{deduced from the article of brother guided}

This earth is NEVER without a guide appointed by Allah (تبارك و تعالى), and there is NEVER more than a SINGLE guide for each era. This is stated explicitly in the Qur’an:

إنما أنت منذر ولكل قوم هاد

[al-hilali and khan 13:7] You are only a warner, and to every people there is a guide.

To warn someone means to inform him of a certain danger or consequence. If he heeds the warning, he is saved. If he ignores the warning, he suffers. This is exactly the work of the messengers (عليهم السلام). Allah (تبارك و تعالى) has provided Paradise and Hellfire. His Messengers (عليهم السلام) warn evil-doers of His Hellfire, and give glad tide to good-doers of His Paradise. Allah (تبارك و تعالى) has instructed His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) thus in the Qur’an:

[al-hilali and khan 14:44] And warn (O Muhammad SAW) mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them; then the wrong-doers will say: “Our Lord! Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers!” (It will be said): “Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter).

And:

[al-hilali and khan 19:39] And warn them (O Muhammad SAW) of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.

In previous times, Allah (تبارك و تعالى) used to send the warners to nations, as the Qur’an states:

[al-hilali and khan 35:24] Verily! We have sent you with the truth, a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And there never was a nation but a warner had passed among them.

But, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) on his own has been sent as a warner to all creation:

[al-hilali and khan 34:28] And We have not sent you (O Muhammad SAW) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not.

And:

[al-hilali and khan 25:1] Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion (of right and wrong, i.e. this Qur’an) to His slave (Muhammad SAW) that he may be a warner to the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).

He (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was equally instructed to warn using the Qur’an:

[al-hilali and khan 6:51] And warn therewith (the Qur’an) those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him, so that they may fear Allah and keep their duty to Him (by abstaining from committing sins and by doing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained).

Allah (تبارك و تعالى) also states:

[al-hilali and khan 6:19] Say (O Muhammad SAW): “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allah (the Most Great!) is Witness between me and you; this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you AND WHOMSOEVER IT MAY REACH. Can you verily bear witness that besides Allah there are other aliha (gods)?” Say “I bear no (such) witness!” Say: “But in truth He (Allah) is the only one Ilah (God). And truly I am innocent of what you join in worship with Him.”

This last verse leaves a serious mark. The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite the warnings in the Qur’an to his Ummah. After his death, when people read the Qur’an sent down to him, he is still deemed to be the warner of such people. Therefore, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the warner of all generations of mankind and jinn, after his death, till the Day of Resurrection through the Qur’an.

He (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was also the guide of the people of his time:

[al-hilali and khan 23:73] And certainly, you (O Muhammad SAW) call them to a Straight Path (true religion Islamic Monotheism).

And:

[al-hilali and khan 42:52] And verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) are indeed GUIDING (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e. Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism).

But, he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was not the guide to the generations after him.

Every generation in this Ummah has a guide appointed for it by Allah (تبارك و تعالى). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was the warner and guide to the people of his time. He (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is also the warner to the entire world till the Day of Resurrection – through the Qur’an. However, he is not the guide of the generations after his death. The guide must be alive in this world with the people of his time. This is why Allah (تبارك و تعالى) told him “You are only a warner to all the later generations, but each of them has its separate guide.”

These conclusions can easily be drawn from the above:

1. The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was the warner and guide of the people of his time.

2. A warner to a people does not need to be alive with them (as long as the scripture sent through him subsists), but a guide must be!

3. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the warner to all Muslims and all mankind till eternity. But he was the guide only to the people of his time. After his death, other people were guides.

So, who was the guide immediately after the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)? The premiere Sunni exegete, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, while commenting upon Qur’an 13:7 above, states:

حدثنا أحمد بن يحيى الصوفي قال حدثنا الحسن بن الحسين الأنصاري قال حدثنا معاذ بن مسلم بياع الهروي عن عطاء بن السائب عن سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس قال : لما نزلت : { إنما أنت منذر ولكل قوم هاد } وضع صلى الله عليه وسلم يده على صدره فقال : أنا المنذر { ولكل قوم هاد } وأومأ بيده إلى منكب علي فقال : أنت الهادي يا علي بك يهتدي المهتدون بعدي

Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Sufi – al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari – Mu’adh ibn Muslim Baya’ al-Harwi – ‘Ata ibn al-Saaib – Sa’id ibn Jubayr – Ibn ‘Abbas who said:

When the verse {You are only a warner, and to every people there is a guide} was revealed, the Prophet placed his hand on his chest and said, “I am the warner {and to every people there is a guide}.” Then he placed his hand on the shoulder of ‘Ali and said: “You are the guide, O Ali! Through you will those seeking guidance after me attain it.”

[Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid ibn Khalid al-Tabari, Jami’ al-Bayan [12 Volumes], Volume 7, page 341]

The chain of the above report is well authenticated, as al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani stated in Fath al-Bari:

ما أخرجه الطبري بإسناد حسن من طريق سعيد بن جبير عن بن عباس قال لما نزلت هذه الآية وضع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يده على صدره وقال أنا المنذر وأومأ إلى على وقال أنت الهادي بك يهتدي المهتدون بعدي

What al-Tabari recorded THROUGH A WELL AUTHENTICATED CHAIN from the route of Sa’id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas who said:

When this verse was revealed, Allah’s Apostle, peace be upon him, placed his hand on his chest and said, “I am the warner” and placed (his hand) on ‘Ali and said: “You are the guide. Through you will those seeking guidance after me attain it.”

[Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’i, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari [13 Volumes] (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Ma’rifah; 1379 H), Volume 8, page 376]

Imam al-Hakim al-Naysaburi in his al-Mustadrak also records:

أخبرنا أبو عمر و عثمان بن أحمد بن السماك ثنا عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن منصور الحارثي ثنا حسين بن حسن الأشقر ثنا منصور بن أبي الأسود عن الأعمش عن المنهال بن عمرو عن عباد بن عبد الله الأسدي عن علي : إنما أنت منذر و لكل قوم هاد قال علي : رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم المنذر و انا الهادي

هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد و لم يخرجاه

Abu ‘Amr and ‘Uthman ibn Ahmad ibn al-Samak – Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Harithi – Husayn ibn Hasan al-Ashqar – Mansur ibn Abi al-Aswad – al-A’mash – al-Minhal – ‘Amr ibn ‘Ibad ibn Abdullah al-Asdi – ‘Ali (ibn Abi Talib) who said: {You are only a warner and to every people there is a guide}. The Messenger of Allah, peace ne upon him, is the warner, and I AM THE GUIDE.”

This Hadith has a rigorously authenticated chain, although they (al-Bukhari and Muslim) have not recorded it.

[Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn [4 Volumes] (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah; first edition, 1990) [annotator: Mustafa Abd al-Qadir Ata] Volume 3, page 140, Number 4646]

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal records a witness to the above reports:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني عثمان بن أبي شيبة ثنا مطلب بن زياد عن السدي عن عبد خير عن علي : في قوله { إنما أنت منذر ولكل قوم هاد } قال: رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المنذر والهاد رجل من بنى هاشم

إسناده صحيح

‘Abdullah – ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah – Mutalab ibn Ziyad – al-Saddi – Abd al-Khayr – ‘Ali, while commenting on the verse {You are only a warner, and to every people there is a guide}, said: “Allah’s Apostle, peace be upon him, is the warner, AND THE GUIDE IS A MAN FROM BANU HASHIM.”

[Shaykh Ahmad Shakir says]: Its chain is rigorously authenticated.

[Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad [annotator: Shaykh Ahmad Shakir], Volume 2, page 227, Number 140344]

‘Allamah al-Haythami has recorded this same report above in his Majma’ al-Zawaid, and has commented about its authenticity thus:

رجال المسند ثقات

The narrators of al-Musnad are trustworthy.

[Nur al-Din ‘Ali ibn Abi Bakr a;l-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawaid [10 Volumes] (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr; 1412 H), Volume 7, page 124]

This last report shows that the guides are all from Banu Hashim.

The Shi’a scholar, Shaykh Hadi al-Najafi (رضي الله عنه), in his Mawsu’at Ahadith Ahl al-Bayt as well records:

الكليني ، عن عدة من أصحابنا ، عن أحمد بن محمد ، عن الحسين بن سعيد ، عن النضر بن سويد ، وفضالة بن أيوب ، عن موسى بن بكر ، عن الفضيل قال : سألت أبا عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) عن قول الله عز وجل : ( ولكل قوم هاد ) ( 2 ) فقال : كل إمام هاد للقرن الذي هو فيهم . الرواية صحيحة الإسناد

Al-Kulayni – some of our colleagues – Ahmad ibn Muhammad – al-Husayn ibn Sa’id – al-Nadr ibn Suwayd and Fadalah ibn Ayub – Musa ibn Bakr – al-Fudayl , who said:

I asked Abu ‘Abdullah (Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq), peace be upon him, concerning the Statement of Allah {and to every people there is a guide}, and he replied, “Each Imam is the guide of his generation.”

The report has a rigorously authenticated chain.

[Shaykh Hadi al-Najafi, Mawsu’at Ahadith Ahl al-Bayt, Volume 12, pages 5-6, Number 14666]

Al-Najafi again records:

الكليني ، عن علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن محمد بن أبي عمير ، عن ابن اذينة ، عن بريد العجلي ، عن أبي جعفر ( عليه السلام ) في قول الله عز وجل : ( إنما أنت منذر ولكل قوم هاد ) فقال : رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ) المنذر ولكل زمان منا هاد يهديهم إلى ما جاء به نبي الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ) ثم الهداة من بعده علي ثم الأوصياء واحد بعد واحد . الرواية صحيحة الإسناد

Al-Kulayni – Ali ibn Ibrahim – his father – Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umayr – Ibn Azinah – Burayd al-‘Ijli – Abu Ja’far (Imam al-Baqir), peace be upon him, who said concerning Allah’s Statement {You are only a warner and to every people there is a guide}:

“Allah’s Apostle, peace be upon him and his family, is the warner, and in every age there is a guide from us (Ahl al-Bayt) guiding them to what the Prophet of Allah (Muhammad), peace be upon him and his family, brought.

The guides after him (Muhammad) are ‘Ali, and then each of the heirs, one after the other.”

The report has a rigorously authenticated chain.

[Shaykh Hadi al-Najafi, Mawsu’at Ahadith Ahl al-Bayt, Volume 12, pages 5-6, Number 14667]

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