The Islamic principles and laws are rooted strongly in the firm foundation of perfect nature and common sense. No Islamic rule is contrary to instinct or opposed to the intellect. In the light of these impeccable principles, where on one hand it is vital to have an overflowing love for Allah (s.w.t.), Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ahle Bait (a.s.) at the same time it is equally imperative to have an aversion and dislike towards their enemies. Both these attributes form the basis of religion.
Perhaps, someone may harbour the notion that Islam is all about love and hatred is not within its teachings. Based on this, he may not be convinced to dislike the enemies of Allah, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and in particular, the enemies of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). If he thinks that this is exactly the opposite of what Islam professes then such an opinion would be irrational and fallacious. Simply because everything is recognized through its opposites. For instance, the day is recognized through the existence of night.
The Holy Quran and disgust towards the enemies
In the light of Holy Quran, detesting the enemies is a precursor to love and friendship. The verse 256 of Surah al-Baqarah — which is also one stanza of the Ayat al-Kursi — is on the tongue of everyone.
“So whosoever rejects the Taghoot, and accepts Allah and then brings faith then he has certainly fastened himself to a strong rope.”
In this verse, rejection of Taghoot precedes faith in Allah. This makes it clear that belief in Allah is incomplete till the time Taghoot or the powers that disobey Allah are unconditionally and wholly rejected. The testimony of Tauheed (Qalmah), which is the first condition to become a Muslim and a believer, is the most basic testimony from where Islam begins. Here also before accepting Allah, the godhood of the false gods has been categorically refuted. ‘There is no god, but Allah’ – rejection has been placed before admission. It’s only after rejecting, does the stage of acceptance arrives.
Now let’s focus on the following verses of the Holy Quran.
“Do you (polytheists) really bear witness that there are other gods with Allah? O Prophet Say: I do not bear witness like this. Say: He is only One Allah, and I am free (from it) and strongly dislike what you associate with Allah.”
(Surah Anaam : 19)
The Holy Quran quotes Hazrat Hud (a.s.):
“And he said, I make Allah a Witness and you all bear evidence that I am free and detest those whom you associate Allah with.”
(Surah Hud : 54)
Aversion towards the enemies — indispensable for faith
There are similar verses in the Holy Quran that downrightly disapprove of powers other than Allah. It means that for the (perfect) belief in Tauheed it is all the more compelling to express intense dislike against the gods other than Allah. These verses mention the detestation of the gods other than Allah or of those who oppose Allah. The Holy Quran in these verses has explicitly expressed that such people, who are enemies of Allah and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), cannot be befriended and one has to disassociate from them.
The teachings of Holy Quran are in fact lessons from the school of Ahle Bait (a.s.). Thus, regarding the best of deeds Hazrat Ali (a.s.) says:
“Surely the best of religion is to love someone for the sake of Allah, or to detest someone for the sake of Allah.”
(Ghurar-al-Hikam, Mizaan-al-Hikmah; tradition 3183)
Not only this — any scholar who has done justice to his intellect and wisdom and tested his faith at the altar of truth — has indeed made efforts to tread on this path. In this regard, following is a narrative for the readers. It has been reported by the Ahle Sunnah scholar Muttaqi Hindi in his book Kanzul Ummal (tradition No. 64238).
“The best of deeds is to love (someone) because of Allah and hate (someone) because of Allah.”
Once Mamoon asked Imam Ali Reza (a.s.): Please explain what is pure religion, its summary and its essence.
Imam (a.s.), amongst other things, says:
“It’s mandatory to love the vicegerents of Allah and similarly to hate and disassociate with the enemies of Allah and the enemies of His guides.”
(Uyoon-e-Akhbaar Ar-Reza, vol 3, pg 121)
This makes it amply clear that in Islam, it is not only obligatory to love Allah, His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and His vicegerents (a.s.) but it is also compulsory to dislike and disassociate with their enemies. If a person only loves Allah, His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and His vicegerents (a.s.) and doesn’t despise their enemies then his faith is flawed and, terminologically speaking, he is a hypocrite.
This love and hatred is so important that Allah revealed to Hazrat Moosa (a.s.): O Moosa (a.s.) what have you done for Me?
Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) replied: My Lord. I have offered namaz in Your service, observed fasts for You, spent money in Your way, and I remember You at all times.
Allah said: Namaz is a sign of truth for you. Fasting will save you from the hell fire. Spending in My way will provide you shade in the form of a lush tree on the Day of Judgment. But tell Me, what deed have you exclusively performed for Me?
Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) replied: O Allah, only You can enlighten me on this.
Allah said: “Have you made friends with anyone only for My sake? Have you borne enmity with anyone only for My sake?”
(Safinatul Behaar, vol 1, pg 201, Tafseer-e-Namunah, vol 23, pg 473-474)
At that point Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) realized that the best of deeds is to love for the sake of Allah and to bear enmity for the sake of Allah.
Hazrat Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
If you want to find out whether you hold any good qualities or virtues, then explore your heart. If it is friends with the ones who obey Allah and hates the disobedient and sinners then Allah keeps you as a friend. And if you hate the obeying ones and keep the disobedient and sinners as friends, then you have no merit in you. Then Allah too hates you and dislikes you because a person is always included with his well-wishers.
(Safinatul Behaar, vol 1, pg 201, Tafseer-e-Namunah, vol 23, pg 473-474)
It’s absolutely clear that no one obeys Allah as much as the Ahle Bait (a.s.). They’re so obedient, that obeying them is obeying Allah; loving them means loving Allah. Now, when these noble personalities are a genuine manifestation of obedience and love of Allah, then anyone who is their antagonist is (in reality) disobeying Allah and is an enemy of Allah. Therefore if anyone wants to test himself and wants to know whether any goodness exists in him then he should see how much love he has in his heart for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.) and how much hatred he has for their enemies. If he does sense the love but doesn’t harbour hatred against their enemies then he has no goodness in him because, two opposite things — love of Ahle Bait (a.s.) along with attachment with their enemies — cannot find place in one heart. Allah and the false gods cannot gather at one place. It is also a fact that if a heart is attached to the enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s.) and has a soft corner for those enemies, then the love for any other thing may possibly enter such a contaminated heart but the love for the addressees of the “verse of purification” can never enter their heart.
But there has to be some yardstick by which we can measure ourselves and which itself proclaims “This is the right of love and this is the right of hatred”. To quench this thirst our infallible Imams (a.s.) have not only handed us a collection of ziyarats but also taught us the manners of its recitation and familiarized us with its knowledge.
Knowledge of ziyarat
The ziyarats transmitted from our Holy Imams (a.s.) quite beautifully put forward the Islamic teachings. These ziyarats are in fact traditions and reports. The things that have been stated in these ziyaraats are the truth and reality. It is the responsibility of the lovers of Ahle Bait (a.s.) to accept, measure and reorganise their fundamental beliefs, religious rulings and morals in the light of these ziyaraats. These ziyaraats act as a mirror of Islamic teachings, based on which a person can methodically live every phase of his life according to the manners of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).
From the point of view of “chain of narration”, most ziyaraat are reliable and authentic but amongst these ziyaraat — Ziyarat-e-Ashura and Ziyarat-e-Jaamea Kabeera — have a special status. These ziyaraat are absolutely reliable and authentic from the narration perspective. The Imam (a.s.) – particularly Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) – have stressed on reciting these ziyaraat regularly. It is the result of the emphasis of Holy Imams (a.s.) that the scholars of every era have been particular about the recitation to these ziyaraat. The uninterrupted practice of the noble ulema is another proof that these ziyaraat are reliable and authentic. Brevity notwithstanding, we’ve still got the good fortune of presenting a few sentences of Ziyarat-e-Ashura and Ziyarat-e-Jaamea.
Ziyarat-e-Ashura and aversion with the enemies
1. There are seven places in Ziyarat-e-Ashura where disassociating with the enemies has been mentioned. It is not a repetition but it underlines the importance of disassociation. It should also be kept in mind that disassociation and curse are perpetual duties. After cursing the killers and enemies this is the sentence that follows:
“I turn to Allah and you [Ahle Bait (a.s.)], and declare my disassociation from them, their supporters, their followers and their friends.”
This sentence doesn’t just convey a revulsion for those who oppressed Imam Husain (a.s.) and martyred him but even those who tread in their footsteps or are obeying them or keeping them as friends. That is because these kinds of people keep appearing up in every era. On this basis it is necessary to disassociate with them in every era.
2.“O Aba Abdillah! I seek nearness to Allah, His Messenger (s.a.w.a.), Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), Janabe Fatemah (s.a.), Imam Hasan (a.s.) and you.”
(Take note: Nearness to Allah and the pious Panjetan (a.s.). Are there more pious personalities than Allah and the pious Panjetan (a.s.) for one to gain proximity? And if there is anything that can cause nearness then what can be more important than this? It should also be kept in mind that these lines of the ziyarat are not just uttered by sinners but even the Infallibles (a.s.) who themselves are extremely close to Allah. This sentence makes it apparent that the object is to seek more and more closeness with Allah and Panjetan (a.s.) and this way it should be done. Therefore, if this sentence is the means to get closer to Allah and Panjetan (a.s.) then what can be more reliable for the nation other than this?)
“Through your love and attachment and by disassociating and despising those who laid the foundation of this heinous oppression and even from those who constructed a premise on this foundation and from those who treaded this path of oppression — those who oppressed you and your shias.”
3, 4, 5:
[The word ‘disassociation’ is used thrice in these few sentences. This makes it clear that how essential it is to disassociate with the enemies of Allah, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahle Bait (a.s.)].
“I declare my complete detachment from all of them (the enemies) and then (first) seek nearness to Allah and then wish to seek nearness to you. Then through your love and patronage, and through the love of your friends, cut off all links with all those who are your enemies and those who planted the seeds of hostility against you, and reject and discard their associates, their followers and their friends.”
As these lines of the ziyarats suggests, not only is the love and attachment with Ahle Bait (a.s.) and detachment from their enemies the source of gaining closeness to Allah and Ahle Bait (a.s.) but even attachment and detachment with the friends and enemies of the followers of Ahle Bait (a.s.) respectively is the ground to seek nearness to Allah. Thus, till the time the followers of Ahle Bait (a.s.) and the cronies of their enemies are present, the cycle of love and disassociation will continue because these kind of people can be found everywhere, hence love and disassociation is mandatory.
“I make a plea with Allah to acquaint (me) with the awareness that perceives you and your friends and bestow (me) honour and nobility and the great sustenance of disassociating with your enemies, to allow me to be with you in this world and the Hereafter.”
Nobody enjoys a higher rank than Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.) in this world and the hereafter — neither any prophet nor any messenger or a martyr or any angel who is in close proximity (with Allah) or any worshipper. The highest rank and status is for Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.) in this world and what does one say about the hereafter where even those personalities that are close to Allah will be left envious after witnessing the magnificence and position of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.). There are two conditions that need to be fulfilled for one to stay on this greatest of stages along with these great personalities. First is to get acquainted with their friends and other to disassociate with their enemies. One needs a pair of wings to fly. It is impossible to take flight with just one wing. To attain nearness to Allah and be on the same path as Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.), which is of the highest order, it is compulsory to have two wings — one wing will be of wilayat and love and the other of disassociating with their enemies. Even if one of the wings gets paralyzed or is weak, then that person will be left flapping his wings in the depths.
“O My Allah , I seek nearness in Your Holy Presence, today, at this place, rather daily in my life, I disassociate myself [with the enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s.)] by cursing them and sending salutations on Your Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.) through love and their mastership.”
Here too, two things have been emphasized upon for seeking nearness to Allah, first love and then disassociation. But, with the addition that the nearness sought is not for a day or for a specific place but for أَيَّامِ حَيَاتِي the entire life and daily, which means that whenever one intends to seek nearness to Allah or the intention is to present oneself in Allah’s presence, then these two things are obligatory.
In Mafaatiul Jinan, under the chapter of ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.), Shaikh Abbas Qumi (r.a.) writes that this ziyarat has been narrated by Imam Ja’far Sadeq (a.s.) through Janab Yunus ibn Zabeeyan. From the chain of narration perspective, this ziyarat is unquestionably reliable and authentic. This is an excellent ziyarat and, in which the affliction that befell on Imam Husain’s (a.s.) and his greatness and vastitude has been extensively cited along with the grandness, means and source of Ahle Bait ’s (a.s.) in the universal order. It has also been clearly elucidated that whatever is bestowed from Allah’s side is through Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.). This is the last sentence of the ziyarat which is repeated thrice:
I, for Allah’s sake, declare complete disassociation with those who opposed you.
Ziyarat Jameah Kabeera
The following eloquent sentence from Ziyarat Jameah Kabeera informs us about the people and group that we must compulsorily detach ourselves with.
“So I am with you, with you, not other than you. I believe in your mastership and leadership just as I believe in the first of you and last of you. I turn to the Almighty Allah disassociating all links with your enemies.”
Now, take a closer look at the mentioned people with whom the ties need to be unconditionally severed. This will give us an understanding that to accept the wilayat and Imamat of Ahle Bait (a.s.) one has to disassociate with all these people. Here, take a look.
1. Their enemies.
2. Jibt (idols)
3. Taghoot (centre of disobedience)
5. Shaytan’s party
6. Those who oppressed them
7. Those who denied them their rights
8. Those who exited from their mastership and Imamat
9. Those who usurped their heritance
10. Those who doubt their Imamat and their legality
11. Those who have turned their faces and have deviated from them
12. The misbegotten self-appointed chiefs of religion and its laws
13. Those who have unjustifiably stood parallel to them and made their obedience compulsory
14. And all those leaders who are inviting people to hell
These are the 14 groups from which one should disassociate from. We should be mindful that when we recite every sentence, or in fact every word, of Ziyarate Jameah our hearts and tongues should be in unanimity. Before we disassociate ourselves from them with our tongue, it is essential that we disassociate with them sincerely from our hearts. Every sentence of this ziayarat seeks an explanation.
This was just a brief analysis of the ziyarats sourced from the verses of Holy Quran and the institution of Ahle Bait (a.s.). But this is an interesting and vast subject which cannot be explained in a matter of few pages. Thus it would be apt and opportune to end with a dua from Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) :
O Allah! I request you for Your love and the love of those who love You and through all those actions which draws me closer to You. O Allah the dearest thing of all to me is Your love and let this love lead me to Your heaven.