REAL PROPHET'S (SAW) SUCCESSORS

 
 

 

How can we understand the Verse of Wilaya?

‘Only Allah is your wali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who say their prayers and offer zakat (even) while prostrating (in prayers). And whoever takes for wali Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, they, indeed, are the party of Allah; they are the ones who shall achieve victory (Qur’an, 5:55-56).

The proofs testifying to the meaning connoted in the word concealed from the discreet. His statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, “And he is your wali after me” clearly restricts “wilayat” to him and only him. This mandates that we should underscore the meaning which we have just attached to this word, a meaning which does not agree with that of any other interpretation. Support, love, friendship, and the like are not confined to one single person, and the believers, men and women, are walis of one another. What merit, other than what we have just indicated, could the Prophet (pbuh) have emphasized in this hadith regarding his brother and wali if we say that the meaning of the word wali is something else that differs from what we have indicated above? What a hidden matter has the Prophet (pbuh) decided to unveil through the medium of such ahadith had the meaning of “wali” been the supporter, the loved one, or the like? The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, is above clarifying what is already clear, or pointing out what is already taken for granted.  His wisdom is vast, his infallibility is incumbent, his Message is conclusive and is more than what some people think. Yet these ahadith are quite clear in stating that wilayat is assigned for ‘Ali after the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. This, too, requires applying the same meaning which we have suggested. It simply is not conducive to the meanings of supporter, loved one, etc., since there is no doubt that ‘Ali is known to have been supported, loved, and befriended by Muslims due to his being raised in the lap of prophethood, to his contributions to the promotion of its message, till he, peace be upon him, passed away. Supporting, loving and befriending the Muslims, therefore, are not confined to ‘Ali alone after the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, as is quite obvious.

Suffices you for a testimony to this meaning what Imam Ahmed has stated on page 347 of Vol. 5 of his Musnad through the correct path of narrators who cite Sa‘id ibn Jubayr quoting Ibn ‘Abbas citing Buraydah saying: “I participated in ‘Ali’s invasion of Yemen, and I found him to be cool to me; so, when I came to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, I mentioned ‘Ali and belittled him; thereupon, I saw the Messenger’s face changing colour, and he asked me: ‘O Buraydah! Do I not have more authority over the believers than the believers have over their own selves?’ I answered: ‘Yes, indeed, O Messenger of Allah’. He (pbuh) then said: ‘To whomsoever I have been mawla, ‘Ali, too, is his mawla.” This hadith is also quoted by al-Hakim on page 110, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak, where he considers it authentic relying on the authority of Muslim. Al-Thahbi has quoted it in his Talkhis, taking its authenticity for granted for the same reason thatbe Muslim, too, considers it authentic. You yourself know the implication the introductory question “Do I not have more authority over the believers than they themselves have?” carries, a meaning that supports what we have suggested. Anyone who scrutinizes these ahadith, as well as all matters relevant to them, will have no doubt in what we have stated, and praise be to Allah.

The sahih books consecutively report, through the authority of the Imams from among the Purified Progeny, stating that it was revealed in honour of ‘Ali when he, out of charity, offered his ring while prostrating in prayers. Refer to what has been said in this regard by others such as Ibn Salam who quotes hadith from the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. Refer to it as published in Nisa’i’s Sahih, or in Al-Jami Bayna al-Sihah al-Sittah, in a chapter dealing with the interpretation of Surat al Ma’ida. Likewise, refer to the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas who explains the meanings of these verses in imam al-Wahidi’s book Asbab al-Nuzul. Al-Khatib has included it in Al-Muttafaq.[2] Also refer to ‘Ali’s hadith in the musnads of Ibn Mardawayh and Abul-Shaykh. If you wish, refer to it in Kanz al-‘Ummal.

Its revelation to honour ‘Ali is a matter of consensus among scholars of the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an. Such consensus is attested to by many Sunni scholars like Imam al-Qawshaji in his chapter on imamate in Sharh al Tajrid. Chapter 18 of Ghayat al-Maram includes one hadith narrated through the Sunnis testifying to our claim. Had I not aspired to be brief, in addition to the fact that this issue is as clear as the sun in midday, I would have quoted for you many comments thereupon in authentic chronicles, but, praise to Allah, it is a matter which does not entertain any doubt. Despite that, we do not like to let this letter be without a few ahadith narrated by the majority of Muslims.

Suffices us what Imam Abu Ishaq Ahmed ibn Ibrahim al-Nisaburi al-Tha‘labi[3] has stated in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir.  When the writer comes to this verse, he quotes Abu Dharr al-Ghifari saying:

“I have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, with these ears - may I be deaf if I tell a lie - and saw him with these eyes - may I be blinded if I lie - saying: ‘Ali is the leader of the pious, the annihilator of infidels; whoever supports him is supported by Allah, and whoever abandons him is abandoned by Allah.’ I have, indeed, said my prayers once in the company of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, when a beggar came to the mosque and nobody gave him anything. ‘Ali was in the state of ceremonial prostration when he beckoned to him to take his ring. The beggar came and took it from ‘Ali’s finger, whereupon the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, invoked Allah, the Almighty, the Omniscient, and prayed Him on behalf of ‘Ali saying: ‘Lord! My Brother Moses had prayed to you saying: Lord! Remove the distress from my bosom, render my mission easy for me, and untie my tongue’s knot so that people may understand me, and let me have a vizier from my own kin, my brother Aaron, to support my endeavour and participate in my undertaking, so that we may both praise you a great deal and mention your Name a great deal; You have been most Kind unto us (Qur’an, 20:25-35);-thereupon, You inspired to him: Verily, your prayer has been granted, O Moses!  (Qur’an, 20:36). Lord! I am Your servant and Prophet; therefore, remove my distress, render my mission easy for me, and grant me a vizier from my kin, ‘Ali, to support my endeavour’. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, had hardly finished his supplication before Gabriel, the trusted one, brought him this verse: ‘Only Allah is your wali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who say their prayers and offer zakat (even) while prostrating (in prayers). And whoever takes for wali Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, they, indeed, are the party of Allah; they are the ones who shall achieve victory (Qur’an, 5:55-56).’”

You, may Allah support righteousness through your own person, know that the meaning of the word “wali” in such a context is “one who has the top priority in faring with one’s affairs.” We say “Such and such is the minor’s wali.” Lexicographers have made it clear that whoever takes charge of someone’s affairs is the latter’s wali. The meaning of the verse, therefore, is as though Allah says that “the ones who take charge of your affairs and have priority even over your own lives in faring with the latter are: Allah, the Almighty and Omniscient, His Messenger, and ‘Ali,” for in ‘Ali alone have all these qualities been combined: faith, saying the prayers, and offering zakat even while prostrating in prayers, and for whom these verses were thus revealed. The Almighty has in these verses reserved wilayat for Himself and for both His Messenger and wasi in the same manner. The wilayat of Allah, the Almighty and Omniscient, is general and inclusive. So is the wilayat of the Prophet as well as his wali; it carries the same meaning. It is not possible to apply to it in this context the meanings of “supporter, loved one, etc.,” since such a restriction [of application] is groundless, as is quite obvious. I believe this is a quite clear matter, and praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

To return to the time in the mosque when Ali gave the beggar his ring and the Prophet invoked Allah, asking Him to make Ali his associate in his prophethood. Then the Holy Prophet prayed: “O Allah! I am Muhammad, Your chosen one and Your Prophet. Expand for me my breast. And make easy for me my task and appoint for me a helper from my family, Ali. Strengthen my back through him.”

 

Abu Dharr related, “By Allah! The prayer of the Prophet had not ended when the angel Gabriel appeared and revealed this verse to him: ‘Only Allah is your Friend and His Apostle and those who believe, those who maintain prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.’” (5:55)

 

The Prophet’s prayer was granted, and Ali was appointed his vizier. Muhammad bin Talha Shafi’i, in Matalibu’s-Su’ul, page 19, has dealt with this issue in detail. Furthermore, Hafiz Abu Nu’aim Isfahani in Manaqatu’l-Mutaharin, Sheikh Ali Ja’fari in Kanzu’l-Barahin, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Seyyed Shahabu’d-din in Tauzihu’d-Dala’il, Jalalu’d-Din Suyuti in Durr-e-Mansur, and other prominent scholars of your sect have narrated this in their works. Some of them have narrated from Asma Bint Umais (the wife of Abu Bakr) and some from other companions. The following was narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas: “The Prophet took me and Ali by the hand. He offered four rak’ats of prayer, and raising his hands toward the sky, said, ‘O Allah! Moses, son of Imran, begged of you to appoint for him a helper and to make easy for him his task. I am Muhammad. I beg of you to expand for me my breast and make easy for me my task. Keep my tongue fluent so that the people may understand my speech. Appoint for me a helper from my family, Ali. Strengthen my back through him, and associate him with me in my affair.’ I heard a voice saying, ‘O Ahmad! I have granted your request.’ Then the Prophet took Ali by the hand and said, ‘Raise your hands towards the sky and pray to Allah so that He may bestow something upon you.’ Then Ali raised his hands and said, ‘O Allah, promise me on Your part that you will hold me in Your affection.’ Immediately the angel Gabriel appeared and brought this verse of the chapter ‘Mary’: ‘Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds upon them will Allah bestow love.’ (19:96)

 

When the companions of the Prophet were surprised at this, the Prophet said, ‘Why are you astonished? The Holy Qur’an has four parts: One-fourth concerns us (the Ahle Bait); one-fourth concerns lawful matters; one-fourth is for unlawful matters; and one-fourth concerns commandments and ordinances. I swear by Allah that there are many verses in the Holy Qur’an which have been revealed in praise of Ali.’”

 

 

 


 

 


 

وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ {41:18}

But We delivered those who believed and practised righteousness

 

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وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ     اللهم صلى على محد و ال محد.... و عجل فرجهم