Debates of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(A.S.)
Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, had many strong proofs with which he revealed the truth and refuted the proofs of others. We will tell you something about them, for they are a part of his scientific life full of lessons and sermons which the Muslim must study.
His Debates on Oneness of Allah (al-Tawhid):
We have already mentioned something of the speech of al- Sadiq, peace be on him, on Oneness of Allah. Among his speech were some debates. Here, we will mention additional debates.
Some of these debates have been reported on the authority of Hisham b. al- Hakam, who said: "There was an unbeliever in Egypt. The unbeliever heard something of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. He went to Medina to debate with Abu Abd Allah, but he did not find him there. It was said to him: 'He (Abu Abd Allah) has been in Mecca.' So, he went to Mecca.
We (Hisham b. al- Hakam) were with Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. While we were performing the procession around the Kaaba, he (the unbeliever) met us by chance. His name was Abd al- Malik. His kunya was Abu Abd Allah.
His shoulder hit the shoulder of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. So, he (al- Sadiq) said to him: 'What is your name?' 'Abd al- Malik', answered the unbeliever." 'What is you kunya?' asked al- Sadiq. 'Abu Abd Allah,' answered the unbeliever. So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: 'Who is this king (Malik) whose servant is you? Is he among the kings of the earth or among the kings of the heavens? Then tell me about your son, is he the servant of the God of the heavens or the servant of the god of the earth? Say whatever you like.'
Then al- Sadiq said to the unbeliever: 'When I have finished the procession a round the Kaaba, come to me.' When Abu Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, finished that, the unbeliever came and sat before Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. We (Hisham and His companions) were sitting in the presence of al- Sadiq. Then, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) said to the unbeliever" Do you know that the earth has upper part and lower part?' 'Yes,' said the unbeliever.' 'Have you come in its lower part?' asked al- Sadiq. 'No,' answered the unbeliever.
'Do you know that there is something in its lower part?' asked al- Sadiq. The unbeliever answered: 'I do not know. However, I think that there is nothing in its lower part.' Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: 'Mere thinking is feebleness. Why aren't you certain?' Then, Abu Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, said: 'Have you ascended to the sky?' 'No,' answered the unbeliever.
Al- Sadiq ask: 'Do you know that it has something or not?' 'No,' answered the unbeliever. So, al- Sadiq said: 'How wonderful! You have not reached the east nor the west, you have not descended to the lower part of the earth nor have you ascended into the sky, nor have you gone any further to know what is beyond them. However, you have denied what they have, then does the wise man deny what he does not know?'
The unbeliever said to al- Sadiq: 'No one has told me about that except you.'
Then, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said to the unbeliever: 'Then you have doubt about that (the Creator). Perhaps, He is existent, and perhaps He is nonexistent.' The unbeliever person said: 'Maybe.' So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said:
'The person who does not know has no proof over him who knows. The ignorant person has no proof Brother of the people of Egypt, understand my words: We never doubt Allah. Do you not know that the sun and moon, day and night come successively, while they do no mistake, nor do they come back? They have been forced to do that. They have no place except their palaces. If they were able to leave their places, then why do they come back? Besides the one who has forced them to do that is wiser and greater than them.' So, the unbeliever said: 'You are right.'
Then Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: 'Brother of the people of Egypt, you think that the time forces them (the sun and the moon, day and night) to come successively, then why does the time not force them to come back? And if the time was able to force them to come back, why does it not take them away?
Brother of the people of Egypt, if they are forced (to do that), why is the sky raised? Why is the earth set? Why does the sky do not slope down the earth? Why does the earth do not slope down its layers? Why do the sky and the earth do not stick together? Why does what's on the earth not stick together?' The unbeliever person said: 'Their Lord and Master has prevented them (the sky and the earth) from sticking together.'
He (Hisham b. al- Hakam) said: 'So, the unbeliever believed in Allah with the help of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him.'" Then, Hamran b. A'yun said:
"May I be ransom for you, the unbelievers believed in Allah with the help of your father, too." Then the unbeliever who believed in Allah with the help of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said to al- Sadiq: "Make me among your students." So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: "Hisham, the teacher of the people of Sham (Syria) and Egypt, teach him belief." So, the inner self of the unbeliever became good. Then Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, was satisfied with him.
Another unbeliever came to al- Sadiq and asked him about something. The following are some extracts of them. The unbeliever asked him: "How do the creatures worship Allah, while they do not see Him?" Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, said: "The hearts have seen Him through the light of belief Reason has proven him through its attention as the faculty of sight. The eyes have seen Him through His good formation and firm regulation.
Then (people have known Allah) through the apostles and their proofs, the Books and their clear verses. And the scholars have limited themselves to what they have seen of His Greatness without seeing Him." The unbeliever said: "Is He not able to manifest Himself to people to know Him and to worship Him with conviction?" He (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: "There is no answer to the impossible things."
I (the author) say: The vision is proven for bodies. As Allah is not body, then seeing Him is impossible. The impossible thing cannot be achieved not because there is a defect in power but because of the defect in the impossible things.
Then, the unbeliever said: "How do you prove (the position of) the prophets and the Divine messengers?" He (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, answered: "As we have proven that there is One Creator for us, Who is far above us, and also far above all that has been created.
And that He is All-Wise, Most High, and the One who cannot possible be seen or sensed by His creatures so that there could be any direct relation between Him and His creatures or His creatures and Him, and so that He could argue with His creatures (to convince them) and His creatures could argue with Him (in their turn).
It is (therefore) proved that there are envoys (mab'uthin) to establish a relation between Him and His creatures to explain His purpose to His creatures and servants and to guide them towards what is good and profitable for them, and also towards that which preserves their existence and which, when it is abandoned, brings annihilation. Thus it has been proven that there are those among His creatures who command and forbid on behalf of (Allah), the All- knowing, the All- Wise, and who speak on behalf of Him, to whom belong Might and Majesty.
They are the prophets, the selected among His creatures, the wise who teach wisdom, and who are sent with wisdom (for His creatures). Although they have their form in common with (other) creatures, their states they do not share with them. They have been aided with wise proofs, such as giving life to the dead, healing the blind and the leprous, by (Allah) the All- Wise, the All- Knowing."
Then, the unbeliever said: "From which thing has He (Allah) created the things?" He (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: "From nothing." He (the unbeliever) said: "How is the thing created from nothing?"
He (al- Sadiq) said: "Either the things have been created from a thing or from nothing. If the things were created from a thing, then the thing would be eternal, and the eternal (thing) would not be originated or changed. Besides that thing would be one essence and one color, then from where have these different colors and many essences come in this world? From where has death come if the thing from which the things have been created is living? And from where has life come if that thing is dead?"
I (the author) say: Although this matter is very difficult, the Imam has clearly explained it according to logical reasons.
Then the unbeliever said: "From where have they (people) believed that the things are eternal?" He (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: "This is the thought of the people who denied the Creator of the things, accused the messengers and their thoughts of lying. They (people) called the Books of the prophets fables. They put religion for themselves according to their ideas and approval, while the things indicate their creation, such as the rotation of the orbit and what it has; they are seven orbits, the movement of the earth and what is on it, the change of time...."
Debate with Abu al- 'Awja'
Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, had many debates with b. Abu al- 'Awja'.
One of them is as follows:
One day, b. Abu al- 'Awja' and b. al- Muqaffa' were in al- Masjid al-Haram (the Holy Mosque in Mecca). Bin al- Muqaffa' said: "Look at those people, who are performing the procession a round the Kaaba. No one of them is worthy of the name of humanity except that Shaykh (he meant Abu Abd Allah Ja'far al- Sadiq, peace be on him) the rest are mere rabble and beasts. Bin Abu al- 'Awja' asked him: "Why have you excluded that Shaykh?"
Ibin al- Muqaffa' answered: "Because he has outstanding qualities of which none has." "I must test your words," bin Abu al- 'Awja' answered. Bin al- Muqaffa' said to him: "Do not do that, for I am afraid that he will abrogate your beliefs." "This is not your purpose. However, you are afraid that your opinion will be weak with me when I discover something contrary to his rank which you have described to me."
Bin al- Muqaffa' said: "Do not worry! Go and test him. Beware of giving free rein to your ideas so as not to overcome you." Ibin Abu Al- 'Awja' went to al-Sadiq. Then he came back and said: "Bin al- Muqaffa', woe unto you! This is not a human being." "What has happened to you?" asked b. alMuqaffa'. Bin Abu al- 'Awja' answered: "I attended his meeting. When there was no one there, he said to me: 'If the matter is according to what those believe, and it is according to their belief, then they will be saved, while you will be ruined. And if the matter is according to what you believe, and it is not according to your belief, then you and they are equal.'"
I (Bin Abu al- 'Awja') said: "May Allah have mercy upon you, what is the difference between their belief and ours? Their beliefand ours is the same." Al- Sadiq said: "How can your beliefand theirs be the same? They believe in Resurrection, the reward, the punishment. They believe that the sky has God, and it is inhabited, while you claim that the sky is destruction and has no one." He (Bin Abu al- 'Awja') said: "So, I seized the opportunity and said to him: 'If the matter is according to their belief, then what has prevented Him (Allah) from manifesting Himself to His creature to summon them to worship Him so as no two persons are disagreed on Him?
Why has he hidden Himself from them and sent the messengers to them? If He manifested Himself, people would believe in Him easily, "al-Sadiq said to me:
"Woe unto you! He Who has shown you His power in yourself, how has He hidden Himself from you? He has created you while you were nothing, made you grow up while you were a child, made you strong while you were weak. Now, think of your illness after your health, your health after your illness, your pleasure after your anger, your anger after your pleasure, your sorrow after your happiness, your happiness after your sorrow, your love after your hatred, your hatred after your love.... He (al- Sadiq) went on mentioning Allah's favors which are in myselfand which I cannot deny. So, I thought that He (Allah) would appear between him (al- Sadiq) and me."(230)
Abu Shakir al- Daysany, an Arab unbeliever, sometimes debated with al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and sometimes with Hisham b. al- Hakam. However, Hisham went to al- Sadiq, peace be on him, when al- Daysany asked him a certain question. One day, al- Daysany said to Hisham: "There is a verse in the Koran, which is our saying, (that there are two gods)."
Hisham said: "What is it (the verse)?" Al- Daysany answered: "And it is He Who in heaven is God and in earth is God."(231) Hisham said: "I did not know how to answer him. So, I went to perform the hajj and I told Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, about the question." Al- Sadiq said: "These are the words of an unbeliever.
When you come back, ask him: What is your name in Kufa? Surely, he will say by such and such name. Then ask him: 'What is your name in Basrah?' Surely he will reply by such and such name. Then you tell him: 'Such is our Lord, Allah, Who in heavens is God, in earth is God, in seas is God, in deserts is God. Thus, He is God at every place.'" Hisham said: "I came back to Kufa and went to Abu Shakir and gave him the reply." So, he said: "These words have been brought from Hijaz."(232)
The Outstanding Merit of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family:
Abu Khanis al- Kufi said: "I attended the meeting of al- Sadiq, peace be on him, and a group of the .Christians was in his presence. They (the Christians) said: 'The outstanding merit of Musa, 'Isa, and Mohammed is the same, for they, peace be on them, are the Owners of the Laws and the Books.' Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said:
'Mohammed is the best and the most knowledgeable of them, peace be on them. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has granted him knowledge of which He has granted none.' They (the Christians) said: 'Has any verse of the Koran been revealed in this respect?' Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: 'Yes.' These verse of Allah, the Exalted: 'And We ordained for him in the tablets admonition of every kind.'(233) His words to 'Isa: 'And that I may make clear to you part of what you differ in.'(234)
Allah, the Exalted, said to Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family,: 'And We will bring you as a witness against these- and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.'(235) 'So, that He may know that they have truly delivered the messages of their Lord, and He encompasses what is with them, and He records the number of all things.'(236) Then, by Allah, he (Mohammed) is the most knowledgeable of them. If Musa and 'Isa attended in my presence and asked me, I would answer them, and I asked them, they would not answer."'(237)
I (the author) say: As the Commander of the Faithful (Imam 'Ali) is the gate of the knowledge of the Prophet, and his sons has inherited his knowledge, then they (his sons) are the most knowledgeable of all men, the Prophets and the like.
Treating the Women with Justice:
An unbeliever said to Abu Ja'far al- Ahwal(238)." Tell me about the following Words of Allah, the Exalted: Then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then marry only one.'(239) and these Words of His: 'And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination.'(240)
There is a difference between these two verses." Abu Ja'far al- Ahwal said: "I had no answer. So, I went to Medina and came to Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, and asked him about the difference between the two verses." Al- Sadiq said: "As for the verse: But if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then marry only one, He (Allah) has meant the expenses. And as for the verse: And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), He (Allah) has meant love, for no one is able to do justice to two wives in love." Then Abu Ja'far came back to the unbeliever carrying the answer. But the unbeliever said: 'You have brought this answer from Hijaz."'(241)
Debate with the Mu'tazelites:
A group of the Mu'tazelites came to al- Sadiq, peace be on him. Among them were 'Amru b. 'Ubayd, Wasil b. 'Ata', Hafs b. Salim, and the like. They came to al- Sadiq after al- Walid had been killed and the people of Sham (Syria) differed in opinion. They talked very much. So, al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said to them: 'You have talked very much to me, then entrust your matter to a man of you to speak briefly about your proof.'" So, they entrusted their matter to 'Amru b. 'Ubayd, who spoke at great length about the matter. Some of his speech is as follows:
"The people of Sham killed their Caliph. Allah has hit some of them with some of them. So, the have differed in opinion. We had thought of a man (to lead us), then we have found the man with religion, reason, manhood, worthiness of the Caliphate. He is Mohammed b. Abd Allah b. al- Hasan.
We want to nominate him, support him, then we declare our matter through him, and summon people to nominate him. So, whoever nominates him, we will be with him and be with us. Whoever isolates himself from us, we will isolate ourselves from him. Whoever shows enmity toward us, we will fight against him and show enmity toward him due to his enmity and bring him back to the true religion and its people. So, we have decided to submit this matter to you because we are in need of you, and you have outstanding merits and many followers(Shi'a)."
When 'Amru had finished his speech, Abu Abd Allah said: "Do you accept 'Amru's words?' 'Yes, they said, Then, Abu Abd Allah praised Allah and lauded Him and asked Allah to bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and then he said: 'Indeed, we become indignant when Allah is disobeyed and we become pleased when He is obeyed. 'Amru, tell me: If the community entrusted its affairs to you and you ruled it without fighting nor provisions, then it was said to you: Nominate the ruler whomever you want over it (the community), whom will you nominate?' 'Amru said: 'I will make it (authority) consultation among the Muslims.'
Al- Sadiq said: 'Among them all?' 'Yes,' said 'Amru. Al- Sadiq said: 'Among their jurists and their good ones?' 'Yes,' 'Amru said. Al-Sadiq said: 'Quraysh and other than them?'
'Arabs and non Arabs,' 'Amru said: 'Yes.' Al- Sadiq said: "Amru, will you support Abu Bakr and 'Umar or renounce them?' 'I will support them,' said 'Amru. Al- Sadiq said: ''Amru, if you are man, then renounce them, for it is permitted for you to disobey them. If you support them, then I disobey them. That is because 'Umar nominated Abu Bakr and did not ask the advice of anyone. Then, 'Umar made the Caliphate consultation among six persons.
He excluded the Ansar and chose those six persons from Quraysh. Then he gave his orders to men concerning those six person. I think that neither you nor your companions accept them.' 'What did 'Umar order men to do?' asked 'Amru. Al- Sadiq answered: ''Umar ordered Suhayb to lead people in prayers for three days.
Those six persons should ask the advice of each other. No one should be among them except 'Umar's son. They should ask the advice of 'Umar's son but he had no right in the Caliphate. He ordered the Muhajrin (immigrants) and Ansars (the supporters) to behead those six persons if they did not elect one of them during the three days.
And if four of the six persons held a meeting before the three days end and two persons absented themselves from the meeting, then the two persons had to be killed. Do you accept these deeds concerning consultation which you intend to summon Muslims to?' 'No,' they said. Al- Sadiq said: 'Amru, leave this. Suppose that you have nominated your companion and all Muslim community accepted that, then will you reach the atheists?' 'Yes,' the said. Al- Sadiq said: 'What will you do?' 'Amru said: "We will summon them to Islam. When they refuse that, we will impose poll tax on them.' Al- Sadiq said: 'What will you do when they are magians, fire and animal worshippers, and are not from the followers of the Divine Books?' 'They are equal,' 'Amru answered.
Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: 'Tell me: Do you read the Koran?' "Yes," 'Amru answered. Al- Sadiq said: 'Read (this) verse: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay poll tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.'(242) 'Amru said: 'Allah, the Great and Almighty, has regarded them as equal.' 'From whom have you learned that?" asked al- Sadiq. 'I have heard people say that.' Answered 'Amru.
Al- Sadiq said: 'Now, leave that. Suppose that they (non- Muslims) refused to pay poll tax and you fought against them and defeated them, then how would you divide the booty?" 'Amru answered: 'I take out one fifth (Khoms) and divided four fifths among the fighters.' Al- Sadiq asked: 'You divide the booty among all the fighters?' 'Yes,' 'Amru answered. Al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said: 'Then you disagree with Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, on his acts and behavior. Between you and I are the jurists of Medina and their Shaykhs. Ask them.
They are all in agreement that Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, made peace with the Bedouins (A'rab) to let them live in their houses and that they had not to immigrate. However, when his enemies attacked him, he mobilized them (the Bedouins) and gave them nothing of the booty, while you say that you divide booty equally among them. So, you are in disagreement with Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, on his behavior toward the atheists.'
Al- Sadiq said: 'Now,leave that. What is about alms?' 'Amru read this verse: 'Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over it (alms)...."(243) Al- Sadiq said: 'Yes, how do you divide it (alms) among them?'
'Amru answered: 'I divide it into eight shares. So, I give each group a share.' Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: 'If one group is ten thousands people, and one group is one or two or three people, then you have made the share of the second group as the share of the first group?' 'Yes,' 'Amru answered. Al- Sadiq said:
'Do you divide alms equally among the people of towns and the people of the deserts?' 'Yes,' 'Amru answered. Al- Sadiq said: 'Then, you are in disagreement with Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, on his behavior. Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, divided the alms of the deserts, the alms of towns among the people of the towns. He did not divided alms equally among them. He divided alms among those who came to him and those whom he saw. Then, if you have doubt about what I have said, the jurists of the people of Medina and their Shaykhs are all in agreement that Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, did that.'
Then, al- Sadiq turned to 'Amru and said: ''Amru, fear Allah. You, people, fear Allah, too. That is because my father, who was the best of the people of the earth and the most knowledgeable of them in Allah's Book and the Sunna of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has told me: 'Whoever hits people with his sword and summons them to himself, and there is (a person) more knowledgeable than him among the Muslims is astray and pretending.'"(244)
His Debates on Religious Devotion:
Sufyan al- Thawry came to al- Sadiq, peace be on him. He saw him wearing clothes as white as the shell of the egg. He said to him: "These clothes do not suite you." Al- Sadiq said to him: "Listen to my words. It is better for you sooner or later when you follow the Sunna and the truth and do not follow the heresy."
"I tell you that Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, lived during the time of destitution. However, when life is prosperous, then those who are worthy of it are the righteous not the sinners, the believers not the hypocrites, and the Muslims not the unbelievers. Then why have you criticized me, Thawri? By Allah, I have adopted what you see since I became a grown- up. In the meantime, I always carry out Allah's orders concerning my property."
A group of people who affected religious devotion and summoned people to be like them in renouncing worldly pleasure. They said to him: "Our companion is unable to express himself and his proofs do not come to his mind." Al- Sadiq said to them: "Give me your proofs." They said to him: "Our proofs are from Allah's Book."
Al- Sadiq said to them: "Say them, for they are the best things which we should follow and put into effect." They said: "Telling about a group of the companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, Allah, the Great and Almighty, says: "And prefer them before themselves though poverty may afflict them, and whoever is preserved from the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones."(245) So, Allah has lauded their deeds. In another place, Allah says: "And they give food out of love for Him (Allah) for the poor and the orphan and the captive."(246)
A man of those who were sitting said: "We have seen that you order people to refrain from good food, while you order people to pay a share of their properties to enjoy yourselves with it." Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) said to them: "Put aside what does not avail you. Tell me, people, are you acquainted with the abrogating and abrogated verses of the Koran, the clear and allegorical verses of it? That is because many people of this community got ruined due to such kind of verses."
They said to him: "Some of these verses, not all of them." Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said to them: From here, you have come.
Also you should be acquainted with the traditions of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. As for the verses which you have mentioned to us from the Book of Allah, and which are concerning the people whose deeds Allah praised, their food was permitted, and Allah did not prohibit them from that. Also their rewards will be from Allah, the Great and Almighty.
Then Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, prohibited them from that. So, His order abrogated their (previous) acts. Also His order was as mercy from Him toward the believers so as not to harm themselves and their families because they had weak children, old men, and old women. ( For example), If I gave my loaf of bread as alms, while I had no loaf other than it, then they (my family) would get ruined.
For this reason, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: 'When the person has five dates or five loaves of bread or dinners or dirhams and he wants to spend them, then the best persons to be spent on are his parents, himself and his family, his poor relatives, his poor neighbors, and in the way of Allah."'
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to the Ansari, who released five or six slaves during his death while he had none other than them and he had little children: "If you had told me about his deed, I would have not allowed you to bury him with the Muslims. That is because he has forced his children to ask people for alms."
Then, al- Sadiq said: "My father has told me on the authority of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: 'Start with those whom you maintain, the nearest, the nearer, the near."
Then, al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: "Now, listen to this verse from the Book, which is regarded as an answer to your words and an imposed order from Allah, the Almighty, the Wise: 'And they who when they spend, are neither extravagant nor parsimonious, and (keep) between these the just men.'(247) Do not you see that these Words of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, are contrary to what you have summoned people to?"
"So, people, conform to the manners which Allah has legislated to the believers. Confine yourselves to what He has bidden and what He has forbidden. Leave what you do not know. Learn knowledge from its people so that Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, shall forgive you and reward you. Learn the abrogating and abrogated verses, the clear and allegorical verses, the lawful and unlawful in the Koran. All these things draw you nearer to Allah and make you far from ignorance. Leave ignorance to its people. That is because the people of ignorance are many, and the people of knowledge are few. So, Allah, the Great and Almighty has said: 'And above every owner of knowledge is the All- knowing one."'(248)
His Debate on Truthfulness:
Without doubt people become ignorant and astray when they depend on their own viewpoints and do not consult the people of true knowledge. So, the ignorant person goes astray in the methods of ignorance. However, he thinks that he is knowledgeable in the true religious law.
There was a debate between al- Sadiq, peace be on him, and an ignorant person who affected knowledge in truthfulness. Al- Sadiq himself has told us about this debate. He has said:
"Indeed, whoever follows his desire and admires his idea becomes like that person whom ignorant people regarded as great. I saw a group of people surrounding him. So, I wanted to meet him. He deceived that group of people, then he left them. I followed him. Soon, he passed by a baker. He made the baker heedless and took two loaves of bread from his bakery. I was astonished at him, then I talked to myself: Perhaps, he is his customer. Then, I said: Why has he stolen the two loaves of bread? Then, I went on following him. Soon, he passed by pomegranate seller. He made him heedless and took two pomegranates.
I was astonished at him, and then I said to myself: Perhaps, he is his customer. Then I said: Why has he stolen them? Then I went on following him till he passed by a sick person. He put the two loaves of bread and the two pomegranates before a sick person.
Then I (al- Sadiq) asked him about his act. He said: 'perhaps, you are Ja'far b. Mohammed?' 'Yes,' I said. He said to me: 'What does your noble origin avail you while you are ignorant?' 'Which verse of the Koran am I ignorant at?' I asked. He said these Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty.' Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings and evil deed he shall be recompensed only with the like of it.'(249)
'When I stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And When I stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. So, these are four evil deeds. When I gave each one of them as alms, Allah has subtracted 4 evil deeds from 40 good deeds. So, I have 36 good deeds.' I (al- Sadiq) said: 'May your mother lose you! It is you who are ignorant at the Book of Allah. Have you not heard that Allah said:
"(Allah) accepts (deeds) from the pious only.' When you stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And when you stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. And when you gave them to other than their owner without the permission of their owner, you have added four evil deeds to four evil deeds, and you have not added four evil deeds to forty good deeds. So, he began looking at me. Then I left him and went away."'
Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: "They (the ignorant) mislead (people) and go astray with this ugly, hateful explanation."(250)
230 Al- Kafi, al- Tawhid.
231 al- Zukhruf, 84.
232 al- Kafi, Chapter on Movement and Mobility.
233 al- A'raf, 145.
234 al- Zukhruf, 63.
235 al-Nahl, 89.
236 al- Jinn, 28.
237 Bihar al- Anwar, 10/215/15.
238 Mu'min al- Taq. We will mention him with His Reliable Narrators.
239 al-Nisa', 3.
240 Ibid, 129.
241 Bihar al- Anwar. 10/202/6.
242 al- Tawba, 29
243 al- Tawba, 60.
244 al- Tubrisy, al- Ihtijaj.
245 al- Hashr, 9.
246 al- Dahr, 8.
247 al- Furqan, 67.
248 Yousif 76.
249 al-An'am, 160.
250 Wasa'il al- Shi'a, 2/57.