Does calling others imply worship to them or is it considered to be polytheism?
Actually, what motivates such a question is the appearance of some of the Quranic verses which apparently order us to prevent calling other than God: "And that the mosque's are Allah's, therefore call not upon anyone with Allah.""And do not call besides Allah on that which can neither benefit you nor harm you."By using the above-mentioned verses, they are some who have considered the calling of the pious friends of Allah and others after their death, as worshipping them and therefore, polytheism. ANSWER:In an effort to clarify the answer to this question, it is appropriate to explain the meaning of the Phrases 'supplication' and 'worship'.There is no doubt to the fact that the word, 'dua supplication' means calling and the phrase, 'IBadaat worship' meaning devotion and reverence to God, and these two phrases can never be synonyms, ie, we cannot say that every call and request is worship and viceverca due to the fact that:Firstly, in the Holy Quran the word, 'Calling' is used in instances which can certainly not mean 'worship', such as: "He said, 'O my Lord! Surely I have called my people by night and by day!"Considering this ayah, can we imply that p. Noah meant that he worshipped his people day and night?!Thus, one cannot deduce that calling and worship are synonyms, because it would end up meaning that if somebody called help from the H. prophet (p) or a devout person of God, he has worshipped them since calling is more general than worshipping.Secondly, what is meant by calling in all of these verses, is not just any calling, rather, a special call which can be accompanied with worship; because the aggregate of these verses talk about the idol-worshippers who worshipped their idols and accepted them as their small Gods. Indisputably, the acquiescence of the idol-worshippers and their supplication and help-seeking before their idols, was because they attributed them the power of intercession and forgiveness, and also because of the fact they considered them to be self-sufficient in matters related to both the worlds. Thus it is but obvious that in such conditions, any type of 'calling' and request of these beings, is worshipping them. The most evident witness of this calling, is because it is accompanied with the belief in their divinity and lordship, as in the following verse, it states clearly that: "so their God's whom they called upon besides Allah did not avail them."Therefore, the previously discussed verses are not relevant to our subject, which is the request of a slave from another without considering him as God or the Lord who has the full choice and possession in the affairs related to this world and the hereafter. However, he is considered as a beloved slave of Allah who was chosen by Him, and given the leadership and imamate and the position of messengership; and such are the persons who have been promised that their prayers for the servants of God shall be accepted.The Holy Quran recounts as this stage that: " and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked for forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah to be oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful."Thirdly, the previously mentioned verses are a clear evidence of what is meant by 'calling' i.e., not all kinds of requesting and seeking of needs. Calling can be considered as worship as in the following verse, but it should be noted that immediately after mentioning the word, 'calling', the similar meaning is mentioned in the phrase, 'worship' "And your Lord says: call upon me, I will answer you; surely, those who are too proud for my service shall soon enter hell abased."At the beginning of this verse, the phrase, 'odoo'ni call upon me' and after that the phrase 'IBadaat-service' is used, which shows that which is meant by call is a special request and a seeking of assistance before a being believed to have divine attributes.Result:Of the three mentioned introductions, a result can be drawn out that the main goal of the Quran in these verses is preventing the supplication of the idol-worshippers who considered their idols as partners to God and possessors of intercession. Therefore, any other kind of submission, humiliation, help seeking or the seeking of intercession is prohibited; because they believed them being their small Gods that undertook their Godly works. Furthermore, these idol-worshippers believe that God has assigned part of the works related to this world and the hereafter to them. Thus, what is actually meant by these verses that raise controversies is that, seeking help from a pure soul who, according to the supplicator, is a true slave of Allah who not only never disobeyed the commandments of the Lord, but is also beloved and dear to Him, can be regarded acceptable.When the Quran says: "And that the mosques are Allah's, therefore call not upon anyone with Allah."It means the ignorant Arab pagans who worshipped their idols, angles, jinn and other cosmic bodies and supplicated to them. Thus, this and other verses similer to this verse are actually related to calling others besides God, or things accompanied to God. It is indubitable that the requesting before these beings and the attachment to these false beliefs is worshipping them in reality. The question arising here is that what relation do these verses have with those supplicating from a chosen servant of the Lord without allocating a divine position or Godhead in his mind, but rather, only making him to be the interceder because he happens to be the beloved and competent slave of Allah.One may also imagine that supplicating to these chosen servants of Allah is only permissible during their lifetimes and after their death, it becomes null and void rendering to polytheism.In response to this, we say:Firstly, we only seek aid from the purified spirits of the pious slaves of God such as the Prophets and Imams, who according to the Quranic verses, are still alive receiving their sustenance! They continue to live in 'Barzakh' (the world between this life and the hereafter). We usually make such requests for their intercession for us besides their sacred shrines, so as to attain a connection with their sanctified spirits. These shrines are also considered places for the speedy acceptance of prayers.Secondly: Their life and death cannot be the criterion for polytheism or unification, whereas our discussion is based on the criteria of polytheism and monotheism rather than the benefit and uselessness of these prayers, ofcource this calls for a lengthy discussion that should be talked about a its proper place. (Jinn :18)(Yunus :106)(Naoh :5)(Hud :101)(Nisa :64)(Mo'min :60)(Jinn :18)
QUESTION 15 :
What is Badaa', and why do the Shi'ahs believe in it?
ANSWER:The Arabic word 'Badaa' means "appearance and disclosure"; and in the terminology of the Shia scholars, it is used for change in the natural course of the destiny of a human being due to his good behavior. The subject of "Badaa" represents one of the sublime teachings of the sh'iah school of thought, whose origin stems from the logic of revelation and intellectual research.From the Quranic point of view, the human being is not always helpless vis--vis his own destiny; rather, by returning to the path of Truth and practicing good moral behavior, he can change the end of the course of his life. That is why the Holy Quran expresses this truth in the form of an all-inclusive and abiding principle, as follows:
Do the Shia believe in the distortion of the Quran?
ANSWER:It is clearly known among the Shia scholars that no alteration has affected the Holy Quran; and the Quran that is in our hands today, is that same divine book revealed to the Holy Prophet (p), and no addition or subtraction whatsoever has taken place in the order of its verses. In order to clarify this, we shall point to a few of the clear evidences on the matter:The Lord of the worlds has guaranteed the protection of the Muslim's heavenly book by stating: "Surely we have revealed the reminder unto you and We will most surely be its guardian." It thus becomes quite evident that the Shia around the world pay special respect to this holy verse, and firmly believe in the message of protecting God's book, for it is the epitome of their thoughts and behavior among any other thing in their lives. The great leader of the Shia: Ali (p), who was always in the company of the honorable Prophet (p) and of those who wrote down the revelation that had been sent down, had in various occasions invited the people towards this unaltered text of Allah. Some of his sayings are as follows:"Know that this Quran is an admonisher which never deceives, and is a guide that never deviates from the truth.""Allah Glory be to Him- never admonished the people with anything like He did with the Holy Quran, it is the firm rope (bond) of God and the clear means.""Then we revealed to him the book which is a light that never subsides, a lamp which is never put off, a path which never misleads those who tread it, and the criterion for distinguishing truth from falsehood, in which the evidence that lies in it is never abated."From the eminent speech of this great Shia leader, it is clearly evident that the Holy Quran is like a bright lamp which illuminates the way for its followers; it will remain intact, and without any alteration that could ever cause its light to be extinguished, or even prevent the human's deviation to get hold of their devilish ways in an effort to alter it.The Shia scholars all agree that the honorable prophet (p) has said: "I am leaving amongst you two heavy and valuable things, one is the book of Allah (Quran) and the other is my household, as long as you hold fast to these two, you will never be misguided."This tradition is one of the widely transmitted traditions by both the Sunni and the Shia scholars. God's book (the Quran) will never encounter any change because if the Quran were to be distorted, holding fast to it will neither be a means for guidance, nor will remove misguidance, and this is in total disagreement with this widely transmitted narration. In the narration of the Shia Imams, to which our scholars and Jurisprudents transmitted- this reality is stated that Quran is the criterion for distinguishing the truth from falsehood, and causes the separation of the right from wrong, such that if any transmitted speech and even narration has to be compared with the Quran, if it is in agreement with it's verses, then only will it be correct, or else it is rendered as false and rejected. There are many narrations in this regard quoted in the Shia books of jurisprudence and narrations, that we shall point to one of them:Imam Sadiq (as) said;"Any speech that disagrees with the Holy Quran is regarded worthless."It becomes clearly evident from these traditions that alteration and change cannot get in the way of the Quran, therefore, this holy book will everlastingly remain the criterion for distinguishing truth from falsehood.The great Shia scholars who have always been the pioneers of the Islamic and Shia culture, admit to this reality, that the Holy Quran will never be altered. Although enumerating all of them is a difficult task, however as examples, we shall point to some of them:Abu-Jaffer Muhammed bin Ali bin Hussein Babawaih Qummi, known as 'Sadooq' (died in 381 hijra) said: "Our belief regarding the Quranis that it is God's speech and revelation. A book that in not tinted with falsehood and incorrectness, revealed by the All Wise and All-Knowing Lord, who is the revealer and sole protector of it." Seyyid Murtaza Ali bin Hussein Musawi Alawi, known as 'Alam al-Huda' (died 436 Hijra) had said:"A group of the companions of the Prophet (p) such as Abdulla bin Masood, Ubay bin Ka'ab among others, read the Holy Quran from the beginning to the end several times in front of the Holy Prophet. This proves to be a clear witness to the fact that Quran was accumulated, arranged and compiled in its intact form without any decrease or dispersion.Abu-Jaffer Muhammed bin hasan Toosi known as 'Sheikh Al-Taefah' (died 460 Hijra) said: "As for the matter of the increase or reduction in the Holy Quran, it is a subject that is quite obvious and raises no objections before all the Muslims, who agree to the fact concerning the addition or subtraction of the Quran, and the apparent belief they have is that the Holy Quran can never be altered. Our belief clearly suggests that there can never be any additions to the Holy Quran and this fact was also approved by Seyyid Murtaza, and all the traditions clearly approve of this reality when considering their apparent meaning. There are some who have raised controversies, pointing out to certain traditions relating to the obliteration of particular verses and others transferred from their original positions; these traditions happen to be transmitted by both Sunni and Shia; however, such narrations are merely single chain -of- transmitter traditions (Al-Khabar Al-Wahid) which we ought not to pay any regard to, and better still, turn away from them altogether by simply disregarding their authenticity.Abu Ali Tabarsi, writer of 'Majma Al-Bayan' (interpretation of the Holy Quran) has said: "The thought regarding any addition made to the Holy Quran, is but baseless to which all the Islamic nations fully agree upon. As for the subtraction in some of its verses, only a few persons, and a group of 'Hashaweyah' of Ahl-Sunna have mentioned some traditions which are incorrect, and we all believe in its disagreement."Ali Ibn Tawoos Hilli known as 'Seyyid Tawoos' (died 664 hijra) said: "The opinion of the Shia's is that there can be no alteration whatsoever in the Holy Quran."Shaikh Zainul-Deen Amil (died 877 Hijra) in the commentary of the verse:"Surely we have revealed the reminder and We will most surely be its guardian,explains that,i.e., we shall safeguard the text of this Holy book from any sort of change, addition or alteration."Qazi Seyyid Nur Al-Deen Tustari, writer of the book 'Ehqaq Al-Haq' (died 1019 Hijra) said:" The wrong accusation made to the imami Shia, that they believe in the alteration of the Holy Quran is only an insinuation, and not all the Shia accept to this, except a small group who are disregarded by the Shias themselves for their wrong belief."Muhammed bin Hussein, known as 'Baha Al-deen Amili' (died 1030 Hijra) said: " The most precise thing known, is that the great Quran is perfectly immune to any addition or deletion and these vibes that are wrongly spread about, that the name of the commander of the faithful (Ali (p) was omitted from the Holy Quran and therefore, not accepted by our scholars is utter nonesence! Therefore whosoever makes an attempt to undertake a thorough research in the History, and all the traditions and their chain of transmitters relating to their authenticity, together with all the narrations of thousands of the prophet's companions, will find out that the Quran is indeed permanent and never-changing; and all the verses of the Holy Quran were compiled during the time of the Holy Prophet."Faiz Kashani writer of the book 'Al-Wafi' (died 1091 Hijri) explains after mentioning verses such as:"Surely We have revealed the reminder and We will surely be its guardian." This statement already proves to the fact that the Quran can never be altered. He says that: "At this point (after reading this verse) how can alteration and change prevail over the Quran? Furthermore, the traditions of alteration are in itself opposing God's book, thus we must consider such traditions to be baseless!"Sheikh Hur Amili (died 1104 Hijra) said: "One who specializes in the field of research in History and traditions, will get clear insight to the fact that the Holy Quran, according to the widest transmission of narrations and by thousands of companions, is fixed and permanent; and it was compiled and arranged during the time of the Holy Prophet,"The great investigator, 'Kashif Al-Gheta' in his well-known book of 'Kashf Al-Gheta' said: "Indisputably. The Quran, due to the divine protection of God- remained safe of any decrease (and alteration), just as the Holy Quran itself states to this fact, and several of the great scholars during all the ages witness to that, thus the disagreement of only a few is not worth considering."The leader of the Islamic revolution, His holiness Ayatullah Al-Uzama Imam Khumeini (may his spirit be sanctified) has also said something in this regard, which we shall mention as another one of our clear evidences: "Whosoever works sincerely and wholeheartedly in an effort to make known that Quran will remain intact, studies it to improve himself, recites it thought provokingly such that he can get the true light of it's knowledge, and will witness to the baselessness of the thought of 'alteration of the Quran' and will find it impossible to believe the narrations mentioned in this regard are weak, and so we cannot use them for reasoning. These verses are unidentified and disclose signs forgery; or are narrations with their content being the esoteric interpretation of the Quran, or other sections. All of this would require a comprehensive book for it's detailed explanation, and if at all it was not for the fear of being carried away, we would have gone along to explain the History of the Holy Quran and all the instances that transpired alongside, and would clarify the Holy Quran is the same heavenly book that is now in our hands, unchanged and unaltered. The difference in opinion among the Quran reciters is something that has no relation to what was actually revealed by the honest archangel Gabriel to the pure soul of the honorable Prophet."Result:All the Muslims, whether Sunni or Shia agree that this divine Book is exactly the same Quran which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (p), and is safe from any kind of alteration, change, addition or subtraction.Thus the baselessness to this false accusation put on the Shia can be determined; and if the narrations of the weak chain of transmitters is the cause of this accusation, then the transmission is not only restricted to a few individuals among the Shia, but also to a group of interpreters of Ahl sunnah who are also known to have transmitted these weak narrations that we shall point out a few examples:Abu Abdallah Muhammed bin Ahmad Ansari Kurtubi in his commentary of the Holy Quran, narrates from Abu Bakr Ansari from Uba'y bin Ka'ab that the chapter of 'Ahzab' (seventy three verses), during the Holy Prophet's time was as big a sura as 'Baqara' (286 verses); and the verse of 'Rajm- stoning to death' also existed in this sura. (There is no trace of such a verse in sura Ahzab presently)Yet in the same book, it is also narrated from Ayesha' that: "The sura of Ahzab had two hundred verses at the time of the Holy Prophet, after the writing of this book, I couldn't find more than what is present."The Writer of the book, 'Al-Elan' narrates that the number of the chapters in the Quran of 'Uba'y' was one hundred and sixteen, because two other verses, namely 'Hafd' and 'Khal-a' existed in it."Whilst it is an undoubted fact that the holy Quran has one hundred and fourteen chapters and there is no sign of the suras, 'Hafd' and 'Khal-a' in this divine book of God.Hibat-Allah bin Salamah in the book of 'Al-Nasikh wal Mansookh' narrates from Anas bin Malik that he said: "At the time of the Prophet, we usto recite a sura equal to that of 'Tawba' and I have memorized only one verse of it: "If the one of Adam of two vallies of gold he would have wanted a third of it, and if he had three, he would want a fourth one and nothing fills the inside of Ibn-Adam except for the sand, and God accepts the repentance of one who repented."Whilst we know that such a verse cannot be traced in the holy Quran and is fundamentally in disagreement with the style and eloquence of the Quran. Jalal Al-Deen Al-Soyuti in the commentary of 'Al-dor Al-Manthur' narrates from umar bin Khattab that the sura of 'Ahzab' had equal verses to that of 'Baqara' and in it contained a verse of 'Rajm-stoning'Therefore, a small group of both the Sunni and Shia sects transmitted weak narrations regarding the 'occurrence of alteration in the Quran'. These additional verses are rejected by almost all the Muslims either Sunni or Shia. Further more, the Quranic verses, authentic narrations, conformity of thousands of the companions of the Prophet and Muslims all over the world is based on not having any sort of distortion, change, addition or subtraction in the divine book, Quran.(Hijr:9)Nahjul Balagha (subhi Saleh) speech no. 176" " " " " 176" " " " 198Usool Al-Kafi vol.1 Kitab Fazl Al-ilm, bab Al-Akhth bil Sunnah wa shawahid al-Kitab, narration 4Al-e'teqadat, p.93Majmaul Bayan, vol.1 p.10, quoted from the answer of 'Al-Masnad Al-tarabul siyat' Seyyid Murdadha.Tibyan, vol. 1 p.3Majmaul Bayan, vol. 1 p.10.Sad Al-Su'd p.144Ezhar Al-Haq, vol.2 p.130.Ala a Al-rahman, p.25.Ala-a Al-Rahman, p.25Tafseer Al-Safi vol.1 p. 51Ala-a Al-Rahman p.25Tahzeeb Al-Usool, Taqreerat Duroos Al-imam Al- Khumeinivol.2 p.96 (written by Ustad Jaffer Subhani)Tafseer Al-Qurtubi, vol.14, p.113 at the beginning of the interpretation of sura Ahzab.same as above.Eltekan, vol.1 p.67Al-Dor Al-Manthur, vol.5 p.180 at the beginning of the interpretation of sura Ahzab.
What is the opinion of the Shia regarding the companions?
ANSWER:From the Shia point of view, the ones who had the honor to meet and accompany the honorable Prophet (p) are divided into several groups, before illustrating this, it is suitable to define the word, 'Companion' in general.There are different descriptions for each companion, and we shall point to some of them:Saeed bin Mosayeb said: "The companion of the prophet can be regarded as the one who spent his life meeting him for two years or fought alongside in one or two of his battles."Waqidi said: "The scholars believe that whosoever saw the prophet and accepted Islam, contemplated in the matter of Religion and was pleased with it as his creed, is considered the companion of the prophet even it had been for only an hour or a single day."Muhammed bin Ismael Bukhari had mentioned: "Whoever of the Muslims accompanied the Holy Prophet or even saw him, happens to be one of his companions.Ahmad bin Hanbal said: "Whoever had accompanied the prophet for one month, one day, one hour or had only seen the Holy Prophet once, is regarded as one of his companions."Among the scholars of Ahl Sunnah, 'Adalat Al-Sahabah Justification of the companions, is accepted as one of their firm principles such that whosoever only accompanied the prophet is regarded 'unbiased' in his character. Let us now review what the Quran has to say about this concept regarding the opinion of the Shia's who derive it from the logic of revelation. History has recorded both names and characteristics of more than twelve thousand persons as being the companion's of the Holy Prophet (p) out of which various figures are still present. It is indubitable that those who happened to be the companions of the Holy Prophet were considered greatly privileged, and held with high esteem, and Muslims throughout have always regarded them with due respect because they happened to be the pioneers of the Islamic religion who for the first time hoisted the flag of power and dignity in the religion of Islam.The Holy Quran also praises these pioneers and says on regard of them:". Not alike amongst you are those who spent before the victory and fought (and those who did not): they are more exalted in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards.."Meanwhile, one should also be unprejudiced enough to admit to the fact that all the companions of the Prophet (p) were not the alchemy to change the humans essence, ensure them till the end of their life-time and be placed amongst the righteous and just. For the clarification of this matter, it is ideal to refer to the holy Quran, which is accepted universally by all the Muslims. Let us seek help from this heavenly book of guidance in solving this matter:The Companions According To The Holy Quran:According to the logic of revelation, the people who attained the special honor to have met the prophet and accompany him can be divided into two groups:The first group:These are the ones whom the eternal verses of the Quran, extolls, by mentioning them as the founders of the stronghold of Islam's power and prestige. Let us refer to some of these verses of the divine book regarding this group of companions: