Part 3 : Open Declaration of the Leadership of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (pbuh) and the Imams After Him

O people! Know that Allah has assigned him (i.e., Ali) as a guardian and a leader for you,

whose obedience is obligatory for the immigrants, the helpers, and those who follow (them) in goodness,

and for everyone, whether nomad or city resident, Arab or non-Arab, free or slave,

young or old, white or black, and for every monotheist.

His (i.e., Ali’s) decree is to be carried out, his saying is sanctioned (as law), and his command is effective.

êüىك@ïـا@a‰èد@êüىك@oن×@هك Cursed is whoever opposes him, blessed with mercy is whoever follows him, faithful is whoever acknowledges his (virtues and rights).

Indeed, Allah has covered him and those who listen to him and obey him with mercy and forgiveness.

O people! This is the last stand I make in this gathering;

Thus, listen, obey, and submit to the command of your Lord,

for Allah, the mighty and the majestic, is your master, then [His Messenger]., Muhammad, who is now addressing you, is your master.

Then, after me, Ali is your master and your leader by the command of Allah, your Lord.

Then, leadership shall be in my progeny, within his offspring, until the Day you meet Allah and His Messenger.

Nothing is lawful except what Allah declared so (in His book), [as well as His Messenger, and them (i.e., the Imams)

and nothing is unlawful except Allah declared so (in His book), [as well as His Messenger, and them].,

(for) Allah, the mighty and the majestic, has informed me of the permissible and the forbidden things,

and I have made known to him (i.e., Ali) what my Lord has taught me of His Book, the permissible, and the forbidden things.

O people! There is no knowledge except that Allah has kept its account in (the heart of) me,

êüىك@ïـا@a‰èد@êüىك@oن×@هك and I have recorded the details of all the knowledge that I was taught, in (the heart of) the leader of the pious, (Ali (PBUH)).

Certainly, there is no knowledge except that I have taught it to Ali, and he is the evident Imam [whom Allah mentions in the Chapter of Yasin: “... And We have kept the detailed account of everything in an evident Imam.”1].

. O people! Do not stray from him, nor should you flee from him, nor should you refuse his guardianship and his authority,

for he is the one who guides to truth and acts upon it, and crushes falsehood and proscribes it, accepting no blame, in the path of Allah, from any blamer.

1 Chapter 36, Verse 12 of the Holy Quran.

He is the first to believe in Allah and in His Messenger; and he is the one who offered his life as a sacrifice for the Messenger of Allah.

I commanded him, on behalf of Allah, to sleep in my bed, and he did it to sacrifice himself for me.1].

He was with the Messenger of Allah when no one among men worshipped Allah in the company of His Messenger other than him.

O people! Prefer him (over all others), for Allah has indeed preferred him, and turn to him, for Allah has indeed appointed him (as your guide).

1 This refers to the night of migration of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) from Mecca to Medina, when the pagans rushed to kill the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in his bed overnight, but they found Imam Ali (PBUH) sleeping in place of him.

O people! He is an Imam authorized by Allah, and Allah shall never turn to anyone (in mercy) who denies his authority, nor shall He ever forgive him;

this is a decisive decree by Allah that He shall do so to anyone who opposes His command about him, and shall torment him with the most painful torment, which lasts forever and ever.

Hence, beware lest you oppose him, and thus, arrive at a fire whose fuel is people and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.1

I am the seal of the prophets and the messengers, and the proof (of Allah) over all the creatures, of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earths.

1 cf. Chapter 2, Verse 24 of the Holy Quran.

He who doubts this, is indeed a disbeliever, with the disbelief of the early era of ignorance.

And he who doubts anything of what I have said this (day), has doubted all that has been revealed to me.

[And anyone who doubts any of the Imams, has doubted them all]., and anyone who doubts us, shall be in the Fire.

O people! Allah, the mighty and the majestic, has bestowed this virtue upon me out of His kindness and His grace.

And there is no god but He. My praise is for Him forever and ever, and in all circumstances. .eZ5. .

O people! Prefer Ali (over all others), for he is the best of the people, men or women, after me so long as Allah sends down His sustenance and (and so long as) the creation exists.

Under curse and again under curse, under wrath and again under wrath, is he who rejects this saying of mine and does not does not agree with it.

Certainly, Gabriel has informed me of this from Allah, the most high, Who also said:

“Anyone who bears enmity against Ali and refuses his authority, for him shall be My curse and My wrath.”

Thus, every soul should look to what he has sent forth for the morrow. Be watchful of (your duty towards) Allah lest you should oppose Him and (your) foot should slip after its stability. Verily,

Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do. 1 O people! He (i.e., Ali) is “the side of Allah”2 that is mentioned in Allah’s Book.

He, the exalted, says, “Lest a soul should (then) say: ‘Ah! Woe onto me that I abused and neglected (my duties towards) the side of Allah.’”3

O people! Reflect on the Quran and comprehend its verses. Look into its clear verses and do not follow its ambiguous parts,4

1 cf. Verses 59:18 and 16:94 of the Holy Quran.

2 Side is used to express extreme nearness. One’s side is the closest thing to an individual. Imam Ali (PBUH) is called the “side” of Allah because he got “close” to Him through obedience so much so that he became the criterion of nearness to Allah and His recognition.

In this manner, nearness to Imam Ali (PBUH) indicates nearness to Allah, neglecting his right indicates neglecting Allah's right, forsaking him indicates forsaking Allah, and recognizing him in one's heart indicates recognizing Allah.

3 Chapter 39, Verse 56 of the Holy Quran.

4 Allah states in Chapter 3, Verse 7 of the Holy Quran: “It is Him Who has sent down to you the Book, within which are some clear verses that are the foundation of the Book, and other verses that are ambiguous. But, those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is ambiguous, seeking enticement and attraction (of for by Allah, none shall be able to explain to you its warnings and its mysteries,1 nor shall anyone clarify its interpretation, other than the one that I have grasped his hand, brought up beside myself, [and lifted his arm,].

the one about whom I inform you that whomever I am his master, this Ali is his master;

people towards their own views), and searching for its hidden meaning. But, no one knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge…” According to the traditions, “those who are firmly grounded in knowledge” refers exclusively to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and his family (Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)). cf. al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 213, Hadiths 1, 2, and 3, Kitab Sulaim Ibn Qais al-Hilali, p. 771, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 33, p. 155, also vol.

23, p. 198, Hadith 31, p. 201, Hadith 40, and p. 202, Hadith 46. Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) has confirmed this exclusive right for the Imams (PBUT) in the next sentence of the sermon by swearing in the name of Allah.

1 The word Zawajir has a number of meanings. The first meaning that applies here is “warnings”. The Holy Quran has hidden warnings that only an Imam (PBUH) can show them to people, and people cannot personally derive those divine prohibitions from the apparent meaning of the Quranic verses.

The second meaning is “deterrents”, which refers to the difficult points in the Quran that deter individuals from understanding their meanings. Only a divinely guided Imam can explain these complex issues and mysteries.

and he is Ali Ibn Abi Talib, my brother, the executor of my (will), whose appointment as (your) guardian and leader has been sent down to me from Allah, the mighty and the majestic.

O people! [Indeed, I am leaving amongst you two weighty and precious things that if you adhere to both, you will never go astray.]§

Verily, Ali and the pure ones among my offspring are the lesser weight, and the Quran is the greater weight.

Each one [of the two]. informs about the other and agrees with it. They shall never part until they return to me at the Pool (of al- Kawthar on the Day of Judgement).

Behold! They (i.e., the Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)) are the trustees of Allah amongst His creation, and His people of wisdom on His earth.”

Thereafter, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HF) took the upper arm of Imam Ali (PBUH) by his hand, raised it, and said:

[“O people! Who has more priority over you than yourself?” People said: “Allah and His messenger.”

Then, he (PBUH&HF) said:

“Behold! Whosoever I am his master, this Ali is his master. O Allah! Stay firm in supporting those who stay firm in following him, be hostile to those who are hostile to him, help those who help him, and forsake those who forsake him.]*

O people! This Ali is my brother, the executor of my (affairs), the container of my knowledge, my successor over my nation, and over the interpretation the Book of Allah, the mighty and the majestic, and the true inviter to its (implications).

He is the one who acts according to what pleases Him, fights His enemies, causes to adhere to His obedience, and advises against His disobedience.

Surely, He is the successor of the Messenger of Allah, the commander of the believers, the guiding Imam, and the killer of the oath breakers, the transgressors, and the apostates.

I speak by the authority of Allah. The word with me shall not be changed.1 I say with the command of Allah:

O Allah! Be the guardian of him who adheres to him.

Be the enemy of him who bears enmity against him.

Curse him who rejects him. .

Be wrathful towards him who denies his right.

1 cf. Chapter 50, Verse 29 of the Holy Quran.

Indeed, I have now fulfilled (my duty). Indeed, I have now conveyed (the Message). Indeed, I have now made (you) hear (it). Indeed, I have now clarified (it).

)Indeed, Allah, the mighty and the majestic, so said, and so did I on His behalf.

Indeed, there is no commander for the faithful save this brother of mine, and it is not permissible to call anyone other than him with the title of “the Commander of the Believers” after my departure.1

1 In the traditions, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and Imams (PBUT) have stressed that Amir al-Mu’minin is the exclusive title of Imam Ali (PBUH), and it is not at all permissible to call other Imams (PBUT) with this title even though they were commanding the believers.

Moreover, the traditions specify two meanings for this title. The first meaning of Amir is “the commander”, which comes from the root Amara (..... .. .........). The word Imra ( ...... ) that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) used in the above phrase of the sermon also comes from this root, and has the same meaning. Refer also to another narration from the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 37, p. 294, Hadith 9 for the meaning of Amir in this sense.

The second meaning of Amir given in the traditions is “the supplier” or “the supplies”, which comes from the root Mira (...... ......). The word Amir al-Mu’minin in this sense is interpreted as “the supplier of divine knowledge for the believers.”