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Shawwal 23 Wednesday Hijrah 1443
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

 

 

Chapter 2: Shi’ism – The Creed of Love

 

One of the greatest marks of distinction of Shi`ism over other sects is that its-foundation and its bedrock is love. Right from the time of the Prophet who laid the basis of this sect there has been the whispering of love; when we hear from the words of the Prophet the sentence:

Aliyyun wa shi’atuhu humu ‘l-fa’izun.

“‘Ali and his party (Shi`ah) will be the triumphant ones.”2

We see that there was a group around `Ali who were devoted to him, extremely fond of him and most affectionately drawn towards him. Thus Shi’ism is the religion of love and devotion: taking ‘Ali as one’s friend is the way of love. The element of love has completely penetrated Shi`ism, and the history of Shi’ism is joined in name with a chain of entirely unknown people, devoted, full of love and self-sacrificing.

Although `Ali administered the Divine punishments to some, dealt with them with lashes and occasionally cut the hand of someone off in accordance with what is laid down by the Divine Law, they did not turn away from him and their love for him did not diminish in the slightest. He himself said:

If I strike the nose of a believer with this sword of mine so that he will become my enemy, it will not create hostility and if I pour the (riches of the) whole world on the head of a hypocrite so that he may like me, he will never like me; because this has been decreed and laid down by the tongue of the Prophet when he said:

“O `Ali, the believer will never be your enemy and the hypocrite will never love you!”3

`Ali is the standard and criterion for assaying human natures and temperaments: he who has a sound nature and a pure temperament will never take offence at ‘Ali, even though his sword may come down on his head, while he who has a diseased nature will never show any attachment to him, even if he does him great favors, for ‘Ali is nothing but the embodiment of truth.

There was a friend of Amir al-mu’minin, a good and believing man, who unfortunately fell into error, and who had to be punished. Amir al-mu’minin cut off the fingers of his right hand. The man took hold of his cut hand, with the blood dripping from it, with his left hand, and went away.

Ibn al-Kawwa’, a seditious Kharijite, wanted to take advantage of this course of events for his own party and against `Ali, so he came up to the man with an air of utter compassion and said:

“Who cut your hand off?”

He said:

“The chief of the Prophet’s successors, the leader of the untainted ones at the Resurrection, the most righteous among the believers, `Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Imam of right guidance, cut off the fingers of my right hand . . . the first to reach the Gardens of Felicity, the hero of the brave, the avenger against the promoters of ignorance, the giver of zakat, the leader on the right and perfect path, the speaker of what is true and appropriate, the champion of Mecca, the steadfast exceller. “

Ibn al-Kawwa’ said:

“Poor you!, He cut off your hand, and you extol him thus!”

He said:

“Why should I not extol him, now that his friendship is mixed with flesh and blood? I swear by God that he did not cut off my hand except with a right that God has established.”4

This love and affection; which we see in such a way in the history of `Ali and his companions, makes us turn to the topic of love and its results.

Notes:

2. In ad-Durru ‘l-manthur, under the seventh verse of surah al-Bayyinah (90), Jalalu’d-Din as-Suyuti narrates from Ibn `Asakir that Jabir ibn `Abdillah al-Ansari said that he was in the presence of the Prophet when ‘Ali also came in to him. The Prophet said: “I swear by He in Whose hand is my life that this man and his followers (Shi’ah) will be saved on the Day of Resurrection.” al-Manawi relates this in two traditions in Kunuzu ‘l-haqa’iq, and al-Haythami in Majma’uz ‘zawa’id and Ibn Hajar in as-Sawa`iqu ‘l-muhriqah relates the same substantial meaning in different forms.

3. Nahju ‘l-balaghah, Saying no.42

4. Biharu ‘l-anwar, vo1.40, pp.281 – 2 (new ed.) ; and Fakhru’d Din ar-Razi, at-Tafsiru ‘l-kabir, under verse 9, surah al-Kahf (“Or dost thou think. . .”) .

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