What constitutes our beliefs as a Muslim? How well do we know our faith?
During the lifetime of the eighth Imam, the Caliph, Ma’mun, summoned a written summary of Islam from Imam Reza (PBUH). In response, the Imam wrote:
“Pure Islam is bearing witness to the oneness of the Lord, that there is no God but He. That, no other is like Him. That he is a Lord, the one and only, and there is no other like Him. He is needless and infinity. He has no beginning and is in essence by Himself (that which exists by itself). He hears, sees, and is the ultimate owner of power. He is eternal. He is the knower, in that nothing is hidden from Him. He is the able, in that no weakness can affect Him. He is needless and rich in essence, in that He does not fall in need. He is just, in that no oppression comes from Him, and He is the creator of all. He has no partner, alike, or similar, co-worker, or associate. He is the aim and desired in worship and prayer…
And that Muhammad is His servant, messenger, trusty, and His chosen among His creations. He is the master and leader of the prophets and messengers sent from the Lord. Sealer of the divine prophets…..no other prophet will come after him…..and his religion will not alter, and this which Muhammad ibn Abdullah has brought is all truth…and bear witness to his book, which is truth, valid, and dear. The book which has no room for falsehood…and that this book (Quran), which contains all that which had been revealed earlier, and is truth and valid, and which we believe in it from its start to its finish, from the opening to its closing. And we believe in its verses, and that no other creation was able to produce anything like it (the Quran).
And that the reason behind the caravan of humanity and the guide after him (the Prophet of Islam) for the pious, and the guide and Imam of Muslims, and the iterator of Quran, and the knower of its rituals; the brother, successor and the one left in charge (by the Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him), the one whose relation to him (the Prophet Muhammad) is as that of Aaron to Moses. And he is Ali ibn Abi Talib, master of the pious (PBUH), the Imam of the virtuous….the best and highest of the successors, the inheritor of knowledge and that which all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah upon the people had acquired. And after him, Hassan and Hussein, both of whom are the masters of the young in Paradise, and afterwards are Ali ibn Hussein Zain al-Abedin, and after him Muhammad ibn Ali, the problem solver of the challenges of knowledge that the Prophets had faced, and then Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, the inheritor of the knowledge of the successors, and then Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kadhim, the restrainer of anger, and then Ali ibn Musa, and after him Muhammad ibn Ali and after him Ali ibn Muhammad, and then Hassan ibn Ali, and finally the standing, the awaiting Hujjat. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all…
….these (men) are all the successors, Imams, and guiders of religion. And the earth will not remain without a successor of God on (residing on it), and that people will not be left without a guide in any period or day…”1, 2
(Reference: ‘Uyoon Akhbar al-Reza’ by Sheikh Saduq (with minor changes))
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 11th of Dhi al-Qa’dah, the birthday of the holder of the knowledge of the Prophets and the manifestation of Allah’s Kindness,
Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH).
1.’Uyoon Akhbar al-Reza, Vol. 2, pg. 121
2.Imam Reza in the continuation of his letter after elaborating about the Imams who will lead after the Great Prophet, explains a part of divine jurisprudence that the Muslim community practices. For more information in this area you can refer to the book Uyoon akhbar al Reza.
3. The above selection has been taken from the Farsi translation of Uyoon Akhbar al Reza by Hamid Reza Mustafid and Ali Akbar Ghafari.