Whatever interpretation you may give to the word "maula,"
it is an acknowledged fact that the companions made a promise
to the Prophet on that day. There is complete concurrence between
the two sects on this point. Then why did they break that pledge?
Even if we suppose for the moment that by maula the Holy Prophet
meant merely "friend" or "helper," for Allah's
sake tell us if you think that friendship meant that they should
set fire to Ali's house, terrify his family, and threaten him
with drawn swords.
The Prophet gave clear instructions that the companions should
pledge allegiance to Ali. Do you think that he intended that they
should therefore terrorize his own son-in-law? After the death
of the Prophet, didn't they break their pledge? Did they, who
broke the pledge, fulfill, in your opinion, the conditions of
friendship? Did they read verse 15 of ch. 13, Al-Ra'd (the Thunder)
of the Qur'an? "And those who break the covenant of Allah
after its confirmation and cut asunder that which Allah has ordered
to be joined and make mischief in the land; (as for) those, upon
them shall be a curse, and they shall have the evil (issue) of
the abode." (13:25)
In the battles of Uhud and Hunain, when the Holy Prophet had made
all his companions promise that they would not run away that day,
didn't they actually run away? They ran from the battlefield and
left the Holy Prophet to face the enemy. This has been recorded
by your own historians, like Tabari, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, and Ibn
A'same Kufi. Wasn't this breaking a solemn pledge?
I swear by Allah that you unreasonably find fault with the Shias
when we say only what your own renowned ulema and historians have
I don't understand why you people have been attacking us for generations. Whatever you write is accepted, but if we write what the great Sunni ulema have written, we are labelled as infidels simply because we criticize the injustice of some of the Companions.
If, however criticism of the Companions means Rafizi'ism, then
apparently all the Companions were Rafizis, because all of them
criticized one another's bad actions. Even Abu Bakr and Umar did
Some of the Prophet's companions were pious believers and were
highly respected. Others indulged their lower desires and were
condemned. If you want historical proof of this fact, I suggest
that you read Ibn Abi'l-Hadid's Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.IV,
pp. 454, 462, and study Zaidi's detailed reply to Abu'l-Ma'ali
Juwaini's objection, which Abu Ja'far Naqib has recorded. Then
you will know how much controversy existed among the companions,
who in fact cursed one another as sinners and infidels.
In his account of the Hudaibiyya affair, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, in his
Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, and others of your historians have also
written that, after the conclusion of the treaty of peace, most
of the companions, including Umar Bin Khattab, expressed their
anger concerning the terms of the treaty. They told the Holy Prophet
that they were not satisfied with peace and wanted to fight. The
Holy Prophet said that if they wanted to fight, they were at liberty
to do so. So they attacked. But the companions suffered a crushing
defeat and fled to the hills and did not even return to protect
the Holy Prophet. Then the Holy Prophet asked Ali to draw the
sword and repel the Quraish. Seeing Ali before them, the Quraish
drew back. Later the companions who had fled returned and begged
the Prophet's pardon. The Holy Prophet said to them: "Do
I not know you! Are you not the same people who trembled in fear
in the Battle of Badr until Allah Almighty sent angels for our
help! Are you not the same companions of mine who on the Day of
Uhud fled to the hills and left me unprotected? Although I kept
on calling you, you did not return."
The Holy Prophet recounted all their weaknesses, and they continued
expressing their regret for their actions. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid says
at the conclusion of his work that this rebuke was directed specifically
against Umar, who did not believe any of the promises made by
the Holy Prophet. Then he writes that, in light of the statement
of the Holy Prophet, Caliph Umar must have fled from the Battle
of Uhud because in his talk the Holy Prophet had referred to that
Now you can yourself see that if we relate this fact, which is
recorded by your eminent ulema like Abi'l-Hadid and others, we
shall at once be subjected to attack because we have insulted
the Caliph, but there is no objection to Abi'l-Hadid. In fact
we have no intention of insulting anybody. We merely relate historical
facts, and you look at us with scornful eyes. You ignore those
The Shias will have many complaints on the Day of Judgment against
your ulema. The world will perish, but you must appear in Allah's
Court of Justice to answer for your oppression.
Hafiz: Please tell me for what
oppression you will seek justice on the Day of Judgment?
Well-Wisher: There are instances
which I might cite. When the Day of Divine Justice comes I will
certainly seek justice.
Hafiz: I ask you not to excite
the emotions of others. Tell us what oppression you have suffered.
Well-Wisher: Oppression and
tyranny is not a new thing for us today. But its foundation was
laid immediately after the demise of our ancestor, the Holy Prophet.
The right of our oppressed grandmother, Fatima Zahra, which was
bequeathed to her by her father, the Holy Prophet, for the bringing
up of her children, was usurped. No notice was taken of her complaints
and protestations.At last she passed away in the prime of her
youth with a broken heart.
Hafiz: Please you are unnecessarily
exciting the people. Tell us what right of Fatima was usurped?
Please remember that if you fail to prove your claim you will,
to some degree, fail in the Divine Court of Justice. Please yourself
to be in the Divine Court of Justice and argue your case.
Well-Wisher: One day we shall
be before the Divine Court. We expect justice. If you too have
a sense of justice you should, like a just judge listen to my
submissions without prejudice. I believe you will acknowledge
the validity of our claim.
Hafiz: I swear that I have no prejudice or stubborness. Surely you have
observed during these nights that I do not argue perversely. When
I have heard reasonable arguments I have accepted them. My silence
was an indication itself of my accepting the just cause. By nature
I am not disposed to quarrel. I admit that before I met you here,
I wanted to defeat you. But I have been so impressed by your purity,
your politeness, good manners, simplicity, and sense of reality,
that I have taken a solemn vow before Allah that I bow down to
accept all logical facts even though this posture might disappoint
the expectations of others. Believe me, I am not the man of the
first night. I tell you quite frankly that your arguments have
left a deep impression on my heart. I earnestly hope that I may
die with love and affection for the Holy Prophet and his descendants,
so that I may stand happy and contented before the Holy Prophet.
Well-Wisher: Of course such
integrity was expected of a scholar like you. I have really been
much impressed by your remarks as well, and I have developed a
friendly feeling towards you. Now I would like to make a request.
I hope you will accept.
Hafiz: Yes, please.
Well-Wisher: Tonight I would
like to be a judge and the others to be witnesses, so that you
may decide without any prejudice whether my claim is just. Some
of the uninformed believers say that it is no use discussing a
matter which happened over 1,300 years ago. They do not understand
that matters relating to knowledge are debated in every age. Fair
discussions reveal the truth and the claim of inheritance can
legally be made by an heir at any time. Since I am one of the
heirs, I would like to put a question to you. Please give me a
Hafiz: Yes, I shall be very
pleased to hear your statement.
Well-Wisher: If by divine command
a father gives property to his son, and, after the death of the
former, if the property is taken from the son who is in possession
of the property, what would be the nature of the claim?
Hafiz: The usurper's action
would be completely unjust. But whom are you referring to when
you say the oppressor and the oppressed?
When the forts of Khaibar were conquered, the nobles, landlords,
and prominent of Fadak came to the Holy Prophet. Fadak was an
area in the valley of the Medina hills. It contained seven villages
which extended as far as the sea coast. Many were very fertile
and there were oases there. There was a peace treaty with the
people stating that half of the whole of Fadak was to be in their
possession and the other half would be the property of the Holy
Prophet. This fact has been narrated by Yaqut Hamawi, the author
of Majimu'l-Buldan in his Futuhu'l-Buldan, vol. VI, p. 343; by
Ahmad Bin Yahya Baladhuri Baghdadi (died 279 A.H.) in his Ta'rikh;
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l- Balagha, (printed
Egypt), vol. IV, p. 78, quoting from Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Abdu'l-Aziz
Jauhari; by Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari in his Ta'rikh-e-Kabir,
and by many others of your traditionists and historians.
When the Holy Prophet returned to Medina, Gabriel revealed the
following: "And give to the near of kin his due and (to)
the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully."
The Holy Prophet pondered the significance of this revelation.
Gabriel appeared again and informed him that Allah had decreed:
"Let Fadak be given to Fatima." The Holy Prophet called
Fatima and said: "Allah has commanded me to bestow Fadak
as a gift to you." So he immediately gave possession of Fadak
Hafiz: Please clarify what you
say about the occasion on which this holy verse was revealed.
Is it written in the books of history and the commentaries of
the Shias, or have you seen it in our reliable books also?
Well-Wisher: The chief of the
commentators, Ahmad Tha'labi in his Kashfu'l-Bayan; Jalalu'd-din
Suyuti in his Tafsir, vol. IV, reporting from Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya;
the famous commentator Ahmad Bin Musa (died 352 A.H.) reporting
from Abu Sa'id Khadiri and Hakim Abu'l-Qasim Haskani; Ibn Kathir;
Imadu'd-din Isma'il; Ibn Umar Damishqi; Faqih-e-Shafi'i in his
Ta'rikh, and Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda,
ch. 39, reporting from Tafsir-e-Tha'labi, Jam'u'l-Fawa'id and
Uyunu'l-Akhbar - all narrate that when the verse "and give
to the near of kin his due" was revealed, the Holy Prophet
of Allah called Fatima and bestowed the great Fadak upon her as
a gift. Accordingly, so long as the Holy Prophet lived, Fadak
remained in Fatima's possession. That exalted lady leased the
land; its revenue was collected in three installments. Out of
this amount she took enough money for food for her and her children
and distributed the rest to the poor people of Bani Hashim. After
the demise of the Holy Prophet, the officers of the ruling caliph
snatched this property from Fatima.
I ask you, respected people to tell me in the name of justice
how would you term this act.
Hafiz: This is the first time I have heard that the Holy Prophet gave Fadak, by command, to Fatima.
Well-Wisher: It is possible
you might not have known about this. But, as I have told you,
most of your prominent ulema have written about it in their reliable
books. In order to establish the point clearly I refer you to
Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya, Waqidi and Hakim (see their Tafsir and Ta'rikh);
Jalalu'd-din Suyuti Durru'l-Mansur, Vol. IV, p. 177; Mullah Ali
Muttaqi's Kanzu'l-Umma and the brief note which he had written
on Ahmad Bin Hanbal's Kitabu'l-Akhlaq of Musnad about the problem
of Sila-e-rahm; and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid's Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
Vol.IV. All of these ulema have narrated in different ways, apart
from Abu Sa'id Khadiri's statement, that when the above verse
was revealed the Holy Prophet gave Fadak to Fatima Zahra.
Hafiz: It is an admitted fact
that the caliphs confiscated Fadak on the basis of the well known
hadith narrated by Abu Bakr, who declared that he had himself
heard the Holy Prophet say: "We prophets do not leave behind
any legacy; whatever we leave as inheritance is charity"
(i.e., the property of umma).
Well-Wisher: First, it was not an inheritance, but a gift. Second, the
purported hadith is unacceptable.
Hafiz: What argument would you
advance for the rejection of this hadith?
Well-Wisher: There are many
reasons for rejecting this hadith.
First, whoever contrived this hadith uttered it without thinking
about the words he used. If he had been careful about it, he would
never have said: "We prophets do not leave any inheritance,"
because he would have known that his lying would be exposed by
the very wording of this concocted hadith. If he had used the
words "I have not left behind any legacy," his attempted
hadith would have been more plausible. But when he used the plural
"We prophets..."we are obliged to investigate the truth
of the hadith. Now on the basis of your own statement we refer
to the Holy Qur'an for guidance. We find that there are a number
of verses which tell us that the prophets in fact did leave inheritances.
This proves that this hadith is to be rejected outright.
In his Kitab-e-Saqifa the great scholar and traditionist, Abu
Bakr Ahmad Bin Abdu'l-Aziz Jauhari, about whom Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
says in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha that he was one of the eminent
ulema and traditionists of the Sunnis; Ibn Al-athir in his Nihaya;
Mas'udi in Akhbaru'z-Zaman and in Ausat; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol. IV, p. 78, quoting from Abu Bakr Ahmad Jauhari's book Saqifa
and Fadak in different ways and from a number of sources, some
of which refer to the fifth Imam Muhammad Baqir through Siddiqi
Sughra Zainab-e-Kubra and some of which refer to Abdullah Ibn
Hasan on the authority of Siddiqi Kubra Fatima Zahra and on the
authority of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha and also on the authority
of Muhammad Bin Imran Marzabani, he from Zaid Bin Ali Bin Husain;
he from his father, and he from his father Imam Husain; and he
from his illustrious mother, Fatima Zahra; and many other ulema
of your sect have narrated the speech of Fatima before a large
gathering of the Muslims. The opponents were stunned when they
heard her reasoning and could not reply. Since they had no answer
to make they caused a disturbance.
One of the arguments of Fatima rejecting the hadith was that,
if the hadith were true, then why were there so many verses about
the inheritances of the prophets. She said: "At one place
the Holy Qur'an says, 'And Solomon was David's heir.'"(27:16)
About the prophet Zakariyya the Holy Qur'an says: "Therefore
grant me from thyself an heir, who shall inherit of me and inherit
(also) of the house of Jacob." (19,5-6)
About Zakariyya's invocation the Holy Qur'an says: "And Zakariyya,
when he cried to his Lord: 'O my Lord, leave me not childless,
though Thou art the best of inheritors.' So we responded to him
and gave him Yahya." (21: 89,90)
After that she said: "O Son of Abu Qahafa! Is it there in
the Book of Allah that you are an heir of your father and I am
deprived of my father's legacy? You have committed a great slander.
Have you people deliberately abandoned the Book of Allah (the
Holy Qur'an) and ignored it altogether? Am I not the descendant
of the Holy Prophet? Why are you depriving me of my right? Why
are all these verses of inheritance, which are intended for all
people in general and for the Prophets in particular included
in the Holy Qur'an? Is it not a fact that the verses of the Holy
Qur'an shall remain unchanged until the Day of Judgment? Does
not the Holy Qur'an say: 'And those who are akin are nearer one
to another in the ordinance of Allah...' (8:75)" and: 'Allah
enjoins you about your issue! the male shall have the equal of
the shares of two females.' (4:12) and: 'Bequest is prescribed
for you when one of you approaches death, if he leave wealth,
that he bequeath unto parents and near relations in kindness.
(This is) a duty for all those who ward off (evil).' Then why
have I, in particular, been deprived of my father's legacy? Has
Allah revealed some special verses to you, which exclude my father
(from his right). Do you know the outward and inner meanings of
the Holy Qur'an better than my father, Muhammad, and my cousin,
When they were silenced by these arguments and true facts, they
had no answer. They resorted to deception and abusive language.
She cried: "Today you have broken my heart. On the Day of
Judgment I will file a suit against you in the Divine Court of
Justice and Allah Almighty will decide the case justly. Allah
is the best judge. Muhammad is the master and lord; our and your
promised time is the Day of Resurrection. That day the transgressor
will be losers, and your repentance will do you no good. For everything
there is an appointed time and you will know before long who will
be afflicted with scornful chastisement."
Hafiz: Who could dare to abuse
part of the body of the Holy Prophet, Fatima Zahra? I do not believe
this. Deception may be possible, but using abusive language is
not possible. Please do not say such things.
Well-Wisher: No one had the
courage to say such things except your Caliph, Abu Bakr. Unable
to rebut the cogent reasoning of the oppressed lady, he immediately
mounted the pulpit and insulted Fatima and her husband and cousin,
the loved one of Allah and of His Prophet, Amiru'l-Mu'minin Ali.
Hafiz: I think these slanderous
reports have been spread by fanatics.
Well-Wisher: You are mistaken.
These reports have not been spread by Shia fanatics. Prominent
Sunni ulema have spread them. However intolerant our common people
might be, they never fabricate hadith. If you study your authentic
books, you will admit that your great ulema have acknowledged
these facts. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol.IV, p. 80, printed in Egypt, reporting from Abu Bakr Ahmad
Bin Abdu'l-Aziz Jauhari, has written in detail about Abu Bakr's
mounting the pulpit after the remonstrances of Ali and Fatima.
Many scholars have recorded that when Fatima finished pleading
her case, Ali began his remonstrance in the public gathering of
Muslims in the mosque of Medina, turning towards Abu Bakr, he
said: "Why did you deprive Fatima of her father's legacy,
though she was its owner and possessed it during the lifetime
of her father?" Abu Bakr replied: "Fadak is the booty
of the Muslims. If Fatima produces complete evidence that it is
her own property, I will certainly give it to her; otherwise,
I will deprive her of it."
The Holy Imam said, "Is it not a fact that when you pronounce
a judgment about Muslims, in general, you pass quite a contradictory
judgment concerning us?"
"Hasn't the Holy Prophet said that the onus of proof lies
on the plaintiff and that of defense on the defendant? You have
rejected the judgment of the Holy Prophet and, contrary to religious
law, you demand witnesses from Fatima who has been in possession
of the property since the time of the Holy Prophet. Moreover is
the word of Fatima, who is one of the Ashab-e-Kisa (people of
the mantle) and who is included in the verse of purity, not true?"
"If two persons were to give evidence that Fatima had committed
some wrong, tell me how would you treat her?" Abu Bakr said,
"I would inflict punishment on her as I would any other woman."
The Holy Imam said, "If you did this, you would be an infidel
before Allah, because you would have rejected Allah's evidence
about Fatima's purity. Allah says 'Verily, Verily, Allah intends
but to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness, O you the
People of the House, and purify you (with) a thorough purification.'
Is this verse not revealed in our praise?"
Abu Bakr said: "Why not?"
The Imam said: "Is it possible that Fatima, whose purity
Allah has verified, would lay a false claim to a petty property?
You reject the evidence of the purified one and accept the evidence
of the Arab who urinates on the heel of his own foot!"
After saying this the Imam returned to his home angry. His protest
excited the people. Everyone said: "Truth is with Ali and
Fatima. By Allah, Ali speaks the truth. Why is the Holy Prophet's
daughter treated so outrageously?"
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid narrates that the people were deeply impressed
by the protests of Ali and Fatima and began to cause a disturbance.
Abu Bakr, who saw that the two holy persons had already left the
mosque went to the pulpit and said:
"O people! Why are you so disturbed. Why do you listen to
everybody? Since I have rejected their evidence, they are talking
nonsense. The fact is that he is a fox who is betrayed by his
own tail. He creates all sorts of disturbances. He minimizes the
importance of disturbances and incites the people to create agitation
and uproar. He seeks help from the weak. He seeks assistance from
women. He is like Ummu't-Tihal with whom people of her own house
were fond of fornicating."
Aren't these remarks outrageously abusive? Do they accord with
praise, respect, love and sympathy, which the Holy Prophet had
said were due his family? How long will you remain absorbed in
this misguided faith and fanaticism? For how long will you oppose
the Shias and call them Rafizis and infidels because they criticize
the words and actions of people which are recorded in your own
Consider the matter justly. Was the insolence of the aged companion
of the Prophet justified? The wicked and abusive language of Mu'awiya,
Marwan, and Khalid was not as distressing as that which comes
from the mouth of the man who is called the "companion of
the cave." Respected men! We were not present at that time.
We hear the names of Ali, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Talha, Zubair,
Mu'awiya, Marwan, Khalid, Abu Huraira, etc. We have neither friendship
nor enmity with any of them. We see two things: first, those whom
Allah and His Prophet loved and for whom respect and loyalty was
commanded. Second, we examine their deeds and utterances. Then
we decide with a fair mind. We resist letting our preference for
someone distort our judgment.