Was Ibrahim’s [a] biological father an idol worshipper?

November 22, 2008

A common view amongst sunnis is that Ibrahim’s father was indeed an idol worshipper.  You can refer to their books of exegesis to see what they have said about this, e.g. Tabari, Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi for verse 14:41 amongst others.  Those who hold this belief present the following verse as proof:

[9:114] And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his Ab (father) was only owing to a promise which he had made to him; but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him; most surely Ibrahim was very tender-hearted forbearing.

On the other hand, Shias completely reject this, and believe that the line of Prophethood was pure and free from polytheism.  So then how do we explain the above verse?  Ayatollah Jawadi Amoli has answered this question is his tafsir:

هل كان والد النبي إبراهيم (عليه السلام) موحداً؟

إن عنوان «الأب» كما يطلق على الأب فإنه يطلق على غيره كالعمّ أيضاً، و هذا هو منشأ الترديد في قضية النبي إبراهيم من أن أبوه هل كان آزر عابد الوثن أم لا. فالذي يظهر من الآية
«و إذ قال إبراهيم لأبيه آزر أتتخذ أصناماً آلهة»(1)، و الآيات 42 من سورة مريم، و 52 من سورة الأنبياء، و 70 من سورة الشعراء، و 85 من سورة الصافات، و 26 من سورة الزخرف، و 114 من سورة التوبة و غيرها، أن أبا النبي إبراهيم لم يكن موحداً؛ أما أن هذا الأب هل هو نفس الوالد أم غيره، وهل أن والد النبي إبراهيم هل كان موحداً أم لا، فلا يمكن استظهار أي واحد من هذين المطلبين من الآيات المشتملة على عنوان «الأب»؛ و لكن يمكن استنباط كلا المطلبين من آية أخرى متضمنة لكلمة الوالد لا كلمة «الأب»؛ فيمكن معرفة أن آزر عابد الوثن لم يكن والد النبي إبراهيم، و أن الشخص الآخر الذي هو والد النبي إبراهيم و الذي لم يذكر اسمه في القرآن، كان موحداً، لا مشركاً؛ فقد قال الله:
أ- «و ما كان للنبي و الذين آمنوا أن يستغفروا للمشركين و لو كانوا أولي قربى»(2).
ب- «و ما كان استغفار إبراهيم لأبيه إلا عن موعدة وعدها إياه فلما تبيّن له أنه عدو لله تبرأ منه»(3)، أي لم يستغفر له بعد ذلك.
ج- قال النبي إبراهيم (عليه السلام) في دعاء له في عهد الكبر و في أواخر حياته: «ربنا اغفر لي و لوالديّ و للمؤمنين يوم يقوم الحساب»(4).
من هنا يمكن استنباط المطلبين المشار إليهما: أحدهما هو أن آزر عابد الوثن لم يكن والد النبي إبراهيم؛ لأنه تبرأ من آزر بعد أن تبين له شركه و عداؤه مع الله، و لم يستغفر له بعد ذاك، و المطلب الآخر أنه استغفر لوالديه في عهد الكبر، فيظهر أنهما كانا يستحقان الاستغفار؛ أي كانا كسائر المؤمنين من أهل الإيمان لا من أهل الشرك.


_______________________________
1- سورة الأنعام، الآية 74.
2- سورة التوبة، الآية 113.
3- سورة التوبة، الآية 114.
4- سورة إبراهيم، الآية 41.
تسنيم (التسنيم)، ج 1، ص 117.

http://arabic.esraco.net/main.asp

Translation:
Question: Was the father of Prophet Abraham [as] a monotheist?

The word ‘Ab’ can refer to the biological father as well as to the uncle or others*. In the case of Prophet Abraham the question is whether Azar the idol worshipper was his biological father or not? What is apparent from the verse [6:74] ‘And when Abraham said to his Ab (father) do you take idols for gods?’ and verses 19:42, 21:52, 26:70, 37:85, 43:26, 9:114 and others is that the ‘Ab’ of Abraham [as] was not a monotheist. However it is unclear from these verses whether the ‘Ab’ was his actual biological father or someone else, and whether the biological father of Abraham was a monotheist or not. We are unable to come to any one of these conclusions from these verses that use the word ‘Ab’, but we are able to use another verse that uses the word ‘walid’ (biological father) instead of ‘Ab’ {which is a more general term} to give us the answers. From this verse (that uses walid) we come to know that Azar the idol worshipper was not the biological father of Prophet Abraham [as] but someone else who was a monotheist but whose name hasn’t been mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah swt has said:

(i) [9:113] It is not (fit) for the Prophet and those who believe that they should ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are inmates of the flaming fire.
(ii) [9:114] And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his Ab was only owing to a promise which he had made to him; but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him; most surely Ibrahim was very tender-hearted forbearing.
(iii) Prophet Abraham [as] supplicated to Allah in his old age saying [14:41] Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and believers on the day when the account is cast.

From these verses we can conclude two things. Firstly, Azar the idol worshipper was not the biological father of Prophet Abraham [as] as he ‘declared himself to be clear of him’ once it became evident that he was a polytheist and enemy of Allah swt, and he never asked forgiveness for him after that. Secondly, he sought forgiveness for his parents (walidaya) when he was an old man**, showing that they were worthy of forgiveness, i.e. they were believers and not polytheists.

——————–

*As proof for this read verse 2:133 in which Nabi Isma’eel [a] who was Ya’qoob’s [a] paternal uncle is referred to as his Ab.

**We know that the prayer for forgiveness of his parents in 14:41 was said in Nabi Ibrahim’s [a] old age because he prays for his sons as well, and he had these sons when he was an old man. This is the whole passage:

[14:39] Praise be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Ismail and Ishaq; most surely my Lord is the Hearer of prayer:

[14:40] My Lord! make me keep up prayer and from my offspring, O our Lord, and accept my prayer
[14:41] Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and believers on the day when the account is cast


Raj’ah – The Return before the Day of Judgement

September 28, 2008

Al-Raj’ah literally means ‘the return’, and refers to the Shia doctrine that certain people will return back to life before the Day of Judgement. Narrations from Ahlul Bayt [as] have identified these people as the best of humanity and the worst of humanity.

الإمام الصادق عليه السلام قال: وإن الرجعة ليست بعامة وهي خاصة ، لايرجع إلا من محض الايمان محضاً ، أو محض الشرك محضاً . البحار:53/ 36

Imam ASadiq [as]: The Raj’ah isn’t general, rather it is specific. Only those that were absolute believers will return, or those that were absolute Mushriks (polythiests). Bihar AlAnwar 53/36

The exceptionally evil will be brought back to life and will recieve their just punishments in this life before the hereafter. Some narrations have mentioned that martyred Imams of Ahlul Bayt [as] will be brought back to rule after the death of Imam Mehdi [aj]. These details have all been mentioned in the hadith, but the purpose of this article is to prove the concept of Raj’ah from the Qur’an, so has the Qur’an mentioned that certain people will be resurrected before Qiyamah? In Surah Naml we read:

وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ فَوْجًا مِّمَّن يُكَذِّبُ بِآيَاتِنَا فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ {83

[27:83] And on the day when We will gather from every nation a group from among those who rejected Our communications, then they shall be kept in ranks.

Imam Sadiq [as] asked one of his companions what the people say regarding the above quoted verse. His companion replied: They say it’s about the Day of Judgement. The Imam replied: Would Allah gather [yahshur] (only) a group of every people and leave the rest?! Rather the verse is referring to Raj’ah, and the verse of Qiyamah is this : and We will gather them and leave not any one of them behind [18:47]. Bihar AlAnwar 53/40

عن الإمام الصادق عليه السلام أنه سئل عن قوله تعالى: وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ فَوْجاً مِمَّنْ يُكَذِّبُ بِآياتِنَا فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ ؟ فقال: ما يقول الناس فيها ؟ قلت يقولون إنها في القيامة . فقال: يحشر الله في القيامة من كل أمة فوجاً ويترك الباقين ؟! إنما ذلك في الرجعة ، فأماآية القيامة فهذه:وَحَشَرْنَاهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَداً.. الى قوله: موعداً. البحار:53/40

The Imam’s argument is clear. The verse is saying that the hashr (gathering after resurrection) will be limited to a group of people and will not be for everyone, whilst in Qiyamah everyone will be resurrected and gathered, not just a group from amongst the people. As 18:47 says: ‘Hasharnahum fa lam nughadir minhum Ahada’ . This proves that the verse is not referring to the resurrection of the Day of Judgement, but is referring to an event that will occur before it.

Allamah Tabataba’i [r] in his tafsir of this verse offers another proof. He says that if we read the verses that follow 27:83, we will see that they go on to talk about the blowing of the trumpet and other events that will be in Qiyamah.

[27:87] And on the day when the trumpet shall be blown, then those who are in the heavens and those who are in the earth shall be terrified except such as Allah please, and all shall come to him abased.
[27:88] And you see the mountains, you think them to be solid, and they shall pass away as the passing away of the cloud– the handiwork of Allah Who has made every thing thoroughly; surely He is Aware of what you do.

The famous Sunni exegete Ibn Kathir says the following about the blowing of the Trumpet:

The Sur (trumpet), as described in the Hadith, is, «قَرْنٌ يُنْفَخُ فِيه» (a horn which is blown into.) According to the Hadith about the Sur (Trumpet), it is (the angel) Israfil who will blow into it by the command of Allah, may He be exalted. He will blow into it for the first time, for a long time. This will signal the end of the life of this world. (see Tafsir ibn Kathir, verse 27:87)

So if the blowing of the trumpet will cause the end of all life, this means that whatever occurs before the blowing will be in this life, not the hereafter. The context therefore shows that the resurrection of certain groups of people will occur during this life and not the hereafter, as it will be before the blowing of the Trumpet according to the sequence of events that are described by the verses. This leaves no doubt that the verse is referring to Raj’ah before the Day of Judgement.

The doctrine of Raj’ah is clearly in the Qur’an, but like every other belief, we must refer to the hadith for the specific details. It is only the hadith of Ahlul Bayt [as] that have been narrated in the books of Shia Muslims that have mentioned these details. Everyone else has overlooked them, and denied this reality in its entirety. We thank Allah swt for blessing us with the Wilayah of Ahlul Bayt [as]. May we live long enough to see their return.


Imamah in the Qur’an p4: The Medium Ummah

September 22, 2008

 

In parts 2 and 3 it was shown that the Earth cannot be devoid of a Witness who witnesses the deeds of the people.  These witnesses will bear witness on the people and the Prophet will bear witness on them. 

The Prophet > Witnesses > People

[16:89] And on the day when We will raise up in every people a witness against them from among themselves, and bring you as a witness against these

As the witnesses are in between the Prophet [sawa] and the People in their witnessing, they are known as the Ummatun Wasata – the intermediary or medium group.  They are in the middle, linked to the Prophet on one side and to the people on the other.  In the Qur’an we read:

[2:143] And thus We have made you a medium nation that you may be the witnesses on the people and (that) the Messenger may be a witness on you

The title of medium nation is usually misinterpreted to mean a nation between two extremes: between the extremes of polythiesm on one side and christianity on the other for example.  But being a medium nation in this sense doesn’t have any relation with being witnesses on the people, and the Prophet being a witness on them.  Allamah Tabataba’i [r] has said:

What this exegete has said is true in itself, but it does not explain the wordings of this verse. The ummah, by virtue of its position in the middle, may be called a criterion to judge the extremes, as well as a point to which the people of the two extremes should return. But it does not make it a “witness” for the two extremes, nor it gives the ummah ability to observe the said extremes. Apparently, there is no correlation between being a medium (in the above-mentioned sense) and being a witness. Also, there is no reason why the Messenger of Allah should be made a witness for them; there is no correlation between the two witnessing. But the verse clearly says that the Messenger of Allah shall be a witness for the ummah, because the ummah shall be a witness for the people, and it shall acquire that status because it is a medium ummah. 

Moreover, when the Qur’an has in so much detail discussed the reality of witnesses and witnessing (as shown in parts 2 and 3), there is no reason to interpret the verse otherwise.

This mediumship has been mentioned elsewhere in the Qur’an:

[22:77] O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed.
[22:78] And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving a is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you an hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper!

Here Allah swt has introduced this group as:

1) Chosen

2) Named by Ibrahim [as] as ‘Muslims’

It will be proven in part 5 that the group that was named by Ibrahim [as] as Muslims was not the whole Muslim nation, but a select few from his offspring that had reached the peaks of submission.  This will be further proof that the Medium group is not the entirety of the Ummah.

Objections:

1) Allah swt says Medium Ummah, so how can you say it’s only a small group from the nation and not everyone?

Answer:  Apart from what has been mentioned about them being witnesses on the people, and the Prophet being a witness on them, the questioner should know that ‘…the original meaning of this word is “people”, “nation”, “group”, as Allah says: and blessing on, you and the people (umam = plural of ummah) from among those who are with you; and there shall be people (umam)… (11:48). This word is sometimes used even for one person; Surely Ibrahim was an Ummah obedient to Allah (16:120). Therefore, it is the context or the intention of the speaker which decides how big or small a circle this word describes in a sentence.’ (AlMizan)

2) Verse 22:77 starts with ‘O you who believe…’ so this is referring to all Muslims, not a select few.

Answer: This is not necessarily so; the context tells us who these believers are.  Secondly, there is no harm in saying the verse is addressed to all the believers.  Sometimes when a nation has people with certain positive traits, these traits are applied to the nation as a whole.  For example, it is correct to say that the Arabs were the fathers of Chemistry, eventhough in reality it was only one Arab – Jabir Ibn Hayyan – who was the father of Chemistry.  As Allamah Tabataba’i says, ‘A distinction enjoyed by a group is attributed to the whole nation, because the group is a part of the nation.’

Traditions:

We’ll end by looking at what the Ahlul Bayt [as] have said regarding the verses.

alBaqir (a.s.) that he said: “Only the Imams and the Messengers will be witnesses for the people. And as for the (general) ummah, it is unthinkable that Allah would call them as witnesses – and there are among them those whose testimony is not accepted for a bundle of vegetable.” (al-Manaqib)

aSadiq (a.s.) said about the verse, that you may be witnesses…: “(It is) then (wrong) if you think that Allah in this verse means all the monotheists, the people of qiblah (i.e., the Muslims). Do you think that a person whose evidence is not acceptable in this world about a as-sa’ (= a weight about 3 kilogram) of date, Allah will call him as a witness on the Day of Judgment and will accept his evidence in presence of all the previous nations? Certainly not. Allah does not mean (here) such of his creatures; He means only that ummah in which the prayer of Ibrahim was granted; you are the best ummah raised up for the (benefit of) men (3:110); and they are the medium ummah and they are the best ummah raised up for the men.” (al-`Ayyashi)


Akhbaris and the Qur’an

September 5, 2008

Asalamu alaykum,

There used to exist a strong trend amongst Shia scholars that nothing of the Qur’an could be understood without recourse to hadith. Interpreting Qur’an without hadith would be regarded as Tafsir BilRa’y, an exegesis based on personal whims that has been condemned by the Imams. Those that propounded this view made the Qur’an into a kind of mysterious cryptic book, that noone could understand apart from the Ahlul Bayt [a]. Today, virtually all Shia Ulema reject this notion, and believe in the authoritativeness of the apparent meaning of the Qur’an. This doesn’t mean that we don’t need the hadith of Ahlul Bayt [a] when doing Tafsir; they have the complete knowledge of the Qur’an and know it better than anyone else. What it does means is that Qur’an speaks a language that we can understand, and we are able to extract some of these meanings even if there are no narrations about the verses. The Usuli Ulema’ have given many evidences against the Akhbari position that only Ahlul Bayt can interpret the Qur’an. I will mention 2 of these. If anyone would like to research this further then I recommend the book اصول التفسير والتاويل by Sayed Kamal AlHaidary which can be downloaded here , and Zawahir AlQur’an [in english] by Sayyid Khoi which can be read here.

Proof 1: Compare the Hadith to the Qur’an

We have many authentic narrations from many of the Imams that tell us to compare the transimitted narrations to the book of Allah, and to reject those that contradict it and accept those that are supported by it. For example,

راشد عن ابي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: ما لم يوافق من الحديث القران فهو زخرف

Rashid from Abi Abdillah [a]: Any narration that isn’t inline with the Qur’an is vanity.
Wasa’il Shia 27/110

عن ابي عبد الله الصاعق عليه السلام : خطب النبي ص فقال : ايها الناس ما جائكم عني يوافق كتاب الله فانا قلته, وما جاءكم يخالف كتاب الله فلم اقله

Imam Sadiq [a]: The Prophet [sawa] addressed the people and said: O people, whatever is narrated to you from me that is inline with the Book of Allah then I have said it. And whatever is narrated to you that goes against the Book of Allah then I never said it.
Wasa’il Shia 27/111

عن ابن ابي يعفور قال سالت ابا عبد الله ع عن اختلاف الحديث يرويه من نثق ومنهم من لم نثق به؟ قال: اذا ورد عليكم حديث فوجدتم له شاهداً من كتاب الله او من قول رسول الله ص والا فالذي جاءكم به اولى به

Narrated from Ibn Abi Ya’foor: I asked Abi Abdillah [a] about the differences in narrations that are narrated by those whom we trust and those we don’t. He said: If a narration reaches you that is supported by evidence in the Book of Allah or from the sayings of the Messenger of God [sawa] (then accept it).
Wasa’il Shia 27/110

جميل بن دراج عن ابي عيد الله الصادق ع : …فما وافق كتاب الله فخذوه وما خالف كتاب الله فدعوه

Jameel ibn Draj narrated from Abi Abdillah Sadiq [a]: … whatever agrees with the Book of Allah then take it, and whatever disagrees with it then reject it.
Wasa’il Shia 27/109

These hadith and many like them clearly show that we are able to understand the Qur’an independently. If this were not the case then we would not be able to compare the hadith to the Qur’an, as understanding the Qur’an would be dependent on the hadith.

Let me make it clear that noone denies that the Ahlul Bayt [as] are needed for the most complete and correct understanding of the Qur’an, they are afterall the second of the Thaqalayn. But in same way that we can understand much of their sayings without recourse to the Qur’an, we can also understand much of the Qur’an without recourse to Ahlul Bayt.

Proof 2: The Everlasting Miracle

The miraculousness of the Qur’an is something that no Muslim denies. The Qur’an itself challenges the people many times to produce something like it:

وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُواْ شُهَدَاءكُم مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِين

[2:23] And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ فَأْتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُواْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

[10:38] Or do they say: He has forged it? Say: Then bring a chapter like this and invite whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ فَأْتُواْ بِعَشْرِ سُوَرٍ مِّثْلِهِ مُفْتَرَيَاتٍ وَادْعُواْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

[11:13] Or, do they say: He has forged it. Say: Then bring ten forged chapters like it and call upon whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ تَقَوَّلَهُ بَل لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ فَلْيَأْتُوا بِحَدِيثٍ مِّثْلِهِ إِن كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ

[52:33-34] Or do they say: He has forged it. Nay! they do not believe. Then let them bring an announcement like it if they are truthful.

The question is, if only the Ahlul Bayt could understand the Qur’an, how could it be a miracle? How could it challenge people to produce something like it? For the Arabs to take this claim seriously they would have to understand the Qur’an themselves, realise its beauty and depth, but this would not be possible if its understanding was limited to a select few.

Conclusion

The above two proofs show that the Qur’an can be understood by normal people. If it could not then it wouldn’t be able to claim that it was a miracle. If it could not then the Ahlul Bayt [as] wouldn’t have instructed us to compare their sayings to the Qur’an.

Having said this, if we want to gain the greatest knowledge of the Qur’an, we need the best teachers, and these are the Ahlul Bayt. When doing tafsir of a particular verse we should read what has been transmitted from them about that verse, and look at all the verses in the Qur’an that discuss that particular subject, and then use our God given Aql to come to a conclusion.

May Allah swt grant us knowledge of His Holy Book. Ameen.


Khidr in the Qur’an – Why do the pronouns change?

September 5, 2008

Asalamu alaykum,

When Khidr [as] explains to Musa [as] why he did what he did, the pronouns that he uses keep on changing.

أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَاءهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا {79} وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا {80}فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا {81}وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي ذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا {82}

[18:79] As for the boat, it belonged to (some) poor men who worked on the river and I wished that I should damage it, and there was behind them a king who seized every boat by force.
[18:80] And as for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should make disobedience and ingratitude to come upon them:
[18:81] So we desired that their Lord might give them in his place one better than him in purity and nearer to having compassion.
[18:82] And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man; so your Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out their treasure, a mercy from your Lord, and I did not do it of my own accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.

So in the first incident it’s ‘I‘, in the second it’s ‘We’ and the third it’s ‘Your Lord’, eventhough in each case it was Khidr who did it.

The following explanation is taken from The Kernels of Kernels by Allamah Tabataba’i :
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Some sages among the gnostics, throughout their lives, would not utter the words “I” and “we” and would say instead, for instance, “This servant came” and “This servant left,” while some, in describing their actions, would ascribe that which was beautiful and good and which derived from the Divine Essence to Him, and attribute to themselves that which related to themselves as such, the Sacred Divine Being being absolved of its taints. And in cases where something could be related to themselves as well as to God they would say “we.” They based this practice on the episode of Hadrat Khidr and Musa, may Peace be upon them, where Khidr says:

أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا

As for the ship, it belonged to certain poor men, who toiled upon the sea; and I desired to damage it, (18:79)

because the inflicting of damage may not be attributed to the Divine Essence, and, accordingly, he ascribes it to himself by making the statement in the first person singular. However, as the killing [of the lad] could be ascribed to Hadrat Khidr and to God, he describes it in the first person plural.

.وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا

As for the lad, his parents were believers; and we were afraid he would inflict on them insolence arid unbelief, so we desired that their Lord should give to them in exchange one better than he in purity, and nearer in tenderness. (18:80‑81)

As the concern for welfare and the will to grant benefit and excellence derives, from the Divine Essence, it is attributed to the Sustainer

.وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا
صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّك

As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan lads in the city, and under it was a treasure belonging to them. Their father was a righteous man; and thy Lord desired that they should come of age and then bring forth their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord.. . (18:82)

The same manner of speech can be observed in the words of Hadrat Ibrahim (`a) when he said:

الَّذِي خَلَقَنِي فَهُوَ يَهْدِينِ وَالَّذِي هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِي وَيَسْقِينِ وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ

…Who created me and Himself guides me; who Himself gives me to eat and drink, and, whenever I am sick heals me. (26:78‑80)

Here he attributes sickness to himself and its healing to God. Attainment to the station of Islam‑e azam and riddance from the soul’s egoism, which sets the stage for Satan to make appearances, must take place with Divide succour. Hajj Imam‑Qulli Nakhjawani was the teacher in the ma`arif of marhum Aqa Sayyid Husayn Aqa Qadi, the father of marhum Aqa Hajj Mirza ‘Ali Aqa Qadi, may God be pleased with theirs, and he was traversing the stages of perfection in ethics and Divine teachings tinder the tutelage of marhum Aqa Sayyid Quraysh Qazwini, may God be pleased with him.

He says: “After I reached old age and decrepitude I saw Satan as the two of us stood at the top of a mountain. Putting my hand on my beard I said to him, `I have reached old age and become decrepit. Spare me, if it is possible.’ Satan said to me, `Look over this side.’ When’ I looked, I saw a very deep ravine. It was a dizzying sight and I was seized with an intense fright and terror. Satan said, `I don’t have any mercy or compassion in my heart. Should I get my hands on you, your place will be at the bottom of this pit that you see!'” Read the rest of this entry »