Thanks to God we have had the honor to visit the House of God and completed the Hajj rites. We now will go to Medina to visit the tombs of the Holy Prophet (saw) and the Imams (a.s). We approach their holy shrines, which are full of mercy and a fount of blessings:
يا سادَتي وَمَوالِيَّ، إنّي تَوَجَّهتُ بِكُم، أَئِمَّتي وعُدَّتي لِيَومِ فَقْري وَحاجَتي إلى اللهِ، وَاسْتَشْفَعْتُ بِكُم إلى اللهِ فَاشْفَعوا لي عِندَ اللهِ واسْتَنْقِذونِي مِن ذُنوبي عِندَ اللهِ، فَإنَّكُم وَسيلَتي إلى اللهِ وَبحُبِّكُم وبِقُربِكُم أَرْجو نجَاةً مِن اللهِ فَكونوا عِندَ اللهِ رَجائي، يا سَادَتي يا أوْلِياءَ اللهِ.
“O my chiefs, O my masters, I turn to Allah through you, O my Imams, my supporters on the days of my destitution. I seek your advocacy before Allah, I request you to speak in my favor before Allah, obtain pardon for me from Allah, and deliver me from my sins, through my love of you and nearness to you, obtain deliverance from me from Allah. O my chiefs, O close friends of Allah.”
LOVE FOR THE AHL UL-BAYT IS REWARD OF PROPHETHOOD
According to the Holy Quran, the love for the household of the Holy Prophet (saw) as the reward of prophethood is obligatory on the ummah:
قُلْ لاَ أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلاّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى
“Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (The Holy Quran; 42:23)”
According to traditions reported by both the Shia and Sunnah, the word ‘near relatives’ has been interpreted as the household of the Messenger of Allah (saw). Hence, love of them is aimed at being guided under their heavenly light, attaining eternal happiness, and getting rid of the bonds of Satan. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:
قُلْ مَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِلاّ مَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلى رَبِّهِ سّبيلاً
“Say: I do not ask you aught in return except that he who will, may take the way to his Lord. (25:57)”
Taking the way to God, according to traditions, can be realized only under the shelter of the Ahl ul-Bayt; therefore , courtesy to them is in the interest of the ummah and not in the interest of the household as the Holy Quran expressly says:
قُلْ مَا سَأَلْتُكُمْ مِنْ أَجْرٍ فَهُوَ لَكُمْ.
“Say: Whatever reward I have asked of you, that is only for yourselves. (34:47)”
WILAYAT MAKES THE HAJJ RITES PERFECT
Consensus among the Shiites is that God’s acceptance of Muslims’ deeds depends on belief in the Imamate of Imam Ali and the Imams of the Ahl ul-Bayt (a.s). Traditions related to this matter have reached us through both Shiite and Sunni reference books by successive hearsay. Suleiman Aamash quotes Imam Sadiq (a.s) and his honorable fathers as saying:
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وآلِهِ:
يا عَليُّ، أنتَ أمِيرُ المُؤمِنينَ وإِمامُ المُتَّقينَ.
يا عَليُّ، أنتَ سَيِّدُ الوَصِيِّينَ وَوارِثُ عِلْمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وخَيرُ الصِّدِّيقِينَ وَأفْضَلُ السَّابقِينَ.
يا عَليُّ، أنتَ زَوْجُ سَيِّدَةِ نِساءِ العَالمَينَ وَخَليفَةُ المُرسَلينَ.
يا عَليُّ، أنتَ مَولى المُؤمِنينَ.
يا عَليُّ، أنتَ الحُجَّةُ بَعدي عَلى النّاسِ أجمَعينَ. اِسْتَوْجَبَ الجَنَّةَ مَن تَوَلّاكَ وَاسْتَحَقَّ النَّارَ مَنْ عَاداكَ.
يا عَليُّ، وَالّذي بَعَثَني بِالنُّبُوَّةِ وَاصْطَفانِي عَلى جَميعِ البَرِيَّةِ لَوْ أنَّ عَبداً عَبَدَ اللهَ أَلْفَ عامٍ ما قَبِلَ اللهُ ذلِكَ مِنهُ إلا بِوَلايَتِكَ وَوَلايَةِ الأَئِمَّةِ مِن وُلدِكَ. وَإِنَّ وَلايَتَكَ لا تُقْبَلُ إلا بِالبَراءَةِ مِن أعْدائِكَ وأَعْداءِ الأئِمَّةِ مِن وُلْدِكَ؛ بِذلِكَ أخْبَرَني جِبريلُ عَليهِ السّلامُ، فَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِنْ وَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ.
“The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
O Ali, you are the commander of the faithful and the Imam of the pious.
O Ali, you are the master of the vicegerents, inheritor of the knowledge of prophets, the best of the truthful, and the head of the foremost in faith.
O Ali, you are the husband of the chiefess of the world women and you are the successor of the Messengers.
O Ali, you are the master of the believers.
O Ali, you are the proof of Allah among all human beings after me. Whoever loves you deserves Paradise and whoever antagonizes you will enter into fire.
O Ali, (I swear) by One Who appointed me as prophet and chosen me from among people, if a man worships Allah for thousand years, his worship will not be accepted by Allah save with belief in your Imamate and that of your sons. Belief in your Imamate is not accepted save by disavowal of your enemies and those of your progeny. Archangel Gabriel (a.s) informed me of it. Whoever accepts it is a believer and whoever denies it is an unbeliever.”
Abu-Hamza reported that Imam Sajjad (a.s) asked, ‘Which areas are the best?’ I answered, ‘Allah, His Messenger, and son of His Messenger know best.’ He (a.s) then said:
إنَّ أفْضَلَ البِقاعِ ما بَينَ الرُّكْنِ وَالمَقامِ. وَلَوْ أنَّ رَجُلاً عَمَّرَ ما عَمَّرَ نُوحٌ عَليهِ السّلامُ في قَومِهِ –ألْفَ سَنَةٍ إلا خَمْسين عاماً- يَصومُ النَّهارَ ويَقومُ اللّيلَ في ذلِكَ المَقامِ ثُمَّ لَقِيَ اللهَ عزّ وجَلَّ بِغَيرِ وِلايَتِنا لم يَنْتَفِعْ بِذلِكَ شَيئاً.
The best area –in the world- is that lying between the Rukn (corner of the Kaaba) and Maqam (standing-place of Prophet Ibrahim). If a man lives as long as Prophet Noah –nine hundred and fifty years- and spends all this period with fasting during days and worshipping Allah during nights in that area, all his acts of worship will be worthless unless he believes in our wilaya –divine leadership-.
Meaath ibn Kathir reported: It was big crowds on that season of Hajj when I approached Imam Sadiq (a.s) and said, ‘Really, the performers of Hajj are so many.’ He (a.s) turned his sight towards them and asked me to be nearer to him. As I did, He (a.s) said:
غُثاءٌ يأتي بهِ المَوجُ مِن كُلِّ مَكانٍ! وَاللهِ ما الحَجُّ إلا لَكُم. لا واللهِ، ما يَتَقَبَّلُ اللهُ إلا مِنكُمْ.
They are just like scum that waves bring from everywhere. By Allah I swear, true Hajj is only yours. Certainly, Allah will accept your Hajj only.
Al-Harith ibn al-Mughira reported: I was sitting near Imam Sadiq (a.s) when somebody came in and asked, ‘Son of Allah’s Messenger, the performers of Hajj this year were so many.’ The Imam answered (a.s):
إنْ شَاؤُوا فَلْيَكثُروا وإنْ شَاؤوا فَلْيَقِلُّوا. واللهِ ما يَقْبَلُ اللهُ إلاّ مِنكُم ولا يَغْفِرُ إلا لَكُمْ
Let they be so many or so few. By Allah I swear, He will not accept but the Hajj that you perform, and none will be forgiven except you.
Abu’l-Jaroud reported: I said to Imam Baqir (a.s) in Mecca, or Mina, that the performers of Hajj were so many. He (a.s) said:
مَا أَقَلَّ الحَاجَّ! ما يُغفَرُ إلاّ لكَ ولأَصْحابكَ وَلا يُتَقَبَّلُ إلا مِنكَ ومِن أصحابِكَ
In fact, they are so few. None will be forgiven except your companions and you, and nobody’s act will be admitted (by God) except your companions’ and yours.
Mansour as-Sayqal reported: I was with Imam Sadiq (a.s) in his pavilion in Mina (during the season of Hajj) when he looked at people and said:
يأكُلونَ الحَرامَ ويَلبَسونَ الحَرامَ ويَنكِحونَ الحَرامَ. وتأْكُلونَ الحَلالَ وَتلْبَسونَ الحَلالَ وتَنكِحونَ الحَلالَ. لا واللهِ، ما يحِجُّ غَيرُكُم ولا يُتَقَبَّلُ إلا مِنكُم.
They eat, dress, and marry illegally. But you eat, dress, and marry legally. By Allah, it is only you whose Hajj is valid and whose deeds are accepted.
Zureyq reported: I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s) about the best deed after the recognition of God. He (a.s) said:
ما مِن شَيءٍ بَعدَ المَعرِفَةِ يَعدِلُ هَذِهِ الصَّلاةَ، ولا بَعدَ المَعرِفَةِ والصَّلاةِ شَيءٌ يَعدِلُ الزَّكاةَ، ولا بَعدَ ذلِكَ شَيءٌ يَعدِلُ الصَّومَ، ولا بَعدَ ذلكَ شَيءٌ يَعدِلُ الحَجَّ، وفاتِحَةُ ذلكَ كُلِّهِ وخاتِمَتُهُ مَعرِفَتُنا.
Nothing after the recognition of Allah may mount to prayer. Nothing, after the recognition of Allah and the prayer, may mount to zakat. Nothing after these may mount to fasting. Nothing after these may mount to Hajj. The opening and the end of all these is the recognition of us (i.e. the divine leadership of the Imams).
Prophet Mohammad (saw) said:
مَن أَرادَ أنْ يَتَمَسَّكَ بالعُروَةِ الوُثقى فَلْيَتَمَسَّكْ بحُبِّ عَلِيٍّ وأهْلِ بَيتي.
He who wants to hold fast to the Firmest Handle must cling to love for Ali and my household –the Ahl ul-Bayt-.