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The Virtues of Commander of Faithful in the Words of Imam Reza

imam reza (a.s)

One of the verses interpreted by Imam Reza (A.S) is the Mubahilah Verse. In a debate that Imam Reza (A.S) had with Ma’mun about the greatest virtue of Imam Ali (A.S), Imam Reza (A.S) referred to this verse.

Shaykh Sadduq in Oyyun Akhbar  narrates that: “one day Ma’mun asked Imam Reza (A.S) to tell him about the greatest virtue of Imam Ali (A.S) that Qur’an refers to.

Imam Reza (A.S) replied: “Indeed, that is Mubahilah Verse. the Almighty God says: “Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you - say, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us]." (3: 61)(1). Then the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) called Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Hussein (A.S) who were his offspring for Mubahilah; he then invited Hazrate Fatimah (S.A) who was among the women mentioned in this verse and finally he called Imam Ali (A.S) who was considered as Prophet Muhammad’s self as said in the verse.

Therefore, it was proved that no God’s servant was higher and greater than the Messenger of Allah, and it also indicates that on one is higher than Prophet Muhammad’s self, that is, Imam Ali (A.S) as mentioned in this holy verse. 

Ma’mun said: “this verse and reason stands true about Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Hussein (A.S) and Fatimah (S.A), but it cannot be applied to Imam Ali (A.S) since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) probably meant himself in this verse and not somebody else. So this verse does not refer to any virtue or dignity of Imam Ali (A.S).

Imam Reza (A.S) replied: “your remark is not true since the caller always invites others rather than himself, not himself. As a commander orders others not himself. So when the Prophet said: “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves”‌, it does not mean to call he himslef and as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) invited no one except Imam Ali (A.S) to Mubahilah, thus, it can be proved that Imam Ali (A.S) is Prophet Muhammad’s self as it is referred to in Qur’an. 

Ma’mun who was surprised by Imam Reza’s answer said: “when the answer is perfect, the question loses its value.”‌ (2)


1.  Al Imran: 61.

2. Al –Fosul al –Mokhtarah, P. 38; Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 49, P. 188.

By Muhammad Javad Tabasi

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Imam Reza (A.S.) Gives Explanation about Sahaba

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