Part 9 : Finality of the religious laws and the role of the Imams

O people! The greater and the lesser pilgrimages, and (the mounts of) al-Safaa and al-Marwa are among the emblems of Allah;

Thus, whoever goes to visit the House in the season or at other times, he is not wrong if he repeatedly walks between the two (mounts of al-Safa and al-Marwa).1

O people! Do make pilgrimage to the House, for no members of a family went there except that they became free of need [and received glad tidings!]. None failed to go there except that they were impoverished.

1 cf. Chapter 2, Verse 158 of the Holy Quran.

O people! No believer stands at the standing place (of the Arafat desert) except that Allah forgives all his past sins until then. Thus, once his pilgrimage is over, (recording) his actions is resumed.

O people! The pilgrims shall be assisted, and their expenses shall be reimbursed,

and Allah shall not waste the reward of those who do well.1

O people! Perform pilgrimage to the House having perfected faith (with Walaya of Ali) and deep understanding (of religion),

and do not leave the sacred visiting places except after repenting and desisting (from all sins).

O people! Establish the prayers and pay the charity as Allah, the mighty and the majestic, commanded you.

But, if time lapses and you fall short or forget, then Ali shall direct you and shall explain for you.

He is the one whom Allah, the mighty and the majestic, appointed for you after me [as the trustee of His creation. He is from me and I am from him.

He and those who will succeed him from my progeny shall inform you of anything you ask about, and shall clarify what you do not know.

Certainly, the lawful and unlawful things are more than that I could enumerate, specify their limits, and urge to or advise against them each in this place.

Therefore, I was commanded to take an oath of allegiance and a covenant from you in accepting what I brought you from Allah, the mighty and the majestic, regarding Ali, the Commander of the Believers, and the executors (of my affairs) after him who are from me and from him, O people! (By this appointment) I have directed you to every lawful deed and prohibited you from every unlawful deed.

And I shall never take (my word) back, nor shall I replace it.

Hence, remember and safeguard it, advise each other to it, and never substitute nor alter it. I repeat the saying: Establish the prayers, pay the charity, enjoin the good deeds, and forbid the evil deeds.

Behold! The greatest case of enjoining righteous deeds is comprehending my saying, conveying it to whoever is not present, urging him to accept it, and advising him against violating it, for it is an order from Allah, the mighty and the majestic, and from me.

There is no (value or effect for) enjoining (other) recognized deeds and forbidding the detested deeds except with (the recognition of) an infallible leader1.

1 The term ginfallible leadersh refers to the divinely appointed leaders whom Allah protected from sins. This term, however, should not imply that they are unable to commit a sin; rather it means they voluntarily seek Allahfs protection, and consequently Allah provides them with His shield and protection which strictly hold them back from sin.

According to the Holy Quran and the traditions, whoever truly seeks Allahfs protection, Allah shall protect him. For instance, Allah, the mighty and the majestic, states: gAnd whoever seeks protection (............) from Allah, he will be, indeed,

guided to a straight way.h (3:101) He also states:gAs for those who believe in Allah and seek protection from Him, He shall soon enter them to mercy and grace from Himself, and shall guide them to him (who is) a straight way.h (4:175) Also, gSurely the watchful are in a secure position.h (44:51) Moreover,

gAnd whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah, He will make for him an outlet, and will give him from whence he thinks not. And whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him;

O people! The Quran informs you that the Imams after him (i.e., Ali) are his descendants, and I have already informed you that they are of me and of him,

for Allah, the mighty and the majestic, says in His Book, gAnd He made that a Word enduring in his posterity,

and I said: gYou will never go astray so long as you adhere to both (the Quran and my family). O people! (Observe) piety! (Observe) piety! And be wary of the Hour2 as Allah,

surely Allah attains His purpose; Allah indeed has appointed a measure for everything.h (65:2-3) 1 Chapter 43, Verse 28 of the Holy Quran.

The Word in this verse has been interpreted as leader (Imam) as well as leadership (Imamate). cf. Kamal al-Din, p. 323, Hadith 8, p. 358, Hadith 57; al- Tafsir, Ali Ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi, vol. 1, p. 313; vol. 2, p. 274. See the Hadith that is quoted later in the footnotes concerning this verse.

2 The apparent meaning of the word ghourh mentioned in the Quran is the ghour of resurrectionh where as its hidden meaning is gthe hour of rising of Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH) as interpreted by the Imams (PBUT). cf. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 51, p. 49, Hadith 14 (on the commentary of Verse 54:1), and p. 63, Hadith 64 (on Verse 19:75).

the mighty and the majestic,

Surely the convulsion of the Hour shall be a tremendous thing.

Remember death, [resurrection,] . reckoning, the scales (of justice)2, and the call to account within the hands3 of the Lord of the worlds, and the reward and punishment.

Thus, whoever comes (to the Day of Judgement) with a righteous deed, shall be rewarded for it,

and whoever comes with an (unforgiven) sin, shall not have any share in the gardens.4

1 Chapter 22, Verse 1 of the Holy Quran.
2 cf. Chapter 21, Verse 47 of the Holy Quran.
3 See the previous explanation of the ghand of Allahh in the footnotes.
4 cf. Chapter 27, Verses 89-90 of the Holy Quran.