Imam Ali (A.S.) is the Divider of Paradise and Hell
Al-Mamoon once asked him why the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (A.S.) is called the divider of Paradise and of Hell, and how that attribute came to be applied to him. Imam Reza (A.S.) in turn asked him, "O Mamoon! Have you not narrated from your father from his forefathers quoting Abdullah ibn Abbas saying that he had heard the Messenger of God (S.A.W.) saying, `Loving Ali (A.S.) is iman, and hating him is kufr?'" Al-Mamoon answered in the affirmative, so Imam Reza (A.S.) said, "If the distribution of Paradise and of Hell is done according to loving or hating him, then he is the distributor of Paradise and of Hell." Al-Mamoon then said, "May God never permit me to live after your demise, O father of al-Hassan! I testify that you are the heir of the knowledge of the Messenger of God (S.A.W.)."
Abul-Salt al-Harawi said, "After Imam Reza (A.S.) had gone back home, I came to visit him, and I said to him, `O son of the Messenger of God! What an excellent answer you have given to Al-Mamoon!' He said, `O Abul-Salt! I spoke to him in the way he understood best, and I have heard my father telling hadith from his forefathers about Ali (A.S.) saying, `The Messenger of God (S.A.W.) said: `O Ali! You are the distributor of Paradise and Hell on the Day of Judgement; you say to Hell: `This is mine, and that is yours...'"
Al-Mamoon was probably unable to absorb the idea that Imam Ali (A.S.) was a direct distributor of Paradise and Hell, as his question to the Imam (A.S.) suggested; this is why he asked him, "O Abul-Hassan! Tell me about your grandfather the Commander of the Faithful (A.S.); in which way and in which sense is he distributor of Paradise and Hell, for I have been contemplating a lot about that...?" The answer of the Imam (A.S.) was realistic on its own grounds, and it does not contradict the statement he made to Abul-Salt in which he indicated that his distribution is direct, not just in meaning, and the Imam (A.S.) did not openly tell al-Mamoon that the distribution was not direct, but his wise statement was regarding the origin of being called as such.
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