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In the Name of God بسم الله

Strong Shi'i Hadiths on the explicit appointment of Imam Ali (as) by the Prophet (s)


Ayuoobi

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

I was engaged in a discussion with a Sunni brother and he requested that I bring forward ahaadith whose chains are strong by our own standards regarding the very explicit appointment of Imam Ali (عليه السلام) by the Prophet (s). What follows is some research I've collected. I have not personally graded these chains nor have I even confirmed their strength; most of these ahaadith are graded by Ayatollah Zanjani, some by Ayatollah Aasif Muhsini or others. At any rate, I request the brothers here to post in the comments if they have anything to say about the chains or the correctness of the sanad evaluation. Note also, that these translations are not mine; anything from Al-Amaali of al-Saduq was done by @Qa'im, may Allah reward him, and most of the ahaadith from Uyoon Akhbar al-Ridha were taken from thaqalayn.net; other translations were found spuriously from various sources.

 

It is worth mentioning that in Bihar al-Anwar there are 528 hadiths in the section "chapters on the texts appointing the Commander of the Faithful (Ali) and on the 12 Imams." The vast majority of these ahaadith, however, have weak chains (as is usually the case with ahaadith generally, even in Sunni books.) For this reason, I have compiled a few ahaadith with stronger chains in which Imam Ali (عليه السلام) is clearly being mentioned as the Prophet's successor in a clear manner so that we can use the plethora of weak ahaadith to show that the meaning indicated in these ahaadith is mutawaatir. The plethora of weak hadiths act as additional proof to raise our confidence to certainty. This is because it is impossible for so many independent chains of narrators to have conspired and agreed upon a lie, throughout different times, locations, etc. The existence of even a single sahih hadith in addition to dozens of independent weak chains pointing to the same meaning means that there is no room for doubt about the correctness of that meaning. This would mean that it is beyond doubt that the general teaching that Imam Ali (عليه السلام) was appointed directly from the Prophet (s) was indeed taught by the Imams, as the Rafidha claim. 

 

1.  

  الأمالی للصدوق ج1، ص 360، ح12 

صحيح

حدثنا جعفر بن محمد بن مسرور قال حدثنا الحسين بن محمد بن عامر عن عمه عن محمد بن أبي عمير عن سليمان بن مهران عن الصادق جعفر بن محمد ع عن أبيه محمد بن علي ع عن أبيه علي بن الحسين ع عن أبيه الحسين بن علي ع عن أبيه علي بن أبي طالب ع قال قال رسول الله ص [ يا علي أنت أخي و أنا أخوك يا علي أنت مني و أنا منك يا علي أنت وصيي و خليفتي و حجة الله على أمتي بعدي لقد سعد من تولاك و شقي من عاداك.]

Ja`far b. Muhammad b. Masrur narrated to us. He said: Al-Husayn b. Muhammad b. `Amer narrated to us from his uncle from Muhammad b. Abi `Umayr from Sulayman b. Mehran from al-Sadiq Ja`far b. Muhammad (عليه السلام) from his father Muhammad b. `Ali (عليه السلام) from his father `Ali b. al-Husayn (عليه السلام) from his father al-Husayn b. `Ali (عليه السلام) from his father `Ali b. Abi Talib (عليه السلام).

He said: The Messenger of Allah (s) said: O `Ali! You are my brother and I am your brother. O `Ali! You are from me and I am from you. O `Ali! You are my deputy, my vicegerent, and the Proof of Allah over my Nation after me. Whoever aligns with you will be happy, and whoever opposes you will be wretched.

Grading: Saheeh

2. 

عيون أخبار الرضا (ع) ج2 ص6 ح13

صحیح /


 حَدَّثَنا حَمْزَة بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدِ بْنِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ زَيد بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ الحُسَيْن بْنِ علي بن أَبي طالِب عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ بقم فِي رَجَب سِنَةَ تِسْعَ وَثَلاثِينَ وَثَلاثِمائَةٍ قالَ: حَدَّثَني أَبي عَنْ ياسر الخادِم، عَن أَبي الحَسَن عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُوسَى الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبيهِ، عَن آبائِهِ، عَن الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قالَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ لِعَلِيٍّ: يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ حُجَّةُ اللَّهِ وَأَنْتَ بَابُ اللَّهِ وَأَنْتَ الطَّرِيقُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَنْتَ النَّبَأُ الْعَظِيمُ وَأَنْتَ الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمَثَلُ الأَعْلى.    يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ إِمَامُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَأَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَخَيْرُ الْوَصِيِّينَ وَسَيِّدُ الصِّدِّيقِينَ.    يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ الْفَارُوقُ الأَعْظَمُ وَأَنْتَ الصِّدِّيقُ الأَكْبَرُ.    يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ خَلِيفَتِي عَلَى أُمَّتِي وَأَنْتَ قَاضِي دَيْنِي وَأَنْتَ مُنْجِزُ عِدَاتِي.    يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ الْمَظْلُومُ بَعْدِي يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ الْمُفَارِقُ بَعْدِي يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ الْمَهْجُورُ بَعْدِي. أُشْهِدُ     اللَّهَ تَعَالَى وَمَنْ حَضَرَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَنَّ حِزْبَكَ حِزْبِي وَحِزْبِي حِزْبُ اللَّهِ وَأَنَّ حِزْبَ أَعْدَائِكِ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ.     (`Uyoon Akhbar ar-Rida)|

 

The Messenger of Allah [s] said to Ali [a]:     "O Ali, you are the Proof of Allah   and you are the Gate of Allah   and you are the Path to Allah   and you are the great tiding   and you are straight path   and you are the supreme example!     O Ali, you are Imam of the Muslims and the Commander of the Faithful   and the best of the trustees   and the master of the truthful!     O Ali, you are the great criterion   and you are the great saint!     O Ali, you are my caliph upon my nation after me   and you are the judge in my religion   and you are the one who will fulfill my promises!     O Ali, you will be oppressed after me!   O Ali, you will be abandoned after me!   O Ali, you will be forsaken after me!   I testify to Allah and take those who are present in my community as witnesses that your party is my party and my party is the party of Allah and the party of your enemies is the party of Satan."  

(Translation by @Qa'im)

Grading: Saheeh

 

3. 

عيون أخبار الرضا (ع)، ج2، ص13، ح30

 صحیح

30 - حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِى ماجِيلوَيْه وَأَحْمَدِ بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ إِبراهِيمِ بْنِ هاشِمٍ وَأَحْمَد بْنِ جَعْفَر الْهَمَذانيّ - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ - قالُوا: حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ إِبراهِيمِ بْنِ هاشِمٍ، عَنْ أَبيهِ، عَنْ مَعبَدٍ عَنِ الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ خالِدٍ عَنِ الرِّضا عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُوسَى، عَنْ أَبيهِ مُوسَى بْنِ جَعْفَر، عَنْ أَبيهِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّد، عَن أبِيهِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِىٍّ، عَنْ أَبيهِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ الحُسَيْن، عَنْ أَبيهِ الحُسَيْنُ بْنُ عَلِىٍّ، عَنْ أَبيهِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ أَبي طالِب‏ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلاَمُ قالَ: قالَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ: لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ صِدِّيقٌ وَفَارُوقٌ وَصِدِّيقُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ وَفَارُوقُهَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ إِنَّ عَلِيّاً سَفِينَةُ نَجَاتِهَا وَبَابُ حِطَّتِهَا إِنَّهُ يُوشَعُهَا وَشَمْعُونُهَا وَذُو قَرْنَيْهَا مَعَاشِرَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ عَلِيّاً خَلِيفَةُ اللَّهِ وَخَلِيفَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ بَعْدِي وَإِنَّهُ لامِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَخَيْرُ الْوَصِيِّينَ مَنْ نَازَعَهُ فَقَدْ نَازَعَنِي وَمَنْ ظَلَمَهُ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَنِي وَمَنْ غَالَبَهُ فَقَدْ غَالَبَنِي وَمَنْ بَرَّهُ فَقَدْ بَرَّنِي وَمَنْ جَفَاهُ فَقَدْ جَفَانِي وَمَنْ عَادَاهُ فَقَدْ عَادَانِي وَمَنْ وَالاهُ فَقَدْ وَالانِي وَذَلِكَ أَنَّهُ أَخِي وَوَزِيرِي وَمَخْلُوقٌ مِنْ طِينَتِي وَكُنْتُ أَنَا وَإِيَّاهُ نُوراً وَاحِداً.

 

30-30 Muhammad ibn Ali Majiluwayh, Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem, and Ahmad ibn Ziyad ibn Ja’far al-Hamadani - may God be pleased with them - narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father, on the authority of Ali ibn Ma’bad, on the authority of Al-Husayn ibn Khalid, on the authority of Al-Ridha’ Ali ibn Musa ((عليه السلام).), on the authority of his father Musa ibn Ja’far ((عليه السلام).), on the authority of his father Ja’far ibn Muhammad ((عليه السلام).), on the authority of his

father Muhammad ibn Ali ((عليه السلام).), on the authority of Ali ibn Al-Husayn ((عليه السلام).), on the authority of his father Al-Husayn ibn Ali ((عليه السلام).), on the authority of his father Ali ibn Abi Talib ((عليه السلام).), “God’s Prophet (S) said, There is a companion and one who distinguishes truth from falsehood for every nation. The one for this nation is Ali ibn Abi Talib. He is the ship of salvation. He is its gate of repentance. He is like its Yosha’, Sham’oon, and Thul-Qarnayn. O people! Ali is God’s vicegerent and my Caliph after me. He is the Commander of the Faithful. He is the best of the Trustees. Whoever fights with him has indeed fought with me. Whoever oppresses him has indeed oppressed me. Whoever overcomes him has indeed overcome me. Whoever does him good has indeed done good to me. Whoever mistreats him has indeed mistreated me. Whoever is his enemy is indeed my enemy. Whoever is his friend is indeed my friend, since he is my brother and Vizier. He has been created from the same essence that I have been created from. He and I are but one and the same light.’”

Grading: Saheeh

 

4.

كمال الدين، ج1، ص260، ح6

 / صحیح /

 حدثنا محمد بن علي ماجيلويه قال حدثنا علي بن إبراهيم عن أبيه عن علي بن معبد عن الحسين بن خالد عن علي بن موسى الرضا ع عن أبيه ع عن آبائه ع قال قال رسول الله ص [ من أحب أن يتمسك بديني و يركب سفينة النجاة بعدي فليقتد بعلي بن أبي طالب و ليعاد عدوه و ليوال وليه فإنه وصيي و خليفتي على أمتي في حياتي و بعد وفاتي و هو إمام كل مسلم و أمير كل مؤمن بعدي قوله قولي و أمره أمري و نهيه نهيي و تابعه تابعي و ناصره ناصري و خاذله خاذلي ثم قال عليه السلام من فارق عليا بعدي لم يرني و لم أره يوم القيامة و من خالف عليا حرم الله عليه الجنة و جعل مأواه النار و بئس المصير و من خذل عليا خذله الله يوم يعرض عليه و من نصر عليا نصره الله يوم يلقاه و لقنه حجته عند المساءلة ثم قال عليه السلام الحسن و الحسين إماما أمتي بعد أبيهما و سيدا شباب أهل الجنة و أمهما سيدة نساء العالمين و أبوهما سيد الوصيين و من ولد الحسين تسعة أئمة تاسعهم القائم من ولدي طاعتهم طاعتي و معصيتهم معصيتي - إلى الله أشكو المنكرين لفضلهم و المضيعين لحرمتهم بعدي و كفى بالله ولي ا و ناصرا لعترتي و أئمة أمتي و منتقما من الجاحدين لحقهم و سيعلم الذين ظلموا أي منقلب ينقلبون.]

 

6 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali Majilaway: Narrated to us Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Ali bin Mabad from Husain bin Khalid from Ali Ibn Musa al-Reza (a.r.) from his father from his forefathers that the Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“Whoever desires to fasten unto my religion and board the ark of salvation after me, must follow Ali Ibn Abi Talib ((عليه السلام).), bear enmity against his enemies and befriend his friends. For sure, he is my successor and my caliph on my followers in my life and after my death. He is the chief of every Muslim and the chief of every believer after me. His saying is my saying, his command is my command, his prohibition is my prohibition, his follower is my follower, his helper is my helper and one who forsakes him has forsaken me.”

Then he continued, “Whoever separates from Ali ((عليه السلام).) after me, shall not see me and I will not see him on the Day of Judgment. Whoever opposes Ali ((عليه السلام).), Allah will make Paradise forbidden for him, his abode will be the Hell-fire, and evil will be his fate. Whoever forsakes Ali ((عليه السلام).), he will be forsaken on the Day of Presentation, and whoever helps Ali ((عليه السلام).) Allah will help him on the day he will meet Him. The Divine Proof (Hujjat) will prompt his answers to him on the day of questioning.”

Thereafter he said, “Hasan ((عليه السلام).) and Husain ((عليه السلام).) are the two Imams of my Ummah after their father and the leaders of the youth of Paradise. Their mother is the chief of the women of universe, and their father is the chief of the successors. From the descendants of Husain ((عليه السلام).), there will be nine Imams, and the ninth of them will be the Qaim of my progeny. Their obedience is my obedience and their defiance is my defiance. I will complain to Allah against those who challenge their superiority and deny their sanctity after me. Allah suffices as a Master and as a Helper for my progeny and the Imams of my Ummah, and as an Avenger for those who have denied them their rights.

وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنْقَلَبٍ يَنْقَلِبُونَ

And they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.

Grading: Sahih

 

5.

 

عيون أخبار الرضا (ع)،ج۱،ص۲۹۵،ح۵۳

/ موثق

 

48 - حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ بَكْرِ ان النقاش وَأَحْمَدِ بْنِ الحَسَن القَطَّانُ وَمُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدِ بْنِ إِبْراهِيم المعاذي وَمُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِبْراهيمِ بْنِ إِسْحاق المكتب قالُوا حَدَّثَنا أَبُو العَبَّاسِ أحْمَد بْنِ‏سَعِيدُ الهَمْدانِيَّ مَوْلى‏ بَنِي هاشِم قالَ: حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ الحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ فضال، عَن أَبيهِ، عَن أَبي الحَسَن عَلِىِّ بْنِ مُوسَى الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبيهِ مُوسَى بْنِ جَعْفَر عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ‏عَنْ أَبِيهِ الصَّادِق مُحَمَّد عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ عَن أَبيهِ الباقِر مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِى‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ عَنأَبيهِ زَيْنُ العابِدِينَ عَلِىِّ بْنِ الحُسَيْن‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبيهِ سَيِّد الشُّهَداءِ الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِى‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبيهِ سَيِّد الوَصِيِّين أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنين عَلِىِّ بْنِ أَبِي طالِب‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قالَ: إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ خَطَبَنَا ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَقَالَ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّهُ قَدْ أَقْبَلَ إِلَيْكُمْ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ بِالْبَرَكَةِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ شَهْرٌ هُوَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَفْضَلُ الشُّهُورِ وَأَيَّامُهُ أَفْضَلُ الأَيَّامِ وَلَيَالِيهِ أَفْضَلُ اللَّيَالِي وَسَاعَاتُهُ أَفْضَلُ السَّاعَاتِ هُوَشَهْرٌ دُعِيتُمْ فِيهِ إِلَى ضِيَافَةِ اللَّهِ وَجُعِلْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ كَرَامَةِ اللَّهِ أَنْفَاسُكُمْ فِيهِ تَسْبِيحٌ وَنَوْمُكُمْ فِيهِ عِبَادَةٌ وَعَمَلُكُمْ فِيهِ مَقْبُولٌ وَدُعَاؤُكُمْ فِيهِ مُسْتَجَابٌ فَسَلُوا اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ بِنِيَّاتٍ صَادِقَةٍ وَقُلُوبٍ طَاهِرَةٍ أَنْ يُوَفِّقَكُمْ لِصِيَامِهِ وَتِلاوَةِ كِتَابِهِ فَإِنَّ الشَّقِيَّ مَنْ حُرِمَ غُفْرَانَ اللَّهِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ الْعَظِيمِ وَاذْكُرُوا بِجُوعِكُمْ وَعَطَشِكُمْ فِيهِ جُوعَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَعَطَشَهُ وَتَصَدَّقُوا عَلَى فُقَرَائِكُمْ وَمَسَاكِينِكُمْ وَ قِّرُوا كِبَارَكُمْ وَارْحَمُوا صِغَارَكُمْ وَصِلُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ وَاحْفَظُوا أَلْسِنَتَكُمْ وَغُضُّوا عَمَّا لا يَحِلُّ النَّظَرُ إِلَيْهِ أَبْصَارَكُمْ وَعَمَّا لا يَحِلُّ الاسْتَِماعُ إِلَيْهِ أَسْمَاعَكُمْ وَتَحَنَّنُوا عَلَى أَيْتَامِ النَّاسِ يُتَحَنَّنْ عَلَى أَيْتَامِكُمْ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَارْفَعُوا إِلَيْهِ أَيْدِيَكُمْ بِالدُّعَاءِ فِي أَوْقَاتِ صَلَوَاتِكُمْ فَإِنَّهَا أَفْضَلُ السَّاعَاتِ يَنْظُرُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِيهَا بِالرَّحْمَةِ إِلَى عِبَادِهِ يُجِيبُهُمْ إِذَا نَاجَوْهُ وَيُلَبِّيهِمْ إِذَا نَادَوْهُ وَيَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُمْ إِذَا دَعَوْهُ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ مَرْهُونَةٌ بِأَعْمَالِكُمْ فَفُكُّوهَا بِاسْتِغْفَارِكُمْ وَظُهُورُكُمْ ثَقِيلَةٌ مِنْ أَوْزَارِكُمْ فَخَفِّفُوا عَنْهَا بِطُولِ سُجُودِكُمْ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ أَقْسَمَ بِعِزَّتِهِ أَنْ لا يُعَذِّبَ الْمُصَلِّينَ وَالسَّاجِدِينَ وَأَنْ لا يُرَوِّعَهُمْ بِالنَّارِ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الْعالَمِينَ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ فَطَّرَ مِنْكُمْ صَائِماً مُؤْمِناً فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ كَانَ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عِتْقُ رَقَبَةٍ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ لِمَا مَضَى مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ. قِيلَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ! وَلَيْسَ كُلُّنَـا يَقْـدِرُ عَلَى ذَلِــكَ. فَقَالَ‏ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وآلِهِ: اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ.إتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشَرْبَةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ. أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ حَسُنَ مِنْكُمْ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ خُلُقُهُ كَانَ لَهُ جَوَازاً عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيهِ الأَقْدَامُ وَمَنْ خَفَّفَ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ عَمَّا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُهُ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ حِسَابَهُ وَمَنْ كَفَّ فِيهِ شَرَّهُ كَفَّ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ غَضَبَهُ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ أَكْرَمَ فِيهِ يَتِيماً أَكْرَمَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ وَصَلَ فِيهِ رَحِمَهُ وَصَلَهُ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَتِهِ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ قَطَعَ فِيهِ رَحِمَهُ قَطَعَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ رَحْمَتَهُ يَوْمَ يَلْقَاهُ وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ فِيهِ بِصَلاةٍ كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بَرَاءَةً مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَنْ أَدَّى فِيهِ فَرْضاً كَانَ لَهُ ثَوَابُ مَنْ أَدَّى سَبْعِينَ فَرِيضَةً فِيَما سِوَاهُ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ وَمَنْ أَكْثَرَ فِيهِ مِنَ الصَّلاةِ عَلَيَّ ثَقَّلَ اللَّهُ مِيزَانَهُ يَوْمَ تَخِفُّ الْمَوَازِينُ وَمَنْ تَلا فِيهِ آيَةً مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ مَنْ خَتَمَ الْقُرْآنَ فِي غَيْرِهِ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ.أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ أَبْوَابَ الْجِنَانِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ مُفَتَّحَةٌ فَسَلُوا رَبَّكُمْ أَنْ لا يُغَلِّقَهَا عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَبْوَابَ النِّيرَانِ مُغَلَّقَةٌ فَسَلُوا رَبَّكُمْ أَنْ لا يُفَتِّحَهَا عَلَيْكُمْ وَالشَّيَاطِينَ مَغْلُولَةٌ فَسَلُوا رَبَّكُمْ أَنْ لا يُسَلِّطَهَا عَلَيْكُمْ.قَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَقُمْتُ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا أَفْضَلُ الأَعْمَالِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ؟فَقَالَ يَا أَبَا الْحَسَنِ أَفْضَلُ الأَعْمَالِ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ الْوَرَعُ عَن مَحَارِمِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. ثُمَّ بَكَى. فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا يُبْكِيكَ؟ فَقَالَ يَا عَلِيُّ أَبْكِي لِمَا يَسْتَحِلُّ مِنْكَ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ. كَأَنِّي بِكَ وَأَنْتَ تُصَلِّي لِرَبِّكَ وَقَدِ انْبَعَثَ أَشْقَى الأَوَّلِينَ شَقِيقُ عَاقِرِ نَاقَةِ ثَمُودَ فَضَرَبَكَ ضَرْبَةً عَلَى قَرْنِكَ فَخَضَبَ مِنْهَا لِحْيَتَكَ.قَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَذَلِكَ فِي سَلامَةٍ مِنْ دِينِي؟فَقَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فِي سَلامَةٍ مِنْ دِينِكَ.ثُمَّ قَالَ: يَا عَلِيُّ مَنْ قَتَلَكَ فَقَدْ قَتَلَنِي وَمَنْ أَبْغَضَكَ فَقَدْ أَبْغَضَنِي وَمَنْ سَبَّكَ فَقَدْ سَبَّنِي لأنَّكَ مِنِّي كَنَفْسِي رُوحُكَ مِنْ رُوحِي وَطِينَتُكَ مِنْ طِينَتِي إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى خَلَقَنِي وَإِيَّاكَ وَاصْطَفَانِي وَإِيَّاكَ وَاخْتَارَنِي لِلنُّبُوَّةِ وَاخْتَارَكَ لِلإِمَامَةِ وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ إِمَامَتَكَ فَقَدْ أَنْكَرَ نُبُوَّتِي.يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ وَصِيِّي وَأَبُو وُلْدِي وَزَوْجُ ابْنَتِي وَخَلِيفَتِي عَلَى أُمَّتِي فِي حَيَاتِي وَبَعْدَ مَوْتِي أَمْرُكَ أَمْرِي وَنَهْيُكَ نَهْيِي أُقْسِمُ بِالَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالنُّبُوَّةِ وَجَعَلَنِي خَيْرَ الْبَرِيَّةِ إِنَّكَ لَحُجَّةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ وَأَمِينُهُ عَلَى سِرِّهِ وَخَلِيفَتُهُ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ.

28-48 Muhammad ibn Bakran an-Naqash, Ahmad ibn Al-Hassan al-Qattan, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Mo’azi and Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Mokattib narrated that Abul Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Sa’eed al-Hamdani - a servant of the Hashemites - quoted on the authority of Ali ibn Al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Fadhdhal, on the authority of his father, on the authority of Abil Hassan Ali ibn Musa Al-Ridha (s), on the authority of his father Musa ibn Ja’far (s), on the authority of his father As-Sadiq Ja’far ibn Muhammad (s), on the authority of his father Al-Baqir Muhammad ibn Ali (s), on the authority of his father the Ornament of the Worshippers Ali ibn Al-Hussein (s), on the authority of his father the Master of the Martyrs Al-Hussein ibn Ali (s), on the authority of his father the Master of the Trustees and the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abi Talib (s) that one day God’s Prophet (s) delivered a sermon and said, “O people! The month of God (Ramadan) has come to you with blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. This is the noblest of the months to God. Its days are the noblest of the days. Its nights are the noblest of the nights. It is the month in which you have been invited to be God’s guests. You have been established as those honored by God in that month. Your breathing in this month is considered to be saying His Glorifications. Your sleeping in it is considered to be His worshipping, your deeds are accepted by Him and your supplications to Him are fulfilled. Then ask God - your Lord - with sincere intentions and pure hearts to help you succeed in His fasting and reciting His Book. Whoever gets deprived of God’s forgiveness in this great month is at a real loss. Remember the thirst and hunger of the Resurrection Day by experiencing this thirst and hunger. Give charity to your poor and indigent ones; respect your elder ones; be kind with the younger ones; visit your relations of kin; watch your tongues; lower your eyes from what your eyes are forbidden to look at; and guard your ears from what your ears are forbidden to hear. Be kind to other people’s orphans so that others may be kind to your orphans. Repent to God for your sins. Raise up your hands towards Him in supplication at the times of saying your prayers. These times are the noblest of the hours during which the Honorable the Exalted God looks upon His servants with Mercy, responds when they make supplications, replies to them when they call Him, and fulfills for them what they ask for. O people! You are tied down by your deeds. Free yourselves with your supplications. Your backs are overburdened with your sins. Make them lighter with extended prostrations. Know that the Sublime God has sworn by His Honor that He will not punish or throw into the Fire those who pray and fall in prostration on the Day on which all the people will rise for the Lord of the Worlds. O people! The reward with the Honorable the Exalted God for whoever provides for the breaking of the fast of any believer in this month is like that of freeing a slave and the forgiveness of all past sins.” The people said, “O Prophet of God! Not all of us are able to do that.” Then the Prophet (s) said, “Fend off the Fire from yourselves (by providing for the breaking of the fast of any believer) - even if it be with a piece of a date. Fend off the Fire from yourselves (by providing for the breaking of the fast of any believer) even if it be with a sip of water. O people! Whoever is good-tempered in this month will easily cross the Bridge on the Day (of Judgment) on which one’s steps are not firm. God will ease the reckoning of whoever takes it easy with those whom his right hand possesses (slaves) in this month. On the Day one meets God, God will withhold His Wrath from whoever controls his wickedness in this month. On the Day one meets God, God will honor whoever honors an orphan in this month. On the Day one meets God, He will shower His Mercy upon whoever maintains family ties in this month. God will deprive from His Mercy whoever breaks off his family ties in this month. God will record freedom from the Fire for whoever says one unit of recommendable prayers. The reward of whoever performs an obligatory deed in this month is seventy times that of one who performs the same deed in other months. The Balance of Deeds of whoever sends blessings upon me a lot will be more positive on the (Judgement) Day on which the Balance of Deeds are negative. The reward of whoever recites one verse of the Quran in this month is like the reward of one who recites the whole Quran in other months. O people! The gates of Paradise are open in this month. Then ask your Lord not to close them on you. And the gates of the Fire are closed. Then ask your Lord not to open them up to you. Satan is chained down. Then ask your Lord not to let him overcome you.” The Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) (s) said, “I stood up and said, ‘O Prophet of God! What are the noblest of the deeds in this month?’ The Prophet (s) said, “O Abul Hassan (s)! The noblest of the deeds in this month are abstaining from what the Honorable the Exalted God has forbidden.” Then the Prophet (s) cried. I asked him (s), “O Prophet of God! Why did you cry?” The Prophet (s) said, “O Ali! I cried for what will be done to you in this month. It is as if I see you while you are praying to your Lord and the nastiest of those of old or those of later times - as nasty as he who killed the she-camel of Thamud - will stand up and deliver such a blow to your head that your beard will get stained (with blood).” The Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) (s) said, “O Prophet of God! Will my religion remain intact in this situation?” The Prophet (s) said, “Your religion is intact.” The Prophet (s) then added, “O Ali! Whoever kills you has indeed killed me. Whoever despises you has indeed despised me. Whoever swears at you has indeed sworn at me. This is because you are from me and just like myself. Your spirit is from my spirit. Your clay is from my clay. In fact, the Blessed the Sublime God has created you and me, and appointed you and me. God chose me for the Prophethood and chose you for the Divine Leadership. Whoever denies your Divine Leadership has, in fact, denied my Prophethood. O Ali! You are my Trustee, the father of my grandchildren, the spouse of my daughter, the Caliph over my nation during and after my life. Your orders are just like my orders. Your admonishing is just like my admonishing. I swear by Him who has appointed me to the Prophethood and established me as the best of the people that you are God’s Proof for His creatures, the one entrusted with His Secrets and His Successor over His servants.”

Grading:

Muwatthaq (Zanjani's rating)

Shaykh Asif al-Mohseni: معتبر - Mashra’at Bihar al-Anwar (2/458)

 

Same hadith with slightly different isnad:

فضائل الأشهر الثلاثة،ج۱،ص۷۷،ح۶۱ / موثق / حدثنا محمد بن إبراهيم بن إسحاق قال حدثنا أحمد بن محمد الهمداني قال حدثنا علي بن الحسن بن علي بن فضال عن أبيه عن أبي الحسن علي بن موسى الرضا ع عن أبيه موسى بن جعفر ع عن أبيه الصادق جعفر بن محمد ع عن أبيه الباقر ع عن أبيه زين العابدين ع عن أبيه سيد الشهداء الحسين بن علي ع عن أبيه سيد الوصيين أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب ع قال إن رسول الله ص خطبنا [ إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و آله خطبنا ذات يوم

 

6.

 From: http://www.revivingalislam.com/2010/10/hadeeth-al-thaqalayn-in-sheeah-book.html

حدثنا محمد بن زياد بن جعفر الهمداني رضي الله عنه قال حدثنا علي بن إبراهيم بن هاشم عن أبيه عن محمد بن أبي عمير عن غياث بن إبراهيم عن الصادق جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه محمد بن علي عن أبيه علي بن الحسين عن أبيه الحسين بن علي ع قال سئل أمير المؤمنين ص عن معنى قول رسول الله ص إني مخلف فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله و عترتي من العترة فقال أنا و الحسن و الحسين و الأئمة التسعة من ولد الحسين تاسعهم مهديهم و قائمهم لا يفارقون كتاب الله و لا يفارقهم حتى يردوا على رسول الله ص حوضه

 

Translation:  Ameer al-Mu'mineen was asked  about the Messenger of Allah's (SAWAS) words "I am leaving among you two weighty things, the Book of Allaah (Quran) and my progeny" 'Who is the progeny (`itrah)?'.  So he (Imam `Alee) said I, Hasan, Husayn and the 9 Imams from the children (i.e lineage) of Husain and the 9th from them is Al-Qaa’im and the Mahdee, and they will not separate from the Book of Allaah until they reach Messenger of Allaah at the Hawd (Pond of Kawthar).

 

Source:  Shaykh Sadooq, Kamaal al-Deen, pg. 240-241 Hadith # 64

 

This hadeeth has a great chain and would be graded Hasan Kal-SaHeeH (Hasan like a SaHeeH (hadeeth)), and that is only because of Ibraaheem bin Haashim Al-Qummee. All narrators in the isnaad are thiqaat (pl. thiqah).

 

One correction Muhammad bin Ziyaad bin Ja`far Al-Hamadaanee is actually aHmad bin Ziyaad bin Ja`far Al-Hamadaanee, there seems to be a mistake in the transcription in the hadeeth, but the tabaqah (path) of their narration are the same.

 

Conclusion

There were some other ahaadith I could have included here, but inshaAllah this suffices to prove the point. We have multiple attestations in Shi'i books that the Prophet (s) explicitly and implicitly appointed Imam Ali (عليه السلام) such that this is considered one of the musalaamaat (things taken from granted) within the madhhab. We are therefore certain that the Imams themselves taught this central doctrine. The following questions then emerge:

  1. Why do the majority of Ahlul Sunnah deny that the Imams (عليه السلام) taught this doctrine? Is it really reasonable to deny hundreds of ahaadith as being the lies of the raafidha, while claiming the Imams had no hand in spreading this doctrine?
  2. If one acknowledges that the Imams indeed taught this doctrine, do they believe that the Imams were liars? For example, did Imam al-Ridah or Imam al-Sadiq simply fabricate this view from thin air? Why were they considered to be trustworthy by their contemporaries - indeed their chain of transmission is called the Golden Chain?
  3. Why is it that even in Sunni books, we find indications that Imam Ali (عليه السلام) believed himself to be the rightful caliph after the Prophet? Was Imam Ali (عليه السلام) mistaken?
  4. Why is it that these hundreds of ahaadith from the Shi'i side are not taken as a qareenah (corroborating evidence) as to what the Prophet (s) meant in the many ahaadith found in Sunni books which seem to indicate that the Prophet was appointing Imam Ali (عليه السلام)? Why is there is an insistence that hadith al-thaqalayn meant merely to love the household (not follow them), or that the meaning of "mawlaa" in hadith al-ghadeer does not mean master, when the Ahlul Bayt themselves are clearly saying otherwise?

 

A Clarification: Is this post pointless?

A brother reached out to me asking for some clarification as to the point of this post, as it is a circular argument. I thought I had made it clear in the very first sentence of this post that a Sunni brother requested that I show him a shi'i hadith that:

  1. Is strong by shi'i standards
  2. Goes back to an explicit statement of the Prophet (i.e. it is not Imam al-Sadiq saying the Prophet appointed Imam Ali in his view, but rather Imam al-Sadiq quoting the Prophet, for example.)
  3. It should indicate the appointment of Imam Ali without there being any other reading of the text (unlike in strong sunni versions of hadith al-thaqalayn or hadith al-ghadeer in which there is a debate about what certain words mean etc.)

The reason is because he felt that if the Shia did not have a strong hadith going back to the Prophet (s) in which the appointment of Imam Ali was not crystal clear, our argument fails before it even gets off the ground because, in his words, "succession is not indicated by ambiguous statements from which we must infer what is meant." Upon his request I tried looking through 3 or 4 baabs of al-kaafi only to be disappointed (the hadiths either didn't quote the Prophet directly, or else they did not contain the explicit words that the Sunni brother was looking for, or they were weak by our own standards). I looked online, thinking that surely someone must of done this before me, but in fact I couldn't find anything. I therefore decided to put together what I found in this post for others to benefit, in case they are ever asked this question in the future.

The only inference I actually *do* think is a valid one is that the 500+ ahaadith in Bihar amount to evidence that the followers of the Imams were not the ones who made up the doctrine that Imam Ali was explicitly appointed, but rather that this was what their Imams taught them. In other words, if Sunnis want to call the Raafidha liars, they should start with Imam al-Sadiq rather than Hisham ibn al-Hakam. The reason for this is because even by secular historical standards, the sheer volume of narrations, chains etc that lead back to the Imams with this explicit claim make it hard to believe that dozens of independent individuals fabricated the whole thing. Furthermore, most of the chains go back to one of the known companions of an Imam which means that the burden of proof is on Sunnis to show, in an academic manner, how all of the main companions of Al-Baqir, Al-Sadiq, Al-Kadhim and al-Ridha - who came from multiple locations and throughout the span of decades, conspired to fabricate what the Imams were teaching. They must also show where the Imams denied believing in this specific doctrine (the appointment of Imam Ali), why the Imams were put under house arrest or actual prison if the Khalifa did not believe they were pinning their claim to succession on this doctrine, etc. I don't think any neutral historian can come to the conclusion that the Imams did not actually teach this point of doctrine. At the very least, it puts the burden of proof back on the Sunni who wants to conveniently claim that all of the closest companions of Imams 5-8 happened to teach the exact opposite central doctrine of what those Imams actually taught (which in their view was in fact agreeable with post-Imam Ahmad canonization.) Note: this claim is significantly different than what Shias claim about the companions of the Prophet (s) for reasons I will not get into here.

Do I think this is an argument to end all arguments? No. I don't. It's simply a corroborating piece of evidence that one makes in their overall case. I hope this clarifies the reason behind this post.

 

Edited by Ayuoobi

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      Sanctions have been a preferred Western method of taking action against countries that have fallen out of favour. But this tool only works where you have something the other person wants, when the situation is reversed - you can end up damaging yourself.
      https://www.ft.com/content/8fc63610-88fe-11e9-b861-54ee436f9768
      SWIFT - Russia
      This example arose during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022. The West wanted to sanction Russia by imposing economic sanctions including barring Russian entities from access to western financial systems. But this was not straightforward:
      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/24/what-is-swift-international-payments-network-russia-sanction
      Sic transit gloria mundi (so passes worldly glory)
      In a previous FT story about the same subject I posted a comment that this situation is similar to the British attempts to stop Indian technological development by banning the Indians from making their own steam engines, at the start of the 20th century. The British may have delayed Indian development by some decades, but that's all they were able to do. Whether the British took no action to stop Indian technological development or whether they proactively tried to hinder it, ultimately they would lose. 
      There are now far too many Indians with every increasing levels of capability to stop the juggernaut.
      Conclusion
      In the context of China, I think the U.S. government feels a threat to its economic/technological dominance. And the sanctions are its attempt to fight back. But whether the U.S. decides to fight or not, I think in the longer term that dominance will have to be compromised. Huawei and the Chinese are now too far along the technological path of development and they are far further ahead than the India of the early 20th century. 
      The U.S. is now in a similar technological position that the Palestinians have been in terms of geography. Whatever option the US chooses, it will ultimately 'lose'. Loss in this context is not necessarily ceding technological leadership to the Chinese, but it may well involve acknowledging their superiority in certain areas. Other countries like Russia also may be able to work their way around sanctions for example, so western attempts to control their behaviour will have limited success.
      In the context of Russia it seems that there is too much at stake economically for sanctions to be effective, the sanctioners stand to lose as much as the sanctioned.
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         2
      Summary
      Delayed gratification is associated with better long-term outcomes for individuals. Time spent in prayer and other religious rituals are means by which individuals delay the gratification of enjoying worldly experiences and they are an investment in the gratification of rewards to be gained in the afterlife. Moreover time spent in these activities changes what counts as gratification for participants.
      How delayed gratification works 
      One of the ideas that helps explain the economic outperformance of some social and ethnic groups is their ability to practice ‘delayed gratification’. The term accurately sums up the idea of ‘delaying the experience of happiness’.
      This seems counterintuitive, why delay what you could have right now? Surely there is some loss involved in putting off gratification, you may not be around to enjoy it and there could be other uncertainties as well.
      The notion of delayed gratification assumes that if we put off the experience of happiness when we do receive it, the experience will be greater and longer lasting than if we had sought to experience the happiness earlier on.
      Why is this the case? The most obvious example is the delayed gratification occasioned by spending time as a school pupil studying in order to get better grades while that time could have been spent playing or watching television. Later on it’s the same studious group who are at university living in relative penury, while their peers are earning and spending money.
      However, most studies show that although graduates start earning later than non-graduates, once they do so their lifetime earnings are much higher than non-graduates. And it’s not just income, there are a number of other measures such as health going in the same direction.
      The cookie experiment
      All this goes back to the experiments conducted by Walter Mischel in 1970, who offered kids a cookie which they could eat immediately or they could have two if they waited till he came back from an errand. The high delay kids, who waited for the second cookie, did better at school and achieved various other positive life outcomes that the low delay kids did not.
      I’d go on to argue that the process of delaying can change an individual. The kids who are willing to wait for the second cookie will likely prefer the low fat, low sugar offering compared to the tasty version.
      I think this is because when the high delay kids are provided with information about harms and benefits they're better able to make the right choices. As they come across more information these people change what they consider constitutes happiness. This second order effect is important, because it has a qualitative impact not only on lifestyles and employment opportunities of these individuals but also the thought processes of the children of the high delay kids. High delay can be taught and learned.
      So delaying gratification enables the acquisition of quantitatively more happiness, and qualitatively more sustainable happiness.
      Up to this point our discussion has been in terms of purely material gains or losses. You do not have to be a believer in any religion to understand the foregoing argument, there are ample studies involving experiments (often with marshmallows) to back up the idea.
      Religious applications
      The question then, is whether the same principles can be applied in a religious context?
      The theist argument would likely be that religious practice such as prayer, the acquisition of religious knowledge and spiritual experience are all activities that take place at the expense of acquiring immediate material happiness, will likely have a higher pay-off in any after-life.
      However, anyone can understand the cause and effect relationship between, for example, the higher pay-offs associated with education and delayed gratification, because there is ample proof for this. But no one has come back from any after life, so is it the case that all we have to go on is faith?
      I don’t think so.
      One of the ways by which people can improve their self-discipline to improve their ability to delay gratification is to undertake some other task that takes their mind away from whatever gratification they are seeking to delay.
      That’s what the religious activities do. They train us to exercise restraint. They are the wait for the second cookie. If we see prayer and duas etc. as taking time away from the joys of worldly activities, that’s because they are supposed to.
      I also think the second order effects that I talked about regarding the impact of education on gratification also have a parallel with religion.
      Time spent on worship and spiritual activities, I think changes what people consider appropriate sources of gratification. They actually change what we do in this life, we consider whether the ingredients of the cookie are halal or haram.
      The Muslims who avoid weed cookies don’t need to rely on faith to understand the benefits of delayed gratification, they can see it for themselves.
      Notes:
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201207/the-power-delaying-gratification
      http://jamesclear.com/delayed-gratification
      http://ww2.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Home_page/Labour_market_information/Graduate_Market_Trends/Beyond_the_financial_benefits_of_a_degree__Autumn_05_/p!eXeLcmm
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/10246785/Graduate-premium-no-matter-what-you-study.html
       
       
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         3
      A common Islamophobic complaint is that while Muslims may lobby for rights in Western countries, this is hardly reciprocated in the Middle East. Specifically, attention is drawn to Saudi Arabia where the rights of Christians and Jews appear to be the most restricted. 
      It's worth, therefore, to consider what the situation was like before the arrival of the house of Saud on the scene and the impact of its installation (helped by Wstern powers) on non-Muslims in the Arabian peninsula. The following extracts are taken from the notes of a European traveller. 
      Travels through Arabia and other countries in the East, M. Niebuhr (captain of engineers in the service of the King of Denmark). English translation 1792.
      So, there were Jews in Medina in 1792 and they clearly enjoyed autonomy.
      So Jews also had positions of influence.
       
      The differences in tax rates may offend contemporary sensitivities, but they were clearly no different to the way minorities were treated in many other countries of the time.
      What may merit further investigation is whether the Jews (and Christians) in Arabia suffered the pogroms that were periodically inflicted on the Jews of Europe in that period.
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      Summary
      This post is about the reasons why there is so much imperative in the Qur'an on sellers not taking advantage of their customers. The point being elaborated here is that it can be easy for sellers to take advantage of their buyers. The Qur'an uses a specific context (weights and measures) but this notion can be extended to other areas of the transaction.
      We can lump together all sorts of decisions that we make everyday. These can be decisions about what products and services to buy and they can be decisions about whether or not to wear masks or get vaccinated. They can also be decisions about haram and halal behaviours. Many (but not all) decisions are underpinned by the information that we have to go on.
      But not all information is the same. I distinguish between different types of information that buyers can use why they may have preference for some types of information which is why it becomes easier for sellers to take advantage of them. I draw out implications for different groups of people.
       
      The background
      The starting point is the Qur'anic injunction (in various places) about the requirements of transactions and commerce.

       
       
       

       
       

       
       

       
       
      Here is some commentary from 'The Study Qur'an', I have previously noted the need to use this resource with discernment, but on this topic it seems to be ok. 
       
      Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Dagli, Caner K.; Dakake, Maria Massi; Lumbard, Joseph E.B.; Rustom, Mohammed. The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary (p. 438). HarperOne. Kindle Edition. 
      Predictive value
      The information that we receive about products and services (and indeed about any life decisions) can be divided into two types, that which has high predictive value or low predictive value. The former helps better predict how a product will perform, how a virus works or what the world will be like and information of low predictive value does not do so. It's better for us clearly to rely on information that has high predictive value.
      But there is a problem, not all information is equally easy to understand and use. We all know this to be the case from personal experience. Some information is easy to understand and remember, other information we may find impossible to understand, perhaps because it is too technically complex and we do not have sufficient education. This is why we split information into that with which we have high confidence and that with which we have low confidence.
      If you want a more graphic illustration of what I am talking about watch this 1.5 minute video:
       
      Morgan Spurlock provides a humorous insight into how the fast food industry 'deceives' its customers. This screengrab from the trailer gives some indication as to how it does this. Each of the labels below carries a 'meaning' for us as consumers, in each instance I think we can agree that these are positive meanings. What Spurlock does in his engaging film is to show how in reality the meanings can be far different to what we think they mean (free range) or in the case of 100% natural the word has no meaning at all, but it still feels good.. 

       
      Confidence value
      The problem we have in making sense of the world around us is that information which can better predict how products or even events and pandemics will pan out (it has high confidence value) may actually be hard to understand and evaluate (it has low confidence value). This is shown in the top right hand box below.
       
      The human condition
      An aspect of the human condition is that sometimes we can be a little lazy in our efforts to engage with information that helps us to see how things will be because it is intellectually more challenging.
       
      The challenge
      This leads us down the dangerous path of following information that is easy to understand (has high confidence value), but which has low predictive value (won't really tell us what the future will be like). This is shown in the bottom left hand box in the diagram below.
      Unscrupulous people will give us the latter in abundance and we will enjoy a false sense of security, but will ultimately arrive at a destination that is considerably different to what we expected. This applies both to the products and services that we buy and the ethical and moral decisions that we make and indeed the health and lifestyle choices that we follow.
       
      The diagram
      The diagram below illustrates that thought leaders within society are needed to show us those things which are easy to use and can accurately tell us about reality and they're needed to explain to us those things which inform us about reality and which are hard to use. Certainly one thing which we need from societies leaders is the ability to protect us from those things which we think will help guide us and/or inform us about the way the world really is, but which in reality will not do so.
       

       
      Illustrative examples
      This example shows how the above can work in practice:
      https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/11/know-what-you-eat-health-halo
      Here's another example, from the same article above:
      Both of these examples show how consumers can make decisions off very limited amounts of information that do not fully reflect what it is that they are buying and the more important issue here is that marketers can take full advantage of this in terms of how they label products and how they photograph and present them. 
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