Sheikh ABDU'S-SALAM: (Turning
to Hafiz Muhammad Rashid Sahib) Allow me to say something briefly.
(Turning to well-wisher). We never deny the high qualities of
Ali, but to confine praise to him alone is not fair since the
principal companions of the Holy Prophet were, one and all, men
of virtue. You are indulging in one-sided talk, which misleads
the people. Permit me to quote a hadith in their praise so that
the truth of the matter may be revealed.
Well-Wisher: I'm not concerned
with personalities. The Qur'anic verses and authentic hadith lead
us in one direction. I swear by Allah that I do not blindly love
or hate anyone. I ask the audience to stop me if at any time I
resort to anything which is against reason or common sense. hadith
acknowledged by both sects should be relied upon. I do not deny
the good qualities of the upright companions of the Prophet, but
we should search among them for one who is superior to the whole
community. Our discussion is not about virtuous men, as the virtuous
are many. We should find out who was the most meritorious person
after the Prophet so that we may follow him.
Sheikh: You make unnecessary
restrictions. In your books there is not a single hadith in praise
of the caliphs. How can we argue on that basis?
Well-Wisher: On the first night
of our discussions, you will recall that Hafiz Sahib himself agreed
to a debate on the condition that our arguments be based on verses
of the Holy Qur'an and on hadith accepted by both sects. Since
I have your authentic books, I agreed to it. As all of you will
confirm, I have not deviated from that stand. In support of my
points, I have cited only verses of the Holy Qur'an and hadith
recorded in the authentic books of your own eminent scholars.
When you made this condition, you did not realize that you would
be trapped later on. Still, I don't want this condition to be
taken absolutely. I am prepared to hear even your one-sided hadith
if they are authentic. Then we can determine facts justly. I have
no hesitation in accepting facts in comparing the merits of Ali.
Sheikh: You cited a hadith concerning
Ali's vicegerency but overlooked the fact that there are many
hadith about Caliph Abu Bakr.
Well-Wisher: Keeping in mind
that your own prominent ulema, like Dhahabi, Suyuti, and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
have reported that the Amawi's and the followers of Abu Bakr have
fabricated many hadith in praise of Abu Bakr, you may cite a hadith
from many of those so that a just man may judge its authenticity.
Sheikh: There is an authentic
hadith narrated by Umar Bin Ibrahim Bin Khalid, who reports from
Isa Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Bin Abbas, and he from his father, and
he from his grandfather, Abbas, that the Prophet of Islam told
that gentleman, "O uncle! Allah has made Abu Bakr Caliph
of his religion. So listen to him and obey him so that you may
Well-Wisher: This is a rejected
Sheikh: How is it a rejected
Well-Wisher: Your own prominent
ulema have rejected it. Because the reporters of this hadith were
notorious liars and forgers, your ulema do not consider it worthy
of acceptance. Dhahabi in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal, writing about
Ibrahim Bin Khalid, and Khatib Baghdadi, writing about Umar Bin
Ibrahim say, "He is a great liar." A hadith narrated
by a liar is unacceptable.
Sheikh: It is reported from
reliable sources that one of the pious companions of the Prophet,
Abu Huraira, narrated that Gabriel appeared before the Holy Prophet
and said, "Allah sends His salutation to you. He says, 'I
am satisfied with Abu Bakr; ask him if he too is satisfied with
me or not.'"
Well-Wisher: We should be very
cautious about citing hadith. I draw your attention to a hadith
which your own ulema, like Ibn Hajar (in Isaba) and Ibn Abdu'l-Bar
(in Isti'ab) quote from Abu Huraira that the Prophet said, "There
are many who misquote me, and one who misrepresents me has his
abode in Hell. When a hadith is reported to you on my behalf,
you should put it before the Holy Qur'an."
Another hadith acknowledged by both sects, narrated by Imam Fakhru'd-Din
Razi in his Tafsir Kabir, Volume lI, page 271, reports that the
Prophet said, "When a hadith from me is reported to you,
put it before the Book of Allah. If it agrees with the Holy Qur'an,
accept it. Otherwise, reject it." The books of your own eminent
ulema state that one of those who fabricated hadith in the name
of the Holy Prophet was this rejected man, Abu Huraira, whom you
have called pious.
Sheikh: I didn't expect a man
of your standing to make slanderous remarks about the Prophet's
Well-Wisher: You want me to
be in awe of the word "Sahabi" (companion), but you
are mistaken if you think the word "Sahabi" necessarily
conveys honor. True, the companionship of the Holy Prophet enhances
one's virtue, but this is based on the condition that the companion
is obedient to the Prophet. If he acts against the instructions
of the Prophet, then surely he will be rejected. Weren't the munafiqin
(hypocrites) companions of the Prophet? Yes, and they were all
Sheikh: It is not proved that
they were rejected. If they were rejected, what is the proof that
they will go to Hell? Is everyone who is rejected or cursed destined
for Hell? A cursed person is one who, according to the explicit
ordinance of the Holy Qur'an, or the saying of the Prophet, is
declared as such.
Well-Wisher: There are clear
grounds to show that Abu Huraira was an unreliable man. Your own
ulema have confirmed this fact. One of the reasons for his being
cursed is that, according to the words of the Prophet, he was
an associate of the cursed son of the cursed Abu Sufyan. Abu Huraira
was one of the hypocrites. On some occasions in Siffin he offered
prayers led by the Commander of the Faithful, Ali. At other times
he sat at the dining table of Mu'awiya to eat his fancy food.
As reported by Zamakhshari in Rabiu'l-Abrar and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
in the commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, when Abu Huraira was asked
the reason for his double-dealing policy, he said, "Mu'awiya's
food is very rich and savory, and prayers behind Ali are preferable."
Your own ulema, like Sheikhu'l-Islam Hamwaini in Fara'id, Chapter
37, Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Tibrani in Ausar, Ganji Shafi'i in
Kifayatu't-Talib (and a host of others) quote from this same Abu
Huraira and others that the Prophet said, "Ali is with the
Truth, and the Truth is with Ali." When he left Ali and courted
the favor of Mu'awiya, was he not damnable? If one not only keeps
silent at seeing the vicious deeds of Mu'awiya, but actually cooperates
with him and helps him in order to advance his own worldly position
and to fill his belly, is he not to be condemned?
The same Abu Huraira himself narrates (as recorded by your own
eminent ulema, like Hakim Nishapuri in Mustadrak, Volume II, page
124, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal Tibrani, and others) that the Prophet
said, "Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with Ali.
These two shall not be separated until they reach me at the Fountain
of Kauthar. Ali is from me, and I am from Ali. He who profanes
Ali, profanes me. He who profanes me, profanes Allah." Mu'awiya,
in his address of the Jum'a prayers, cursed Ali, Hasan, and Husain.
He ordered that in all congregations those revered people should
be cursed. So if a man is so intimately associated with such damned
people and is pleased with their actions, is he not to be condemned?
And, while associating with such people, if he helps them by fabricating
hadith and forces people to utter curses against revered people,
is he not to be condemned?
Sheikh: Is it reasonable for
us to accept these slanders, that a sincere companion of the Prophet,
fabricating hadith, may force people to curse Ali?
Well-Wisher: Of course it is
hard to believe that a sincere companion would do such a thing.
If any of the companions has done such a thing, it means that
he was not sincere. There are many hadith narrated by your own
ulema that the Holy Prophet said, "One who profanes Ali,
profanes me and Allah."
Sheikh: To be frank, when you
slander the companions of the Holy Prophet, saying that they fabricated
hadith, how can we hope that you will not attribute evil motives
to the high-ranking ulema of the Sunnis? You Shias have a remarkable
tendency for slandering great men.
Well-Wisher: You are unfair
in attributing such things to us. Islamic histories of the past
1,400 years testify against it. From the beginning of the first
century of Islam, the Umayyads abused the infallible Imams, the
descendants of the Holy Prophet, and their adherents, the Shias
. Even today, your prominent ulema record slanderous reports against
the Shias in their books in order to mislead the people.
Sheikh: Who of the Sunni ulema
has slandered the Shias ?
One of your great literary scholars, Shahabu'd-Din Abu Umar Ahmad
Bin Muhammad Bin Abd Rabbih Qartabi Andalusi Maliki (died 48 A.H.),
in his Indu'l-Farid, Volume I, page 269, has called the Shias
"the Jews of this Umma." He says that, just as the Jews
are enemies of the Christians, the Shias are enemies of Islam.
He claims that the Shias, like the Jews, do not accept the fact
that one may be divorced three times from the same person, nor
do they accept the practice of 'idda (the prescribed period of
chastity for women after divorce). Both the Shias here and the
Sunnis who are familiar with their Shia friends will laugh at
these claims. You will find in all books on Shia jurisprudence
stipulations regarding three divorces and idda after divorce.
He also alleges that the Shias, like the Jews, are the enemies
of Gabriel, because Gabriel communicated Allah's commandment (wahi)
to the Prophet, not to Ali. (Laughter among the Shia audience.)
We Shias believe in the Holy Prophet. We believe that Allah's
commandments were revealed to him through Gabriel, whose rank
is far higher than that attributed to him by this worthless writer.
Another of your great ulema is Abu Muhammad Ali Bin Ahmad Bin
Sa'id Ibn Hazm Andalusi (died 456 A.H.), who has recorded particularly
queer notions about the Shias in his famous Kitabu'l-Fasl fi'l-Milal
Wa'n-Nihal. For example, he says that the Shias are not Muslims.
They are heretics, the followers of Jews and Christians. In Volume
IV, page 182, he writes that, "According to the Shias, it
is lawful to marry nine women." This report can be disproved
easily by consulting Shia books which clearly state that it is
unlawful to keep more than four wives in permanent marriage at
one time. There are many other similar unfounded allegations and
filthy things attributed to Shias in this book, which you would
be ashamed to hear.