Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Imam Al-Mahdi (ajf) Part II




Necessity For Allah's (swt) Proof Upon Earth


The opponents of the followers of the Ahlulbayt (a.s) protest that the Shi'a consider the Imam necessary in order to present and explain the injunctions and importance of religion and to guide the people, thus occultation of the Imam (a.s) is the negation of this very purpose, for an Imam in occultation who cannot be reached by mankind cannot be in any way beneficial or effective. 

It must be said that such people have not really understood the meaning of the Imam. The role of the Imam is not only the explanation of the religious sciences and external guidance of the people. But the Imam also bears the function of "Walayah" and the internal guidance of the human.

The divinely appointed Imam directs mankind's spiritual life and orients the inner aspect of human action toward Allah (swt). His physical presence or absence has no effect in this matter. The Imam is the representative and viceregent of Allah (swt) on earth.

He is the connection between the heavens and the earth, and is appointed by Allah (swt) as the intermediate for the rest of the creatures. His existence is always necessary even if the time has not yet arrived for his outward appearance and the universal reconstruction that he is to bring about, for if it were not for his (a.s) existence, this earth would have most certainly perished.

The Holy Qur'aan testifies that Allah (swt) has assigned some Imams with authority to guide mankind:




 وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلوة وَإِيتَآءَ الزَّكَـوةِ وَكَانُواْ لَنَا عَـبِدِينَ 

"And We assigned them Imams who guide by our authority and We have inspired in them the doing of good deeds."

Holy Qur'aan {21:73}



وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ 

"And We appointed from among them some Imams who guide by our authority since they were patient and believed firmly in Our Signs."

Holy Qur'aan {32:24}


The above verses of the Holy Qur'aan prove beyond doubt that a divinely appointed Imam has authority and guides. 



وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْلا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُنذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ 

"(O' Muhammad!) You are but a Warner, and for every community there exists a Guide."

Holy Qur'aan {13:7}


إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ بِالْحَقِّ بَشِيراً وَنَذِيراً وَإِن مِّنْ أُمَّةٍ إِلاَّ خَلاَ فِيهَا نَذِيرٌ

Verily, We have sent you with the truth, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner. And there never was a nation but a  warner had passed among them.

Holy Qur'aan {35:24}


We must ask ourselves who this guide/warner is at present. The above verses prove the necessity of a guide/warner at all times, since Allah (swt) states that there is no nation or community left without either of them. Taking this in to consideration, it would be ludicrous to doubt that Imam Al-Mahdi (ajf) is alive. In fact, this exact belief is held by our opponents, but unfortunately their own sources are only barely checked which they so proudly claim to adhere to, and yet in their pursuit of anti-Shi'a propaganda, have made the common so-called Sunnis forget about their own beliefs. 

Ibn Hajar:

Abul Hasan Al-Khasa'i Al-Abudi says in the book Manaqib Al-Shafi'i:  "The narrations are Mutawaatir that Al-Mahdi (ajf) will be from this Ummah and that Isa (a.s) will pray behind him."

(Ibn Hajar continues): And in the prayer of Isa (a.s) behind a man of this Ummah, even if it is in the end of times and close to the Day of Judgment, there is an evidence for the correct of notions that the Earth will never be empty of Allah's (swt) Proofs. And Allah (swt) knows best. 

Source: Fath Ul-Bari Fi Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Vol. 8, Pg. # 92 - 93.


Al-Aynee:

Al-Bukhari: Narrated to us ibn Bukayr from Al-Layth from Yunus from ibn Shihab from Nafi, the servant Aboo Qutada Al-Ansari that Aboo Huraira said: Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and your Imam is from among you?"

And in the prayer of Isa (a.s) behind a man of this Ummah, even if it is in the End of Times and close to the Day of Judgment, there is an evidence for the correct of notions that the Earth will never be empty of Allah's (swt) Proofs. And Allah (swt) knows best.


Source: Umdatul Qari Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Vol. 16, Pg . # 55/57, H. # 3449/106.


Ibn Taymiyyah:

Except that this Religion is protected, as Allah Almighty says: "Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian. Holy Qur'aan {15:9}"

And there will never cease to be a group from his Ummah manifest upon the truth and the things that harmed other religions will absolutely not harm it, like the distortion of its books and the alteration of its rulings, and that all because of the teachings of His Proofs who guide people to Allah's (swt) teachings, those who resurrect the dead with the Book of Allah (swt) and make blind people to see with its light, because the Earth will never be empty of Proofs who guide to Allah (swt), so that His proofs and signs are not void.

Source:  Majmu Al-Fatawa. Vol. 25, Pg. # 130 - 131.


Ibn Qayyim: 

Chapter: The obligation of imitators to follow their Imams and the impermissibility of following others:

The followers of Mujtahid's have deemed Allah (swt), both from the aspect of power and religious aspect, that He has openly decreed false, opposing what He said to His Messenger, (saw) because they have concluded that the Earth is empty of any Proof to guide to the verdicts of Allah (swt). They have said: "There has not remained on Earth any scholar since early centuries." 

One group say: "It is not allowed for anyone to choose any scholar to follow after Abi Hanifa, Abi Yusuf, Zufar ibn Huzayl, Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan and Al-Hassan ibn Ziyad Al-Lulu'ee." this is the opinion of a large number of Hanafiyya. Bakr ibn Al-Alaa Al-Qushayri Al-Maliki says: "It is not allowed for anyone to choose a scholar to follow after the year two hundred A.H." 

Another group say: "It is not allowed for anyone to choose to follow anyone other than Al-Awza'ee, Sufyan Al-Thawri, Waki' ibn Al-Jarrah, Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak." Another group say: "It is not allowed for anyone to choose to follow anyone after Al-Shafi'i." And his followers have differed about whose opinion of those who narrate from him should be accepted. Such a person will have the authority to issue Fatwa and verdict (based on the teachings of Al-Shafi'i) and also those who are not like that. They have divided them in three categories: One group are those who have the authority like ibn Suraij, Al-Qaffaal, Abi Hamed Al-Isfarahini, another group who have a contingent authority not a full authority, and another group who neither have a full authority nor a contingent authority like Abi Hamid Al-Ghazali and others. 

They have also differed about when the door of Ijtihaad is closed, their statements are too many in that regard that Allah (swt) has put no truth in them. According to them, the Earth is empty of a proof who guides to Allah's (swt) decrees, and there is no one on it who talks with knowledge and it is not allowed for anyone to look in the Book of Allah (swt) and Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) to extract rulings from them, and it is not allowed to verdict and issue Fatwa based upon them without checking with the verdicts of his imitators and followers. If it was in accordance with their opinion, the verdict and Fatwa is acceptable, otherwise it is rejected. 

These opinions, as you can see, are full of corruption, falsehood and contradiction, and these are speaking from Allah (swt) without knowledge. They reject His proofs and piety in His Book and Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) and extracting rules from them and teaching it. However Allah (swt) will not allow but that His light should be perfected and the statement of His Messenger (saw) should be confirmed that; "The Earth will not be empty of Allah's (swt) Proofs." 

And there will never cease to be a group from his Ummah manifest upon the absolute truth which was sent with him. And that there will never cease to be a group at the beginning of every century who rebuilds his religion for this Ummah. It is enough to prove the falsehood of these opinions to say to their owners: "If it was not allowed for anyone to choose any other than those whom you mentioned, then how did you come upon following them and not others? And how did you forbid for a man to choose what his Ijtihaad says which is in accordance with the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw)? And you allowed for yourselves to follow the opinion of those who you imitate and made it obligatory for the Ummah to imitate them and forbid to imitate others?" 

Source: I'laam Al-Muwaqi'een. Vol. 4, Pg. # 31 - 33.

 

Ibn Salah:

Verily, the Earth will not be empty of a Proof who establishes the teachings until the end of times.

Source: Fatawi Wa Masa'il ibn Al-Salah. Pg. # 6.



 The 'Abdaals'


Ibn Taymiyyah:

"However, since the Prophet (saw) has predicted that the Ummah will divide into seventy three groups; all of who will be in the fire except one group which is the Jama'ah; (The Jama'ah is) as described in another hadeeth: "They remain on the like of that which I am on and my Companions," it becomes (known that) the true adherents of Islam in its pristine purity are the Ahl ul Sunnah Wa Al-Jama'ah. Amongst them are the truthful saints, the martyrs and the righteous ones. Also found amongst them are those men who are signs of guidance and hallmarks of illumination, of recorded integrity and virtues were mentioned. The Abdaals are amongst them. Also the Imams who (the general) Muslim populace are in full accord concerning their guidance of religion are to be found among them. These are the Victorious Group about whom the Prophet (saw) said: "A group within my Community manifestly continues to be in the truth. Neither those who oppose them nor those who abandon them can do them harm, from now on until the Day of Resurrection…"

Source: Al-Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah. Pg. # 134 - 135.


Al-Ghazali:

Chapter Signs Of Abdaal (Ascetic): 

The Prophet (saw) said: "Those who keep patience in hunger, thirst and calamities for long will stay on the Resurrection Day near Almighty God. They are God-fearing honest men without shoes. They care not be recognised on sight. If they remain absent, they are not searched. The undeveloped paces know them and the angels of heaven keep them encircled.

They are the best of the people in the earth and best in divine service. The people spread out their soft beds, but they use their heads and knees as beds. The people destroy the character and conduct of the Prophet (saw) but they preserve them. The world in which they roam weeps for them if they are lost. If none of them lives in a country, God is displeased with it. 

They are not greedy for the world just as a dog is greedy over a corpse. They live by eating leaves and vegetables, put on tom rags and are disheveled in hairs and laden with dust. The people think that they are diseased, but in fact they are not so. Some think that they have lost intellect, but it is not so. Their attention is towards the actions of God who removed the attachment of the world from them. They wander among the worldly men as men without interest, but there is endless honour for them in the next world.

O Osamah! When you see them anywhere, know that for the inhabitants of the place, they are safeguards and God will not punish the people among whom they live. The world is happy for them and the Almighty is pleased with them. Take them as brethren for yourselves, perchance you may get salvation on that account. If you can die when your belly remains hungry and your spleen thirsty, it will be better because you will have an honourable place on that account and the angels will be happy at the advent of your soul. God also will shower His blessings on you."

Source: Ihya' Ulum Al-Din. Pg. # 966.



Alee (a.s) said (regarding the Abdaals): "Alas! Here is abundant knowledge, but I find none to carry it. I don't find any trusted seeker, but I find such men who seek the world with the weapon of religion and attribute to the friends of God the gifts of God and give prevalence of His proof over His creations, make subdued the seekers of truth, but on the first onslaught of opposition doubt arises in their minds they lose their insight owing to their scepticism and keep themselves busy in indulgences. They amass wealth and hoard it. O God, thus will knowledge perish when its people will die. The world will not be free of men who will establish religion secretly and openly in order that the proofs of God are not obliterated. They will be few in number but they will be great in honour. They will be lost openly, but their pictures will reign in hearts. God will preserve His religion through them. They will leave the religion for their successors and will plant it in the hearts of the young. The real nature of knowledge will be disclosed with their help. They will get good news from the life of sure faith. They will make easy what the rich think difficult and they will make clear what the heedless think obscure. They will keep company with the world with their bodies, but their souls will be kept hanging in lofty places. They are servants of God among His people, His trustees and deputies on the earth. Then he wept and said: How eager I am to meet them."

Source: Ihya' Ulum Al-Din. Pg. # 86.


Hadeeth Authenticity Of 'Abdaals'


Muhammad Al-Munawi:

"Al-Abdaal in my Ummah are thirty" i.e. thirty men; "The Earth is surviving because of them" i.e. is built; "Because of them they receive rain and are assisted" i.e. over their enemy, because the Prophets (a.s) were the pins of the Earth, but when the Prophethood came to an end, Allah (swt) replaced (i.e. Abdala) them with these, so because of them the people of Earth are assisted and the blessings spread among them, in some sources it is written that, "The Earth complained to Allah (swt) that the Prophets (a.s) disappeared and their mission came to an end, so Allah (swt) said: 'I will put thirty Truthful Ones over your surface,' so it revealed." In the narration of Abi Na'eem in Hilya instead of, "The Earth is surviving because of them," it is written, "Because of them, life and death is given and rain falls and plants grow and disasters are avoided." He says: It was said to ibn Mas'oud, the narrator of the report: "How is life and death given and rain falls because of them?" He said: "They ask Allah Almighty to increase their number and He does, they pray against the tyrants, and the tyrants are destroyed and they ask Allah (swt) to fall rain and Allah (swt) makes it happen, they ask Allah (swt) to grow plants and the Earth grows plants. They pray and Allah (swt) discharges the disasters." 

Al-Hakim Al-Tirmidhi narrates that: "The Earth complained to its Lord about the cessation of Prophets (a.s), so Allah (swt) Almighty said: 'I will put over your surface forty truthful ones. Whenever one of them dies, another will replace him.' That is why they are called Abdaal of Allah (swt), because they are the pins of the Earth and the Earth survives and the rain falls because of them." The author says: Its chain is Saheeh (Authentic).

Source: Fayd Al-Qadir Sharh Al-Jami Al-Saghir. Vol. 3, Pg. # 168.


Muhammad Al-Munawi:

The Author (i.e. Al-Suyuti) has said that: "The report about Abdaal is Saheeh (Authentic). If you want, I can even say that it is Mutawaatir (frequent)." Then he talks long about it and then says: "This has gone beyond Tawatur Al-Ma'nawi, so that it makes the existence of Abdaal necessarily certain." ...


His Sheikh ibn Hajar says in his Fatawi: Abdaals are mentioned in many hadeeth, some are authentic whereas others are weak. Qutb is also mentioned in some Hadeeth...

These narrations even if it is supposed that all its chains are weak, but it cannot be denied, that a weak narration can be strengthened through the excess of its chains, and through a great of number of the authors who have mentioned it in their books, except for someone who is ignorant about the science of Hadeeth or someone stubborn and fanatic.

Source: Fayd Al-Qadir Sharh Al-Jami Al-Saghir. Vol. 3, Pg. # 170.


Al-Suyuti:

The hadeeth of Abdaals is authentic, leave alone being lesser than that. If you desire, you can even say it is Mutawaatir. I have dedicated an entire treatise to this topic in which I covered the various chains of narrators pertaining to this subject. The summary is that it is narrated by:

1) Ibn Umar as narrated by ibn Asakir via two chains.

2) Alee (a.s) as narrated by Ahmad, At Tabrani, Al-Hakim etc. with over ten channels; some of which are (in conformity) with the conditions of Saheeh (Al-Bukhari).

3) Anas narrated through six chains, amongst them is the chain mentioned in Al-Mu'jam Al-Awsat of At-Tabrani which Allamah Al-Haythami has graded as 'good' in Majma' Al-Zawa'id.

4) Ubaadah bin as Samit as narrated by Imam Ahmad with an authentic chain.

5) Ibn Abbaas. Imam Ahmad mentioned it in Az-Zuhd with an authentic chain.

6) Ibn Umar which is narrated through three different chains in Al Mu'jam Al-Kabir, Karamat Al-Awliya (mircales of the saints) of Khallal and Aboo Nu'aym.)

7) Ibn Mas'ood. This is narrated through two chains; (one in) Al-Mu'jam Al0Kabir and (the other) is in Al-Hulya.

8) Auf bin Malik which is narrated in At-Tabrani with a good chain.

9) Muadh bin Jabal. Imam Daylami narrated his report.

10) Aboo Sa'eed Al-Khudri. Imam Bayhaqi narrated his report in 'As Shu'ab.'

11) Aboo Hurayrah. It is narrated through a different chain from what ibn Al-Jawzi narrated. (This chain) is transmitted by Al-Khalaal in 'Karamat Al-Awliya (miracles of the saints).'

12) Umm Salamah. The chain has been transmitted by Ahmad, Aboo Dawood, Al-Hakim, Al Bayhaqi and others.


From the Mursal, (there are narrations from the following Tabi'ee).
 

1) Hassan which is narrated by ibn Abi ad dunya in his 'Sakha' and Al-Bayhaqi in 'Ash Shu'ab.'

2) Ata. It has been narrated by Abu Dawood in his 'Maraasil.'

3) Bakr bin Hunaish. Ibn Abi ad Dunya narrates it in his book 'Al-Awliyah.'

4) Shahr bin Hawhab which has been narrated by ibn Jareer in his Tafseer.

As for the Aathaar, there are narrations recorded from the following:

1) Hassan Basri

2) Qatadah

3) Khalid bin Madaan

4) Abi az Zaahiriyyah

5) Ibn Shawdhab

6) Ata

There are numerous other traditions transmitted from many more Tabi'een and scholars who came after them. There is no doubt that the like of this has most definitely reached the status of Tawaatur Ma'anawi. Out of necessity, a person has to have firm conviction on the existence of Abdaals.

Source: An Nukat Al-Badi'aat. Pg. # 280 - 282.




The Ahlulbayt (a.s) Are A Refuge For The Ummah


The Prophet (saw) in numerous hadeeth compares the Ahlulbayt (a.s) to the stars. Just as stars help and protect the inhabitants of the earth, so do his progeny. This evidences the fact that a member of his household is amongst us and is a source of protection for us on earth. However, before we go on to read about this, it is important we look at a similar narration but contains a variation of wording;

Muslim ibn Hajjaj:

Chapter: The Presence Of The Prophet (saw) Is A Source Of Security For His Companions And The Presence Of His Companions Is A Source Of Security For The Ummah

 Aboo Burda reported on the authority of his father: We offered the sunset prayer along with Allah's Apostle (saw). We then said: If we sit (along with Allah's Messenger (saw)) and observe night prayer with him it would be very good, so we sat down and he came to us and said: "You are still sitting here." I said: "Allah's Messenger (saw), we observed evening prayer with you, then we said: Let us sit down and observe night prayer along with you," whereupon he said: "You have done well or you have done right." He then lifted his head towards the sky and it often happened that as he lifted his head towards the sky, he said: "The stars are a source of security for the sky, and when the stars disappear there comes to the sky, i.e. (it meets the same fate) as it has been promised (it would plunge into darkness). And I am a source of safety and security to my Companions and when I would go away there would fall to the lot (of my Companions) as they have been promised with, and my Companions are a source of security for the Ummah, and as they would go there would fall to the lot of my Ummah as (its people) have been promised."

Source: Saheeh Muslim. Pg. #  1177, H. # 207.



Analysis Of The Above Hadeeth:

This hadeeth has been narrated in two forms: 

  • "My Ahlulbayt (a.s) are the refuge and protection for my Ummah." 
  • "My Companions are the refuge and protection for my Ummah."

In terms of the first version, it has been narrated from five Companions and some scholars have deemed it to be weak and fabricated. However, other scholars have attested it and have written commentary in regards to it, as we shall see later.

Regarding the second version, it has been narrated in Saheeh Muslim, which is considered to be the second most authentic hadeeth collection after Saheeh Al-Bukhari. The hadeeth which mentions the Companions as being representations of the stars that protect the Ummah has the two following issues:


  • The Companions are all dead, so how can they protect us in this day and age? 
  • The Companions after the death of the Prophet (saw) fought, insulted and declared Takfir upon each other. So how is it that they can be the protectors when they fought amongst themselves and caused fitnah in the Muslim Ummah?

We can see in this example that the course of time has revealed treachery and alteration of the narration, even though they have presented it as being authentic. Thus, it has proven the version which states that it is the Prophet's (saw) Ahlulbayt (a.s) who are the protection to be valid, even though it has been attacked and weakened.

Furthermore, the Prophet (saw) said: "The stars are the refuge for the people of heavens." He (saw) did not say: "The stars are the refuge for the people of the earth," therefore we should ponder on what that means. Thanks to the science of today, we know that the gravitational force of the stars keep everything around them in track and spinning around thus protecting them from floating in the empty space and colliding with other objects. If the star is destroyed, the planets, their moons and everything around them would also be destroyed. All of them would no longer be safe which would lead towards chaos and destruction in their planetary systems. Likewise, if Ahlulbayt (a.s) did not exist in every era, the people of the earth would cease to exist. 


Al-Hakim:

Narrated to us Mukarrim bin Ahmad Al-Qadi, from Ahmad bin Alee Al-Abar, from Is'haq bin Sa'eed bin Arkoon Al-Dimashqi, from Khaleed bin Da'laj Abu Amr Al-Sadoosi, - from Qutada - from Atta, from ibn Abbas, who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "The stars help prevent the inhabitants of the earth from being drowned, and my Ahlulbayt (a.s) are the protectors of my community against disputes (in religious matters). Therefore, whichever groups among the Arabs opposes my Ahlulbayt (a.s), shall be split up by dissensions and will become a party of Satan."

Al-Hakim: This Hadeeth has a Saheeh (Authentic) chain.

Source: Al-Mustadrak Alaa Al-Sahihain. Vol. 3, Pg. # 175, H. # 4778.


Explanation Of Umar ibn Mihammad Al-Mawsili Al-Shafi'i:

The Prophet (saw) said: "The stars are the refuge for the people of the Heavens and my Ahlulbayt (a.s) is the refuge for my Ummah. So if the stars vanish, the people of the heavens will vanish and if my Ahlulbayt (a.s) vanish, the people of the Earth vanish."

"Refuge and protection" is the opposite of fear. So the meaning of, "The stars are the refuge" is that the heaven will remain as it is, as long as the stars remain, if they vanish, the heaven with its stars will vanish and be annihilated. And the prophecy of the truthful Prophet (saw) necessitates that this would be of the preliminary steps of the Day of Judgment, as Allah Almighty has said: "When the heaven becomes cleft asunder" Holy Qur'aan {82:1} and this is prophesying both issues together.

His (saw) statement "My Ahlulbayt (a.s) are the refuge" speaks of the world and its inhabitants that they will be safe from being totally annihilated to Hereafter, as long as one of the Ahlulbayt (a.s) is alive, i.e. one of the Imams who succeeded him. And that is pointing to Imam Al-Mahdi (atfj) and to his (saw) descendants who are mentioned in this narration: 

"Even if only one day of this world remains, Allah (swt) would raise up in it a man who belongs to my family, who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny." 

And in another narration: "...Allah (swt) would lengthen that day, till He raised up in it a man from among my descendants whose name is like my name, he will fill the earth with equity and justice."

So the world will end with him (ajf), when he appears and fulfills what has been prophesied about him and then dies, the world will come to an end and the next world will start. The annilihilation of the people of the earth depends on his annihilation.

Also the progeny of a person are his sons and sons of his sons and the plural of Zurriyya (i.e. descendant) is Zarari and Zurriyyaat. Also the children of the female are one's progeny, so according to this the descendants of Faatima (s.a) are the descendants of the Prophet (saw). The evidence for the correctness of this, that cannot be refuted, is the statement of Allah Almighty: "And of his (i.e. Ibraheem's) descendants, are Dawood and Sulaiman" Holy Qur'aan {6:84} till He says: "And Yahya and Isa" Holy Qur'aan {6:85}, so Allah (swt) has counted Isa (a.s) as Ibraheem's (a.s) descendants and he has attributed Isa (a.s) to him, even though he had no father and there is no relation between him and Ibraheem (a.s) except through Maryam (a.s).

Source: Al-Na'eem Al-Muqim. Pg. # 230 - 232.


Explanation Of Al-Suyuti:

"The stars are the refuge for the people of the Heavens and my Ahlulbayt (a.s) is the refuge for my Ummah." 

Abi Ya'laa has narrated it from Salama ibn Al-Aku. (H) [i.e. Hasan] (Reliable).

Al-San'ani:

"The stars are the refuge for the people of the Heavens, and my Ahlulbayt (a.s) is the refuge for my Ummah." Because the stars guide us, likewise the progeny of the Prophet (saw), as long as they are alive, they are the role-models of the Ummah and masters, so they are like the stars. The better explanation is what Al-Samhudi says: "It refers to the scholars among them, whom we should follow, as we follow the stars for navigation, when the sky becomes empty of stars, people will face what has been promised to them (i.e. the Day of Judgment) and that is when Al-Mahdi (ajf) dies, because the coming down of Isa (a.s) to kill Al-Dajjal is in his time, as the narrations mention. It is also possible that it refers to his Ahlulbayt (a.s) in its absolute form and that is more apparent, because when Allah the Exalted created the universe because of Mustafa (saw), He put its survival with the life of the Prophet (saw) and after him with the lives of his Ahlulbayt (a.s) (narrated it Abi Ya'laa from Salama Ibn Al-Aku), the letter (H) that the author has used refers to it being (Hasan) i.e. reliable." 

Source: Al-Tanwir Fi Sharh Jami Al-Saghir. Vol. 10, Pg. # 523 - 524.


Explanation Of Al-Manawi:

"The stars are the refuge" in the version of Al-Tabarani "The star are made refuge for the  for the people of the Heavens" with the meaning of stability. "And my Ahlulbayt (a.s) is the refuge for my Ummah." He has compared them with stars of the sky, because they are the source of guidance, and they are those which rise and sit and planets and those which are firm, likewise taking them as a source of navigation is the protection from death (i.e. like when you are lost in a desert for example by losing navigation). 

Al-Hakim Al-Tirmidhi says: "His Ahlulbayt (a.s) in this narration refers to those who succeeded him and were on his path, and they are the Siddiqeen (the truthfuls) and Al-Abdaal (substitutes)." He then says: "A group of people opined that his Ahlulbayt (a.s) here refers to his Ahlulbayt (a.s) from his progeny," but this opinion has no harmony and no accuracy and no relevance, because his Ahlulbayt (a.s) are Bani Hashim and Al-Mutalib, but where have these ever been security and protection for the Ummah, so that if they perish the world will perish with them? This was possible if they were the proofs of guidance in every time, and also to refute those who say that Ahlulbayt (a.s) refers to his progeny, it should be said that among his progeny there are those who are inclined towards corruption and pleasures as other people, among them there are righteous people and sinners, so how did they become the reason of security and protection for the people of earth? If they say: 'It is due to the reverence of the Messenger of Allah (saw), because his reverence is huge.' We say: 'On earth there are things that have higher reverence than his progeny and that is the Book of Allah (swt), but it has not been mentioned about it (that it is the reason of protection).' So reverence is for the people of righteousness. Al-Ameri Al-Baghdadi says in Sharh Al-Shahab that: "A group of people who are overcome by ignorance through Verses of Qur'aan and Sunnah and narrations concluded that Ahlulbayt here refers to his Ahlulbayt (a.s) exclusively and not others, so how are they the source of protection when in many of them you find corruption and adundance of the rules of Islam, if they say: 'The reverence is due to their relation.' We say: 'Their reverence is good, but the reverence of the Book of Allah (swt) is greater from the reverence of his progeny. And the reverence of Mustafa (saw) is through his being a Prophet and Messenger, not through his tribe and family. It refers actually to the righteous people and Abdaal (substitutes) of the prophets (a.s) (i.e. Abdaal who are the replacement for the prophets) who have followed his (saw) path and resurrected his Sunnah.' And in a narration: "The family of Muhammad (saw) is everyone who fears Allah (swt)."

Al-Samhudi says: "It refers to the scholars among them, whom we should follow, as we follow the stars for navigation, when the sky becomes empty of stars, people will face what has been promised to them (i.e. the Day of Judgment) and that is when Al-Mahdi (ajf) dies, because the coming down of Isa (a.s) to kill Al-Dajjal is in his time, as the narrations mention. It is also possible that it refers to his Ahlulbayt (a.s) in its absolute form and that is more apparent, because when Allah the Exalted created the universe because of Mustafa (saw), He put its survival with the life of the Prophet (saw) and after him with the lives of his Ahlulbayt (a.s) (narrated it Abi Ya'laa from Salama ibn Al-Aku), the letter (H) that the author has used refers to it being (Hasan) i.e. reliable."  

And narrated from him also Al-Tabarani, Musaddad, ibn Abi Shaybah through weak chains, however the plurality of the chains might elevate it to the degree of Hasan (Reliable).

Source: Fayd Al-Qadir Sharh Al-Jami Al-Saghir. Vol. 6, Pg. # 298 - 299.



To interpret the narrations to mean the Caliphs as Hakim Al-Tirmidhi and others do, does not befit the concept, because the Companions of the Prophet (saw) died long ago, yet the earth and the people on it survived. It is rather disappointing from the scholars of the so-called 'Ahl ul Sunnah' that they misinterpret and misrepresent a concept and then go further to attack and object on it. Here we see that firstly, Hakim Al-Tirmidhi misrepresents the Ahlulbayt of the Prophet (saw) by defining them all as 'Bani Hashim' and 'Bani Muttallib' and then concludes that they cannot be the refuge and means of protection for the Ummah, because among them there are sinners and people of corruption. 

But when we refer back to the Prophet (saw), we find that he has limited his Ahlulbayt (a.s) in his time to only five people. This is clearly evident when presented with several events which took place, such as those who were present under the cloak when the verse of Purification {33:33} was revealed, the event of Mubahala, the hadeeth of Thaqalayn in that the Ahlulbayt (a.s) will never separate from the Holy Qur'aan till they enter upon the Prophet (saw) in the lake fount on the Day of Judgment, and the hadeeth limiting his successors to only twelve, where without their existence, the existence of Islam and this Ummah would perish, and many more Ahadeeth. This also does not contradict the concept of the occulation of an Imam of the Ahlulbayt (a.s), because if clouds conceal the sun from being seen, it still is the means of survival of the earth. Likewise, for a hidden Imam (ajf), the Ummah is simply deprived from a direct navigation and guidance through him (ajf), but he still is the means of the survival of the Ummah. 


Explanation Of Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami:



 وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُو

"It is not for Allah to punish them while you (Muhammad) are among them. And Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness"

Holy Qur'aan {8:33}


The Messenger of Allah (saw) referred to the existence of that in his Ahlulbayt (a.s), and that they are the amnesty for the inhabitants of the earth, just like he (saw) is an amnesty for them. And the narrations about that are plenty. Some of them will be mentioned. One of them: "The stars are amnesty for the inhabitants of the heavens, and my Ahlulbayt (a.s) are amnesty for the inhabitants of the earth." A group has all narrated this through a weak chain. And through another weak chain: "My Ahlulbayt (a.s) are amnesty for the inhabitants of the earth, and if my Ahlulbayt (a.s) would go away (i.e. all die), the promised signs (of destruction) will come upon the inhabitants of the earth." And in another narration of Ahmad bin Hanbal: "And if the stars go away (i.e. become non-existent), the inhabitants of the heavens will be destroyed. And if my Ahlulbayt (a.s) go away (i.e. all die), the inhabitants of the earth will be destroyed."

And in a narration that has been authenticated by Al-Hakim upon the conditions of the two Sheikhs: "The stars help prevent the inhabitants of the earth from being drowned, and my Ahlulbayt (a.s) are the protectors of my community against disputes (in religious matters). Therefore, whichever group among the Arabs that opposes my Ahlulbayt (a.s), shall become a party of Satan." And the following has been narrated through many routes that strengthen each other: "The example of my Ahlulbayt (a.s) among you, is like the example of the Arc of Nuh (a.s). Who boarded it, got saved." And in a narration of Muslim: "And who turned away from it, got drowned." And in another narration: "Perished."

And in another narration: "The example of my Ahlulbayt (a.s) among you is like the door of Hitta of Bani Isra'eel. Whoever entered it had been forgiven." And in another narration: "Had been forgiven for his sins." And some of them said that Ahlulbayt means those who are the safety of their scholars, because they are the ones by whom one is guided like the stars, and the ones that if they were absent, the people of the earth shall face the promised signs (of destruction). And that shall occur during the descent of the Mahdi (ajf). When, like mentioned in his narrations, Isa (a.s) shall pray behind him and kill the Dajjal in his time, then after that the signs (of destruction) will occur. In Muslim it is reported that the people, after Isa (a.s) has killed the Dajjal, will live 7 quiet years. Thereafter Allah (swt) will send a cold wind from the area of Syria, so no one who has a grain of goodness or faith in his heart shall remain on the face of the earth. And the evil ones shall remain.

To my opinion, it probably refers to the Ahlulbayt (a.s), since Allah (swt) created this world for the sake of the Prophet (saw), and has made its existence conditional to the existence of his Ahlulbayt (a.s), for they have certain virtues in common with the Prophet (saw) as Fakhr Ad-Deen Al-Razi mentioned, and because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said on their virtue that: "O Allah (swt)! They are from me and I am from them." And they are a part of him as their mother Faatima (s.a) was a part of him. Thus, they (Ahlulbayt (a.s)) have his (saw) position in amnesty for the earth.

Source: Sawa'iq Al-Muhriqa. Pg. # 212 - 213.


In conclusion, we can say with conviction that the hadeeth actually means Ahulbayt (a.s) in the sense that the Shi'a define them. Surprisingly, Ibn Taymiyyah also considers that the entire creation exists only for the sake of the Prophet (saw).

Ibn Taymiyyah:

Muhammad (saw) is the Chief of the Children of Adam (a.s), the Best of Creation and the noblest of them in the sight of Allah (swt). This is why some have said that "Allah (swt) created the Universe due to him," or that "Were it not for him, He would have neither created a Throne, nor a Footstool, nor a heaven, earth, sun or moon." However, this is not a hadeeth on the authority of the Prophet (saw), neither is it sahih nor is it weak and it has not been narrated by any person of knowledge in hadeeth either from the Prophet (saw) or Sahaba but it may be explained from a correct aspect.

Since the best of the righteous of the children of Adam (a.s) is Muhammad (saw), creating him was a desirable end of deep-seated purposeful wisdom, more than for anyone else, and hence the completion of creation and the fulfillment of perfection was attained with Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace. The Chief of the Children of Adam (a.s) is Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, Adam (a.s) and his children being under his banner. He, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, said: "Truly, I was written as the Seal of the Prophets with Allah (swt), when Adam (a.s) was going to-and-fro in his clay," i.e. that my Prophethood was decreed and manifested when Adam (a.s) was created but before the breathing of the Spirit into him, just as Allah (swt) decrees the livelihood, lifespan, deeds and misery or happiness of the slave when He creates the embryo but before the breathing of the Spirit into it.

Since man is the seal and last of all creation, and its microcosm, and since the best of man is thus the best of all creation absolutely, then Muhammad (saw), being the Pupil of the Eye, the Axis of the Mill, and the Distributor to the Collective, is as it were the Ultimate Purpose from amongst all the purposes of creation. Thus it cannot be denied to say that "Due to him all of this was created," or that "Were it not for him, all this would not have been created," so if statements like this are thus explained according to what the Book and the Sunnah indicate, it is acceptable.

Source:  Majmu Al-Fatawa. Vol. 11, Pg. # 96 - 98.



Hujjah (Proof's) Of Allah (swt) And Their Qualities

One of the most intriguing narrations that describes the qualities of the Proofs of Allah (swt)and their existence till the Day of Judgment, is the Will of Ameer ul-Mo'mineen Alee (a.s) to Kumayl ibn Ziyad (r.a). 

This Will has been narrated through a large number of narrators from both the Shi'a and Sunni schools. It has been recorded by many scholars with written commentaries wherefrom many notions and rules have been extracted in to books of Usool and Fiqh. 

But before we go on to read the narration, we shall take a look at the main narrator, Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i to whom this will is directed towards by Ameer ul-Mo'mineen (a.s). Kumayl was a famous Tabi'ee who was a close companion of Ameer ul-Mo'mineen (a.s) upon whose trustworthiness and piety scholars collectively agree upon.    

Al-Mizzi:

Kumayl ibn Ziyad ibn Nahyak ibn Al-Haytham ibn Sa'd ibn Malik ibn Al-Harith ibn Suhbaan ibn Sa'd ibn Malik ibn Al-Nakha Al-Nakha'i Al-Suhbaani Al-Kufi, it is also said: Kumayl ibn Abdullah, and Kumayl ibn Abdul Rahman, and the tribe of Nakha is part of the tribe of Maz'haj.

He has narrated from Abdullah ibn Mas'oud, Uthman ibn Affan, Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s), Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Abi Mas'oud Al-Ansari and Abi Huraira.

Ibn Sa'ad mentions him among the first generation of the people of Kufa. He says: He has contributed in the battle of Siffeen with Alee (a.s) and he was a noble respected man, and his people used to obey him. When Al-Hajjaj came to Kufa, he called him and then he killed him. He was trustworthy; his narrations are few.

Is'haq ibn Mansoor says: Yahya ibn Ma'een said: He is trustworthy.

Al-Ijlli says: He is a trustworthy Tabi'ee from the people of Kufa.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Ammar says: Kumayl ibn Ziyad was a Rafidhi, and he is trustworthy, from the companions of Alee (a.s).

He says in another place: Kumayl ibn Ziyad was of the heads of Shi'a and he was a trouble of the troubles.

Ibn Hibban mentions him in his book of Al-Thuqat (Authenticated Ones).

Abul Hassan Al-Mada'ini says: And the worshippers among them, i.e. among the people of Kufa, are: Uwais Al-Qurni, Amr ibn Utba ibn Farqad, Yazeed ibn Mu'awiyah Al-Nakha'i, Rabi ibn Khuthaym, Hammam ibn Al-Harith, Mu'dhid Al-Shaybani, Jundab ibn Abdullah and Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i.

Source: Tahdeeb Al-Kamal. Vol. 24, Pg. # 218 - 219, Person # 4996.


Ibn Hajar:

Kumayl ibn Ziyad ibn Nahik, or ibn Abdullah Al-Nakha'i, the famous Tabi'ee, he has witnessed the time of the Prophet (saw).

Ibn Abi Khaythama and Khalifa ibn Khayyaat say: He died in the year 82 A.H. Ibn Abi Khaythama has added: He was 70 years old. So he has witnessed 18 years of the life of the Prophet (saw).

He has narrated from Umar, Alee (a.s), Ibn Mas'oud and others. Narrated from him Abdul Rahman ibn Abis, Aboo Is'haq Al-Sabi'ee, Al-A'mash and others. 

Ibn Sa'ad says: He has contributed in the battle of Siffeen with Alee (a.s) and he was a noble respected person, his people used to obey him.  He was trustworthy, his narrations are few.

Ibn Ma'een: And a group of scholars have said too that he is trustworthy. Ibn Ammar: He was one of the heads of Shi'a.

Ibn Abil Dunya narrated through Al-A'mash who said: Al-Haytham ibn Al-Aswad entered upon Al-Hajjaj, so he said: "How is Kumayl ibn Ziyad?" He said: "He is an old man, sits at his home." He said: "Where is he?" He replied: "He has become a senile old man." So he ordered him to be brought to him and said: "Are you of those who killed Uthman?" He said: "No I didn't do that! He hit me, so I wanted to do Qisas (take revenge), but he retaliated, so I forgave him." He said: "Al-Hajjaj then ordered him to be killed."

Jarir ibn Mughira said: Al-Hajjaj asked for Kumayl ibn Ziyad, but he escaped from him, so Al-Hajjaj stopped their share from the treasury. When Kumayl found out about it, he said: "I am an old man and I have lived my life, I should not let my people to be deprived of their share." So he went to Al-Hajjaj, when Al-Hajjaj saw him, he said: "I liked to have you arrested." Kumayl said to him: "There has not remained long from my life, so do whatever you want to do, because the appointed date is with Allah (swt), verily Ameer ul-Mo'mineen Alee (a.s) informed me that you are my killer." Al-Hajjaj said: "Yes, you were among those who killed Uthman, so chop his head!"(saying to his men). Then his head was chopped.

Source: Al-Isaba Fi Tamyiz Al-Sahaba. Vol. 9, Pg. # 349 - 350, Person # 7535.


As mentioned earlier, the narration has been recorded in both Shi'a and Sunni sources. Firstly, we shall Insha'Allah Ta'ala present some Sunni sources and lastly, some from the Shi'a relating to this particular narration:

Ibn Abd Rabbih:

Narrated to us Ayyoub ibn Sulayman from Amir ibn Mu'awiyah from Ahmad ibn Imran Al-Akhnas from Al-Walid ibn Saleh Al-Hashimi from Abdullah ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Kufi from Abi Mikhnaf from Kumayl Al-Nakha'i who said: Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and took me out of the city to the desert. When we reached the desert, he heaved a sigh and said:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; and wealth is diminished when spent, while knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use. The benefit of wealth fades when the wealth fades.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for a learned man is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), it enables one to be obedient to Him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after one has died. Knowledge is the guardian and wealth is its imprisoner.

O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the learned men exist forever; their bodies are missing, but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts. And then pointing to his chest said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents.

But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge.

And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. Thus knowledge dies when its carrier's death. But O Allah (swt)! Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a known manifest or a fearful in concealment, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost. Surely, with those fewer people of enormous value, Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane. O Kumayl, They are the (true) Caliphs of Allah (swt) on His earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion. Alas! How keen I am to have sight of them! You may leave if you want.

Source: Al-Iqd Al-Fareed. Vol. 2, Pg. # 81 - 82.


Al-Ma'aafa ibn Zakariyya Al-Jariri:

Narrated to us Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Muqadami from Abdullah ibn Umar ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Warraq from ibn A'isha from his father from his uncle from Kumayl and also from his father from Ahmad ibn Ubayd from Mada'ini, and the wordings of the two are different, they both said: Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i said:

Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and took me out of the city to the desert. When we reached the desert, he heaved a sigh and said:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use, while wealth is diminished when spent.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for the scholar of religion is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), it enables one to be obedient to Him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after one has died. The benefit of wealth fades when the wealth fades, while knowledge is the guardian and wealth is its imprisoner.

O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the scholar exist as long as the world exist; their bodies are missing but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts.
And then pointing to his chest said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents.

But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge.

And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. Thus knowledge dies with its carrier's death. But O Allah (swt)! Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a known manifest or a fearful in concealment, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost among you. But where are they? Surely, they are few in number, but of enormous value. Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane. O Kumayl, They are the (true) Caliphs of Allah (swt) on His earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion. Alas! How keen I am to have sight of them! May Allah (swt) forgive me and you.

Source: Al-Jalees Al-Saleh Al-Kafi. Vol. 3, Pg. # 331 - 332.


Al-Suyuti:

From Kumayl who said:

Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and took me out of the city to the desert. When we reached the desert, he heaved a sigh and said:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use, while wealth is diminished when spent.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for the scholar of religion is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), it enables one to be obedient to Him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after one has died. The benefit of wealth fades when the wealth fades, while knowledge guards, wealth needs protection.

O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the scholar exist as long as the world exist; their bodies are missing but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts. And then pointing to his chest said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents. But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge. 

And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. Thus knowledge dies with its carrier's death. But O Allah (swt)! Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a known manifest or a fearful in concealment, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost among you. But where are they? Surely, they are few in number, but of enormous value. Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane. O Kumayl, They are the (true) Caliphs of Allah (swt) on His earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion. Alas! How keen I am to have sight of them! May Allah (swt) forgive me and you.

Al-Suyuti: (It has been narrated by ibn Al-Anbari in Al-Masahif, Al-Marhabi in Al-Ilm, Nasr in Al-Hujjah, Hilyatul Awliya, Tarikh ibn Asakir).

Source: Jami' Al-Ahadeeth. Vol. 4, Pg. # 108 - 109.


Ibn Salama Al-Qadha'ee:

Narrated to me Muhammad ibn Mansoor ibn Abdullah from Abi Abdullah Al-Tustari from Abul Fadhl Muhammad ibn Umar ibn Muhammad Al-Kawkabi Al-Adeeb from Sulayman ibn Ahmad ibn Ayyoub from Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah from Dharar ibn Surad from Asim ibn Humayd from Thabit ibn Abi Safia Abi Hamza Al-Thumali from Abdul Rahman ibn Jundab from Kumayl ibn Ziyad who said: 

Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and took me out of the city to the desert. When we reached the desert, he heaved a sigh and said:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most for knowledge. Memorize from me what I say to you; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you, while you have to guard wealth; wealth is diminished when spent, while knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for the scholar of religion enables one to be obedient to him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after one has died. The benefit of wealth fades when the wealth fades; while knowledge is the guardian, wealth is protected.

O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the scholar exists; their bodies are missing but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts.

And then pointing to his chest said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents. But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge. 

And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. Thus knowledge dies with its carrier's death. But O Allah (swt)! Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a known manifest or a fearful in concealment, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost among you. But where are they? Surely, they are few in number, but of enormous value in front of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane. They are the (true) Caliphs of Allah (swt) on His earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion. Alas! How keen I am to have sight of them! May Allah (swt) forgive me and you O Kumayl, you may leave if you want.

Source: Dastoor Ma'aalim Al-Hikam. Pg. # 69 - 72.


Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali:

THE HADEETH OF  IMAM ALEE (A.S) CONCERNING KNOWLEDGE
And from this understanding, is what Abu Nu'aym and others have reported from Kumayl ibn Ziyaad on the authority of Alee, radiAllaahu 'anhu, that he said:
"The people are of three types: The learned scholar, the student of knowledge who is upon the path towards salvation and the uncivilized ignorant follower following every ideology, blowing in the direction of every wind. He is not guided by the light of knowledge nor is he established upon a firm pillar."
Then he mentioned some words on the benefit of knowledge, up to the point where he said: "Indeed! Here is immense knowledge – and he pointed to his chest – if only I could gather those who would carry it!
But yes, instead I have found he who is unreliable and not to be entrusted with it. Doing the works of the Religion for the sake of this worldly life, making a demonstration of the favors of Allah (i.e. the knowledge he was given) in front of His servants and using His arguments against His beloved ones (the true scholars).
Or he is one who is honest and obedient towards the carriers of truth, while possessing no understanding and insight (of his own) in his mind. Doubt has pierced his heart and troubled it upon the first time problems were presented to it. Indeed, he is neither this nor that.
Or he is one who is greedy for fulfilling his pleasures. He has become submissive to the guidance of his desires or infatuated with the piling up of wealth and treasures. These individuals are not from among the shepherds of the Religion in any way. The closest things in resemblance to them are the cattle that graze about freely. Just like that, the knowledge has died with the death of its carriers. 32
O Allaah! Verily, do not isolate on this earth, he who establishes the evidences for Your sake, whether he be apparent and well known or fearful and obscure in order that the evidences and clear proofs of Allaah may not be refuted.
And how many of them are there? Where are they? I swear by Allaah, they are the fewest in number, yet the greatest in stature in the sight of Allaah. Allaah preserves His evidences and manifest proofs through them until their likes desist from it and plant it into the hearts of those similar to them.
Through them, knowledge is fortified upon the reality of evidences. And they spread the glad tidings of the spirit of certainty. They soften what those who give in to excessiveness have roughened. And they draw close to that which the ignorant feel repelled by and estranged from.
They accompany the world with their bodies while their souls are drawn towards the great abode. They are Allaah's aides on His earth and the callers towards His Religion. And they long for their look (at Him in Paradise)."

CATEGORIES OF THE BEARERS OF KNOWLEDGE
The Commander of the Believers has divided the carriers of knowledge into three categories:
Category One: The People of Doubts

They consist of the one who has no evidences from the carriers of knowledge. Doubt has pierced his heart when it was first presented to him. He grasped it and thus fell into mass confusion and uncertainty. From that, he came out producing such acts as innovations and misguided affairs.
Category Two: The People of Desires

Their portion is of two types: The first consists of he who seeks after the worldly life, under the pretense of desiring knowledge. So he makes knowledge a means of attaining worldly goals. The second portion consists of the one who is overcome with the desire of amassing worldly gains, its riches and its treasures.
None of these types of people are from amongst the shepherds of the Religion. Rather, their similitude is only like that of the cattle.
For this reason, Allaah the Most High has compared those who were entrusted with the Torah and then failed that trust to donkeys carrying books. And He has compared the learner of evil, the one who detaches himself from the verses of Allaah, clinging onto this world and following his lusts, with the likeness of a dog. And the donkey and the dog are the lowest forms of animals and the worst of examples.
Category Three: The Carriers of Knowledge

They are the possessors of knowledge. They uphold it, protect it and establish it upon the evidences and clear proofs of Allaah.
It already has been stated that they are the fewest of people yet greatest in stature in the sight of Allaah. This is an indication towards their few numbers and towards the strangeness of the carriers of knowledge from this category.

Source: Kashf Al-Kurba of Fi Wasf Ahl Al-Ghurbah of ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali. Pg. # 17 - 19.

Al-Rafi Al-Shafi'i:

Narrated to us from Abul Fadhl Muhammad ibn Abdul-Karim Al-Karaji from Aboo Sa'ad Nasir ibn Muhammad Al-Isfarahini from Abul Fath Nasr ibn Ibraheem ibn Nasr Al-Maqdisi from Aboo Sa'eed Al-Qazwini from Abul Abbas Ahmad ibn Isa Al-Nasibi from Al-Hussain ibn Ahmad Al-Maliki from Al-Qadhi Aboo Bakr ibn Yusuf ibn Hatam ibn Yusuf from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Sakin Al-Zanjani from Isma'eel ibn Musa Al-Fazari from Asim ibn Humayd from Abi Hamza Al-Thumali from Abdul Rahman ibn Jundab from Kumayl ibn Ziyad who said:

Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and took me out of the city to the desert. When we reached the desert, he said: "O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most for knowledge. Memorize from me what I say to you; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows." And then he narrates a long narration.

Source: Al-Tadwin Fi Akhbar Al-Qazwin. Vol. 3, Pg. # 208 - 209.


Attestation Of The Narration:

The above sources are just a few amongst those scholars who have narrated this particular narration with their chains. Since we would like to keep this short and concise, we have not mentioned all the other related so-called Sunni sources that being either through chains, in Mursal form or with partly disconnected chains. It is sufficient enough to present some of too many chains for this narration.

The following chart shows that at the first level at least seven people have narrated this narration from Kumayl, in the next level at least eleven people, at the next level at least thirteen, at the next level at least fifteen, at the next level at least seventeen, at the next level at least thirty and so on. This chart contains more than forty chains, more than eighteen from Shi'a sources and more than twenty three from Sunni sources. Although, this chart contains not all chains that exist, rather just some of them.  

(Click To Enlarge)






Abi Hilal Al-Askari:

I do not know in praise of knowledge a more eloquent speech than what Alee (a.s) directs to Kumayl ibn Ziyad, I want to narrate it here, even though it is famous:

Narrated to us Aboo Ahmad from Al-Haytham ibn Ahmad Al-Zaydani from Alee ibn Hakim Al-Azari from Al-Rabi ibn Abdullah Al-Madani from Abdullah ibn Hassan from Muhammad ibn Alee from his forefathers from Kumayl ibn Ziyad who said:

Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and when we reached the desert, he said: "O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say to you; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; wealth is diminished when spent, while knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for the scholar of religion is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), it enables you to be obedient to Him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after your death. Knowledge guards and wealth is protected.

O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the scholar exist as long as the world exists; their bodies are missing but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts.
And then (pointing to his chest) said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents.

But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge. 

And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. But O Allah (swt)! Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a known manifest or a fearful, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost among you. But where are they? Surely, they are few in number, but of enormous value. Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane. O Kumayl, They are the (true) friends of Allah (swt) from among His creation, and His guardians on His Earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion. Alas! How keen I am to have sight of them!

Source: Diwan Al-Ma'aani. Vol. 1, Pg. # 143 - 144.


Ibn Kathir:

A large number of Tabi'een have narrated from Kumayl, he has a famous (Mash'hur) narration from Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) that begins with: "No doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most." And it is a long narration that a large number of trustworthy Huffaz have narrated it from him. There are many advises in it and it is a good speech, may Allah (swt) be pleased with its teller.

Source: Al-Bidaya Wa An-Nihaya. Vol. 12, Pg. # 335.


Abd Al-Barr:

Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) said to Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i, and that is a famous Hadeeth among the scholars, which does not need a chain, due to its fame among them:...

Source: Jami Bayaan Al-Ilm Wa Fadhila. Vol. 2, Pg. # 984.


Ibn Qayyim:

Aboo Bakr Al-Khateeb says: "This narration is Hasan (good), of the best narrations in its meaning and the most noble of them in words; the division of people into categories at the beginning of it by Ameer ul-Mo'mineen (a.s) is completely accurate and highly firm, because human beings cannot be out of these categories that he has mentioned with high intelligence and with clearing the reasons; he can either be a scholar, or a student, or someone neglectful about knowledge and seeking it, neither a scholar nor a student who seeks knowledge."

Source: Mifath Dar Al-Sa'aada. Vol. 1, Pg. # 349.


Ibn Qayyim:

Aboo Umar (i.e. ibn Abd Al-Barr) says: Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) said to Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i, and that is a famous (Mash'hur) Hadeeth among the scholars, which does not need a chain, due to its fame among them:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say to you; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

Then he sighed and pointed to his chest saying: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents. But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Does not know where is the truth, if he confesses that he has mistaken, and if he mistakes, he does not realize, he is crazy about something that he does not know its reality. That is a trouble for the person who is tested with it. Verily, the whole good is for the one has been taught by Allah (swt) his religion and it is enough for a person his ignorance of not knowing his religion."

Source: I'laam Al-Muwaqi'een. Vol. 3, Pg. # 459.


Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Ghimari:

Aboo Nuaym said: Narrated Habib ibn Al-Hassan from Musa ibn Is'haq and Sulayman ibn Ahmad from Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah from Aboo Nu'aym Dharar ibn Surad and also Aboo Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Hafiz from Muhammad ibn Al-Hussain Al-Khuth'ami from Isma'eel ibn Musa Al-Fazari, both said: Asim ibn Humayd Al-Khayyat from Thabit ibn Abi Safia Aboo Hamza Al-Thumali from Abdul Rahman ibn Jundab from Kumayl ibn Ziyad who said:

Narrated to us Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Muqadami from Abdullah ibn Umar ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Warraq from ibn A'isha from his father from his uncle from Kumayl and also from his father from Ahmad ibn Ubayd from Mada'ini, and the wordings of the two are different, they both said: Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i said:

Once Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) held my hand and took me out of the city to the desert. When we reached the desert, he sat down and heaved a sigh and said: 

"O Kumayl ibn Ziyad, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter. Knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use, while wealth is diminished when spent.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for the scholar of religion is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), knowledge achieves obedience for the scholar in his life, and to be praiseworthy after he has died. The benefit of wealth fades when the wealth fades. The hoarders of wealth have died, while the scholar exist as long as the world exists; their bodies are missing but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts. And then pointing to his chest said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents. Until the end of the testament. This narration is in vogue and famous.

Source: Fath Al-Malik Al-Ulaa. Pg. # 77 - 78.


Al-Shanqitee:

Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) said to Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Nakha'i, and that is a famous hadeeth among the scholars, which does not need a chain, due to its fame among them:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Memorize from me what I say to you; people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter."

Source: Idhwaa Al-Bayaan. Vol. 7, Pg. # 526.


What is Hadeeth Al-Mash'hur (i.e. famous narration)?

Hadeeth Al-Mash'ur is the kind of narration which has been divided in to two forms: 

  • The famous (Mash'hur) among scholars, they are reliable on their own.
  • The famous (Mash'hur) among laymen, they are not reliable on their own.

 Al-Sakhawi:

The (famous) narration would not be reliable unless it is famous among scholars of Hadeeth. I have written an exclusive book about its different kinds, it is also categorized in another form, and that is that is has not reached the degree of Al-Tawaatur and these are the majority. The definition of Al-Tawaatur: One of those kinds of it (i.e. of the famous narration) is Tawaatur, our Sheikh said: Mutawaatir is famous, not vise versa, i.e. a hadeeth will not have reached the level of Tawaatur unless it has reached the degree of fame first.

Source: Fath Al-Mughith Bi Sharh Al-Fiyya Al-Hadith Al-Iraqi. Vol. 4, Pg. # 13.



This narration has also been narrated by the Mu'tazili scholar and theologian Aboo Ja'far Al-Iskafi who died 15 years before the birth of Imam Al-Mahdi (ajf). So there remains no doubt that this narration has been very famous even before the existence of Imam Al-Mahdi (ajf), because Imam Al-Mahdi (ajf) was born in the year 255 A.H. However, Aboo Ja'far Al-Iskafi died fifteen years before that, i.e. in the year 240 A.H.

Aboo Ja'far Al-Iskafi:

Alee (a.s) said: "O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. So memorize from me what I say to you; and keep it and do not exchange it with anything. People are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; Knowledge guards and wealth is protected; knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use, while wealth is diminished when spent.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for the scholar of religion is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), it enables you to be obedient to Him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after your death.

O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the scholar exist as long as the world exists; their bodies are missing but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts. And then (pointing to his chest) said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents. But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. People took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom. Such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge. 

And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. Thus knowledge dies with its carrier's death and the death of its carrier leads that knowledge to perish, because whoever disobeys Allah (swt) is dead not alive, but they do not know that. But O Allah (swt)! Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a known manifest or a fearful in concealment, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost among you. But where are they? How many are they? Surely, they are few in number, but of enormous value in front of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane."

Then he said: "O Kumayl, search for them." I said: "O Commander of the Faithful (a.s) where should I look for them?" He said: "Look for them in around the earth, they take the ground their carpet and the water as a source of purification, and certainty as their luggage and the Holy Qur'aan is their slogan. Their eyes are tearful, their cloths are patched, they lend this world (to achieve the Hereafter). If they are absent, it is not asked about them and if they are present, they are not known, if they propose for marriage, they are not given and if they talk, their words are taken invaluable. O Kumayl, they are the true servants of Allah (swt), and His Caliphs on His Earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion."

Footnote: It is Mutawaatir (frequent) from Kumayl ibn Ziyad, may Allah (swt) have mercy on him, and it has been recorded in a large number of books and it has plenty of chains.

Source: Al-Mi'yaar Wa Al-Muwazana. Pg. # 79 - 82.



Attesting Al-Iskafi

Al-Dhahabi:

Al-Iskafi, he is Al-Allamah (i.e. the highly knowledgeable scholar) Aboo Ja'far, Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Samarqandi, then Al-Iskafi, the Mutakallim (i.e. the theoligian). He was a marvel in his intelligence and in his high comprehension, including his religiosity, his safeguarding (against sins) and integrity. He died in the year 240 A.H.

Source: Tahdheeb Siyar A'lam Al-Nubala. Vol. 1, Pg. # 393, Person # 1744.


Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi:

Muhammad ibn Abdullah, Aboo Ja'far, famous as Al-Iskafi. He was one the theologians of Mu'tazila in Baghdad. He has written famous books and Al-Hussain ibn Alee Al-Karabisi used to discuss and debate him. I was informed that he died in the year 240 A.H.

Source: Tarikh Baghdad. Vol. 3, Pg. # 418, Person # 949.


Ibn Taymiyyah, ibn Qayyim, ibn Kathir and ibn Baaz are all renowned Salafi scholars that have also quoted this narration without casting doubt on it and have also made use of it in their arguments.

Ibn Taymiyyah:

In the hadeeth of Kumayl ibn Ziyad from Alee (a.s): "O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most."

Source: Fatawi Al-Kubra. Vol. 5, Pg. # 54.


Ibn Baaz:

It has been verily narrated from Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) that he said in his Will to Kumayl ibn Ziyad: "O Kumayl, people are of three categories: the divine scholar, the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter."

Source: Majmu Fatawa of ibn Baaz. Vol. 5, Pg. # 225. 


The Narration In Shi'a Sources:

The famous Shi'a scholar, Sheikh Al-Sadooq (r.a), mentioned a large number of chains for this Hadeeth in his works of which 17 chains are mainly in his book Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. We present the first narration from his book Al-Khisaal and then other chains from his book Kamaluddin. However, this narration has been narrated by many other Shi'a scholars like Al-Kulayni, Al-Saffar, Al-Nu'mani, Al-Mufid and many more, but we find it sufficient enough to present what Sheikh Al-Sadooq (r.a) has narrated.

Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

THE PEOPLE ARE IN THREE GROUPS

Abul Hassan Muhammad ibn Alee ibn ash-Shah narrated that Aboo Ishaq Al-Khavas quoted Muhammad ibn Yunus Al-Kadimi, on the authority of Sufyan ibn Vaki'a , on the authority of his father, on the authority of Sufyan Al-Sowri, on the authority of Mansoor, on the authority of Mujahid, on the authority of Kumayl ibn Ziyad, "Alee ibn Abi Talib (a.s) came to me, took my hand and took me out to the desert (outside of the town of Kufa). He sat down. I sat down, too. Then he (a.s) raised his head up and told me;

"O Kumayl! Memorize what I will tell you. The people are in three groups: divine scholars; students seeking to be saved; and the pests in the air which fly in whichever direction the wind blows. They are the ones who have not benefitted from any rays of knowledge and have not sought refuge in any strong base.

O Kumayl! Knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge will guard you, but you must guard your wealth. Wealth will be reduced once spent, but knowledge will increase when it is spread.

O Kumayl! Expressing love by the students for the scholars is in return for what they have borrowed from them (i.e. their knowledge). Students must obey their teachers for as long as they are alive and should honour their names after their death. There will be no return of wealth once it is lost.

O Kumayl! Those who hoard up wealth are the living dead! The scholars are the ones who are alive. They shall even survive after their death to the end of time. Their bodies shall perish, but their teachings shall be living in the people's hearts. Yes, there exists in here (while he was pointing to his heart) an endless treasure of knowledge. I wish I could find good students who deserved to receive it. I have a student who learns it, but is not trustworthy. He uses the religion as a tool to gain worldly benefits. He oppresses the servants of God using God's Proofs and overcomes them using God's Blessings. He does so to gather the weak and uneducated people around himself to support him, and oppose the true Friend of God. I have another student who is a sincere follower of his teacher, but he is not wise enough to be able to retain his knowledge. He starts to doubt things with the slightest bit of doubt in his heart. I have another student who is neither like the former nor like the latter. However, he delves into pleasure-seeking. He is extremely lustful and in love with worldly treasures. Neither of these can propagate the religion. They are more or less like the four-legged animals. Therefore, knowledge will vanish upon the death of the one who possesses it. I swear by God that the Earth shall not be left void of God's Proof. He will either be apparent, but oppressed by the oppressors, hidden behind curtains, on deep waves and invisible to the eyes so that God's Proofs and His Clear Signs do not get destroyed.


How many of them are there? They are small in number, but are always of the highest rank. It is through them that God will retain His Proofs and Clear Signs so that they may entrust them to worthy men like themselves; and can foster them in the hearts of those who are similar to themselves. They have delved deeply into the affairs of the world and have attained the utmost level of certitude. What is extremely difficult for the lovers of this world is easy for them. They are accustomed to what the illiterate ones evade. Their bodies are in this world, but their souls are eager for the heavens. O Kumayl! Your masters are God's successors and the ones who invite others to His Religion. O I am very eager to see them. I beseech God's forgiveness for both you and I."

The compiler of this book - may God be pleased with him - said, "I have reported this tradition in many various ways in the book Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni'ma Fi Isbat Al-Qaybat va Kashf Al-Hayrat."

Source: Al-Khisal. Pg. # 186 - 187.


Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

Chapter Twenty-six: Statements of Ameer ul-Mo'mineen (a.s.) regarding the occurrence of Ghaybat of the Twelfth Imam:

Narrated to us my father and Muhammad bin Hassan and Muhammad bin Alee Majilaway - May Allah (swt) be pleased with them - they said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Abil Qasim Majilaway from Muhammad bin Alee Kufi Qurashi Muqri from Nasr bin Muzahim Minqari from Umar bin Saad from Fudhail bin Khadij from Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i.

And narrated to us Muhammad bin Hassan bin Ahmad bin Walid (r.a) from Muhammad bin Hassan as-Saffar and Sa'ad bin Abdullah and Abdullah bin Ja'far Himyari from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa and Ibraheem bin Hashim, all of them from Abdur Rahman bin Abi Najran from Asim bin Humaid from Abi Hamza Thumali from Abdur Rahman bin Jundab Fazari from Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i. 

And narrated to us Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab bin Nasr bin Abdul Wahhab Qurashi: Informed me Aboo Bakr Muhammad bin Dawood bin Sulaiman Nishapuri: Narrated to us Musa bin Ishaq Ansari, the Qadi of Rayy: Narrated to us Aboo Nu'aym Zirar bin Surad Tamimi: Narrated to us Asim bin Humaid Hannat from Abi Hamza from Abdur Rahman bin Jundab Fazari from Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i. 

And narrated to us Ahmad bin Ziyad bin Ja'far Hamadani: Narrated to us Alee bin Ibraheem bin Hashim from his father from Abdur Rahman bin Abi Najran from Asim bin Humaid from Abi Hamza Thumali from Abdur Rahman ibne Jundab Fazari from Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i. 

And narrated to us Sheikh Aboo Sa'eed Muhammad bin Hassan bin Alee bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Alee bin Salt Qummi (r.a): Narrated to us Muhammad bin Abbas Harwi: Narrated to us Aboo Abdullah Muhammad bin Is'haq bin Sa'eed said: Narrated to us Aboo Hatim Muhammad bin Idrees Hanzali ar-Raazi: Narrated to us Isma'il bin Musa Fazari from Asim bin Humaid from Abi Hamza Thumali from Abdur Rahman bin Jundab from Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i – (in another tradition Fudail bin Jadij has narrated from Kumayl) that he said:

Once I saw Ameer ul-Mo'mineen (a.s.) in the mosque of Kufa, and when we completed our late evening prayer (i.e. Isha), he took me by his hands and came out of the Masjid. He did not say a word till we arrived at the rear part of Kufa. As he entered the desert, he heaved a sigh and said:

"O Kumayl, no doubt these hearts (i.e. minds) are containers, and the best of them are those who retain most. Remember from me what I say; people are of three categories: the learned men (of piety), the students on the path of salvation, and (the third one) the riffraff of the society, following every crowing of the crows, bending as the wind blows; never benefiting from the light of knowledge, nor finding a refuge with a strong supporter.

O Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth; for knowledge guards you while you have to guard wealth; and wealth is diminished when spent, while knowledge grows and increases when you put it to use.

O Kumayl, to have liking and affinity for a learned man is the best way to entrench ones faith in Allah (swt), it enables one to be obedient to Him during lifetime, and to be praiseworthy after one has died.

O Kumayl, dividend from wealth disappears with its loss, O Kumayl, the hoarders of wealth have died, while the learned men exist forever; their bodies have disappeared but their teachings and wisdom are ingrained in the hearts. 

And then pointing to his chest said: Here is well-grounded, plentiful knowledge; I wish it had true recipients and adherents. But unfortunately, some unscrupulous men of understanding have tried to misuse it, using religion as a weapon to earn the worldly gain, and seeking undue power by divine authority over Allah's (swt) creatures, abusing His bounties which He bestowed upon them. So the feeble-minded people accepted them as reliable; or took them as compliant with (divine) wisdom, discarding the true guardians of truth. (The truth is that) such people (who they have adopted as their guides) have no insight into its ramifications; with the result that with the slightest confusion, doubt enters their minds. Neither of them could be the true carrier of knowledge. And then there are those with insatiable lust, easily misled by the pleasures of flesh, or enticed by accumulating wealth, not at all among those who care for religion. They very much resemble the grazing cattle. Thus knowledge dies with the death of such carriers. Yet, the earth is never devoid of a divine authority, either a manifest or a hidden one in concealment, ensuring that His Proofs are not lost. Surely, with those fewer people of enormous value, Allah (swt) protects His proof, till they succeed to transmit it further to their likes, and plant it deep in their hearts. 

They are the ones overwhelmed by the true knowledge of certitude, and have made it easy for themselves to tread on the path which men in luxury found difficult. They derive pleasure and enjoyment from things which repel the ignorant. Though they live on earth with their bodies, their souls hang unto the higher plane. They are the (true) representatives of Allah (swt) on His earth, the ones who invite (people) to His religion. Alas! How keen I am to have sight of them! And I seek forgiveness from Allah (swt) for me and for you all." And in the report of Abdur Rahman bin Jundab: "You may leave when you like."

[Then Al-Sadooq (r.a) mentions his other 16 or more chains for this narration.]

Source: Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. Pg. # 274 - 279.


Implications of this narration:

The implications of this narration can be summarized into the following points:
  • Proofs of Allah (swt) are empty of worldly desires.
  • They are of the people of certainty, i.e. their hearts never doubt.
  • Allah (swt) will never leave the Earth empty of His Proofs and representatives.
  • They could be famous and apparent among people or hidden and fearful from them.
  • These carriers of the divine knowledge are few in number.
  • Their bodies live in this world, but their souls are living in the higher plane of Allah (swt).
  • Imam Alee (a.s) was one of them.
  • They transmit the divine knowledge only to their likes in its entirety.
  • They are the real Caliphs of Allah (swt).
  • Allah (swt) protects His proofs with them and spreads His religion through them.

These characteristics prove all the concepts that the Shi'a believe in, them being, the Divine Authority and Imamate. It further proves their infallibility, divine knowledge, high status, whether they are apparent or hidden and in occultation from the masses.

Objection One

The following narration indicates that an Imam must always be present on earth:


عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي عُمَيْرٍ عَنْ مَنْصُورِ بْنِ يُونُسَ وَ سَعْدَانَ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ عَمَّارٍ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عليه السلام قَالَ سَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لَا تَخْلُو إِلَّا وَ فِيهَا إِمَامٌ كَيْمَا إِنْ زَادَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ شَيْئاً رَدَّهُمْ وَ إِنْ نَقَصُوا شَيْئاً أَتَمَّهُ لَهُمْ


[...from Ishaq bin Ammar from Abi Abdillah (a.s): I heard him say: "The earth will not be without an Imam, so that he may correct the believers if they add (to the religion) and if they miss something he would complete it for them.]

Source: Al-Kafi.

Response One

We have provided ample evidence regarding the necessity of a Hujjah (Proof) of Allah (swt) upon the earth at all times. The role of the Imam is not only the explanation of the religious sciences and external guidance of the people. But the Imam also bears the function of "Walayah" and the internal guidance of the human.

During the period of occulation or in absence of any Imam (a.s), the followers of the Ahlulbayt (a.s) have been instructed to refer to the traditions in the same sense as the Muslims at present have been instructed to refer to the Sunnah, i.e. the Prophet (saw) teachings, since the Prophet (saw) does not deal with ones affairs directly.

Sheikh Al-Kulyani:

Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa from Al-Hassan ibn Alee ibn Faddal from ibn Bukayr from Ubayd ibn Zurara. He said: Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq (a.s) saying: "Preserve your books, for verily you shall have need of them."

Al-Majlisi II: Muwatthaq like Saheeh (Authentic) in Mirat Al-Uqool. Vol. 1, Pg. # 180.

Source: Al-Kafi. Vol. 1, Pg. # 30, H. # 10.





It is mandatory to know the Imam of the time, and the one who dies without knowing the Imam of his time will die a death of Kufr and Nifaq (Disbelief and Hypocrisy). Both the so-called 'Ahl ul Sunnah' and the followers of the Ahlulbayt (a.s) have reported through continuing narrations that the Holy Prophet (saw) said: "The one who dies but does not know the Imam of his time will have died the death of ignorance." 

Sheikh Al-Kulayni:

Alee ibn Ibraheem has narrated from his father from Hamad b. Isa from Hariz from Zuraara. He said: Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq (a.s) said: "Know who your Imam is. When you know who he is, then it will not harm you whether this affair will take place earlier or later."

Al-Majlisi II: Saheeh (Authentic) in Mirat Al-Uqool. Vol. 4, Pg. # 186.

Source: Al-Kafi. Vol. 1, Pg. # 231, H. # 1.


In addition, one must comprehend that the Imam (ajf) can be Apparent or Hidden.

Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

(Ibn Qubba Al-Razi answering the objections of Abi Zayd Al-Alawi): He claims that we had been telling the Waqifiya sects that Imam is only one who is present and apparent. Now this is like the statement of one who is not familiar with the statements and beliefs of his opponent. The Imamiyyah sect has always believed that an Imam is one who is either apparent or hidden. Their traditions are so famous in this regard that they are known to all. To fabricate beliefs on behalf of the opponents is something that anyone can do, but a religious and learned person cannot do this. In this regard even if we did not have any other report except the one narrated from Kumayl ibn Ziyad it would have been sufficient for us.

Note: And he (Alee (a.s)) has mentioned in the tradition of Kumayl ibn Ziyad Nakha'i: "Indeed the earth shall remain established through a Divine Proof who shall either be apparent and well known or concealed and hidden so that the proofs of Allah (swt) and His clear evidences do not become invalid."

Source: Kamaluddin Wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. Pg. # 116.


Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

(Abi Sahl Al-Nawbakhti says in his book Tanbiyah): We are asked regarding the occultation, that if it is possible and alright for the Imam (a.s) to remain hidden for thirty years or more, how can you deny that the world is empty of his presence? They shall be replied: The end of his existence would imply that the Divine Proof would vanish from the earth and the religious law would become ineffective because there would be no one to protect it. But if the Imam (a.s), by the order of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, due to risk to his life remains concealed, and a well-known reason related to this is present and the Divine Proof is established, because he himself is present in the world and his gate and reason both are recognized. However, apparently not issuing verdicts (Fatwa) and not commanding and prohibiting is not the reason that the Divine Proof has become invalid and there are precedents for this. The Holy Prophet (saw) remained in the Sheb (valley) of Aboo Talib (r.a) and in the initial period of his ministry and called the people secretly till his position strengthened and a community developed. In all those circumstances he was a Messenger, Prophet and Divinely appointed and his precautionary measures and secretive behaviour with some persons regarding religious propagation did not invalidate his prophethood and neither had it ended his position as Divine Proof. After that, he entered the cave and stayed in it, while no knew about his location; this also did not invalidate his prophethood. However, if his being would have vanished, his prophethood would have also ended. The same thing applies to the Imam. It is possible that the despot may keep him under arrest for a long time and does not allow anyone to meet him so he can neither issue a verdict nor teach anyone or explain the divine commands. But in any case, the Divine Proof shall remain in effect and obligatory for all because he himself is present with his being in this world. And if a Prophet or an Imam does not explain the Divine law, teach people and issue verdicts, his prophethood and Imamate does not end, but if his being itself vanishes, the Divine Proof shall also go away and become invalid. Therefore, it is possible and permissible that the Imam may remain concealed for a period of time if he fears something, and this does not invalidate the Divine Proof.

Source: Kamaluddin Wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. Pg. # 95.


Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

Ahmad ibn Ziyad ibn Ja'far Al-Hamadani (r.a) narrated. He said: Alee ibn Ibraheem ibn Hashim narrated from his father from Aboo Ahmad Muhammad ibn Ziyad Al-Azidi. He said: I asked my master Musa ibn Ja'far (a.s) about the saying of Allah (swt), "…and He lavished upon you His favours, both apparent (thahir) and hidden (batin)…" (31:20). He (a.s) said: "The apparent favour is an apparent Imam, and the hidden favour is an occulted Imam." So I said to him: "And will there be any [Imam] who is occulted from amongst the Imams?" He said: "Yes, his person will be occulted from the people's sight, but his remembrance will not be occulted from the believers hearts. And he is the twelfth from us. Allah (swt) eases all difficulties for him, helps him overcome all adversities, makes apparent to him the treasures of the Earth, brings close to him all that is remote, eradicates the immensely arrogant through him, and with his hand destroys every disciple of Satan. He is the child of the master of slave women; he is whose birth will be concealed from the people, and whose name is not permissible to be named until Allah (swt) makes him apparent and fills the Earth with equity and justice as it would have been fraught with injustice and oppression."

Mirza Al-Isfahani: Saheeh (Authentic) in Mikyaal Al-Makarem. Vol. 2 Pg. # 103.

Source: Kamaaluddin Wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. Pg. # 244, H. # 6.



Also narrated by Al-Khazzaar Al-Qummi through a slightly different chain:

Al-Khazzaar Al-Qummi:

He (i.e. Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hamza) also narrated from his uncle (i.e. Al-Hassan ibn Hamza) from Alee ibn Ibraheem ibn Hashim narrated from his father from Aboo Ahmad Muhammad ibn Ziyad al-Azidi. He said: I asked my master Musa ibn Ja'far (a.s) about the saying of Allah (zwj)…and He lavished upon you His favours, both apparent (thahir) and hidden (batin)…" (31:20). He (a.s) said: The apparent favour is an apparent Imam, and the hidden favour is an occulted Imam. So I said to him: And will there be any [Imam] who is occulted from amongst the Imams? He said: Yes, his person will be occulted from the people's sight, but his remembrance will not be occulted from the believers' hearts. And he is the twelfth from us. Allah (swt) eases all difficulties for him, helps him overcome all adversities, makes apparent to him the treasures of the Earth, brings close to him all that is remote, eradicates the immensely arrogant through him, and with his hand destroys every disciple of Satan. He is the child of the master of slave women; he is whose birth will be concealed from the people, and whose name is not permissible to be named until Allah (swt) makes him apparent and fills the Earth with equity and justice as it would have been fraught with injustice and oppression.

Source: Kifayatul Athar. Pg. # 382 - 383, H. # 3/157.


Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

We say that the case of a Prophet and Imam about dissimulation is the same after he has already delivered the message of God and displayed his miracles, but dissimulation is not possible before it. At the time of the treaty of Hudaibiyah the Holy Prophet (saw) erased his name from the agreement when Sahl bin Amr and Hafs bin Al-Ahnaf denied his prophethood. The Holy Prophet (saw) asked Alee (a.s) to erase his name and rewrite it as Muhammad bin Abdullah. This did not affect his prophethood in any way because the prophethood was clearly proved through strong proofs before that.

Similarly, the Almighty Allah (swt) accepted the excuse of Ammar. The polytheists forced him to talk ill about the Holy Prophet (saw) or get killed. Ammar talked ill about the Holy Prophet (saw) in order to save his life. When he narrated this to the Holy Prophet (saw), he replied: "O Ammar! Indeed you have succeeded." Ammar said: "O Messenger of Allah (saw)! I have not succeeded because I talked ill about you." The Holy Prophet (saw) asked: "Did you have complete faith on our religion at that time?" He said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah (saw)! Then, the Almighty Allah (swt) revealed the verse:

إِلاَّ مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإِيمَانِ

Not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith. 

Holy Qur'aan {16:106}

It is against Shari'ah to permit an act at one place and to prohibit at another. If it is possible for an Imam to keep his Imamate secret then it is also permissible for him to keep his personality hidden till the situation demands. If he is permitted to remain in occultation for a day then it is also permissible for him to remain in occultation for a year, a hundred years or more till it is required for him according to divine wisdom for there is no power except Allah (swt).

We say that whatever we get from the Imam (a.s) whether he is hidden or apparent is through the Holy Prophet (saw) as narrated in a tradition of our Imams: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil from Alee bin Ibraheem from his father from Abdus Salam bin Salih Al-Harwi from Abul Hassan Alee bin Musa from his forefathers from Alee (a.s) that the Holy Prophet (saw) said, "I swear by Him who appointed me to deliver the truth, certainly the Qa'im from my progeny will remain hidden till the time people start asking, 'What has Allah (swt) got to do with the progeny of Muhammad (saw)?' while others will doubt his existence. Therefore, whoever lives in his age should hold on tightly to his religion and not open doors for Shaytan because of doubts. Otherwise Shaytan will turn him away from the right path and deviate him from my religion as he got your father and mother removed from Paradise. Surely the Almighty Allah (swt) has made Shaytan the leader of those who do not have faith."

Narrators are Thiqah (Trustworthy) Sayyed Hashim Al-Alee has authenticated this chain in Fi Sabil Hiwar Multazim. Pg. # 99.

Source: Kamaluddin Wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. Pg. # 58 - 59.


Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

Ja'far ibn Alee ibn Al-Hassan ibn Alee ibn Abdillah ibn Al-Mughira Al-Kufi (r.a) narrated. He said: My grandfather Al-Hassan ibn Alee narrated from Al-Abbas ibn Amir Al-Qasbani from Umar ibn Aban Al-Kalbi from Aban ibn Taghlib. He said: Aboo Abdillah (a.s) said to me: "There will come a time where an absence will cause the people to suffer. At that time, knowledge will recede between the two Mosques just as a snake enters its hole – meaning, Makkah and Madinah. At that time, Allah (zwj) will bring out their star for their guidance." I asked: "And what is the absence?" He said: "It is the period (fetra) and the occultation of your Imam." He said: I said to him: "What shall we do in such circumstances?" He replied: "Remain steadfast on what you are upon until Allah (swt) brings out your star."

Source: Kamaaluddin Wa Tamaamun Ni'ma. Pg. # 327 - 328, H. # 41.


Objection Two:

The following narration indicates that the Imam must be known, and how is this possible when he is unknown and hidden from amongst the people?


مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى الْعَطَّارُ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي عُمَيْرٍ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ مَحْبُوبٍ عَنْ دَاوُدَ الرَّقِّيِّ عَنِ الْعَبْدِ الصَّالِحِ عليه السلام قَالَ إِنَّ الْحُجَّةَ لَا تَقُومُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ إِلَّا بِإِمَامٍ حَتَّى يُعْرَفَ



[... from Dawud Al-Raqqi from Al-Abd Al-Salih (a.s): He said: "The Hujjah (proof) of Allah (swt) upon his creation shall not be established except with an Imam so that he may be known.]

Source: Al-Kafi.


Response Two

The key part of the narration is "إلا بامام حتى يعرف" (Illaa Bi Imam Hattaa Yu'raf), which has been translated by our opponents in to, "Except with an Imam so that he may be known." But this may also be translated in another way, because "Yu'raf" apparently refers to Allah (swt) in this narration, not to an Imam. Thus the translation of the entire hadeeth would be as follows:

Mirza Al-Isfahani:

It has been narrated through a Saheeh (Authentic) chain from Al-Abd Al-Salih he said the following:

"Allah's (swt) holding people as accountable remains unjustified without the Imam who would teach people about Him."

I (Mirza Al-Isfahani ) say: It refers to the obligation of establishment of Hujjah (Proof) through Allah Almighty, and that His recognition will not be completed except through the existence of an Imam, so the recognition of Imam is obligatory for people and his appointment through Allah (swt).

Source: Mikyal Al-Makarim. Vol. 1, Pg. # 50.



Objection Three:

The following narration indicates that the Imam must be apparent, how is this so when the Shi'a Imam is hidden?

Al-Saffar:

Muhammad bin Isa told us, from Al-Hassan bin Mahboub and Al-Hajjal, from Al-Ala, from Muhammad bin Muslim, from Aboo Ja'far (a.s) that he said: "The earth shall not remain without an apparent Imam."

Source: Basaa'ir Al-Darajat.

Response Four:


The same narration has been narrated through a better chain from the same Muhammad ibn Muslim from Abi Ja'far Imam Al-Baqir (a.s):

Sheikh Al-Sadooq:

Narrated my father from Abdullah ibn Ja'far Al-Himyari from Al-Sindi ibn Muhammad from Al-Alaa ibn Razeen from Muhammad ibn Muslim from Abi Ja'far (a.s), who said: "The earth shall not remain without an apparent or a hidden Imam."

Source: Ilal Al-Sharaye. Ch. 153, Pg. # 195.



Alee ibn Babawayah (father of Al-Sadooq):

Narrated Abdullah ibn Ja'far Al-Himyari from Al-Sindi ibn Muhammad from Al-Alaa ibn Razeen from Muhammad ibn Muslim from Abi Ja'far (a.s), who said: "The earth shall not remain without an apparent or a hidden Imam."

Source: Al-Imamah Wa Al-Tabsira Minal Hira. Pg. # 162, H. # 14.



The narration of Basaa'ir Al-Darajat has been narrated through Muhammad ibn Isa ibn Ubayd who has been weakened by some scholars like Sheikh Al-Tusi and Sheikh Al-Kash'shi specifically for his narration from Al-Hassan ibn Mahboub because of his young age and by Al-Sadooq and his Sheikh ibn Al-Walid for his narrations from Yunus. However, they have been authenticated by Najashi and some later scholars. But for the narration of Al-Sadooq and his father, all of its narrators are completely trustworthy without any objection against them. This the narration of Sadooq and his father is more reliable.

Besides that, just after that narration in Basaa'ir Al-Darajaat, the same narrator narrates another Hadeeth which also includes hidden Proofs of Allah (swt):

Al-Saffar:

14 – It has been narrated to us by Muhammad bin Isa, from Al-Hassan bin Mahboub and Al-Hajaal, from Al-A'ala, from Muhammad bin Muslim, who has narrated: Aboo Ja'far (a.s) said: "The earth does not remain without an apparent Imam."

15 – It has been narrated to us by Muhammad bin Isa, from Al-Hassan bin Mahboub, from Hashaam bin Saalim, from Aboo Is'haq Al-Hamadany, from a reliable one from his companions, who has narrated: I heard Ameer ul-Mo'mineen (a.s) say: "O Allah (swt)! You do not keep the earth empty from Your proof on Your creatures, apparent or hidden in concealment, so that Your arguments and proofs are not invalidated."

Source: Basaa'ir Al-Darajat. Pg. # 529.



Objection Four

The word "Apparent" in the following narration has been used and not hidden. Therefore, how can the believers seek his (Imams) counsel and ask him in matters of Halaal and Haraam? How can we remain stationed with our Imam and stand by him if he is not present?

Muhammad bin Isa and Ahmad bin Muhammad both told us, from Al-Hassan bin Mahboub, from Ya'qoub Al-Sarraj that he said: I said to Aboo Abdillah (a.s): "Would the earth be devoid from an apparent man of knowledge from among you, so that the people may seek him in their issues of Halaal and Haraam?" He (a.s) replied: "O Aboo Yusuf, no. This is clear in the book of Allah (swt): {O you who have believed! Persevere and endure} against your enemies who oppose you {and remain stationed} with your Imam {and fear Allah} with what he orders you to do."

Source: Basa'ir Al-Darajat.

Response Four

Al-Majlisi II:

His statement, "Apparent" refers to the apparent proofs about him and his Imamate, not his physical body. As for his statement, "So that the people may seek him in their issues" i.e. either in particular for some people (during his occultation) or in general after his reappearance, for all people, because during the occultation some of his close companions bring their issues to him too. It is also possible that the aim is to explain the reason of his existence, i.e. from among the Imam's duties is that people refer to him, if there wasn't an obstacle, or the reason of arguing with the verse could be to use it as a general decree that contains all times and referring to an Imam cannot be except through his existence.

Source: Bihar Al-Anwar (New Print). Vol. 23, Pg. # 52.



Objection Five

One of the leading Shi'a scholars of our times has said the following in regards to Imam Al-Mahdi (ajf):


الغيبة التي امتدت أكثر من ألف سنة وربما تمتد إلى آلاف أو ملايين السنين. فإن المؤمنين لم ينتفعوا ولا ينتفعون من إمامهم الغائب عجل الله تعالى فرجه – في الأصول والفروع ، وما يقال بخلاف ذلك فهو تخيل وتوهم ولعب بالعقول


This Ghaybah that has taken more than a thousand years and maybe it shall keep going for thousands or millions of years.  
The believers living in it did not and do not benefit from their hidden Imam - may Allah (swt) hasten his appearance - in Usool or Furu, and all else which is said is nothing but illusions and imaginations and playing with people's minds.

And, 


ولا يمكن القول بانتفاعنا منه عليه السلام في زمن الغيبة في الأمور الدينية إلا ممن سلب الله عقله

It is not possible for us to say that we benefit from him (peace be upon him) in religious matters during his Ghaybah, except those whom Allah (swt) has robbed them of intellect.

Source: Mashra'at Bihar Al-Anwar.


And finally:



وأي فائدة لهذه الأحكام المخزونة عند الأئمة: والمكلفون يحرمون منها في أكثر من ألف سنة ولعله في ألف مليون سنة

And what benefit does this knowledge stored with Imams hold: When the Mukallafoun (Shi'a) are deprived from it for more than a thousand years, and maybe it'll last for a billion years.

Source: Mashra'at Bihar Al-Anwar.


Response Five:

Firstly, Sheikh Muhammad Asif Mohsini is not one of the leading scholars of our time and secondly, he has not reached the position of a Marjah (religious source of emulation). Rather, he is a scholar of medium repute.

As for the above statements, they are just partial quotations taken out of context and mistranslated of what he opines. We shall therefore present the full paragraph of the text to manifest the dishonesty of our opponents and highlight the key words in bold 'Red,' the words that were only translated shall be in bold 'Black.'

By the scholars testimony during the Ghaybah, the existence of the Imam (ajf) is a means of blessing and grace for the people of the earth and is not the source for religious knowledge, Islamic law and so on. During Al-Ghaybah, the jurists and scholars are responsible for extracting religious knowledge, rulings and so on.

Muhammad Asif Mohsini:

You should know that if the aim of these narrations and alike, and they are not just a few, is that the Imam is the means of grace and blessings (for the people of the earth), there is no problem in that, being it in the time of his presence or in the time of his absence and that is something obvious. So there is no excuse to surpass the Imams (a.s) and give this position to jurists and great scholars, even though it is something possible (i.e. they could be the means of grace and blessings of Allah (swt) to people too). But if it is interpreted as the means of jurisprudence and clarifying the teachings and rulings, then we have to refer to scholars and jurists, who are capable of extracting rulings from their sources, so that it does not contradict the narrations of Al-Ghaybah that has taken more than a thousand years, and maybe it shall keep going for thousands or millions of years. The believers living in it did not and do not benefit from their hidden Imam - may Allah (swt) hasten his appearance - in Usool or Furu, and all else which is said is nothing but illusions and imaginations and playing with people's minds

Source: Mashri'atul Bihar. Vol. 1, Pg. # 407 - 408.




And the meaning of a hidden Imam for us in the context of Islamic law is that: If he reappears and orders something or explains a ruling, it would be obligatory for us to accept it and obey his orders and refer to him in everything that we do not know its ruling, may Allah (swt) hasten his reappearance. And it is not possible for us to say that we benefit from him (peace be upon him) in religious matters during his Ghaybah, except for those whom Allah (swt) has taken the intellect.

Source: Mashri'atul Bihar. Vol. 2, Pg. # 223.




The major problem in this regard is that the Islamic rulings have not reached to us who live during the time of Al-Ghaybah of the Imam (ajf) in their entirety, and it is not possible for us to achieve them. And we are not accountable for the idleness of those who lived during the time of Imams (a.s), and what more than a thousand years, and maybe it'll last for a billion years.


Source: Mashri'atul Bihar. Vol. 1, Pg. # 82.






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