65. A Session of al-Ridha (AS‬‬) with Theologians from Among the Rhetoricians and Various‬‬ Religions about Unity in the presence of al-Ma`mun

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1 - حدثنا أبو محمد جعفر بن علي بن أحمد الفقيه القمي ثم الإيلاقي رضي الله عنه، قال: أخبرنا أبو محمد الحسن بن محمد بن علي بن صدقة القمي، قال: حدثني أبو عمرو محمد بن عمر بن عبد العزيز الأنصاري الكجي، قال: حدثني من سمع الحسن بن محمد النوفلي ثم الهاشمي، يقول: لما قدم علي بن موسى الرضا عليهما السلام، إلى المأمون أمر الفضل بن سهل أن يجمع له أصحاب المقالات مثل الجاثليق و رأس الجالوت ورؤساء الصابئين والهربذ الأكبر وأصحاب زردهشت وقسطاس الرومي والمتكلمين ليسمع كلامه وكلامهم، فجمعهم الفضل بن سهل، ثم أعلم المأمون باجتماعهم، فقال: أدخلهم علي، ففعل، فرحب بهم المأمون، ثم قال لهم: إني إنما جمعتكم لخير، وأحببت أن تناظروا ابن عمي هذا المدني القادم علي، فإذا كان بكره فاغدوا علي ولا يتخلف منكم أحد، فقالوا: السمع والطاعة يا أمير المؤمنين نحن مبكرون إن شاء الله. قال الحسن بن محمد النوفلي: فبينا نحن في حديث لنا عند أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام إذ دخل علينا ياسر الخادم وكان يتولى أمر أبي الحسن عليه السلام فقال: يا سيدي إن أمير المؤمنين يقرئك السلام فيقول: فداك أخوك إنه اجتمع إلي أصحاب المقالات وأهل الأديان والمتكلمون من جميع الملل فرأيك في البكور علينا إن أحببت كلامهم وإن كرهت كلامهم فلا تتجشم وإن أحببت أن نصير إليك خف ذلك علينا، فقال أبو الحسن عليه السلام: أبلغه السلام وقل له: قد علمت ما أردت، وأنا صائر إليك بكرة إن شاء الله. قال الحسن بن محمد النوفلي: فلما مضى ياسر التفت إلينا، ثم قال لي: يا نوفلي أنت عراقي ورقة العراقي غير غليظة فما عندك في جمع ابن عمك علينا أهل الشرك وأصحاب المقالات؟ فقلت: جعلت فداك يريد الامتحان ويحب أن يعرف ما عندك، ولقد بنى على أساس غير وثيق البنيان وبئس والله ما بني، فقال لي: وما بناؤه في هذا الباب؟ قلت: إن أصحاب البدع والكلام خلاف العلماء، وذلك أن العالم لا ينكر غير المنكر، وأصحاب المقالات والمتكلمون وأهل الشرك أصحاب إنكار ومباهتة، وإن احتججت عليهم أن الله واحد قالوا: صحح وحدانيته، وإن قلت: إن محمدا صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم رسول الله قالوا: أثبت رسالته، ثم يباهتون الرجل وهو يبطل عليهم بحجته، ويغالطونه حتى يترك قوله، فاحذرهم جعلت فداك، قال: فتبسم عليه السلام ثم قال: يا نوفلي أتخاف أن يقطعوا علي حجتي؟ قلت: لا والله ما خفت عليك قط وإني لأرجو أن يظفرك الله بهم إن شاء الله، فقال لي: يا نوفلي أتحب أن تعلم متى يندم المأمون، قلت: نعم، قال: إذا سمع احتجاجي على أهل التوراة بتوراتهم وعلى أهل الإنجيل بإنجيلهم وعلى أهل الزبور بزبورهم وعلى الصابئين بعبرانيتهم وعلى الهرابذة بفارسيتهم وعلى أهل الروم بروميتهم وعلى أصحاب المقالات بلغاتهم، فإذا قطعت كل صنف ودحضت حجته وترك مقالته ورجع إلى قولي علم المأمون أن الموضع الذي هو بسبيله ليس هو بمستحق له، فعند ذلك تكون الندامة منه، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم. فلما أصبحنا أتانا الفضل بن سهل فقال له: جعلت فداك ابن عمك ينتظرك، وقد اجتمع القوم فما رأيك في إتيانه، فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: تقدمني فإني صائر إلى ناحيتكم إن شاء الله، ثم توضأ عليه السلام وضوء الصلاة وشرب شربة سويق وسقانا منه، ثم خرج وخرجنا معه حتى دخلنا على المأمون، فإذا المجلس غاص بأهله ومحمد بن جعفر في جماعة الطالبيين والهاشميين، والقواد حضور، فلما دخل الرضا عليه السلام قام المأمون وقام محمد بن جعفر وقام جميع بني هاشم، فما زالوا وقوفا والرضا عليه السلام جالس مع المأمون حتى أمرهم بالجلوس، فلم يزل المأمون مقبلا عليه يحدثه ساعة. ثم التفت إلى جاثليق، فقال: يا جاثليق هذا ابن عمي علي بن موسى - ابن جعفر وهو من ولد فاطمة بنت نبينا، وابن علي بن أبي طالب عليهم السلام فأحب أن تكلمه وتحاجه وتنصفه، فقال الجاثليق، يا أمير المؤمنين كيف أحاج رجلا يحتج علي بكتاب أنا منكره ونبي لا أو من به. فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: يا نصراني فإن احتججت عليك بإنجيلك أتقر به؟! قال الجاثليق: وهل أقدر على دفع ما نطق به الإنجيل؟ نعم والله أقر به على رغم أنفي، فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: سل عما بدا لك وافهم الجواب، قال الجاثليق: ما تقول في نبوة عيسى عليه السلام وكتابه هل تنكر منهما شيئا؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: أنا مقر بنبوة عيسى وكتابه وما بشر به أمته وأقر به الحواريون، وكافر بنبوة كل عيسى لم يقر بنبوة محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم و بكتابه ولم يبشر به أمته، قال الجاثليق: أليس إنما تقطع الأحكام بشاهدي عدل؟ قال: بلى، قال: فأقم شاهدين من غير أهل ملتك على نبوة محمد ممن لا تنكره النصرانية وسلنا مثل ذلك من غير أهل ملتنا، قال الرضا عليه السلام: الآن جئت بالنصفة يا نصراني، ألا تقبل مني العدل المقدم عند المسيح عيسى بن مريم، قال الجاثليق: ومن هذا العدل؟ سمه لي، قال: ما تقول في يوحنا الديلمي؟ قال: بخ بخ ذكرت أحب الناس إلى المسيح، قال: فأقسمت عليك هل نطق الإنجيل أن يوحنا قال: إن المسيح أخبرني بدين محمد العربي وبشرني به أنه يكون من بعده فبشرت به الحواريين فآمنوا به؟! قال الجاثليق: قد ذكر ذلك يوحنا عن المسيح وبشر بنبوة رجل وبأهل بيته ووصيه، ولم يلخص متى يكون ذلك ولم يسم لنا القوم فنعرفهم، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فأن جئناك بمن يقرء الإنجيل فتلا عليك ذكر محمد وأهل بيته وأمته أتؤمن به؟! قال: سديدا، قال الرضا عليه السلام لقسطاس الرومي: كيف حفظك للسفر الثالث من الإنجيل؟ قال: ما أحفظني له، ثم التفت إلى رأس الجالوت فقال له: ألست تقرء الإنجيل؟! قال: بلى لعمري قال: فخذ على السفر الثالث، فإن كان فيه ذكر محمد وأهل بيته وأمته سلام الله عليهم فاشهدوا لي وإن لم يكن فيه ذكره فلا تشهدوا لي، ثم قرأ عليه السلام السفر الثالث حتى إذا بلغ ذكر النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وقف، ثم قال: يا نصراني إني أسألك بحق المسيح وأمه أتعلم أني عالم بالإنجيل؟! قال: نعم، ثم تلا علينا ذكر محمد وأهل بيته وأمته، ثم قال: ما تقول يا نصراني هذا قول عيسى بن مريم؟! فإن كذبت ما ينطق به الإنجيل فقد كذبت عيسى و موسى عليهما السلام، ومتى أنكرت هذا الذكر وجب عليك القتل لأنك تكون قد كفرت بربك ونبيك وبكتابك، قال الجاثليق: لا أنكر ما قد بان لي في الإنجيل وإني لمقر به، قال الرضا عليه السلام: اشهدوا على إقراره. ثم قال: يا جاثليق سل عما بدا لك، قال الجاثليق: أخبرني عن حواري عيسى بن مريم كم كان عدتهم؟ وعن علماء الإنجيل كم كانوا؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: على الخبير سقطت، أما الحواريون فكانوا اثني عشر رجلا، وكان أفضلهم وأعلمهم ألوقا وأما علماء النصارى فكانوا ثلاثة رجال: يوحنا الأكبر بأج، ويوحنا بقرقيسيا، ويوحنا الديلمي بزجان وعنده كان ذكر النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وذكر أهل بيته وأمته وهو الذي بشر أمة عيسى وبني إسرائيل به. ثم قال عليه السلام: يا نصراني والله إنا لنؤمن بعيسى الذي آمن بمحمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وما ننقم على عيسا كم شيئا إلا ضعفه وقلة صيامه وصلاته، قال الجاثليق: أفسدت والله علمك وضعفت أمرك، وما كنت ظننت إلا أنك أعلم أهل الإسلام، قال الرضا عليه السلام: وكيف ذلك؟! قال الجاثليق: من قولك: إن عيسا كم كان ضعيفا قليل الصيام قليل الصلاة، وما أفطر عيسى يوما قط ولا نام بليل قط. وما زال صائم الدهر، قائم الليل، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فلمن كان يصوم ويصلي؟! قال: فخرس الجاثليق وانقطع. قال الرضا عليه السلام: يا نصراني إني أسألك عن مسألة، قال: سل فإن كل عندي علمها أجبتك، قال الرضا عليه السلام: ما أنكرت أن عيسى كان يحيى الموتى بإذن الله عز وجل، قال الجاثليق: أنكرت ذلك من قبل أن من أحيى الموتى وأبرأ الأكمه والأبرص فهو رب مستحق لأن يعبد قال الرضا عليه السلام: فإن اليسع قد صنع مثل ما صنع عيسى مشى على الماء وأحيى الموتى وأبرأ الأكمه والأبرص فلم يتخذه أمته ربا ولم يعبده أحد من دون الله عز وجل، ولقد صنع حزقيل النبي عليه السلام مثل ما صنع عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام فأحيا خمسة وثلاثين ألف رجل من بعد موتهم بستين سنة، ثم التفت إلى رأس الجالوت فقال له: يا رأس الجالوت أتجد هؤلاء في شباب بني إسرائيل في التوراة؟! اختارهم بخت نصر من سبي بني إسرائيل حين غزا بيت المقدس ثم انصرف بهم إلى بابل فأرسله الله عز وجل إليهم فأحياهم هذا في التوراة لا يدفعه إلا كافر منكم قال رأس الجالوت: قد سمعنا به و عرفناه، قال: صدقت، ثم قال عليه السلام: يا يهودي خذ على هذا السفر من التوراة فتلا عليه السلام علينا من التوراة آيات، فأقبل اليهودي يترجح لقراءته ويتعجب ثم أقبل على النصراني فقال: يا نصراني أفهؤلاء كانوا قبل عيسى أم عيسى كان قبلهم؟! قال: بل كانوا قبله، قال الرضا عليه السلام: لقد اجتمعت قريش إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله فسألوه أن يحيي لهم موتاهم، فوجه معهم علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام فقال له: اذهب إلى الجبانة فناد بأسماء هؤلاء الرهط الذين يسألون عنهم بأعلى صوتك يا فلان و يا فلان ويا فلان يقول لكم محمد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: قوموا بإذن الله عز وجل، فقاموا ينفضون التراب عن رؤوسهم، فأقبلت قريش تسألهم عن أمورهم، ثم أخبروهم أن محمد قد بعث نبيا، وقالوا: وددنا أنا أدركناه فنؤمن به ولقد أبرأ الأكمه و الأبرص والمجانين وكلمه البهائم والطير والجن والشياطين ولم نتخذه ربا من دون الله عز وجل، ولم ننكر لأحد من هؤلاء فضلهم، فمتى اتخذتم عيسى ربا جاز لكم أن تتخذوا اليسع وحزقيل ربا لأنهما قد صنعا مثل ما صنع عيسى من إحياء الموتى، وغيره أن قوما من بني إسرائيل هربوا من بلادهم من الطاعون وهم ألوف حذر الموت فأماتهم الله في ساعة واحدة، فعمد أهل تلك القرية فحظروا عليهم حظيرة فلم يزالوا فيها حتى نخرت عظامهم وصاروا رميما، فمر بهم نبي من أنبياء بني إسرائيل فتعجب منهم ومن كثرة العظام البالية، فأوحى الله إليه أتحب أن أحييهم لك فتنذرهم؟ قال: نعم يا رب، فأوحى الله عز وجل إليه أن نادهم، فقال: أيتها العظام البالية قومي بإذن الله عز وجل فقاموا أحياء أجمعون ينفضون التراب عن رؤوسهم . ثم إبراهيم عليه السلام خليل الرحمن حين أخذ الطيور وقطعهن قطعا ثم وضع على كل جبل منهن جزءا ثم ناديهن فأقبلن سعيا إليه، ثم موسى بن عمران وأصحابه والسبعون الذين اختارهم صاروا معه إلى الجبل فقالوا له: إنك قد رأيت الله سبحانه فأرناه كما رأيته، فقال لهم: إني لم أره، فقالوا: لن نؤمن لك حتى نرى الله جهرة، فأخذتهم الصاعقة فاحترقوا عن آخرهم وبقي موسى وحيدا، فقال: يا رب اخترت سبعين رجلا من بني إسرائيل فجئت بهم وأرجع وحدي، فكيف يصدقني قومي بما أخبرهم به، فلو شئت أهلكتهم من قبل وإياي أفتهلكنا بما فعل السفهاء منا، فأحياهم الله عز وجل من بعد موتهم، وكل شئ ذكرته لك من هذا لا تقدر على دفعه لأن التوراة والإنجيل والزبور والفرقان قد نطقت به، فإن كان كل من أحيى الموتى وأبرأ الأكمه والأبرص والمجانين يتخذ ربا من دون الله فاتخذ هؤلاء كلهم أربابا، ما تقول يا نصراني؟! قال الجاثليق: القول قولك ولا إله إلا الله. ثم التفت عليه السلام إلى رأس الجالوت فقال: يا يهودي أقبل علي أسألك بالعشر الآيات التي أنزلت على موسى بن عمران عليه السلام هل تجد في التوراة مكتوبا نبأ محمد وأمته: إذا جاءت الأمة الأخيرة أتباع راكب البعير يسبحون الرب جدا جدا تسبيحا جديدا في الكنائس الجدد، فليفرغ بنوا إسرائيل إليهم وإلى ملكهم لتطمئن قلوبهم، فإن بأيديهم سيوفا ينتقمون بها من الأمم الكافرة في أقطار الأرض، هكذا هو في التوراة مكتوب؟! قال رأس الجالوت: نعم إنا لنجده كذلك، ثم قال: للجاثليق: يا نصراني كيف علمك بكتاب شعيا؟ قال: أعرفه حرفا حرفا، قال الرضا عليه السلام لهما: أتعرفان هذا من كلامه: (يا قوم إني رأيت صورة راكب الحمار لابسا جلابيب النور، ورأيت راكب البعير ضوؤه مثل ضوء القمر)؟ فقالا: قد قال ذلك شعيا، قال الرضا عليه السلام: يا نصراني هل تعرف في الإنجيل قول عيسى: إني ذاهب إلى ربي وربكم والفارقليطا جاء هو الذي يشهد لي بالحق كما شهدت له، وهو الذي يفسر لكم كل شئ، وهو الذي يبدي فضائح الأمم، وهو الذي يكسر عمود الكفر؟ فقال الجاثليق: ما ذكرت شيئا مما في الإنجيل إلا ونحن مقرون به، فقال: أتجد هذا في الإنجيل ثابتا يا جاثليق؟! قال: نعم. قال الرضا عليه السلام: يا جاثليق ألا تخبرني عن الإنجيل الأول حين افتقدتموه عند من وجدتموه ومن وضع لكم هذا الإنجيل؟ قال له: ما افتقدنا الإنجيل إلا يوما واحدا حتى وجدنا غضا طريا فأخرجه إلينا يوحنا ومتى، فقال الرضا عليه السلام: ما أقل معرفتك بسر الإنجيل وعلمائه، فإن كان كما تزعم فلم اختلفتم في الإنجيل إنما وقع الاختلاف في هذا الإنجيل الذي في أيديكم اليوم فلو كان على العهد الأول لم تختلفوا فيه، ولكني مفيدك علم ذلك، اعلم أنه لما افتقد الإنجيل الأول اجتمعت النصارى إلى علمائهم فقالوا لهم: قتل عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام وافتقدنا الإنجيل وأنتم العلماء فما عندكم؟ فقال لهم ألوقا ومر قابوس: إن الإنجيل في صدورنا، ونحن نخرجه إليكم سفرا سفرا في كل أحد، فلا تحزنوا عليه ولا تخلوا الكنائس، فإنا سنتلوه عليكم في كل أحد سفرا سفرا حتى نجمعه لكم كله، فقعد ألوقا ومر قابوس ويوحنا ومتى ووضعوا لهم هذا الإنجيل بعد ما افتقدتم الإنجيل الأول، وإنما كان هؤلاء الأربعة تلاميذ التلاميذ الأولين، أعلمت ذلك؟ قال الجاثليق: أما هذا فلم أعلمه وقد علمته الآن، وقد بان لي من فضل علمك بالإنجيل وسمعت أشياء مما علمته شهد قلبي أنها حق فاستزدت كثيرا من الفهم. فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: فكيف شهادة هؤلاء عندك؟ قال: جائزة، هؤلاء علماء الإنجيل وكل ما شهدوا به فهو حق، فقال الرضا عليه السلام للمأمون ومن حضره من أهل بيته ومن غيرهم: اشهدوا عليه، قالوا: قد شهدنا، ثم قال للجاثليق: بحق الابن وأمه هل تعلم أن متى قال: (إن المسيح هو ابن داود بن إبراهيم بن إسحاق بن يعقوب بن يهودا بن حضرون )، وقال مرقابوس في نسبة عيسى بن - مريم: (إنه كلمة الله أحلها في جسد الآدمي فصارت إنسانا)، وقال ألوقا: (إن عيسى ابن مريم وأمه كانا إنسانين من لحم ودم فدخل فيهما روح القدس)؟ ثم إنك تقول من شهادة عيسى على نفسه: حقا أقول لكم يا معشر الحواريين: إنه لا يصعد إلى السماء إلا ما نزل منها إلا راكب البعير خاتم الأنبياء فإنه يصعد إلى السماء وينزل، فما تقول في هذا القول؟ قال الجاثليق: هذا قول عيسى لا ننكره قال الرضا عليهما السلام،: فما تقول في شهادة ألوقا ومر قابوس ومتى على عيسى وما نسبوه إليه؟ قال الجاثليق: كذبوا على عيسى، قال الرضا عليه السلام: يا قوم أليس قد زكاهم وشهد أنهم علماء الإنجيل وقولهم حق؟! فقال الجاثليق: يا عالم المسلمين أحب أن تعفيني من أمر هؤلاء، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فإنا قد فعلنا، سل يا نصراني عما بدا لك، قال الجاثليق: ليسألك غيري، فلا وحق المسيح ما ظننت أن في علماء المسلمين مثلك. فالتفت الرضا عليه السلام إلى رأس الجالوت فقال له: تسألني أو أسألك؟ قال: بل أسألك، ولست أقبل منك حجة إلا من التوراة أو من الإنجيل أو من زبور داود أو مما في صحف إبراهيم وموسى فقال الرضا عليه السلام:: تقبل مني حجة إلا بما تنطق به التوراة على لسان موسى بن عمران والإنجيل على لسان عيسى بن مريم و الزبور على لسان داود، فقال رأس الجالوت: من أين تثبت نبوة محمد؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: شهد بنبوته صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم موسى بن عمران وعيسى بن مريم وداود خليفة الله عز وجل في الأرض، فقال له: أثبت قول موسى بن عمران، قال الرضا عليه السلام: هل تعلم يا يهودي أن موسى أوصى بني إسرائيل فقال لهم: إنه سيأتيكم نبي هو من إخوتكم فبه فصدقوا، ومنه فاسمعوا، فهل تعلم أن لبني إسرائيل إخوة غير ولد إسماعيل إن كنت تعرف قرابه إسرائيل من إسماعيل والنسب الذي بينهما من قبل إبراهيم عليه السلام؟ فقال رأس الجالوت: هذا قول موسى لا ندفعه، فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: هل جاءكم من إخوة بني إسرائيل نبي غير محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم؟! قال: لا، قال الرضا عليه السلام: أوليس قد صح هذا عندكم؟! قال: نعم، ولكني أحب أن تصححه لي من التوراة، فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: هل تنكر أن التوراة تقول لكم: جاء النور من جبل طور سيناء، وأضاء لنا من جبل ساعير واستعلن علينا من جبل فاران؟ قال رأس الجالوت: أعرف هذه الكلمات وما أعرف تفسيرها، قال الرضا عليه السلام: أنا أخبرك به، أما قوله: جاء النور من جبل طور سيناء فذلك وحي الله تبارك وتعالى الذي أنزله على موسى عليه السلام على جبل طور سيناء، وأما قوله: وأضاء لنا من جبل ساعير فهو الجبل الذي أوحى الله عز وجل إلى عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام وهو عليه، و أما قوله: واستعلن علينا من جبل فاران فذلك جبل من جبال مكة بينه وبينها يوم، وقال شعيا النبي عليه السلام فيما تقول أنت وأصحابك في التوراة : رأيت راكبين أضاء لهما الأرض، أحدهما راكب على حمار والآخر على جمل، فمن راكب الحمار ومن راكب الجمل؟! قال رأس الجالوت: لا أعرفهما فخبرني بهما، قال عليه السلام: أما راكب الحمار فعيسى بن مريم، وأما راكب الجمل فمحمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، أتنكر هذا من التوراة؟! قال: لا ما أنكره، ثم قال الرضا عليه السلام: هل تعرف حيقوق النبي قال: نعم إني به لعارف، قال عليه السلام: فإنه قال وكتابكم ينطق به: جاء الله بالبيان من جبل فاران، وامتلئت السماوات من تسبيح أحمد وأمته، يحمل خيله في البحر كما يحمل في البر، يأتينا بكتاب جديد بعد خراب بيت المقدس - يعني بالكتاب القرآن - أتعرف هذا وتؤمن به؟ قال رأس الجالوت: قد قال ذلك حيقوق عليه السلام ولا ننكر قوله، قال الرضا عليه السلام: وقد قال داود في زبوره وأنت تقرء: اللهم ابعث مقيم السنة بعد الفترة، فهل تعرف نبيا أقام السنة بعد الفترة غير محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم؟! قال رأس الجالوت: هذا قول داود نعرفه ولا ننكره، ولكن عني بذلك عيسى، و أيامه هي الفترة، قال الرضا عليه السلام: جهلت، إن عيسى لم يخالف السنة وقد كان موافقا لسنة التوراة حتى رفعه الله إليه، وفي الإنجيل مكتوب: إن ابن البرة ذاهب والفارقليطا جاء من بعده وهو الذي يخفف الآصار، ويفسر لكم كل شئ، ويشهد لي كما شهدت له، أنا جئتكم بالأمثال، وهو يأتيكم بالتأويل، (هامش صفحة 428) فيما اليوم بأيدي الناس أشعيا بألف في أوله، وقد مر احتمالان في التوراة في قصة حزقيل. فيما اليوم بأيدي الناس (حبقوق) بالباء الموحدة بعد الحاء. في البحار والعيون وفي نسخة (ه) (البارقلطا) بالباء الموحدة مكان الفاء. أتؤمن بهذا في الإنجيل؟! قال نعم لا أنكره. فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: يا رأس الجالوت أسألك عن نبيك موسى بن عمران، فقال: سل، قال: ما الحجة على أن موسى ثبتت نبوته؟ قال اليهودي أنه جاء بما لم يجئ به أحد من الأنبياء قبله، قال له: مثل ماذا؟ قال مثل فلق البحر، وقلبه العصا حية تسعى، وضربة الحجر فانفجرت منه العيون، وإخراجه يده بيضاء للناظرين وعلامات لا يقدر الخلق على مثلها، قال له الرضا عليه السلام: صدقت، إذا كانت حجته على نبوته أنه جاء بما لا يقدر الخلق على مثله أفليس كل من ادعى أنه نبي ثم جاء بما لا يقدر الخلق على مثله وجب عليكم تصديقه؟ قال لا لأن موسى لم يكن له نظير لمكانه من ربه وقربه منه، ولا يجب علينا الاقرار بنبوة من ادعاها حتى يأتي من الأعلام بمثل ما جاء به، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فكيف أقررتم بالأنبياء الذين كانوا قبل موسى عليه السلام ولم يفلقوا البحر ولم يفجروا من الحجر اثنتي عشر عينا ولم يخرجوا أيديهم بيضاء مثل إخراج موسى يده بيضاء ولم يقلبوا العصا حية تسعى؟! قال له اليهودي: قد خبرتك أنه متى جاؤوا على دعوى نبوتهم من الآيات بما لا يقدر الخلق على مثله ولو جاؤوا بما لم يجئ به موسى أو كان على غير ما جاء به موسى وجب تصديقهم قال الرضا عليه السلام: يا رأس الجالوت فما يمنعك من الاقرار بعيسى بن مريم وقد كان يحيي الموتى ويبرئ الأكمه والأبرص و يخلق من الطين كهيئة الطير ثم ينفخ فيه فيكون طيرا بإذن الله؟ قال رأس الجالوت: يقال: إنه فعل ذلك ولم نشهده، قال له الرضا عليه السلام: أرأيت ما جاء به موسى من الآيات شاهدته؟! أليس أنما جاء في الأخبار به من ثقات أصحاب موسى أنه فعل ذلك؟! قال: بلى، قال: فكذلك أتتكم الأخبار المتواترة بما فعل عيسى بن مريم فكيف صدقتم بموسى ولم تصدقوا بعيسى؟! فلم يحر جوابا، قال الرضا عليه السلام: و كذلك أمر محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وما جاء به وأمر كل نبي بعثة الله، ومن آياته أنه كان يتيما فقيرا راعيا أجيرا لم يتعلم كتابا ولم يختلف إلى معلم، ثم جاء بالقرآن الذي فيه (هامش صفحة 429) قوله: (وجب تصديقهم) جواب لمتى جاؤوا، و (لوا) وصلية بين الشرط والجزاء. قصص الأنبياء وأخبارهم حرفا حرفا وأخبار من مضى ومن بقي إلى يوم القيامة، ثم كان يخبرهم بأسرارهم وما يعملون في بيوتهم، وجاء بآيات كثيرة لا تحصى، قال رأس الجالوت: لم يصح عندنا خبر عيسى ولا خبر محمد، ولا يجوز لنا أن نقر لهما بما لم يصح، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فالشاهد الذي شهد لعيسى ولمحمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم شاهد زور؟! فلم يحر جوابا. ثم دعا عليه السلام بالهربذ الأكبر فقال له الرضا عليه السلام: أخبرني عن زردهشت الذي تزعم أنه نبي ما حجتك على نبوته: قال: إنه أتى بما لم يأتنا به أحد قبله ولم نشهده ولكن الأخبار من أسلافنا وردت علينا بأنه أحل لنا ما لم يحله غيره فاتبعناه، قال عليه السلام: أفليس إنما أتتكم الأخبار فاتبعتموه؟! قال: بلى، قال: فكذلك سائر الأمم السالفة أتتهم الأخبار بما أتى به النبيون وأتى به موسى وعيسى ومحمد صلوات الله عليهم فما عذركم في ترك الاقرار لهم إذا كنتم إنما أقررتم بزردهشت من قبل الأخبار المتواترة بأنه جاء بما لم يجئ به غيره؟! فانقطع الهربذ مكانه. فقال الرضا عليه السلام: يا قوم إن كان فيكم أحد يخالف الإسلام وأراد أن يسأل فليسأل غير محتشم، فقام إليه عمران الصابئ وكان واحدا في المتكلمين فقال: يا عالم الناس لولا أنك دعوت إلى مسألتك لم أقدم عليك بالمسائل، ولقد دخلت الكوفة والبصرة والشأم والجزيرة ولقيت المتكلمين فلم أقع على أحد يثبت لي واحدا ليس غيره قائما بوحدانيته، أفتأذن لي أن أسألك؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: إن كان في الجماعة عمران الصابئ فأنت هو، فقال: أنا هو، فقال عليه السلام: سل يا عمران وعليك بالنصفة، وإياك والخطل والجور، قال: والله يا سيدي ما أريد إلا أن تثبت لي شيئا أتعلق به فلا أجوزه، قال عليه السلام: سل عما بدا لك، فازدحم عليه الناس و انضم بعضهم إلى بعض، فقال عمران الصابئ: أخبرني عن الكائن الأول وعما خلق، قال عليه السلام: سألت فافهم، أما الواحد فلم يزل واحدا كائنا لا شئ معه بلا حدود ولا أعراض ولا يزال كذلك، ثم خلق خلقا مبتدعا مختلفا بأعراض وحدود (هامش صفحة 430) المراد بالشاهد شعيا وحيقوق وداود الذين مرت شهادتهم. مختلفة لا في شئ أقامه ولا في شئ حده ولا على شئ حذاه ولا مثله له فجعل من بعد ذلك الخلق صفوة وغير صفوة واختلافا وائتلافا وألوانا وذوقا وطعما لا لحاجة كانت منه إلى ذلك ولا لفضل منزلة لم يبلغها إلا به، ولا رأى لنفسه فيما خلق زيادة ولا نقصانا، تعقل هذا يا عمران؟ قال: نعم والله يا سيدي، قال عليه السلام: واعلم يا عمران أنه لو كان خلق ما خلق لحاجة لم يخلق إلا من يستعين به على حاجته ولكان ينبغي أن يخلق أضعاف ما خلق لأن الأعوان كلما كثروا كان صاحبهم أقوى، والحاجة يا عمران لا يسعها لأنه لم يحدث من الخلق شيئا إلا حدثت فيه حاجة أخرى ولذلك أقول: لم يخلق الخلق لحاجة، ولكن نقل بالخلق الحوائج بعضهم إلى بعض وفضل بعضهم على بعض بلا حاجة منه إلى من فضل ولا نقمة منه على من أذل،، فلهذا خلق . قال عمران: يا سيدي هل كان الكائن معلوما في نفسه عند نفسه؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: إنما تكون المعلمة بالشئ لنفي خلافه وليكون الشئ نفسه بما نفى عنه موجودا، ولم يكن هناك شئ يخالفه فتدعوه الحاجة إلى نفي ذلك الشئ عن نفسه بتحديد علم منها أفهمت يا عمران؟ قال: نعم والله يا سيدي، فأخبرني بأي شئ علم ما علم أبضمير أم بغير ذلك؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: أرأيت إذا علم بضمير هل تجد بدا من أن تجعل لذلك الضمير حدا ينتهي إليه المعرفة؟! قال عمران: لا بد من ذلك ، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فما ذلك الضمير؟ فانقطع ولم يحر جوابا، قال الرضا عليه السلام: لا بأس، وإن سألتك عن الضمير نفسه تعرفه بضمير آخر؟! فقال الرضا عليه السلام: أفسدت عليك قولك ودعواك يا عمران، أليس ينبغي أن تعلم أن الواحد ليس يوصف بضمير، وليس يقال له أكثر من فعل وعمل وصنع وليس يتوهم منه مذاهب وتجزئة كمذاهب المخلوقين وتجزئتهم فاعقل ذلك وابن عليه ما علمت صوابا. قال عمران: يا سيدي ألا تخبرني عن حدود خلقه كيف هي وما معانيها و على كم نوع يتكون، قال عليه السلام: قد سألت فافهم، إن حدود خلقه على ستة أنواع ملموس وموزون ومنظور إليه. وما لا وزن له وهو الروح، ومنها منظور إليه و ليس له وزن ولا لمس ولا حس ولا لون ولا ذوق. والتقدير، والأعراض، والصور، والعرض، والطول. ومنها العمل والحركات التي تصنع الأشياء وتعلمها وتغيرها من حال إلى حال وتزيدها وتنقصها، وأما الأعمال والحركات فإنها تنطلق لأنها لا وقت لها أكثر من قدر ما يحتاج إليه، فإذا فرغ من الشئ انطلق بالحركة وبقي الأثر، ويجري مجرى الكلام الذي يذهب ويبقى أثره. قال له عمران: يا سيدي ألا تخبرني عن الخالق إذا كان واحدا لا شئ غيره ولا شئ معه أليس قد تغير بخلقه الخلق؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: لم يتغير عز وجل بخلق الخلق، ولكن الخلق يتغير بتغييره. قال عمران: فبأي شئ عرفناه؟ قال عليه السلام: بغيره، قال: فأي شئ غيره؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: مشيته واسمه وصنفه وما أشبه ذلك، وكل ذلك محدث مخلوق مدبر. قال عمران: يا سيدي فأي شئ هو؟ قال عليه السلام: هو نور، بمعنى أنه هاد لخلقه من أهل السماء وأهل الأرض، وليس لك علي أكثر من توحيدي إياه قال عمران: يا سيدي أليس قد كان ساكتا قبل الخلق لا ينطق ثم نطق؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: لا يكون السكوت إلا عن نطق قبله والمثل في ذلك أنه لا يقال للسراج: هو ساكت لا ينطق، ولا يقال: إن السراح ليضيئ فيما يريد أن يفعل بنا لأن الضوء من السراج ليس بفعل منه ولا كون، وإنما هو ليس شئ غيره، فلما استضاء لنا قلنا: قد أضاء لنا حتى استضأنا به، فبهذا تستبصر أمرك . قال عمران: يا سيدي فإن الذي كان عندي أن الكائن قد تغير في فعله عن حاله بخلقه الخلق، قال الرضا عليه السلام: أحلت يا عمران في قولك: إن الكائن يتغير في وجه من الوجوه حتى يصيب الذات منه ما يغيره، يا عمران هل تجد النار يغيرها تغير نفسها، أو هل تجد الحرارة تحرق نفسها، أو هل رأيت بصيرا قط رأى بصره؟ قال عمران: لم أر هذا. ألا تخبرني يا سيدي أهو في الخلق أم الخلق فيه؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: جل يا عمران عن ذلك، ليس هو في الخلق ولا الخلق فيه، تعالى عن ذلك، وسأعلمك ما تعرفه به ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله، أخبرني عن المرأة أنت فيها أم هي فيك؟! (هامش صفحة 434) لأنه عدم الملكة ولا يصح إلا فيما تصح ملكته، فليس الله ساكتا ولا ناطقا بالمعنى الذي فينا حتى يلزم فيه التغير والتركيب، كما لا يقال للسراج: أنه ساكت حين طفئه ولا أنه ناطق حين أضاءته، وقوله: (ولا يقال إن السراج ليضيئ فيما يريد - الخ) كأنه تمثيل وبيان لقوله: (هو نور) حتى لا يتوهم السامع من تفسيره بالهادي أن النور كون وإحداث وراء ذاته تعالى، بل هو هو وليس شئ غيره على ما صرح به في أحاديث الباب العاشر و ما بعده، كما أن الضوء عين السراج لا أنه كون وإحداث وراء ذاته، وللمجلسي - رحمه الله - في تفسير هذا الكلام غير ذلك. في نسخة (د) (يستقر أمرك). المراد بهذه الأمثلة بيان أن الشئ لا يتغير من قبل نفسه ولا من قبل فعله، بل إنما يتغير بتأثير غيره، فإذا امتنع تأثير الغير فيه امتنع تغيره. فإن كان ليس واحد منكما في صاحبه فبأي شئ استدللت بها على نفسك؟! قال عمران: بضوء بيني وبينها، فقال الرضا عليه السلام: هل ترى من ذلك الضوء في المرآة أكثر مما تراه في عينك؟ قال: نعم، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فأرناه، فلم يحر جوابا، قال الرضا عليه السلام: فلا أرى النور إلا وقد دلك ودل المرآة على أنفسكما من غير أن يكون في واحد منكما، ولهذا أمثال كثيرة غير هذا لا يجد الجاهل فيها مقالا، ولله المثل الأعلى. ثم التفت عليه السلام إلى المأمون فقال: الصلاة قد حضرت، فقال عمران: يا سيدي لا تقطع علي مسألتي فقد رق قلبي، قال الرضا عليه السلام: نصلي ونعود، فنهض ونهض المأمون: فصلى الرضا عليه السلام داخلا، وصلى الناس خارجا خلف محمد ابن جعفر، ثم خرجا، فعاد الرضا عليه السلام إلى مجلسه ودعا بعمران فقال: سل يا عمران، قال: يا سيدي ألا تخبرني عن الله عز وجل هل يوحد بحقيقة أو يوحد بوصف؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: إن الله المبدئ الواحد الكائن الأول لم يزل واحدا لا شئ معه، فردا لا ثاني معه، لا معلوما ولا مجهولا ولا محكما ولا متشابها ولا مذكورا ولا منسيا، ولا شيئا يقع عليه اسم شئ من الأشياء غيره، ولا من وقت كان ولا إلى وقت يكون، ولا بشئ قام، ولا إلى شئ يقوم، ولا إلى شئ استند، ولا في شئ استكن وذلك كله قبل الخلق إذ لا شئ غيره وما أوقعت عليه من الكل فهي صفات محدثة وترجمة يفهم بها من فهم . واعلم أن الابداع والمشية والإرادة معناها واحد وأسماؤها ثلاثة، وكان أول إبداعه وإرادته ومشيته الحروف التي جعلها أصلا لكل شئ ودليلا على كل مدرك وفاصلا لكل مشكل، وتلك الحروف تفريق كل شئ من اسم حق وباطل أو فعل أو مفعول أو معنى أو غير معنى، وعليها اجتمعت الأمور كلها، ولم يجعل للحروف في إبداعه لها معنى غير أنفسها يتناهى ولا جود لأنها مبدعة بالإبداع، و النور في هذا الموضع أول فعل الله الذي هو نور السماوات والأرض، والحروف هي المفعول بذلك الفعل، وهي الحروف التي عليها الكلام والعبارات كلها من الله عز وجل، علمها خلقه، وهي ثلاثة وثلاثون حرفا، فمنها ثمانية وعشرون حرفا تدل على اللغات العربية، ومن الثمانية والعشرين اثنان وعشرون حرفا تدل على اللغات السريانية والعبرانية. ومنها خمسة أحرف متحرفة في سائر اللغات من العجم لأقاليم اللغات كلها، وهي خمسة أحرف تحرفت من الثمانية والعشرين الحرف من اللغات فصارت الحروف ثلاثة وثلاثين حرفا، فأما الخمسة المختلفة فبحجج لا يجوز ذكرها أكثر مما ذكرناه، ثم جعل الحروف بعد إحصائها وإحكام عدتها فعلا منه كقوله عز وجل: (كن فيكون) وكن منه صنع، وما يكون به المصنوع، فالخلق الأول من الله عز وجل الابداع لا وزن له ولا حركة ولا سمع ولا لون ولا حس، والخلق الثاني الحروف لا وزن لها ولا لون، وهي مسموعة موصوفة غير منظور إليها، والخلق الثالث ما كان من الأنواع كلها محسوسا ملموسا ذا ذوق منظورا إليه، والله تبارك وتعالى سابق للإبداع لأنه ليس قبله عز وجل شئ ولا كان معه شئ، والإبداع سابق للحروف، والحروف لا تدل على غير أنفسها قال المأمون: وكيف لا تدل على غير أنفسها؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: لأن الله تبارك و تعالى لا يجمع منها شيئا لغير معنى أبدا، فإذا ألف منها أحرفا أربعة أو خمسه أو ستة أو أكثر من ذلك أو أقل لم يؤلفها لغير معنى ولم يك إلا لمعنى محدث لم يكن قبل ذلك شيئا. قال عمران: فكيف لنا بمعرفة ذلك؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: أما المعرفة فوجه ذلك وبابه أنك تذكر الحروف إذا لم ترد بها غير أنفسها ذكرتها فردا فقلت: ا ب ت ث ج ح خ حتى تأتي على آخرها فلم تجد لها معنى غير أنفسها، فإذا ألفتها وجمعت منها أحرفا وجعلتها اسما وصفة لمعنى ما طلبت ووجه ما عنيت كانت دليلة على معانيها داعية إلى الموصوف بها، أفهمته؟ قال: نعم. قال الرضا عليه السلام: واعلم أنه لا يكون صفة لغير موصوف ولا اسم لغير معنى ولا حد لغير محدود، والصفات والأسماء كلها تدل على الكمال والوجود، ولا تدل على الإحاطة كما تدل على الحدود التي هي التربيع والتثليث والتسديس لأن الله عز وجل وتقدس تدرك معرفته بالصفات والأسماء، ولا تدرك بالتحديد بالطول و العرض والقلة والكثرة واللون والوزن وما أشبه ذلك، وليس يحل بالله جل و تقدس شئ من ذلك حتى يعرفه خلقه بمعرفتهم أنفسهم بالضرورة التي ذكرنا ولكن يدل على الله عز وجل بصفاته ويدرك بأسمائه ويستدل عليه بخلقه حتى لا يحتاج في ذلك الطالب المرتاد إلى رؤية عين ولا استماع أذن ولا لمس كف ولا إحاطة بقلب، فلو كانت صفاته جل ثناؤه لا تدل عليه وأسماؤه لا تدعو إليه والمعلمة من الخلق لا تدركه لمعناه كانت العبادة من الخلق لأسمائه وصفاته دون معناه، فلولا أن ذلك كذلك لكان المعبود الموحد غير الله تعالى لأن صفاته وأسماءه غيره، أفهمت؟ قال: نعم يا سيدي زدني. قال الرضا عليه السلام: إياك وقول الجهال أهل العمى والضلال الذين يزعمون أن الله عز وجل وتقدس موجود في الآخرة للحساب والثواب والعقاب، وليس بموجود في الدنيا للطاعة والرجاء، ولو كان في الوجود لله عز وجل نقص و اهتضام لم يوجد في الآخرة أبدا، ولكن القوم تاهوا وعموا وصموا عن الحق من حيث لا يعلمون، وذلك قوله عز وجل: ﴿ومن كان في هذه أعمى فهو في الآخرة أعمى وأضل سبيلا﴾ يعني أعمى عن الحقائق الموجودة، وقد علم ذووا الألباب أن الاستدلال على ما هناك لا يكون إلا بما ههنا، ومن أخذ علم ذلك برأيه وطلب وجوده وإدراكه عن نفسه دون غيرها لم يزدد من علم ذلك إلا بعدا لأن الله عز وجل جعل علم ذلك خاصة عند قوم يعقلون ويعلمون ويفهمون. قال عمران: يا سيدي ألا تخبرني عن الابداع خلق هو أم غير خلق؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: بل خلق ساكن لا يدرك بالسكون وإنما صار خلقا لأنه شئ محدث، والله الذي أحدثه فصار خلقا له، وإنما هو الله عز وجل وخلقه لا ثالث بينهما ولا ثالث غيرهما، فما خلق الله عز وجل لم يعد أن يكون خلقه، وقد يكون الخلق ساكنا ومتحركا ومختلفا ومؤتلفا ومعلوما ومتشابها، وكل ما وقع عليه حد فهو خلق الله عز وجل. واعلم أن كل ما أوجدتك الحواس فهو معنى مدرك للحواس وكل حاسة تدل على ما جعل الله عز وجل لها في إدراكها، والفهم من القلب بجميع ذلك كله . واعلم أن الواحد الذي هو قائم بغير تقدير ولا تحديد خلق خلقا مقدرا بتحديد وتقدير، وكان الذي خلق خلقين اثنين التقدير والمقدر، فليس في كل واحد منهما لون ولا ذوق ولا وزن فجعل أحدهما يدرك بالآخر، وجعلهما مدركين بأنفسهما، ولم يخلق شيئا فردا قائما بنفسه دون غيره للذي أراد من الدلالة على نفسه وإثبات وجوده والله تبارك وتعالى فرد واحد لا ثاني معه يقيمه ولا يعضده ولا يمسكه والخلق يمسك بعضه بعضا بإذن الله ومشيته، وإنما اختلف الناس في هذا الباب حتى تاهوا وتحيروا وطلبوا الخلاص من الظلمة بالظلمة في وصفهم الله بصفة أنفسهم فازدادوا من الحق بعدا، ولو وصفوا الله عز وجل بصفاته ووصفوا المخلوقين بصفاتهم لقالوا بالفهم واليقين ولما اختلفوا، فلما طلبوا من ذلك ما تحيروا فيه ارتبكوا والله يهدي من يشاء إلى صراط مستقيم. قال عمران: يا سيدي أشهد أنه كما وصفت، ولكن بقيت لي مسألة، قال: سل عما أردت، قال: أسألك عن الحكيم في أي شئ هو، وهل يحيط به شئ، وهل يتحول من شئ إلى شئ، أوبه حاجة إلى شئ؟ قال الرضا عليه السلام: أخبرك يا عمران فاعقل ما سألت عنه فإنه من أغمض ما يرد على المخلوقين في مسائلهم، وليس يفهمه المتفاوت عقله، العازب علمه ولا يعجز عن فهمه أولوا العقل المنصفون، أما أول ذلك فلو كان خلق ما خلق لحاجة منه لجاز لقائل أن يقول: يتحول إلى ما خلق لحاجته إلى ذلك ولكنه عز وجل لم يخلق شيئا لحاجته ولم يزل ثابتا لا في شئ ولا على شئ إلا أن الخلق يمسك بعضه بعضا ويدخل بعضه في بعض ويخرج منه، والله عز وجل وتقدس بقدرته يمسك ذلك كله يدخل في شئ ولا يخرج منه ولا يؤوده حفظه ولا يعجز عن إمساكه، ولا يعرف أحد من الخلق كيف ذلك إلا الله عز وجل ومن أطلعه عليه من رسله وأهل سره والمستحفظين لأمره وخزانه القائمين بشريعته، وإنما أمره كلمح البصر أو هو أقرب إذا شاء شيئا فإنما يقول له: كن، فيكون بمشيته وإرادته، وليس شئ من خلقه أقرب إليه من شئ، ولا شئ منه هو أبعد منه من شئ أفهمت يا عمران؟ قال: نعم يا سيدي قد فهمت وأشهد أن الله على ما وصفته ووحدته، وأن محمدا عبده المبعوث بالهدى ودين الحق، ثم خر ساجدا نحوا القبلة وأسلم. قال الحسن بن محمد النوفلي: فلما نظر المتكلمون إلى كلام عمران الصابئ وكان جدلا لم يقطعه عن حجته أحد قط لم يدن من الرضا عليه السلام أحد منهم ولم يسألوه عن شئ، وأمسينا فنهض المأمون والرضا عليه السلام فدخلا وانصرف الناس، و كنت مع جماعة من أصحابنا إذ بعث إلي محمد بن جعفر فأتيته، فقال لي: يا نوفلي أما رأيت ما جاء به صديقك، لا والله ما ظننت أن علي بن موسى خاض في شئ من هذا قط، ولا عرفناه به أنه كان يتكلم بالمدينة أو يجتمع إلى أصحاب الكلام، قلت، قد كان الحاج يأتونه فيسألونه عن أشياء من حلالهم وحرامهم فيجيبهم، و كلمه من يأتيه لحاجة فقال محمد بن جعفر: يا أبا محمد إني أخاف عليه أن يحسده هذا الرجل فيسمه أو يفعل به بلية، فشر عليه بالإمساك عن هذه الأشياء، قلت: إذا لا يقبل مني وما أراد الرجل إلا امتحانه ليعلم هل عنده شئ من علوم آبائه عليهم السلام فقال لي: قل له: إن عمك قد كره هذا الباب وأحب أن تمسك عن هذه الأشياء لخصال شتى، فلما انقلبت إلى منزل الرضا عليه السلام أخبرته بما كان من عمه محمد بن جعفر فتبسم، ثم قال: حفظ الله عمي ما أعرفني به لم كره ذلك، يا غلام صر إلى عمران الصابئ فأتني به. فقلت: جعلت فداك أنا أعرف موضعه هو عند بعض إخواننا من الشيعة، قال عليه السلام: فلا بأس قربوا إليه دابة، فصرت إلى عمران فأتيته به فرحب به ودعا بكسوة فخلعها عليه وحمله ودعا بعشرة آلاف درهم فوصله بها، فقلت: جعلت فداك حكيت فعل جدك أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام، فقال: هكذا نحب ثم دعا عليه السلام بالعشاء فأجلسني عن يمينه وأجلس عمران عن يساره حتى إذا فرغنا قال لعمران: انصرف مصاحبا وبكر علينا نطعمك طعام المدينة، فكان عمران بعد ذلك يجتمع عليه المتكلمون من أصحاب المقالات فيبطل أمرهم حتى اجتنبوه، ووصله المأمون بعشرة آلاف درهم، وأعطاه الفضل مالا وحمله، و ولاه الرضا عليه السلام صدقات بلخ فأصاب الرغائب. باب ذكر مجلس الرضا عليه السلام مع سليمان المروزي متكلم خراسان عند المأمون في التوحيد


1. Abu Muhammad Ja`far ibn `Ali ibn Ahmad the jurist resident of Qum then of al-Iylaq (RA‬‬ ‫‪said: Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn Sadaqah al-Qummi reported to us‬‬ ‫‪that Abu `Amr Muhammad ibn `Umar ibn `Abd `Aziz al-Ansari al-Kajji related to me that one‬‬ ‫‪who heard from al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Nawfali al-Hashimi related to me that‬‬ When `Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (AS) came to see al-Ma`mun, al-Ma`mun ordered al-Fadl ibn Sahl to summon the prominent theologians from among the rhetoricians such as the Catholicos [al-jathaliq]. The Head of the Rabbis [ra`s al-jalut], the heads of the Sabians, the High Priest [al-hirbidh] of Zoroaster and his followers, Castile Nestus, the Roman medical scientist, and the rest of the theologians in order to hear their words and those of al-Rida (AS). Al-Fadl ibn Sahl gathered them together, then informed al-Ma`mun about their meeting. Al-Ma`mun said: `Let them enter my presence.’ So he did, and then received them with hospitality. He then introduced himself to them saying, `Verily, I have gathered you for something good, and want you to debate with this cousin of mine from medina, who has come tome. Come to me tomorrow morning. None of you should be absent.” They said: “O Commander of the Faithful! We listen and obey you. Allah willing,, we will be here first thing in the morning.” Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Nawfali said: “We were talking to Abu al-Hasan (AS) when Yasir, the servant who was in the charge of serving Abu al-Hasan, entered and told him, O My Master! Verily, the Commander of the Faithful expressed his greetings to you and said: `May you brother be your ransom! Verily, the rhetoricians, scholars from all religions, and theologians from all nations have all gathered together here with me. Would you like to come to us and have a discussion with them? If you do not wish to do so, do not bother yourself. However, if you prefer, we can come visit you. Abu al-Hasan (AS) then said: “Express my greetings to him, and tell him that I understand what you intend. Allah willing, I will come to you myself tomorrow morning.” Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Nawfali said; “When Yasir went out, the Imam (AS) turned to me and said: “O Nawfali! You are an Iraqi, and an Iraqi’s heart is not hard. So, what do you think? What is your cousin’s intention in setting up a meeting between me and the pagans and rhetoricians?” Al-Nawfali says I answered, “May I be yoiur ransom! He intends to test you, and wants to know how much knowledge you possess. Verily, he has based his assumption on shaky grounds. By Allah, what he has set up is evil.” The Imam (AS) asked, “And what has he set up?” Al-nawfali said: The heretics and the theologians are different from the learned. That is because a learned does not deny the undeniable, whereas rhetoricians, theologians, and polytheists are people who deny things and try to prove what is not true. If you argue with them and tell them that God is One, they would say, `Confirm His Oneness.’ And if you say that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, they would say, `Prove his Prophethood.’ May I be your ransom! They confuse you and make you disprove your own proofs. They continue to falsify until you back off. Beware of them! May I be your ransom!” Al-Nawfali added, “The Imam (AS) then smiled, and told me, `O Nawfali! Do you fear that they will defeat my arguments?” Al-Nawfali said: `No, by Allah! I have no worries about you. Allah willing, I hope that Allah will make you victorious over them!’ The Imam (AS) asked again, `O Nawfali! Would you like to know when Al-Ma`mun will regret his actions?” He answered, `Yes.’ The Imam (AS) said: When he hears me argue with the people of the Torah quoting their own Torah, with the people of the Gospel quoting their own Gospel with the people of the Psalms quoting their own Psalms, with the Sabians in their own Hebrew language, with the Zoroastrian priests in their own Persian, with the Romans in their own Latin, and with the rhetoricians using their very own languages. So, if I close the avenues of argument in the face of each arguing party and disprove his claim, making him renounce his statement from its onset and referring to my own statement, then al-Ma`mun will realize that he has not achieved what he aspires to achieve. It is then that he will feel regret. And there is no power and no strength save in Allah, the Most High, the Most Great. On the following day, al-Fadl ibn Sahl went in a hurry to see the Imam (AS) and told him, “May I be your ransom! Your cousin is waiting for you. The people have gathered together. When will you go to him?” Al-Rida (AS) told him, “You go ahead, Allah willing, I will come to you.” Then he made ablutions for praying, drank some sawiq, quenched us from it as well, and then we all left. When we reached al-Ma`mun’s place, the meeting was full of people. Muhammad ibn Ja`far, some of the Talibites and Hashimites, and the Commanders of the Army were among those present. When al-Rida (AS) entered, al-Ma`mun stood up, Muhammad ibn Ja`far, and all the Hashimites who were present there, also stood up for him. The Imam (AS) and alMa`mun sat down while all the people were still standing, until al-Ma`mun ordered them to sit down. Al-Ma`mun talked to the Imam for a while. Then al-Ma`mun turned to the Catholicos and said: “O Catholicos! This is my cousin `Ali ibn Musa ibn Ja`far (AS). He is one of the children of Fatimah (AS), the daughter of our Prophet (SA), and `Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS). I would like you to debate with him, but be fair with him.” The Catholicos said: “O Commander of the Faithful! How can I argue with a man who argues with me using a Book I reject, and who believes in a prophet who I do not believe in? Al-Rida (AS) told him, “O Christian! Will you accept to debate with me if I present proofs from your Gospel?” The Catholicos answered, “How could I reject the words of the Bible? I swear to God that I will accept your arguments, even if I dislike them.” Al-Rida (AS) told him, “Ask whatever you wish, and you shall receive an answer.” The Catholicos said: “what is your opinion about the Prophethood of Jesus and his Book? Do you deny either one of them?” Al-Rida (AS) said: I accept the Prophethood of Jesus. I accept his Book. And I accept what he taught his nation, and what was accepted by his disciples. However, I reject the Prophethood of any Jesus who has not professed the Prophethood of Muhammad, his Book, and what he taught his people. The Catholicos said: “Two witnesses are required to validate a testimony. Is that correct?” The Imam (AS) said: “Yes.” The Catholicos Archbishop said: “if that is the case, I challenge you to select who witnesses who are neither Muslim nor Christina, but who do not reject the Prophethood of Muhammad (SA). Likewise, you may ask a similar question from people other than our own nation.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “O Christian! Now you are speaking fairly. Do you accept a just person who was given preference (over others) by the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary?” The Catholicos replied, “Who is the just one? Name him for me.” The Imam (AS) said: “What is your opinion of John al-Daylami?” The Catholicos responded, “Bravo! Bravo! You have mentioned the person most loved by the Messiah.” The Imam (AS) said: Then I ask you to swear by God, and tell me whether or not the Bible says that John said: `The Messiah has informed me of the religion of Muhammad, the Arab, and has given me the glad tidings about him who will be (a Prophet) after him. Therefore, I have the glad tidings of him to the disciples and they believed in him.’ The Catholicos said: “John did quote this from the Messiah. He did give the glad tidings concerning the coming of a Prophet, his Household, and his Successor. He has not specified when this would happen, and has not named them so that we could identify them.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “If we bring someone here who can recite the Bible, and he recites to you Muhammad’s name, his Household, and his nation, will you believe in him?” The Catholicos replied, “What a sound suggestion!” Al-Rida (AS) turned to Nestus the Roman, and asked hi, “have you memorized the third Book of the Bible?” He answered, “I have thoroughly memorized it.” Then the Imam (AS) addressed the Catholicos and said: “Can you recite the Bible?” The Catholicos said: “Yes, of course.” The Imam said: “Then I will recite to you (some verses from) the third Book. If Muhammad (SA), his Household (AS), and his nation were mentioned in it, then bear witness! And if they have not been mentioned therein, then do not bear witness.” Then the Imam (AS) recited to him some of the verses of the third Book until he reached the reference to the Prophet. He stopped reading and said: “O Christina! I challenge you to swear by the Messiah and his mother. Have you realized that I have knowledge of the Bible?” He replied, “yes.” The Imam (AS) recited to him some verses from the third Book concerning the reference to the Prophet, his Household, and his nation. Then the Imam (AS) said: O Christian! What do you think now? These are the words of Jesus, the son of Mary. If you deny what the Bible says, then you will deny both the Jesus and Moses. If you deny them, then it is incumbent to kill you for blasphemy against your Lord, your Prophet, and your Book. The Catholicos said: “I do not deny the clear things in the Bible. On the contrary, I profess them.” The Imam (AS) asked others who were present, “Bear witness to his profession.” Then the Imam (AS) said to the Catholicos, “O Catholicos! Ask me any other question that you wish to ask.” The Catholicos asked, “What about the disciples of Jesus, the son of Mary? How many were they? And tell me about the scholars of the Bible. How many were then?” Al-Rida (AS) said: You have found the expert! As for (the number of) the disciples, they were twelve men. The best and the most learned of them was Aluqas (Luke). As for the (number of) Christian scholars, there were three men: John (Yohanna), `the great’ at Aj, John at Qirqisiya, and john al-Daylami at Zijan, who made reference to Prophet Muhammad, his Household and his nation. It is he who gave glad tidings to the nation of Jesus and the Children of Israel about him. The Imam (AS) added, “O Christian! By Allah, we believe in Jesus, who believed in Muhammad. We have nothing against Jesus except for his weakness and the paucity of his fasting and prayer. The Catholicos replied, “By Allah, you have corrupted your knowledge! You affair has become weak! I though that you were the most learned of the Muslims!” Al-Rida (AS) asked, “Why?” The Catholicos said: “You said that Jesus was weak in fasting and prayer when, in fact, he never broke fasting during the day, and never slept during the night. He always fasted during the day, and he always prayed throughout the night.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “For whom did he fast and pray?” The Catholicos did no answer, not knowing what to say. Al-Rida (AS) said: “I want to ask you a question.” The Catholicos said: “Ask. I will respond if I have the answer.” Al-Rida (AS) asked, “Why do you deny that Jesus gave life to the dead with the permission of Allah, the Mighty and High?” The Catholicos said: “I deny that because whoever is able to give life to the dead, and to heal the blind and the leprous is a Lord worthy of service.” Al-Rida (AS) said: Very well. However, Elijah [al-Yasa’] performed the same miracles as Jesus did. He walked on water, gave life to the dead, and healed the blind and the leprous Why did his nation not adopt him as a Lord? Why did no anyone worship him as a god other than Allah? The Prophet Ezekiel [Hizqil] did just what Jesus did. He gave life to thirty-five men sixty years after their death. Then the Imam (AS) turned towards the Head of the Rabbis and asked him, O Head of the Rabbis! Do you find the following about some of the youth of the Children of Israel in the Torah? When Nebuchadnezzar [Bakht Nasr] invaded Jerusalem, he enslaved the Children of Israel and brought them to Babylonia. Then Allah, the Mighty and High, sent al-Yasa` from them, and he gave life to them. This is in the Torah. No one but an unbeliever of you would deny it. The Head of the Rabbis said: “I have heard about this and know it.” The Imam (AS) said: “You have spoken the truth.” Then the Imam (AS) said: “O Jewish man! See if I read from the following Book of the Torah properly.” The Imam (AS) then recited some of the verses from the Torah for us. The Jewish man, who was surprised at hearing how the Imam (AS) was reciting the Torah, kept moving his body. He then faced the Christian and asked, “O Christian! Were these words revealed before Jesus or were they revealed after him?” The Catholicos answe3red, “They were revealed before him.” Al-Rida (AS) said: The people of Quraysh gathered around the Messenger of Allah (SA) and asked him to give life to their dead. He sent along `Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) with them and told him, “go to the cemetery, and loudly call the people about whom they have asked, say, “O soand-so, so-and-so, etc.” Tell them, “Allah’s Messenger Muhammad says, `Rise with the permission of Allah, the Mighty and High’ Then they all rose and brushed off the dust from their heads.” The people from the tribe of Quraysh walked towards them and asked them about their affairs. They told them that Muhammad (SA) has been raised as a Prophet. The people who had risen from the dead said: “We wish we had lived in his age and believed in him!” He healed the blind, the leprous, and the insane. He spoke with the beasts, the birds, the jinn, and demons. Still, we do not adopt him as a Lord other than Allah, the Mighty and High. We do not deny the miracles of the prophets. Since you have adopted Jesus as a Lord, why do you not adopt al-Yasa` and Hizqil as lords, for they performed the same miracles as did Jesus, the son of Mary, such as giving life to the dead? Moreover, thousands of the Children of Israel left their homeland in fear of death due to the plague. Allah made them die immediately. The people of the village build a fence around them, and left them there until their bones decayed. One of the prophets of the Children of Israel passed by, and he was amazed when he saw so may decayed bones. Allah, the Mighty and high, revealed to him, “Would you like Me to bring them to life so that you can admonish them?” The Prophet said: “Yes, O Lord!” Then Allah, the Mighty and High, revealed to him, “Then call them.” He said: “O decayed bones! Rise with Allah’s permission.” They all rose while brushing off the dust from their heads.” Likewise when Abraham (AS), the friend of the Most Compassionate, took the birds, cut them into pieces, and put each piece on a mountain top. He called out to them and they came towards him. Also Moses (AS) the son of `Imran, his companions, and seventy of the men whom he had chosen went to the mountain. They told Moses, “You have seen Allah. So show Him to us like you have seen Him.” Moses told them, “I have not seen Him.” But they said: “We shall never believe in you until we see Allah manifestly.” A thunderbolt struck them, and burned them all up. Only Moses survived. Moses said: `O my Lord! I chose seventy men from among the Children of Israel and brought them to the mountain. Shall I return by myself? How shall my people believe what I must tell them? If You desired You could have destroyed al of us long before. Would you destroy us all for the deeds of the foolish ones among us?’ Then Allah, the Mighty and High, gave life to them after their death. You cannot deny all these things which I have told you, for the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms and the Qur’an have mentioned them. If all those who gave life to the dead, healed the blind, the leprous and the mad, were adopted as lords other than Allah, then you should also adopt them as Lords. O Christians! What is your opinion? The Catholicos said: “Yes. You are right. There is no god but Allah.” Then the Imam (AS) turned towards the Head of Rabbis and told him. O Jewish man! Turn to me. Swear to me by the Ten Commandments which were sent down to Moses, the son of `Imran, that the following statement about the Prophet Muhammad (SA) and his nation is not found in the Torah: When the people of the last nation, who are followers of the Rider of the Camel, who glorifies the Lord enormously, new glorification in new churches (implying mosques), then let the Children of Israel flee towards them and their dominion so that their hearts may be tranquil, since there will be swords in their hands with which they will take revenge on the unbelievers around the globe. Is this not written in the Torah? The Head of the Rabbis said; “Yes, we have found that written in this manner.” Then the Imam (AS) asked the Catholicos, “O Christian! How is your knowledge of the Book of Sha`ya? He answered, “I know it letter by letter.” Then the Imam asked them both, “Do you know that the following statement is made by him, `O people! I have seen the picture of the Donkey. He was wearing gowns of light. And I have seen the Rider of the Camel, who is as bright as the moon.’” They answered, “Verily, Sha`1ya did say that!” Al-Rida (AS) said: O Christian! Do you know that Jesus said: `I am going to my Lord and your Lord, and the Paraclete [farqilita] is coming who shall testify to my truth just as I testified for him, and he shall explain everything to you, and he shall be the one to expose all the sins of nations, and he shall be the one to smash down the pillars of unbelief?’ The Catholicos said: “We accept whatever you cite from the Bible.” The Imam said: “O Catholicos! Have you found this in the Bible?” The Catholicos said: “Yes.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “O Catholicos, when you lost the first Bible, with whom did you find it?” The Catholicos said: “We only lost the Bible for one day. Then we found it fresh (in its original state). John and Matthew brought it back to us.” Al-Rida (AS) asked him, How little you know of the Bible and its scholars! If what you say is correct, then why do you have so many disputes between yourselves regarding the Bible? The source of controversy lies in the Bible which you have in your hands today. Had it been the same as the fist Bible, there would be no dispute over it, However, I will prove this for you myself. Know that when the first Bible was lost, the Christians gathered around their scholars and said to them, `Jesus the son of Mary has been killed, and we have lost the Bible. You are the scholars. What do you have?’ Luke, Mark and John told them, `We have memorized the Bible. Do not worry about it. Do not forsake the churches. We will recite each Gospel of the Bible for you on each Sunday until we put it all together.’ Then Luke, Mark, John and Matthew gathered together and put together this Bible after you had lost the first one. These four students were of the first students. Did you know that?” The Catholicos said: “I did not know this before. Now I have learned it from you due to your noble knowledge of the Bible. I heard things from you which I knew deep down, and which my heart acknowledges to be the truth. As a result, I have grown in understanding.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Do you accept the evidence I have presented?” The Catholicos said: “I completely accept the evidence as correct, and bear witness that it is true.” Al-Rida (AS) then told al-Ma’mun, his family, and the others who were present, “Be witnesses to this.” They said: “We bear witness.” Then the Imam (AS) told the Catholicos, I swear by the Son and his Mother to tell us whether you know that Matthew said the following, `The Messiah is the son of David, the son of Abraham, the son of Issac, the son of Jacob, the son of Yehuda, the son of Khadrun.’ Mark said the following regarding the lineage of Jesus, the son of Mary, `He is Allah’s Word placed in the human body. So it turned into the human form.’ Moreover, Luke said: `Jesus the son of Mary and his mother wee humans made of flesh and blood. Then the Holy Sprit entered into them.’ Testify as well that Jesus said the following about himself, `O disciples! I will tell you the truth. No one will ascend to Heaven, except for him who descends there from, except for the Rider of the Camel, the Seal of the Prophets, for he will ascend to the Heavens, and then will descend therefrom. What do you have to say about that? The Catholicos said; “These are the words of Jesus. We do not deny them.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “If so, what do you say about the testimonies of Luke, Mark and Matthew regarding Jesus and the lineage they attributed to him?” The Catholicos said: “They ascribed likes to Jesus.” Al-Rida (A) said: “O people! Did he not just bear witness that they (Luke, Mark and Matthew) are the Scholars of the Bible, and what they said was the truth?” The Catholicos said: “O Scholar of the Muslims! I would like you to excuse me from discussing about these men.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Fine, I will excuse you from that, O Christian! Ask me whatever you wish to ask.” The Catholicos said: “Let someone else ask you questions. By Jesus, I did not think that there was a scholar like you among the Muslims.” Al-Rida (AS) turned towards the Head of the Rabbis and said: “Will you ask me questions or should I ask?” The Head of the Rabbis said: “I will ask. However, I will not accept any proofs from you except those form the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms of David, or the Scriptures of Abraham and Moses.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Do not accept any of my proofs unless they are from the Torah as expressed by Moses, the son of `Imran, the Bible as expressed by Jesus, the son of Mary, or the Psalms of David as expressed by David.” The Head of the Rabbis said: “How can you prove the Prophethood of Muhammad (SA)?” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Moses, the son of `Imran, Jesus, the son of Mary and David, the Vicegerent of Allah on the Earth, have testified to his Prophethood.” The Head of the Rabbis said: “Provide evidence of the testimony of Moses, the son of `Imran.” Al-Rida (AS) told him, O Jewish man! Do you know that Moses said the following to the Children of Israel, `A prophet will come to you fro among your brethren. Believe in him, and obey him.’ Do you know that the Children of Israel have no brethren other than the Children of Ishamel? Do you know about the ties of kinship between Israel and Ishmael and the relationship that existed between them from the past through Abraham? The Head of the Rabbis said: “These are the words of Moses. I do not deny them.” Al-Rida (AS) asked him, “Has any Prophet other than Muhammad (SA) come from among the brethren of the Children of Israel?” He replied, “No.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Is this not correct in your opinion?” The Head of the Rabbis said: “Yes, but I want you to prove its correctness from the Torah.” Al-Rida (AS) asked him, “Do you deny that the Toray says the following to you? `There came light from Mount Sinai. Light shined upon us from Mount Sa`ir and it became apparent to us from Mount Faran.’” The Head of the Rabbis said: “I am familiar with these words, but I do not know what they mean.” Al-Rida (AS) said: I will inform you about them. What is meant when it says `There came light from Mount Sinai` is a reference to the revelations of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, to Moses on mount Sinai. And what is meant when it says, `Light shined upon us from Mount Sa`ir’ is a reference to the mountain upon which Allah, the Mighty and High, sent revelations of Jesus, the son of Mary. Jesus was on that mountain. And what is meant when it says, `and it became apparent to us from Mount Faran.’ Faran is a mountain that is one day away from Mecca. As you and your friends said: the Prophet Sha`ya has said in the Torah that `I have seen the picture of the Rider of the Donkey. He was wearing gowns of light. And I have seen the Rider of the Camel, who is as bright as the moon.’ Who is the Rider of the Donkey? Who is the Rider of the Camel? The Head of the Rabbis said: “I do not know who they are.” The Imam (AS) said: “The Rider of the Donkey is Jesus, and the Rider of the Camel is Muhammad (SA). Do you deny that this is from the Torah?” The Head of the Rabbis said: “No, I do not deny that.” Then al-Rida (AS) said: “Do you know the Prophet Hayqua?” The Head of the Rabbis said: “Yes, I know him.” The Imam (AS) said: He said the following which your Book has also stated, `Allah brought down the Bayan from Mount Faran. The heavens are filled with the praise of Ahmad and his nation. He will lead his troops at sea just as he carries them on land. He will bring us a new Book after the destruction of the Holy House (in Jerusalem).’ Did you know the, and do you believe in it? The Head of the Rabbis said: “In fact, the Prophet Hayquq has said this. I will not deny his words. Al-Rida (AS) said: David said in his Psalms which you have also read, `O my Allah! Appoint him who will establish the practice after the cessation (of the prophets). Did you know of any prophet other than Muhammad (SA) who has established the practice after the end of the period of prophecy? The Head of the Rabbis said: “this is what David said. We do not deny it. However, he was referring to Jesus, as it was with him that the age of prophecy came to a close.” Al-Rida (AS) told him, You are wrong. In fact, Jesus endorsed the practices [sunah] of the Torah until Allah raised him up to Himself. It is written in the Bible. The son of the pious woman will go, and the Paraclete will come after him. It is he who will preserve the bonds, explain everything to you, and testify to my truth just as I testified for him. I have brought you the examples, and he will bring you the interpretations. Do you believe that this statement is in the Bible? The Head of the Rabbis said: “Yes.” Al-Rida (AS) replied to him, “O the Head of the Rabbis! I want to ask you about your Prophet Moses.” The Jewish man said: “He brought miracles which the prophets before him had not brought.” The Imam (AS) asked, “Could you give me an example?” The Head of the Rabbis replied, “He split the sea, turned the cane into a slithering serpent, made springs gush from stones, showed his hand white and shining to the onlookers, and other signs the like of which other creatures were unable to bring.” Al-Rida (AS) replied to him, “You are right. They are proofs of his Prophethood. He brought the like of which other creatures were unable to brig. Is it obligatory on you to believe in whoever claims Prophethood, and performs something which all other creatures are unable to perform?” The head of the Rabbis said: “No, since there is no one like Moses considering his position near his Lord and his closeness to Him. It is not incumbent upon us to profess the Prophethood of whoever claims it, unless he brings us miracles similar to those brought by Moses. The Imam (AS) said: Then how come you admit the Prophethood of the other prophets who preceded Moses who did not split the sea; nor did they make twelve springs gush forth from the stones, nor did they show a white shining hand as Moses did, nor did they turn the came into a slithering serpent. The Jewish man replied: I told you that if they performed miracles as evidence for their Prophethood which all other creatures were unable to perform, and if they brought something the like of which Moses had brought, or they followed what Moses had brought, then it is incumbent upon us to believe in them. Al-Rida (AS) replied to him, “O Head of the Rabbis! What has prevented you from professing (the Prophethood of) Jesus, the son of Mary? Jesus brought the dead to life, healed the blind and the leprous, made birds formed of clay and breathed life into them with Allah’s permission.’” The Head of the Rabbis said: “It is said that he did that but we did not see it.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Have you seen the miracles performed by Moses? Have you not received the news by way of Moses’s closest trustworthy companions who said he did them?” The Head of the Rabbis said: “Yes. That is so.” The Imam (AS) said: “Well. The news about the miracles of Jesus, the son of Mary, have reached you in a similar fashion. Why then did you acknowledge Moses and believe in him, but you did not believe in Jesus?” The Head of the Rabbis did not answer. Al-Rida (AS) said: The same is true about Muhammad (SA) and his miracles. The same is true about any other prophet (AS) appointed by Allah. One of the miracles of Muhammad (SA) was that he was a poor hired shepherd. He had not been taught anything. He did not have any teachers. However, the Qur’an which he brought contains the stories of the prophets and the associated news letter by letter. It has narrated news of the past, and the things to come in the future all the way up until the Day of Resurrection. The Qur’an provided information about what people did in hiding or in their homes. The Prophet brought innumerable miracles. The Head of the Rabbis said: “Neither the account about Jesus nor that about Muhammad (SA) is considered correct by us. It is not permissible to admit their Prophethood through what is not correct.” Al-Rida (AS said: “Has the witness who testified for Jesus (AS) and Muhammad (SA) then given false testimony?” The Head of the Rabbis did not answer him. Then the Imam (AS) called the Zoroastrian High Priest. Al-Rida (AS) said to him, “Let me know about Zoroaster who considered himself to be a prophet. What is your proof of his Prophethood?” The Zoroastrian High Priest said: “He performed miracles which no one ever had performed before him. Of course, I have not seen him, but the stories of our ancestors tell us that he made legitimate for us things which others had not made legitimate. Therefore, we follow him.” The Imam (AS) asked, “You believed in the stories which came to you about him, so you followed him, did you not?” He replied, “Yes.” The Imam (AS) said: This is the case with all other nations. Stories came to them about what the prophets had accomplished, and what Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (AS) had all brought to them. So why did you not believe in any of these prophets, having believed in Zoroaster through the stories that came to you about him saying that he brought forth what others did not? The Zoroastrian High Priest froze in his place. Then al-Rida (AS) said: “O people! If any of you is opposed to Islam, and wants to ask me any questions, then they should ask me and not be shy.” `Imran the Sabian, who was an expert in theology, stood up and said: O Scholar of the people! I would not have asked you any questions if you had not invited me to ask. I have been to Kufa, Basra, Syria, and Algeria. There I have met many theologians. However, none of them have been able to establish for me the proof that there is One who has no second other than Him, and that he is One Sole Being. Will you permit me to ask you this question? Al-Rida (AS) said: “If `Imran the Sabian is present among the people here, it must be you.” He said: “Yes. It is I.” The Imam (AS) said: “O `Imran! Ask, but I advise you to be fair. Avoid vain talk and nonsense.” `Imran said: “My Master! By Allah, I just want you to prove something which I can adhere to for me. Then I need not seek anything else.” The Imam (AS) said: “Ask whatever you wish to ask.” The crowds moved closer to `Imran and crowded in on him. `Imran the Sabian asked, “let me know of the first thing and what it created.” Al-Rida (AS) replied to him. You asked. Now try to understand. As for the One. He has always been One Being. He has no limits nor does He have transient qualities. He will always remain so. Then, without precedence, He created a different creature with transient qualities and various different limits. He neither places it in anything, not did He limit it by anything. He neither created it like anything, nor did He create other things like it. He then created the creatures in various shapes: pure and impure, different and alike, with various colors, flavors and tastes. He did not create them out of a need for them, nor did He create them to attain a higher rank. He did not sense any increase or decrease in Himself due to this creation. O `Imran! Do you understand this? `Imran said: “By Allah, yes my Master!” The Imam (AS) added, O `Imran! Know that if He had created what He created due to His need for them, then He would have only created things by which He could fulfill His need. In that case, it would have been better for Him to create several times more than what He created, since the more the helpers there were, the more powerful their master would be. O `Imran! In that case, His need would be a never-ending one. The more He would crate, the more newer needs would appear for Him. That is why we say that He did not create the creatures out of need. Through creation He transfers the needs of some of them to others. And He makes some of them nobler than others without any need of the nobler one or without wanting to take any revenge against those whom He had abased. That is how He has created. `Imran asked, “My Master! Was the Being known to Himself by His Own Self?” Al-Rida (AS) said: Knowledge of something is required to distinguish it from other things, and to prove its existence through what is negated about it. However, there was nothing else there to oppose Him to make it necessary to negate. Since there was only Him, there was no need to establish limits. O `Imran Do you understand? `Imran said: “Yes, by Allah, my Master! Then tell me: Through what means did He come to know what He knew. Was it done by conscience or by something else?” Al-Rida (AS) said: “If His Knowledge was acquired through conscience. Can we place any limit to His Conscience, which will end in recognition? `Imran answered, “there is no way out.” The Imam (AS) then asked him, “Then what is that conscience?” `Imran could not provide any answer. Al-Rida (AS) said: Never mind. O `Imran! If I now ask you about that conscience and whether you can recognize it through another conscience, an you answer in the affirmative, have you not then disproved your own statement and claim? O `Imran! Is it not more proper for you to know that the One cannot be described by a conscience? And that the most that can be said about Him is that He has done something, or created something? He is not such that one can conceive any directions or parts for Him as can be imagined for the creatures and their parts. Understand this and base your proper knowledge on it. `Imran asked, “O my Master! Can you let me know what types of limits His creatures have? What are their meanings? And how many varieties of creatures has He created?” The Imam (AS) said: You asked. Now understand. In fact, there are six types of limits for His Creatures. These are the unsubtle; the weighable; the visible; those that have no weight, that is, the spirit; those that are visible but are without any weight, are untouchable, subtle, colorless, and tasteless; and the measurable that are the widths, the forms, width and height. Included among them are deeds and movements which make things, act upon them, change them from one state to another, increase them or reduce them. As for deeds and movements, they pass by since they have no more time than that which is ordained for their need. Whenever a deed is finished and the movement is stopped it ends, but its effects remain just like talking, which ends but its effect remains. `Imran said: “O my Master! Will you let me know about the Creator? If He is One, there is nothing other than Him, and there is nothing with Him, has He not changed (His Essence) by creating the creatures?” Al-Rida (AS) told him, “The Mighty and High does not change through the creation of creatures. The creatures, however, change, due to the changes He has subjected them to.” `Imran asked, “O my Master! By means of what can we recognize Him>” Al-Rida (AS) said: “By means of other than Him.” `Imran asked, “What is other than Him,” Al-Rida (AS) said: “His Will, His Name, His Attribute, and everything else that was created, has emerged and is managed (by Him).” `Imran said: “O my Master! Then what is He?” The Imam (AS) replied, “He is Light. That means that He guided His Creatures from among the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth. You have no rights incumbent upon me more than my professing His Unity to you.” `Imran said: “O my Master! Was He not silent before creating the creatures, and then He spoke?” Al-Rida (AS) said: Silence doe not exist unless there is some utterance before it. An example of this is that it is not said that the lamp is silent and does not utter; not is it said that the lamp shines, implying that it want to do something to us. The light shining from the lamp is not considered to be the act of the lamp. It is not something separate from the lamp. Therefore, when it is illuminating us we say that it was lit for us, by which we found our way around. Through this example you can find what you are after and become enlightened in your affairs. `Imran said: “O my Master! I though that the Ever-Existent changed His State through the act of creation.” Al-Rida (AS) said: O `Imran! You claim that the Ever-Existent Being can change in some way as a result of His Action. O `Imran! Have you ever seen that the changes in fire change it? Have you ever seen heat burn itself? Have you ever seen an eye see itself? `Imran said: “No, I have not. O my Master! Will you let me know whether He is in the creatures or the creatures are in Him?” Al-Rida (AS) said: O `Imran! He is greater than that. He is not in the creatures; not are the creatures in Him. He is Exalted above that. I will teach you what you do not know. There is no power and no strength save Allah. Tell me about the mirror: are you in it or is it in you? O `Imran! If neither one of you are in the other; then, how can you see your reflection in it? `Imran said; “Through the light between me and the mirror.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Can you see more light in the mirror than what you perceive with your own eyes?” He answered, “Yes.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Then show it to us!” It was then that the man was too baffled to say a word. The Imam (AS) said: “I do not see the light except that it leads to both of you, the mirror and yourself, without being in either one of you. There are many more examples which the ignorant simply cannot comprehend. Allah is the highest such example.” Then the Imam (AS) turned to al-Ma`mun and told him, “It is time to pray.” `Imran said: “O my Master! Do not interrupt my questions since I am feeling inclined towards you in my heart.” Al-Rida (AS) said: “We will pray and come back.” Then the Imam (AS) stood up. Al-Ma`mun got up as well. Al-Rida (AS) prayed inside and the people prayed outside, led by Muhammad ibn Ja`far. Then the Imam (AS) came out, returned to the meeting called out to `Imran, and said: “O `Imran! Ask your questions.” `Imran said: “O my Master! Will you let me know whether the Unity of Allah, the Mighty and High, is perceived through reality or through description?” Al-Rida (AS) said: Certainly, Allah is the Only Initiator and the first Ever-Being. He has always been One without anything to accompany Him. He is the Peerless, and there is no second with Him. He is neither definite nor indefinite. He is neither decisive nor allegorical. He is neither mentioned nor forgotten. No name can describe Him. Time cannot measure His beginning. And time cannot measure His End. He has not been standing upon anything else, nor will He be standing upon anything. There is nothing which supports Him. There is nothing on which He leans. He has all these attributes before creating anything, when there was nothing but Him. Whatever you attribute to Him will be originated attributes which are the only means for understanding Him, which anyone possessing understanding can comprehend. Know that innovation, will, and intent are different words that express the same meaning. His foremost innovation, intent and will were the letters which He established as the origin of everything, the evidence for all perceived things, and the separator for all vague things. Everything was separated by these letters; thing such as the names for right and wrong, action and object, meaning and meaningless. All affairs were run based on them. He did not establish any limited meaning for them other than what they were themselves when He originated the letters. He did not establish for them any existence other than themselves since they were originated via innovation. Light is Allah’s first action. He is the Light of the heavens and the earth. It was through that action that the letters became object. They are the letters upon which speech is based. Expressions are all from Allah, the Mighty and High, who taught them to His Creatures. There are thirty-three letters. Twenty-eight of them are the letters on which the Arabic language is based. Twenty-two of Twenty-eight letters show the letters of the Assyrian and Hebrew languages. Five of them were separated, and are in the rest of the languages of non-Arabs in the regions. These are the five letters which were separated from the twenty-eight letters. Therefore, there are thirty-three letters. It is not permissible to mention more about them than what we have mentioned regarding these fie letters which were separated. He then established the letters after counting them and numbering them as His own action, like the Word of the Mighty and High: `Be,’ and it is. Here `be’ refers to His Creation, and `what is created’ refers to the creature. Thus, the first creation by Allah, the Mighty and High, is innovation which has neither weight nor any movement. It is neither heard nor does it have color or touch. And the second thing that was created are the letters which have neither weight nor color. They are neither heard nor described. They are not visible. The third creature includes all the various kinds of things which are perceptible, touchable, tasteable, and visible. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, existed before innovation as there has been nothing before the Mighty and High, and nothing with him. Innovation was created before the letters were created, and the letters do not indicate anything other than themselves. Al-Ma`mun asked, “How come they do not indicate anything other than themselves?” Al-Rida (AS) said: “Verily, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, never combines any of them together unless to mean something, When He combines several letters together, say four, five or six or more, He uses them to originate a new meaning which did not exist before.” `Imran asked, “How can we understand them?” Al-Rida (AS) said: This is how it can be understood. When you only want to refer to the letters and not anything else, you mention them one by one and say, a b c d … to the end. Here you find no meaning in them other than themselves. But when you put several letters together y construct names and attributes for a meaning which you have in mind. They will not demonstrate the meaning for which they were intended. Did you understand this? `Imran said: “Yes.” Al-Rida (AS) said: Know that an attribute cannot be without what it describes. Also, a name cannot be without a meaning. A limit cannot be without the limited. All attributes and names indicate perfection and existence. They do not indicate encompassment, as the limits do. Limits make squares, make triangles, and make hexagons. Verily, the recognition of Allah, the Mighty and High, is perceived by attributes and names, not by limits such as length, width, smallness, largeness, color, weight, and the like. No such limits are applicable to Allah, the High and the All-Holy, so that His creatures could recognize Him by recognizing themselves. This is certain as I said: but the attributes of Allah, the Mighty and High, prove Him. He can be understood through His Names. He can be reasoned upon by referring to His creatures. A true seeker doe not need to see Him with his own eyes, hear Him with his own ears, touch Him with his own hands, or encompass Him with his own heart. Were it not the case that His attributes proved Him, Exalted is His Praise, and His Names denoted Him, it was not possible for the taught knowledge of the creatures to perceive Him. Then the creatures would have worshipped His Names and Attributes instead of His meaning. Were it any different, the only worshipped one would have been other than Allah, the Exalted, since his Attributes and Names are other than Him. Did you understand?” `Imran said: “Yes, my Master, Please tell me more.” Al-Rida (AS) said: Beware of the saying of the ignorant ones, those whose hearts are blind, and who are in loss. They are those who claim that Allah, the Mighty and High and the All-Holy, is present in the hereafter for the Reckoning concerning rewards and punishments, but He is not present in this world for the acts of obedience and hope.’ If it were that Allah, the Mighty and High’s, presence was a source of His being defective in this world. He would not be present in the Hereafter either. However, these people have gone astray and have become blind and deaf towards the truth regarding what they do not know. That is the Word of the Mighty and High: But whosoever is blind in this (world), he shall also be blind in the Hereafter, and more erring from the way, i.e. blindness from existing realities. Intellectuals know that reasoning about what exists in the Hereafter is only possible through what exists in this world. Whoever tries to adopt knowledge of that world based upon his own personal views, and seek its existence, or tries to perceive it through his own soul and not through anything else would only get more distant from the facts about that world. That is because Allah, the Mighty and High, has given the knowledge of that world to a special group of people who think, know, and understand. `Imran asked, “O My Master, please inform me: Is innovation a created being or not?” Imam al-Rida (AS) answered, It is still creation which cannot be perceived through stillness. It is a created being since it has emerged. And it is Allah who made it emerged. Thus, it has become a creature. In other words, there only exist Allah, the Mighty and High, and His Creatures. There exists no third thing in between, and there is no third thing other than them. Whatever Allah, the Mighty and High, creates dos not disobey from being His Creature. What is crated is ether still, moving, different, harmonious, known, or ambiguous. Whatever is bounded is the creature of Allah, the Mighty and High. Moreover, know that all the things which the senses find for you are meanings perceived by the senses, and every sense demonstrates what Allah, the Mighty and High, has placed in its perception, and the heart understands all of that. Know that the One who is Ever-Standing without any ordination or bounds created creatures ordained by bounds and ordination. What He created were two creatures: the ordination and the ordained. Neither one had any color, taste or weight. He established one as the means of perceived the other and made them such that they could be perceived on their own. He did not create anything which could stand alone relying only on itself, so as to provide a means for arguing about and proving His Existence. Thus, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is Peerless and One. There is no second to support Him in order to enable Him to stand, or to assist Him or protect Him. However, the creatures support one another through the permission and will of Allah. People have differences of opinion over this subject to the extent that they have gone astray, become perplexed, and seek salvation from darkness by means of darkness through describing Allah using their own qualities. In this way, they have strayed far from the truth. Had they described Allah, the Mighty and High, using His Attributes, and described the creatures with the qualities of the creatures, they would have spoken through understanding and certitude and would not have come up with so many differences of opinion over Him. Since they sought what would perplex them, they entrapped themselves and became confused. Allah guides whomsoever He wills to the Straight Path. `Imran said: “O my Master! I bear witness that He is just as you have described. However, I still have one more question to ask.” The Imam (AS) said: “Ask whatever you wish to ask.” `Imran said: “I want to ask you what the All-Wise is contained in. Has anything encompassed Him? Does He change from one state to another? Is He in need of anything?” Al-Rida (AS) said: O `Imran! I will tell you, so understand. The one whom you question is the most ambiguous issue which the creatures face. As for those who are deficient in understanding, they do not recognize Him. As for those who are just and can reason, they are not incapable of understanding Him. First of all, if He had created the creatures due to need, then it would be proper to say that He changes His location to the location of what He creates because of His need for them. However, the Mighty and High, has not created anything out of need. He is always stable, neither in something, nor on something. However, it is the creatures which hold each other, enter into one another, and leave one another. Allah, the Mighty and High and the All-Holy, holds all of that by his Might. He does not enter anything and does not leave anything. Its preservation does not tire Him, nor is He incapable of holding it. None of the creatures know how that is, except for Allah, the Mighty and high, and His Messengers, the people who know His Secrets, those who run the affairs, and His Guardians who carry out His laws. In fact, His command is like the twinkling of an eye, or even closer that that. If He wills a thing, He only says to it `Be,’ and it is, according to His Will and Intent. Nothing that he has created is closer to Him than any other thing, nor is He father away from anything than another. O `Imran Have you understood? `Imran said: “Yes, my Master. I have understood. I bear witness that Allah is as you described Him to be and as you have described His Unity. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant, who is appointed to guide and lead to the right religion.” He then faced the direction of Mecca, and fell into prostration. Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Nawfali said: When the other rhetoricians heard what `Imran the Sabian said, who was very hard to defeat in arguments and no one had ever defeated him before in arguments, not of them dared approach al-Rida (AS), and they asked him no more questions. It became nightfall. Then al-Ma`mun and al-Rida stood up, went inside and the people left. I was sitting alone with some of my friends when Muhammad ibn Ja`far called me in. I went to see him. He asked me, “O Nawfali! Did you see what your friend (the Imam) did?” Al-Nawfali replied, “No, by Allah! I did not think that `Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (AS) could plumb such depths. We did not know him in this way. He never spoke about theology in Medina, and theologians never gathered around him.” I further said: “The pilgrims used to come to him and ask him about the lawful and the unlawful and he answered them. Sometimes rhetoricians came to him and argued with him.” Muhammad ibn Ja`far said: “O Abu Muhammad, I fear that this man (al-Ma`mun) will envy him, poison him or inure him. So advise him to refrain from these things.” Al-Nawfali added, “He will not listen to me. This man (al-Ma`mun) only intended to test him to see whether he possesses the knowledge of his forefathers.” He said to me, “Tell him that his uncle does not like him to do such things, and wants him to stop them for different characteristics.” When we returned to Al-Rida’s house, I related to him the message from his uncle. Then the Imam smiled and said: “May Allah protect my uncle. I know him well. Why is he upset? Young man! Go to `Imran the Sabian, and bring him here.” I said: “May I be your ransom! I know where he is. He is with some of the Shi`ite brethren.” The Imam (AS) said: “Do not worry. Get a horse for him to ride on, and bring him here.” I went and brought `Imran. The Imam welcomed him, and asked for a robe of honor which he (AS) put on `Imran. The Imam also gave him a horse, and asked for ten thousand dinars which he (AS) donated to `Imran. `Imran said: “May I be your ransom! You have followed in the footsteps of your grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful (AS).” The Imam (AS) said: “We prefer this.” Then the Imam (AS) ordered dinner, had me sit on his right side, and had `Imran sit on his left side. After eating dinner, the Imam (AS) told `Imran, “Go now and come back in the morning. Then I will give you food from medina.” From then do many people came to `Imran to debate. He used to respond to their arguments and disprove them until they left. Al-Ma`mun granted him ten thousand dirhams. Al-Fadl also gave him some money. Then he appointed him as the director over the alms in (the city of) Balkh where he attained much good.