Chapter One: Supporting the Divine Mission

Encyclopedia of Imam Ali (AS), written by Muhammad Muhammadi Rayshahri, abridged by Mahdi Gholamali, translated by Zaid Alsalami and Safyullah Khan, edited by Hamid Reza Salarkia and published by NORPUB.

15. شرح نهج البلاغة عن أبي جعفر الإسكافي:

15. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, narrating from Abu Ja`far al-Iskafi, who said:

قَد رُوِيَ فِي الخَبَرِ الصَّحيحِ أنَّهُ صلى الله عليه و آله كَلَّفَهُ عليه السلام في مَبدَإِ الدَّعوَةِ قَبلَ ظُهورِ كَلِمَةِ الإِسلامِ وَانتِشارِها بِمَكَّةَ أن يَصنَعَ لَهُ طَعاما ،

 “It is narrated in an authentic tradition that at the beginning of the mission and before the appearance of the word of Islam and its spread in Mecca, he (SA) ordered Ali to prepare food for him

وأن يَدعُوَ لَهُ بَني عَبدِ المُطَّلِبِ ،

and invite the clan of `Abd al-Muttalib.

فَصَنَعَ لَهُ الطَّعامَ ،

He made the food

ودَعاهُم لَهُ ،

and invited them to this banquet.

فَخَرَجوا ذلِكَ اليَومَ ،

On this day, they attended,

ولَم يُنذِرهُم صلى الله عليه و آله ؛

but he (SA) could not warn them of anything,

لِكَلِمَةٍ قالَها عَمُّهُ أبو لَهَبٍ ،

because of certain utterances by his uncle Abu Lahab.

فَكَلَّفَهُ فِي اليَومِ الثّاني أن يَصنَعَ مِثلَ ذلِكَ الطَّعامِ ،

On the next day, he (SA) ordered Ali to prepare the same food

وأن يَدعُوَهُم ثانِيَةً ، فَصَنَعَهُ ،

and to invite them a second time. Ali did so,

ودَعاهُم فَأَكَلوا.

and he invited them, and they ate.

 ثُمَّ كَلَّمَهُم صلى الله عليه و آله فَدَعاهُم إلَى الدّينِ ،

He (SA) spoke to them, inviting them to the religion [of Islam],

ودَعاهُ مَعَهُم ؛

and he also invited Ali along with them,

لِأَ نَّهُ مِن بَني عَبدِ المُطَّلِبِ ،

because he was from the clan of `Abd al-Muttalib.

ثُمَّ ضَمِنَ لِمَن يُؤازِرُهُ مِنهُم ويَنصُرُهُ عَلى قَولِهِ أن يَجعَلَهُ أخاهُ فِي الدّينِ ،

He then asserted that whoever would follow him and support him in his words will be his brother in religion,

ووَصِيَّهُ بَعدَ مَوتِهِ ،

his executor after his death

وخَليفَتَهُ مِن بَعدِهِ ،

and his vicegerent after him.

فَأَمسَكوا كُلُّهُم وأجابَهُ هُوَ وَحدَهُ ، وقالَ :

All refrained from giving a reply, to the exclusion of Ali, alone, who answered him, saying:

أنَا أنصُرُكَ عَلى ما جِئتَ بِهِ ،

“I will support you on what you have brought.

واُوازِرُكَ واُبايِعُكَ ،

I will follow you and pledge allegiance to you.”

فَقالَ لَهُم ـ لَمّا رَأى مِنهُمُ الخِذلانَ ، ومِنهُ النَّصرَ ،

When he (SA) saw their disappointment and Ali’s support,

وشاهَدَ مِنهُمُ المَعصِيَةَ ومِنهُ الطّاعَةَ ،

their disobedience and his obedience,

وعايَنَ مِنهُمُ الإِباءَ ومِنهُ الإِجابَةَ - :

their refusal and his response, he said to them:

هذا أخي ووَصِيّي وخَليفَتي مِن بَعدي ،

“This is my brother, my executor and my vicegerent after me.”

فَقاموا يَسخَرونَ ويَضحَكونَ ، ويَقولونَ لِأَبي طالِبٍ :

They stood up and left the session ridiculing and laughing, saying to Abu Talib:

أطِعِ ابنَكَ ؛ فَقَد أمَّرَهُ عَلَيكَ .

 “Obey your son, for he [the Prophet (SA)] has appointed him [Ali] in command over you.”

شرح نهج البلاغة : ج 13 ص 244 .

Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 13, p. 244.