Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.), the Safinah of Noah
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
The Prophet of Islam (as) has said, “O Abu Dharr! Allah has compared my Ahl-ul-Bayt to the ship(Safinah) of Noah. Whosoever boarded the ship, got deliverance. The dissenters got drowned in the rough waters of the storm. The people who board the ship of my Ahl-ul-Bayt’s love and obedience, will get free of the curse of infidelity. Others who turn away from them, will drown in the sea of wretchedness and depravity. The only way to deliverance is through love and affection (Mawadda) for us.”
Imam Hasan Al-’Askari (as) wrote to Ishaq bin Ismail, The duties made mandatory for you by Allah are His favors on you because He is not in need of your prayers. His purpose in making prayer compulsory has been to distinguish between the righteous and the evil. He gauges the righteous through the yardstick of regularity in offering of prayers and awards them the higher place and position.
Therefore, it is mandatory on you also to perform Hajj, give Zakat, fast during the month of Ramadhan, offer mandatory prayers and have Faith in the Wilayah of the Ahl-ul-Bayt. For you the entrance to all virtue is through the obedience of the Ahl-ul-Bayt. If Muhammad (S) and his Vicegerents (as) were not there, the people would have been in gross ignorance like the animals. Can you enter a city without going through the gateway? Allah has appointed the Imams (as) after the Prophet (S) for the Guidance of the people. It is His Favor on the mankind. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, ‘Today I have completed the Faith of Islam, completed all the favors and bounties for you and Am satisfied with it.’”
Bin Babawiyah narrates from a reliable source that Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as) has quoted Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) saying that the Prophet (S) had observed. “Allah has not created others better than us.” Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali asked, “O Prophet of Allah! Are you superior than the angel Jibraeel?” The Prophet (S) replied, “O ‘Ali (as)! Allah has made the Prophets (as) and the Messengers superior than the angels and I have the distinction of superiority over all other prophets (as). After me, you and the Imams (as) in your progeny have been bestowed with superiority. The angels are all at our service! O ‘Ali (as)! The angels who are stationed in the Heaven, keep praying for the deliverance of our friends. ‘Ali (as)! If we were not created, Allah would have created neither prophet Adam (as) nor Hawwa (as); neither there would be the Janna nor the Jehannam, even the earth and the skies would not have come into existence! And how is it possible that we are not superior to the angels that we had the Knowledge of the Creator, Allah much before they did.
Our Spirits were the First Creations of the Almighty before anything else came into existence! We have been the first who bore witness to His Unity and busied ourselves in His Worship and Prayer! Then, later on, the angels were created. We were all in the form of a Light. When the angels saw us, they wondered very much. Observing their wonderment, and fearing that they might think of us as the greatest, our Light said, “Subhan Allah! hearing this Glorification, they too started emulating. Fearing that they might include us, too, in the Glorification, we uttered, “La Ilaha il Allah”. The angels now understood that the Glorification can only be for Allah. To preclude the chance of their terming us the greatest, we uttered, “Allah Akbar!” The angels understood what we meant, and followed suit.
We said, “La haula wa laquwwata illa Billah” that the angels understood that all the power that we can exercise is given by Allah, and none else! The purpose of saying this also was that the angels might start thinking wrongly that our power was perhaps because of our ceaseless supplication and prayer! In the end we said, “Alhamdo Lillah, Praise be to Allah, This is how the angels learned from us the method of Glorifying Allah. Then prophet Adam (as) was created by Allah and He put our Nur in him. Because our Nur was with prophet Adam (as), Allah ordered the angels to prostrate before him. The angels then prostrated to prophet Adam (as)!”
“Therefore we are, because of precedence in our creation and knowledge of Allah, superior to the angels. When Jibrael took me to the Firmament, he said the Adhaan and Iqamah and requested me to lead the prayer. I asked him, ‘Do you consider me superior to yourself?’ Jibrael said, ‘Of course! Allah has made the prophets (as) superior to the angels and you are the most superior of all the prophets!’Then, when we reached the Hijab al-Noor (the Curtain of Light) Jibrael said,’ You must enter this place alone. I am not permitted to go any further!’I asked him, ‘Are you departing leaving me alone?’ Jibrael replied, ‘If I venture any further all my feathers and hair will get burnt!’
“Then I entered the Nahri-Noor (the River of Light). This is the place where the angels don’t enter. I heard a voice there saying, ‘O Muhammad (as)!’ I said, ‘Labbaik, Ya Rub (At Your beck and call, O Allah
. Allah said, ‘O Muhammad (S)! You are My Creation! I Am your Lord! Worship Me only and depend on Me! You are My Noor that I have sent to the people as My Manifestation. I have created the Heaven for you and your descendents. There are elevated positions for your Vicegerents (as) and great rewards fot their Shi’as!’ I asked, ‘Who are my Vicegerents?’ The voice came, ‘The names of your Vicegerents have been engraved on the Saq al-Arsh (the Shank of the Firmament)’ I looked in that direction and found written in the gold the names of all the Vicegerents (as) starting with the name of ‘Ali (as) and ending with that of Mehdi (a.j.), the Last of the Imams (as).
I asked, ‘O my Allah! Are all these my Vicegerents?’ The voice came, ‘They are all my Aulia who will be My Hujjat (Representatives) for the people after you. I shall keep my Faith and Religion flourishing and thriving in the world through them. The last of these Vicegerents (as), the Qaim, will cull the world of all My enemies and purify it. He will be the sovereign of the East and the West. His sway will be there till the world lasted’