Extravagance (Ghuluww) (In Loving the Imams)
We never mean by ghuluww here to deviate from the path of truth and follow the hawà (desire), till the beloved turning to be the worshipped god, which is verily a blasphemy and polytheism that can never believed by any Muslim having faith in the Islamic message and prophethood of Muhammad (S).
The Messenger of Allah (S) determined fixed limits for such love, when he said to al-’Imàm ‘Ali (A):
“Two categories of people will face ruin on account of you: he who loves you with exaggeration, and he who hates you intensely.”
He (S) also said:
“O ‘Ali, in you there is a parable of Jesus, the son of Mary, who was detested by the Jews to the extent astonishing his mother, and loved by the Christians till imparting upon him the position that he was unfit for it.”284
This being the negative meaning for ghuluww, when love exceeds the bounds till rendering the beloved as a god, giving him a rank higher than his own, or when hatred exceeds the bounds reaching the extent of calumny and false accusation.
While the Shi’ah have never gone to the extremes in loving ‘Ali and the Imams among his sons, but imparted upon them the reasonable position determined by the Messenger of Allah (S), as his executors (awsyà’) and successors, with no one claiming their attaining the degree of prophethood let not the divinity. We should never care or give heed to the allegations of some troublesome persons claiming that the Shi’ah have made a god of ‘Ali and believed in his deity. Such people, if what is reported be correct, could neither represent a sect, nor a school of thought (madhhab), nor Shi’ah, nor Kharijites (khawàrij).
And what is the fault of the Shi’ah if the Lord of Power and Glory says in His Book: “Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I demand not of you any recompense for it (the toils of the apostleship) save the love of (my) kinsfolk.” And the mawaddah (loving kindness), as is known, is greater than mere love (hubb). Also the Messenger of Allah (S) says:
“None of you will be a (true) believer till loving for his brother (in Din) what he loves for himself, and mawaddah enjoins on you to deprive you of something so as to love with it another one.”
And what fault the Shi’ah have when the Messenger of Allah (S) says:
“O ‘Ali, you are a master in this world and a master in the Hereafter. Whoever loves you has loved me and whoever hates you is hating me. Your lover is the lover of Allah and your hater is the hater of Allah, and woe be unto that who detests you.”
He further says: “To love ‘Ali is faith, and to hate him is hypocrisy.”286
He also says:
“Whoever dies with the love of Al Muhammad be in his heart, his death is that of a martyr. Verily that who dies upon the love of Al Muhammad shall die forgiven, and whoever dies upon love of Al Muhammad shall die penitent. Whoever dies upon love of Al Muhammad shall die a believer of perfect faith, and that who dies upon love of Al Muhammad the angel of death will augur him with heavens...”287
And why to blame or reproach the Shi’ah if they love a man about whom the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Tomorrow I will give my standard to a man loves God and His Messenger, and God and His Messenger love him...”288
As the lover of ‘Ali is the lover of Allah and His Messenger, with being a mu’min (true believer), while the hater of ‘Ali is in fact the hater of Allah and His Messenger, and being a munàfiq (hypocrite).
It will not be out of context here to cite al-’Imàm al-Shàfi‘i’s famous quartrain on their love:
O Household of the Messenger of Allah, love for you.
Is an obligation from Allah, revealed in the Qur’àn.
It suffices as the greatest honour bestowed on you,
That his prayer is as nothing who does not salute you.
In regard of them and their love, al-Farazdaq disclosed his famous poem:
From a folk whose love is Din, and hatred is.
Kufr and their nearness is deliverance and refuge.
When counting pious people, they be their leaders,
Or said who the best on earth, none be except them.
The Shi’ah loved Allah and His Messenger, and through this love they were made to love Ahl al-Bayt:
Fàtimah and ‘Ali and al-Hasan and al-Husayn, the fact on which countless traditions are there, reported by the Sunni ‘ulamà’ in their Sihàh, some of which I have cited for the sake of brevity.
And when the love for ‘Ali and Ahl al-Bayt represents in general the love for the Messenger of Allah (S), we have to know the extent of love required from the Muslims so as to learn if there be ghuluww (excess) as alleged by some.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“None of you will be a (true) believer till I become for him more beloved than his children, and father and all people.”289
On this basis, every Muslim should love ‘Ali and the Pure Imams among his sons more than people as a whole including his family and children, as only through this the faith (imàn) can be established, as confirmed by the Prophet (S) in the aforementioned hadith.
Thus the Shi’ah never overstate, but give each right owner his due, and they were commanded by the Messenger of Allah to hold ‘Ali in a position parable to that of the head to the body, and the same position of the two eyes to the head. Is tere anyone ready to relinquish of his eyes or his head?
On the other side, an excessive extravagance is found with Ahl al-Sunnah in their love for the Sahàbah and undue consecration.But it seems as merely a reaction against the Shi’ah, who never believed in the ‘adàlah (justice, straightforwardness) of the Sahàbah as a whole.Whereas the Umayyads used to elevate the status of the Sahàbah, belittling and degrading on the other hand the Prophet’s Household, to the extent that when sending benedictions upon Muhammad and his Progeny, they would add: “and upon his Companions all.” All this is due to the fact that sending benedictions upon Ahl al-Bayt has a virtue to which there was no precedent, nor can be reached by anyone. So they (the Umayyads) intended to elevate the Sahàbah to that sublime degree, being unaware of the fact that Allah the Glorified has commanded the Muslims on top of whom be all the Sahàbah, to send benedictions upon Muhammad and ‘Ali and Fàtimah with al-Hasanayn. And the prayer of that who does not send blessings upon them is rejected and can never be accepted by Allah if it be confined upon Muhammad alone, as is confirmed and recorded in Sahih al-Bukhàri and Sahih Muslim.
The reason why we call it ghuluww on the part of the Sahàbah lies in the fact that Ahl al-Sunnah exceed the logic limits when ascribing justice to all of the Sahàbah while Allah and His Messenger bear witness that among them are debauchees, renegades, deviators and hypocrites.
Their ghuluww is quite manifest when claiming that the Messenger of Allah (S) may err and be corrected by a Companion, or that the Satan plays and sports in the presence of the Prophet, but escapes when seeing ‘Umar. And also the ghuluww is explicit when they say that if Allah inflicts the Muslims, including the Messenger of Allah, with a tribulation, no one would be in safe of it except Ibn al-Khattàb. The extravagance is even more explicit when they annul the Prophet’s Sunnah and follow the sunnah of the Sahàbah particularly al-Khulafà’ al-Ràshidun. Till now I have revealed instances of some of these practices, and anyone desires to get more information, has to search and meditate in order to put his hand on more of such misconceptions.
284. Mustadrak al-Hàkim, Vol. III, p. 123; Ibn 'Asàkir in Ta'rikh Dimashq, Vol. II, p. 234; al-Bukhàri's al-Ta'rikh al-Kabir, Vol. II, p. 281, al-Suyuti in Ta'rikh al-Khulafà', p. 173; Khasà'is al-Nasà'i, p. 27; Dhakhà'ir al-'uqbà, p. 92; Ibn Hajar's al-Sawà'iq al-muhriqah, p. 74.
285. Al-Hàkim in his Mustadrak, Vol. III, p. 128, says that it is a correct hadith on the condition it be accepted by al-Shaykhayn; Nur al-'absàr of al-Shablanji, p. 23; Yanàbi' al-mawaddah, p. 205; al-Riyàd al-nàdirah, Vol. II, p. 165.
286. Sahih Muslim, Vol. I, p. 48; al-Sawà'iq al-muhriqah, p. 73; Kanz al-'ummàl, Vol. XV, p. 105.
287. Al-Tha'labi in al-Tafsir al-kabir, about àyàt al-mawaddah (42:23); al-Zamakhshari in his Tafsir al-Kashshàf; Tafsir al-Ràzi, Vol. VII, p. 405; al-Tustari in Ihqàq al-haqq, Vol. IX, p. 486.
288. Sahih al-Bukhàri, Vol. IV, p. 20 and Vol. V, p. 76; Sahih Muslim, Vol. VII, p. 120, "bàb fadà'il 'Ali ibn Abi Tàlib".
289. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 9, "bàb hubb al-Rasul min al-'imàn"; Sahih Muslim, Vol. I, p. 49, "bàb wujub mahabbat Rasul Allàh akthar min al-'ahl wa al-walad wa al-wàlid wa al-nàs ajma'in; Sahih al-Tirmidhi.
Adapted from the book: "To Be With the Truthful" by: "Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi"
Share this article