The well known traditionist and historian of Medina, Allama Samhudi (died 911 A.H.), in his Ta'rikhu'l-Medina and Yaqut Bin Abdullah Rumi in his Mu'ajamu'l-Buldan, state that during his caliphate, Abu Bakr took possession of Fadak. Umar, during his reign, returned it to Ali and Abbas. If Abu Bakr occupied it on the order of the Holy Prophet and considered it the property of the Muslims, on what principle did Umar entrust the property of all the Muslims to a single individual?
Sheikh: Perhaps his intention
in releasing the property to a single individual was that it would
remain in the custody of the Muslims.
Well-Wisher: Sometimes a witness
is more clever than the plaintiff for whom he gives evidence.
The Caliph had no such idea. If the property had been returned
for the expenses of the Muslims, it must have been so recorded
in history. But all your prominent historians write that it was
released in favor of Ali and Abbas. Ali accepted Fadak as its
rightful heir, not as an individual Muslim. One Muslim may not
possess the property of all the Muslims.
Sheikh: Perhaps the reference
is to Umar Ibn Abdu'l-Aziz.
Well-Wisher: Ali and Abbas were
not alive during the time of Umar Bin Abdu'l-Aziz. That is a separate
story. Allama Samhudi in his Ta'rikhu'l-Medina and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol. IV, p. 81, narrate from Abu
Bakr Jauhari that when Umar Bin Abdu'l-Aziz occupied the seat
of the caliphate, he wrote to his governor at Medina to return
Fadak to the descendants of Fatima. Accordingly, he called Hasan
Bin Hasanu'l-Mujtaba (and according to some reports he called
Imam Ali Ibnu'l-Husain) and returned Fadak to him.
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid writes about it in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol. IV, p.81, in the following words: "This was the first
property which was snatched away unjustly and then was given over
to the descendants of Fatima by Umar Bin Abdu'l-Aziz." It
remained in their possession for a long time until Caliph Yazid
Ibn Abdu'l-Malik usurped it again. Then the Bani Umayya occupied
it. When the caliphate went to the Bani Abbas, the first Abbasid
Caliph, Abdullah Saffa, entrusted Fadak to the descendants of
Imam Hasan, who distributed its income, according to the rights
of inheritance, to the descendants of Fatima.
When Mansur persecuted the descendants of Imam Hasan, he snatched
away Fadak from them again. When his son, Mahdi, became the caliph,
he returned it to them. When Musa bin Hadi became the caliph,
he again usurped Fadak. When Mamunu'r-Rashid the Abbasid occupied
the seat of the caliphate, he ordered Fadak to be released to
the descendants of Ali.
Yaqut Hamawi quotes Mamun's order in his Mu'ajamu'l-Buldan. Mamun
wrote to his governor at Medina: "Verily, the Holy Prophet
of Allah bequeathed Fadak to his daughter, Fatima. This fact was
established and commonly known to the descendants of the Holy
The well known poet, Di'bal Khuza'i, was also present at this
time. He recited some couplets, the first of which means: "Today
we are all happy and rejoicing. Mamun has returned Fadak to the
It has been proved by irrefutable arguments that Fadak had been
given by the Holy Prophet to Fatima. It was usurped without any
justification. But later caliphs, on grounds of justice or for
political considerations, returned it to the descendants of that
Hafiz: If Fadak was bestowed
upon her as a gift, why did she claim it as her heritage and not
say anything about a gift?
Well-Wisher: At first she claimed
it as a gift. But when witnesses were required from the property's
occupants, in contradiction to the injunction of the Holy Prophet
of Islam, she produced witnesses. Their evidence was rejected.
She was thereby forced to seek protection under the law of inheritance.
Hafiz; I am afraid you are mistaken.
We have not seen any record of Fatima's claim that Fadak was a
Well-Wisher: No, I am not mistaken.
This fact is recorded not only in Shia books, but also in those
written by your own prominent ulema. It is recorded in Siratu'l-Halabiyya,
p.39, compiled by Ali Bin Burhanu'd-din Halabi Shafi'i (died 1044
A.H.) that at first Fatima remonstrated with Abu Bakr that she
owned Fadak and that it had been given to her by the Holy Prophet
of Allah. Since witnesses were not available, she was forced to
claim her right according to the law of inheritance.
Also Imam Fakhru'd-din Razi in his Tafsir-e-Kabir concerning the
claim of Fatima; Yaqut Hamawi in his Mu'ajamu'l-Buldan; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
Mu'tazali in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.IV, p. 80, from Abu
Bakr Jauhari and the fanatical Ibn Hajar in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa,
p.21, under the heading Shuhubhat-e-Rafza, VII Shubha, narrate
that the first claim of Fatima was that Fadak had been a gift.
When her witnesses were rejected, she was much pained and said
in anger that she would not talk to Abu Bakr and Umar again.
And so it was...she never saw them again and did not speak to
them. When the time of her demise approached, she specified in
her will that none of these people was to take part in her funeral
prayers. Her uncle, Abbas, offered the funeral prayers, and she
was laid to rest at night. According to Shia sources and according
to the statements of the Holy Imams, Ali performed the funeral
Hafiz: Of course there is no
doubt that Fatima was very displeased, but Abu Bakr Siddiq is
not much to blame. He was obliged to act according to the manifest
code of religion. Since the "Verse of Evidence" is of
general significance, and a claimant must produce two men, or
one man and two women, or four women as witnesses, and since in
this case the number of witnesses was not sufficient, the Caliph
could not give judgment in favor of Fatima.
Well-Wisher: Hafiz Sahib has
said that the Caliph was obliged to act according to religious
ordinances, and since complete evidence was not available he could
not pronounce judgment. I will respond to his point, and I ask
you to be fair in evaluating my comment.
First, you said Abu Bakr was 'compelled under religious law.'
Will you please tell me which religious ordinance demands witnesses
from one who is in possession of the property? It has been proved
that Fatima was in possession of Fadak. As reported by all your
ulema, Abu Bakr's demanding witnesses from her was against religious
law. Does our religious law not say that witnesses should be produced
by the plaintiff and not by the holder of the property?
Second, nobody denies the general significance of the 'Verse of
Evidence', but it also has a specific significance.
Hafiz: What do you mean by its specific significance?
Well-Wisher: The proof for this
is the report recorded in your authentic books of hadith, regarding
Khazima Ibn Thabit. He gave evidence in support of the Holy Prophet
in a case concerning the sale of a horse. An Arab had made a claim
against the Holy Prophet and his (Khazima's) single evidence was
considered sufficient. The Holy Prophet gave him the title of
Dhu'sh-Shahadatain because he was regarded as being equal to two
just witnesses. This example shows that the 'Verse of Evidence'
allows for exceptions under some circumstances. When Khazima,
an individual believer and companion from among the community,
was made an exception to the verse, Ali and Fatima who were infallible
according to the 'Verse of Purity' were in a better position to
enjoy this exception. They were definitely free from all falsehood.
To reject their evidence was to reject the evidence of Allah.
Hazrat Fatima claimed that Fadak was bestowed upon her as a gift
by her father and that it was in her possession and control during
the Holy Prophet's lifetime. She was asked to furnish witnesses.
She produced Amiru'l-Mu'minin Ali Bin Abi Talib and Hasan and
Hussein as her witnesses. But their evidence was rejected. Was
this action not unjust? It is beyond comprehension how anybody
could reject Ali's testimony. Allah Almighty says in the Holy
Qur'an that we should be with Ali, that is, we should follow him.
Zaid-e-Adl became the embodiment of truth because of his extreme
truthfulness. Similarly, Ali was also called 'the truthful,' as
Allah says: "O you who believe! be careful of (your duty
to) Allah, and be with the truthful ones." (9:119) "Truthful
ones" refers to the Prophet Muhammad, Ali, and the holy Ahle
Hafiz: How does this verse prove
your view, which may mean that to follow Ali is obligatory for
Well-Wisher: (1) Your prominent
scholars have written in their books and commentaries that this
verse was revealed in praise of Muhammad and Ali. "The truthful
ones" refers to these two holy men, and according to some
reports it means Ali; other reports say that it refers to the
progeny of the Holy Prophet.
Imam Tha'labi in the commentary Kashfu'l-Bayan, Jalalu'd-din Suyuti
reporting from Ibn Abbas in his Durru'l-Manthur, Hafiz Abu Sa'id
Abdu'l-Malik Bin Muhammad Khargushi reporting from Asma'is in
his Sharafu'l-Mustafa, and Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani in his Hilyatu'l-Auliya
narrate that the Holy Prophet said: "These truthful ones
are Muhammad and Ali."
Sheikh Sulayman Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch. 39, p.1191,
reporting from Muwaffaq Bin Ahmad Khawarizmi, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim
Ispahani, and Hamwaini relates on the authority of Ibn Abbas,
who said: "In this verse 'the truthful ones' are Muhammad
and his holy descendants."
And Sheikhu'l-Islam Ibrahim Bin Muhammad Hamwaini, one of your
eminent scholars, in his Fara'idu's-Simtain, Muhammad Bin Yusuf
Ganji Shafi'i in his Kifayatu't-Talib, ch. 62, and Muhadith Sham
in his Ta'rikh, reporting from his sources, write: "With
the truthful ones, that is, with Ali Bin Abi Talib."
(2) Allah says: "And he who brings the truth, and he who
accepts it as the truth - these are they that guard (against evil)."
Jalalu'd-din Suyuti in Durru'l-Manthur, Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya in
Manaqib, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Muhammad Bin Yusuf
Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, ch.62, and Ibn Asakir in his
Ta'rikh, reporting from a selection of commentators, narrate the
following on the authority of Ibn Abbas and Mujahid:
"'He who brings the truth' is Muhammad, and 'he who testifies
to it' is Ali Bin Abi Talib."
(3) Allah says in chapter of Hadid (Iron) of the Holy Qur'an:
"And (as for) those who believe in Allah and his apostles,
these it is who are the truthful and the faithful ones in the
sight of their Lord; they shall have their reward and their light."
Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad and Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani
in Manazil Mina'l-Qur'an Fi Ali narrate on the authority of Ibn
Abbas that this holy verse was revealed in praise of Ali referring
to him as being among the truthful ones.
(4) In the Chapter Nisa (Women) Allah says: "And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they." (4:69)
In this verse also the truthful ones refers to Ali. There are
many hadith narrated by your ulema and ours, indicating that Ali
was the truthful one of the community and in fact the most exalted
among the truthful ones.
Many of your prominent ulema have written in their books that
the Holy Prophet said: "There are three great truthful ones:
- Hizqil, the Believer of the people of Pharaoh; Habib Najjar
of the Sura Yasin, and Ali Bin Abi Talib, who is superior to them
all." The following have all recorded this hadith: Imam Fakhru'd-din
Razi in his Tafsir Kabir; Imam Tha'labi in Kashfu'l-Bayan; Jalalu'd-din
Suyuti in Durru'l-Manthur; Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in the Musnad;
Ibn Shirwaih in Firdaus; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol. II, p.451; Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in Manaqib; and Ibn Hajar
Makki in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa (30th hadith out of the 40 hadith that
he has commented on concerning the virtues of Ali) quoting from
Bukhari, who reports from Ibn Abbas, with the exception of the
Also Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch. 42,
quoting from the Musnad of Imam Hanbal; Abu Nu'aim Ibn Maghazili
Shafi'i; the great orator Khawarizmi, quoting from Abu Laila and
Abu Ayyub Ansari, in his Manaqib; Ibn Hajar in his Sawa'iq (and
a host of others) narrate that the Holy Prophet said: "There
are three truthful ones: - Habib Najjar, the Believer of the people
of the Chapter Yasin who said, 'O people! follow the prophets;'
Hizqil, the believer of the people of Pharaoh, who said, 'Do you
kill a man who worships Allah?', and Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who is
the most exalted of them all."
People are astounded to see how your understanding is subdued
by your perversity. You yourselves prove with various hadith in
conformity with the Holy Qur'an, that Ali occupied the highest
rank among the truthful ones and yet you call others as "siddiq"
(truthful) although not a single verse has been reported about
their being truthful.
Gentlemen! Please be just. Was it proper to reject the evidence
of the person whom Allah calls "siddiq" in the Qur'an,
one whom we have been commanded to follow?
The Holy Prophet said: "Ali is always with truth and truth
revolves round Ali." Khatib Baghdadi in his Ta'rikh, vol.
IV, p. 321, Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya in Manaqib, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal
in Masnad, Fakhru'd-din Razi in Tafsir-e-Kabir, vol.I, p. 111,
Ibn Hajar Makki in Jam'u's-Saghir, vol.II, pp. 74,75, 140 and
Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa, ch.IX,Fasl 11, hadith 21, narrating from Umme
Salma and Ibn Abbas also in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch. 65, p. 185,
taking from Jam'u's-Saghir of Jalalu'd-din Suyuti, in addition,
in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa, p.116, Faizu'l-Qadir, vol. IV, p. 358,
narrating from Ibn Abbas Manaqibu's-Sabi'in, p. 237, hadith 44
quoting from the author of Firdaus; Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa, ch.59,
Part 2, p. 238, narrating from Umme Salma and Muhammad Bin Yusuf
Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, some of them narrating from
Umme Salma, some from A'yesha and some from Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr,
all narrate that they heard the Holy Prophet saying: "Ali
is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with Ali; there will never
be a difference between the two, and the two will not separate
from each other until they reach me at the pool of Kauthar."
Some narrators have reported these words: "The right is always
with Ali, and Ali is always with the right. There will be no difference
between the two, and the two will not be separate from each other."
Ibn Hajar writes in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa, ch. 9, Part 2, p. 77, that
the Holy Prophet on his deathbed, said: " I leave behind
with you two things: The book of Allah and my progeny, my Ahle
Bait." Then, holding Ali's hand, he raised it and said: "This
Ali is with the Qur'an, and the Qur'an is with Ali. The two will
not separate from each other till they reach me at the pool of
Kauthar. Then I will ask each of them about the matter of succession."
Also it is generally narrated that the Prophet said: "Ali
is with the right and the right is always with Ali. They revolve
around each other."
Sibt Ibn Jauzi, in Tadhkirat-e-Khawasu'l-Umma, p.20, in connection
with the 'Hadith of Ghadir', narrates that the Holy Prophet said:
"Let the right move round Ali, in whatever direction he moves."
Sibt commenting on this says: "This hadith proves that if
there is any difference between Ali and any other companion, the
right will certainly be with Ali."
It is recorded in the books which have been mentioned and in other
authentic books of yours that the Holy Prophet often said: "He
who obeys Ali verily obeys me, and he who obeys me verily obeys
Allah. He who disobeys Ali verily disobeys me, and he who disobeys
me verily disobeys Allah." Abu'l-Fath Muhammad Bin Abdu'l-Karim
Shahrastani reports in his Milal-wa-Nihal that the Holy Prophet
said: "The reality is that Ali is always on the right, and
those who follow him are on the right."
With all these explicit reports, which are recorded in your own
authentic books, wasn't refusing to agree with Ali the same as
refusing to agree with the Holy Prophet?