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Thursday 20th of June 2024
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The Period of Silence

The Meeting of the Banu 'Abd al-Muttalib

Among these is the account that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, gathered his own family and tribal kin together at the beginning of his mission for Islam. He showed them the faith and sought their help against the people of unbelief and enmity, and guaranteed for them, if they did that, favour and honour in this world and a reward in heaven. None of them answered him except the Commander of the faithful, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. Because of that he granted him the achievement of brotherhood (with himself), the office of helping him, of being his nominated trustee, his inheritor and his successor, and announced that his going to heaven was inevitable.

This is reported in the account of the (meeting in the) house, whose authenticity the reporters of tradition are agreed upon:

When the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, gathered members of the clan of 'Abd al-Muttalib in the house of Abu Talib, they were more or less forty men on that day as the reporters mention. He ordered food to be set for them, a leg of a ewe with a measure of wheat. He measured a sa' of milk. Each man of them was known to be able to eat a lamb in one sitting and to drink a farq' of drink in the same sitting. He, peace be on him and his family, intended by preparing little food and drink for their gathering, to reveal a clear sign to them through satisfying them and quenching their thirst with what would not normally satisfy and quench the thirst of one of them. He ordered the food and drink to be offered to them. From that little amount the whole group ate (and drank) until they were full and what they had eaten and drunk was not clear. He dazzled them by that and showed them the clear sign of his prophetic mission and the evidence for his truthfulness, through the proof of God, the Exalted, with regard to it. After they had eaten and drunk their fill, he said to them: "Banu 'Abd al-Muttalib, God has sent me to all creation and He has especially sent me to you. He has said: Warn your clan (who are your) kin (XXVI214)I call you to make two statements light to the tongue but heavy in the scales (of God). By them you will be master of Arab and foreigner, by them nations shall submit to you, by them you will enter heaven and by them you will escape from hell. They are the (twofold) testimony that there is no god but God and that I am the Apostle of God. Whoever answers me in this matter, helps me in it and in carrying it out, will be my brother, my trustee, my helper, my inheritor and my successor after me."

None of them answered.

The Commander of the faithful reported: I stood up before him amid them. At that time I was the youngest of them, still with very thin legs and with dirt still in the corners of my eyes. I said: "Apostle of God, I will help you."

"Sit down," he told me. Then he repeated his words to the people again. They were silent and I arose and said the same as I had said the first time. Again he told me to sit down and he repeated his words to the people a third time. None of them spoke a word. I arose and said:

"I will help you, Apostle of God, in this matter."

"Sit down," he said and then he went on, "You are my brother, my trustee, my helper, my inheritor, and my successor after me."

The people got up and they were saying to Abu Talib: "Abu Talib, you should be congratulated today that you have entered the religion of your nephew and he has made your son a commander over you."

This outstanding quality is exclusive to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. None of the first emigrants or the Ansar share in it, nor does anyone else of the people of Islam. No one else has the equal of it in merit, nor even an approximate in (the) circumstance (of it). What is shown by the report of it is that through him, peace be on him, the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, was able to communicate his message, to make public his mission and declare the truth of Islam. If it had not been for him, the religion would not have been established, the law of Islam (shari'a) would not have been set down and the mission would not have been made public. He, peace be on him, is the support of Islam, the helper of the one who undertook its mission on behalf of God, the Mighty and High. Through his guaranteeing support to the Prophet of guidance, peace be on him and his family, he brought about for (the Prophet) what he wanted with regard to the prophetic mission. In that there is such merit that not even the weight of mountains could outweigh it, nor do all other virtues go beyond it in position and rank.

 

The Commander of the Faithful fulfils the Prophet's Obligations in

Mecca

(Another example) of that is that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, was the one trusted by the Quraysh with the things which they wished to deposit. When the situation occurred which required his sudden flight from Mecca, he could not find anyone among his people and his family to entrust (the things) which he had been entrusted with except the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He appointed him (i.e. the Commander of the faithful) as his deputy to return the things deposited with him to their owners and to pay the debts which he owed. Then he gathered his daughters, the womenfolk of his family and his wives and their emigration was entrusted to him for he did not consider that anyone could take his (i.e. the Commander of the faithful's) place among all the people. Thus he set his trust on his faithfulness, depended upon his courage and bravery, and in the defence of his family and his close associates he relied upon his fearlessness and his ability. He rested upon his reliability to look after his family and his womenfolk. He recognized in his piety and protection from error that by which the soul could feel sure of his reliability in those matters.

'Ali, peace be on him, carried out (these tasks) very well: he returned every deposit to its owner; he paid every debt to the person to whom it was owed; he looked after the daughters and womenfolk of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family; and he emigrated with them, he himself going on foot to protect them from the enemies and guard them against adversaries; he took them gently on the journey until he brought them to him at Medina, (having provided them) with complete protection and guarding, good companionship and excellent organization. The Prophet gave him accommodation in his house when he arrived in Medina and allowed him to stay with him and mix with his womenfolk and children. He did not exclude him from anything which was special to himself, nor did he withhold from him the inner meaning and the secrets of his affair. This is a quality which is uniquely held by (the Commander of the faithful) peace be on him, from among all his house and Companions. None of his followers or supporters shared in it and there occurred in no other creature any merit like it, which equalled it in appearance and came near to it in its testing quality. It was in addition to his outstanding achievements which we have mentioned and their overwhelming merit and their nobility in the hearts of those who think.

Keeping the Conquest of Mecca Secret

Another example of that is that when the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, wanted to conquer Mecca, he asked God, may His name be exalted, to keep the reports of it hidden from Quraysh so that he could enter it unexpectedly. He, peace be on him, had based the plan for his going there on the secrecy of that. However, Hatib b. Abi Balta'a wrote to the Meccans to inform them of the decision of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, to conquer its He gave the letter to a black woman who had come to Medina to seek intercession there for the people and to ask for them to be forgiven. He instructed her to take it to some Meccans whose names he gave her and he ordered her not to take the (main) road. Revelation about that came down on the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He summoned the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and told him: "One of my companions has written to the Meccans to inform them about us. I had asked God, the Mighty and High, to keep the reports about us hidden from them. The letter is with a black woman who has not taken the (main) road. Take your sword, follow her and take the letter from her. Let her go and bring it to me."

Then he summoned al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam and told him: "Go with 'Ali b. Abi Talib on this mission."

The two departed and did not take the (main) road. They caught up with the woman. Al-Zubayr got to her first and he asked her about the letter which was with her. She denied it and swore that she had nothing with her and wept.

"I can't see a letter with her, Abu al-Hasan," said al-Zubayr. "Let us go to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and tell him that her journey is innocent."

"The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, told me that she had a letter," replied the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, "and he ordered me to take it from her. You say that she has no letter."

Then he drew his sword and advanced towards her and said to her: "By God, if you don't produce the letter, I will compel you to show it. Then I'll cut off your head."

"Since there is no escape from doing that," she answered, "turn your face away from me, Ibn Abi Talib."

He, peace be on him, turned his face away from her. She took off her veil and took the letter from her hair. The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, caught hold of it and took it to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. He ordered that the call should be given: "The prayer is general" (al-salat jama'a)(i.e. everybody should attend). The call was made among the people and they gathered at the mosque until it was crowded with them. Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, went up on the pulpit and he took the letter in his hand. He said: "People, I had asked God, the Mighty and High, to keep reports about us hidden from Quraysh. However, one of you wrote to the Meccans to inform them about us. Let the writer of the letter stand up. If he does not, then revelation will make him known."

No one stood up. The Prophet repeated his words a second time. He said: "Let the writer of the letter stand up. If he does not, then revelation will make him known:"

(At this) Hatib b. Abi Balta'a stood up. He was shaking like a palm-bough on the day of a violent storm. He said: "Apostle of God, I am the writer of the letter. I have committed no (other) act of hypocrisy after becoming a Muslim, nor have I had any (other) doubt after my firm conviction (in Islam)."

"What made you write this letter?" the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, asked him.

"Apostle of God, I have a family in Mecca," he said, "and I have no other tribal connections (ashira) there. I was afraid that they would be overcome on account of us. So this letter of mine was (an attempt) to offer a helping hand to my family, (to give) support to them. I did not do it because of any doubt on my part in the religion."

"Apostle of God," said 'Umar b. al-Khattab, "command me to kill him. He has committed an act of hypocrisy."

"He is one of the men (who fought) at Badr," said the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. "Perhaps God will look down on them and forgive them. Take him out of the mosque."

[He reported:]

Then people began to push him in the back until they had taken him out, while he had been turning towards the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, begging him for mercy. The Apostle of God ordered him to be brought back and he said to him: "I have forgiven you and your crime, so seek the forgiveness of your Lord and never do such a crime as you committed again."

The achievement belongs with his other achievements, peace be on him, which have been mentioned earlier. As a result of it, it was possible for the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, to organise the entry into Mecca, to protect against trouble from the people and to avoid their knowledge of his intention towards them until he had come upon them unawares. In the matter of extracting the letter from the woman, he could only trust the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. In that he did not regard anyone else as a faithful adviser except him, nor did he rely on anyone else. Through him, peace be on him, the task was carried out and his purpose attained; his organization was properly established as was the advantage of the Muslims in the matter, and the religion was able to be spread. No merit can be attributed to al-Zubayr in terms of him being sent with the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, because he did not fulfil his task and he was useless in carrying it out. The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, only sent him because he was included in the number of Banu Hashim through his mother, Safiyya, daughter of 'Abd al-Muttalib, and he wanted to entrust the task, in the execution of which there was need for secrecy, to those specially belonging to his family. Al-Zubayr had courage and boldness in addition to the relationship which there was between him and the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He (the Prophet) knew that he (al-Zubayr) would help him (the Commander of the faithful) in his mission since they both had (an interest) in the fulfilment of the task and since it referred to them both it so far as what was general to Banu Hashim was specific to them both. AI-Zubayr was a follower of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. There occurred from him during his mission (actions) which did not conform to correct reasoning and the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, prevented him (from following these actions).

In what we have explained in this story, there is clear evidence for the special achievement and virtue of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, which is shared by no one else. No one else approached him with any merit without him having more than it. God be He Who is praised.

 

The Conversion of Yemen

(Another example) of that which is agreed upon by all the historians (biographers ahl al-sira) is that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, sent, Khalid b. Walid to the people of Yemen to call them to Islam. With him, he sent a group of Muslims, among whom was al-Bara' b. 'Azib, may God have mercy on him. Khalid stayed with the people for six months calling them (to Islam) but no one of them responded. That depressed the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He summoned the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and ordered him to send back Khalid and those who were with him. However, he told him that if anyone of those who had been with Khalid wanted to stay, he should let him

[Al-Bara' reported:]

I was one of those who followed him. When we came to the first people among the Yemenis and the news reached the people (generally), they gathered before him. 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, prayed the dawn prayer with us, then he advanced in front of us. He praised and glorified God. Then he read the letter of the Apostle of God. The whole of Hamdan became Muslim in one day. The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, wrote about that to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. When he read his letter, he was pleased and delighted. He prostrated in thanks to God, the Exalted. He raised his head and sat. He said: "Greetings to Hamdan. After the submission to Islam of Hamdan, (the rest of) the people of Yemen will follow (them) into Islam."

This is another achievement of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, which no other of the Companions had done anything like or similar to. For (the Prophet), when he wanted to stop Khalid from carrying on with the mission on which he had sent him and he was afraid that corruption would be caused by him, could not find anyone to succeed him except the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. So he asked him (i.e. 'Ali) and the latter undertook it in the best possible manner. And as was God's custom with him, he performed it with success since it conformed to the preference of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace. He was a man of righteousness, gentleness, good administrative ability and sincere intentions in obedience to God, the Mighty and High, (a man) with the ability to guide those of the people who would be guided, and to respond to those of them who responded to (the call of) Islam. He was (an important element) in the building of the religion, the strength of the faith in (explaining) the message of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, according to the meaning he (the Prophet) had traced for him. (Indeed he was capable) of organising matters in a way which delighted him (i.e. the Prophet). The promise of heaven was revealed about him (as was) his delight in his perfection among all the people of Islam. It has been confirmed that obedience is of great importance by virtue of the great importance of the benefit gained by it, just as sin is of great consequence by virtue of the great harm which comes through it. Thus prophets, peace be on them, are the creatures with the greatest rewards by virtue of the greatness of their benefit through their call to the rest of the beneficial things (which can be gained) by acts (performed) by the rest of the people.

 

Delivery of the Verses of Renunciation in Mecca

Similar to that is the story of (the document of renunciation (bara'a) which the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, gave to Abu Bakr so that he could abrogate the alliance with the polytheists through it. When he had travelled far away, Gabriel, peace be on him, descended to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. He told him: "God recites His greeting to you and says to you that the act of renunciation should not be performed for you except by yourself or a man (related) to you."

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, summoned 'Ali, peace be on him, and told him: "Ride my camel, al-'Adba', and go after Abu Bakr. Take (the document of) renunciation from him and go with it to Mecca. You abrogate the alliance with the polytheists through it. Give Abu Bakr the choice of continuing to ride with you or of returning to me."

The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, rode al-'Adba; the camel of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family and caught up with Abu Bakr. The latter was disturbed at being caught up with by him.

"Why have you come, Abu al-Hasan?" he asked as he greeted him. "Are you going to travel with me? Or is it for some other reason?"

"The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, ordered me to come after you," the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, said, "to take the verses of renunciation (bara'a) from you and to abrogate the treaty with the polytheists through them. He ordered me to let -you choose between going with me or returning to him."

"Indeed, I will return to him," he said.

He went back to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. When he came to him, he said: "Apostle of God, you regarded me as worthy to undertake a mission on account of which men craned their necks towards me. When I had set out on it, you dismissed me from it. What has come down in revealed message (Qur'an) concerning me?"

"The trusty one, Gabriel, peace be on him, came down to me from God, the Mighty and Exalted," the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, answered, "with (the command) that: 'The act of renunciation should not be performed for you except by yourself or a man (related) to you.' 'Ali is related to me and it should only be performed for me by 'Ali."

(This account occurs) in a famous tradition. The abrogation of a treaty was limited to the one who made it or to one who could take his place in terms of the necessary obedience, dignified regard, high rank, noble position, and one who was above suspicion in his actions and whose words could not be (legitimately) opposed- one who was the same as the maker of the treaty and whose affair was his affair. Since it was judged by what he had done in the past it was established and was secure from opposition and (since) the strength of Islam, the completion (of the laws) of religion, the well-being of the Muslims, the conquest of Mecca, and the good organization of well-being was involved in the abrogation of the treaty, God, the Exalted, preferred that that should be entrusted to one who was illustrious in name, exalted in fame. This indicates the outstanding merit of such d man; it gives evidence of his high rank and distinguishes him from others. Those (things) belonged to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. None of the other people had merit which came near to the merit which we have described nor did any of them share with him (any) of what we have explained.

Examples of what we have mentioned are so numerous that our work in presenting them would lengthen this book, and the speeches would encompass it. It is sufficient for those of intelligence to include what we have set out in the aims which we have outlined.

 

The Circumstances of the Prophet's Emigration from Mecca

 Another example of his qualities occurs when the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, ordered the emigration after the council of Quraysh had decided to kill him and he, peace be on him, would not have been able to defeat their plans by leaving Mecca. For he, peace be on him, wanted to keep his departure secret and keep the reports about him hidden from them so that he could carry out his departure in safety from them. He told his news to the Commander of the faithful and made him keep it secret. He gave him the responsibility of protecting him by spending the night on his (i.e. the Prophet's) bed so that they would not know that it was 'Ali who was sleeping on the bed and they would think that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, was sleeping there as he had normally done on previous nights. The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him dedicated his life to God, the Exalted, devoted it to God, the Exalted, in obedience and exchanged it for His Prophet, the blessings and peace of God be on him and his family, in order that he might save him from the plots of his enemies and thus make sure of his safety and survival and also arrange properly his purpose in summoning (the people) to the faith, establishing the religion and making public God's law (shari'a). He, peace be on him, spent the night on the bed of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, hidden by his waist-cover (izar). The people who had plotted to kill the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, came to him and surrounded him. They were carrying weapons. They waited until the dawn rose so that they could kill him openly and thus his blood would be shed in such a way that Banu Hashim would see that his murderers were from all the clans (of Quraysh). Then it would not be possible for them to take vengeance (on them) for him because everyone had shared in taking his blood and every tribe would be spared from fighting his group and being separate from his family.

That (i.e. 'AIi's action) was the reason for the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, being saved, his blood being kept safe and his survival until he died at (the time of) his Lord's command. If it had not been for the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and his action, it would not have been possible for the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, to propagate and carry out (his mission), nor would he have remained alive and continued to survive. Thus through him he overcame the envy (of the people) and his enemies. In the morning when the people were intending to rush upon him, he, peace be on him, rushed towards them. They scattered from him when they recognized him and departed. Their plot against the Prophet, peace be on him and his family, had gone wrong. The preparations they had made to kill him had been destroyed. Their plans had been betrayed and their hopes brought to nought. In this way was the faith properly set up, Satan humiliated and the people of unbelief and enmity betrayed. None of the people of Islam share this achievement with the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, nor is any equal to it in any circumstance known, nor is there anything approaching it in merit according to any correct consideration. Concerning the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and the night he spent on the (Prophet's) bed, God, glory be to Him, revealed: Whoever among the people sells his life out of a desire to please God, God is kind to (such) servants (II 207).

 

The Commander of the Faithful puts right Crimes committed by Khalid b. al-Walid

(Another example) of that is that God, the Exalted specified him for the task of putting right what had been done wrong by those who opposed the orders of His Prophet, may God bless him and his family, and of reforming what had been corrupted so that through him the causes of righteousness were established. It (i.e. righteousness) was brought about by his hand, by the happiness of his endeavour, his good organization, and the necessary success (he brought) to the affairs of the Muslims. Through him, the pillars of religion were held firm.

The Prophet, may God bless him and his family, sent Khalid b. Walid to the Banu Jadhima to summon them to Islam and he did not send him to make war (on them). He disobeyed his order, renounced his treaty, rebelled against his religion and killed people who had embraced Islam. He betrayed their protected status when they were people who had accepted the faith. In that he had been acting according to the wild ways of the Jahiliyya and the methods of people of unbelief and enmity.

The result of his evil action (would have affected) Islam and through it those whom its Prophet, peace be on him and his family, had called to the faith, would have broken away and it is likely that the system of organization in religion would have been brought to nothing as a result of his action. Therefore the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, sought to repair the wrong that had been done and to reform what had been corrupted. He gave the blood-wit according to the law from God for that to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and sent him to conciliate the people, to draw out their hatred and to show gentleness to them in making firm their faith. He told him to pay the blood-wit for the dead and in that way satisfy the next of kin responsible for keeping their blood alive (by vengeance).

The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, achieved complete satisfaction in that, for he gave more than was necessary by making a personal contribution to them from money which he had. He said to them: "I have paid the blood-wit for your dead and in addition to that I have given you money which you can hand down to your successors so that God may be pleased with His Apostle and you may be pleased with his kindness to you. The Apostle of God, may

God bless him and his family, made a public renunciation in Medina of Khalid's action against them, which he, then, had communicated to them. By the Apostle of God's, may God bless him and his family, renunciation of Khalid's crime, and by the conciliation of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the people agreed (to be reconciled) despite what had been done to them. In that way righteousness was achieved and those who carried out corrupt acts were foiled. No one was entrusted with that task except the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. nor did anyone else from the community (jama'a) except him undertake such actions, nor was the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, satisfied to entrust anyone else with such a task. This is an achievement which is greater in merit than any claimed by men other than the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. No one else among them shared in it, nor was an action equal to it carried out by anyone else.

 

The Carrying of the Standard at the Conquest of Mecca

(Yet another example) is the fact that the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, gave the standard to Sa'd b. 'Ubada on the day of the conquest of Mecca and ordered him to carry it in front of him into Mecca. Sa'd took it and began to declare: "Today is the day of slaughter, the day of capturing (any) daughter."

"Haven't you heard what Sa'd b. 'Ubada is saying?" some of the people asked the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. "We are afraid that today will (simply mean) to him, attacking Quraysh.-

"'Ali, go to Sa'd," he, peace be on him, told the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, "and take the standard from him. You be the one to enter with it."

Thus the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, set right through the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, what was about to go astray in the organization through Sa'd rushing forward and attacking the Meccans. He knew that the Ansar would not be pleased if any (other) person had taken the standard from their leader Sa'd and taken that position from him except one who was similar in circumstance to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, through the exaltedness of his rank, his high position, and the duty of obeying him, and someone who would not make Sa'd delay in giving up that command to trim. If there had been with the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, someone suitable for that other than the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, he would have set the affair right through him, or he would have mentioned there his suitability for what the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, undertook. Since decisions are only required by virtue of the actions which actually happened and what the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, did to the Commander of the faithful was to magnify and exalt him, to consider him worthy of what he did consider him worthy in terms of putting right affairs and attaining what would not have been possible through the action of any one else as we have mentioned, it is necessary to judge him in this achievement as someone set apart from others who were not equal to him, and (someone) preferred through the honour of it over all others.

Taking up the Standard at Khaybar

Similar to that was the putting to flight of those who were put to flight at Khaybar. The exalted rank of carrying the standard is considered highly. By the (standard-bearer's) being put to flight, there occurred such disarray as could not be hidden from those with discernment. Then the standard was given to another man after that. However, he was put to flight in the same way as the first man had been before. In that there was fear for Islam and its position after two men (carrying its standard) had been put to flight. That troubled the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and made public the disobedience to him and the bad attitude towards him. So he said in a (public) announcement: "Tomorrow, I will give the standard to one whom God and His Apostle love. God and His Apostle love him as one who returns to the battle without fleeing: he will not come back until God has brought victory at his hands."

Then he gave (the standard) to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and victory came at his hands. His words, peace be on him, guided and prevented those who wanted to flee from leaving the rank which had been assigned to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Thus by the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, coming out to attack, giving support to the battle and restoring the situation at Khaybar, which had been beyond everyone else, there is evidence of his unequalled merit which no one else shared. Concerning that al-Hassan b. Thabit al-Ansari said:

'Ali was ashen-eyed needing medicine, even then he did not find (the help of anyone) to nurse him.

The Apostle of God healed him with saliva. He blessed the healer (raqi) and He blessed the healed.

He said: I will give the standard today to a dauntless man, brave, one who loves God as a follower.

He loves my God and God loves him. Through him God will overcome the fortress returning it to God.

He distinguished 'Ali by that apart from all other creatures and he named him his helper (wazir) and brother.

 

Every Prophet had appointed his Successor

 Along with the coronation of a king goes the declaration of the heir-apparent to the throne. It is only a following of the example of what is done with regard to the ministries of the apostles of God.

 The divine guidance to humanity, be that through an apostle or through a deputy of his, is a continuous process decreed by the grace of the All-Merciful Lord. Every apostle of God at the very start of his apostolic mission did announce his immediate successor so that any imposter might not beguile his followers, after him. Abraham was succeeded by his Sons Ishmael and Isaac. Jacob by his son Joseph, David by his son Solomon, Moses by his brother Aaron and Jesus by Simon and his other disciples.

 "The divine guidance to humanity is a continuous process. Every apostle of God before he started his apostolic mission had to announce his immediate successor so that his follower might not be beguiled by any tm- poster. Abraham was succeeded by his sons Ishmael and Isaac. Moses's successor was Aaron, and Jesus' was Simon. It was the first of the apostolic duties of every apostle of God, to announce his immediate successor to the people, as a guidance to his followers, as to who they should follow after him, as well as safeguard against the venture of the imposters thereafter".

The Holy Prophet Muhammad appoints his Successor

 According to the divinely decreed course (the Sunnat-e-Ilahiah) which never changes (17:77), at the very inauguration of his apostolic mission under the command from the Lord: "Warn thy nearest kith and kin" (26:214), the Holy Prophet invited his kith and kin to a feast and with the declaration of his nearest apostleship, also declared Ali as his Deputy, Vicegerent and Successor. (TB., IA., AF., GB,. WS., AA., and others.)

The above incident has been of such a prominence and significance and was so ever-fresh in the memory of the people that it could not be missed by the historian be he a Muslim or a non-Muslim. History gives a vivid description as to how the Holy Prophet repeatedly asked the assembly as to who among them would be his Deputy, his Vicegerent, and his Successor and Heir, and how at every time, none but Ali, stood up offering himself to the office, which then was only a hopeless proposition, and how ultimately the Holy Prophet called Ali to him, before the assembly of the veterans of the Town (Mecca) and embracing him declared openly in clear- cut words:- "This is my Deputy, my Vicegerent and my Successor; Hear him and obey him".

This is what Carlyle-in his Sartor Resartus' says:

"After some three years of small success, he invited forty of his chief kindred to an entertainment; and there stood up and told then: what his pretention was; that he had this thing to promulgate abroad to all men; that it was the highest tiling, the one thing which of them would second him in that? Amidst the doubt and silence of all, young Ali, as yet a lad of sixteen, impatient of the silence, started-up, and exclaimed in passionate fierce language, That he would! The assembly, among whom was Abu Taleb, Ali's father, could not be unfriendly to Mahomet; yet the sight there, of one unlettered elderly man, with a lad of sixteen, deciding on such an enterprise' against all mankind, appeared ridiculous to them; the assembly broke-up in laughter. Nevertheless, it proved not a laughable thing; it was a very serious thing! As for this young Ali, one cannot but like him. A noble-minded creature, as he shows him- self now and always afterwards; full of affection, of fiery daring. Something chivalrous in him; brave as a lion, yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood.' He died by assassination in the Mosque at Baghdad; death occasioned by his own generous fairness, confidence in the fairness of others; he said, If the wound proved not unto death, they must pardon the Assassin; but f it did, then they must slay him straight away, that so they too in tile same hour might appear before God, and see which side of that quarrel was the just one!

(TB., IA., AF., Gibns., W. Smith., Amir Ali and others)

 Thus the Holy Prophet had proclaimed the authority of Ali, as next only to his own and had enjoined his followers to listen to what Ali said and to obey him even in the very lifetime of his (the Holy Prophet's) own.

 Besides the above historic ceremonial event, there are the innumerable other instances when the Holy Prophet gave the practical demonstration of Ali's position as next only to him, and had made innumerable verbal announcements about the unique position of Ali, in relation to him. A few of those instances and the declarations are :-

1. Ali's being left in the bed of the Holy Prophet on the eve of his migration to Madina.

2. Ali's being entrusted wit/i the deposits of the people of Mecca, which were with the Holy Prophet, to he restored to the respective owners, the next day to the Emigration.

3. Ali's being declared as the Brother of the Holy Prophet, when at Madina, each believer according to his personal merits, was made the brother of another like him.

4. Ali's being given the hand of the Holy Lady Fatema the only surviving issue and the most loved one of the Holy Prophet.

5. Ali's being sent to take away the verses of the Sura-e- Tauba (i.e., Immunity) from Abu Bakr who was already sent with it, to be read out to the infidels in Mecca, as one of the Holy Prophet himself

 6. Ali's being left in charge of the affairs at Madina, in the place of the holy Prophet, during his absence on the expedition to Tabuk.'

7. The Holy Prophet's declaring .- "I and Ali are of one and the same divine Light".

 "O' Ali! Thou art to me as Aaron was to Moses, save that there is no apostleship after me".

"I am the City of knowledge and Ali is its Gate".

"O Ali! Thou art my brother in this world and in the next".

"O Ali! Thou art to me, as is a head to a body".

"O Ali! Thou art to me, as is a soul to a body".

"O Ali! Thy flesh is my flesh and thy blood is my blood, thou seest what I see and thou hearest what I hear, save there is no apostleship after me.

8. Ali was demonstrated to the world, before the multitude on the occasion of the historic Mubahala' as the Nafs' or the Self, or the Soul' of the Holy Prophet.

Besides the above few instances there are many other events and declarations demonstrating clearly the unique position of Ali in relation to the Holy Prophet, with special significance to Islam and the Muslims.

Besides all the above facts, there is the historic ceremonial Coronation enacted by the Holy Prophet at Ghadeer-e-Khum', at the conclusion of his apostolic mission, in the mid-way, on his return journey after his Hajjatul-Wida' (the Last or the Parting Pilgrimage) under the most imperative command from the Lord :- "O' (Our) Apostle Muhammad! Convey thou, that which hath already been sent unto thee and if thou didst not do it, it would be (as if) thou hast not conveyed (fulfilled) the apostleship (at all), Verily, God will protect thee from the mischief of the people". 5:67

Immediately as the command from the Lord was received, the Holy Prophet stopped the caravan, called back the caravans gone ahead, and waited for those coming behind, and when all the Hajies numbering several thousands were collected, a pulpit at his command was improvised, and mounting the pulpit delivered the historic sermon to the multitude of the audience before him and then called Ali to him on the pulpit and raising him high with the miraculous apostolic strength of his godly hands, declared to the huge assembly :- "O people! Of whomsoever I am the Lord, Ali is his Lord!"

Immediately following the declaration, the Holy Prophet prayed :- "Lord! Be Thou a friend to the one who is the friend of Ali, And be Thou an enemy to the one who is the enemy of Ali, Help Thou the one who helpeth Ali, And discard Thou the one who discardeth Ali".

Immediately as he came down the pulpit, the Holy Prophet ordered every one present there, to pay the allegiance Baiy'at' to Ali, addressing him as the Ameerul-Momineen' (the Commander or the Ruler or the Governor of the Faithful).

It is reported that the first one to comply with the command of the Holy Prophet was Omar, who paid his Bait' saying:

"Bakhkin Bakhkhin laka ibne Abi Taleb Asbahta Maulayee wa Maula kulla Mominin wa Mommatin".'

"Cheer and cheer be to thee O' son of Abu Taleb! Thou hast dawned as my Lord and the Lord of all the faithful men and faithful women.

For details see :- (Mish., Khasai, Nisayee., Raudatul Ahbab., Raudatus Safa Musnad Imam Ahmed Hambal-Suyooti and the other historians)

It is also reported that at Omar's addressing Ali as son of Abu Taleb', the Holy Prophet, commanded him to address Ali as

Ameerul-Muminimn, (i.e., the Commander or the Ruler of the Faithful).

It is now for the impartial authorities of the seasoned politicians and the learned ones of the scholars of political science, to say if, after the historic declarations of the Holy Prophet at the very outset of his apostolic mission, at the Daawat-e-Aslwera', and at the end or the conclusion of his apostleship, at the Ghadeer-e-Khum, it could ever be justly said that the Holy Prophet did not nominate any one as his successor and left the matter to the people's choice. And whether such an unjust accusation, unwarranted by the evidences of the historic events and the universally acknowledged declaration, would mean to throw the blame on the Holy Prophet, of all the bloodshed and chaos created in the name of the succession to him? And the Kalifate passing to tyrants like Yazeed and the other allied characters who have brought nothing but disgrace to the fair name of the faith and the faithful.

 

It is a matter of disgrace that most of the western writers, either willfully bully Islam or ignorant of the facts of the Islamic History, betray their prejudice or their ignorance of the truth by criticizing the Holy Prophet as the one responsible for leaving his people in chaos and confusion about his succession which resulted in political havoc and disgraceful bloodshed. Reports based on mere folklore, can never be history. It does not become of qualified scholarship to pass any judgments without studying the facts in their fullness and before the necessary scrutiny of their collected data. The truth is that our western writer-friends in the guise of impartial historians and as talented writers on the Islamic faith, serve their respective missionary forces by spreading falsehood against Islam and the Muslims, and thus poison the public mind through calumnies against the Holy Prophet, his personality and his teachings. Unfortunately those of our brethren who know neither Arabic nor Persian nor even Urdu properly the languages in which is treasured, most of the true kno~v1edge about Islam and its heroes, and know only the English language, very easily get drifted in the eloquence of the powerful penman and quietly swallow the sugar-coated poisonous pills, and own the wrong information they gather from such prejudiced writings, as the correct knowledge for their own and some of them imagine-to own a great store of knowledge about Islam and even debate about the Islamic teachings basing their arguments upon the wrong information which they have gathered from some anti-Islamic sources, without proper study of the Qur'an or the authentic Qur`anic literature.

However, the above facts of history clearly assert that the Holy Prophet did not spare any pain in making known to the people about his succession, in every necessary and desirable way possible, from the very beginning of his mission to its conclusion. Inspite of all the possible steps taken by the Apostle of God, if any one still holds his own view, none can stop him to do it, nor shall any one force his views on the other, for Islam is the religion of individual responsibility

It has been repeatedly declared in the Holy Qur`an

"Shall bear not any bearer, the burden of the other". 2:48,6:165, 35:18, 39:75538.

A Muslim has to call his brethren to the right path, only by love and sweet words: (16:125)

The Holy Qur'an declared

 "Verily, We have shown him (man) the (Right) way, be lie grateful (and follow it) or be he ungrateful (and reject it)" 76:3

"There is no compulsion in Religion". 2:256.

 

 

 


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