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Chapter 7-Seventh Assembly

 Chapter 7 

Seventh Assembly

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And (this is) from what he dictated on Saturday, the 23rd (of Ramadhan), and Abul Fawaris, may Allah keep him, heard it. Our great Sheikh al-Mufid Abu Abdillah Muhammad b. Muhammad b. al-No'man al-Harithy, may Allah perpetuate His beneficence upon him, said and it was read over to him:

1. Cleanse and purify your heart before you ask Him

He said: Abu Ghalib Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Zurari, may Allah have mercy on him, reported to me from Abdullah b. Ja'far al-Himyari, who reported from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa, who reported from al-Husain b. Saeed, from Muhammad b. Sinan, from Swaleh b. Yazid, from Abu Abdillah al-Sadiq Ja'far b. Muhammad (A.S.):

I heard him say: "Dive deep into your hearts, to find if Allah has cleansed and purified it from all displeasure and fear regarding His Will. If you find it so, then ask for Him whatever you desire."

2. The four of Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) virtues

He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Khalid al-Maraghi reported to me from Abul Qasim al-Hasan b. Ali al-Kufi, who reported from Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Marwan al-Ghazzal, who reported from his father, who reported from Ubaid b. Khunais al-Abdi, who reported from Sabbah b. Yahya al-Muzni, from Abdullah b. Sharik, from al-Harith b. Tha'labah who said:

Two men left for Makkah and Medina in or before the month, and came upon a group leaving for Haj. They said: We joined them, and as we rode forward, we came across a man who seemed to be their leader. He pulled himself aside from the group, and came to us asking: "You are from Iraq?" We said: "Yes, we are Iraqis." He said: "You may be from Kufa?" We said: "Yes, we are from Kufa." He asked: "To which clan do you belong?" We said: "We are from Banu Kananah." He asked: "Which family of Banu Kananah?" We said: "We are from the descendants of Malik b. Kananah."

He said: "Most welcome, most welcome. I beseech you in the name of the Holy Revelation and the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), did you ever hear Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) abusing me, or saying that he was my enemy or that he would fight me?" We said: "No, but we have heard him say: Be on your guard against the deviations of the pug-nosed." He said: "There are many who are pug-nosed, but did you hear him grudging against me by name?" We said: "No.".

(Upon hearing this), he said: "Allah is Great. Allah is Great. I should have gone astray, and would not be among the rightly guided, if I fight or be his adversary, (especially) after the four virtues I learned from the messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, regarding him {i.e. Ali (AS)}. For if I had only one of those four, I would have valued it more than the whole world and whichever is in it, spending in it the life span of Noah."

We said: "Mention them to us."

He said: "I did not recall this but for the purpose of mentioning them. The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, sent Abu Bakr with the verses of al-Bar'aah (Surah al-Tawbah) to declare them to the infidels (of Makkah), but when he had travelled for a night or a part of it, the Prophet sent Ali to Abu Bakr saying: "Take charge of the declaration from him, and send him back to me." So Amirul Mo'mineen, peace be upon him, proceeded, and having taken the charge from Abu Bakr, asked him to return to the Prophet. When he arrived before the Prophet, he (i.e. Abu Bakr) wept and said: "O messenger of Allah! Has anything (untoward) happened about me, or has any Qur'anic revelation occurred about me?" Then the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "No Qur'anic revelation has come to me about you, but Jibraeel, peace be upon him, descended upon me with the divine command, saying: 'No one can discharge this responsibility except yourself or someone of yourself.' And Ali is of me and I am of him, so no one will purvey on my behalf but Ali."

We asked: "And what is the second one?"

He said: We lived in the mosque of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, together with the family of Ali. The family of Abu Bakr, the family of Umar and his uncles. Then one night, it was announced to us: "With the exception of the Prophet's family and the family of Ali, all others must withdraw and quit. So we vacated dragging our bag and baggage. In the morning, his uncle, Hamzah, came to him and said: "O messenger of Allah, you evicted us and allowed this young boy to remain? We are your uncles and the elders of your family." Then the Prophet said: "I did not ask you to leave, nor did I allow him (i.e. Ali) to stay. It was by the command of Allah, Most High."

We said: "And what is the third?"

He said: The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, appointed Abu Bakr as a standard bearer and sent him to the fort of Khaybar. He brought it back. Then he appointed Umar, who also brought it back (without success). The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, was deeply disturbed, so he said: "Tomorrow, I shall indeed give the standard to a man who Allah and His Prophet love, and he (too) loves Allah and His Prophet. He will be the steadfast one, never running away. He will not return till Allah blesses (us) with victory upon his hands."

When the next day dawned, we raised ourselves on our knees and toes, but did not find him calling anyone from among us. He then announced: "Where is Ali b. Abi Talib?" Ali was brought to him, suffering from sore-eye. He put his saliva into his eyes, gave him the standard. And Allah blessed (us) with the victory at his hands."

We aid: "And what is the fourth one?"

He said: The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, left for the battle of Tabuk, leaving behind Ali in his place. The Quraishites became jealous of him (i.e. Ali) and said: "The Prophet has left him behind because he does not like his company." (When Ali heard this), he followed the Prophet and upon arrival, placed his hand on the stirrup of the Prophet's camel, saying: "Surely, I will follow you." The Prophet said: "What has happened to you?" He wept and said: "The Quraishites believe that you left me behind because you hate me, and do not prefer my company."

The Prophet ordered an announcement for people to assemble and then (addressing them) said: "O people, Is there anyone among you who does not have the closest and most distinctly notable among his relatives." They said: "Yes, we do have." Then he said: "Surely, Ali, son of Abu Talib, is the closest to me among my relatives, and is most beloved to my heart." Then he came to Ali (AS) and said: "Does it not please you to be to me what Haroon was to Musa; except that there is no prophet after me?" Ali said: "My pleasure is with Allah and His Prophet."

Then Sa'd said: "These are the four virtues, and if you feel inclined, I may relate to you the fifth one!"

We said: "We would like to know it."

He said: "We were with the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, in the farewell pilgrimage. When returning (from Haj) he dismounted at Ghadeer Khumm, and ordered an announcement for all to assemble. Then he proclaimed: "O people, of whoever I am the master, this Ali also is his master. O Allah, befriend one who befriends him, and hate one who hates him. Help one who helps him, and forsake one who forsakes him."

3. Ali (AS) forbade initiating the battle

He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Khalid al-Maraghi al-Qalanisi reported to me from Abul Qasim al-Hasan b. Ali b. al-Hasan, who reported from Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Marwan who reported from his father, who reported from Ishaq b. Yazid, who reported from Khalid b. Mukhtar, who reported from al-A'amash from Habbah alArani, who said:

I heard Hudhaifa b. al-Yaman a year before Uthman b. Affan was killed, saying: "As if I see your mother al-Humayra (i.e. Ayesha) on an expedition, being led on a camel, and you all clinging to the camel's flank and tail. She is with the people of Azd (a tribe) and is supported by Banu Dhabbah; may Allah sever their feet."

Then he said: When the battle of Jamal (the Camel) took place, and people prepared to confront each other, an announcer announced on behalf of Amirul Mo'mineen, peace be upon him, saying: "No one of you shall initiate the fight without my orders." Then they arrived: their arrows and hit us. We said: "O Amirul Mo'mineen, we have been hit." He said: "Withhold." Then again, they hit us and killed some of us. We said: "O Amirul Mon'mineen, we have been killed." So he said: "Attack! With the blessing of Allah."

He said: We attached our raised lances and spears to each others', so close, that if someone were to walk, he could walk over them. Then Ali (A.S.) announced: "Take to the swords." So we began to strike at their helmets but our swords bounced off. Then Amirul Mo'mineen said: "Aim at the feet."

He said: We have never seen so many feet chopped off on any one day. Then I remembered the narration of Hudhaifa when he mentioned Banu Dhabbah as her helpers, saying "may Allah sever their feet." I knew that it was a prayer, which had been answered.

Then Amirul Mo'mineen announced: "Proceed towards the camel for it is surely Satan." One soldier wounded the camel with his spear, and another one cut off its hand, so it fell to the ground with foam spurring from its mouth. Then Ayesha uttered a loud cry and her people turned back defeated. So, Amirul Mo'mineen announced: "Do not attack those who are fallen with wounds, and do not chase those who have fled. And whoever shuts his door, he shall be in peace. And whoever lays down his arms he shall be in peace."

4. We do not say except that which our Lord, Most High, has said

He said: Abu Hafs Umar b. Muhammad al-Sayrafi reported to me from Muhammad b. Hammam al-Askafi who reported from Ahmad b. Idrees, who reported from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa al-Asha'ri, from Ali b. No-man, from Fudhail b. Uthman, from Muhammad b. Shurayh who said:

I heard Abu Abdillah Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, say: "Surely, Allah has enforced our authority, and made it obligatory upon people to love us. By Allah, we do not say anything out of caprice or our desire, and we do not act according to our views. We do not say except that which our Lord, Most High, has said."

 

5. Die in the state of Taharat and you will die a martyr

He said: Ahmad b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. al-Walid has reported to me from his father, who reported from al-Husain b. al-Hasan b. Aban, from Muhammad b. Awramah, from Ismail b. Aban al-Warraq, who reported from al-Rabee' b. Badr, from Abu Hatim, from Anas b. Malik, who reported that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "O Anas, be always pure and clean, and Allah will increase your years (i.e. lifetime). And if you can remain in the state of purity through the day and the night, then do so; for if you die in the state of purity (Taharat, Wudhoo etc.), you will die a martyr. And be steadfast on the noon prayers, for it is the prayers of those who return to Allah with repentance. And perform as many optional prayers as possible, so that the appointed keepers (Angels) have affection for you. And initiate Salaam upon one you meet, so that Allah augments your good deeds. Greet with Salaam your household, and it will be full of divine blessings. Show veneration to the elder Muslims, and be kind to their young ones, so that when you and I arrive on the Day of Judgement, we come like these two - then he demonstrated by his first two fingers."

6. Ali is my brother, my minister and my successor

He said: Abu Ubaidullah Muhammad b. Imran al-Marzbani reported to me from Abul Fadhl Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Tusi, who reported from Abu Abdul Rahman Abdullah b. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal, who reported from Muhammad b. Yahya b. Abi Saminah, who reported from Ubaidullah b. Musa, who reported from Matar al-Iskaf that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Verily, Ali is my brother, my minister and my successor in the family, and he is the best of all who survive me, he will repay my debts and fulfil my pledges."

 

7. What Jabir said about Ali (AS)

He said: Abu Ubaidullah Muhammad b. Imran al-Marzbani reported to me from Abul Fadhl Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Tusi (may Allah bless him with mercy) who reported from Abdullah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal, who reported from Ali b. Hakim al-Awadi, who reported from Sharik, from Uthman b. Abu Zara'h, from Salim b. Abi al-Ja'd that:

Jabir b. Abdillah al-Ansari was once asked, (during his old age) when his eyebrows had fallen over his eyes: "Tell us about Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him." Jabir lifted his eyebrows with his hands and said: "He is the best of all creatures, no one hates him but a hypocrite and no one doubts in him except an infidel."

8. Umar's comments about the Prophet's companions

He said: Abu Hafs Umar b. Muhammad al-Sayrafi reported to me from Abu al-Husain al-Abbas b. al-Mughairah al-Jawhari, who reported from Ahmad b. Mansur al-Ramadi Abu Bakr, who reported from Ahmad b. Swaleh, who reported from Anbasah, who reported from Yunus, from Ibn Shihab, from Ibn al-Mukhramah al-Kindi that:

Umar b. al-Khattab once arrived at an assembly where Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, and Uthman and Abdul Rehman and Talha and al-Zubair were present. So Umar said: "Does everyone of you aspire to becoming a leader after I have gone?" Al-Zubair replied: "Everyone of us aspires, and believes to be fit for it. What is that you disapprove?" Umar said: "May I not tell you what I think about you?" They remained silent. (Again) Umar said: "May I not tell you about yourselves?" They kept silent. Then al-Zubair said: "Say, despite our silence."

So he (Umar) said: "As far as you, O Zubair, are concerned, you are at your best when pleased and content, and you are at your worst when offended and angry. There is a day when you are a devil, and a day when you are a man. Tell me, who will be the Caliph on the day you turn to be a devil?

And you, O Talha, by Allah, the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, left this world displeased with you.

And you, O Ali, you are a man of inactivity and frivolity.

And you, O Abdul Rehman, you are best qualified for it if the position ever comes to you.

But surely among you there is a man whose faith encompasses the faith of the multitude, and he is Uthman."

9. "My brothers are those who believe in me without ever having seen me" said the Prophet (SAW)

He said: Abu Hafs Umar b. Muhammad reported to me from Abu Abdillah Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Ja'far al-Hasani who reported from Abu Musa Isa b. Mahran, who reported from Abu Yashkur al-Balkhi, who reported from Musa b. Ubaidah, from Muhammad b. Ka'b al-Qurzi, from Awf b. Malik, that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, once said: "How eager am I to meet my brothers." So Abu Bakr and Umar said: "Are we not your brothers? We have believed in you, and migrated with you." The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "No doubt, you have believed and migrated, yet I am eager to meet my brothers." Then he repeated the statement. Then he said: "You are my companions. But my brothers are those who will come after you have gone. They will believe in me, love me, help me, and confirm me - without ever having seen me. How I wish to meet my brothers!"

 

10. Seek refuge from Allah against the evil of the people of Al-Thatt

He said: Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Umar al-Je'abi reported to me from Abul Hasan Muhammad b. Yahya al-Tamimi, who reported from al-Hasan b. Behram, who reported from al-Hasan b. Yahya, who reported from al-Hasan b. Hamdoon, from Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Abdillah, who reported from Sudair al-Sayrafi that:

I was with Abu Abdillah Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, and round him were people from Kufa. Addressing them, he said: "Perform Hajj before you are prevented from it. Perform Hajj before the land around you is locked. Perform Hajj before the mosque at Iraqain is demolished, between the streams and the palm trees. Perform Hajj before the lotus trees at al-Zawra, whose roots and stem have grown on the sweet honey of the dates from which Maryam (AS) plucked fresh ripe dates, are cut off. That will be the time when you will be prevented to go for Hajj; when the fruits will be in want, the soil will be arid, and you will suffer from the rising costs, the injustice of the rulers, and inequity and hatred will be rampant among you, coupled with calamity, epidemic and hunger. You will be overwhelmed by adversity from all sides. Woe unto you, O people of Iraq! When the army marches over you from Khurasan and woe unto the people of Ray from Turk, and woe unto the people of Iraq from the people of Ray. Woe unto them all, and again so from Al-Thatt."

Sudair asked: "O my master, who are Al-Thatt?" He said: "They are people with ears as small as those of rats, clad in iron; their utterances like that of Satan; they will have small, hollow eyesockets, and will have hairless bodies, with short hair on their heads. Seek refuge from Allah against their evil. Allah will cause Islam to be victorious at their hands, and they will be instrumental to the revival of our cause."

11. Allah helps according to the measure of our intentions

He said: Abu Ghalib Ahmad b. Muhammad reported to me from his grandfather Muhammad b. Sulaiman, who reported from Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. al-Husain, who reported from Muhammad b. Sinan, from Hamza b. Muhammad al-Tayyar, who said:

I heard Abu Abdillah, peace be upon him, say: "Allah helps His servants according to the measure of their intentions. He who has a wholesome intention receives full help from Allah, and he who has a deficient intention receives as much less."

 

12. Knowledge precedes ignorance

He said: 'Abu Ghalib Ahmad b. Muhammad reported to me from Abu Tahir Muhmmmad b. Sulaiman al-Zurari, who reported from Muhammad b. al-Husain, from Muhammad b. Yahya, from Ghiyath b. Ibrahim, from Kharijah b. Mas'ab, from Muhammad b. Abu Umair al-Abdi, who reported that:

Amirul Mo'mineen Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, said: "Allah did not take away covenant from the ignorant people for seeking the expoundings of Knowledge, before He had taken a covenant from the learned people to expound unto the ignorant people. That is because knowledge preceded ignorance."

13. Those nearest to the Prophet on the Day of Reckoning

He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Khalid al-Maraghi reported to me from Abul Qasim al-Hasan b. Ali b. al-Hasan al-Kufi, who reported from Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Marwan, who reported from his father, from Muhammad b. Ismail al-Hashimi, from Abdul Mo'min who reported that Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir, peace be upon him, reported from Jabir b. Abdillah al-Ansari that:


The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "On the Day of Reckoning tomorrow, the nearest to me will be those who are most truthful in their speech and the most ardent in paying back the deposits entrusted to them, and the most faithful in fulfilling their promises and the best in their behaviour and the most amiable to the people."

 

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