they are able to draw them into blind and mindless imitation. They penetrate into the psychology of people and may cause a rational crisis. But a tyrant can only exert “outside” influence. He may use force and clamp down on people. The crisis here is circumstantial and dissipates once the tyrant is no longer in control. Unlike the religious damage that dwells inside a person and is not circumstantial, which means even if a person goes to Mars he will still have a polluted mind and a disturbed conscience to live with! In some instances the official tyranny and oppression becomes the motivation for revolt and resistence, unlike “religious subterfuge” which chips away at every movement for change and renaissance on one side and which reinforces and rationalizes tyranny and oppression on the other side!

“You scholars of disrepute! You have attempted to score out Allah’s Holy Book! You have attempted to deface the deen altogether. Consequently, it escaped in fleeing fashion from you. Due to your shameful acts the blood of the champions of haqq from the Prophet’s descendants (P) has been shed. Their heads were raised on the spears, their bodies were chained, they were humiliated, they felt the agony, endured grief, they were mortified, and debilitated and fatigued.”[68]

Imam Zayd pointed to the opportunistic attitude of these cunning and conniving scholars who were anxious to gain proximity from oppressors. To that he said:

“You scholars of infamy! You have secured your place with tyrants because of your scheming. You have gained worldly possessions by keeping company with overlording kings. In the process you have violated the deen and quashed the Quran. Your knowledge is Allah’s evidence against you. But eventually when death approaches and the final hour arrives you will painfully know the extent of what you have been accomplices to.”[69]

Needless to say a pioneering Muslim has to know whom to follow. Society has to get together around virtuous and involved ‘ulema while taking issue with other “whimsical” ‘ulema so that the lines are drawn.

Correcting Confused Concepts

When we review the books of Imam Zayd we find that he paid close attention to the “hot” issues of his time and age. He worked on correcting some skewed and lop-sided ideas. The most challenging crisis of any religious momentum is unreliable and error-prone concepts. If everyone understands his ideas in his self centered way he will take a stand and defend his rational position and then begin to judge others through this personalized view. This inevitably will lead to sterile disputes and harsh judgements. What is to follow are some concepts which Imam Zayd commented on:

The Truth About Iman

Iman is an application program of convictions and beliefs which glows inside the depths of man with a grip on man’s heart, mind, and soul. The further this seeps into man’s psychology the more pronounced it is in man’s reality. This process leads to internal conscientious crystallization and external material perfection:

[Know that true] committed Muslims are only those who  trust Allah and His Apostle and have left all doubt behind, and who strive hard in Allah’s cause with their possessions and their lives: it is they, they who are true to their word!                                                       49: 15

For this reason Iman is a sublime goal and a privileged objective that generates glad tidings:

Allah has promised those who commit to Him and do good works [that] theirs shall be forgiveness of sins, and a mighty reward.

5: 9

When people of aggression and disobedience found themselves outside the perimeters of Iman, in the grip of Satan, not concerned with repentance and restitution, when they realized where they are they began to finagle with the concept of Iman so that it may admit them and their shenanigans and chicanery. In doing so they claimed that qibla praying but oppressively ruling and shari‘ah violating kings are still within the sphere of Iman. They constricted Iman to a verbal acknowledgment of deen without physically and practically opposing shirk, and upholding Quranic commandments, and abiding by moral conduct becoming of Iman.

To give this slant a religious flavor they clung to extrapolative texts. To this end they claimed that any disobedient  man short of shirk is pardonable, and they quoted:

Verily, Allah does not forgive ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin unto whomever He wills.

4: 49

and so I warn you of the raging fire – [the fire] which none shall have

to endure but that most hapless wretch who gives the lie to the truth

and turns away [from it].                                                                                        92: 14

These mis-ideas were promoted and publicized in a systematic way that sought to diffuse and deflate the meaning of Iman. And these unsound ideas became a belief that was represented and justified by nitwits and simpletons whose interests and ignorance took precedence over the facts.

Imam Zayd led the charge to correct this anomaly by writing his book Al-Iman in which he summarized the Quranic concept of Iman with further explanation of its foundations. The following is a summary of the book:

*Iman is both an expression and a physical exertion: “Iman and good deeds is like the spirit in the body; if you separate the two they perish and if you combine them they flourish.” And “Iman is two: an Iman that confirms the truth and an Iman that generates man’s good work and raises his guard against Allah’s retribution and power.” And Iman “is founded on substructures and extensions. Iman has a beginning, a center, and an end. Its beginning is the divine duty upon the ummah to acknowledge Allah and His Apostle. That was followed by its [Islamic] religious obligations. Its end is when the spirit exits its sphere of worldly life and obligations in a state of confidence and comfort for having lived a life in the service of Allah.”

*The Quran tells us that the obligations of nations were introduced incrementally as Allah “assigned His prophets (P) to their peoples to bear witness that there is no authority/deity except Allah, and to follow that up by bearing Allah’s covenant. Anyone who follows through with this process in sincerity will have access to paradise.” Then Allah “designated for every prophet a [different] law and way of life,” that was binding on prophets and their respective societies. Musa’s people were vouchsafed the Sabbath. Whoever honored the Sabbath was rewarded paradise; and whoever violated the Sabbath in principle or in action was condemned to suffer the anguish and the fire that is prepared by Allah for behavioral desecration of the Sabbath.”

“Then Allah sent ‘Isa (Jesus) with the eternal word of faith: there is no authority/deity except Allah, and with the Scripture of faith with its particular law and way of life. The concept of the Sabbath was no longer the legal reference of the time. Now ‘Isa had to be acknowledged in his complimentary role to Musa (Moses). Whoever followed the instructions and teachings of ‘Isa would qualify for bliss, and whoever denied ‘Isa and insisted on the obsolete ways of Musa was in disobedience of Allah and incurred His fire.”

“Then Allah sent Muhammad (P). Muhammad was instructed by Allah to have people adhere to Allah alone, to worship, honor, and conform to Him and to no one or nothing else. This was done in Makkah for ten years. Whoever followed Muhammad (P) and his deen would secure paradise. At this time these followers were not duty-bound or required to fight or pray or perform the hajj or fast the month of Ramadan. Up to now anyone who died bearing witness to the facts presented by Muhammad (P) without being guilty of shirk would be a candidate for paradise. Allah will not take to task and punish anyone who follows Muhammad (P) while in Makkah except if he were to equate or associate other(s) with Allah, the Merciful.

To confirm this Allah revealed in Makkah the Scriptural chapter of Bani Israel:

For your Sustainer has ordained that you shall conform to none but

Him…

until He says:

And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, you can

never rend the earth asunder, nor can you ever grow as tall as the

mountains! The evil of all of this is odious in your Sustainer’s sight:

this is part of that knowledge of right and wrong with which your

Sustainer has inspired you. Hence do not set up any other                   deity/authority side by side with Allah, lest you be cast into hell, blamed

[by yourself] and rejected [by Him]!                                                    17: 23-29

During the time these ayats were revealed in Makkah Allah did not threaten with the fire those who violated these commands until He said:

Hence do not set up any other deity/authority side by side with Allah,

lest you be cast into hell, blamed [by yourself] and rejected [by Him]!

Then Zayd mentions ayats revealed in Makkah which menace the mushriks by having the hell-fire in anticipation of them if they insist on their shirk:

and so I warn you of the raging fire – [the fire] which none shall have

to endure but that most hapless wretch who gives the lie to the truth

and turns away [from it].                                                                                        92: 14-16

As well as:

And, verily, on that Day they all will share in their common suffering. Verily, thus shall We deal with all who were lost in sin: for, behold, whenever they were told, “There is no deity/authority save Allah,” they would glory in their arrogance and would say, “Shall we, then, give up our deities at the bidding of a mad poet?”            37: 33-36

*After the first phase of the Muhammadi mission religious obligatory assignments followed “until when Allah ordered Muhammad (P) to seek asylum away from Makkah, in Madinah. Military duty was to become a responsibility. And Islam was then constructed on five pillars: the Shahadah (the oral testimonial that there is no deity/authority except Allah), the established [social standard] of salat, the systemic distribution of money: zakat, the Hajj, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Then Allah disclosed via revelation to His Prophet (P) the verdict of adultery:

As for the adulteress and the adulterer – flog each of them with a

hundred stripes…                                                                                                                      24: 2

Then Allah says concerning an innocent a sacred life that has been killed:

But whoever deliberately kills another committed Muslim, his requital

shall be hell, therein to abide; and Allah will condemn him, and will

reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.

4: 93

But Allah does not condemn a committed Muslim.

Allah also declared through Scripture:

Behold, those who sinfully devour the possessions of orphans but fill

their bellies with fire: for [in the life to come] they will have to endure

a blazing flame.                                                                                                                         4: 10

*After these divine assignments and duties settled into the social reality of Madinah and when the qualities of Iman were pronounced, at that time whoever failed to fulfill and live up to this standard of life was excluded from the circle of Iman, in His words:

Behold, those who barter away their bond with Allah and their own

pledges for a trifling gain – they shall not partake in the blessings of the

life to come; and Allah will neither speak to them nor look upon them

on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He cleanse them of their sins; and

grievous suffering awaits them.                                                                     3: 77

Zayd pointed to the claim of the Murji’ah (the fatalists – those who believed that they were powerless to change their destiny) who say:

Verily, Allah does not forgive the ascribing of divinity/authority to

aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin to whomever He

wills…                                                                                                                                                4: 48

by referring them to the unequivocal and clear ayats of the Quran from which the following can be derived: those who commit disobedient acts even if they are qibla folks are not included in [God’s] will. For if Allah wanted to forgive the qibla folks altogether He would have said:

Verily, Allah does not forgive the ascribing of divinity/authority to

aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin.

He would not have made an exception and said: to whomever He wills.

Then he said: for those who have gone astray in understanding this ayat I shall provide its explanation:

although He forgives any lesser sin to whomever He wills…The definition and description of those whom Allah willed to forgive is:

If you avoid the great sins which you have been enjoined to shun, WE

shall efface your [minor] bad deeds, and shall cause you to enter an

abode of glory.                                                                                                                          4: 31

Whoever Allah has taken to task for a major sin even if he belongs to the qibla shall suffer the consequences because Allah does not rescind His word. And whoever comes to you with arguments contrary to the Quran do not believe him; rather suspect him. Allah’s words are the panacea and not these other misinforming words pertaining to Allah’s will.

Allah the Exalted says:

And [both] the Jews and the Christians say, “We are God’s children,

and His beloved ones.” Say: “Why, then, does He cause you to suffer

for your sins? No, you are but human beings of His creating, He

forgives whom He wills, and He causes to suffer whom He wills…

5: 18

Whoever wants to be forgiven from these types should abandon Judaism and Christianity. The same is applicable to the folks of qibla: if they want to be forgiven they should abandon their penalty incurring violations.

After this ayat Allah revealed other ayats that indicate there is a punishment for disobeyers even if they are people of the qiblah. Of these ayats:

But whoever deliberately slays another committed Muslim, his

requital shall be hell, therein to abide; and Allah will condemn him,

and will reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.

4: 93

It may not accord with your wishful thinking – nor with the wishful

thinking of the followers of earlier revelation – [that] he who does evil

shall be requited for it, and shall find none to protect him from Allah,

and none to bring him support.                                                                   4: 123

The Quran has established the fact that the munafiqs are in the deepest pits of the fire “while the munafiqs are neither mushriks nor mu’mins. The Extolled and Glorified says:

Behold, the munafiqs seek to deceive Allah – the while it is He who

causes them to be deceived [by themselves]. And when they rise to

pray, they rise reluctantly, only to be seen and praised by men, only

seldomly conscious of Allah, wavering between this and that, [true]

neither to these nor those. But for him whom Allah lets go astray you

can never find any way.                                                                                          4: 142-143

Allah refuses here to include this segment of people among the mu’mineen (committed Muslims.) He also refuses to include them among the mushriks.

Explaining the Meaning of Qadar (Predestination)

Exploring the unfathomable meanings of predestination or predetermination is tantamount to treading a slippery slope. For this reason Imam ‘Ali (AS) said:

Predestination is a deep and incomprehensible sea. It is a path of darkness which you should not pace. It is Allah’s secret which you should not attempt.[70]

As was the case with other sensitive issues the issue of qadar or predestination or fate was another one of those “controversial” issues that was widely instigated by Umayad officialdom. Al-Qadar was presented as this inescapable force that has imposed particular rulers who were also by the circular definition of qadar forced to do terrible things. Due to the public-relations definition at that time of qadar these rulers were granted power. By the same twist of logic it is qadar that placed these rulers in a pool of infractions and offences. It was due to this myth-information of qadar that innocent people were killed and truth speaking ‘ulema were banished. There was no escaping the tentacles of this qadar! To add insult to injury if you were molded by officially sanctioned opinions you had to believe in this qadar and accept the consequences with a broad vision and a healthy attitude!

The Umayad royals were very excited about this view of qadar. Their court clergymen did all they could to promote this type of understanding which served as a mental line of defense for the royal class.

Imam Zayd expressed his thoughts on this issue. He did so with caution and perceptual experience. He did not exclude disobedient and violating Muslims from Allah’s [retaliatory] qadar, neither did he exempt them from breaching Allah. He said: “What I say and am convinced is true is that you should read the Quran and mentally focus on its meanings to find out what Allah wants and what He demands and this should be attributable to Allah, but whatever else Allah dislikes should be attributable to its performer… I am satisfied to say that offenders of Allah do not operate beyond the power sphere of Allah. That should not be excused if they defy Allah. And whoever says that he is in possession of his own deeds with Allah is guilty of shirk; and whoever says he is in possession of his own deeds with the exclusion of Allah is guilty of kufr. I tend to believe that the right course in this regard is for a subject of Allah to follow and implement those teachings and instructions coming from Allah. If I do such a thing I am in a position to thank Allah, but if I err and disregard or contravene Allah then I find myself in need of asking Him forgiveness. If you encounter those who insist on their sins and mistakes do so with [at least] facial features of objection so that you gain with Allah. Whoever humiliates people who infringe on Allah will gain His gratification.”[71]

Imam Zayd objected to what al-Mujberah had to say when they denied that man has an independent will and capacity. He said: “They claim that Allah did not equip man with an ability to repel intrusive and protruding forces into man’s heart. They claim that He forced them to endure such internal interferences as they were made [by Allah] that way. In such a way they attach moral weakness to Allah, the while they absolve their own selves and all others of this moral failure. They even said that He is responsible for all our movements be they acts of devotion or acts of infraction. He will hold us accountable on the Day of Judgement for things that He did as He created [the acts of] kufr, zena, shirk, thulm, jawr, and sefah (defying Allah, adultery, equating others with Allah, tyranny, oppression, and deceit). Had He not created these things – as they claim – and compelled us to do them we would not on our own be able to deny Him or associate others with Him. We would not have been able to accuse his Prophets of lying, or to abandon His Scriptures, or even to kill His Apostles and saints. But when He created all this and compelled us to do these things we had no choice but to become the performers of His will and fate. For that He was angry with us and He threw us into the fire for ever.

“Absolutely not so. By His grace, this is not the way to describe the most prudent Judge. Rather He created them for obligations, with an ability, with reason, with commandments, and with prohibitions. He ordered us to do what is right and good and He never intrudes into this process. He ordered us to withhold from doing what is wrong and evil and He never allured otherwise. He has guided us to the point of seeing and distinguishing between the two intersects: one to virtue and the other to vice, and He said do whatever is in your capacity to do by choosing what is right and rightful and avoiding what is wrong and harmful… The Mujberah and the Mushabbehah (comparisonites) excluded themselves from being responsible for doing what is wrong and unsuitable such as acts of oppression, tyranny, and deceit while attributing all this to Allah in toto. They said that Allah created them for this misfortune and created them  to do what is incorrect and fallacious. Then He will punish us in the fire and will not do injustice to us.

“How much more ridiculous can you get? How can anyone attribute more injustice to Allah than what they say? By Allah, this is not the description of the Most Merciful, the Mercy-giving who demands justice, perfection, and Who bars insults and systemic evil.”[72]

The Many and the Few

To say that more people or the overwhelming majority of people are determinants of the haqq and to follow that up by saying that the small number of people should join the crowd is not an accurate way of getting to know the truth (haqq). Al-Haqq and al-Batel cannot be distinguished by the numbers they command: be they the few or be they the many. These followers have no impact (positive or negative) on a concept.

Unfortunately, this yardstick was imposed on Islamic thought. It gained prominence during the Umayad reign especially during the years of Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek, which corresponds to the crucial years in the life of Imam Zayd. The fallout of that was a polarized and intense standoff between the proponents of this idea and Imam Zayd. Imam Zayd never considered numbers to be qualifiers for what is haqq and what is batel. Even a few who are obedient to Allah will become the jama‘at of Muslims; while the pronounced majority who are disobedient to Allah become the folks of bida‘ (religious improvisations). This conclusion is Quranically based. Many promoters of the majority verses minority mental image were opportunists steeped in empty talk who were misleading public opinion, for this reason Imam Zayd took them on strictly from a Quranic viewpoint to which no one could object. Imam Zayd chronicled the ayats that refer to a majority to show they were in a bad light, as well as those ayats that refer to a minority to show they were in a good light. This proves that large numbers are not intrinsically indicative of the haqq. Likewise, small numbers are not intrinsically indicative of batel. The jama‘at are the folks of haqq even if they are numerically insignificant. And the furqah are the folks of batel even if they are numerically superior.

To this end Imam Zayd says: “Heretofore, there are people in this ummah who are speaking about jama‘at. They contend that they are the majority; and that they are Allah’s evidence of the truth as opposed to the minority. They say that the minority in the ummah are people of religious improvisations and deviations. But we hear Allah (exalted, extolled, and glorified be He) in His revelation of Scripture to His subject and servant Muhammad (P) inform us of previous nations and peoples pertaining to Nuh, Hud, Saleh, Shu‘aib, Ibrahim, Musa, Dawud, Sulayman, ‘Isa, and Muhammad (P) some of whom are salutary apostles and not just “page-pundits”, we hear Him say that the followers of haqq, jama‘at, and prophets were minorities, while the folks of religious improvisations and expediencies were the majority. We heard Allah speak very highly of these minorities, while assailing the majority for their ignorance, foolishness, lies, and errant ways. He warns righteous people not to be swept by their public statements.”[73]

Consolidating the Ma‘ruf and Dismantling the Munkar

The Quran calls for an ummah that secures haqq and honesty. Of it Allah speaks:

You commit to Allah and the Last Day, and consolidate the ma‘ruf

and dismantle the munkar.

3: 114

This consolidating of the ma‘ruf (common sense goodness) and dismantling of the munkar (self-evident systemic vice) guarantees the wholesomeness of Islam as a doctrine and repels the assaults of evil from all directions. This is a method of eternalizing Allah’s message and putting the ummah on the right course within which we will have proper Muslim conduct, without man victimizing his fellow man. In this setup man belongs to Allah in a relationship of conformity and abidance.

The well being of this ummah is contingent on it being as Allah says:

You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth

for [the good of] mankind: you consolidate the ma‘ruf and you                dismantle the munkar.                                             3: 110

Regrettably, this very central concept of practical Iman became a target of those who tried to void it of its dynamic. Many tyrants deployed their agents and gave them facilities and finances to obliterate the momentous and activist meanings of this concept.

But they cannot silence the voice of truth. Its roar will continue. It was Imam Zayd who in that pitch-dark night of tyranny raised the voice of objection and confrontation with all who were trying to undermine the bases of this deen. He reiterated that consolidating the ma‘ruf and dismantling the munkar is a religious duty which cannot be annulled or short-circuited. This concept is not for leisurely purposes to be tended to at someone’s discretion. It also cannot be applied selectively to the average man while excluding the ruler from its scope. Nor is it correct to take the poor to task while looking the other way if the ayat speaks to the rich. Those who are in power are not above this concept and those who are powerless are not to bear the brunt of it. Imam Zayd took on Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Melek who announced that he speaks for Allah. He tried to de-legitimize any opinion coming from an opposition and even sound advice. Hisham said: If anyone tells me ittaqi-Illah {fear [the power of] Allah} I will chop his head off! But Imam Zayd said it with dignity and honor: Ittaqi-Illah ya Hisham [Fear Allah O Hisham!]… to which Hisham said: Is someone like you telling someone like me to fear Allah? Imam Zayd replied: No one is above being told: ittaqi-Illah and no one is below being told ittaqi-Illah.

In his epistle to the ummah Imam Zayd called for actuating the consolidation of the ma‘ruf and the dismantling of the munkar. An excerpt as he addresses the ‘ulema:

Allah has definitely distinguished you. Your prestige is recognized by all people of thought. In this light Allah says to you:

And [as for] the committed Muslims, both men and women – they are

integrants [allies] of each other: they consolidate the ma‘ruf and they

dismantle the munkar, and their standard [in life] is salat, and they

render the zakat, and pay heed unto Allah and His Apostle. It is they

upon whom Allah will bestow His grace: verily, Allah is almighty, wise.

9: 71

Allah began by quoting the privilege of consolidating the ma‘ruf and dismantling the munkar, then He followed that up by pointing to the status of those who are involved in this awesome task of His subjects… Be advised that if this injunction were to be active and ma‘ruf is integrated and munkar is dismembered we would have all our obligations performed honestly, be they undemanding or demanding obligations.”[74]

When the banners of jihad were over his head he said: “Thank Allah that He has perfected His deen for me. By Allah I would not be satisfied if I were to meet Muhammad (P) while I am amiss of al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahyi ‘an al-munkar.[75]

The Zaydi school of thought has followed the same course of reinvigorating this principle and advancing it. The Zaydi ‘ulema have even incorporated this principle into the bases of deen (Usul al-Deen).


[1]Refer to Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah (transcript), al-Kutat by al-Miqrizi, Vol II, p. 437.

[2]Ibid, Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah.

[3]Narrated by Imam Nasir al-Atrush – per al-Muhit bi-al-Imamah – who said: I was told by my brother al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali who said: ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Qasim stated on the authority of Is-haq ibn Yahya al-Baqqar who in turn was told by Abu Yazid al-Shu‘airi relating from an person who related this hadith from ‘Abdillah ibn Shuraik al-‘Amiri from Huthaifah…

This quote was also relayed by al-Hafez ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Zaydi in Al-Muhit bi-al-Imamah; he said: I was told by al-Sayyid Abu al-Husayn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib al-Hasani who said I was told by al-Shaikh ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Abrani who was also told by al-Sayyid al-Tha’ir fi-Illah Abu al-Fadl Ja‘far ibn Muhammad from al-Nasir li-al-Haq (P)…

The quote was also narrated by al-Hafez Abu ‘Abdillah al-‘Alawi  – in Amal al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah – this was relayed by Abu Talib Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Muqri’, Zayd ibn Muhammad ibn Mudanah al-Mu’addab and Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Matma‘ al-Khaza‘i al-Sani‘ – they said they were told by Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-‘Amiri from Husayn ibn Nasr by way of Khalid ibn ‘Isa from Husyn ibn al-Makhareq from Shuraik ibn ‘Abdillah from Qays ibn Muslim from Tareq ibn Shihab from Huthayfah ibn al-Yaman…

Al-Murshid bi-Illah in his Al-Amali al-Ithnyniah narrated the same by way of Abi ‘Abdillah al-‘Alawi with the above two chain of narrations.

This was also presented by al-Imam al-Murshid bi-Illah who was told by Abu Taher Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hamdan via Abu ‘Abdillah al-Husayn ibn Ja‘far ibn Muhammad al-Jarjani of the city of Rey verbatim on the authority of ‘Umar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Fayyad ibn al-Dahhak. Muhammad heard it from al-Husayn ibn Ja‘far who heard it from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Bazzar both of who relay it from Harun ibn ‘Isa al-Sayrafi on the authority of Bakkar ibn Muhammad ibn Shu‘bah ibn Dahhan ibn Thawban ibn Malek al-Basri who relates it from Muhammad ibn Sa‘id ibn Dahhan from Bakr ibn ‘Abd al-Melek ibn Wa’il al-A‘naq (who is from Basra but who lived in Yemen, a man of virtue) from Tareq ibn Shihab from Huthayfah ibn al-Yaman…

Al-Hafez ibn ‘Asaker mentions the above quote in his Tarikh Dimashq (6-20) from Huthayfah ibn al-Yaman.

Also narrated by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Mutahhar in Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy; also by Imam al-Hasan ibn Badr al-Din in Anwar al-Yaqin; also by al-Amir al-Husayn in Yanabi‘ al-Nasihah; also by al-Shahid Hamid in Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiyah; also by al-Kutubi in Fawat al-Wafayat (2/35); also Al-Suyuti in Al-Jami‘ al-Kabir on the authority of Huthayfah ibn al-Yaman on the section of A‘mal (Actions) as per Al-Rawd al-Nadir (1/107); and by al-Sayyid Sarem al-Din in Hidayat al-Raghibin on good authority.

[4]Pronounced by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani in Al-Maqatel (130) through the narratives of ‘Ali ibn al-‘Abbas, Isma‘il ibn Is-haq al-Rashedi, Muhammad ibn Dawud ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar and his father, Jaber al-Ja‘fi, and Abu Ja‘far.

It was also related by al-Sheikh al-Saduq in Amali al-Majlis (53) by the following: Ahmad ibn Harun al-Fami, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn Ja‘far al-Himyari and his father, Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn Abi al-Khattab, Husayn ibn ‘Alwan, ‘Amr ibn Thabet, and Dawud ibn al-Jabbar…

It was also narrated by Abu al-Husayn Ahmad ibn Musa al-Tabari(d. approx. 350 HE) in his Al-Anwar; also by Al-Hakem al-Jushami in Jala’ al-Absar; and al-Imam al-Hasan ibn Badr al-Din in Anwar al-Yaqin, and al-Amir al-Husayn in Yanabi‘ al-Nasihah in which the last words “without scrutiny” are not mentioned; also al-Imam al-Mehdi in Al-Minhaj, and al-Sayyid Sarem al-Din in Hadiyyat al-Raghibin, as well as al-Wasi‘i in Muqqadimat al-Musnad, p. 9 per al-Daylami in Al-Mishkat.

[5]Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah.

[6]Amali al-Imam Abi Taleb (7th chapter).

[7]Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah, Amali al-Saduq 275, al-Majlis 54.

[8]Narrated by Imam Abu al-‘Abbas al-Hasani in Al-Masabih whose communicators are ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Hatem, Khaled ibn Bakir and his uncle Muhammad ibn Isma‘il. Abu al-Faraj quotes a similar statement in Al-Maqatel (1/103) as well as in Al-Rawd al-Nadir, 1/11.

[9]By al-Imam al-Murshid in Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyah on good authority.

[10]Umayyad rule continued from the year 40 to 132 HE.

[11]Seyar A‘lam al-Nubala by Al-Thahabi (4/347), Al-Shafi by al-Mansur bi-Illah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah (1/184), and Al-Ma‘aref by Ibn Quteibah p.359.

[12]Seyar A‘lam al-Nubala (5/112), Al-Jawhar al-Thamin p 92, Al-Shafi (1/185).

[13]Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah, the names of those who narrated hadith on the authority of Imam Zayd.

[14]Al-Shafi (1/187), Al-Jawhar al-Thamin, p 97, Seyer A‘lam al-Nubala (5/152), Al-Ma‘aref 364.

[15]Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi (2/328), Al-Shafi (1/187), Al-Jawhar al-Thamin p.99.

[16]Al-Aghani (5/161).

[17]Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (4/68).

[18]The equivalent meaning was mentioned in Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah, Al-Khutat by al-Meqrizi (2/437)

[19]Amali al-Murshid al-Ithnyniyah.

[20]A‘yan al-Shi‘ah (7/122).

[21]Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah.

[22]In the book Al-Shafi (p189) it is mentioned that Imam Zayd killed two thousand Umayyad warriors.

[23]Tarikh al-Kufah, p.345; A‘yan al-Shi‘ah (7/108), and Zahr al-Adab by al-Qairawani (1/118).

[24]Zahr al-Adab, by al-Qairawani (1/119)

[25]Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyah.

[26]Al-Ifadah fi Tarikh al-A’immah al-Sadah; and Hadiyyat al-Raghibeen fi Mathahib al-A’immah al-Hadeen.

[27]Nur al-Absar, p.217.

[28]Majmu‘ Rasa’il al-Imam Zayd, the chapter on supplications.

[29]Taysir al-Mataleb, p.80

[30]Maqatel al-Talibiyeen, p. 128

[31]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd, the chapter on Imam Zayd’s chronicles.

[32]Al-Rawd al-Nadir, 1/97; Nur al-Absar, by Al-Shalbanji, p. 215

[33]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy

[34]Taysir al-Matalib, p 84; Al-Masabih, by Abi al-‘Abbas al-Hasani.

[35]An excerpt from Imam Zayd’s Risalah to the Ummah.

[36]Ibn Habban in his book Kitab al-Thiqat, writing about Imam Zayd (4: 249) says that Imam Zayd met the Prophet’s sahabis. Ibn Sa‘d (5: 325) says Imam Zayd was a contemporary of al-Tabi‘een in Madina.

[37]One inquiry from Wasel to Zayd was about the Khilafat to which Imam Zayd gave a detailed answer, which I came across and included in the collection of Imam Zayd’s writings and authorships.

[38]Maqatel al-Talibiyeen, p 130

[39]Narrated by Imam Abu Taleb in al-Amali, p 77 on the authority of Abu Hashem al-Rummani. This was also narrated by Imam al-Mansur billah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah in al-‘Aqd al-Thamin.

[40]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd (The Compilation of Imam Zayd’s Epistles), the section on fatwas and answers.

[41]Narrated by Imam al-Murshid billah in Al-Amali al-Ithnyniyah.

[42]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd, the Book of Iman.

[43]Ibid, the section on Fatwas and answers.

[44]Much has been written about this book; for further information see Muqaddimat al-Rawd al-Nadir and Al-Imam Zayd by Muhammad Abu Zahrah.

[45]This is a form of knowledge that comes from Allah; and the reference to this is in Allah’s Book: … unto whom We had imparted knowledge [issuing] from Ourselves…” 18: 65

[46]Al-Rawd al-Nadir, Vol I, p 112.

[47]Taysir al-Mataleb fi Amali al-Sayyed Abi Taleb, p 84.

[48]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy, Vol. I, p.5, t manuscript; also in Al-Muhit bi-al-Imamat, manuscript.

[49]Nur al-Absar, by Al-Shablanji, p. 215; also in Al-Khutat, by Al-Maqrizi, Vol. II, p 436.

[50]Al-Khutat, by Al-Maqrizi, Vol II, p. 437.

[51]Maqatel al-Talibiyeen, p. 129.

[52]Hayat al-Baqer, p. 61, from the book Safinat al-Behar.

[53]Al-Anwar (manuscript).

[54]Al-Minhaj al-Jaliy (manuscript).

[55]Khutat al-Maqrizi, Vol. II, p.  437, Nur al-Absar, p. 215, Al-Rawd al-Nadir, Vol I, p. 98, A‘yan al-Shi‘ah, Vol. VII, p. 108.

[56]Maqatel al-Talibiyeen, p. 389, Al-Rawd al-Nadir, Vol. I, p. 115.

[57]Al-Muhit bi-al-Imamat (manuscript)

[58]Khutat al-Maqrizi, Vol II, p. 437 and A‘yan al-Shi‘ah, Vol VII, p. 108.

[59]The introduction to Musnad al-Imam Zayd, p. 7, Khutat al-Maqrizi, Vol II, p. 437.

[60]Al-Tuhaf Sharh al-Zulaf, p 28

[61]Tahthib Tarikh Ibn ‘Asaker, Vol. VI, p. 117

[62]Taysir al-Mataleb, p 79

[63]Hidayat al-Raghibeen, Manuscript

[64]Al-Muhit bi-al-Imamat, Manuscript

[65]An excerpt from Imam Zayd’s Risalah to the ummah.

[66]Ibid

[67]From Imam Zayd’s Risalah to the ummah’s ‘ulema.

[68]Ibid

[69]Ibid

[70]Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah

[71]Extracted from an answer to a question received by Imam Zayd from al-Madinah (Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd), the section on Imam Zayd’s answers and fatwas.

[72]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd, the section in which he answers the fatalists.

[73]Madh al-Qellah wa Themm al-Kethrah (Hailing the Minority and Assailing the Majority).

[74]From Imam Zayd’s Risalah (Epistle) to the ummah.

[75]Majmu‘ Rasa’el al-Imam Zayd (The Compilation of Imam Zayd’s Epistles).

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8th Century Zaydi Imam responds to 180 questions


One Hundred Eighty Issues of Imam al-Qāsim

By

Imam al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm ar-Rassi

Translator’s Introduction

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful…

All praise is due to Allah, the Exalted and Majestic; the One who has no partners or associates; the One who provides the light of guidance to His slaves so that they may attain spiritual perfection and illumination by means of it. May Allah send His choicest blessings upon His slave and seal of the Messengers, Muhammad bin „Abdullah. May Allah bless his pure Progeny, righteous Companions, and those that follow them in excellence until the Day of Judgment. As to what follows…

The scholar has always been a needed facet of any community‟s existence. Indeed, s/he has almost appeared organically as the need for community development and growth occurred. It should not be assumed that the scholar came about as an imposition from the ruling class to propagate their views upon the masses. Whenever there appeared a specialised filed of knowledge, it required that there be a person who undertook study of this field; insomuch that this person exceeds others in this science.

It thereby follows that there be a person reared in the religious sciences who tirelessly undertakes the scholarly effort to derive the spirit and body of religious laws to the faithful. It is as Allah says: {And it is not for the believers to go forward in battle all at once. Rather, there should be a separate group from every division that [remains behind] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people towards cautiousness when they return} (Q. 9:122).

These special men and women must be able to meet the needs of a changing and developing community as time progresses. They must also be sophisticated enough to simplify the complexities of the Divine in the language and experiences of the people so as to not confuse them and misrepresent the intent of Divine Law.

They must also be available to address the pressing needs of their communities at all times. They are not confined to impenetrable mountain retreats away from the communities that they serve. Rather, they are in the middle of the community constantly aware of changing conditions and circumstances. One such person was Imam al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm ar-Rassi, upon him be peace.

Author‟s Biography

He is Imam al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm bin Isma„īl bin Ibrāhīm bin al-Hasan al-Muthanna bin al-Hasan bin Fātima bint Muhammad, the Chosen Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. He was born around the 8th century. He was based in Medina and raised under the tutelage of the imams and scholars of the Prophet‟s Descendants.

He mastered all of the religious sciences and quickly rose to the status of universal recognition in the City of his ancestor, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. Insomuch that he was given the nickname by his contemporaries, the Star of the Progeny of the Messenger (an-Najm Al ar-Rasūl), peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny.

Although he authored a myriad of works, he is most known to engage in discussions and debates with various religions, sects, and philosophies. His works demonstrate his encompassing knowledge concerning various differences in belief and practice. He also demonstrates an artistic flair to his works because the majority of his works are written in rhyming prose.

He was also sought out by both scholars and lay people to answer the many inquiries that plagued them. This present work is an example of the various questions that were prevalent in Medina during that time. The variety of the subjects addressed in this work also shows the expansive range of knowledge of Imam ar-Rassi, upon him be peace.

Regarding his jurisprudential opinions, he was even cited as an authority outside of his own school. Al-Qadi an-Nu‟mān bin Muhammad, the chief justice of the Isma`īli Fātimid Caliphate in Africa, cited at least two edicts on the authority of Imam al-Qāsim ar-Rassi, upon him be peace, in his Dā`im al-Islām. This is significant because the Fātimids typically only narrated the opinions of those whom they deemed infallible imams, as evidence in their books. However, to have narrated the opinion of “al-Qāsim al-„Alawi”—as he is referred to in the Dā`im al-Islām—this shows that even those outside of the school of Imam al- Qāsim relied upon him as a source of law.

Content of the Book

The book, Masā`il al-Qāsim is a compilation of questions and issues posed to Imam al-Qaasim through his son, Imam Muhammad. The topics range from theological to jurisprudential to historical to exegetical. All of these topics are addressed in this work in a question-answer format.

It is evident in the content of this book that Imam al-Qāsim ar-Rassi, upon him be peace, drew upon various sources in addressing these questions. He cited the collective opinion of the scholars and imams of Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace, as a proof. He also mentioned the opinions of some of the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, and that of the scholars of Medina.

As evident in this work, his approach can‟t be said to be heretical or esoteric in any way. His exegeses of the Qur‟ān are established and can be identified in the exegetical literature of the Commonality. His narrations of hadīth can be found in most books of recorded traditions. He also engaged in linguistic derivation common to all scholars of language to address some of the inquiries.

However, his adherence to the school of Ahl al-Bayt is evident by his insistence upon the imamate of Amīr al-Muminīn, „Ali bin Abi Ťālib, upon him be peace. That withstanding, he unabashedly stated in one of his replies:

Whoever doesn‟t believe that after the Prophet, the imamate was „Ali‟s;

Allah won‟t accept his/her prayer, fast, alms, pilgrimage, or any other deeds.

We have attempted to stay close to a literal translation of the original meaning but yet evoke the use of idiomatic expressions when needed. We have also remained faithful to the rhyming prose of Imam al-Qāsim ar-Rassi by rendering the majority of this work into rhyming English poetry. By doing so, we had to insert words and phrases to complete the rhyme scheme of the text. We have indicated these interpolations by using brackets.

We pray that you are able to benefit from this text and our attempt to faithfully represent the knowledge and style of an early scholar and imam. If there are any mistakes, they are ours and if you are able to benefit, the praise belongs to Allah.

Imam ar-Rassi Society

Shawwāl 1st, 1431

Partial Translation of Masā`il al-Qāsim:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious…

All praise is due to the Lord of the Worlds! May the peace and blessings be upon the unlettered Prophet, Muhammad and his Progeny.

Says Muhammad bin al-Qāsim, may Allah be merciful to him, that his father, al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm, upon him be peace, was asked:

1. He was asked about one who fell asleep in the supererogatory prayer while prostrating; as well as during the bowing, prostration, or sitting in the supererogatory or obligatory prayer.

He replied: Whoever, during the prayer, falls asleep,

Whether it be long, short, light, or deep,

And it removes one‟s intellect and is sure,

Has to renew one‟s ritual ablution and prayer.

2. He was asked about one who prays between the qibla and the imam.

He replied: Whoever does that, one‟s prayer would not be with the imam leading.

He is the only one who should be in front of people as one preceding.

If that were to take place, it is correct

For one to stand at his right, not his left.

It‟s related that al-Walīd bin Yazīd was made Medina‟s ruler after Hishām.

He prayed in his house and some prayed in the Mosque with him as their imam.

However, the people objected to that. Al-Walīd used to designate then

Marwān‟s house. He declared the takbīr and the people did so behind him.

It is also related that „Abdul-„Azīz bin Marwān used to pray with the people

Of Alexandria while standing on the roof of the mosque [as if it were a steeple].

The people prayed with him from below. But, some scholars objected to that.

Then the verse was recited: {There have appeared before you sunnahs…}1 in fact.

1 (Q. 3:137)

2 Making ablution in the mosques is believed to be permissible by the majority of jurists based upon a narration in Šahīh Muslim in which Abu Hurayra was said to have made ablution in a mosque after touching meat touched by fire. However, it is held by the majority of Mālikites to be discouraged. In the Al-Muntaqa: Sharh al-Muwaŧŧa, the author related:

Sahnūn discouraged it because in it is spitting of saliva in the mosque, and the scattering of water will affect the cleanliness of the mosque. Muhammad bin Yahya narrated in Al-Madāniyati on the authority of Mālik that he discouraged rinsing the mouth in the mosque.

Regarding the report in which Abu Hurayra was said to have made ablution in the mosque after touching cooked meat, we say that this “ablution” was not the ritual ablution but rather simply the washing of the hands. Consequently, the Arabic word for “ablution” also implies washing a limb.

What was intended by that is that he differed from the sunnah of the past.

3. I heard [al-Qāsim] say that there is no problem if one who made earth purification (tayammum)

Because s/he couldn‟t find water, touches a copy of the Qur‟ān or engages in the recitation

Of a hizb of the Qur‟ān because Allah made the earth purification for one who‟s unable

To find water, a means of ritual purity for the prayer. The prayer is an obligatory stable.

4. He was asked whether one could perform the ritual ablution in any part of the mosque.

He replied: One can‟t make ritual ablution anywhere within,

Whether there be a fountain, basin, or otherwise therein.2

It has reached me that when al-Qāsim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr saw a chap

Rinsing his mouth and spitting it out in the mosque, he prevented him from doing that. How much more so would it be if someone was to do greater than that!

For example, [if one was to expectorate] phlegm or other than that!

Al-Qāsim said; “This is not permissible.”

It‟s narrated that Hishām bin Abdul-Malik bin Marwān entered the Mosque

Of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, to pray [as taught].

It was mentioned that he was not ritually pure. He came to a fountain and basin

To perform ablution in the Mosque. The people objected and considered it a grave.

5. He was asked whether one could avoid working on Friday (yawm al-jumu’a) out of reverence for it.

He replied: It has reached me that some of the Companions used to detest

This because of its resemblance to the Jews‟ Saturday rest.

It‟s related that „Umar bin al-Khaŧŧāb censured a Companion

Of the Prophet because he hurried to the Friday prayer withstanding.

[„Umar] asked him: “At this time?” The man replied: “I was at the market.”

This counters the view of avoidance of work on Friday out of reverence for it.

6. He was asked whether one could pray four units for the supererogatory prayer without reciting the salutations (at-taslīm) after every two units.

He replied: The prayer is prayed in twos in the days and eves,

Except the odd prayer (al-witr) [which is prayed in threes].

If one intends to pray it the last third of the night, one defers.

This delay rather than hastening it is much more preferred.

But, the one who does not intend to pray at the night‟s end,

Should hasten to pray it. This would be better for them.

7. He was asked if a man who was doing an action, he continues, and then prays like that [without repeating the ritual ablution].

He replied: There‟s no problem with that, if Allah wills.

8. I heard [al-Qāsim], may Allah be pleased with him, say that there‟s no problem with supplicating in one‟s prostration.3

3 This is based upon the well-known hadīth of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((The slave is the closest to his/her Lord while in the state of prostration. Therefore, increase in supplication)).

9. He was asked if the people could make a slave or eunuch their prayer leader.

He replied: There is no problem with that as long as the name

“Belief” and its ruling are established upon them twain.

10. I heard [al-Qāsim] say: From what has reached me, gambling was something that was amongst the four things prevalent in Pre-Islamic Ignorance (al-Jāhiliyya). Two of these things appeared in acts of worship—idols and divination. The other two things were invalid—intoxicants and gambling.

Intoxicants and gambling existed during the time of Islam and [their permissibility] lasted longer than the other things that were restricted, such as playing with pigeons and other acts of betting.

It has reached me that the people of Pre-Islamic Ignorance used to wager on nights of the full moon, which would precede—the sun or the moon. They used to buy a slaughter camel for 100 dinars, slaughter it, and cast lots for its parts. The one that the lots would fall upon first would take the best of it. The next one would do the same and so forth. They would do so until the last parts were taken. The last one of them was obligated to pay the price for the slaughter camel.

Regarding divination, they would use three arrows. The first one indicated: “I will do it” and the other one indicated: “I won‟t do it.” The third arrow indicated indifference, and it was considered nothing. If the first arrow was extracted, it meant that one would perform an action. If the second one was extracted, it meant that they would not perform the action. If the third arrow was extracted, it meant indifference and the person repeated the action.

11. He was asked regarding one who prays by him/herself behind the prayer ranks.

He replied: If one was to do this, it would be an act that is dire,

Because the value of prayer in the ranks is much higher.

But, if one was to act upon this [odious] feat,

It‟s not obligatory on him for the prayer to repeat.

12. He said: Whoever, as a traveller from his people, takes flight

Until the houses of his village leave his sight

And waits for his companion to fulfil his need,

Shortens the prayer where the traveller proceeds.

13. He was asked about prostration on a piece of one‟s turban.

He replied: There‟s no problem with that as long as he‟s found

Prostrating with some of his forehead [on the ground].4

4 The jurists are divided into two opinions regarding the issue of prostrating on the piece of the turban. The first group holds it to be permissible basing their view on a narration in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was said to prostrate on a portion of the turban. The second group deems it to be impermissible and an invalidation of the prayer basing their view on the Prophet‟s statement: ((…prostrate with your forehead on the ground)).

We reconcile these two narrations by saying that, if the first narration is authentic, it is possible that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prostrated with his turban on but with a portion of his forehead on the ground. This is further established by an authentic narration in which a Companion of the Prophet asked if he could prostrate on his sleeve due to the heat of the earth. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, declined his request.

5 The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace, hold to the view that rubbing the wet fingers through the beard is mandatory based upon the Qur‟ān, Sunnah, and analogy.

Regarding the proof from the Qur‟ān, the verse {O you who believe, when you rise for the prayer, wash your faces} (Q. 5:6) indicates that the face should be washed in its entirety. If one does not penetrate the beard with the washing, the face would be neglected.

Regarding the Sunnah, it is narrated on the authority of Anas that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Gabriel came to me and said: ―When you make ablution, run your wet fingers through your beard)).

Regarding analogy, it is agreed upon that during the ritual bath, one must allow the water to penetrate the scalp. It is also agreed upon that during the wiping of the head, water doesn‟t have to penetrate the scalp. That withstanding, because the face is washed and not wiped, it is incumbent that the water penetrate the beard.

14. He was asked if it is permissible for an individual to pray while wearing the skin of a muskrat.

He replied: No, except that it not be carcass (mayta) and be slaughtered ritually.

This is because whether dead or alive, it‟s a beast crawling habitually.

In this, it resembles a fox. There was a crawling creature that belonged

To Muhammad bin al-Qāsim which died close to us after standing a time long.

A lot of musk was taken from it.

15. He was asked if a spot on a garment that was soiled by urine should be completely washed or whether one could simply wash the portion of it that was soiled.

He replied: If one knows exactly where the soiled spot sits,

One should wash it once and that should be it.

If one knows not where the soiled spot retires,

One washes with water the garment entire.

16. He was asked: Can one engrave portions of the Qur‟ān on rings?

He replied: The Qur‟ān is the best to engrave on it or any other thing.

There‟s no problem with engraving the Qur‟ān on [a ring].

Engraved on the ring of the Prophet of Allah

Was: {Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah} (Q. 48:29).

17. He was asked concerning rubbing wet fingers through the beard.

He replied: Rubbing the wet fingers through the beard is with the washing the face.

The water penetrates it just as it were to penetrate it by pouring in its place.5

18. He was asked: Is it obligatory for women to declare Allah‟s greatness (takbīr) during the Days of Sacrifice (yawm at-tashrīq)?

He replied: The takbīr is upon the woman obligatory,

Just as it is upon the man something mandatory.

19. He was asked if one who recites a verse of prostration and prostrates for it should recite Allahu Akbar during the prostration and during the rising from it.

He replied: One does that and it is the best because it is from the remembrances of Allah.

Whether one does this or other than it in the prayer, all of it is for Allah.

20. He was asked about prayer while wearing pants and a cloak.

He replied: There‟s no problem with that, if Allah wills, if that‟s what one wears.

There is no problem wearing a waist-wrap (izār) and a turban in the prayers.

21. He was asked whether a man can write something with the remembrance of Allah on it or a letter with Bismillah ar-Rahmān ar-Rahīm on it while he his ritually impure.

He replied: He cannot write any portion of the Qur‟ān.

There is no doubt that the Basmala is from the Qur‟ān.6

6 It is narrated on the authority of Sa„īd bin Jubayr—Ibn Abbās said [regarding this verse] {Verily we have given you the seven repeated verses and the Great Qur„ān} (Q. 15:87): “The Opening (al-Fātiha) of the Book.” He then recited: Bismillah ar-Rahmān ar-Rahīm and said: “It is among the seven verses.”

7 In his Uŝūl al-Ahkām al-Jāmi’ Li Adilla al-Halāl wal-Harām, Imam al-Mutawakkil „ala Allah Ahmed bin Sulaymān, upon him be peace, said regarding the obligation of the purification bath on Fridays:

Those that say that it [i.e. the bath] is obligatory use what is narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((The bath on Friday is obligatory on all pubescent males)).

Our comments: There are other reports that prove that it is a sunnah and not obligatory. Amongst them is the report on the authority of Anas bin Mālik—the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, in which he said: ((The one who makes ablution on Friday will have blessings in it and it may lead to obligation. The bath would be even better)). And also amongst them the report of Ibn Abbās, in which he said: “Bathe on Friday, for it is excellent and beautiful.” The one who does not bathe is not sinful because it is not obligatory.

22. He was asked about prayer under a shelter in the Holy Mosque.

He replied: The section in the front or the closest to it is the best;

Except if, out of necessity, one fears the sun and its effects,

(On the back or eyes).

23. He was asked about one who prays while the people are circumambulating the Sanctified House and they pass in front of him.

He replied: There‟s no problem on him with that.

24. He was asked if the ritual bath on Friday is obligatory or not.

He replied: The bath on Friday is a sunnah and commanding the regulations.

It is not a compulsory act from amongst the religious obligations.7

25. He was asked about the one who forgets to recite the testimony of faith (at-tashahhud) while following the prayer leader.

He replied: One recites the testimony after the imam recites the final salutations.

Then, after one‟s salutations, one prostrates the forgetfulness prostrations.

26. He was asked about a traveller who worked in preparation to travel and depart from his village. When the time for the late noon prayer arrives, the houses of the people and the village disappear from his sight.

He replied: He prays two units for the late noon prayer.

27. He was asked about the one who turns his ring on his finger to count [the units] of prayer or the number of times he has circulated the Sanctified House.

He replied: There‟s no problem with that. It is from amongst the means

Of memory and precision, if Allah wills, in both of these things.

28. He was asked if one who has paper stuck to his temples with medicine for a head injury have to remove it to perform the ritual ablution.

He replied: If there‟s fear of damage, he passes water over the place.

If not, he removes it. Wounds and fractures are similar in this case.

29. He was asked regarding a man who prays after the odd prayer.

He replied: There‟s no problem though,

With that if he sees fit to do so.8

8 It is narrated in Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Māja, Sunan ad-Daraqutni, and other books that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, used to pray two units after the odd prayer.

9 Ibn Hajar narrated in his commentary of Šahīh al-Bukhāri called Fat-hul-Bāri:

There is disagreement amongst the salaf concerning the recitation of Qur‟ān with a musical cantor…Abdul-Wahāb al-Māliki related on the authority of Mālik that reciting with a musical cantor is prohibited. The same is related by Abu at-Tayyib at-Tabari, al-Mawardi, and Ibn Hamdān al-Hanbali on the authority of the majority of scholars.

Ibn Battāl, Iyāž, and al-Qurtubi amongst the Mālikites; al-Bandalīji and al-Ghazāli amongst the Shāfi‟ites; the author of Adh-Dhakīra amongst the Hanifites; and Abu Ya‟la and Ibn „Aqīl amongst the Hanbalites all related that it was discouraged.

10 The author of Al-Intišār ‘ala al-‘Ulamā al-Amšār said:

It is recommended for one who intends to relieve oneself to remove any ring with the Name of Allah on it. This is due to what is narrated on the authority of Anas bin Mālik that when the Messenger used to enter the privy, he placed his ring in his closed fist. He only did so because engraved on his ring was “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” in three lines.

11 Imam al-Hādi ila al-Haqq Yahya bin al-Hussein, upon him be peace, related in his Dhakara Khatāya al-Anbiyā:

[King Solomon] never used to purify himself until he had removed his ring from his finger—it is obligatory upon every person who intends to purify themselves from major ritual impurity or other than that, to either remove his/her ring or move it so that water can pass under the place where it was—so, he removed his ring and continued to purify himself.

30. He was asked about the declarations of Allah‟s greatness during the Days of Sacrifice while in study sessions.

He replied: The declarations and other remembrances of Allah are good in all places and occasions.

The declarations are to be done during the Days of Sacrifice after the circumambulations.

31. He was asked about chanting one‟s recitation of the Qur‟ān.

He replied: One should not recite with a musical or jesting tone.9

But one should recite with a yearning and grieving moan.

It is related that Allah revealed to Moses bin „Imrān, upon him be peace: “When you stand, stand as a humble slave. When you recite the Torah, recite it with a yearning voice.”

32. He was asked about the hiring of a teacher for one‟s children. Is it permissible to pay them for teaching recitation of Qur‟ān?

He replied: From what has been related to us from Muhammad‟s Descendants,

And the jurists of Medina, all of them say that there is no problem with this.

33. He was asked if it was permissible for women to recite the declarations of Allah‟s greatness on the Days of Sacrifice aloud.

He replied: They do not raise their voices or recite it aloud.

Reciting it to hear themselves is the only thing allowed.

34. He was asked about women who have an extended flow of blood and how long does she forego the prayer.

He replied: She allows the days she normally knows to pass.

Afterwards, she then performs the ritual bath.

She performs the ritual ablution before every salāt,

And—if Allah wills—she prays in that state just like that.

35. He was asked: Can one cleanse oneself from faeces while wearing a ring with the Name of Allah on the left hand?

He replied: It‟s best to avoid this act

And preferable to not do that.10

36. He said: The one making ablution moves the ring during it,

So that water can completely pass under it.

It is by moving it that completion is attained

And the state of ritual purity is thereby gained.11

37. He was asked whether one who had an itch on their body could enter his hand upon his breast [to scratch it] while he‟s praying.

He replied: The settling of all limbs is closest to the ideal situation,

Even if in a place one itches or has a painful sensation.

38. He was asked concerning the joining of two prayers while travelling and settled.

He replied: There‟s no problem with it.12

12 It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbās that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prayed the noon and late noon prayers together and the sunset and evening prayers together when there was no fear or travel. [The same report] is narrated with a different chain of transmission (isnād): “I asked what prompted him to do that. He replied that his desire is that there is no hardship on his community.”

13 In the Al-Manāqib of Muhammad bin Sulaymān al-Kūfi, he narrated on the authorities of a number of imams and scholars of Ahl al-Bayt:

There is consensus amongst the descendants of Fātima regarding reciting Bismillah ar-Rahmān ar-Rahīm aloud, the avoiding of wiping [over the leather socks], believing in the Guardianship of „Ali, reciting Allahu Akbar five times in the funeral prayer, and making the standing supplication (al-qunūt) after bowing.

14 Imam al-Hādi, upon him be peace, narrated in his Kitāb al-Ahkām fil-Halāl wal-Harām on the authorities of his father—grandfather:

I have not seen anyone from the Messenger of Allah‟s Progeny, peace and blessings be upon him and them, doubt that the recitation of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny; Ali bin Abi Ťālib, may Allah be merciful to him; their progeny; and the Muhājirūn was {…and wash the feet (wa arjulakum)} (Q. 5:6).

15 (Q. 2:178)

39. He was asked: When a woman dies, who inherits from her?

He replied: Her relatives inherit from her as heirs.

The closest are the most entitled [to her shares].

40. He was asked about one who entered the state of major ritual impurity during Ramadan while he is able to take the ritual bath before the appearance of dawn. Does s/he owe anything?

He replied: There‟s no problem with it; but, the preferable path,

According to us, is that s/he takes the ritual bath.

41. He was asked about one who swears that s/he will walk to the Sanctified House of Allah, but s/he does not reach it and carry it out.

He replied: S/he does not owe anything because Allah does not burden

Someone with that beyond their capability [and that is for certain].

42. He was asked about wiping over the leather socks and wiping the feet.

He replied: As for wiping over the leather socks, the Ahl al-Bayt concur

That it is not permissible and invalid if it was to occur.13

Regarding wiping the feet, none advocate for that except those who favour

The companions of the Imami Shi‟ites on the authority of whomever.

However, nothing has reached us from any of the Progeny of the Messenger

Except what is contrary.14 One is to wash them, not wipe them whatsoever.

43. He was asked regarding the verse of retaliation [(Q. 2:178)]: If a freeperson kills a slave, does he owe compensation for the slave?

He replied: Verily, Allah explains the answer to the questioner by what He details:

{…the freeperson for freeperson, the slave for slave, and female for female}15.

There are different categories when it comes to the laws of retaliation.

It is by what Allah mentions that there are differences and separation.

They differ in the blood money paid for each. For slaves, the compensatory amount

Is based upon their worth. Women differ from men in their blood money account.

Consensus agrees upon all of this. I know of no one who says contrary to that.

A proof of their differentiation regarding the blood money concerns, in fact,

Retaliation and injuries. The difference is in that, not the same indeed.

This difference makes it clear that the slave is not like the free.

One does not decree that different things are akin,

Except one who is ignorant regarding the rulings of them.

There is no retaliation or compensation between a freeperson and slave.

In majority of religious matters, their affair is the same.

The punishment of a slave for fornication is not the same as the free.

The master is not as the slave in majority of religious decrees.

Similarly, in majority of religious matters, the woman and man are not on par.

If she was like him, why would he be considered more than her?

Allah mentions: {…the men are over them [i.e. the women] a degree}16.

16 (Q. 2:228)

17 Amīr al-Hussein bin Badruddīn said in his Al-‘Iqdu Ath-Thamīn fi Ma’rifat Rabbil-‘Alamīn:

All of the following are the traits of Imamate: expansive knowledge, evident virtue, courage, generosity, excellence in opinionated thought without dissimulation, ability to carry out commands, and manifest religious scrupulousness.

This should be enough as a proof and evidence [for the one who can clearly see].

If someone kills a slave or bondswoman intentionally and it causes interruption

On Allah‟s earth, on the command of the imam, that one is killed to rectify corruption.

It is not permitted to kill him if this person is a free.

This is due to the statement of Allah, glorified be He:

{Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul except as retaliation for another soul or to rectify corruption in the earth, it would be as though he had killed all of humankind. Whoever saves the soul would be as if he had saved all of humankind} (Q. 5:32). Humankind includes both slave and freeperson.

Allah makes lawful the killing of a soul for corruption on His land [with impunity].

He does not make it lawful to kill him if he rejects Him or His Divine Unity (at-Tawhīd)

As for the one who kills a slave or bondswoman out of rage, a slip, or confinement,

It‟s not the same as killing for corruption on Allah‟s earth, which is defiant.

Regarding what you asked about Allah‟s statement: {…Whoever pardons his brother from anything, there should be a following of the good and a payment to him with excellence} (Q. 2:178),

This {pardon} refers to the [substituting] the killing of [the killer] for the paying of blood debt.

This is as long as there is a soul seeking and the one seeking it decides to accept.

All of such occurs by means of mutual accord.

Abu Hanīfa and his companions do not say other than this word.

Allah makes for them pardon out of His Mercy and Compassion for His creation

Of blood money and blood. Their pardoning by means of seeking money as exception

Of blood is a form of Compassion from Him as well as all-encompassing Kindness.

Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, commands that the one seeking acts in fineness

And follows up on it. He also commands that the one sought after pays it with distinction,

Because it is, out of Allah‟s Mercy and all-encompassing Grace, an addition.

44. He was asked concerning the hadīth: ((Whoever dies while not knowing his imam dies the death of Pre-Islamic Ignorance)): How does one know?

He replied: To know his characteristics and specifications.17

45. He was asked regarding whether one could plant anything on usurped land.

He replied: It‟s not permissible to plant anything on land—whether it be usurped or not.

The only exception is if its sowing is by permission of the owner of the lot.

46. He was asked about the permissibility of buying meat from the Jews and the Christians.

He replied: It is our view that one does not, from them, purchase or buy.

This is because they are not amongst those who one can rely.

47. He was asked concerning shortening the prayer while one is not in fear.

He replied: Regarding the shortening for one not in fear, the one who travels will abbreviate,

Whether one is in fear or secure, as well as the righteous person or profligate.

48. He was asked about the testimony of faith [in the prayer].

He replied: Regarding the testimony, it is said to be what Ibn „Abbās and Ibn Mas‟ūd narrated.

The best of what we heard concerning that is what „Ali and Zayd bin „Ali related:

((In the Name of Allah and in Allah! Praise be to Allah! To Allah belong the best of Names!

I testify that there‟s no god but Allah, the One without partner, and that Muhammad is His Messenger and Slave)).18

18 Although completely absent from the books of the Generality, this version of the testimony of faith appears in the hadīth literature of the 12er and Ismā‟ili Shi‟ites, such as Bihār al-Anwār and Dā’im al-Islami respectively.

19 In Al-Qāmūs al-Fiqhi, the linguist, Atiyya al-„Awfi said: “Amīn is a Syriac or Hebrew word. It is not Arabic.” Similarly, in the Al-Muntaqa: Sharh al-Muwaŧŧa, the author related: “The meaning of Amīn is: „O Allah, answer me.‟ It is originally a Hebrew word that has become Arabicised.”

20 Imam Ahmed bin Yahya al-Mahdi, upon him be peace, said in his Al-Bahr az-Zakhkhār that the recitation of Amīn is considered a reprehensible innovation by consensus of the Prophet‟s Descendants.

21 It is narrated on the authority of Thawbān: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((For every act of forgetfulness, prostrate twice after the final salutation)).

22 In Tanwīr al-Miqyās, it is related that Ibn al-„Abbās said regarding the verse {…and those who are lowly (khāshi‘ūn) in their prayer} (Q. 23:2) that it refers to “those who neither turn to their left or right nor raise their hands in the prayer.”

After [the testimony of faith], one recites the eulogy

Upon the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny.

49. He was asked about the recitation of Āmīn.

He replied: Concerning the use of the word Āmīn, we‟ve heard what you have heard.

No one has heard in the speech of the Arabs that they ever used this word.

It cannot be accounted for except in the language of the Hebrews.19

Therefore, we should abstain from it and statements that support its use.20

50. He was asked about supplicating in the prayer.

He replied: Regarding the supplication in the prayers, it is good and permissible.

Whether it be for matters of this world or the next [is immaterial].

{All Praise is due to Allah…It is only You that we seek help from. Lead us to the straight path…} (Q. 1:1-6). All of this is a supplication.

51. He was asked concerning the prostration of forgetfulness in the prayer.

He replied: Whether the forgetfulness prostrations be for deficiencies or additions,

In the prayer, it is to take place immediately after the final salutations.21

When there is an additional bowing or prostration before the final salutation,

The addition demands what Allah has mentioned regarding a prostration.

52. He was asked about joining the prayers.

He replied: There‟s no problem if one joins the two prayers after sunset or the two in the afternoon.

For the one who joins, the late noon prayer time begins when the noon prayer concludes. The times for the sunset and evening prayers conclude before the twilight.

If one desires to [join the prayers], one can do so [without the fear of spite].

53. He was asked about performing a supererogatory prayer after the dawn prayer (al-fajr).

He replied: Whoever prays the morning prayer engages in glorification after it‟s done.

One does not pray during the time between it and the rising of the sun.

54. He was asked concerning the final salutation and raising the hands in the prayer.

He replied: The final salutations are of the prayer, and it is to the left and the right.

There are divergent statements concerning raising the hands aright.

It is preferable to us that one keeps them both settled because their tranquillity

Is lowliness.22 Similarly, the settling of the eyes is due to one‟s lowly humility.

55. He was asked about the ritual ablution and the recitation in the funeral prayer.

He replied: It suffices for one to perform the ritual ablution for each limb in one tier.

In the funeral prayer, one recites [from the Qur‟ān] after the first takbīr.

Afterwards, one supplicates for the remainder of [the funeral prayer].

56. He was asked about cupping and if it is obligatory to take the purification bath after it. He was also asked about the purification baths that are Sunnah.

He replied: After undergoing cupping, it‟s not obligatory to bathe for purification.

However, for the one who cups, the ritual ablution is an obligation.

One ritually bathes for the Friday prayer service, before going to „Arafat,

And for the two Festivals—all of which are amongst the Sunnah acts.23

23 It is narrated on the authority of Zādān:

I asked „Ali, upon him be peace, about the bath. He replied: ((You bathe when you wish)). I then said: “I am asking about the bath that is the purification bath.” He said: (([You take the purification bath] on Friday, the day of Arafat, the day of breaking the Ramadan fast (yawm al-fiţr), and the day of sacrifice)).

24 Imam al-Mutawakkil ala Allah Ahmed bin Sulaymān, upon him be peace, said in his Uŝūl al-Ahkām al-Jāmi’ Li Adilla al-Halāl wal-Harām:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, was asked about fasting on the day of „Afarat and said: ((It is expiation for the past and remaining years)) [ed. This hadīth is also related in Šahīh Muslim and other books].

Some of the people hold that it is discouraged to fast on it. They use as a proof what is narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny: ((The days of sacrifice, days of at-Tashrīq, and the day of „Arafat are a celebration to us, the people of Islam, to eat and drink)) and what is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, used to prohibit from fasting on the day of „Arafat.

According to us, the first report applies to him intending to mention „Arafat in order to explain that fasting on it was not obligatory. The second report applies to him specifying one who was on „Arafat suffering from extreme thirst.

57. He was asked about making the ritual ablution for each prayer.

He replied: Whoever prays and remains in his place while not from the mosque departs,

Can pray an extra prayer afterwards with a fresh ablution at each start.

If there‟s a lot of preoccupation or back and forth, it is preferable to us

That one renews one‟s ritual ablution. It is related that „Ali used to do thus.

58. He was asked about the best Hajj pilgrimage.

He replied: The two pilgrimages performed joined together are better than one performed individually

Or the Hajj performed after the „Umra (at-tamattu’). One doesn‟t conjoin [intentionally] The Hajj and „Umra except the person is one who prepares a sacrificial beast.

Whoever conjoins makes the circumambulation [seven times] twice complete.

One also runs and walks rapidly [between Safā and Marwa seven times] (sa’i) twice.

One is not absolved from his „Umra unless one is absolved from his Hajj aright.

The individually performed Hajj is better than the Hajj after „Umra consecutively.

The Hajj of the Iraqis and Medinans is better that that of the Meccans especially.

The one prolongs the time of raising the voice while reciting “Labbayk” (al-ihlāl) is better

Than the one who cuts short one‟s time in the sacrificial state (al-ihrām) whatsoever.

59. He was asked about the sacrifice, fasting on the day of „Arafat, and supplication.

He replied: The sacrifice is obligatory upon every holder of wealth who intends to finish

The Hajj. Otherwise, there is no Hajj for that person [and it is diminished].

It is better to fast on the day of „Arafat than to partake in one‟s repast.24

A supplication‟s more likely to be answered while one‟s on a fast.

60. He was asked: What invalidates the ritual ablution?

He replied: Everything that leaks or drips from blood demands ablution due to it.

It is not incumbent upon one who trims the moustache, nails, or armpits.

Vomit and inducing such demand ablution. What has been related [as claimed]

Regarding the one who made ablution due to eating what touched the flame,

It was only out of precaution and not because of the fire it touched.

Allah knows best! For the one who ate of it was preoccupied or such.

It is not preferable to us that a ritually impure person recite any section

From the Qur‟ān because Allah made its revelation from an essence majestic.

61. He was asked: If the imamate of a person was established in a way contrary to the religion, is it permissible to pray behind such person?

He replied: Allah has made Guardianship incumbent upon all by His revealed Text:

The knowledgeable is appointed over the ignorant and the best over the rest,

The foremost of the people are those who are closest to Allah related.

They are raised, according to Allah, to lofty degrees and levels elevated.

They are mentioned by Allah, the Glorified, as “the foremost” dear:

{The Foremost, the foremost—they are the ones who are brought near}25.

25 (Q. 56:10-11)

26 This hadīth is also narrated in books such as the Majmu’ az-Zawā`id on the authority of Anas bin Mālik. Ibn Hajar said after narrating the hadīth: “Al-Bazzār narrated it and all of his narrators are reliable.”

27 In Sharh at-Tajrīd, Imam al-Mu‟ayyad Billah, upon him be peace, said after relating a number of hadīths and reports that forbid the prayer behind a disobedient person:

From all of that, it is explicit that it is prohibited to pray behind a disobedient person as a prayer leader. It is prohibited by the act of disobedience by the disobedient. It is by consensus of the Ahl al-Bayt, and I have not found any one of them that differ in this.

Those jurists that permit appointing a disobedient person as a prayer leader use as a proof what is narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Pray behind every righteous and disobedient person)). However, our imams interpret that hadīth to mean that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, permitted that a disobedient person be placed in the front rows not as a prayer leader. There is This interpretation allows the narration to be reconciled with the aforementioned hadīth as well as narrations such as the report on the authority of Jābir bin „Abdullah :

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, preached a sermon to us and said: ((The woman does not lead the man in prayer, nor does the disobedient lead the believer in prayer; unless one is under the fear of the sword or the whip))

They are the ones brought near to their Lord by means of their precedence.

Their leadership was due to their being the most erudite in faith and excellence;

Those whose superior gnosis and sagacity [are agreed upon]

Regarding that which Allah revealed in His Criterion, that is Furqān.

Concerning that, Allah similarly says: {Over ever holder of knowledge is one that is most knowledgeable} (Q. 10:76) and {Is the one who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed or the one who cannot guide unless he is guided?! What is with you?! How do you judge?!} (Q. 10:35).

In each verse, He conveys that Guardianship and the Imamate in each age

And era belongs to one who knows the most [and is an expert sage].

In all of this and what is not mentioned as examples in the Book descending,

Proves what is explicit and clear, illuminated for those holders of understanding.

Regarding the prayer, it‟s not permissible behind anyone except an upright one,

And a righteous person and not the person who is fraudulent or troublesome;

As well as one who does not shun negligence—every amusement and distraction.

This one is not amongst the slaves of Allah, for they are those who shun slackness.

It is as the Glorified says: {The slaves of the Most Merciful are those who walk the earth guided. When the ignorant address them, they say: “Peace.”} until His statement {…they are the ones who do not bear false witness and when they pass near superfluous speech, they pass with nobility} (Q. 25:63-72) and {When they hear superfluous speech, they say: “To us belong our deeds and to you belong your deeds!”} (Q. 28:55).

Amongst them are false witnessing, negligence of affairs, singing, playing drums,

Amusements, and wind instruments. Whoever listens to these have not shunned.

Nor are they the ones who do not refrain from the objectionable acts.

It is as Allah‟s Messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny, mentioned, in fact:

((Two evil sounds are cursed in this world and the Hereafter: the sound of lamenting from one in mourning who rip their pockets, scratch their faces, and laments the lamentations of Satan; as well as the sound of one who celebrates a blessing with mindless entertainment and the flutes of Satan)).26

The one who is confused or ignorant about the imamate and what Allah stipulates

Upon the Community, as well as one who does not know what Allah obligates,

He‟s astray without guidance. To Allah, his affair gains His Wrath, not Satisfaction.

Because just as Allah appoints for one knowledge, He appoints for one actions.

The one who is ignorant of actions cannot instruct others in that which he knows not.

And if he does not act upon it, he‟s deficient and not of guided or righteous stock.27

62. He was asked about one who touches the clothing of body of a disbeliever while wet.

He replied: Allah, glorified be He, says: {Verily, the idolaters are impure so do not let them come near the Sacred Mosque…} (Q. 9:28).

They are impure, just as carcass, pig meat, and blood which flows.

If a Muslim‟s body is afflicted by any idolater, or his clothes;

Likewise, if a Muslim‟s prayer hall (musalla) or mosque is by them affected,

They become contaminated and polluted as long as it‟s manifest and detected.

One must wash it and purify it, just as if it were due to urine or excrement.

It is no longer contaminated or polluted if there appear no traces evident.

It becomes that which it was not before. It becomes as water in a fount

Or water in valley streams due to rain. If there were copious amounts

Of flowing blood, carcass, and pig meat, it would not be spoiled.

If there does not manifest traces of contamination or pollution soiled,

There‟s no problem drinking or making ablution from it because “water” is its name.

Allah has said: {…purifying water} (Q. 25:28). “Water” applies just the same,

As well as its purity and judgment. The Messenger of Allah, as related in reports,

Used to make ablution from a well in Medina that had [impurities of all sorts].

This includes carcasses, decaying bodies, and used rags from menstruation.

He did this because the well did not show traces of filth and contamination.

Also, if an idolater or his clothing touches the Muslim‟s garments, there‟s no obligation

For the Muslim to wash or purify it; except if it is clear that there is contamination.

The Muslim should not touch an idolater‟s body or clothing because [it is sure]

That [by the revelation of His Book], Allah has made the idolater ritually impure.

Neither should [the idolater] touch the Muslim [as the statement we made last].

This is related on the authority of some of the pious predecessors from the past.

For instance, after touching the armour of the Magians, Christians, and the Jew;

Al-Hassan al-Basri used to perform ablution. Its obligation‟s not our view.

63. He was asked about a person who was a novice and unaware and not taught the ritual ablution, how to free himself of urine, or the impurity of wine and intoxicants. Is it obligatory for such person to renew his prayers while he was in that state?

He replied: If it as you said, one seeks repentance to Allah from past sins

And shortcomings and upholds that which Allah has commanded him.

By upholding that which was commanded to him from the prayer rite

And otherwise, this would serve as recompense, if Allah wills it aright.

There would be between him and Allah a sufficient repentance alright.

64. He was asked about a person who abandoned the prayer for ten years and used to drink intoxicants. After repenting, does he renew all of those prayers? How does he do so?

He replied: Whoever abandoned the prayer for ten years, more than that or less,

Seeks repentance to Allah for all of the previous prayers he missed.

It is similar to seeking repentance for sins and offences other than this.

One makes up the prayers of the day if in the day there was repentance.

The same is the case if the repentance to Allah was after the setting of the sun.

The penitent one makes up the prayers that he missed after the eve had come.

It‟s not obligatory to make up the prayers that were missed during those years,

Because repentance to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, is [with a heart sincere].

If it was obligatory for him to make up the ritual prayer [that he neglected],

It would also be obligatory to make up the other obligations that were rejected.

65. He was asked about a man who had children who were defiantly disobedient. If they were to die, is it permissible for him to ask for forgiveness for them?

He replied: Whosoever has offspring and children that are wicked and disobedient,

It‟s not lawful to seek forgiveness for them [if they died unrepentant].

This is because this would be seeking help and intercessory request.

Whereas Allah, the Glorified, has said regarding His angels elect:

{They cannot intercede for one unless He is pleased with him}28

28 (Q. 21:28)

29 (Q. 73:20)

The Glorified also says to Abraham, may Allah bless him:

{Abraham‟s seeking forgiveness for his father was only due to a promise that he made to him. When it became apparent to him that [his father] was an enemy to Allah, he disassociated himself from him. Verily, Abraham was merciful and patient} (Q. 9:114). He also says: {It is not for the Prophet or those who believe to seek forgiveness for the idolaters even though they be close kin after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire} (Q. 9:113).

Similarly, seeking forgiveness is not permissible, [in addition],

For one who Allah has threatened with punishment in Fire of Perdition.

Otherwise, one would be seeking contrary to Divine Promise and Threat.

It is not permitted to seek such thing from Allah, the One who protects;

The One who differs not in what He promises nor treats His slaves unjust.

He doesn‟t consider the righteous and unrighteous the same in their trusts.

The Glorified says: {Do We consider those who believe and do righteous deeds to be like those who corrupt?! Do We consider the God-conscious like the wicked?!} (Q. 38:28). He also says: {Are the Muslims to be considered the same as the criminals?! What is with you?! How is it that you judge?!} (Q. 68:35-36). By that He means: “What is with you that you don‟t understand or use your intellect?!”

66. He was asked about a man who died while owing a lot of prayers. Does his son or daughter make up the prayers on his behalf?

He replied: The prayer cannot be made by the son for the father or mother.

No one from amongst humankind can take the liability of another.

This is because the prayer is only for the one who prayed.

One intends it for Allah, and in it lowliness is displayed.

It‟s unlike Hajj because Hajj depends upon competency and aid.

One should have provision and ability for a pilgrimage made.

67. He was asked about a person who has a disobedient relative who doesn‟t pray or rectify their affairs. Does he cut them off or seek reconciliation with them? If he cuts them off, does he still show them mercy or not?

He replied: It is not for any believer to incline towards anyone who‟s disobedient;

Whether they be father, son, brother, or any other relative immediate.

Allah, glorified be He, says: {You will not find anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day who refrains from the penal application of Allah and His Messenger; even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or clan. They are those in whose hearts are appointed belief and He supported them with the Spirit from Him. We will enter them enter gardens under which rivers flow. Therein they will dwell forever} (Q. 58:22) and {Turn from the one who turns away from Our Remembrance and doesn‟t desire anything except the life of this world} (Q. 53:29).

To “turn from” here means to refrain from or shun;

Whether the person be a relative or nonrelated one.

68. He was asked about a non-Arab who has difficulty reciting Qur‟ān and a woman who cannot recite well. Would their prayer be valid?

He replied: In the prayer, the non-Arab woman and man

Must recite what is easy from the Arabic Qur‟ān.

This is based upon what Allah says [as a command]:

{Recite what is easy for you from the Qur‟ān}29.

69. He was asked about a person who has two neighbours that are defiant disobedient and openly drink intoxicants and perform objectionable acts. If he were to object to them, they would do him harm. Is it permissible for him to abstain from them?

He replied: One objects to the objectionable that one approaches;

Even if he suffers from their enmity, anger, and reproaches.

The exception is if he fears evil from them or tragedy,

Or he is forced to comply while inside he feels agony.

This is based upon the Statement of Allah: {The believers do not take the disbelievers as protectors instead of the believers. Whosoever does that does not have anything with Allah except the one who is forced to comply out of fear} (Q. 3:128).

70. He was asked about a person who prays behind an imam of differing views (imām mukhālafa). Does he follow him in his prayer or not? What should he do?

He replied: Whoever prays with this imam, does not follow him.

Nor does he pray his prayer with such [person of sin].

Instead, he prays on his own like the devout from the Progeny

Of Muhammad used to do. Allah bless them—one and many.

This is because the one who prays only does so due to trust,

As well as a respite and intention [which establishes it thus].

If one was to pray his prayer without that which was stated,

He would not have prayed because [it would be invalidated].

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The disobedient does not lead the righteous in the prayer; nor does the Bedouin lead the Emigrant (al-Muhaajir))).30 He, peace be upon him and his progeny, also said: ((When you set out on a journey, perform your prayers and place forward the best of you)).31 He, peace be upon him and his progeny, also said: ((Your prayer is the prayer of your imam. If he prays sitting, pray sitting. If he prays standing, pray standing)).32

30 This hadīth is narrated in some of the books of the Generality as well. The second portion of the report ((…nor does the Bedouin lead the Emigrant)) was said to be abrogated by the hadīth ((There is no migration after the opening of Mecca)). This is because the latter hadīth indicates that after the Opening of Mecca, no one else can attain the status of Emigrant. Therefore, the Bedouin is free to lead the prayer.

31 This report was also related in the books of the Generality such as Al-Mustadrak ‘ala as-Šahīhayn of al-Hākim an-Nīsapūri.

32 This is report is agreed upon in the books of the Generality.

33 According to some of the books of history, „Umar proposed to Umm Kulthūm, the daughter of Imam „Ali, upon him be peace, and the latter reluctantly accepted. However, if one was to examine these reports, one would notice inconsistencies, improbabilities, and conflicting accounts. These narrations are, therefore, unreliable.

If the prayer of the imam is not accepted,

The prayer of one who follows is rejected.

This is because the prayer is only approved

From one whose God-consciousness is proved.

God-consciousness is the same as conviction (al-imān),

As well as righteousness and distinction.

Belief is not established by its ruling or name

Except upon the one known by [its fame].

Regarding its gnosis, it can only be by one of three views:

Either by evident distinction that witnesses have used,

Or by mass-transmitted reports that are supported,

Or by a narration that a reliable person reported.

The one whose belief is not known by any of these three descriptions,

His belief cannot be confirmed in reality by one without conviction.

71. What is the meaning of the dislike of shaving the moustache?

He replied: According to us, it comes from what‟s narrated,

And from it the image of a man is demonstrated.

However, one is to take the way that is middle,

By not being excessive with it or too little.

If Allah wills, it is enough and sufficient for one

[To trim his moustache and only take off some].

72. He was asked if „Ali bin Abi Ťālib, may Allah be merciful to him, married his daughter to „Umar bin al-Khaŧŧāb.

He replied: This is mentioned in some narrations.

However, we know not of its authentication.33

73. He was asked whether the [belief in] the Guardianship (Wilāya) of „Ali bin Abi Ťālib, upon him be peace, is amongst the religious obligations.

He replied: The Guardianship of „Ali, upon him be salutations,

Is amongst the greatest of religious obligations.

It is a religious obligation established by Allah

And His Messenger upon every Muslim [and Muslima].34

34 The establishment of the Guardianship (al-Wilāyat) of Imam „Ali bin Abi Ťālib is in the Qur‟ān, Sunnah, and consensus of the Ahl al-Bayt.

Regarding the Book of Allah, the Exalted: {Verily your only Guardian is Allah, His Messenger, and those who believe–those who establish the prayer and pay the alms while bowing.} (Q. 5:55)–[Ibn „Abbās said that this verse was revealed concerning „Ali].

Regarding the Sunnah, it is narrated on the authority of „Imrān bin Hušayn that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((„Ali is from me and I am from him! Verily, „Ali is the guardian (wali) of every believer after me)).

Regarding the consensus of the imams of Ahl al-Bayt, Amir al-Hussein bin Badruddīn, upon him be peace, narrated in his Al-‘Iqdu Ath-Thamīn fi Ma’rifat Rabbil-‘Alamīn: “The Descendants [of the Prophet] all concur with that.”

35 It is narrated in both the books of the Generality and the Ahl al-Bayt that Imam „Ali was the first to believe in the Message of Islam. It is narrated in the Al-Mustadrak that Anas bin Mālik said: “The Messenger was commissioned with the Message on Monday and „Ali became Muslim on Tuesday.”It is also narrated by Imam al-Hākim on the authority of Salmān al-Farsi that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The first of you who will drink from the Basin on the Day of Judgment will be the first to have become Muslim, „Ali bin Abi Ťālib)). Imam at-Tabari related in his At-Tarīkh: “The first three who prayed was Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny; Khadīja; and „Ali.”

Regarding the reports that Abu Bakr was the first to have embraced Islam, Imam as-Suyūti narrated with an authentic chain of narrators from Ibn Asākir to Muhammad bin Sa‟d bin Abi Waqqās that the latter asked his father, Sa‟d: “Was Abu Bakr the first of you to become Muslim?” Sa‟d replied: “No. There were five people that became Muslim before him.”

74. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {Verily, human beings were all one community} (Q. 10:19).

He replied: A community cannot exist except that there be

A prophet over them or [the prophet‟s] appointee.

75. He was asked: Is human intellect natural or attained?

He replied: It is memory and thinking, and the foundation

Of the intellect is natural and created creation.

76. He was asked: Who was the first person to embrace Islam with the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny?

He replied: „Ali bin Abi Ťālib. The Messenger of Allah used to educate him.

He used to be on his lap while He preceded to Allah and was closest to him.35

77. He was asked who the executor of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, was and what did he leave as inheritance.

He replied: „Ali bin Abi Ťālib was his executor regarding situations

Of importance and the fulfilling of contracted stipulations.

Regarding inheritance, when the Messenger of Allah expired,

He left behind his possessions to be distributed to the Ummah entire.

It is related that the Messenger, peace be on him and his kin,

Gave Fadak to Fātima, may Allah bless her, [as a gift from him].

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and his progeny, did not leave

Behind anything except his sword—which „Ali bin Abi Ťālib retrieved.

78. He was asked about the meaning of Belief (al-Imān).

He replied: “Belief” is derived from the words “safety” or “security”.

Because belief is protection from disobedient [impurity]

That Allah makes the Hellfire obligatory upon.

Whoever is in this case, belief applies to that one.

79. He was asked about the meaning of Islam.

He replied: It is the submission, that is al-istislām

To the commands of Allah in Islam.

80. He was asked about the meaning of the Determination (al-Qadr).

He replied: Goodness and excellence is from Allah, and this can‟t be denied.

Anything contrary to Allah‟s command is from the people‟s side.

Allah is innocent from it because it is blameworthy and deficient.

It‟s improper that this comes from Allah. This should be sufficient,

If Allah wills. No one can deny or reject it [in any estimation].

Anything contrary to that does not require effort or investigation.36

36 Concerning the meaning of the Determination, Imam al-Hādi Yahya bin al-Hussein, upon him be peace, said in his Al-Manzila Baynal-Manzilatayn:

Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says: {The sun moves to its place. That is the determination (taqdīr) of the Almighty, the Omniscient} (Q. 36:38); {We have determined (qaddarnā) death amongst you} (Q. 56:60); {Verily, when He tries him and limits (qadara) his sustenance} (Q. 89:16); and {…the command of Allah is a determined measure (qadarān maqdūran)} (Q. 33:38)…

Allah only mentions Determination in regards to His creating, forming, measuring, commanding, and rectifying the affairs of His slaves in their religion and this world. However, He does not do so in an abusive way or to trump up charges against one. Neither does He do so to kill His prophets, belie His messengers, nor any other thing that earns His Wrath or Disproval and then punish them for it.

37 Imam ar-Rassi‟s ruling regarding those who refused to accompany Imam „Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, is further substantiated in the Qur‟ān and Sunnah.

Regarding the proof from the Qur‟ān, the Exalted states: {Verily, your only Guardian is Allah, His Messenger, and those who believe—those who establish the prayer and render the alms while bowing. Whosoever aligns themselves with Allah, His Messenger, and those who believe—they are the party of Allah and they shall be the successful} (Q. 5:55-56). As previously mentioned, the exegetes agree that {those who believe} refers to Amīr al-Muminīn „Ali bin Abi Ťālib, may Allah ennoble his face. Therefore, Allah connects the aligning of the believers with „Ali to be the stipulation of success and predominance. The opposite is also true. Those who do not align themselves with him are considered unsuccessful and deficient.

Regarding the proof from the Sunnah, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over. O Allah, help those that help him and oppose those that oppose him! Assist those that assist him, and abandon those that abandon him!)).

81. He was asked about capability.

He replied: If it is as the opponent admits, as what‟s established as norm,

Allah does not burden His slave more than what can be borne—

Then this is most acceptable and correct,

Because this is based upon the intellect.

82. He was asked if the Imamate of Amīr al-Muminīn was designated by the Messenger as a testament or did he say to him: “You are the imam after me.” How was it exactly?

He replied: The Messenger, Allah bless him and his family, used indications

And pointed to him. This was sufficient and adequate [as a designation].

83. He was asked about the disagreements that occur amongst the Ahl al-Bayt.

He replied: One is to take that which they agree upon and not disagree about.

Regarding that in which they disagree [and that in which is doubt],

One holds to what agrees with the Book and the Sunnah [that‟s correct]

And that which is well-known. This is most acceptable to the intellect.

84. He was asked about the application of considered opinion (ar-ra`y) out of necessity.

He replied: One cannot say anything by considered opinion except that which conforms

To the Book and the well-known Sunnah. Otherwise, one remains silent in turn.

85. He was asked about the one who refrained from fighting along with „Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.

He replied: The one who refrained from fighting and refused to join the fray

On the side of „Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was astray.37

86. He was asked concerning the statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny: ((Verily, I leave you that which if you hold on to them, you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allah and my Descendants („itrati), my Ahl al-Bayt)). What is the meaning of “Descendants”?

He replied: “Descendants” refer to one‟s offspring.

87. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {They will remain therein [i.e. the Hellfire] as long as the heavens and earth remain, except what your Lord wills} (Q. 11:107).

He replied: Allah conveys that His Power is over all and Capability as well.

Allah does not convey that He will remove anyone from Hell

After entering them therein.38 If He causes them to enter the Flame

38 Regarding the exegesis of this verse, Imam at-Tabari said in his Tafsīr:

Regarding His statement: {They will remain therein forever as long as the heavens and earth remain, except what your Lord wills. Verily your Lord does what He desires}, the Exalted means by His statement {They will remain therein}: They will remain. The meaning of His statement {as long as the heavens and earth remain} is “forever.”

This is because the Arabs, when they intended to indicate something as being eternal, they would say: “This will last as long as the heavens and earth last.” The meaning of “last” is “to remain forever.” This is similar to the statements: “It remains as long as the day and night alternates”; “…as long as the vigil of the vigilant”; and “…as long as the Arabian gazelles wag their tails.” All of these statements mean “forever.”

The Majestic and Praiseworthy informs them that: {They will remain therein forever as long as the heavens and earth remain}. By that, He means that they will remain therein forever and ever.

39Qutb ad-Dīn bin Muhammad ash-Sharwani said in his Haqā`iq al-Ma’rifa regarding this verse:

The intended meaning of Allah‟s statement {…and the heavens will be folded in His Right Hand} is His Power. An example of this can be found in the Arabic language. It is as the poet, ash-Shammākh said:

When the flag was raised for glory „Arāba received it with the right hand.

The intended meaning [of right hand] is power.

And remove them afterwards; it cannot be that they will remain!

He says in another place: {…and they will not be removed from there} (Q. 15:48).

88. He was asked about the statement of the Glorified: {…and the heavens will be folded in His Right Hand} (Q. 39:67).

He replied: The Glorified only means that His Power is over them,

As well as His Command, Rule, and Judgment. Praise be to Him!39

Because everything that exists is folded in Your Right Hand!

For You have more power over all of Your affairs than other than.

Those folded things which are in one‟s hand refers to that

Which, by means of tremendous power, one preserves intact.

One does not assume that the “folding” is like that of clothes,

Except the one who‟s blind, extremely diverted, or doesn‟t know.

If that was the case, what would be in that concerning respect,

And what would be in that concerning power and concerning effect.

Regarding His Grip, Supervision, and Power—this is because

One says this to One with power and encompasses all [by His Laws].

If a person asked to know: “Does He posses power in it?”

Say: “Yes. I swear by Allah. It is what is in His Hand and Grip.”

The intended meaning of that is not a Hand with a palm.

There is none like Him. Allah is above what they describe—beyond!

89. He was asked about the statement of the Glorified: {Destroyed is man! How ungrateful he is!} (Q. 80:17).

He replied: It means: “Cursed is man! His gratefulness is minuscule in size!”

Similar is the case with everyone who disbelieve in Allah‟s signs.

He is not determined in the command to seek Allah‟s pleasure.

This one is ungrateful and not thankful for blessings and treasures.

In the beginning, he was given life from a sperm drop protected in the womb.

There he stayed, developed flesh and blood—leaving his mother‟s belly assumed.

90. He was asked about: {To Him belong the maqālīd of the heavens and earth} (Q. 39:63 & 42:12).

He replied: “Keys” is what {maqālīd} means.

Maqālīd are the keys to the unseen.

91. He was asked about Allah‟s statement: {No affliction befalls the earth or your souls except that it is in a Book before We bring it into being} (Q. 57:22).

He replied: “Affliction in the earth” refers to that which is in the earth generally.

“Affliction in the souls” refers to that which is in the souls specifically.

The {Book} refers to the “Knowledge of Allah” by which all transpires.

In His Knowledge is the whole earth and what encompasses the earth entire.

All of that is as Allah says. He is the One without partners; so,

He doesn‟t burden one with a knowledge that He doesn‟t know.

Regarding His statement {…before We bring it into being},

“Before He creates the souls and gives them life” is its meaning.

92. He was asked about: {We have attached every person‟s fortune (ťā`ir) around his neck} (Q. 17:13).

He replied: The meaning of {fortune} is “that which reaches one” and

“What one persists in doing, whether it be good or evil, at hand.”

All of such is decreed and in conformity with it.

When Allah meets him, he will betake himself to it.

It is as Allah, glorified be He, states: {…On the Day of Judgment, We shall bring out for him a Book that he will find wide opened} (Q. 17:13).

93. He was asked about: {On that Day, everyone will be call to be with their imam} (Q. 17:71).

He replied: The meaning of {their imam} is “what is written concerning them”

As well as “what has preceded them from amongst their deeds” within.

The one who receives his Book in his/her right hand, he is on the right.

{The one who is blind here will be in the Hereafter devoid of sight,

As well as further astray from the path} (Q. 17:72). That is to say,

“The one who is astray in this life will be in the Hereafter more astray.”

One is not astray and not guided in the collective Resurrection after.

Then whoever is astray or guided in this world will be so in the Hereafter.

94. He was asked about: {We turn their hearts and sight as they did not believe in it the first time. And We will leave them in their arrogance, blindly stumbling} (Q. 6:110).

He replied: The turning of their hearts and sight is “deviation due to their actions.”

The Blessed and Exalted leaves them astray, {blindly stumbling} distracted.

Their being astray is from Allah but only because of their own deeds.

The meaning of them going astray and being led astray is the same indeed.

Similar is the case with them disbelieving and being made to deny faith.

Is it not that one made to disbelieve, disbelieves and the same for one astray?

95. He was asked about: {Verily the devils (ash-shayāťīn) inspire their friends…} (Q. 6:121).

He replied: The “devils‟ inspiration” refers to the devils meeting the believers‟ foes.

As Allah says elsewhere, the devils can refer to humans or jinn, as we know.

What they impart to {their friends} are: arguments, confusion, and vain speech.

As Allah says: {…devils from men and jinn inspiring the other—each to each

With vain speech that‟s deceptive. If your Lord willed, they would not have done it.

Leave them and what they invent} (Q. 6:112). {Leave them and what they invent}

Means the shame of their vain speech and their deceptive interactions.

They will soon come to know afterwards the evil outcome of their actions!

96. He was asked the interpretation of: {Whoever Allah desires to guide, He opens his chest} (Q. 6:125).

He replied: The interpretation of {Whoever Allah guides} is “to guide one straight”

As well as “to increase one in guidance” [so they easily follow the way].

For, guidance can‟t be given unless it be from one guided [to the path].

It is as Allah says concerning the increase of guidance one already has:

{Those who are guided, He increases them in guidance and grants them God-consciousness} (Q. 47:17).

God-consciousness is for the guided. The meaning of {grants} is “bestows.”

One is granted God-consciousness by means of inner-vision and fear one shows.

Allah prevents them from deviance and removes it from their midst.

There is no middle position between deviance and guidance in this.

Guidance is for them and not deviance. Allah intends to guide them after which.

The intended meaning of to {open} is “to unlock the chest to God-consciousness.”

The one who intends to go astray and remain spiritually blind

His heart will be made to follow deviance and caprice in kind.

Constriction and difficulty occurs as one ascends to the heavens.

Similarly, Allah does this to the people of deviance and transgression.

97. He was asked concerning the statement of the Jews: {“Ezra is the son of Allah”} (Q. 9:30).

He replied: It is possible that this refers to their past [and what they used to say].

It also may refer to what some utter from what remains of them today.

Not all of them believe this. Only a group, from what I see, adopt this way.40

40 The exegetes differ as to who this verse refers to. One view is that when the verse says {The Jews say: “Ezra is the son of Allah”}, only one Jew is intended. This person is said to be named Finhāš. Another view is that it refers to a group of Jews. However, there is no view amongst the exegetes that the Jews collectively are intended or that the belief that Ezra is the son if Allah is a tenet of Judaism.

41 The Generality interprets this verse to be a proof that Allah creates and enables the slaves‟ acts of disobedience. They say that the object of Allah‟s creating is the actions of the slave—good or bad. Therefore, they say that the verse should be rendered: {Allah created you and what you do}.

The imams of Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace, state otherwise. The Purified imams say that {what you manufacture} refers to the idols, not the action of constructing and worshipping the idols. This is because although grammatically both interpretations are permissible, only the interpretation of the Ahl al-Bayt reconciles this verse with others in the Qur‟ān. For example, the Exalted says regarding the idolaters: {But they have taken as gods, instead of Him, those who cannot create a thing; while they themselves are created} (Q. 25:3).

98. He was asked about the statement: {Abraham used to ask forgiveness for his father…} (Q. 9:114) and what the Lord of the Worlds say: {“Forgive my father for he is amongst the astray”} (Q. 26:86).

He replied: Once it became clear that [his father] was amongst the companions of the Flame

By inspiration, he disavowed [his father] after seeking forgiveness all the same.

99. He was asked about the statement: {Allah will never condemn a people for going astray after having guided them until He has made it clear as to what they should fear} (Q. 9:115).

He replied: He states that He will leave them astray after making it bare

And clear to them regarding that which they should beware.

100. He was asked about the statement of Abraham, upon him be peace: {Allah created you and what you manufacture} (Q. 37:96).

He replied: “Allah created you and the stones that you constructed idols with and adulated.”

{“Do you worship what your hands carve…”} (Q. 37:95) as Abraham stated.

{What you manufacture} is the same as {what your hands carve} and related.41

101. He was asked about the statement: {…they placed their hands in their mouths…} (Q. 14:9).

He replied: This means “the biting of their hands with their teeth due to anger or rage.”

One also does this out of perplexity and when one is in deep thought [as a sage].

102. He was asked about the statement of Allah, the Glorified: {…they are those who do not bear false witness. When they pass by distractions (al-laghū), they pass with nobility} (Q. 25:72).

He replied: They witness that which is present and {false} is considered waste

As well as what is invalid and a lie. Also, {distractions} refer to play

And heedlessness. All is that is that which one does not witness.

{When they pass} by it means “when they turn away from this.”

103. He was asked concerning the spirits that are separated from the bodies and whether they are alive or dead.

He replied: The spirits of the believers, when separated from the bodies, are in delight.

The spirits of the sinners, when separated from the bodies, are in spite.

The spirits will return to the bodies on the Resurrection and the Day of Judgment.

Afterwards, they will be perpetual and will not perish or be removed from therein.

104. He was asked about: {By the Mount. By the Book inscribed on scrolls outspread. By the oft-frequented House. By the roof raised high. By the ocean filled over…} (Q. 52:1-6).

He replied: The {Mount} refers to Mount Sinai. In another place, Allah mentions it

And the Trustworthy City. He swears by both and about them He‟s most cognizant.

The {Book inscribed on scrolls outspread} is “what Allah revealed

In His Books” because His Books are on scrolls and other materials sealed.

The {oft-frequented House} is “Allah‟s House perpetually visited

With remembrance of Allah and by incoming pilgrims from everywhere exhibited.”

It is as Allah says to Abraham and Ishmael, may Allah bless them both: {“Purify My House for the circumambulators, those who stay near, and those who bow and prostrate} (Q. 2:125)}.

The {roof raised high} refers to the heavens. The {ocean} is the Great Sea.

And {filled over} refers to maintaining the boundaries impermissible to breach.

105. He was asked about the meaning of Allah‟s statement to the Messenger of Allah: {If you are in doubt concerning that which We revealed to you, ask those who recited the Book before you} (Q. 10:94).

He replied: {If you are in doubt} does not refer to him for real.

It is not that he doubted anything that Allah revealed.

However, He distances and frees him from all of that

He establishes certainty and virtue in him in fact.

Do you not see that He says to the one in whom is conviction

That it is certainly true and what he believes is truth, non-fiction:

“If you are in doubt in your affair, it is proven by other than you.”

Then one would be angry with the one who says: “This is true!”

By that, we are certain in this world or the next.

It may be that the reason for their certainty rests

In other than them regarding his Message that was sent;

What Allah revealed to him of laws and verses meant;

What is in the hands of the People of the Book of theirs;

And guidance concerning one‟s religion and one‟s affair.

Allah says: {If you} and not “If other than you who are those who believe”

Or “don‟t believe in doubt or suspicion.” So ask the People of the Book received.

106. He was asked: Is the hadīth related on the authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny: ((The imams are from the Quraysh)) authentic?42

42 This report was declared mass-transmitted (mutawātir) by the scholars of hadīth. Hāfiž Ibn Hajar related this declaration from Mulla Ali al-Qāri in the latter‟s Sharh an-Nakhaba.

43 This hadīth is narrated with various chains—some of them are weak some of them are authentic. In Majmu’ az-Zawā`id, Ibn Hajar related this report on the authority of Anas bin Mālik and said: “At-Tabarāni related this in his al-Awsat and all of his narrators are authentic except Hārūn bin Musa al-Fara. However, he is reliable.” Shaykh Nasr ad-Dīn al-Albani even authenticated this hadīth in his As-Silsila as-Šahīha with the wording being ((There are two groups that will not meet me at the Basin…)).

44 Although the Muslims disagree regarding the identity of the Qadarites—some believing that the Qadarites ascribe to Predestination and others believing that the Qadarites negate Predestination—it is clear from a linguistic perspective that the Qadarites believe that one‟s actions are coerced by Allah. The Arabic word for Predestination, Pre-Determinism, etc. is al-qadr (a derivative of the word for “Qadarites”), so it would make sense that those who ascribe to the belief in the coercion of actions due to Predestination would be referred to as “Qadarites.”

This is further emphasized by a similar report in Sunan Ibn Māja on the authority of Jābir bin „Abdullah: ((…no share in Islam: the people of al-Irjā and the people of al-Qadar)). Just as the Murji`ites are those who believe in al-Irjā, the Qadarites are those who believe in al-Qadar. There can be no clearer proof that the Qadarites are those who attribute their evil deeds to Predestination!

Similarly, in his Sabīl ar-Rashād ila Ma’rifat Rabb al-‘Ubād, Sayyid Muhammad bin al-Hassan, upon them be peace, related the aforementioned narration and when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was asked: “Who are the Qadarites?” He replied: ((They are those who commit an act of disobedience and say: “It is from Allah”)).

He replied: In Islam, the imams are, as the Messenger of Allah stated, from them.

For he and his descendants are Qurayshi. Allah bless him and his kin.

107. He was asked the exegesis of the hadīth of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny: ((There are two groups from my community that have no share in Islam: the Murji‟ites and the Qadarites)).43

He replied: The Murji‟ites are those who say: “Faith is statement without works.”

They make other statements. The Qadarites say that actions are coerced.44

108. He was asked about the statement of the Glorified: {O you who believe, obey Allah, obey His Messenger, and the holders of authority amongst you} (Q. 4:59).

He replied: The {holders of authority} refer to scholars, military heads,

Heads of tribes, as well as judges that promote good instead

Of the danger, which they call from. They only order that

Which the Lord of the worlds commands them to enact.

It also refers to the Progeny of the Messenger, righteous in deeds

As well as their scholars to whose authority one is to pay heed.

They are those whom Allah has placed virtue over other than them

And made them amongst those of Allah‟s Messenger‟s closest of kin.

They are those who are the partners of the people of right conduct.

They have the honour of closeness over other than them in this construct.

109. He was asked if there was anything missing from the Qur‟ān and what is narrated concerning the Two Chapters of Protection (al-ma’ūdhatayn).

He replied: The Two Verses of Protection are part of the Qur‟ānic text.45

How can anything be missing from it while Allah says in this respect:

{We have revealed the Remembrance and We shall be its Protector} (15:9) and {The Praiseworthy Qur‟ān on the Preserved Tablet} (85:22-23).

45 There are narrations that mention that the Companion, „Abdullah bin Mas‟ūd considered al-Fātiha and the Two Chapters of Protection to not be a part of the Qur‟ān. Ibn Hajar related in his Fat-hul Bāri:

Ahmed and Ibn Hibbān narrated on the authority of Hammād bin Salama—A‟sim: “Verily, Abdullah bin Mas‟ūd didn‟t used to write the Two Chapters of Protection in the copies of Qur‟ān.”

He also related that Ibn Qutayba said: “Ibn Mas‟ūd believed that the Two Chapters of Protection are not a part of the Qur‟ān.”

There are criticisms of the view that Ibn Mas‟ūd held that these chapters were not part of the Qur‟ān. An-Nawawi said in his Sharh al-Muhadhdhab: “What is related about Ibn Mas‟ūd is invalid and not authentic.” In spite of these criticisms, Ibn Hajar continued by saying: “Criticism of these authentic narrations without proof is unacceptable.”

Regardless of whether he held them to be a part of the Qur‟ān or not, the fact remains that the Qur‟ān was mass-transmitted on the authorities of a number of people (Ibn Mas‟ūd being one of them) and all of them contain the Two Chapters of Protection.

46 (Q. 96:1)

47 (Q. 110:1)

48 (Q. 2:281)

49 This Prophetic tradition known as Hadīth al-Manzila (Hadīth of Position), is not only declared authentic by consensus of the Muslims but also mass-transmitted (mutawātir) by scholars such as Imam al-Hākim in his Al-Mustadrak.

50 This Prophetic tradition known as Hadīth al-Ghadīr (Hadīth of the Pond), is not only declared authentic by consensus of the Muslims but also mass-transmitted by scholars such as Shaykh Nasr ad-Dīn al-Albāni in his As-Silsila as-Šahīha. .

110. He was asked: “Which chapter in the Qur‟ān was the first to be revealed? The last? In Mecca? In Medina?”

He replied: They say that {Read in the Name of your Lord}46 was revealed first,

And {When the victory of Allah comes…}47 was the last—until the final verse.

It‟s also said that the last to be revealed is [in Al-Baqara],

And it says: {Fear the Day when you will return to Allah}48.

111. He was asked about the meaning of the statement of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, to „Ali: ((Your position to me is like the position of Aaron to Moses except that there will be no prophet after me))49.

He replied: It means: “You are to take my place just as what transpired

With Moses when from his people he [temporarily] retired.

Similarly, you are my successor after I leave from my community

And my migration place.” He said this before leaving for Tabūk only.

112. He was asked about the statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny: ((Whomever I have authority over, Ali has authority over. Whomever I am his guardian (wali), „Ali is his guardian))50.

He replied: Its interpretation is: “Whomever I am his patron, „Ali is the same.”

This is because in Arabic, for “guardian,” one uses “patron” as a name.

113. He was asked about the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic: {Verily, Allah is pleased with the believers who took the oath of allegiance with you under the tree} (Q. 48:8).

He replied: {Verily, Allah is pleased with the believers} refers to those of pure belief.

Allah was pleased with their oath to the Chosen One under the tree‟s leaves.

114. He was asked about the statement of the Glorified: {Today I have perfected your religion…} (Q. 5:3).

He replied: “Allah has perfected their religion” means that He has given them Islam.

For them, Allah has stated in His Book that which is lawful and harām.

This perfection took place after the stipulations of the lawful and illicit.

It is said that this verse of laws‟ finalization was revealed at the final Pilgrimage.

115. He was asked: Regarding Fadak,51 was the claim of Fātima, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, bequeathed it to her during his lifetime? Was „Ali and Umm Ayman witnesses to that? What was the claim of Abu Bakr?

51 Fadak refers to the hamlet granted to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, after the Battle of Khaybar. According to the report on the authority of Abu Sa‟īd al-Khudri, when the verse {…and give to the relatives their right} (Q. 17:26) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, called Fātima and gave Fadak to her, upon her be peace.

Scholars like Ibn Kathīr denied the authenticity of these reports because, as he said in his exegesis:

Even if the hadīth‟s chain of narrators is authentic, it is problematic because it is a Meccan verse. Fadak was opened during the Conquest of Khaybar which was the seventh year after Hijra. How could this have been the case? Therefore, this hadīth is objected. It seems to be a fabrication of the Rafidite Shi‟ites.

However, the fact remains that all traditionalists and historians narrate that Fātima az-Zahra, upon her be peace, was displeased with Abu Bakr for misappropriating Fadak from her. They also report the hadīths of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, concerning Fātima, upon her be peace: ((Fātima is a part of me. Whoever angers her, angers me)) and ((Verily Allah hates what you hate and is pleased with what you are pleased with)). Such statements indicate that the anger of Allah is conjoined with the anger of Fātima, upon her be peace. That withstanding, if the anger of Fātima was against the first caliph for misappropriating her rights, this indicates that she was justified in her claim, the right belonged to her, and the claim of Abu Bakr was incorrect.

52 (Q. 87:6)

53 (Q. 73:5)

He replied: Fātima claimed that the Messenger of Allah bequeathed Fadak

To her during his lifetime. Umm Ayman and „Ali were witnesses to that.

116. He was asked about what is narrated concerning the animosity of „Ali and al-„Abbās towards Abu Bakr and then „Umar.

He replied: There is nothing in this. This is not authentic or acceptable here.

The Prophet left with „Ali his mule, horse, armour, turban, and spear.

117. He was asked: Was Abu Bakr and „Umar dispatched in the army of Usāma bin Zayd?

He replied: Verily, the both of them were sent

To fight in his army and they went.

118. He was asked: How did the divine inspiration come to the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny?

He replied: When he first saw Gabriel, he was afflicted by what he witnessed.

Regarding divine inspiration of the Qur‟ān, he recited to him this.

He took it, as Allah says: {We will recite to you, then you won‟t forget}52.

And He says: {Verily, we will bestow upon you a weighty word}53with it.

119. He was asked about the testimony of differing sects and the slaughtered meats of the Murji‟ites, Corporealists (al-mushabbiha), disobedient, and drinkers of alcohol.

He replied: The slaughtered meats of coreligionists one can eat.

Regarding the corporealists, one doesn‟t eat their meat.

It‟s preferable that one not eat the meat they slaughtered.

The testimony can be accepted from the righteous honoured.

It‟s permissible to accept the testimony of differing factions,

Except that of the al-Khattabites, a sect of Rafidite extraction.

They sever their testimonies. If what‟s said about them is true,

It‟s impermissible to accept their testimonies or eyewitness as proof.

120. He was asked: Where is Paradise and Hell located?

He replied: Paradise and Hell are created, but they are not in heaven or earth.

If they were not created, the Hereafter and this world would be no worth.

121. He was asked whether the narration on the authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny: ((There is a liar and one who orphans in Thaqīf)) was authentic. Is the statement authentic that is it a prophecy about al-Mukhtār?54

54 This hadīth is narrated on the authorities of Ibn „Umar and Asmā`u bint Abi Bakr in texts such as Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, and Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat with a slight variation. Instead of saying ((…one who orphans)) it says ((…one who destroys (mubīr))). After narrating this hadīth, Imam at-Tirmidhi said that the “liar” refers to al-Mukhtār bin Abi „Ubayd and the “one who destroys” refers to al-Hajjāj bin Yūsuf, the general who fought against Imam al-Hussein, upon him be peace, and „Abdullah bin az-Zubayr.

It is narrated in Al-Mu’jam that when al-Hajjāj killed Ibn az-Zubayr, he went to Asmā`u bint Abi Bakr who related to him the aforementioned hadīth. After relating it, she said: “Regarding the „liar,‟ we have seen him. Regarding the „one who destroys,‟ it is you.” Al-Hajāj then said: “The destroyer of the hypocrites!”

55 Al-Mukhtār bin Abi „Ubayd was the man who took it upon himself to pursue and kill those responsible for the massacre of Imam al-Hussein, upon him be peace, and his family on Karbala. As a result, he is lampooned by the historians of the Umayyad state and portrayed as a crazed killer and apostate. However, those amongst the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt portray him as a sincere avenger.

56 The beginning of the verse says: {And We have not revealed to anyone before you except men inspired. So, ask the People of Remembrance…}. The argument is that the {People of Remembrance} refers to those who previously received the Books of Revelation. They are told to affirm whether the Revelation could be sent to a man as opposed to an angel because the Qurayshi polytheists marveled at the idea that a man could receive revelation. They are therefore challenged to ask the recipients of Scripture before them to confirm whether their prophets were men or angels.

57 The wicked Muslims who die upon their disobedience and the disbelievers will remain in Hell forever. This doctrine of the permanence in Hellfire (khulūd fī an-nār) is substantiated in the Qur‟ān, Prophetic Sunnah, and statements of the imams of Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace.

Regarding the proofs from the verses of the Qur‟ān, Allah the Exalted says: {Verily, the righteous will be in blessedness and the wicked will be in the Hellfire. They will burn therein on the Day of Payment. And never will they be removed from it} (Q. 82:13-16); {Whoever deliberately kills a believer, his payment will be Hell; therein to abide forever } (Q. 4:93).

Regarding the proofs from the Sunnah, the following hadīths are related: ((He who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself on the Day of Resurrection and will abide the fire of Hell forever and ever)); ((Allah intends to send one to Paradise or the Fire to remain therein forever and they will not die therein…)); and ((The people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of the Fire will enter the Fire. Then a caller will stand before them and say: “O people of the Fire, there‟s no death! O people of Paradise! There‟s no death! Everyone remain where s/he is!”))

Regarding the proofs from the imams of the Prophet‟s Household, Imam Ali, upon him be peace, addressed his companions in Basra by saying: “It will be said to the people of the Fire: O people of the Fire! O people of the Fire! O people of chains! O people of boiling heat! Remain eternally and do not die!” Imam Zayd bin „Ali, upon him be peace, said regarding the permanence of the disobedient in the Hellfire: “Do you testify that Allah, the Mighty and Powerful, carries out His Threats or do you doubt that He will carry out His Threats?” When Imam Ahmed bin „Isa bin Zayd, upon him be peace, was asked whether the believers will exit the Hellfire, he replied: “How preposterous! It is in the Qur‟ān: {And never will they be removed from it} (Q. 82:16) and {Repentance will not be for those who commit evil deeds up until the time of death approaches them and they say: „I repent now!‟ nor [will it be for] the disbelievers} (Q. 4:18).”

He replied: It is not authentic that it refers to al-Mukhtār because

What he did was a praiseworthy thing and worthy cause.55

The Prophet‟s Family, may Allah bless him and them, prayed for him

When he sent them the head of „Ubaydullah bin Ziyād—men and women.

122. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {Ask the people of remembrance…} (Q. 16:43 & 21:7). Who are they?

He replied: This refers to the people of knowledge and religious rites.

This verse was revealed concerning the Books of the Israelites.56

123. He was asked regarding the meaning of the Tablet (al-Lawh) and Pen (al-Qalam).

He replied: The Preserved Tablet is Allah‟s Cognition

Regarding all that was and will be in existence.

It is not a literal Pen and Tablet that is intended.

124. He was asked if one who enters the Fire will be removed from there.

He replied: The one who enters therein will not exit.

The righteous believer will not enter it.

Allah mentions that those that enter will remain forever.

And He does not mention that anyone will exit from there.57

125. He was asked about the statement of Allah, the One without partners: {The Most Merciful is established upon (istawā ‘ala) the Throne} (Q. 20:5).

He replied: It means that He has rule and dominance.

The Arabs say this about a ruler of a province.

When one seizes dominion, one says “establishes upon.”

It is not as some assume; that Allah literally sits thereon.

For, Allah does not “sit” like anything created.

{He is established upon the heavens}58i.e. He made it.

58 (Q. 41:11)

59 (Q. 6:103)

60 (Q. 16:40)

He is exalted above it, and it obeys the orders He gave it.

126. He was asked about the statements of Allah, glorified be He: {His Throne was over the waters} (Q. 11:7) and {His Chair encompasses the heavens and earth} (Q. 2:255).

He replied: The {Throne} and the {Chair} refers to His Rule and Authority.

Similarly, every king sits on a throne and chair [which indicates notoriety].

It is not as some may assume who say that His Throne and Chair

Are like the thrones and chairs of His creation. His is not as theirs.

{His Throne was above the waters} in that Allah‟s rule was over the waters [seen];

For there was naught but water. Now, His Rule is over heavens, earth, and between.

{His Chair} refers to His Rule that encompasses the heavens and land

And His Power over them, that which encapsulates them, and over them expands.

127. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {It is not for Allah to speak to a man except by inspiration, behind a veil (hijāb)…} (Q. 26:51).

He replied: It is not as one may assume that Allah is covered by a veil or curtain.

It is as Allah states that the sight will not reach Him or vision [for certain].

He says: {Vision does not reach Him; rather, He reaches all vision}59

This is the greatest of veils. It applies to none but Allah, Exalted in position!

128. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {“O fire, be cool and serene for Abraham!”} (Q. 21:69). How is it that Allah spoke to fire?

He replied: It is as Allah says: {Whenever We will a matter, We say: “Be” and it becomes}60

Allah conveys that when He enjoins something to be, it must be and it‟s done.

Similarly, Allah‟s words: {“O fire, be cool and serene for Abraham!”}

Only means that it be a place for security and cool by His command.

As the Glorified says: {The only answer of his [i.e. Abraham] people was: “Kill him or burn him!” But Allah saved him from the fire} (Q. 29:24).

129. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {Voices will be lowered before the Most-Merciful and you will hear nothing but a faint sound (hamsā)} (Q. 20:108).

He replied: Its “lowering” refers to silence. The {faint sound} is the patting of feet.

There will not be voices heard nor will there be the sound of speech.

Awe, fear, and dread will enter their hearts. As Allah‟s verses make clear,

For those condemned, the Day of Judgment will be a prodigious affair.

130. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {…two gardens other than the both of them} (Q. 55:62).

He replied: These two last gardens are mentioned after the first pair.

These gardens and all others are in Paradise in stages bare.

131. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {Those who falsely accuse innocent women…} (Q. 24:4).

He replied: The term {falsely accuse} means “defame” because of what they attribute to them.

Sexual misconduct is what they are accused of although they don‟t commit this sin.

Allah conveys that the ones who accuse them of such do naught but lie.

They don‟t bring forward four witnesses so they are punished by 80 stripes.

Their reliability falls and their testimonies are not accepted.

The only exception is if they repent [then they are not neglected].

132. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {We test you with evil and good as a trial and unto Us you shall return} (Q. 21:35).

He replied: In this and other instances, the meaning of “good” and “evil” [is clear]:

“Good” is from Allah and not that from which the slaves‟ deeds appear.

“Good” includes some of the following: abundant rain, good times, fertility,

Ease, reduced sickness, offspring, provision, abundant fruits, and longevity.

“Evil” are other actions which include: fear, hunger, loss of wealth and life,

As well as the loss of fruits. Good news is for those patient [in times of strife].

{Give the good news to those who are patient during adversity‟s turn;

Those, when affliction befalls them, say: “We are Allah‟s and unto Him we return!”}61

61 (Q. 2:155-156)

133. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {Verily Allah only wills to remove from you impurity, O People of the House, and purify you thoroughly} (Q. 33:33).

He replied: The word {impurity} denotes the defilement and pollution of sin

As is in some people. Allah orders his Prophet, Allah bless him

And his progeny, to call his family to holiness and obedience

And to refrain from all of the impurities of sin and disobedience.

He {only wills to remove} every impurity and pollution

And distance from them every defilement and every sin.

[He wills] to purify them, as Allah, the Glorified says {thoroughly}.

He mentions them, as revealed in this verse, with honour and worthily.

134. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {Everything We register in a clear record (imām mubīn)} (Q. 36:12).

He replied: This means “in His knowledge.” It is not as some think,

That it refers to a record in a book [inscribed with ink],

Or the “Tablet” refers to a tablet composed of timber.

He only means that in His Knowledge all is entered.

This is because human beings preserve by writing in texts.

Allah strikes a parable for them with this in that respects.

He conveys to them that which is different in what they describe,

As well as differentiate Himself from His creation in all that‟s ascribed.

135. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {“Peace be upon you”} (Q. 6:54, 7:46, 13:24, 16:32, 28:55, & 39:75).

He replied: This is not a greeting nor is it a salutation.

It is an expression, exchange, and communication.

136. He was asked about: {The stars and trees prostrate} (Q. 55:6).

He replied: The interpretation is “they both abase themselves to Allah and consent;”

From the roots to the branches and the parting to the joining of both of them.

137. He was asked about the meaning of: “There‟s no strength and power except by Allah.”

He replied: “There‟s no strength” means “no coming to pass” or “no happenstance.”

The meaning of “…and power…” is “no force” [and “nothing that advances”].

The meaning of “…except by Allah” means “except by His Competence.”

This is to the One with Strength and in everything by means of His Omniscience.

Everything that exists does so by means of His Power and Predominance.

It is by Allah, the Glorified, that everything is. [Nothing compares in prominence].

138. He was asked if it was obligatory for a woman to recite the Qur‟ān aloud in the loud prayers.

He replied: A woman does not recite aloud in the loud prayers [a word]

Except to the extent that she can hear herself but not be heard.

Because they are to lower their voices from that whispered.

139. He was asked: How is it discouraged to pray and prostrate on felt (al-labūd) or coarse wool (al-musūh) but not discouraged to wear them?

He replied: That is discouraged because out of humility to Allah [the Blessed],

One prostrates upon the earth with their faces and forehead dejected.62

62 When Imam al-Hādi Yahya bin al-Hussein, upon him be peace, was asked about prostrating on felt or wool, he replied: “It is not preferable to me for one to pray or prostrate on any of those things.” When he was asked which things are preferable to prostrate upon, he replied: “Anything that comes from the earth, is ritually pure and clean, and not besmeared with dye or other than that, this is more preferable to me.”

63 It is related by „Allāma Muhammad bin al-Hassan al-„Ajri in ‘Ilām al-A’lām bi Adillat al-Ahkām:

Regarding what was related on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, it is that the Messenger of Allah, was clothed in his tomb inlaid with red amaranth from Alexandria. However, that was specific to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and not permissible for anyone else.

We relate on the authority of Muhammad bin „Ali al-Bāqir, upon him be peace, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited that an excess of dust be placed in the tombs let alone anything other than that.

64 This narration also appears in the Muwaŧŧa of Imam Mālik, Šahīh al-Bukhāri, Šahīh Muslim, and Musnad Ahmed to name a few. The term “moist liver” in the Arabic language refers to mercy.

Because prostration is only out of humility to Allah, glorified be He;

Lowliness is between the slave and Allah, Majestic and Mighty.

If one was to pray upon those things that you mentioned,

The prayers are not invalidated nor does one have to repeat them.

140. He was asked about spreading something on the tomb of the dead.

He replied: One does not enter the corpse into the grave except with a shroud.

I‟m sure that you have heard what we heard as a hadīth [written down]:

“Amaranth is what was used in the Prophet‟s grave.”

All is not authentic which was related [or saved].

One may place in it amaranth or other than that.

Then, it can be removed from it [if one desires this act].63

141. He was asked: Does a young woman cover herself from the one who she doesn‟t have lawful relations?

He replied: A woman acts upon this by Allah‟s will.

Allah stipulates this for her in His Book revealed.

142. He was asked if there were any differences amongst the copies of Qur‟ān.

He replied: I saw the copy of Qur‟ān written by „Ali, alayhi as salām,

As well as the handwritten copies of Miqdād and Salmān.

It is as it was revealed, and it‟s in the possession of al-Hassan‟s sons.

In the era of the imam, he will recite from [this copy as it has to us come].

If one compares it to the copies of the Qur‟ān that exist today,

One will not notice any additions or subtractions in it in any way.

The only exception is, for example: aqtalū and qātalū and the like.

Nor is there difference in where the chapters are placed, before or behind.

143. He was asked about free access to water that both believers and the disobedient drink from. Is one rewarded for that?

He replied: One will be rewarded for that, if Allah wills. It has been related

That the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, stated:

((There is a reward for everyone with a moist liver)).64

Allah provided water for all prior to Islam [by rain and rivers].

144. He was asked about the gall bladder of a wolf, wild animals, or birds with talons.

He replied: There‟s no problem if one makes medicine from it.

For in these things is a healing and remedial benefit.

However, regarding anything from a kite or swine,

They‟re prohibited, so there‟s no use of any kind.

145. He was asked about clothing bought at the market from unknown people. Does one wash them or not?

He replied: If they are already clean and one sees no uncleanness,

It is sufficient for one to consider them pure [with keenness].

146. He was asked if the food, drink, and marriage to the disbelievers and People of the Book are prohibited.

He replied: There is no sin if one takes from them food

And staples, as long as it is permissible [and good].

It is only a sin in cases of disobedience, excess, [and harm].

Regarding marriage, Allah does not permit it without Islam.65

65 The imams of Ahl al-Bayt, upon them be peace, are divided on the issue of whether marriage to and the meat of the Jews and Christians is permissible. Among those who permit them include: Imam Zayd bin „Ali, Imam Ahmed bin Isa bin Zayd, and Imam Muhammad bin Manšūr, upon all of them be peace. Among those who prohibit it include: Imam al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm ar-Rassi, Imam al-Hādi Yahya bin al-Hussein, Imam Muhammad bin „Ali al-Bāqir, Imam al-Mutawakkil „ala Allah Ahmed bin Sulaymān, and another narration from Imam Zayd bin „Ali, upon all of them be peace.

Those who permit it, prove their statement based upon a verse of the Qur‟ān which states: {This day all good foods have become lawful. The food of those given the Book before you is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. [Lawful to you] are the chaste women from amongst the believing women and chaste women from amongst those given the Book before you…} (Q. 5:5). They say that this verse permits marriage to the women of the People of the Book and their meats.

Those who prohibit it, prove their statement based upon verses of the Qur‟ān. The first verse {Do not marry the idolatresses until they believe} (Q. 2:221) makes belief a condition of marriage. Similarly, the verse {For the one who cannot find the means to marry the believing free women, then [marry] the believing bondswomen} (Q. 4:25) makes belief a condition of marriage for both freewomen and bondswomen, and it makes marriage to a believing bondswoman a legal alternative to marrying a believing freewoman.

The first group explains that the term {idolatresses} in the verse {Do not marry the idolatresses until they believe} refers to the Meccan polytheists to the exclusion of the Jews and Christians.

The second group explains that the term {food} in the verse {The food of those given the Book before you is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them} refers to that food which excludes meats. Also, the {chaste women from amongst those given the Book before you} refers to those former People of the Book who embraced Islam. And Allah knows best!

147. He was asked about the leather socks (al-akhfāf) that one bought from the market as well as praying in it while on does not know whether they were tanned or not. Similarly, he was asked about one who buys fat and oil in an alleyway or while not knowing its origin. Is it permissible to eat or utilize these things?

He replied: Regarding the leather socks, there‟s no tanning if one has fear regarding them.

This is the best opinion according to us and all of Allah‟s Messenger‟s Children.

One does not pray in, approach, or buy them. That which comes from honey, oil, grease

Or other than that from shortening or food, there is no problem buying it in the least,

As long as it is not altered or there are no traces or impurities.

148. He was asked about a man who had a son that differed from him in thought and religion. Is it permissible for him to refrain from bequeathing to him an inheritance?

He replied: If he differs from [his father] in the issue of Tawhīd,

And he ascribes to the Creator a likeness [and partner] indeed;

One is prohibited from [bequeathing them inheritance].

To Allah, this is the most just and superior in preference.

149. He was asked about the fifth (khums) from the people‟s money. If there are conquests and it doesn‟t remain in the hands of the Muslims, does one not extract the fifth for the Progeny of Allah‟s Messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny?

He replied: It‟s not obligatory upon one concerning his wealth from springs,

Land, or property unless Allah makes alms obligatory upon these things.

One does not act upon this unless there is present a just imam

Or his representative to collect from one these obligatory alms.

Regarding the fifth [that is, upon the Muslims, a demand],

It is paid to the Messenger‟s Progeny, Allah bless him and his fam.

150. He was asked: When Allah caused Adam, upon him be peace, to dwell in Paradise, was this Paradise created or not?

He replied: Outside of heaven and earth was Paradise created.

Allah caused Adam to dwell therein. Also, his mate did.

He extracted them from there based upon what he and she

Did out of disobedience and from their eating from the tree.

151. He was asked if the sacrifice was offered with Isaac or Ishmael.

He replied: It is correct that it was Ishmael based upon the Book of Allah

And what He revealed. The sacrifice and slaughter was in Mina.

This is a proof that it was Ishmael because [as is recognized],

Ishmael was in Mina while Isaac was in Greater Syria at that time.

Isaac was not the sacrificial lamb as the Jews claim.

This statement of theirs is unacceptable all the same.66

152. He was asked about sacrificing an animal for a solitary Hajj (al-mufrad).

He replied: It‟s preferable to me that one sacrifices except in the situation

That one is poor. However, doing such act is not an obligation.

153. He was asked about turning the face towards the Holy House in Jerusalem.

He replied: The prayer of Allah‟s Messenger, for ten months past,

Used to be towards the Holy House in Jerusalem last.

This is because it was, for the Children of Israel, a qibla named.

However, Allah changed it to the Holy Mosque, and now it remains.

66 Imam at-Tabari related in his exegesis more than 15 reports on the authorities of the early exegetes that Isaac was the sacrifice and more than 20 reports that Ishmael was the sacrifice. Ibn Kathīr said in his exegesis:

A group of scholars hold that Isaac was the sacrifice. This is related from a group of salaf including some Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. However, it is not in the Book or Sunnah; rather, I think that it was reported in the narrations of the People of the Book and the Muslims accepted it without proof.

The Book of Allah testifies and leads to the view that it was Ishmael because of the good news that he will be a forbearing boy and then it mentioned the sacrifice.

154. He was asked about the imam.

He replied: The imam is not the one who says: “I am the imam!”

It is only for the Messenger of Allah to say, upon him be salām.

It is for this reason that „Ali never said: “The imam am I.”

Rather, the Prophet indicated him with many proofs [clear to the eye].

Similarly, the imam after him was made evident by various signs.

This includes: knowledge, exposition, precedence, and calling to Allah in kind.

155. He was asked whether it was permissible to eat a whale called at-tayr or what resembles it from other whales.

He replied: There‟s no problem with that for it is permissible.

It is amongst the catch of the sea that Allah made allowable.

156. He was asked about a person who allowed the time of a prayer to elapse until the time of another prayer entered. Which prayer should he begin with?

He replied: He begins with the prayer that entered, with Allah‟s will.

Afterwards, one prays what had passed before [from its time until].

157. He was asked about the Quraysh and the Persians.

He replied: The Messenger of Allah, may him and his progeny be blest,

Said: ((There are two types of people that Allah chose over the rest:

From the non-Arabs, He chose the Persians. From the Arabs, the Quraysh)).67

67 This report is narrated in books like Kanz al-‘Ummāl.

68 This report also appears in Kanz al-Ummāl, Mušannaf of Abdur-Razzāq, and Ma’rifat as-Sahāba by al-„Isfahāni.

The Prophet also said, may blessings be upon him and his progeny [with grace]:

((By He in whose Hand is my soul, if the religion was enveloped in flame,

The Persians will take hold of it. The happiest are those who are Persian [in name])).68

158. He was asked about marrying non-Arab women.

He replied: It‟s related that the Prophet said to the Banu Hāshim collective:

((Propose to the non-Arab women, for in their wombs are blessings)).

159. He was asked about one who made the Pilgrimage while he was disobedient to Allah.

He replied: His Pilgrimage is insufficient and not acceptable in that respects.

From Allah‟s Words: {Only from the God-conscious does Allah accept} (Q. 5:27).

To say that the disobedient is God-conscious would be incorrect.

160. He was asked about the oath of allegiance.

He replied: It‟s impermissible to give the oath of allegiance to any except

An imam in whom is manifested knowledge, proof, and virtuous respect.

It‟s also impermissible to go on a military expedition

With one who is unjust and aggressive [in his mission].

This is because the one on a military expedition assists

Whomever he is with in acts of aggression and disobedience.

161. He was asked about Islam.

He replied: Islam is to bear witness that there‟s no deity but Allah, the One;

That Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah [who has to us come];

That the authorization from Allah has come [as law to rely upon];

Including the establishing of prayer, giving of alms, fast of Ramadan,

And Pilgrimage to the House if one is able to find a way there;

And the Guardianship of „Ali bin Abi Ťālib [as the Prophet‟s heir];

Dissociation from his enemies; and acting upon the lawful and illicit

From the Qur‟ān, as what is Islam and belief [implicit and explicit].

Whoever doesn‟t believe that after the Prophet, the imamate was „Ali‟s;

Allah won‟t accept his/her prayer, fast, alms, pilgrimage, or any other deeds.

Then after him was al-Hassan and al-Hussein. If one does not deem

That the imam after the Prophet was „Ali just as he as he believes

In the Prophet, Qur‟ān, prayer, fast, pilgrimage, and alms, and the like;

His deeds will be of no benefit to him as if he was a girl, non-Arab, tyke,

Or an ignoramus who can‟t recite Qur‟ān or can‟t learn a thing.

For the whole of Islam should be sufficient for them [as being].

162. He was asked: Can a woman drink some type of medication to prevent conception? Can a man make his bondswoman drink it to prevent conception? Can a man drink something to curb his desire?

He replied: None of this is permitted.

163. He was asked about one who subscribed to the doctrine of Divine Oneness and Divine Justice but his wife did not.

He replied: One should make strenuous effort to call his wife to the Unity

Of Allah and recognition of His Divine Justice [which is free of impurity].

Deviance is not the same as ignorance because it is rejection

And stubbornness; whereas, ignorance is error and misdirection.

The one in error may turn from his error, accept direction

From one who is guided, and be amongst those of correction.

However, the deviant is the one who doesn‟t accept from the one who guides

To the Truth and Oneness of Allah. This is not like the ignorant that subsides

From his ignorance and turns to guidance after being astray aside.

164. He was asked if the name “belief” can be removed from one who commits major sins.

He replied: The one who commits acts of major sin,

The name “belief” cannot be applied to him.69

69 The proof that a disobedient Muslim cannot be designated as a believer is proven by the Book of Allah, the Prophetic Sunnah, and the statement of the imams of Ahl al-Bayt.

Regarding the Qur‟ān, Allah says: {The believers are only those who when Allah is mentioned, their hearts tremble, and when the verses are recited to them, their faith is increased. They rely upon their Lord. They establish the prayer and give from what is provided to them. These are the true believers. For them are degrees of closeness to Allah, forgiveness, and a great reward} (Q. 8:2-4); {Is the one who believes like the one who is disobedient? They are not the same} (Q. 32:18); and {Verily, the disobedient are hypocrites} (Q. 9:67)

Regarding the Sunnah, it is related in the two Šahīhs on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The fornicator is not a believer while he is fornicating. The one who drinks alcohol is not a believer while he drinks. A thief is not a believer while he steals…)). Ibn Mājah and at-Tabarāni related on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Belief is a gnosis with the heart, a statement with the tongue, and an action by the pillars)). Imam Mālik reported in his Muwaŧŧa on the authority of Safwān bin Salīm that when the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was asked if a believer would ever be a habitual liar, he replied: ((No)).

Regarding the statements of Ahl al-Bayt, it is reported that someone came to Imam Ali bin Abi Ťālib, may Allah ennoble his face said: “Whoever does not pray is an ingrate (kāfir).” Imam al-Hādi ila al-Haqq Yahya bin Hussein, upon him be peace said:

We should not ascribe to them the term “belief” while they are persistent in the major sins. Even if there is no mutual agreement concerning that, their disagreement is not a proof against the proofs of the Lord of the Worlds.

In his Kitāb al-‘Iđāh fī Sharh al-Misbāh, Qāđi Ahmed bin Yahya al-Hābis related that the belief that the major sinners are ingrates (kuffār ni’ma) and not believers is that of Imams Jaf‟ar as-Sādiq, al-Qāsim ar-Rassi, Yahya al-Hādi, Ahmed bin Sulaymān, and the collective consensus of the early Prophetic Descendants, upon them be peace.

165. He was asked about one who made the Pilgrimage of Islam while being ignorant of Divine Oneness and gnosis of Allah. However, he believes in the duty of the Pilgrimage upon himself. Does Allah obligate it upon him?

He replied: With Allah‟s will, it suffices for him if he was to do so.

But renewing it after coming into knowledge is safer though.

166. He was asked if a believing woman and believing man can contract an engagement without a guardian.

He replied: The one that can betroth her is the closest to her in her clan.

If one cannot be found then her guardian can be any believing man.

Witnesses must be present for the marriage and divorce,

Out of fear that one may be unjust and denial, [of course].

167. He was asked about an elderly man who seeks someone to make the Pilgrimage for him if he can‟t do so due to weakness.

He replied: There‟s no problem with that if he seeks one to make the Hajj

For him if he can‟t do so due to weakness of one‟s journey abroad.

168. He was asked if it was permissible for a freed slave to marry an Arab woman.

He replied: It‟s not known from among the scholars of the Prophet‟s Progeny

Any divergent view as long as their guardians are pleased and people of integrity.

169. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {Verily Allah and His angels send their blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe, send blessings upon him and grant him much salutations } (Q. 33:56).

He replied: The {blessings} of Allah refer to His “prayers” and “praise.”

The {blessings} of the believers and angels is similar in this case.

This supplication is a praise as Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:

{Take from their money charity in order to purify and clean them. Pray for them for verily your prayers are a source of Allah‟s tranquillity upon them—the All-Listening, the Omniscient} (Q. 9:103).

His prayers for them are his supplications for them and praise.

170. He was asked: What is the Bridge (as-sirāŧ) that is mentioned as being what people will transverse on the Day of Judgment?

He replied: The meaning of “the Bridge” is “the path” or “the way.”

The literal meaning is “that in which is no deviance or astray.”

171. He was asked about the Ðuha prayer.70

70 This voluntary prayer consists from two to eight units. It is prayed from the end of sunrise until the time that the sun reaches its zenith.

71 Imam al-Bukhāri narrated in his Šahīh on the authority of the Mother of the Believers, A‟isha: “I did not see the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, pray Ðuha and I don‟t pray it.” Imam Muslim narrated the same report in his Šahīh but has the addition: “I did not see the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, pray Ðuha ever.” Ibn Hajar related in his Majmu’ az-Zawā`id on the authority of the Mother of the Believers, A‟isha: “I did not see the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, pray Ðuha except during the Conquest of Mecca.” Afterwards, he commented that al-Bazzār narrated it and all of his narrators are reliable. Similarly, he reported on the authority of Abu Hurayra: “I did not see the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, pray Ðuha except once.” He related that Imam Ahmed and al-Bazzār narrated it with authentic chains.

In his Al-Muntakhab, when Imam al-Hādi, upon him be peace, was asked about the Ðuha prayer, he said:

It is narrated in reports that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prayed it in two units during the Conquest of Mecca and he didn‟t repeat it after that. According to us, the intended meaning of the prayer during the Conquest of Mecca was the prayer of thankfulness to Allah. The Ðuha prayer is not what was intended. What is the most authentic on his authority, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, is that he never ever prayed it.

He replied: One can pray this if one desires. It‟s related that Messenger of Allah,

One day during the Conquest of Mecca, prayed the prayer of Ðuha.

Also, it is related that Muhammad bin „Ali [al-Bāqir] used to declare:

“The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him, never prayed the Ðuha prayer.”71

It is narrated that „Ali bin Abi Ťālib said: “O sons of my father, I don‟t prohibit you from praying to Allah but I dislike for you to differ from the Messenger of Allah.”

172. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {By the Dawn, the ten nights, the even and odd, and the night when it passes. Is there in that an oath for one with insight?} (Q. 89:1-5).

He replied: {By the Dawn} refers to the dawn of night from morn

And the differentiating the light and clarity of the day born.

The {ten nights} that Allah mentions refer to the last ten nights

Of the month of Hajj which is up until the Day of Sacrifice.

The {even and odd} are numbers for every singular and pair.

For every holder of wisdom and intellect, it‟s the most amazing fare.

The {night when it passes} refers to the eve in its course

Until the dawn. The {oath} is a swear and vow of sorts.

The {one with insight} refers to one Allah gave mental capacity.

The meaning of {insight} is intelligence, reason, wit, and sagacity.

173. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {Do not call each other offensive nicknames. Evil is the name of disobedience after belief} (Q. 49:11).

He replied: An “offensive nickname” refers to the names some would call others.

They refer to those names that differ from that given by fathers [and mothers].

Allah prohibits them from calling others by these nicknames.

He makes this an obligation in His Book by what He exclaims.

174. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {Regarding the blessings of your Lord, convey} (Q. 93:11).

He replied: This is a command of Allah to His Prophet, peace be upon him

As well as his progeny, by His grace upon him and excellence within.

Because Allah rewards the gratitude of those who are grateful.

And He is pleased with their gratitude and thankfulness of the faithful.

The intended meaning of {convey} is for the believers to express

Thankfulness and gratitude so that they may be included as the blessed.

175. He was asked about the statement of Allah, glorified be He: {Do not declare yourselves pure} (Q. 53:32).

He replied: Allah prohibits His slaves from declaring purity for themselves

Because He is the most knowing of what they harbour in their selves.

Allah, the Exalted does not make errors in His Knowledge or mistakes,

Nor does He misplace His Wrath in other than that in which He states.

They make mistakes and errors in what they do, but they assume

That their actions are pleasing to Allah. They err in what they presume.

They make statements they imagine that Allah is pleased with.

However, He is displeased. Do they not see what Allah admits?!

{He is more knowing than you}. Allah knows them more

Than they know themselves. And their secrets, He is the Knower.

176. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {He encompasses all things by Knowledge} (Q. 65:12). What is this encompassing?

He replied: The encompassing of something is the knowledge of its reality.

His statement: {He encompasses all}72 means “He knows the totality”

72 (Q. 41:54)

73 (Q. 2:255)

As well as “He has power and authority over all things that exist.”

Similarly, He says: {They don‟t encompass His Knowledge a bit}73

177. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {…noble and recording. They know what you do} (Q. 82:11-12).

He replied: There‟s no one amongst human beings that do not have a pair

Of angels with him/her recording their deeds and words they declare.

One of them is on the right and the other one is on the left there.

It is as Allah says: {…seated on the right and left. One does not recite a word except that it is recorded} (Q. 50:17-18).

178. He was asked about the statement of Allah: {…and do not expose their ornaments except what appears thereof…do not expose their ornaments to none but their husbands, fathers…} (Q. 26:31).

He replied: The meaning of {their ornaments} is “their beautiful parts”;

That which their clothes mask among their rears, legs, and hearts.

The meaning of {what appears thereof} is their faces and hands.

There is no problem for them to bare both. If they want, they can.

179. He was asked: How does one send the greetings when one passes through a general graveyard and how does one supplicate for them?

He replied: One greets the believing men and believing women

As well as the righteous slaves of Allah amongst them. A simple greeting to them is sufficient when within.

180. He was asked: How does one give charity to general beggars, as well as those of differing beliefs amongst them—whether they know them or not?

He replied: There‟s no problem giving charity to any beggar that asks.

The statement of the Prophet should be sufficient in fact:

((Give to a beggar who asks even if he be a Persian)).

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Al Houthi’s answers to 12 Imamer (English): zaydi vs 12er

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Sublime Answers to the Iraqi‟s Questions
By
Sayyid „Allāma Yahya bin al-Hussein al-Houthi
Translation of Al-Jawāb ar-Rāqi `ala al-Masā’il al-Irāqi
CONTENTS:

p.1: Introduction

p.2: Imamate

p.3: Infallibility of Imams

p. 14: Mut’a (temporary marriage)

p. 17 Concerning sexual intercourse

p. 18: Concerning washing the feet in wudhu

p. 18 Who is infallible?

p.19: When was the 12er school created?

p. 19: Khums (5th of one’s wealth)

p.20: Women visiting graves

p.20: Who are the ahlul bait?

p.21: Visiting and kissing graves

p.24 Intercession

p.24: Regarding the love of Ali

p.25: Regarding the true believer

p.25: Regarding exiting the Hellfire

p. 25: More about intercession

p.28: The Hadith of the 2 Weighty things

p.30: The Hadith of the Ark

p.32: The Verse of Affection

p.33: The Hadith of the Cloak

p.35: The Hadith of the Pond

p. 39: The Position of Ali

p. 40: The Hadith of Loving Ali

p. 42: The “sunna” of Mu’awiyah

p.44: Re 12 Imamers calling others disbelievers

Introduction
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful…
All praise is due to Allah, the One, the Singular, the Unique, and the Absolute! He is the One who does not take a companion or son. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the One without partner; the only One qualified (al-Mukhŧass) with the attributes of perfection; the One in which all attributes of deficiency, likeness, and similitude are removed from!
I bear witness that our master (sayyid) Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger sent as the mercy of the worlds and a proof against the deniers! May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his Pure Progeny! As to what follows…
There were a series of questions sent to me from an Iraqi brother, may Allah bless him and guide him towards what He loves and is pleased with. I desired to answer them with much contemplation and preoccupation desirous to advise and guide towards the righteous. It is that which Allah obligates upon the scholars to deliver and make clear.
It is upon Allah that we rely and seek help, clarity, correction, and acceptance. We hope that one is able to mull over, consider, and contemplate what we say.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful…
Know, may Allah guide us and it is only You that we believe in, that Allah sent Prophets, may Allah bless them, to the community and past communities as those who give warning and good news. [These] conveyors of good news obeyed Allah with the view of an eternal, everlasting happiness, which is entrance to the Blessed Paradise. Allah made us, you, our parents, and brothers all believers. It is sufficient in describing what Allah, the Exalted, described in His Book saying: {…and there will be found all that the souls might desire, and [all that] thee eyes might delight in. And therein you shall abide forever} (Q. 43:71) and {…and in that [life to come] you shall have all that your souls may desire, and in it you shall have all that you ever prayed for} (Q. 41:31).
Similar is related in the Qur‟ān and what is described by His Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, from his statement:
((The bricks of Paradise are of gold and silver. Its rocks are of rubies, emeralds, and pearls. Its soil is of musk and saffron. Its rivers are ongoing and its fruits hang [in abundance]. Its birds are compliant. There‟s no sun or freezing cold, and for every man
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there will be 1000 beautiful spouses from its people. They will be with their beautiful wives for 1000 years, and not fatigue or tire. The lower station of the people of Paradise is given to those who will have lunch on it and will start with 10,000 leaves for every leaf . The colours, taste, and smell of the food won‟t be like the other. When a bird passes a man from the people of Paradise and he desires to eat it, the bird will drop in front of him either cooked or barbecued depending upon what comes to his mind. When a man of Paradise walks between several of its trees and he desires to eat a fruit, the fruit that he desires to eat will fall in front of him. If a heavenly spouse (h’awra) was presented to people of earth, it will cover the light of the sun and the people of earth will go into disarray (fitna))).
Then, this good news is from obeying Allah and they obey…O Allah, make us among its people! The warning is a warning for anyone who does not answer their call and disobeys Allah will enter the flames of Hell. We seek refuge in Allah from that. It is enough of a description of what Allah described in his statement: {Every time their skins are roasted, We will replace them with other skins so that they will taste the punishment} (Q. 4:56), {They will not live within nor will they die} (Q. 87:13), {…they will drink scalding water that will cut their intestines} (Q. 47:15), {…and they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which burns their faces} (Q. 18:29).
Then, let the seeker know that knowledge is the destination of the seeker. Scientific research is the way to escape from the painful punishment and arriving to the Gardens of Delight. They are not to be tempted by fathers and ancestors that are not guided by Allah and thoughtful insight. But if they are guided by Allah, it is as Joseph, upon him be peace, said: {And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob} (Q. 12:38). The Exalted also says: {Those who believe and their descendants that followed them in faith; we will join with them their descendants} (Q. 52:21).
This is the time to embark on the meaning. It is from Allah that we derive benefit, guidance, and reward. We solely rely on Him and He is the best Guardian1.
The First Issue: What is the difference between the Zaydi school and the 12ers?
I. Imamate
There are many differences between us and them. More importantly, after reviewing and recalling the various proofs between them, we will demonstrate the predominance of the Zaydi school.
The Imamites say that the Imamate is restricted to nine descendants of al-Hussein after him; the first of which being „Ali bin al-Hussein2 and the last of them being Muhammad bin al-Hassan al-Askari3, who is regarded by them as the awaited Imam Mahdi.
The Zaydis say that the Imamate is restricted to a son of two grandsons [i.e. al-Hassan and al-Hussein] and not restricted to a particular womb. The Zaydis rely upon the Hadīth of the Two Weighty
1 See Q. 3:173
2 He is Imam Zayn al-Abidīn „Ali bin al-Hussein (d. 94 AH), the 4th of the divinely ordained imams according to the 12er Shiites.
3 He is Muhammad bin al-Hassan (b. 868 AD). He is regarded by the 12ers as the 12th and final imam who will remain hidden until the End times.
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Things (al-Hadīth ath-Thaqalayn) and the Hadīth of the Ark (al-Hadīth as-Safīna). The 12ers also recognize the authenticity of these hadīths. These hadīths are narrated by Shiites and Sunnites. We use these two hadīths as our proofs which are recognized by all of the communities, similar to the statement of the Exalted: {Verily Allah wills to remove from you sin, O People of the House, and purify you thoroughly} (33:33) and {Say: I ask you for no reward but only affection toward the kin} (42:23). This applies to all of the People of the House (Ahlul Bayt) and not restricted to the nine descendants of al-Hussein.
The Imamites do not deny that all of the People of the House at a time may be an imam from among their imams; however, they do not say that that imam is included in the Imamate. [According to them] he does not have to establish [his Imamate] or call [people to him]. Even though he established [his Imamate] or called [people to them] with perfect conditions, they say that Imam ar-Riža4 is included in the Imamate. Then, he is an imam to us because he established [his Imamate] and called [people to him].
We do not claim that their imams called the Imamate to themselves. We don‟t believe in that and censure them for that. Allah commands us to obey the People of the House and not obey a sect of the Shiites like the command of Allah and the command of His Messenger. The command did not comply with command of their emulation. Whoever calls [to himself] without apparent evidence, then his call is invalid. One does not differentiate right from wrong unless there is evidence. Whether this application pertains to the nine or the other People of the House, there is disagreement.
However, there is no dispute when it comes to them standing against injustice by means of jihad and in defence of oneself and one‟s precious things, while objecting the jihad done by the oppressive Umayyads and „Abbāsids. They pursued and killed under every stone and clay, brutally suppressed opposition and displaced the truthful prospects like the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((My offspring will be killed and turned from their homes by my community…)).
They call to Allah: {O our people! Respond to the Caller of Allah and believe in him} to {whomever doesn‟t respond to the Caller of Allah will not cause failure upon the earth} (Q. 46:31-32). Concerning that, the 12er school is contrary to justice and wisdom. This causes the community after al-Hassan al-Askari to neglect commanding the good and forbidding the evil, to not establish the punishments, and to expel the opponents of our time. This is more than 1000 years without them commanding the good and forbidding the evil by struggling till our times (1400 A.H).
This is similar to the words of the Allah, the Powerful and Majestic: {And let there be among you a nation commanding the good and forbidding the evil…} (Q. 3:104), {Those of the children of Israel who were bent on denying the truth have [already] been cursed by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary; this, because they rebelled [against Allah] and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right. They would not prevent one another from doing whatever hateful things they did: evil indeed was what they were wont to do!} (Q. 5:78-79), {You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you command the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong} (Q. 3:110), {Such of the believers as remain passive other than the disabled – cannot be considered equal to those who strive hard in Allah‟s cause} (Q. 4:95) How much is in the sunnah regarding the urging of that
4 He is Imam ar-Riža „Ali bin Musa (d. 818 AD). According to the 12ers, he is the 8th of the 12 divinely ordained imams.
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and threatening the ones who avoid it!
The reason for the disagreement concerning the Great Imam, Zayd bin „Ali bin al-Hussein bin „Ali bin Abi Tālib5, Allah‟s peace be on them, related to when he came forth and called people to pledge their allegiance and become his Shiites. There were many other people who stopped him and told him: “You are not an Imam!”
He replied: “Well, then who is he [i.e. the Imam]?”
They said: “Your nephew, Ja‟far6.”
He said: “Verily, Ja‟far said: „He [i.e. Zayd] is the only true Imam. Why don‟t you write to him to ask him?”
They said: “The road is severed and we cannot find a messenger except for 40 dinars!”
He said: “Here‟s 40 dinars.”
So, they wrote and sent it to him…Then the next day came.
They said: “Verily he has engaged in dissimulation with you!”
He said: “Woe be unto you! How can an imam engage in dissimilation, hide the truth, or be in fear when there is no problem?! You now vow that you will fight with me? I urge that you give the oath of allegiance to me like the oaths of allegiance to „Ali, al-Hassan, and al-Hussein, upon them be peace. I urge you to give the oath of allegiance to me with your weapons or, at least, your tongues!”
They said: “We will do nothing!”
He said: “Allah is the Greatest! I swear by Allah, you all are the Rafidites7 mentioned by the Messenger of Allah in his statement:
((After me there will be a people who will reject (yurfađun) the jihad with the good of the People of my House and they will say that there is no commanding the good or forbidding the evil! They will mimic in the religion and follow their whims…)).”
Al-Hādi8, upon him be peace, narrated this. Also, in some of the narrations, they had reneged after the oath of allegiance from fear of the Umayyad authority, and they claim these explanations to justify their position. There was no disagreement between Ja‟far and Zayd, peace be upon them both. We don‟t dispute.
The books of the Zaydis include overwhelming narrations on the authorities of „Ali ar-Riža, Musa al-Kādhim, Ja‟far as-Šadiq, Muhammad al-Bāqir, Zayn al-„Abidīn, [this also includes] the sons of the two Hassans [i.e. al-Hassan and al-Hussein] and their ancestors. The Zaydis believe in all of them. We follow them all and make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered. If it is a dispute between us and them, we do not make them take from our predecessors and what fills our books with their narrations which are well-known. The community narrated it, and history highlights it.
They narrated on the authority of Ja‟far that he claimed that he was Imam. However, we deny this. We actually narrated the opposite view on his authority. This is narrated by the great Imam of Yemen, al-Hādi ila al-Haqq, Yahya bin Hussein bin Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm bin Isma‟il bin Ibrāhīm bin al-Hassan bin
5 He is Imam ash-Shahīd Zayd bin „Ali (d. 740 AD). He was killed during a revolt he led against the Umayyads.
6 He is Imam as-Sādiq Ja‟far bin Muhammad (d. 765 AD). He is considered the 6th of the 12 divinely ordained imams.
7 The Arabic term for “Rafidites” translates into “Rejectors”; however, since the followers of the 12er school are commonly known as “Rafidites”, we have maintained the term.
8 He is Imam al-Hādi ila al-Haqq Yahya bin al-Hussein (d. 911 AD). He is a Zaydi imam that is one of the central figures in Zaydi theology, law, and thought.
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al-Hassan bin „Ali bin Abi Tālib. May the peace of Allah be upon them all. He narrated that Ja‟far said to Yahya bin Zayd that his father [Zayd bin „Ali] conveyed the greeting of peace to him and he responded: “Verily, if I claimed that I was an imam over you, I will be an idolater (mushrik)!”
He desired to fight (yakhrūj) along with Zayd, but Zayd prevented him. He [i.e. Zayd] said: “Stay with the deprived.” He [i.e. Ja‟far] said concerning the killing of his uncle [i.e. Zayd]: “I swear by Allah, Zayd went out [and fought] similar to the going out of „Ali bin Abi Tālib, al-Hassan, al-Hussein, and their martyred companions to Paradise. Their followers swayed, doubted them, went astray, and disbelieved in them.”
It is narrated in al-Hada’iq al-Wirdiyya that he was sent during the struggle between Muhammad bin „Abdullah an-Nafs az-Zakiyya9 during the first fatality from the „Abbasid forces. This involved the fighting of Musa and „Abdullah [i.e. the two sons of Imam Ja‟far]. May Allah‟s mercy be upon both of them. The two of them were present with him in all of his jihads and gave him their oaths of allegiance seeking closeness to Allah by means of that. He asked Abu „Abdullah Ja‟far bin Muhammad, upon him be peace, about his way and weakness in the reference to what he sent, and afterwards, he went with him.
We can narrated the virtues and praises of Imam Zayd on the authorities of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, „Ali bin Abi Tālib, al-Hussein, Zayn al-Abidīn, al-Bāqir10, as-Šadiq, and the sons of al-Hassan. May the prayers of Allah be upon them. We don‟t mention it for the sake of brevity.
The 12ers relate an account: “There will be 12 caliphs after me.” This is also related in the books of the Ahlul Sunnah. This can be answered from the following points:
First Point: We do not recognize the authenticity of these narrations, and this was never reported by our ancestors11. We do not counter the Imamites and Ahlul Sunnah except when their narrations do not conform to authenticity, the Qur‟ān, and intellect. We narrated on the authority of our ancestors that the one who narrated the affair concerning the 12 was Abu ad-Dawāniq12. Allah is sufficient! Then, the one who relies on this is commanded with authorship of this view (madhhab) and paid for the story-tellers to narrated this—as narrated by the great Imam „Abdullah bin Hamza13, upon him be peace.
Politics caused this tale to circulate a lot and it underwent distortion and changes. The evil scholars also dispersed these tales among the Shiites. They also tried to apply this doctrine of ease so the people were called to apathy, inactivity, trust, and contentment. So when the members of the People of the House called them to jihad, they [the people] avoided and discounted it because they preferred this contentment, security, and ease to death, fear, and disassociation. {But the one who feared the position of his Lord and prevented his soul from the base desires, Paradise will be his refuge} (Q. 79:40-41).
Second Point: These narrations are singularly narrated and obscure (ahādiya maghmūra) and a principle of the principles of the religion (usūl ad-dīn) cannot be established on it. If it was authentic, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, would have manifested it. Its
9 He is Imam an-Nafs az-Zakiyya Muhammad bin Abdullah (d. 762). He is a Zaydi imam that led a failed rebellion against the „Abbāsids.
10 He is Imam al-Bāqir Muhammad bin „Ali (d. 743 AD); the 5th of the 12 divinely ordained imams of the 12ers.
11 The doctrine of 12 imams is also rejected by the Ismai‟lis and the Ibađis.
12 This is a common nickname given to „Abbāsid caliph, Abu Ja‟far al-Mansūr by his enemies, specifically the Shiites.
13 He is Imam al-Mansur Billah „Abdullah bin Hamza (d. 614 AH). He is a prolific Zaydi imam who ruled Yemen.
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publication would have been similar to the publication of the declaration of „Ali‟s authority, upon him be peace; which was among all of the people, like the Hadīth of the Pond (al-Ghadīr). It [i.e. „Ali‟s authority] was proclaimed at the Farewell Pilgrimage (al-Hajj al-Wada’) on the Day of Arafat. There is a difference in the Imamite School.
They have different proofs among themselves that have different followers. There exist various disagreements. If they differ among themselves and disbelieve in the successors of others, how can we establish that following one is obligatory for all and we must abandon the others? They do not make their command (‘amr) apparent [to all] or make their declaration complete insomuch that one cannot deny them. This is something that is too far in obscurity because it implies that the proof (hujjat) of Allah is not clearly conveyed and a mystery until the time of Adam, upon him be peace.
Relating to our time, [the Qur‟ān says]: {…so that men will not have an argument (hujjat) against Allah…} (Q. 4:165) How can we not know these narrations about the sons of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, when they are referred to in the message: {…and warn the nearest of kin} (Q. 26:214)?
Third Point: This is invalidated by the fact that there was no twelve, per se. The entire community (ummah), including the 12ers, denies its existence. The 12ers have been unable to demonstrate the existence of the last one and consequently, claim that he disappeared and is in occultation. The one who claims the statement of occultation ascribes a variety of distortions to Allah:
I.) First Type: Tampering and play; because if Allah made an infallible imam for us, we must follow the proof of the successor of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, in everything that he comes with concerning establishing the punishments (al-hudūd), collections, and judiciary; as well as, securing the roads and implementing the jihad, teaching people the dictates of their religion, and then hide and obscure him afterwards from their era to our era—that is, from the year 260 A.H. to 1415 A.H. until whenever…this would be a demonstration of tampering, and therefore, is not practical.
Ī.) Second Type: Mandating the unbearable (al-qabīh14); because if Allah mandates us with obedience and adherence to it, as well as selection by guidance, but did not make a way for us to clearly know what is mandated, then this is unbearable.
ĪI.) Third Type: The survival of the community (ummah) until this time without an apparent imam is neglect and corruption.
Regarding Allah, this type is the most unbearable because it denotes the statement of occultation. According to our school and their school, Allah cannot commit an unbearable thing. How can it be demonstrated that one is charged to know where this hidden, disappeared imam is? What does this suggest? It is similar to what is said by al-Kulayni: “It is like a king ruling without being seen!”
However, there is always a need for a Prophet. Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, said: {…the seal of the prophets} (Q. 33:40). The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, ((„Ali is to me like Aaron was to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me)).15 The necessity for the seal of the
14 In the language of the theologians, a qabīh refers to something that cannot exist because its existence contradicts an attribute of Allah.
15 Referred to as “Hadith al-Manzila”.
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Prophets is learned from the religion. Does it suggest that there is no way to know the Shari`ah? How can we know it while it was not known? We are charged to demonstrate.
What would be the benefit and wisdom of a hidden imam that has disappeared for more than 1000 years? Is it that he feared that Allah will not protect him from his enemies, and he will not be guarded similar to the way He protected Moses from the designs of the Pharaoh or Abraham from the fire of Nimrod? Or is it that one will take advantage of him? This does not complement the proof of Allah over existence. Or is this negligence on the part of the Shari`ah, the disruption of laws, avoiding the commanding of the good and the forbidding of the evil, jihad, the establishing of the punishments?
An imam can‟t be established if he is absent. What would be the benefit and wisdom in his creation and his preparation before such a long period; to seize the opportunity of power with a possible fear of vulnerability and helplessness as playfulness and a pastime? It is impossible for Allah, who is mightier than anything on earth or in heaven, to do something so weak or helpless! This denotes fear of missed opportunities. This is the sunnah of Allah from the beginning of what our brothers see and what we see. The Muslims do not accept this call without evidence or proof, as well as appealing to intellect, justice, uniformity, or fairness.
If you know that this is our inherent point that is possible from the narrations that counter what was narrated by the great Imams Ahmed bin Sulayman16 and „Abdullah bin Hamza on the authority of „Ali bin Musa ar-Riža, upon him be peace, who said:
Verily, Allah the Glorified extracted and nominated 12 rulers from the Children of Israel–Jacob bin Isaac bin Abraham, the Friend, may the peace of Allah be upon them.” Then he said: “This is similar to the extraction of 12 rulers from the children of al-Hassan and al-Hussein; six from al-Hassan and six from al-Hussein.” Then he said: “Following the six of al-Hassan and al-Hussein, they will never stop. It did not stop after this six because one is commissioned to stop. They are similar to the descendants of the Children of Israel and they are the proof of the Allah on creation. The people of the land were safe and torment was eradicated.”
It was a long hadīth that we selected from At-Tuhfat al-Fatimiyya.
What can we relate regarding the Hadīth of Two Weighty Things and the Hadīth of the Ark and what these two narrations demonstrate? What can we gather from these two proofs; as well as the significance of the Verse of Purification (al-Ayat at-Tathir) and the Verse or Affection (al-Ayat al-Muwadda)?
According to the Hadīth of the Ark, it is narrated: ((The People of my House are like the ark of Noah. Whoever embarks upon them will be saved and whoever doesn‟t, will be drowned)).
According to the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things, it is narrated with different wordings. It cannot have different meanings because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, did not say it in only one place, and he said it in very clear wording. Its wording is narrated by the Imam of Yemen, al-Hādi ila al-Haqq, upon him be peace, on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, who said:
((Verily, I leave you something by which if you hold on to them, you will never go astray
16 He is Imam Mutawwakil „ala Allah Ahmed bin Sulayman (d. 1171 AD), the Zaydi imam who unified the Zaydi state in Yemen.
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after me: the Book of Allah and my descendants, the People of my House. Verily, the Subtle and Aware will not separate them until they meet me at the Pond)).
The wording ((Verily, I leave for you…)) pertains to the two weighty things (ath-thaqalayn), successors (khalifatayn), and the two sources of command (‘amrayn). The wording ((…if you hold on to them…)) refers to adhering to and taking from them and ((you will not go astray…)) means to not go before them or cut them off. Do not take knowledge except from them…It is as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said on the day of Ghadīr, the day of Arafat, during his journey to Ta`if, and on his sick bed to his companions before death entered the room.
Regarding the identity of the People of the House, they are „Ali, Fātima, the two Hassans [i.e. al-Hassan and al-Hussein] and their offspring. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet and them. Consequently, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, at the occasion of the revelation of the verse: {Verily Allah wills to remove from you impurity, O People of the House, and purify you with a thorough purification} (Q. 33:33) came to „Ali, Fātima, al-Hassan, and al-Hussein; placed them under his cloak; and said: ((O Allah, These are the People of my House! Therefore, remove impurity from them and purify them with a thorough purification!))
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, also said: ((The People of my House are like the stars. Whenever a star falls, another rises17…)) The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, also said: ((The stars are a means of safety to the people of the heavens. When the star goes from the sky, it is a promise to the people of the heavens. The People of my House are a means of safety to the People of the earth. When the People of my House go from the earth, it is a promise to the people of the earth)). The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said in the Hadīth of Two Weighty Things: ((…they will not separate from each other until they reach the Pond)).
The limiting of them in the cloak indicates a lack of inclusion of other relatives and wives. The offspring of the Messenger of Allah is understood by the word “his people” (ahlihi) in the language of people. It is demonstrated as an intention to restrict it to mean only them in the two previous hadīths: ((The People of my House are like the stars…)) and ((The stars are a means of safety to the people of the heavens…)). Consequently, the two words for “people” (al-Al) and (al-Ahl) have the same in meaning and in one tongue; Al is a miniaturization of Ahl. Also, Al refers to one‟s offspring. Allah, the Exalted, says: {Verily, Allah chose Adam, Noah, the family (al) of Abraham, and the family of Imrān over all of creation; offspring one of the other} (Q. 3:33-34). Therefore, the word “offspring” is used.
Charity (sadaqa) is prohibited for the Bani Hāshim. The scholars say: It is prohibited for the family of Aqīl, the family of „Ali, the family of Ja‟far, and the family of „Abbās. There is no doubt that to be of the family of „Ali means to be his offspring. The same applies to Aqīl, Ja‟far, and „Abbās. All of the scholars implement this and it shows the authenticity of the view that “family” (al) refers to one‟s offspring according to language, custom, and Islamic law.
Sayyid „Allāma al-Hujjah, Majiddīn bin Muhammad al-Mu`ayyadi, Allah bless him, said in Lawama’ al-Anwār:
There is consensus amongst the community (Ummah) that what is meant by “offspring” is the five members of the Family of the Prophet, the People of the House, and the
17 See also sermon 100 in the Nahjul Balagha of Imam „Ali.
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descendants. There‟s no disagreement with that. The only disagreement exits concerning if anyone else is included.
One does not come from the family of „Ali except through Fātima because, otherwise, they will not be the descendants of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. „Ali, upon him be peace, is included in the People of the House by designation. There is no use of including the “people” in the offspring and other than them unless it is metaphor and not true. Otherwise, the presumption must be evident. If one desired to enter the children of „Ali other than through Fātima, then al-Hassan and al-Hussein wouldn‟t have entered in the cloak. It was enough that „Ali and Fātima entered the cloak.
If you know this, then Zayn al-Abidīn, al-Bāqir, as-Šadiq, and the rest of the imams of the Imamites could enter. This includes the sons of both al-Hassan and al-Hussein. Whoever enters, enters and whoever leaves, leaves.
Regarding the meaning of the hadīth, it shows that they are on the truth because those that follow them are against error for the following points:
First: It was stated that if one was to hold to them that they will never go astray; therefore such a judgment counters the opposite of the judgment.
Second: It is stated that they are on the truth. Allah says: {…and what is after the truth except error?} (Q. 10:32).
Third: It is stated that they are with the Qur‟ān and they will never separate from it. It was not given with invalidation. There is no revelation after it from wisdom or praise. There is no doubt that error has occurred after the Qur‟ān.
Fourth: There are some narrations that say: ((Do not go before them or you will be destroyed. Do not cut them short or you will be destroyed. Don‟t teach them because they are your teachers)). The Hadīth of the Ark states that the ones who do not follow them will be destroyed. The Verse of Purification [i.e. Q. 33:33] proves that they are on the truth because error is “impurity” (rijs). This is similar to the Verse of Affection because Allah says: {you will not find people who believe in Allah and His Messenger having affection for the enemies of Allah and His Messenger} (Q. 58:22). Consequently, when we are commanded to have affection for them, they are not those who are enemies of Allah and His Messenger.
Now, the Imamites know the legitimacy of these verses and that it not only establishes a proof, but it also does not prove, either legally or intellectually, the establishing of anyone other than from the People of the House, upon him be peace. However, it also does not restrict them either.
The establishment of the Imamate amongst them can be proven by the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things also from the following points:
First: He said: ((…leave for you…)) which refers to making successors for them. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was the judge for his community. It is the successor that appoints successors. That is why the Companions, may Allah reward them, called the imam “Successor to the Messenger of Allah”, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny.
Second: It proves that they and their followers on the truth. It was unanimously agreed that they were designated. Al-Hassan Bin Yahya Bin Hussein Bin Zayd, Imam „Abdullah bin Hamza, al-Hussein bin Badr al-Din all narrated it unanimously. It was indeed witnessed. Their Shiites were present at all times. May Allah reward them. They claimed that they were upright. They sought that they will arise or request
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the oath of allegiance and they gave them the oath of allegiance. They never placed one over the other. If one was in accordance with knowledge and soundness, then it would have been permissible to erect 1300 in general. They did not recognize the Imamate of Umar bin „Abdal-Azīz or others.
Third: It is obligatory for people to obey him in their affairs as well as follow him and help him. If it was obligatory on the People of the House to obey and follow other than them, then it will be obligatory to follow them in that which would be contradictory.
Fourth: According to this hadīth, the Hadīth of the Ark, and Verse of Purification, they are on the truth and verily, the truth is with them. Allah says: {So, is he who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed or he who guides not until only after he is guided?} (Q. 10:35).
Now, these proofs that we included demonstrate that the People of the House and those that follow them are the saved sect. Then after examining this, the reader of our book is able to judge using the intellect and reflection. This is permissible.
Does this then justify that this blessed offspring that are extracted from pure men and women, as designated by the Qur‟ān, counters error and are to be followed? The offspring of the enemies of the Messenger of Allah became Muslims in groups. The enemies of the People of the House were either among their followers; or followed suit and were among the people of the truth.
Allah, the Exalted, says: {Let man consider from what we created him. He is created from a liquid sperm drop; proceeding from the spine and the ribs} (Q. 86:5-7). This verse indicates that man was created from a liquid from the water of the spine of men and ribs of women. Then, the People of the House, upon him be peace, come from the spine of „Ali and the ribs of Fātima. Fātima comes from the spine of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, and the ribs of Khadīja. Therefore, the People of the House are from Muhammad, „Ali, Fātima, and Khadīja, upon him be peace.
What is your opinion on those who branches away from such a source? Is it intellectually possible for them to be in error and ignorant as well as those that follow them in guidance? They are the strongest of men in enmity to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, by the consensus of the Muslims.
Consequently, Allah legitimizes the prayer upon them [the family of the Prophet] by consensus of the Muslims through ennobling the acts of worship in the five prayers, as well as the other prayers, in the testimony of faith (tashahhud)18. Allah makes this a great honour. It is a great source of distraction for the people of perversion and error. But I swear by Allah, it is nothing but a firm proof to those with sound intellect.
Further evidence indicates that to them, the Imamate was based on the unanimity of the Companions. The Helpers (al-Ansār) and the Emigrants (al-Muhājirun) gathered at Saqīfa, and a group of them desired to place Sa‟d bin Ubāda in charge. The Emigrants later claimed the right of authority belonged to them because they were the tree of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. The Helpers succumbed to this argument; however, Sa‟d didn‟t. He said that this applies to the Banu Hāshim. He died shortly afterwards and was eliminated from the caliphate.
The Helpers were close and the Emigrants were close. However, if it was viewed that the
18 This refers to the statement in the testimony of faith where the person says “O Allah, send your prayers on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad like your prayer on Abraham and the family of Abraham.”
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Emigrants were closer, then the People of the House are the closest of all people. {Those who believe and their descendants that followed them in faith…} (Q. 52:21). Then Allah says regarding kin: {And we made in his descendants Prophethood and the Book} (Q. 29:27).
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((The one who commands the good and forbids the evil, is from my offspring and he is the caliph of Allah on earth; as well as, the caliph of His Book and the Caliph of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny)).
Al-Hādi, upon him be peace, narrated this in Al-Ahkām, in the chapter entitled “The Virtues of a Just Imam.”
He also narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny:
((Whoever withholds himself from the call of the People of the House, they should wait for us to stand like the mathashtaha between the sword and shield in the way of Allah by his blood)).
It is also narrated by the author of Al-Muhīt [i.e. „Ali bin al-Hussein] concerning the Imamate on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Whoever listens when the People of the House calls them and refuses to accompany them, Allah will fling them to the bottom of Hell)). Al-Hādi narrated this with different wording but same meaning.
Imam Zayd bin „Ali, upon him be peace, narrated in the previous hadīth concerning the Rafidites:
“They reject the jihad with the good of the People of my House! It is as it states in the hadīth: ((There are three people that I will intercede for on the Day of Judgment: the one who strikes with the sword on behalf of an imam from my offspring…)) and the hadīth: ((The one who fights us in these times will be similar to the one who fights along with the Antichrist (ad-dajjāl) when he comes)).”
Imam „Ali, upon him be peace, said in the Nahjul Balagha:
((Where are those who falsely and unjustly claimed that they are deeply versed in knowledge, as against us, although Allah raised us in position and kept them down, bestowed upon us knowledge but deprived them, and entered us [in the fortress of knowledge] but kept them out. With us guidance is to be sought and blindness [of misguidance] is to be changed into brightness. Surely, the imams will be from the Quraysh. They have been planted in this line through Hāshim. It would not suit others nor would others be suitable as heads of affairs19)).
There is proof from the statements of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((„Ali is with the truth and the truth is with „Ali)), ((O Ammār, if people call to you and „Ali calls to you, follow the call of „Ali rather than the people)), and ((I am the city of knowledge and „Ali is its gate. If one desires knowledge, they cannot get it but through the gate)). We can provide many other proofs for example the proof of the Verse of Purification mentioned previously.
The significance of ((I am the city of knowledge…)) as a proof is that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, commands us to take knowledge from him and shows us that he
19 This is in Nahjul Balagha sermon #144 under the section: “The Virtues of the People of the House”
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does not make mistakes. Consequently, if he can make a mistake, then Allah, the Exalted has shown us an error. This is unbearable, and Allah does not do anything that is unbearable.
It is said: “If we obey the People of the House in the roots [of the religion], it‟s not permissible to unquestionably adhere to them (at-taqlīd). This is because in the branches [of the religion], every scholar of independent judgment (mujtahid) is correct.”
The reply to him is: Obedience is not unquestioned adherence. That which is derived from consensus is not the unquestioned adherence one would give the prophets, may the blessings of Allah be upon them. The same is the case with the People of the House because the evidence has shown that they are on the truth.
Indeed, it is obligatory for us to obey them whether it be in the roots or the branches because the evidence does not differentiate similar to the evidence demonstrated to obey the prophets, may the blessings of Allah be upon them. We do not acknowledge that all of the scholars of independent judgment are correct.
Now, Allah is the One that knows the secrets, the hidden, the smallest details, and what‟s hidden in the heart. If we were to know the reality of what is with the Jews and Christians or other sects, we would use it to help us and not follow the indifference of our fathers and ancestors. We will not go astray in following this school (madhhab) and there is nothing from this shattered world. We do not want to perish when it perishes. {On that Day it will not profit you in the least [to know] that, since you have sinned [together], you are now to share your suffering [as well]} (Q. 43:39). We do not delude people, stray people when they stray, and carry the burden over our neighbours. {Yet most certainly will they have to bear their own burdens, and other burdens besides their own} (Q. 29:13).
We know of the differences of the community and divisions of the sects. Each sect claims to be on the truth. It was narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, [that it would happen]. All of these narrations are authentic and come from the Book of our Lord and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. It is unanimously accepted by all of the communities that if we found witnesses from the People of the House of the Messenger who were on the truth, it would be obligatory for the community to follow them as was indicated in the previous verses and hadīths.
It is as the Exalted says: {You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you command the good and forbid the evil} (Q. 3:110). They were made the best of the community because they commanded the good and forbade the evil. We do not find anyone like this offspring that commanded the good and forbade the evil, from the time of „Ali bin Abi Tālib to Zayd bin „Ali to our time!
Allah says: {Such of the believers as remain passive other than the disabled – cannot be considered equal to those who strive hard in Allah’s cause with their possessions and their lives: Allah has exalted those who strive hard with their possessions and their lives far above those who remain passive. Although Allah has promised the ultimate good unto all [believers]; yet, has Allah exalted those who strive hard above those who remain passive by [promising them] a mighty reward} (Q. 4:95).
We do not find anyone like this pure offspring to obey. May Allah grant them paradise! [The ones who] struggle hard in jihad and assist them even to this day, if they find them; from the first of them to the last of them, al-Mahdi, upon him be peace.
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Allah says: {Say: “Can those who know and those who do not know be considered equal?”} (Q. 39:9). We do not find anyone like this offspring from the offspring of the Helpers, Emigrants, Abu Bakr, „Amr, „Umar, „Ammār, Abu Dharr, Anas, Sa‟d bin Ubāda, or anyone else.
Regarding this offspring: their houses [i.e. families] and children have remained in the world to our time (1415 A.H.). They have had the upper hand and a vast amount of literature. They are better than others at recalling in their books the different schools, its proofs, the replies to their school, and their proofs. They provide their students with the freedom of debate and variety of opinions (al-astashkārāt). They promoted the good qualities of asceticism (az-zuhd), scrupulousness (al-wara’), fasting, prayer (al-qiyām), al-Hajj, al-Umra; concern for the poor, orphans, widows; as well as the avoidance of the prohibited (al-harām) and perfect piety.
We find among them the apparent performance of miracles (al-karāmāt) but not like the miracles (mu’jizāt) that are reserved for a prophet. Among them [we find] the Star of the Family of the Messenger, al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm20, the Caller of Allah, concerning causing dates to fall from a roof for a hungry person; anointing the eyes of the blind, making supplication for him, and the blind person immediately sees; and causing the deaf to instantly hear. Among them [we find] the occurrence of rainfall when he was in the desert and he had to make ritual ablution (wudu). There was a drought so he turned to the right and left, as well as in front of him and behind him. He made supplication, made ablution, and purified himself while in the desert. The rainfall was abundant and it never lessened.
Among them [we find] a cripple man who asked him [i.e. Imam al-Qāsim] for supplication. He said to him “Stand, by the permission of Allah!” Then the man stood up in front of the spectators. Another example is the beautiful scent that exudes from some of their graves. There‟s no fragrance like it amongst the colognes and perfumes! It continues [to smell] even nowadays and the fragrance can even be smelled from far way places on specific days!
Among them [we find] that light frequently shines from their graves on the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), as well as Friday and Monday nights outside of the month of Ramadan. Many of their supplications were instantly answered, as well as their Shiites and followers. May Allah be pleased with them and increase them in good!
It is known from their people and the examination of their historians that they are the people of truth (ahl al-Haqq). If not, then only the book was sent and not the Sunnah.
Now, if our refutation is odd, very confusing, the following of whims, or astray, then we should not busy ourselves with the lesson [learnt] or taught for the rest of our lives. Consequently, I do not wish to gain advantage except through eradicating ignorance and the wrath of Allah. They [i.e. ignorance and Allah‟s wrath] are only avoided through study. Ignorance existed with us before our study and the path to the fire is not averted except through study.
II. Infallibility of the Imams
We now return to where we were and that is the differences between us and the Imamites and what we differ on. They require infallible imams, but we do not require that. Our requirements are simply the following: justice, masculinity, knowledge, piety, effective governance, courage, and generosity. Our
20 He is Imam ar-Rassi al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm (d. 860); he is a jurist, theologian, and one of the pillars of the Zaydi school.
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position is that since the safety of the people is necessary, he has to be able to hear, see, and not have his hands tied and thus be forced to compromise, for example. He is also required to be safe from repulsive things (al-munfarāt), such as leprosy or stupidity. If he develops any of these conditions, then his eligibility is nullified and he is displaced.
Infallibility, according to us, pertains to the major sins. To them, it pertains to major and minor sins. Our argument is that the prophets, may the blessings of Allah be upon them, are infallible because Allah described them as loathing sin. The Exalted says: {so that Allah might show His forgiveness of all thy faults, past as well as future} (Q. 48:2). He says concerning Moses: {“O my Lord! Verily, I have sinned against myself! Grant me, then, Thy forgiveness!”} (Q. 28:16). He says concerning Jonah: {“There‟s no Allah but You! Glorified be You! Verily I am from the wrongdoers!”} (Q. 21:87). He says concerning David: {so he asked his Lord to forgive him his sin, fell down in prostration, and turned unto Him in repentance} (Q. 38:24). He says concerning Solomon: {We had tried Solomon by placing upon his throne a [lifeless] body; and thereupon he turned [towards Us]} (Q. 38:34). He says concerning Adam: {Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred} (Q. 20:121).
Infallibility, according to us, is a subtlety (`a latāf) and enlightenment in which its owner chooses to avoid the prohibitions and perform the obligations without being coerced. The exception for its owner is what pertains to advantage and virtue; thus, the earning of reward.
According to us, the angels, may the blessings of Allah be upon them, are better than the prophets, may the blessings of Allah be upon them. This is from the statement of Allah, the Glorified and Exalted: {They do not disobey Allah in what they are commanded} (Q. 66:6) and {They do not speak until He has spoken unto them, and [whenever they act,] they act at His behest} (Q. 21:27). He describes the prophets, may the blessings of Allah be upon them, with disobedience like what was mentioned previously. He also says: {Never did the Christ feel too proud to be Allah’s servant, nor do the angels who are near unto Him} (Q. 4:172). This demonstrates the highest rank that one could reach.
The Exalted says: {“Your Lord has but forbidden you this tree lest you two become [as] angels, or lest you live forever”} (Q. 7:20) and {Nor do I say unto you, “Behold, I am an angel”} (Q. 6:50).
III. Temporary Marriage (nikā muta’)
Another difference between us and them is temporary marriage21. We prohibit it based on the narration of Imam Zayd bin „Ali on the authority of his father, on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, who said: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, forbade temporary marriage in Khaybar.
He also narrated on the authority of his father, on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, who said: There‟s no establishing a marriage except by a guardian (wali) and two witnesses; not by a dirham or two dirhams and not one day or two days like pouring (sHaba as-safāh).
The Exalted says: {Then whoever seeks to go beyond that are transgressors} (Q. 23:7) and {As for the adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them with a hundred stripes} (Q. 24:2). Consequently, if there‟s no obedience then the punishment must be applied to the man and woman because all of acts of adultery could be termed as temporary marriage.
21 Temporary marriage is also forbidden according to the Ismai‟lis, Sunnis, and Ibađis.
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The Exalted says: {Those who commit immorality of your women, bring against them four witnesses from amongst yourselves} (Q. 4:15). Because one does not know from the witnesses of their obscenity, they could claim that it was temporary marriage. Because of that, witnesses cannot follow that if the testimony is not established. Because they did not know that temporary marriage was from amongst the obscenities. However, if the temporary marriage between a man and woman is without witnesses and a guardian, one does not know whether he is a person that did temporary marriage or adulterer. They may even testify that he is an adulterer. The accuser could not come against the adulterer with four witnesses with this lack of knowledge of the case as testified from this verse. The accuser would falsely expose them using this verse.
The Exalted also says: {And as for those who are unable to marry, let them live in abstinence until Allah grants them sufficiency out of His bounty} (Q. 24:33). If temporary marriage was permissible, it would present it here [as an option] and not command them to be abstinent. It does not [permit temporary marriage] even amongst the poorest of the poor.
He also says: {And as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing slaves} (Q. 4:25). If temporary marriage was permissible, it would not be a proof against the marriage of the community. Consequently, it would produce children who are from owned slaves. Nothing would distinguish these marriages except the condition of fear of constraint (al-`anat).
He then says: {It is best for you to remain patient} (Q. 4:25). If temporary marriage was allowed then there would be fear (khash) of constraint or no encouragement to patience; otherwise, it‟s contrary to wisdom and community interest. Its taking place can include many immoralities. Perhaps an unknown, temporary marriage could take place with a woman and another man could come by and do a temporary marriage with her afterwards. This could mix up the people. Perhaps a woman would do a temporary marriage with someone‟s father after [the temporary marriage is over with] him, or even someone‟s son [after him]. This would lead to something being unknown. Perhaps the child of a man out of a temporary marriage is a son or daughter, they will not be known or they will not know him. If this occurs, this would be something very strange! Perhaps a girl will marry her father, brother, or nephew. A boy will perhaps marry his sister or someone else that is prohibited for him to marry. The child could be deprived of his father‟s inheritance and this would be oppression (dhulm) against the inheritor. Such occurrences prohibit (harama) and defer adultery; the same exists regarding temporary marriage.
The proof for its abrogation and proscription is a narration in the Amāli of Ahmed bin „Isa bin Zayd bin „Ali that was narrated by Muhammad bin Mansūr al-Murādi, may Allah‟s mercy be upon him. He said: Muhammad—Ahmed bin „Isa bin Zayd—Hussein bin Alwān—his father, Khālid—Zayd bin „Ali—his father—„Ali, upon him be peace, said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited temporary marriage for us during the battle of Khaybar.”
It says in Ar-Rawdh an-Nadhīr: al-Bukhāri, Muslim, Mu`ayyad Billah, and other texts: on the authority of Mālik—Ibn Shihāb—„Abdullah—Hassan bin Muhammad bin „Ali—their father—„Ali bin Abi Tālib, upon him be peace, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited temporary marriage during Khaybar and the meat of domesticated asses.
Mu`ayyad Billah, upon him be peace, related in his chain of authorities (isnādihi) on the authority of „Abdullah—Hassan—his father—his grandfather—„Ali, upon him be peace, said: “The Messenger of
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Allah prohibited (harama) temporary marriage of women during Khaybar. He said: ((One does not perform this action except that he is flogged)).”
Al-Bayhaqi includes in his chain of authorities Ilyās bin „Amr on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, who said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited temporary marriage.” It is also related in Al-Amāli al-Masma Rab as-Sadi’
In the Amāli narrated by Muhammad—al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm—Isma‟il bin Abi Uwais—Hussein bin „Abdullah bin Ďamīrah—his father—his grandfather—„Ali said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited temporary marriage.” This is also related by at-Tabarāni in his Awsat.
At-Tirmidhi narrated on the authority of A‟isha who said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Make these marriages in open and in the mosques)). This is also in at-Takhrīkh.
Also in the Amāli narrated by Muhammad—Muhammad bin Ubaid—on the authority of „Abdur-Rahīm bin Sulayman—on the authority of „Abdullah bin Umar—on the authority of az-Zuhri—on the authority of Hassan and „Abdullah bin Muhammad bin al-Hanifiyya—on the authority of their fathers—„Ali said to Ibn „Abbās during a conversation about the temporary marriage: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited it on Khaybar as well [prohibited] the meat of domesticated asses.”
It is also narrated by Muhammad—Muhammad bin Ubaid—Abu Mālik—on the authority of Hajjāj—on the authority of az-Zuhri—Hassan—his brother, Ibn Muhammad bin al-Hanifiyya—on the authority of their father—„Ali: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited (harama) temporary marriage of women during Khaybar.”
It is also narrated by Muhammad—Abu Hāshim—on the authority of Yahya bin Yamān—on the authority of Mu`ammar—on the authority of az-Zuhri—on the authority Hassan bin Muhammad—on the authority of „Ali: “The Messenger of Allah prohibited temporary marriage of women and the meat of domesticated asses during Khaybar.” This hadīth is also related in [Sahīh] Muslim.
It is also related by Muhammad bin Mansūr al-Murādi on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, that he prohibited and abrogated it in six different chains of transmission (turuq).
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn „Abbās that he returned and said: “It is like blood, dead meat (maytata), and pork.” This is in 3 different narrations.
Concerning its prohibition, „Abdullah bin Hassan narrated that it was held by the People of the House; his son, Muhammad bin „Abdullah Nafs az-Zakiyya, Zayd bin „Ali, Ja‟far as-Šadiq, Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm, and Ahmed bin „Isa.
Al-Hādi, al-Qāsim, Ahmed bin „Isa, Zayd bin „Ali, and Muhammad bin Mansūr narrated: ((There‟s no marriage except with a guardian and two witnesses)).
Al-Hādi, al-Qāsim, Muhammad, on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, that he prohibited temporary marriage. Zayd and Ahmed bin „Isa narrated this on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace.
Muhammad, in his chain of authority, narrated on the authority of „Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Umar bin „Ali—on the authority of his father—on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace: “Verily, the
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guardian is required for marriage; otherwise, there is no marriage. Whoever marries a woman without the permission of her guardian, the marriage is void.”
Muhammad narrated on the authority of Ahmed bin „Isa, Zayd bin „Ali, al-Bāqir, Ibn „Abbās, and „Ali, upon him be peace: “There‟s no marriage except with a guardian.”
Muhammad, in his chain of authority, narrated on the authority of Ibn „Abbās and A‟isha on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((There‟s no marriage except with a guardian)).
Also, in his chain of authority to al-Bāqir: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((There‟s no marriage except with a guardian and two just witnesses. If there is no guardian, then the sultan is the guardian)).”
Also, in his chain of authority to „Ali: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, prohibited temporary marriage. There‟s no marriage except with a guardian and two witnesses.”
The hadīth: “There‟s no marriage except with a guardian” is related in five different chains of transmission by an-Nisā‟i, Ahmed [bin Hanbal], and Ibn Māja.
Muhammad, in his chain of authority, narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((There‟s no marriage to a woman with a woman as a guardian and a woman cannot be a guardian of herself)).” This is also narrated by Ibn Māja and ad-Daraqutni. This is a proof for the invalidity of temporary marriage because in a temporary marriage, there is no guardian or witnesses.
This is supported by the statements of Allah, the Exalted: {…so, marry them [i.e. the women] with the permission of their people} (Q. 4:25), {Marry the unmarried amongst you} (Q. 24:32), {Do not refuse them to remarry their husbands if they agree to each others‟ conditions} (Q. 2:232), and {Do not marry the idolaters until they believe} (Q. 2:221). In all of these verses are injunctions for men to marry. Observe how Allah says: {Do not marry the idolaters}. It is a designation for those to marry other than themselves. That is, they are not to marry the women of the idolaters. He also says: {Do not marry the idolatress} (Q. 2:221). This designates a marriage, because marriage is the place of the man to marry himself.
Mu`ayyad Billah says concerning the prohibition of temporary marriage: “It is the statement of all of the Zaydis. The rest of the scholars rumoured regarding its expiration. It was permitted at a time but it invalidated the condition: (meaning that the duration of the designated condition made marriage easier. Allah knows best. This was presented by the author. May Allah protect him!) The Imamites hold that it is permissible (halāl).”
IV. Anal Intercourse with Women
Among the differences between us and them is anal intercourse with women. They permit it, and we prohibit it. The evidence that they use is what Allah, the Exalted, delivered to the people of Lot specifically prohibiting anal intercourse with the messengers. Allah punished them with a severe punishment. There‟s no difference between the anal intercourse with women or men because the error of the prohibition exists concerning both of them. It is a disgusting thing that is injurious. Every aspect has the judgment attached to it.
The prophet Lot, upon him be peace, informed them that they [his daughters] were out of the harm
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(al-adhi’) of prevention by saying: {“These are my daughters! They are pure for you!”} (Q. 11:78) The Exalted says: {They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: It is a harm (adha’), so keep away from the women during menstruation} (Q. 2:222). This explains the prohibition of the state of harm.
He says: {Do not approach them until they are pure. When they have purified themselves, come to them where Allah has ordained for you.} (Q. 2:222). Purity makes them legal. The filthiest of all filth is anal intercourse. Consequently, He says: {…come to them where Allah has ordained for you.} One is cautioned against that, and then the subject does not ordain us in what to give.
The Imam of Yemen, al-Hādi ila al-Haqq, upon him be peace, narrated on the authority of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((When a women is given [in marriage], her permission should be sought)).
He also narrated that he said: ((Allah is not ashamed of the truth. One does not enter women through their anuses (hashush). The one who enters a woman through her anus disbelieves (kafara)). It is also narrated that: ((Allah will not look at the one who enters a woman through her anus)).
It is narrated in the Bulūgh al-Marām regarding the commentary on the verses of legislation (ayātul ahkām) by Muhammad bin Imam al-Qāsim bin Muhammad: ((Whoever approaches a diviner and believes what they say or enters a menstruating woman or a woman through her anus, disregards (bara`a) what Allah revealed to Muhammad)). This is also related by Ahmed, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nisā‟i, al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn Māja on the authority of Abu Hurayra.
They emphasize its permissibility with the words of the Exalted: {Your wives are as a tillage (harth) for you. Go into your tillage any way you please.} (Q. 2:223). But there is no proof of that in this because the word for “a tillage” (harth) or “the tillage” (al-harth) denotes the planting of seed there. One plants a seed from the front not the back. Consequently, the offspring is planted in the front.
V. The Feet in Ablution (wudu)
Another difference between us and them is they say that the feet must be wiped and we say that they must be washed. This is because Allah says: {…wipe their heads and (wash) the feet} (Q. 5:6) with the conjunction connecting [the washing of the feet] with the [washing] of the hands. We narrated this recitation relating to the [washing of the] feet on the authority of our ancestors.
The Great Imam, Zayd bin „Ali narrated on the authority of his father—‟Ali, upon him be peace, —the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, made ablution by washing his feet 3 times.
Those are the differences between us and them concerning fiqh. Concerning, the foundation of beliefs (usūl), we can only recall a few of the Imamite‟s beliefs. We will continue, Allah willing, and conclude with the view on intercession (shafā’a).
The Second Issue: Regarding the issue of infallibility–Who is infallible?
Concerning infallibility, it was made clear in the section that dealt with Imamate. It concerns the infallibility of the angels, upon him be peace, and is a general application as is evident in the statement:
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{They do not disobey Allah in what they are commanded} (Q. 66:6) and {They do not speak until He has spoken unto them, and [whenever they act,] they act at His behest} (Q. 21:27).
Similarly, the prophets, upon him be peace, [are infallible] from committing all of the major sins, and they don‟t even approach sin. Consequently, since miracles were witnessed from them, their truthfulness is proven. If they were to sin, this would counter what they warned against, which is very confusing (talbīs) and deceptive (taghrīra). This is unbearable (qabīh). Allah, the Exalted, does not do anything unbearable. Allah, the Exalted says: {Say: “We believe in Allah, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and ,their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed to Moses and Jesus; and that which has been vouchsafed to all the [other] prophets by their Lord”} (Q. 2:136). And we know that everything they came with was the truth.
Allah says concerning the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: {And neither does he speak out of his own desire. That [which he conveys to you] is but inspiration with which he is being inspired} (Q. 53:3-4).
A similar thing is conveyed about „Ali, Fātima, al-Hassan, and al-Hussein by the words of the Exalted: {Verily Allah wills to remove from you sin, O People of the House, and purify you thoroughly} (Q. 33:33) and {[We] will reward them for all their patience in adversity with a garden [of bliss] and with [garments of] silk} (Q. 76:12). ((„Ali is with the truth and the truth is with „Ali)). ((Al-Hassan and al-Hussein are the masters of the youths of Paradise)). ((Fātima is the mistress of the women of creation)). Consequently, it has been recorded that it was His will to remove sin (rijs) from them. This happened because {He does what he wills} (Q. 85:16). The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, wrapped them in his cloak and said: ((Oh, Allah, these are the People of my House! Remove sin from them and purify them thoroughly!))
It would not be correct for one to enter Paradise while he knowingly commits major sins; unless one repents and live righteously afterwards. Otherwise one would succumb to disobedience. This is not permissible because it would be unbearable. Allah, the Exalted, does not do anything unbearable.
The same applies to all of the People of the House and all of the infallible ones among them. We do not say that infallibility belongs to any one of them unless there is proof. We do not rule that infallibility belongs to anyone other than those [in which there is proof]. Perhaps some of the righteous members are infallible. However, unless Allah manifests it to us, I do not conclude that anyone is infallible without a clear proof. There‟s no ruling on a matter without clear proof.
Third Issue: When was the 12er school created?
We addressed this in the previously under the “First Issue” section.
Fourth Issue: What is obligatory regarding the distribution of the fifth of one’s wealth (khums)?
Concerning it, there are differences; however, regarding our companions [i.e. according to us], we
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do not know any of them that made it obligatory in three different situations:
First: It is taken from the disbelieving soldiers during war and other conditions mentioned in the books of biographies. It is collected in them. It is taken from the rebels [as is evident] from the action of „Ali in the Battles of Jamal and Nahrawān. It is also taken from a land tax (kharāj) and transactions (muā’malat). It is taken from the people of debt.
Second: Precious stones, which are priceless treasures and minerals; such as gold, silver, copper, and other metals taken from the sea, such as pearls, coral, etc.
Third: It is taken from the fishing grounds and the sea. There is no established evidence concerning any differences from the remaining reasons; such as trade, agriculture and other things.
The established proof is from the statement of the Exalted: {And know that whatever booty you acquire [in war], one-fifth thereof belongs to Allah, the Messenger, the near of kin, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer. [This you must observe] if you believe in Allah and in what We bestowed from on high upon Our slave on the day when the true was distinguished from the false – the day when the two hosts met in battle. And Allah has the power to will anything} (Q. 8:41). [This is also in] the well-known hadīth: ((There‟s a fifth paid on precious stones)). These are priceless treasures. Some of them include precious metals.
Some of our companions necessitate [that khums be taken from] herbs, firewood, and vegetables from war booty and wastelands. If Allah desired that the fifth be taken from everything, it would have been known regarding what you have appropriated from something and what you have acquired. When He says: {whatever booty you acquire [in war]}, we know that it is what you have appropriated from war booty and other than war booty.
Regarding other than war booty, it is not obligatory. We do not know the proof of the obligation of the fifth except from the aforementioned verse, the aforementioned hadīth, and a narration of „Ali, upon him be peace, that it is obligatory to [pay a fifth] from metal and makes a collection of 4000 fish in the sunnah. This is not obligatory on businesses or other than what we have mentioned. Allah knows best!
Fifth Issue: Is it permissible for women to visit the graves, can she do so along with men?
Regarding the visitation—We do not find any proof to suggest that a woman should be barred from visitation. It is even narrated that Fātima, peace be upon her, visited the grave of her uncle al-Hamza, may Allah have mercy on him.
Regarding women going with men—Visitation [of the graves] is a recommended act for women and men as long as there‟s no prohibited actions. However, whoever does not do so is shameless and there is no modesty in them; unless people of firm religion (ahl ad-dīn) abstain from it and investigate the basis and their reasons for the deviation.
Sixth Issue: Who are the People of the House?
We addressed this in the previously under the “First Issue” section.
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Seventh Issue: Is it permissible to visit graves, kiss (taqbīl) them, and circumambulate them like the circumambulation of the Ka’ba? What does the visitor say?
Regarding the visitation of the graves—We have previously addressed this and it is permissible according to us. And now we will come to the proof of its legitimacy.
Regarding the kissing—There‟s no prohibition (al-māni’) in doing so except if one believes that it is a sunnah.
Regarding the circumambulation—If a person does this action and believes that it is sunnah or considers (qašada) it as worshipping the grave, it is not permissible. Consequently, this could be labelled as shirk if one intends worship thereby. Otherwise, there is no prohibition in doing so. But it is preferable to avoid it because of the possible charge [of worshipping it].
Regarding what the visitor should say—One should give the greetings of peace (taslīm) to the dead and make supplication for him/her. One should recite things that are easy to the spirit and stick to that. Imam Zayd bin „Ali narrated—his father—‟Ali, upon him be peace, said:
When the visitor approaches the grave he should say, “Peace be upon the people of the graves; from amongst the believers and Muslims. You are to us a surplus while you have a right over us. We are desirous of Allah and We seek acceptance with our Lord.”
He also narrated on the authority of his father—the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, commanded a funeral to be conducted at the grave. He commanded them to make supplication. Then he placed them in the earth and urged them with three urgings. Then he made supplication from what Allah willed. He said: ((O Allah, the earth is dry from his contents, his spirit has risen, and you will meet him in Paradise)). When he completed the funeral rites, a man came up to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I did not reach you in time to make the prayer (as-salāt) over him, should I pray over his grave?” He replied: ((No, but stand over his grave, supplicate for your brother, and ask forgiveness and mercy for him)).
„Ali ar-Riža bin Musa al-Kādhim on the authority of his father said:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((One should stand over a grave and recite “Say Allah is One” [Q. 112] eleven times and give the reward to the dead person. That one will be given the reward to the number of the dead people there)).
It is also narrated on his authority, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Recite Surah YāSīn over your dead)).
Regarding its legality and virtue, the great Imam Zayd bin „Ali narrated on the authority of his ancestors, upon him be peace: ((Consistently returning to and visiting the funerals and graves will remind one of the Hereafter)).
Sayyid Imam Abu Tālib narrated on the authority al-Hussein bin „Ali, upon him be peace:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Verily, my beloved, Gabriel came to me and informed me that you will be killed and
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your body will be scattered. I pray to Allah for you!)) Al-Hussein then said: “O Messenger of Allah, who will visit us when our graves are dispersed and separate?” He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, replied by saying: ((The righteous among my community that desires by that my righteousness and prayers [will do so]. When the Day of Judgment occurs, those who continually visited will be taken by their arms and removed from its [i.e. Hell‟s] horrors)). It is also narrated on the authority of al-Hussein bin Zayd—his ancestors—‟Ali, upon him be peace: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Whoever visits our graves, the People of the House, and then dies, Allah will place 70 angels in their graves who will glorifying Allah until the Day of Judgment)). Al-Hādi, upon him be peace, narrated with a chain of authority to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Whoever visits me while I‟m alive or my grave afterwards, the angels will send 12,000 prayers upon that person)). He also narrated on his authority, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Whoever visits my grave, I will intercede for him/her)). He also related on the authority of al-Hassan, upon him be peace, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Whoever visits me alive or dead, your father alive or dead, your brother alive or dead, or you alive or dead, has a right upon Allah to save him on the Day of Judgment)). Also, on his, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, authority: ((Whoever visits my grave, I will intercede for him/her)). Ad-Daraqutni narrated this on the authority of Ibn „Umar, as well as al-Bayhaqi, Taqidīn bin as-Subki, and others. Al-Bazzār narrated on the authority of Ibn „Umar: ((Whoever visits my grave, I will intercede for him/her)). At-Tabarāni narrated in his Majmul Kabīr, ad-Daraqutni in his Amāli, Abu Bakr bin al-Maqri in his Majmu, and the Sahīh of Sa‟id bin as-Sakin on the authority of Ibn „Umar: ((Whoever comes to me as a visitor when one goes to Hajj, there is a right upon me to intercede on their behalf on the Day of Judgment)). Ad-Daraqutni and others narrated: ((Whoever visits my grave is similar to one who visits me while I am alive)). Al-Bayhaqi also narrated this on the authority of Ibn „Adi. Ibn „Adi and others narrated: ((Whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House and not visit me, has abandoned me)). It is narrated: ((Whoever visits me or my grave, will receive my intercession and testimony)). Abu Dawud at-Tayālisi narrated this in his Musnad. It is narrated: ((Whoever visits me deliberately will be with me on the Day of Judgment)). Abu Ja‟far al-„Aqīli and others narrated this. It is narrated: ((Whoever visits my grave after I die is similar to one who visits me while I am alive)). Ad-Daraqutni narrated this. Al-Bayhaqi narrated on the authority of Anas: ((Whoever visits me in Medina will receive my intercession and testimony)). In the hadīth of Ubāda it says: ((…testimony and intercession)). Ibn Jawzi mentioned this in his Mathīr al-Gharam as-Sākin. Ibn an-Najār narrated with Anas in the chain of authority that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Whoever visits me when I am alive is similar to one who visits me while I am alive. Whoever visits my grave, I will intercede for him/her. The one from my
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community that comes but does not visit me will have no excuse)). Muslim narrated on his authority, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny: ((Visit the graves, for it will help you to remember death)). Ibn Māja narrated with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, in the chain of authority: ((Visit the graves, for it will help you to remember the Afterlife)). In a narration with A‟isha in the chain of authority that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, permitted the visitation of the graves. He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, is also narrated to have said: ((Visitation of the graves used to be prohibited for you but now, one should visit them because they teach indifference (zuhd) towards this world and remembrance of the Afterlife)). Muslim narrated it up to the statement: ((…now, one should visit them)). An-Nisā‟i narrated: ((Visitation of the graves used to be prohibited for you but now visit them if you like)). Muslim in his Sahīh, Ibn Māja, and an-Nisā‟i in his chain narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, visited his mother‟s grave and cried. Those around him began crying also. He then said: ((I sought permission from my Lord to beg forgiveness for her but it was not granted to me, and I sought permission to visit her grave and it was granted to me. So visit the graves, for that makes you mindful of death)). Muslim narrated that A‟isha reported that whenever it was her turn for Allah‟s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, to spend the night with her, he would go out towards the end of the night to al-Bāqi and say: ((Peace be upon you, abode of a people who are believers. What you were promised would come to you tomorrow)). There is a hadīth that says: ((Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques: Al-Masjid al-Harām, the Messenger‟s Mosque, and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa)). If it is authentic, then there is still no evidence that prohibits visitation of the graves while setting out on a journey. Otherwise, it promotes something that is a clear contradiction to the Qur‟ān, Sunnah, and consensus of the Muslims. Allah, the Exalted, says: {Travel through, then, in all its regions, and partake the sustenance which He provides} (Q. 67:15), {For the covenants [of security and safeguard enjoyed] by the Quraysh, their covenants (covering) journeys by winter and summer.} (Q. 106:1-2), {And when you go [to war] on earth, you will incur no sin by shortening your prayers if you have reason to fear that those who are deny the truth might suddenly attack you} (Q. 4:101), {And they [i.e. beasts of burden] carry your loads to [many] a place which [otherwise] you would be unable to reach without great difficulty on yourselves.} (Q. 16:7), and {But he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast for the same] number of other days.} (Q. 2:185). Regarding the Sunnah: It is well known that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, went out to fight the unbelievers while on raids, sent people out on missions, commanded some of his companions to migrate to Ethiopia, and went to Madina. Regarding the consensus: The Muslims would set out on journeys for business, leasing, medical treatment, and other things, without any disapproval in all times and places. Now that we know this, then the apparent denotation of this hadīth cannot be that setting out on a journey except for the three known mosques is prohibited. This supports the dominant view that the exception excludes the kind of prohibition if the exception is deleted.
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Eighth Issue: What is intercession and what is its use? How could the love of ‘Ali be faith; as the Prophet said: ((Only the believer will love you))? According to us, the intercession is for none but believers. It pertains to Allah‟s increasing of one‟s bounty and countering an apparent sin for that which is good. Allah, the Exalted, says: {No intimate friend or intercessor will the wrong-doers have, who could be listened to.} (Q. 40:18), {The wrong-doers will have no helpers.} (Q. 2:270), {Whoever works evil, will be repaid accordingly. Nor will he find, besides Allah, any protector or helper.} (Q. 4:123), {But as for those who have done evil deeds – the recompense of an evil deed shall be the like thereof: and – since they will have none to defend them against Allah – ignominy will overshadow them as though their faces were veiled by the night’s own darkness: it is they who are destined to abide in the fire forever.} (Q. 10:27), and {But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein. They shall have a humiliating punishment.} (Q. 4:14). These verses prove that the intercession for the disobedient is from two perspectives:
First, it stipulates that the disobedient do not receive any interceder, helper, protector (al-ā’sim); if not, then they will be amongst those who will receive intercession, help, and protection.
Second, it shows that eternality (khulūd) does not apply if one is taken out [of the Fire] by the intercession of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. The verses are general regarding all acts of disobedience, oppression, evil actions, and sins. Some verses also indicate specific acts of disobedience like: {But whoever deliberately kills another believer, his payment shall be Hell, therein to abide forever; and Allah will condemn, reject, and prepare him for awesome suffering.} (Q. 4:93), {Who never invoke any deity side by side with Allah, and do not take the life of any human beings – [the life] which Allah has willed to be sacred – other than in [the pursuit of] justice, and do not commit adultery. And [know that] he who commits thereof shall [not only] meet with a full requital but also shall have his suffering doubled on Resurrection Day: for on that [Day] he shall abide therein forever.} (Q. 25:68-69), and {Hence, whoever becomes aware of his Lord‟s warning, and thereupon desists [from usury], may keep his past gains, and it will be for Allah to judge him; but as for those who return to it -they are destined for the Fire, therein to abide forever!} (Q. 2:275).
These verses demonstrate the eternal assignment of the perpetrators [of disobedience] in the Fire22. There will be no intercession for them. This is because the intercession concerns the obligation of them to come out of the fire. However, the verses that mention eternality demonstrate that they will not come out of the Fire.
Regarding the love of „Ali, upon him be peace—It is made a sign of faith because the Messenger of Allah divided the Muslims into two groups: the true believers and the hypocrites. Allah has made the love of „Ali a sign for the believer and the hatred of him the sign of a hypocrite.
It is not just any type love for him that is one of the distinct signs of faith, for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said to „Ali, upon him be peace: ((There are two types of
22 The belief in the eternal punishment for the disobedient Muslims is a belief that is also held by the Ibađis. The 12ers, Isma„ilis, and Sunnis hold that the Muslim who commits major sins and fails to repent, will eventually be taken from the Fire.
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people that will perish concerning you: the one that loves you to the extreme and the one that hates you)). This denotes that one can perish while being a lover [of „Ali]. If it is in disobedience to Allah, [this love] is to the extreme. This proves that, simply, love of him is not enough. So, one could say that love of him is not true love unless one obeys him, mimics his actions, and avoid the prohibitions. Allah wills by His statement: {Say: If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you} (Q. 3:31) that it [i.e. love] is a condition of obedience.
If one claimed that he loved Him while he performed one of the major sins, then he will be one of the people of eternal Hellfire, as the verse quoted from the beginning indicated. Also, the Exalted says: {By the dawn; Verily all humankind is lost except the one who has faith and perform righteous deeds.} (Q. 103:1-2). Consequently, there is no salvation except by the action of the believer.
The true believer is as Allah describes in His book: {And [as for] the believers, both men and women: they are guardians of one another: they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and paying the zakāt, and pay heed unto Allah and His Messenger. It is they upon whom Allah will bestow His grace: verily, Allah is Almighty, Wise!} (Q. 9:71). This verse proves that if one does not have these descriptions, one is not a true believer. Allah promises them what He promises and that will not change or alter. It is similar to Allah‟s statement: {Believers are only they whose hearts tremble with awe whenever Allah is mentioned, and whose faith is strengthened whenever His messages are conveyed unto them, and who in their Lord place their trust} (Q. 8:2).
The [belief that people will] come out of the Fire is from the doctrine of the Jews, as Allah mentioned concerning them. Allah refutes and counters them by saying: {They say: “The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days.” Say [unto them]: “Have you received a promise from Allah – for Allah never breaks His promise – or do you attribute to Allah something in which you have no knowledge?” Indeed, Those who earn evil and by their sinfulness are engulfed – they are destined for the fire; therein to abide forever.} (Q. 2:80-81) and {This is because they claim, “The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days”: and thus, their deception in their religion have [in time] caused them to lie} (Q. 3:24). How has [this doctrine] of theirs disadvantaged their religion, made them delusional, and we take upon their way?!
Regarding what has come to us regarding the intercession for those that commit the major sins, it has been argued that a narration says: ((My intercession is for the people of major sins from my ummah)). This can be answered from the following points:
First: This counters the Qur‟ān and intellectual proofs. Whenever something counters the Qur‟ān, then something attributed to him [i.e. the Prophet] is false and therefore, a lie. Consequently, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, does not say anything contrary to the words of Allah. How can he when Allah says concerning him: {He does not speak out of his own caprice; rather, he speaks words that are inspired} (Q. 53:3-4)?
Second: We say that the “people of major sins” in this hadīth refer to those who repent.
It shows the invalidity of this doctrine that Muslims are unanimous that a supplication to Allah to make us from among the people of Intercession is considered a recommended act. It is necessary from this that if we supplicate to Allah to make us from among the people of indecencies, thievery, murder, forsaking the prayer, withholding the charity (zakāt), and not fasting during Ramadan; this will lead to a doctrine that is repulsive and abominable.
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Now, you are familiar with our book and are able to contemplate, think, and examine it with equity. Does that justify the preaching of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, for 23 years, his calling to the obedience to Allah and compliance with His commands, his prohibiting disobedience, his legislating the Shari`ah for them, establishing wise legislation (dustūran hakīman) for them to live long and righteous lives? Then there is no reason that after all of this intense exertion and bitter struggle, he says to them: “You can do whatever you like. You can avoid the obligations and perform the prohibitions and I‟ll intercede for you.” All that was built will be destroyed. All that was established will be ruined. The Shari`ah will be violated from beginning to end {…like the one who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong} (Q. 16:92). O brother, can one wisely accept something like this and reconcile it with elaborate narrations? The ruling of your intellect and that of the Qur‟ān in which there‟s {no falsehood can approach it from before or behind it: It is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise} (Q. 41:42). Allah and His Messenger forbade these falsehoods. The true statement is: If such actions are not those of a president of a people, leader of a group, or head of a family, then it is not those of the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds and Seal of the Prophets.
It is narrated on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, that which counters these narrations. Abu „Abbās al-Hassani narrated in his Isnad on the authority of Musa bin „Abdullah bin Hassan bin „Ali bin Hassan, upon him be peace, on the authority of his ancestors on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny:
((There will be those who will approach me at the Basin (al-Hawđ) but will be driven away. I will say, “O Lord, my companions, my companions!” The reply would be, “O Muhammad, they innovated after you and contravened your sunnah!” Then I will say, “Away with them! Away with them!” (sahqān) ))
Al-Bukhāri narrated in his Sahīh on the authority of Ibn „Abbās that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny said:
((The first to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side [i.e. to the (Hell) Fire], and I will say: “My companions! My companions!” It will be said: “You don‟t know that they innovated after you left them.” Then I will say as the righteous slave of Allah [i.e. Jesus] said: {“And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, And You are a witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves; and if You forgive them, verily only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”} (Q. 5:120-121)))
It is also narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas‟ud:
((I am your predecessor at the Basin of Kawthar and some men amongst you will be brought to me, and when I will try to hand them some water, they will be pulled away from me by force; whereupon I will say, “O Lord, my companions!” Then the Almighty will say, “You do not know what they did after you left, they introduced new things into the religion after you.”)).
The same is narrated on the authority of Hudhayfa [al-Yamani].
It is narrated on the authority of Anas:
((Some of my companions will come to me at my Basin, and after I recognize them, they
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will then be taken away from me, whereupon I will say, “My companions!” Then it will be said: “You do not that they innovated in the religion after you.”))
and according to the narration on the authority of Abu Said al-Khudri:
((…I will say: “They are of me [i.e. my followers].” It will be said: “You do not know that they innovated in the religion after you left”. I will say, “Away with them! Away with them! [Away with] those who changed [the religion] after me!”))
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra:
((On the Day of Resurrection, there will be those who will approach me at the Basin. I will say: “O Lord, my companions!” It will be said: “You do not know that they innovated in the religion after you left”)).
Said bin Musayyab narrated:
The companions of the Prophet said that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, stated: ((Some men from my companions will come to my Basin and they will be driven away from it, and I will say, “O Lord, my companions!” It will be said: “You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left.”))
That is, they were prevented and expelled. Here ends our citations from al-Bukhāri.
Imam Muslim also narrated this on the authorities of Abu Hurayra and Anas. These [narrations] prove that the Intercession will be denied for those who changed and substituted [innovations] because they are turned back on their heels. Therefore, this also proves that the disobedient will be denied the Intercession. The Prophet‟s, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, intercession will be denied for them based on what they did. This is evident from his words: ((Away from me! Away from me!)) So, there is no soundness in sin.
It is also narrated in al-Bukhāri and Muslim that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The talebearer (an-nimam) will not enter Paradise)).
It says in Takrīj ash-Shāfi on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself on the Day of Resurrection and will abide in the Hell Fire forever and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself on the Day of Resurrection and will abide in the Hell Fire forever)).
This is also narrated by al-Bukhāri, Muslim, an-Nisā‟i, and at-Tirmidhi.
Ibn „Asākir narrated: ((The one who breaks family ties will not smell the fragrance of Paradise)).
Al-Bukhāri, an-Nasā‟i, and Ibn Ibn Māja narrated on the authority of Ibn „Amr in a marfu’ tradition:
((Whoever kills a Mu’ahid [i.e. a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims] shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years)).
Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, and al-Hākim narrated on the authority of Abu Bakr in a marfu’ tradition:
((Allah will make Paradise prohibited for the one who kills a person with contracted protection (Mu’ahid) during a truce)).
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It is also narrated that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The one who cuts (al-qāti’) will not enter Paradise)). Sufyān said that this means: “the one who cuts family ties.” This is also narrated as a marfu’ tradition from al-Bukhari, Muslim, and at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Khubayr bin Muta‟m.
It is also narrated that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((There are three types of people who Allah won‟t speak to, look at, or vindicate on the Day on Judgment and will reserve a severe punishment for them: the one who lets [his lower garments] hang (al-musabal), the one who gossips, and one who swears false witness)).
Also, some narrations say: ((the one who lets his waist-wrap hang)). This is narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nisā‟i, and Ibn Māja.
Al-Murshid Billah narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar [or „Amr] that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((There are three types of people who Allah won‟t look at on the Day on Judgment or will enter Paradise: one who is disobedient to his parents, one who drinks wine, and one who gossips)).
Imam Muslim narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra:
((There are three types of people who Allah won‟t speak to…and will reserve a severe punishment for them: the fornicator, the liar, and the arrogant)).
Our discourse is now finished.
Now, once we review the answers to the previous questions like the one on temporary marriage and others from the first to the last, there is nothing in them that is useless. However, [another question that arises is]: “Are the prayer times of the 12ers divided into 3 or 5?” What is clear from their school is like what was mentioned by the author of Ar-Rawđ an-Nasīr ash-Shahr al-Majmu’ al-Fiqh al-Kabīr that it is permissible for one to either combine with an excuse or not.
Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things
We will now relate some of the people who narrated the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things. Our shaykh, Sayyid „Allāma al-Hujjah, Majiddīn bin Muhammad bin Mansur al-Hassani, Allah bless him, said in Lawama’ al-Anwār (V. 1, First Edition, p. 51):
“The Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things is held by the imams and preservers (huffaž) of the community. Among the Imams of the Family of Muhammad, may the blessings of Allah be upon them, there are23: Imam Zayd bin „Ali, Ahmed bin Isa bin Zayd, Hassan bin Yahya bin al-Hussein bin Zayd, Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm, al-Hādi Yahya bin al-Hussein, ar-Riža „Ali bin Musa, an-Nasir al-Utrush al-Hassan bin „Ali, Muayyid Billah, Abu Tālib, Sayyid Abul „Abbās al-Hassani, Mawfiq Billah, Al-Murshid Billah, Mutawakkil Ahmed Bin Sulayman, Al-Mansur Billah „Abdullah bin Hamza, Sayyid Abu „Abdullah al-Alawi, Al-Mansur Billah al-Hassan bin Badrudīn, an-Nasr lil-Haqq al-Hussein bin Badrudīn,
23 I have not included some of the honorific titles mentioned in the original.
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Mahdi Ahmed bin Yahya al-Murtađa, Izzadīn bin al-Hassan, Al-Mansur Billah Qāsim bin Muhammad, at-Tahqīq al-Hussein bin Qāsim, as well as their other ancestors and descendants.
[This also includes] their guardians, like the Imam of the Shiite world, Qađi Muhammad bin Sulayman in his Isnād, who narrated on the authorities of Abu Said [al-Khudri] from 6 different channels, Zayd bin Arqam from 3 different channels, and Hudhayfa.
[This also includes] the author of Al-Muhīt bil-Imama, Shaykh al-„Ālim al-Hāfiž Abul-Hassan „Ali bin al-Hussein, al-Hākim al-Jushmi, al-Hākim al-Haskāni, al-Hāfiž Abul-‟Abbās bin „Uqda, Abu „Ali as-Saffār, and the author of Ash-Shams al-Akhbar. This statement is said to be made by over 1000 people from the Family of Muhammad, may the blessings of Allah be upon them, as well as their followers, may Allah be pleased with them. This narration has been regarded and has stood the test of time.
From the generality24 (al-`āmah), [the narrators include]: Ahmed bin Hanbal in his Musnad, „Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Hanbal, Ibn Abi Shayba, al-Khatīb bin Maghāzali, al-Kanji ash-Shafa‟yān, Muslim bin Hajjaj al-Qushayri in his Sahīh (who narrated it in the incident of the sermon of Ghadīr but doesn‟t include the term “take hold to both of them” like the other narrations), an-Nisā‟i, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Ya‟la, at-Tabarāni in Ath-Thalātha, ad-Ðiya‟i in Al-Mukhtāra, Abu Nu‟aym in Al-Hilaya, „Abd bin Humayd, Abu Musa al-Madani in As-Sahāba, Abul-Futūh al-Ajli in Al-Mawjid, Ishaq Rahawiyyah, add-Dawlābi in Adh-Dhariyya at-Tāhira, al-Bazzār, az-Zarundi ash-Shāfi, Ibn Batrīq in al-‘Umudi, and al-Jāi‟bi in at-Tālibīn from the hadīth of „Abdullah bin Musa bin „Abdullah bin al-Hassan bin al-Hassan bin „Ali bin Abi Tālib from his ancestors on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, and others.
This narration is related by many of the companions of the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. [This includes:] Amirul-Muminīn „Ali bin Abi Tālib, Abu Dharr, Abu Said al-Khudri, Abu Rāfi‟(the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny), Umm Hāni, Umm Salama, Jābir [bin „Abdullah], Hudhayfa bin Usayd al-Ghaffāri, Zayd bin Arqam, Zayd bin Thābit, Ðumra al-Islāmi, Khuzayma bin Thābit, Sahl bin Sa‟d al-Sa‟idi, „Adi bin Hātim, „Uqba bin Āmr, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Abu Sharīh al-Khazā‟i, Abu Qudāmah al-Ansari, Abu Layla, Abu Hashim at-Tihān, and others.”
In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa min as-Sihāh as-Sittah by Allāma al-Murtaža al-Husseini al-Fayrūzi Ibadi says:
“It is narrated by Muslim in his Sahīh in the chapter that deals with the virtues of Companions by Zayd bin Arqam who is in the chain of authorities, Ahmed bin Hanbal in his Musnad (V. 3, pp. 14, 17, 26, and 59) on the authority of Abu Sa‟id al-Khudri with different wordings, (V. 4, p. 366 and 371) on the authority of Zayd [bin Arqam], and (V. 5, p. 181) with two chains on the authority of Zayd bin Thābit; al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan (V. 2, p. 148) and (V. 7, p. 30); ad-Dārimi in his Sunan (V. 2, p. 431); al-Muttaqi
24 This term is used in Shiite literature to refer to Sunnis.
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[al-Hindi] in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 1, p. 30 and 47) on the authority of Abid bin Humayd in two narrations—Zayd bin Arqam and (V. 1, p. 30) and (V. 7, p. 102) in two narrations–both of which are related by Ibn Jarīr; at-Tahāwi in Mishkil Athār (V. 4, p. 368); Ibn Athīr in Usd Ghāba (V. 2, p. 12) and (V. 3, p. 147) on the authority „Abdullah bin Hundab; as-Suyūti in Ad-Durr al-Manthūr related that this is mentioned by Ibn Anbāri in al-Masāhif on the authority of Zayd bin Thābit and at-Tirmidhi on the authorities of Jābir bin „Abdullah (V. 2, p. 308), Abu Dharr, Abu Sa‟id, Zayd bin Arqam, and Hudhayfa bin Usayd; al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak (V. 3, pp. 109 and 148) on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam; Ibn Hajar in As-Sawā’iqa (pp. 75 and 89) and (p. 136) he says that more than 20 companions relate it; Ibn Abi Shayba; Ibn Abi Ya‟la; at-Tabarāni in al-Kabir (p. 44) on the authority of Sa‟id bin Mansur—Zayd bin Thābit, (p. 47) on the authority of Abid bin Humayd, and (p. 98) he says that Ibn Jarīr and Munāwi relate it; al-Bawārdi on the authority Abu Sa‟id; Abu Nu‟aym in Al-Hilaya (V. 1 p. 135) on the authority of Hudhayfah bin Usayd al-Ghaffāri and (V. 9) on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace; al-Khatīb al-Baghdādi (V. 8, p. 442); and al-Haythami in his Majmu’ (V. 5, p. 195) on the authority of „Abdullah bin Hundab, (V. 9, p. 164) on the authority of Hudhayfah bin Usayd, (V. 9, p. 163) on the authorities of Zayd bin Arqam and Abu Hurayra—he also says that al-Bazzār narrated this, and (V. 10, p. 363).
Hadīth of the Ark
Regarding the Hadīth of the Ark mentioned in the beginning, it is narrated by Imam al-Hādi Yahya bin al-Hussein in Al-Ahkam, „Ali bin Musa ar-Riža, Abu Tālib, al-Murshid Billah, al-Mawfiq Billah, Mansur Billah „Abdullah bin Hamza, Shariffudīn, al-Qāsim bin Muhammad, and others.
It is also mentioned by the following scholars of hadīth: al-Hākim in Al-Mustadrak, Ibn Athīr in his Hayyāt, al-Khatīb bin Maghāzali in his Manāqib, al-Kanji in his Manāqib, Abu Ya‟la in his Musnad, at-Tabarāni in Ath-Thalātha, as-Samhūdi in Jawā’ir al-‘Aqdīn, as-Suyūti in his Jāmi’, al-Malā, Ibn Abi Shayba, Musaddad, al-Qāsim bin Muhammad (a.k.a. Ash-Shaqīqi) in Kitāb al-Jawāhir, and al-Muhib at-Tabari in Daqā`ir al-‘Aqba. Many different narrations from different chains are related many companions, including: „Ali, may Allah ennoble his face; Ibn „Abbās; Abu Dharr; Salama bin al-Akwa‟; Abu Sa‟id al-Khudri; and Ibn Zubayr. Ahmed bin Hanbal related it on the authority of „Ammār. Ahmed and at-Tirmidhi narrated it on the authority of Anas. At-Tabarāni narrated it on the authority of Ibn Umar. The wording of some differs from the wording of others. Some of them say ((…Whoever doesn‟t [board the Ark], will be destroyed)). Others say ((Whoever boards it will be saved. Whoever doesn‟t will be drowned)); ((Whoever disregards it will be thrown in the Fire)); ((The one who fights us in these times will be similar to the one who fights along with the Antichrist when he comes)). These quotations were from Lawama’ al-Anwār.
In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa it says:
“Al-Hākim narrated in Al-Mustadrak (V. 2, p. 343) on the authority of Hanish al-Kanāni. He says: „It is authentic according to the conditions of Muslim.‟ In Volume 3 there is another narration by Hanish. al-Muttaqi [al-Hindi] in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 6, p. 16) related that Ibn Jarīr narrated it on the authority of Abu Dharr, al-Haythami in his Majmu’ (V. 9,
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p. 168) says:
Hadīth of the Stars (an-Nujūm)

Regarding the hadīth: ((The stars are a means of safety to the people of the heavens. When the star goes from the sky, it is a promise to the people of the heavens. The People of my House are a means of safety to the People of the earth. When the People of my House go from the earth, it is a promise to the people of the earth)), it is narrated by Imam al-Hādi Yahya bin al-Hussein, upon him be peace, in Al-Ahkām, „Ali bin Musa ar-Riža on the authority of his ancestors, Abu Tālib, al-Murshid Billah, al-Mawfiq Billah, al-Mansur Billah, and the author of Al-Jawā’ir al-‘Aqdīn on the authority of Salama bin al-Akwa‟. He stated: “This is related by Ibn Abi Shayba and Abu Ya‟la. At-Tabari also narrated this in Dhakhā`ir al-A’qba on the authority of Salama.” The author of Al-Jawā’ir also narrated it on the authority of Anas and states:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The stars are a means of safety to the people of the heavens. When the star goes from the sky, it is a promise to the people of the heavens. The People of my House are a means of safety to the people of the earth. When the People of my House go from the earth, it is a promise to the people of the earth)). This is also related by Ibn Mudhaffar from a statement of „Abdullah bin Ibrāhīm al-Ghaffari.
It is also narrated on the authority of „Ali Bin Abi Tālib, upon him be peace, that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The stars are a means of safety…)) with similar wording. Ahmed related this in Al-Manāqib. It is also in the Dhakhā`ir al-A’qba with the same wording.
It is narrated on the authority of Qatada—„Atā‟—Ibn „Abbās that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((The stars are a means of safety for the people of the earth from drowning. The People of my House are a means of safety for my community whenever they differ. Consequently, when the tribes of Arabs differ from them, there will arise the party of Satan)).
Al-Hākim related this. He also said in his Al-Mustadrak that the chain of authorities is authentic (sahīh isnād). At-Tabarāni related this hadīth, as well as al-Hākim al-Jushmi on the authority of Salama.
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Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Kufi also narrated this on the authority of Salama bin al-Akwa‟ in three different transmissions.
Imam al-Mansur Billah, upon him be peace, narrated it in ash-Shāfi on the authority of the Commander of the Believers, upon him be peace: ((The People of my House are like the stars. Whenever a star falls, another rises)). In the Nahjul Balagha, it says: “The Family of Muhammad is like the stars. Whenever a star falls, another rises.”
In Al-Amāli it says on the authority of Nasr bin Mazāhim, who said:
I heard Shu‟ba say that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The People of my House are like the stars to my community. Whenever a star falls, another rises)).
„Abdullah bin Hamza also narrated this on the authority of „Ali bin Bilāl on the authority of Shu‟ba.
Al-Murshid Billah narrated with his chain of authority going to Musa al-Kādhim—his ancestors—‟Ali bin Abi Tālib—the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((The People of my House are a means of safety to the People of the earth just as the stars are a means of safety to the people of the heavens. Woe to those that forsake and oppose them!))
All of the above is quoted from our shaykh, may Allah bless him, in the Lawama’ al-Anwār.
Verse of Affection
Regarding the clarification of the Verse of Affection, there is a narration by an-Nāsr, the author of Al-Jayl, as well as ad-Daylam that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was asked: “Who are your „kin‟ in whom affection is obligatory for?” He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, replied: ((„Ali, Fātima, and their descendants)).
Al-Murshid Billah narrated with his chain of authority going to Ibn „Abbās that when the verse: {Say: I ask you for no reward but only affection toward the kin} (42:23) was revealed, the people asked: “O Messenger of Allah, who are your „kin‟ in whom affection is obligatory for?” He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, replied: ((„Ali, Fātima, and their descendants)). This is also narrated in al-Kashāf [by az-Zamakhshari], by al-Hākim al-Haskāni in Shawāhid at-Tanzīl with a chain of authority going to Ibn „Abbās through about eight different chains of transmission.
Al-Kanji related it on the authority of Ibn „Abbās and stated:
This is related by at-Tabarāni in al-Kabīr. It is also similarly narrated by al-Hākim in Manāqib ash-Shāfi’, Ibn Abi Hātim, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalāni, and at-Tabarāni on the authority of Ibn „Abbās.
Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Kūfi narrated in Al-Manāqib with a chain of authority going to Ibn „Abbās. Ath-Tha‟labi narrated it in his Qur‟ānic exegesis (tafsīr), al-Maghāzali in his Manāqib, Ahmed in his Musnad, and al-Hākim narrated it in three different chains of transmission.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated this on the authority of Sa‟id bin Jubayr that the exegesis of “kin” in this verse refers to the Family of Muhammad, Allah‟s peace and blessings be upon them all. In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa, it says:
Al-Muhib at-Tabari narrated in Dhakhā`ir al-A’qba (p. 25) on the authority of Ibn
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„Abbās: “When the verse: {Say: I ask you for no reward but only affection toward the kin} (42:23) was revealed, the people asked: „O Messenger of Allah, who are your „kin‟ in whom affection is obligatory for?‟ He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, replied: ((„Ali, Fātima, and their descendants)).”
Ahmed related it in Al-Manāqib. Al-Haythami related it in his Majmu’ (V. 7, p. 103 and V. 9, p. 168). In both of them, it says: „At-Tabarāni narrated it and Ibn Hajar mentioned it in his As-Sawā’iqa (p. 101). Ahmed, at-Tabarāni, and Ibn Hātim mention it. Al-Hākim mentioned it on the authority of Ibn „Abbās. Ash-Shabnaji mentioned it in his Nur al-Absār (p. 101). This is also on the authority of al-Baghawi in his Qur‟ānic exegesis.‟
Regarding the “kin” mentioned meaning the kin of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, it is stated by:Ibn Jarīr in his Qur‟ānic exegesis (V. 25, p. 16) on the authority of Sa‟id bin Jubayr and (p. 17) on the authority of Abu Ishāq; Abu Nu‟aym in his Al-Hilaya (V. 3, p. 201) with the chain of authority ending with Jābir; al-Hākim in Al-Mustadrak (V.3, p. 172) on the authority of al-Hassan bin „Ali; Ibn Athīr in Usd al-Ghāba (V. 5, p. 367) on the authority of Habīb bin Abi Thābit; Al-Muhib at-Tabari in Dhakhā`ir al-A’qba (p. 25); Ibn Hajar in his As-Sawā’iqa (p. 101) on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, (p. 102) on the authority of Ibn „Abbās, and stated that it was on the authorities of ath-Tha‟labi and al-Baghawi; and az-Zamakhshari in his Qur‟ānic exegesis on the verse of affection on the authority of Jarīr.
Incident of the Cloak (al-Kisā)
Regarding the incident of the cloak, it is narrated that when the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, received the verse: {Verily Allah wills to remove from you sin, O People of the House, and purify you thoroughly} (33:33), he came to „Ali, Fātima, al-Hassan, and al-Hussein, placed them under his cloak, and said: ((O Allah, These are the People of my House! Therefore, remove impurity from them and purify them with a thorough purification!))
The following from amongst our scholars relate it: an-Nasir al-Haqq al-Hassan bin „Ali, Abu Tālib, al-Murshid Billah, Muhammad bin Mansur al-Murādi, Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Kufi, the author of Al-Muhīt—„Ali bin al-Hussein, al-Hākim al-Jushmi, and al-Hākim al-Haskāni.
The following from the scholars of hadīth narrated it: Ibn Abi Shayba, Ibn „Uqba, Ibn al-Maghāzali, Mālik bin Anas, Waki‟, Ahmed bin Hanbal, Ishāq bin Rāhawayh, Muslim, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, ad-Daraqutni, ath-Tha‟labi, al-Wāhidi, al-Hākim, at-Tahāwi, Abu Ya‟la, Abu Shaykh, at-Tabarāni, al-Bayhaqi, Abid bin Humayd, Matīn, Ibn Abi Dawud, Ibn Abi Hātim, Ibn Jarīr, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn „Asākir, Ibn Mardawayh, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Mani‟, Ibn an-Najjār, al-Muhib ad-Dīn at-Tabari, al-Baghawi, and others.
It is narrated on the authority of the following companions: „Ali, upon him be peace, al-Hassan, upon him be peace, Fātima az-Zahra, upon her be peace, Ibn „Abbās, „Abdullah bin Ja‟far, Jābir bin „Abdullah, Umm Salama, her son—Umar bin Abi Salama, A‟isha, al-Barā bin Āzib, Wāthila bin al-Asqa‟, Abu Sa‟id al-Khudri, Anas bin Mālik, Sa‟id bin Abi Waqqās, and al-Hamrā—the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny.
These narrations all indicate the collection of the four: „Ali, [Fātima] az-Zahra, al-Hassan, and al-Hussein, with the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. He wrapped them in his
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cloak and said: ((O Allah, these are the People of my House!)) In some of the narrations, he says: ((…my Offspring!)), ((…my People, the People of my House!)), ((…the People of my House and my Special Ones)). Al-„Allâmah al-Hujjah, Majiddīn bin Muhammad al-Mu`ayyadi, may Allah benefit by his knowledge, said in At-Tuhfat al-Fatimiyyah: It is general usage (samâ‘a) mentioned briefly to be easy and not to offend (?).
In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa, it says:
Muslim narrated the hadīth of the cloak in the volume “The Virtues of the Companions” in the chapter entitled “The Virtues of the People of the Prophet‟s House” on the authority of A‟isha.
Al-Hākim narrated it in his Mustadrak (V. 3, p. 147) and says: “It is authentic according to the conditions of the two shaykhs [i.e. al-Bukhari and Muslim].” Al-Bayhaqi narrated it in as-Sunan (V. 2, p. 149), and Ibn Jarīr narrated it in his Tafsīr (V. 22, p. 5). As-Suyūti narrated it in Durr al-Manthūr regarding the exegesis of the Verse of Purification [Q. 33:33] and says: “Ahmed, Ibn Abi Hātim, and Ibn Abi Shayba relate it. Az-Zamakhshari also related it in his exegesis of the Verse of Mutual Cursing [Q. 3:61].”
Al-Fakhr ar-Razi narrated it and said: “Know that these narrations are a matter of agreement between the scholars of Qur‟ānic exegesis and hadīth.” At-Tirmidhi narrated it in [in his Sunan] (V. 2, p. 209) on the authority of Umar bin Abi Salama, (p. 319) on the authority of Umm Salama, and says: It is in a chapter on the authorities of Umar bin Abi Salama, Anas, Abu al-Hamrā, Ma‟qul bin Yasār, and A‟isha.
As-Suyūti narrated it in his exegesis of the verse {Command your people to pray} (Q. 20:132). He said: “Ibn Mardawayh, Ibn „Asākir, and Ibn An-Najjār on the authority of Abu Sa‟id al-Khudri relate it.” He also said: “When the verse {Command your people to pray} was revealed, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, came to the door of „Ali, upon him be peace, at the prayer time for eight months and said: ((It is time for prayer, may Allah be merciful to you! Verily Allah wills to remove from you sin, O People of the House, and purify you thoroughly)).”
Al-Hākim narrated it [in Mustadrak] (V. 2, p.416) on the authority of Umm Salama, and said that it was authentic according to the conditions of al-Bukhari. He also narrated it in on the authority of „Abdullah bin Ja‟far bin Abu Tālib (V. 3, p. 147) and in the sermon of al-Hassan bin „Ali (V. 3, p. 172). In this sermon, al-Hassan said: “I am from the People of the House that Allah removed sin from and purified thoroughly!”
As-Suyūti narrated it in Durr al-Manthūr (V. 5, p. 198-199) and said: “Ibn Mardawayh related it in the authority of Umm Salama…It is related by Ibn Mardawayh, al-Khatīb on the authority of Abu Sa‟id, at-Tirmidhi and he authenticated it, Ibn Jarīr, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Hākim and he authenticated it, al-Bayhaqi on the authorities of Umm Salama and Wāthila bin al-Asqa‟, Ibn Abi Hātim, at-Tabarāni on the authority of Abu Sa‟id, Ibn Abi Shayba, and Ahmed.”
Ahmed in his Musnad (V. 1, p. 330) on the authority of Ibn „Abbās who related a hadīth he remembered from the 10 virtues of „Ali, (V. 4, p. 107) on the authority of Wāthila bin al-Asqa‟, (V. 6, p. 292) on the authorities of Umm Salama and Shahr bin Hūshib.
An-Nisā‟i narrated it on p. 4 on the authority of Sa‟d bin Abi Waqqās. It is also narrated in Tarikh al-Baghdad (V. 10, p. 278) on the authority of Abu Sa‟id al-Khudri. At-Tabari [narrated it in at-Tarikh] (V. 22, p. 6) on the authority of Abu al-Hamrā and (V. 36, p. 5) on the authority of Abu Sa‟id.
It was also narrated in Riyađ an-Nađara (V. 2, p.188), in Ibn „Abdul-Barr‟s Al-Isti‘ab (V. 2, p.
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598) on the authority of Abu al-Hamrā, by Abu Dawud at-Tayālisi (V. 8, p. 274) on the authority of Anas, in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 7, p. 92) on the authority of Wāthila bin al-Asqa‟, in Usd al-Ghāba (V. 2, p. 20) on the authority Wāthila bin al-Asqa‟ and (V. 3, p. 413). It is also narrated by at-Tahāwi in Mishkil al-Athār (V. 1, p. 332) on the authorities of Umm Salama and Sa‟d bin Abi Waqqās, (pp. 333 and 336) on the authority of Umm Salama, and (p. 338) on the authority of Abu al-Hamrā.
It is also narrated by al-Haythami in his Majmu’ (V. 9, p.169) on the authorities of Abu Sa‟id and Abu Barza, (p. 121) on the authority of Abu al-Hamrā, (p. 146) on the authority of Abu Tufayl, (p. 172) on the authority of Abu Jamīla, (p. 206) on the authority of „Umar bin al-Khattab, and (p. 207) on the authority of Ibn „Abbās.
Hadīth of the Pond (al-Ghadīr)
To conclude our words on this matter, we relate the Hadīth of the Pond, Hadīth of Position, and Hadīth of Love:
Regarding the Hadīth of the Pond: It was that which proclaimed the Imamate of „Ali bin Abi Tālib, upon him be peace, as well as the Hadīth of Position and others. When the verse {O Messenger, convey what has been revealed to you…} (Q. 5:67) was revealed, he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, never hesitated to take one step before delivering it. This occurred during the final pilgrimage (Hajj al-Widā’) where [the Muslims] gathered at the juncture between Mecca and Medina. Then the call for prayer was made and the people came together. He gave a lengthy lecture and then cut it short to ask: ((Do I not have more authority over you than you have over yourselves?)) They all replied, “O Allah, indeed!” He said: ((Then, whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over. O Allah, help those that help him and oppose those that oppose him! Assist those that assist him, and abandon those that abandon him!))
It is narrated with different wording, but in line with the statement above that indicates Guardianship (al-Wilāyat). There is consensus among the People of the House of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, regarding its authenticity. It is also narrated by other scholars of the community (al-ummah).
Muhammad bin al-Jarīr at-Tabari narrated it with 75 different chains in his book entitled Kitāb al-Wilāyat. Muhammad bin „Uqda narrated it with 105 chains. Al-Hussein bin al-Qāsim narrated it Shahr al-Ghāliyat on the authority of 38 companions, all of which are from chains including the People of the House, upon him be peace. Muhammad bin Ibrāhīm al-Wazīr said: “The incident of the Pond was narrated in 153 chains.” Adh-Dhahabi said:
I am amazed at a narration with so many chains! As-Suyūti includes it amongst the mass-transmitted (al-mutawātir) hadīths.
Al-Ghazzāli said:
There is consensus from the majority concerning the sermon in the Hadīth of the Pond. Ibn Hajar even admits in Sawā’iqa that it has been narrated by 30 companions.
Al-Maqbili said: “It is amongst those things that are so well-known that if it is not, then what in the world is known?”
It is narrated that the revelation of the verse, {O Messenger, convey what has been revealed to you…} (Q. 5:67) commanded the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, to convey the guardianship of Amīr al-Muminīn [i.e. „Ali] at the pond of Khumm (al-Khumm al-Ghadīr).
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Among those [that narrated this] include: Imam Zayd bin „Ali, his brother—al-Bāqir, as-Šadiq, „Ali bin Musa ar-Riža, al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm, al-Hādi, al-Murshid Billah, Abul Fath ad-Daylami, al-Mutawikkil ala Allah Ahmed bin Sulayman, al-Mansur Billah „Abdullah bin Hamza, al-Hassan bin Badr ad-Dīn, Abu al-Hussein Ahmed bin Musa at-Tabari, Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Kufi, al-Hākim al-Jushmi in his Tanbīh al-Ghāfilīn, al-Hākim al-Hasakāni, al-Wāhidi, ath-Tha‟labi, al-Batrīq in his ‘Umdat, at-Tusi in his Tafsīr, ar-Rāzi in Mafātīh Ghayb, and others.
There are some that narrated the address with the wording ((Then, whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over. O Allah, help those that help him and oppose those that oppose him!)). Some of them include the specialists of the community: Ahmed bin Hanbal, Sa‟id bin Mansur on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, Zayd bin Arqam, 30 companions, Abu Ayyub while gathering the companions, al-Hākim in Mustadrak on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, and Talha, Abu Nu‟aym on the authority of Sa‟d bin Abi Waqqās, al-Khatīb on the authority of Anas, and at-Tabarāni on the authority of Umar bin Marah and Zayd bin Arqam—who adds ((…Assist those that assist him, and abandon those that abandon him!)) This conforms to the wording of these narrations. Their evil will be halted. This is narrated in the Lawama’ al-Anwār.
In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa, it says:
[It is narrated in] Sahīh at-Tirmidhi (V. 2; p. 298) on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam, „Ali bin Sultan in his Marqāt (V. 5, p. 568) on the authority of at-Tirmidhi, an-Nisā‟i, and ad-Ðiya on the authority of Zayd.
An-Nisā‟i narrated it in his Khasā`is (p.25) on the authority of Sa‟d, Ibn Māja in his Sahīh (p. 12) on the authorities of al-Barā bin Āzib and Sa‟d bin Abi Waqqās, Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad (V. 4, p. 281) on the authority al-Barā, Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 1, p.48) and (V. 6, p.397) as related by Ibn Abi Shayba, at-Tabari in Riyāđ (V. 2, p. 169) as related by as-Simān, al-Hākim in his Mustadrak (V. 3, p. 109) on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam and (p. 533) on the authority of Zayd Batriq, and at-Tabarāni in Kabir on the authority of Zayd.
Al-Hākim related it in his Mustadrak (V. 3, p. 116) on the authority of Sa‟d bin Mālik, (p. 371) on the authority of Rifā‟i bin Ilyās ad-Ðabi on the authority of his father on the authority of his grandfather, and (p. 110) related by Burayda. [Al-Hakim] says: “These are authentic according to the conditions of [al-Bukhari and Muslim].” Ahmed narrated the hadīth of Burayda (V. 5, p. 347). Al-Muttaqi [al-Hindi] in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 6, p. 154) related that it is narrated by Ahmed bin Hanbal, Ibn Hibban, Samawiyya, al-Hākim, and Sa‟id bin Mansur on the authorities of Ibn Abbas and Burayda. An-Nisā‟i narrated it in his Khasā`is (pp. 8 and 22) and Ibn Hajar mentioned it in his Sawā’iqa (p. 26). Afterwards, he [i.e. Ibn Hajar] says: “Adh-Dhahabi authenticated it.”
„Ali bin Sultan related in his Marqāt (V. 5, p. 568) that adh-Dhahabi narrated it on the authority of Burayda and authenticated it. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 6, p. 152) says that it is related by Ahmed [bin Hanbal] on the authority of Burayda; an-Nisā‟i on the authority of al-Barā; and an-Nisā‟i, at-Tirmidhi, and ad-Ðiya on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam. This is also mentioned by al-Munāwi in Fayđ al-Qadīr (V.6, p. 218).
Al-Muhib at-Tabari narrated this in Riyāđ (V. 2, p. 172) on the authority of Burayda. [At-Tabari] said: “Abu Hātim related this. Ahmed also related this in his Musnad (V. 1, p.152) on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace.” [At-Tabari] also narrated this in Riyāđ (V. 2, p. 203) and Dakhā`ir (p. 86) and said:
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“Ahmed related it, as well as Abul-Qasim ad-Damishqi in al-Mawāfaqāt.” Al-Haythami mentioned this in his Majmu’ (V. 9, p.107) and said: “Ahmed related it and his narrators are all reliable. He narrated it in his Musnad (V. 1, p. 330) on the authority of Ibn „Abbās.” He also mentioned it in his Majmu’ (V. 9, p.119) and said: “Ahmed related it, as well as at-Tabarāni in al-Kabīr and al-Awsat in brief.”
„Ali‟s Adjuration (munāshada) in the Courtyard (ar-Rahba)
In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa, it says:
Ahmed bin Hanbal narrated it with the chain of authority to „Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Layla who said that „Ali, upon him be peace, adjured to the people in the courtyard [of the mosque in Kufa] to swear by saying: (I adjure you by Allah! Whoever heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, say on the day of Ghadīr Khumm: ((Whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over)), stand and bear witness!) „Abdur-Rahman said that 12 companions from Badr stood up and he saw everyone. They all replied that they heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, say on the day of Ghadīr Khumm: ((Do I not have more authority over you than you have over yourselves and my wives are your mothers?)) They all replied, “O Messenger of Allah, indeed!” He said: ((Then, whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over. O Allah, help those that help him and oppose those that oppose him!))
Ahmed narrated in his Musnad (V. 5, p. 366) on the authority of Sa‟id bin Wahab who said: “„Ali, upon him be peace, adjured 5 or 6 companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, to stand and bear witness. They all stood and bore witness that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over)). He also narrated „Ali‟s adjuration in the courtyard (V. 1, p. 84) on the authority of Zadhān bin Umar that 12-13 companions of Badr stood up, (p.88) on the authority of Ziyād bin Abi Ziyād that 12 companions of Badr stood up, (p.118) on the authorities of Sa‟id bin Wahab and Zayd bin Yathi‟. He narrated that six companions stood up and bore witness. He also narrated „Ali‟s adjuration in the courtyard (p. 119) on the authority of „Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Layla that 12 companions of Badr stood up. [Ahmed also narrated in] (V. 5, p. 307) on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam that when „Ali adjured, 16 men stood up and testified. In (V. 4, p. 270) it is narrated on the authority of Abu Tufayl that 30 people stood up to testify. Abu Nu‟aym said: “Many people stood up and testified.” In (V. 5, p. 419) it is narrated on the authority of Riyā bin al-Hārith who said: “A group came to „Ali in the courtyard and said: „We heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, say…‟” This is also narrated on (p. 350) on the authority of Burayda.
Al-Fakhr ar-Razi narrated in his Qur‟anic exegesis of the verse: {O Messenger, convey what has been revealed to you…} (Q. 5:67) that Abu Nu‟aym in his Al-Hilaya (V. 5, p. 26) related „Umaira bin Sa‟d recounting the adjuration of „Ali. “Eleven companions stood up and testified on the pulpit (al-minbar).” Also, there‟s a narration of „Umar bin „Abdul-Azīz who said: “I heard several people say that they heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, relate that hadīth.”
It is narrated by al-Khatīb al-Baghdādi in Tarikh (V. 7, p. 377) on the authority of Anas, (V. 8, p. 290) on the authority of Abu Hurayra, and (V. 12, p. 343) on the authority of Ibn „Abbās.
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An-Nisā‟i narrated it in his Khasā`is (p. 21) on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam, (p. 22) on the authorities of Sa‟d and „Amr bin Sa‟d (who related that six companions stood up and testified in the courtyard of „Ali), (p. 23) on the authority of Zayd bin Yathi‟ who related „Ali‟s adjuration on the pulpit of Kufa and six people stood up to testify, (p. 25) on the authority of Sa‟d in two chains of authority, and (p. 26) on the authority of „Amr bin Sa‟d who said that the people stood up and testified.
Al-Muhib at-Tabari narrated this in Riyāđ (V. 2, p.169) on the authorities of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and Umar. Ibn Hajar narrated in Sawā’iqa (p. 25) and says: “According to at-Tabarāni and others, the chain of authorities of the sermon of Ghadīr is authentic (sahīh).”
Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi narrated it in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 1, p. 48) and includes different narrations. He also narrated it in (V. 6, p. 153); on (p. 154) with 3 different narrations; (p. 390) on the authority of Zayd bin Arqam and Ðiha on the authority of Zayd; (p. 397) on the authorities of „Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Layla and „Ali, upon him be peace; (p. 398) on the authorities of Jābir bin Samura and Jābir bin „Abdullah; (p. 399) on the authorities of Jarīr al-Bajli and „Ali, upon him be peace; (p. 403) on the authorities of „Amr bin Sa‟d (who witnessed 18 people standing up and testifying at the courtyard), Zayd bin Arqam (who witnessed 12 people standing up and testifying to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace, ), Sa‟id bin Wahab, Zayd bin Yathi‟ (who witnessed 13 people standing up and testifying to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace, ); (p. 405) on the authority of Sa‟d (who narrated the Hadīths of the Flag (ar-Rāyat), Position (al-Manzila), and the Pond); and (p. 406) on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace.
Ibn Hajar narrated it in his Al-Isāba (V.1, p. 319) on the authority of Zar bin Habaysh (who witnessed 12 people standing up and testifying to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace, ); (V. 2, p. 57) on the authority of Haba bin Jawayn; (V. 3, p. 29) reports that ten people stood up in the courtyard of Kufa and testified to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace; (V. 4, p. 16) reports that 17 people stood up in the courtyard of Kufa and testified to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace, among them including „Amr bin Layla al-Ghaffāri; (p. 143) on the authority of Ja‟far bin Muhammad on the authority of his father; (p. 169) on the authority of al-Asbagh bin Nabāta who reports that 10 people stood up in the courtyard of Kufa and testified to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace; (p. 182) on the authority of Abu Ishāq who said: “I could not count the number of those who stood up and testified to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace, ”; and (V. 7, p. 156) on the authority of Abu Tufayl who reports 17 people standing up and testifying to the adjuration of „Ali, upon him be peace.
Ibn al-Athīr narrated it in Usd al-Ghāba (V. 1, p. 308) on the authority of Junada‟ bin „Amru bin Mazān; (V. 2, p. 307) on the authority of al-Asbagh bin Nabāta who said: “„Ali, upon him be peace, adjured us in the courtyard regarding the testimony of those who heard the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said what he said on the day of Ghadīr Khumm. Ten men stood up. Among them were: Abu Ayyub al-Ansāri, Abu „Amr bin Muhsin, Abu Zaynab, Sahl bin Hanīf, Khuzaymah bin Thābit, „Abdullah bin Thābit al-Ansāri, Habashi bin Junāda as-Salūli, Ubayd bin „Āzib al-Ansāri, Nu‟mān bin „Ajlān al-Ansāri, Thābit bin Wadi„ah al-Ansāri, Abu Fađalah al-Ansāri, and „Abdur-Rahman bin „Abdu Rabb. All of them said: “We testify that we heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Verily Allah, the Powerful and Majestic is my Guardian (Wali). I am the guardian (wali) of the believers. Then, whomever I have authority over, „Ali has authority over. O Allah, help those that help him and oppose those that oppose him! Assist those that assist him, and abandon those that abandon him!))”
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Abu Qutayba narrated it in his Imama wa Siyāsa (p. 93). At-Tahāwi narrated it in Mishkil Athār (V. 2, p. 307) on the authority of Ali, upon him be peace. Al-Munāwi narrated it in Fayđ al-Qadīr (V.6, p. 218) in a commentary.
Al-Haythami narrated it in his Majmu’ az-Zawā`id (V. 7, p.17) on the authority of „Ammār bin Yāsir and (V. 9, p. 105) on the authorities of Zayd bin Arqam and Abu Hurayra. [Al-Haythami] says: “It is narrated by Abu Ya‟la, al-Bazzār, and at-Tabarāni in his al-Awsat.” It is also narrated on (p. 106) on the authority of Mālik bin al-Huwairith, (p. 107) on the authority of Humayd bin Amārah on the authority of his father, and (p. 108) on the authorities of Ibn „Abbās and Abu Sa‟id.
Hadīth of Position (al-Manzila)
Regarding the Hadīth of Position, it is the statement of [the Prophet]: ((„Ali is to me like Aaron was to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me)). This is narrated by Imam al-Hādi, upon him be peace. Imam Zayd bin „Ali, upon him be peace, narrated: ((Regarding the approval of you, you are to me like Aaron was to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me)). Our shaykh (may Allah bless him and benefit us with his knowledge) said that these two accounts are similar narrations, and the Family of Muhammad, prayers be upon them, before the two Imams, after them, and between them are unanimous in that it was a proof.
Regarding the other differences, Imam al-Hujjah Mansur Billah, „Abdullah bin Hamza, upon him be peace, says in Al-Kitabul Mashhūra that there are 40 different chains of authority in the narrations of the Shiites and People of the House. Al-Hākim said: “This hadīth is mass-transmitted (mutawātir) in that our shaykh, Abu Hāzim al-Hāfiž said: „This has come to us through 5000 chains of authority.‟”
In Kitāb Faža’il al-Khamsa, it says:
“Al-Bukhari related it in his Sahīh in the book on the beginning of creation on the authority of Ibrāhīm bin Sa‟d bin Abi Waqqās—his father; Muslim in the chapter on the virtues of Ali, upon him be peace; Ibn Māja in his Sahīh (p. 20); Ahmed bin Hanbal in his Musnad (V. 1, p. 174); Abu Dawud at-Tayālisi in his Musnad (V. 1, pp.28-29; 182); Abu Nu‟aym in his Al-Hilaya (V. 7, p. 194 -196); and An-Nisā‟i in his Khasā`is with two channels of transmission (pp. 15-16). Al-Bukhari and Muslim (in the chapter on the virtues of Ali) also narrated it on the authorities of Mus„ab bin Sa‟d and his father in the chapter on the Battle of Tabuk. At-Tahāwi narrated it in Mishkil Athār (V. 2, p. 309); al-Khatīb in Tarikh (V. 11, p. 432) with two channels of transmission; and at-Tirmidhi in his Sahīh (V.2, p. 301). [Ibn Hajar] Al-Asqalāni narrated it in Fath al-Bāri (V. 8, p.76). He says: „It is narrated on the authorities of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny; Sa‟d which is different from the hadīth on the authority of „Umar; Ali, upon him be peace, himself; Abu Hurayra; Ibn Abbās; Jābir bin „Abdullah; Al-Barā; Zayd bin Arqam; Abu Sa‟id; Anas; Jābir bin Samura; Habashi bin Junāda; Mu„awiya; Asma bint „Umais; and others.‟ He also said: Ibn „Asākir gathered all of the channels of authorities regarding the interpretation of Ali.‟”
Abu Nu‟aym narrated it in his Al-Hilaya (V. 7, p. 195 -196) with five channels or transmission; al-Hākim narrated it in his Mustadrak (V. 2, p.337) on the authority of al-Hassan bin Sa‟d, the freed slave (mawla) of Ali, upon him be peace. [Al-Hakim] said: “The chain (isnād) is authentic.”
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As-Suyūti mentioned it in his Qur‟ānic exegesis of {It was not fitting for the people of Medina and the Bedouin Arabs of the neighbourhood…} (Q. 9:120). He said: “Ibn Mardawayh related it on the authority of Ali, upon him be peace.” [He also mentioned it in the exegesis of] {They prefer to be with (the women), who remain behind…} (Q. 9:87) and said: “Ibn Mardawayh related it on the authority of Sa‟d.”
Ahmed narrated it (V. 1, p. 170) on the authority of A‟isha bint Sa‟d on the authority of her father, (p. 173, 175, 177, and 184) on the authority of Sa‟d bin Mālik, and (p. 230) on the authority of Ibn Abbās. Al-Muhib at-Tabari narrated this in Riyāđ (V. 2, p.203). Al-Haythami narrated it in his Majmu’ az-Zawā`id (V. 9, p.119). He said: “Ahmed narrated it, as well as at-Tabarani in his al-Awsat and al-Kabīr…”
Hadīth of Love (al-Hubb)
Regarding the narrations that prove the obligation of loving „Ali, that love of him is faith, and that hatred of him is hypocrisy, there are different narrations by the People of the House, upon him be peace. This includes what is related by „Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Hanbal in his Ziyāda on the authority of Umm Salama that [the Prophet], peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((A believer will not hate you and a hypocrite will not love you)). Ibn Abi Shayba related on the authority of Umm Salama that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, also said: ((A believer will not hate „Ali and a hypocrite will not love him)). At-Tabarāni related on the authority of Umm Salama that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((None but a believer will love you and none but a hypocrite will hate you)). At-Tirmidhi, an-Nisā‟i, and Ibn Māja relate on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said to „Ali: ((None but a believer will love you and none but a hypocrite will hate you)). Muslim related on the authority of Umm Salama, may Allah be pleased with her, that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((A believer will not hate „Ali and a hypocrite will not love him)). Al-Khatīb related in his Tarīkh on the authority of Anas that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The outward sign of a believer is the love for „Ali bin Abi Tālib)). Al-Hākim related in his Mustadrak on the authority of Salmān that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((Whoever loves „Ali, loves me. Whoever hates „Ali, hates me)).
At-Tabarāni related on the authority of Jarir that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((Whoever has Allah and His Messenger as their guardians, this one (i.e. „Ali) is their guardian. O Allah, help those that help him and oppose those that oppose him! O Allah, love those that love him and hate those that hate him…))
At-Tabarāni and Ibn „Asākir on the authority of Abu Ubaidah bin Muhammad bin Ammār bin Yāsir—his father—his grandfather, that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((I ask the one who accepts my message and believes in me to be a follower of „Ali bin Abi Tālib, hence the one who follows him follows me and the one who follows me follows Allah. The one who loves him loves me and the one who loves me loves Allah. The one who hates him hates me and the one who hates me hates Allah, the Powerful, Majestic)).
At-Tabarāni related on the authority of Ibn „Umar that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((O „Ali, I am pleased with you as my brother and vizier regarding the religion, the one
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fulfils my contracts and meets my obligations. Therefore, whoever loves you in life for my sake, we will love him. Whoever loves you in life for your sake after me, Allah will seal faith and belief [in their hearts]. Whoever loves you after me and not falter, Allah will seal faith and belief [in their hearts] and he will be safe on the Day of Fear. Whoever dies while hating you, O Ali, will die as if during the days of pre-Islamic ignorance (Jahiliyya), and Allah will invalidate his actions in Islam)).
Ad-Daraqutni related in his Al-Ifrād, as well as al-Hākim in Al-Mustadrak, and al-Khatīb in his At-Tarīkh on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, that [the Messenger], peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said to him:
((The community (al-ummah) will betray you after me. You will live upon my path and fight for my sunnah. Whoever loves you, loves me. Whoever hates you, hates me. Verily, this (i.e. his beard) will be dyed with blood from this (i.e. his head))).
Al-Khatīb related in al-Mutafiq and al-Muftariq on the authority of Muhammad bin Ali that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((Allah does not firmly establish the love of „Ali in the heart of a believer except that Allah will establish them to speedily progress on the Bridge (As-Sirāt) on the Day of Judgment)).
At-Tabarāni related on the authority of Salmān that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The one that loves you, loves me. The one that hates you, hates me)). At-Tabarāni related on the authority of Muhammad bin „Abdullah bin Abi Rāfi‟—his father—his grandfather and many others that he, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said:
((Whoever loves „Ali only loves me. Whoever loves me only love Allah. Whoever hates him only hates me. Whoever hates me only hates Allah)).
All of the above are related by Ahmed bin al-Qāsim in his Sharh al-Ghāya.
Conclusion:
This is just one drop from a downpour and one level (majja) of a fathomless sea concerning what is narrated about the People of the House, upon him be peace! If we just take what is narrated about them from the verses of the Qur‟ān and the Prophetic hadīths, and investigate the chains of transmission (asānīd) to see who narrated them, this will lead to a great proof. Even if it is confined to what we have just narrated, a sound heart and intellectual path will achieve knowledge of the way that leads to the place of reward and avert one from the punishment of Hell.
The most amazing thing is that the community divided, and every sect belongs to an imam that they unquestionably adhere to from the imams of the generality, like ash-Shā‟fi, Abu Hanīfa (may Allah have mercy on both of them), and others. [They do this] without preferring the Qur‟ān, Prophetic hadīths, and intellectual proofs that they use as proofs and that they unquestionably adhere to.
Regarding the People of the Messenger‟s House, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, they did not refer to them regarding the verses of the Qur‟ān; the collected, mass-transmitted, Prophetic hadīths that are authenticated; and the intellectual evidences and witnessed that the truth was with them. This shows that it is obligatory to follow them, but that does not make one superior like the superiority of the one that goes to one of their scholars that takes from their narrations and recorded
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traditions. However, some evil people persisted in defaming their scholars and the scholars from their Shiites, like how they defamed Imam Ja‟far as-Šadiq, upon him be peace, Abu Khālid al-Wāsita, al-Hussein bin „Abdullah bin Ðamirah, and others (May Allah have mercy on them). They have persisted in that and have made the name “Shiites” something to be defamed. They have also defamed those that have promoted Allah and His Messenger and have promoted those that have defamed Allah and His Messenger. They have defamed those that loved „Ali while the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The love of him is faith)).
They have promoted those that hated him [i.e. „Ali] while the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The hatred of him is hypocrisy)). [They have also promoted] those that made war against him and sought his blood while the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said ((The one that makes war against you [O „Ali], makes war against me)). These same ones killed al-Hussein bin „Ali, the master of the youths of Paradise; Ammār bin Yāsir, the one about whom the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The disobedient rebels will kill you. You will be in Paradise, and they will be in Hellfire)); Hujr bin „Adi; al-Hāshim bin „Utbah bin Abi Waqqās; and others from the Emigrants, Helpers, and Followers.
„Ali bin Abi Tālib, upon him be peace, was cursed, and it was made a sunnah to curse him in every Friday sermon in all Muslim mosques. This cursing took place on 80,000 pulpits and it was promoted as a sunnah. They were called “Ahlul Sunnah” and it lasted approximately 40 years until the time of „Umar bin „Abdul „Azīz (May Allah be pleased with him) who stopped it [i.e. the cursing].
The ones that are ignorant of history are deceived to believe that “Ahlul Sunnah” refers to the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. It was actually the sunnah of Mu„āwiyah (May Allah curse him and his followers). With this understanding, they ask for the pleasure [of Allah] on him, and oppose the cursing or verbally abusing of him. But Allah says: {If someone kills a believer intentionally, his reward is Hell, to remain forever. The wrath and curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful punishment is prepared for him.} (Q. 4:93). The Exalted also says: {Those who persecute the believing men and women and not repent, will have the Penalty of Hell: They will have the Penalty of the Burning Fire} (Q. 85:10). Allah curses this person in the first verse. One cannot take a person as a helper while Hell is made obligatory for him by these two verses.
They say that we should be silent regarding the defamation that the Companions had between each other and we should only speak well of them. They say:
The truth concerning the controversy (fitna) between the Companions maintains
That the correct position is that all of them executed independent judgment.
The victory that Abu as-Sibtain [i.e. „Ali] achieved was while he was in the right
Whoever says the contrary to what we have just said is proven wrong.
But Allah is not silent. The Exalted says: {If Allah had willed, previous generations would not have fought among each other, after clear [signs] had come to them, but they [chose] to fight, some believing and others rejecting} (Q. 2:253), {If he [i.e. Muhammad] were to die or be killed, will you then turn back on your heels?} (Q. 3:144), {Among you are those that desire this world and among you are those that desire the hereafter} (Q. 3:152), {And there are those who are around you amongst the Bedouins that are hypocrites as well as some of the people of Medina that are steeped in hypocrisy} (Q. 9:101), {It is not your desires or those of the people of the Book [that will prevail]. The one that does evil shall be
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recompensed for it. He will not find a helper in Allah and no one to bring him relief} (Q. 4:123). These [verses] refer to them. Consequently, these addresses are all in the present tense. The people of Medina are specifically designated. Whenever the Qur‟ān mentioned a threat, promise, or other things with the article of direct address, then it addresses those that are actually present. For example, {Whoever deliberately kills a believer…} (Q. 4:93). [This] is like a command and afterwards, a ruling.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, is not silent. Consequently, he said concerning „Ali, Fātima, al-Hassan, and al-Hussein: ((I am at war with whomever you are at war with and I am at peace with whoever you are at peace with)). Some narrations read: ((…war with you…peace with you…)). This is related by at-Tirmidhi (V. 2, p. 219), Ibn Māja (p. 14), al-Hākim (V. 3, p. 149), Ibn al-Athīr in his Usd al-Ghāba (V. 5, p. 523), and in the Dhakhā`ir al-A’qba it says: “Abu Hātim related this.” It is also related by Ibn Hanbal (V. 2, p. 442). Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi narrated it in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 7; p. 102) on the authority of Ibn Abi Shayba, as well as at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Māja, Ibn Hanbal, at-Tabarāni, al-Hākim, and ađ-Ðiya. As-Suyūti says in his exegesis of the Verse of Purification that Ibn Mardawayh stated that his, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, statement began with ((My Companions, my Companions…)). In As-Sawā’iqa (p. 143) it says: ((Whoever verbally abuses (sabb) the People of my House has apostatized from Allah and Islam)). Five or six hadīths mention ((…curses (la’natuhum) them…)). The Prophet answers this by saying: ((Allah has sanctified the mustahal of my descendants)). Adh-Dhahabi authenticates this report in his al-Mizān (V. 2, p. 119) on the authority of Ā„isha. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi said in Kanz al-Ummāl (V. 8; p. 191) that ad-Daraqutni and al-Khatīb relate it on the authority of „Ali, upon him be peace, and (p. 192) at-Tabarāni related it on the authority of „Umar bin Shu„ayb. Ibn al-Athīr related it on the authority of „Umar bin Shu„ayb in his Usd al-Ghāba (V. 4, p. 107). In some of the narrations it mentioned six curses of Allah on them, and in others it mentioned seven curses of Allah on them.
He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((The love of him is faith. The hatred of him is hypocrisy)) and ((The one who loves you, loves me and the one who loves me, loves Allah. The one who hates you hates me)) as we mentioned in the beginning.
The Exalted says: {You will not find anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who oppose Allah and His Messenger} (Q. 58:22) and {The one amongst you that turns to them is one of them} (Q. 5:51). Consequently, what is your opinion of the one who aligns himself to those who bitterly opposed and hated „Ali and the People of the House of Allah‟s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, as well as defamed those that loved them? Can one have love, honour, and respect for the one who hates the Messenger of Allah?
What crime did the People of the House commit other than faith in Allah and their kinship to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, while Allah says: {Say: I ask you for no reward but only affection toward the kin} (42:23) and {Verily Allah wills to remove from you sin, O People of the House, and purify you thoroughly} (33:33)?
Those from the community (al-ummah) deviated the most from them [i.e. the People of the House], adopted the name “Ahlul Sunnah”, and was implanted by the Umayyads. There was sect that adopted the name “Shiites” that was implanted by the „Abbāsids.
Regarding the Ahlul Sunnah, their understanding of „Ali and the People of the House, upon him be peace, may be, in our explanation, from their caprices and opinions. Whoever wants a full and more
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detailed explanation of the generality can refer to the first volume of Lawama’ al-Anwār of Sayyid „Allāma al-Hujjah, Majiddīn bin Muhammad bin Mansur al-Hassani, may Allah benefit us by his knowledge and support him.
Regarding the Shiites, they became the Imamites and then deviated from the People of the House other than the 12 which was clearly undeniable and made temporary marriage lawful (yastahilūn). However, it was narrated that it [i.e. temporary marriage] was abrogated and prohibited, that the condition of the guardian (al-wali) is that he be of the Husseini descendants [of the Prophet] (sādāt), and other things that we have previously mentioned without indifference. They did not make a compromise between their narrations and then halted and diminished them in religion. Consequently, the believers halted in regards to doubts. They failed to mention those other than the 12 in their books regarding the issuance of revenue. They failed to mention their narrations and their histories. They considered them insignificant because they mention them as rebels.
If they relied upon al-Bāqir, as-Šadiq, al-Riža, and al-Kādhim, upon him be peace, it will be a meeting place, because there is no narration on their authority that is not in line with the teaching of their predecessors, upon him be peace—neither them nor any of the children of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny.
Who they [i.e. the 12ers] rely upon, in reality, is Hishām bin al-Hakim, Hishām bin Sālim, Sāhib at-Tāq, at-Tabrisi, at-Tūsi, al-Kulayni, and al-Mufīd. Then they, in reality, had Noah‟s ark circulate around them. Whenever it circulated, the children of al-Hassan and al-Hussein stood in isolation.
The amazing thing is that the intelligent and sagacious among them, like Sayyid Muhsin al-Amīn; Sayyid „Abdul-Hussein Sharifidīn; the author of al-Ghadīr that has also narrated the Hadīth of the Ark, Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things; has destroyed what was built. The reverse is concluded from their principles of its distortion while they say without clear proofs and evidences that there are 12.
According to them, the one who doesn‟t say that the Imamate is restricted to one of their nine Imams, that they [i.e. the Imams] are infallible and [divine] proofs, or differ with them [i.e. the 12ers] on the roots and branches of the religion, is a disbeliever. The People of the House, upon him be peace, do not say that, so they [i.e. People of the House] are disbelievers according to them [i.e. the 12ers]. Imam Ja‟far as-Šadiq has invalidated them, yet they falsify many of his narrations and talk idly about him, upon him be peace. It is similar to the fact that when their Imams wanted to know what transpired in the lands, they abrogated them, differed, and updated [their views].
Observe what is in al-Kulayni‟s book concerning research into the branches [of the religion] and be amazed! One could find their prejudices regarding the rest of the nine descendants of al-Hussein in it, as well as in the Kitab al-Ihtijāj of at-Tabrisi and other texts. This is an „Abbāsid implant.
{This is a message for humankind to take heed} (Q. 14:52), {And who does more wrong than one to whom the verses of his Lord are recited and then turns away from it? Verily We will demand retribution from the transgressors} (Q. 32:22), {“But whosoever turns away from My message, verily for him is a narrow life, and We will raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment. [The person] will ask, “O Lord! Why did You raise me up blind, whereas I previously had sight?” The reply will be: “It is so because when Our messages came to you, you were completely oblivious to them. So, on this day, you will be confined to destruction”} (Q. 20:124-126). Surely Allah has spoken the truth!
Hopefully, you will be satisfied by this and in it is vision for those who can see, reflection for
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those who reflect, and guidance for the guided. There is no strength or power except by Allah, the Exalted, the Great! May the prayers and peace be upon our master Muhammad and his pure progeny. Peace be upon the messengers. All Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
I have completed this text on Wednesday, the 18th of Dhul Qa‟da, 1415 AH.

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Book of Fasting, Zaydi Fasting

An Abridgement of the School of the Two Imams:
The Star of the Messenger’s Family, al-Qāsim bin Ibrahim and
The Guide to Truth, Yahya bin al-Hussein
(Book of Fasting)
By
Imam al-Muayyad Billah, Ahmed bin al-Hussein bin Harūn

Translation of: Tajrīd Madhhab al-Imāmayn: An-Najm Āl ar-Rasūl, al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm wa al-Hādi ila al-Haqq, Yahya bin al-Hussein (Kitāb aš-Šiyām)

Book of Fasting: Table of Contents:

1. Concerning the Manner of Entering the Fasting
2. Concerning the Recommended and Disliked Actions during a Fast
3. Concerning the Recommended and Disliked Fasts
4. Concerning That Which Invalidates the Fast, Does Not Invalidate the Fast, and What Obligates a Sacrifice
5. Concerning the Fast of Oaths, Unlawful Declarations (az-zihār), and Unintentional Homicide
6. Concerning Making up the Fast
7. Concerning Religious Confinement (al-I’tikaaf) and the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr)

1. Concerning the Manner of Entering the Fasting
The fast of Ramadan is not obligatory upon one unless one sights the crescent (hilāl), it is established by mass-transmitted reports, or it is witnessed by two upright witnesses. Similarly, the ruling of breaking the fast is established by such. If there is something in the sky like a cloud or other than that, one counts the days of the month to be 30 days.
Imam al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said: “Whoever sees the crescent of Shawwāl before the zenith should complete the fast and delay breaking the fast until the next day.”
Fasting on the day of doubt (yawm ash-shak) is preferable to breaking the fast.
Whoever fasts an obligatory fast should make his/her intention before Ramadan. Whoever fasts a voluntary fast during the month of Sha’bān should make an intention before it as a condition for intention.
If one fasts the day of doubt and later finds out that it was Ramadan, one does not make up the fast.
It is sufficient for one to make one’s intention to fast for Ramadan on the first night until there remains a portion of the day.
The obligation to fast begins at the approach of dawn. It is recommended to desist from anything that may break the fast before dawn.
The time for breaking the fast begins at the setting of the sun. This becomes manifest by the appearance of a star at night.
Fasting becomes obligatory upon one who is capable, who has had a wet dream [for the first time], or who has reached maturity at the age of 15. Capability refers to one who is able to fast for at least three days.

2. Concerning the Recommended and Disliked Actions during a Fast
It is obligatory upon one to take care when rinsing the mouth and nose and prevent water from entering the throat from the mouth and nostrils. It is obligatory for one to be extra aware of those actions during the day which will invalidate the fast.
It is recommended to refrain from foreplay with one’s spouse or anything else along those lines, like kissing and embracing, if one fears to be overcome by lust.
It is recommended that one increase in recitation of the Qur’ān, glorification (tasbīh), and seeking forgiveness in the mornings as well as before sunset.
If one uses the tooth-stick during the day, one should prevent any portion of it from entering the throat. This includes that portion of the tooth-stick which is separated with saliva. It is disliked to chew snuff (as-sa’ūť).
It is recommended for the traveller [to begin fasting] when he arrives to his family, as well as the menstruating woman once her menstruation ends. If both of these things occur at a portion of the day, they fast for the rest of the day.
It is recommended for the one who fasts to prevent dust, flies, and smoke from entering one’s throat. Al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said: “There’s no problem if one who fasts uses a moist tooth-stick.” He also said: “There’s no problem if one wets one’s clothing or sprays oneself with water [to cool down]. There’s no problem if one rinses ones mouth with water as long as water doesn’t enter one’s throat.” It is disliked for a person to fast consecutively for two days without breaking it.

3. Concerning the Recommended and Disliked Fasts
It is recommended to fast on ‘Ashūrā. Al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said: “It is the tenth of Muharram.”
Similarly, it is recommended to fast on the Day of ‘Arafat for Hajj. This applies to those who remain in their residences.
It is recommended for one to fast three days out of the month (ad-dahr) if one is able. This is as long as one does not harm one’s body.
One does not fast on the two ‘Eid days and the Days of Sacrifice (at-tashrīq) because it is not permissible to fast on those days.
It is recommended to fast on the White Days (ayām al-bayđ), which are the 13th, 14th, and 15th days after the sighting of the crescent. Fasting on these days is very virtuous. Al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said: “It is recommended to fast on Muharram, Rajab, Sha’bān, Mondays, and Thursdays.”
Fasting during travel is better than not fasting as long as one is able to do so. However, it is permissible to not fast. The permission to not fast corresponds with the obligation to shorten the prayers during travel. Al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said regarding the narration ((It is not righteousness to fast while travelling)): “This refers to the voluntary fasts.”
If the fast reaches one while one is settled, s/he fasts. However, one who travels can break the fast if one wishes.
It’s not permissible for a menstruation woman or one with postpartum bleeding to fast. It is obligatory for the pregnant woman or sick person to refrain from fasting if they fear for the embryo or increased sickness. Anyone who fears that they will inflict damage on themselves is discouraged from fasting. If they were to fast, it suffices. Similarly applies to the pregnant woman and sick person.
It is permissible for one who cannot withstand the fast out of extreme thirst to break their fast—whether they be man or woman. Similarly is the case if they were to become senile.
Regarding the one who can withstand the extreme thirst and whose illness has departed, this one makes up the fast for those days that s/he did not fast. Similar is the case for other than him, as we previously mentioned.
Al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said: “It is recommended to fast the month of Sha’bān if one breaks the fast one day between it and Ramadan.”
It is disliked for one to set aside Friday to fast on that day except if one’s fasting day falls on that day.

4. Concerning That Which Invalidates the Fast, Does Not Invalidate the Fast, and What Obligates a Sacrifice
Whoever has sexual relations [while fasting] during Ramadan—whether out of forgetfulness or intentionally—invalidates his fast and has to make it up. The one who does intentionally must also repent. Similar is the case for the one who eats [during the fast].
Regarding what is narrated concerning the obligation of manumission and other things for the one who [invalidated the fast] intentionally, it simply refers to a recommendation. Sincere repentance is sufficient.
Whoever engages in kissing, looking, or touching and he ejaculates, he does not owe anything other than making up the fast and sincere repentance. If there occurs in him pre-ejaculatory fluid, it is recommended for him to make up the fast.
Whoever wakes up in the morning in the state of major ritual impurity (janāba) does not invalidate the fast whether that one had sexual relations or a wet dream intentionally or out of forgetfulness.
Whoever breaks the fast while being in doubt whether the sun set or not invalidates the fast and has to make it up. The exception is if the sunset was concealed and he broke the fast after sunset. Whoever eats the pre-fast meal while being in doubt whether the dawn approached or not does not invalidate the fast. The exception is if it was clear to him that he continued eating the pre-dawn meal after the approach of dawn.
There is no problem for one to undergo cupping while fasting as long as one is sure that s/he would be weakened by it.
There is no problem for the one who’s fasting to wear eye-liner (kohl), powder, be injected, or have oily discharge from the urethra or ear. It is disliked to chew snuff because of the possibility that it may enter the throat.
Whoever vomits or is suddenly overcome by vomiting does not invalidate the fast. The only exception is when some of it returns to the belly. This would invalidate the fast.
Whoever intentionally swallows a dirham, dirhams, other coinage, glass, pebbles, and other than that invalidates the fast, and s/he has to make up the fast. If one swallows all of that unintentionally, one does not invalidate the fast.
Similarly, whoever rinses the nose and the mouth and water enters the belly—this invalidates the fast, and s/he has to make up the fast.
If flies, dust, smoke, and the like which does not overcome one, enters the throat, it does not invalidate the fast nor does one have to make up the fast. Similar is the case with tasting something with the tip of the tongue as in rinsing the mouth. That which enters the mouth but does not pass the throat, like honey, vinegar, and the like does not invalidate the fast.
If a fasting woman has sexual relations while sleeping and she then becomes aware and willing, she invalidates the fast and has to make up the fast. The same is the case with an insane woman, but she is not accountable until she is sane.
Also if someone invalidates a Ramadan fast for a valid reason and that valid reason has been relieved, on the day his/her situation is changed, s/he should continue the fast for the rest of that day and make up the fast for that day as well.
If someone invalidates his/her Ramadan fast and did not make up the fast before next years Ramadan, they are required to feed a poor person for every day s/he invalidated a Ramadan fast and make up the fast after the month of Ramadan even if the fast is delayed for a valid reason or else give half a Sa’a for charity. It says in Al-Muntakhab that if someone breaks a Ramadan fast for a valid reason and does not make up for it until the next Ramadan, s/he should only make up that fast.
And whomever cannot bear being thirsty from the men and women must feed a poor person for every day s/he have broken their fast, the same goes to the elderly that cannot bear to fast.

5. Concerning the Fast of Oaths, Unlawful Declarations (az-zihār), and Unintentional Homicide
If a person pronounces an oath to Allah that s/he will fast 20 days, s/he must fast them. If the person intended to fast them consecutively, then s/he must fast them as intended. However, if the person at the time of the oath intended to not fast them consecutively then s/he may fast them consecutively or not. It depends upon what was pronounced at the time the oath had been made.
If a person pronounces an oath to Allah that s/he will fast a whole year, then s/he must fast the whole year with the exception of the two Eids and the Days of Tashrīq. Then s/he must make up these days in addition to making up of the month of Ramadan. The exception is if s/he has taken into account during his/her oath that these days or some of them are the exception.
If a person pronounces an oath to all that s/he will fast a month or two consecutively then s/he must fast them as pronounced. If this person breaks his month or 2 month fast before completing it, s/he must start the fast from the beginning. Unless s/he becomes a person who is constantly ill and is unable to continue the fast for the only reason of his/her incapable body strength and the constancy of his illness. In such case, s/he can build on the fast that they have already done.
If a person pronounces an oath to Allah that s/he will fast or commit to religious confinement (I’tikaaf) a whole month for Allah’s relief from a certain matter and this relief was granted to him/her towards the end of Sha’bān then he must begin his fast on the 2nd of Shawwāl and fast 30 days.
As well, if a person pronounces an oath to Allah that s/he will fast or commit to religious confinement on the day of Eid then s/he must not fast on these days and make up the fast on another day.
If the one who has made an unlawful declaration and is unable to free a slave then s/he must fast two months consecutively. If s/he breaks the fast before completion of the two month fast then s/he must start from the beginning unless there is reason for breaking the fast. In that case, s/he can build on their fast. The same is for an unintentional homicide when a slave can not be freed.
In the case of the one who has made an unlawful declaration and committed an unintentional homicide, if they begin the fast and become capable of freeing a slave then s/he should stop fasting and free a slave unless s/he completed the fast. Then, freeing a slave becomes unnecessary. In the case of one who has made an unlawful declaration, if s/he is incapable of fasting and start to feed the poor then later become capable of fasting before finishing feeding the poor, then s/he must fast from the beginning unless s/he finishes feeding the poor. In that case, fasting becomes unnecessary.

6. Concerning Making up the Fast
Whomever breaks his/her fast in Ramadan consecutively then s/he must make up the fast consecutively. If the fast was broken in Ramadan in varying days then s/he can make up in varying days or consecutively. Making up the fast consecutively is better.
Whomever enters into a voluntary fast, and s/he then breaks the fast. In this case, it is not mandatory to make up the fast.
Whomever loses his/her sanity during the whole of Ramadan and then becomes sane s/he must make up the fast. If s/he becomes insane during some of Ramadan then these days must be made up.
If a man/woman becomes a disbeliever for years and then revert from his/her disbelief, then s/he does not need to make up the fast for Ramadan during his/her time of disbelief.
Whomever breaks their Ramadan fast because of a valid reason such as travel, sickness, menstruation, postpartum bleeding, pregnancy, or breast feeding, out of fear for the infant, s/he must make up the fast after the reason has past. And the woman who is menstruating should pray, fast, and make up the fast after finishing the days of menstruation.

7. Concerning Religious Confinement (al-I’tikaaf) and the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr).
There’s no religious confinement except in the state of fasting and refraining from wives for a day and night while one is in religious confinement.
The least time that one should be in religious confinement is one day.
It is obligatory on one who religiously confines oneself to enter the mosque before dawn and stay until the evening prayer and to make one’s intention for religious confinement. He may utter that he would like to make religious confinement obligatory upon himself by saying: “I dedicate to Allah religious confinement upon myself for a day or days.”
Religious confinement is permissible in any mosque.
There’s no problem if the religiously confined person exits the mosque to fulfill a need, witness a funeral, or attend to the sick. If he needs to command his family or forbid them, he goes to them, commands or forbids them while standing. He doesn’t sit until he returns to the mosque.
There’s no problem if the religiously confined person marries, conducts a marriage for another, or witnesses a marriage. However, he must not have relations with his spouse.
There’s no problem if the religiously confined person applies eyeliner, makeup, or any perfume whether it be musk or other than that.
It is recommended that the religiously confined person not buy, sell, or preoccupy him/herself from the remembrance of Allah. He must command the good and prohibit the bad with his tongue and hand.
If one vows to not speak to anyone while one is in religious confinement and one breaks the vow, one must feed ten needy people.
Everything that invalidates the fast, invalidates the religious confinement.
If one religiously confines oneself on a Friday without designating a specific Friday nor in any specific month in his/her intention, this one can perform religious confinement on any Friday that s/he wants. If one designates a particular Friday, then one must perform religious confinement on that particular Friday. The exception is if there occurs a situation where he cannot perform religious confinement on that specified Friday then he can perform religious confinement on the next Friday after he is able to do so again in it’s stead.
If one says: “I dedicate to Allah religious confinement for 20 days” but intends by it the daytime hours and not the night hours, it is obligatory for him to enter the mosque before dawn on those days and not exit until the time of breaking fast. The only exception is those things that we mentioned that is permissible for the religiously confined person to do to exit.
If a woman religiously confines herself for a number of days but her menstruation occurs in the interim, she exits the mosque. When she becomes pure, she reenters the mosque and makes up those days that she missed.
If any man or woman who religiously confines themselves to a mosque fears for their lives in that mosque, s/he must religiously confine themselves to another mosque.
If one was in the state of religious confinement and death reaches that one and that one bequests for someone to religiously confine themselves for him, then a third of his estate must be given to man of the Muslims religiously confine themselves for him and the bequeathers have to bring a positive verdict on the bequest.
Al-Qāsim, upon him be peace, said: “The Night of Power is equal in virtue from the first of it to the last of it. It is the 23rd or 27th night of Ramadan.”

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