Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.), the Whole Truth
Allama Husayn Ansariyan
Since Ahl al-Bayt stand at the highest level of devotion, submission and endeavor, they reflect the whole truth like a mirror.
Their station of devotion and submission is a manifestation of Allah’sAttributes, their moral virtues, strong faith and a jumping board for gaining nearness to Allah in readiness to meet Him.
Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) describes Ahl al-Bayt as such: Peace be on you, O Household of the Prophet! You are the center of the Divine mission. Unto you the angels return to adopt your opinions and to learn from you. You are the destination of the Divine revelation; the originating source of mercy, the treasures of wisdom, the ultimate in forbearance, the foundation of generosity, the leaders of all nations. You administer and distribute bounties without interruption. You are the elements of virtue and pillars of goodness.
You direct and guide mankind, protect and support the lands wherein people live, let in and lead them on to faith. The Beneficent Lord has assigned to you the responsibility of dealing with His Benevolence; you are the distinguished descendent of the Prophets, the cream of the noble born children of the Messengers, the pure family of the "Best individual", in the assessment of the Lord of the worlds!
Peace be on the Guides (Imams) who show the Right Path, fill the darkness with light, teach and demonstrate the awareness of boundaries laid down by Allah. Peace be on the exponents of the views and beliefs which acquaint with awareness of Allah, wherever you are, there are the blessings of Allah, the wisdom of Allah is deposited with you, the secrets of Allah have been put in your safe keeping, you know the Book of Allah by heart, you are the successors of the Prophet of Allah, peace be on you who invite people unto Allah.81
All the Prophets who came before the Holy Prophet of Islam and their books were an attempt to pave the way for the advent of Allah’s Messenger so that all creatures, especially human beings, move towards perfection - thanks to these noble ones who are the rope, shadow, and trustees of Allah. For this reason, they made a covenant to prepare the ground for the advent of the root of Ahl al-Bayt, namely, the Holy Prophet.
Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputed by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument.82
Based on this, the Holy Prophet says: We are the last ones in this world but foremost on the Judgment Day.83
Shiite and Sunni reference books of Hadith have reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: Adam as well as all the other human beings will be under my banner on the Judgment Day. 84
Due to their extensive ability and knowledge, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragon of “The last ones are the foremost and the foremost are the first ones and nothing is like them.”85
The reason for being ‘foremost’ is that Ahl al-Bayt are the beginning and the end of the universe as Allah has so willed. In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) refers to this same truth: Allah opened the gate of universe and truth with you and will end it with you. The people will return to you and their reckoning is with you.86
Therefore, all the Prophets set the ground for the presence of Ahl al-Bayt among creatures. These noblemen were sent to produce a link between Allah and His creatures leaving no excuse for nations of the world.
Actually their existence on the earth is concurrent with the fall of the sun, which is the noon of universe. Then the afternoon of universe begins and universe will become contracted. When the era of the advent of the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) and that of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah expedite his reappearance) comes to an end, and the sun sets, all the universe will merge into an absolute contraction and the second darkness begins after the passage of millions of years of the first darkness. At that time, Allah will say: To whom belongs the kingdom today? (40:16)
Then, according to the Holy Quran, the Judgment Day begins: an eternal day without any night.
Neither the Holy Quran nor have the narrations made any reference to “the Judgment Night”; rather it is the Day of Judgment. As the day begins with the rising of sun, the Judgment Day too will begin with the light of Muhammad who has been described as a light-giving torch in the Holy Quran (33:46). He will be the first to enter the presence of Allah on that day. With his being the Face of Allah and His Light, the scene of the final gathering will be illuminated and an eternal day would emerge: And the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord and the Book shall be laid down. (39:69)
In view of its content, this verse refers to the Judgment Day and most of the narrations consider the light of the Lord as the Holy Prophet and the Infallible Imams.
With the dawn of the Light of Allah, which is the light of Muhammad, the morning of the Judgment Day will dawn and a permanent day will begin.
Thanks to this light, the entire truth will show itself and all hidden secrets will be disclosed and then the Reckoning will begin.
Reporting the Holy Prophet (S), Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said: I will be the first to stand before Allah along with His Book and Ahl al-Bayt and then my ummah. Then I will ask my ummah, “How did you treat the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt?” 87
Ahl al-Bayt(A.S.); Ark of Salvation
The pure souls of Ahl al-Bayt and their light were created before other creatures; they were placed around Allah’s Throne. They were engaged in glorifying Allah until He put each of those pure souls in a body at the proper time and revealed them among people for their guidance as a favor: Allah created you in the form of light; He then kept you closely attached with his Throne until you were sent down to this world as a favor to us. He allowed you to pronounce and praise His Name aloud in the Houses of Allah.88
O Ahl al-Bayt, you were like Noah’s Ark from the time you were placed around Allah’s Throne to save those who have fallen into the whirlpool of tribulation: Allah made you reach the noblest position of glory, the highest station that was nearest to Him, and the loftiest status among those of the Messengers.89
O Ahl al-Bayt, you have attained such spirituality through knowledge, faith and offering help to people in this world that you have reached the position of the most honorable prophets.
Authentic books of Hadith have reported Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) as saying: When Adam fell from heaven, he was deprived of associating with the angels and lost a garment of dignity which covered his private parts, he said to Allah, “O Allah! By the honor of Muhammad, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and the purified ones of Ahl al-Bayt, do me a favor by accepting my repentance, forgiving my sin and giving back my dignity.”
Allah answered, “Verily, I accept your repentance, turn to you with pleasure, send my bounties and blessings to you, restore your position by My grace, and make perfect for you your share of My mercy.” This is the meaning of Allah’s words, "Then Adam received some words form his Lord, So He turned to him mercifully; surely He is oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (2:37)"
Abu-Dharr, touching the door of Kabah said I have heard Allah’s Messenger say: Beware! The parable of my Ahl al-Bayt among you is like Noah’s Ark. Whoever enters it will be saved and whoever refuses to enter it will suffer perdition.90
Imam Ali (a.s.) is reported to say: Were it not for saving and guiding people, Allah would not have sent us to this world. We were engaged in glorifying Him around His throne. We are not people of the world; rather, we have been sent to rid you of atheism, carnal desires and ignorance, and to promote you to the zenith of humanity. We have come here to lead you from darkness to guidance. Now that the situation is like that, place your hands in our hands and promise loyalty so that we will save you from this tumultuous sea to the shore of safety.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said: We are the boat of salvation. Whoever holds on to it will be saved, and whomever keeps away from it will meet perdition, whoever has a request from Allah should ask for it through us, the Ahl al-Bayt. 91
Addressing Kumayl, Imam Ali (a.s.) says: O Kumayl! One day, while the Helpers (Ansar) and the Immigrants (Muhajirun) who had gathered to follow for the Afternoon Prayer in mid-Ramadhan while Allah’s Messenger was stationed on his pulpit, he said: Ali and his two purified sons are from me and I am from them; they are like a ship - whoever boards it will be saved and whoever refuses to do so, will drown. The saved one is in heaven and the drowned will be in Hellfire.92
Imam Ali (a.s.) has also said: Whoever follows our command will be successful and whoever enters any ship other than ours will be drowned.93
As we know, stars help those traveling by sea to come to the shore of safety. In a narration, the Holy Prophet (S) compares Ahl al-Bayt with stars in terms of safety: Stars are a source of guidance for those living on the earth and my Ahl al-Bayt are a source of safety from differences. So, if any Arab tribe challenges them, they will be engaged with discrepancies among each other and hence become a party to Satan.94
Verily, the parable of my Ahl al-Bayt is like the gate of Hittah (forgiveness) for the children of Israel. Whoever goes through it will be forgiven.95
Imam Ali (a.s.) says: We are the gate of Hittah, which is the gate of peace and safety. Whoever enters through it will be saved and whoever refuses will meet perdition.96
Beware, the knowledge that Adam brought with him and the knowledge of all Prophets are with the Ahl al-Bayt. So why are you bewildered and where are you bound to go? Ahl al-Bayt among you are like the People of the Cave and like the Gate of Hittah. They are the gate to peace and safety mentioned in the words of Allah: O you who believe! Enter into submission one and all, and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan (2:208)97
Addressing Imam Ali (a.s.) the Holy Prophet (S) said: O Ali! The parable of you, Ahl al-Bayt, is like the sacred House of Allah. Whoever has entered it is safe. So whoever loves you will be immune from Hellfire and whoever harbors a grudge against you will be thrown into it. O Ali! Based on the Holy Quran, "… and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it (3:97)" -
there is however an excuse for the one who is poor or sick. However, Allah will not accept the excuse of either the poor or the rich or the sick or the healthy who fail to love you, the Ahl al-Bayt. 98
The Holy Prophet (S) has also said: Consider my Ahl al-Bayt as the head is to the body and the two eyes are to the head. The body cannot find the way except with the head and the head cannot find the way except with the eyes.99
It now becomes clear as to why the companions of Ahl al-Bayt during their lives considered them as head and eyes without whom life was nothing but blindness, bewilderment and perdition.
Although at the Night of ‘Ashura’, Imam Husayn (a.s.) gave his companions the choice to revoke allegiance to him and leave him, they unanimously decided to stay with him.
Beyond doubt, if a person loves them truly and invokes them from the bottom of the heart, the Ahl al-Bayt too will respond lovingly and accept him with open arms because they are the manifestation of Allah’s Attributes. They love people and favor them permanently.
It was due to the same love and favors that on the Day of Ashura Imam Husayn (a.s) tried to delay his martyrdom so as to give a chance to save another human being from atheism, ignorance, and being lost. It was for the same reason that he kindly addressed the enemies in the battlefield with his heart broken and his body injured. It was thus that , two brothers named Abu’l-Hutuf ibn Harth and Sa’d who had been in the army of the Khawarij in the Battle of Nahrawan and in the army of Yazid, impressed by the Divine nature of the Imam, joined Imam Husayn’s camp, fought against the enemies and were martyred.
81. Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah
82. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 1
83. al-Manaqib, 269/3
84. al-Manaqib, 214/1
85. Sahih al-Bukhari: 2/2, T 1
86. Al-Ziyarah al-Jami`ah al-Kabirah
87. Al-Kafi: 600/2, H. 4
88. Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah
89. Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah
90. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 94/1, H. 1
91. Fara'id al-Simtayn: 37/1
92. Bisharat al-Mustafa: 30
93. Ghurar al-Hikam: 16, H. 2028-2029
94. Al-Mustadrak: 16, H 2028 - 2029
95. Al-Mujam al-Saghir
96. Al-Mujam al-Saghir
97. Tafsir al-Ayashi:1 102/1. H. 1
98. Al-Khasais al-Aimmah: 77
99. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 482, H. 1053