The second point that you have made is that the Caliph was compelled
to act according to the outward code of religion, since the "verse
of Evidence" in its general sense applied in this case. Hence,
in the absence of witnesses, he could not give away the "property
of the Muslims" to Fatima, on the basis of her claim alone.
Rather, he was so cautious that he demanded, in contradiction
to the religious injunction, witnesses from the actual occupant
of the property. First, I have already told you that Fadak was
not the property of the Muslims.It was given to Fatima as a gift
by her father, and it was held in possession by her.
Second, if the Caliph actually wanted to follow religious law,
he should have strictly followed it in all cases. Why did he adopt
a policy of double dealing? He used to give property of Muslims
to others in response to mere verbal claims without taking the
evidence of any witnesses. But in the case of Fatima's property
he became extraordinarily cautious.
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid has recorded in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.
IV, p. 25, that he inquired of Ali Ibnu'l-Fariqi, a teacher in
the Madrasa Gharbi in Baghdad, whether Fatima was in the right
and spoke the truth about her claim. "He said: 'Yes.' I said:
'If she was right and spoke the truth, why did the Caliph not
release Fadak in her favor?' He (Fariqi) smiled (though he never
jested) and said that if he had released Fadak to Fatima that
day, the next day she would have come to claim the caliphate for
her husband. Then the Caliph would have been compelled to return
that right also, since he would have accepted her truthfulness
in the former case.'"
According to your own prominent scholars, the position was quite
clear. They had accepted the fact that from the first day the
right was with the oppressed Fatima, but their political expediency
demanded that they should deprive the faultless lady of her right.
Hafiz: When did the Caliph give
away the wealth of the Muslims without any witness?
Well-Wisher: When Jabir claimed
that the Holy Prophet had promised that he would be paid from
the booty taken at Bahrain, he was given 1,500 dinars from the
Baitu'l-Mal (Public Treasury) without raising any objection or
demanding any witness from him.
Hafiz: First, I have not seen such a report. Perhaps it is in your books.
Second, how can you claim that witnesses were not demanded?
Well-Wisher: It is very strange
that you have not seen it. This report of Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari
is one of the arguments of ulema in support of their view that
a single report by a just companion is acceptable.
Accordingly, Sheikhu'l-Islam Hafiz Abdu'l-Fazl Ahmad Bin Ali Bin
Hajar Asqalani says in his Fathu'l-Bari Fi Sharh-e-Sahihu'l-Bukhari:
This report proves that the narration of a just companion is acceptable
even though it benefits him personally because Abu Bakr did not
demand a witness from Jabir in support of his claim.
Bukhari records the same report in greater detail in his Sahih.
In the chapter 'Man Yakfal un mayyit dainan' and 'Kitabu'l-Khuma
fi Bab-e-ma Qata'an-nabi mina'l-Bahrain,' he writes that when
the booty of Bahrain was brought to Medina, Abu Bakr announced
that whoever had been promised money by the Prophet of Allah or
whoever had any unsatisfied claim should come and receive his
due. Jabir came and said: 'The Holy Prophet promised me that when
Bahrain was conquered and came under the control of the Muslims,
I would be provided with a gift out of the booty.' So immediately
Abu Bakr gave him 1,500 dinars without calling for any evidence,
merely on the basis of his claim.
Jalalu'd-din Suyuti also has recorded this event in his Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa
in the section on the Caliphate of Abu Bakr.
Men of justice: please let me know in Allah's name if this was
not inequitable. Unless there was some bias at work, how was it
lawful for Abu Bakr to contravene the "verse of Evidence"
and give money to Jabir on the basis of his claim alone? Besides
this, Bukhari in his Sahih and many other of your ulema and scholars
of jurisprudence, accept the single evidence of a just companion
even though it gave personal benefit to him. But they consider
Ali's claim unacceptable on the grounds that he wanted something
for his own benefit. Was Ali not a perfect individual among the
companions? If you consider the matter honestly you will admit
that it was not only a denial of justice, but it was all force
and open deceit.
Hafiz: I think Abu Bakr did
not demand witnesses from Jabir because he was one of the closely
trained companions of the Holy Prophet. He had certainly heard
the Holy Prophet saying: "If anybody gives a false account
of me, his abode is hell." Given this strict warning, it
is quite evident that a closely trained companion and believer
would not take such a wrong initiative and would not attribute
a false statement to the Prophet of Allah.
Well-Wisher: Was Jabir closer
to the Holy Prophet or Ali and Fatima, who were specially trained
by the Holy Prophet?
Hafiz: It is obvious that Ali
and Fatima were closer to the prophet of God, because they had
been under his training since their very birth.
Well-Wisher: So you will have
to admit that Ali and Fatima must have been strict followers of
this warning and could not, on the basis of the Holy Prophet's
saying, make any false claim. And it is incumbent on Abu Bakr
to accept Fatima's claim, since the rank of both those two persons
was far more exalted than Jabir's (as you yourself admit). In
fact, their rank was superior to all other companions. They were
worthy of the "Verse of Purity" and were infallible
ones. This verse reveals the purity of the five holy ones: Muhammad,
Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain. In fact your eminent ulema also
have testified to the truthfulness of these holy persons.
With regard to Amiru'l-Mu'minin, I have already told you that
the Holy Prophet has called him "The truthful one of the
whole Community," and Allah also has called him "the
truthful one" in the Qur'an. For the truthfulness of Fatima
Zahra, there are also many such hadith. Among them is one reported
by Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani in his Hilyatu'l-Auliya, vol. II,
p. 42, from A'yesha, who said: "I have never seen any one
more truthful than Fatima except her father."
Hafiz: Your claim that this
verse was revealed in praise of those five persons cannot be accepted.
In these debates you have demonstrated an extensive knowledge
about our books. You should admit that in this case you are mistaken,
since commentators like Qazi Baidhawi and Zamakhshari believe
that this holy verse was revealed in praise of the wives of the
Prophet. And if there is any report that it was revealed in praise
of those five persons, it must be a weak one. The reason is that
the verse in itself proves contrary to that meaning. The context
of the "Verse of Purity" is connected with the wives
and the middle part cannot be taken out of context.
Well-Wisher: The claim advanced
by you is refutable from many points of view. You have said that
the parts that precede and follow the verse are connected with
the Prophet's wives, and hence the Ahle Bait are excluded from
this holy verse. I reply that, as often happens in the course
of our talk, we shift attention from one person to another and
then return to the first person. There are many examples of this
in the couplets of eminent Arab writers and poets. In the Holy
Qur'an itself there are many examples of this kind. In fact, if
you examine the chapter in question, al-Ahzab (the clans), after
addressing the wives, attention is turned to the believers. Then
subsequently, the wives are addressed. Time does not permit me
to submit more elaborate evidence to explain the point further.
Second, if this verse were about the wives of the Holy Prophet,
the pronoun used in it would have been feminine. But since the
pronoun is masculine, we know that reference is not to the wives,
but to the progeny of the Holy Prophet.
Nawab: If Fatima is also included
in this group why was the feminine not used?
Well-Wisher: (Turning to the
ulema) Gentlemen: you know that in this verse, although Fatima
is one of the referents, the masculine is used because of its
preponderance. That is, in a group of both males and females,
more weight is attached to the males. In this verse the use of
the masculine is itself a proof that this statement is not weak,
but has full force. Besides this, in view of the majority of the
male members, the pronoun should be in the masculine gender because
in the Holy Five there is one woman and four men. Of course had
this verse been about the wives of the Holy Prophet, the use of
masculine for the females would have been utterly wrong. Apart
from this, the conclusion drawn from the authentic hadith in your
own books is that this holy verse was revealed in praise of the
progeny and not in reference to his wives.
Even though he was an extreme fanatic, Ibn Hajar Makki says in
his Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa that most commentators believe that this
verse was revealed in praise of Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain.
Leaving aside these arguments, the wives of the Holy Prophet are
not included in the Ahle Bait.
It is narrated in Sahih Muslim and Jam'u'l-Usul that Hasan Ibn
Samra asked Zaid Ibn Arqam whether the wives of the Holy Prophet
were included in his Ahle Bait. Zaid said: "By Allah, no.
A wife remains with her husband for a certain period, but when
he divorces her, she goes to her father's home, joins her mother's
family, and is completely cut off from her husband. The Ahle Bait
are those members of the family of the Holy Prophet for whom charity
is forbidden. They will not be separated from the Ahle Bait wherever
Apart from the unanimity of views among the Ithna' Ashari Shias
about the holy progeny, there are many hadith recorded in your
own books, which disprove the assumption that the wives of the
Prophet are included in his Ahle Bait.
Imam Tha'labi in Tafsir-e-Kashfu'l-Bayan; Imam Fakhru'd-d Razi
in Tafsir-e-Kabir, vol. VI, p. 783; Jalalu'd-din Suyuti in Durru'l-Mansur,
vol.V,p.199 and Khasa'isu'l-Kubra, vol. II, p. 264; Nishapuri
in his Tafsir, vol. III; Imam Abdu'r-Razzaq ar-Ra'sani in Tafsir
Rumuzu'l-Kunuz; Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Isaba, vol. IV, p. 208;
Ibn Asakir in Ta'rikh, vol. IV, pp 204 and 206; Muhibu'd-din Tabari
in Riyazu'n-Nuzra, vol. II, p. 188; Muslim Bin Hajjaj in Sahih,
vol. II, p. 133 and vol. VII, p. 140; Nabhani in Sharafu'l-Mu'ayyid,
Beirut Edition, p. 10; Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib,
ch.100, with six authentic hadith and Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi
in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.33, in the authority of Sahih Muslim
relying on the narration of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha; ten narrations
from Tirmidhi, Hakim Ala'u'd-Dowlat Semnani, Baihaqi, Tibrani,
Muhammad Bin Jarir, Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Ibn Abi Shaiba, Ibn Munzir,
Ibn Sa'd, Hafiz Zarandi, and Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya as narrations
of Ummu'l-Mu'minin Umme Salma, Umar Bin Abi Salma, (who had been
brought up by the Holy Prophet), Anas Bin Malik, Sa'd Bin Abi
Waqqas, Wathila Ibn Asqa', and Abu Sa'id Khudri said that the
"Verse of Purity" was revealed in praise of the Holy
Five. Even Ibn Hajar Makki, despite his being opposed to the Shia
in many respects has acknowledged its real meaning in seven ways.
He says in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa that this verse was revealed in praise
of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain and that only these
holy personalities were referred to in this verse.
Seyyed Abu Bakr Bin Shahabu'd-din Alawi in his Kitab-e-Rashqatu's-Sa'adi
min Bahr-e-Faza'il Bani Nabiu'l-Hadi (printed by A'lamiyya Press,
Egypt, 1303 A.H.), ch. 1, pp 14-19, narrates from Tirmidhi, Ibn
Jarir, Ibn Munzir, Hakim, Ibn Mardawiyya, Baihaqi, Ibn Abi Hatim,
Tibrani, Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Ibn Kathir, Muslim Bin Hajjaj, Ibn
Abi Shaiba, and Samhudi on the basis of studies of the works of
your ulema, that this holy verse was revealed in praise of the
Holy Five persons.
In Jam'i-Bainu's-Sihahu's-Sitta, Mauta of Imam Malik Bin Anas,
Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim, Sunan of Abu Dawud and Sijistani,
and Tirmidhi, Jam'u'l-Usul and other books, your ulema and historians
generally admit that this verse was revealed in praise of the
Holy Five. And according to your sect, this hadith has been transmitted
Many narrators of hadith have recorded the incident concerning
harrira. Among them are Imam Tha'labi in his Tafsir, Imam Ahmad
Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, and Ibn Athir in his Jam'u'l-Usul, quoting
from the Sahih of Tirmidhi and Muslim: all narrate from the wife
of the Holy Prophet, Ummu'l-Mu'minin Umme Salma, who said: "The
Holy Prophet was in my house when Fatima brought a cup of harrira
to him. At that time he was sitting on the porch where he used
to sleep. He had a Khaibari mantle under his feet. I was offering
prayers in my apartment. The Prophet asked Fatima to call her
husband and sons. Soon Ali, Hasan, and Husain came in and all
shared the harrira. Gabriel appeared and revealed this holy verse
to the Prophet: 'Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness
from you, O people of the house! and to purify you with a (thorough)
"Then the Holy Prophet covered all of them with his mantle,
raised his hands towards the sky, and said: 'O Allah, these constitute
my progeny. Keep them away from every impurity and purified with
Umme Salma says that she moved forward and desired to enter the
mantle saying: "O Prophet of Allah, may I also join the group?"
The Holy Prophet replied: "No, remain in your own place,
you are in virtue." This meant that she could not be included
among the Ahle Bait and attain their rank, but that her end was
to be good.
Imam Fakhru'd-din Razi in his Tafsir adds that the Prophet said:
"All sins have been withheld from you" and "You
have been given robes of blessings." It is of course very
strange of your unjust ulema, who write in their authentic books
that Ali and Fatima were included in the "Verse of Purity"
(and the greatest impurity is telling lies). Yet they reject Ali's
Imamate (vicegerency) and refuse to accept his evidence in support
of Fatima about her claim to Fadak. It is not understood on what
criterion the claimants of justice form a judgment.