Imam 'Ali and the Jinn

9 months 1 week ago #1293 by Mohammad
In Al-Kamil Al-Muneer v.4, pg. 240

There is narration that Imam Qasim (a.s) mentions, it is a well known narration in twelver circles. However, I did not expect that we would take it. The reason being is that the narration mentions a snake coming to Imam 'Ali (a.s) and speaks to him in its tongue seeking advice for a dispute that the people of the Jinn are facing. The snake makes guttural sounds that are similar to those which a frog makes, afterwards the narrations mention that Imam 'Ali (a.s) responds in the same manner with the same guttural sounds i.e speaking the language of that animal/jinn. I found this narration to be strange, because we do conceive that Imam 'Ali (a.s) was the door to the Prophet's knowledge, as well as the keeper of his secrets. It doesn't seem to coincide with the overall theme that we maintain, for example we criticize twelvers for saying that their Imams (a.s) are able to speak the language of animals, yet we have this narration which posits Imam 'Ali (a.s) speaking to an animal/jinn? To the extent that he responds with the same guttural sounds. I was wondering if the dear brothers can kindly clarify this matter, may your reward be with Allah (SWT).

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9 months 6 days ago #1294 by Imam Rassi Society
Thank you for your question!

The first thing to be established is that the text Al-Kaamil al-Muneer, which you quoted, is said to be falsely attributed to Imam al-Qaasim ar-Rassi (as). Although some of our imams, such as Imam Mansur al-Qaasim b. Muhammad (as) attributed the book to Imam ar-Rassi (as), there is discussion regarding its authenticity and ascription to the imam (as). We plan to address this in more detail in the introduction of our forthcoming translation of Majmu Imam al-Qaasim ar-Rassi (as), inshaAllah.

Some manuscripts of the Kaamil mention a different author's name. For example, some copies say that the author was Ibrahim b. Khayraan. Imams al-Hasan b. Badrudeen and Abdullah b. Hamza, upon them be peace, confirmed this. Yet, others say that it was a group of Ismai'lis who wrote the book and attributed it to Imam ar-Rassi (as).

However, humbly speaking and with all due respect to the venerable imams and scholars who say otherwise, as a person who is familiar with the works of Imam al-Qaasim ar-Rassi (as) and has dedicated his time and effort to translating them, I can honestly say that Al-Kaamil al-Muneer does not reflect the style and language of Imam ar-Rassi (as). Even if you compare one of the treatises from his Majmu with the Kaamil, it is obvious that the styles and tones are completely different. Second of all, the Majmu primarily focuses on arguments from the Qur'an and logic, whereas the Kaamil focuses moreso on narrations and reports. Not only that but the Kaamil lists the complete asaaneed of the reports--something that is virtually nonexistent in other works of Imam ar-Rassi (as).

One may say: "It's possible to attribute the Kaamil to Imam ar-Rassi (as) because maybe he intellectually evolved later in his life and changed his style of writing and address." This is untenable as the treatises of his Majmu reflect his intellectual progress throughout the span of his life. So, any changes in style would be reflected in the Majmu and not a completely different book.

Besides, this incident which you mentioned seems very unlikely as I have never come across anything similar in the works of our imams (as). I've never read that they quoted this incident or used it as a proof for the unique virtue of Imam Ali (as).

And Allah knows best!

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9 months 4 days ago #1295 by Mohammad
Replied by Mohammad on topic Imam 'Ali and the Jinn
A generous response, May Allah increase you in knowledge, JazakAllah Khayran.

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