Q31: He Died As a Prophet, But Where Or in Which Country Did He Die and Was Buried?
A. He died at Medina and was buried there. Medina is in Hejaz, which nowadays is a part of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Q32: How old was Muhammad the Prophet when he died in 632 A.D, and when he started Islam?
A. The Holy Prophet died at the age of 63. He was 40 years old when he started preaching Islam.
Q33: Who buried him?
A. He was buried by Ali bin Abi Talib (cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet) assisted by 3 family-members and two companions (Usama and Shaquran).
Q34: Did Muhammad the Prophet arise as Christ from the dead?
A. The Holy Prophet of Islam did not arise from the dead in the sense which you have in mind, nor did, for that matter, arise Christ. It is a long argument, and a short letter is not a place for this discussion.
Q35.Who wrote the Qur'an and in which year?
A. The Qur'an is not the work of any human being; it is the Revelation from Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.W.) So, you may say that Allah is the author of the Qur'an. As soon as a revelation was received, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) used to dictate it to one of the official Scribes. The Qur'an was revealed during 23 years between 610 and 632 A. D.
Q36: I would like to know the languages into which the Qur'an has been translated?
A. The Qur'an has been translated in more than 100 languages. It is difficult to give a list of them. The Qur'an has been translated into almost all the languages of Asia and Europe. Q37: Is it a sin reading the Bible?
A. Well, the Bible is a collection of Old Testament and New Testament. First five books of old Testament are said to have been written by Hadrat Musa (A.S.), but in fact, the books were compiled 1000 years after Hadhrat Musa (A.S.). The New Testament is named "The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ", but not a single book is claimed to have been written by him. And the authorship of even 4 gospels is shrouded into obscurity and nobody is sure who was, for example, the author of the 4th Gospel. Therefore, if you read Bible with a belief that these books are authentic, true and written by the prophets to whom they are attributed, it will be wrong.
Also, if your knowledge of the alterations, misinterpretations,, forgeries and additions of the Bible is not complete, you should not read them as they may create confusion in your mind. On the other hand, if you have adequate knowledge of Islam, and a fair idea of the background of the Bible as I have mentioned above, you may read it. I advise you to read our book "Qur'an and Hadith" which will give you some idea about the compilation of the Bible. Q38: What is Sura Yaasin' generally held to signify?
A. "Sura Yasin" is said to be 'the heart of the Qur'an'. It exhorts the faithful in many ways to abstain from Satanic schemes and to wholeheartedly follow the right Path shown by Allah through His last Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (S.A.W.W.).
Q39: Who succeeded as Caliph after Muhammad?
A. The Muslims became divided into two groups : The bigger group following Abu Bakr, the other following Ali bin Abi Talib (A.S.).
For details see "Imamat" which is available from this Mission.
Q.40: A certain community believes to such an extent that Hazrat Ali (A.S.) is greater than the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) and probably as great as God. I shall be extremely obliged if you will please supply me with necessary text and satisfactory explanation so that this absurd notion could be checked.
A. It will help a great deal if I make one thing clear at the start. According to their belief, Hazrat Ali (A.S.) was god; and this "hereditary god-ship" has now come to the present Aga Khan IV. And their constitution says that whenever and wherever the words "Hazrat Ali", "Maula Ali", "Imam Hussain", etc., are used the real meaning is "the present Aga Khan".
Their Kalema says: "Ameerul-Momeneen Ali Allah", i.e. "Ameerul-Mome-neen Ali is Allah". (The English and Gujarati translations have been twisted to hide their actual belief from others. The translation (quite wrongly) is given as "Ali is From Allah".) What all the declarations mentioned in your letter boil down to is that H. H. Aga Khan IV is the god; he is superior to the Holy Prophet of Islam; he can change the sheriat.
"Hazrat Ali' is not Ali bin Abi Talib" but H. H. Aga Khan IV; their 'Imam' is not a successor to the Holy Prophet but a god; their 'book' is not the Qur'an, but the ginan; and their Ibadat is not that of the general Muslims, but some secret rites of their own. Therefore, even when they use the words 'Imam' or 'sheriat' they mean the things which are quite different from the Imam or sheriat as known to us. Consequently, when the words, used by the arguing parties, are used for different meanings, the argument can never come to an end.
Therefore, you should not worry too much about such "absurd notions". So, if, according to them, Hazrat Ali was god, he naturally would be superior to the Holy Prophet; La Haula wala Quwwata Ilia Billah.
In fact, the claim that "Hazrat Ali was greater than the Holy Prophet" is just rubbish. Hazrat Ali spent every moment of his life obeying the commands given to him by the Holy Prophet; his fondest claim was that he was the first to follow the footsteps of the Holy Prophet. His lectures and letters in 'Nahjul-Balaghah' are full of such references for the whole world to see. So, according to his own claims, Hazrat Ali was a follower, helper, and successor of the Holy Prophet. He himself never claimed more than that. Any body claiming any thing else has the responsibility to prove it from the books known to the Muslims.
Imam Raza (A.S.) has explained the cause of their misunderstanding in a lengthy Hadith, a gist of which will not be out of place here. Imam (A.S.) said that "these astray unbelievers" did not get this idea into their brain but because they overestimated the value of their own selves. This led them to believe whatever got into their brains without seeking guidance from the representatives of Allah. This continued and in the end "they belittled the honour of Allah and thought nothing of His dignity and degraded His great prestige, as they did not know that Allah is the Omnipotent Himself, "Ghani" (Above every need) Himself, that His Power is not borrowed (from someone else) nor is His Wealth to be exhausted" "Then they looked to a servant of Allah whom He had given some special powers to show his nearness with Him...
Then the Imam (A.S.) gives the example of some people who sought an audience with a certain King and were told that the King would pass in a procession with all his knights and nobles through that avenue. They were also told that when they saw the King, they were to bow down and show their allegience to him; and also that they were not to include anybody else in that courtesy.
"They promised to do accordingly. Then, lo, there came a knight of the King resplendent in the court robes and armour. These people thought that must be the King. They saluted him like the King, and even when he said that he was just a servant of the King they refused to listen - because they did not know the splendour of the King. They were dazed with the entourage of the Knight and said that nobody could be above him.
"They, inspite of the warnings given them by the said Knight and other persons, persisted in their folly. Then the King reached there, saw their infidelity and ordered them to be imprisoned and punished.
"Likewise, when these "Ghulat" saw Hazrat Ali - a servant of Allah who was raised in dignity by Allah - they thought Allah too small to have a servant like Ali, and considered Ali too big to have any Lord and God. They called him by a name which was not his (i.e. they called him "Allah"). Hazrat Ali and his followers forbade them (from this belief) and said : "O people, Ali and his children are the honourable servants of Allah but they are created and they have no power except that which has been given them by Allah, the Lord of the Universe; and they possess nothing except that which has been bestowed upon them by Allah; and they do not have any power about death, life or resurrection, nor on any closing or opening, nor on any movement or stillness except that which has been given to them by Allah, and that their Lord and Creator is above all the attributes of the creatures, and that anybody who thinks about them (or about any of them) that they are gods, then he is unbeliever (kafir) and has gone astray from the right path".
"But these people refused to listen and revolted against Allah and blindly continued in their rebellion. In the end their hopes (with Allah) were shattered and their aim remained unfulfilled and they got their punishment from Allah" In fact, such ideas, were propagated by a certain Abul-Khattab during the days of Imam Jaffer Sadique (A.S.) Imam (A.S.) cursed him and ordered the Shias not even to talk to him as he had become "Mushrik" (poly-theist).
Mr. Hollister says that Mohammed s/o Ismail s/o Imam Jafer Sadique (A. S.) used to befriend him despite the above mentioned "Lanat" and became influenced by his ideas. Such people are called "Ghali" (pi. "Ghulat"), i.e. the people who claim such virtues for Nabi or Imam which are not theirs, like godship, creation, etc.
Other group was called "Mufawwidha" (Delegators). They believed that Allah created Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) and Ali (A.S.) and delegated all His powers to them. So, it is they who created and sustained (Rizk) the world.
When somebody told Imam Jafer Sadique (A.S.) about this belief, Imam told him to go to him and recite this Ayat of the Qur'an : "Or do they assign to Allah partners who have created anything as He has created, so that the creation seemed to them similar? Say, Allah is the Creator of all things, He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible". (Qur'an, 13:16) When the said man went to him and recited this Ayat, he could not reply and remained as though his mouth was filled with stones".
And, if inspite of all these things, somebody still claims that Hazrat Ali (A.S.) was god, he should be reminded of Sura Tauhid :
"Say Allah is one Allah, having no need (or imperfection); He did not beget (anyone) and was not begotten (by anyone); and there was none equal to Him". Hadhrat Ali (A.S.) was begotten by Abu Talib and Fatima binti Asad; he himself begot 35 children. He needed food and drink; he needed rest and sleep; he married; he was born and was martyred.
Allah says in the Qur'an, refuting the belief of godship of Hazrat Isa (A.S.), that he used to eat food. Eating and drinking show the 'need' to sustain the body by replacing its spent cells which in its turn shows the constant change' (Need and change both being impossible for Allah). So, taking food shows that Hazrat Isa (A.S.) was not God, Does not this very argument show that Hazrat Ali (A.S.) also was not God?
It will not be out of place to mention that H. H. Agakhan III had written a book, "Khoja Qaum na Mazhab na Ketlak Mul Tatwo tatha kirya sam-bandhi nano Pustak", in which he described the faith and sheriat which was to be followed by the Khojas. There he gives his own designation as "Khoja no Peer". In that booklet, he says that, God is not surrounded by anything; He is not made of anything neither he has begotten anyone; nor was He begotten by anyone".
Was it not strange that after describing such attributes for God in 1894, he claimed godship for himself in 1908 as can be seen from the judgement of Haji Bibi case. Surely, he was surrounded by so many things including his living place, his clothes and what not; he was made of flesh, bone, etc.; he was the son of his parents and father of many children. And still he is thought to be a god ! Here I should quote another Hadith of Imam Raza (A.S.) which very thoroughly shows the fallacy of such ideas :-
Our 8th Imam once described the attributes of Allah. A man said that he knew a certain person who claimed to be a Shia and believed that all these attributes belonged to Hazrat Ali (A.S.) and that he was the God, the Lord of the Universe.
When Imam (A.S.) heard it he trembled (with the fear of God) and said : "Allah is above all things which people believe to be a Sharik (partner) of him; Allah is high above all such talks of the "Kafirs". Was not Ali eating as others ate, and drinking (water) as others drank and marrying as others married, and was not he subject to all needs of body as others were? And, moreover, he was praying humbly, showing humility before God, and was turning with his body and soul towards God. Can a person with such attributes thought to be God? And, if he was God, then there is none among you who is not god, because all of you share with Hazrat Ali these attributes (which are in fact ample proofs that the person concerned is a creature not a creator)".
Here I should mention an episode of about 1000 years ago. A man during the Ghaibat-e-Sughra claimed that the 12 Imams were gods, and that he was their prophet. Husain bin Rauh (A.R.) declared that that man was claiming the Imams to be god, so that he could pave the way for his own godship, by claiming at a later day that the Imam's soul had been incarnated in his own body.
And it happened as predicted. So, you see, such people who have been led to believe in godship of any of the Imams are like toys in the hands of those who use them for their own purpose.
And the purpose can be seen in the Translation of their old Dua (now out of print) which is given by Justice Russel in the famous Haji Bibi case, and which runs as follows :- "True declaration - God is Holy, Thanks to God. Praise to God. There is no God but God. God is great. There is no might or power except that of God, the High, the Great, the Merciful, the Magnanimous, the God, the Great Holy Providence (who is) in the district of Chaldea, in Persia, in human form, descended from the seventy-seven Patras (ancestors) and Who is the forty-eighth Imam (Spiritual Chief), the tenth Naklanki Avtar, our Master, Aga Sultan Mahomed Shah, the Giver. Then you are to prostrate. Then say 'Hak Shah' (i.e. O Shah, Thou art true)." Q41: They also argue that the Imam can change the "Furu" and not the "Usul" of Islam.
A. So far as the Ismailis are concerned, their "Imam" means "god" And god can do whatever he likes ! The Sheriat of the Holy Prophet was perfected by Allah during the days of the Holy Prophet. See Sura Maida where it says :
"Today I made perfect your religion for you, and completed my Blessing upon you..." This Sheriat is upto Qiyamat and is not to be changed or cancelled. The Holy Prophet has said : The 'Halal" of Muhammad is "Halal" upto Qiyamat and "Haram" of Muhammad is "Haram" upto Qiyamat.
The Imams elaborated it and made it clear, but they were not to change it. The Ismailis believe that the Sheriat was cancelled by one of the ancesors of H.H. Aga Khan, Hasan Ala Dhikrihissalam (the great-grandson of Hassan bin Sabbah) who ruled in the Castle of Almut from 1162 A.D. to 1166 A.D. During this short reign in a month of Ramadhan (on 17th) he went on 'Mimber' and declared that from then on the Sheriat was cancelled; ordered his followers to break their fast which they promptly did by eating, drinking and merry-making. One of their poets praises it in the following lines:
"Hasan Ala Dhikrihissalam removed the fetters of the Sheriat from the neck of the people by the grace of God''.
So that is their real tenet and belief for the last 8 centuries. Whenever they pose themselves as abiding to the rules of Sheriat as in Pakistan or India. (or very recently in East Africa), it is just for the sake of politics so that they may not be despised by the Muslim Community. Q42: The same community also argued that Imam Hasan (A. S.) was not given Imamat because Hazrat Ali (A.S.) knew that Imam Hasan's descendants were not to survive, and, therefore, the Imamat was given direct to Imam Husain (A.S.).
A. This trash is worse than the talk of the pagans of Mecca who claimed that our Holy Prophet was "Abtar" (without any descendant). The pagans according to their own way of life, thought that claim to be justified, because they did not give any importance to a daughter, and, the Holy Prophet's sons did not survive.
But the Ismailis' talk is worse than that because Imam Hasan (A.S.) had at least 8 sons and 7 daughters. Out of those 8 sons, the descendants of two (Zaid and Hasan Muthanna) are still found in thousands and thousands. (Vide the books of Ansab-e-Aal-e-Abi Talib). Our last Mujtahid, Marhum Aqua Sayyid Mohsin Al Hakeem Tabatabai, was one of them. And their genealogy is not in dispute like that of Hasan Ala Dhikrihissalam who happens to be among the ancestors of H. H. Aga Khan, and who was a descendant of Hasan bin Sabbah (admittedly a Persian of non-Arab origin). Justice Arnold in his famous judgement of Khoja case (1866 A.D.) (of which H. H. Aga Khan II was very proud and wrote that the said judgement "established" the position of Aga Khan 1) had also established the lineal descent of Hasan Ala Dhikrihissalam from Hassan bin Sabbah.
And while we are on this subject, we might better mention that at least upto 1866 A.D, Imam Hasan (A.S.) was believed by the Ismailis to be the 2nd Imam. Mr. Justice Arnold, in the said judgement gives the list of the first seven Imams, according to the belief of the Ismailis and mentions Imam Hasan (A.S.) as the second Imam. But Justice Russel in Haji Bibi Case (1908) says about Imam Hasan (A.S.) that he was a peer, not an Imam.
The question is when was the name of Imam Hasan (A.S.) dropped from this list and who omitted it and why?
Q43: I have been told that after we die, we still feel pain if someone touches us. But as the soul has left the body (after our death) how can we feel pain? Because we feel pain because we are alive, (that is because have soul). A. The body does not feel anything; but the soul feels the pain if the body is mishandled just as the parents are pained to see their child mishandled though they themselves are not touched. As the soul remained in that body, it developed a kind of attachment with it which causes this feeling of pain even after being removed from it.
Q44: If a man knows nothing about Qur'an nor about praying and he is a Muslim and if he fasts, does he get any "God's Reward" or not and why?
A. If a Muslim knows nothing about the Qur'an nor about prayers but keeps the fast during the month of Ramadhan properly, he will get "Reward" of fasting but will be punished for his neglect of prayers.
Q45.We believe that our 12th Imam is alive but he is "Ghayab". We also believe that when our Prophet died, he left two things to guide us, namely Qur'an and Ahlul-bait. Till 11th Imam, two things were going along together. Now, we have Qur'an but why not our Imam in person?
A. 1. You say that this question was asked by the Ismailis. What right these people have to quote this Hadith of the Holy Prophet when their 48th Imam expressly told them to forget about Qur'an because it was 1300 years old and was in Arabic; they were ordered to follow, instead, the Ginan which was in an Indian language and only 500 years old?
There is a difference between the Qur'an (which can be found in every house) and the Imam (who naturally would be in a certain place).Thus even in normal conditions the Imam would not be available to everyone everywhere.
At least since the days of 6th Imam, the work of Tabligh was done through the authorised "Wakils" (agents). The system was perfected during the Imamat of Imam Musa Kazim (A.S.) and is still working.
Since the inception of that system, it was made clear to all the Shias that they were to approach those "Wakils". Our present Imam (A.S.) has clearly ordained in numerous letters to all the Shias before the start of the "Ghaibat" that, thenceforth, his Shias were to approach the scholars of religion, because "they are my representatives for you, and I am the Representative of Allah for them; anyone who rejects their words rejects my words, and whoever rejects my words rejects the words of Allah and whoever rejects the words of Allah would go into the Fire (of Jahannam)".
Of course, "Ghaibat" has made a difference. Previously, the representatives of Imam had a liberty to ask his guidance even on minor things, even If those things were already fully explained by previous Imams or the same Imam. Now that liberty is lost. Our present lmam (A.S.) still guides the scholars, BUT ONLY WHEN THE MATTER OR THE QUESTION IS SUCH WHICH WAS NOT CLEARED PREVIOUSLY. If any previous Imam or Alim has already thrown light on that question, the present Imam remains silent and lets the scholars find the answer by their own research. But if the question is a new one and the Alim is unable to solve it by himself Imam (A.S.) invariably always guides the Ulama in that respect. I could have given you many examples of which I am personally aware, but I am not at liberty to narrate them.
So, you may rest assured that our 12th Imam (A.S.) personally guides the Shias through those who have achieved spiritual perfection and whom he guides whenever It is necessary.