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

Imamology, Lesson 6: The Messengers’ Chastity does not Repel Their Optional Acts

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


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Lesson Six: The Messengers’ Chastity does not Repel Their Optional Acts


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:


رُّسُلًا مُّبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ [1]

 ‘… [they were] the messengers of good news and warning, in order that people would have no argument against Allah after [sending] the messengers, (Qur'an: 4/164).'


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The whole chastity of the messengers is through Allah

There used to be the messengers who kept on giving good news and warning the people so that there would remain no excuses for them against Allah.

The foregoing ‘Blissful Verse’ clearly carries the point of  the ‘giving good news and warning’ so that they have no excuses to cover their crimes and sins – not to have any excuses in front of Allah on the Day of Resurrection to say that: ‘We had no one to guide us so we did not know what to do.’

It is obvious that the reliable sayings and the acts of the messengers are due to their innocence, they make no mistakes in their sayings and actions; they do not make mistakes when receiving the commands of Allah and announcing them to the people – otherwise, people would have their own excuses and proofs.

They would say: ‘We committed sins because we found our messengers sinning, and whatever errors and crimes we did was because of the messengers’ mistakes they made; it was totally their faults. They have not received the revelation correctly or they couldn’t deliver it to us properly, it was why we failed carrying out our duty as it was.’

Therefore, as the messengers have come for this purpose, they must never make mistakes, otherwise, their missions will be fruitless – so this is the meaning of chastity.

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Proving the chastity by another verse

We can also find the meaning of the chastity in this verse:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ [2]

 ‘…and We did not send any messenger(s) but to be obeyed with the permission of Allah, (Qur’an: 4/63).’

That is, the people to obey them and be their obedience.

So, when the messengers, with the permission of Allah, become the centre of the obedience, and the people who are obeying them too are obedience to them, then Allah’s will and blessings fall upon them.

 It is clear that if a messenger makes a mistake in his publicizing or commits sins, or trespasses the rights by violating his duty – in speech and act, which both are the means of publicizing – then naturally he trespasses his boundary and acts whatever is opposite the rights.

And according to the foregoing ‘Blissful Verse’ that: ‘Allah’s permission is incumbent in their actions, then it must be the same with their wrong actions; however, as the will of Allah is permanent and it is for the right actions, then the messengers must not make any mistakes until the permission be for their right actions.

وَاللَّهُ يَقُولُ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ يَهْدِي السَّبِيلَ [3]

 ‘… Allah speaks the right and He directs to the straight path, (Qur’an: 33/4).’

In addition, if a messenger makes a mistake in his saying or acting he is exposed to anger and rejected by Allah, for sins cause His anger – therefore, their sins are against the will and satisfaction of Allah, so are their good deeds approved by Him.

‘Exposing to anger and being rejected’ is because of the sins are committed, and He hates and rejects any sin; and ‘deserving the affection and the command of Allah’ is because of their speaking and acting which is with the permission of Allah – thus, their speaking and actions are straight by the will and command of Allah.

On the other hand, as the both ‘affection and hatred’ cannot be united in a single unit and the collaboration of ‘the command and rebuff’ cannot be carried out on a single object at the same time, then the messengers’ sinning is impossible and thus this is the meaning of chastity.

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The chastity does not cause the actions to become constrained

Most people believe that the messengers and the Imams, owning the natural chastity, are self-sufficient and their activities are fulfilled without the power of their knowledge and their determination.

The angels that Allah, the Highest, has assigned upon them to guard them against the errors and sins, and as their main responsibility is to carry out their duties, they support and secure them against all crimes by all means.

Therefore, their worshipping and struggling must not be compared with the common people, it is because a man struggles and fights against his ego to reach Allah and in this way he naturally encounters hardships.

But they, while enjoying peace of mind, are guided by the angels; it is why they are in nature pure and cleansed – apart from chastity nothing influences them.

So, whatever: propaganda and servitude they have done must not be expected from the common people, it is just because their category is totally different from the others.

Consequently, their actions and words are quite different from the widespread people, so in that case, it is obvious that their chastity is not theirs but it is in Allah’s hand and He controls it. It means they have no option or power of their own but are manipulated by Allah. 

This supposition is wrong and beside, it causes slackness to the people: although they are pure and have their own chastity, and they are immune by Allah, the Almighty, and are looked after by His angels, their pureness, chaste and the decision of Allah are always with them – thus, without the given talent, they act upon nothing.

To make it explicit, we should say: all events and the entire beings in this world come to existence by certain causes – there are already ‘causes’ from which things are issued and come to existing.

Therefore, all affairs and statements which are done or said by a messenger are based on a certain fact and all are right and fact, and it is the effect of what a messenger owns – that is the very same power which is with the messenger.

It is similar to what we do; we cannot carry on an action and bring it up unless we have a burning desire and severe determination to do it, and then to follow it: first we must imagine what we are going to do, and in the mean time, picture it in our mind, and next to be interested in doing it, and lastly, create strong desire within us to initiate it.

It is the same with the messengers: a messenger carries out a job after picturing it in his mind and having strong determination to do it.

Once more, to emphasize our statement, we say: we the ordinary people do both good and bad things, but to do good, first, we must image the theoretical picture of it in our mind and then to have a burning desire to do it; it is the same for doing a bad thing, first we must create the image in our minds, and then having a strong determination to fulfill it.

Now, let us suppose that those who image the things in their minds are always of the good and approved qualities of the pictures, then, it is obvious that after determining to do them, they will do just good things – their minds will get used to doing the same category things.

However, if a certain people always image evils, crimes and the ugliest things in their minds and then find interest in accomplishing them, they will surely do the devil things – these are the people of the adversity while the first ones are blessed.

The messengers are of a certain category that always image goodness, benevolence and mercifulness in their minds; they find interest in them and of course act upon them. As these kinds of images constantly acquire in their minds, it naturally becomes a habit to them: the nature of chastity, courage, and generosity and … – so this is the very same nature of chastity of them.

Because of the messengers’ permanent submissive attributes whatever they perform is by their ever-lasting good knowledge; and it is of their very same submitting obedience, and here, ‘the nature’ is that firm and unchangeable granted knowledge of them.

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The superiority of the messengers is because of their optional deeds

This is the cause of the messengers’ preference to the other common people; their sensual nature and the power of knowledge is very strong and they continually fulfill their dutiful tasks.

If it is assumed that they properly carry out their duties but without their option and given knowledge – as a clock when it is wound it functions or as a door when the key is turned in the keyhole it opens or locks without its will.

Thus, what are the privileges of them? 

Apart from that, the messengers receive revelations and it is obvious that they do not make mistakes in receiving and publicizing them; but if this ‘receiving and publicizing’ were not by their own nature and aptitude, they were done without their attempts then it would have been assumed that they had not option in doing things – then it would inconsistent with our belief that the messengers, like other people, have authority in doing things.

Therefore, everything which is done by the messengers: from the statements, actions and miracles are done with their own will, desire, and option, but with permission of Allah and the support of the angels – that is, it is the combination of their potential and the permission of Allah and the angels’ support.   

Here, we bring up our discussion about the messengers’ chastity, but to make their bestowed-Divine-gifs clear, and also to specify their preference and honour to other people, we have to talk about their qualities some more in this lesson. Several points are needed to be mentioned about their quality in creation, and how they have owned their chastity 

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Creation means ‘Appearance’ not ‘Birth or Departing

The first discussion is that: the formation of abstract and material, and the appearance of light are of Allah, the Highest, and Almighty.

Therefore, every possible thing or event, according to its circumstances and capacity, benefits from the Light of Allah, the Exalted: by receiving of that pure Light, it is inspired and comes to existence.

The meaning of creation is not that something is issued from the Lofty, Holy Being and continues living on its own; that is, to rely on its own and to havethe specific attributes and its freedom in existing.

As a result, the entire beings, except the Holiness Allah, depend on Him and all are relying on Him; it is so that if an instance this connection ceases the whole universe plunges into sheer darkness.

As the Qur’an mentions:

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

 ‘… o men, you are poor toward Allah, and Allah is the Praiseworthy Absolute, (Qur’an: 35/15).’

(O people, all of are entirely deprived in front of Allah, it is only He Who is needless and it is He Who deserves to be praise and glorified).

It was why the messengers declared their weaknesses, poverty, and inability in the sight of Allah; they believed that they were poor and abject in front of the Glorious and Majesty Creator. They fell down to prostrate in their supplications – not artificially or just showing up, but sincerely and in deep concern.

So in this field there is no difference between the messengers, the Imams or the ordinary people; whatever any individual has is from the Allah, it is for Allah; that is, no one has anything without Allah’s existing in it.

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The foundation of the entire being is based on the variation of the creatures 

The second discussion is that: the basis of the existence is due to various advents and manifestations 

In the field of ‘Philosophy’, the question: ‘a single unit begets just a single unit’, and in the course of ‘the Awareness’, under the ground of ‘The Supreme Being is not repeated in the transfiguration’ are taken into consideration by the great dignified scholars, and also they are scrutinized  by the Islamic sage orthodox. 

Among the whole creation in the universe, there are absolutely not two things to be or to look exactly the same; there are some creatures which, more or less, look alike but never ever two of them can be the same.

Nowadays, the ‘Experimental Knowledge’ has approved this fact; through analysis and constant experience it has proved that two things never resemble each other – each unit has its own specialties.

Even since from the very beginning – from the creation of Adam – until the life ceases there will not be two men to be exactly similar. They are similar neither in structures nor shapes and nor in attributes.

There are not even two men whose fingers or finger prints to be similar; the lines on their fingers are different and by those lines the criminals are known and arrested.

Even two of the numerous lines on the hide of a man are not similar.

The lines, on a certain finger of the right hand, are different from the same finger of the left hand; the lines on the thumb of the right hand are different from the same thumb finger of the left hand.

Therefore, the main and permanent basic parts of a man’ body in creation are different; as they are looking different in appearances – they are also different in characters and attributes.

We always consider that some children are different in the generosity and forgiving, and also they differ in modesty and chastity and gentleness – so are they in intelligence and understanding.

Similarly, the messengers and the Imams are different from the other creatures.

And even the messengers who have been sent by Allah, and they all have the responsibility of delivering the messages of Allah to the people, and they carry out their duties and invite the people to Allah, in other words, they are all from one source and their return is the same, and besides Allah states:  

لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ

‘… We do not differentiate between any of His messengers, (Qur’an: 2/185),’

are [they are] quite different in tolerance, attributes and the divine-given gifts.

As Allah states:

تلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ

 ‘… These are the apostles We preferred some above others; there are some of them Allah spoke to, and some He raised in rank. And We gave Jesus, the son of Marry, apparent proofs, and endorsed him by the means of the Holy Spirit, (Qur’an: 2/253).’

The stories and the attributes of the messengers become clearer to us by the constant explanations of them through the Verses of the Qur’an.

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All the powerful and talented beings are moving towards the perfection

The third discussion is on the creatures possessing strength and intelligence and they must activate their merits – they have to be on move.

The result of this motion is from the stages of interior and intelligence on to the stages of appearance and activities.

All creatures, from the tiniest insects up to the gigantic mammal, from the man to animal, the dust and gross, and from the plants to the trees have the art of this motion and they are moving from to their destination – from the interior to the completion.

The messengers and the Imams are the same and they are not exempted; we see that they have also been generated by germs and have been born from their mothers. They have given flesh, bones and muscles, the power of seeing the hearing and speaking; they have put them into practice and grown up as the other people do – they have come from none to existence and have started to act.

Thus states Allah

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ

 ‘… o man, you are labouring toward your Lord laboriously, and you will encounter Him, (Qur’an: 84/6)!’

The nature and the revolution of the messengers as well as their natural movement are also similar to the ordinary people: from the birth, from the childhood to the maturity and from the weakness to strength; and the Noble Verse says:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ

‘… Say, ‘I am a human being like you, (Qur’an: 18/110).’

 And it says:

وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِلِقَاء الْآخِرَةِ وَأَتْرَفْنَاهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مَا هَذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يَأْكُلُ مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَشْرَبُ مِمَّا تَشْرَبُونَ

 ‘… and among his people, who denied the encountering in the Hereafter, even though We had granted them every luxury during the life of this world, said the Council of the disbelievers: ‘This [man] is only a human being like yourselves; he eats what you eat, and drinks what you drink, (Qur’an: 23/33).’

Similarly, in the point of view of leaking out their talents, the desires, the attributions and their beauties they have been like the other people; during their long life, they have polished up those and put them in practice.

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The perfection of every creature is it's capabilities turning into actions

Fourth discussion: how to benefit and activate the intelligence is closely related to the intelligence itself, for example, a certain kind of activity of a man is related to his own intelligence; the activity of an animal is also related to its own cleverness, never can an ostrich have the talent of a bird of prey and the cleverness of a sheep is never as the talent of a camel or a horse.

Either of these different creatures carries out its duty and moves from interior to the completion according to its own power and the cleverness given to it.

Every human being too, according to his capacity of the natural intelligence, moves towards his integrity and the completion – he attains the stage of his completion according the instincts and the attributes of his.

Therefore, it is absolutely impossible for two persons to have the same talents, intelligence or attributes.

Never can Moses be Jesus or Jesus Moses! While both of them were the messengers and at their death they were not sperms, and while still sperms they were not children.

And Jesus, bless be on our Messenger and his Descendants and him, while still speaking in the cradle, he stated that he was already given the prophet-hood, and his state, when the Gospel was revealing and the Divine miracles were coming down to him, and when he was inviting the Children of Israel to witness his healing the lepers, and restoring the dead to life, and giving sight to the blind are quite different from the story of Jesus in his mother’s stomach – as well different from the other messengers.

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The desire of Allah and the expectation of the Existing Word from an individual is the perfection of his not anyone else

The fifth discussion: the expectation of the universe from an individual is his own perfection not anyone else’ rightness. Every separate entity of the being in the universe, as: intellects, the angels, the stars, and the suns, and the moon, night and day and also everyone’s desire is to use the Divine given talents in the best way possible – not a single being is pleased wasting it. They all want through struggle and resistance to move onward to the Devine safety and the secured position. They do not expect, on the course they are going to activate their given intelligence, to contact those with different thoughts and attributes.

As it is stated:

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا

‘…Allah charges no soul beyond its capacity, (Qur’an: 2/286).’

And also:

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا

‘… Allah only holds a person responsible for something He has given him, (Qur’an: 65/7).’

Allah is a mere Just so He does not harm anyone as much as an atom weight.

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا

‘… surely Allah does not wrong mankind at all, (Qur’an: 10/44).’

 إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ

 ‘… surely Allah does not harm so much as an atom’s weight, (Qur’an: 4/40).’

Allah is Just and He acts in just; for oppression takes place when, for example, one wants an ant to perform the task of a gross-hopper. If one expects an ant to carry out its own dutiful task, that is, not to take a weaker ant’s straw away, then it is not oppression, this is a right thing to do. It is done according to the talent and the cleverness of that insect; this is its duty and then stopping it to harm the other ant is quite right and a mere justice.

If Allah enjoined His creatures to fulfill the same tasks that He had enjoined the messengers to do then it would not only be unjust, but oppression as well. However, if He expects anyone of His creatures to fulfill his duty according to his capacity and intelligence, and in the mean time, to obey Him and follow whatever the Messenger had commanded then it would not be oppression.

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The messengers had knowledge and authorities over their activities – whether miracles or else 

The sixth discussion: the messengers, like anyone else, had knowledge and authorities. All the revelations they received and announced them to the people, the miracles in their disposal, and their obedience when they prostrated in front of the Creator, and also the other activities they did were optional and they did them with their will – they did nothing by force.

However, purification, cleanliness, knowledge, the power thought, the practicable power and many others have found way into the kernel of their being by the permission of Allah, and then, they have been issued later on.

Now that through these discussions things have become clear, the quality of the creation of the messengers and the Imams and their chastity too become obvious.

First of all, the nature of the messengers’ chastity, which keeps them away from committing sins and crimes have been bestowed them as the heritage and the Divine gift, is quite agreeable.                                                          

However, in the beginning, this bestowed chastity was as energy and talent, and in their sleep, wakefulness and in any condition it was with them, then, after long struggle, praying and being obedience and going through hardships and being tested, it developed and reached the stage of completion.          

Similar to the other natures of the people, such as: science, arts and the industries that after mastering them they did not separate them, and they were with them all through their lives.

The completion of this nature is obtainable while, the origin of it is the Divine gift, given to the messengers and the Imams and those who are closer to the Creator by Him.

Secondly, the nature of the chastity has been the superiority and the nobility which has been the messengers’ spiritual attributions, by means of that; they have attained generosity and nobility. Is has separated them from the other ordinary people: just as a distinguished physician, a mathematician.   

A physician heals a body and the mathematician deals with his own task. The owners of the chastity deal with the facts and the essence of the truth and in the mean time, as the professionals, they deal with the external phenomena; of course, as external healing has no sins, the messengers too are free from sins. The experts in physics and science are not the same, either of them is expert only on one thing and he benefits it whenever is needed.

Thirdly, giving this talent to the messengers but not to the others, is not unjust and repression; the oppression is that something is expected from someone beyond his tolerance. Never has Allah loaded upon the ordinary people what He has trusted the messengers because of their capacity of minds and talents – all this is because not to oppress them.

He has imposed everybody and everyone according to his or its tolerance and talent; the ability of the tiniest creatures is also within His knowledge for it is He Who has honoured it the expertise and ability.

This Avicenna’s statement: ‘Allah has not made the nature of the apricot as the ‘apricot’, but He has just made it,’ refers to it.

Therefore, Allah has created the entire beings in difference and has tested each of them according to his ability and the talent; He has even done so with the messengers who are capable and their Divine-given talent is enormous. Those messengers chose this road with their desires, obedience and option and followed it to the end successfully.

Anyhow, the perfection is specified only to Allah, the source of all other precisions of the messengers and the others refer to Him.

Allah has appeared with glory in the spirits of all the messengers, He has also appeared with glory, but in most perfect, in the Messenger of Islam – so has He appeared in different beings in diverse. It is not that Allah has taken something away from His Holiness and transferred it into them, or He has reduced of His attributes or has done without His nature and delivered it to them.

For He has stated concerning Himself that:

لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ - وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

‘… He has never begotten, nor was He begotten; and there is no comparable unto Him, (Qur’an: 112/3-4).’

So in the field of the Unity, except the Essence of the Majesty Oneness, no creature has anything of his so that to be praised for that – neither the messengers nor the others; everything is from Allah and belongs to Him.

As it is stated:

له الحمد في الاولي و الآخِرةِ

 ‘… all praise belongs to Him from the very beginning to end, (Qur’an: 28/70).’

Yes, this praise, the superiority and the nobility is for those with great credit and capacity, and as the messengers’ capacities are more spacious than the others, and so is their talent and deed so theirs are the superiority and the nobility.

و الحمد لِلّهِ أوّلاً و آخِراً و ظاهِراً و باطِنا

And, at first, and the last, and in manifest and secret praise belongs to Allah.

All these are the subjects about the chastity of the messengers, peace, be upon them we discussed about.[4]

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Proving the chastity of Ali, the Commander of the believers, by the unity of his soul with the soul of the Messenger of Allah

In relation to the acceptable clear text, he Commander of the believers, upon him be peace, had the same spirit of the Messenger, therefore, his blessed heart possessed the illuminating Holy Chastity of his.

There are great many narrations by the Sunnis about the unity of his soul with the Messenger Bless be to him and his Descendants   so, in brief, we are to mention a few of them.

Ghandouzi Hanafi says: in the virtues of Ali ibn Al-Hassan, about Ali Ar-Reza, about his father, and his father about the Commander of the believers, Ali, upon him salutation and peace. 

He said: “Indeed, the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants   lectured us saying: ‘O people, indeed, the month of Allah possessing bless, mercy and forgiveness is approaching;’ he mentioned the name of the month of Ramadan then wept, and I asked: ‘O the Messenger of Allah, why are you crying?’

فَقَالَ يَا عَلِيُّ أَبْكِي لِمَا يُسْتَحَلُّ مِنْكَ فِي هَذَا الشَّهْرِ كَأَنِّي بِكَ وَ أَنْتَ تُصَلِّي لِرَبِّكَ وَ قَدِ انْبَعَثَ أَشْقَى الْأَوَّلِينَ وَ الْآخِرِينَ شَقِيقُ عَاقِرِ نَاقَةِ ثَمُودَ فَضَرَبَكَ ضَرْبَةً عَلَى قَرْنِكَ فَخَضَبَ مِنْهَا لِحْيَتَكَ قَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ع فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَ ذَلِكَ فِي سَلَامَةٍ مِنْ دِينِي فَقَالَ ص فِي سَلَامَةٍ مِنْ دِينِكَ ثُمَّ قَالَ ص يَا عَلِيُّ مَنْ قَتَلَكَ فَقَدْ قَتَلَنِي وَ مَنْ أَبْغَضَكَ فَقَدْ أَبْغَضَنِي وَ مَنْ سَبَّكَ فَقَدْ سَبَّنِي لِأَنَّكَ مِنِّي كَنَفْسِي رُوحُكَ مِنْ رُوحِي وَ طِينَتُكَ مِنْ طِينَتِي إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى خَلَقَنِي وَ إِيَّاكَ وَ اصْطَفَانِي وَ إِيَّاكَ وَ اخْتَارَنِي لِلنُّبُوَّةِ وَ اخْتَارَكَ لِلْإِمَامَةِ فَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ إِمَامَتَكَ فَقَدْ أَنْكَرَ نُبُوَّتِي يَا عَلِيُّ أَنْتَ وَصِيِّي وَ أَبُو وُلْدِي وَ زَوْجُ ابْنَتِي وَ خَلِيفَتِي عَلَى أُمَّتِي فِي حَيَاتِي وَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِي أَمْرُكَ أَمْرِي وَ نَهْيُكَ نَهْيِي أُقْسِمُ بِالَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالنُّبُوَّةِ وَ جَعَلَنِي خَيْرَ الْبَرِيَّةِ إِنَّكَ لَحُجَّةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ وَ أَمِينُهُ عَلَى سِرِّهِ وَ خَلِيفَتُهُ عَلَى عِبَادِه [5]

So said he, ‘O Ali, I weep for you because they are going to attack you in this month; I weep for you that when you are praying, the first and the last miserable thing will happen. A brutal man, like those cruel, who hamstrung the she-camel of Salih, will strike you once on the head and [the blood of which] will dye your beard red.’

So, I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, is that the safety of my religion?’

He said,’ ‘[Yes,] it is for the safety of your religion.’

I said, ‘Then, this is indeed admirable good news.’

Then, he said, ‘O Ali, whoever slays you, he indeed slays me; and he who has a grudges against you, for sure he has a grudges against me. Whoever abuses you, certainly he abuses me; for indeed you are of me: your soul is my soul; your nature is my nature. And indeed Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, created you and I from His Light; He raised me and so did you – He authorized me as His Messenger, and gave you the authority of Imamate.

Whoever rejects your Imamate, he indeed rejects my Prophet-hood. O Ali, you are my Guardian, and Heir, and father of my sons, and the husband of my daughter. Your command is my command and you prohibition is my prohibition. I swear by Allah Who raised me for the Prophet-hood and assigned me a benevolent for the creatures that you are indeed the proof of Allah for His creatures; and so are you His trust for His secret, and His Caliph for His obedient worshippers.’

There are several items in this narration which clearly prove the unity of the soul of Ali, the Commander of the believers, with the soul of the Messenger of Allah; and the most noticeable one is the statement: ‘Whoever rejects the Imamate he indeed rejects my prophet-hood.’  

Here, it is understood that the question of Imamate is the spirit of Islam and also the fact of belief, without that, a person’s belief is devoid even if a thousand times he confesses the Prophet-hood.

In the ‘Course of Halebeiiah’ it is said:

قال أبوبكر سمعت رسول اللَّه يقول: عليٌّ مِنّي بِمنزِلتي مِن ربّي [6]

 ‘Abu Bakr said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say (Ali’s rank with me is as my rank with Allah).’”

And Ghandouzi says: ‘Imran ibn Al-Hasin, May Allah be pleased with him said, “The Messenger of Allah has said: (Ali is for me and I am for Ali; and he is the Guardian of all the believing men and women after me), (Rawah Sahib Al-Ferdows).”’ [7]

Imran ibn Al-Hasin says: ‘The Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants   said: “Ali is from me and I am from Ali; and he is the Custodian and the Guardian for all believing men and women after me.”’

He is also narrating Salman’s saying that: ‘The Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants   said: “For every messenger is one to keep his secret and the keeper of my secret is Ali ibn Abī Tālib, (Rawah Sahib Al-Ferdows).”’ [8]

And the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants also said: “Ali and I have been created from the unique similar Light.” [9]

And it is narrated from the Anas ibn Malik who said:

رأيت رسول اللَّه جالِساً مع عليّ فقال: أنا و عليٌّ حجّة اللَّهِ علي خلقِهِ [10]

 ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah sitting with Ali and stating: “Ali and I are the proofs of Allah for His creatures.”’

And it is narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas‛oud saying: ‘The Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants also said: “Ali and I are of a single tree while the people are of different trees.” [11]

It is also said, the owner of the Book of ‘Mawaddat Al-Ghurba’ has narrated ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, quoting the Messenger’s statement:

خلِقت أنا و عليٍّ مِن شجرةٍ واحِدةٍ  و النّاس مِن أشجارٍ  شتّي

 ‘Ali and I are created from a single tree but the people from the different trees.’

And in another narration from him he quotes:

خلق الأنبياء مِن أشجار شتى و خلقت أنا و علي مِن شجرة واحدة، فأنا أصلها و علي فرعها، و الحسن و الحسين ثمارها، و أشياعنا أوراقها، فمن تعلق بغصن من أغصانها نجا، و من زاغ هوی [12]

‘The messengers are created from the different trees but Ali and I from a single one: I am the main part of that tree and Ali is the branch, and Hassan and Hussein are the fruits of it, and our followers are the leaves. Therefore, whoever clings to us is saved while he who rejects us is perished.’

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The story of the “LAILAT-UL-MABIT” and the self-sacrifice of the Commander of the believers for the Messenger of Allah

Ali, upon him be peace the Commander of the believers accompanied the Holy Prophet in all stages and he was really sacrificing himself to him – not a single minute he ceased his self-sacrifice to him.                                                                      

 On the other hand, the disbelievers of the Quraish tortured the Muslims until, with the permission of the Holiness they decided to immigrate to Abyssinia.

Once, for the demand of assistance, the Holy Prophet went to Taeef and asked them for help by stating: ‘I hate not even a single person among you, so I want you to stop my being murdered. The Quraish have decided to kill me, so you help me against them so that to be alive and announce the messages of Allah to the people.’ [13]

None of them received the Messenger and, by stoning him, they expelled him out of Taeef – they injured him and his feet started bleeding on the sharp stones.

And when Abu Tālib passed away, the Quraish increased their aggression against the Highness. They went on torturing him by throwing stones and sticks over the wall into his house, and poured ashes on top of him when walking along the alleys.

Once, when the ashes sporadically on his head and face, he walked back home, one of his daughters stood up to him to sweep them off from his head, by seeing it she cried and the Highness replied: ‘O my little girl, do not cry! Allah will surely protect your father.’ [14]

It was until the Supporters of Medina went to him and after embracing Islam, they swore allegiance that if the Highness went to Medina they would support him as their children – and they would save him against his enemies.

On the other hand, no matter how hard the Quraish tried, they saw that they couldn’t prevent him from his inviting the people to Islam; and day after day, the Muslims were increasing in numbers.                                                        

 In the end, they decided to set up an assembly at ‘Dar Ad Nadwa’ and make a final decision about the Holiness.

Forty of wise learned men came together at ‘Dar Ad Nadwa’ and after long discussion; they decided to kill the Messenger. They unanimously agreed that each clan to assign a man of his tribe and then, those men together to attack the Messenger in a session and kill him; in that case, the penalty would be divided among them and, the Bani Hashim could not combat them for the blood money – in other words, they would not be responsible to pay BaniHashim any blood-money.

They came to the conclusion, and each one chose a bravest man of his so that, without anyone’s knowledge, at a certain night to enter the Messenger’s house and cut his blessed body into pieces.

They took great precaution to keep the whole affair secret, and made preparation and were quite ready to attack, but, at the right time, Gabriel informed the Holiness of the oncoming case.

[Concerning this circumstances Allah has stated:]

وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللّهُ وَاللّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ [15]

‘… and when the disbelievers plotted against you, to pin you down or kill you or exile you, they plotted away and so did Allah plot, but Allah is the Unique Plotter, (Qur’an: 8/30).’

And Gabriel said to the Highness to let Ali, the Commander of the believers, lie in his bed but he leave Mecca to Medina.

The Holy Messenger called the Commander of the believers and told him, ‘My Allah has commanded me to immigrate tonight, now, are you ready to lie in my bed so that the disbelievers among the Quraish take you for me and be not aware of my leaving?’

The Commander of the believers said, ‘O the Messenger of Allah, if I lie in your bed will you be safe then?’

He stated, ‘Yes.’

Then, the Commander of the believers was delighted and said, ‘May I be sacrificed to you, why not.’ He immediately fell to prostrate – which was the first prostration in Islam.

The Commander of the believers got ready to stay at the house of the Messenger of Allah at night and prepared himself to be sacrificed for him.

Ibn Athir, with his document, narrates ibn Ishaq’s words saying: ‘As the companions of the Holy Messenger immigrated to Medina for the second times, the Holiness was expecting for Gabriel to come and order him to leave Mecca for Medina. It was until the Quraish came together and decided to kill the Messenger, then, Gabriel informed the Holiness so that not to sleep that night but keep vigilance.

The exalted Messenger called Ali ibn Abī Tālib, the Commander of the believers, and told him, instead of a bed-sheet, to cover his body in the green garment of the Messenger and lie in his bed.

Ali ibn Abī Tālib did so and the Messenger left the house. [16]

It is also narrated through the accurate document of ‘Rafi that when the exalted Messenger decided to immigrate, he commanded Ali to stay at Mecca and later on, to send the family of the Messenger to Media. He told Ali to carry out his command, and see to the demands of the people who had asked the Messenger, and also return them the deposits they had trusted with him.

He commanded Ali to lie in his bed at the same night he was going to leave Mecca; he stated: ‘If the Quraish take you for me in my bed then they will not chase me.’

That night, the Quraish took the house of the Messenger of Allah under control and they clearly saw that someone lying in bed – they thought he was the Messenger himself. The night came to an end and it was light to see inside clearly, they softly walked closer, but to their surprise, they found Ali. It was then they whispered: ‘Muhammad has not left Mecca, for in that case, he would have taken Ali with him.’                                                                      

This thought made them make a mistake and altogether were dismayed to follow the case.

The Messenger of Allah had also commanded Ali to join him in Medina later.  So first Ali sent the family of the Messenger to Medina and then, he too set out for Medina. As a precaution, not to be seen by the disbelievers, he walked at the dark nights and during the day he hid himself until he reached Medina.

When Ali’s arrival to Medina was reported to the Messenger and he said:

 ادعوا اِلي علِيّاً

‘Invite Ali to me;’ to his command, they said:

يا رسول اللّهِ لا يقدِر أن يمشي

‘O Messenger, Ali is unable to take a single step.’

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Blood Drops of Ali’s feet while immigrating to Medina

The Messenger himself went to visit Ali, but when he saw Ali at that state, he took Ali into his arms and embraced him. Ali feet were swollen, and due to his long walk at night, they were bleeding. Feeling pity for him, the exalted Messenger kept weeping for him, and in the mean time, he robbed his sour with the saliva from his mouth – he prayed for his good health. It is reported that Ali never complained of his feet injury until he was martyred. [17]

[In Ya‘qubi’s history,]  Ya‘qubi says [18]; and [in Yanabi Al-Mawadda.] Ghandouzi has narrated [19] that Tha‘labi, in his documentary, and ibn Aqaba in his ‘Malhama’, and Abu As-Saadat in the ‘Fazaeel Al-Etra At-Tahera’, and Ghazali in ‘Ahya-u-l Uloom’, with their chain document from ibn Abbas, and from Abu Rafi, and from Hind ibn AbiHala, the step son of the Messenger of Allah, whose mother was Khadija, the mother of the believers narrates that they have all said:

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The proud of Allah against the angels for Ali’s sacrificing his soul for the sake of the Messenger of Allah

قال رسول اللّهِ صلّ اللّهُ عليهِ و آلِهِ:  أوحى الله إلى جبرئيل و ميكائيل أني آخيت بينكما و جعلت عمر أحدكما أطول من صاحِِبِه، فأيِّكما يؤثِر أخاه عمره؟    

فَكِلَاهُمَا كَرِهَا الْمَوْتَ فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِمَا أَلَّا كُنْتُمَا مِثْلَ وَلِيِّي عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ آخَيْتُ بَيْنَهُ وَ بَيْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيِّي فَآثَرَهُ بِالْحَيَاةِ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ ثُمَّ ظَلَّ أَوْ رَقَدَ عَلَى فِرَاشِهِ يَقِيهِ بِمُهْجَتِهِ اهْبِطَا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً فَاحْفَظَاهُ مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَهَبَطَ جَبْرَئِيلُ فَجَلَسَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ وَ مِيكَائِيلُ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيْهِ وَ جَعَلَ جَبْرَئِيلُ يَقُولُ بَخْ بَخْ مَنْ مِثْلُكَ يَا ابْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَ اللَّهُ يُبَاهِي بِكَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغاءَ مَرْضاتِ اللَّهِ. [20]

‘The Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants  said concerning:

Allah inspired Gabriel and Michel: “I have pronounced the brother-hood formula between you tows angels and I have prolonged the life of one of you so which one of you is ready to give this chance to his brother?”

Both of them disliked the death and neither of them was pleased to give his long life to the next one.

Then, Allah revealed them: “I have pronounced the brother-hood formula between My Messenger, Muhammad, and My Guardian, Ali, and Ali has sacrificed his life to Muhammad. He has put his life to danger and lay in his bed, he wants to save Muhammad by sacrificing himself – goon to the earth and defend him against his enemies.”

Both of them descended on the land, Gabriel sat next the Highness’ head and Michel close to his feet; in the mean time, Gabriel began praising him as: ‘Well done! O the son of Abu Tālib. Because of your self-sacrifice, Allah, the honourable and exalted, is proud in front of His angels.’ Then, this Verse was revealed to the most generous Messenger concerning Ali’s dignity:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللّهِ

‘… yet among the people is one who gives up his 'life' seeking the approval of Allah, (Qur’an: 2/207).’

However, Allah is the Seer upon His slaves 

وَاللّهُ رَؤُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ [21]

It is put in the narrations that when the Messenger left Mecca he went straight into a cave called ‘Thour’, and he was hiding there for three days and during that short period of time, some spiders had made thick webs in front of the cave and the pigeons had made their nests there.

The enemies went closer to the cave but Allah prevented them to enter it.

Previously, at the ‘Lailat-ul-Mabit’, (the night Ali lay in Messenger’s bed), and the quarrelsome people who had come together from the different tribes and wanted to enter the Messenger’s house and cut him into pieces, Abu Lahab stopped them saying: ‘No, it is not fair, there are women and the children in this house, but you guard the house carefully and do not let Muhammad run away!’

It was morning, all the vigilant enemies rushed inside the house and suddenly Ali took the green sheet away and stood up. 

They cried, ‘O Ali, where is the Messenger?’

He said, ‘Why! Did you trust him with me?’

It was then they understood that the Messenger had already left the place, so they searched for him everywhere but Allah kept him safe with His never-ending power and strength.

The grandson of ibn Jouzi says: ‘In the Fazaeel, Ahmad ibn Hanbal says, “Narrated us Himad, narrated us Abu Awana, narrated us Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad, from Amrou ibn Meimoon who said: ‘I was sitting with ibn Abbas when a group came with Ali ibn Abu Tālib upon him be peace within, then, ibn Abbas said:

لمّا هجر رسول اللّهِ صلّ اللّه عليهِ و آلِه، لبِس علِيٌّ عليهِ السّلام ثوبه و نام علي فِراشِهِ، و كان المشرِكون يؤذون رسول اللّهِ صلّ اللّه عليهِ و آلِه اِلي أن قال: و بات الكفّار، يرمون عليّاً عليهِ السّلام بالحجارةِ و هو يتوضّرو قد لفّ رأسه في الثّوبِ اِلي الصّباحِ

“When the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants   migrated, Ali upon him be peace dressed his garment and lay in his bed; and as it was the habit of the disbelievers to hurt the Messenger, they started throwing stones to Ali, and Ali to defend himself, stole his head under the sheet until it was morning.’”

And he goes on saying that Ali, the Commander of the believers, composed a poem that night, as:

I take care of the Messenger, and I follow him in obedience

Alike one who circumambulates the Ka‘ba and the Hijr 

The Messenger of Allah feared that they might deceive him [that night]

But We saved him out of danger with Our might

Allah’s Messenger passed the night safely in the fissure

It was Allah’s will to save him in that enclosure

He cut him off of their plights and hazard 

He saved him being killed or captured. [22]

And also according to ibn Jouzi, Hissan bin Sabit has said about ‘the Immigration Night’:

He who knows him as the Seal accepts him earnestly

And captures the secret of his always with him

It is he who came to be in the bed of Muhammad

When Muhammad travelled by night and slept in the cave

It is he, who is called ‘the Believer’ in the Qur’an,

In nine verses which bring tranquility.

Then ibn Jouzi says: ‘In this verse he has pointed to ibn Abbas’ quotation, as: Allah has not sent any verse in the Qur’an but Ali has been mentioned as His Commander and the Master in it.’ [23]

And Sayyid Ismaeel Himiari has said:

و سرى بِمكة حين بات مبيته‏    و مضى بروعةِ خائفٍ مترقبٍ
خير البرية هارِباً مِن شرها        بالليل مكتتما و لم يستصحبِ
باتوا و بات على الفراش ملفعاً 
      فيرون ان محمّداً لم يذهبِ

‘the best people, (in Messenger’s sight), was Ali who had lain in his bed, and had passed the night alone in his room; he immigrated from Mecca [to Medina] in the sheer darkness in the middle of the night. He had been in fright that he would be arrested at any moment – still he kept on walking.

The Messenger of Allah too set out at night, he walked forward though he was afraid lest he would be arrested and killed; he hid and walked without having a friend with him.

The disbelievers among the Quraish slept the night, and Ali slept in the bed of the Messenger; he was so wrapping his head up in the Messenger’s garment that the disbelievers thought the Messenger had not gone yet. 

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[1] Surah 4, "نساء", Verse 164.

[2] Surah 4, "نساء", Verse 63.

[3] Surah 4, "نساء", Verse 33.

[4] Sheikh Muhammad Javad Moghneiiah states in the book “The Shiite and the Shiites” page 37 and 38: “Chastity is a power that it controls a man against sins, in such a way that he does not leave the incumbent and never commits sins – though he can follow it, otherwise there is no reward for him. In other words, by his piety, the innocent has reached at a lofty position that the lust and passions can never overpower him, and he has achieved such knowledge in the religion and its rules and commands that he never think of committing sins.

In Ta‘lighah he says: The Imam describes himself as: ‘It did not occur to the Messenger of Allah Bless be to him and his Descendants, to find a lie in my words or a mistake in my actions; I sincerely followed him as a young follows his mother. He always raised me upward through his morale attitudes and he commanded me to follow him. This is the real meaning of the chastity for the Shiite: there is neither lying in one’s speech nor making mistakes in his actions.

[5] "ینابیع المودة", page 53.

[6] "السیرة الحلبیة", Volume 3, Page 400.

[7] "ینابیع المودة", page 234.

[8] "ینابیع المودة", page 235.

[9] "ینابیع المودة", page 256.

[10] "ینابیع المودة", page 239.

[11] Page 235," ينابيع المودة": this narrative is also related in Behar-al-Anwar, volume 38, page 309 , extracted from "Kashf-al-Ghammah" of "Manaqib"Kharazmi. And on the page of 324 Aamali, Tousi has related that "قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و آله يا على خلق الله الناس من اشجار شتّى و خلقنى و انت من شجرة واحده انا اصلها و انت فرعها فطوبى لمن تمسك باصلها و اكل من فرعها; and also in the volume 35 of Behar-al-Anwar, page 35, has related it from "عيون اخبار الرضا" that said upon him be peace, May Allah peace and blessing be upon him: "الناس من اشجار شتى و انا و انت من شجرة واحدة", and it is related in volume 4o of Behar, page 78, from the "فردوس الاخبار".

[12] "ینابیع المودة", page 256.

[13] The History of Ya'qubi, volume 2, page 36.

[14] The History of Tabari, volume 2, page 80.

[15] Surah 8, "انفال", Verse 30.

[16] Asad-ul-Ghaba, volume 4, page 18.

[17] Asad-ul-Ghaba, volume 4, page 19.

[18] The History og Ya'qubi, volume 1, page 39.

[19] and it is related in "ينابيع المودة ", page 92, and in ibn Juzi's "تذكره سبط" page 21, and also "أسدالغابة", volume 4, page 25; as well as ibn Sabbagh has related it in "فصول المهمه‏", page 33.

[20] Surah 2, "بقره", Verse 207.

[21] Surah 2, "بقره", Verse 207.

[22] "تذکرة الخواص", page 21.

[23] "تذکرة الخواص", page 10.

[24] "ديوان حميرى‏", page 93, and from this page up to the page 100 he has mentioned useful subjects in the suspension.

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