Any researcher stands dumbfounded when he collides with the reality about “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah” and comes to know that they were the enemies of the pure Progeny of the Prophet, following those who fought Ahlul Bayt and cursed them and spared no means to murder them and obliterate their legacy.
This is why you find “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah” placing the label of “reliable” on all traditionists if they are Kharijites or Nasibi followers of Uthman. They charge and accuse all the traditionists who are loyal to Ahlul Bayt of being “weak.”
You do not find such matters recorded openly in their books. But when they try to challenge the authenticity of accurate traditions recounting the merits of Ali ibn Abu Talib, they label them as “weak,” saying, “Among the chain of its narrators is so-and-so who is a Rafidi.”1 And they label as “sahih,” authentic, false traditions which were fabricated in order to raise the status of and glorify the other caliphs even if their narrators were Nasibis. Being a Nasibi, according to them, is indicative of one's zeal about the Sunnah.
Ibn Hajar, for example, says the following about Abdullah ibn Idris al-Azdi, a very well known Nasibi, “He was a man who followed the Sunnah and Jama`ah, a zealot with regard to the Sunnah, and a follower of Uthman.”2 About Abdullah ibn Awn al-Basri he says, “He is held as reliable, and he is a man of piety and zeal about the Sunnah and toughness against the people of innovations. Ibn Sa`d has said that Abdullah ibn Awn al-Basri was a follower of Uthman.”3
And about Ibrahim ibn Ya`qub al-Jawzjani, who was famous for hating Ali, peace be upon him, he says that his sect was Hareezi, i.e. a follower of Hareez ibn Uthman of Damascus, the sect known as Nasibism.4 Ibn Hayyan describes Ibrahim as being zealous about the Sunnah, a man who memorized hadith.
It is noteworthy that this same Nasibi whom they praise by saying that he is zealous about the Sunnah and that he memorized hadith used to take the opportunity of other traditionists gathering at his door [asking permission to enter] to send one of his slave-girls with a hen in her hand to tour the town then to go back to her master, Ibrahim ibn Ya`qub al-Jawzjani, to tell him that she could not find anyone to slaughter it for her; he would then cry out: “Subhan-Allah! There is none to slaughter a hen whereas Ali in broad day light slaughters twenty thousand Muslims!”
Through such cunning and conniving, the Nasibis, enemies of Ahlul Bayt, try to dissuade people from following the truth and mislead them through such false accusations in order to fill the Muslims' hearts, especially those of traditionists [such as the ones who used to meet al-Jawzjani to learn hadith from him] with hatred and animosity towards Ali ibn Abu Talib, peace be upon him, and thus permit cursing, taunting, and condemning him.
You can find such phenomenon even in our time. Despite the claim of contemporary “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah” that they love Ahlul Bayt and seek Allah's Pleasure with our master Ali, karrama-Allahu wajhahu (Allah glorified his countenance), as they say, if you narrate one hadith containing one of the virtues of Ali, peace be upon him, they ridicule you, charge you with Shi`ism, with being an innovator, and with being “extremist.”
When you, however, discuss the caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar, and other sahaba they feel very comfortable talking to you.
This is exactly the doctrine of their “good predecessors.” Historians have transmitted saying that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal used to label as “weak” any traditionist who belittled Abu Bakr, Umar, or Uthman, while holding in high esteem Ibrahim al-Jawzjani, the afore-mentioned Nasibi, praising him a great deal. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal corresponded with him, recited his books from the pulpit, and used his works in support of his arguments.
If this is the case with regard to Ahmad ibn Hanbal who forced his contemporaries to recognize the caliphate of Ali, whom he ranked as their fourth, do not ask me about the others who did not admit even one single merit for Ali, or about those who cursed and condemned him from the pulpits during Fridays and Eids.
Al-Dar Qutni, for example, says, “Ibn Qutaybah, spokesman of Ahlul Sunnah, inclines to ascribing human characteristics (to Allah) and deviates from the line of the Prophet's `Itrat.”5 This proves that most “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” deviated from the path of the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah.
Al-Mutawakkil, whom traditionists called muhyi al-Sunnah, the person who revived the Sunnah, and whom Ahmad ibn Hanbal used to respect and hold in high regards and whose orders he endorsed in appointing judges, was one of the most notorious Nasibis who were antagonistic towards Ali and his Ahlul Bayt, so much so that his grudge prompted him to desecrate the graves of both Ali and his son Husayn, peace be upon them. He used to forbid anyone from visiting their sites and would kill anyone named “Ali.”
In his dissertation, al-Khawarizmi quotes him saying that he used to generously reward with money only those who cursed the descendants of Abu Talib, peace be upon them, and support the sect of Nasibism.6
Needless to say, Nasibism is one of the sects of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a;” therefore, the promoter of Nasibism, namely al-Mutawakkil, is the same one labelled as muhyi al-Sunnah, the person who revived the Sunnah; so, consider.
Ibn Kathir, in his Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, tells us that when “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” heard al-A`mash narrating the tradition of the roasted bird, which contains a praise of Ali ibn Abu Talib (peace be upon him), they took him out of the mosque then washed the place where he used to sit.7
They also opposed the burial of Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, author of Al-Tafsir al-Kabir (the great exegesis) and the great historian, for no reason other than his admission of the authenticity of hadith al-Ghadeer in which the Prophet is quoted saying, “Whoever regards me as his/her mawla (master), this Ali is (henceforth) his/her master.” He collected its sources from various avenues. Those sources were quite numerous, so they came to be referred to as mutawatir, consecutively reported.
Ibn Kathir has said, “I have seen one of his books wherein he compiled the traditions relevant to the Ghadeer incident, and it was in two huge volumes, in addition to another book in which he compiles the incidents relevant to the tradition of the roasted bird.”8
Ibn Hajar, too, has discussed him in his book Lisan al-Mizan, saying, “He is the great Imam and the highly respected interpreter of the Qur'an; he is trustworthy, truthful, and there is a good deal of Shi`ism in him and support (for Ahlul Bayt, as) which is not detrimental (to his reliability).”9
When Imam al-Nasa'i, the great traditionist and one of the authors of Al-Sihah al-Sittah (the six books of traditions which the Sunnis regard as sahih, authentic), wrote a book dealing with the merits of the Commander of the Faithful Ali, he was asked about Mu`awiyah's “merits,” whereupon he answered: “I do not know of any except that the Messenger of Allah said to him once: `May Allah never satisfy your stomach.'“ He was, therefore, beaten on his genitals till he lost consciousness. His body was carried to some place to die of such beating.
Ibn Kathir tells us the following in his Tarikh where he describes the violent confrontations that took place in Baghdad in 363 A.H./954 A.D. between the Shi`as and “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” on the anniversary of Ashura:
A group from Ahlul Sunnah seated a woman on an animal to play the role of Ayesha and brought some of their men to play Talha and al-Zubayr. They expressed their objective thus: “We want to fight the followers of Ali.” A large number of people were killed.10
This is what goes on nowadays, too: “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” attack Shi`as on Ashura in order to prohibit them from participating in the commemorative procession, killing many innocent Muslims.
After having conducted such an expose, it becomes clear to us that the Nasibis who antagonized Ali, peace be upon him, and who fought Ahlul Bayt, peace be upon them, are the ones who labelled themselves “Ahlul Sunnah,” and we have already come to know what “Sunnah” they mean and to what “consensus” they refer.
It is self-evident that whoever antagonizes the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah is an enemy of their grandfather the Prophet, and whoever antagonizes the Messenger of Allah is an enemy of Allah.
It is likewise self-evident that anyone who is an opponent of Allah, His Messenger and Ahlul Bayt cannot be among the true servants of the Merciful One, nor can he be among the followers of the Sunnah except when such a “Sunnah” is meant to be the “sunnah” of the devil. As for the Sunnah of the Merciful One, it is loving Allah and His Messenger and Ahlul Bayt, following them and following in their footsteps. The most Exalted One has said,
“Say: I do not ask you for any reward for it except to love my near relatives” (Holy Qur'an, 42:23).
So how can one compare Mu`awiyah with Ali, or the “imams” of misguidance with the Imams of guidance?
“This is a clear statement for people, and guidance, and admonition, to those who fear their Lord.” (Holy Qur'an, 3:138)