The Divinely Planned Measure for an Everlasting Guidance to Humanity
It is quite obvious that the Divine Plan was to associate the lives of most of the leading apostles of God, with some tragic ends, for it is an acknowledged fact of the phenomena of human psychology that human sympathy always goes without fail, to the victims of an unprovoked aggression. It was obviously destined to rouse the sympathy and the support of the whole human world for the Truth for which the martyrs had sacrificed their lives. It will be seen that most of the apostles of God and all the divinely chosen guides called the Imams, excepting the Twelfth one, were martyrs. The story of Jesus is made attractive by its being narrated by the people of the Christian church associating it with the alleged crucifixion along with the other sufferings of his at the hands of the Jews.
Muhammad, the Last Apostle of God, left this world having been poisoned by one of the Jewesses of Khaibar.
Lady Fatimah, the Lady of Light, the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet, the wife of Ali the First Holy Imam, the mother of Hasan and Husayn the Second and the Third Imams, who had her advent to be a Model of the correct Islamic womanhood on the earth, was killed by the fall of the door of her abode, caused by some tyrant.
This Holy Lady suffered so much at the hands of the people after the departure of her father, the Holy Prophet that she once addressing the holy soul of her departed father, said:
“O' Father dear! after thy departure, fell on me such calamities that if they had fallen on the bright days the days would have turned into dark nights.”
Ali-al-Murtadha, the Vicegerent of the Holy Prophet, the First divinely chosen Imam, was martyred while in prayer in the Mosque at Kufa.
Hasan-al-Mujtaba, the first son of Ali and Fatimah, the first grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the Second Holy Imam, was martyred by poison. He was made to leave this world vomiting blood with bits of his liver.
Husayn Shaheed Karbala, the second son of Ali and Fatimah, the second grandson of the Holy Prophet and the Third Holy Imam, was butchered at Karbala along with his faithful devotees, by Yazid son of Mu’awiyyah, a very brief narration of whose great martyrdom forms the subject of this brief work.
Ali Zainul Abideen, the eldest son of Al-Husayn, the Third Imam, and himself the Fourth Imam was poisoned by the Umayyid Caliph Walid bin Abdul Malik.
Muhammad al-Baqir, the son of Ali Zainul Abideen, the Fourth Imam, and himself the Fifth Imam, was poisoned by Hisham bin Abdul Malik.
Ja’far as-Sadiq, the son of Muhammad-al-Baqir the Fifth Imam, and himself the Sixth Imam, was poisoned by Mansur.
Musa al-Kazim, the son of Ja’far-as-Sadiq the Sixth Imam and himself the Seventh Imam, was poisoned by Haroon ar-Rasheed.
Ali ar-Ridha’, the son of Musa-al-Kazim the Seventh Imam, and himself the Eighth Imam, was poisoned by Mamun ar-Rasheed.
Muhammad at-Taqi, the son of Ali-ar-Ridha’ the Eighth Imam, and himself the Ninth Imam, was poisoned by Mo'tasim.
Ali an-Naqi, the son of Muhammad-at-Taqi the Ninth Imam, and himself the Tenth Imam, was poisoned by Mo'tasim.
Hasan Al-Askari, the son of Ali-an-Naqi, the Tenth Imam, and himself the Eleventh Imam, was poisoned by Mo'tamad.
Muhammad al-Mahdi, the son of Hasan-al-Askari, the Eleventh Imam, and himself the Twelfth and the Last of the divinely commissioned Imams, was aimed at to be killed by Mo' tamad, but by the Divine Will, disappeared, and at the Will of the Almighty, he is alive. This Last Guide in the seed of Abraham through Ishmael is kept alive and is awaited to reappear at God’s Will, as is the belief about Jesus the Last One in the seed of Abraham through Isaac.
There are two facts which are obviously wonderful for everyone who comes across the lives of the Holy Fourteen, (i.e., the Holy Prophet, his daughter Fatimah and the Twelve Imams):
1) The Holy Prophet is known as the illiterate one, i.e., the one who did not have any education under any mortal in this world and so was every one of the Holy Fourteen, but every one of them was a fountainhead of knowledge of the highest order.
2) None of the Holy Ones, save the Fourteenth, (i.e., the Twelfth Imam) died of any natural death, for all the thirteen were martyred either secretly by poison or openly killed. Only the Fourteenth has been spared since he has been divinely secured and kept alive for the guidance of mankind to the end of the world.
As Islam stands for the uplift of humanity as a whole, any sacrifice for it would naturally be for the cause of the whole of the Human race. As it is impossible to accommodate in this brief work here, all the heart-rending details of the greatest sacrifice offered by Husayn, only a few leading events are mentioned in these few pages which will suffice to give any intelligent reader, a view of the situation in which Husayn surrendered his all to fulfil the Lord’s Covenant to save Humanity from getting astray after the departure of the HolyProphet.
The Other Reference Used
Having mentioned in the foregoing pages, the blessings, which the Holy Prophet Muhammad had brought for mankind, it is needless to repeat the same. Only the relevant events directly connected with the great sacrifice are, as a necessity, referred to here for the guidance of the readers.
Husayn's Mother - Why the Last Apostle of God was given only a Daughter and not any son to survive?
The Holy Prophet Muhammad had two Sons and a daughter, but Sons he did not need, for his apostleship had to conclude with his ministry, and if any son of the Holy Prophet had survived, it would have given the chance to the people to hail the son of the Prophet also to be another prophet of God, whereas there was no prophet to come after him. It may be said that this was the reason of the male issues of the Holy Apostle leaving this world, in their very infancy.
But the Holy Prophet needed a daughter of his own purity of spirit and body, to reflect the divine light of guidance in her ideal character and present an authentic model of the correct Islamic womanhood to the world. Hence Fatimah, the Lady of Light, was born to the Holy Prophet, who, for her godly qualities, is known in the Islamic World by the following epithets:
Az-Zahra - The Shining.
Al-Batul - The Liberator of Sinners.
A1-Azra - The Clean, the Pure.
Sayyeddatun-Nisa - The Chief of Women.
Afzalun-Nisa- The Superior-most of women.
Khairun-Nisa- The Best of Women.
Mariam al Kubra - The Senior Mary.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the mother of only one heavenly guide to the children of the House of Israel, whereas Lady Fatimah besides her being the daughter of the Holy Apostle of God, was the mother of the Eleven Divinely Commissioned Guides, (i.e., the Holy Imams). It is a unique instance in the history of the world that the issues of a single pair to have Eleven Heavenly Guides, consecutively one after another.
Al-Muharaka - The Blessed one of God.
As-Sadiqa - The Truthful.
Al-Muhaddisa - The one who talked to her mother from the womb of her mother even prior to her birth.
(When God could make Jesus talk from the cradle when he was just born, there cannot be any wonder if the Almighty causes another one blessed by Him, to act in a similar manner).
There are several other epithets of this great heavenly being who was the Lady of Light. Naturally Husayn, the King of Martyrs could not have been born of any ordinary woman other than the one like the Lady Fatimah with the divine attributes she was exclusively blessed with.
It has already been said that one of the unique distinctions of the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, is that right from the Holy Prophet down to the Eleventh Imam, including Lady Fatimah, all the Holy Thirteen were Martyrs.
Fatima Married to Ali
A divine lady like Fatimah could not have been the wife of any ordinary man, and more particularly when she was destined to provide the Divine Plan with the godly characters suitable to be the Universal Guides to mankind as a whole. Providence had already arranged for the alliance of this holy One with another one of the same lineage.
“If Ali was not born, Fatimah had none of her set (to marry with)”said the Holy Prophet.The Holy Prophet Muhammad was ordained by God to effect the alliance between his daughter Fatema and his Vicegerent Ali, so that through this Holy alliance, may Continue to flow the Divine Light in their issues who had been destined to be the Eleven of the Twelve Princes promised in the seed of Ismaeel (Genesis17:20). While the Holy Prophet Muhammad was 'The Prophet' prophesied by Moses, the 'Comforter', the 'Holy Ghost' and the 'Spirit of Truth', prophesied by Jesus, Ali alone with his Eleven issues was to fulfil the advent of the Twelve Princes promised in the seed of Ishmael. Thus Fatimah was married to Ali and through the Holy Alliance of these two divines, came into the World, Hasan the second holy Imam and Husayn the third holy Imam to be the King of Martyrs to offer the 'Zibhe Azeem' or the Great Sacrtfice willed by God, instead of the sacrifice of Ishmael by Abraham (37:105-108).
“And we called out to him saying 'O' Abraham! 'Thou hast indeed proved true the dream; Verily, thus do we reward the righteous. Verily, this is an open trial; And We have substituted it with 'Zibhe Azeem' a Great Sacrifice'!” (Holy Qur’an 37:104-108).
ALI was the vicegerent of the Holy Prophet and the Divinely Commissioned First Imam who repeatedly rescued the Holy Prophet Muhammad from being killed, and saved Islam from being totally annihilated once for all. He rescued Islam and the Muslims, not once but many a time, which fact is boldly and loudly declared by Islamic History. For his matchless faith, un- paralleled valour, wonderful prowess, the divinely gifted knowledge and other unique godly qualities, Ali had earned the following epithets which were exclusively owned by him and by none else before or after him:
Al-Murtadha - The chosen one of God.
Ameerul-Momineen - The Commander of the Faithful.
Imamul-Muttaqeen - The Guide of the Pious.
Mazharul Ajaib - The Manifestor of Wonders.
Madeenatul ilm - The Gateway of the City of Knowledge.
Saiyyidul Ausiya - The Chief of the Deputies (of Muhammad the Apostle of God).
Imamul Auliya - The Guide of the Saints.
Asadullahul-Ghaleb - The Ever Triumphant Lion of God.
Lisaanullah - The Tongue of God.
Yadullah - The Hand of God.
Wajhullah - The Face of God.
Nafse-Rasulullah - The Soul of the Apostle of God.
Valiullah - The Friend of God.
Siddeequl-Akbar - The Greatest Truthful.
Farooqul-Aazam - The Greatest Distinguisher (between the truth and the falsehood).
Abu Turab - The Father of the Earth.
Faateh al-Khaibar - The Conqueror of Khaibar.
Abul Aimma - The Father of the Holy Imams.
Akhu Rasulullah - The Brother of the Apostle of God.
Abul Eetam - The Father of orphans and the helpless.
(Vide Tabari, Ibn Athir, AbuI-Fida, Amir Ali, etc.).
Husayn's advent dreamt by Lady Ummul Fadhl
A few days before the birth of Husayn, Lady Ummul Fadhl, the wife of ‘Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib dreamt that a bit of flesh flew from the body of the Holy Prophet and fell in her lap. When referred to, the Holy Prophet interpreted the dream telling the Lady Ummul Fadhl that: “A son will be born to my daughter Fatimah and the Baby will be given to thee for nursing.”According to Ibn Shar Aashooh, immediately after the birth of Husayn, Fatimah got indisposed and the Baby was given in the charge of Lady Ummul Fadhl for nursing.
Husayn arrives on Earth
With the lack of the correct knowledge about the absolute independence of the All-Supreme authority and the dominance of the All- Pervading will of the Omnipotent Creator Lord of the Universe, and His being the Author, the Sole Controller and the Independent Regulator of the laws of nature, man had begun to believe as God also being subject to the laws instead of the laws being subservient to their Omnipotent Author.
Many evcnts of guidance to man, about the independent working of the Omnipotent Will of God, were demonstrated in the birth of many holy ones, particularly in the advent of some of the prophets of God and the holy members of the House of the Holy Prophet the (Ahlul Bayt).
Yahya - (John son of Zakariah was given a birth in six months in the inconceivable advanced age of his parents.
Jesus - was sent into the world in six months without the agency of a male partner to his mother and talked while still a baby in the cradle.
Muhammad - (the Last Apostle of God) was born with signs supernatural, announcing his advent duly circumcised, with a body not casting its shadow on earth.
Ali - the Vicegerent of Muhammad the Last Apostle of God - born duly circumcised: A miraculous entrance was divinely caused into the Holy Ka’ba for the confinement of his holy mother. He could be present at more than one place at one and the same time. His godly strength amazed the world as his exclusive miracles and many other super - natural powers with mystic signs and miraculous events, which facts are unbelievable today by the materialists, but they are authentic.
Fatimah - The Lady of Light- was heard glorifying God, in her pregenetal state.
Hasan- son of Ali and Fatimah - was born duly circumcised with extraordinary cleanliness of birth without the natural signs which ordinarily accompany the conception and the delivery of a human child.
Husayn was given a clean birth duly circumcised as that of his brother Hasan, and was born like Yahya (John) and Jesus, in six months.
The miraculous birth of Jesus without a male partner to his mother the Virgin Mary, was nothing but to prove to the people of the age and to inform mankind as a whole that the laws of nature as understood by man with his conceptual limitations, do not bind the Omnipotent Lord who is Himself the Originator of nature and the Independent Regulator of its laws 36:82, 2:113, 16:40, 19:35, 40:68. His command when He intends anything to say it to BE and there it IS.
Much has been made of Jesus birth without a father, by the Christian church, inspite of its very Holy Book the Bible saying that Jesus said:
“I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise children unto Abraham.” (Luke 3:8)
When God can raise human children from stones, where is the reason to call any child as the son of God; if it was brought forth from a human being (Mary) a woman who by nature was a child - bearer. Our Christian brethren hail Jesus as the Son of God, while Jesus himself calls himself a son of man. (Luke.7:34)
And if Jesus had ever called himself as son of God, he had called Adam also the son of God (Luke 3:38). The term son will mean the chosen servant of God, and not an issue of God.
About the independent execution of the Omnipotent Creative Will of God, the Holy Qur'an says:
“He (God) Createth whatsoever He willeth”. (42:49)
Qur'an further asserts that God creates whatever He Wills, which mankind does not know.
“He (God), Createth what ye know not.” (16:8)
There are many such assertions in the Holy Qur'an referring to the various aspects of the independent execution of the divine will.
On Thursday the 3rd of Shaban in the fourth year of Hijrat i.e., the Migration of the Holy Prophet from Mecca to Madina, Husayn arrived on earth, with super natural signs which have usually accompanied the birth of some chosen ones of God. Jesus, as a Jew, through his mother Mary, in the lineage of Isaac son of Abraham, according to the covenant of God (Genesis 17:23, 21:40) was circumcised on the 8th day of his birth (Luke 2:21) whereas every male member of the Holy Ahlul Bayt (The Holy Prophet and the Twelve Imams) in the lineage of Ishmael the first son of Abraham, was born duly circumcised, i.e., with the Abrahamie covenant already fulfilled even in the very native formation of their holy bodies.
When Hasan the first son of Ali and Fatimah, was born, the Holy Prophet was out of Madina, on a defensive expedition, and had left word that if a child is born to his daughter in his absence, the baby be not fed with anything until his return, but since his return the Holy Prophet said it is only the will of the Lord that is done. Just before the birth of Husayn also the Holy Prophet was to leave Madina but this time he desired that whatever time it takes for his return, until then the baby should not be fed. When Husayn was born the Holy Prophet came to Fatimah and taking the baby (Husayn) in his lap, mysteriously placed his tongue in the mouth of the Baby, and the baby began sucking it and thus the Holy Child was first fed by the Saliva of the Apostle of God, as the first sustenance of his holy body in this world.
After giving the Holy Baby the first feeding by his Saliva, the Holy Prophet said:
“Husaynun minni wa and minal Husayn.”
“Husayn is of me and I am of Husayn.”
Husayn's Martyrdom Prophesied
When Husayn was born Gabriel the Messenger Angel appeared before the Holy Prophet and after paying his respects to the Apostle of God, said:
“O”the Most beloved one of God; The Almighty Lord presents his blessings and felicitations to thee, and wills that thou shouldst felicitate Ali and Fatimah on the birth of the baby, and the baby be named Husayn, for he is known in heavens with this name.”
Saying this, the Angel stopped with some symptoms of concern. The Holy Prophet said:
“Brother Gabriel, if this be a felicitation to us what is the other matter of any serious concern?”
The Angel continued saying:
“O”Prophet of God, it is for the newly born son of Lady Fatimah, for he will suffer innumerable difficulties, miseries, tortures, wounds and pains of bitterest nature. He will at last be martyred with all his faithful supporters in a desert called Karbala on the banks of the Euphrates in lraq, it will be a time when Islam will be in a crisis and the existence of this revealed religion for Mankind will rest upon the sacrifices of Husayn, your grandson”.
Hearing this, the Holy Prophet naturally felt sorrowful. It can easily be imagined by the reader how Lady Fatimah, the mother of Husayn, would have felt when she heard of the calamities to befall the dear one just arrived in her lap.
Immediately after the birth of Husayn, Fatimah was indisposed and the Holy Baby was given to Lady Ummul Fadhl for nursing and for forty days consecutively the Apostle of God used to place his holy finger in the mouth of the innocent and thus the Holy Baby was sustained for forty days without anything else, even the mother's milk. It is inferred by great divines that it was the predetermined Divine Process to condition the Holy Child with the divinity endowed in the apostolic physic of its Holy Grandfather the Chief and the Last of the apostles of God for Husayn had to play an apostolic role on behalf of his Grandfather to save the Truth, Islam.
Husayn a Duplicate Muhammad
Historians report that besides the native endowments identical with those of the Holy Prophet, the outward appearance (i.e., the physical features) of Husayn was a moving picture of his Grandfather the Holy Prophet.
Ibn Katheer says “I never saw a more beautiful man than Husayn”and according to Anas “there was none other resembling the holy Prophet more than Husayn.”
The function of heredity had its full play in Husayn. He had inherited all the divine native endowments from his Grandfather the Holy Prophet, and his godly parents Ali and Fatimah.
“Wama fil aaba’ to ‘rithul anbiya”
“i.e., Whatever is in their parentage, inherit the apostles.”
Heaven's Regard for Hasan and Husayn
Once when Hasan and Husayn were young children, on the eve of a festival, came both the innocents to their holy mother Lady Fatimah and said “Mother dear! Tomorrow is festival, where are our new dresses for the festival day?” What was there in the holy house of the godly family the inmates of which often starved, for Fatimah to provide her dear ones with any new garments when her own covering mantle was full of patches with the date leaves. With Fidak confiscated by the Caliphate, the daily life of the Ahlul Bayt was rendered further more miscrable. The holy lady who always depended upon the Al- merciful Lord, said:
“My darlings, if the tailor brings them, ye will have them tomorrow.”
At night when the two innocents had gone to bed, Fatimah was on her prayer-mat, supplicating to the Lord saying:
“Lord! Fatimah Thy subscient one depending upon Thy usual grace and mercy on her, has promised new clothes to her innocents who are Thine Own!. My Lord! If they get the new clothes they will he happy and Thou wilt Thyself be pleased on their rejoicing Lord ! let not The word of Thy Fatimah fail and let not Thy Hasan and Husayn be sorrowful on the festitval tomorrow.”
Imad Zadeh in his famous work says:
Early at dawn, the Holy Innocents awoke and the first thing they asked their mother was about the dresses promised to them. Fatima could have given only some excuse but a voice at the door was heard saving: “O' AhIul Bayt of the Holy Prophet- here are the dresses of Hasan and Husayn.” Fatimah received the dresses and offered her thanksgiving prayer to the Lord for the ready response to her supplication. Allama Majlisi relates from Umm Salema the righteous wife of the Holy Prophet that she said:
“I saw Hasan and Husayn with the Holy Prophet in such new clothes which I had never seen before and asked wherfrom the wonderfully beautifull clothes of his grandsons had come; in reply the Holy Prophet said- 'They are the heavenly garments received for them'?”
(ZH) Imad Zadeh.
Once Fatimah was asleep and the Holy Baby (Husayn) in the cradle awoke and cried, the cradle automatically began swinging, when Fatimah awoke she saw the cradle moving and someone talking to the Baby and none seen nearby. She referred the matter to the Holy Prophet who said that it was the Arch Angel Gabriel who was serving the holy child. (Muntahal Aamaal, Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi)
The above references are only two of the many instances of the shower of heavenly favours on this Holy Family.
The Holy Prophet's Personal Regard for Husayn
Historians say that once on the morning of a festival day, while going to the Id Prayer (Festival congregational Prayer) in Madina, the whole public of the town saw the Holy Prophet carrying Hasan and Husayn on his shoulders, bare-headed with the tassels of his head, divided into two parts, each held by each of the innocents, as the reins of a camel in their tiny hands, and the Holy Prophet running towards the 'Idgah', imitating a camel. The public was amazed at this mysterious behaviour on the part of the Apostle of God and a man seeing this, addressed the holy children saying: 'How excellent a ride ye have.' The Holy Prophet turning to the man said: “Why doth thou not say, how excellent the Riders are?” On many other instances, Hasan and Husayn were found on the shoulders of the Holy Prophet. (F.M., ST., YM.)
It is reported that once when the Holy Prophet was on the pulpit in the Mosque in Madina, giving a sermon when Husayn who was yet a baby, entered the Mosque and proceeded towards his grandfather, and his garment got twisted in his feet, the Holy Prophet stopped the sermon and rushed from the pulpit to the holy baby lest it might fall.
It is also one of the universally acknowledged events of the life history of the Holy Prophet that once when he was prostrating in prayer in the Mosque, Baby Husayn came and getting over the back of his Grandfather the Holy Prophet, sat on it. The Holy Prophet repeated the prayer-phrase “Subhaana - Rabbiyal- a'la wa behamdeh' seventy times in the state of prostration instead of the only three prescribed repetitions, until Husayn himself, of his own accord, got down from his back and then he raised his head from the prostration.
Shaibani reports from Abdullah Ibn Shaddad that his father related that he was in prayer in the ranks behind the Holy Prophet and when he found that the duration of the prostration was unusually long, he raised his head several times and secing the Hoiy Prophet still in prostration, resumed the prostration, and after the conclusion of the prayer, he asked the cause of the unusual interval between the two prostrations. The Holy Prophet replied that he had to do it until Husayn got down from his back of his own accord; the Apostle of God acteth not but at the Revealed will of the Lord.
(Tafseerul Usool-ila Jama al-Usool e-Shaibani)
Historians have reported numerous other similar intances of mysterious behaviour on the part of the Holy Prophet, with regard to Husayn in particular:
Once, the Holy Prophet was with his baby grandson, Husayn and his baby son Ibrahim. The Messenger Angel appeared and said: “O’ Apostle of God! It is the Will of the Lord thou shalt have any one of them, either Husayn or Ibrahim and not both, whichever thou desirest, will be taken away from thee-”
The Holy Prophet said: “Let Ibrahim be taken away and Husayn be spared. I need him for the preservation of Islam.” Thus Ibrahim was taken away (died). (Almustaqsi- from Habibus Siyar)
The Declaration of the Holy Prophet about Husayn
Salman-e Farsi says ‘I saw, one day, Husayn seated beside his Grandfather the Holy Prophet, who was addressing Husayn saying: “Thou art a Syed (Chief), son of a Syed, and the father of the Syeds. Thou art an Imam, (Heavenly guide), son of an Imam, the father of Imams. Thou art a Hujjat and the father of nine Hujjats in thy seed and the ninth will be the 'Qayam' of them (the standing, i.e., the ever current authority)”.
Said the Eighth Holy Imam Ali Ibn Musa Ar-Ridha’, that the Holy Prophet said:
“Let him who wants to see the most loved one of the people of the earth, and in heaven, see Husayn.”
Shaikh al-Sadooq reports from Huzaif al-Yamani who said: “I saw the Holy Prophet holding the hand of Husayn and saying 'O’ people! Know ye, this Husayn son of Ali and Fatimah, know him, ye all, that by the One (God) in Whose hands is my soul, that he (Husayn) is of heaven, his friends will be the inmates of heaven.”
The following is the famous sayings of the Holy Prophet: Hasan and Husayn are the Two youths of Paradise; Hasan and Husayn are Imams, (divinely commissioned guides) standing or sitting (i.e., in any circumstances, being accepted by the people or not). These are only one or two of the innumerable other sayings of the Holy Prophet, particularly about the unique heavenly position and the status of Husayn.
While judging the words and the action of the Holy Prophet, one must remember the following verse of the Holy Qu'ran “And he (the Holy Prophet) speaketh nothing of his desire save, it is the revelation revealed (to him).” (55:3, 4)
It is quite obvious that all this was the Divine Plan to demonstrate to mankind, the actual unique position of the issues of All and Fatimah, particularly the holy status of Husayn, lest thereafter, none who misbehaves with these holy ones, gets the excuse to say that he did not know as to who actually they were.
The instances of the open acts of the heavenly regard for the 'Ahlul Bayt', demonstrating their unique divine position, are so many that volumes will be needed to enumerate them all. These few brief references will do, to bring home to any sincere one, the idea about the unique excellence and the greatness of the holy souls and the degree of the divinity endowed in them.
The Ancient Prophets-informed of the Great Sacrifices
On the authority of Ibn Shahr Aashoob and Shaikh al-Tabarsi it is reported that the ancient prophets-Viz. Adam, Zachariah, Abraham and Ishmael, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus, were informed by God, about the Great Sacrifices Husayn was to offer to re-establish the religion of God in earth.
(Tafseer al-Ali Ibn Ibrahim, Kashful Ghumma, Tazkira al-Ibn Jawzi, Mataalebus So’ol)
It is said that one of the interpretations of the symbols, Kaf Ha Ya-Ain-Saad, in the Holy Qur'an is that:
Kaf stands for Karbala.
Ha—stands for —Halakat—destruction—death.
Ya— stands for — Yazeed.
Ain— stands for —Atash—Thirst.
Saad— stands for —Sabr al-Husayn-patience and the fortitude of Husayn.
It is reported by the Shahr Aasboob and Shaikh al-Tabarsi that Syecd Ibn Abdullah al-Ash’ari reported that the Eleventh Holy Imam, Hasan Ibn Ali-Al-Askari said that the Holy Prophet was informed of the tragedy of Karbala and it is confined in these symbol letters in the Holy Qur'an.
Every Prophet had appointed his Successor
Along with the coronation of a king goes the declaration of the heir-apparent to the throne. It is only a following of the example of what is done with regard to the ministres of the apostles of God.
The divine guidance to humanity be that through an apostle or through a deputy of his, is a continuous process decreed by the grace of the All-Merciftul Lord. Every apostle of God at the very start of his apostolic mission, did announce his immediate successor so that his followers, after him, might not get beguiled by any imposter. Abraham was succeeded by his sons Ishmael and Isaac. Jacob by his son Joseph, David by his son Solomon, Moses by his brother Aaron and Jesus by Simon and his other disciples.
“The divine guidance to humanity is a continuous process. Every apostle of God before he started his apostolic mission had to announce his immediate successor so that his follower might not be beguiled by any imposter. Abraham was succeeded by his sons Ishmael and Isaac. Moses's successor was Aaron, and Jesus' was Simon. It was the first of the apostolic duties of every apostle of God, to announce his immediate successor to the people, as guidance to his followers, as to who they should follow after him, as well as safeguard against the venture of the imposters thereafter.”
The Holy Prophet Muhammad appoints his Successor
According to the divinely decreed course (the Sunnat al-Ilahiah) which never changes (17:77), at the very inauguration of his apostolic mission under the command from the Lord: “warn thy nearest kith and kin”(26:214), the Holy Prophet invited his kith and kin to a feast and with the declaration of his nearest apostleship, also declared Ali as his Deputy, Vicegerent and Successor. (TB., IA., AF, GB,. WS., AA., and others.)
The above incident has been of such a prominence and significance and was so ever-fresh in the memory of the people that it could not be missed by the historian be he a Muslim or a non-Muslim. History gives a vivid description as to how the Holy Prophet repeatedly asked the assembly as to who among them would be his Deputy, his Vieegerent, and his Successor and Heir, and how at every time, none but Ali, stood up offering himself to the office, which then was only a hopeless proposition, and how ultimately the Holy Prophet called Ali to him, before the assembly of the veterans of the Town (Mecca) and embracing him declared openly in clearcut words:
This is my Deputy, my Vicegerent and my Successor; Hear him and obey him.
This is what Carlyle (Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Historian) in his 'Sartor Resartus' (The Tailor Retailored) says:
“After some three years of small success, he invited forty of his chief kindred to an entertainment; and there stood up and told them: what his pretention was; that he had this thing to promulgate abroad to all men; that it was the highest thing, the one thing which of them would second him in that? Amidst the doubt and silence of all, young Ali, as yet a lad of sixteen, impatient of the silence, started up, and exclaimed in passionate fierce language, That he would! The assembly, among whom was Abu Talib, Ali's father, could not be un- friendly to Mahomet; 'yet the sight there, of one unlettered elderly man, with a lad of sixteen, deciding on such an enterprise' against all mankind, appeared ridiculous to them; the assembly broke- up in laughter.
Nevertheless, it proved not a laughable thing; it was a very serious thing! 'As for this young Ali, one cannot but like him. A noble- minded creature, as he shows himself, now and always afterwards; full of affection, of fiery daring. Something chivalrous in him; brave as a lion; yet with a grace, a truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood. He died by assassination in the Mosque at Baghdad; death occasioned by his own generous fairness, confidence in the fairness of others; he said, If the wound proved not unto death, they must pardon the Assassin; but if it did then they must slay him straightway, that so they too in the same hour might appear befort God, and see which side of that quarrel was the just one!
(TB., IA., AF., Gibson, W. Smith., Amir Ali and others)
Thus the Holy Prophet had proclaimed the authority of Ali, as next only to his own and had enjoined his followers to listen to what Ali said and to obey him even in the very lifetime of his (the Ho1y Prophet's) own.
Besides the above historic ceremonial event, there are the innumerable other instances when the Holy Prophet gave the practical demonstration of Ali's position as next only to him, and had made innumerable verbal announcements about the unique position of Ali, in relation to him. A few of those instances and the declarations are:
Ali’s being left in the bed of the Holy Prophet on the eve of his migration to Madina.
Ali's being entrusted with the deposits of the people of Mecca, which were with the Holy Prophet, to he restored to the respective owners, the next day to the Emigration.
Ali's being declared as the Brother of the Holy Prophet, when at Medina, each believer according to his personal merits, was made the brother of another like him.
Ali's being given the hand of the Holy Lady Fatimah the only surviving issue and the most loved one of the Holy Prophet.
Ali's being sent to take away the verses of the Sura al-Tauba (i.e., Repentance) from Abu Bakr who was already sent with it, to be read out to the infidels in Mecca, as one of the Holy Prophet himself.
Ali's being left in charge of the affairs at Madina, in the place of the Holy Prophet, during his absence on the expedition to 'Tabuk.'
The Holy Prophet's declaration
“I and Ali are of one and the same divine Light.”
“O’Ali! Thou art to me as Aaron was to Moses, save that there is no apostleship after me.”
“I am the City of knowledge and Ali is its Gate.”
“O’Ali! Thou art my brother in this world and in the next.”
“O’Ali! Thou art to me, as is a head to a body.”
“O’Ali! Thou art to me, as is a soul to a body.”
“O’Ali! Thy flesh is my flesh and thy blood is my blood, thou seest what I see and thou hearest what I hear, save there is no apostleship after me.”
- Ali was demonstrated to the world, before the multitude on the occaston of the historic 'Mubahila' as the 'Nafs' or the 'Self, or the 'Soul' of the Holy Prophet.
Besides the above few instances there are many other events and declarations demonstrating clearly the unique position of Ali in relation to the Holy Prophet, with special significance to Islam and the Muslims.
Besides all the above facts, there is the historic ceremonial Coronation enacted by the Holy Prophet at 'Ghadeer al-Khum', at the conclusion of his apostolic mission, in the midway, on his return journey after his 'Hajjatul-Wida' (the Last or the Parting Pilgrimage) under the most imperative command from the Lord:
“O’ (Our) Apostle Muhammad! Convey thou, that which hath already been sent unto thee and if thou didst not do it, it would be (as if) thou hast not conveyed (fulfilled) the apostleship (at all); Verily, God will protect thee from the mischief of the people.” (Holy Qur’an 5:67)
Immediately as the command from the Lord was received, the Holy Prophet stopped the caravan, called back the caravans gone ahead, and waited for those coming behind, and when all the Hajies numbering several thousands were collected, a pulpit at his command was improvised, and mounting the pulpit delivered the historic sermon to the multitude of the audience before him and then called Ali to him on the pulpit and raising him high with the miraculous apostolic strength of his godly hands, declared to the huge assembly:
“O’ people! of whomsoever I am the Lord, Ali is his Lord!”
Immediately following the declaration, the Holy Prophet prayed:
“Lord! Be Thou a friend to the one who is the friend of Ali, And be Thou an enemy to the one who is the enemy of Ali, Help Thou the one who helpeth Ali, And discard Thou the one who discardeth Ali.”
Immediately as he came down the pulpit, the Holy Prophet ordered every one present there, to pay the allegiance 'Baiyat' to Ali, addressing him as the 'Ameerul-Momineen' (the Com- mander or the Ruler or the Governor of the Faithful). It is reported that the first one to comply with the command of the Holy Prophet was Umar, who paid his 'Bait' saying: 'Bakhkin Bakhkhin laka Ibn Abi Talib Asbahta Maulayee we Maula kulla Mominin wa Mominatin.'
“Cheer and cheer be to thee O’ son of Abu Talib! Thou hast dawned as my Lord and the Lord of all the faithful men and faithful women.”
For details see:
(Mish., Khasai, Nisayee., Raudatul Ahbab., Raudatus Safa Musnad Imam Ahmed Hambal-Suyooti and the other historians)
It is also reported that at Umar's addressing Ali as 'son of Abu Talib', the Holy Prophet, commanded him to address Ali as 'Ameerul- Momineen', (i.e., the Commander or the Ruler of the Faithful).
It is now for the impartial authorities of the seasoned politicians and the learned ones of the scholars of political science, to say if, after the historic declarations of the Holy Prophet at the very outset of his apostolic mission, at the 'Daawat al-Asheera', and at the end or the conclusion of his apostleship, at the 'Ghadeer- e- Khum', it could ever be justly said that the Holy Prophet did not nominate any one as his successor and left the matter to the people's choice. And whether such an unjust accusation, unwarranted by the evidences of the historic events and the universally acknowledged declaration, would mean to throw the blame on the Holy Prophet, of all the bloodshed and chaos created in the name of the succession to him? And the Caliphate passing to tyrants like Yazeed and the other allied characters who have brought nothing but disgrace to the fair name of the faith and the faithful.
It is a matter of disgrace that most of the western writers, either wilfully bully Islam or ignorant of the facts of the Islamic History, betray their prejudice or their ignorance of the truth by criticising the Holy Prophet as the one responsible for leaving his people in chaos and confusion about his succession which resulted in political havoc and disgraceful bloodshed. Reports based on mere folklore, can never be history. It does not become of qualified scholarship to pass any judgments without studying the facts in their fullness and before the necessary scrutiny of their collected data.
The truth is that our western writer friends in the guise of impartial historians and as talented writers on the Islamic faith, serve their respective missionary forces by spreading falsehood against Islam and the Muslims, and thus poison the public mind through calumnies against the Holy Prophet, his personality and his teachings.
Unfortunately those of our brethren who know neither Arabic nor Persian nor even Urdu properly the languages in which is treasured, most of the true knowledge about Islam and its heroes, and know only the English language, very easily get drifted in the eloquence of the powerful penman and quietly swallow the sugar- coated poisonous pills, and own the wrong information they gather from such prejudiced writings, as the correct knowledge for their own and some of them imagine to own a great store of knowledge about Islam and even debate about the Islamic teachings basing their arguments upon the wrong information which they have gathered from some anti-Islamic sources, without proper study of the Qur'an or the authentic Qur'anie literature.
However, the above facts of history clearly assert that the Holy Prophet did not spare any pain in making known to the people about his succession, in even necessary and desirable way possible, from the very beginning of his mission to its conclusion. In spite of all the possible steps taken by the Apostle of God, if any one still holds his own view, none can stop him to do it, nor shall any one force his views on the other, for Islam is the religion of individual responsibility:-
It has been repeatedly declared in the Holy Qur'an:
“Shall bear not any bearer, the burden of the other.” (2:48, 6:165, 35:18, 39:755:38)
A Muslim has to call his brethren to the right path, only by love and sweet words: (16:125)
The Holy Qur'an declared:
“Verily, we have shown him (man) the (Right) way, be he grateful (and follow it) or be he ungrateful (and reject it).” (76:3)
“There is no compulsion in Religion.” (2:256)
The Start of the Trouble
The approach of the long awaited hour for the realisation of their cherished hopes through the execution of their plans, acted as a stimulus to the mischievous minds to actuate them. The inordinate behaviour of the Visitors to the Holy Prophet, while he was about to breathe his last, made him turn out all of them from his presence. When the people were sure of the impending departure of the Holy Prophet, the Mohajirs (the immigrant Meccans) and the Ansars (the supporter Madinites) assembled at the Saqa al-fae- Bani Saa'ada and started parading their respective rights for the paramount power and authority to rule over the vast Muslim empire, in the place of the Holy Prophet. (IQ, IA., TB., RS., EHI)
The contending arguments were that:
“The Mohajirs claimed preference in view of their priority in Islam, their kinship with the Holy Prophet, and their immigration with him, at the manifest end of their lift and property.
The Ansars urged that they had as much right as any others whatsoever, on account of their receiving the Prophet in his escape from his Meccan enemies, of protecting him in the time of adversity, and of helping him making head against his powerful foes, resulting ultimately in the establishment of the paramount power and authority. They even alleged that they apprehended revenge tf authority went to the people whose fathers and brothers they had killed in defending the Prophet. When Hobab expressed this view Umar indignantly retorted Thou shouldst die if Caliphate settled with such people as whom thou fearest.”(E.H.I.)
The fears of Hobab were not unfounded for the spirit of retaliation was ingrained in the blood of the Arabs:
“Revenge was almost a religious principle among the Arabs. To revenge a relative slain was the duty of his family, and often involved the honour of his tribe; and these debts of blood sometimes remained unsettled for generations, producing deadly feuds.”(WI.)
History proves that the fears of Hobab were not false:
“The fears of Hobab proved correct with the revengeful massacre of the Prophet's or Ali's posterity at Karbala condemning even a six months' Baby and with the hideous crimes perpetrated in the outrages and the massacre of the Ansars at Harra.”(EHI)
Refusing the claim of the Ansars, Umar said:
“The Quraysh did not deny the services rendered by the Ansars to promote the cause of Islam, but with all their meritorious services they should not deem themselves entitled to aspire to the sole authority over the Quraysh.”(TB., IA., SHI., EHI)
“The Ansars then said that they would be content to have one Caliph from each of the two parties to exercise joint authority and even nominated Saa'd bin Obida, their leader to be elected from them.”(IQ, RAI, RS)
The Quraysh would by no means agree to any such proposal and they persisted saying that:
“The Government must remain in the hands of Quraysh while the Ansars should content themselves with the Wazirate or ministry.”(IQ, RA., RS., EHI,)
The discussion developed into a regular quarrel and the tension got precipitated and the parties were about to come to blows:
“The Ansars not yielding, the contention grew so hot that they were just upon falling to blows when Abu Bakr intervened and asked them if they had not heard the Holy Prophet saying 'that none was apt to exercise authority over the Quraysh but one from among themselves. Bashir Sa'd one of the Ansars who shared the views of the Mohajirs at once answered in favour of the Mohajirs.' Thus encouraged, Abu Bakr resolutely exclaimed that the Quraysh would not accept any one but a Quraysh to rule over them and stepping forth pointed out Umar and Abu Obeida to the Ansars to choose either of them as the Caliph.”
“Now the Ansars began to say that they should prefer paying homage to Ali, the best of the Quraysh.” (IA., TB., HS.,)
The question arises when the quarrel could be avoided by any saying of the Holy Prophet:
Why the unchallengable verdict of the Prophet at the histortc assembly at 'Ghadeer- e -Khum' about Ali, was not quoted?
Why the covenant taken from them by the Holy Prophet, by a definite ' Baiyat' about Ali, was not reminded of?
If what was said about the rule over the Quraysh was true, the wording itself clearly indicates that the rule refers to the rule over the Quraysh, and not the rule over all the people, and the Caliphate contested for, was not a Tribal matter but of the Muslims as a whole. Besides the saying 'that Quraysh only to rule the Quraysh assigned to the Holy Prophet, does not tally with the Holy Qur’an which declares superiority to he recognised only on the basis of piety:-
‘Inna akramakum indallahi ataqaakom' (49:13).
Verily, the most honoured of you with God is the most pious of you and any saying attributed to the Holy Prophet not tallying with the Holy Qur'an is to be thrown on the wall.
If the Quraysh wanted only a Quraysh to rule, why Ali was not accepted? who had a joint right, both, as one appointed by the Apostolic declaration at 'Ghadeer- Khum' and also as a Qurayshite.
(a) Besides, if they wanted one with the highest knowledge to rule over them there was none but Ali about whom the Holy Prophet had said: 'I am the City of knowledge and Ali is its Gate'.
(b) If they wanted the most just one to be their ruler, the people knew that the Holy Prophet had said: 'Aqzakum Ali Ibn Abi Talib (the most just among you is Ali).
(c) If they needed the bravest to rule over them, the position of Ali in this respect is unique, for it is he about Whom the Holy Prophet had declared at Khaibar 'Karearan ghaira farrarin' the repeated attacker who knew no running away. History is there to vouch that it was Ali who stayed with the Holy Prophet in the worst of the situations in the battles for the faith, when most of the companions had deserted him and had fled away, disappearing for days together. The Holy Qur'an has a reference to this fact. Besides, in the Muslim World as a whole, none but Ali is called 'Asadullah', the Lion of God, and it is Ali in whose praise the Muslims sing even to this day 'La fata illa Ali la saif illa Zulfiqar', i.e., there is no youth braver than Ali and there is no sword save the unfailing Zulfiqar.’
(d) If the nearest to the Holy Prophet was the one wanted, who else was there save Ali about whom the Holy Prophet had openly said: “I and Ali are of the same Divine Light.”“O’ Ali thy flesh is my flesh and thy blood is my blood.”
It is obviously peculiar and also amazing that not even one of the repeated declarations of the Holy Prophet about Ali's unique position was remembered at the Saqeefa, neither by Abu- Bakr nor even by Umar.
History says that Umar cried out to Abu-Bakr: “Stretch forth thy hand O’ Abu Bakr, verily I will swear allegiance to thee!”(IA., TB., Etc.)
Thus Umar declared Ahu-Bakr as the Chief and took the oath of fealty to him.
Hobab had an altercation with Bashir for his treacherous conduct in preferring Abu-Bakr over Sa'd bin Obada (IB.)
Sa'd bin Obada, the head of the Ansars, was deeply chagrined at being thus superseded. He did not pay homage to Abu Bakr. He left Madina and retired in disgust, to Syria, where it is said he was found murdered in 15 A.H. (SM., AqF., RS., EHI.)
It is now left to the scholars of political science and the seasoned politicians to say if:-
What took place at the Saqeefa was an election in any sense or the meaning of the term?
Or it was the nomination or the choice of any one individual which was forced upon the others?
Do the proceedings satisfy the demands of a democratic procedure?
If the procedure had any sanction from Qur'an, Hadith or of any of the canons of democracy?
Was it not that the right of Ali was totally forgotten or his position with the exclusive excellence of the unique godly qualities, deliberately or undeliberately was altogether ignored at the 'Saqeefa?'
Could the decision of the interested disputant few, assembled at the 'Saqeefa', be counted as the voice or the choice of the millions of the people of the whole of the Muslim World?
The Logical Inference
Since both the Immigrants as well as the Ansars claimed the worldly privileges and the secular advantages in return for what they had done, any intelligent reader could reasonably say that neither the giving of the asylum to the Holy Prophet by those Ansars nor the lmmigration of those Immigrants with him, was exclusively for God and the Faith. The object of their respective services enumerated by them, as their respective claims, could be nothing but what they claimed in return for those services.
If what they enumerated had been done exclusively for God and for no worldly gains or material advantages, the people, both the disputant Mohajirs and the contestant Ansars would never, for anything in the world, have stirred from the side of the Holy Prophet in the last moments of his stay with them, and after his breathing his last, they would have only minded their first concern with the last services to the Apostle of God, observing the solemnity of the serious occasion and their sad plight of having lost the Best and the Holiest one of God's creation, from among their midst, as did the Holy Ahlul Bayt and the other Hashimites who never even cared to know about what went on in the 'Saqeefa.'
By the claims advanced by both the groups themselves, it gets quite evident that those of both the groups, were only waiting for the opportunity to establish their claims, the objects of all their respective services to the Holy Prophet and the Faith, each group apprehending to be forestalled by the other. This could be the only logical inference of any intelligent reading of the facts of the history of the dispute at the 'Saqeefa.'
The following are a few of the impartial opinions of the celebrated Non-Muslim historian scholars, about Ali:
“Ali was the cousin-germain of Muhammad and husband of Fatimah, his beloved daughter. The right of succession in order of consanguinity lay with Ali; and his virtues and services eminently entitled him to tt. On the first burst of his generous zeal, when Islamism was a derided and a persecuted faith, he had been pronounced by Mohammad his Brother, his Vicegerent; he had ever since been devoted to him in word and deed, and had honoured the cause by his magnanimity as signally as he has vindicated it by his valour.” (W. Irving)
“The birth, the alliance, the character of Ali which exalted him above the rest of his countrymen might justify his claim to the vacant throne of Arabia. The son of Abu Talib was, in his own right, the Chief of the family of Hashim, and the hereditary prince or guardian of the city and the temple of Mecca. The light of prophecy was extinct, but the husband of Fatimah might expect the inheritance and the blessings of her father; the Arabs had sometimes been patient of a female reign and the two grandsons of the Prophet had often been fondled in his lap, and shown in his pulpit, as the hope of his age, and the Chief of the Youth of Paradise. From the first hour of the mission to the last rites of his funeral, the Apostle was never forsaken by a generous Friend, whom he delighted to name his Brother, his Vicegerent and the faithful Aaron of a second Moses.” (Gibbon abridged by W. Smith p. 466).
Besides the above two quotations, the following is the one which the great learned scholar and the judicial head Amir Ali has chosen to quote in his famous work The Spirit of Islam:
“Had,”says Sédillot “the principle of hereditary succession in favour of Ali been recognised at the outset it would have prevented the rise of those disastrous pretentions which engulfed Islam in the blood of Muslims. The husband of Fatimah united in his person the right of suc- cession as the lawful heir of the Prophet as well as the right by election. It might have been thought that all would submit themselves before his glory so pure and so grand.” (Spirit of Islam- Amir Ali)
However, the right of Ali was ignored and later at a stage the fate of the people passed into the hands of those who enacted the gruesome scene of Karbala and the massacre of the godly members of the House of the Holy Prophet.
The Funeral of the Holy Prophet
Those of the companions, who were turned out by the Holy Prophet from his presence, got busy in the Saqeefe and did not return until he was buried.
When the Holy Prophet passed away, Ali assisted by his pupil Idne ‘Abbas and the other Heshimites, attended to the last rites to the Holiest one of God's creation and the grief of Fatimah moved the hearts of those present there. History says that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar and the other companions being busy at the Sapeefe, could not attend the funeral of the Holy Prophet (KO., AM., EXI).
History repeats itself
The dealings of the wicked ones with the men of God particularly the apostles from Him, had been identical in all ages. The Holy Prophet had already prophesied that all that happened among the people of the ancient apostles particularly the people of Moses in the Israelites, will happen among his followers.
Moses was absent for only about forty days and his people revolted against his Deputy Aaron and followed the Samiri and started worshipping the Calf. Jesus was betrayed by his own disciples and was handed over to be crucified. The Last Apostle of God similarly suffered an identical desertion by his people even before his breathing his last.
The Love of the World-Maddens man
Very recently even when a worldly ruler of a big State was to be buried, (Mr. Kennedy of America) almost all the Paramount Powers in the world sent their representatives to attend the funeral as a token of their regard and human sympathy with the bereaved family and the sorrowful nation. But when the Prince of the Prophets, the Last Apostle of God, who was divinely sent to rule over the human hearts and the human affairs on earth and who was also the godly ruler of the state, had not even breathed his last, the people who called themselves his followers and claimed to be his close companions left him away to assert and establish their respective contentions about their claims to rule the state in the place of the Holy Prophet and returned only when he had left this world and was buried by his Ahlul Bayt and the people of his family the Hashimites.
Thus in the love of the world the people left away even the Apostle of God unshrouded. This is the worst record of the madness of man for the material world. The paradox is that yet man claims himself to be the lover of God, the lover of the Apostles of God and the lover of godliness.
Karbala's Foundation laid
The events of history give out a clear verdict that the series of the sufferings, the miseries and the calamities inflicted on the Ahlul-Bait, which culminated at one stage in the wholesale massacre of the Holy Imam Husayn and his faithful devotees at Karbala and the misfortunes and the assassinations of the other Imams and their families and their devotees, which thereafter followed up to the ninth Imam Hasan al Askari, was inaugurated at the Saqeefa.
Had the people remembered the repeated declarations about Ali and his Ahlul Bayt, the world would never have witnessed the hideous scenes of the sufferings and the massacre of the Holy ones; on the other hand, today the world would have been ruled by the men of God, and humanity had enjoyed the godly kingdom on earth, and the human race by this time would have been united under one single brotherhood which was inaugurated by the Holy Prophet at Madina.
The Fate of the Caliphate
The course which the Caliphate adopted at the Saqeefa, and the personnel that occupied its throne and called themselves Caliphs, is a matter of history to be referred to. Such of us who are not much acquainted with Arabic and Persian, may refer to the famous work ‘The History of the Arabs' by Hitti which is sometimes prescribed as a text book for the university courses in Islamic History. However, a list of the Umayyid and the ‘Abbaside Caliphs is given as an annexure to this work for the general information of the readers. The particulars given in the chart, are those given in the famous work by Hitti.
What happened to the Directive from God
Will not any one be he a Muslim or even a non-Muslim, who has gone through the following verses of the Holy Qur'an with the average understanding of a common man, ask 'What about the divine directive of God to the Muslims in matters of dispute among themselves:
“O ye who believe! Obey ye God and obey ye the Apostle (Muhammad) and those in authority, then if ye quarrel about anything, refer it to God and His Apostle (Muhammad) if ye believe in God and the last day. This is the righteous and the best (course) to (achieve) the end.” (Holy Qur’an 4:59)
What happened to the Holy Prophet's appointing Ali as his heir, his Khalif, and his Successor with the announcement of it, at the 'Dawate Asheera' at the very outset of his apostolic mission? If this was too old an event for the companions to remember it what about the most recent appointment of Ali, only about ten or eleven weeks before the dispute, the Holy Prophet declaring it officially in the historic assembly convened by him at the command of the Lord (5:67) at 'Ghadeer al-Khum' announcing Ali as the 'Maula?, i.e., Master, Commander or the Governor in his place, at which the Lord declared the religion Islam to be complete and acceptable to Him, and at the end of which ceremony, every one of them had paid ' Bai'at or allegiance to Ali.
The condition laid down by the above directive of God, is open and very severely emphatic, commanding the Muslims to act according to it, if they believe in God and the last day, and the failure to do it, will naturally mean disbelief in God and the last day of Judgment. The course laid down in the above verse is said to be the Righteous and the Best One and anything otherwise will naturally be unrighteous and the worst.
Besides the above, there is another verse of the Holy Qur'an which gives out a clear verdict about those who do not unconditionally submit to, or implicitly obey the decision of the Holy Prophet:-
“But no! by thy Lord! They believe not until they make thee a judge in what is in dispute between them then find not any straitness in their hearts, as to that which thou decidest and submit with full submission.” (4:65)
However, it is a fact that the matter in the dispute was neither referred to God nor to the Holy Prophet's definite decrees; on the other hand what was already decreed by the Holy Prophet at the command of the Lord was totally neglected and ignored. Under these circumstances it is for the readers to say, if or not, the opening words of the above verse get applicable to those who neglect, ignore and disobey the verdict of the Holy Prophet about Ali's position in relation to him.
Man cautioned against the Disobedience to God and the Holy Prophet
Man has already been cautioned by the All-Merciful Lord against the fate of those who go against His will and the decree of the Holy Prophet in the matter of the choice of a leader or guardian or a ruler of man's destiny in this world:-
“On the day (of judgment) when the wrong-doer will bite his hands saying 'Would that I had taken a way with the Apostle Muhammad'. “O’ woe is me! would that I had not taken such a one (so and so) for a friend.” Certainly he has led me astray from the Reminder (the Qur'an) after it had come to me and the devil always deserts man. And the Apostle (Muhammad) will say 'My Lord! verily my people had taken this Qur’an as forsaken'.” (Holy Qur’an 25:27-30)
The above verses of the Holy Qur’an are sufficiently clear and plain enough to necessitate any elucidation or a further explanation of the matter. They are not about the disbelievers but about those who believed in the Holy Qur'an and neglected it. The verses relate about those who got astray after once getting guided aright. The verse No. 28 is too aloud about the subject of the address and the cause of the repentance on the Day of Judgment.
The Sense of Discretion and Discrimination
The sense of discretion and the faculty of discrimination, i.e., the power of unrestricted prudence, liberty to act with the endowment of conscience to note and distinguish the difference between good and evil, or the faculty of equation is the greatest gift of the All- Wise and the All-Merciful Providence, given exclusively to man and to no other animal. The dawn of this faculty in a human individual is the first sign of the maturity of the mind.
Animals also are given this power but only to the extent of distinguishing the profitable and the harmful to their life, with no regard for others, even for their own kind. Every animal takes only that food which is profitable to its life and nothing otherwise.
Some people succumbing to the currents of over enthusiasm of their righteousness or to imitate unwarranted godliness, forfeit this great gift of God and pretend to pronounce neutrality and overlook the evils in favour of some goodness. Particularly about certain persons of their own choice, assigning some worldly deeds of credit to them. They forget that such a course is unnatural and also ungodly.
Unnatural in the sense, however, good and nutritious the food one might have taken but when the same individual takes a killing poison, the fatal drug will not fail to act duly according to its nature and the intensity of its property, undoing all the goodness and the nutrition of the diet taken by the individual. Ungodly, or it has been proved that the one who is titled as Satan, was not originally a Satan. He was a Jinn (18:50) who for the extent and the degree of his supplication to the Lord, had been raised to the rank of the angels and even as the Chief of them. His one refusal to submit to the command of the Lord, to pay obeisance prostrating to Adam, made him fall with the title of Lucifer.
A Point of Note for False Unitarianism
In the fall of Satan from the rank of the angels and his being expelled from goodness for ever, lies a point of note against false unitarianism. It is to be noted that Satan never refused to pay obeisance or prostration to God, but he insisted that he would prostrate only before God and not before man. The will of the Almighty Lord was that one should not prostrate only to Him but to any one, He desires. No doubt the prostration to the Lord will be the obeisance, surrender or the submission to the Absolute Authority of the Lord and the prostration to other than Him, will be the token sign of honour, respect and regard, as did all the angels to Adam and as did also Holy Prophet Jacob with his other sons, to his son Joseph on the throne. Thus prostration to any holy person or to any sacred object, with the intention to pay the individual or the object, any regard or reverence, can never be ungodly or objectionable. The point lies in the intention.
Goodness and Evil, can undo each other
To illustrate the natural phenomena of goodness and evil, undoing each other, the following is the law of the legislation of the Lord by which man has been warned and encouraged with:
Verily those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from God’s way and oppose the Apostle after guidance is quite clear to them, never will they be harming God in any way, and He will make their deeds vain. (Holy Qur’an, 4:32)
It is to be noted that the warning in the above verse refers particularly to those to whom the signs of the Lord have been made clear, i.e., to those who have accepted the clarity of the commands of the Lord through His Apostle, i.e., the followers of the prophets like the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims.
“That is because they follow that which displeases God and are averse to His pleasure so He maketh their deeds vain.” (Holy Qur’an 47:28)
“That is because they hate that which God hath sent down, So He hath made their deeds vain.” (Holy Qur’an 47:9)
Let us read the above verse with 5:67 revealed at ‘Ghadeer- e- Khum' with reference to what the Holy Prophet commanded in compliance with the command and the people's liking or disliking it, accepting or rejecting it, or following or going against it.
“O ' ye who believe! raise ye not your voices above the Prophet's voice, nor speak loudly to him as ye speak loudly one to another, lest your deeds become vain, while ye perceive not.” (Holy Qur’an 49:2)
See also: 3:22-7, 147:9, 69:18, 105:39, 65:49, 169:5 6:S8 II, 16:2, 217.
The above verse gives a clear verdict about the deeds of those who raised their voices in the presence of the Holy Prophet when he was about to leave this world at which he was so much displeased with them that he turned them out of his presence. There are similar verses about the wiping out of the sins other than disobedience to God and the Holy Prophet, in return for special acts of goodness as well as for abstaining from greater sins:-
And God said: “Verily I am with you. If ye keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and believe My Apostle and offer to God a goodly gift, I will certainly cover (wipe out) your evil deeds and make you enter Gardens wherein rivers flow.” (Holy Qur’an 5:12)
“If ye shun the great things (sins) which ye are forbidden, We shall do away with your evils and cause you to enter the honourable place of entering.” (Holy Qur’an 4:31)
See also 42:35 and 53:32.
What greater virtue can there be than sincere devotion to God's Apostle and his Ahlul Bayt and why not the lesser sins of the sincere devotees of the Lord and the Holy Ones be wiped out. And what greater and graver sin can there be than deserting the Apostle of God, leaving him in the jaws of death, escaping away from the battle- fields, disobeying him, torturing and killing his offsprings and what virtue could be of any avail to the deserters of the Apostle of God, even though they might have been admired by him thereafter, out of his personal grace and goodness and even if they had been pardoned by him in this world, for the Lord says:
“Ask thou (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad) forgiveness for them or ask thou not forgiveness for them. Even if thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times, never will God forgive them because they disbelieve in God and His Apostle. And God guideth not the transgressing people.” (Holy Qur’an 9:80)
It must be known that the Apostle of God will never pray for the enemies of God, i.e., for the disbelievers or the infidels or the idolators; his prayer could naturally be only for those who profess to believe, but actually at heart they believed not, and were treacherous calling themselves Muslims but in the words of God they are Munafiqs, i.e., Hypocrites or the opportunists, about whom the Lord says:
“When the hypocrites come unto thee (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad) they say: “We bear witness that verily thou art the Apostle of God. Verily God Knoweth that thou art His Apostle and God beareth witness that the hypocrites are certainly liars.” (Holy Qur’an 63:1)
The people referred to in the above verses are those the actual position of whose faith has been clearly declared by God Himself:
“The dwellers of The desert say: 'We believe Say thou; Ye believe not but say ye we submit and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.” (Holy Qur’an 49:14)
The application of the above verses of the Holy Qur'an is not restricted to any particular people of any particular age; those refered to in the verses are the people of all times, if they own the qualities referred to in the verses.
The Successor to the First Caliph Nominated
When on 13th Jamadi II. 13 A.H. (634 A.D), Abu Bakr got ill and got hopeless of recovery, he nominated Umar in his place. (For details the readers are refcrred to TKS., translation by Jarret). Any enlightened man or woman would ask:
What happened to the principle of election resorted to in the case of the choice of the first Caliph
On what authority of the Holy Qur'an or Hadith or the principle of politics was the appointment of the successor to the first Caliph effected?
The Successor to the Second Caliph Co-opted
When Umar felt the approach of his end, he avoided election as well as nomination and appointed a committee of six men of his own choice to elect a successor to him:
Abdur Rahman b. Auf.
Ali Ibn Abi-Taleb.
Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas.
Uthman Ibn Affan.
Zobeir b. al Awam.
Talha Ibn Obaidallah.
It was by Umar that Mu’awiyyah was appointed as the governor of Syria. (Mr. Annl., EHI)
To know the details as to what took place and how Uthman was elected, and how the Caliphate was conducted by him, one would do better by referring to Tabari and Kamil Ibn Atheer etc., and William Muir has given the details in his Annals on p. 324. However, Uthman was co-opted to the Caliphate.
Uthman' s patronage of his relatives gave further strength to Mu’awiyyah son of Abu Sufyan to the extent that Mu’awiyyah's sonYazeed could play the havoc of the heartless wholesale massacre at Karbala, and his issues, the Ummayids, followed by the ‘Abbasides, killed the holy Imams of the House of the Holy Prophet, one after another, until the eleventh of them, and the Twelfth one, like Jesus, was rescued by God to be kept alive as per the will of the Lord.
Fatimah's house attacked
In compliance with God's command 'Balligh maa unzila ilaik-' (5:67) the Holy Prophet had inaugurated the serial of 'Imamat' (Divine guidance in succession to the Final apostleship) and had placed Ali as the First in charge of it, and had declared it at the historic ceremonial event at Ghadeer al-Khum, before the multitude of the thousands of the Hajies, on 18.12.10 A.H. at the conclusion of which event was revealed 5:6.. .declaring the religion to be perfect and Islam to be the religion for man, accepted by God. In pursuance of the expressed divine will of the Lord, Ali could not recognise or yield to the man-made authority set up at the 'Saqeefa' and hence had not paid fealty to it.
Ali to exercise patience
The Holy Prophet who knew through the divine gift of knowledge, as to what would happen after him till the Day of Judgment, had advised Ali to exercise the maximum possible patience against every atrocious move that might confront him.In compliance with the apostolic will, without the least interference into, or any concern with the affairs that proceeded at the 'Saqeefa', Ali had retired with a determination not to get out until he collects together all the notes on the Holy Qur'an which he had from the Holy Prophet about the external as well as the internal meanings of the Final Word of God.
Without Ali being subjugated, the authority set up at the 'Saqeefa' could not have the seal of the recognition of it, by the Holy Ahlul Bayt and Ali was now the Chief of the Ahlul Bayt, the House of the Holy Prophet, and he would not yield. The retirement of Ali was exploited and a charge of conspiracy was coined and the people of the newly set up rule, headed by Umar, collected at the door of Fatimah, demanded Ali to come out of the house. The reply from inside was that it was a vow Ali had made not to come out until the collection of the important notes on the Holy Qur'an is not completed. But the insurgent crowd would not agree and a big row was set into action.
Fatimah's house threatened with fire
The holy lady Fatimah, bereaved only a day or two before, deeply sunk in grief, standing behind the door of her abode remonstrated saying:
“O’ people! it is only yesterday that my father, the Holy Prophet, departed from you and today you have the audacity to attack his house in which his daughter is mourning for him, which door he did not enter but with a salutation on its inmates.”
Some historians say that fire and firewood was already collected at the door of the holy house with the threat to set the abode on fire and some say fire was already kindled. However, Shibli No’mani in his well-known 'Alfarooq' says:
“Some say that fire was already set, but with the short temperdness of Umar this act was not improbable.”(AF)
A violent kick at the door from one among the crowd pushed it down on the side of the Holy Lady Fatimah standing behind it, breaking her rib and the 'Khatoone Jannat' the Queen of Paradise, fell unconscious and ultimately the hit and the wound killed the Holy Mother along with the baby son in her womb. According to the tradition of the Ahlul Bayt, the Baby was already named 'Mohsin.'
Even at this juncture the Lion of God abided with the will of the Holy Prophet and like a helpless one, kept quiet without any resistance or retaliation which, if he had only willed to resort, would have played havoc the insurgents.
In short, if the valour and prowess of Ali during the time of the Holy Prophet in the establishment of Islam and its propagation was a wonder, his patience and forbearance and fortitude which he exercised against all the atrocities from even the cowards among the people, was no less a surprise and a wonder.
The point quite obvious in this regard is that to Ali the first concern was the safety, security and the maintenance of the faith and not the owning of any fortune through any temporal power, though the right to be the temporal leader as well, besides being the spiritual guide, in the place of the Holy Prophet, was of none but his, which fact is unanimously acknowledged and openly declared even by his antagonists.
However, when the crowd shouted to Ali to come out, and even the door of his abode had fallen on the side of his wife the Holy Lady Fatimah, throwing her down unconscious and seriously hurt, Ali came out. He was tied by a rope round his neck and the world witnessed the unbelievable sight of Ali the Lion of God, the Conqueror of Khaibar, the Victor against the giant warriors of Arabia, Umar Ibn Abda'ood and Marhab, being dragged by the people to the court of the Caliphate. It is to this extent that Ali fulfilled his promise of patience, to the Holy Prophet.
The Holy Prophet had predicted to Ali saying:
“Others will be preferred to thee when they will not be in their own rights. Resign thyself to it until thou reacheth me at the Spring (Kauthar).”(S.M.)
Ali reads out Salman's mind
Along with ali, was also arrested Salman the well-known faithful companion of the Holy Prophet and the servant of Ali, on whom the Holy Prophet had conferred the exclusive and the unique honour of declaring him as:
“As- Salman minna Ahlul Bayt”
Salman is of us the Ahlut-Bayt
Salman was also tied with a rope and was marched behind Ali. Salman was a very old gentleman, who, according to the historians, was more than two hundred years old, for he is reported to have died in 35 A.H while he was 250 years of age and according to some historians his age at his death was 350. (EHI) WhiIe marching under arrest, the oldest devotee of the House of the Holy Prophet could not keep pace with the men dragging him and at the same time he was sunk deep in wonder and surprise saying at heart:
“What! is this the same Ali, the ever victorious Lion of God whose strength is unconquerable and whose valiance and prowess matchless, who fought and killed the giant warriors of Arabia in single combats and who knew no running way from the battlefields even in the worst of the circumstances and when even the closest of the companions had deserted the Holy Prophet?”
Lost in his wonder and the irreconcilable surprise at the absolute patience of Ali, poor old Salman could not keep pace with those who were dragging him violently. Suddenly a violent blow from someone in the crowd fell on the neck of Salman with a shout to be quick. Ali, who was walking quietly under the rope, looking down, sounded to Salman behind him:
“Salman! the blow thou didst receive is the reward for thy wonder at heart about my silence and patience. What dost thou know Salman ! When to draw the sword and when to be quiet. This is to fulfil the will of the Lord declared to me through His Prophet.”
The open enmity becomes settled hypocrisy
With the establishment of Islam and the successful conclusion of the ministry of Muhammad, the Last Apostle of God, ended the need to fight any open enemy of the faith or of the Holy Prophet, for there did not remain any in the land who did not profess the faith who could defy it openly. As long as the faith was not firmly established and there were the open enemies strong enough to openly attack Islam and the Muslims, there was the need of Ali, the Lion of God the 'Karraran ghaira fararran', who knew only to fight the enemy of God and of the Holy Prophet and he knew not even to turn his face away from his antagonist, far from running away from him. Thus Ali was given to the Holy Prophet, with the godly strength, the matchless bravery and the wonderful prowess to play the role of the Ever-Triumphant Protector of the faith and the faithful.
But with the extirpation of the open opposition and aggression against the faith, ended the duty of the Lion of God, of an open fight against any open enemy, and with the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, started the problem of the preservice of the faith and the maintenance of the fellowship of its adherents, lest the tender plant of the just established faith which had not yet been sufficiently rooted in the minds and the hearts of the people, would perish forever, and there was no other prophet to come to re-establish it.
Until the firm establishment of Islam, there were the disbelievers who repeatedly attempted to regain the power and authority for their pagan cult, and with the firm establishment of Islam as an unshakable power, and the Holy Prophet departing from this world, started the struggle within the ranks of those who had embraced the faith half-heartedly, for power and authority which they restlessly waited to own for themselves. The one impediment in the way of these opportunists, was the problem of the declared position of the 'Ahlul', Bait', particularly of Ali who was the declared Vicegerent of the Holy Prophet, openly announced both at the very outset of the apostolic ministry (at the 'Daawate-Asheera' the Feast of the the Relatives) and finally at the conclusion of the apostleship, at 'Ghadeer- e- Khum' . Thus the pre Islamic enmity against the Holy Prophet now changed its course against the 'Ahlul Bayt' particularly against Ali, for without subjugating Ali and neglecting the 'Ahlul- Bait' none could have his own way.
The three classes of the people- The believers, the disbelievers and the Hypocrites
With the advent of Islam, the people of Mecca and Madina got sorted into two main groups- the believers and the disbelievers, and among those who professed belief in Islam, there were the sincere ones the 'Momins' and those who had joined the ranks succumbing to the changed circumstances over which they could not gain any hold, they were called the 'Monafiqs' or the Hypocrites. As regards the sincere believers and the hypocrites, Holy Qur'an clearly exposes the fact:
“The dwellers of the desert say 'We believe.' Say thou (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad unto them)' Ye do not believe (in fact). (Hence) say ye 'we have submitted ' (i.e., only embraced Islam) And the faith has not yet entered your heart.” (Holy Qur’an 49:14)
Even the declaration of the hypocrites, bearing witness to the apostleship of the Holy Prophet Muhammad has been flatly denied by God, as a false profession:
“When the hypocrites come unto thee (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad) say they (unto thee) ' Verily thou art the Apostle of God, and God knoweth that verily thou art His apostle, and God beareth witness that the hypocrites are certainly liars.” (Holy Qur’an 63:1)
Thus besides the evidence of history, there is the unchallengeable verdict of the Word of God about the fact that those who professed Islam and called themselves as Muslims, during the time of the Holy Prophet, all were not sincere. There were those in whose hearts the faith, far from getting rooted therein, had not even entered, they were only Muslims (49: 14) i.e., those submitted to the circumstances unavoidable for them. Verse 63:1 clearly gives out that the lip-profession of the faith in the apostleship of the Holy Prophet was not also the genuine conviction at the heart of the people and the people have been clearly termed by God himself, as the Hypocrites.
What happened to the Hypocrites
Besides history, the Holy Qur’an is too eloquent and too aloud to declare the fact, about the hypocrites being in a definite group of their own and how busy were the hypocrites in their subversive plans. The importance and the significance of making known the presence of the hypocrites among the Muslims and their inimical activities, is quite evident from a separate chapter altogether being assigned to describe their conduct and character and declare their evil intentions and devices.
The wonder is what happened to the hypocrites, that as the Holy Prophet departs from this world, there is a sudden silence about them, and there is no mention of them at all in any of the writings of the Muslims. The amazing questions arise:
Have they all suffered a wholesale death, immediately at the departure of the Holy Prophet, which no history reports?
Or, were they only waiting for the departure of the Holy Prophet and immediately as he left this world, they all, overnight became sincere believers, that there is no mention of them at all?
Or, they are those who have joined together and formed an organised front against the House of the Holy Prophet, for only in such a case none can expect the hypocrites themselves to call themselves hypocrites thereafter.
Otherwise where have they gone? What has happened to them that none speaks or makes mention of them at all?
The Possible and the Acceptable Answer
The one and the only object of the hypocrites and their hidden subversive activities, was the regaining of the power and authority from the Holy Prophet, which they could not do until his stay in this world, They only waited for his departure, and the moment he left, they had their own way and had successfully established themselves in power and authority neglecting the House of the Holy Prophet, (i.e., the Holy Ahlul Bayt).
Thus the dirty body of hypocrisy went under the cloak of general Islam and whenever the evils of hypocricy became too obvious to be hidden or to be defended; they were termed as unintentional indiscretion of a well- intended 'Ijtehad.'
The Holy Qur'an and the history is there to vouch that as hypocrites, during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, they tried the worst possible for them to displace the authority of the Holy Prophet by deserting him in the battles and ultimately even to kill him on his return from the battle of Hunain, and it is a historic fact that Hozaifa the faithful companion of the Holy Prophet, had the list of the plotters who were shown in their very person to the Holy Prophet, by heavens, through a timely lighting. And now as Muslims, having the power and authority which they lusted for so long, they easily bypassed the Holy Ahlul Bayt and established themselves over and above them, and planned to do away with them totally, by killing the godly ones one after another. Thus, with the departure of the Holy Prophet, ended the peace and the safety for the Ahlul Bayt, and started the age of their godly patience and endurance against the atrocious murderous treachery of the people, and simultaneously began the persecution and the slaughter of their devotees.
The Life in the House of the Ahlul Bayt
Fatimah during her lifetime set the best examples of a righteous and a correct womanhood on earth.
Her marriage was so simple that if the Muslims, particularly those who proudly claim to be the devotees of the Ahlul Bayt, only follow the example in their practical life, they will themselves be the happiest souls in their practical life.
Fatimah’s obedience to her husband was ideal and the contented life she led was a lesson to every Muslim woman. Her godliness and godmindedness was a beacon light of guidance to womanhood.
Her treatment to her handmaid 'Fizza' is a practical example to every righteous woman. In her household life even alternate day Fatimah herself minded the whole work of the household and Fizza was given rest.
It was Fatimah who said that the best thing for a woman is neither to cast her glance on any ‘Non-Mahram’ man nor to expose herself to his glance. It is worth imagining that if women follow this Fatemite Watchword for chaste Womanhood how pure and safe will be womanhood and how graceful, healthy, happy and holy would have been the human society today.
The distinctive and the distinguishing titles of the Holy Lady Fatimah, the only surviving issue and the most beloved one of the Holy Prophet have already been given above. The following are a few of the well-known declarations of the Holy Prophet about this Holy soul:
Mansoor bin Makramah records that the Holy Prophet said:
“Fatimah is a piece of my flesh. The one incurred her wrath, incurred my wrath too.”
“A scion of mine is Fatimah”said the Holy Prophet “Whatever maketh her happy, maketh me happy, and whatever filleth her with pain, filleth me too with pain.”
“Fatimah is a part of mine, whosoever annoyeth her, hath annoyed me, and whosoever annoyeth me, hath annoyed God, and whosoever annoyed God, hath turned an infidel.” (SB., SM., KU., MST., Etc.)
Before assessing the correct value of the above apostolic declarations, one should remember the position of the Holy Prophet under the following announcement of the Holy Qur'an:
“He (the Holy Prophet) speaketh not anything of his own inclination save what hath been revealed to him (by God).” (53:3)
It is how for every believer in the Holy Qur'an as the revealed Word of God, to say that if what is declared by the Lord is true, whatever the Holy Prophet said about his Ahlul Bayt, including the above announcements of his about Fatimah, was it not the will of the Lord that was communicated to mankind through His Apostle?
About annoying the Holy Prophet, the Holy Qur'an declares:
“Those who annoy God and His Apostle, God hath cursed them in this world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them an abasing chastisement.” (33:57)
The miserable plight of the Holy Lady
This holy lady Fatimah, the dearest of the Holy Prophet, the wife of the First Holy Imam Ali, the Holy Mother of the Eleven Holy Imams, about whom the Holy Prophet had taken the special care to repeatedly announce her divine heavenly position, was the first victim of the treachery of the people immediately after the departure of the Holy Prophet.
First of all, she was the most struck with sorrow and grief at the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world. When the Holy Prophet was about to breathe his last, he found Fatimah standing before him shedding tears. He embraced her and said something in her ears. The Holy Lady who was sunk in sorrow and grief and restlessly shedding tears, on hearing what was told into her ears by her departing Holy Father, went into a smile and looked cheerful. When asked about what was it that suddenly turned her sorrow into cheer and made her smile, she said that the Holy Prophet consoled her saying:
“Grieve not Fatimah! For thou will be the first among my Ahlul Bayt to meet me, and it is a very short interval of a few counted days of separation.”
It is already said that soon after the funeral of the Holy Prophet, only a day or two had passed instead of offering condolences to the bereaved holy family, an insurgent crowd surrounded the abode of this Holy Lady, a kick at her door by a tyrant caused the door to fall on her side, wounding her, breaking her rib, the wound which proved fatal.
The Holy Lady wept so much for her father the Holy Prophet that even the people in the neighbourhood could not bear the laments. Besides the grief and the sorrow for her father, was the treatment meted cut to her husband Ali, the Vicegerent of the Holy Prophet.
To add to her grief, she was deprived of her rights over the garden of Fidak which was bequeathed to her by her father the Holy Prophet. To know the details as to how her claim was rejected by the Caliphate, the reader may refer to Saheeh Bukhari which relates from Ayesha a detailed note about Fatimah's claiming the 'Fidak' and how it was rejected and how Fatimah got annoyed and to whom it was that she did not even talk, until she departed from this world.
Fatima Martyred: Succumbing To the Wound
Thus after seventy-five or ninety days after the departure of the Holy Prophet, as prophesied, the Holy Lady passed away. But before breathing her last she called Ali and desired that none of those particularly a few ones who had turned hostile to the House of the Prophet and violated the will of the Apostle of God, should be informed of her departure from this world, and that she should be quietly buried in the darkness of the night.
Some reporters say that when the body was lowered into the grave, by Ali, in the grave appeared the two hands of the Holy Prophet, with a voice addressing Ali:
“Come on! Ali! Return thou the part of mine to me.”
It is said that Ali shedding tears responded to the voice saying:
“I am ashamed of thee O’ Apostle of God, for I took Fatimah from thee sound in her body but I am now returning her unto thee rib broken.”
Thus the Holy Lady was the first of the martyrs among the Ahlul Bayt, after the departure of the Holy Prophet.
It is now left to the intelligent ones of the readers to judge the position of those who annoyed this holy one of God, (i.e., Lady Fatimah) under the apostolic announcements of the Holy Prophet and the verse of the Holy Qur'an referred to above. It is authentically reported that the Holy Lady once referring to her miserable plight and the sorrowful life she had to lead, addressing her father, the Holy Prophet, standing before his grave, said:
“Oh! Father dear! After thee, fell on me such miseries that had they fallen on bright days, the bright days would have turned into darkest nights.”
The Holy Lady of Light left behind two sons and two daughters whose ages at the time of her departing from them, were:
Hasan about 8 years
Husayn about 7 years
Zainab (daughter) about 6 years
Umm Kulthoom (daughter) about 5 years
The Ahlul Bayt knew their lot, beforehand
It is a universally acknowledged fact that every one of the Holy Ahlul Bayt, knew beforehand, everything that would befall in his or her life in this world, and the manner in which his or her earthly sojourn will end.
The Holy Prophet had announced a year ago that that year was the last one of his stay on earth and the pilgrimage he would perform that year, would be the last one and no pilgrimage thereafter he would have to do.
The Holy Prophet had already informed every one of the members of his Ahlul Bayt, every calamity that would befall them and the treacherous course the people would adopt after him with regard to his family.
The Holy Prophet had informed particularly about the calamities that would befall Husayn and the details of the gruesome massacre at Karbala.
To Ali the Holy Prophet had already said that he was seeing Ali with his (Ali's) beard drenched with the blood of his (Ali's) head, in the Mosque of Kufa.
Fatimah had already foretold even her handmaid Fizza about her departure. She was informed by the Holy Prophet about her stay in the world after him.
Ali even used to point out to Abdur Rahman Ibn Muljim as his assassin, when there was no apparent sign of Ibn Muljim entertaining any idea of killing Ali. Days before his martyrdom, Ali had been continuously informing his family about his destined departure and had already given the details of his funeral and the location of the place of the burial.
Hasan knew his end and had advised Husayn to be patient against the atrocious behaviour of the people and not to insist upon his burial besides his grandfather the Holy Prophet when it will be resisted and prevented.
Husayn's martyrdom was already prophecied by the Holy Prophet with all the details of the Tragedy. The Holy Prophet had even given a handful of a mysterious dust to Umm Salema his wife, saying that it was the dust of the plain of Karbala where Husayn will be martyred and when Husayn would be martyred, the dust would turn into blood, and it happened so.
It is reported that Fatimah before her departure, called her daughter Zainab to her and willed to her that on the day when Husayn would ask her for some torn clothes, it will be the last departure of Husayn from her (Zainab), then to kiss Husayn on her behalf on Husayn's throat on which will pass the sword of Shimr the assassin. Fatimah again called Husayn to her and willed to him, that before his ultimate separation from her (Zainab) to kiss on her behalf, on the two sides of her (Zainab's) arms on which will be tied the ropes when the ladies of the camp will be taken captives by the Yazidian forces.
Ali's Regard for Fatimah
Ali's regard for Fatimah was the same as was the regard of the Holy Prophet for Lady Khadija. Until the life of Lady Khadija, the Holy Prophet did not accept the hand of any other woman and likewise until the life of Fatimah, Ali did not marry any other woman.
The critics of Islam, in their ignorance of the truth, betray their prejudice in their venture to criticise saying that the Holy Prophet was extremely polygamous. Such prejudiced critics should know that when the Holy Prophet was in the bloom of his youth, he was not only contented but was the happiest husband of a lady in the decline of her age and the death of the lady who was older than himself, he observed the whole of the year following the death, as Aamul-Huzn, i.e., the Year of Grief. It is an elementary truth of human life that if a man be lusty in his sensual desires, particularly matrimonial, he would be such in his youth.
When the Holy Prophet was in the fullness of his youth and when he had an aged wife, and if he had only desired to have a young lady, there was already the offer from the people of Mecca to give the fairest woman of his own choice, if he only spares his condemning idolatry, but he bluntly refused. The fact is that the attachment of the Holy Prophet to Lady Khadija was so much that none dared to offer his daughter and no woman had the courage of even thinking of offering herself.
It was only at the departure of Lady Khadija that Abu Bakr could offer his daughter Ayesha who was of about nine years. History is there to vouch that when Ayesha was offered to him, at Mecca, the Holy Prophet refused and it was only in Madina after the migration that the Holy Prophet could not reject the offer of Abu Bakr any longer, just to please the companion that the offer was accepted, otherwise he would not have asked for the hand of a girl of only nine, when he had already crossed the fiftieth year of his age and when there were only a few years before his departure from this world. And the alliance of Hafsa with the Holy Prophet was only to please his other companion Umar. Similarly, came one after another, ladies, some of them far advanced in age imploring the Holy Prophet to give them the honour, privilege and the pride to be the wives of the Apostle of God. As the Mercy unto the Worlds which he was, the Holy Prophet could not deny the grace asked for, from him.
To know how happy and harmonious was the life of the Holy Prophet with his aged wife Khadija-let us hear what Carlyle reports about it:
This young brilliant Ayesha was, one day, questioning him: “Now am not I better than Khadija? She was a widow; old, and had lost her looks: you love me better than you did her?”-
“No by Allah! answered Mahomet: “No, by Allah!”She believed in me when none else would believe. In the whole world I had but one friend, and she was that!”- Seid, his Slave, also believed in him; these with his young Cousin Ali, Abu Talib's son, were his first converts. (Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus).
It is unimaginable that one who did not think of any other woman besides his wife, when he was a full-grown youth, to have ever thought of any woman, in the age of about 55 years. The truth is that none of the ladies besides Lady Khadija did the Holy Prophet desire to marry. They were either offered by their parents or the ladies themselves volunteered with prayers to accept them. The Holy Prophet, the Mercy unto the Worlds, could say no to none.
It was perhaps a providential plan to prove to man the weakness in women that even the Apostle of God who never talked or acted but by the revealed will of the Lord, having mercifully accepted the ladies in matrimony, could not escape the miseries that these ladies inflicted on him which went to the extent that for about a full month or even more, he discarded all of them and the suspension of his connection with the ladies was so long, that people even suspected him to have divorced the ladies and it was at the revelation of verse (66:1) that he resumed his connections with them. See the interpretation of this in any commentary of the Holy Qur'an by any commentator of any school of thought; be he a Muslim or a non-Muslim.
This was definitely to show to man that when even an apostle of God who is the most balanced head and the divinely conditioned personality, in spite of maintaining full justice among them, could not escape the torment of the envy of the women against each other, how can an ordinary man manage with more than one wife at a time. Even the sanction of having four wives at a time is only a sanction under emergencies and exigencies and not an order. The closing clause of the verse (4:3) clearly says that if equity could not be maintained then, man should take only one wife and the verse further clearly asserts that man will never be able to maintain equity among the women, which means that he can take only one at a time. If anyone misinterprets the law to suit his own fancy, law can never be responsible nor the Law-giver.
It must also be remembered that it was not Islam that started Polygamy in the world. Most of the ancient prophets and even the great sages in India who are worshipped as gods or the incarnations of gods were polygamous. On the other hand, Islam is the first of all the religious orders of the world, which controlled and regulated the matrimonial life of man and woman, protecting the rights of woman and restricted the unbridled and unlimited polygamy in such a logical and realistic way that it made man either naturally monogamous or got the lust in man for sexual enjoyment, fully harnessed, loaded with heavy responsibilities to his wives, safe-guarding the rights of woman. The responsibilities or the restrictions imposed on polygamy are such that the Holy Qur'an clearly warns man saying it will be impossible for him to bear them. What Islam has done for woman, no other religion in the world had even thought of.
The Holy Qur'an - Its Compilation
It is a historic fact acknowledged on all hands that as and when the Holy Qur'an was revealed in Suras, in parts of Suras, and in lonely verses, it was then and there recorded by the scripts engaged by the Holy Prophet for the purpose. It is also said that at the receipt of each revelation, the Holy Prophet used to direct the scripts to place it in a certain sura and thus by the end of the ministry the Book of God, the Holy Qur'an, was completely compiled in the form of a perfect Book and before his departure, the Holy Prophet declared:
“I leave behind amidst you, two great things, the Book of God and my Ahlul Bayt. Should ye be attached to these Two, never, never will ye get astray after me, for verily these Two will never be separated from each other until they both meet me at the Spring of Kauther.”(TA., DM., SM., and others)
The above declaration of the Holy Prophet, the genuineness of which is universally acknowledged by all the traditionists, clearly indicates that at the time of the departure of the Holy Prophet there was the Holy Qur'an in the form of a complete Book approved by him. Otherwise the statement on the part of the Holy Prophet that he was leaving the Book will hold no truth.
Secondly, there is the clear undertaking by God Himself about the preservation of the Holy Qur'an in its originality and purity, and the Holy Book being guarded by God Himself:
“Verily We have sent down the Reminder (the Holy Qur'an) and We Ourselves shall be its Guardian.” (15:9)
Who can believe that the above declared will of the Lord, expressed as a challenge to those who had swallowed up the previous scriptures, was not fulfilled and any human hand to have obstructed its fulfilment.
Besides history loudly declares and it is acknowledged by all the traditionists that the following persons had the full text of the Holy Qur'an in the form of a complete Book which had been read out to the Holy Prophet and which he had approved-
Ali Ibn Abi Talib.
Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud.
Ka'b Ibn Obai.
Ma'az bin Jabal.
and the copy of Ali Ibn Abi-Talib contained the explanatory and the special notes about the external as well as the internal meaning of each verse of the Holy Book, given by the Holy Prophet. (RN., TIB.)
The question arises that when the above historic facts were known to one and all in Madina and Mecca and to the world around, where was the necessity of any fresh endeavour on the part of any one to collect the Holy Qur'an anew:
It is said that the steps to collect the Qur'an were first taken during the regime of the first Caliph and continued during the whole of the regime of the second Caliph and ultimately the endeavour ended in the regime of the third Caliph, without any result, for, history says that the whole collection was deposited with Ummol Momineen Ayesha, the daughter of the first Caliph and there, a part of the collection was eaten away by a goat. There is no historic record to say that that collection was ever completed and if so by whom and whether it was ever put to any use by any one thereafter.
What history says is only that the third Caliph took some authentic copy and granted it, his official seal as the authorised version and commanded that that version of the Holy Qur'an only shall be followed, and in fact the same version was there in the use of the people all the while since the departure of the Holy Prophet hence there was not the least murmur or objection to it from any quarter. Since the copy with the official seal was the one which was already with them, the Ahlul Bayt also allowed it to be called the official version.
It cannot be believed by any Muslim that until about twenty five years there was no Qur'an in the world. What was it then that the Holy Prophet had said that he was leaving the Book of God and what happened to the challenging declaration from God Himself (15:9) God Himself being the Guardian of the Book which He revealed to the Holy Prophet?
There is history which declares that by the time the third Caliph set his official seal on a copy of the Holy Qur'an and declared it as the official version of the Holy Book, Iran had embraced Islam and the faith had reached up to Azarbaijan on one side, and up to Egypt on the other, and the Holy Qur'an was already in the regular daily use of the people.
Thus the present Qur'an is the copy of the Holy Book which was compiled in its present order and read to the Holy Prophet and approved by him and was in use of the Muslim world since then. No doubt, the copy of Ali Ibn Abi Talib contained the special explanatory notes but when Ali offered that copy, it was rejected by the Caliphate. However, the notes of Ali were given out by his successor Imams, after him, to their disciples which are found in the commentary of the Holy Qur'an based on the version of the Ahlul Bayt.
Whatever opinion about the Holy Qur'an any one might have, but this is the Truth and to say that there was nothing to be called a Book of God and yet the Holy Prophet said that he was leaving it among the people is a clear calumny or that Ali Ibn Abi Talib had the complete copy of it, but he suppressed it and did not allow the public to have the due benefit of it, and he did not publish it even when he had the opportunity to do it, when he was the Caliph, is a false charge against the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imam Ali and a blasphemy against God Himself of having taken the undertaking to guard the Holy Book and not fulfilling His word.
When one speaks of anything of Islam or about Islam, the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith or the Traditions of the Holy Prophet must be kept in view otherwise what will be said, will be nothing but conjectures of no value whatsoever.
The Holy Prophet says that he has left Two very weighty things and they will never be separated from each other until they reach him at the 'Spring Kauther'. If there was not such a book to be called the Holy Qur'an until the third Caliph compiled it in 35 A.H. it would mean that the Ahlul Bayt were without the Book of God for about twenty five years, which is against the declaration of the Holy Prophet, which can never be, which is definitely an impossibility for the word of the Holy Prophet according to the Holy Qur'an, is the Word of God (53:3, 4).
If it be said that of the Ahlul Bayt Ali had a complete copy of the Holy Qur'an and the saying of the Holy Prophet was not wrong, then the proposition goes against the wording of the saying which is “I leave among you”i.e., among the people, and not among the Ahlul Bayt. Secondly, if the Book of God was secured with the Ahlul Bayt with its unavailability to the general public, how could the parting advice of the Holy Prophet 'if ye be attached to these Two' be enacted by the Muslims?
The Truth is that when the Holy Prophet gave out the declaration the ‘Hadeethuth-Thaqalayn'(the tradition of the Two Weighty things), there was the Holy Qur'an with the people, the present copy of it and it is a fact that the Ahlul Bayt will always be with the Holy Book and the Holy Book in its present external form and with its meanings plain as well as latent, will always be with the Ahlul Bayt.
If intelligently read, the 'Hadeethuth- Thaqalain' is a clear guarantee or a proof-positive of the fact about the reverse of the statement 'never will they be separated from each other', which clearly indicates that as long as the Holy Qur'an is there in the world, there will surely be one from the 'Ahlul Bayt'i.e., one of the divinely commissioned Imams of them. It is a clear guidance that in this age also there is one from the 'Ahlul Bayt' the last one of them the Holy Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi. It is quite a different thing altogther, people believing in him or not. There is God, as He is not seen some people deny His Existence; it does not mean that the Existence of God, is really questionable.
God, the Almighty has kept certain chosen ones of His, like 'Kidr', 'Idrees', and 'Jesus'; some people may not believe in this fact but it does not mean that God also is as helpless as any one of us to be subjected to the little and the limited knowledge of the laws of nature which we possess, whereas, He is the Independent Author of nature and nature is subject to His will, and His will is not subject to nature. Nature is nothing but the enactment of His Will.
The motive behind such allegations against the position of the Holy Qur'an is obviously to say that the compilation, the preservation and the propagation of the Holy Qur'an was not done by the Ahlul Bayt but by somebody else. This was another move to deprive the Holy ones, of their divine right. Or it can be a charge against Ali that though he possessed a copy of the Holy Book, he did not make it available to the Muslims, even when he once came to power as a Caliph.
Some of the scholars seem to have been misled when they speak of the number of the verses reported to have been found in some version of the Holy Book. They have obviously mistaken the explanatory notes might have been there recorded besides the verses in those versions, owned by the different people, as the verses themselves. While arguing about the number of the verses found in any other version with anybody else, one should also remember the declaration of the Sixth Holy Imam Jaffar Ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq that the Holy Qur'an is what is in between the two pads', i.e., nothing less and nothing more.
The Devil's plan frustrated
Abu Sufyan was old arch enemy of Islam and the Holy Prophet, thinking Ali to have been disappointed at others getting into power, position and authority over the Muslim Empire, deemed it an opportunity to create a rift in the Muslim ranks and to initiate a civil war among the Muslims themselves. He came to Ali and condemning the conduct of the people against the legitimate rights of Ali, offered to aid Ali with a huge army, if only Ali wanted to revolt against the Caliphate established by the people. But Ali's reply utterly frustrated the Devil's plan to bring ruin to Islam and the Muslims. Ali told Abu Sufyan:
“You wanted to ruin Islam and the Muslims during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet and now also you aim to do the same, but Ali will never allow you to succeed.”
Miracles- Their Value and Significance
If people, particularly the enlightened minds of the educated ones among us, only know the meaning of a miracle, its actual value and its significance in the field of guidance to humanity towards the divine truth, far from demanding it, they would never think of it.
A miracle is called in Arabic 'Mo'jiza', i.e., an act or manifestation which makes the world helpless against it, i.e., none in the world other than the men of God, can work it. A miracle has three definite aspects of its indication:
The need of it relating to the mission of an apostle of God means his helplessness to make men realise the truth or understand it through the appeal to the faculty of reasoning in the intellect of the people. Or the unreasonable adamance on the part of the people to believe in the bonafide of the man of God being in fact an apostle of God.
The demand of it on the part of the people, is an indication of the lack of the necessary strength of the faculty of reasoning to realise, understand or recognise the truth by means of their own native endowment of the intellect, and their readiness to believe in a thing only when they are made helpless against it.
The use of a miracle in leading the people to the belief in a factor, is to somehow compel them to do it, forcing the belief on them, though they may like it or not.
The power to work miracles was given to every apostle of God, and to the Holy Prophet the last one of them and along with him, every one of the Imams or the divinely commissioned guides from his Holy House, was given the power in its totality. All the prophets, preceding the Holy Prophet, freely used the power and worked out miracles for two reasons:
The people in the initial or transitory stages of their intellect failed to grasp the truth by their limited reasoning and needed something unusual and impossible to be enacted to convince them of the bonafide of the claim of the man of God to be the apostle from God.
Since man in those ages, with his yet to develop intellect, was on the wrong track, the divine mercy willed to stop his straying, even by the force of the manifestation of the supreme power of the miracles.
When the final message of guidance in its perfect consolidation was to be given to man with his intellect developed to the extent necessary to understand the right and the wrong without any difficulty, and when man had to be given the individual responsibility after receiving the final guidance, there was no necessity to force the conscience or the intellect in man to accept anything blindly, merely guided by the manifestations of miraculous events. When the heaven's decree of 'No compulsion in faith' ' None shall bear the burden of the other'-'Every atom of goodness shall have its return and every atom of evil shall be punished'- had to be announced, there was neither the necessity to show any miracles nor there was any meaning in forcing the truth on man when man had to be tried with the responsibility of the individual choice of the right course.
The Biggest Miracles of the Holy Prophet
The explanation regarding the meaning of a miracle, and its significance given above, does not mean that the Holy Prophet or the Imams of His Holy House did not show any miracles to their people. The miracles shown by the previous prophets ended with them and remained only in the scriptures, but the miracles of the Holy Prophet had been of various kinds. Some of his miracles were timely as those of the previous apostles- viz.
The dead, dried and the rotten tree getting evergreen by his touch.
The coming of the date palm to him and its returning to its original position, by his command.
His foretelling the fate of the Benedict against Abu Talib, hung in the Ka'ba, and the innumerable other similar events. Some were those which continued until his stay on earth viz.
The sweet fragrance of his body which every approacher to him felt.
His possessing a shadowless body.
His belt being taken out of his waiste, without being untied or loosened, passing through his body.
His seeming taller than the tallest one when walking besides him.
His prophecies, besides the revelations from the Lord.
His having no education under any mortal, and yet being the fountainhead of knowledge to be called the 'City of Knowledge.'
And the greatest and the ever-current or the everlasting miracle of his, is the Holy Qur'an with its ever-current challenge to the world as a whole, to bring a chapter, or a few verses of its kind, which humanity till now could not do, nor would it do until the end of the world.
Similarly, every Imam of his Holy House worked innumerable miracles in his own time.
The Succession to an Apostle of God
To know as to who is that, with who rests the authority to appoint a successor to an apostle of God, God or man? One should first know who actually God’s apostle is. The first apostle Adam, is titled by God Himself as his 'Khalifa' or Vicegerent. Thus it becomes clear that an apostle of God is a 'Khalifatullah' i.e., the Vicegerent of God on earth.
Who appoints a 'Khalifatullah'
To know as to who appoints a Khalifatullah', i.e., the Vicegerent of God? God Himself or man? Or to know as to how the appointment is effected, by God's independent decree or by any election among men by themselves, or by the nomination of a man by another man, we need not refer to any authority of any priest or consult any philosopher, for the Holy Qur'an is too plain and too aloud about the matter. In the very second chapter of the Holy Book, is there, that God did not consult even the sinless and the faithful specie of the angels, but only informed them of His decided will, to appoint Adam as His Vicegerent on earth:
“When said thy Lord unto the angels, Verily, I am appointing a 'Khalifa' (a Vicegerent) in the earth.” (2:30)
Hearing the announcement of the will of the Lord, the angels submitted their knowledge about the character and the conduct of the people who then inhabited the earth, saying:
“What! wilt Thou appoint the one who maketh mischief in it and sheddeth blood? And we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness.” (2:30)
The absolute independence of the Lord did not tolerate even the enquiry on the part of the angels who submitted only a truth, and immediately the Lord remarked:
“Verily I know what ye know not.” (2:30)
The above one verse of the Holy Qur'an gives out many important factors about the Vicegerency of the Lord, the mode of the appointment of a Vicegerent, his duties, and his position among the creation as a whole. The verse gives out:
The 'Khalifatullah' or the Vicegerent of God on earth is appointed by God Himself.
The personal qualities of the 'Khalifatullah' are in- conceivable by, or unknown even to the angels.
The personal excellence of the 'Khalifatullah' is known only to God, and God does not deem even the angels as fit to bear the knowledge of it, hence He did not give it out to them. The angels were only told what God knoweth about His 'Khalifa', even they knew not.
The term 'Khalifa' (Caliph) suggests that the one appointed is to rule the kingdom of God on behalf of God, i.e., as God wills.
A 'Khalifa' is he who is vested with all the powers and the authority of him whom he represents. Thus the 'Khalfatullah' will be endowed with all the powers and the authority over the Kingdom of God. All creation of the Lord will be under the 'Khalifatullah' and the 'Khalifatullah' being under the absolute submission to the Lord.
The Holy Qur'an gives out another factor for our guidance that a 'Khalifa' or the vicegerent of God, is given the store of knowledge necessary for the office, by God Himself. Adam was given knowledge by God Himself and then the angels were asked to give out what was taught to Adam, which they failed to do.
“And He (God) taught Adam all the Names, then presented them to the Angels; He (God) said (unto the Angels), 'Tell Me ye the names of those if ye be truthful'.” (2:31)
The Angels said that they knew nothing more than what they were taught. (2:32)
It means that what was taught to Adam was not taught to the Angels.
As the vicegerency will proceed further, according to the evolutionary progress of the human intellect with which the Vicegerent of the age and of the place will have to deal, so will the Lord, naturally gift His Vicegerent with higher intellect and an increased store of knowledge.
When it is the will of the Lord to send to mankind His Last or the Chief Vicegerent, 33:40, the Vicegerent now sent, will naturally and necessarily be endowed with knowledge in its fullness and such a Vicegerent alone will have the right and courage to say:'I am the City of Know1edge' And only such a Vicegerent will naturally be the nearest one to the Lord 53:9 and His dearest one. Being the nearest one, he would not speak or act but what the Lord reveals to him and only about such a Deputy of His, the Lord declared:-
“Nor doth he (The Holy Prophet Muhammad) speaketh of his own inclination.” It is naught but a revelation revealed. (53:3)
It is a natural and a simple inference that when the first of God's apostles, sent into the world in its primitive state, is called His 'Khalifa' or the Vicegerent, the Last one of His apostles sent to humanity with the maturity of intellect to bear the truth in its fullness, must naturally and necessarily be the 'Khalifa' or the Vicegerent of God in the Highest Order or Grade. The Holy Qur'an gives out the fact that among the apostles of God, there are grades of superiority of one over the other:
“These apostles, we have exalted some of them over the others. Of them are some unto whom God hath spoken 20:11 and some He bath raised in degrees.” (2:253)
If the first 'Khalifa' or the Vicegerent of God, was superior to the angels in his personal excellence as to entitle him to the 'Sijdah' or the prostration of the angels 20:116 the Last or the Chief of the Apostles will naturally be of a superior- most excellence. His purity physical and spiritual will be matchlessly divine among the creation as a whole. Naturally such a super-fine personality can never be succeeded but by those of the same purity. Referring to the purity of the Last Apostle and the people of his Holy House, the Ahlul Bayt, God has declared:
“God only willeth that He keepeth away uncleanliness from you, O’ Ahlul Bayt, and purify you a thorough purification.” (33:33)
God could have purified only the Holy Prophet, if the divine guidance to mankind had to end with him. The equal purification of his 'Ahlul Bayt' along with him can never be purposeless for God is the All-Wise Lord. The act of the All-Wise can never be purposeless or vain. Thus the equal purification of the 'Ahlul- Bait' along with the Holy Prophet, clearly indicates that the 'Ahlul Bayt' have also to serve one and the same identical purpose along with the Holy Prophet and after him, not as apostles but as the 'Imams' or the vicegerents of the Lord on earth. It is only a matter of simple common sense to know that the place of the pure can be taken only by the pure and no impurity or pollution can ever fit in, in the place of purity, perfect and supreme.
Every apostle of God was a 'Khalifatullah' or the vicegerent of God, some were for themselves, some for a particular people and some for a particular place and age with particular assignment and jurisdiction: Noah was sent to a particular people 23:23, Moses to the people of Pharaoh 20:24, Saleh to Thamud 7:7.3, Lot to his people 7:80 and similarly the others.
The Last Apostle or the Chief Vicegerent of God, was sent not to any one people or time, but to mankind as a whole i.e., as long as mankind is there on earth 7:158, 4:79, 34:28. And he was declared not only a 'Nazeer' or a Warner or a 'Rasool' i.e., a Messenger but as 'Sirajun Muneer' an Ever-Lighted Lamp 33:46 and more than any other status or position, he has been given an exclusive distinction as the 'Mercy unto the Worlds' 21:107.
The position of the Last Apostle of God is clearly stated to be over and above all the other apostles as a witness over them on the Day of Judgment which declaration also clearly hints that in the realm of spirit or in the order of existence, the Last one of the apostles, must necessarily have existed even prior to Adam as the Holy Prophet said 'Awwalo' ma Khalaqallah Noori' i.e., What God first created is my 'Noor', Light. It is evident that he was ever vigilant over the ministries of all the apostles of God, preceding him in the apostolic service on earth. Otherwise he could not be a witness on all his predecessors:
“And on that Day We shall raise up in every people a witness on them from among themselves, and bring thee (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad) as a witness on them (all).” (16:89)
It is a well-known fact that a doctor alone can take the place of a doctor or an Engineer only can take the place of an Engineer. It is quite natural that a successor to a 'Khalifatullah' can never be but a 'Khalifatullah’ and he could be none else other than of those purified by God Himself 33:33 of the same calibre and of the same excellence and purity. It is referring to this fact identifying the personal excellence of his successors the Holy Imams (the Khalifatullahs), that the Holy Prophet has said:
“I and Ali are of one and the same Light.”
And about the Twelve Imams who will succeed him, the Holy Prophet declared:
Awwalona Muhammad - The First one of us is Muhammad
Ausatona Muhammad - The Middle one of us is Muhammad
Aakhirona Muhammad- The Last one of us is Muhammad
Kollona Muhammad Every one of us is Muhammad
i.e. Like the Holy Prophet Muhammad, all the Imams succeeding him, though not as apostles of God, are identical in their being the vicegerents of the Lord, on the earth with the same purity and the excellence, physical and spiritual, gifted to them by their Lord Himself.
It is necessary for the readers to know that 'Khilafat' means here 'Imamat' and 'Imamat' actually means 'Vilayat' or the divine guardianship or mastery.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad was an 'Imam' as well as a 'Rasool' (Apostle) or 'Nabi' (the Prophet of God)- The 'Imamat', or the 'Vilayat' of the Holy Prophet is superior or higher to his 'Risalat', i.e., apostleship, or his 'Nubowwat', i.e., prophethood, and his 'Risalat' and his 'Nubowwat' end with the conveyance of the message or the conclusion of his ministry as a Prophet but his 'Imamat', i.e., Leadership or Guidance, or his 'Vilayat', i.e., his Guardianship or Mastery remains with him and his successors 'Imams' or the 'Valies', for ever, until the end of the world.
It is in the light of these guiding factors given out by the Holy Qur'an, the Final Word of God that one has to view the position of the Holy Prophet Muhammad or the Holy Imams, particularly of Husayn, connected with the subject of this brief work.