Did divine revelation continue for the Infallible Imams after the Prophet (peace be upon them all)?
The Prophethood and divine revelations of legislations ended at the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), but some narrations indicate that angels speaks to the Imams (peace be upon them) and inform them what takes place and what will take place. The Quran also speaks of the continuation of the descending of the angels during the Night of Qadr every year, which indicates that there is someone that receives certain information that night, which is clearly the Twelfth Imam (peace be upon him) in our time. This is further evidence from the Quran of his existence.
Question : Did Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) have daughter named Ruqayya? It is said that no information in the sources about the Karbala about her. Is Sukaina and Ruqayya the same person?
Answer : Ruqayya died in Shaam when she was young and her shrine is there. Sukaina survived the tragedy.
Question : What was the mission of the uprising of Imam Hussein (Peace be upon him)? How do you think in case of success of the uprising is Imam (Peace be upon him) would be revived a State created by his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
Answer : He stated the aim of his mission clearly when he said: â€œThe purpose of my stand is the reformation of the nation of my grandfather. I intend to enjoin goodness and forbid the wrong and to walk in the path of my grandfather and my father Ali bin Abi Talib".
Question : When the soldiers left Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) in Karbala after the lights were extinguished, have they committed a sin for which they will be punished? Given the fact that the Imam said to them, you are free and you can go, can the Imam (peace be upon him) urge others towards sinning?
Answer : It is obligatory to help the Imam (peace be upon him) if he asks for help. He is also permitted to excuse his companions from fighting for him. He is the leader and can make such a decision as per the current circumstances.
The reason for such a decision as it appears from the narrations is that Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) knew that he will be killed in the battlefield as the little number of his followers cannot protect him. Therefore, he gave them the choice of leaving him to face his destiny.
This shows the high morality of the Imam (peace be upon him) and the great values that he possessed. Similarly, his companions were excused from undertaking the hardship of the fighting and facing certain death in the battlefield, and fighting was not obligatory on them, but they decided to show the highest level of selflessness and sacrifice.
Question : Was the mother of Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) a Persian princess, Shahrbanu?
Answer : The said is mentioned in books of history and those books that deal with lineage.
Question : We know from verse (33:33) that Ahlulbait are Imam Ali, Fatimah Hassan and Husain (peace be upon them) and we also know from the hadith the names of the twelve Imams. Can the sons of the Imam be considered as Ahlulbait?
Answer : The verses and the narrations that are reported in the superiority of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) are specific to the five infallibles; the Prophet, Imam Ali, Fatima Al-Zahra, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (peace be upon them all). Sometimes, one can understand that some religious texts include the rest of the twelve Imams (peace be upon them). This does not include the sons of the Imams.
Question : In Pakistan, there is grave of Sayida Ruqayya (peace be upon her), sister of Abbas Ibn Ali (peace be upon him) in Lahore; is this based on fact?
Answer : It is permissible to visit the places that are established to simulate the shrines of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) in order to revive their remembrances and have gatherings to mourn them and similar activities that are conducted to remind others about them.
Question : Some people say that Imam Ali (peace be upon him) gave his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr and Umar, which they required to establish their caliphate. Is this true
Answer : It is clear in some of the words of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) in the book of Nahjul Balagah that he did not pay the allegiance until the welfare of Islam required him to do so. This is clear when he said: "At every stage I kept myself aloof from that struggle of supremacy and power politics till I found the heretics had openly taken to heresy and schism and were trying to undermine and ruin the religion preached by our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). I felt afraid that, even after seeing and recognizing the evil, if I did not stand up to help Islam and the Muslims it would be a worse calamity to me than my losing authority and power over you". (Letter 62).
Question : What points were written in the treaty of Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) and Muawiyah?
Answer : History books differ in explaining the detailed incidents of the treaty between Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) and Muawiya. Some sources state that the treaty included the following conditions:
1. Muawiya does not appoint a successor.
2. Muawiya does not harm any of the followers of Imam Ali (peace be upon him).
Both of these conditions were violated by Muawiya.
Some other sources of history said that Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) put in the treaty that he is the one who succeeds Muawiya in ruling, or Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) will in his absence, and Muawiya is not permitted to appoint an heir. There are other conditions mentioned in other history books.
Question : What are your views regarding the story of burning door of Fatima Al- Zahra (peace be upon her)?
Answer : There is no doubt that the attack against the house of Fatima Al-Zahra (peace be upon her), in order to force Imam Ali (peace be upon him) to pay allegiance, took place. The Sunni and Shia books of history have recorded this, like Tareekh Al-Tabari (v.2, p.619). It is sufficient to prove this that in order to strengthen their power they were prepared to violate the sanctity of the most noble respected house in Islam, where the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) himself used to seek permission before entering it. The details of the attack are mentioned in various books of Sunnis and Shias.
Question : Are the wives of the Prophet included in Ahlulbait according to the 33rd verse of Surah al-Ahzab?
Answer : The verse does not include the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) since the wife â€“ based on Arabic custom â€“ is not included in the term â€œhouseholdâ€ usually. This term refers to the genealogy of the man and his relatives in lineage. It was narrated in the book â€œLisan ul-Arabâ€ that Ibn Sayyidah â€“ a language expert â€“ stated that the term â€œahlâ€ refers to the tribe of the man and his relatives. Apparently, this is meaning was apparent during the first era of Islam, since history did not mention that the aforementioned term is given to the wives by the companions of the Prophet. It was not used by the wives of the Prophet themselves. Aisha â€“ for example â€“ led an army to fight Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and her supporters were trying to gain the support of Muslims by any possible mean. Yet they did not mention that she is a member of the Ahlulbait.
It appears from numerous traditions narrated by Muslims in general that the Messenger of Allah used to give Ali, Hassan, Husain and Fatima (peace be upon them) this name. Ahmed Bin Hanbal narrated in his book (Al-Musnad) from Umm Salama that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) told Fatima (peace be upon her): â€œCall for me your husband and your two sonsâ€. She did, and he then placed a blanket over them and then he placed his hand over them and said: â€O Lord, these are Aal of Mohammad, so place your blessings on Mohammad and the Aal of Mohammad. All praise and glory belong to you.â€ Umm Salama raised the blanket to join with them. The Messenger of Allah prevented her and said: â€œYour future is goodâ€.
Many other traditions narrated by Sunni scholars mentioned clearly that the noble verse (33:33) was revealed while they were under the blanket.
In addition to that, what the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did clearly indicates that they were not purified from committing sins; some verses of chapter 66 (al-Tahreem) were revealed condemning Aisha and Hafsa since they aided one another against the Messenger of Allah. It was also narrated that one of the Prophetâ€™s wife, Qoutaila bint Qais left the religion of Islam after the death of the Prophet and got married to Ikrama bin Abi Jahl.
Question : Is there any problem in reciting "Dua Nade Ali"? Is this supplication authenticated?
Answer : It is permissible to seek intercession from Imam Ali (peace be upon him) by the said words and other words. Although the mentioned phrases were not reported to us via an Imam, they are famous lines of poetry.
Question : Was Imam Ali Zainul-Abideen (peace be upon him) the elder or younger brother of Ali al-Akbar (peace be upon him)?
Answer : What is well-known is that the martyred brother in the tragedy of Karbala is older than the Imam (peace be upon him). Allah knows best.
Question : Are there any authentic narration, Duas or Ziyarats in Shia books that direct us to ask the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) directly for sustenance, children, and the like?
Answer : Seeking intercession of the Prophet and the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) and asking them does not require an extra proof other than what is mentioned in the Holy Book. The following verse is sufficient to prove it, when Almighty Allah said: â€œAnd if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come unto thee and asked forgiveness of Allah, and asked forgiveness of the messenger, they would have found Allah Forgiving, Mercifulâ€ (4:64).
Question : I heard a few narrations that tell us to hate the enemies of Ahlulbait (peace be upon them). Who can I classify as the enemies of Ahlulbait? Are they Sunnis? How should I act towards them and am I allowed to respect them?
Answer : The Sunnis are not the enemies of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) even if they did not follow them or believe in their Imamate. They â€“ in general â€“ love the Ahlulbait. Our Imams (peace be upon them) ordered us to associate with them in kindness and to communicate with them regularly. It was reported in an authentic narration that one of the companions asked Imam Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him):
How should we fare with each other, with our own people and with people who do not espouse our beliefs?â€ The Imam (peace be upon him) said, "You should look up to your Imams whom you follow and do as they do. By Allah, they visit their [non-followers] sick, attend their funerals, testify for or against them and return the trust to them".
The enemies of the Ahlulbait are those who hate them and bear animosity with them. They are known by their names and personalities in the books of history and biographies. There were many rulers who acted with hostility against the Imams (peace be upon them) that lead to the Imams being killed, expelled and imprisoned. This can be found by referring to history books.
Question : Some people say that our Imams (peace be upon them) know when they are going to die, but the Holy Quran states that â€œNo soul knows what it will earn to-morrow, and no soul knows in what land it will dieâ€ (34:31). Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) knew that he was going to die in Karbala. How is this?
Answer : The meaning of the verse is that a human being by his nature does not know the time of his death. This does not mean that all people are like that. Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) came to know this from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and the latter was informed of this by the revelation and the contact with the unseen world.
Question : How tall is Imam Ali (peace be upon him)?
Answer : It was narrated in some history books that he was square-bodied. He was closer to be recognized as short as to be recognized as tall. Other details were not mentioned about this issue.
Question : Why did Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) choose to go out into the battlefield after everyone and why did he not choose to be the first to go and fight?
Answer : Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) led the battle in the conventional way at that time. He divided his small army into three groups: the right flank, the left flank and the centre. The battle took place according to the general criterion of conflicts regardless of the number of people in each side. This is the manner in which the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali (peace be upon them) conducted battle as well.
Also, the religious responsibility of the Muslims is to help and protect the Prophet and the Imams (peace be upon them). Therefore, it is natural that the relatives and companions of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) sacrificed themselves in trying to protect him.
Question : Many people who are not Sayyids claim that there is no difference between a Sayyid and a non-Sayyid. Is this considered to be an insult to them?
Answer : If they meant by what they are saying that God-fearing is the criteria in the nobility of the person based on what the Messenger of Allah has said: â€œThere is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab except by Taqwa (God-fearing),â€ then that is not an insult or humiliation for the offspring of the Prophet, as the offspring of the Prophet is expected more than other people to act upon the Sharia of their grandfather (peace be upon him and his holy progeny).
If they mean to eliminate the respect for the children of the Prophet in society, then this is not right as there is no doubt that it is a good thing to respect the noble progeny, as it is respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) himself.
Question : There are two traditions that I have come across, and I would like to know which books they can be found in, and which of the Sunni books have reported them:
1. Innal Husayn Misbahul Huda wa Safinatun Najaa
2. Al-Husayn Minniy wa Ana Minal Husayn.
Answer : The first narration is narrated in the book al-Maqtal authored by Al-Turayhi who narrated it from Ubay bin Kaab. The content of the said narration, i.e. that Hussein is a light of guidance to the truth and whoever follows him will be saved from misguidance, is one of those concepts that is found in many narrations about the Ahlulbait, like the tradition of al-Thaqalain and the tradition of al-Safeenah and others.
The second tradition is narrated in many Sunni and Shia sources of narrations; Ahmad bin Hanbal mentioned it in his Musnad (vol. 4, p. 174), as well as al-Tirmidhi (vol. 5, p. 324), Mustadrak al-Hakim (vol. 3, p. 177), and many more.