Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wilayat-e-Ali (as)

Have you ever observed that whenever officials of two countries speaking two different languages meet, there is an interpreter between them who facilitates the conversation based on his knowledge of both the languages? Without his presence it would be impossible for either of the country official to talk and discuss further. The credentials of this interpreter should be of a high order and he should be trusted by both the meeting officials. He needs to be knowledgeable enough to rightly interpret the conversation.

In the same way when Allah (SWT) created this world and gave us the Quran, He created His chosen interpreter whose presence between us and Allah made us understand Allah’s ‘Wahdaniyat (Oneness)’ and His religion in the true sense

***This chosen interpreter is the most trusted by Allah (SWT) from amongst His creations and hence it is a call of our religious duty to know him, follow him and be guided by him. In this article we will strive to find him and understand his position with respect to Allah (SWT). 

Aadam (as) was the first human being and the messenger of Allah (SWT) sent down to earth so let us start our journey by contemplating on the following ayah from Surah-e-Baqra which discusses the ‘sajda’ of the angels to Aadam (as): 
  • “Aur uss waqt ko yaad karo jab Hum ne farishton se kaha ke Aadam (as) ko sajda karo to sab ke sab jhuk gaye magar lblees ne inkaar kiya aur ghuroor main aagaya aur kafir ho gaya.” – (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 34) 
  •  “(Remember, when We asked the angels to bow in homage to Adam, they all bowed but Iblees, who disdained and turned insolent, and so became a disbeliever.)”

 After the creation of Aadam (as) all the angels were ordered to bow down in ‘sajda’ to Aadam (as). The angels obeyed but Iblees the Jinn refused to do so and thus he became a kafir and was thrown out of the Heavens as confirmed in the following ayah: 
  •  ‘Khuda ne farmaya tu bahisht se nikal jaa dur ho ja beshak tu mardood hai.’ – (Surah-e-Hijr ayah, 34) 
  •  “((Allah) said: "Then get thee out from here; for thou art rejected, accursed.)”
Let us analyze the above incident and try to find a meaningful inference from this. There are following things worth pondering upon with respect to the above event: 
  1. Allah (SWT) the all knowing was aware that the angels would obey Him and Iblees would not, then why did He give such an order? Did Allah (SWT) want to set an example for the mankind to be born through Aadam (as) by this event? What was the message He wanted to convey through this?  
  2. Iblees – the Jinn prayed and bowed down to Allah (SWT) on every nook and corner of ‘Arsh’ along with the angels yet he became a ‘Satan’. What was it that was missing in him that all his prayers were rejected?  
  3.   When we observe the above ayahs and other similar ayahs in Quran, we find that Iblees, after being termed a ‘kafir’ by Allah (SWT) still remained a believer of Allah (SWT) as the One and the only Creator and the Most Powerful. Then what was it that Allah (SWT) wanted from him apart from his belief in Allah (SWT)’s Wahdaniyat?
***There should be one binding incident mentioned in Quran which would answer all the above queries. Hence let us now proceed further with the following ayah from Surah-e-Aale Imran:

  • “(Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) wo waqt bhi yaad dilao)) jab Khuda ne paighambaron se iqraar liya ki Hum tumko jo kuch kitab aur hikmat (waghaira) dein usske baad tumhare paas koi Rasool aaye aur jo kitab tumhare paas hai usski tasdiq kare, to (dekho) tum zaroor uss per imaan lana aur zaroor usski madad karna, (aur) Khuda ne farmaya kya tum ne iqraar liya, tum ne (Mere ahad ka) bojh uthaliya, sab ne arz ki humne iqraar kiya, Irshad hua (achha) to aaj ke qawl (wa qaraar) ke aapas main ek doosre ke gawah rehna.” – (Surah-e-Aale Imran, ayah 81)
  • “(And when Allah made a covenant through the prophets: Certainly what I have given you of Book and wisdom-- then a messenger comes to you verifying that which is with you, you must believe in him, and you must aid him. He said: Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? They said: We do affirm. He said: Then bear witness, and I (too) am of the bearers of witness with you.)”
Allah (SWT) made a covenant with all the Prophets that they would be required to believe in a Messenger who would come to them verifying that which is given to them. The Messenger referred in the above ayah is the holy Prophet (SAW) and the covenant that Allah (SWT) made with all the Prophets was to believe in the Wilayah of Hazrat Ali (as) (Ref: Bisaar-ad-dahrajaat al-Jazahir thaani, pg 93). 

The Prophets came to earth in different eras and they did not meet the holy Prophet (SAW) in person, during the time the holy Prophet (SAW) graced the earth so how do we understand and explain the above ayah? When and where did the rest of the Prophets meet the holy Prophet (SAW)?
Allama Nishapoori has explained the significance of the above ayah by reporting the following hadith of the Holy Prophet (SAW) narrated by Abdullah Ibn e Mas’ud in his Tafseer-e-Gharaib al Quran Vol 25.
  • “When the Chief of Prophets (pbuh) led the prayers and the other Prophets prayed behind him on the night of Al Israa’ and Al-Meraj, an Angel descended and said “O Beloved of Allah! Ask these apostles of Allah on what condition they were granted Prophethood.” The Holy Prophet (pbuh) got the following reply when he posed the same question to all other Prophets “That we accept the Wilayah of you and Ali”. (Ref: Tafseer e Gharaib al Quran Vol 25 P 58 published in Egypt (On the border of Tafseer e Ibn e Jareer Tabari)
The covenant which Allah (SWT) made with the Prophets was to believe in the ‘Wilayah’ of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Mawla Ali (as) and when they accepted they were granted the Prophethood.

The Prophethood of all the Prophets depended on their acceptance of the Wilayah of Mawla Ali (as) thus making it the most important aspect of their faith. We might wonder then, did Allah (SWT) make a similar compact with the ordinary people like us?
  • Aur Ae Rasool (SAW) (wo waqt bhi yaad dilao) jab tumhare Parvardigar ne Aadam ki aulad se bastiyon se (bahar nikal kar) unnki aulad se khud unke muqable main iqraar kar liya (poochha) ki kya main tumhara Parvardigar nahin hoon? Tou sab ke sab bole haan hum usske gawah hain yeh Humne issliye kaha ki aisa na ho kahin tum qayamat ke din bol utho ki hum tou usse bilkul bekhabar the.” – (Surah-e-Airaf, ayah 172)
  •  “(And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their own souls: Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes! we bear witness. Lest you should say on the day of resurrection: Surely we were heedless of this.)
Explaining the above ayah in his Tafseer Jabar narrates a tradition from the authority of Imam Muhammed Baqir (as) according to that when someone asked the Imam (as) about the time when Mawla Ali (as) was referred as “Amir ul Momineen” the Imam (as) replied that as mentioned in this ayah a compact was made with the children of Aadam (as) that Allah (SWT) is their Lord, Mohammed (SAW) is their Prophet and Mawla Ali (as) is Amir ul Momineen. (Ref: Tafseer al Burhaan, Vol 2 Pg 47)

There is one more similar tradition mentioned from the authority of Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (as) in Tafseer-e-Ayashi. As per this tradition the holy Imam (as) has said: “The covenant was taken from them in regard to the Lordship of Allah, and the Prophet-hood of the holy Prophet (SAW), and with the Imamate of Amir-ul-Momineen (as) and the Imams (as) so He (SWT) Said: ‘‘Am I not your Lord, and Muhammad (SAW) your Prophet and Ali (as) your Imam, and the Imams (as) of Guidance your Imams?’‘ So they said, ‘Yes, we do bear witness’. So Allah (SWT) the High Said: ‘‘If you say on the Day of Judgement’‘ – i.e., perhaps you would be saying on the Day of Judgement – ‘‘We were unaware of this!’ (Ref: Tafseer-e-Ayashi, 74/180:1)

*** While analyzing the event of the ‘sajda’ of Aadam (as) there were few queries which were left unanswered. In the light of the above ayahs let us try to find answers to those queries now. All the Prophets, though chosen by Allah (SWT) Himself were bestowed upon the Prophethood only when they accepted the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as). Allah (SWT) made compact with the mankind to accept Him as their Lord, the holy Prophet (SAW) as their Prophet and Mawla Ali (as) and the other 11 Imams (as) from his lineage as their leaders. This means that the faith which believes only in Allah (SWT) and rejects the authority of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Mawla Ali (as) and the Imams (as) is not what Allah (SWT) wants from us and I believe this is the message He wished to convey with the event of the ‘sajda’ of Aadam (as). This further means that the faith in Allah (SWT) without the ‘Wilayah’ of Ali (as) is a rejected faith similar to what the Satan followed.

Allah (SWT) made a covenant with the Prophets and made compact with the souls of the children of Aadam (as) to accept the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as). And He further conveyed the same message through the holy Prophet (SAW), as mentioned in the following ayah, lest we forget:
  • “Ae Rasool jo hukm tumhare Parvardigar ki taraf se tum per naazil kiya gaya hai pahoncha do. Aur agar tum ne aisa nahin kiya to samjhlo tum ne Us ka koi paigham hi nahin pahonchaya aur tum daro nahin Khuda tum ko logon ke shar se mahfooz rakhe gaa aur Khuda hargiz kafiron ki qaum ko manzil e maqsood tak nahin pahonchata.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 67)
  •  (“O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.”)
In the above ayah Allah (SWT) refers to His specific message which the holy Prophet (SAW) was ordered to deliver. Allah (SWT) further mentions to the holy Prophet (SAW) that if the order was not delivered it would be considered as if he (The holy Prophet (SAW)) did not deliver Allah’s message to his ummah. This makes the message the most important aspect of the holy Prophet (SAW)’s messengership. So which was this message?

After the revelation of the above ayah, in front of the huge crowd of around 120000 pilgrims, the Holy Prophet (SAW) raised Hazrat Ali (as) and announced “Man Kunto Mawla ho fa hazaa Ali un Mawla” at Ghadeer-e-Khum. And with this Allah (SWT) appointed Hazrat Ali as Prophet (SAW)’s successor and ‘Wali’ (Guardian) over the ummah. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Vol 2, P 298, Egypt, Tafseer-e-Fatah ul Qadeer, Vol 2, P 60, Egypt, Tafseer-e-Fatah ul Bayun, Vol 3, P 89, Egypt, Tafseer Mazhari, Vol 3, P 353, Daarul

Here, let us compare the event of ‘sajda’ to Aadam (as) by angels with the event of ‘Ghadir-e-Khum’ as referred in the above ayah. Both the events mentioned a huge gathering. In the first case it is a gathering of faithful angels and a Jinn while in the second case it is a gathering of devout Muslims and pilgrims of Hajj. The ayah (Surah-e-Baqra, ayah 34),which refers to the event of ‘sajda’ to Aadam (as) says that Iblees became a disbeliever as he disobeyed Allah (SWT) by not bowing down to Aadam (as) while the above ayah (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 67) ends with a statement that says “Allah will not guide the unbelieving people”.  

If we ponder upon both the events we can infer that the Jinn who used to pray along with angels on ‘Arsh’ became a disbeliever by not bowing down to Aadam (as) similarly Allah (SWT) would consider the Hajj Pilgrims and devout Muslims as misguided and unbelieving people if they did not follow the message of “Man Kunto Mawla ho fa hazaa Aliyun Mawla”.

Before we finally conclude this section let us see one more comparison of both the events. In Surah-e-Hijr, ayah 34, which is already mentioned in the earlier section, Allah (SWT) has rejected the Satan and thrown him out of Heavens because of his disobedience. Now in this light see the following ayah:
  • “Ek maangne wale ne kafiron ke liye ho kar rahne wale azaab ko maanga jisko koi taal nahin sakta jo Darje wale Khuda ki taraf se (hone wala) tha.” – (Surah-e-Meraj, ayah 1-3) 
  • “(A questioner asked about a Penalty to befall- The Unbelievers, which there is none to ward off,- (A Penalty) from Allah, Lord of the Ways of Ascent)”
On the revelation of the above ayah ‘Sala’bi’ in his tafseer mentions a person named Haaris Ibn Noman Fehri who questioned the holy Prophet (SAW) for appointing Mawla Ali (as) as his successor. He said:  “You asked us to give two witnesses (of divinity and messengership), we gave. You made prayers, Zakaat and Hajj obligatory upon us, we accepted. Now, you intend to appoint your cousin (Ali) as our master by announcing, “Of whomsoever I am his master, Ali is his master too.” Is this announcement from your side or on divine order?” The Messenger of Allah answered:

“I swear by Allah, except Whom there is no God, this command was certainly divine.”
On hearing this, Haaris stood up and walking towards his camel, grumbled, “O Allah, if this order is from your side, then punish me by raining stones upon me.” He had hardly completed his sentence, when a stone fell from the sky and crushed him to death. At this justice, the Qur’anic verse was revealed: A questioner asked about a Penalty to befall.”  (Ref: Tafseer-e-Sal’abi).
By comparing the ayah no. 34 of Surah-e-Hijr with the above ayah we can infer that the ‘Satan’ who disobeyed Allah (SWT) and did not bow down to Aadam (as) was considered as a rejected one and was thrown out of Heavens in the same manner Haaris Ibn Noman Fehri disobeyed Allah (SWT) and did not consider Mawla Ali (as) as his Master and was punished by Allah (SWT).

And we can authenticate our above inference in the light of the following hadith of our beloved Imam Reza (as). The holy Imam (as) has said  “In Ghadir-e-Khum the ‘Wilayah’ of Imam Ali (as) was similar to the sajda of Aadam (as), those who accepted were better than the angels while those who rejected were worst than Iblees.”   (Ref: Awalim, vol 15 P 224)

***We can thus conclude that the event of the ‘Ghadir-e-Khum’ is that binding incident which clarifies all our queries related to faith. For any believer to understand ‘Wahdaniyat’ of Allah (SWT) in true sense the belief in the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as) is the most important thing. Allah (SWT) made a covenant with rest of the Prophets for this. He made the compact with the souls of the children of Aadam (as) and made this as the most important message to be conveyed to the ummah by our beloved Prophet (SAW). The ‘sajda’ of the Aadam (as) was thus an example set by Allah (SWT) for the mankind for understanding the importance of the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as).

The discussion up till now was more conclusive as a result of our contemplation on various ayahs. In order to endorse our conclusion let us now see the ayahs that directly show the importance of the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as) in our lives:
  • “Ae Imaandaro tumhare vali (malik sarparast) to buss yehi hein Khuda aur uss ka Rasool (SAW) aur wo momineen jo pabandi se namaz adaa karte hain aur haalat-e-ruku main zakat dete hai. “Aur jisne Khuda aur Rasool (SAW) aur unhi Imaadaron ko apna sarparast banaya to Khuda ke lashkar main aagaya aur issme shak nahin ke Khuda hi ka lashkar ghalib rehta hai.”” – (Surah-e-Maeda, Ayah 55-56)
  •  “(Verily your vali (leader) is only Allah and His messenger and those who believe; those who establish worship and pay the poor-rate while they bow down in prayer. And whoever takes Allah and His apostle and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.)”
As per the above ayahs, if we wish to be a part of the triumphant group of Allah (SWT) we are expected to believe in the ‘Wilayah’ of the Chosen Momin of Allah (SWT), who has paid the poor-rate while in a state of ‘ruku’,  along with the ‘Wilayah’ of the holy Prophet (SAW) and Allah (SWT).

The above verse was revealed when ‘Amirul Momineen’ Mawla Ali gave his ring to a beggar while bowing down in ‘ruku’ (Ref: Imam Nasai in Saheeh-e-Nasai, Aljam’a Bain-ul-Sihah-ul-Sittah, Sa’labi)

Thus Allah (SWT) in the above ayahs confirms that Mawla Ali (as) along with Allah Himself and the Holy Prophet (SAW) are our Guardians and ‘Vali’ and we need to follow them to be in the triumphant party of Allah.

The way an interpreter facilitates the conversation of two officials of different countries and makes their discussion smooth the presence of Mawla Ali (as) between us and Allah (SWT) facilitates our understanding of the Divine Messages of the Almighty and makes our salvation smooth. The holy Prophet (SAW) has said the following about Mawla Ali (as) with respect to Allah (SWT):
  •  Amongst men it is Ali who knows Allah the best.” – (Ref: Selections from Kanz-ul-Ummal, Bahamash Al Masnad, Vol 5 P 32)
Mawla Ali (as) knows Allah the best and hence if we follow him we would be able to understand the Divine Messages of Allah (SWT). Hence the Prophet (SAW) has further instructed us to follow the guidance of Mawla Ali (as) if we wish to meet the Prophet (SAW) on the Pond of Kausar as mentioned in the following hadith:
  •  Ali is your guide and all of you are to come to me at the Hauz-e-Kausar…” (Ref: Kanz-ul-Ummal Vol2, p. 350)
And on the importance of the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as) in our lives, our beloved Imam Baqer (as) has said:

  •  Allah Almighty assigned Ali (as) as a banner between Him and His creations. Hence whoever knows him is a believer; whoever denies him is a disbeliever; whoever does not know him is lost; whoever believes in another matter along with him (as) is a polytheist and whoever believes in his Wilayah (Divine Guardianship) shall enter Heaven.(Ref: Al Kafi vol 1 P. 437, Al Bihar vol 32 P 364, Amali Al Tousi P 487, Hilat Al Abrar vol 2 P 422, Al Hada’iq Al Nadira vol 18 P. 148, Kamal Al Deen P 412)
 ***Thus Mawla Ali (as) is the interpreter between us and Allah (SWT). His ‘Wilayah’ makes us understand the ‘Wahdaniyat’ of Allah (SWT) in the true sense and it is a doctrine for our salvation.  
We have discussed the ‘sajda’ of Aadam (as) in this article so as to understand the importance of the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as) but now we will see a hadith of Imam Hasan Askari (as) which directly connects the two. The Imam (as) in his tafseer says that: 

"When Allah Almighty created Aadam, he taught him the names of everything and presented them to the angels. He placed the five spirits (Panjetan Pak) of Mohammad, Ali, Fatima, Al-Hasan and Al-Hussein (pbut) in Aadam. Their lights brightened the horizons of the skies, Al-Hojob, the heavens, the Chair and the Throne. Allah Almighty ordered the angels to prostrate to Aadam in order to glorify him because he has been chosen to be the holder of these spirits whose lights had spread throughout the horizons. Thus, they all prostrated except Iblees (the Devil) who refused to be humbled to the glory of Allah's Greatness and to our (Ahl-ul-bait)’s lights. All the angels were humbled to them (the lights), yet he stood with arrogance and refused to do so and because of his rejection and arrogance, he was one of the disbelievers.” – (Ref: Tafsir Al-Imam Al-Askari p.219, Bihar Al-Anwar vol.26 p.326, Ta'weel Al-Ayat al-Zahira vol.1 p.44, Qasas Al-Anbiaa p.43 Lisan al-Mizan v. 3, p. 346 )

Iblees became a ‘kafir’ as he stood with arrogance and refused to prostrate in front of the spirits of Panjetan Pak (as) which were placed in Aadam (as). Thus his rejection of the ‘Wilayah’ of Panjetan Pak (as) earned him the wrath of Allah (SWT). He was punished and he lost the Heavens. Thus the ‘Wilayah’ of Mawla Ali (as) and other 11 Imams (as) from his lineage is the guard of our faith and help us earn Allah’s Mercy.  

***So let me conclude with these beautiful lines written by Syed Kamran Hussain Jafri which sum up the message that I wished to convey through this article:

Nazar ki jab dar-e-Haider pe to maalum hua,
Yehi woh dar hai jahaan kul ke madadgaar mile.

Hai jo bhi paaya isi dar se hi to paaya hai,
HumeiƱ Khuda bhi mila Ahmed-e-Mukhtaar mile.

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