In the Name of Allah the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Imamology, Lesson 10: The Necessity of the Living Imam for the Enjoyment of Hearts

Collected Works of The Muslim Shiite Scholar and Thinker: Allāma Hājj Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husaynī Tihrānī


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Lesson Ten: The Necessity of the Living Imam for the Enjoyment of Hearts


In the Name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful

And bless be upon Muhammad and his pure Household, and may Allah's curse be on his enemies from now until the Day of Resurrection! And there is no power or strength except for the Lofty Glorious Allah.


The Wise Allah has stated in His Glorious Book:

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاء الزَّكَاةِ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ [1]

‘…also We appointed them Leaders who guided [the people] by Our command, and We inspired them to perform good deeds, and to keep up prayer and pay the due welfare tax – and they kept worshipping Us, (Qur’an: 21/73).’


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The Element of the Causality and the Effeteness

Every creature, among the whole being in this world, has its own origin and cause which is based on it in the genesis; and also its change is based on varied causes.

If we throw a stone at a pane it breaks, and if we lead some water into the stream it follows and makes the related parts wet, and if welead more amount of water into a stream it follows in speed to the farther distances.

This is the common genesis and the variation that all creatures in the world have.

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The Effect of the Companionship in Man

The characters, natures, opinions and the morale of the people are the same; the long experiences have proved that the companionship with the good people has good effect on a man, and the companionship with the bad has bad effect. How often a good natured person, by making friends with an evil one, has lost the sincerity of his; on the other hand, a wicked one, by his constant meeting a wise person, has changed his opinion and by following him he has corrected his behavior.

Thus, in all Islamic instructions, it has been enjoined that a man should have taken a good company and keeping away from the bad, even just once sitting with the bad has some bad effect on one – whether the meeting takes place in silence or discussing about something; it is because the souls need no words or discussions, with two souls meet they have direct effects on one another.

If a man wishes his character and the attributes change into the good character and the attributes of the humanity, he must make his heart and morality be acquaintance with the basis morality and the good attributes, so that the wicked attributes not to affect him when facing them. He must contact the entire mind of him in attaining the knowledge so that to become aware of the events.

Similar to the running water in the pipes, which has a huge dam behind to reach the water to the houses, and it runs into the pipes of each house in due amount according to the size and the capacity of each place, the cause and the source of life as well as the knowledge should make them to surrender and follow them humbly. Two different things are needed for this: one is the existence of that basis and cause, that is, the beginning of the knowledge of life, and the other is surrounding, perceiving and the humility so that the cause can carry its duty; as the surrounding for perceiving the knowledge is inasmuch as accounting on it.

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The Heart of Imam is the Centre for Distribution the Knowledge

The origin of distributing the knowledge is the heart of the Imam that, by dominating the nature of all being, he gives each creature according to it talent; as it is stated:

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا [2]

‘… and We appointed them Leaders who guide [the people] by Our command, (Qur’an: 21/73).’


‘Guiding by the command of Allah’ is the same as ‘guiding the people’ by the natures and souls of them.

Thus, there must always be a living Imam in the world, and by this Verse:

 يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ [3]

‘…the Day when We shall call forth all mankind along with their Imam, (Qur’an: 17/71).’


We understand that the Imam exists all the time, and [finally] every individual is called by him; this is the truest and the main base that, among all the religions in the world, Islam relies on it. Islam believes the Imam is assigned for the society by Allah, and that is Allah Who introduces him free from errors and sins, with pure heart dominating all the hearts of the people. As the Shiite sect, due to the instruction of Islam enjoying this subject, has put its ideology and rule of life on this fact and the basis of Islam; however, the Sunnite who do not observe this subject, cannot attain the main source of life and the knowledge of it – as it already mentioned, they are unfortunate of the main meaning and the fact of Islam.

It is for this reason that, even after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, still the Imam is needed – which is the presence of the Holiness, Commander of the believers upon him be peace. This is because through that alive and alert heart, which has dominated the entire world, people can attain their necessary needs and knowledge from him; otherwise, if only a sole action was enough then, by hearing the call كفانا كِتاب الله ‘the Book of Allah is enough for us’ everyone would creep in a corner without trying to correct his soul!

As the inspirer of the knowledge of the Qur’an into the heart of a man is the Imam, and without that inspiration, the blind, looking for passions, and plunged into delectation man translates the Qur’an to suit his worldly desire – that is, whatever he does is straight from his soul yearning and such insensitive and away from the Imam’s consideration ‘do not give man anything from Allah but it takes away’. لا يزيد مِن اللهِ إلاّ بهداً Shiite Discerns that the Base of Education is by the Imamate

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Shiite Knows the foundation of the Islamic Education based on the Imamate

Shiite says that the Islamic education is based on the Imamate. In the era of the Messenger of Allah his Highness was the Imam, and by that animated heart of him, which was the source of:

فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى [4]

‘…whereat He inspired Revelation unto His obedient worshipper, (Qur’an: 53/10), ’

He instructed the people. Then, after that Highness, the process continued by the pure Imams one after another until the Holiness Great Remainder of Allah, May Allah hasten his advent, through him the heart of life and knowledge of every individual is saturated.

But another thing is surrendering, showing humility and following the Imam that prepare one’s heart to achieve the knowledge of the Imam, and this specialty is with the Shiite. Therefore, it is quite evident that the attributes of affection, loyalty and purity, generosity and forgiving, helping the needy, kindness and decency are more with the Shiite than other common religion; this is because of their surrendering and the humble souls before the whole humankind’s teacher who is the initiator in teaching, instructing  and training. It does not matter whether the Imam is present or he is absent, because the souls’ effects need not to be present, they are not materials to need another material’s help; nearness or farness do not affect them, the effect of an active soul is related to its own merit.

It is because the celestial world is away from time and location; it is why you can find the effect of active soul of the Imam in every heart. If the Imam is in the east but his follower is living in the west, his heart can benefit from him; as a father by showing affection to his child he is always in his memory whether his child is present or away on a journey – the expression of the child is in his heart. It is the same with the Imam, if his manifestation is in the heart of a believer, wherever he goes, that right pure face which is connected to the endless ocean appears in his heart and life.

Thus, the Shiite, because of his care to Imam, even in the absence of the Imam, he benefits from his blessings and the endless source of knowledge – although it is obvious that, at the presence of Imam, profiting is much more than his absence. On the contrary, the none-Shiite, whose hearts are not connected to this immense source, their souls are in wonder and find no way out.

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Shiite Possess the Kindness, Tenderness and Softness

Ibn Abi Al-Hadid, after mentioning some attributes of Ali, the Commander of the believers, says:

 وَ بَقِيَ هَذَا الْخُلْقُ مُتَوَارِثاً مُتَنَاقِلًا فِي مُحِبِّيهِ وَ أَوْلِيَائِهِ إِلَى الْآنِ كَمَا بَقِيَ الْجَفَاءُ وَ الْخُشُونَةُ وَ الْوَعُورَةُ فِي الْجَانِبِ الْآخَرِ وَ مَنْ لَهُ أَدْنَى مَعْرِفَةٍ بِأَخْلَاقِ النَّاسِ وَ عَوَائِدِهِمْ يَعْرِفُ ذَلِك [5]

‘These attributes, through inheritance, are mentioned to have been with the lovers of that Holiness so far; on the other hand, the greed, hatred and the hard heartedness are with those the none-Shiite. One with little understanding notices this fact.

As the result of the connection of the followers’ hearts to Imam’s heart, the education and the Divine knowledge of the Imam fellows into the hearts of the followers; and that the believers have Streams of the pure water in Paradise is due to their hearts’ connection to the source of the superiorities. In many occasions ‘the Paradise for the believers’ has been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, such as this which promises it: ‘…the gardens where streams flow by their trees.’

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Paradise is the Manifestation of the Attributes and Actions


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ [6]

‘…surely Allah lets those who have believed and done honourable deeds enter the gardens where streams flow by their trees,(Qur’an: 22/14 and 23, 47/12, 66/8),’


Allah lets, those believers who do good deeds, enter Paradise with foliage protecting against the heat of the sun and casting shade everywhere, and there are numerous streams flowing within.

As we already said, ‘Paradise is a place where the secrets of a believer appear; and as the believer trusts on Allah, the soul of his reposes, it is released from the depression and the temptations of the devil, and the evil thoughts and now at the present of Allah he is free from all disturbances.

He has joyfully trusted Allah, since he was panging his soul away, now, he is quite in tranquility. In the Hereafter too, when his nature and good deeds appear, his attributes appear as the foliaged garden, and its branches cast shade everywhere. There is not any sign of the burning sun there, nor do the devilish thoughts come into the minds.

Either we image Paradise as the appearance of the believers’ acts or as the reward of the actions, the result is the same.

A reasonable evidence for our saying is the statement of Allah, the Highest, who had stated it to Adam before his coming here:

 فَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ إِنَّ هَذَا عَدُوٌّ لَّكَ وَلِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقَى﴿117 إِنَّ لَكَ أَلَّا تَجُوعَ فِيهَا وَلَا تَعْرَى﴿118 وَأَنَّكَ لَا تَظْمَأُ فِيهَا وَلَا تَضْحَى﴿119 [7]

 ‘…so We stated: “O Adam, Surely this is an enemy for you and your wife, so let him not expel you from Paradise, for you will regret it. Surely you will get neither hungry nor naked therein; and you will neither be thirsty, nor feel sun-struck there, (Qur’an: 20/17-18-19),’


“But,” He stated: “In Paradise, the heart of man is in peace and no worries disturb him; he relaxes:


في مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِندَ مَلِيكٍ مُّقْتَدِرٍ [8]

‘…in a truthful abode in the Presence of the Omnipotent Sovereign, (Qur’an: 54/55).’

As well as the people who, with their good deeds, return to Allah will stay in that everlasting Paradise and they will lie under the shades of those tall trees.

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The Fact of the Running Rivers in Paradise

And the running rivers in Paradise are the very knowledge and the merit which enliven the hearts. As the believers have irrigated their hearts with these knowledge and merit, and have confessed the Unity of Allah, and believed in the attributes and the Holy Names of Him, and they have confessed the truth of the Imams and the Messenger, in Paradise, by the appearance of these, which are the lives of the hearts, all will appear like those rivers for them.

All the believers who do good deeds, as well they confess the currently-absent Imam, will benefit these rivers. Then, the amount of good deeds from the bad is known by the written permission the Imam hands it over: whatever action the Imam has permitted is right and whatever he has forbidden is not approved. As the viewpoints and the opinions of the Imam are fact and actual, therefore, violating his word and command is considered deviating his the whole rules and enjoinment.

But those people who have not surrendered their hearts to their Imam and have not benefitted that source of favour, their hearts have withered and lost their freshness, they have become disloyal and meritless, as the torn water-skin, they hast the ability to reason. They have lost their capacity and their nourishment is sighing and regretting which as the melted metal is scourging their inwards.

As He states:

 مَثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ فِيهَا أَنْهَارٌ مِّن مَّاء غَيْرِ آسِنٍ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِن لَّبَنٍ لَّمْ يَتَغَيَّرْ طَعْمُهُ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ خَمْرٍ لَّذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ عَسَلٍ مُّصَفًّى وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ كَمَنْ هُوَ خَالِدٌ فِي النَّارِ وَسُقُوا مَاء حَمِيمًا فَقَطَّعَ أَمْعَاءهُمْ [9]

‘…Here is the description of Paradise which the God-fearing have been promised: it has rivers of never stagnant water and rivers of milk, whose flavor never changes, and rivers of wine so delicious for those who drink it, and rivers of clarified honey. They will have every fruit in it, as well as forgiveness from their Lord. Now, imagine those who will remain in the Fire and be given scalding water to drink which rips up their bowels into pieces, (Qur’an: 47/15).’

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The Four Rivers of Paradise

In this Holy Verse, He states the four rivers in Paradise: the first ones are the rivers whose water is pure and fresh, is not infected. It is somewhat similar to the water in life.

As He states:

 وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ [10]

‘…and We made every living thing out of water, (Qur’an: 21/30).’

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The Rivers of Water

The life of the heart is by the Knowledge and Merits of Allah, so the rivers of knowledge and merits witch run in the heart, will appear in Paradise as the purest and unchangeable rivers. Our aim of mentioning the rivers is the whole rightful knowledge and the merits that the life of hearts related to them, and the people’s desires quench by that; and our aim of saying, ‘purified’ is that they are not stinky and unchangeable – otherwise they are corrupt and the entire ides wrong assumption.

This kind of river is specified for the people who have exacted their hearts and have run their lives for the sake of Allah; they have achieved the Divine rightful knowledge without changing their souls.  

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The Rivers of Milk

The second is the rivers of milk whose tastes never change, and they are the appearance of the knowledge and, for the beginners to journey towards Allah, are useful. As milk is the wholesome nourishment for a child, the knowledge that related to morale and behavour, as the knowledge of the religion and wisdom, as its title is on action and purifying the soul, so its appearances which are these rivers is for the weak who are capable to voyage into the soul’s territories. Because of abstaining sins and crimes they deserve to step into the position of the heart, however, because they are still beginners and have learned knowledge of the religion at the low level, they have not yet reached at the desirable position.

The meaning of: ‘the never-changing-in-taste-rivers’ is ‘the not-contaminated of this knowledge by bad intention and the lust and passions and the fanaticism of ignorance which changes the merits of those knowledge and makes them as the fatal poison. 

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The Rivers of Wine

The third group is the rivers of wine which is desirable for the drinkers, although wine is malicious in the world, it is bad smelling with awful taste that stupefies the mind and makes it senseless, and finally lowers a man to the animals’ level.

However, wine in the Hereafter, has the Divine attraction which is obtained by the appearance of the attributes and names of Allah in the heart; it strikes dumb a mind in such a way that he totally forgets the attributes and the names of Allah. It invalidates the farsighted mind and one forgets the entire being – as it owns this virtue then, is called ‘the wine’.

However, this wine leads a man from the lower level of intellect to the higher level of witnessing and heart.

Therefore, ‘the rivers full of wine’ is the appearance of the different kinds of affections, attributions and the Essence of Allah for the drinkers who at the complete level of the witness and they deserve it; and they have attained the merits to observe His attributes appearing with glory and witnessing the beauty of His Essence. They are crazy for the absolute beauty of the Lord – they have reached at a level to drown in the Divine Lights which brings them enjoyment, happiness and proud.

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The Rivers of the Filtrated Honey

The fourth part is about the filtrated honey rivers which is free from dirt and implicated things in it, and the honey is very sweet therefore, those sweetness of the Hallowed World, and the sparks of Lights and the different enjoyments that are given to the middle ranking, in the course of Allah, give then ecstasy and draw their attention to Allah – and they get to know their perfection. There, their good actions appear as the pure rivers of honey with no contamination. Of course, this is for the people who had been after the search of those attractions but yet have not reached such position to observe the manifestation.

Therefore, the rivers of the milk are for the beginners and the weak ones journeying the path of Allah towards Him, and the rivers with honey are of those the in the middle who are busy in witnessing the Divine attributes and the attractions of Him; and the rivers of wine are for those who, because of the appearance of the Beauty and their love about that Everlasting, have lost their being and are disappeared within the Lights of Him.

And the meaning of:

وَسَقَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ شَرَابًا طَهُورًا

‘…while their Lord offers them pure drink, (Qur’an: 76/21),’


is the very wine that has released them from all worldly attachments: the property, position, wife and the children, and instead, has flown high away from the debasement desires.

The unchangeable and none-contaminated pure water is for those people who have reached the position of the heart and all kinds of knowledge and merits have risen in their hearts without passions.

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The river of ginger and the spring of camphor

There are some of the middle ranking people that, because of the appearance of Allah’s attributes and observing His Holy names disappear in His beauty. To keep their affection and demand are always alive, and they have enough desires, they put some ginger, which is warm in nature, in their bowl of wine to keep them lively – as it is stated in:

 وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيهَا كَأْسًا كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلًا﴿17 عَيْنًا فِيهَا تُسَمَّى سَلْسَبِيلًا﴿18 [11]

‘…and they are allowed to drink there a cup flavored with ginger from the spring, there called ‘Nectar’, (Qur’an: 76/17-18).’

The ‘ginger’ is a river called ‘Salsabil’, (a fountain in Paradise), that for its sweetness lures the drinkers and excites them to drink.

Surely, those whose love and desires have not yet reached the higher degree, will not given ginger, but they will mix the ginger with water from the rivers and let them drink it. However, as their desires and demands are still active, and they still crave to be acquaintance with the attributes, and sometimes they notice the appearance of the Serine Beauty, their bowls are mixed with the cool sainted camphor.

As it is stated:

 إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا﴿5 عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيرًا﴿6 [12]

 ‘… the God-fearing drink out of a cup mixed with camphor; a spring, which the worshippers of Allah drink from, and [with their own will] they make it run, (Qur’an: 76/5-6).’

As they have not reached the position of the union and their beings have not drowned in the Unity, they have not attained absolute peace to be in their utter tranquility. Such serenity is for those who have reached the state of absolute servitude and have become the obedient worshipper of Allah. They are of the ‘Near Stationed’ ones and they drink of the main spring of camphor – and so is with one who has talent to for it, they will let spring run and put in everyone’s cup according to his talent.

This fountain of camphor is the very river of ‘Tæs’nim’ which also belongs to the nearest ones – yet some is poured in the cups of the pious.

As it is stated:

إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيم ﴿22 عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ﴿23 تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ نَضْرَةَ النَّعِيمِ﴿24 يُسْقَوْنَ مِن رَّحِيقٍ مَّخْتُومٍ ﴿25 خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ وَفِي ذَلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ﴿26 وَمِزَاجُهُ مِن تَسْنِيمٍ﴿27 عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ﴿28 [13]

 ‘… surely the God-fearing will be in bliss, upon couches viewing. You notice on their faces a blissful splendor, as they are given sealed bottles of wine to drink, whose seals are musk – and after that the strivers should strive. And the mixture of it is ‘Tæs’nim’, a spring at which the ‘Near Stationed’ will drink, (Qur’an: 83/23-29).’


The pious drink of the sealed wine, its seal is pure and cleansed and it according to the rules of the Holy religion; they have filled it up with wine and kept away from the reach of Satan. They put some of Tæs’nim water in the pure wine and give it to the pious to drink; while the nearest ones drink directly from the spring of Tæs’nim which runs at the highest part of Paradise.

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The Tæs’nim River Flows in the Reach of the Commander of the Believers

He who is standing on the Height and the Tæs’nim River flows below him is the Highness Ali, the Commander of the believers upon him be peace; and all the ‘Near Stationed’ drink of the water running below him.

The Tæs’nim River begins from the heart of that Holiness and quenches the thirst of the ‘Near Stationed’, and it flows straight to the Kow‘thar  [river in Paradise]; then, from there it flows to the hearts of the Shiite wherever they be located. Every item of the knowledge which already mentioned: whether it is Tæs’nim, camphor, ginger, wine, the river of milk belong to the position of the Guardianship which is the absolute knowledge; and they satisfy the children of Adam according to every individual’s merit.

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The Cupbearer of the Kow‘thar [river in Paradise]

Many agreeable narrations have been quoted by the Imams upon them be peace that the cupbearer of the Kow‘thar  [river in Paradise] is Ali, the Commander of the believers, and, by the cups set around the river, he gives a full cup to everyone of his followers; and with the hand-stick in his hand, he disperses away from the fountain the enemies of the chaste Household.            

 However, we are going to narrate some of the narrations here.

Mohebb Addin Ahmad Bin Abdullah Tabari quotes Abi Saeed Al-Khedri that he said:

 قال: قال رسول اللَّهِ صليّ اللَّهِ عليهِ و آلِه و سلّم يا علي معك يوم القيامةِ هصاً مِن عصي الجنّةِ تزود بِها المنافِقين عنِ الحوضِ اخرجه الطبراني [14]

‘The Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants   said, “O Ali, on the Day of Resurrection, you will have a stick from the sticks of Paradise in your hand to disperse the enemies of the Household from the Kowthat [river].”’ (Zakhayer Al-Oghba)

The Messenger of Allah told the Commander of the believers upon him be peace:

يا علي! اِنّك غدا على الحوض خليفتي، و أنت أول من يرد على الحوض و أنت تزود المنافقين عن حوضي،و أنت أول داخل الجنة من أمتي و اِنّ محبّك و أتباعك على منابرٍ من نور، رواءٌ مرويين، مبيضة وجوههم حولي، أشفع لهم و يكونوا غداً جيراني، واِنّ اعداعِك غداً ظمآءٌ مظمءـين، مسودةً وجوههم،  يضربون بِالمقامِعِ وهِي سياطٌ مِن نارٍ مقمحين [15]


‘O Ali, you will have a stick from the sticks of Paradise in your hand to disperse the hypocrites from the Kowthat [river].’

Ghanduzi Hanafi says: ‘Mowaffagh Bin Ahmad extracted it from Al-Kharazmi Al-Makki, from the Sayyid Al-Hoffaz Abi Mansoor Shahrdar Ibn Shiroyeh Deilami and from Zaid Ibn Ali Bin Al-Hussein from his grandfather, Ali, the Commander of the believers that the Messenger of Allah said: ‘O Ali, surely the next day, you are my Caliph by the Kow‘thar  [river in Paradise],’ and you are the first one who comes to me the next day by the kowthar. And you will disperse the hypocrites by the river on that day.        

And you are the first one among my people who will enter Paradise.’

Indeed, your friends and followers sit on the couches of light; all are quenched and delightfully gather around me, I will intercede for them because they are going to be my neighbours.

And for sure, your enemies are thirsty tomorrow; they will appear with the gloomy and dark faces, they will be dispersed with the fiery clubs and they will be downcast.’

He also says, Abu Naeem Al-Hafiz extracted it from Abi Harirah that the Messenger of Allah said to Ali, may Allah be pleased with him:

 َ وَ أَنْتَ يا علي عَلَى حَوْضِي تَزود المنافقين وَ انّأَبَارِيقَ عَدَدَ نُجُومِ السَّمَاءِ وَ أَنْتَ وَ الْحَسَنُ وَ الْحُسَيْنُ وَ حَمْزَةُ وَ جَعْفَرٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ إِخْوَاناً عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُتَقَابِلِينَ وَ أَنْتَ مَعِي وَ شِيعَتُكَ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ وَ نَزَعْنا ما فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنْ غِلٍّ إِخْواناً عَلى‏ سُرُرٍ مُتَقابِلِين [16]

‘O Ali, you are about the fountain of mine dispersing the hypocrites away. The Paradise’ pitchers, which they take water with, are as many as the stars. Then, you, Hassan, Husein, Hamzeh and Ja‘far are close together sitting on the couches face to face. You and all your followers are with me.’ Then, the Messenger of Allah, recited this Verse: ‘And We removed any hatred from their chests and they are like brothers sitting face to face on the couches in Paradise.’   

And in the ‘Jam-u-l Fawayid’, Jabir and Abu Horairah quote the Messenger of Allah saying:

جابر و ابوهريره رفعاه علي بن أبيطالب: صاحِب حوضي يوم القيامةِ، للاوسطِ [17]

 ‘O Ali, the son of Abī Tālib, you are the owner of my fountain on the Day of Resurrection.’

And also Abu Saeed says that the Messenger of Allah said:

 يا عليّ! معك يوم القيامةِ عصاً من عصي الجنّةِ تزود بِها المنافقين عن حوضي، للاوسط [18]

‘O Ali, you have a hand-stick in your hand on the Day of Resurrection to disperse the hypocrites away from the fountain.’

And Al-Tabrani quotes Ibn Kathir saying:

 كنت جالساً عِند الحسن بن عليٍّ رضي اللَّه عنهما: جاء رجلٌ وقال له: اِنّ معاوية بن خديجٍ يسبّ أباك عِند ابن أبي سفيان، فقال له: اِن رأيته مِن بعد، ارنيه! فرءآه يوماً (فاراه ذالِك الرّجل)

فقال الحسن رضي اللَّه عنه لِابنِ خديج: أنت تسبّ أباي عِند ابنِ آكِلةِ اِلاكباد؟ أما لئن وردت علي الحوضِ و ما أراك ترِده، لتجِدنّ أباي مشمِّراً حاسراً ذراعيه، يزود المنافقين عن حوضِ رسول اللَّهِِ صلّي اللَّهِ عليهِ و آلِهِ وسلّم و هذا قول الصّادقِ المصدّقِ صلی الله عليه و آله. [19]

 ‘I was at the present of Imam Hassan upon him be peace when a man came in and said to the Highness Imam Hassan: ‘Mua‘wiyah Bin Khadij abused your father in front of Mua‘wiyah Ibn Sofian.’ The Holiness said: ‘From now on, if you see him let me know him.’ One day, that man saw him and let the Highness know him. The Holiness Imam Hassan upon him be peace said to Mua‘wiyah Bin Khadij; ‘Was it you that abused my father in front of the son of the ‘Liver Eater’? So know that when you go closer to the Kow‘thar [river in Paradise], you will see my father rolling up his sleeves and dispersing the hypocrites away from the fountain of the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants; and know that this the righteous word said by the rightist Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants.’

Al-Ahmad Bin Mowaf’fagh, in the Al-Manaqib says that the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants said:

 اعْطِيَتْ فى عَلِىٍّ خَمْسٌ، هُنَّ احَبُّ الَّى مِنَ الّدُنْيا و ما فيها الى انْ قالَ وَ امَّا الثالِثةٌ فَهُوَ واقِفٌ عَلى حَوْضى يَسْقِى مَنْ عَرَفَهُ مِنْ امَّتى. [20]

‘I have been told five things by Allah Glory to Him concerning Ali, the son of Tālib, and they are dearer to me than everything in the world.’

He mentions them one after another until he comes to this: ‘But the third one is that Ali ibn Abī Tālib will stand by my fountain and he will give water to anyone of my nation he knows.’

And also it is said that Saeed Bin Jabir  in Al-Managhib quotes Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with, has said:

يَا عَلِيُّ، أَنْتَ صَاحِبُ حَوْضِي، وَ صَاحِبُ لِوَائِي، وَ حَبِيبُ قَلْبِي، و وصيّي، وَ وَارِثُ عِلْمِي وَ أَنْتَ مُسْتَوْدَعُ مَوَارِيثِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ مِن قبلي، وَ أَنْتَ أَمِينُ اللَّهِ فِي أَرْضِهِ وَ أَنْتَ حُجَّةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى بَرِيَّتِهِ وَ أَنْتَ رُكْنُ الْإِيمَانِ وَ أَنْتَ مِصْبَاحُ الدُّجَى وَ أَنْتَ مَنَارُ الْهُدَى وَ أَنْتَ الْعَلَمُ الْمَرْفُوعُ لِأَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا مَنْ تَبِعَكَ نَجَا وَ مَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْكَ هَلَكَ وَ أَنْتَ الطَّرِيقُ الْوَاضِحُ وَ أَنْتَ الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ وَ أَنْتَ قَائِدُ الْغُرِّ الْمُحَجَّلِينَ وَ أَنْتَ يَعْسُوبُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ أَنْتَ مَوْلَى مَنْ أَنَا مَوْلَاهُ وَ أَنَا مَوْلَى كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ وَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ لَا يُحِبُّكَ إِلَّا طَاهِرُ الْوِلَادَةِ وَ لَا يُبْغِضُكَ إِلَّا خَبِيثُ الْوِلَادَةِ وَ مَا عَرَجَ بِي رَبِّي عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ قَطُّ وَ كَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي إِلَّا قَالَ لِي يَا مُحَمَّدُ أَقْرِئْ عَلِيّاً مِنِّي السَّلَامَ وَ عَرِّفْهُ أَنَّهُ إِمَامُ أَوْلِيَائِي وَ نُورُ أَهْلِ طَاعَتِي فَهَنِيئاً لَكَ يَا عَلِيُّ هَذِهِ الْكَرَامَةُ [21]

 ‘O Ali, you are the owner of my fountain, and you are the owner of my banner; and you are the beloved of mine, and you are my inheritor, and so are you the inheritor of the previous prophets!

‘You are the Trust of Allah on land, and you are the proof of Allah upon all beings and are the base of the religion, you are the pillar of the Islam and you ate the illuminated light in the darkness. You are the banner of guidance and the hosted flag for the people of the world!

‘O Ali, whoever follows you, is salivated; and he who rejects you perishes! And you are the clear and the straight path! You are the leader of the bright faced in Paradise and so are you the Commander-in-chief for the pious.

‘You are the Master and Guardian for those people who I am the Master and the Guardian for; as I am the Master and the Guardian for every pious man and woman.

‘They do not love you unless they are cleansed in birth and no one hates you but he whose birth-seed is unknown.

‘And my Allah, Glory to Him did not ascended me to Heaven, and my Creator did not speak to me unless he commanded: “O Muhammad, remember me to Ali and let him know that he is the Imam of My obedient worshippers, and he is light for the obedient worshippers of Mine – let this honour be decent for you!”’

Ibn Shahr Ashob has narrated from the quotations of Abu Rafi in five ways that the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants had said to Ali ibn Abī Tālib:

و فى اخبار ابى رافع من خمسه طرق، قال النبى صلى الله عليه و آله يا عليّ ترِد عليّ الحوضِ و شيعتك رواءٌ مروييّين، و يرِد عليك عدوّك ظلمئاء مقمحين [22]

 ‘O Ali, you as well as your followers enter Kow‘thar  [river in Paradise], all of you are saturated and cheerful, but your enemies in thirst enter and are downcast.’     

And, in the comment, the Statement of Allah, the Highest, is:

 وسقاهم ربّهم شراباً طهوراً، يعني سيِّدهم علي بن أبيطالبٍ، والدّليل علي أنّ الرّب بِمعني ألسيِّد: قوله تعالي: و اذكرني عِند ربِّك [23]

‘their Lord will quench their thirst with the pure wine.’ It is narrated that the meaning of the ‘Lord’ here, is the ‘Master’, so ‘their Lord’ means ‘their Master’ Ali, Ibn Abī Tālib.

And the reason that the word ‘Lord’ is translated ‘Master’ is what Allah, Glory to Him, has commanded when Joseph said to his prison mate: “Remember Me to your Lord,” which here, it means his Master.”’

الفايق: اِنّ النّبي قال لِعليّ: أنت الذّائد عن حوضي يوم القيامةِ تذود عنه الرِّجال كما يذاد الاصيد ألبعير الصّادي أيِ الّذي بِهِ الصّيد و الصّيد، داءٌ يلوي عنقه [24]

In Zamakhshari’s Faegh,it is narrated, the Messenger of Allah said to Ali ibn Abī Tālib: ‘It is you who, on the Day of Resurrection, are going to disperse away the people from the fountain of mine; you scatter the hypocrites from there as the camel-drivers keep at distance a mangy camel from among the camels.’

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Hemyari’s poem concerning Kow‘thar [river in Paradise] and the cupbearer there

Hamyari, the poet of the Household upon them be peace, says:

أؤمل في حبه شربة                  من الحوض تجمع أمنا و ريا

إذا ما وردنا غدا حوضه              فأدنى السعيد و ذاد الشقيا

متى يدن مولاه منه يقل            رد الحوض و اشرب هنيئا مريا

و إن يدن منه عدو له                يذده علي مكانا قصيا [25]

وَ أَزْمَعُوا غَدْراً بِمَوْلَاهُمُ               تَبّاً لِمَا كَانَ بِهِ أَزْمَعُوا

لَا هُمْ عَلَيْهِ يَرِدُوا حَوْضَهُ            غَداً وَ لَا هُوَ فِيهِمُ يَشْفَ

حَوْضٌ لَهُ مَا بَيْنَ صَنْعَا إِلَى         أَيْلَةَ وَ الْعَرْضُ بِهِ أَوْسَعُ‏

يُنْصَبُ فِيهِ عَلَمٌ لَلْهُدَى              وَ الْحَوْضُ مِنْ مَاءٍ لَهُ مُتْرَعٌ‏

يَفِيضُ مِنْ رَحْمَتِهِ كَوْثَرٌ             أَبْيَضُ كَالْفِضَّةِ أَوْ أَنْصَعُ‏

حَصَاهُ يَاقُوتٌ وَ مَرْجَانَةٌ             وَ لُؤْلُؤٌ لَمْ تَجْنِهِ إِصْبَعُ‏

أَخْضَرُ مَا دُونَ الْوَرَى نَاضِرٌ         وَ فَاقِعٌ أَصْفَرُ أَوْ أَنْصَعُ‏

والعِطر و الرّيحان انواعه           تسطع اِن هبّت بِهِ زعزع

رِيحٍ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ مَأْمُورَةٌ               ذَاهِبَةٌ لَيْسَ لَهَا مَرْجِعٌ

اِذا مرته فاح مِن ريحهِ             ازكي مِن المِسكِ اِذا يسطع

فِيهِ أَبَارِيقُ وَ قِدْحَانُهُ                يَذُبُّ عَنْهَا الرَّجُلُ الْأَصْلَ

يذبّ عِند ابنِ أبيطالبٍ             ذبّك حربي اِبِلٍ تشرع‏

إِذَا دَنَوْا مِنْهُ لِكَيْ يَشْرَبُوا           قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَبّاً لَكُمْ فَارْجِعُوا

دُونَكُمْوا فَالْتَمِسُوا مَنْهَلًا            يُرْوِيكُمْ أَوْ مَطْعَماً يُشْبِعُ‏

هَذَا لِمَنْ وَالَى بَنِي أَحْمَدَ           وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ غَيْرُهُمْ يَتْبَعُ‏

فَالْفَوْزُ لِلشَّارِبِ مِنْ حَوْضِهِ        وَ الْوَيْلُ وَ الذُّلُّ لِمَنْ يَمْنَع [26]


The rebellious cunningly insisted in their swearing allegiance with their Master, the Commander of the believers, upon him be peace, so let him be perished who tricked in this way.

The next day of the Resurrection they cannot enter the territory of the Kow‘thar Fountain, nor will the Holiness intercede among them.

There is a fountain for that Highness that its length is from Sena to the Land of Sham – even it may be longer.

They put a sign or a flag there for the guidance of the followers of that Holiness, and that fountain is filled up with the water blessed by the Highness.

The Kow‘thar [river in Paradise] too runs with his blessing, its water is as bright as silver or even brighter.

The sand, in the bed of the fountain, is of rubies, pearls and white rubies, which have not been touched by anyone so far; the Ground of Kow‘thar is of musk, and about it are the tall fruit bearing trees.

The leaves of the trees are so shiny and green, looking golden and charming that no eyes have ever seen such; when the Paradise mild wind breezes, different sweat smells rise from that fountain.

The constant breeze blows by the Command of Allah, and it never ever stops for a moment.

Whenever it breezes delicate smelling comes out from everywhere.

There are cups, bowls and pitchers around the fountain, they are put there for the use of the followers, however, Ali, our Master, the Commander of the believers disperses the enemies away from the fountain, like the mangy camels are drawn away from among the sound camels.

When the enemies want to get closer to the fountain to drink water, a sound is heard saying: ‘Go away o you the perishable!

Return! You must try to fine the water which suits you – to quench your thirst, and find food to satisfy your stomachs.

This fountain is specified for those the followers of the Household of the Messenger of Allah; those who have believe them and followed them in the world.

Thus, this victory and blessing is for him who tastes from that water and abject is one who does not drink of that water.

Anyhow, this fountain is the main source of Ali’s knowledge, which is delightful, gives new life and cures all pains. If a blind enters it he gets his eyesight back, the black gets light and a sick finds his health – a burnt finds his body sound. This fountain flows down from ‘Al-A‘raf’ which is the soul of the Highness, and from the Tasnim that is the knowledge of that Holiness.

No position is higher than his status except the Firmament of Allah which is the position of right Prophet-hood.

Both the Sunnite and Shiite have narrated that the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants has stated:

أنا مدينةُ العِلمِ وَ علیٌّ بابُها [27]

‘I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.’

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[1] Surah 21, "انبیاء", Verse 73.

[2] Surah 21, "انبیاء", Verse 73.

[3] Surah 17, "اسراء", Verse 71.

[4] Surah 53, "النجم", Verse 10.

[5] The Twenty-Volumes Explanation of Nahj-ul-Balagha, volume 1, page 26.

[6] Surah 22, "حج", Verse 14; and Surah 47, "محمد", Verse 12; and Surah 66 "تحریم", Verse 8.

[7] Surah 20, "طه", Verses 117-119.

[8] Surah 54, "قمر", Verse 55.

[9] Surah 47, "محمد", Verse 15.

[10] Surah 21, "انبیاء", Verse 30.

[11] Surah 76, "الإنسان", Verses 17 & 18.

[12] Surah 76, "الإنسان", Verses 5 & 6.

[13] Surah 83, "مطففین", Verse 22-28.

[14] "، ذخائر العقبى‏ ", page 91.

[15] "ينابيع الموده‏ ", page 130.

[16] "ينابيع الموده‏ ", page 132.

[17] "ينابيع الموده‏ ", page 132.

[18] Same reference.

[19] Same reference.

[20] "ينابيع الموده‏ ", page 132.

[21] "ينابيع الموده‏ ", page 132.

[22] Manaqib ibn Shar Aashub, volume 2,, page 350.

[23] Manaqib ibn Shar Aashub, volume 2,, page 350.

[24] Same reference.

[25] The Poetic Works of Hemyari,  page 464, is extracted from "al-Manaqib", 2nd, volume, page 162 and 223, and also A'yan-ash-Shoote, volume 12, page 276.

[26] The poetic works of Hemiary, page 261, and from " بحار الانوار " and they have extracted this elegy from" مجالس المؤمنين ", الغدير, اعيان الشيعة, ضحى الاسلام, اغانى and ظرافة الاحلام

[27] ".كنز العمال‏", volume 12, page 201, narration 1130, published in India in 1384, and "وسائل الشيعه‏", published in letters, volume 18, page 52.

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