Imam Ali (as) is the first one & last one !!!

Its well known that its Allah (swt) who has been addressed as the first one (الاول) , the last one (الآخر), the  apparent one  (الظاهر) and the hidden one (الباطن). But we find the same words used for Imam Ali (as) also. What do these mean when used for Imam Ali (as)?? 


Narration 1:

حدثني ابن عياش الجوهري، قال: حدثني أبو طالب عبد الله بن محمد الأنباري: قال: حدثني أبو الحسين محمد بن زيد التستري، قال: حدثني أبو سمينة محمد بن علي الصيرفي، قال: حدثني إبراهيم بن عمر اليماني عن حماد بن عيسى المعروف بغريق الجحفة، قال: حدثني عمر بن أذينة عن أبان بن أبي عياش عن سليم بن قيس الهلالي قال:

سمعت أبا ذر جندب بن جنادة الغفاري، قال:

رأيت السيد محمدا صلى الله عليه وآله وقد قال لأمير المؤمنين عليه السلام ذات ليلة: إذا كان غدا اقصد إلى جبال البقيع وقف على نشز [1] من الأرض، فإذا بزغت الشمس فسلم عليها، فإن الله تعالى قد أمرها أن تجيبك بما فيك.

فلما كان من الغد خرج أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام ومعه أبو بكر وعمر وجماعة من المهاجرين والأنصار، حتى وافى البقيع ووقف على نشز من الأرض. فلما أطلعت الشمس قرنيها قال عليه السلام: (السلام عليك يا خلق الله الجديد المطيع له). فسمعوا دويا من السماء وجواب قائل يقول: (وعليك السلام يا أول، يا آخر، يا ظاهر، يا باطن، يا من هو بكل شئ عليم)

فلما سمع أبو بكر وعمر والمهاجرون والأنصار كلام الشمس صعقوا. ثم أفاقوا بعد ساعات وقد انصرف أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام عن المكان فوافوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله مع الجماعة وقالوا: أنت تقول إن عليا بشر مثلنا وقد خاطبته الشمس بما خاطب به الباري نفسه؟

فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: وما سمعتموه منها؟ فقالوا: سمعناها تقول: (السلام عليك يا أول) قال: صدقت، هو أول من آمن بي.

فقالوا: سمعناها تقول: (يا آخر). قال: صدقت، هو آخر الناس عهدا بي، يغسلني ويكفنني ويدخلني قبري.

فقالوا: سمعناها تقول: (يا ظاهر). قال: صدقت، ظهر علمي كله له.

قالوا: سمعناها تقول: (يا باطن). قال: صدقت، بطن سري كله.

قالوا: سمعناها تقول: (يا من هو بكل شئ عليم). قال: صدقت، هو العالم بالحلال والحرام والفرائض والسنن وما شاكل ذلك.

فقاموا كلهم وقالوا: (لقد أوقعنا محمد في طخياء) وخرجوا من باب المسجد


Husayn ibn Abdul Wahhab says: "I was told by ibn Ayyash John, who was told by Abu Talib Abdullah ibn Muhammad Ambari." He says: "I was told by Abul Husayn Muhammad ibn Zayd Trusty." He (Zayd) says: "Abu Samina Muhammad ibn Ali Sayrafi told me." He said: "I was told by Ibrahim ibn Umar Yamani from Hammad ibn Isa who is known as 'Gariq Johfah." He said: "I was told by Umar ibn Uzaynah who narrated it from Aban ibn Abi Ayyash, who narrated it from Sulaym ibn Qays al Hilali, who said: "I have heard from Abu Dhar Jundun ibn Gaffari say:

"I saw Sayyed Muhammad (saww) when he told Amirul Mumineen (as) one night: "When it is morning you go to the mountains of Baqi and stand on high place on the earth. When the sun rises, salute it, because indeed, Allah has commanded it to reply to you with matters that are within you." 

So in the morning Amirul Mumineen (as) came out and Abu Bakr and Umar were with him and a community of Muhajireen and Ansar were also with him until he reached Baqi and went and stood on a high place on the earth. When the sun arose, Imam (as) said: "Salutation upon you, O creature of Allah's new creation who obeys Him." 

Everyone heard a voice from the sky - an answer of someone who is answering: 'And salutation be on you as well, O that person, who is Awwal (the first) and O he, who is Aakhir (the last), O Zahir (the apparent), O batin (the hidden one), O he who knows everything.' 

When Abu Bakr, Umar, Muhajireen and Ansar heard what the sun said, they all fainted. Then they became conscious after a while, when Amirul Mumineen had left the place. They all went to the Holy Prophet (saww) with the community and said: "You say that Ali is a man like us, when the sun addressed him in a manner that Allah has addressed Himself."

The Holy Prophet (SAW) asked: "What did you hear from it?" Everyone replied: "We heard it saying 'Salutations be on you, O he who is Awwal.' So he (SAW) said: "It said truth. He is the first one who brought faith to me." 

All said: "We heard it say: 'O Aakheer'." He replied: "It said truth, he is the last person of all who will separate from me. He will give me the ritual bath,
shroud and will enter me in my grave."

All said: "We heard it say: 'O Zahir'." He replied: "It said truth. All my knowledge became Zahir (apparent) for him."

All said: "We heard it say 'O Batin'." He replied: "It said truth. All my secrets are present with him." 

All said: "We heard it say 'O he, who knows everything'." He replied: "It said truth. He knows what is lawful, unlawful, and the obligations and the Sunnah."

All stood up and said: "Muhammad put us in darkness." and left from the door of the mosque. 

[Source: Kitab Sulaym bin Qays, Hadith. 72]


Narration 2:

روي أن أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب صلوات الله عليه كان قاعدا " في المسجد وعنده جماعة، فقالوا له: حدثنا يا أمير المؤمنين، فقال لهم: ويحكم إن كلامي صعب مستصعب، لا يعقله إلا العالمون، قالوا: لا بد من أن تحدثنا، قال: قوموا بنا فدخل الدار، فقال: أنا الذي علوت فقهرت، أنا الذي أحيي وأميت، أنا الأول والآخر و الظاهر و الباطن، فغضبوا وقالوا: كفر وقاموا، فقال علي صلوات الله عليه وآله للباب:

يا باب استمسك عليهم، فاستمسك عليهم الباب، فقال: ألم أقل لكم: إن كلامي صعب مستصعب لا يعقله إلا العالمون؟ تعالوا أفسر لكم.

أما قولي: أنا الذي علوت فقهرت، فأنا الذي علوتكم بهذا السيف فقهرتكم حتى آمنتم بالله ورسوله.

وأما قولي: أنا أحيي وأميت، فأنا أحيي السنة وأميت البدعة.

وأما قولي: أنا الأول، فأنا أول من آمن بالله وأسلم.

وأما قولي: أنا الآخر، فأنا آخر من سجى على النبي ثوبه ودفنه.

وأما قولي: أنا الظاهر والباطن فأنا عندي علم الظاهر والباطن.

قالوا: فرجت عنا فرج الله عنك


Its narrated that Amir al-Momineen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) was seated in Masjid with a group of his followers sitting around him. 

They said to Him, "Narrate to us, O Amir al-Momineen (as)".

Imam Ali (as) said, "Woe to you. My word is difficult and intolerable. None can understand it except for the knowledgeable (Aalim)."

They said, "No problem that You narrate something for us".

Imam Ali (as) said, " I am the one who became elevated and did Overcome. I am the one who gives life and death. I am the first one and the last one. I am the apparent one and the hidden one.

Then the people became angry and said, "He has done Kufr and the people got up (to take the exit)."

Imam Ali (as) then said to the door, "O' the door, close upon them. So the door closed upon them".

Then Imam Ali (as) said, "Did I not tell you that my word is difficult and intolerable and none can understand it except for the knowledgeable? Come I will explain it to you.

As for my saying that, 'I am the one who became elevated and did overcome'. Then it means that I became elevated (above you) with this sword and overcame you until you believed in Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saww).

As for my saying that, 'I am the one who gives life and death'. Then it means that I give life to the Sunnah and give death of Bid'ah.

As for my saying that, 'I am the first one'. Then it means that I am the first one to believe in Allah (swt) and to submit to Him.

As for my saying that, 'I am the last one'. Then it means that I am the last one interms of giving shroud to the Prophet and burying Him.

As for my saying that, 'I am the apparent one and the hidden one'. Then it means that with me is the apparent and hidden knowledge.

The people then said, "You have delighted us. May Allah (swt) delight You'.

[Source: al-Ikhtesaas, Shaikh Mufeed, Pg. 163] 


Narration 3:

حدثنا ابراهيم بن هاشم عن البرقى عن ابن سنان وغيره عن عبد الله بن سنان قال قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لقد اسرى بى ربى فأوحى إلى من وراء الحجاب ما اوحى وكلمني فكان مما كلمني ان قال يا محمد على الاول و على الاخر وهو بكل شى عليم فقال يا رب اليس ذلك انت اليس ذلك انت فقال فقال يا محمد صلى الله عليه وآله انا الله لا اله الا انا الملك القدوس السلام المؤمن المهيمن العزيز الجبار المتكبر سبحان الله عما يشركون انى انا الله لا اله الا انا الخالق البارئ المصور له الاسماء الحسنى يسبح له من في السموات والارضين وانا العزيز الحكيم يا محمد صلى الله عليه وآله انا الله لا اله الا انا الاول ولا شئ قبلى وانا الاخر فلا شئ بعدى وانا الظاهر فلا شئ فوقى وانا الباطن فلا شئ تحتي وانا الله لا اله الا انا بكل شى عليم يا محمد صلى الله عليه وآله على الاول اول من اخذ ميثاقي من الائمة يا محمد صلى الله عليه وآله على الاخر آخر من اقبض روحه من الائمة وهى الدابة التى تكلمهم يا محمد على الظاهر اظهر عليه جميع ما اوصيته اليك ليس لك ان تكتم منه شيئا يا محمد على الباطن ابطنة سر الذى اسررته اليك وليس فيما بينى و بينك سر ازويه عن على ما خلقت من حلال أو حرام على عليم به


It has been narrated to us by Ibrahim Bin Haasham, from Al-Barqy, from Ibn Sinan, and someone else, from Abdullah Bin Sinan who said:

Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) says that the Rasool Allah (saww) said:

"My Lord took me to Me'raj and He Revealed unto Me from behind the Veil what He Revealed, and Spoke to me from what He Spoke to me.

He (Allah) Said: "O Muhammad (saww), Ali is the First and the Last and he is the one who knows everything".

He (saww) said: "O My Lord, is that not You, is that not You?’

He Said, “O Muhammad (saww), I am Allah (swt). There is no god but I, the King, the Holy, the Saviour, the Guarantor, the Guardian, the Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah (swt) for there are no associates with Me. I am Allah (swt), there is no god but I, the Creator, the Evolver, the Designer, for Whom are the Good Names. Whatsoever is in the Heavens and the earth Glorify Him, and I am the Mighty, the Wise.

O Muhammad (saww), I am Allah (swt), there is no god but I. The First, and there is nothing before Me, and I am the Last. There is nothing after Me, and I am the Manifest. There is nothing Higher than Me, and I am the Hidden. There is nothing below Me. And I am Allah (swt), there is no god but I, the Knower of everything. O Muhammad (saw), Ali (as) is the first of the first one from the Imams who took My Covenant. O Muhammad (saww), Ali (as) is the last one from the Imams whose soul will be Captured, and he is the walker (Al-Dabbat) who speaks.

O Muhammad (saww), Ali is the manifest, for all that I have advised to you has been showed to him. It is not for you to conceal from it anything. O Muhammad (saww), Ali (as) is the hidden. I confided in him the secret which I Confided in You, and there is nothing between Me and You of a secret but it has been narrated to Ali.

Whatever I have created from the Permissible and the Prohibited, Ali (as) knows it".

[Source: Basair al-Darajaat, Pg. 534]