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Debate of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) with an unbeliever

debate partHisham b. al- Hakam said: “There was an unbeliever in Egypt. The unbeliever heard something of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. He went to Medina to debate with Abu Abd Allah, but he did not find him there. It was said to him: `He (Abu Abd Allah) has been in Mecca.` So, he went to Mecca.

We (Hisham b. al- Hakam) were with Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. While we were performing the procession around the Kaaba, he (the unbeliever) met us by chance. His name was Abd al- Malik. His kunya was Abu Abd Allah.

His shoulder hit the shoulder of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. So, he (al- Sadiq) said to him: `What is your name? “Abd al- Malik`, answered the unbeliever.” `What is you kunya?` asked al- Sadiq. `Abu Abd Allah,` answered the unbeliever. So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: ` who is this king (Malik) whose servant is you? Is he among the kings of the earth or among the kings of the heavens? Then tell me about your son, is he the servant of the God of the heavens or the servant of the god of the earth? Say whatever you like.`
Then al- Sadiq said to the unbeliever: `When I have finished the procession around the Kaaba, come to me.` When Abu Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, finished that, the unbeliever came and sat before Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. We (Hisham and His companions) were sitting in the presence of al- Sadiq. Then, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq) said to the unbeliever” Do you know that the earth has upper part and lower part? ` `Yes, ` said the unbeliever. ` `Have you come in its lower part? ` Asked al- Sadiq. `No, ` answered the unbeliever.

`Do you know that there is something in its lower part? ` Asked al- Sadiq. The unbeliever answered: `I do not know. However, I think that there is nothing in its lower part. ` Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: `Mere thinking is feebleness. Why aren`t you certain? ` Then, Abu Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, said: `Have you ascended to the sky? ` `No, ` answered the unbeliever.

Al- Sadiq ask: `Do you know that it has something or not? ` `No, ` answered the unbeliever. So, al- Sadiq said: `How wonderful! You have not reached the east nor the west, you have not descended to the lower part of the earth nor have you ascended into the sky, nor have you gone any further to know what is beyond them. However, you have denied what they have, then does the wise man deny what he does not know? `

The unbeliever said to al- Sadiq: `No one has told me about that except you.`
Then, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said to the unbeliever: `Then you have doubt about that (the Creator). Perhaps, He is existent, and perhaps He is nonexistent.` The unbeliever person said: `Maybe.` So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said:

`The person who does not know has no proof over him who knows. The ignorant person has no proof Brother of the people of Egypt, understand my words: We never doubt Allah. Do you not know that the sun and moon, day and night come successively, while they do no mistake, nor do they come back? They have been forced to do that. They have no place except their palaces. If they were able to leave their places, then why do they come back? Besides the one who has forced them to do that is wiser and greater than them. ` So, the unbeliever said: `You are right.`

Then Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: `Brother of the people of Egypt, you think that the time forces them (the sun and the moon, day and night) to come successively, then why does the time not force them to come back? And if the time was able to force them to come back, why does it not take them away?
Brother of the people of Egypt, if they are forced (to do that), why is the sky raised? Why is the earth set? Why does the sky do not slope down the earth? Why does the earth do not slope down its layers? Why do the sky and the earth do not stick together? Why does what`s on the earth not stick together? ` The unbeliever person said: `Their Lord and Master has prevented them (the sky and the earth) from sticking together. `

He (Hisham b. al- Hakam) said: `So, the unbeliever believed in Allah with the help of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him. ` Then, Hamran b. A`yun said:

“May I be ransom for you, the unbelievers believed in Allah with the help of your father, too.” Then the unbeliever who believed in Allah with the help of Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said to al- Sadiq: “Make me among your students.” So, Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, said: “Hisham, the teacher of the people of Sham (Syria) and Egypt, teach him belief.” So, the inner self of the unbeliever became good. Then Abu Abd Allah (al- Sadiq), peace be on him, was satisfied with him.

(EhtejajeTabrisi, v.2, p.75)

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