The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:

وَ إِنِْي لَغَفَْارٌ لِْمَن تَابَ وَ آمَنَ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا ثُمَْ اهْتَدٰى

“And most surely I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does good, then he will be guided.”[1]

Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Khaalid al-Barqi in al-Mahaasen narrates from his father from Hammaad Ibn Eesaa from Yaqoob Ibn Shuaib who narrates, ‘I asked Imam Sadeq (a.s.) about the saying of Allah — Mighty and Glorified be He — ‘And most surely I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does good, then he will be guided’, he (a.s.) replied, ‘By Allah! (He will be guided) towards our mastership. Don’t you see how Allah — Mighty and Glorified be He — has placed the condition?’[2]

I say: The pre-condition for the acceptance of repentance, belief and good deeds is only the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) as has been proved[3] by consecutive traditions from both the sects. Like, belief will not be completed and good deeds will not be accepted except through the mastership of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his progeny.[4] And that surely the recognition of Allah will not be perfected except through their recognition and their mastership.[5]

If a person prays during the night, fasts during the day, donates his entire wealth in charity and performs Hajj throughout his life but neither recognizes the mastership of the divine proof which enables him to take him as his master nor performs any of his actions under his guidance, it is neither obligatory on Allah — Mighty and Majestic be He — to reward him for his good deeds nor will he be from the believers. (Then he said) These, the good from them, Allah will cause them enter the paradise (with the grace of His mercy).[6]

Traditions concerning this are abundant from both the sects and Imam Sadeq (a.s.) has pointed out towards this very reality when after reciting the verse, he (a.s.) said, ‘He will be guided towards our mastership, by Allah! Do you not see how Allah — Mighty and Majestic be He — has provided for the stipulation?’ i.e. the reliable condition in the perfection of belief and the acceptance of good deeds which is the cause of divine forgiveness, is nothing except the mastership of us Ahle Bait (a.s.).[7] This is clear for the one who studies the traditions of both the sects.

From the traditions of the Ahle Sunnah, it is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘Whoever dies on the love of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), dies a martyr. And whoever dies on the love of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), dies forgiven. Know that whoever dies on the love of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), dies a repentant one. Know that whoever dies on the love of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), dies a believer whose belief is complete. Know that whoever dies on the love of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), the angel of death will give him the glad tidings of paradise, followed by Munkeer and Nakeer (the two angels of the grave). Know that whoever dies on the love of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), dies on the Sunnah and the Jama’ah. Know that whoever dies on the hatred of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), will come on the Day of Judgment while it is written between his eyes (on his forehead) ‘He has despaired from the mercy of Allah’. Know that whoever dies on the hatred of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), dies an unbeliever. Know that whoever dies on the hatred of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), will not scent the fragrance of Paradise.’[8]

All praise is for Allah Who has guided us to their (a.s.) love and their (a.s.) mastership, granted us detest and hatred for their (a.s.) enemies and it would not have been possible for us to be guided had Allah not guided us.

It also establishes that Allah — the High — has appointed for every nation a guide from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) as has come in numerous traditions from both the sects. Nay, these traditions are almost consecutive. Like under the saying of Allah — Mighty and Majestic be He — اِنَْمَا اَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَ لِكُلِْ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ. ‘You are only a warner and for every nation there is a guide’[9] it is said that it was revealed in favor of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) and that for every nation there was a guide followed by another guide from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and the earth will not be devoid of them.[10]

It is known that whosoever Allah — the High — appoints as a guide for the nation of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), firstly, it is obligatory to be guided to his recognition and his mastership and secondly, to be guided towards his person (a.s.). Then this ‘receipt of guidance’ which follows repentance, belief in Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and good deeds is not possible except through the guidance of the guide whom Allah has appointed as a guide.[11]

Then surely the change in the context in the conjunct nouns and the conjunction ‘receipt of guidance’ with ‘then’ (ثُمَْ)[12] instead of ‘belief and good deeds’, is not the cause of ‘receipt of guidance’ and coming out from deviation. Nay, coming out from deviation and being guided towards the truth is in need of another affair because the conjunction ثُمَْ indicates that what follows it is dependent on what precedes it. If belief and good deeds were sufficient in being guided and coming out from deviation, there was no scope to provide the conjunction of ثُمَْ. Moreover, according to the Ahle Sunnah, there is no deviation after belief and good deeds because for them, the caliphate of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is the branch of religion. As a result, for them it can be achieved even through allegiance. Then, non-salvation from guidance despite belief and good deeds is only completed through the Shiite ideology. That is, the recognition of Imam and the caliph is from the principles of religion and caliphate and Imamate is not proved except through document from Allah — the High — and from His Messenger (s.a.w.a.). Indeed, it has come in traditions from both the sects, ‘Surely whoever dies without recognizing the Imam of his time, has died the death of ignorance.’[13]

But those who have indulged in whimsical interpretation and speculative conjuncture have interpreted the ‘receipt of guidance’ as necessity of belief and its continuation till his death or that he should not have any doubt in his belief or that he should act upon the Sunnah and forsake innovation (بِدْعَة).

Each of the above has been mentioned in Tafseer Majma’ al-Bayaan and he has attributed each to its interpreter.[14]

In it is that the third aspect refers to the good deeds, there is no scope for its arrangement upon it and its conjunction with the alphabet ثُمَْ and the first two aspects to one aspect i.e. the continuation of belief and his steadfastness upon it till his death; which is contrary to the word ‘receipt of guidance’ implying the acceptance of guidance, which necessitates the non-emergence from deviation before the acceptance of guidance. For, the acceptance of guidance is preceded by deviation and continuity of belief is preceded by belief which is the basis of guidance. Hence, there is no scope for interpreting either of the two with the other.

Also, distinguishing with the word ثُمَْ shows languor and sluggishness perhaps due to drawing attention of the negligence of the nation from the receipt of guidance besides the two conjunct nouns. For, it was not a more difficult matter for them than being guided towards the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) as is apparent for the one who has even a little understanding of the conditions of the companions and the traditions of both the sects.

The author of Ghaayah al-Maraam has relied on a tradition from Anas Ibn Maalik who chronicles, ‘We returned with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) from Tabook. On the way, he (s.a.w.a.) said to me, ‘Place the saddle blankets on the humps of the camels.’ They did it, after which the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) delivered a sermon. He (s.a.w.a.) praised Allah and glorified Him as He is worthy. Then he (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘O people! What is the matter! When the progeny of Ibraheem is mentioned, your faces are illuminated. But when the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) is mentioned, it seems as if the grains of pomegranate have exploded in your faces. I swear by the One Who raised me with truth as a prophet, if anyone of you comes on the Day of Judgment with actions equal to mountains but without the mastership of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), Allah — Mighty and Majestic be He — will throw him in the hell fire.’’[15]

I say: For the manifestation of one’s hatred and malice towards the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), it is sufficient to give preference to others over them (a.s.), follow their commands, implement their laws and refer to them instead of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) as the traditions have spoken. The reason for this is clear because the lover never turns away from his beloved; he regards as truth what the beloved considers so and thinks as falsehood what the beloved thinks so.

It is absolutely clear, without doubt, that our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from his descendants are of the view that caliphate and mastership are particular unto them and the people deprived them of their rights. Therefore, whoever follows their deprivers, implements their command and thinks that they too had a right, has in fact denied the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and is an absolute liar in his claim for the love of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).


[1] Surah Taahaa (20): Verse 82.

[2] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 333; al-Mahaasen, p. 142.

[3] Explanation: The use of conjunction ‘then’ (ثُمَْ) instead of ‘and’ (و) establishes that this receipt of guidance is a consequence of repentance, belief and good deeds. Moreover, receiving of guidance is a result of the acceptance of the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).

The gist is that if ‘and’ (و) was used as a conjunction, it was possible to join it along with the previous conjunct nouns. Like His saying, ‘وَكَذَالِكَ يُوْحِىْ اَلَيْكَ وَ اِلَىْ الَْذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ’ ‘And thus He has revealed unto you and to those before you’ and the term ‘receipt of guidance’ could have been applied for monotheism and belief in Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.). But the use of the conjunction ‘then’ (ثُمَْ) explicates that the following conjunct noun is actually a pre-condition for the prior one; in this case, receipt of guidance precedes belief and good deeds i.e. the pre-condition of the acceptance of belief and good deeds is to acknowledge the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). The Muslims are unanimous that nothing except mastership is essential in the acceptance of belief and good deeds

From what we have explained the secret of the change of the context in the conjunctions and the use of the conjunction of ‘then’ (ثُمَْ) for the receipt of guidance (اِهْتِدَاء) and not for belief and good deeds, is clear.

It has also become clear that the interpretation of ‘receipt of guidance’ (اِهْتِدَاء) as necessity of belief till death or being non-skeptical in his faith or adopting the Sunnah or not treading on the path of innovation (بِدْعَة) are all improper and misplaced. For, the first two refer to the survival of belief and not to receiving of guidance based on it and on good deeds just as the third one refers to the third (condition) and that is good deeds.

Thereafter, He has preferred ‘ثُمَْ’ over ‘فاء’ because the former is more encompassing and eloquent than the latter and since فاء is only used for subdivision along with the probability that the ‘receipt of guidance’ is not a distinct affair which is beyond belief and good deeds, as opposed to the alphabet ثُمَْ. For, in ثُمَْ the non-admissibility of subdivision is clear. (Because what follows it is an independent matter, dependent on what precedes it.)

Whatever is joined to belief and good deeds in a way that its fulfillment will lead to guidance and its absence will lead to deviation. His belief and good deeds will not benefit him except through this (receipt of guidance) which is nothing but the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) since none of the other interpretations except mastership can be relied upon. — The Author (r.a.).

This lengthy footnote is present in the first edition and the author (r.a.) has included in the text in the second edition with minor changes. Yet, we have included it due to some of its beneficial discussions.

[4] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 250, Chapters 46-47; Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 180.

[5] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 253.

[6] Al-Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 19; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 257.

[7] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 323.

[8] Al-Kashshaaf, vol. 4, p. 220; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 252.

[9] Surah Ra’d (13): Verse 7.

[10] Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 191; Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 29; Manaaqeb Aal-e-Abi Taalib, vol. 3, p. 83; Tafseer al-Ayyaashi, vol. 2, p. 203; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 235.

[11] Then surely the change in the context in the conjunct nouns and the conjunction ‘receipt of guidance’ with ‘then’ (ثُمَْ) instead of ‘belief and action’, perhaps, is for drawing the attention towards two points:

(a) The last factor that is considered for forgiveness without which neither the belief can be perfected nor the good deeds will be accepted is the ‘receipt of guidance’ towards the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and there is nothing after it.

(b) The negligence and languor of the Ummah with reference to guidance, other than the two conjunct nouns (belief and good deeds), then surely it was not more difficult for them than the ‘receipt of guidance’ through the mastership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.), as is clear for the one who has even a little understanding of the conditions of the companions and the traditions of both the sects.

The above wordings were in the text of the first tradition but the author (r.a.) has changed it in the second edition as you can see from his saying, ‘Then surely the change in the context… and indeed he has relied in Ghaayah al-Maraam. We have narrated it, despite the repletion of the text, due to some of the benefits available in it.

[12] ثُمَْ has been used as a declaration of the need of the previous one to the conjunct noun despite the fact that apparently there is no need for it and the level of our discussion is from this very category. Apparently, belief coupled with good deeds after repentance is sufficient to obtain divine forgiveness; then he has drawn the attention by bring ثُمَْ to show the necessity for another affair which is to be guided towards the guide appointed by Allah for the servants — The Author (r.a.).

[13] Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 378; al-Mahaasen, p. 153; Manaaqeb Aal-e-Abi Taalib, vol. 1, p. 246; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 68, p. 339.

[14] Majma’ al-Bayaan, vol. 7, p. 23.

[15] Al-Amaali of Shaikh al-Toosi (r.a.), vol. 1, p. 314, Chapter 11; Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 257.