The assistance of the cyber space and notification

  • The assistance of the cyber space and notification

The managements and subsidiary units of assistance


-portal management and websites

-answering management to the questions and doubts

-management of the cyber channels

-management of the content and academic scriptures

– public relations management

The informational portable of the assembly, the website of the professional essays of knowing Shia

And the professional website of Shia books are among the websites that are managed by this assistance.

Portable and websites management

From the very beginning the great goal of the website was defined as presenting the professional electronic services with the content of knowing Shia and establishing a cyber collection under the title of the reference of the subjects of knowing Shia is considered as the priority of the assembly.

The formal and content reference of about 100 websites to the website of the assembly gives the good news of this goal.

Till now the electronic content produced in the website unit of the assembly has reached to more than 35 thousand essays, books and other subjects that their subjects are: the Quran, knowing Shia, knowing Imam, the history of Islam and Shiaism, Wilayah, religions and denominations, Shia beliefs, Mahdawiyah, Figh and Osul, theology, morality, exegesis, Shia in the world, Shia prominent figures, answering doubts etc.

Among the special features of the website of the assembly we can mention these followings: constant paying attention to the Islamic anniversaries, compatibility with the time requirements and Shia circumstances in the world, the content variety of the subtitles to the current languages, contacting with the relevant websites, constant interaction with users all around the world, answering the professional doubts regarding knowing Shia and cooperation for establishing and strengthening the websites who have the common goals.

The daily visiting of the thousands people all around the world and using units and different languages of the website, causes the internet unit of the assembly to be hopeful to have deep and purposive movements.

The geographical variety of the visitors, the average time of staying in every visit and their constant visits for every website is a criterion for evaluating the level of the satisfaction of the addressees and the way of contact and interaction of a website with its users. Thanks Allah this assembly constantly honors because of the obtained results and knows it as a means for better movements by the help of Ahl Al-Bait.

The information portable of the assembly under the name of is a website which tries to introduce the worldly assembly of knowing Shia and its activities through having different parts and because of that all parts of the activity of the assembly have been used for sorting out the contents.

The main units of this website are: the Hadith of the day, the holy Prophet and Ahl Al-Bait, the question and answer bank, the article bank, the professional library, the news of Shia world, the news of the assembly, academic cultural works, movie and picture and audio gallery, introducing different websites links, the text of the day, the Shia calendar and religious times of prayers.

The professional website for the essays of knowing Shia

This website has been established in order to prepare and supply for the visitors a bank of the professional essays of knowing Shia and prepares many research faculties through presenting about 25 thousand essays in different categories. This website has its activity in the main units of the essay bank, the bank of subjects, the bank of writers, the bank of sources and the advanced search.

The professional website of Shia books

This website is a reference for the professional books of Shia in which there are about 2000 books uploaded by the format of HTML and has prepared the use and download of all books for the addressees through all research facilities. It should be noted that the websites of the assembly update and increase the number of essays and sources daily in portal, essays and library.

-management of answering to the questions and doubts

One of the features of the Shia school of thought is analyzing others’ opinions and doubts regarding beliefs and the principles of the religion of Islam generally and the school of thought of Shiaism specifically deliberately and without bias.

The argumentations of Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Reza, Imam Javad, and the other Imams of Shia and their answering to the doubts and wrong accusations, are counted as the prominent pages and lines of the history of Shiaism.

This center coherently and regularly has aimed to answer the doubts through different ways of informing like internet, book, essay, booklet, and through phone.

The compatibly of Shia teachings to the elevated dimensions of divine knowledge and seeking truth attract every soul which is pure from the dust of hatred and hypocrisy. When the light of the Wilayah and spirituality of Imam Ali (a.s) enters in the heart of every free man, makes his being in love of this great Imams’ teachings, because of that the worldly assembly of knowing Shia through creating and strengthening that tries hard and supports those who have reached to the truth physically and spiritually. It is appropriate to be noted that till now there are several individuals who have embraced Shiaism.

-the management of the cyber channels

In this unit beside the daily contact and sending essays of site for about 100 thousand users in applications like telegram, Instagram, Bisphone, Soroush, and Gap interactively answers the questions of the users. It is important that the number of users and addressees of the assembly is increasing very quickly in these applications.

Activity in social networks: in this unit through issuing appropriate and useful articles in social networks the ground of discussion and dialogue is paved and the doubts regarding the Shia school of thought are answered.

-the management of content and academic scriptures

Codifying and sorting out the academic scriptures and summarizing the books and making them prepared in order to be uploaded in different parts of the website and academic editing of the current content of the website and updating them and mentioning their authentic sources are among those necessary acts that have been known as the priority of the affairs of the cyber space assistance.

-management of the public contacts

One of the necessities at the beginning of the establishment of the assembly was the relation of the academic society of Iran with the professional and fundamental subject of knowing Shia that was not so appropriate. The non-existence of the fields in Islamic seminaries and universities regarding knowing Shia   in research centers made the assembly help the quantitative and qualitative expansion of the subjects related to knowing Shia in three branches of informing, research and educational. This was done through constant contact with these centers and mentioning the necessities and requirements.

4-The assistance of the international affairs       and Islamic contacts


The managements and subsidiary units of assistance


  • Contact management and international cooperation
  • Management of academic and university cooperation



  • Management of the professorship of knowing Shia
  • Management of the information bank


  • Executive, support and financial assistance
  • Management of expose? And saling of the products
  • Computer service management


The managements and subsidiary units of assistance


  • audiovisual unit and archive
  • management of the official affairs and accounting
  • management of the supportive services and supplies
  • management of publication and printing

Among the most important duties of this assistance is planning and policy for expanding the sources and management of official and financial and executive support of all activities of the assembly and supplying the budget through sale of products, attracting the associations and financial helps and charity issues and vulnerary helps and annual budget adjustment and financial balance and observation of the function of different financial units.

The other activities of this assistance are logistic preparation and supplying the activities, the equipment of units and systems of informatics, fixing and keeping the machinery and official systems, general services and doing the welfare affairs of the researchers and workers and expansion of physical space and the improvement of the official environment of the assembly.

In this regard, the worldly assemble of knowing Shia during the previous years has succeeded to send more than 100 thousand books, magazines, Islamic softwares, and hundreds of pocket articles for the Shias outside Iran and this is something unique.

One of the practiced acts which is welcomed and used by the researchers and propagators and have had various effects in different regions is codifying and compiling different articles related to the important subjects and answering to the doubts regarding Shiaism that have been given as the pocket article to the propagators inside and outside Iran.

This center is proud because of sending a large number of these articles in high circulation and sending to different countries like India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

This assembly has made different professional, cultural, artist etc. software products actively and with good quality in order to establish information bank software about Shia and the infallible Imams (pbut) through producing the lessons of knowing Shia including answering the doubts, debates, lessons of Imamah and Wilayah, the CD of electronic library, the CD of infallible Imams, various software products of anniversaries of the births or departures and martyrdoms, and other celebrations.

The assembly tries to be a good complementary for the Shia websites -more than just removing the existent needs- through creating a software bank and to be a good and up to date act for introducing the Shiaism correctly and attractively. Now more than 500 types of CD software produced by the worldly assembly of Shia exist in this software bank of information.

scientific Committee

The pillars of the worldly assembly of knowing Shia

  • Dr Ahmad Moballeqi

The member of the assembly of experts, the head of research center of Parliament, the professor of the high degree of Islamic seminary

  • I Sayed Ali Emad

The former research deputy of Islamic seminary and the head of the elites of Islamic seminary, researcher and writer

  • Ayatollah Rahim Mohammadi Ilami

The professor of Islamic seminary and university and the representative of the third period of the assembly of experts, the faculty member of university, researcher and writer

  • Dr Mohammad Javad Sahebi

The professor of Islamic seminary and university, the head of the forum of the religions of Qom Islamic seminary, the former chief officer of secretariat of religious studies of Iran

  • Dr Ayat Peyman

The chief officer and secretary of the religious studies of Iran and the former general director of Qom culture and guidance, researcher and writer

  • Dr Mohsen Alviri

The professor of Islamic seminary and university, the faculty member of the university of Baqir Al-Olum, researcher and writer

  • Dr Mohammad Reza Zare

The research deputy of worldly assembly of knowing Shia and the former Imam of the Friday prayer of the city of Istihard and Sepidshahr, the former faculty member of the university of Ferdosi of the city of Mashhad, researcher and writer

  • Dr Sayed Mahdi Dadmarzi

The former deputy of the Qom University, researcher and the professor of Qom Islamic seminary, the faculty member of Qom University

  • Dr Sayed Hedayat Razawi

The teacher and researcher and the responsible of the international office of Jamia Al-Mostafa, the international deputy of the secretariat of religious studies of Iran

  • Dr Ahmad Zadhush

The professor of Islamic seminary, the head of Jamia Al-Murtaza, the international propagator, researcher and writer

  • Dr Mojtaba Mirdamadi

The professor of the high level of Qom Islamic seminary, the head of the institute of Mirdamad the wise, the head of the office of the Ihya Torath(reviving heritage) of Jamia Al-Mustafa, researcher and writer

  • I Sayed Taqi Imami

The professor of the high level of Islamic seminary and the head of the Al-Zahra institute, the head of the assembly of coordination of Qom charity institutes



The development perspective of the goals of the worldly assembly of knowing Shia

These following fundamental and practical projects all have been set and edited and in the case of having required finance will be applied.

  • Establishing international university of knowing Shia, to teach the courses about Shia including the rightfulness of Shiaism, the history of Shiaism, Imamah and Wilayah, identity, belief principles, jurisprudential specialties, cultural features, theology etc.
  • Compiling the encyclopedia of the known individuals of Shiaism in order to record and keep the precious heritage of Shia scholars, compilers, writers and artists
  • Spreading academic field and professorship of knowing Shia inside and outside Iran
  • Spreading the centers and academic assemblies of knowing Shia nationally and internationally
  • Explaning and compiling the great geopolitical project of Shia
  • Codifying the worldly doctrine of Shiaism and Imammah
  • Introducing and promoting the great Islamic and transreligious?? Shiaism in widespread and universal level
  • Establishing various units of knowing Shia in target courtiers
  • Compiling academic books of knowing Shia in different levels from the preliminary to the professional PHT etc.



In the era of intellectual movement that all paths are open and the ground is prepared for any scientific research, this assembly was established in order to apply the thoughts of the leader of Islamic revolution of Iran Ayatollah Sayid Ali Khamenaei regarding reviving and spreading the culture and right Islamic education. This was done after that he named the year 1380(A.H) by the name of Imam Ali (pbuh). With feeling the necessity of introducing the divine culture of Shiaism and in order to answer practically the call of the wise leader and by asking help from the All-mighty Allah, the special grace of the twelfth Imam and accompanying of a group of elite individuals from the Islamic seminary and university we decided to establish an international and non-governmental center which is suitable for the high position of Shiaism for introducing and promoting the great Islamic school of thought of Shiaism and enriching and globalizing that and creating the ground of guidance and guiding those who drink from the pure water of the school of thought of Ahl Albait(pbut) and answering Shobohat(doubts) and describing the Shia principles and teachings and removing lies and accusations and also for defending the Imams of Ahl Al-bait(pbut)in different countries and creating the ground for association with other religions and denominations all around the world and defending from the Shiaism in the globe. This center was named the international assembly of knowing Shia and to be able to help the scientific and practical jihads of the divine culture of Shiaism through planning carefully and studying the future deeply based on the policies of unity and Islamic approximating. God willing.

The Issues of Jurisprudence

The famous classification of today is the same classification first introduced by Muhaqqiq Hilli in his Sharay’i and which Shahid Awal has briefly commented on and explained in his Qawa’id. Amazingly the most proficient of those who have composed commentaries of the book Sharay’i amongst them Shahid Thani in his Masalik, made not the slightest comment or explanation about the classification of Muhaqqiq, and the First Shahid in Lum’a has not even followed Muhaqqiq’s system

In any case, Muhaqqiq’s classification is that all the issues of jurisprudence are divided into four parts: worship, two-party contracts, one-party contracts and (other) commands.
This division is based on the fact that the actions that must be performed in accordance to the Shari’iah are either such that a condition of their validity is the intention of nearness to God meaning that they must be done solely for God and if there is any other motivation for their performance the obligation is not fulfilled and they must be done again, or they are not subject to this condition .
If they are of the first type, like prayer, fasting, khoms, zakat, Hajj and so on, they are termed in jurisprudence as worship (ibadat).
If, however, they are of the second type and the intention of nearness is not a condition of their validity, and, supposing that they are performed with a different intention, are still correct and valid, then they are of two types: either their actualisation does not depend upon the execution of a special contract or it does.
Acts that do not depend upon the execution of a special contract, like inheritance, punishments, retribution and so on, are grouped together in jurisprudence under the heading commands, (ahkam). If they do depend upon the execution of a contract, then again they are of two types: either the contract must be recited by two parties, or there is no need for two parties and the contract is unilateral.
If they are of the first type, like selling, hire, and marriage, they are called contract (aqd), in which one party states the contract and the other agrees. If, however, one person can carry it out alone with no need of another party like the changing of one’s mind regarding one’s due, divorce and so on, it is called unilateral instigation.
In this classification all the sections of jurisprudence have been divided into fifty two chapters. Ten chapters of worship, nineteen of contracts, eleven of unilateral instigations and twelve chapters of commands.
One point is not to remain unmentioned. In the first and second centuries of Islam, the books of jurisprudence that were written were related to one or a few of the subjects of jurisprudence, not about all the subjects. For example, it is recorded that such and such a person wrote a book about prayer and such and such a person a book about marriage. For this reason, in later eras, when books about all the issues of jurisprudence were written, the different chapters of jurisprudence were all under the heading The Book. The custom is that instead of writing The Chapter of the Ritual Prayer, or The Chapter of the Hajj, we write, The Book of Ritual Prayer or the Book of Hajj.
Now, in the order first used by Muhaqqiq Hilli, we will look at the different sections and chapters of the issues of jurisprudence.
There are ten books of worship:
The Book of Cleanliness (kitab ut-taharat).
Cleanliness is of two kinds: being clean of external, non-inherent, material filth and pollution; and being spiritually clean of inherent pollution. The first type of cleanliness means the body, clothes and other things being clean from the ten types of filth which include urine, faeces, blood, sperm, corpses and carcasses and so on and which are termed as najasat. The second type of cleanliness means entering the state of purity by performing the partial ablution, or total ablution or earth ablution, that is a condition of certain forms of worship like prayer and cir*****ambulation of the Ka’ba and certain other things, and which is annulled by a series of natural things like sleep, urination, sexual intercourse and simple sperm discharge, and which must thereafter be re-entered.
The Book of Prayer (kitab us-salat).
In this book the obligatory prayers, i.e. the five daily ritual prayers, the prayers of ‘id ul fitr and ‘id ul ahza, the prayer for the deceased, the prayer of special signs such as earthquakes and eclipses, etc. and the prayer of the cir*****ambulation of the Ka’ba; the nafilah prayers, i.e. the desirable prayers such as the daily desirable prayers; the conditions, preparations, essentials, preventions, delayers and annulers of prayer; and the qualities of prayer, such as the prayer of a person at home and the prayer of a person ruled as travelling, individual prayer and congregational prayer, the prayer offered at the right time (ida) and the prayer missed and made up for after its time (qaza), are all discussed in detail.
The Book of Zakat.
Zakat is a way of paying wealth that is similar to a tax and which is due from nine things :gold, silver, wheat, barley, dates, grapes, and animals of the cow family, animals of the sheep family, and animals of the camel family. In jurisprudence the conditions for zakat being due from these nine things; the amount of zakat due; and the ways it is to be spent are all discussed and, from the authentic sources and in the recognised ways, determined. In the Quran, zakat is mostly mentioned along with prayer, hut only that it is to be given and the ways it is to be spent has been explained; the rest is known from the Sunnah .
The Book of Khoms.
Khoms, like zakat, is a way of paying wealth that resembles a tax. Khoms means a fifth. In the view of the ‘ulema of our Sunni brothers it is only a fifth of the spoils of war that is to be transferred to the Bait ul-mal, or public treasury of Islam, and it is to be spent for the public benefit. In the Shi’ite view, however, spoils of war is just one of the things from which khoms must be paid. In addition, profits of mining, the finding of buried treasure and of diving in the sea, wealth that is mixed with illegitimate wealth when unable to discern the amount and/or the owner, land that a thimmi kafir [3 ]buys from a Muslim, and that which exceeds one’s yearly expenses from one’s yearly earnings, must all be divided into five and one of those fifths be given as khoms. Khoms in the Shi’ite path of religion is the great budget that can secure the important part of the budget of the state.
The Book of Fasting (kitab us-sawm).
As we know, in a state of fasting, one must refrain from eating and drinking, from sexual intercourse, from immersing one’s head in water, from breathing in dust (even as far as the throat) and from certain other things. For one month each lunar year, the blessed month of Ramazan, is obligatory for every mature, sane person who is not ruled as an exception (like a ruled traveller or a woman having her monthly period) to fast each day from daybreak until sundown. Other than in the month of Ramazan fasting is generally desirable. On the two festivals, fasting is forbidden, and on certain other days, like the day of ‘Ashura, it is undesirable (makruh).
The Book of Taking Seclusion (i’tikaf)
This literally means “to reside in a specified place” In the terminology of jurisprudence, however, it means a type of worship whereby a person resides in a mosque for three days or more, not setting foot out of the mosque, and fasting each day. This has laws and conditions that are determined in jurisprudence. In its essence i’tikaf is desirable, not obligatory, but if it is begun and kept up for two days, the third day becomes obligatory. I’tikaf is to be performed in the Masjid ul-Haram in Mecca or the Masjid un-Nabi in Medina, or in the masjid of Kufa in Iraq or the masjid of Basreh in Iraq, or at least in the major masjid of a city. I’tikaf in minor masjids is not perm issable. The Holy Prophet used to perform i’tikaf during the final days of the month of Ramazan.
The Book of Hajj
Hajj is that famous act of worship performed in Mecca and the outskirts of Mecca that is normally linked to ‘umrah. The performance of the Hajj consists of binding ihram[4] upon oneself in Mecca, a stay in ‘Arafat, a stay for a night in Mash’ar, the symbolic ceremony of throwing stones at the furthest (of three) boulders, the sacrifice, the shaving of the head for men and the cutting of a few curls for women, cir*****ambulation (walking seven times around the Holy Ka’ba), the prayer of the cir*****ambulation, the walking of seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah, the final cir*****ambulation, the prayer of the final cir*****ambulation, throwing stones at (all three of) the boulders, and the night stays at Mina.
The Book of Umrah.
Umrah is a kind of lesser Pilgrimage. Normally it is obligatory for those about to perform the Hajj to perform the Hajj ‘Umrah first. The actions of ‘umrah are as follows:
Binding “ihram” on oneself at one of the special places (mi’qat); ci*****ambulation; the prayer of cir*****ambulation; walking seven times between Safa and Marwa; and, finally, the cutting of a few hairs or a fingernail or toe nail.
The Book of Jihad.
This book deals with the issues concerning Islamic warfare. Islam is a religion of society and community and of the responsibilities of society, and for this reason it includes a law of jihad. There are two types of jihad: ibtida’i (to be begun by Muslims) and defa’i (defensive). In the view of Shi’ite jurisprudence, ibteda’i jihad can only take shape under the direction of the Holy Prophet or one of the twelve immaculate and perfect Imams, otherwise it is forbidden. This type of jihad is obligatory only on men, but the other jihad, the jihad of defense, is obligatory on both men and women whenever the conditions demand it.
In the same way, jihad can be either internal or external. If some of the people for whom obedience to the Imam is obligatory rise up against him, just as the Khawarij at Nahrawan and other places, Talha and Zubayr at the battle of Jamal and Mu’awiyyah and his companies at Siffin all rose up against Amir ul-Muminin, Ali, internal jihad is also obligatory against them.
In jurisprudence, the laws of jihad and of thimmeh, the conditions for allowing non-Muslims to live in the Islamic state as citizens of the state, and of peace between the Islamic state and non-Islamic states are all discussed in detail.
10. The Book Commending to what is Recognized:-as good-and Prohibiting from what is Rejected-as bad (amr bi m ‘aruf wa nahyan al-munkar)
Because Islam is a religion of society and of the responsibilities of society, and sees its orderly environment as the essential condition for the enaction of its heavenly programs and the bestowing of prosperity and fulfilment, it has brought into existence a shared general responsibility. We are all duty-bound to be guardians of virtue and goodness, and to combat evils and wrongs. The guarding of virtue and goodness is named amr bi m’aruf and the combating of evil and wrongs, nahyan al-munkar. The conditions attached to these duties and their stipulations and regulations are all stated in jurisprudence.
Here, our concise glimpse at the ten parts of the section of worship comes to an end, and it is now the turn of the contracts.
Lesson Five: Contracts (‘oqud)
The second section, according to our classification, consists of the contracts and includes nineteen books:
The Book of Buying and Selling (kitab ul-bay’i)
This book deals with buying and selling, the conditions which the two parties (the buyer and seller) must meet, the conditions of the two commodities exchanged, the conditions of the contract and the type of transaction: cash transactions; nisiyah transactions which are transactions wherein a commodity is given cash and the payment after a periodand salaf transactions which are the opposite of nisiyah transactions, i.e. a sale wherein payment is immediate and the commodity is not put at the buyers disposal until after a period. Transactions wherein both the payment and the product are to be exchanged after a period are null and void. Similarly, in the chapter of selling, advantageous transfers, disadvantageous transfers and advantageless transfers are also discussed. What is meant by advantageous transfer (marabihah) here is that a person makes a transaction and then, after having made some profit, transfers it to someone else. A disadvantageous transfer (muwadah) is the opposite, meaning a transaction which, after having suffered some loss and damage, is transferred to someone else. And what is meant by an advantageless transfer (tuwliyah) is that a transaction is transferred to someone else having made no profit nor having suffered any loss.
The Book “Rahn”.
Rahn means mortgage. In this book of jurisprudence the laws of mortgaging are studied.
The Book of the Bankrupt (muflis)
Muflis means “the bankrupt”, i.e. a person whose holdings do not meet his liabilities. In order to investigate the liabilities of such a person, the Hakim-Shari’ah i.e. a mujtahid, can prohibit him from the right to his possessions until an exact investigation is made and as far as possible the liabilities be paid.
The Book of Prohibition (hajr)
Hajr means prohibition. What is meant is the prohibition of making use of property. In many cases, the use of property by the original owner is prohibited. As we have seen, the bankrupt is one instance. Another is an immature child (i.e. a girl under nine or a boy under fifteen). The insane, the person sane in other ways Ibut who always spends his money foolishly like spending all his money on clothes when he is desperately in need of food, are other instances.
The Book of Liability (diman)
Liability is that a person accepts the liability of another person’s debts. There exists a difference between Shi’ite jurisprudents and the jurisprudents of our Sunni brothers about the reality of liability. In the view of Shi’ite jurisprudents diman is the transferrence of the obligation of a debt from the debtor to a party that accepts liability, and is only valid with the consent of the creditor, and in Shi’ite jurisprudence, once the liability has been transferred, the creditor has no longer the right to seek it from the person who has made himself liable. Of course, if the liability was urged on the liable by the debtor, then, once he has cleared the debt, the liable can take that amount from the first debtor. In the view of Sunni jurisprudence, however, it is the annexing of the obligation of the debt onto someone else, who also becomes obliged to repay the debt. Which means that after the contract of liability, the creditor has both the right to seek the debt from the original debtor and also from the person who has made himself liable.
Sometimes two other chapters, hawalih (another kind of liability) and kafalah (a kind of bail system) are also included in this book.
The Book of Peace (sulh)
The sulh (peace) that is studied in this book is different from the sulh that is studied in the book of jihad. Sulh in the book of jihad means “political agreements”, whereas the Book of Peace concerns property affairs and common rights. For example, if a debt is owed without the amount of the debt being precisely known, the two parties make a sulh agreement and settle on a specified sum. Sulh agreements generally occur as a settlement for arguments and disagreements.
The Book of Partnerships (sharikat)
Sharikat is that a property or a right belongs to more than one person. For example, if some brothers inherit their father’s property, then, for as long as they do not divide it, they are partners in that property. Or, for example, two people together buy an automobile or a house or a piece of land. Or it may happen that a group of people together take possession of a piece of land that belongs to no one by reclaiming, say, and restoring a part of a desert or marshland. Furthermore, a partnership is sometimes accidentally forced on someone, like, for example, when the wheat of two farmers accidentally becomes mixed and to separate the wheat of one from the wheat of the other is not possible.
There are two types of partnership existing in Islam, contractual partnership and non-contractual. The examples previously cited were non-contracted partnerships. A contractual partnership is that two people or a group of people by an agreement, compact and contract, form what in English is called a company, such as a trading company, a farming company or an industrial company. Contractual partnerships or companies are subject to many laws which are still studied in jurisprudence. In the Book of Partnerships the laws of profit sharing are also discussed.
The Book of the Partnership of Capital and Labor (mudarabah)
A mudarabah is a kind of contractual partnership, but not a partnership of two or more investors. Rather it is a partnership of capital and labour, meaning that one one or more partners provide the capital for a trading business and one or more partners provide the labour of the actual trading. Firstly the partners must be in concord as to the division of profits, and then the contract of mudarabah is to be executed, or must at least be formed in practice.
The Book of Agricultural Partnerships (mazaro’at and musaqat)
Mazara’at and musaqat are two more types of partnership. They are like mudarabah, which we have just mentioned, in that they are both types of partnerships between capital and labour. The difference is that mudarabah is relevant to trading whereas muzara’at is for farming. The meaning of this is that the owner of land and water makes an agreement with someone else who does the actual farming and they are in concord as to the specified proportion of each party in the division of the profits. Likewise, musaqat is for the affairs of orchards. This means that the owner of fruit trees concludes an agreement with someone else who becomes responsible for all the work involved in looking after those trees, such as watering them and all the other things effective in fruit production, and, according to the specified proportion they agree upon in the actual agreement, both investor and worker take their share of the profits.
Here there is a point that wish to mention, which is that in partnerships between capital and labour, whether mardarabah agreements or mazara’at or musaqat, any kind of harm or loss the capital is subject to is born by the owner of the capital, the investor. And, likewise, there is also no certainty of making a profit on the capital, meaning that it is possible a profit will be returned, and it is possible that a profit will not be returned. The only profit that is returned to the owner of the capital is in accordance to the profit made by the partnerships and to his specified proportion of those profits. Here it is that the financer, just like the worker, might make no profit, and it is even possible that he may lose his capital and even become bankrupt.
In the world of today, however, even in most parts of the Muslim world, bankers put their aims into practice by means of usury and as a result they receive a specified profit in all cir*****stances, whatever the types of concern they finance. Should one of the concerns that they have financed return a loss instead of a profit, the manager of that concern is absolutely obliged to return the banker’s profit, even if he has to sell his house. Likewise, in the system of most of today’s world, the financer never goes bankrupt; on the basis of the system of usury the financer has entrusted his capital to the hands of the manager, which the manager has to repay many times over, and whatever happens the banker demands that profit, even if the capital has suffered a misfortune or even been lost.
In Islam, profiting from capital in the form of usury, i.e. the action of lending money and demanding the repayment of the loan whatever the cir*****stances with an addition of an amount of profit is strictly and severely prohibited .
The Book of Trusts (wadiy’ah)
Wadiy’ah, or trust, means the entrusting of property with someone and making that person one’s agent in keeping and safe-guarding it. This in turn creates duties for the trustee and, if the property suffers or is lost, and the trustee has performed and observed those duties, he is not liable.
The Book of Lending (ariyah)
Ariyah is that a person receives the property of a second person in order to benefit from its benefits. Ariyah and wadiy’ah are two types of trusts, but in wadiy’ah the owner entrusts his property to be kept and safe-guarded and without his permission the trustee has no right to make use of it in any way. Ariyah, however, is that the owner from the very beginning gives it to the other for him to use and then return.
The Book of Hire (ijareh)
In Islam there are two types of hire, either it is that a person cedes the benefit of his property to another in return for an amount of money which is called “the money of hire” (mal-ijareh), such as the normal practices of hiring out one’s house or car; or it is that a person hires himself and, in the terms of jurisprudence, becomes ajir; which means that he makes an understanding that in return for carrying out a special work, like repairing a pair of shoes, cutting a person’s hair, or building his house and so on, he will receive a wage. or payment. Hire is similar to buying and selling in as far as both involve an exchange. The difference is that in buying and selling the exchange is of a thing and money, while in hire the exchange is of the benefit of a thing and money. Hire also has an aspect in common with ‘ariyah in that both the hirer and the ‘ariyah trustee make use of a benefit, the difference being that the hirer, having paid the price of the hire, is the owner of the benefit, while the ‘ariyah trustee is not the owner of the benefit, he only has the right to make use of it.
The Book of Representatives (wakalah)
Sometimes it occurs that one needs to have a representative for those works which demand a contract. Marriage and divorce are good examples, for the contracts of marriage and divorce must be verbally recited in correct and valid Arabic the person who is represented is called the muwakkil and the representative is called the wakil, while the act of respresentation itself is called takwil.
The Book of Endowments and Charity (waqf and sadaqat)
An endowment is that which a person sets aside from his property for a special use. In defining waqf it has been said that it means safe-guarding the original article of waqf, making it untransferrable, while freeing its benefits. About whether an intention of qorbat, of nearness to God, is a condition of waqf or not there is a difference of opinion. The fact that it is included in this section is because Muhaqqiq Hilli did not consider the intention of qorbat to be an essential condition. In any case, there are two types of waqf, general waqf, and special waqf. Both these and the commands of charity are discussed in detail.
The Book of Temporary Endowments (sukna and habs)
Sukna and habs are similar to waqf with the difference that in waqf the original property or wealth is guarded forever and there is no longer any possibility of it being someone’s property, whereas habs is that a person designates the benefits of his property for a specified period to be spent in a charitable way, and after that period it again becomes his personal property. Sukna however, is that a person designates a dwelling for the use of a poor, deserving person for a period and at the end of that period it becomes exactly the same as the owner’s other property .
The Book of Giving (hebat)
One of the effects of ownership is that one has the right to give one’s property to others. Giving is of two types: “in exchange” and “not in exchange”. Not in Exchange means that in return for one’s gift one receives nothing in return. Giving in Exchange, however, means that one receives something in return for one’s gift. Something given in exchange is not retrievable, i.e. it cannot be taken back. When something is given not in exchange, however, if it is given between the mahram members of a family, or if the gift itself is lost or broken, it cannot be taken back, otherwise it can, and the giver can nullify the transaction.
The Book of Wagers (sabq and rimayah)
Sabq and rimayah are two forms of betting agreement between the competitors of horse races, camel races or shooting competitions. Sabq and rimayah are forms of gambling, yet, because they are for practicing the martial arts necessary for jihad, they have been counted by Islam as permissable encouragement for the actual participants. Of course, this permission does not extend to other than the participants.
The Book of Wills (wasiyat)
This book is related to the enjoinments that a person wills to be performed after his death regarding his wealth or his children, whose guardian he is. Each person has the right to appoint a person as his executor (wasi) to be the guardian of minors amongst his children after his death; to supervise their education and other affairs. In the same way, each person also has the right to have spent after his death up to a third of his wealth in accordance with the stipulations he makes in his will.
The Book of Marriage (nikah)
First the conditions of the actual contract are discussed, such as the muharam, the people for whom to marry each other is forbidden, such as father and daughter, mother and son, brother and sister, and so on. The two types of marriage are included: permanent and temporary. Disobedience to the husband by the wife and the ill-treating of the wife by the husband and the obligation of the man of the house to economically provide for his wife and children are part of this book. There are a few other issues that are also discussed.
Lesson Six: Unilateral Instigations (iyqa’at)
This part, according to the classification we are following, consists of iyqa’at, which, as has been explained, are the actions in need of a contract, but not of a two sided contract; a unilateral contract is enough. There are fifteen of these:
The Book of Divorce (talaq)
Divorce here means the cancelling of the marriage compact by the husband. Divorce is either ba’in or raj’i. Ba’in is the kind of divorce wherein the man has no right to return to the woman. A raj’i divorce is that in which the man can return. What this means is that for as long as the woman’s special period of restraint (‘iddah) has not come to an end, the man can return to the woman and thus nullify the divorce. A divorce is a ba’in divorce either because the wife has no ‘iddah, like a divorced woman with whom the husband has not had sexual intercourse, or a woman who has reached the age of menopause, or because, even though the woman must keep ‘iddah, the nature of the divorce disqualifies the man’s right to return, like the third consecutive divorce of that couple, in which case, until she marries someone else who has sexual intercourse with her and then himself dies or divorces her and she keeps another ‘iddah, the first husband cannot re-marry her.
It is a condition of divorce firstly that, at the time of the divorce, the woman is clean of her monthly period. Secondly, there must be two just witnesses present when the contract of divorce is recited. Divorce is divinely detested. The Prophet of God tells us :”The most-detested permissable (thing) before God is divorce”.
The Book of Divorce Wholly or Partly Instigated by the Wife (khul’a and mabarat)
Khul’a and mabarat are two types of ba’in divorce. A khul’a divorce is a divorce motivated due to the wife being dissatisfied with the marriage and giving the husband something or by releasing him from all or part of the mehr [5] so as to persuade him to divorce her. In this case, just by the man divorcing his wife, he is disqualified from returning to her, unless she wants to take back what she ceded, in which case the man has the right to return to her.
Mabarat is also a type of ba’in divorce, like khul’a with the difference that both parties are dissatisfied with the marriage, while the wife still gives the husband a sum to divorce her. The other difference is that the given sum in khul’a divorce has no specified limit, but in mabarat it is a condition that the sum be not more than the amount of the mehr.
The Book of Illegal Divorce (zahar)
In the “ignorance” of pre-Islamic Arabia, zahar was a kind of divorce consisting of the husband saying to the wife anti ‘aliya kazohriammi, i.e., “You are like the rear of my mother to me.” And this was quite enough for the wife to be recognised as divorced. Islam changed this. In the view of Islam, zahar is not divorce. For a man to recite this contract to his wife is forbidden, and he must pay a fine (kafarah). Until he pays the fine it is forbidden for him to have sexual intercourse with the wife. The fine of zahar is the freeing of a slave, or, if not possible, fasting each day for two consecutive months, or, if this is not possible, the feeding of sixty poor people.
The Book of Vows of Abstention (Iyl’a)
Iyl’a is a general word meaning oath, but in jurisprudence it has a special meaning, which is that in order to annoy his wife, a man recites a contract swearing that he will not have sexual intercourse with her ever again or for a fixed period (four months or more). If the wife protests to the Hakim Shari’ah, he will oblige the man to one of two things: break the vow or divorce his wife. If the man breaks his vow, he must, of course, pay the fine. To break a vow is always forbidden but in these cir*****stances it is obligatory.
The Book of Cursing (l’aan)
L’aan is again related to the marital affairs of man and wife. It means their cursing of each other, and it applies to a situation wherein the husband accuses his wife of immorality, meaning here adultery or lesbianism.
If someone accuses a woman of the said immorality and cannot produce four just witnesses, the punishment of falsely accusing is to be carried out upon that person himself, and the same applies if a man accuses his wife. Now, if the man accuses his wife and cannot produce four witnesses, then rather than punish him, something else can be done. What can be done is called l’aan. If this takes place, however, although he is no longer subject to the other punishment, his wife becomes forbidden to him forever.
L’aan takes place in front of the Hakim Shari’ah. As we said before, l’aan is a way in which the two parties curse each other. It takes place like this: first the man stands up in front of the Hakim and says four times, “God is my witness, I am truthful in my claim.” The fifth time he says, “God curse me if I lie in my claim.” The woman then stands up in the presence of the Hakim and says four times, “I call God as a Witness that in his claim he is a liar.” The fifth time she says, “The Anger of God be upon me if in his claim he is truthful.”
The Book of Freeing (itq)
Freeing means the freeing of slaves. In Islam a series of legislatures has been introduced about slaves. Other than the making of slaves of captives taken in war, Islam considers no other form of slavery as legitimate. Furthermore, the aim of taking slaves in Islam is not to profit from them, rather it is for them to stay for a period in the homes of genuine Muslims and come to understand the Islamic teachings. This, all by itself, would draw them to the appreciation and acceptance of Islam and its sublime teachings. In reality, this form of slavery is the passage between the slavery of disbelief (kufr) and the freedom of Islam. So the aim is not that slaves remain slaves forever, the aim is for them to fully discover the Islamic teachings and their liberating effect, and earn the real, spiritual freedom in the freedom of society. Therefore, freedom after slavery is the aim of Islam.
Islam has provided many systems of itq. Because the goal of Islam is freeing and not enslaving, the jurisprudents have titled the book dealing with slavery the Book of Freeing and not the Book of Enslaving.
The Book of Acquiring Freedom through Will, by Purchase and Through Relationship (Tadbir, mukatibeh and istilad)
Tadbir, mukatibeh and istilad are three of the ways in which slaves are freed. Tadbir is that the owner stipulates in his will that after his death his slave is free. Mukatibeh is that a slave settles an agreement with his owner that by paying a sum (or agreeing to pay a sum in the future) he will become free. In the Quran it has been stipulated that if such an application is made by a slave in whom good is discerned, meaning that belief is discerned in them, (or that it is discerned that they can manage themselves and not become helpless), not only is the application to be accepted but they are also to be given capital from their owners’ wealth.
Istilad concerns a slave woman who is made pregnant by her owner. Such a woman, when the owner dies, definitely becomes part of the inheritance, a part of which is inheritated by her child, and since no one can be the slave of one’s parents, grandparents and so on up, or children and grandchildren and so on down, she automatically becomes free.
Similarly, there are many other ways slaves become free, such as a slave being afflicted by blindness and so on; as the kafarah (fine) of various sins, one of the forms of which, as we have seen, is freeing a slave; being freed by someone simply to please God; and others, and these are generally discussed in the Book of Freeing.
The Book of Confessing (iqrar)
Iqrar is related to the Islamic laws of arbitration. One of the means by which a case is proved against a person is the person’s own confession. If, for example, a person claims that he is owed something by a second person, he must produce evidence or testimony, and, if he does not, his claim is rejected. Should, however, the second person himself confess to the debt, this confession renders evidence and testimony unnecessary. Confession is accepted only from sane adults.
The Book of Reward (ja’alah)
Reward in its essence is similar to the hiring of people. In hire, however, a specific person is hired to do a specific work in return for a specific sum, whereas in reward no certain person is hired. Instead, the hirer simply announces that whoever does a certain work for him (like finding his missing child, for example) will be paid a certain sum as a reward.
The Book of Vows (ayman)
If a person swears to do a certain thing, the doing of that which he has sworn to do becomes obligatory for him. One condition is that the vow is in the Name of God. Therefore, a vow made in the name of the Prophet or of an Imam or the Quran, is not binding on him according to the Divine Law. Another condition is that what he vows to do is ruled as permissable in the Shari’ah, so a vow to do something that is ruled as forbidden (haram) or repulsive (makruh), is meaningless and not at all binding. A legitimate vow would be like one swearing to study a certain beneficial book from beginning to end, or swearing to brush one’s teeth at least once a day. The breaking of such a vow necessitates a fine (kafarah).
The Book of Taking an Oath (nathr)
Nathr is a type of undertaking to do something that involves an oath but no special contract. If, for example, one makes an oath to pray all the daily nafilah prayers, i.e. the encouraged prayers that accompany the obligatory prayers of the day, all one has to do is declare that one will pray the nafilah prayers. As we saw, one of the condition of the ayman vows was that the object of the vow be not forbidden (haram) or repulsive (makruh), so that there is no obstacle to the vow being simply permissable. The condition of nathr, however is that the object of the vow be useful in some way. So any nathr to do something or to refrain from something which is not beneficial, meaning that the doing and the refraining from the action in question, are both equal, is void. As in the ayman vows, the breaking of a nathr warrants a fine.
The inner meaning of ayman and nathr, and of the necessity of acting in accordance to them, lies in the fact that both are types of compact with God, and, in the same way that one must respect one’s compacts with the creatures of God (“O you who believe, be loyal to your compacts”. 15:1]), so is one to respect one’s compacts with God Himself. An ayman or a nathr is normally made when one has little confidence in one’s willpower. By means of the ayman or nathr one makes a thing obligatory for oneself until one is able to form the desired habit. [6]
Lesson Seven: Laws
The ninth section of the four sections of jurisprudence consists of the issues grouped under the heading of ‘laws’ (ahkam). This word used here has no special definition. The fact is that those issues of jurisprudence that do not fall into one of the other three groupings have been grouped together to form this one. This section contains twelve books:
The Book of Hunting and Slaughtering (sayd and thibh)
First it is necessary to state that the meat of permitted meat animals becomes permitted either when the animal is slaughtered in a special way (thibh or nahr), or, if the animal is a wild animal the meat of which is permitted, when it is properly hunted by specially trained dogs or my means of an iron missile (like a sharp arrowhead or a sharp bullet).
The meat of tame permitted-meat animals is not permissable to eat if they are hunted, and they must be slaughtered in exact accordance to the Shari’ah. The way of slaughtering most tame animals, like hens, sheep and cows, etc., is called thibh and the way of slaughtering camels is called nahr. There is a slight difference between the actual acts of nshr and thibh, but the conditions, such as the slaughterer being a Muslim, and killing the animal in the Name of God, are the same.
Hunting is related to permitted meat animals that are wild, like deer and mountain goats, etc If the means by which the animal is hunted is a dog, the dog must be so trained that it will do whatever it is commanded, and thus reflect its master’s will, and the meat of permittedmeat animals that are hunted and killed by dogs that are not trained in this way must not be eaten. In the same way, hunting with animals other than dogs, like hawks, is also not permissable.
In hunting by non-animals means, it is a condition that the weapon be iron, or at least metal, and it must be so sharp that it kills the animal by its sharpness. So hunting with stones and blunt metal missiles is not permissable. In both forms of hunting, just like in both forms of slaughtering, the conditions that the man responsible for the animal’s death, he the hunter, be a Muslim, and that he begins in the Name of God, must be met for the meat of that animal to be permissable. There are other conditions but they are detailed and here is not their place.
The Book of Eating and Drinking
Islam has a series of instructions concerning the gifts of nature as regarding eating and drinking. The laws of slaughtering and hunting are amongst these, and so are the laws of eating and drinking. In the view of Islam, all good things, i.e. things that are beneficient and useful, are permitted, while all foul things, things that are not beneficial and which are abominable for man, are forbidden. Furthermore, Islam has not contented itself with explaining these generalities but has made it clear that a whole group of things are foul and must be shunned, and that other things are good and there is no obstacle to the making use of them.
Eating means either the eating of meat or the eating of other things. Meat is either from the creatures of the sea or of the land or of the air. Of the creatures of the sea only fish are permissable, and then again only the fish that have scales. [7] The creatures of the land are of two types: tame and wild. The tame animals, the meat of which is permissable to eat are cows, sheep, camels, hens, horses, donkeys and mules which are all permissable, though the eating of the meat of horses, donkeys and mules is undesirable (makruh). The meat of dogs and cats and pigs is forbidden. Of the wild animals, the meat of carnivorous animals and insects is forbidden. The meat of deer, however, and of wild cows and goats and other wild animals that are permissable when tame, is permissable. The meat of hares and rabbits, though they are not carnivorous, in accordance to the famous verdict of the ‘ulema is forbidden.
Of birds, the meat of the different types of pigeon, partridge, ducks, domestic hens and so on are permissable. The meat of hunting birds is forbidden.
In the cases where the Shari’ah has not made clear the status of the meat of birds, there are two signs of its being forbidden. One is that when the bird flies it does not need to flap it’s wings all the time and mostly glides. The other is that it has no crop, or no gizzard or no sign of a bump on the back of its leg.
Other than animals: to eat or drink any kind of intrinsic filth (najasat) like urine, faeces, blood, sperm, alcohol, etc., is forbidden, and the same applies to any intrinsically clean thing that intrinsic filth has dirtied and which is called mutunajas. Similarly, to eat or drink anything that is harmful to the body, the harm of which is considered significant like poison, for example, is also forbidden . If medicine discerns that a certain thing, tobacco for example, is definitely harmful to the body, to the heart, let’s say, or to the nerves, and shortens one’s life expectation or produces cancer, then its use will be forbidden. If it is not consequential, however, and is simply like breathing the air of most cities, it is not forbidden .
For a pregnant woman to consume something which leads to the abortion of her child, or for a person to consume something that leads to disorder of the senses, or for a man to consume something that leads to his sterilization, or for a woman to consume something that leads to her permanent sterility, is forbidden.
To eat earth is absolutely forbidden, whether it is harmful or not. The drinking of intoxicating liquors is also absolutely forbidden. Furthermore, to consume that which belongs to another without the consent of the owner is strictly forbidden, but this is an incidental prohibition, not intrinsic.
Some parts of permitted-meat animals is forbidden, including the spleen, the testicles and generative parts. Likewise, the milk of forbidden-meat animals is also forbidden .
The Book of Mis-Appropriation (ghasb)
Mis-appropriation (ghasb) means the taking or using of the property of another by force, i.e. without the other’s permission. Firstly, this is forbidden. Secondly, it renders the mis-appropriator (ghasib) liable, so that if the property is damaged or destroyed while in the control of that misappropriator he is liable for it whether the loss or damage was his fault or not. Whatever use one makes of mis-appropriated property is forbidden. Wuzu taken with mis-appropriated water and prayer in mis-appropriated clothes or in a mis-appropriated place is void.
At this point, it must be known that in the same way mis-appropriation results in liability, so destruction causes liability. Meaning, for example, that if a person smashes someone else’s window, he is liable for it. Causing likewise, produces liability. Causing here means that if someone does not do any direct damage, like smashing a window, but does something that causes damage, he is liable. If a man, for example, leaves a thing like the skin of some fruits on a public walk-way and a person slips on it and as a consequence suffers dam age, that man is responsible for the damage suffered by the person who slipped.
The Book of Right of Preference (shaf’ih)
Shaf’ih means the right of precedence of one partner to buy the share of the other. If two people are legitimate partners according to the Shari’ah and one of them wants to sell his share, the other partner, if he wants to buy that share for the same terms and price for which others wish to purchase it, has the right of precedence.
The Book of Enlivening the Dead (ihiya al’muwt)
This book concerns wasteland, i.e. land that is dead or barren, that by the absence of buildings or farming and suchlike is lifeless. The Holy Prophet told us: “Whoever enlivens a dead land owns it.” This issue has many facets and these, in jurisprudence, are discussed at length.
The Book of Finds
In this book are discussed the laws of finding things the owners of which are not known. The find is either an animal or other than an animal. If it is an animal and such as will not be harmed if left alone, the finder has no right to take it into his control. If the animal might be harmed if left alone, however, like a sheep in the middle of the desert, the finder can take it into his control, but he must search for its owner. If the owner is found, the animal must be returned to him, and if the owner is not found, with the permission of the Hakim Shari’ah, the animal must be given to the poor.
If the find is not an animal, and its value is less than that of 2.32 grams [8] of minted silver, the finder can keep it for himself, but if it is more he must search for the owner for one year (unless, like fruit, it cannot be kept for a year). If the owner is not found, and if the find was not made in the sacred area of Mecca, the finder has the option of doing any of three things. Either he can use it for himself with the intention that if the owner is discovered, he will repay the find itself or its value to the owner, or give it as charity with the same intention, or he can keep it in the hope that the owner will be found.
If the find has no special signs the search for the owner is not necessary and the finder has the same three options from the time of the find.
The Book of Inheritance.
We know that in Islam there are laws of inheritance. Inheritance in Islam is not a matter of choice. In Islam, a person has no right to specify a certain sum for a certain heir, or, for example, to leave all his wealth to a certain heir. After a person’s death, his wealth (apart from “his” third which he can stipulate in a will to be disposed of however he likes) is divided and shared amongst the heirs in accordance to the relevant laws.
The heirs in the view of Islam form different ranks. By the existence of one of the members of the first rank, the inheritance does not reach to the second, and the third rank only inherits if there is no one from the first and second ranks to inherit.
The first rank consists of the deceased’s parents and sons and daughters and, if the sons and daughters have died, the grandchildren.
The second rank is the deceased’s four grandparents and brothers and sisters and, if the brothers and sisters have themselves passed away, their children.
The third rank is the deceased’s uncles and aunts and their children.
Until here, of course, we have spoken only about inheritance of kin. There is other inheritance as well, the inheritance of husband and wife, and they inherit their share one from the other before the inheritance of any of the three ranks. About what is the share of each of the members of the ranks and of the husband and wife, however, is too detailed a subject to go into here.
The Book of Arbitration (qaza)
The issues of arbitration, i.e. the settling in court of differences and disputes, are so many that we cannot even summarise them. Briefly, we can say that the system of arbitration in Islam is a special system. The justice of the arbitrator (qazi) is subject to extraordinary attention in Islam. So much precision has been given to the knowledgeable personality of the arbitrator that he has to be a mujtahid and an expert on Islamic rights. About his moral and ethical competence, endless diligence has been introduced. He must be free from all types of sin, even those that do not directly affect his work. In no way does he have any right to accept payment from either of the two parties, even after the arbitration. His expenses are to be liberally reimbursed from the public treasury. The position of the judge is to be so respected that the parties of the case to be arbitrated, whoever they may be (even a caliph, as the history of Amir ul-Muminin, Ali, so clearly shows), must both present themselves before the judge with perfect respect for his position and in no way expect or demand partiality. Confession, testimonial and, in some cases, oaths play an important role in the Islamic arbitration system.
The Book of Testimony
This book is connected to the Book of Arbitration in the same way that the Book of Confession is. If a person claims something, the other party either admits it or denies it. If he admits it, this is sufficient for the claim of the claimant to be proved and for the arbitrator to reach his verdict. If he denies it, the claimant is bound to produce testimony, and if he produces the testimony and it meets the conditions stipulated in the Shari’ah, his claim is proved. The denier is not bound to produce testimony .
In certain cir*****stances, the denier is bound to swear an oath, and if he swears an oath his prosecution is to go no further. In jurisprudence, it is said, “Testimony upon the claimant, and an oath upon whoever denies it.” The issues of arbitration are so many that books have been written solely on this subject that are as voluminous as some of the great books written on all the subjects of jurisprudence.
The Book of Punishments (hudud and t’azirat)
This book is about Islamic punishments in the same way that the previous two books were about Islamic arbitration. Some of the systems of punishment have been precisely defined and determined in Islam, and these are to be performed in the same way regardless of the conditions and any other factors. These types of punishments are called hudud. There are a few punishments, however, that the Shari’ah considers to depend on the view of the Hakim [9], who, by taking into consideration the causes and conditions of the crime and any motivating factors or factors that make the crime more serious, enforces a punishment in accordance. These punishments are called ta’zirat.
The crimes for which hudud have been stipulated are adultery, homosexuality (including lesbianism), falsely accusing a person of committing one of these crimes- drinking alcohol, stealing and armed civil disturbance, which are all considered crimes against God. Although these have all been greatly misunderstood both inside and outside the Islamic world, they are detailed and here is not the place to discuss them more. It must be mentioned, however, that if a certain punishment has not been introduced in the Shari’ah amongst the hudud, the Islamic government must introduce punishments according to what it considers to be in the best interests. These punishments are amongst the t’azirat.
The Book of Retaliation (qisas)
Qisas is also a type of punishment, but for offences wherein one person criminally ends the life or harms the body of another person. In reality, qisas is the right Islam gives to the offended person or to his heirs if the offense leads to the offended person’s death.
Such offenses are either murder or loss or impediment of a part of the body, and are either intentional (amd), similar to intentional (shabih amd) or purely a mistake (khata mehd).
An intentional offense is that the offense was committed with the intention to commit it, such as a person who intends to kill another person and attacks him and kills him, whether or not the attack was made with a special weapon of attack, like a sword or a gun, or whether made with something else, such as a stone. If the serious intention of the murderer was to kill the other, and this in fact he does, this is enough for it to be ruled as “intentional “.
An offense that is “similar to intentional” is that the intention is to do the act but not to do the harm which the act causes. An example of this is that a person with the intention of-hurting another person hits him with a club, which results in the victim’s death. Another example is that someone hits a child in their way of teaching a lesson and the child dies. Also in this status is the case of the doctor who treats his patient for a certain disease and the treatment causes the patient to die.
Purely a mistake, however, is that there was no intention at all, such as the killing of someone by a person who was only cleaning his rifle and it accidentally fired a shot, or by a person who was only driving his car quite normally in the street.
In the cases of intentional killing or similar to intentional killing the heirs of the deceased have the right of qisas, meaning that under the supervision of the Islamic government, and at the discretion of the nearest of kin, the killer can either be executed or forced to pay recompensetbut in the case of merely a mistake the killer is not to be executed and is only obliged to pay the heirs the diyah, the financial recompense.
The Book of Financial Recompense (diyah)
Diyah is like qisas in that it is a right of the offended person or the heirs of the offended person upon the offender, with the difference that qisas is a way of taking payment in kind while diyah is a financial penalty. The laws of diyah like the laws of qisas, are very detailed.
Under the books of qisas and diyah, the jurisprudents have gone into the question of the liability of doctors and of teachers.
About doctors they say that if the doctor is not proficient and makes a mistake in his treatment of the patient that leads to the patient’s death, he is liable. And, if he is proficient and he treats the patient without the patient’s permission or the permission of the patient’s nearest of kin, and the treatment leads to the patient’s death, he is again liable. If the doctor is proficient, however, and he treats the patient with the permission of that patient, or of the patient’s nearest of kin, he must first make the condition to the patient or to the heirs that he will do his utmost, but that, should his efforts happen to lead to the patient’s death, he is not responsible. In this case, supposing that the patient dies or suffers some physical loss, the doctor is not liable and not subject to qisas. If, however, he does not make this condition before beginning the treatment, some of the jurisprudents say that he is liable.
Likewise, if a teacher unnecessarily hitting a child leads to the child’s death or damage to the child’s body, the teacher is liable. If, however, it is really in the child’s best interest to be punished, and this should happen to lead to the child’s death or damage to the child’s body, the teacher must have taken permission to punish him from the child’s guardians, otherwise he is liable.
[1] faqihat is the feminine plural of faqih, meaning, therefore, female jurisprudents.
[2] The other being Najaf, despite the way it has been weakened and reduced by the Ba’ath regime of Iraq.
[3] A thimmi kafer is a kafer (non-Muslim) who lives in peace in the Islamic state in accordance to the laws and subject to the benefits it accords him, and no other kafer is allowed to live in an Islamic state.
[4] ihram is a state which one binds upon oneself wherein many things become forbidden for one. During the Hajj and umrah it accompanies the wearing of two plain white, unsewn pieces of cloth.
[5] Mehr is like a dowry in reverse, i.e. it is the agreed sum to be paid by the man to the woman as a condition of their marriage.
[6] A point about nathr which the author has not mentioned is that it is often made as a promise to do some good deed or deeds in return for a requested favour. In this case, the nathr only becomes obligatory when God has granted that favour.
[7] Shrimps, however, are ruled as sea-locusts, and are permissable to eat, provided, like fish, they are taken from the water live.
[8] i.e. half a mithqal-an eastern measurement.
[9] The Hakim Shari’ah is, as we have seen, either a mujtahid meeting the conditions of being just, etc. or his representative, who, in cases needing what in English is called a magistrate, assumes this responsibility

Shia Muslims in Botswana

Botswana is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa with Namibia (in the west and north) Zambia and Zimbabwe (in the north- east), and South Africa (in the east and South) as neighbours. Before independence it was called Bechuanaland. The country was declared a British protectorate in the late, 1880’s. It became independent in 1966, with a democratic constitution. Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has been ruling the country since independence. Botswana National Front is the main opposition party which occupies about one sixth of the seats in the parliament. Most of the people speak Setswana which is the national language, while English is the official medium used in Business and government affairs.
Total area of the country is approximately 585,000 sq. km. and the estimated population of the country is 1.5 million. The population of the main urban centres is (approximately) Gaborone (capital) 200,000, Francistown 125,000, Lobatse 90,000, Selebi-Phikwe 75,000 and Jwaneng 50,000.
The railway line from South Africa passes through Gaborone on its way to Zimbabwe. Most of the urban centres are connected by tar roads which go up to Namibian, Zambian, Zimbabwean and South African borders. The main airport is in Gaborone, while there are small airports in other urban centres. The nearest seaport is Durban, South Africa, which is about 750 kms from Gaborone.

Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslims in Botswana
The majority of the people in the country are Christians. There are a few oral and written resources regarding Muslims in Botswana which are inconsistent and of doubtful reliability. At present the estimated total number of Muslims in the country is around ten thousand who are either citizens or legally living in Botswana Majority is Sunnis. Early comers were Indian traders, who might have helped their relatives or friends to come to Botswana to earn a better living as compared with their own countries. Perhaps colonial powers or administrators helped Muslim traders to create a buffer with-in themselves and the natives which paved the way for Islam unintentionally.
The first Shia Ithna- Asheri Muslim Syed Mohammad Ahmad Naqvi arrived in Botswana on 13.11.19 71 with his wife Jamal Fatma and son Aijaz Basheer who was about three months old, at that time. Mr. Ahmad was appointed by the Botswana Government to work in the National Library Service. Mr. & Mrs. Ahmad both worked for the Botswana Government for thirteen and ten years respectively. Mrs. Ahmad left the government job towards the end of 1981 and started a Building Materials and Hardware supply business called Jamal Trading Company (Pty) Ltd. Two Shia Ithna- Asheri Muslims (Syed Shamim Akhtar and Syed Ali Zafeer) came from India to work for Jamal Trading Company during 1982-1983. Mr. Shabbir Ali Bengaliwala came from India in 1975 to work in the Ministry of Finance. Four Shia Ithna- Asheri Muslims qualified librarians were recruited by the Botswana Government. They also arrived in 1983 from UP. India. One of those Librarians Mr. Sultan Haider was working as a Senior Librarian in the Botswana National Library Service. Mr. Riaz Somji Arrived from Tanzania in the early 1980’s with his family and started his own Business. Mr. Hasnain Bhojani S/O Mr. Abdulrasul Bhojani came to Botswana during 1985-86. He is also in Business in Gaborone. Syed Fakhir Husain Sherazi came from Pakistan during 1986. He has his own Business.
There are more or less ten people in their own or family Business and around same number of persons is working for government or other organizations. The rest are either small children, old persons, housewives or school going children. A directory of the Shia Ithna- Asheri persons is being maintained at the P. MA. Centre which is up to date. At present there are about 150 Shia Ithna- Asheri Muslims of various age groups who live in Botswana. Most of them are living in Gaborone. The majority of the Shias in Botswana is Indian & Pakistani origin. There are 5 converters of African origin. They are from Malawi and Botswana.

Shia Religious and Cultural Centres in Botswana
It is felt that each urban centre must have a building for religious and cultural activities according to the present and future needs. A plan for five years should be drawn and growth must be reviewed annually or half- yearly.
Islam as such is a fairly new religion in the country. Generally people do not know who or what Shias are or what they believe in. Unfortunately nothing has been done about the propagation or Shiaism so far. All cultural and religious prayers and programmes are arranged by the community under the religious guidance of a resident Maulana in a house allocated by Mr. M Ahmad, the Founder & Chairman of the Panjetani Muslim Association of Botswana. The Chairman & Executive Committee members are always trying to encourage community members to participate actively in all socio-religious programmes at the PMA Centre. This is bringing us closer to each other.

Shia Organization
The Panjetani Muslim Association of Botswana was registered under the societies Act of Botswana on 06.02.98. The constitution is quite extensive which may be used as a guide for the improvement of the over all condition of the followers of Ahlulbait (A. S.) in Botswana. This is the only Shia Ithna – Asheri organization in the country which looking after the interest of the community in Botswana.
Material and moral support is needed from the members and well wishes for the following activities which are placed in order of Preference.

A. Educational Activities

1. Muallim for Islamic Centres
Maulana Syed Rehan Sardar Naqvi arrived in Botswana on 15-5-99 with his wife and two small children. He took charge of all religious activities at Panjetani Muslim Association Centre. He left Botswana in 2004. At present Maulana Syed Raza Abbas Naqvi is conducting these activities as a resident Aalim.

2. Books, Lectures and Audio/Video Programmes
At present there are about 500 books in the PMA Library which is growing gradually. Moreover there are videos of Majalis in Urdu & English. Maulana Syed Rehan Sardar Naqvi started delivering general religious lectures in Urdu on birth and death anniversaries of Prophet and Imams in 1999 etc. Maulana Syed Raza Abbas Naqvi is doing the same now.

3. Nursery School
May be provide initially from the P. MA. Centre to impart basic religious education to the pre- school children.

4. Recreational Activities
To participate in social & sport activities a Cricket Team has been formed recently which is dominated by Shia Ithna- Asheri Youths in Gaborone.

5. Religious Education in the afternoon
Maulana is teaching Quran to children at home in the afternoon after coming out of morning schools. All Shia children are learning Quran and Deenyat in the afternoon.

6. Higher Education
As a matter of national Policy Botswana Government prefers to have citizens for each job in the country. Anybody interested in the Religious Studies after secondary school may be assessed and recommended for scholarship to study in an appropriate educational institute overseas. Efforts are being made to find a suitable person as soon as possible.

B. Charitable or Voluntary Services
P.M.A. is providing financial assistance to disabled persons from time to time. During winter season blankets and used clothing are supplied to the poor people by Mr. &Mrs. Ahmad from their own resources. Moreover it is hoped that P.M.A. will assist the needy persons in Botswana by providing the following services:

1. Water Facilities
Water Facilities for Old Men, Women and Children who have to walk miles away to fetch water for domestic use.

2. Medical Facilities
Medical Facilities to needy poor people with the help of volunteers and sympathizers, doctors, pharmacist and other financial supporters where free consultation and medicines may be provided.

3. Disaster Relief Services
Disaster Relief Services to the poor and needy people affected by natural or man made disasters.

C. P.M.A. Building
A plot for P.M.A. Centre has been acquired in Gaborone. The plan is also ready. Estimated cost of the building is US $ 1,000,000 (One Million US $) but we have no funds. The Botswana Government may re-possess the plot if we do not develop it soon. The plot has been cleared and the boundary wall has been erected and paid by M & Mrs. Ahmad from their own resources.

Committee Members

Syed Mohammad Ahmad Naqvi

Mr. Hasnain Bhojani

Syed Arbab Hasan Naqvi

Assistant Treasurer
Syed Naseemul Hasan Zaidi

Syed Sameer Ahmad Naqvi

Assistant Secretary
Syed Suhail Abbas Zaidi

Resident Maulana
Syed Raza Abbas Naqvi

Contact Details
Plot 14397, Gabs. West Industrial Area, Gaborone, Botswana
P.O. Box 493, Gaborone, Botswana
Tel: (+267) 391-4659, Fax: (+267) 392-7639
Cell: (+267) 71333555 / 72100380
E-Mail: /

Hazrat Ruqayyah (A.S), the Young Heroin of Karbala

Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) is the daughter of Imam Hussein (A.S) and one of the witnesses of Karbala tragedy who created a heroic event like other members of Ahl al-Bayt (S.A) with her martyrdom-like death. The name of her holiness that is in fact her title is derived from ‘Raqi" meaning ascending and improving and her real name was Fatimah. The names ‘Fatimah’ and ‘Ali’ have special meanings for Imam Hussein (A.S). The historical books have referred to this fact that among children of Imam Hussein (A.S) there was a little girl named as Fatimah, and since Imam Hussein (A.S) loved his respected mother very much, he put the name of Fatimah on every daughter ever born. Similarly he named all his sons Ali as the sign of respect to his exalted father, Imam Ali (A.S).

Her Mother
The name of Hazrat Ruqayyah’s mother (S.A) was Um-i-Ishaq who was a great and virtuous woman.

The Age of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A)
The age of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) at the time of martyrdom has been recorded as three, four, five, and seven according to different narrations.

Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) in Ashura
The presence of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) in the event of Asura manifests another aspect of grandeur and magnificence of Asura tragedy. The presence of this little girl in the very heart of Husseini bloody movement, definitely, cannot be considered a simple and insignificant thing.
According to the historians and maqtal-recorders, the death of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) happened very short after the bloody event of Karbala in 61 A.D. when she was three or four years old, and the first wonderful point about Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) is likely the fact that she transcended the boundaries of the history despite her short life to attain the eternality just as his suckling baby brother, Ali Asghar (A.S) attained such a position. In another word, one of the manifestations of the great event of Asura is the diversity in the ages of its characters that includes the youngest to the oldest ages (Habib ebn-i-Mazaher).
The calamities and difficulties inflicted on Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) from Karbala to Kufa and from Kufa to Sham are so bitter and terrible that bothers the conscious of any man of salvation and liberty and really harms the hearts and souls. Suffering the hot temperature of Karbala while being thirsty, presence at the scene of her relatives’ martyrdom, slavery and observing tyrannical behaviors, suffering physical and mental tortures, missing the father in the ruins of Sham, and so on indicate the sever misfortunes that a little child with her delicate body and mind has been afflicted with.
It is quoted in some traditions that Hazrat Sakineh (S.A) said to her three-year old sister-most likely Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) –in Ashura: "Let’s grasp at father’s garment not let him go to be killed."
Hearing this, Imam Hussein (S.A) shed tear a lot and then Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) called, "Daddy, I won’t hinder you."
Wait so that I may see you.
Imam Hussein (A.S) embraced her and kissed her chapped lips. At this time the beloved daughter said: "Al-atash, al-atash, daddy I am thirsty. My liver is burning with thirst."
Imam Hussein (A.S) told her: "Sit beside the tent so that I take water for you."
Then Imam Hussein (A.S) stood up to go to the battle field. Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) again grabbed the skirt of her father and cried: "Daddy, where are you going? Why are you leaving us?"
And Imam (A.S) once again took her in his arms and calmed her down; then he left her with a heavy heart.

Nahjul Balagheh – SERMON 3

Known as the Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah(1)

Beware! By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr)(2) dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill. The flood water flows down from me and the bird cannot fly upto me. I put a curtain against the caliphate and kept myself detached from it.

Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are made feeble and the young grow old and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.

(Then he quoted al-A`sha’s verse).

My days are now passed on the camel’s back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jabir’s brother Hayyan.(3)

It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from the caliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. No doubt these two shared its udders strictly among themselves. This one put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and the touch was rough. Mistakes were in plenty and so also the excuses therefore. One in contact with it was like the rider of an unruly camel. If he pulled up its rein the very nostril would be slit, but if he let it loose he would be thrown. Consequently, by Allah people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation.

Nevertheless, I remained patient despite length of period and stiffness of trial, till when he went his way (of death) he put the matter (of Caliphate) in a group(4) and regarded me to be one of them. But good Heavens! what had I to do with this "consultation"? Where was any doubt about me with regard to the first of them that I was now considered akin to these ones? But I remained low when they were low and flew high when they flew high. One of them turned against me because of his hatred and the other got inclined the other way due to his in-law relationship and this thing and that thing, till the third man of these people stood up with heaving breasts between his dung and fodder. With him his children of his grand-father, (Umayyah) also stood up swallowing up Allah’s wealth(5) like a camel devouring the foliage of spring, till his rope broke down, his actions finished him and his gluttony brought him down prostrate.

At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushing to me. It advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena so much so that Hasan and Husayn were getting crushed and both the ends of my shoulder garment were torn. They collected around me like the herd of sheep and goats. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they had not heard the word of Allah saying:

That abode in the hereafter, We assign it for those who intend not to exult themselves in the earth, nor (to make) mischief (therein); and the end is (best) for the pious ones. (Qur’an, 28:83)

Yes, by Allah, they had heard it and understood it but the world appeared glittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.

(It is said that when Amir al-mu’minin reached here in his sermon a man of Iraq stood up and handed him over a writing. Amir al-mu’minin began looking at it, when Ibn `Abbas said, "O’ Amir al-mu’minin, I wish you resumed your Sermon from where you broke it." Thereupon he replied, "O’ Ibn `Abbas it was like the foam of a Camel which gushed out but subsided." Ibn `Abbas says that he never grieved over any utterance as he did over this one because Amir al-mu’minin could not finish it as he wished to.)

ash-Sharif ar-Radi says: The words in this sermon "like the rider of a camel" mean to convey that when a camel rider is stiff in drawing up the rein then in this scuffle the nostril gets bruised, but if he lets it loose in spite of the camel’s unruliness, it would throw him somewhere and would get out of control. "ashnaq an-naqah" is used when the rider holds up the rein and raises the camel’s head upwards. In the same sense the word "shanaqa an-naqah" is used. Ibn as-Sikkit has mentioned this in Islah al-mantiq. Amir al-mu’minin has said "ashnaqa laha" instead of "ashnaqaha", this is because he has used this word in harmony with "aslasa laha" and harmony could be retained only by using both in the same form. Thus, Amir al-mu’minin has used "ashnaqa laha" as though in place of "in rafa`a laha ra’saha", that is, "if he stops it by holding up the reins."
(1). This sermon is known as the sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah, and is counted among the most famous sermons of Amir al-mu’minin. It was delivered at ar-Rahbah. Although some people have denied it to be Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance and by attributing it to as-Sayyid ar-Radi (or ash-Sharif ar-Radi) have laid blame on his acknowledged integrity, yet truth-loving scholars have denied its veracity. Nor can there be any ground for this denial because `Ali’s (p.b.u.h.) difference of view in the matter of Caliphate is not a secret matter, so that such hints should be regarded as something alien. And the events which have been alluded to in this sermon are preserved in the annals of history which testifies them word by word and sentence by sentence. If the same events which are related by history are recounted by Amir al-mu’minin then what is the ground for denying them? If the memory of discouraging circumstances faced by him soon after the death of the Prophet appeared unpalatable to him it should not be surprising. No doubt this sermon hits at the prestige of certain personalities and gives a set back to the faith and belief in them but this cannot be sustained by denying the sermon to be Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance, unless the true events are analysed and truth unveiled; otherwise just denying it to be Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance because it contains disparagement of certain individuals carries no weight, when similar criticism has been related by other historians as well. Thus (Abu `Uthman) `Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz has recorded the following words of a sermon of Amir al-mu’minin and they are not less weighty than the criticism in the "Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah."

Those two passed away and the third one rose like the crow whose courage is confined to the belly. It would have been better if both his wings had been cut and his head severed.

Consequently, the idea that it is the production of as-Sayyid ar-Radi is far from truth and a result of partisanship and partiality. Or else if it is the result of some research it should be brought out. Otherwise, remaining in such wishful illusion does not alter the truth, nor can the force of decisive arguments be curbed down by mere disagreement and displeasure. Now we set forth the evidence of those scholars and traditionists who have clearly held it to be Amir al-mu’minin’s production, so that its historical importance should become known. Among these scholars some are those before as-Sayyid ar-Radi’s period, some are his contemporaries and some are those who came after him but they all related it through their own chain of authority. 1) Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili writes that his master Abu’l-Khayr Musaddiq ibn Shabib al-Wasiti (d. 605 A.H.) stated that he heard this sermon from ash-Shaykh Abu Muhammad `Abdullah ibn Ahmad al-Baghdadi (d. 567 A.H.) known as Ibn al-Khashshab and when he reached where Ibn `Abbas expressed sorrow for this sermon having remained incomplete Ibn al-Khashshab said to him that if he had heard the expression of sorrow from Ibn `Abbas he would have certainly asked him if there had remained with his cousin any further unsatisfied desire because excepting the Prophet he had already spared neither the predecessors nor followers and had uttered all that he wished to utter. Why should therefore be any sorrow that he could not say what he wished? Musaddiq says that Ibn al-Khashshab was a man of jolly heart and decent taste. I inquired from him whether he also regarded the sermon to be a fabrication when he replied "By Allah, I believe it to be Amir al-mu’minin’s word as I believe you to be Musaddiq ibn Shabib." I said that some people regard it to be as-Sayyid ar-Radi’s production when he replied: "How can ar-Radi have such guts or such style of writing. I have seen as-Sayyid ar-Radi’s writings and know his style of composition. Nowhere does his writing match with this one and I have already seen it in books written two hundred years before the birth of as-Sayyid ar-Radi, and I have seen it in familiar writings about which I know by which scholars or men of letters they were compiled. At that time not only ar-Radi but even his father Abu Ahmad an-Naqib has not been born." 2) Thereafter Ibn Abi’l-Hadid writes that he saw this sermon in the compilations of his master Abu’l-Qasim (`Abdullah ibn Ahmad) al-Balkhi (d. 317 A.H.). He was the Imam of the Mu’tazilites in the reign of al-Muqtadir Billah while al-Muqtadir’s period was far earlier than the birth of as-Sayyid ar-Radi. 3) He further writes that he saw this sermon in Abu Ja`far (Muhammad ibn `Abd ar-Rahman), Ibn Qibah’s book al-Insaf. He was the pupil of Abu’l-Qasim al-Balkhi and a theologian of Imamiyyah (Shi`ite) sect. (Sharh of Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, vol.1, pp.205-206) 4) Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani (d. 679 A.H.) writes in his commentary that he had seen one such copy of this sermon which bore writing of al-Muqtadir Billah’s minister Abu’l-Hasan `Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Furat (d. 312 A.H.). (Sharh al-balaghah, vol.1., pp.252-253) 5) al-`Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi has related the following chain of authority about this Sermon from ash-Shaykh Qutbu’d-Din ar-Rawandi’s compilation Minhaj al-bara`ah fi Sharh Nahj al-balaghah:

ash-Shaykh Abu Nasr al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim informed me from al-Hajib Abu’l-Wafa’ Muhammad ibn Badi`, al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Badi` and al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd ar-Rahman and they from al-Hafiz Abu Bakr (Ahmad ibn Musa) ibn Marduwayh al-Isbahani (d. 416 A.H.) and he from al-Hafiz Abu’l-Qasim Sulayman ibn Ahmad at-Tabarani (d. 360 A.H.) and he from Ahmad ibn `Ali al-Abbar and he from Is’haq ibn Sa`id Abu Salamah ad-Dimashqi and he from Khulayd ibn Da`laj and he from `Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah and he from Ibn `Abbas. (Bihar al-anwar, 1st ed. vol.8, pp.160-161)

6) In the context al-`Allamah al-Majlisi has written that this sermon is also contained in the compilations of Abu `Ali (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab) al-Jubba ‘i (d. 303 A.H.) . 7) In connection with this very authenticity al-`Allamah al-Majlisi writes:

al-Qadi `Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad al-Asad’abadi (d. 415A.H.) who was a strict Mu`tazilite explains some expressions of this sermon in his book al-Mughni and tries to prove that it does not strike against any preceding caliph but does not deny it to be Amir al-mu’minin’s composition. (ibid., p.161)

8) Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali, Ibn Babawayh (d. 381 A.H.) writes:

Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Is’haq at-Talaqani told us that `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Yahya al-Jaludi (d. 332 A.H.) told him that Abu `Abdillah Ahmad ibn `Ammar ibn Khalid told him that Yahya ibn `Abd al-Hamid al- Himmani (d. 228 A.H.) told him that `Isa ibn Rashid related this sermon from `Ali ibn Hudhayfah and he from `Ikrimah and he from Ibn `Abbas. (`Ilal ash-shara’i`,vol.1, chap. 122, p.144; Ma`ani al-akhbar, chap.22, pp.360-361)

9) Then Ibn Babawayh records the following chain of authorities :-

Muhammad ibn `Ali Majilawayh related this sermon to us and he took it from his uncle Muhammad ibn Abi’l-Qasim and he from Ahmad ibn Abi `Abdillah (Muhammad ibn Khalid) al-Barqi and he from his father and he from (Muhammad) Ibn Abi `Umayr and he from Aban ibn `Uthman and he from Aban ibn Taghlib and he from `Ikrimah and he from Ibn `Abbas. (`Ilal ash-shara’i`, vol.1, chap.122, p.l46; Ma`ani al-akhbar, chap.22, p.361)

10) Abu Ahmad al-Hasan ibn `Abdillah ibn Sa`id al-`Askari (d.382 A.H.) who counts among great scholars of the Sunnis has written commentary and explanation of this sermon that has been recorded by Ibn Babawayh in `Ilal ash-shara’i` and Ma`ani al-akhbar. 11) as-Sayyid Ni`matullah al-Jaza’iri writes:

The author of Kitab al-gharat Abu Is’haq, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ath-Thaqafi al-Kufi (d. 283 A.H.) has related this sermon through his own chain of authorities. The date of completion of writing this book is Tuesday the 13th Shawwal 255 A.H. and in the same year, Murtada al-Musawi was born. He was older in age than his brother as-Sayyid ar-Radi. (Anwar an-Nu`maniyyah, p.37)

12) as-Sayyid Radi ad-Din Abu’l-Qasim `Ali ibn Musa, Ibn Tawus al-Husayni al-Hulli (d. 664 A.H.) has related this sermon from Kitab al-gharat with the following chain of authorities:-

This sermon was related to us by Muhammad ibn Yusuf who related it from al-Hasan ibn `Ali ibn `Abd al-Karim az-Za`farani and he from Muhammad ibn Zakariyyah al-Ghallabi and he from Ya`qub ibn Ja`far ibn Sulayman and he from his father and he from his grand-father and he from Ibn `Abbas. (Translation of at-Tara’if, p.202)

13) Shaykh at-Ta’ifah, Muhammad ibn al- Hasan at-Tusi (d. 460 A.H.) writes:

(Abu’l-Fath Hilal ibn Muhammad ibn Ja`far) al-Haffar related this sermon to us. He related it from Abu’l-Qasim (Isma`il ibn `Ali ibn `Ali) ad-Di`bili and he from his father and he from his brother Di`bil (ibn `Ali al-Kuza`i) and he from Muhammad ibn Salamah ash-Shami and he from Zurarah ibn A`yan and he from Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali and he from Ibn `Abbas. (al-Amali, p.237)

14) ash-Shaykh al-Mufid (Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn an-Nu`man, d. 413 A.H.) who was the teacher of as-Sayyid ar-Radi writes about the chain of authorities of this sermon:

A number of relaters of traditions have related this sermon from Ibn `Abbas through numerous chains. (al-Irshad, p.135)

15) `Alam al-Huda (emblem of guidance) as-Sayyid al-Murtada who was the elder brother of as-Sayyid ar-Radi has recorded it on pp. 203,204 of his book ash-Shafi. 16) Abu Mansur at-Tabarsi writes:

A number of relaters have given an account of this sermon from Ibn `Abbas through various chains. Ibn `Abbas said that he was in the audience of Amir al-mu’minin at ar-Rahbah (a place in Kufah) when conversation turned to Caliphate and those who had preceded him as Caliphs, when Amir al-mu’minin breathed a sigh and delivered this sermon. (al-Ihtijaj, p. 101)

17) Abu’l-Muzaffar Yusuf ibn `Abdillah and Sibt ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi (d. 654 A.H.) writes:

Our ash-Shaykh Abu’l-Qasim an-Nafis al-Anbari related this sermon to us through his chain of authorities that ends with Ibn `Abbas, who said that after allegiance had been paid to Amir al-mu’minin as Caliph he was sitting on the pulpit when a man from the audience enquired why he had remained quiet till then whereupon Amir al-mu’minin delivered this sermon extempore. (Tadhkarat khawass al-ummah, p.73)

18) al-Qadi Ahmad ibn Muhammad, ash-Shihab al-Khafaji (d. 1069 A.H.) writes with regard to its authenticity:

It is stated in the utterances of Amir al-mu’minin `Ali (Allah may be pleased with him) that "It is strange during life time he (Abu Bakr) wanted to give up the Caliphate but he strengthened its foundation for the other one after his death." (Sharh durrat al-ghawwas, p.17)

19) ash-Shaykh `Ala ad-Dawlah as-Simnani writes:

Amir al-mu’minin Sayyid al-`Arifin `Ali (p.b.u.h.) has stated in one of his brilliant Sermons "this is the Shiqshiqah that burst forth." (al-`Urwah li ahl al-khalwah wa’l-jalwah, p3, manuscript in Nasiriah Library, Lucknow, India)

20) Abu’l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Maydani (d. 518 A.H.) has written in connection with the word Shiqshiqah:

One sermon of Amir al-mu’minin `Ali is known as Khutbah ash-Shiqshiqiyyah (the sermon of the Camel’s Foam). (Majma` al-amthal, vol.1, p.369)

21) In fifteen places in an-Nihayah while explaining the words of this sermon Abu’s-Sa`adat Mubarak ibn Muhammad, Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari (d. 606 A.H.) has acknowledged it to be Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance. 22) Shaykh Muhammad Tahir Patni while explaining the same words in Majma` bihar al-anwar testifies this sermon to be Amir al-mu’minin’s by saying, "`Ali says so." 23) Abu’l-Fadl ibn Manzur (d. 711 A.H.) has acknowledged it as Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance in Lisan al-`Arab, vol.12, p.54 by saying, "In the sayings of `Ali in his sermon ‘It is the camel’s foam that burst forth then subsided.’" 24) Majdu’d-Din al-Firuz’abadi (d. 816/817 A.H.) has recorded under the word "Shiqshiqah" in his lexicon (al-Qamus, vol.3, p.251):

Khutbah ash-Shiqshiqiyyah is by `Ali so named because when Ibn `Abbas asked him to resume it where he had left it, he said "O’ Ibn `Abbas! it was the foam of a camel that burst forth then subsided."

25) The compiler of Muntaha al-adab writes:

Khutbah ash-Shiqshiqiyyah of `Ali is attributed to `Ali (Allah may honour his face).

26) ash-Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh, Mufti of Egypt, recognising it as Amir al-mu’minin’s utterance, has written its explanations. 27) Muhammad Muhyi’d-Din `Abd al-Hamid, Professor in the Faculty of Arabic Language, al-Azhar University has written annotations on Nahj al-balaghah adding a foreword in the beginning wherein he recognises all such sermons which contain disparaging remarks to be the utterances of Amir al-mu’minin. In the face of these evidences and undeniable proofs is there any scope to hold that it is not Amir al-mu’minin’s production and that as-Sayyid ar-Radi prepared it himself? (2). Amir al-mu’minin has referred to Abu Bakr’s accession to the Caliphate metaphorically as having dressed himself with it. This was a common metaphor. Thus, when `Uthman was called to give up the Caliphate he replied, "I shall not put off this shirt which Allah has put on me." No doubt Amir al-mu’minin has not attributed this dressing of Caliphate to Allah but to Abu Bakr himself because according to unanimous opinion his Caliphate was not from Allah but his own affair. That is why Amir al-mu’minin said that Abu Bakr dressed himself with the Caliphate. He knew that this dress had been stitched for his own body and his position with relation to the Caliphate was that of the axis in the hand-mill which cannot retain its central position without it nor be of any use. Similarly, he held "I was the central pivot of the Caliphate, were I not there, its entire system would have gone astray from the pivot. It was I who acted as a guard for its organisation and order and guided it through all difficulties. Currents of learning flowed from my bosom and watered it on all sides. My position was high beyond imagination but lust of world seekers for government became a tumbling stone for me and I had to confine myself to seclusion. Blinding darkness prevailed all round and there was intense gloom everywhere. The young grew old and the old departed for the graves but this patience-breaking period would not end. I kept watching with my eyes the plundering of my own inheritance and saw the passing of Caliphate from one hand to the other but remained patient as I could not stop their high-handedness for lack of means."

After the Prophet of Islam the presence of such a personality was inevitable who could stop the community from disintegration and guard the religious law against change, alteration and interference by those who wanted to twist it to suit their own desires. If this very need is denied then there is no sense in attaching so much importance to the succession of the Prophet that the assemblage in Saqifah of Banu Sa`idah should have been considered more important than the burial of the Prophet. If the need is recognised, the question is whether or not the Prophet too realised it. If it is held he could not attend to it and appreciate its need or absence of need it would be the biggest proof for regarding the Prophet’s mind to be blank for thinking of means to stop the evils of innovations and apostasy in spite of having given warnings about them. If it is said that he did realise it but had to live it unresolved on account of some advantage then instead of keeping it hidden the advantage should be clearly indicated otherwise silence without purpose would constitute delinquency in the discharge of the obligations of Prophethood. If there was some impediment, it should be disclosed otherwise we should agree that just as the Prophet did not leave any item of religion incomplete he did not leave this matter either and did propose such a course of action for it, that if it was acted upon religion would have remained safe against the interference of others.

The question now is what was that course of action. If it is taken to be the consensus of opinion of the community then it cannot truly take place as in such consensus acquiescence of every individual is necessary; but taking into account the difference in human temperaments it seems impossible that they would agree on any single point. Nor is there any example where on such matters there has been no single voice of dissent. How then can such a fundamental need be made dependent on the occurrence of such an impossible event – need on which converges the future of Islam and the good of the Muslims. Therefore, the mind is not prepared to accept this criterion. Nor is tradition in harmony with it, as al-Qadi `Adud ad-Dinal-‘Iji has written in Sharh al-mawaqif:

You should know that Caliphate cannot depend upon unanimity of election because no logical or traditional argument can be advanced for it.

In fact when the advocates of unanimous election found that unanimity of all votes is difficult they adopted the agreement of the majority as a substitute for unanimity, ignoring the difference of the minority. In such a case also it often happens that the force of fair and foul or correct and incorrect ways turns the flow of the majority opinion in the direction where there is neither individual distinction nor personal merit as a result of which competent persons remain hidden while incompetent individuals stand forward. When capabilities remain so curbed and personal ends stand in the way as hurdles, how can there be expectation for the election of correct person. Even if it is assumed that all voters have an independent unbiased view, that none of them has his own objective and that none has any other consideration, it is not necessary that every verdict of the majority should be correct, and that it cannot go astray. Experience shows that after experiment the majority has held its own verdict to be wrong. If every verdict of the majority is correct then its first verdict should be wrong because the verdict which holds it wrong is also that of the majority. In this circumstances if the election of the Caliph goes wrong who would be responsible for the mistake, and who should face the blame for the ruination of the Islamic polity. Similarly on whom would be the liability for the bloodshed and slaughter following the turmoil and activity of the elections. When it has been seen that even those who sat in the audience of the Holy Prophet could not be free of mutual quarrel and strife how can others avoid it.

If with a view to avoid mischief it is left to the people of authority to choose anyone they like then here too the same friction and conflict would prevail because here again convergence of human temperaments on one point is not necessary nor can they be assumed to rise above personal ends. In fact here the chances of conflict and collision would be stronger because if not all at least most of them would themselves be candidates for that position and would not spare any effort to defeat their opponent, creating impediments in his way as best as possible. Its inevitable consequence would be mutual struggle and mischief-mongering. Thus, it would not be possible to ward off the mischief for which this device was adopted, and instead of finding a proper individual the community would just become an instrument for the achievement of personal benefits of the others. Again, what would be the criterion for these people in authority? The same as has usually been, namely whoever collects a few supporters and is able to create commotion in any meeting by use of forceful words would count among the people of authority. Or would capabilities also be judged? If the mode of judging the capabilities is again this very common vote then the same complications and conflicts would arise here too, to avoid which this way was adopted. If there is some other standard, then instead of judging the capabilities of the voters by it why not judge the person who is considered suitable for the position in view. Further, how many persons in authority would be enough to give a verdict? Apparently a verdict once accepted would be precedent for good and the number that would give this verdict would become the criterion for future. al-Qadi `Adud ad-Din al-‘Iji writes:

Rather the nomination of one or two individuals by the people in authority is enough because we know that the companions who were strict in religion deemed it enough as the nomination of Abu Bakr by `Umar and of `Uthman by `Abd ar-Rahman. (Sharh al-mawaqif, p.351 )

This is the account of the "unanimous election" in the Hall of Bani Sa`idah and the activity of the consultative assembly: that is, one man’s action has been given the name of unanimous election and one individual’s deed given the name of consultative assembly. Abu Bakr had well understood this reality that election means the vote of a person or two only which is to be attributed to common simple people. That is why he ignored the requirements of unanimous election, majority vote or method of choosing through electoral assembly and appointed `Umar by nomination. `A’ishah also considered that leaving the question of caliphate to the vote of a few particular individuals meant inviting mischief and trouble. She sent a word to `Umar on his death saying:

Do not leave the Islamic community without a chief. Nominate a Caliph for it and leave it not without an authority as otherwise I apprehend mischief and trouble.

When the election by those in authority proved futile it was given up and only "might is right" became the criteria-namely whoever subdues others and binds them under his sway and control is accepted as the Caliph of the Prophet and his true successor. These are those self-adopted principles in the face of which all the Prophet’s sayings uttered in the "Feast of the Relatives," on the night of hijrah, at the battle of Tabuk, on the occasion of conveying the Qur’anic chapter "al-Bara’ah" (at-Tawbah, chap.9) and at Ghadir (the spring of) Khumm. The strange thing is that when each of the first three caliphates is based on one individual’s choice how can this very right to choose be denied to the Prophet himself, particularly when this was the only way to end all the dissension, namely that the Prophet should have himself settled it and saved the community from future disturbances and spared it from leaving this decision in the hands of people who were themselves involved in personal aims and objects. This is the correct procedure which stands to reason and which has also the support of the Prophet’s definite sayings.

(3). Hayyan ibn as-Samin al-Hanafi of Yamamah was the chief of the tribe Banu Hanifah and the master of fort and army. Jabir is the name of his younger brother while al-A`sha whose real name was Maymun ibn Qays ibn Jandal enjoyed the position of being his bosom friend and led a decent happy life through his bounty. In this verse he has compared his current life with the previous one that is the days when he roamed about in search of livelihood and those when he led a happy life in Hayyan’s company. Generally Amir al-mu’minin’s quoting of this verse has been taken to compare this troubled period with the peaceful days passed under the care and protection of the Prophet when he was free from all sorts of troubles and enjoyed mental peace. But taking into account the occasion for making this comparison and the subject matter of the verse it would not be far fetched if it is taken to indicate the difference between the unimportant position of those in power during the Prophet’s life time and the authority and power enjoyed by them after him, that is, at one time in the days of the Prophet no heed was paid to them because of `Ali’s personality but now the time had so changed that the same people were masters of the affairs of the Muslim world.

(4). When `Umar was wounded by Abu Lu’lu’ah and he saw that it was difficult for him to survive because of the deep wound, he formed a consultative committee and nominated for it `Ali ibn Abi Talib, `Uthman ibn `Affan, `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf, az-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, and Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah and bound them that after three days of his death they should select one of themselves as the Caliph while for those three days Suhayb should act as Caliph. On receipt of these instructions some members of the committee requested him to indicate what ideas he had about each of them to enable them to proceed further in their light. `Umar therefore disclosed his own view about each individual. He said that Sa`d was harsh-tempered and hot headed; `Abd ar-Rahman was the Pharaoh of the community; az-Zubayr was, if pleased, a true believer but if displeased an unbeliever; Talhah was the embodiment of pride and haughtiness, if he was made caliph he would put the ring of the caliphate on his wife’s finger while `Uthman did not see beyond his kinsmen. As regards `Ali he is enamoured of the Caliphate although I know that he alone can run it on right lines. Nevertheless, despite this admission, he thought it necessary to constitute the consultative Committee and in selecting its members and laying down the working procedure he made sure that the Caliphate would take the direction in which he wished to turn it. Thus, a man of ordinary prudence can draw the conclusion that all the factors for `Uthman’s success were present therein. If we look at its members we see that one of them namely `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf is the husband of `Uthman’s sister, next Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas besides bearing malice towards `Ali is a relation and kinsman of `Abd ar-Rahman. Neither of them can be taken to go against `Uthman. The third Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah about whom Prof. Muhammad `Abduh writes in his annotation on Nahj al-balaghah:

Talhah was inclined towards `Uthman and the reason for it was no less than that he was against `Ali, because he himself was at at-Taymi and Abu Bakr’s accession to the Caliphate had created bad blood between Bani Taym and Banu Hashim.

As regards az-Zubayr, even if he had voted for `Ali, what could his single vote achieve. According to at-Tabari’s statement Talhah was not present in Medina at that time but his absence did not stand in the way of `Uthman’s success. Rather even if he were present, as he did actually reach at the meeting (of the Committee), and he is taken to be `Ali’s supporter, still there could be no doubt in `Uthman’s success because `Umar’s sagacious mind had set the working procedure that:

If two agree about one and the other two about another then `Abdullah ibn `Umar should act as the arbitrator. The group whom he orders should choose the Caliph from among themselves. If they do not accept `Abdullah ibn `Umar’s verdict, support should be given to the group which includes `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf, but if the others do not agree they should be beheaded for opposing this verdict. (at-Tabari, vol.1, pp.2779-2780; Ibn al-Athir, vol.3, p.67).

Here disagreement with the verdict of `Abdullah ibn `Umar has no meaning since he was directed to support the group which included `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf. He had ordered his son `Abdullah and Suhayb that:

If the people differ, you should side with the majority, but if three of them are on one side and the other three on the other, you should side with the group including `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf. (at-Tabari, vol.1, pp.2725,2780; Ibn al-Athir, vol.3, pp.51,67).

In this instruction the agreement with the majority also means support of `Abd ar-Rahman because the majority could not be on any other side since fifty blood-thirsty swords had been put on the heads of the opposition group with orders to fall on their heads on `Abd ar-Rahman’s behest. Amir al-mu’minin’s eye had fore-read it at that very moment that the Caliphate was going to `Uthman as appears from his following words which he spoke to al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib:

"The Caliphate has been turned away from us." al-`Abbas asked how could he know it. Then he replied, "`Uthman has also been coupled with me and it has been laid down that the majority should be supported; but if two agree on one and two on the other, then support should be given to the group which includes `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Awf. Now Sa`d will support his cousin `Abd ar-Rahman who is of course the husband of `Uthman’s sister." (ibid )

However, after `Umar’s death this meeting took place in the room of `A’ishah and on its door stood Abu Talhah al-Ansari with fifty men having drawn swords in their hands. Talhah started the proceedings and inviting all others to be witness said that he gave his right of vote to `Uthman. This touched az-Zubayr’s sense of honour as his mother Safiyyah daughter of `Abd al-Muttalib was the sister of Prophet’s father. So he gave his right of vote to `Ali. Thereafter Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas made his right of vote to `Abd ar-Rahman. This left three members of the consultative committee out of whom `Abd ar-Rahman said that he was willing to give up his own right of vote if `Ali (p.b.u.h.) and `Uthman gave him the right to choose one of them or one of these two should acquire this right by withdrawing. This was a trap in which `Ali had been entangled from all sides namely that either he should abandon his own right or else allow `Abd ar-Rahman to do as he wished. The first case was not possible for him; that is, to give up his own right and elect `Uthman or `Abd ar-Rahman. So, he clung to his right, while `Abd ar-Rahman separating himself from it assumed this power and said to Amir al-mu’minin, "I pay you allegiance on your following the Book of Allah, the sunnah of the Prophet and the conduct of the two Shaykhs, (Abu Bakr and `Umar). `Ali replied, "Rather on following the Book of Allah, the sunnah of the Prophet and my own findings." When he got the same reply even after repeating the question thrice he turned to `Uthman saying, "Do you accept these conditions." He had no reason to refuse and so he agreed to the conditions and allegiance was paid to him. When Amir al mu’minin saw his rights being thus trampled he said:

"This is not the first day when you behaved against us. I have only to keep good patience. Allah is the Helper against whatever you say. By Allah, you have not made `Uthman Caliph but in the hope that he would give back the Caliphate to you."

After recording the events of ash-Shura (consultative committee), Ibn Abi’l-Hadid has written that when allegiance had been paid to `Uthman, `Ali addressed `Uthman and `Abd ar-Rahman saying, "May Allah sow the seed of dissension among you," and so it happened that each turned a bitter enemy of the other and `Abd ar-Rahman did not ever after speak to `Uthman till death. Even on death bed he turned his face on seeing him.

On seeing these events the question arises whether ash-Shura (consultative committee) means confining the matter to six persons, thereafter to three and finally to one only. Also whether the condition of following the conduct of the two Shaykhs for Caliphate was put by `Umar or it was just a hurdle put by `Abd ar-Rahman between `Ali (p.b.u.h.) and the Caliphate, although the first Caliph did not put forth this condition at the time of nominating the second Caliph, namely that he should follow the former’s footsteps. What then was the occasion for this condition here?

However, Amir al-mu’minin had agreed to participate in it in order to avoid mischief and to put an end to arguing so that others should be silenced and should not be able to claim that they would have voted in his favour and that he himself evaded the consultative committee and did not give them an opportunity of selecting him.

(5). About the reign of the third Caliph, Amir al-mu’minin says that soon on `Uthman’s coming to power Banu Umayyah got ground and began plundering the Bayt al-mal (public fund), and just as cattle on seeing green grass after drought trample it away, they recklessly fell upon Allah’s money and devoured it. At last this self-indulgence and nepotism brought him to the stage when people besieged his house, put him to sword and made him vomit all that he had swallowed.

The maladministration that took place in this period was such that no Muslim can remain unmoved to see that Companions of high position were lying uncared for, they were stricken with poverty and surrounded by pennilessness while control over Bayt al-mal (public fund) was that of Banu Umayyah, government positions were occupied by their young and inexperienced persons, special Muslim properties were owned by them, meadows provided grazing but to their cattle, houses were built but by them, and orchards were but for them. If any compassionate person spoke about these excesses his ribs were broken, and if someone agitated this capitalism he was externed from the city. The uses to which zakat and charities which were meant for the poor and the wretched and the public fund which was the common property of the Muslims were put may be observed from the following few illustrations;

1) al-Hakam ibn Abi’l-`As who had been exiled from Medina by the Prophet was allowed back in the city not only against the Prophet’s sunnah but also against the conduct of the first two Caliphs and he was paid three hundred thousand Dirhams from the public fund. (Ansab al-ashraf, vol.5, pp.27, 28, 125)

2) al-Walid ibn `Uqbah who has been named hypocrite in the Qur’an was paid one hundred thousand Dirhams from the Muslim’s public fund. (al-`Iqd al-farid, vol.3, p.94)

3) The Caliph married his own daughter Umm Aban to Marwan ibn al-Hakam and paid him one hundred thousand Dirhams from the public fund. (Sharh of Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, vol.1, pp.198-199).

4) He married his daughter `A’ishah to Harith ibn al-Hakam and granted him one hundred thousand Dirhams from the public fund. (ibid.)

5) `Abdullah ibn Khalid was paid four hundred thousand Dirhams. (al-Ma`arif of Ibn Qutaybah, p.84)

6) Allowed the khums (one fifth religious duty) from Africa (amounting to five hundred thousand Dinars) to Marwan ibn al-Hakam. (ibid)

7) Fadak which was withheld from the angelic daughter of the Prophet on the ground of being general charity was given as a royal favour to Marwan ibn al-Hakam. (ibid.)

8) Mahzur a place in the commercial area of Medina which had been declared a public trust by the Prophet was gifted to Harith ibn al-Hakam. (ibid.)

9) In the meadows around Medina no camel except those of Banu Umayyah were allowed to graze. (Sharh of Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, vol.l, p.l99)

10) After his death (`Uthman’s) one hundred and fifty thousand Dinars (gold coins) and one million Dirhams (silver coins) were found in his house. There was no limit to tax free lands; and the total value of the landed estate he owned in Wadi al-Qura and Hunayn was one hundred thousand Dinars. There were countless camels and horses. (Muruj adh-dhahab, vol.l, p.435)

11) The Caliph’s relations ruled all the principal cities. Thus, at Kufah, al-Walid ibn `Uqbah was the governor but when in the state of intoxication of wine he led the morning prayer in four instead of two rak`ah and people agitated he was removed, but the Caliph put in his place a hypocrite like Sa`id ibn al-`As. In Egypt `Abdullah ibn Sa`d ibn Abi Sarh, in Syria Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, and in Basrah, `Abdullah ibn `Amir were the governors appointed by him (ibid.)

Nahjul Balagheh – SERMON 2

I praise Allah seeking completion of His Blessing, submitting to His Glory and expecting safety from committing His sins. I invoke His help being in need of His Sufficiency (of protection). He whom He guides does not get astray, He with whom He is hostile gets no protection. He whom He supports does not remain needy. Praise is most weighty of all that is weighed and the most valuable of all that is treasured.

I stand witness that there is no god but Allah the One. He has no like. My testimony has been tested in its frankness, and its essence is our belief. We shall cling to it for ever till we live and shall store it facing the tribulations that overtake us because it is the foundation stone of Belief (iman) and the first step towards good actions and Divine pleasure. It is the means to keep Satan away.

I also stand witness that Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) is His slave and His Prophet. Allah sent him with the illustrious religion, effective emblem, written Book,(1) effulgent light, sparkling gleam and decisive injunction in order to dispel doubts, present clear proofs, administer warning through signs and to warn of punishments. At that time people had fallen in vices whereby the rope of religion had been broken, the pillars of belief had been shaken, principles had been sacrileged, system had become topsy turvy, openings were narrow, passage was dark, guidance was unknown and darkness prevailed.

Allah was being disobeyed, Satan was given support and Belief had been forsaken. As a result the pillars of religion fell down, its traces could not be discerned, its passages had been destroyed and its streets had fallen into decay. People obeyed Satan and treaded his paths. They sought water from his watering places. Through them Satan’s emblems got flying and his standard was raised in vices which trampled the people under their hoofs, and treaded upon them with their feet. The vices stood on their toes (in full stature) and the people immersed in them were strayed, perplexed, ignorant and seduced as though in a good house(2) with bad neighbours. Instead of sleep they had wakefulness and for antimony they had tears in the eyes. They were in a land where the learned were in bridle (keeping their mouths shut) while the ignorant were honoured.
In the same sermon Amir al-mu’minin referred to Al an-Nabi (the Household of the Holy Prophet) as under:

They are the trustees of His secrets, shelter for His affairs, source of knowledge about Him, centre of His wisdom, valleys for His books and mountains of His religion. With them Allah straightened the bend of religion’s back and removed the trembling of its limbs.
In the same Sermon he spoke about the hypocrites

They sowed vices, watered them with deception and harvested destruction.
(Alu Muhammad)

None in the Islamic community can be taken at par with the Progeny(3) of the Prophet (Alu Muhammad). One who was under their obligation cannot be matched with them. They are the foundation of religion and pillar of Belief. The forward runner has to turn back to them while the follower has to overtake them. They possess the chief characteristics for vicegerency. In their favour exists the will and succession (of the Prophet). This is the time when right has returned to its owner and diverted to its centre of return.

(1). The Preserved Record. (2). Good House means ‘Mecca’ while the bad neighbours mean the ‘Unbelievers of Quraysh.’ (3). About the Progeny of the Prophet Amir al-mu’minin has said that no person in the world can be brought at par with them, nor can any one be deemed their equal in sublimity, because the world is overladen with their obligations and has been able to secure eternal blessings only through their guidance. They are the corner stone and foundation of religion and the sustenance for its life and survival. They are such strong pillars of knowledge and belief that they can turn away the stormy flow of doubt and suspicion. They are such middle course among the paths of excess and backwardness that if some one goes far towards excess and exaggeration or falls behind then unless he comes back or steps forward to that middle course he cannot be on the path of Islam. They possess all the characteristics which give the superiority in the right for vicegerency and leadership. Consequently, no one else in the ummah enjoys the right of patronage and guardianship. That is why the Prophet declared them his vicegerents and successors. About will and succession the commentator Ibn Abi’l-Hadid Mu`tazili writes that there can be no doubt about the vicegerency of Amir al-mu’minin but succession cannot imply succession in position although the Shi`ite sect has so interpreted it. It rather implies succession of learning. Now, if according to him succession is taken to imply succession in learning even he does not seem to succeed in achieving his object, because even by this interpretation the right of succeeding the Prophet does not devolve on any other person. When it is agreed that learning is the most essential requirement of khilafah (caliphate) because the most important functions of the Prophet’s Caliph consist of dispensation of justice, solving problems of religious laws, clarifying intricacies and administration of religious penalties. If these functions are taken away from the Prophet’s deputy his position will come down to that of a worldly ruler. He cannot be regarded as the pivot of religious authority. Therefore either we should keep governmental authority separate from Prophet’s vicegerency or accept the successor of Prophet’s knowledge to suit that position. The interpretation of Ibn Abi’l-Hadid could be acceptable if Amir al-mu’minin had uttered this sentence alone, but observing that it was uttered soon after `Ali’s (p.b.u.h.) recognition as Caliph and just after it the sentence "Right has returned to its owner" exists, this interpretation of his seems baseless. Rather, the Prophet’s will cannot imply any other will except that for vicegerency and caliphate, and succession would imply not succession in property nor in knowledge because this was not an occasion to mention it here but it must mean the succession in the right leadership which stood proved as from Allah not only on the ground of kinship but on the ground of qualities of perfection.

Nahjul Balagheh – SERMON 1

Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.

The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and who recognises His like regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognises parts for Him; and who recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and who mistook Him pointed at Him; and who pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and who admitted limitations for Him numbered Him.

Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained; and whoever said on what is He held He is not on something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.

The Creation of the Universe

He initiated creation most initially and commenced it originally, without undergoing reflection, without making use of any experiment, without innovating any movement, and without experiencing any aspiration of mind. He allotted all things their times, put together their variations gave them their properties, and determined their features knowing them before creating them, realising fully their limits and confines and appreciating their propensities and intricacies.

When Almighty created the openings of atmosphere, expanse of firmament and strata of winds, He flowed into it water whose waves were stormy and whose surges leapt one over the other. He loaded it on dashing wind and breaking typhoons, ordered them to shed it back (as rain), gave the wind control over the vigour of the rain, and acquainted it with its limitations. The wind blew under it while water flowed furiously over it.

Then Almighty created forth wind and made its movement sterile, perpetuated its position, intensified its motion and spread it far and wide. Then He ordered the wind to raise up deep waters and to intensify the waves of the oceans. So the wind churned it like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into the firmament throwing its front position on the rear and the stationary on the flowing till its level was raised and the surface was full of foam. Then Almighty raised the foam on to the open wind and vast firmament and made therefrom the seven skies and made the lower one as a stationary surge and the upper one as protective ceiling and a high edifice without any pole to support it or nail to hold it together. Then He decorated them with stars and the light of meteors and hung in it the shining sun and effulgent moon under the revolving sky, moving ceiling and rotating firmament.

The Creation of the Angels

Then He created the openings between high skies and filled them with all classes of His angels. Some of them are in prostration and do not kneel up. Others in kneeling position and do not stand up. Some of them are in array and do not leave their position. Others are extolling Allah and do not get tired. The sleep of the eye or the slip of wit, or languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness does not effect them.

Among them are those who work as trusted bearers of His message, those who serve as speaking tongues for His prophets and those who carry to and fro His orders and injunctions. Among them are the protectors of His creatures and guards of the doors of the gardens of Paradise. Among them are those also whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are protruding into the skies, their limbs are getting out on all sides, their shoulders are in accord with the columns of the Divine Throne, their eyes are downcast before it, they have spread down their wings under it and they have rendered between themselves and all else curtains of honour and screens of power. They do not think of their Creator through image, do not impute to Him attributes of the created, do not confine Him within abodes and do not point at Him through illustrations.

Description of the Creation of Adam

Allah collected from hard, soft, sweet and sour earth, clay which He dripped in water till it got pure, and kneaded it with moisture till it became gluey. From it He carved an image with curves, joints, limbs and segments. He solidified it till it dried up for a fixed time and a known duration. Then He blew into it out of His Spirit whereupon it took the pattern of a human being with mind that governs him, intelligence which he makes use of, limbs that serve him, organs that change his position, sagacity that differentiates between truth and untruth, tastes and smells, colours and species. He is a mixture of clays of different colours, cohesive materials, divergent contradictories and differing properties like heat, cold, softness and hardness.

Then Allah asked the angels to fulfil His promise with them and to accomplish the pledge of His injunction to them by acknowledging Him through prostration to Him and submission to His honoured position. So Allah said:

"Be prostrate towards Adam and they prostrated except Iblis (Satan)." (Qur’an, 2:34; 7:11; 17:61; 18:50; 20:116)

Self-importance withheld him and vice overcame him. So that he took pride in his own creation with fire and treated contemptuously the creation of clay. So Allah allowed him time in order to let him fully deserve His wrath, and to complete (man’s) test and to fulfil the promise (He had made to Satan). Thus, He said:

"Verily you have been allowed time till the known Day." (Qur’an, 15:38; 38:81)

Thereafter, Allah inhabited Adam (p.b.u.h.) in a house where He made his life pleasant and his stay safe, and He cautioned him of Iblis and his enmity. Then his enemy (Iblis) envied his abiding in Paradise and his contacts with the virtuous. So he changed his conviction into wavering and determination into weakness. He thus converted his happiness into fear and his prestige into shame. Then Allah offered to Adam (p.b.u.h.) the chance to repent, taught him words of His Mercy, promised him return to His Paradise and sent him down to the place of trial and procreation of progeny.

Allah chooses His Prophets

From his (Adam’s) progeny Allah chose prophets and took their pledge for his revelation and for carrying His message as their trust. In course of time many people perverted Allah’s trust with them and ignored His position and took compeers along with Him. Satan turned them away from knowing Him and kept them aloof from His worship. Then Allah sent His Messengers and series of His prophets towards them to get them to fulfil the pledges of His creation, to recall to them His bounties, to exhort them by preaching, to unveil before them the hidden virtues of wisdom and show them the signs of His Omnipotence namely the sky which is raised over them, the earth that is placed beneath them, means of living that sustain them, deaths that make them die, ailments that turn them old and incidents that successively betake them.

Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputised by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument or a standing plea. These Messengers were such that they did not feel little because of smallness of their number or of largeness of the number of their falsifiers. Among them was either a predecessor who would name the one to follow or the follower who had been introduced by the predecessor.

The Prophethood of Muhammmad

In this way ages passed by and times rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places till Allah deputised Muhammmad (peace be upon him and his progeny) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken from the Prophets, his traits of character were well reputed and his birth was honourable. The people of the earth at this time were divided in different parties, their aims were separate and ways were diverse. They either likened Allah with His creation or twisted His Names or turned to else than Him. Through Muhammmad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) Allah guided them out of wrong and with his efforts took them out of ignorance.

Then Allah chose for Muhammmad, peace be upon him and on his progeny, to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honour. Allah may shower His blessing on him, and his progeny.

The Holy Qur’an and Sunnah

But the Prophet left among you the same which other Prophets left among their peoples, because Prophets do not leave them untended (in dark) without a clear path and a standing ensign, namely the Book of your Creator clarifying its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion, its repealing injunctions and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and compulsory ones, its particulars and the general ones, its lessons and illustrations, its long and the short ones, its clear and obscure ones, detailing its abbreviations and clarifying its obscurities.

In it there are some verses whose knowledge (1) is obligatory and others whose ignorance by the people is permissible. It also contains what appears to be obligatory according to the Book (2) but its repeal is signified by the Prophet’s action (sunnah) or that which appears compulsory according to the Prophet’s action but the Book allows not following it. Or there are those which are obligatory in a given time but not so after that time. Its prohibitions also differ. Some are major regarding which there exists the threat of fire (Hell), and others are minor for which there are prospects of forgiveness. There are also those of which a small portion is also acceptable (to Allah) but they are capable of being expanded.

In this very sermon he spoke about Hajj

Allah has made obligatory upon you the pilgrimage (hajj) to His sacred House which is the turning point for the people who go to it as beasts or pigeons go towards spring water. Allah the glorified made it a sign of their supplication before His Greatness and their acknowledgement of His Dignity. He selected from among His creation those who on listening to His call responded to it and testified His word. They stood in the position of His Prophets and resembled His angels who surround the Divine Throne securing all the benefits of performing His worship and hastening towards His promised forgiveness. Allah the glorified made it (His sacred House) an emblem for Islam and an object of respect for those who turn to it. He made obligatory its pilgrimage and laid down its claim for which He held you responsible to discharge it. Thus, Allah the glorified said:

". . . And (purely) for Allah, is incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House, for those who can afford to journey thither. And whoever denieth then verily, Allah is Selfsufficiently independent of the worlds" (Qur’an, 3:96).

(1). "The foremost in religion (din) is His knowledge." The literal meaning of din is obedience, and its popular sense is code, whether literal sense is taken or the popular one, in either case, if the mind is devoid of any conception of Divinity, there would be no question of obedience, nor of following any code; because when there is no aim there is no point in advancing towards it; where there is no object in view there is no sense in making efforts to achieve it. Nevertheless, when the nature and guiding faculty of man bring him in contact with a superior Authority and his taste for obedience and impulse of submission subjugates him before a Deity, he finds himself bound by certain limitations as against abject freedom of activity. These very limitations are din (Religion) whose point of commencement is knowledge of Allah and acknowledgement of His Being.

After pointing out the essentials of Divine knowledge Amir al-mu’minin has described its important constituents and conditions. He has held those stages of such knowledge which people generally regard as the point of highest approach to be insufficient. He says that its first stage is that with the natural sense of search for the unknown and the guidance of conscience or on hearing from the followers of religions an image of the Unseen Being known as Allah is formed in the mind. This image in fact is the forerunner of the obligation to thinking and reflection and to seeking His knowledge. But those who love idleness, or are under pressure of environment, do not undertake this search despite creation of such image and the image fails to get testified. In this case they remain deprived of Divine knowledge, and since their inaccess to the stage of testifying after the formation of image is by volition they deserve to be questioned about it. But one who is moved by the power of this image goes further and considers thinking and reflection necessary. In this way one reaches the next stage in the attainment of Divine knowledge, namely to search for the Creator through diversification of creation and species of creatures, because every picture is a solid and inflexible guide to the existence of its painter and every effect to the action of its cause. When he casts his glance around himself he does not find a single thing which might have come into existence without the act of a maker so much so that he does not find the sign of a footstep without a walker nor a construction without a builder. How can he comprehend that this blue sky with the sun and the moon in its expanse and the earth with the exuberance of its grass and flowers could have come into existence without the action of a Creator. Therefore, after observing all that exists in the world and the regulated system of the entire creation no one can help concluding that there is a Creator for this world of diversities because existence cannot come out of non-existence, nor can existence sprout forth from nothingness.

The Holy Qur’an has pointed to this reasoning thus:

". . . What! about Allah is there any doubt, the Originator of the heavens and the earth ?. . ." (14:10).

But this stage would also be insufficient if this testimony in favour of Allah is tarnished by belief in the divinity of some other deity.

The third stage is that His existence should be acknowledged along with belief in Unity and Oneness. Without this the testimony to Allah’s existence cannot be complete because if more gods are believed in He would not be One whereas it is necessary that He should be One. The reason is that in case of more than one god the question would arise whether one of them created all this creation or all of them together. If one of them created it there should be some differential to distinguish him otherwise he would be accorded preferential position without reason, which is unacceptable to the mind. If all have created it collectively then the position has only two forms; either he cannot perform his functions without the assistance of others or he is above the need for their assistance. The first case means his incapability and being in need of others while the other case means that they are several regular performers of a single act and the fallacy of both has already been shown. If we assume that all the gods performed the act of creation by dividing among themselves then, in this case all the creation will, not bear the same relationship towards the creator since each creature will bear relationship only to its own creator whereas every creature should have one and the same relationship to all creators. This is because all the creation should have one and the same relationship to all the creators as all the created in their capacity to accept effect and all the creators in their capacity to produce effect should be similar. In short there is no way but to acknowledge Him as One because in believing in numerous creators there remains no possibility of the existence of any other thing, and destruction proves implicit for the earth, the sky and everything in creation. Allah the glorified has expressed this argument in the following words:

"Had there been in (the heavens and the earth [other] ) gods except Allah, they both had been in disorder. . ." (Qur’an, 21:22).

The fourth stage is that Allah should be regarded free of all defects and deficiencies, and devoid of body, form, illustration, similarity, position of place or time, motion, stillness, incapability and ignorance because there can be no deficiency or defect in the perfect Being nor can anyone be deemed like Him because all these attributes bring down a being from the high position of the Creator to the low position of the created. That is why along with Unity, Allah has held purity from deficiency of equal importance.

"Say: ‘He (Allah) is One (alone).
Allah, the needless.
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten.
And there is none like unto Him" (Qur’an, 112:1-4).

"Vision perceiveth Him not, and He perceiveth (all) vision; He is the Subtle, the All-aware" (Qur’an, 6:104).

"So coin ye not any similitudes to Allah; verily Allah knoweth (every thing) and ye know not." (Qur’an, 16:74).

". . .Nothing whatsoever (is there) like the like of Him; and He (alone) is the All-hearing and the All-seeing." (Qur’an, 42:11)

The fifth stage of completing His Knowledge is that attributes should not be put in Him from outside lest there be duality in His Oneness, and deviating from its proper connotation Unity may fall in the labyrinth of one in three and three in one, because His Being is not a combination of essence and form so that attribute may cling to Him like smell in the flowers or brightness in the stars. Rather, He is the fountain head of all attributes and needs no medium for manifestation of His perfect Attributes. If He is named Omniscient it is because the signs of his knowledge are manifest. If He is called Omnipotent it is because every particle points to His Omnipotence and Activity, and if to Him is attributed the power to listen or to see it is because the cohesion of the entire creation and its administration cannot be done without hearing or seeing but the existence of these attributes in Him cannot be held to be in the same way as in the creation namely that He should be capable to know only after He acquires knowledge or He should be powerful and strong only after energy runs into His limbs because taking attributes as separate from His Being would connote duality and where there is duality unity disappears. That is how Amir al-mu’minin has rejected the idea of attributes being addition to His Being, presented Unity in its true significance, and did not allow Unity to be tainted with stains of multiplicity. This does not mean that adjectives cannot at all be attributed to Him, as this would be giving support to those who are groping in the dark abyss of negativism, although every nook and comer in the entire existence is brimming with His attributes and every particle of creation stands witness that He has knowledge, He is powerful, He hears, He sees. He nurtures under His care and allows growth under His mercy. The intention is that for Him nothing can be suggested to serve as an adjunct to Him, because His self includes attributes and His attributes connote His Self. Let us learn this very theme in the words of al-Imam Abu `Abdillah Ja`far ibn Muhammmad as-Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) comparing it with the belief in Unity adopted by other religions and then appreciate who is the exponent of the true concept of Unity.

The Imam says:

"Our Allah the Glorified, the Magnificent has ever had knowledge as His Self even though there was nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to behold, hearing as His Self even though there was nothing to hear, and Potence as His Self even though there was nothing to be under His Potence. When He created the things and the object of knowledge came into existence His knowledge became related to the known, hearing related to the heard, sight related to the seen, and potence related to its object." (at-Tawhid by ash-Shaykh as-Saduq, p.139)

This is the belief over which the Imams of the Prophet’s family are unanimous, but the majority group has adopted a different course by creating the idea of differentiation between His Self and Attributes. ash-Shahristani says on page 42 of his book Kitab al-milal wa’n-nihal:

According to Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash`ari, Allah knows through (the attribute of) knowledge, is Powerful through activity, speaks through speech, hears through hearing and sees through sight.

If we regard attributes distinct from Self in this manner there would be two alternatives; either the attributes must have existed in Him from ever or they must have occurred later. In the first case we have to recognise as many eternal objects as the attributes which all will share with Him in being eternal, but "Allah is above what the people deem Him to have equals." In the second case in addition to subjecting Him to the alternations it would also mean that before the acquiring of the attributes He was neither scient, nor powerful, nor hearer nor beholder and this runs counter to the basic tenet of Islam.

". . . Allah hath decreed trade lawful and hath forbidden interest. . ." (Qur’an, 2:275)

"And when you have finished the prayer remember Allah standing, and sitting, and reacting, and when ye are secure (from danger) establish prayer . . ." (Qur’an, 4:103)

"O’ ye men! eat of what is in the earth lawful and good and follow not the foot-steps of Satan; for verily he is an open enemy unto you." (Qur’an, 2:168)

"(And) say thou: ‘I am only a man like you, it is revealed unto me that your god is but one God, therefore whosoever desireth to meet his Lord, let him do good deeds, and associate not any one in the worship of his Lord’." (Qur’an, 18:110)

"What! enjoin ye upon the people righteousness and ye forget your own selves? Yet ye read the scripture? What: do ye not understand?" (Qur’an, 2:44).

(2). About the Qur’an, Amir al-mu’minin says that it contains description of the permitted and the forbidden acts such as "Allah has allowed sale and purchase but prohibited usury."

It clarifies obligatory and optional acts such as "when you have finished the prayer (of fear) remember Allah rising, sitting or lying and when you feel safe (from the enemy) then say the prayers (as usual)."

Here prayer is obligatory while other forms of remembering (Allah) are optional. It has repealing and repealed verses such as about the period of seclusion after husband’s death "four months and ten days" or the repealed one such as "till one year without going out" which shows that this period of seclusion should be one year. In particular places it permits the forbidden such as "whoever is compelled without being wilfully wrongful or transgressor, commits no sins."

It has positive injunctions such as "One should not add anyone with Allah in worship." It has particular and general injunctions. Particular is the one where the word shows generality but the sense is limited such as "I have made you superior over worlds, O’ Bani Isra’il."

Here the sense of "Worlds," is confined to that particular time, although the word is general in its literal meaning. The general injunctions is one which is extensive in meaning such as "Allah has knowledge of everything." It has lessons and illustrations lessons such as "Allah caught him in the punishment of this world and the next and there is lesson in it."

"So seized him Allah, with the chastisement in the hereafter, and the life before (it)." (Qur’an, 79:25)

"Verily in this there is a lesson unto him who feareth (Allah)." (Qur’an, 79:26)

"A kind word and pardon is better than charity that is followed by injury, and verily Allah is Self-sufficient, the Most forbearing." (Qur’an, 2:263)

"And remember when We made a covenant with you and raised the ‘tur’ (the Mountain) above you (saying), ‘Hold ye fast that which We have bestowed upon you with the strength (of determination) and remember that which is therein so that you may guard (yourself) against evil’." (Qur’an, 2:63)

"So we made it a lesson for (those of) their own times and for those (of their posterity) who came after them and an exhortation unto those who guard (themselves) against evil." (Qur’an, 2:66)

"He it is Who fashioneth you in the wombs (of your mothers) as He liketh; There is no god but He, the All-mighty, the All-wise." (Qur’an, 3:5)

"Obedience and a fair word; but when the affair is determined then if they be true to Allah, it would certainly be better for them." (Qur’an, 47:21)

"O’ those who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will; and do not straiten them in order that ye may take a part of what ye have given, unless they are guilty of manifest lewdness; but deal kindly with them, and if ye hate them, it may be that ye hate a thing while Allah hath placed in it abundant good." (Qur’an, 4:19)

"Say thou (unto the people of the Book), ‘Dispute ye with us about Allah; whereas He is our Lord and your Lord, and for us are our deeds and for you are your deeds; to Him (alone) we are (exclusively) loyal?" (Qur’an, 2:139)

"There is a lesson in it for him who fears Allah," and illustration as "The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a grain which grows seven ears each one of which bears hundred grains." It has unspecific and specific verses. Unspecific is one which has no limitation on specification such as "Recall when Moses told his people ‘Allah commands you to sacrifice a cow.’"

Specific is one where denotation is limited such as Allah says that "the cow should be such that it has neither been used for ploughing nor for irrigation fields." There is clear and obscure in it. Clear is that which has no intricacy such as "Verily Allah has sway over everything," while obscure is that whose meaning has complication such as "the Merciful (Allah) occupies the throne," whose apparent meaning gives the impression as if Allah is bodily sitting on the Throne although the intention is to press His authority and control. In it there are brief injunctions such as "establish prayer" and those of deep meanings such as the verses about which says:

"That the sense is not known except to Allah and those immersed in knowledge." Then Amir al-mu’minin dilates upon this theme in a different style, he says that there are some things in it which are necessary to know, such as "So know that there is no god but Allah" and there are others which are not necessary to know such as "alif lam mim" etc. It has also injunctions which have been repealed by the Prophet’s action such as "As for your women who commit adultery get four male witnesses and if four witnesses do appear shut such women in the house till death ends their life." This punishment was current in early Islam but was later replaced by stoning in the case of married women. In it there are some injunctions which repealed the Prophet’s action such as "Turn your face towards Masjid al-haram" by which the injunction for facing Bayt al-maqdis was repealed. It also contains injunctions which are obligatory only at a particular time after which their obligation ends, such as "when the call for prayer is made on Friday then hasten towards remembrance of Allah." It has also indicated grades of prohibitions as the division of sins into light and serious ones – light such as "Tell the believers to lower their eyes" and serious ones such as "whoever kills a Believer wilfully his award is to remain in Hell for ever." It also contains injunctions where a little performance is enough but there is scope for further performance such as "Read the Qur’an as much as you easily can."

"Verily your Lord, certainly is He the All-mighty, the All-merciful." (Qur’an, 26:9)

"Say thou (O’ Our Prophet Muhammmad) unto the believer men that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; verily Allah is All-aware of what (all) ye do." (Qur’an, 24:30)

"Not equal are those of the believers who sit (holding back) other than those hurt, and those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their selves (lives). Allah hath raised the strivers with their wealth and selves (lives), in rank above those sitting (holding back); Unto all (in faith) Allah hath promised good; but those who strive, He hath distinguished above those who sit (holding [by]) a great recompense." (Qur’an, 4:95)

"Verily, thy Lord knowest that thou standest up (in the Night Prayer) night two-third of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and a group of those with thee; and Allah measureth (well) the night and the day; Knoweth He that never can ye take (correct) account of it, so turneth He unto you (mercifully) so recite ye whatever be easy (in the prayers) to be read of the Qur’an; Knoweth He that there may be among you sick, and others travelling in the earth seeking of the grace of Allah, and others fighting in the way of Allah, so recite ye as much as it can easily be done of it, and establish ye the (regular) prayers, and pay ye the (prescribed) poor-rate, and offer ye unto Allah a goodly loan; and whatsoever of good ye send on before hand for yourselves, ye will (surely) find it with Allah, that is the best and the greatest recompense; and seek ye the forgiveness of Allah; Verily, Allah is Oft-forgiving, the Most Merciful." (Qur’an, 73:20)