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Saturday 15th of June 2024
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Ahl al-Bayt;The Whole Truth & the Straight Path

Ahl al-Bay; THE WHOLE TRUTH

Since Ahl al-Bayt stand at the highest level of devotion, submission and endeavor, they reflect the whole truth like a mirror.

The station of devotion and submission is the manifestation of Allah’s Attributes, moral virtues, strong faith and a jumping board for nearness to Allah and meeting Him.

Imam al-H¡d¢ (a.s) describes Ahl al-Bayt as such:

ألسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يا أهْلَ بَيْتِ النُّبُوَّةِ، وَمَوْضِعَ الرِّسالَةِ، وَمُخْتَلَفَ الْمَلائِكَةِ، وَمَهْبِطَ الْوَحْىِ، وَمَعْدِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ، وَخُزّانَ الْعِلْمِ، وَمُنْتَهَى الْحِلْمِ، وَأُصُولَ الْكَرَمِ، وَقادَةَ الاُْمَمِ، وَأوْلِياءَ النِّعَمِ، وَعَناصِرَ الأبْرارِ، وَدَعائِمَ الأخْيارِ، وَساسَةَ الْعِبادِ، وَأرْكانَ الْبِلادِ، وَأبْوابَ الاْيمانِ، وَأُمَناءَ الرَّحْمنِ، وَسُلالَةَ النَّبِيّينَ، وَصَفْوَةَ الْمُرْسَلينَ، وَعِتْرَةَ خِيَرَةِ رَبِّ الْعالَمينَ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، ألسَّلامُ عَلى أئِمَّةِ الْهُدى، وَمَصابيحِ الدُّجى، وَأعْلامِ التُّقى، وَذَوِى النُّهى، وَأُولِى الْحِجى، وَكَهْفِ الْوَرى، وَوَرَثَةِ الأنْبِياءِ، وَالْمَثَلِ الأعْلى، وَالدَّعْوَةِ الْحُسْنى، وَحُجَجِ اللهِ عَلى أهْلِ الدُّنْيا وَالاْخِرَةِ وَالاُْولى وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، ألسَّلامُ عَلى مَحآلِّ مَعْرِفَةِ اللهِ، وَمَساكِنِ بَرَكَةِ اللهِ، وَمَعادِنِ حِكْمَةِ اللهِ، وَحَفَظَةِ سِرِّ اللهِ، وَحَمَلَةِ كِتابِ اللهِ، وَأوْصِياءِ نَبِىِّ اللهِ، وَذُرِّيَّةِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، ألسَّلامُ عَلَى الدُّعاةِ إِلَى اللهِ.

Peace be on you, O Household of the Prophet! You are the center of the Divine mission. Unto you the angels return to adopt your opinions and to learn from you. You are the destination of the Divine revelation; the originating source of mercy, the treasures of wisdom, the ultimate in forbearance, the foundation of generosity, the leaders of all nations. You administer and distribute bounties without interruption. You are the elements of virtues and pillars of goodness. You direct and guide mankind, protect and support lands wherein people live, let in and lead on to faith. The Beneficent Lord assigned to you the responsibility of dealing with His Benevolence; you are the distinguished descendent of the Prophets, the cream of the noble born children of the Messengers, the pure family of the “Best individual”, in the estimation of the Lord of the worlds! Peace be on the Guides (Imams) who show the Right Path, fill the darkness with light, teach and demonstrate the awareness of boundaries laid down by Allah. Peace be on the exponents of the views and beliefs which acquaint with awareness of Allah, wherever you are, there are the blessings of Allah, the wisdom of Allah is deposited with you, the secrets of Allah have been put in your safe keeping, you know the Book of Allah by heart, you are the successors of the Prophet of Allah, peace be on you who invite people unto Allah.[1]

All the Prophets who were before the Holy Prophet of Islam and their books were an attempt to pave the way for the advent of Allah’s Messenger so that all creatures, especially human beings, thanks to these noble ones who are the cord, shadow, and trustees of Allah, move towards perfection. For this reason, they made a covenant to set the ground for the advent of the root of Ahl al-Bayt, namely, the Holy Prophet.

وَلَمْ يُخْلِ سُبْحَانَهُ خَلْقَهُ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ مُرْسَلٍ أوْ كِتَابٍ مُنْزَلٍ أوْ حُجَّةٍ لأزِمَةٍ.

Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputed by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument.[2]

Based on this, the Holy Prophet says:

نَحْنُ الآخِرُونَ السَّابِقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

We are the last ones in this world but foremost on the Judgment Day.[3]

Sh¢`ite and Sunni reference books of ¦ad¢th have reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

آدَمُ وَمَنْ دُونَهُ تَحْتَ لِوَائِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Adam as well as all the other human beings will be under my banner on the Judgment Day.[4]

Due to their extensive capacity and knowledge, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragon of “The last ones are the foremost and the foremost are the first ones and nothing is like them.”[5]

The reason for being ‘foremost’ is that Ahl al-Bayt are the beginning and the end of the universe as Allah has so willed. In al-Ziy¡rah al-J¡mi`ah al-Kab¢rah, Imam al-H¡d¢ (a.s) refers to the same truth:

Allah opened the gate of universe and truth with you and will end it with you. The people will return to you and their reckoning is with you.[6]

Therefore, all the Prophets set the ground for the presence of Ahl al-Bayt among creatures. These noblemen were sent to produce a link between Allah and creatures leaving no excuse for the world nations.

Actually their existence on the earth is concurrent with the fall of the sun which is the noon of universe. Then the afternoon of universe begins and universe will become contracted. When the era of the advent of the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) and that of Imam al-Mahd¢ (may Allah expedite his reappearance) comes to an end, and the sun sets, all the universe will merge into an absolute contraction and the second darkness begins after the passage of millions of years of the first darkness. At that time, Allah will say:

 

To whom belongs the kingdom today? (40:16)

Then, according to the Holy Qur’¡n, the Judgment Day begins: an eternal day without any night.

Neither the Holy Qur’¡n nor have narration made any reference to “the Judgment Night”; rather it is the Judgment Day. Sine the day begins with the rising of the sun, the Judgment Day too begins with the light of Mu¦ammad who is described as light-giving torch in the Holy Qur’¡n (33:46), who will be the first to enter the presence of Allah on that day. Due to his being the face of Allah and His light, the scene of the final gathering will be illuminated and an eternal day emerges:

 

And the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord and the Book shall be laid down. (39:69)

In view of its content, this verse refers to the Judgment Day and most of the narrations consider the light of the Lord as the Holy Prophet and the Infallible Imams.

With the dawn of the light of Allah, which is the light of Mu¦ammad, the morning of the Judgment Day will dawn and a permanent day begins. Thanks to this light, the entire truth will show itself and all hidden secrets will be disclosed and then the Reckoning begins.

Reporting the Holy Prophet, Imam al-B¡qir (a.s) says:

أنَا أوَّلُ وَافِدٍ عَلَى الْعَزِيزِ الْجَبَّارِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَكِتَابُهُ وَأهْلُ بَيْتِي، ثُمَّ أمَّتِي، ثُمَّ أسْألُهُمْ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللهِ وَبِأهْلِ بَيْتِي؟

I will be the first to stand before Allah along with His Book and Ahl al-Bayt and then my ummah. Then I will ask my ummah, “How did you treat the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt?”[7]

 

Ahl al-Bayt and The Straight Path

Based on clear verses of the Holy Qur’¡n, one who does not go to extremes in moral and mental situations is the executor of Allah’s decrees in all aspects of his life, not influenced by socio-political upheavals, not tempted by Satan, among the devoted servants of Allah, engaged in good deeds, helpful to people, and is propagating knowledge and faith is considered as Imam:

He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. (2:124)

 

And we made them Imams who guided people by Our Command, and We revealed to them the doing of the good and the keeping up of the prayer and the giving of the alms, and us (alone) did they serve. (21:73)

Based on the exegesis of the Qur’¡nic verses, the path which exists between the Creator and the created and following that path which makes man reach the station of nearness to Allah, to achieve a great victory, and to be saved from eternal punishment is called ‘The straight Path’. Commenting on the Straight Path, Imam `Al¢ (a.s) says:

الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَا قَصُرَ عَنِ الغُلُوِّ وَارْتَفَعَ عَنِ التَّقْصِيرِ وَاسْتَقَامَ، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ طَرِيقُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ.

The straight path in this world is a path without extremes, it is right and firm; and in the Hereafter, it is the believers’ path towards heaven.[8]

Imam `Al¢’s definition of the straight path overlaps the Ahl al-Bayt, for they were straight and moderate in all aspects of life and away from extremes. Their guidance will lead people to heaven on the Judgment Day.

One must note that there are certain words and expressions in the Holy Qur’¡n the meaning of which cannot be comprehended for people. Hence, we must learn about them from the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt who are the teachers of the Holy Qur’¡n and its commentators.

What is inferred from Sir¡§ is nothing but path but what this path is, how long it is, what its quality and quantity are, and how we can walk on that path cannot be understood from the words. For this reason, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt are commissioned by Allah to express these facts. Without seeking help from their extensive knowledge on the Holy Qur’¡n, we will certainly go astray:

 

He it is who raised among the illiterates an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom. (62:2)

Allah who has revealed the Holy Qur’¡n to the Household of the Prophet has manifested its meaning and interpretations in the purified hearts of those people endowed with learning so that other people will know about those words including the word Sir¡§ through them.

Commenting on the holy verse, ‘Keep us on the right path (1:6)’, Imam al-¯¡diq (a.s) has said:

The verse says: Guide us to the straight path, that is to say, guide us with your company, a path which will lead us to your love and heaven; the path which will prevent us from our caprices which will end up in perdition.[9]

Can we really get to know Allah and His Love without the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt who are truly godly beings? Can we go to heaven without their guidance, teachings and intercession? Are we able to be safe from carnal desires without being in the fortress of their Imamate?

If we claim that we can be safe from losses and perdition by resorting to the Holy Qur’¡n alone and there is no need for the Imam of guidance, this will definitely be against the Holy Qur’¡n. Therefore, we should decisively say that the meaning of the straight path is the Holy Qur’¡n and its paragon, namely Ahl al-Bayt; and these two are interdependent with no separation between them. Without Ahl al-Bayt, there will be no straight path in the meaning of the Holy Qur’¡n nor any understanding of its subtleties. In this relation, Imam al-B¡qir (a.s) has said:

نَحْنُ الطَّرِيقُ وَصِرَاطُ اللهِ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ إلَى اللهِ تَعَالَى.

We (Ahl al-Bayt) are the Road and the Straight Path towards Allah.[10]

Ahl al-Bayt are truly the straight path of Allah, for their knowledge of Him is comprehensive. Hence, we should believe in the Lord Who has been introduced to us by Ahl al-Bayt in addition to the verses of the Holy Qur’¡n, both the decisive and the allegorical.

Although Allah’s decrees are comprehensible, it is with the spiritual power and guidance that man can win His pleasure and nearness. Without following Ahl al-Bayt, we will certainly go astray. Imam al-¯¡diq (a.s) was asked about the meaning of Sir¡§. He said:

Sir¡§ means a path taking to recognition of Allah—the Exalted and Glorious.[11]

Is there in this universe any way of getting to know Allah save Ahl al-Bayt (a.s)? If we cannot know Allah by Ahl al-Bayt, the godliest beings, then through whom can we know Him?

It is Ahl al-Bayt with whose Divine knowledge they have introduced the meanings of Allah, the Judgment Day, jurisprudence, morality and truth for people. Hence, people are required to refer to them in order to understand all truths. Elaborating the word Sir¡§, Imam al-¯¡diq (a.s) has said:

وَهُمَا صِرَاطَانِ: صِرَاطٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَصِرَاطٌ فِي الآخِرَةِ. فَأمَّا الصِّرَاطُ فِي الدُّنْيَا فَهُوَ الإمَامُ الْمُفْتَرَضُ الطَّاعَةِ؛ مَنْ عَرَفَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَاقْتَدَى بِأمْرِهِ مَرَّ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ الَّذِي هُوَ جِسْرُ جَهَنَّمَ فِي الآخِرَةِ. وَمَنْ لَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا زَلَّتْ قَدَمُهُ عَنِ الصِّرَاطِ فِي الآخِرَةِ فَتَرَدَّى فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ.

There are actually two Sir¡§s: one in this world and another in the Hereafter. Sir¡§ in this world is the Imam and to follow him is incumbent on all. One who recognizes and follows him will pass the bridge over Hell leading to Paradise; while one who does not recognize him will slip from Sir¡§ falling into Fire.[12]

Therefore, based on Qur’¡nic verses and authentic narrations, the true path leading to real knowledge of what will result in salvation in this world and the Hereafter is Ahl al-Bayt.

Followers of the Right Path

Man will be endowed with the knowledge of Allah; he will be helped do his obligatory and recommended acts, avoid sins and keep away from pollutions if he follows Ahl al-Bayt’s life-giving teachings.

Was Salm¡n, the Persian, not Zoroastrian and then Christian? By following Ahl al-Bayt, he reached such a supreme station about which the Holy Prophet said,

سَلْمَانُ مِنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

Salm¡n is from us, Ahl al-Bayt.[13]

Had Ab£-Dharr not been a nomadic shepherd who, by resorting to Ahl al-Bayt, reached such a supreme station about which the Holy Prophet said:

No one under the sky or on the earth is as truthful as Ab£-Dharr.[14]

Was Bil¡l not an Ethiopian black? By following Ahl al-Bayt, he reached such a station about which the Holy Qur’¡n says:

Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you the most careful of his duty. (49:13)

By getting to know Allah through Ahl al-Bayt, all the said people became Allah’s true servants and reached a station becoming paragons of adherence to Ahl al-Bayt until the Judgment Day.

Prophet Joseph (a.s) was Allah’s true servant who resisted against the temptations of the vizier’s wife for seven years at the prime of his life saying:

I seek refuge with Allah in response to her request.

Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) who are the truth of the straight path and the manifestation of the path to Allah were such that they became united with truths. They only saw Allah; they only obeyed Allah; and they served only Allah. For this reason, with the permission of Allah, they became a source of Grace for the world nations.

 



[1] Al-Ziy¡rah al-J¡mi`ah al-Kab¢rah.

[2] Nahj al-Bal¡ghah, Sermon: 1.

[3] al-Man¡qib, 269/3.

[4] al-Man¡qib, 214/1.

[5] ¯a¦¢¦ al-Bukh¡r¢: 2/2, ° 1.

[6] Al-Ziy¡rah al-J¡mi`ah al-Kab¢rah.

[7] Al-K¡f¢: 600/2, ° 4.

[8] Tafs¢r al-¯¡f¢:54/1.

[9] `Uy£n Akhb¡r al-Ri¤¡: 305/1, ° 65.

[10] Ba¥¡'ir al-Daraj¡t: 62, ° 10.

[11] Ma`¡n¢ al-Akhb¡r: 32, ° 1.

[12] Ma`¡n¢ al-Akhb¡r: 32, ° 1.

[13] Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r, 348/22, ° 64.

[14] Shar¦ Nahj al-Bal¡ghah, 259/8.

     

 

 

 

                        

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

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