Conspiracy Against Imam Ali (as)

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

A Sunni brother mentioned that:

It is quite difficult for us to digest the so-called "conspiracy theory.”Despite many years of companionship, how could only few people out of all his companions hold on to Muhammad’s instructions on the issue of Caliphate and the rest disobey him?

I would certainly accept the argument of this brother if he can convince me why almost all the companions of Moses became worshipers of a golden calf after so many years of training?! According to Sahih al-Bukhari, the Messeenger of Allah has told ‘Ali that the story of Moses and Aaron (Haroon) is similar to that of the story of him and ‘Ali. The tradition is as follows:

"Your position to me is like the position of Aaron to Moses, except that there shall be no Prophet after me"

أنتَ مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا إنَّهُ لا نبيَّ بعدي

Sunni References:

(1) Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, Traditions 5.56 and 5.700
(2) Sahih Muslim, Arabic, section of virtues of ‘Ali, v4, pp 1870-71
(3) Sunan Ibn Majah, p12
(4) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p174
(5) al-Khas’is, by al-Nisa’i, pp 15-16
(6) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v2, p309

Now, the position of Aaron (Haroon) to Moses is given by the verses of Qur’an, among which are the following three:

(Moses said: "O’ Allah) assign me a vizier from my family, (that is) my brother Aaron (Haroon) ...,”(Allah) said: "We granted your requests, O’ Moses.”(Qur’an 20:29-36).

Allah, Exalted, also said:

"Surely We gave the book to Moses and assigned his brother Aaron as his vizier.”(Qur’an 25:35).

He, Exalted He is, also said:

"... And Moses said unto his brother Aaron: Take my place in my comunity.”(Qur’an 7:142).

وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِأَخِيهِ هَارُونَ اخْلُفْنِي فِي قَوْمِي

Notice that "Ukhlufni”and "Khalifa”(Caliph) are exactly from the same root. Now, to realized what was narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, we need to replace the word "Moses”with "Muhammad”and "Aaron”with "‘Ali", and we are all set!! The sentence becomes "And Muhammad (S) said to his ‘brother’ ‘Ali, take my place among my community.”

Of course, the tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari excluded the Prophethood for Imam ‘Ali, and what remains for him is the leadership of the community. Putting the above 3 verses of Qur’an beside what has been narrated by al- Bukhari and Muslim, Ibn Majah and many others, we solves the mystery! ‘Ali is the "brother”and his deputy/successor.

By the above authentic tradition, the Prophet (S) meant that as Moses had left behind Aaron to look after his people when he went to Miqaat (meeting Allah), in the same way he was leaving ‘Ali behind to look after the affairs of Islam after he met Allah (i.e., his death).

Confirming what the above tradition implies, we find in the many reports that Imam ‘Ali (as) received the title of the "brother”of Prophet when Prophet established the "brothering”among his followers (see Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p363; Sirah Ibn Hisham, p504; Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, v4, p251).

Interestingly enough, the Prophet in that occasion made Abu Bakr and Umar brother of each other (al-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, v3, part 1, p123). If Abu Bakr was really the closest to the Prophet, he would have chose him for himself instead of Imam ‘Ali.

In fact, if we look deeper to the situation of after death of Prophet Muhammad (S), and the leaving of Moses to Miqaat (appointment with Allah), we will see more analogy to what Prophet (S) said to ‘Ali (as). Qur’an states that: Moses (as) with the order of Allah, assigned Haroon (as) as his successor (Caliph) and left his people to him, and left for Miqaat (appointment with Allah) for a total of forty days. After leaving of Moses, most of his companions turned against Haroon, and were deceived by Sameri, and became worshipers of a golden calf. (See Qur’an 7:142, 20:90-97, 20:83- 88).

The analogy that Prophet (S) mentioned in the above tradition, seems to be a reality after his demise. Most of companions (except Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Salman al-Farsi, Ammar, and ...) became disloyal to ‘Ali (as) after the death of Prophet (S), turned against him, and preferred some other people to him.

The majority of people disobeyed ‘Ali (as), as their forefathers disobeyed Haroon (as). They did not take lessons from Qur’an and the history, and thus the history repeated over and over again. The repetition of the history of the Children of Israel for Muslims is confirmed by Prophet (S):

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 9.422

Narrated Abu Sa’id al-Khudri:

The Prophet said, "You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure (lizard), you would follow them.”We said, "O Allah’s Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?”He said, "Whom else?"

This tradition is also narrated by Muslim in his Sahih , v8, p57. It is also narrated in Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, pp 84, 94. Think for a while... Why would the Prophet (S) compare his companions to the Jews and the Christians, knowing full well that the Jews and the Christians have mutilated and perverted the religion of Allah (SWT)?

Because Allah (SWT) had told him (S) that your companions will turn back, except the select few.

Imam ‘Ali (as) was still a divinely-appointed Imam during the time of the first three rulers, and what these rulers could take from him was the rulership (which is one of the rights of Imam) and not the position of Imamat.

As for Imam ‘Ali pledging Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, he was compelled to that since he had no choice and he was compled to do so. We, however, never accuse the Imams of being cowards. What Imam ‘Ali did was his duty which is similar to what Haroon did as his duty.

Qur’an states that when Moses (as) came back from Miqaat he was very angry since Allah had informed him that his community went astray during his absence. Moses came and started questioning his brother Haroon, that why he id not take action to prevent this corruption. Qur’an states that Haroon (Aaron) replied:

"(O’ Moses) people did oppress me and they were about to kill me.”(Qur’an 7:150).

 إِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اسْتَضْعَفُونِي وَكَادُوايَقْتُلُونَنِي

The above verse gives another striking similarity between ‘Ali and Haroon.

Since Muslims all believe that Haroon was a true prophet of God, they do not allow themselves to call him coward. In fact Taqiyya (dissimulation) is mentioned in Qur’an in several verses. This requires another article by its own, to explain the importance of Taqiyya according to Qur’an and the numerous traditions of Prophet (S) reported in the authentic Sunni collections.

Nevertheless ‘Ali did his duty after the death of the Messenger of Allah, as Haroon (Aaron) did:

"Before this, Aaron had already said to them: ‘O my people! you are being tested in this, for verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey my order.’“(Qur’an 20:90).

Sahih al-Bukhari confirms that Imam ‘Ali refused to give his allegiance to Abu Bakr for six months. He gave his allegiance to Abu Bakr only after the martyrdom of his wife Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), Daughter of the Holy Prophet, six month after the departure of Prophet. (see Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, Tradition 5.546).

After the death of Prophet (S), for forty days, ‘Ali (as) was contacting the well-known people at night, reminding them the instructions of prophet about his right to Caliphate, asking them to join him to get the power. But non responded except Abu Dharr, Miqdad, and Salman al-Farsi and some more. The Prophet had already instructed ‘Ali that if the number of his followers at that upheaval exceeds 40 men, he should take the action otherwise he should keep silent since the only remaining pious people would be killed without being able to help Islam. ‘Ali (as) was not afraid of being killed, and he kept silent only to keep the faded lawn of Islam alive. After he was sure that there would no success in his revolting, he kept silent.

During his silence, he indeed started cooperating with the first 2 Caliphs as consultant and did his best to decrease the damage as much as possible. If he had not done so, Islam would have been destroyed completely. Imam ‘Ali said: "I tolerated those periods as if there was a thorn in my eye and a sharp bone stuck in my throat.”(Nahjul Balagha, the sayings of Imam ‘Ali).

Islam was very young at that time (only 23 years old!) and division among Muslims could have totally removed Islam from the surface of the earth. So he kept silent, as Haroon (Aaron) kept silent to prevent division: (Moses) said:

"O’ Aaron! what kept you back when you saw them going wrong?"... (Aaron said:) "...Truly I feared you would say ‘You caused a division among the Children of Israel and you did not respect my word!’“(Qur’an 20:92-94).

Abu Sufyan was one of those who wanted to destroy the young Islam by encouraging ‘Ali to revolt when he was sure that ‘Ali will have no success due to small number of his followers. But the revolt of ‘Ali would at least cause the civil war and the destruction of Islam. al-Tabari reported:

When people gathered to give their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, Abu Sufyan came while saying, "By God, I see a cloud of smoke which nothing but blood will clear. O family of Abd Manaf! Who is Abu Bakr that he should be the master of your affairs? Where are ‘Ali and al- Abbas, the two oppressed ones?”

He then said (to ‘Ali): "O Abul Hasan! stretch your hand so that I give you the oath of allegiance."... ‘Ali rebuked him, saying: "By God, you do not intend anything but (to stir
up) Fitnah (dissension). For long you have desired evil for Islam. We do not need your advice."

Sunni reference: History of al-Tabari, English version, v9, p199

As we quoted the tradition of al-Bukhari earlier, the Prophet confirmed that the history of the Children of Israel will be repeated for Muslims. In fact Qur’an has mentioned the stories of the Children of Israel to give us a way to understand the true history of Islam itself. There are many other striking similarities in this regard written in Qur’an. Please see the artcle of "The Twelve Imams (Part II)”for the Qur’anic verses in this regard.

Side Comments

A Sunni brother mentioned that Aaron (Haroon) died during the liftime of Moses, and as such, this is not a correct analogy to confirm the caliphate of ‘Ali using the tradition of Sahih al-Bukhari in which the Prophet said:

"Your position to me is like the position of Aaron (Haroon) to Moses but there is no prophet after me.”

The claim that Aaron died during the life-time of Prophet Moses (if true) does not hurt this argument at all, if you very carefully read the following paragraphs:

As Moses (as) had left behind Aaron to look after his people when he went to Miqaat (meeting Allah), in the same way the Prophet (S) was leaving ‘Ali behind as his deputy to look after the affairs of Islam after he met Allah (i.e., his death).

This assertion becomes more evdient when we look at the last phrase of the tradition of al-Bukhari where the Messenger of Allah mentioned: "but there is no prophet AFTER me". Think about the word "after”in the statement of the Prophet. Don’t you think that the Prophet Muhammad is talking about after his death? That position (leadership) which the Prophet entrusted to ‘Ali was with ‘Ali till his death. No body except the Prophet Muhammad can take this position back from him.

Prophet Moses (as) was away from his people for 40 days and he came back and met them along with Haroon (as). Likewise, Prophet Muhammad is away from us (living in the heaven), but he will soon meet us and his companions as well as Imam ‘Ali on the Day of Judgment. He will then question them the same way as Moses questioned his people, specially those who left his religion and worshipped the golden calf. Look at the following tradition from Sahih al-Bukhari to have some idea about the would-be conversation between Prophet Muhammad and some of his companions:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 8.585

Narrated Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sa’d:

The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor (forerunner) at the Lake- Fount, and whoever will pass by there, he will drink from it and whoever will drink from it, he will never be thirsty. There will come
to me some people whom I will recognize, and they will recognize me, but a barrier will be placed between me and them.”Abu Hazim added: Nu’man bin Abi ‘Aiyash, on hearing me, said. "Did you hear this from Sahl?”I said, "Yes.”He said, “I bear witness that I heard Abu Said Al-Khudri saying the same, adding that the Prophet said: ‘I will say: They are my companions. Then it will be said to me, ‘You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you left’.

I will say, ‘Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed after me.”Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection a group of companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the Lake-Fount, and I will say, ‘O Lord (those are) my companions!’ It will be said, ‘You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from the true Islam).

Another person claimed: Not all of the people of Moses worshipped the calf and those who did not killed the ones who did by the order of God. Perhaps, this brother has been told another story. But Qur’an tells us that all the followers of Moses (except a few) were deceived by Sameri. The companions of Moses did not kill Sameri either. The were rather about to kill Aaron (as) who tried to advise them on that affliction. If the number of those who preserved their faith was a lot, Aaron wouldn’t have been in trouble. Here are some verses of Qur’an concerning the event:

And the community of Moses, after (he had left them), chose a calf (for worship), (made) out of their ornaments, of saffron hue, which gave a lowing sound. Saw they not that it spake not unto them nor guided them to any way? They chose it, and became wrong doers. (Qur’an 7:148)

And when Moses returned unto his people, angry and grieved, he said: Evil is that (course) which ye took after I had left you. Would ye hasten on the judgment of your Lord? And he cast down the tablets, and he seized his brother by the head, dragging him toward him. (Aaron) said: "Son of my mother! Lo! People did oppress me and they were about to kill me. Make not the enemies rejoice over my misfortune nor count thou me amongst the sinful people.”(Qur’an 7:150)

Before this, Aaron had already said to them: "O my people! you are being tested in this, for verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey my order.”(Qur’an 20:90)

They had said: "We will not abandon this cult but we will devote ourselves to it until Moses returns to us.”(Qur’an 20:91)

So the last verse disproves the claim that the true followers killed the wrong doers before Moses (as) come back. Yes, after Prophet Moses came back, he punished the influential individuals among those who led people astray. But he did not kill them:

(Moses) said (to Sameri): "Go! Your (punishment) in this life will be that you will say ‘Touch me not’; and moreover (for a future penalty) thou hast a promise that will not fail: now look at thy god of whom thou hast become a devoted worshipper: we will certainly (melt) it in a blazing fire and scatter it broadcast in the sea!”(Qur’an 20:97)

Another brother mentioned that if ‘Ali wished could very well incite forcful rebelion since he is from a very strong tribe Bani Hashm, and both Abu Bakr and Umar from a week tribe Adiyy, and Taym. Then why did he keep silent and did not use force to restore his right after the election held in Saqifah? If Bani Hashim were strong with respect to other tribes, as the above brother claims, then Muslims wouldn’t have had to migrate from Mecca to Medina. Also they wouldn’t have been subject to economical sanctions in She’b Abi Talib.

The exceptional brevity of Imam ‘Ali (as) in various wars and his killing of the most important warriors of Arabs, is well-known for even Sunnis. Imam ‘Ali mentioned that he himself has killed 40,000 infidels by his sword (this figure includes those who were killed by him in the civil wars). Killing the lions of Arabs developed a very intensive and long-lasting hatred in the heart of the Arabs from different tribes.

For this very reason, most Arabs due to their tribal ties, even after embracing Islam, were not friendly toward Imam ‘Ali and other members of Ahlul-Bayt. This hatred gave its fruit on the issue of Caliphate, and later in the civil wars at the time of Imam ‘Ali (as) as well as the prosecution of Ahlul-Bayt and their partisans after his martyrdom which continued with utmost brutality for a number of centuries.

The hatred of the house of Umayyah against Bani Hashim (the clan of Prophet and ‘Ali) is well-known. The wars of Abu Sufyan and his son Muawiyah against Prophet and ‘Ali respectively, also the horrible massacre of the grandson of prophet at Karbala by the grandson of Abu Sufyan, are only some of top items among the long list of such crimes.

You might also want to refresh the memory that when Muawiyah took over the power, he instituted the Sunnah of cursing Imam ‘Ali. Sunni history books and Sunni collections of traditions clearly state that Muawiyah commanded all the Imams of the mosques throughout the Muslim world to CURSE Imam ‘Ali in every Friday prayer. (Sunni references are available upon request).

Now, we turn to the events of Saqifah and the "election”of Abu Bakr: During the lifetime of the Prophet (S), the Mosque of Prophet was the center of all Islamic activities. It was there that the decision of war and peace were made, delegations were received, sermons were delivered and cases were decided. It is not surprising that when the news of the demise of the Prophet (S) spread, the Muslims assembled in that very Mosque. On the other hand, Saqifah of Bani Sa’idah was located three miles outside Medina and was a secret location for the evil activities of some Arab tribes. (see Ghiyath al-Lughah, p228).

Why then Sa’d Ibn Ubadah and his fans as well as Abu Bakr and Umar, left the Mosque secretly and without informing other prominent companions and went three miles outside Medina to discuss the issue of Caliphate? Why didn’t they discuss the issue as important as this among the Muslims inside the mosque? Wasn’t that they wanted to usurp the Caliphate without the knowledge of people? Why did Abu Bakr and Umar with Abu Ubaydah slip out the mosque secretly? Was it because ‘Ali and Bani Hashim were present in the mosque and in the house of Prophet, and they did not want them to know the plot?

Also, we should keep in mind that it was the custom of the Arabs that once a person was declared, even by a small group, to be the chief of the tribe, others hesitated to oppose him, and willy nilly followed suit. Due to their dislike of Imam ‘Ali (as) (which I discussed earlier), they did not respect his right, nor did they even informed him of this meeting. They SIMPLY neglected the last sermon of Prophet in Ghadir Khum where the Messenger of God declared him as his successor just two and a half months months before the incedent of Saqifah.

A Sunni brother mentioned that: If Imam ‘Ali disaproved Uthman, then why did he risk the lives of his beloved sons, al-Hassan and al-Hussain, trying to protect the life of his adversary from the blood-thirsty rioters in Medina?

According to the Shi’a sources such news are dubious. We do not have any strong evidence that Imam ‘Ali sent his sons to support Uthman’s House. In fact, al-Tabari who is one of the important Sunni Historians said that Imam ‘Ali deserted Uthman since Uthman did insisted in keeping Marwan in his administration. Here is the related part from the History of al-Tabari, when the siege over Uthman was very severe:

People informed ‘Ali of the news. Then ‘Ali came to Uthman and said: "Surely you have satisfied Marwan (again), but he is satisfied with you only if you deviate from your religion and reason, like a camel carrying a litter that is led around at will. By God, Marwan is devoid of sense in regard to his religion and his soul. I swear by God, I think he will bring you in and then not send you out again. After this visit, I will not come again to chide you. You have destroyed your own honor and you have been robbed of your authority."

When ‘Ali departed, Uthman’s wife told him: "I have heard that ‘Ali said to you that he will never return to you, and that you have obeyed Marwan (again), who leads you wherever he wishes.”Uthman said: "What shall I do?”She responded: "You should fear God alone, who has no partner, and you should adhere to the practice of your two predecessors (Abu Bakr and Umar). For if you obey Marwan, he will kill you. Marwan enjoys no prestige among the people, and inspires neither awe nor love. People have only abandoned you due to Marwan’s position (in your councils). Send to ‘Ali, then, and trust in his honesty and uprightness. He is related to you and he is not a man whom people disobey.”

So Uthman sent to ‘Ali, but he refused to come, saying: "I told him I would not return."

Sunni reference: History of al-Tabari, English version, v15, pp 176-179

Even we suppose that Imam ‘Ali protected Uthman in his last days, the protection was not because he loved Uthman to be on power. He did so (if true) since he knew that this is a conspiracy, and he knew that those companions who plotted to kill Uthman, would become the avenger of his blood tomorrow, as it happened (e.g., the companions like Talha, Zubair, Muawiyah, and ...) and it became a custom of assassination of Caliphs with self-judgments including the assassination of ‘Ali (as) himself.

Another reader mentioned that, if some companions conspired against Imam ‘Ali and usureped his right of Caliphate, is it not a possibility that they conspired to alter the Qur’anic text? The compilers and transmitters of the Qur’an were fallible and sinners.

As for protection of Qur’an, it is the will of Allah! Even if all the people of the world gather to change it they will fail. Muslims could recall the history that Allah willed to raise and preserve Moses in the house of His Enemy, Pharaoh.

Also there was no reason for Umar or Abu Bakr to delete something from Qur’an, because the name of Imam ‘Ali did not appear in Qur’an. (eventhough his name was in the divine commentary which was revealed with Qur’an but was not a part of text of Qur’an. It is no surprise that this divine commentary was suppressed). Nonetheless, Sunni documents agree that at least 300 verses of Qur’an directly revealed on the honor of Imam ‘Ali. (reported by Ibn Asakir, al-Suyuti, Ibn Hajar, etc.) Beside that that, Ibn Abbas said:

"There is no verse in Qur’an in which the term ‘Believers’, unless ‘Ali is at the top of them and the chief of them and the more virtuous one among them. Surely Allah has admonished the companions of Muhammad (S) in Qur’an, but He did not refer to ‘Ali except with honor."

Sunni references:

- Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p654, tradition #1114
- al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah, by Muhibbuddin al-Tabari, v3, p229
- Tarikh al-Khulafaa, by al-Hafidh Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p171
- Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, by Muhibbuddin al-Tabari, p89
- al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 9, section 3, p196
- Others such as Tabarani and Ibn Abi Hatam

Also, not all were sinners. The Sunni traditionists and historians Imam ‘Ali (as) was the FIRST who compiled Qur’an. It took Imam ‘Ali one week after the death of Prophet to Finnish his compilation. Imam ‘Ali presented this Qur’an to the rulers of that time and they had a chance to review it and learn about the missing verses of their own collections and they did correct what they missed. (Please see the article of "The Qur’an Compiled by Imam ‘Ali”for the references in this regard)

As you see the one who corrected them was an infallible one, and thus we have all reasons to believe that the Qur’an that we have today is the very same as what was revealed to Prophet except that it is not in the correct sequence. But nothing is missing from it.

A brother mentioned that according to the verse:

If two parties among the Believers fall into fighting make peace between them. If then one of them transgresses against the other, fight that which transgresses until it complies with the command of
Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair, for Allah loves those who are just. (Qur’an 49:9) Qur’an did not remove the characeristic of belief from either of the two warring factions. That two Muslims fight is not an indication that one of them is unbeliever.

The above comment is correct. But the verse does not imply that any warring faction is necessarily Muslim even though they say so by their tong. There is no doubt that a believer can be killer of an innocent and also there is no doubt that such killer will go to Hell for ever as the foolowing verse testifies:

"And Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his reward is Hell forever, and the Wrath of Allah is upon him, He cursed him and prepared a great punishment for him.”(Qur’an 4:93)

The above verse (4:93) does not exclude believers from that punishment. Whoever does so, is entitled to the same punishment be it believer or unbeliever.

I also think you forgot to think about the latter portion of the verse you quoted which was: "If then one of them transgresses against the other, fight that which transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah.”

Talha and Zubair are entitled to this last portion. Because Imam ‘Ali frequently asked them for reconciliation, but they killed his messenger when he was carrying Qur’an to them for a sign of asking for reconciliation. The story is written in the History of Tabari, v4, P312. So those companions are "Baaggee”-- transgressor according to the verse you quoted, and should have been fought as Imam ‘Ali did, and they will be the companions of Hell forever.

A brother mentioned that according to Qur’an, Moses who was a Prophet of god was confused with the strange actions of al-Khidhr. But when at the end , Moses (as) was told about the reasons behind those actions, he completely admired them. Moses (as) was a Prophet, but still He could not see the complete picture related to these events; none of us are in the position of Moses (as). None of us has a clear picture of what we are criticizing from the actions of the companions.

I would like to remind that brother that he is discrediting you the most important investment which Allah gifted to everyone that is logic (Aql). If I came to know God, it was due the using this investment. If I found that Islam is the best religion, it is because I used my brain and concluded that the instructions given in Qur’an are sound instructions and the regulations of Islam are the best among all other alternatives.

If one discredit this precious thing, he will lose every thing including his religion, and he will accept any irrational ‘fatwa’ as a religious command, he will accept some killers of innocents go to paradise without giving it a thought.

Moses (as) did not discredit this precious thing, and he asked Prophet Khidr for clarification, and he finally got the answers and was convinced shortly after the incidents. Now, can provide any rational justification for what some companions did after the demise of prophet? It it about 14 centuries passed and we could not come up any justification for their deads. So why should we still blindly follow their narrations and their sayings which are in clear contradiction with tha sayings of Ahlul-Bayt?

Asking question is not sin. Remaining ignorant is a big loss though. Also comparing a sinless prophet with a sinfull companion is like comparing heavens with the earth.

A Wahhabi contributor claimed that the Shi’a do not follow the Sunnah of the prophet since it was transmitted by his companions. This Wahhabi fellow did not even give it a second thought that the Shi’a follow Imam ‘Ali (as) who was the BEST of the companions of the Prophet and their most knowledgeable one, the Strong Rope of Allah (3:103), and His Right Path (1:6). Neither his proximity of relationship with Prophet was preceded (42:23), nor his preceding in accepting the religion (56:10-11).

We stick to the instructions of Ahlul-Bayt who are pure and infallible according to Qur’an and Hadith. Hence, we do not need to follow those of companions who opposed/fought Ahlul-Bayt.

Thus the Shi’a, indeed, follow the Sunnah transmitted by a Prophet’s companion, the best of them. However, Wahhabis follow the worst of them, that is Muawiyah, and take his Sunnah which has no similarity with the

Sunnah Of The Prophet (S)

A Wahhabi mentioned: It is part of our Sunni dogma to respect and love the all the companions of the Prophet. Our scholars remind us that vilification of the companions is Kufr. Interestingly enough that those companions who remained loyal to ‘Ali received severe punishment from the government of the time, and were not respected at all.

One example is Abu Dharr who was exiled to the worst climate location in the reign of Uthman because they could not stop him from telling the truth. They kept him there till he died (martyred). Abu Dhar was the one that prophet said in his virtue that "The Earth does not carry nor the Heavens cover a man more frank and truthful than Abu Dharr".

Wasn’t Abu Dharr a great companion of prophet? So why shouldn’t they have respected him according to your judgment? It seems that even Uthman did not accept your type of judgment! nor Talha and Zubair when they were fighting against their legitimate Caliph ‘Ali (as). Are all of them Kafir by your judgment?

When the Shi’a reflect on the mistakes of the companions, they do so in retrospect of history. It would be very interesting to look at some of the comments of both the Wahabi and the Sunni scholars in this retrospect. Ibn Taymiyyah, the Shaykhul Islam of the Wahabis, writes And merely abusing some one other than the Prophets does not necessarily make the abuser Kafir; because some of those who were in the time of the Prophet (i.e companions) used to abuse one another and none of them was declared kafir because of this (practice); and (also) because it is not Wajib to have faith particularly in any of the companions; therefore abusing any of them does not detract from the faith in Allah and His books and His messengers the Last day.

Wahabi reference: As Sarimu l masul, Ibn Taymiyyah, page 579

Published in 1402/1982 by Alam al-Kutub

The name of Mulla ‘Ali Qari requires no introduction to the Sunnis, and he writes in his work of Sharah Fiqh al Akbar that To abuse Abu Bakr and Umar is NOT Kufr, as Abush Shakur as Salimi has correctly proved in his book, at Tamhid. And it is becuase the basis of this claim (claim that reviling the Shaykhan is kufr) is not proven, nor its meaning is confirmed.

It is so because certainly abusing a Muslim is fisq (sin) as is proved by a confirmed hadith, and therefore the Shaykhan (Abu Bakr and Umar) will be equal to the other (Muslims) in this rule; and also if we suppose that some one murdered the Shaykhan, and even the two sons in law (‘Ali and Usman), all of them together, even then according to Ahlussunnah wa al- Jamah, he will not go out of Islam (i.e will not become kafir) ...

Sunni ref: Mulla ‘Ali Qari, Sharah al Fiqh al Akbar

Matba Uthmaniyah, Istanbul, 1303 page 130
Matba Mujtabai, Delhi, 1348, page 86
Matba Aftab e Hind, India, No date, page 86

Interesting note:

The above quote was taken from three (3) editions, printed in India and Turkey. Now a new edition has been printed by Darul Lutubil Ilmiyah, Beirut in 1404/1984, which claims to be the first edition, and from which four pages (including the above text) have been OMMITED. The deleted portion contains the declaration that... those who believe that Allah has a body are definitely kafir according to the Ijma without any difference of opinions.

Do I Need To Comment On Wahabi Scholarship?

Another prson mentioned: Why is it that you want Sunnis accept a selected number of traditions from the Sunni sources which refutes the integrity of people like Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn al-Khattab? This point really irks me. I am sorry it irks you! It is not completely correct, however. We have nothing against the persons of Abu-Bakr, Umar and Ashia. We are looking at history in retrospect and evaluating their actions - which should not be considered a sin. Afterall, they were human beings who were capable of making mistakes. Why not learn from their mistakes - particularly if done in a sensetive way.

We just mentioned some traditions from Sunni books, actions and sayings of the companions. If it sounds insulting it is not because the Shi’a put them in there. I tried to give supportive evidence to my argument, objectively, with no disrespect for the companions (khulafaa particularly).

We feel that they made ijtihad in certain cases, that we don’t agree with - we choose to follow the ijtihad and teachings of others such as Imam ‘Ali and th Imams of his decendent - what is wrong with that? We also feel that there has been a lot that has been attributed to them in the form of

Hadiths, that they have not necessarily said or agree with. This is due, in part, to the Umayads who hated Ahlul Bayt and wanted to make them look as less than who they were, either by elevating the status of the people you named and others, or by fabricating hadeeths in conflict.

About Saqifah

In the following tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari:

A)- Umar said that: One should not deceive oneself by saying that the pledge of allegiance given to Abu Bakr was given suddenly and it was successful.

B)- Umar said that ‘Ali and Zubair and whoever was with them, and Ansar disagreed with them:

And no doubt after the death of the Prophet we were informed that the Ansar disagreed with us and gathered in the shed of Bani Sa’da. ‘‘Ali and Zubair and whoever was with them, opposed us, while the emigrants gathered with Abu Bakr.

C)- Umar gave his hand to Abu bakr without counselling with muslims. He gave his hand FIRST, and then others gave their hands too. Then there was a hue and cry among the gathering and their voices rose so that I was afraid there might be great disagreement, so I said, ‘O Abu Bakr! Hold your hand out.’ He held his hand out and I pledged allegiance to him, and THEN all the emigrants gave the Pledge of allegiance and so did the Ansar afterwards.

D)- There was news that Umar and his followers had killed Sa’d bin Ubada. (I am not saying that he did. What I am saying that this was a common news on those days. That is all.) One of the Ansar said, ‘You have killed Sa’d bin Ubada.’ I replied, ‘Allah has killed Sa’d bin Ubada.

E)- While Umar gave his hand to Abu bakr without consulting others, he ordered that such person should be killed:

So if any person gives the Pledge of allegiance to somebody (to become a Caliph) WITHOUT consulting the other Muslims, then the one he has selected should NOT be granted allegiance, lest both of them should be killed."

F)- While he did not wish to accept others’ decision, he, himself, applied his own decision to others: there was no greater problem (compared to death of the prophet) than the allegiance pledged to Abu Bakr because we were afraid that if we left the people, they might give the Pledge of allegiance after us to one of their men, in which case we would have given them our consent for something against our real wish, or would have opposed them and caused great trouble.

Here is the tradition:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 8.817

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

I used to teach (the Qur’an to) some people of the Muhajirln (emigrants), among whom there was ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf. While I was in his house at Mina, and he was with ‘Umar bin al-Khattab during ‘Umar’s last Hajj, Abdur-Rahman came to me and said, "Would that you had seen the man who came today to the Chief of the Believers (‘Umar), saying, ‘O Chief of the Believers! What do you think about so-and-so who says, ‘If ‘Umar should die, I will give the pledge of allegiance to such-and-such person, as by Allah, the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr was nothing but a prompt sudden action which got established afterwards.’ ‘Umar became angry and then said, ‘Allah willing, I will stand before the people tonight and warn them against those people who want to deprive the others of their rights (the question of rulership)."

... In the meantime, ‘Umar sat on the pulpit and when the callmakers for the prayer had finished their call, ‘Umar stood up, and having and praised Allah as He deserved, he said,... (O people!) I have been informed that a speaker amongst you says, ‘By Allah, if ‘Umar should die, I will give the pledge of allegiance to such-and-such person.’

One should not deceive oneself by saying that the pledge of allegiance given to Abu Bakr was given suddenly and it was successful. No doubt, it was like that, but Allah saved (the people) from its evil, and there is none among you who has the qualities of Abu Bakr. Remember that whoever gives the pledge of allegiance to anybody among you without consulting the other Muslims, neither that person, nor the person to whom the pledge of allegiance was given, are to be supported, lest they both should be killed.

And no doubt after the death of the Prophet we were informed that the Ansar disagreed with us and gathered in the shed of Bani Sa’da. ‘‘Ali and Zubair and whoever was with them, opposed us, while the emigrants gathered with Abu Bakr. I said to Abu Bakr, ‘Let’s go to these Ansari brothers of ours.’ So we set out seeking them, and when we approached them, two pious men of theirs met us and informed us of the final decision of the Ansar, and said, ‘O group of Muhajirin (emigrants)! Where are you going?’

We replied, ‘We are going to these Ansari brothers of ours.’ They said to us, ‘You shouldn’t go near them. Carry out whatever we have already decided.’ I said, ‘By Allah, we will go to them.’ And so we proceeded until we reached them at the shed of Bani Sa’da. Behold! There was a man sitting amongst them and wrapped in something. I asked, ‘Who is that man?’ They said, ‘He is Sa’d bin ‘Ubada.’ I asked, ‘What is wrong with him?’ They said, ‘He is sick.’

After we sat for a while, the Ansar’s speaker said, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,’ and praising Allah as He deserved, he added, ‘To proceed, we are Allah’s Ansar (helpers) and the majority of the Muslim army, while you, the emigrants, are a small group and some people among you came with the intention of preventing us from practicing this matter (of caliphate) and depriving us of it.’

When the speaker had finished, I intended to speak as I had prepared a speech which I liked and which I wanted to deliver in the presence of Abu Bakr, and I used to avoid provoking him. So, when I wanted to speak, Abu Bakr said, ‘Wait a while.’ I disliked to make him angry. So Abu Bakr himself gave a speech, and he was wiser and more patient than I. By Allah, he never missed a sentence that I liked in my own prepared speech, but he said the like of it or better than it spontaneously.

After a pause he said, ‘O Ansar! You deserve all (the qualities that you have attributed to yourselves, but this question (of Caliphate) is only for the Quraish as they are the best of the Arabs as regards descent and home, and I am pleased to suggest that you choose either of these two men, so take the oath of allegiance to either of them as you wish.

And then Abu Bakr held my hand and Abu Ubada bin Abdullah’s hand who was sitting amongst us. I hated nothing of what he had said except that proposal, for by Allah, I would rather have my neck chopped off as expiator for a sin than become the ruler of a nation, one of whose members is Abu Bakr, unless at the time of my death my own-self suggests something I don’t feel at present.’

And then one of the Ansar said, ‘I am the pillar on which the camel with a skin disease (eczema) rubs itself to satisfy the itching (i.e., I am a noble), and I am as a high class palm tree! O Quraish. There should be one ruler from us and one from you.’

Then there was a hue and cry among the gathering and their voices rose so that I was afraid there might be great disagreement, so I said, ‘O Abu Bakr! Hold your hand out.’ He held his hand out and I pledged allegiance to him, and then all the emigrants gave the Pledge of allegiance and so did the Ansar afterwards. And so we became victorious over Sa’d bin Ubada (whom al-Ansar wanted to make a ruler).

One of the Ansar said, ‘You have killed Sa’d bin Ubada.’ I replied, ‘Allah has killed Sa’d bin Ubada.’ Umar added, "By Allah, apart from the great tragedy that had happened to us (i.e. the death of the Prophet), there was no greater problem than the allegiance pledged to Abu Bakr because we were afraid that if we left the people, they might give the Pledge of allegiance after us to one of their men, in which case we would have given them our consent for something against our real wish, or would have opposed them and caused great trouble. So if any person gives the Pledge of allegiance to somebody (to become a Caliph) without consulting the other Muslims, then the one he has selected should not be granted allegiance, lest both of them should be killed."

More On Companions

I shall discuss some issues about the companions in this article.

For a followup to this discussion, please see "Then I Was Guided”by Dr. Muhammad al-Tijani al- Samawi; Published in 1989 by the Fajr Establishment in London, Great Britain. The Author has four books out now, may Allah (SWT) reward him generously for risking his life in the Arab World to speak the TRUTH about the Shi’i/Sunni problem, and why he became a Shi’a.

The four books are:

1. Thooma Ihtadiyat -- Then I Was Guided (1989)

2. Ma’ah al-Sadiqin -- With the Truthful Ones (1989)

3. Fas’aloo Ahl al-Zikr -- Ask Those Who Possess the Message (1992)

4. al-Shi’a Hum Ahl al-Sunnah -- The Shi’a Are The (True) Followers of the Sunnah (Sunnah--here meaning the custom/way of the Prophet (S)) (I am NOT sure if this book has been published and released to the public yet -- It was still in the writing process when I first heard of it).

Please note that the author, Dr. Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi, spent years of research before writing these books and becoming, himself, a Shi’a. He is also now a recognized and certified Shi’i Religious Scholar, with authority to give Fatwas (Religious Opinions), which is no easy task in the Shi’i schools of jurisprudence, philosophy, and the sciences. He received his Doctorate degree from the Sorbone University, the French University that is ranked among the best universities in the world. His thesis was a discussion of al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (as) most famous book "Nahjul Balagha”(The Way of Eloquence).

This book is recognized by both the Sunnis and the Shi’a as a model Par Excellence in classical Arabic Eloquence, next only to the Qur’an itself in beauty and grandeur. The proof to that statement is that the Sunnis themselves have taken it upon themselves to explain the meanings of the text and to teach it in various Islamic universities. Among those Sunnis who wrote the commentary for this book is Ibn Abil Hadid. A mor recent commentary by the Sunnis is of Muhammad Abduh from al-Azhar University. The commentary of these scholars on the book of "Nahjul Balagha”can be found in many Mosques and libraries.

Shedding the Blood of Innocents

Al-Bukhari narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said the following to his companions in his last speech:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadiths: 5.688 and 7.458

Narrated Abu Bakra:
The Prophet said: "... Surely, you will meet your Lord, and He will ask you about your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me by cutting the throats of one another. It is incumbent on those who are present to convey this message (of mine) to those who are absent. May be that some of those to whom it will be conveyed will understand it better than those who have actually heard it.”

On the other hand, the documented history confirms that some companions (some of whom were also promised paradise according to some fabricated traditions) shed the blood of thousands of Muslims in various civil wars. Good examples of them are Talha and Zubair who were the first companions who waged war against ‘Ali (as) after people paid oath to him as their legitimate Caliph.

They could not see him in power, and found him a great obstacle for their robberies. Thus shed the blood of 10 thousand Muslims in the battle of "Camel", in order to overthrow ‘Ali from power. (see any Sunni history books for details). Their plot was finally failed and both Talha and Zubair were killed. Muawiyah and Amr Ibn al-Auss are another examples, who waged the war of Siffin against ‘Ali (as) killing other thousands of Muslims. Allah states:

"And Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his reward is Hell forever, and the Wrath of Allah is upon him, He cursed him and prepared a great punishment for him.”(Qur’an 4:93)

As such, is there any reason we should respect ALL of the companions and follow ALL of them, even those among them whom Allah cursed by the above verse of Qur’an? Why should we love one whom Allah curses, and why should we follow one whom Allah has promised Hell forever?

Collecting Gold And Silver

al-Bukhari narrates the Prophet (S) said the following after the Battle of Uhud:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 8.434

Narrated ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir:

The Prophet went out and offered the funeral prayer for the martyrs of the (battle of) Uhud and then ascended the pulpit and said, "I am your predecessor and I am a witness against you. By Allah, I am now looking at my Tank-lake (Al-Kauthar) and I have been given the keys of the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth). By Allah! I am not afraid that you become polytheist after me, but I am afraid that you will start competing (for the luxuries of this world).

The tradition clearly indicates that after his (S) death, some of the companions will abandon the religion, and compete against one another for the wealth of this temporary existence. And they indeed competed until the swords were drawn and the wars were waged, thereby fulfilling the prophecy.

Some of the famous companions were eager to collect gold and silver. Great Sunni Historians like Mas’udi and Tabari and others stated that the wealth of Zubair on its own came out to 50,000 Dinars and 1000 horses with 1000 slaves and many holdings in Basrah, Kufah, Egypt, and many other places.

This massive wealth was accumulated while many Muslims starved to death. (See Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, v2, p341) The agricultural products from Iraq alone brought for Talha 1000 Dinars every day!, and perhaps more than that. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page) Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf had 100 horses, 1000 camels, and 10,000 sheep. After his death, the quarter of his wealth which was divided among his wives came out to 84,000 Dinars. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page) Uthman Ibn Affan left on the day of his death 150,000 Dinars, apart from an enormous wealth of land, cattle and villages. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page) Zayd Ibn Thabit left an amount of gold and silver that had to be broken by hammers! apart from money and agricultural holdings which came to 100,000 Dinars. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page)

These were just few examples to show that some of the companions were more interested in the present life. Comparing the poverty of people at that time, one get suspicious to how they got so much money from nothing while the rest of people were in poverty. This gives a good idea of why they waged war against ‘Ali (as) to overthrow him from power. They found him a big obstacle for their misconducts of treasury and territories.

The question now is this: If these so-called pious companions were so busy collecting money and competing among one another in worldly gain, while many Muslims died from poverty, where then was that so-called piety and sense of sacrifice that the Sunnis attribute to them (the companions)? This is a sign for those who reflect!

The Companions Among One Another

In the previous articles we have seen how Allah (SWT) describes the companions in the Qur’an; how the Prophet (S), before his (S) death, foretells their behavior after his death; and now we will take a look at what the companions thought of one another’s actions and their remarks concerning their own behavior.

It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, v1, p122, under the chapter of "al-Eidiyan -- The Two Eids (Muslim Festivals)”that the Prophet (S) used to pray first, and then deliver the sermon (khutba). That custom (sunnah) remained as such until Marwan, the Ruler (Amir) of Medina during Muawiyah’s reign, started to deliver the sermon (khutba) before the prayer. It should be noted that the Sunnis do exactly the same thing to this day.

This was not the sunnah (way or custom) of the Prophet (S). Keep in mind that the Sunnis maintain that the actions of the companions are enough to alter the custom of the Prophet (S)!!! The question to the Sunnis is: If the companions’ actions were enough to alter the Prophet’s (S) custom, why then do we need the Prophet’s (S) custom in the first place? Let’s just follow any innovations the companions may come up with!

You might wonder why the companions made the sermon before the prayer? Dr. al-Samawi states that many people would not stay for the sermon after they prayed. As such, the prayer and sermon times were switched. Superficially, this is true, but this is not the real reason, he continues. During the days of Muawiyah, it was ordered, as I mentioned in other posts, that whenever the name of al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as) was mentioned, he (as) should be cursed!

Many of the believers at that time loved ‘Ali (as) and would not tolerate such an action; as a result, they were killed one after the other, until all the believers had to listen to the curses and maintain their silence at the threat of the sword.

One way to escape the listening to the repeated cursing was to escape the sermon. Muawiyah and his men didn’t like that, so the sermon was switched to precede the prayer in an effort to force the people to stay through the whole sermon and listen to the cursing! Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great)! By Allah (SWT), do you still not see the conspiracy against the Prophet’s (S) family? Is this how al-Imam ‘Ali (as) is to be treated? The Prophet (S) had said:

"To love ‘Ali (as) is a sign of Faith, and to hate him (as) is a sign of hypocrisy!!!"

This tradition is narrated in Sahih Muslim, v1, p61. Check for yourself.

In Sahih al-Bukhari, v2, p76; and Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p300 narrate that the Prophet (S) said to ‘Ali (as):

"You are a part of me, and I a part of you.”

Also, Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p201 narrates that the Prophet (S) said:

"I am the city of knowledge, and ‘Ali is it’s door.”Keep in mind that you can only enter a city through its door; meaning that any knowledge from the Prophet (S), since he (S) is the City of Knowledge, can only be accessed through the door, his (S) son-in-law ‘Ali (as). What’s more, Musnad al-Imam Ibn Hanbal, v5, p25, narrates that the Prophet (S) said:

"‘Ali is the master of every believer after me."

If any head of state, whether today or in times immemorial, always has a trusted vicegerent to take his place and manage his affairs in his absence, would you then believe that the Prophet (S), who was sent as the final Messenger from He (SWT) Who created the universe, didn’t also have a vicegerent to manage his (S) affairs after his (S) death? A vicegerent that Allah (SWT) also trusts and loves? Would you believe that Allah (SWT) would leave the affairs of the

"...Best of Nations sent forth to mankind...(3:110)"

to random selection and ruling? No, by Allah (SWT), a vicegerent was indeed chosen by Allah (SWT) and His (SWT) Messenger (S), and that vicegerent was al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as).

Again, Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, narrates that the Prophet (S) said:

"Whoever I was his Master, then ‘Ali is his Master! O Allah, support those who support him, and alienate those that alienate him!!!"

That is ‘Ali (as), the fearless warrior, and the defeater of the champions of Quraish. May the Blessings and Peace of Allah (SWT) be extended to the Prophet (S) and his (S) Family, Amen.

Now, ask yourself: If this is how the Prophet (S) praised ‘Ali (as), then who are the companions, especially Muawiyah, to curse him (as)? Did you know that the Prophet (S) said, as narrated in Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v6, p33:

"Whoever curses (or verbally abuses) ‘Ali, then he has cursed me, and whoever has cursed me, then he has cursed Allah (SWT), and whoever has cursed Allah (SWT), then Allah (SWT) will throw him into the hellfire."

That means that by cursing ‘Ali (as), the companions were cursing the Prophet (S), and by cursing the Prophet (S), they were cursing Allah (SWT), and by cursing Allah (SWT), they shall enter the hellfire! By Allah (SWT), they will be asked to account for what they’ve said! That is a promise by Allah (SWT), which He (SWT) shall not break!

Dr. al-Tijani asserts that during his search for the truth, he tried wholeheartedly to identify these heinous charges with the hypocrites and the malevolent companions only; but he soon discovered that there is no way of excluding the so-called righteous companions, in the sight of the Sunnis, from these charges.

For we see that the first companion to threaten the burning down of al-Imam ‘Ali’s (as) house is none other than `Umar Ibn al-Khatab himself -- the man that the Sunnis claim is of such faith and courage that he terrifies Satan himself! And the first to wage war against al-Imam ‘Ali (as) were Talha, al-Zubayr, and none other than `Aisha herself, the wife of the Prophet (S) that is the most beloved woman in the sight of the Sunnis. Note that `Aisha is also the daughter of Abu Bakr!

Others aggressors include, but are not limited to, Amr Ibn al-Aas, Muawiyah, and many others that oppressed the family of the Prophet (S). Are these not righteous companions in the sight of the Sunnis? Do we need to say more?

As Dr. al-Samawi states: "If we wanted to provide all the occurrences (sayings) of the Prophet’s (S) praise of ‘Ali (as), we can easily fill an entire book!"

The companions also changed the prayer rules, and the first to do so was `Uthman Ibn `Afan, the third caliph. Sahih Bukhari narrates in v2, page 154, that the Prophet (S) always prayed two (instead of four) rak’at during travel, as is mandated by Allah (SWT) in the Qur’an.

Abu Bakr and `Umar did the same, then came `Uthman and prayed four rak’at during travel instead of two! This tradition is also narrated in Sahih Muslim, v1, p260. Who is `Uthman to violate the orders of Allah (SWT) and His (SWT) Prophet (S) with regards to the Salat (Prayer)? Question and reflect, and may Allah (SWT) guide us all.

Let’s see what `Umar did: Sahih al-Bukhari narrates in v1, p54:

"Shaqiq Ibn Salamah said: I was with Abdullah and Abu Musa, so Abu Musa told Abdullah: What should a man do if he was in a state of Janabah (the biological state of sperm ejaculation after a dream or when a man has sexual intercourse with his wife) and had no water to clean?”Abdullah said: "He shall not pray until he finds water.”So Abu Musa said: "But didn’t you hear the Prophet (S) tell `Amar Ibn Yasir (ra) that all he had to do was Tayamum?”Abdullah replied: "Didn’t you know that `Umar (Ibn al-Khatab) didn’t approve of that?”

So Abu Musa answered: But Allah (SWT) said in the Qur’an: "...Or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand (or earth), and rub therewith your faces and hands...(Qur’an 4:43)”So Abdullah didn’t know what to say, except: "If we allow them that (meaning the Tayamum), then they will use it at the slightest instance like when the water is too cold (to make ablutions or bathe).”Abu Musa told Shaqiq: "Is that why Abdullah disapproved of the matter?”Shaqiq said: "Yes."

Note: Tayamum is the pounding of the hands on sand, mud, or rock, and then wiping the face and the hands; this is considered a full ablution (Wudhu’) in the absence of water. Note that there are more details to the process Tayamum which are not covered here.

As one can see, `Umar violated the Qur’an, Allah’s (SWT) direct orders, and the Prophet’s (S) custom by his disapproval of the Tayamum! By Allah (SWT), who is `Umar to disapprove of what Allah (SWT) has commanded? This is a sign for those who reflect!

The companions themselves have admitted that they changed the sunnah (custom of the Prophet (S)) many times: Sahih al-Bukhari narrates in v3, p32, under the category of "The Battle of Hudaiybiyah”that:

`Ala Ibn al- Masib said: "I met al-Bara Ibn `Azib, so I said may you be happy all the time, for you were the companion of the Prophet (S) and you have made a pact (bay’ah) with him (S) under the tree.”So al-Bara said: "O son of my brother, you know not of what we have changed after his (S) death!!!”

This is a direct confession by a very close companion that they have changed the religion of Allah (SWT) and violated His (SWT) orders. Again, who are the companions to change the religion of Allah (SWT)? This is the same reason that the Islamic Ummah (Nation) is still living in deplorable conditions where the most basic of human rights is not even granted. This is a sign for those who reflect.

It is also narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, v2, p201, after a long tradition that:

`Umar, when he was stabbed and Ibn `Abbas was offering some form of consolation, said: ".......By Allah (SWT), if I had enough gold to fill the entire earth, I would offer it to ransom myself from Allah’s (SWT) punishment before I see Him (SWT)."

If `Umar was such a faithful companion, why would he wish to ransom himself from Allah (SWT)? Could it be because he committed many injustices and he will on the Day of Judgment be held accountable for them? Question for yourself.

Abu Bakr was no different: It is narrated in "The History of al-Tabari (Tarikh al-Tabari),", p41 that:

Abu Bakr said when he saw a bird on a tree: "How happy are you O bird! You eat of the fruit and you lay on the tree, and there is no punishment or reward for you! I wish I was a tree on the side of the road, so that a camel might eat me and excrete me, and I was never a born human!!!"

Would you believe, by Allah (SWT), that if a man was of such spiritual purity, as the Sunnis claim Abu Bakr to be, he would wish that he was never born, let alone be a human? Indeed, Abu Bakr realized that his time has come and all his actions will be scrolled before him in an open book, and that is when his loss will be manifested; thus, he wished he was never born a human! Allah (SWT) says in His (SWT) Holy Qur’an:

"Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; those who believe and (constantly) guard against evil;-- for them are Glad Tidings, in the life of the Present and in the Hereafter: No change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme Triumph. (Qur’an 10:62-64)"

Also, Allah (SWT) says: "In the case of those who say, "Our Lord Is Allah,”and further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time):

"Fear ye not!”(they suggest), "Nor grieve! But receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), the which ye were promised! We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: Therein shall ye have all that you shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for! -- A hospitable gift from One Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful! (Qur’an 41:30-32)"

The question is that if these Glad Tidings from Allah (SWT) are for ALL of the believers of mankind, and that they should have " fear, nor shall they grieve...,”why then were Abu Bakr and `Umar fearful? It should be that they, if they were true believers, should be the least fearful of us, for they were the companions of the Seal of Prophethood (S) himself!

But Allah (SWT) is the Most Truthful when He (SWT) says:

"Every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth, would fain give it in ransom: They would declare (their) repentance when they see the Chastisement: But the judgment between them will be with justice, and no wrong will be done unto them. (Qur’an 10:54)"

Again, Allah (SWT) says:

"Even if the wrong-doers had all that there is on earth, and as much more, (in vain) would they offer it for ransom from the pain of the Chastisement on the Day Of Judgment: but something will confront them from Allah, which they could have never counted upon! For the evils of their deeds will confront them and they will be (completely) encircled by that which they used to mock at! (Qur’an 39:47-48)"

These are the so-called companions that the Sunnis strike as an example of spiritual purity and guidance!!! By Allah (SWT), they shall answer for their deception of the Muslims all these years, and their concealment of the truth.

Again, you might wonder, if the companions were of such high honor and spiritual elevation, why did they kill `Uthman Ibn `Afan, the third Caliph that destroyed Islam? Keep in mind that `Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (S), herself called for the death of `Uthman -- check The History of al- Tabari (Tarikh al-Tabari), v4, p407. Also check The History of Ibn Atheer (Tarikh Ibn Atheer), v3, p206.

Did you know also that the Muslims during the reign of `Uthman were so infuriated by him, that when he died, he was NOT buried in the same area as the other companions? Nor was he washed or Islamically prepared for burial! If this is a rightly guided caliph, I seriously question what is a misguided Caliph then? Then we hear of `Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (S), who, along with the other wives, was ordered by Allah (SWT) to:

"...stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former times of Ignorance; and establish regular prayer, and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger ...(Qur’an 33:33)”

Why, then, if `Aisha was ordered to stay in her home after the death of the Prophet (S), did she go out and ride a camel and wage war against al- Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as), whom she NEVER liked? (This is known as `The Battle of the Camel’) This is a sign for those who reflect.

Side Comments: Responses To Sunni Brothers

Some Sunni brothers, in response to my article when it was first posted, have forwarded two contentions:

First, they have defended the motives of Abu Bakr and `Umar in the traditions I quoted above, such the saying of Umar that: ".......By Allah (SWT), if I had enough gold to fill the entire earth, I would offer it to ransom myself from Allah’s (SWT) punishment before I see Him (SWT).”

Or the saying of Abu Bakr that: "How happy are you O bird! You eat of the fruit and you lay on the tree, and there is no punishment or reward for you! I wish I was a tree on the side of the road, so that a camel might eat me and excrete me, and I was never a born human!!!"

The Sunni brothers contended that it is the spiritual purity of a believer to wish that he was never born, as Abu Bakr did; or that small sins in the eyes of a true believer warrant that he wishes to ransom himself with the treasures of the Earth from the flames of the hellfire, as `Umar did, to prove his sincerity and faith. The Sunni brothers also asserted that the Prophet (S) asked forgiveness for himself (S).

The SECOND objection was that the verses I quoted from the Book of Allah (SWT) are NOT addressing Abu Bakr and `Umar, and that those companions addressed are NOT to be equated with the ranks of Abu Bakr and `Umar. My response to their FIRST contention was as follows:

As for the Prophet (S) asking forgiveness for himself, then that doesn’t mean that he wishes that he (S) was never born; and that doesn’t invalidate his (S) infallibility. His (S) asking for forgiveness is a sign of piety and an admittance of infirmity (weakness) before Allah (SWT). It is not that he (S) has committed a grievous sin, and is now asking for forgiveness; for if the Prophet (S) was a sinner, who in the community will punish him (S)? Or who is qualified to punish him (S)? -- for they are all sinners, and a sinner cannot punish a sinner. Or if he (S) was a sinner, what kind of idiot would follow him (S), and believe him (S) to be a guided Messenger (S) sent by He (SWT) Who created the Universe?

Furthermore, if he (S) was a sinner, that would mean that Allah (SWT), by sending a sinful Messenger, approves of sin! (May Allah (SWT) Forbid Such A Ludicrous Contention!) And we know that Allah’s (SWT) justice and His (SWT) abhorrence of sin and evil are among the First and Foremost articles in our faith. As such, Allah (SWT) will NOT send a sinful Messenger.

Purified be all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (SWT) from such claims that scratch their character by claiming that they are sinners. Or have we become like the Jews and the Christians, where the Bible states that the Prophet Lot (as) was drunk and lay naked before his (as) children!? This is a sign for those who reflect!!!

As for Abu Bakr and `Umar, I render the following: To ask forgiveness is one thing, and to wish that you were never born, or to wish to ransom yourself with all the gold of the earth, is another matter altogether. Indeed, to wish that you were never born is an insult to Allah (SWT), because you are claiming that Allah’s (SWT) Justice and Mercy are not enough for you.

It is also an insult because there is an underlying implication that your entry into hell is not really your fault; such an insinuation means that your entry into hell is an act of injustice by Allah (SWT)! (May Allah (SWT) Forbid Such A Ludicrous Contention!)

If one truly believes, he realizes that not the least injustice will be done to him; and he will NOT enter hell unless he truly deserves it. Such is the Justice of Allah (SWT). Not like people who wish they were never born to hide their OWN guilt and sins. A true believer submits to Allah (SWT) in totality, and admits that he is weak and sinful; then he asks for forgiveness.

He doesn’t insult Allah (SWT) by wishing that he was never born. Indeed, the concept of sin and repentance has always baffled me, until Allah (SWT) guided me. Listen to what the Shi’a say about repentance (tawbah): "al-Tawbah (Repentance) is the mechanism by which Allah (SWT) regulates evil in society.

By giving each person a chance to repent, the sinner is assured that he is not compelled to keep on sinning. That regulatory mechanism ensures that the feelings of guilt that usually accompany acts of sin, are not turned into feelings of desperation and uselessness, thereby leading to more sin and the destruction of society. It (tawbah -- repentance) is a great mercy from Allah (SWT) indicating His (SWT) infinite wisdom.”

I add, that sin itself is part of your own creation. Not that Allah (SWT) has forced you to sin, and then punishes you for it; but, rather, Allah (SWT) has made you an erring human being, then He (SWT) tests you to see whether you will admit your error (sin), or claim that you didn’t commit any sin and it wasn’t your fault, thereby fostering a level of arrogance detested by Allah (SWT).

Indeed, to sin and admit your guilt sincerely with the true belief that it was all your fault (when it really is), and then ask for forgiveness from Allah (SWT) is much more favorable than insulting Allah (SWT) by wishing that you were never born.

I would also add that erring is part and parcel of the learning process, which is an innate feature of our composition and existence. If we don’t make mistakes, we will never learn, and if we never learn, we will never evolve and grow. It is the arrogance that has polluted the minds of many individuals that has precluded our growth -- for we err and sin, yet we refuse to acknowledge our fault therein!

Enough is what al-Imam Zayn al-’Aabidin (as), the son of al- Imam al-Husayn (as), said in his (as) supplication (dua’): "O Allah, for even if I enter the hellfire, I will tell the people there of my love of Thee!!!”What does this eloquent, beautiful, and striking statement mean? It is by Allah (SWT), one of the most beautiful and touching prayers I have ever heard! Here’s what it means before you jump to conclusions on your own: al-Imam Zayn al-’Aabidin (as) is saying: "O Allah, my belief in You is such that I don’t doubt Your Justice; for even if You throw me into hell, it is because I deserve that and it is due to what I have done in this earthly existence.

Nonetheless, even if I enter the hellfire, I will tell the people there of my love to (and faith in) Thee, such that You haven’t done ANY injustice to me, and I love You for Your Justice, Mercy, and Greatness.”That is what a true believer says, even if he’s entering the hellfire!!! He doesn’t wish he wasn’t born! My response to their second contention is as follows: (The second contention, in case you forgot, was that the verses I quoted from the Book of Allah (SWT) are not addressing Abu Bakr and `Umar, and that those companions addressed are not to be equated with the ranks of Abu Bakr and `Umar.)

Assuming that these verses are NOT addressing Abu Bakr and `Umar (and Allah (SWT) knows best who He (SWT) is addressing), they (the verses), nonetheless, illustrate an important point: NOT ALL the companions are considered equal in the sight of Allah (SWT). As such, my question is: why do the Sunnis claim that all the companions were righteous?

Why, when Allah (SWT), Himself, has acknowledged that certain companions are not righteous, do the Sunnis stubbornly object to the Shi’a’s view of the companions? It is indeed ironic that Allah (SWT), our CREATOR Who (SWT) knows us BEST, makes a statement about His (SWT) Own creatures, yet the Sunnis refuse to abide by that (statement), and claim they know better!

At the expense of repetition, I reiterate my previous statement: If Allah (SWT) has made a CLEAR distinction among the companions, why do the Sunnis refuse to acknowledge that?

Furthermore, my Sunni brothers, by suggesting (themselves) that these verses address companions other than Abu Bakr and `Umar, have advocated and strengthened the Shi’a’s claim: NOT ALL the companions were righteous; and, as such, there is a favoritism extended by Allah (SWT) to some companions, but not to others. Similarly, as Allah (SWT) favors CERTAIN companions, so do the Shi’a take the same stance.

Is it not closer to reason that we make distinctions among the companions? Didn’t the disciples of Jesus (as) betray him (as)? Didn’t the Jews betray Musa (as)? And so on... Are the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (S) any different? Are they not humans who may err and sin? Do you not see a pattern of differentiation among all of Allah’s (SWT) creation? Are all believers, whether today or in times past, of equal stature? Do we not observe that some believers are sincere and others not? Why then do the Sunnis refuse to accept this truism?

Even if the Shi’a excluded Abu Bakr and `Umar from their direct attack, the Sunnis will still refuse to acknowledge that some of the Prophet’s (S) companions were non- righteous, malicious individuals. By Allah (SWT)! Didn’t Allah (SWT) devote a whole Surah (Chapter) in His (SWT) Book about the hypocrites? And doesn’t Allah (SWT) say:

"They are in varying grades in the sight of Allah, and Allah sees well all that they do. (Qur’am 3:163)"

Another remark, which my Sunni brothers overlooked in defense of their arguments, might be that the individuals addressed in the aforementioned verses or the Hypocrites Chapter are NOT considered companions in the sight of the Sunnis. If my Sunni brothers should ever forward such a remark, my response would be:

The definition of the word "companions,”according to the Sunnis, is: any person who has seen the Prophet (S) is considered a companion. The generation that appeared after the Prophet’s (S) death are called "Tabi-’uoon -- The Followers.”

As such, the above contention fails again. Now, if my Sunni brothers suggest that the word "companions”only addresses those sincere believers that were close to the Prophet (S) and memorized the Qur’an and the hadiths, and kept constant prayer, then they have said exactly what the Shi’a have been always trying to say: not all the companions were righteous.

Nonetheless, even under this assertion, the Shi’a will refuse to admit Abu Bakr and `Umar, among others, to be included among the ranks of the righteous; not after what they have done to the family of the Prophet (S).

Suffice it to conclude with what al-Zamakhshari, the great Sunni scholar and poet, said:

Doubt and conflict have abounded,
each claims he is on the right path
I have chosen to hold tight to (the belief that)
"There Is No Deity, But Allah"
and my love for Ahmad (Muhammad) and ‘Ali
A dog won a great reward
by loving the People of the Cave (Ahl al-Kahf),
how, then, can I lose anything
by loving the family of the Prophet (S)!?

In conclusion, I appeal to your sense of truth and honesty to objectively study the arguments presented by the Shi’a. After all we say, do you still believe that we are Kuffar? Are we asking you to blindly accept our arguments, or are we supporting our belief with unimpeachable proofs? Are we not using your OWN books as evidence? Question and ask for the truth. May Allah (SWT) forgive us our sins, and guide us to that which pleases Him (SWT).

The Enemies of Islam as Depicted in Nahjul Balagha

(Here is a general description of the enemies of Islam, as well as its true followers, and what happenned to them.) "The sway of tyrants was long, so that their tyranny and oppression could be fully exposed and their infamy and disgrace could be disclosed. They deserved the revolution which overtook them. They were destroyed and annihilated, and the people were rescued from calamities and destruction, were relieved of war, and bloodshed, which were brought about by the tyrants.

"The pious people, who bravely passed through those days, patiently bore the suffering and gave their lives for the cause of justice and Islam. They humbled themselves, before God, they never for a moment magnified their patience and bravery and never imagined that they were obliging God and His religion. Then God ordained that the times of trials and tribulations should come to an end. They were given permission to defend their faith with the help of their swords and they obeyed the orders of God according to the teaching of the Holy Prophet (S).

"Things continued like that until God called the Prophet back. Then many became apostate, or turned to heathenism, they were damned by the preversity of their minds and waywardness. They put faith in their relatives, who were misguided, or in instigators who were heathens. They discarded the medium (the progeny of the Prophet), whom they were ordered to love, to respect and to follow, and who would have kept them within the limits of the true religion.

Thus, they undermined the foundation of the true religion and tried to introduce heresy in Islam. They adopted the ways of the Pharoahs and his people, attached to worldly power and pleasures, and drifted away from true religion."

Khutba 153

"O people! remember that the present time is the time when something which has been promised will happen, and events which you do not know or cannot forsee will take place. During the days of trials and temptations, those who recognize the significance and worth of the Ahlul-Bayt will, like a person walking in the dark with a lamp in his hand, not only go safely through the times, but will be of help to others and will act like pious people.

This will free the people from oppression and tyrrany , will educate the ill-informed and ignorant, introduce reforms into society, and will cement the gaps which wickedness and impiety may have created in the true teachings of Islam. For some time, he (i.e. Imam Mahdi) will be hidden from the eyes of man in such a way that the greates searcher of the day will not be able to find a trace of him however he may try.

But when he will appear, he will educate mankind in such a way that human vision will expand through the teachings of the Qur’an, men will be able to acquire true wisdom, and their minds will be able to rise to higher planes of science and philosophy."

I strongly urge Muslims to reject any false myths about our Islamic heritage. Many of you already know the Sunni view of history. I strongly urge you to read the Sunni works in history such as of al-Tabari, and Syed Amir ‘Ali, to understand the forces that shaped the Muslim world in the 1st century AH. They are still alive and kicking today.