I read an excellent article by the respected Sheikh ‘Abbas al Musa titled A Moment with the Truth that is more Deserving of Being Followed. He says in this article:
The Imams of the Ahlul Bayt have guided us to this: To the fact that we must turn to Allah [alone] to fulfil our needs, seek our sustenance, and so on, and that whoever does not turn to Allah then he is in a clear loss.
The most adept expression of this is what has been narrated from Imam al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam, where he said that he had read in some books that Allah, blessed and elevated is He, says, “I swear by My honour, My grandeur, My magnificence, and My loftiness over my throne, I shall thwart with despondency the hopes of whomsoever hopes of anything from anyone besides Me. I shall clothe him in the garb of disgrace among the people. I shall remove him from closeness to Me, and shall move him far from My grace.”
Imam al Rida says, “For you is creation and from you is provision,” since provision is from Allah, not from the Imams. He also says, “Whoever claimed that creation and sustenance is in our hands, then we are free from them the same way that ‘Isa, son of Maryam, is free from the Christians.” The Imam is dissociating himself from whomever claims that the Imams provide sustenance, whereas we, the Shia, insist on the idea that they grant sustenance.
He concluded his supplication asking that Allah not spare anyone who claims that the Imams grant sustenance. He said, “…Do not leave any of them to inhabit the earth! If You spare them, they will misguide Your slaves, and they will only beget insolate ingrates.” He emphasized in his prayer that they, the Ahlul Bayt, did not call the Shia or their followers, or anyone else for that matter, towards that which they claim about the Ahlul Bayt.
It is mentioned in Du’a al Jawshan al Kabir that which reinforces the idea that Allah alone is the Sustainer, as is mentioned in section 90:
O He, besides whom none knows the unseen! O He, besides whom none can remove harm! O He, besides whom none can create! O He, besides whom none can forgive sins! O He, besides whom none can bring bounties to completion! O He, besides whom none can change the hearts! O He, besides whom none can conduct any affair! O He, besides whom none can send down the rain! O He, besides whom none can spread sustenance! O He, besides whom none can give life to the dead…
Considering this, how can one say, “O ‘Ali, give me provision” or “grant me wealth”, when the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt deny this and forbid it, and accuse those who claim such things of lying, as well as suspecting them of extremism?
What a stark difference: the Imams of Ahlul Bayt are rejecting that it is claimed about them that they grant sustenance to the people in one way or the other, whilst their Shia claim that they grant sustenance!
Despite this legacy that attempts to turn us towards Allah, we do not see anyone from the scholars (naturally, this is not a blanket ruling) who would turn us in the same direction. We have a vested interest in the infallible Ahlul Bayt, yet forgot their Lord and Creator. It is for this very reason that we say, “O ‘Ali, grant me sustenance” instead of saying, “O Allah, grant me sustenance”, that we confide in Ahlul Bayt and not in Allah, that we supplicate to Ahlul Bayt and not to Allah, that we seek our needs from Ahlul Bayt, saying, “O Umm al Banin, help me”, instead of “O Allah, help me”, and that we seek cure from Ahlul Bayt, saying “O Fatimah, cure me,” instead of, “O Allah, cure me.” When a calamity befalls us, our hearts turn to the Ahlul Bayt and not to Allah.
Do we turn to the subsidiary and forget what holds primary importance? Allah is to be given primary importance, and the Ahlul Bayt are subordinate.
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
And do not become like those who forgot Allah, so Allah caused them to forget themselves. Those are the immoral ones.
In whom do we place our hope? From whom do we seek sustenance? Whom do we beseech for our needs and to remove the calamities affecting us?
Is the answer to all of those questions anyone than Allah? If so, then we are (according to the narration), those despondent, hopeless persons who have been moved away from proximity of Allah, and no prayers of ours are to be answered. This is truly the greatest tragedy.
Who taught us this? Is it simply a case of We found our forefathers on a tradition, and we are simply following their footsteps?
That is not the case. Rather, it is that these understandings have been placed in our minds by someone. Was it the books that did this? Was it the scholars? Was it our mothers and fathers? Irrespective of whom it is, there is someone who breeds this in the people.
Related to this discussion is the intense situation with which the scholars and narrators of Hadith in the school of Qom (in earlier times) came face-to-face with the Mufawwidhah in debate. Whoever is familiar with this epoch is aware of this struggle, where the scholars stood up to this ideology of the extremists with all of its literature that had spread at that time. They ended up deciding that whoever attributed superhuman qualities to the Imams would be considered extremists, and as a result, banished from their city.
 Surah al Hashr: 19.
 Surah al Zukhruf: 22.
 An extremist group of Shia who believed that Allah had surrendered control of the universe to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after having created him. Translator.Back to top