Some Muslims – as is often their wont – try to belittle the position of the Ahle Bait (a.s.), deny them their rights and usurp their virtues. They think nothing of this, as if there is none to witness this injustice and there is no punishment meted out by Allah the High for this oppression. These Muslims could not be more wrong. The virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) are too well-acknowledged in the Majestic Quran and the correct Sunnah and rejecting them is a major sin and attracts grave consequences.

At least one companion – in fact a cousin of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) – learnt the hard way that you do not make light of Aale Muhammad’s (a.s.) virtues.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas turns blind

In a lengthy tradition, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) relates an interaction between his father Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Abdullah ibn Abbas. We have abridged the portions relevant to our discussion.

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said – ‘…If you would reject after hearing from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) then Allah will send you to fire just as He blinded you on the day you hid the (truth) in favour of Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).

Ibn Abbas said: Is that why my eyes have become blind? He (further) said: How would you know that? I swear by Allah that my eyes turned blind only because of the flapping of the wing of the angel.

Imam (a.s.) said: That made me laugh. I left him that day because of the stupidity in his intellect.

I then met him later and said to him: O Ibn Abbas, you have not spoken as true as you did yesterday. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) told you that the Night of Decree (Lailatul Qadr) comes every year. On that night the command for the whole year descends. For that command there are people with divine authority after the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). 

You then asked: Who are these people? 

He (Ali (a.s.) said: I myself, and the eleven men from my descendants will be the Imams and the people to whom angels speak (Muhaddathun).’ 

You then said: I do not see it (Lailatul Qadr) except with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). 

Then the angel appeared to you; the angel that was speaking to him (Ali (a.s.)) and said: O Abdallah, you have lied. My eyes see it (the Night of Decree) of which Ali (a.s.) spoke to you. 

His (Ali a.s.) eyes did not see him (the angel) but his heart understood (the presence of the angel) and he impacted his ears. Then, he (angel) flapped you with his wing and you turned blind.

(Unconvinced) Ibn Abbas said: In the matter that we dispute it is up to Allah to judge.

I said to him: Has Allah judged one case with two judgments?

He replied: No, Allah has not done so.

I said: Here you perish and cause others to perish.

  • Al-Kaafi vol. 1, pp. 247-248, trad. 2 “The Chapter concerning the glory of the Surely We have revealed it in the Night of Power and its exegesis”

When Abdullah Ibn Abbas – the so-called scholar of the nation and respected companion – was not spared the ignominy, the question of lesser Muslims getting away with stealing and attempting to belittle Aale Muhammad’s (a.s.) virtues does not arise. Their apparent safety and security in the world must not make them proud because it is only a matter of time before Allah’s punishment overtakes them while they are least expecting it.