Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Wasi-e-Rasool (SAWW)

It is equally essential to ponder upon the ahadith of our beloved Prophet (pbuh&hp) as it is to  ponder upon the ayahs. Let us make an effort towards this in this article and seek reasoning of the same through Quranic verses.

In a prominent hadith by the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) he draws a comparsion between his relationship with Imam Ali (as) & the relationship of Musa (as) with Haroon (as). The hadith says:

“Ali, you are to me as Haroon was to Musa.”

(Ref: Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa, page 65; Abu Abdullah Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume III, the Book of Ghazawa, Qazwa Tabuk, p. 54, and in his book Bida'u'l-Khalq, p. 180; Muslim bin Hajjaj in his Sahih, vol II, p 236-7, Sawa'iq Muhriqa, P-30,34 and more)
As we read this we wonder why is there such a hadith as there are stronger comparisons between the lives of Ibrahim (as) and Ismail (as) with the lives of the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) and Imam Ali (as):
  • While Ibrahim (as) was father of Ismail (as), the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) was no less than a father to Imam Ali (as). Imam Ali (as) says in Nahjul balagha :
The Holy Prophet (SAWW) brought me up in his own arms and fed me with his own morsel. I followed him wherever he went like a baby-camel following its mother. Each day a new aspect of his character would beam out of his noble person and I would accept it and follow it as a command.”
  • Just as Ismail (as) offered himself in sacrifice at the command of Ibrahim (as) when Ibrahim (as) narrated his dream to him so did Imam Ali (as) offer himself in sacrifice at the command of the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) by sleeping on the bed of the holy Prophet during that life threatening night of Hijrat.
With these similarities in place one tends to think that the hadith should have been - “Ali you are to me as Ismail was to Ibrahim”.
è What was so uniquely common about the relationship of Musa (as) and Haroon (as) with the holy Prophet (SAWW) & Imam Ali (as) that the Prophet (pbuh&hp) narrated the hadith in this manner.
Let us refer to the Quran to try to find a logical explanation of the above hadith. To begin with we look upon the following ayahs from Surah-e-Taha:

·         Musa ne arz ki “Tu mere liye mere sine ko kushada farma aur diler bana aur mera kaam mere liye aasan kar de aur meri zabaan se luknat ki girah khol de taaki log meri baat achhi tarah samajhein aur mere gharwalon mein se mere bhai Haroon ko mera wazir bana de usske zariye se meri pusht mazboot kar de aur mere kaam mein ussko mera sharik bana taaki hum donon kasrat se Teri tasbih karein aur kasrat se Teri yaad karein. Tu to hamari haalat dekh hi raha hai” – (Surah-e-Taha, 26-35)

(Moses said: "O my Lord! Open for me my chest. And ease my task for me; and make loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue, that they understand my speech, and appoint for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother; increase my strength with him, and let him share my task, and we may glorify You much, and remember You much, Verily! You are of us Ever a Well-Seer.")

These ayahs are the dua which Musa (as) made to Allah (SWT). He seeks from Allah (SWT) to appoint his brother Haroon (as) as a helper and increase his strength through him. This shows that Musa (as) trusted Haroon (as) and wanted him to share his task and be a part of his mission. Keeping this in mind let us ponder upon the ayah of Surah-e-Bani Israel:

·         “Aur ye dua maanga karo ke Ae mere Parvardigaar mujhe jahan pahoncha achhi tarah pahoncha aur mujhe jahan se nikaal to achhi tarah se nikaal aur mujhe khaas apni bargaah se ek Sultan ataa farma jisse  har qism ki madad pahonche.” – (Surah-e-Bani Israel, ayah 80)

“(Say: "O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an Authority to aid (me).")”

The above ayah is the instruction of Allah (SWT) to the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) for a dua which he was to make to Allah (SWT). Here, the dua is to seek an Authority which is the constant source of Divine Help. Thus Allah (SWT) wanted to help the Prophet (pbuh&hp) through His duly Appointed Authority.

There is another ayah which says:
  • “Ae Rasool (SAWW) wohi to woh Khuda hai jis ne apni khaas madad aur momineen se tumhari taeed ki” – (Surah-e-Anfal, ayah 62)
“(He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the believers)

The above ayah from Surah-e-Anfal says that Allah (SWT) strengthened the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) with the help of believers. It clearly seems to be an answer to the dua which the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) made in Surah e Bani Israel, ayah 80. Thus we may say that the above believer is the Authority appointed by Allah (SWT) to strengthen the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) and be a constant source of Divine Help.

As per the tradition of Abu Hureira, quoted by Ibn-e-Asakir, the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) has said that it is written on ‘arsh’  that there is no God but Allah, Mohammed (SAWW) is My slave and My Rasool and I helped him through Ali (as). (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Vol 3, P 199, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Tarkih Ibn-e-Asakir,  Zainul falli).

Just as Musa (as) was strengthened with the help of his brother Haroon (as) whom he trusted the most so the believer who strengthened the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) as mentioned in the above ayah was the most trusted brother of him – Imam Ali (as).  
è The first similarity which we can infer from the above contemplation is that Allah (SWT) strengthened the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) with the help of Imam Ali (as) the way He had strengthened Musa (as) with the help of Haroon (as). Imam Ali (as) was the duly Appointed Authority to aid the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) and he was the most trusted by the holy Prophet the way Haroon (as) was the most trusted by Musa (as).
We will see the following two ayahs from different chapters on Musa (as) and Haroon (as) and progress further with our topic:
·         (In Surah-e-Airaf, Ayah 142, Musa (as) instructs Haroon (as))
Aur Musa (A.S) ne apne bhai Haroon (A.S) se kaha ke “tum meri quam main mere jaanashin raho aur unki islaah karna aur fasaad karne walon ke tariqe per na chalna.”

(Moses said to Aaron, his brother: “Deputise for me among my people. Dispose rightly, and do not follow the way of the authors of evil.”)

·         (In Surah-e-Maryam, Ayah 53, Allah (SWT) says this for Musa (A.S))
“Aur Hum ne unhain apni khaas meharbaani se unke bhai Haroon (A.S) ko unka wazir bana kar inaayat farmaya.”

 (And, out of Our Mercy, We bestowed upon him his brother Aaron, a Prophet,)

The above ayahs confirm that Musa (as) appointed Haroon (as) as his deputy and instructed him to guide his people after him. And Allah (SWT) fulfilled the wish of Musa (as) by appointing Haroon (as) as his rightful heir and successor.

And the ayah from Surah-e-Maida says:

·       “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 rakhegaa 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.”)

After the revelation of the above ayah, in front of the huge crowd of around 120000 pilgrims, the Holy Prophet (SAWW) 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) as the Prophet (SAWW)’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 Isha’t Karachi, Sawaiq e Mohraika, P 40 & 120, Sunan e Tirmidhi, Vol 2, P 298 and many more)

è So it can be said that just as Haroon (as) was a successor of Musa (as) appointed by Allah (SWT) and Musa (as) appointed him as a guide over his people so was Imam Ali (as) appointed as a successor of the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) by Allah (SWT) Himself and the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) appointed him as a guide over his ummah by saying that - 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)
This is the second similarity.

When a duly appointed guide is rejected by a community or an individual, it goes astray. Quran has confirmed this fact by narrating the incident of Iblees becoming satan when he rejected the caliphate of Adam (as) and the Bani Israel went astray when they ignored the command of their Prophet and rejected the duly appointed guide – Haroon (as) above them. The following ayahs from Surah-e-Taha confirm this fact:  

·         What made you hurry away, O Moses, from your people?" He said: "They are right behind me. I have hastened to You, O Lord, so that You may be pleased."  He said: "We have put your people on trial in your absence; and Sameri has led them astray."  So Moses returned to his people full of anger and regret. "O my people," he said, "did not your Lord make you a better promise? Did the time of covenant seem too long to you? Or did you wish the wrath of your Lord to fall upon you that you broke the promise you had made to me?"  They said: "We did not break our promise to you of our own will, but we were made to carry the loads of ornaments belonging to the people, which we threw (into the fire), and so did Sameri. 

Then he produced the image of a calf which mooed like a cow. And they said: 'This is your god and the god of Moses (whom) he has neglected."  Did they not see that it did not give them any answer, nor had it power to do them harm or bring them gain? Aaron had indeed told them earlier: "O my people, you are being only misled with this. Surely your Lord is Ar-Rahman. So follow me and obey my command."  They said "So long as Moses does not come back we are not going to give it up, and we will remain devoted to it."  But (Moses) said: "O Aaron, when you saw that they had gone astray, what hindered you from coming after me? Did you not disobey my command?" (And Moses pulled him by the hair).  "O son of my mother," (Aaron cried), do not pull me by my beard or my hair! I was really afraid you may say that I had created a rift among the children of Israel, and did not pay heed to your command." – (Surah-e-Taha, ayah 83-94)

The above mentioned ayahs have captured the incident of Musa (as) climbing the mountain of Kohe Tur along with his few devout people to talk to the Almighty. The ayahs further discuss his subsequent return to his people and to Haroon (as), and his angry conversation with them. Let us ponder upon them:

·         In the absence of Musa (as), his community was put on trial and they went astray when they ignored the commands of Musa (as) and did not accept Haroon (as) as a rightful guide to them but followed Sameri.

ü  The obeying of a Prophet’s command is important for his followers to remain guided. In Surah-e-Baqra; ayahs 142 to 144, while narrating the incident of the change of Qibla, Allah has stated that the East and the West belong to Him yet He changed the Qibla as it was Prophet (SAWW)’s wish and He (SWT) wanted to differentiate from the ummah those who follow and obey the Prophet (SAWW) from those who don’t. This clearly proves that if we ignore Imam Ali (as) as our guide and don’t follow him after the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) we might be led astray as we would be disobeying the commands and wish of the Prophet.

·         Musa (as) reprimanded his community by saying that did they wish the wrath of the Almighty to fall upon them for breaking the promise of following the commands of Haroon (as) in his absence?

ü  There is a big risk of Allah’s wrath befalling us if we ignore the call of “Man Kunto Mawlaho…” and break the promise of following the guardianship of Imam Ali (as) which the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) took from us at Ghadir-e-Khum.

·         Sameri successfully misguided Bani Israel by planting doubts in their minds about the truthfulness of the Prophethood of Musa (as). He never rejected Allah but cunningly showcased an image of a calf claiming that it was their god and the god of Musa (as) who he (Musa (as)) has neglected.

ü  A rightful successor would never plant a doubt among the people regarding their Prophet but on the contrary under his guidance love and faith in Prophethood would grow manifolds. Imam Ali (as) was a rightful successor of the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) as apart from Allah (SWT), he is the only other witness to the Prophethood of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh&hp) as confirmed by the ayah 43 of Surah-e-Ra’ad. Thus if we love and follow him we would follow the path of our beloved Prophet (pbuh&hp) but if we ignore him we might be misguided by some Sameri of our time.

·         Haroon (as) did not force the Bani Israel to follow him in absence of Musa (as), as he feared that his forcing them might create a rift in the community and which would eventually lead him to disobey the command of Musa (as). A rightful successor always obeys and follows the command of his Prophet.

ü  By obeying the command of our beloved Prophet (pbuh&hp) Imam Ali (as) did not claim his guardianship over Muslim Ummah in the Prophet’s absence. The Prophet had commanded Imam Ali (as) to avoid the claim of caliphate by saying:

Ali, the pride of your place is like that of House of Allah. People, of themselves, go to House of Allah; the House of Allah does not go after the people. So when I am no more, if these people, of themselves, elect you as their Caliph, do become their Caliph. If they don’t approach you, never go to them so long as they themselves do not come up to you.

(Ref: Usd-ul-Ghaba Vol 4 P 31, Kunooz-ul-Haqaique P 173)

è  By pondering upon the above mentioned ayahs from Surah-e-Taha we understood what to expect if we deny the guardianship of Imam Ali (as).
Let us now see what are the rewards in store for us if we follow the command of our beloved Prophet (pbuh&hp) and accept the guardianship of Mawla Ali (as). Following ayah from Surah-e-Maida says:

·          Aaj Maine tumhare din ko kaamil kardiya aur tum per apni ne’mat poori kardi aur tumhare iss Deen-e-Islam ko pasand kiya.” – (Surah-e-Maida, ayah 3)

“(This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.)
Commenting on the revelation of this ayah, most of the compilers have unanimously said that it was revealed after the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) announced ‘Man Kunto Mawla ho…’ by holding the hand of Hazrat Ali (as) and indicating him to the gathering at Ghadeer-e-Khum.
(Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Jalalluddin Suyuti, V3, P 19, Tarikh by Khatib al Baghdadi, V8 P 290, 596, Yanabi-al-Mawaddah from Abu Hureira by Al-Qudoozi Al-Hanafi).
So if we wish to have a  perfect religion and Allah’s favours be bestowed upon us we need to follow the guidance of Imam Ali (as) after the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp). His love and guardianship is the key to Allah’s limitless favours.

è To sum up we can say that the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) wanted his ummah to remain guided after him. He wished to save the ummah from Allah’s wrath and wanted it to become worthy of Allah’s favour. He wanted the ummah to have a perfect religion and to remain on the straight path. This was possible only under the guidance of ImamAli (as). Quran has been revealed as a guide to the believer, so the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) wished that while reciting the incident of Musa (as) and Haroon (as) from the Quran we should ponder upon this hadith and be guided to the greatness of wilaya of Imam Ali (as) and this is why the hadith said nothing other than – “Ali, you are to me as Haroon was to Musa.”

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