Muhammed b. Mahmood al-Ebadi narrates from Imam Moosa b. Jafar al-Kazim (a.s.):

I went to meet Haroon Rashid (the tyrannical Abbaside Emperor and despot) and greeted him. He returned the greetings and said: Tax is paid to two caliphs?

Imam (a.s.): O Ameerul Momineen, I seek refuge in Allah from you that you should desist from the heinous crime of killing me so do not lend your ears to our foes. You are well aware that blasphemous claims have constantly been made since the demise of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Based on your relationship with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), should I narrate a tradition from him (s.a.w.a.) that I have heard from my forefathers (a.s.)?

Note:“Ameerul Momineen” is a special title of Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.), such that no other Imam (a.s.) was ever addressed with this title. However, unjust rulers have always liked being referred to with this title. If someone did not refer to them with this title, then he was severely punished to the extent that he would get killed. Shias, and more specifically, Imams (a.s.) were living at a time when rulers were tyrannical, so they were compelled to remain in dissimulation (Taqaiyyah) and refer to these unjust rulers with this title. For this reason, Imam Kazim (a.s.) addressed Haroon with this title.

Haroon: Please do.

Imam (a.s.): Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said – When relatives come near, their blood boils. Now lend me your hand.

Haroon: Please come near me.

Imam (a.s.): I went near him (Haroon). He held my hand for a long time and kept it on his chest for a long time, and said, “O Moosa (a.s.)! Be seated. You need not worry.”

When I saw him, his eyes were filled with tears.

Haroon: You have spoken the truth. Your forefathers have also said the truth. My blood pressure has risen, my veins are moving so fast that compassion and grief have engulfed me and I began crying. I wish to ask you the reason of my attachment to you, which I have never revealed to anyone. If you reply to my question, then I will free you and never lend my ears to the one who is speaking against you. I have heard that you never lie, so please reply to my question truthfully.”

Imam (a.s.): Ask your question but ensure the safety of my life.

Haroon: If you speak the truth and avoid dissimulation, which is one of the characteristics of family of Fatima (s.a.), then your life is safe.

Imam (a.s.): O Ameerul Momineen, ask what you want

Haroon: How are you (Bani Hashim) superior to us (Bani Abbas), while both of us are from the sons of Abdul Muttalib. You are from the progeny of Abu Talib and we are from the progeny of Abbas. Both are the uncles of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and both of them are equal in relation to Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?

Imam (a.s.): We are nearer to Prophet (s.a.w.a.)

Haroon: How?

Imam (a.s.): Abdullah (a.s.) and Abu Talib (a.s.) – the two sons of Abdul Muttalib – were real brothers, whereas Abbas was a step-brother.

Haroon: On what basis do you claim yourself as heirs of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), since uncle is treated as a barrier of inheritance, meaning while the uncle is present, cousin brothers cannot claim a share in inheritance because an uncle has precedence over uncle’s sons. At the time of Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) demise, Abu Talib (a.s.) was not alive, but Abbas was alive.

Imam (a.s.): If you deem it fit, please excuse me from answering this question and ask some other query.

Haroon: Please reply

Imam (a.s.): Grant me amnesty.

Haroon: (Amnesty) granted!

Imam (a.s.): Ameerul Momineen Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) says that if own child is still in existence, whether son or daughter, then, except for share of mother, father, wife and husband, no one else will get a share in inheritance. Therefore, in case the child is still present, the question of uncles getting a share in the inheritance does not arise. There is nothing in the Holy Quran that suggests otherwise which would prove that uncles will get a share in inheritance, while the deceased’s own children are alive. There is also no saying from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to that effect. Only tribes of Taym (of Abu Bakr), Adi (of Umar) and Bani Umayyah believe that uncle is like a father. This is the ruling of people very distant from the truth but the followers of Ali (a.s.) give a different ruling than the tribes of Taym and Adi.

Following this interpretation from Ali (a.s.), Nuh b. Darraaj gave a ruling, based on which Ameerul Momineen (Haroon) made governors of Kufa and Basra. People refer to these rulings in their daily lives.

Haroon: Bring me the edicts of Nuh b. Darraaj and that of another learned person, whose edict is different from Nuh’s ruling.

Haroon to the other learned person: Why don’t you give the same ruling as wise people of Hejaz (Imam Kazim (a.s.)) and Nuh b. Darraaj have given (in the matter of inheritance)?

The scholar replied: Nuh b. Darraaj is a fearless person, but we fear that although Ameerul Momineen Haroon has relied on a reliable tradition of Ahle Sunnah, he has also said that ‘Ali is the most capable among you to give judgments’ and this was also echoed by Umar b. Khattab – Ali is the best judge.

Reference: Traditions under this topic (that Ali is the best judge) have been narrated by many groups of Sunni scholars.

Among them are:
i. Shawaahid al-Tanzeel vol. 2 p. 467
ii. Seyar A’lam al-Nobala vol. 14 p. 209
iii. Faiz al-Qadeer vol. 5 p. 668
iv. Tuhfah al-Ahwaazi vol. 10 p. 205
v. Fath al-Baari vol. 10 p. 487
vi. Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghaah, vol. 1 p. 18, vol. 7 p. 219
vii. Kashf al-Khafaa, vol. 1 p. 162
viii. Tafseer-e-Qurtubbi vol. 15 p. 162
ix. Al-Usool al-Aseelah p. 112
x. Al-Akhaam vol. 4 p. 237
xi. Taareekh-e-Dimishq vol. 15 p. 300
xii. Al-Jawharato fi Nasbe Imam Ali (a.s.) wa Aalehi p. 71
xiii. Tarikh of Ibne Khaldoon vol. 1 p. 197
xiv. Jawaahir al-Mataalib vol. 1 p. 76
xv. Al-Ghadeer vol. 3 p. 95 narrated from Al Isteeaab, vol. 3 p. 235
xvi. Mataalib al-So’l p. 23, Tameez al-Tayyib min al-Khabees p. 25 …and it is narrated from Saeed b. Abi Khuzaib, a companion of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) – Ibn Abi Laila and I entered Medina and went to the Prophet’s Mosque when Imam Sadiq (a.s.) entered. We approached him (a.s.) and Imam (a.s.) asked about me and my family. Then he asked about my fellow traveler Ibn Abi Laila. I said to Imam (a.s.) – He is Ibn Abi Laila, the judge of the Muslims. Imam (a.s.) asked him – Have you taken the property of one person and given it to another or have you made divorce between a husband and a wife and in this were you fearful of anyone? He replied – Yes. Imam (a.s.) asked – Through what do you judge? He replied – Through the traditions that have reached me from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Abu Bakr and Umar. Imam (a.s.) asked him – Has this tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) not reached you that – In judgment Ali is the best amongst you. He replied – Yes. Imam (a.s.) asked him – Then why don’t you judge as per the judgments of Ali (a.s.), even after this tradition has reached you? The narrator says that signs of grief appeared on the face of Ibn Abi Laila and he said to me – Find yourself another friend, by Allah I will never talk to you
xvii. Kaafi vol. 7 p. 408, Tahzeeb al-Ahkaam vol. 6, p. 221
xviii. Wasaail al-Shia vol. 18 p. 8
xix. Al Ehtijaaj, vol. 2 p. 102
xx. Behaar al-Anwaar vol. 47 p. 334

Haroon: O Moosa! Please elaborate.

Imam (a.s.): Gatherings are like trust, especially yours (questioning the safety of his life)

Haroon: Speak without fear.

Imam (a.s.): Not only did Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) cancel the share of inheritance (for his uncle), but also refused his friendship from those who did not migrate along with him.

Haroon: Do you have any proof for that?

Imam (a.s.): Quran says:

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يُهَاجِرُوا مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَايَتِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا ۚ

‘…. and those believers who did not migrate, you have nothing to do with their friendship, till they migrate.’ (Surah Anfal (8): Verse 72)

And Abbas was not amongst the migrants.

Haroon: Was this told to you by any of our foes? Or this has been narrated by some learned men?

Imam (a.s.): No. None has asked me about this except Ameerul Momineen Haroon.

Haroon: By which rule have you allowed people to ascribe relations to the Holy prophet (s.a.w.a.) or call yourself ‘son of the Prophet’ whereas you are the son of Ali and a person is ascribed from his father and not his mother (i.e. Fatima) and prophet was your maternal grandfather?

Imam (a.s.): O Ameerul Momineen, if the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was alive today and asked your daughter’s hand for marriage, what would have been your reply?

Haroon: Why won’t I accept! Rather, I’ll pride myself over all Arabs and non-Arabs.

Imam (a.s.): However, the Messenger (s.a.w.a.) cannot ask for my daughter’s hand in marriage.

Haroon: Why?

Imam (a.s.): Because, I’m his son, but you are not his son.

Haroon: Good, O Moosa, but why do you all call yourself as his son, even though there were no son of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and you are the son of his daughter (s.a.)?

Imam (a.s.): O Ameerul Momineen! I implore you for the sake of our relationship and by this grave and its inhabitant, do not ask this question.

Haroon: Impossible. You will have to give the reason now as you are their leader and as I am told you are the Imam of the time. Therefore, you will have to prove this from the Allah’ Book and there is no excuse in this matter. You, sons of Ali claim that you are aware of all the meanings and interpretations from the Holy Quran, to extent of its letters, ‘Alif’ and ‘Waw’ and present this verse as a proof:

مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ

‘We have not left a single thing in Quran unexplained’ (Surah An’aam (6): Verse 38)

And consider yourself above all the other scholars.

Imam (a.s.): If you allow, then I will present a proof from the Holy Quran.

Haroon: Please do

Imam (a.s.): Allah says in the Majestic Quran:

وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ ۚوَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ. وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلْيَاسَ ۖكُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“…and of his descendants, Dawood and Sulaiman and Ayub and Yusuf and Haroun; and thus do We reward those who do good (to others). And Zakariyya and Yahya and Isa and Ilyas; everyone was of the righteous.” (Surah Anaam (6): Verses 84-85)

Imam (a.s.): O Ameerul Momineen, who is Isa’s father?

Haroon: Isa did not have a father.

Imam (a.s.): Therefore, Isa is attached to the progeny of Ibrahim through his mother Maryam. Similarly, we are also attached to the progeny of His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) through our mother Fatima (s.a.).

With your permission, can I elaborate further?

Haroon: Go ahead

Imam (a.s.): Allah the High says:
‘But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.’ (Surah Aale Imran (3): Verse 61)

Imam (a.s.): None has claimed that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) took anyone apart from Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain for Mubahelah. Therefore this verse is interpreted thus – ‘Our sons’ are Hasan and Husain, ‘Our women’ is the Truthful (Siddiqah), the Pure (Taherah) Fatima (s.a.) and ‘Our selves’ means Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).

Another point is that all scholars are unanimous on the fact that Jibraeel said at the time of Ohad: ‘O Muhammad, this laying down of selves, sacrifices and help are all from Ali.’ Then the Messenger (s.a.w.a.) replied – This is so because, I am from Ali and Ali is from me. To this Jibraeel replied – I am also from you O Messenger of Allah – there is no youth except Ali and there is no sword other than Zulfiqar.

Reference: Zakhaaer al-Uqba p. 68, Majma’ al-Zawaaed, vol. 6 p.114, Umdah al-Qaari vol. 16, p. 214, Al Mo’jam al-Kabir, vol. 1 p. 318, Kanz al-Ummaal, vol.13 p. 144 but it does not include – there is no youth except Ali and there is no sword other than Zulfiqar. Books where this saying is included –
Al Me’yaar wa al-Mo’aazenah, p. 91, Kitab al-Hawaatif, p. 20, Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghah, vol. 1 p. 29 and vol. 2, p. 211, Nazm-o-Durr al-Simtain, p. 120, Kanz u-lUmmal, vol. 5 p. 423, Kashf al-Khifaa, vol. 2 p. 363, Al Kaamil Ibn Atheer, vol. 5, p. 260, Tareekh-e-Madina wa Damishq, vol. 39, p. 201, Lisaan al-Mizaan, vol. 4 p. 402, Manaaqibe Ali b. Abi Taalib, Ibn Murdowayh p. 101, Yanaabi al-Mawaddah, vol. 1 p. 240, Jawaahir al-Mataalib, vol. 1 p. 189, Seerah al-Nabawiyyah, Ibn Katheer, vol. 4 p. 707, Al-Manaaqib of Khaarazmi p. 37, Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah, vol. 6 p. 6

The likeness of Ali is the same as Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) as mentioned in the Quran:

قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا فَتًى يَذْكُرُهُمْ يُقَالُ لَهُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ

They said: We heard a youth called Ibrahim speak of them. (Surah Ambiya (21): Verse 60)

Haroon: Very good, O Moosa, tell me your needs.

Imam (a.s.): Your cousin’s first need is that you allow him to go back to the sanctuary (Medina).

Haroon: I will see what can be done.

It is narrated that Haroon (the accursed) reneged on his word and handed over Imam (a.s.) to the accursed Sindi b. Shaahiq, who had him poisoned in prison on Haroon’s explicit instructions.

Reference: Oyoon-o-Akhbaar al- Reza (a.s.) vol. 2, p. 78, Al-Ehtejaaj vol. 2, p. 161, Behaar al-Anwar vol. 48 p. 165, vol. 101, p. 334, Al Manazir fi al-Aqaed wa al-Ahkam vol. 1 P. 240.