The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:

وَرَبُْكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآء وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ

“And your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; to choose is not theirs…”[1]

In Ghaayah al-Maraam, it is recorded: al-Haafez Muhammad Momin al-Shirazi — who was a teacher of the Ahle Sunnah — in his book al-Mustakhraj from the commentaries of the Shias under the saying of Allah — the High:   “And your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; to choose is not theirs…” narrating directly from Anas Ibn Maalik, who says, “I asked the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) about this verse. He (s.a.w.a.) replied, “Verily, Allah created Adam from soil as He willed and chose. And Allah — the High — chose me and my Ahle Bait over all the creatures. So, He chose us and made me the Messenger and made Ali Ibn Abi Taalib the successor. Then He said, “…to choose is not theirs…” that is, I have not given the people the option to choose. But I choose whosoever I please. So, I and my Ahle Bait are His chosen ones and His selected ones from amongst His creatures. Thereafter, He said, ‘…Glory be to Allah..’ that is, making Allah Transcendent of ‘…of whatever they associate..’ i.e. the unbelievers of Makkah (associate) with Him. Then He said, ‘And your Lord’ O Muhammad ‘knows what their breasts conceal’ of the malice of the hypocrites for you and for your Ahle Bait and what they manifest’[2] of their love for you and for your Ahle Bait.[3]

I say: The fact that the Ahle Bait (a.s.) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) are those whom Allah has chosen over all His creatures has been proved by traditions accepted by both the sects and that there is no doubt whatsoever in their correctness.

From these traditions is the tradition of the roasted bird, which is narrated in Ghaayah al-Maraam from Sunni sources through thirty-five (35) chain of narrators[4]. We will mention one of them over here to receive divine blessings.

A)  The twenty-eighth tradition: Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad narrates from the great teacher Haafez Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Aasemi al-Khaarazmi from al-Qaazi al-Imam the Chief of the Judges Ismaaeel Ibn Ahmad al-Waaedh from his father Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn al-Husain al-Baihaqi from Abu Ali al-Husain Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali al-Daurbaadi from Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Hirwayh Ibn Abbas Ibn Sinaan al-Raazi from Abu Haatem al-Raazi from Abdullah Ibn Moosa from Ismaaeel al-Arzaq from Anas Ibn Maalek, who records, “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was gifted a bird. (On receiving this gift), he (s.a.w.a.) prayed, ‘O Allah! Send unto me the most beloved of Your creatures, who will share with me this bird.’  I pleaded, ‘O Allah! Make it a man from the Emigrants.’ Ali (a.s.) came. I turned him (a.s.) away saying, ‘The need of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is answering the call of nature.’ He (a.s.) went away only to return after some time. I turned him (a.s.) away again saying, ‘The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is answering the call of nature.’ Again, he (a.s.) went away only to return for the third time. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) ordered, ‘Open the door’ and it was opened. Ali (a.s.) entered. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) asked, ‘What is that you want, O Ali?’ He (a.s.) replied, ‘Thrice I came to you but Anas turned me away. He thought you are busy answering the call of nature.’ The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) asked, ‘O Anas! What made you do this?’ He replied, ‘I heard your supplication so I desired that it should be a person from my people.’ The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) retorted, ‘Surely, he (Anas) is the man who loves his people.’[5]

The great poet Ibn Abbaad has said a few verses in this regard in the glory of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.),

O Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) the Chosen One

Surely my heart has stopped at you

Whenever I renew my praise for you

The enemy says, ‘You are abusing the companions’

Who is like my master Ali, the austere,

Who divorced the world thrice and kept his word

For whom the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) prayed to share the bird

Some of these would suffice for us

Who is the successor of Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) near you?

The successor of Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) is the one whom he (s.a.w.a.) chooses[6]

B)    As has been mentioned earlier[7] that if Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), Ali (a.s.), Faatemah (s.a.), al-Hasan (a.s.) and al-Husain (a.s.) would not have been there, Allah would not have created Adam and others (from the humans) nor the angels nor the jinn nor the skies nor the earth nor the Throne nor the Chair nor Paradise nor Hell.

A)    As has been narrated profusely by both the sects, even to the extent of consecutiveness, that Ali (a.s.) is the best creation after the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), the best of creatures, the best of humanity, the best of Arabs and the best of the Ummah. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, Sayed Haashem Bahraani (a.r.) has mentioned twenty-three (23) traditions from Sunni sources[8] under this discussion.

B)     The saying of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), “Ali is from me and I am from Ali” has been narrated abundantly, nay consecutively, by both the sects. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, he (r.a.) has recorded thirty five chains of narrators from Sunni sources[9], three of which we will quote over here merely as a blessing.

Tradition Twenty-Two: From the book of “al-Jam’ bain al-Sehaah al-Sittah”, written by Rezeen Ibn al-Abdari, in the second part concerning the excellence of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), he records, “Umar Ibn al-Khattaab said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) expired while he (s.a.w.a.) was satisfied with him (a.s.). The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said to him (a.s.), ‘You are from me and I am from you.’”[10]

Tradition Twenty-Three: From the book of “al-Jam’ bain al-Sehaah al-Sittah” in the same chapter narrating from Sunan Abi Dawood and Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, who quote on the authority of Imraan Ibn al-Haseen, “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) dispatched a military raiding party under the leadership of Ali (a.s.). In the spoils of war, a slave-girl from the prisoners came in the share of Ali (a.s.). Others conspired to complain to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) about Ali (a.s.). When they did so, he (s.a.w.a.) turned away from them. Then turning to them — with anger written all over his (s.a.w.a.) face — he (s.a.w.a) demanded, ‘What do you intend from Ali? Surely, Ali is from me and I am from him.’”[11]

Tradition Twenty-Four: In the same chapter, from Sunan Abi Dawood and Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, it is recorded that Abu Junaadah said, “Surely the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared, ‘Ali is from me and I from Ali and none shall pay on my behalf except myself or Ali.’”[12]

C)     His (s.a.w.a.) declaration in the Battle of Khaibar, “Tomorrow, I shall give the flag to the one who loves Allah and His Messenger and whom Allah and His Messenger love”.  Ultimately, he (s.a.w.a.) did hand over the standard to Ali (a.s.). This tradition has been consecutively narrated by both the sects[13] and no Muslim has yet denied it.

D)    His (s.a.w.a.) saying, ‘I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. So, whoever desires knowledge (the city), should enter through its gate.’ This too is a consecutive tradition not denied by anybody.[14]

E)     His (s.a.w.a.) saying, ‘The best judge of my Ummah is Ali Ibn Abi Taalib and the most knowledgeable of my Ummah after me is Ali Ibn Abi Taalib.’[15] It is from the accepted traditions, agreed upon by both the sects.

F)      His (s.a.w.a.) saying, ‘Ali is with the truth and truth is with Ali. Truth goes with Ali wherever he goes’. It is from the plentifully narrated traditions. In fact, it is to the extent of being consecutive. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, he (r.a.) has recorded it from fifteen chain of narrators from Sunni sources.[16]

From among these traditions, he (r.a.) records from the book Rabee’ al-Abraar of Jaarullah Zamakhshari — the celebrated Sunni scholar and commentator — who writes, “Abu Thaabit, the slave of Ali (a.s.), sought permission to enter the house of Umm Salmah (peace be on her). She (r.a.) said, ‘Welcome, O Abaa Thaabit! Where did your heart fly when the hearts flew over their airfields?’ He replied, ‘Behind Ali’. She said, ‘You are successful. I swear by the One in Whose Hand is my life! I have indeed heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) say, ‘Ali is with the Truth and the Quran, and the Truth and the Quran are with Ali. These two shall not separate from each other till they meet me at the Hauz.”[17]

G)    His (s.a.w.a.) saying, ‘The right of Ali over this Ummah is like the right of a father over his son’[18] and ‘I and Ali are the fathers of this nation’[19]. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, he (r.a.) has narrated such traditions from a number of Sunni sources. We shall mention only one over here as a blessing:

Tradition Two: From Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad, and he has mentioned his chains of narrators terminating at Ammaar Ibn Yaasir and Abu Ayyub, who have both stated, “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared, ‘The right of Ali over the Muslims is like the right of a father over his son.’”[20]

H)    The closure of all doors of the Mosque (Masjid al-Nabi) except the door of Ali (a.s.).  All the Muslims unanimously agree to the correctness of this tradition. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, he (r.a.) has narrated twenty-nine traditions from Sunni sources[21]. We will mention two traditions over here for the sake of blessings:

Tradition Four: Ibn al-Maghaazeli, the Shaafei’ jurist, records in his book al-Manaaqeb, “Informed us Ahmad Ibn Muhammad (with the permission to narrate) that informed us Umar Ibn Shawdhab who narrated from Ahmad Ibn Eesa Ibn Haitham from Muhammad Ibn Uthman Ibn Abi Shaibah from Ibraaheem Ibn Muhammad Ibn Maimoon from Ali Ibn Aabis from al-Haarith Ibn Haseen from Adi Ibn Thaabit who says, ‘The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) went out to the Mosque and declared, ‘Surely Allah has revealed unto His Prophet Moosa that ‘construct for Me a pure mosque; none shall stay in it except Moosa, Haroon and the two sons of Haroon. And surely Allah revealed to me that I construct a pure mosque; none shall stay in it except me, Ali and the two sons of Ali.’”[22]

Tradition Five: Again from Ibn Maghaazeli and here, his chain terminates at Hudhaifah Ibn Usaid al-Ghaffari, who narrates, “When the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) arrived, they did not have houses to reside and have conjugal relations. So, some of them built houses around the Mosque and their doors led to the Mosque. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) sent Ma’adh Ibn Jabal to them, who called out to Abu Bakr and said, ‘Surely Allah has ordered you to go out of the Mosque. He replied, ‘Sure, I hear and I obey’ and closed his door obediently and went out of the mosque. Then, he (s.a.w.a.) him (Ma’adh) to Umar and said, ‘Surely, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) orders you to that you shut your door in the mosque and get out from it.’ He too replied, ‘Sure, I hear and I obey Allah and His Messenger except that I seek from Allah a small window in the mosque.’  Ma’adh conveyed Umar’s message to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Thereafter, he (s.a.w.a.) sent him to Uthman — and with him was Ruqaiyyah — who also replied, ‘Sure, I hear and obey Allah and His Messenger’, closed his door and went out of the Mosque. Then, he (s.a.w.a.) sent to Hamzah, who also closed his door and said, ‘Sure, I hear and obey’. During all this while, Ali (a.s.) was hesitant and did not know what to do; should he stay put or should he leave? Indeed, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had built for him a house in the Mosque from among his (s.a.w.a.) houses. So, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to him (a.s.), ‘Stay put, pure and purified.’ Hamzah (r.a.) heard the saying of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to Ali (a.s.) and said, ‘O Muhammad! You remove us and allow a young Ali Ibn Abi Taalib to stay put!’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied him, ‘Had the affair been in my hands, I would not have removed anyone of you. By Allah! None has given him this right (to stay) except Allah. And surely you are on goodness from Allah and His Messenger. Receive glad tidings!’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) gave him (a.s.) glad tidings of martyrdom on the day of Ohod. Due to this incident, people bore malice against Ali (a.s.). They experienced grief and wrath in themselves and his (a.s.) superiority over them and over other companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) became manifest for them. When this news reached to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he (s.a.w.a.) stood up to deliver a sermon and said, ‘Some men experience (grief and wrath) because I have allowed Ali to stay in the Mosque. By Allah! Neither have I removed you nor have I allowed him to stay. Surely Allah — Mighty and Glorified be He — revealed to Moosa and his brother to ‘Take for your people houses to abide in Egypt and make your houses places of worship and keep up prayer…’[23] He ordered Moosa that none should not stay in his mosque nor have conjugal relations in it nor enter it except Haroon and his progeny. Surely, Ali is like what Haroon was to Moosa. He is my brother besides my family. None is permitted to have conjugal relations with women in my mosque except Ali and his progeny. Then, the one who will trouble him is there —and he (s.a.w.a.) indicated towards Syria.”[24]

I)       The consecutive traditions that have been recorded by both the sects concerning the excellence of the lovers of Ali (a.s.) and his Shias. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, he (r.a.) has mentioned in this chapter ninety-five traditions from Sunni sources[25]. I will mention two traditions over here as a blessing.

Tradition Thirty-One: Mufawwaq Ibn Ahmad narrates and his chain of narrators terminates at Alqamah, the slave of Bani Haashim, who narrates, “The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) prayed with us the morning prayers. Afterwards, he (s.a.w.a.) turned to us and said, ‘O my companions! Last night, I saw my uncle, Hamzah Ibn Abd al-Muttalib, my brother Ja’far Ibn Abi Taalib (r.a.) (in my dream). Before them was kept a lotus fruit. They ate for a while. Then, this lotus-fruit transformed into grapes. They ate this too for a while. Again, the grapes were changed to dates. They ate this too for some time. I went near both of them and said, ‘May my father and mother be held ransom for both of you! Which action did both of you find to be the best? They replied, ‘May our fathers and mothers be sacrificed for you! The best of actions that we found were sending salutations upon you, giving water to drink and love of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.).’”[26]

Tradition Thirty-Two: Mufawwaq Ibn Ahmad narrates and his chain of narrators terminates at Abu Buraidah from his father, who said, “One day, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘Surely, Allah — the High — has ordered me that I love four of my companions and informed me that He loves them.’ We asked, ‘Who, O Messenger of Allah? He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘Surely, Ali is from them.’ The second day, he (s.a.w.a.) repeated what he (s.a.w.a.) had said on the first day. Again, we asked, ‘Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (s.a.w.a.) answered, ‘Surely, Ali is from them.’ On the third day, he (s.a.w.a.) repeated whatever he (s.a.w.a.) had declared on the first two days. Again, we asked, ‘Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘Surely, Ali is from them; and so are Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari, Miqdaad Ibn Aswad al-Kindi and Salmaan al-Faarsi (may Allah be satisfied with them all).’”[27]

I say: The love of Salmaan, Abu Dharr  and Miqdaad (peace be on them all) returns to the love of our master Ali Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) because they are from his Shias and were those who neither turned away from his command nor did they separate themselves from him (a.s.).

It has become extremely clear for you from these excellences accepted by all Muslims that our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and his immaculate sons (a.s.) are those whom Allah has chosen over all His creatures. It is also known that it is not at all permissible for the people that they chose someone of their own account who is not the divinely selected one over whom Allah has chosen over all the creatures.

[1] Surah Qasas (28): Verse 68

[2] Surah Qasas (28): Verse 69

[3] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 331

[4] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 448-454

[5] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 473 narrating from Manaaqeb al-Khaarazmi, p. 65

[6] Manaaqeb al-Khaarazmi, p. 65

[7] Under tradition 12

[8] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 471-475

[9] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 456-458

[10] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 458

[11] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 458

[12] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 458

[13] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 465-471

[14] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 520-523

[15] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 528-530

[16] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 539-542

[17] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 540. Refer Rabee’ al-Abraar, vol. 1, p. 828

[18] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 543-544

[19] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 543-544

[20] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 543

[21] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 639-647

[22] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 639. Manaaqeb of Ibn Maghaazeli, p. 252

[23] Surah Yunus (10): Verse 87

[24] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 640; Manaaqeb of Ibn Maghaazeli, pp. 253-255 (with slight differences in some of the sentences)

[25] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 578-587

[26] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 581; Manaaqeb al-Khaarazmi, p. 33

[27] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 581; Manaaqeb al-Khaarazmi, p. 34