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Chapter 8.

1. The major sins (al-kuba'ir) from the point of view of Islam are, according to some, seven, but according to others uncountable. The latter say that they are arranged in degrees. They include Shirk (associating anything or anybody with Allah) which is the greatest sin and cannot be forgiven by Allah (see Qur'an, 4;48 & 116), killing a believer unjustly, fleeing from jihad, causing distress to one's parents, falsely accusing a woman of adultery, usury, appropriating the property of orphans. The punishment for these is mentioned in the Qur'an.

2. When the Prophet fled from Madinah to Mecca, he spent three days in a cave (Thawr) with Abu Bakr. He was pursued from Mecca by the Quraysh, but they were unable to find him even though they approached the cave, for a spider had built its web across the mouth Of the cave and they went away thinking it impossible for someone to have entered. A few years before the Hijrah, the Quraysh decided to cut off all relations with Muhammad (S.A.) and his followers, and to have no exchange with them of any kind. The Prophet moved with his followers to a mountain pass near Mecca where they stayed for nearly three years. They suffered many hardships, and the only time they could communicate with the outside world was during the months of truce.

3. This is not a particular group, but is used in general for anyone who insults or shows disrespect for the family of the Prophet.

4. 18th Dhu'l-Hijjah 10 A.H.

5. The Kaysaniyyah were followers of Kaysan, a freed slave of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and supposedly a student of his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. They exaggerated in their belief about him, ascribing complete knowledge to him. They held an esoteric belief that religion involved following a human, that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah was immortal and the Mahdi There were subsequent divisions into the Mukhtariyyah, the Hashimiyyah, the Bayaniyyah and the Razamiyyah sects.

6. Amir al-Mu'minin (A.S.) said: "Clean yourselves by water from offensive odours and examine your bodies carefully. Surely Allah detests those of his servants who are not clean, so that when people sit with them they are repelled by their odour."

7. This does not only mean verbal remembrance of Allah such as say "Subhanullah wa'l-hamdulillah" (Glory be to Allah, and praise be to Allah) and the such-like repeatedly, but it means what Imam Ja'far Sadiq (A.S.) said in interpretation of the remembrance of Allah: "We do not only say subhanullah wa'l-hamdulillah wa la illaha illa 'llah wa allahu akbar although this is a means of remembering Allah, but rather Allah should be remembered everywhere whether we obey him or not."

8. In illustrating the same point, Imam 'Ali, Amir al-Mu'minin, (A.S.) said in his sermon known as 'al-Qasi'at'. "Verily, for all creatures of the heaven and the earth His command is the same, and there is no leniency in His law between Allah and anyone, so that he may do unlawful things."

9. "It is said that a man from Sham saw Imam Hasan riding and began to insult him, but the Imam did not answer him. When the man had finished Imam Hasan looked at him and smiled and said: 'O Shaykh! I think you are a stranger and perhaps you have some misunderstanding (about us), so if you have some criticisms we shall accept what you say, and if you ask for something we shall give it to you, and if you want guidance we shall guide you, and if you want to ride we can give you a mount, and if you are hungry we can feed you, and if you have no clothes we can provide you with some; if you need something we can help you, and if you have no refuge we can protect you, if you have any aim we can assist you, and if you come and be our guest until such time as you wish to leave It will be an excellent idea because we have a large property with many servants and provisions.' When the man heard this he wept and said : 'I testify that you are vicegerant of Allah on earth Allah knows best where to put His message. You and your father were the most hated of men for me, but now you are the most beloved of creatures for me.' He took his baggage to the Imam's house and was his guest until the time that he continued his journey, and he believed in and loved the Imams."

10. The Virtuous City /State. Notably the ideal in government and politics as described by al-Farabi (259-339/872-950), and modelled by him on Greek political theory.

11. Wasa'il ash-Shi'a. The largest and most widely referred to collection of Shi'i traditions relevant to all branches of fiqh, compiled by Muhammad Hasan al-Hurr al-'Amili (d. 1104/ 1693). The latest printing in Iran is in 20 vols.

12. As-sirat is the way of Allah as in the first surah of the Qur'an, 'Al-Hamd, .but. such things, it is believed will take a material form on the Day of Judgement, and there are hadith which describe it then as a bridge. Shaykh Saduq said: "our belief about sirat is that it is true, and that it is the bridge over Hell, and that over it all people shall pass. Allah has said: Not one of you there is, but he shall enter it (Hell); that for thy Lord is a thing decreed, determined.' (19;71)

13. By Najm ad Din al Muhaqqiq al-Hilli (d. 676/1277). A text in fiqh used In teaching to this day.

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