Their belief regarding the fundamentals of Iman Part 2

Their Beliefs Regarding Ijma’ (consensus of the Ummah)
August 22, 2017
The concept of Imamah according to the Shia and its inception
August 22, 2017

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Belief in the Prophets

 

The deviance of the Shia in this respect is represented in many beliefs, e.g. the Imams receive revelation[1] (as was previously mentioned in the section of Sunnah, likewise, under the issue of belief in the books), they are infallible, the necessity of adhering to their orders,[2] etc. They have by way of these beliefs accorded the Imams the station of prophet-hood. Ibn Taymiyyah, therefore, says:

 

فمن جعل بعد الرسول معصوما يجب الإيمان بكل ما يقوله فقد أعطاه معني النبوة و إن لم يعطه لفظها

Whoever attributes infallibility to anyone averring that, after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he is entitled to obedience in everything he says, has in essence accorded him the station of prophet-hood. Even though he does not verbally claim that.[3]

 

They have exceeded all bounds by further asserting that the Prophets’ ‘alayh al Salam were the followers of ‘Ali, and that some of them were penalised due to not believing in his succession. One narration states:

 

عن حبة العرني قال: قال أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: إن الله عرض ولايتي علي أهل السموات و أهل الأرض أقر بها من أقر، و أنكرها من أنكر،أنكرها يونس فحبسه الله في يطن الحوت حتي أقر بها.

Habbah al ’Urani mentions that Amir al Mu’minin said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala presented my allegiance to the dwellers of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth. Those that conceded, conceded and those that rejected, rejected. Yunus rejected. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala consequently imprisoned him in the belly of the fish till he conceded.[4]

 

They have many similar traditions in this regard.[5]

Hence, they assert the following:

  1. The Imams are superior to the Prophets’.
  2. They came with miracles in order to establish evidence against the entire creation.

These are the two aspects that I will be discussing in somewhat detail in the pages to come.

 

Holding the Imams in Higher Esteem than the Prophets’

 

The prophets are the best of humans and the most deserving of the station of prophet-hood. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala prepared them for the highest level of servitude, the propagation of his message, and striving in his path. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

اللّٰهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

Allah is most knowing of where [i.e. with whom] He places His message.[6]

 

Hence they enjoy the distinct privilege of prophet-hood over everyone else.[7]

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has made obedience to them compulsory upon the creation. He, the Almighty, says:

 

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُوْلٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللّٰهِ

And we did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah.[8]

 

No human is better than them. Al Tahawi mentions the following in his exposition of the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah:

 

ولا نفضل أحدا من الأولياء علي أحد من الأنبياء عليهم السلام و نقول: نبي واحد أفضل من جميع الأولياء

We do not hold any saint in higher esteem than the Prophets’ ‘alayh al Salam. Instead we confirm that one Nabi is better than all the saints.[9]

 

Giving preference to the Imams over the prophets is the stance of the extremist Shia as is asserted by ‘Abd al Qahir al Baghdadi,[10] al Qadi ‘Ayad,[11] and Ibn Taymiyyah.[12] Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab states:

 

من اعتقد في غير الأنبياء كونه أفضل منهم و مساويا لهم فقد كفر،و قد نقل الإجماع علي ذلك غير واحد من العلماء

Whoever believes the superiority of anyone over the Prophets’ or that he is equal to them in rank has left the fold of Islam. The consensus of the Ummah in this regard has been documented by many a scholars.[13]

 

Therefore, al Qadi ‘Ayad states:

 

نقطع بتكفير غلاة الرافضة في قولهم: إن الأئمةأفضل من الأنبياء

We definitively conclude that the extremist Shia are out of the fold of Islam due to their belief in the superiority of the Imams over the Prophets’.[14]

 

Surprisingly, this is one of the cornerstone beliefs of Twelver Shi’ism. The author of al Wasail has averred that the belief in the superiority of the Imams over the Prophets’ is a core tenet of the Shia dogma, ascribing it to the Imams.[15] He further says that the narrations confirming this belief are too many to be enumerated.[16] Likewise, in his Bihar al Majlisi has established a chapter named: Chapter regarding the Imams being superior to the Prophets and the entire creation, regarding the covenant that was taken from them, the angels, and the entire creation; and regarding the high ranking prophets only attaining a high position due to their love for the Imams.[17]

Al Majlisi, substantiates this belief with 88 narrations which are all attributed to the Twelvers[18] and then says:

 

و الأخبار يعني أخبارهم في ذلك أكثر من أن يحصي و إنما أوردنا في هذا الباب قليلا منها و هي متفرقة في الأبواب لا سيما باب صفات الأنبياء و أصنافهم عليهم السلام و باب أنهم عليهم السلام كلمة الله و باب بدو أنوارهم و باب أنهم أعلم من الأنبياء و أبواب فضائل أمير المؤمنين و فاطمة صلوات الله عليهما.

And the narrations in this regard are too many to be enumerated, we have just cited a few of them. They are all scattered in different chapters, especially the chapters regarding the qualities of the Prophets’ and their different categories, the chapter regarding the Imams being the word of Allah, the chapter regarding the radiance of their light, the chapter regarding them being more knowledgeable than the Prophets’, and the chapters containing the virtues of Amir al Mu’minin and Fatimah.[19]

 

In his Itiqadat, which the Shia treat as a fundamental book in the Imamiyyah canon, Ibn Babawayh states:

 

يجب أن يعتقد أن الله عز و جل لم يخلق خلقا أفضل من محمد صلي الله عليه وآله و سلم و الأئمه، و أنهم أحب الخلق إلي الله عز و جل و أكرمهم و أولهم إقرارا به لما أخذ الله ميثاق النبيين في الذر، و أن الله تعالي أعطي كل نبي علي قدرمعرفته نبينا صلي الله عليه و آله و سلم و سبقه إلي الإقرار به، و يعتقد أن الله تعالي خلق جميع ما خلق له و لأهل بيته عليهم السلام و أنه لولاهم ما خلق السماء ولا الأرض ولا الجنة و لا النار ولا آدم ولا حواء ولا الملائكة ولا شيئا مما خلق صلوات الله عليهم أجمعين.

It is mandatory to believe that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has not created anyone better than Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Imams, that they are the most beloved of his creation to him and the most honourable, and that they were the first to acknowledge the covenant of the prophets in the Dhar (realm of particles after the creation of Adam ‘alayh al Salam. And that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala granted every Nabi his favours and bounties based on his submission to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his advancement in conceding his prophet-hood. Likewise he should believe that Allah has created whatever he has created for him and for his household ‘alayh al Salam; if it was not for them he would not have created the heavens, the earth, Jannat, Jahannam, Adam, Hawwa’, the angels, and any of his other creation, may the peace of Allah descend upon them.[20]

 

The author of Bihar after citing this text in his book explains thus:

 

اعلم أن ما ذكره رحمة الله من فضل نبينا و أئمتنا صلوات الله عليهم علي جميع المخلوقات و كون أئمتنا أفضل من سائر الأنبياء هو الذي لا يرتاب فيه من تتبع أخبارهم عليهم السلام علي وجه الإذعان و اليقين، و الأخبار في ذلك أكثر من أن تحصي…و عليه عمدة الإمامية ولا يأبي ذلك إلا جاهل بالأخبار.

Know well that whatever he has mentioned pertaining to the superiority of our Nabi and our Imams over all the creations and regarding the merit of our Imams over all the Prophets’ is something that a keen follower of their legacy cannot doubt at all. For the traditions in this regard are beyond count… This is the core belief of the Imamiyyah which only an ignoramus can deny.[21]

 

Some have, in fact, even written exclusive books on this topic.[22]

This is the very same belief of Khomeini, as he has asserted in his book al Hukumah al Islamiyyah, and his cohorts in contemporary times openly proclaim (the text will be quoted shortly).

In attributing merit to the Imams, these narrations make claims which are steeped in exaggeration and deviance, and which make the hair on the bodies of the believers stand on ends (some of these have passed in the sections regarding their belief in the oneness of Allah in terms of Him being the deity and the nourisher).

Furthermore, the Imams are not only superior to the Prophets’. But all the merits that the Prophets’ enjoy is due to Wilayah (allegiance). Their Imam is reported to have said:

 

ما استوجب آدم أن يخلقه الله بيده و و ينفخ فيه من روحه إلا بولاية علي عليه السلام و ما كلم الله موسي تكليما إلا بولاية علي عليه السلام ولا أقام الله عيسي ابن مريم آية للعالمين إلا بالخضوع لعلي عليه السلام ثم قال أجمل الأمر ما استأهل خلق من الله النظر إليه إلا بالعبودية لنا

Adam ‘alayh al Salam did not deserve the privilege of Allah creating him with his hand and blowing in him his soul but because of his allegiance to ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam. And Allah did not directly converse with Musa but because of his allegiance to ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam. Nor did Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala establish ‘Isa ibn Maryam as his sign but because of his servitude to ‘Ali. He then said, “The best of them all is that no one becomes worthy of seeing his (Allah’s) countenance but after his allegiance to us.”[23]

 

If I were to go on citing similar narrations from Bihar and other books, I would cover many lengthy pages.[24]

Despite all the changes and developments the Twelver dogma has underwent, it seems as if this has remained a principle belief; which is not odd because al Mamaqani suggests that the nature of the dogma is progression toward extremism.

The Shia in this issue, i.e. the issue of the Imams being superior to the Prophets’ have diversified into three sects (as al Ash’ari states):

  1. A sect that believes that the Prophets’ are better than the Imams. Some among the adherents of this sect allow the position of the Imams being superior to the angels.
  2. A sect that believes that the Imams are superior to the Prophets’ and the angels.
  3. And a sect that together with believing in Imamah believe in rationalism as well. They say that the angels and the Prophets’ are superior to the Imams.[25]

Al Mufid has added a forth sect in his book Awail al Maqalat, and that is the sect that asserts that the Imams are better than the Prophets’ with the exception of the Ulu al Azm (the five Resolute Prophets’, referring to the five high ranking prophets) He thereafter does not express his preference but chooses to rather remain silent.[26]

Ostensibly, all of these sects have disintegrated with the efforts of the scholars of the Safawid Empire and the extremist stance of giving preference to the Imams over the Prophets’ has prevailed in the Shia dogma. To the extent that al Majlisi in his Bihar mentions the following under the chapter which he has dedicated to this topic:

 

إن أولي العزم إنما صاروا أولي العزم بحبهم صلوات الله عليهم

Verily the resolute Prophets’ procured the status of being resolute due to their love for the Imams.

 

He does not exclude any of them, not even our Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Likewise, they have narrations which draw a comparison between Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Ali. These narrations ultimately conclude that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has more merit than Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam due to him sharing all the accolades and feats of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and exclusively being the holder of many feats which Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam does not share with him. The author of Bihar has even established a chapter by the title: Chapter regarding Rasul Allah saying to Ali, ‘You have been bestowed with three merits which I was not granted’.[27]

Al Kafi, Bihar, and other books are filled with narrations which suggest that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Imams hold the same status as Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and deserve the obedience that he enjoys. But these narrations then progress to a point where they assert that the Imams are superior to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Instead they posit that ‘Ali and the Imams enjoy such feats and merits that no one else in the creation enjoys. By deliberating over these feats and merits you will realise that they are the exclusive attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. An illustration of one such feat will suffice to show what the Shia attribute to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

لم يفتني ما سبقني و لم يعزب عني ما غاب عني

Whatever preceded me has not missed me and whatever is not in my reach is not unknown to me.[28]

 

How grave are their fabrications against Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, his Din, his Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali, and the Ahlul Bayt. Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu expressed his disapproval against those who gave preference to him over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and sounded a warning of inflicting upon such people the punishment of a calumniator.[29] In eighty different transmissions which have been widely reported from him he is recorded to have said upon the pulpit of Kufah, “The most virtuous of this Ummah after its Nabi is Abu Bakr and ‘Umar,”[30] which the books of the Shia have also documented.[31] What would his reaction be if he were to learn that this cult which claims to be his partisans accords more virtue to him than even the Prophets’ of Allah? His refutation of them will without a doubt be much more stern and severe. Some scholars are of the opinion that a person who holds ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in higher esteem than Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam or Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is steeped in more disbelief than the Jews and Christians.[32]

The books of the Shia report that when Amir al Mu’minin was told, “You are a prophet.” he responded saying,

 

ويلك إنما أنا عبد من عبيد محمد

Woe unto you! I am just a servant of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[33]

 

Ibn Babawayh explaining this statement says, “I.e. a servant in terms of loyalty, nothing more.”[34]

It is very possible that this extremist stance which became the basis of the Twelver dogma is due to the influence of one of the ancient Shia sects which alleged that ‘Ali is superior to Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It was known as the ‘Alba’iyyah.[35]

And according to me the doctrine of the infallibility of the Imams led to the birth of this stance and many others. This is because they ascribe to the Imams such attributes which none of the messengers and Prophets’ of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala possess.

But when a person resorts to the Qur’an he will not find any mention of the Twelve Imams let alone them being more virtuous than the Prophets’. Just as he will notice that the Prophets’ due to their lofty rank are mentioned before the pious as in the verse:

 

فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنْعَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ وَالصِّدِّيْقِيْنَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِيْنَ

They will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs, and the righteous.[36]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has mentioned four categories of the successful in this verse.[37] And the Qur’an in all its verses asserts the selection and nomination of the Prophets’ over the entire world.[38]

Likewise, the Muslims of the first three centuries unanimously concur that the Prophets’ are superior to everyone. This consensus is evidence against the Shia, especially because all the Imams were from those times.[39]

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

 

اتفق سلف الأمةو أئمتها و سائر أولياء الله تعالي علي أن الأنبياء أفضل من الأولياء الذين ليسوا بأنبياء.

The predecessors of the Ummah comprising of its scholars and saints all concur that the Prophets’ are more virtuous than the pious who are not prophets.[40]

 

Even reason clearly suggests that making obedience to a Nabi mandatory, appointing him as the sole commander, prohibitor and sovereign ruler, and appointing the Imam as his deputy and subject… cannot be understood without the superiority of the Nabi over the Imam. This phenomenon is true for every Nabi but not for every Imam. Therefore, an Imam can never be more virtuous than a Nabi. It is impossible.[41]

Furthermore, in the books of the Shia there are narrations which are in harmony with the text of the Qur’an, the consensus of the Ummah, and reason. They debunk these heresies; the narration which al Kulayni narrates from Hisham al Ahwal, who narrates from Zaid ibn ‘Ali reads as follows:

إن الأنبياء أفضل من الأئمة وأن من قال غير ذلك فهو ضال

The Prophets’ are better than the Imams. Whoever, believes anything else is astray.[42]

 

Likewise, Ibn Babawayh has narrated from al Sadiq that the Prophets’ are more beloved to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala than ‘Ali.[43]

Lastly, there is no doubt regarding the falsehood of this stance; its falsehood can be identified by reason, the categorically established aspects of din, and history. There is no effort required to debunk it and it is one of the proofs of the corruptness of the Shia dogma.

 

The miracles of the Imams

 

The stance of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding miracles[44] is that no one besides the Prophets’ ‘alayh al Salam have the capacity to produce them. [45] As opposed to the Shia who aver that one of the signs of an Imam is that he should be able to produce miracles. Because they believe that Imamah is the continuation of prophet-hood.[46] Hence just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selects who he intends for prophet-hood and aids him by way of miracles, likewise does he handpick who he wants for the station of Imamah.[47]

Their hadith books are replete with traditions and tales pertaining to them. All they did is that they named the karamat (the miracles of saints) mujizat (miracles of the prophets).

No doubt it is one of the principle beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah to believe in the miracles of saints and all the extraordinary events that materialised on their hands. This applies to miracles related to various types of knowledge, divine inspirations, different types of abilities, and ways of impacting others; as is narrated regarding the early nations in Surah al Kahf and other surahs, and is reported regarding the Sahabah, their successors, and the people of the early generations. And miracles will always exist in this Ummah till the Day of Judgment.[48]

Naming the Karamat as Mujizat is thus merely a difference of terminology. Therefore, Ibn Taymiyyah criticized the statement of Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli, “and many mu’jizat materialised on his hands,” with the following:

 

فكأنه يسمي كرامات الأولياء معجزات وهذا اصطلاح كثير من الناس فيقال علي أفضل من كثير ممن له كرامات متوابرة عن كثير من عوام أهل السنة الذين يفضلون أبا بكر و عمر فكيف لا تكون الكرامات ثابتة لعلي رضي الله عنه، وليس في مجرد الكرامات ما يدل علي أنه أفضل من غيره

It is as though he is naming the Karamat of the pious Mu’jizat; this (the interchangeable nature of both the words) is the terminology of many people. It is thus said, “‘Ali is superior to many a people who have Karamat. Karamat are authentically proven to have materialised at the hands of the commonality of the Ahlus Sunnah who give preference to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar so why would there not be any Karamat reported from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” But mere Karamat cannot be the criterion for his superiority over others.[49]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah was of the view that the reason why the Shia lend so much of importance to what they attribute to their Imams is that they—because of their ignorance, oppression, and distance from the ways of the friends of Allah—do not experience any noteworthy miracles. Hence when they, because of their bankruptcy in this regard, hear of a miracle they extol it just as a pauper extols money and a famished person extols a piece of bread.[50]

However, do the Shia really consider these supernatural occurrences to be Karamat and merely call them Mu’jizat?

A person who reflects over the Twelver dogma will learn that they have an entirely different stance in this regard; they assert that Mu’jizat are indispensable to establish Imamah and inculpate the creation. Because, as they allege, their Imams are the evidence of Allah under the skies and above the earth. [51]

In fact al Kulayni mentions:

إن الحجة لا تقوم لله علي خلقه إلا بإمام

The evidence of Allah cannot be established upon the creation but through an Imam.[52]

 

There are multiple narrations of this nature. Hence, the Imams are reported to have said:

 

فنحن حجج الله في عباده

We are the evidence of Allah upon his bondsmen.

 

And:

و لولانا ما عبد الله

If it was not for us Allah would not have been worshipped.[53]

 

Another narration states:

الأوصياء هم أبواب الله عز و جل التي يؤتي منها ولولاهم ما عرف الله عز و جل، و بهم احتج الله تبارك و تعالي علي خلقه

The successors (Imams) are the doors of Allah wherefrom he is approached; if it was not for them Allah would not have been recognised, and through them Allah established his evidence upon his creation.

 

Hence, al Bahrani says in his book which he has written about the Mu’jizat of the Imams:

 

أظهر علي أيديهم المعاجز والدلائل لأنهم حجته علي عباده

Mu’jizat and proofs come to being on their hands because they are the evidence of Allah upon his creation.[54]

 

From the aforementioned it is clear that they treat the Imams like the Prophets’ and messengers of Allah through whose medium Allah establishes evidence upon the creation. Hence they also require Mu’jizat to prove their selection for his mission just as the Prophets’ required.

Instead the Imams have, in terms of their virtue, the obligation of obedience to them and the materialisation of Mu’jizat procured the rank of the best of prophets and the greatest of them. Abu ‘Abdullah says (as they allege):

 

ما جاء به علي رضي الله عنه آخذ به وما نهي عنه أنتهي عنه جري له من الفضل مثل ما جري لمحمد صلي الله عليه و آله

I implement everything ‘Ali came with and I refrain from everything he prohibited. He enjoys the status of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam….

 

Likewise is the virtue of each successive Imam. They allege that Amir al Mu’minin would often say:

 

لقد أعطيت خصالا ما سبقني إليها أحد قبلي، علمت المنايا و البلايا و الأنساب و فضل الخطاب، فلم يفتني ما سبقني و لم يعزب عني ما غاب عني أبشر بإذن الله و أودي عنه كل ذلك مكنني فيه يعلمه

 I have been bestowed with qualities which no one before me ever had. I have been taught the knowledge of death, difficulties, lineages, and the unmistakable judgment. Hence, what preceded me has not missed me and what is away from me is not unknown to me. I give glad tidings with the permission of Allah and I discharge all these matters on his behalf. He has given me a good grasp over them through His knowledge.[55]

 

As you will notice, adhering to any of the Imams is equivalent to adhering to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or even more virtuous. Hence, Imam Jafar prefers adhering to ‘Ali rather than to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam according to them.[56] He then substantiates this by making mention of the miracles and qualities ‘Ali exclusively enjoyed apart from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; he says, “I am the one who will send people to Heaven or Hell,” This is further emphasised by the statement, “I have been bestowed with qualities which no one before me ever had…” In this narration he confers upon ‘Ali the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala when he says, “I have been taught the knowledge of death and difficulties…” Likewise when he says, “What has preceded me has not missed me and what is away from me is not unknown to me…” The being who nothing is hidden from and who is such that nothing can miss him is only Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

So in essence these are not miracles rather these are lies which deify the Imams.

The Shia nonetheless aver that these miracles materialised on the hands of the Imams in order to establish the evidence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon the creation and they are no ordinary miracles but they are Mu’jizat like that of the Prophets’ or even greater. The author of Bihar has established a chapter with the title Chapter regarding the Imams having the ability to revive the dead, cure the congenitally blind and leapers, and the ability to produce all the Mujizat of the prophets.”[57] Therein he brings multiple narrations. And therefore, their Sheikh al Qazwini defines the miracles of the prophets like this:

 

ما كان خارقا للعادة أو صارفا للقدرة عند التحدي مع عدم المعارضة، والمطابقة للدعوي

Whatever is against the norm, incapacitates the abilities (of others) in a challenge, reigns supreme and is in harmony with the claim is a miracle.[58]

 

This definition also affirms the fact that these miracles are meant for challenges to validate the claims of the Imams.

They have written voluminous books regarding the Mu’jizat of their Imams in a similar manner the Ahlus Sunnah write books about the Mu’jizat of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[59] Their narrations in this regard in fact elevate the Imams from the realm of humanity to the status of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, the one and only Creator.

Nonetheless, this cult has a unique obsession with narrating strange tales which at time seem as if they are the doings of magicians and tricksters and at time seem as if they are wild imaginations or weird dreams. They still then claim that this is the fundamental evidence for the establishment of Imamah. Instead they have ascribed miracles to the followers of the Imams which are equal in their magnanimity to that of the Imams.[60]

Someone might assume that these tales might have been long forgotten with the demise of the Imams. It is rather the opposite; these miracles are renewed and reborn in the Shia world today, not only by reading them in gatherings and stupefying the brains. But they have taken a practical form which is represented in two ways:

  1. In the miracles which they ascribe and attribute to the ‘awaited’ Mahdi which a group of his close associates narrate from him. For example, Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli at one occasion borrowed a very voluminous book from a person who when lending it to him only allowed him to use it for a night. He says that the Mahdi came to his aid and wrote the entire book for him in one night.[61] The miraculous incidents which they claim transpired through the intervention of the Mahdi are numerous. Al Nuri al Tabarsi has mentioned a good amount of them in his book Jannat al Ma Hence, till today as they allege many miracles occur through the medium of the Mahdi which he causes to materialise on the hands of the scholars of the Shia.
  2. In the miracles which they claim transpire at the graves of the Imams thereby misguiding their people from the straight path and inducing them to indulge in polytheism. Al Majlisi has established many chapters in his Bihar discussing these miracles, e.g. the twenty ninth chapter: the Mujizat and Karamat that transpired at the sacred grave,[62] and the fiftieth chapter: the desecration of his grave by the rulers and the miracles that transpired from it, its sand, and when visiting it.[63] He goes on, in this manner, mentioning the alleged miracles of every Imam. In this regard as well they have compiled many books.[64]

These tales tell us of the miracles that occurred at the tombs of the Imams. Al Majlisi has cited many of them in separate chapters which he has established for every Imam. In them he brings fictitious stories that leave one wondering at the extent to which these people love fables which have found a path to their hearts very easily.

Stories that speak of incurable diseases being cured. One such story says that the vision of a blind person was restored just by him visiting the tomb of an Imam.[65] They also speak of animals who came to the graves of the Imams to ask them for cure. Hence, a narration makes mention of an animal which was rolling in the sand near the grave asking for cure after which it was cured.[66]

Instead they have allegedly attributed to the Imams (whilst they are enclosed in their graves) the ability of doing the actions and transactions of the living. Hence, it is mentioned that if trusts are entrusted to the inmate of the grave he will safeguard it.[67]

Seemingly, the fabricator of these fables was not content with the money that he collected from the ignorant people who lavishly spent at the graves of the Imams and thus he tried to get more out of them through stealing and deception.

Likewise, the grave can be addressed and it will respond. A narration mentions that one of the visitors of the grave tore his shawl and said that he wanted its compensation only from the inmate of the grave. Subsequently his wish was fulfilled.[68]

All of these incidents are presented in a style of narratives in order to affect the hearts of the riffraff and the commonality. They are contained in long tales which in essence conclude in ascribing partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, stupefying the brains, shunning intellect, and preventing a person from doing virtuous deeds. At times they can lead a person to disbelief and complete renouncement of Iman if he believes them to be logically necessary.

Jafar al Sadiq found many of the exaggerations the people of Kufah attributed to him to be reprehensible. Hence, he says:

 

و لله لو أقررت بما يقول في أهل الكوفة لأخذتني الأرض، وما أنا إلا عبد مملوك لا أقدر علي شيء بضرولا بنفع

If I were to concede the claims of the people of Kufah the earth would swallow me. I am not but a servant who belongs to Allah; I do not have the capacity to give benefit nor inflict harm.[69]

 

It is very likely that these exaggerated claims regarding the Imams which have raised the Imams to the status of Allah and which they call Mu’jizat are inherited from the Zoroastrians who disguise themselves as partisans of the Ahlul Bayt in order to conspire against Islam, or in order to introduce their beliefs into the din with the name of Islam. This is because the Zoroastrians attribute more miracles to Zaradasht then the Christians did to ‘Isa.[70]

As for their claim that their Imams are the evidence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon his creation without whom the creation cannot be inculpated and thus miracles transpired on their hands, this is a claim for which if you were to search for any shred of evidence in the Qur’an you will not find any. Instead you will find the complete opposite, i.e. the proof of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was established upon his creation through his messengers and prophets. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

لِئَلَّا يَكُوْنَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللّٰهِ حُجَّةٌ ۢ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ

So that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers.[71]

 

It is therefore clear that all these claims are pure fabrications.

As for the miracles which they attribute to the graves of the Imams and to the ‘awaited’ hidden Mahdi, they are also lies and fabrications which stem from the evil inspirations of Shaitan. Because the ‘hidden’ Imam does not have any existence, as many sects among the Shia confirm and as is documented by the scholars of lineage and history, except of course in the imagination of the Shia. The miracles of the graves and the tombs are the invitations of the devil to ascribing partners with Allah, for these are dead people who have reached what they had sent forth and who do not possess for themselves any harm or benefit. And they would whilst they were alive resort to Allah and negate all strength and ability from themselves.

The books of the Shia have also cited many narrations of this sort. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala instructs his Nabi to say:

 

قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِيْ نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللّٰهُ

Say, “I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed.”[72]

 

And:

قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِيْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللّٰهُ

Say, “I possess not for myself any harm or benefit except what Allah should will.”[73]

 

And:

قُل لَّا أَقُوْلُ لَكُمْ عِندِيْ خَزَائِنُ اللّٰهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ

Say, [O Muhammad], “I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allah or that I know the unseen.”[74]

 

And:

قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيْ هَلْ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُوْلًا

Say, “Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?”[75]

 

And:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ

Say, “I am only a man like you.”[76]

 

This is the condition of the Messenger of guidance, the Seal of the Prophets, and the Master of the first and the last; then what would the condition of those inferior to him be?

 
 

Belief in the Last Day

Related to this fundamental belief they have many reprehensive views and many innovations. They have interpreted the verses of the Qur’an pertaining to the hereafter with the Rajah (the return of ‘Ali). This is a very cunning ploy which the fabricators have used in order to deny the Day of Judgement completely. The minimal effect that this would have upon the Shia is that it would divert their hearts from that Day or at least eradicate therefrom the horrors thereof. This is due to the fact that they read every verse related to the Day of Judgment understanding it be regarding Rajah as is asserted by their scholars.

One of their innovations in this regard is that they aver that the affairs of the afterlife are under the jurisdiction of the Imams. The author of al Kafi mentions:

الآخرة للإمام يضعها حيث يشاء و يدفعها إلي من يشاء جائز له ذلك من الله

The afterlife belongs to the Imam. He can place it wherever he desires and give it over to whomsoever he wishes. The permission for this is given to him by Allah.[77]

 

Why does the Imam have full control of the afterlife? This is a subsidiary belief of their conception of Jannat and Jahannam. For they say:

 

لولا الأئمة ما خلقت الجنة و النار

If there were no Imams Jannat and Jahannam would not have been created.[78]

 

And:

إن الله خلق الجنة من نور الحسين

Allah created Jannat from the light of Hussain.[79]

 

Their scholar al Bahrani has established a chapter related to this topic with the aforementioned as the title.[80]

At times they even assert that Jannat is the dowry of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha which she received upon her marriage to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

I do not know how Jannat can be her dowry if it was created from the light of her son. For it is the default ruling of marriage that the dowry should be given in advance.

Al Tusi has narrated the following from Abu Basir that Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq said:

 

إن الله تعالي أمهر فاطمة رضي الله عنها ربع الدنيا فربعها لها، و أمهرها الجنة و النار، تدخل أعداءها النار و تدخل أولياءها الجنة

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala gave Fatimah a quarter of the world as dowry hence it belongs to her. He likewise gave her Jannat and Jahannam as part of her dowry. Her enemies will enter Jahannam and her partisans will enter Jannat.[81]

 

The author of Ma’alim al Zulfa has actually established a chapter with the title, Chapter four regarding Jannat being in the dowry of Fatimah,[82] i.e. being part of her dowry.

Furthermore, the Imams enjoy the benefits of this dowry in the world, hence they say that the Imams eat from the bounties of Jannat in this world. Al Bahrani in establishing this aspect establishes a chapter by the name, Chapter regarding no one having the honour of eating the food of Jannat in this world besides a Nabi and the successor of a Nabi. In this chapter he cites various narrations from their reliable sources which suggest that the fruits, pomegranates, and trays of Jannat—which are laden with food—come down upon the Imams from Jannat wherefrom they eat. All of this is presented in lengthy stories.

They, in their claim that only a Nabi or his successor is privileged with eating the food of Jannat, forgot to add ‘the daughter of a Nabi’ thereby depriving Fatimah of her dowry and from the bounties which were created from the light of her son. Because she admittedly is not from amongst the successors. Ostensibly, they did not include her, fearing that the daughters of the other Prophets’—who do not deserve any respect in the Shia dogma—would also be included.

Due to the fact that the afterlife according to this denomination belongs to the Imams in the ways mentioned above, they have tainted all the events of the afterlife with exaggerated tales regarding their Imams. Hence, they say that the Imams are present at the time of a person’s death. Al Majlisi, under the discussion of the beliefs of his sect mentions:

 

يجب الإقرار بحضور النبي و الأئمة الإثني عشر صلوات الله عليهم عند موت الأبرار و الفجار و المؤمنين و الكفار، فينفعون المؤمنين بشفاعتهم في تسهيل غمرات الموت و سكراته عليهم، و يشددون علي المنافقين و مبغضي أهل البيت صلوات الله عليهم، ولا يجوز التفكر في كيفية ذلك إنهم يحضرون-كذا –في الأجساد الأصلية أو المثالية أو بغير ذلك

It is mandatory to believe that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Twelve Imams are present at the departing moments of the pious, the impious, the believers, and the disbelievers. They thus help the believers in the pangs of death and its difficulties. And they intensify the agony of the hypocrites and the haters of the Ahlul Bayt. It is not permissible to delve into the manner of their appearance; they either appear in their physical bodies or in abstract ones or without any of them.[83]

 

And when the deceased is placed in the grave some sand from the grave of Hussain is placed with him therein due to it being a source of security according to them. Al Hurr al ’Amili has established a chapter titled, Chapter regarding the desirability of putting the sand of Hussain in the camphor, the winning sheet, and the grave.[84] The author of Mustadrak al Wasa’il has likewise dedicated a chapter to this topic with the same title. [85] Therein he mentions that one of the advices that they dispense in this regard is that the sand of the grave of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu should be placed with the deceased in his grave for it has been reported to be a source of safety. [86] They have many other traditions in this regard.[87]

The assignment of Obligations, as they allege, the elevation of stages and the doing of good deeds all are possible for a deceased whilst he is in his grave. Al Kulayni in his al Kafi narrates the following from Hafs:

 

سمعت موسي بن جعفر يقول لرجل أيحب البقاء في الدنيا؟ قال نعم، فقال: ولم؟ قال: لقراءة قل هو الله أحد.فسكت عنه فقال له بعد ساعة: يا حفص من مات من أولياءنا و شيعتنا و لم يحسن القرآن علم في قبره ليرفع الله به من درجته، فإن درجات الجنة علي قدر آيات القرآن

I heard Musa ibn Jafar asking a man, “Should a person love staying in this world?”

The man replied, “Yes.”

He asked him why and the man replied, “In order to recite Surah al Ikhlas.”

Thereafter Musa remained silent for a while and then said, “O Hafs! Whoever dies from amongst our friends and partisans without perfecting the recitation of the Qur’an is inspired with its recitation in the grave so that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala raises his ranks. For the ranks of Jannat are proportionate to the amount of verses a person knows of the Qur’an.”[88]

 

This narration suggests that a Shia is taught the Qur’an in the grave which he continues to read thereby accruing rewards even after his death. This is yet another belief which is exclusive to them. Can this not be considered a ploy against the memorisation and the preservation of the Qur’an because of it making people anticipate its acquisition in the grave?

Furthermore, the first question that a person will be asked in the grave is with regards to his love and veneration of the Twelve Imams. They claim:

 

أول ما يسأل عنه العبد حبنا أهل البيت

The first question a servant will be asked is regarding his love for us the Ahlul Bayt.[89]

 

The angels will thus ask him:

من يعتقده من الأئمة واحدا بعد واحد، فإن لم يجب عن واحد منهم يضربانه بعمود من نار يمتلء قبره نارا إلي يوم القيامة

About each Imam that he believed in one after the other. If he does not respond regarding any one of them he will be beaten with a pillar of fire which will fill his grave with fire till the Day of Judgment.[90]

 

However:

إذا كان في حياته معتقدا بهم فإنه يستطيع الرد علي أسئلتهم و يكون في رغد إلي يوم الحشر

If he believed in them whilst he was living he will easily be able to answer the questions of the angels due to which he will remain in comfort till the Day of Judgment.[91]

 

They also believe in a resurrection after death which no one else besides them concedes. Al Majlisi says the following in his I’tiqadat:

 

يحشر الله تعالي في زمن القائم أو قبيله جماعة من المؤمنين لتقر أعينهم برؤية أئمتهم ودولتهم،و جماعة من الكافرين و المخالفين للانتقام عاجلا في الدنيا

In the era of the ‘Mahdi’ Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will resurrect a group of believers so that they may be blessed with the seeing of their Imams and their rule. He will also resurrect a group of disbelievers and enemies in order to punish them in advance in this world.[92]

 

As for their belief regarding the actual resurrection which will ensue on the Day of Judgment, they have many eerie views. One of their narrations suggest that on the Day of Judgment the resurrection will not include everyone as is the belief of the Muslims. Instead there will be groups who will be saved from resurrection on that day and from its horrors. They will not have to stand for accountability before Allah, nor will they have to cross the bridge of Sirat. They will enter Jannat from their graves directly.

This group is the people of Qum, as their narrations suggest:

 

إن أهل مدينة قم يحاسبون في حفرهم و يحشرون من حفرهم إلي الجنه

The people of Qum will be held accountable for their deeds in their graves and will be sent from their graves to Jannat directly.[93]

 

Not only that, there is a door in Jannat which is reserved for the people of Qum as they allege. Abu al Hassan al Rida says:

 

إن للجنة ثمانية أبواب، و لأهل قم واحد منها فطوبي لهم فطوبي

Verily Jannat has eight doors. One door from them will be exclusive to the people of Qum. How very fortunate are they.[94]

 

And:

وهم خيار شيعتنا من بين سائر البلاد خمر الله تعالي ولايتنا في طينتهم

They are the best of our partisans in all the cities. Allah has made allegiance to our household part of their nature.[95]

 

‘Abbas al Qummi, one of their contemporary scholars, states:

 

و قد وردت روايات كثيرة عن أئمة أهل البيت في مدح قم و أهلها، و أنها فتج إليها بابا-كذا-من أبواب الجنه

Many narrations have been narrated from the Ahlul Bayt regarding the virtues of Qum and its people. One of them being that a door of Jannat has been opened for them.[96]

 

They have mentioned many more exclusive merits which Qum enjoys.[97] They have gone to the extent of inducing people to purchase its land. They deceived them by telling them that the space of land covered by a horse is worth a thousand Dirhams.[98] Hence they tried to influence the people spiritually and materialistically, and possibly there might be some political agenda as well behind the city, for Qum was the capital of Safawid Iran. Not forgetting the heinous habit this cult has to spread disbelief, free thinking, and distancing the Shia from the din of Islam. It is very possible that they are assisted in doing so by the devils from amongst the Jinn which is nothing extraordinary. Because it is possible for them to appear in the garb of the ‘hidden Mahdi’ and include into their creed whatever they desire.

One of their contemporary scholars has increased the number of the doors of Jannat through which the people of Qum will be granted entry. He mentions that a report from al Rida states the following:

 

للجنة ثمانية أبواب فثلاثة منها لأهل قم

Jannat has eight doors, three of them are reserved for the people of Qum.[99]

 

They have, furthermore, ascribed full authority over the bridge of Sirat, the scale of deeds, Jannat, and Jahannam to the Imams. Abu ‘Abdullah is reported to have said:

إلينا الصراط و إلينا الميزان و إلينا حساب شيعتنا

The issues of the Sirat, the issues of the scale and the issues of accountability are all under our jurisdiction.[100]

 

Al Hur al ’Amili has gone on to mention that part of their fundamental beliefs regarding the Imams is that the accountability of the entire creation will be under their jurisdiction on the Day of Judgment.[101]

There are likewise many narrations which state that no one will be able to cross the bridge of Sirat but if he was aligned to ‘Ali[102] or due to a pass which will contain the mention of allegiance to him[103] or with a letter wherein emancipation will be assured due to his allegiance.[104]

Ibn Babawayh in his book al Itiqadat has mentioned the following under the chapter regarding the Sirat:

 

و الصراط في وجه آخر اسم حجج الله قم نعرفهم في الدنيا و أطاعهم أعطاه الله جوازا علي الصراط الذي هو جسر جهنم يوم القيامة…قال النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم لعلي: يا علي إذا كان يوم القيامة أقعد انا و أنت و جبرائيل علي الصراط فلا بجوز علي الصراط إلا من كانت معه براءة بولايتك

The Sirat in other terms is a name for the evidences of Allah, hence whoever acknowledged them in this world and obeyed them Allah will grant him the ability to cross over it on the Day of Judgment. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali, “O ‘Ali on the Day of Judgement I with you and Jibril will sit upon the Sirat. Hence besides the one who has the certificate of emancipation due to his allegiance to you, no one will be able to cross the Sirat.[105]

 

He also states that there will be an incline by the bridge whose name is Wilayah:

 

يوقف جميع الخلائق عندها فيسألون عن ولاية امير المؤمنين و الأئمة من بعده فمن أتي بها نجا و جاوز و من لم يأت بها بقي

The entire creation will be stopped there and asked regarding their allegiance to ‘Ali; whoever concedes it will gain salvation and whoever does not will remain behind.[106]

 

Al Majlisi has established a chapter titled, Chapter regarding him being a partner in Jannat, Jahannam, and in the crossing of the Bridge.[107] Al Bahrani has likewise established a similar chapter.[108]They have in these chapters quoted the narrations of their leading scholars and reliable books.

The actual meaning of ‘Ali being a partner in Jannat and Jahannam is not shared but with the elite. This is because Ma’mun (the Abbasid Ruler) once asked al Rida about ‘Ali being a partner in Jannat and Jahannam to which he replied by saying that love for ‘Ali is iman and hatred for him is disbelief making him thus a partner in them. But when Abu al Salt al Harawi meets al Rida and asks him:

 

إنما كلمت من حيث هو ولقد سمعت أبي يحدث عن علي رضي الله عنه أنه قال قال: قال لي رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله يا علي أنت قسيم الجنة و النار يوم القيامة تقول للنار هذا لي و هذا لك

I just responded to him according to his position. I heard my father narrating from his forefathers who narrate from ‘Ali that he said, “Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me, ‘O ‘Ali you are the one who will send people to Jannat and Jahannam; you will say to Jahannam, “This is for me and that is for you.”[109]

 

They also assert that he is the owner of Jannat and Jahannam. Their narrations mention:

 

إذا كان يوم القيامة وضع منبر يراه الخلائق يصعده رجل يقوم ملك من يمينه و ملك عن شماله، ينادي الذي عن يساره:يا معشر الخلائق هذا عليبن أبي طالب صاحب النار يدخلها النار

When the Day of Judgment will come a pulpit which the entire creation will be able to see will be placed. A man will ascend it, on his right will be an angel and on his left will be an angel. The one on his right will announce, “O creation this is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib the owner of Jannat. He will admit therein whoever he desires.” The one on his left will announce, “O creation! This is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib the owner of Jahannam. He will enter therein whoever he desires.”[110]

 

They have, in addition, went on to believe that he will be the one responsible for taking people to task on the Day of Judgment. Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar al Ju’fi states that he heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying:

 

إن أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب لديان الناس يوم القيامة

Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib will be the questioner of the people on the Day of Judgment.[111]

 

And this Jannat that the Shia talk of is exclusive for them; no one will share it with them as it belongs to their Imams. Likewise, the keys of Jahannam, which is in place for their enemies, are in the possession of the Imams. They say:

 

إنما خلقت الجنة لأهل البيت والنار لمن عاداهم

Jannat has been created for the Ahlul Bayt and Jahannam has been created for their enemies.[112]

 

They at times surprisingly forget these narrations and assert the following:

 

الشيعة يدخلون الجنة قبل سائر الناس من الأمم بثمانين عاما

The Shia will enter Jannat eighty years before the rest of the people.[113]

 

The following belief is also part of their primary beliefs:

 

أن الناس يدعون بأسماء امهاتهم يوم القيامة إلا الشيعة فيدعون بأسماء آبائهم

The people will be summoned with their mothers’ names on the Day of Judgment besides the Shia, for they will be called with their fathers’ names.[114]

 

Furthermore, they believe in a Jannat other than the everlasting Jannat of the hereafter which they name the Jannat of this world. Likewise in a Jahannam other than the Jahannam of the hereafter. Al Majlisi says:

 

ويجب أن يعتقد أن لله تعالي في الدنيا جنة ونارا سوي جنة الخلد ونار الخلد

It is compulsory to believe that there exists in this world a heaven and hell different than the everlasting ones of the hereafter.[115]

 

Hence, the inmates of the grave go to them. According al Majlisi:

 

بعد السؤال وضغطة القبر ينتقلون إلي أجسادهم المثالية فقد يكونون علي قبورهم ويطلعون علي زوارهم وينتقلون إلي نجف

After the questioning and the severe grip of the grave they will go into their abstract bodies. They will then both remain at their graves and see their visitors or they proceed to Najf.[116]

 

Their claims related to this topic are too copious to be enumerated, excessive and reprehensible innovations, what I have cited is just a glimpse of what they believe. If I were to present all their narrations and comment upon them I would require many pages.

Nonetheless, these are all innovations which cannot be substantiated from the Qur’an. Nor is there any mention of them or any trace of them in the books of Ummah. In exposing their duplicate nature and knowing the falsehood that is contained within them it is sufficient to merely present them. They have in essence made the hereafter the exclusive ownership of the Imams. Whereas Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

فَلِلّٰهِ الْآخِرَةُ وَالْأُوْلٰى

Rather, to Allah belongs the Hereafter and the first [life].[117]

 

Their claims in this regard are very similar to the claims the Jews would make regarding the hereafter. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

قُلْ إِنْ كَانَتْ لَكُمُ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ خَالِصَةً مِّنْ دُوْنِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِيْنَ وَلَنْ يَّتَمَنَّوْهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَاللّٰهُ عَلِيْمٌ ۢبِالظَّالِمِيْنَ

Say, “If the home of the Hereafter with Allah is for you alone and not the [other] people, then wish for death, if you should be truthful.” But never will they wish for it, ever, because of what their hands have put forth. And Allah is knowing of the wrongdoers.[118]

 

They have similarly ascribed to the Imams all jurisdiction on the Day of Judgement, whereas Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

لَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الْأُوْلٰى وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُ الْحُكْمُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُوْنَ

To Him is [due all] praise in the first [life] and the Hereafter. And His is the [final] decision, and to Him you will be returned.[119]

 

They also claim that Jannat belongs to the Imams like the Jews:

 

وَقَالُوْا لَنْ يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَنْ كَانَ هُوْدًا أَوْ نَصَارٰى تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ قُلْ هَاتُوْا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ صَادِقِيْن بَلٰى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلّٰهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُوْنَ

And they said, “None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian.” That is [merely] their wishful thinking. Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” Yes, [on the contrary], whoever submits his face [i.e. self] in Islam to Allah while being a doer of good will have his reward with his Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.[120]

 

We say to the Shia regarding the claims that have passed:

 

هَاتُوْا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ صَادِقِيْن

Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.

 

Instead, you are humans like the rest of humanity. And your claims are weak, malicious and heretic. Before us is the Book of Allah which does not leave any way for these wild assumptions to enter the hearts of those who resort to it and make it their guide.

As for the one whose heart is blocked, who becomes arrogant about his evil when it is brought to his notice and whose thoughts are blinded due to his fanaticism, he will face the consequences:

 

وَاتَّقُوْا يَوْمًا لَّا تَجْزِيْ نَفْسٌ عَنْ نَّفْسٍ شَيْئًا وَّلَا يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَّلَا تَنفَعُهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَّلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُوْنَ

And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, and no compensation will be accepted from it, nor will any intercession benefit it, nor will they be aided.[121]

 
 

Their Belief in Pre-destiny

Ibn Taymiyyah states:

قدماء الشيعة كانوا متفقين علي إثبات القدر وإنما شاع فيهم نفي القدر من حين اتصلوا بالمعتزلة

The early Shia unanimously believed in pre-destiny. The denial thereof only prevailed among them when they associated with the Mu’tazilah.[122]

 

This was during the latter portion of the third century. Its denial increased even more in the fourth century with the works of al Mufid and his followers.[123]

All the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt likewise are reported to have unanimously believed in pre-destiny.[124]

Al Ash’ari explains that the Shia in terms of their belief regarding the actions of men are divided into three sects:

1) A sect that believes that the actions of men are created by Allah.

2) A sect that believes that they are not his creation

3) A sect that has chosen the middle path, i.e. the stance that there is no coercion upon men in their actions (as al Jahmi and others believed) nor is there complete free will (which is the view of the Mu’tazilah).

 

This is, as they allege, what is narrated from the Imams. This sect has, however, not taken up the task of clarifying its stance regarding the actions of men, are they created or not?[125]

Ibn Taymiyyah has considered the last sect to be unsure in this regard whilst considering the first one to be positive and the second negative.[126]

The author of Tuhfah Ithna Ashariyyah has not mentioned anything much in this regard besides the fact that a servant according to the Shia creates his own actions.[127]

This is what the references of the Ahlus Sunnah say. After accessing the books of the Shia the following is understood:

Ibn Babawayh al Qummi, who is known as al Saduq, documents the following is his Aqaid (which the Shia treat as a seminal work which represents their beliefs and is famous by the name: Aqaid al Saduq):

 

اعتقادنا في أفعال العباد أنها مخلوقة خلق تقدير لا خلق تكوين ومعني ذلك أنه لم يزل الله عالما بمقاديرها

Our belief regarding the actions of men is that they are created in pre-destiny, but not physically. Which means that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala always had knowledge of them.[128]

 

This statement only establishes the knowledge of Allah about the actions of men. It does not establish his general and all-encompassing will and thus does not prove that he is the creator of the action of men. Moreover al Mufid has followed this text with the following:

 

الصحيح عن آل محمد صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم أن أفعال العباد غير مخلوقة لله والذي ذكره أبو جعفر قد جاء به حديث غير معمول به ولا مرضي الإسناد، والأخبار الصحيحة بخلافه. وليس يعرف في لغة العرب أن العلم بالشيء هو خلق له

The correct view regarding the Ahlul Bayt is that they believed that the actions of men are not created by Allah, and what is narrated from Abu ‘Abdullah is discarded, has a flawed chain of transmission, and is opposed by many authentic narrations. Nowhere in the Arabic language does the word ‘knowledge’ appear in the meaning of creation.[129]

 

He further states:

 

وقد روي عن أبي الحسن أنه سئل عن أفعال العباد فقيل له هل هي مخلوقة لله تعالي؟ فقال عليه السلام: لو كان خالقا لها لما تبرأ منها وقد قال سبحانه: أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ۙ وَرَسُولُهُ ولم يرد البراءة من خلق ذواتهم وإنما تبرأ من شركهم وقبائحهم

When Abu al Hassan was asked about the actions of men being created by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala he responded by saying, “If he did created them he would not have exonerated himself from them whereas he has said, ‘Allah and His Messenger are free from the polytheists.” Of course he does not intend exonerating himself from their creation, rather from their polytheism and evil.[130]

 

The outlandish nature of this substantiation which al Mufid has ascribed to al Rida is quite evident. For the exoneration of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala from the polytheists due to his dislike for their actions does not necessarily negate his all-encompassing ability to create. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللّٰهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوْا

But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated.[131]

 

In addition, some of their narrations are in harmony with the truth and deny the aforementioned stance. Hence, they say:

 

ما خلا الله فهو مخلوق والله خالق كل شيئ

Everything besides Allah is the creation and Allah is the creator of everything.[132]

 

Furthermore, although al Mufid is a proponent of the view that men are the creators of their own actions, however, he does not find the expression very pleasant. Hence he says:

 

أقول إن الخلق يفعلون ويحدثون ونخترعون ويصنعون ويكتسبون ولا أطلق القول عليهم بأنهم يخلقون ولا هم خالقون ولا أتعدي ذكر ذلك فيما ذكره الله تعالي ولا أتجاوز به مواضعه من القرآن وعلي هذا القول إجماع الإمامية والزيدية والبغداديين من المعتزلة و أكثر المرجئة و أصحاب الحديث

I say that the creation does, invents, innovates, makes and earns. I, however, do not assert that they create or that they are creators. And I do not digress from the expression Allah has used in the Qur’an. The Imamiyyah, Zaidiyyah, the Mu’tazilah of Baghdad, the Murji’ah and most of the followers of hadith are unanimous in this regard. The Mu’tazilah of Basrah have defected from the majority by using the expression of creation for men.[133]

 

So he abides by the approach of the Qur’an. Because the Qur’an has called men ‘doers’ and ‘agents’ but not ‘creators’. However, the aforementioned consensus of the Shia did not last due to some of their scholars adopting the view of the Mu’tazilah of Basrah and using the expression of creation.[134] And the nominal difference which existed between the Shia and the Mu’tazilah of Basrah fell away due to the stances of some of their leading scholars.

Hence, al Hurr al ’Amili (d. 1104 A.H. the author of Wasail al Shia.) in discussing the principle beliefs of their Imams establishes a chapter by the title, Chapter regarding Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala being the creator of everything besides the actions of men.[135] Therein he says:

 

أقول مذهب الإمامية و المعتزلة أن أفعال العباد صادرة عنهم وهم خالقون لها

I say that the stance of the Imamiyyah and the Mu’tazilah is that the actions of men emit from them and they are the creators thereof.[136]

 

Similarly, al Tabataba’i says:

 

ذهبت الإمامية والمعتزلة إلي أن أفعال العباد وحركاتهم واقعة بقدرتهم واختيارهم فهم خالقون لها وما في الآيات من أنه تعالي خالق كل شيئ وأمثالها إما مخصص بما سوي أفعال العباد أو مؤول بأن المعني أنه خالق كل شيئ إما بلا واسطة أو بواسطة مخلوقاته

The Imamiyyah and the Mu’tazilah are of the view that the doings of men and their movements all happen with their free will and they are the creators of them. Those verses which assert that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is the creator of everything are specific and the actions of men are excluded therefrom. Or the interpretation thereof is that He is the creator of everything either directly or indirectly through the medium of His various creations.[137]

 

Al Qazwini likewise says:

وأفعال العباد مخلوقة لهم

The actions of men are from their creation.[138]

 

Many other scholars besides the aforementioned also hold the same view.[139]

As you can see, this is the exact stance of the Mu’tazilah. So did the Mu’tazili stance influence the Shia dogma or was this their stance from the beginning; the stance of their antecedent scholars and those who succeeded them?

The best reference to ascertain this would be the hadith literature of the Shia. I resorted to the ‘reliable’ hadith books of the Shia, specifically to the seminal and classical works among them. What I discovered is that their narrations oppose the dominant view in the Shia dogma, i.e. the view of the Mu’tazilah regarding the creation of the action of men; they also defy what a group of their scholars have averred in this regard (as was mentioned previously with reference to al Mufid, Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli, al Hurr al ’Amili, and others).

Hence one of their narrations mention:

 

قال أبو جعفر وأبو عبد الله إن الله أرحم بخلقه من أن يجبر خلقه علي الذنوب، ثم يعذبهم عليها، والله اعز من أن يريد أمرا فلا يكون قال: فسئلا عليهما السلام هل بين الجبر والقدر منزلة ثالثة؟ قال نعم أوسع ما بين السماء والأرض.

Abu Jafar and Abu ‘Abdullah said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is too merciful to His servants to coerce them into sinning and to subsequently punish them upon them. And His might does not permit that He intend something and it does not happen.”

They both were then asked, “Is there a stance between Jabr (coercion) and Qadr (free will)?”

He said, “Yes a position which is vaster than what is between the heavens and the earth.”[140]

 

I.e. between Jabr and Qadr there is third stance which is moderate.

A fair amount of their narrations state that their stance regarding pre-destiny is a moderate one; no Jabr (coercion) and no Tafwid (grant of complete capacity and free will).[141]

Al Majlisi, therefore, says:

اعلم أن الذي استفاض عن الأئمة هو نفي الجبر والتفويض وإثبات أمر بين أمرين

Know well that the common view of the Imams is the denial of Jabr and Tafwid and the affirmation of the moderate stance between the two of them.[142]

 

The denial of Jabr is clear. It is the renunciation of the stance of the Jabariyyah (those who believe that humans are puppets with no free will). However, what do they mean by the denial of Tafwid?

Al Majlisi says:

 

أما التفويض فهو ما ذهب إليه المعتزلة من أنه تعالي أوجد العباد، وأقدرهم علي تلك الأفعال وفوض إليهم الإختيار فهم مستقلون بإيجادها وفق مشيئتهم وقدرتهم وليس لله في إفعالهم صنع

Tafwid is the stance of the Mu’tazilah, which is to say that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created men and enabled them to do actions and gave them free will. Hence they create their actions independently according to their will and Allah has no say in the actions.[143]

 

Similarly, they have many other narrations which condemn the stance of the Mu’tazilah and criticize the proponents thereof. Hence these narrations are a refutation of the Shia themselves. In Tafsir al Qummi, their Imam is reported to have condemned the Mu’tazilah and their likes for their denial of pre-destiny. He says:

 

القدرية الذين يقولون لا قدر يزعمون أنهم قادرون علي الهدي والضلالة وذلك أنهم إذا شاؤوا اهتدوا و أن شاؤوا ضلوا وهم مجوس هذه الأمة وكذب أعداء الله المشيئة والقدرة لله كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُوْدُوْنَ فَرِيْقًا هَدٰى وَفَرِيْقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلَالَةُ من خلقه الله شقيا يوم خلقه كذلك يعود إليه شقيا ومن خلقه سعيدا يوم خلقه كذلك يعود إليه سعيدا.قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله الشقي من شقي في بطن أمه والسعيد من سعد في بطن أمه

The Qadariyyah who deny pre-destiny claim that they are capable of guidance and misguidance; meaning: if they want they can choose guidance and if they want they can choose misguidance. They are the Zoroastrians of this Ummah; they have denied executive will and authority for Allah whereas He says, “A group he guided and a group deserved error.”[144] Whoever Allah created wretched will return to him wretched and whoever he created fortunate will return to him fortunate. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Wretched is the one who became wretched in the womb of his mother, and fortunate is the one who became fortunate in the womb of his mother.”[145]

 

Abu ‘Abdullah is likewise reported to have said:

 

إنك لتسئل عن كلام أهل القدر وما هو من ديني ولا دين آبائي ولا وجدت أحدا من أهل بيتي يقول به

You are asking me about the deniers of pre-destiny whereas that is not my creed nor the creed of my fore-fathers and nor have I known any supporter thereof in my family.[146]

 

He has also said:

ويح هذه القدرية أما يقرأون هذه الآية إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ قَدَّرْنَاهَا مِنَ الْغَابِرِيْنَ ويحهم من قدرها إلا الله تبارك وتعالي.

Woe be to the Qadariyyah! Do they not read this verse, “Eexcept his wife. We have decreed that she is of those who remain behind.” Woe be to them! Who ordained that besides Allah?[147]

 

There are many other narrations as well.[148]

All of these narrations inform us of the stance of the Ahlul Bayt, which is the affirmation of pre-destiny; they also randomly tell us of the stance of the early Shia. The later Shia have nonetheless diverted from these narrations without any evidence besides blindly following the Mu’tazilah; they turned a blind eye to all the narrations which oppose their stance. Instead they have included the concept of Adl (the obligation of justice upon Allah) as part of their fundamental beliefs just like the Mu’tazilah. Although outwardly this sounds very nice but in reality it implies a very grave result which is the denial of pre-destiny.

One of their scholars says:

أما الإمامية فالعدل من أركان الإيمان عندهم بل ومن أصول الإسلام

As for the Imamiyyah Adl is one the fundamentals of iman according to them, rather it is a principle aspect of Islam.[149]

 

In spite of the statements of the Imams, as documented in their canonical works, not clearly denying pre-destiny mostly, and refuting the Mu’tazilah in their denial thereof, as many of their narrations establish that the truth is not with the Mu’tazilah and the deniers of pre-destiny, nor with the Jabariyyah (who aver that humans are puppets who have no free will), and asserting that it is in a third position which is moderate between the two. But what exactly is this moderate position?

Some of their narrations appear rather hesitant in expounding upon this and seem satisfied with just making the vague statement mentioned above. Hence, when Abu ‘Abdullah was asked regarding the meaning thereof he did not answer. The narrations suggest the following regarding his stance:

فقلب يده مرتين أو ثلاثا ثم قال: لو أجبتك فيه لكفرت

He turned his hand two or three times and then said, “If I give you any answer in this issue you will disbelieve.”[150]

 

Some of their scholars have interpreted this response of Abu ‘Abdullah as Taqiyyah. For he concealed the right answer because he knew that the understanding of the questioner would not be able to grasp it correctly due to which he would engage in disbelief.[151]

It is very possible that this indefinite stance is the third stance of the Shia in general, as asserted by al Ash’ari. The first stance as articulated by al Mufid is that the actions of men are not the creation of Allah.[152] The view of al Ash’ari is qualified as you have read and understood in the narrations presented above. Hence, the Twelver tradition is comprehensive of all three views presented by al Ash’ari in his Maqalat as the views of the Shia in general.

Al Saduq in his Aqaid has mentioned a narration which explains the moderate stance. The narrations states:

 

قيل لأبي عبد الله ما أمر بين الأمرين فقال ذلك مثل رجل رأيته علي المعصية فنهيته فلم ينته فتركته ففعل تلك المعصية فليس حيث لا يقبل منك فتركته كنت أنت الذي أمرته بالمعصية

Abu ‘Abdullah was asked, “What is the stance between the two stances?”

He said, “It is like a man who you see indulging in sin, you prevent him but he does not desist consequent to which you leave him. Hence if you leave him is his condition on the basis of his refusal it will be as though you ordered him to do the sin.”[153]

 

In this narration he explains pre-destiny as enjoining good and prohibiting evil, which is not enough in stating the correct stance, because it implies that Allah has no authority over men with the exception of His orders and prohibitions.

We, however, find a scholar of theirs who has interpreted this stance in accordance with the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah with the aid of those narrations from their tradition which affirm pre-destiny. Hence, after making mention of the deviance of the Jabariyyah in the stance that they have taken and averring that they have attributed oppression to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and after mentioning the stance of the Qadariyyah in the stance that they have taken and averring that they have ascribed partners to Allah in his quality of creation he says:

 

واعتقادنا في ذلك تبع لما جاء عن أئمتنا الأطهار عليهم السلام من الأمر بين الأمرين والطريق الوسط بين القولين فقد قال أمامنا عليه السلام لبينا الطريق الوسط كلمته المشهورة لا جبر ولا تفويض ولكن أمر بين الأمرين.ما أجمل هذا المعني وما أدق معناه وخلاصته إن أفعالنا حقيقة ونحن أسبابها الطبيعية وهي تحت قدرتنا واختيارنا من جهة أخري هي مقدورة لله تعالي وداخلة في سلطانه لأنه هو مفيض الوجود ومعطيه. فلم يجبرنا علي أفعالنا حتي يكون فد ظلمنا علي المعاصي لأن لنا القدرة والإختيار فيما نفعل ولم يفوض إلينا خلق أفعالنا حتي يكون قد أخرجها عن سلطانه بل له الخلق والأمر وهو قادر علي كل شيئ ومحيط بالعباد.

Our belief in this regard is subject to what has been proven from our pure A’immah, i.e. the moderate stance which avoids both extremes. For our Imam al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam in affirming the moderate stance has said, “No Jabr and no Tafwid but between the two of them.” How brilliant is this statement and how profound is its meaning and essence: our deeds in terms of them being our deeds are a reality and we are the natural causes of their occurrence; they are subject to our capacity and free will. And when analysed differently they are destined by Allah and are under his jurisdiction because He is the initiator of existence and the giver thereof. So He has not coerced us to do our actions thereby oppressing us into his disobedience, because he has given us ability and free will in what we do. Nor has he given us the ability to create our actions thereby removing us from His supreme dominion. To Him belongs creation and order; He is capable of everything and is fully aware of His servants.[154]

 

This text does not oppose the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding the actions of men. It tells us that among the later Shia there are still some who have held on to the stance of the antecedent scholars and to the dictates of many of their narrations. This is of course if we do not doubt him of euphemistically employing some sort of interpretation or some type of dissimulation. The knowledge of that is only by Allah.

But this still does not debunk the fact that the leading scholars of the Shia dogma have taken the stance of the Mu’tazilah.

We can say possibly that in the antecedent times the affirmation of pre-destiny was the primary belief and the negation thereof is the result of later influence by the Mu’tazili dogma. Hence the later scholars are mostly deniers even though a handful of them are still affirmers.

Lastly, there is no doubt as to the fact that the deniers have conveniently taken some proofs and discarded the others. Likewise is the case of Jabariyyah who have taken the other side of the evidence and discarded the rest. As for those who have treaded the middle path, they have comprehensively taken all of them. The verses of the Qur’an establish ability, free will and action for men but all under the jurisdiction and will of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He says:

وَمَا تَشَاءُوْنَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشَاءَ اللّٰهُ

And you do not will except that Allah wills.[155]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

 

The majority of the Ahlus Sunnah, from the antecedent times to those who succeeded them, all aver that man has ability, free will and doing and that Allah is the creator of everything as is suggested by the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

 

He then lists all the proofs in this regard.[156]

The copious narrations of the Shia, some of which has passed in the previous pages, are the strongest evidence from their dogma itself for the falsity of the stance of the Mu’tazilah which their scholars have opted to adopt.[157]

 

NEXT⇒ Section Three – Chapter 1 – The concept of Imamah according to the Shia and its inception:


[1] In fact, they state that the Imams only speak through revelation (see: Bihar al Anwar 17/155, 54/237).

[2] Refer to the section regarding infallibility.

[3] Minhaj al Sunnah 3/174.

[4] Bihar al Anwar 26/282; Basa’ir al Darajat p. 22.

[5] Al Majlisi has made mention of them under the chapter regarding the Imams being more superior to the Prophets’ 26/267-319.

[6] Surah al An’am: 124.

[7] Al Hulaymi: al Minhaj fi Shu’ab al Iman 1/238.

[8] Surah al Nisa’: 64.

[9] Al ’Aqidah al Tahawiyyah (with the commentary of Ibn Abi al ’Iz) p. 493.

[10] Al Baghdadi: Usul al Din p. 298.

[11] Al Qadi ‘Ayad: al Shifa’ p. 1078.

[12] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/177.

[13] Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rawafid p. 29.

[14] Al Shifa’ p. 1078.

[15] Al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Usul al A’immah: chapter regarding Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Imams being better than all the creation i.e. the prophets, their successors, the angels and everyone else: p. 151.

[16] Ibid p. 154.

[17] Bihar al Anwar 26/267-319.

[18] Ibid 26/267-319.

[19] Ibid 26/297-298.

[20] I’tiqadat p. 106-107.

[21] Bihar al Anwar 26/297-298.

[22] For example, the books Tafdil al A’immah ‘ala al Ambiya’, Tafdil al ’Ali ‘alayh al Salam ‘ala Uli al ’Azm min al Rusul (the books of Hashim al Bahrani D. 1107 A.H.), Tafdil al A’immah ‘ala Ghayr jaddihim min al Ambiya’, Tafdil Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ‘ala man ‘ada Khatam al Nabiyyin (the work of Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi D. 1111 A.H.) etc. Surprisingly, one of their scholars has written a book with the title Tafdil al Qa’im al Mahdi ‘ala Sa’ir al A’immah. A book written by a Persian by the name Fath ‘Ali Shah D. 1250 A.H. See al Dhari’ah 4/358-360.

[23] Al Ikhtisas p. 250; Bihar al Anwar 26/294.

[24] Refer to the twenty sixth volume of Bihar, especially the chapter: the preference of the Imams over the Prophets’: p. 267-319; and the chapter: the prayers of the Prophets’ being accepted due to them supplicating to Allah through the medium of the Imams: p. 319-334.

[25] Maqalat al Islamiyyin 1/120.

[26] Awa’il al Maqalat p. 42-43.

[27] See: Bihar al Anwar 39/89. Here is a narration which appears therein:

 

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I have been given three merits which ‘Ali shares with me and ‘Ali has been bestowed with three merits which I do not share with him.”

It was asked, “O Rasul Allah! What are the three merits which ‘Ali shares with you?”

He replied, “I possess the flag of Hamd (praise) and ‘Ali is its bearer, the Kawthar belongs to me but ‘Ali will be the one serving therefrom, and Jannat and Jahannam are for me but ‘Ali will be my partner in them. And as for the three merits which I do not share with him, they are the following: he is granted a cousin like me but I have not been granted someone like him, he has been bestowed with Fatimah and I have not been granted a wife like her, and he is blessed with Hassan and Hussain whereas I am not blessed with sons like them.”

See: Bihar al Anwar 39/90; ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida p. 212; Manaqib Al Abi Talib 2/48.

[28] Usul al Kafi 1/197. The author has documented many narrations of this sort. click here.

[29] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/137. This has been recorded with authentic chains of transmission (see: al Fatawa 28/475).

[30] Ibid 4/137-138.

[31] Talkhis al Shafi 2/428; ‘An al Shia wa Ahlul Bayt p. 52.

[32] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/69.

[33] Ibn Babawayh: al Tawhid p. 174, 175; Bihar al Anwar 8/283; al Ihtijaj (same pages as previous).

[34] Al Tawhid p. 175.

[35] ‘Alba’iyyah: the followers of al ’Alba’ ibn Dhira’ al Dawsi or al Asadi. He would give preference to ‘Ali over Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he would make denigrating remarks regarding him saying that he was sent to invite people toward ‘Ali but he invited the people to himself (al Milal wa al Nihal 1/175; Rijal al Kashshi p. 571, the name therein is ‘Alya’iyyah; Bihar al Anwar 25/305).

[36] Mukhtasar al Sawaqi’ p. 187.

[37] Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 11/221.

[38] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 101.

[39] Mukhtasar al Sawaqi’ p. 186-187.

[40] Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 11/221.

[41] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p.101

[42] Mukhtasar al Sawaqi’ p. 187.

[43] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 100.

[44] Miracles are signs and evidences which no one has the ability to produce besides Allah and which Allah brings to being at the hands of his prophets in order to establish their truthfulness. Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned that the word Mu’jizat (miracles) does not exist in the Qur’an and the Sunnah; only the words Ayah (sign), Bayyinah (evidence), and Burhan (proof) feature in them (al Jawab al Sahih 4/67). He further states that Mu’jizah literally refers to anything which is against the norm. According to the tradition of the early scholars like Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal and others miracles were termed Ayat (signs). However the later scholars make a distinction in the terms Mu’jizah and Karamah; the former refers to the miracle of a prophet and the latter to the miracle of a saint although they both share the meaning of being against the norm. (See: Qa’idah fi al Mu’jizat wa al Karamat (published by al Manar) p. 2; Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 11/311-312; Ibn Taymiyyah: al Nubuwwat; al Jurjani: al Ta’rifat p. 282; Sharh al ’Aqidah al Tahawiyyah p. 495).

[45] Ibn Hazm: al Muhalla 1/35.

[46] ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah p. 94.

[47] Asl al Shia wa Usuluha p. 58.

[48] Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 3/156.

[49] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/156.

[50] Ibid 4/196.

[51] Usul al Kafi 1/192; al Muzaffar: ‘Alam al Imam p. 43.

[52] This a chapter in al Kafi which comprises of four narrations (Usul al Kafi 1/177).

[53] Ibid 1/193.

[54] Al Bahrani: Yanabi’ al Ma’ajiz p. 2.

[55] Usul al Kafi 1/196-197. There are many similar narrations all which feature in the chapter: Chapter regarding the Imams being the foundation of the earth. (See: the section of infallibility in this book).

[56] We exonerate Jafar and all the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt from these heresies. If anyone believes that he can reach Allah without the medium of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a heretic and a disbeliever.

[57] Bihar al Anwar 27/29-31.

[58] Qala’id al Khara’id p. 72.

[59] E.g. the book: Hussain ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab (of the fifth century): ‘Uyun al Mu’jizat this book has been published for the third time by the A’lami institution for publications in the year 1403 A.H. hereunder are some of the miracles mentioned therein:

The Imams revive the dead (p. 32), they can communicate with animals and the animals testify to their Imamah (p. 17, 22, 25, 32), they tell the people about the knowledge of the past and the future (p. 57), and they can envisage all the actions of people through a pillar of light which is with them from the time they are born (p. 80), etc.

And the book of Hashim al Bahrani: Yanabi’ al Ma’ajiz wa Usul al Dala’il. In this book there are twenty one chapters; the title of the fifth chapter is ‘the Imams have knowledge of what is in the heavens, what is in the earth, the knowledge of the past, the knowledge of the future, the knowledge of whatever happens during the day and the night, the knowledge of every moment, the knowledge of the prophets and much more (p. 35-42). The sixth chapter is: chapter regarding the Imams having the ability to procure knowledge whenever they desire, regarding their hearts being the locus of the will of Allah and when Allah intends something they intend it as well (p. 43-46).

Al Bahrani has another book as well. It is probably the most extensive book on the subject. He has named it Madinah al Ma’ajiz. Therein he mentions the miracles of each Imam separately. E.g. The first chapter is regarding the Mu’jizat of ‘Ali and it contains five hundred and fifty miracles. Some amongst them are: the miracles of his birth (p. 5), the communication of Allah with him (p. 9), his ascension to the heavens (p. 12), the communication of the earth with him (p. 16), and the communication of Shaitan with him (p. 16). He also makes mention of many miracles which transpired before his death. One of them is that ‘Ali was present by the pharaoh of Egypt. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thus said to him, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala aided the prophets with you discreetly and he aided me with you openly.”

In this manner he makes mention of the miracles of every Imam, even the fictitious ‘awaited’ Mahdi who does not have any existence. Some of his miracles are: he read the divine books at the time of his birth and he ascended to throne of Allah, etc. He goes on to mention such incidents which a sane person cannot fathom. They make one wonder as to what extent their scholars have gone in exploiting and beguiling the masses. And makes one wonder as to how gullible people actually are to follow such fallacies.

[60] Hussain ‘Abd al Wahhab: ‘Uyun al Mu’jizat P. 101: Al Kazim attests that Rashid al Hajari has knowledge of death. And in Rijal al Kashshi it is mentioned that he would meet a person and tell him, “You are going like this and you are going to be killed like this. And that person would die as he would say.” (Rijal al Kashshi p. 76).

[61] The details have passed. click here.

[62] Bihar al Anwar 42/311.

[63] Ibid 45/390.

[64] E.g. Muhammad ‘Ali al Baldawi: al Mu’jizat. In this book he has compiled all the ‘miracles’ which he alleges transpired at the graves of the Kazimis and the ‘Askaris (See: al Dhari’ah 21/215).

[65] Bihar al Anwar 42/317.

[66] Ibid 42/312.

[67] Ibid 42/318.

[68] Ibid 42/316.

[69] Tanqih al Maqal 3/332.

[70] Tathbit Dala’il al Nubuwwah 1/185.

[71] Surah al Nisa’: 165.

[72] Surah al A’raf: 188.

[73] Surah Yunus: 49.

[74] Surah al An’am: 50.

[75] Surah al Isra’: 93.

[76] Surah al Kahf: 110.

[77] Usul al Kafi 1/409.

[78] Ibn Babawayh says, “It is compulsory to believe that if it was not for them Allah would not have created the heavens, the earth, Jannat, Jahannam, Adam, Hawwa’, the angels, or any of his other creations (al I’tiqadat p. 106-107).

[79]Al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 249; Hashim al Bahrani: Nuzhat al Abrar p. 395.

[80]Al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 395.

[81] Ibid p. 350

[82] Ibid 317-319.

[83] Al I’tiqadat p. 93-94.

[84] Wasa’il al Shia 2/742.

[85] Mustadrak al Wasa’il 1/106.

[86] Mustadrak al Wasa’il 1/106.

[87] Refer to the previous two references and: al Tusi: Tahdhib al Ahkam 2/27; al Tabarsi: al Ihtijaj p. 274; al Kaf’ami: al Misbah p. 511.

[88] Usul al Kafi 2/606; al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 133.

[89] Bihar al Anwar 27/79; ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida p. 222.

[90] Al I’tiqadat p. 95.

[91] Muhammad al Hussaini al Jalali: al Islam ‘Aqidah wa Dustur p. 77.

[92] Al I’tiqadat p. 98.

[93] Bihar al Anwar 60/ 218; ‘Abbas al Qummi: al Kuna wa al Alqab 3/71.

[94] Bihar al Anwar 60/215; Safinah al Bihar 1/446.

[95] Bihar al Anwar 60/216.

[96] Al Kuna wa al Alqab 3/7.

[97] Bihar al Anwar 60/212-221.

[98] Ibid. 60/215.

[99] Muhammad Mahdi al Kazimi: Ahsan al Wadi’ah p. 313-314.

[100] Rijal al Kashshi p. 337.

[101] Al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Usul al A’immah: p. 171.

[102] Al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 239.

[103] Bihar al Anwar 8/68; al Burhan 4/17.

[104] Bihar al Anwar 8/66.

[105] Al I’tiqadat p. 95.

[106] Ibid. p. 96.

[107] Bihar al Anwar 39/193.

[108] Al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 167.

[109] ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida p. 239; Bihar al Anwar 39/194.

[110] Bihar al Anwar 39/200; Basa’ir al Darajat 122.

[111] Refer to the above to references and: Tafsir al Furat p. 13.

[112] Al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 251.

[113] Al Ma’alim al Zulfa p. 255; Ibn Quluyah: Kamil al Ziyarat p. 137; al Hurr al ’Amili: Wasa’il al Shia 10/331.

[114] Al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Usul al A’immah p. 124.

[115] Al I’tiqadat p. 98: They say that this is the Jannat wherein Adam ‘alayh al Salam was kept. Ibn Taymiyyah says, “According to the Ahlus Sunnah unanimously the Jannat wherein Adam ‘alayh al Salam and his wife were kept is the everlasting Jannat of the hereafter. Whoever claims that it was a Jannat in this world is either a philosopher, a heretic, or an innovator. For only they subscribe to this view.” (al Fatawa 4/347).

[116] Al I’tiqadat p. 97. I.e. Najf is Jannat.

[117] Surah al Najm: 25.

[118] Surah al Baqarah: 94-95.

[119] Surah al Qasas: 70.

[120] Surah al Baqarah: 111-112.

[121] Surah al Baqarah: 123.

[122] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/29.

[123] Ibid. 1/229.

[124] Ibid. 2/29.

[125] Maqalat al Islamiyyin 1/114, 115.

[126] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/386.

[127] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 90.

[128] ‘Aqa’id al Saduq p. 75.

[129] Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Saduq p. 12.

[130] Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Saduq p. 13.

[131] Al An’am: 107.

[132] Al Fusul al Muhimmah p. 35.

[133] Awa’il al Maqalat p. 25.

[134] They say that once Abu al Hassan was asked, “Is there any other creator besides Allah, the Magnificent?” He replied by saying, “Allah says, ‘Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.” (Al Mu’minun: 14). Hence, amongst his servants there are creators and those who do not create; one among them is ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam who could create from soil a bird. (al Fusul al Muhimmah p. 81).

This type of interpretation is attributed to some of the early scholars as well. Hence Ibn Jurayj is reported to have said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala said ‘creators’, in its plural form, because ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam could also create as he said, “I create for you from soil…” Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala therefore informs us regarding Himself that He is the Best of Creators (Tafsir al Tabari 12/11; Tafsir al Baghawi 3/304). But ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam did not create by himself but with the permission of Allah. Hence there is no supreme creator with Allah. Therefore the scholars have mentioned, “Creation in the verse means destining as the Arabic language suggests. Or as Mujahid has said, “They make and Allah makes and Allah is the Best of Makers (Tafsir al Baghawi 3/304). After citing the statements of both Ibn Jurayj and Mujahid, Ibn Jarir al Tabari concludes thus, “The statement of Mujahid is closer to the truth because the Arabs call every maker a creator (Tafsir al Tabari 12/11). The issue of the Shia is not only in the use of an expression which has a meaning other than creation; but in their stance that a person creates his actions by himself. Likewise, the interpretation of their Imam that ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam creates is no evidence due to it not being true for every person. Because that was a miracle which would transpire with the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Furthermore, he explicitly told the people, “I create for you.” Whereas the Shia generalise his statement and omit the ‘you’…

[135] Al Fusul al Muhimmah p. 80.

[136] Ibid. p. 81.

[137] Muhammad Sadiq al Tabtaba’i: Majalis al Muwahhidin fi Usul al Din p. 21.

[138] Qala’id al Khara’id p. 60.

[139] Like Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli in his book Nahj al Mustarshidin p. 52: he says, “The forth discussion: Regarding the creation of actions. Therein he asserts that this is the stance of his sect and the stance of the Mu’tazilah. He asserts the same in the eleventh chapter of his book. Likewise in his book Kashf al Murad p. 332. Al Majlisi has confirmed the same in his Bihar; he says, “The Imamiyyah and the Mu’tazilah are of the view that the doings of men and their movements all happen with their free will and they are the creators of them (Bihar al Anwar 4/148). Al Miqdad al Hilli also confirms the same. (See: al Nafi’ Yawm al Hashr fi Sharh al Bab al Hadi ‘Ashar p. 32-33).

[140] Usul al Kafi 1/159.

[141] Usul al Kafi 1/155: chapter regarding Jabr, Qadr and the moderate position; Bihar al Anwar 5/22, 56; al Fusul al Muhimmah p. 72.

[142] Bihar al Anwar 5/82.

[143] Ibid. 5/83.

[144] Surah al A’raf: 29-30.

[145] Tafsir al Qummi 1/226-227; Bihar al Anwar 5/9.

[146] Bihar al Anwar 5/56.

[147] Bihar al Anwar 5/56.

[148] See Bihar al Anwar 5/116: narrations: 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 69, etc.

[149] Hashim Ma’roof: al Shia bayn al Asha’irah wa al Mu’tazilah p. 240; ‘Abd al Amir Qabalan: ‘Aqidah al Mu’min p. 43.

[150] Ibn Babawayh: al Tawhid p. 363; Bihar al Anwar 5/53. Another narration appears wherein he says that it is one of the secrets of Allah (Bihar al Anwar 5/116) or that the middle stance is that which is between the heavens and the earth (Ibid. 5/116)

[151] Bihar al Anwar 5/53-54.

[152] Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Saduq p. 10-12.

[153] ‘Aqa’id al Saduq p. 75.

[154] Al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah p. 67-68. A similar stance is taken by al Zanjani in his book: ‘Aqa’id al Shia al Imamiyyah al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah 3/175-176.

[155] Surah al Insan: 30; Surah al Takwir: 29.

[156] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/20-21.

[157] For more detail regarding pre-destiny and the refutation of the doubts of the Mu’tazilah and the Shia refer to: Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 1/39-45, 285, 356, onwards; 20/2 and onwards; Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam vol. 8, and vol. 36/143-153; Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 217 onwards, 347-352; ‘Abd al Rahman al Mahmud: al Qada’ wa al Qadr.

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