Chapter 6 : Chapter On Being and Space (al-kawn Wa Al-makan) H 230, Ch. 6, H 1
Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Hassan ibn Mahbub from Abu Hamzah who has said the following.
Nafi' ibn al-Azraq (ibn Qays al-Hanafi, Abu Rashid [d.65/685], the head of al-Azariqah - one of the great sects of the Kharijites) asked Imam abu Ja' far (a.s.). "Please tell me when did Allah come into existence?" The Imam replied, "(Tell me) when did Allah not exist, so that I would tell you when He came into existence.
Glory belongs to Him, Who existed and will exist eternally. The One Self-sufficient, the Eternal, the Absolute, Who has not held for Himself no female companion or any child."
H 231, Ch. 6, h 2
A group of our people from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Nasr who has said the following. A man from Ma Wara' Nahr Balkh (Transoxania) came to abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.), and said, 'I have a question for you. If your answer is the same as I already know, I will accept you as my Imam (leader with divine authority).'"
Imam abul-Hassan (a.s.) replied, "Ask whatever you wish." The man said, "Tell me when did your Lord come into existence, how has He been and on what did He depend?"
Imam Abul-Hassan (a.s.), replied, "Allah, the Blessed, the Almighty, is the space maker of space, Who Himself is not subject to the effects of any space. He is the maker of How and Himself is not subject to How.
He is Self-sufficient with His own power." The man stood up and kissed the head of the Imam (a.s.) and then said, "I testify that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad (s.a.) is the Messenger of Allah and that Imam Ali (a.s) is the successor of the Messenger of Allah and the Guardian and protector of what the Messenger of Allah has brought from Allah and that your forefathers are the leaders with divine authority and that you are a successor to them."
H 232, Ch. 6, h 3
Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'Isa from al-Husayn ibn Sa'id from al-Qasim-ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn Abu Hamzah from abu Basir who has said the following. "A man came to Imam abu Ja'far (a.s.) saying, 'Tell me about your Lord.
When did He come into existence?'" The Imam (a.s.) replied, "Woe upon you! Such question is asked only about a thing that did not exist. My Lord, all Glory belongs to Him is and will be eternally. He lives and no How question applies to Him. He did not have any coming into existence and nor there was any being for His coming into being.
This does not apply to Him because He is not subject to the effects of space. He was not in any thing or on any thing nor did He invent any space for His own space.
He did not become stronger after making all things nor was weak before giving being to the beings. He was not lonely before His inventing all things. He is not similar to any thing that could be called a thing. He was also not without Kingdom before the creation and nor will He be without it after all things.
He lives eternally without life and the powerful king before His invention of the things and He is an all powerful king after the creation of all things. To His existence no How or Where question is applicable. There is no limit for Him nor is He definable by analogy. He does not become old due to eternal living. He doe not become alarmed because of any thing but that all things are fearful of His (disappointment). He lived without newly emerging life.
He is not a describable being or that could be limit with conditions or that would have a space to depend on. He does not have a place so that He can be considered as neighboring something. He is living and one can know Him. He is the eternal King. He has the power and the kingdom. He has created all that He wanted and when He decided by His will.
He can not be limited. He can not be divided or destroyed. He was before everything but no How question would apply to Him. He will be the last but no Where will apply to Him. All things will be destroyed except He. The creation belongs to Him and His is the command.
He is the Holy Lord of the worlds. O inquirer, imaginations can not encompass my Lord and He does not face any confusions or bewilderment. Nothing is able to escape Him and nothing happens to Him. He can not be held responsible for anything and He does not become regretful. Neither slumber nor sleep overcomes Him. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth and all that is between them and under the soil.
H 233, Ch. 6, h 4
A group of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from his father in a marfu' manner has said the following.
"The Jews came to their chief Ra'sul-Jalut and said, 'This man, meaning thereby Imam Ali (a. s.), is a scholar. Come with us to ask him questions. They all came to Imam Ali (a.s.) but the Imam was in the castle (Government building). They waited till the Imam (a.s.) came out.
Ra'sul-Jalut, said, "We have come to you with a question." The Imam said, "O Jew, ask whatever you like." He said, "I would like to ask you about your Lord. When did He come into existence?" The Imam (a.s.) replied, "(Allah) has always been without coming into being and without being a subject to a How question. He is eternal without quantity and quality. He was there without a Before.
He is before every before without being before and without a beginning and end. The end falls short before Him and He Himself is the end of all ends." Ra'sul-Jalut then said to his people, "Let us leave this place. This man knows more than what is said he knows."
H 234, Ch. 6, h 5
It is narrated, through the same chain of narrators and source, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from his father from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Nasr from abu al-Hassan al- Muwsali from Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.), who has said the following.
"One of the Jewish rabbis (hibr) came to Imam Ali (a.s.), and asked, 'O Amir al-Mu'minin, when did your Lord come into existence?'" Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, "Bereft of you be your mother! When has Allah not been (in existence), so that it could be said when did He come into existence. My Lord existed before any before without being before.
He is after every after, without being after. There is no finale destination or end for Him. All ends fall short before Him. He is the final destination of all goals." He further asked, "O Amir al-Mu'minin, are you a prophet?" Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, "Hold it there. I am one of the slaves of Muhammad,(s.a.) the Messenger of Allah."
It has also been narrated that someone asked Imam Ali (a.s.) this.
"Where was our Lord before the creation of the heavens and the earth?" Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, "Where is a question about space. Allah has been there before there was space."
H 235, Ch. 6, h 6
Ali ibn Muhammad from Sahl ibn Ziyad from 'Amr ibn 'Uthman from Muhammad ibn Yahya from Muhammad ibn Suma'ah from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.), who has said the following. "Ra'sul Jalut said to the Jews, 'The Muslims consider Ali excelling everyone in polemics and the most learned. Let us go to him. I will ask him certain questions and perhaps catch him in errors.'" He went to the Imam (a.s.) and said, "O Amirul Mu'minin, I have a question about a matter." The Imam (a.s.) said, "Ask about whatever you like."
He then asked, "O Amirul Mu'minin, when did our Lord come into existence?" Imam Ali replied, "O Jew, the question When applies to one who did not exist and (then) came into being. Allah has exists without coming into being, and without being in any becoming. Certainly, O Jew, most certainly, O Jew, how can there be any before for He Who was before the before.
He does not have any destination. He is not the end of any destination and no destination ends up to Him. All destinations fall short before Him and He is the goal of all destinations." The Jew then said, "I testify that your religion is the true religion and any thing against it is false."
H 236, Ch. 6, h 7
Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated in a marfu' manner from Zurarah who has said that I asked Imam abu Ja'far (a.s.) this. "Did Allah exist when there was nothing?" The Imam replied, "Certainly, Allah existed when there was nothing." I further inquired, "Where did Allah exist?" The Imam was leaning, he then sat up and said, "O Zurarah, you spoke of impossible. You ask about space where there is no space."
H 237, Ch. 6, h 8
Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Muhammad ibn al-Walid from ibn Abu Nasr from Abul Hassan al-Muwsali who has narrated the following from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.). "A rabbi hibr came to Imam Ali (a.s.) and asked, 'O Amirul Mu'minin, when did your Lord come into existence?'" Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, "Consider carefully.
The question When applies to one who did not exist (and then came into being). When does not apply to the One Who is eternal. He was before the before without before and after the after without an after. He is not the end of some end so that His end would also end." He then asked, "Are you a prophet?" Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, "Bereft of you be your mother! I am a salve among the slaves of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.)."
Chapter 7 : Chapter On The relationships (Nisbah) Of Allah H 238, Ch. 7, h 1
Ahmad ibn Idris has narrated from Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan ibn Yahya from abu Ayyub from Muhammad ibn Muslim from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) who has said the following.
"The Jews asked the Messenger of Allah (s.a.), 'Describe for us the genealogy- of your Lord.'" The Prophet waited for three days and gave no reply. Then the following verses were revealed to him:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
(Muhammad), say, "He is the only God (112:1). God is Absolute (112:2). He neither begets nor was He begotten (112:3). There is no one equal to Him (112:4).
The same Hadith has been narrated by Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from abu Ayyub.
H 239, Ch. 7, h 2
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'Isa and Muhammad ibn al-Husayn from ibn Mahbub from Hammad ibn 'Amr al-Nusaybi who has said the following.
"I asked Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) about the words of Allah, 'Say, 'He is Allah, One . . .'" The Imam replied, "These verses define Allah's relation to His creation. He is the One, Unique, Eternal, and Absolute. He does not have shadow so one can hold Him but it is He who holds things by their shadows.
He knows the unknown and is known to every ignorant person. He is only One. He is not in His creatures and His creatures are not in Him. He does not feel nor others can feel Him (physically). Eyes cannot see Him. He is so High that is near and is so near that He is far. Although disobeyed, yet He forgives. When obeyed, He is appreciative. His earth does not contain Him, nor do His heavens bear Him.
He holds all things through His power and He is Everlasting and Eternal. He does not forget or amuse Himself. He does not make any mistakes or play. There is no lapse in His will. His judgment is rewarding and His commands are effective. He does not have a child to become His heir nor is He begotten so His power would be shared. And there is no one like Him."
H 240, Ch. 7, h 3
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Husayn ibn Sa'id from al-Nadr ibn Suwayd from 'Asim ibn Hamiyd who has said the following. "I asked Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) about the Oneness of Allah. The Imam replied, "Allah the Almighty, the Great, the Exalted knew that in the latter times there will be people who would investigate the issues very deeply in a hair splitting manner.
Therefore, Allah, the Glorious, has revealed chapter one hundred twelve of the holy Quran that speak of the Oneness of Allah. He has also revealed the verses of the chapter fifty seven of the holy Quran
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All that is in the heavens and the earth speak of the glory of God. He is Majestic and All-wise (57:1). To Him belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He gives life and causes things to die. He has power over all things (57:2). He is the First, the Last, the Manifest, and the Unseen and He knows all things (57:3).
It is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then established His Dominion over the Throne. He knows whatever enters into the earth, what comes out of it, what descends from the sky, and what ascends to it. He is with you wherever you may be and He is Well Aware of what you do (57:4).
To Him belong the heavens and the earth and to Him all things return (57:5). He causes night to enter into day and day into night. He knows best what all hearts contain (57:6). Whoever would accept any thing otherwise he is destroyed."
H 241, Ch. 7, h 4
Muhammad ibn abu 'Abdallah in a marfu' manner has narrated from 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn al- Muhtadi who has said the following.
"I asked Imam Ali al-Rida (a.s.) about the Oneness of Allah." He replied, "Whoever recites Chapter 112 of the holy Quran:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
(Muhammad), say, "He is the only God (112:1). God is Absolute (112:2). He neither begets nor was He begotten (112:3). There is no one equal to Him (112:4). and also believes in it, he has really acknowledged the Oneness of Allah." I asked, "How should I recite it (the chapter 112)?" The Imam replied, "Recite it as the people do." And then the Imam added, "Such is Allah, my Lord. Such is Allah, my Lord."