1. Abu Bakr ibn Abu Quhafa, the first caliph
2. Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph
3. Uthman ibn Affan, the third caliph
4. Talhah ibn Ubaydullah
5. al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
6. Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas
7. Abdul-Rahman ibn Awf
8. Ayesha daughter of Abu Bakr, Mother of the Faithful
9. Khalid ibn al-Waleed
10. Abu Hurayra al-Dawsi
11. Abdullah ibn Umar
12. Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr
These are twelve personalities whom I have selected from many pillars of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” due to the fact that they are quite often referred to and praised, or to the abundance of their narrations and the proliferation of their knowledge, as they claim.
We will briefly discuss each one of them and highlight how they violated the Prophet's Sunnah either deliberately or due to ignorance, so that it will become evident to the researcher that “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” claim what is not theirs, following their own inclinations, alleging that they are right whereas all others are wrong.
In some of our previously published researches, we proved how he collected five hundred ahadith of the Prophet, burnt them, then delivered a sermon in which he said, “Do not quote any hadith of the Messenger of Allah; whoever asks you, say: `Between us and you is the Book of Allah; so, act upon what it permits and stay away from what it prohibits.'“ We also indicated that he violated the Sunnah of the Prophet in recording the Book, supporting Umar in his statement in which he said, “The Messenger of Allah is hallucinating, and the Book of Allah suffices us.”
He also discarded all the ahadith mandating the caliphate of Ali, thus usurping the caliphate for himself.
And he abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet with regard to the appointment of Usamah as his [military] leader, refusing to participate in his campaign.
And he abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet by hurting the feelings of the Prophet's daughter al-Zahra, earning her anger.
And he abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet by fighting and killing the Muslims who refused to pay him their zakat.
And he abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet by using burning to death as a form of cold blooded execution even though the Prophet prohibited such an action.
And he abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet when he stopped giving money to those whose hearts could have been won and inclined to Islam, following Umar's view in their regard.
And he abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet when he appointed Umar as the caliph over the Muslims without even consulting with them.
Yes; all these and other actions are violations of the Sunnah of the Prophet recorded by the authors of the Sahih books of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” and by their historians. They are violations filling their biography books.
So, if the Prophet's Sunnah is what the scholars have defined as “every statement or action of or endorsement by the Messenger of Allah,” Abu Bakr has violated the Sunnah through his statements, actions, or decisions.
Among the Prophet's statements which he violated is this one: “Fatima is part of me; whoever angers her angers me.” Fatima died angry with Abu Bakr according to al-Bukhari. Another is the Prophet's statement saying: “The curse of Allah be upon anyone who lags behind Usamah's army.” He said so when they challenged his appointment of Usamah over them and refused to go to war with him and under his military command. Abu Bakr, despite such admonition, lagged behind Usamah's army under the pretext of taking care of the issue of caliphate.
Among his actions in violation of the Sunnah is what the Messenger of Allah used to do with those whose hearts could be won towards Islam; he was very kind to them and even gave them a portion of the zakat as commanded by Allah, the Most Exalted One. But Abu Bakr deprived them of that right which the Holy Qur'an had already mandated, and which was carried out by the Prophet, only to please Umar ibn al-Khattab who said to them, “We have no need for you.”
Among the decisions whereby he violated the Sunnah was a decree made by the Prophet to write his ahadith down and to disseminate them among the public: Abu Bakr burnt them instead and prohibited everyone from disseminating or quoting them.
Add to all the above the fact that he was ignorant about many Qur'anic injunctions. He was, for instance, asked once about the rule with regard to one who dies leaving some wealth but neither a will nor dependents. He answered by saying, “I shall state my own view in its regard; if it is correct, it is by the Grace of Allah; but if it is wrong, it is my own error and that of Satan.”1
How can you help being amazed about the caliph of the Muslims who is asked about an injunction which Allah explains in His Book and which the Messenger of Allah has clarified in his Sunnah, so he sets aside both the Book and the Sunnah to state his own personal view, then he admits that Satan may over-power his mind?!
All this comes in the light of the fact that Muslim scholars had already decided that anyone who expresses his own view with regard to the Book of Allah commits apostasy. We have also come to know that the Prophet never stated his own personal view, nor did he ever employ qiyas. Add to all this the fact that Abu Bakr used to say, “Do not force me to act upon the Sunnah of your Prophet, for I can not bear it.” If Abu Bakr could not bear the Sunnah of the Prophet, how can his followers and supporters claim to be the followers of the same Sunnah?
He may be unable to tolerate it because it reminds him of his own deviation therefrom and his distance from the Messenger; otherwise, how can you interpret the verses saying,
“He (Allah) has not laid upon you any hardship in the religion” (Holy Qur'an, 22:78),
“Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you any hardship” (Holy Qur'an, 2:185),
“Allah does not overburden any soul with more than what it can bear” (Holy Qur'an, 2:286),
“Whatever the Messenger brings you, accept it, and keep back from whatever he forbids you” (Holy Qur'an, 59:7)?
Abu Bakr's statement that he cannot bear the Prophet's Sunnah is his response to the above verses. If Abu Bakr, the first caliph after the Prophet, was unable to bear his Sunnah, during that time and age, how can Muslims of our time be asked to uphold Allah's injunctions as embedded in His Book and act upon the Sunnah of His Messenger?! But we have found Abu Bakr violating the Prophet's Sunnah even in easy matters which can be undertaken by poor and ignorant people:
Abu Bakr abandoned the offering of sacrifices which the Messenger of Allah used to do and stress, and all Muslims came to know that to offer such sacrifices was a highly recommended and emphasized Sunnah; so, how could the caliph of Muslims abandon them?!
In his chapter on the mother, al-Shafi`i, as well as others, has said:
Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, never offered sacrifices because they hated others to follow their example and consider doing so as being obligatory.
This is an erroneous and a groundless justification; all the sahaba had by then come to know that offering sacrifices was a Sunnah, a commendable act, not an obligation. Even if we suppose that people thought that they were obligatory, what harm could have resulted especially after having seen how Umar invented the Taraweeh prayers which were neither a Sunnah nor an obligation; rather, the Prophet had prohibited them, yet most “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” nowadays think that they are obligatory?
By abandoning the Prophet's Sunnah with regard to offering sacrifices, Abu Bakr and Umar may have desired to mislead the people into thinking that not all what the Messenger of Allah had done was obligatory, and that it could be abandoned and ignored. This may explain their statement: “The Book of Allah suffices us,” and so will the statement made by Abu Bakr wherein he said, “Do not quote any of the Prophet's ahadith and say: `Between us and you is the Book of Allah; so, act upon what it permits and stay away from what it prohibits.'“ Thereupon, had someone argued with Abu Bakr about the Prophet's Sunnah relevant, for example, to offering sacrifices, Abu Bakr would probably have answered him by saying, “Do not talk to me about anything relevant to the Prophet, and show me where the Book of Allah refers to offering sacrifices.”
Thus can a researcher understand why the Prophet's Sunnah remained unknown to them, forsaken, and why they altered the injunctions of Allah and His Messenger to fit their own views and qiyas and whatever they liked of matters agreeing with their own inclinations.
The examples which we have put forth here are only a drop in the bucket compared to what Abu Bakr had done to the revered Sunnah of the Prophet and to the insults, burning, negligence with which he meted it. If we wished, we could write a separate book discussing them.
How can any Muslim feel comfortable about a person the extent of whose knowledge is this much, whose relationship to the revered Sunnah of the Prophet is like that, and how can his followers call themselves Ahlul Sunnah?! Followers of the Sunnah do not forsake the Sunnah, nor do they burn it. Nay! Ahlul Sunnah are those who follow and revere it.
“Say: If you love Allah, follow me so that Allah may love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is oft-Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger, but if they turn away, Allah does not love those who disbelieve.” (Holy Qur'an, 3:31-32)
We have come to know from our previously published researches that he was the hero of the opposition to the honored Sunnah of the Prophet and the one who defied the Prophet's last order, saying: “The Messenger of Allah is hallucinating, and the Book of Allah suffices us.” According to the statements of the Messenger who never uttered anything out of his own inclination, Umar is behind the misguidance of those who strayed in this nation.2
We also came to know that he insulted, hurt the feelings of and terrorized Fatima al-Zahar, frightening her and her children when he assaulted her house and threatened to burn it.
We also came to know that he collected the books recording the Prophet's Sunnah then burnt them, forbidding people from quoting the Prophet.
Umar violated the Prophet's Sunnah as long as he lived, even when the Prophet was still alive, and he violated the Sunnah of the Prophet who required him to be among those recruited for Usamah's army. But he did not go with Usamah on the pretext of assisting Abu Bakr with the matters relevant to the caliphate.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah when he stopped the distribution of the share of zakat due to those whose hearts could be won for Islam.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah with regard to mut`at al-hajj and also to mut`at al-nisaa.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah which required the pronouncement of the divorce statement thrice, making such a requirement only once.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah with regard to the obligation of tayammum, invalidating the prayers in the absence of water.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah which prohibited people from spying on one another, inventing espionage.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah when he eliminated a part of the athan and substituted it with something from his own.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah when he failed to penalize Khalid ibn al-Waleed whom he used to threaten of penalizing.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah which prohibit the nafl prayers being prayed in congregation, inventing the Taraweeh.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah with regard to the distribution of public money, inventing discrimination and creating class distinction in Islam.
And he violated the Qur'an and the Sunnah when he set up majlis al-shura, entrusting Ibn Awf to be in charge of it.
Is not all of this indicative of Banu Umayyah's ridicule and mockery of Islam and Muslims when they attribute such “merits” to a man who was very well known of being rough and heavy handed and continuously opposing the Prophet?3 It is as though those Umayyads were saying to the Muslims, “Muhammad's time and whatever it contained has passed away, while our own time has come to issue whatever religious rules we like and prefer. Now you have become our slaves even against your wish and against the will of the Prophet in whom you believe.”
Is this not a sort of reaction and an attempt to seek revenge so that Quraysh's leadership would be rendered back to Banu Umayyah who fought Islam and the Prophet of Islam?
If Umar ibn al-Khattab tried very hard to obliterate the Prophet's ahadith, ridiculing them and acting to their contrary them even during the lifetime of the Prophet himself, it is no wonder that Quraysh handed the reins of its leadership to him, making him its supreme leader.
This is so due to the fact that after the dawn of Islam, Umar became its articulate spokesman and the hero of its opposition. After the demise of the Prophet, he became the symbol of its wielding might and great hope in realizing its dreams and ambitions to ascend to authority.
It is not a mere coincident to find Umar ibn al-Khattab acting in contradiction to the Prophet's Sunnah and trying to relocate Ibrahim's standing place at the House of Allah and place it where it used to be during the days of ignorance (Jahiliyya). Ibn Sa`d has said the following in his Tabaqat just as other historians have:
When the Prophet conquered Mecca, he attached Ibrahim's standing place (maqam) to the House just as it used to be during the time of Ibrahim and Isma`eel, peace be upon them, because the Arabs during the period of Jahiliyya had separated it and relocated it where it is now. During the lifetime of the Prophet and that of Abu Bakr, it used to be attached to the House.4
Can you, by your Lord, find a justification for Umar ibn al-Khattab deliberately killing a Sunnah of the Prophet who did what both Ibrahim and Isma`eel had done. He revived the traditions of jahiliyya by rebuilding the maqam as it used to be during that time?
How could Quraysh not have preferred him over others and narrate in his praise what goes beyond one's imagination, so much so that even his friend Abu Bakr, who had preceded him in being the caliph, never acquired such a praise? According to al-Bukhari, “Abu Bakr's temper was tainted with some weakness, but Umar took it (caliphate) from him, and no genius could have ever committed such a calumny.”
This is only a small portion of the innovations which he introduced in Islam. They all contradict the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. If we wish to compile all the innovations and injunctions wherein he followed his own personal views and which he forced people to adopt, a separate book will be needed, but we only desired here to be brief.
One may say, “How could Umar ibn al-Khattab have contradicted the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet while Allah, the Exalted One, says, `It does not behove any believing man or woman to make any choice in their matter once Allah and His Apostle have decided it, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger surely strays off a manifest straying?” (Holy Qur'an, 33:36)
Actually, this question is often repeated by most people nowadays as though they are in disbelief, not accepting the fact that Umar ibn al-Khattab did any such things.
To these folks we would like to say: “This is confirmed by his own friends and followers from `Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a' who unknowingly prefer him over the Prophet.” If what is said about him (above) is falsehood, then their Sahih books would be rendered unworthy of any consideration, and they will have no argument beyond that to support their own beliefs! Yet most historical events were recorded during the government of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” whose love, respect, and regard for the son of al-Khattab can never be doubted.
But if they are authentic, which is the unavoidable truth, then the Muslims nowadays are bound to rethink their stands and reconsider all their beliefs if they truly are followers of the Sunnah and the consensus.
You can find most researchers these days, having been too dumbfounded to refute these narratives and historical events which are recorded by all scholars and traditionists, being unable to disprove them. You can find them interpreting and seeking weak pretexts which cannot be based on any scholarly argument. Some of them took to enumerating his (Umar's) innovations, turning them into merits to his credit for which he should be thanked! It is as though Allah and His Messenger did not know what the best interest of the Muslims is, so they overlooked such innovations__we seek Allah's forgiveness__so Umar discovered them and enacted the rules for them following the demise of the Messenger of Allah!
Since Umar is the leader and Imam of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a,” then I clear myself before Allah from such Sunnah and Jama`a, pleading to Him, the Most Glorified One, to take my soul away at the moment of death as a follower of the Sunnah of the last of His Prophets and the master of all Messengers, our master Muhammad, and a follower of the path of his good Progeny, the purified ones.
He is the third caliph who reached caliphate through the schemes of Umar ibn al-Khattab and Abdullah ibn Awf who made him swear to rule the Muslims according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of both caliphs (who had preceded him). I personally doubt his having acted upon the second condition, that is, to follow (by implication) the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.
It is so because Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf knew, more than anyone else, that both caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, did not rule according to the Sunnah of the Prophet, that they, instead, ruled according to their own ijtihad and personal views, and that the Prophet's Sunnah would have been rendered completely non-existent during the reign of both Shaykhs had not Imam Ali stood to revive it whenever the circumstances permitted him to do so.
Most likely, he preconditioned the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib to rule among them according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of both Shaykhs, but Ali refused this condition saying, “I do not rule except according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.” Ali, therefore, lost his chance then to become the caliph because he wanted to revive the Sunnah of the Prophet, whereas Uthman won it because he agreed to continue the march in the footsteps of Abu Bakr and Umar who had stated more than once that, “We have no need for the Prophet's Sunnah; rather, the Qur'an suffices us; so, let them act according to what it permits and stay away from what it prohibits.”
What increases our conviction with regard to this assumption is that Uthman ibn Affan understood this condition as implying following his own views in as far as the [Islamic] injunctions are concerned, as did both of his friends; such is the “Sunnah” enacted by both Shaykhs following the demise of the Prophet.
This is why we find out that Uthman gave way to his own views and followed ijtihad more than his predecessors had ever done, so much so that the sahaba resented it and went to Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf to blame him saying, “This is the doing of your own self!” When opposition to and resentment towards Uthman intensified, the latter stood to deliver a sermon to the sahaba in which he said, “Why did you not express your resentment to Umar ibn al-Khattab who (too) followed his own views? Was it so because he used to scare you with his cane?!”
Ibn Qutaybah narrates the following:
Uthman stood on the pulpit to deliver a sermon when people expressed their resentment to him. He said: “By Allah, O fellow Muhajirs and Ansars! You have found fault with many things I have done and condemned many others though you had endorsed similar actions done by the son of al-Khattab, but he shut your mouths and subdued you, and none of you dared to look him in the eyes nor point a finger at him. By Allah! My kinsfolk number more than those of the son of al-Khattab, and they are more ready to come to my aid.”5
I personally think that the sahaba who belonged to the Muhajirun and Ansar did not oppose Uthman's ijtihad, for they had by then become used to it and even blessed it from day one, but they resented his deposing them from their government posts to replace them with the promiscuous ones from his cousins and relatives who had only recently been fighting Islam and Muslims.
The Muhajirs and the Ansars did not voice their objection to Abu Bakr or to Umar simply because they did share authority with both of them. Both caliphs gave the Ansars and the Muhajirun the posts which paid very well and which made them powerful.
As for Uthman, he deposed most of them and doled out huge sums of money to Banu Umayyah without a measure. It was then that they denounced him, cast doubts about his authority, till in the end they killed him. This is the truth which the Messenger of Allah had predicted when he said to them, “I do not fear lest you should commit shirk after me, but I do fear lest you should fiercely compete with one another (to obtain wealth and political power).”
Imam Ali had said, “It is as though they had never heard the verse of the Most Exalted One saying, `Such is the last abode: We assign it for those who have no desire to exalt themselves on earth, nor to cause mischief, and the good end is for the righteous.” (Holy Qur'an, 28:83)
Yes, by Allah, they had heard and comprehended that verse, but the life of this world appeared very sweet in their eyes, and they liked its glitter.
This is the truth. If we presume that they condemned his distortion of the Sunnah of the Prophet, this cannot be proven. Since they had not condemned the same when done by Abu Bakr and Umar, how can they condemn his (Uthman's) doing it? The assumption is that Uthman ibn Affan had indeed a larger number of relatives and supporters than Abu Bakr and Umar, as he himself had stated, because he was the chief of Banu Umayyah, and Banu Umayyah were closer in kinship to the Prophet than Taym or Adiyy, the tribes to which Abu Bakr and Umar belonged respectively, more powerful, more influential, more prestigious, and more distinguished in descent.
Because the sahaba did not denounce what Abu Bakr and Umar did, rather they emulated these men's Sunnah and knowingly abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet, they could not have denounced something which Uthman did and which they had already endorsed when done by someone else.
The proof testifying to this fact is that they were present on many occasions during which Uthman altered the Sunnah of the Prophet such as performing the complete prayers when he was travelling, his prohibition of talbiya, his leaving out the takbir from the prayers, his prohibition of mut`at al-hajj..., etc., without anyone expressing his objection other than Ali ibn Abu Talib, as we will come to clarify by the will of Allah.
The sahaba knew the Prophet's Sunnah very well, yet they deliberately contradicted it for the sake of pleasing caliph Uthman.
In his book Al-Sunan al-Kubra, al-Bayhaqi quotes Abd al-Rahman ibn Yazid saying, “We were in the company of Abdullah ibn Mas`ud once when he entered Mina's mosque. `How many rek`as did the commander of the faithful (meaning Uthman) pray?' asked he. He was told that he had prayed four rek`as.
We, therefore, asked him, `Did you not narrate one hadith to us telling us that the Prophet had prayed only two rek`as, and so did Abu Bakr?' He answered by saying, `Yes, I did. And I can now repeat the same, but Uthman is now the Imam, and I shall not dissent from anything he does, since dissension is evil.'“6
So read such a statement and wonder about this sahabi, Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, who was one of the most distinguished sahaba, labelling dissenting with Uthman as evil while contradicting the Messenger of Allah as goodness all of it! Can anyone say beyond this that they resented his forsaking the Prophet's Sunnah?!
Sufyan ibn Ayeenah has quoted Ja`far ibn Muhammad saying:
While staying at Mina, Uthman fell sick, whereupon Ali came. Ali was asked by people to lead the prayers. Ali, therefore, said, “If you wish, but I shall perform the prayers according to the way the Messenger of Allah used to pray, I mean two rek`as.” They said: “No, we insist on four rek`as prayers performed by commander of the faithful Uthman.” Ali refused to lead their prayers.7
So read and wonder about these companions, who were thousands in number, and who were at Mina during the hajj season, how they openly refused to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah and did not accept anything other than the bid`a invented by Uthman!
If Abdullah ibn Mas`ud regarded dissenting from Uthman as evil, so he performed four rek`as despite the fact that he narrated about the Prophet praying only two, he might have done so out of his fear of those who were counted in the thousands, and who accepted nothing other than what Uthman used to do, discarding the Prophet's Sunnah.
Do not forget, having come to know this much, to salute and greet the Prophet and the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib who refused to lead their prayers in any way other than that performed by the Messenger of Allah, desiring to revive the Sunnah which those folks had violated, fearing nobody's blame, showing no apprehension of their multitudes or schemes.
It is noteworthy in this regard to point out to the fact that Abdullah ibn Umar had said, “Prayers of a traveller are in two rek`as; whoever violates the Sunnah commits kufr (apostasy).”8 Thus, Abdullah ibn Umar [implicitly] labels as kafir caliph Uthman ibn Affan and all the sahaba who followed his bid`a by performing a complete prayer while travelling. Despite all of this, we shall return to this faqih, namely Abdullah ibn Umar [ibn al-Khattab] in order to judge him according to what he himself had judged others.
Al-Bukhari has stated the following in his Sahih:
I heard Uthman and Ali, may Allah be pleased with both of them, when they were in the area between Mecca and Medina, while Uthman was banning the mut`a and the combination of both hajj and `umra.
When Ali saw that, he [contradicted him and] said, after shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Labbayka `umratan wa hajjan ma`a! (“At your service, O Lord, do I perform both the `umra and the hajj together”). Uthman, therefore, said, “You see me forbidding people from doing something, yet you do it yourself?!” Ali said, “Never shall I abandon the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah because of what someone else says.”9
Can you help being amazed at seeing the caliph of the Muslims openly violating the Sunnah and going beyond that to forbid people from following it, yet none opposes him except Ali ibn Abu Talib who would never abandon the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah even if he were to pay for his life for it?
Tell me, by your Lord, do you find among the companions of Muhammad anyone other than the father of al-Husayn truly acting upon the Prophet's Sunnah?
Despite the ruler's might and toughness, and despite the support meted to him by the sahaba, Ali never abandoned the Sunnah, and here are their books and Sahihs testifying to the truth of our conclusion that he, greeting from Allah be upon him, tried his best to revive the Prophet's Sunnah and bring people back to it, but “No value is there for the view of anyone who is not obeyed,” as he himself had said. In that time and age, none was there to obey him and follow his instructions except the Shi`as who accepted him as their leader, who followed in his footsteps, and who referred to him in every regard.
Thus does it becomes very clear to us that the sahaba did not find anything wrong with Uthman altering the Prophet's Sunnah. We have come to know from reviewing their Sahih books how they contradict the Sunnah of the Prophet, but they do not contradict Uthman in his innovation.
They, nevertheless, revolted against him out of their pursuit of the good things in this insignificant life, running after wealth, power, and authority. They are the ones who were unrelenting in their fight against Ali because he did not give them government posts but demanded their returning the money which they had wrongfully amassed to bayt al-mal of the Muslims so that the indigent might benefit from it.
May Allah support you, O father of al-Hasan ! O you who safeguarded the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your cousin the Messenger of Allah and were an Imam for the righteous, the supporter of the downtrodden! Your Shi`as are the ones who shall attain victory, for they upheld the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger by rallying around you and referring to you.
Can you believe, dear reader and discreet researcher, after all the researches which you have come across, that the followers of Uthman ibn Affan can be regarded as the followers of the Sunnah while the followers of Ali are the “rejectionists” and the inventors of bid`as?! So pass your judgment in the light of what Allah has shown you if your are fair.
“Surely Allah commands you to return the trusts to their rightful owners, and that when you judge among the people, you should judge justly; surely Allah admonishes you with what is excellent; surely Allah is hears and sees.” (Holy Qur'an, 4:58)
He is one of the most prominent and renowned companions of the Prophet and one of the six persons recommended by Umar ibn al-Khattab to be caliphs. About him, Umar had said that “He is a believer when pleased, an apostate when angry; one day he acts as a human being, another as a devil,” and he is one of the ten men who received the glad tidings of going to Paradise as “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” claim.
When we research the books of history trying to define his personality, it becomes obvious to us that he was one of those who loved this world, who were deceived and dragged by it, who sold their creed for its sake, thus losing their souls; their trade was in vain, and on the Day of Judgment, they will be among those who will deeply regret.
He is Talhah who, whenever he used to say, “Once the Messenger of Allah dies, I shall marry Ayesha, for she is my cousin,” he hurt the feelings of the Messenger of Allah. When the Messenger of Allah heard this statement, he felt deeply hurt. And when the verse referring to the veil and to the Prophet's women being required to be veiled from the public, Talhah said, “Is Muhammad prohibiting us from seeing our cousins and preferring to marry them himself? Should anything happen to him, I shall most certainly marry his wives after that.”10 When the feelings of the Messenger of Allah were hurt, this verse was revealed:
“It does not behove you to hurt [the feelings of] the Messenger of Allah, nor should you marry his wives after him at all; this surely is grievous in the sight of Allah.” (Holy Qur'an, 33:53)
This is the same Talhah who came to see Abu Bakr before the latter's demise and after his putting his promise of caliphate to Umar ibn al-Khattab in writing and said to him, “What will you say to your Lord after having installed over us a ruler who is rough and heavy handed?” Abu Bakr then taunted him with profane language.11
Yet we find him taking to silence and endorsing the new caliph, even becoming one of his supporters, working hard to amass wealth and buy slaves especially after having coveted the post of caliph following his being recommended by Umar to be the caliph after him.
Talhah is the same man who betrayed Imam Ali and joined the ranks of Uthman ibn Affan due to his prior knowledge that were the caliphate to be vested upon Ali, he would have no reason after that to be hopeful of attaining it himself. In this regard, Ali said, “So one of their men listened to his grudge, while another supported his son-in-law, despite weakness in this and in that...”
Shaykh Muhammad Abdoh says the following in his Sharh:
Talhah was inclined towards Uthman due to the kinship between them according to what is recorded by the biographers. His mere inclination towards Uthman rather than Ali may be rendered to his being a man of Taym, for both Banu Hashim and Banu Taym had objected to the appointment of Abu Bakr to the caliphate.12
Undoubtedly, Talhah is one of those who attended the swearing of allegiance to Ali at Ghadeer Khumm and who had heard the Prophet saying, “To whomsoever I have been the master, this Ali is his master.” And there is no doubt that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali.” He was present on Khaybar day when he gave the standard to Ali saying that Ali loved Allah and His Messenger and they both loved him. He also knew that Ali was to the Prophet like Aaron to Moses. And he knew more and more...
But deeply rooted grudge and spite had filled his heart, so much so that he could see nothing except fanaticism to his tribe and bias to his cousin Ayesha daughter of Abu Bakr whom he aspired to marry after the demise of the Prophet, but the Qur'an made it impossible.
Yes, Talhah joined Uthman and swore to be loyal to him because Uthman used to give him many grants and gifts. When Uthman ascended the seat of caliphate, he showered Talhah without a measure with the wealth which belonged to the Muslims.13 His wealth, therefore, and his cattle and slaves increased till his income from his property in Iraq alone reached one thousand dinars a day.
In his Tabaqat, Ibn Sa`d says, “At the time of his death, Talhah had left thirty million dirhams. The cash was two hundred thousand dinars, two million and two hundred thousand dirhams, and the rest was in the form of hamlets and real estate.”14 This is why Talhah was turned into an oppressor. He became arrogant and started instigating people against his close friend Uthman in order to depose him and take his place.
Mother of the faithful Ayesha may have tempted him with the promise of caliphate because she, too, tried her best to undermine Uthman, and she had no doubt that caliphate would be the lot of her cousin Talhah.
When the news of Uthman's murder reached her, and when she was told that people had sworn the oath of allegiance to Talhah, she was very delighted and said, “Away with Na`thal15 and may he be crushed! Congratulations to you, man of the finger, father of lion cubs! Congratulations to you, cousin! Allah bless your father! By Allah, they have found Talhah worthy of it!”
Yes, such was the way how Talhah rewarded Uthman, the man who made him wealthy. He betrayed him because of his own desire to succeed him as the caliph. He instigated people to revolt against him and was the most zealous in encouraging them to kill him, so much so that he even prohibited drinking water from reaching Uthman when the latter's house was under siege.
Ibn Abul-Hadid quotes Uthman saying the following when his house was besieged: “Woe unto me from the son of the woman of Hadramaut (meaning Talhah)! I gave him such-and-such in pure gold, and now he is seeking to shed my blood, encouraging others to kill me! O Allah! Do not permit him to enjoy it (caliphate), and let him face the evil ends of his mischief!”
Yes; such is Talhah who [first] sided with Uthman and selected him for the caliphate in order to distance Ali from it, and because Uthman had given him gold and silver, he now is instigating people against him, ordering them to kill him, prohibiting drinking water from reaching his house! And when they brought Uthman's corpse to be buried, he forbade them from burying it at the Muslims' cemetery, so Uthman had to be buried at Hish Kawkab where the Jews used to bury their dead!16
Yet after all of that, we see Talhah as the very first person to swear the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali following Uthman's assassination, then he reneged from his oath and joined his cousin Ayesha at Mecca and suddenly started seeking revenge for Uthman! Praise be to Allah! Is there any calumny greater than this?!
Some historians justify this conduct by saying that Ali had refused to appoint him as the governor of Kufa and surrounding areas, so he reneged from his oath of allegiance to him and went out to fight the same Imam to whom he only yesterday had sworn to follow! Such is the nature of those who sink in their love for this world up to their summit, those who sell their hereafter and whose concern is nothing more than authority, power, and wealth.
Taha Husayn writes the following:
Talhah, then, used to represent a special type of opposition: He accepted whatever was secured for him of wealth and prestige, but when he coveted more, he joined the opposition till he caused many people to perish before he, too, finally perished.17
Such is Talhah who only yesterday swore the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali: He comes out only a few days later dragging the wife of the Messenger of Allah Ayesha to Basra, killing innocent people, plundering their wealth, and terrorizing them in order to force them to disobey Ali. Then he shamelessly stood to fight the Imam of his time to whom he had willingly and out of his own choice promised to obey and support.
Despite all of that, Imam Ali sought him shortly before the battle started, found him in the midst of the ranks of dissidents, and asked him, “Did you not swear the oath of allegiance to me? What caused you to dissent, O Talhah?” He said, “Seeking revenge for Uthman's murder.” Ali said, “May Allah kill the foremost person responsible for Uthman's murder.”
According to Ibn Asakir's narration, Imam Ali asked Talhah, “I ask you in the Name of Allah, O Talhah, did you hear the Messenger of Allah saying, `To whomsoever I have been the master, this Ali is his master; O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him!'?” Talhah said, “Yes.” Ali then asked him, “Why do you then fight me?” His answer was, “To seek revenge for Uthman's murder.” Ali's answer was, “May Allah kill the foremost person responsible for Uthman's murder.”
Allah did, indeed, favorably respond to Ali's supplication: Talhah was killed on that same day at the hands of Marwan ibn al-Hakam whom Talhah had brought there to fight Ali !
He is the Talhah of dissension, falsehood, and the turning of facts upside down without any regard for the call of conscience or for a sworn oath or for a promise made. Nor did he hear the call for justice. Imam Ali reminded him of his oath, thus driving his argument against him home, but he persisted, became puffed up with pride, and went to extremes in his misguidance, straying from the right path and causing others to stray with him.
Because of him, a great multitude of innocent people were killed, people who did not have anything to do with Uthman's assassination, nor did they even know him as long as they lived, nor did they even leave Basra...
Ibn Abul-Hadid has transmitted saying that when Talhah reached Basra, Abdullah ibn al-Hakeem al-Tameemi came to him to ask him about letters which he had received from him. He asked him, “Ya Abu Muhammad! (O father of Muhammad)! Are these the letters which you had sent us?” He answered in the affirmative. “But you had written us only yesterday,”
Abdullah went on, “urging us to depose Uthman and kill him; now you have killed him, you come to us seeking revenge for him! By my life! This is not what you have in mind; you only seek this world. Wait for a moment! If this is your view, why did you agree when Ali invited you to swear the oath of allegiance to him, so you willingly and obediently swore the oath of allegiance to him, then you reneged from your oath of allegiance, then you came to us to get us to join you in your dissension?!”18
Yes; this is the naked truth about Talhah ibn Ubaydullah as narrated by the authors of the books of Sunnah and by the historians belonging to “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a.” Yet they say that he is one of the ten men who received the glad tidings of going to Paradise...!
“Does every man among them covet to enter Paradise?” (Holy Qur'an, 70:38)
“Or shall We make those who belief and do good deeds like those who cause corruption in the land, or shall We make the righteous like the debauchees?” (Holy Qur'an, 38:28)
“Is one who believes like one who disbelieves? Surely they are not equal.” (Holy Qur'an, 32:18)
“As for those who believe and do good deeds, for them are the gardens of refuge as their homes because of what they did. As for those who disbelieved, their abode is the fire: whenever they want to get out of it, they are returned into it, and it is said to them: Taste the torture of the fire in which you disbelieved.” (Holy Qur'an , Surat al-Sajda, verses 19-20)
He, too, is among the most distinguished sahaba and one of the foremost in migrating to Medina. He enjoyed kinship with the Messenger of Allah: Safiyya daughter of Abd al-Muttalib, the Prophet's aunt, was his mother. He was also husband of Asmaa daughter of Abu Bakr and sister of Ayesha. He is also one of the six men recommended by Umar ibn al-Khattab to become caliphs.19
He is also one of those who received “the glad tidings of going to Paradise,” according to “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a.” No wonder, then, when we find him always in the company of his like Talhah: whenever Talha's name is mentioned, it is always followed by al-Zubayr's and vice versa.
He is also one of those who competed with others for the riches of this world, filling their stomachs therewith. According to al-Tabari, his heritage amounted to fifty thousand dinars, one thousand horses, one thousand slaves, and many hamlets in Basra, Kufa, Egypt, and elsewhere.
In this regard, Taha Husayn says, “People vary with regard to the distribution of al-Zubayr's legacy. Those who mention the least say that his heirs divided thirty-five million [dinars] among them, whereas those who provide the maximum figure say that they divided fifty-two million. Moderates say that they divided forty million among them.
This should not surprise us. Al-Zubayr used to own real estate in Basra and Kufa, eleven houses in Medina, and property and real estate elsewhere.20 Yet al-Bukhari narrates saying that al-Zubayr had left fifty million two hundred dinars.21
We do not intend by stating this expose to audit the sahaba with regard to their earnings of goods, or to the wealth they amassed, which may all be halal, but when we see how both Talhah and al-Zubayr expressed so much interest in worldly gains and come to know that they reneged from their oath of allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib simply because he decided to retrieve the money which Uthman had given away in order to return it to the Muslims' bayt al-mal, it is then that we entertain doubts about these men. Add to the above the fact that upon becoming caliph, Imam Ali immediately took to bringing people back to the Sunnah of the Prophet which he started by the distribution of the wealth in bayt al-mal, giving each and every Muslim three dinars, be he an Arab or a non-Arab, and this is exactly what the Prophet used to do as long as he lived. Thus, Ali put an end to the bid`a invented by Umar ibn al-Khattab who favored the Arabs over the non-Arabs, giving each Arab twice the share he gave the non-Arab.
Ali's efforts to bring people back to the Sunnah of the Prophet was sufficient reason for the sahaba to revolt against him since they liked what Umar had invented. This is something which we overlooked while analyzing Quraysh who loved and sanctified Umar. He had favored Quraysh over all other Muslims, thus encouraging nationalistic Arab fanaticism, Qurayshi tribalism, and bourgeois class distinction.
How could Ali come a quarter of a century after the demise of the Prophet to bring Quraysh back to the way they used to be during the time of the Prophet who gave everyone the same, giving Bilal the Ethiopian as much as he gave his uncle al-Abbas? Quraysh, indeed, had resented the Messenger of Allah establishing such equality, and by sifting the biography of the Prophet, we can find how Qurayshites used to oppose him most of the time only for this reason.
It is also for this reason that Talhah and al-Zubayr were angry with the Commander of the Faithful Ali who gave all of them equally, and who deprived them of ruling the Muslims then decided to hold them accountable for the wealth which they had amassed in order to return stolen money to the indigent.
What is important, however, is that we should bear in mind that when he lost all hope of Ali appointing him as the governor of Basra and preferring him over others and fearing lest the new caliph should hold him accountable for amassing his legendary wealth, al-Zubayr came accompanied by his friend Talhah to seek Ali's permission to perform the `umra. It is then that Ali realized these men's hidden evil intentions. He then said about them, “By Allah! They do not seek to perform the `umra! Rather, they seek to carry out their treacherous scheme!”
Al-Zubayr joined his sister-in-law Ayesha daughter of Abu Bakr, took her and Talhah out heading in the direction of Basra. When the dogs at Hawba barked at her, Ayesha wanted to go back; therefore, they brought her fifty persons who were introduced to her as men of truth and integrity to swear falsely in order the mother of the faithful might continue disobeying her Lord and husband and keep marching to Basra.
They knew, the shrewd men that they were, that her influence over people was greater than theirs. For quarter of a century, they publicized for her and misled people into thinking that was the one whom the Messenger of Allah loved most, describing her as the “humayraa”22 daughter of al-Siddeeq who had half the creed with her.
What is really odd with regard to al-Zubayr is that he, too, had sought revenge for Uthman, as he claimed, whereas the righteous among the sahaba accused him of being the very same person who worked hard to kill Uthman. For example, Imam Ali said the following to him when he met him on the battle-field: “Are you holding me responsible for Uthman's blood and seeking revenge against me while you yourself had killed him?”23
In his Mustadrak, al-Hakim writes the following: “Talhah and al-Zubayr came to Basra where people asked them: `What brought you here?' `Seeking revenge for Uthman's murder,' they answered. Al-Husayn said, `Glory to Allah! Do you think that people are brainless so they will not say that nobody killed Uthman other than you yourselves?!'“
Al-Zubayr, like his friend Talhah, had done likewise: he betrayed Uthman and instigated people to kill him, then he willingly swore the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali, then he violated his oath and came to Basra seeking revenge for Uthman! Having entered Basra, he took part in many crimes, killing seventy of the city's guards and stealing everything its bayt al-mal had contained. Historians say that they signed a truce with Uthman ibn Haneef, Basra's governor, pledging to treat him respectfully till Ali's arrival.
Then they violated their truce agreement and pledge and attacked Uthman ibn Haneef as he was leading the evening prayers. They tied a number of people then killed them, and they even attempted to kill Uthman ibn Haneef whom Ali had appointed as the governor of Basra, but they were afraid his brother Sahl ibn Haneef, governor of Medina, might hear about it and seek to avenge his murder from their own people; so, they beat him severely, shaved his beard and moustaches, then attacked bayt al-mal, killing forty of its guards. They jailed Uthman and subjected him to severe torture.
Commenting on this treachery, Taha Husayn writes the following about Talhah and al-Zubayr:
These folks were not satisfied with violating their oath of allegiance to Ali but added to it their violation of the truce which they had signed with Uthman ibn Haneef, killing a number of the people of Basra who voiced their denunciation of such violation of the truce, the jailing of the amir, the robbing of all what bayt al-mal had contained, and the killing of a number of its guards.24
When Ali reached Basra, he did not fight the rebels; rather, he invited them to accept the arbitration of the Book of Allah, which they refused. They went as far as killing those who had carried the Holy Qur'an to them. Despite all of this, the Imam called him, too, and did as he had done with Talhah, saying:
O Zubayr! Do you remember when you, while in the company of the Messenger of Allah, passed by Banu Ghanam and smiled in the face of the Prophet immediately after he had looked at me, smiled, then said, “The son of Abu Talib never abandons his vanity,” whereupon the Messenger of Allah said to you, “Hold your tongue; there is no vanity in him, and you will fight him while you yourself will be the unjust one”?25
Ibn Abul-Hadid quotes in his book a sermon delivered by the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib in which the Imam says:
Lord! Al-Zubayr had severed my ties of kinship, reneged from his oath of allegiance to me, and supported my foe against me! O Lord! I implore You to spare me his evil with whatever means You will.26
In Nahjul-Balagha of Imam Ali, the Imam writes the following about Talhah and al-Zubayr:
Lord! They both boycotted and were unjust to me, then they reneged from their oath of obedience to me and instigated people against me; so, I implore You to untie what they had tied, to foil the scheme which they plotted, and to make them see the evil of what they aspired to do and for which they strove hard! I sought their repentance before the battle, and I solicited their patience before the clamor, but they despised Your bounty and rejected my offer to spare their lives.27
In a letter he sent them before the fighting had begun, he said, “Go, O shaykhs, back to your senses, for now the greatest of your affair is shame, before shame is combined with the fire of hell, and peace be with you.”28
This is the painful truth, and this is how al-Zubayr was finished. No matter how hard some historians try to convince us that he (al-Zubayr) had, indeed, recalled to memory the hadith of the Prophet of which Ali reminded him, so he repented and retired from fighting and went to the lions' ravine where he was killed by Ibn Jarmooz..., all this does not hold water when compared with the prophecy of the Messenger of Allah who had predicted that, “You will fight him (Ali) while you yourself will be the unjust one.”
Some historians say that he wanted to retire when Imam Ali reminded him of the said hadith, but his son Abdullah taunted him of being a coward, so he was overwhelmed with zeal and returned to fight till he was killed.
This is closer to the truth and to the sacred tradition containing some knowledge of the unknown provided by one who never speaks out of his own inclination.
Had he truly regretted, repented, and renounced his error and injustice, why did he not act upon the statement of the Messenger of Allah saying: “To whomsoever I have been the master, this Ali is his master; O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him; support whoever supports him, and betray whoever betrays him”?
Why did he not support, accept the authority of, and seek to please, Ali ? Suppose he cannot do any of that, why did he not address the people whom he had brought for the battle to tell them that he saw the light of the truth and recalled to memory what he had forgotten and ask them to stop the war in order to safeguard the lives of innocent Muslims?
But none of this ever took place. We, hence, get to know that the myth of his repentance and retirement is the brainchild of the imagination of fabricators who were dazzled by Ali's light and al-Zubay'r falsehood. Since his friend Talhah was killed by Marwan ibn al-Hakam, they selected Ibn Jarmooz to assassinate al-Zubayr in order to be able to provide their own interpretation of the fate of Talhah and al-Zubayr so that they may not deprive them of entering Paradise, especially since Paradise is one of their possessions: they permit into it whoever they like and prohibit whoever they wish.
Suffices us to prove the fallacy of their tale what is stated in Imam Ali's letter where he invited them to renounce the war: “Now the greatest of your affair is shame..., before shame is combined with the fire of hell.”
Nobody narrates saying that they responded to his invitation, or submitted to his order, or even answered his letter. Add to this the fact that before the war had started, the Imam invited them to accept the arbitration of the Book of Allah, as we indicated above, but they refused and even killed the young messenger who had carried the Qur'an to them. It was then that Ali made fighting them permissible.
You may read some ludicrous accounts of historians which tell you that some of them are not familiar with the truth, nor do they comprehend it. One account says that when al-Zubayr came to know that Ammar ibn Yasir came in the company of Ali ibn Abu Talib, he said, “Oh! May my nose be cut off! May my spine be split!”
Then he snatched a weapon which shook in his hand. Having seen all of this, one of his companions said, “May my mother lose me! Is this the same al-Zubayr with whom I wanted to die or live?! By the One Who holds my life, whatever afflicted this man must be something which he had seen or heard from the Messenger of Allah!”29
By fabricating such stories, they intend to claim that al-Zubayr remembered the Prophet's hadith saying, “Ammar shall be killed by the oppressive gang,” so he became afraid, and he was shaken for fear of being among such gangsters!
Those who despise our power of reason wish to ridicule us, but we have sound minds, praise to Allah, and what they tell us is unacceptable. How can al-Zubayr become afraid and shake upon remembering the tradition saying, “Ammar shall be killed by the oppressive gang,” and not fear nor shake on account of numerous statements made by the Prophet in praise of Ali ibn Abu Talib ? Was Ammar according to al-Zubayr better and greater than Ali?! Did not al-Zubayr hear these traditions:
-- “O Ali! Nobody loves you except a true believer, and nobody hates you except a hypocrite.”
-- “Ali is with the truth, and the truth is with Ali, revolving with him wherever he revolves.”
-- “To whomsoever I have been the master, this Ali is his master; O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him! Support whoever supports him, and betray whoever betrays him.”
-- “O Ali! I fight whoever fights you and am peaceful unto whoever seeks peace with you.”
-- “I shall give the standard tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger.”
-- “I fight them with regard to the revelation of the Qur'an, whereas you (Ali) will fight them with regard to its interpretation.”
-- “O Ali! I promise you that you will fight the renegades, the unjust, and the apostates.”
... in addition to many, many such traditions? The last of such traditions is a statement made by the Prophet to al-Zubayr himself: “You will fight him (Ali) while you yourself will be the unjust one.” Where does al-Zubayr stand with regard to these facts which are know to people, those directly concerned as well as the outsiders, the son of the Prophet's aunt, and the son of Ali's aunt, that he is?!
Blockheads which could not confront historical events and the facts they contain in vain try, with all their might and means, to find some feeble pretexts in order to mislead the people and deceive them into believing that Talhah and al-Zubayr are among the residents of Paradise.
“Such are their hopes. Say: Bring your proof, if you are truthful.” (Holy Qur'an, 2:111)
“Those who disbelieve in Our Signs, haughtily rejecting them, the gates of the heaves shall not be opened for them, nor shall they enter Paradise till the camel passes through the needle's hole, and thus do We reward the criminals.” (Holy Qur'an, 7:40)
He, too, is one of the most distinguished companions of the Prophet and among the foremost to embrace Islam. He was one of the earliest to migrate with the Prophet to Medina. He was among those who participated in the Battle of Badr. He was one of the six men recommended by Umar ibn al-Khattab to be caliphs, and one of the ten men who, as “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” claim, received the glad tidings of going to Paradise.
He is also the hero of the Battle of al-Qadisiyya which took place during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. It is said that some sahaba cast doubts about and questioned his descent, thus hurting his feelings, yet they narrate saying that the Prophet confirmed his descent, tracing it to Banu Zuhra.
In his book Al-Imama wal-Siyasa, Ibn Qutaybah transmits saying that following the demise of the Prophet, Banu Zuhra gathered to meet with Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas and Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf at the sacred mosque (Masjid al-Nabi). When Abu Bakr and Abu Ubaydah came to them, Umar said to them, “Why do I see you thus forming circles? Stand up and swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, for I and the Ansar have already done so.” Sa`d and Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, as well as all those who were then present with them from Banu Zuhra, stood and swore.30
It is narrated that Umar ibn al-Khattab deposed him from his post as governor, but he recommended the caliph who would succeed him to reinstall him, since he had not deposed him due to any treachery. Uthman ibn Affan, therefore, carried out Umar's recommendation and appointed him as governor of Kufa.
It is noteworthy that Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas did not leave a huge wealth behind him compared to his friends. His legacy, as narrators tell us, amounted to three hundred thousand dinars. Also, he neither participated nor encouraged the assassination of Uthman as did Talhah and al-Zubayr. Ibn Qutaybah, in his history book (quoted above), narrates saying that Amr ibn al-As wrote Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas asking him about who had killed Uthman. In his answer, Sa`d wrote saying,
You asked me about who killed Uthman. I am telling you that he was killed by a sword unsheathed by Ayesha, polished by Talhah, and poisoned by Abu Tali's son. Al-Zubayr remained silent and made a hand signal, whereas we did nothing. Had we willed, we would have defended him, but Uthman made many changes, and he himself changed, doing good and bad things. If what we did was good, then that was good indeed, but if what we did was wrong, we seek Allah's forgiveness.
I also am telling you that al-Zubayr is subdued by the overwhelming number of his kinsfolk, and by his sin. Had Talhah wished to rend his stomach, due to his love for authority, he would have rent it.31
But what is strange in as far as Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas is concerned is that he did not swear the oath of allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful Ali, nor did he support him while he knew the Imam fully well and realized his merits. He himself narrated several of Ali's merits which both Imam al-Nasa'i and Imam Muslim record in their respective Sahih books. Here are a couple of examples:
Sa`d has said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah stating three of Ali's merits; had I had one of them, it would have been better for me than red camels. I heard him saying, `He (Ali) to me is like Aaron to Moses except there will be no prophet after me.' And I heard him saying, `I shall give the standard tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger.'
And I heard him saying, `O people! Who is your master?' They thrice said that Allah and His Messenger were their master, whereupon he took Ali's hand, made him stand up, then said, `Whoever has accepted Allah and His Messenger as his master, this Ali is his master; O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him.'“32
In Muslim's Sahih, Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas is quoted as having said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying to Ali, `Are you not pleased to be to me what Aaron used to be to Moses, except there will be no prophet after me?'
During the Battle of Khaybar, I heard him saying, `I shall give the standard tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger,' so we were very anxious and hopeful about it. He said, `Bring Ali here.' And when the verse saying
“... say: Come: let us call our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars” (Holy Qur'an, 3:61),
the Messenger of Allah brought Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn and said, `O Allah! These are my Ahlul Bayt'.”33
How could Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas know all these facts yet refuse to swear the oath of allegiance to Ali ? How could Sa`d hear the Messenger of Allah saying, “Whoever has accepted Allah and His Messenger to be his master, this Ali is his master; O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him,” which he himself narrates, then refuse to accept his mastership or to support him?
How could Sa`d have been ignorant of the hadith of the Messenger of Allah in which he said, “One who dies without having sworn the oath of allegiance dies the death of jahiliyya,” a tradition which was narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar, so Sa`d would die the death of jahiliyya on account of his reluctance to swear the oath of allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful, the master of all wasis, the leader of the peerless men of virtue?
Historians indicate that Sa`d came to Imam Ali to apologize and said, “O Commander of the Faithful! There is no doubt in my mind that you are the most worthy among people of the caliphate, and that you are the custodian of the creed as well as of worldly affairs, but some people will dispute with you in this regard; so, if you desire my oath of allegiance, give me a sword whose tongue tells me to take this and leave that.”
Ali said to him, “Have you seen anyone who has contradicted the Qur'an in word or in deed [because of swearing the oath of allegiance to me]? The Muhajirun and the Ansar have sworn the oath of allegiance to me on the condition that I deal with them according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet; so, if you yourself wish, you may swear; otherwise, you may stay at home, for I am not going to force you to do it.”34
Is not such a stand by Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas odd?! While he testifies that no doubts entertain him about Ali, that he is the most worthy person of being the caliph, that he is the custodian over religious as well secular affairs, yet despite all of that he demands a sword with a tongue as a condition for swearing the oath of allegiance so that he would thus be able to distinguish truth from falsehood?! Is this not a contradiction rejected by rational people?
Is this not demanding the impossible, a demand put forth by a haughty person who had already come to know the truth from the bearer of the message embedded in traditions five of which he himself used to narrate?!
Was not Sa`d present when Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman received the oath of allegiance, an occasion from which anyone who lagged behind was killed for fear of dissension?
Yet Sa`d did swear the oath of allegiance to Uthman, unconditionally giving his support to him. He also heard Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf threatening Ali with a sword which he raised over his head, saying, “So do not harm your own self, for it will then be the sword and nothing else.” He was also present when Ali refused to swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, invoking a threat against him by Umar ibn al-Khattab who then said to him, “Swear...; otherwise, by Allah Who is the One and Only God, we shall strike your neck with the sword.”35
Did anything embolden those who did not swear the oath of allegiance to Ali, and who dared to behave arrogantly towards the successor of the Prophet such as Umar, Usamah ibn Zayd, and Muhammad ibn Maslamah, other than the reluctance of Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas to swear it?
You can easily notice how the five men who were appointed by Umar ibn al-Khattab to compete with Ali in becoming caliphs played the exact role outlined for them by Umar ibn al-Khattab, namely prohibiting Ali from becoming caliph. Abd al-Rahman, for example, chose his son-in-law Uthman and threatened to kill Ali if he refused to swear the oath of allegiance to him. This is all due to the fact that Umar gave Abd al-Rahman the upper hand over the rest.
After the death of Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf and the assassination of Uthman ibn Affan, the only remaining contenders for Ali's caliphate were three: Talhah, al-Zubayr, and Sa`d. When these men saw that al-Muhajirun and the Ansar rushed to Imam Ali and swore the oath of allegiance to him and did not pay attention to anyone among them, they then entertained evil thoughts against him and sought to kill him. Talhah and al-Zubayr fought him, whereas Sa`d betrayed him.
Do not forget that Uthman ibn Affan did not die before creating a new contender for Ali who was more dangerous than all of them, more cunning and more shrewd, one whose party was larger in number and better in equipment: Uthman paved the way for him to take control over the caliphate by adding to his authority, which lasted for twenty years, the most important states from which two-thirds the entire revenue for the Islamic government came; this contender was Mu`awiyah who had no creed, nor ethics, nor concern except reaching the caliphate at any price, and by any means whatsoever.
Despite all of this, Commander of the Faithful Ali did not force people to swear the oath of allegiance to him as was done by the caliphs who preceded him. Rather, he upheld, peace of Allah be upon him, the injunctions of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, neither altering nor substituting anything for them in the least.
Have you noticed how he said to Sa`d, “The Muhajirun and the Ansar have sworn the oath of allegiance to me on the condition that I deal with them in accordance to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet; so, if you yourself wish, you may swear; otherwise, you may stay at home, for I am not going to force you to do it”?
Congratulations to you, O son of Abu Talib, O you who revived the Qur'an and the Sunnah after being laid to rest by others before you! Here is the Book of Allah calling:
“Those who swear the allegiance to you swear it to Allah; the hand of Allah is above theirs; so whoever reneges (from his faith), he reneges to the detriment of his own soul, and whoever fulfills the promise which he made to Allah, He shall grant him a great reward.” (Holy Qur'an, 48: 10)
“... will you then force people to believe?” (Holy Qur'an, 10:99)
There is no compulsion in the religion, nor is there any Islamic provision for forcing anyone to swear the oath of allegiance to anyone, nor did Allah ever order His Prophet to fight people to force them to swear the oath of allegiance to him.
Such is the Sunnah of the Prophet and his honorable conduct: It tells us that he never forced anyone to pay him homage. But the caliphs and the sahaba were the ones who established such an innovation, threatening people to kill them if they refused to swear the oath of allegiance to them.
Fatima herself was threatened to be burned if those at her house, who did not swear the oath of allegiance [to Abu Bakr], refused to come out to swear it. Ali himself, the man whom the Messenger of Allah appointed as the caliph, was threatened to be killed. They swore by Allah to kill him if he refused to swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr. If such is the case, do not ask about the condition of the other sahaba who were deemed weak in their eyes such as Ammar, Salman, Bilal, and others.
What is important is that Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas refused to swear the oath of allegiance to, or to curse, him when Mu`awiyah ordered him, according to Muslim's Sahih. But this is not enough, nor does it secure Paradise for him, since the sect of the Mu`tazilites which he founded under the banner of “I am neither with you nor against you” is neither accepted in, nor endorsed by, Islam.
This is so due to the fact that Islam says that there is nothing beyond the truth except falsehood. It is so because the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger outlined the characteristics of dissension, forewarned of it, and put limits for it so that those who perish do so according to a clear proof, and those saved are saved according to a clear proof.
The Messenger of Allah had clarified everything when he said with reference to Ali, “O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him! Support whoever supports him, and betray whoever betrays him! And make right revolve with him wherever he revolves!”
Imam Ali had clarified the motives which prohibited Sa`d from siding with him when he said in his shaqshaqi sermon, “... so a man among them listened to his hidden grudge.”
Commenting on the above statement, Shaykh Muhammad Abdoh says,
Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas used to conceal something against Ali, may Allah glorify his countenance, something which originated from his uncles on the mother's side: his mother is Hamna daughter of Sufyan ibn Umayyah ibn Abd Shams, and Ali's killing of their most courageous men is a well known fact.36
Deeply rooted grudge and envy blinded Sa`d, so much so that he could not see Ali's virtues as he could those of Ali's opponents. It is stated that when Uthman installed him governor of Kufa, he delivered a sermon in which he said, “Obey the best of all people: Uthman, the commander of the faithful.”
Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas was inclined towards Uthman during the latter's lifetime and even after his assassination. Thus do we understand the reason why he accused Ali of participating in the assassination of Uthman when he wrote Amr ibn al-As saying, “Uthman was killed by a sword unsheathed by Ayesha, poisoned by the son of Abu Talib..., etc.” It is a false accusation to whose falsehood history testifies. In fact, nobody offered more counsel nor more solace to Uthman during his calamity than Ali, if only his views were heeded.
What we deduct from Sa`d's languid stands is exactly what the Imam had described: he was a spiteful person. Despite his knowledge of Ali's right, grudge and spite stood between him and the truth, so much so that he remained puzzled, confused, torn by a conscience that rebuked him and stirred in him the torch of conviction and a sick mentality crippled by the customs of the days of ignorance. Sa`d listened to the voice of his grudge, and his evil self subdued his conscience, dragging it down, holding him from supporting the right course.
What proves the above is the testimony given by many historians who recorded his puzzling stands. Ibn Kathir, for example, says the following in his book of history,
Sa`d came once to visit Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. Mu`awiyah asked him, “Why didn't you fight Ali?” Sa`d said, “A dark storm passed by me, so I alighted from my camel till it was over. Having come to know the way, I carried on.” Mu`awiyah said, “The Book of Allah does not tell you to alight; rather, Allah has said, `If two groups from the believers fight one another, you should make peace between them, but if one of them oppresses the other, you should fight the one that oppresses till it returns to obeying the commands of Allah' (Surat al-Hujurat, 9).
By Allah! You did not side with the oppressive party against the oppressed one, nor were you with the just one against the unjust.” Sa`d said, “I would not fight a man to whom the Messenger of Allah said, `You are to me like Aaron to Moses, except there will be no prophet after me.'“ Mu`awiyah asked him, “Who else besides you heard it?” He said, “So-and-so..., and Ummu Salamah, too,” whereupon Mu`awiyah stood up, went to Ummu Salamah and asked her about it. She repeated the same hadith quoted by Sa`d. Mu`awiyah then said, “Had I heard this hadith before today, I wold have become a servant of Ali till the death of either one of us.”37
Al-Mas`udi has transmitted in his Tarikh a conversation like this one between Mu`awiyah and Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas, adding that Mu`awiyah said to Sa`d after what happened following the status hadith, “Now I regard none as more mean than you; why did you not support him? Why did you hesitate to swear the oath of allegiance to him? Had I heard the Prophet say the like of what I heard you quoting him, I would have spent the rest of my life as a servant of Ali.”38
What Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas narrated to Mu`awiyah with regard to Ali's virtues is one of hundreds of such ahadith which carry the same theme and aim at the same goal: Ali ibn Abu Talib is the only individual who represented the Islamic message after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, and none can do so besides him. Since the matter is as such, all righteous Muslims ought to serve him as long as they live.
Mu`awiyah's statement in which he said that had he heard that tradition, he would have served Ali as long as he lived is a privilege of which every believing man and woman prides himself/herself. But Mu`awiyah did not say so except out of his desire to ridicule and slight Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas in order to charge him with meanness and to insult him simply because he had refused to curse Ali and condemn him, thus going against Mu`awiyah's wish; otherwise, Mu`awiyah knows more than one status hadith in praise of Ali ibn Abu Talib. He also knows that he was the most meritorious person after the Messenger, and this is exactly what he admitted in a letter he sent to Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr which we will mention later, Insha-Allah.
Did that stop Mu`awiyah from cursing and condemning the Commander of the Faithful after having come to know that hadith from Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas and verified its authenticity with Ummu Salamah whom he asked about it?
No, indeed; rather, he went to extremes in his misguidance and was overcome with insistence on being wrong to the extent that he started cursing Ali and all his Ahlul Bayt and forced people to do likewise till the youngsters grew up doing the same, and the youth grew old doing likewise, for eighty years or more.
“But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of the knowledge, say: Come: let us call our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars” (Holy Qur'an, 3:61)
His name during the period of jahiliyya used to be Abd Amr, so the Prophet renamed him “Abd al-Rahman.” He belonged to Banu Zuhra, and he was a cousin of Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas.
He was one of the most prominent sahaba and among the first to migrate with the Prophet to Medina. He was in the company of the Prophet during all his battles. He was one of the six persons recommended by Umar ibn al-Khattab to be caliphs; rather, the latter gave him the upper hand over the rest, saying, “If you dispute among yourselves, be in the party where Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf is.” He, as “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” believe, is also one of those who received the glad tiding of going to Paradise.
Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, as is well known, is one of the leading businessmen of Quraysh, a man who left behind him a huge wealth which, according to historians, included one thousand camels, one hundred horses, ten thousand she-camels, and arable lands growing twenty different types of crops. The inheritance of each one of his four wives amounted to eighty-four thousand dinars.39
Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf was the brother-in-law of Uthman ibn Affan: he married Ummu Kulthoom daughter of Uqbah ibn Abu Mu`eet, Uthman's half sister (his sister from the mother's side).
We have come to know from reviewing history books that he played a significant role in keeping Ali away from the post of caliph when he introduced his condition of following in the footsteps of caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar, knowing beforehand that Ali would never accept such a condition simply because the “Sunnah” of both of these men contradicted the Book of Allah and the pristine Sunnah of the Prophet.
This alone suffices us as a proof testifying to the fanaticism of Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf in upholding the bid`as of the days of ignorance, to his being distant from Muhammad's Sunnah, and to his practically participating in a great plot to eradicate the Progeny of the Prophet in order to keep the caliphate as Quraysh's sole property to fare with as it pleased.
In his “Book of Ahkam” in his Sahih, al-Bukhari has a chapter dealing with how an Imam receives people's oath of allegiance. In it, he quotes al-Masoor saying,
Abd al-Rahman knocked at my house door in the heart of the night and kept knocking till I woke up. He said to me, “I see you are sleeping! By Allah! My eyes have not enjoyed much sleep tonight; so, go and invite al-Zubayr and Sa`d [ibn Abu Waqqas] to come here.” So I brought them in, whereupon he consulted with them for a while then called me to come close to him and told me to invite Ali whom I accordingly invited to meet with us. He remained talking to him till most of the night had passed.
Then Ali stood up to leave, feeling hopeful, and Abd al-Rahman used to always be apprehensive of Ali. Then he told me to invite Uthman [ibn Affan] whom I accordingly invited. He kept consulting with him till the call to prayers forced them to part from one another to perform the fajr prayers. When people prayed the fajr prayers, and as these same men assembled near the pulpit, he sent for those of the Muhajirun and Ansar who were then in town.
Then he sent for the military commanders who were present that year with Umar. Once they all assembled, Abd al-Rahman pronounced the shahada then said, “O Ali! I have looked in the people's matter and I found them equalling none with Uthman; so, do not bring about your own harm.” Then he addressed Uthman thus, “I swear the oath of allegiance to you according to the Sunnah of Allah and of His Messenger and of both caliphs after him.” Abd al-Rahman swore the oath of allegiance to him, then the Muhajirun and the Ansar did so followed by military commanders and the rest of Muslims.40
The researcher can easily understand from this narration recorded by al-Bukhari the fact that the plot was planned during the night, and he can appreciate the shrewdness of Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, and the fact that Umar did not hand pick him at random.
Reflect on the statement of the narrator, al-Masoor, saying, “... told me to invite Ali whom I accordingly invited to meet with us. He remained talking to him till most of the night had passed. Then Ali stood up to leave, feeling hopeful,” that is, Ali felt optimistic about becoming the next caliph.
This proves to us that Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf is the one who made Ali hopeful with regard to becoming caliph so that he might not boycott this fake shura and be the cause of the nation falling again in dissension as happened at the saqeefa following the inauguration of Abu Bakr as the caliph. What confirms the accuracy of this probability is the narrator's statement: “... and Abd al-Rahman used to always be apprehensive of Ali.”
Accordingly, Abd al-Rahman played the role of an evasive and cunning person who gave Ali assurances of being the next caliph, and even congratulated him on it, but when the morning approached, and the commanders of the army, as well as tribal chiefs and leaders of Quraysh assembled, it was then that Abd al-Rahman reversed his tactic and surprised Ali by telling him that people did not regard anyone as equal to Uthman, and that he had either to accept his scheme or allow himself to perish; that is, that he would be killed if he refused to swear the oath of allegiance to the man of their choice, namely Uthman ibn Affan.
The researcher clearly understands from reading the last paragraph of the narration how al-Masoor said, “Once they all assembled, Abd al-Rahman pronounced the shahada then said, “O Ali! I have looked in the people's matter and found them equalling none with Uthman; so, do not harm your own self.”
Why, then, did Abd al-Rahman direct his statement only at Ali from all those present then and there? Why did he not say something like, “O Ali, Talhah, al-Zubayr..., etc.”? This is why we concluded that the plot was hatched during the night, and that the folks had from the beginning decided to select Uthman and exclude Ali.
We have to underscore the fact that they all used to be apprehensive of Ali if he became caliph lest he should revert to justice and equity and revive the Sunnah of the Prophet and put to rest the bid`a of the son of al-Khattab with regard to favoring one person over another. This is particularly so in the light of the fact that Umar ibn al-Khattab had pointed out before his death to the same, warning them against Ali's danger, saying, “If they hand it [caliphate] over to the bald-headed man [meaning Ali, peace be upon him], he will surely force them to follow the tracks,” meaning the Prophet's Sunnah which neither Umar nor the general body of Quraysh liked. Had they liked the Sunnah of the Prophet, they would have selected Ali instead, and he would certainly have forced them to follow the right tracks. He would have brought things back to the way they used to be [during the Prophet's time], for he is the one charged with it; he is the custodian of the Sunnah...
As we indicated above while discussing Talhah, al-Zubayr, and Sa`d, they planted the thorn spikes and harvested loss and remorse.
Let us, therefore, take a close look at Abd al-Rahman and at the outcome of his scheming. Historians say that Abd al-Rahman suffered from his intense regret upon seeing how Uthman contradicted the path followed by both his predecessors, giving the high official posts of governors to his own relatives to whom he doled out huge sums of money.
He, therefore, went once to meet with Uthman; he said to him, “I preferred you over all others41 on the condition that you lead us on the path of Abu Bakr and Umar, but you have acted contrarily to them and sought to please your own relatives, granting them authority over the fate of the Muslims.”
Uthman said, “Umar used to severe his ties with his kinfolks, while I maintain them.” Abd al-Rahman said, “I have vowed to Allah never to talk to you again,” and he, indeed, never did till he died angry with Uthman. While he was ill prior to his death, he was visited by Uthman. He turned his face away from Uthman to face the wall, insisting on saying nothing to him.42
Thus did Allah, Glory to Him, respond favorably to Imam Ali's supplication with regard to Abd al-Rahman just as He had responded to his supplication with regard to Talhah and al-Zubayr who were both by then killed.
The Mu`tazilite author Ibn Abul-Hadid says in his book Sharh Nahjul-Balagha that Ali was very angry on account of that “shura,” and he knew what Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf had schemed, so he said to him:
What the Imam meant to say is that Abd al-Rahman hoped that Uthman would nominate him as his successor in the post of caliph just as Abu Bakr had done to Umar. Ali had also said to him, “Milk some milk in which there is a portion for you, and tie his knot today so that tomorrow he may return the favor to you.”
As for Mansham's perfume which Ali, peace be upon him, invokes here, it is a saying common among people who would say, “This is more ominous than Mansham's perfume,” a reference to discord and infighting.
Allah did, indeed, favorably respond to the Imam's supplication. Hardly a few years passed before He afflicted them with enmity. Abd al-Rahman became an opponent of his son-in-law; he did not speak to him till death. Nobody at all was permitted to perform the funeral prayers for him...
This brief research clearly demonstrates to us the fact that Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf is one of the heads of Quraysh who obliterated the Prophet's Sunnah and substituted it with the bid`as of both caliphs. It also becomes clear to us that Imam Ali is the only person who sacrificed his post of caliph, as well as everything related thereto, in order to safeguard Muhammad's Sunnah which his Brother and cousin Muhammad ibn Abdullah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his good and pure Progeny, had introduced.
You have, dear reader, no doubt come to know “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” as they really are. You have personally come to know who the adherents to the Sunnah are. A believer is noble and is never bitten twice from the same hole.
She is wife of the Prophet and the mother of the faithful. The Prophet married her in the second or third year after the Hijra and, according to the most famous accounts, she was eighteen years old when the Prophet died.
Allah prohibited the believers to marry the Prophet's wives after his demise; He says, “It does not behove you to hurt [the feelings of] the Messenger of Allah, nor should you marry his wives after him at all; this surely is grievous in the sight of Allah.” (Holy Qur'an, 33:53),
“The Prophet has a greater authority over the faithful than they have over their own selves, and his wives are (like) their mothers” (Holy Qur'an, 33:6).
We have already pointed out to the fact that the Prophet was annoyed when he heard that Talhah had said, “When Muhammad dies, I shall marry my cousin Ayesha.” Allah, Glory to Him, wanted to tell the faithful that they were prohibited from marrying the Prophet's wives just as they are prohibited from marrying their own mothers. Ayesha did not bear any children.
She was one of the greatest personalities known to Muslims, for she played a major role in bringing certain people closer to the post of caliph while distancing others therefrom. She endorsed some people while ignoring others. She participated in the wars, leading the battles and the men in war, sending letters to the heads of tribes, ordering them to do or not to do, appointing or deposing military leaders. She led the Battle of the Camel, and both Talhah and al-Zubayr served under her military command.
We do not wish to go into detail in narrating the role she had played during her lifetime, for we have discussed her extensively in our book Ask Those Who Know; so, researchers may review it if they want to know the same. What concerns us in this research, however, is her own ijtihad, her altering the Sunnah of the Prophet.
A few examples have to be highlighted so that we may understand from discussing those “great” personalities of whom the people of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” are proud and whom they regard as their role models, preferring them over the pure Imams from the Progeny of the Prophet.
This, in fact, is nothing but a tribal fanaticism which effaced the Prophet's Sunnah, buried its saline features, and put its light out. Had it not been for Ali and the Imams from his offspring, we would not have found today anything left of the Sunnah of the Prophet.
We have also come to know that Ayesha did not act upon the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, nor did she have the least regard for it. Although she had heard numerous ahadith in praise of Ali, she denied them and acted to their contrary.
She defied the command of Allah, as well as the order of His Messenger which he had directed personally to her, so she came out to lead the infamous Battle of the Camel wherein sanctities were violated and innocent people were killed. She betrayed her written pledge to Uthman ibn Haneef, and when they brought her his men tied up, she ordered them to be beheaded.45
Leave aside the fires of war and dissension which the mother of the faithful ignited, causing the land and those on it to be burned thereby, and let us discuss her own interpretations, and the following of her own views, in as far as Allah's creed is concerned. If the view of the sahabi is taken for granted and his statement is held as an argument, what would you say about one from whom half the creed is supposedly derived?!
Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, in a chapter on praying qasr prayers, al-Zuhri quotes Urwah quoting Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, saying, “The first obligatory of the prayers are two rek`as, so the traveller's prayers were thus fixed, then the prayers of one who is not on a journey were to be prayed in full.” Al-Zuhri said, “I asked Urwah, “Why is Ayesha then saying her prayers [while travelling] in full?” He said, “She is following the same interpretation as that made by Uthman.”46
Are you not surprised how the mother of the faithful and wife of the Prophet abandoned the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, which she herself had narrated and to whose authenticity she testified, just to follow the bid`a of Uthman ibn Affan, whom she was encouraging people to kill, claiming that he altered the Sunnah of the Prophet and who wore it out before his own shirt was worn out?!
Yes, this is exactly what happened during Uthman's caliphate, but she changed her mind again during the reign of Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. She urged people to kill Uthman, but once she came to know that they did kill him, and that they swore the oath of allegiance to Ali, she changed her mind and came out demanding revenge for him!
We deduct from the narrative stated above is that she prayed, while travelling, the full number of rek`as, four in number, instead of two. She did so during the reign of Mu`awiyah who took pains to revive all the innovations of his cousin and benefactor Uthman ibn Affan.
People follow the creed of their rulers. Ayesha was among those who reconciled with Mu`awiyah after their hostility; he is the one who had killed her brother Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr and mutilated his corpse in the worst manner. Despite all of that, mutual worldly interests bring enemies together and create brotherhood among antagonists; so, Mu`awiyah sought to please her, and she sought to please him, and he started sending her presents and huge sums of money.
Historians say that when Mu`awiyah reached Medina, he went to visit Ayesha. Having sat down, she said to him, “O Mu`awiyah! Do you feel secure against my hiding someone to kill you in revenge for your killing my brother Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr?” Mu`awiyah said, “Rather, I have entered a house of security.” “Did you fear Allah,” she continued, “when you killed Hujr b. `Adi and his followers?” He said, “Rather, those who testified against them killed them.”47
They also narrate saying that Mu`awiyah used to send her gifts, clothes, and other encased items, and that he sent her once one hundred thousand dinars in one lump sum.48 He also sent her once when she was in Mecca a necklace worth one hundred thousand dinars and paid all her debts which amounted to eighteen thousand dinars in addition to whatever she used to give to others.49
In my book titled Ask Those Who Know, I indicated that in one single day, she set free forty-one slaves as atonement for breaking her oath.50
Rulers and governors belonging to Banu Umayyah used also to seek her pleasure and send her presents and money.51
Remember that Abu Bakr is the one who shared the authority with Mu`awiyah whom he appointed as wali of Syria after the death of his brother, and Mu`awiyah used to always appreciate Abu Bakr's favors on him; without Abu Bakr, Mu`awiyah would never have even dreamed of becoming caliph.
Mu`awiyah, moreover, used to meet with the group when they were plotting their great plot to obliterate the Sunnah and annihilate the Progeny of the Prophet. There was no enmity between Mu`awiyah and Ayesha. Even her asking him, “Do you feel secure against my hiding someone to kill you in revenge for your killing my brother Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr?” was no more than teasing him; she never loved the son of the woman from the tribe of Khath`am, namely Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who fought her after having sided with Ali and who regarded killing her as halal.
She also shares Mu`awiyah's hatred towards “Abu Turab” to the extreme limit and with more animosity than anyone can imagine. In all of this, I do not know which one of them earned higher marks: Was it not he who fought, cursed, and condemned him [Imam Ali] and put out his light for good?
Or was it she who worked hard to exclude him from the caliphate, fought him and tried her best to obliterate his name from existence and went out riding a mule urging Banu Umayyah to fight him, seeking their assistance against Banu Hashim saying, “Do not permit anyone I do not like to enter my house”? She even tried to wage another war, so much so that some of her relatives asked her, “Is not sufficient [shame] for us what you did on the `Day of the red Camel' so that people may have another `Day of the Gray Mule'?!”
She undoubtedly was contemporary to an extended period of Banu Umayyah's reign and had heard them cursing Ali and Ahlul Bayt from the pulpits without expressing her resentment of it, nor did she prohibit it; she may even have indirectly encouraged it.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, for example, writes the following in his Musnad:
A man came to Ayesha and spoke ill of both of Ali ibn Abu Talib and Ammar ibn Yasir. Ayesha said, “As for Ammar, I have heard the Prophet saying that whenever he [Ammar] had to opt between one of two matters, he always opted for the most rational one.”52
We are not surprised, then, to see Ayesha laying the Sunnah of the Prophet to rest while reviving Uthman's bid`a with regard to praying the full number of rek`as while on a journey in order to please Mu`awiyah and other Umayyad rulers who followed her wherever she went, glorifying her and deriving their creed from her.
It becomes clear to us that “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” worship Allah in the light of texts which Allah never revealed, without thoroughly examining or verifying them. Had they verified such bid`as, they would surely have found them repugnant, and they would have willingly abandoned them. This is what I personally experienced with some open-minded Sunni scholars. When they came across the tradition relevant to grown-ups suckling, they were very surprised and dumbfounded, and they assured me that they had never heard it before.
This is a common phenomenon among “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a.” A great number of ahadith which the Shi`as cite to argue with them are recorded in Sunni Sahihs while the Sunnis are unaware of them and regard anyone who narrates them as an apostate.
“Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot; they were under two of Our righteous servants, but they betrayed them, so they (their husbands) could not protect them against Allah in the least, and it was said to them: Enter both into the fire with those who enter”. (Holy Qur'an, 66:10)
Khalid ibn al-Waleed ibn al-Mugheerah belonged to Banu Makhzum, and he is given by “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” the title of “The Sword of Allah.”
His father was one of the wealthiest men whose wealth was immeasurable. Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad says, “He was the wealthiest man alive according to their commonly known wealth criteria: gold, silver, orchards, vineyards, merchandise, real estate, servants, concubines, slaves, etc. This is why he was called the peerless.”53 His father is none other than al-Waleed ibn al-Mugheerah who was forewarned of being burned in the fire of hell and of a very mean resort by the Holy Qur'an in the following verses:
“Leave Me and him whom I created alone and gave him vast riches, and sons dwelling in his presence, and I adjusted his affairs for him most appropriately, yet he desires that I should add even more! By no means! Surely he opposes Our Signs. I will make a distressing punishment overtake him. Surely he reflected and guessed, but may he be cursed how he guessed! Again may he be cursed how he guessed; then he looked, then he frowned and scowled, then he turned back and was big with pride, then he said: This is naught but an enchantment narrated (by others); this is naught but the word of a mortal. I will cast him into hell. And what will make you realize what hell is? It leaves naught nor does it spare aught. It scorches the mortal. Over it are nineteen.” (Holy Qur'an, 74:11-30)
It is said that al-Waleed came to see the Prophet once to lure him with wealth so that he might abandon the religion he was preaching, whereupon Allah revealed these verses in that regard:
“And do not yield to any mean one who swears, defames, going about with slander, forbidding goodness, out-stepping the limits, sinful, ignoble, (and) besides all that, base-born, (only) because he possesses wealth and sons. When Our Signs are recited to him, he says: Tales of those of yore. We shall brand him on the nose...” (Holy Qur'an, 68: 10-16)
Al-Waleed thought that he deserved to be prophet more than Muhammad; he used to say, “Should the Qur'an and Prophethood be revealed unto Muhammad the indigent while I, the master of and the greatest among Quraysh, be left out?”
On such a doctrine did Khalid ibn al-Waleed grow up bearing animosity towards Islam and the Prophet of Islam who ridiculed his father's dreams and undermined his power base. Khalid, therefore, participated in all the wars waged against the Messenger of Allah.
Khalid undoubtedly used to share his father's belief that the latter was more worthy of Prophethood than Muhammad, the indigent orphan. Since Khalid, like his father, was one of the most prominent figures in Quraysh, if not the very most prominent one, he felt he should have had the lion's share of the Qur'an and prophethood had they only been his father's lot, and he would have inherited prophethood and authority just as Solomon had inherited David. It is to refer to such belief that Allah, Glory to Him, says,
“When the truth came to them, they said: This is sorcery, and in it are we disbelievers. And they said: Why was this Qur'an not revealed to a man of importance in both towns?” (Holy Qur'an, 43:30-31)
No wonder, then, to see how he tried all he could to put an end to Muhammad and his mission. We find him raising a huge army financed from his wealth during the Battle of Uhud, lying in ambush for the Prophet in an attempt to put an end to him. During the year of the Hudaybiya treaty, he also tried to assassinate the Prophet, but Allah, Glory to Him, foiled all his schemes, rendering them a failure, while supporting His Prophet on all occasions.
When Khalid came to know, as did other prominent members of Quraysh, that the Messenger of Allah was invincible, seeing how people were accepting the religion of Allah in large numbers, it was then that he surrendered to reality while suppressing his sighs. His acceptance of Islam, therefore, came as late as the eighth year after the Hijra, only four months before the conquest of Mecca.
Khalid inaugurated his acceptance of Islam by behaving contrarily to the orders issued by the Messenger of Allah not to kill anyone. Khalid entered Mecca on the conquest day after having killed more than thirty men who belonged mostly to Quraysh although the Prophet had clearly instructed them not to kill anyone.
No matter how many excuses some people may find for Khalid by saying, for example, that he was banned from entering Mecca, and that they faced him with their weapons, he was not justified in killing anyone after having been prohibited by the Prophet from doing so; he could have gone to another gate to enter the city without a fight as others did, or to send a message to the Prophet seeking his advice with regard to those who were prohibiting him from entering. But none of that happened. Rather, Khalid followed his own opinion, challenging what he had clearly heard from the Messenger of Allah.
Since we are talking about those who follow their own opinions at the expense of contradicting the available text, something which gained many supporters and enthusiasts, or say it acquired a school of its own from which many great sahaba and legislators graduated, a school which was later called the school of the caliphs, we cannot avoid pointing out here to the fact that ijtihad in such sense is nothing other than disobedience to Allah and His Messenger.
We have become accustomed to seeing references made to ijtihad versus the available texts, so much so that it appears as though it is perfectly legitimate. In fact, we have to say that Khalid disobeyed the Prophet's order instead of saying that he followed his own view in the face of an existing text. This is what the Qur'an teaches us to do; Allah says,
“Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil to him....” (Holy Qur'an, 20:121).
This is so because Allah had prohibited him from eating of the forbidden tree. Since Adam did eat of it, we must not say: “Adam followed his own ijtihad as opposed to the available text.”
Each and every Muslim has to keep himself at his limit rather than transgress and voice his own view in an issue regarding which an order permitting or prohibiting it had already been issued by Allah or His Messenger, for that will be obvious apostasy. Allah said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam.” This is an order.
“So they prostrated” (Holy Qur'an, 20:116);
this is a positive response, an act of submission, an expression of obedience. The exception was Eblis: he followed his own view, so he said, “I am better than him; why, then, should I prostrate to him?” Here we encounter a rebellion, a mutiny, regardless of who is better than who: Adam or Eblis. This is why the most Glorified One says,
“It does not behove any believing man or woman to make any choice in their matter once Allah and His Apostle have decided it, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger surely strays off a manifest straying” (Holy Qur'an, 33:36).
It is to this fact that Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq referred when he said once to Abu Hanifah, “Do not apply qiyas (analogy), for if it is applied to the Shari`a, it will be obliterated, and the first person to apply qiyas was Eblis when he said, `I am better than him; You created me of fire while creating him of dust'” (Holy Qur'an, 7:12 and 38:76).
His statement that “... if it is applied to the Shari`a, it will be obliterated” is the best expression of the invalidity of qiyas. If people follow their own diverse views in the face of available texts, there will be no Shari`a at all.
“Had the truth followed their own (low) desires, the heavens and the earth and all those therein would then have perished” (Holy Qur'an, 23:71).
Having made this brief expose of the principle of ijtihad, let us see how Khalid ibn al-Waleed disobeyed the order issued by the Messenger of Allah on another occasion when he was sent by the Prophet to Banu Juthaymah to invite them to Islam. The Prophet did not order Khalid to fight anyone.
Yet Khalid went there and afflicted them with treachery even after their declaration of acceptance of Islam, killing some of them in cold blood, so much so that Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, who was an eye witness to that incident, said that Khalid had killed them only out of his desire to seek revenge for both of his uncles whom Banu Juthaymah had killed.54
When the Messenger of Allah heard about that shameful treachery, he thrice dissociated himself before Allah from what Khalid ibn al-Waleed had done. Then he sent them Ali ibn Abu Talib bearing a great deal of wealth to them to pay their blood money, the blood spilled by Khalid.
No matter how many excuses “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” may find for Khalid ibn al-Waleed, the pages of history are full of the tragedies which he inflicted and of his violating the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.
Suffices the researcher to read his biography and what he did in the Yamama during the time of Abu Bakr, how he betrayed Malik ibn Nuwayrah and executed his men in cold blood although they were Muslims then married Malik's wife and cohabited with her on the same night of her husband's murder, discarding Islam's Shari`a and the Arabs' principles of valor.
Even Umar ibn al-Khattab, despite his being laxing in enforcing Islam's injunctions, exposed him and called him the enemy of Allah, promising to stone him to death.
Researchers are obligated to review history with keen eyes and from the stand of constructive criticism which leads them to the truth without any abstraction or bias. Nor should they be overtaken by sectarian fanaticism so they evaluate the individuals basing their evaluation on fabricated ahadith of the Prophet. “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a,” who, in fact, are Banu Umayyah, wipe out all historical events with one single tradition which they themselves fabricate in order to thus stop the researchers short of reaching the truth.
How easy it is for one of them to say, “The Messenger of Allah said to Khalid ibn al-Waleed, `Welcome, O Sword of Allah!'“ so this false tradition takes control of the hearts of innocent Muslims who think well of others and who do not know what others hide and what schemes the Umayyads plot. Based on this fabricated tradition, they, therefore, interpret everything said about Khalid of facts and find excuses for him. This is called the psychological effect on people, and it is the acute ailment obstructing one from reaching the truth, turning the facts upside down.
Let me give you an example:
Abu Talib, uncle of the Prophet is said to have died as an apostate, and that the Prophet said about him, “Abu Talib is inside a lake of fire from which his brains boil.” Because of this fabricated “tradition,” “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” believe that Abu Talib is an apostate, and that he is in the fire. They, therefore, do not accept any rational analysis which leads them to the truth. Through this “tradition,” the biography of Abu Talib, his struggle in defense of Islam because of which his own people became antagonistic towards him, and he towards them, so much so that he accepted to endure the boycott at Mecca's ravine for three years for the sake of his nephew, a boycott during which he had to eat leaves to survive, and his heroic stands as well as doctrinal poetry in defense of the Prophet's call..., all this is undermined.
Because of it, they ignore all what the Prophet had done in praise of his uncle, how he washed his corpse and shrouded it in his own shirt and personally laid it to rest in his grave, naming the year when he lost him as `aam al-huzn, the year of grief, saying, “By Allah! Quraysh was unable to harm me except after the death of Abu Talib. Allah sent me the wahi saying: `Get out of it [Mecca], for your supporter has died,'“ whereupon he migrated from Mecca instantly.
Take another example:
Sufyan ibn Harb, Mu`awiyah's father, is said to have accepted Islam after the conquest of Mecca, and that the Prophet said about him, “Whoever entered Abu Sufyan's house will be safe.” Based on this tradition which contains no virtue whatsoever nor any merit for him, “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” believe that Abu Sufyan became Muslim, that his acceptance of Islam was very good, and that he is in Paradise because Islam cancels his past deeds.
They do not accept, beyond this, the rational analysis which enables them to reach the truth. And it is through this “hadith” that all what Abu Sufyan had done towards the Messenger and his Message is forgiven, and forgotten are all the wars which he had led and financed in order to put an end to Muhammad. And his animosity and grudge towards the Prophet is forgotten.
When they came to him and said, “Accept Islam or else we should strike your neck with the sword,” he said, “I testify that there is no god but Allah.” They said to him, “Testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” He responded by saying, “As for this one, I have within myself something against it.”
Whenever he met the Prophet after having accepted Islam, he would silently say to himself, “By what did this person overcome me?” It is then that the Prophet would audibly respond to him by saying, “Through Allah have I overcome you, O father of Sufyan!”
These are only two examples I have brought from our Islamic history so that the researchers may clearly observe some people's psychological effect on others, and how such an effect veils them from the truth. Thus do we come to understand that “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” surrounded the sahaba with a halo of false traditions which provided them with immunity and sanctity in the hearts of simple-minded people who can no longer accept any criticism or blame.
If a Muslim is convinced that these men had been given by the Messenger of Allah the glad tidings of going to Paradise, he will never accept any criticism of them, and everything they did will then be underestimated; he will find excuses and interpretations for them provided the door is closed in his face from the very beginning.
This is why they attached for each of their chief men a title which they claimed to have been given by the Messenger of Allah: This person is “al-Siddeeq,” whereas this one is “al-Farooq;” this was the beloved one of the Messenger of Allah, and those are his huris, while this particular woman is his beloved wife. This man is the “nation's trust,” while that is the “narrator of Islam.”
This one is the “wahi's recorder,” whereas this man is the one with the two sandals; this is the cupper of the Prophet, while that is “The Sword of Allah,” and this is this, and that is that... All these titles, in fact, neither fatten nor satisfy when it comes to the balance of truth with Allah;
“... names which you yourselves, and your fathers, named; Allah has not sent down any authority for them” (Holy Qur'an, 12:40).
What counts with Allah is one's own good needs.
History is the best witness of deeds through which we evaluate anyone; we do not hold in high esteem anyone about whom falsehood is uttered. This, in fact, is exactly what Imam Ali has said: “If you get to know the truth, you will get to know who follows it.” Since we have studied history and come to know what Khalid ibn al-Waleed had done and come to distinguish the truth from falsehood, we cannot call him “The Sword of Allah.”
We have also the right to ask when the Messenger of Allah ever named him so. Did he name him Allah's sword when he killed the people of Mecca on the conquest day, having come to know that he had prohibited him from fighting anyone?
Or was it when he sent him with the army commanded by Zayd ibn al-Haritha and dispatched to Mu'ta, saying, “If Zayd is killed, then Ja`far ibn Abu Talib (should take the command), and if Ja`far is killed, then Abdullah ibn Ruwahah [should lead],” without nominating him except in the fourth position to lead the army, yet after all these three men were killed, Khalid fled from the battle field accompanied by the remnant of that army...?
Or did he give him that title when he accompanied him to attack Hunayn in twelve thousand warriors. There, too, he fled, leaving behind him on the battle grounds the Messenger of Allah who had no more than twelve men who stood steadfastly with him?
Since Allah says,
“And whoever turns his back to them that day, neither maneuvering nor supporting one company, he will then incur the wrath of Allah, and his abode will be hell, and what an evil abode it is” (Holy Qur'an, 8:16),
how could he permit himself to flee? It truly is amazing!
I personally think that Khalid, in the first place, never knew this title as long as the Prophet lived, nor did the Messenger of Allah ever call him so. Rather, Abu Bakr was the one who bestowed this badge of courage on him when he sent him to silence those who revolted against him and opposed his caliphate, so he did to them what he did, so much so that Umar ibn al-Khattab (because of what Khalid had done) said to Abu Bakr, “Khalid's sword is quite excessive,” and he surely knew him best. It was then that Abu Bakr responded to Umar by saying, “Khalid is one of the swords of Allah which He unsheathed against His foes,” which is a totally erroneous way of looking at things__hence the title.
In his book Al-Riyad al-Nadira, al-Tabari indicates that Banu Saleem had reneged, whereupon Abu Bakr sent them Khalid ibn al-Waleed who gathered some of their men inside animal sheds then set them to fire. When Umar ibn al-Khattab came to know about this incident, he went to see Abu Bakr and said, “Why do you let a man employ the same method of torture employed by Allah, the Most Exalted One, the Great?” Abu Bakr answered him by saying, “By Allah! I shall not shame a sword which Allah unsheathed against His foes till He Himself shames it,” then he ordered him to leave, whereupon he instantly went out to see Musaylamah.55
This is how “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” came to call Khalid “The Sword of Allah” even though he had disobeyed the order of the Messenger of Allah and burnt people with the fire, thus totally discarding the Sunnah.
In his Sahih, al-Bukhari indicates that the Messenger of Allah had said, “Nobody employs the fire for torture except Allah,” and also, “None torments with the fire except the fire's God.”56 And we have already indicated how Abu Bakr used to say before his death, “I wish I never burnt al-Salami!”
We say: We wish there had been someone to ask Umar ibn al-Khattab, “Since you already knew that none torments with the fire except Allah, why did you swear after the death of the Prophet to burn the house of Fatima al-Zahra and everyone inside it if they refused to swear the oath of allegiance [to Abu Bakr]? Had Ali not surrendered and ordered everyone to go out to swear it, you would certainly have carried your threat out.”
Sometimes I doubt whether Umar opposed Abu Bakr and whether the latter did not heed his opposition, for this would be quite unusual. We have already seen how Abu Bakr did not stand in the face of Umar, nor did he maintain his stand in the face of his opposition. More than once did he say to him, “I had already told you that you are stronger than me in handling this matter, but you subdued me.”
On another occasion, when he complained to him about those whose hearts could be won towards Islam and what Umar did to the covenant which he had written for them, how he spitted on it and tore it to pieces, he was asked, “Are you the caliph or is it Umar?” He answered by saying, “He, Allah willing, is.”
For this reason, I say that the one who opposed Khalid's ugly deeds may have been none other than Ali ibn Abu Talib, but the early historians and narrators used to quite often avoid mentioning his name, so they substituted it with that of Umar as testified by several narrations traced back to “Zaynab's father”57 or to “a man,” meaning thereby Ali but not openly revealing his name.
Actually, this is not a mere probability, or we may accept what is stated by some historians who write saying that Umar ibn al-Khattab used to hate Khalid and could not stand looking at him in the face because he was jealous of him: Khalid had won people's hearts because of his victories. It is also said that Khalid had wrestled with Umar during the days of jahiliyya, winning the match and breaking Umar's leg.
What is important is that once he became caliph, Umar deposed Khalid but did not carry out his threat of stoning him as he had threatened. The result: Khalid and Umar ibn al-Khattab vied with one another in their toughness and arrogance; each one of them was stone-hearted, and each deliberately violated the Prophet's Sunnah and disobeyed the Prophet during his life and after his death.
Moreover, both hated the Prophet's wasi and tried very hard to distance him from public life. Khalid plotted with both Umar and Abu Bakr to assassinate Ali shortly after the death of the Prophet58 but Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, saved him from their mischief so that he might carry out something which He had decreed.
Once again it becomes clear to us, having briefly studied the personality of Khalid ibn al-Waleed whose praise is sung by “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a,” that the latter are quite distant from the Prophet's Sunnah, and that they emulate those who acted to its contrary and abandoned it behind their backs and had no respect at all for it nor for the Book of Allah.
One of the sahaba of the latter period of Islam's dawn and, according to the sequence employed by Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat, Abu Hurayra ranks in the ninth or tenth class.
He came to the Messenger of Allah near the end of the seventh Hijri year. Hence, historians say that he accompanied the Prophet no more than three years59 according to the best estimates, while other historians say it was no more than two years if we take into consideration the fact that the Prophet sent him to accompany Ibn al-Hadrami to Bahrain, then the Messenger of Allah died while he was still in Bahrain.
Abu Hurayra was not known for his jihad or valor, nor was he among those who were regarded as brilliant thinkers, nor among the jurists who knew the Qur'an by heart, nor did he even know how to read and write. He came to the Messenger of Allah in order to satisfy his hunger as he himself said, and as the Prophet came to understand from him, so he lodged him among the people of the Saffa to whom the Prophet used to send some food.
Yet he became famous for the abundance of ahadith which he used to narrate about the Messenger of Allah. The number of these ahadith reached almost six thousand. This fact attracted the attention of verifiers of hadith especially since he had not remained in the company of the Prophet for any length of time and to the fact that he narrated traditions regarding battles which he had never attended.
Some verifiers of hadith gathered all what was narrated by the “righteous caliphs” as well as by the ten men given the glad tidings of going to Paradise in addition to what the mothers of the faithful and the purified Ahlul Bayt, and they did not total one tenth of what Abu Hurayra had narrated all alone. This came despite the fact that among the latter was Ali ibn Abu Talib who remained in the company of the Prophet for thirty years.
Then fingers were pointed to Abu Hurayra charging him with telling lies and with fabricating and forging hadith. Some went as far as labelling him as the first narrator in the history of Islam thus charged. Yet “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” bestow upon him the title of “Islam's narrator,” surrounding him with a great deal of respect, totally relying on him.
Some of them may even regard him as being more knowledgeable than Ali due to one particular tradition which he narrates about himself and in which he says, “I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I hear a great deal of your hadith which I have been forgetting!' He said, `Stretch your mantle,' so I stretched it, whereupon he made a handful then said, `Close upon it,' whereupon I closed upon it and never forgot of it a thing ever since.”60
Abu Hurayra kept narrating so many ahadith that Umar ibn al-Khattab beat him with his cane and said to him, “You have quoted too many ahadith, and it seems that you have been telling lies about the Messenger of Allah.” This was due to one particular narration which he reported in which he quoted the Prophet saying that Allah had created the heavens, the earth, and all creation in seven days.
When Umar heard about it, he called him in and asked him to repeat that hadith. Having heard him repeating it, Umar struck him and said to him, “How so when Allah Himself says it was done in six days, while you yourself now say it was done in seven?” Abu Hurayra said, “Maybe I heard it from Ka`b al-Ahbar...” Umar said, “Since you cannot distinguish between the Prophet's ahadith and what Ka`b al-Ahbar says, you must not narrate anything at all.”61
It is also narrated that Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib has said, “Among all the living, the person who has told the most lies about the Messenger of Allah is Abu Hurayra al-Dawsi.”62 Mother of the faithful Ayesha, too, testified to his being a liar several times in reference to many ahadith which he used to attribute to the Messenger of Allah.
For example, she resented something which he had once said so she asked him, “When did you hear the Messenger of Allah say so?” He said to her, “The mirror, the kohl, and the dyestuff have all diverted you from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah,” but when she insisted that he was lying and scandalized him, Marwan ibn al-Hakam interfered and took upon himself to verify the authenticity of the hadith in question.
It was then that Abu Hurayra admitted, “I did not hear it from the Messenger of Allah; rather, I heard it from al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas.”63 It is because of this particular narration that Ibn Qutaybah charged him with lying saying, “Abu Hurayra claimed that al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas, who had by then died, testified to the authenticity of that tradition which he attributed to him in order to mislead people into thinking that he had heard it from him.”64
In his book Ta'weel al-Ahadith, Ibn Qutaybah says, “Abu Hurayra used to say: `The Messenger of Allah said such-and-such, but I heard it from someone else.” In his book A`lam al-Nubala, al-Dhahabi says that Yazid ibn Ibrahim once cited Shu`bah ibn al-Hajjaj saying that Abu Hurayra used to commit forgery.
In his book [Siyar] A`lam al-Nubala, Ibn Kathir [Ed. this should be al-Dhahabi] indicates that Yazid ibn Ibrahim heard Ibn al-Hajjaj saying that Abu Hurayra used to forge hadith.
In his book Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Ibn Kathir states that Yazid ibn Haroun heard Shu`bah ibn al-Hajjaj accusing him of the same, that his, that he forges hadith, and that he used to narrate what he used to hear from Ka`b al-Ahbar as well as from the Messenger of Allah without distinguishing one from the other.
Ja`far al-Iskafi has said, “Abu Hurayra is doubted by our mentors; his narrations are not acceptable.”65
During his lifetime, Abu Hurayra was famous among the sahaba of lying and forgery and of narrating too many fabricated ahadith to the extent that some of the sahaba used to deride him and ask him to fabricate ahadith agreeable with their own taste.
For example, a man belonging to Quraysh put on once a new jubbah (a long outer garment) and started showing off. He passed by Abu Hurayra and [sarcastically] said to him, “O Abu Hurayra! You narrate quite a few traditions about the Messenger of Allah; so, did you hear him say anything about my jubbah?!”
Abu Hurayra said, “I have heard the father of al-Qasim saying, `A man before your time was showing off his outfit when Allah caused the earth to cave in over him; so he has been rattling in it and will continue to do so till the Hour.' By Allah! I do not know whether he was one of your people or not.”66
How can people help doubting Abu Hurayra's traditions since they are so self-contradictory? He narrates one “hadith” then he narrates its antithesis, and if he is opposed or his previously narrated traditions are used against him, he becomes angry or starts babbling in the Ethiopian language.67
How could they help accusing him of telling lies and of forgery after he himself had admitted that he got traditions out of his own pouch then attributed them to the Prophet ?
Al-Bukhari, in his Sahih, states the following:
Abu Hurayra said once, “The Prophet said, `The best charity is willingly given; the higher hand is better than the lower one, and start with your own dependents. A woman says: `Either feed me or divorce me.' A slave says, `Feed me and use me.' A son says, `Feed me for the woman who will forsake me.'“ He was asked, “O Abu Hurayra! Did you really hear the Messenger of Allah say so?” He said, “No, this one is from Abu Hurayra's pouch.”68
Notice how he starts this “tradition” by saying, “The Prophet said,” then when they refuse to believe what he tells them, he admits by saying, “... this one is from Abu Hurayra's pouch”! So congratulations for Abu Hurayra for possessing this pouch which is full of lies and myths, and for which Mu`awiyah and Banu Umayyah provided a great deal of publicity, and because of which he acquired position, authority, wealth, and mansions. Mu`awiyah made him the governor of Medina and built him the Aqeeq mansion then married him off to a woman of honorable descent for whom he used to work as a servant...
Since Abu Hurayra was the close vizier of Mu`awiyah, it is not due to his own merits, honor, or knowledge; rather, it is because Abu Hurayra used to provide him with whatever traditions he needed to circulate. If some sahaba used to hesitate in cursing “Abu Turab,” finding doing that as embarrassing, Abu Hurayra cursed Ali in his own house and as his Shi`as heard:
Ibn Abul-Hadid says,
When Abu Hurayra came to Iraq in the company of Mu`awiyah in the Year of the Jama`a, he came to Kufa's mosque. Having seen the huge number of those who welcomed him, he knelt down then beat his bald head and said, “O people of Iraq! Do you claim that I tell lies about the Messenger of Allah and thus burn myself in the fire?! By Allah! I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, `Each prophet has a sanctuary, and my sanctuary is in Medina from Eer to [the mountain of] Thawr; so, anyone who makes it unclean will be cursed by Allah, the angels, and all people, and I bear witness that Ali had done so.” When Mu`awiyah came to hear this statement, he gave him a present, showered him with his generosity, and made him the governor of Medina.69
Suffices us to prove the above the fact that he was created governor of Medina by none other than Mu`awiyah. There is no doubt that verifiers and researchers who are free from prejudice will doubt anyone who befriended the enemy of Allah and His Messenger and who was antagonistic towards the friend of Allah and His Messenger...
There is no doubt that Abu Hurayra did not reach that lofty position of authority, namely the governor of Medina, the then capital of the Islamic domains, except by virtue of the services which he had rendered to Mu`awiyah and other authoritative Umayyads. Praise to the One Who changes the conditions!
Abu Hurayra had come to Medina with nothing to cover his private parts other than a tiny striped piece of cloth, begging passers-by to feed him. Then he suddenly became ruler of the sacred precincts of Medina, residing in the Aqeeq mansion, enjoying wealth, servants and slaves, and nobody could say a word without his permission. All of this was from the blessings of his pouch!
Do not forget, nor should you be amazed, that nowadays we see the same plays being repeatedly enacted, and history certainly repeats itself. How many ignorant indigent persons sought nearness to a ruler and joined his party till they became feared masters who do and undo, issuing orders as they please, having a direct access to wealth without being accounted for it, riding in automobiles without being watched, eating foods not sold on the market...?
One such person may not even know how to speak his own language, nor does he know a meaning for life except satisfying his stomach and sexual appetite. The whole matter is simply his having a pouch like the one Abu Hurayra used to have with some exception, of course, yet the aim is one and the same: pleasing the ruler and publicizing for him in order to strengthen his authority, firm his throne, and finish his foes.
Abu Hurayra loved the Umayyads and they loved him since the days of Uthman ibn Affan, their leader. His view with regard to Uthman was contrary to that of all the sahaba who belonged to the Muhajirun and the Ansar; he regarded all the sahaba who participated in or encouraged the killing of Uthman as apostates.
Undoubtedly, Abu Hurayra used to accuse Ali ibn Abu Talib of killing Uthman. We can derive this conclusion from the statement he made at Kufa's mosque and his saying that Ali made Medina unclean and that he, therefore, was cursed by the Prophet, the angels, and everyone else. For this reason, Ibn Sa`d indicates in his Tabaqat that when Abu Hurayra died in 59 A.H./679 A.D., Uthman's descendants carried his coffin and brought it to the Baqee` to bury it as an expression of their appreciation of his having had high regards for Uthman.70
Surely Allah has his own wisdom in faring with His creation. Uthman ibn Affan, the master of Quraysh and their greatest, was killed although he was the Muslims' caliph bearing the title of “Dhul-Noorayn” and of whom, according to their claim, the angels feel shy. His corpse did not receive the ceremonial burial bath nor was it shrouded; moreover, it was not buried for full three days after which it was buried at the Jewish cemetery.
Yet Abu Hurayra died after having enjoyed pomp and power. He was an indigent man whose lineage and tribal origins were not known to anybody. He had no kinship to Quraysh. Despite all of this, the caliph's sons, who were in charge of running the affairs during Mu`awiyah's reign, took to bearing his corpse and to bury it at the Baqee` where the Messenger of Allah was buried...! But let us go back to Abu Hurayra to examine his attitude towards the Prophet's Sunnah.
In his Sahih, al-Bukhari quotes Abu Hurayra saying, “I learned the fill of two receptacles [of ahadith] from the Messenger of Allah: I have disseminated only one of them; as for the other, if I disseminate it, this throat will be slit.”71
Since we indicated in our previous researches that Abu Bakr and Umar had burnt the recorded Prophet's Sunnah and prohibited traditionists from conveying it to others, here is Abu Hurayra revealing what erstwhile is hidden, testifying to our own conclusion, admitting that the only traditions he quoted were the ones that pleased the ruling authorities.
Building upon this premise, Abu Hurayra used to have two pouches, or two receptacles, as he called them. He used to disseminate the contents of one of them, the one which we have discussed here that contains whatever the rulers desired.
As for the other, which Abu Hurayra kept to himself and whose ahadith he did not narrate for fear his throat would be slit, it is the one containing the authentic traditions of the Prophet. Had Abu Hurayra been a reliable authority, he would have never hidden true ahadith while disseminating illusions and lies only to support the oppressor, knowing that Allah curses whoever hides the clear evidence.
Al-Bukhari quotes him saying once,
“People say that Abu Hurayra narrates too many ahadith. Had it not been for two [particular] verses in the Book of Allah, I would not have narrated a single hadith: `Those who conceal what We have revealed of clear proofs and the guidance, after Our having clarified [everything] for people in the Book, these it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them, too” (Holy Qur'an, 2:159).
Our brethren from the Muhajirun used to be busy consigning transactions at the market-place, while our brethren from the Ansar used to be busy doing business with their own money, while Abu Hurayra kept in the shadow of the Prophet in order to satisfy his hunger, attending what they did not attend, learning what they did not learn.”72
How can Abu Hurayra say that had it not been for a couple of verses in the Book of Allah, he would not have narrated a single hadith, then he says, “I learned two receptacles [of ahadith] from the Messenger of Allah: I have disseminated one of them; as for the other, if I disseminate it, this throat will be slit”?! Is this not his admission of having concealed the truth despite both verses in the Book of Allah?!
Had the Prophet not said to his companions, “Go back to your people and teach them”?73 Had he not also said, “One who conveys is more aware than one who hears”? Al-Bukhari states that the Prophet urged the deputation of Abd Qays to learn belief and scholarship “... then convey what you learn to those whom you have left behind.”74
Can we help wondering why should the throat of a sahabi be slit if he quotes the Prophet ?! There must be a secret here which the caliphs do not wish others to know. We actually pointed out to this very secret in our past researches embedded in our book Ask Those Who Know. Here, we would like to briefly say that “the people of the remembrance” was [a phrase in] a Qur'anic verse revealed to refer to Ali's successorship of the Prophet.
Abu Hurayra is not to blame; he knew his own worth and testified against his own soul that Allah cursed him, and so did those who curse, for having hidden the Prophet's hadith. But the blame is on “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” who call Abu Hurayra the narrator of the Sunnah while he himself testifies that he hid it then testifies that he fabricated it and told lies in its regard, then he further goes on to testify that it became confused for him, so he could not tell which one was the statement of the Prophet and which one was made by others. All of these ahadith and correct admissions are recorded in al-Bukhari's Sahih and in other authentic books of hadith of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a”.
How can “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” feel comfortable about a man whose justice was doubted by the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib who charged him with lying, saying that among the living, nobody told more lies about the Prophet than Abu Hurayra. Umar ibn al-Khattab, too, charged him of the same, beat him and threatened to expel him.
Ayesha doubted his integrity and many times called him a liar, and many other sahaba cast doubts about his accuracy and rejected his contradictory ahadith, so he would once admit his error and would sometimes prattle in Ethiopian.75 A large number of Muslim scholars refuted his traditions and charged him with lying, fabricating, and throwing himself at Mu`awiyah's dinner tables, at his coffers of gold and silver.
Is it right, then, for Abu Hurayra to become “Islam's narrator” from whom the religion's injunctions are learned?
Judaica and Jewish doctrines have filled the books of hadith. Ka`b al-Ahbar, a Jew, may have succeeded in getting such doctrines and beliefs included into the books of hadith, hence we find traditions likening or personifying Allah, as well as the theory of incarnation, in addition to many abominable statements about the prophets and messengers of Allah: all of these are cited through Abu Hurayra.
So, are “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” now going to repent and go back to their senses in order to know who they should learn the true Sunnah from? If they ask us, we would say, “Come to the Gate of Knowledge and the Imams from his offspring, for they are the custodians of the Sunnah, the security of the nation, the ark of salvation, the Imams of guidance, the lanterns that shatter the dark, the mighty niche, and the strong Rope of Allah.”
He is one of the famous sahaba who played a major role in shaping the events that took place during the reign of the third caliph as well as that of Banu Umayyah. Suffices him the fact that his father was Umar ibn al-Khattab to be glorified and loved by “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” who consider him as one of the greatest faqihs and of all those who learned the “Prophet's ahadith.”
Even Imam Malik relies on him in deducting most of his ahkam, filling his book Al-Muwatta' with his traditions. And if we turn the pages of the books of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a,” we will find them referring to him quite often, full of his praise.
Yet if we read the same that with researchers' discerning eyes, it will become clear to us that he was far from being just or truthful; rather, he was distant from the Prophet's Sunnah, from fiqh, and from the Shari`a.
Our first observation will be his extreme enmity and hatred towards the master of the Prophet's Progeny, Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib: he went as far as instigating others against him and regarded as a commoner.
We have already indicated that he circulated many false ahadith the gist of which is that the sahaba during the lifetime of the Prophet used to compare each one of them with the other in the presence of the Prophet heard, saying that the best of people was Abu Bakr then Umar then Uthman, then people after the latter were all alike, and that the Prophet used to hear all of thais comparison without denying it. This is a blatant lie derided by any rational person.
We researched the life of Abdullah ibn Umar during the Prophet's lifetime, and we found out that he was too young to reach adolescence. He had no influence whatsoever among those who had a say, nor was his view taken into consideration. The Messenger of Allah died when Abdullah ibn Umar was, according to the best estimates, nineteen years old; so, how could he have said that they (the sahaba) used to compare each one of them with the other?
This could only be children gossiping among themselves, the children of Abu Bakr, Uthman, in addition to his own brothers. Nevertheless, it cannot be right to say that the Prophet was listening to such comparison without voicing his objection to it. This proves that this “tradition” is false and is indicative of ill intentions.
Add to the above the fact that the Prophet never permitted Abdullah ibn Umar to accompany him during his battles with the exception of the Battle of the Moat (khandaq) and the other campaigns that followed it, when Abdullah was fifteen years old.76
There is no doubt that he was present at the Battle of Khaybar which took place in 7 A.H./628 A.D. and saw with his own eyes how both Abu Bakr and his father fled from the battle field. He undoubtedly heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “I shall give the standard tomorrow to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and who is loved by Allah and His Messenger, a brave one who attacks and never flees, a man the conviction of whose heart Allah has ascertained.” When it was morning, he gave it to the one who terminated the pleasure of those who indulged therein, who dispersed the groups, who dispelled the clouds of calamities, who was adorned with graces, the ever-victorious Lion of Allah Ali ibn Abu Talib.77
The tradition of the standard referred to above clearly highlights Ali's merits and superiority over all other sahaba. It demonstrates his status with Allah and His Messenger and his having won the love of Allah and His Messenger. Because of his hatred towards Ali, Abdullah ibn Umar regarded Ali as one of the commoners!
We have already indicated that “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” acted upon this tradition which their master Abdullah ibn Umar inspired to them, so they did not rank Ali ibn Abu Talib among the righteous caliphs. No, they did not do that, nor did they even recognize his caliphate except during the time of Ahmad ibn Hanbal as we proved above.
They were exposed when traditions and traditionists became quite numerous, and when fingers were pointed at them accusing them of being Nasibis and of hating the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet, and when all Muslims came to know that hating Ali was one of the most obvious signs of hypocrisy. It was then that they felt compelled to recognize Ali's caliphate. It was only then that they added his name to the list of the “righteous caliphs.” It was only then that they pretended, being pretentious and perfidious, to love Ahlul Bayt.
We wish there had been someone to ask Ibn Umar the following question: “Why did all, or most of, Muslims after the demise of the Prophet dispute about who deserved most to be the caliph and narrowed their dispute to only Ali and Abu Bakr, and why neither your father [Umar ibn al-Khattab] nor Uthman ibn Affan had any popularity at that time?”
Was there anyone to ask the son of Umar ibn al-Khattab, “If the Prophet agreed with your view that nobody was the peer of Abu Bakr then Umar then Uthman, then why did he two days before his death choose a young man who grew no beard nor a moustache to be their leader, ordering them to march under his order and command? Was he then hallucinating, as your father described him of doing?”
We wish someone had asked Abdullah ibn Umar this question: “Why did the Muhajirun and the Ansars, having witnessed Abu Bakr swearing his oath of loyalty to Fatima al-Zahra, say to her: `By Allah! Had your husband and cousin come to us before Abu Bakr, we would not have equated him with any man at all,' which is an admission from the most prominent of the sahaba that they did not equate Ali with anyone else, had they not already sworn their oath of allegiance to him, an oath which they later called a mistake?” What is the value of the view of Abdullah ibn Umar, the conceited teenager who did not know how to divorce his wife, compared to that of such prominent sahaba?
Finally, was there anyone to ask Abdullah ibn Umar, “Why did not the sahaba choose Ali ibn Abu Talib to be their caliph after Umar's murder and prefer him over Uthman, had it not been for his own refusal of the condition put forth by Abel-Rahman ibn Awf that he had to rule them according to the “Sunnah” of both shaykhs?”78
But Abdullah ibn Umar was influenced by his father. He lived during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, and he noticed how Ali ibn Abu Talib was kept at bay, having no place among the ruling group nor any government post, with the people turning away from him after the death of his cousin and wife, the Leader of all Women, having had no material gains to attract people thereby.
Undoubtedly, Abdullah ibn Umar was the closest person to his father. He used to listen to his views, and he knew his friends and foes; hence, he grew up nurtured in hatred, grudge and animosity towards Ali in particular and Ahlul Bayt in general. Once he saw Ali receiving the oath of allegiance from the Muhajirun and Ansar following Uthman's murder, and he could not tolerate it.
He, then, revealed his hidden animosity and refused to swear the oath of allegiance to the Imam of the righteous and the wali of the faithful. He could no longer tolerate living in Medina, so he left it for Mecca pretending to perform the `umra.
Then we see Abdullah ibn Umar doing all he could do to discourage people and dissuade them from supporting the truth or fighting the oppressive group the fighting of which was ordered by Allah Himself till it reverted to His command. He, therefore, was among the earliest to betray the Imam of his time whom he was required to obey.
Once Imam Ali was killed, and Mu`awiyah attained victory over Imam al-Hasan ibn Ali, thus usurping the caliphate from him, Mu`awiyah delivered a speech to people in which he said, “I did not fight you so that you may pray or fast or perform the pilgrimage; rather, I fought you in order to take charge of you, and Allah has given me just that.”
We then see Abdullah ibn Umar racing to swear the oath of allegiance to Mu`awiyah under the pretext that people were united in accepting his leadership after their disunity! I think it was he who named that year “Am al-jama`ah,” year of the group, for he and his group of Banu Umayyah became “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” and will remain so till the time of the Hour.
Was there anyone to ask Abdullah ibn Umar and those who held his views from “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a”: “Had there ever been any consensus in history such as the one attained for the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib ?” Abu Bakr's caliphate was “a mistake whose evil Allah shunned,”79 and it was boycotted by a large number of the sahaba.
Umar's caliphate was by recommendation; rather, it was a promise granted by Abu Bakr, and the sahaba had neither view, nor say, nor anything else to do with it. And Uthman's caliphate was achieved through a committee of three persons selected by Umar; rather, it was due to Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf forcing his own view over the rest.
As for Ali's caliphate, it was done through the voluntary and peaceful oath of allegiance of the Muhajirun and the Ansar; he wrote all Islamic domains asking those in charge of them to grant him their oath of allegiance, which they all did with the exception of Mu`awiyah in Syria.80
What Ibn Umar and “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” were supposed to do was to kill Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan for declaring his mutiny and demanding the caliphate for himself according to the narrations which they themselves have recorded in their Sahih books. One of these traditions states that the Messenger of Allah said, “If two caliphs receive oaths of allegiance, one after the other, you should kill the second.”81
He has also said, as recorded in Muslim's Sahih and in other books of hadith, “Whoever swears the oath of allegiance to an Imam, shakes his hand, and grants him his heart, let him grant him his all, but if another person comes to dispute with him, you should kill the latter.”82
But Abdullah ibn Umar did exactly the opposite: Instead of acting upon the Prophet's tradition, submit to his orders, fight and kill Mu`awiyah for having contested the caliph of the Muslims and lit the fire of dissension, he, we find out, refused to swear the oath of allegiance despite the Muslims' consensus in its regard. Instead, he swore it to Mu`awiyah who declared his mutiny, who disputed with the Imam and killed a number of innocent people, causing dissension the aftermath of which lingers till our time.
For this reason, I think that Abdullah ibn Umar was Mu`awiyah's accomplice in all the crimes and sins the latter had committed because he erected his authority and assisted him in forcing people to accept it, and in his confiscation of the caliphate which Allah and His Messenger decreed to be out of the reach of the promiscuous and the sons of the promiscuous according to the sacred hadith.
Abdullah ibn Umar was not satisfied with doing all of that, so he rushed to swear the oath of allegiance to Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah, the Yazid of wines, corruption, and apostasy, the promiscuous son of the promiscuous father, the cursed one and the son of the accursed.
Since Umar ibn al-Khattab, according to Ibn Sa`d who discusses him in his Tabaqat, used to say, “Caliphate is not suitable for a promiscuous person, nor for the son of a promiscuous person, nor for those who accept Islam after being vanquished,”83 then how did Abdullah contradict his own father with regard to this principle which he himself had recorded?
If Abdullah ibn Umar thus contradicted the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger with regard to the issue of caliphate, we will not then be surprised to find him doing the opposite of what his father had stated.
We would like to ask Abdullah ibn Umar this question: “What consensus was there with regard to swearing the oath of allegiance to Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah from whom the righteous in the nation and the remnants of the Muhajirun and Ansar, including the master of the youths of Paradise Imam al-Husayn ibn Ali, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, Abdullah ibn Abbas, and all those who kept them company and shared their views, dissociated themselves?”
What is well known is the fact that he himself used to be among those who in the beginning denounced Yazid receiving the oath of allegiance, but Mu`awiyah knew how to win him over: He sent him one hundred thousand dirhams which he accepted as a gift. When it was mentioned to him that the sender was soliciting his oath of allegiance to his son Yazid, he said, “Is this what he wanted? My creed, then, must be quite cheap...”84
Yes, Abdullah ibn Umar sold his creed very cheaply as he himself admitted. He ran away from having to swear it to the Imam of the righteous but rushed to swear it to the leader of oppressors Mu`awiyah, then to the leader of the fornicators Yazid, thus bearing on his shoulders the burdens of the crimes committed by Mu`awiyah's oppressive government.
He, no doubt, carried the burdens of Yazid's crimes on his head for violating the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah and for killing the fragrant flower, the master of the youths of Paradise and of the Progeny of the Prophet, together with the righteous among the sons of the nation whom he killed in Karbala in the Battle of the Harra.
Abdullah ibn Umar was not satisfied with this much of the oath of allegiance to Yazid, so he pressured people to follow in his footsteps, terrorizing anyone who contemplated doing otherwise.
Al-Bukhari in his Sahih and other compilers of hadith state that Abdullah ibn Umar gathered his offspring, servants, and slaves when the people of Medina rejected Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah and said to them, “We swore the oath of allegiance to this man acting upon swearing it to Allah and His Messenger85, and I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying, `One who betrays will have a standard erected for him on the Day of Judgment, and it will be said to him:
This is the betrayal of so-and-so,' and the worst type of betrayal, after associating someone with Allah, is one who swears the oath of allegiance to Allah and His Messenger then betrays it,86 and none of you should unseat Yazid, nor should anyone among you see such unseating as honorable, else something tragic should happen between me and him.”87
Yazid's oppression received a boost when Abdullah ibn Umar supported him and urged people to swear the oath of fealty to him, so he raised an army under the command of Uqbah, one of the leading adulterers of his time, ordering him to assault Medina, the city of the Prophet, permitting him to do whatever he wished in it. Uqbah, therefore, killed ten thousand sahabis and took their wives as captives then confiscated their property.
He also killed seven hundred huffaz of the Holy Qur'an according to al-Baladhuri, permitting his army to rape many free Muslim women to the extent that the latter gave birth to an estimated one thousand illegitimate babies. Then he forced them to swear that they were all slaves of his master Yazid...
Was not Abdullah ibn Umar his accomplice in all of that, since he supported and empowered him? I leave the researchers to derive their own conclusion.
Abdullah ibn Umar was not satisfied with all of that; rather, he went beyond it to swear the oath of allegiance to Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the bedeviled accursed one, the promiscuous adulterer, who fought Ali openly and killed Talhah and did so many horrible things such as burning the House of Allah and shelling it with catapults, demolishing one of its corners and killing in that incident Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, in addition to other shameful actions.
Then Ibn Umar reaches in swearing his oath of allegiance new heights when he swore it to al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi, the greatest apostate who used to make fun of the Holy Qur'an and label it as Arab martial poetry, preferring his master Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan over the Messenger of Allah. This al-Hajjaj is the same one who was known by the elite as well as the commoners as having belittled all Islamic tenets.
In his Tarikh, the hafiz Ibn Asakir indicates that two men disputed with one another about al-Hajjaj. One of them said that he was a kafir, an apostate, whereas the other said that he was a daall mu'min, a believer who went astray. When they persisted, they asked al-Sha`bi about his view. Al-Sha`bi said, “He is a mu'min [believer] in as far as oppression and tyranny are concerned, a kafir [disbeliever] in Allah, the Great.”88
This criminal al-Hajjaj is the one who violated everything which Allah decreed not to be violated. Historians record that he was excessive in killing, torturing and mutilating the corpses of the righteous of the nation, especially Shi`a followers of Muhammad's, for these suffered at his hands more than at the hands of anyone else.
In his Tarikh, Ibn Qutaybah says that in one single day, al-Hajjaj killed more than seventy thousand men to the extent that the blood flow reached the mosque's door as well as the highways.89 And in his Sahih, al-Tirmidhi, having counted those executed by al-Hajjaj, says, “After his [al-Hajjaj's] death, eighty thousand prisoners were found in his jail, including thirty thousand women.”90
Al-Hajjaj used to compare himself to the Lord of Might and Honor: whenever he passed by the jail and heard the prisoners crying of pain and pleading for mercy, he used to say to them [what the Almighty says in the Holy Qur'an]:
“Remain in abjection therein, and do not speak to me” (Holy Qur'an, 23:108).
Such is al-Hajjaj who was prophesied by the Messenger of Allah before his demise; he said, “There is in [the tribe of] Thaqeef a liar and an annihilator.” What is strange is that the narrator of this tradition is none other Abdullah ibn Umar himself!91
Yes, Abdullah ibn Umar was reluctant to swear the oath of allegiance to the best of mankind after the Prophet and did not support him, nor did he even pray behind him; therefore, Allah, Glory to Him, humiliated him. He went to al-Hajjaj once and said, “I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying, `Whoever dies owing an oath of allegiance will die the death of jahiliyya.'“
Al-Hajjaj the accursed, thereupon, despised him and pointed his foot at him saying, “My hand is busy right now; so, swear your oath of allegiance to this.” He used to pray behind al-Hajjaj, the apostate, and behind his wali Najdah ibn Amir, head of the Kharijites.92
There is no doubt that Abdullah ibn Umar preferred to pray behind these men only because they were famous for cursing and denouncing Ali after the prayers. Ibn Umar used to gratify his hidden grudge and animosity whenever he heard such cursing, feeling very contented at heart and very satisfied therewith.
For this reason, we find the sect of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” enjoining prayers behind the righteous as well as the promiscuous based on what their master and the faqih of their sect Abdullah ibn Umar doing likewise and praying behind the apostate al-Hajjaj and the Kharijite Najdah ibn Amir.
As for the Prophet's statements such as these: “The one who should be the Imam of people is their best in reciting the Book of Allah. If they all recite it equally well, he should be the most knowledgeable of the Sunnah.
If they all know the Sunnah equally well, he should be their foremost in having participated in the Hijra. If they had all participated in the Hijra at the same time, he should be the foremost in having accepted Islam...,” they surely are discarded...
None of these four merits, namely reciting the Holy Qur'an, safeguarding the Sunnah, early participation in the Hijra, and early acceptance of Islam, applies to those to whom Ibn Umar swore his oath of allegiance and behind whom he prayed: neither in Mu`awiyah, nor in Yazid, nor in Marwan, nor in al-Hajjaj, nor in Najdah, the Kharijite...
This, of course, is only one of the Sunnah injunctions which Abdullah ibn Umar violated. He discarded them altogether and acted exactly to their contrary. He abandoned the master of the Prophet's purified Progeny, namely Ali, in whom all these and many more merits were combined. Rather, he turned his back to him and went to join the corrupt ones, the Kharijites, the apostates, the enemies of Allah and His Messenger, praying behind them!
How many are the violations of the faqih of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” Abdullah ibn Umar, violations of both the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger?! If we wish, we can gather them in a separate book, but the following examples, which are quoted from their own books and Sahihs, should suffice to back our argument:
Allah, the Most Exalted One, has said in His Glorious Book,
“Fight the one [party] that acts wrongfully till it returns to obeying Allah's Command” (Holy Qur'an, 49:9).
The Messenger of Allah has said, “O Ali! You shall fight after me the renegades, those who equal others with Allah, and the heretics.”
Abdullah ibn Umar violated this text of the Holy Qur'an as well as the above quoted tradition, and he violated the consensus (ijma`) of the nation, of the Muhajirs and the Ansar who fought beside the Commander of the Faithful, following his own view and saying, “I shall not fight in the dissension, and I shall pray behind whoever wins.”93 Ibn Hajar has indicated that Abdullah ibn Umar was of the view that one should avoid fighting during a dissension even if one of the two parties is right and the other is wrong.94
Truly strange, by Allah, is the case of Abdullah ibn Umar who sees one party being right and the other being wrong yet refraining from supporting the right one or from curbing the wrong party till it returns to obedience to Allah! He performed his prayers behind whoever won, albeit if the winner was a wrong doer!
This is exactly what happened to Ibn Umar, for Mu`awiyah won and subdued the nation, forcing his authority on it. Ibn Umar then came and swore the oath of allegiance to Mu`awiyah and prayed behind him despite all the crimes and sins which he had committed and which are beyond one's imagination and with which Ibn Umar was fully familiar.
The wrong doers from the leaders of oppression, due to their numerical superiority, won victory over the leaders of the truth who were the Imams of Ahlul Bayt. So the latter were excluded from authority, whereas the promiscuous, the adulterers, the straying criminals, came to rule the nation with force and oppression.
Ibn Umar abandoned the truth all of it, so history does not record any friend for him nor any affinity towards Ahlul Bayt five of whose Imams were his contemporaries. He did not pray behind a single one of them. He did not quote one of their ahadith, and he did not recognize a single virtue or merit of any of them.
We have come to know, while discussing the Twelve Imams in this book, what his view with regard to the ones whom he labelled as the twelve caliphs was. He regarded as authentic the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Yazid, al-Saffah, Salam, al-Mansour, Jabir, al-Mahdi, al-Amin, and their team head [Mu`awiyah], saying, “All these twelve are descendants of Banu Ka`b ibn Luayy, and they are all unmatched in righteousness.”95
Do you see among these men any of the Imams of guidance from the Prophet's Progeny who were described by the Messenger of Allah as the ark of salvation and the peers of the Qur'an?!
For this reason, you cannot trace any presence for them among “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a,” nor is there even one Imam from Ahlul Bayt on the list of imams and caliphs they emulate. Such is the case of Abdullah ibn Umar in his violation of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. As for his own ignorance of the same, you may say whatever you wish.
Among the indications of such ignorance is his being unaware of the fact that the Prophet permitted women to wear sandals when wearing the ihram garb; Ibn Umar issued fatawa prohibiting it.96
Another is the leasing of his farms during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah as well as during the reign of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Mu`awiyah to the extent that one of the sahaba talked to him near the end of Mu`awiyah's reign and told him that the Messenger of Allah had prohibited it.97
Yes; such is the faqih of “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a;” he did not know that it was haram to lease farms, and there is no doubt that he used to issue his verdicts permitting it during that entire period which lasted from the time of the Prophet to the end of Mu`awiyah's reign, a period of about fifty years...
Yet another example is Ayesha denouncing his verdict that a deceased person is tormented because of the weeping of the living over him, and also with regard to morning athan, and his saying that the month is twenty-nine days. She opposed him in several other issues as well.
Other examples are recorded by both shaykhs, namely al-Bukhari and Muslim, in the Sahih of each one of them: Abdullah ibn Umar was told that Abu Hurayra used to say, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, `Whoever walks behind a coffin will receive one karat of rewards.'“ Ibn Umar responded by [sarcastically] saying, “Abu Hurayra has surely been generous with such karats!” Ayesha, however, testified to the authenticity of Abu Hurayra's tradition saying, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying so.” It was then that Ibn Umar said, “We surely have missed quite a few karats!”98
Suffices us in this regard the testimony of Umar ibn al-Khattab with regard to his son Abdullah: On his death bed, Umar was asked by a flatterer, “Why don't you recommend Abdullah ibn Umar to be the next caliph?” Umar said, “Shall I recommend a man who does not know even how to divorce his wife [according to the Shari`a]?!”
Such is Abdullah son of Umar ibn al-Khattab, and nobody knew him better than his father.
As for the false traditions whereby he served his master Mu`awiyah, these are quite numerous indeed. We would like to mention a few of them by way of sampling:
He said, “The Messenger of Allah said, `A man from the people of Paradise will soon come to you,' whereupon Mu`awiyah came. Then he said, `Tomorrow, a man from the people of Paradise will come to you;' Mu`awiyah came. Then he repeated the same about the next day, whereupon Mu`awiyah came.”
Another is his saying, “When the Ayat al-Kursi was revealed, the Messenger of Allah told Mu`awiyah to write it down. `What shall I get if I do so?' asked Mu`awiyah. He said, `Whenever anyone recites it, you will receive the reward of its recitation.'“
Another is his saying, “Mu`awiyah will surely be resurrected on the Resurrection Day outfitted with a robe of the light of iman.”
I do not know why “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`a” did not add Mu`wiyah's name to the list of the ten men who received the glad tidings of going to Paradise since their master Ibn Umar emphasized thrice, in three consecutive days, that Mu`awiyah was to go to Paradise. Since people on the Resurrection Day will be raised bare-footed, naked, Mu`awiyah will be their very best because he will be outfitted with a robe made of the light of iman! So read such statements and wonder!
Such is Abdullah ibn Umar; such is the extent of his knowledge; such is his fiqh and violation of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet; such is his enmity towards the Commander of the Faithful and the pure Imams from the Progeny of the Prophet, and such is his loyalty and flattery of the enemies of Allah and His Messenger, the enemies of humanity.
His father, al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, was killed during the Battle of the Camel, a battle labelled in the Prophet's Sunnah as the “War of the Perfidious.” His mother was Asmaa daughter of Abu Bakr ibn Abu Quhafa. His aunt was mother of the faithful Ayesha daughter of Abu Bakr and wife of the Prophet. He was one of the main opponents of Imam Ali and of those who hated him most.
He may have prided himself in the caliphate of his grandfather Abu Bakr and in his aunt Ayesha, so he inherited from both of them such hatred which lasted all his life. Imam Ali, peace be upon him, used to say to al-Zubayr, “We used to consider you as one of the offspring of Abd al-Muttalib till your evil son created dissension between us and you.”
It is well known in history that he was during the Battle of the Camel one of the most prominent elements and immediate commanders, so much so that Ayesha introduced him to lead people in the prayers after having dismissed both Talhah and al-Zubayr for disputing with one another, each desiring to lead it.
It is also said that he is the one who brought his aunt Ayesha fifty men to falsely swear that the place where she had arrived was not called Hawab. This is why she consented to continue her march towards the Battle of the Camel.
Abdullah is the one who reproached his father for deciding to retire from the battle after having been reminded by Imam Ali, peace be upon him, of one particular hadith of the Prophet wherein he informed al-Zubayr that he, being oppressive, would fight Ali. He kept reproaching his father to the extent that the latter said to him, “What is wrong with you?! May Allah shame you for being such an ominous son!” It is said that he continued to reproach and excite his father till he succeeded in getting him to attack Ali's army; he was killed and his father's calling him an ominous son proved to be quite right.
This is the tale which we have chosen for you due to its accuracy, and due to its being descriptive of al-Zubayr's spiteful psychology as well as that of his ominous son Abdullah. Al-Zubayr could not have so easily pulled himself away from that battle, leaving behind Talhah and his men in addition to slaves and servants whom he had brought all the way from Basra.
He could not have left the mother of the faithful Ayesha, sister of his wife, in such peril. If we accept that he abandoned them, they would not have let him get away with it that easily especially his son Abdullah the forcefulness of whose determination we have already come to know.
Historians indicate that Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr used to curse and condemn Ali. Once he said about him: “The mean villain is approaching you.” He once delivered a speech to the people of Basra urging them to fight Ali in which he said, “O people! Ali killed the rightful caliph Uthman oppressively, then he raised armies to take control over you and to take your city; so, be men who demand revenge for your slain caliph, protect your women, and defend your daughters, kinfolks, and tribes. Surely Ali does not consider in this issue anyone's view other than that of his own and, by Allah, if he achieves victory over you, he will annihilate your creed and world.”99
His hatred and animosity reached the limit where he abandoned invoking Allah's blessings unto His Prophet; so, no blame should be put on him, nor should his lies to people surprise us, nor his thus charging Imam Ali, peace be upon him, whom he accused of everything abominable such as the accusations in his speech cited above when he addressed the people of Basra and said to them, “... by Allah, if he achieves victory over you, he will annihilate your creed and world.” It is nothing but blatant falsehood and a great defamation coming from Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr to whose heart the truth could not find a way.
What testifies to the above is the fact that when Ali ibn Abu Talib won victory over the people of Basra and arrested most of them, and among those arrested was Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr himself, he forgave all of them and set them free and was generous to Ayesha, protecting her honor and sending her back to her home to Medina. He also prohibited his men from taking any booty or taking women or children captive or killing the wounded, so much so that such prohibition cost him the mutiny of some of his forces and doubts were cast at his judgment.
Ali, peace be upon him, was the embodiment of the Sunnah of the Prophet and the most knowledgeable of the Book of Allah, the Book which none then knew it better than him. Hypocrites and infiltrators in his army instigated rebellion against him; they said, “How could he permit us to fight them yet prohibit us from taking their women captive?”
Such talk duped a large number of his fighting men, but he, peace of Allah be upon him, argued with them through the Book of Allah saying, “Place your bets on who among you will take your mother Ayesha as his captive!” It was then that they realized that he was right; so, they said to him, “We seek Allah's forgiveness [against doing so]; you are right while we are wrong.”
What Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr had said about the Imam was a lie and obvious defamation: his hatred towards Ali, peace be upon him, blinded both his eyes and mind, bringing him out of conviction. Ibn al-Zubayr never repented after that incident, nor did he learn any lesson, nor did he derive any wisdom from that war to the benefit of his soul...
No, indeed; rather, he rewarded a good deed with a bad one, and his grudge and hatred against the descendants of Hashim in general and the master of the Purified Progeny in particular increased, and he did all he could to put out their light and to put an end to them.
Historians narrate saying that he, following the assassination of Imam Ali, started seeking to be the caliph of the faithful, and some people rallied behind him, so he grew stronger. He managed to have Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya, son of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), jailed together with al-Hasan ibn Ali and seventeen other men belonging to Banu Hashim.
Then he wanted to burn them alive, so he gathered in front of the jail a great deal of fire wood then set it on fire. Had it not been for the arrival of al-Mukhtar's army at the right moment and its putting the fire out, the son of al-Zubayr would have achieved his evil objective.100
Marwan ibn al-Hakam then sent him an army led by al-Hajjaj who surrounded his house, killed him, then hanged his corpse at the mosque. Thus ended the life of Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr just as the life of his father had ended before. Each one of them loved this life and did his best to attain power and authority and to receive people's oath of allegiance, fighting others for its sake, killing many in the process till he himself was killed falling short of achieving his objective.
Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr had views with regard to fiqh which reflected a negative reaction to the fiqh of Ahlul Bayt whom he hated. One of his most famous views was his saying that the mut`a marriage was Islamically unlawful. He once said to Abdullah ibn Abbas [the greatest traditionist], “O you blind man! If you do it, I shall most certainly stone you.” Ibn Abbas responded to him by saying, “My eye-sight is blind, it is true, but you are blind in your own insight; so, if you wish to know how halal the mut`a is, go and ask your mother about it!”101
We do not wish to go into details in tackling this subject which has been discussed a great deal, but we simply wanted to expose Ibn al-Zubayr's opposition to Ahlul Bayt in every aspect, including fiqh matters where his foot was not firmly rooted.
All these twelve men have gone, in their good and in their evil, leaving the afflicted nation sailing in a sea of blood, drowning in the ocean of misguidance, with most of its members not distinguishing between truth and falsehood. This, in fact, is what Talhah, al-Zubayr, and even Sa`d ibn Abu Waqqas had admitted.
The only person who was on clear guidance from his Lord, who never doubted the truth even for the twinkling of an eye, was Ali ibn Abu Talib, Allah's peace be upon him, with whom the truth revolved wherever he revolved, accompanying him wherever he went. So congratulations to whoever follows and emulates him. In fact, the Messenger of Allah himself said, “You, O Ali, and your followers [Shi`as] are surely the victorious on the Day of Judgment.”102
“Is He then Who guides to what is right more worthy of being followed, or he who does not guide unless he himself is guided? What is the matter with you? How do you judge?” (Holy Qur'an, 10:35)
Surely Allah, the Great, has said the truth.