Akhlaq e-A’imma, Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams
Akhlaq e-A’imma, Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams
Maulana Sayyid Zafar Hasan Amrohi
In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
To praise Hazrat Adeebe Azam Maulana Sayyid Zafar Hasan Sahab Qibla or to write something about him is akin to lighting a lamp in front of the blazing Sun. He has written more than 200 books including some very voluminous ones like Manaqib of Ibne Shahr-e-Aashob, Majmaul Fazael and Four Volumes of Al-Kafi running into thousands of pages. After migrating to Pakistan he continued to bring out the “Noor” magazine. Apart from this he used to run a religious school, imparting education in Islamic sciences. His students are still found engaged in the work of religious propagation. Keeping in mind the usefulness of his writings we have decided to publish them in India also. We have already published Hayat B'ad al-Maut (Life after Death). The second in this series, Akhlaq-e-Aaimma (Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams) is in your hands. If we continue to receive co-operation of the reading public, Insha Allah, we would endeavor to publish all the writings of this great scholar.
The enemies have not heard of the virtuous qualities of the Imams, and neither have they liked it - as for the friends; they listen to the merits and virtues of Imams and invoke blessings on them and send Salawat - but what about emulating them? That is why so many ethical weaknesses have developed among us. May Allah give us the divine opportunity to study this book and take account of ourselves; and resolve that by this we would amend whatever deficiencies we have. Amen.
The meaning of ethics has become so clear to people that it need not be explained even to the most simple-minded persons. However, the level of ethics in the view of the masses is such that it needs a lot of elucidation according to experts of ethical philosophy. It is possible that limits may overlap with the merits of ethics, but in the view of a philosopher they are not included in the perfections of the human soul.
A major portion of the detailed discussions in books of philosophy is beyond the understanding of ordinary people. They are not presented to guide people on the path of virtues but their intention is to confuse the people to an extent that they are not even able to do what they would do in the normal course, thus the dream of the philosophers is fulfilled. Maybe a student scholar would spend a lot of precious time in explaining these things but the result would be nothing. Thinkers have formulated numerous theories regarding abstract things because they are beyond perception. Those who intend to falsify them cannot unveil the truth. We do not desire to delve into such farfetched theories and waste the precious time of our readers.
Rather than discuss the reality of the soul and its composition in detail we shall study the effects of ethical values in the practical life of man, so that readers may gain something useful. In spite of the elaborate explanations presented by philosophers of ethics it is necessary for us to say that the true meaning of ethics is least understood by common people.
If a good-natured person speaks to us with a smile, he is considered perfect in manners.
If we go to meet someone and he serves us a cup of tea, we take him to be of exemplary morals.
A person we know takes care of his family and we think he has very good morals.
If one is sympathetic to us in our difficult times, he is having perfect morals.
These are some prevalent notions in our society. Though these are some of the elements of ethics, we intend to explain to our readers true morals and ethical values that make a perfect human being. However, to explain such a vast subject is beyond the scope of this book and not its actual aim.
The aim of this book is to present the perfect morals of the Holy Imams. In the course of our discussion we would come across some philosophical discussions but we would touch upon them only as far as they serve our aim. We would refrain from profound philosophical theories that stump the human intellect.
Scholars have initiated many unnecessary discussions with regard to the human character just to prove their own expertise. For example:
1. What is the position of the soul?
2. Is it corporeal or otherwise?
3. Is it annihilated or not?
4. Is it created or eternal?
5. Whether it is material or abstract?
6. Whether the human body is a vessel of soul or not?
7. Does the moral sense deserve degradation?
8. Are good morals earned or gifted?
9. Are good morals related to the heart or the intellect? Etc. etc.
We are not concerned with any of the above topics. Only those bestowed with a lot of free time can afford to indulge in such discussions. Our aim in this book is also not that one can become a professor of ethics by studying it.
Our aim is to present the practical examples of the perfect morals of our Holy Imams and encourage the readers to walk in their footsteps.
The book discusses the perfect morals of those personalities regarding whom people tried to conceal their perfections using all means and encouraged by ruling powers. They opened up the royal treasure for achieving this end. Those who dared to relate their merits were beheaded, lynched and their tongues pulled out. They were imprisoned and their freedom of speech restricted. In such a situation there is no question of exaggeration. Rather it is an established reality that cannot be concealed even if the whole world tries to suppress it.
Whatever we shall discuss in the following pages can also be found in the books of those do not accept the Twelve Imams as their guides, and those who under compulsion of the ruling powers made a mountain of a molehill. The reality is so strong that floods of oppositions cannot dislocate it, and the fact is always confessed by those who have tried to conceal it. What can be said of the merits testified by ones enemy?
Just as man is created from four elements, the basics of ethical values are also four, wisdom, chastity, justice and valour. As if these are the four walls of a perfect character. Even if one of these walls is absent or dilapidated the morals are unsafe and the ethical character stained. These four qualities can be said to be the roots of the tree of morals. All the moral qualities are related to these four basic values. They are thus the branches of this ethical tree. Actually a tree is a tree because of its branches, while a dried barren tree is but used as firewood. The usefulness and value of a tree is proportionate to its foliage and shade-giving capability.
In fact, the magic formula of the establishment of the universe lies in these four words. It is the ladder to the ascension of spirituality. Success in life and the hereafter depends upon these four qualities. Innumerable weapons have been produced and are being produced for the establishment of kingdoms but their purpose is to defeat and conquer material things but they are not concerned with the reformation of hearts. This kingdom is beyond the power of those material weapons. If anything can gain control over it, it is these four weapons. How powerful these weapons are is beyond description and the extent of their capability is beyond perception. We can briefly state that they have the ability to control anything from the earth to the heavens. Every particle of the universe can kiss the feet. Humanity is raised so high in status that angels consider it a privilege to serve them. Let us now see their practical prowess.
Amazing Appeal of Good Morals
The aim of sending the Holy Prophet (S) was to perfect the morals. That is, the mission that did not reach the peak of perfection even after the arrival of 124000 messengers, it was done in theory and practice to such a level of perfection that now there was no more any need of a new prophet or messenger. This required extraordinary capability. That too in the land of Arabs, which was the cradle of ill manners. As if, shameless traits had hammered the final nail in the coffin of humanity. This severe necessity could neither be fulfilled by wealth and money nor by a military system or by the edge of the sword. This needed another type of power.
The verse: “Certainly you are upon the best morals,” has revealed this secret and announced to the world that the aspect of Prophet's behavior is such that it transformed the Arab society completely. It displayed such a miracle of human intercourse that the world was spellbound. What actually happened may be understood in the words of Quran: People entered the fold of Islam in hordes.
The good moral behavior of the Prophet of Islam had the most important role in this magnificent victory. Though Khadija's wealth served a great deal in helping the poor and deprived ones among the Muslims and the awe of Abu Talib afforded some security but the thing that struck the hearts and minds of the polytheist and disbelieving Arabs was the good moral behavior of the Messenger of Islam. It was this that left an indelible mark on the hearts of ignorant Arabs and attracted the wild Arabs to the Prophet like a magnet pulls a needle.
At that time Prophethood was veiled due to hidden wisdom when the Prophet started secret propagation and obtained confessions of his truthfulness from those who were dead enemies of good morals, becoming well known as “The Truthful” and “The Trustworthy” among the Arabs. The blood of human perfections had started running in this body known as Muhammad from the day it breathed its first in the atmosphere of water and clay.
The teachings of Islamic morals to the people did not consist of mere oral admonitions, but it was accompanied by practical feats for every aspect. When those lacking any type of moral embellishments saw the flawless character of the Holy Prophet (S) they realized the degraded and shameful position of their own humanity.
And on every occasion their created nature was shook with a deep yearning. The moral teachings that the Prophet imparted were the nourishment of the face of Islam and the life of its body. When these teachings was recorded on the pages of history and reached the different corners of the earth, and when with the Muslim travelers those teachings reached the people of other nations they were awakened abruptly from their slumber like a slow horse is spurred by the crack of the whip. It was it was an opportunity for the religions to compare that they make Islamic morals the criterion of comparing their differences. Those who did this realized very soon what is the difference between genuine and artificial pearls.
Perfection of Morals at the Hands of the Holy Prophet (S)?
The Messenger of Allah (S) has said: I was sent to perfect the morals. This shows that the one hundred and twenty four thousand prophets that have arrived till now, one of whose duties was to perfect the morals have not been able to achieve this object. Why is it so? Were they careless of their job? But this is against the status of prophethood. Then what is the reason that these teachings could not reach perfection?
Though apparently it is a difficult question, its answer requires a little explanation. The verse: “We blessed all those prophets, some of them excel others,” shows that the status of all the prophets was not equal. There was a difference in their grades and positions, whether it be in their practical value or by the limited scope of their propagation, or by way of their divine recognition, but Allah knows best about all that. Any conjecture in this regard can deviate us. We believe in the prophethoods of all of them.
“We do not differentiate between any of them.” Though it can be said that the previous prophets did not get the opportunity to highlight each and every aspect of perfection of morals. Some prophets were such that they were sent only for a particular group; some were sent for a particular country, some were appointed on one area. Some were prophets only for their families. Followers of certain prophets did not heed their teachings. Some listened but did not follow the teachings. In any case, there were many situations when all the moral qualities and their types could not be taught to the people and all the Islamic morals could not be explained clearly to them. Or sometimes the teachings of a particular prophet lasted for limited period and there was no arrangement to take it further.
It was the reason that the followers of every prophet became deviated after the passing away of their prophet, and with the passage of time the actual teachings assumed a completely different shape. Since the real examples did not exist any more they took the wrong ones as models and continued to follow them. Till the time that need arose again for the arrival of a new prophet. There are some prophets in whose generation prophethood continued in a serial order, but this also came to an end at some time. Since there was no permanent and everlasting arrangement, there was no possibility for the perfection of morals.
The best perfection of man is to set an example. There are innumerable people who display perfection of morals in their own selves but there are very few who can make others like themselves. Rather most centuries pass away without they're being any such personality in them.
When people with perfect morals are not able to pass on their traits to others, perfect morals gradually disappear from the society. Setting an example is not an easy job; it requires a very effective personality. To make someone else like ourselves is not possible till the time the personality of the owner of perfection is not so powerful that it could pull others towards itself. There are many who can create partial similarity; there are none who can create total similarity. Continuation of perfection is impossible till all the partial things, all the habits and all good traits and morals, all the actions and deeds, all the spiritual perfections are not transferred to someone else.
The Prophet was on the position of the best of morals. Its perfection was possible only if there was arrangement of its continuation. Otherwise it would have been temporary just like the teachings of other prophets, while creation of examples is impossible without continuity. Therefore the Prophet, first of all, paid attention to this, and in his lifetime made four persons (Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain, peace be upon them all) like himself in every aspect. There was no quality of good morals that was present in the Prophet but not found in them. Just as the Holy Prophet (S) showed each and every virtue practically, they also did so. This was an arrangement of the perfection of good morals from Providence; that it created twelve such personalities, who had the privilege of the successorship of the Holy Prophet (S) one after the other. They continued to present the examples of prophetic morals in every age and period. And they continued to display all the good morals possessed by the Prophet himself, without any increase or decrease. Just as the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S) is to continue till the Day of Judgment, in the same way is to continue the examples of his good moral qualities.
All the four meritorious qualities mentioned by us above (wisdom, chastity, justice and valour) are such that each of them is a very difficult path, thinner than hair and sharper than a sword. The scholars of moral science have called this “Siratul Mustaqeem”, the right path. One who has achieved this path in the world and remained steadfast on it would easily pass over the Sirat Bridge in the Hereafter, because if he walks on this Siratul Mustaqeem there would be no defect in his deeds.
Consider this way to be a space between two written words. It is the smallest but the most upright one. All the writings besides it would be slanted and longer than it. All these writings would not be included in the merits; rather they would be called decline and the merit would be that middle writing alone. All the writings near to this middle one would be closer in merit and those further away would be further from merit also. The moral virtue would be only one and the declines numerous. Not a single word would be steadfast on this middle line.
It is this straight path in whose search remain the wayfarers and guides, day and night. They practice penance to achieve all this but first of all its achievement is very difficult. Even if they find it, it is very difficult to remain steadfast upon it. The feet waver in the slightest difficulty. What can be said of others, the prophets sometimes reached the juncture of “omitting the preferred option” (Tark-e-awla). The correct standard to distinguish this path is the morals of prophets and most of all the morals of the Holy Prophet (S).
It is this balance of deeds in which the actions of people shall be weighed. The Almighty Allah says,Certainly We sent Our apostles with clear arguments, and sent down with them the Book and the balance that men may conduct themselves with equity. ( Surah Hadid, 57:25).
It is evident that none of the prophets were born with a book or a balance, then what does it denote? The fact is that 'book' denotes the book of the existence of the prophet. Amir'ul-Mu'minin (a.s) says: “O man! You are that magnificent book of Allah, each letter of which reveals the secrets of providence.”
When the existence of man is the magnificent book of Allah, what can be said of the existence of the prophets? The special miracle of divine power is found in each of their organs and powers. Their senses of hearing, speech and sight are more powerful than those of ordinary people. Their physical organs are superior to those of ordinary people in their special qualities. Even the seeds in the loins or wombs heard the voice of Ibrahim (a.s) when he recited the Call (Azan) for Hajj. His eyes saw the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. Prophet Sulaiman (a.s) heard the conversation of the ant. In this way other prophets were endowed with special powers and qualities. Each verse of the book of their existence is incomparable in its position.
As for the descent of balance, it denotes their good moral behavior. The morals of all people would be judged in relation to them. The criterion of each thing is different. Material objects are weighed in a different kind of balance, and non-perceptible things are weighed differently. The balance of poetic meter is not an ordinary one, or the one used to weigh gold or silver; their weights are also completely different. These weights are also not used in measuring temperature; a thermometer is required for this. In moral science also this criterion is useless. You will find a completely different standard there. In common parlance it is said: The habit of so and so is similar to the habit of so and so. He is like his father in moral qualities. Thus we come to know that the morals of the prophets is that balance on which the morals of all the nations would be weighed on the Day of Judgment, and the morals of the people would be judged in accordance with the “best of morals” (of the Holy Prophet). Thus as far removed one is from the right path; the less would be the weight of his deeds.
One who is nearer to this true measure would be rewarded most. Allah says, “This weighing would be very accurate.” So that no one gets an opportunity to complain. “One who has done an iota of good or one who has done a little bit of evil” all would be accounted for. Actually this examination would be in relation to this “medium letter”. One who is nearest to it would have the heaviest pan of deeds, and the further away one is from the criterion, the lighter his deeds would become. Now consider how difficult this path is.
If it had been an easy way the divine saints would not have subjected themselves to severe penance and would not have forgone ease and comforts. Even those who are considered the patron saints of mysticism are found helpless and defeated at one time or the other. We can say without any doubt or fear that except for Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad no one else succeeded in achieving these positions. If this had not been so, the mystics would not have considered Ali (a.s) as the first guide. These pathways are so elevated that eyes snared by the enchantment of materialism cannot even see properly, then how can they be expected to recognize anything.
Explanation of Every Virtue in the Four Merits
We have already mentioned that every superior quality is rooted in the four merits. The first is wisdom, secondly chastity, third is valour and lastly justice. All the remaining moral virtues like patience, thankfulness, contentment, reliance, generosity, humility, satisfaction, piety etc; that are around forty-eight qualities, are branches of the four main qualities. Let us now briefly study each of these four moral qualities.
It is of two types, theoretical wisdom and practical wisdom. The first is related to the thinking and opinions of man. When one has this type of wisdom one is free from mistakes of judgment and by arranging the preliminaries he is able to draw a correct conclusion. That is why it is said: Those who are given wisdom are given a great good.
It is under the heading of this wisdom that all religious sciences come. The philosophies of the world and the divine sciences are also included in it. Divine recognition, certainty of belief and realization is related to this. By its help man is able to save himself from sins; and he can distinguish between right and wrong. The second kind is practical wisdom, towards which one is led after theoretical wisdom.
If one deviates an inch from this medium line one loses the merit of wisdom and it is replaced by some decline or degradation. If he reaches towards the top he learns to fool people with cunning and deceptive knowledge. He becomes deviated and is not anymore connected to wisdom. In the same way if he slides below the medium line, it would be ignorance, and this also has a lot of variations.
Ignorance is not a single kind but has a thousand varieties and due to this, man commits innumerable mistakes in the sphere of actions. Thus in the terminology of ethics, a wise one is that who walks straight on the middle line and is not even slightly deviated. You will see many people who apparently are knowledgeable and wise but their actions are found above or below the line of the straight path. In mutual dealings they reach wrong conclusions, while making judgments they are unable to discover the correct causes and they solve their problems using their cunning.
This is also the middle line. If one goes above it, it would amount to jealousy and create extraordinary desires. If one goes below it, one would even destroy the permissible desires. They broke the ties of relationships, society and culture and took themselves to the caves of seclusion and thus gave up their life before time. In other words we can say that both types of extremisms are dangerous. Both are considered deviations. A chaste person would only be one who is not afflicted with jealousy and neither should he be the one who sacrifices natural inclinations.
This is also the middle line. Anything above this is called ferocity or cruelty and if one falls below the line it is cowardice.
The upper portion of this is referred to as injustice and the lower one is remaining under oppression.
To find out these medium lines is beyond the capacity of people. Then to walk upon them with firm steps, the whole life is much more difficult. Even our Holy Prophet (S) who was having the highest morals said on the difficult path that: Surah Hud has made me aged. People asked what the Prophet meant by this? He replied, “It is commanded therein: Be upright!” That is, do not deviate even a little bit from the path of morals. This was such a difficult task that even a personality like the Holy Prophet (S) aged prematurely. What can be said of other people?
It is our claim that none of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) can say that he/she had all the four qualities with all their variations. It is possible that their followers may have attributed these qualities to them because false beliefs can make clay into gold, but till the time it is proved it cannot be considered true. This superiority was owned only by the Ahl ul-Bayt of the Holy Prophet (S). The chief of Ahl ul-Bayt, Ali (a.s) obtained these qualities directly from the Holy Prophet.
The Holy Prophet (S) said, “I am the abode of knowledge and Ali is its gate,” and Allah said: And no one knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge. And also said: Say Allah is sufficient witness between me and you and one who has the knowledge of the book.
The Almighty Allah said:
... they shall strive hard in Allah's way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer…(Surah Maidah 5:54)
And He said,
…those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall. ( Surah Saff 61:4)
The Holy Prophet (S) said, “One stroke of Ali on the day of the battle of Trench (Khandaq) was superior to the worship of all men and jinns. And on the day of the battle of Khyber he said,“Tomorrow I will give the standard to a man, who is victorious and who does not flee; who loves Allah and the Prophet and whom Allah and the Prophet love.”
And seeing the courage of Ali the unseen caller called: “There is no brave youth except Ali and there is no sword except Zulfiqar.”
The Almighty Allah says, “Allah certainly intends to remove all impurities from you O, people of the house and to purify you a thorough purification.” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “O Ali! You are to me as Aaron was to Moses.” That is you are infallible just as he was and like he was the successor of Moses, you are my successor.
The Almighty Allah says in Surah Araaf:
And of those whom We have created are a people who guide with the truth and thereby they do justice. ( Surah Araaf 7:181).
The Holy Prophet (S) also said, “Ali is the most just among you.”
Others could also have been included with Ahl ul-Bayt in these specialties. But they did not have any peers. Also no one else proved to be steadfast on the straight path all ones life, except the Ahl ul-Bayt.
Who could have been a better examiner than the Holy Prophet (S) whether Ali (a.s) had these merits or not. Even if there had been a slight deficiency the truthful tongue of the Prophet would not have uttered Ali's praise. Thus when it is proved that Ahl ul-Bayt had all these basic four merits then their derivations are automatically proved in their perfections because the sum total of all perfections are these four basic qualities.
Now we shall briefly discuss some of the qualities that Ahl ul-Bayt possessed. The most important of these is knowledge because no virtue is possible without it. However we would like to mention a few points as introduction to our discussion.
Knowledge is of two types, one is natural and the other acquired. The former is bestowed by the Almighty to His exalted servants by revelation. There is no chance of error in this because the Teacher here has knowledge in His essence. There is no scope of loss because the recipient is infallible. He is free from error and forgetfulness. In the worldly life the knowledge of the teachers is itself incomplete. Therefore such an education is not reliable. Human views keep on changing everyday. Conclusions based on conjectures, which prove wrong, create a lot of mistakes.
The knowledge of all our Imams was naturally gifted. They had not received instructions at any of the schools in this world because their nature was perfect, that is why the rays of divine endowments had begun to fall on them right from the time they were in the wombs. They had come from the Almighty with the radiance of belief and divine recognition in their hearts. And whatever they had brought with them it was from those sources of perfection whose bodies were shaded by infallibility, whose wombs were truth personified. Thus their knowledge had no scope of satanic instigations. Neither was there any use of philosophy nor analogy. They were having the sea of truths and divine recognition raging in their hearts. There were many divine sciences that passed on from one breast to another. The real interpretation of the Holy Quran was present in those very illuminated hearts.
In this connection it is necessary to mention that in Islam the knowledge whose acquisition is given top priority is the knowledge of religion. That is the knowledge of all those laws that the Holy Prophet (S) related upon revelation from Allah or in the form of traditions. This includes the roots of religion, branches of religion (practical laws), laws of transactions and Hereafter. After this is the acquisition of other sciences depending upon the need, but it is not obligatory. It is permissible, those who require may obtain it and if there is no need, one does not have to acquire it. But it is compulsory to acquire religious knowledge.
In the science of religion the most important is the awareness of the secrets of divinity and heavenly sciences so that one gains divine recognition, otherwise without having divine recognition all the worship acts and deeds are useless. That is why Ali (a.s) said, “The first thing in religion is divine recognition.” It is the reason why our Imams have emphasized on sciences related to religion though they knew all the sciences better than even the prophets through direct revelation from the Lord. However they did not consider it necessary to teach them to the people while they considered the imparting of religious training obligatory upon themselves in all circumstances. After the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) Muslims were caught in the quagmire of materialism and day by day they began to become ignorant of religious knowledge.
Firstly, these teachings had not become fully rooted in their hearts, and then military conquests had taken away their remaining attention. Thus they remained completely blank. The result was that scholars of other religions created tremors in their Islamic beliefs through their philosophical discourses. It was necessary to prevent this. Therefore our Imams spent a great deal of their time in the corrections of the distorted beliefs and presented the philosophy of Islam in the true form. That is why their sermons, supplications and advices are replete with the problems of divine sciences so as to halt the penetration of false ideas in the beliefs of Muslim people. It is a pity that the narrow-minded view of the people ignored their teachings and no one was given a chance to give an ear to what they said.
Severe opposition of the ruling powers, enmity of the contemporary rulers and bigotry of the general public continued to hinder the dispersal of their teachings. Even then they fulfilled each duty in every age, whenever and wherever they got the opportunity to do so.
Ahl ul-Bayt , True Bearers Of Wisdom
In fact, wisdom is another name of knowledge. If the knowledge is not right or it has not reached its perfection, the theoretical and practical wisdom becomes meaningless. The thoughts of man are expressed in the form of knowledge and action. A person without knowledge cannot be wise and a wise person cannot be without knowledge.
Wisdom is having the highest status in morals. That is why it comes first in the form of good qualities. The Holy Prophet (S) was the city of knowledge and the abode of wisdom, and he had named Ali to be the door of this city or house. Just as a magnificent door or gate gives respect to a house or city, the sciences of the Holy Prophet (S) have got enduring honor in the world due to Ali (a.s). One who did not obtain knowledge from this door remained ignorant of authentic knowledge, and the true facts of Islam remained veiled for him.
Because wisdom is the first pillar of morals, as soon as false sciences gained currency in Islam, there was an earthquake in the pillars of morals and the right path or the straight line, that has been explained before, went away from below the feet of the people and they began to run helter-skelter in the thorny deserts of extremism and conservativeness. In comparison to extremism there was more conservatism and this ignorance then proved to be so powerful that the face of true Islam underwent a drastic transformation.
The morals of Muslims changed completely. There were numerous rulers but not a single Islamic thinker available. This was the first calamity that befell the Muslims.
Knowledge and Wisdom of Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s)
Ali (a.s) was having a naturally purified nature. That is why he was blessed by the Creator of the universe with supreme knowledge and wisdom. In addition to that he was bestowed by the training of the Holy Prophet (S) from the day he was born. In fact we should consider Ali (a.s) a miracle of the Holy Prophet (S) with regard to knowledge, superiority, morals and good qualities.
That in whichever field one looks; Ali (a.s) is found to excel in it. None of the Prophet's companions got this superiority. It was due to the fact that the majority of them entered the company of Prophet after spending a better part of their life while Ali was with the Prophet every moment. They only got a chance now and then. On the other hand Ali (a.s) used to remain with the Prophet whether he was alone or in company. This was so because the Prophet had said that he was the city of knowledge and Ali, its gate and also said that one who desires knowledge should enter from that gate. Salman Farsi relates that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “In my community Ali (a.s) is the most knowledgeable after me.”
A saying of Ibne Abbas is recorded in the book of Istiab according to which Ali is given nine out of ten parts of knowledge and others are made to share the remaining tenth portion. At another place it is mentioned that total knowledge was divided into five parts, four of which were given to Ali and the fifth was shared by all the people and this part also is shared by Ali (a.s) and in this Ali is having the larger portion.
Ibne Abbas reportedly said that his knowledge was obtained from the knowledge of Ali (a.s) and the knowledge of Ali (a.s) was derived from the knowledge of the Prophet and the knowledge of the Prophet was derived from the knowledge of Allah. Ibne Abbas adds that his knowledge and that of all the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) together is like a drop in relation to the seven seas.
Dailami has related from Ibne Masood in Firdausul Akhbar that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Wisdom is divided into ten parts, out of which nine are given to Ali (a.s) and the tenth is given to other people. Imam Razi has written in Arbaeen that Ali (a.s) said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) taught me a thousand chapters (doors) of knowledge and each door opened upon me a million doors.”
Ahmad Ibne Hanbal quotes Musayyab that from the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) there was none who could challenge: Ask me whatever you want. None of the companions was having the knowledge of Quran like Ali (a.s). Tibrani has quoted Umme Salma in Awsat that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Ali is with the Quran and the Quran is with Ali. And the two shall not separate till they come to me at the Pool of Kauthar.” Ahmad Ibne Hanbal has related from Umar that the Holy Prophet (S) used to say to Ali (a.s), “You have the most knowledge of Quranic verses among them.”
Ali (a.s) was a great scholar of Taurat, Injeel and Zabur. Imam Fakhruddin Razi has quoted the following saying of Ali (a.s) in his book, Arbaeen: If I am given rulership I will judge the people of Taurat by Taurat, the people of Injeel by Injeel, the people of Zabur by Zabur and the people of Quran by Quran so perfectly that each book would say: Ali has commanded regarding us, the same as is the command of Allah.” In the science of Quranic exegesis also none could equal Ali (a.s).
Allamah Ibne Abde Barr has quoted Abdullah Ibne Abbas in his book, Al-Istiab that when we were proved something regarding the exegesis of Quran from Ali (a.s) there remained no need for us to ask anyone else. With regard to the knowledge of Quran also the status of Ali (a.s) is the highest. Most of the biographers are unanimous that Ali (a.s) had memorized the whole of Quran and recited it to the Holy Prophet (S) in his lifetime.
Ali was most knowledgeable in the science of traditions also, due to the fact that he had the most opportunity of the Prophet's company. Thus it is mentioned in Sawaiqul Mohreqa that when he was asked why he was the one to relate the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) the most, he replied, “When I asked something from the Holy Prophet (S) he informed me of it and when I was silent he used to inform me himself.” In the same way Ali was most proficient of all in Islamic jurisprudence, legal code, scholastic theology, mysticism, astronomy, literature and eloquence, poetry, wit, science of the book, interpretation of dreams, knowledge of the 'Jafr' and 'Jame' (scrolls of knowledge) and mathematics etc. There are traditions with regard to all of the above in the book of Arjahul Matalib.
Please note, who can be wiser than the one who has proficiency in all the sciences? And how there be any error in his judgment or views. Error is possible when one is having deficient knowledge about a particular thing. There are many well-known thinkers and philosophers who presented theories regarding sciences and arts, against which people have raised thousands of objections. Why is it that theories are modified or disproved everyday? The main reason is that they do not have the correct knowledge of the facts of the universe. They prop up theories based on conjecture and create a farce. On the other hand consider one who has authentic knowledge of the truths of divine recognition, who has received training from the Holy Prophet (S)? Can he ever commit a mistake in deriving conclusions? Also, his thoughts and judgments cannot move away from the correct center.
The fact is that the world has taken few benefits and guidance. After the Holy Prophet (S) there was such a powerful flood of materialism in the Islamic world that it completely turned away from religious instruction. And they dissociated from those who could have bestowed this treasure to them. In such circumstances, how could Ali have spread his sciences while for the ruling powers the aim of Islamic life was something else?
It is only to the credit of this divine thinker that even in such sorrowful period whenever he got an opportunity he provided guidance. His tenure of worldly rule was such that the enemies did not allow him to rule peacefully a single day. Even then he did not forget his duty in such severe times. The sermons he delivered everyday after the noon prayers were limitless treasures of sciences and arts.
He was always concerned for correcting the beliefs of the people and acting correctly on the religious commandments. He wanted to remove the defects in the knowledge and deeds of the people that had come into being during the tenure of the previous caliphs. It was a pity however that people were not ready to follow in the footsteps of Ali (a.s).
The wise sayings, wise thoughts and knowledgeable discussions of Ali (a.s) are still available. Which thinker has the audacity to refute them? No thinker, philosopher or reformer can dare to refute the views of Ali with regard to divine sciences, jurisprudence, secrets of nature and politics and administration, and replace them with his or her own theories.
The principles of governance keep changing everyday, but the system of Ali's rulership is such that there is no scope of changes and alteration as it is something that can never change. When the world realizes the truth and ponders upon them, it would certainly try to accept him. In any case our aim for the above discussion was to prove that Ali is the wisest one in Islam and he was having perfect wisdom, which is the foremost among the four greatest moral qualities.
In this field the step of Ali is neither found towards extremism nor towards conservatism, it is on that middle or the medium line, which is known as the straight path. If he had moved away from this line even a little bit, Ali would not have been what he actually was. When people saw the cunning and intrigue of Muawiyah they mentioned it to Ali (a.s) and he said, “Muawiyah is not more cunning than I am but these things do not befit me.” Cunning is included among the low qualities and cannot be considered a virtue.
After this brief explanation we would now invite the attention of our esteemed readers to the intellectual accomplishments of our other Imams (Peace be upon them all).
Intellectual Accomplishments Of Imam Hasan (a.s)
Imam Hasan (a.s) was also a blooming and fragrant flower of this garden of virtue and perfection, which was irrigated by the Almighty with the water of knowledge and wisdom. And which used to bloom in the illuminated atmosphere of mercy and bounty. Which was guarded by infallibility and cared by prophethood. This prince of the two worlds had sucked the tongue of prophethood and was bred in the lap of Imamate. Like that of his father the breast of Imam Hasan (a.s) was also illuminated by the radiance of divine wisdom. His step also did not deviate from the straight path. He never paid any attention to the wisdom of extremism or conservatism. He continued to propagate divine religion all his life.
He had the natural gift of deriving correct conclusions by arranging the basic facts. That is why he was safe from the error of judgment or practical mistakes in all aspects of life. Ali (a.s) usually entrusted to Imam Hasan (a.s) the legal problems that were sent to him by the ruling caliphs. Not once is Imam Hasan (a.s) said to have given a wrong judgment. Let us read some incidents in this regard.
1. Imam Reza (a.s) has narrated that once a man holding a bloodstained knife was brought to Umar. Those who had arrested him reported that a severed head was found in such and such desolate spot, and that they found this man standing near it. Umar asked the accused if he had committed the murder of the victim. He confessed to it. Umar ordered his execution. In a short while another person appeared and said, “Release him, because I am the actual murderer.” Umar was confused and could not decide what to do, so he sent the matter to Amir'ul-Mu'minin (a.s). Ali (a.s) asked the first accused, “Did you kill that man?” He replied, “O Amir'ul-Mu'minin! The fact is that I am a butcher and I was slaughtering a goat at a place when I had the urge urinate. Holding the blood-smeared knife I went to answer nature's call in that ruin where I saw that murdered man. I was staring at the corpse when these people came and arrested me. When I was brought to the caliph I confessed to the murder because all the circumstantial evidence was against me and my denial would not have made any impact. But the truth is that I have not murdered anyone.” Now Ali (a.s) turned to the second man and asked if he was the murderer. He said, “Yes, I wanted to run away where no one would learn about it but when I saw that an innocent man was falsely accused, my conscience could not bear it that I should be saved and an innocent is executed instead. So I came here myself and confessed to the murder. Ali (a.s) asked Imam Hasan (a.s) what judgment he would give in this case. He replied at once, “Both the men should be released and the blood money of the victim should be paid from the public treasury.” When Ali (a.s) asked him to justify his decision he said, “One of them is innocent and the other one deserves release because he has saved the life of an innocent person. Almighty Allah says: One who saved the life of one person, it is as if he has saved humanity.”
The above incident proves that judgment in material matters should not be based on conjecture; it should rely on hard facts. Also each of the judgment was supported by Quranic verses. If Quran had not been treasured in their hearts they would also have given judgments like those ignorant about Quran. Another important point is that how many lives were saved by their judgments and how many innocent people were saved from wrongful punishments.
If divine wisdom had been related to other people, they would never have expressed their inability and helplessness in giving legal decisions and solving intellectual problems. Because it is a matter of great shame that the ruler could not properly judge the affairs of his subjects. That is why the Creator of the universe has never entrusted rulership to the ignorant. When Bani Israel objected to the rulership of Talut, saying that he didn't have enough wealth, their prophet said that Allah has selected him because he was the most knowledgeable and strong among them all. This shows that a ruler can only be one who has knowledge and virtues so that he can rule his subjects according to divine will. Cunning, intrigue and deception cannot be called wisdom or knowledge.
2. A Syrian instigated by Muawiyah asked Imam Hasan (a.s) amidst a crowd, “What is the difference between faith and certainty.” Actually he wanted to pose a difficult question that required lengthy explanation going into complex debatable points which the Imam would take time to explain and hence people would think the Imam is deficient in knowledge, while the Syrian would get an opportunity to extol the virtues of Muawiyah. Imam Hasan (a.s) replied, “There is a distance of four fingers between faith and certainty.” “How is it so?” asked the Syrian. Imam (a.s) explained, “What you hear (by your ears) is faith and what you see (by your eyes) is certainty. Then the Syrian asked, “What is the distance between the sky and the earth?” Imam (a.s) said, “The length of ones eyesight.” He asked, “What is the distance between east and west?” Imam (a.s) said, “The distance the sun travels in a day.”
Now consider the depth of these replies. The questioner is a deadly enemy of Ahl ul-Bayt. He did not aim to gain any knowledge from Imam (a.s). It was rather to dishonor him. Think deeply on the replies of Imam (a.s). All the replies were short and to the point without any scope of further questions. This is the way a wise man speaks. Another thing worth attention is that these questions were posed to Imam (a.s) suddenly. Anyone else in place of Imam (a.s) would have become confused and offered incorrect explanations. However, even the most difficult questions are easy for those whose hearts contain the treasures of divine sciences and who are brought up in the lap of one who challenged: “Ask me”, from the pulpit. In such difficult circumstances he gave such replies that the opponent had no chance to move. This was the intellectual perfection of the Household of the Prophet.
3. Once Muawiyah came to Medina, met Imam Hasan (a.s) and asked, “You Bani Hashim claim that every dry and wet thing is mentioned in the Quran and you have the knowledge of all of them.” “Indeed,” said the Imam. Muawiyah said, “If it is so, tell me where is the mention of our beards in the Quran?” Now Imam Hasan (a.s) had a luxurious and thick facial growth while the beard of Muawiyah was scanty. “Why not!” said Imam (a.s), “Have you not read the verse of Quran:
And as for the good land, its vegetation springs forth (abundantly) by the permission of its Lord, and (as for) that which is inferior (its herbage) comes forth but scantily… (Surah Araaf 7:58).
There are subtle points in this and only those with a literary taste can appreciate them. It is sufficient if we can just realize how great was the Quranic knowledge of Imam Hasan (a.s).
4. The King of Rome sent two queries to Muawiyah. (1) Which house is in the middle of the heavens? (2) What is that place where the sun shines only once? Now how could Muawiyah reply these queries? He in turn asked Imam Hasan (a.s) who said, “The house in the middle of the heavens is the back of the Holy Ka'ba and the place where the sun shines only once is the spot in the Nile river where Prophet Moses (a.s) hit the staff and it opened (to make a path).
5. A bedouin asked Abu Bakr, “During the Hajj, I roasted and ate 70 eggs in the condition of Ehram (ritual dress), what penalty (Kaffarah) do I have to pay?” Abu Bakr said, “O Arab! You have posed a very difficult question. Go to Umar and seek the reply.” So the man went to Umar who instructed him to approach Abdul Rahman Ibne Auf. When he too could not reply he directed him to Amir'ul-Mu'minin (a.s), who told Imam Hasan (a.s) to answer the question. Imam Hasan (a.s) said, “O Bedouin, get as many female camels and have them impregnated, then after the calves are born, give them as offering to the House of Allah.” Amir'ul-Mu'minin (a.s) asked, “But, son Hasan, sometimes the she-camels have miscarriages?” Hasan replied, “Father, eggs too go bad sometimes.”
Once in a gathering of Muawiyah, Amr Aas asked Imam Hasan (a.s) by way of testing him, “What is the difference between kindness, support and chivalry?” He replied, “The true meaning of kindness is to give something without expecting any recompense before the needy one asks for it; support means to dispel ones enemy by ones good behavior and chivalry denotes the condition whereby man should keep an eye on his religion and protect his self from dirt and sins and should fulfill the rights of Allah and the creatures.
Once a person asked Imam Hasan (a.s), what was the distinguishing feature of a eunuch. He said, “Regarding whom it is not known whether it is a man or a woman, but he is having both the sex organs. Then one should wait till his maturity. If he has ejaculation of semen, he is a man and if has menses and the breasts become prominent, it is a woman. And if this also does not establish the sex, then while urinating if the urine spouts in a straight line it is a man and if it drops like urine of she-camels it is a woman.”
This man further asked, “What are those ten things, that are harder than each other?” Imam (a.s) said, “Allah has made stone hard and made iron harder than it; because it breaks the stone and fire is stronger than iron because it melts the iron and water is more powerful than fire because it extinguishes the fire and the cloud is more powerful because it has control over water; and wind is more powerful than the cloud because it moves the cloud and more powerful than wind is the angel who controls it and more powerful than this angel is the angel of death who would capture his soul. And death is more powerful than the angel of death that he himself would be subjected to death. More powerful than death is the command of God Almighty, as by this death arrives and is warded off.”
Once Muawiyah heard about the generosity and kindness of Imam (a.s) and wrote to him, “There is no goodness in overspending.” The Imam wrote in reply, “There is no over-spending in goodness.”
Intellectual Accomplishments Of Imam Husain (a.s)
Once when Muawiyah had come to Medina he requested Imam Husain (a.s) to go on the pulpit and give some admonitions. He thought the Imam would say something in praise of Muawiyah. Thus he went to the pulpit and after praise of Allah and blessings on the Prophet, he said, “People, know that we are that divine group which is going to be victorious over the deviated people. We are the progeny of the Prophet and his closest relatives. We are his purified and clean Ahl ul-Bayt and one of the two weighty things. The Messenger of Allah (S) has referred to us as the second book of Allah; it is the book having details about everything. Neither falsehood is before it or after it. We are the ones who know its interpretation and explanation. Its realities are hidden in our hearts. Our obedience is obligatory. Our obedience is connected to the obedience of Allah. Ask us whatever you want to ask about the Holy Quran. We are the shoreless oceans of sciences.”
The sermons and sayings of Imam Husain (a.s) regarding divine sciences quoted in books like Biharul Anwar, Nurul Absar and Irshadul Quloob show eloquence and how beautifully he has solved the problems of religious sciences.
It is related from Jabir Ibne Abdullah Ansari that Imam Husain (a.s) was an unsurpassed scholar of Quran, exegesis and traditions. When Muawiyah came to Medina in connection with the allegiance of Yazid, many companions of the Holy Prophet (S) went to meet him. The conversation turned to the topic of the most superior personality of the day in knowledge and virtues. Muawiyah wanted them to mention the name of Abdullah Ibne Umar but no one expressed this opinion. All of them unanimously said that, “We cannot find anyone better than Imam Husain (a.s).” And why it shouldn't be so? He was brought up by sucking the Prophet's tongue. His chest is joined to the chest of the Prophet. He rode upon the shoulders of the Messenger of Allah (S).
Intellectual Accomplishments Of Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s)
Various testimonies are available with regard to the intellectual accomplishments of Imam (a.s) in form of statements of Moayyad, Imam Zuhri, Saeed bin Musayyab, Ibn Jazm, Sufyan bin Uyanna and Abu Hamzah Thumali etc. who are called the best of Tabeins (companions of companions) and who were great scholars of their time. They used to express pride on their discipleship of Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s). They used to say, “When the springs of knowledge burst from the tongue of Imam (a.s) it seemed as if waves of precious stones were gushing out. Our mental capacities proved ineffective in preserving the sayings of Imam (a.s).”
Whatever benefits Muslims received from these gentlemen, it was due to the training of Imam (a.s). Imam Zuhri used to say, “We have not seen anyone more expert in knowledge and jurisprudence than Ali Ibne Husain.” Imam Malik said, “Ali Ibne Husain is among those virtuous personages praising whom is beyond my capacity. He is highly trustworthy and reliable. He is the narrator of a large number of traditions. He is having a very exalted status. He is very religious, pious and God-fearing.”
Ibne Abbas use to say to him, “Welcome O beloved of the beloved!” Saeed bin Musayyab used to say, “I have not found anyone more knowledgeable, pious and God-fearing than Ali Ibne Husain.” Hammad bin Zaid used to say, “I have not found anyone among the Bani Hashim more knowledgeable and virtuous.”
Sahifa Kamila, also known as Sahifa Sajjadiya is the perfect example of his intellectual attainments and his inner virtues. One should reflect on its writings, the beauty of its discussions, supplications and effective sentences to fully realize the sciences of divine recognition of Imam (a.s) and his abstemiousness, purity of soul, enlightened heart, piety and religiosity etc. The scholars of both the sects have given it the title of “The Psalms of Aale Muhammad,” due to its greatness and exalted position.
Knowledge and actions are the two arms of Islam. Just as a bird cannot fly without two wings the Messenger of Allah (S) has said: Knowledge without action is a curse and action without knowledge is deviation. Just as for knowledge it is necessary to have information about the realities of various things and the causes of all the phenomena, in the same way sincerity and purity of intention is needed for all actions. No matter how difficult and significant a deed is; if it is not accompanied by sincerity it has no value in the view of the Almighty and there is no reward for it. According to a tradition: The doer of the greatest deeds will be touching the fire of Hell. None of the deeds of Holy Imams were bereft of sincerity. They always performed the good deeds to obtain the pleasure of Allah and never allowed a personal motive to come in between. Amir'ul-Mu'minin (a.s) says: My God! Neither I worship You for the fear of Hell nor for the desire of Paradise. It is because I find You deserving of worship. The beast proof of his sincerity was that every deed of his was accepted by the Almighty and this is clearly certified in the Holy Quran. The traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) have also testified to the purity of his actions. Now let us study the practical virtues of the Holy Imams in some detail.
Apparently there is no relationship between worship and good morals, but actually it has a very profound connection. The root of the correction of morals is itself worship. One who does not perform the religions duties could never perfect his morals. Let us just consider the relationship of Prayer to morals. The Almighty Allah says:
Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil… (Surah Ankabut 29:45)
We should know that indecencies and unlawful things are roots of all evils. When prayer has protected one from those things, the morals of that person would definitely bloom into a beautiful form. Now just make an analogy with other worship acts. Worship denotes getting oneself connected to the Almighty. The result is that divine Graces fall upon the worshipper. Now what can be said about the perfection of morals of a person who is the recipient of divine graces? One who leaves the worship acts can never put forward his good morals. Therefore it became necessary that first of all we must discuss the worship of the Holy Imams. It is our challenge that the type of sincere worship they had performed in the world was not possible by anyone else. Those who worship do so in any of the following ways (1) Merely performing worship in a mechanical way. There is no benefit in such a kind of worship (2) Worship for showoff - Leave alone benefits, it is a sin (3) Worship with sincerity - It earns rewards (4) Worship with divine realization (wijdaan) - It creates a spiritual aura. The worshipper experiences such pleasure that he cannot obtain it in anything else in the world. It causes one to become more proximate to the Almighty. The worship of the Holy Imams was of this category.
Worship Of Imam Ali (a.s)
When the time for prayers arrived he used to pale. Once, someone inquired about this. He said, “It is the time for fulfillment of that duty, the burden of which was refused by the heavens, the earth and the mountains. But despite my feeble physique I agreed to carry the burden.” The Imam used to say, “I do not know anyone in this community who has prayed with the Messenger of Allah (S) before me. I have prayed nine years before others did.” 1
It is mentioned in Sharh Nahjul Balagha that during the battle of Siffin, Ali (a.s) used to spread his prayer mat between two rows of fighters and perform the prayers even as arrows rained from all sides and the battle continued to rage. He had not a slight fear of those arrows. Even after the completion of prayers he did not leave his place before reciting additional supplications and devotions. Allamah Ibne Abil Hadid writes that Ali (a.s) was so habitual of recommended prayers (Nafila) and performed such lengthy prostrations that his forehead began to resemble the knee of the camel. He used to be so much engrossed in Prayers that he became absolutely oblivious of everything else. So much so that he was not even aware of his body. It is mentioned that once an arrow pierced his foot but it was very painful to him if someone tried to remove it. So they were advised to wait till Ali (a.s) was engrossed in prayers. Thus when Ali (a.s) was praying, the people removed the arrow and Ali (a.s) was hardly aware of it.
The way of their fasting was such that when Imam Hasan and Imam Husain were indisposed, all made a vow to keep three fasts. When it was time to fulfill the vow they all fasted for three days. But everyday at the time of breaking the fast a beggar approached their door and each of them gave him their shares and broke their fast with only water. Again the next day they fasted without eating anything else. Thus they fasted for three days continuously. The Almighty accepted their fasts and Surah Dahr was revealed in their praise.
Imam Ali (a.s) fasted most of the days and was busy in prayers all night long. So much so, that the neighbors report hearing one thousand Takbiratul Ehram (Allaho Akbar) in one night.
Many times his condition became so serious that people used to think that his soul has departed from him.
Worship Of Imam Hasan (a.s)
Imam Hasan (a.s) used to perform excessive worship and devotions. He used to spend a better part of the night in the worship of Allah. He used to pray and supplicate with such a devotion and pleading that people used to think he was weeping due to the passing away of a close relative.
Like his respected father, Imam Hasan (a.s) also kept many fasts. He performed twenty-five Hajj pilgrimages on foot. He used to say: I am ashamed to meet my Lord in a condition that I fail to reach His House on foot. Once he was traveling for Hajj and his mount was being led alongside. When after walking a long distance swelling appeared on his legs someone suggested, “O Son of Allah's Messenger (S)! When your mount is present why do you not travel upon it?” He replied, “I have not kept the mount with me to ride upon it myself. It is there in case I find a traveler too tired to walk and I may give him a lift.”
Worship Of Imam Husain (a.s)
What can be said about the worship of the one who was brought up in the laps of the Messenger of Allah (S) and Imam Ali (a.s), and had benefited from their company. Imam Husain (a.s) was fond of worship since his early childhood. He often used to pray with the Messenger of Allah (S). Hafas bin Ghayas reports that one day the Messenger of Allah (S) stood up to pray and Imam Husain (a.s) also came and stood besides him. When the Messenger of Allah (S) recited the Takbir (Allaho Akbar), Imam Husain (a.s) who was aged five or six at that time also tried to recite it but could not do so properly. The Messenger of Allah (S) repeated the Takbir. But again it didn't come out perfectly from Imam Husain (a.s). Thus the Messenger of Allah (S) had to recite the Takbir seven times altogether. Therefore since that time it became a Sunnat (recommended act) to recite seven Takbirs before Takbiratul Ehram (Allaho Akbar at the beginning of Prayers).
Someone asked Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) why his respected father had so few children. He replied, “The reason is that he used to recite one thousand rakats (units) of prayers every night,” Imam Husain (a.s) also performed twenty-five Hajj pilgrimages on foot though his vehicles used to remain with him during the journeys.
He was so much fond of the worship of Allah that on the eve of Ashura he obtained respite with a lot of difficulty from Umar Ibne Saad. Such a difficult night the eve of Ashura was that all the calamities had surrounded the Imam (a.s); even then he was engrossed in prayers and devotions all night long with utmost sincerity, humility and devotion. Only a person like Imam Husain (a.s) could have performed such worship. The most difficult was the time of the no
Share this article