As discussed, the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a permit no criticism or condemnation of any of his companions and maintain the belief in their collective uprightness. If any free thinker writes about them and undertakes to criticize the deeds of some companions, they defame him; in fact, they deem him to be an unbeliever even if he is amongst their own scholars. This is what has happened to some of the free thinking Egyptian and non-Egyptian scholars like Shaykh Mahmud Abu Rayya, author of "The Lights on the sunna of Muhammad" and "Shaykh al-Muzayra", and like Qadi Shaykh Muhammad Amin al-Antaki, author of "Why I chose the school of ahl al-bayt", and like Sayyid Muhammad b. 'Aqil who composed the book "The complete advice for [he] who befriends Mu'awiya". Indeed, some Egyptian writers labelled Shaykh Mahmud Shaltut, grand Shaykh of the University of Azhar, an infidel when he issued the ruling that it was permissible to worship according to the Ja'fari madhab.
If the grand Shaykh of Azhar, the mufti of all of Egyptian schools, is despised for merely recognizing the Shi'i school which is traced to the teacher of the scholars, Ja'far al-Sadiq (A.S.); then what do you think [they would do] to one who chooses to follow this school after research and conviction, and undertakes to criticize the madhab he used to follow, having inherited it from his fathers and forefathers? This is what the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a will not permit, for they consider it as heresy in religion and going out of [the fold of] Islam; as though Islam is, in their reckoning, the four madhabs and everything else is false. These are petrified and stagnant minds resembling those minds which the Qur'an talks of, and that which the Prophet's (P) call encountered. It defied him intensely, for he invited them to monotheism and abandoning the numerous gods. The most High says: "And they wonder when a warner comes to them from amongst themselves, and the unbelievers say: "This is a lying sorcerer, has he made all the gods as one? This is a surprising thing" (38:5).
I am safe from the malicious attacks that will be directed against me from those zealous persons who have kept themselves in authority over others. [To them], no one has the right to oppose their writings even if his writings do not take anything away from Islam. Otherwise, how could one who criticizes some of the companions be judged to have gone out of [the fold of] Islam and [become] a disbeliever when the foundations and branches of religion does not have anything [to do] with that?
Some fanatics were propagating amongst themselves that my book "Then I was Guided" is like Salman Rushdie's [work], in order to prevent people from reading it and so as to encourage them to curse the book.
This is a plot, forgery and great slander which the Lord of the Worlds will account for. How can they compare "Then I was Guided" which calls to the belief in the infallibility of the Messenger (P), his being beyond reproach, and [calls for] the following of the Imams of the ahl al-bayt from whom Allah has removed all filth and purified completely, with "The Satanic Verses" in which its accursed writer reviles Islam and the Prophet of Islam (P) and considers Islam is [due to] the inspiration of the devils?
Allah says: "O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice and bear witness for Allah, even if it be against yourselves" (4:135).
Due to this noble verse, I care not except for the pleasure of Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, and I fear no criticism as long as I am defending the correct Islam and distancing its noble Prophet from every error, even if that is at the expense of criticizing some close companions, even if they were among "the rightly guided Caliphs", because the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) is more worthy of distancing [from error] than any mortal.
The unbiased, perceptive reader will understand from all my works what is my desired goal for the issue is not to denigrate or degrade the companions, it is to defend the Prophet of Allah (P) and his infallibility, and to defend him against the misconceptions which the Umayyads and the 'Abbasids cultivated about Islam and the Prophet of Islam during the early centuries when they ruled the Muslims with tyranny and force, changing Allah's religion according to what worldly goals, base politics and evil desires dictated.
Their major plots have influenced a large segment of Muslims who followed them out of good intentions towards them and accepted all the distortions and lies they narrated, assuming them to be true and to be a part of Islam; and that it was obligatory on every Muslim to follow them, not to question [them].
Were the Muslims to know the truth of the matter, they would not accord any importance to them or to their narrations. Had history narrated to us that the companions obeyed the commands and prohibitions of the Prophet of Allah (P) and had not argued with him or opposed his judgments, and that they did not disobey him in numerous rulings during the last days of his life, we would have judged all of them to be upright and we would have had no such scope for discussion or speech [against them]. However, amongst them were liars, hypocrites and corrupt ones, according to the Qur'anic text and the authenticated correct sunna.
They disagreed [with each other] in his presence and disobeyed him in the matter of writing [the testament] to the point that they accused him of hallucination and prevented him from writing. They did not to follow his commands when he appointed Usama over them. They differed on his Caliphate to the extent that they neglected his washing, preparation and burial arguing, instead, about the Caliphate. Some of them were happy about it and others rejected it. Indeed, they differed on everything after him until they accused each other of disbelief, cursed each other, fought and killed each other, and dissociated from each other. [Due to this] Allah's one religion split into different sects with divergent views.
Given this situation, it is necessary, therefore, that we search for the cause and flaws that made the best and most desirable of nations created for man to decay; it became the lowest, most ignorant and debased nation on the face of the earth, it's respect destroyed, sanctity defiled and its people colonized, banished and evicted from their lands; they could not defend [themselves] against the transgressors nor could they remove the shame on it's face.
The sole cure for this difficulty, as I see it, is self criticism. Let us forget the praising of our forebears, our false glories which have evaporated and have become ruined museums, empty even of visitors. The reality calls upon us to examine the reasons for our maladies, our remaining behind, our fragmentation and our failures, until we discover the disease and identify a beneficial cure for our well being; before it overcomes us and affects the last one of us. This is the desired goal, Allah is the only one worthy of worship; He is the guide of his servants to the right path.
And as long as our goal is a correct one then there is no value to the opposition of those fanatics who know nothing except insults and slander in their arguments for defending the companions. We will neither rebuke nor hate them after observing their situation, for they are deprived, misguided by their good intention for the companions. This has prevented them from arriving at the truth. They are like the children of the Jews and Christians who have trust in their fathers and grandfathers and do not impose upon themselves [the task of] research in Islam; relying, instead, on the utterances of their predecessors, that Muhammad was a liar and that he was not a Prophet. Allah says: "The people of the book went astray only after clear signs came to them" (98:3).
With the passing of successive centuries, it has become difficult for a Muslim today to convince a Jew or a Christian of the Islamic creed, what if someone tells them that the Bible and Torah in circulation are forgeries and proves that by the Qur'an, will this Muslim find a sympathetic ear amongst them?
Similarly with a simple Muslim who believes in the uprightness of every companion and is zealous about it with no proof. Is it possible for anyone to convince him otherwise?
If they are not able to find fault and criticize Mu'awiya and his son Yazid, and there are numerous others like them who distorted Islam by their evil deeds - what if they are told about Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman, the truthful one, the distinguisher, and one whom the angels are shy of? Or of 'A'isha, mother of the believers, wife of the Prophet (P), daughter of Abu Bakr, whom we have discussed in the preceding chapter of how the reliable authors of the Sihah works, according to the ahl al-sunna, have narrated from her? Now we have reached the stage of the role of the three Caliphs. Let us discover some of their deeds which the Sunni Sahih and Musnad and reliable historical works have recorded against them, so that we can illustrate firstly that the concept of collective uprightness of the companions is incorrect, and that righteousness was missing even from [some] close companions.
Secondly, we will illustrate for our ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a brothers that these criticisms do not amount to insults or slander or denigration, rather, they are means of removing the veils so as to reach the truth, and that they are not inventions or lies of the Rafidis, as most people claim. On the contrary, they are narrations from books that have been judged to be correct and they have obligated themselves to [accept] it.
In volume 6 page 46 of his Sahih, in "The Chapter on the Interpretation of Sura al-Hujurat of the Qur'an", al-Bukhari relates that Nafi' b. 'Umar reported from Ibn Abi Malika that "The two pious ones, i.e., Abu Bakr and 'Umar (R.) were very nearly destroyed, for they raised their voices in the presence of the Prophet (S.A.W) when the delegation from Banu Tamim came to him; one of the two recognized [as their leader] al-Aqra b. Habis, the brother of Banu Majasha, and the other recognized another person. Nafi' said: 'I don't remember his name' whereupon Abu Bakr said to 'Umar: 'You only wish to contradict me'. He replied: 'I did not wish to contradict you'. And their voices rose [in argument] over that matter, and Allah revealed: 'O you who believe, do not raise your voices ...'. Ibn Zubayr [later] said: 'After this, 'Umar's voice was not heard by the Prophet to the extent that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had to ask what he had said. And he ['Umar] didn't mention [the matter] about his father, I mean Abu Bakr'".
Similarly, in volume 8, page 145 in "The Chapter concerning Adherence to the Qur'an and the Sunna" under the heading of "What is Disliked about getting Embroiled [in Argument] and Contention" al-Bukhari relates: "Waki' informed us from Nafi' b. 'Umar from Ibn Abi Malika that: 'The two righteous ones, Abu Bakr and 'Umar, were nearly destroyed when the delegation of Banu Tamim came to the Prophet (S.A.W.). One of them pointed to al-Aqra b. Habis al-Tamim al-Hanzali, the brother of Banu Majasha, and the other indicated someone else. Then Abu Bakr said to 'Umar: 'Surely, you only wish to contradict me'. 'Umar said: 'I did not wish to contradict you'. And their voices rose in front of the Prophet (S.A.W.), and the verse was revealed: 'O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet nor address him the way you do each other lest your deeds be in vain and you perceive not. Those that lower their voices in the presence of the Prophet, they are those whose hearts Allah has tested for piety; for them is forgiveness and a great reward'".
Ibn Abi Malika said that Ibn al-Zubayr [later] said: "Thereafter 'Umar didn't mention the matter regarding his father, i.e., Abu Bakr, and whenever he spoke to the Prophet about something, he would do so in a whisper and could not be heard to the extent that the Prophet had to tell him to speak up".
Similarly, in volume 5, page 116 in the "Section on Military Campaigns (the delegation of Banu Tamim)" al-Bukhari in his Sahih relates from Hisham b. Yusuf, on the authority of Ibn Jurayj, who informed them, on the authority of Ibn Abi Malika, who related that 'Abd Allah b. Zubayr informed them that a delegation from Banu Tamim came to the Prophet (S.A.W.), and Abu Bakr said: ìMake the chief al-Qa'Qa'a b. Ma'bad b. Zuraraî and 'Umar said: "Rather, select al-Aqra b. Habis". Abu Bakr said: "You do only wish to contradict me", and 'Umar said: "I did not wish to contradict you". And they argued until their voices had risen, and the following verse was then revealed: "O you who believe! Do not put yourselves forward between Allah and his Apostle..."
It is apparent from these narrations that Abu Bakr and 'Umar did not behave in a proper way, i.e., in accordance with proper Islamic conduct in the presence of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and allowed themselves to advance in front of Allah and His Prophet without permission; nor did the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) ask for their views in appointing anyone from Banu Tamim as a leader; then, they were not content until they were arguing in his presence and their voices had risen in front of him (S.A.W.) with no respect or care for what is customarily decreed by good character and morals, values of which none of the companions could have been ignorant and which they could not have ignored after Allahís Prophet (S.A.W.) committed his life to their education and upbringing.
Had this event occurred in the early days of Islam, we would have sought to find an excuse for the two shaykhs and would have tried to find some explanation for this. But the reports have been indubitably established that the event occurred in the last days of the Prophet (S.A.W.), since the delegation from Banu Tamim journeyed to the Prophet (S.A.W.) in 9 A.H., and he only lived for a few months after that. Every historian and hadith scholar who has mentioned the coming of the delegation to the Prophet (S.A.W.) has testified [to it]. In addition, the noble Qur'an also refers to it in one of the last chapters: "When help and victory from Allah comes, and you see people entering Islam in large groups...".
That being the case, how can the apologists make excuses for the stance of Abu Bakr and 'Umar in the presence of the Prophet (S.A.W.)? If the account was restricted to the position here exemplified by the two companions only, we would not have the scope for [wide] criticism and objection. However, Allah, who is not shy of the truth, recorded [the incident] and revealed a Qur'anic verse that followed. It contains rebuke and warning for Abu Bakr and 'Umar to the effect that, were they to repeat their deed, Allah would negate their [good] works. Similarly, the narrator of the event began his report with the statement: "The two pious men, Abu Bakr and 'Umar, were almost destroyed...". And the narrator of the incident 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, attempted to convince us that 'Umar, after the revelation of this verse concerning him, whenever he spoke to the Prophet (P), he did so in such a low voice that he had to be asked [to repeat what he said].
In spite of the fact that he didn't mention the [equally reproachable conduct] on the part of his grandfather Abu Bakr, the historical accounts and the hadith, preserved by the hadith scholars, proves the opposite of it. It suffices to mention the calamity of the Thursday, [just] three days before the death of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), when we find the very same 'Umar uttering his sinister words: "Surely the Prophet of Allah is hallucinating, the book of Allah is enough for us". The people were differing between themselves, there being those who said: "Draw near to the Prophet so that he may write [his behest] for you"; and there were those who were saying what 'Umar said.
When the clamor and dissension had increased, the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said to them: "Go away from me; it is not fitting that the argument should occur near me". It is to be understood from the intensity of the rude talk, clamor, disagreement and contention that they overstepped every limit that Allah had set for them in Sura al-Hujurat, as we have already mentioned. There is no possibility of our being convinced that their disagreement, contention and clamor were done quietly in one anotherís ears; on the contrary, it is to be understood from all this that they raised their voices so loudly that even the women, who were behind the curtain and the veil, participated in the argument, saying: "Go close to the Prophet (P) so that the letter may be written". Thereupon 'Umar said to them: "You are indeed the women of Yusuf - if he is ill you squeeze tears from your eyes and if he gets better you ride his neck". The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) then said to him: "Leave them alone, for they are better than you".
Our conclusion from all of this is that they did not carry out Allah's command: "O you who believe, do not advance before Allah and His Prophet and do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet..." nor did they respect the position of the Prophet or behave properly when they slandered him with the term ìhajaraî (i.e. hallucinating).
Even prior to this, Abu Bakr had uttered abhorrent words in the presence of the Apostle (S.A.W.) when he said to 'Urwa b. Mas'ud: "Go lick the clitoris of al-Ab". Regarding this expression, al-Qastalin, a commentator on al-Bukhari said: "The expression to "Lick the clitoris..." is one of the crudest insults among the Arabs..." If such expressions were being uttered in the presence of the Prophet (S.A.W.), what then is the meaning of "and do not raise your voices over his as you do with each other?"
The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was of exalted character (as his Lord described him) and more shy than a virgin in her chambers (as is reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim), for both have clearly reported that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was neither corrupt nor obscene, and used to say: "The best among you is the one possessing the most upright character"; then how is it that the close companions were not influenced by his exalted character?
I would add to all this that Abu Bakr did not carry out the command of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) when he appointed Usama b. Zayd over him and made him one of his soldiers, and severely rebuked those who stayed behind till he said: "Allah has cursed whoever stays behind from the army of Usama". This was after he had received the news about people defaming him on the matter of appointing Usama as the leader, an incident reported by most of the historians and biographers.
Similarly, he hurried to Saqifa and participated in the elimination of 'Ali b. Abu Talib from the Caliphate, and left the body of Allah's Apostle (S.A.W.) a covered corpse, may my father and mother be sacrificed for him. He did not concern himself with bathing, or enshrouding, or preparing him for burial, or burying him; busying himself, instead, with the position of the Caliphate and leadership for which he extended his neck. Where then was the close companionship, the alleged friendship and good character? I am astonished at the attitude of these companions towards their Prophet, who devoted his life to their guidance, nourishment and advise, these companions to whom the Qur'an advised; "What befalls you concerns him, he is watching you, he is kind and merciful to the believers". Still, [we see them] leaving him [as] a stiffening corpse, and hurrying instead to Saqifa to appoint one among themselves as Caliph! Today, we live in the twentieth century which we claim is the most wretched one, wherein morals have vanished and values have evaporated; yet, in spite of all this, if a neighbour amongst the Muslims dies, they rush to him and busy themselves until they bury him in his grave, in accordance with the saying of the Prophet (S.A.W.): "Honoring the dead means burying him".
'Ali b. Abi Talib, the Commander of the Faithful, disclosed these events when he said: "By God, Ibn Abi Qahafa put the shirt [of Caliphate] on himself while he surely knew that my position vis a vis the Caliphate was like the position of a pivot to a grinding mill". After this, Abu Bakr allowed the attack upon the house of Fatima al-Zahra, and threatened to burn it unless those who dissented from pledging allegiance to him came out. What happened did happen, historians have mentioned in their books and narrators have transmitted [it] generation after generation. We are not going to mention it here, whoever wants to know more should read the historical books.
In volume 5, page 82 in "The Book of Military Campaigns" in "The Chapter of the Conquest of Khaybar", on the authority of 'Urwa, from 'A'isha, al-Bukhari reports that Fatima (A.S.), the daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W.), sent someone to Abu Bakr asking for her inheritance from what Allah's Apostle had left behind. [This included] the fay property bestowed on him by Allah, i.e., booty gained without fighting in Medina and Fadak, and from what remained of the khumus booty from [the battle of] Khaybar. On that, Abu Bakr said: "Allah's Apostle said: 'Our property is not inherited. Whatever we leave, is sadaqa, but the family of Muhammad can eat of this property'. By Allah, I will not make any change in the state of the sadaqa of Allah's Apostle and will leave it as it was during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle, and will dispose of it as he used to do". So Abu Bakr refused to give anything of that to Fatima. So she became angry with Abu Bakr and kept away from him, and did not speak to him till she died. She remained alive for six months after the death of the Prophet. When she died, her husband, 'Ali, buried her at night without informing Abu Bakr. When Fatima was alive, the people used to respect 'Ali much, but after her death, 'Ali noticed a change in the people's attitude towards him. So 'Ali sought reconciliation with Abu Bakr and gave him the oath of allegiance. 'Ali had not given the oath of allegiance during those six months ...".
Muslim reports in volume 2 of his Sahih, in "The Book of Jihad" in the Chapter "We do not leave Inheritance, but whatever we leave is Sadaqa" on the authority of 'A'isha, the mother of the believers (R), that Fatima (A.S.), the daughter of Allahís Prophet (S.A.W.), asked Abu Bakr ìal-Siddiqî, after the Prophetís death to apportion to her the inheritance from what the Prophet (S.A.W.) had left from [his share] of the spoils of war. Thereupon Abu Bakr said to her: "The Prophet of Allah said: 'We do not leave inheritance. What we leave is charity'". Then Fatima, daughter of the Prophet of God (S.A.W.), became angry with him and avoided him, continuing thus until she died; she lived for six months after the Prophet's death. 'A'isha said: "Fatima used to ask Abu Bakr for her share from what the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) left behind of [his share] of Khaybar and Fadak, and from his sadaqa in Medina. Abu Bakr denied her request and said: 'I will abandon nothing which the Prophet (S.A.W.) used to do, I will also do it. [This is] because I fear that, should I depart from what he commanded, I would go astray'. As for the Prophetís sadaqa of Medina, 'Umar has given it to 'Ali and 'Abbas, and, [as for] the properties of Khaybar and Fadak, 'Umar withheld them, and said: 'These two are charities from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) his rights fall to his deputies, and their administration is for whosoever is the leader. Thus they are till today'".
The two Shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim) abridged and shortened these reports so that the truth may not be clear to the researchers. For them, this is a familiar art, which they espoused in order to preserve the honor of the [first] three Caliphs. (We have a separate treatise concerning the two scholars on this issue, and, God willing, we will present it in the near future).
In any case, the narrations they have reported are sufficient to disclose the truth about Abu Bakr, who refuted the claim of Fatima al-Zahra, which merited her anger upon him and her shunning him unto her death (A.S.), and necessitated her burial at night in secret by her husband; and, according to her will, Abu Bakr was not being permitted by her to attend. We also learn from these narrations that 'Ali did not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr for a period of six months, which is the period that Fatima lived after her father and that he was compelled to take this oath when he found that the faces of the people were turning against him, and so he sought to reconcile with Abu Bakr.
What al-Bukhari and Muslim altered was Fatimaís (A.S.) claim that her father, the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), had given her Fadak as a gift during his lifetime; and it (Fadak) was not therefore an inheritance. Even if we were to assume that Prophets do not leave inheritances, as Abu Bakr narrated from the Prophet (P), she refuted his claim and opposed him by [quoting] the text of the Qur'an which states "And Solomon inherited from David". In any case, Fadak was not covered by this alleged hadith, since it was a gift to her and was in no way a part of inheritance.
Consequently, one finds that all historians and scholars of tafsir, as well as of hadith, relate that Fatima (A.S.) claimed that Fadak was her property and that Abu Baker refuted her, asking her to provide witnesses to support her claim. She brought 'Ali b. Abi Talib and Umm Ayman, but Abu Bakr did not accept their testimony, considering it insufficient. Ibn Hajar admitted this in his al-Sawaíiq al-Muhriqa when he reported that Fatima claimed that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had given her Fadak as a gift but had no witness to her claim except 'Ali and Umm Ayman. Yet their testimony did not meet the stipulated conditions to be considered as sufficient proof.
Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi said in his Tafsir: "After the death of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), Fatima claimed that he had given Fadak as a gift to her, whereupon Abu Bakr said to her: 'You are the dearest of people to me in poverty, and the most beloved in richness, but I cannot ascertain the truth of your claim. Therefore, I am not allowed to rule in your favour'". Imam al-Razi said: "Umm Ayman testified for her, as did the trustee of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). Abu Bakr then asked her to bring a witness whose testimony could be accepted according to the shari'a, and there was none".
Fatima's claim that Fadak had been given to her as a gift from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and Abu Bakr's denial of her claim, as well as his rejecting the testimony of 'Ali and Umm Ayman, are well known to the historians. Indeed all [of them] have mentioned this, from Ibn Taymiyya to the author of al-Sira al-Halabiyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziya, and others.
But al-Bukhari and Muslim abridged the narrations, and reported only Fatima's request, specifically relating to the inheritance, so that the reader should assume that Fatima's anger against Abu Bakr was improper, and that Abu Bakr had only acted upon what he had heard from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W); and that she was the wrong-doer, Abu Bakr the victim. All this was to protect Abu Bakr's honour. There was no consideration to observe honesty in transmission, nor reliability in hadith [transmission], a fact which would have exposed the shortcomings of the Caliphs and [would have] refuted the lies and pretexts composed by the Umayyads and the supporters of the "rightly guided" Caliphate, even though this was at the expense of the Prophet himself (S.A.W.), or his "part", al-Zahra (A.S.). Because of this, al-Bukhari and Muslim have won the leadership of the hadith scholars among the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a and their books have been regarded as the most authentic books after the book of Allah. This invention is not based on academic proof, and we will, God willing, research the subject in a separate chapter so that we may expose the truth for those who wish to know it.
However, we still [have enough proof to] challenge Muslim and al-Bukhari, who only transmitted a small amount of merits of Fatima al-Zahra (A.S.). There is enough evidence for the conviction of Abu Bakr who knew al-Zahra and her status with Allah and His Prophet (P) more than al-Bukhari and Muslim did. Despite this, he refuted her, and did not accept her testimony or that of her husband, of whom the Prophet of Allah said: "'Ali is with the truth, and the truth is with 'Ali, hovering about him wherever he goes". Thus, let us compare the testimonies of al-Bukhari and Muslim with what the bearer of the Message (S.A.W.) confirmed about the merits of his [own] flesh and blood, al-Zahra.
In his Sahih, volume 7 in "The Chapter of the Virtues of the Ahl al-bayt" Muslim reports that 'A'isha said: "The Prophet (S.A.W.) emerged one morning wearing a cloak of black hair. Al-Hasan came and he covered him with the cloak. Then al-Husayn came, and he joined him. Then Fatima came and he brought her within. Then 'Ali came and he covered him too. Then he recited: 'Allah desires to cleanse you from impurities, O ahl al-bayt, and purify you completely'. Since Fatima al-Zahra was the only woman in the umma whom Allah had thus cleansed and purified from every sin and disobedience, I wonder who was Abu Bakr to reject her testimony and ask her for witnesses?
Al-Bukhari reported in his collection, volume 7, in "The Book of Seeking Permission" under the section about "One who confides to his Companion in the Presence of others, and does not inform of the secret of his Companions until he dies" and Muslim reports in "The Book Of Merits" that A'isha, the mother of the believers, said: "We, the wives of the Prophet (S.A.W.), were all together with him, not one of us left, and then Fatima (A.S.) came walking along, by Allah, her style was similar to that of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). When he saw her, he welcomed her saying: 'Welcome my daughter' and then he made her seat on either his right or his left and whispered to her. She began to weep bitterly. When he perceived her sadness, he whispered to her a second time whereupon she laughed. I said to her while I was still with his other wives: 'The Prophet of Allah favored you among us with a secret, and then you wept'. When the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) left, I asked her: 'What was the secret he told you'? Fatima said: 'I cannot breach the confidence of the Prophet of Allah'. After he died, I said to her: 'I hold you by whatever right I have over you to tell me'. She said: 'It is allright for me to do so now' and she informed me: 'When he whispered to me the first time, he informed me: 'Gibra'il used to present the Qur'an once every year to me, and this year he had done so twice. There could be no other reason for this except that my time is near. So fear Allah and be patient. For I am the best of those who should go before for you'. Then Fatima (A.S.) said: 'Then I wept as you saw. And when he saw my grief, he shared a second secret with me. He said: 'O Fatima, are you not happy that you are the leader of the believing women or the leader of the women of this umma?'"
If Fatima al-Zahra (A.S.), is the leader of the believing women, as is affirmed by the Prophet of Allah, and yet Abu Bakr denies her claim to Fadak and rejects her testimony, then what testimony is acceptable after this, I wonder?
In volume 4 of his collection, al-Bukhari reported in "The Book of the Beginning of Creation" in "The Chapter on The Virtue of Closeness to the Prophet (S.A.W.)" that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "Fatima is the leader of the women of paradise". It necessarily means, therefore, that Fatima is the leader of the women of all the worlds, for the dwellers of paradise are not only from the umma of Muhammad, as is obvious. How then could Abu Bakr, "the truthful one" have repudiated her evidence? Don't they allege that he attained the title "al-Siddiq" because he used to believe in everything that his companion Muhammad said to him? Why did he not believe him regarding what he said of own "part", al-Zahra? Or was it that the issue pertained not so much to Fadak, charity and the gifts as it pertained to the Caliphate, which was the right of 'Ali, the husband of Fatima? His denial of Fatima and her husband, who bore witness on her behalf on the question of the gift, was by far the better choice for him because, in so doing, he closed the doors to any further claims she might make. What a monstrous plot this was, nearly enough to make the mountains disappear.
In volume 4, in "The Book of the Beginning of Creation" under "The Chapter of the Virtues of Fatima (A.S.), the daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W.)" al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that Abu Walid said that Ibn 'Uyayna reported on the authority of 'Amr b. Dinar on the authority of Ibn Abi Malika, on the authority of al-Miswar b. Mukhrima that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "Fatima is a part of me, and whoever angers, her angers me". "Fatima is a part of me, and whatever she detests, I detest and what hurts her, hurts me". If the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) becomes angry when his part, al-Zahra, gets angry, and suffers for her suffering, it follows therefore that she is preserved from all errors; otherwise it would not have been permissible for the Prophet (S.A.W.) to say something like this. This is because it is permissible to cause suffering and to anger anyone who commits a misdemeanor, regardless of his status, as the Islamic shari'a does not allow leeway for [special treatment for] ties of kinship, far or near, aristocrat or peon, rich or poor. If the matter is as stated, then who was Abu Bakr to hurt al-Zahra and not heed to her anger? In fact he angered her until she died; she was offended and even shunned him, not speaking to him until she passed away, supplicating against him in every prayer she prayed, as is reported in the history of Ibn Qutayba and other historians.
Indeed these are bitter and painful truths which jolt the pillars and shake our faith. The impartial researcher, devoted to the truth and reality, has no alternative but to admit that Abu Bakr wronged al-Zahra and usurped her rights. It was possible for him, as Caliph of the Muslims, to placate her and give her what she claimed. This is because she was truthful as even Allah, the Prophet and all the Muslims, among whom was Abu Bakr, attest to her veracity. But it was politics that overturned everything; the truthful person became a liar and the liar, a truthful person.
Yes, it was a part of a plot instigated to alienate the Prophetís family from the position that Allah had chosen for them. It had started with the alienation of 'Ali from the Caliphate, and the wrongful seizure of the gift and inheritance of al-Zahra; and also the repudiation of her testimony, along with her humiliation, so that there would remain no respect for her in the hearts of the Muslims. It ended with the murders of 'Ali, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and all their children, their wives, were taken as prisoners of war, whilst their supporters and those who loved and followed them were killed. Perhaps these plots continue even till today; their actions are still being enacted and their fruits are still being reaped.
Certainly any free-thinking, unbiased Muslim will know, when he reads the history books and differentiates truth from falsity, that Abu Bakr was the first to wrong the ahl al-bayt. Reading the collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim suffices to expose the truth, if the researcher is truthful [in his research].
Here we have al-Bukhari as well as Muslim admitting apologetically that Abu Bakr used to believe any ordinary companion who petitioned him. But he denied Fatima, leader of the women of paradise, the one about whom Allah had affirmed [His] cleansing and [His] purifying her; and he (Abu Bakr) repudiated [the testimonies of] 'Ali and Umm Ayman! Let us read what al-Bukhari and Muslim have to say:
It is reported in volume 3 of Bukhariís Sahih, in "The Book of Testimonies", in "The Chapter of one Ordered to Fulfill a Promise", and, likewise, by Muslim in "The Book of Merits" under the heading: "Godís Prophet (S.A.W.) was never asked for something and he denied [the request] and his [generous] giving", that Jabir b. 'Abd Allah (R) said: "After the Prophet (S.A.W.) died, some property came to Abu Bakr from 'Alaí b. Hadramiyy, and Abu Bakr said: 'Whoever has given a loan to the Prophet (S.A.W.), or to whom he had promised anything, let him come to us'". Jabir said: "I said: 'The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) promised to give me this and this..' and he thrice spread his hands'". Jabir said: "And he counted five hundred [dinars], then another five hundred and another five hundred in my hands".
Did anyone ask Abu Bakr why he believed Jabir b. 'Abd Allahís claim that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had promised to give him this and this and this, and filled his hands three times to the sum of fifteen hundred [dinars], without asking him to produce a single corroborating witness? Was Jabir b. 'Abd Allah more God-fearing and pious than Fatima, leader of the women of all the worlds? Even more strange than all of the above, is the fact that Abu Bakr repudiated the testimony of her husband 'Ali b. Abi Talib, he whom Allah had cleansed from all impurity and had purified; he upon whom the invocation of blessings is an obligation for each Muslim, just as he invokes on the Prophet (S.A.W.). The Prophet made love for him [an act of] faith, hatred towards him [an act of] hypocrisy.
Furthermore, al-Bukhari has narrated another incident that gives us a true picture of the oppression on al-Zahra and the ahl al-bayt. From "The Book of the Gift and its Merits and the Strong Encouragement [to give Gifts]" in the chapter entitled: "It is not lawful for someone to take back his gift or charity", al-Bukhari relates in his Sahih that the tribe of Suhayb, which was a client of Ibn Jadh'an, laid claim to two houses and a room that they claimed that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had given to Suhayb. Marwan said: "Who will testify as witness on your behalf?" They said: "Ibn 'Umar". So they called him, and he corroborated their claim that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) gave Suhayb two houses and a room. Marwan based his judgment on Ibn 'Umar's testimony".
Observe, O Muslim, this behaviour and the judgments that favour some but not others. Is this not oppression and injustice? If the Caliph of the Muslims could judge in favor of plaintiffs solely on the testimony of Ibn 'Umar, then is it not appropriate for a Muslim to ask himself: "Why were the testimonies of 'Ali b. Abu Talib and Umm Ayman rejected?" The fact is that the [joint] testimony of a man and woman is stronger than that of a man only, if we are seeking to fulfill of all the conditions stipulated in the Qur'an [regarding the requisite number of witnesses]. Or is it that the sons of Suhayb were more trustworthy in their petitions than the daughter of the Prophet (A.S.)? Or was it that 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar was reliable in the eyes of the judges while 'Ali was not? As for the claim that the Prophet (S.A.W.) does not bequeath [an inheritance], the hadith that Abu Bakr presented; this was refuted by Fatima al-Zahra, who resorted to the book of Allah, that source of evidence that is never to be rejected, for it has been proven that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: "If a hadith comes to you from me, compare it with the book of Allah, and, if it agrees with the book of Allah, act upon it, and, if it contradicts the book of Allah, then discard it".
There is no doubt that this hadith was contradicted by numerous verses of the noble Qur'an. Was there any one to ask Abu Bakr and the Muslims at large, why was Abu Bakr's single testimony accepted in connection with the narration of this hadith, which contradicts [other] narrations, reason and is against Allah's book? And why were the testimonies of Fatima and 'Ali, which were in agreement with [other] transmissions, with reason, and were not against the book of Allah, rejected?
On top of all this, Abu Bakr, however high his status might be, and whatever his supporters and defenders may relate of his merits, cannot attain the station of al-Zahra, the leader of the women of the world, nor the station of 'Ali b. Abi Talib, whom the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) preferred above all the other companions in every field. Let us cite, by way of example, the day when the Prophet of Allah gave the standard and confirmed that he would issue it to one who loved Allah and His Prophet and, in turn, Allah and His Prophet loved him. All the companions longed for it, each wishing it to be given to him but he gave it to none but 'Ali. The Prophet of Allah said of him: "Surely, 'Ali is from me, and I am from him, and he is the guardian of every believer after me".
However much the extremists may doubt the authenticity of these hadiths, they will not doubt this; that the blessings on 'Ali and Fatima is a part of the blessings upon the Prophet (P), and that the prayers of Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, all those given the glad tidings of heaven, and all the companions along with all the Muslims, would not be accepted if they did not invoke therein blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, whom Allah had cleansed of every impurity and has purified, as is reported in the Sihah books of the ahl al-sunna such as al-Bukhari, Muslim, and other Sihah works.
[This reached the] point that Imam al-Shafi'i said: "His prayer is invalid who does not invoke blessings on you".
If it is permitted to lie and make spurious claims against these [members of the Prophetís household], then [we can say] good-bye to Islam, and perdition to the world. If you, however, ask why Abu Bakr's testimony was deemed admissible and that of the members of the Prophetís household was rejected, the answer is that he was the judge; and it is up to the judge to rule as he sees fit, for the truth is with him in all cases. Thus, the claim of the strong is akin to the claim of the lion, its proof resulting from the fang and the claw.
Come with me, O reader, so that the veracity of this statement may be made clear for you. See what contradictions al-Bukhari relates in his Sahih, especially regarding the matter of the inheritance of the Prophet. Al-Bukhari relates that Abu Bakr reported [the following hadith]: "We are the assembly of Prophets; we do not bequeath; whatever we leave is charity". This is the hadith that all the Sunnites believe, on which they base their proof for Abu Bakr not responding to Fatima al-Zahra's demand.
What clearly proves that the hadith was invalid, and was not known, is that Fatima claimed her inheritance, and so did the wives of the Prophet, the mothers of the believers, for they petitioned Abu Bakr, seeking their inheritance. This is what al-Bukhari reported and what is used as proof that Prophets leave no inheritance. But al-Bukhari contradicted himself by verifying that 'Umar b. al-Khattab distributed the Prophetís inheritance among his wives. For, in "The Book of Deputyship", in "The Chapter of Sharecropping by Division and the Like" al-Bukhari reports on the authority of Nafi' from 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar (R), who informed him that the Prophet concluded a contract with the people of Khaybar to utilize the land on the condition that half the products of fruits or vegetation would be their share. The Prophet used to give his wives one hundred wasaq (share of the crops) each, eighty wasaq of dates and twenty wasaq of barley. (When 'Umar became the Caliph) he gave the wives of the Prophet the option of either having the land and water as their shares, or carrying on the previous practice. Some of them chose the land and some chose the wasaq, and 'A'isha chose the land".
This narration clearly demonstrates that Khaybar, from which Fatima claimed her share, was like an inheritance for her from her father. Abu Bakr disallowed her claim on the basis that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) did not bequeath an inheritance. The narration also clearly shows that 'Umar b. al-Khattab divided Khaybar in the days of his Caliphate among the wives of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and gave them the option of owning the land or taking the wasaq (i.e. share of the crops), with 'A'isha choosing the land. If the Prophet (S.A.W.) did not bequeath, how is it that 'A'isha, the wife, inherited? And how is it that Fatima, the daughter, did not inherit?
Give us a legal opinion on this, O you of perception, and for you there will be rewards and blessings. In addition, 'A'isha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, appropriated the house of the Prophet of Allah (P) completely and no other wife got what 'A'isha did. She it was who buried her father in that house, and buried 'Umar beside her father, and yet forbade al-Husayn from burying his brother al-Hasan beside his grandfather, which led Ibn 'Abbas to tell her: "You rode a camel, you rode a donkey, and, if you live, you'll ride an elephant, for the ninth part is from the eighth, and in everything you do what you like".
In any case, I do not wish to prolong this subject, for it must be [left] for the researchers to refer to the annals of history. Nonetheless, it does not hurt to mention an excerpt from a speech that Fatima al-Zahra (A.S.) delivered when Abu Bakr and other prominent companions were present, so that who are destroyed are destroyed after clear signs [come to them] and those who are saved are saved after clear signs [come to them].
"Did you intentionally discard the book of Allah and hurl it behind your backs? It says: 'And Solomon inherited David...' and it says, regarding the story of Zakariyya: 'Grant me from Thyself an heir who will inherit me and the family of Ya'qub, and make him, O my Lord, one with whom You are well pleased'. And Allah says: 'Those who are related by birth are to inherit each other in accordance with Allah's Criterion'. And Allah says: 'Allah dictates to you regarding your [male] children, they get the share of two females' and again: 'It is prescribed for you that, if death approaches, you bequeath property, bequeath it to your parents and your closest kin in the prescribed way. This is a duty on those who are pious'. Did Allah dictate to you a special verse that my father had dismissed? Or are you more knowledgeable than my father and cousin [i.e., 'Ali] regarding the specific and general teachings of the Qur'an? Or is it that you say people of different faiths cannot inherit each other? What you do is recorded, sealed and waiting for you to stand before it on the day of gathering! Yes, the best judge is Allah; the best leader is Muhammad; and the specified time is the day of resurrection, when all who have lied will be the losers".
Both al-Bukhari, in "The Book of Calling the Apostates to Repent" in "The Chapter on Killing those who Refuse to Accept the Obligatory Laws and those Associated with Apostacy"; and Muslim, in "The Book of Faith" in "The Chapter on the Order to Fight People", report, on the authority of Abu Hurayra, who said: "After the Prophet had died, and Abu Bakr was made his successor, there were [some] Arabs who turned to disbelief. 'Umar said: 'O Abu Bakr! How can you fight the people when the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) has said: 'I have been ordered to fight the people until they say: 'There is no God but Allah' and whoever says this, makes himself and his property inviolable except by legal right, and his reckoning is with Allah?' Abu Bakr replied: 'By Allah! I will fight whoever differentiates between salat and zakat, for zakat is a lawful right upon the property! By Allah! Were they to withhold even a single animal that they used to give the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), I will fight them over their withholding it'. Then 'Umar said: 'By Allah! I saw then that Allah had opened the heart of Abu Bakr to [the cause of] fighting, and I realized then that it was correct'".
This is nothing strange with Abu Bakr and 'Umar, who had threatened to burn the house of Fatima, the leader of the women, along with those companions inside it who withheld the pledge of allegiance [to Abu Bakr]. If the burning to death of 'Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, al-Husayn and a party of the best of companions who had refused the pledge was a trivial thing for them, then the killing of those who refused the zakat is just a simple matter. For what is the value of these distant desert tribes, compared to the Prophetís family and the virtuous companions? I would add to it that those who refused to give their pledge perceived that the Caliphate was their right according to the designation of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). Even if we assume that there was no appointment on them, then it was still their right to refuse, to criticize and to voice their views if there was consultation, as they claim. The threat of them being burnt to death is established by overwhelmingly numerous reports. Had 'Ali not capitulated and ordered the companions to go out and give their pledge, to prevent the shedding of Muslim blood and to preserve the unity of Islam, there would have been no delay in carrying out the threat of burning them.
Yet the [controversy] subsided and their power grew strong; and there was no more opposition mentioned after the death of al-Zahra and after 'Aliís reconciliation with them. How could they then desist from [acting against] some tribes that refused to pay the zakat to them? A refusal based on the argument of waiting until the matters of the Caliphate and what happened after the Prophetís death were clarified, the Caliphate being, as 'Umar himself admitted, a sudden decision.
It is not strange therefore that Abu Bakr and his government should have undertaken the killing of innocent Muslims and the destruction of their sanctity and the enslavement of their women and progeny. Historians have documented that Abu Bakr sent Khalid b. al-Walid, who burnt to death the tribe of Banu Sulaym. He then sent him then to al-Yamama and to Banu Tamim, whom he treacherously killed, having bound them and beheaded them while in captivity. He killed Malik b. Nuwayra, an eminent companion whom the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had entrusted with charity money of his people, having confidence in him. He [Khalid] then slept with Malikís wife on the same night of her husband's murder. There is no strength and no power except with Allah, the Highest most Powerful.
Malik and his people were guilty of nothing [by way of opposition] except that they had heard of what had transpired after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.); the alienation of 'Ali and the oppression of al-Zahra, to the extent that she died still angry at them. Similarly, [they heard] the opposition of the chief of the Ansar, Sa'd b. 'Ubada, and his breaking of the oath, as well as the reports, which the desert tribes had circulated, casting doubt on the validity of the pledge to Abu Bakr. Due to all this, Malik and his people hesitated giving the zakat. The [resulting] decree from the Caliph and his supporters was that they be killed; their women and children taken as prisoners of war; their sanctity be defiled and they be subdued, so that the views of the dissidents and the arguments on the Caliphate may not spread to the rest of the Arabs.
Most unfortunately, you will find those who defend Abu Bakr and his government justifying his errors, despite the fact that Abu Bakr himself admitted them. They say what 'Umar did: "By Allah, I perceived that Allah had opened Abu Bakrís heart to fighting and I realized then that it was right".
Can we ask 'Umar the secret of his conviction concerning fighting the Muslims, about whom he himself had said that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had forbidden fighting as they had professed [the declaration] "there is no God but Allah?" Indeed, 'Umar himself had opposed Abu Bakr with this hadith. How then did he suddenly change his stance and convince [himself] about fighting them and know that it was the right thing simply because he felt Allah had expanded Abu Bakr's heart? How did this operation of expanding his heart occur? And how did 'Umar alone perceive it, to the exclusion of everyone else?
If this "opening of the heartî was figurative rather than literal, how would Allah open the hearts of a people to what would make them oppose His rules, which He had dictated through the tongue of His Prophet (S.A.W.)? How could Allah have said to His servants, through His Prophet: "Whosoever says: 'There is no God but God' you are forbidden to kill him, for his accounting lies with me", then He opens the heart of Abu Bakr and 'Umar to fighting them? Did revelation descend upon the two of them after Muhammad (P)? Or was it personal judgment, (ijtihad) dictated by political reasons, which discarded the laws of Allah?
As for those apologists who claim that they had reverted from Islam and that it was therefore obligatory to kill them, this allegation is not correct; whoever has read the historical books knows most certainly that those who withheld the zakat had not reverted from Islam. How could they have [done so] when they prayed with Khalid and his forces when he came to destroy them? Furthermore, Abu Bakr himself nullified this spurious claim by paying blood money for Malik from the state treasury and apologized for his death. No apology is needed for the killing of an apostate, nor is any blood money paid from the state treasury. None of the righteous predecessors ever said that those who withheld the zakat had reverted from Islam, except in the later periods when there sprang up [different] schools of thought (madhahib) and sects. The ahl al-sunna then tried their utmost, though unsuccessfully, to justify the actions of Abu Bakr, and found it necessary to formulate the charge of apostasy against them; for they knew that abusing Muslims was wicked and that killing them was [tantamount to] disbelief. This is what has been reported in the Sahih literature of the ahl al-Sunna, and even when al-Bukhari reported the account of Abu Bakr and his speech: "By Allah, I will fight whoever differentiates between salat and zakat..." he gave the chapter the title, "Whosoever refuses to accept the obligatory commandments, and what is attributed to them with [charges of] apostasy"; this is clear proof that he did not himself believe in the charge of their apostasy (as is obvious).
Yet, others have attempted explanations of the hadith, as did Abu Bakr, that zakat is a right upon property. It is an interpretation taken out of its rightful context.
Firstly: Because the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) forbade the killing of whoever said "la ilaha illa Allah"; there are several narrations on this, verified by the Sihah, as we will show presently.
Secondly: If zakat were a right on property, then the hadith allows, in this instance, for the judge to take the zakat by force from those who refuse it, without killing them or the spilling their blood.
Thirdly: If this explanation were correct, the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) would have fought Tha'laba, who refused to give the zakat to him. (The story is well known, and there is no need to repeat it).
Fourthly: We quote what has been authenticated by the Sihah regarding the prohibition of killing whoever says "la ilaha illa Allah." I shall restrict myself to al-Bukhari and Muslim and to some traditions, for the sake of brevity.
Muslim, in "The Book of Faith" in "The Chapter of Prohibition on the Killing of a Kafir after he says "la ilaha illa Allah", and al-Bukhari, in "The Book of Military Expeditions" relates: "Khalifa informed me, on the authority of Miqdad b. al-Aswad, that he said to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.): 'What do you think, if I were to meet a man from the disbelievers, and we were to fight, and if he struck one of my hands with his sword and severed it, then fled from me to the shelter of a tree, beseeching: 'I have submitted myself to Allah', should I, O Prophet of Allah, kill him after he has said this?' The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 'Do not kill him'. So he said: 'But, O Prophet of Allah, he cut off one of my hands, then he said it after severing it'. The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 'Do not kill him. Were you to kill him, he would be in your position before you killed him, and you would be in his position before he had uttered those words'".
This hadith shows us that it is forbidden to kill the kafir who professes "There is no God but Allah", even after his attack upon a Muslim and his cutting of his hand. There is no [question here of the] acceptance of Muhammad as a Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), nor of the [obligatory] prayer, zakat, fast of Ramadan, or pilgrimage. Where, then, do you go and how can you interpret [this]?
Al-Bukhari relates in his Sahih in "The Book of Military Campaigns" in the chapter [entitled]: "The Prophet (S.A.W.) sent Usama b. Zayd to al-Haraqat from Juhayna", and Muslim in "The Book of Faith" in "The Chapter on the Prohibition of the killing of a kafir after he has said 'There is no God but Allah'", on the authority of Usama b. Zayd, who said: "The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) sent us to al-Haraqat and we arrived there at dawn and attacked them; I and an Ansari were in combat with one of their men. After we defeated him, he said: 'There is no God but Allah'; the Ansari turned away from him, but I struck him with my spear until I killed him. When we returned, he informed the Prophet (S.A.W.) who said: 'O Usama, did you slay him after he said: 'There is no God but Allah?' I said: 'He was seeking to spare himself'. He (the Prophet) kept on repeating this until I wished I had not accepted Islam prior to that day".
This hadith proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is forbidden to kill whoever says "There is no God but Allah". Because of this, we observe the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) severely rebuking Usama until the latter wished he had not accepted Islam prior to that day, acting in accordance with the hadith "Islam cleans whatever was done before it"; and he yearned for Allah's forgiveness for that grave sin.
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih in "The Book of Clothing" in "The Chapter On White Clothes"; and Muslim narrated in "The Book of Faith" in "The Chapter on Whoever Dies not associating anything with Allah will enter heaven" that Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (R) said: "I came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and he was clothed in a white outfit and was asleep. I came again and [this time] he was awake. He said: 'Any servant who says 'There is no God but Allah' and then dies in this state, enters paradise'. I said: 'Even if he fornicates and steals?' He said: 'Yes, even if he fornicates and steals'. I said: 'Even if he fornicates and steals?' He said: 'Yes, even if he fornicates and steals'. I said: 'Even if he fornicates and steals?' He said: 'Yes even if he fornicates and steals, despite what Abu Dharr feels'".
Whenever he used to relate the hadith, Abu Dharr used to say: "Despite what Abu Dharr feels". This is another hadith which confirms admission to paradise for anyone who says: "There is no God but Allah" and then dies in that state, killing him is forbidden. This is in spite of what Abu Bakr or 'Umar and all their helpers, who interpreted away the realities and turned them upside down, so as to protect the honor of their predecessors and their seniors who changed the rulings of Allah, might have felt.
Most certainly Abu Bakr and 'Umar knew these rulings for they were closer than we are to grasping the rulings, and closer than others to the bearer of the message. However, for the sake of the Caliphate, they reinterpreted the bulk of the rulings of Allah and His Prophet (P), even though they had knowledge and proofs.
Perhaps, when Abu Bakr resolved to fight those who withheld the zakat, and 'Umar opposed him with the Prophetic hadith forbidding that, he (Abu Bakr) convinced his companion that it was he ('Umar) who had carried the firewood to burn the house of Fatima by himself, and that the least that could be said for Fatima was that she used to testify, "there is no God but Allah". He perhaps also persuaded him that 'Ali and Fatima were still of high standing in the capital city of the Caliphate whereas the tribes withholding the zakat, if they were left alone to consult their matters within the Islamic state, they would have a major influence on the centre of the Caliphate. With that, 'Umar perceived that Allah "had opened Abu Bakr's heart" to fighting [such tribes] and admitted that he was right.
Whenever the researcher dwells into the history books and acquaints himself with the inner workings of the governments of the three Caliphs, he realizes with absolute certitude that they were the ones who forbade the writing and recording of the noble Prophetic hadiths. Indeed, they even prevented [people from] talking about the hadith and transmitting it to the people, for they undoubtedly knew that it would not serve their interests or, at the very least, that [the hadith] would oppose and contradict a lot of their verdicts; and what they had interpreted was based on their reasoning and according to what their interests dictated. The hadith of the Prophet (S.A.W.) is the second source for law in Islam. In fact it explains and makes clear the primary source, the noble Qur'an, and [this] was left forsaken and forbidden during their reign. For this reason, the hadith scholars and historians agree that the collection and recording of the hadith started during the time of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz (R) or even a little later on. Al-Bukhari reported in "The Book of Knowledge" in "The Chapter on How Knowledge is Acquired" that 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz wrote to Abu Bakr b. Hazm [and said]: "See what there is of the hadith of Allahís Apostle (S.A.W.) and commit it to writing. I fear the studies of the sciences while the scholars pass away. Nothing should be accepted but the hadith of the Prophet (S.A.W.); so let them [i.e. the learned] spread the knowledge and let them sit together so that the one who is ignorant will learn. Knowledge is not destroyed until it becomes a secret".
Yet, after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.), here was Abu Bakr delivering a speech saying: "You relate from the Prophet (S.A.W.) hadiths about which you disagree, and those after you will differ [over them] even more. So don't relate anything from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) and to whosoever asks you [regarding them], say: "The book of Allah is between us and you; therefore, enjoin whatever is halal in it and forbid whatever is haram in it".
By Allah, how surprising is this command of Abu Bakr. Here he is, a few days only after that sad day (called "The Calamitous Thursday"), agreeing exactly with what his companion 'Umar b. al-Khattab had said: "The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) is hallucinating, but the book of Allah is enough for us".
Here is Abu Bakr saying: "Don't transmit anything from the Prophet. And, to whosoever asks, you say: "The book of Allah is between us; therefore enjoin whatever is halal in it and forbid whatever is haram in it".
All praise be to Allah for his clear admission that they hurled the sunna of their Prophet (S.A.W.) behind them, and it became a forgotten thing for them.
The question that must now be posed to the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a, i.e., the people who defend Abu Bakr and 'Umar and reckon them to be the best of creation after the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), is this:
If your Sihah [books] report, as you claim them to do, that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "I am leaving for you two things after me. If you adhere to them you will never go astray; the book of Allah and my sunna", and, assuming we accept the authenticity of this tradition, then how is it that the best of your men reject the sunna and did not accord it any weight, rather, they prevented the people from writing or speaking about it? Did anyone dare ask Abu Bakr from which verse did he deduce the legality of fighting Muslims who withheld the zakat, and the taking of their women and children as prisoners of war?
For the book of Allah, which is between us and Abu Bakr, states: "And among them are those who made a covenant with Allah thus: 'If you bestow your bounty upon us, we will most certainly spend in charity and we will be righteous'. Yet, when Allah showered them with His bounty, they became miserly and turned back from their covenant, and were averse to it. So Allah put hypocrisy into their hearts as a result, until the day they will meet Him because they turned back from what they had promised Allah, and because of their lies....." (9:75-77). This verse, by the consensus of all commentators, was revealed concerning Tha'laba, when he refused to pay the zakat during the lifetime of the Prophet (S.A.W.). I would add that Tha'laba rejected the zakat and refused to give it to the Prophet (P), as he said it was jizya. Allah, in this verse, showed Tha'laba's hypocrisy, but yet, in spite of this, the Prophet (P) did not fight him nor take his property by force, even though he was capable of doing so. In the case of Malik b. Nuwayra and his people, they did not deny that the zakat was an obligatory duty among the injunctions of the religion, but rather, they rejected the one who had usurped the Caliphate after the Prophet, having done so by force, oppression and manipulation of opportunity.
The position that Abu Bakr took [became] even stranger and more astonishing when he discarded the book of Allah behind his back, [even though] Fatima al-Zahra, the leader of the women of the world, argued against him by it, citing to his audience unambiguous clear verses from the book of Allah which confirmed the inheritance of the Prophets. He did not accept it; he nullified it completely with a hadith which he brought forth to serve his personal need. If he [truly] said: "You relate from the Prophet of Allah hadith about which you differ, and those who come after you will differ even more over them. So do not relate anything from the Prophet's hadith. And to anyone who asks you [about it], say: 'The Book of Allah is between us, so enjoin what is halal therein, and forbid what is haram therein....'", then why did Abu Bakr not do as he preached, when he argued with the truthful, purified one, who was a part of the chosen Messenger (S.A.W.), regarding the hadith of the Prophet: "We Prophets do not bequeath..."? Why did he not judge with her according to the book of Allah, enjoining its halal therein and forbidding its haram?" The answer is obvious: in this instance, he would have found the book of Allah against him, and Fatima would have triumphed in all her claims over him. If she were to have triumphed against him on that day, she would have later argued on the appointment to the Caliphate for her cousin, 'Ali. It was necessary therefore that Abu Bakr oppose and deny her. Allah says regarding these matters: "O You who believe! Why do you preach that which you do not practice? Grievous indeed is it with Allah that you preach what you do not do".
Due to all this, Abu Bakr could not be comfortable if the hadiths of the Prophet (S.A.W.) were circulating among the people and committed to writing, to memory, to transmission from town to town, village to other [villages]; when those hadith were manifest texts that opposed the politics upon which his state was built. There remained no solution for him therefore but to wipe away and conceal the hadiths, indeed, to obliterate and burn them. His own daughter, 'A'isha, testified against him. She reported: "My father collected the hadith of the Prophet, and they were five hundred in number. He spent the night being undecided [about them]. I said that he was undecided because of a complaint or something that had reached him. In the morning he said: 'O My daughter! Bring me all the hadiths that are with you'. I gave them to him, and he burnt them...".
We saw the politics of Abu Bakr in preventing [the preservation of] hadith to the extent that he burnt all the hadiths that had been collected in his time, all five hundred of them so that they would not spread to the companions and other Muslims who were thirsty to know the sunna of their Prophet (P). When 'Umar ascended to the Caliphate, according to Abu Bakr's will, he pursued the same type of politics, though in his own well known severe and harsh manner. He did not limit himself to the forbidding and prevention of the transmission and recording of the hadith; but rather, he intimidated and threatened and beat and even imposed [house] arrest.
In volume one of his Sunan in "The Chapter on being Honest to the Hadith" Ibn Maja narrated on the authority of Qarza b. Ka'b: "'Umar b. al-Khattab sent us to Kufa and accompanied us, walking with us to the mountain passes. He said: 'Do you know why I have walked with you?' Qarza said: 'We said: 'For the right of companionship of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and for the right of the Ansar'. 'Umar said: "Rather, I did so for something I wish to tell you, and I hope you will remember it as I have walked with you. You will come upon people in whose hearts the Qur'an is vibrating like the vibration of a kettle. When they see you, they will stretch their necks in awe and say: '[These are] the companions of Muhammad'. So reduce the traditions from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and I will support you'". And when Qarza b. Ka'b [later] came to them they said: "Relate [hadith] to us". He said: "'Umar forbade us".
Similarly, Muslim related in his Sahih in "The Book of Manners" in "The Chapter on Seeking Permission" that 'Umar threatened to beat Abu Musa al-Ash'ari because of a hadith he reported from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said: "We were sitting with Ubay b. Ka'b when Abu Musa al-Ash'ari came to us, upset. He stopped and said: 'I beseech you by Allah! Has any of you heard the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) say: 'Permission is to be sought three times. If it is granted, proceed, if not, return'. Ubay said: 'What about it?' Abu Musa said: 'Yesterday I sought permission three times from 'Umar. He did not grant it, so I went away. I came to him today, and when I entered, I informed him that I had come yesterday, greeted him three times and then left. Then 'Umar said: 'We heard you but at the time we were busy; you should have kept on seeking permission until it was granted to you'". Abu Musa said: "I sought permission according to what I heard the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) say. He said [to me]: 'By Allah! I'll beat your back and your stomach unless you bring someone to testify to this'. Ubay b. Ka'b said: 'By Allah, none will go with you except he who is the youngest amongst us'. Go forth, O Abu Sa'id'. So I went until I came to 'Umar and I said: 'I have heard the Prophet of Allah say this'".
Al-Bukhari also reported this incident, but, as is his norm, he abridged and edited from it 'Umar's threat to beat Abu Musa, in order to protect 'Umar's honour although Muslim added Ubay's address to 'Umar: 'O Ibn al-Khattab! Do not inflict suffering upon the companions of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)'".
Al-Dhahabi transmitted in his Tadhkira al-Huffaz in volume 1, page 4 from Abu Salama who said to Abu Hurayra: "During the time of 'Umar, did you transmit this?" He replied: "Had I narrated in his time as I narrate to you now, he would have whipped me with his whip".
'Umar, after forbidding the [collection of] hadith and threatening the people to beat them, burnt the traditions the companions had collected. He addressed the people one day thus: "O People! It has come to my knowledge that certain books have appeared in your hands. I wish, by Allah, that I could change and correct them. Let there not remain anyone amongst you with a book except that he gives it to me so that I may check it". The people assumed that he wished to examine them to correct them on an issue so that there would be no differences in it, and so they brought their books to him whereupon he burnt them in the fire.
In his Jami' Bayan al-'ilm wa Fadlihi, Ibn 'Abd al-Barr related that 'Umar b. al- Khattab wanted to write down the sunna, then it seemed better to him not to do so. So he wrote to the cities ordering that anyone in possession of it must destroy it.
In spite of his plan, however, and despite his threats, his proscription, prohibition and his burning of books, some of the companions still persevered in relating what they had heard from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) whenever they met people on their journeys outside of Medina who asked them about the hadiths of the Prophet (S.A.W.). 'Umar deemed it proper to confine them within Medina, even forcing house arrest on them and undertaking forceful measures. Ibn Ishaq narrated from 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf who said: "'Umar did not die until after he had summoned all the companions of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) from the farthest places; 'Abd Allah b. Hudhayfa, Abu Darda', Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and 'Uqba b. 'Amir. He said to them: 'What are these hadiths that you have related in the outlying areas from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)?' They said: 'Are you forbidding us [to do so]?' He responded: 'No! But stay with me. By Allah! You will not leave me as long as I am alive'".
And after him came the third Caliph, 'Uthman, who followed the same course as his two predecessors. He ascended the minbar and declared openly: "It is not permissible for anyone to narrate from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) any hadith that was not heard during the times of Abu Bakr and 'Umar".
In this manner, the restriction continued throughout the rule of the three Caliphs, a period of twenty-five years. If only it had been limited to that period, rather, it continued. When Mu'awiya grabbed the reins of power, he ascended the pulpit and declared: "I forbid you the hadith, except those [accepted] during the time of 'Umar, for he used to make the people fear Allah". This has been reported by Muslim in volume 3 in "The Book of Zakat" in "The Chapter on the Prohibition of Questioning".
Thereafter, the Umayyad Caliphs adopted this path, forbidding authentic hadiths of the Prophet while specializing in the fabrication of forged and false hadiths against him. It reached to an extent that Muslims of every age have been afflicted by contradictions, myths and legends that do not have any connection whatsoever to Islam. Here is what al-Mada'ini reports in his book, al-Ahdath: "Mu'awiya wrote the same letter to all of his governors after the year of the unity: 'Anyone who reports anything regarding the merits of Abu Turab ('Ali b. Abu Talib) and his family is exempt from [my] protection'. The preachers in every place, every minbar then took to cursing 'Ali and dissociating from him, defaming him and his family".
Mu'awiya then wrote to his governors in all the regions: "Do not accept the testimony of any of those who follow 'Ali and his Family". He further went on: "Seek out from among you those who follow 'Uthman and those who love him, as well as his friends and protectors and those who relate his merits and praises. Associate with them, frequent their gatherings, make them close to you and honour them. Write to me anything that each one of them narrates, and give me his name, his father's name and his progeny".
They did that until the merits and praises of 'Uthman were numerous, all because of the rewards, cloaks, gifts and land grants he sent to them, flowing out to the Arabs and the non-Arab clients. It multiplied in every city and they competed for status and worldly gains. Every man who came to the officials of Mu'awiya was welcomed when he related praises or merits of 'Uthman; his name was recorded and he was befriended and rewarded. This continued for a while. Then Mu'awiya wrote to his officials: "The hadith in favor of various dimensions of 'Uthman has multiplied and spread to every city. When this letter reaches you ask the people for the hadiths regarding the merits of the companions and the first Caliphs. Do not leave any information that any Muslim narrates in favor of Abu Turab, except that you come up with another one that contradicts it from one of the sahaba. This is dearer to me and more of a delight to my eye and more of a refutation to the argument of Abu Turab and his party (Shi'a), and more damaging to them than recounting the good deeds and merits of 'Uthman".
His letters were read to the people and many narrations on the merits of the companions were reported, most of them spurious, [there was] no truth in them. And the people really exerted themselves in this until they started doing so from the pulpits. The teachers in the learning circles started doing this and taught the children and youths until they began to narrate and learn them as they learnt the Qur'an. They even taught their daughters and wives and their servants and entourage, they kept on doing this as long as Allah willed.
Then Mu'awiya sent a common letter to his officials in every region: "Seek out one against whom there is proof that he loves 'Ali and his family, and then erase his name from the national register and cut off whatever [stipend] he is given from the state". He reinforced this with another letter: "Whosoever you accuse of aiding these people, place him in fetters and demolish his home". The affliction was most severe and rampant in Iraq especially in Kufa to the extent that, if a Shi`i was visited by someone whom he trusted, he would bring him to his house and tell him his secrets and thereafter, he would live in fear of his servants and slaves and would not speak until he had taken a severe oath of silence from them. Several spurious and calumnious hadiths surfaced; and the jurists and judges and those in authority promoted them. The worst perpetrators of this calamity were those who recited the Qur'an to show off to others and those of weak faith who displayed outward piety and performed rituals while forging hadith; so that they could please those in authority and be in their gatherings, thus gaining money, property and positions. This continued until the hadith and the reports fell into the hands of the religionists, who could not allow lies and accusations. Rather, they accepted these hadiths and transmitted them assuming they were authentic, for, had they known they were spurious, they would not have narrated nor acted upon them.
I say the responsibility of this falls on Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman who prevented the recording of the true hadiths of the Prophet (S.A.W.) on the pretext that they were afraid the hadiths would be mixed with the Qur'an. This is what their helpers and defenders maintain. This claim amuses even the lunatics. Are the Qur'an and sunna sugar and salt so that, if they are mixed, they could not be separated from each other? Even sugar and salt do not mix for each is in a specific container. Did it not dawn upon the Caliphs that they could have written the Qur'an on one special scroll and the sunna of the Prophet in a separate book, as is the situation with us today, and has been since the recording of the traditions from the time of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz (R)? Why has the sunna not been mixed with the Qur'an, even though the hadith books exceed hundreds? Moreover, the Sahih of al-Bukhari is not mixed with that of Muslim, which in turn is not mixed with Ahmad b. Hanbalís Musnad nor the Muwatta' of Malik b. Anas, let alone being mixed with the noble Qur'an.
This argument is weak like the house of a spider, it cannot stand up to the scrutiny of proof. In fact, the proof against it is even more clear. Al-Zuhri reported on the authority of 'Urwa that 'Umar b. al-Khattab wanted to commit the sunna to writing and sought the counsel of the companions of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.). They advised him to do so; but 'Umar prayed for guidance about this for a month then one morning arose saying: "I had wanted to write the sunna down then I remembered the people before you that wrote books and chose to follow them, leaving the book of Allah! And By Allah, I will not mix the book of Allah with anything, ever".
Look, O reader, at this narration. The companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.) advised 'Umar to write down the sunna and he went against all of them and chose to impose his own view; claiming that the people before them had written books and had chosen to follow these books to the exclusion of Allah's Book. Where was the claim of mutual consultation (shura), which the ahl al-Sunna wa'l-Jama'a invoke? Where are these people who chose to adhere to their books instead of the book of Allah?
We have not heard of them except in 'Umar b. al-Khattab's imagination. Assuming these people did exist, there is no ground for comparison as they manufactured books from themselves to distort the book of Allah. The Qur'an states: "Woe unto those who write the book with their own hands then they say 'This is from Allah' to gain thereby a small prize. Woe unto them for what they wrote and for what they gained by their deed" (2:79). As for books of the sunna, these are not like that, for they originate from the infallible Prophet who did not utter anything from his own desire but, rather, from the revelation that descended upon him. [The sunna] clarified and explained the book of Allah. The most High stated: "We have sent unto you the reminder, to explain to the people what has been revealed to them" (16:44). And the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: "I was given the Qur'an and with it something similar to it". This is a simple matter for anyone who knows the Qur'an, for there is no mention in it of five prayers, no specified amount for zakat or rules of fasting or hajj and various other rulings which the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) has explained. Due to this, Allah said: "What the Prophet has given you accept it; and from what he has forbidden you, eschew it".
And He says: "Say! 'If you love Allah, then follow me so that Allah may love you'".
If only 'Umar knew the book of Allah and paid more attention to it in order to learn from it obedience to the injunctions of the Messenger, and not to argue or refute him. If only he had known the book of Allah and given more attention to it so that he could learn the judgment of al-Kalala which he did not know up to the time he died. During his Caliphate, he issued rulings on it based on various contradictory verdicts. If only he knew the book of Allah and paid more attention to it to learn the rulings of tayammum which he did not know even during the days of his Caliphate. He used to rule that he who doesn't find water should not pray. If only he knew the book of Allah and paid due attention to know the laws of divorce of two utterances, after which one should live [with the wife] in accordance with proper forms of behaviour or should separate from her with kindness. Instead, he made all three divorces count as one; and, by following his own view and personal judgment, he opposed Allah's decrees, discarding them.
The truth that cannot be denied is that the Caliphs prevented the spread of hadiths. They threatened and exiled whosoever spoke of them. This is because it would have frustrated their plans and exposed their plots and would not have given them any room for interpreting things as they interpreted the Qur'an. This is because Allah's book is silent and multifaceted, whereas the sunna of the Prophet is comprised of the words and deeds of the Prophet (S.A.W.), no one can oppose it. Due to this, the Commander of the Faithful, 'Ali (A.S.), said to Ibn 'Abbas when he sent him to debate with the Khawarij: "Do not oppose them with the Qur'an, for the Qur'an has different interpretations. You will say things and they will say [other] things; but debate them by using the sunna, for they will not find any escape from it".
On this matter specifically, Imam 'Ali (A.S.) said: "By Allah! Ibn Abi Quhafa has dressed himself [with the Caliphate]! Yet he knows that my position to it is like that of a pole in relation to the hand mill! The current flows from me and [even] birds cannot aspire to my heights. I put a curtain against the Caliphate and detached myself from it. I began to think whether I should fight [for my rights] with a fettered hand (i.e. unsupported) or endure the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the old would become feeble, the young would become old, and a believer would strive until he met his Lord.
I perceived being that patience was the wiser course for me. I adopted patience although there was prickling in the eye and suffocation in the throat.
I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one passed away; but he handed [the Caliphate] to Ibn al-Khattab after him. (Then 'Ali quoted al-'Asha's verse: 'My days now pass on the camel's back (i.e., with difficulty), while there were days (of ease) in the company of Jabir's brother)'.
It is surprising that, during his lifetime, he wished to be released of the Caliphate, yet he confirmed it for the other one after his death. How cleverly the two shared it's udders between themselves. This one put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure with harsh speech and a rough touch. Many errors were made, and so many excuses [offered]".
Every researcher and examiner knows that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) designated and appointed 'Ali b. Abi Talib to the Caliphate before his death. Most of the sahaba, amongst whom Abu Bakr and 'Umar were the most prominent, knew of it also. Because of this, Imam 'Ali used to say: "He knows my position to it is like the pole to the hand mill...". Perhaps it was this that caused Abu Bakr and 'Umar to forbid the transmission of hadiths from the Prophet (P), as we have shown in the preceding chapter, adhering only to the Qur'an. The Qur'an, even though it contains the verse of successorship, does not clearly mention the name of 'Ali. The hadiths, however, specifically mention his name; for example the Prophet's (S.A.W.) saying: "Of whomsoever I am the master, this 'Ali is his master" and "'Ali is to me as Aaron was to Moses"; and "'Ali is my brother and successor and the Caliph after me"; and "'Ali is from me, and I am from him, and he is the leader of every believer after me".
This helps us understand the extent of success of the step which Abu Bakr and 'Umar took in the proscription and burning of the hadiths of the Prophet; thereby muzzling the people to the extent that even the companions did not mention the hadiths, as has already been mentioned in the report of Qarza b. Ka'b. This restriction continued for a quarter century, i.e., the period of the first three Caliphs, until the coming of 'Ali to the Caliphate. Now we see he made the companions bear witness, on the day of assembling, to the hadith of Ghadir Khum, thirty of them bearing witness, seventeen of whom were veterans of Badr.
This is manifest proof that these companions, and there were thirty of them, would not have spoken up had the Commander of the Faithful not asked them to do so. Were 'Ali not the Caliph, with power in his hands, they would have remained silent, fearing to bear witness.
This had actually happened in the case of some companions in whom fear and jealousy prevented them from bearing witness, among them were Anas b. Malik, Bara' b. 'Azib, Zayd b. Arqam, and Jarir b. 'Abd Allah al-Bajli. The claim of 'Ali (A.S.) reached them, but he was not allowed to manage the Caliphate in peace. His days were filled with trials, mischief and plots. Wars were waged against him from every side; and their jealousy and grudges surfaced by [his showings] at Badr, Hunayn, Khaybar until he fell martyred. Those Prophetic traditions did not find receptive ears among those who broke their pledges, the deviants, those who missed the truth and the opportunists. They indulged in immorality, taking bribes and being fond of the world during the Caliphate of 'Uthman. The son of Abu Talib could not, within three or four years, rectify the corruption and deviation of a quarter century, except by destroying himself, God forbid. 'Ali it was who said: "I know very well what will correct you, but I will not cure you by corrupting myself".
It was not long before Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan ascended the Caliphate and continued the same plan that we have already described, i.e. prohibiting all hadiths except those which were prevalent at the time of 'Umar. Indeed, he even went a step further and commissioned a group of the companions and their followers to fabricate traditions. Thus the sunna of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was lost in the web of their lies, tales and their spurious merits.
The Muslims continued thus for a full century during which the sunna of Mu'awiya was followed by the general Muslim public. When we say "the sunna of Mu'awiya", we mean the sunna that was pleasing to Mu'awiya from the acts of the first three Caliphs Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman; and also whatever else he and his followers added by way of lies, forgeries, curses and insults against 'Ali and the members of his household, and his followers amongst the sincere companions. This is why I reiterate and repeat that Abu Bakr and 'Umar succeeded in their plan to obliterate the sunna of the Prophet (S.A.W.), on the pretext of referring to the Qur'an.
For you can clearly see today, after the passing of fourteen centuries, if you argue by the successively transmitted Prophetic texts which prove that the Prophet (S.A.W.) appointed 'Ali as his successor, it will be said to you: "Let us leave aside the Prophetic sunna that is differed upon, the book of Allah is sufficient for us; and the book of Allah did not relate that 'Ali is the successor of the Prophet, but instead said: "Your affairs are by mutual consultation". This is their argument, every scholar of the ahl al-sunna I talked to, spoke of the shura as their slogan and standard practice.
Disregarding the fact that the Caliphate of Abu Bakr was a sudden event, through which Allah shielded the Muslims from evil, it was not done by consultation, as some claim. Rather, it was done by negligence and force, by coercion, intimidation, and beatings. Several of the best companions dissented and opposed it. At the head of this group were 'Ali b. Abu Talib, Sa'd b. 'Ubada, 'Ammar, Salman, Miqdad, al-Zubayr, al-'Abbas and many others, as the eminent historians of this event admitted. Nonetheless, let us leave this matter alone and turn towards Abu Bakr's appointment of 'Umar as successor after him; and let us ask the ahl al-sunna who brag about the principle of shura: "Why did Abu Bakr appoint 'Umar as his successor and impose it upon the Muslims rather than leaving the matter [open for] mutual consultation, as you claim"?
For further clarification, as is our custom, we depend only on the books of the ahl al-Sunna, and present to the reader how Abu Bakr appointed his companion as his successor. Ibn Qutayba reported in his History of the Caliphs (Ta'rikh al-Khulafa'), in "The Chapter of Abu Bakrís illness and his Designation of 'Umar (R) as his successor": "Then he summoned 'Uthman b. 'Affan and said: 'Write my will'. So Abu Bakr dictated and 'Uthman wrote thus: 'In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful. This is what Abu Bakr b. Quhafa does decide as his last will and testament in this world that he is about to leave, and the first testament to the hereafter that he is about to enter.
I appoint 'Umar b. al-Khattab as my successor, if you perceive him as a just man among you, and this is my opinion of him and hope in him. If he distorts and changes, I only wish for [your] good, and I do not have knowledge of the unseen. And those who do wrong will soon know their fate'".
He then put his seal upon the document and gave it to 'Uthman. When the news that he had named 'Umar as his successor reached the emigrants and the Ansar, they entered and said: "We see that you have placed 'Umar as the Caliph over us. You know and are aware of his severity with us even while you are among us, how about when you leave us? Now you are going to meet Allah, the Most High and Majestic, and He will ask you about it, what will you say?" Whereupon Abu Bakr replied: "If Allah asks me, I will most certainly say: 'I appointed as Caliph over them he who seemed to me to be the best of them'".
Some historians, such as al-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir, relate that when Abu Bakr called 'Uthman to write his last testament, he lost consciousness while he was dictating and 'Uthman wrote the name of 'Umar b. al-Khattab. When he regained consciousness, he said: "Read what you have written!î So he read it and mentioned 'Umar's name. Abu Bakr asked him: "From where did you get this?" He answered: "You were never wont to oppose him". Abu Bakr replied: "You are right".
When he finished his will, some of the companions, Talha among them, called upon him. Talha said to him: "What will you say to your Lord tomorrow? You have chosen a severe, harsh man to govern us. People run away from him and their hearts beat because of him". Abu Bakr said: "You all helped me, and he was my support. So now support him". He said to Talha: "Do you try to scare me with Allah? If I am asked about it tomorrow I will say: 'I selected the best of your people to rule them'".
Since the historians all agree that Abu Bakr appointed 'Umar as his successor, without having sought the counsel of the companions, we can only say that he did so despite the wishes of the companions who hated 'Umar. Whether it was Ibn Qutayba who reported that the Muhajirun and Ansar entered and said: "You are fully aware of his severity with us" or Tabari who said: "Some companions, Talha among them, called upon Abu Bakr and Talha said: 'What will you say to your Lord now that you have chosen to rule over us a harsh, severe man from whom people run away and because of whom hearts beat [faster]?'" The end result is still the same: that the companions did not decide their affairs by mutual consultation; and they did not approve the appointment of 'Umar, whom Abu Bakr had imposed upon them without seeking their counsel. The result is that which Imam 'Ali foretold when 'Umar b. al-Khattab treated him so harshly to gain his pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr; for he said: "He has milked for you milk, half of which will be for you; so enforce his [command] today and he will return it to you tomorrow".
This is exactly what one of the companions said to 'Umar b. al-Khattab when he came out with the letter appointing him as the Caliph. He said to 'Umar: "What is in the document, O Abu Hafs?" 'Umar said: "I don't know, but I shall be the first to hear and obey". Whereupon the man said: "By Allah, I know what is in it. You made him the leader in the first year, and now he has made you the leader".
This clearly proves to us, beyond any doubt, that the principle of shura, which the ahl al-sunna claim [as their standard], had no basis for Abu Bakr and 'Umar. In other words, Abu Bakr was the first to destroy and discard the principle, thereby opening the doors for the Umayyad rulers to follow his action, a Caesar-like dynasty, handed down from father to son. After them, the 'Abbasids did likewise; the idea of shura remained a dream which the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a seek but never actualize.
This reminds me of a conversation that took place between a Wahhabi scholar from Saudi Arabia and myself in a Nairobi mosque in Kenya concerning the problem of the Caliphate. I was advancing the view that the Caliphate was according to designation and that the entire affair was Allah's to decide as He wished, and that there was no room for people to decide in the matter. He was a proponent of the shura and was defending it strongly. He also had with him several of his students who were studying under him and supporting everything he said, on the pretext that his argument was based on the noble Qur'an, wherein Allah said to His Prophet (S.A.W.): "And seek their counsel in the matter" and also: "Their affairs [are to be decided by] a shura between them".
I realized that I was overpowered by them, for they had learnt all the Wahhabi ideas from their teacher and also that they would not listen to the true hadiths, but rather, relied on some hadith which they had memorized, most of which were false. I therefore surrendered to the principle of shura and said to them and to their teacher: "Can you convince the government of His Highness, Your King, of the principle of shura, so that he might step down from his throne and follow the example of your pious predecessors? Thereby giving the Muslims in the Arab peninsula the freedom of choice of their ruler? I don't think he will do that, for his father and grandfathers not only ruled the Caliphate, but also the entire Arab peninsula became part of their kingdom. They even called the entire Hijaz 'The Saudi Kingdom'. Upon that, their leader, the scholar, said: "We have no business with politics; we are in the house of Allah wherein we are ordered to remember his name and observe the prayers". I replied: "And also to seek knowledge". He said: "Yes, it is so and we also teach the youth here". I said: "And so we are [engaging] in an academic discussion". He said: "And you have denigrated it by [touching on] politics".
I left with my companions; I felt sad for the Muslim youths whose minds the Wahhabis had so controlled in every way and declared a war on their fathers. They were all adherents to the Shafi'i madhhab which, I think, is the closest to that of the Prophetís family. The Shaykhs used to have respect and piety from the educated and non educated people alike, since most of them came from notable backgrounds of a pure lineage. Then the Wahhabis came and, taking advantage of their poverty, deluded them with money and other material things and they changed their outlook, i.e., [they convinced them] that such respect for the Shaykhs was in fact idolatry because it entailed the veneration of a human being. So the sons turned against their fathers. Regrettably, this is what has happened in many of the Islamic countries in Africa.
Let us return to the topic of the death of Abu Bakr. We find him, just before his death, regretting what he had done, for Ibn Qutayba reported in his "History of Caliphate" Abu Bakr's words: "Yes, by Allah, I regret only three things that I wish I had not done: (1) "If only I had left the house of 'Ali". In another narration, that "I had not violated the house of Fatima even if they had declared war upon me";
(2) "If only, on the day of Saqifa at Banu Sa'ida, I had instead pledged to Abu 'Ubayda or 'Umar and that he were the leader and I the minister";
(3) "If only, when I came upon Dhi al-Faja'a al-Sulami, while he was a prisoner of war, I had slaughtered him or spared him instead of burning him".
And we add: "If only, O Abu Bakr, you had not oppressed al-Zahra, had not hurt or angered her; and if only you had repented before her death and had pleased her. This is specifically with regards to the house of 'Ali, which you exposed and allowed to be burnt.
Regarding the Caliphate, if only you had left your two companions and cronies, Abu 'Ubayda and 'Umar, and given the pledge to the divinely prescribed Caliph, who had been named as successor by the bearer of the message, that he would be the leader. Then the world today would be different from what we see and Allah's religion would have spread all over the globe, as Allah had promised and His promise is always true.
With respect to al-Faja'a al-Sulami, whom you burnt to death, if only you had not burnt the Prophetic traditions, the hadiths, which you had collected. You would have learnt the correct shari'a rulings from them and would not have resorted to personal judgment by your own views.
Lastly, while you were on your death bed, if only you had thought about your appointment of a successor and returned the truth to its owner, he whose position to the Caliphate was like the pole to the millstone. For you were the most aware of his merits, his excellence, his asceticism, his knowledge and his piety; for he was like the Prophet himself (S.A.W.), especially when he submitted the matter to you and did not rise up against you, for the sake of protecting Islam. You were free to advise the umma of Muhammad (S.A.W.) and to choose for it one who would have corrected its affairs, governed it properly and taken it to the summit of glory.
We ask Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, to forgive your sins, and to placate Fatima and her father, as well as her husband and her sons for your sake. For you angered a part of al-Mustafa, and God gets angry when she is angry and is happy when she is happy. One who hurts Fatima hurts her father according to the text of his hadith; and, according to Allah's words, 'Whosoever causes suffering to the Prophet of Allah, for them is a painful punishment'".
And we seek Allah's refuge from His anger and we ask Him to be pleased with us and with all the Muslim men and women, the believing men and the believing women.
The history of 'Umar, the second Caliph, is one filled with his ijtihad (personal reasoning) as opposed to the clear texts from the noble Qur'an and the noble sunna of the Prophet. The ahl al-sunna use that as pride and virtue, for which they praise him. The objective ones among them seek excuses and far fetched defenses for him, neither reason nor logic can accept them. How can one who opposes the book of God and the sunna of His Prophet be one of those who exercises ijtihad? Allah says: "It is not proper for any believing man or believing woman, if Allah and His Prophet have decreed a matter, that they should have any option in their matter. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Prophet has most manifestly gone astray" (33:36).
And our Glorious Creator also says: "Those who do not judge according to what Allah has revealed, they are unbelievers, and those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed they are indeed wrongdoers ... and those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed, they are the corrupt ones" (5:44/45/47).
In "The Book of Adherence to the Qur'an and Sunna" in "The Chapter on what is Mentioned regarding Blameworthy Opinions, Strained Analogies, and Acting and Saying about Things of which you have no Knowledge", al-Bukhari reported that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Allah does not arbitrarily take away knowledge after having bestowed it, but rather, He takes it away with the passing away of the learned and their knowledge, whereupon the people are left in ignorance, seeking and giving religious opinions from their personal ideas. And in so doing, they are led astray and lead others astray".
Similarly, in the same book, al-Bukhari reports in his Sahih in the next chapter: "The Prophet (S.A.W.), when asked about something for which a revelation had not come, used to say 'I don't know'; or he did not reply until a revelation came to him, he did not speak based on his own opinion or on analogy, in accordance with Allah's words: 'According to that which Allah has shown you'". The scholars, old and new, have said one thing: "Whoever exercises his personal judgment in the Qur'an has disbelieved", and this is clear from the unambiguous verses and from the words and deeds of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.).
How then can this rule be forgotten whenever the matter pertains to 'Umar b. al-Khattab or any of the companions or one of the Imams of the four madhabs? Indeed, personal interpretation, even in contravention to the judgments of Allah, gets one reward if it is wrong and two if it is right!
One could well say that this point is agreed upon by both the Shi'as and the Sunnis according to Prophetic hadiths accepted by both. However, I reply that this is true but they differ on the issue of ijtihad. The Shi'a enjoin ijtihad in matters where nothing has come down from Allah or His Prophet (P). As for the ahl al-sunna, they do not restrict themselves like this. Taking the example of the Caliphs and pious predecessors, they do not see any harm in ijtihad even in the face of clear texts. The great scholar, al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi relates in his book, al-Nas wa'l-Ijtihad, more than 100 instances wherein the companions, especially the three Caliphs, contravened the clear texts of the Qur'an and sunna. The researchers should study this book.
Since we are essentially on this subject, it is necessary to mention some of the instances wherein 'Umar went against clear texts, maybe due to his ignorance of the texts, and this would be astonishing; for he who is ignorant is not fit to judge what is legal and forbidden, from his own volition. Allah says: "Do not say anything false that your tongues may put forth that this is halal and this is haram, so as to ascribe false things to Allah. Those who ascribe false things to Allah will never prosper" (16:116).
An ignorant person cannot take up the position of Caliph and lead the whole umma. Allah says: "Is he who leads to the truth more worthy to be followed or he that cannot lead unless he is guided? What is with you? How do you judge" (10:135)?
It is also possible that 'Umar was not ignorant of the texts, he knew them yet relied on ijtihad due to what the circumstances dictated. The ahl al-sunna do not consider this to be kufr or deviation; just as [they assume] he must have been ignorant of the presence of one of his contemporaries who knew the correct rulings. [This defense] is baseless since he knew of Imam 'Ali's total command of the Qur'an and sunna. Otherwise, he would not have sought 'Ali's guidance in many dilemmas, so much so that he said: "Were it not for 'Ali, 'Umar would have perished". Why, I wonder, would Umar then seek 'Ali's guidance in the matters in which he depended on personal reasoning, which he knew had defects?
I believe that the unbiased Muslims will agree on this since this is the type of ijtihad that corrupted the creed [of Islam] as well as its legal rulings, nullified them, and caused dissension among the learned of the umma and their fragmentation into numerous sects and schools of thought. And from this spread dissension and opposition, the failure and disappearance of the [Islamic] spirit and the material and spiritual backwardness [of the umma].
We are left to imagine that, even with Abu Bakr and 'Umar in the seat of the Caliphate and the removal of its divinely prescribed person, had the former two collected the Prophetic sunna and preserved it in a special book, they would have done themselves and the umma general good. Then, no extraneous matter would have entered the Prophetic sunna, and Islam then, with its Qur'an and sunna, would have been a one religion, one people, one nation, one creed. Today, we see the opposite.
This is because the hadiths were collected, burnt and proscribed from being recorded and transmitted even by word of mouth. This was a great catastrophe, a major calamity. There is no power except with Allah, the Most High, the Most Powerful.
Following are some of the clear texts to show that 'Umar exercised personal reasoning as opposed to [resorting to] the Qur'an:
(1) The Qur'an states: "And if you have had sexual emission, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey, or one of you has passed excrement or have had sexual intercourse, and cannot find water, then make tayammum on clean earth...."(5:6).
It is well known from the Prophetic sunna that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) taught the companions how to make tayammum, even in the presence of 'Umar himself.
In "The Book of Tayammum" in "The Chapter [entitled] 'The pure earth is the ablution of a Muslim in the absence of water'", al-Bukhari in his Sahih reports the following hadith on the authority of Imran: "We were on a journey with the Prophet (S.A.W.). We journeyed until the last hours of the night then we pitched camp. There is no sweeter camping to the traveler than this. We did not wake up until the sun had risen. The first to arise was so and so, then so and so ... whose names were recollected by Abu Raja', but he forgot 'Awf, then 'Umar b. al-Khattab, who was the fourth. When the Prophet (S.A.W.) slept, he was not awakened by anyone until he himself arose. This was because we did not know what was happening to him in his sleep. When 'Umar woke up and realized what had befallen the people, and he was a very corpulent man, he cited the takbir and raised his voice with it. He persisted in saying the takbir and raising his voice until it awoke the Prophet (S.A.W.). When he awoke, the men complained to him about what had befallen them. He said: 'There is no good nor harm here, move from this place'. So they moved, not very far away, then he stopped and called for water with which he made wudu, and then, after the call to prayer was pronounced, he led the people in prayer. When he finished the prayer, he saw a man who had separated himself, he had not prayed with the group. He said: 'What prevented you, O so and so, from praying with the people?' He said: 'I am ritually impure and there is no water'. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: 'Then use the earth, for that is sufficient for you'".
However, 'Umar gave a verdict against the book of Allah and the sunna of his Prophet by saying: "Whoever does not find any water must not pray". This was his opinion which was recorded by most of the hadith scholars. In volume 1 of his Sahih, in "The Book of Purification" in "The Chapter on Tayammum" Muslim reported that a man came to 'Umar and said: "I have become ritually impure and cannot find water". He said: "Then do not pray". Whereupon 'Ammar said: "Don't you remember, O Commander of the Faithful, when you and I were on an expedition [with the Prophet]? We both became ritually impure and could not find water. You did not pray whereas I rolled over in the dust and prayed. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: 'It would have been enough for you to strike the earth with your palms, then blow upon them, then wipe your face and hands'". 'Umar said: "Fear Allah, O 'Ammar" The latter said: "If you wish, I will not relate it".
Glory be to Allah! 'Umar was not content with opposing the clear texts from the Qur'an and the sunna, he even tried to prevent the companions from opposing his views. 'Ammar was forced to placate the Caliph by his offer: "If you wish I will not narrate it". How can I and you not be taken aback by this ijtihad and opposition and stubbornness on reasoning despite the testimony of a companion of a clear text?
'Umar was not convinced and held this view stubbornly until his death. His view influenced many companions who perceived things his way. In fact, they sometimes preferred his view over the view of the Prophet of Allah. Muslim reported in "The Book of Purification" in "The Chapter on Tayammum", volume 1, on page 192 on the authority of Shaqiq who said: "We were seated with 'Abd Allah and Abu Musa when the latter said: 'O Abu 'Abd al-Rahman, what do you think of a man who becomes ritually impure and does not find water for a whole month? What does he do regarding the salat?' 'Abd Allah replied: 'He does not make tayammum even if cannot find water for a whole month'.
Abu Musa said: 'What about the ayat in Sura al-Maíida: 'And if you do not find water then make tayammum on clean earth?'' 'Abd Allah said: 'If it were permitted for them, according to this verse, they would seek to make tayammum with earth [even] if the water became cold for them'. Then Abu Musa said to 'Abd Allah: 'Did you not hear what 'Ammar said: 'The Prophet of Allah sent me on a mission and I became ritually impure and could not find water, so I rolled in the dust as does an animal. When I met the Prophet (S.A.W.), I mentioned that to him and he said: 'It would have been enough for you to do with your hands thus: he struck the earth with his hands once then wiped the left over the right hand, over the backs of his hands and face''. 'Abd Allah said: 'Did you not narrate that 'Umar was not convinced by 'Ammar's story?'"
If we study this narration which has been authenticated by al-Bukhari, Muslim and other Sihah [books], we understand how influential the views of 'Umar were among a large number of senior sahaba, and from this we also understand the extent of the contradiction in the legal rulings, as well as the erosion and mutual contradiction of the narrations. Perhaps these are what led the Umayyad and the 'Abbasid rulers to devalue Islamic rulings, not according them any importance and permitting numerous discordant rulings on one matter. It is as though they said to Abu Hanifa, Malik, Ahmad and al-Shafi'i: "Say what you wish according to your own views, for if your head and Imam, 'Umar, said whatever he wished instead of the Qur'an and the sunna, then there is no blame on you, for you are merely the followers of the followers of the followers, you are not innovators".
Yet more surprising than all of this is what 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud said to Abu Musa: "Do not make tayammum even if you do not find water for a whole month". 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud, who was among the most prominent companions, felt that one who was ritually impure and could not find water should leave his prayer completely and not perform the tayammum. It appears that Abu Musa attempted to convince him [otherwise] by the noble verse which was revealed specifically for this subject in Sura al-Ma'ida. 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud's retort was: "If it was permitted for them by this verse, they would then seek to make tayammum with earth if the water got cold for them".
From this we also understand how they used their own ijtihad to interpret the Qur'anic texts as they felt appropriate. Regrettably, what they felt was severity and harshness for the umma, even though Allah says: "Allah desires to make things easy for you and not difficult" (2:185).
This poor fellow says: "If it were permitted for them by this verse, they would seek to make tayammum if the water got cold for them". Did he put himself in the position of conveying the message from Allah and His Prophet? Is he more protective and affectionate over the worshippers than their Creator and Sustainer?
After this, Abu Musa tried to convince him with the sunna of the Prophet reported by 'Ammar, and how the Prophet taught him to do the tayammum. 'Abd Allah rejected this famous sunna of the Prophet by saying that 'Umar was not convinced by 'Ammar's narration.
From this, we understand that 'Umar b. al-Khattab's view was the convincing proof for some companions and that 'Umar's approval of a hadith or a Qur'anic verse was the sole criterion for determining the authenticity of a hadith or meaning of the verse, even if it contradicted the words and actions of the Prophet (S.A.W.). As a result, we see today the actions of many people contradicting the Qur'an and sunna, whether it be in regards to the halal or the haram. This is because the ijtihad of 'Umar, as opposed to the texts, became a madhab to be followed. When some of the backsliders, and some who had knowledge, saw that the hadith which had been prohibited during the time of the Caliphs, were recorded later by the narrators and scholars and were against 'Umar's ìmadhabî, they themselves manufactured other false hadiths and attributed them to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), so that they could support the madhab of Abu Hafs. Some examples are mut'a marriage, tarawi prayer, etc. Thus contradictory narrations came into being, and have remained until today a matter of disagreement between the Muslims. This will remain like this as long as there are those who defend 'Umar, just because he is 'Umar, and [as long as] no one desires [to do] any research to find the truth and no one will say to 'Umar: "You erred 'Umar, the salat is not forsaken due to lack of water! There is an ayat for tayammum mentioned in the book of Allah... and that there are hadiths of tayammum mentioned in every book of the sunna. Your ignorance of them does not permit you to ascend the position of the Caliphate, nor the leadership of the umma. And your knowledge of them makes you a disbeliever, if you go against these rulings. When Allah and his Prophet have decreed a matter it is not appropriate, if you are a believer, for you to have an opinion in it so that you may judge by what you like and reject what you wish. You are more aware than I am that whoever disobeys Allah and His Prophet has certainly gone completely astray".
Allah says: "The sadaqa is for the needy, the poor, those who are employed in its collection and those whose hearts need to be placated, for those in bondage and in debt, and [to be spent] in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer. This is a command from Allah and Allah is full of knowledge, full of wisdom..." (9:60).
It was a well known practise of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) that he would allot a special share for those whose hearts needed to be placated, for their share which Allah had made obligatory for them. However, 'Umar b. al-Khattab nullified this compulsory stipend during his Caliphate and judged contrary to the text, saying to the people: "We have no need for you. Allah has strengthened Islam, it has no need for you". Indeed, he nullified this ruling during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr when the people whose hearts were to be placated came to him, as was their custom with the Prophet. Abu Bakr wrote an authorization for them, and they went to 'Umar to receive their allotment. 'Umar tore up the letter and said: "We have no need for you. Allah has strengthened Islam, it has no need for you. If you accept Islam, it is well; if not, the sword shall judge between us". Thereupon, they returned to Abu Bakr and said to him: "Are you the Caliph or is he? He replied: "Rather he, if Allah wishes". Abu Bakr rescinded what he had written in agreement with 'Umar, his companion.
The surprising fact is that even today you find those who defend 'Umar on this issue and count it as his merit and ingenuity. Among these is Shaykh Muhammad (known as al-Dawalibi), for he states in his book "Usul al-Fiqh" (p. 239), that: "Perhaps the ijtihad of 'Umar (R.) in cutting off the stipend which the Qur'an had enjoined for those whose hearts needed to be placated was in the forefront of those rulings he issued which were in accordance with the changing requirements that come with the passage of time. In spite of the fact that the Qur'anic text still stands applicable, and has not been abrogated". Then he further defends 'Umar by saying that the latter looked at the reason for the text, and not at its apparent [or literal] meaning ... and he continues to the end, which no sound mind can understand.
We, however, accept his admission that 'Umar changed the Qur'anic rulings as a result of his view that rulings may be changed according to the times. However, we reject his view that 'Umar looked at the reason for the text, rather than its apparent meaning. We say, instead, to him and to all others, that the text of the Qur'an and the sunna do not change with the passing of time. The Qur'an explicitly states that even the Prophet (P) himself does not have the right to make any changes. Allah said: "And when our clear signs are recited unto them, those who do not hope to meet us say: 'Bring us another Qur'an or change it'. Say unto them: 'It is not for me to change it of my own accord; I only follow what is revealed to me. Should I disobey my Lord, I fear the penalty of that great Day'" (10:15). And the pure sunna of the Prophet says: "What Muhammad has declared to be halal is halal until the day of Judgment, and the haram is haram until the day of Judgment".
However, according to the claim of al-Dawalibi and those who support him concerning ijtihad, legal rulings change with the changing times; there is no blame therefore on those rulers who change the rulings of Allah for the rulings dictated by the people, forged rulings necessitated by their needs. Certainly, this is against the judgment of Allah. Among them are those who say: "Break your fast so that you may be strong and overpower your enemy. There is no need for fasting in this age wherein we fight backwardness, poverty and ignorance. Fasting prevents us from production". They [also] prohibit polygamy for they see oppression and abuse of the women's rights in that. There are those who claim that, in the time of Muhammad, the woman was considered "a drop of urine", but now we have emancipated her and given her full rights.
This President has looked at the reason of the text and not at its apparent meaning, the same way as 'Umar looked at it, and has said: "It is necessary now that the inheritance of the male and female be equally divided between them, since Allah gave the man two shares on the grounds that he was the one supporting the family at a time when the woman was inactive. But today, because of stupendous efforts, the woman works and support the family". He even cites as an example to the people his wife who supports her brother and has become, as a result of her grace and favour, a minister.
He also allowed fornication and said it is a personal right to whoever has reached the age of maturity, as long as it is not done by force or as a profession. He opened child care centers for illegitimate children, claiming that he is merciful towards these illegitimate children, who used to be buried alive for fear of poverty and disgrace. He also had other well known opinions.
The strange thing is that, to some degree, this President admired the personality of 'Umar for he mentions him sometimes with admiration, and then on another occasion he says that he ('Umar) did not bear responsibility, whether alive or dead, for the ijtihad, but that he (al-Dawalibi) will bear responsibility whether alive or dead. And yet another time, as if now aware that the Muslims rebutted his interpretations, he said: "'Umar was among the first and greatest of those practising ijtihad in his time. So why then can I not make ijtihad in my modern time, for 'Umar was the leader of a nation and I too am the leader of a nation".
Yet stranger still is that, whenever this particular leader mentions Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah (P), one can observe in his speech ridicule and scorn. He said in one of his sermons that Muhammad did not even know geography for he said: "Seek knowledge even if it be in China", assuming that China was the furthermost point on the globe and that Muhammad did not picture that the world would reach this stage wherein crafts of iron would fly in the air! So what do you think would happen if he was told or they related to him about uranium, potassium, nuclear sciences and laser weaponry?
I do not personally blame this poor soul who did not understand a thing from the book of Allah and the sunna of His Prophet, yet found himself one day ruling a country in the name of Islam, even though he ridiculed Islam and followed Western civilization. He wanted to make his country an advanced European state in keeping with his concept of advancement. He followed the example of many Presidents and kings when he got assistance, praises and accolades from the Western countries and kingdoms. They even gave him the title of "The Greatest Mujahid". Yet I do not reproach him, for what he has brought is not surprising; every cup can only pour out what was poured into it. If I want to be neutral, I would instead blame Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman who opened this door from the day of the Prophet's (S.A.W.) death and caused every ijtihad which the Umayyads and 'Abbasids undertook. Seven centuries followed, and in every one of them, the truths of Islam were wiped out by the texts and legal rulings of ijtihad, until matters came to such a point where the leader, Imam of the Muslim people, would deliver a sermon ridiculing the Prophet (S.A.W.) and no-one would say anything against him, not from within or without the state.
This is what I say now and what I say to some of the brothers from the Islamic movement: "If today you reject the ruler who does not follow the Qur'anic texts and the Prophetic sunna, then it is necessary that you also reject those who started this innovation of ijtihad instead of texts, if you are indeed objective and wish to follow the truth". But they do not accept what I say and criticize me; how can I dare to compare the present day rulers with the rightly guided Caliphs? My response is that the leaders and kings of today are the inevitable result of what has happened in history. For, since the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.) until today, when have the Muslims ever been free even for a day? They say: "You are of the Shi'as who malign and insult the companions, and if the day comes when we attain power, we'll burn you to death". I say: "Allah will never let you see that day".
(c) Allah says: "Divorce is permitted twice, after which there must be harmonious cohabitation or separation with kindness. It is not lawful for you (men) to take back anything of what you have given your wives except when both partners fear that they would not be able to keep within the limits ordained by Allah. Then there is no blame on either of them if she gives something for her freedom. Those are limits set by Allah so do not exceed them. And those who exceed the limits of Allah are the wrongdoers.
When a husband divorces her, she is not lawful for him again until she has married another husband and he has divorced her irrevocably. Then there is no blame upon them if they reunite if they feel that they can observe the limits ordered by Allah. Those are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear for those who understand" (2:230).
The Prophet's noble sunna explained, with no ambiguity, that the wife is not forbidden to her husband except after three divorces. And then, it is not allowed for her husband to reunite with her, except after she has married another man. If this man divorces her also, it is possible for the first spouse to seek her hand in marriage again, the same way as other men; and it is up to the woman to accept or reject, the choice is hers.
'Umar b. al-Khattab however, as usual, transgressed Allah's limits, which He had made clear for people who understand; he changed this ruling with his own judgment by which he pronounced that a single effective divorce, if done with three pronouncements, made the wife unlawful for her husband. In this, he contravened the Qur'an and the Prophet's sunna.
In "The Book of Divorce", in "The Chapter of the Three Divorces" Muslim reported, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, that: "The triple divorce during the time of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) and Abu Bakr, and for two years of the Caliphate of 'Umar, were recognized as one. Then 'Umar b. al-Khattab said: 'The men hasten in a matter wherein they are required to have patience. We should endorse it for them'. And he did so".
By God, how strange that a Caliph could dare to change Allah's judgement in the presence of the companions, and that they agreed with him in everything that he said and did. No one opposed or even questioned him; yet they lead us poor souls into believing that one of the companions said to 'Umar: "By Allah, if we see any crookedness in you, we will straighten you with the sword". This is a lie and fabrication so as to brag that the Caliphs were the best examples in freedom and democracy. History, however, refutes this by the actual events that occurred. There is no importance in claims if the actions are in complete contrast.
Or perhaps they feel that the crookedness was in the Qur'an and sunna, and that 'Umar b. al-Khattab straightened and corrected them. We seek Allah's protection from this folly.
I was in Qafsa, where often I had to give counsel to those who had declared their wives unlawful by the pronouncement "You are forbidden three times". They rejoiced when I informed them about the correct rulings of Allah in which the Caliphs had not meddled with their personal judgments. However, those who claimed to be knowledgeable scared them by saying that everything is halal with the Shi'as. I remember one of them who debated with me in a decent manner saying: "If our master 'Umar b. al-Khattab (R) changed Allah's ruling in this matter and in others, and the companions agreed with him, why did our master 'Ali, may Allah brighten his face and be pleased with him, not refute our master 'Umar?
I replied to him with the reply of Imam 'Ali (A.S.) when the Quraysh said he was a courageous man but knew nothing about warfare:-
"May Allah free their parents from this! Is there anyone among them with more experience in it than me, and more senior to it than me? I was in the battle when I was not yet twenty and here I am now over sixty. But then, no opinion is accorded to him who is not obeyed" (sermon 27, Nahj al-Balagha).
Did the Muslims listen to Imam 'Ali except his Shi'as who believed in his Imamate? He opposed him on the prohibition of mut'a and the innovation of tarawi prayers, and he opposed every ruling which Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman changed. But his views remained confined to his partisans and followers. The other Muslims waged war against him, cursed him and tried their utmost to kill him and obliterate his memory.
There is no stronger proof of this opposition than the heroic stand he took on the occasion when 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf called him and nominated him for the Caliphate after the death of 'Umar, stipulating the condition, having chosen him to be the Caliph, that he should rule according to the practice of the two Caliphs, Abu Bakr and 'Umar. 'Ali (A.S.) rejected this condition and said: "I will judge by the book of Allah and the sunna of His Prophet". For this they abandoned him and chose 'Uthman b. 'Affan who accepted the condition to rule according to the sunna of the two Caliphs. If 'Ali could not go against Abu Bakr and 'Umar even in their death, how could he have opposed them when they were still living?
So today we see that the gate to the city of knowledge, who was the most knowledgeable of men after the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), the wisest judge, the one who memorized the Qur'an and the sunna of His Prophet most, abandoned by the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a who prefer instead Malik and Abu Hanifa, al-Shafi'i and Ibn Hanbal. They imitate them in every religious matter from worship to contracts. And they do not refer in anything to Imam 'Ali. Their Imams like al-Bukhari and Muslim did the same thing regarding the hadith. For you see them relating hundreds of hadith from Abu Hurayra, Ibn 'Umar, al-Aqra' and al-A'raj and those close and far, and relating only a few hadiths from 'Ali which were attributed to him, in which there is a defilement of the honour of the ahl al-bayt. They were not satisfied with that, they further disclaim and declare as unbeliever any of his sincere Shi'as who imitates and follows him. They call them names like "Rawafid" (rejecters) and [other names] that are disgraceful. The truth is that 'Ali's followers committed no sin except that they followed 'Ali, who was shunned and alienated during the period of the first three Caliphs. Then he was cursed and fought against by the Umayyads and 'Abbasids. Anyone who has any perception and knowledge of history will realize this is the clear, manifest truth and will understand the inner workings and plots that were wrought against him, his family, and his Shi'as.
Perhaps when 'Uthman b. Affan pledged to 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf, on the eve of his being sworn in as the Caliph, that he would govern according to the sunna of the two Caliphs, Abu Bakr and 'Umar, he really meant that he would use his personal judgment as they had done; and that he would change texts of the Qur'an and the Prophetic hadith as they had done. Whoever studies his lifestyle during the period of his Caliphate will find that he went much further in ijtihad, to the point where he made people forget the ijtihad of his two companions, Abu Bakr and 'Umar. I do not wish to prolong this subject which has provided copious material for the history books, old and new, about the strange things that 'Uthman innovated which caused the people to revolt against him, costing him his life. As usual, I will mention a few instances in order to illustrate for the reader and every researcher what those who supported personal interpretation innovated in the religion of Muhammad (P).
(1) Muslim in his Sahih in "The Book of the Prayer of the Traveller", reports that 'A'isha said: "When Allah enjoined the salat, He made it two rak'as. Then He finalized it at four for those [praying] at their places of residence, but the prayer of the traveller was fixed to be two rak'as in accordance with the first injunction". In the same book, Muslim reported, on the authority of Ya'la b.Umayya, who said: "I said to 'Umar b. al-Khattab: 'There is no harm on you if you shorten the prayer if you fear fitna from those who disbelieve but now the people have believed'. 'Umar said: 'I was taken aback by what startles you now, so I asked the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) about it and he replied: 'It is a bounty which Allah has given as a charity to you, so accept Allah's charity'".
Muslim reported in his Sahih in "The Book of Shortening the Prayer of the Travellers" from Ibn 'Abbas who said: "Allah enjoined the prayer through the tongue of the Prophet (S.A.W.), four rak'as for those in residence, and for those travelling two rak'as, and, in a state of fear, one rak'a".
Muslim also reported, on the authority of Anas b. Malik, who said: "Whenever the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.) went on a journey of three amyal (miles) or three farsakhs, he prayed two rak'as". 'Ammar also said: "We journeyed with the Prophet of Allah from Medina to Mecca and he prayed two rak'as until he returned. I said: 'How long did he stay in Mecca? He replied 'Ten [days]'".
From the above hadiths reported by Muslim in his Sahih, it is clear that the noble verse which was revealed specifically for the shortening of the prayer on a journey, was understood by the Prophet of Allah and explained by word and deed to show that it was a dispensation and charity which Allah had granted to the Muslims, and that it was obligatory on them to accept it. This refutes the claim of al-Dawalibi and those like him who argue in defense of 'Umar and seek to rectify his errors; that he looked at the reasoning of the injunction and not at the apparent meaning. The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) taught him on the occasion of the revelation of the verse to shorten the prayer. 'Umar expressed his surprise that the established texts are not contingent upon the cause(s) for their revelation, and, as a result, the prayer is to be shortened on a journey even if the people may be secure and not afraid of being harassed by the unbelievers. What 'Umar said was different from what al-Dawalibi and the scholars of ahl al-sunna said, yet they seek excuses for him because of their high regard for him.
Let us observe 'Uthman b. Affan. It was incumbent that he [also] exercise his personal judgment in the Qur'an and hadith texts so that he might be considered as being amongst the "rightly guided Caliphs". He went so far as to make the prayer four rak'as on journey instead of the two as legislated.
Many a time I have asked about the reason for the changing of this injunction and the addition to it, and what are the arguments for it, but I can only perceive that he wished to lead the people, especially the Banu Umayya, into thinking that he was more pious and God-fearing than Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and 'Umar.
Muslim, in "The Chapter on the Prayer of the Traveller and the Shortening of the Prayer at Mina", on the authority of Salim b. 'Abd Allah, who narrated from his father, who reported that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) prayed the prayer of a traveller at Mina and at other places as two rak'as, as did Abu Bakr, and 'Umar. 'Uthman did the same in the early part of his Caliphate then he finalized it at four".
It is also reported in Muslim that al-Zuhri said: "I said to 'Urwa: 'Why does 'A'isha say the full prayer while on a journey?' He said: 'She interpreted the same way that 'Uthman did'". This is how Allah's religion and its rulings and texts have become subject to the interpretations and explanations of people.
'Uthman also exerted his reasoning to support 'Umar's position regarding the prohibition of the mut'a hajj and the mut'a marriage. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih in "The Book of Hajj", in "The Chapter of al-Tamattu' and Iqran", from Marwan b. al-Hakam, who said: "I saw 'Uthman and 'Ali. 'Uthman used to forbid people to perform hajj al-Tamattu' and hajj al-Qiran (hajj and 'umra together), and when 'Ali saw this, he assumed ihram for hajj and 'umra together saying: 'Labbayk for 'umra and hajj', and he said: 'I will not leave the tradition of the Prophet for the saying of anyone'".
Muslim also reported in "The Book of Hajj" in "The Chapter on the permissibility of al-Tamattu'", on the authority of Sa'id b. al-Musayyab who said: "'Uthman and 'Ali met at 'Usfan. 'Uthman had prohibited mut'a or the 'umra, whereupon 'Ali said: 'What do you want to do on a matter which the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) did, and now you prohibit it?' 'Uthman said: 'Leave us alone'. 'Ali said: 'I cannot leave you alone'. When 'Ali saw this, he assumed ihram for 'umra and hajj together".
Yes! This is the man 'Ali b. Abi Talib, (A.S.) for he could not abandon the sunna of the Prophet (S.A.W.) for the word of any man. The second narration illustrates to us that there were words exchanged between 'Ali and 'Uthman. 'Uthman's words to 'Ali: "Leave us alone" shows us he would go against everything and would not follow him in what he reported from his cousin (S.A.W.). The narration has been abridged since it says: "And 'Ali said: 'I cannot leave you alone' when he saw that". What is it that 'Ali saw?
There is no doubt that the Caliph, in spite of 'Ali's reminding him of the Prophetic sunna, insisted on following his own view even though it was in conflict with the sunna. He forbade the people from al-tamattu'; and upon that, 'Ali opposed him and consecrated himself for both, i.e., the 'umra and the hajj.
(c) 'Uthman b. 'Affan exerted his own reasoning in parts of the prayer and did not say the takbir before the prostration nor upon rising from it.
In his Musnad, volume 4, p. 440, Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal reported, on the authority of Imran b. al-Husayn, who said: "I once prayed behind 'Ali and was reminded of a prayer that I prayed with the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) and the two Caliphs. He said: "So I went and prayed with him, and he made takbir every time he prostrated and when he raised his head from the ruk'u". I asked him: "O Abu Najid! Who was the first to depart from this?" He said: "'Uthman (R) when he became old and his voice became weak he stopped doing it".
Yes! In this way the sunna of the Prophet (S.A.W.) was discarded and replaced instead by the sunna of the Caliphs, kings, companions, the Umayyads, and the 'Abbasids; and everything was innovated, introduced into Islam. Every innovation [leads to] misguidance; and every misguidance leads to the fire, as the bearer of the message (S.A.W.) has said.
As a result, you observe today different modes and types of prayer among the Muslims. You think that they are one, but their hearts are divided. For even though they line up for prayer in one row, you will see one letting his arms hang by his sides, while another will fold his arms. Another holding his folded arms in a specific way, placing his arms above his navel while another places them near his heart. And still another will place his feet together, while another will stand with his feet apart. Each one thinks that he is right. If you ask anyone of them about it, it will be said to you: "My brother, they are all modes; don't pay any attention to them, but pray as you wish, for the important thing is that you pray".
Yes, this is true to a point, for indeed the most important thing is the prayer. However, it is essential that the prayer be [the form of] the prayer of the Prophet of Allah (P); for he said: "Pray as you have seen me pray". It is, therefore, necessary for us to make every effort to research the prayer of the Prophet (S.A.W.), for prayer is the pillar of religion.
(d) 'Uthman was the one of whom the angels of the Merciful one were shy. Al-Baladhuri said in volume 5 page 54 of his Ansab al-Ashraf: "When the news of Abu Dharr's death at al-Rabdha reached 'Uthman, he said: 'May Allah have mercy upon him'. Whereupon 'Ammar b. Yasir said: 'Yes; and Allah has bestowed upon him mercy from our being weary [of him]'. 'Uthman said to 'Ammar: 'O one who bites his father's penis! Do you think I am sorry for exiling him?' Whereupon he ordered that he be taken into custody, and said: 'Go to his place as well'.
When they were ready to leave, the Banu Makhzum approached 'Ali and asked him to speak to 'Uthman about him. 'Ali said to him: 'O 'Uthman! Fear Allah. You exiled a righteous Muslim, and he perished in your exile. Now you seek to banish someone like him?' They exchanged words until 'Uthman finally said to 'Ali: 'You deserve to be banished more than 'Ammar'. 'Ali said: 'Then do so if you wish'.
The Muhajirun then went to 'Uthman and said: 'If anytime someone speaks to you, it is highly improper that you exile and banish him'. Whereupon he rescinded [his judgment against] 'Ammar".
And in the Ta'rikh of Ya'qubi volume 2 p. 147, he reported that 'Ammar b. Yasir recited the funeral prayer over Miqdad and buried him without informing 'Uthman, due to the testament Miqdad had made. 'Uthman became extremely angry with 'Ammar and said: "Woe unto me because of this son of a black woman! I wish I had known this".
Is it possible for someone who is so modest that even the angels are shy of him to be so foul in his speech in respect to the best of the believers?
'Uthman was not satisfied with insulting 'Ammar and swearing at him: "O one who bites his father's penis". Instead he ordered his servant to grab 'Ammar. They stretched his hands and legs whereupon 'Uthman kicked him with his booted feet in the testicles, crushing them. He was weak and old, he lost consciousness. This story is well known amongst the historians, for a group of the companions recorded [many such] events and requested 'Ammar to narrate [his misfortune].
'Uthman did the same to 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud when he passed him with one of his troopers, 'Abd Allah b. Zam'a. The latter grabbed 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud and carried him until they came to the door of the mosque, whereupon he hurled him to the ground, breaking one of his ribs. All this was because 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud had voiced his opposition to 'Uthman's giving the corrupt Banu Umayya the property of the Muslims without accounting for it.
Thus the revolt against 'Uthman began and the events transpired to the extent that he was killed and they prevented him from being buried for three days. Four people came from the Banu Umayya to recite his funeral prayer, but some of the companions prohibited them from doing so. One of them said: "Bury him, for Allah and his angels have sent blessing upon him". They said: "No! By Allah, he will never be buried in the burial ground of the Muslims"! He was eventually buried in the "Hash Kawkab" - a place where the Jews used to bury their dead. When the Umayyads came to power, they made this place a part of al-Baqi'.
This is a simple account of the history of the three Caliphs - Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman. Though it is simple, due to our wish to be brief and to provide only a few examples, it is still sufficient to remove the veil covering the claim of the alleged merits and invented virtues. They never knew such qualities nor did they, for a single day in their lives, dream of exemplifying them. The obvious question that arises is: What do the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a say regarding these facts?
For the people [practising] the remembrance [of God], the answer is this: "If you know these, then don't deny them, for your own Sihah books have verified their veracity despite efforts to obscure them. You have thereby destroyed the myth of the rightly guided Caliphate.
If you deny them and do not agree to their veracity, then you have denied your own "Sahih" collections and your reliable books which have reported them. Then you have destroyed all of your beliefs".