"If you do not know, ask the men of wisdom (among Ummah)." Sura Nahl, no 16, verse 43, Sura Anbiya, No. 21, verse 7
This holy verse enjoins the believers to refer to the people of dhikr i.e., the men of wisdom and the scholars of Ummah in order to recognize the right from wrong, when they (the believers) encounter with difficulties, because Allah after teaching them knowledge, chose them for that matter. Hence, they are those deeply rooted in knowledge who know how to render the Qur'an.
This verse was revealed in order to introduce Ahlul Bayt (‘a), viz, Muhammad (S), ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn, who are called the five holy lights known as 'Al-i-'Aba' to whom, there have been added nine other blessed ones from the descendants of Imam Husayn. The Messenger of Allah, in different suitable occasions, introduced them as the guiding Imams, the torches in darknesses, and those deeply rooted in knowledge, upon whom surely Allah (s.w.t.), has bestowed 'the Knowledge of the Book'.
These facts, narrated in repeatedly stated traditions, have been precisely approved by the followers of Prophet Muhammad (S) from the time of revelation up to now, and some of the scholars and commentators from Sunni school have also confessed in their books that those verses of the Qur'an were revealed about and on the virtue of Ahlul Bayt (‘a). A few of the examples of their books are as follows:
• Imam Tha'labi in his great commentary book upon the meaning of verse 42 from Sura An-Nahl, No. 16.
• Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol.2, p. 591.
• Tals Tabari, vol.14, p.75.
• Tafsir-i-Alusi, known as: 'Ruhul-Bayan', vol.14, p.134.
• Tafsir-i-Qartabi, vol.11, p.272.
• Tafsir-i-Hakim, or Shawahid-ut-Tanzil, vol.1, p. 334.
• Tafsir-i-Shabistary, or: Ihqaaq-ul-Haqq, vol.3, p.482.
• Yanani-ul-Mawaddah, by Qanduzi Hanafi, p. 119.
Basing on the very reality, we must approach the Immaculate Household, Ahlul Bayt, and practice their guiding words to instruct our lives well. In this regard, Imam al-Hadi (‘a) says:
"Your words of wisdom give light, your administration is guidance (for people), and your recommendation is piety and equity."
Man Ia Yahduruh-ul-Faqih, Tahthib & 'Uyun-i-Akhbar-ur-Ridha’
Beware O' dear reader!
It is via these blessed ones that the material and spiritual problems of our lives, in this world and the world to come, can be solved.
It is on account of you that Allah pulls us out of the the lowliness (of infidelity), sets us free from the clutches of hard grieves, and takes us to safety from the precipices of annihilation of the world, and from the Fire of Hell, too.
Man la Yahduruh-ul-Faqih, Tahthib & 'Uyun-i-Akhbar-ur-Ridha’
It was because of your mastership and leadership that Allah taught us the laws of our religion, put in order what had been spoiled and corrupted in our world. (And He saved us from poverty, degradation and ignorance, then, bestowed us knowledge, honour and dignity.)
Man la Yahduruh-ul-Faqih, Tahthib & 'Uyun-i-Akhbar-ur-Ridha’
Well, if we leave following those blessed ones, we will fail in all aspects. So, the Prophet (S) has said:
The parable of my Ahlul Bayt is similar to that of Noah's Ark. Whosoever embarks it certainly will get rescued, but the one who opposes the boarding of it, surely gets drowned."
This tradition has been narrated by eight companions of the Prophet (S) and eight persons from the disciples of the companions, and by sixty well-known scholars, and mor ethan 90 authors from the brothers os Sunni school, mentioned in Mishkat-ul-Masabih, p.523, from Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal; Fara'id-us-Simtayn, vol.2, p. 242; As-Sawaiq-ul-Muharraqah, p.234; Uyun-ul-Akhbar, Vol.1, p.211; and others from the references of both schools, which if you wish to refer to, are, mentioned in Nafahat-ul-Azhar, vol.4, p.127.
The Messenger of Allah said: "It is probable that I be called soon and I will respond. Then, I leave behind me among you two weighty (very worthy and important) things:
The Book of Allah (i.e. the Qur'an), which is a stretched string from the heaven to the earth, and my progeny, my Ahlul-Bait; for verily Allah, The Merciful, the Aware, informed me that never, never, will these two get separated from each other until they meet me at the Houd of Kauthar (the Pond of Abundance). Therefore, be careful how you will treat due to those two in my absence."
And, in another tradition it is added: "Never, never, shall you get astray if you attach yourselves to these TWO."
This tradition is narrated by more than twenty persons from the companions of the Prophet (S) and it is also narrated by over 185 narrators mentioned in Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, p. 238 & Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.5, p. 181-182; Sahih-i-Tarmathi, vol.2, p.220, and others from the references of both schools which, if you like to see, are mentioned on pp. 199 to 210, vol. 1, in Nafahat-ul-Azhar fi Khulasat-i-Abaqat-ul-Anwar.
Thus, what honour is more excellent than that the Qur'an, the Messenger of Allah (S), and Ahlul Bayt (‘a) be our example, teacher, and leader.
That is why we, with a great mass of sincerity and devotion, say:
We are honoured that we are the followers of a religion whose founder on Allah's direction was Allah's prophet and Amir-ul-Mu'mineen '‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the servant of Allah who was himself liberated from all chains and was designated, in turn, as the liberator of Mankind from all chains of slavery (to other than Allah).
We are honoured that Nahjul Balagha, which after the Qur'an is the greatest prescription for spiritual and material life, is the highest book for the liberation of mankind, and its spiritual and political prescriptions are the most valuable for liberation is authored by our Ma'sum Imam (‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a)).
We are honoured that Ma'sum Imam from '‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib to the liberator of Mankind (‘a) who with the power of Allah is alive and supervises all affairs, are our Imams.
We are honoured that the supplications, which are called the ascending Qur'an, are from our Ma'sum Imams. We are honoured that the intimate prayers of Sha'baniyyah, the supplications of 'Arafah of Husayn Ibn '‘Ali, Sahifah Sajjaddiyah (the psalms of 'Al-i-Muhammad, and Sahifah Fatimah (which is an Allah-inspired Book to Zahra-'i-Mardiyyah).
We are honoured that Baqir-ul-'Ulum, who is the highest personality of history and no one, other than Allah Ta'ala, the Exalted, and the Prophet (S) and the Ma'sum Imams, has been or will ever be able to understand his station, is from us.
And, we are honoured that our Madhhab is Ja'fari and that our Figh (Islamic Jurisprudence) which is an infinite sea (of knowledge), is one of his (Imam as-Sadiq's (‘a)) contributions. And we are proud of all Ma'sum Imams (‘a), and we are committed to following them.
We are honoured that our Ma'sum Imams (‘a) lived in prisons and in exile because they tried to raise the status of the Deen (religion) of Islam and implement (the teaching) of the Holy Qur'an, one of whose dimensions is the formation of the Just Government, and finally became martyrs in attempts to irradicate oppressive governments and Taghut of their own time.
Now, O' dear brother and sister!
You are eye-witnesses, in this little globe, smaller than a village in the universe, that today, the period of the burst of information, the bewildered human race of our Age is burning in the thirst of the blazing desert of injustice and inequality, while man is ceaselessly sinking deeper and deeper into the swamp of impiety and inequity.
Those who boast of man's freedom and happiness are anxiously watching the descent of the moral values, the very circumstance that they themselves have created. They can afford nothing but looking at the destruction of human and humanity. But, is it really the end of the line?
The answer is surprisingly positive, unless man returns to his godly-human-nature, applying the miserable experiments of his past life as a torch for his future way and utilizing Islam as the best remedy.
In the present Age, Islam the glorious, as the best guiding prescription, better than ever in history, has stretched its kind hand to rescue him who is drowned in and overwhelmed with vices and, by the Grace of Allah has stood to cure him from the sickness of corruption.
Islam is available to quench the thirst of that wandering man in the hot desert of impiety by means of the wholesome water of its theology enlightened with the glow of the knowledge and excellences of Ahlul Bayt, which is the reflection of bright galaxy of revelation that has ever had no err or mistake at all. It showers its light over all material and spiritual aspects of man's life totally. Thus, it has vividly opened a highway unto this deluded man that haply he goes toward reality.
But, o' dear friend,
The first and the most essential way of recognizing a school of idea is studying its main texts with proper understanding of the words of its sages and leaders. It is by this means that the doctrine of that school about the world and its problems upon different practical phenomena can be realized and estimated.
It has been on this foundation and under this stimulus that we have taken action in publishing a continuous commentary of the Qur'an in English under the name of 'An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur'an', which was faced with such a warm reception of the seekers of truth in many countries of the world that during less than three years its first two volumes were reprinted five times.
Now, at the threshold of the sixth print of those sacred commentary books, the present book as 'A bundle of Flowers' enriched from the statements of the leaders of the instructive school of Islam, that is the very Ahlul Bayt, is offered to all of those who seek for the Noblest and latest Divine school. We expect that with utilizing the perfume of these everlasting fresh flowers best, contemplate the following expression from the eighth Imam (‘a):
Imam Ridha’ (‘a) said: "May the Mercy of Allah be upon the servant who keeps alive our commandment". I asked him (‘a) how the one could keep your commandment alive. He (‘a) said: "He (can) learn our sciences and teach them to people. In fact, if people knew (the merits) and goodness of our speech, surely they would follow us."
Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol.2, p.40; Ma'aniy-ul-Akhbar, by Saduq, p.180; and Wasa'il ush-Shi'ah, vol.27, p.92
A Benevolent Expectation
We hope that by reading and hearkening the noble words of those holy ones, the statement be completed to the people of the world, may be, through following the Holy Ahlul Bayt, the youth; viz, the new generation, stand away from any religious, mental, moral, theological, social, economical, political, and educational deviation, so that each of them can grow to be an effective gentleman and also, as a devoted soldier, to be helpful for Islam and Muslims throughout the world.
At the end, we send our sincere and pure regards with kind greetings to those holy, excellent, purified and immaculate souls, while we say:
Peace be on you that your hearts aquaint with awareness of Allah, the place where there are blessings of Allah and the source of the wisdom of Allah. The secrets of Allah have been put in your safekeeping. You know the knowledge of the Book of Allah by heart. You are the successors of the Prophet of Allah (S) and the children of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny and the mercy and blessings of Allah as well.
Man La YahduruhuI Faqih, Tahthib & 'Uyun-i-Akhbar-ur-Ridha’
And Peace to all who follow guidance.
Sayyid Kamal Faqih Imani