Benchmarks for Success and Failure

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عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ لِعَلِيٍّ بْنِ اَبِي طَالِبٍ يَا عَلِيُّ اَنَا مَدِينَةُ الْحِكْمَةِ وَ اَنْتَ بَابُهَا وَ لَنْ تُؤْتَى الْمَدِينَةُ اِلَّا مِنْ قِبَلِ الْبَابِ وَ كَذَبَ مَنْ زَعَمَ اَنَّهُ يُحِبُّنِي وَ يُبْغِضُكَ لِاَنَّكَ مِنِّي وَ اَنَا مِنْكَ لَحْمُكَ مِنْ لَحْمِي وَ دَمُكَ مِنْ دَمِي وَ رُوحُكَ مِنْ رُوحِي وَ سَرِيرَتُكَ سَرِيرَتِي وَ عَلَانِيَتُكَ عَلَانِيَتِي وَ اَنْتَ اِمَامُ اُمَّتِي وَ خَلِيفَتِي عَلَيْهَا بَعْدِي سُعِدَ مَنْ اَطَاعَكَ وَ شَقِيَ مَنْ عَصَاكَ وَ رَبِحَ مَنْ تَوَلَّاكَ وَ خَسِرَ مَنْ عَادَاكَ وَ فَازَ مَنْ لَزِمَكَ وَ هَلَكَ مَنْ فَارَقَكَ مَثَلُكَ وَ مَثَلُ الْاَئِمَّةِ مِنْ وُلْدِكَ بَعْدِي مَثَلُ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا وَ مَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا غَرِقَ وَ مَثَلُكُمْ مَثَلُ النُّجُومِ كُلَّمَا غَابَ نَجْمٌ طَلَعَ نَجْمُ اِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

Ibn Abbas chronicles that the Messsenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said to Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him),

“O Ali! I am the city of wisdom and you are its gate. The city is not approached but from its gate. He has lied who thinks that he loves me but hates you because you are from me and I am from you. Your flesh is my flesh and your blood is my blood. Your soul is my soul, your secret is my secret and your apparent is my apparent. You are the Imam of my nation and my Caliph upon it after me. Fortunate is he who obeys you and wretched is he who disobeys you. Winner is he who accepts your mastership and loser is he who bears enmity against you. Successful is he who fastens unto you and destroyed is the one who separates from you. Your likeness and the likeness of the Imams (peace be upon them) from your progeny after me is like that of the Ark of Noah. Whoever boards it will be saved and whoever lags behind will drown. The likeness of you Imams (peace be upon them) is that of the stars; whenever one star disappears another star appears (and this shall continue) till the Day of Judgment.”


In the above tradition, the word ‘wisdom’ (حكمة) is neither in the meaning of medicine nor philosophy. Rather, one of meanings is to ‘put a thing in its place’ in this world as well as the hereafter including its worlds like the Barzakh, the A’raaf, the Heaven and the Hell. Thus, wisdom cannot be found in any other place except here viz. the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him).

You are from me and I am from you” is the same concept as propounded in the Verse of Maledictioon (Mubaahelah). This being from the same self is not restricted to any one aspect of the personality. Rather, it talks about all its aspects. Thus, apparently there are two bodies but the original existence (light and self) is one reality. There are many references for this fact. “I and Ali from the same light”. Till Abdul Muttalib they were in one loin. Thereafter, this light was split into Abdullah and Abu Talib (peace be on them both). There should be no astonishment at such traditions.

Successful is he who fastens unto you and destroyed is the one who separates from you’ also grades. The level of Salman’s success was different from that of Abuzar. The same applies for destruction.

The series of guides will continue till the Day of Judgment. Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is the last of them. Today, like in the times of previous Imams (peace be upon them), it is the duty of the people to contact their Imam (peace be upon him). For example, Ali (peace be upon him) did not contact Salman. The latter contacted Ali (peace be upon him) and obeyed his instructions. But today, it is he (a.t.f.s.) who visits whosoever he wishes. Thus, in reality, it is not occultation but manifestation with all its intensity. Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will appear for the general masses at the time of reappearance. Thereafter, he (a.t.f.s.) will be martyred. Imam Husain (peace be upon him) will come instantly and the period of Raj’ah will start.


1.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 23, p. 125, H. 53

2.    Amaali of Shaikh Saduq (r.a.), p. 125, 26th Majlis, p. 269, 45th Majlis

3.    Kamaal al-Deen, vol. 1, p. 241, Chapter 22, H. 65

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