Guardianship and Disassociation
The main axes of the subject:
1- Guardianship and disassociation
2- The almsgiver while bowing is Ali (a.s.)
3- The story on that verse
We will examine the guardianship verse and learn in general the conditions and reasons for its revelation coupled with its significance.
Exporting the subject:
Allah (The Exalted) says:
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, and the Especially Merciful:
“Your guardian is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed – those who establish prayer and give alms, and they bow [in worship]. And whoever accepts the guardianship of Allah and His Messenger and those who have believed – indeed, the party of Allah – they will be the predominant.”1
Scholar al Tabtabaei says: “The aim behind the guardianship that was attributed in the Quran to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) was to grant him the necessary authority in order to administer the affairs of the nation while guiding it toward Allah as well as to have his say and employ his judgment and verdicts regarding the entire affairs of the nation. Therefore, he has the absolute obedience of the nation because his guardianship derives from the guardianship of Allah (The Exalted), granting him the legal authority and power. This authority is one and accords with the unity of the context in the verse. It originally belongs to Allah and to his messenger and those who believed in consequence and according to the authority that was granted by his exaltedness.”2
Al Tabarsi adds: “Allah (The Exalted) says: “Your guardian is none but Allah…” Hence, he addressed all the believers and added to his oration the prophet (s.a.a.w.) and others. Then he says: “… and [therefore] His Messenger …” Hence, he extracted the prophet (s.a.a.w.) out of their group because they are added to his custodianship. And they he says: “…and those who have believed …” Hence, the one that was addressed by the verse must be other than he who was appointed with the guardianship, otherwise, the adjunct subject would have been the very first genitive construction, which would result in making each believer as his own guardian, which is impossible.”3
In addition, Allah (The Exalted) “stressed on avoiding the guardianship of the infidels, those who portrayed faith by words while they maintained infidelity within their hearts. This issue means they manipulated the religion; and this is how the adherer of a revealed religion, polytheist, and hypocrite are being ridiculed.”4
The almsgiver while in a bowing position is the guardian:
It is logic when asking a question about who is the appointee by these words “…and those who have believed …” and the one that was appointed with the guardianship. Who is this person? The very verse of the Quran replies it is he who gives the alms while performing his prayer in a bowing position. The verse appointed the one who is marked by that description. However, this issue is not sufficient because the description can apply to several people. Therefore, what can we do in order to avoid confusion regarding the appointee himself?
The story of the verse:
When we flip through the pages of the books of interpretation and Hadith, we will find that there is a complete clarity regarding the reasons behind the revelation of those verses; and that ways to such clarity are open for the public and private equally. Therefore, we will not examine the public ways regarding this subject; instead, we will examine that which will be very beneficial and end the dispute, leading the researcher to his aim without deviation and elaboration.
“Al Dorr al Manthour” book reports that Ibn Abbass had said: Abdullah Bin Salam came to see the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) with a group of the people of the scripture. It was midday. He said: O messenger of Allah, our homes are distant (far), and we cannot find someone with whom we can associate or mix without this mosque. Besides, there is a certain group of people who, when they discovered that we became believers in Allah and his messenger and abandoned their religion, demonstrated animosity and swore never to mix or dine with us. Therefore, this issue broke our hearts.
While they were in such a state, complaining to Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.), the following verse was revealed to Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.). It reads, “Your guardian is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed – those who establish prayer and give alms, and they bow [in worship].”5 Suddenly, the call for noon prayers was announced and Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) departed to accidentally meet with a beggar. He asked him: did anyone give you anything? He said: yes. He asked: who? He said: it is this man standing there. He asked: how did he give it to you? He said: while he was bowing. And added: that person was Ali Bin Abi Talib. Hence, Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) proclaimed Allah is the Greatest and said: “And whoever accepts the guardianship of Allah and His Messenger and those who have believed – indeed, the party of Allah – they will be the predominant.”6
Ibn Shahr Ashoub said: “The nation agreed that this verse was revealed on behalf of Ali (a.s.) when he gave his ring away while bowing. The interpreters will not disagree on this issue. The narrators began counting their sources and books. Then the story above was mentioned with different details that does not harm the subject.”7
Moreover, Al Majlisi narrated in his book al-Bihar about Sayyid al Mourtada saying: “That Muhammad Bin al Abbass Bin Ali Bin Marwan reported the story and quoted it from ninety sources with annexed corroborations, partially or impartially, and all were quoted from men who oppose the household of the prophet (a.s.).”8
When we examine the verses and their meanings and the conditions that associated their revelation plus examining the different and separate indications that advanced or preceded them, such as the saying of the dining table (Al-Ma’idah) and issues that happened after the death of the prophet (s.a.a.w.) that came from the narrations of the two teams as well as the adjurations, debates and arguments – etc … – We can reach the following important points:
1- Guardianship originally belongs to Allah (The Exalted), and therefore it succeeds to the prophet (s.a.a.w.) and the believers after him.
2- The guardianship that is meant at this point is the guardianship that necessitates obligatory obedience.
3- The believers that are meant in this verse, is one very individual, which is Ali Bin Abi Talib (a.s.) followed by his inerrant children, the Imams (a.s.).
4- The guardianship of the authority, obedience and assistance is exclusively appointed to those whom we’ve mentioned. On the other hand, their enemies, the infidels, polytheists, hypocrites, mockers, opposition and fighters will gain nothing but our animosity and disassociation.
1- Surat Al-Mā’idah (The Table Spread), verses 55-57.
2- Al Mizan Fee Tafsir al Quran, by Scholar al Tabtabaei, Vol. 6, P. 7, 8, 13; in summary
3- Majma’a al Bayan Fee Tafsir al Quran, by Al Tabarsi, Vol. 3, P. 364
4- Majma’a al Bayan, Vol. 3, P. 365
5- Surat Al-Mā’idah (The Table Spread), verses 55
6- Al Dorr al Manthour, by Al Sayouti, P. 292; also Shawahid al Tanzil, by al Hasakani, Vol. 1, P. 181
7- Ibn Shahr Ashoub, Al Mazandarani in his book “Merits of A’l Abi Talib”, Vol. 3, P. 2
8- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi, Vol. 35, P. 201