Such is Jesus, son of Mary

April 15, 2009

In the Qur’an:

But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live; And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed; And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life. Such is Isa, son of Mary… [19:29-43]

In the words of Imam Ali, the close friend and companion of Prophet Muhammad (sawa):

”If you desire I will tell you about `Isa (p.b.u.h.) son of Maryam (Mary). He used a stone for his pillow, put on coarse clothes and ate rough food. His condiment was hunger. His lamp at night was the moon. His shade during the winter was just the expanse of earth eastward and westward. His fruits and flowers were only what grows from the earth for the cattle. He had no wife to allure him, nor any son to give grief, nor wealth to deviate (his attention), nor greed to disgrace him. His two feet were his conveyance and his two hands his servant.” [Nahj Al-Balagha Sermon 160]

In the poetry of Rumi:

The son of Mary, Jesus, hurries up a slope
as though a wild animal were chasing him.
Someone following him asks, ‘Where are you going?
No one is after you.’ Jesus keeps on,
saying nothing, across two more fields. ‘Are you
the one who says words over a dead person,
so that he wakes up?’ I am. ‘Did you not make
the clay birds fly?’ Yes. ‘Who then
could possibly cause you to run like this?’
Jesus slows his pace.

I say the Great Name over the deaf and the blind,
they are healed. Over a stony mountainside,
and it tears its mantle down to the navel.
Over non-existence, it comes into existence.
But when I speak lovingly for hours, for days,
with those who take human warmth
and mock it, when I say the Name to them, nothing
happens. They remain rock, or turn to sand,
where no plants can grow. Other diseases are ways
for mercy to enter, but this non-responding
breeds violence and coldness toward God.
I am fleeing from that.

As little by little air steals water, so praise
Is dried up and evaporates with foolish people
who refuse to change. Like cold stone you sit on,
a cynic steals body heat. He doesn’t feel
the sun
. Jesus wasn’t running from actual people.
He was teaching in a new way.

Hadith Ghadeer p1 – Introduction

January 17, 2009

On the 18th of Dhil-Hijjah in the middle of the hot Arabian desert, whilst returning from his final Hajj, the Prophet was ordered to declare Imam Ali his successor to the Muslim masses.  After informing them of his coming death, and the importance of following the Qur’an and Ahlul Bayt, he raised Imam Ali’s hand and said:

من كنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاه

”Whoever’s master (mawla) I am, Ali is also his master”.

This took place in an area known as Ghadir Khumm, half way between Mecca and Medinah and near present day al-Juhfa.

The occurrence of this event is universally accepted by all Muslims, but there has been much controversy over its significance.  Whilst Shia Muslims take it to be  a decisive proof of Imam Ali’s successorship, Sunnis interpret it to mean Imam Ali’s friendship with the believers – ”Whoever I am his friend, Ali is his friend”.

In a series of short posts I will demonstrate the baselessness of the Sunni interpretation, which is nothing more than a futile attempt at rejecting the Prophet’s [s] decisive declaration.  I will prove that the Shia interpretation is the correct one by using 2 lines of evidence:

1. The context of the Hadith

2. The understanding of the Sahaba

I will then address common objections, and will show that many of the points brought up by Sunnis actually count against them, and further prove the correctness of the Shia interpretation.