Love for the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)
Ayatullah Shaykh Muhammad Reza al-Muzaffar
Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an: Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I do not ask for any wages for this except uncontaminated love and respect for my kinsfolk. (42/23)
We believe that besides the obligation of holding fast to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), each and every Muslim is under another obligation, which is to profess themselves to love the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and hold them dear. This is because Almighty Allah, in the aforesaid holy verse, has clearly demanded the people’s love for them.(18)
The Holy Prophet (s) said: Love for my Household is a sign of belief, and to show enmity towards them is a sign of hypocrisy.(19) Whosoever loves them has in fact loved Almighty Allah and His Messenger; and whosoever shows enmity towards them has in fact shown enmity towards Almighty Allah and His Messenger.(20)
Indisputably and unquestionably, love for the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is one of the necessary fundaments of Islam. This belief is held by all Muslims, despite their divergent and different opinions, except a few factions who adopted the enmity of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and, as a result, were called ‘Nawasib’ (i.e. those who show open hostility to the Household of the Holy Prophet). Consequently, they are included with those who reject the decisive form of Islam. As a general rule, whosoever rejects the established form of the religion, such as the obligation of prayers and fasting, is decided as having rejected the origin of the Mission of Islam and the Mission of Islam altogether, as is confirmed by established proofs, even if one has uttered the profession of faith (i.e. shahadah).
Thus, hostility to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is one of the testimonies of one’s hypocrisy, and to love them is one of the signs of true faith. Consequently, hostility to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is clear hostility to Almighty Allah and to the Holy Prophet (s).
Almighty Allah has commanded us to love the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and to hold them dear because they are worthy of such love and devotion by virtue of their occupying nearby positions to Almighty Allah, high levels of eminence, and absolute innocence from polytheism, acts of disobedience, and whatever drives away from the area of His pleasure.
It is wrong to even imagine that Almighty Allah might impose upon us the love of someone who disobeys Him or fails to obey Him as He should be obeyed, because all Almighty Allah’s,creatures, in His view, are His servants whom He has created equally, the noblest among them, in His sight, being the most righteous.(21)
Thus, the person/s whom Almighty Allah imposes upon His creatures to love and hold dear must be the most righteous and the most virtuous of all; otherwise, another person would be worthier of such love. It might also be said that Almighty Allah—far be it from Him—prefers some people to others unjustly or playfully without these preferred people deserving such preference!
The Holy Imams
Concerning our belief in our Holy Imams (`a), we do not imitate the Extremists (ghulat) and the Immanentists (hululiyyun): A monstrous word it is, issuing from mouths. (18:5)
We believe that our Imams are human beings like ourselves, i.e. they enjoy the same rights that we enjoy and they are required to do the same obligations that we are required to do; except that they are noble servants of Almighty Allah Who has granted them special honor and bestowed upon them His authority, because they occupy the highest ranks of human perfection, such as knowledge, piety, courage, nobility, and chastity, as well as all moral standards and nobilities of character. Hence, no human being can ever attain the peculiarities that they hold.
Accordingly, they have been the worthiest of being leaders, guides, and authorities after the Holy Prophet (s) in giving instructions, interpretations and explanations of the religious laws and the Holy Qur'an as needed by people.
In this respect, our Imam, Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a), says: Whatsoever, which is possible for the creatures to hold, is reported to you about us, but you have had no previous idea about it or you have not been able to understand it, then you must not deny it; rather, you must refer it to us. However, if what is reported to you about us is impossible for the creatures to hold, then you must deny it and you must not refer it to us.(22)
Imamate Being Decided by a Divine Commission
We believe that Imamate, like prophethood, cannot be decided by anything except a commission from Almighty Allah that is declared by His Messenger or the Divinely commissioned Imam when he nominates his successor in Imamate.(23)
Without any difference, Imamate submits to the same laws of Prophethood in this respect. In plain words, no human being holds the right to express his opinion about the one whom Almighty Allah chooses as guide and leader for entire humanity. Similarly, none has the right to nominate, propose, or select such persons, because this mission needs one upon whom Almighty Allah has bestowed sacredness from His Sacred Spirit and who is ready to undergo the burdens of general leadership and capability to guide all human beings; and such a person cannot be nominated by anyone except Almighty Allah Who, alone, has the right to select him.
We also believe that the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), did nominate his successor and representative who would be the leader (i.e. imam) after him. He thus declared his cousin, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib (`a), to be the commander of the believers, the keeper of the Divine Revelation, and the leader of people on many occasions. Moreover, the Holy Prophet (s), on that day in Ghadir Khumm (known as the Ghadir Day), appointed Imam `Ali (`a) to the position of the next leadership and ordered the attendants to pay homage to him as their next leader. He thus said: Behold! `Ali is (now) the master of everyone who has regarded me as his master. O Allah! (please do) support whoever supports `Ali; and be the enemy of whoever incurs the hostility of `Ali; and aid whoever aids `Ali; and forsake whoever forsakes `Ali; and make the right turn to any side that `Ali takes.(24)
That was not the first occasion; in fact, the first occasion on which the Holy Prophet (s) declared the leadership (Imamate) of Imam `Ali (`a) was when the Holy Prophet (s) invited his nearest relatives and members of his clan and declared the following before all of them: Verily, this (`Ali) is my brother, my successor, and my vicegerent after me. You must then listen to him and obey him.(25)
When the Holy Prophet (s) said the above about him, Imam `Ali (`a) had not yet come of age.
On many other occasions, the Holy Prophet (s) repeated the following statement: O `Ali! Your position in relation to me is the same as (Prophet) Aaron’s position in relation to (Prophet) Moses except that no Prophet is to come after me.(26)
Besides, many holy Qur'anic verses and traditions have confirmed the general leadership of Imam `Ali (`a), such as the following holy verse: Only Allah is your Guardian, and His Messenger, and those who believe—those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (5/55)
This holy verse was revealed to speak of Imam `Ali (`a) when he gave his ring as alms while he was bowing in a prayer.(27)
The purpose for which this thesis has been written does not conduce to citing or explaining all the holy verses and traditions concerning the Imamate of Imam `Ali (`a).
In the same manner, Imam `Ali (`a) declared the Imamate of Imam al-Hasan (`a) and Imam al-Husayn (`a). The latter declared the Imamate of Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-`Abidin) (`a) and so did every Imam concerning the next Imam up to the last of them who will be discussed in an independent chapter of this book.
18. () It has been reported that Imam al-Sadiq ('a), once, asked Abu-Ja`far al-Ahwal, “How do the scholars of al-Basrah explain this verse: ‘Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I do not ask of a wage for this except love of my kinsfolk’?”
He answered, “May Allah accept me as ransom for you! They say that it includes the relatives of Allah’s Messenger (s).”
The Imam ('a) said: “Liars are they. It was revealed exclusively for us—the Ahl al-Bayt; namely, `Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn ('a); the Group of the Cloak.”
See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 8:93.
`Abdullah ibn `Abbas is reported to have recounted that when the verse involved was revealed, the Holy Prophet (s) was asked, “Who are your kinsfolk the love for whom has become obligatory upon us?” He (s) replied, “They are `Ali, Fatimah, and their two sons ('a).” See Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 7:103; al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 3:47, H. 2641, 11:351; Faydh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 1:283, H. 302.
19. () The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said to Imam `Ali ('a): “O `Ali: Here are good tidings! Almighty Allah has promised me that none loves you save a believer and none hates you save a hypocrite.”
Reference: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 197.
It has been also reported that the Holy Prophet (s) said to Imam `Ali ('a): “He who loves you is certainly a true believer, but he who hates you is nothing but a hypocrite, or an illegitimate son, or his mother conceived him while she was menstruous.”
Reference: `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:145, H. 12, Section No. 120: bab fi anna `illata mahabbati ahl al-bayti tib al-wiladati (Legitimacy of Birth; A Reason Behind The Love For the Ahl al-Bayt); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 2:319, H. 2243/8, Section No. 24.
Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is also reported as saying: “I swear by Allah: One of the commandments of Allah’s Messenger to me was that none would hate me save a hypocrite, and none would love me save a true believer.”
Reference: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:84; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:65, H. 235.
The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said: “He who hates the Ahl al-Bayt must be a hypocrite.”
“None loves us—the Ahl al-Bayt—save a pious believer; and none hates us save a wretched hypocrite.”
Reference: Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by Ahmad ibn `Abdullah al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 18.
Narrations of the same purport have been recorded in various reference books, such as: al-Gharat by Ibrahim al-Thaqafi al-Kufi (AH 283), 2:520, 946; Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by Muhammad al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), 2:469, H. 963, 2:478, H. 978, Section: bab fi man ahabba `aliyyan wa fi man abghadhahu (Those Who Love `Ali and Those Who Hate Him); al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 577, 633; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 135, H. 131/1, Session No. 18, 197, H.207/1, Session No. 28, 525, H.708/4, Session No. 75; Kifayat al-Athar by al-Khazzaz al-Qummi (AH 400), pp. 31, 110; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:40; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 62, 308; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 78, H.113/22, Session No. 3, 206, H.353/3, Session No. 8, 258, H.465/3, Session No. 10, 306, H.613/60, Session No. 11, 472, the last hadith of Session No. 16; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by Ibn al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 124; al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 1:141, 243; al-Thaqib fi’l-Manaqib by Ibn Hamzah al-Tusi (AH 560), pp. 123, Section Two, Chapter One, H. 9, 10, 11, 236, H.202/3; Musnad al-Himyari (AH 219), 1:31, H. 58; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:59, 128; Kitab al-«man by Muhammad al-`Adani (AH 243), pp. 80-81; Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 1:60; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 275), 1:42, H.114; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:306, H. 3819/94; Kitab al-Sunnah by `Amr ibn Abi-`Asim al-Aahhak (AH 287), pp. 584, H.1325; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 5:47, 137, H.8153, 8485, 8486, 8487, 6:534, 535, H.11749, 11753; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:133; al-Dibaj `Ala Sahih Muslim by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:93, H.131.
20. () The Holy Prophet (s) is reported as saying: “The descendants of all persons have agnation to which they belong, except the descendants of Fatimah. I am their guardian and I am their agnation. They are my progeny; they were created from the same clay from which I was created. Woe be to those who deny their excellences. Whoever loves them shall be loved by Almighty Allah and whoever hates them shall be hated by Him.”
Reference: Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 12:98, 103, 104, 116, H.34168, 34194, 34198…
The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said: “I am the master of Adam’s descendants. O `Ali: you and the Imam who shall succeed you are the masters of my nation. He who loves us has in fact loved Almighty Allah, and he who hates us has in fact hated Almighty Allah, and he who acts faithfully to us has in fact acted faithfully to Almighty Allah, and he who shows enmity towards us has in fact shown enmity towards Almighty Allah, and he who obeys us has in fact obeyed Almighty Allah and he who disobeys us has in fact disobeyed Almighty Allah.”
Reference: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), H.658/16, Session No. 71.
For more details, the dear reader is advised to see the following reference books: Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by Muhammad al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), pp. 481; Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:154, H. 98, pp. 233, H. 223, 3:109, H.1044; Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ja`far ibn Qawlawayh (AH 368), pp. 335, H. 842/14, Section No. 107; Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:613, 617; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 466, H. 621/11, Session No. 60; al-Fusul al-Mukhtarah by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 245; Tahdhib al-Ahkam by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 6:97, 101; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 248, H.437/29, Session No. 9, pp. 309, H.623/70, Session No. 11; Manaqib Ali Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588), 2:217; al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 1:319, H.947, 23:380; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:109, 131, 132; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 11:610, 622, H.32952, 33024, 13:109, H.36358.
21. () This is an indication to the following holy verse: O you men! Surely, We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful of his duty. Surely, Allah is Knowing, Aware. (49/13)
22. () Mukhtasar Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Hasan al-Hilli (the ninth century of Hijrah), pp. 92; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 25:364, H. 1, Section No. 12; Mustadrak Safinat al-Bihar by al-Namazi al-Shahrudi (AH 1405), 1:199.
23. () For more information in this regard, the reader is advised to refer to the following book: Al-Muraja`at: Reciprocal Correspondences Between Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the Head of al-Azhar University, and Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili, Letters No. 20 and on; revised by Husayn al-Radhi, Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422. ((The English version of this book is entitled ‘al-Muraja`at: A Sunni-Shi`i Dialogue, translated by Yasin al-Jiburi, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2000.))
Nazariyyat al-Nass `Ala al-Imamah fi’l-Qur'an al-Karim (Conception of the Divine Ordinance of Imamate in the Holy Qur'an), by Muhsin al-Araki, London: Book Extra, First Edition, AH 1421/AD 2000.
Al-Nass wa’l-Ijtihad by `Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili (AH 1377), revised by Abu Mujtaba, Qum: Sayyid al-Shuhada' Press, First Edition, AH 1404. (The English version of this book is entitled ‘al-Nass wel-Ijtihad, translated by Abdullah al-Shahin, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2002.)
24. () This hadith has been recorded in the following reference books: Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Kubra by al-Saffar al-Qummi (AH 290), pp. 97; Qurb al-Isnad by al-Himyari al-Baghdadi (AH 300), pp. 57; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:287, 294, 295, 296, 420, 4:149, 566, 8:27; `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:144; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:84, 118, 119, 152, 331, 4:281, 370, 5:347, 366, 370, 419; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:297; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3:109, 110, 116, 134, 371, 533.
About the authenticity of the Hadith of Ghadir, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852) says, “As regarding the hadith that begins with, ‘man kuntu mawlahu fahadha `aliyyun mawlahu, it has been recorded by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nassa'i. In fact, this hadith has been reported from very numerous ways of narration, which have been collected by Ibn `Uqdah in an independent book. Most of the series of narration of this hadith are authentic (sahih) and acceptable (hasan). I have quoted Imam Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) as saying, ‘We have not received narrations about any of the Sahabah as many as we have received about `Ali ibn Abi-Talib ('a).’” See Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:16. Also, refer to the first footnote of the chapter No. 22 (The Proof of Islam and the Previous Religions).
For more details about the Hadith al-Ghadir, see the book of al-Ghadir by al-Amini al-Najafi (AH 1329), Volume One.
25. () Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib ('a) narrated the following: When the holy verse, ‘And warn your nearest relatives, (26:214)’ was revealed, the Holy Prophet… spoke, “O sons of `Abd al-Muttalib! By Allah I swear, I do not know an Arab man who can bring to his people a matter better than what I am bearing to you. I am conveying to you the welfare of this world as well as the Hereafter. Almighty Allah has ordered me to invite you to this matter. Who will support me in this affair?”
I was the youngest among them when I promptly declared, “I will.” But they began to laugh at me and left the place and said to Abu-Talib, “Well, he orders you to listen to and obey your son!” References: Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 13:210 as quoted from Tarikh al-Tabari. See also Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 13:133, H. 36419.
For acquainting oneself with more Sunni reference books of hadith that have recorded this tradition, the reader is advised to refer to al-Muraja`at: Reciprocal Correspondences Between Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the Head of al-Azhar University, and Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili, Letters No. 20 & 21; al-Ghadir by al-Amini (AH 1392), 2:278, Title: hadith bad' al-da`wah fi’l-sunnah wa’l-tarikh wa’l-adab (The Tradition of the Start of the Promulgation For Islam In The Sunnah, History, and Literature).
A big number of Shi`ite reference books of hadith have also recorded this tradition, such as Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), 1:370, Section: tafsir ayat al-indhar (Exegesis of The Verse of Warning), H.294 and on; `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:170; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:49; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 52.
26. () Al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), 1:159; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 8:107; Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Tamimi al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:16; `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:66, 137, 138, 202, 2:474; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:209; Musnad Abi-Dawud al-Tayalisi (AH 204), pp. 28, 29; al-Musannaf by al-San`ani (AH 211), 5:406; H.9745, 11:226, H.20390; Sahih Muslim al-Naysaburi (AH 261), 7:120, 121; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:302, H.3808, pp. 304, H.3813, 3814; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 2:337, 3:109, 133; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 9:40; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:109-111; Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 7:60, 9:53.
27. () Al-Mi`yar wa’l-Muwazanah by al-Iskafi (AH 220), pp. 228; Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Tamimi al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:16, 21; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 459; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:58; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 186; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by Ibn al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 102; Jami` al-Bayan by al-Tabari (AH 310), 6:388; al-Mu`jam al-Awsat by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 6:218; Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Jassas al-Razi (AH 370), 2:557, 558; Shawahid al-Tanzil by al-Hakim al-Hasakani (the fifth century of Hijrah), 1:212, H.221, pp. 216, H.224, pp. 217, H.225, pp. 233, H.236, pp. 234, H.237; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 13:277; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 86.