Without any doubt one of the main characteristics of an Imam is his eminent position of Knowledge and Wisdom. An Imam has to be the wisest among the people of his time; otherwise it would not be logical for people to rely on a leader while better and more knowledgeable intellectuals live among them. While the scientific eminence of prophets and their successors is a matter of fact, the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and his progeny in wisdom is ever more evident.
The history witnesses that the Prophet’s progeny (PBUT) did not need to pause prior responding to a question. Their response surpassed the response of others in logic and elaboration.
This characteristic is more obvious during Imam Hadi’s (PBUH) lifetime; since he reached the stage of Imamate before his adulthood; Imam Hadi (PBUH) was far more knowledgeable than the scholars of his time and they too had testified his eminence and greatness.
Many debates and dialogues on a number of subjects have been narrated from Imam Hadi (PBUH) and history has repeatedly stated that whenever Imam was involved in a debate, the opponent had clearly uttered the Imam’s deep knowledge of the subject, proficiency and wisdom.
It has been narrated that a Roman emperor sent a letter to one of the Abbasid caliphs, stating,
“The bible has stated that whoever recites a chapter that does not have seven letters, will not have hell-fire on his body(1). The seven letters are, “tha”, “jim”, “kha’ “, “za'”, “shin”, “dha'”, “fa'”. But no matter how much we have searched the old and new testament, and Zabur, we have not found a chapter that doesn’t include the seven letters. Do you have such a chapter in your holy book?”
The Abbasid caliph gathered all the scholars and asked them the question. In that gathering, none other than Imam Hadi (PBUH) had been capable of replying to the question.
The Imam responded: “Chapter 1, Surah Fatihah/Hamd is indeed the chapter that does not contain any of the seven letters.”
The reply of Imam Hadi (PBUH) was sent to the Roman emperor. Upon arrival of the answer, the emperor came to such joy (2).
It has been stated that the absence of the seven letters carry the following wisdom:
“Tha’” is the beginning of the term “thabur” (meaning destruction)
“Jim” is the beginning of the term “jahim” (meaning Hell-fire)
“Kha” is the beginning of the term “Khabith” (meaning ill-intentioned and evil)
“Za” is the beginning of the term “Zaghum” (meaning a bitter and ignited tree in Hell)
“Shin” is the beginning of the term “Sheqawah” (meaning ill-doom)
“Dha” is the beginning of the term “Dhulmah” (meaning darkness)
“Fa” is the beginning of the term “Furqah” or “Afah” (meaning separation or distance)(3)
(The above is a selection taken from “Life and history of Imam Hadi (PBUH)”, by Dr. Ali Mousa al-Ka’bi)
Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, on 15th of Dhul Hijjah, coinciding the auspicious birth anniversary of leader of the pious, guardian of the servants, and the tenth Imam of the Shia, Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (PBUH).
1. Without any doubt, just by reciting a particular chapter regardless of its magnificence and values will not cause one to enter paradise and achieve the mercy of Allah (SWT). The matter requires certain conditions and criteria. Just as when a doctor’s prescription will not be of much use if prevention of some sort for an illness is not met.
2. Sharh Shaafi Abi Feraas, p. 563
3. Sharh Shaafi Abi Feraas, p. 563; however, there are different opinions over this wisdom being related to Imam Hadi (PBUH).