Imam baqir (p.b.u.h) said: Allah,blessed most high said,I will certainly punish every muslim community who accepted the leadership of a tyrant leader who isn't chosen by Allah.
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Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:02





Asghar Gholami

Islamic Researcher

Jan. 2017

Abstract: Hadith Manzelat is of the frequently narrated hadith which has been included in authentic books of Shia and Amme. The author of this article, first mentioned some shia hadith about the high position of imam Ali in the eyes of holy Prophet and in the following studied its relationship with the position of being “Faraza Ta’a’” ( i. e. obeying him is obligatory. )

The author counted caliphate as one of the features of being superior and studied the meaning of caliphate literally and according to traditions of Ahl Bayt. He explained the position of caliphatullah and knew Prophet as Mola, due to his position in molaviyat, and as having right to order as a caliph of God.

Keywords: Hadith Manzelat, caliphatullah, Faraza Ta’a’

1.Written documents about Hadith Manzilat

Numerous discussions have been made concerning Hadith Manzilat in terms of its documents, its exact wording and its true example. This Hadith had been narrated from the holy Prophet in various occasions and has been mentioned in authentic narration book of Shia and famous books of Amme in different wording.

1-1. The theme of some Shia traditions

1-1.1 In the process of nominating imam Hasan, Gabriel brought God’s greetings to the holy Prophet. He then pointed out to the high position of Ali in front of God and said God ordered to name the new born baby like the name of the son of Aaron.

Due to this the second imam is named Hasan which is the Arabic equivalent of “Shabbar” who was the son of Aaron. [i]

1-1.2. The holy Prophet after conquering Kheibar, worried of some exaggerators to talk by exaggeration about Ali and believed in his divinity, avoid mentioning Ali’s virtues and sufficed to state that Ali’s position to him is like the position of Aaron to Moses. [ii]

1-1.3 In that event of brotherhood promise (مواخات) among Muslims, the holy Prophet chose Ali as his brother and told him: your relation to me is similar to the relation of Aaron to Moses. [iii]

1-1.4 Ali in a sermon in Seffin battle, referred to his position to the Prophet to be like the position of Aaron to Moses.[iv]

1-2. Hadith Manzilat in the famous books of Sunitte

1-2.1 The holy Prophet told Ali:

Aren’t you satisfied that your position to me is like the position of Aaron to Moses? [v]

1-2.2. In Sahih by Moslim, the tradition is like this:

Your position to me is like the position of Aaron to Moses; except the point that there is no Prophet after me. [vi]

1-2.3. According to Siyuti, Umar while was relating the tradition of Manzilat wished to have had this virtue for himself and knew it better that whatever sun has been thrown light on. [vii]

According to the research of Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Husaini Milani, this tradition has been narrated by forty Sahabe and more than fifty individuals of famous Sunnite scholars in various centuries. And also ibn Abdul Bir mentioned this tradition as the strongest and the most authentic news. [viii]

As the goal of this article is to assert according to this tradition Ali’s following is obligatory, we only suffice to the mentioned documentation. First we are dealing with the virtues and position of Aaron to Moses and then the relationship of this virtue to being قرض الطاعه.

2. The position of Aaron to Moses

According to the انت منی بمنزلة هارون من موسی (i.e. the position of you to me is the position of Aaron to Moses) all duties, privileges and features which Aaron had to Moses are proved for Ali to prophet except prophethood which is excluded by the expression الا انه لا نبی بعده (i.e. there is no prophet after me).

The attributes of this relationship of Aaron to Moses are outlined here according to the verses of Qurān and traditions from Ahl Bayt.

2-1. caliphate (successorship)

God, the Almighty, mentioned one of the attributes of this position “his caliphate and his successorship in his tribe.”[ix]

In some traditions the same issue has been included. For example, imam Baqir said when Moses left his tribe to pray God, Aaron filled his position.[x]

The holy Prophet according to some versions of hadith Manzelat, asserted and emphasized on caliphate of Ali. Ibn Abbas said, “holy Prophet by reminding Ali's greatness said هذا علی بن ابی طالب و الخلیفةعلی الحیا من امتی.

This is Ali ibn Abitalib who is the caliphs of the alive ones of my nation.[xi]

The holy prophet told hazrat Zahra,

“Oh Fatemeh! God Almighty took a look (out of His mercy) at the earth and chose me and appointed me as a messenger and then He took another look (out of his mercy) at the world and chose your husband and sent a revelation to me that I gave you to him in marriage, chose him as governor of my nation and chose him as my successor among my nation.[xii]

In another tradition, after counting some virtues of Ali, Hassan, Husayn, Hamzeh and Jafar, the holy Prophet addressed Ali and said,

“My brother! You will outlive me, you’ll be bothered from unity of Quraish against you and they oppressed you. If you could find any allies against them, fight with them, and by the help of your friends go to war with them. But if you could not find any allies, be patient and do not destroy yourself by your hand, because the position of you to me is like Aaron’s to Moses.[xiii]

Bani Israel in the absence of Moses disregarded caliphate of Aaron and eventually turned into worshipping calf. Muslims also did not accept caliphate of Ali after the demise of the holy Prophet and did not follow what Prophet had advised them.

The holy Prophet symbolized foes to Sameri and the calf and advised Ali be patient if he could not find any allies.

This tradition asserts that Ali not only in the life time of holy Prophet and in his absence but after the demise of the holy prophet is his caliph. Aaron was caliph and success of prophet Moses in his nation. And all duties, privileges and responsibilities that Aaron had towards Moses and all tortures he tolerated from the nation of Moses, happened for Ali.

2-1.1 the meaning of caliph

Caliph literally means a person who comes after another person, sits in his seat and does what he did.

Ibn Athir says caliph is the one who replaces someone when the first one left there, he sits in his seat.[xiv]

Farahidi and ibn Manzoor also said caliph is the one who succeeds the person before him.[xv]

The word خلیفه (caliph) from خ ل ف has three main meanings: One of them is coming of something after something else, filling its place and position.[xvi]

Johari knows anyone who has rulership as a caliph.[xvii]

Therefore anyone who is given the right of ordering and rulership by God is recognized as caliphatullah (caliph Allah).

2-1.2. Caliphate in the traditions of Ahl Bayt

It is introduced as a holy position; Therefore imamate which is in fact the position of holy rulership which is فرض الطاعه and وجوب الطاعهis considered as caliphullah. Amirul Momenin said,

The Earth would never be empty of the one who is the proof of God, whether apparent and seen or hidden and insecure … and they are caliphs of God on the earth and inviters to His religion.[xviii]

In a tradition from imam Riza, we see the expression خلفة الله and خلافة الرسول have been used equally[xix] and besides each other because caliphate and rulership of holy prophet are given by God; therefore caliphate of the one who sits in the seat of prophet after him is also attributed to God.

Due to this when Mamoon told imam Riza, “It comes to my mind to step down from caliphate and accept your rulership over me.” Imam in his answer said that caliphate is a holy position and if caliphate is for you and God has given it to you, it is not suitable to take off the clothes that God has covered you with and give it to the other one.

If caliphate is not for you, it is not suitable to offer something to me which is not yours.[xx]

Therefore caliphate in traditions refers to Imam and the possessor of the God’s rulership. To clarify this discussion, it is needed to explain caliphatullah more.

2-1.3 caliphatullah

We have learned that caliph is one who replaced the previous one and take his responsibilities. To be a successor is meaningful when another person is placed in his seat for a while to take care of his responsibilities. This meaning is not applicable to God, as he is Omnipresent and nothing is hidden from Him. But according to sunnah of God, people cannot communicate with God directly and be informed of His does and don't. Due to this, God Almighty, out of His mercy and kindness has selected a group of people from His creations, appointed them as His caliphs and said following them is in fact following God. The meaning of imams being caliph is a confirmation of this right for them. Therefore the caliph is sometimes by ownership and something by delegation of some duties to a person.

It is obvious that rulership, the right of ordering and managing people's affair allocate only to God; as he is the creator of all objects and in fact the creator of anything is the owner of it. Human being is also one of the creatures by Him. As we have seen in the words of holy prophet Saleh when he told his tribe: He created you from the earth and gives you life there.[xxi]

The same meaning can be seen in the verses 23 and 24 surah Molk.

Likewise when human being has a true recognition of God can find this better. One of the other significant ways of remembering God's creativity is when human being realizes his poverty and need and knows every one is possessed by God.[xxii]

Ali told in the interpretation of انا لله و انا الیه راجعون:

By saying this we are confessing to our being possessed by God.

Also he said, truly you and I are servants of God and possessed by Him; there is no other God than Him, He possesses something in us that we ourselves do not possess.[xxiii]

Ali (a.s.) in a tradition reminded us that human being by contemplating on his identity can realize his owner is God. Therefore there is no doubt that everything is made by God and is His exclusive territory. Because of this the Prophet who is the best of creation is equal with a usual person in their both being human and there is no difference. In other word, no one in each level of perfection has no right of rulership over the other one and his or her real king is only and only God. Because rulership is based on ownership and the one who has ownership enjoys the right of rulership.

From the other hand, it is obvious that rulership and rights of ordering is transferrable to others while this delegation will not diminish the rights of the real owner. The one who is selected by God for this position is in fact the real caliph of God.

The caliph of God needs God’s permission in each and every change and involvement he wants to make. It means transferring this right of rulership to anyone will not make him the real owner which puts on end to the ownership of God.

2. 1. 4 the holy Prophet, the caliph of God

One of the aspects of the holy Prophet’s rulership over people's affair is to have the right of ordering to people. God Almighty asserts this right in various verses.[xxiv]

Imam Sadiq referring to these verses asserted the rulership and rights of Prophet in ordering saying,

“God has trained His Prophet by His Kindness and said, you enjoy great morality. Then He delegated people’s affair to him and said, get whatever Prophet gives you and follow and avoid what he prohibits and said, anyone who obey the holy Prophet has obeyed God.”[xxv]

Though some believed that “to be a ruler” and “enjoying this right for ordering” are of the aspects or prophethood.[xxvi] But by studying the words Messenger رسول and prophet رسول, in their literal sense and Quranic applications, it becomes clear that obedience of messenger or prophet is not obligatory; and infallibles and prophets have no right to order people on behalf of themselves. But their obedience is obligatory when they have a message on behalf God and they are ordered to transfer the message. In fact what is obligatory is in fact God's order and رسول and نبی are merely the bridges of transferring God's order to people.[xxvii] Therefore, their position of being فرض الطاعه and their right to order which is asserted in verses and traditions are apart from their prophethood.

2-1.5 The caliph chosen by prophet is caliph is of God.

As prophet is in the position of فرض الطاعه , and based on the meaning of caliph, it can be said clearly that caliph of prophet will also enjoy such a position.

Of course it should be noticed that caliph in the realm of those affairs delegated to him has the same responsibilities and rights of his previous caliph. In hadith Manzelat, the rights and responsibilities of Ali given to him by Prophet, are compared with the rights and responsibilities that Moses passed on to Aaron.

In holy Quran, Aaron had the same the rights and responsibilities of Moses.[xxviii] Therefore, when Moses tribe was strayed and stopped worshipping God, and they worshipped Sumeri’s calf, Aaron told them definitely your God is kind, then obey me.[xxix]

As a conclusion, hadith Manzelat, by proving caliphate exclusively belong to Ali, is an ascertain of his following being obligatory. In other words holy Prophet, by comparing position of Ali to Aaron, asserted and announced caliphate of Ali. Imam Riza said in his regard:

“Imamate is caliphate of God and caliphate of prophet.”[xxx]

2-2 Ministry

Moses asked God to give Aaron some positions, like ministry.[xxxi] God accepted Moses request and said, I give you what you asked for.[xxxii]

Therefore, according to hadith Manzelat, this position of being a minister is approved for Ali.

A minister is who undertakes a great deal of responsibilities which are on the shoulder of ruler and helps him by his opinions.[xxxiii]

2-3 Cooperation in affairs

One of the other duties which Moses asked for Aaron from God was Aaron's cooperation in Amr امر. [xxxiv] But what is امر?

It might be inferred from the surface of the verses that the meaning of امر is prophethood,[xxxv] as we know that Aaron had the position of messengership and prophethood too. Therefore, it is feasible that the verse is referred to this position for Aaron.

But by referring to traditions, another possibility can be considered as well.
Ibn Abbas narrated from Prophet who said,

Oh God! your prophet Moses ibn Imran called you and said, 'Lord, ' said Moses, 'expand my chest, and ease my task for me. I am Mohammad, your Prophet, Give me tolerance, make my work easy, make me eloquence, so people can understand me, choose a minister for me from my family (Ali), my brother, support me by him and let him cooperate me in this responsibility. Ibn Abbas said, I’ve heard a herald from skies said, we give you what you asked for.[xxxvi]

From this tradition, it can be realized the word here is not messengership or prophethood; because the holy Prophet definitely is the last messenger of God and after him there is no prophet or messenger. Therefore prophet cannot ask Ali's messengership or prophethood after himself.

To clarify the intention of prophet in this regard, we should refer to other traditions related to this:

The holy Prophet after reciting verses of surah Taha, addressed God and said, you has descended Moses like this, “We will strengthen your arm with your brother, and appoint for you both an authority so that they shall not reach you.”[xxxvii]

Then prophet asked for Ali whatever Moses asked for Aaron. Abuzar said:

I swear God Prophet has not finished his words yet that Gabriel revealed to him on behalf of God and said Mohammad read. He answered, read what? He said read “Your guide is only Allah, His Messenger, and the believers; those who establish the prayer, pay their obligatory charity, and bow down (in worship)[xxxviii].”[xxxix]

These traditions are narrated by Sunnite scholars and asserted this claim that Prophet prayed for Ali like this and God has sent this verse about Ali to Prophet.[xl]
Based on this, it becomes clear that the meaning of
امرis the position of rulership over people. An example of Aaron's high position to the eyes of Moses is his having right to order people.
According to hadith Manzelat this high position is proved for Ali.
It means whatever Prophet had right for,
Ali had right for too. As a result, Hadith Manzelat clearly asserts this position of for Ali.

In a tradition from Sheikh Toosi narrated by saeed Araj, Solayman ibn Khalid and I came to imam Sajad. He began talking to us and said oh Solayman, whatever you have received from Ali, take it and follow it. And what he disapprove and forbids, avoid. Whatever of virtues Prophet has, Ali has too; and prophet is superior to all creatures. These virtues are in all infallibles one after the one.[xli]

It is asserted that the holy prophet is the best of creatures and has rulership and custody over people and his obedience is obligatory for all. Ali also is his partner in this duty. Therefore following him is also obligatory for all. Imam Sadiq referred to this very fact and hadith Manzelat is a clear proof on it.

3.Shia scholars and hadith Manzelat

Shia scholars confirm Hadith Manzelat is reason of Ali's being a caliph.
Shia scholars have always believed that Hadith Manzelat is an affirmation of caliphate and Imamate of Ali. On the other hand, meaning of Imamate is the same as having the right to order.
Therefore in the Shia scholar's works, Hadith Manzelat which is the position of
فرض الطاعه has been emphasized. To show the importance of this meaning, it is suitable to study Shia scholar's idea's in this regard.

3. 1 Hadith Manzelat and Imamate

Some of the Shia scholars know the meaning of Imamate the same as having the right to order or مقام افتراض الطاعه. In the following we mention some of these ideas.

3. 1. 1Sheikh Saduq

He wrote in this regard: As it becomes obligatory that Ali has the same level that Aaron had to Moses, so caliphate and his following become clear to all and we realize that he is the most knowledgeable of them: as this position belonged only to Aaron.

Late Sheikh Saduq knew Hadith Manzelat as one of the reasons of Imamate of Ali. Likewise in his opinion, Imamate and caliphate are the same position and in this position one has the right to order.[xlii] In other words, according to Sheikh Saduq, Hadith
Manzelat is a clear confirmation of position of Imamate.

3-1.2 Sheikh Mufid

Sheikh Mufid knew the meaning of Hadith Manzelat as Imamate and caliphate for Ali and emphasized on the position of فرض الطاعهto mean caliphate and Imamate.[xliii]

3. 1. 3. Sheikh Tusi

Sheikh Tusi counted Hadith Manzelat as one of the reasons of imamate of Ali and knew the position of imamate to mean فرض الطاعه which is inferred from Hadith Manzelat.[xliv]

3. 1. 4 Abu Salah Halabi

In the opinion of Abu Salah, Hadith Manzelat, is for the Imamate of Ali (a.s.). He knew Imam, Caliph and مفترض الطاعه equal and believed one of the privileges of Aaron was being فرض الطاعه.

And Ali has the same position. We know that position of being فرض الطاعه is the same as Imamate and caliphate.[xlv]

3. 1. 5 Ibn Betrigh

In the words of Ibn Betrigh, we can also see that he believed “Hadith Manzelat is a proof on the position of فرض الطاعه. He wrote, Prophet proved all privileges and duties of Aaron for Ali except Prophethood. Aaron's elevated position and his relationship to Moses are in several aspects….Aaron was Moses caliph among his tribe and it was obligatory for his tribe to obey him…… according to what we have said, the position of فرض الطاعه as is proved for Prophet is also proved for Ali. So reflect on these words (i.e.Hadith) which is a sufficient proof.[xlvi]

3. 1. 6 Tabarsi

Tabarsi also know the position of caliphate and Imamate equal to فرض الطاعه and asserted that Hadith Manzelat clearly asserted this position.[xlvii]

3.1.7 Ibn Meysam Bahrani

There is no doubt that if Aaron could survive after the demise of Moses, he received the position of فرض الطاعه . As according to Ibn Meysam, Manzelat tradition pictured the positions of Ali exactly similar to Aaron in all aspects. Therefore Ali also has the same positions.[xlviii]

3. 1. 8 Ibn Jabr

Ibn Jabr also believed that
according to Hadith Manzelat, all positions that Aaron had towards Moses can be proved for Ali except for prophethood; the positions of Aaron to Moses is several things …. One of them is that he was
مفترض الطاعه among Moses tribe. And his caliph among his tribe.[xlix]

3. 1. 9. Mohammad Taher Qumi

He wrote, it is clear that this authentic and frequently narrated Hadith Shia and Sunni refers to Ali and according to this Hadith all privileges of Aaron are proved for Ali except prophethood… .[l]

3-2 Hadith Manzelat, a reason for necessity of Imamate

Some scholars after proving the meaning of فرض الطاعهfor Hadith Manzelat, counted this position a prerequisite for Imamate position.

3. 2. 1 Allamah Majlisi

Allamah Majlisi said فرض الطاعه is different from prophethood and did not limit this position only to messengers.
He counted it as the prerequisite of Imamate; at the same time he emphasized that Hadith Manzelat is a proof on the position of
فرض الطاعه. He said hadith Manzelat is a proof on his words which say فرض الطاعه does not equal prophethood and this position is also can be proved, on the basis of Hadith Manzelat, for Imam.[li]

3-2.2 Sayed Ali Milani

He wrote in “Dilalat Hadith” that Aaron was the caliph of Moses and Ali thanks to Hadith Manzelat is the caliph of Holy Prophet. As obeying Aaron is obligatory because he was the caliph of Moses not because he was a messenger of God. So this Hadith is a proof of
caliphate, Imamat and Willayat of Ali after the holy Prophet because his position is similar to the position of Aaron.[lii]


Studying the ideas of religious scholars mentioned above was an attempt of Shia scholars to show why obeying Ali is obligatory. It became clear that some scholars knew the meaning of Imamate and caliphate the same as position of being فرض الطاعه and some other know this position, the essential part of Imamat.[liii]

Anyway, all Shia scholars assert that Hadith Manzelat is a proof on imam Ali being فرض الطاعه. This emphasis show the importance of obedience of imam in the opinions of Shia great figures in a way that they know Imamate equal to فرض الطاعه .

Imamate is the holy rulership… From the above mentioned traditions… especially when we put them besides each other… it can be inferred that rulership, obligatory obedience, Imamate, and caliphate are all the same.

Therefore verses and traditions all assert that Imamate is a holy rulership which is derived from God's rulership. Imamate is that ملک عظیم; as it is derived from the true Owner. Therefore obeying imams is obedience of God, and disobeying them is disobedience of God.


1. Nahjul Balagheh

[i] Ruzatul-Vaezin/153-154; Al-Anwar al-Bayiyah/73; al-Awalim, al-Imam al-Hasan 7/17; Mustadrik al-Wasail 15/144; al-Sirat al-Mostaghim 1/208

[ii]Managhib al-Imam Amirul Momenin/249; Sharh al-Akhbar 2/318 & 412; al-Mostarshed/634

[iii] Al-Omde/230; Managhib ale Abi Talib 2/186; Kitab al-Arbaeen/137

[iv] Ayan al-Shia 1/496; Nahaj al-Saada 2/221-222; Amali Saduq/491

[v] Sahih Bukhari 5/24

[vi] Sahih Moslem 4/1870-1871 No.2404

[vii] Jam’ al-Jawame 11/314 No.1507 & 1510

[viii] Refer to Mohazerat fi al-Iteghadat/ 244-247

[ix] Araf (7): 142

[x] Tafsir Qumi 2/137; Tafsir Kanzul Daghayegh 3/577

[xi] Ilal al-Sharaye 1/66

[xii] Kamaluddin/ 263; Kefaya al-Athar/10; Sharh al-Akhbar 3/58-59; al-Mosrarshed/613

[xiii] Kamaluddin / 264

[xiv] Al-Nahayah 2/69

[xv] Al-Ain 4/267; Lisan al-Arab 9/83

[xvi] Mojam Maqaiis Al-Logha 2/210

[xvii] Al-Sehah 4/1356

[xviii] Nahjul Balaghe, Hikmah 147

[xix] Kafi 1/199

[xx] Uyun Akhbar Al-Riza 72/139

[xxi] Hood (11)/61

[xxii] Nahjul Balaghe, Hikmah 99

[xxiii] Ibid, sermon 216

[xxiv] Refer to Nesa (4)/59; Ale imran (3)/32 & 132; Maede (5)/92; Anfal (8)/1 & 20& 46; Noor (24)/54& 56; Muhammad (47) /33; Mojadele (58)/13; Taghabon (64)/12

[xxv] Hashr (59)/70; Qalam (68)/4; Hashr (59)/7; Nisa (4)/80; Kafi 1/256

[xxvi] Refer to: Tafsir Kabir 4/43

[xxviii] Araf (7)/142

[xxix] Taha (20)/90

[xxx] Kafi 1/199

[xxxi] Taha (20)/25-32

[xxxii] Ibid/36

[xxxiii] Majmaul Bahrein 3/510-511

[xxxiv] Taha (20)/32

[xxxv] Al-Umdeh/137

[xxxvi] Tawil Al-Ayat Al-Zahera/305

[xxxvii] Qesas (28)/35

[xxxviii] Maede(5)/56

[xxxix] Majmaul Bayan 4/210

[xl] Refer to: Tafsir Salabi 4/81; Tafsir Fakhr Razi 12/26

[xli] This is mentioned in surah Taha, verse 90.

[xlii] Amali 1/209

[xliii] Maani al-Akhbar/78

[xliv] Irshad1/156-157

[xlv] Taghrib al-Maaref/ 147-148

[xlvi] Al-Umdeh/137-138

[xlvii] A’lam al-vari be A’lam al-Huda 1/332

[xlviii] AlNejat fi al-ghiyamah fi Tahghigh Amr al-Imamah

[xlix] Nahaj al-Iman/403

[l] Ketab al-Arbaeen/104

[li] Beharul Anwar 37/282

[lii] Hadith Al-Manzela/ 43-44

[liii] Al-Imamah/3-220


Last Updated on Saturday, 22 December 2018 23:34