"And whatever the Apostle gives you, accept it, and from
whatever he forbids you, keep back." (59:7)
Therefore, we must obey the command of the Holy Prophet.
When we look to the instructions of the Holy Prophet we find (as
is recorded in your reliable books) that among the whole of his
community the Holy Prophet has called only Ali his gate of knowledge
and has ordered us to obey him. In fact, he said that obedience
to Ali was the same as obedience to him.
Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Imamu'l-Haram in Dhakha'iru'l-'Uquba;
Khawarizmi in Manaqib; Sulayman Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda; Muhammad
Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib and other ulema have
reported that the Holy Prophet of Allah said: "Ansars! Shall
I show you the person to whom you should adhere and who will never
lead you astray?" The people said: "Yes, let us know
him." The Holy Prophet said: "He is Ali. Be his friend,
respect him, and follow him. Verily, he is with the Qur'an and
the Qur'an is with him. Surely he will lead you to the right path
and will not let you be ruined. Whatever I have told you has been
told to me by Gabriel."
Also, as recorded by your ulema, the Holy Prophet said to Ammar-e-Yasir:
"If all of mankind is on one side, and Ali on the other,
you should adopt the way of Ali and leave the others."
Also, on different occasions and in different places, the Holy
Prophet repeatedly said: "He who obeys Ali, really obeys
me. He who obeys me, really obeys Allah."
There is not a single hadith in your books in which the Holy Prophet
says: "After me the guide to the right path, or 'my gate
of knowledge' or 'my successor and caliph' is Abu Bakr, Umar,
or Uthman." Can you cite such a hadith which is not fabricated
by the Bakari or Amawi groups?
But you ask us to give the fourth place to the Holy Prophet's
"Gate of knowledge," the Holy Prophet's "successor
and caliph," to quote the Holy Prophet's own words, and follow
those about whom there are no instructions whatsoever. If we follow
your advice, shall we not be disobeying Allah and His Holy Prophet?
Fourth, you say that like the four schools of law (Hanafis, Malikis,
Hanbalis and Shafi'is), we should also be united with you. But
you people call the Shias Rafizis, polytheists, and infidels.
Obviously, polytheists and believers cannot be united. We are,
however fully prepared to cooperate with our Sunni brothers. Of
course the condition is that you and we should be equally free
to advocate our religious beliefs.
Just as followers of the four schools of law are free in their
actions, the followers of the progeny of the Holy Prophet should
also be free in their actions. We see that among your four schools
of law there are such serious differences that some of them call
the others infidels and sinners. Yet you consider them Muslims
and allow them freedom of actions. But, calling the poor Shias
polytheists and infidels, you turn them out of the Muslim fold
and deprive them of their freedom to practice their religion.
How can we hope for unity and cooperation?
Take the example of our prostration on dust. What a fuss you make
about the dust and turba, a small block of clay of the holy land
of Karbala, on which we put our forehead while prostrating! You
insist that it is an idol and call us idol worshipers, though
we prostrate on the dust with permission of Allah and His Holy
Prophet. The Qur'anic verses enjoin us to perform prostration,
and prostration means to put the forehead on the ground. Of course
there is a difference of opinion between you and us as to the
things on which we prostrate.
Sheikh: Then why do you not
perform the prostration as all other Muslims do so that there
may be no difference and this misunderstanding may disappear.
Well-Wisher: First, please let
us know why you Shafi'is differ so much with the Malikis and Hanbalis,
regarding both the articles of practice and the fundamentals of
your belief. Sometimes they go so far as to call each other "sinner"
and "infidel." It would be better if all of them sat
together and develop a common belief, so that there may be no
Sheikh: There is a difference
of opinion among the jurists, but whoever among us follows any
of the jurists - Imam Shafi'i, Imam A'zam, Imam Malik, or Imam
Ahmad Bin Hanbal - will be rewarded by Allah.
Well-Wisher: For Allah's sake
be fair. You have no reason to follow the four jurists except
that some of them were learned men. You blindly follow them. Your
are led by the nose, and still you claim that your actions will
be rewarded even though there are differences in fundamentals
as well as in articles of practice among them. We follow the orders
of the family of the Holy Prophet, who were, according to the
Prophet himself and to your own eminent ulema, most learned and
you say we are infidels. You should admit that these hostilities
are not due to differences in views. Their cause is that we love
the family of the Prophet, and our opponents nurse a grudge against
So far as the differences in fundamentals and articles of practice
are concerned there are many - among your four schools. Most of
the verdicts of your Imams and jurists are contrary to the clear
injunctions contained in the Holy Qur'an. But you never utter
a word against those who pronounce such verdicts and those who
act upon them. Yet when the Shias prostrate on pure dust, according
to the ordinance of the Holy Qur'an, you call them infidels!
Sheikh: Where have the Sunni
scholars of jurisprudence and the four imams given verdicts in
contradiction to the Holy Qur'an?
Well-Wisher: They have often
given orders in contradiction to ordinances of the Holy Qur'an
and against the unanimous view of the community. Your own ulema
have written a number of books on the differences among the four
schools of law. I advise you to read the illustrious book Masa'ilu'l-Khalif
fi'l-fiqh by Sheikhu't-Ta'ifa Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn
Ali Tusi, who has recorded all the differences of the jurists
of Islam from the chapter Tahira (Cleanliness) to the chapter
on Diyat (reprisals).
I will point out one of many examples of legal injunctions passed
in contradiction to the Holy Qur'an.
Sheikh: Yes, give us an example
You gentlemen are aware that ceremonial washing is an essential
ritual of Islam. Depending on circumstances, one washes the entire
body (ghusl) or part of it (wuzu').
"When you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and hands as
far as the elbows." (5:6)
Accordingly, we should perform the ablution with pure water. When
we do not have water, we should perform tayammum, according to
the verse: "And (if) you find not water then betake yourself
to (pure) earth and wipe your faces and your hands." (4:43)
We should perform tayammum with pure earth. In the first case
water for ablution is necessary. In the second case, water is
not available, or if there is some other extenuating circumstance
then, whether we are on a journey or at home, we should perform
tayammum, wiping the hands and face with pure dust, in place of
wuzu'. On this point all jurists of Islam are unanimous, whether
they are Shia Ithna Asharis, Malikis, Shafi'is or Hanbalis.
But your greatest Imam, Abu Hanifa (most of whose verdicts are
based on speculation) insists that while we are on a journey and
if we cannot find water, we should perform ghusl and wuzu' with
nabiz (date syrup). But everybody knows that nabiz is the juice
of dates and it is not lawful to perform ablution with adulterated
The Holy Qur'an ordains that it is necessary for us to perform
the ablution for ritual prayer with pure water. If water is not
available, we should perform tayammum. Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa says
that we may perform ghusl or wuzu' using nabiz. This is a clear
violation of the Qur'anic ordinance. On the other hand, Bukhari
in his Sahih has written "It is not lawful to perform ablution
with nabiz or an intoxicant."
Hafiz: I follow the Shafi'i
school of law and fully agree with you on this point. If there
is no water, we should perform tayammum, and it is not permissible
to perform ablution with nabiz. This verdict has been ascribed
to Imam Abu Hanifa on the basis of its general popularity.
Well-Wisher: Knowing the real
fact you make this excuse. This verdict of Abu Hanifa has been
consecutively narrated. I quote Fakhru'd-din Razi, who says in
his commentary Mafatihu'l-Ghaib, vol.III, p.553, regarding the
verse of tayammum, problem V, Shafi'i says that "Wuzu' using
Nabiz (date juice) is not lawful, and Abu Hanifa says that it
is lawful while one is on a journey." Also Ibn Rushd has
recorded this verdict of Abu Hanifa in his book Hidayatu'l-Mujtahid.
Sheikh: How can you say that
this verdict is contrary to the ordinance of the Qur'an? Some
Hadith clearly prove it from the action of the Holy Prophet.
Well-Wisher: Can you cite any
hadith supporting your point?
Sheikh: In a hadith which Abu
Zaid, slave of Amr Bin Harith, reports from Abdullah Bin Mas'ud,
the Holy Prophet said to him, on the night of the jinns (Lailatu'j-Jinn
- the night when the Prophet took the oath of allegiance from
the jinns-tr.): "Do you have some water?" He (Abu Zaid)
said: "No, there is only a little nabiz." The Holy Prophet
said: "The date is clean, and water is also clean."
Saying this he performed the ablution.
There is another hadith which Abbas Bin Walid Bin Sabihu'l-Halal
Damishqi reported from Marwan Bin Muhammad Tahiri Damishqi who
reported it from Abdullah Bin Lahi'a, who reported it from Abdullah
Bin Mas'ud, who said: "The Holy Prophet said to me on Lailatu'j-Jinn:
"Do you have water with you?" I said: "No, but
there is nabiz in the pail." Then the Holy Prophet said:
"The date is clean, and the water is clean. Pour it on me."
So I poured it on him, and he performed the ablution with it."
Obviously, the action of the Holy Prophet is an example for us
to follow. No doctrine or argument is superior to his actions.
It is for that reason that our Imam-e-A'zam has approved its lawfulness.
Well-Wisher: Perhaps it would
have been better, if you had remained silent. Now our Sunni brothers
will know that their leaders were mistaken. They passed verdicts
only on the basis of speculation.
First of all, let us examine who the narrators of this hadith
First, Abu Zaid, slave of Amr Bin Harith, is not a known figure,
and according to the traditionists, he is a rejected man as reported
by Tirmidhi and others. Dhahabi in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal says:
"This man is not known to us and this hadith, which is narrated
from Abdullah Bin Mas'ud, is not correct." Hakim says: "No
other hadith is narrated by this unknown man."
Bukhari also designated him as an unreliable narrator of hadith. For this reason distinguished ulema, like Qastalani and Sheikh Zakariyya Ansari, wrote in their commentaries on Sahih Bukhari that "wuzu' (ritual ablution) is not lawful with nabiz or intoxicants." They point out that the hadith referred to above is weak.
The second hadith is also unacceptable. First, no scholar, except
Ibn Maja, narrated it in this way.
Second, prominent ulema have not included it in their sunan because
the chain of its reporters is faulty.
Dhahabi in his Mizanu'l-I'tiqad has quoted a number of statements
showing that Abbas Bin Walid is not reliable. Hence, critics and
commentators have rejected him altogether. As for Marwan Bin Muhammad
Tahiri, he belonged to the misguided group of Marhaba. Ibn Hazm
and Dhahabi have proved that he was an unreliable narrator of
Similarly, Abdullah Bin Lahi'a has also been discredited by distinguished
ulema and commentators.
Therefore, when the chain of narrators of a hadith is of such
a dubious nature that your own ulema reject it, the hadith loses
Third, on the basis of a hadith, which your ulema have narrated
from Abdullah Bin Mas'ud, there was no one with the Holy Prophet
on Lailatu'j-Jinn. Abu Dawud in his Sunan, chapter on Wuzu' and
Tirmidhi in his Sahih, report from Al-Qama that Abdullah Bin Mas'ud
was asked: "Who among you was with the Holy Prophet on Lailatu'j-Jinn?"
He said: "No one from among us was with him."
Fourth, Lailatu'j-Jinn occurred in Mecca prior to the Hijra (migration),
while all the commentators say that the verse of tayammum was
revealed in Medina. So this ordinance certainly annuls the previous
order. It was for this reason that your great jurists, like Imam
Shafi'i, Imam Malik, and others have declared it unlawful.
It is strange that the Sheikh puts forward a weak hadith as authoritative
in the face of the Holy Qur'an and tries to prove Abu Hanifa's
Apart from the accepted rules of wuzu' mentioned in the above
verse, after washing the face and hands, a part of the head and
the feet up to the ankles are to be wiped. The holy verse clearly
says: "And wipe a part of your heads and a part of your feet
up to the ankles." But all your scholars of jurisprudence
insist that the feet be washed, contradicting the clear ordinance
of the Qur'an. There is a difference between washing and wiping.
Sheikh: There are a number of
hadith which indicate that the feet are to be washed.
Well-Wisher: First, only hadith
which conform with Qur'anic ordinances are acceptable.
Obviously, the revoking of an explicit Qur'anic verse by a lone
report can never be lawful. The holy verse clearly enjoins the
wiping, not washing, of the feet. If you think a little more carefully
you will find that the whole verse leads to the same point. It
begins with the order "Wash your face and your hands."
The conjunction "and" denotes that after washing the
face, we should also wash the hands. Similarly, in the second
order: "and wipe a part of your head and a part of your feet",
the wiping of the head and of the feet are joined by the conjunction
"and." This clearly shows that after wiping of the head
the feet must also be wiped. It goes without saying that washing
cannot be substituted by wiping. So just as the washing of the
face and hands is necessary, the wiping of the head and feet is
also necessary. It is inadmissible that one be wiped and the other
washed. Otherwise, the conjunction and would be meaningless.
Moreover, apart from these clear meanings, Islamic law does not
contain harsh and austere orders. Washing the feet is more difficult
than wiping them. The religious order is intended to make the
performance of wuzu' easy, as the tone of the verse also suggests.
Imam Fakhru'd-din Razi, an eminent Sunni commentator, makes a
detailed argument concerning the compulsory nature of wiping the
feet in wuzu'. You would benefit from studying it.
Even more strange than washing the feet is the wiping over stockings.
There are differences among the Sunni jurists whether it may be
done while on a journey or at home.
This order is contrary to the Qur'anic injunction which stipulates
that we are to wipe the feet and not the socks. This order is
also opposed to the former order of washing the feet. If wiping
the feet is not lawful, why have they made wiping over the socks
Sheikh: There are many hadith
which show that the Prophet wiped the socks. Accordingly, the
jurists considered it as proof of the lawfulness of this act.
Well-Wisher: I have repeatedly
submitted that, according to the order of the Prophet a hadith
alleged to have been reported from him which does not conform
to the Holy Qur'an is to be rejected. The forgers and political
jugglers have fabricated many hadith. Accordingly, your own prominent
ulema have rejected such hadith.
Besides the fact that these hadith are incompatible with the clear
ordinance of the Holy Qur'an, they are also mutually contradictory.
Your own great ulema have accepted this fact. For instance, the
great sage, Ibn Rushd Andalusi, in his Badayatu'l-Mujtahid wa
Nihayatu'l-Muqtasid, vol. I, pp.15 and 16, says about this difference:
"The reason that they differ is that the reports about them
are opposed to each other." In another place he says: "The
reason that they differ is that the reports about them are inconsistent."
Hence, to base an argument on reports and hadith which are mutually
contradictory and also clearly opposed to Qur'anic injunctions
is quite absurd. You know that among the hadith which are contradictory
to each other, only those which are compatible with the Holy Qur'an
are acceptable. If any hadith is opposed to the Holy Qur'an it
is to be rejected outright.