3. A Game Of Contradictions (Part 2)

Suddenly, the whole drama gets out of hand.

Exhibit E

Ibn Zam’a makes things much worse with his own set of new contradictions! Imam Abu Dawud (d. 275 H) records:

حدثنا عبد الله بن محمد النفيلي ثنا محمد بن سلمة عن محمد بن إسحاق قال حدثني الزهري قال حدثني عبد الملك بن أبي بكر بن عبد الرحمن بن الحارث بن هشام عن أبيه عن عبد الله بن زمعة قال لما استعز برسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وأنا عنده في نفر من المسلمين دعاه بلال إلى الصلاة فقال مروا من يصلي للناس فخرج عبد الله بن زمعة فإذا عمر في الناس وكان أبو بكر غائبا فقلت يا عمر قم فصل بالناس فتقدم فكبر فلما سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم صوته وكان عمر رجلا مجهرا قال " فأين أبو بكر ؟ يأبى الله ذلك والمسلمون يأبى الله ذلك والمسلمون " فبعث إلى أبي بكر فجاء بعد أن صلى عمر تلك الصلاة فصلى بالناس .

‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad al-Nufayli – Muhammad b. Salamah – Muhammad b. Ishaq – al-Zuhri – ‘Abd al-Malik b. Abi Bakr b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Harith b. Hisham – his father – ‘Abd Allah b. Zam’a:

When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, was seriously ill, and I, with a number of Muslims, was with him, Bilal summoned him to salat. He said, “Tell SOMEONE to lead the people in salat.” So, ‘Abd Allah b. Sam’a went out (into the mosque), and found ‘Umar. Meanwhile, Abu Bakr was absent. I said, “O ‘Umar! Get up and lead the people in salat.” Therefore, he stepped forward and made the takbir (thereby starting the congregational salat). When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, heard his voice, and ‘Umar was a man with a loud voice, he (the Prophet) said, “Where is Abu Bakr? Allah and the Muslims forbid that (i.e. the leadership of ‘Umar in salat). Allah and the Muslims reject that.” As such, he sent a messenger to Abu Bakr. HE CAME AFTER ‘UMAR HAD PERFORMED THAT SALAT. Then, he (Abu Bakr) led the people in salat (again).1

‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) comments:

حسن صحيح

Hasan sahih.2

Abu Dawud also records a supplementary report, which gives further details:

حدثنا أحمد بن صالح ثنا ابن أبي فديك قال حدثني موسى بن يعقوب عن عبد الرحمن بن إسحاق عن ابن شهاب عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عتبة أن عبد الله بن زمعة أخبره بهذا الخبر قال لما سمع النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم صوت عمر قال ابن زمعة خرج النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى أطلع رأسه من حجرته ثم قال " لا لا لا ليصل للناس ابن أبي قحافة " يقول ذلك مغضبا .

Ahmad b. Salih – Ibn Abi Fudayk – Musa b. Ya’qub – ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Ishaq – Ibn Shihab – ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Utbah – ‘Abd Allah b. Zam’a:

When the Prophet, peace be upon him, heard the voice of ‘Umar, the Prophet, peace be upon him, went out until his head appeared from his room. Then, he said, “No. No. No. Certainly, it is the son of Abu Quhafah (i.e. Abu Bakr) that shall lead the people in salat.” He was saying it in a state of ANGER.3

Al-Albani says:

صحيح

Sahih4

It is interesting. Is it not? The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi, allegedly knew that it was haram for anyone other than Abu Bakr to lead the salat. Yet, he ordered them to tell “someone” to do so?! Was it not his mission to “deliver the message clearly”?5 So, what was he allegedly angry about exactly? According to this Sunni riwayah, it was the Prophet himself who caused the confusion – and may Allah protect us from such blasphemous thoughts! So, logically, none was to blame except him. Thus, why was he angry, and at whom? What is this drama which the Ahl al-Sunnah have attributed to the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds?! In any case, this report of Ibn Zam’a opens a new can of worms for our Sunni brothers, which severely complicate an already horrible situation.

Exhibit F

In order to analyze the reports of Ibn Zam’a, we must first pinpoint them within a specific timescale. So, this hadith of Imam Ahmad (d. 241 H) comes in handy:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عبد الأعلى عن معمر عن الزهري عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله عن عائشة قالت لما مرض رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في بيت ميمونة فاستأذن نساءه ان يمرض في بيتي فأذن له فخرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم معتمدا على العباس وعلى رجل آخر ورجلاه تخطان في الأرض وقال عبيد الله فقال بن عباس أتدري من ذلك الرجل هو علي بن أبي طالب ولكن عائشة لا تطيب لها نفسا قال الزهري فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم وهو في بيت ميمونة لعبد الله بن زمعة مر الناس فليصلوا فلقي عمر بن الخطاب فقال يا عمر صل بالناس فصلى بهم فسمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم صوته فعرفه وكان جهير الصوت فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أليس هذا صوت عمر قالوا بلى قال يأبى الله جل وعز ذلك والمؤمنون مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس قالت عائشة يا رسول الله ان أبا بكر رجل رقيق لا يملك دمعه وانه إذا قرأ القرآن بكى قالت وما قلت ذلك الا كراهية ان يتأثم الناس بأبي بكر ان يكون أول من قام مقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس فراجعته فقال مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس انكم صواحب يوسف

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – ‘Abd al-A’la – Ma’mar – al-Zuhri – ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah – ‘Aishah:

When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, became ill in the house of Maymunah, he sought the permission of his wives to stay in my house during his illness. So, they permitted him. Then, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, came out (of Maymunah’s room) supported by al-‘Abbas and another man and his feet were dragging on the ground.

‘Ubayd Allah said: “Ibn ‘Abbas asked, ‘Do you know that man? He was ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. But, ‘Aishah did not like him.’”

Al-Zuhri (narrating from ‘Ubayd Allah from ‘Aishah) reported: The Prophet, peace be upon him, said while he was (still) in the house of Maymunah to ‘Abd Allah b. Zam’a, “Tell THE PEOPLE to perform the salat.” So, he met ‘Umar b. al-Khattab and said, “O ‘Umar! Lead the people in salat.” Therefore, he led them in salat. Then, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, heard his voice and recognized him, as he was someone with a loud voice. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Is that not the voice of ‘Umar?” They said, “Yes, it is.” He said, “Allah the Almighty and the believers forbid that. Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in salat.” ‘Aishah said, “O Messenger of Allah, verily, Abu Bakr is a tenderly man. He cannot control his tears. As he recites the Qur’an, he cannot help weeping.”

She (‘Aishah) said: “I did not say that except through worry that the people may take an evil omen with Abu Bakr, that he would become the first to occupy the position of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.” He said, “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in salat.” But, I dissuaded him. He said (again), “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in Salat. You are like the women around Yusuf.”6

Shaykh al-Arnaut says:

إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

Its chain is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs7

So, it was before the Prophet moved to the house of ‘Aishah. This was during the initial stages of his fatal illness, at the start of his inability to join the congregational salats. That apparently was on Thursday. Imam Muslim (d. 261 H) records another hadith which confirms this:

حدثنا محمد بن رافع وعبد بن حميد (واللفظ لابن رافع) قالا حدثنا عبدالرزاق أخبرنا معمر قال قال الزهري وأخبرني عبيدالله بن عبدالله بن عتبة أن عائشة أخبرته قالت أول ما اشتكى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في بيت ميمونة فاستأذن أزواجه أن يمرض في بيتها وأذن له قالت فخرج ويد له على الفضل بن عباس ويد له على رجل آخر وهو يخط برجليه في الأرض فقال عبيدالله فحدثت به ابن عباس فقال أتدري من الرجل الذي لم تسم عائشة ؟ هو علي

Muhammad b. Rafi’ and ‘Abd b. Hamid – ‘Abd al-Razzaq – Ma’mar – al-Zuhri - ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Utbah – ‘Aishah:

It was in the house of Maymunah that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, first fell ill. He asked permission from his wives to stay in my house during his illness. They granted him permission.”

She said: “Then, he went out with one of his hands over (the shoulder of) ‘al-Faḍl b. ‘Abbas and the other hand on (the shoulder of) another man. His feet dragged on the earth.

‘Ubayd Allah said: “I narrated it to Ibn ‘Abbas and he said, ‘Do you know the man whose name ‘Aishah did not mention? He was ‘Ali.”8

There is a fresh contradiction in these last two reports of ‘Aishah. In the first, she claimed that the partner of Amir al-Muminin ‘Ali, ‘alaihi al-salam, when he was supporting the Messenger of Allah out of Umm al-Muminin Maymunah’s room was al-‘Abbas. In the second, she said that the same partner was al-Faḍl b. al-Abbas! That, apparently, is an irreconcilable contradiction.

One cannot help but notice the strange inconsistencies between the reports of Zam’a and Exhibit F on the one hand and the other reports of ‘Aishah and Anas (in the last chapter) on the other:

1. In one report, the Prophet gave the order that Abu Bakr - specifically naming him - should lead the salat immediately when Bilal came to him. However, in other reports, the Messenger only said, “Tell someone to lead the people in salat” or “Tell the people to perform the salatwithout naming Abu Bakr.

2. In some reports, ‘Umar was mistakenly chosen, by Ibn Zam’a or another messenger of the Prophet, to lead the salat, and he (‘Umar) did so, before Abu Bakr. In other reports, ‘Umar was never selected for leadership of the salat by any messenger of the Prophet, and he (‘Umar) never led it.

3. In one report, after Abu Bakr’s designation as the prayer leader, he went ahead to offer the position to ‘Umar, who politely turned it down. By contrast, according to other reports, Abu Bakr never offered the position to ‘Umar. Rather, ‘Umar himself had already held the position, by mistake, before him! So, it would have been illogical to ask him to lead the same salat again.

4. By one report, Abu Bakr was one of those waiting in the mosque for the Messenger of Allah in the evening of Thursday. The messenger of the Prophet came to him in the mosque, while ‘Umar too was present with him, to convey the order to lead. Meanwhile, in other reports, Abu Bakr was absent from the mosque, while the other Muslims were waiting for salat! Where was he? What could he possibly be doing where he was? The messenger of the Prophet had to quickly locate him to bring him into the mosque so that he could take over from ‘Umar who was already leading the salat by mistake. But, before Abu Bakr arrived, ‘Umar had already finished.

At this point, let us make a final recap of the some of the words of ‘Aishah concerning that same event, about that same ‘Isha prayer of that same Thursday. This is the first one:

قالت والناس عكوف في المسجد ينتظرون رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لصلاة العشاء الآخرة

قالت فأرسل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى أبي بكر أن يصلي بالناس فأتاه الرسول فقال إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يأمرك أن تصلي بالناس فقال أبو بكر وكان رجلا رقيقا يا عمر صل بالناس قال فقال عمر أنت أحق بذلك

قالت فصلى بهم أبو بكر تلك الأيام

She (‘Aishah) said, “The people were standing in the mosque waiting for the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, FOR THE ‘ISHA PRAYER.

She (‘Aishah) said, “So, the Messenger of Allah sent a messenger to Abu Bakr to tell him to lead the people in salat. When the messenger (of the Prophet) got to him, he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, orders you to lead the people in salat.’ So, Abu Bakr, who was a man of tenderly feelings, said, ‘O ‘Umar, lead the people in salat.’ ‘Umar replied, ‘You are more entitled to that.’

She (‘Aishah) said, ‘So, Abu Bakr led them in salat DURING THOSE DAYS.

This is her second claim on that same event:

فأمروا أبا بكر يصلي بالناس قالت فلما دخل في الصلاة وجد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من نفسه خفة فقام يهادي بين رجلين ورجلاه تخطان في الأرض قالت فلما دخل المسجد سمع أبو بكر حسه ذهب يتأخر فأومأ إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قم مكانك فجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى جلس عن يسار أبي بكر قالت فكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يصلي بالناس جالسا وأبو بكر قائما يقتدي أبو بكر بصلاة النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ويقتدي الناس بصلاة أبي بكر

She said: “Therefore, Abu Bakr was asked to lead the people in salat.” She said: “As he (Abu Bakr) began the salat, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, felt some relief. So, He got up and moved, supported by two men, and his feet dragged on the ground.

She said: “When he entered the mosque, Abu Bakr heard his sound. He moved backwards, but the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, indicated to him to ‘stand in your place.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, then came and sat on the left side of Abu Bakr.”

She said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, was leading the people in Salat in a sitting posture.

Here, we have her third:

فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم وهو في بيت ميمونة لعبد الله بن زمعة مر الناس فليصلوا فلقي عمر بن الخطاب فقال يا عمر صل بالناس فصلى بهم فسمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم صوته فعرفه وكان جهير الصوت فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أليس هذا صوت عمر قالوا بلى قال يأبى الله جل وعز ذلك والمؤمنون مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said while he was (still) in the house of Maymunah to ‘Abd Allah b. Zam’a, “Tell the people to perform the salat.” So, he met ‘Umar b. al-Khattab and said, “O ‘Umar! Lead the people in salat.” Therefore, he led them in salat. Then, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, heard his voice and recognized him, as he was someone with a loud voice. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Is that not the voice of ‘Umar?” They said, “Yes, it is.” He said, “Allah the Almighty and the believers forbid that. Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in Salat.”

What exactly are we supposed to believe, O Umm al-Muminin ‘Aishah?

  • 1. Abu Dawud Sulayman b. al-Ash’ath al-Sijistani al-Azdi, Sunan (Dar al-Fikr) [annotator: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani], vol. 2, p. 627, # 4660
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Ibid, vol. 2, p. 627, # 4661
  • 4. Ibid
  • 5. See Qur’an 5:92, 14:4, 16:44, 16:64, 24:54 and 64:12
  • 6. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurtubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 6, p. 34, # 24107
  • 7. Ibid
  • 8. Ibid, vol. 1, p. 311, # 418 (91)