Knowledge of the Imam's (as)


What is Knowledge??

حدثنا احمد بن محمد عن الحسين بن سعيد الجمال عن احمد بن عمر عن ابى بصير قال دخلت على ابى عبد الله عليه السلام فقلت له انى اسئلك جعلت فداك عن مسألة ليس هيهنا احد يسمع آلامي فرفع أبو عبد الله عليه السلام سترا بينى وبين بيت اخر فاطلع فيه ثم قال يا ابا محمد سل عما بدا لك قال قلت جعلت فداك ان الشيعة يتحدثون. ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله علم عليا عليه السلام بابا يفتح منه الف باب قال فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام يا ابا محمد علم والله رسول الله عليا الف باب يفتح له من آل باب الف باب قال قلت له والله هذا لعلم فنكت ساعة في الارض ثم قال انه لعلم وما هو بذلك 

ثم قال يا ابا محمد وان عندنا الجامعة وما يدريهم ما الجامعه قال قلت جعلت فداك وما الجامعة قال صحيفة طولها سبعون ذراعا بذراع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله واملاء من فلق فيه وخط على بيمينه فيها آل حلال وحرام وآل شئ يحتاج الناس إليه حتى الأرش في الخدش وضرب بيده إلى فقال تأذن لى يا ابا محمد قال قلت جعلت فداك انما انا لك اصنع ما شئت قال فغمزني بيده فقال حتى ارش هذا آانه مغضب قال قلت جعلت فداك هذا والله العلم قال انه لعلم وليس بذلك

ثم سكت ساعة قال ان عندنا الجفر وما يدريهم ما الجفر مسك شاة أو جلد بعير قال قلت جعلت فداك ما الجفر قال وعاء احمر أو ادم احمر فيه علم النبيين والوصيين قلت هذا والله هو العلم قال انه لعلم وما هو بذلك

ثم سكت ساعة ثم قال وان عندنا لمصحف فاطمة عليه السلام وما يدريهم ما مصحف فاطمة قال مصحف فيه مثل قرانكم هذا ثلت مرات والله ما فيه من قرانكم حرف واحد انما هو شئ املاها الله واوحى إليها قال قلت هذا والله هو العلم قال انه لعلم وليس بذاك

قال ثم سكت ساعة ثم قال ان عندنا لعلم ماآان وما هو آائن إلى ان تقوم الساعة قال قلت جعلت فداك هذا والله هو العلم قال انه لعلم وما هو بذاك قال قلت جعلت فداك فاى شئ هو العلم قال ما يحدث بالليل والنهار الأمر بعد الامر والشئ بعد الشئ إلى يوم القيمة


It has been narrated to us Ahmad Bin Muhammad, from Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Al-Jamaal, from Ahmad Bin Umar, from Abu Baseer who said:

I entered to (be with) Abu Abdullah(as). I said to him, I would like to ask you a question, may I be sacrificed on you, is there anyone here who will overhear my words?

Abu Abdullah(as) lifted a veil between us and another room, looked inside it, then said: O Abu Muhammad, begin asking whatever you want to.

I said, May I be sacrificed for you, the Shiites are narrating that the Messenger of Allah(saww) gave Ali(as) a door of knowledge which opens a thousand doors.

Abu Abdullah(as) said: O Abu Muhammad, by Allah(swt), the Messenger of Allah(saw) gave to Ali(as) a thousand doors of knowledge, each of which opened to a thousand doors.

I said to him, By Allah(swt), this is the knowledge.

Imam(as) marked the Earth with his staff, then said: This is knowledge, but it is not that one.

Then Imam(as) said: O Abu Muhammad, and with us is Al-Jami’a, and do they know what is Al-Jami’a?

I said, May I be sacrificed for you, and what is Al-Jami’a?

Imam(as) said: A Parchment, the length of which is seventy cubits by the arm of the Messenger of Allah(saww) and it was dictated by his own tongue and written by Ali(as) by his right hand.

In it is every Permissible and Prohibition, and everything which is needed for the people, even the compensation for a scratch, and softly indicated me by his hand.

Imam(as) said: Allow me, O Abu Muhammad. I said, May I be sacrificed for you, I am for you whatever it may be. He(as) pinched me by his hand and said: Even the compensation of this scratch.

I said, May I be sacrificed for you, by Allah(swt), this is the knowledge. He(as) said: This is knowledge, but not that one.

Then Imam(as) was silent for a while and said: With us is Al-Jafr, and what do they know what is Al-Jafr, on the skin of a sheep or camel.

I said, May I be sacrificed for you, what is Al-Jafr?

Imam(as) said: The red container, in which is knowledge of the Prophets(as) and the successors.

I said, By Allah(swt), this is knowledge. He(as) said: This is knowledge, but not that one.

Then Imam(as) was silent for a while and said: And with us is the Vulgate of Fatima(sa) and what do they know what is the Parchment of Fatima(sa)? It contains within it the like of your Quran. This is three times as much, by Allah(swt), there is not a single letter from your Quran in it, but it is a thing dictated by Allah(swt) and Revealed unto her(sa).

I said, By Allah(swt), this is knowledge. Imam(as) said: This is knowledge, but not that one.

Imam(as) was silent for a while, then said: With us is the knowledge of what has been and what will be up to the Establishment of the Hour.

I said, May I be sacrificed for you, by Allah(swt), this is knowledge? Imam(as) said: This is knowledge, but not that one.

I said, ‘May I be sacrificed for you, which thing is that knowledge?

Imam(as) said: What occurs by the night and the day, one matter after the other, and one thing after the other up to the Day of Judgement.

[Source: Basaair Al - Darajaat, Vol 3, Chapter 14, Hadees 3]


حدثنا العباس بن معروف عن حماد بن عيسى عن حريز عن ابى بصير عن ابى جعفر عليه السلام قال سئل على  عليه السلام عن علم النبي صلى الله عليه وآله فقال علم النبي علم جميع النبيين وعلم ماآان وعلم ما هو آائن إلى قيام الساعة ثم قال والذى نفسي بيده انى لاعلم علم النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وعلم ماآان وما هو آائن فيما بينى وبين قيام الساعة

It has been narrated to us Al-Abbas Bin Ma’rouf, from Hamaad Bin Isa, from Hareez, from Abu Baseer who has said:

Abu Ja’far (as) said: "Ali (as) was asked about the knowledge of the Prophet (saww)."

He (as) said, "Knowledge of the Prophet (saww) is knowledge of all of the Prophets (as) and knowledge of what has happened and knowledge of what will be happening up to the Establishment of the Hour". Then said: "By the One in Whose Hand is My soul,
I am aware of the knowledge of the Prophet, and know what has happened and what will be happening between now and the Establishment of the Hour".

[Source: Basaair  Al - Darajaat, Vol 3, Chapter 6, Hadees 2]
This narration is Authentic (Saheeh) as per chain of narrators.
In addition there are many Hadees with similar content(matn) hence making it Mutawaatir (frequently narrated).

حدثنا احمد بن محمد عن عبد الرحمن بن ابى نجران عن يونس بن يعقوب عن الحسن بن المغيره عن عبد الاعلى  وعبيده بن بشير قال قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام ابتداء منه والله ان لاعلم مافى السموات وما في الارض وما في الجنة وما في النار وما آان وما يكون إلى ان تقوم الساعة ثم قال اعلمه من آتاب انظر إليه هكذا ثم بسط آفيه ثم قال ان الله يقول انا انزلنا اليك الكتاب فيه تبيان آل شئ

It has been narrated to us Ahmad Bin Muhammad, from Abdul Rahman Bin Abu Najran, from Yunus Bin Yaqoub, from Al-Hassan Bin Al-Mugheira, from Abdul A’la and Ubeyda Bin Bashir who said:

Abu Abdullah(as) said: From the beginning, by Allah(swt), I know what is in the Heavens, and what is in the Earth, and what is in the Paradise, and what is in the Fire, and what has happened, and what will be happening up to the Establishment of the Hour.

Then Imam(as) said: ‘I know all this from looking at the Book’. Then he extended his hand, and said: Allah(swt) has said We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.(16:89)

[Source: Basaair  Al - Darajaat, Vol 3, Chapter 6, Hadees 2]


حدثنا محمد بن عبد الجبار عن منصور بن يونس عن حماد اللحام قال قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام نحن والله نعلم  مافى السموات وما في الارض وما في الجنة وما في النار وما بين ذلك قال فنبهت انظر إليه قال فقال يا حماد ان ذلك في آتاب الله ثم تلا هذه الاية ويوم نبعث من آل امة شهيدا عليهم من انفسهم وجئنا بك شهيدا على هؤلاء ونزلنا عليك الكتاب تبيانا لكل شئ وهدى ورحمة وبشرى للمسلمين انه من آتاب الله فيه تبيان آل شئ فيه تبيان آل شئ

It has been narrated to us Muhammad Bin Abdul Jabbar, from Mansour Bin Yunus, from Hamaad Al-Haam who said:

Abu Abdullah(as) said: We(as), by Allah(swt), know what is in the Heavens and what is in the Earth, and what is in the Paradise, and what is in the Fire, and what is between that.

He said, I looked up at Imam(as) with alertness.

Imam(as) said: ‘O Hamaad, that is in the Book of Allah (swt). Then he (as) recited this Verse "And on the day when We will raise up in every people a witness against them from among themselves, and bring you as a witness against these - and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." [16:89]. It is from the Book of Allah (swt) in which is the explanation of everything.

[Source: Basaair  Al - Darajaat, Vol 3, Chapter 6, Hadees 4]


وبهذا الاسناد، عن صالح بن عقبة، عن يزيد بن عبدالملك، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: لما ولدت فاطمة عليها السلام أوحى الله إلى ملك فأنطلق به لسان محمد صلى الله عليه وآله فسماها فاطمة، ثم قال: إني فطمتك بالعلم وفطمتك من الطمث، ثم قال أبوجعفر عليه السلام: والله لقد فطمها الله بالعلم وعن الطمث في الميثاق

Through the same chain of narrators it is narrated from Salih ibn ‘Aqaba from Yazid ibn ‘Abd al-Malik from abu Ja‘far (as) who has said the following.

"When Fatima (as) was born Allah sent an angel to make the tongue of Muhammad (saww) call her ‘Fatima’. Then he said, "I set you free (from ignorance) with knowledge and set you free from menses."

Abu Ja‘far (as) then said, "By Allah, He had set her free with knowledge (from ignorance) and from menses at the time of universal covenant (al-Mithaq)."

[Source: Al-Kafi, Kitab Al-Hujja, Chapter: 114, Hadees. 6]


Here is a great narration of the knowledge of the Imam's (as) and reason behind the actions of Imam Ali (as), Imam Hasan (as) and Imam Husain (as) against the oppressors of their times. 

What is important to note here is the tone that Imam Baqir (as) uses.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ مَحْبُوبٍ عَنِ ابْنِ رِئَابٍ عَنْ ضُرَيْسٍ الْكُنَاسِيِّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا جَعْفَرٍ ع يَقُولُ وَ عِنْدَهُ أُنَاسٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ عَجِبْتُ مِنْ قَوْمٍ يَتَوَلَّوْنَا وَ يَجْعَلُونَا أَئِمَّةً وَ يَصِفُونَ أَنَّ طَاعَتَنَا مُفْتَرَضَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ كَطَاعَةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص ثُمَّ يَكْسِرُونَ حُجَّتَهُمْ وَ يَخْصِمُونَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ بِضَعْفِ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَيَنْقُصُونَا حَقَّنَا وَ يَعِيبُونَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى مَنْ أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ بُرْهَانَ حَقِّ مَعْرِفَتِنَا وَ التَّسْلِيمَ لِأَمْرِنَا أَ تَرَوْنَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى افْتَرَضَ طَاعَةَ أَوْلِيَائِهِ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ ثُمَّ يُخْفِي عَنْهُمْ أَخْبَارَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ وَ يَقْطَعُ عَنْهُمْ مَوَادَّ الْعِلْمِ فِيمَا يَرِدُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِمَّا فِيهِ قِوَامُ دِينِهِمْ فَقَالَ لَهُ حُمْرَانُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ أَ رَأَيْتَ مَا كَانَ مِنْ أَمْرِ قِيَامِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَ الْحَسَنِ وَ الْحُسَيْنِ ع وَ خُرُوجِهِمْ وَ قِيَامِهِمْ بِدِينِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ ذِكْرُهُ وَ مَا أُصِيبُوا مِنْ قَتْلِ الطَّوَاغِيتِ إِيَّاهُمْ وَ الظَّفَرِ بِهِمْ حَتَّى قُتِلُوا وَ غُلِبُوا فَقَالَ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ ع يَا حُمْرَانُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى قَدْ كَانَ قَدَّرَ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ قَضَاهُ وَ أَمْضَاهُ وَ حَتَمَهُ عَلَى سَبِيلِ الِاخْتِيَارِ ثُمَّ أَجْرَاهُ فَبِتَقَدُّمِ عِلْمٍ إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص قَامَ عَلِيٌّ وَ الْحَسَنُ وَ الْحُسَيْنُ ع وَ بِعِلْمٍ صَمَتَ مَنْ صَمَتَ مِنَّا وَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ يَا حُمْرَانُ حَيْثُ نَزَلَ بِهِمْ مَا نَزَلَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ إِظْهَارِ الطَّوَاغِيتِ عَلَيْهِمْ سَأَلُوا اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ أَنْ يَدْفَعَ عَنْهُمْ ذَلِكَ وَ أَلَحُّوا عَلَيْهِ فِي طَلَبِ إِزَالَةِ مُلْكِ الطَّوَاغِيتِ وَ ذَهَابِ مُلْكِهِمْ إِذاً لَأَجَابَهُمْ وَ دَفَعَ ذَلِكَ عَنْهُمْ ثُمَّ كَانَ انْقِضَاءُ مُدَّةِ الطَّوَاغِيتِ وَ ذَهَابُ مُلْكِهِمْ أَسْرَعَ مِنْ سِلْكٍ مَنْظُومٍ انْقَطَعَ فَتَبَدَّدَ وَ مَا كَانَ ذَلِكَ الَّذِي أَصَابَهُمْ يَا حُمْرَانُ لِذَنْبٍ اقْتَرَفُوهُ وَ لَا لِعُقُوبَةِ مَعْصِيَةٍ خَالَفُوا اللَّهَ فِيهَا وَ لَكِنْ لِمَنَازِلَ وَ كَرَامَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَبْلُغُوهَا فَلَا تَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ الْمَذَاهِبُ فِيهِم‏


Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn Mahbub from ibn Ri’ab from Durays al-Kunasi who has said that he heard abu Ja‘far (As) the following to an audience of his companions.

"What an strange case is the case with a group of followers! They acknowledge us as the Divine authority over themselves, accept us as their Imam and say that obedience to us is obligatory just as is the case with the Messenger of Allah. They then destroy the veracity of their belief as such and dispute against their own selves due to weakness of their hearts. They then diminish our right and blame those whom Allah has granted evidence to know us as it should be and the (ability) to submit themselves to our Divine authority.

Do you not consider that how would Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, make it obligatory to obey those who possess Divine authority over his servants and then hide from them (people who possess Divine authority) `the new of the heaves and the earth? How would He cut them off of the sources of knowledge that might come to them to maintain their religion?"

Humran then said to the Imam (As), "May Allah, take my soul in service for your cause, how would you explain the case of the uprising of Ali ibn abu Talib, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (As)? They came out and rose up for the cause of Allah, Whose name is so Majestic. How much they suffered and how mercilessly were they murdered at the hands of the rebels? They were defeated, murdered and over powered."

Abu Ja‘far (As) then said, "O Humran, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, had determined it on them. He had decreed, approved and made it unavoidable though the voluntary manner. He then allowed to take place. It, thus, happened with a pre-existing knowledge that had come to them from the Messenger of Allah. Ali, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (As) rose up for the cause of Allah with full knowledge of the consequences and remained silent from us those who remained silent.

Had they, O Humran, when facing what Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, made them to face and suffer defeat at the hands of the rebels (apparent), asked Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, to remove their suffering and would implore Him to destroy the government and kingdom of the rebels He would have answered their prayers and would grant them relief. In such case the destruction of the governments of the rebels and the ending of their time would take place quicker than the dispersal under a great pressure, of beads threaded together. The suffering, O Humran, that befell them, was not because of the sins that they might have committed or the punishment for their opposition to Allah. It was because of the high marvellous position that Allah had prepared and wanted them to reach. Do not let people’s opinions take you away from the right path."

[Source: Al-kafi, Vol.1 Pg.262, Chapter: The Imams (as) do have the knowledge of what was and will be, and that nothing is unknown to Them (as)]

Note: Authentic Hadees as per the Sanad analysis. See Miraat-Al-Uqool - Allama Majlisi - Vol.3 Pg.131]