Asbagh b. Nobatah, relates:
Haaris aI-Hamdani and a group of Shias (including myself) went to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s), Haaris could hardly walk with a cane and was ill, but he had a special status in the eyes of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).
Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) entered (the room) and asked How are you Haaris?
Haaris replied – Life is treating me poorly, O Ameerul Momineen. And the disagreement of the people has increased my pain.”
So Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) asked – What is the disagreement about?
Haaris replied: It is about your status and the status of the three who preceded you. The people are divided into three groups: the exaggerators, those who are balanced followers, and those who are hesitant and doubtful, who do not know whose status supercedes the other.
Ameerul Momineen replied – O my brother from Hamadan! The best of my Shia are the balanced followers. Both the exaggerators and the doubtful ones should follow them (the balanced followers).
Haaris: May I ransom my father and mother for you. Would you clarify this issue for our hearts and give us insight in this matter?
Ameerul Momineen (a.s) said: This is a hidden matter. The religion of Allah is not known by men; it is known by haq (truth). If you know the truth, you will know its people. O Haaris! Truth is the best of subjects. Those who uncover it are warriors. So pay attention to me and I will tell you what truth is. Learn it and teach it only to those of your friends who have wisdom.
I am a slave of Allah, the brother of his Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and I am Allah’s greatest siddiq (testifying one). I believed in him while Adam was still between soul and body; I am indeed the first truthful one in the nation of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). We are the first and we are the last O Haaris! I am his (the Prophet(s.a.w.a.)) chosen one; I am his equal, his heir, his friend, and his confidant.
I was given the understanding, unmistakable judgement, and knowledge of the Holy Quran. I was entrusted with one thousand keys, each of which opens a thousand doors, and each door leads to one million fields of knowledge. I know the actual night of Lailatul Qadr (night of destiny). This is true of my sons and I, for as long as there is a day and a night, and this will remain true until (the Twelfth Imam (a.s.)) inherits the earth and that which is on it.
Listen, O Haaris! You will know who I am and who my friends and enemies are at the following moments: at the time of death, on the bridge, by the Pool, and at the time of dividing.
Haaris asked What is the time of dividing my Master?
Imam Ali (a.s) replied It is the time when I will divide the people who will go to Hell (and Heaven). I will tell it (Hell), ‘This is my friend so leave him, and that is my enemy so take him.
Then the Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) took Haariss hand and said: O Haaris! I am taking your hand just as the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took my hand when I complained to him of the envious and hypocritical people of Quraysh. And I will say to you what the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to me. He (s.a.w.a.) said On the Day of Judgement, I will hold the rope of Allah and you (Ali (a.s)) will hold me. Your sons will hold you and your Shias will hold them (your sons(a.s))
So where do you think Allah will lead His Messenger (s.a.w.a.)? And where do you think His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) will lead his heirs? This is what truth is, O Haaris!
Then Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) said thrice – O Haaris! You will be with those whom you loved and you will reap the fruits of your efforts.