Part 2 : Preparation For Delivering an Important Commandment From Allah
I confess before Him that submissiveness befits my soul, and I bear witness that Lordship befits Him.
I convey what He revealed to me, lest should I not do it, He may make lawful that a calamity befalls me;
that which no one can turn away from me even if he has great schemes [and sincere friendship]¦, (for) there is no god but He.
He has informed me that if I do not convey what He has revealed to me [about Ali’s right]., (it is as if) I have not conveyed His message at all.
Certainly, He, the most holy, the most high, has guaranteed for me protection [from the (evil of) people]., and He is Allah, Who is sufficient and bountiful.
Thus, He revealed to me (this verse): “In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful. O Messenger! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord—regarding Ali Ibn Abi Talib and his leadership— and if you do not, you have not conveyed His message at all, and Allah shall protect you from (evil) people.”1
O people! I have never been neglectful of conveying what Allah, the exalted, sent down to me, and I shall now explain to you the reason behind the revelation of this verse.
1 Chapter 5, Verse 67 of the Holy Quran.
Verily, Gabriel came down to me three times giving the order of my Lord, Who is the security (of the believers)1, that I should stand in this scene and inform everyone, white and black, that:
Ali Ibn Abi Talib is my brother, my deputy and the executor of (my affairs) (Wasi), my successor [over my nation]. (Khalifa), and the leader (Imam) after me,
whose position to me is like that of Aaron to Moses except that there shall be no prophet after me,
and that he is your guardian (Wali) after Allah and His messenger.
Indeed, Allah, the most holy, the most high, had (already) sent down to me a verse from His book about this, saying,
1 cf. al-Tafsir, Ali Ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi, vol. 2, p 360, under the commentary of Chapter 59, Verse 23 of the Holy Quran.
“Only your guardian is Allah and His messenger and those of the believers who establish the prayers and pay the charity while they bow down.”1
Ali Ibn Abi Talib [was the one who]. kept alive prayers and paid charity while bowing down in ruku’. He intends (the pleasure of) Allah, the mighty and the majestic, in all situations.
1 Chapter 5, Verse 55 of the Holy Quran. Notice that in this verse, Allah does not use the plural form of guardian (Wali), and He states that only your Wali is Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and Imam Ali. This implies that, at least for us, the Walaya of Imam Ali (PBUH) is the same as (rather defined as) the Walaya of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF), which in turn, is defined as the Walaya of Allah.
Hence, when Allah states in Chapter 32, Verse 4 of the Holy Quran that there is no Wali other than Him (min dun Allah), this does not exclude whom He assigned as Wali. Alternatively, we can say that there is no Wali other than those whose authority is from Allah (min Allah).
In this connection, Imam Ali (PBUH), said, “... Allah made them (i.e. Ahl al-Bait) His authorized representatives, and defined their Walaya as His Walaya and their party as His party and said, ‘As to those who turn to the Walaya of Allah, His Messenger, and the believers,- it is the party of Allah that most certainly triumphs.’
(5:56) He also said, ‘Only your guardian (Wali) is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers who establish prayers and give charity while they are bowing.’ (5:55).” (al-Tafsir, al-Nu'mani, as quoted in Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 66, p. 80, and vol. 90, p. 55).
I asked Gabriel to plead to Allah, [(Who is) the security (of the believers),]. to excuse me from conveying it to you, O people,
due to my knowledge on the fewness of the pious, the numerousness of the hypocrites,1 the corruption and the treachery of the sinful, and the trickery of those who ridicule Islam,
those whom Allah described in His book as: “They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts,”2 taking it lightly, while it is a grave matter in the sight of Allah,3
1 The Holy Quran confirms that the majority of people are disbelievers (cf. 13:1, 16:83, 17:89, 26:8, 30:8), wicked (6:116, 5:49, 5:100), ungrateful (2:243, 7:10, 23:78, 27:73, 34:13), and consequently, will abide in Hell (7:179).
2 Chapter 48, Verse 11 of the Holy Quran.
3 cf. Chapter 24, Verse 15 of the Holy Quran.
and due to their annoying me on many occasions, so much so that they called me (all) “ear”, claiming I am so because of Ali’s frequent attendance in my presence and my attention to him,
until Allah, the mighty and the majestic, sent down (the following verse) in this regard:
“And of them are some who annoy the Prophet and say: He is an ear (for accepting what he hears, particularly from Ali).
Say: One whom you call ‘ear’ is best for you; He believes in Allah, safeguards the believers, and is a mercy for those of you who believe. And for those who harm the messenger of Allah, there shall be a painful torment.”1
1 Chapter 9, Verse 61 of the Holy Quran. Had I wished to name those who have called me so, to point out towards them, or to lead to them by their signs, I would have done so.
Yet, by Allah, I have indeed dealt with their affairs magnanimously.
Nevertheless, Allah is not satisfied with me until I convey what He has sent down to me [regarding the right of Ali.].”
Then, the Prophet (PBUH) recited (again the following verse): “O Messenger! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord—with regard to Ali— and if you do not, you will not have conveyed His message at all, and Allah shall protect you from (evil) people.”1
1 Chapter 5, Verse 67 of the Holy Quran.