Chapter 1-The First Assembly
The First Assembly
In the name of Allah,
Most Merciful, Most Beneficent
All praise be to Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds.
And blessings and peace be upon the noble master, Muhammad b. Abdillah, the last of the Prophets,
and upon his progeny, (who are) the straight path,
the infallible Imams.
May peace be upon them all from Allah.
It met on Saturday, the first of the month of Ramadhan, in the year 404 Hijra, in Baghdad at the location called al-Zayyarain on the Rib'ah street, at the residence of Dhamrah Abul Hasan Ali b. Muhammad b. Abdul Rehman al-Farsi, may Allah perpetuate his honour, by way of dictation from his books:
1. Registering Good Deeds
The grand Shaikh al-Mufid Abu Abdillah Muhammad b. Muhammad b. al-No'man, may Allah continue to bless him with His protection and beneficence today said: Abul Hasan Ahmed b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. al-Walid reported to me from his father Muhammad b. al-Hasan, from Muhammad b. al-Hasan al Saffar, from Ahmed b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Muhammad b. Khalid, from Ibn Hammad, from Abu Jamilah, from Jabir b. Yazeed that Abu Ja'far Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be upon him, reported from his father that:
"Surely, the Angel appointed to the servant (of Allah) records (everything) in his books of deeds. So, register a good deed at its beginning and at its end, (so that) Allah may forgive you that which transpires in between."
2. Condition for the Acceptance of Acts of Devotion.
He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Muhammad b. Al-Zubair al-Kufi reported to me, with permission to report from Abul Hasan Ali b. Faddhal, who reported from Ali b. Asbat who reported from Muhammad b. Yahya, the brother of Mughallas, from al-Ula b. Razin, from Muhammad b. Muslim, from one of the two (Imams), peace be upon them, saying that:
I told him: "We see a man deeply engrossed in the acts of devotion, humble and trying his best (to please Allah), yet he is opposed to you. Does that benefit him anything?"
He said: "O Muhammad, the similitude of us Ahlul Bait is like that of a household among Banu Israel, of whom whoever strived devotedly for forty nights, his prayer was answered." Among them there was one who strenuously worshipped for forty nights and his prayer went unanswered. So he came to Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon him, complaining about the situation he was in, and beseeching him to pray for him. So Isa made ablutions, and prayed. Allah revealed unto him: "O Isa, surely, this servant of mine came through a gate other than the one through which I am reached. He prayed while his heart had doubts about you. So, (even) if he called upon me till his neck were severed and his fingers fell apart, I would not answer him."
Then Isa approached him and said: "You call upon your Lord while your heart doubts His Prophet?"
He said: "O Spirit of Allah, and His word, by Allah, it was like what you said. Now, please pray unto Him to remove that from me." Then Isa prayed (for him) and Allah accepted it from him, and he was again reverted to his household.
Similar is the case of us Ahlul Bait. Allah does not accept the acts of devotion from a servant who doubts about us.
3. Al-Harith Al-Hamadani and Ali b. Abi Talib (AS)
He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Muhammad b. al-Zubair reported to me from Muhammad b. Ali b. Mahdi, who reported from Muhammad b. Ali b. Amru who reported from his father, from Jamil b. Swaleh, from Abu Khalid al-Kabuli, from al-Asbagh b. Nubatah who said:
Al-Harith Al-Hamadani called upon Amirul Mo'mineen (Ali Ibn Abi Talib) with a company of the Shias, and I was among them. Al-Harith walked with a bent stature, hitting his walking stick hard on the ground. He was indeed ill. So Amirul Mo'mineen came close to him and al-Harith had a good standing in his estimation, and he said: "How do you find yourself, O Harith?"
He said: "The vicissitude of time has overtaken me, and the dispute among your companions about you and the three before you, has added to my anguish and anger. There are those who have gone to the extreme in their passionate love for you, and those who are yours in moderation, and those who waver in doubt, not knowing whether to proceed or recoil."
He (Ali) said: "Suffice it for you, Oh brother (from) Hamadan! Be it known that my best followers are the people united on the middle path. To them should the extremists return, and with them should the hesitants join."
Then al-Harith said: "My father and mother be your ransom, could you (further clarify so as to) remove the filth from our hearts, and (to) make us as sure about our affair as seeing with one's eyes?"
He (peace be upon him) said: "That is enough for you. You are possessed by confusion. Surely, the religion of Allah is not known (or judged) by the people, it is recognized by the sign of Truth. Know the Truth, and you shall know its people. O Harith, surely Truth is the best (and most sublime) narration, and whosoever utters it is indeed a fighter (a soldier of Truth). I have informed you the Truth, so lend me your ear and inform among your friends who have sound judgement.
Be it known that I am a slave of Allah, the brother of His messenger and his first confirmer. I confirmed his truth when Adam lay between the spirit and the body. Then, I am his first confirmer truth among you people. We are the first and we are the last. And we are his special ones with distinction, and we are his sincere ones. And I am his cousin, and his successor, and his trustee and possessor of his confidence and secret. I have been given the understanding of the Book, and (blessed with) sound judgement and decision, and the knowledge about the generations and the relations.
And I am entrusted with a thousand keys, each key opens a thousand chapters, each chapter breaks into a thousand testament. And in addition, I am supported and especially chosen and helped by the Night of Qadr, and that continues for me and my descendants who guard against sins, for as long as the days and the nights subsist, till such time when Allah shall inherit the earth and all who are upon it. I give you glad tidings, O Harith, you shall recognize me at the time of death, and at the Bridge, and at the Pool, and at the time of division."
Al-Harith said: "O my master, what is the time of division?" He said: "Division at the hell-fire, when I will make a correct separation. I shall say: This is my friend, so leave him; this is my adversary, so take him"
Then Amirul Mo'mineen took (al-Harith) by his hand and said: "I hold your hand the way the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), held my hand and said (when I complained to him about the envious Quraish and the hypocrites) 'Surely, on the Day of Judgement, I shall hold the rope of Allah and cling to His safeguard, and you, O Ali, shall hold fast to my safeguard, and your descendants shall cling to your safeguard, and your Shias shall hold fast to the safeguard of all of you.' So what will Allah do to His Prophet? And what will the Prophet do to his successor? (The same shall we do to our followers). Take this, O Harith, the summary of all the details. Yes, you shall be with the one you love, and for you shall be what you have earned." He said this three times.
Then al-Harith stood up, pulling his cloak behind him, and saying: "After this, I care not when Death meets me or I meet it."
Jameel B. Swaleh says that Abu Harith Seyyid al-Himyari, may Allah bless him with mercy, narrated this for me in the following poem:
"The statement of Ali to Harith is marvelous,
And how much of marvels did he carry with him?
(He said) O Harith of Hamadan, whoever dies shall see me,
Be he a believer or a hypocrite, a clear sight before him.
His eyes shall recognize me, and I will know him,
By his attributes, his name, and by his deeds.
I shall quench his thirst with cold water,
The sweetness of which will seem to you like that of honey.
And when you will stand before hell fire, I shall say,
Leave him, and do not be near him,
Leave him, and be away from him, for indeed,
He has a rope bound with the rope of the Prophet's successor."
4. Four Habits from the treasures of Virtue
He said: Al Sharif, al-Zahid Abu Muhammad al Hasan b. Hamza al-Alawiy al-Husaini al-Tabari - may Allah bless him with mercy, reported to me from Abu Ja'far, Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. al-Waleed, from Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Bakr b. Swaleh, from al-Hasan b. Ali, from Abdullah b. Ibrahim from Abu Abdillah al-Sadiq, Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, who reported from his father and grandfather, peace be upon them, that:
The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Four (habits) are from the (hidden) treasures of virtue: to keep silent about one's needs, one's charity, one's indisposition and one's adversity."
5. Helping a needy Momin
He said: Abul Qasim Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Qawlawayh, may Allah bless him with mercy, reported from his father, from S'ad b. Abdillah, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Hammad, from Ibrahim b. Umar al-Yamnani, from Abu Hamza al-Thumali - may Allah bless him with mercy, that Zainul Abideen Ali b. al-Husain, peace be upon him, said:
"He who feeds a hungry Mo'min, Allah will feed him from the fruits of Paradise; and he who quenches the thirst of a Mo'min, Allah will slacken his thirst from the pure, sealed nectar (on the day of reward). And he who clothes a Mo'min, Allah will clothe him with green brocade (of heaven), and he will remain under the protection of Allah, Most High, as long as a thread of that cloth remains upon him (i.e. the Mo'min whom he clothed)."
6. The Place of Ali (AS)
He said: Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Ali b. Al-Husain b. Babawayh, may Allah bless him with mercy, reported to me from his father who reported from Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Ali b. al-No'man, from Amir b. Ma'qal, from Abu Hamza al-Thumali, that Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir (peace be upon him) said:
"O Abu Hamza, do not place Ali (A.S.) below the level to which Allah has raised him, and do not elevate him above the level where Allah has kept him. It is enough (excellence) for Ali that he is the one who fought the apostates and he is the one who will pair off the inmates of Paradise."
7. Dying with the love of Ali (AS)
He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Maythami reported to me from Abu Bakr Muhammad b. al-Husain b. al-Mustanir, who reported from al-Husain b. Muhammad b. al-Husain b. Masa'b, who reported from Abbad b. Yaqoob, who reported from Abu Abdil Rahman al-Mas'oodi, from Katheer al-Nawa', from Abu Maryam al-Khawlani, from Malik b. Dhamrah, that Amirul Mo'mineen Ali b. Abi Talib (A.S.) said:
The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, held my hand and said: "Whoever dutifully performed the five (daily) prayers, and then died with your love in his heart, he will have redeemed his pledge. And whoever died with hatred for you, died a death of ignorance (i.e. the era before Islam), though he will account for his deeds as ordained by Islam. And he who lives after you, with your love in his heart, Allah will end his life with security and faith, till he arrives near me at the Pool."
8. The most beloved steps by a Mo'min
He said: Abul Hasan Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Al-Hasan reported to me from his father, from Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Safwan b. Yahya, from Mansoor b. Hazim, from Abu Hamza, from Ali b. al-Husain Zainul Abideen (A.S.) that the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
"The most beloved steps in Allah's estimation are two: one taken by a Mo'min to fill the rank in the way of Allah, another taken by a Mo'min to mend the relations with a blood relative who had cut off. And the most worthy swallows in His estimation are two: the swallow of anger by a Mo'min while reacting to provocation with gentleness, and swallow of sadness and anxiety, giving a patient response to the trying times. And the most beloved droplets in His estimation are two: a drop of blood spilled in the way of Allah, and a drop of tears shed in the darkness of night, fearing Allah."
9. Witnessing Hearts
He said: Abul Qasim Ja'far b. Muhammad reported to me from his father, from Sa'ad b. Abdillah, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Muhammad b. Sinan, from Hammad b. Uthman from Rabe'e b. Abdillah from al-Fudhail b. Yasar from Abu Abdillah Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, that:
He said: "Look into your heart. If it disowns your friend (or harbours doubt about him) then either of you must have done something (improper)."
10. Reconciliation among people
He said: Al-Sharif al-Zahid Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Hamza reported to me from Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. al-Waleed, from Muhammad.b. al-Hasan al-Saffar, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Muhammad b. Sinan, from Amru al-Afraq and Hudhaifa b. Mansoor that Abu Abdillah Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:
"The charity best loved by Allah is to bring about reconciliation among people when they are divided by friction and to bring them closer to each other when they have moved apart."
11. Provision from unexpected quarters
He said: Abul Hasan Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Ja'far reported to me from his father, from Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi that Hammad b. Isa said:
I requested Abul Hasan Musa b. Ja'far, peace be upon him, saying: "May I be your ransom, pray to Allah that He may bless me with a son, and may not deprive me from Haj as long as I live." He says: "He prayed for me and Allah gave me this son. And whenever the days of Haj arrived while I had no means for the expenses, Allah provided from unexpected quarters."
12. On being mindful - not conceited
He said: Abul Qasim Ja'far b. Muhammad reported to me from his father, from Sa'd b. Abdillah, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, from al-Husain b. Saeed, from Muhammad b. Abu Umair from al-Harith b. Behram, from Amru b. Jamee' that:
Abu Abdillah, Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him told me: "Whoever comes to us seeking Fiqh, Qur'an and its exegesis, let him in. And whoever comes to reveal such secret (fault of the others) which Allah (in His Mercy) has concealed, discard him!" Someone said: "May I be your ransom, may I mention my present situation?" He said: "(Yes), if you so wish." He said: "By Allah, I am persistent upon sin since long time, and I intend to transform myself, but I cannot." He said: "If what you say is true, then Allah loves you, and He does not prevent your transformation except that you may fear him (more by being mindful, and not conceited)."