Attributing Cosmic Occurrences to the Imams
Whatever happens in the cosmos is all because of the command of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His arrangement, in which he has no partner. However the books of the Shia intrigue ones interest in this regard, for they have attributed some of the occurrences of the cosmos to their Imams. Sama’ah ibn Mihran narrates:
عن سماعة بن مهران قال: كنت عند ابي عبد الله عليه السلام فأرعدت السماء و ابرقت،فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام :أما إنه ما كان من هاذا الرعد و من هذا البرق فإنه من أمر صاحبكم قلت :من صاحبنا ؟قال:أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام
Once I was in the company of Abu ‘Abdullah and the sky thundered and emitted lightening. Thereupon Abu ‘Abdullah said, “Behold all thunder and lightning is due to the order of your leader.”
I enquired, “Who is our leader?”
He said, “Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam.”
This implies that all thunder and lightning is due to the order of Amir al Mu’minin and not because of the order of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, the One, the All Mighty.
What conclusion will an unbiased Muslim draw from this narration when Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
هُوَ الَّذِيْ يُرِيْكُمُ الْبَرْقَ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَيُنشِئُ السَّحَابَ الثِّقَالَ
He is the one that shows you lightening which (at times) you fear and (at times) you have hope in and he is the one creates heavy clouds.
Is this not the belief of the Saba’iyyah, which is raising its disfigured head in the books of the Twelvers? Is this not claiming that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the Rabb or that he has some share in the operation of the universe? How bold of al Majlisi, and al Mufid before him, to write such blasphemy and ascribe it to Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah? For such heresy was plainly clear to them as well. Only a heretic and an irreligious person will believe in such doctrines. Indeed appalling is the affair of a people who procure their religion from books that contain such blasphemy, who revere scholars who openly professed such heresies. Is there no person of sound intellect and healthy religious propriety among this cult who can raise his voice and express his condemnation against this widespread misguidance, and who can exonerate the pure members of the Ahlul Bayt from such devastating filth. Is there no one who will purify Shi’ism from the filth that the scholars of the Safawid era soiled it with?
Or is it that every sincere scholar who raises his voice is assassinated as they did with al Kisrawi, or his opinion is interpreted as Taqiyyah (dissimulation) as they did with many of their narrations and opinions of their scholars. Has this dogma reached a stage where it has now become impervious to rehabilitation and the light of the truth?
I assume that the impressionable lay Shia adherents perceive that there exists no other Islam out there but this. Because many factions of both Sunni and Shia have impressed upon them that there is no difference between the two save in a few secondary issues. Thus they shut the door of deliberation, investigation, and research upon them due to this grave widespread misunderstanding.
They also say that the clouds are the conveyance of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in which he rides as he desires. Their narrations state:
ما كان من سحاب فيه رعد وصاعقة و برق فصاحبكم و صاعقة و برق فصاحبكم بركبه، أما أنه سيركب السحاب، و برق فيه الأسباب أسباب السماوات و الارضين السبع خمس عوامر و ثنتان خراب
Any cloud that emits thunder, a storm, and lightening is ridden by your companion. Behold! He will ride the clouds and ascend the stories, the stories of the heavens and the earths. Five thereof are populated and two are empty.
This statement indirectly implies that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu drives the clouds which amounts to disbelief in the verse wherein Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala:
حَتّٰى إِذَا أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًا ثِقَالًا سُقْنَاهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَّيِّتٍ فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ الْمَاءَ
When they (the winds) have carried laden clouds we drive them to barren land and shower upon it water.
Likewise the verse:
اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْ يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيْرُ سَحَابًا فَيَبْسُطُهُ فِي السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ
Allah is the one that sends the winds which carry the clouds spreading them in the sky as he wishes.
Their claim that “‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu rides the clouds” is an extension of the blasphemous belief of the Saba’iyyah belief, which was:
هو الذي يجيء في السحاب و الرعد صوته و البرق تبسمه
He is the one that appears in the clouds; the thunder is his voice, and the lightening is his smile.
Furthermore, al Majlisi quotes a lengthy narration which consists of eight pages; this narration accords ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu supernatural abilities. To name a few:
- He can transfer his followers to places in the heavens and the earth,
- He can demonstrate before them miracles greater than the miracles of the prophets,
- He can destroy an entire nation with one slap.
The climax of it all is the claim:
إني لأملك من ملكوت السموت و الأرض ما لا تحتملون العلم ببعضه
I own such entities from the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, the knowledge of which you cannot comprehend.
Al Majlisi says about this narration:
أن عليا أوما إلي سحابتين فأصبحت كل سحابه كأنها بساط موضوع فركب علي سحابة بمفرده، وركب بعض أصحابه- كما تقول الرواية- كسلمان والمقداد… السحابة الأخري، وقال علي وهو فوق السحابة: أنا عين الله في أرضه، أنا لسان الله الناطق في خلقه، أنا نور الله الذي لا يطفأ، أنا باب الله الذي يؤتي منه، وحجته علي عباده.
‘Ali pointed at two clouds. Each one thus became (flat) like a spread carpet. Thereafter, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu mounted one and some of his companions like Salman and al Miqdad mounted the other. He then said, “I am the eye of Allah on the earth, I am the speaking tongue of Allah in his creation, I am the light of Allah which will never be distinguished, I am the door to Allah wherefrom he should be approached, and I am his proof against his servants.”
The narration continues in a very strange manner… The friends of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu ask him regarding the miracles of the Prophets whereupon he says:
أنا أريكم أعظم منها حتي قال: والذي فلق الحبة وبرأ النسمة إني لأملك من ملكوت السموت والأرض ما لو علمتم ببعضه لما احتمله جنانكم، إن اسم الله الأعظم علي اثنين وسبعين حرفا، وكان عند آصف بن برخيا حرف واحد فتكلم به فخسف الله عز و جل ما بينه و بين عرش بلقيس حتي تناول السرير ثم عادت الأرض كما كانت أسرع من طرف النظر و عندنا نحن والله اثنان وسبعون حرفا وحرف واحد عند الله عز وجل استأثر به في علم الغيب.
I will show you greater than that. He said, “By the one who split the seed and created the soul I own from the kingdom of the heavens and the earth such things that if you were to learn of them your hearts would not be able to withstand them; the great name of Allah (al Ism al A’zam) consists of seventy two letters. Asif ibn Barkhiya possessed the knowledge of only one letter owing to which, Allah caused the earth between him and the throne of Bilqis to sink in till he was able procure her throne. Subsequently, the earth returned to what it was in less than the blink of an eye. As for us, we have by the oath of Allah all seventy two letters, and one letter Allah has kept exclusive to himself in the realm of the unseen.”
This fairy tale goes onto mention that they, as they progressed, passed by some strange worlds wherein ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu visited the Prophets. Among them they saw a prophet who began crying when seeing Amir al Mu’minin. And when he was asked as to the cause of his crying he said:
إن أمير المؤمنين كان يمر بي عند كل غداة فيجلس فتزداد عبادتي بنظري إليه فقطع ذلك منذ عشرة أيام فأقلقني ذلك.
Amir al Mu’minin used to pass by and visit me every morning. My reward of devotion would increase due to looking at him. He has not visited me now for the last ten days, therefore, that put me into distress.
The tale also mentions that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu told his friends, “Lower your gazes.” Thereafter he transported them to a city wherein the Bazaars were bustling and its people were taller than date-palms. He informed them that this is the people of ‘Ad. Then he stunned them and destroyed them.
And the story continues… till eventually they return with the clouds carrying them. They land in the house of Amir al Mu’minin in less than a blink of an eye. They report:
وكان وصولنا إلي المدينة وقت الظهر والمؤذن يؤذن، وكان خروجنا منها وقت علت الشمس.
We reached Madinah at the time of the Zuhr salah whilst the Mu’adhin was still calling out the adhan. Whereas we left just after the sun had risen up high.
Lastly Amir al Mu’minin says:
لو أنني أردت أن أجوب الدنيا بأسرها والسموت السبع وأرجع في أقل من الطرف لفعلت بما عندي من اسم الله الأعظم، فقلنا: يا أمير المؤمنين أنت والله الآية العظمي والمعجز الباهر.
“If I want I can tour the entire world and the seven heavens and return in less than the winking of an eye because of the knowledge of the great name of Allah that I possess.”
So we said, “O Amir al Mu’minin! You are the greatest sign of Allah and his astounding miracle.”
This lengthy narration with all its flaws and problems has not been rejected by al Majlisi despite his acknowledgement:
لم نره في الأصول التي عندنا. لا نردها ونرد علمها إليهم عليهم السلام
I have not seen it in our canonical works. We do not reject it, rather we consign its knowledge to the Imams.
Astonishing indeed! A narration which is not found in their mother-works and which consists of such inconceivable exaggerations, yet al Majlisi did not have the courage to reject it. So what then about the ludicrous narrations which appear in their mother-works. They will be most certainly be overlooked and accepted.
 al Ikhtisas p. 327; Bihar al Anwar 37/33; al Burhan 2/482
 Surah al Ra’d: 112
 Refer to the book: Fikrah al Taqrib bayn al Sunnah wa al Shia
 Al Ikhtisas p. 199, p. 327; Bihar al Anwar 27/32
 Surah al A’raf: 57
 Surah al Rum: 48
 Al Shahrastani: al Milal wa al Nihal 1/173
 Bihar al Anwar 27/34
 Bihar al Anwar 27/39