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  1. But is he a Shia? I don't believe he is. In fact, he can't be because he edited a Qur'an that say: (The Prophet) frowned and turned away, Because the blind man came to him, (interrupting). Qur'an 80:1-2 Our (the Shia) interpretation of that verse is: One day when the Holy Prophet was in conversation with some of his companions, a blind man, Abdullab ibn Ummi Maktum, who was also poor, came to meet him and learn the Quran. The Holy Prophet received him with kindness and asked him to sit beside him. The Quraysh leaders did not like the interruption, particularly the respect and honour given to him by the Holy Prophet. One of the companions frowned and turned his back on him, which displeased Allah, and this surah was revealed.
  2. Who is Mr. Yasin T. al-Jibouri Jumada? He edited the Qur'an translations by M.H. Shakir and Mir Ahmed Ali. Is he a Shia? If so, how good or bad is his work on those translations? Please only answer this question if you have read those Qur'ans and know the difference between a Shia translation and a Sunni translation. And if I offend any of my Shia brothers by requesting that please forgive.
  3. In my first response to this question I think I miss understood your question. So here is the correct answer I believe you wanted: Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ Based on a parallel (Mutawatir) tradition upon whose authenticity all Muslims agree, the Messenger of Allah (S) informed his followers in several occasions that he would leave them two precious/weighty things and that if Muslims adhere to both of them, they will never go astray after him. They are the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Members of the House of the Prophet (Ahlul-Bayt), peace be upon them all. It is narrated in Sahih Muslim as well as many other sources that: Someday (after his last pilgrimage) the Messenger of Allah (S) stood to give us a speech beside a pond which is known as Khum (Ghadir Khum) which is located between Mecca and Medina. Then he praised Allah and reminded Him, and then said: "O’ people! Behold! It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. Behold! I am leaving for you two precious things. First of them is the book of Allah in which there is light and guidance...The other one is my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. (three times)." Sunni Reference: • Sahih Muslim, Chapter of the virtues of the companions, section of the virtues of ‘Ali, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v 4, p1873, Tradition #36. • And many others such as Sahih al-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad (see below). For the English version of Sahih Muslim, see Chapter CMXCVI, v4, p1286, Tradition #5920 Here is the Arabic text of the above tradition in Sahih Muslim: قام رسول الله يوما فينا خطيبا بماء يدعى خما بين مكة والمدينة ، فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ، ووعظ وذكر ، ثم قال: أما بعد ، ألا أيها الناس ، فإنما أنا بشر ، يوشك أن يأتي رسول ربي فأجيب ، وأنا تارك فيكم ثقلين ، أولهما: كتاب الله ، فيه الهدى والنور ، فخذوا بكتاب الله ، واستمسكوا به ، فحث على كتاب الله ورغب فيه ، ثم قال: وأهل بيتي ، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي ، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي As we can see in the above tradition in Sahih Muslim, not only Ahlul-Bayt has been put beside the Qur’an, but also it has been mentioned three times by the Prophet (S). Despite the fact that the author of Sahih Muslim and many other Sunni traditionists have recorded the above tradition in their authentic books, it is regrettable that the majority of Sunnis are unaware of its existence at the best, or deny it at the worst. Their counter argument is that the most reliable tradition in this regard is the one recorded by al-Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, on the authority of Abu Huraira, attributing to the Messenger of Allah saying: "I leave amongst you two things that if you follow or act upon, you will not go astray after me: The Book of God and my Sunnah (traditions)." There is no doubt that ALL Muslims are required to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (S). However, the question remains that which Sunnah is genuine and which one is invented later and was falsely attributed to the Prophet. On tracing the source of this report of Abu Huraira which states "Qur’an and Sunnah,”we found out that it has NOT been recorded in any of the six authentic Sunni collections of the traditions (Sihah Sittah). Not only that, but also al-Bukhari, al-Nisa’i, and al-Dhahabi and many others rated this report (Qur’an and Sunnah) as weak because of its weak Isnad. It should be noted that although the book of al-Hakim is an important Sunni collection of traditions, yet it is ranked inferior to the six major Sunni books. This is while Sahih Muslim is in the second rank among the six Sunni collections of traditions. al-Tirmidhi reported that the "Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt”version of the tradition is traced to 30+ companions. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami reported that he knows of 20+ companions witnessed that also. This is while the "Qur’an and Sunnah”version reported by al-Hakim has only one source! Thus we must conclude that the "Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt”version is much more reliable. Moreover al-Hakim has also mentioned the "Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt”version in his book (al-Mustadrak) through several chain of authorities and confirmed that the "Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt”version of the tradition is authentic based on the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim. Moreover, the word "Sunnah”by itself does not serve the purpose of knowledge. All Muslims irrespective to their persuasions claim that they follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (S). The differences among Muslims come from the transmitted Prophetic traditions through different avenues. Such traditions serve as explanatory means of the Holy Qur’an upon whose authenticity all Muslims agree. Thus divergence in the transmitted traditions, which in turn has led to differing interpretation of Qur’an and the prophetic Sunnah, has created numerous versions of Sunnah. All Muslims, as a result, splintered into different schools, groups, offshoots, which is believed to add up to seventy three groups. All of them are obeying their own version of Sunnah which they claim to be the true one. Which of these groups follow the true Sunnah of the Prophet? Which one (out of 73 groups) will be the prosperous one, and will survive? Other than the tradition of Sahih Muslim mentioned above, the following authentic traditions provide a unique detailed answer for this question: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "I am leaving for you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to BOTH of them you shall not go astray after me. They are, the Book of Allah, and my progeny, that is my Ahlul-Bayt. The Merciful has informed me that These two shall not separate from each other till they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)." Sunni references: 1. Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 662-663,328, report of 30+ companions, with reference to several chains of transmitters. 2. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, Chapter of "Understanding (the virtues) of Companions, v3, pp 109,110,148,533 who wrote this tradition is authentic (Sahih) based on the criteria of the two Shaikhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim). 3. Sunan, by Daarami, v2, p432 4. Musnad, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, pp 14,17,26,59, v4, pp 366,370-372, v5, pp 182,189,350,366,419 5. Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p585, Tradition #990 6. al-Khasa’is, by al-Nisa’i, pp 21,30 7. al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p230 8. al-Kabir, by al-Tabarani, v3, pp 62-63,137 9. Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Chapter al-Iti’sam bi Habl Allah, v1, p44. 10. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (complete version), v4, p113, under commentary of verse 42:23 of Qur’an (four traditions) 11. al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, by Ibn Sa’d, v2, p194, Pub. by Dar Isadder, Lebanon. 12. al-Jami’ al-Saghir, by al-Suyuti, v1, p353, and also in v2 13. Majma’ al-Zawa’id, al-Haythami, v9, p163 14. al-Fateh al-Kabir, al-Binhani, v1, p451 15. Usdul Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahaba, Ibn al-Athir, v2, p12 16. Jami’ al-Usul, Ibn al-Athir, v1, p187 17. History of Ibn Asakir, v5, p436 18. al-Taj al-Jami’ Lil Usul, v3, p308 19. al-Durr al-Manthoor, al-Hafidh al-Suyuti, v2, p60 20. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, pp 38,183 21. Abaqat al-Anwar, v1, p16 ... and many more ... إني تارك فيكم ما إن تمسكتم بهما لن تضلو بعدي أبدا:كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي وهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا علي الحوض Of course, any Muslim should follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (S), and as such, we, the Followers of Ahlul-Bayt, submit to the genuine (practice) Sunnah of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) and consider it to be the only path of salvation. But the above tradition gives evidence to the fact that any so-called Sunnah (practice) which contradicts Ahlul-Bayt is NOT a genuine Sunnah and has been innovated later on by some pay-rolled individuals in support the tyrants. That’s why the Prophet had emphasized so much on Ahlul-Bayt in loving them and following them since they carry his genuine Sunnah. And this is the basis of the Shi’a School of Thought (the School of Ahlul-Bayt). The Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet who are raised in his house know more than anybody else about the Sunnah of the Prophet and what it entails, for as the proverb goes: "The people of Mecca know its paths better than anyone else." For the sake of argument, if we accept that the two versions of the tradition ("Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt”vs. "Qur’an and Sunnah") are both authentic, then one must submit to the interpretation that the word "my Sunnah”given by al-Hakim means the Sunnah which is derived through Ahlul- Bayt and not any other source, as it is evident from the Ahlul-Bayt version given by both Mustadrak al-Hakim and Sahih Muslim. Now let us take a look at the following tradition: Narrated Umm Salama: The Messenger of Allah said: "‘Ali is with Qur’an, and Qur’an is with ‘Ali. They shall not separate from each other till they both return to me by the Pool (of Paradise)." Sunni references: • al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p124 on the authority of Umm Salama • al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, Ch. 9, section 2, pp 191,194 • al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani; also in al-Saghir • Tarikh al-Khulafaa, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p173 The above tradition gives evidence to the fact that Imam ‘Ali and Qur’an are non-separable. If we accept the "Qur’an and Sunnah”version to be authentic, then one can conclude that the one who carries the Sunnah of Prophet is Imam ‘Ali since he is the one who has been put beside Qur’an. Interesting to see, al-Hakim has many other traditions about necessity of following Ahlul-Bayt, among which is the following tradition. This tradition is also narrated by many other Sunni scholars and is known as the "Tradition of the Ship”in which the Prophet (S) stated: "Behold! My Ahlul-Bayt are like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarked in it was SAVED, and whoever turned away from it was PERISHED." إنَّما مثلُ أهلُ بيتي كَمَثل سَفينَةُ نوح مَنْ رَكَبها نَجى و مَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عنها هَلكْ. Sunni references: 1. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p343, v3, pp 150-151 on the authority of Abu Dharr. al-Hakim said this tradition is authentic (Sahih). 2. Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p786 3. Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, under the commentary of verse 42:23, Part 27, p167 4. al-Bazzar, on the authority of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Zubair with the wording "drowned”instead of "perished". 5. al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p234 under Verse 8:33. Also in section 2, p282. He said this Hadith has been transmitted via numerous authorities. 6. Tarikh al-Khulafaa and Jami’ al-Saghir, by al-Suyuti 7. al-Kabir, by al-Tabarani, v3, pp 37,38 8. al-Saghir, by al-Tabarani, v2, p22 9. Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v4, p306 10. al-Kuna wal Asmaa, by al-Dulabi, v1, p76 11. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, by al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, pp 30,370 12. Is’af al-Raghibeen, by al-Saban The above tradition gives evidence to the fact that those who adopt the school of Ahlul-Bayt and follow them, shall be saved from the punishment of Hell, while those who run away from them shall meet with the fate of the one who tried to save his life by climbing up the mountain, with the only difference that whereas he (Noah’s renegade son) was drowned in water, but these people will be drowned the fire of Hell. The following tradition also confirms it: The Prophet (S) said about Ahlul-Bayt: "Do not be ahead of them for you will perish, do not turn away from them for you will perish, and do not try to teach them since they know more than you do!" لا تتقدموهم فتهلكوا ولا تتخلفوا عنهم فتهلكوا ولا تعلموهم فإنهم أعلم منكم. Sunni references: 1. al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Suyuti, v2, p60 2. al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p230, quoted from al-Tabarani, also in section 2, p342 3. Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v3, p137 4. Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah, by al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, p41, and P335 5. Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v1, p168 6. Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p163 7. Aqabat al-Anwar, v1, p184 8. A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133 9. Tadhkirat al-Khawas al-Ummah, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi, pp 28-33 10. al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p273 Here is another one: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "My Ahlul-Bayt are like the Gate of Repentance of the Children of Israel; whoever entered therein was forgiven." إنما مثل أهل بيتي فيكم مثل باب حطة في بنى إسرائيل من دخله غفر Sunni References: • Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p168 • al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani, Tradition #18 • Arba’in, by al-Nabahani, p216 • al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, pp 230,234 Another fairly similar tradition was recorded by al-Darqunti as well as Ibn Hajar in his al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, Ch. 9, section 2, p193 where the Prophet (S) said: "‘Ali is the Gate of Repentance, whoever entered therein was a believer and whoever went out was an unbeliever." The above tradition was in connection with verses 2:58 and 7:161 of Qur’an which describe the Gate of Repentance of Bani Israel. Those of companions of Moses who did not enter the Gate of the Repentance were lost in the desert for forty years, while those who did not enter the ark of Noah were drowned. Ibn Hajar concludes that: "The analogy of the Ark of Noah signifies that those who love and honor the Ahlul-Bayt and derive from their guidance will be rescued from the darkness of opposition, and those who will turn against them will be drowned in the sea of ingratitude and will perish in the desert of insubordination and rebellion." Sunni reference: al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, p. 91 Have we ever asked ourselves why the Prophet put so much emphasis on Ahlul- Bayt? Was is just because they were members of his family, or was it because they carried his true teachings (Sunnah) and they were the most knowledgeable individuals among his community after him? Different versions of the Tradition of Two Weighty Things (al-Thaqalain) which prove conclusively that it is compulsory to follow the Qur’an and the Ahlul-Bayt, are not ordinary traditions. They are repeated many times and are related on the authority of more than thirty of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) through various sources. The Holy Prophet (S) repeated these words over and over again (and not merely in one isolated instance but on several occasions) publicly to show that it is compulsory to follow and obey the Ahlul-Bayt. He made the announcement during the Farewell Pilgrimage, on the day of Arafat, on the day of Ghadir Khum, on the return from Ta’if, also in Medina from the pulpit, and in his deathbed when the room was packed with his disciples, he said: "O folk! I am soon going to depart from here, and although I have already told you, I repeat once more that I am leaving with you two things, namely, the Book of Allah and my descendants, that is, my Ahlul-Bayt.”Then he lifted ‘Ali by the hand and said: "Behold! this ‘Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with him. These two shall never separate from each other until they come to me at the Pool of Kawthar." Sunni reference: al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, Ch. 9, section 2 Ibn Hajar al-Haythami wrote: "The Traditions of Adherence has been handed down through a large number of sources and more than twenty of the disciples have related it." He further wrote: "Here a doubt arises, and it is that while the Tradition has come down through various sources, some say that the words were spoken during the last pilgrimage, others that they were spoken at Medina when he lay on his deathbed and the room was packed with his disciples, yet another saying that he spoke these words at Ghadir Khum, or in another Hadith, on the return from Ta’if. But there is NO inconsistency in these, since having regards to the importance and greatness of the Qur’an and the pure Ahlul-Bayt, and with a view of emphasizing the point before the people, the Holy Prophet might have repeated these words on all these occasions so that any one who had not heard them before might hear them now." Sunni reference: al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p230 Concluding the above traditions, the Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt are the only two precious things that the Prophet left for Muslims, and stated that if Muslims follow BOTH of them, they will not go astray after him, and they will be led to Paradise, and that those who forsake Ahlul-Bayt will not survive. The above traditions have been designed by Prophet (S) to answer which "Sunnah”is genuine and which group caries the true "Sunnah”of the Prophet. It is aimed at not leaving Muslims at loss as to which way to go after the departure of the Prophet (S). On the other hand, if we use the word "Sunnah”alone, it does not give us any specific answer for this question since all the groups among the Muslim nation follow their own version of Sunnah as well as their own interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Thus the prophetic instructions were clear in urging Muslims to follow the interpretation of Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet transmitted through the channel of Ahlul-Bayt whose sinlessness, purity, and righteousness is confirmed by the Holy Qur’an (the last sentence of verse 33:33). To editors: please delete my first post to this question.
  4. Evidence From Qur’an The Holy Book of Allah mentions Ahlul-Bayt and their exceptional virtue in the following verse which is known as "Purification Verse”(Ayah al-Tat’hir): “Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O’ People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you with a perfect purification". (Qur’an, the last sentence of Verse 33:33) Note that the word "Rijs”in the above verse has got the article "al-”at its beginning which makes the word universal. Thus "al-Rijs”means "EVERY KIND of impurity". Also at the end of the verse, Allah states "and purify you a PERFECT purification.”The word "perfect”comes from the emphasis of "Tat’hiran". This is the only place in Qur’an that Allah uses the emphasis of "PERFECT purification". According to the above verse, Allah expresses his intention to keep Ahlul-Bayt pure and flawless/sinless, and what Allah intends it will certainly take place as Qur’an itself testifies (see 16:40). Indeed, a human can be sinless because he is not forced to commit sin. It is the human’s choice to accept the instructions of Allah and get His help to avoid sin, or to neglect Allah’s commandments and commit the sin. Allah is advisor, and encourager, and warner. A sinless human is still a human; no doubt about it. Some people assert that in order to be human, one SHOULD have some mistakes. Such claim is unsupported. The truth is that Human CAN make mistakes but he does not have to. It is the Grace of Allah that attracts His servants towards Him, WITHOUT compelling them any way. This is our choice to pursue this attraction and refrain from doing mistakes, or to turn away and commit the mistakes. However, Allah has GUARANTEED to show the Right Path and to provide a pure life for those who seek it: Whoever works righteousness man or woman and is faithful, We shall revive a PURE life for him. (Qur’an 16:97) And whosoever keeps his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him. (Qur’an 65:2) It is worth mentioning the sentence of Qur’an in verse 33:33 which is related to purification of Ahlul-Bayt, has been placed at the middle of verses related to the wives of the Prophet (S), and this was the main reason why some Sunnis include the wives of the Prophet in Ahlul-Bayt. However, the sentence related to Ahlul-Bayt (given above) distinguishes itself from the sentences before and after it with a clear distinction. The sentences before and after, use only feminine gender which clearly shows they are addressing the wives of the Prophet (S). However, in contrary, the above sentence uses only masculine gender which is a clear indication that that Qur’an is changing the individuals who it is referring to. People who are familiar with Qur’an to some extent, know that such a sharp change of addressee is not a weird-thing, and it has been applied to several places in Qur’an. For instance we read in Qur’an: “O Joseph! pass this over and (O wife of Aziz!) ask forgiveness for your sin, for truly you have been at fault."(Qur’an 12:29) In the above verse, "O wife of Aziz”has not been mentioned and the address to Joseph (as) looks to continue. However the transition of the address from masculine gender to feminine gender clearly shows that the second sentence is addressing the Aziz’s wife and not Prophet Joseph (as). Notice that both sentences are within one verse. Also note the immediate change of addressing from Aziz’s wife to Joseph and again back to the wife in verses before verse 29 and also within that verse. In Arabic language, when a group of women are being addressed, feminine gender is employed. However, if only one man exists among that group, masculine gender is used instead. Thus the above sentence of Qur’an clearly shows Allah is referring to a group other than the wives of the Prophet, using masculine gender, and that group includes some male members. From the verse 33:33 alone, we cannot conclude that the wives of the Prophet are not included in Ahlul-Bayt. This latter claim can be proven by the authentic traditions of the Sunnis from Sihah Sittah in which the Prophet mentioned who Ahlul-Bayt are; and also by comparing the specifications of Ahlul-Bayt given in the verse of Qur’an with the behavior of the some of the wives of the Prophet mentioned in Sihah Sittah to prove the contrary. What can be understood from the verse ALONE is that Allah is changing His address (which was exclusively the wives of the Prophet at the beginning of the verse) to some people who include some male members, and may or may not include the wives of the Prophet. For more information on this topic click https://www.al-islam.org/shiite-encyclopedia-ahlul-bayt-dilp-team/introduction
  5. If anyone is searching for a Qur'an app here is the only for you: http://www.almubin.com/alquran3/ . For a good translation of the Qur'an within the app click on: Translations and select number 35 And for an exegesis of the Holy Qur'an online visit http://www.almizan.org/ If you want a complete exegesis (on every verse) you will have to download it from here http://islamicmobility.com/book/author/Aga Mahdi Puya (Agha Pooya) For the best reading experience i recommend buying an iPad mini 4. You can get a cheap one (if available) from Apple https://www.apple.com/us/search/refurbished-iPad-mini-4?src=globalnav
  6. Anyone need or want a few website links to some pretty good stuff? If so, you can have the ones below: http://nudba.com/wp/ (Shia video site) http://www.almizan.org/ (Tafsir Al-Mizan) http://islamicmobility.com/ (download free Islamic e-books in seconds) http://hadithdatabank.com/ (Hadith database of Ahl-ul-bayt) http://www.theislamicseminary.org/wp/ (full volumes of Al-Kafi) http://www.wikishia.net/ (An online encyclopedia of the school of Ahl al-Bayt Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã https://www.al-islam.org/ (Digital Islamic Library) Let me know of any I might want
  7. We (the Shi'a) affirm that hurting own body is forbidden. Some people may get very emotional and do that, yet the rest are not to be blamed. An analogy is the case when a person loses a dear one, where she will cry for him. Due to the height of emotion one (specially women) may start beating herself to the extent that it causes harm for her body. This is what is forbidden, while what has no harm to body (including beating chest) is allowed.
  8. https://www.al-islam.org/es/node/28020 Why School of Ahlul-Bayt? The purpose of this article is merely to demonstrate that Shi’a views about the special importance and the leadership of Ahlul-Bayt do not come out of the blue. In this way, I hope to contribute to better understanding among Muslims and hence help to reduce some people’s hostility against the followers of the Members of the House of the Prophet (S). The fact that we (Shi’a) have adopted a creed which differs from that of the Ash’arites as far as the fundamental beliefs are concerned, and differs from the four schools of Sunni jurists as far as the laws, rites, and observances are concerned, is not due to any sectarianism or prejudice. It is rather the theological reasoning which has led us to adopt the creed of those Imams who belong to the Ahlul-Bayt of the Holy Prophet, the Messenger of Allah (S). We have, therefore, wholly and solely bound ourselves to them in our observances as well as our beliefs; in the derivations of our knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet; and in all our material, moral and spiritual values on the grounds of theological and logical proofs. We have done this in obedience of the Holy Prophet and in submission to his Sunnah. Had we not been convinced by these proofs to disallow all Imams except the Ahlul-Bayt, and to seek to draw near to Allah only through them, we might have inclined towards the creed of the majority for the sake of unity and fraternity. But incontrovertible reasons command a believer to follow the truth regardless of all other considerations. The majority of the Muslims are unable to produce any argument to show which one of their four different jurists is the best. It is impossible to follow all of them, and therefor, before one can say that it is "compulsory” to follow them, one has to prove which one must be followed. We have pondered over the arguments of the Hanafis, the Shafi’is, the Malikis and the Hanbalis with the eyes of a seeker of truth and we have searched far and wide, but we have found no answer to this, except they were all acclaimed as very great jurists and honest and just men. But you are fully aware that jurist’s capacity, honesty, justice and greatness are not monopoly of these four persons only. Then, how can it be "compulsory” to follow them only? We do not think that anyone can hold that these four Imams are in any way better than our Imams, the pure and holy descendants of the Prophet (S), the Ark of Salvation, the Gate of Repentance, through whom we can attain protection against disagreement in religious matters; for they are the emblems of guidance, and the leaders towards the straight path. But alas, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (S), politics began to play its part in the affairs of religion and you know what took place in the heart of Islam as a result. During all these periods of trials, the Shi’a continued to hold fast to Qur’an and the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt whom the Holy Prophet left among us as the two most weighty things (al-Thaqalain). There have been some extremists sects (al-Ghulat) which appeared every now and then in course of the history of Islam; nonetheless, the main body of the Shi’a have never deviated from this path since the time of Imam ‘Ali and Fatimah (peace be upon them) up to the present day. The Shi’a existed when Ash’ari and all the four Sunni Imams were unborn and unheard of. Up to the first three generations since the Holy Prophet’s time, Ash’ari and the Sunni Imams were unknown. Ash’ari was born in 270 AH and died in 320 AH; Ibn Hanbal was born in 164 AH and died in 241 AH; Shafi’i was born in 150 AH and died in 204 AH; Malik was born in 95 AH and died in 169 AH; Abu Hanifa was born in 80 AH and died in 150 AH. The Shi’a, on the other hand, follow the path of Ahlul-Bayt which include Imam ‘Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (peace be upon them all) who were all contemporaries of the Holy Prophet (S) and raised in his House. As far as the knowledge of the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt is concerned, it is sufficient to say that Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) was the teacher of the two Sunni Imams, i.e., Abu Hanifa al-Nu’man , and Malik Ibn Anas. Abu Hanifa said: "Except for the two years Nu’man would have starved,” referring to the two years he had benefited from the knowledge of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as). Malik also confessed straightforwardly that he had not met anyone learned in Islamic Jurisprudence better than Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as). The Abbasid Caliph, al-Mansoor, commanded Abu Hanifa to prepare for Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) a number of hard questions concerning the Islamic Law and to ask the Imam those questions in the presence of al-Mansoor. Abu Hanifa prepared forty difficult questions and asked Imam Ja’far about them in al-Mansoor’s presence. The Imam not only answered all the questions but also informed about the opinions of the Iraqi as well as the Hijazi Scholars. Abu Hanifa commented on this episode saying: "Certainly, the most knowledgeable among people is the most knowledgeable of their different opinions." Sunni reference: • Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah in his book "al-Imam al-Sadiq", p27 Abu Hanifa described his feelings (when he entered the palace of al-Mansoor and found Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) sitting with him) by saying: "When I saw Imam Ja’far, I felt his personality commands more respect than that of the Caliph himself. Yet the Caliph was ruling the Muslim World, and Imam Ja’far was a private citizen." Sunni reference: • Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah in his book "al-Imam al-Sadiq", p27 Malik (the other Sunni Imam) said: "I used to come to Ja’far Ibn Muhammad (as) and went to him for a long time. Whenever I visited him, I found him praying, fasting, or reading the Qur’an. Whenever he reported a statement of the Messenger of God, he was with ablution. He was a distinguished worshipper who was unconcerned with the material world. He was of the God fearing people." Sunni reference: • Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah in his book "al-Imam al-Sadiq", p66 Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah who was one of the outstanding Sunni contemporary Scholars said: "The Muslim Scholars of various Islamic Schools never agreed unanimously on a matter as much as they agree on the knowledge of Imam Ja’far and his virtue. The Sunni Imams who lived during his time were his students. Malik was one of them and those who were as contemporary as Malik such as Sufyan al-Thouri and many others. Abu Hanifa also was his student in spite of their being close in age, and he considered Imam Ja’far the most knowledgeable in the Muslim World." Sunni reference: • Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah in his book "al-Imam al-Sadiq", p66 The ties of unity and fraternity can be strengthened and disagreement ended if all Muslims agree that to follow the Ahlul-Bayt is a must. In fact many grand Sunni scholars have acknowledged the Shi’a school as one of the richest Islamic schools for they very reason that the knowledge of the Shi’a school of thought is derived from the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet (S) whose supreme knowledge and purity are confirmed in Qur’an. These Sunni scholars have even issued Fatwa that the Sunnis are allowed to follow the Twelver Shi’ite Jurisprudence. Among these grand scholars are Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot, the head of al-Azhar University (in 1950’s and 60’s). Moreover, disagreement between the various schools of Sunni thought is by no means less than the lack of conformity between the Shi’a and the Sunnis. A large number of writings of scholars of both sides will bear this out. Since based on the tradition of Two Weighty things Ahlul-Bayt carry as much weight in the eyes of Allah as the Holy Qur’an, the former have the same qualities as the latter. Just as the Qur’an is true from beginning to end without any shadow of doubt, and just as it is incumbent upon every Muslims to obey its commandments, so are Ahlul-Bayt perfect and sincere guides whose commands must be followed by all. Therefore there can be no excuse to escape from accepting their leadership and following their creed and their faith. The Muslims are bound by these sayings of the Holy Prophet to follow them and no one else. Just as it is impossible for any Muslims to turn away from the Holy Qur’an or to adopt any set of rules which is at variance with it, so when the Ahlul-Bayt have been unequivocally described as equal in weight and importance to the Holy Qur’an, the same attitude has to be adopted with regard to their orders, and it cannot be permissible to turn away from them in order to follow any other persons. After mentioning the tradition of Two Weighty Things, Ibn Hajar holds that: "These words show that those members of the Ahlul-Bayt who posed these distinctions were superior to all the people." Sunni reference: al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, p136 The Messenger of Allah said: "Whosoever wishes to live and die like me and enter that heaven (after death), which my lord has promised me, namely, the ever lasting heaven should acknowledge ‘Ali (as) as his patron after me, and after him he should acknowledge the sons of ‘Ali, because they are the people who will never leave you outside the door of guidance nor will they let you enter the door of misguidance." Sunni references: • Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, p155, Tradition #2578 • Also abridged Kanz al-Ummal on the margin of Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal v5, p32 Again the significance of leadership of Ahlul-Bayt has been confirmed by the following beautiful analogy of the messenger of Allah: The Messenger of Allah said: "Regard the Ahlul-Bayt among you as the head to the body, or the eyes to the face, for the face is only guided by the eyes." Sunni references: • Is’af al-Raghibeen, by al-Saban • al-Sharaf al-Mua’abbad, by Shaikh Yusuf al-Nabahani, p31, by more than one authority Also: The Messenger of Allah said: "My Ahlul-Bayt are the protected place of refuge about the dispute in religion.” (Mustadrak Hakim) These traditions, therefore, leave no room for any doubt. There can be no other way except to follow the Ahlul-Bayt and give up all opposition to them. The Messenger of Allah said: "Acknowledgment of Aale-Muhammad (the family of Muhammad) means salvation from the fire, and love for them is a passport for crossing the bridge of the Siraat, and obedience to them is a protection from divine wrath." Sunni references: • Kitab al-Shafa, by Qadhi ‘Ayadh, published in 1328 AH, v2, p40 • Yanabi al-Mawaddah, al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, section 65, p370 Abdullah Ibn Hantab related: The Messenger of Allah addressed us at Juhfa saying: "Do I not have authority over you more than yourselves?” They all said, "Yes of course.” Then he said: "I shall hold you answerable for two things, namely, the Book of Allah and my descendants." Sunni reference: • Ihyaa al-Mayyit, by al-Hafidh Jalaluddin al-Suyuti • Arba’in al-’Arbain, by Allamah al-Nabahani Therefore the reason we have adopted the faith of the Ahlul-Bayt to the exclusion of all others is that Allah himself has given preference to them only. It is sufficient to quote the poem of al-Shafi’i (one of the Sunni Imams) about Ahlul-Bayt which goes as follows: Members of the House of the Prophet, your love is a Divine duty on mankind. God revealed it in His Qur’an. It is enough among your great privileges that whoever does not bless you, his prayer is void. If the love of the members of the House of the Prophet is Rafdh (rejection), let mankind and the Jinns testify that I am a Rafidhi (rejector). The above poem of Shafi’i are too well known among the Arabic speaking people to require any reference. But for the benefit of those who insist on reference see: • Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, v27, p166, under the commentary of verse 42:23 of Qur’an. • al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, p88, in connection with the verse 33:33 of Qur’an. Brother/Sister in our prayers, and I am sure that in your prayers also, we say: "I declare that Muhammad is the servant of God and His Messenger. O Lord, send Your blessings upon Muhammad and his family"
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