Many use Hadith al-Manzilah (“You are from me of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as) except that there is no Prophet after me”) to prove the Imamate of Imam Ali (as) – but with Haroun (as) dying before Musa (as) and successorship going to Prophet Joshua (as) – what is the real meaning behind this hadith?
We find the saying of the Messenger of Allah (swt) at a level of Mutawattir (a level which there is no doubt) where he said:
قال رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ) : أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلاّ انّه لا نبي بعدي
“You are from me of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as) except that there is no Prophet after me”
This is found not only in the sources of Shia, but in the most authentic books of the Mukhalafeen (sunnis) time and time again. Usually narrated in relation to the event of the Battle of Tabuk, we also find authentic narrations where the Prophet (sawa) said it elsewhere. For example:
The Messenger of Allah (sawa) sent Khalid bin Waleed to a town said to be Bani Mustalaq from Bani Jadhima, and there was between them and Bani Makhzoom (the tribe of Khalid bin Waleed) hatred during the times of Ignorance (Pre-Islam). So when he (the Prophet) went to them, they had submitted in obeying the Prophet (sawa), and had taken from him a treaty. When Khalid came to them he ordered a caller to perform the call for prayers, then he prayed and they prayed. Then when morning prayers came he ordered his caller and prayed and they prayed. Then he (Khaled) sent in the horses and raided them, and he killed and wounded them. So they asked for the treaty they had with the Prophet (sawa) and when they found it they brought it to the Prophet (sawa), and explained to him (sawa) what Khaled bin Waleed did. So he turned to the Qibla and then said: “Oh Allah, I disassociate to you from what Khaled bin Waleed did. He (the narrator) said: Then he presented to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) raw Gold/Silver and belongings, so he (the Prophet) said to Ali (as): Oh Ali (as), You are (from) Bani Jadheemah from Bani Mustalaq, so repay them for what Khaled has done. Then he lifted his feet and said: “Oh Ali, make the law of the time of ignorance beneath your feet“. So Ali (as) attended to them, and when he finished, he judged between them by the rules of Allah. So when he returned to the Messenger of Allah (sawa), the Prophet (sawa) said: “Oh Ali (as), tell me what you did”, so He said: O Messenger of Allah I proceeded and gave each blood its ransom, and (even every) embryo its dues, and paid their dues in money, and whatever was left I gave it to their dogs and restored the loss of their patrons , then I was left with some I gave it to their unsettled women and their frightened boys, then I was left with some I gave it to those they know and those they do not know. Then I was left with some, so I gave them so that they may be pleased with you oh Messenger of Allah (sawa). So he said: “Oh Ali, you gave them so they are pleased with me, Allah (swt) is pleased with you, for verily you are from me of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as) except that there is no Prophet after me.”
Source: Al-Amaali al-Sadooq, Assembly 32, Hadith#7 (in some versions hadith #8) (See Image 1)
Grading: Sh. Haadi Al-Najafy says it is Sahih also [Mawsoo’atu Ahadith Ahlulbayt (as), Volume 11, Page 79 (See Image 2)]
We also find it in Al-Kafi from a long hadith:
“..The Messenger of Allah (sawa) said (to Ali (as)): ‘You are from me of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as) except that there is no Prophet after me’…”
Sanad: Abu Ali Al-Ashary, from Muhammad Bin Abdul Jabbaar, from Al-Hassan Bin Ali Bin Fazzaal, from Tha’albat Bin Maymoun, from Aby Amiyya Yusuf Bin Sabit Bin Abu Saeeda, who has narrated the above hadith
Source: Al-Kafi, Volume 8, Hadith #80 (See Image 1)
Grading: Allaamah Al-Majlisi (rh) said this is a Muwathaq/Reliable hadith [Mira’at al-Uqool, Volume 25, Page 257 (See Image 2)]; Bahboody says it is Sahih; Sh. Haadi Al-Najafy says it is Sahih also [Mawsoo’atu Ahadith Ahlulbayt (as), Volume 5, Page 84 (See Image 3)]
We also find in the books of History, including the Bible, Sunni and Shia sources that Haroun (as) was NOT the successor after the death of Musa (as) as Haroun (as) had already passed away:
Imam as-Sadiq said, “Musa willed to Yusha‘ ibn Nun and made him his successor, then Yusha‘ made the son of Harun his Successor and Khalifah. He did not make his or Musa’s son his caliph because Khalifah or Imam is appointed by Allah and no one else has any authority in this matter…”
Sanad: Muhammad ibn al-Husayn and others have narrated from Sahl from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa, Muhammad ibn Yahya and Muhammad ibn al-Husayn all of them from Muhammad ibn Sinan from Isma‘il ibn Jabir and ‘Abd al-Karim ibn ‘Amr from ‘Abd Al-Hamid ibn abu al-Daylam who has said the above hadith
Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 122, Hadith #3 (See Image)
… The narrator asked, “Who died first?” Imam (as) said, “Harun died before his brother Musa…” (Remainder of hadith explained later)
Source: Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Volume 13, Page 27 (See Image)
Now the question arises, what is the relationship and position of Haroun (as) to Musa (as) that is so special? Many believe this is a sign of successorship, but as we will come to see from historical accounts and ahhadith, Yoosha (Joshua) bin Nun was the succeeding Prophet (as) to Nabi Musa (as) – and Haroun (as) died before Musa (As). So what does this hadith mean in relation to Imam Ali (as).
We will cover it from the following angles:
– The Mouth of Musa (as); Ali (as) the Mouth of Muhammad (sawa)
– Progeny of Haroun (as)
– Sign of the Khalifa
– The Staff of Haroun (as)
– Mount Sinai and Jabal Al-Lawz
– Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and Musa (as)
On the first level, we find that Allah (swt) appointed Haroun (as) as an assistant, minister or vizier (Wazeera):
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا مَعَهُ أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ وَزِيرًا
And We had certainly given Moses the Scripture and appointed with him his brother Aaron as an assistant/minister. (25:35)
Here we come to understand this represents the role of Ameer Al-Mu’mineen, Ali (as), during the reign of the Prophet (sawa). Imam Ali (as) was the only Imam who played an active role during the lifetime of the Prophet (sawa). In fact, the most integral individual, above all companions, for the growth and survival of Islam was Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as).
Here are a few merits which truly explain how he was the “assistant” to the Prophet on so many levels.
1. First man to believe in Prophet (sawa)
2. First to support Prophet (sawa) when preaching to family
3. During migration, Ali (as) sacrificed his life to sleep in the bed of the Prophet (sawa) when they plotted to kill him
4. Took care of the debts of the Prophet (sawa) that remained in Mecca
5. Was the savior in the battle of Badr
6. Was the savior in the battle of Uhud
7. Was the savior in the battle of Khandaq (Ahzab)
8. Was the savior in the battle of Hunayn
9. Was the savior in the battle of Khaybar
10. Was the scribe in treaty of Hudaybiyah
11. Was the Announcer to Quraysh in the revelation of Surah Al-Bara’ah
12. Was instrumental in the conquest of Mecca
13. Was the one who preformed Ghusl and Janaza of the Prophet (sawa)
etc. etc. etc.
Likewise, Haroun (as) played a pivotal role alongside Musa (as). In fact, Haroun (as) was given Prophethood WHILE Musa (as) was the Prophet and Imam for Bani Israel, so they served as dual Prophets for their Ummah. This gives a big explanation to the line: “except that there is no Prophet after me” meaning that the main difference between Ali (as) and Haroun (as) is Prophethood, as after the Prophethood of Muhammad (as) there is no other.
Meanwhile, Haroun (as) played a big role along with Musa (as) in the Exodus as they both together led the people against pharaoh and in the pilgrimage of the Exodus to Sinai where the Torah was received.
So as we can see, Imam Ali (as) was the scribe, sword, representative and even at times the mouth of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). Allah (swt) provided Ali (as) to the Messenger of Allah (swt) just as he provided Haroun (as) to Musa (as):
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَا أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ نَبِيًّا
And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron as a prophet. (The Qur’an 19:53)
Haroun (as) the Mouth of Musa (as); Ali (as) the Mouth of Muhammad (sawa)
وَأَخِي هَارُونُ هُوَ أَفْصَحُ مِنِّي لِسَانًا فَأَرْسِلْهُ مَعِيَ رِدْءًا يُصَدِّقُنِي ۖ إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ
قَالَ سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَانًا فَلَا يَصِلُونَ إِلَيْكُمَا ۚ بِآيَاتِنَا أَنتُمَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكُمَا الْغَالِبُونَ
And my brother Aaron is more fluent than me in tongue, so send him with me as support, verifying me. Indeed, I fear that they will deny me.”
[ Allah ] said, “We will strengthen your arm through your brother and grant you both supremacy so they will not reach you. [It will be] through Our signs; you and those who follow you will be the predominant.” (28:34-35)
وَاجْعَل لِّي وَزِيرًا مِّنْ أَهْلِي
اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِي
وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي
كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًا
إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيرًا
قَالَ قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ
“Musa said: O Allah! Assign me a Vizier from my family, (that is) my brother Haroun. Add to my strength through him, and make him share my task: that we may celebrate thy praise without stint… (Allah) said: “We granted your requests, O Musa” (20:29-36)
وَيَضِيقُ صَدْرِي وَلَا يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِي فَأَرْسِلْ إِلَىٰ هَارُونَ
And that my breast will tighten and my tongue will not be fluent, so send for Aaron. (26:13)
These ayah’s point out a few things:
1. Haroun (as) was more eloquent/fluent in speech
2. Musa (as) asked for and was strengthened with the addition of Haroun (as)
3. Allah (swt) granted BOTH of them supremacy over all others
4. Musa (as) asked for Haroun to SHARE in his task
When we look at the ahhadith, we find the Prophet (sawa) often make links to these points:
‘The Messenger of Allah (sawa) sent a ratifier to a people, but they went against him and killed him. That reached the Prophet (sawa), so he sent Ali (as) to them, so he killed the murderer and made captives of his offspring. So when Ali (as) reached near to Al-Medina, the Prophet (sawa) received him and kissed him between the eyes, and said: ‘May my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, how intensely Allah (swt) has Strengthened my arm by you, just as the arm of Musa (as) was Strengthened by Haroun (as)’.
Sanad: Muhammad Bin Al-Abbas, from Al-Hassan Bin Muhammad Bin Yahya Al-Husayni, from his grandfather Yahya Bin Al-Hassan, from Ahmad Bin Yahya Al-Awdy, from Amro Bin Hamaad Bin Talha, from Abdullah Bin Al-Mahlab Al-Basry, from Al-Munzar Bin Ziyad, Al-Zaby, from Aban, from Anas Bin Malik who said the above hadith
Source: Ta’weel Al-Ayaat, Volume 1, Page 415-416, Hadith #6
Also in sunni sources we find the following (Thanks to ShiaPen)
“When this verse descended, The Prophet (s) was on a mountain, straight after its descent, The Prophet (s) prayed to Allah, ‘Oh Allah! Through my brother Ali, ease the burden on my back’, and Allah accepted this prayer’
Source: Tafsir Durre Manthur, by Jaladin Suyuti, Vol 4 p 528 (click to see image)
They also mentioned the following hadith:
Asma narrates that the Prophet (s) said “Listen I supplicated before Allah in the same manner, that my brother Musa had done. ‘O Allah make my brother ‘Ali my Vizier, and strengthen my back through him. May my brother ‘Ali a partner in this task, so that we can praise You together.
Source: Al-Riyad al-Nadhira, p247
Please also note, this shows the links of brotherhood. Just as Musa (as) and Haroun (as) were blood brothers, The Prophet (sawa) insisted that Imam Ali (as) was his brother too, despite actually being his cousin. In a hadith from the Mukhalafeen:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) made bonds of brotherhood among his Companions. So ‘Ali came crying saying: “O Messenger of Allah! You have made a bond of brotherhood among your Companions, but you have not made a bond of brotherhood with me and anyone.” So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to him: “I am your brother, in this life and the next.”
Source: Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Volume 1, Book 46, Hadith #3720
Sheikh al-Sadooq also narrates this:
“Verily the Messenger of Allah (sawa) paired as brothers the Muslims, then said: “Oh Ali, you are my brother, and you are from me of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as) except that there is no Prophet after me”…(the hadith continues)
Source: Al-Amaali al-Sadooq, Assembly 52, Hadith #14 (See Image below)
Now the question arises, Musa (as) asks Allah (swt) to gift him Haroun (as) to speak for him as he is more fluent in speech, so in which incident did Haroun (as) speak on behalf of Musa (as)?
In the Qur’an there is no clear indication. Musa (as) asks for Haroun to speak for him when being sent to Pharaoh, but during the Qur’anic narrative it is only Musa (as) who speaks.
One possible explanation is seen through the Bible and hadiths.
In Exodus (Old Testament) God says to Moses (as):
“You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.” (Exodus 4:15-16)
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.”
The important part of these verses from the bible is there is a suggestion that Haroun (as) will be the “mouth” of Musa (as). There is then a parable drawn on how Moses will be like god, and Haroun the Prophet of that god.
This would mean even though Haroun (as) was talking, we would still say “Musa said ____”
Although on face value this seems very weird, far fetched and borderline “shirk” we need to understand what is meant by this parable. When we speak about the word of Allah (swt), the Qur’an, we never say it is the word of the Prophet Muhammad (sawa).. in fact despite the Qur’an coming to us from the mouth of the Prophet (sawa), we always say it is the word of Allah (swt) and when referencing we say “Allah says: ___”. We see that the Prophet (sawa) in this instance is the mouth or tongue of Allah (swt).
This idea is manifest in our ahhadith also. In an authentic hadith we are told that the Prophet and Imams (as) are “His tongue that speaks to His creation by His permission.” See this article for the hadith: The Imams (as) are His Light, Mercy, Eyes, Ears, Tongue…
So we can see the parallel that is being drawn below:
The last of those is Imam Ali (as) as the mouth of the Prophet (sawa). We see this time and time again during the life of the Prophet (sawa), most notably in the revelation of Surah Al-Bara’ah – where Imam Ali (as) even claims to be a messenger of Allah (swt) specific to those people. Of course, he is not the Messenger of Allah (swt), but linguistically, a Rasool is one who delivers a message:
Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: ‘Surely, the Messenger of Allah (swt) sent Abu Bakr with (Surah) Bara’at during the season (of the Pilgrimage) to recite it to the people. So Jibraeel descended and said: ‘None should deliver it except Ali (as)!’ So the Messenger of Allah (swt) called Ali (as) and ordered him that he should ride upon his she-camel Al-Azba’a, and ordered him that he should meet up with Abu Bakr and take from him (Surah) Baraat, and recite it to the people at Makkah. So Abu Bakr said, ‘Are you provoking my anger?’ So he said: ‘No, except that it has been Revealed unto him (the Prophet): “None should deliver it from you except for a man from you”.
So when he proceeded to Makkah, and it was the day of the sacrifice after the mid-day, and it is the day of the Greatest Pilgrimage (الحج الأكبر ), he stood, then said: ‘I (Ali) am a messenger of Allah to you all!’ So he recited it to them “Allah and His Messenger disassociate from those who have made a treaty with idolaters” (9:1) “So go about in the land for four months.” (9:2) Twentieth from Zilhajj, and Muharram, and Safar, and month of Rabbi Al-Awwal, and ten from the month of Rabbi Al-Aakhar. And he said: ‘None should circle the House (Kaaba) naked man nor naked woman, nor any Polytheist (is to be here) after this year. And the one for whom is a treaty with the Messenger of Allah (swt), so its term is up to these four months’.
Sanad: Al Ayyashi, from Hareyz who said the above hadith
Source: Tafseer Al-`Ayyashi, Volume 2, Surah Al-Bara’ah, Hadith #4 (See Image below)
This is also according to the Sunni’s, as related in their authentic books:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) sent Abu Bakr with the (announcement of) Bara’ah (the declaration to publicize the disavowal of the idolaters). Then he summoned him and said: ‘It is not right for anyone to convey this except a man among my family.'”So he called for ‘Ali and gave it to him.”
Source: Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Volume 5, Book 44, Hadith #3090 (See Link)
Grading: Darussalam have graded it Hasan (Good)
Also it is prevalent in many of their tafaseer of Qur’an. There is no doubt about this incident.
In another hadith, we see how the words of the Imams (as) are equated with the Prophet (sawa) as well as Allah (swt).
“Once we heard abu ‘Abd Allah (as) saying, ‘My Hadith is the Hadith of my father. The Hadith of my father is the Hadith of my grandfather. The Hadith of my grandfather is the Hadith of Imam Husayn. The Hadith of Imam al-Husayn is the Hadith of Imam al-Hassan. The Hadith of Imam al-Hassan is the Hadith of Imam Ali (as). The Hadith of Imam Ali is the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (sawa). The Hadith of the Holy Prophet is the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious.’”
Sanad: Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz from Hisham ibn Salim, Hammed ibn ‘Uthman and others who have said the above hadith
Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 17, Hadith #14
This is inline with the words in the Holy Qur’an:
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ
Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed (53:3-4)
Furthermore, an incredible statement made by the Messenger of Allah (sawa) where he makes a parable of the position of Ali (as) to the Prophet (sawa):
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم :علي مني بمنزلتي من ربي
The Prophet (sawa) said: “Ali’s (status) with me is like my status with my Lord”
Source: Al-Muraja`aat, Al-Sayed Sharraf Al-deen, Page 243; Al-Gahdeer, Al-Sheikh Al-Amini, Volume 7, Page 177 (See Image); Also present in many Sunni sources.
Notice that the word for “status” in arabic is “manzilah” (بمنزلتي), the same as which is used in Hadith al-Manzilah. So the Prophet (sawa) states that Ali’s (as) status with him is the same as the following:
Ali (as) -> Prophet (sawa) =
1. Haroun (as) -> Musa (as)
2. Prophet (sawa) -> God
This would also imply that the status of
Haroun (as) -> Musa (as) = Prophet -> God
In the Bible we read the status of Haroun (as) to Musa (as)
Haroun (as) -> Musa (as) = Prophet -> God
Notice how all the pieces of the puzzle come together?
Progeny of Haroun (as)
Another striking similarity between Musa (as)/Haroun (as) and Muhammad (sawa)/Ali (as) is the progeny of the latter in the pairs. As the Prophet Musa (as) and Muhammad (sawa) led the revelations, it was Haroun (as) and Ali (as) and their progeny who led the protection and preservation of those revelations.
We first see that Haroun (as), like Ali (as) did not receive revelation (of the Holy Books) while being guides in the absence of the other pair:
A narrator asked Imam for how many days Musa was separated from his mother? Imam said, “For three days.” He asked, “Was Harun a real brother of Musa?” Imam said, “Yes.” He asked, “Did Allah’s revelation come on both of them?” Imam said, “Allah sent revelation only on Musa, it was narrated to his brother Harun.” He asked, “Did they both obey and carry out the commands of Allah?” Imam said, “Musa conversed with Allah and wrote Allah’s sayings and ordered the people of The Israelites. Whenever Musa was going to converse with Allah, Harun guided the people in his absence.” …The narrator asked, “Who died first?” Imam said, “Harun died before his brother Musa… in the desert and Musa also died in the desert. Musa had no children but Harun had children.
Source: Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Volume 13, Page 27 (See Image)
also in Bihaar al-Anwaar, related from the Mukhalafeen we see the following hadith in the description of the first mosque being built at Mount Sinai:
“Allah (swt) said:…The carpets of the domes should be of red fine silk and the golden box should be fixed in that dome (which will contain the covenant). It must be decorated with various jewels. Its legs will be of gold, its length 9 yard, width four yards and height equal to Musa. The dome will have four doors. One will be for Angels to enter another for Musa, third Harun and the fourth for the children of Harun who will be in charge of dome. They will protect the box…”
“..Then Musa called Harun and informed him that, “The Lord had honored me through a fire from the sky so that it will burn the acceptable sacrifices as well as light the lamps of Jerusalem. And He has commanded me about it and I choose you as per that will and I authorize you. So Harun called his sons and said to them, “The Lord has authorized and chosen Musa for an affair and has willed in that regard and now I will and authorize you in this matter.” So thenceforth the trusteeship of Jerusalem and protection of the Ark and the celestial fire remained with the sons of Harun..”
Source: Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Volume 13, Pages 193-194 (See Image)
This hadith reveals many things:
1. Haroun (as) was vested in authority by Allah (swt) to take charge of the dome and protection of the Torah
2. His sons were also vested with this authority
3. the Dome will only have four doors. one for Angels, Musa (as), Haroun (as), and lastly the sons of Haroun (as)
This last point, on a side note, also brings another incredible similarity.
“The doors of some of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) opened into the Mosque. One day, the Messenger of Allah ordered the closure of all the doors except that of Ali. People began to complain about it. The Messenger of Allah (sawa) stood up, praised Allah and said: “Well then, I ordered the closure of all these doors except that of Ali and some of you complain about this. I swear by Allah, I did not, of my own, shut your doors and opened his. Rather, I was commanded (by Allah) to it, and I obeyed.”
Source: Al-Amaali al-Sadooq, Assembly 54, Hadith #4 (See Image below);
This is also found in the books of the Sunni’s:
Source: al-Mustadrak `ala al-Saheehain, al-Haakim, Volume 3, Page 135 (See Image);
Grading: Al-Haakim this tradition is Sahih but we do not find it in Bukhari/Muslim; al-Dhahabi also records it in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak and admitted that it is Sahih/Authentic also (See Image below for both gradings)
Going back to the progeny of Haroun (as) we also find the Bible concurs with these hadiths and the role Haroun (as) and his sons played:
“Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die. “This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants.” (Exodus 28:43)
So the roles of Musa (as) and Haroun (as) can been seen parralel to Muhammad (sawa) and Ali (as). One could say the Former of the pair were responsible for the Tanzeel (revelation) of the scripture, while the latter of the pair were responsible for the protection of the Tafseer (translations) and Ta’weel (deeper meaning) of the revelations.
An authentic hadith found in the books of the mukhalafeen:
The Prophet (sawa) said: “There is amongst you a person who will fight for the interpretation of the Qur’an just as I fought for its revelation.” The people around him raised their heads and cast inquisitive glances at the Prophet (sawa) and at one another. Abu Bakr and Umar were there. Abu Bakr inquired if he was that person and the Prophet (sawa) replied in the negative. Then Umar inquired if he was that person and the Prophet (S), replied “No. He is the one who is repairing my shoes (i.e., ‘Ali).”
Abu Said Khudri said: Then we went to ‘Ali and conveyed the good news to him. He did not even raise his head and remained as busy as he was, as if he had already heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sawa).”
Source: al-Mustadrak `ala al-Saheehain, al-Haakim, Volume 3, Page 122 (See Image); also found in other sources of the mukhalafeen such as Musnad Ahmed bin Hanbal
Grading: Al-Haakim this tradition is Sahih/Authentic based on the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim; al-Dhahabi also records it in his al-Talkhis al-Mustadrak and admitted that it is Sahih/Authentic according to the standard of the two Shaikhs (See Image below for both gradings)
This is also found in the authentic books of the Shia:
“‘The withheld sword is to deal thereby with the rebels and people who raise the issue of interpretations of the texts of the law. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Glorious, has said, “If two groups of believers fight each other, you must establish reconciliation between them. If one group rebels against the other then you must fight the rebellious one until it submits to the command of Allah.” (49:9) When this was revealed the Messenger of Allah said, “Among you there will be those who fight to establish proper interpretation of (the text of law) just as their fighting to establish the revelation of the text of the law.” The Holy Prophet then was asked, “Who will be such fighters?” He (the Messenger of Allah) replied, “One who is stitching his shoes”, meaning thereby Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Alayhi al-Salam…”
Source: Furu’ Al-Kafi, Volume 5, Chapter 3, Hadith #2 (See Below)
Grading: Sh. Haadi Al-Najafy says in terms of the chain, there is no problems in it [Mawsoo’atu Ahadith Ahlulbayt (as), Volume 5, Page 84 (See Image 3)]
Another historical piece of information is the Dead Sea Scrolls which also describe the role of the sons of Haroun (as):
The sons of Aaron alone shall command in matters of justice and property, and every rule concerning the men of the Community shall be determined according to their word. As for the property of the men of holiness who walk in perfection, it shall not be merged with that of the men of injustice who have not purified their life by separating themselves from iniquity and walking in the way of perfection. They shall depart from none of the counsels of the Law to walk in all the stubbornness of their hearts, but shal be ruled by the primitive precepts in which the men of the Community were first instructed until there shall come the Prophet, and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel. (Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule)
We see here just as the Imam (as) is in charge of these things within the Ummah, Haroun (as) and his sons were also.
One other similarity between the sons of Haroun (as) and Ali (as) is their names:
Imam Ali ibn Al-Hussain (as) said: When Fatima (as) gave birth to Al-Hassan (as), she said to Ali (as): “Name him”, so he said: “I will not name him before Rasool Allah (sawa)”. So Rasool Allah (sawa) came and he (Ali) brought (Hassan) wrapped in a yellow rag. So (the Prophet) said: “Did I not discourage you from wrapping him in yellow (rags)? So he threw it and took a white rag and wraped him in it, then said to Ali (as): “did you name him?” He replied: “I would not name him before you”, so He said: “And I do not name him before my Lord, Mighty and Majestic”, So Allah (swt) revealed to Jibreel: “Mohammad as a son so decend and send him salams and congratulate him, and say to him: “Verily Ali (as) is from you of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as), so name him after the son of Haroun (as).””, so Jibreel decended and congratulated the Prophet on behalf of Allah (swt), then said: “Verily Allah (swt) orders you to name him after the son of Haroun (as). So the Prophet replied: “And what was his name?” He said: “Shabbar”. The Prophet said: “My tongue is Arab”. Jibreel said: “Name him Al-Hassan”, so he named him Al-Hassan (as).
So when Al-Hussain (as) was born, Allah revealed to Jibreel: “Mohammad as a son so decend and send him salams and congratulate him, and say to him: “Verily Ali (as) is from you of the status which Haroun (as) had from Musa (as), so name him after the son of Haroun (as).””, so Jibreel decended and congratulated the Prophet on behalf of Allah (swt), then said: “Verily Allah (swt) orders you to name him after the son of Haroun (as). So the Prophet replied: “And what was his name?” He said: “Shubbair”. The Prophet said: “My tongue is Arab”. Jibreel said: “Name him Al-Hussain”, so he named him Al-Hussain (as).
Source: Al-Amaali Al-Sadooq, Assembly 28, Hadith #3 (See Image)
Sign of the Khalifa
What is ironic, is the Bible also explains how there is another similarity, in that the people opposed the decision and elevation in rank of Haroun (as), claiming all in the Ummah are equal (just as some claim many of the companions of the Prophet are equal (or better) to Ali (as)):
“They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?””
When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!” “Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?” (Numbers 16:3-8)
The Bible goes on to explain how God and Moses (as) had to produce a sign to show Harouns (as) superiority and that his selection was divinely ordained:
“So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law. The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff. The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.” (Numbers 17:6-10)
As opposed to the Quraysh, when Bani Israel saw the signs they knew the severity of going against the Imam (as) of their time:
The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?” (Numbers 17:12-13)
We also have a hadith in Bihaar al-Anwaar from the path of the mukhalafeen which also backs this up:
“…Musa said, “By Allah! I did not give it (leadership) to Harun. Allah gave it to him.” Qarun said, “By Allah! I will never testify to it unless and until you give some evidence or argument.” Hearing this Musa gathered the chiefs of The Israelites and asked all of them to bring their staves. Musa placed all the staves during the night. Next day he ordered them to remove them. When they were brought out there was no change in any of them but the staff of the Harun had become green and leaves like the leaves of almond had sprouted from it. Musa said, “O Qarun! Can you now understand that the distinction of Harun is God-given? Qarun said, “This trick is no greater than magic.” Then he stood up angrily and separated himself along with his men from the army of Musa. Even then Musa continued to behave with him kindly and maintained relations. He continued to give trouble and pain to Musa and his rebellion and ego multiplied daily until he built a house and fixed golden swords on its walls…”
Source: Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Volume 13, page 255 (See Image below); Al-Kashf wal-Bayan fi Tafseer al-Qur’an, Al-Tha’labi, Volume 7, Page 264
Shia hadiths also show this became a sunnah in proving the authority of the Khalifa:
“Once I said to abu Ja’far (the 2nd) (as): ‘They speak about (and question) your very young age.’ He said, ‘Allah informed David through inspiration to appoint Sulayman (Solomon) as the executor of his will and successor when he was just a child minding sheep. The worshippers and scholars of the Israelites disliked it. Allah then inspired David to take the staff of those who had objections and that of Sulayman, place them in a room and seal them with each one’s insignia. On the next day whichever staff was to be found that had grown leaves and fruits, the owner thereof was the successor. David informed them of this matter and they all agreed.’”
Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn Sayf from certain persons of our people who said the above hadith
Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 148, Hadith #3
A similar report is in Kamal Al-Deen:
After that Dawood (as) wanted to appoint Sulaiman (as) as his successor because Allah, the Mighty and the High had revealed to him thus. When he announced this to Bani Israel they raised a clamor that he was appointing a young man over them while there were others more advanced in age. Dawood (as) summoned the leaders of Bani Israel and told them: Your talks have reached me. So show me your staffs and whosever’s staff fructifies will be the master of affair after me. They said: We agree to this proposal. Dawood (as) said: Now each of you write your name on your staff. So they wrote their names on their respective sticks. Then Sulaiman (as) brought his staff and wrote down his name upon it. Then all the sticks were put in a room and the door was closed. The leaders of Bani Israel kept watch (for the night). In the morning Dawood (as) conducted the Morning Prayer and then stepped forward and opened the door. They took out the sticks and it was seen that all had leaves while the stick of Sulaiman (as) had fructified. So they gave it to Dawood (as). Dawood (as) then examined Sulaiman (as) in the presence of Bani Israel and asked him: “Tell me son, what is it that gives coolness?” He replied: “Allah’s forgiveness of the people and the mutual forgiveness among the people.” Dawood (as) asked, “What is it that is sweet?” He replied: “Love, and it is the soul of Allah among the people.” Dawood (as) laughed in joy, brought him to Bani Israel and said: “He is my successor among you after me.”
Source: Kamaal al-Deen wa Tamaam al-Ni`ma, Sh. Al-Sadooq, Volume 1, Chapter 7, Page 156 (See below)
Before we speak more upon the Staff, we also want to point out that there were many events in which the Prophet (sawa) declared the superiority of Ali (as). One notably strikes a big similarity to the words of Moses (as) in Exodus where he said: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.”
In the battle of Khaybar, the Prophet (sawa) also allowed the opportunity for others to prove their rank, just as Moses allowed the others to bring their staff. Abu bakr, Umar, and Uthman all were given the chance to raise the banner and lead the army in Khaybar. All returned with failure and quarrel amongst them. The Prophet (sawa) then said the following lines: “Tomorrow I shall give the banner of Islam to a hero who loves God and His Apostle, and God and His Apostle love him. He is one who attacks the enemy but does not run, and he will conquer Khayber.”
This is narrated in both Shia and Sunni sources, including Sahih Bukhari:
On the day (of the battle) of Khaibar the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Tomorrow I will give the flag to somebody who will be given victory (by Allah) and who loves Allah and His Apostle and is loved by Allah and His Apostle.” So, the people wondered all that night as to who would receive the flag and in the morning everyone hoped that he would be that person. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked, “Where is `Ali?” He was told that `Ali was suffering from eye-trouble, so he applied saliva to his eyes and invoked Allah to cure him. He at once got cured as if he had no ailment. The Prophet (ﷺ) gave him the flag. `Ali said, “Should I fight them till they become like us (i.e. Muslim)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Go to them patiently and calmly till you enter the land. Then, invite them to Islam, and inform them what is enjoined upon them, for, by Allah, if Allah gives guidance to somebody through you, it is better for you than possessing red camels.” (Sahih Bukhari, See Link here)
We also find this in Shia source:
Verily the Messenger of Allah (sawa) gave the banner on the day of Khaybar to a man from his companions (Abu Bakr) and he returned in retreat. So the Prophet (sawa) gave it to another man, and he returned in cowardly fashion and returned the banner in defeat. So the Messenger of Allah (sawa) said: “Tomorrow I will give the banner to a man who loves Allah and his Messenger, and Allah and his Messenger love him. He will not return without victory at the hands of Allah…” (The Hadith continues)
Source: al-Amaali al-Sadooq, Assembly 77, Hadith #10
The Staff of Haroun (as)
In the previous section, we notice that not only does Haroun (as) have his own staff, but it also possesses certain miracles. Musa (as) is known for his staff which is described in detail in the Qur’an, however not much is spoken about the staff of Haroun (as). Is there any significance to it?
An interesting hadith from the authentic books of the Mukhalafeen, where the Prophet (sawa) said: (هل من نبي إلا وقد رعاها) “There was no prophet who was not a shepherd.” (Sahih Bukhari). This is also found in the books of the Shia, such as `ilal al-Shara’i` by al-Sadooq, where he Imam al-Sadiq (as) says: “‘Allah did not Send a Prophet at all unless he grazed the sheep, in order to learn by that, grazing (herding) the people’.”
With that, we see the trademark of the Sheppard is his cane or staff. It is the symbol of guidance. Even in the ahhadith of Ahlulbayt (as) they often use the guidance of the Imam (as) to that of a sheppard with his flock of sheep. See the article “The Lost Sheep of the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sawa)”
What is fascinating is the staff is so important (in particular Musa’s (as)) that it has become an heirloom and important asset to the Ahlulbayt (as):
Imam Al-Sadiq (as) said: “The staff of Musa (Moses) belonged to Adam. It was passed to Shu‘ayb then to Musa (Moses) ibn ‘Imran. Now it is with us. I have just, moments before, seen it. It is green just as being picked from its tree. It speaks if it is induced to do so. It is prepared for the one who will rise to establish the kingdom of Allah on earth. He will use it in the same way as Moses had done. It frightens and devours things made to trick people and it accomplishes whatever commands it receives. If it moves for a task, it devours the treacherous materials. It opens into two branches, one on earth and the other toward the ceiling with an opening of forty yards in between, and devours the deceptive materials with its tongue.”
Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Salama ibn al-Khattab from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad from Mani‘ ibn al-Hajjaj al-Basri from Majashi‘i from Mu‘alla from Muhammad ibn al-Fayd who said the above hadith
Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 94, Hadith #1
What the staff represents as a whole is the Power of Allah (swt):
Imam Ali Al-Redha (as) said: “…No one of us places his will with anyone until the Messenger of Allah brings its news, and so did my great, great, great, great grandfather Ali (as). With the Messenger of Allah I saw a ring, a sword, a staff, a book and a turban. I asked, ‘What is it, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘The turban is the authority of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. The sword is the majesty of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. The book is the light of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. The staff is the power of Allah. The ring consists of all the above matters.’…”
Sanad: Ahmad ibn Mihran has narrated from Muhammad ibn Ali from abu al-Hakam al-Armani who has said that ‘Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Ja’far ibn abu Talib narrated to me from Yazid ibn Salit al-Zaydi. Abu al-Hakam has said that ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ammara al-Jarmi narrated to me from Yazid ibn Salit who has said the above hadith
Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 129, Hadith #14
In the Psalms of David (as) we see it also confirms this idea of power and guidance:
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
The Imams (as) also had their own miracles, just as Haroun (as) did. Now the miracle of the Staff of Haroun (as) was it produced almonds. These almonds would be scattered among Mount Sinai. Is there any significance to this? (See next section)
Mount Sinai and Jabal Al-Lawz
Mount Sinai, where Musa (as) and Haroun (as) escaped to and also where the Torah was revealed, is mentioned in the Qur’an a few times – for example:
“And [We brought forth] a tree issuing from Mount Sinai which produces oil and food for those who eat.” (23:20)
O ye Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a Covenant with you on the right side of Mount (Sinai), and We sent down to you Manna and quails (20:80)
(Note: The reference to oil is in Exodus 30:22-33; reference for Quails is Exodus 16:13)
In the Bible, Exodus begins the story of God’s revelation to his people Israel through Moses, who leads them out of Egypt (Exodus 1–18) to Mount Sinai.
The next significant event on Mount Sinai is Moses (as) received what is known today as the Ten Commandments:
Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant–the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:28)
The Qur’an also mentions this event:
“And We made an appointment with Moses for thirty nights and perfected them by [the addition of] ten; so the term of his Lord was completed as forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron, “Take my place among my people, do right [by them], and do not follow the way of the corrupters.”
[ Allah ] said, “O Moses, I have chosen you over the people with My messages and My words [to you]. So take what I have given you and be among the grateful.”
And We wrote for him on the tablets [something] of all things – instruction and explanation for all things, [saying], “Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it. I will show you the home of the defiantly disobedient.”(7:142-145)
We see a big significant point of Mount Sinai is that when Moses (as) went to recieve the revelation, Haroun (as) was given Khilafa.
The whereabouts of Mount Sinai is disputed. It is commonly understood to be in Egypt, however there is simply no historical evidence that the Jews wandered around the Egyptian Sinai – no archeological finds indicate that this occurred. There are a few alternative candidates as to the real Mount Sinai, and one very strong candidate is Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia. In the search for legitimacy of the Bible, it is interestingly the Christians who are making the loudest noise about it being in this location. If this is indeed true, we shall soon see how it supports the cause of Shi’ism.
I do not want to get into great details of the proofs, but here is a short summary compiled by brother Qa’im Muhammad of why Mount Sinai is really Jabal al-Lawz (based upon hadith, Qur’an and especially the Bible):
- It is located in the Arabian Peninsula, as Paul says in Galatians 4:25
- It is outside of Egypt, which the Jews had “exited”
- It is located in Median, which the Torah arguably says is where Sinai (or “Horeb”, which is the Sinai) is located (Exodus 3:1)
- There is a plausible path from the red sea to the coasts of the Sinai peninsula to northwestern Arabia. When the tides goes out, a coastal reef connects the south eastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula to North Western Arabia
- There is a man-made altar at the foot of Jabal al-Lawz, made of heavy rocks that needed to be moved into the region by many men
- There are twelve inscriptions of the Egyptian cow deities on the altar (Apis and Hathor)
- There are remnants of twelve Egyptian-style marble pillars near the altar
- There were Egyptian-style arrows in the region
- Jabal al-Lawz is the largest mountain in the area, just as Mount Sinai was described by Josephus
- The local bedouins refer to the mountain by two names: Jabal al-Lawz and Jabal Musa (the Mountain of Moses)
- There is a cave in the mountain, where Elijah the Prophet may have taken shelter in (1 Kings 19)
- The mountain is surrounded by desert, just as the Torah describes
- There are boundary markers lining the mountain, in the form of several piles of rock. This could be the boundary markers around Sinai, described in Exodus 19:12
- Almonds grow nearby Jabal al-Lawz, and it is said that Aaron’s (as) staff was miraculous made of almonds (Numbers 17:8)
- There is a large rock cleaved into two near Jabal al-Lawz. The area is now dry, but the rocks are smooth, which suggests that water had been there at some point
- Quail (birds) come to Jabal al-Lawz from the Sinai, and Exodus 16:13 says that quail would cover Moses’ encampmen (Qur’an also mentions this)
For more details, please see the videos below:
One of the most important links of Mount Sinai being Jabal al-Lawz is its location in relation to the Seerah of the Prophet (sawa). Just as Musa (as) left Haroun (as) as Khalifa when he left for mount Sinai, according to the mukhalafeen the only place the Prophet (sawa) mentioned the hadith of Manzilah is when he had departed for the battle of Tabuk. For example, we find in Bukhari:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) set out for Tabuk. appointing `Ali as his deputy (in Medina). `Ali said, “Do you want to leave me with the children and women?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Aaron to Moses? But there will be no prophet after me.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 467, See link here)
Now ironically, Jabal al-Lawz is located in the Province of Tabuk. Below is a screenshot from Google maps, where the red shaded area is the Tabuk Province, and Jabal al-Lawz is located within it.
Google maps Link – Red shaded area not in this link, if you would like to see it search “Tabuk Province” and it will be highlighted.
So we see one of the biggest signs of similarities between Haroun (as) and Ali (as) was that both Musa (as) and the Prophet Muhammad (sawa) apparantly set off to Mount Sinai and leave their representative behind to be in charge of the Ummah. With this in mind, it gives a whole new understanding as to why the Prophet (sawa) made the decision to go forward with this battle.
Keep in mind also the fact the mountain is named Jabal al-Lawz – the Mountain of Almonds. This also links to the Almonds that were produced from the staff of Haroun (as).
It is also not a coincedence that both Ummah’s betrayed the selected representatives of the Prophets (as).
Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and Musa (as)
We also would like to briefly mention the similarities between the Prophet (sawa) and Musa (as)
Here is a list compiled by brother Qa’im Muhammad, used with proofs from ahhadith and the Bible:
- Both were not raised in the households of their parents
- Both were raised in aristocratic homes
- Both were commissioned by God at the age of 40
- Both were forced to flee their homeland
- Both were law-giving prophets, who brought a scripture that did not rely on previous scriptures
- Both were married men
- Both produced miracles by God’s permission
- Both were statesmen and religious leaders at the same time
- Both led and took part in armed conflicts against polytheists
- Both were accepted by the majority of their people (the Israelites and the Arabs)
- Both had a helper from their family
Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “They think that abu Talib was an unbeliever. They speak lies. How could he be an unbeliever when he said such words as follows: ‘Do they not know that we found Muhammad as a prophet like Musa (Moses) whose name is written in the ancient books?’”
Sanad: Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad and Muhammad ibn Yahya have narrated from Ahmad ibn Ishaq from Bakr ibn Muhammad al-Azdi from Ishaq ibn Ja‘far who said the above hadith
Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter, Hadith (See Image 1)
Grading: Allaamah al-Majlisi (rh) says it is Sahih/Authentic [Mira’at al-Uqool, Volume 5, Page 253 (See Image 2)
in another hadith:
The Imam (as) said: May my father and mother be sacrificed for the namesake of my grandfather (sawa) and the one in my likeness and the likeness of Musa b. `Imran (as)
Source: Kamaal al-Deen wa Tamaam al-Ni`ma, Sh. Al-Sadooq, Volume 2, Chapter 35, Hadith #3 (See below)
There is also a variation found in both Shia and Sunni books where the Prophet (sawa) says:
“Are you not pleased that you are to me of the status of Hārūn to Mūsā, with the exception that you are not a prophet? It is not right that I depart except with you as my khalīfah.”
This last line is found in many variations and leaves no room for argument. For a detailed analysis of this hadith within the books of the Mukhalafeen, please read Toyibs book ON THE KHILĀFAH OF ‘ALĪ OVER ABŪ BAKR.
I would also like to thank Qa’im Muhammad, Mahdi Eassa, Neuman, Mountather Al-Karbalai and Thomas McElwain for their help and their respective research which has helped me in my research.
In conclusion, we see that Hadith al-Mazilah has many dimensions to it. Once we really look into the details, we really appreciate the precision and magnificence of the words of the Prophet (sawa) and the true position Ali (as) has with him. May Allah (swt) bless Muhammad (sawa) and his Purified Household.