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

Imamology, Lesson 102-105

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


Lessons 102 - 105

In the Commentary and the Substance of:

من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه


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:


الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ دِينِكُمْ فَلا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإسْلامَ دِينًا.[1]

‘…today, those who disbelieve are despair of [dividing] your religion, but do not fear them, just fear Me.

Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and completed My favour upon you, and have granted Islam as a religion for you, (Qur’an: 5/3).’


By the grace of Almighty Allah, we have completed our discussion concerning the narrative of the Guardianship: “من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه” that the Messenger of Allah stated on the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum. Now, we are going to discuss on the meaning of “مولى” and the meaning of this narrative, and then, the necessity of the people obeying the Holiness, Master of the pious, Upon Him be our Peace, and the peace of Allah’s favorite angels and the messengers be upon him.

In “مناقب”, ibn Shahr Aashub has quoted Abu-al-Hassan Madaeeni saying that Mua‘wiyah wrote a letter to the Holiness:

يا أبا الحسن! إنّ لى فضائل كثيراً: كان أبى سيّداً فى الجاهلية و صرت ملكاً فى الاسلام، و أنا صهر رسول الله و خال المؤمنين، و كاتب الوحى.‏

‘O Abu-al-Hassan! ‘I own great virtues and priorities: in the age of Ignorance, my father was the chief of a great folk, and I myself have become a king during the course of Islam. And above all, I have a far relationship with the Messenger of Allah and so am I will-wisher of the Muslims[2] – and I am the clerk to write the revelations of the Messenger of Allah.’

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The Commander of the believers’ Ghadir poems written on paper and delivered to Mua‘ wiya

فلمّا قرا امير المؤمنين الكتاب، قال: ا بالفضآئل يفخر علينا ابن آكلة الاكباد؟ اكتب يا غلام:

When the Holiness Commander of the believers, Upon Him be Peace, read the letter, he said: ‘This son of the liver-devouring-mother (his mother, “Hind”, who on the day of Ohud, made a necklace out of the liver of the Master of the Martyrs, wore it on her neck and then chewed it up,) wants to show up his greatness and priorities to us!’

‘O lad, now write him:

1. محمد النبى اخى و صنوى           و حمزة سيد الشهداء عمى

2. و جعفر الذى يضحى و يمسى       يطير مع الملائكة ابن امى

3. و بنت محمد سكنى و عرسى        منوط لحمها بدمى و لحمى

4. و سبطا احمد ولداى منها             فايكم له سهم كسهمى

5. سبقتكم الى الاسلام طرا             على ما كان من فهمى و علمى[3]

6. فاوجب ولايته عليكم                  رسول الله يوم غدير خم

7. فويل ثم ويل ثم ويل                   لمن يلقى الاله غدا بظلمى

1- ‘Muhammad, the Messenger, is my brother, my relation to him is as a stem growing from one origin, and Hamzeh, the Master of the Martyrs, is my uncle.

2- And Ja‘far Tay‘yar, who was always with the angels and flying with them side by side, is the son of my mother.

3- And the daughter of Muhammad is my source of comfort an companion – she is my spouse and our blood and flesh are combined.

4- And two grandchildren of the Messenger are my sons; so which one of you has such a share in life?

5- In embracing Islam, I was prior to all of you; it was through the intelligence I possessed in my childhood. 

6- Therefore, on the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum, the Messenger of Allah made my Caliphate incumbent to you.

7- So woe on you! And woe! Woe on him who is going to meet the Creator on the Day of Resurrection while having oppressed me!’

When Mua‘wiyah read the letter, he said: ‘O lad! Tear it up! Or the people of Sham might read it and then find tendency towards Ali bin Abī Tālib!’[4]

As it is seen, in this poem, the Holiness Commander of the believers, Upon Him be Peace, has summoned to the narrative of Ghadir-e-Khum and he has expressed the necessity of his Guardianship by the statement of: “من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه”; so, the Guardianship of the Holiness, which is the cause of Imamate, Statesmanship and the Caliphate, is for all people.

People in Islam have approved this poem being composed by the Holiness, and they believe its narrative. The only point is that every scholar has benefitted some parts of it according to their demands – everyone has used it according to his need.

Those who, among the scholars of the Shiite, have used it are: Sheikh Mofid, Karajoki, Fattal Nishabori, Abu Mansour Tabarsi, ibn Shahr Aashub, Erbeli, ibn Sanjar Nakhjavani, Ali Bayazi, the second Majlisi, Sayyid Alikhan Madani, Abu-al-Hassan Sharif.

And among the scholars of the Sunnite are: Beihaghi, who has brought it all in his book and has said: ‘It is incumbent to one who carries the Guardianship of Ali to save these poems, because they represent the proud of Ali in Islam.’

And  some others are: Hafiz Zeid bin Hassan kendi Hanafi, Yaghut Hamavi, Muhammad bin Talha Shfiee, Yusuf bin Muhammad Maleki, who is known as, Ibn-ush-Sheikh, Sebt ibn Juzi, ibn Abi-al-Hadid, Muhammad bin Yusuf Konji Shafiee, Saeed-ad-Din Farghani, Sheikh-ul-Islam Hammoee, Abu-al-Feda, Muhammad bin Yusuf Zarandi, ibn Kathir Shami, Khajeh-e-Parsa, ibn Sabbagh Maleki, Khandamir, ibn Hajar Haithami, Mottaghi Hindi, Ishaghi, Halabi Shadiee, Shabravi Shafiee, Sayyid Ahmad Ghadin Khani, Sayyid Mahmood Aalosi, Ghonduzi, Sayyid Ahmad Zaini Dahlan, Muhammad Habibullah, and Shanghiti Mliki [5].

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The benefit of Imamate from the poems of Hassan and Komeit

And in the poem of Has‘san, we saw that how he has taken the meaning of the Guardianship as the Imamate and Leadership, that is, where he says:

فقال له قم يا على فاننى      رضيتك من بعدى اماما و هاديا

[the Messenger] said [to Ali]: ‘Ali, stand up! I am pleased and like to see the Guardian and Leader of the nation after me.’

And then, he fulfils it by saying:

فمن كنت مولاه فهذا وليه       فكونوا له اتباع صدق مواليا

Whomsoever I am a Master, so is Ali his Master. And you, o people, try to be his followers and assistant all the time.

That means, the necessity of the Guardianship is being an Imam and the Leader of the nation; these two meanings are together.

And Hassan bin Sabit is originally an Arab[6], so the people of literature refer to him poem when they are in the search of

the meaning of a word, the text of a narrative, and the commentary of the Qur’an. Then, how can one imagine that this poem means other than its manifest meaning: while his statement is reliable and his poems are accepted by the men of literature. 

We also saw it in the poems of Komait that, in the narrative of the Guardianship on the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum, he has referred to the statesmanship and Guardianship; where he says:

و يوم الدوح دوح غدير خم             أبان له الولاية لو اطيعا

And on the Day when they made a shady place with the trees, the trees of Ghadir-e-Khum; then, the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, revealed the Guardianship of Ali bin Abī Tālib, Upon Him be Peace, to the people – if it had been accepted, it would have been followed.

As this necessity of obeying the Guardianship has been extracted from the narrative of the Messenger of Allah:

من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه” so meaning of the Guardianship, or in other word, the necessity of the Guardianship is the obedience – obeying the Guardianship and respecting the Statesmanship.

Komait is of the poets of Arab, he is Arab,[7] and similar to Hassan, his poems are used in the literature circle, in the books and the commentaries. They refer to his poems as the authentic source.

Then, how can it be imagined that such a man, hem in Arab nature, not to use the Arabic words in their proper places! To use then in the improper places that never are used, and never has anyone used before. If it is assumed that a word in the improper place can be meant the same, then it is right for everyone to use it. And then, every man of letter can use any word he desirers in any improper place possible; in that case, the word, the poem and text are ruined. If it is the case, then we have no reference to tell right from wrong!

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The poems of Ghais bin Sa‘d bin Ebadat in the event of Ghadir

Among the poems that are from the companions of the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, concerning the event of the Ghadir-e-Khum and its relation is to the Imamate of the Holiness and the necessity of obeying him are from the loyal friend of the Commander of the believers, Upon Him be Peace, the great Arab orator, from the tribe of Khazraj among the Helpers of Medina: Ghais bin Sa‘d bin Obadeh whose biography, intelligence, perseverance and tendency to the Household, Upon Them be Peace, need to be explained in details.

When he was returning from the Battle of Jamal, he composed these poems in front of the Commander of the believers, Upon Him be Peace:

1. قلت لما بغى العدو علينا                  حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل

2. حسبنا ربنا الذى فتق البص-             رة بالامس و الحديث طويل

3. و على امامنا و امام                       لسوانا اتى به التنزيل

4. يوم قال النبى: من كنت مولا-           ه فهذا مولاه خطب جليل

5. انما قاله النبى على الامة                 حتما ما فيه قال و قيل[8]

1- ‘When the enemy oppressed us, I said: ‘Allah is sufficient for us, and how fine Sufficient He is!

2- Allah, Who is our Creator, is enough for us; the very Creator Who conquered Basra the day before – and this story has a long explanation.

3- And Ali is our Imam; and so is the Imam [of all other nations], and the Qur’an has been revealed to this Imamate.

4- And on the day when the Messenger said: “من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه” was the great dignity.

5- And the Messenger so strictly said this statement to the nation that there remained nothing to discuss about.’

In these poems we see that how this great companion, who is originally an Arab, a great man among the Arab, and is the son of Sayyid and Master Khazraj Sa‘d Obadah, how considers Ali to be his Imam and the Imam of the others. He has drawn it from the verse of the Qur’an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ. 

O Messenger, announce what has been revealed to you by your [Creator and Nurturer] Lord; for if you do not do so you have not conveyed His message.

And following that, the Messenger of Allah has stated: “من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه”.

Anyhow, the meaning of the Guardianship is for sure the Imamate, or it is needed to be the Imamate so that to get the result of that. Therefore, the term of Guardianship in Arab word is surrounded with the Imamate and the Leadership, and it needs to be the same.

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Homairi’s poems on Ghadir-e-Khum and the benefit of the Imamate

The elegies and poems of Sayyid Ismaeel Hemyari are too many concerning the Guardianship of the Commander of the believers; on the whole, the poetical works of him is full of praises of the Household, and the abuses of their opponents. Now, as the exemplary, we are to bring a few of them:

1. و بخم اذ قال الاله بعزمة                 قم يا محمد فى البرية فاخطب

2. و انصب ابا حسن لقومك انه             هاد و ما بلغت ان لم تنصب

3. فدعاه ثم دعاهم فاقامه                      لهم فبين مصدق و مكذب

4. جعل الولاية بعده لمهذب                  ما كان يجعلها لغير مهذب[9]

1- And when on the Ghadir-e-Khum Allah stated: “O Muhammad! Stand among the people and deliver a sermon!

2- And assign [Ali bin Abī Tālib] as a Leader for the folk of yours; for if you do not do so, then you have not fulfilled the propaganda of your mission!”

3- And after this command of Allah, the Messenger called Ali to him and so did he with the folk scattered around; then he assigned Ali as their Guide. At that very moment, the people divided into two groups: One supporting Ali and the next rejecting the Holiness.

4- The Messenger appointed the Guardianship after him as to be a moral incumbent but not that the immoral one.

In this poem, we see that Hemyari has composed the clause of Allah: ‘The Command for Propaganda’ with the word ‘Assign’. And this word ‘assign’ goes with the Caliphate and the Imamate, but not with the affection or victory. For example, it is said: They assigned a certain person at the position of Caliphate or the Statesman, but they do not say: He was assigned for the affection or the victory! This is from one side; but then, in the fourth line, he says: The Messenger appointed the Guardianship after him as to be a moral incumbent but not that the immoral one. So it becomes clear that if the Guardianship meant ‘affection or victory’, it would not need to be assigned, because either during the life of the Messenger or after his demise people had to love Ali and help him. Therefore, it is only the Imamate that is assigned to be fixed after the demise of the Messenger of Allah.

And Hemyari also says:                             

1. لقد سمعوا مقالته بخم                  غداة يضمهم و هو الغدير

2. فمن اولى بكم منكم فقالوا              مقالة واحد و هم الكثير

3. جميعا: انت مولانا و اولى            بنا منا و انت لنا نذير

4. فان وليكم بعدى على                   و مولاكم هو الهادى الوزير

5. وزيرى فى الحياة و عند موتى       و من بعدى الخليفة و الامير

6. فوالى الله من والاه منكم               و قابله لدى الموت السرور

7. و عاد الله من عاداه منكم               وحل به لدى الموت النشور [10]

1- ‘In a certain morning, when all were gathered, they did hear the statement of the Messenger of Allah at ‘Khum’, which is the same ‘Ghadir’.

2- Who stated: ‘Who has among you more priority on himself than I have upon him?’ All outnumbered of the people said:

3- ‘You are our Protector, and you priority upon us is more than we have! And you are the Warning Messenger by Allah!’

4- The Messenger of Allah stated: ‘Your Guardian and Protector after me is Ali; and it is he who is going to be the Leader, Guide and my Minister.’

5- He is my Minister during my lifetime and after my demise, and after me he is your Caliph and Emir.’

6- ‘So, Allah supports his Guardianship among you who has his Guardianship, and he passes away in contentment!’

7- ‘And Allah is opponent to one who is enemy to him, and at his death he will perish away.’

In these poems, Hemyari has benefitted the meaning of the Guardianship and the Statesmanship out of “من اولى بكم” and “من كنت مولاه”. Because after the Messenger of Allah receiving the response of the people to his priority to them, and that added Ali’s Guardianship to his Guardianship; and also by appointed the affairs of the Guardianship and Leadership and Ministry after his demise, this meaning became quite clear.

And Hemyari says:

1. نفسى فدآء رسول الله يوم اتى         جبريل يامر بالتبليغ اعلانا

2. ان لم تبلغ فما بلغت فانتصب          النبى ممتثلا امرا لمن دانا

3. و قال للناس: من مولاكم قبلا          يوم الغدير؟ فقالوا: انت مولانا

4. انت الرسول و نحن الشاهدون على      ان قد نصحت و قد بينت تبيانا

5. هذا وليكم بعدى امرت به               حتما فكونوا له حزبا و أعوانا

6. هذا ابركم برا و اكثركم                 علما و اولكم بالله ايمانا

7. هذا له قربة منى و منزلة                كانت لهارون من موسى بن عمرانا [11]

1- ‘May I be made sacrifice to the Messenger of Allah for that day Gabriel came down commanding him to announce his propaganda,

2- [Saying] if you do not propagate, then you have not fulfilled your duty; therefore, to fulfill the command his Creator, Allah, he stood up,

3- And he said to the people who were standing in front of him: ‘Who is your Guardian?’ They answered: ‘You are our Guardian.’

4- ‘And you are a Messenger, all of us witness that you have been a Warner and well-wisher to the nation, you explained the religion of Allah clearly to us.

5- The Messenger sated: ‘This is [Ali], the Guardian and having authority upon you after me! And I am commanded to declare his Guardianship now. Therefore, you must be in his party and of his followers; so must be his assistants!

6- The generosity and the virtues of this Ali is above all of you, his knowledge is vast and his belief in Allah is more than you!

7- This Ali has high position with me; his to with me is such position of Aaron to Moses, the son of Imrān.’

Here too, Hemyari adds the clauses of ‘this is your Guardian after me, and is such position of Aaron to Moses, the son of Imrān’ after the two phrases of: من مولاكم and also انت مولانا. It is clear that the word Guardianship after the death, and also the Caliphate and Successor-ship are two words drawn from the word of Guardianship with the meaning of Statesmanship and the Imamate, but not affection of affection and victory.

And Ghazi Tanoukhi has said [12]:          

1. وزير النبى المصطفى و وصيه      و مشبهه فى شيمة و ضرائب

2. و من قال فى يوم الغدير محمد      و من خاف من غدر العداة النواصب

3. اما اننى اولى بكم من نفوسكم       فقالوا بلى ريب المريب الموارب

4. فقال لهم: من كنت مولاه منكم      فهذا اخى مولاه بعدى و صاحبى

5. اطيعوه طرا فهو بمنزل         كهارون من موسى الكليم المخاطب [13]

1- Ali bin Abī Tālib is the Minister of Mustafa and his Successor, and in virtues and character they are same.

2- And he is the very man, on the Day of Ghadir, Muhammad, who was worried of the tricks and deceives of the enemies, said:

3- ‘Have I not really more privileged towards you than you yourselves have?’ They unanimously said, ‘Yes, you have.’ (Similar to a deceive man who has ill wishes in mind and wants to mislead the others).

4- Therefore, the Messenger said: ‘Whoever I am Mater to, so is this brother of mine, Ali, his Master and Guardian.’

5- ‘You, all of you, must obey him, because his relation to me is as the relation of Aaron to Moses, the addressee of Allah’s statement.’ 

Concerning the original Arabic: we see that Ghazi Tanoukhi[14], whose origin goes back to Ya‘rib bin Ghahtan, in these poems, after referring the fiction of “من كنت مولاه”, concerning the Guardianship to the Messenger of Allah, he cmpares the necessity of obeying as Aaron's obeying Moses, but without the meaning of the Imamate and the statesmanship.

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The poems of Sayyid Mortaza Alam-ul-Hoda regards the Ghadir and usage of the Imamt

And Sayyid Mortaza Sharif Alam-ul-Hoda says that:

1. اما الرسول فقد أبان ولاءه           لو كان ينفع جائرا ان ينذرا

2. امضى مقالا لم يقله معرضا         و اشاد ذكرا لم يشده مغدرا

3. و سنى اليه رقابهم و اقامه          علما على باب النجاة مشهرا

4. و لقد شفى يوم الغدير معاشرا      ثلجت نفوسهم، و ادوى معشرا

5. قلقت بهم احقادهم فمرجع           نفسا و مانع انه ان تجهرا

6. يا راكبا رقصت به مهرية          اشبت بساحته الهموم فاصحرا

7. عج بالغرى فان فيه ثاويا           جبلا تطاطا فاطمان به الثرى

8. و اقر السلام عليه من كلف به     كشفت له حجب الصباح فابصرا

9. فلو استطعت جعلت دار اقامتى    تلك القبور الزهر حتى اقبرا [15]

1- 'But now the Messenger of Allah revealed the Guardianship of Ali bin Abī Tālib; however, if warning and frightening of its opposition benefits the aggressive person.

2- The Messenger of Allah stated a word but without but outspokenly, and he mentioned the name of one with praise and aloud and this announcement was frank with no deceive in it.

3- The Messenger of Allah drew that folk attention to Ali, and he assigned him as the banner of guidance at the gate of victory giving his fame and honour.

4- Indeed the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum made some people happy, inspired them fresh life, on the other hand, it afflicted some with agony and disease.

5- Their old grudges so agitated them that they suppressed their breaths in their throats stopping them to show their pains and mourning.

6- He who is riding the swift running camel[16] and the animal carrying him in disturb, and he is surrounded by worries and sorrow; and it is why he has chosen the desert and barren land to ride him camel! 

7- Have a trip to the Land of Najaf, settle there; it is because there is a mount there that the whole land lies humiliated in peace in front of that.

8- And remember the salutation of this beloved to him; the one that has removed the veils of ignorance from upon his eyes and sees everything properly as it is!

9- Therefore, I wish I could choose the place of my residence in this world by the illuminating graves of them until my life came to an end and then I died and buried in that graveyard!'

In these poems, we see that the dependent of the very Household, Sayyid Mortaza, while divulging his affection and love to the Holiness Commander of the believers , Upon Him be Peace, and declares his being Shiite and tearing up the veils of ignorance says: 'If that confessing the Guardianship of the Messenger of Allah benefits the aggressor person. And he also says, the Messenger of Allah did not state it vaguely, and he did not want to say it deceivingly. And he brought Ali in sight as the illuminating sun, and the grudging enemies banded the breaths in their throats and could not raise their sounds or to mourn. All these are the signs of the assignment of the Imamate that started by the sermon of the messenger of Allah: "من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه", otherwise, the recommendation of the Holiness concerning the love and affection would not have so much support.

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The ability of Sayyid Mortaza in Arabic

Sayyid Mortaza was so strong in Arabic words and literature that they say: 'He is the main Arab, Arabic is his mother tongue, and Arabic language must be learned from him.'

The position of Sayyid Mortaza and his sessions with Abu-al-A‘la Moazzi, and his literary discussions in the Translated Books, such as: "Rouzat-ul-Jannat" have been mentioned times and again. Sheikh Ezzad-Din  Ahmad bin Moghbel has been quoted saying: 'If someone swears to me that Sayyid Mortaza is the most familiar to Arabic language among all the Arabs, he is hundred percent right and I accept him right away.' It has been related a Sheikh from Egypt has said: 'By Allah, I have benefitted Sayyid Mortaza's book of "Ghorar and Durar" a lot. And I have come across great many questions that I have found them in the "Sibuyah's Book", and any other similar books. And whenever Khaja Nasir-ad-Din Tousi recalled the name of Sayyid Mortaza while he was teaching, he would say: 'O Allah, bless upon him!' and then, he would turn to his students saying: 'How could I not donate my peace upon such a man, Sayyid Mortaza?'

And ibn Fattal Nishabory has presented it from the Sheikh of learned, Ali bin Ahmad Fanjkerdi that:

1. لا تنكرن غدير خم انه               كالشمس فى اشراقها بل اظهر

2. ما كان معروفا باسناد الى           خير البرايا احمد لا ينكر

3. فيه امامة حيدر و جماله              و جلاله حتى القيامة يذكر

4. اولى الانام بان يوالى المرتضى    من يأخذ الاحكام منه و يأثر[17]

1- 'Be careful not to deny the narrative of the Ghadir-e-Khum, because this event is like the illuminating sun or even brighter than that.

2- It is an event that is related to the best people of the world: Ahmad, who is well-known and cannot be denied.

3-In that Ghadir event, the Imamate of Heidar, his beauty and splendor have been mentioned and it will remain the same until the Day or Resurrection.

4- The most deserving people to have the Guardianship of the Holiness Mortaza are those who get the rules and laws of the religion and then relate them to other people.'

This aware and well-informed, the learned and scholar man was contemporary with Fattal Nishabory; in his poems, he has mostly used the term "مولى" which means the Imamate and the references of the commands, rules and laws for the religion.

Anyhow, these poems of the literally men that we have presented here  are a few of the endless poems and elegies that have been composed by the Arabs learned men of the past in the course fourteen centuries concerning the Ghadir-e- Khum. Although we have mentioned few of them, we hope it will help you to learn the fact out of it.

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The real meaning of “Master, and the Guardianship, and the usage of them

Now, let's consider some of the witnesses that are in the Ghadir-e-Khum which refer to the meaning of the Guardianship.

The first witness and proof is the word "مولى" itself that is the center word in the narrative. The word "مولى" is the infinitive for the word "Guardianship". And the "Guardianship" is the nature of unity between two things; and it represents the lack of anything between two things standing as the veil and hurdle. And we have mentioned it in the volume 5 of this series of "Knowing the Imams" that: all the meanings that have been said about the "Guardianship" and "مولى" refer to one thing only: and term "Guardianship" is clearly used to draw the meaning out of.

And Raghib Isfahani, in his book "مفردات", under the word of '' ولى" says:

 الولاء و التوالى ان يحصل شيئان فصاعدا حصولا ليس بينهما ما ليس منهما. [18]

'The common meanings of " الولاء" and " التوالى" are that two or more things combined in such a way that: apart from the real nature of those two things nothing exists between them, that is, whatever is added to those words has the same meaning and nature – there must not be any gap between those two words and both of them must be considered as a single unique; or even another word has fallen between them it must be the same category.

This is the meaning of "ولايت و ولاء و توالى", and all the words driven from the origin, such as "مولى و اولى و والى" and the rest, have the same meaning – it is the same in all cases.'

And as the necessity of this condition is between two things, that is the nearness of the two, so they have translated it 'the nearness'. And as the contemplative nearness is as the physical nearness so they have translated it as the Guardianship. The words " ولآءand توالى "have been metaphorically used for proportional nearness, religious nearness, truthfulness nearness, victory nearness, the belief nearness and so on.

And then, wherever the real meaning of ولآء is used without veiling between two things, then it means the word itself, and it remains as it is. For example the nearness between the proprietor and the tenant is a kind of nearness between the two and they used the word province and each one of the two is said to be his own lord. And so it is about the master and the slave, they have used the words in the same way. And it goes in the same way between "the granter and the bestowed", "the emancipator and the released"; so is between two united by oath, coherence, the lover and the beloved, the helper and the helped, and too many others which are used in this way and either side is said to be an independent element. Therefore, we get to know that: first of all the use of the word " مولى " for either of the two which stands side by side, are not different from each other; for example although the emancipator and the slave look two different things and they oppose each other, one is subject the other one the object, they have a natural relationship. And so are the other two words that they come together and have a natural connection between them.

And secondly, the use of the same origin word, such as: "ولی، مولی، ولایت" with their different meaning that some times are counted as many as twenty-seven, so they are not different in meaning but the real meanings are the same. [19]

Taftazani in his book[20] "شرح مقاصد" and Ghoshchi in[21] " شرح تجريد"and Mir Sayyid Sharif Jorjani in " شرح مواقف‏", Ghazi Ijee in the page 611 has said that the word " مولى " has seven different meanings: " معتِق and  معتَق" (the releaser and the released), " حَليف" (united by oath), " جار" (the neighbor), " ابن عم" (cousin), " ناصر" (the helper).

And Sejistani Azizi in his book[22] "غريب القرآن‏" and Anbari in the[23] "مشكل القرآن‏" have mentioned eight different meanings for the word " مولى ": عبد (slave), سيّد (master), صهر (son-in-law), "ولی" (the man of authority), and so on.

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The statement of Abul Fath Razi on the meaning of “Master”

And Sheikh Abu-al-Fotoh Razi has mentioned eleven different meaning for the word "مولى " in his commentary, and he has mentioned a proof for each meaning, and now, we are going to bring them here:

'Know that the word "مولى " has been divided into eleven meanings: "مولى " replaces the word "اولى" and it is the main one, the other references of the word "اولى" to it, as it has been said. And it is from the statement of the Most High:[24]  مَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ هِيَ مَوْلاكُمْ '… your abode is Hell, and it dominates you. And nothing else could be translated. And the witness to it is the following poem of Lobaid bin Rabiah:

فغدت كلا الفرجين تحسب انه             مولى المخافة خلفها و امامها [25]

That is  اولى بالمخافة. And there is no difference among the words experts.

Another one means مالك رق, Allah Who has the slaves in His possession. And the good proof to it is His statement:

ضرب الله مثلا عبدا مملوكا لا يقدر على شى‏ء- الى قوله: و هو كل على‏ مولاه  يعنى على مالكه.‏[26]

'…and Allah strike [another] comparison between two men, one of them is dumb and is incapable of doing anything

The third carries the meaning of "معتِق" and the fourth has meaning of "معتِق and معتق" which is releaser. And similarly they call Allah and slave"مولى" that is قبل العتق‏ which is another case. As the Highest states:

ادْعُوهُمْ لآبَائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا آبَاءَهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَمَوَالِيكُمْ [27]

'…call those [adopted sons] after their own fathers; it is better as Allah is concerned. If you do not know who their fathers were, then they are your brothers in religion and your friends, (Qur'an: 33/5).

And the sixth one means cousin, as the poet says:

مهلا بنى عمنا مهلا موالينا             لا تنبشوا ميتنا ما كان مدفونا [28]

O our cousins! Be patient. O Our master, keep calm; try not to bring our dead out of the graves when we have buried them.

The seventh is for the helper, as the Lofty states:

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَأَنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ لا مَوْلَى لَهُمْ [29] ای لا ناصِر لهم.

'…that is because: Allah is the Protector of those who believe, while the disbelievers have not a protector, (Qur'an: 47/11).

The eighth is a man frees a slave, and he becomes free from the slavery. The owner says that: I do without him, let him be on his own. He goes on his own and takes shelter somewhere else; then, he is said to be "مولى ".

The ninth is " حَليف‏" (united by oath), as the poet says:

موالى حلف لا موالى قرابة      و لكن قطينا يأخذون الاتاويا [30]

Correlation is through the oath and covenant, but not only the relationship. However, they are the abiders who give the strangers unpaid toils.

And another one said:

مواليكم مولى الولاية منكم     و مولى اليمين حابس قد تقسما [31]

The correlations of you are those who are related to the care of your correlation, and whoever is within the correlation has imprisoned himself and has gone through the way of separation.

The tenth means the neighbor, as the poet says:

هم خلطونى بالنفوس و الجموا      الى اصل مولاهم مسومة جردا [32]

They only cooperate with me for the association, but the branded and marked and short manned horses have been bridled for the neighbor.

The eleventh is used as the Sayyid, respected, chief and the Imam and whatever in this category is.

If it is considered attentively, all these meanings refer to the main word "اولى". Because Allah with His slave and the slave to Allah, the emancipator to the freed and the freed to the emancipator, the neighbor to the neighbor, the united with oath with the united by oath, the helper with the help receiver, cousin to cousin, thus, the meaning of "اولى" finds its proper place. [33]

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The statement of Sibt ibn Jauzi on the meaning of “Master”

Sibt ibn Juzi has brought all these words similar to Abu-al-Fotoh as we mentioned already, and he has mentioned the meanings of "مولى " up to ten – doing away with the meaning of master and slave. He has initiated it with the tenth one, and he has fortified each one by a poem or the verses from the Qur'an. And then, he has said: none of these ten meanings is relevant to the event of the Ghadir-e- Khum, nut only the tenth one which I am going to put it as the first one.[34] And the true meaning of it is:   

من كنت اولى به من نفسه فعلى اولى به‏

One upon whom I have more privilege than he himself so has Ali more privilege upon him.

And similar to this meaning, Hafiz Abu-al-Faraj Yahia bin Saeed Saghafi Isfahani has clearly mentioned it in his book called "مرج البحرین". He has referred this narrative to his masters and has said:

The Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, held Ali, Upon Him be Peace, on his hand and said: 

من كنت وليه و اولى به من نفسه فعلى وليه.‏

'Whoever ever I am Master to and have more privilege upon him than he himself, so this Ali is his Master.' So it become clear that all meanings are related to the tenth one. And another witness to this is the promises of the Messenger when he says:

ألست اولى بالمؤمنين من انفسهم؟‏

'Have I not most privilege upon the believers than they themselves have?'

So, this is the clearest statement to prove his Imamate; and it is incumbent to obey him. And also is the statement of the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, when he says:

و أدر الحق معه حيثما دار و كيفما دار!

[O Allah!] Put the Right in motion with Ali wherever he is and where he goes!' This statement of the Messenger is to all nations.

Then, do you not consider that, concerning the aggressive and the rebels in the battles of Jamal and Siffin, the scholars in Islam have deduced their opinions from this narrative. [35]

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The statement of Muhammad bin Talha Shafiee on the meaning of “Master”

Muhammad bin Talha Shafiee, after mentioning the narrative of the Guardianship of Ghadir and the revelation of the verse of propaganda has translated thirty-seven different meanings for the word " مولى", and he says: 'The statement of the Messenger of Allah on the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum:

" من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه‏"

'Whomsoever I am Master to so is this Ali his Master.'

It includes the word "من" (whoever), it represents the whole nation. Therefore, it must be understood that: whoever the Messenger of Allah is his Master, so is Ali bin Abī Tālib his Master. It also includes the term "مولى", which is used in numerous ways and it has come in the Qur'an as well. Sometimes it means "اولى" that Allah states it concerning the hypocrites:

 مَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ هِيَ مَوْلاكُمْ [36]

'the Fire is your abode; it is your shelter,' that means: 'fire dominates you!'

And sometimes it means 'the assister'; Allah states: 

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَأَنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ لا مَوْلَى لَهُمْ.[37]

'…that is because: Allah is the Protector of those who believe, while the disbelievers have not a protector, (Qur'an: 47/110).' That is, they have no assisters.

Sometimes it means as the inheritor; Allah states:

وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِيَ مِمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأقْرَبُونَ.[38]

'…and for each We have appointed inheritors of what the parents and close relatives leave, (Qur'an: 4/33).'

Here, the word " مَوَالِيَ" means the inheritors; that is, 'We assigned inheritors for everyone.

Sometimes it means "عصبه" the relatives of a man. Allah states it with the tongue of Zacharia, Peace be upon him and all the messengers:

وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِنْ وَرَائِي [39]

'…but now I fear for my kinsfolk after me [to waste my property and not to respect the Divine Rights],  (Qur'an: 19/5).' His fear is of his paternal relatives.

Sometimes, it means "friend and friendship", the friends who care; as Allah states:

يَوْمَ لا يُغْنِي مَوْلًى عَنْ مَوْلًى شَيْئًا. [40]

'…a Day that no friend can avail friend in any way, (Qur'an: 44/41).' That is, no friend assists his friend in any way!

Sometimes it is used as 'a Master freeing his slave'. Now, as the term " مَوْلًى " is used with these meanings then, which of the meanings is suitable to translate it in the event of Ghadir-e-Khum? Should we take it for "اولى" as some people have translated it 'the narrative'? Or should we take as 'the friend'? Therefore, the meaning of the narrative becomes: 'whomsoever I have privilege upon him, I am his assistant, I am his inheritor, I am his paternal relative, or I am his friend; so Ali is with him with these attributes.

It is obvious that Ali has specific virtues which are in the highest degree and position, and the Messenger of Allah has taken him to be as his own, and he has considered him his soul; and the word 'من' refers to every one of the nation.

And let it be known that this narrative is of the secrets of the statements of Allah, the Highest, in the verse of discussion:

فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُمْ.[41]

'…say, ‘now come on, and let’s call our children and your children, our women and your women, our souls and your souls together, (Qur'an: 3/61).'

Here, the purpose is the soul of the Messenger of Allah and the soul of Ali, Upon Him be Peace, because in this verse Allah has equalized the soul of the messenger and the soul of Ali – He has taken the both souls as being of the messenger's.

And in the narrative of the Guardianship in the Ghadir-e-Khum the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, has conveyed to Ali, Upon Him be Peace, whatever he was responsible to fulfill in his Messenger-hood – because Messenger of Allah has privilege over the believers, and he is the Master and the assister of the believers. Whatever meanings the word "مَوْلًى" has can be extracted, and that meaning is fixed for the messenger of Allah and he has assigned it for Ali.

And this highest position and the greatest degree is what the Messenger of Allah, Bless be to Him and his Descendants, has assigned it for Ali bin Abī Tālib, Upon Him be Peace, but not to anyone else; and it is why the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum is the greatest festival for the followers of Ali bin Abī Tālib.

And ibn Talha has explained this in details and he has a useful discussion in the subject. In his investigation, he has stated a great deal concerning the position of the Commander of the believers, Upon Him be Peace. [42]

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The meanings of the Master amounting to twenty-seven

And we already explained of ibn Athir Jazari in "نهايه" sixteen meanings[43] concerning the word "مولى", which along with the word "اولى" they become seventeen.

Al‘lāma Amini has mentioned the word "مولى" to be twenty-seven altogether.

1-  رَب (the Creator), 2- عم(uncle), 3-  ابن عم (cousin), 4- ابن (son), 5- ابن اخت (cousin), 6- ابن اخت (one who releases the slave), 7- معتِق (the freed slave), 8- عبد (slave), 9- مالك (the owner),[44] 10- تابع (follower), 11- منعَم عليه (one who has given blessing), 12- شريك (partner), 13- حَليف (unite by oath), 14- صاحب (owner, companion), 15- جار (neighbor), 16- نزيل (a new settler in a caravan and tribe), 17- صِهر (son-in law), 18- قريب (near, close), 19- منعِم (one who gives blessings), 20- عَقيد (confederate), 21- ولى (one who exercise power), 22- أولى بالشى‏ء (more deserving getting something), 23- سيّد غير مالك و غير معتِق (the master who neither is the owner nor does he relieve one), 24- محب (lover), 25- ناصر (the helper), 26- متصرِّف فى الامر (taking possession in an affair), 27- متولِّى فى الامر (having authority in an affair).

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[1] Surah 5, "مائده", Middle of the Third Verse.
As Umm Habibah, the daughter of Abu Sofyan and sister of Mua‘wiyah was one of the Messenger’s wives, and according to the noble verse “وَ أَزوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُم‏”, the wives of the Messenger are considered the mothers of the believers, so Umm Habibah, the sister of Mua‘wiyah had chosen the title of  ‘The Mother of the believers’ for herself, and in Sham she had given herself the title of  the aunt of the believers to her.
In the book of “نقض‏”, page 145, he has composed this as:

         سبقتكم إلى الإسلام طَرّاً             غُلاماً ما بلغتُ أوَ ان حُلْمِى‏

And in the book of “كشف الغمّة” of Erbili, page 92, it has been said: صغيراً ما بلغتُ أو ان حُلمى‏

[4] "مناقب", of ibn Shahr Aashub, volume 1, page 356, lithography printing, as well as “معجم الادباء”, volume 14, page 48; and “البداية و النّهاية”, volume 8, pages 8 and 9. And in “فرائد السّمطين‏”, volume 1, part 70, page 427, the Commander of the believers, upon him be peace,  has presented these elegies, and in the beginning he has said that: ‘When the Holiness read the letter of  Mua‘wiyah, he said:

 “أبا الفضل يفخر علىّ ابن آكلة الاكباد؟ اكتُب اليه يا قنبر: إنّ لى سُيوفاً بدريّة، و سهاماً هاشميّة، قد عرفت مواضع نصالها فى أقاربك و عشائرك يوم بدر؛ و ما هى من الظالمين ببعيد (ثم قال له: اكتب: محمد النّبى، …”

And the “احتجاج‏” of Sheikh Tabarsi, Najaf printing , volume 1, pages 265 and 266.

[5] From “الغدير”, volume 2, pages 26-30, there has only been used the names of the writers.
[6] Abu al-Hassan Isfahani has related his background in “أغانى‏”, volume 4, page as:

حسّان‌ بن‌ ثابت‌ بن‌ المنذربن‌ حرام‌ بن‌ عمرو بن‌ زيد مناة‌ بن‌ عديّ بن‌ عَمرو بن‌ مالك‌ بن‌ النّجار ـ و هو تيم‌ الله‌ بن‌ ثَعلبة‌ بن‌ عرو بن‌ الخزرج‌ بن‌ حارثة‌ بن‌ ثعلبة‌ ـ و هو العنقاء ـ بن‌ عمرو (و إنّما سمّي‌ العنقاء لطول‌ عُنُقه‌) و عمرو ـ هو مز يقياء ـ بن‌ عامر بن‌ ماء السماء بن‌ حارثة‌ الغِطريف‌ بن‌ أمري‌ القيس‌ البطريق‌ بن‌ ثعلبة‌ البهلول‌ بن‌ مازن‌ بن‌ الاذد و هو ذري‌ ـ و قيل‌: ذرآء ممدود ـ بن‌ الغوث‌ ابن‌ نبت‌ بن‌ مالك‌ بن‌ زيد بن‌ كهلان‌ بن‌ سبابن‌ يشجب‌ بن‌ يعرب‌ بن‌ قحطان‌.

[7] In “اغانى‏”, volume 15, page 108, his background has been explained as:

هو الكميت بن زيد بن خنيس بن مخالد بن وهيب بن‏عمرو بن سبيع- و قيل: الكميت بن زيد بن‏خنيس بن‏مخالد بن‏ذؤيبة بن‏قيس بن‏عمرو بن‏سبيع- بن‏مالك بن‏سعد بن‏ثعلبة بن‏دودان بن‏أسد بن‏خزيمة بن‏مدركة بن‏الياس بن‏مُضَر بن‏نزار.

And it has been related in “مؤتلف و مختلف‏” that, among the poets there had been three persons with the similar names among the Bani Asad: the first one of them was: Komeit Akbar, the son of “ثعلبة بن نوفل بن‏فضلة بن‏الاشتر بن‏جحوان بن‏فقعس‏”, the second was the son of “معروف بن كميت اكبر”, and the third one was Komeit, the son of “بن زيد بن خنيس‏”, who is the ring of our discussion
[8] The “مناقب‏” of ibn Shahr Aashub, lithography printing, volume 1, page 530, and the commentary of Abu-al-Fotoh Razi, (تفسير أبو الفتوح رازى‏), volume 2, page 193. And he has mentioned it in the “روضة الواعظين‏”, ibn Ghetal, page 90, however, by mistake, he has introduced him as Ali bin Ahmad Fanajkordi. And the elegies of Fanajkordi: “يوم الغدير سوى العيدين لى عيد” has been attributed to nGheis bin Sa’d bin Ebadat.
[9] “ديوان حميرى‏”, the poetic works of Himyari pages 111 and 112. And these four lines are in order in the lines: 100 t0 103, from the elegy 113-verses, which begins with:

 هلّا وقفت على المكان المعشب             بين الطويلغ فاللوى من كبكب

[10] “ديوان حميرى‏”, page 198; and in “تعليقه‏” he mentions: in the seventh line it has been said: “النشور”, it is what has been explained in “مناقب‏” as well as “الغدير” however, its reasonable use, in my opinion, is “الثبور”.
[11] "دیوان حمیری", page 420.
[12] Ghazi Tanoukhi was of the scholars of third and fourth centuries. He died in 342. He has composed a poem against Abdullah bin Mo’taez, who had dies in 296 and had composed a poem to praise Bani Abbas. And he was proud of it as representing Bani Abbas to be against the son of Abi Talib. The beginning of his charming elegy goes as:

أبى الله إلّا ما ترون فما لكم             غضاباً على الاقدار يا آل طالب‏
من ابن رسول الله و ابن وصيّه             الى مُدغلٍ فى عقدة الدين ناصب‏
نَشابين طُنبور و دفّ و مزهر             و فى حجر شادٍ أو على صدر ضارب‏
و من ظَهر سَكرانِ الى بطن قينة على                 شُبهٍ فى ملكها و شوائب‏

He similarly counts their agonies until he comes to this verse which explains the holiness Imam Reza’s poisoning by Ma’moon:

و مأمونكم سَمَّ الرِّضا بعد بيعة             تودّ ذرى شمِّ الرّجال الرّواسب

[13] "مناقب", page 531.
[14] Abu-al-Ghasim Al-Tanoukhi: Ali bin Muhammad bin Abi-al-Fahm Dawood bin Ibrahim bin Tamim bin Jabir bin Hani bin Zaid bin Abid bin Malik … bin Harith bin Amrou (The King of Tanoukh) … Ya’rib bin Ghahtan.
[15] “ديوان سيّد مرتضى‏”, (the Poetic Works of Sayyid Mortaza), volume 2, pages 36 and 37, with the correction of Saf’far. And he has brought five lines of this poem in “مناقب‏” of ibn Shahr Aashub, lithography printing, volume 1, page 538.
[16] The swift running camel, as it is said, is famous in moving fast; it is attributed as: “مهرة بن حيدان از بنى‏قضاعة”.
[17] “روضة الواعظين‏”, page 90. At the final part of the verse in the fourth line of this book it has been recorded “يُؤثَر”, so as it had no meaning, we corrected it with the word “يَأثِر”. And it might be the word “يُوَالَى‏” in the passive case, has the two words “يُؤخَذُ و يُؤثَر” in the same way, that is in passive cases: and then, the meaning is: “The most deserving among the people for the Guardianship is Mortaza (Ali bin Abī Tālib), and he is the one that the commands are issued from and then, they are related to the people. And in this way, the poem is fluency and easy to understand.
[18] “Knowing the Imam”, volume 5, lessons 61 and 62, pages 15 to 20. The meaning of the Guardianship has been well explained in them, however, here, because of the word “مَولى‏”, which has come in the event of Ghadir-e-Khum, we have explained it in short. 
[19] In “شرح مواقف‏”, where the utterance relates the reason of the Shiite in getting the meaning of Imamate from the narrative, and in the mean time it says: “و لانّها أى المعانى المذكورة تشترك فى الولاية فيجب الحمل عليها و جعل اللفظ حقيقة فى هذا القدر المشترك دفعاً للاشتراك اللفظى‏”. (page 611). And the Late Allama Amini too in “الغدير”, volume 1, page 370, after explaining twenty-seven different meaning of the word “مولى” he says: the common meaning for this word is on one thing:

فالاشتراك‌ معنوي‌ و هو أولي‌ من‌ الاشتراك‌ اللفظيّ المستدعي‌ لاوضاع‌ كثيرة‌ غير معلومة‌ بنصٍّ ثابتٍ و المنفيّة‌ بالاصل‌ المحكّم‌. و قد سَبَقَنا الي‌ بُعض‌ هذه‌ النظريّة‌ شمسُ الدين‌ ابن‌ البِطريق‌ في‌ «العمدة‌» ص‌ 56 و هو أحد أعلام‌ الطّائفة‌ في‌ القرن‌ السادس‌.

however, we have different idea with the Late Amini and we will explain it later.
[20] “شرح مقاصد”, page 289.

[21] Its lithography printing has no page number.
[22] "غریب القرآن", page 154.
[23] "مشکل القرآن", based on Sayyid Mortaza's sayings in the book of "شافی" And Anbari's view has said the "بیت لُبید"; and also from Ibn Tarigh's sayings in the book of "عمدة", page 55.
[24] Surah 57, "حدید", Verse 15.
[44] In “تعليقه‏”, he says: ‘In “صحيح بخارى‏”, volume 7, page 57, the word “مَولى‏” has been translated as “مليك‏”, and in the explanation of “قَسْطلانى‏” which is to “صحيح بخارى”, in volume 7, page 77 has recorded that : the meaning of “مَولى‏” is “مليك‏”, it is because he has author upon the people’s affairs. Also in this way, in “عُمدة القارى‏”, Abu Muhammad’s writing is not different style in “صحيح بخارى”, and so is Adawi Hamzawi in the book of “النُّورُ السّارى‏”.

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