A Shi'ite Anthology
I. Profession of Faith
Imam Sadiq (A.S) has related from his fathers that the Prophet of God (PBUH) said in one of his sermons, "Praise belongs to God, who in His firstness (awwaliyyah) was solitary and in His beginninglessness (azaliyyah) was tremendously exalted through divinity and supremely great through His magnificence and power. He originated that which He produced and brought into being that which He created without a model (mithal) preceding anything that He created. Our Lord, the eternal (al-qadim), unstitched (the heavens and the earth) through the subtlety (lutf) of His lordship and the knowledge within His omniscience, created all that He created through the laws of His power (qudrah), and split (the sky) through the light of dawn. So none changes His creation, none alters His handiwork, 'none repels His law' (XIII, 45), none rejects His command. There is no place of rest away from His call (dawah), no cessation to His dominion and no interruption of His term. He is the truly existent (al-kaynun) from the first and the truly enduring (al-daymum) forever. He is veiled from His creatures by His light in the high horizon, in the towering might, and in the lofty dominion. He is above all things and below all things. So He manifested Himself (tajalla) to His creation without being seen, and He transcends being gazed upon. He wanted to be distinguished by the profession of Unity (tawhid) when He withdrew behind the veil of His light, rose high in His exaltation and concealed Himself from His creation."
"He sent to them messengers so they might be His conclusive argument against His creatures and so His messengers to them might be witnesses against them. He sent among them prophets bearing good tidings and warning, 'that whosoever perished might perish by a clear sign, and by a clear sign he might live who lived' (VIII, 42) and that the servants might understand of their Lord that of which they had been ignorant, recognize Him in His Lordship after they had denied (it) and profess His Unity in His divinity after they had stubbornly resisted."
2. God's Attributes
Ibn Abbas related that a Jew, called Na'thal, stood up before the Prophet of God-upon whom be blessings and peace-and said, "O Muhammad, verily I will ask thee about certain thingswhich have been repeating themselves in my breast for some time. If thou answerest them for me I will embrace Islam at thy hand."
The Prophet said, "Ask, O Abu Ummarah"
Then he said, "O Muhammad, describe for me thy Lord."
He answered,"Surely the Creator cannot be described except by that with which He has described Himself-and how should one describe that Creator whom the senses cannot perceive, imaginations cannot attain, thoughts (khatarat) cannot delimit and sight cannot encompass ? Greater is He than what the depicters describe. He is distant in His nearness and near in His distance. He fashions (kayyaf) 'howness' (kayfiyyah), so it is not said of Him, 'How?' (kayf); He determines (ayyan) the 'where' (ayn), so it is not said of Him, 'Where ?' (ayn). He sunders 'howness' (kayfufiyyah) and 'whereness' (aynuniyyah), so He is "One . . . the Everlasting Refuge" (CXII 1-2), as He has described Himself. But depicters do not attain to His description. 'He has not begotten, and has not been begotten, and equal to Him is not any one' (CXII 3-4).
Na'thal said, "Thou hast spoken the truth. O Muhammad, tell me about thy saying, 'Surely He is One, there is none like (shabih) Him.' Is not God one and man one? And thus His oneness (wahdaniyyah) resembles the oneness of man."
He answered, "God is one, but single in meaning (ahadi al-mana), while man is one but dual in meaning (thanawi al-ma'na), corporeal substance (jism) and accidents ('arad), body (badan) and spirit (ruh). Similarity (tashbih) pertains only to the meanings."
Nathal said, "Thou hast spoken the truth, O Muhammad."
Devotion to Hussein
The Battle of Ashura: Battle of Fidelity against Infidelity