A Probe into the History of Hadith

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Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari, the renowned scholar, has very ably made a probe into the History of the delicate institution of Hadith and very ably unveiled the picture of the institution of Hadith in such a superb manner that every line and contour of its countenance becomes distinctly clear.

His scholarly and unbiased analysis of the subject invites the attention of the Muslims all over the world to view the subject dispassionately and try to differentiate and dissociate the authentic from the unauthentic and fabricated Hadith. In this way it will be a great service to Islam to introduce it in its true colours and contours through the help of reliable and authentic Hadith.

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A Probe into the History of Hadith Allama Murtadha al-Askari First Published by Islamic Seminary Publications, in Pakistan, in 1979 Re-Published by Foreign Department of Bonyad Be'thatin 1984 Add :Somaye Ave, Between Mofateh and Forsat Tel: 822244-821159

Dedication

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

In token of deep admiration for his monumental researching advancement of the cause of Islam, this book is gratefully dedicated to Hujjatul Islam Allama Murtadha al-Askari

Words to Remember

Have you fully realised what Islam is? It is indeed a religion founded on truth. It is such a fountain-head of learning that several streams of wisdom and knowledge flow from it. It is such a lamp that several lamps will be lighted from it. It is a lofty beacon of light illumining the path of Allah. It is such a set of principles and beliefs that will fully satisfy every seeker of truth and reality.

Know you all that Allah has made Islam the most sublime path for the attainment of His supreme pleasure and the highest standard of His worship and obedience. He has favored it with noble precepts, exalted principles, undoubtable arguments, unchallengeable supremacy and undeniable wisdom.

It is up to you to maintain the eminence and dignity granted to it by the Lord, to follow it sincerely, to do justice to its articles of faith and belief, to obey implicitly its tenets and orders and to give it the proper place in your lives."

Imam Ali (P)

Foreword

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

In order to fully grasp the spirit of Qur'anic injunctions and to thoroughly understand and appreciate the teachings of Islam with a view to translating it into action, one has to take recourse to the holy Qur'an and Sunnah. Unless any Islamic commandment is viewed in the light of both the holy Qur'an and the holy Prophet's Hadith, its real purport and its true spirit and exact fore corners of implementation cannot be truly made known.

The institution of Hadith is a powerful instrument for the interpretation of Islamic injuctions. Barring this instrument any claim to understand and appreciate the Islamic teachings is an empty slogan and unfruitful attempt. History can bear witness for authenticity or otherwise of this claim.

Unfortunately such a powerful instrument has been very ruthlessly dealt with immediately after the demise of the holy Prophet Muhammad (P) by the so called rulers of the Muslim Common­ wealth. For obvious reasons the rulers suppressed and subdued the narrators of Hadith and even persecuted the companions of the holy Prophet for no other reason than the charge of citation and recitation of Hadith. Needless to name any particular ruler or caliph.

However when the tides were turned against such a ruthless practice Mua'wiyah played the most treacherous role by illicitly introducing a large number of concocted and fabricated Hadith invented in the workshop of his stipendiaries and hired narrators of Hadith of course in the garb of reviving the sacred practice of the narration "of Hadith.

Thus heap upon heap of Hadith were piled up by the connivance and active support of Mua'wiyah who in fact tried to establish the so called official Islam contrary to actual precepts by the help of those concocted Hadith. It is an irony off ate that compilers of Hadith relied upon everybody even a Kharjite to take a Hadith from him, but deliberately and conveniently ignored any Hadith received from Imam Ali (P) or Descendants of the holy Prophet or anyone who was their well­ wisher.

Naturally a completely alien Islam was established by the help of Mua 'wiyah and subsequent caliphs. Shias rejected all such concocted Hadith and were branded as Rafazah who with the passage of time with utmost sacrifices and unparalleled strenuous efforts of course through the able guidance of Descendants of the holy Prophet of Islam and their well­ wishers collected and compiled authentic Hadith and paved the way for establishing authentic Islam.

Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari, the renowned scholar on the subject, has very ably made a probe into the History of this delicate institution of Hadith and very ably unveiled the picture of the institution of Hadith in such a superb manner that every line and contour of its countenance becomes distinctly clear.

His scholarly and unbiased analysis of the subject invites the attention of the Muslims all over the world to view the subject dispassionately and try to differentiate and dissociate the authentic from the unauthentic and fabricated Hadith. In this way it will be a great service to Islam to introduce it in its true colours and contours through the help of reliable and authentic Hadith.

-Publishers

About The Author

Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari is a renowned Persian and Arabic scholar. As an eminent Shia writer, he is widely known in the literary circles.

Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari has a special liking for the research and investigation in the realm of Hadith. He has profoundly dealt with the subject and made valuable contribution in this field.

In view of the significant contributions Allama Askari has made to the understanding and promotion of the cause of Islam, the Islamic Seminary deems it fit to acquaint the Muslim world with his valuable works.

The present book is at tremendous attempt as a probe into the history of Hadith. The author deserves every commendation for his painstaking and thought-provoking work.

Part One

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

"Mankind was one single community, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings and with them He sent the Book in Truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace guided the Believers to the Truth, concerning that where­ in they differed, for Allah guides whom He wills to a path that is straight." (al-Qur'an, Baqara, 2:213)

أَفَتَطْمَعُونَ أَنْ يُؤْمِنُوا لَكُمْ وَقَدْ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ 

"can you (O men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you? - seeing that a party of them heard the word of Allah, and prevented it knowingly after they understood it." (al-Qur'an, Baqara, 2: 75)

فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ لِيَشْتَرُوا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ

"Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say, 'This is from Allah'. To traffic with it for a miserable price! Woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make thereby." (al-Qur'an, Baqara, 2:79)

It had been the practice of the people in the past that after every prophet, they used to make changes in his teachings diametrically and even introduce additions and alterations in the revealed Book. Then Allah had to send another messenger with a fresh set of teachings and in this way He renewed His own earlier religion.

This divine and heavenly discipline thus got perfection and completion only with the advent of the holy Prophet of Islam (P). Allah at this stage decided to introduce the religious code of Islam as a finale to all previous divine systems. For this reason He took upon Himself the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting the heavenly book of Islam against any change or alteration saying:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ 

"We have without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption) "(al-Qur'an, Hijr, 15:9)

The basic and fundamental principles of the religious commandments of Islam dealing with Salat, Zakat, Hajj and all that man mostly needs, either pertaining to prayers or to mutual dealings, are pin-pointed in the holy Qur'an. The holy Prophet (P) explained and elaborated the commandments contained in the holy Qur'an. He fixed the Rak'ats in prayers and what was to be recited in them; he also fixed the taxable amount of money and enjoined the rites to be performed during Hajj. He dealt with details of all other religious obligations.

The result is that though the principles of the commandments are all given in the holy Qur'an, yet their elaboration and exposition have been made by the holy Prophet in the form of traditions which have got to be followed as Allah Him­ self has commanded saying:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا

"And whatsoever the messenger gives you take it, and whatsoever he forbids,abstain(from it)".(al-Qur'an, Hashr, 59:7)

But unfortunately, some people, even during the life of the holy Prophet attributed lies to him. They fabricated narrations and attributed them to the holy Prophet. This is borne out by one of the sayings of Imam Ali (P) in Nahj al-Balagha. Says he: "During the time of the holy Prophet, some people attributed many lies to him and once (Having come to know of the mischief) he stood up from his seat and addressed the people saying 'whoever attributes lies to me deliberately will find his place in Hell' ". 1

The trouble mongers continued this malpractice (of attributing lies) even after the demise of the holy Prophet. This is how the Islamic commands were tinged with various hues and ultimately dissensions arose among the Muslims as a whole. Since Allah had already guaranteed the safeguard and protection of the holy Qur'an against all sons of alterations or changes, these vicious people laid their unholy hands on. the Hadith of the holy Prophet which are the interpreter and elucidator of the intent and import of holy Qur'an. These people fabricated narrations concerning various topics and attributed them to the holy Prophet. Thus we see what an amount of differences and discords got their easy way into the Muslim ranks, so much so that serious differences arose even on the basic beliefs as well as their off-shoots.

These people went even to the extent of disputing the attributes of Allah: "Has Allah a body and limbs", they asked, "and will He be seen on the Day of Resurrection? If so, how?"2 They also differed even on the holy Qur'an itself and posed questions, like: "Is Qur'an the creation of Allah and no eternal?" or, "Is it ancient and eternal?"

They also disputed the position and entity of the holy Prophets and asked: "Arc the Prophets infallible?". They maintained that the holy Prophets were infallible only so far as their conveying of the divine message was concerned, but in other matters, they were liable to commit sins.

Moreover, they held different view regarding holy Prophet's first revelation, saying, "Did the holy Prophet at the time of his first revelation take Gabriel as a devil who wanted to insinuate him and make fun of him?" or, "Did the holy Prophet knew that it was indeed the Trusted Spirit and was revealing and inspiring the Qur'an into his heart?"3

They also had divergent views on the issues related to subsidiary commands (of Islam), for instance, "Should a man, performing ablution, wash his feet or wipe them clean; or, a man going to recite the opening chapter (al Fatiha) in the beginning of Prayer commence it with 'Bismilla Hir Rahmanir Rahim' or not or, in the Hajj, the Second circumambulation of the Ka'ba (Tawafun Nisa) was obligatory or not?".4

In this way, all the Islamic tenets and the laws underwent bewildering changes. If we probe into the causes of all these differences and disagreements, we find that discords of this nature were introduced by the machinations of the Caliphs of their times. Political expediency was at work in most of their rulings and findings.5 Large groups of stipendiaries did all they could to interpret the Qur'anic verses in a manner that lent support to their 'rulers' wishes6.

They also quoted the holy Prophet's hadith with the same objective, with the result that all the orders that were signed by these people became laws and had got to be obeyed by the masses under duress.

These laws were supposed to contain the true Islamic spirit. Naturally, therefore, any adverse comments on such laws met with their disapproval and so if anyone rose to oppose the orders, they had chosen to issue, he was dealt with very cruelly. At times, such a man faced the danger of being put to death. Such a cruel treatment was meted out to the opponents of the Caliphs' orders which were contrary to the holy Qur'an!

Besides, the rulers, in the best interest of their governments decided to bind their Muslim subjects to follow one of the four leaders (Imams) of the pale of Sunnah7 for the solution of their legal problems. These leaders (Imams) were Abu Hanifah, Shafi'i. Ahmed bin Hanbal and Malik bin Anas 8.The subjects were also compelled to follow the way of Ash'ari 9 regarding the issues concerning the basic principles of faith.

A number of Muslims confined themselves to following six Sihah10 especially "Sahih Muslim" and "Sahih Bukhari"11and by refraining from debating or discussing the Hadith, they closed the door of the Science of Hadith upon themselves. Since they had been compelled to follow one of the four religious leaders (Imams) mentioned above, the pathway of research remained blocked for them.

At the time when the Muslims were toeing the line of their Caliphs to the extent that the orders issued under their authority were deemed to be divine commands, there were persons in the Muslim Ummah who were sincerely devoted to defend Islamic tenets against all odds and spared no pains to see that all the orders were strictly in accordance with the Qur'anic teachings. They were wedded to the task of protecting the religious commandments from becoming defunct. They were also very keen on keeping the Hadith of the holy Prophet intact from all alterations or changes. These persons were the members of the holy Prophet's household (Ahl al-Bait) and those who obeyed and followed them were called "Shia". The Shia scholars as a matter of principle took the Hadith of the holy Prophet only narrated by these Imams and communicated them to the people at large.

A poet has very well said in this regard:

“Follow those whose words and Hadith denote: 'Our grandfather narrates (as words received) from Gabriel and Gabriel from Allah"

The Shia scholars have been trying very intelligently and selflessly to secure and propagate the teachings of Islam ever since its inception till today.

But it is pity that majority of the people followed their rulers and sovereigns and believed that the true Islam was the one which their masters and lords had chosen. These people further believed that the commands of Allah were those that their rulers had declared as valid and accepted them. To them the only narrations which the potentates had accepted were correct.

Such being the circumstances, a group of people who had gradually drifted away from the real Islam and did not follow the true leaders (Imams), emerged on the horizon of Islam and called themselves as "People of the Sunnah and Congregation"(Ahl Sunnah waal -Jamma'ah). Another group of people who were opposed to the then rulers and followed the rightful leaders (Imams), came in the lime light and were called "Rafazah".12 This is why the rulers of those days used to torment and torture these Imams, one after the other, and used to inflict excruciating pains on their adherents and followers under various concoctions and cooked up charges.

The distinguished scholars among the Shia rose against all these wrongs and, one generation after another, stood firm on their grounds until they succeeded in introducing their animating and inspiring Shiite School making clear the points of difference between themselves and the Sunnite School.

Among the Shia scholars who dedicated themselves to this task in recent years are the following:

(a) The late Sayyid Mohsin Amin (d. 1371 A.H.) author of the book "Aa'yan al-Shia"13 (The eminent personalities among the Shia).

(b) The Shaykh Muhammad Husayn A 1e Kashif al-Ghita14 (d. 1373 A.H.) author of the book "Asl-Shia wa Usuloha" (The Shia Origin and Faith).

(c) The late Agha Shaykh Agha Buzurg Tehrani (d. 1390 A.H.) author of the books "Al·Zariah Ila Tasnifal-Shia"15and "Tabaqat A 1am al-Shia".

(d) The late Muhammad Reza Muzaffar, author of the book "Aqaid al-lmamiyah ".

(e) Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai, author of the book "Shiite Islam".

This group of scholars together with others have adopted a course to defend the Shia and faith and each of these great men has, in good faith, done full justice to this noble task by his forceful writings.

In our opinion since differences and disagreements have been created by the so called (unauthentic) hadith of the holy Prophet (P) and whatsoever right or wrong that has been written about his biography, it is in the fitness of things that we should probe into such hadith and writings so that we may break the inertia caused by depending upon the sayings of the old scholars and following them blindly. Thus we may be able to pull out the writers of hadith and history out of the mire of meek submission16 to questionable authorities and, by means of thorough discussion and profound investigation open the way to a correct knowledge of hadith and history.

Now, it is our duty to discuss intelligently and scientifically the facts about the tradition of the holy Prophet and biographical accounts of his life and those of his companions, more especially, who have undertaken to narrate hadith. After that, we have got to discuss books on hadith and various schools of religious thought in Islam according to their respective groups from their inception till today. This is the only way by which we may arrive at the truth and root out the differences that exist among Muslims.

Among the people who treaded on this path are the following:

(a) The late 'Abd al-Husayn Sharafal-Din (d. 1377 A.H.), author of the book entitled "Abu Hurayrah".

The writer of the present book in a series of research work on history and hadith, published under the title "Dirasah fi al-Hadith wa.al-Tarikh" (Studies in Hadith and History ).17 Under this series, a number of books have been published on various topics.

Those people who want to have a first-hand information on the subject, should study the conversation of Imam Ali (P) with Sulaym bin Qais. Sulaym says: "I told the Commander of the Faithful 'I have heard something relating to the commentary of the holy Qur'an from Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dharrr.

These are different from what others say. Then I heard from you which agrees with what I have heard from them (Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dharrr). Besides, there are in vogue in the people meanings and interpretations of the holy Qur'an and the hadith of the holy Prophet which you oppose and consider them as false. Do you mean to say that people have attributed lies to the holy Prophet purposely and have interpreted the holy Qur'an all by themselves?"

Ibn Qais says that Imam Ali (P) turned to him and said 'The hadith that are in circulation in the people are those that deal with right and wrong, truth and falsehood, the orders which abrogate and the orders which are abrogated, together with general and particular, clear and allegorical and real and imaginary things. It is an undeniable fact that people attributed lies to the holy Prophet (P) even during his life-time with the result that when the holy Prophet (P) came to know the situation, heat once stood up and started addressing the people and said that there were a large number of liars existing among them, and warned that if anyone attributed lies to him deliberately, he would dwell in Hell. Even after the holy Prophet's demise also, people ascribed lies to him.18

There are four types of persons who narrate the hadith for you. These are:

(1) A double-faced person who makes a show of his faith and Islamic way of life but commits sins without any hesitation or fear. Such a person attributes lies to the holy Prophet. If the people had declared him a hypocrite and a liar, they would not have accepted his version of the hadith as correct and would have rejected him straight away. But there are people who say that this man is a companion of the holy Prophet; he has seen him and has listened to the hadith from him and got it, so the people believe in him. But Allah has pointed out the characteristics of double-faced persons and hypocrites and has warned you to be on your guard against them.

The hypocrites, who outlived the holy Prophet, became close associates of evil leaders and those who, by attributing lies to him (the holy Prophet) were preparing to make their abode and those of their followers in the Hell. These leaders of Hell-fire rose to be the rulers of the people, their lives and properties. The people who raised these leaders to the position of ruler ship reaped rich harvests of worldly benefits, as a reward; people always cling to the world and its kings, except those whom Allah protects. The hypocrite described above is one of the four persons mentioned before.

(2) A man who has heard something from the holy Prophet (P) but has not assimilated it, makes mistakes in reporting the narration. He does not tell lies purposely, but whatever he remembers of the hadith, he narrates it and acts according to it saying that he heard the hadith from the holy Prophet. Now if the Muslims knew that he himself had not clearly understood the hadith, they would not accept it. If he (the narrator of the hadith) knew that he had misunderstood the hadith, he himself would declare it rejected and would not narrate it.

(3) A man who had heard about an order from the holy Prophet (P) who asked the people to act upon it. Later the holy Prophet cancelled that order, forbidding the people to act upon it, but this man (the narrator of the hadith) did not know of this change, or he heard the holy Prophet's prohibition to do something but later he (the holy Prophet) ordered it to be done. Again, this man (the narrator of the hadith) did not know of this change, so he kept in mind the cancelled order, and knew nothing about the order cancelling it. If he had known that hadith had been cancelled, he would not have narrated it, and under which that order had been cancelled he would not have acted upon cancelled order.

(4) There is a man who did not attribute lies to Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (P); rather he hated lies for the fear of Allah and as a mark of reverence for the holy Prophet. He did not make mistakes nor had he any doubts about what he was narrating; but whatever he heard, he learnt it just as it was, and narrated it. He did not add anything to it nor did he take away anything from it. He committed to memory the cancelling order and acted upon it, while the cancelled one he kept in view, but remained unconcerned with it. He knew fully well the general and particular orders and put them in their proper places. He had a thorough knowledge of the clear and the allegorical decrees.

Sometimes the holy Prophet said something that had a double-sided meaning, a saying that had reference to a particular time and thing and another that referred to all things and for all times. So a man who did not know what actually the Allah and His holy Prophet had intended by such a declaration, and, for want of understanding, interpreted it against the propounder's actual intent.19

Things were not such that all the companions of the holy Prophet (P) asked him about a certain thing and exerted their intelligence to comprehend it, so that when their friends or others who were mostly desert dwellers may come to the holy Prophet after a long journey to ask certain questions for answer, they (the holy Prophet's companions) may reply them so satisfactorily that they may attentively and eagerly listen to them. Nothing of this sort happened to me. On my part I asked the holy Prophet something and whatever he said in reply I committed to memory.

These are causes of diversion and discord among the people. The controversies and clashes among various narrations have led to serious trouble' ".20

We have quoted the statement of Imam Ali (P) because it clearly expounds our point of view and re-affirms the imperative need for getting the real meaning and purport of the holy Prophet's hadith through research and investigation in order that all the differences may be removed and all doubts dispelled. Thus alone, we can understand the true Islam by the grace of Almighty Allah. May Allah help us in this regard!

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ۚ أَفَإِنْ مَاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ يَنْقَلِبْ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا ۗ وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ 

"Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? He who turns back does no harm to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful. " (al-Qur'an, Ale 'Imran', 3:144)

 وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ

"And whatsoever the messenger gives you, take it. And whatsoever be forbids, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah." (al-Qur'an, Hashr, 59:7)

وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ 

"Nor does be speak of (his own) desire. It is naught save the revelation that is revealed ." (al-Qur'an, Najm, 53:3)

***************

Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq (P) said to Muffazzal:

"Consider the nature of the ape and its resemblance with man in most of its physical features, that is, the head, the face, the shoulders, the chest, the guts and so on. Furthermore, in its cleverness and sagacity by means of which it comprehends the gestures of its trainer, there is a lesson for man about himself as he is made aware that he has a nature and origin not unlike that of animals. To be sure, with this close resemblance, had it not been for Allah 's grace in giving him the merit of reason and articulateness, man would have remained a beast; since, the decisive distinction between the ape and the man is the possession of reason, intellect and speech!'

  • 1. See Imam Ali's Nahj al-Balagha, Speech 201. See also Muhammad bin Ismail Bukhari (Sahib Bukhari) Chapter Ilm'", Topic: Sin of the person who attributed lies to the holy Prophet, and lbn Hajar 'Asqalani (Fath al· Bari), annotation of Sahib Bukhari,Vol.I, page 209.
  • 2. See Ibn Khuzamah (Tawhid), Maktabah al-Kulliyat al-Azharryyah, Egypt (1387 A.H.).Also see Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharf al-Din Amili, Kalimah Hawl al­ Ruya, printed at Nu'man, Najaf al-Ashraf.
  • 3. See the discussion "The Beginning of Revelation" in the books written by Shias as well as Sunnis.
  • 4. See Sayyid 'Abdal-Husayn,Sharfal-DinAmili (Masai!al-Fiqhiyyah)Najmal-Din'Askari(al-Wuzu).
  • 5. See Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari (Min Tarikh al-hadith), and Shaykh Mahmud Abu Riyah (Azwa 'Ala sunnah al­ Muhammadiyah ).
  • 6. Muhammad Husayn Muzaffar (Tarikh al-Shi'ah).
  • 7. Al-Sultan Zahir Baylaras Band Qidari issued a proclamation in this regard in the year 665 A. H. See "Maqrizi's Khutat".
  • 8. The four Imams of the Sunnites are-Abu Hanifah, Nu'man bin Thabit was a slave of Banu Tayum Allah. He died in 150 A.H. Abu Abd Allah Malik bin Anas died 1n 179 A.H., Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad bin Idris Shafi'i Mutallibi died in 204 A.H. and Abu 'Abd Allah Ahmad bin Hanbal, Dhahli Shebani, died in 241A.H.
  • 9. By Ash'ari is meant Abu al-Hasan bin Ali bin lsma'il who died in 241A.H. The life histories and other details of this group can be studied from the book, "Ibar" by Zahabi
  • 10. Sihah "is the plural of "Sahih". This word applies to the books about which the Sunnites believe that all the narrations contained therein are correct.
  • 11. In order to appraise the intrinsic value of these two books, see· Mohammad Sadiq Najmi's "Sayr Dar Sahihayn", Mehr Ustawar Printing Press, Qum (1351 A H.)
  • 12. This word is derived from "Rafz" which means to discard or reject. It applies to Shias, because throughout their long history, they used to reject the cruel orders that were against the truth.
  • 13. "Aa'yan al-Shia" is a Da'irahal-Ma'arif publication, dealing with the histories of Shia narrators. It was printed in the Insaf Printing Press, Beirut in fifty volumes in 1958.
  • 14. This book has been translated into English by Islamic Seminary Pakistan.
  • 15. Al·Zariah lla Tasnif al-Shia" has been printed in twenty volumes till to-date, and according to an estimate one third of the book still remains in manuscript form. Similarly the book "Tabaqat a'lam al-Shia" has been written by the late writer, but only four volumes of it dealing with the narratives of the scholars of thirteenth and fourteenth centuries after Hijra have been printed so far.
  • 16. As it can be seen a section of the Sunnite Muslims has such beliefs about their leaders of old.
  • 17. The following books have so far been published in these series:

    (a) " 'Abd Allah bin Saba", Vol.I, a publication of the "Danish Kada Usul Din" which is an establishment of the eminent author in Baghdad. This book has been printed and published in the Persian language

    (b) 'Abd Allah bin Saba", Vol. 11, a publication of the "Kitab Khana Buzurg Islam", Tehran.

    (c) "Ahadith Umm-al-Mu'minin Ayeshah", Part I. the translation of the book has been printed and published in three volumes.

    (d)"Khamsun wa Mi'ah Mukhtalaq", Parts I & II.

  • 18. We have quoted this portion of hadith from the book "Kafi", Chapter "Ikhtilaf al·Hadith" 1/62.The rest of the hadith may be seen in Nahj al-Balagha, speech 201, page 606 (Fayz). Also see "Tuhafal-Uqul", page 45.
  • 19. Sometimes the holy Prophet's order related to a particular time. That is to say that the order in question was intended to be carried out in that particular time and not any other time.
  • 20. The statement contained in this speech may be seen in the following books: -

    (a ) Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari "Min Tarikh al-Hadith".

    (b) Shaykh Mahmud Abu Riyah "Azwa 'Ala Sunnah al-Muhammadiyah'' and "Shaykh al-Muzirah''.

    (c) Sayyid Abdal-Husayn Sharaf al-Din "Abu-Hurayrah "

Part Two

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (P) passed away leaving behind two valuable assets as his religious legacies for his followers, viz., the holy Qur'an and his Descendants. He urged upon his people to adhere to them firmly and never to part with them.1

The holy Prophet during his life-time had explained to the people all the Qur'anic truths, and, in the form of hadith, he had promulgated all the Islamic learning concerning faith, doc­ trines and tenets among all his followers. About the narration of hadith he had said, "May Allah bless a person who listens to hadith from me, receives it thoroughly and conveys it to those who have not heard it! There are a large number of people who communicate learning to the wiser and more intellectual persons than them ".2

Now, we shall see what the members of the Islamic polity did to the holy Qur'an and to the holy Prophet's Descendants and how they carried out the orders concerning the hadith.

These people ousted the members of the holy Prophet's family from the general society and compelled them to live in seclusion. They subjected them (the holy Prophet's Descendants) to an inexpressible harassment.3 And when they succeeded in snatching and wresting power, they tried to separate the holy Qur'an and the hadith which were the real interpreters of the holy Qur'an, in a bid to interpret the holy Qur'an as they desired and wished.

The holy Prophet's sayings and his mode of life, generally known as "Sunnah", were the main obstacles in the diplomacy of the Caliphs and powerful repeller of the attacks of the adversaries, so the Caliphate saw no other way out but to disarm its opponents of this powerful weapon.

In the beginning, Abu Bakr decided to get the possession of this weapon exclusively for himself. With this objective in view, he collected five hundred hadith of the holy Prophet (P), but after some time he found that that would not serve his purpose, because it was not possible to limit the hadith then, so he burnt up all these traditions.4

In those days, it was indeed, impossible to restrain people from narrating or writing the hadith and to compel them to benefit from those hadith only which Abu Bakr had collected. For this reason, Abu Bakr saw no other alternative except to place a ban on the hadith of the holy Prophet so that people might not have access to this strong weapon; therefore the Caliph prohibited the Muslims to quote the hadith of the holy Prophet, and issued a proclamation to the effect that the people were not to quote the hadith of the holy Prophet and that they had to follow only the holy Qur'an.5 The idea was that the holy Qur'an should be separated from the hadith, so that the Caliphs could interpret it as they wished.

Before his death Abu Bakr prepared a will deed by virtue of which he left the Caliphate to 'Umar.6 There is no doubt that most of the Muslims who, having been deprived of the hadith of the holy Prophet, had a narrow vision, so they did not oppose the move.

Even 'Umar, during his rule, followed strictly the policy of banning the hadith. Once, however, he put before the people a proposal regarding the narration and the writing of the holy Prophet's hadith in order to get their opinion. The people, in general said that it was necessary to revive the practice of quoting and writing the hadith. With extreme cleverness, 'Umar, after having pondered over the problem for a month, discovered a way out of the narrow strait in which he had been placed. He went to the people and made the following pronouncement:-

"I very much wanted to write down the Sunnah of the holy Prophet (P) but I remembered the peoples of the past, who by writing some of the books and paying too much attention on them, neglected the heavenly book, so I decided not to mix up the holy Qur'an with anything else."7

When He ('Umar) used to send out the holy Prophet's companions on official business, he emphasized upon them not to narrate any hadith, because that would make the people neglect the holy Qur'an. And if he came to know that any of them had disobeyed his orders, he would summon him to appear before him and used to detain him as long as he lived.8 Besides, if some written hadith were discovered with the people he would collect and burn them up.

Thus ended the Caliphate of 'Umar, and 'Usman succeeded to the Caliphate with the help of an organized party that had come into being.9 During the rule of 'Usman, the Caliphate authorities waged a severe war on the narration of hadith. If 'Umar used to harass the holy Prophet's companions and detain them in Medina and burn up their writings, 'Usman in order to stop the narrations of the holy Prophet's statements and descriptions of his ways of life, tortured or exiled some of the well-known companions of the holy Prophet (P). For instance, he exiled Abu Dharr from Medina and thence to Rabzah, until this notable comrade of the holy Prophet died on the burning sands of a strange land! Another companion of the holy Prophet, 'Ammar bin Yasir, was beaten so hard that he fell unconscious on the ground!10

For twenty-five years during the rule of the first three Caliphs, the comrades of the holy Prophet and other sons of Islam passed their lives in tremendous frustration, until at last as a result of a general uprising, the Caliphate of 'Usman was overthrown and the Caliph was killed. After this the people turned to Imam Ali (P) and chose him as their next Caliph.11

Imam Ali succeeded to the Caliphate at the time when Muslims, having passed a quarter of a century under the previous Caliphs, had become used to their ways of life, Imam Ali (P) has him­ self-described the situation prevailing at that time as follows12

"The Caliphs before me did things wherein they consciously went against (the dictates) of the holy Prophet of Allah (P). They broke their covenant with him and changed his 'Sunnah '. Now if I force the people to give up those things and restore the affairs as they had been in the days of the holy Prophet, my army men will be scattered away from me, leaving me alone and helpless. At the most I shall have a small number of my adherents left at my side, these adherents who recognize my Imamat through the Book of Allah and the 'Sunnah 'of the holy Prophet.

"What do you think will be the result if I take the following measures? :

(a) Replace "Maqam lbrahim" (the standing place of Abraham) to where it had been ordered by the holy Prophet.

(b) Restore 'Fadak' to the next of kin of Fatima (daughter of the holy Prophet).

(c) Restore weights and measures as they were in vogue in the time of the holy Prophet.

(d) Restore the lands to those whom the holy Prophet had given.

(e) Cancel the cruel laws enforced by the Caliphs.

(f) Re-adjust Zakat on the original basis.

(g) Reformulate rules regarding ablutions and prayers.

(h) Restore the women who have been illegally separated from their husbands and given away to others, to their rightful husbands.

(i) Distribute money from 'Bait al-Mal' (state Treasury) equally among the deserving people as it was at the time of the holy Prophet not allowing it to concentrate in the hands of the rich only.13 The money from the State Exchequer has so far been distributed on the basis of party politics.

(j) Repeal the land taxes.14

(k) Declare all the Muslims equal in the matters of conjugal relations.15

(l) Collect Khums (fifth part of the property) as tax according to the Command of Allah.16

(m) Restore the holy Prophet's Masjid to its original structure, as it was at the time of the holy Prophet. Re-open the entrances to the Masjid, closed after the holy Prophet's death, and close them that were opened after him.

(n) Prohibit the wiping on the leather shoes17

(o) Impose legal penalties and special punishments on the drinking of 'Nabidh ' and date wine.18

(p) Legalize Mut'a of women and that of Hajj as they were in the days of the holy Prophet.19

(q) Declare 'Takbir' (glorification of Allah) five times during the prayers over the dead.20

(r) Make it compulsory for the Muslims to recite, 'Bismillah hir Rahmanir Rahim' loudly at the commencement of prayers.21

(s) Order the divorce to be strictly in accordance with the practice during the holy Prophet's days.22

(t) Order the treatment with the prisoners of war of various nationalities to be strictly in compliance with the commands of Allah and His Prophet. 23

"In short, if I try to make the people follow the commands of Allah and His holy Prophet, they will leave me and wander away.

"I swear by Allah that when I ordered the people not to offer congregational prayers in the Masjids in the month of Ramazan except the obligatory ones and explained to them that to offer commended prayers in congregation was a new method; a group of my army men who had once fought on my side, started shouting 'Ah! The tradition of 'Umar. O' Muslims, Ali wants to change the tradition of 'Umar and intends to stop us from saying commended (Mustahab) prayers in the month of Ramazan'. They raised such a hue and cry that I feared they would rise in revolt.

"Alas", continued Imam Ali (P), "what sufferings I underwent at the hands of these people who opposed me tooth and nail and obeyed their misled leaders, who were only leading them to Hell-fire."

Imam Ali had prepared a programme by which he wanted to proceed along the lines of the holy Prophet and against the practice of the Caliphs, especially in respect of hadith. He waged a perpetual war for the destruction of all traces of the Caliphs' tradition. 24 Practices were defaced and made topsy-turvey. Consequently the true Islam was completely changed into a new one.

The ruling parties officially recognized only this metamorphosed Islam. This Islam, the warp and weft of which had been prepared in the time of Mua'wiyah has, to this day, passed for the true faith. In our own days, things have come to such a pass that if the true Islam of the holy Prophet's days is presented to these people who have been used to the official Islam, they find it very difficult to believe that this is really the true Islam, because they have known their Islam from the pages of books containing false and fabricated hadith. By way of example we quote one hadith from the heap invented in Abu Hurayrah's work­ shop:-

"A group of people said to the glorious Prophet, 'O Prophet of Allah, shall we be able to see Allah on the Day of Resurrection?'. He replied, 'Don't you take pleasure when you look at the disc of the moon on the night of the fourteenth?'. 'We do', replied they. Again he said, 'Do you feel any trouble in sighting the sun which is un­ clouded?'. They replied 'No, O Prophet of Allah'. Then he said, 'You will see Allah in the same way'. On the Day of Reckoning, Allah will assemble all people and command them to follow those whom they used to worship. Those who used to worship the sun will follow the sun and those who worshipped the moon will follow the moon; and those who worshipped the devils will walk behind their gods. The only people left will be the Muslims including the hypocrites. Then Allah will appear to them in the form different from the one the people knew in the past and say, 'I am your Allah'. They will say, 'We seek the protection of Allah from thee' .We will remain here till our Allah comes to us and we shall recognize Him'. Then Allah will reappear before them in the same form that they had known before. Then they will cry out, 'Certainly Thou art our Lord', and they will follow Him".25

It can be seen clearly that the hadith has spoilt the very base of the knowledge of Allah and the Islamic conception of Resurrection.

In another tradition it is narrated that on the Day of Judgement, the holy Prophet will request Allah thus: 'O my Allah, in return for my curses that I flung at the believers in anger bless and purify them."26

Similarly it has been narrated that the holy Prophet (P) once said to the people, "Date palm doesn't need pollination", or, he said "Don't pollinate the date palm, it will be better for it". Accordingly the people didn't fertilize the date palms with the result that that year the date palms didn't flourish and when the holy Prophet came to know of this situation, he said, "I knew only that much. Don't ask me any further", or he said "About the worldly affairs you know better".27

It has also been narrated that one day the holy Prophet, while leading prayers in Mecca, was reciting Sura Najm until he reached the verse "Did you see Lat, Uzza and the other third Menat". While he was reciting this verse, Satan put the following words in his mouth: "These are the eminent gods (gharaniq) like white birds and their intercession is hoped for". When the poly­ theists heard these words, they became happy thinking that the Prophet had after all, spoken well of their gods, and at the same time, all the Muslims and polytheists together fell down prost­ rate. Then Gabriel came down and drew the attention of the holy Prophet to this great lapse. The holy Prophet said that the devil had put those words in his mouth.

According to another narration Gabriel asked the holy Prophet to repeat the said verse, which the holy Prophet did, adding also the words "These are the eminent gods (gharaniq)". Gabriel told him that he had not revealed those words to him, and that it was Satan who had made him (the holy Prophet) utter them.28

These narrations have been quoted in the famous and reliable commentaries of Sunni scholars like Tabari, Ibn Kasir, Suyuti and Allama Sayyid Qutub.

These people have narrated such a large number of fabricated hadith ascribed to the holy Prophet that they have concealed the true picture of the holy Prophet behind the screen of lies and false statements.29

The portraits of the Quraishiite rulers and officers were also painted in false colours. Phantom qualities were invented for them, and their opponents were made targets of reproach to the extent that men like Abu Dharr Ghifari, Malik al-Ashtar, Ammar bin Yasir and others of their sort, were declared to be conceited and ignorant of religion.30

Besides, they have cited many hadith regarding the attributes of Allah, Resurrection and Reckoning, Rewards and Punishments, Heaven and Hell, stories of the Prophets of the past, the beginning of the Creation, Islamic faith and tenets, but in fact their sources of information are the products of their own brains.

It has been estimated that the hadith of this sort fabricated in large numbers and the fields of narrations became so wide that all the religious truths were reduced to mere shadow and, instead, a new Islam emerged that of the Umayyid and Abbasid rulers, and it continued to be in vogue until the end of (The Turk) Usmani Caliphate.

Throughout the history of Islam there has been another group of people that opposed the fabricators of false hadith. Members of this group had been doing their best to give currency to the correct Sunnah of the holy Prophet even at the cost of their lives.

Abu Dharr, a great companion of the holy Prophet (P) is considered to be one of the leading figures of this group. One day he was sitting near the "Middle Devil" in Mina with a crowd of people around him. The people were asking him questions about the religion. Suddenly an evil natured official of the Umayyid government came to him and said "Haven't you been warned against answering people's questions?" Abu Dharr replied, "Have you the authority to keep a watch on me? ". Having said this, he pointed to the nape of his neck and said, "If you put the sword here and I may think that before my head severed off my body I can quote a few words that I have heard from the holy Prophet, I shall certainly do that ".31

Rashid Hijri, another great man belongs to this group. At the time when Ziyad, the governor of Kufah cut off his hands and feet and he was sent home, a large number of people came to see him and started crying. Rashid said to them, "Stop crying, bring something with which to write, for I want to dictate you what I have heard from my master"; The people agreed, but when the news reached Ziyad, his (Rashid's) tongue was also ordered to be cut off.32

Maisam Tammar, was also a valiant worker of this group. When Ibn Ziyad cut off his hands and feet and was going to hang him, (with much (difficulty) he stood up like a speaker on the pulpit, and cried, "Listen O' people, anyone who wishes to listen to the hadith that I have heard from Imam Ali (P), should come near me". People gathered around the gibbet and Maisam started speaking. When Ibn Ziyad came to know of this, he ordered his tongue to be cut off. After his tongue had been cut off, Maisam could not stand the agony more than an hour and gave his life at the gallows in a pool of blood! 33

We have seen that the influence of the Caliphate had gradually increased immensely in the realm, to the extent that they were able to change the commands of Allah and His holy Prophet concerning legal or illegal acts.

Eventually, things took such a bad turn that the orders issued by the Caliph were enforced as if they were Divine Commands!

However, this state of affairs did not last long after 'Usman's Caliphate. General uprings against that arbitrary rule put an end to it, until the tides turned to the side of Mua'wiyah with the help of a group of forceful propagators picked up from the fabricators of hadith, Mua'wiyah chalked out a programme to revert to the old practices34 and regain the so called glories of the past. But the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P) thwarted these designs forever and it was no longer possible for the Caliphs to revive the past practices. For this reason, the innovations and additions, that had separated true Islam from the official one, no longer made any headway. The succeeding Caliphs could not make any fresh innovations.35

The martyrdom of Imam Husayn bore another fruit. The revengeful acts such as imprisonment, maltreatment, torture and murder against the followers of the actual Islam and the reproducers of the holy Prophet's hadith were toned down, because the later governments could not adopt such painful and inhuman measures. Therefore, they decided to put in every effort to select the correct hadith from among the thousands of fabricated ones manufactured by the workers of the previous Caliphs and make these hadith available to the Muslims.

With 'Umar bin 'Abd al-Aziz, having assumed reins of Caliphate the hundred-year old ban on the hadith came to an end, and with the advent of the second century Hijra the followers of official Islam got orders from their government to start writing down the hadith of the holy Prophet. Consequently a large number of books on the biographies of the holy Prophet and his Companions were compiled. The holy Prophet's hadith were also collected and compiled in a number of books, but, among thousands of them, only a few such hadith can be found as having come down through the sources of the real pupils of the School of Islam; but even those few hadith caused a headache to the so called intellectuals who had sold their conscience away to the government, so, in order to get rid of them they adopted two measures:

Firstly, in the science of the investigation about the narrators of hadith and the scrutiny of the hadith intellectually, it was decided that if there be a narrator, a well-wisher or an ally of Imam Ali (P), his narration would be considered weak and of no value. 36

Secondly, they compiled books on hadith that contained none of that type (narrated by the allies of Imam Ali).

The books on hadith that were thus compiled were called "Correct" (or "Authentic") and they were six in number. Among them, Bukhari was regarded to be the most reliable, because he had paid the highest attention to two things. He accepted the narration even from the Kharajites like 'Umar bin Khattab but he did not include any narration from Abu 'Abd Allah Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq.

In the same way he embodied all such hadith that related to the Caliphs, in spite of the fact that they were incomplete and disjointed. This is why the followers of the official Islam consider Bukhari's book as the most correct book after the Qur'an!

On the same basis, among the book son biographies and history, the history of Tabari has been counted as the most authentic of all the history books, because he has also toed the line of Bukhari. He has taken due care not to embody in his book a hadith that clashes in the least with the interests of those people who were considered respectable by the officials of Neo-lslam. On the other hand, he has quoted all such hadith that dealt with the justification of cruelties practised by the Caliphs! For this reason, Tabari narrated hundreds of hadith cooked up by the enemies of Islam, thus, totally distorting all the historical events relating to the period of the holy Prophet and the early Caliphs.37This is why that writer (Tabari), because of his staunch loyalty to the Caliphs and their associates, became so famous and was considered so reliable that he (Tabari) was called the leader of the historians. After him the other hisorians like Ibn Asir, Ibn Kasir and Ibn Khalldun based their histories of the holy Prophet's companions on his (Tabari's) writings.38

After the fourth century Hijra onwards, the followers of the official Islam got the above six books published and declared that they were to be acted upon.

In history writing, only Tabari and his followers were regarded to be the main sources with the result that hundreds of books of history, hadith and commentary, that had been compiled by the writers, sank into oblivion!39 In this way, the path of investigation and research about the true Islam which the holy Prophet had brought for mankind as a great gift, was closed for all and forever.

The later generations, after the fourth century hijra till today, have blindly followed the same writers, with the result that now, with the exception of followers of the School of the Descend­ ants of the holy Prophet, all the people know that the current Islam is the same official Islam that has come into being at the hands of the "Innovators of hadith". Consequently, we find that the fabrication of hadith is the greatest obstacle in the way of knowing the true Islam, its tenets, commandments, rules and rituals, history and life histories of the eminent personalities of the past.

In the light of what we have stated above, it is the pressing need of the hour that all the intellectuals and learned scholars of the world of Islam should make thorough investigations in order to get access to the true Islam which can be found only in the school of the holy Prophet's family.

This is the greatest need of the time and I have placed it before the intellectuals and learned scholars of the world of Islam: Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iran and other countries. I hope that our Circles of Religious Knowledge and Learning that are the guardians of the holy Prophet's great legacy will pay due attention to my appeal and give a positive response.

  • 1. See Ahmad bin Hanbal "Musnad " Vol.III/4, 172926 Vol V/182 and Muhammad bin 'Isa Tirmizi "Sahih '' Chapter "Manaqib ".
  • 2. ) Muhamad bin 'Isa Tirmzi "Sahih" Vol 1/125, Vol 1/14, Chapter "Fazl al-Ilm ", "Tabligh al·Hadith" 'an Rasul Allah, " Muhammad Baqir Al Majlis "Bihar al-Annwar" VolI 1/09/112
  • 3. How well Salman and Abu Dharrr, the great companions of the holy Prophet described the conditions prevailing at that time, in their eloquent speeches.
    Says Salman: "Now you are wondering over the effects of your bad deed (usurpation of the Caliphate), and you have fallen far off from the main source of guidance" (Ibn Abi al-Hadid, annotation of Nahj al-Balagha, Vol. 11/131, 132 and Vol. 6/17).

    Also says he: "It was a bad deed on your part (to have usurped the Caliphate). If you had offered Bay'ah (oath of allegiance) to Imam Ali (P), you would certainly have been immersed in the heavenly and earthly blessings.

    Says Abu Dharrr, "If you had given priority to what Allah gave priority and if you had forsaken what Allah forsook, and if you had recognized rulership and succession for the family of your holy Prophet, you would certainly have been immersed in the blessings of Allah but now that you acted in such a bad manner as you have (done for the present), you must bear the consequence of your misdeeds and 'Those who do wrong will come to know by what a (great) reverse they will be overturned' ".

  • 4. Shams al-Din Zahabi "Tazkirah al-Huffaz", Vol. 115.
  • 5. Shams al-Din Zahabi "Tazkirah al-Huffaz".
  • 6. "Nahj al-Balagha", Sermon:3, Shaqshaqiyah.
  • 7. Muhammad bin Sa'd, Secretary-scribe of al-Waqidi "Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra", Vol. 111/287 Ibn 'Abd al-Bar "Jami al-Bayan al 'ilm wa Fazlihi" Vol. 1/64, 65.
  • 8. We have described the details pertaining to this subject in the book "Min Tarikh al-Hadith".
  • 9. Imam Ali bin Abi Talib "Nahj al-Balagha" Sermon 3, Shaqshaqiyah. Details of the occurrences may be seen in the book " 'Abd Allah bin Saba" Vol. 1/142-151, second edition.
  • 10. Ahmad bin Yahaya Balazuri's "Ansabal-Ashraf", Vol. V/49.
  • 11. Sayyid Murtadha Al·Askari"Ahdith Ummal- Mu'minun 'Ayeshah", Chapter 'Ala Ahd al-Sahrayn /115.
  • 12. Here we have respond the pathetic plaintive words of the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful. However we have not given the literal translation, because that would require annotation and explanation. Instead we have reported its meaning. Details may be seen in Muhammad bin Ya'qub Kulayni's book "Rawza Kafi'' Vol.VIIl/63-61.
  • 13. 'Umar in the distribution of money from the State exchequer had introduced a class system in the Islamic society, because a list was prepared of the Muslims of that time and a group of them was entitled to receive five thousand dirhams per annum, while another group was to get four thousand, and others three thousand, two thousand, one thousand and five hundred to two hundred dirhams. In this way, on one hand a class of nobles and the rich came into being and on the other another class of the poor came into existence in Islam.
  • 14. Umar bin Khattab fixed the land revenue in Iraq on the basis of the land revenue laws of the Sasanid Iran, and in Egypt on the basis of the revenue laws of the Roman Emperors.
  • 15. 'Umar bin Khattab banned the marriages of the non­Arabs with the girls of Arab origin.
  • 16. The Caliphs dropped the share of kith and kin from "Khums" after the holy Prophet.
  • 17. "Khuf" is a foot gear made of the skin of animals. The Sunnites, following their ancestors consider it obligatory to wash the feet if they are bare. But if they are covered by a footgear, "Khuf", they consider it legal to wipe it.
  • 18. "Nabidh " is a light wine, which is prepared mostly from oats/barely, a kind of beer.
  • 19. 'Umar, the Caliph, declared two Mut'as illegal. Mut'a of Hajj, that is the pilgrims were to take off their "lhram" after having performed "Umrah ", and after that they used to put on "Ihram" the second time for the performance of Hajj. This had been the practice in Islam, but 'Umar ordered the people to continue to remaining "Ihram" until the end of all Hajj rituals. The Mut'a of women is the same fixed-time marriage, which according to the declaration of Qur'an and narrations of the Sunnites, has been a part of clear Islamic injunctions.
  • 20. The Sunnites on the authority of Abu Hurayrah maintain that the "Takbir" during the prayers for the dead is four times. See Ibn Rushd Andolusi "Bidayah al­ Mujtah1d" Vol. I/240.
  • 21. A section of the Sunnite sect drop "Bismillah" from "Al-Fatiha" and also the Sura (itself ) from prayers. Apparently they follow Mu'awiyah in this matter. Refer to "Tafsir al-Kashshaf" Commentary of Suraal-Fatiha Vol. 1/24-25.
  • 22. The Sunnites hold that the pronouncement of divorce for a woman three times in one sitting is legal and hasten to ratify if without the presence of a just witness. Refer "Bidayah al-Mujtahid" Vol. 1/84-80.
  • 23. Umar issued a proclamation that all the Arab prisoners of war be set free, but the prisoners of Iran were not allowed to enter even Medina, the metropolis of Islam. Among his contraventions of Sunnah of the holy Prophet was that those children who were born to a non-·Arab woman and had seen the light of the world in a non-Arab land, were deprived of the right of inheritance. Refer "Al-Muwatta" by Malik bin Anas Vol. 1/80.
  • 24. He placed a ban on all the tale-tellers also who, under the orders of 'Umar and 'Usman, used to address people on Fridays in the Masajid of Islam. He allowed the citation/recitation of the holy Prophet's narrations freely without hindrance. As far as he could, he exterminated the innovations of the Caliphs. For further details refer to "Min Tarikh al-Hadith".
  • 25. See Mohammad bin Ismail Bukhari (Sahih) Vol.I, topic "Fazlal-Sujud",Vol.IX"Kitab al-Tawhid",Vol. V I II Chapter "Al-Sirat, jasr' Jahannam". Muslim bin Hajjaj Neshapuri (Sahih) Vol. 1, topic "Ma'arifah Tariq al­ Ru'yah".
  • 26. Muslim bin Hajjaj Neshapuri (Sahib) Bab (topic) "Man La' anahu al-Nabi or called him names 'Ja'ala Allah Lahu Zakatan wa Tahuran' ".On this topics several Hadith have been narrated from 'Ayeshah and Abu Hurayrah as well as from other respectable companions. In the end Muslim mentioned the saying of the holy Prophet about Mu'awiyah. He (the holy Prophet) had said, "May Allah not satiate his stomach!" Accordingly, all the curses of the holy Prophet on the people of Banu Ummayyah and others will bring to them purity and blessings
  • 27. The same book, Bab "Wujab lmtithal ma qalahu Shar'an, duna Zakarahu Min Ma'ayish al Nas ala Sabil al Ra'y". In other books of Hadith also the same narration has been quoted from 'Ayeshah and Anas as well as from Companions. From the Hadith of this sort the Sunnite obtain the meaning that it is permissible to oppose the holy Prophet in his orders pertaining to worldly affairs. However, it remains to be seen as to which incident or time may be regarded as worldly matter, for instance the issue of the Caliphate!
  • 28. In the commentary of the glorious verse: "Neither sent We a Messenger or Prophet before you but when he recited the message, Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolishes what Satan proposes" (Hajj, 22: 52) as given in Commentary of" Al-Dhurr al-Manthur" by Suyuti Vol. IV/366-368 fourteen narrations purporting to this topic
    have been narrated by the distinguished companions
  • 29. With the publication of such narrations in the Islamic society there was no room left for criticizing or finding faults of the Umayyid and Abbasid caliphs and their henchmen because after all these people, as these narrations suggest, are the holier and more distinguished than the Prophet of the people.
  • 30. Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari" 'Abd Allah Ibn Saba "Chapter I" Manshaal-Qissah" p.7-9,second edition printed at Cairo.
  • 31. See Darami "Sunan" Vol. 1/1 32. Muhammad bin Sa'ad 's "Tabaquat al-Kubra" Vol. 11/354. This hadith and narration (Khabar) arc specimens of the narrations which the hands of the wicked got hold of from some parts of the books of hadith and maliciously destroyed and distorted them into pieces.
  • 32. Muhammad bin al-Hasan Tusi "lkhtiyar Ma'rfah al­ Rijal", known as "Rijal Kushi"/75 and Allama Baqir Majlisi 's "Bihar al-Anwar" Vol. IX/6 3 2 printed, Company.
  • 33. lbid/76-78.
  • 34. People like Umm al-Mu'minin'Ayeshah, Abu Hurayrah, Anas bin Malik, 'Abd Allahbin 'Umar, 'Abd Allahbin'Amr' As Mughira bin Shiba and Samrah bin Jundub (are the main narrators). For further information refer: Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari's u Ahadis Umm al­ Muminin 'Ayeshah" and "Min Tarikh al-Hadith". Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din's "Abu Hurayrah", Shaykh Mahmud Abu Riyah's "Azwa 'Ala Sunnah al-Muhammadiya" and "Shaykh al-Muzirah".
  • 35. One of 'Abd al-Malik's many steps was his order that the people instead of going to the Ka'ba for Hajj should go to Jesrusalem and should go round the house that had been built but the innovation could not held its ground, Refer '"Tarikh al-Ya.qubi" Vol.III/7,8 printed at Najaf al-Ashraf.
  • 36. Refer all the Sunnite books on narration
  • 37. Refer to Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari'sbook" 'Abd Allah bin Saba" 2 Vols.
  • 38. Ibid.
  • 39. Briefly quoting from Balazuri's stupendous book of history called "Ansab al-Ashraf" and the large and medium size books of history by Mas'udi, called the "Akhbar al-Zamman" and "Awsat."

Appendix

In the book, "A Probe into the History of Hadith", has been told with particular reference the role of early Caliphs who indulged in promoting concocted and fabricated hadith. They evolved an institution through the auspices of their stipendiaries to add and compile such hadith and assigned the name of Correct (Sahih ) Narrations, of course barring those taken from the sources of Members of the holy Prophet's Family or their followers and given recognition as the representative collections affixing stamp of the "Official Islam" of the rulers of Bani Umayya and Bani Abbas which rarely exhibited any distinction or exceptional position for the Members of the holy Prophet's Family.

However in such a set up and under such circumstances if any hadith derived from the sources of Sunni Traditionalists confer any special favour or distinction on Members of holy Prophet's Family, naturally the authenticity of such hadith is established beyond any doubt. How such hadith have been retained in the "Sahah" of those august Sunni Traditionalists against such repressive practices as already told in the previous pages, is indeed something ordained from Almighty Allah and a feat of no less than a miracle. One among them is the "Haditb al-Kisa" (The Hadith of Cloak) which is being presented by Allama Murtadha al-Askari through the entire sources of our revered Sunni Traditionalists, which speak for itself the extra authenticity of the hadith under reference as it is over and above the authenticity conferred by Shia Traditionalists themselves.

Here is a bouquet of fragrant flowers comprising in the shape of narrations which spread the fragrance of the verse of Tathir (purification) having been revealed in the praise of the holy Prophet (P) and the holy members of his family. The narrations have been collected from the books of Sunnites dealing with authentic hadith, Musnad and exegesis (Tafsir).

This hadith is called "Hadith al-Kisa", because at that time when the verse of Tathir was revealed, the holy Prophet (P) covered himself and members of his family with a cloak, so as to distinguish them from other people. In Arabic the cloak of that type is called 'Aba' or 'Kisa' and in most of the narrations the word 'Kisa' has been used to mean the same. For this reason they, too are called "Ashab al-Kisa", and "Panjtan aal-i­ Aba".

***********

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

(On recitation of whose name Divine blessing descends)

In his book entitled "Mustadrak Sahihyn " Hakim quotes from son of Ja'far son of Abu Talib 1 as saying:

''When the holy Prophet (P) observed that the Divine blessing was forthcoming he said, 'Call for me! Call for me! Safia asked 'O Prophet of Allah! Whom should I call for you? He said, 'Call for me the members of my family, namely, Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husayn' (May peace and benediction be upon them). They were thus called to come close to the holy Prophet (P) and when all of them were gathered, the holy Prophet (P) placed his cloak on them and there after ·raised his hands in supplication and said, 'O Allah! These are the members of my family. Send your kind blessings on me and my progeny'. In the meantime Almighty Allah revealed the verse: "O people of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. "

After quoting this hadith Hakim says, "This hadith is authentic and correct as regards its sources are concerned".

Type And Kind Of Kisa

According to the hadith quoted by Umm al-Mu'minin 'Ayeshah:

Muslim (in "Sahih"), Hakim2 (in "Mustadrak"), Bahiqui (in "Sunan al-Kubra") and Tabri,
in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol.III, page 33).

Ibn Kathir and Suyuti (in their "Tafsirs") quote from 'Ayeshah3 with regard to this verse as having said:

"One day the holy Prophet (P) came out of the house4 carrying a printed cloak on his shoulder. At that time Hasan (P) came up to him and the holy Prophet (P) accommodated him and the holy Prophet accommodated him under the cloak. Then came Husayn (P) and the holy Prophet (P) accommodated him, too, under the cloak. Thereafter, Fatima (P) approached and was accommodated under the cloak. Ali (P) was the last to come and the holy Prophet (P) accommodated him also under the cloak. Thereafter, he (the holy Prophet recited this sacred verse: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification."(33:33)

According to the hadith quoted by Umm a1-Mu'minin Umm Salama5 .
In his "Tafsir", Tabri has quoted Umm Salama as having said in connection with the sacred verse in question as under: -

"When the verse, O People of the Prophet's House! was revealed the holy Prophet (P) called Ali, Fatima, Hassan, and Husayn (May peace and benediction be upon them ) to himself and covered them under his cloak."

In another hadith Umm Salama is reported to have said: "He placed his cloak on them." This hadith has also been quoted by Suyuti in his "Tafsir" and has similarly been narrated by lbn Kathir in his "Tafsir".

Position Of The People Of The Prophet's Family Under The Cloak

As narrated by 'Umar son of Abu Salma: Tabri and lbn Kathir (in their "Tafsirs"), Tirmizy (in his "Sahih ") and Tahavi (in "Mush kil al-Athar ") have quoted 'Umar6 son of Abu Salma as having said:

"The verse, 'O People of the Prophet's House! ......(33:33).' was revealed to the holy Prophet (P) in the house of Umm Salama. After the revelation of this verse the holy Prophet (P) called Hassan, Husayn, and Fatima (P) and made them sit in front of himself. Then he called Ali (P) as well as made him sit behind his back. Then he covered himself and all of them with his cloak and said: 'These are the People of my House. 0 Allah! Keep uncleanness away from them and make them clean and pure!'

As narrated by Wasilat son of Asqaa 7and Umm Salama:

Hakim (in "Mustadrak") and Haithmi (in "Majma al-Zawaid ") have quoted from Wasilat that the holy Prophet (P) made Ali (P) and Fatima (P) sit in front of himself and placed Hassan (P) and Husayn (P) to sit on his knees or took them in his arms. And this h;idith has also been quoted by Ibn Kathir and Suyuti (in their "Tafsirs") and Bahiqui (in "Sunan ") and Ahmad bin Hambal (in "Musnad ").

Place where Members Of The Holy Prophet's House Assembled Together

As narrated in the hadith quoted by Abu Saeed Khadri: 8

Suyuti has quoted Abu Saeed in "Durr al­ Manthur" as having said, "The holy Prophet (P) was in the house of Umm Salama when Gabriel descended and brought the verse, "O People of the Prophet's House'........ (33:33)"

Abu Saeed says, "At that time the holy Prophet (P) called Hassan, Husayn, Fatima,and Ali (Peace be upon them) and made them come near him and spread his cloak on them when Umm Salama, too, was sitting behind the curtain. The holy Prophet (P) said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family. Keep uncleanness away from them and make them pure'.

As narrated in the hadith quoted by Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama:

Ibn Kathir, Suyuti, Bahiqui, Tahavi and Khateeb in "Tareekh al-Baghdad " have quoted Umm Salama as having said, "The verse, 'O People of the Prophet's House ...... (33:33)', was revealed in my house and Fatima, Ali, Hassan, and Husayn (P) were in the room. The holy Prophet(P) spread his cloak on them and said: 'These are the members of my family. (0 Allah!) Remove uncleanness from them and make them pure". And Hakim, too, has quoted Umm Salama in"Mustadrak" as having said, ''This verse was revealed in my house".

Umm Salama has been quoted in the following books:-

Tirmizy narrates in his "Sahib" in the chapter relating to the attainment so Fatima(P)and similarly in "Riazal-Nuzrah " and "Tehzib al­ Tehzib" that the holy Prophet (P) said, "O Allah! These are the members of my family. Ward off uncleanness from them and make them pure."

Ahmad also narrates in his "Musnad" that Umm Salama said, "I penetrated my head into the room and asked, "Am I also among you? " The holy Prophet (P) said, "You have a good future".

Hakim, too, narrates that Umm e Salma said,

"O Prophet of Allah! Am I not one of the members of your family? " The holy Prophet (P) replied: "You have a good future but only these are the members of my family. O Lord! The members of my family are more deserving".

How Many Persons Were Present In The House When The Verse Was Revealed?

In the "Tafsir" of Suyuti and in "Mushkil al-Aathar" Umm Salama has been quoted to have said :"The verse, 'O People of the Prophet's House'….(33:33)' was revealed in my house and at that time there were seven persons present in the room namely (besides the holy Prophet) Gabriel, Michael, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (May peace and benediction be upon them) and I was standing in the door of the house and said:

"O Prophet of Allah! Am I not one of the members of your family? " He replied, "You have a good future and you are one of the wives of the Prophet (P)."

In What Position And Posture Were The Members Of The Holy Prophet's Family, When The Verse Was Revealed?

In "Tafsir" by Tabri Abu Saeed Khadri is reported to have narrated that Umm Salama had said, "This verse was revealed in my house and I was sitting in the door of the house." It has also been narrated in the same "Tafsir" that Umm Salama had said, "The members of the holy Prophet' family gathered around him and he covered them with a cloak which he was carrying on his shoulder and said, 'These are the members of my family. Ward off uncleanness from them and make them pure'. And this verse was revealed when they were sitting on the ground. I said, 'O Prophet of Allah! Am I not also one of the members of your family?' I swear by the Almighty that the holy Prophet (P) did not grant me any distinction and said: 'You have a good future"'.

Explanation And Interpretation Of The Words Of The Verse

In his book entitled "Mufridat al-Qur'an" Raghib says under the root "Rawada" . When it is said, 'Arad Allah' it means that the Almighty Allah ordered that such and such thing should take place or should not take place. And under the root 'Rijs 'he says: 'Rijs' means something which man hates. He adds that 'Rijs' is of four kinds viz. natural, intellectual, legal or combination of all these three in one. For example, a dead body amact of gambling and a profession of polytheism are repulsive from the viewpoint of nature, intellect and law. The statement of Raghib ends here.

In the 30th verse of Suraal-Hajj, Almighty Allah says,

"Shun the abomination of idols.."

And in the 125the verse of Sura al-An'am Allah says,

"Thus does Allah heap ignomenous chastise­ment on those who believe not".

And in the 145th verse of Sura al-An 'am He says,

"Unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine, for it is an abomination".

And in Sura al-Tauba, He says about the hypocrites,

"Keep aloof from them for they are hypocrites."

And in the 71st verse of Sura al-A'raf Allah says, about the people of Noah,

"Noah said, Punishment and wrath have already come upon you from your Lord ".

The meaning of the word 'Tathir' in this verse is the same as in the remarks about Mary (P) in the 42nd verse of Sura Aal Imran when the angels said,

'O Mary! Allah bas chosen you and purified you above all the women".

And 'Kisa' mentioned in this hadith was an upper garment like 'Aba '.

The Verse As Interpreted In The Narrations

In his 'Tafsir" Suyuti quotes Ibn Abbas 9as saying:
"The holy Prophet(P) said: 'Almighty Allah divided His creation into two pans and placed us in the best of them!. Later he said: 'Then He sub­ divided tribes into families and placed us among the best of those families. And Almighty Allah means this when he says: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification'(33:33). Hence myself and the members of my family are free from all sorts of sin and contamination"'

Suyuti narrates from Zahhak son of Muzahim10 that the holy Prophet (P) said: "We are the family whom Allah has declared to be pure, and He has created us from the trunk and the centre of Prophethood. Ours is the house which is frequented with the angels and which is the seat of blessings and the spring of knowledge and wisdom."

Tabri (in "Tafsir') and Muhib Tabri (in "Zakhair al-Uqba") quote from Abu Saeed Khadri that the holy Prophet (P) said, "The versehas been revealed about five persons namely, myself, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussayn .In"Mushkil al-Aathar" Umm Salama has been quoted as saying: "This verse was revealed with regard to the holy Prophet, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn" (May peace and benediction be upon them all).

In the previous narrations it has been stated as to how the holy Prophet (P) explained and interpreted this verse and threw light upon the subject by words and conduct.

According to Sahih Muslim Zaid bin Arqam,11 a distinguished companion of the holy Prophet (P) was asked as to who were meant by members of the holy Prophet's family and whether his wives were also included among them. He replied: "Wives do not belong to the family. By Allah! a woman lives with her husband for some time and is then divorced and returns to her father and other relatives. The members of the holy Prophet's family are those who have family ties with him and who are forbidden to take alms."

In "Majma al-Zawaid " Haithami reports Abu Saeed Khadri as saying: "'Members of the holy Prophet's family are those whom Almighty Allah has purified of all filth and impurity and declared them to be clean and pure." Thereafter, Abu Saeed Khadri counted them on his fingers and said:" They are five persons, the holy Prophet, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn" (May peace be upon them all).

In his "Tafsir " Tabri quotes Qatada12 who interpreted the sacred verse of Tathir that People of the holy Prophet's family are those whom Almighty Allah has purified from every sin and showered special blessings on them. He also says in explanation of the verse, "It is this and nothing else that Allah willed to ward off every badness and indecency from the people of the family of Muhammad (P) and to purify them from every contamination and sin!"

What Did The Holy Prophet Do After The Revelation Of The Verse?

In "Majma al-Zawaid" Abu Barza13 has been reported to have said: "I performed my prayers along with the holy Prophet (P) for seven months.

As and when he left his house, he went to the house of Fatima (P) and used to say: "Peace be upon you! O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

In the "Tafsir" of Suyuti, Ibn Abbas is reported to have said. "I noticed for nine months that the holy Prophet (P) went to the door of Ali 's house every day when it was time for prayers and used to say: "Peace and blessings be upon you! O People of the Prophet 's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33). And he repeated this act five times a day."

In "Sahih " of Tirmizy, "Musnad " of Ahmad, "Musnad " of Tialsi, "Mustadri k Sahehain", "Usd al-Ghabah" and in the "Tafsirs" of Tabri, Jbn-i­ Kathir and Suyuti, Anas bin Malik14 is reported to have said that for a period of six months the holy Prophet (P) used to pass by the door of Fatima (P) and say: "O People of the House, it is time to perform prayers'. And then added: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification."

1) In "Isti'ab", "Usd al-Ghabah", "Majma al­ Zawaid", "Mushkil al-Aathar" and "Tafsirs" of Tabari, Ibn Kathir and Suyuti, Abu al-Hamra has been reported to have said: "I noticed in Medina that for a period of eight months whenever the holy Prophet (P) came out of his house to perform morning prayers he went to the house of Ali (P) and placed his hands on the two sides of the door and used to say, 'Prayers! Prayers! O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

In one of the narrations the period is stated to be six months, in another seven months, in the third eight months and in the fourth nine months.

In "Majmaal-Zawaid" and "Tafsir" of Suyuti it has been quoted from Abu Saeed Khadri with a variation in words that for forty days the holy Prophet (P) approached the house of Fatima (P) every morning and used to say: "Peace be upon you O' People of the House! The time for the prayers has arrived". And thereafter he used to recite this verse: "O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)" And then said: "I am in a state of war with him who fights with you and am in a state of peace with him who is at peace with you."

Those Who Relied On This Sacred Verse To Prove The Virtues Of The People Of The Holy Prophet's House

(a) Imam Hassan (P)

Hakim (in "Mustadrak") in connection with the attainments of Imam Hassan (P) and Haithami (in connection with the excellence of the People of the holy Prophet's House) have narrated that Imam Hassan (P) addressed the people after the martyrdom of his father Imam Ali (P), and said during his speech:

"O People! Whoever knows me, knows me and whoever does not know me should know that I am Hassan bin Ali. I am the son of the holy Prophet (P) and of his successor (wasi). I am his son who invited people to Allah and warned them of the torture of His hell-fire. I am the son of the Luminous Lamp. I belong to the family upon whom Gabriel used to descend and from there ascend to heavens. I belong to the family from whom Allah has removed all impurities and made them pure."

It has been narrated in "Majma al-Zawaid" and "Tafsir" of Ibn Kathir that after his father's martyrdom Imam Hassan (P) attained the Caliphate and one day, while he was performing his prayers, a man attacked him and thrust. a sword in his thigh. He remained confined to bed for some months.

Thereafter, he recovered and delivered a sermon and said: "O people of Iraq! Fear Allah. We are your Amirs and your guests and belong to the family about whom Almighty Allah has said: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)'. Imam Hassan (P) dwelt on this subject so much that all those present in the Masjid began to cry." This hadith has also been quoted by Tibrani and all the narrators are reliable.

(b) Umm al-M u'minin Umm Salama

In "Mushkil al-Athar" Tahavi has quoted Umra Hamdania as saying: "I went to Umm Salama and said Salam to her. She enquired: 'Who are you?' I replied: 'I am Umra Hamdania'. Umra says, 'I said, O Mother of the Faithful! Say something about the man who has been killed among us today. One group of the people likes him and another group is inimical towards him. (He meant Imam Ali bin Abu Talib). Umm Salama said, Do you like him or are hostile to him?" I replied, I neither like him nor am hostile to him." Here the narrative is defective and thereafter it is like this: "Allah revealed the verse: "O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

There was none in the room at that time, except Gabriel, the holy Prophet and Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (May peace be upon them). I said: "O Prophet of Allah! Am I too one of the People of the House? He replied: 'Allah will reward you and recompense you. 'I wished that he might have said 'Yes' and would have valued such a reply much more than anything else in the world."

(c) Sa 'ad bin abi Waqas

In "Khasais" Sinaihas quoted' Amir bin Sa'ad15son of Abi Waqas as saying: "Mua'wiyyah said to Sa'ad bin Abi Waqas: 'Why do you refrain from abusing Abu Turab? ' Sa'ad said, 'I don't abuse Ali (P) for three reasons which I heard from the holy Prophet (P). If even one of them had been in my favour I would have valued it much more than anything else on earth. I heard from the holy Prophet (P).

'When he left Ali (P) as his representative in Medina and proceeded to fight a battle, Ali(P) said, 'Are you leaving me with the women and the children in Medina?' The holy Prophet (P) replied: 'Don't you like that your position vis-a-vis myself should be like that of Aaron with Moses.(May peace be upon them). You enjoy the same position with reference to me as Aaron enjoyed with reference to Moses'." (May peace be upon them).

One the fateful day of Khyber, too, I heard the holy Prophet (P) as saying: "Tomorrow I shall give the standard to one who loves Allah and His Prophet (P) and Allah and His Prophet (P) also love him." All of us were keen to be graced and singled out in the face of this declaration and the standard might be in our hands. In the meantime the holy Prophet (P) said: Bring Ali (P) to me.' Imam Ali (P) came in such a condition that he had some trouble in his eyes. The holy Prophet (P) applied the saliva of his mouth to Ali's eyes and gave the standard in his hand. Moreover, when the verse of 'Tatbir'. "O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove (all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)", was revealed the holy Prophet (P) called Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (May peace be upon them all) near himself and said: 'O Allah! These are the people of my family."

lbn Jarir, lbn Kathir, Hakim (in "Mustadrak") and Tahavi (in "Mushkil al-Athar") have quoted from Sa'ad bin Ali Waqas that at the time of the revelation of the verse, the holy Prophet (P) called Ali (P) along with his two sons and Fatima (P) and accommodated them under his own cloak and said: "O Lord! These are the members of my family."

(d) lbn Abbas

(1) It has been narrated in "Tarikh Tabri" and "Tarikh Ibn Athir" that when 'Umar, while conversing with Ibn Abbas said: 'Fie be upon you, O Bani Hashim! You have nothing in your hearts except envy, fraud and rancour which do not leave your hearts and are not exterminated, Ibn Abbas said in reply: 'Be calm O' Commander of the Faithful! Don 't attribute envy and to those hearts which have been cleansed from all filth by Allah and made pure and clean, because the heart of the holy Prophet (P), too, is one of the hearts of Bani Hashim."

(2) Imam of the Hamblites, Ahmad (in his "Musnad"), Nisai (in "Khasais") Muhibbe Tibri (in "Riaz al-Nuzra") and Haithmi (in "Majma al­ Zawaid ") have reported 'Amr bin Maimun16 as having said: "I was with Ibn Abbas when nine persons came to him and said: 'O son of Abbas! Either come out with us or provide us privacy." He said: 'I shall go out with you.' The narrator says: 'In those days the eyes of Ibn Abbas were all right and he could see. The narrator says: 'They had mutual conversation and I am not aware as to what they talked about.' After some time Ibn Abbas returned to us. He was then shaking off his dress17and saying: 'Fie be upon them! They are talking about the man who enjoys ten excellences. Later in the narration Ibn Abbas details the virtues of the Imam till he says: 'The holy Prophet (P) spread his cloak upon Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (Peace be upon them) and said: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

(c) Wasilat son of Asqa'a

Tabri (while commenting on the verse), Ibn Hanbal (in his "Musnad "), Hakim (in "Mustadrak"), Bahiqui (in "Sunan"), Taltavi (in "Mushkil al-Aathar") and Haithami (in "Majma al-Zawaid ") quott; Abu 'Ammar18as having said: "I was sitting with Wasilat son of Asqa'a when a discussion took place about Ali (P) and the people abused him. When those present rose to leave, he said to me: "Keep sitting so that I may talk with you about the man whom they have been abusing. I was with the holy Prophet (P) when Ali (P), Fatima (P), Hassan (P) and Husayn (P) approached him and the holy Prophet (P) spread his cloak on them and said: 'O Allah 1 These are the members of my family. Remove uncleanness from them and make them clean and pure."

In "Usd al-Ghabah" Shiddad son of Abd Allah has been quoted as saying: "I heard from Wasilat son of Asqa 'a that when the head of Husayn (P) was brought, one of the Syrians abused Husayn (P) and his father. Wasilat stood up and said: 'I swear by Allah that ever since I heard the holy Prophet (P) say about them: 'O People of the Prophet 's house! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33) 'I have always liked Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (Peace be upon them )."

Another Narration From Umm Salama

Ahmad (in "Musnad"), Tibri (in "Tafsir") and Tahavi (in "Mushkil al-Athar") have quoted Shahr bin Haushab (I) to have said: "When the news of the martyrdom of Husayn (P) reached (Medina) I heard Umm Salama, wife of the holy Prophet (P), saying: "They have killed Husayn (P)! I myself observed that the holy Prophet (P) spread his Khyber cloak on them and said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family! Remove uncleanness from them and make them clean and pure!"

(f) Ali bin al-Husayn (P)

Tabri, Ibn Kathir and Suyuti have stated thus in their "Tafsirs" while commenting on this sac­ red verse: Ali bin al-Husayn (P) said to a Syrian: "Have you read this verse in Sura al-Ahzab, 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)".

The Syrian said: 'Does this verse pertain to you?' The Imam replied: 'Yes, it pertains to us"

Khawarazmi has quoted this very narration in his "Maqtal" in the following manner:

"When, after the martyrdom of Husayn(P), the grandson of the holy Prophet (P), Sajjad (P) and other prisoners belonging to the House of the holy Prophet (P) were carried to Damascus and stationed in the jail located by the side of the Jama' Masjid of Damascus, an old man approached them and said : 'Praised be Allah who killed you and annihilated you and relieved the people from your men and provided the Commander of the Faithful (Yazid) with authority over you.' Ali bin al-Husayn (P) said: 'O old man! Have you read the holy Qur'an? He replied: Yes. Then the Imam (P) said: Have you read this verse: 'No reward do I ask you for this (the toils of the office of Prophethood) except the love of those near of my kin.'

The old man said: 'Yes. I have read it' The Imam said: 'Have you read the verse: 'So give what is due to kindered (near ones) the needy and the wayfarer. That is best for them who seek the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will prosper’ and the verse: 'They ask you concerning (thing taken as) spoils of war say: such spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the Prophet so fear Allah and keep straight the relations between yourselves. Obey Allah and His Prophet, if you do believe' in the holy Qur'an. The old man replied:' Yes. I have read them '.

The Imam said: 'I swear by Allah that the word 'near ones' refers to us and these verses have been revealed about us. (The Imam added): And have you read this verse in the holy Qur'an where in Allah says: 'O People of the Prophet's House' Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)'.

The old man said: 'Yes. I have read it.' The Imam said: 'What is meant by People of the Prophet's House! We are whom Allah has especially associated with the verse of 'Tathir'.

The old man said: 'By Almighty Allah! Are you of the same family? ' The Imam replied: I swear by my grandfather the Prophet of Allah we are the same people.'

The old man was stunned and expressed regret for what he had said. Then he raised his head towards the sky and said: 'O Allah! I apologize for what I have said and forsake enmity against this family and hate the enemies of the progeny of Muhammad (P)."19

Gist Of The Foregoing Narrations

The gist of the "Hadith al-Kisa" as it emerges from the foregoing narrations is as follows:-

"The holy Prophet (P), while he was in the house of Ummal-Mu'minin observed that the Divine blessing was forthcoming. He then said : 'Call for me! Call for me! ' When asked as to who should be called he replied: 'Call the people of my family namely Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn ' (Peace be upon them). When the members of his family gathered around him, he covered them along with himself with a painted Khyber cloak and then said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family and send your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny."

The Almighty Allah revealed the verse: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)' This verse was revealed when they were gathered on the floor (of the house of Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama) and the holy Prophet( P) said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family. Ward off uncleanness from them and make them clean and pure."

Umm Salama was then behind a curtain and she said: "There were seven persons in the house at that time namely holy Prophet, Gabriel, Michael, Ali, Fatima, Hassan, and Husayn (May peace be upon them). I came out of the curtain and said: 0 Prophet of Allah! Am I not a member of your family?' I swear by Allah that the holy Prophet (P) did not say: 'Yes, you are', but replied: 'You have a good future and you belong to the category of the wives of the Prophet (P)' And according to another version Umm Salama said: "Am I not a member of the family? '

The holy Prophet (P) then replied: 'You have a good future and these are the members of my family. O Allah! The people of my family are more deserving! ".

According to this narration the holy Prophet (P) distinguished the members of his family from others and indicated as to who they were and explained the verse and said: "Myself and the members of my family are free from every sin and contamination".

He repeated this thing openly in Masjid al-Nabi before all the Muslims and at the time of prayers he used to go to door of the house of Ali (P) and Fatima (P) and recited the verse of Tathir for them saying: "Peace and Allah's blessings be upon you O People of the House! 'O People of the Prophet's House' Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

And according to another version he went to the door of Imam Ali 's house at the time of morning prayers and placed his hands on the two sides of the door and recited the said verse. Some companions kept a record of this act of the holy Prophet (P) and said that they saw the holy Prophet (P) doing like this for six months or for seven months or according to one version for eight months and according to another for more or less nine months. And every one of them related what he had seen.

The object of the holy Prophet (P) was to demonstrate the meanings of this verse verbally as well as practically and explained it to his followers on the lines of the sacred verse, ("We sent them with clear signs and Books of dark prophesies; and We have sent down unto you (also) the Message that you may explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may reflect "(Sura al-Nahl, 16:44), so that they might possibly ponder over it. This thing became well known among the people and even the companions of the holy Prophet (P) argued on its basis on behalf of the holy Prophet's family.

Imam Hassan (P), who was himself one of the people of 'Kisa' delivered a sermon after the martyrdom of his father and relied on this verse and said: "I belong to the House about whom Almighty Allah has said: 'Allah has decided to remove impurity from them and to make them clean and pure'." And in another sermon, after having been attacked with a sword, he said: "We belong to a family from whom Almighty Allah has removed every filth and made them pure."

Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama also argued with Umra Hamdania in this regard and cited this verse about Imam Ali (P). And Sa'ad bin Abi Waqas also argued with Mu 'awiyyah on the basis of this verse in the context of abusing of Ali (P). And Ibn Abbas also treated the said verse as one of the ten virtues of Ali bin Talib (P) and gave reply to the persons who used unbecoming language about him i.e. Imam Ali (P). One of the persons who relied on this verse was Wasilat bin Asqa'a who, on hearing Imam Ali (P) being abused, gave a reply and recited this verse in connection with the excellence of the Imam. And Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama, too, on hearing about the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P), relied on this verse and cursed the people of Iraq and Wasilat also acted accordingly. Imam Ali bin Husayn (P), while conversing with the Syrian who praised Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah and abused the people of the Prophet's House, also relied on this verse.

Thus the verse of Tathir and Hadith of Cloak confer a special distinction and honour upon Asha b al-Kisa (People of the Cloak) that being bereft of every blemish and uncleanness, they are Innocent and Chaste and absolved of any sin and therefore command absolute obedience from Muslim Ummah not only as a logical inference, but as a fulfillment of the very intention and utmost desire of the holy Prophet Muhammad (P) in pin-pointing them and making them conspicuous from the rest of the Muslim Ummah.

  • 1. The mother of Abd Allah son of Ja'far son of Abu Talib was Asma daughter of 'Arnees Khasamayya.' He was born in Ethiopia and saw the holy Prophet (P). He died after having completed 80 years of his age. His biography is recorded
  • 2. Abu Abd Allah Muhammad son of Abd Allah of Nishapur, popularly known as Hakim, is one of the Traditionalists and is held in much esteem by the Sunnites. He passed away in 40 A.H.
  • 3. 'Ayeshah was the daughter of the first Caliph Abu Bakr. The holy Prophet (P) married her seventeen months after his migration to Medina. She passed away in 57,58 or 59 A.H. (exact year not certain) and Abu Hurayrah led her funeral prayer. She was buried in Baqui. For her biography please refer to the book entitled "Ahadith ·'Ayeshah".
  • 4. Perhaps 'Ayeshah meant to say that the holy Prophet (P) came out of her house with the cloak and went to the house of Umm Salama.
  • 5. Umm Salama Hind, daughter of Ubi Omayyah Qurayshi Makhzumi had the honour of marrying the holy Prophet (P) after the death of her husband Abu Salma son of Abd al-Asad. Her husband Abu Salma died as a result of a wound sustained by him in the battle of Ohad. She passed away after the matyrdom of Imam Husavn( P).The life history of Umrne Salma is recoded in"Asad al­ Ghaba " and "Tehzib al-Tehzib"
  • 6. 'Umar was the son of Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama from her first husband (Abu Salma). He ('Urnar) was born in Ethiopia. He was one among the followers of Imam Ali (P) in the Battle of Siffin and was also appointed by him as the Governor of Bahrain and Fars (a part of the present Islamic Republic of Iran was called at that time as Fars). 'Umar passed away in Medina in 83 A.H. His biography is given in "Usd al-Ghabah "Vol.IV page 79).
  • 7. Wasilat son of Asqaa son of Ka'ab Laisi embraced Islam before the Battle of Tabuk. It is said that he remained in the service of the holy Prophet(P) for a period of three years. He passed away in 80 A.H. in Damascus or Baital-Maqdas .For his biography please refer to "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol.V page 77).
  • 8. Abu Saeed Khadri Khazraji. His name was Sa'ad son of Malik Ansari. He participated in the Battle of the Ditch and in other battles. He died in Medina when he was above 60 years or 70 years of age. His biography appears in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol. II, page 289).
  • 9. Abd Allah son of Abbas and cousin of the holy Prophet (P) was born three years before the holy Prophet's migration to Medina and passed away at Taif at the age of 68 years. For his biography please refer to "Usd al-Ghabah".
  • 10. Abu al-Qasim or Abu Muhammad Zahhak son of Muzahim Hilali. Ibn Hajar says: "He is truthful in narrating hadith and has narrated many hadith by way of receiving it from correct sources. "Zahhak is considered to be belonging to the fifth group and died after attaining the age of 100 years. His biography appears in "Tehzil al-Tehzib"
  • 11. Zaid bin Arqam Ansari Khazraji, who on account of his young age, was not permitted by the holy Prophet (P) to participate in the Battle of Ohad, but accompanied him in other battles. He participated in the Battle of Siffin from the side of Imam Ali (P) and passed away at Kufa after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P). His biography is given in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol.II, page199).
  • 12. There are four persons by the name "Qatada" (viz. Saddusi, Rihawi, Qaisi and Ansari) and all of them are reliable. It is not known asto which one of them is referred to here. For their biographies please refer to "Tehzib-al-Tehzib".
  • 13. Abu Barza Aslami was one of the companions of the holy Prophet (P). He passed away at Kufa at the age 60 or 64 years. His biography is given in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol. V. page 146).
  • 14. Anas bin Malik Khazraji. It has been reported that he remained in the service of the holy Prophet (P) for ten years. He passed away in Basra after attaining the age of 90 years. For his biography please refer to "Usd al-Ghabah ".
  • 15. 'Amir bin Sa'ad son of Abi Waqas. His hadith has been extracted by all the compilers of "Sihah". lhn Hajar says: "He is considered to be one of the reliable narrators of the third group. He died attheage of 104 ("Taqnbal-Tehzib",Vol.I, page 387).
  • 16. 'Amr bin Maimun is considered to be one of the reliable Tabieen. His hadith have been included in the "Sihah''. He passed away in Kufa at the age of 74. ("Taqreeb al Tehzeeb" Vol.II, page 80).
  • 17. In those days shaking off the dress was considered to be a sign of disgust for what had happened and as the nine persons had used unbecoming language for Imam Ali (P) Ibn-e-Abbas spoke thus.
  • 18. Abu 'Ammar Shaddad son of Abd Allah al-Qarshi of Damascus. He is included in the fourth group of reliable narrators and his hadith are available in the "Sihah''.("Taqreebal-Tehzib" Vol1, page347).
  • 19. Other hadith on the subject have also been narrated but we have desisted from quoting them. For example the narration about the biography of 'Atiyya as detailed in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol.III, page 413) and in "Asaba" (Vol.II, page 479) and "Tarikh e Bagdadi ' ( Vol. X, page 278), and the narration of Hakim 'Son of Saeed' In 'Tafsiri­ Tabri " (Vol. 22, page 5) and other narrations quoted in "Musnad " of Ahmed (Vol. VI, page304) an d "Asad al·Gha ha" (Vol.II page 12 and Vol IV, page 29) and "Majmal al-Zawaid"(Vol.IX, pages 206and207) and"Zubair-Al-Uqba.