Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-'Abbass ibn 'Umar al-Qummi from Hisham ibn al-Hakam from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) the following.
"An atheist asked the Imam (a.s.), 'How do you prove the truthfulness of the prophets and the messengers?'" The Imam (a.s.) said, "It is a fact that we have established with sufficient evidence the existence of our Creator, the Most Holy, the Most High and Exalted above all creatures. It is a fact that this Creator is All wise and Most High. His creatures can not see, touch, associate and directly communicate with Him.
It proves that His deputies must be present among His creatures. It is His deputies and ambassadors who speak to people for Him and provide them guidance to protect their interests, to tell them what is beneficial to them and what are the best means of survival and what may cause their destruction. This proves the presence among people of those who conveys the commandments of the Creator, Who is All wise and All knowing Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, to people.
Such people are the prophet (a.s.) the chosen ones from among His creatures. They are the people of wisdom, disciplined with wisdom and sent to people with the message of wisdom. They are different from other people - although are like them in physical form and shape - in their conditions of discipline and their receiving direct support from Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High and All-Wise.
This also proves their presence among people in all times to ensure the availability of the people with Divine authority who would have the kind of knowledge that would establish their truthfulness and trustworthiness."
H 413, Ch. 1, h 2
Muhammad ibn Isma'il has narrated from al-Fadl ibn Shadhan from Safwan ibn Yahya from Mansur ibn Hazim who has said the following.
"I said to Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.), 'Allah by far above Majestic and Gracious to be known through His creatures. In fact, the creatures are known through Allah.'" The Imam (a.s.) said, "You have spoken the truth." I said, "One who knows that he has a Lord, he must also learn that his Lord agrees with certain things and disagrees with certain other things.
The only way he would know what his like and dislikes is revelation or a messenger. On e does not receive revelation he must find the messengers and when finds the messengers he will know that they the Divine authority and that obedience to them is necessary.
I say to people, "Do you know that the messenger of Allah was the Divine authority over His creatures?" They say, "Yes, he was the Divine authority." I then ask, "After the messenger of Allah who was the Divine authority over His creatures?" They said, "After the messenger of Allah the Divine authority is the Holy Quran." I considered the Holy Quran and found out that various kinds of people consider this Holy Book as support for their beliefs.
For example the Murji'a (people who say Allah has postponed punishment), the pre-determinists and the atheist who even do not believe in it but take it as the basis for their arguments against the others. I then learned that the Holy Quran can not serve as Divine authority without a guardian whose words from the Holy Quran would be the truth.
I then ask the people, "Who is the guardian of the Holy Quran?" They say, "Ibn Mas'ud knew the Holy Quran, 'Umar knew it and Hudhayfa knew the Holy Quran." I ask them, "Did they know all of the Holy Quran?" The people say, "No, they did not know all of it."
I have not found anyone who would know all of the Holy Quran except Ali ibn abu Talib (a.s.). It is a fact that if any issue would emerge that needed a Quranic solution, except for Imam Ali (a.s.) every one of the others would, in many cases, say, "I do not know." Only Imam Ali (a.s.) would say, "I know."
I then acknowledge that Imam Ali (a.s.) is the guardian of the Holy Quran and obedience to him is obligatory and he is the Divine authority over the people after the Holy Prophet (s.a.). Whatever Imam Ali (a.s.) has said from the Holy Quran is the truth." The Imam (a.s.) said, "May Allah grant you blessing."
H 414, Ch. 1, h 3
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-Hassan ibn Ibrahim from Yunus ibn Ya'qub who has said the following.
"In the presence of Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) once there was a group of his followers consisting of Humran ibn 'Ayun, Muhammad ibn al-Ni'man, Hisham ibn Salim, al-Tayyar and others among whom was also Hisham ibn al-Hakam, a young man.
Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) said, "O Hisham can you tell us what did you do to 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd and how did you ask him questions?" Hisham said, "O descendant of the Holy Prophet Your greatness makes me feel shy and my tongue does not work in your presence." The Imam (a.s.) said, "When I would order you something you should do it." Hisham, then said, "I came to learn about the gathering of 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd and sessions of speeches for people in the Mosque of Basra.
It disturbed me a great deal and I went to Basra. It was a Friday. I went to the Mosque and found a large circle of people among was 'Arm ibn 'Ubayd with a black piece of woolen cloth used as a loin cloth and another piece over him as a gown and people would ask him questions. I asked people for room, which they made for me.
I sat in front of the people with my legs folded beneath and said, "O scholar, I come from out of town. Can I ask you questions?" He said, "Yes, you may ask." I asked, "Do you have eyes?" He said, "Son, what kind of question is this? Something that you can see why then do you ask?" I said, "That is how my questions are." He said, "Son, you may ask your questions even if they would be foolish ones." I asked, "Do you have eyes?" He said, "Yes, I have eyes."
I asked, "What do you do with them?" He said, "I see with them the colors and persons." I asked, "Do you have a nose?" He said, "Yes, I have a nose." I asked, "What do you do with it?" He said, " I use it to smell things."
I asked, "Do you have a mouth?" He said, "Yes, I have a mouth." I asked, "What do you do with it?" He said, "I test things with it." I asked, "Do you have ears?" He said, "Yes, I have ears." I asked, "What do you do with them?" He said, "I hear sounds with them." He I asked, "Do you have a heart?" He said, "Yes, I have a heart." I asked, "What do you do with it?" He said, "I distinguish and discern things that come to it from the other senses."
I asked, "Why are your others senses independent of your heart and why do they need it?" He said, "They are not independent of my heart."
I said, "Why do they need your heart when they are all healthy and sound?" He said, "Son, when the other senses face a doubt about something, such as smell, test, etc., I send it to my heart and it ascertains certainty and discards doubts." I asked him, "Do you mean that Allah has set up the heart to remove doubts from the other senses?" He said, "Yes, that is true."
I asked, "Is then the existence of the heart necessary to remove the doubts of the other senses?" He said, "Yes, it is necessary." I then said, "O abu Marwan, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, as you say, has not left your senses without an Imam to correct the doubts and the mistakes of the other senses in you and remove doubts therefrom, how would He leave all the people with doubts and confusions without an Imam who would remove their doubts and settle their disputes?" He remained quite and did not say anything for a while.
He then asked, "Are you Hisham ibn al-Hakam?" I said, "No, I am not." He asked, "Are you of his associates?" I said, "No." He asked, "Wherefrom are you?" I said, "I am from Kufa." He said, "You then must be Hisham ibn al- Hakam." He then took to himself and gave me room nearby.
He discontinued his speech until I left." Imam abu 'abdallah (a.s.) smiled and said, "O Hisham who has taught you this?" I replied, "I learned something from you and added something of my self." The Imam (a.s.) said, "This, I swear by Allah, is written in the books of Abraham and Moses."
H 415, Ch. 1, h 4
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from those whom mentioned from Yunus ibn Ya'qub who has said the following.
"I was in the presence of Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) that a man from Sham (Syria) came to him and said, 'I am a man of Kalam (meaningful words) Fiqh (laws) and rules of obligations and I have come to debate your people." Imam abu 'Abdallah asked, " Are your meaningful words those of the Messenger of Allah or your own words?" He replied, "Somme of them are from the Messenger of Allah and some of them are my own words."
The Imam said, "Are then you a partner of the Messenger of Allah?" He said, "No, I am not." The Imam (a.s.) asked, "Have you received any revelation from Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High ?" He said, "No, I have not." The Imam then asked, "Is it obligatory to obey you just as it is obligatory to obey the Messenger of Allah?" He said, "No, it is not." The Imam (a.s.) then turned to me and said, "O Yunus, this man has just defeated himself before debating others."
The Imam then said, "O Yunus, why do you not speak to him if you do well in debate?" I said, "I wish I could but, may Allah take my soul in the service for your cause, I have heard that you do not allow debating and say that wayl (a place in hell) is for those who debate. Some of them say, 'This is accepted and that is not accepted and this is alright to say but that is not alright to say that this we understand and that we do not understand.'
The Imam (a.s.) said, "I said so if they would ignore what I say and follow what they themselves want." The Imam then said, "find out who is outside who could debate and bring them in. The reporter has said, "I then brought in Humran ibn 'Ayun who was good in debating, Ahwal who also was good in debate. I brought Hisham ibn Salim who debated well.
Another person I brought was Qays ibn Masir who the best of them to me. He had learned Kalam (theology) from Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) Our gathering took place in Makka before Hajj. Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) would stay near the Holy Mosque for few days in a small tent.
Once the Imam (a.s.) looked outside the tent and there was a camel growling and said, "By the Lord of the Ka'ba, it is Hisham." We thought it must be Hisham, the man from the family of 'Qil who was very beloved to the Imam (a.s.).
It was Hisham ibn al-Hakam who came in. He had just grown a small beard and all of us were older than him. The Imam (a.s.) made room for him and said, "He is our supporter with his heart, tongue and hands." The Imam then asked Humran to debate the man. Humran came out strong.
Then the Imam asked Taqi to debate the man. Ahwal also came strong. Then the Imam asked Hisham ibn Salim to debate the man. They both remained the same. The Imam (a.s.) then asked Qasys al-Masir to debate the man. When they debated the Imam (a.s.) laughed because of the man from Sham sometimes saying the right thing.
The Imam then asked the man from to speak with Hisham ibn al-Hakam. The man said, "O boy, ask me about the Imamat (spiritual leadership) of this man." Hisham become angry and began to shake and said, "O you, is your Lord more protective of His people or people themselves?" The man said, "It is My Lord Who is more protective of His creatures."
Hisham then asked, "What then He in His opinion has done for them?" The Man said, "He has established His authority and guidance so that they would not differ and disunite and be united to support each other and remind them of their duties towards Allah." Hisham asked, "Who is he?" The man said, "He is the Messenger of Allah." Hisham then asked, "Who is the Divine authority after the Messenger of Allah?" The man replied, "It is the book if Allah and the Sunnah."
Hisham then said, "Have the Book and Sunnah helped us today in removing our differences?" The man said, "Yes, they have helped us." Hisham then asked, "Why then do we have differences among us.
You have come all the way from Sham to oppose and debate us?" The man then remained quite. The Imam asked him, "Why do not speak?" The man said, "If I were to say that we have no differences I would speaking lies. Were I to say that the Book and Sunnah solves our differences it would be invalid because they can be interpreted in so many ways.
Were I to say that we do have differences and each claims to be the rightful party then the Book and the Sunnah would have been proved of no help. However, I can ask the same question from him also." The Imam (a.s.) then said to man from Sham, "Why do not then ask him this question?"
The man from Sham (Syria) then turned to Hisham and asked, "O you, is your Lord more protective of His people or people themselves?" Hisham said, "It is My Lord Who is more protective of His creatures." The man then asked, "Has He then established for them a means that would remove their differences, unite them, remove their difficulties and show them the right from wrong?" Hisham asked, "Do you mean for the time of the Messenger of Allah or at this time?"
The man from Sham said, "At the time of the Messenger of Allah was the Messenger of Allah. Who is the (Divine) authority at this time?" Hisham said, "(The Divine authority) at this time is this person sitting among us. To him people journey long distance to find answer to their questions.
He tells us about the news of the heavens and the earth as he has inherited it from his father and grand father." The man from Sham said, "How would I know that?" Hisham then said, "Ask him whatever you would like." The man from Sham said, "You have left no excuse for me and I must ask."
Imam abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) then said, "O man from Sham, "I can tell you how was your journey and how was your road. It was so and so." The Imam (a.s.) informed him with details. The man agreed and acknowledged the details and said, "Now I have become a Muslim." The Imam (a.s.) said, "In fact, you have become a believer in Allah now.
Islam is before Iman (faith). Because of Islam people inherit each other and marry. Because of faith people receive rewards." The man then said, "You have spoken the truth. At this time I testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger and that you are the executor of the will of the Executor of wills of the Messengers of Allah."
The Imam (a.s.) then turned to Humran and said, "When you speak on the basis of Hadith you speak the truth." Turning to Hisham ibn Salim the Imam (a.s.) said, "You want the Hadith but you do not know them." About the al-Ahwal the Imam said, "You analogized and use a great deal of cunning ways and break falsehood with falsehood but your falsehood is stronger."
To Qays al-Masir the Imam (a.s.) said, "You speak of something very near to the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (s.a) but use something very far from the Hadith of the Holy Prophet. You mix the truth with falsehood while a small degree of truth is enough to remove falsehood. You and Ahwal are experts in jumping here and there."
Yunus has said, "I thought the Imam will say about Hisham something similar to those he said about the other two." The Imam then said, "O Hisham, you sometimes almost fall but you spring up like a bird on take-off. People like you should speak but be careful of slipping and intercession will follow, Allah willing."
H 416, Ch. 1, h 5
A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'isa from Ali ibn al- Hakam from Aban who has that al-Ahwal reported to him the following.
"Zayd ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) sent called up on to meet him when he was in hiding. When I met him, Zayd said, "O abu Ja'far, what would say if someone will from us would come to you asking to join us? Will you rise up with him (against the enemies)?" I said, "Would it be your father or brother I would have joined them." He then said, "I want to rise up against these people. Come and join me."
I then said, "No, may Allah my soul of service to you." He then said, "Is it that you keep yourself away from me?" I said, " It is only one soul. If Allah's authority on earth exists, then those keeping away from you would have saved themselves and those joining you would have faced their destruction.
If there would Divine authority exist one earth then people joining and keeping away from would be the same." He then said, "O abu Ja'far, I would sit with my father at the same table he would feed me chunky morsels and cool off for me the hot one out kindness and diligent care.
Do you think he was not afraid for me from the fire of hell? So he has informed you about religion and did not inform me?" I said, " May Allah make my soul of service to you, it is also because of the kindness of your father to you that to save you from the fire he did not inform you. He was afraid for you that after having the information you would ignore his guidance and so you become subject of fire He informed me also and if I would follow I will be safe and become destroyed if disobeyed for he which he was not that much concerned. Then I told him, ".."
May Allah make my soul of service to you, are you of a higher degree of excellence or the prophets?" He said, "It is the prophets." I said, "Consider that Ya'qub has said to Joseph, 'My son do not tell your dream to your brothers. They may plot against you. Why he not inform the brothers so that they would not plot against Josephe?.
He hid it from them such the way your father has done because he was afraid about you." Then He said, "When you say that, I swear to Allah that your friend (the Imam (a.s.) told me in Madina that I will be killed and crucified in al-Kunnasa and that he has a book with him that lists the people killed and crucified." I then went for Hajj and reported the story of Zayd to abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) and what I said to Zayd. The Imam (a.s.) said, "You surrounded him from his fron, back, left, right, above and below and did not leave for any way out.
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-'Abbass ibn 'Umar al-Qummi from Hisham ibn al-Hakam from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) the following.