Saturday 4th of February 2023
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Allah and He also is the only sustainer of all His creatures

A believer knows that the creator of all is the one and only Allah and He also is the only sustainer of all His creatures. He does not have any partner in his Lordship and authority. Such a believer does not regard anyone else fit for obedience, except Allah. This believer knows that apart from Allah none of the existing things could command obedience. They are all helpless before the Might of Allah. All the creatures are incapable of benefitting themselves, nor can they protect themselves from harm. They do not have any power upon their death and life and neither upon the Day of Judgement and the reckoning 
"...they control not for themselves any harm or profit, and they control not death, nor life, nor raising (the dead) to life." 
(Surah Furqan 25:3)

Thus total obedience and Wilayat is reserved for Allah only. However if Allah Himself designates someone to be the center of authority then His obedience is also obligatory due to the Divine command.

Authorities Whose Obedience is Commanded by Allah

The chain of the Divine Wilayat extends from the noble Prophets (a.s.), the Imams (a.s.) and also consist of the Nawwaab ul Khassa1 during the period of Minor occultation. Discussing this the Quran says, 
"Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah..."
(Surah Nisa 4:80).

And also, 
"and whatever the Apostle gives you, accept it and from whatever he forbids you, keep back, and be cautious of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in retributing (evil)." 
(Surah Hashr 59:7)

Further Allah says, 
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those who have authority among you."
(Surah Nisa 4:59)

Who are the "Ulil Amr"?

Concerning the "Ulil Amr" the opinion of the Ahle Sunnat is unsupported by proofs. They claim that Ulil Amr means the ruler! What if the ruler is unjust? What if he is not an expert in religious affairs? What if he is a slave of material desires? Is obedience obligatory towards him even if he himself disobeys his Lord? Such a situation creates contradictions. However, all these things are beyond the scope of our discussion.

As Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "Two mutas (Muta of Hajj and Muta of women) were permitted in the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), I prohibit both." Hence those who consider Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) as Ulil Amr would regard Muta as Halaal. But if they also wish to obey Umar ibn al-Khattab, it will create a contradiction.

Love of Ali (a.s.) Commanded by Allah, and Muawiya's Stance

Muawiya considered it obligatory to fight Ali (a.s.) whereas the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had made it Haraam. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, "War against Ali (a.s.) is war against me." Muawiya used to order people to hate Ali (a.s.) while the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) made Ali's love obligatory and Allah made the love of Ali (a.s.) the compensation of the Prophetic message. The Holy Quran says, 
"Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but the love of my near relatives." 
(Surah Shura 42:23)

On the basis of this, the result of the obedience of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.s.) would be love for Ali (a.s.). To consider Muawiya as Ulil Amr would necessitate hatred for Ali (a.s.), and in this case too a contradictory situation would arise.

The Term 'Ulil Amr' is not Restricted to a Particular Group

To consider the command of obedience of Ulil Amr to be restricted to a particular group is against the import of the Quranic ayat. This is because Allah has not ordered the obedience of Ulil Amr separately. He has included the obedience of Ulil Amr alongwith that of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Thus the obedience of Ulil Amr is the obedience of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). There is no difference between the obedience of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the obedience of Ulil Amr. The obedience of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the Ulil Amr is compulsory upon everyone. It is not restricted to a few people. If we consider Ulil Amr to include all types of rulers it would not be correct. Ulil Amr are those who are purified from every kind of mistakes and sins. So that they could be obeyed without any reservations.

Are the Religious Scholars Ulil Amr?

Some scholars claim that by Ulil Amr is meant the religious leaders (Aalims). But, the Aalims are not infallible (Masoom). All the Aalims are prone to commit mistakes. That is the reason why there are differences in the religious rulings. Secondly infallibility is an inward quality which cannot be perceived by the people. That is the reason why the Ulil Amr could only be designated by Allah and appointed by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).

The Twelve Imams are Ulil Amr

Numerous books of the Sunnis as well as Shia record traditions that the Ulil Amr are the Twelve Imams. The following tradition is regarded as authentic by the Sunnis as well as the Shias.

What the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) Says Regarding Ulil Amr

Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari (a.r.) reports, "I asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) that I know Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.s.), but I do not know the Ulil Amr." The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, 
"They are my Caliphs, O! Jabir, and Imams of the Muslims after me. The first of them is Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), then Hasan, then Husain, then Ali ibn Husain, then Muhammad bin Ali known in the Tawrat as Al-Baqir, thou wilt shortly meet him O Jabir; so when you meet him, convey to him my Salaam; then Ja'far ibn Muhammad, then Musa bin Ja'far, then Ali bin Musa, then Muhammad bin Ali, then Ali ibn Muhammad, then Hasan bin Ali, then my name sake and one having my kunniyat. They are the decisive argument of Allah on this earth and the mainstay of His religion among mankind. The last of them is the one whom Allah will give victory over the east of the earth and the west; and it is he who will disappear from his Shias and friends. A long concealment, during which no one will remain firm in the belief of his Imamat except those whose hearts Allah has tested for faith." Jabir (a.r.) asked, "Will his Shias derive benefit from him during his concealment?" "Yes", said the Apostle of Allah, "By him Who raised me up with Prophethood,verily they will obtain light from his 'Noor' and will benefit by his Wilayat during his concealment, like people derive benefit from the sun when it is covered with clouds." 
(Yanabiul Mawaddah)

So, it could be concluded from this tradition that the obedience of the Holy Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is equivalent to the obedience of Allah. Those interested in more details can refer to the book 'Ghayatul Maraam'. In the fifty-ninth chapter of this book, four traditions from the Sunni sources and fourteen from the Shia sources are mentioned. In the same book, in the 121st chapter, four traditions from the Sunni books and twenty-eight from the Shia sources are recorded.

Obedience of the Just Mujtahid

Now we can say that during the Major occultation the obedience of a qualified Mujtahid is also compulsory. His obedience is actually the obedience of Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) says, 
"Look carefully at those people who relate our traditions with deliberation upon our permitted and prohibited things, and know our precepts and commandments. opt one of them for adjudication, since I have appointed such a person for the said task. If his verdict is rejected then it is as if the command of Allah is deemed light and our ordinance refuted. Certainly the one who refutes our ordinance has refuted the ordinance of Allah. Verily such a person has stepped into the boundary of Shirk (Polytheism)." 
(Al Kafi)

The Faqih Who Deserves to be Followed

One of the conditions of a Faqih is that he should be free from worldly desires. He should not be in pursuit of material benefits and worldly honour. The Faqih who is free from such weaknesses is fit to be followed even if there are people more pious (in performing good deeds) than him. In this regard the great scholar Shaykh Ansari quotes a tradition from Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) in his book 'Ihtejaaj'.

"And among jurists (Fuqaha) those who protect themselves (from sins), guard their religion, defy their carnal desires and are obedient to their Master, it is incumbent upon the people to follow them. Such characteristics are found only in a few of them and not all."

Obeying Parents is Obeying Allah

Obedience to parents is obedience to Allah. To obey parents and not to cause them any kind of distress or discomfort is of extreme importance. This importance can be judged by the fact that in the Holy Quran, Allah's command to serve Him is immediately followed by His command to treat parents with gentleness and humility.

"And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him; and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) 'Uff' nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little." 
(Surah Bani Israel 17:23-24)

Parents Cannot Restrain From Obligatory Acts Nor Can They Compel You to Commit the Prohibited

It should be known that the parents are not the absolute authority upon all the affairs of Haraam and Halaal. Their authority is restricted by the dual dictum, that they must not prohibit a Wajib thing and nor should order something Haraam. If a situation demands the parents have to be disobeyed in absolute obedience to the commands of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.s.).

"And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents, and if they contend with you that you should associate (others) with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them; to Me is your return, so I will inform you of what you did." 
(Surah Ankaboot 29:8)

Obedience to parents is highly stressed so that they may not be caused even the slightest discomfort by the disobedience of their children. It is totally prohibited by the Quran. Thus if the disobedience of the parents would incur their wrath then it is compulsory for the children to obey them.

Further Details Regarding Obedience to Parents

Sometimes the parents may disallow something or order their children to do something. But if the child does not obey they are not angry. In such cases it is permitted for the child to follow his choice. For example the parents refrain their son to proceed on a journey that would cause hardship. But they do not mind if he insists on it. In this case it is Mubah for the son to go on this journey. However if this journey would cause the anger of one's parents, it is a journey of sin and during this journey one has to pray namaz as complete (not Qasr) and also observe the obligatory fasts.

Obedience of the Husband is Wajib Upon the Wife

The Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) have commanded the wife to obey her husband. The Holy Quran informs, 
"Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded." 
(Surah Nisa 4:34)

Allah, the Almighty has given men superiority over women and appointed them as the protectors of women. This is due to the fact that men have been provided by Allah with many qualities in great measure as compared to women, like strength, bravery etc. Further they spend their wealth upon their women. So the best women are those who are loyal to their husbands and obedient to their commands. They protect his property and their own chastity in the absence of their husbands. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has also said, 
"Prostration of a human for another human being is not permitted. (If it had been) I would have ordered the wife to prostrate before her husband." 
(Wasaelush Shia)

Dignity in the Marital Affairs

Numerous traditions emphasise that women should be obedient to their husbands. Apart from this, women should know that it is highly recommended that they please their husbands in all matters. It is the best worship of a woman. However to satisfy the sexual desires of the husband is absolutely wajib according to the consensus of the scholars. Similarly the husbands permission is required by the wife if she intends to go out. Even if she goes to visit her relatives or parents it is obligatory for her to seek the husbands permission. If she leaves the husband's house without his permission, the angels curse her till she returns.

Non-Essential Expenses Should Have the Prior Sanction of the Husband

Apart from the necessary expenses, the wife should obtain the husband's permission for other things even if she wants to spend from her personal wealth. But in case of obligatory expenses she does not need the husband's permission. For example, Hajj, Zakat, Khums and even for spending upon her parents. Even if the husband restrains her she must carry out these obligations. If a woman obeys her husband to please Allah, she has undoubtedly obeyed the Divine commands and the instructions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). It is certainly the best worship for a woman.

Referring to the Unjust Ruler is Not Allowed

So far, we have seen that obedience to Allah is obligatory and so is the obedience to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his Twelve Successors (Imams a.s). and whoever else Allah has ordered to obey. Their obedience is also a must i.e. of the Fuqaha, in case of religious matters. It is absolutely 'Haraam' to appeal for justice in the courts of the unjust rulers. Referring to them is the same as seeking the help of Satan. Whatever benefit is derived through such cases is also Haraam even if one is the rightful claimant. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, 
"If one files a suit of law in the court of a ruler, even if the plaintiff is on the right, his claim would tantamount to his making Satan (false deity) his judge. And whatever he gets through this Judgement is Haraam even though it was from his rights."

"...then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle..." 
(Surah Nisa 4:59)

The Religious Scholar Who Does Not Practise Piety is Not to Be Followed

Like it is prohibited to seek the counsel of the unjust ruler even if one is on the right; in the same way it is not allowed to seek religious advice from the scholars who pursue material wealth and worldly honour. The qualifications of a Faqih have been mentioned in the foregoing pages. Anyone who does not fulfill these qualities is not to be followed. It is Haraam to refer to them. A couple of traditions are quoted below in this regard.

Religious Leaders Who Worship the World are Bandits on the Highway to Allah

It is narrated from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.): "When you see a religious scholar in love of this world, do not consider him religious. Certainly one who loves an object, his condition and disposition is like that of his beloved. (It means that one who loves this world will not care for the Hereafter). Allah revealed upon Hazrat Dawood (a.s.)

"O Dawood do not make an Aalim an intermediary between you and Me, who is involved in the love of this world. He will hinder you from My path (i.e. he will make you too a worshipper of the world like himself). Certainly such Aalims are bandits who waylay the people approaching My abode. The least that I would do to them is that I shall remove from their hearts the love of conversation with Me and sweetness too." 
(Al Kafi)

A Faqih Should Only be For Allah

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) states, 
"If one obtains knowledge in order to become conceited or to argue with the foolish people or to obtain wealth or to attract people towards himself then he has certainly made the Fire his abode. Verily, acquisition of wealth is not permitted but for ones own family (needs)."
(Al Kafi)

The Common People are 'Deficient'

People who leave aside the scholars of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and refer to others in order to satisfy their selfish desires, are termed as 'deficient' (which means those who willfully neglect the Divine commands). They are mentioned in the following verse of the Holy Quran: 
"Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god." 
(Surah Jasiyah 45:23) 

Tawheed and Shirk in Worship

The Almighty Allah has invited all the creatures to pay obeisance to Him in order that His Majesty may become manifest. The people can obtain numerous blessings and unlimited mercy and achieve such a position which even imagination cannot visualise. "So no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes; a reward for what they did."
(Surah Sajdah 32:17)

source : GREATER SINS by Ayatullah-ul-Uzma Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.)
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