Date :Sunday, June 10th, 2018 | Time : 16:31 |ID: 63723 | Print

Let’s Listen to the Commander of Eloquence, Imam Ali (a.s.) Describing His Lord, Allah the Greatest (Part 1)

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SHAFAQNA – One of the most wonderful sermons that The Commander of Believers, Imam Ali (a.s.) delivered during his reign of caliphate, is known as the Sermon of Skeletons (Khutbatu’l-Ashbah), in which his eminence outlines some of the plillars of Islamic belief in words and phrases that no translation or explication can do justice to them.

Mas’adah ibn Sadaqah has related from al-Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (a.s.) saying: “Amir al-mu’minin delivered this sermon from top of the pulpit of (the mosque of) Kufah when someone asked him, ‘O Amir al-mu’minin! Describe Allah for us in such a way that we may imagine that we see Him with our eyes, so that our love and knowledge may increase towards Him.’

Amir al-mu’minin became angry at this (request of the questioner) and ordered the Muslims to gather in the mosque. So many Muslims gathered in the mosque that the place became over-crowded. Then Amir al-mu’minin ascended the pulpit while he was still in a state of anger and his color was changed. After he had praised Allah and extolled Him and sought His blessings on the Prophet he said:

 

الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي لاَ يَفِرُهُ الْمَنْعُ وَالْجُمُودُ، وَلاَ يُكْدِيهِ الاْعْطَاءُ وَالْجُودُ; إِذْ كُلُّ مُعْط مُنْتَقِصٌ سِوَاهُ، وَكُلُّ مَانِع مَذْمُومٌ مَا خَلاَهُ، وَهُوَ الْمَنَّانُ بِفَوَائِدِ النِّعَمِ، وَعَوائِدِ المَزِيدِ وَالْقِسَمِ، عِيَالُهُ الْخَلاَئِقُ، ضَمِنَ أَرْزَاقَهُمْ، وَقَدَّرَ أَقْوَاتَهُمْ، وَنَهَجَ سَبِيلَ الرَّاغِبِينَ إِلَيْهِ، وَالطَّالِبِينَ مَا لَدَيْهِ، وَلَيْسَ بِمَا سُئِلَ بِأَجْوَدَ مِنْهُ بِمَا لَمْ يُسْأَلُ.

Praise be to Allah Who is not enriched by the refusal to give away and stinginess, and Who is not impoverished by munificence and generosity, although everyone who gives away loses (to that extent) except He, and everyone who withholds is blamed for his niggardliness but He. He obliges through beneficial bounties and plentiful gifts and grants. The whole creation is His dependents (in sustenance).

He has guaranteed their livelihood and ordained their sustenance. He has prepared the way for those who turn to Him and those who seek what is with Him. He is as generous about what He is asked as He is about that for which He is not asked.

 

الاَوَّلُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ قَبْلٌ فَيَكُونَ شَيءٌ قَبْلَهُ، وَالاخِرُ الَّذِي لَيْسَ لَهُ بَعْدٌ فَيَكُونَ شَيْءٌ بَعْدَهُ، وَالرَّادِعُ أَنَاسِيَّ الاْبْصَارِ عَنْ أَنْ تَنَالَهُ أَوْ تُدْرِكَهُ، مَا اخْتَلَفَ عَلَيْهِ دَهْرٌ فَيَخْتَلِفَ مِنْهُ الحَالُ، وَلاَ كَانَ فِي مَكَان فَيَجُوزَ عَلَيْهِ الانتِقَالُ

He is the First for whom there was no ‘before’ so that there could be anything before Him.

He is the Last for whom there is no ‘after’ so that there could be anything after Him. He prevents the pupils of the eyes from seeing Him or perceiving Him. Time does not change over Him, so as to admit of any change of condition about Him. He is not in any place so as to allow Him movement (from one place to another).

 

وَلَوْ وَهَبَ مَاتَنَفَّسَتْ عَنْهُ مَعَادِنُ الْجِبَالِ، وَضَحِكَتْ عِنْهُ أَصْدَافُ الْبِحَارِ، مِنْ فِلِزِّ اللُّجَيْنِ وَالْعِقْيَانِ، وَنُثَارَةِ الدُّرِّ وَحَصِيدِ الْمَرْجَانِ، مَا أَثَّرَ ذلِكَ فِي جُودِهِ، وَلاَ أَنْفَدَ سَعَةَ مَا عِنْدَهُ، وَلَكَانَ عِنْدَهُ مِنْ ذَخَائِرِ الاَنْعَامِ مَا لاَ تُنْفِدُهُ مَطَالِبُ الاَنَامِ، لاِنَّهُ الْجَوَادُ الَّذِي لاَ يَغِيضُهُ سُؤَالُ السَّائِلِينَ، وَلاَ يُبْخِلُهُ إِلْحَاحُ المُلِحِّينَ.

If He gives away all that the mines of the mountains emit out or the gold, silver, pearls and cuttings of coral which the shells of the ocean vomit out, it would not affect his munificence, nor diminish the extent of what He has. (In fact) He would still have such treasures of bounty as would not decrease by the demands of the creatures, because He is that generous Being Whom the begging of beggars cannot make poor nor the pertinacity of beseechers make miser.

 

 

فَانْظُرْ أَيُّهَا السَّائِلُ: فَمَا دَلَّكَ الْقُرْآنُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ صِفَتِهِ فَائْتَمَّ بِهِ وَاسْتَضِىءْ بِنُورِ هِدَايَتِهِ، وَمَا كَلَّفَكَ الشَّيْطَانُ عِلْمَهُ مِمَّا لَيْسَ فِي الْكِتَابِ عَلَيْكَ فَرْضُهُ، وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ النَّبِيِّ(صلى الله عليه وآله) وَأَئِمَّةِ الْهُدَى أَثَرُهُ، فَكِلْ عِلْمَهُ إِلَى اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ، فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ مُنْتَهَى حَقِّ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ. 

Then look on, questioner; be confined to those of His attributes which the Qur’an had described and seek light from the effulgence of its guidance. Leave to Allah that knowledge which Satan has prompted you to seek and which neither the Qur’an enjoins you to seek nor is there any trace of it in the actions or sayings of the Prophet and other leaders (A’immah) of guidance. This is the extreme limit of Allah’s claim upon you.

 

وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الرَّاسِخِينَ فِي الْعِلْمِ هُمُ الَّذِينَ أَغْنَاهُمْ عَنِ اقْتِحَامِ السُّدَدِ الْمَضْرُوبَةِ دُونَ الْغُيُوبِ، الاِْقْرَارُ بِجُمْلَةِ مَا جَهِلُوا تَفْسِيرَهُ مِنَ الْغيْبِ الْـمَحْجُوبِ، فَمَدَحَ اللهُ ـ تَعَالَى ـ اعْتِرَافَهُمْ بِالْعَجْزِ عَنْ تَنَاوُلِ مَا لَمْ يُحِيطُوا بِهِ عِلْماً، وَسَمَّى تَرْكَهُمُ التَّعَمُّقَ فِيَما لَمْ يُكَلِّفْهُمُ الْبَحْثَ عَنْ كُنْهِهِ رُسُوخاً، فاقْتَصِرْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ، وَلاَتُقَدِّرْ عَظَمَةَ اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ عَلَى قَدْرِ عَقْلِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَالِكِينَ.

Know that firm in knowledge are those who refrain from opening the curtains that lie against the unknown, and their acknowledgement of ignorance about the details of the hidden unknown prevents them from further probe. Allah praises them for their admission that they are unable to get knowledge not allowed to them. They do not go deep into the discussion of what is not enjoined upon them about knowing Him and they call it firmness. Be content with this and do not limit the Greatness of Allah after the measure of your own intelligence, or else you will be among the destroyed ones.

 

هُوَ الْقَادِرُ الَّذِي إِذَا ارْتَمَتِ الاَوْهَامُ لِتُدْرِكَ مُنْقَطَعَ قُدْرَتِهِ، وَحَاوَلَ الْفِكْرُ الْمُبَرَّأُ مِنْ خَطَرَاتِ الْوَسَاوِسِ أَنْ يَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ فِي عَمِيقَاتِ غُيُوبِ مَلَكُوتِهِ، وَتَوَلَّهَتِ الْقُلُوبُ إِلَيْهِ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي كَيْفِيَّةِ صِفَاتِهِ، وَغَمَضَتْ مَدَاخِلُ الْعُقُولِ في حَيْثُ لاَ تَبْلُغُهُ الصِّفَاتُ لِتنالَ عِلْمَ ذَاتِهِ، رَدَعَهَا وَهِيَ تَجُوبُ مَهَاوِيَ سُدَفِ الْغُيُوبِ، مُتَخَلِّصَةً إِلَيْهِ ـ سُبْحَانَهُ ـ فَرَجَعَتْ إِذْ جُبِهَتْ، مُعتَرِفَةً بِأَنَّهُ لاَ يُنَالُ بِجَوْرِ الاعْتِسَافِ كُنْهُ مَعْرِفَتِهِ، وَلاَ تَخْطُرُ بِبَالِ أُولِي الرَّوِيَّاتِ خَاطِرَةٌ مِنْ تَقْدِيرِ جَلاَلِ عِزَّتِهِ.

He is Powerful, such that when imagination shoots its arrows to comprehend the extremity of His power, and mind, making itself free of the dangers of evil thoughts, tries to find Him in the depth of His realm, and hearts long to grasp realities of His attributes and openings of intelligence penetrate beyond description in order to secure knowledge about His Being, crossing the dark pitfalls of the unknown and concentrating towards Him He would turn them back. They would return defeated admitting that the reality of His knowledge cannot be comprehended by such random efforts, nor can an iota of the sublimity of His Honour enter the understanding of thinkers.

 

To be continued…

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