Rafed English

Kitab Al-Irshad 1

Kitab Al-Irshad 1

by :

Shaykh al-Mufid

(This part gives) an account of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the first of the Imams of the believers, of the rulers (wulat) of the Muslims and of God's (appointed) successors in religion after the Apostle of God, the truthful one and the trusted one, Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah, the seal of the Prophets, blessings on him and his pure family. (He was) the brother of the Apostle of God and his paternal cousin, and his helper (wazir) in his affair, his son-in-law (being married) to his daughter, Fatima the chaste, mistress of the women of the universe. (The full name of) the Commander of the faithful is 'Ali b. Abi Talib b. 'Abd al-Muttalib b. Hashim b. 'Abd Manaf. (He was) the Lord of the testamentary trustees of authority (wasiyyin), the best of blessing and peace be on him. His kunya was Abu al-Hasan.

He was born in the Sacred House (i.e. the Ka'ba) in Mecca on Friday, the thirteenth day of the month of Rajab, thirty years after the Year of the Elephant (c.570). Nobody before or after him has ever been born in the House of God, the Most High. (It was a mark) of him being honoured by God, the Most High, may His name be exalted, and of his position being dignified in its greatness.

His mother was Fatima, daughter of Asad b. Hashim b. 'Abd Manaf, may God be pleased with her. She was like a mother to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and he (the Apostle) was brought up under her care.

He was grateful for her kindness and she was among the first to believe in him and she emigrated with him in the group of the emigrants. When she died, the Prophet shrouded her with his own shirt in order to protect her from the insects of the earth, and he laid her to rest in her grave in order that, through that, she might be protected from (the crushing pressure of) the narrow space within the grave. He dictated to her her last words (which were) the statement of the authority (wilaya) of her son, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, so that at the examination after burial, she would be able to reply with those words. He singled her out with this great favour because of her position with God, may He be magnified and exalted, and with him, peace be on him. The report of that is well known.

The Commander of the faithful, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, and his brothers were among the leading members of the second generation of descendants of Hashim. In this way he gained two marks of nobility, through his growing up under the care and education of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He was the first of the family of the House and of the Companions to believe in God and His Apostle. He was the first male whom the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, summoned to Islam and who answered. He never ceased to support the religion and to strive against the polytheists. He constantly defended the faith and fought against those who supported deviation (from the truth) and despotism. He spread the teachings of the sunna (the practice of the Prophet) and the Qur'an, judged with justice and enjoined (people) to do good.

He was with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, twenty-three years after the (coming) of the (prophetic) mission. Of these, thirteen years were in Mecca before the emigration when he shared with him all the persecutions and bore most of his hardships. Then there were ten years in Medina after the emigration when he defended him against the polytheists and strove with him against the unbelievers. He protected him with his own life from the enemies of religion until the time God, the Exalted, took (the Prophet) to His heaven, raised him to the highest place in heaven and bestowed His blessings and peace on him and his family. On that day the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was thirty-three years of age.

On the day of the death of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, the community differed over his Imamate. His Shi'a who were all the Banu Hashim, Salman, 'Ammar, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, Khuzayma b. Thabit - the man who is known as the possessor of two testimonies - Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari, Abu Said al-Khudri and people like them among the important emigrants and Ansar, (all these) maintained that he was the successor (khalifa) after the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, and the Imam. (They did this) because of his outstanding merit (fadl) above all mankind, through the fact that there were gathered in him the qualities of outstanding merit, judgement and perfection, such as him being the first of the community to enter the faith, his superiority over them in knowledge of the laws, his precedence over them in fighting (jihad) and the distinction which set him apart from them in the extent of his piety, asceticism and righteousness.

Furthermore he had been specially singled out by the Prophet from among (all) his relations because of (the qualities) which no other relation, apart from him, shared with the Prophet and because of the nomination (nass) of his authority (wilaya) by God, may God be magnified and exalted, in the Qur'an where He, may His name be exalted, says: Your authority (wali) is God and His Apostle and those believers who perform the prayer and pay alms (zakat) while they are bowing (in prayer). (v 55) It is known that no one except him paid alms while bowing (in prayer).

It has been established in language that wali means "the most appropriate for authority" (awla), without there being any opposition (to this definition). If the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was, by the stipulation of the Qur'an, more appropriate for authority among the people than themselves because of his being their war according to the textual nomination (nass) in the Clear Explanation (i.e. the Qur'an, tibyan). it was obviously necessary for all of them to obey him, just as obedience to God, the Most High, and obedience to His Apostle, peace be on him and his family, was required because of the information about their authority (wilaya) over creatures which is given in this verse with clear proof.

(Another reason for their support for the Commander of the faithful was) because of what the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said on the day (of the assembly) at his house. He had especially gathered the Banu 'Abd al-Muttalib there in order to make the (following) solemn pledge: "Whoever helps me in this matter will be my brother, my testamentary trustee (wasi), my helper (wazir), my heir and my successor after me." Then the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, stood up before him among all the gathering of them, and on that day he was the youngest of them, and he said: "O Apostle of God, I will help you."

Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said: "Sit down, you are my brother, my trustee, my helper, my inheritor and successor after me." This is a clear statement about the succession (after the Prophet).

In addition, there is also what (the Prophet), peace be on him and his family, said on the day of Ghadir Khumm. The community had gathered to listen to the sermon (in which he asked): "Am I not more appropriate for authority (awla) over you than yourselves?"

"Yes," they answered.

Then he spoke to them in an ordered manner without any interruption in his speech: "Whomsoever I am the authority over (mawla), 'Ali is also the authority over."

Thus he (the Prophet) required for him (Ali), through laying down obedience to him and his authority (over them), the same authority as he had over them, and which he made them acknowledge and which they did not deny. This is clear (evidence) of the nomination (nass) of him for the Imamate and for succession to his position.

Furthermore there is (the Prophet's), peace be on him and his family, statement to him at the time of setting out to Tabuk: "You are in the same position with respect to me as Aaron (Harun) was to Moses (Musa) except that there is no prophet after me." Thus he required him (to have) the office of helping (i.e. administering) and to be characterised by love and outstanding merit over everyone. (He also required) his deputising for him both during his life and after his death. The Qur'an gives evidence for all that coming to Aaron (Harun) from Moses, peace be on them, when God, may He be magnified and exalted, said in giving a report of what Moses, peace be on him, said: "Make Aaron, my brother, a helper for me from my family. Give me support through him and make him participate in my affair so that we may glorify You much and we may remember You frequently in that You have been a watcher over us. " (XX 29- 35) God, the Most Exalted said: "Your request is granted, Moses. " (XX 36) This (verse) confirmed that Aaron had a share with Moses in prophecy, and in helping in delivering the message and his support was strengthened through him by his aid. (Moses) also told him of deputising for him (when he said): "....Deputise for me among my people. Act for (their) benefit and do not follow the path of the corrupters. " (VII 142) This confirms his succession by the precise statement of revelation. Therefore when the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, gave all the ranks which Aaron had from Moses to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in the same extent, except for prophecy, (all such things) were required of him as helping the Apostle, giving him support, outstanding merit and love, because these qualities were definitely required by that. Then by the clear statement there is his deputising for him during his life and "after the prophethood" which (gives evidence of his succession) by specification of the exception, (of Prophethood) when he excludes him from it by mentioning "after".

Proofs similar to these are so numerous that it would make the book unduly long to mention them all, (especially) as we have examined thoroughly the statement of the evidence for them in other places in our books. Praise be to God.

The Imamate of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was for thirty years after the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. For twenty-four years and six months of these he was prevented from administering the laws (of the office) (and had to) exercise precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya) and withdrawal. For five years and six months of these, he was troubled by wars against the hypocrites, those who broke their pledges, the unjust and those who deviated (from the religion) and he was plagued by the seditions of those who had gone astray. In the same way the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, had been prevented from(administering) the laws (of his office) through fear and through being spied upon, and through being a fugitive and through being exiled, so that he had no power to fight the unbelievers and no means of defending the believers. Then he emigrated and for ten years after the emigration he remained making war on the unbelievers and being troubled by the hypocrites until the time that God, may His name be exalted, took him unto Himself and made him dwell in. the gardens of Paradise.

The death of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him occurred before dawn of Friday, the twenty-first of the month of Ramadan, in the year 40 A.H. He was a victim of the sword. Ibn Muljam al-Muradi, may God curse him, killed him at the mosque of Kufa, which he had come out to in order to wake the people for the dawn prayer on the night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan. He had been lying in wait for him from the beginning of the night. When he (the Commander of the faithful) passed by him while the latter was hiding his design by feigning sleep amid a group of people who were asleep, he (Ibn Muljam) sprang out and struck him on the top of his head with his sword which was poisoned. He lingered through the day of the nineteenth and the night and day of the twentieth and the first third of the night of the twenty-first. Then he, peace be on him, died a martyr and met his Lord, Most High, as one who has been wronged. He, peace be on him, knew of that before its time and he told the people of it before its time. His two sons, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, performed (the tasks) of washing him and shrouding him according to his bequest. Then they carried him to al-Ghari at Najaf in Kufa and they buried him there. They removed the traces of the place of his burial according to his bequest which was made about that to both of them by him, because of what he, peace be on him, knew about the regime of the Umayyads (which would come) after him, and their hostile attitude towards him. (For he knew) the evil action and abuse to which they would be led by their wicked intentions if they had been able to know that (place). His grave, peace be on him, remained hidden until al-Sadiq Ja'far b. Muhammad, peace be on them, pointed it out during the 'Abbasid regime. For he visited it when he came to visit Abu Ja'far (al-Mansur) while the latter was in al-Hira. Then the Shi'a knew of it and they began from that time to make visitation to his (grave), peace be on him and on his pure offspring.

On the day of his death he was 63 years of age.



Reports of him, Peace be on him, Mentioning and Knowing about the Event (of his Death) before its Occurrence

[It is reported on the authority of 'Ali b. al-Mundhir al-Tariqi, on the authority of Abu al-Fadl al-'Abdi, on the authority of Fitr, on the authority of Abu Tufayl 'Amir b. Wathila, may God be pleased with him,' who said:] 1

The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, gathered the people for the pledge of allegiance. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam al-Muradi, may God curse him, came but he (i.e. 'Ali) refused to accept his (pledge of allegiance) twice or three times. Then he (let him) make his pledge of allegiance to him. When he did so, he (i.e. 'All) said to him: "What prevents the most wretched person of the community (from doing his wicked deed now)? For I swear by Him in Whose hand is my life, you will colour this (with blood) from this." And he put his hand on his beard and his head.

When Ibn Muljam withdrew and left him, he, peace be on him, recited the following:

Stiffen your breast for death. Indeed death will meet you. Do not show grief at death, when it arrives in your valley.

[It is related from al-Hasan b. Mahbub, on the authority of

Abu Hamza al-Thumali, on the authority of Abu Ishaq al-Sabi'i, on the authority of al-Asbagh b. Nubata, who said:]

Ibn Muljam came to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and pledged allegiance to him with the (others) who pledged their allegiance, and withdrew from him. Then the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, called him back and warned him to be trustworthy and to be sure that he was not treacherous and did not break his oath. He did that (i.e. promised to keep his word). Then he withdrew. A second time the Commander of the faithful called him (back) and warned him to be trustworthy and to be sure that he was not treacherous and did not break his oath. Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, said: "By God, O Commander of the faithful, I have not seen you do this with anyone else except me."

Then the Commander of the faithful said:

I want his friendship and he wants my death. The one who makes excuses to you is one of your bosom friends from (the tribe of) Murad. 2

(Then the Commander of the faithful continued): "Go, Ibn Muljam, I do not think that you will keep your word."

[It is related from Ja'far b. Sulayman al-Dab'i, on the authority of al-Mu'alla b. Ziyad, who said:]

'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam, may God curse him, came to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, to ask to be provided with a horse.

"O Commander of the faithful," he said, "provide me with a horse." The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, turned toward him and then said to him, "You are 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam al-Muradi?" '

"Yes," he replied.

"Ghazwan," called (the Commander of the faithful), "provide him with the roan."

That man came with a roan horse and Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, mounted it and took its reins. When he had gone away, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him said:

I want his friendship and he wants my death. The one who makes excuses to you is one of your bosom friends from (the tribe of) Murad.

When he did what he did and struck the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, he was captured after he came out of the mosque and then brought to the Commander of the faithful. The latter said to him: "I have treated you as I have done, even though I knew that you would be my murderer. Yet, I treated you that way in order to seek God's support against you."

There are other reports in which he, peace be on him, announces his own death to his family and companions before his murder.

[Abu Zayd al-Ahwal reported on the authority of al-Ajlah, on the authority of the shaykhs of Kinda whom al-Ajlah said he heard say more than twenty times:]

'Ali said on the pulpit: "What prevents the most wretched person of the community dyeing this red with blood from above it? And he, peace be on him, put his hand on his beard.

['Ali b. al-Hazawwar on the authority of al-Asbagh b. Nubata, who said:]

'Ali preached in the month in which he was killed and he said: "The month of Ramadan has come to you. It is the lord of the months, and foremost of the year. In it the mill of authority makes a (new) turn and you will make the pilgrimage of the (new) year in one rank (i.e. without an Imam to lead you). The sign of that will be that I will no longer be among you."

[Al-Asbagh added:] He was announcing his own death but we did not understand.

[It is related from al-Fadl b. Dukayn, on the authority of Hayyan b. al-Abbas, on the authority of 'Uthman b. al-Mughira who said:]

When the month of Ramadan began, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had supper one evening with al-Hasan, one evening with al-Husayn, peace be on them, and one evening with 'Abd Allah b. al- Abbas. He never had more than three mouthfuls (of food). One of those nights he was asked about that, he replied: "(I would rather) the decision of God come to me while I was hungry." It was only a night of two nights later when he, peace be on him, was struck towards the end of the night.

[Isma'il b. Ziyad reported, on the authority of Umm Musa, a woman servant of 'Ali, peace be on him, and the wet-nurse of his daughter, peace be on her, who told me:]

'Ali, peace be on him, said to his daughter, Umm Kulthum,: "O my little daughter, little time is left for me to be with you."

"Why is that, father?" she asked.

"I have seen the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, in my sleep," he replied. "He was rubbing the dust from my face and saying: ' O 'Ali, do not be concerned, you have accomplished what you had to.' "

Only three days later he was struck by that blow. Umm Kulthum cried aloud (with sorrow).

"Don't do that, my daughter," he said. "For I see the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, pointing to me with his hand and saying: 'O 'Ali, come to us, for what we have is better for you.' "

[Ammar al-Duhni reported on the authority of Abu Salih al-Hanafi, who said:]

I heard 'Ali, peace be on him, saying: "I saw the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, in my sleep and I complained to him about the trouble and quarrelling which I had met from his community. Then I wept. He said:. Don't weep, 'Ali, but turn around.' I turned around. Behold, there were two fettered men, and then their heads were crushed by stones." 3

[Abu Salih added:] I went to him in the morning as I had done every morning, and when I got to the (area of) the butchers I met the people who were saying: "The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has been killed."

[Abd Allah b. Musa related, on the authority of al-Hasan b. Dinar, on the authority of al-Hasan al-Basri, who said:]

The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, stayed up awake during the night on the morning of which he was killed and he did not go out to the mosque for the night prayer as was his custom. His daughter, Umm Kulthum, the mercy of God be on her, asked him: "What has kept you awake?"

"I will be killed, if I go out in the morning," he replied.

Then Ibn al-Nabbah came to him and summoned him to the prayer. He walked out a little way then returned. Umm Kulthum said to him: "Tell Ja'da to pray with the people."

"Yes, tell Ja'da to perform the prayer with the people," he answered. But then he said: "There is no escape from the appointed time."

He went out to the mosque and there was the man who had spent

the whole night lying in wait for him. However, when it had become cold in the early morning before dawn, he had fallen asleep. Now, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, moved him with his foot and said to him: "The prayer."

The man got up and struck him.

[In another account:]

The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, spent that night awake and he frequently went out and looked up to the sky, saying: "By God, I have not lied nor have I been lied to. It is the night which I was promised."

Then he went back to his bed. When dawn rose, he put on his waistcloth (izar) and went out saying:

Stiffen your breast for death. Indeed death will meet you. Do not show grief at death when it arrives in your valley.

When he reached the courtyard of his house, the geese met him and hooted in his face. (The people) began to drive them away but he said: "Leave them, they are those who wail (for my death)."

He, peace be on him, went out and was struck down.

Reports which have come down of the Motive for his Murder and how the Event occurred

[What is reported by a group of historians (ahl al-siyar),including Abu Mikhnaf, Isma'il b. Rashid, Abu Hashim al-Rifa'i, Abu 'Amr al-Thaqafi and others who relate:] 4

A group of the Kharijites gathered at Mecca and they mentioned the leaders (of the people) and blamed them and their actions. They mentioned the people of al-Nahrawan and they asked God's mercy for them. Then they said to each other: "If (only) we devoted ourselves to God, and went to the leaders (Imams) of error (dalal) and sought a moment when they were inattentive and then rid the country and men of them for the sake of God, and also avenged our brothers, the martyrs of al-Nahrawan."

They made a compact to do that after performing the pilgrimage. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam, may God curse him, said: "I'll take care of (killing) 'Ali for you."

Al-Burak b. 'Abd Allah al-Tamimi said: "I will take care of (killing) Mu'awiya for you."

'Amr b. Bakr al-Tamimi said: "I will take care of (killing) 'Amr b. al-'As for you."

They made a compact to do that and bound themselves to its fulfilment. They agreed (to carry it out) on the night of the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan. On that they separated.

Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, set out - he was numbered among Kinda - until he came to Kufa. There he met his colleagues. But he kept his task secret from them out of fear that something of it might get spread around. The situation was like this when one day he visited one of his colleagues from Taym al-Rabab. At this man's house he met by chance Qatam, daughter of al-Akhdar of Taym. The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had killed her father and brother at al-Nahrawan. She was (also) one of the most beautiful of the women of her time. When Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, saw her, he fell in love with her and his admiration of her became very intense. He asked to marry her and became engaged to her. Then she said to him: "What dowry do you suggest for me?"

"Make your decision on that," he answered.

"I have decided," she said, "that you should (give me three thousand dirhams, a young serving boy, a servant and the murder of 'Ali b. Abi Talib."

"You can have all you asked for," he replied. "But as for the murder of 'Alf b. Abi Talib, how can I do that?"

"You should look (for a time) when he is careless," she said. "If you kill him, I will cure myself (of my obsession against him) and life with me will be a pleasure for you. If you are killed, God has nothing in this world which is better for you (than such a death)."

"The only thing which has brought me to this town (misr), "he said, "when I was a fugitive from it and could find no protection with its inhabitants, was to kill 'Ali b. Abi Talib, which you have asked me for. So you will have what you have asked for."

"I have been looking for someone to help you and strengthen you in that (undertaking)," she said. Then she went to Wardan b. Mujalid (another) from Taym al-Rabab. She gave him the information and asked help for Ibn Muljam, may God curse him. He undertook to share responsibility for that for her.

Then Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, went out and came to a man from Ashja' called Shabib b. Bajura and said to him: "Shabib, would you like nobility (sharaf) in this world and the next life?"

"What is that?" he asked.

"Will you help me to kill 'Ali b. Abi Talib?"

Shabib was one who held the view of the Kharijites, so he said to Ibn Muljam: "May a wailing woman wail for you (at your death), Ibn Muljam. For you have come to something which is horrific. How will you be able to do it?"

"We will lie in wait for him in the great mosque," Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, replied. "Then when he comes to the dawn prayer, we will attack him. If we kill him, we will satisfy ourselves and attain our vengeance."

He insisted until he agreed and went with him into the great mosque to Qatam, while she was performing the rite of i'tikaf 5 there and put up a tent. They both said to her: "We have reached agreement on killing this man."

"When you want (to do) that," she said, "come to me in this place."

Then they left her and waited for several days. They came to her finally on the night of Wednesday, the nineteenth of the month of Ramadan in the year 40 A.H. She ordered some silk which she tied around their chests. They put on their swords, and went out and sat opposite at the door from which the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, would come out to the prayer. However before that, they had told al-Ash'ath b. Qays of the resolution in their spirits to kill the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Al-Ash'ath b. Qays, may God curse him, agreed with them in what they had agreed upon.

Hujr b. 'Adi, may God have mercy on him, was (also) spending that night in the mosque. He overheard al-Ash'ath saying to Ibn Muljam:

"Hurry, hurry to your task, for dawn is beginning to appear."

Hujr perceived the intention of al-Ash'ath and said to him: "You are going to kill him, you one-eyed man."

He left directly to go to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and tell him the news to warn him about the group. However, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, missed him on the way and went into the mosque. Ibn Muljam came to him first and struck him. Hujr approached as the people were crying: "The Commander of the faithful has been killed!"

['Abd Allah b. Muhammad al-Azdi has reported:] 6

On that night I was praying in the great mosque with men who were inhabitants of the town. During that month they used to pray from the beginning of the night to the end of it. I looked towards the men who were praying near the door and 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, came out for the dawn prayer. He began to call out: "The prayer, the prayer."

I was hardly aware of the call before I saw the flashing of swords and I heard someone saying: "Judgement belongs to God, 'Ali, not to you and your companions."

Then I heard 'Ali, peace be on him, saying: "Don't let the man escape from you."

Then 'Ali, peace be on him, was struck and Shabib b. Bajura came to strike him but he missed him, and his blow fell on air. The group fled towards the gates of the mosque and the people rushed to seize them.

A man caught Shabib b. Bajura, knocked him down and sat on his chest and took his sword to kill him with it. When he saw the people rushing towards him, he was afraid that they would act precipitately against him without listening to him. Therefore he jumped off him and let him go and threw the sword from his hand. Shabib made his escape to his house-Then his paternal cousin came to him. He saw him untying the silk cloth from his breast and said: "What is that? Perhaps (it was) you (who) killed the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him." (Shabib) meant to say 'no' but he said "yes". His cousin went away and put on his sword. Then he went to (Shabib) (again) and struck him with it until he killed him.

One of the men from Hamdan followed Ibn Muljam, may God curse him. He flung his cloak over what was in Ibn Muljam's hand and took his sword from him. Then he took him to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. In the meantime the third had escaped and dodged among the people.

When Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, was brought before the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the latter looked at him and said: "A life for a life. If I die, kill him as he killed me. If I live, I will consider my judgement on him."

"By God", said Ibn Muljam, may God curse him, "I have bought his life for a thousand lives. I have plotted against him for a thousand lives. If he has betrayed me, then may God destroy him."

"Enemy of God," cried out Umm Kulthum, "you have killed the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him."

"I have killed only your father," he retorted.

"Enemy of God," she cried, "I hope that there is no danger for him."

"I think you are only crying for 'Ali," he replied. "Indeed, by God, I struck him. If I had been divided among the people of the land, I should have destroyed them."

Then he was taken from his presence, peace be on him, while the people (wanted) to tear his flesh with their teeth as if they were wild beasts. They were crying out: "O enemy of God, what have you done? You have destroyed the community of Muhammad, may God bless him and his family. You have killed the best of people."

He was silent and did not speak. He was taken to the prison. 7 Then the people went to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and said: "Commander of the faithful, give us your order about the enemy of God. For he has destroyed the community, and corrupted the faith."

"If I live," answered the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, "then I will consider my judgement on him. But if I die then do to him what the Prophet did with a murderer. Kill him and after that burn him in a fire."

When the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, died (the people) wept for him. (After) his family had finished his burial, al-Hasan, peace be on him, sat in council and ordered Ibn Muljam to be brought to him. He was brought to him and when he stood before him (al-Hasan) said: "O enemy of God, you have killed the Commander of the faithful and you have increased corruption in religion."

Then he ordered him to be beheaded. Umm al-Haytham, daughter of al-Aswad of al-Nakha'a asked to be given his corpse so that she could be in charge of burning it. He gave it to her and he made her burn it in a fire. 8

The poet said about the affair of Qatam and the killing of the Commander of the faithful peace be upon him:

I have never seen a dowry, given by a generous man, like the dowry of Qatam (whether the man was) rich or needy.

(It was) three thousand (dirhams), a slave and a young servant, and the striking of 'Ali with a sharp piercing sword.

(There has been) no dowry more precious - and no violence except that it was less than the violence of Ibn Muljam. 9

As for the two men who were in agreement with Ibn Muljam to kill Mu'awiya and 'Amr b. al.'As, the one struck Mu'awiya while he was bending (in prayer). However his blow was delivered weakly and he was saved from its consequences. The man was seized and killed immediately. As for the other he went (to carry out) his mission that night. However 'Amr had felt sick and had put a man in his place to pray with the people; the man was called Kharija b. Abi Habiba al-'Amiri. He struck with his sword when he thought that it was 'Amr. He was seized and taken to 'Amr who has him killed. kharija died on the second day! 10

Reports about the Place of the Grave of the Commander of the Faithful, Peace be on him, and an Explanation of the Circumstances of his Burial

['Abbad b. Ya'qub al-Rawajini related: Hayyan b. 'Ali al-'Anazi told us: A retainer of 'Ali b. Abi Talib told me:]

When death was close to the Commander of the faithful he said to al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them: "When I die, you two put me on my bier. Then take me out and carry (me) in the back of the bier. You two will protect the front of it. Then bring me to al-Ghariyyayn. You will see a white rock shining with light. Dig there and you will find a shield and bury me at it."

When he died, we took him out and began to carry him on the back of the bier while we guarded the front of it. We began to hear a rustling and whistling of the wind until we came to al-Ghariyyayn. Behold! There was a white rock whose light was shining. We dug there and behold, there was a shield on which was written: "This is one of the things which Noah has stored for 'Ali b. Abi Talib." We buried him there and went away. We were happy at God's mark of honour to the Commander of the faithful. A group of the Shi'a followed us but they had not witnessed the prayer performed for him. We told them about what had happened and about God's mark of honour to the Commander of the faithful.

Then they said: "We would like to see what you have seen of his affair."

"Traces of the place have been removed according to his bequest," we told them.

They kept coming back and forth to us and they told us that they had dug but could not find anything.

[Muhammad b. 'Umara related: Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi told me:]

I asked Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Baqir where the Commander of the faithful was buried.

"He is buried," he answered, "in the region of al-Ghariyyayn. He was buried before the dawn rose and al-Hasan, al-Husayn, peace be on them, and Muhammad, the sons of 'Ali, and 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far, may God be pleased with him, went into his grave."

[Ya'qub b. Yazid reported on the authority of Ibn Abi 'Umayr, on the authority of his men:] 11

AI-Husayn b. 'Ali, peace be on them, was asked: "Where did you bury the Commander of the faithful?" He answered: "We went out with him at night past the Mosque of al-Ash'ath until we brought him out on the upper ground beside al-Ghariyyayn. We buried him there."

[Muhammad b. Zakariyya reported: Abd Allah b. Muhammad told us on the authority of Ibn 'A'isha, who said: 'Abd Allah b. Hazim told me:]

. We went out from Kufa one day with (Harun) al-Rashid to hunt. We came to the region of al-Ghariyyayn and al-Thawiyya. Then we saw some gazelle. We sent the falcons and dogs after them. They raced after them for an hour but then the gazelle took refuge in a hill. They stopped chasing them; the falcons flew down to the ground and the dogs came back. Al-Rashid was amazed at that. Then the gazelles came down from the hill, and the falcons and dogs descended towards them. The gazelle returned to the hill, and the falcons and dogs came away from them. That happened three times.

Then Harun al-Rashid said: "Hurry and bring me whoever you meet."

We brought him an old man (shaykh) of the Banu Asad. Harun asked him: "Tell me what this hill is."

"I will tell you, if you grant me a pledge of security," he replied.

"You may have the compact of God and His guarantee that I will not be roused against you and harm you," said Harun.

"My father reported to me from his father," said the old man, "that they used to say that in this hill was the grave of 'Ali b. Abi Talib, and that God has made it a sanctuary (haram) so that whatever seeks refuge there will be safe."

Harun got down and called for water. Then he made ritual ablutions and performed the prayer at the hill. He rolled in the ground there and began to weep. Then we left.

My mind could not accept that. Some days later I made the pilgrimage to Mecca. I saw there Yasir, one of al-Rashid's men. He used to sit with us. When we had made the tawwaf (circumambulation of the Ka'ba), the- conversation went on until he said:

Al-Rashid said to me one night when we had come from Mecca and stopped at Kufa: "Tell 'Isa b. Ja'far to come riding with me."

I rode with them both until we came to al-Ghariyyayn. 'Isa threw himself down and slept. But al-Rashid went to the hill and prayed there. Whenever he performed two rak'as he called out, wept and rolled in the ground of the hill. Then he said: "O cousin, I know your outstanding merit (fadl), and your precedence (in Islam). By God, you have sat in my majlis (council) while I was there and you were what you were: but your descendants are harming me and revolting against me."

After this he stood and prayed two rak'as, then he began speaking again, calling out and weeping until it was daybreak. Then he said: "Yasir, wake 'Isa." I woke him and he said to him: "Isa, wake up and pray at the grave of your cousin."

"What cousin of mine is this?" asked 'Isa.

"This is the grave of 'Ali b. 'Abi Talib," he replied.

Then 'Isa made his ritual ablutions and stood up to pray. He did not stop doing that until the dawn arose. Then I said: "O Commander of the faithful, morning has come." So we rode off and returned to Kufa.

(This Chapter includes) a sample of the reports about the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him (including) his virtues and his eminent qualities, together with (some of) what has been preserved of his wise sayings and sermons, and (some of) what is told of his miracles, legal judgements and explanations. 12



[Abu al-Jaysh al-Muzaffar b. Muhammad al-Balkhi informed me: Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi Thalj informed us: Abu al-Hasan Ahmad b. (Muhammad b.) al-Qasim al-Barqi told us: 'Abd al-Rahman b. Salih al-Azdi told me: Asad b. 'Ubayda told us on the authority of Yahya b. °Afif b. Qays, on the authority of his father ('Afif b. Qays), 13 who said:)

I was sitting with al-'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, may God be pleased with him, in Mecca, before the affairs of the Prophet became known to the public. A man came and looked up towards the sky where the sun hovered above. He turned in the direction of the Ka'ba and stood to pray. Then a youth came and stood at his right and a woman came and stood behind them both. The man bowed, and the youth and the woman bowed. The man raised his hands and the youth and the woman raised their hands. Then he prostrated and they both prostrated.

"'Abbas!" I exclaimed, "it is a fantastic affair!"

"Indeed, it is a fantastic affair," replied al-'Abbas. "Do you know who that man is? He is Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, my cousin. Do you know who that youth is? He is 'Ali b. Abi Talib, my cousin. Do you know who that woman is? She is Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid. This cousin of mine (i.e. Muhammad) has told me that his Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who has ordered him to carry out this religion (din) which he is practising. No, by God, there are not any on the face of the earth, who practise this religion except these three."

[Abu Hafs 'Umar b. Muhammad al-Sayrafi informed me: Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi Thalj told me on the authority of Ahmad b. Muhammad b. al-Qasim al-Barqi, on the authority of Abu Salih Sahl b. Salih - it was about the year 100 (A. H.) - who said I heard Abu al-Mu'ammar 'Abbad b. 'Abd al-Samad who said: I heard Anas b. Malik say:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said: "The angels bless me and 'Ali for seventy years, because (for a time) only 'Ali and I raised the testimony to heaven that there is no god but God and Muhammad is the Apostle of God."

[By the same chain of transmitters on the authority of Ahmad b. (Muhammad b.) al-Qasim al-Barqi: Ishaq told us: Nuh b. Qays told us: Sulayman b. 'Ali al-Hashimi Abu Fatima told us: I heard Muadha al-'Adawiyya say:]

I heard 'Ali b. Abi Talib say on the pulpit at Basra: "I am the greater testifier of truth (siddiq) for I believed before Abu Bakr believed; I became a Muslim before he became a Muslim."

[Abu Nasr Muhammad b. al-Husayn al-Muqri al-Basri al-Sayrawani informed : Abu Bakr Muhammad b. (Ahmad b.) Abi Thalj told us: Abu Muhammad al-Nawfali told us on the authority of Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Hamid, on the authority of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-Ghiffar al-Faqimi who said: Ibrahim b. Hayyan reported to me on the authority of Abu 'Abd Allah, retainer of Banu Hashim, on the authority of Abu Sukhayla, who said:]

I and 'Ammar went on the pilgrimage. We stopped at the house of Abu Dharr, may God be pleased with him, and stayed with him for three days. When the time of our departure was at hand, I said to him: "Abu Dharr, we consider that nothing except confusion has come over the people. What is your view?"

"Cleave to the Book and 'Ali b. Abi Talib," he replied, "then bear witness to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, who said: "'Ali was the first to believe in me and will be the first to shake my hand in greetings on the Day of Resurrection. He is the greatest testifier of the truth (siddiq) and discerner of truth and falsehood. He is the chief of the believers and money is the chief cause of wrong-doing.'

Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, may God be pleased with him, comments: The reports with this meaning are numerous as testimonies (of it) are bulky.

[Among such are the words of Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari, the man who gave two testimonies, in what was reported to me by Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Imran al-Marzubani on the authority of Muhammad b. al-'Abbas who said:]

Muhammad b. Yazid al-Nahwi recited to us on the authority of Ibn 'A'isha (the words) of Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari, may God be pleased with him:

I never thought that this affair would leave the clan of Hashim, and then within it (that) it would leave Abu Hasan (i.e. 'Ali).

Was he not the first to pray with their (i.e. the Muslims') qibla (direction of prayer), and the most knowledgeable man in traditions and practice?

(Was he not) the last of men with whom the Prophet made a covenant (ahd), and the one whose helper was Gabriel in washing and shrouding (the body of the Prophet)?

He it is in whom there is what others are not distinguished by. There is not among the people the good which is in him.

What is it which makes you reject him, for we know him? Yet your pledge of allegiance is made through the greatest cheating.

Reports of his Outstanding Merit, Peace be on him, over Everybody in Religious Knowledge (Ilm)

[Abu al-Hasan Muhammad b. Ja'far al-Tamimi al-Nahwi informed me: Muhammad b. al-Qasim al-Muharibi al-Bazzaz told me: Hisham b. Yunis al-Nahshali told us: 'A'idh b. Habib told us on the authority of Abu al-Sabbah al-Kinani, on the authority of Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami, on the authority of his father, on the authority of 'Ikrima, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, who said:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said: "Ali b. Abi Talib is the most learned of my community and the most capable of giving legal decisions after me in (matters upon) which (men) differ.

[Abu Bakr Muhammad b. 'Umar al-Ji'abi informed me: Ahmad b. 'Isa Abu Ja'far al-'Ijli told us: Isma'il b. 'Abd Allah b. Khalid told us: 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar told us: 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. 'Aqil told us on the authority of Hamza b. Abi Said al-Khudri, on the authority of his father (Abu Said al-Khudri), who said:]

I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, say: "I am the city of knowledge and 'Ali is its gate. Therefore whoever wants knowledge should learn it from 'Ali, peace be on him."

[Abu Bakr Muhammad b. 'Umar al-Ji'abi informed me: Yusuf b. al-Hakam al-Hannat told us: Dawud b. Rashid told us: Salama b. Salih al-Ahmar told us on the authority of 'Abd al-Malik b. 'Abd al Rahman, on the authority of al-Ash'ath b. Taliq who said: I heard al-Hasan al-'Arani relating on the authority of Murra, on the authority of 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud, who said:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, summoned 'Ali and went apart with him. When he returned to us, we asked him: "What covenant (ahd) did he make with you?" He replied: "He taught me a thousand doors of knowledge and he opened from each (of these) doors a thousand (more) doors."

[Abu al-Hasan Muhammad b. al-Muzaffar al-Bazzaz informed me: Abu Malik Kuthayyir b. Yahya told us: Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Abi al-Sirri told us: Ahmad b. 'Abd Allah b. Yunis told us on the authority of Sa'd al-Kinani, on the authority of al-Asbagh b. Nubata who said:]

When the pledge of allegiance was made to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, for the caliphate, he went out to the mosque wearing the turban and cloak of the Apostle of God, peace be on him and his family. He went up on the pulpit. After praising and glorifying God, and giving admonition and warning, he sat down confidently, knitted his fingers together and placed them on his stomach. Then he said: "Question me before you lose me. Question me, for I have the knowledge of those who came earlier and those who will come later. If the cushion (on which a judge sits) was folded for me (to sit on), I could give judgements to the people of the Torah by their Torah, to the people of the Gospels by their Gospels, to the people of Psalms by their Psalms and to the people of the Furqan (i.e. Qur'an) by their Furqan, so that each one of these books will be fulfilled and will declare, 'O Lord, indeed 'Ali has given judgement according to Your decree.' By God, I know the Qur'an and its interpretation (better) than anyone who claims knowledge of it. If it were not for one verse in the Book of God, most High, I would be able to inform you of what will be until the Day of Resurrection." Then he said: "Question me before you lose me, for by Him Who split the seed and brought the soul into being, if you questioned me about (it) verse by verse, I would tell you of the time of its revelation and why it was revealed, I would inform of the abrogating (verse) and the abrogated, of the specific and general, the clearly defined and the ambiguous, of the Meccan and the Medinan. By God, there is not a party who can lead astray or guide until the Day of Resurrection, without me knowing its leader, the one who drives it forward and the one who urges it on."

Examples of such reports are (so many) that the book would become (unduly) long in (reporting) them.

Reports of his Outstanding Merit, the Blessing of God be on him

[Abu al-Hasan Muhammad b. al-Muzaffar al-Bazzaz informed me: Umar b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Imran told us: Ahmad b. Bashir told us: 'Abd Allah b. Musa told us on the authority of Qays b. Abi Harun who said: I went to Abu Said al-Khudri and asked him whether he had witnessed (the battle of) Badr. He said:]

On that day (the Battle of Badr), I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, speak to Fatima, peace be on her, when she came to him weeping and saying: "O Apostle of God, the women of Quraysh are reviling me because of the poverty of 'AIi peace be on him."

"Aren't you satisfied that I have married you to the first Muslim and the most knowledgeable of them?" the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, asked her. "Indeed, God, the Most High, looked thoroughly over the people of the earth and chose your father from them and made him a Prophet. Then He looked over them a second time and chose your (present) husband (ba'l) and made him a trustee of authority (wasi). God inspired me to marry you to him. Didn't you know, Fatima, that through God's kindness to you, your husband is the greatest of men in clemency, the most knowledgeable of men and the first of them in Islam."

Fatima laughed and rejoiced. Then the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, continued: "Fatima, 'Ali has eight molar teeth. No one before and after him will have the like. He is my brother in the world and the hereafter. No one else of the people has that (rank). Fatima, the mistress of the women of heaven, is his wife. The grandsons of mercy, my grandsons, will be his sons. His brother, who will be adorned by two wings in heaven, will fly with the angels wherever he wishes. He has the knowledge of those who came before and those who will come after. He is the first who believed in me and he will be the last of the people to see me. He is my trustee of authority (wasi) and the inheritor (warith) of (all) the trustees of authority (wasiyyin)."

[AI-Shaykh al-Mufid, may God be pleased with him, said: I have found (the following report) in the book of Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. al--'Abbas al-Razi who said: Muhammad b. Khalid told us: Ibrahim b. 'Abd Allah told us: Muhammad b. Sulayman al-Daylami told us on the authority of Jabir b. Yazid al-Ju'fi, on the authority of 'Adi b. Hakim, on the authority of 'Abd Allah b. al-'Abbas, who said:]

We, (the members) of the house (Ahl al-bayt)have seven qualities none of which the (rest of the) people have;

From us(came)the Prophet may God bless him and his family ;

From us came the trustee of authority (wasi),the best of this community after him (i.e. Prophet),'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him From us came Hamza, the lion of God and of His Apostle ,and the lord of martyrs;

From us came Ja'far b. Abi Talib who is adorned by two wings with which he flies in heaven wherever he wishes;

From us (came) the two grandsons of this community, the two lords of the youth of paradise, al-Hasan and al-Husayn;

From us (came) the (one who will undertake the Imamate for the rest of time) Qa'im of the family of Muhammad, by which God graced His Prophet;

From us (came) the one who was given (final) victory (al-mansur).

[Muhammad b. Ayman related on the authority of Abu Hazim, retainer of Ibn 'Abbas, who said:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, spoke to 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him: "'Ali, you will be engaged in disputes but you will overcome any dispute by seven qualities, the like of which no one else has: you are the first of those who believed with me, the greatest of them in war, the most knowledgeable of them in the battles (ayyam) on behalf of God, the one of them who is most loyal in keeping the covenant (ahd) of God, the most compassionate of them towards subjects, the most capable of giving equal treatment and the greatest of them in distinction before God."

Reports like this and in the same sense as this, which are better known by both the general populace and the Shi'a (khassa) are (so clear) that there is no need to lengthen (matters) with an explanation. Yet if there was only the tradition whose story is well known, whose narration has been spread abroad, of the bird and the words of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family: "O God, bring the creature most lovable to you to eat (some) of this bird with me," and then the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, came, it would be sufficient (to show that) he was the most lovable creature to God, the greatest in reward from Him, the nearest to Him, and the most outstanding in his action. (Similar) is the case of the words of Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari when he was asked about the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and he said, "He is the best of men. Only an unbeliever could doubt clear proof." Jabir had supported that in a narrative which has come through an uninterrupted chain of transmitters, and is well known to the traditionists (ahl al-naql).,The evidences for the fact that the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, is the most outstanding person after the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, are mutually verifiable. If our purpose was to establish it (by reporting and analysing all the reports) we would have to set aside a book for it. The reports of what we have outlined are sufficient in so far as our intention is to give a summary, and put that in its (appropriate) place in this book.

Reports of Love for him, Peace be on him, Being a Sign of Faith (in a Person) and Hatred of him Being a Sign of Hypocrisy (in a Person)

[Abu Bakr Muhammad b. 'Umar - known as Ibn al-Ji'abi al-Hafiz - told us: Muhammad b. Sahl b. al-Hasan told us: Ahmad b. 'Umar al-Dihqan told us: Muhammad b. Kathir told us: Ismail b. Muslim told us: al-A'mash told us on the authority of 'Adi b. Thabit, on the authority of Zirr b. Hubaysh, who said:]

I saw the Commander of the faithful, 'Ali b. Abi Talib,on the pulpit and I heard him say: "By Him Who split the seed and brought the soul into being, the Prophet made a promise (ahd) to me: 'Only believers will love you and only hypocrites will hate you!"

[Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Imran al-Marzubani informed me: 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Baghawi told us: 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar al-Qawariri told us: Ja'far b. Sulayman told us: al-Nadr b. Hamid told us on the authority of Abu al-Jarud, on the authority of al-Harith al-Hamdani who said:]

I saw 'Ali, peace be on him. One day he came and went up on the pulpit. He praised and glorified God. Then he said: "A decree which God, the Most High, decreed by the tongue of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, was that only believers will love me and only hypocrites will hate me. Whoever forges a lie is lost."

[Abu al-Hasan Muhammad b. al-Muzaffar al-Bazzaz informed me: Muhammad b. Yahya told us: Muhammad b. Musa al-Barbari told us: Khalaf b. Salim told us: Waki' told us: al-A'mash told us on the authority of 'Adi b. Thabit, on the authority of Zirr b. Hubaysh, on the authority of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, who said:]

The Prophet, may God bless him and his family, made a promise (ahd) to me: "Only believers will love you and only hypocrites will hate you."

Reports of him, Peace be on him, and his Shi'a Being the Successful Ones

[Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Imran al-Marzubani informed me: 'Ali b. Muhammad b. 'Abd A11ah al-Hafiz told me: 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ubayd al-Kufi told us: Isma'il b. Aban told us on the authority of Sa'd b. Talib, on the authority of Jabir b. Yazid, on them authority of Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Baqir, peace be on them both, who said:]

Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, was asked about 'Ali- b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, she said: "I heard the Apostle of God say: "Ali and his Shi'a are the successful ones.' "

[Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Imran informed me: Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Jawhari told me: Muhammad b. Harun b. Isa al-Hashimi told me: Tamim b. Muhammad b. al-'Ala told us: 'Abd al-Razzaq told us: Yahya b. al-'Ala told us on the authority of Sa'd b. Tarif, on the authority of al-Asbagh b. Nubata, on the authority of 'Ali, peace be on him, who said:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family said: "God, the Most High, has a cane of ruby which none will obtain except us and our Shi'a. The rest of the people are excluded from it."

[Abu 'Abd Allah informed me: 'Ali' b. Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Hafiz told me: 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ubayd al-Kufi told us: Isma'il b. Aban told us on the authority of 'Amr b. Hurayth, on the authority of Dawud b. al-Salil, on the authority of Anas b. Malik, who said:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family said: "Seventy thousand of my community will enter Heaven without any reckoning and punishment against them." Then he turned to 'Ali, peace be on him and said: "They are your Shi'a and you are their Imam."

[Abu 'Abd Allah informed me: Ahmad b. Isa al-Karkhi told me Abu al-'Ayna Muhammad b. al-Qasim told us: Muhammad b. 'A'isha told us on the authority of Isma'il b. 'Amr al-Bajali, who told us: 'Umar b. Musa told me on the authority of Zayd b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his (Zayd's) grandfather, on the authority of 'Ali, peace be on them, who said:]

I complained to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, about the people's envy of me. He said: "'Ali, the first four to enter heaven are myself, you, al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Our progeny (will come) behind us and our loved ones will be behind our progeny. To our right and left will be our Shi'a."

Reports of Friendship to him, Peace be on him, Being a Sign of Good Birth and Enmity to him, Being a Sign of Disgraceful Birth [Abu al-Jaysh al-Muzaffar b. Muhammad al-Balkhi informed me: Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi al-Thalj told us: Ja'far b. Muhammad al-'Alawi' told us: Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Mun'im told us: 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad al-Fazari told us on the authority of Ja'far b. Muhammad, on the authority of his father, peace be on them, on the authority of Jabir, b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari, who said:]

I heard the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, say to 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him: "Shall I not make you happy, give you a gift, tell you good news?"

"Please do, Apostle of God," he replied.

"Both I, myself, and you have been created from one (piece of) clay. Part of it was left over and from that God created our Shi'a. On the Day of Resurrection (all) the people will be summoned by the names of their mothers except our Shi'a. They will be summoned by the names of their fathers because of their good birth."

[Abu al-Jaysh al-Muzaffar b. Muhammad informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi al-Thalj who said: Muhammad b. Muslim al-Kufi told us: 'Ubayd Allah b. Kathir told us: Ja'far b. Muhammad b. al-Husayn al-Zuhri told us: 'Ubayd Allah b. Musa told us on the authority of Isra'il, on the authority of Abu Husayn, on the authority of 'Ikrima, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas:]

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said: "On the Day of Resurrection all the people will be summoned by the names of their mothers except our Shi'a. They will be summoned by the names of' their fathers because of their good birth."

[Abu al-Qasim Ja'far b. Muhammad al-Qummi told us: Abu 'Ali Muhammad b. Hammam b. . Suhayl al-Iskafi told us: Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Malik told me: Muhammad b. Ni'ma al-Saluli told us: 'Abd Allah b. al-Qasim, told us on the authority of 'Abd Allah b. Jabala, on the authority of his father, who said: I heard Jabir b. 'Abd Allah b. Hizan al-Ansari say:]

One day a group of us Ansar were with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He said to us: "O people of the Ansar, instill in your children a love for 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. Whoever loves him should know that he is rightly guided and whoever hates him should know that he is in error."

Reports of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his Family Naming him, Peace be on him, Commander of the Faithful during (the Prophet's) Lifetime.

(Abu al-Jaysh Muzaffar b. Muhammad al-Balkhi informed me: Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi al-Thalj informed me: al-Husayn b. Ayyub informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ghalib, on the authority of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, on the authority of al-Hasan b. Mahbub, on the authority of Abu Hamza al-Thumali, on the authority of Abu lshaq al-Sabi'i, on the authority of Bashir al-Ghiffari, on the authority of Anas b. Malik, who said:]

I was a servant of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. One night Umm Habiba, daughter of Abu Sufyan, brought water for ablutions to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. He said to me: "Anas, at this moment there will come to you through this door the Commander of the faithful, the best of testamentary trustees of authority (wasiyyin), the foremost of the people in Islam, and the most knowledgeable and most mindful of them."

"O God, make him one of my tribe," I said.

However, almost immediately 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, came through the door. The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, performed his ablutions. Then the Apostle of God threw the water into, the face of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on them both, so that both his eyes were filled with water.

"Apostle of God, has any impurity occurred in me?" asked 'Ali.

"Only good has been occasioned in you," replied the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. "You belong to me and I belong to you. You will act on my behalf, fulfill my duties, wash my (corpse) and bury me in my grave. You will listen to the people's (questions) about me and you will explain to them after me."

"Apostle of God," 'Ali said, "haven't you told them?"

"Yes, but you will explain the things they differ on after me."

[Abu al-Jaysh al-Muzaffar b. Muhammad informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi al-Thalj who said: My grandfather told me: 'Abd Allah b. Dahir told us: My father, Dahir b. Yahya al-Ahmari al-Muqri told me on the authority of al-A'mash, on the authority of 'Abaya al-Asadi, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas:]

The Prophet, may God bless him and his family, said to Umm Salama, may God be pleased with her: "Listen and bear witness that this 'Ali is the Commander of the faithful and the master of the testamentary trustees."

[With the same isnad on the authority of Muhammad (b. Ahmad) b. Abi al-Thalj who said: my grandfather told me: 'Abd al-Salam b. Salih told us: Yahya b. al-Yaman told us: Sufyan al-Thawri told us on the authority of Abu al-Jahhaf, on the authority of Mu'awiya b. Tha'laba who said:]

Abu Dharr, may God be pleased with him, was told: "Make a will."

"I have made my will," he answered.

"To whom?" he was asked.

"To the Commander of the faithful," he replied.

"To 'Uthman?"

"No," he said. "To the Commander of the faithful, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. Indeed he is the pivot of the earth and the master of this community. If you lost him, you would not know the earth and those who were on it."

The report of Burayda b. Husayb al-Aslami is famous and well known among the religious scholars with (so many) isnds that their full elucidation would be very long. He reported:

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, ordered me while I was the seventh of a group of seven which included Abu Bakr, 'Umar, Talha and al-Zubayr: "Greet 'Ali with the title of Commander of the faithful."

We greeted him with that title while the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, lived among us.

There are many reports like these which would make the book too long (to report them all). God is the bringer of truth.

His Qualities

As for his many qualities, the fact that they are so famous, so well authenticated and reported by tradition and by the consensus of the religious scholars (means) that they do not need thei

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