Refuting of Compulsion and Free Will
Perhaps one of the most wonderful intellectual and scientific traditions transmitted from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was this letter that he sent to the people of Ahwaz (in Iran) in which he refuted the concept of "compulsion" that the Ash'arites adopted and spread when they said that man was compelled into his actions and he had no will or option. He also refuted the concept of "free will" that the Mu'tazilites believed in saying that Allah had authorized people in their actions due to their will and there were no will or power over them. After refuting these two concepts, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) proved with irrefutable, scientific proofs the concept of "the matter between the two matters; a moderate concept between compulsion and free will", which was the concept adopted by the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (s) and by their followers. This letter was one of the best discussions in this concern. Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) wrote in this letter: 'From Ali bin Muhammad, peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you and upon whoever follows the guidance. Your letter came to me and I understood what you mentioned of your disagreement in your religion, your plunging in the matter of "fate", the belief of some of you in "compulsion", and others in "free will", and the disagreement, separation, and enmity among you because of that. Then you asked me about that and to explain it you. I understood all that.
Know, may Allah have mercy on you, that we looked up in the abundant traditions and news and we found, for all Muslims who understand from Allah, them (traditions) not free from two meanings; either truth that is to be followed or falsehood that is to be avoided. The nation has agreed unanimously with no disagreement between them that the Qur'an is the truth that has no doubt in it for Muslims of all sects.
Their agreement is the proof of the Book and that they are right and guided due to the saying of the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and on his progeny), "My nation does not agree on deviation." He told that what the entire nation agreed on is truth when no group disagrees with another. The Qur'an is the truth that there is no difference between them (Muslims) in its revelation and truthfulness. So when the Qur'an witnesses the truthfulness of some news but a group of the nation denies it, they should acknowledge it as a necessity, for basically the nation has agreed unanimously on the truthfulness of the Qur'an, and if they deny, this requires them to be out of the (Muslim) nation.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) says in this passage that Muslims must refer to the Qur'an, which falsehood shall not approach from before it nor from behind it, in the matters they disagree on and see that which agrees with the Qur'an is the truth and that which contradicts it is falsehood. Whoever believes this falsehood will be out of Islam.
He added, 'The first news that is proved, witnessed, and confirmed by the Book is the saying of the messenger of Allah (SwT), 'I leave to you the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my household. You shall not go astray as long as you keep to them. They shall not separate until they shall come to me at the pond (in Paradise).' We found the evidences of this tradition in the Book of Allah where Allah said,
(Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant).
All Muslim sects narrated traditions that Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) had given his ring as charity while he was bowing in prayer and Allah praised him for that and revealed this verse. We found the messenger of Allah (SwT) saying, 'Whoever I was his guardian, Ali is to be his guardian' and (addressing Imam Ali), 'You are to me as was Aaron to Moses but there will be no prophet after me' and, 'Ali repays my debts, carries out my promises, and he is my caliph over you after me'.
The tradition indicated clearly the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s.) after the Prophet (S) and that there was no one worthier of the Prophet (S) than Imam Ali (a.s.), the pioneer of intellectual and civilizational development in the earth.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) added, 'The first tradition, from which these traditions were derived, is a true tradition that all Muslims have agreed on with no disagreement among them. It also conforms to the Book. When the Book witnesses the truthfulness of these traditions besides other evidences, then the nation has to acknowledge them as a necessity, for their evidences are clear in the Qur'an and they conform to the Qur'an and the Qur'an conforms to them. Moreover, the truth of these traditions were transmitted from the messenger of Allah (SwT) through the truthful (infallible Imams) and narrated by known, reliable people.
Therefore, following these traditions is obligatory on every believing man and believing woman, and no one deviates except the obstinate. That is because the sayings of the messenger of Allah (SwT) and his progeny are connected with the sayings of Allah, as in this verse,
(Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace).
We found the like of this verse in this saying of the messenger of Allah (SwT), 'He, who harms Ali, harms me, and who harms me harms Allah, and whoever harms Allah is about to be revenged on (by Allah)' and his saying, 'He, who loves Ali, loves me, and who loves me, loves Allah', and, '.in bani Wulay'ah.I will send to them a man who is like myself. He loves Allah and His messenger and Allah and His messenger love him. O Ali, get ready to march to them!', and his saying on the day of Khaybar, 'Tomorrow, I will send to them a man who loves Allah and His messenger, and Allah and His messenger love him. He is brave and not a runaway. He shall not come back until he shall conquer by the will of Allah.'
The messenger of Allah (SwT) confirmed the conquer before the marching. The companions of the messenger of Allah looked forward to that, but on the next day, the messenger of Allah (SwT) sent for Ali and sent him at the head of the army. He singled him out with this virtue and called him "brave and not a runaway". Allah called him "a lover of Allah and His messenger" and informed that Allah and His messenger loved him.
We just introduced this explanation as evidence and confirmation to what we want to say about the matter of "compulsion and free will" and "the matter between the two matters". We ask Allah for help and assistance and on Him we rely in all our affairs. We begin with the saying of Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.), 'It is neither compulsion nor free will but it is a position between the two positions. It is the soundness of creation, freedom, enough time, equipment, and the cause that provokes a doer towards his doing.' These are five things with which Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) grouped the items of virtue. If someone lacks one of these items, obligations are not required from him. Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) informed of the necessary thing that people must know and the Book confirmed it. The clear verses of the Qur'an and the messenger of Allah proved it.
The messenger of Allah and his progeny do not exceed by their sayings the limits of the Qur'an. If traditions conform to the Qur'an and agree with its proofs, following them is obligatory and no one violates them except the people of intransigence. When we pondered on the saying of as-Sadiq about "the position between the two positions" and his denying of "compulsion and free will", we found the Book proving and confirming his saying, besides that there was another saying by him confirming the first one. Once, as-Sadiq was asked, 'Has Allah forced His people to commit sins?' He said, 'He (Allah) is more just than this.' It was said to him, 'Has He, then, completely authorized them to do that (commit sins)?' He said, 'Allah is mightier and more omnipotent over them than this.'
It was narrated that he said, 'People, in fate, are of three kinds; one claims that people are authorized to do as they like and thus he deems Allah weak in His authority, and this one will perish. The other one claims that Allah forces people into sins and charges them with what they are unable to do, and this one mistakes Allah and he will perish. And one claims that Allah charges people with what they are able to do and does not charge them with what they are unable to do, so when this one does good, he thanks Allah and when he does wrong, he asks Allah to forgive him and this is a true Muslim.' As-Sadiq (a.s.) told that he, who believed in "compulsion" or "free will", opposed the truth. I have already explained "compulsion" and "free will" and that whoever believed in them is wrong, and therefore the truth is "the position between the two positions".'
I give example on each topic to explain the meaning for requesters and make research easier. These examples are confirmed by the Qur'anic verses and proved true by men of understanding. We ask Allah for success and perfection.
'As for "compulsion", it is the belief of those who claim that Allah forces people into committing sins and disobediences and then He punishes them for that. Whoever believes in this concept wrongs Allah, falsifies Him and denies His saying, (and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone) and, (This is due to what your two hands have sent before, and Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants) and, (Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves) besides many other verses regarding this. He, who claims he is forced into disobedience, ascribes his sins to Allah and considers Allah as unjust in punishing him.
Whoever considers Allah as unjust denies His Book, and whoever denies His Book must be an unbeliever due to the consensus of the nation. The example of this is like the example of a man having a slave, who neither possesses himself nor does he have any property at all. The lord knows this about his slave; nevertheless, he orders the slave to go to the market to bring him something but without giving him the price of that thing. The lord knows well that that something has an owner that no one can take that thing from him except after paying the price. The lord of the slave considers himself as just, fair, wise, and free from any kind of injustice.
He threatens his slave with punishment if he does not bring him that thing, though he knows well that no one can take that thing except after paying its price and the slave does not have the price. When the slave comes back to his lord unsuccessfully, his lord becomes angry at him and punishes him. If the lord is just and fair in his judgment, he should not punish his slave; otherwise, he shall be considered as unjust and oppressive, and if he does not punish his slave, he shall contradict himself and be a liar for he has threatened his slave with punishment. So lying and oppression contradict justice and wisdom. High Exalted is He above what they say!
'Whoever believes in "compulsion" or in what leads to "compulsion" considers Allah as unjust and oppressive if He punishes those whom He forces into committing sins. Whoever claims that Allah forces His people into their doings must say that Allah should not punish them, and whoever claims that Allah does not punish sinners denies Allah when He says,
(Yea, whoever earns evil and his sins beset him on every side, these are the inmates of the fire; in it they shall abide) and, ((As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire)
and, ((As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire; so oft as their skins are thoroughly burned, We will change them for other skins, that they may taste the chastisement; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise)
and many other sayings in different verses. Thus, whoever denies the threat of Allah must be an unbeliever and be one of those about whom Allah has said, (Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? What then is the reward of such among you who do this but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the day of resurrection they shall be sent back to the most grievous chastisement, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do).
We say that Allah the Almighty rewards people for their doings and punishes them for their doings that they do with their will and ability He has given to them. He has enjoined them to do some things and forbidden them from doing some other things. He says in His Book,
(Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings an evil deed, he shall be recompensed only with the like of it, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly) and, (On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that (evil) there were a long duration of time; and Allah makes you to be cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and Allah is Compassionate to the servants) and, (This day every soul shall be rewarded for what it has earned; no injustice (shall be done) this day).
These clear verses refute "compulsion" and deny whoever believes in it. There are many other verses like these ones but we do not mention them in order not to expatiate. We pray to Allah for success.
'As for the concept of "free will", which Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) refuted, it is the concept of saying that Allah the Almighty has authorized His people to choose His enjoinments and prohibitions and He neglected them. The infallible Imams of the Prophet's progeny say that if Allah has authorized people and neglected them, then he must be pleased with what they choose and they deserve reward for that and should not be punished for sins they commit if indeed there is negligence. This belief (of free will) has two meanings; the first is that people have defeated Allah and forced Him, willingly or unwillingly, to accept their choices; and this shows that He is weak, or He has failed to make them worship Him through the enjoinments and prohibitions according to His will, whether they wanted or not, and therefore, He authorized them to choose His enjoinments and prohibitions according to their wills when He failed to make them worship according to His will, and so He gave them the option in choosing faith or unfaith.
It is like a man who buys a slave to serve him, acknowledge his favor, submit to his lordship, follow his orders, and refrain from his prohibitions. The lord of the slave claims he is mighty and wise. The lord orders his slave to do things and forbids him from doing other things. He promises the slave of great rewards if he follows his orders and threatens him with severe punishments if he disobeys. The slave contradicts the will of his lord and does not submit to his orders and prohibitions. Whatever the lord orders or forbids the slave to do or not to do, the slave does not obey but follows his own will and tendency and not his lord's. The lord is not able to make the slave act according to his will, and so he lets him free to choose by his own will and tendency and accepts whatever he does. One day, the lord sends the slave to do something for him. The slave carries out that thing according to his tendency and not to his lord's.
When he comes back, the lord finds that the slave has done unlike what he (the lord) wants. He says to him, 'Why did you do unlike what I have asked you to do?' The slave says, 'I depended on your authorization to me and did as I liked.' An authorized one is free in his doing; therefore, "free will" is impossible for people towards their Lord.'
Free will is the belief that Allah has left His people free to do as they like and that Allah has no relation in people's doings. The Imam (a.s.) refuted this belief with clear proofs and said it was impossible. He added,'It is, due to that, that the lord of the slave is either able to make the slave follow his orders and refrain from his prohibitions according to his will and not to the slave's will, and to give him ability as much as that which he orders him to do and forbids him from. If he orders him to do something and forbids from doing another thing, he should tell him the reward and punishment for each.
He should warn him against his punishment and encourage him towards his reward so that the slave will know the power of his lord through the power the lord has given to the slave himself that makes him able to follow his orders, refrain from his prohibitions, approve his encouragement, and keep off his warning. Thus, the lord will be just and fair to the slave and his excuse in pardoning and warning will be clear. Then, if the slave follows his lord's orders, he shall be rewarded by him, and if he does not refrain from his prohibitions, he shall be punished. The second meaning is that the lord is unable to punish the slave and make him follow his orders and so he lets the slave free to do good or bad, to obey or disobey. This inability disproves might and deity and makes "enjoining of the right and forbidding from the wrong" vain. It contradicts the Holy Book where Allah says,
(and He does not like ungratefulness in His servants; and if you are grateful, He likes it in you) and, (be careful of (your duty to) Allah with the care which is due to Him, and do not die unless you are Muslims) and,
(And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me. I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me) and, (And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him) and, (Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn back from Him while you hear).
He, who claims that Allah has entrusted His orders and prohibitions to His people, describes Allah as unable and consequently He must accept all that which His people do whether good or bad. This one also denies the orders, prohibitions, warnings and threatening of Allah. When one claims that Allah has entrusted all that to man, it means that man is free to believe or disbelieve and he shall not be blamed for his decision. He, who believes in "free will" in this meaning, denies the orders, prohibitions, warning, and threatening of Allah and he is one of those who are included in this verse,
(Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? What then is the reward of such among you as do this but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the day of resurrection they shall be sent back to the most grievous chastisement, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do). Allah is too far above that which the people of "free will" believe in.'
After refuting the concepts of "compulsion" and "free will", Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) proved the concept of "the matter between the two matters" which was the theory of the infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (s). He said, 'But we say: Allah the Almighty created people by His power and gave them the ability of obeying Him. He ordered them to do what He wanted and forbade them from what He wanted. He accepted from them their obedience to His orders and He was pleased by it, and He prohibited them from disobeying Him, dispraised the disobeyers, and punished them for that. Allah has the choice of enjoining His people on doing some things that He is pleased with and forbidding them from other things that He hates. He punishes for disobediences due to the ability he has given to His people by which they can obey Him and avoid His prohibitions because He is just, fair, wise, and has clear excuses.
He chooses from among His people as He wills to inform of His mission and authority over people. He chose Muhammad (a.s.) and sent him with His mission to His creation, but some unbelievers from (Muhammad's) people said out of envy and haughtiness, (Why was not this Qu'ran revealed to a man of importance in the two towns). They were Umayyah bin Abussalt and Abu Mas'oud ath-Thaqafi. But Allah refuted their sayings and thoughts when revealing, (Will they distribute the mercy of your Lord? We distribute among them their livelihood in the life of this world, and We have exalted some of them above others in degrees, that some of them may take others in subjection; and the mercy of your Lord is better than what they amass).
'Therefore, He enjoined on what He liked, and forbade from what He disliked. He would reward whoever obeyed Him and would punish whoever disobeyed Him. If Allah entrusted His affairs to His people, He would permit Quraysh to choose Umayyah bin Abussalt or Abu Mas'oud ath-Thaqafi for they were preferred by Quraysh to Muhammad (a.s.).
When Allah disciplined the believers by saying, (And it behooves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter), He did not allow them to choose according to their desires, and He did not accept from them except to follow His orders and avoid His prohibitions that had been informed by those, whom He had chosen (as prophets). He, who obeyed Him, was guided, and he, who disobeyed Him, deviated and went astray and would not be excused because he had the ability to obey Allah's orders and avoid His prohibitions; therefore, Allah prevented a disobeyer from His reward and He would punish him instead.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) proved in the previous paragraphs the theory of "the matter between the two matters" that the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (s) believed in. This concept was established on a firm basis of understanding, intellect, and logic. Grand Ayatollah al-Khoei, in his studies on Usul, proved the matter. He said, 'The matter is not a matter of worship, but the medium way, by which the problem of "compulsion and free will" can be solved, is limited to it. Deeds of people depend on two sides; the first is their lives, abilities, knowledge, and the like, and the second is their wills and doings. The first side is from Allah and connected to His Eternal Being and is submissive to Him. It is the very connection and submission itself and not something with this connection and submission. In this light, if Allah the Almighty stops that for a moment, surely life will stop.
The second side is from people. Supposing the existence of the first side, it is connected with the second one in its essence and branched with it naturally. Hence, no deed comes from man except by the correlation of these two sides. But, if one side prevails, no deed is achieved. On this base, it is true to ascribe deeds to Allah and to man. To explain this point, we give examples to show the difference of the concepts of "compulsion" and "free will" from the theory of the Twelver Shia. A deed of man comes in three kinds: First, the deed that comes without man's will and choice; as when we suppose that there is someone with a trembling hand who is unable to control his hand. If his master ties a sword in his trembling hand, supposing that there is someone lying beside him, though this man knows that when the sword slips from his hand and falls on that sleeping person, it will kill him, naturally this deed is not from his will and choice. Reasonable people see that he is not responsible for this deed and he is not to be blamed for it. The one, who is responsible and to be blamed for that, is the one who ties the sword to that man's hand. This is the theme of the theory of "compulsion".
Second, the deeds that come from man by his will, choice, and independency with no need to resort to any other than him; it is like when we suppose that a master gives a sword to a free person who is free to do what he wants and able to move his hand freely. In this case, if this person commits a murder in the outside, he himself will be responsible for that murder and not the giver of the sword, though the giver of the sword knows that giving the sword to that person leads to a murder, and besides that, he can take the sword from that person whenever he wants; nevertheless, the murder cannot be imputed to the giver of the sword but to that person who was free in moving his hand with no external influence. This is the theme of the theory of "free will".
Third, the deeds that come from man by his choice and power, though he is not independent by himself but in need of other than him, so that if the aid of that other one stops at any time, his deeds will stop definitely; as an example we suppose that the master has a paralyzed slave that is unable to move. The master connects an electric current to the slave's body to arouse power in his muscles and make him able to move and act. The master holds the control of the electric current, which gives power to the slave's body at all time, with his hand that if he cuts the current for a moment, the power will be cut from the slave's body and he becomes unable to move.
On this base, if the master connects that power to the slave's body and the slave goes by his will and kills someone where the master knows what the slave does, in this case this deed is imputed to both of them; to the slave because he is able to or not to do that deed as he wills after power is connected to his body, and to the master because he gives power to the slave even at the time of committing that murder though he is able to cut that power from the slave at any time he wants. This is the theme and fact of the theory of "the matter between the two matters".'
We come back again to the tradition of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). He says,'The matter between the two matters is neither "compulsion" nor "free will". It is this what Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) told Abayah bin Rub'iy al-Asadi about when he asked him about the ability by which man could stand up, sit down, and act. Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) said to Abayah, 'You asked about ability. Do you have it without Allah or with Allah?' Abayah kept silent and did not know what to say. Imam Ali (a.s.) said, 'If you say that you have it with Allah, I will kill you, and if you say that you have it without Allah, I will kill you.' Abayah said, 'Then what shall I say, O Amir'ul- Mu'minin?'
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, 'You say that you have it by Allah Who has it without you. If He makes you possess it, it is from his favor, and if He deprives you of it, it is from His trial for you. He is the Possessor of what He makes you possess, and He is the Powerful over what He gives you power in. Do you not hear people asking (Allah) for ability and power when they say: there is no ability and power save in Allah (la hawla wela quwwata illabillah)?' Abayah said, 'O Amir'ul- Mu'minin, what does it mean?' Imam Ali (a.s.) said, 'There is no ability to keep away from disobediences save by the preservation of Allah, and we have no power to obey Allah save by the assistance of Allah.' Abayah jumped and kissed Imam Ali's hands and feet.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) added, 'It is narrated from Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) that one day Najda came to him asking about how to know Allah. He asked, 'O Amir'ul- Mu'minin, with what you have known your Lord?' Imam Ali (a.s.) said, 'With the thinking that has empowered me and the mind that has led me.' Najda said, 'Are you molded into that? (i.e., Is this thinking forced upon you)' Imam Ali (a.s.) said, 'If I am molded into that, I shall not be praised for good deeds and blamed for bad deeds, and so a good doer shall deserve blame more than a wrongdoer. I know that Allah is Eternal, Everlasting and anything other than Him is transient and mortal. The Eternal, Everlasting One is not like a transient creature.' Najda said, 'I see you have become wise.' Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) said, 'I am free to choose. If I commit a bad deed instead of good deed, I shall be punished for it.'
It is also related that Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) said to a man who asked him after coming back from Sham, 'O Amir'ul- Mu'minin, tell us about our marching to Sham! Is it by the fate of Allah?' Amir'ul- Mu'minin (a.s.) said, 'O sheikh (old man), yes. You do not ascend up a hill or descend a valley unless it is by the will and fate of Allah.' The old man said, 'I expect the reward of my efforts from Allah O Amir'ul- Mu'minin.'
Imam Ali (a.s.) explained fate by saying, 'O sheikh, wait! Allah has rewarded you for your marching as you march, for your resting as you rest, and for your going back as you go back. You may think it is inevitable fate and inescapable doom. If it is so, then reward and punishment, enjoining and forbidding, scolding, warning and threatening will be void, and a bad doer shall not be blamed and a good doer shall not be rewarded. A good doer shall be worthier of being blamed than a guilty one, and a guilty one shall be worthier of reward than a good doer. This opinion is of idolaters, enemies of Allah, fatalists, and the magi. O sheikh, Allah the Almighty has charged His people but given them the option to do or not to do, and forbidden them as warning. He gives much for a little. He is not disobeyed out of defeat and He is not obeyed by force. He has not created the heavens, the earth, and what is between them in vain. That is the opinion of those who disbelieve, and woe unto those who disbelieve from the Fire.' The old man got up, kissed Imam Ali's head, and recited some verses of poetry praising him.
'Amir'ul- Mu'minin proved what complied with the Book and he denied "compulsion" and "free will" and showed that whoever believed in them denied the Book of Allah and was unbeliever. We seek the protection of Allah from deviation and disbelief. We believe neither in compulsion nor in free will, but we believe in "the matter between the two matters" that is the trial of the ability which Allah has given to us in order to worship Him with it as the Book witnessed and the pure Imams of the Prophet's progeny (peace be upon them) believed in.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) gave an example by saying, 'The example of the trial of ability is like the example of a man who possesses a slave and he has a lot of money. He wants to try his slave though he knows what his slave shall do. He gives the slave some of his money and agrees on certain conditions with him. He orders him to spend the money on some things and forbids him from other things that he (the master) does not like. He orders him to avoid them and not to spend from his money on those things, though money is spent in both sides.
The slave spends some money in obeying the master and seeking his pleasure, and some in the way he has forbidden. The master houses the slave in a temporary house and informs him that he shall not live in this house forever but he shall live in another house, which the master will take him to, where there shall be eternal reward and eternal punishment. If the slave spends the money in the way that the master has ordered him to do, he shall be rewarded with the eternal reward as his master has promised to reward him in the other house that he will take him to, and if he spends the money in the way that his master has forbidden him from, he shall be punished with eternal punishment in the eternal house. The master determines a limit for that. It is the abiding in the first house.
When the limit is reached, the master changes the slave and the money, though he is still the owner of the slave and money in all times but he has promised that he shall not deprive the slave of that money as long as he lives in that house until he completes his abiding in it. The master fulfils the desires of the slave because justice, loyalty, fairness, and wisdom are from the qualities of the master. If the slave spends that money in the way he is ordered to, the master shall carry out his promise to him by rewarding him with eternal bliss in an everlasting house, and if he spends the money in the way he is forbidden from and contradicts the orders of his master, he shall be punished with the eternal punishment that the master has warned him of.
Doing so, the master is not unjust to the slave because he has pre-informed him that he will carry out his promise and threat to him. It is for this reason that the master is described as mighty and omnipotent. The master is Allah the Almighty, the slave is man, money is the vast power of Allah, the trial is the showing of wisdom and might, the temporary (transient) house is the worldly life, the sum of money that the master has given to the slave is the ability that man has, and the way Allah has ordered the money to be spent in is the ability of following the prophets and acknowledging what they have brought from Allah the Almighty.
The ways Allah has forbidden are the ways of Iblis, the promise of the eternal bliss is the Paradise, the transient house is this life, and the other house is the everlasting house that is the afterlife. The moderate concept between "compulsion" and "free will" is the trial and test of the ability that the slave has been given. It is explained in the five examples which Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) has mentioned that they have had all virtues. I shall interpret them using proofs from the Qur'an and reason, insha'Allah.'
This example presented by Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) is clear that man has full control over his will and choice. When man obeys Allah, he obeys Him out of his satisfaction and choice and he is not forced into it, and when he disobeys his Lord, he does so by his will and choice too. On the basis of this choice, the concept of "the matter between the two matters" is based, which is the concept that has been adopted by the infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) added, 'As for the saying of as-Sadiq (a.s.), it means the perfection of man's morals, the perfection of senses, constancy of mind, discernment, and eloquence. Allah says, (And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created).
Allah informs that He has preferred man to all His creatures of animals, beasts, sea creatures, birds, and all living creatures by virtue of reason and speaking. Allah says, (Certainly We created man in the best make), and, (O man ! what has beguiled you from your Lord, the Gracious one, Who created you, then fashioned you, then proportioned you, into whatever form He pleased He constituted you), and in many other verses.
The first blessing of Allah for man is the soundness of his mind and his preference to all creatures with the perfection of his mind and the faculty of speaking. Every living creature in the earth is independent in its senses and complete in its being, but man is preferred by the faculty of speaking to all other sensitive creatures. It is for this faculty of speaking that Allah has made man prevail over all creatures. Man is the commander while other creatures are submissive to him. Allah says,
(thus has He made them subservient to you, that you may magnify Allah because He has guided you aright) and, (And He it is Who has made the sea subservient that you may eat fresh flesh from it and bring forth from it ornaments which you wear) and, (And He created the cattle for you; you have in them warm clothing and (many) advantages, and of them do you eat. And there is beauty in them for you when you drive them back (to home), and when you send them forth (to pasture). And they carry your heavy loads to regions which you could not reach but with distress of the souls).
For that, Allah invited man to follow His orders and obey Him by preferring him through straightening his shape and giving him the faculty of speaking and knowledge after giving him the ability of carrying out what He has ordered him to do. Allah says,
(Therefore be careful of (your duty to) Allah as much as you can, and hear and obey) and, (Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability), and, (Allah does not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent to which He has granted it), and in many other verses. If Allah deprives man of one of his senses, He exempts him from his duty by that sense. Allah says, (No blame is there upon the blind nor any blame upon the lame nor any blame upon the sick).
Allah has exempted these persons from jihad and all duties that they cannot do. Rather, He has imposed on wealthy people to offer the hajj and pay the zakat for they have the ability of that. Allah has not imposed the hajj and zakat on poor people. He says, (and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it), and, (Those who put away their wives (by saying they are as their mothers) and afterward would go back on that which they have said, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave.and for him who is unable to do so (the penance is) the feeding of sixty needy ones).
This proves that Allah has not imposed on His people what is beyond the ability He has given to them, nor forbidden them from what they have no ability to refrain from. This is the soundness of creation.
'And as for his saying "clearing the way", it means that there is no watch over man that prevents him from carrying out what Allah has ordered him to do. It is due to the saying of Allah about the disabled who are not free to act as Allah says, (Except the feeble among men, and the women, and the children, who are unable to devise a plan and are not shown a way). He informs that a disabled one is not given a way and so he is not to be blamed if his heart is full of faith.
'As for the time limit, it is the age of man where he is required to seek knowledge, from the time he comes of age until death. He, who dies while seeking the truth and does not get perfection, shall be to good. Allah says, (and whoever goes forth from his house emigrating to Allah and His Messenger, and then death overtakes him, his reward is indeed with Allah).
'Equipment are wealth and power by which man is be able to follow the commands of Allah. Allah says, (There is no way (of blame) against the doers of good). Do you not see that Allah has accepted the excuse of those who have no further money to spend, but imposed on the people who have enough money and riding camels (or horses) to go to the hajj and jihad? He has also accepted the excuse of the poor and imposed to them a share from the wealth of the rich. He has said, ((Alms are) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah). Allah has exempted them and has not charged them with what they are unable to do.
'As for his saying "the provoking cause", it is the intention that leads man to all his deeds. The sense of this intention is in the heart (mind). Whoever does a thing without intending it by his heart (sincerely) it shall not be accepted from him. Allah does not accept from man any deed except those with sincere intentions, and therefore He has said about hypocrites, (They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah is best aware of what they conceal). Then Allah revealed to His messenger (a.s.) a blame on the believer, (O you who believe! why do you say that which you do not do).
If man says something and believes in it, his true intention makes him prove his saying by acting upon it, and if he does not believe in his saying, the truth of his saying shall not appear. Allah has accepted the true intention even if the action does not comply with the intention because of something that may prevent the person from achieving so, as Allah says, (.except he who is compelled while his heart is still content with faith) and (Allah does not punish you for what is vain in your oaths, but He will punish you for what your hearts have earned).
The Qur'an and the traditions of the Prophet (S) show that the heart is the possessor of all senses and it confirms their doings, and nothing invalidates what the heart confirms. This is the explanation of the five examples mentioned by as-Sadiq (a.s.) which determine "the position between the two positions". The two positions are "compulsion" and "free will". If these five items are found in a man, it is obligatory on him to do as Allah and His messengers have ordered, and if that man lacks one of these items, he is exempted from the doing concerning that item.
'As for the proofs in the Holy Qur'an on the "trying according to ability" which means the concept of "the matter between the two matters", are many, such as this holy verse (And verily We shall try you till We know those of you who strive hard (for the sake of Allah) and the patient, and till We test your record), and (And those who deny Our revelations, We draw them near (to destruction) step by step from whence they know not), and (Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried), and (And certainly We tried Sulaiman), and in the story of Prophet Moses (He said: So surely We have tried your people after you, and the Samiri has led them astray), and the saying of Moses (It is naught but Thy trial). These verses are compared one to another and they confirm one another.
As for the verses of affliction which mean "trying", they are also many such as, (but that He might try you in what He gave you), and (then He turned you away from them that He might try you), and (We have tried them as We tried the people of the Garden), and (Who created death and life that He may try you; which of you is best in deeds), and (And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words), and (and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others).
'These verses and many others like them prove the "trying". Allah the Almighty has not created the creatures in vain, nor has He ignored them, nor has He showed His wisdom for play. He has said, (What! did you then think that We had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us?). If someone says, 'Did Allah not know what His people would do so that He tried them?' We say, 'Yes, He knows what they shall do before they do. He says, (and if they were sent back, they would certainly go back to that which they were forbidden).
Allah tries people to show them His justice and that He does not torture them except by a certain excuse and after committing their deeds. Allah says, (And had We destroyed them with chastisement before this, they would certainly have said: O our Lord, why didst Thou not send to us a messenger, for then we should have followed Thy communications before that we met disgrace and shame), and (and We never punish until we have sent a messenger), and ((We sent) messengers as the givers of good news and as warners, so that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) messengers).
So the trial of Allah is on the ability that He has given to man and this is the concept of "the matter between the two matters". About this the Qur'an spoke and the traditions of the infallible Imams (a.s.) confirmed.
'If someone says: What is the argument in this saying of Allah (Surely Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases), and in other verses like it? It is said: the metaphor in all these verses has two meanings; one is that Allah tells about His might that He is able to guide whomever He pleases and misguide whomever He pleases, and if He forces them into one of these two ways, neither reward nor punishment they would deserve, and the second is the "informing" like in this verse (And as to Thamud, We gave them guidance, but they chose error above guidance).
It means that Allah has showed them the right way. If He had forced them into guidance, they would not be able to go astray. It is not right that, whenever an allegorical verse is mentioned, that it be used as an argument agaisnt the clear verses which we have been ordered to follow. Allah says, (He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical. Then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity, they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation), and (.give good news to My servants who listen to the word, then follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided, and those who are the men of understanding). The best of the word means the clearest and most decisive.
'May Allah make us successful in saying and doing to what He likes and pleases, and may He keep us away from His disobedience by His favor and grace. Much praise be to Allah as He deserves, and His blessings be on Muhammad and on His good progeny. Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector.'
This is the end of the wonderful letter of Imam al-Hadi (a.s) in which he refuted the illusions of the Ash'arites and the Mu'tazilites and proved with irrefutable proofs the concept of "the matter between the two matters" which the infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) believed in.
Samples of his supplications
The supplications of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) form a wonderful part of the Islamic heritage. They had established the bases of behaviors and morals and the spiritual elements of personality. They included important, political documentation that showed the extent of persecution and oppression the Islamic nation faced during those ages under the rule of the Umayyads and the Abbasids who spared no effort in oppressing people and using them as tools to serve the rulers and their retinues. Besides that, these supplications showed the reliance and devotedness of the Imams to Allah, and that they believed with their hearts, feelings, and passions.
His supplication (du'a) during distress
When Imam al-Hadi (a.s) suffered a distress or he wanted some need to be satisfied, he prayed to Allah with this du'a. Narrators said that before reciting this du'a Imam al-Hadi (a.s) fasted on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, performed a ghusl in the morning of Friday, paid charity to a poor person, offered a four rak'ah prayer, and then he spread his palms towards the heaven and invoked sincerely by reciting,
"O Allah, praise be to You with the best praise that You deserve, the most pleHasant praise to You, the most appropriate praise to You, the most beloved praise to You. Praise be to You as You deserve, and as You accepted for Yourself, and as those, whose praise You accepted, praised You from all Your creation. Praise be to You as Your prophets, messengers, and angels praised You with, and as fits Your glory, highness, and greatness. Praise be to You that tongues are unable to express, and speech stops before reaching its end. Praise be to You that is not less than Your contentment, and that is better than every praise.
'O Allah, praise be to You in joy and trouble, ease and distress, soundness and illness, years and ages. Praise be to You for Your favors and blessings to me. Praise be to You for what You have gifted me, tried me, healed me, provided me with livelihood, given me what I need, preferred me, honored me, dignified me, and guided me to Your religion; a praise that no describer can describe and no speaker can suffice.
'O Allah, praise be to You for Your kindness to me, and Your favors on me, and Your preferring me to other than me. Praise be to You for Your adjusting my creation, and for Your educating me well as a favor from You and not for a precedent good from me. O my Lord, then which blessings have You not given me? And which gratitude is not required from me to You? I am satisfied with Your kindness, and You suffice me from among all creation.
'O my Lord, You are the Bestower upon me, the Beneficent, the Gracious, the Beautiful, the Lord of glory and honor, and of great favors and blessings, so praise be to You for all that. O my Lord, You did not disappoint me in any distress, did not betray me for any guilt, and did not expose me for any concealed sin. Your blessings are continuous on me in every difficulty and ease. You have always done me good and pardoned me.
'O Allah, make me enjoy my hearing, sight, and organs and all that which the earth has for me. O Allah, my first need I ask You for, and my wish I request from You, and make it the means before my request, and I come nearer to You by it, is the sending of blessing on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad. And I ask You to send blessings on him and on them as the best blessings that You have commanded Your people to send on them, and as the best of that which any of Your people has ever asked You for, and as You are responsible for them until the Day of Resurrection. O Allah, send blessing on them inasmuch as all those who have sent blessings on them, inasmuch as all those who shall send blessings on them; a continuous blessing with the means, exaltedness, and virtue, and send blessings on Your prophets, messengers, and Your good slaves, and send blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and send much peace on them!
'O Allah, and Your generosity is that You do not disappoint whoever asks You for something, and looks forward to what You have, and You dislike whoever does not ask You, and no one is so other than You. O my Lord, my greed for Your mercy and forgiveness, and my trust in Your kindness and favor has led me to call on You, yearn for You, and offer my need before You. I have presented before my request, the aiming at You by the means of Your Prophet, who had brought the truth from You, and brought Your light and straight path by which You have guided the people, and by whose light You have enlivened the earth, and whom You have endowed with the highest dignity, and honored with the shahada, and sent him after a cessation of the messengers. O Allah, I believe in his secret and openness, and in the secret of his progeny whom You had kept uncleanness away from and purified a thorough purifying.O Allah, do not cut ties between me and them in this life and in the afterlife and accept my deeds by them!
'O Allah, You had guided Your people to Yourself when You said, (And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way), and (O my servants, who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful), and (And Noah did certainly call upon Us, and best of answerers are We).
O Lord, yes! The best of the called upon are You, the best of lords are You, and the best of answerers are You! You say, (Say: Call upon Allah or call upon the Beneficent; whichever you call upon, His are the best names), and I call upon You, O Allah, by Your names which if You are called upon by, You respond, and if You are asked by, You give. I call upon You suppliantly, humbly with the call of one whom inadvertence has taken away and neediness has exhausted. I call upon You with the call of one who has given up, confessed his guilt, and hoped for Your great pardon, and wide reward.
'O Allah, if You have singled out someone, who followed what You have ordered him and acted as You have created him for, with Your mercy, he would not reach that except by You and Your assistance. O Allah.to You my Master is my preparing, hoping for Your prizes and gifts. I ask You to send blessings on Muhammad and on the progeny of Muhammad and to satisfy my request and need.
'O You, the most generous of givers, the best of the beneficent, send blessings on Muhammad and on the progeny of Muhammad, and whoever from Your people wants to harm me disconcert his heart, refute his tongue, blind his sight, curb his head, make him busy with himself, and make me safe from him by Your might and power! O Allah, do not make it the last time to me that I call upon You suppliantly, and if You do, then forgive me all my faults with forgiveness that does not leave behind a single guilt. Make my call among the responded calls, my deed among the accepted deeds near you, and my speech among that which comes up to You of good deeds, and make me be with Your Prophet and chosen, and the Imams, peace be upon them all. By them I beseech You, and by them I yearn to You. Respond to my call O the most Merciful of the merciful, and forgive me my slips.' Then Imam al-Hadi (a.s) asked for his need and went down into prostration and said,
"There is no god but Allah the Forbearing, the Generous. There is no god but Allah the Most High, the Great. Glory be to Allah the Lord of the seven heavens, the lord of the seven earths, and the Lord of the Great Throne. O Allah, I resort to Your pardon from Your punishment, and to Your contentment from Your wrath, and to You from You. I cannot reach Your praise, or the gratitude You deserve. You are as You have praised Yourself. Make my life a growth for me in every goodness, and my death a relief to me from every evil. Make the delight of my eyes in Your obedience. O my Trust and Hope, do not burn my face in Fire after my prostration to You my Master.
With no favor from me on You, You have the favor upon me, so pity my weakness and delicate skin, and relieve me from the distresses of this life and of the afterlife, and favor me with the company of the Prophet (a.s) and his progeny (peace be upon them) in the high ranks in Paradise.O You the Light of light, the Manager of affairs, Generous, Glorious, One, Unique, Eternal, Who neither begot nor was begotten, and there is none comparable to You, O You Who are so, and no one is so other than You, O You Whom there is no god in the high heavens or in the low earth other than You, O You Who honor every humble one, and humble every mighty one, by Your glory and loftiness I have lost my patience, so send blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and relieve me.!'
His Du'a at Sleeping time
When he went to bed or awoke from sleep, he recited this du'a: "There is no god but Allah the Alive, the Eternal, and He has power over all things. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and the Deity of the messengers. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the seven heavens and all that which they have, and the Lord of the seven earths and all that which they have, the Lord of the Great Throne, and peace be on the messengers, and praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds."
The Du'a of Resorting
"O You, my supply, my hope and reliance, my resort and support, O You the One and Unique, O You, Who "say: He, Allah, is One", O Allah, I ask You by those like whom You have not created in Your creation, to have blessing on them."
His Du'a of Seeking Protection from Satan
"O You Who are mighty in Your might, Who are the mightiest in Your might, make me mighty from Your might, assist me with Your help, keep away from me the evil suggestion of the Devils, defend me by Your defense, protect me by Your protection, and make me from the good people of Your creation, O You One, Unique, Eternal!'
A Lofty Du'a
"O You the most hearing of hearers, the most perceptive of seers, the best of lookers, the promptest of accounters, the Most Merciful of the merciful, the wisest of judges, have blessing on Muhammad and on the progeny of Muhammad, and increase my livelihood, prolong my old, favor me with Your mercy, make me from those who defend Your religion and do not replace me by other than me.!'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s) communed Allah the Almighty in the darkness of night with a suppliant heart and peaceful soul. It was narrated that he said in his communes:
1. "O my Lord, a guilty has come, and a poor has sought; do not disappoint his effort! Have mercy on him, and forgive his faults.'
2. "My Lord, bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad, and have mercy on me when my trace will disappear from this life and my mention will be removed among people, and I shall be forgotten as those who had been forgotten. My Lord, I have become old, my skin has become delicate, my bones have become thin, time has affected me, my death has approached me, my days have elapsed, my lusts have gone but my guilt remained! O my Lord, have mercy on me when my shape will change!"
3. "O my Lord, thoughts of thinkers went astray, sights of seers fell short, descriptions of describers dissipated, sayings of fabricators vanished before the wonders of Your affair, or the reach to Your highness, for You are in the unreachable place, and no eye can fall upon You with a glance or expression. How far, and how far! O You the First, the Only, the Unique! You have exalted in highness with the glory of greatness, and risen up beyond every bottom and end with the omnipotence of pride."
A collection of wonderful Ziyarahs were transmitted from Imam al-Hadi (a.s) by which he visited his pure fathers, the infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s). These ziyarahs are full of arguments on the right of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) in the Islamic caliphate. They also include important documentations of their achievements, morals, virtues, and qualities.
Az-Ziyarah al-Jami'ah is the most famous and important ziyarah of the infallible Imams (a.s). It is very widespread among the Shia and all followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) who have memorized it. They recite it on Fridays as a visit to the pure Imams (a.s). It has been published hundreds of times in different editions and we think there is no need to mention it here for it is very well-known and widespread among Muslims.
Ziyarah of Al-Ghadir
The Day of al-Ghadir is one of the most important occasions for the Twelver Shia who consider it as an Eid where the Prophet (a.s) had appointed Imam Ali (a.s) as the caliph over Muslims after him. The Shia visited and still visit the holy shrine of Imam Ali (a.s) on the Day of al-Ghadir every year to confirm their guardianship and allegiance to him.
Imam al-Hadi (a.s) visited the holy shrine of his grandfather Imam Ali (a.s) in the year when al-Mu'tasim, the Abbasid caliph, brought him from Medina to Sammarra'. Imam al-Hadi (a.s) visited his grandfather Amir'ul- Mu'minin with this wonderful ziyarah in which he mentioned the virtues of Imam Ali (a.s) and the political and social problems he suffered at that age. We mention here some passages from the ziyarah: ".And you were the first one who believed in Allah and offered prayer to Him, fought in His way, and did well in the house of polytheism where the earth was full of deviation and Satan was worshipped openly.
You had the memorable situations, famous occasions, and great days; the Day (battle) of Badr and the Day of al-Ahzab (when the eyes turned dull, and the hearts rose up to the throats, and you began to think diverse thoughts of Allah. There the believers were tried and they were shaken with severe shaking, and when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts was a disease, were saying: Allah and His messenger promised us naught but delusion, and when a party of them said: O people of Yathrib, there is no place to stand for you here, therefore go back, and a party of them asked permission of the prophet, saying: Surely our houses are exposed; and they were not exposed; they only desired to fly away) and Allah said, ( And when the believers saw the allies, they said: This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us, and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth; and it only increased them in faith and submission).
Then you killed their Amr and defeated their parties (and Allah turned back the unbelievers in their rage; they did not obtain any advantage, and Allah sufficed the believers in fighting; and Allah is Strong, Mighty). And on the Day of Uhud (when you climbed (the hill) and paid no heed to anyone, while the messenger, in your rear, was calling you (to fight), but you drove away the polytheists from the Prophet (a.s) on the right and on the left until Allah drove them from it (war) fearfully and gave victory by you to the (disappointers), and on the Day of Hunayn as Allah said, (when your great numbers made you vain, but they availed you nothing and the earth became strait to you notwithstanding its spaciousness, then you turned back retreating. Then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and upon the believers).
And the believers were you and your companions.And on the Day of Khaybar when Allah showed the weakness of the hypocrites and cut the roots of the unbelievers- praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds- (And certainly they had made a covenant with Allah before, that they would not turn (their) backs; and Allah's covenant shall be inquired of).
And you participated with the Prophet (a.s) in all his wars and battles holding the banner before him, and beating with the sword in front of him. Then for your well-known resolution and insight on affairs, he made you the emir in the battles and there was no emir over you.
In your sleeping in the bed (of the Prophet) you were like the slaughtered (Prophet Ishmael) Peace be upon him, that you responded as he responded, and you obeyed as he obeyed patiently hoping for the reward when his father said to him, (O my son! surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. He said: O my father, do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones), and so were you when the Prophet (a.s) ordered you to sleep in his bed to save him by your self and you hurried to respond obediently and to expose your self to killing, and so Allah thanked your obedience and showed your good deed by saying, (And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah).
I witness that you contradicted desires, allied with piety, suppressed anger, pardoned people, became angry when Allah was disobeyed, became pleased when Allah is obeyed, carried out what you were entrusted with, kept what you were confided, achieved what you were charged with, and waited for what you were promised, and I witness that you did not avoid (some people) out of humbleness, nor refrained from your right (in the caliphate) with grief, nor abstained from confronting the extorters of your right out of subservience, nor you showed satisfaction unlike the satisfaction of Allah out of flattering, nor you became weak after what you faced for the sake of Allah, nor you weakened or gave up the demanding of your right and lay in wait. God forbid! You were not so, but if you were wronged, you were content with your Lord and entrusted your affairs to Him.
You did not mind misfortunes, and did not weaken at distresses, and did not abstain from fighting against falseness.It was you who said: neither do the masses of people around me increase my glory, nor does their separation from me cause me loneliness even if all people betray me.
Allah the Almighty responded to His prophet's call concerning you, and then He ordered him to announce that he entrusted you with the affair (caliphate) of his nation as glorification to you, declaring your proof, and refuting the falsehood and fabricated excuses. When he feared a sedition from the dissolute and feared for you from the hypocrites, the Lord of the worlds revealed to him, (O Messenger, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people).
He burdened himself with journey, stopped at the hot desert, and made his speech. He called out and made everyone hear, and asked them, 'Have I informed?' They said, 'By Allah, yes!' He said, 'O Allah, bear witness!' Then he said, 'Am I not worthier of Muslims than themselves to them?' They said, 'Yes, you are.' Then, he took your hand and said, 'Whoever his guardian I am, here is Ali to be his guardian. O Allah, support whoever supports him, be enemy to whoever shows enmity towards him, help whoever helps him, and disappoint whoever disappoints him!' They did not believe in what Allah had revealed to His prophet concerning you except a few, and most of them did not add save perdition.!
Then was your ordeal on the Day of Siffin when the copies of the Qur'an were raised trickily and cunningly. Suspicion appeared, the truth was known, but supposition was followed. It was like the ordeal of Aaron when Moses made him the emir over his people but they separated from him and left him alone while Aaron calling out, (O my people! you are only tried by it, and surely your Lord is the Beneficent Allah, therefore follow me and obey my order. They said: We will by no means cease to keep to its worship until Musa returns to us).
So were you when the copies of the Qur'an were raised and you said: 'O people, you are tried by it and deceived.' But they disobeyed and objected to you and called for the two judges. You, before Allah, exempted yourself from their doing and made Allah the judge over them. When the truth shone, and their abominable doing was refuted, they confessed their fault and deviation from the truth, and after that they disagreed.
Then, they forced you to accept the arbitration which you denied and prohibited but they liked. They permitted their guilt that they committed. You were on insight and guidance and they were in deviation and blindness. They still insisted on hypocrisy and were still in error until Allah made them taste the evil results of their doing and He killed from them by your sword who opposed you and became wretched and lost, and gave life by your argument to whoever followed the guidance and was happy. The blessings of Allah be on you everywhere and everywhen. Neither can a praiser cover your description, nor can a dispraiser encompass your virtues.'
From the prophets' stories
In some traditions Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) told his companions some stories of the prophets.
Noah And Iblis
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) related a dialogue between Prophet Noah (a.s.) and Iblis. He said, 'One day, Iblis came to Noah and said to him, 'You have done me a great favor. Trust in me and I shall not betray you.' Noah became angry. Allah revealed to him to let Iblis speak out. Noah said to Iblis, 'Speak out!' Iblis said, 'If we find the son of Adam stingy, envious, arrogant, or rash, we (the Devils) snatch him as the snatching of a ball. If all these morals gather in him, we call him a mutinous devil.' Noah said, 'What is the great favor I have done to you?' Iblis said, 'You invoked Allah against the people of the earth and sent them to Hell, and so I was free. Without your invoking against them, I would be busy with them for a long time.'
Moses And Allah
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) related, "Moses said, O my Lord, what is the reward of one who avoids treason out of being shy of You?'
Allah the Almighty said, 'He shall be safe on the Day of Resurrection.'
Moses said, 'What is the reward of one who loves the people of Your obedience?'
Allah the Almighty said, 'I will save his body from My Fire.'
Moses said, 'What is the reward of one who kills a believer intentionally?'
Allah the Almighty said, 'I will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection and I will not pardon his sin.'
Moses said, 'My Lord, what is the reward of one who refrains from harming people and helps them instead?'
Allah the Almighty said, 'On the Day of Resurrection, Fire will say to him: I have no way over you.' Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) told such stories to his companions to be examples for them on good morals and manners.
A Maxim From Jesus Christ
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) narrated to his companions, 'If one of you gives (charity) with his right hand, let him conceal that from his left hand, and if he prays, let him conceal that.'
Allah the Almighty loves that when a believer gives charity or does good, he is to keep it secret and not to announce or spread it among people lest he shall lose the reward, for he has to seek the reward from Allah.
From The Islamic Events
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) talked to his companions about some important Islamic events that happened at the first Islamic age. One of them was the killing of the martyr Qanbar, Imam Ali's servant, at the hand of the tyrant al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf ath-Thaqafi. He said,
'Qanbar came in to al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf who shouted at him, 'What service did you offer to Ali bin Abu Talib?'
Qanbar said, 'I helped him in performing ablution.'
Al-Hajjaj said, 'What did he say when he finished his ablution?'
Qanbar said, 'He recited this Qur'anic verse: (But when they neglected that with which they had been admonished, We opened for them the doors of all things, until when they rejoiced in what they were given We seized them suddenly; then lo! they were in utter despair. So the roots of the people who were unjust were cut off; and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds).
Al-Hajjaj said, 'I think he meant us?!'
Qanbar said, 'Yes, he did.'
Al-Hajjaj said to Qanbar, 'What do you do if I behead you?'
Qanbar said, 'Then I shall be happy and you shall be wretched.'
The tyrant ordered his men to behead this good man and he was killed.'
The Virtue of The Prophet and Ali
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) praised the innumerable favors the Prophet (S) and Imam Ali (a.s.) did the nation. He said, 'From glorifying Allah is the preferring of the two fathers of religion Muhammad and Ali to the fathers of kinship, and from being indifferent to the loftiness of Allah is to prefer the fathers of kinship to the fathers of religion; Muhammad and Ali.'
He also said, 'If the two fathers of religion Muhammad and Ali are not glorified to one more than his fathers of kinship, one shall have no value near Allah.'
The Prophet (S) and his guardian Imam Ali (a.s.) have had rights on the nation more than the rights of fathers. By them Allah has taken people out of the life of ignorance, meanness, and wretchedness to the life of Islam that is full of honor, glory, and dignity.
The Virtue of the Ulama' During the Time of Occultation
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) talked about the virtue of the ulama' during the time of the occultation of his grandson Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.). He said, 'If, after the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi, there will be no ulama' who will invite and guide to him, defend his religion with clear proofs, and save the weak faithful from the traps of Iblis and his followers and from the traps of the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), no one remains unless he will apostate from the religion of Allah, but it is they who will hold the hearts of the weak of the Shia as a shipper when holding the rudder of his ship. Those are the best of people near Allah.'
The Virtue Of Patience
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) talked about patience and the great reward the patient shall get from their Lord. Al-Hasan bin Ali narrated, "I heard Abul Hasan saying, 'On the Day of Resurrection, a caller will call out: where are the patient? Some people will get up. Then, a caller will call out: where are the discerning? Some people will get up. The patient are those who are patient with the performing of the obligations, and the discerning are those who are discerning in refraining from sins.'
Pessimism Towards Days
Islam resisted all bad habits and traditions of the pre-Islamic era. From those habits that Islam resisted was the pessimism at days which the pre-Islamic society believed in. It neither brought good nor did it save from evil, for all things were determined by Allah the Creator of the universe and Giver of life.
Al-Hasan bin Mas'oud said, "One day, I went to Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad (a.s.) after my finger was scratched, and a rider knocked against my shoulder, and I went into a crowd that some of my clothes were torn. I said: may Allah save me from your evil O day! How ill-omened you are!'
Abul Hasan (a.s.) said to me, 'O Hasan, you say so though you frequent us! You throw your guilt on that which is guiltless!'
I recovered my senses, understood my mistake, and said: I ask Allah to forgive me.'
Abul Hasan (a.s.) said, 'O Hasan, what is the guilt of days that you are pessimistic at when you are punished for your deeds on them?'
I said, 'I always ask Allah for forgiveness. It is my repentance O son of the messenger of Allah.'
He said, 'By Allah, it does not benefit you. Allah punishes you for blaming days which have no guilt in what you blame them for. O Hasan, do you know that it is Allah Who rewards and punishes for deeds whether sooner or later?'
I said, 'O yes, my master.'
He said, 'Do not give days a role in the judgment of Allah!'
I said, 'O yes, my master."
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) confirmed what the Prophet (S) had announced in one of his traditions that it was not from Islam that a Muslim be pessimistic, but he must have a strong will and determination in doing everything except sins.
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) invited to cleanness and prettification. He said, 'Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty and prettification, and He hates misery and miserable ones. Allah the Almighty likes, when He gives a blessing to His slave, to see the effects of that blessing appear on him.' He was asked, 'How is that?' He said, 'To clean his dress, make his smell good, order his house, and sweep the yard. Even a lamp lit before sunset takes poverty away and increases livelihood.'
Rarity of Lawful Income
Sayyid bin Tawus narrated that Muhammad bin Harun al-Jallab said, 'I said to my master Ali bin Muhammad al-Hadi (a.s.): we narrated from your fathers that a time would come where there would be nothing rarer than a friendly brother or gaining a lawful dirham (well-gotten money).' He said, 'O Muhammad, a friendly brother is available, but you are in a time where there is nothing rarer than a well-gotten dirham and a loyal, faithful brother.'
The rarity of well-gotten money results from the impiety in gaining and the greediness to get money in any way. As for a friendly brother who seeks his own benefits, he is available everywhere and everywhen, but as for a god-fearing brother who keeps his brother away from committing sin and takes him to do good, he is rare at all times.
Ignoring the Fact of Death
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was asked, 'Why do these Muslims hate death?' He said, 'Because they ignore it, and therefore, they hate it. If they knew it and were from the devotees of Allah, they would surely love it and know that the afterlife would be better than the worldly life.' Then Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) turned to his companions and said, 'Why do a child and an insane refrain from drug that recovers their bodies and relieves them from pain?'
They said, 'Because they ignore the benefit of drug.'
He said, 'I swear by Him Who had sent Muhammad with the truth as prophet, whoever prepares himself to death, it would be better for him than this curative drug. If they know what bliss death gets to, they will love it and call for it more than a sane, determined man when calling for drug to cure his diseases and get safety.'
In another tradition it was related that one day Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) visited a sick companion and saw him cry fearing from death. He said to him, 'O Abdullah (slave of Allah), you fear from death because you do not know it. If you become dirty and filthy, and you suffer from this dirt and filth that cause you sores and mange, and then you know that washing in the bathroom will relieve all that, do you not want to go to the bathroom and remove all that from you, or you hate to do that and you let filth, sores, and mange on you?'
The sick man said, 'O yes, son of the messenger of Allah, may Allah have blessing and peace on you and your household.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, 'Death is that bathroom. It is the last thing remaining for you to wash your guilt and purify you from your sins. If you come to it and be its neighbor, you shall be free from every distress, grief, and pain, and shall get to every happiness and delight.' The sick man was calm. He submitted to death and pleased with the fate of Allah.
Ahmad bin Hilal asked Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) about true repentance and he replied to him, 'that the inward and the outward are to be the same and better.'
The Meaning Of "Rajeem"
Abdul Adhim al-Hasani narrated that he heard Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad al-Hadi (a.s.) saying, 'The meaning of "rajeem-accursed" that Satan is described with is that he is stoned with curse, and rejected from every place of good. No faithful mentions him unless he curses him. In the eternal knowledge of Allah that when Imam al-Mahdi (al-Qa'im) (a.s.) will reappears, every believer at his time will stone Satan as he had been stoned with curse before.'
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, 'Mob are the killers of the prophets.Allah was not pleased with them when He compared them to the livestock and said, (but they are worse).
Mobs are those groups of people who have no social or religious understanding. It is they whom tyrannical powers push to kill prophets and reformers throughout history.
Words Of Light
A collection of precious words was narrated from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). These words are from the wonderful intellectual treasures in Islam, in which Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) has discussed different educational, moral, and psychological issues. Here are some of his words:
1. "Better than good is its doer, better than favor is its sayer, and more preferable than knowledge is its follower.'
2. He said to one of his servants, 'Blame so-and-so (friendly) and say to him: if Allah wants good for someone, He made him be pleased when he is blamed.'
3. "He, who asks for more than his merit, is worthier of deprivation."
4. "The rightness of one, who ignores dignity, is his lowness."
5. "Patience is to possess yourself and control your anger when you are able to show it."
6. "People (run their affairs) in this life with money and in the afterlife with deeds."
7. "Whoever is pleased with himself, many are those who are displeased at him."
8. "Fates show you what you do not imagine."
9. "The evilest of misfortune is bad morals."
10. "Wealth is the littleness of wishing and the satisfaction with what suffices you, poverty is greediness and despair, and lowness is following the little and looking forward to insignificants.'
11. Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was asked about resolution and he said, 'It is to see your opportunity and hurry to achieve it as possible as you can.'
12. "The rider of a reluctant horse is a captive of himself." He, who walks in crooked ways, is led by his fancy that throws him into the abyss of misfortunes.
13. "An ignorant one is a captive of his tongue.'
14. "Disputing destroys old friendship, and unties firm knots. The least of it is that it leads to hatred which is the first cause of the rupture of relations."
15. "Blaming is the key to haughtiness, though it is better than spite."
16. One of Imam al-Hadi's companions exaggerated in praising the Imam who said to him, 'Much flattery attacks discernment. If you are trusted by your brother, turn from flattery to good will."
17. "Misfortune for the patient is one, and for the impatient is two."
18. "Envy eradicates good deeds, and pride brings detestation."
19. "Self-conceit turns one away from seeking knowledge and leads him to ignorance."
20. "Stinginess is the worst of morals, and greediness is a bad nature."
21. "Associating with the wicked shows the wickedness of one who associates with them."
22. "The denying of blessings is a sign of ungratefulness and a cause for changing (of blessings)."
23. "Importunity takes peacefulness away and leads to regret."
24. "Mockery is the joking of the foolish and the craft of the ignorant."
25. "Undutifulness (to parents) lessens offspring and leads to meanness."
26. "Sleeplessness makes sleep more pleHasant, and hunger makes food more delicious."
27. "Think of your death between your family where no physician shall defend you and no friend shall benefit you!"
28. "Think of the regrets of wasting to be more determined!"
29. "A niggard and a wise man do not rest."
30. "There is no cure for corrupted natures."
31. "He, who cannot prevent, cannot give."
32. "Worse than evil is its doer and more horrible than horror is an adventurer into it."
33. "Beware of envy for it harms you and not your enemy."
34. "In a time where justice is more than oppression, it is unlawful to suspect anyone before being certain of that which is suspected of, and in a time where oppression is more than justice, one should not trust in anyone except after being certain of him."
35. Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said to al-Mutawakkil (the Abbasid caliph), "Do not expect good will from one whom you have offended, or loyalty from one whom you have betrayed, or sincerity from one whom you have suspected, because the hearts of others towards you are like your heart towards them."
36. "Retain blessings by being good neighbor to them (by spending them in the right way and helping people through charities), expect more by being grateful to Allah for them, and know that soul is very willing to what it is given and very unwilling to what it is prevented from, so carry it on a sumpter that does not slow."
37. "Ignorance and niggardliness are the worst of morals."
38. "Good appearance is apparent beauty and good mind is hidden beauty."
39. "It is from inadvertence to Allah that one keeps on disobedience and wishes forgiveness from Allah."
40. "If people walked in a vast valley, I would walk in a valley of a man who worshipped Allah alone sincerely."
41. "The anger at one, over whom you have authority, is meanness."
42. "A grateful one is happier with gratitude than with the blessing that requires gratitude, because blessings are enjoyment and gratitude is a blessing."
43. "Allah made the worldly life a place of trying and the afterlife a place of reward. He made the misfortunes of the worldly life as a means for the reward of the afterlife, and the reward of the afterlife as a compensation for the misfortunes of the worldly life."
44. "An understanding oppressor is about to take attentions away from his oppression through his understanding, and a foolish just man is about to put out the light of his justice through his foolishness."
45. "Whoever shows you his sincere love you are to show him your obedience."
46. "Do not feel safe from the evil of one who despises himself."
47. "The world is a market in which some people gain and others lose."
48. "Think of your death among your family where no physician shall save you and no lover shall benefit you."
source : http://abna.ir