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In the Name of God بسم الله

Cherubim and Seraphim and the Bearers of the Throne

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And in Basaair Al Darajaat,  he has narrated from Abi Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abi Abdullah Farsi and others than him, that they have narrated without mentioning the document  from Imam Sadiq (عليه السلام) who said: ((The Cherubim) are a tribe of our Shiites who They are the first among the creation and Allah has appointed their place behind His throne, if the light of one of them is distributed among the people of the earth, it is enough for all the people of the earth to have light. Then he said: Musa (peace be upon him) after making that request to see Allah Almighty ordered one of these cherubs to manifest, and it was this manifestation that made the mountain crumble.


Cherubim is the plural of cherubim meaning closeness, meaning that those angels are close to Allah. (1)
Cherubim angels: They are angels who are known as the chief of angels.
Of course, Cherubin (Fath Ba and Sukun Ya) is also pronounced as the name of the two angels who came down with the cooperation of Gabriel and Michael to punish the people of Lut. (2)

(2) Tafsir Al Mizan , v10 , p 489


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The pure souls of Ahl al-Bayt and their light were created before other creatures; they were placed around Allah’s Throne. They were engaged in glorifying Allah so that He will put each of those pure souls in a body at the proper time and reveal them among people for their guidance as a favor:

خَلَقَكُمُ اللهُ أنْوَاراً فَجَعَلَكُمْ بِعَرْشِهِ مُحْدِقِينَ حَتَّى مَنَّ عَلَيْنَا بِكُمْ فَجَعَلَكُمْ فِي بُيُوتٍ أذِنَ اللهُ أنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ.





v. In Twelver Shiʿism

Imami traditions contain a chaotic abundance of material portraying the origin and structure of the universe. Book XIV, “On the heavens and the earth,” of Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesī’s Beḥār al-anwār, fills ten volumes (LVII-LXVI) in the most recent edition and contains several thousand traditions; to this abun­dance must be added related material from elsewhere in Majlesī’s vast compilation and in other Imami collections of Hadiths. Further information is to be found in Imami polemics, apocalyptic, and even narra­tives of the ascension (meʿrāj) of the Prophet Moḥammad. Of most interest is the older corpus of traditions, in which mythical elements had not yet given way to the rationalist discourse of later theologi­cal and juridical tradition (Amīr-Moʿezzī, 1992b, I/2). In view of the abundance of material and frequent inconsistencies, it is possible to discuss here only the most common themes. Cosmological traditions fall into two groups, the first differing only in detail from the Sunni cosmological traditions attested from the same period; the second contains material peculiar to Shiʿism, dealing mainly with the cosmological role of the imams.

Elements shared with Sunni Islam. According to early Imami sources, God created the universe “from nothing” (lā men šayʾ; Kolaynī, n.d., I, p. 183; idem, 1389/1969, I, p. 135). The essence of the Creator is separated from the creation by veils (ḥejāb), curtains (setr), and pavilions (sorādeq) impregnated with the divine attributes (Majlesī, LVIII, chaps. 2ff., with frequent references to Ebn Bābūya). Two parallel series of “first created things” are described. On one hand, there are creations that can be considered arche­types, like the pen (al-qalam), the well-guarded tablet (al-lawḥ al-maḥfūẓ), the throne (al-ʿarš), and the seat (al-korsī); it is said, for example, that at the divine command the pen of light was dipped into the nūn (cf. Koran 68:1) and wrote with ink of light on the tablet of light all that was destined to happen until the resurrec­tion (Qomī, sub 68:1; Ebn Bābūya, 1379/1959, p. 23). The seat seems to encompass the entire universe in its exoteric aspects (ẓāher), while the throne incorporates the esoteric aspects (bāṭen; Kolaynī, n.d., I, pp. 175ff.; Ebn Bābūya, 1398/1978, pp. 321ff.). On the other hand, creation is also said to have begun with the elements: First was the water on which the divine throne rests (cf. Koran 11:7). According to some traditions, this water itself rested on air (ʿAyyāšī, sub 11:7; Nahj al-balāḡa, p. 26). When God wished to “unleash” creation, he drew the wind from the water and ordered it to whip up the latter. The lashing of the waves gave birth to a vapor, which formed the heav­ens, and a foam, which dried and formed the earth (Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī, sub 11:7; Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, p. 135). In another version the water transformed itself into fire; the heavens originated in its smoke, the earth in its ashes (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, p. 223; Nahj al­-balāḡa, pp. 26, 241ff.). Sometimes the two series of protocreations are combined, for example, when the throne is said to have been created after air, the pen, and light (Ebn Bābūya, 1398/1978, pp. 325-26).

Creation took place in six days (cf. Koran 32:4). The Islamic cosmogonic tradition draws abundantly on biblical and midrashic literature (Eisenberg, pp. 13­-28), which is why in Imami narratives creation is often said to have taken place between Sunday and Friday, with Saturday apparently reserved as the Creator’s day of rest. On the first day (Sunday) good was created, on the two first days the earth, on the third day nourish­ment for the earth, on the fourth and fifth days the heavens, and on Friday the nourishment for the heav­ens (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, 213; Majlesī, LVII, pp. 53ff.). In other narratives the creation of the heavens is placed before that of the earth (e.g., Nahj al-balāḡa, p. 26), both hypotheses being compatible with the concise language of the Koran (cf. 2:29, 41:9-12, 9:7, 32:4, 25:9, etc.). There are seven heavens, the propor­tion of each to that above it being that of a small ring to an immense desert (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, pp. 224-­25). The imams have provided their names and de­scribed their colors, constituent elements, and inhabit­ants (Ebn Bābūya, 1385/1986, II, p. 280; idem, 1329 Š./1950, II, p. 74; idem, 1377/1958, I, p. 241; Majlesī, LVIII, pp. 88ff.). Among the elements of this celestial topography are paradise, sometimes placed below and sometimes within the seventh heaven; hell, located either in the first heaven or below the seventh earth (see below); the “lotus tree of the boundary” (sedrat al-montahā; cf. Koran 53:14, 53:16), the blessed tree of the highest heaven (cf. Wensinck, 1921); and the “house frequented” (al-bayt al-maʿmūr; Koran 52:4), a temple located at the center of the same heaven (Majlesī, XVIII, pp. 319ff., on the meʿrāj; LVIII, chaps. 3ff.).

Twelver angelology is highly developed, and the heavens are thus described as densely populated. In the angelic hierarchy, below the four principal archangels (Gabriel, Michael, Seraphiel, and Azrael), who rule the seven heavens and attend the divine throne, are the angels in charge of each heaven, presiding over armies of angels millions strong, each category with its own task (Majlesī, LIX, pp. 144-256). The natural order, including even meteorological events, is also conceptualized in terms of angels: Eclipses, winds, the courses of the stars, and the like are considered the work of angels specifically assigned to these tasks (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, pp. 119, 130, II, p. 91). In some traditions even the “archetypal creatures” like the pen and the well-guarded tablet are associated with angels (Ebn Bābūya,1379/1959, pp. 23, 30). There are also other celestial beings, distinct from the angels: the spirit (al-rūḥ), which is superior to them, inspiring and sustaining the imams (Ṣaffār Qomī, IX, pp. 16-19; Kolaynī, n.d., II, pp. 17ff.); the terror (al-roʿb), a celestial being who is to “march” with the Mahdī and assist him in his eschatological mission (Noʿmānī, p. 337; Ebn Bābūya, 1405/1985, I, p. 331; see below); and even the cosmic [Edited Out], its claws resting on the seventh earth and the throne sprouting from its head, which announces the Day of Judgment in its prayers, thus arousing the cocks of the terrestrial earth (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, II, pp. 91-92). Finally, the stars, which were created after the heavens and are considered living beings that pray to God, are almost as important in the universal harmony as are the angels (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, p. 230, II, p. 125; Majlesī, LVIII, chaps 5ff., LIX, pp. 327-98).

There is also a topography that lies between heaven and earth and encompasses such elements as the region of darkness (ẓolomāt), with the fountain of life (ʿayn al-ḥayāt) in the center; the silver tents (ḵīām men feżża), where the spirits of past imams dwell; and even the “kingdom of the earth” (malakūt al-arż) and the cities Jābolqā and Jābolsā, which, though described as located at the hidden center, the extreme east, and the extreme west of the earth respectively, seem neverthe­less to be located outside its physical boundaries (Ṣaffār Qomī, VIII, pp. 12-14, X, p. 14). These topoi play an important role in Twelver initiation rites, when the imams “dispatch” their disciples to visit these places; the terms in which they are described are simulta­neously spiritual and corporeal, suggesting an ontological reality beyond the senses.

Parallel to the heavens there are also seven earths, each like a ring in a desert in comparison to the one above it (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, pp. 224ff.). Their names, inhabitants, and events are known to the imams (Majlesī, LIX, pp. 343-98). The terrestrial earth, the equilibrium of which is ensured by the weight of the mountains (cf. Koran 13:3, 21:31), especially Qāf, the largest of them, consists of seven climes (Ebn Bābūya, 1329 Š./1950, II, pp. 97ff.), with the Kaʿba at the center. The Kaʿba is also the middle member in a tower of fifteen sanctuaries located in the centers of the superimposed seven heavens and seven earths; appar­ently all are cubical, the highest being the “house frequented” (see above), which stands just below the throne and was constructed in its image (Ebn Bābūya, 1404/1984, p. 196; idem, 1376/1957, II, p. 201; idem, 1385/1966, II, pp. 396-98; cf. Wensinck, 1916).

The positions of some elements in the hierarchy of the “physical” universe fluctuate considerably. In the most frequently mentioned sequence the seventh earth rests on the [Edited Out], which stands on a rock poised on the back of a whale that swims in the ocean of darkness; the ocean is borne by the air, which is in turn sustained by the moist earth (bard; Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, pp. 224, 127; Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī, sub Koran 11:7). All the lists end with ṯarā, which is said to constitute the farthest limit of human knowledge. In the hierarchy of the celestial universe the seventh heaven is surrounded by the hidden ocean contained in the mountains of cold (bard; or of hail if the word is read barad), which in their turn are contained within the air; the latter is supported by the veils of light encased in the divine korsī (Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, p. 225).

As for the inhabitants of the earth, information is even more confused, for the relevant traditions also incorporate several other notions, including the cycles, age, and number of the worlds. Aside from such confusion, it is also impossible to know whether the term “world” (ʿālam) as used by the imams refers to the entire universe or only to the sublunary earth. The “worlds” are numbered seven, twelve, twelve thou­sand, or even a million, and all the inhabitants, except­ing naturally the “enemies” of the imams and their partisans on earth, recognize the walāya (spiritual guidance) of the “immaculate ones” (maʿṣūmīn). The age of the world is often said to be 50,000 years, divided into five periods of 10,000 years each. During the first the world was empty, arid, and uninhabited; during the second it was populated with beings who were neither jinn nor angels nor human beings. In the third period the world was again empty and uninhab­ited. The fourth was that of the creation of the jinn and the monstrous nasānes (sg. nasnās). In the fifth period, of which the major part has already elapsed, humanity, the descendants of Adam, was born. But Twelver Shiʿism also incorporates cycles of humanity, the individual duration of which is unknown; only after the disappearance of the last generation of human beings will the world be entirely renewed, with a population not divided between male and female and totally dedicated to the worship of God (Masʿūdī, p. 3; ʿAyyāšī, s.v. Koran 2:30, 50:15; Ebn Bābūya, 1329 Š./1950, II, pp. 107ff., 322ff., III, pp. 321ff.; idem, 1398/1978, p. 277). The accounts of the creation of Adam, the events of his life, and the personages that sur­rounded him (Eve, Eblīs, Cain, Abel, etc.) do not offer cosmological features properly so-called and in fact belong to the chapter on theology; here it is possible only to cite the koranic passages, enriched with information drawn from the written and oral esrāʾīlīyāt literature. The subhuman categories of the jinn, cre­ated from fire, and the nasānes, monsters of evil, have been invisible to ordinary human beings since the inception of the fifth era, that in which the “world” was created; in addition, there are the “monstrosities” (mosūḵ), human beings reincarnated in the bodies of unclean animals. These categories seem to correspond to a doctrinal need: Some of the jinn who are believers and initiates into Islam correspond on the subhuman plane to the Imami faithful, just as the nasānes correspond to the partisans of the imams’ enemies. The mosūḵ are almost always reincarnations of adversaries of the Imami cause (on the jinn and the nasānes, see Ṣaffār Qomī, II, p. 18; Kolaynī, n.d., II, pp. 242ff.; idem, 1389/1969, II, p. 54; Masʿūdī, p. 3; on the mosūḵ, see Ṣaffār Qomī, VII, p. 16; Kolaynī, 1389/1969, I, p. 285, II, p. 37; Ebn Bābūya, 1329 Š./1950, II, pp. 329ff.; idem, 1377/1958-59, I, p. 271; Noʿmānī, p. 387).

Aside from several features with esoteric and initia­tory connotations (the cycles of the world and of humanity, treatment of the terrestrial and celestial topoi, certain aspects of angelology) and several doc­trinal characteristics (treatment of the subhuman), this “first level” of Twelver cosmogony is not fundamen­tally different from Muslim cosmogony in general, as it has been set forth by such authors as Azraqī (d. after 244/858), Ṭabarī (d. 310/923), Moṭahhar Maqdesī (Pseudo Balḵī; d. after 355/966), Kesāʾī (d. beginning of the 11th century), or even Ṯaʿlabī (d. 427/1035), all approximately contemporary with the first Imami compilers (cf. Fahd). The details of this level are derived from an ancient Semitic background, with traces of Judaism and mediated through it very ancient Near and Middle Eastern traditions, especially those of Mesopotamia.

Elements peculiar to Shiʿism. The teachings of the imams, as they appear in the nonrational esoteric tradition, constitute a second cosmogonic and anthropogonic “level,” differing from the contempo­rary Sunni tradition and exhibiting some similarities with Iranian cosmogonies. These teachings, funda­mentally Imami, can be characterized as “primordial,” for the events described preceded the creation of the universe. Twelver primordial cosmogony is explained in two groups of apparently unrelated but actually interdependent and complementary traditions.

In the first it is reported that thousands of years before the creation of all things, in the immaterial “place” of the Mother Book (omm al-ketāb), God sent forth from His own light the shaft of light identified with Moḥammad—that of exoteric prophecy—and from that shaft a second, that of ʿAlī, typifying the imamate, or esoteric walāya (Noʿmānī, p. 131; Ebn Bābūya, 1404/1984, pp. 75, 236, 347-48; idem, 1385/1966, pp. 134, 174, 208; idem, 1379/1959, pp. 306ff.; Ebn Šahrašūb, I, p. 183). This primordial light, single and dual, is the sacred pleroma of the fourteen im­maculate ones (Ebn Bābūya, 1385/1966, I, pp. 135ff.; 1405/1985, p. 319; 1329 Š./1950, II, pp. 307ff.; Ḵazzāz, pp. 110-11, 169-70). The lights of the im­maculate ones are described in numerous traditions as “shades,” “spirits,” or “shadows” of the light (ašbāḥ, arwāḥ, aẓella nūr or men nūr; Ebn Bābūya, 1385/1966, I, pp. 23, 162, 208; idem, 1405/1985, pp. 335-36; Ebn ʿAyyāš, p. 95; Majlesī, XI, pp. 150ff., 192ff., XXV, pp. 23ff.). According to some imprecise and allusive reports, the stage of the “shadows of light” is supposed to have occurred not in the primordial world of the Mother Book but in the “second world,” called in the texts “the first world of shadows” (ʿālam al-­aẓella al-awwal) or “the first world of particles” (ʿālam al-ḏarr al-awwal; Noʿmānī, pp. 274, 309; Ebn Bābūya, 1404/1984, p. 612; Ḵazzāz, pp. 169-70). The transi­tion from the world of the Mother Book to the first world of shadows would thus mark the passage from the amorphous light of the immaculate ones to light in human form, of an extremely “subtle” substance (Noʿmānī, p. 328; Ebn Bābūya, 1329 Š./1950, I, p. 156; Ḵazzāz, p. 112). It must have been at that stage that the divine throne was created, for it was around the throne that the primordial luminous entities, the immaculate ones, performed an archetypal circumambulation, tes­tifying to the Oneness of God (tahlīl, tawḥīd) and praising His glory (taḥmīd, tamjīd, tasbīḥ, etc.; Ebn Bābūya, 1405/1985, pp. 318-19; idem, 1377/1958, I, pp. 262ff.; Ḵazzāz, p. 170; Ebn ʿAyyāš, p. 123). In a subsequent stage the “shadows” or “particles” of those who can be called “pure beings” were created. Despite the disorder and lack of clarity in the traditions, it is nevertheless possible to class the “pure beings” in three broad categories: shadows of future spiritual and nonhuman inhabitants of the heavens and the earth; shadows of the prophets, with particular emphasis on the ūlo’l-ʿazm (lit. “prophets endowed with firm reso­lution”), and finally shadows of the initiates (moʾmenūn, a technical term designating initiates into the esoteric religion, in contrast to the moslemīn, adherents of the one true exoteric religion; for the opposition moʾmen/moslem, or īmān/eslām, see Amīr-Moʿezzī, 1992b, s.vv.) among the descendants of Adam, that is, the followers of the imams in all periods (Ṣaffār Qomī, II, pp. 6, 8, 11; Ebn Bābūya, 1342 Š./1963, pp. 11-12; idem, 1385/1966, p. 122; Ebn ʿAyyāš, pp. 41, 58).


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This is the Tafsir of the words of Allah: good news for you today: gardens…

Ibne Shahar Aashob has, in Manaqib, quoted Imam Baqir ((عليه السلام).) that the meaning of ‘complete our Light (Noor) for us’ is ‘make our Shias join us’.

Imam Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) has, explaining the verse: Wait for us, that we may have light from your light… said that the Lord of the universe will divide (curtail) the Light for the hypocrites and that it will appear in the toes of their left feet and will soon disappear and that is why the faithful will pray ‘complete our Light for us’.

Ali bin Ibrahim has quoted Imam Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) that the one who will have Light in Qiyamat will get salvation and that every believer will surely have the Light.



The Angels Seek Forgiveness for the Partisans of Ali ((عليه السلام).)

According to the traditions of the Ahlul Bayt ((عليه السلام).), it is an established fact that even the angels ask forgiveness (on behalf) of the followers of Ali ((عليه السلام).). A tradition is quoted in Behaarul Anwaar from the Sunni sources in this regard. Anas relates from the Holy Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).s.) that he said,
"Allah has created seventy thousand angels from the light of Ali ibne Abi Talib's face. These angels will (continue to) ask forgiveness (on his behalf and on the behalf of his devotees) till the Day of Judgement."



3- According to some ahadith, the creation of the light of the imams (عليه السلام) has taken place before the creation of Adam ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). The prophet of Islam ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) says: “When Prophet Adam ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) was still amongst water and clay [hadn’t been created yet], I was a prophet.”[9] Similar to this hadith is another one that speaks of the chronological precedence of Imam Ali’s (عليه السلام) imamate in relation to the creation of Adam ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)).[10] There are countless other hadiths that disclose the same meaning with different phrasings.

4- Imam Ali (عليه السلام) was without a doubt one of the signs of Allah's (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) might and power and because of this, he is called “The Hand of Allah” (ید الله). He himself in a hadith says: “أَنَا عَیْنُ اللَّهِ وَ أَنَا یَدُ اللَّهِ وَ أَنَا جَنْبُ اللَّهِ وَ أَنَا بَابُ اللَّهِ” (I am the eye of Allah, the hand of Allah, the side of Allah, and the path to Allah).[11]

Keeping all of the above in mind, if anyone believes that Prophet Adam ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) was created by the hands of Imam Ali (عليه السلام), it will mean that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) created him through one of the manifestations of His power, meaning the light of Imam Ali (عليه السلام) that was created from before, not that the physical body of Imam Ali (عليه السلام) independently did such a thing.



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