THE DEVELOPMENT OF SHIITE POLITICAL THOUGHT
FROM SHURA TO WILAYAT AL-FAQIH
FROM CONSULTATION GUARDIANSHIP OF THE JURIST-CONSULT
First Edition – 1997
All Rights Reserved For The Author
Al-Shura Publishing House For Research And Information
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Say: “Have you any knowledge (Proof) that you can produce before us? Verily, you follow nothing but guess, and you do nothing but lie”. Al-An’am (6): 148.
“These are but names which you have named you and your fathers for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow but a guess, and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them, the Guidance from their Lord”. Al-Najm (53): 23.
“But they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess, and verily, guess is no substitute for the Truth” Al-Najm: 28.
Since very long centuries, the Shiite political thought has been linked with the theory of the right of Khilafah (Caliphate) and the leadership of Muslims, which they accord to the members of Noble Prophet’s family, (Ahl al-Bayt), as it rejects Shura (consultation) as a means of electing the Imam (the leader), due to the pre-requisites of infallibility, (appointment) by text, and divine nomination. Imamate Shiites are divided into two main sects namely: (Al-Isma’iliyyah), who ruled over North Africa for a number of centuries, and (Al-Ithna Ashariyyah). Twelver-Imam Shiites, who believe in the existence of the twelfth Imam- Muhammad bin Hassan Askari and his occultation- from the middle of the third century of Hijrah to date.
As a result of limiting the Imamate in (the infallible and the occult twelfth Imam), and due to their waiting for his appearance, the Twelver-Imam Shiites thought, is marked by political isolationism and absolute negativism, till the birth of the idea of public representation of Imam Mahdi by the Jurists, and its later development to Wilayat al-Faqih (the guardianship of the Faqih) (Jurist), whereby the Shiite thought was able, through the leadership of Imam Khomeini, to establish an Islamic Republic in Iran, at the end of the 14th century of Hijrah .
Despite the fact that the Shiite thought does not consider the Faqih (Jurist) infallible, Imam Khomeini gave the ruling Faqih, in his capacity as the representative of the infallible, full authority and powers of the Imam and the great Prophet; he also considered that authority as part of Allah’s authority, and gave the Faqih the right to act contrary to the provisions of the constitution and the will of the people.
All these motivated me to make a review research on the juristic deductions of the idea of Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist-Consult), which I held before. I wanted to study it anew. I did possess some parts of the details of the issues at hand.
I differed with the Imam, in specifying the different roles (in government), the separation of powers and the dependence of the idea of the Guardianship of the Jurist-Consult on Shura and the will of the people.
Before writing the final results of the study, I deem it right to give an historical introduction which will cover the history of the religious authority, from the beginning of the Major Occultation, and that is by a perusal of the early fiqhi books and the life history of scholars, in order to see which of the scholars believed in the idea of the Wilayat Al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist-Consult) and it was reflected in his political stand on issues, and what kind of activities he performed? I unexpectedly discovered that the earlier scholars did not accept idea of the Wilayat Al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist-consult); or rather they were completely ignorant of it… I found also that some of them like Sheikh AbdulRahman Al-Hilli, in fact wrote refuting the idea, when Zaydite Shiites proposed it as a solution to the crisis of the Occultation (ghaybah); I discovered also that the first to write on it was Sheikh Naraqi in his ‘Awaid al-Ayyam’ before around 150 years. I found that The preceding scholars were found to believe in the idea of awaiting the occult Imam Mahdi and they also prohibit political activity, revolution or the establishment of a government and the performance its functions, at the time of the Occultation, due to the non-fulfillment of the two conditions of infallibility and a text (on the appointment of) the Imam.
I used to hold contrary views with some scholars in the past, who prohibit political activity or even coming closer to it. I used to hear some scholars reciting the famous Hadith “Any banner raised before the appearance of Al-Mahdi is a banner of misguidance and the owner is a Taught’ (Satan or anyone worshipped instead of Allah). Even though I considered this Hadith to be a weak (inauthentic) one and not so important, I couldn’t recognize the depth of the negative thought that engulfs the hauzah (the religious seat of learning in Shiite circles), and how it is rooted in history and supported by an elaborate philosophical scholasticism (al-Kalam).
Here I paused to ask myself: If the idea of the Guardianship of the Jurist is a recent and Nobel idea, unknown to the preceding earlier scholars, then what about abandoning, the four special representatives in the political thought of the age of the Major Occultation.
Based on this I decided to study the minor occultation age and the thought and stand of the four representatives of Imam Mahdi. I was very much amazed when I found also that they believe in ‘waiting’ and abstaining from any kind of political activities. I have the opportunity of discovering in the course of my research, historical ambiguities and question marks revolving around the truth of the claim of the four representatives, being special deputies of the occult Imam Mahdi, as part of more than twenty claims to the same effect. A lot of doubt hovers over all of them. I tried my utmost to understand what kind of political system Imam Mahdi has bequeathed for the Shiites after his occultation. Has he pointed to it? Has he left them to no avail? Why has he not explicitly and textually said anything on authority (almarji'iyyah), public representation, and Guardianship of the Jurist or Shurah? Why he said nothing on the necessity of establishing a Shiite state, during his occultation. Why didn’t the earlier scholars close to him understand that from him? Why did they stick to the idea of waiting?
The search for the Minor Occultation led to another issue: The existence of Imam Mahdi-Muhammad bin Hassan Askari, when for the first time in my life I found serious doubts and perplexity surrounding the issue of those days, and lack of clear picture on the part of the Musawite Imamate Shiites, who became divided after the death of Imam Hassan Askari without an apparent heir, into fourteen (14) different sects, and were scattered to the right and to the left, the thing that caused me greater shock and encouraged me to pursue research on the issue, with the persistent urge to arrive at decisive and clear conclusions that will end the perplexity.
To my utter amazement, I discovered the extent of my ignorance of the history of Shiites, that I neither read nor hear about the details of perplexity and historical doubts on the birth of the twelfth Imam, despite the fact that I used to be a staunch missionary of the Twelver-Imam Shiites, sect from my childhood. I grew up in the hauzah and authored a number of books on the Imams of Ahl Al-Bayt and have read a lot… At that time I discovered the absence of history subject in the curricula of the educational hauzah (seminary) which is limited to Arabic language, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh (principles of Jurisprudence, philosophy and Logic, there is not a single lesson on Islamic or Shiite history.
Anyway, the research on the existence of Imam Mahdi is very sensitive and hold intellectual, political and social danger, and may turn a lot of things upside down and may form a strategic turning point in my life and the life of the society I belong to.
I was not able to abandon the suspended questions that present themselves to me, for I have to answer them in the affirmative or in the negative. I found that intellectual honesty and religious responsibility have made it incumbent on me to continue the research till the end.
I praise Allah the Almighty for the second time… that I was in Iran, the citadel of Imamate Shiite thought, and I visited the libraries of Tehran, Qum and Mashad. I did not leave a single old or new book on the topic, except that I made a thorough and deep study of it. And instead of the ambiguity being cleared and the doubts dispelled, the picture became more blurred and confusing. I found some earlier scholars declaring that there is no accepted sound and sufficient historical evidences on the birth of the twelfth Imam, and that it was said only on the basis of Ijtihad (Juristic deduction), philosophical speculation and guess.
I also found some scholars of the sect declaring that it is necessary to accept the existence of the Twelfth Imam, or recant the idea of Imamate, as it will come to an end with the death of Imam Hassan Askari without an issue to succeed him in the position of Imam. This is what made me conduct a new research on the doctrine of Imamate itself, and I found that it was a creation of theologians (Scholastic Scholars), and is remote, and in fact contrary to the statements and authentic traditions of the Imams, which clearly reject the monopoly of power and authority, and its revolving in a hereditary manner. These (Statements) call for the choosing of the Imam by the Ummah though Shura (consultation).
I also discovered in the course of the work, the existence of a very strong relation between the subject of believing in the existence of Imam Mahdi, and the idea of waiting, which has dominated the Shiite political thought in a period of one thousand years, and prohibits any kind of political activity in the period of the occultation. This very idea is responsible for the collapse of the Shiite and their eventual exit from real of life. These is also a strong relation between religious authority (al-Marji’iyyah al-diniyyah) the Guardianship of the Jurist-consult (Faqih) which give the religious authority or ruler absolute powers similar to the powers of the infallible Imam or the Great Prophet (S.A.W), and suppresses the possibility of public participation in governance and establishment of a just political system.
In this work, I pursued research on the development of the Shiite political thought from the idea of Shura believed by the Shiite of the first generation, followed by the belief in the Imam which is based on infallibility, a text and miracles, and evolved in the second century of Hijrah, and the challenges faced by it, during the second and third centuries, till when it reached a blind alley with the death of Imam Hassan Askari without an apparent issue, as Allah’s evidence on mankind.
I also studied all the evidences advanced or are being advanced, by theologians and historians on the birth and existence of the twelfth Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Askari, which can be divided into three major categories namely: philosophical-rational evidence, historical evidence, traditional textual evidence. So I had an in-depth study of these evidences evaluating and ascertaining their authenticity.
After that I studied the negative effects this idea brought on the Twelver-Imam Shiites throughout history. I also recorded the various attempts of Shiites to come out of this serious crisis, including the many efforts of bringing about Shiite Fiqhi or political revolutions against this negative thought. I finally paused at the last stage of the development of Shi'ah political thought, i.e. the stage of Wilayah al-Faqih (the Guardianship of the Faqih). I reflected on its positive and negative aspects, and I presented at the end the idea of Shurah – the idea of the members of the Prophet’s household and the first generation Shiites with the hope that Shiite political thought will revert to it in future.
THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE IMAMATE OF THE AHL AL-BAYT
(MEMBERS OF THE PROPHET’S HOUSEHOLD)
THE DOCTRINE OF AHL AL-BAYT
(MEMBERS OF THE PROPHET’S HOUSEHOLD)
The Muslim Ummah in the time of the Great Prophet (peace be upon him), after his death and during the succeeding decades of its history, accepted Shura (consultation) system, and the right of the Ummah to choose their leaders. The members of the Prophet’s household were in the forefront in supporting and applying it. However, when the Ummah faced the forceful imposition of the Umayyad rulers and their holding to power by hereditary manner, and discarding of the Shura system. at that time some Shiites loyal to the Ahl Al-Bayt were influenced by these happenings. They affirmed their right to Khilafah (Leadership of the Muslim Ummah), instead of the Umayyads. They also stressed the necessity of this leadership remaining in their progeny. This idea however, was not entertained by Ahl-al-Bayt themselves, nor the Shiah of the first century of Hijrah.
Despite what the Imamate Shiites used to mention of texts on the appointment of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib by the Prophet (peace be upon him), as Khalifah after him, their literary heritage is full of other texts stressing the fact that the Great Prophet (peace be upon him) himself and the members of his household adhered to the principle of Shura and the right of the Ummah to choose their leadership.
One report from Sharif Al-Murtada-one of the prominent Shiite scholars of the fifth century of Hijrah has it that Abbas bin Abd al-Muttalib spoke to Amir Al-Muminin (Ali bin Abi Talib) during the illness of the Prophet (peace be upon him), so that he asks the Prophet, who will be in charge of affairs after him, and that if it is for us (Ahl al-Bayt) he should reveal it; and if it is for some other people, he entrust it to us. The leader of the faithful (Ali) said, we went to the Messenger of Allah when his illness became serious and we said O Messenger of Allah, choose a successor for us, He said. “No, I fear that you will be divided regarding him, as the children of Israel became divided over Harun, but if Allah knows any goodness in you, He will choose for you (a leader).
Kulayni says in ‘Al-Kafi’, that he reported from Imam Ja'far bin Muhammad Sadiq: ‘When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was on his death bed, he called Abbas and Amir al-Muminin, and then he said to Abbas “O the uncle of Muhammad … you will take the heritage of Muhammad, pay back his debts and repulse his enemy”. He replied him saying, "O Messenger of Allah, let my father and mother be your ransom, I am an old man with many dependants and little wealth, who can bear the like of your responsibilities?” He lowered his head for a while and then he said again, “O Abbas, will you take the heritage of Muhammad, repulse his enemy and pay back his loans?” He replied as before… He then said “Definitely, I will give it to the one who will take it and all the responsibilities associated with it.” Then he said: “O Ali! O brother of Muhammad, will you repulse the enemy of Muhammad, pay back his loans and take hold of his heritage? He said, “Yes, let my father and mother be your ransom”. ‘Such is Ali, my beloved friend’.
This wasiyyah (will) as can be seen, is an ordinary personal will that is not related with politics or Imamate and religious leadership. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has put it, in the beginning before Abbas bin Abd-al-Muttalib, who became fearful of it, but Imam Ali accepted it voluntarily.
There is another will which Sheikh Mufid, used to report in some of his books, from Imam Amir al-Muminin Ali (peace be upon him), saying that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has entrusted it to him before his death. This was a general spiritual and ethical will, and is related to the matters of endowments and charity. If we cast a glance on these traditions mentioned by pivots of Imamate Shiites like Kulayni, Mufid and Murtada, we will see that it shows the non-existence of any will from the Messenger of Allah to Imam Ali on (the issue of) Khilafah and Imamate and that he left the matter as ‘Shurah’ (a consultative issue). This explains the reluctance of Imam Ali in taking allegiance (bayah) for himself after the demise of the Prophet, despite the insistence of Abbas bin Abd Al-Muttalib on him to do so, when he said to him ‘Stretch your hand I will give my oath of allegiance to you, and I will bring this Sheikh from the Quraish to you, i.e. Abu Sufyan and it will be said that the uncle of the Messenger of Allah has paid allegiance to the son of his uncle? No one then, of the Quraish will contend against you; and the other people follow the Quraish’. The Imam rejected that (offer).
Imam Sadiq has reported from his father, who reported from his father, that when Abu Bakr was appointed as Khalifah, Abu Sufyan came to Imam Ali and he said to him, do you agree, O children of Abd Manaf that ‘Taym’ will be leaders over you? Stretch your hand I will pay my allegiance to you, by God, I will support Abu Fusail with horses and men. He withdrew from him and then said, “Woe unto you O Abu Sufyan this is one of your shrewdness, the whole people have agreed upon (the leadership of) Abu Bakr. You still wish for Islam crookedness of Jahiliyyah (before Islam) and you are in Islam? I swear by God. That will never bring any harm to Islam, even if you are still the source of strife (fitnah)”.
IMAM ALI’S CONCIOUSNESS OF HIS PRIORITIES
There is a consensus among the historians of the Sunni and the Shiite worlds that Imam Ali bin Abi Talib was indignant towards the election of Abu Baker in the beginning, and that he did not give him his oath of allegiance, but sat in his house for some period of time; that he commented on the objection of the Quraish in the (Thaqifah of Bani Saidah) that they are the tree (origin) of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) by saying: ‘They advance the argument of being the tree (origin) but failed to take advantage of the fruits’.
Sharif Rida mentioned in “Nahj al-Balaghah that: The Imam complained some day against the Quraish and said “O Allah help me against the Quraish and those who supported them. They have served my kinship, turned away from me and agreed upon than anyone else’.
Despite the consciousness of Imam Ali of being the most deserving of the Khilafah, he later on paid the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, and that was when large number of Muslim communities apostacised (Riddan) At that time Uthman bin Affan went to him and said to him “O my cousin, definitely no one will go out to fight these people where you had not given your oath of allegiance!’ (Murtada: Al-Shafi, vol-3, P. 242).
Then he sent for Abu Bakr to come to him, when Abu Bakr came, he (Ali) said to him, “I swear by God, we did not compete with you what Allah has bestowed on you of good and favor, but we thought that we have a share in this affair but we were overwhelmed. He addressed the Muslims saying: “Nothing prevented me from paying allegiance to Abu Bakr, except that I know his right (in this affair), but we see that we have a share in this affair, and we were overwhelmed. Then he paid allegiance to Abu Bakr. The Muslims (present) said: ‘You have done what is right and what is good…”.
No doubt the denial of Imam Ali of paying allegiance to Abu Bakr immediately (after his election), was due to the fact that he saw himself as the most suitable person for the Caliphate, that is true; or it was due to belief in the necessity of taking part in the Shura and the impermissibility of someone other than him usurping it without due right. Aman from Bani Asad had asked him ‘How did your people denied you this position when you are the most deserving of it? He replied, ‘O brother of Bani Asad… for some one take this position by force when we are the closest in relation to the Messenger of Allah and was most honored, that is selfishness which some souls were very rich in.
Imam Amir Mumin had said in his famous sermon named Shaqshaqiyyah:
“By Allah, so-and-so has dressed himself with it (the Caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the pivot to the grinding-stone. The floodwater flows down from me and the bird cannot fly up to me. I put a certain veil against the Caliphate and kept myself detached from it. Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are feeble and the young grow old, and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation in the throats. I watched the plundering of my heritage, till the first one went his way but handed it to so-and-so after him. Nevertheless I persevered despite the length of period, and the severity of tribulations, till when he went his way of death, he put the matter of Caliphate in a group; and regarded me to be one of them. But good heavens! What had I to do with this Shura (consultation)? Was there any doubt about me with regard to the first of them, that I was now considered one of these ones?”
There is another narration, from Zayd bin Ali, that Imam Amir Muminin has said, The people gave their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, while I am the more deserving of that garment, but I restrained my anger and waited and lowered my chest to the ground (controlled my wrath).”
In these sermons, Imam Ali bin Abi Talib points to his being the most deserving of the Caliphate and one who with more right to it, for the Household of the Prophet are the fruits, if the Quraish were the tree (origin) of the Messenger of Allah. He does not point to the existence of any text (nass) from the Messenger of Allah specifying him as his successor, or his appointing him as the Khalifah after him. Kulayni reports from Imam Muhammad Baqir his saying: Imam Ali has never called (people) to himself and that he confirmed the people on what they did and concealed his affair’.
If the Hadith of Ghadir is considered the clearest and the strongest text from the Prophet as regards Amir Muminin (Ali), some of the earlier scholars of Imamate Shiism like Sharif Murtada consider it as an unclear and ambiguous text on the issue of Khilafah. For he says in (Al-Shafi) “We do not claim absolute knowledge in the text (above), neither for ourselves nor against our opponents, and we do not know of any of our people who claim that’ (13).
Therefore, the companions did not understand from the Hadith of Ghadir or any other Hadith, the meaning of specific text or appointment to the Caliphate. Due to this, they chose the Shura way as a mode of choosing a leader. They then gave their oaths of allegiance to Abu Bakr as Khalifah after the Prophet (peace be upon him), which clearly shows that no clear meaning of Khilafah was deduced from the reported texts for Imam Ali or the non-existence of such text at that time.
IMAM ALI AND SHURA (CONSULTATION)
What emphasizes the fact that Shura (consultation) was the constitutional system that Imam Amir Muminin Ali bin Abi Talib abided by; and that he had no knowledge of vertical hereditary leadership of the Ahl al-Bayt, is his participation in the Shura process after the death of Caliph Umar bin Khattab, and his arguments before the members of the Shura on his virtues and his role in the service of Islam; so also the fact that he did not point to the issue of the text or his appointment as Khalifah after the Prophet. If the Hadith of Ghadir has any of this import, the Imam would have refered to it, and he would have won the day with what is greater and stronger than mentioning his virtues.
Imam Ali believed in the system of consultation and it’s being first and foremost the right of the Immigrants and the Helpers (Muhajirin and Ansar). Due to this he refused to accede to the call of rebels-after the murder of Caliph Uthman, who invited him to assume power, and he said to them “This is not of your powers, this is for the Muhajirin and Ansar, anyone they chose as a leader will be a leader”.
When the Immigrants and the Helpers came to him and said, “Stretch your hand, we would give you our oath of allegiance”, he withdrew from them. They repeated as the first, and he also withdrew again, and they repeated that for the third time then he said “Leave me and look for another person and know that, if I responded to you, I will do with you what I know…. and if you leave me alone, I am just like one of you, I would be the most obedient and loyal to anyone you choose to conduct your affairs for me to be a vizier is better for you than to be a leader” He walked to Talhah and Zubair and put it across to them and said:” If anyone of you wishes , I will give him my oath of allegiance” They both said “ No … the people accept you more (than any other man). At the end he said to them “If you insist, my oath of allegiance “bayah” must not be secret, and it will not be taken till after the acceptance of the (general) Muslim populace, so I will go out to the Masjid (mosque) anyone who wishes to give his oath of allegiance to me let him do it”. (14)
Therefore, if the theory of a “text” and appointment is established and well- known to the Muslims, it would not be permissible for Imam (Ali) to reject the revolters, and then wait for the word of the Immigrants and Helpers (Muhajirin & Ansar), as it will also not be permissible for him to say “ to be a vizier is better for you than to be a leader”. It will also not be right for him to put the leadership (Khilafah) before Talhah and Al-Zubair, and he will not need to wait for the oath of allegiance from the general Muslims.
There is another narration from the work of Salim bin Qays al-Hilali that discloses the belief of Imam Ali in Shura, and the right of the Ummah to elect its leader. He said in one of his letters, “What is obligatory in the laws of Allah and Islam is that the Muslims, of if their leader dies or is killed, they should not perform any act nor innovate something, nor move in order to do something new, unless they choose for themselves a chaste leader, who is learned, scrupulous, and well-versed in the legal and traditional matters”. (15)
When Talhah and Al-Zubair dissented, he pleaded for his case on the basis of their oath of allegiance to him, saying: “You gave me your oath of allegiance and now you breached it.” He did not point to the issue of a text from the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him). All that he said to Al-Zubair which made him to desist from fighting him, was his reminding him of the statement of the Prophet (S.A.W) that, “You will fight him, while being a transgressor!”
Imam Ali also said to Mu'awiyah who rebelled against him …My allegiance in Madinah is binding on you in Sham (Syria), because the people who swore their oath of allegiance to me, where the same people who swore allegiance to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, so the one present has no other alternative to choose, nor has the absent the right to reject, Definitely Shura is the right of Muhajirin and Ansar, when they agree on a person, and called him the leader (of the Ummah), therein lies the pleasure of Allah..’
So, Shura is the basis of leadership in the right of Imam Ali, and this was in the absence of the theory of (a text and. (divine) appointment or selection), Which was not referred to by the Imam in any instance.
Imam Ali views himself, undoubtedly, as an ordinary person, who is not infallible, and he demanded from the Shiites to other Muslims to view him in that sense. History has preserved for us a wonder of his many wonders which is transmitted by Kulayni in al-Kafi, where he says:
“I am in myself not above mistake, and I am not contented that my actions are free of it, except that Allah suffices me of myself, with what He bestows onto me’. (16)
The belief of Imam Ali in Shura (Consultation) as a constitution for the Muslims, became very clear in the process of the Caliphate of Imam Hassan when the Muslims came to him after the strike of Abdul Rahman bin Muljan on him, and requested him to appoint his son Hassan after him (as the leader), for he said “No, we did go to the Prophet of Allah and said,” Appoint (for us a leader), and he said” No, I fear that you will be divided on his affairs, as Harun, but if Allah finds any good in your hearts, he will choose for you’ They requested him to point to someone, but he did not . They then said to him,” If we lost you, we will not lose giving our oath of allegiance to Hassan. He said, “I do not command, nor prevent you, you can discern better”. (17)
Hafiz Abu Bakr Ibn Abi al-Dunya (208-281) has mentioned in the book titled “The Murder of Imam, the Commander of the Faithful, from Abdul Rahman bin Jundub from his father who said “I said “ O! Commander of the faithful, if we lose you (if you die) and we will not lose, we will give our oath of allegiance to Hassan. He said, “I will not command you (to do that) nor prevent you”. I repeated what I said and he replied in the same way. (18)
Sheikh Hassan bin Sulaiman has mentioned in 'Mukhtasar Basair al-Darajat’ from Salim bin Qays al- Hilali, who said “I heard Ali saying, while in the company of his two sons and Abdullah bin Ja’far and some of his close associates (supporters) ‘ Leave people with what they have chosen for themselves, and maintain your silence. (19)
Imam Ali the leader of the faithful has given his will to Imam Hassan and his other children, but he never mention the issue of leadership and the Caliphate, His will was spiritual, ethical and personal, or as, Sheikh Mufid has said in Al-Irshad, the will was for Hassan regarding his family, children and companions, his responsibility and his charity’. (20)
That will is as follows:
“ This is what Ali bin Abi Talib has willed. He willed (enjoined) that he bears witness that there is no god (deity) except Allah Alone, He has no partner with Him, and bears witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, He sent him with guidance and the religion of truth, that He makes it prevail over all religion, even though the pagans (polytheists) may detest (it). That “… Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds … with this am I commanded, and I am of the Muslims”. Then I enjoin you O Hassan and my entire children and family and to whomever my book reaches, that you should fear Allah, your Lord. “ So die not except as Muslims “And hold fast, all together by the Rope of which Allah (stretches out for you) and be not divided among yourselves.” I heard the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) saying “ keeping Straight (making peace in) the relations between you is better that too much fasting and prayer (in which the relations are severed), the guilt that wipes away religion is the severing of relations. There is no power except with Allah. Maintain your next of kin and make good your relations with them, so that accountability will be light on you. (Fear) Allah in the affairs of the orphans, you should not leave them without food (even for alternate days) they should not be neglected in your presence. (Fear) Allah, in the affairs of your neighbors, they are the will of the Messenger of Allah, for he kept on enjoining us (to do good to them) to the extent that we thought he would apportion to them a share of the inheritance. (Fear) Allah in the commandments of the Quran, so that no other people will act upon it before you. (Fear) Allah in the affairs of the House of your Lord, it should not be disserted as long as you live, for if it became disserted you will not be aware of each other. (Fear) Allah in the affairs of Ramadan, for fasting it is a shield for you from the fire. (Fear) Allah as regards Jihad for the sake of Allah with your hands, wealth and tongues. (Fear) Allah in the payment of Zakat for it extinguishes the anger of the Lord. (Fear) Allah in the covenant of your Prophet, he should not be wronged in your midst. (Fear) Allah in what your right hands possess (servants and maids). Beware not to fear any blame in implementing Allah’s commandments. It is enough for you (to remember) “ Speak good to people” as Allah has commanded you. Do not abandon ‘enjoining good and forbidding evil (Al-Amr bi al-Maruf Wa al-Nahy an al-Munkar)’, lest the worst of you be made rulers over you, and the best of you will pray, and their prayers will not be accepted. I advise you my children with maintaining your relations and generosity. I exhort you against cutting your relations, competing in amassing wealth and division. “Help you one another in virtue and piety; but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah-Verily, Allah is severe in punishment.” May Allah protect you, members of the Household (of the Prophet (peace be upon him), May he preserve the (message) of your Prophet in you. I bid you farewell. My greetings of peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you”. (21)
For the reason (mentioned above) this precious, spiritual and ethical will did not play any role in recommending Imam Hassan for he Caliphate, because it is devoid of any pointer to it. It was not also an alternative to the Shura system which members of the Prophets household stick to as a constitution for the Muslims.