Known as "al-Khutbah al-Qasi`ah"
(Sermon of Disparagement)
(It comprises disparagement of Satan [Iblis] for his vanity and his
refusing to prostrate before Adam [pbuh], and his being the first to
display bigotry and to act through vanity; it comprises a warning to
people treading in Satan's path)
Praise be to Allah who wears
the apparel of Honour and Dignity and has chosen them for Himself instead
of for His creation. He has made them inaccessible and unlawful for
He has selected them for His own great
self, and has hurled a curse on him who contests with Him concerning them.
Allah's trial and the vanity of Iblis
Then He put His angels on
trial concerning these attributes in order to distinguish those who are
modest from those who are vain. Therefore, Allah, who is aware of whatever
is hidden in the hearts and whatever lies behind the unseen said:
. . . "Verily I am about
to create man from clay," And when I have completed and have breathed
into him of My spirit, then fall ye prostrating in obeisance unto him.
And did fall prostrating in obeisance the angels all together, Save
lblis;... (Qur'an. 38:71-74)
His vanity stood in his way.
Consequently, he felt proud over Adam by virtue of his creation and
boasted over him on account of his origin. Thus, this enemy of Allah is
the leader of those who boast, and the fore-runner of the vain.
It is he who laid the
foundation of factionalism, quarreled with Allah about the robe of
greatness, put on the dress of haughtiness and took off the covering of
humility. Do you not see how Allah made him low on account of his vanity
and humiliated him for his feigning to be high? He discarded him in this
world and provided for him burning fire in the next world.
If Allah had wanted to
create Adam from a light whose glare would have dazzled the eyes, whose
handsomeness would have amazed the wits and whose smell would have caught
the breath, He could have done so; and if He had done so, people would
have bowed to him in humility and the trial of the angels through him
would have become easier.
But Allah, the Glorified,
tries His creatures by means of those things whose real nature they do not
know in order to distinguish (good and bad) for them through the trial,
and to remove vanity from them and keep them and keep them aloof from
pride and self-admiration.
You should take a lesson
from what Allah did with Satan; namely He nullified his great acts and
extensive efforts on account of the vanity of one moment, although Satan
had worshipped Allah for six thousand years - whether by the reckoning of
this world or of the next world is not known.
Who now can remain safe from
Allah after Satan by committing a similar disobedience? None at all.
Allah, the Glorified, cannot let a human being enter Paradise if he does
the same thing for which Allah turned out from it an angel.
His command for the inhabitants in the sky
and of the earth is the same. There is no friendship between Allah and any
individual out of His creation so as to give him license for an
undesirable thing which He has held unlawful for all the worlds.
Warning against Satan
Therefore, you should fear
lest Satan infects you with his disease, or leads you astray through his
call, or marches on you with his horsemen and footmen, because, by my
life, he has put the arrow in the bow for you, has stretched the bow
strongly, and has aimed at you from a nearby position, and:
He (Satan) said: "My Lord!
because Thou hast left me to stray, certainly will I adorn unto them the
path of error, and certainly will I cause them all to go astray."
Although he (Satan) had said
so only by guessing about the unknown future and by wrong conjecturing,
yet the sons of vanity, the brothers of haughtiness and the horsemen of
pride and intolerance proved him to be true, so much so that when
disobedient persons from among you bowed before him, and his greed about
you gained strength; and what was a hidden secret turned into a clear
fact, he spread his full control over you and marched with his forces
Then they pushed you into
the hollows of disgrace, threw you into the whirlpools of slaughter, and
trampled you, wounding you by striking your eyes with spears, cutting your
throats, tearing your nostrils, breaking your limbs and taking you in
ropes of control towards the fire already prepared. In this way he became
more harmful to your religion and a greater kindler of flames (of
mischief) about your worldly matters than the enemies against whom you
showed open opposition and against whom you marched your forces.
You should therefore spend
all your force against him, and all your efforts against him, because, by
Allah, he boasted over your (i.e., Adam's) origin, questioned your
position and spoke lightly of your lineage. He advanced on you with his
army, and brought his footmen towards your path.
They are chasing you from
every place, and they are hitting you at every finger joint. You are not
able to defend by any means, nor can you repulse them by any
determination. You are in the thick of disgrace, the ring of straitness,
the field of death and the way of distress.
You should therefore put out
the fires of haughtiness and the flames of intolerance that are hidden in
your hearts. This vanity can exist in a Muslim only by the machinations of
Satan, his haughtiness, mischief and whisperings.
Make up your mind to have
humility over your heads, to trample self-pride under your feet and to
cast off vanity from your necks. Adopt humility as the weapon between you
and your enemy, Satan and his forces. He certainly has, from every people,
fighters, helpers, footmen and horsemen.
Do not be like him who
feigned superiority over the son of his own mother without any distinction
given to him by Allah except the feeling of envy which his feeling of
greatness created in him and the fire of anger that vanity kindled in his
Satan blew into his nose his own vanity,
after which Allah gave him remorse and made him responsible for the sins
of all killers up to the Day of Judgement.
Caution against vanity and boasting about ignorance
Beware! you strove hard in
revolting and created mischief on the earth in open opposition to Allah
and in challenging the believers over fighting. (You should fear) Allah!
Allah! in feeling proud of your vanity and boasting over ignorance,
because this is the root of enmity and the design of Satan wherewith he
has been deceiving past people and bygone ages, with the result that they
fell into the gloom of his ignorance and the hollows of his misguidance,
submitting to his driving and accepting his leadership.
In this matter the hearts of all the people
were similar, and centuries passed by, one after the other, in just the
same way, and there was vanity with which chests were tightened.
Caution against obeying haughty leaders and elders
Beware! beware of obeying
your leaders and elders who felt proud of their achievements and boasted
about their lineage. They hurled the (liability for) things on Allah and
quarrelled with Allah in what He did with them, contesting His decree and
disputing His favours. Certainly, they are the main foundation of
obstinacy, the chief pillars of mischief and the swords of pre-Islamic
boasting over forefathers.
Therefore, fear Allah, do
not become antagonistic to His favours on you, nor jealous of His bounty
and do not obey the claimants (of Islam) whose dirty water you drink along
with your clean one, whose ailments you mix with your healthiness and
whose wrongs you allow to enter into your rightful matters.
They are the foundation of
vice and the linings of disobedience. Satan has made them carriers of
misguidance and the soldiers with whom he attacks men. They are
interpreters through whom he speaks in order to steal away your wits,
enter into your eyes and blow into your ears.
In this way he makes you the
victim of his arrows, the treading ground of his footsteps and source of
strength for his hands. Take instruction from how he brought Allah's
wrath, violence, chastisement and punishment on those who were vain among
the past people.
Take admonition from their lying on their
cheeks and falling on their sides, and seek Allah's protection from the
dangers of vanity, as you seek His protection from calamities.
The humbleness of the Holy Prophet
Certainly. if Allah were to
allow anyone to indulge in pride He would have allowed it to his selected
prophets and vicegerents. But Allah, the Sublime, disliked vanity for them
and liked humbleness for them. Therefore, they laid their cheeks on the
ground, smeared their faces with dust, bent themselves down for the
believers and remained humble people.
Allah tried them with
hunger, afflicted them with difficulty, tested them with fear, and upset
them with troubles. Therefore, do not regard wealth and progeny the
criterion for Allah's pleasure and displeasure, as you are not aware of
the chances of mischief and trials during richness and power as Allah, the
Glorified, the Sublime, has said:
What! Think they that what
We aid them with of wealth and children, We are hastening unto them the
good things? Nay! they (only) perceive not. (Qur'an, 23:55-56)
Certainly, Allah the
Glorified, tries His creatures who are vain about themselves through His
beloved persons who are humble in their eyes.
When Musa son of `Imran went
to Pharaoh along with his brother Harun (Aaron) wearing (coarse) shirts of
wool and holding sticks in their hands, they guaranteed him retention of
his country and continuity of his honour if he submitted; but he said: "Do
you not wonder at these two men guaranteeing me the continuity of my
honour and the retention of my country although you see their poverty and
lowliness. Otherwise, why do they not have gold bangles on their wrists?"
He said so feeling proud of his gold and collected possessions, and
considering wool and its cloth as nothing.
When Allah, the Glorified,
deputed His prophets, if He had wished to open for them treasures and
mines of gold and (surround them with) planted gardens and to collect
around them birds of the skies and beasts of the earth, He could have done
If He had done so then there
would have been no trial, nor recompense and no tidings (about the affairs
of the next world). Those who accepted (His message) could not be given
the recompense falling due after trial and the believers could not deserve
the reward for good acts, and all these words
would not have retained their meanings.
But Allah, the Glorified,
makes His Prophets firm in their determination and gives them weakness of
appearance as seen from the eyes, along with contentment that fills the
hearts and eyes resulting from care-freeness, and with want that pains the
eyes and ears.
If the prophets possessed
authority that could not be assaulted, or honour that could not be damaged
or domain towards which the necks of people would turn and the saddles of
mounts could be set, it would have been very easy for people to seek
lessons and quite difficult to feel vanity.
They would have then accepted belief out of
fear felt by them or inclination attracting them, and the intention of
them all would have been the same, although their actions would have been
different. Therefore, Allah, the Glorified decided that people should
follow His prophets, acknowledge His books, remain humble before His face,
obey His command and accept His obedience with sincerity in which there
should not be an iota of anything else; and as the trial and tribulation
would be stiffer the reward and recompense too should be larger.
The Holy Ka`bah
Do you not see that Allah,
the Glorified, has tried all the people among those who came before,
beginning with Adam, upto the last ones in this world with stones which
yield neither benefit nor harm, which neither see nor hear. He made those
stones into His sacred house which He made a standby for the people. He
placed it in the most rugged stony part of the earth and on a highland
with least soil thereon, among the most narrow valleys between rough
soft sandy plains, springs
of scanty water and scattered habitants, where neither camels nor horses
nor cows and sheep can prosper.
Then He commanded Adam and
his sons to turn their attention towards it. In this way it became the
centre of their journey in seeking pastures and the rendezvous for meeting
of their carrier-beasts, so that human spirits hasten towards it from
distant waterless deserts, deep and low lying valleys and scattered
islands in the seas.
They shake their shoulders
in humbleness, recite the slogan of having reached His audience, march
with swift feet, and have dishevelled hair and dusted faces. They throw
their pieces of cloth on their backs, they have marred the beauty of their
faces by leaving the hair uncut as a matter of great test, severe
tribulation, open trial, and extreme refining. Allah has made it a means
to His mercy and an approach to His Paradise.
If Allah, the Glorified, had
placed His sacred House and His great signs among plantations, streams,
soft and level plains, plenty of trees, an abundance of fruits, a thick
population, close habitats, golden wheat, lush gardens, green land,
watered plains, thriving orchards and crowded streets, the amount of
recompense would have decreased because of the lightness of the trial.
If the foundation on which
the House is borne and the stones with which it has been raised had been
of green emerald and red rubies, and there had been brightness and
effulgence, then this would have lessened the action of doubts in the
breasts, would have dismissed the effect of Satan's activity from the
hearts, and would have stopped the surging of misgivings in people.
But Allah tries His creatures by means of
different troubles, wants them to render worship through hardships and
involves them in distresses, all in order to extract out vanity from their
hearts, to settle down humbleness in their spirits and to make all this an
open door for His favours and an easy means for His forgiveness (for their
Caution against rebellion and oppressiveness
(Fear) Allah! Allah! from
the immediate consequence of rebellion (to accrue in this world), and the
eventual consequence of weighty oppressiveness (to accrue in the next
world), and from the evil result of vanity, because it is the great trap
of Satan and his big deceit which enters the hearts of the people like a
It never goes waste, nor
misses anyone - neither the learned because of his knowledge, nor the
(3) in his rags. This is the thing
against which Allah has protected His creatures who are believers by means
of prayers, and alms-giving, and suffering the hardship of fasting in the
days in which it has been made obligatory, in order to give their limbs
peacefulness, to cast fear in their eyes, to make their spirits humble, to
give their hearts humility and to remove haughtiness from them.
All this is achieved through
the covering of their delicate cheeks with dust in humility, prostrating
their main limbs on the ground in humbleness, and retracting of their
bellies so as to reach to their backs due to fasting by way of lowliness
(before Allah), besides giving all sorts of products of the earth to the
needy and the destitute by way of alms.
Look what there is in these
acts by way of curbing the appearance of pride and suppressing the traces
of vanity. I cast my glance and noticed that no one in the world, except
you, feels vanity for anything without a cause which may appeal to the
ignorant, or a reason which may cling to the minds of the foolish, because
you feel vanity for something for which no reason is discernible, nor any
As for Satan, he felt proud
over Adam because of his origin and taunted at him about his creation,
since he said "I am of fire while you are of clay." In the same way the
rich among the prosperous communities have been feeling vanity because of
their riches, as (Allah) said:
And said they: "We are
more (than you) in wealth and in children, and we shall not be
chastised." (Qur'an, 34:35)
Enthusiasm for attractive manners, respectable position, and taking
lessons from the past
In case you cannot avoid
vanity, your vanity should be for good qualities, praiseworthy acts, and
admirable matters with which the dignified and noble chiefs of the Arab
families distinguished themselves, as attractive manners, high thinking,
respectable position and good performances.
You too should show vanity
in praiseworthy habits like the protection of the neighbour, the
fulfilment of agreements, obedience to the virtuous, opposition to the
haughty, extending generosity to others, abstention from rebellion,
keeping aloof from blood-shed, doing justice to people, suppressing anger
and avoiding trouble on the earth. You should also fear what calamities
befell peoples before you on account of their evil deeds and detestable
actions. Remember, during good or bad circumstances, what happened to
them, and be cautious that you do not become like them.
After you have thought over
both the conditions of these people, attach yourself to everything with
which their position became honourable, on account of which enemies
remained away from them through which safety spread over them, by reason
of which riches bowed before them and as a result of which distinction
connected itself with their rope.
These things were abstention
from division, sticking to unity, calling each other to it and advising
each other about it. You avoid everything which broke their backbone and
weakened their power, such as malice in the heart, hatred in the chest,
turning away (from each other's help) and withholding the hand from one
Think about the condition of
people from among the believers who passed before you. What distresses and
trials they were in! Were they not the most over-burdened among all the
people and in the most straitened circumstances in the whole world? The
Pharaohs took them as slaves.
They inflicted on them the
worst punishments and bitter sufferings. They continuously remained in
this state of ruinous disgrace and severe subjugation. They found no
method for escape and no way for protection. Till when Allah, the
Glorified, noticed that they were enduring troubles in His love and
bearing distresses out of fear for Him, He provided escape from the
distress of trials. So, He changed their disgrace into honour and fear
into safety. Consequently, they became ruling kings and conspicuous
leaders. and Allah's favours over them reached limits to which their own
wishes had not reached.
Look, how they were when
their groups were united, their views were unanimous, their hearts were
moderate, their hands used to help one another, their swords were intended
for assisting one another, their eyes were sharp and their aims were the
Did they not become masters
of the corners of the earth and rulers over the neck of all the worlds?
Thereafter, also see what happened to them towards the end when division
overtook them, unity became fractured, and differences arose between their
words and their hearts. They divided into various groups and were
scattered fighting among themselves.
Then Allah took away from
them the apparel of His honour and deprived them of the prosperity
produced by His favours. Only their stories have remained among you for
the guidance of those who may learn the lesson from them.
You should take a lesson
from the fate of the progeny of Ismael, the children of Isaac and the
children of Israel. How similar are their affairs and how akin are their
examples. In connection with the details of their division and disunity,
think of the days when Kisras of Persia and the Caesars of Rome had become
They turned them out from the pastures of their lands the rivers of Iraq
and the fertility of the world, towards thorny forests, the passages of
(hot) winds and hardships in livelihood. In this way they turned them into
just herders of camels. Their houses were the worst in the world and their
places of stay were the most drought-stricken. There was not one voice
towards which they could turn for protection, nor any shade of affection
on whose strength they could repose trust.
Their condition was full of
distress. Their hands were scattered. Their majority was divided. They
were in great anguish and under layers of ignorance. They buried their
daughters alive, worshipped idols, disregarded kinship and practised
Now, look at the various
favours of Allah upon them, that He deputed towards them a prophet who got
them to pledge their obedience to him and made them unite at his call.
(Look) how (Allah's) bounty spread the wings of its favours over them and
flowed for them streams of its blessing, and the whole community became
wrapped in blissful prosperity.
Consequently, they were
submerged under its bounty and enjoyed its lush life. Their affairs were
settled under the protection of a powerful ruler, and circumstances
offered them overpowering honour, and all things became easy for them
under the auspices of a strong country.
They became rulers over the world and kings
in the (various) parts of the earth. They became masters of those who were
formerly their masters, and began issuing commands over those who used to
command them. They were so strong that neither did their spears need
testing nor did their weapons have any flaw.
Condemning his people
Beware! You have shaken your
hands loose from the rope of obedience, and broken the divine fort around
you by (resorting to) pre-Islamic rules. Certainly, it is a great blessing
of Allah, the Glorified, that He has engendered among them unity through
the cord of affection in whose shade they walk and take shelter. This is a
blessing whose value no one in the whole world realises, because it is
more valuable than any price and higher than any wealth.
You should know that you
have again reverted to the position of the Bedouin Arabs after immigration
(to Islam), and have become different parties after having been once
united. You do not possess anything of Islam except its name, and know
nothing of belief save its show. You say, "The Fire yes. but no shameful
position," as if you would throw down Islam on its face in order to defame
its honour and break its pledge (for brotherhood) which Allah gave you as
a sacred trust on His earth and (a source of) peace among the people.
Be sure that if you incline
towards anything other than Islam. the unbelievers will fight you. Then
there will be neither Gabriel nor Michael, neithermuhajirun nor ansar to
help you, but only the clashing of swords, till Allah settles the matter
Certainly, there are
examples before you of Allah's wrath, punishment, days of tribulations and
happenings. Therefore, do not disregard His promises, ignoring His
punishment, making light His wrath and not expecting His violence, because
Allah, the Glorified, did not curse the past ages except because they had
left off asking others to do good acts and refraining them from bad acts.
In fact Allah cursed the foolish for
committing sins and the wise because they gave up refraining others from
evils. Beware! You have broken the shackles of Islam, have transgressed
its limits, and have destroyed its commands.
Amir al-mu'minin's high position and wonderful deeds in Islam
Beware! surely Allah has
commanded me to fight those who revolt, or who break the pledge, or create
trouble on the earth. As regards pledge-breakers, I have fought them, as
regards deviators from truth, I have waged holy war against them, and as
regards those who have gone out of the faith, I have put them in (serious)
(5). As for Satan of the pit,
he too has been dealt with by me through the loud cry with which the
scream of his heart and shaking of his chest was also heard.
Only a small portion of the
rebels has remained. If Allah allows me one more chance over them I will
annihilate them except a few remnants that may remain scattered in the
suburb of the cities.
Even in my boyhood I had
lowered the chest of (the famous men) of Arabia, and broken the horn
points (i.e., defeated the chiefs) of the tribes of Rabi`ah and Mudar.
Certainly, you know my position of close kinship and special relationship
with the Prophet of Allah - peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and
his descendants. When I was only a child he took charge of me.
He used to press me to his
chest and lay me beside him in his bed, bring his body close to mine and
make me smell his smell. He used to chew something and then feed me with
it. He found no lie in my speaking, nor weakness in any act.
From the time of his
weaning, Allah had put a mighty angel with him to take him along the path
of high character and good behaviour through day and night, while I used
to follow him like a young camel following in the footprints of its
mother. Every day he would show me in the form of a banner some of his
high traits and commanded me to follow it. Every year he used to go in
seclusion to the hill of Hira', where I saw him but no one else saw him.
In those days Islam did not
exist in any house except that of the Prophet of Allah - peace and
blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants - and Khadijah, while I
was the third after these two. I used to see and watch the effulgence of
divine revelation and message, and breathed the scent of Prophethood.
When the revelation
descended on the Prophet of Allah - peace and blessing of Allah be upon
him and his descendants - I heard the moan of Satan. I said, "O' Prophet
of Allah, what is this moan?" and he replied, "This is Satan who has lost
all hope of being worshipped.
O' `Ali, you see all that I
see and you hear all that I hear, except that you are not a Prophet, but
you are a vicegerent and you are surely on (the path of) virtue."
I was with him when a party
of the Quraysh came to him and said to him, "O' Muhammad, you have made a
big claim which none of your fore-fathers or those of your family have
We ask you one thing; if you
give us an answer to it and show it to us, we will believe that you are a
prophet and a messenger, but if you cannot do it, we will know that you
are a sorcerer and a liar."
The Messenger of Allah said:
"What do you ask for?" They said: "Ask this tree to move for us, even with
its roots, and stop before you." The Prophet said, "Verily, Allah has
power over everything. If Allah does it for you, will you then believe and
stand witness to the truth?" They said "Yes". Then he said, "I shall show
you whatever you want, but I know that you won't bend towards virtue, and
there are among you those who will be thrown into the pit, and those who
will form parties (against me)." Then the Holy Prophet said: "O' tree, if
you do believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement, and know that I am the
Prophet of Allah, come up with your roots and stand before me with the
permission of Allah." By Him who deputed the Prophet with truth, the tree
did remove itself with its root and came with a great humming sound and a
flapping like the flapping of the wings of birds, till it stopped before
the Messenger of Allah while some of its twigs came down onto my
shoulders, and I was on the right side of the Holy Prophet.
When the people saw this
they said by way of pride and vanity. "Now you order half of it to come to
you and the other half of it remain (in its place).
" The Holy Prophet ordered
the tree to do the same. Then half of the tree advanced towards him in an
amazing manner and with greater humming. It was about to touch the Prophet
of Allah. Then they said, disbelieving and revolting, "Ask this half to
get back to its other half and be as it was." The Prophet ordered it and
Then I said, "O' Prophet of
Allah, I am the first to believe in you and to acknowledge that the tree
did what it did just now with the command of Allah, the Sublime, in
testimony to your Prophethood and to heighten your word.
Upon this all the people
shouted, "Rather a sorcerer, a liar; it is wonderful sorcery, he is very
adept in it. Only a man like this (pointing to me) can stand testimony to
you in your affairs."
Certainly, I belong to the
group of people who care not for the reproach of anybody in matters
concerning Allah. Their countenance is the countenance of the truthful and
their speech is the speech of the virtuous. They are wakeful during the
nights (in devotion to Allah), and over beacons (of guidance) in the day.
They hold fast to the rope of the Qur'an.
revive the traditions of
Allah and of His Prophet. They do not boast nor indulge in self conceit,
nor misappropriate, nor create mischief. Their hearts are in Paradise
while their bodies are busy in (good) acts.
The intention is that "you should not create conditions by which you may
be deprived of Allah's favours, like the jealous who aims at harming him
of whom he is jealous."
The intention is to say that if belief is accepted under force of awe and
fear and worship is offered under the influence of power and authority
then neither will it be belief in the true sense nor worship in real
This is because belief is
the name of inner testimony and heart-felt conviction. The conviction
produced by force and compulsion can be only verbal but not heart-felt.
Similarly, worship is the name of open acknowledgement of one's position
Worship which is devoid of
the feeling of servitude or the sense of devotion and which is performed
only in view of authority or fear cannot be real worship. Therefore, such
belief and such worship would not present their correct connotation. (3). The reason for specifying the learned and the poor is
that the learned has the light of learning to lead him, which the
destitution of the poor may deny to him. In spite of this, both the
learned and the poor fall into his deceit. Then how can the ignorant save
himself from his clutches, and how can the rich who has all the means to
get into wrong ways, defend himself against him.
Nay! Verily man is wont to
As the deemeth himself
If a glance is cast at the rise and fall and events and happenings of the
past people this fact will shine like daylight that the rise and fall of
communities is not the result of luck or change, but that, to a great
extent, it is affected by their acts and deeds. And of whatever type those
deeds are, their results and consequences are in accord with them.
Consequently, the stories and events of past people openly reflect that
the result of oppression and evil deeds has always been ruin and
destruction, while the consequence of virtuous action and peaceful living
was always good luck and success.
Since time and people make
no difference, if the same conditions appear again and the same actions
are repeated the same results must accrue which had appeared in the
earlier set of circumstances, because the accrual of the results of good
or bad actions is sure and certain like the properties and effects of
It this were not so it would
not be possible to kindle hope in the minds of the oppressed and the
afflicted by presenting to them past events and their effects, nor could
the oppressors and tyrants be warned of the ill-effects of their deeds, on
the ground that it was not necessary that the same would accrue now as had
accrued earlier. But it is the universality of causality which makes past
events the object of a lesson for posterity.
Consequently, it was for
this purpose that Amir al-mu'minin provoked thinking and consideration and
mentioned the various events of Banu Isma`il, Banu Ishaq and Banu Isra'il
and their affliction at the hands of the kings of Persia and Rome.
The progeny of Ismael, the
elder son of Ibrahim (Abraham), is called Banu Isma`il while the progeny
of his younger son Issac is called Banu Ishaq which later continued to
divide into various off-shoots and acquired different names.
Their original abode was at
Canaan in Palestine, where Ibrahim had settled after the immigration from
the plains of the Euphrates and the Tigris. His son Isma`il had settled in
the Hijaz, where Ibrahim had left him and his mother Hajar (Hagar).
Isma`il married as-Sayyidah bint Mudad a woman of the tribe of Jurhum
which also inhabited this very area.
His progeny sprang from her
and spread throughout the world. The other son of Ibrahim namely Ishaq
remained in Canaan. His son was Ya`qub (Jacob/lsrael) who married Liya the
daughter of his mother's brother and after her death married his other
Both of them bore him
progeny which is known as Banu Isra'il. One of his sons was Yusuf
(Joseph), who reached the neighbouring country, Egypt, through an
accident, and, after suffering slavery and imprisonment, eventually became
the ruler and occupier of the throne. After this change, he sent for all
his relations and kith and kin and in this way Egypt became the abode of
Banu Isra'il. For some time they lived there in peace and safety, and led
a life of respect and esteem, but by and by the locals began to view them
with disdain and hatred and made them the target of all sorts of
tyrannies, so much so that they used to kill their children and retained
their women as slave-maids, as a result of which their determination and
courage was trampled and their spirit of freedom was completely subdued.
At last, conditions changed
and the period of their troubles came to an end, after four hundred years
of the shackles of slavery; when Allah sent Musa to deliver them from the
oppression of the Pharaoh. Musa set off with them to leave Egypt, but in
order to destroy the Pharaoh, Allah turned them towards the Nile where
there was all flood in front, and on the rear the huge forces of the
Pharaoh. This bewildered them much, but Allah commanded Musa to enter the
river without fear. Thus, when he went forward, there appeared in the
river not only one but several courses to pass through and Musa crossed to
the other side of the river along with Banu Isra'il. Pharaoh was closely
When he saw them passing he
too advanced with his arm but when they reached the middle of the stream
the still water began moving and, engulfing Pharaoh and his army in its
waves, finished them. About them the Qur'an says:
And (remember ye) when We
delivered you from Pharaoh's people who afflicted you with grievous
torment, slaying your sons and by letting your women alive, and in that
was a great trial from your Lord. (2:49)
However, when, after leaving
the boundaries of Egypt, they entered their motherland Palestine, they
established their own state and began to live in freedom, and Allah
changed their lowliness and disgrace into the greatness and sublimity of
rule and power. In this connection, Allah says:
And made We inheritors the
people who were deemed weak (to inherit) the eastern parts of the earth
and the western parts of it, which we had blessed therein (with
fertility) and the good word of thy Lord was fulfilled in the children
of Israel for what they did endure; and destroyed We, what Pharaoh and
his people had wrought, and what shade they did make. (Qur'an, 7:137)
On occupying the throne of
rule and regaining prosperity and peacefulness, Banu Isra'il forgot all
the ignominies and disgraces of the period of slavery, and instead of
being thankful to Allah for the favours granted by Him they took to
rebellion and revolt.
shamelessly indulged in vices and misconduct and partook in mischiefs and
evil deeds to the maximum, made lawful things unlawful and unlawful things
lawful by false excuses and disobeyed the prophets who tried to preach and
correct them under the command of Allah, and even killed them. The natural
consequence of their vicious activities was that they were caught in
punishment for their deeds.
Nebuchadnezzar, who was ruling in Babylon (Iraq) in 600 B.C., rose to
march against Syria and Palestine and killed seventy thousand Banu Isra'il
with his blood-thirsty swords, devastated their towns, drove away the
survivors with him like sheep and goats and threw them in the abyss of
ignominy by turning them into slaves.
Although after this
ruination there seemed no way for them to regain position and power, yet
nature gave them still another chance to recover. When Nebuchadnezzar died
and power came in the hands of Belshazzar he started all sorts of
oppression on the people.
Being disgusted with this,
they sent word to the ruler of Persia that they were tired of enduring the
oppression of their ruler and that he should rescue them from him, and
free them from the oppression of Belshazzar. Cyrus the Great, who was a
just and upright ruler, rose up in response to this request and, with the
co-operation of the local population, overturned the government, as a
consequence of which the yoke of slavery on Banu Isra'il's necks was also
removed, and they were allowed to return to Palestine.
Thus, after seventy years of
subjugation they again set foot in their homeland and took over the reins
of government. If they had taken their lesson from the past events they
would not have committed the same evils as a consequence of which they had
to suffer slavery; but the mental constitution of this community was such
that whenever they achieved prosperity and freedom from care they lost
themselves in the intoxication of riches and in the enjoyment of pleasure,
mocked the laws of religion, derided the prophets and even killing them
did not mean anything serious to them.
Thus, when their ruler Herod
at the request of his sweetheart, beheaded the Prophet Yahya (John) and
presented his head to her, none of them raised any voice against this
brutality or was affected by it in any manner. This was the state of their
unruliness and fierceness when `Isa made his appearance. He stopped them
from evil deeds and exhorted them to adopt good habits, but they opposed
him too and gave him troubles of various sorts, so much so that they tried
to end his life. However, Allah foiled all their devices and made `Isa
safe against their approach.
When their disobedience
reached this stage and their capacity to accept guidance was completely
wiped out, fate decided to ruin them and made full arrangements for their
annihilation and destruction. The ruler of Roma (Byzantia) Vespasianus
sent his son Titus to attack Syria, he laid siege round Jerusalem,
demolished the houses and broke down the walls of the Synagogue as a
result of which thousand of Banu Isra'il left their houses and became
scattered abroad, while thousands died of hunger; and those who remained
were put to sword. Most of them settled in Hijaz, but because of their
rejecting Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) their unity was so disturbed
that they could never again converge on any one centre of honour and could
never regain a life of prestige and dignity in place of disgrace and
In the same way the ruler of
Persia made serious attacks on Arabia and subjugated the inhabitants of
those places. Thus, Shapur ibn Hurmuz, at the age of sixteen, took with
him four thousand combatants and attacked Arabs who resided within the
boundaries of Persia and then advanced towards Bahrayn, Qatif and Hajar
and ruined Banu Tamim, Banu Bakr ibn Wa'il and Banu `Abd al-Qays and cut
through the shoulders of seventy thousand Arabs, after which his nickname
became "Dhu'l-Aktaf" (the shoulderer).
He forced the Arabs that
they should live in tents built of hair, should grow long hair on their
heads, should not wear white clothes and should ride unsaddled horses.
Then he settled twelve thousand people of Isfahan and other cities of
Persia in the area between Iraq and Syria.
In this way he drove the
inhabitants of those places from fertile lands to waterless forests which
had neither any of the conveniences of life nor means of livelihood, and
for long these people remained the victims of other's oppression due to
their own disunity and division. At last, Allah deputed the Prophet and
raised them out of disgrace to the highest pinnacle of progress and
Amir al-mu'minin, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Jabir ibn `Abdullah al-Ansari,
`Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, `Ammar ibn Yasir, Abu Sa`id al-Khudri and `Abdullah
ibn `Abbas narrated that the Holy Prophet commanded `Ali ibn Abi Talib to
fight those who are pledge-breakers (nakithin), deviators from truth
(qasitin) and those who have left the faith (mariqin). (al-Mustadrak, vol.
3, p. 139; al-Isti`ab, vol. 3, p. 1117; Usd al-ghabah, vol. 3, pp. 32-33;
ad-Durr al-manthur, vol. 6, p. 18; al-Khasa'is al-kubra, vol. 2, p. 138;
Majma` az-zawa'id, vol. 5, p. 186; vol. 6, p. 235; vol. 7, p. 238; Kanz
al-`ummal, vol. 6, pp. 72, 82, 88, 155, 215, 319, 391, 392; Tarikh
Baghdad, vol. 8, p. 340; vol. 13, pp. 186-187; al-Tarikh, Ibn `Asakir,
vol. 5, p. 41; at-Tarikh, Ibn Kathir, vol. 7 pp. 304-306; ar-Riyad
an-nadarah, vol. 2, p. 240; Sharh al-mawahib al-ladunniyyah, vol. 3, pp.
316-317; Muwaddah al-awham, vol. 1, p. 386).
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid says: "It
has been proved (by right ascription) from the Holy Prophet that he said
to `Ali (p.b.u.h.):
You will fight after me
those who are pledge-breakers, deviators from truth and those who have
gone out of the faith.
"The pledge-breakers were
the people of Jamal, because they broke their allegiance with him. The
deviators from truth were the people of Syria (ash-Sham) at Siffin.
Those who have gone out of
the faith were the Kharijites at an-Nahrawan. Regarding these three
groups, Allah says (about the first one):
Verily, those who swear
their fealty unto thee do but swear fealty unto Allah; the hand of Allah
is above their hands; so whosoever violateth his oath, doth violate it
only to the hurt of his (own) self;... (Qur'an, 48:10)
(About the second group)
And as for the deviators,
they shall be for the hell, a fuel. (Qur'an, 72:15)"
Concerning the third group,
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid has referred to the following tradition (hadith) that
al-Bukhari (in as-Sahih, vol. 4, pp. 166-167, 243), Muslim (in as-Sahih,
vol. 3, pp. 109-117), at-Tirmidhi (in al-Jami` as-Sahih, vol. 4, p. 481),
Ibn Majah (in as-Sunan, vol. I, pp. 59-62), an-Nasa'i (in as-Sunan, vol.
3, pp. 65-66), Malik ibn Anas (in al-Muwatta', pp. 204-205), ad-Dar'qutni
(in as-Sunan, vol. 3, pp.131-132), ad-Darimi (in as-Suman, vol. 2, p.
133), Abu Dawud (in as-Sunan, vol. 4, pp. 241-246), al-Hakim (in
al-Mustadrak, vol. 2, pp. 145-154; vol. 4, p. 531), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (in
al-Musnad, vol. 1, pp. 88, 140, 147; vol. 3, pp. 56, 65) and al-Bayhaqi
(in as-Sunan al-kubra', vol. 8, pp. 170-171) have narrated through a group
of the companions of the Holy Prophet that he said about Dhu'l-Khuwaysirah
(the surname for Dhu'th-Thudayyah Hurqus ibn Zuhayr at-Tamimi, the chief
of the Kharijites):
From this very person's
posterity there will arise people who will recite the Qur'an, but it
will not go beyond their throat, they will kill their followers of Islam
and will spare the idol-worshippers. They will glance through the
teaching of Islam as hurriedly as the arrow passes through its prey. If
I were to ever find them I would kill them like `Ad.
Then Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
This is the sign for his
(Holy Prophet's) prophethood and his prophecy of the secret knowledge.
(Sharh Nahj al-balaghah, vol. 13, p.183)
By "Satan of the pit" the reference is to Dhu'th-Thudayyah (whose full
name already mentioned in footnote no. 5) who was killed in Nahrawan by
the stroke of lightning from the sky, and there was no need to kill him by
sword. The Holy Prophet had foretold his death. Therefore, after the
annihilation of the Kharijites at Nahrawan, Amir al-mu'minin came out in
search, but could not find his body anywhere.
In the meantime, ar-Rayyan
ibn Sabirah saw forty to fifty bodies in a pit on the bank of the canal.
When they were taken out the body of Dhu'th-Thudayyah was also found among
them. He was called Dhu'th-Thudayyah because of a mass of flesh on his
shoulder. When Amir al-mu'minin saw his body he said, "Allah is Great,
neither I spoke lie nor was I told wrong." (Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol. 13, pp.
183-184; at-Tabari, vol 1, pp. 3383-3384; Ibn al-Athir vol. 3, p. 348)