imagesCAUNFOPKExtract from’ Peshawer Nights’

Another indication of imam Ali’s special merit was that his name had its origin in the unseen world.

Sheikh: You have said a novel thing. This means that Abu Talib was a prophet who named Ali through divine inspiration. Your statement is one of those lies which the Shias have invented in their extreme love (ghulu’) for Ali. But it is farcical to say that Allah ordered that the child should be named Ali. Ali was an ordinary name which the parents, of their own will, proposed. It had nothing to do with the unseen world.

Well-Wisher: What I said had nothing novel in it. Your astonishment is due to your lack of knowledge about the merits of wilaya (vicegerency).

First, you think that the child was given the name after his birth, though it was not so. In all the heavenly books, the names of Muhammad and Ali have been mentioned. Allah Almighty gave names to them thousands of years prior to their creation. The names were written on the skies, on the gates of heaven and on the arsh (the highest heavens). It had nothing to do with Abu Talib’s time.

Sheikh: Surely this statement is an example of excessive love for Ali. You have raised him so high that you claim his name was written long before the creation of the universe. The result of such statements is that your jurists consider pronouncing the name of Ali after the name of the Holy Prophet in the call to prayer.

Well-Wisher: No, sir. My statement has nothing to do with excessive love. And it is not I who have written his name in the heavens. Allah ordered Ali’s name to be written along with His own name and the name of His Prophet.


Well-Wisher: Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari in his Tafsir, Ibn Asakir in his Ta’rikh, Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi’i, in his Kifayatu’t-Talib, ch.62, Hafiz Abu Nu’aim, in Hilyatu’l-Auliya, and Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu’l-Mawadda, p.238, ch. 56, hadith 52, narrate from Dhakha’iru’l-Uqba of Imamu’l-Haram Ahmad Bin Abdullah Tabari Shafi’i on the authority of Abu Huraira (with a slight variation in wording) that the Holy Prophet said: “It is written on the arsh that ‘There is no god but Allah, the One Who has no associate; and Muhammad is my servant and Prophet, whom I helped through Ali Bin Abi Talib.'”

Also in Jalalu’d-din Suyuti’s Khasa’isu’l-Kubra, vol.I, p.10 and Tafsir-e-Durr-e-Mansur, beginning of the chapter of Isra’il, it is reported from Ibn Adi and Ibn Asakir, who narrate from Ana’s Ibn Malik, that the Holy Prophet of Allah said that he had seen written on the arsh, “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah; I have given him support through Ali.”

In Yanabiu’l-Mawadda it is narrated from Dhakha’iru’l-Uqba of Imamu’l-Haram Tabari, according to the report of Sirat-e-Mullah, that the Holy Prophet of Allah said: “On the night of the Mi’raj, when I was taken to the highest heaven, I saw written there on the right side of the arsh: ‘Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah. I have given him help and support through Ali.'”

It is reported in Yanabi, Hadith 19, from Kitabu’s-Sabi’in of Imamu’l-Haram Tabari, quoting from the Manaqib of Faqih Wasti Ibn Maghazili Shafi’i, and also Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi’i writes in his Mawadda VI from Mawaddatu’l-Qurba two hadith; Khatib Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Ibn Shirwaih in Firdaus, and Ibn Maghazili Shafi’i in Manaqib narrating from Jabir Bin Abdullah Ansari that the Holy Prophet said: “It is written on the gate of Paradise that ‘There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, and Ali is the Wali (vicegerent) of Allah and brother of the Holy Prophet of Allah.’ This was written 2,000 years before the creation of the skies and the world.”

I recall another hadith. Mir Seyyed Ali Faqih Shafi’i writes in Mawadda VIII of Mawaddatu’l-Qurba that the Holy Prophet said to Ali: “I have seen your name coupled with mine in four places:

(1) On the night of the Mi’raj (ascension) when I reached the Baitu’l-Muqaddas (The Dome of the Rock), I saw written on the rock: ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah whom I gave support through his vizier (deputy) Ali.'”

(2) When I reached Sidratu’l-Muntaha (the loftiest place), I saw the words: ‘Verily I am Allah; There is no god but Me, the One, and Muhammad among all my creation is My loved one. I gave him support through his vizier, Ali.’

(3) When I reached the arsh’ (the highest heaven) of Almighty Allah, I saw there written on its pillars: ‘Verily, I am Allah, and there is no god except Me.: Of all my creation Muhammad is my loved one. I have supported him through his vizier, Ali.’

(4) When I reached Paradise, I saw written on its gate: ‘There is no god but Me. Of all my creation Muhammad is my loved one. I gave him help and support through his vizier, Ali.'”

Imam Tha’labi in his Tafsir Kashfu’l-Bayan and Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu’l-Mawadda, chapter 24, reporting from Hafiz Abu Nu’aim Ispahani, Muhammad Bin Jarir in his Tafsir and Ibn Asakir in his Ta’rikh, narrate from Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira that verse 64 of the sura of Anfal (The Accessions) of the Holy Qur’an, namely:

“He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the believers.” (8:62)

Then they say that the Holy Prophet said: “I saw written on the arsh’ that There is no god but Allah, the One, Who has no partner, and Muhammad is My servant and Prophet; I strengthened him with Ali Bin Abi Talib.”


Also Imam Tha’labi in Tafsir Kashfu’l-Bayan and Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabi, chapter 24, reporting from Faqih Wasti Ibn Maghazili Shafi’i are a commentary on verse 37 of sura 2 of the Holy Qur’an, namely: “Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.” (2:37)

Sa’id Ibn Jabir reported from Ibn Abbas, who said: “The Holy Prophet was asked about the words which the Prophet Adam had learned and which led to the acceptance of his repentance. The Prophet said: ‘He invoked Allah in the names of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain. So Allah accepted his repentance and forgave him.'”


In regard to the granting of wahi and prophethood to Abu Talib, you are again mistaken. Wahi and Ilham have stages which are not peculiar to the rank of prophethood alone. These terms refer to a being’s ability to understand hidden knowledge directly. This knowledge is granted to special people as well as to animals. Was the bee a prophet to whom Allah sent wahi? A verse of the Holy Qur’an in sura Nahl (The Ants) clearly says: “And your Lord revealed to the bee, saying: Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build.” (16:68)

Do you think that Nukhabuz (or, according to some commentators, Yukhabuz), the mother of the Prophet Moses was a prophet? In the sura of Qasas (The Narratives) is clearly stated that she had been given two commands, two prohibitory edicts, two pieces of information and two good tidings through wahi, Allah says: “And we revealed to Moses’ mother, saying: Give him suck; then when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear nor grieve; surely We will bring him; back to you and make him one of the apostles.” (28:7)

Apart from these facts, it is not necessary for the guidance of the people that all instructions and commands of Allah should be communicated through wahi. Sometimes He guides the people through a voice. It has repeatedly happened and the Holy Qur’an bears testimony to this fact. In sura Maryam (Mary), He says how He guided Mary: “Then (a voice) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you. Shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop for you fresh, ripe dates. So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: ‘Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today.'” (19:24-26)

Then they narrate other hadith of this kind from Kitab-e-Sifa and Manaqib. The source of the names of Muhammad and Ali is Allah Himself.