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Friday 14th of June 2024
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The Ahlul Bayt are the natural continuity of the Mission of their grandfather

When we say ‘the Ahlul Bayt’, we mean the twelve imams of the immaculate progeny of the Prophet (a.s.) whom we have studied in full in the previous books. The Shia and the Sunni have agreed that the messenger of Allah (a.s.) said:

The imams after me are twelve; all of them are from (the tribe of) Quraysh.

The tradition mentioned in the Sahih of al-Bukhari reads:

This matter (caliphate) shall remain in Quraysh even if (only) two people remain alive.[1]

If we know necessarily that Allah the Almighty has chosen Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran and preferred them, a progeny one from the other, to all mankind, the Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) has taught and declared to us that Allah the Almighty has chosen from all those people the Hashimites who were the choice of choices. In the Sahih of Muslim, the book of ‘Virtues’, chapter of ‘the preferring of our prophet to all creation’ it is mentioned that the Prophet (a.s.) has said:

Allah has chosen Kinanah from the children of Ishmael, chosen the Quraysh from Kinanah, chosen the Hashimites from Quraysh, and chosen me (the Prophet) from the Hashimites.

[1] Sahih of al-Bukhari, book of rulings (ahkam), chapter of ‘the emirs from Quraysh’, Sahih of Muslim, book of ‘emirate’, chapter of ‘people are followers of Quraysh and the caliphate is in Quraysh’.

The meaning of this tradition, as it is understood by every reasonable one, is that the Hashimites were the family that had been chosen and preferred to all mankind, and from the Hashimites Allah had chosen Muhammad (a.s.) to be the best of all mankind at all. This shows that the Hashimites come secondly after the Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) in preference with no separation. The Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) chose from all of the Hashimites[1] Ali and his progeny to be his successors by the command of the Revelation, and made it obligatory on all Muslims to pray Allah to send His blessings on them. We have found that the most tafsirs (commentaries) mention their names and confirm that it is they who are meant by the Qur’anic verses of ‘Purification 33:33’, ‘Love; mawaddah 42:23’, ‘guardianship; wilayah 5:55’, ‘choosing and bequeathing of the Book 35:32’, ‘the people of remembrance 16:43’, ‘who are firmly rooted in knowledge 3:7’ and the Sura of al-Insan (or ‘hal ata’) 76.[2]

As for the Prophetic traditions that were agreed on as true traditions by all Muslims and in which the Prophet (a.s.) referred to their (the Ahlul Bayt) preference and virtues and that they  

[1] The Prophet (a.s.) means a certain group from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and Qur’anic verses and prophetic traditions on different occasions confirm this fact; otherwise, did the Prophet (a.s.) mean some people whom the nation did not know or could not be led to? Could the nation get to unknown people whether in names, description, or place? This is because the Hashimites were too many and they had spread everywhere in the land that no country or town was empty of them. So, those whom the Prophet (a.s.) meant, besides the nine imams after Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn (peace be on them) were the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) only, due to traditional and mental proofs. He declared them as the second weighty (important) thing beside the Qur’an, so that the nation would not miss a match to him from them in any age, and that the nation would not miss a guide to whom whoever kept would not go astray… 

[2] We have mentioned in brief some Qur’anic verses which the Sunni scholars acknowledge that they were revealed concerning the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), whereas ibn Abbas said that one third of the Qur'an had been revealed to talk about their virtues.

were the imams of guidance, are too much, but here, we just mention two of them.

The first tradition was mentioned by Muslim in his Sahih, the book of Virtues, chapter of the virtues of Ali ibn Abi Talib that the Prophet (a.s.) said:

O people, I am but a human being. The messenger of my Lord (death) is about to come and I shall respond. I am leaving among you two weighty things; the first of them is the Book of Allah in which there is guidance and light; so follow the Book of Allah and keep to it, and the second is my household. I remind you to obey Allah through (being dutiful to) my progeny, I remind you to obey Allah through my progeny, I remind you to obey Allah through my progeny.

The second tradition was mentioned by Muslim in the same book narrated by Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas from his father that the messenger of Allah (a.s.) had said to Ali:

You are to me as was Aaron to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me.[1]

For brevity, these two traditions are enough to prove that Imam Ali (a.s.) was the chief of the Prophet’s progeny and was the natural continuity to the Prophet Muhammad (a.s.). Did the messenger of Allah not say:

I am the town of knowledge and Ali is its gate?

Surely, this only saying is enough to show that the whole nation cannot enter the town of Muhammad’s knowledge except through the gate of Ali, because Allah the Almighty has ordered His people to enter houses only through their doors.

[1] It has also been mentioned in al-Bukhari’s Sahih, the book of Maghazi (battles), the Battle of Tabuk.

Here, we must point out that Imam Ali (a.s.) had acquired his knowledge from the Prophet (a.s.) who brought him out since childhood and he accompanied the Prophet (a.s.) all his life. The Prophet (a.s.) taught Imam Ali (a.s.) the knowledge of the past and the future where he said:

Gabriel did not pour anything into my chest, except that I poured it into the chest of Ali.

Imam Ali (a.s.) said about that:

If the rug was folded to me (to sit on),[1] I would judge among the people of the Torah according to their Torah, among the people of the Gospel according to their Gospel, and the people of the Qur'an according to their Qur'an.

He often said:

Ask me before you shall miss me.

All the companions and all Muslims throughout history witness that Imam Ali (a.s.) was the most knowledgeable of all people in the affairs of religion and the world, and that he was the most pious, most abstinent, most patient with calamities, the bravest in wars, and the most forgiving.

For more advantage, we have to read what Imam Ali (a.s.) said about the relation between the Prophet (a.s.) and his progeny. He said:

They are the place of his secret, the recourse of his affairs, the bag of his knowledge, the resort of his wisdom, the caves of his books, and the mountains of his religion. By them he has erected the bending of his back, and driven away his fear.[2]

[1] If I was allowed to judge among people.

[2] Nahjol Balagha, sermon 2.

He said:

By Allah, I have been taught the information of missions, carrying out of promises, and all words, and with us the Ahlul Bayt there are the doors of wisdom and the light of the affair…[1]

He said:

…where are those who claim that they are deep-rooted in knowledge other than us falsely and oppressively against us, that Allah has exalted us and lowered them, given us and deprived them, included us and excluded them. By us guidance is looked forward to and blindness is recovered…the imams from Quraysh have been sowed in this sept of Hashim that it (imamate) does not fit other than them, and chiefs from other than them shall not be fit.[2]

He said:

…surely the example of the progeny of Muhammad, may Allah have blessing and peace on them, are like the stars of the sky; when a star sets, another star shines. As if the virtues from Allah have been perfected in you (the Ahlul Bayt) and He has given you what you hoped.[3]

He said:

…no one from this nation can be compared to the progeny of Muhammad, may Allah have mercy on him and his progeny, and no one on whom their favor has been bestowed can be equaled to them at all. They are the base of religion and the pillar of certainty. To them resorts the oppressed, and to them followers joins. For them are the specialties of the right of guardianship, and among them is custodianship and inheritance…[4]

[1] Ibid., sermon 11.

[2] Ibid., sermon 142.

[3] Ibid., sermon 99.

[4] Nahjol Balagha, sermon 2.

He said:

…and surely I am on the clear way that I pick it up picking (from between the ways of deviation and confusion). Observe the progeny of your prophet, cling to their way, and follow their trace for they will not take you out of guidance, nor will they take you back to perishment. If they keep silent, you have to keep silent, and if they rise, you have to rise. Do not precede them lest you go astray, and do not lag behind them lest you perish…[1]

He said:

They are the life of knowledge and death of ignorance. Their discernment informs you of their knowledge and their silence (informs you) of the wisdom of their logic. They do not contradict the truth, nor do they disagree on it. They are the pillars of Islam, and the associates of resorting. By them, the truth has come back to its right place, and falsehood been kept away from its position and its tongue been cut from its root. They have understood the religion in reason and care, not the understanding of hearing and narration, because the narrators of knowledge are too many, but its carers are few.[2]

These passages quoted from Nahjol Balagha and said by Imam Ali (a.s.) give us a real picture about the firm relation between the Prophet (a.s.) and his progeny and make them the only continuity of his mission, and that they are the only ones who can inform of what he has announced for all mankind throughout ages and for all nations and cultures.

Imam Ali (a.s.) was not satisfied with showing the high rank of the immaculate progeny and their position to Muslims, but he showed that he himself was the axis of quern and the chief of the  

[1] Ibid., sermon 96.

[2] Ibid., sermon 236.

immaculate progeny, and he showed his role, which he had been entrusted with by Allah and His messenger to manage people and not let them astray. He said:

…whereto do you go and how are you perverted while the banners are being raised, signs are clear, and the light stands are set up? So whereto do you go astray, or how do you be blind whereas among you there are the progeny of your prophet who are the reins of the truth, the leaders of the religion, and the tongues of truthfulness? So observe them in the best positions of the Qur'an, and hasten to them as the hastening of extremely thirsty ones (to drinking fountain).

O people, take it from the messenger of Allah, may Allah have blessing and peace on him and his progeny, that: ‘One of us dies, but he is not dead, and one of us is decayed, but he is not decayed.’ So, do not speak of what you do not know, because most of the truth is in what you deny and excuse the one against whom you have no argument, and he is me.

Did I not act among you according to the Major weighty thing (the Qur'an) and I left among you (after me) the Minor weighty thing (the Ahlul Bayt; at that time Imam al-Hasan and al-Husayn)? I fixed among you the banner of faith, showed you clearly the limits of the lawful and the unlawful, dressed you with soundness by my justice, spread to you the favor of my saying and doing, and showed to you the noblest of morals from myself. Therefore, do not use (your own) opinion in that whose inners cannot be perceived by the sight, nor can thinking penetrate into.”[1]

If you, dear reader, ponder on the saying of Imam Ali (a.s.), you shall find it as the interpretation of the tradition of Thaqalayn (the two weighty things) that has been narrated by the Sunni  

[1] Nahjol Balagha, sermon 86.

from the messenger of Allah (a.s.) who said:

I have left among you the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my progeny. If you keep to them, you shall never go astray after me at all.

Imam Ali (a.s.) also said:

Did I not act among you according to the Major weighty thing (the Qur'an) and I left among you the Minor weighty thing (the Ahlul Bayt)?

This saying of Imam Ali (a.s.) is a clear proof that Imam Ali (a.s.) managed people according to the rulings of the Holy Qur'an, which no one could understand their reality except he, and that he left among them after him the Minor Weighty thing that were the infallible imams from his progeny so that each one of them would carry out the same role that the Prophet (a.s.) carried out in his nation. If we ponder on the saying of the Prophet (a.s.) “I am leaving among you the two weighty things” and the saying of Imam Ali (a.s.) “did I not act among you according to the Major weighty thing”, we understand that the role of the immaculate progeny is the explaining and declaring of the Book of Allah to the nation lest they disagree after the death of the Prophet (a.s.).

What confirms this fact is this saying of the Prophet (a.s.):

In every generation of my nation there are just men from my progeny who protect this religion from the distortion of deviants, the fabrication of liars, and the misinterpretation of ignorants. Surely, your imams are your delegation to Allah, so be careful to whom you delegate.[1]

He also said:

Stars are security for the people of the earth from drowning, and the people of my house are security for my nation from disagreement. If a tribe from the Arabs  

[1] As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah by ibn Hajar ash-Shafi’iy, p. 90, 148.

disagree with them (the Ahlul Bayt), they shall disagree among themselves and become the party of Iblis.[1]

He also said:

Surely, the example of my progeny among you is like the Ark of Noah; whoever rode on it would be rescued, and whoever lagged behind it would drown.[2]

Through this brief study, the guidance becomes clearly distinct to us from error, and we can say that the Twelver Shia is the true sect, because it is the only sect that has kept to the two weighty things, ridden on the Ship of Rescue, and clung to the Rope of Allah. The Shia neither precede the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) nor do they turn away from them, but they follow and imitate them; therefore, they are guided by their guidance and they follow their path.

Here is the Qur'an that you can ask to speak out, and it shall not speak out, but I tell you about. It has the knowledge of what shall come, the speech about the past, the treatment of your disease, and the managing of you.[3]

Keep to the Book of Allah, for it is the firm rope, the clear light, the advantageous cure, saturating drink, the resort for resorters, and the rescue for clingers. It never crooks to be set right, nor does it err to be blames. The much reciting and listening to it do not make it old. Whoever speaks with it is truthful, and whoever acts according to it wins.[4]

He left to you what the prophets had left for their nations that they did not leave them astray without a clear way or a raised banner. The Book of your Lord is among you showing His lawful and unlawful things, obligations and  

[1] Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 3 p. 149.

[2] Ibid., vol. 3 p. 151, as-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah by ibn Hajar, p. 184.

[3] Nahjol Balagha, sermon 156.

[4] Ibid., sermon 154.

favors, abrogating and abrogated things, permissions and necessities, special and general rulings, lessons and examples, absolutes and finites, clear and ambiguous things, interpreting its statements and explaining its obscurities. (In it) there are some verses whose knowledge is obligatory and others whose ignorance by people is forgivable, and what its obligation is fixed in the book, but its abrogation is known in (the Prophet’s) Sunna, or that which appears obligatory in the Sunna, but in the Book it is permitted to be given up, and that which is obligatory in its time but not so in its future (passing of its time), and that of His different prohibitions between major (sin) for which He has threatened of His Fires, or minor for which He has promised of forgiveness, and that which is accepted in its small portion (in reciting the Qur'an) and permitted in leaving its big portion.[1]

[1] Nahjol Balagha, sermon 1.


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