In this sermon he recalls the creation of
Earth and Sky and the birth of Adam.
Praise is due to Allah whose worth
cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by
calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those
who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot
appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose
description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is
ordained and no duration is fixed.
brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through
His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.
The foremost in religion is the
acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify
Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the
perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the
perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every
attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is
attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different
from the attribute.
whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and who
recognises His like regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognises
parts for Him; and who recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and who
mistook Him pointed at Him; and who pointed at Him admitted limitations
for Him; and who admitted limitations for Him numbered Him.
Whoever said in what is He, held
that He is contained; and whoever said on what is He held He is not on
something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into
being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not
in physical nearness.
different from everything but not in physical separation.
acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even
when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only
One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may
miss in his absence.
The Creation of the Universe
He initiated creation most initially
and commenced it originally, without undergoing reflection, without making
use of any experiment, without innovating any movement, and without
experiencing any aspiration of mind. He allotted all things their times,
put together their variations gave them their properties, and determined
their features knowing them before creating them, realising fully their
limits and confines and appreciating their propensities and intricacies.
When Almighty created the openings
of atmosphere, expanse of firmament and strata of winds, He flowed into it
water whose waves were stormy and whose surges leapt one over the other.
loaded it on dashing wind and breaking typhoons, ordered them to shed it
back (as rain), gave the wind control over the vigour of the rain, and
acquainted it with its limitations. The wind blew under it while water
flowed furiously over it.
Then Almighty created forth wind and
made its movement sterile, perpetuated its position, intensified its
motion and spread it far and wide. Then He ordered the wind to raise up
deep waters and to intensify the waves of the oceans. So the wind churned
it like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into the firmament
throwing its front position on the rear and the stationary on the flowing
till its level was raised and the surface was full of foam.
Almighty raised the foam on to the open wind and vast firmament and made
therefrom the seven skies and made the lower one as a stationary surge and
the upper one as protective ceiling and a high edifice without any pole to
support it or nail to hold it together. Then He decorated them with stars
and the light of meteors and hung in it the shining sun and effulgent moon
under the revolving sky, moving ceiling and rotating firmament.
The Creation of the Angels
Then He created the openings between
high skies and filled them with all classes of His angels. Some of them
are in prostration and do not kneel up. Others in kneeling position and do
not stand up.
of them are in array and do not leave their position. Others are extolling
Allah and do not get tired. The sleep of the eye or the slip of wit, or
languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness does not effect them.
Among them are those who work as
trusted bearers of His message, those who serve as speaking tongues for
His prophets and those who carry to and fro His orders and injunctions.
Among them are the protectors of His creatures and guards of the doors of
the gardens of Paradise.
them are those also whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are
protruding into the skies, their limbs are getting out on all sides, their
shoulders are in accord with the columns of the Divine Throne, their eyes
are downcast before it, they have spread down their wings under it and
they have rendered between themselves and all else curtains of honour and
screens of power. They do not think of their Creator through image, do not
impute to Him attributes of the created, do not confine Him within abodes
and do not point at Him through illustrations.
Description of the Creation of Adam
Allah collected from hard, soft,
sweet and sour earth, clay which He dripped in water till it got pure, and
kneaded it with moisture till it became gluey. From it He carved an image
with curves, joints, limbs and segments. He solidified it till it dried up
for a fixed time and a known duration.
He blew into it out of His Spirit whereupon it took the pattern of a human
being with mind that governs him, intelligence which he makes use of,
limbs that serve him, organs that change his position, sagacity that
differentiates between truth and untruth, tastes and smells, colours and
a mixture of clays of different colours, cohesive materials, divergent
contradictories and differing properties like heat, cold, softness and
Then Allah asked the angels to
fulfil His promise with them and to accomplish the pledge of His
injunction to them by acknowledging Him through prostration to Him and
submission to His honoured position. So Allah said:
"Be prostrate towards Adam and
they prostrated except Iblis (Satan)." (Qur'an, 2:34; 7:11; 17:61;
Self-importance withheld him and
vice overcame him. So that he took pride in his own creation with fire and
treated contemptuously the creation of clay.
Allah allowed him time in order to let him fully deserve His wrath, and to
complete (man's) test and to fulfil the promise (He had made to Satan).
Thus, He said:
"Verily you have been allowed time
till the known Day." (Qur'an, 15:38; 38:81)
Thereafter, Allah inhabited Adam
(p.b.u.h.) in a house where He made his life pleasant and his stay safe,
and He cautioned him of Iblis and his enmity. Then his enemy (Iblis)
envied his abiding in Paradise and his contacts with the virtuous.
changed his conviction into wavering and determination into weakness. He
thus converted his happiness into fear and his prestige into shame. Then
Allah offered to Adam (p.b.u.h.) the chance to repent, taught him words of
His Mercy, promised him return to His Paradise and sent him down to the
place of trial and procreation of progeny.
Allah chooses His Prophets
From his (Adam's) progeny Allah
chose prophets and took their pledge for his revelation and for carrying
His message as their trust. In course of time many people perverted
Allah's trust with them and ignored His position and took compeers along
with Him. Satan turned them away from knowing Him and kept them aloof from
Allah sent His Messengers and series of His prophets towards them to get
them to fulfil the pledges of His creation, to recall to them His
bounties, to exhort them by preaching, to unveil before them the hidden
virtues of wisdom and show them the signs of His Omnipotence namely the
sky which is raised over them, the earth that is placed beneath them,
means of living that sustain them, deaths that make them die, ailments
that turn them old and incidents that successively betake them.
Allah never allowed His creation to
remain without a Prophet deputised by Him, or a book sent down from Him or
a binding argument or a standing plea.
Messengers were such that they did not feel little because of smallness of
their number or of largeness of the number of their falsifiers. Among them
was either a predecessor who would name the one to follow or the follower
who had been introduced by the predecessor.
The Prophethood of Muhammmad
In this way ages passed by and times
rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places till Allah
deputised Muhammmad (peace be upon him and his progeny) as His Prophet, in
fulfilment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood.
pledge had been taken from the Prophets, his traits of character were well
reputed and his birth was honourable. The people of the earth at this time
were divided in different parties, their aims were separate and ways were
either likened Allah with His creation or twisted His Names or turned to
else than Him. Through Muhammmad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) Allah guided them out of
wrong and with his efforts took them out of ignorance.
Then Allah chose for Muhammmad,
peace be upon him and on his progeny, to meet Him, selected him for His
own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and
decided to remove him from this place of trial.
drew him towards Himself with honour. Allah may shower His blessing on
him, and his progeny.
The Holy Qur'an and Sunnah
But the Prophet left among you the
same which other Prophets left among their peoples, because Prophets do
not leave them untended (in dark) without a clear path and a standing
ensign, namely the Book of your Creator clarifying its permission and
prohibitions, its obligations and discretion, its repealing injunctions
and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and compulsory ones, its
particulars and the general ones, its lessons and illustrations, its long
and the short ones, its clear and obscure ones, detailing its
abbreviations and clarifying its obscurities.
In it there are some verses whose
is obligatory and others whose ignorance by the people is permissible.
also contains what appears to be obligatory according to the Book
but its repeal is signified by the Prophet's action (sunnah) or that which
appears compulsory according to the Prophet's action but the Book allows
not following it.
there are those which are obligatory in a given time but not so after that
time. Its prohibitions also differ. Some are major regarding which there
exists the threat of fire (Hell), and others are minor for which there are
prospects of forgiveness.
are also those of which a small portion is also acceptable (to Allah) but
they are capable of being expanded.
In this very sermon he spoke about Hajj
Allah has made obligatory upon you
the pilgrimage (hajj) to His sacred House which is the turning point for
the people who go to it as beasts or pigeons go towards spring water.
Allah the glorified made it a sign of their supplication before His
Greatness and their acknowledgement of His Dignity.
selected from among His creation those who on listening to His call
responded to it and testified His word. They stood in the position of His
Prophets and resembled His angels who surround the Divine Throne securing
all the benefits of performing His worship and hastening towards His
the glorified made it (His sacred House) an emblem for Islam and an object
of respect for those who turn to it. He made obligatory its pilgrimage and
laid down its claim for which He held you responsible to discharge it.
Allah the glorified said:
". . . And (purely) for Allah, is
incumbent upon mankind, the pilgrimage to the House, for those who can
afford to journey thither. And whoever denieth then verily, Allah is
Selfsufficiently independent of the worlds" (Qur'an, 3:96).
foremost in religion (din) is His knowledge." The literal meaning of din
is obedience, and its popular sense is code, whether literal sense is
taken or the popular one, in either case, if the mind is devoid of any
conception of Divinity, there would be no question of obedience, nor of
following any code; because when there is no aim there is no point in
advancing towards it; where there is no object in view there is no sense
in making efforts to achieve it.
Nevertheless, when the nature and guiding faculty of man bring him in
contact with a superior Authority and his taste for obedience and impulse
of submission subjugates him before a Deity, he finds himself bound by
certain limitations as against abject freedom of activity.
very limitations are din (Religion) whose point of commencement is
knowledge of Allah and acknowledgement of His Being.
After pointing out the essentials of
Divine knowledge Amir al-mu'minin has described its important constituents
and conditions. He has held those stages of such knowledge which people
generally regard as the point of highest approach to be insufficient.
says that its first stage is that with the natural sense of search for the
unknown and the guidance of conscience or on hearing from the followers of
religions an image of the Unseen Being known as Allah is formed in the
image in fact is the forerunner of the obligation to thinking and
reflection and to seeking His knowledge.
those who love idleness, or are under pressure of environment, do not
undertake this search despite creation of such image and the image fails
to get testified. In this case they remain deprived of Divine knowledge,
and since their inaccess to the stage of testifying after the formation of
image is by volition they deserve to be questioned about it.
one who is moved by the power of this image goes further and considers
thinking and reflection necessary.
this way one reaches the next stage in the attainment of Divine knowledge,
namely to search for the Creator through diversification of creation and
species of creatures, because every picture is a solid and inflexible
guide to the existence of its painter and every effect to the action of
he casts his glance around himself he does not find a single thing which
might have come into existence without the act of a maker so much so that
he does not find the sign of a footstep without a walker nor a
construction without a builder.
can he comprehend that this blue sky with the sun and the moon in its
expanse and the earth with the exuberance of its grass and flowers could
have come into existence without the action of a Creator.
Therefore, after observing all that exists in the world and the regulated
system of the entire creation no one can help concluding that there is a
Creator for this world of diversities because existence cannot come out of
non-existence, nor can existence sprout forth from nothingness.
The Holy Qur'an has pointed to this
". . . What! about Allah is there
any doubt, the Originator of the heavens and the earth ?. . ." (14:10).
But this stage would also be
insufficient if this testimony in favour of Allah is tarnished by belief
in the divinity of some other deity.
The third stage is that His
existence should be acknowledged along with belief in Unity and Oneness.
Without this the testimony to Allah's existence cannot be complete because
if more gods are believed in He would not be One whereas it is necessary
that He should be One.
reason is that in case of more than one god the question would arise
whether one of them created all this creation or all of them together.
one of them created it there should be some differential to distinguish
him otherwise he would be accorded preferential position without reason,
which is unacceptable to the mind. If all have created it collectively
then the position has only two forms; either he cannot perform his
functions without the assistance of others or he is above the need for
first case means his incapability and being in need of others while the
other case means that they are several regular performers of a single act
and the fallacy of both has already been shown.
assume that all the gods performed the act of creation by dividing among
themselves then, in this case all the creation will, not bear the same
relationship towards the creator since each creature will bear
relationship only to its own creator whereas every creature should have
one and the same relationship to all creators.
is because all the creation should have one and the same relationship to
all the creators as all the created in their capacity to accept effect and
all the creators in their capacity to produce effect should be similar.
short there is no way but to acknowledge Him as One because in believing
in numerous creators there remains no possibility of the existence of any
other thing, and destruction proves implicit for the earth, the sky and
everything in creation.
the glorified has expressed this argument in the following words:
"Had there been in (the heavens
and the earth [other] ) gods except Allah, they both had been in
disorder. . ." (Qur'an, 21:22).
The fourth stage is that Allah
should be regarded free of all defects and deficiencies, and devoid of
body, form, illustration, similarity, position of place or time, motion,
stillness, incapability and ignorance because there can be no deficiency
or defect in the perfect Being nor can anyone be deemed like Him because
all these attributes bring down a being from the high position of the
Creator to the low position of the created.
is why along with Unity, Allah has held purity from deficiency of equal
"Say: 'He (Allah) is One (alone).
Allah, the needless.
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten.
And there is none like unto Him" (Qur'an, 112:1-4).
"Vision perceiveth Him not, and He
perceiveth (all) vision; He is the Subtle, the All-aware" (Qur'an,
"So coin ye not any similitudes to
Allah; verily Allah knoweth (every thing) and ye know not." (Qur'an,
". . .Nothing whatsoever (is
there) like the like of Him; and He (alone) is the All-hearing and the
All-seeing." (Qur'an, 42:11)
The fifth stage of completing His
Knowledge is that attributes should not be put in Him from outside lest
there be duality in His Oneness, and deviating from its proper connotation
Unity may fall in the labyrinth of one in three and three in one, because
His Being is not a combination of essence and form so that attribute may
cling to Him like smell in the flowers or brightness in the stars.
Rather, He is the fountain head of all attributes and needs no medium for
manifestation of His perfect Attributes.
is named Omniscient it is because the signs of his knowledge are manifest.
If He is called Omnipotent it is because every particle points to His
Omnipotence and Activity, and if to Him is attributed the power to listen
or to see it is because the cohesion of the entire creation and its
administration cannot be done without hearing or seeing but the existence
of these attributes in Him cannot be held to be in the same way as in the
creation namely that He should be capable to know only after He acquires
knowledge or He should be powerful and strong only after energy runs into
His limbs because taking attributes as separate from His Being would
connote duality and where there is duality unity disappears.
is how Amir al-mu'minin has rejected the idea of attributes being addition
to His Being, presented Unity in its true significance, and did not allow
Unity to be tainted with stains of multiplicity.
does not mean that adjectives cannot at all be attributed to Him, as this
would be giving support to those who are groping in the dark abyss of
negativism, although every nook and comer in the entire existence is
brimming with His attributes and every particle of creation stands witness
that He has knowledge, He is powerful, He hears, He sees.
nurtures under His care and allows growth under His mercy.
intention is that for Him nothing can be suggested to serve as an adjunct
to Him, because His self includes attributes and His attributes connote
us learn this very theme in the words of al-Imam Abu `Abdillah Ja`far ibn
Muhammmad as-Sadiq (p.b.u.h.) comparing it with the belief in Unity
adopted by other religions and then appreciate who is the exponent of the
true concept of Unity.
The Imam says:
"Our Allah the Glorified, the
Magnificent has ever had knowledge as His Self even though there was
nothing to know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to
know, sight as His Self even though there was nothing to behold, hearing
as His Self even though there was nothing to hear, and Potence as His
Self even though there was nothing to be under His Potence.
When He created the things and the object of knowledge came into
existence His knowledge became related to the known, hearing related to
the heard, sight related to the seen, and potence related to its
object." (at-Tawhid by ash-Shaykh as-Saduq, p.139)
This is the belief over which the
Imams of the Prophet's family are unanimous, but the majority group has
adopted a different course by creating the idea of differentiation between
His Self and Attributes.
ash-Shahristani says on page 42 of his book Kitab al-milal wa'n-nihal:
According to Abu'l-Hasan
al-Ash`ari, Allah knows through (the attribute of) knowledge, is
Powerful through activity, speaks through speech, hears through hearing
and sees through sight.
If we regard attributes distinct
from Self in this manner there would be two alternatives; either the
attributes must have existed in Him from ever or they must have occurred
the first case we have to recognise as many eternal objects as the
attributes which all will share with Him in being eternal, but "Allah is
above what the people deem Him to have equals." In the second case in
addition to subjecting Him to the alternations it would also mean that
before the acquiring of the attributes He was neither scient, nor
powerful, nor hearer nor beholder and this runs counter to the basic tenet
". . . Allah hath decreed trade
lawful and hath forbidden interest. . ." (Qur'an, 2:275)
"And when you have finished the
prayer remember Allah standing, and sitting, and reacting, and when ye
are secure (from danger) establish prayer . . ." (Qur'an, 4:103)
"O' ye men! eat of what is in the
earth lawful and good and follow not the foot-steps of Satan; for verily
he is an open enemy unto you." (Qur'an, 2:168)
"(And) say thou: 'I am only a man
like you, it is revealed unto me that your god is but one God, therefore
whosoever desireth to meet his Lord, let him do good deeds, and
associate not any one in the worship of his Lord'." (Qur'an, 18:110)
"What! enjoin ye upon the people
righteousness and ye forget your own selves? Yet ye read the scripture?
What: do ye not understand?" (Qur'an, 2:44).
About the Qur'an, Amir al-mu'minin says that it contains description of
the permitted and the forbidden acts such as "Allah has allowed sale and
purchase but prohibited usury."
It clarifies obligatory and optional
acts such as "when you have finished the prayer (of fear) remember Allah
rising, sitting or lying and when you feel safe (from the enemy) then say
the prayers (as usual)."
Here prayer is obligatory while
other forms of remembering (Allah) are optional.
has repealing and repealed verses such as about the period of seclusion
after husband's death "four months and ten days" or the repealed one such
as "till one year without going out" which shows that this period of
seclusion should be one year. In particular places it permits the
forbidden such as "whoever is compelled without being wilfully wrongful or
transgressor, commits no sins."
It has positive injunctions such as
"One should not add anyone with Allah in worship.
has particular and general injunctions. Particular is the one where the
word shows generality but the sense is limited such as "I have made you
superior over worlds, O' Bani Isra'il."
Here the sense of "Worlds," is
confined to that particular time, although the word is general in its
general injunctions is one which is extensive in meaning such as "Allah
has knowledge of everything." It has lessons and illustrations lessons
such as "Allah caught him in the punishment of this world and the next and
there is lesson in it."
"So seized him Allah, with the
chastisement in the hereafter, and the life before (it)." (Qur'an,
"Verily in this there is a lesson
unto him who feareth (Allah)." (Qur'an, 79:26)
"A kind word and pardon is better
than charity that is followed by injury, and verily Allah is
Self-sufficient, the Most forbearing." (Qur'an, 2:263)
"And remember when We made a
covenant with you and raised the 'tur' (the Mountain) above you
(saying), 'Hold ye fast that which We have bestowed upon you with the
strength (of determination) and remember that which is therein so that
you may guard (yourself) against evil'." (Qur'an, 2:63)
"So we made it a lesson for (those
of) their own times and for those (of their posterity) who came after
them and an exhortation unto those who guard (themselves) against evil."
"He it is Who fashioneth you in
the wombs (of your mothers) as He liketh; There is no god but He, the
All-mighty, the All-wise." (Qur'an, 3:5)
"Obedience and a fair word; but
when the affair is determined then if they be true to Allah, it would
certainly be better for them." (Qur'an, 47:21)
"O' those who believe! It is not
lawful for you to inherit women against their will; and do not straiten
them in order that ye may take a part of what ye have given, unless they
are guilty of manifest lewdness; but deal kindly with them, and if ye
hate them, it may be that ye hate a thing while Allah hath placed in it
abundant good." (Qur'an, 4:19)
"Say thou (unto the people of the
Book), 'Dispute ye with us about Allah; whereas He is our Lord and your
Lord, and for us are our deeds and for you are your deeds; to Him
(alone) we are (exclusively) loyal?" (Qur'an, 2:139)
"There is a lesson in it for him who
fears Allah," and illustration as "The example of those who spend their
wealth in the way of Allah is like a grain which grows seven ears each one
of which bears hundred grains." It has unspecific and specific verses.
Unspecific is one which has no limitation on specification such as "Recall
when Moses told his people 'Allah commands you to sacrifice a cow.'"
Specific is one where denotation is
limited such as Allah says that "the cow should be such that it has
neither been used for ploughing nor for irrigation fields." There is clear
and obscure in it. Clear is that which has no intricacy such as "Verily
Allah has sway over everything," while obscure is that whose meaning has
complication such as "the Merciful (Allah) occupies the throne," whose
apparent meaning gives the impression as if Allah is bodily sitting on the
Throne although the intention is to press His authority and control. In it
there are brief injunctions such as "establish prayer" and those of deep
meanings such as the verses about which says:
"That the sense is not known except
to Allah and those immersed in knowledge." Then Amir al-mu'minin dilates
upon this theme in a different style, he says that there are some things
in it which are necessary to know, such as "So know that there is no god
but Allah" and there are others which are not necessary to know such as
"alif lam mim" etc. It has also injunctions which have been repealed by
the Prophet's action such as "As for your women who commit adultery get
four male witnesses and if four witnesses do appear shut such women in the
house till death ends their life.
This punishment was current in early Islam but was later replaced by
stoning in the case of married women. In it there are some injunctions
which repealed the Prophet's action such as "Turn your face towards Masjid
al-haram" by which the injunction for facing Bayt al-maqdis was repealed.
also contains injunctions which are obligatory only at a particular time
after which their obligation ends, such as "when the call for prayer is
made on Friday then hasten towards remembrance of Allah." It has also
indicated grades of prohibitions as the division of sins into light and
serious ones - light such as "Tell the believers to lower their eyes" and
serious ones such as "whoever kills a Believer wilfully his award is to
remain in Hell for ever." It also contains injunctions where a little
performance is enough but there is scope for further performance such as
"Read the Qur'an as much as you easily can."
"Verily your Lord, certainly is He
the All-mighty, the All-merciful." (Qur'an, 26:9)
"Say thou (O' Our Prophet
Muhammmad) unto the believer men that they cast down their gaze and
guard their private parts; that is purer for them; verily Allah is
All-aware of what (all) ye do." (Qur'an, 24:30)
"Not equal are those of the
believers who sit (holding back) other than those hurt, and those who
strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their selves (lives).
Allah hath raised the strivers with their wealth and selves (lives), in
rank above those sitting (holding back); Unto all (in faith) Allah hath
promised good; but those who strive, He hath distinguished above those
who sit (holding [by]) a great recompense." (Qur'an, 4:95)
"Verily, thy Lord knowest that
thou standest up (in the Night Prayer) night two-third of the night, and
(sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and a group of
those with thee; and Allah measureth (well) the night and the day;
Knoweth He that never can ye take (correct) account of it, so turneth He
unto you (mercifully) so recite ye whatever be easy (in the prayers) to
be read of the Qur'an;
Knoweth He that there may be among you sick, and others travelling in
the earth seeking of the grace of Allah, and others fighting in the way
of Allah, so recite ye as much as it can easily be done of it, and
establish ye the (regular) prayers, and pay ye the (prescribed)
poor-rate, and offer ye unto Allah a goodly loan; and whatsoever of good
ye send on before hand for yourselves, ye will (surely) find it with
Allah, that is the best and the greatest recompense; and seek ye the
forgiveness of Allah; Verily, Allah is Oft-forgiving, the Most
Merciful." (Qur'an, 73:20)