The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:

أَلْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَْمَ كُلَْ كَفَْارٍ عَنِيدٍ

“Do cast into hell every ungrateful, rebellious one.”[1]

The author of Ghaayah al-Maraam has relied on a tradition from our sources and those of the Ahle Sunnah terminating at Shareek Ibn Abdullah al-Qaazi who narrates, ‘I visited Sulaiman al-A’mash during a sickness in which he expired. While I was with him, Ibn Shabramah, Ibn Abi Lailaa and Abu Haneefah entered and enquired about his health. He (Sulaiman) mentioned about intense weakness and about what he feared from his sins due to which, self-pity overcame him and he started crying. Abu Haneefah turned to him and said, ‘O Abu Muhammad! Fear Allah and look at your self. For, you are in your last day of this world and the first of the hereafter. If you refute the traditions which you were narrating about Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), it would be good for you.’ A’mash asked, ‘Like what, O No’maan?’ He responded, ‘Like the tradition of Ebaayah, ‘I am the distributor of Hell.’’ A’mash retorted angrily, ‘O Jew! You are saying to a person like me, ‘Give me a seat and support me? I swear by the One to Whom is my ultimate destination, narrated to me Moosa Ibn Turaif — and I have not seen a person from Bani Asad better than him — that he heard Ebaayah Ibn Rab’ee, the village chief, who said, ‘I heard Ali Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) say, ‘I am the distributor of the Hell. I will say, ‘This is my friend, leave him and this is my enemy, take him.’’

Also, Abu al-Mutawakkil al-Naaji narrated to me during the rule of Hajjaaj (Ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi), who used to abuse Ali (a.s.) with the vilest slander, from Abu Saeed al-Khudri (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘On the Day of Judgment, Allah — Mighty and Majestic be He — will say to me and to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), ‘Make to enter the Fire whoever bore malice against you two and make to enter the Paradise whoever loved you two.’ And this is the saying, ‘Do cast into hell every ungrateful, rebellious one.’’ Hearing this, Abu Haneefah stood up and thundered, ‘Stand up all of you, there cannot be a greater calamity than this.’ Shareek Ibn Abdullah recounts, ‘Hardly had the evening passed when A’mash departed from this world.’[2]

Sulaiman al-A’mash was amongst the illustrious Shias, famous for his love for the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and renowned amongst the Shias as well as the Sunnis. There is a famous anecdote about him with Abu Jafar al-Mansoor — the Abbaside Caliph — who asked him one night, ‘I ask you for the sake of Allah, how many traditions have you narrated about the excellences and virtues of Ali (a.s.)?’ He replied, ‘Very little.’ Mansoor insisted, ‘But still how much?’ A’mash said, ‘Some ten thousand or more.’[3]

Traditions in this regard abound from both the sects. Moreover, traditions that have passed in the previous chapters have already established about the inability of a person to pass from the Bridge and enter the Paradise except with the permit of our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). Also, there are a vast number of traditions from both the sects that he (a.s.) will offer drinks from the Pond[4] and that he (a.s.) will drive away the people from the Pond just as an aberrant camel is driven away from the water[5] and that he (a.s.) is the distributor of the Paradise and the Hell.’[6]

From the traditions narrated by the Ahle Sunnah is that of Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad through his chain of narrators from Naafe’ from Abdullah Ibn Umar, who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said to Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), ‘On the Day of Judgment, O Ali, you will be brought on a carrier of light while on your head will be a crown whose light will be so resplendent that the people will almost lose their vision. At this juncture, an announcer will proclaim on behalf of Allah — Majestic be His Majesty — ‘Where is the caliph of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)?’ You will answer, ‘Here I am.’ The announcer will decree, ‘Make to enter the Paradise whoever loved you and throw him into Hell whoever bore enmity against you because you are the distributor of Paradise and the distributor of Hell.’’[7]

Also, Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad narrates through his chain of narrators from Naafe’ from Ibn Umar who said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) say, ‘Ali is my flag bearer, my trustee at the Pond and my helper with the keys of the treasures of Paradise.’’[8]

Shaikh al-Islam al-Hamweeni, a celebrated Sunni scholar, has mentioned a lengthy tradition terminating at Abu Saeed al-Khudri and at the end of which he says, ‘The keys of Paradise and the keys of Hell will be handed over to Ali (a.s.) on the command of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), who will stand on the edge of the Hell, cause its sparks to fly and increase the intensity of its heat while Ali (a.s.) will hold its reins. The Hell will say to Ali (a.s.), ‘O Ali! Pass by me as your light is extinguishing my flame.’ Ali (a.s.) will reply to it, ‘Wait there, O Hell, take him for he is my enemy and leave him for he is my friend.’ On that day, the Hell will be extremely obedient to Ali (a.s.) for whatever he (a.s.) orders than all the creatures.[9]

Briefly, traditions are aplenty and abound from both the sects that he (a.s.) will give his friend drink from the Pond and drive his enemy away from it. He (a.s.) is the standard bearer and none can pass the Bridge or enter Paradise except with his (a.s.) permission. He (a.s.) is the distributor of Hell and Paradise. He (a.s.) will order the Hell to consume his enemies and to forsake his friends.[10] All these connote one meaning i.e. the authority of Paradise and Hell has been delegated to him (a.s.), he (a.s.) will cause to enter the Paradise whoever loved him (a.s.) and will throw in Hell his (a.s.) enemies.

The collection of traditions in the implication of this meaning is consecutive. From his (a.s.) position is that he (a.s.) will move with the truth and the truth with him (a.s.), inevitably. Essentially, if it was not so, Allah — the High — would not have conferred on him (a.s.) this great endowment. Therefore, he (a.s.) speaks not but the truth and he (a.s.) does not but the right. When this is proved, it automatically establishes the distinction of Imamate and Caliphate for him (a.s.) and his infallible progeny (a.s.), as you know that he (a.s.) did not consider anybody eligible for the Caliphate except himself (a.s.) and his immaculate descendants (a.s.).

[1] Surah Qaaf (50): Verse 24.

[2] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 390 and 687.

[3] Refer Tanqeeh al-Maqaal of al-Maamqaani, vol. 2, p. 66; al-Kunaa wa al-Alqaab of Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi (r.a.), vol. 2, p. 40.

[4] Refer Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 685.

[5] Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 39, p. 216 narrating from E’laam al-Waraa of Shaikh Tabarsi (r.a.), p. 189 and Manaaqeb of al-Khaarazmi, p. 60.

[6] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 542.

[7] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 684.

[8] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 684.

[9] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 685 narrating from Faraaed al-Simtain.

[10] The references of all these traditions have passed.