In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Who is at Fault?
The knowledge of the Imams (PBUT) is a gem that sheds guidance. Their knowledge is like the shining sun which is always beneficial in any conditions and periods of time. Based on this fact even in their childhood, the Imams (PBUT) had the ability to answer questions in such a way that would stun their enemies. The following narration is an example of this matter.
Once, Abu Hanifah and Abdullah ibn Muslim arrive in Medinah. Abdullah says, “One of the great scholars of the Family of Muhammad (PBUH&HP) whose name is Ja’far ibn Muhammad (PBUT) lives here. Let us visit him and gain some knowledge.” When they arrive at the Imam’s house, they notice that a group of Shiite scholars are standing outside the Imam’s house, and waiting for the Imam to come out or be permitted to go inside. Meanwhile a young boy exits the house, and the scholars stand up out of respect for this young boy. Abu Hanifah asks, “Son of Muslim, who is this boy?”
Abdullah ibn Muslim says, “He is Musa, son of Ja’far ibn Muhammad.”
Abu Hanifah, “By Allah, I will make him ashamed in front of his followers.”
Abdullah replies, “You will never be able to do such.”
Abu Hanifah says, “By Allah, I will do as I said.” He then turned to Imam Kadhim (PBUH) and asked, “O boy, who commits a sin?”
Imam Kadhim (PBUH) answers, “O Sheikh, it depends on three cases. In case one sin is committed by Allah, and man is not responsible. If this is the case, then it is not suitable for the judge to punish man for a sin he did not do. Case two suggests that sin is committed by both man and Allah. If this be the case, Allah would be the more powerful partner, and it is not suitable for the stronger partner to punish the weaker partner. And finally case three suggests that sin is committed only by man, the servant, and not by Allah. In this case, if Allah pleases He can forgive otherwise He will punish.
Abdullah narrates, “Abu Hanifah became so quiet as if he had swallowed a rock. So I asked him, 'Did I not tell you not to bother the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP)?”
Indeed it is only an Imam that can answer the questioner at such a young age. A short, but comprehensive reply, which is taught as one of the most fundamental issues in teachings about the concept of Adl, Justice of Allah in the school of thought of Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT). Considering the freedom and the power of choosing which Allah (SWT) has bestowed us, when we do an action willingly, that action is only attributed to us and we are the doer of that action. So if we sin, we deserve punishment. It is not fair to blame others or even the Lord for committing sins .(1) Under this case, reward and punishment, Paradise and Hell, make sense and have true meaning. Based on this fact, the principle of Adl (Divine Justice) has become one of the principles of religion in Shia Islam.
(The above is a selection from “Al-Ihtijaj Ala Ahl al-Lijaj, vol. 2, pp. 387, By Late Allamah Tabarsi (with some changes))
Roshd Islamic Shia Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend on the 7th of Safar, the birth anniversary of the seventh divine chosen leader, the treasure of divine knowledge, Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kadhim (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Imam Ali (PBUH) says in this respect, “... Justice is such that you do not accuse God of Sin.” (I’lam al Waraa, p. 291).
Similarly Imam Sadiq (PBUH) says, “Justice is such that you do not accuse your Lord of what your Lord reprimands you of.” (Tohid Saduq, p. 96)