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  • 11/12/2011

Peshawar Nights: Prophecy about his own martyrdom and about Ibn Muljim

Tenth Session-part 8

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*Prophecy about his own martyrdom and about Ibn Muljim

*"City of Knowledge" proves Ali's right to be the first Caliph

*According to the Holy Prophet Ali excelled all others in knowledge

*Description of zones of space in agreement with the modern science of astronomy

*Ali mastered all sciences

*Ibn Abi'l‌Hadid's admission of Ali's superior knowledge

*Imam Husain's birth and the angels' congratulations

*Nawab Sahib's acceptance of Shia'ism

 

PROPHECY ABOUT HIS OWN MARTYRDOM AND ABOUT IBN MULJIM

He also predicted his own martyrdom. He said that his murderer was Abdu'r-Rahman Ibn Muljim Muradi, though that accursed man claimed to be loyal and a supporter.

Ibn Kathir writes in Usudu'l-Ghaiba, c.IV, p.25 and others also have reported that Ibn Muljim came to the Holy Imam, he recited some verses in praise of Amiru'l Mu'minin in the presence of the companions. He said: "You are the true guide, free from all faults and doubts. You are generous and kind and are the son of those lion-hearted and gallant ancestors, who were so distinguished in bravery from the very beginning. O, successor of the Prophet! Allah has given you this rank and bestowed upon you that virtue and greatness present in the Holy Qur'an."

The companions were very surprised at his eloquence and ardent love. Then the Holy Imam replied in verse: "I advise you to love me open-heartedly, even though I know that you are one of my enemies."

Ibn Hajar says in his Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa, p.82, that the Holy Imam, replying in verse to Ibn Muljim, said: "I wish him to live, but he wants to kill me. This outward friend belongs to the Murad clan."

Abdu'r-Rahman said: "Perhaps you have heard my name and you dislike my name."

The Holy Imam said: "No, it is not so; I know without the least doubt that you are a murderer, and it will not be long before you will stain my white beard with the blood of my head."

Ibn Muljim said, "If it is so, you may have me killed." The companions also insisted that he should be killed.

But the Holy Imam said: "It can never be. My religion does not allow retaliation before the commission of the sin. I know for certain that you are my murderer, but religious orders concern manifest acts. Since you have not yet committed an unjust action, I cannot inflict any penalty on you."

Thomas Carlyle of England writes in his series of lectures, "On Heroes," that Ali Bin Abi Talib was murdered because of his justice. That is, if he had retaliated before the commission of the sin, he would have surely remained safe. This was often the case with kings of the world who immediately killed anyone - even a near relative - whom they suspected to be their enemy.

This event is another proof of the fact that no one has a knowledge of the unseen except a Prophet or Imam who is ma'sum (innocent in the sense of preserved from error). If he were merely infallible, he might, on account of his being aware of the realities, cause a disturbance. But a Prophet or Imam, who is also infallible, even after recognizing his murderer, does not make reprisals before the actual commission of the sin. Are these examples not sufficient to prove that the Holy Imam was fully aware of future events?

 

ALI'S SUPERIORITY

Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi reports in the beginning of Yanabiu'l-Mawadda the verses of Amiru'l-Mu'minin which have been taken from Ibn Talha Shafi'i's Durru'l-Munazzam. The Holy Imam said: "Verily, I have complete knowledge of all beginnings, and I am accused of hiding the knowledge of the ends. I am the discloser of all hidden and inexplicable matters. I have before me the record of all the past and the present. Truly, I have dominion over all things, great and small, and my knowledge encompasses the whole universe."

The Holy Imam also said: "I could load seventy camels with commentary on the sura of al-Fatiha (of the Holy Qur'an)."

The Holy Prophet has said: "I am the city of Knowledge and Ali its gate. Also Allah Almighty says that we should enter the house through the gates. So whoever wishes to seek knowledge should come through the door."

Apart from other facts, these two instances are sufficient to prove the superiority of Ali to others. He should have directly succeeded the Holy Prophet as the leader of the Muslims. When it is an admitted fact that Ali was the most learned of all, it is absurd to assume that an ignorant man had the right to supersede him.

 

ALLAH COULD NOT HAVE WILLED THAT THE SUPERIOR BE SUPERSEDED BY THE INFERIOR

Even Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his book about the first sermon says: "A man of low order was given priority over the man of the most exalted rank." This remark is an acknowledgement of the Holy Imam's superiority, but his fanaticism compels him to add, "Allah willed that the inferior supersede the superior man."

This statement is unfortunate, coming as it does from a man like Ibn Abi'l-Hadid. All sensible people would object to it. His claim contradicts Allah's justice. But surely Allah is All-Just and All-Wise. He does not give preference to an inferior man and let him supersede a more deserving person.

Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, "Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike?" (39:9)

Again He says: "Is then he who guides to truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself goes not aright, unless he is guided."

Ibn Abi'l-Hadid clearly admits that Ali was the man who most deserved the caliphate. He says in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, v.I. p.4: "Verily, Ali was superior to all mankind after the Holy Prophet of Allah. Regarding the matter of the caliphate, he was the most deserving of all the Muslims."

 

"CITY OF KNOWLEDGE" PROVES ALI'S RIGHT TO BE THE FIRST CALIPH

Moreover, the Holy Prophet's explicit statement at the conclusion of this hadith confirms Ali's superiority: "He who is desirous of seeking knowledge must come to the door." The "door" here is of course Ali.

So is this portal of guidance whom the Prophet has ordered us to seek more worthy or he whom the people have chosen? The answer is obvious. The Holy Prophet's order must be obeyed. Second, the Holy Prophet also established the criterion for priority and preference, which is the possession of the highest knowledge.

Sheikh: If, Ali had the right of priority because of his superior knowledge, the Holy Prophet of Allah should have specifically stated it so the Community might know that obedience to him was compulsory. But no such categorical statement is to be found.

Well-Wisher: I am greatly pained to hear such statements from you. You have an unfortunate tendency to reject anything - even the obvious truth - when it contradicts your view. My respected brother, I have been citing those statements for the last ten nights. The audience and several local newspapers will bear testimony to this fact. But still you say that you have not seen any explicit statement of the Holy Prophet. Even your own authentic books are replete with clear declarations on this issue.

Let me ask you this: Does the Community need the Holy Prophet's knowledge and sirat (traditions and customs)?

Sheikh: It is an obvious fact. All the Companions and the Community need the guidance, knowledge, and customs of the Holy Prophet until the Day of Judgement.

Well-Wisher: May Allah bless you! If there were no other specific hadith except the Hadith of Medina, even this would have been sufficient to prove my point. The Prophet explicitly says: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate; he who wishes to seek knowledge should come to the door."

 

ACCORDING TO THE HOLY PROPHET ALI EXCELLED ALL OTHERS IN KNOWLEDGE

What declaration can be more explicit than this hadith in which the Holy Prophet says that "Anyone who desires to have the benefit of my knowledge should come to the door of Ali because he is the gate of knowledge!" Now dawn is approaching. For the whole night I have been ardently discussing this topic and have taken all of your time. But at this moment you have cooled my ardor. Like your predecessors, you refuse to listen, and consequently, disregarding all my cogent reasoning, you are denying the obvious truth.

What declaration can be superior to the declaration about knowledge? Would any sane person advocate rejecting a wise man in favor of an ignorant one? Of course not. Therefore, you must accept my point, which is not only my point but an accepted principle of all knowledgeable people: since Ali was superior in knowledge and wisdom among the entire Community, obedience to him is obligatory. Accordingly, as I have already mentioned, your own prominent ulema, like Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal (Musnad), Khawarizmi (munaqab), and even the fanatic Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq have quoted the Holy Prophet as saying: "In my Community Ali Bin Abi Talib excelled all others in knowledge."

There was not a single person among the Companions who compared to Ali in knowledge. Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in Munaqab, Muhammad Bin Talha in Matalibu's-Su'ul, Hamwaini in Fara'id and Sheikh Sulayman Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.XIV, report from Kalbi that the great scholar of the Community, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, said: " The knowledge of the Holy Prophet is from Allah's knowledge; the knowledge of Ali is from the Holy Prophet's knowledge. My knowledge and all the Companion's knowledge, compared to Ali's, is like a drop of water before the seven seas."

In Nahju'l-Balagha, sermon 108, Ali says: "We (the infallible Imams) are the Tree of Prophethood, the secure abode of the divine message, the descending place of angels, the mines of knowledge, and the sources of wisdom."

Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, v.II, p.236 commenting on this sermon, says: "This attribute was clearly possessed by the Holy Imam since the Prophet of Allah has said: 'I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate; whoever wishes to seek knowledge should come to the gate.'

Also the Holy Prophet said: 'Ali is the best judge among you.'"

Ibn Abi'l-Hadid goes on to say: "The faculty of judgement requires many kinds of knowledge: The standard of his knowledge was so high that no one could equal him. In fact no one approached him. So he was entitled to claim: 'We are the mines of knowledge and the sources of wisdom.' Hence, after the Holy Prophet no one had better right to claim these things for himself."

Ibn Abdu'l-Barr in Isti'ab, v.III, p.38, Muhammad Bin Talha in Matalibu's-Su'ul, p.23, and Qazi Aiji in Mawaqif, p.276 have quoted the Holy Prophet as saying: "Ali is the best judge among you all."

Suyuti in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa, p.115, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, v.I. p.65, Muhammad Jazari in Asniu'l-Matalib, p.14, Muhammad Bin Sa'd in Tabaqa, p.459, Ibn Kathir in Ta'rikh-e-Kabir, v. VII, p. 359, and Ibn Abdu'l-Barr in Isti'ab, v.IV, p.38, quote Umar Ibn Khattab as saying: "Ali is the best judge among us."

It is reported in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda that Ibn Talha, author of Durru'l-Munazzam says: "You should know that all the secrets and mysteries of the divine books are contained in the Holy Qur'an. Whatever is in the Holy Qur'an is contained in the sura al-Fatiha. Whatever is in the sura of al-Fatiha is contained in the verse 'Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim.' (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful). Whatever is in the verse, 'Bismillah ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim,' is in the Ba (B) of 'Bismillah.' Whatever is in the Ba of 'Bismillah,' is contained in the dot below the letter Ba of 'Bismillah.' Ali said: 'I am that dot which is below the letter Ba of Bismillah.'"

Also Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, reports Ibn Abbas as saying: "Once on a moonlit night after the Isha prayer, Ali, taking me by the hand led me to the graveyard of Baqi and said: 'Abdullah! Recite.' I recited the verse 'Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim.' The Holy Imam continued telling me the secrets and mysteries of the Ba of 'Bismillah' until dawn."

Both sects unanimously agree that regarding his knowledge of the unseen and his being the heir of the knowledge of the prophets, Ali holds a unique position among all the Companions.

Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, Khatib-e-Khawarizmi in Manaqib, and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda have recorded from Ibn Talha Halbi's Durru'l-Munazzam that Ali said: "Ask me about the unseen and unknown mysteries, because truly I am the heir of the knowledge of the holy prophets and messengers of Allah."

Also Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, and Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda report that Ali declared from the pulpit: "Ask me about what you do not understand before I die. Inquire of me about the paths of the skies because, verily, I know more about those paths than the paths of the earth."

Ali made this long before the invention of the telescope. People often asked him about the heavenly bodies and he answered their questions.

 

DESCRIPTION OF ZONES OF SPACE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE MODERN SCIENCE OF ASTRONOMY

The great scholar and traditionist, Sheikh Ali Ibn Ibrahim Qummi of the 3rd century A.H. in his commentary on the sura Saffat (No. 37), the eminent scholar, Sheikh Fakhru'd-Din Ibn Tarih Najafi, known for his piety, in his Kitabu'l-Lughat Ma'rafat-e-Majma'u'l-Bahrain, which was compiled about 300 years ago, and Allama Mullah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, in his Biharu'l-Anwar, v.XIV, report that Ali said: "The stars in the skies are populated with cities as the earth is." Now for Allah's sake, be fair. At that time there was no conception of modern astronomy. The world accepted the Ptolemaic theory that the earth was the center of the universe. If a man disclosed something new about the stellar regions and that was proved to be true a thousand years later, wouldn't you say that he had knowledge of the unseen?

 

ALI MASTERED ALL SCIENCES

The fact is that, after the Holy Prophet, Ali was the most knowledgeable man in philosophy, grammar, fiqh (jurisprudence), astronomy, astrology, jafr (divination), mathematics, poetry, rhetoric, and lexicography. In all the sciences he made significant contributions which the experts in that field have adopted as a basis for further development.

For example, he told Abu'l-Aswadu'd-Du'ali (a writer who is generally credited with having invented the vowel marks of written Arabic) that there were three parts of speech: the noun, the verb, and the preposition. Also, he laid down the principles of grammar and syntax of the Arabic language as well as details of pronunciation and vocabulary. By fixing correct pronunciation in writing, he protected the Qur'an from future misinterpretation.

 

IBN ABI'L-HADID'S ADMISSION OF ALI'S SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE

In the preface of Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, you will find how this scholar admitted and praised the merits of Ali in all fields of knowledge.

He says: "What can I say about the man to whom all the merits are attributed, who is a perfect model for every nation to follow, and with whom all wish to identify themselves? He is of course the fountain head of all merits. After him, whoever achieved prominence received benefit from him, for he followed in his footsteps."

Ibn Abi'l-Hadid says that the knowledge of the four great jurists, Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'i, and Imam Hanbal, derived from Ali's knowledge. He says: "Those companions who were well versed in jurisprudence learned it from Ali."

I do not want to take more of your time by quoting further from this great scholar. But I urge you to read his preface to his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha. You would learn how the illustrious historian and scholar has acknowledged the merits of Ali. He says, "Ali's case is strange. Throughout his life he never uttered the words: 'I do not know.' He possessed knowledge of everything."

At the end, the author says: "This fact can be counted as one of the miracles of the Holy Imam. Such knowledge is beyond the reach of human power and understanding."

 

IMAM HUSAIN'S BIRTH AND THE ANGELS' CONGRATULATIONS

People came to the Holy Prophet and congratulated him on the birth of Imam Husain. One of the men said: "O Holy Prophet! we have observed something strange in Ali." The Holy Prophet asked, "What did you see?" The man said: "When we came to offer congratulations, we were stopped and told that 120,000 angels had come from heaven and were with you. We were astonished as to how Ali could know this and how he could count them."

The Holy Prophet smiled and asked Ali how he could know that so many angels had come to him. The Holy Imam said: "May my father and mother sacrifice their lives for you! Each of the angels who came to you and saluted you spoke in a different language. On calculation, I found that they had spoken in 120,000 languages, so I knew that 120,000 angels had come to you."

The Holy Prophet said: "O, Abu'l-Hasan! May Allah increase your knowledge and modesty." Then turning to the people the Holy Prophet said: "I am the city of knowledge, and Ali is its gate. There is no greater event and no greater sign than he is. He is the Imam of the people, the best of mankind, trustee of Allah and repository of His knowledge. He is the 'people of Dhikr', among those referred to by the words of Allah: 'So ask you the people of Dhikr if you know not.'(16:43) I am the treasury of knowledge and Ali is its key. So whoever wishes to obtain the treasure must come to the key."

If you can point to a single companion or relation of the Holy Prophet who could rival Ali's merits, I would certainly bow my head before him. But if you cannot, then it would be your religious duty to attach yourselves to the truth without caring what the world might think. (Then he raised his hands towards the sky and prayed to Allah:) "O, Allah! Be my witness that I have clearly indicated the way to truth and have discharged my religious obligation."

 

NAWAB SAHIB'S ACCEPTANCE OF SHIA'ISM

Nawab: Holy sir, for the last several nights, we have heard many discussions in these sessions. Some of us used to discuss the points of arguments among ourselves each day. I thank Allah Almighty that He has shown us the way. The utterly false information of the opponents misled us. Now it is clear that the Shia Ithna Asharis are rightly guided.

Both those of us who have attended these meetings and many people of the city who have read the accounts of these debates in the newspapers have been shown the truth about Islam. Of course they all cannot publicly declare their faith because of their personal dealings with the opponents, but they have told us in private that they have accepted Shia'ism.

But some of us are not afraid of anyone and are prepared to announce that during these nights we wanted to reveal our change of allegiance. There was no opportunity to do so. We have heard your convincing arguments, and now our belief is quite firm.

Permit us now to draw the curtain aside. Let our names be recorded as Shias of our master, Amiru'l-Mu'minin and the twelve Imams. Kindly announce to the people of the Shia sect that we are one with them. Bear witness on the Day of Judgement before the Divine Court of Justice and before your exalted grandfather that we have complete faith in the twelve Imams as the successors and vicegerents of the Holy Prophet of Allah.

Well-Wisher: I am glad that some of you have recognized the truth. According to a hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, by Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-su'ul, by Ibn Maghazili in Faza'il, by Khawarizmi in Manaqib, by Sulayman Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, and by many others, the Holy Prophet has guided us to this path. He said, "Ali's path is the path to truth." I hope that my other brothers in Islam will also give up their intolerance.

Nawab: We are extremely grateful for your kind and learned interpretation of facts. There is still one point which disturbs us. It concerns the imamate of the twelve Imams and their names. In the past ten nights Amiru'l-Mu'minin Ali was the focus of our discussion. First tell us the verse of the Holy Qur'an which proves the imamate of the twelve Imams. Second, are the names of the twelve Imams recorded in our books?

Well-Wisher: It is an appropriate question and I would be happy to respond. But it is now nearly dawn, and my answer cannot be brief.

Tomorrow is the birthday of the grandson of the Holy Prophet Imam Husain and the Qizilbash family has arranged a celebration in the Risaldar Imambara. Perhaps I will reply to your question on that occasion.

Nawab: I quite agree with you.

Source: al-islam.org

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