Ibrahim Bin Muhammad Hamwaini, after narrating this hadith, has
quoted these additional sentences:
After naming the Mahdi, the Prophet said: "He will fill this
world with justice when it will have been full of cruelty and
tyranny. O Fatima ! Do not be sad and do not weep. Because of
my love and respect for you, Allah Almighty is more kind to you
than I. He has bestowed on you a husband of the highest spiritual
attainment, most exalted in family rank, most gracious to the
people, most equitable in dealing with men's affairs, and most
accurate in his decisions."
I think this much is sufficient to satisfy the curiosity of Nawab
Sahib and to remove the misunderstanding of Sheikh Sahib.
As for the claim that at the time of the Prophet's death, his
head was on the chest of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha, it is not true.
Your own ulema point out that at the time of the Holy Prophet's
death his head rested on the chest of Amiru'l-Mu'minin.
Sheikh: In what book have our
ulema recorded this fact?
Well-Wisher: Read Kanzu'l-Ummal,
Vol. IV, p. 55 and vol. VI, pp. 392 and 400; the Tabaqa of Muhammad
Bin Sa'd Katib, part II, p. 51; Hakim Nishapuri's Mustadrak, Vol.
III, p. 139; Talkhis-e-Dhahab; Sunan of Ibn Shabih; the Kabir
of Tabrani, Musnad of Imam Hanbal, Vol. III; Hilyatu'l-Auliya
of Hafiz Abu Nu'aim. With minor differences in wording, all of
these works narrate from Ummu'l-Mu'minin Umme Salma and Jabir
Ibn Abdullah Ansari that at the time of his death, the Holy Prophet
called Ali and rested his head on Ali's chest until he (the Prophet)
In addition to these reports, there is Amiru'l-Mu'minin's own
statement, which is recorded in his Nahju'l-Balagha. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, Vol. II, p. 561 states that the
holy Imam clearly said: "Verily, the soul of the Holy Prophet
departed from this world while his head rested on my chest; he
breathed his last while he was in my hands. So I rubbed my hands
on my face." Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Vol. II, p. 562, of his book
comments on this statement of Ali, that when the Holy Prophet's
head rested on Ali's chest, some drops of the Prophet's blood
flowed down, which Ali rubbed on his own face.
And on page 590 of the same book, in the course of his writing
about the burial of Fatima, he says that Ali, addressing the Holy
Prophet, said, "Verily, I laid you to rest in the grave;
your soul had departed between my neck and my chest."
All these authentic records and weighty arguments clearly prove
that A'yesha's version cannot be accepted. It is a known fact
that A'yesha opposed Amiru'l-Mu'minin from the very beginning.
Allah willing, I will tell about this also when the occasion requires
These hadith clearly indicate that Allah appointed the prophets
and the vicegerents. He also appointed Ali as the Holy Prophet's
vicegerent. Moreover, "successor" here refers to the
caliphate, and not merely a family successor. Therefore the vicegerent
was granted full authority over individuals and society in all
their affairs, the same authority as the Prophet possessed.
All your notable ulema have acknowledged this guardianship of
the umma, which was assigned to Ali. No one has denied it except
the few fanatical and hostile individuals, who have refused to
accept the high merits of the Holy Imam.
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid says in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, Vol. I (printed
in Egypt): "According to us there is no doubt that Ali was
the wasi (vicegerent) of the Holy Prophet, and only that man opposes
this fact who, in our opinion, has a grudge or enmity against
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid quotes a number of couplets which confirm the
vicegerency of Amiru'l-Mu'minin. Among them are two couplets of
Abdullah Bin Abbas, who said: "Apart from your being one
of the Ahle Bait, you are also his wasi (vicegerent) and when
somebody challenges you on the battlefield, you are the best warrior."
He quotes the couplets of Khazima Bin Thabit: "Apart from
the fact that you are included in the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet
you are also his immediate successor (vicegerent), and you are
a witness to whatever came to him." He also quotes the couplet
of the companion, Abu'l-Hakim Tihan, who said: "Verily, it
is the immediate successor (vicegerent) of the Holy Prophet who
is our imam and our master. The curtain has been raised and the
secrets have been revealed."
This is perhaps sufficient. If you want to see other couplets
on this point you may study the same book. As Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
says, if he had not feared extending the work unduly, he would
have filled many more pages with such couplets confirming the
vicegerency of Ali.
It follows however, that Vicegerency and Prophethood are inter-dependent.
This is a stage after the rank of Prophethood and this is what
is meant by Divine Sovereignty.
Sheikh: If these reports are
correct, why do we not find any such record of the Will and Testament
of the Holy Prophet, as we have those left by Abu Bakr and Umar
at the time of their death?
Well-Wisher: You could easily
learn about these matters from the authentic Shia works, which
have recorded them with unanimity of opinion from the Ahle Bait,
but since we agreed on the first night not to have recourse to
one-sided traditions, I am obliged to refer to some of the traditions
which are found in your own authentic books such as those of Tabaqa
of Ibn Sa'd, Vol. II, p. 61, 63; Kanzu'l-Ummal of Ali Muttaqi,
Vol. IV, p.54, and Volume VI, pp. 155, 393, 403; Musnad of Imam
Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Vol. IV, p 164; and Mustadrak of Hakim, Vol.
III, pp 59, 111. Besides these, your eminent scholars, like Baihaqi
in his Sunan and Dala'il, Ibn Abdu'l-Barr in his Isti'ab, Tabrani
in his Kabir and Ibn Mardawiyya in his Ta'rikh as well as others
have recorded in different words the directions and instructions
of the Holy Prophet, who said: "O Ali! You are my brother
and my minister; you will pay off my debt. You will fulfill my
promises and will discharge my responsibilities. You will wash
my dead body, pay my debt, and deposit me in the grave."
Apart from these explicit reports, there are a large number of
other firmans or ordinances, which were pronounced by the Prophet
in this regard.
Sheikh: The Holy Qur'an says,
"Bequest is prescribed for you when death approaches one
of you if he leaves behind wealth for parents and near relations,
according to usage, a duty (incumbent) upon those who guard (against
evil)." (1:180) Therefore it was necessary for the Prophet
to make his will and appoint his immediate successor. When he
saw his death approaching why did he not make his will as Abu
Bakr and Umar did?
Well-Wisher: First, by the words
"when death approaches one of you" do you mean the last
moments of life? At that time there is hardly anyone who is in
his right mind and is able to perform his duties consciously.
Certainly this passage refers to the time when the signs and symptoms
of old age, infirmity and disease are appearing.
Second, this statement of yours has again wounded my feelings
and reminded me of a tragedy which cannot be forgotten, my Holy
grandfather, the Prophet of Allah, stressed the importance of
Muslims making a will. He said: "He who dies without making
a will dies the death of ignorance, lest there should be discord
among the heirs." During the 23 years of his public life
he repeatedly announced who was his 'wasi,' the one whom Allah
had ordained as vicegerent. When he himself was on his death bed,
he desired to repeat what he had so often declared so that the
Community might not be misled and fall into warring factions.
It is a pity that the political jugglers opposed him and prevented
him from performing his religious duty. The result was that you,
too, have an occasion to ask why the Prophet did not make a will.
Sheikh: I think this statement
of yours has no factual basis. Certainly no one could prevent
the prophet from performing his duty. The Holy Qur'an clearly
says! "Whatever the apostle gives you, accept it, and from
whatever he forbids you, keep back." (59:7) Also in several
other verses obedience to the Holy Prophet has been made obligatory.
For instance, Allah says: "Obey Allah and obey the Prophet."
Obviously, refusing to obey the Prophet of Allah is infidelity.
Hence the Companions and the followers of the Prophet could not
prevent him declaring his Will. Possibly it is a forged report,
which has been circulated by the unbelievers to prove the recklessness
of the umma.
Well-Wisher: Please don't pretend
to be ignorant. This is not a forged report. It is a recognized
report, which all Islamic sects accept. Even Bukhari and Muslim,
who have been strictly cautious about any such report, which might
threaten their own point of view, have narrated this event in
their books of hadith. They write that the Holy Prophet, while
on his death bed, asked for paper and ink so that he might have
certain instructions recorded for them which would preserve them
from going astray after he died. Some of those present, incited
by a politician, caused such disturbance that the Holy Prophet
became extremely annoyed and ordered them to go away.
Sheikh: I cannot for a moment
believe this. Who could be so bold as to oppose the Prophet of
Allah? Even if an ordinary man wishes to write his will, no one
can prevent him. How could anybody prevent the Holy Prophet from
making his will? To disobey him is infidelity.
Since the will of the great ones of a community is a source of
guidance, no one would prevent it from being executed. Caliphs
Abu Bakr and Umar made their wills, and no one prevented them
from doing so. I repeat, I do not accept such a report.
Well-Wisher: You may believe
it or not. In fact every Muslim is surprised to hear it. Every
one, of whatever race or community he may be, is dumbfounded to
hear of such an event.
It is not a matter of grief for you and us alone. The companions
of the Holy Prophet also lamented this tragic event. Bukhari,
Muslim, and other prominent ulema of your sect have reported that
Abdullah Bin Abbas often shed tears and said: "Alas! That
Thursday! Alas! How it was on that Thursday!" Then he wept
so much that the ground became wet with his tears. People asked
him what had happened on Thursday that caused him to weep. He
replied that when the Holy Prophet lay on his death bed he asked
for paper and ink so that he might write a will, which would prevent
them from going astray after him, some of those present prevented
him from doing so and even said that the Holy Prophet was talking
nonsense (may Allah forgive me!). That Thursday cannot be forgotten.
They did not allow the Holy Prophet to write his will and they
injured him with their words.
Sheikh: Who prevented the Prophet
of Allah from making his will?
Well-Wisher: It was the second
caliph, Umar Bin Khattab, who prevented the Holy Prophet from
making his will.
Sheikh: I am thankful that you
have put me at ease. These statements trouble me. I was inclined
to say that these reports have been forged by the Shias, but I
kept quiet out of respect for you. Now I tell you what is in my
heart. I advise you not to spread such concocted stories.
Well-Wisher: I advise you not
to accept or reject facts without proper consideration. You have
made undue haste in this matter and have charged the innocent
Shias with forgery. Your own books are full of reports which support
our point of view.
If you consult your own books, you will find that your own accredited
ulema have narrated this event. For instance Bukhari, in his Sahih,
vol.II, p. 118; Muslim, in his Sahih (end of his Kitab-e-Wasiyya);
Hamidi in Jam'i Bainu's-Sahihain, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, in his
Musnad, vol.I, p. 222, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
vol. II, p. 563; Kirmani, in his Sharh-e-Sahih Bukhari; Nuwi in
his Sharh-e-Muslim; Ibn Hajar, in his Sawa'iq; Qazi Abu Ali; Qazi
Ruzbahan; Qazi Ayaz; Imam Ghazali, Qutbu'd-din Shafi'i; Muhammad
Ibn Abu'l-Karim Shahrastani, Ibn Athir; Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani;
Sibt Ibn Jauzi; and others of your ulema in general have confirmed
this tragic episode. They have written that the Holy Prophet on
returning from his last pilgrimage, fell ill. When a group of
the companions came to see him, he said: "Bring me ink, and
paper, so that I may write for you a will which will not let you
go astray after me."
Imam Ghazali has written in his Sirru'l-Alamin, Maqala IV, from
which Sibt Ibn Jauzi also quotes in his Tadhkirat, p. 36, and
many others of your eminent ulema have reported that the Holy
Prophet asked the people to bring him ink and paper and according
to some reports he said: "Bring me ink and paper so that
I may remove from your minds all doubts about the caliphate after
me; that is so that I may tell you who deserves the caliphate
after me." At this point they write, Umar said, "Leave
this man for he is really talking nonsense (may Allah forgive
me!); the Book of Allah is sufficient for us."
Some of the companions agreed with Umar, and some agreed with
the Holy Prophet. There was so much chaos and confusion that the
Holy Prophet said: "Get away from me; it is not proper to
become angry near me."
This was the first disturbance among the Muslims in the presence
of the Holy Prophet in all of his 23 years of his strenuous service.
The cause of this trouble was Caliph Umar, who sowed the seeds
of discord among the Muslims. Today you and I, two brothers in
Islam, are consequently facing each other in opposition.
Sheikh: It was not expected
of a man like you to be so bold as to utter slander about such
an eminent person as Caliph Umar.
Well-Wisher: Tell us whether
I showed any boldness in narrating historical facts from your
own book. Do you think that Caliph Umar was bold when he prevented
the Prophet from writing his will? Was he bold when he abused
the Prophet to his face? A poet has rightly said: "You see
the mote in my eyes, but you do not see the beam in your own."
Does Allah Almighty not say: "Muhammad is not father of any
of your men, but the Prophet of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets?"
The name of the Holy Prophet should always be pronounced with
due respect and deference. He should be called "the Prophet
of Allah or the Seal of the Prophets." But Umar showed no
regard for the divine ordinance, instead referring to the Holy
Prophet as "this man." Now please say in Allah's name
whether insolence was committed by me or by the Caliph?
Sheikh: Why do you say that
"hajar" means "nonsense?"
Well-Wisher: All commentators
and your great ulema give the meaning of Hajar as "nonsense."
For instance Ibn Athir in his Jam'u'l-Usul, Ibn Hajar in his Sharh-i-Sahih
Bukhari, and the authors of other compilations of hadith give
the same meaning. Respected Sir! If somebody says "this man
is uttering nonsense" about the Holy Prophet of Allah has
he not violated manners and the injunction of the Holy Qur'an?
The Holy Prophet had not lost his prophethood nor his infallibility.
If someone describes his words as "nonsense," does it
not mean that such a person was a disbeliever in Allah and the
Sheikh: Is it proper in light
of his rank as a caliph to find fault with him saying that he
did not believe in Allah and the Holy Prophet?
Well-Wisher: When you hear that
the Prophet is accused of uttering nonsense you do not object.
But when a man who occupied the caliphate is cited by many of
your own ulema as having insulted the Prophet, you immediately
fault the Shia rather than place the fault where it rightly belongs.
Your own ulema such as Qazi Ayaz; Shafi'i in his Kitab-e-Shifa;
Kirmani in his Sharh-e-Sahih Bukhari, and Nuwi in his Sharh-e-Sahih
Muslim have written that the man who used these words clearly
had no belief in the Prophet of Allah. So if anybody opposes the
Holy Prophet, particularly with abusive words or saying that he
was talking nonsense, we see clearly that he had no belief in
the Messenger of Allah.
You asked me why I charged him with creating discord among the
people. Your own ulema have admitted this fact. The great scholar
Husain Meibudi says in his Sharh-e-Diwan that the first disturbance
in Islam happened in the presence of the Holy Prophet himself,
when he was on his deathbed. The trouble began when Umar prevented
the Prophet from writing his will.
Shahrastani says in his book Milal wa Nihal, Muqaddama IV, that
the first antagonism between groups of Muslims began when Umar
refused to allow ink and paper to be brought to the Prophet on
his deathbed. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid confirms this fact in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha,
Vol. II, p. 563.
Sheikh: If Caliph Umar said
these words, I do not find it discourteous. When a man is seriously
ill he may become delirious. If he speaks incoherently, we might
refer to his speech as nonsense. In this matter there is no difference
between the Holy Prophet and other men.
Well-Wisher: You are well aware
that all prophets are infallible and that this characteristic
remains until death. The Prophet Muhammad was certainly infallible
on this occasion when he said he wanted to prevent his people
from going astray after his death.
If you attend to the holy verses of the Qur'an which say: "And
he speaks not of (his own) inclination; It (the wording) is naught
but a revelation revealed (to him)," "And you should
follow what the Prophet enjoins upon you," "And obey
Allah and obey the Prophet," you will yourself clearly understand
that preventing the ink and paper from being brought to the Holy
Prophet was really opposition to Allah. That it is an admitted
fact that the word "nonsense" was open abuse, and the
Caliph's pointing him out as "this man" was still more
Now I would like you to tell me how you would feel if somebody
in this assembly, pointing at you, were to say "this man
is uttering nonsense." You and I are not faultless and we
can talk nonsense. Would you call it good manners or insulting?
If such talk is insulting in this case, you will have to admit
that any such impudence against the Holy Prophet was highly insulting.
And nobody can deny the fact that it is the religious duty of
every Muslim to keep aloof from a man whose behavior towards the
Holy Prophet was so offensive and insolent, when Allah has clearly
called him in the Holy Qur'an His Prophet and Seal of the Prophets.
If you would abandon your prejudice, what would your common sense
say about a man who instead of looking to the Holy Prophet as
the Prophet of Allah and Seal of the Prophets said, "This
man is uttering nonsense?"
Sheikh: Suppose we admit that
he was at fault. But since he was the Caliph of the Prophet and
he had exercised his discretion for the security of religion he
was free from all blame.
Well-Wisher: First, your remark
that since he was the Caliph of the Prophet and he exercised his
discretion is quite irrelevant, because on the day on which he
said those words, he was not the Caliph. Perhaps he had not even
dreamed of it.
Second, your remark that he exercised his discretion is also astonishing.
Have you not considered that in face of an explicit injunction,
discretion has no place? In fact it is a fault for which one cannot
Third, you said that he did so for the security of the religion. It is really
astonishing that ulema like you should lose all sense of justice.
Respected Sir! Who was responsible for the preservation of religion
- the Prophet of Allah or Umar Bin Khattab? Does your common sense
accept the point that the Holy Prophet (after stating the condition
"You will not go astray after this writing of the will")
might not know that the writing of the will was against the religion,
or that Umar Bin Khattab was better aware of it and prevented
the Holy Prophet from writing his will? How incredible!
You know very well that any digression from the essentials of
religion is a great sin, and it cannot be condoned.
Sheikh: There is no doubt that
Caliph Umar had assessed the conditions and circumstances prevailing
in the religion and had come to the conclusion that if the Holy
Prophet wrote anything, great differences and disturbances would
be caused. So it was for the support and benefit of the Holy Prophet
himself that he prevented ink and paper from being brought to
Well-Wisher: The purpose of
your argument seems to be that the Holy Prophet, who was infallible,
while he instructed his community, was not sufficiently aware
of the potential for conflict after his death, and that Umar guided
him in this case. But the Qur'an tells us: "And it behooves
not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have
any choice in their matter when Allah and his Messenger have decided
a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he surely
strays off a manifest straying."(33:36) Caliph Umar disobeyed
the Holy Prophet's order, preventing him from writing his will.
Moreover, he was insolent to say that the Prophet was uttering
nonsense. This outrage so injured the Holy Prophet's feelings
that he asked the people to get away from him.
Sheikh: But the good intention
of the Caliph is apparent from his last words "The Book of
Allah is sufficient for us" (i.e., we do not stand in need
of the writing of the Prophet of Allah)
Well-Wisher: Actually, these
words are the best proof of his lack of belief and his ignorance
of the Holy Qur'an. If he had known the reality of the Holy Qur'an,
he would have known that the Qur'an alone is not sufficient for
all matters. It has laid down essential tenets, but detailed explanations
are left to its interpreters and commentators. The Qur'an contains
orders which are current (nasikh), abrogated (mansukh), general
('am), particular (khass), limited (muqayyad), comparative (mutashabih),
absolute (mutlaq), synoptic (mujmal), or clear (mu'awwil).
How is it possible for an ordinary man to derive full advantage
from this Qur'an without the help of divine blessings and interpretations
given by its exponents? If the Qur'an alone were sufficient for
the Community, why was this verse revealed: "You should do
whatever the Prophet of Allah enjoins upon you to do; and you
should abstain from whatever he prohibits you from." Allah
also says in the Holy Qur'an: "And if they had referred it
to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those among
them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it."
It follows from this that the Holy Qur'an alone would not serve
its purpose without the commentaries of its exponents, that is,
Muhammad and his pure descendants. Here I may refer again to the
accepted hadith (which I have quoted with some of its sources
on previous nights) which the Holy Prophet repeated even at the
time of his demise saying: "I leave behind me Two Great Things:
The Book of Allah and my Ahle Bait. If you adhere to these two,
never, never shall you go astray after me; for verily these two
will never be separated from one another until they meet me at
the spring of Kauthar."
The Holy Prophet, who was inspired by Allah, did not consider
the Qur'an in isolation sufficient for our salvation. He said
that we should be attached to the Qur'an and the Ahle Bait, as
they would not be separated from each other till the Day of Judgment,
and that these were sources of guidance for the people. But Umar
said that the Qur'an alone is sufficient for us. This shows that
he not only discarded the Holy Progeny but also rejected the command
of the Holy Prophet.
Who should we obey in this case? No sensible man would say that
we should leave aside the order of the Holy Prophet and follow
Umar. Then why did you accept Umar's opinion, ignoring the order
of the Holy Prophet? If the Book of Allah were sufficient, why
were we ordered to ask the people of dhikr, as the Holy Qur'an
says: "So ask the followers of the Reminder if you do not
It is evident that 'dhikr' means the Holy Prophet or the Holy
Qur'an and 'the people of dhikr' means the Ahle Bait of the Holy
I have already clarified in previous nights with valid arguments
and authentic sources that your prominent ulema, like Suyuti and
others, have recorded that the "people of dhikr" means
Qutbu'd-din Shirazi, who is one of your eminent scholars, says
in his book Kashfu'l-Ghuyub: "It is an admitted fact that
we cannot make progress on the way without a guide. We wonder
at Caliph Umar's claim that, since we have the Qur'an in our midst,
we do not stand in need of any guide. It is just like a man saying
that, since we have books of medicine, we do not require a physician.
Obviously it is a false assertion because a man who cannot solve
his problems by reading the books of medicine must consult a physician.
The same thing holds true in the case of the Holy Qur'an. Everyone
cannot derive advantage from it through his ability. He must necessarily
turn to those who have knowledge of the Holy Qur'an."
The Holy Qur'an says: "And if they had referred it to the
Messenger and to those in authority among them, those among them
who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it."
In fact the real book is the heart of one who possesses knowledge,
as the Holy Qur'an says: "Nay these are clear communications
in the breasts of those who are granted knowledge." (29:49)
Accordingly, Ali said: "I am the speaking Book of Allah,
and this Qur'an is the mute book."
So according to the people of knowledge Umar was mistaken. It
was a great injustice to the Holy Prophet of Allah that he was
prevented from writing his will.