Dr. `Abd al-Karim ibn `Ali ibn Muhammad al-Namlah, in his book entitled Mukhalafat al-Sahabiy li’l-Hadith al-Nubawiy al-Sharif Dirasah Nadhariyyah Tatbiqiyyah (The Sahabiy’s Violation of the Holy Hadith of the Prophet; A theoretical and practical study) which has been published in Riyadh, AH 1415, al-Rushd Library, has cited some practical examples on the Sahabah’s violation of the Holy Prophet’s traditions and instructions.
Before that, the author has defined the Arabic word “Mukhalafah (violation)” as opposition, disobedience, disagreement, and distortion.1 He has also defined the verbal and terminological meanings of Sahabah.2 In this respect, he has cited the opinions of the Muslim scholars which can be mainly classified into two beliefs:
1) A group of scholars have argued that a Hadith keeps its provability even if it is violated by an opinion of a Sahabiy no matter how strong that violation be. Accordingly, it is impracticable to stop acting upon a Hadith that is violated by an opinion of a Sahabiy.3
2) The other group have argued that an opinion of a Sahabiy must be assumed when it violates a Hadith. Accordingly, the sayings of the Holy Prophet must be thrown away when they are opposed by an opinion of a Sahabiy.4
Referring to practical examples on the Sahabah’s thorough violation of the Hadith that they themselves had reported from the Holy Prophet and the effects of such violation, Dr. al-Namlah says,
After the demonstration of the scholars’ opposing opinions about this question, which belongs to the principles of the Muslim jurisprudence, and the demonstration of each group’s evidences, it seems necessary to mention, seeking the guidance of Almighty Allah, some practical examples on the Sahabah’s absolute violation of the Hadith that they themselves reported from the Holy Prophet in order that the question will be clearer and that the dear readers will comprehend the question more obviously:
Al-Bukhariy, in (his book entitled) al-Sahih; Muslim, in al-Sahih; Abu-Dawud, in al-Sunan; al-Tirmidhiy, in al-Sunan; al-Nassa'iy, in al-Sunan; Ibn Majah, in al-Sunan; al-Darimiy, in al-Sunan; Malik ibn Anas, in al-Muwatta', Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in al-Musnad—all these have recorded on the authority of Abu-Hurayrah that the Prophet said, “If a dog licks a vessel, you should wash that vessel seven times and in the eighth time it should be smeared with dust.”5
As has been mentioned, although this Hadith has been narrated by Abu-Hurayrah, he did not act upon it; rather he violated it and washed a vessel that had been licked by a dog three times only! Al-Tahawiy, in Sharh Ma`ani al-Āthar; al-Darqutniy, in al-Sunan; ibn al-Jawziy, in al-`Ilal al-Mutanahiyah—all these have recorded that Abu-Hurayrah used to wash a vessel that had been licked by a dog three times only.6
Thus, this Sahabiy violated the Hadith that he himself reported from the Prophet.
The adopters of the first belief, who are the majority, have believed that a vessel that is licked by a dog must be washed seven times. They have thus provided the Hadith as their evidence and neglected Abu-Hurayrah’s violation of it.
The adopters of the second belief have clung to their belief that entails that when a Hadith is violated by an act of a Sahabiy, the Hadith should be neglected and the act of the Sahabiy should be adopted as true.7
They therefore decided that a vessel that is licked by a dog must be washed three, not seven, times. In other words, they have assumed the act of Abu-Hurayrah and rejected that which he had reported from the Prophet.
Furthermore, the adopters of the second belief of the rejection of a Hadith that is violated by a Sahabiy’s act and the acceptance of that Sahabiy’s act as true have disagreed about the point whether such a violated Hadith should be considered repealed or should be interpreted that to wash a vessel seven times is only recommended. In this regard, they have had three different opinions:
The first opinion has decided that such a Hadith must have been repealed. This opinion has been firstly said by al-Kamal ibn al-Humam in his book of al-Tahrir and then adopted by Amir Badshah in his book of Taysir al-Tahrir and Ibn Amir al-Hajj in his book of al-Taqrir wa’l-Tahbir.
The second opinion has decided that such a Hadith was not repealed; rather its connotation must be regarded as recommendation rather than obligation. In plain words, the washing of a vessel that is licked by a dog should be washed three times obligatorily, but it is recommended to wash it seven times. This opinion has been first adopted by al-Samarqandiy, in Badhl al-Nadhar and al-Samarqandiy, in al-Mizan.
The third opinion has decided that it is probable that such a Hadith was repealed and it is probable that it meant recommendation, not obligation. This opinion has been first adopted by al-Sarakhsiy, in al-Usul and al-Nasfiy, in Kashf al-Asrar.
At any rate, the most acceptable opinion, Dr. al-Namlah goes on, is the first one, which entails that the Hadith, not the act of the Sahabiy who reported that Hadith, must be accepted. This argument can be proven by the following discussions:
First Discussion: The aforesaid Hadith that is reported by Abu-Hurayrah has been proven as authentic. Moreover, nothing else can stand against it.
Second Discussion: The obligation of washing a vessel in which a dog licks seven times has been proven to be said by the Holy Prophet from another way of narration. Muslim, in al-Sahih; Abu-Dawud, in al-Sunan; al-Nassa'iy, in al-Sunan; Ibn Majah, in al-Sunan; al-Darimiy, in al-Sunan; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in al-Musnad—all these have recorded on the authority of `Abdullah ibn Mughaffal that the Messenger of Allah said, “If a dog licks a vessel, you must wash that vessel seven times and then smear it with dust.”8
Even if we polemically accept that an act of a Sahabiy affects the Hadith that he himself has reported from the Prophet, such an act will not affect the Hadith that is reported by another one.
Third Discussion: The adopters of the second belief have argued that a vessel that is licked by a dog must be washed three times only because Abu-Hurayrah was reported to have washed such vessels three times only. This justification cannot stand as a reliable proof because reports from him in this respect have been different.
Some have narrated that Abu-Hurayrah issued the verdict that such a vessel must be washed seven times, while others have reported that he himself washed such vessels three times only… etc.
Abu-Dawud, in al-Sunan; al-Tirmidhiy, in al-Sunan; al-Darimiy, in al-Sunan; al-Darqutniy, in al-Sunan; al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy, in al-Mustadrak `Ala’l-Sahihayn; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in al-Musnad; al-Tahawiy, in Sharh Ma`ani al-Āthar—all these have recorded on the authority of `Ā'ishah that the Prophet said, “Any matrimonial contract that is made by a woman before obtaining the permission of her guardian is invalid.”9
Although `Ā'ishah reported this Hadith from the Holy Prophet, she did not act upon it; rather she violated it when she gave in marriage her niece, Hafsah bint `Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi-Bakr, to al-Mundhir ibn al-Zubayr, `Ā'ishah’s nephew, while the father of the woman, `Abd al-Rahman, was absolutely absent from the matter since he was in Syria.10
Thus, scholars have disagreed about the interpretation of this violation. The adopters of the first belief, namely those who act upon the Hadith and reject the Sahabah’s violation of it, have decided that it is obligatory to act upon the connotation of the Hadith and have neglected `Ā'ishah’s violation of it.
They thus have decided that it is impermissible for women to give themselves in marriage before they obtain the permission of their guardians. The adopters of this belief are the majority of the Muslims.
On the other hand, the adopters of the second belief have accepted `Ā'ishah’s violation of the Hadith and neglected the connotation of the Hadith and they have thus decided the permissibility of women’s giving themselves in marriage without need for obtaining their guardians’ permission.
Expressing the Hanafiyyah scholars’ viewpoint about this question, `Abd al-`Aziz al-Bukhariy, in his book of Kashf al-Asrar, says, “As `Ā'ishah believed that to give her niece in marriage without seeking the permission of her father was permissible and believed that such a matrimonial contract is valid that she even gave the right of possession, which cannot be given unless a contract is valid, it is impossible that she did so while she believed in the authenticity of the Hadith that she had reported from the Prophet.”
The author then mentioned another denotation to the question, saying, “As `Ā'ishah gave her niece in marriage, she did permit women’s giving themselves in marriage without obtaining their guardians’ permission. If a matrimonial contracts were decided as valid due to the statement of unmarried women, it would be better that such contracts are validated due to the statement of `Ā'ishah herself and, thus, this is opposite to that which she had reported from the Prophet.”
Adding another denotation to the question, the author further says, “As `Ā'ishah gave her niece in marriage, she must have believed in the permissibility of giving women in marriage before obtaining their guardians’ permissions as a preferable manner… etc.”
However, some Hanafiyyah scholars, such as al-Sarakhsiy in al-Usul and al-Nasfiy in Kashf al-Asrar have argued that the Hadith must have been repealed, because its reporter, namely `Ā'ishah, had violated and opposed it.11
In addition, Ahmad ibn Hanbal believed that the Hadith must have been repealed. On the authority of Harb ibn Isma`il, Ahmad ibn Hanbal is reported to have said, “The ascription of this Hadith to `Ā'ishah is unacceptable, because `Ā'ishah herself gave in marriage her nieces.”
According to the narration of al-Maruziy, Ahmad ibn Hanbal further said, “This Hadith is inauthentic, because `Ā'ishah had violated it.”
The most preferable opinion in this respect, Dr. al-Namlah comments, is the one adopted by the majority. This is because of the following two reasons:
First Reason: Al-Bukhariy, in al-Sahih; Abu-Dawud, in al-Sunan; al-Tirmidhiy, in al-Sunan; Ibn Majah, in al-Sunan; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in al-Musnad—all these have recorded on the authority of `Ā'ishah that the Prophet said, “Any matrimonial contract is invalid unless the guardian (of the woman) is present.”12
Moreover, the same Hadith was reported by `Abdullah ibn `Abbas and Abu-Musa al-Ash`ariy. The Hadith is authentic. In this regard, al-Maruziy says, “When I asked them about the authenticity of this Hadith, Ahmad and Yahya assured its authenticity.”13 The abovementioned texts corroborate the question.
Second Reason: `Ā'ishah’s violation of the Hadith is not manifest. Even if we claim so, the act of `Ā'ishah or any other one should never invalidate a Hadith after it has been proven as authentic. Moreover, no reliable master Hadithist has ever doubted the Hadith.
Al-Bukhariy, in al-Sahih; Muslim, in al-Sahih; Abu-Dawud, in al-Sunan; al-Tirmidhiy, in al-Sunan; al-Nassa'iy, in al-Sunan; Ibn Majah, in al-Sunan; Malik ibn Anas, in al-Muwatta', Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in al-Musnad—all these have recorded on the authority of al-Zuhriy on the authority of Salim that his father, `Abdullah ibn `Umar, reported that he witnessed the Messenger of Allah, whenever he commenced the ritual prayer, raising his hands until they extend parallel to his shoulders.
He used to do the same thing and whenever he wanted to genuflect and whenever he stood erect after genuflection (Ruku`). Nevertheless, the Messenger of Allah did not do this when he would be in the prostration (Sujud).14
Although this Hadith was reported by him, `Abdullah ibn `Umar did not practice it; rather he violated it since he never raised his hands at the commencement of the prayers. In his book of al-Musannaf, Ibn Abi-Shaybah has narrated that Mujahid said, “I have never seen `Abdullah ibn `Umar raising his hands (in the ritual prayers) except when he begins his prayer.” This very narration has been also recorded by al-Tahawiy, in Sharh Ma`ani al-Āthar, with a reliable series of narrators.15
As this Sahabiy, namely `Abdullah ibn `Umar, violated a Hadith that he himself had reported, scholars have had disagreeing opinions about it. The adopters of the first belief, namely those who act upon the Hadith and reject the Sahabah’s violation of it, have decided that hands must be raised at the commencement of the prayer, at the genuflection and at the standing erect after the genuflection. This has been however the opinion of the majority.
The adopters of the second belief, namely those who have clung to their belief that entails that when a Hadith is violated by an act of a Sahabiy the Hadith should be neglected and the act of the Sahabiy should be adopted as true, have imitated the act of `Abdullah ibn `Umar, which is raising the hands at the beginning of the prayers only, and neglected acting upon the Hadith. This has been the opinion of the majority of the Hanafiyyah scholars.
In his book entitled al-Fusul al-Muhimmah, Abu-Bakr al-Jassas says, “As `Abdullah ibn `Umar neglected raising his hands during the prayers although he himself had reported that the Prophet had done so, this means that he had known the cancellation of the Hadith otherwise he would not have violated it. It is impermissible to believe that a Sahabiy, like `Abdullah ibn `Umar, would violate an act of the Prophet while he himself was its reporter. Hence, there must have been another interpretation of this act.”
The majority of the Hanafiyyah scholars have also positively concluded the same result said by Abu-Bakr al-Jassas—which entails that so long as `Abdullah ibn `Umar violated acting upon the Hadith that he himself had reported, the Hadith is proven to be repealed—such as Abu-Zayd al-Dabbusiy in his book of al-Asrar fi’l-Usul wa’l-Furu`, al-Sajistaniy in his book of al-Ghunyah fi’l-Usul, al-Sarakhsiy in his book of al-Usul, al-Kamal ibn al-Humam in his book of al-Tahrir, `Abd al-`Aziz al-Bukhariy in his book of Kashf al-Asrar, Amir Badshah in his book of Taysir al-Tahrir, Ibn Amir al-Hajj in his book of al-Taqrir wa’l-Tahbir, al-Nasfiy in his book of Kashf al-Asrar and Mullajeun in his book of Nur al-Anwar fi Sharh al-Manar.
On the other hand, other Hanafiyyah scholars—such as al-Buzdawiy in his book of al-Usul and al-Khabbaziy in his book of al-Mughni—have argued that the Hadith that is narrated by `Abdullah ibn `Umar cannot stand as evidence because its narrator violated it. Yet, those scholars have not argued that the Hadith must have been repealed.
For the following reasons, Dr. al-Namlah comments, the most preferable and acceptable opinion in this regard is that adopted by the majority of the scholars, which is that the hands must be raised at the Takbirat al-Ihram (the statement of Allahu-Akbar that indicates the commencement of a ritual prayer), at the genuflection and at the standing erect after the genuflection:
First Reason: The matter that must be followed is the act of the Prophet, not the act of any of the Sahabah, be it `Abdullah ibn `Umar or anyone else.
Second Reason: The Hadith intended was practiced by the other companions of the Prophet. In this regard, al-Hasan (al-Basriy) says, “I saw the companions of the Prophet raising their hands whenever they commenced their prayers, genuflected, and stood erect after the genuflection.”16
Al-Bukhariy also says, “Ibn al-Madiniy, the most knowledgeable scholar of his age, says that according to this Hadith, it is obligatory upon all the Muslims to raise their hands (in the ritual prayers at these positions).”17
Third Reason: Mujahid has narrated that he did not notice `Abdullah ibn `Umar raising his hands (during the prayer) except when he would begin the prayer. This saying opposes the narration of Tawus who reported that he had seen `Abdullah ibn `Umar acting upon the very Hadith that he had reported from the Prophet. Similarly, when he was asked about the raising of the hands during the prayers, Ahmad ibn Hanbal is reported to have answered, “I swear that raising the hands
is a part of the prayers. Who can ever doubt it! Whenever he noticed that a performer of a prayer had not raised his hands, `Abdullah ibn `Umar would reproach and order to raise the hands.”
I prefer the reports of Tawus and Ahmad ibn Hanbal to that of Mujahid since these two reports agree with the narration of `Abdullah ibn `Umar; and reason and good sense support the matter that a reporter of a commission should act upon it.
In his book of Kashf al-Asrar, `Abd al-`Aziz al-Bukhariy says that it is probable that `Abdullah ibn `Umar used to raise his hands at the commencement of the prayer, the genuflection, and at standing erect after the genuflection before he knew that the Hadith that he reported had been repealed, but when he knew of that, he neglected acting upon the Hadith and thus began to raise his hands only at the beginning of the prayers.
The aforesaid wording of `Abd al-`Aziz al-Bukhariy is no more than a probability that wants evidence and proof; and so long as it is unfounded, we should not discuss it. On the other hand, we should act upon the certain wording, which is the Messenger of Allah’s Hadith and the act of the majority of the Sahabah who are reported to have raised their hands at the Takbirat al-Ihram, the genuflection, and the standing erect after the genuflection. Finally, Almighty Allah is the most knowledgeable.
The aforesaid presentations have been some practical examples on the Sahabah’s violation of the Hadiths that they reported. For further details in this regard, the readers are recommended to refer to the books specialized in the Muslim jurisprudence.18
The presentation of these examples has been aimed at confirming the fact that the rulers’ concern is in most cases to grant their personal opinions a legal color more than to commit themselves to the commissions of Almighty Allah or to comply thoroughly with the texts of the Divine Revelation.
To have a discerning look into the innovated opinions of `Uthman ibn `Affan and Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan proves that their method was no more than an extension to the method invented by `Umar ibn al-Khattab.
Even if they on certain occasions violated the method of Abu-Bakr and `Umar—such as `Uthman ibn `Affan’s having offered the prayers in the complete form at Mina and preceded the khutbah (the ritual sermon) and Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan’s having decided that the adhan would be declared and the khutbah of the Salat al-`Īd (The Feast Prayer) would be preceded—this did not mean that they had violated the opinions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar in everything; rather this meant that they had adopted new opinions according to the rules defined by Abu-Bakr and `Umar that reads that a ruler (i.e. caliph) has the right to enact in the Islamic legislation a law that he personally sees beneficial and preferable.
Naturally, their own opinions must have been considered preferable to the opinions of the rulers who preceded them. Generally, `Uthman ibn `Affan and Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan imitated the course of those who preceded them. In this course, they adopted Opinionism and Ijtihad as an extension of the method of Abu-Bakr and `Umar who had invented Opinionism and Ijtihad.
By that means, the Muslims have followed one of two trends; the first adopts the sacred texts and accepts not substitute for the commission of Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet. Even the Holy Prophet himself was the servant and messenger of Almighty Allah from Whom he received the laws directly without subjecting the issues to personal judgments or analogy. In this regard the Holy Qur'an reads,
“We have sent down to thee the Book in truth, that you might judge between men as guided by Allah.” (Holy Qur’an: 4/105)
“Nor does he say aught of his own desire. It is no less than revelation that is revealed to him.” (Holy Qur’an: 53/3-4)
These holy verses indicate that the Holy Prophet complied thoroughly with the revelation that was revealed to him without any inclination to his own judgments. The Holy Imams have also concentrated on this denotation of the thorough compliance with the sacred texts. They all have confirmed that their sayings will never be issued out of their own judgments; rather they are the laws that they have inherited from one another up to the Holy Prophet.
On the other side there emerged another trend that we have called Opinionism and Ijtihad. The basic roots of this trend was in fact adopted by some of the Sahabah during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet as has been proven through the situations of Abu-Bakr and `Umar as regards the incident of the pious man whom they did not kill, although the Holy Prophet had ordered them to do so, because they had seen him in states of piety and religiousness.
Similarly, the trend was followed by other Sahabah who observed continuous fasting although the Holy Prophet prohibited such a kind of fasting. As those Sahabah and their fans demanded with the legality of Opinionism, `Umar ibn al-Khattab, during his reign, responded to them after he had realized that he lacked acquaintance with the religious laws.
Hence, Opinionism and Ijtihad were allowed, and `Umar ibn al-Khattab frequently objected, publicly, to the Sahabah who had disagreed about the religious laws. These two incidents mean that Abu-Bakr and `Umar intended to restrict the issuance of personal opinions and the reliance upon Ijtihad to them only while the other Sahabah would follow all their opinions without any disputation.
Yet, Abu-Bakr and `Umar could not achieve so because the adoption of the legality of Opinionism and Ijtihad is too extensive, flexible, and streamlined to be dedicated to an individual or a certain group.
Because of the adoption of the legality of Opinionism, the Muslim community has been engaged in such discrepancies. Referring to this fact, Abu-Bakr himself said, “People who will come after you will be more discrepant that you are.” `Umar ibn al-Khattab also said a similar thing, as has been cited within the aforementioned narration of al-Bayhaqiy.
As for Imam `Ali, he has clarified the matter very obviously through his famous sermon of al-Shaqshaqiyyah wherein he says,
“This one put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and the touch was rough. Mistakes were in plenty and so also the excuses therefore. One in contact with it was like the rider of an unruly camel. If he pulled up its rein, the very nostril would be slit, but if he let it loose, he would be thrown. Consequently, by Allah people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation. Nevertheless, I remained patient despite length of period and stiffness of trial… etc.”19
On the famous Disastrous Thursday, the Holy Prophet ordered the attendants to bring him a pen and an inkpot so that he would write down for them a document that would save them from going astray forever. Similarly, in the famous Hadith of Thaqalayn (the two weighty things), the Holy Prophet says,
“If you adhere to these two (namely the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt), you will never go astray after me.”
In addition to the many Hadiths of the Holy Imams wherein they prohibit the adoption of Opinionism in the issuance of religious laws since such opinions are nothing more than turning away from the Holy Sunnah, the two aforesaid texts of the Holy Prophet, if considered thoroughly, prove that the reporting and the recordation of the Hadith were related to the Islamic legislation, but the rulers of the Islamic State, especially Abu-Bakr and `Umar, used them for achieving their personal interests and validating their unfounded judgments; the rulers therefore issued the decision of the prohibition from recording and reporting the Hadith when they realized that it was necessary to issue such a decision and they then opened wide the reporting of the Hadith when it was necessary to do such.
As a matter of fact, as long as the Muslims go away from the Ahl al-Bayt, they go away from the right and miss the Right Path. This fact disturbed the Holy Prophet as he anticipated the Muslims’ turning away from the Ahl al-Bayt. In other words, when the Muslims turn away from the Ahl al-Bayt politically through the forbearance from giving them a share in the affairs of the leadership of the Muslim community, the Muslims will certainly go away from the true Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and thus they will miss the right course. This truth can be strikingly concluded from the Holy Prophet’s saying, “If you adhere to these two (namely the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt), you will never go astray after me.”
This means that the Muslims are ordered to followe and adhere to the Ahl al-Bayt and if they do not abide by the sayings of those Holy Imams as regards the religious laws, they will certainly miss the right course and depart the Holy Sunnah. Moreover, if the Muslims do not select the Ahl al-Bayt as their leaders, this will not cancel the Holy Prophet’s commission of the adherence to them.
Too many were the occasions on which the Holy Prophet declared to the Muslims that the Ahl al-Bayt are the guides of the ummah and the explainers of any matter about which the Muslims would disagree after him. In this regard, he is reported to have said,
“I am the one who warns, and `Ali is the one who guides. O `Ali: only through you will those who are guided to the right path be guided after me.”20
“He who is pleased to live the like of my life and to die on the same principles on which I die and to be entered the paradise of eternity of which my Lord has promised me, must be loyal to `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, for he will never take you out of the door of right guidance and will never take you to a door of deviation.”21
According to many other texts, the Holy Prophet ensured on referring to the Ahl al-Bayt, and none else, in the religious laws. For instance, he is reported to have said,
“The nations who existed before you were annihilated just because they created a contradiction in the Book of Almighty Allah, while it was revealed confirming each other, not opposing each other. If you know something about the Book of Almighty Allah, you should declare, but if you know not, you should refer it to those who know it best.”22
“Slow down! The nations who existed before you were annihilated for the same reason you are now in; it is their discrepancies about their prophets and creating contradiction in the Holy Books. Verily, the Holy Qur'an was revealed not to oppose each other, but to confirm each other. Hence, if you know something about it, you should act upon it, but if you know not, you should refer it to those who best know it.”23
It has been also narrated that when the people disagreed about the mutiny and assassination of `Uthman ibn `Affan, they asked Ubayy ibn Ka`b about the solution. He answered,
“The solution is the Book of Almighty Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet. You should thus act upon the matters that are clear for you and should refer the matters that are ambiguous to those who know them best.”24
In al-`Ayyashiy’s book of Tafsir, it has been narrated that Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq said,
“Those people thought that they were so experienced in the religious affairs that they comprehended anything needed by the ummah. Yet, they did not learn all the instructions of the Holy Prophet nor did he convey to them his knowledge.
When issues of the religious rulings were referred to them, they would not have its knowledge or the Holy Prophet’s instructions in that respect. Moreover, they would be embarrassed if people would accuse them of ignorance or if they could not find answers for the people’s questions and, as a result, the people would refer their issues to the sources of knowledge.
They therefore used opinions and analogy in the religion of Almighty Allah, abandoned the Holy Prophet’s knowledge, and adhered to heresies about which the Holy Prophet said, ‘All innovated things are heresies.’ Had they referred the questions that they ignored to Almighty Allah, His Messenger, and those of authority among them, those of authority among them who can search out the knowledge of it, namely the Household of Muhammad, would have certainly known it.”25
The abstention from carrying out the Holy Prophet’s order of bringing him a paper and an inkpot so as to write down a document that would save the Muslims for deviation forever; the prohibition from recording the Holy Sunnah; the prohibition from reporting the Holy Prophet’s traditions; the raising of the slogan of “The Book of Allah is sufficient for us!”; the adoption of the legality of Opinionism and analogy in the issuance of religious laws; the permissibility of the multiplicity of opinions in a certain religious law; the decision that the word of a Sahabiy incapacitates the Holy Qur'an and the Holy Sunnah—all these were stages by which the Muslim community had passed and due to the acceptance of which the Muslims have missed the right path and turned away from the commissions of the Divine Revelation.
The aforementioned presentation has been an expression of the total ordeal of the Holy Prophet’s texts as well as the predominance of Opinionism on the Islamic legislation. Any further discussion may take us away from our aim; therefore, it seems suitable to stop at this point.
The ruling authorities deemed true all the opinions and adopted all the words of all the Sahabah except the words and laws said by `Ali ibn Abi-Talib and his adherents who complied thoroughly to the sacred texts and recorded the Holy Sunnah and Hadith. In this regard, the ruling authorities regarded the words of Imam `Ali as alien that must be removed from the Muslims’ jurisprudence.
A little ponderation over our jurisprudential and Hadithic heritage will demonstrate obviously the predominance of the spirit of sectarianism on it. The Hadiths that are reported from Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib in the most comprehensive and most reliable Sunnite reference books of Hadith have been no more than a few tens.
Nevertheless, the Sunnite jurisprudents have not depended upon these few Hadiths in the issuance of a religious law except when they have had to. Moreover, they are too fearful and too negligent to report all the narrations that Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib received directly from the Holy Prophet. On the other side, the Hadiths that are reported by Abu-Hurayrah, `Abdullah ibn `Umar, and `Ā'ishah are innumerable that upon which the religious laws rest and are founded. Let us now put the following questions:
What was the purpose beyond such irony? Is it because Abu-Hurayrah, `Abdullah ibn `Umar, and `Ā'ishah preceded Imam `Ali in embracing Islam or in abundance of religious knowledge or in precedence to the Holy Prophet… etc.?
Why has Malik ibn Anas not recorded any Hadith reported from Imam `Ali?26
Why can we not see any item referring to the jurisprudence of the Ahl al-Bayt in the reference books of Sunnite jurisprudence whereas these books have comprised even the deviant opinions of the extinct factions?
What do all these facts mean?
Why can the remnants of sectarian ideology be seen clearly in the Muslim heritage while the researchers and seekers of knowledge are prevented from looking into matters the study of which will clarify many facts; and even if a researcher has the courage to uncover such matters, he will be accused of dispersing discrepancy among the Muslims?
It is extremely surprising to regard the elucidation and the discovering of the unknown facts as dispersion of discrepancy and seditious matters!
The method of the rulers in the issuance of the religious laws can be shown in the following narration:
In his book of Tuhfat al-Ahwadhiy fi Sharh Jami` al-Tirmidhiy, al-Mubarakfuriy has recorded that Shu`ayb ibn Jarir, once, asked Sufyan al-Thawriy to summarize for him the Holy Sunnah. Hence, Sufyan dictated: “In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful; the Qur'an is the words that are not created… Listen Shu`ayb! All that which you have written down will not do good to you unless you believe in the legality of the rubbing on the sandals (in the ritual ablution), and you believe in the verdict that to recite Bism-illahir-rahmanir-rahim (during the prayers) inaudibly is preferred to reciting it audibly, and you believe that everything (including our acts) is predestined, and you believe that it is lawful to follow in a congregation prayer any individual whether righteous or wicked, and you believe that it is obligatory to act upon patience under the pennon of any ruler whether unjust or fair.”27
Shu`ayb asked, “Does this ruling of following any leader of a congregational prayer include all the ritual prayers?”
Sufyan answered, “No, it does not. It only includes the Friday Prayer and the Feast Prayers. In the performance of two prayers, you may follow anyone, but in the other (obligatory) prayers, you have the right to choose the one whom you follow. Hence, you should follow only him whom you trust and whom you know as being Sunnite.”28
The inaudible recitation of the Basmalah, rubbing the sandals in the ritual ablution, and the permissibility to follow any imam in the congregational prayers—all these are within the laws that were enacted by the ruling authorities in order to serve their interests.
On the other hand, it goes without saying that the Ahl al-Bayt decided that the Basmalah should be recited audibly during the prayers and thus it is one of the indications to faithfulness. This situation has been supported by a big number of the Sahabah who are too many to be listed in this discussion for fear of lengthiness.
However, the most important point in this regard is that the dear readers should know that all these questions have been opposite to the jurisprudence of Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib and `Abdullah ibn `Abbas as well as the grand Sahabah and have been congruent with the jurisprudence of the pro-rulers scholars. This is of course a sufficient indication and proof on the rulers’ having deliberately opposed the Ahl al-Bayt.
As some of the principles of the policy adopted by the rulers of the Islamic State have been previously cited, let us now refer to the secret of the concentration on the conducts of `Umar ibn al-Khattab who threatened people with punishment if they would report any of the traditions of the Holy Prophet.
One of the texts that have been forged against the Holy Prophet is the saying, “Follow those who will come after me; Abu-Bakr and `Umar.”29 This text demonstrates that it was fabricated in the first days of `Uthman ibn `Affan’s reign.
This is because `Umar ibn al-Khattab and `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf had mainly feared the happening of two things; first, they feared that one who rejects the personal views of Abu-Bakr and `Umar that took the form of religious laws would come to power, and, second, they feared that Ijtihad would spread uncontrollably.
If the multiplicity in the centers of the issuance of religious laws and the acceptability of the personal opinions of the all were given free ways, especially during that period of the history of Islam, none would be able to stand against them. From this cause, `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf objected to `Uthman ibn `Affan for having invented matters that were not known during the reigns of Abu-Bakr and `Umar and demanded him not to exceed the opinions that they had issued. Yet, `Uthman ibn `Affan neither responded to that demand nor did he accept `Abd al-Rahman’s claims because `Uthman had regarded himself no less than Abu-Bakr and `Umar in position and prestige; hence, it would not be practical for him to imitate them and follow their methods in Ijtihad.
Furthermore, Abu-Bakr and `Umar did not enjoy any unique characteristic due to which their opinions and decisions would be preferred to `Uthman’s. If both Abu-Bakr and `Umar were connected to the Holy Prophet by means of marriage affiliation since they both gave their daughters in marriage to him, `Uthman were connected to him in a stronger link, since he married two daughters of the Holy Prophet and thus he was called “Dhu’l-Nurayn (the one with two lights).”
Naturally, `Uthman ibn `Affan asked himself why he would not practice Ijtihad so long as Ijtihad had been validated for everybody! He must have also asked himself why those people compelled him to follow the opinions of and imitate Abu-Bakr and `Umar while these two had not complied with the commissions of the Holy Prophet; rather they rested upon and practiced their personal views in front of him. Similarly, `Uthman must have asked himself if Ijtihad was forbidden, why these two had been allowed to practice it while it was regarded as forbidden for him.
This very ‘double-dealing’ was subject to various viewpoints; `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf and his likes believed that it was possible to dedicate the circle of Ijtihad and Opinionism to the conducts of Abu-Bakr and `Umar; as a result, they demanded `Uthman ibn `Affan to fulfill his pledges. On the other hand, Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib had realized the inaccuracy of such ‘double-dealing’.
He believed that the ‘door’ of Ijtihad is always open and thus this right must not be given to certain individuals and forbidden to others. For that reason, Imam `Ali said to `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf, “Almighty Allah may disperse enmity among you.”30 Although Imam `Ali said this statement in the form of supplication, he in reality had anticipated the end result of their plot; and his prediction came true.
Nevertheless, the Umayyad rulers added the name of `Uthman ibn `Affan to the list of the rulers (i.e. caliphs) whom must be obeyed and whose conducts must be imitated. Through their campaigns, the Umayyad rulers paid very much for fabricating “Hadiths” comprising the names of Abu-Bakr, ``Umar, and `Uthman as the three “caliphs” whom had been predicted by the Holy Prophet.
Yet, the name of Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib was added to the list at the beginning of the `Abbasid dynasty when they were in need for any opposition to the Umayyad rulers, and since Imam `Ali was one of the Hashimites, they needed his name to achieve victory over their enemies.
In the same way, the “Hadiths” of “The Rashidite Caliphs after me” were invented during that period of the Islamic history, while the “Hadiths” of “Follow those who will come after me” and their likes were invented during the period after the establishment of the Shura Committee when the ruling authorities needed concentration on the conducts of Abu-Bakr and `Umar.
It was the politicians who played the greatest role in the fabrication of many “Hadiths” like “the ten individuals of Paradise” and “the ultimate decency of all the Sahabah”—the Hadiths that shed light on the course of the legality of the multiplicity of opinions that was originated by Abu-Bakr and `Umar when they prohibited the reporting and recordation of the Hadith.
The circulation of the events of the adoption of the Hadiths by some of the Sahabah and the acting upon the personal opinions by another group and the mixture of the two trends by a third group—these events caused the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet to be confused with the traditions of the Sahabah.
Accordingly, confusion covered everything; the authentic was confused with the suspicious and the Sunnah with the general traditions. However, when `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz came to power, he methodized the traditions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar in the form of an undiscussable law imposed upon the Muslims.
It has been narrated that `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz wrote a missive to Abu-Bakr ibn `Amr ibn Hazm ordering him to write down all the Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah as well as any active tradition and all the narrations recorded by `Amarah (daughter of `Abd al-Rahman), for he anticipated that knowledge would be wiped out and the scholars would be extinct.31
According to another narration, `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz added the traditions of `Umar ibn al-Khattab to the materials that should be written down,32 and according to a third narration, he ordered Abu-Bakr ibn `Amr ibn Hazm to write down the items of knowledge and collect them from `Amarah bint `Abd al-Rahman and al-Qasim ibn Muhammad.33
It has been narrated on the authority of Hatib ibn Khalifah al-Burjumiy that `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, having been the caliph, said in a speech, “Surely, All that which the Messenger of Allah and his two companions (i.e. Abu-Bakr and `Umar) decided should be a law that we will follow and at which we stop; rather anything that was enacted by anyone else will be adjourned by me.”34
It has been also narrated that he, once, wrote a missive to the people of al-Madinah ordering them to write down the Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah since he anticipated their loss.
According to another form of the narration as reported by `Affan, `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz added that he anticipated that the knowledge would be wiped out and the scholars would be extinct.35
It has been also narrated that he, in one of his missives to his officials, wrote down, “The Sunnah was in fact enacted by Him Who knows that error, flaw, idiocy, and exaggeration is the result of any violation of it. Hence, you should satisfy yourself with matters with which those people satisfied themselves, for they have for sure had knowledge and deep discerning.
Additionally, they were better than you are in the exposition of the matters and thus it is more preferable to adopt the consequences that they have adopted. If the truth is that upon which you are acting, then you have surely preceded them to it, but if you claim that the unfavorable matters occurred after them, then these matters must have been done by those who followed a way other than theirs and shunned their course.
In fact, they were the foremost and they discussed these matters adequately and described them effectively. They thus were neither negligent nor exaggerators. When some peoples else neglected, they became ruthless, and when other peoples exaggerated, they became extremists. Hence, those people followed the right guidance… etc.”36
It has been also narrated that `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz said, “The Messenger of Allah and the men in authority who came after him enacted certain laws. To adopt these laws is to believe in the Book of Almighty Allah, to be at His service, and to have power for the sake of the religion of Allah. None is ever allowed to change, distort, or consider the opinions that violate these laws.
Furthermore, he who works upon these laws will have been guided (to the right) and one who uses them for achieving victory will surely have been given victory, but he who violates them and follows a way other than that of the believers… etc.”37
`Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz then issued the order that these collections would be followed by all the provinces of the Islamic State as religious laws. However, these collections comprised the personal opinions of the rulers as well as all that which `Amarah bint `Abd al-Rahman and al-Qasim ibn Muhammad reported from `Ā'ishah and the others while all these reports were within the jurisprudence that the ruling authorities had desired to impose on the people as a substitute of the original religious laws that have been carried by the Ahl al-Bayt.
In this regard, It has been narrated that Ibn Shihab al-Zuhriy said, “When `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz ordered us to record the traditions, we compiled them in books. He then sent a copy to each province that was under his predominance.”38
We have earlier proved that the recordation of the traditions and the Holy Sunnah was on the commissions of the rulers. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the `Abbasid rulers played the biggest role in the consolidation of the four major Sunnite schools of law.
It is now clear that `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz did not collect the Holy Sunnah and the traditions of the Holy Prophet only, but he also founded and consolidated the personal opinions and decisions that were issued by the rulers who preceded him, especially Abu-Bakr and `Umar. In plain words, `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz established the origins of the trend of Opinionism and Ijtihad, which is the trend of the ruling authorities and their fans, although the religious laws that are adopted by these rulers and their fans had been separated from the genuine origins and principles of the Muslim jurisprudence causing the religious knowledge to be lost by the Muslim community for a century or even more.
It goes without saying that it is impracticable to trust the recordation of the Hadith under circumstances the distinctive feature of which is sectarianism and tribalism, especially after the forging of lies against the Holy Prophet was very common.
In this respect, it is worth mentioning that the existence of some Hadiths that are unaccepted by the general trend of the ruling authorities does not mean that the rulers were sincere in the recording and reporting of the Hadith or in the ambition to safeguard the Islamic legislation; rather this is an indication to the extension of the both trends of Opinionism and Ijtihad and of the thorough compliance with the sacred texts to the reigns of these rulers as well as the existence of individuals who defended the Holy Sunnah.
The governmental distortion cannot stand against the genuine intellectual trend because the stumbling of the trend of the ruling authorities and its confusion can be easily exposed by the other authentic narrations and the Holy Qur'an and is opposed by the pious Sahabah and the sound logic.
For that reason, the hugeness and genuineness of the trend of thorough compliance with the sacred texts can obviously be noticed in the reference books of Hadith and the most reliable series of narrators that are supported by the rulers and their fans. In spite of all circumstances and confusables, these narrations have found their way to the jurisprudence of all the Muslims.
Moreover, as these reference books are characterized by expansion and comprehensiveness of all the jurisprudential sections, this predicts the existence of two intellectual trends the first of which calls for Opinionism and issues verdicts that are compatible to the personal opinions and Ijtihad of the Sahabah while the other trend acts upon the sacred texts and whatever has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah only.
It has been narrated that Salih ibn Kaysan said, “I, once, met with al-Zuhriy for seeking religious knowledge and then we both decided to write down the traditions. We therefore wrote down whatever was reported from the Prophet. When he suggested that he would write down the traditions of the Sahabah considering them with the Sunnah, I objected and declared the Sahabah’s traditions having been not within the Sunnah. Hence, al-Zuhriy wrote down the traditions of the Sahabah while I did not and thus I lost.”39
Shaykh Muhammad Abu-Zuhrah says, “We found Malik ibn Anas depending upon the verdicts of the Sahabah as if they were part of the Sunnah.”40
Musa Jarullah says, “We, the Sunnite master jurisprudents, consider the traditions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar sources of the Islamic legislation that are as significant as the Sunnah of the Prophet. In addition, we consider them sources in the provability of the religious laws that are appertained to the life of the ummah and the administration of the Islamic state. We also confirm that the Rashidite Caliphate is as sinless as the Divine Mission (of the Holy Prophet).”41
It is natural that the adorers of Abu-Bakr and `Umar regard their governments as sacred as the government of the Holy Prophet since these governments were the founders of the trend of Opinionism and Ijtihad which was followed by all the rulers and thus the heads of these governments, namely Abu-Bakr and `Umar, decided laws that they desired and canceled the religious laws that they did not like since these laws would violate their personal interests. As a confirmation of this fact, read the following narration:
Abu-Bakr al-San`aniy narrated that he, accompanied by a group, visited Malik ibn Anas who began talking about Rabi`ah, Malik’s mentor and instructor. As he frequently talked about his mentor, we used to ask him for more.
One day, he said to us, “What do you want from Rabi`ah while he is sleeping under that arch?”
We therefore hurried toward Rabi`ah and wondered how Malik had knew everything about him while he himself did not know.
Rabi`ah answered, “You should have known that a ‘gram’ of a governmental authority is better than a ‘ton’ of knowledge!”42
This narration reveals that the two trends extended to cover both the Umayyad and the `Abbasid ages causing a complicated confusion to the traditions that it became so difficult to discriminate the authentic from the fabricated. This very result was intended by the rulers of the Islamic state to occur to the next generations.
The declaration of the names of ten individuals among the Sahabah as being within the inhabitants of Paradise43 is contradictory to the practical behaviors of these individuals. For instance, it is ironic to decide this Hadith as authentic while Talhah and al-Zubayr, who are within the list of those whom were given the good tidings of entering Paradise, fought against Imam `Ali who was the legal ruler of the Islamic State at that time and who was also within the same list. It goes without saying that the right is indivisibly one; if Imam `Ali was the right party, then Talhah and al-Zubayr would be the wrong and vice versa.
Secondly, if we accept the Hadith of “The Ten Individuals of Paradise” we should then reject the following Hadith that has been recorded by al-Bukhariy, in his al-Sahih, and reported from the Holy Prophet, “When two Muslims face each other with swords, both the killer and the killed will be in Hellfire.” When he was asked why the killed would also be in Hellfire, the Holy Prophet answered, “This is because the killed would kill the other if he could.”44
This irony and its likes confuse the researchers who attempt to study these topics since it arouses the wonderments whether these two will be included with the inhabitants of Paradise or Hellfire; and whether a Sahabiy should have fought against the transgressing party until it complies with the command of Almighty Allah45 or he should follow the party that would triumph, as has been decided by `Abdullah ibn `Umar.46
If those ten individuals of Paradise could have done anything they desired in view of the decision that they would be included with the inhabitants of Paradise, then why would not they themselves have realized this truth and thus left each other without quarrel or lived without enmity due to which hundreds of Muslims were killed? If such logic is true, why are we now rejecting intellectual anarchism? As a matter of fact, this very logic stands for underestimating the souls, fortunes, and honors of the Muslims.
In his command to Abu-Bakr `Amr ibn Hazm, `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz asked him to collect and write down the Hadith of the Holy Prophet and the traditions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar ibn al-Khattab in addition to the collections of `Amarah or the reports from `Umar ibn al-Khattab, as has been decided in other narrations.
This fact motivates us to arouse the question: What did `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz mean by such? Why did he decide the traditions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar as the religion that should be adopted and to which it should be referred, while he decided the traditions of anyone else as must be subjected to discussion? Why did `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz suspend the traditions of `Uthman ibn `Affan and Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib?
Does this mean that he had not decided them with the Rashidite Caliphs about whom the Messenger of Allah was reported to have said, “Adhere to my Sunnah as well as the Sunnah of the Rashidite Caliphs who will come after me”?
Accordingly, is the “Sunnah” that is currently circulated the ver Sunnah of the Holy Prophet or that of the Sahabah? All these questions, if not ironies, must be studied and investigated within the Muslim jurisprudence and history and thus their texts must never be accepted as they are.
The principles of the assessment of the narrators and Hadiths were in fact established, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, at the hands of the ruling authorities and under the supervision of the rulers taking into consideration the fact that the spirit of tribalism and sectarianism in the establishment of these principles overcame the spirit of seriousness and sincerity.
The ascriptions of deviation, doctrinal corruption, fabrication, and the like vices to the adherents of Imam `Ali were the distinctive features of the principles of the assessment of the narrators of Hadiths. As a result, the ruling authorities and their fans spared no effort in fabricating “Hadiths” that would be contradictory to the reports of the adherents of Imam `Ali.
Unfortunately, these unfounded principles have left sorrowful inconveniences on our conducts and behaviors to such a degree that it has become very difficult to get rid of or go away from them. On the strength of this fact, it has become very imperative to investigate and study thoroughly the historical and jurisprudential roots of these principles since it is unquestionable that such investigations and studies will open new horizons of knowledge whose honesty and accuracy have not been tasted so far. Throughout my studies and theses, I always concentrate on this point and invite the dear researchers and specialists to study these topics and their likes thoroughly.
In this topic, as well as my study entitled al-Sunnah Ba`d al-Rasul (the Sunnah after the Holy Messenger), I have proven that the “Sunnah” that is currently circulated is not the actual traditions of the Holy Prophet; rather it is the traditions of certain men in a huge quantity of its sections and topics.
By both means of insinuation and open statements, the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt used to refer to the fact that the circulating “Sunnah” was not the traditions of the Holy Prophet; rather it stood for the traditions of certain men who held the political authority after the Holy Prophet. In order to demonstrate the big difference between the method of the Holy Imams and the School of Opinionism and Ijtihad, I, hereinafter, will refer to some of the innumerable statements of the Holy Imams appertained to the aforesaid fact:
It has been narrated that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, once, said to Jabir,
“If we give religious verdicts out of our desires and personal opinions, we would certainly be of those who shall perish; rather we give people verdicts derived from the traditions of the Messenger of Allah and from principles that we have inherited from our great fathers. We have hoarded up these principles in the same way as those people have hoarded up their fortunes of gold and silver.”47
It has been also narrated on the authority of Qutaybah that after Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq answered the questions of a man, the latter said, “What if the answer is such-and-such, what will you say about it?”
Imam al-Sadiq, reproachfully, answered, “Shut up! Any answer that I give to you must be taken from the Messenger of Allah. We are not of those who say ‘what if’ at all.”48
It has been narrated on the authority of Sa`id al-A`raj that he once said to Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq, “Some of those who claim being jurisprudents say that they are using their personal opinions in the questions that they cannot infer from the Holy Qur'an or the Sunnah.”
The Imam answered, “They have certainly lied. The laws of all things are present in the Holy Qur'an and have been explained by the Holy Sunnah.”49
It has been narrated that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, once, was asked a about question appertained to the religious laws. The Imam answered and then the asker commented, “In fact, the other fuqaha (jurisprudents) say something else about this question.”
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir replied, “Woe to you! Have you ever seen a true faqih (jurisprudent)? Verily, the true faqih is only he who abstains from the worldly pleasures, desires for gaining the rewards of the Hereafter, and adheres firmly to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet.”50
According to another form of this narration, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir replied to that man, saying:
“Certainly, the most horrible people in the manner of forging lies against Almighty Allah and His Messenger are those who belie or forge lies against us, the Ahl al-Bayt. This is because all our sayings are only copies of the sayings of the Messenger of Allah, and all the sayings of the Messenger of Allah are only copies of the saying of Almighty Allah; consequently, if we are accused of telling lies, then this will mean that it is Almighty Allah and His Messenger whom are accused of telling lies.”51
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir is also reported to have said,
“If we issue verdicts out of our personal opinions, we will certainly miss the right path in the same way as those who had existed before us missed the path; rather we always speak on a proof from our Lord Who has shown to His Prophet and then the Prophet has shown to us.”52
According to another form of the same narration, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir said,
“If we issue verdicts out of our personal opinions, we will certainly miss the right path in the same way as those people have done… etc.”53
It has been also narrated that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir said,
“As Almighty Allah has taught the knowledge of the Revelation and the interpretation of the divinely revealed texts to His Messenger, the Messenger taught it to `Ali, and then `Ali taught us the (knowledge of the) Hadith.”54
Ibn Hazm has narrated on the authority of Ibn Shabramah that Ja`far ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn al-Husayn, al-Sadiq, said to Abu-Hanifah,
“Fear Allah and do not depend upon analogy. On the morrow, we, as well as those who have violated us, shall stand before Almighty Allah. We say that the Messenger of Allah and Almighty Allah have said, while your companions and you say, ‘we have heard and seen.’ Hence, Almighty Allah will do to you and us what He pleases.”55
Abu-Na`im, in his book of Hilyat al-Awliya', has narrated that Ibn Shabramah and Abu-Hanifah, once, visited Ja`far ibn Muhammad who asked Ibn Abi-Layla, “Who is this one accompanying you?”
“This is a man who enjoys discernment and skillfulness in the religious affairs,” answered he.
Al-Sadiq said, “Perhaps, this is the one who analogizes the affairs of the religion by his own opinions!”
“Yes, he is,” answered he.
Al-Sadiq said, “Nu`man: Have you analogized your head, too?”
“How can I analogize my head?” asked Abu-Hanifah.
Al-Sadiq said, “I see that you can master nothing at all. Do you know what the word whose first part is infidelity and whose last part is faith is?”
“You then tell me about that word whose first part is infidelity and whose last part is faith,” replied Abu-Hanifah.
Al-Sadiq said, “When a servant (of Almighty Allah) says, ‘There is no god...’ he will then declare infidelity; but when he continues, saying, ‘but Allah’, he will then declared faithfulness.”
Al-Sadiq then turned to Abu-Hanifah and said, “Listen, Nu`man! My father has reported to me from my grandfather that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘The first to analogize (i.e. compare) in the affairs of the religion was Iblis (Satan) who said,
‘He said: What hindered you so that you did not prostrate when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust.’ (Holy Qur’an: 7/12)
Hence, one who analogizes any of the affairs of the religion by his own opinion will be joined to Iblis on the Resurrection Day, since the latter has been more skilled in the field of analogy!’”
Al-Sadiq then asked Abu-Hanifah, “Which one of these two sins are more serious; murder or commitment of adultery?”
“It is murder,” answered Abu-Hanifah.
Al-Sadiq said, “However, Almighty Allah has accepted two witnesses only for murder but has not accepted less that four witnesses for the commitment of adultery!”
Al-Sadiq then added, “Which one of these two is more important; the prayer or the fasting?”
“It is the prayer,” answered Abu-Hanifah.
Al-Sadiq said, “Why is it then that a woman must settle the fasting that she misses due to menstruation while it is not obligatory upon her to settle the prayers that she misses due to the same?”
Al-Sadiq then added, “Woe to you! How do you then depend upon analogy? Fear Allah and never compare the religious laws out of your own opinions.”56
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Shaybah that Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq said,
“Indeed, Ibn Shabramah57 has gone astray. We (the Ahl al-Bayt) have in possession the Jami`ah (Comprehensive Document) that comprises the dictations of the Messenger of Allah in the handwriting of (Imam) `Ali. Verily, the Jami`ah has refuted the sayings of the all. It comprises the knowledge of whatever is decided lawful and whatever is decided unlawful. Indeed, the adopters of Qiyas (analogy) have sought the religious knowledge through analogy; but they have been increased nothing but remoteness from the right. Certainly, the religion of Allah cannot be attained by analogy.”58
Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq is also reported to have said,
“As Almighty Allah appointed Muhammad as His Messenger, He has made him the seal of the Prophets; therefore, no prophet will exist after him. Almighty Allah has also revealed to him a Book that He decided to be the seal of the (divine) Books; therefore, no Book will exist after it (i.e. the Holy Qur'an)… The Holy Prophet then made the knowledge perpetual with his successors, but the people deserted them. Those successors are thus the witnesses on the people of every age.
Moreover, the people have opposed everyone who would declare his loyalty to the actual authorities of the ummah (namely, the Holy Imams) or attempted to seek their knowledge; they therefore have created contradiction in the Holy Qur'an and have taken the repealed verses as their proofs misinterpreting them while they have neither considered the preludes and the epilogues of these verses nor have they known their sources and purposes because they have not taken the knowledge of these from their actual people. They have thus missed the right path and misled the others.”59
It has been narrated that the Holy Prophet has said,
“One who gives religious verdicts to people without having knowledge with it or without having the ability to discriminate the repealing verses from the repealed ones or the decisive verses from the allegorical ones will have perished and caused others to perish.”60
It has been narrated that Muhammad ibn Hakim told Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq that a group of his companions had studied jurisprudence, learnt some knowledge, and reported Hadiths in this respect; but when they are asked for verdicts about questions that they had not experienced before, they would give their personal opinions. On hearing this, Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq said, “No, this is not acceptable. The peoples who had existed before you were destroyed only because of such acts and their likes.”61
The like of the aforesaid narrations has been narrated in al-Muttaqiy al-Hindiy’s Kanz al-`Ummal, that the Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
“This ummah will act upon the Book of Allah (i.e. the Holy Qur'an) for a while; and will then act upon the Sunnah (of the Prophet) for a while; and will then act upon their opinions. When they act upon their opinions, they will certainly miss the right path and mislead the others.”62
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Abi-`Umayr on the authority of many reporters that Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq said,
“Curse of Allah be upon the adopters of analogy (Ashab al-Qiyas); they have distorted the Words of Almighty Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and have accused the truthful ones in the Religion of Allah.”63
Similarly, it has been narrated that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was once informed that `Ubaydah al-Salmaniy reported, falsely, that Imam `Ali permitted the vendition of the bondmaids that had given birth of babies from their masters.64 On hearing this, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir said,
“They have certainly forged lies against `Ubaydah or perhaps `Ubaydah has forged lies against (Imam) `Ali. Whatever we report to you from (Imam) `Ali is actually his saying, and whatever we deny is actually forgery against him. We know for sure that Qiyas has never been within the beliefs of (Imam) `Ali. Only will those who lack knowledge with the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah resort to Qiyas. Thus, let their narrations not deceive you, for they will certainly mislead… etc.”65
It has been also narrated that Abu-Basir asked Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq whether it is lawful to depend upon one’s opinion in the questions whose answers cannot be known from the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah. The Imam answered,
“No, it is not lawful! If you do so and give the true verdict, you will not be rewarded; and if you give a wrong judgment, you will be regarded as forging lies against Almighty Allah.”66
It has been narrated that Imam `Ali al-Sajjad said,
“Verily, the religion of Almighty Allah cannot be obtained by the intellects that are deficient, the opinions that are false, or the analogies that are baseless. The religion of Almighty Allah can be attained only through the submission.
Hence, he who submits to us will have been saved; he who follows our direction will have been guided (to the right path); he who acts upon Qiyas and Ra’y will have destroyed himself; he who doubts in any amount anything of our sayings or judgments will have surely disbelieved in Him Who has revealed the Seven Oft-Repeated verses and the Grand Qur'an while he does not know.”67
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
“Beware of the adopters of their own opinions (Ashab al-Ra’y), for they have resorted to their opinions only when they were too imperfect to retain the (true) traditions. They therefore used their own opinions to decide what is lawful and what is forbidden. On doing so, they have deemed unlawful that which Almighty Allah has deemed lawful and have deemed lawful that which Almighty Allah has deemed unlawful. They thus missed the right path and misled the others.”68
Imam `Ali is also reported to have said,
“O the Shiites who profess loyalty to us and love for us! Beware of the adopters of their personal opinions, for these are the enemies of the true traditions. As they have been too weak to retain the Hadiths and too feeble to understand the Sunnah, they…
When they were asked about questions that they did not know, they were too arrogant to confess that they did not know the answers; they therefore opposed the religion through resting upon their personal opinions. They thus missed the right path and misled the others.”69
It has been narrated on the authority of Habib that Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq said to his companions,
“You all are the most beloved to me. As people have taken miscellaneous courses—some of them have followed their caprices and others have followed their own opinions—you have followed a founded course.”70
This saying can be another meaning of Imam `Ali’s saying about the dispersion of people after the departure of the Holy Prophet. It has been narrated on the authority of Ishaq al-Subay`iy that Imam
`Ali Amir al-Mu’minin said,
“After the departure of the Messenger of Allah, people have scattered into three categories of people: The first category is represented by the true knowledgeable individuals whom are guided by Almighty Allah and who, through the knowledge that Almighty Allah has given to them, have dispensed with the knowledge of the others.
The second category is represented by those ignorant people who claim knowledgeability while they have nothing. They are self-conceited for what they have in possession and are charmed by the worldly pleasures and thus they have misled the others.
The third category is represented by those who learn from the knowledgeable so as to attain guidance and redemption of Almighty Allah. Finally, away with those who claim falsely; and frustration be for the forgers!”71
Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq is reported to have said,
“We (the Ahl al-Bayt) do possess things that suffice us from the people, while the peoples it is they who are in need for us. We have books dictated by the Messenger of Allah and written by Imam `Ali personally. One of these books comprises all that which is deemed lawful and all that which is deemed unlawful. Verily, when you ask us a question, we know whether you will accept it from us or you will desert it.”72
Imam `Ali has classified the Hadiths that are circulated among people and he has then demonstrated the reason beyond discrepancy, saying,
“Certainly what is current among the people is both right and wrong, true and false, repealing and repealed, general and particular, definite and indefinite, exact and surmised. Even during the Holy Prophet’s days, false sayings had been attributed to him so much so that he had to say during his sermon that ‘Whoever attributes falsehoods to me makes his abode in Hell.’
Those who relate traditions are of four categories, no more: The hypocrite is a person who makes a show of faith and adopts the appearance of a Muslim; he does not hesitate in sinning nor does he keep aloof from vice; he willfully attributes false things against the Messenger of Allah—may Allah bless him and his descendants. If people knew that he was a hypocrite and a liar, they would not accept anything from him and would not confirm what he says.
Rather they say that he is the companion of the Prophet, has met him, heard (his sayings) from him and acquired (knowledge) from him. They therefore accept what he says. Allah too had warned you well about the hypocrites and described them fully to you. They have continued after the Holy Prophet. They gained positions with the leaders of misguidance and callers towards Hell through falsehoods and slanderings.
So, they put them in high posts and made them officers over the heads of the people, and amassed wealth through them. People are always with the rulers and after this world, except those to whom Allah affords protection. This is the first of the four categories.
Then there is the individual who heard (a saying) from the Holy Prophet but did not memorize it as it was, but surmised it. He does not lie willfully. Now, he carries the saying with him and relates it, acts upon it and claims that: ‘I heard it from the Messenger of Allah.’ If the Muslims come to know that he has committed a mistake in it, they will not accept it from him, and if he himself knows that he is on the wrong he will give it up.
The third man is he who heard the Prophet ordering to do a thing and later the Prophet prevented the people from doing it, but this man did not know it, or he heard the Prophet refraining people from a thing and later he allowed it, but this man did not know it.
In this way, he retained in his mind what had been repealed, and did not retain the repealing tradition. If he knew that it had been repealed, he would reject it, or if the Muslims knew, when they heard it from him, that it had been repealed they would reject it.
The last, namely the fourth man, is he who does not speak a lie against Allah or against His Prophet. He hates falsehood out of fear for Allah and respect for the Messenger of Allah, and does not commit mistakes, but retains (in his mind) exactly what he heard (from the Prophet), and he relates it as he heard it without adding anything or omitting anything. He heard the repealing tradition, he retained it and acted upon it, and he heard the repealed tradition and rejected it. He also understands the particular and the general, and he knows the definite and indefinite, and gives everything its due position.
The sayings of the Prophet used to be of two types. One was particular and the other common. Sometimes, a man would hear him but he would not know what Allah, the Glorified, meant by it or what the Messenger of Allah meant by it. In this way, the listener carries it and memorizes it without knowing its meaning and its real intention, or what was its reason.
Among the companions of the Messenger of Allah all were not in the habit of putting him questions and ask him the meanings, indeed they always wished that some Bedouin or stranger might come and ask him—peace be upon him—so that they would also listen.
Whenever any such thing came before me, I asked him about its meaning and preserved it.I used to visit the Messenger of Allah once a day and once a night. He then would be alone with me and I would follow him wherever he went. The companions of the Messenger of Allah have known for sure that he did not do this with anyone except me.
The Messenger of Allah might have visited me in my house more than I visited me in his house. Whenever I visited him in one of his houses, he would be alone with me and would ask his women to leave so that none except me would be with him. But when he used to visit me in my house, neither Fatimah nor any of my sons would leave.
Whenever I asked him, he would answer me and whenever I kept silent for my questions would be finished, he would open a discussion with me. He would recite for me and ask me to write down any (holy) verse that was revealed to him.
He would then teach me the interpretation and the explanation of that verse and would teach me whether it is repealing or repealed, decisive or allegorical, particular or common… Since the Messenger of Allah supplicate to Almighty Allah for me, I have never forgotten any item of the knowledge that he dictated to me and that I wrote down.
He had taught me, and I have learned, all the items of knowledge as regards what is lawful and what is unlawful as well as all the commands and the warnings, whether past or future, and any act of obedience and act of disobedience to Almighty Allah that had been written in any Book that had been revealed (from Almighty Allah); and I have never forgotten a single letter of what he had taught me.
The Messenger of Allah then put his hand on my chest and prayed to Almighty Allah to fill in my heart with knowledge, understandability, wisdom and illumination.”73
By means of this methodical and objective categorization, Imam `Ali acquaints us with the school of the Ahl al-Bayt as regards the reception of the Sahabah and the actuality of their reporting from the Holy Prophet and their position in his view as well as the role of the people of Quraysh in the enactment of the Islamic legislation. For more explanation, let us cite the following text of Imam `Ali:
“Now, look at the various favors of Allah upon them, that He deputed towards them a prophet who got them to pledge their obedience to him and made them unite at his call. Look how Allah’s bounty spread the wings of its favors over them and flowed for them streams of its blessing, and the whole community became wrapped in blissful prosperity.
Consequently, they were submerged under its bounty and enjoyed its lush life. Their affairs were settled under the protection of a powerful ruler, and circumstances offered them overpowering honor, and all things became easy for them under the auspices of a strong country.
They became rulers over the world and kings in the various parts of the earth. They became masters of those who were formerly their masters, and began issuing commands over those who used to command them. They were so strong that neither did their spears need testing nor did their weapons have any flaw.
Beware! You have shaken your hands loose from the rope of obedience, and broken the divine fort around you by (resorting to) pre-Islamic rules. Certainly, it is a great blessing of Allah, the Glorified, that He has engendered among them unity through the cord of affection in whose shade they walk and take shelter. This is a blessing whose value no one in the whole world realizes, because it is more valuable than any price and higher than any wealth.
You should know that you have again reverted to the position of the Bedouin Arabs after immigration (to Islam), and have become different parties after having been once united. You do not possess anything of Islam except its name, and know nothing of belief save its show. You say ‘The Fire’ Yes. but no shameful position,’ as if you would throw down Islam on its face in order to defame its honor and break its pledge (for brotherhood) which Allah gave you as a sacred trust on His earth and (a source of) peace among the people.
Be sure that if you incline towards anything other than Islam. the unbelievers will fight you. Then there will be neither Gabriel nor Michael, neither muhajirun nor Ansar to help you, but only the clashing of swords, till Allah settles the matter for you.
Certainly, there are examples before you of Allah’s wrath, punishment, days of tribulations and happenings. Therefore, do not disregard His promises, ignoring His punishment, making light His wrath and not expecting His violence, because Allah, the Glorified, did not curse the past ages except because they had left off asking others to do good acts and refraining them from bad acts. In fact Allah cursed the foolish for committing sins and the wise because they gave up refraining others from evils. Beware! You have broken the shackles of Islam and have transgressed happenings. Therefore, do not disregard His pr
Beware! Surely Allah has commanded me to fight those who revolt, or who break the pledge, or create trouble on the earth. As regards pledge-breakers, I have fought them, as regards deviators from truth, I have waged holy war against them, and as regards those who have gone out of the faith, I have put them in (serious) disgrace.
As for Satan of the pit, he too has been dealt with by me through the loud cry with which the scream of his heart and shaking of his chest was also heard. Only a small portion of the rebels has remained. If Allah allows me one more chance over them I will annihilate them except a few remnants that may remain scattered in the suburb of the cities.
Even in my boyhood I had lowered the chest of (the famous men) of Arabia, and broken the horn points (i.e., defeated the chiefs) of the tribes of Rabi`ah and Mudhar. Certainly, you know my position of close kinship and special relationship with the Prophet of Allah—peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants.
When I was only a child he took charge of me. He used to press me to his chest and lay me beside him in his bed, bring his body close to mine and make me smell his smell. He used to chew something and then feed me with it. He found no lie in my speaking, nor weakness in any act.
From the time of his weaning, Allah had put a mighty angel with him to take him along the path of high character and good behavior through day and night, while I used to follow him like a young camel following in the footprints of its mother. Every day he would show me in the form of a banner some of his high traits and commanded me to follow it. Every year he used to go in seclusion to the hill of Hira', where I saw him but no one else saw him.
In those days Islam did not exist in any house except that of the Prophet of Allah—peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants—and Khadijah, while I was the third after these two. I used to see and watch the effulgence of divine revelation and message, and breathed the scent of Prophethood.
When the revelation descended on the Prophet of Allah—peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants—I heard the moan of Satan. I said ‘O Prophet of Allah, what is this moan?’ and he replied, ‘This is Satan who has lost all hope of being worshipped. O Ali, you see all that I see and you hear all that I hear, except that you are not a Prophet, but you are a vicegerent and you are surely on (the path of) virtue
I was with him when a party of the Quraysh came to him and said to him ‘O Mohammad, you have made a big claim which none of your fore-fathers or those of your family have made. We ask you one thing; if you give us an answer to it and show it to us, we will believe that you are a prophet and a messenger, but if you cannot do it, we will know that you are a sorcerer and a liar
The Messenger of Allah said: ‘What do you ask for?’ They said: ‘Ask this tree to move for us, even with its roots, and stop before you.’ The Prophet said ‘Verily, Allah has power over everything. If Allah does it for you, will you then believe and stand witness to the truth?’ They said ‘Yes. Then he said ‘I shall show you whatever you want, but I know that you wont bend towards virtue, and there are among you those who will be thrown into the pit, and those who will form parties (against me).’
Then the Holy Prophet said: ‘O tree, if you do believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement, and know that I am the Prophet of Allah, come up with your roots and stand before me with the permission of Allah.’ By Him who deputed the Prophet with truth, the tree did remove itself with its root and came with a great humming sound and a flapping like the flapping of the wings of birds, till it stopped before the Messenger of Allah while some of its twigs came down onto my shoulders, and I was on the right side of the Holy Prophet.
When the people saw this they said by way of pride and vanity ‘Now you order half of it to come to you and the other half of it remain (in its place).’ The Holy Prophet ordered the tree to do the same. Then half of the tree advanced towards him in an amazing manner and with greater humming. It was about to touch the Prophet of Allah.
Then they said, disbelieving and revolting ‘Ask this half to get back to its other half and be as it was.’ The Prophet ordered it and it returned. Then I said ‘O Prophet of Allah, I am the first to believe in you and to acknowledge that the tree did what it did just now with the command of Allah, the Sublime, in testimony to your Prophethood and to heighten your word.
Upon this all the people shouted ‘Rather a sorcerer, a liar; it is wonderful sorcery, he is very adept in it. Only a man like this (pointing to me) can stand testimony to you in your affairs
Certainly, I belong to the group of people who care not for the reproach of anybody in matters concerning Allah. Their countenance is the countenance of the truthful and their speech is the speech of the virtuous. They are wakeful during the nights (in devotion to Allah), and over beacons (of guidance) in the day. They hold fast to the rope of the Qur’an. Revive the traditions of Allah and of His Prophet. They do not boast nor indulge in self-conceit, nor misappropriate, nor create mischief. Their hearts are in Paradise while their bodies are busy in (good) acts.”74
Unfortunately, the Muslim community did reach such a lowly level. In this regard, al-Dahlawiy says,
“With the elapse of the reign of the Rashidite Caliphs, the caliphate went to a people who overpowered the Muslim community unworthily while they were not acquainted with the knowledge of the religious laws. As a result, these rulers had to seek the aid of the fuqaha (jurisprudents) and to have them accompanied them on all occasions. The remainders of the genuine scholars attempted to escape and reject whenever they were summoned for undertaking this mission.
As the peoples of these ages, save the religious scholars, witnessed how the genuine scholars escaped whenever they were summoned for such tasks, they (the ordinary people) sought to learn the religious knowledge no matter what the price would be so that they would attain such positions.
Hence, the new religious scholar began to inquire about such position after the genuine scholars had been urgently called for holding them and, similarly, the new generations of the scholars became so humiliated owing to their advancing to the rulers after the genuine scholars had been honorable owing to their turning away from the rulers… etc.”75
The Holy Prophet anticipated the predominance of a tribal authority on the Islamic legislation while the Holy Qur'an has warned against such an authority. In this regard, the Holy Prophet frequently concentrated on the fact that `Ali ibn Abi-Talib was the one and only individual who had full acquaintance with the interpretation and explanation of the holy verses and Hadiths entirely and that he was very far away from the tribal spirits and the unsubstantiated opinions.
In this respect, it has been narrated that Abu-Sufyan ibn Harb said to Imam `Ali after Abu-Bakr had been formally chosen as the leader of the Muslim community, “What for has the affair of the leadership been in the hands of the least valued clans of Quraysh? `Ali: Extend your hand so that I will pay homage to you! I swear by Allah that, if you want, I can encompass this Abu-Fasil76 with horses and men of war.”
Nevertheless, Imam `Ali did not accept his offer.77
According to other narrations, Imam `Ali said to Abu-Sufyan, “You have antagonized Islam and its people for long ages; yet, all your deeds have not injured it at all.”
It has been narrated on the authority of Rab`i ibn Harrash that `Ali ibn Abi-Talib told us that, after the conclusion of the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, some polytheist chiefs and individuals, including Suhayl ibn `Amr, came to the Holy Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Some of our sons, brethren, and slaves joined you. They had claimed falsely that they wanted to learn their religion. They only want to get rid of their jobs. Repatriate them and we will teach them their religion if they are honest.”
The Holy Prophet answered, “O people of Quraysh! If you keep up such demands, Almighty Allah will send a man whose heart is filled up with faith to behead you with his sword for sake of this religion.”
They, as well as Abu-Bakr and `Umar, asked the Holy Prophet to identify that man.
“He is that repairer of the sandal,” the Holy Prophet referred to `Ali between whose hands was the sandal of the Holy Prophet.78
Many other texts of Hadith and incidents of the Islamic history have assured that the Holy Prophet already knew that discrepancy would indisputably be dissipated among the individuals of his ummah after him. It was Archangel Gabriel who foretold him of that. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
“One day, Archangel Gabriel came to me and said, ‘Muhammad: your ummah will be engaged in discrepancy after you.’”79
It has been narrated on the authority of `Umar ibn al-Khattab that as soon as the Messenger of Allah approached me, I could recognize sadness in his face. He subsequently took hold of my beard and said,
“To Allah we do belong, and to Him is our return.80 Archangel Gabriel has just come to me and said, ‘To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.’ I replied, ‘This is true; To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. What for have you said so, Gabriel?’
Archangel Gabriel answered, ‘Your ummah will be exposed to ordeals in a short time after your departure.’ I asked, ‘Will these ordeals be related to atheism or to deviation?’ The archangel answered, ‘The ordeals will be related to all these.’ I then wondered, ‘How will all these occur while I am leaving behind me the Book of Almighty Allah for them?’
Archangel Gabriel said, ‘They will go astray by means of the Book of Almighty Allah! The first of that will be at the hands of the reciters (of the Holy Qur'an) and the rulers. The rulers will deprive the people of their rights and consequently they will kill each other. The reciters will carry out the caprices of the rulers and consequently they will plunge them deeper into error and will never relax their efforts.’
I then asked, ‘Gabriel: By which means will redemption be attained?’ He answered, ‘By means of seclusion and patience. If those whom will be saved will be given their rights, they will take them, and if they will be deprived of their rights, they will leave demanding with them.’”81
The ordeals and trials of the Muslim community are related to the amount of the people’s compliance with the sayings of the Ahl al-Bayt. In this regard, it has been narrated on the authority of Khalid ibn `Arfatah that the Holy Prophet said:
“Verily, you shall be tested through my household after me.”82
Similarly, It has been narrated on the authority of Zayd ibn Arqam that in a place between Makkah and al-Madinah called “Khumm”, the Messenger of Allah once delivered a speech to us. After statements of praising and thanking Almighty Allah, as well as statements of preach and reminding of Him, the Holy Prophet said,
“O people, I am no more than an ordinary person, and the messenger of my Lord (i.e. angel of death) will shortly come to me and then I will respond. Among you, I have left two weighty things: first, the Book of Allah that includes right guidance and illumination. Preserve in the Book of Allah and hold fast on it. Second, my household; remember Allah concerning my household, remember Allah concerning my household, remember Allah concerning my household.”83
It has been also narrated that the Holy Prophet said,
“A servant of Allah shall not be faithful believer unless he loves me more than he loves himself, loves my household more than he loves his household, loves my family more than he loves his family, and loves my soul more than he loves his soul.”84
The Holy Prophet is also reported as saying,
“I am leaving among you two successors; the Book of Allah and my household. They will never leave each other until they join me on the Divine Pool. Consider how you will regard me as regards these two.”85
Commenting on the above-mentioned Hadith, the author of al-Fath al-Rabbaniy says,
“By this Hadith, the Holy Prophet meant that if you carry out the commands of the Holy Qur'an and keep yourselves away from the matters that are forbidden therein, and follow the path of his Household and imitate the conducts of him, you will never miss the right path.”86
Commenting on the Holy Prophet’s saying “Consider how you will regard me as regards these two,” the author of Tuhfat al-Ahwadhiy says,
To consider means to think deeply and to ponder. In this regard, the Holy Prophet’s saying “consider” means that you should ponder over the question and think deeply how you will deal with these two things that I am leaving for you in the form that whether you will be decent or indecent generation.87
Al-Zarqaniy, in Sharh al-Mawahib, says,
The Messenger of Allah has mentioned the Holy Book since it is the core of the religious sciences, secrets, and wisdoms as well as the treasures of the facts and the hidden items of the precise affairs.
He has also mentioned the Household for the fact that when the race of an individual is excellent, this will help in thorough understanding of the religion. Excellency of the race results in high morality, pure-heartedness, decency, and purity.
From this cause, the Messenger of Allah, on many occasions, concentrated on the obligation of following the Ahl al-Bayt and on their being the most authoritative in the custody of the Muslim community’s affairs. He therefore decided them as same as the Ark of (Prophet) Noah; one who embarks it will have certainly been delivered but he who leaves it will have been drowned.88
Commenting on the same Hadith, Mr. Mansur `Ali Nasif, in his book entitled al-Taj al-Jami` li’l-Usul fi Ahadith al-Rasul, says,
In this Hadith, the Prophet says: Succeed me excellently as regards these two (the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt) through respecting them and acting upon the Book of Almighty Allah and the knowledge of the Ahl al-Bayt other than the others.89
Commenting on the Hadith of Thaqalayn (the two weighty things), al-Nawawiy says,
These two things (namely the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt) have been called “the two weighty things” because of their greatness and high regard. Other scholars have said that because the acting upon these two is weighty (i.e. heavy), they have been called such.90
Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn `Abdullah al-Tayyibiy, in his book of al-Kashif `An Haqa'iq al-Sunnah al-Nubawiyyah, says,
The Holy Prophet’s saying, “I am leaving among you” denotes that these two things are the twin successors of him.91
Nur al-Din al-Samhudiy, in his book of Jawahir al-`Aqdayn, says,
In conclusion, because both the Grand Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt have been the source of the religious sciences, the legal precious secrets and wisdoms, the treasures of the religious precise affairs, and the obtainers of the religion’s facts, the Holy Prophet Allah named them “the two weighty things.” This fact invites the attentions to the Holy Prophet’s importunate instruction of the adherence to and the learning from the Ahl al-Bayt.92
Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalaniy, in his book of al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah, says,
The Messenger of Allah has called the Holy Qur'an and his Household as the two weighty things. This is because “weighty” is said to describe every precious, significant, and preserved thing, and so are these two since both of them are the sources of the religious sciences, the elevated secrets and wisdoms, and the legal rulings.
The Holy Prophet has therefore insisted on following, adhering to, and learning from both of them. In this respect, he has said, “All praise be to Allah Who has made us, the Ahl al-Bayt, the source of wisdom.” Other scholars have said that these two have been called “weighty” because the compliance with and the preservation of their rights are heavy.
Explaining the meaning of “the weighty things”, al-Azhariy, in Tahdhib al-Lughah, Ibn Mandhur, in Lisan al-`Arab, al-Zubaydiy, in Taj al-`Arus, Ibn al-Athir, in al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah, al-Suyutiy, in al-Durr al-Manthur, and other Arab linguists have confirmed that the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt have been called “weighty” because the compliance with them is heavy and the acting upon them is heavy, too.
In his book of Nasim al-Riyad, Shihab al-Din al-Khafajiy, displaying the many opinions about the explanation of the Hadith of Thaqalayn, says,
Thaqalayn is the dual form of “Thaqal (weighty thing)” the opposite of which is lightness. The “Thaqalayn” mainly stands for human beings and jinn. Because of their high regard, human beings and jinn have been called “the two weighty things”.
Furthermore, in the same way as the religion is constructed by human beings and jinn, the world cannot exist without them. They have also been called such because of the preponderance of their positions since a preponderance of a thing is up to its weightiness. Perhaps, they have been called such because of the difficulty of the observance of their rights.
Another opinion is that the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt have been called “weighty” since each of them is preserved against flaw, error, inadvertence, and fault and because they are purified from uncleanness, impurity, wrong, and fabrication.
Certain statements of the Hadith of Thaqalayn confirm this fact, and the lexical meanings of it also do, since “a weighty thing” lexically means the precious and preserved thing.
It goes without saying that the Holy Qur'an is pure and preserved, since its source is Almighty Allah, the All-knowledgeable, and in the presence of Him, it is high in dignity and full of wisdom; therefore, no falsehood can approach it from before or behind it.
The purity of the honorable Household of the Holy Prophet is originated from the fact that Almighty Allah has removed impurity from them and purified them thoroughly. They neither say nor do nor enjoin the wrong. They are the truthful ones; Almighty Allah has ordered the believers to be with them. Had they not been such, Almighty Allah would not have matched them to the Holy Qur'an that must be touched by none except those who are clean.93
In al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalaniy, after recording a Supplication (Du`a') of Imam al-Sajjad, says,
To whom will this generation resort whereas the signs of this community have been obliterated and the ummah have been engaged in discrepancies and disagreements and have accused each other of atheism while Almighty Allah says,
“Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs.” (Holy Qur’an: 3/105)?
None is reliable in the conveyance of the claim and the interpretation of the laws except the matches of the Holy Qur'an, the sons of the leaders to the true guidance, and the lanterns in the gloom. It is they by whom Almighty Allah has provided His claims against His servants since He shall not leave the creatures uncontrolled without providing a claim against them.
These are recognized as the branches of the blessed tree (of Prophethood) and the remainders of the choice ones from whom Almighty Allah has removed impurity and whom He has purified thoroughly and released from defects and has made the love for them obligatory in the Holy Qur'an.94
From the previous, we can conclude that the Holy Prophet, as he used to concentrate on the adherence to the Ahl al-Bayt, meant that the Muslims should learn their beliefs and the religious laws as well as all the various aspects of life from his descendants who are quietly conversant with his traditions and instructions.
He further anticipated that his people would deviate and would miss his way and traditions because rulership and its inconveniences, such as the sectarian and tribal affairs, would definitely influence the religious laws and take the people away from the Ahl al-Bayt, which would certainly mean going away from the true source of the Islamic legislation.
Unfortunately, the Holy Prophet’s anticipations came true, and the Muslim community fell in the very matters from which he had warned them importunately.
A deep look in the texts said by the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams shows that the word of “dalal (going astray)” have been repeatedly mentioned since it meant going away from the right path of Islam. For instance, in the famous incident of the Disastrous Thursday, the Holy Prophet ordered the attendants to bring him a pen and an inkpot so that he would write down a document that would save them from “going astray” forever.95
During the Farewell Hajj,96 he put the Muslims under the obligation of adherence to the Holy Qur'an and the Ahl al-Bayt so that they would never “go astray” after him.97 Once, `Umar ibn al-Khattab brought a book comprising sections of the Torah to the Holy Prophet who commented,
“I swear by Him Who has full control over my soul: If Prophet Moses lives again now then you follow him and leave me, you will be certainly regarded as going astray.”98
In the words of the Ahl al-Bayt too, this conception has been repeated though the most obvious word in this regard can be found in the speeches and words of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra'.
Shaykh Muhammad al-Hanafiy, in Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir and Sharh al-`Aziziy 2:417, says,
By saying, “`Ali is the chest of my knowledge,”99 the Holy Prophet meant that `Ali is the carrier of his knowledge. `Ali is in fact the door to the Holy Prophet’s city of knowledge. Consequently, the Sahabah resorted to him whenever problems inflicted them.
Even during the conflicts between them, Mu`awiyah used to ask Imam `Ali about the solutions of the problems that he had faced, and Imam `Ali was answering him. Having seen this situation, the party of Imam `Ali asked him why he would answer his enemy, and Imam `Ali answered, “It is actually adequate for us that our enemy is in need for us.”
Similarly, Imam `Ali solved the problems that were faced by `Umar (ibn al-Khattab). Thus, `Umar said, “May Allah not keep me alive to a day on which I will not see Abu’l-Hasan among my people.” Hence, `Umar prayed not to live after Imam `Ali… etc.
Al-Mannawiy, in Fayd al-Qadir 4:356, says about the aforementioned Hadith,
A “chest” is the box in which one stores his precious possessions. Ibn Durayd says: This (Hadith) is one of the brief words of the Holy Prophet. None has preceded him in using such an exemplification on the peculiarity of the esoteric affairs that none should know except him. Moreover, this Hadith is the utmost praising of (Imam) `Ali.
The aforesaid discussion has demonstrated some of the fundamental disagreements between the jurisprudential school of the Ahl al-Bayt and the ruling authorities’ method as regards the issuance of religious laws.
The biggest disagreements between the two have been the intellectual fundamentals since the Ahl al-Bayt sought the position of the leadership of the Muslim community in order to achieve the goals of the Islamic legislation and the Holy Prophet’s Sunnah since they (the Ahl al-Bayt) have been too elevated to hold such a position for achieving personal purposes or pleasures.
It has been narrated that `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, once, visited Imam `Ali who was engaged in repairing his shoes. Imam `Ali then asked `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, “What do you think the value of this shoe is?”
He answered, “It is valueless.”
Imam `Ali then declared, “I swear by Allah that this shoe is more favorable to me than holding the leadership of you all, unless I give one’s due or prevent an evildoing.”100
It is worth mentioning that the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt have not accepted reporting anything from them before that item is compared to the Holy Qur'an; if it would be congruent with it, they order us to act upon it, but if it would not, they ordered us to throw it away.
Of course, this rule shows their interest in clarifying the regulations on the basis of which a Hadith is accepted or rejected. Rather, having good opinion about the Sahabah and the like matters cannot be decided as regulations in the evaluation of a Hadith. This matter has been previously discussed with a demonstration of proofs on it.
This is the meaning of unionism in intellectuality and principles. The words of the Ahl al-Bayt interpret the Holy Qur'an, and the Holy Qur'an praises the Ahl al-Bayt. In this regard, the Holy Prophet has declared,
“`Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with `Ali.”
Accordingly, the words of the Ahl al-Bayt should never be inconsistent with the Holy Qur'an.
On the other hand, the method of the ruling authorities and their fans is absolutely opposite to the previous. The supporters of the caliphs have never accepted to compare the opinions and judgments of the caliphs to the Holy Qur'an; rather they have decided such a procedure as one of the acts of the miscreants!101
This is because those scholars have been sure of the existence of contradiction between the Holy Qur'an and the words, opinions, and judgments of the caliphs. Having exceeded all limits, those scholars have decided that the words and deeds of the caliphs and the Sahabah must be preceded to the Holy Qur'an! In this regard, Shaykh Muhammad Abu-Zuhrah says,
The Hanafiyyah and Hanbaliyyah scholars have decided that the deeds of the Sahabah restrict the Holy Qur'an, justifying this decision by saying that the Sahabah would not neglect acting upon the general sense of the Holy Qur'an unless they had a proof on this; hence the Sahabah’s violations of the Holy Qur'an must be proofs of the restriction of the sense of it. Moreover, the Sahabah’s words are as important as their deeds.102
Commenting on this, Shaykh Abu-Zuhrah adds,
“This is the strangest matter I have ever seen!”
In order to prove our abovementioned discussions, it seems necessary to disclose the role of `Umar ibn al-Khattab in consolidating the opinions of the Umayyad rulers as regards the religious laws. As he nominated Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan as the ruler of Syria after Yazid,103 `Umar ibn al-Khattab fastened the steps of the Umayyads and helped them have control over the Muslim community. In the same way, he suggested to Abu-Bakr that he would allow Abu-Sufyan to keep the taxes that he had levied for himself and that he would appoint Yazid ibn Abi-Sufyan as the commander-in-chief of the Muslim army of Syria.104
Moreover, `Umar ibn al-Khattab likened Mu`awiyah to Khosrow, the emperor of Persia, and said in this regard, “How do you mention Khosrow while Mu`awiyah is among you?”105 Furthermore, `Umar said about Mu`awiyah, “Do not criticize the hero of Quraysh and the son of Quraysh’s master. Surely, he is one of those who smile at rage, and those who cannot be convinced unless when he is satisfied, and those who cannot be overcome.”106
Other narrations have confirmed that when Mu`awiyah was nominated by `Umar ibn al-Khattab as the ruler of Syria, he received two messages from his parents. His father’s message reads, “O Son! In fact, these groups of the Muhajirun preceded us while we lagged behind.
Hence, their precedence has elevated them while our lagging behind has delayed us. They therefore have become the leaders and the masters while we have become only fellows. As they have nominated you for a great matter, you must not violate them, for this is the outset of a perpetual authority. You should thus compete on this matter, and if you attain it, you should dedicate your intellect to it.”
In her message, Mu`awiyah’s mother said, “O Son! In fact, it is rarely that a free lady can give birth of one like you. As this man (namely `Umar ibn al-Khattab) has chosen you for this matter, you must obey him in all matters, whether you like or dislike.”107
It has been also narrated that when `Umar ibn al-Khattab visited Syria, Mu`awiyah said to him, “I will carry out any order that you make to me.” `Umar answered, “I will never order you to do or not to do anything.”108
Through this policy of “I will carry out any order that you make to me,” Mu`awiyah could occupy `Umar ibn al-Khattab’s heart. As a result, `Umar ibn al-Khattab appointed other Umayyad individuals in other governmental offices; he appointed `Amr ibn al-`Ās as the governor of Palestine and Jordan,109 al-Walid ibn `Aqabah, who was one his dearest men,110 as the tax collector of Banu-Taghlib,111 Ya`liy ibn Umayyah as the governor of a part of the Yemen,112 al-Mughirah ibn Shu`bah as the governor of Kufah,113 `Abdullah ibn Abi-Sarh, `Uthman ibn `Affan’s foster-brother, as the governor of Egypt,114 and so on.
Obviously, `Umar ibn al-Khattab, during his reign, depended upon the Umayyads in the distribution of the offices. Meantime, he opposed the Hashimites absolutely. In this regard, it has been narrated that when `Umar ibn al-Khattab wanted to appoint `Abdullah ibn `Abbas as the governor of Hims, he said to him, “Listen, son of `Abbas! I am afraid that death will take me while you are still in this position, and then you will call people to follow you, the Hashimites, and to leave the others.”115
The same thing can be said about the stipulation that `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf imposed upon Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib when he said, “I will swear allegiance to you on the condition that you will not appoint anyone from the Hashimites in a position of leadership”’116 It goes without saying that `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf was no more than a practicer of the policy of Abu-Bakr and `Umar.
When objections to `Umar ibn al-Khattab’s decision of nominating Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan as the governor of Syria increased, `Umar said to the masses, “Do not mention Mu`awiyah save in words of praise, for I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying about him: O Allah, guide him.”117
I cannot tell whether this narration was fabricated by the Umayyads and their fans in order to justify the wrong policies of Mu`awiyah when he was both governor and ruler or by `Umar ibn al-Khattab in order to stop the people’s objections to his decision.
Of course, the Holy Prophet’s “fabricated” supplication of guidance for Mu`awiyah is absolutely contradictory to the many narrations that have authentically reported the Holy Prophet’s having cursed Mu`awiyah, Abu-Sufyan, and Yazid ibn Abi-Sufyan.
At any rate, Mu`awiyah benefited very much by the support of `Umar ibn al-Khattab. Supporting this, it has been narrated that Mu`awiyah said to Sa`sa`ah ibn Sawhan, “I enjoy a priority to Islam although others have preceded me in this matter.
However, none has been better than I am in holding this matter during my age. `Umar ibn al-Khattab noticed this. Had any other individual been more powerful that I was in holding this position, `Umar would have certainly chosen him… etc.”118
Correspondingly, Muhammad ibn Abi-Bakr wrote a message to Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan mentioning the unmatched merits and virtues of Imam `Ali, saying,
“Woe to you! How dare you compare yourself to `Ali who is the inheritor and successor of the Messenger of Allah and the father of his sons and the first to follow him and the closest to him… etc.”
Replying to this message, Mu`awiyah wrote,
“You have advanced as an argument against me the merit of one other than you and you have taken pride in one other than you. I thus thank the Lord Who has taken this merit away from you and made it to someone esle. Your father and I, during the lifetime of our Prophet, knew that the right of son of Abi-Talib (i.e. Imam `Ali) incumbent upon us and knew that he was distinguished from us.
However, when Allah chose for His Prophet what He has in possession, and fulfilled His promise to him, and caused his promulgation to prevail, and proclaimed his argument and then took his soul to Him—when Allah did such to His Prophet, it was your father and his “faruq” (i.e. `Umar ibn al-Khattab) who preceded anyone else in usurping the right of `Ali and in violating him.
They had already agreed on and planned to do this... It was your father who paved the way for him and established this realm. If that which we are experiencing is proved as true, then it is your father who started it; but if it is injustice, then it is your father who overwhelmed it and we are only his partners, since we have followed his path and pursued his example.
Had it not for the past deeds of your father, we would not have mutinied against the son of Abu-Talib and we would have certainly submitted to him. But as we saw your father committing that before us, we followed his example and took his deed as pattern for us. You should thus disgrace your father as you like or stop it. Peace be upon him who regrets and repents from errors.”119
Similar words have been comprised by the missive of Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah to `Abdullah ibn `Umar who objected to him in the killing of Imam al-Husayn ibn `Ali. Yazid, in this missive, said,
“Listen, idiot! We have come to upholstered houses, furnished fixtures, and stuffed pillows. We therefore fought for these. If we are right, then we will have fought for the sake of our rights; and if the other party is right, then it was your father who began such violation and usurped these people their due.”120
All these materials confirm the considerable role of `Umar ibn al-Khattab in the strengthening of the Umayyad jurisprudence through making a large room for `Uthman ibn `Affan, Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan, and their likes to lead a course opposite to the trend of pure compliance with the sacred texts, and to establish a new jurisprudential trend with innovative principles in the Islamic legislation.
In his book of al-Mustasfa, al-Ghazzaliy talks about the acceptability of the Sahabah’s sayings121 as proof and presents the various opinions in this regard. He says that some scholars have argued that the Sahabah’s sayings are generally and without any exception decided as acceptable proofs; other scholars have argued that they are decided as acceptable proofs even if they violate the principle of Qiyas; other scholars have argued that only can the sayings of Abu-Bakr and `Umar be decided as acceptable proofs because the Holy Prophet said, “Follow those who will come after me!”; other scholars have argued that only the sayings of the Rashidite caliphs can be taken as acceptable proofs in the questions about which they agree.
After the presentation of these arguments, al-Ghazzaliy refutes them all, saying that it is illogic to accept as irrefutable proofs the sayings of those who are exposed to erring and inadvertence, since their sinlessness has not been proven.
Furthermore, it is illogic to claim the sinlessness of such individuals without resting upon any uninterrupted evidence and it is also illogic to believe in the sinlessness of people who are exposed to disagreement! The Sahabah agreed upon the permissibility of violating the Sahabah’s opinions. For instance, Abu-Bakr and `Umar did not criticize those who disagreed with them in matters of Ijtihad; rather they deemed obligatory upon each mujtahid to follow his personal conclusions.
The absence of evidences on the sinlessness of the Sahabah, the incidences of disagreements among the Sahabah, and the Sahabah’s statements of the permissibility of violating them in opinions—these are three decisive evidences on the invalidity of deciding the Sahabah’s sayings as binding proof.
Mr. Abu-Zuhrah says,
If truth be told, it is untrue to decide the Sahabah’s sayings as binding proofs, for Almighty Allah has not sent in this ummah anyone except our Holy Prophet, Muhammad—peace be upon him and his family—, and we, the Muslims, have only one Messenger. The Sahabah, following the Holy Prophet, are in the same degree commissioned with following the law of Almighty Allah as found in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.
Anyone who claims that a proof concerning a religious affair may be found in other than these two sources has in reality said an unproven thing about the religion of Almighty Allah and has also confirmed a matter that has not been decided by Almighty Allah.122
Dr. Husayn al-Hajj Hasan has written down nice words in this respect,
The companions of the Holy Prophet are ordinary human beings just like the others. Some of them were seduced by this world and its pleasures. The social values left influences on their behaviors. Anyone who claims that the Sahabah are angels and sinless is in reality... It was nothing but bad luck that caused Abu-Jahl to be killed during the Battle of Badr while having been in the line of the polytheists.
Had serendipity helped him, in the same way as it had helped others like him, and saved him from being killed during that battle to stay alive up to the day of the conquest of Makkah and to embrace Islam, he would certainly have been one of the grand Sahabah or the first-class Muslim leaders who claimed having raised the pennon of Islam.
Thus, the question was no more than serendipity. Nothing but luck that played in the destinies of men so hugely. The examples of such serendipities are being openly experienced by us every day. We have very often seen how men belonging to the same class of Abu-Jahl are taken to the highest ranks by their lucks and are surrounded by reporters and traditionists who encompass them with haloes of greatness.123
Ibn Hazm says after quoting the following verses of the Holy Qur'an,
“And they say: We believe in Allah and the messenger, and we obey; then after that a faction of them turn away. Such are not believers. And when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them, lo! a faction of them are averse. But if right had been with them they would have come unto him willingly. Is there in their hearts a disease, or have they doubts, or fear they lest Allah and His messenger should wrong them in judgment? Nay, but such are evil-doers. The saying of (all true) believers when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them is only that they say: We hear and we obey. And such are the successful. He who obeyeth Allah and His messenger, and feareth Allah, and keepeth duty (unto Him): such indeed are the victorious. They swear by Allah solemnly that, if thou order them, they will go forth. Say: Swear not; known obedience (is better). Lo! Allah is informed of what ye do. Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if ye turn away, then (it is) for him (to do) only that wherewith he hath been charged, and for you (to do) only that wherewith ye have been charged. If ye obey him, ye will go aright. But the messenger hath no other charge than to convey (the message) plainly.” (Holy Qur’an: 24/47-54)
`Ali said, “These decisive verses have not left any opportunity to anyone to riot about them. Through these verses, Allah has exposed the characteristics of the people of our time. They claim that they are the only believers in Allah and His Messenger and they are the only obedient to them, but a party of them violates this confession and opposes what has been revealed to them from Almighty Allah and His Messenger.
In the words of the law of Almighty Allah, these are surely not believers. When they are called to apply to themselves verses from the Holy Qur'an or a Hadith from the Messenger that violate their accursed imitation, they will certainly loath it. Some of them will claim that they are not included with these verses, others will claim that these verses are dedicated to a certain occasion, others will claim that acting upon these verses has been decided as repealed, others will claim that so-and-so has not acceded to these, and others will claim that these verses violate Qiyas.
But as soon as they find in the Hadith or the Holy Qur'an a matter that conforms to what they follow, they propagate it to all sides and come to it willingly, as has been exactly described. Woe to them! What has happened to them? Is their hearts full of disease and doubt?
Or do they fear lest Almighty Allah and His Messenger would wrong them? Most certainly, these are the actual wrongdoers as has been described by Allah, Lord of the worlds. Away with those who do wrong!124
However, Ibn Hazm then attempts to justify the deeds of the grand Sahabah who violated the Hadith of the Holy Prophet and claims that lies have been fabricated against them as regards these deeds. This is because Ibn Hazm has carried for these Sahabah enormous haloes of greatness. He further says,
Abu-Muhammad says that some people argue that groups of the Sahabah and Tabi`un neglected carrying out many of the instructions that they had known from the Hadith of the Holy Prophet; hence, they neglected these Hadiths either on account of having belittled them or because they had an amount of knowledge due to which they knew the actual purpose of these Hadiths.
Of course, it is better to think of them excellently and choose for the second option. `Ali says that this argument is inaccurate for many reasons.
First, if one claims that it is probable that the Hadith whose instruction was neglected by the Sahabah has been forged or made-up, this can be answered that it is also probable that the narration, which reported the Sahabah having not carried out the instruction of a Hadith has been made-up.
Nothing gives preference to the claim that forgery occurred to the reporting from the Holy Prophet over the claim that the Sahabah neglected acting upon the contents of these Hadiths.
Similarly, some of the Sahabah acted upon a Hadith while others neglected. He also differentiated between those who claim that the Sahabah who neglected acting upon a Hadith must have had knowledge due to which they neglected and those who claim that the Sahabah who acted upon a Hadith must have had knowledge due to which they acted upon that Hadith.
In fact, any claim that is not supported by a proof is worthless. As has been previously cited, do not feel an aversion for him who neglects acting upon the right, whether his neglect has been due to an excused idea or to an act of disobedience; and do not care about him who carries out the right deed no matter who that person was and whether he carried out or did not carry out that deed. At any rate, it is obligatory upon anyone who hears about it to carry it out.
Similarly, the Hadiths which have been reported that some of the past generation neglected acting upon them are, in most cases, not the same as those Hadiths neglected by those who objected to the Sahabah for having neglected acting upon them; rather these objectors neglected acting upon the Hadiths which had been adopted by those Sahabah and acted upon the Hadiths which had been neglected by those Sahabah.
Hence, the previous Sahabah’s having neglected acting upon a certain Hadith cannot be accepted as proof for these objectors, because they have been the first to violate the acts of these Sahabah and the first to decide the Sahabah’s negligence as unacceptable. Nothing is worse than presenting as a pretext that which does not materialize that pretext; rather it annuls it in the same way, or even tenser, of annulling the one who presents it as pretext.
Also, if their forgery that the Sahabah neglected carrying out the instructions mentioned in some Hadiths because they had had knowledge due to which they neglected acting upon that Hadith; we seek Almighty Allah’s protection against such forgery and seek Him to protect all those who think well of Him against any response to such false ascriptions to the most virtuous people of this sacred ummah—if this forgery had been true, all those who hid such knowledge would have been accursed by Almighty Allah Who says:
“Those who conceal the clear Signs We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book,-on them shall be Allah's curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse.” (Holy Qur’an: 2/159)
Our answer is that may Almighty Allah curse him whoever carries knowledge from Him and His Messenger but conceals it from people. Anyone who ascribes such a thing to the Sahabah—may Allah’s pleasure be with them—has in fact ascribed them to forging lies against the religion and planning plots against the Islamic legislation. Of course, such matter are more catastrophic than infidelity.
Using similar conception, I have objected to the words of al-Layth ibn Harfash al-`Abdiy in the session of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn Bishr—may Allah have mercy upon him—during a great celebration of the Malikkiyyah jurisprudents; yet, none of them could answer me with any word; rather they all kept silent except a few number of them who showed acceptance to my argument. During that session, I said to al-Layth,
“You have ascribed to Malik ibn Anas a matter that would make him the most wicked of all people if your words were true. You are claiming that Malik presented to the people the doubtful, uncertain, and repealed narrations and concealed the authentic, sound, and repealing narrations and he departed life without telling anybody about these narrations.
Of course, this thing can be done by none except those who intend for ruining Islam and cheating its people. Almighty Allah has protected Malik against such. In our conception, he is surely one of the master scholars who guided this nation to the right path although he sometimes made mistakes in the same way as he had been right.
Like the other scholars, he exerted his efforts in the conclusion of religious laws. Almighty Allah has imposed promulgation for Him upon all scholars. The Holy Prophet said, ‘Verily, one who conceals any item of (religious) knowledge about which he is asked shall be bridled with a rein of fire on the Resurrection Day.’...etc.”125
The abovementioned discussion reveals that pluralism in opinions opposes the unity of doctrine. Similarly, the conception of the Sahabah’s ultimate decency opposed the deeds of `Umar ibn al-Khattab with Sa`d ibn `Abadah when he shouted, “Kill Sa`d! May Allah kill Sa`d,”126 and with Tamim al-Dariy when he whipped him,127 and with `Amr ibn al-`Ās when he accused him of treason and of having stolen the spoils of war,128 and with Khalid ibn al-Walid when he decided that he must be sentenced to stoning penalty.129
All these incidents prove that the conception of the Sahabah’s ultimate decency was not found during the reigns of Abu-Bakr and `Umar and even `Uthman; rather it was invented afterwards. In fact, this conception is baseless and is not supported by any tradition.
All the reports that were ascribed to the Holy Prophet in this respect are carrying more than one sense and can be easily refuted. The same thing is applicable to the unfounded haloes of sacredness that were given to the Sahabah in addition to their having been regarded as sinless experts of the Holy Qur'an. If truth be told, all such things were invented by the rulers and their fans.
Elaborately, let us quote the following text from al-Taftazaniy’s Sharh al-Maqasid:
The disputes, disagreements, and arguments that occurred between the Sahabah, as is written in the books of history, indicate undoubtedly that some of them went astray and exceeded all limits in oppression and licentiousness whose motives must have been malice, stubbornness, envy, enmity, seeking of authorities and official positions, and tendency towards lusts and whims.
Of course, not all the Sahabah are sinless and not all those who met the Holy Prophet are virtuous. Nevertheless, due to their good opinions about the companions of the Holy Prophet, the scholars have had to find excuses and justifications for them.
They have also believed these Sahabah as having been divinely protected against deviation and wickedness so as to preserve the Muslims’ doctrines from deviation and movement away as regards the personalities of the grand Sahabah, especially the Muhajirun and the Ansar as well as those predicted to be rewarded on the Resurrection Day.
However, after the age of the Sahabah, the Household of Allah’s Messenger (i.e. the Ahl al-Bayt) were oppressed and persecuted so harshly that none can deny and none can find any justification. Even the inanimate and the deaf can witness the oppression that was inflicted upon the Ahl al-Bayt—such an insensitive oppression that even the heavens and the earth wept for them; and even the mountains and the rocks were about to split.
The evil of these deeds shall incessantly chase those who committed it all over ages. May the curse of Almighty Allah be upon all those who practiced and participated in these crimes and those who accepted it.
“And certainly the chastisement of the hereafter is severer and more.” (Holy Qur’an: 20/127)
In any case, it may be said that some master scholars have not permitted cursing Yazid although they have known for sure that Yazid deserved more than mere cursing. We answer that those scholars have decided so in order that the other Sahabah would not be cursed, as is done by the Rafidah.130
The most important reason of the invention of such erroneous and baseless principles and fundamentals has been the decision of the prevention from reporting and recording the Hadith. This decision granted a big room for the authorities who adopted Opinionism to rule over the sacred texts.
In his Sharh al-Arba`in, Sulayman ibn `Abd al-Qawiy, a Hanbalite scholar died in AH 716, says,
The reason of disputes among the scholars is the contradiction of the narrations and reported texts. Some people allege that the reason beyond such dispute was `Umar ibn al-Khattab; when the Sahabah asked him to permit them writing down the Holy Sunnah, he prevented them although he knew that the Holy Prophet had ordered the Muslims to record the Hadith for Abu-Shat and had said, “Record the knowledge by means of writing it.”
Had `Umar let the Sahabah record what they had heard from the Holy Prophet, the Sunnah would have certainly been verified and no barrier would have stopped between the last generation of the Islamic nation and the Holy Prophet except the Sahabah whose narrations would have been written down because these records were uninterruptedly reported from the Sahabah in the same way as they were uninterruptedly narrated by al-Bukhariy.131
Shaykh Muhammad Abu-Zuhrah says,
Some of the Sahabah refrained from recording the Hadith and prevented the others from recording it not because the Holy Prophet warned them against writing down his traditions, for the traditions that are reported from the Sahabah as regards the prevention of or the refraining from recording the Hadith have not carried this justification at all; rather they used to present as pretext that they anticipated that people would occupy themselves with these traditions and disregard the Holy Qur'an... etc.132
In so doing, many of the Holy Prophet’s traditions wiped out and many more fabricated matters were ascribed to him and the Prophetic heritage was confused with the personal opinions and conclusions. In view of that, al-Bukhariy decided to pick for his book from among six hundred thousand Hadiths. A similar thing was decided by Muslim, al-Nassa'iy, and other compilers of Hadith.
The previously mentioned discussions have been lengthy, explicative presentation of the ordeal of the Holy Prophet’s reported texts as well as the inconveniences of the decision of preventing the reporting and recording of the Hadith so as that the gentle reader will be acquainted with the confusions of the Islamic legislations as well as some of the reasons of disagreement among the Muslims. Nothing but truth has been our purpose—the truth that has been concealed from the Muslims for long ages and that has been besieged for about fourteen centuries.