In the previous chapters, some of the major differences between the two trends have been cited. Having been influenced by the decision of the prohibiting of reporting and recording the Hadith, these differences saw light and expanded until they reached us to fruitful and unquestionably valid conclusions about the foundations of the two trends that represent the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism and the School of Thorough Compliance with the Sacred Texts.
Obviously, we have also seen the positive impact that the recordation of the Hadith has left on the jurisprudence of those who recorded the Hadith and, at the same time, the negative impact that it has left on the jurisprudence of those who prohibited it. We thus have realized the actual value of the jurisprudential stock of both the schools.
Let us now try to present our outcomes and to evaluate them with another criterion so as to recognize the scope of each trend’s conformity with the natural progression of the historical conventions and the rules of sociology and ethics and the scope of their harmony and accord with the various circumstances that encompassed the both trends. Through such presentation and evaluation, we will conclude which of the two is remote from distortion and deviation and which is in close proximity.
Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib is reported to have said in one of his sermons,
“I have been informed of your saying, ‘`Ali is telling lies!’ May Allah destroy you! Against whom have I told lies? Is it against Allah? It is I who was the foremost to have faith in Him. Is it against His Prophet? It is I who was the foremost to believe him.”1
This text carries the most accurate and excellent connotations of argument and viewing. In this text, the Imam introduced the aggravation of a socio-ethical epidemic that inflicted an entire society or at least a large section of it. Unfortunately, the publics accused of fabrication and poured their anger on a personality of the most elevated ranks of decency and clarity.
Refuting the baseless accusations of these peoples, Imam `Ali declared that a liar must have motives, whether internal or external, encouraging him to betake fabrication as his means for achieving his aims and goals. A liar is one of the following cases:
1) Being stricken by blind-heartedness and preoccupation in illegal matters, acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah, and rebellion against Him and, as a result, such a person will find sweet and feasible to tell lies and will not be immunized enough to stop committing any offense;
2) being one of those who look forward to gaining a pleasure or a worldly affair that he cannot reach by way of truth and thus he has to tell lies in order to attain that goal;
3) being coward, in the sense that he fears the outcome of a bad deed he had done and fears that the worldly punishment will chase him; he therefore resorts to telling lies in order get rid of that trouble; or
4) trying to save himself from an embarrassing question addressed to him but he could not find the appropriate answer; hence, he betakes lying as the cover under which he conceals his feebleness... etc.
To browse the pages of the Islamic history puts on view that the majority of those who fabricated lies against Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet had immature psychological tendencies or scandalous intellectual feebleness. In most cases, such individuals had converted to Islam out of fear of being killed or had found themselves a place among the Muslims, while they were not, such as those who had to join Islam at the Conquest of Makkah, the hypocrites, and the like.
Indisputably, all such motives and their likes are nonexistent in the personality of Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib. He is the sincere Sahabiy who has enjoyed the most prominent characteristics and has had the most excellent situations. None of the Muslims would ever deny this fact.
Also, he belongs to a family that is too exalted to require praising or telling lies that are said in order to meet a social imperfection caused by such matters. Imam `Ali has thus said, “Against whom have I told lies? Is it against Allah? It is I who was the foremost to have faith in Him. Is it against His Prophet? It is I who was the foremost to believe him.”
He has said the very truth, since there does not exist any motive drawing him to tell lies. It is `Ali, and none else, about whom, as well as his family, many verses from the Holy Qur'an were revealed, such as the Verse of Purification (Tathir),2 the Verse of Invoking the Curse (Mubahalah),3 the Verse of Love for the Relatives (al-Mawaddah fi’l-Qurba),4 and the Surah of al-Dahr (or al-Insan No. 76). Besides, the following holy Qur'anic texts were revealed to express the situations of Imam `Ali or to refer to him:
“And hold fast by the Rope of Allah all together and be not disunited.” (Holy Qur’an: 3/103)
“O you who believe: Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and be with the true ones.” (Holy Qur’an: 9/119)
“And (know) that this is My path, the right one; therefore, follow it, and follow not (other) ways, for they will lead you away from His way.” (Holy Qur’an: 6/153)
“O you who believe: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you.” (Holy Qur’an: 4/59)
“So, ask the Followers of the Reminder if you do not know.” (Holy Qur’an: 16/43)
“And whoever acts hostilely to the Messenger after that guidance has become manifest to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned and make him enter hell; and it is an evil resort.” (Holy Qur’an: 4/115)
“You are only a warner and there is a guide for every people.” (Holy Qur’an: 13/7)
“Only Allah is your Guardian and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow down in prayer. And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.” (Holy Qur’an: 5/55-56)5
There is then no motive or justification for Imam `Ali to fabricate lies against Almighty Allah.
To fabricate lies against the Holy Prophet is the affair of the flatterers, the keepers of caprices and coveted objects, and the enemies of Islam who deceptively found themselves places among the Muslims, annoyed the Holy Prophet, belied him so that their concealed goals would not be exposed, threw sweepings at him, put thorns in his path, ... etc.
As for `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, he is the cousin of the Holy Prophet; and the one who defended him with his soul and heart; and the first human being who believed in his Prophethood and Messengership; and the one who replaced him in his bed so as to save him from the danger of assassination; therefore, it is quite unreasonable that a man of such situations would ever fabricate lies against the Holy Prophet. Besides, there are tens of statements of praise said by the Holy Prophet about Imam `Ali; such as,
“You are the chief (Imam) of the pious people and the leader of the white-forheaded, handsome individuals.”6
“You are the chief of the reverent ones and the slayer of the irreverent ones. He whoever supports you shall be victorious and he whoever disappoints you shall he disappointed (by Almighty Allah).”7
“I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is the gate to that city; hence, one who intends to get knowledge should come to the gate first.”8
“After me, you will explicate for my people the matters about which they may dispute.”9
“Verily, the ummah will betray you after me. You shall keep following my religion, and you shall be killed following my tradition. Anyone who loves you will have in fact loved me; and anyone who hates you will have in fact hated me. Certainly, your beard will be dyed by the blood of your head.”12
Ahmad ibn Hanbal has recorded, through an authentic series of narrators, on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Umar; and al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy that `Umar ibn al-Khattab said,
“`Ali ibn Abi-Talib has been given three peculiarities; were I given only one of these, it would be more favorable to me than having the best kind of camels... These are (1) `Ali’s having been married to Fatimah, daughter of Allah’s Messenger, (2) his having been allowed to live in the Masjid with Allah’s Messenger and to do whatever he likes therein, and (3) his having been given the pennon to lead the Muslim army in the conquest of Khaybar.”13
Imam `Ali is reported to have said,
“One of the Holy Prophet’s predictions to me was that the ummah shall betray me after his departure.”16
`Abdullah ibn `Abbas is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah said to (Imam) `Ali,
“Surely, you shall face fatiguing troubles after me.” Imam `Ali asked, “Shall my religion be kept purely sound while facing these troubles?” The Holy Prophet answered, “Yes, your religion shall be kept purely sound while facing these troubles.”
It is thus quite unreasonable to even imagine that such a unique man about whom such sacred texts—and so many others—from Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet are said to fabricate lies against Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet.
This fact can be utterly realized if we take a deep look into the following text said by al-Dhahbiy—no matter it was said intentionally or unintentionally—about Imam al-Mahdi, in his book of Siyar A`lam al-Nubala':
“Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi, the Awaited, is the seal of the Twelve Masters whose inerrancy (i.e. `Ismah) is claimed by the Imamiyyah sect. They further claim that Muhammad ibn al-Hasan is being the Successor (al-Khalaf: the awaited successor of the Holy Prophet and Imams), and the Argument (al-Hujjah: the Argument of Almighty Allah against His creatures), and the Patron of the Age (Sahib al-Zaman: the one who will live for long ages and finally carry out Almighty Allah’s orders on the entire earth); and that he is alive, and he shall not die before he appears again to fill in the earth with justice and fairness after it would be filled up with injustice and discrimination. We are looking forward to this, indeed.
Our Master, `Ali, is one of the Orthodox Caliphs (al-Khulafa’ al-Rashidin).
And his sons, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, are the grandsons of Allah’s Messenger and the masters of the youth of Paradise. Had they been selected for the leadership (caliphate), they would have certainly deserved it.
And Zayn al-`Ābidin was highly regarded, and was one of the chief worshippers and scholars, and he was worthy of holding the position of leadership.
And his son, Abu-Ja`far al-Baqir, was also sayyid (i.e. lord), master scholar, jurisprudent, and he was qualified for the leadership.
And his son, Ja`far al-Sadiq, was highly regarded, and was one of the master scholars, and was worthier than Abu-Ja`far al-Mansur (the `Abbasid ruler) of holding the leadership of the Muslim community.
And his son, Musa, was also highly regarded, well-versed, and was worthier than Harun (al-Rashid: the `Abbasid ruler) of holding the leadership.
And his son, `Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, was highly regarded, and he enjoyed much knowledge and eloquence, and was widely loved by people, and, out of al-Rida’s grandeur, al-Ma'mun (the `Abbasid ruler) appointed him as his crown prince.
And his son, Muhammad al-Jawad, was one of the chiefs of his people.
And his son, nicknamed al-Hadi (i.e. the Guide), was also reputable and of excellent standing.
And the same thing is said about his son, al-Hasan ibn `Ali al-`Askariy. May Allah, the Exalted, have mercy upon them all.”17
Such are the Holy Imams and more! They are the matches of the Holy Qur'an, as is in the Hadith of the Two Weighty Things (Hadith al-Thaqalayn), and they are the security of the inhabitants of this earth from drowning, as is in the Hadith of al-Safinah (the Ark),18 and they are the security of the Muslim community against divergence, as is mentioned by al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy, in al-Mustadrak `Ala’l-Sahihayn 3:149.19
As for the Imams of the School of Thorough Compliance with the Sacred Texts (i.e. the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt), the proportion of distortion is nil when compared to the others. This is because they are `Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn... and they are the thoroughly purified ones and veracious in the words of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.
On many occasions, the Holy Prophet praised those who adhered to and followed the course of these Holy Imams very laudably, such as `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Abu-Dharr, `Ammar ibn Yasir, and many others. These personalities have been well-known for their decency and for their steadfastness against fancies and other trends. None of them has ever been accused of telling lies or forging fabrications against the Holy Prophet.
On the other hand, many of the followers of the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism have been charged of inventing false Hadiths and spreading made-up narrations, such as Abu-Hurayrah, Samarah ibn Jundub, Ka`b al-Ahbar... etc. As a matter of fact, this difference between the two schools is obviously unmistakable.
It is necessarily noteworthy that those who thoroughly complied with the sacred texts insisted on reporting what they had known even if this would cause them to lose their lives. They never compromised in matters appertained to the religion.
The best example on such is Imam `Ali’s situation in the meeting of the so-called Shura Committee when he rejected to comply with the conducts of Abu-Bakr and `Umar as one of the stipulations of selecting him as the ruler of the Islamic State. Of course, Imam `Ali took this situation unwaveringly because he believed that that stipulation was in violation of the Holy Prophet’s instructions (Sunnah).
Among the many other examples is the situation of Imam al-Husayn against Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah. Quite the reverse, the Ijtihadists and Opinionists advised Imam `Ali, during his reign when some people mutinied against him, to give in, to cajole, and to flatter and thus would he achieve practicability and benefit for the Muslims!
The same Ijtihadists and Opinionists also advised Imam al-Husayn to swear allegiance to Yazid and to keep silent as the others did since, in their conception, divergence is evil and Allah’s act can be interpreted into another form... etc.
Induction and the investigation of the historical course of the Holy Qur'an prove that all the divine doctrines grew and fruited in the labs of the poor and the oppressed people. Referring to this fact, Almighty Allah, in the Holy Qur'an, says,
“They (i.e. the people of Prophet Noah) said: Shall we put faith in thee, when the lowest (of the people) follow thee?” (Holy Qur’an: 26/111)
“The chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved, said: We see thee but a mortal like us, and we see not that any follow thee save the most abject among us, without reflection. We behold in you no merit above us - nay, we deem you liars.” (Holy Qur’an: 11/27)
Relating the objections of the unbelievers to the Holy Prophet, the Holy Qur'an further reads,
“A likely thing, that thou wouldst forsake aught of that which hath been revealed unto thee, and that thy breast should be straitened for it, because they say: Why hath not a treasure been sent down for him, or an angel come with him? Thou art but a warner, and Allah is in charge of all things.” (Holy Qur’an: 11/12)
These holy verses bear out that it was the feeble, or ‘the lowest’, people who hurried to believe in the divine doctrines. The Prophets were also poor people; no treasure was sent down for them and they did not bring with them gold, silver, pleasures, or lusts; rather they came with simplicity, modesty, and moderation.
The unbelievers and the infidels, on the other hand, always belonged to the class of the rich, luxurious people who never went with the spirit and concepts of the divine doctrine that would restrict and deprive them of any distinctive feature or point of arrogance against the others. Of course, they would never like or accept this.
Again, the Holy Qur'an reads,
“Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and offspring; and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land.” (Holy Qur’an: 3/14)
Objecting to the divine selection of the Prophets, the luxurious said,
“Why, then, have armlets of gold not been set upon him, or angels sent along with him?” (Holy Qur’an: 43/53)
Having realized the reality of his community, the Holy Prophet took pride in and concerned himself with the poor. In return, those poor people who abstained from the worldly pleasures followed him, such as `Ammar ibn Yasir, al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad, Salman al-Farisiy (the Persian), Abu-Dhar, Bilal al-Habashiy (the Abyssinian), Suhayb al-Rumiy (the Roman), and their likes.
As for the rich and wealthy people, such as Abu-Lahab, Abu-Jahl, and Abu-Sufyan, they harmed the Holy Prophet so terribly that they even threw thorns in his road. This is one of the undeniable facts.
If we take into consideration this Qur'anic tradition and apply it to the two Schools, we will conclude that the overwhelming majority of the followers of the School of Thorough Compliance were the poor people.
For instance, Abu-Dhar spend his whole lifetime in poverty. He was also stranger, banished, and exiled until he departed life in his exile. Likewise, `Ammar ibn Yasir lived in poverty until he was martyred leaving nothing of the worldly vanities behind him. So did the rest of the major personalities of this school.
In contrast, luxury and lavish expenditure were the most distinctive features of the lives of `Uthman ibn `Affan, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan, and `Amr ibn al-`Ās. Historians have mentioned the large wealth and properties that these persons left behind.
Naturally, such extravagance and lavishness would have never complemented with the religious logic and laws. The caliphs and rulers knew for sure this fact. In this respect, it has been narrated on the authority of al-`Abbas ibn Salim that `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, once, summoned Abu-Salam al-Habashiy whom was asked to ride a saddled mule. When he was present before the caliph, he said to him, “O Commander of the Faithful: I was awfully exhausted due to riding that mule.”
“I did not intend exhaustion for you, Abu-Salam,” said `Umar. “But I only summoned you because I was informed that you have memorized the Hadith reported by Thawban, the (manumitted) slave of the Holy Prophet, about the Divine Pool; I therefore wanted to listen to the Hadith from your mouth directly.”
Abu-Salam narrated, “I heard Thawban, the slave of Allah’s Messenger, saying that he had heard Allah’s Messenger, saying,
“Verily, my Pool is as spacious as the distance between Aden and Amman. Its water is whiter than pure milk and sweeter than honey. Its cups are as numerous as stars. To have a single drink from it saves from thirst forever. The first to reach at it shall be the poor.”
Then, `Umar ibn al-Khattab asked, “Who are these, Allah’s Messenger?” and he was answered,
“These are the unkempt-haired, the dirty-clothed, who cannot marry luxurious ladies, and for whom doors are not opened.”
Commenting on the Hadith, `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz said, “Assuredly, all closed doors are opened for me, and I have married a luxurious lady, namely Fatimah daughter of `Abd al-Malik. I thus hope for nothing except the mercy of Allah. Assuredly, I will not put oil on my head until it becomes unkempt and I will not wash my dress that I put on until it becomes unclean.”20
The meaning of this Hadith is that those whose hairs are unkempt are the true strugglers for the sake of Almighty Allah and the true worshippers of Him. They have not been distracted by the pleasures of this world. In other words, owing to their engagement in jihad, acts of worship, and indifference to the worldly pleasures, these poor people are unkempt-haired and dirty-clothed.
However, `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz confessed his being excluded from such a sort of people; he therefore wanted to join them but he missed their path. He thought that dirtying the hair and the clothes would be the way to Paradise. He could not perceive that the actual meaning of being unkempt-haired and dirty-clothed is the indifference to the charms of the worldly life that take away from struggle for the sake of Almighty Allah and from worshipping Him with the sole purpose.
When Sufyan al-Thawriy objected to al-Mansur, the `Abbasid ruler, that he was excessively squanderer and spendthrift, the later answered him, “You just want me to be like you, do you not?”
Sufyan answered, “Do not be like me; rather be less than your current manner and higher than my manner.”
This word made the ruler dismiss Sufyan al-Thawriy.21
A look into the history shows scandalously the gluttony, squandering, and extravagance in food and amusement sessions that were held by Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan, Yazid, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, `Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, al-Walid ibn `Abd al-Malik, al-Mansur, al-Mahdiy, al-Rashid, and the other Umayyad and `Abbasid rulers who bravely distorted the Holy Qur'an and forged lies against the Holy Sunnah. Ironically, those very rulers called for recording the Holy Sunnah, later on, and decided to cancel all the Sunnite jurisprudential schools and to adopt the Four Schools exclusively.
Moreover, it was they who embraced and supported Ijtihadism and Opinionism and called the jurisprudents to act upon the so-called Maslahah (advantage). As a consequence, the proportion of distortion and deviation for such people would naturally be very big if compared to the other school whose followers were poor and satisfied with the religion of Almighty Allah and thus they were in no need for changing or distorting the religious laws and then inventing personal interpretations.
Sycophancy and currying favor with the rulers have been one of the incurable diseases of human beings. The luxurious ruling authorities have used bribes and patronage as the only means for showing favor to some individuals and provoking the hostility of others. Such matters have been the biggest reason for attracting the weak-willed who always seek the pleasure of mortals even if such would cause them to enrage the Creator. This meaning has been mentioned in the following Hadith:
“The most vicious of the people is he who has sold his Next Life with his transitory life. Even more vicious than the previous is he who has sold his Next Life with the transitory life of others.”22
This phenomenon manifested itself seriously during the age of `Uthman ibn `Affan, after it had been limited to some extent during the ages of Abu-Bakr and `Umar. This is because `Uthman paved the way to changing the Islamic caliphate into hereditary kingdom when he assigned his close relatives to the senior governmental offices and conferred upon them with abundant fortunes and properties to the degree that one of his relatives is reported to have left behind him such an enormous quantity of gold that required axes to break it up.
It has been authentically narrated that `Uthman donated the one-fifth of Africa and Fadak to `Abdullah ibn Abi-Sarh and Marwan ibn al-Hakam. Similar donations are reported to have been given by `Uthman to his relatives in order to defend him, his principles, and his opinions that resulted in the mutiny of the Muslims who then attacked and killed him.
As a matter of fact, manifestations of such tribal discrimination first appeared during the reign of Abu-Bakr when he allowed Khalid ibn al-Walid to wear silk and put on a turban stabbed with arrows as a sign of arrogance and pride. It is worth mentioning that `Umar ibn al-Khattab took out these arrows from Khalid’s turban, broke them, and threatened him with stoning for he had murdered Malik ibn Nuwayrah and slept with his widow at the same night.
As for `Umar ibn al-Khattab, he named Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan as the Khosrow (i.e. the king) of the Arabs and permitted him to dress any garb he would like because he was in the vicinity of the Romans.
To sum it up, the phenomenon of flattering the rulers has been always one of the characteristics of the weak-hearted individuals.
On the other hand, Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib always took pride in the epithet of “Abu-Turab (father of dust)” that the Holy Prophet had said to him. About his garment, he said,
“I have patched my garment so frequently that I felt embarrassed before the patcher.”
He further used to eat dry bread with salt or laban (i.e. coagulated milk) and he never ate them together for he wanted to meet Almighty Allah while being tiny-punched.
Having holding the leadership, Imam `Ali exerted all efforts in confiscating the public assets that `Uthman ibn `Affan had donated to his relatives and restoring them to the public treasury. He, once, heated an iron bar and put it on the hand of his brother, `Aqil, because the latter had asked him for an amount more than his due.
As for Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan and his likes, he made use of the taletellers and those who were well-known of forging lies against the Holy Prophet. He thus paid them enormous amounts of money in order to invent lies against Imam `Ali. For instance, Mu`awiyah gave Samarah ibn Jundub forty thousand dinars in order to relate that the following holy verse expressed the manner of `Ali, Allah forbid!
“And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries.” (Holy Qur’an: 2/204)
He also seduced `Amr ibn al-`Ās under promise of appointing him as the ruler of Egypt if the latter would support him in his war against Imam `Ali.
He also distorted the famous Hadith, “O `Ammar: You shall be killed by the transgressing party.” He falsely claimed that `Ali was meant by the transgressing party because he threw `Ammar in the battle and caused him to be killed by the party of Mu`awiyah.
The situations of Mu`awiyah in the field of distorting the religion and forging lies against Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet are too numerous to be contained by this book.
However, we can conclude that the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism was managed by the rich, luxurious people while the School of Thorough Compliance was headed by the poor, oppressed people. Accordingly, it is unimaginable that the oppressed might distort while all the matters are in the hands of the rulers. Muhammad ibn al-Wazir al-Yamaniy, a famous researcher, investigated the “Hadiths” narrated by Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan, `Amr ibn al-`Ās, and al-Mughirah ibn Shu`bah and found out that all these “Hadiths” were the same.23
This investigation is another confirmatory proof on my conclusion that the jurisprudential method of these individuals was the same since it flew to the same river. It also substantiates that these individuals and their party were of the same trend.
In like manner, I believe that the Umayyad and `Abbasid rulers used to betake religious judicature as their means to defaming the personalities of their dissidents and betake the jurisprudents’ verdicts for achieving their personal interests.
In this connection, it has been narrated that Harun al-Rashid, one night, summoned Abu-Yusuf, the chief judge, who hurried to him with terror. When he entered the palace, he found `Īsa ibn Ja`far sitting to the right of the ruler who said to him, “Abu-Yusuf: it seems that I have terrified you, does it not?”
“Yes, indeed. You have terrified me,” answered the chief judge.
When he restored calmness, the ruler said to him, “I have summoned you to witness that `Īsa ibn Ja`far refused to answer to my will when I asked him to donate or sell his bondmaid to me.”
`Īsa ibn Ja`far said, “I am under an oath of divorce, manumission, and giving all my possessions in alms if I will never sell or donate that bondmaid.”
Al-Rashid thus asked the chief judge to find him a solution for this problem, and the chief judge found it, saying, “He can donate the half of her to you and sell you the other half!”
Al-Rashid further said, “I cannot wait until she will be clean from her period of menstruation, as is decided by the religious law, since she is a chattel slave-girl. If I will not sleep with her tonight, I fear lest I will be injured.”
Abu-Yusuf said, “It is easy, Commander of the Faithful! Manumit her and then marry her in this moment.”
By means of this trick could al-Rashid seize that slave-girl from her master and marry her at the same night.24
This afore-prepared puzzle was purposed for testing the obedience of Abu-Yusuf to the ruler and the scope of his readiness to distort the religious laws and change the opinions for the sake of pleasing the ruler who, though would not comply with or even need such odd jurisprudential distortions, knew for sure about the invalidity of these distortions; rather he wanted to betake the jurisprudents as legal cover under which he would do whatever he liked.
Al-Mas`udiy has narrated that Zubaydah, al-Rashid’s wife, wrote a message to Abu-Yusuf, the chief judge, asking his verdict about a certain issue and telling that it would be nice for her if the judgment would be such-and-such. The chief judge therefore issued a judgment corresponding with her wish.
In return, she sent him as gifts gold, silver, receipts, riding-animals, dresses, and other precious things. Those who attended the situation said to him, “The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that when a gift is sent to somebody, those who sit with him should have a share of it.”
He answered, “This is only when the gift is dates and laban!”25
Thus were the connotations of the clear-cut Hadiths distorted to refer to other things.
History has kept for us innumerable examples on such distortions. A good number of Muslim authors and intellectuals, ancient and modern, have discovered that the main reason behind the extinction of the majority of the Muslim jurisprudential schools—such as the Schools of Awza`iy, Rabi`ah al-Ra’y, and Sufyan al-Thawriy—was that the ruling authorities had not supported them for a certain reason while these authorities encouraged, supported, and embraced the founders or students of the Four Schools; therefore, they expansively spread all over the Muslim regions. Ibn Hazm says,
“Two of the Four Schools spread out by virtue of governmental offices and ruling authorities. The School of Abu-Hanifah were widely known only when Abu-Yusuf was appointed as the chief judge. He thus admitted for the office of judiciary none but his mates and those who belonged to the Hanafiyyah School. the second is the Malikiyyah School...”26
Al-Dahlawiy also says,
“Only a jurisprudential school whose followers were widely known, and to whom the offices of judiciary and legal authority, and whose books spread among people and could be studied openly—only would such a jurisprudential school become widespread and would keep circulation throughout ages.
Conversely, a jurisprudential school whose followers were not on good terms with the ruling authorities and were not given governmental offices of judiciary and legal authority and were not liked by people—such a jurisprudential school would cease to exist.”27
As has been proven in the previous pages of this book, not only did the caliphs disagree with the course of Imam `Ali but they also opposed him and resorted to the tribal disputes throughout their behaviors with him. The governmental recordation of the Hadith appeared lately and after one century, during the reign of `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz or Husham ibn `Abd al-Malik.
In this respect, al-Zuhriy says, “We disliked the recordation of the (Holy) Sunnah, but the rulers compelled us to do such.” In addition, the recordation of the Hadith was done in the light of the memorized, nor recorded, items of it.
In conclusion, the distortion of the Holy Sunnah should be initially conceived to exist in the records of these rulers rather than the records of the others. This is because of these rulers’ national tendencies and because they had the power in their hands and because their recordation of the Hadith was far away from the Holy Prophet’s time. As for the Ahl al-Bayt, it is inconceivable to distort the Hadith due to the opposite of the aforesaid factors.
The belief of the legality of Opinionism and multi-opinionism is in reality inviting its fans to distort, in the sense that they, in order to support their masters, commit themselves to invent false Hadiths or to misinterpret Hadiths. For that reason, they have considered sectarianism one of the divisions of the invention of false Hadiths.
On the other hand, it is unnecessary for the adopters of the Thorough Compliance with the Sacred Text to invent false Hadiths, because the Hadiths that they narrate have been reported from its fundamental recordations. Thus, the Imam says, “My father’s Hadith is the same as my Hadith, and my Hadith is as same my father’s.”
In this way, it is unfeasible for them to distort Hadiths or invent others because their narrations have never been contradictory and because they all take from the same source and consider the Holy Qur'an the original reference and arbiter that decides the authenticity and genuineness of any narration reported from or ascribed to them.
Unlike the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism, the jurisprudential principles of the School of Thorough Compliance are the same. This is because the Holy Imam of the Ahl al-Bayt always concentrated on the necessity of deriving the religious laws from the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah only, whereas the trend of Ijtihad and Opinionism legalized personal opinions and views in the face of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.
Basically, such belief results in disagreement in the jurisprudential principles. A party of them thus depends upon analogy in the inference of religious laws, and another party warns against analogy, and a third party depends upon the so-called al-Masalih... etc.
Because each Sunnite jurisprudential school tried to prove its congruence with the actuality while the others are not, a noticeable state of additions and interpretations as a result of such disputes have clearly manifested itself. Moreover, some of them have accused others of unreal charges and have misunderstood others.
In brief, the four Sunnite jurisprudential schools, as well as the other schools that ceased to exist, were engaged in reciprocal intellectual conflicts that augmented until they decided each other as infidels and miscreants. This is of course the strongest motive of distortion and deviation in an attempt to support each one’s trend and school.
Biographers belonging to the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism have widely disagreed about the trustworthiness or unreliability of narrators of Hadith due to the multiplicity of the trends of that school. Moreover, biographers have disagreed about the trustworthiness, decency, and acceptability of certain biographers. A look into the biographies of the biographers of the both Schools proves this fact unambiguously.
For instance, contradictory opinions about the trustworthiness and acceptability of results of Ibn Mu`in, the master biographer and critic of the narrators of Hadith, have been said, because, like all the other biographers, he must have criticized a person who belonged to a school other than his or because he disagreed with him on a certain point.
Similarly, he must have deemed trustworthy a certain person because the latter belongs to the same school or trend to which Ibn Mu`in belongs. Moreover, he criticized even Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi`iy, the founder of the Shafi`iyyah School, and decided him as untrustworthy.
In the same way as many scholars have criticized and decided Ibn Mu`in as untrustworthy, many others have absolutely depended upon his judgments to the degree that they have never compared his findings to any other judgments although the all belonged to the School of Ijtihad and Opinionism.
The same thing can be said about the other biographers. `Abd al-`Aziz al-Majishun, Ibn Abi-Hazim, and Muhammad ibn Ishaq, as well as many others, have censured Malik ibn Anas, the founder of the Malikiyyah School.28 Al-Darqutniy compiled a booklet containing the traditions recorded by Malik ibn Anas, in al-Muwatta', and other books, that were contradictory to the Holy Sunnah. This booklet is kept at al-Dhahiriyyah Library in Damascus.29
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadiy has mentioned the names of more than thirty-five persons who defamed Abu-Hanifah, the founder of the Hanafiyyah School.30 Similarly, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the founder of the Hanbaliyyah School, was defamed by many biographers.
Besides, some biographers might have decided a certain narrator as highly trustworthy but, due to a personal, neither religious nor sectarian, disagreement, they criticized and threw him from the elevated position to which they had raised him.
If we want to accept the statements of a biographer, we should first believe in his trustworthiness and decency. Only then can we understand the disagreement in such assessment. Of course, it is illogic to depend upon the opinions of a person who is personally untrustworthy.
Under the title of “The Trustworthy in Criticism”, al-Dhahbiy has written an epistle comprising the principles of criticism, the classes of critics, and the methods of depending upon their words.31
On the other hand, as regards the biographers of the School of the Ahl al-Bayt, all the scholars have unanimously agreed upon their decency and trustworthiness; therefore, one cannot find any word of dispraise said against Abu’l-`Abbas al-Najashiy, al-Kishiy, al-Tusiy, or any other biographer belonging to the School of the Ahl al-Bayt. This is an obvious indication to their unity in ideology and trend.
The aforesaid points have contained some of the factors of deviation and distortion at both the Schools. An investigation in this respect requires a huge volume, if not many volumes, be filled up. However, the results will be astounding if all the factors are studied thoroughly.