Chapter 14-Fourteenth Assembly
Met on Saturday, 26th Rajab in the year 407. Our grand Sheikh al-Mufid, Abu Abdillah Muhammad b. Muhammad b. al-No'man - may Allah perpetuate His beneficence to him, narrated to us.
1. Earning an answered supplication
He said: Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Umar al-Je'abi reported to me from Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Abdullah b. Ali al-Alawi al-Zaidi, who reported from al-Ridha, Ali b. Musa, peace be upon him that: The righteous slave of Allah, my father, Musa b. Ja'far reported from his father al-Sadiq, Ja'far b. Muhammad, reported from his father Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir, reported from his father, Zainul Abedeen Ali b. al-Husain, reported from his father, al-Husain b. Ali al-Shaheed, reported from his father Amirul Mo'mineen Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon them all, that:
The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "He who performs his (daily) obligatory prayer, earns a blessing of (at least) one supplication answered by Allah."
2. A fool is best punished when totally ignored
He said: Abdul Husain Muhammad b.al-Muzaffar al-Bazzaz, reported to me from Abul Qasim Abdul Malik b. Ali al-Dahhan, who reported from Abul Hasan Ali b. al-Hasan, from al-Hasan b. Bashir, from As'ad b. Saeed from Jabir who said:
Once, Amirul Mo'mineen Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him heard someone abusing Qambar, and Qambar was about to answer back. So, Amirul Mo'mineen Ali, peace be upon him, called out to Qambar: "Take it easy O, Qambar! Leave the one who abuses you to be ashamed of himself, so that Allah is pleased and Satan is resentful and your adversary is punished. For, By He Who, split the grain and created the breathing man, nothing from a believer pleases His Sustainer better than forbearance; and nothing makes Satan more indignant than the silence; and the fool is best punished when totally ignored."
3. Ali (AS) admonishes Hasan al-Basri
He said: Abu Nasr Muhammad b. al-Husain al-Baseer al-Muqri, reported from Abul Hasan Ali b. al-Hasan al-Saidalani, who reported from Abul Miqdam Ahmad b. Muhammad, the client of Banu Hashim, who reported from Abu Nasr al-Makhzoomi, from al-Hasan b. Abu al-Hasan al-Basri who said:
When Amirul Mo'mineen Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, entered Basra, he passed by me while I was doing Wudhoo. He said: "O Young man, do your Wudhoo well, so that Allah may reward you best."
Then he proceeded and I followed his wake. At one time, his attention was diverted to me so he asked: "Young man, do you need anything from me?" I said: "Yes, teach me a word of wisdom, so that Allah may grant me its benefit." He said: "Whoever confirms Allah's Truth is saved; and whoever fears Him in matters of his faith, is secured from being punished. And whoever contents himself with the least of this world, his eyes will be delighted to behold the rewards of Allah, Most High."
'May I tell you more, young man?" I said: "Yes O, Amirul Mo'mineen."
He said: "Whoever has three traits, his fate is secured here and hereafter. He who enjoins good and also follows it; forbids evil and also refrains from it, and does not transgress the limits ordained by Allah.
O, young man! Does it please you to meet your Maker, when He is pleased with you?" I said: "Of course, yes, O Amirul Mo'mineen!" He said: "In this world, be content with the least and be desirous of the next world. And you must be truthful in all your affairs, for Allah has ordained for you and all that He has created to worship Him by Truth."
Then he walked away, till he entered the market of Basra. And he saw people busily engaged in buying and selling. He cried bitterly and then proclaimed:
"O, slaves of this world! O, labourers of its people! If you remain busy swearing during the day time and sleeping in your beds during the night; and during that time you are totally oblivious to the next world, then when will you prepare the provision (for the journey to the next world) and think about the Day of Return (unto Allah)?"
So, one of them said: "O Amirul Mo'mineen! We have to work for our living. What else should we do?" Amirul Mo'mineen said: "To seek one's living by legitimate ways does not make you heedless of the next world! But if you say: We must hoard and monopolize, then you cannot be excused."
The man turned his face weeping. Amirul Mo'mineen, peace be upon him, told him to come closer so that he would tell him more. He came forth, so Ali, peace be upon him, said: "O servant of Allah! Indeed, everyone who works here for the hereafter will be amply rewarded in the next world. And he who uses his other worldliness for earning this world, he will earn hell fire in exchange." Then Amirul Mo'mineen recited the following verses:
'Then as for him who was insolent;
And preferred the life of this world;
Surely, Hell shall be the abode for him.'
4. Ali (AS) predicts the days to come
He said: Abu Abdilllah Muhammad b. Imran al-Marzbani reported to me from Muhammad b.al-Husain al-Jawhari, who reported from Haroon b. Ubaidullah al-Muqri, who reported from Uthman b. Saeed, who reported from Abu Yahya al-Tamimi, from Katheer, from Abu Maryam al-Khawlani, from Malik b. Dhamrah who said:
I heard Ali, Amirul Mo'mineen peace be upon him, say: "Be it known to you that you will soon be subjected to invoking curse and imprecation against me wrongfully. Whoever curses me unwillingly or by coercion, Allah will know that he has been forced into it. I shall arrive with him together upon Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny. And he, who restrains his tongue and does not invoke curse upon me, he will race unto me as quickly as a fling of an arrow or a wink. And one who invokes curse upon me with a willing, cheerful heart, for so doing, there will be no veil debarring him from Allah's wrath and he shall have no excuse before Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny.
Be it known that, one day, Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, held my hand and said: Whoever has sworn allegiance on these five (fingers i.e. the hand) and then died with love and affection for you, will have completed his pledge. And one who dies with hatred towards you, dies a death of Kufr (pre-Islamic era), even though he will account for his deeds committed while professing Islam; and if he lives after you have gone, with lasting love for you, Allah shall end up his days with peace and faith, for as long as the sun rises and sets."
5. Abu Dharr's plain talk
He said: Abul Hasan Ali b.Bilal al-Mahlabi reported to me from Ali b. Abdillah b. Asad al-Isfehani, who reported from al-Husain b. Sufyan, who reported from his father, from Abu al-Jahdham al-Azdi, from his father (who was from the people of Sham), who said:
When Uthman expelled Abu Dharr from Madinah to Damascus, he (i.e. Abu Dharr) used to narrate to us, beginning with the praise to Allah and testifying the Oneness of Allah and Muhmmad's Prophethood, invoking divine blessings upon the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. Then he would say: "We were in the era of ignorance before the Book was revealed to us, and the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, was sent among us; yet we were faithful in promise, truthful in speech, kind to neighbours, hospitable to guests, comforting the poor (hating the arrogant).
And when Allah, Most High, sent to us His messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny, and revealed His Book, our behaviour were pleasing to Allah and His messenger, and the people of Islam were worthier to practice them; and to safeguard them. So, they remained with these attributes for as long as Allah willed.
Now, the rulers have introduced evil acts of which we did not know; discarding the Tradition of the Prophet and introducing the innovations. A truthful person is held a liar, generosity is displayed without fear of Allah and a trustworthy from among the righteous people is deprived. O Allah! If you have destined good for me, then take me away into Your proximity, without having changed."
He used to repeat these words openly. Then Habib b. Maslamah came to Mo'awiyah b. Abi Sufyan and said: "Surely, Abu Dharr is arousing people against you by saying such and such things." So Mo'awiyah wrote to Uthman about it and Uthman replied: "Send him back to me." When Abu Dharr arrived in Madinah, Uthman exiled him to al-Rabdhah.
6. The revelation descended in our homes and from us the knowledge reached the people. . .
He said: Abul Hasan Ahmad b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan reported to me from his father, from Sa'd b. Abdillah, from Ahmad b Muhammad b. Isa, from al-Hasan b. Mahboob from Yahya b. Abdillah b. al-Hasan who said:
I heard Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be upon him, say in the presence of people of Kufa: "It is surprising to hear people claim that they have derived all their knowledge from the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progency, and having acted accordingly, they are guided. And they believe that we, Ahlul Bait, have not derived his knowledge, nor have we been guided by him, in spite of being his family members and descendants! The revelation descended in our homes, and from us the knowledge reached the people. Do you believe that they knew and were guided, while we remained ignorant and lost? This is indeed impossible."
7. Verses by a housemaid, depicting the transitory world
He said: Abul Hasan Ali b. Malik al-Nahwy reported to me from Muhammad b. al-Fadhl al-Katib, who reported from Isa b. Hamid, who said:
I heard Abu Abdillah al-Rabee saying that it has been reported from al-Asmaee', who said: Once I entered al-Basra and as I was walking along, I saw a very beautiful maid looking like a worn-out skin bag. I followed her with constraint, till she reached the graveyard and sat near a grave. Then, with a voice hardly audible, she said: "This is the abode, not like the one with which we deceive ourselves. By Allah, it is a place, which throws the lovers asunder and brings the Day of Reckoning closer; by which His grace will be known from His chastisement. O father! May Allah widen your grave and bless you with what your Prophet was blessed. As for me, I will not say against what I know! I knew you a generous, comforting whenever you came, fully reliable." Then she said:
"I wish I knew how decomposition has changed you,
Or what the beauty of your face has become in the dust!
What a nice person! (Do they know which) elderly man they hid
under the stones, that he is neither felt nor seen.
Sagacious, forbearing, with the resolutions
matched by bravery, bountiful when called upon to entertain;
Since, you were moved to the graveyard and decay,
Anxieties have come closer and my eyes have lost sleep!"
And may Allah bless our master Muhammad, the Prophet and his immaculate progeny.