What is the narration which Tha`labi has quoted about the cause of revelation of Shira’ verse and is its document correct?What is the narration which Tha`labi has quoted about the cause of revelation of Shira’ verse and is its document correct?
Category: Occasion of Revelation
Tha’labi has written in his Tafsir as this: “I have seen in the books that when the Prophet (s.a.w.) wanted to emigrate to Medina, he placed Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) instead of himself for paying off the debts and deposits which were on him. The night that he moved to the cave was that very night of emigration, while heathens have surrounded his house, he ordered Ali (a.s.) to sleep in his bed. The Prophet (s.a.w.) told him that: “cover yourself with my cloak (green Hazrami) and sleep in my bed, and know that if Allah will, nothing will hurt you”. Ali (a.s.) put this order in practice. The Almighty Allah revealed on Gabriel and Michael as this: “surely I made a brotherhood contract between you and made the life of one of you longer than the other. Which of you are ready to sacrifice your life for the other?” Both of them said: “we want our life for ourselves. The Almighty Allah revealed on them that: “why are not you like Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.)? I have made a brotherhood contract between Muhammad and he, and Ali has slept in Muhammad’s bed, he has sacrificed his life for him and has preferred Muhammad’s life to his life. Go to the earth and protect him from his enemies”. This two angels came to the earth, Gabriel stood at the head of Ali (a.s.) and Michael stood at his foot. Gabriel said: بخ بخ من مثلک يا علي! يباهي الله تبارک و تعالي بک الملائکة “congratulations, congratulations! Who is like you O Ali! The Blessed and Exalted Allah is proud of you to angels”. The Almighty Allah revealed this verse about Ali (a.s.) while His Messenger was going to Medina:﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللهِ وَاللهُ رَؤُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ﴾ [1]“And among men (faithful like Ali (a.s.)) is he who (sleeps in the Prophet’s bed) sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants”. Ibn Abbas has said that this verse was revealed about Ali (a.s.), when the Prophet (s.a.w.) had escaped from heathens and Abu Bakr and him had been hidden in the cave, and Ali (a.s.) had slept in the Prophet’s bed”. [2] A group of Sunnis has quoted Tha’labi’s narration with its details, such as: - Ghazali. [3] - Ganji Shafi’i. [4] - Safuri. [5] - ibn Sabagh Maliki. [6] - Shablinji. [7] Hakim Nayshaburi has confirmed the correctness of the narration and he considers it to be in accordance with the conditions of correctness of narration by Bukhari and Muslim, though these two men have not quoted this narration. Zahabi has also specified its correctness in “Talkhis al- Mustadrak”. [8]

[1] Quran, Al-Baqarah, verse. 207.
[2] Al- Kashf wa al- Bayan, Tha’labi, below the verse.
[3] Ihya’ al- Ulum, vol. 3, p. 238.
[4] Kifayah al- Talib, p. 114.
[5] Nazhah al- Majalis, vol. 2, p. 209.
[6] Al- Fusul al- Muhimah, p. 33.
[7] Nur al- Absar, p. 86.
[8] Ali Asghar Rizwani, Imamology and answering to the doubts, vol. 1, p. 429.