Who Are the Shia and What Do They Say?

Lesson 5: Prophethood, the Third Principle of Shia Belief

hashie bala

In the Name of God

     

Based on the words of: Masoud Basiti

Collected By: Zahra Moradi

Translated By: Ali Mansouri

  

Over the course of "Who Are The Shia And What Do They Say?", we will examine the advent of Shi’ism, discuss the foundations of Shia belief, and present authentic Islam.

  

Lesson 5: Prophethood, the Third Principle of Shia Belief

In the previous lesson the second principle of Shia belief, Divine Justice, was discussed. Believing in Divine Justice means accepting that God will never oppress anyone. This means that differences between individuals are not signs of injustice or oppression. God gifts people based on His Grace, not out of a debt towards them. Furthermore, someone that enjoys more blessings also has more responsibility for them.

The worldviews of determinism and absolute free will were also examined. Determinists believe that since all power comes from God, and God has complete knowledge of what His servants do, human beings have no independent will. Instead people are mere puppets acting out a script written out by God. On the other hand, people that believe in absolute free will believe that God has completely given up His Power and Sovereignty to mankind and has no power to affect, change, or block human actions. The flaws of both viewpoints were discussed. It was emphasized that the Shia School of thought does not accept either worldview. Instead, the Shia believe that God, out of His Grace and Wisdom, has bestowed a limited amount of power to human beings. However, He can take this power away at any moment. Humans are free to use this power in a correct or incorrect way. If they use their power in a way that God has forbidden, they will be held accountable for their choices.

The consequence of believing in Divine Justice is that the Shia will always be in a state of hope and fear. They will be more careful about their intentions, behavior, and action than other people. Those around them will be safe from their words, thoughts, and actions.

In this lesson, we will analyze the second principle of Shia belief: Prophethood.

  

The Third Principle in Shia Belief: Prophethood

The Arabic word for Prophethood is “Nubuwwah”. It comes from the root ‘Naba’, which means an important piece of news that contains great blessings[1]. Thus, a “Nabi”, or Prophet, is someone that brings important news from God to His servants. (Please note that the words Prophet and Messenger will be used interchangeably in this chapter)

The Shia believe that God, the Most Kind, sent 124,000 truthful, trustable individuals[2] to the people to show them the way towards salvation and remind them of the duties they have towards their Creator. The first was the Prophet Adam (AS) and the last was the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In the Shia school of thought, believing in Nubuwwah and accepting what was brought by the Divine Prophets as truth is an essential principle of faith, and falls under the fundamental principle of Tawhid.

  

The Relationship Between Prophethood and Tawhid

Someone that believes in Tawhid accepts that the one God is absolutely unique. He is completely superior to all of His creation. He cannot be sensed, recognized, or reached by the five senses or any other tool[3]. Thus, people need Messengers from God to gain a proper Marifat and recognition toward their Creator, know what He wants of them, what is in their favor, and what will lead to their misery[4].

Even though it was possible for God to choose other creatures, such as angels, to be His messengers, He chose to pick from among the humans, so that the people can easily relate to, communicate, and take example from His Messengers[5].

But is every person that makes the claim of Prophethood truly sent from God? What traits must Divine Messengers have so that the people can trust their claims?

  

The Way of Discerning the Truthfulness of Prophets

As was pointed out in the second lesson, the Aql allows people to determine the truth of claims to Prophethood. If the contents of the invitation of someone claiming Prophethood are incompatible with the Aql, if their behavior and interactions with others are incompatible with the Aql, if the proofs brought forth by them are incompatible with the Aql, they cannot be a true Messenger of God. Thus, the following items must be analyzed by the Aql:

The Contents of the Invitation

One of the most important ways to distinguish truthful Prophets from false claimants is to ponder on the content of their invitation. Does the person that is claiming Prophethood invite people to themselves or to the One God? Do they value their own personal interests or the people’s guidance and salvation?

Do the Aql and Vejdan approve of what they are saying?

Does their message contradict the message of the previous Prophets?

Do they accept the Prophets that came before them?

Do they demand a material benefit and compensation from the people for their Mission?[6]

  

Testament of Other Prophets

Another way for recognizing the truthfulness of someone that claims Prophethood is that another Divine Prophet testifies to the truthfulness of their claims. For example, Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist) (AS), confirmed the Prophethood of Prophet Jesus (AS)[7]. Similarly, Prophet Jesus (AS) gave tidings of the coming of the final Prophet (Ahmad, PBUH). He described his genealogy, physical characteristics, and behavior with such detail that when the Children of Israel saw the final Prophet, they completely recognized him[8]. (We will go into more detail about this issue in the “Glad Tidings to the Final Prophet” section at the end of this lesson)

  

Behavior and Character

According to the Aql, the person that God chooses on earth as His messenger and representative must be a role model for all His servants. Among the most obvious traits that true Prophets have been adorned with are truthfulness and trustworthiness. Imam Sadeq (AS), the sixth successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

“God Almighty never sent any Prophet other than [one who is] truthful and returns what has been trusted to them to both the good and bad”[9].

The Divine Messengers and Guides must be the most truthful, trustable, and empathetic person of their age. They must follow their Aql to a greater degree than anyone else. If someone that claims Prophethood acts in ways that contradict the Aql (if they lie, are not trustable, oppress someone, or are indifferent to people’s problems), they cannot be sent from God.

Therefore, some stories which claim that certain Prophets committed indecent acts cannot be true. The truthfulness of the person narrating them, or credibility of the book describing the story should be doubted. For example a story has been narrated about Prophet Noah (AS), in which the Prophet supposedly becomes very drunk and naked until his sons cover him up[10]. What healthy Aql can accept that God’s Messenger can put himself in a situation that his Aql does not function and commit such actions, while he is the one that is supposed to be guiding the people to follow their Aql?

  

Miracles

Miracles are extraordinary actions that:

o  Are performed with the Will and Power of God through His emissary[11].

o    People are unable to perform.

o    Unlike sorcery, miracles cannot be taught or learned[12].

o    Issue a challenge to opponents (meaning that either directly or indirectly it challenges opponents to also perform the same action).

o    Are a sign for understanding the Majesty of God Almighty and confirmation of the truth of the Prophet[13].

It must be noted that while many Prophets had numerous miracles, ultimately the most important reason that proves the truthfulness of the Divine Prophets are proofs to the Vejdan and Aql. The miracles complement those proofs so that those people that had lingering doubts about the world of the unseen lose their uncertainty. They were not the primary proofs.

Why were Prophets sent by God? What were their missions?

  

The Goal of the Prophet’s Missions

Waking up the Fitrah (Man’s Innate Disposition)

As was discussed in the lesson about Tawhid, God Himself placed His Marifat in a Fitri manner within humans, because they have no way to grasp God directly or to recognizeHim. But, just as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated, this Marifat Fitri gradually becomes covered up with the passing of time, as a result of an improper environment and the negligence and sins of the person. One of the important things that the Prophets did was to draw aside this veil by giving reminders to people and introducing the true God to them[14].

For example, Prophet Abraham (AS) asked the people of his era, who worshipped the sun and moon, “What use is there in a God that is present during the night, but not the day, or is present during the day, then sets? The true God is always present, in all places”[15]. This reminder conformed with what God had already placed within the human Fitra (innate nature). Subsequently, the people that were willing to accept the truth realized their mistakes and refrained from worshipping anything other than the One God.

In another case, Prophet Abraham (AS) went into the idol house and broke all but one of the idols. When a group of people objected to his action, he responded with this reminder (that appealed to the Fitra), “What kind of gods are these that cannot even defend themselves?”[16] This reminder made many people realize that they had gone down the wrong path. From then on, if a group of people continued to worship idols in that society, it was no longer out of ignorance. Rather, it was conscious choice to ignore their Prophet’s summons towards the truth on purpose, similar to a doctor that knows about the harms of smoking but chooses to smoke anyway.

  

The Growth of the Aql and Blossoming of Morality

As was mentioned in the second lesson, in the Shia School of Thought, the Aql is the means of worshipping God[17]. One of the missions of the Prophets is to wake up and grow people’s Aql. The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), stated that the Prophets came so that the jewels of the Aql of the people, which have been buried due to people’s negligence and mistakes, become uncovered[18].

The growth of the Aql will cause people’s behavior and morality to blossom. A person whose Aql grows will determine that truthfulness, fidelity, generosity, kindness, contentment, trustworthiness, and similar good characteristics are in accordance with the Aql and desirable[19].

In Shi’ism, proper morality and behavior are judged based on intentions[20]. The Prophets concentrated on nurturing the people in a way that their intentions were reformed.

  

Tidings and Warnings

Beyond a tool for distinguishing right from wrong, sometimes people need a force to motivate them to choose the right path. After all, it is possible for someone to be aware that a certain action is good and another is wrong, but nevertheless choose the wrong action.

One motivating force can be knowledge of the consequences of actions. If a person knows what reward or punishment each of their actions will have, they will be more resolved in their decisions.

As such, the Prophets would always tell the people the rewards and consequences of their actions[21].

  

Reviving Tawhid

As was mentioned in the third lesson, all people are born in this world with innate recognition of Tawhid. Over time, many distance themselves from this innate recognition because of their environment and the temptations of the Satan, and worship things other than the One God. They either accept God’s Creations as their Creator or fall into error in their definition of the One God. God, out of His Mercy, dispatched guides to the people to bring them back to the truth of Monotheism[22]. In addition to the Marifat of the Magnificent Creator, the Prophets also taught humanity the proper way of worshiping God.

  

Fighting Oppression and Enforcing Justice

One of the results of the revival of Tawhid, is the spread of justice and suppression of oppression. People that believe in God and follow the Aql will not oppress each other, violate each other’s rights, and ruin their afterlife for their individual, worldly interests. The Prophets were always the promoters of justice. As role models, they never oppressed anyone or violated the rights of anyone, whether a disbeliever or believer. God states in the Holy Quran:

We sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them books and Mizan [the balance of right from wrong] so that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice[23].

  

Explaining God’s Word and Correcting Distortions

God revealed various Divine Books through His Prophets to guide His servants. One of the missions of the Prophets was to explain and interpret these books to the people[24]. This is because no one other than a Messenger of God that is connected to Divine Revelation can say what God truly meant in His words. For example, in the Holy Quran, phrases such as, “Jannatan”[25], meaning, “the two heavens”, or “Layalil Ashr[26], meaning, “the ten nights” are not further explained in any part of the Quran. Furthermore, God commands those who believe to carry out prayers to worship God[27], but in no place in the Quran explains how to perform these prayers.

Beyond these, the Prophets corrected books and teachings that had been distorted or no longer were able to guide the people. They also revived traditions that had been forgotten[28].

  

The Necessity of Obeying the Prophets

After the truth of a Prophet’s claim of being sent by God becomes clear, the Aql instructs that we must act upon whatever the Prophet orders. For the words of the Prophets are the words of God, and obeying them is the same of obeying God,

«مَنْ یُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطاعَ اللَّهَ ...»[29]

meaning, “Whoever obeys the Prophet, it is as if they have obeyed God.”

      

The Last Prophet

God sent His messengers one after another to guide the people. This continued until the final Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH). He was designated as “Khatam an-Nabi’in”, meaning the Seal of the Prophets[30] by God. The previous Prophets had introduced him and given the tidings of his coming to the people.

  

The Previous Messengers Tidings on the Coming of the Seal of the Prophets

Since the time of Prophet Adam (AS), every Messenger that came gave the people tidings of the coming of a Prophet with specific characteristics in the End of Days[31].

He was the Prophet of Mercy that was described by the Prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament as being the chosen servant of God (Abdullah and Mostafa), as well as the source of His pleasure (Habibullah). Prophet Isaiah brought tidings that he would rise among the idol worshippers of Arabia and would have a global set of laws[32].

“That Prophet” would be the awaited one about whom the Prophet John told the people, “I am neither the Messiah, nor that Awaited Prophet. Rather, “that Prophet” has a status such that I am not even worthy of tying his shoes”[33].

The Torah confirms that the chosen Prophet will be born from Prophet Ismael’s line, and according to the Prophet Moses, whoever does not obey him will be held accountable by God[34].

He will be the same blessed, awaited one that, according to the Bible, will be introduced as “very commendable and praised” (Ahmad). The Prophet Jesus (AS) gave his followers tidings that he will come and, while he testifies to my (Jesus’s) truth, will guide you to the rightly guided ones and give you news of the future[35].

It was these tidings that pulled a group of the Jews and Christians from the pleasant climate in Palestine to the dry, dusty deserts of Arabia[36]. The Prophets of the Children of Israel had given the name, lineage, physical features, and behavior of the final Prophet with such detail that the Jews and Christians knew the Promised One as well as they knew their own children. The Holy Quran states that,

«الَّذينَ آتَيْناهُمُ الْكِتابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَما يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْناءَهُمْ وَ إِنَّ فَريقاً مِنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَ هُمْ يَعْلَمُون»[37]

meaning, “Those that We sent the Divine Books to, recognize him (Muhammad) in the same way that they recognize their own sons and without any doubt they hide the truth while they know.”

  

A Brief Introduction to the Seal of the Prophets

The Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (PBUH) came to this world from a pure, monotheist, and dignified family[38].

During that era, Arabia was a center of idolatry and superstition. Corruption, depravity, alcoholism, and fighting were endemic. In such an environment, not only was Muhammad (PBUH) free from all sins and impurities, but was so good, truthful, and trustable that he was known as Muhammad Amin (Muhammad the Truthful)[39].

The All Merciful God named him as a “Mercy to the World”[40].

Since his youth, he would use all his energy to establish justice and defend the oppressed. Thus, he started a group called the “Chivalrous” so that he could more effectively tend to the affairs of the needy[41].

When he began his mission, the leaders of Mecca began serious threats and bribes against him. They came to Abu Talib (the Prophet’s uncle and caretaker) and told him, “Your nephew has insulted our gods, corrupted our youth, and dispersed our masses. If he is after wealth and possessions, we can collect enough wealth for him to make him the most needless man in the tribe of Quraysh. Or we are willing to wed him to any woman that he desires”. They went so far as to promise Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kingship. But in response to them, the Prophet stated, “Even if you put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand, I will not accept and will not turn away from my Lord’s Commands”[42].

When they saw that bribes were useless, they proceeded with threats. They tortured his followers[43], beat him[44], and attempted to assassinate him multiple times[45]. Despite this, the Seal of the Prophets did not cease his efforts for the people’s well-being.

In spite of all the torments they gave him and sabotage that they did, the Prophet never cursed his people. Instead, he constantly prayed for them in the following manner,

“Oh my Lord, guide my people, for they do not know”[46]

He never waited for people to come to him with their pains and troubles, but rather went toward the people himself, like a wandering physician, and treated their physical and spiritual pains[47].

He would tie a stone to his stomach out of hunger, but would still give his food to the needy[48].

In a society where woman did not have the smallest value or social position, he stated that woman have been entrusted by God for safekeeping[49]. Anyone that bothers their wife, will never have any of their good deeds accepted by God. He commanded that women should be respected[50], should not be bothered[51], and their rights should not be violated[52].

He was beaten, cursed at, and tormented, but he did not allow anyone to bury a child alive for the crime of being a female as was the custom of the Days of Ignorance before Islam[53].

He even noted that animals have many rights[54].

He was the representative of God on the earth but lived so humbly and modestly that if a stranger saw him, they would not think this is that same person who God has told all people to follow. Without any pretentiousness, he would milk [livestock][55], mill wheat[56], repair his shoes[57], and patch his clothes[58] with his own hands. He would sit on the dirt[59] and sleep on a straw mat[60].

He instructed others to forgive and himself was the most forgiving. When he was victorious over the polytheists and idol worshippers of Mecca, who had been most eager to kill him and his followers, he dealt with them with utter mercy and forgiveness[61].

Young and old knew that he would always be the first to say, “Salaam” (the Islamic greeting that means peace)[62]. He always had a smile on his face[63]. He showed affection to children, particularly orphans[64]. He invited people to have a good temperament and was the most well behaved himself[65]. God Almighty sent revelation that,

«إِنَّكَ لَعَلى‏ خُلُقٍ عَظِيم‏»[66]

And surely you have an exalted standard of character.

and brought His Messenger forth as an example of goodness for the people,

«لَقَدْ كانَ لَكُمْ في‏ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ»[67]

Indeed, the Messenger of Allah is an excellent model [in behavior and characteristics] for you

He himself stated that the reason for his mission was:

Verily I was given my mission to perfect good morals[68].

But did God leave the chain of guidance unfinished after His last Messenger?

After the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), did the people no longer need guidance and a Divine Guide?

Did the Seal of the Prophets not designate a successor, as was the custom of the previous Prophets?

The answer to this question will be given in the next lesson (God willing).

  

Main Points of This Lesson

-  The Arabic word for Prophethood is “Nubuwwah”. It comes from the root “Naba”, which means an important piece of news that contains great blessings. In religious terminology, a “Nabi”, or Prophet, is someone that bring important news from God to His servants.

-   In the Shia school of thought, believing the truthfulness of the Divine Prophets, Nubuwwah, is an essential principle of faith, and falls under the fundamental principle of Tawhid.

-   The truthfulness of someone claiming to be a Prophet can be determined from the following:

o    The contents of their invitation

o   The testament of other Prophets

o   The Prophet having admirable behavior and character in line with the Aql

o   Possessing miracles

-   The goal of the Prophet’s Missions included the following:

o    Waking up the fitrah (man’s innate disposition)

o   The growth of the Aql and blossoming of morality

o   Giving tidings and warnings

o   Reviving Tawhid

o   Fighting oppression and enforcing justice

o   Explaining God’s word and correcting distortions

-   After the truth of a Prophet’s claim becomes evident, the Aql says that we must act upon whatever the Prophet orders.

-   The Shia believe that 124,000 Prophets were sent from God to the people. The first of them was Prophet Adam (AS) and the last was Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

-   All of the Prophets,gave tidings to the people of their time of the coming of the Seal of the Prophets (Prophet Muhammad PBUH).

-   God made the Seal of the Prophets a mercy and role model for all people.

-    Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) introduced his mission as completing and perfecting moral behavior.

  


[1] “Naba” means, “A news that has great benefit”. Mofradat Raagheb, Page 788.

[2] The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated,

"خَلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ مِائَةَ أَلْفِ نَبِی وَ أَرْبَعَةً وَ عِشْرِینَ أَلْفَ نَبِی أَنَا أَكْرَمُهُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَ لَا فَخْرَ وَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ مِائَةَ أَلْفِ وَصِی وَ أَرْبَعَةً وَ عِشْرِینَ أَلْفَ وَصِی فَعَلِی أَكْرَمُهُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَ أَفْضَلُهُم‏"

meaning, “God created 124,000 Prophets. I am the dearest out of all of them towards God, while I have no pride or haughtiness (do not allow arrogance into myself). And God created 124,000 trustees. Ali (AS) was the superior and dearest towards God out of all of them”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 11, Page 30.

[3] Refer to Lesson 3: Tawhid, the Most Fundamental Principle of Shia Belief.

[4] Imam Sadeq (AS), the sixth successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

"إِنَّا لَمَّا أَثْبَتْنَا أَنَ‏ لَنَا خَالِقاً صَانِعاً مُتَعَالِیاً عَنَّا وَ عَنْ جَمِیعِ مَا خَلَقَ وَ كَانَ ذَلِكَ الصَّانِعُ حَكِیماً لَمْ یجُزْ أَنْ یشَاهِدَهُ خَلْقُهُ وَ لَا یلَامِسُوهُ وَ لَا یبَاشِرَهُمْ وَ لَا یبَاشِرُوهُ وَ یحَاجَّهُمْ وَ یحَاجُّوهُ فَثَبَتَ أَنَّ لَهُ سُفَرَاءَ فِی خَلْقِهِ‏ یدُلُّونَهُمْ عَلَى مَصَالِحِهِمْ وَ مَنَافِعِهِمْ وَ مَا بِهِ بَقَاؤُهُمْ وَ فِی تَرْكِهِ فَنَاؤُهُمْ ..."

meaning, “Once we prove that there exists a Creator and Maker that is greater than us and all creation and that He is a Wise Creator, which the people cannot see or have a tangible connection with, who neither Sits with the people, nor do the people talk with Him, it proven that He must have representatives among the people so that they can guide them towards what is to their benefit and interests, and what is the reason of their preservation and life, and abandoning it leads to their destruction”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 11, Page 29, 30.

[5] In the Holy Quran, God responds to those who ask why He didn’t make angels as Messengers by saying,

"وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ مَلَکًا لَّجَعَلْنَاهُ رَجُلًا وَلَلَبَسْنَا عَلَیهِم مَّا یلْبِسُونَ"

meaning, “If We had made him an angel, We would have made him [appear as] a man, and we would have covered them with that which they cover themselves”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-An’am (6:9).

In the entry referring to this verse in Qamoos Quran, it explains that, “This means because they are humans and material beings, even if an angel were sent to humanity, it would be necessary to bring them forth in the form of a human so people could gain nearness to them and communicate with them. In this situation, the people would claim this (being) is a human that is lying about being an angel and Prophet. They would say the same thing about that angel that they say about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”. Qamoos Quran, Volume 6, Page 179.

[6] If a claimant of Prophethood asks for a worldly reward and wage from the people, or attempts to somehow make money through their claim of Prophethood, their dishonesty will become apparent. The Holy Quran also emphasizes that true Divine Prophets do not ask for a reward or wage. For example, it narrates on behalf of Prophet Noah (AS), Prophet Hood (AS), Prophet Saleh (AS), Prophet Lot (AS), and Prophet Shoeyb (AS), that,

"وَ ما أَسأَلُكُم عَلَیهِ مِن أَجرٍ إِن أَجرِیَ إلاّ عَلی رَبِّ العَالَمینَ"

meaning, “And from that [Prophethood], we do not ask for a compensation from you. My compensation is not with anyone other than the Lord of the Worlds”. The Holy Quran, Surah ash-Shu’ara (26:109, 127, 145, 164, 180).

The Quran also states,

"اتَّبِعُواْ مَن لَّا یسْئَلُكُمْ أَجْرًا وَ هُم مُّهْتَدُون"

meaning, “Follow those that do not ask for compensation from you and who are rightly guided”. The Holy Quran, Surah Yaseen (36:21).

And the Quran addresses the people, asking why they do not use their Aql to ponder that true Prophets do not want any material compensation from them,

"یا قَوْمِ لا أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَیهِ أَجْراً إِنْ أَجْرِی إِلاَّ عَلَى الَّذی فَطَرَنی‏ أَ فَلا تَعْقِلُون"

meaning, “Oh my people, I want no compensation from you for that [Prophethood]. My compensation is not with anyone other than He who created me. Will you not use your Aql?” Surah Hud (11:51).

Regarding the Seal of the Prophets, it also states,

"قُلْ لا أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَیهِ أَجْراً إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِی الْقُرْبی"

meaning, “Say, I want no compensation from you for my Mission other than you show love and friendship to those close to me”. Surah as-Shura (42:23).

In this verse, “those close to me”, is a reference to Lady Fatemeh Zahra (AS), the Prophet’s daughter, and the Holy Imams.

[7] In the Holy Quran, we read,

"أَنَّ اللَّهَ یبَشِّرُكَ بِیحْیىَ‏ مُصَدِّقَا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللهِ"

meaning, “[Oh Zakariya], God gives you glad tidings [of the birth of] John, who will confirm the word from Allah [Jesus]”. The Holy Quran, Surah Ali ‘Imran (3:39).

[8] Refer to Footnotes 35 and 37

[9]

"إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ لَمْ یبْعَثْ نَبِیاً إِلَّا بِصِدْقِ الْحَدِیثِ وَ أَدَاءِ الْأَمَانَةِ إِلَى الْبَرِّ وَ الْفَاجِر"

Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 68, Page 2

[10] In the Holy Bible that is currently held by Christians, we read the following,

“Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked”. The Holy Bible, Genesis (9:20-23).

[11] The Holy Quran states,

"... وَ مَا كاَنَ لِرَسُولٍ أَن یأْتِىَ بَایةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ الله..."

meaning, “. . . there was no Prophet that was able to bring a verse or sign without the permission of God . . .”. The Holy Quran, Surah ar-Ra’d (13:38).

[12] The Holy Quran states

"... وَ لکِنَّ الشَّیاطِینَ کَفَرُوا یُعَلِّمُونَ النّاسَ السِّحْرَ..."

meaning, “… but the devils disbelieved and taught people sorcery…”. Surah al-Baqarah (2:102).

[13] Imam Sadeq (AS), the sixth successor the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

"الْمُعْجِزَةُ عَلَامَةٌ لِلَّهِ لَا یعْطِیهَا إِلَّا أَنْبِیاءَهُ وَ رُسُلَهُ وَ حُجَجَهُ لِیعْرَفَ بِهِ صِدْقُ الصَّادِقِ مِنْ كَذِبِ الْكَاذِب‏"

Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 11, Page 71.

[14]

"... وَ اصْطَفَى سُبْحَانَهُ مِنْ وَلَدِهِ أَنْبِیاءَ أَخَذَ عَلَى الْوَحْی مِیثَاقَهُمْ وَ عَلَى تَبْلِیغِ الرِّسَالَةِ أَمَانَتَهُمْ لَمَّا بَدَّلَ أَكْثَرُ خَلْقِهِ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ إِلَیهِمْ فَجَهِلُوا حَقَّهُ وَ اتَّخَذُوا الْأَنْدَادَ مَعَهُ وَ اجْتَالَتْهُمُ الشَّیاطِینُ عَنْ مَعْرِفَتِهِ وَ اقْتَطَعَتْهُمْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ فَبَعَثَ فِیهِمْ رُسُلَهُ وَ وَاتَرَ إِلَیهِمْ أَنْبِیاءَهُ لِیسْتَأْدُوهُمْ مِیثَاقَ فِطْرَتِهِ وَ یذَكِّرُوهُمْ مَنْسِی نِعْمَتِهِ وَ یحْتَجُّوا عَلَیهِمْ بِالتَّبْلِیغِ وَ یثِیرُوا لَهُمْ دَفَائِنَ‏ الْعُقُول ..."

meaning, “God Almighty chose Prophets from the Children of Adam and took an oath from them that they would deliver whatever was revealed to them, and safe keep in the matter of his Mission, while most the people broke the oath they made with God, did not fulfill His right to be worshipped, and made partners for Him in worship. The devils had deviated them from recognizing God and [made them] break off their oath from worshipping God. So, He sent the Prophets among them. The Prophets came one after another to ask the people to remember the covenant their Creation was put upon, and remember His bounties that they had forgotten, and to bring them the completion of proof that truth has reached them and wake upon their Aql’s that had been covered [by the veil of negligence]”. Nahj al-Balagha (Subhi Saleh numbering), Page 43.

[15] A reference to the following verses of the Holy Quran about Prophet Abraham (AS),

"فَلَمَّا رَأَى الْقَمَرَ بازِغاً قالَ هذا رَبِّی فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قالَ لَئِنْ لَمْ یهْدِنی‏ رَبِّی لَأَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الضَّالِّین، فَلَمَّا رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بازِغَةً قالَ هذا رَبِّی هذا أَكْبَرُ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَتْ قالَ یا قَوْمِ إِنِّی بَری‏ءٌ مِمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ"

meaning, “And when he saw the moon rising, he said, ‘Is this my Lord?’. But then when it set, he said ‘If my Lord had not guided me, I would certainly be among the people that have gone astray’. And when he saw the sun rising, he said, ‘Is this my Lord? This is greater’. And when it set, he said, ‘Oh my people, I am free from what you make partners [for God]’”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-An’am (6:77-78).

[16] Refer to the Holy Quran, Surah al-Anbya (21:62-67)

"قَالُواْ ءَ أَنتَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَا بِالِهَتِنَا یإِبْرَاهِیم * قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِیرُهُمْ هَذَا فَسْئَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُواْ ینطِقُونَ *فَرَجَعُواْ إِلىَ أَنفُسِهِمْ فَقَالُواْ إِنَّكُمْ أَنتُمُ الظَّلِمُونَ * ثُمَّ نُكِسُواْ عَلىَ‏ رُءُوسِهِمْ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا هَؤُلَاءِ ینطِقُونَ * قَالَ أَ فَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا ینفَعُكُمْ شَیئًا وَ لَا یضُرُّكُمْ * أُفٍّ‏ لَّكُمْ وَ لِمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَ فَلَا تَعْقِلُون"

meaning, “They said, ‘Oh Abraham, did you do this to our gods?’ He said, ‘Maybe this biggest one of them has done it. If they speak ask them’. So they gathered among themselves and told [each other], ‘Indeed, you are oppressors’. Then they became ashamed [and said], ‘You know yourself that they cannot speak’. He said, ‘Do you, instead of God, worship something that has no benefit to you, nor harms you? Woe be on you and that which you worship instead of God. Why do you not use the Aql to ponder?”

[17] Imam Sadeq (AS), the sixth successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

"مَا عُبِدَ بِهِ الرّحْمَنُ وَ اكْتُسِبَ بِهِ الْجِنَانُ"

meaning, “The Aql is that which God is worshipped with and Heaven is attained form”. Kafi(Publisher, Al-Eslamia), Volume 1, Page 11.

Imam Ali (AS) also stated,

"مَا عُبِدَ الله بشی‌ء اَفضَلَ مِنَ العَقلِ"

meaning, “God is not worshipped with anything greater than the Aql”. Kafi(Publisher, Al-Eslamia), Volume 1, Page 17.

[18] Refer to Footnote 14:

" یثِیرُوا لَهُمْ دَفَائِنَ‏ الْعُقُول"

meaning, “Wake up their Aql’s that had been covered [by the veil of negligence]”.

In other words, to uncover the jewels of the Aql that had been covered with dirt.

[19] Imam Sadeq (AS), the sixth successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

"أَكْمَلُ النَّاسِ عَقْلًا أَحْسَنُهُمْ خُلُقا"

meaning, “The most Aqil of the people, are those that are the most well behaved”. Kafi (Publisher, Al-Eslamia), Volume 1, Page 23.

[20] It has been narrated from Imam Sadeq (AS), the sixth successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), that,

"الْخُلُقُ خُلُقَانِ أَحَدُهُمَا نِیةٌ وَ الْآخَرُ سَجِیةٌ قِیلَ فَأَیهُمَا أَفْضَلُ قَالَ ع النِّیةُ لِأَنَّ صَاحِبَ السَّجِیةِ مَجْبُولٌ عَلَى أَمْرٍ لَا یسْتَطِیعُ غَیرَهُ وَ صَاحِبَ النِّیةِ یتَصَبَّرُ عَلَى الطَّاعَةِ تَصَبُّراً فَهَذَا أَفْضَل"

meaning, “‘The nature of good is based upon two oaths: Intention and nature (meaning that person’s innate temperament)’, They asked, ‘Which is better?’ The Imam stated, ‘The intention. One that possesses a good nature, has been like this and cannot be other than this. But the one that possesses a good intention, has forced themselves to have that temperament, and tolerates it to obey God’”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 75, Page 257.

The topic of “Akhlaq in Shi’ism” is covered in more detail in Lesson 9 of this series.

[21] Various verses of the Holy Quran refer to the Prophets giving tidings and warnings to the people. For example, look at the verses,

"فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِینَ مُبَشِّرِینَ وَ مُنذِرِینَ"

meaning “… God sent Prophets as bringers of glad tidings and warnings …”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Baqarah (2:213)

"رُّسُلًا مُّبَشِّرینَ وَ مُنذِرِینَ لِئَلَّا یكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلىَ اللَّهِ حُجَّةُ بَعْدَ الرُّسُل"

meaning, “… We sent Prophets to give glad tidings [to the people of the rewards of submitting to God] and warning [of punishment and accountability for sins], so that after sending the Prophets, the people have no excuse against God”, the Holy Quran, Surah an-Nisa (4:165)

"وَ ما نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلینَ إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرینَ وَمُنْذِرین فَمَنْ ءَامَنَ وَ أَصْلَحَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَیهِمْ وَ لَا هُمْ یحْزَنُونَ* وَ الَّذِینَ كَذَّبُواْ بَایتِنَا یمَسُّهُمُ الْعَذَابُ بِمَا كاَنُواْ یفْسُقُون"

meaning, “And We do not send Prophets other than as givers of glad tidings and as warners, so those who believe and do righteous deeds shall have no fear or grievance. And those that deny our verses, the punishment will afflict them for their transgression”, the Holy Quran, Surah al-An'am (6:48-49).

Furthermore, God Almighty told the Seal of the Prophets to give glad tidings to the people that maintain piety of beautiful homes that will be granted to them in Heaven; homes under which streams will flow.

"وَ الَّذِینَ اجْتَنَبُواْ الطَّغُوتَ أَن یعْبُدُوهَا وَ أَنَابُواْ إِلىَ اللَّهِ لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَى‏ فَبَشِّرْ عِبَادِ * الَّذِینَ یسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَیتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ أُوْلَئكَ الَّذِینَ هَدَئهُمُ اللَّهُ وَ أُوْلَئكَ هُمْ أُوْلُواْ الْأَلْبَابِ ... لَكِنِ الَّذِینَ اتَّقَوْاْ رَبَّهُمْ لَهُمْ غُرَفٌ مِّن فَوْقِهَا غُرَفٌ مَّبْنِیةٌ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ لَا یخْلِفُ اللَّهُ الْمِیعَاد"

The Holy Quran, Surah Az-Zumar (39:17-20)

And to warn those that deny that truth that the consequence of denying and covering over the signs of God is the fire of Hell.

"وَ الَّذِینَ كَفَرُواْ وَ كَذَّبُواْ بّایاتِنَا أُوْلَئكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِیهَا خَالِدُون"

The Holy Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah (2:39)

[22]

"وَ لَقَدْ بَعَثْنا فِی كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَ اجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوت"

The Holy Quran, Surah an-Nahl (16:36).

[23]

"لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنا رُسُلَنا بِالْبَیناتِ وَ أَنْزَلْنا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتابَ وَ الْمیزانَ لِیقُومَ‏ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْط ..."

The Holy Quran, Surah al-Hadid (57:25).

It also states,

" یا أَیهَا الَّذینَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامینَ لِلَّهِ شُهَداءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَ لا یجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلى‏ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوى‏ وَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبیرٌ بِما تَعْمَلُون "

meaning, “Oh you who believe, stand firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Very Allah is well acquainted with what you do”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Ma’idah (5:8).

[24] For example, God tells the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَیْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَیِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَیْهِمْ"

meaning, “… And We sent down this Reminder so that you [oh, Prophet] may make clear to the people what We sent down to them”. The Holy Quran, Surah an-Nahl (16:44).

Also, later in the same Chapter, God says,

"وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَیْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلاَّ لِتُبَیِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِی اخْتَلَفُواْ فِیهِ"

meaning, “And We did not send this book to you except for you to make clear that in which they differ”. The Holy Quran, Surah an-Nahl (16:64).

[25] The Holy Quran, Surah ar-Rahman (55:46).

[26] The Holy Quran, Surah al-Fajr (89:2).

[27]

"وَ اَقیمُوا الصَلاةَ ..."

meaning, “And establish prayers”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Baqarah (2:43).

[28] In the Holy Quran, God discusses the distortions that some Jewish people made to the original Torah of Prophet Moses (AS) by mixing together some of their own words with the Torah, saying,

"فَوَیلٌ لِّلَّذِینَ یكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَیدِیهِمْ ثُمَّ یقُولُونَ هَاذَا مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ لِیشْتَرُواْ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِیلًا فَوَیلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَیدِیهِمْ وَ وَیلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا یكْسِبُون"

meaning, “So woe on those that write the Book [the Torah] with their own hands, then say this is from God, to exchange in for a small price. So woe on them for what their hands have written and woe on them for what their earn”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Baqarah (2:79).

[29] The Holy Quran, Surah an-Nisa (4:80).

[30] We read the following in the Holy Quran,

"مَا کانَ محمّد اَبا اَحَد مِنْ رِجَالِکُمْ وَ لکِنْ رَسُولَ اللّهِ وَ خاتَمَ النَّبِیّینَ وَ کَانَ اللّهُ بِکُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَلِیماً"

meaning, “Muhammad (PBUH) is not the father of any man among you, but rather is the Prophet of God, and the Seal of the Prophets; And God is aware of all things”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Ahzab (33:40).

[31] Imam Ali (AS), stated,

"لم یبعث اللّه نبیا آدم و من بعده إلا أخذ اللّه علیه العهد لئن بعث اللّه محمّدا و هو حی لیؤمنن به و لینصرنه و أمره أن یأخذ العهد بذلك على قومه‏"

meaning, “God did not appoint any Prophet for his mission, from Adam (AS) to the later Prophets, unless He took an oath from him that if Muhammad (PBUH) was made a Prophet during his lifetime, to believe in him, and aid him, and (God) ordered (the Prophet) to proceed as such with any Messenger from his tribe”. Ithbat al-Hoda, Volume 1, Page 218.

He also stated,

"بَعَثَ اللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ محمّداً لِإِنْجَازِ عِدَتِهِ وَ تَمَامِ نُبُوَّتِهِ مَأْخُوذاً عَلَى النَّبِیینَ مِیثَاقَه"

meaning, “God the Glorious, in order to be loyal to His promise and complete the era of Prophethood, appointed Muhammad (PBUH) as a Prophet. A Prophet [Muhammad, PBUH] in regards to whom He had taken a pledge of accepting his Nubuwwah from all the Prophets”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 18, Page 216.

[32] In the Book of Isaiah, a person is referred to who:

-    Is God’s chosen servant and a source of His pleasure

-   Will be chosen from among the idol worshippers

-   Will possess a universal law

-   With his coming the people of Kedar (a tribe in the Arabian peninsula, sometimes also spelled Qedar) will rejoice.

The actual text of the Holy Bible is,

“Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations … he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope … I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles … I am the Lord; that is My name! I will not yield My glory to another or My praise to idols … Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy … The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal … But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame”. The Holy Bible, The Book of Isaiah (42:1-17) [38]

[33] By referring to the existing Holy Bible, it can be seen that the people at the time of Prophet John (AS) were waiting for two universal figures: One was the Messiah and the other was a Messenger who is referred to as “that Prophet”. For example, in the Gospel of John, it states that during the beginning of Prophet Jesus’s (AS) mission, after he began preaching, the people would ask each other who this person was? Was he the “Messiah”, or was he “that Prophet”, which the previous Prophets had foretold? (Refer to The Holy Bible, The Gospel of John, 7:40-43).

In another part of the Bible, it is explained that this same question was asked about Prophet John (AS). He was asked, “Are you the Messiah?” John (AS), responded, “No”. Then it was asked, “Are you ‘that Prophet’?” Once again, he stated, “No”. The actual text of the Holy Bible is,

“Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” … He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie”. The Holy Bible, The Gospel of John, (1:19-27).

[34] In the Torah, Prophet Moses (AS) gives people glad tidings of a Great Prophet that will be sent by God in the future, who all should obey. The actual text of the Torah is,

“Then the Lord said to me … I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to my words that he speaks in My Name”. The Holy Torah, Deuteronomy (18:17-19).

The brothers of the Children of Israel were the Children of Ismael. Israel was another name for the Prophet of Jacob (AS), who was the son of the Prophet Isaac (AS). Isaac (AS) was the brother of Ismael (AS). Both Isaac (AS) and Ismael (AS) were sons of the Prophet Abraham (AS). The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was one of Ismael’s (AS) descendants.

[35] In the Gospel of John, Jesus (AS) gives glad tidings of the coming of an individual named “Parakletos”. Jesus (AS) emphasized to his disciples on multiple occasions to await the coming of this individual. Specifically, the Holy Bible says,

“When ‘Parakletos’ comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me”. The Holy Bible, The Gospel of John (15:26)”.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”. The Holy Bible, The Gospel of John (16:13).

The word “Parakletos”, which comes in the Gospel of John, is a Syriac word, which originates from a Greek word for the Promised One whose glad tidings were given. Scholars have conflicting opinions on the exact Greek root of “Parakletos”. A group believe it comes from the Greek root, “Paráklētos”, meaning comforter. Another group believe it comes from the root “Periklytos”, meaning “very commended and praiseworthy”. It should be noted that in the Aramaic text, this word is translated to “Muhammadah” and “Hamidah”, which are the direct equivalents to “Ahmad” and “Muhammad” in Arabic and “Periklytos” in Greek. Thus, the likelihood that the root of “Parakletos” is “Periklytos”, meaning “Ahmad”, is high. It is interesting that the Quran narrated Prophet Jesus (AS) as saying,

" مُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ یَأْتِی مِن بَعْدِی اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ..."

meaning, “I give glad tidings of the Prophet that will come after me, whose name is ‘Ahmad’”. The Holy Quran, Surah as-Saf (61:6).

[36] Such as the Jews of Bani Nazir, Khaybar, and Fadak, that lived near Medina (the city was formerly called Yathrib).

[37] The Holy Quran, Surah al-Baqarah (2:146).

[38] Imam Ali (AS), stated the following about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),

"مُسْتَقَرُّهُ‏ خَیرُ مُسْتَقَرٍّ وَ مَنْبِتُهُ أَشْرَفُ مَنْبِتٍ ..."

meaning, “His headquarters were the best of headquarters, and the place of his cultivation was the most noble place of cultivation”. Nahj al-Balagha (Subhi Saleh numbering), Page 141.

[39] ibn Hayyan, Nu’man ibn Muhammad Maghrebi, Sharh al-Akhbar fi Fazhael al-Aemat al-Athar, Volume 1, Page 182.

[40]

"وَ ما ارْسَلْناكَ الاَّ رَحْمَةً لِلْعالَمین"

meaning, “And we sent you as a mercy to the worlds”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Anbya (21:107).

[41] Bihar al-Anwar , Volume 83, Page 256; Raghib Isfahani, al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran, Volume 4, Page 68, Footnote.

[42]

"فاجتمعت قريش على أبي طالب فقالوا يا أبا طالب إن ابن أخيك قد سفه أحلامنا و سب آلهتنا و أفسد شباننا و فرق جماعتنا فإن كان يحمله على ذلك العدم جمعنا له مالا فيكون أكثر قريش مالا و نزوجه أي امرأة شاء من قريش ... فقال يا عم لا أستطيع أن أخالف أمر ربي‏" و "لَمَّا أَظْهَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص الدَّعْوَةَ بِمَكَّةَ اجْتَمَعَتْ قُرَيْشٌ إِلَى أَبِي طَالِبٍ فَقَالُوا يَا أَبَا طَالِبٍ إِنَّ ابْنَ أَخِيكَ قَدْ سَفَّهَ أَحْلَامَنَا وَ سَبَّ آلِهَتَنَا وَ أَفْسَدَ شَبَابَنَا وَ فَرَّقَ جَمَاعَتَنَا فَإِنْ كَانَ الَّذِي يَحْمِلُهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ الْعُدْمَ جَمَعْنَا لَهُ مَالًا حَتَّى يَكُونَ أَغْنَى رَجُلٍ فِي قُرَيْشٍ وَ نُمَلِّكَهُ عَلَيْنَا فَأَخْبَرَ أَبُو طَالِبٍ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ص بِذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لَوْ وَضَعُوا الشَّمْسَ فِي يَمِينِي وَ الْقَمَرَ فِي يَسَارِي مَا أَرَدْتُه"

Bihar al-Anwar , Volume 18, Page 180 and 182.

[43] For example, refer to Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 18, Page 210.

[44] For example, refer to Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 19, Page 17.

[45] On one instance, they decided to attack the Prophet’s home at night and kill him while he was asleep. But the Prophet was informed of their plans by the archangel Gabriel and had left his home towards the city of Medina before the polytheists arrived. Meanwhile, Imam Ali (AS) slept in his bed, so no one would notice the Prophet was absent. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 19, Page 91.

[46] Bihar al-Anwar , Volume 20, Page 96.

[47] Imam Ali (AS), described the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as

"طبیبٌ دوارٌ بِطبِّه"

meaning a doctor that wanders looking for patients. Nahj al-Balagha (Subhi Saleh Numbering), Page 156).

[48] [48] Managheb al-Abi Taleb, Volume 1, Page 146; Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 16, Page 227.

[49]

"أَخَذْتُمُوهُنَّ بِأَمَانَةِ اللَّهِ ..."

meaning, “Your wives have been entrusted to you for safekeeping from God”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 74, Page 118.

[50]

"وَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ زَوْجَةً فَلْيُكْرِمْهَا"

meaning, “Whoever chose a spouse, should respect them”. Mustadrik al-Wasael, Volume 74, Page 118.

[51]

"فَأَيُّ رَجُلٍ لَطَمَ امْرَأَتَهُ‏ لَطْمَةً أَمَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ مَالِكاً خَازِنَ النِّيرَانِ فَيَلْطِمُهُ عَلَى حُرِّ وَجْهِهِ سَبْعِينَ لَطْمَةً فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّم‏" ...

meaning, “Any man that harms his wife, God will order the keeper of the fire to strike his cheek with seventy strikes in the fire of Hell”. Mustadrik al-Wasael, Volume 14, Page 250.

[52]

"وَ لَهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ حَق ..."

meaning, “And for them (women), there is a right upon you”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 74, Page 118.

[53] Some Arab tribes in the Days of Ignorance (the era before Islam), considered it a source of pride and dignity to have a son, and a source of disgrace to have a daughter. Thus, they would bury their daughters alive. The Holy Quran says in this regards,

"وَ إِذا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالْأُنْثى‏ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَ هُوَ کَظیمٌ * یَتَوارى‏ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِنْ سُوءِ ما بُشِّرَ بِهِ أَ یُمْسِکُهُ عَلى‏ هُونٍ أَمْ یَدُسُّهُ فِی التُّرابِ أَلا ساءَ ما یَحْکُمُونَ"

meaning, “And when the good news that their child is a female is given to them, their face darkens [from anger and disappointment] and he is filled with inward grief. He hides himself from his tribe because the news that has been given to him is so bad. [He thinks] should he keep her with dishonor or bury her [alive] under the dust? Verily evil is their judgement”. The Holy Quran, Surah an-Nahl (16:58-59).

The Prophet would strongly fight against such false thinking, and prevent people from committing this atrocity.

[54] For example, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), said,

"لِلدَّابَّةِ عَلَى‏ صَاحِبِهَا سِتُ‏ خِصَالٍ: یعْلِفُهَا إِذَا نَزَلَ وَ یعْرِضُ عَلَیهَا الْمَاءَ إِذَا مَرَّ بِهِ وَ لَا یضْرِبْهَا إِلَّا عَلَى حَقٍّ وَ لَا یحَمِّلْهَا مَا لَا تُطِیقُ وَ لَا یكَلِّفْهَا مِنَ السَّیرِ إِلَّا طَاقَتَهَا وَ لَا یقِفْ عَلَیهَا فُوَاقا"

meaning, “The animal has six rights upon its owner: Whenever it is dismounted, give it grass, whenever it passes water to give it water, not to unjustly hit it, not to put a load on it that is greater than it can handle, not to make it walk more than it can, and not to hesitate on it for a long period of time”. Musdrak al-Wasael, Volume 8, Page 258-259.

[55] Managheb al-Abi Taleb, Volume 1, Page 146.

[56] ibid

[57] ibid

[58] ibid

[59] ibid

[60] Makarim al-Akhlaq , Page 38.

[61] The disbelievers and polytheists of Mecca would constantly bother and harrass the Muslims, and take over their homes and property. They launched several bloody battles against the Prophet and his followers, until finally the Muslims were able to conquer the city of Mecca. The people of Mecca waited in terror for the Prophet to take revenge on them for years of oppression, murder, and plunder from the Muslims. However, the Prophet of Mercy told them, “Today, I will tell you the same sentence my brother Joseph (AS) told his oppressive brothers:

"لا تَثْرِیبَ عَلَیكُمُ الْیوْمَ یغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَ هُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِین"

This means, ‘Today there is no reproach upon you. God will forgive your sins and He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy’. The Holy Quran, Surah Yusuf (12:92). Refer to Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 21, Page 132.

[62] Managheb al-Abi Taleb , Volume 1, Page 147.

[63]

"كَانَ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ تَبَسُّما"

meaning, “He was more smiling than all the people”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 16, Page 228.

[64] The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would always show kindness to the orphans, and recommend others not to show any shortcomings towards them. For example he stated,

"مَنْ‏ عَالَ‏ یتِیماً حَتَّى یسْتَغْنِی عَنْهُ أَوْجَبَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ الْجَنَّةَ كَمَا أَوْجَبَ لِأَكْلِ مَالِ الْیتِیمِ النَّار"

meaning, “God will make Heaven obligatory for a person that takes care of an orphan until he or she no longer needs a caretaker, because of this action. Just as he has made Hell obligatory for the person that robs the wealth of an orphan”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 72, Page 4.

He also stated,

"حَثَّ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ عَلَى بِرِّ الْیتَامَى ... فَمَنْ صَانَهُمْ صَانَهُ اللَّهُ وَ مَنْ أَكْرَمَهُمْ أَكْرَمَهُ اللَّهُ ...‏"

meaning, “God has encouraged His servants to show goodness to orphans … someone that stands up to protect orphans, God will protect him, someone that honors an orphan will be honored by God”. ibid, Page 12.

[65] For example, the Prophet told the people,

"مَا یُوضَعُ فِی مِیزَانِ امْرِئٍ یَوْمَ الْقِیَامَةِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ"

meaning, “There will be nothing better than good temperament to be put in the scales of one’s actions on the Day of Judgement”. Kaafi, Volume 2, Page 99.

He also stated,

"أَقْرَبُكُمْ مِنِّی مَجْلِساً یَوْمَ الْقِیَامَةِ أَحْسَنُكُمْ‏ خُلُقاً وَ خَیْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِه"

meaning, “My closest companion on the Day of Judgement will be the most good tempered of you and the person that was the best for their family”. Oyoun Akhbar ar-Reza, Volume 2, Page 38.

[66] The Holy Quran, Surah al-Qalam (68:4).

[67] The Holy Quran, Surah al-Ahzab (33:21).

[68]

"إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ مَكَارِمَ الْأَخْلَاق"

Bihar al-Anwar , Volume 71, Page 382.

    

 

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