As'ad Wahid al-Qasim is a seeker of the truth who tried hard to reach it very bitterly till Allah guided him to the Straight Path. He was born in the Dayr al-Ghusun village on the West Bank [of the Jordan River] in Occupied Palestine. Having finished his high school, he made the trip to Jordan where he earned a diploma in engineering vocations. Then he traveled to the Phillippines where he earned his B.A. in Civil Engineering then his Masters in Construction Management. He is about to earn his Ph.D. in Governmental Administration as soon as he finishes his research about Islamic Public Administration.
The author is a seeker of the truth who tried hard to reach it very bitterly till Allah guided him to the Straight Path:
“And [as to] those who strive in Our (cause)! We will certainly guide them to Our paths” (Qur’an, 29:69).
He was born in the Dayr al-Ghusun village on the West Bank [of the Jordan River] in Occupied Palestine. Having finished his high school, he made the trip to Jordan where he earned a diploma in engineering vocations. Then he traveled to the Phillippines where he earned his B.A. in Civil Engineering then his Masters in Construction Management. He is about to earn his Ph.D. in Governmental Administration as soon as he finishes his research about Islamic Public Administration.
Note: Please read here an interview of the author in arabic including his email contact details.
The status quo of the Muslims nowadays is truly pitiful. Nations have assailed them just as hungry people assail a coveted meal following the success of imperialism in disseminating discord and dissension among the members of one and the same nation. These nations have expanded the gap between the Muslims in order to achieve their vicious objectives which cannot be achieved except by Muslims colliding with each other.
It has been very difficult for the enemies of Islam to see the blessed Islamic resurgence overwhelming the hearts of the members of our Islamic nation. There have been efforts to let the Qur’ān and the Sunnah take charge of our countries especially after the success of one such attempts which caused international arrogance to be gravely shocked. Such arrogance remains maintaining its efforts to put an end to such efforts through various methods and means.
During the last few years, these folks have been stirring sectarian differences and schisms among the Shī’ahs and the Sunnis. This task has been vested upon the agents of imperialism in our Islamic world especially the rulers of Hijaz [Saudi Arabia] who dominate the holy places under the pretext of “serving both sacred precincts” .
In turn, they have instructed their hired hands from among the preachers, who are appointed in order to praise their rulers throughout the Arabian Peninsula and abroad, to write and publish various books to attack the beliefs of the Shī’ahs and to charge them with apostasy, accusing them of sharing their beliefs with the Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians.
In addition to such nuances which unfortunately caused many simple-minded people, as well as fanatics, to fall prey to such vicious attacks, having believed, without first researching and verifying the venom with which such books are filled. Millions of copies of such books have been distributed all over the Islamic world...
Like other Muslims, I was exposed to this campaign which was undertaken by some movements the objective of which is only to “protect the Sunnis from the Shī’ite danger,” according to their claims, to “bring them awareness about the beliefs of this sect which stems out of Judaism and Zoroastrianism,” as they claim.
In the beginning, I resented such a campaign due to the rude and nonsubjective method whereby they describe the Shī’a faith and which I also noticed to often rely on exaggeration and sensationalism. Although I was born in Palestine for a Sunni Palestinian couple, and although the vast majority of Palestinians are “followers of the Sunnah and Jamā’ah,” and despite my belief then that the sect following the “Sunnah and the Jamā’ah” was the right one, yet I could not see how the Shī’ahs could be “unbelievers.”
All I knew about them was their high regard for Ali (‘a), that they prefer him over all other sahābah. But I did not know why other than the status which most Sunnis believe he is worth of, that is, his being no more than the fourth of the “righteous caliphs;” he is simply a sahābi whose status they equated with that of other sahābah, including Mu’āwiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-’Ās.
But this “exaggeration” in raising the status of Ali (‘a), in my view, did not warrant their expulsion from the Islamic creed altogether, despite many of their claims that the Shī’ahs prefer Ali (‘a) over the Seal of Prophets (ṣ), that they believe Gabriel made a mistake in bringing the divine message down, even the claim often put forth that they consider Ali (‘a) as a Allāh, that they have a copy of the Qur’ān different from theirs, in addition to other such claims.
But I did not pay attention to any of that because as long as I live, I shall never forget what my theology teacher at the high school once said: “Shī’ahs are many sects some of which do, indeed, regard Ali (‘a) as a Allāh. But the Shī’ah Ithna-’Ashari sect, also called the Ja’fari sect, is the closest one to the Sunnis, and those who adhere to it are Muslims.” Since these words came from someone whose righteousness, piety, vast knowledge and information acquired, in addition to his moderation and subjectivity when criticizing those whose views differed from those of Islam or from his Sunni sect, these words kept ringing in my ears for many days and years.
Add to this the fact that I was very much influenced by one of my relatives who invited others to the Path of Allāh and I have no doubt in his sincerity and concern about the unity of the Muslims, Sunnis and Shī’ahs. This concept found its firm grounds in my soul till it became a de facto reality especially when I came to know that most Sunni scholars and callers of our time regard the Shī’ahs as Muslims who believe in the Unity of Allāh.
Among them is the martyr Hassan al-Banna, the martyr Sayyid Qutb, ‘allāma Mawdoodi, Shaykh Muhammad Kashak, ‘allāma Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazāli, Shaykh Muhammad Shaltut, Professor al-Bahansawi, al-Talmasani, Anwar al-Jundi, Hassan Ayyūb, Sa’īd Hawi, Fathi Yakun, Abu Zuhrah, Yousuf al-’Azm, [Prof. Rāshid] al-Ghannūchi and many, many others whose works I have been honored to read and which have filled the shelves of libraries frequented by a generation that is witnessing an Islamic resurgence.
Thus, no doubt ever entertained my mind that the Shī’ahs are Muslims. I did not make any distinction between a Sunni and a Shī’ah person because I decided to overlook their differences which in no way label one of them as “Muslim” and the other as “non-Muslim”, differences the details of which I did not fully know, nor was I ready to even think about them or even research due to my feeling that there was no need to conduct such researches which require digging through history and arriving at mazes which do not get anyone to reach any outcome.
I was convinced at that time that researching these differences was a norm of dissension from which one should stay away or discuss especially since both parties are Muslim. I looked upon the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs in the same light wherein I used to look at both Ali (‘a) and Mu’āwiyah: that they both were Muslims despite all what went on between them.
My trip to Western lands, in order to pursue my graduate study, coincided in the 1980s when this dissension intensified in heat and when many voices were raised warning against the Shī’ah creed, voices which were accompanied by charges against the Islamic revolution in Iran and against its leader who I believed was the real target of that campaign.
Quite often, I found myself the object of criticism for no reason other than my conviction that the Shī’ahs were in no way apostates. Whenever I wanted to defend myself against one assault, the next assault came more fiercely than its predecessor, so much so that someone once said to me that I had to choose one path, that is, to clearly define my sect, since I could not be both a Sunni and at the same time a sympathizer with the Shī’ahs and a supporter of the Islamic revolution in Iran because this issue, in his view, was an issue of the “doctrine”, one which did not permit any compromise.
I cannot hide the fact that some hard and embarrassing moments confronted me because of my lack of knowledge of the details of the Shī’ah sect. I did not know how to respond to the claims of some people that the beliefs held by the Shī’ahs, such as Imāmate, Infallibility, Taqiyya and labeling some sahābah as apostates took them out of the creed altogether. I developed a great deal of interest in familiarizing myself with such “beliefs”. Thus, I found myself prompted to do what many others flee from: the pursuit of the truth, in an attempt to put an end to lengthy months of doubt and puzzlement.
But how would I do that? Shall I be satisfied with what Sunni writers, who consider the Shī’ahs as apostates, have written? I had by then read many of them and was not convinced by them at all because most of such writers departed from good manners and from the scientific spirit which mandates subjectivity and the providing of evidence.
And should I be satisfied with the views of moderate Sunnis who consider the ideological differences between the Shī’ahs and the Sunnis as an artificial fuss? These include al-Ghazāli, al-Bahansawi, Izzid-Deen Ibrāhīm and others. But these views did not solve the problem. Rather, they keep it suspended where it started.
I had no choice except to seek the truth from books written by the Shī’ahs themselves. But in the beginning I dismissed this option because I thought that in their works, the Shī’ahs would support their views from traditions narrated through their own venues which, of course, cannot be accepted by us [Sunnis].
But later I came to acquire a book titled Al-Muraja’āt1 as a loan from a friend of mine and with which I became familiar. Luckily, that friend, too, was like me: a seeker of the truth. In his turn, he had acquired this book from one of his Shī’ah friends who advised him to read it after my friend had requested him to give him a book that would make him familiar with the beliefs of the Shī’ahs.
Although the writer of this book, Al-Muraja’āt, is a Shī’ah, yet he, to my great surprise, supports his arguments with regard to Shī’ah beliefs from books of tradition in circulation among Sunnis, especially both Sahīh books. I actually found in it what encouraged me to seek the truth, the truth which puzzled and divided people.
I always used to participate with my friends in researching and discussing the contents of this book which is comprised of correspondence between a Sunni scholar, namely Shaykh Saleem al-Bishri, [then] rector of al-Azhar, and a Shī’ah Lebanese scholar, namely imām Sharafud-Deen Sadr ad-Deen al-’Āmili al-Mūsawi. The said correspondence revolves around the most important issues wherein the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs differ.
I do not hide the fact that what I read in that book was a great surprise to me, and I do not exaggerate when I say that it was the shock of my life. I did not expect at all to find the difference between the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs to be as I saw it depicted in that book. I discovered that I was ignorant of the [Islamic] history and of hadīth, as is the case with anyone who tackled this subject from among those whom I saw and met, including those who had Ph.D. degrees in Sharī’a as you will see from the details of this research.
Because of the extent of the shock produced by the facts stated in that book, and despite the claim of its writer that he draws his arguments from the Qur’ān and from both Sahīh books [of al-Bukhāri and Muslim, two of what is called Al-Sihāh al-Sitta, the six books of authentic traditions held by the Sunnis as the most reliable], some of us started doubting the authenticity of these books, so much so that one of my friends said, “If what this Shī’ah writer claims is true, that is, there are such facts in al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh book, I shall disbelieve in all traditions narrated by al-Bukhāri from this day onward.”
But he did not mean what he said. He only meant to say that it was impossible for that Shī’ah writer to be accurate. We all felt that had the contents of his book been true, this would mean a lot for us in as far as our understanding of the truth behind the difference between the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs is concerned.
It became necessary to verify the contents of Al-Muraja’āt from our own review of al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh. Allāh did, indeed, grant us success, after exerting a great deal of effort, in coming across a copy of al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh book.
I was not at all surprised when I found in al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh all the places to which the Shī’ah writer referred. Some may wonder: “Why such emphasis on al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh?” This is so because the arguments which he derives from the Book of Allāh are often subject to interpretation, and one verse may bear more than one meaning, depending, of course, on one’s own interpretation. For example, the verse saying,
“He frowned and turned away because the blind man came to him..., etc.” (Qur’ān, 80:1-2).
These couple of verses do not state the name of the person who frowned, nor that of the blind man, hence the role of tradition in explaining all of that.
Thus, al-Al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh came to occupy the first position with regard to “authenticity” after the Book of Allāh, according to the Sunnis who held themselves bound to accept all of its contents. This is why tradition solves any differences with regard to interpreting the verses of the Glorious Book of Allāh.
Whenever I read additional books which deal with this topic, the truth kept getting clearer to me till in the end it manifested itself most gloriously in a way which accepts no doubt whatsoever.
But the question which always kept bothering me revolved around the reason behind hiding so many historical events, as well as the traditions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), despite their authentication in the references which the Sunnis regard as reliable and which may remove a great deal of ambiguity accompanying the issue of the differences between the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs during the past centuries.
Is the method of hiding the facts, or enforcing a blackout in their regard, or creating confusion about them..., etc., can be accepted as a justification for avoiding dissension, as they claim? Is it not dissension when facts are hidden and distorted?!
When I started investigating this sensitive issue, my ultimate goal was to make sure whether the Shī’ahs are Muslims or not. I had no doubt at all that the method [of worship] of the followers of the “Sunnah and Jamā’ah” was the right one.
But after having reviewed, researched and carefully considered this matter, the result which I reached was an amazing contradiction, yet I did not hesitate for one moment to accept the fact which I discovered.
Why should I not accept it so long as there are those who support it with proofs and evidences which all are considered by the Sunnis as accepted arguments, and so long as they agree with reason which Allāh, the most Sublime, the most High, regards as evidence against all creation?
The same fact has been accepted by a good number of our students, something which irritated some fanatics and those who issued verdicts that we [Shī’ahs] are apostates, even saying that it is not permissible to reciprocate the greeting whereby we greet them [Sunnis]. They circulated against us rumors the lightest of which was the receipt by everyone who becomes Shī’ah of $300 from the Iranian Embassy as a reward.
As regarding al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, which we used as our argument against them, they said that it was a forgery and is not the true Sahīh of al-Bukhāri! Facing such ignorance and fanaticism on one hand, and seeing how oppressed the Shī’ahs are on the other, I was of the view to write a summary of my research then present it to every seeker of the truth so that people may review it as well.
As long as there are those who tell lies about the Shī’ahs in order to mislead others, and there are some people who tell such lies, that doing so is permissible, the truth is more worthy of being written and published. Despite the pains and the wounds which this book may cause to some fanatics, I ask them: “Who is to blame?!”
As for the book, which presents the views of both parties and the refutation of each with regard to the most significant issues of contention, there is no claim in it except that it is supported by proofs and arguments from what the Sunnis hold in high esteem and in which they believe, such as both Sahīh books of al-Bukhāri and Muslim in the first place.
So, why do they not blame the ignorance which prohibited them from knowing these facts? Or did their fanatical religious leaders hide such facts deliberately from them? Or why do they not blame al-Bukhāri and Muslim and others from among the scholars of hadīth with regard to what they wrote in their books, texts which caused them such a shock?! But how can this be since the Sunnis have taken upon themselves to follow everything both Sahīh books contain?
The sect of the Imāmite Shī’ahs, to which we refer in this research, is the one the adherents to which believe in following the caliphate of Ali (‘a) and the rest of the twelve Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a) after the Prophet (ṣ). As regarding other sects included under the label of “Shī’a”, such as those who believe in the godhead or prophethood of Ali (‘a), or other sects, the Shī’ahs dissociate themselves from them.
So, why do some people insist that these sects are Shī’ah? And why do they and their likes undertake the circulation of such nonsense in order to mislead Muslim commoners and the ignorant ones among them? And why such shameful forgery in the history of the Muslims and in their tolerant creed?!
Imāmate or caliphate means leadership. It has become a term for leading the Muslims after the demise of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), a term which nobody can deny because leadership is an instinctive need for any group of people. Muslims, Sunnis or Shī’ahs, disagreed with regard to how to appoint an imām, or a caliph, and what role he should assume.
This is one of the most serious of their disagreements, and other disagreements are no more than a natural outcome of this great difference. This is so because Imāmate, as viewed by the Shī’ahs, has to be supported by a text from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), and it is specifically relevant to the Twelve Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a).
Knowing the Islamic injunctions, following the departure from this world of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), is achieved only by referring to these Imāms (‘a) or to accurate transmissions reported about them. When their statements disagree with those of others, what Ahlul Bayt (‘a) state must be accepted, since they are the safe custodians of the Sunnah of the Chosen One (ṣ).
With regard to Imāmate, the Sunnis say that an imām is to be elected according to the principle of shūra (mutual consultation), but they do not object if such an imām is appointed through the recommendation of an outgoing caliph to the one who would be his successor, as was the case with caliph Abū Bakr who recommended ‘Umar to be his successor. Also, they permit caliphate to be taken by force, by the sword, as was the case with the Umayyad, ‘Abbāside and Ottoman caliphates.
As regarding learning the Islamic injunctions, it according to them is to be acquired by consulting what is “authentic” of what the sahābah had narrated, without making any distinction among these sahābah.
They, thus, regarded all sahābah as equitable and trustworthy despite the fact that many of them became involved in both battles of the Camel and of Siffeen, and they took part in killing each other on those and other occasions, something which places a question mark about the “equity” of many of them and raises many questions. You will review ample details about the “equity” of the sahābah in a chapter to come, by the Will of Allāh.
Since the case is as such, since there are differences between the Shī’ahs and the Sunnis, and before we issue a verdict labeling a particular sect as “invalid” or preferring one method over another, we ought to take the time to look into the proofs and arguments of each party. We have dedicated our research for this purpose. We will be summarizing the texts which the Shī’ahs regard as proofs for upholding their Imāmite sect as well as the rebuttal of the Sunnis of the same:
1) Proofs Confirming the Imāmate of Ahlul Bayt (‘a)
2) Proofs Confirming the Number of Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a)
3) Proofs Regarding the Appointment by the Prophet (ṣ) of Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) [as his successor]
Texts quoted from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) referring to the Imāmate, after his demise, of the nation’s Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are numerous; here are the most famous among them:
According to Muslim’s Sahīh, relying on isnād which goes back to Zaid ibn Arqam, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), so Zaid narrated, said, “O people! I am a human upon whom the messenger of my Lord is about to call. I will surrender to the call, and I am leaving among you two weighty things: the first of them is the Book of Allāh wherein there is guidance and noor.
So, take the Book of Allāh, for in it there is guidance and there is noor. Uphold the Book of Allāh and adhere to it. And (the other are) my Ahlul Bayt (‘a). I commend to you, in the Name of Allāh, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a);I commend to you, in the Name of Allāh, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a); I commend to you, in the Name of Allāh, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a).1
In al-Tirmidhi’s Sahīh, through isnād traced to Jābir ibn Abdullāh [al-Ansāri], the latter said, “I saw the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) on the Day of ‘Arafa when he performed his [last] pilgrimage. He was riding his she-camel Quswa. He delivered a sermon, and I heard him saying, ‘O people! I have left among you that, so long as you uphold to it, you shall never stray: The Book of Allāh and my ‘itrat, my Ahlul Bayt’.2
Had there been only this hadīth, it would have sufficed to prove the authenticity of the Shī’ah sect which obligates clinging to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in addition to clinging to the Glorious Book of Allāh. We find in this hadīth the order of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), as clearly as can be, that we should uphold Ahlul Bayt (‘a) after his demise, and that such upholding, in addition to adhering to the Glorious Qur’ān, is the condition for one’s salvation versus straying.
Although Muslim and many other scholars of hadīth from among the Sunnis have included this hadīth in their Sahīh and musnad books, it is to my great amazement that I find most Sunnis not familiar with it. They deny it when they hear about it, as if it does not exist, saying that what is accurate in this regard is what Abū Hurayrah had said, that is, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “I have left among you two things that will never let you stray so long as you adhere to them or act upon them: the Book of Allāh and my Sunnah.”3
Having investigated the source of this tradition, I found out that it was not recorded in any of the Sahīh books. Al-Bukhāri, al-Nisā’i, al-Dhahabi and others have labelled it as “weak”4. It is narrated by al-Hākim in his Mustadrak which, according to the consensus of Sunni scholars, is regarded as being less [in prestige] than the Sahīh book of Muslim who stated it in this wording: “...the Book of Allāh and my ‘itrat, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a).”
Even if we suppose there is no difference between both narratives, we have to surrender to the fact that what is meant by the phrase “my Sunnah”, as it exists in al-Hākim’s narrative, is the Sunnah derived from the venue of the Household of the Prophet (ṣ), not from that of others, as is quite obvious in Muslim’s narrative. As for sticking to the narrative of al-Hākim wherein he says, “... the Book of Allāh and my Sunnah,” rejecting Muslim’s version of “... the Book of Allāh and my ‘itrat, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a),”
This goes against not only the consensus of the Sunni scholars of hadīth, who all regard the traditions narrated by Muslim with higher regards than those narrated by al-Hākim, it is also contrary to logic and reason because the word “Sunnah” by itself as narrated by al-Hākim does not convey a specific meaning, since all Islamic sects claim they follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ).
Moreover, there are many differences among these sects, and the reasons behind such differences are rendered to the differences in how the Prophet’s Sunnah was transmitted to them, i.e. through various venues, the Sunnah which explains and complements the Holy Qur’ān, the Sunnah the accuracy of which is agreed upon by all Islamic sects.
Hence, the differences in the transmitted hadīth led also to differences in interpreting the Qur’ān. The Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ), therefore, became many Sunnahs and the Muslims, accordingly, split into sects and groups which are said to number thirty-seven. So, which of these Sunnahs is more worthy of being followed?
This question comes naturally to the mind of anyone who deeply discerns such differences. The above-quoted hadīth came to respond to such differences so that the Muslims would not be left puzzled with regard to their Islamic faith following the departure from this world of the one who convey it to them.
This is why there have been sacred instructions by the Prophet (ṣ) mandating that the purified Sunnah of he Prophet (ṣ) must be derived from the venue of the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of the Prophet (ṣ), those who are described by the Qur’ān as tāhir, Purified, a description which is quite clear and accepts no other meaning. Such a derivation, and only such a derivation, brings security against dissension and straying.
It is here that two questions are put forth. The picture can never be completely clear unless we answer them:
First: Who are “Ahlul Bayt (‘a)” to whom reference is made by the tradition cited above?
Second: Why did the said tradition specify the derivation [of the Islamic injunctions] only from Ahlul Bayt (‘a) rather than from all the sahābah, as the Sunnis advocate?
In his Sahīh, relying on the isnād of Safiyya daughter of Shaybah, Muslim quotes the latter saying that ‘Ā’isha said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) came out wearing an unsown garment of black [camel] hair. He brought al-Hasan ibn Ali (‘a) and let him in. Then al-Husayn (‘a) came and he let him, too, in. Then Fātima (‘a) came in and he let her, too, in. Then Ali (‘a) came. He let him, too. Then he said [i.e. quoted the following verse],
‘Surely Allāh wishes to remove all abomination from you, O People of the House [of the Prophet] and to purify you with a perfect purification’ (Qur’ān, 33:33).”5
Also in Muslim’s Sahīh we read the following:
“When this verse was revealed: ‘Say: Come! Let us gather together our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then let us earnestly pray and invoke Allāh’s curse on the liars’ (Qur’ān, 3:61),
the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) called upon Ali (‘a), Fātima (‘a), al-Hasan (‘a) and al-Husayn (‘a) then said, ‘Lord! These are my Ahlul Bayt’.”6
From both of these traditions, it is quite clear that Ahlul Bayt (‘a), during the lifetime of the Prophet (ṣ), were: Ali (‘a), Fātima (‘a) and both their sons (‘a).
In his Sahīh, Muslim quotes Zaid ibn Arqam citing the Prophet (ṣ) saying, “I am leaving with you two weighty things: one of them is the Book of Allāh, the most Exalted, the most Great, and it is the Rope of Allāh; whoever adheres to it is guided and whoever abandons it strays.” In the same tradition, people inquired whether his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) included his wives. “No,” said he, “By Allāh! A woman remains with the man for a period of time, then he may divorce her, whereupon she returns to her father and people. His Ahlul Bayt (‘a) come from his loins, his nearest in kin who are prohibited from taking charity after his demise.”7
To quote al-Tirmidhi’s Sahīh, where the compiler relies on the authority of ‘Amr ibn Abū Salamah, who was raised by the Prophet (ṣ), ‘Amr said,
“When this verse was revealed: ‘Surely Allāh wishes to remove all abomination from you, O People of the House [of the Prophet] and to purify you with a perfect purification’ (Qur’ān, 33:33)’
at the house of Umm Salamah, the Prophet (ṣ) called upon Fātima (‘a), Hasan (‘a) and Husayn (‘a). He put a garment over them while Ali (‘a) was behind him.
He placed the garment over them all then supplicated thus: ‘Lord! These are my Ahlul Bayt (‘a); so, do remove abomination from them and purify them with a perfect purification.’ Umm Salamah asked him, ‘May I be included with them, O Prophet of Allāh?’ He said, ‘Stay where you are, and you are in goodness.’”8
In his Musnad, [imām] Ahmad [ibn Hanbal] quotes Umm Salamah saying, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said to Fātima (‘a): ‘Bring me your husband and both sons.’ She brought them in. He put a garment made in Fadak then put his hand on them and said, ‘Lord! These are the Progeny of Muhammad; so, let Your salutations and blessings be upon Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad; surely You are the Praised One, the most Glorified.’ I lifted the garment in order to join them, but he pulled it from my hand and said, ‘You are in goodness.’”9
Despite the clarity of the previous proofs in identifying who Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are, some people oppose it and base their argument on the following verses from Surat al-Ahzab (Chapter 33 of the Holy Qur’ān), claiming that the term “Ahlul Bayt (‘a)” includes the wives of the Prophet (ṣ):
O Prophet! Say to your consorts: “If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. But if you seek Allāh and His Prophet, and the abode of the hereafter, truly Allāh has prepared a great reward for the well-doers from among you.” O consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allāh. But any of you who is devout in the service of Allāh and His Prophet, and does righteous deeds, to her We shall grant a reward twice as much and We have prepared a generous sustenance for her. O consorts of the Prophet! You are not like any (other) women: If you fear (Allāh), do not be too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart there is a disease should be moved with desire: But speak a speech (that is) just. And stay in your houses, do not make a dazzling display, like that in the former times of ignorance, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, and obey Allāh and His Prophet. And Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless. Qur’ān, 33:28-33
As is quite clear, the argument of those who say that “Ahlul Bayt (‘a)” is a term which includes the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) is based on “... And Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless” falling in the same verse a portion of which deals with the wives of the Prophet (ṣ).
This claim can be refuted from many angles; here are some of them:
1. The revelation of Qur’ānic verses in reference to threatening the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) that they could be divorced followed by the Will of Allāh to purify Ahlul Bayt (‘a) with a perfect purification does not necessarily mean that on both occasions, the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) are implied simply because there are many verses in the Holy Qur’ān of this sort containing two different issues.
The reason why they both fall in the same verse is perhaps due to their coincidently took place at the same time. One such an example is derived from these verses: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine and that on which a name other than that of Allāh has been invoked, that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death, that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter it (in due way), that which is sacrificed on stone (altars).
The division (of meat) by raffling with arrows is also (forbidden): That is impiety. This Day those who reject faith have given up all hope of your religion: Yet do not fear them, but fear Me. This Day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion” (Qur’ān, 5:3).
You find in this verse how the subject revolving round the perfecting of the creed falls in the middle of the subject dealing with prohibitive foods!
2. What underscores the fact that the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) are not included in the meaning of this verse is that the subject relevant to the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) came in an Arabic pronoun specifically relevant to a group of females, whereas when the topic shifted to the purification of Ahlul Bayt (‘a), the pronoun changed to one relevant to a group of males.
3. The previously quoted authentic traditions recorded in the Sahīh books of both Muslim and al-Tirmidhi, as well as in Ahmad’s Musnad and in others all prove unequivocally that the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) are not included among Ahlul Bayt (‘a). When Umm Salamah, may Allāh be pleased with her, asked the Prophet (ṣ), “May I be included with them, O Prophet of Allāh?,” He said to her, “Stay where you are, and you are in goodness.” In Muslim’s narrative, people inquired whether his wives were among his Ahlul Bayt (‘a), and the answer came in the negative.
4. In the tradition of the two weighty things which Muslim, Ahmad and others narrate, the Prophet (ṣ) is cited as having said, “O people! I am leaving among you two things which, so long as you uphold them [both simultaneously], you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my ‘itra, my Ahlul Bayt,” it is quite clear that they have to be followed [with regard to all religious and secular issues].
If we suppose, just for the sake of debating, that the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) are the ones meant, or implied, in this tradition, in what way will the Muslims uphold them after the demise of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), bearing in mind that they were obligated to remain in their homes? How would one answer this question, knowing that they all lived in one and the same century? If one says that upholding them means citing the traditions from them, we would respond by saying that among them are those who did not narrate one single tradition!
The “abomination” [rijs] which occurs in the verse saying, ““... And Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless” means linguistically something filthy: a reference to sinning, while tahāra (cleansiness) linguistically connotes piety.
The meaning of the will of the Almighty, Praised and Glorified is He, to remove abomination from them, is to clear them of any sin and to raise their status above committing anything which points out to shortcomings in them. A sin, no matter how minor, is indicative of a flaw in the person who commits it. This means that Allāh Almighty wanted to purify Ahlul Bayt (‘a) from committing any sin, minor or major, and this is nothing but a proof of Infallibility and, hence, purification.
As regarding what is said that the meaning of “purification” in this verse is merely an indication of religious piety, that is, their own avoidance of committing what Allāh has prohibited them from committing while acting upon His Commandments, this claim is rejected because “purification” in such a sense is not relevant only to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) but to all Muslims. The Muslims are all obligated to act upon the injunctions of their creed:
“Allāh does not desire to put any hardship on you but to purify you, and so that He may complete His favor on you, perhaps you will be grateful” (Qur’ān, 5:6).
Thus, if we agree that those regarding whom this verse was revealed are infallible, we will find out that the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) are not among them because they are not infallible, let alone the fact that nobody, be he from the early generations or from the latter ones, made such a claim, knowing fully well that the Prophet (ṣ) threatened to divorce them and made other threats against some of them as you will see in a chapter to come.
1. Hadīth al-Thaqalayn: Text of the tradition of the two weighty things: “O people! I am leaving among you two things which, so long as you uphold to them [both simultaneously], you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my ‘itra, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a),” where there is a directive from the Prophet (ṣ) that the condition for not straying is upholding the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and his ‘itra, Progeny.
It is not rational for anyone who believes there is a possibility that there is something wrong, or any crookedness, in it can expect it to be a safe haven against straying. This proves the Infallibility of both weighty things: the Book of Allāh, i.e. the greater weight which no falsehood can approach from front or back, and Ahlul Bayt (‘a), the great weight.
2. This Qur’ānic Verse:
“And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands which he fulfilled. He said, ‘I will make you an Imām (guide) to the nations.’ He pleaded: ‘What about my offspring?!’ He answered, ‘My promise is not within the reach of evil-doers’” (Qur’ān, 2:124).
Besides pointing out to the lofty status of Imāmate, this verse also indicates that the “promise” of Allāh, that is, Imāmate, cannot be the lot of an oppressor. A sin, minor or major, renders one who commits it an oppressor. Hence, an Imām has to be divinely protected from committing any sin or wrongdoing.
3. Evidence in Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn: Relying on the isnād of Hanash al-Kināni, al-Hākim cites the man saying that he heard Abū Dharr saying the following as he was holding to the door of he Ka’ba: “O people! Whoever knows me, I am who I am, and whoever does not, I am Abū Dharr. I heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) saying, ‘The similitude of my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) among you is like the ark of Noah: whoever boards it is safe [from drowning], and who ever lags behind it is drowned.”10 Al-Hākim adds saying that the isnād of this tradition is authentic.
4. Also in Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn: Through the isnād traced to Ibn ‘Abbās, the same reference cites Ibn ‘Abbās quoting the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) saying, “The stars offer security for the people of the earth against drowning, while my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are the security of my nation against dissension. If a tribe from among the Arabs opposes them, it will become the party of Eblis.”11
5. In al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh: In order to further clarify the lofty status with which Ahlul Bayt (‘a) were blessed, we would like to quote some traditions narrated in al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh and which address Ahlul Bayt (‘a) with “alaihimis-salām” (peace be upon them). They, rather than anyone else from among all the sahābah or the wives of the Prophet (ṣ), were thus addressed. Following are examples narrated by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh:
Ali (‘a) has said, “I used to have an established portion of the war booties, and the Prophet (ṣ) gave me an established portion of the khums. When I was going to have a daughter by Fātima (‘a), peace be upon her, daughter of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)..., etc.”12
Al-Bukhāri also wrote saying, “... and the Prophet (ṣ) knocked at the door of Fātima (‘a) and Ali (‘a), peace be upon both of them, on a night for the prayers..., etc.”13
In another narration, the following is stated: “... He said, ‘I saw the Prophet (ṣ), and al-Hasan (‘a) son of Ali (‘a), peace be upon both of them, looked like him..., etc.’”14
Also, the following is stated in the same reference: “... from Ali (‘a) son of al-Husayn (‘a), peace be upon both of them, he told him..., etc.”15
One may argue saying that this does not prove their distinction, but the question will then be, “Why then were they, rather than anyone else, thus greeted?”
6. Evidence From Hadīth: The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) has ordered anyone who blesses him to also bless his Progeny concurrently. In a tradition recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, relying on the isnād of Abdul-Rahmān ibn Abū Layla, it is recorded that “... He said, ‘Ka’b ibn ‘Ajrah met me and said, ‘Grant me a gift!’ The Prophet (ṣ) came out to see us, so we said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! We have already come to know how to greet you, but how should we bless you?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘You should say: O Allāh! Bless Muhammad (ṣ) and the Progeny of Muhammad (ṣ) as You blessed Ibrāhīm and the progeny of Ibrāhīm; surely You are the oft-Praised, the oft-Glorified’.”16
The point of connection in this tradition between our master Ibrāhīm, peace be upon him and upon his progeny, on one hand, and our master Muhammad (ṣ) and his Progeny on the other is that Ibrāhīm, peace be upon him, was also a prophet, and his offspring were prophets to whom people referred after his demise.
Likewise, the offspring of Muhammad (ṣ) were the custodians of the Message brought by Muhammad (ṣ). The Muslims were ordered to refer to them after the demise of the Chosen One (ṣ) except they were Imāms (‘a), not prophets, as was the case with the progeny of Ibrāhīm. In a dialogue between the Prophet (ṣ) and Ali (‘a), the Prophet (ṣ) said, “Are you not pleased that your status with me is like that of Aaron to Moses except there is no prophet after me?”17 We will later discuss this tradition.
It is concluded from all the above that Allāh, the most Sublime and the most Great, specifically granted purification and Infallibility to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in their capacity as the ones to fill the vacuum left by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) with regard to transmitting the Message to future generations, to safeguard it from those who distort or cast doubt about it.
What is the benefit of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) conveying the Divine Sharī’a if it is not safeguarded after his death by trustworthy persons? What happened to past creeds suffices to answer this question. The followers of the latter creeds used to derive their legislation from any source after the departure from this world of those who conveyed such creeds to them.
This is why distortion afflicted them as the most Great and the most Exalted One has said:
“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 Allāh, and distorted it knowingly after having understood it?” (Qur’ān, 2:75).
It needs not mentioned that safeguarding the texts of the Qur’ān against any addition or deletion is not by itself sufficient at any rate to safeguard the Divine Sharī’a from being distorted. Imāmate, thus, is considered as an extension of prophethood with regard to its general functions except what is relevant to the wahi, which is one of the particularities of prophethood.
What is meant by the Imāmate being the extension of prophethood is the safeguarding of the Sharī’a with knowledge and application. Hence, the Infallibility of the Imāms (‘a) is a must for transmitting the divine legislation to posterity via pure and genuine venues represented by the Twelve Imāms (‘a) who all belong to the Household of the Prophet (ṣ).
The Chosen One (ṣ) has stated that the Imāms, or caliphs, after him were from Quraysh, and that their number is twelve. Relying on the authority of Jābir ibn Samrah, al-Bukhāri quotes Jābir saying that he heard the Prophet (ṣ) saying, “There shall be twelve amīrs...” He goes on to say that the Prophet (ṣ) said something which he (Jābir) did not hear, adding, “My father said to me [that what I did not hear was:] ‘All of them are from Quraysh.’”18
In Muslim’s Sahīh, one hadīth reads: “The faith shall remain standing till the time of the Hour, or you will be ruled by twelve caliphs, all from Quraysh.”19 In the same reference, the following text exists: “People’s affairs will be in effect so long as they are ruled by twelve men.”20
In Ahmad’s Musnad, where the compiler relies on the isnād of Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd, the latter says that he once asked the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) about those “caliphs.” The Prophet (ṣ) said to him, “They are twelve in number, as many as the tribes of the Children of Israel.”21
A text in the Torah of the People of the Book carries this meaning: “Allāh Almighty conveyed the glad tiding of [the birth of] Ishmael to Abraham and that He would multiply his progeny exceedingly and bring about from among his offspring twelve princes and a great nation.”22
The “great nation” referred to here is the nation of our master Muhammad (ṣ) whose lineage descended from Ishmael, peace be upon him. As for the twelve princes, they are the Imāms (‘a), or the caliphs, who succeeded the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and who also descended from him. They are the ones referred to in the authentic traditions cited above.
This issue may be regarded as the most perplexing to the Sunni scholars who could not provide one single explanation, or any convincing argument, identifying these twelve caliphs referred to by many authentic traditions recorded in their own Sahīh books, so much so that this issue has become a puzzling riddle to them. Their interpretations of it are shaky, often reaching a dead end because of the inapplicability of the number “twelve” to any group of caliphs starting from the first four and passing by the Umayyads, the ‘Abbāsides and the Ottomans, or are they to be selected from all of these?!
We would like to bring about an example portraying the extent of their confusion while interpreting this tradition: Al-Suyūti has said, “From among the twelve [caliphs] are: the [first] four caliphs, al-Hasan (‘a), Mu’āwiyah, [‘Abdullāh] ibn al-Zubayr, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-Azīz. These are eight, and it is possible that the Mahdi, the ‘Abbāside [caliph] may be added to them since he is to the ‘Abbāsides what ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-Azīz is to the Umayyads. And al-Tāhir, the ‘Abbāside [caliph], too, [is among them] on account of his equity. Two remain; these are the awaited ones; one of them is al-Mahdi because he belongs to Ahlul Bayt.”23
When we talk about their puzzlement in solving the “riddle” of the twelve caliphs, we mean their scholars are the ones who are puzzled. As for their commoners, they most often never heard such traditions which fix the number of the successors of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) or the hadīth which enjoins upholding the two weighty things and many others which all point out to the merits of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) despite such occurrence in their Sahīh books.
I was quite astonished when Dr. Ahmad Nawfal, a professor at the College of Sharī’a, University of Jordan, as I debated with him, said that the tradition of the twelve caliphs is of my own invention, and that it does not exist in the Sunni books of hadīth.
Having said so, he immediately left, refusing to continue the debate. This took place after he had delivered a lecture in Manilla, answering questions raised by some attendants about the origin of Shī’ahs and Shī’ism. His answers were contrary to the truth, thus prompting me to oppose his falsification. I provided some traditions which prove that Shī’ahs follow Muhammad (ṣ), not Ibn Saba’, as he claimed.
We do not, by mentioning this incident, mean to scandalize this virtuous professor, may Allāh forgive him. We simply like to point out to the truth which has to be made clear, that is, fanaticism prompts some people to do more than that. This is really strange. How can one have the courage to answer questions about a subject while he is ignorant of the basic facts relevant to it? What if the issue deals with religious affairs? What is the judgment against one who issues verdicts without knowledge? Surely there is no power nor might except in Allāh.
So, while we see the Sunnis puzzled by the “riddle” of the twelve caliphs, while many of them are ignorant of the glittering authentic traditions leading to it, Imāmite Shī’ahs, followers of the Household of the family of the Prophet (ṣ), have already clarified the matter in this regard, explaining that those implied in the traditions cited above are the Twelve Imāms (‘a) from among the family of the Prophet (ṣ). Moreover, they derived proofs from traditions narrated through the venue of the Purified ‘itra and which exist in their books of hadīth clearly stating their names in a way which leaves no room for doubt. They are:
1. Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a), Ameerul-Mu’mineen (the Commander of the Faithful)
2. Al-Hasan ibn Ali (‘a), al-Sibt (the oldest grandson of the Prophet [‰])
3. Al-Husayn (‘a) ibn Ali (‘a), Sayyidul-Shuhadā’ (the master of martyrs)
4. Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a), Zaynul-’Ābidīn (the best of worshipers)
5. Muhammad ibn Ali (‘a), al-Bāqir (the one who pierces through knowledge)
6. Ja’far ibn Muhammad (‘a), al-Sādiq (the truthful)
7. Mousa ibn Ja’far (‘a), al-Kāzim (the one who suppresses his anger)
8. Ali ibn Mousa (‘a), al-Rida (the one who accepts destiny)
9. Muhammad ibn Ali (‘a), al-Jawād (the generous one)
10. Ali ibn Muhammad (‘a), al-Hādi (the guide)
11. Al-Hasan ibn Ali (‘a), al-’Askari (the man in charge of the troops)
12. Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (‘a), al-Mahdi al-Muntazar (the awaited savior, the divinely-guided one, may Allāh hasten his holy reappearance).
We have already explained the proofs testifying to the Imāmate of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and the number of caliphs from among them as stated by the Prophet (ṣ) who indicated that they should be his successors in his nation. Following are proofs regarding the appointment by the Prophet (ṣ) of Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a). In addition to the above, there are unequivocal proofs testifying to the same, especially to the hadīth of the two weighty things.
Among the most famous narratives regarding the caliphate of Ali (‘a) is the one known as the sermon of al-Ghadīr after the conclusion of the Farewell Pilgrimage (Hijjatul-Wadā’) in 11 A.H. (632 A.D.) It was there and then that the Prophet (ṣ) declared to the people stating, at its conclusion, as narrated by al-Tirmidhi who relies on the isnād traced to Zaid ibn Arqam, the following: “To whosoever I have been the master, Ali henceforth is his master, etc.”24
Ibn Majah has included in his Sahīh a portion of this detailed sermon through isnād traced to al-Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib who said, “We accompanied the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) during his pilgrimage. He alighted at a distance of the road and ordered congregational prayers to be held.
Then he took the hand of Ali, peace be upon him, and said, ‘Do not I have more rights on the Muslims than the Muslims themselves have?’ They answered in the affirmative. Then he said, ‘Do not I have right over every believer more than he himself has?’ They answered in the affirmative. He then said, ‘This [Ali] is the master of whoever accepted me as his master. Lord! Be the friend of anyone who befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him.’”25
It exists in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal who relies on the isnād of also al-Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib. The latter says, “We were in the company of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) on a trip. We stayed at Ghadīr Khumm. We were called upon to perform congregational prayers.
A couple of trees were swept under for the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) who performed the noon prayers then took the hand of Ali, peace be upon him, and said, ‘Do not you know that I have more rights on the believers than the believers themselves have?’ They answered in the affirmative. He (ṣ) asked them, ‘Do not you know that I have more rights on every believer than the believer himself has?’ They answered in the affirmative.
He then took Ali, peace be upon him, by the hand and said, ‘To whomsoever I have been the master, Ali [henceforth] is his master. O Lord! Befriend whoever befriends him and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him.’ ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb met him thereafter and said to him, ‘Congratulations to you, O son of Abū Tālib! You have received the dawn and the sunset as the master of every believing man and woman.’”26
This hadīth is famous as the “Ghadīr hadīth” on account of this incident taking place at an area known as “Ghadīr Khumm” (Khumm swamp) which is located near Mecca. This is something the authenticity of which nobody can doubt especially since it has been narrated in many Sunni books of hadīth, so much so that some scholars have stated as many as 80 venues for it only from the Sunnis.
It becomes clear from the previous traditions that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) extracted the Muslims’ admission of his mastership over them when he asked them, “Do not you know that I have more rights on the believers than the believers themselves have?... Do not you know that I have more rights on every believer than the believer himself has?”
It is understood that anyone who enjoys the status of having more authority over the believers than the believers themselves have is the believers’ leader as was, indeed, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ): a leader. When he included Ali (‘a) besides himself in such a description by saying, “To whomsoever I have been the master, Ali [henceforth] is his master,” he practically bestowed upon Ali (‘a) the leadership after his own demise.
Shī’ahs celebrate this occasion every year on the 18th of Dhul-Hijjah which they call “Eid al-Ghadīr.” As for the Sunnis, they interpret this hadīth differently, claiming it does not refer to any caliphate. They interpret the word “mawla” [which exists in the original Arabic text] as “loved one” or “friend,” not “wali amr,” person in charge.
In their view, the meaning of this tradition is: “Anyone whose friend I am, this Ali is his friend, too”!!! The fact is that the word “mawla” has many meanings in Arabic. It is said that it has seventeen meanings including “one who is emancipated” or “servant,” etc. The word “mawla” in this hadīth is to be understood, besides what is stated above through many proofs, to connote leadership. Among such proofs are the following:
1. The verse saying,
“O Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not do it, then you will have not delivered His message (at all), and Allāh will protect you from the (evil) people” (Qur’ān, 5:67)
which was revealed, as stated in many books of tafsīr, shortly before the Ghadīr sermon. It contains the sense that there is an order from Allāh Almighty that has to be conveyed, and this order, as the wording of the verse suggests and from its very sharp tone, is of an extreme significance, point in the direction that what is meant is not mere friendship and support.
2. The verse saying
“This Day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion” (Qur’ān, 5:4)
was revealed, according to many scholars of exegesis, after the Ghadīr incident. It conveys the completion of conveying Muhammad’s message, something which could not have been completed without the appointment of Ali (‘a) and Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in general as the masters. It is far-fetched to say that the conveying became complete when the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was told about his friendship with and love for Ali (‘a)!
3. The circumstances during which the Prophet (ṣ) delivered the Ghadīr sermon, in a burning desert, after having ordered the Muslims, who were said to have numbered more than ninety thousand, to assemble in order to extract from them an admission that Allāh and His Messenger were their masters before ordering them to accept the mastership of Ali (‘a) proves that the matter was not relevant to merely loving and befriending Ali (‘a).
4. The previous ahādīth, especially the one about the Two Weighty Things, in addition to the following ones, point as a whole to the caliphate of Ali (‘a) without permitting any room for doubt.
In al-Tirmidhi’s Sahīh, relying on the isnād of ‘Imrān ibn Hasīn, the latter says, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) dispatched an army under the command of Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a). The campaign was carried out, and Ali (‘a) won a female captive as his share of the booty.
Some people faulted him for doing so. Four of the companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) pledged to complain against him to the Prophet (ṣ). With signs of anger on his holy face clearly visible, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said to them, “What do you want from Ali? Ali is from me, and I am from Ali, and he is the master of every believer after me.”27
And consider the following verse of the Almighty: “
Your Master is Allāh and His Messenger and the Believers who uphold prayers and pay zakat even while prostrating (Qur’ān, 5:58).”
Most Sunni scholars of exegesis have stated that it was revealed in honor of Ali (‘a) when he gave his ring by way of charity, as he was prostrating during his performance of the prayers, to a poor man.
In al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, Mis’ab ibn Sa’d quotes his father saying, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) marched out to Tabuk after having left Ali (‘a) behind. Ali (‘a) said to him, ‘Are you going to leave me with the children and the women?’ He (ṣ) said to him, ‘Are you not pleased that your status to me is like that of Aaron to Moses except there shall be no prophet after me?’”28
This tradition proves that Ali (‘a) had all the positions occupied by Aaron, peace be upon him, among the Children of Israel with the exception of prophethood and which is explained by the Almighty, Praise and Exaltation are His, in these verses: “‘And give me a minister from my family, Aaron, my brother. Add to my strength through him, and make him share my task: So that we may celebrate Your praise without stint and remember You without stint: For You are He Who (ever) regards us.’ (Allāh) said, ‘Your prayer is granted, O Moses!’” It is clear from these verses that Aaron, peace be upon him was a vizier of Moses, a special aide and a partner in leading the nation.
What emphasizes this lofty status in his appointment as the caliph of the nation is that he was the most knowledgeable among all the sahābah according to what al-Bukhāri narrates from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb . Ibn ‘Abbās has said, “‘Umar said, ‘The one who recites the Qur’ān the best is my father, while the most judicious among us is Ali.”29
One who is the most knowledgeable of the injunctions and the laws, as is well known, is the one who makes the best judge. Suffices to prove that he is the most knowledgeable among all the companions and the most wise is that he was the gate of the city of knowledge of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ). In Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn, relying on the isnād of Ibn ‘Abbās, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali (‘a) is its gate. Whoever seek knowledge has to approach through the gate.”30
In al-Tirmidhi’s Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) is quoted as having said, “I am the city of wisdom and Ali is its gate.”31 In Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn, it is stated that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said to Ali (‘a), “You must explain to my nation after me anything wherein they differ.”32
The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) even made the mark of hating Ali (‘a) as one of the indications of hypocrisy as is clear from the narrative included by Muslim in his Sahīh with its isnād to Ali (‘a) who said, “By the One Who split the seed and created the breeze, it is a covenant from the Ummi Prophet (ṣ) to me that none loves me except a believer (mu’min) and none hates me except a hypocrite.”33
Even if the Prophet (ṣ) did not appoint a successor after him, is not the nation supposed to choose the one who has the most knowledge and with the most distinctions in order to be its leader? We have already clarified that Ali (‘a) was the most knowledgeable among the companions. They used to refer to him whenever they confronted a complex theological problem.
Similar to this is included by Abū Dawud in his isnād to Ibn ‘Abbās who said, “‘Umar brought a mentally retarded woman who had committed adultery. He consulted some people in her regard. ‘Umar ordered her stoned. Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) passed by her and inquired about her. He was told that she was a mad woman by so-and-so who had committed adultery, so she was ordered to be stoned. He told them to take her back.
Then he went to him [to ‘Umar] and said to him, ‘O ‘Umar! Don’t you know that judgment against three categories of people is lifted: the mad person till he recovers, the one sleeping till he wakes up and the child till he attains mental maturity?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ Ali (‘a) said, ‘Then what is the matter with this woman that she should be stoned?’ ‘Umar said, ‘Nothing.’ She was sent back. ‘Umar kept making takbeer.”34 Al-Bukhāri, too, includes part of the same incident in his own Sahīh.35
Moreover, Imām Ali (‘a) was famous as the “Imām of the ascetics” and he was also famous for his courage and extra-ordinary daring feats. He was the first commando in Islam. In every Islamic battle, he played a decisive role on the side of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ). In the Battle of Badr, he killed with his sword, Sayf al-Fiqār, thirty Qurayshite heroes.
In the battles of Uhud and Hunayn, he undertook a historic stand, jeopardizing his own life in defense of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) following the flight of the vast majority of the sahābah! In the Battle of Khandaq (moat), he stood to duel the giant of the polytheists, namely ‘Amr ibn Wudd al-’Āmiri whom he killed at the time when none of the other sahābah dared to face him although the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had three times called upon them to do so.
He (ṣ) finally permitted Ali (‘a) to face the man although Ali (‘a) was quite young compared to most sahābah. In the battle for Khaybar, Allāh granted victory at his hands, so he was able to open the gate of the fort after the Muslims at the time could not do so. A large number of the sahābah failed collectively to open it.
Imām Ali (‘a) distinguished himself from the other sahābah by the fact that the time of jāhiliyya did not pollute him with its idols. He received his unique upbringing at the hands of the First Teacher of Humanity, Muhammad (ṣ), from whom he did not part for one moment as long as the Prophet (ṣ) lived. When the Prophet (ṣ) passed away, Ali (‘a) was tending to him. He, therefore, remained all his life receiving knowledge and wisdom from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
Hence, he deserved to be the gate of the city of knowledge of the Prophet (ṣ), of his wisdom, and his brother. Al-Bukhāri narrates in his Sahīh, relying on the isnād of Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar saying, “The Prophet (ṣ) established ties of fraternity among his companions. Ali (‘a) came with tearful eyes and said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! You have established ties of fraternity among your companions but did not establish a tie of fraternity between me and anyone else.’ The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘You are MY brother in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.’”36 The Prophet (ṣ) even considered Ali (‘a) as being of him as al-Bukhāri has narrated: “The Prophet (ṣ) said to Ali (‘a), ‘You are of me, and I am of you.’”37
Ali (‘a) distinguished himself from the rest of the sahābah by acquiring the most merits as we are told by al-Hākim in his Mustadrak where he quotes Ahmad ibn Hanbal saying, “None among the companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) acquired as many virtues as Ali son of Abū Talib (‘a).”38 And in Kanz al-’Ummāl, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) is quoted as having said, “Allāh ordered me to marry Fātimah (‘a) off to Ali.”39
This happened after having rejected the offer of marriage from a number of the sahābah who sought her hand in order to earn the great honor of marrying a lady who was “part” of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), the Head of the Believing Women and of the residents of Paradise, the lady because of whose anger Allāh would be angry. It is quite true what one said: “Had Ali (‘a) not been created, Fātimah (‘a) would have had no match for marriage.”40
Having stated all the above, had the selection of the caliph been truly in the hands of the people, Ali (‘a) was the most distinguished among the sahābah, hence he was the most deserving of the caliphate.
We have already explained the evidences proving that mastership is the right of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in general, that the Twelve Imāms (‘a) from among them were to be the caliphs over the nation, starting with Imām Ali (‘a), following the departure of the Chosen One, Muhammad (ṣ), to the Most High Companion. One decisive question remains to be answered in order to remove a great deal of the ambiguity that coincided with the tale of the dispute between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Shī’ahs throughout the Islamic history. The question is: “If the previous texts truly prove the Imāmate of Ahlul Bayt (‘a), why and how did the caliphate become the lot of others? Were not the sahābah following the Prophet (ṣ) in everything in which he ordered them?”
In order to answer this question, we have to bring about some important historical events at the dawn of Islam which had the major impact in altering the direction of the Islamic history, letting the reader pass his own judgment thereafter. Among the weighty events were the following:
1. Some sahābah of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) prohibited him from writing his will.
2. Some sahābah lagged behind and did not join Usamah’s military campaign, casting doubts about his leadership.
3. events of the saqīfa and the swearing of allegiance to Abū Bakr
4. caliphate of ‘Umar
5. caliphate of ‘Uthmān
6. Battle of the Camel and the march of the Mother of the Faithful (‘a)
7. Battle of Siffīn and the rebellion of Mu’āwiyah
8. Martyrdom of Imām Ali (‘a)
9. reconciliation treaty and the martyrdom of Imām al-Hasan (‘a)
10. Karbalā’ Revolution and the Martyrdom of Imām al-Husayn (‘a)
We will discuss each of these events in some details as follows:
In his Sahīh, al-Bukhāri records six narratives about this incident which took place four days only before the demise of the Prophet (ṣ). Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, is quoted as having said, “Thursday! What a Thursday it was! The pain of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) intensified, so he said, ‘Bring me something so I may write for you a document that will never let you stray thereafter.’
They disputed with each other, and nobody should dispute near a prophet. They said, ‘What is the matter with him?! Has he hallucinated? Inquire of him.’ They went to him, whereupon he said, ‘Leave me alone, for the pain in which I am is better than what you are attributing to me.’”41
In another narrative, Ibn ‘Abbās is quoted as having said, “When death approached the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), and there were men in the house, the Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Let me write for you a document after which you shall never stray.’ Some of them said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) has been overcome by pain, and you have with you the Qur’ān. Suffices us the Book of Allāh.’ The people of the house differed with each other and disputed.
Some of them said, ‘Come close to him so he may write you a document after which you shall never stray,’ while others repeated what ‘Umar had said. When their fuss and dissension intensified, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Get away!’” Ubaydullāh said, “Ibn ‘Abbās used to say, ‘The real calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) from writing that document for them because of their dissension and arguing.’”42
According to a third narrative, Ibn ‘Abbās said, “When death approached the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), and there were men in the house including ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, the Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Let me write you something after (the writing of) which you shall never stray.’ ‘Umar said, ‘The Prophet (ṣ) has been overcome by pain, and you have with you the Qur’ān. Suffices us the Book of Allāh (ṣ).’
The people at the house disputed with each other and disagreed. Some of them were saying, ‘Get close [to the Prophet (ṣ)] so the Prophet (ṣ) may write you a book after which you shall never stray,’ while others repeated what ‘Umar had said. When their fuss and dispute near the Prophet (ṣ) intensified, the Messenger of Allāh said, ‘Get away!’ Ubaydullāh said, ‘Ibn ‘Abbās used to say that the calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) from writing them such a document because of their dispute and fuss.’”43
In Muslim’s Sahīh, their response was: “... they said that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was hallucinating.”44
In another narrative, the following is stated: “... ‘Umar made a statement indicating that the pain had overcome the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) then said, ‘We have with us the Qur’ān. Suffices us the Book of Allah.”45 As you can see, the word “hallucinating” was replaced in this latest narrative with a more polite reference to pain.
Discerning the above-quoted narratives, we become certain that the first person who ascribed hallucination to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb and who was supported by some sahābah who were present there, causing the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) to be angry and to dismiss them with “Get away from me!”
The truth is that this incident gives the impression which permits no doubt that the dignity of the Gracious Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was harmed. This brought me a great shock when I came to know about it and, I believe, the vast majority of Sunnis are ignorant of it despite the horrors of its implications. Many individuals to whom I related this incident did not believe it because of the weight of the shock.
One of them even solemnly swore that if there was any possibility at all that such an incident is, indeed, recorded in Bukhāri’s Sahīh, he will never trust any other narrative in such Sahīh. Some of them believed this incident but, having come to know that caliph ‘Umar was the first to charge the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) with hallucination, became extremely angry and refused to believe it. They even went as far as not trusting al-Bukhāri nor any of the books of hadīth which narrate incidents such as this that tarnish the image of the “righteous ancestors,” according to his view.
The secret behind the amazement in this incident is that all the sahābah who were then present should have given priority, without any delay, to what the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had ordered them to do so that he could write for them his last will, the will that carried the destiny of including what would bring the Muslims after his demise security against straying, if they upheld and obeyed, as is clear from this narrative.
Who, from among the Sunnis, could expect that the last meeting between the Prophet (ṣ) and the senior sahābah would end up in his dismissal of them after they had bidden him farewell in such a pain-inflicting word which could have only one single implication? This implication is mentioned by al-Nawawi in his Sharh [commentary] of Muslim’s Sahīh. This implication is stated there as nothing other than “hallucination”; we seek refuge with Allāh.
According to Imām Sharaf ad-Dīn, “If you contemplate on the statement of the Prophet (ṣ) wherein he says, ‘Bring me something so I may write for you a document after [the writing of] which you shall never stray’ and his statement in the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things wherein he says, ‘I have left among you that which, if you uphold it, you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and my ‘itra, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a)’, you will learn that the objective of both ahādīth is one and the same.
During his sickness, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) wanted to write for them the details of what the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things obligates, but he changed his mind about writing it following their statement with which they surprised him and which forced him to change his mind lest some people should succeed in opening a gate to cast doubt about the Prophethood.
This is so because no effect for such writing remained except dissension and disagreement after him whether he “hallucinated” in what he wrote or not; we seek refuge with Allāh, since they disputed in this regard in his own presence as the previous traditions demonstrate.
They contented themselves with what they have of the Qur’ān, justifying their turning away from carrying out what the Prophet (ṣ) had told them to do as he was in a condition of sickness. It is as though they had forgotten what the Almighty had said about His Glorious Prophet (ṣ):
“... Nor does he say (anything) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by One mighty in power” (Qur’ān, 53:3-5)
as well as in the following verse:
“What Allāh has bestowed on His Prophet (and taken away) from the people of the towns belongs to Allāh, to His Prophet, and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarers, so that it may not be taken in turn by the rich among you. So take what the Prophet assigns to you, and abstain from what he withholds from you” (Qur’ān, 59:7)
as well as in this verse:
“Truly this is the word of a most honorable messenger, endowed with power, with rank before the Lord of the throne, with authority there, (and) faithful of his trust. And (O people!) your Companion is not possessed” (Qur’ān, 81:22).46
Ibn ‘Abbās described the latter situation very well when he said, “The calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh from writing that document for them because of their disputing and fussing.”
Despite all of this, and according to what Ibn ‘Abbās had narrated and what al-Bukhāri had included in his Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not die before making this statement: “... Leave me alone, for the pain in which I am is better than what you are attributing to me.” Then he enjoined them, by way of a will, to uphold three things: to get the polytheist people out of the Arabian Peninsula, to treat the envoy as handsomely as he [the Prophet (ṣ)] used to do, and he abstained from mentioning the third one, or he said he forgot it!”47
It is certain that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had articulated these recommendations in the presence of his family and some of his relatives, including Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās, his cousin, in one of the four days which followed the day of the calamity, the Thursday Calamity.
But what is odd is that the third item on the will, based on the integrity of al-Bukhāri, is not mentioned by Ibn ‘Abbās because he was too reluctant to do so. At any rate, the Shī’ah, according to the narratives of Ahlul Bayt (‘a), have stated that the “forgotten” issue or the one shrouded with silence is the appointment of Ali (‘a) as the caliph.
All Muslims know that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) tied the knot for the military expedition under the command of Usāmah son of Zayd to invade the Romans. Usāmah was then seventeen. This was the last military expedition during the life-time of the Prophet (ṣ). None from among the prominent Muhājirūn and Ansār, such as Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, Abū ‘Ubaydah, Sa’d and their likes, was excluded from being enlisted by the Prophet48. This fact is unanimously accepted by writers of biographies and of history books; it is taken for granted.
The Prophet (ṣ) ordered Usāmah to march, but they dragged their feet, and some of them cast doubts about his leadership, so much so that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) ascended the pulpit, as al-Bukhāri records according to his reliance on Ibn ‘Umar, to address them. The latter says, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) placed Usāmah as commander of the people. They cast doubts about such an appointment, so he (ṣ) said, ‘If you cast doubts about his appointment, you did, indeed, cast doubt about the appointment of his father before him. By Allāh! He [his father] was worthy of being in charge, and he was among the people whom I loved the most, and this one [his son] is the one I love the most after him.’49
Then he (ṣ) urged them once more to march and to hurry,” but they again dragged their feet. The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) passed away before they marched out.
From this incident, we deduct the following:
1. Some sahābah followed their own ijtihād despite the presence of a statement made by the Prophet (ṣ), objecting to his appointment of Usāmah over them on account of his young age although the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had tied his flag with his own hand. If we understand all of this, it will be difficult for us to understand how and why they followed their own ijtihād with regard to bigger issues such as the caliphate of Ali (‘a) and his being the Imām as you will see later.
2. The appointment by the Prophet (ṣ) of Usāmah as their military leader although he was only seventeen was a practical lesson for the sahābah in the issue of accepting the leadership of someone who is younger than them especially since signs of his extreme anger became evident when they cast doubts about his choice of the young man as their military field commander.
3. When the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) tied the knot for Usāmah, he knew that he was about to depart to the most Exalted Companion, and undoubtedly he was contemplating on the dispute over the caliphate that would follow; therefore, his extreme wisdom dictated that senior Muhājirūn and Ansār should be placed in that detachment which he (ṣ) ordered to march out only a few days before his demise so that there would be no time to dispute over the leadership issue, let alone using ijtihād in its regard.
Ali (‘a) kept the Prophet (ṣ) company during the entire period of his sickness. After the demise of the Prophet (ṣ), Ali (‘a) remained busy giving him his burial bath while the Muhājirūn and the Ansār went to the shed of Banī Sā’idah to dispute with one another about the issue of leadership after having dragged their feet and refused to march out in the military campaign of Usāmah in which they had already been enlisted apparently out of their own ijtihād and “worry” about what would happen in their absence after the death of the Prophet (ṣ)!
Thus, it is difficult to accept or to absorb the issue of the refusal of some sahābah to accept Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) as their Imām; otherwise, how can one interpret the refusal of the same folks of Usāmah as their leader and their casting doubts about it although it, too, was issued as an order by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)?
Since both incidents of the “Thursday Calamity” and the casting of doubt about the leadership of Usāmah took place during the life-time of the Prophet (ṣ), bearing in mind all the horrors of their implications, what would one expect to happen after his own demise (ṣ)?!
While Ali (‘a) and those in his company from among the relatives of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) were busy making preparations for the burial of the Prophet (ṣ) after his departure from this life, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb announced his rejection of the notion that the Prophet (ṣ) had already died and threatened to kill anyone who said otherwise.
He did not believe that he (ṣ) had died till Abū Bakr returned from a place outside Medīna called al-Sankh. As mentioned by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, relying on ‘Ā’isha , the latter said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) died when Abū Bakr was at al-Sankh.” Ismā’īl says, “She means the highland.” ‘Umar kept saying, “By Allāh! The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not die!”
‘Ā’isha went on to say, “‘Umar also said, ‘By Allāh! Never did I like anything except that, and Allāh shall send him back, and he will cut off men’s hands and legs.” Abū Bakr came, uncovered the face of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and kissed him.
Then he said, “By my father and mother, you are good alive and dead! By Allāh Who holds my soul in His hand, Allāh shall never permit you to taste death twice,” then he left as he said, “O one who keeps swearing [meaning ‘Umar]! Do calm down!”50
As for the Ansār, they met at their shed, that is, “the Saqīfa of Banī Sā’idah,” and nominated Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah to succeed the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) as the man in charge. When senior Muhājirūn (i.e. Abū Bakr, ‘Umar and Abū ‘Ubaydah) came to know about it, they immediately went there and announced that they themselves were more worthy of it. An argument arose between the Muhājirūn and the Ansār wherein a dispute erupted.
Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah, leader of the Ansār, stood up and said, “We are the supporters of Islam and its regiment while you, folks of the Muhājirūn, are his kinsfolk. A drummer from among your people has beaten her drum, hence they want to reduce us from our own roots and to hold us back from the matter.”51
Abū Bakr stood up and delivered a speech in which he referred to the merits of al-Muhājirūn, deriving his argument from their descent from Quraysh in order to prove their being more worthy of the caliphate as al-Bukhāri mentions in his Sahīh. “... so Abū Bakr al-Siddiq, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb and Abū ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh went to them. ‘Umar started to talk, but Abū Bakr silenced him.”52
Abū Bakr said, “... No; but we are the princes while you are the viziers. But we are the princes and you are the viziers. And they are the best among the Arabs in status and in lineage53..., and I have recommended for you one of these two men.”54 So they swore the oath of allegiance to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb or to Abū ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh55. One of the prominent Ansārs, namely al-Habāb ibn al-Mundhir, responded to him by saying, ‘No by Allāh, we shall not do that! One of us shall be an amīr and one of you [too] shall be an amīr”56
In another narrative, the Ansār responded thus: “A speaker from among the Ansār said, ‘We are its cultivated stump and anticipated cluster. An amīr should be [chosen] from among us, and an amīr should be chosen from among you [too], O people of Quraysh!’ Voices of dissent rose and there was a lot of fuss, so much so that dissension was feared.”57
When the crisis reached such an extent, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb’s role came. Said he, “Far away it is for two to share one and the same horn! By Allāh! The Arabs shall never accept you as their amirs while their Prophet (ṣ) is not from among you. We have in this the argument against whoever dissents.”
Al-Habab ibn al-Mundhir, one of the Ansār dignitaries, responded to him by saying, “O folks of the Ansār! Unite your views; do not listen to this man’s statement or to that of his fellows, for you are more worthy of this matter.” But the Ansār, meanwhile, disagreed among themselves. Aseed ibn Hadheer, leader of the Aws tribe, who opposed Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah, leader of the Khazraj tribe, went and announced to the Muhājirūn his own support for them, promising them to swear the oath of allegiance to them.
It was then that ‘Umar stood up and said to Abū Bakr, “Stretch your hand so I may swear fealty to you.” ‘Umar swore the oath of allegiance to him and so did some Muhājirūn and Ansār. As al-Bukhāri, who relies on ‘Ā’isha, narrates, ‘Umar took the oath of allegiance for Abū Bakr through threats and intimidations.
He quotes ‘Ā’isha as having said, “Their address was rendered by Allāh as beneficial: ‘Umar scared people. There was hypocrisy among them, so Allāh responded thus to it.”58 At the time, with regard to Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah’s refusal to swear fealty, and he was an old man, al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh saying that ‘Umar then said, “Rather, Allāh did kill him!”59
This much suffices to let the curtain fall down on the Saqīfa stage act of events which concluded with Abū Bakr being inaugurated after a publicly witnessed struggle between the Muhājirūn and the Ansār over the caliphate.
This struggle was tinted by a jāhili attitude as clearly appears from discerning the nature of the arguments between both parties and the arguments which each party used against the other. Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb admitted near the end of his life that swearing the oath of allegiance to Abū Bakr was “a slip, but Allāh protected us from its evil,” according to his own view.60
Everyone knows that Imām Ali (‘a) and all his supporters from among Banū Hāshim and other sahābah, such as al-Zubair, Talhah, ‘Ammār, Salmān, Miqdād, Abū Dharr, Khuzaymah (the man with the two testimonies), Khālid ibn Sa’eed, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Abū Ayyūb al-Ansāri and others, were not present at all during such a swearing, nor did they enter the Saqīfa that day at all because they were all entirely preoccupied with the great calamity: the demise of the Prophet (ṣ) and their performance of the obligation to prepare his corpse for burial and to lay his pure body to rest.
The fellows of the Saqīfa sealed that deal with Abū Bakr; therefore, Ali (‘a) and his followers had no choice except to express their dissent and to refuse to swear fealty as appears from the following narrative by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb: “... We were fully aware of the event when Allāh caused His Prophet (ṣ) to die, but the Ansār disagreed with us, and they assembled in their entirety at the Saqīfa of Banī Sā’idah. Among those who dissented were: Ali and al-Zubair and those with them.”61
Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) saw no result for protesting against them except dissension. He preferred to lose his own right rather than see such a dissension during such circumstances because of the serious perils that surrounded Islam from all directions. There was a danger against Islam from the hypocrites of Medīna and those around them from among the bedouins who felt emboldened after the departure of the Chosen One (ṣ).
Add to this the danger of Musaylamah the Liar, Tulayhah the mischief-maker and Sajāh, the woman of trickery, in addition to the Kaisers and Caesars and others who were lying in ambush against the Muslims.
There were other dangers threatening the very existence of Islam. It was only natural that Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) should sacrifice his right but not obliterating the argument of his being already nominated [by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)] for it. He wanted to keep his right for the caliphate and the ability to argue against those who followed their own way of thinking.
He wanted to do all of this in order not to cause the dissension the opportunity for which the enemies of Islam wished to take advantage of. He, therefore, sat at home and did not go to participate in the inauguration. And so did those with him. This lasted for six whole months.62
Al-Bukhāri narrates another incident. It, too, proves that had Ali (‘a) had the sufficient force to extract his right by force at that time without dissension taking place, he would have done just that. ‘Ā’isha is quoted as having said, “She [Fātima (‘a)] survived the Prophet (ṣ) for only six months. When she died, her husband Ali (‘a) buried her at night. Abū Bakr neither called the adhān nor performed the funeral prayers for her. Ali (‘a) enjoyed prestige among the people during the life-time of Fātima (‘a). When she died, people turned their faces away from him, so he sought to reconcile with Abū Bakr and swear fealty to him.
During those months, he was never willing to do so. He sent a message to Abū Bakr saying, ‘You may come to visit us, provided nobody accompanies you,’ out of his concern that ‘Umar might be present. ‘Umar said, ‘No, by Allāh! You should not enter their house alone.’ Abū Bakr said, ‘Why not?! What do you think they might do to me?! By Allāh! I shall go to visit them.’”63
Imām Sharaf ad-Dīn [Sadr ad-Dīn al-Mūsawi] has interpreted this conduct of Imām Ali (‘a) by saying, “Had Ali (‘a) hastened to swear fealty to them at the time, he would not have driven his argument home, nor would have the argument of his followers, but he combined, in his action, both safeguarding the creed and keeping his own right for the caliphate.
The circumstances then did not permit resistance by the sword, nor debating one argument against another.”64 This fact appears quite clearly when Abū Sufyān tried more than once to persuade him to uphold his right to the caliphate. He said to Imām Ali (‘a), “If you wish, I shall fill the land with cavalry and with infantry to confront them, and I shall block their exit therefrom.”65
But Imām Ali (‘a) refused such type of “assistance” every time because he knew what Abū Sufyān had in mind: igniting the fire of dissension and waging a war after which Islam would never stand on its feet.
Fātima (‘a) passed away while being angry with Abū Bakr because he had deprived her of the inheritance left for her by her father, the Prophet (ṣ). Relying on the authority of ‘Ā’isha, al-Bukhāri quotes the latter as saying, “... Fātima (‘a) daughter of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was to receive the inheritance left for her from the fay’ [property gained as a peace offering from a hostile party] which Allāh had bestowed upon His Messenger (ṣ).
Abū Bakr said to her, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had said, ‘We [prophets] leave no inheritance; what we leave behind is charity;’ therefore, Fātima (‘a) daughter of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) became angry. She dissociated herself from Abū Bakr till she died.
She lived for only six months after the death of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).” ‘Ā’isha adds saying, “And Fātima (‘a) demanded that Abū Bakr give her the share to which she was entitled of the inheritance of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) from Khaybar, namely Fadak, and the Medīna charity, but Abū Bakr refused saying, ‘I shall not leave out anything which the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to do.’”66
Her anger with Abū Bakr was so great that it prompted her to go as far as leaving a will with Ali (‘a) that Abū Bakr should not perform the funeral prayers for her after her demise, nor to even walk behind her coffin. Imām Ali (‘a) buried her pure body secretly at night as al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh, relying on ‘Ā’isha who said, “... Abū Bakr refused that anything should be paid to Fātima (‘a).
Fātima (‘a), therefore, was extremely angry with him, so much so that she dissociated herself from him and never spoke to him till she died. She lived after the demise of the Prophet (ṣ) for six months. When she died, her husband buried her at night. Abū Bakr never called the adhān [to announce her death], nor did he perform the funeral prayers for her.”67
The land of Fadak which Fātima (‘a) demanded is a village in Hijāz which used to be inhabited by some Jews. When the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) commenced the conquest of Khayber, Allāh cast fear in the hearts of those Jews; therefore, they reconciled with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) in exchange for Fadak.
Thus, Fadak became the property of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) because neither cavalry nor infantry was ever involved in its conquest. Then he gave it to his daughter Fātima (‘a) in addition to what the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had owned out of the levy of the khums from Khayber and his own charities. All of these used to be the personal property of the Messenger of Allāh; nobody else had any right in it besides him.
Fātima (‘a), then, according to Abū Bakr’s view, was demanding to get what was not hers. She, according to this view, had to be doing either one of two things without any third possibility:
First: She was ignorant and did not know the rulings applicable to the inheritance of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) (while Abū Bakr knew), or
Second: She was a liar who coveted to take what did not belong to her.
The fact is that both are impossible to attribute to al-Zahra (‘a) for whose anger Allāh used to become angry, the Head of the Believing Women and of the people of Paradise that she was, the lady who was purified by Allāh Almighty from any sin or impurity as has already been stated above. According to what is recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “O Fātima! Are you not pleased with being the Head of the believing women or the Head of the women of this nation?!”68 “Fātima (‘a) is part of me; whoever makes her angry makes me angry”69 “Fātima (‘a) is the Head of the women of Paradise.”70
Even if we submit that Fātima (‘a) was like any other woman and did not have all such distinctions, as the narratives above indicate, her being the daughter of the teacher of humanity and the wife of the Commander of the Faithful Ali (‘a) for whom they testified that he was the most judicious of all, the most knowledgeable, it negates from her any possibility of being ignorant.
This is so because had Fātima (‘a) been demanding what did not belong to her, and that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was not to leave any inheritance, according to the view of Abū Bakr, either her father (ṣ) or her husband (‘a) was supposed to inform her, especially since her anger with Abū Bakr lasted for six months. This was the entire period which Fātima (‘a) lived after the departure of the Chosen One (ṣ) from this world.
But far it is for Fātima (‘a) to be as such. We seek refuge with Allāh against thinking like that of her. When she came to know that Abū Bakr deprived her of her right of ownership of Fadak and the property which Allāh had bestowed upon His Prophet (ṣ) in Medīna, in addition to the khums of Khayber, she (‘a) went to meet him, and he was among a crowd of the Muhājirūn and the Ansār. She delivered a speech which caused the people to burst in tears, a speech from which we would like to quote the following:
... while you claim that we have neither inheritance nor any share; do you wish to implement the judgment of the days of jāhiliyya? Whose judgment is better than that of Allāh for people who have conviction? O folks of Islam! Does the Book of Allāh say that you can get your inheritance from your father while I have no inheritance at all? You will truly then bring about falsehood.
Then she recited the verse saying,
“Muhammad is no more than a Prophet: Many prophets passed away before him. If he died or were killed, would you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, he would not harm Allāh in the least, but Allāh (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Qur’ān, 3:144).
Then she went on to say, “O people of Qayla! Should I thus complain about the injustice of being deprived of inheritance from my father while you see and hear me?” up to the end of that speech.71
Moreover, the meaning of the statement “We [prophets] leave no inheritance” which the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) made does not convey the inapplicability of the laws of inheritance to prophets according to the ijtihād of Abū Bakr. The Holy Qur’ān states the following:
“And Solomon was David’s heir” (Qur’ān, 27:16).
Zakariyya [Zacharias] pleaded to the Almighty to grant him someone who would be his heir, so Allāh granted him Yahya [John the Baptist]:
“... ‘(one who) will (truly) inherit me, and represent the posterity of Jacob, and make him, O Lord, one with whom You are well pleased!’ (His prayer was answered:) ‘O Zakariyya! We give you glad tidings of a son: His name shall be Yahya (John): We have never conferred distinction on any by that name before’” (Qur’ān, 19:6-7).
Hence, the meaning of “... inherit me” in the previous verse does not convey the sense of inheriting his [Zakariyya’s] status as a prophet, for prophethood is not hereditary. Thus, the meaning of “We [prophets] leave no inheritance” in the statement of the Prophet (ṣ) means that prophets do not hoard gold and silver so it may be their legacy after them as do kings and those who seek the life of this world.
With Abū Bakr thus depriving Fātima (‘a) of inheriting the Prophet (ṣ) gave the opportunity to some people to claim that this was the real reason why Ali (‘a) was reluctant to swear fealty to Abū Bakr, not because he (‘a) saw himself as the legitimate claimant to the post of caliph. Had the matter been as such, how do you explain the reluctance of a large number of the sahābah to swear fealty to Abū Bakr while granting their support to Ali (‘a)?
And how do you explain this statement of ‘Ā’isha: “Ali (‘a) sent a message to Abū Bakr saying, ‘You may come to visit us, provided nobody accompanies you,’ out of his concern that ‘Umar might be present”? ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb had nothing to do with the issue of contention regarding the inheritance of the Prophet (ṣ), whereas he played a decisive role in ending the dispute at the Saqīfa in Abū Bakr’s favor.
Moreover, the issue of the inheritance is not considered a stumbling block or a justification under any condition for the refusal of Ali (‘a) and Fātima (‘a) to swear fealty to Abū Bakr or even for their reluctance to do so.
Relying on the authority of [Abdullāh] ibn Abbās, al-Bukhāri has quoted the latter saying that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “One who detests something which his amīr does must be patient, for anyone who deviates the distance of a span from authority dies the death of the days of ignorance [jāhiliyya].”72 And in his Sahīh, Muslim cites the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) saying, “One who dies without the responsibility of a fealty dies the days of jāhiliyya.”73
And in Ahmad’s Musnad, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) is quoted as having said, “Whoever dies without an Imām dies the death of jahiliyya.”74 These three traditions prove decisively that anyone who dies without swearing fealty to an amīr or an Imām dies the death of jāhiliyya. There is no doubt that what is meant here is the Imām obedience to whom is obligatory according to the divine Sharī’ah and nobody else.
Fātima al-Zahrā’ (‘a) passed away without swearing fealty to Abū Bakr. Furthermore, she died while being angry with him, leaving a will that he should not perform the funeral prayers for her nor even walk behind her coffin according to what al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh, citing ‘Ā’isha relating about how Abū Bakr had deprived Fātima (‘a) of her inheritance from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ):
“Fātima (‘a), therefore, was extremely angry with him, so much so that she dissociated herself from him and never spoke to him till she died. She lived after the demise of the Prophet (ṣ) for six months. When she died, her husband buried her at night. Abū Bakr never called the adhān [to announce her death], nor did he perform the funeral prayers for her.”75
How, then, can anyone say that al-Zahrā’ (‘a) did not follow the Prophetic instructions in the previous traditions? Rather, she demonstrated her patience about what she saw and hated of caliph Abū Bakr’s action. She did not obey him. She objected to his caliphate. She was angry with him. And she left a will that he should not perform the funeral prayers for her, nor should he even walk in her funeral procession, something which pointed to the fact that not only did she distance herself from the authority of Abū Bakr for one span but rather many miles!
How can one say, therefore, that Fātima al-Zahrā’ (‘a) died the death of jāhiliyya? But Fātima (‘a), according to the consensus of all Islamic sects, was the Head of believing women, the Head of the women of Paradise, as al-Bukhāri confirmed in his Sahīh, citing the Prophet (ṣ) saying, “O Fātima! Are you not pleased with being the Head of the believing women or the Head of the women of this nation?!”76
Moreover, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to be angry whenever she was angry. This undoubtedly means that Allāh Almighty would become angry whenever she was angry according to this tradition: “The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Fātima is part of me. Whoever angers her angers me (too)’.”77 The Imām (or amīr) obedience to whom is obligatory, and one who does not swear the oath of allegiance to him dies the death of jāhiliyya, is surely neither Abū Bakr, nor Mu’āwiyah the blood-shedder, nor their likes.
When Abū Bakr became sick, he called ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān to his presence and said to him, “Write the following: In the Name of Allāh, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. This is a covenant from Abū Bakr son of Abū Quhāfah to the Muslims.” It was then that he became unconscious. ‘Uthmān, therefore, went on to write the following: “I leave as my successor over you ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, and I do not hide from you anything good.”
Then Abū Bakr regained his consciousness, so ‘Uthmān said to him, “I see that you feared lest the Muslims would dispute if I passed away during my unconsciousness; is that so?” Abū Bakr answered in the affirmative, whereupon ‘Uthmān said, “May Allāh reward you with goodness on behalf of Islam and Muslims.” The writing was kept where it had been.78
It is also narrated that ‘Umar was holding in his hand the sheet on which Abū Bakr named him as his successor on the day of the Saqīfa when he scared people and thus took from them the oath of allegiance for Abū Bakr through his coercion as has already been proven above, taking advantage of the split in the ranks of the Ansār and in the presence of those who held in their hands the legitimate right to be the caliphs and who were busy preparing for the funeral of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
Abū Bakr also played the same role by installing ‘Umar as the caliph after him. It cost him nothing but a little ink. Despite the extreme pain of Abū Bakr’s ailment during the writing of that will, even during his unconsciousness at the time, nobody at all said that Abū Bakr was hallucinating regarding what was written.
Contrariwise, caliph ‘Umar and those who supported him did not hesitate to accuse the Prophet (ṣ) with such a painful word [“yahjur, hallucinating”] when the Prophet (ṣ) asked them to get him some writing material so that a statement would be written for them after the writing of which they would never stray.
Abū Bakr claimed that the reason why he named ‘Umar as the caliph after him was his fear lest dissension should take place after his death. Thus did the Sunnis accept his excuse after he had violated the principle of shūra which they claim should be the principle according to which the Muslims should elect their caliph. You will see later how they also accepted the caliphate of Mu’āwiyah and his son Yazīd after his death although these ascended to power through intimidation and the force of the sword, killing many Muslims in the process, especially the descendants of the pure ‘itra of Ahlul Bayt (‘a).
But the question which we wished to put forth here is this: “Why did the Sunnis refuse the notion that the Prophet (ṣ) did, indeed, name the caliph who was to succeed him as they did accept it from Abū Bakr especially since the dispute about the caliphate at the time of the death of the Prophet (ṣ) was much greater than those when Abū Bakr died, in addition to the clear texts about the importance of referring to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) whenever the Muslims disputed with each other after the departure of the Chosen One (ṣ)? And the caliphate of Ali (‘a)?!”
When caliph ‘Umar was stabbed, he was told that his successor had already been named, so he said, “Had Abū ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh been alive, I would have named him as my successor. And had Sālim, slave of Abū Hudhayfah, been alive, I would have named him as my successor.” Then he said to them, “Some men say that the swearing of fealty to Abū Bakr was a slip from the evil of which Allāh protected us, and that the fealty to ‘Umar lacked consultation, and the issue after me is to be resolved through shūra.”79
Said he, “I have determined your issue to be resolved by a number of early Muhājirūn” whom he named saying, “Call to me Ali (‘a), ‘Uthmān, Talhah, al-Zubayr, Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf and Sa’d ibn Abū Waqqās. If four persons agree [to choose the same person], the remaining two must follow the view of the [first] four. And if the views are split between three and three, you should follow the view of Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf; therefore, listen [to him] and obey...”80
From the above narrative it becomes obvious that caliph ‘Umar arranged for the candidate to be named by Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf. This is a third portrait of the type of shūra which they [Sunnis] advocate... Caliph ‘Umar ordered Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf to require a condition in the candidate for whom fealty would be sworn. This condition is that he should act upon the line of both senior sahābis (Abū Bakr and ‘Umar) in addition to acting upon the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ).
As was expected, the six persons split into two parties: three persons and two candidates. The first three were: Ali (‘a), Talhah and al-Zubayr, and their candidate was Ali (‘a). As for the three in the other party, they were: Sa’d, ‘Uthmān and Talhah, and their candidate was ‘Uthmān. Imām Ali (‘a) rejected the condition of acting upon the line of both senior sahābis saying, “I shall follow the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ) and my own ijtihād,”81 whereas ‘Uthmān accepted the condition, becoming a caliph accordingly.
Al-Bukhāri records a portion of this incident in his own Sahīh. He cites al-Hasūr ibn Makhramah saying, “Abd al-Rahmān [ibn ‘Awf] knocked at my door after a good portion of the night had already lapsed till I woke up. He said, ‘I see that you are asleep. By Allāh, my eyes have not tasted much sleep. Come, call al-Zubayr and Sa’d to my presence.’ I told them to meet him, so he consulted with them.
Then he called upon me and said, ‘Call Ali (‘a) to my presence.’ I invited him [Ali (‘a)] to meet with him. He talked privately with him till the night’s color started to fade. Then Ali (‘a) left him optimistically. Then he said to me, ‘Call ‘Uthmān to my presence.’ I did. He talked privately with him till the call of the mu’athin to the fajr prayers separated them from each other.
Having led the people for the morning prayers, and once the same individuals assembled near the pulpit [of the Prophet (ṣ)], he called to his presence those of the Muhājirūn and the Ansār who were present and also sent messages for the commanders of the troops to meet there, and these were all loyal to ‘Umar. Once they all gathered together, Abd al-Rahmān recited both testimonies [that “There is God except Allāh and Muhammad (ṣ) is the Messenger of Allāh], Abd al-Rahmān said, ‘O Ali! I have looked into the affairs of the people and found no peer among them for ‘Uthmān; so, do not put your own safety to jeopardy.’
To ‘Uthmān he said, ‘I swear allegiance to you according to the Sunnah of Allāh (ṣ) and His Messenger and [the line] of both caliphs [Abū Bakr and ‘Umar] after him.’ Thus did Abd al-Rahmān swear the oath of allegiance to him [to ‘Uthmān], and so did the people.”82
Thus it becomes obvious that when caliph ‘Umar preconditioned for the one to whom people must swear the oath of allegiance to act upon the way of both senior sahābis, in addition to acting upon the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ), he had already determined the caliphate for ‘Uthmān right then because he knew the attitude of Imām Ali (‘a) vis-a-vis this condition in addition to his knowledge that Talhah and al-Zubayr would both side with Ali (‘a) because he had already noticed their stand, which was supportive of Ali (‘a), on the day of the Saqīfa. Add to all the above the fact that ‘Umar had already granted the right to make a preference in favor of Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf, thus it becomes quite clear to you what sort of shūra they claim...
A great deal was said about how ‘Uthmān was assassinated. Many statements and narratives clashed with each other in this regard especially with reference to the group which used to urge others to kill him, the reasons which prompted them to do so and such events reaching their climax with his murder. The most rational explanations are embedded in the practices on the government level, the appointment of provincial rulers who were relatives of ‘Uthmān and the money these used to be given from the State’s treasury. All this prompted critics and rebels to turn against ‘Uthmān.
The famous writer, Khālid Muhammad Khālid, says, “We do not doubt that ‘Uthmān, too, used to realize that most of those who welcomed his appointment for the caliphate, rather than Ali, Allāh glorifies his countenance, wanted to be freed from life’s strictness and stringency from which people suffered for a long period of time and which could have added to their burdens had Ali (‘a) received the matters in his own hands. Through his strict system, exact justice, asceticism and piety, he (‘a) represented an extension of the strictness, justice, stringency and piety of ‘Umar...”83
The hands of the relatives of caliph ‘Uthmān from among Banū Umayyah played havoc with the State treasury to the extent that some people think that the Umayyad government started ruling since choosing ‘Uthmān as the caliph and swearing the oath of allegiance to him.
Here is Abū Sufyān supports this view when he says the following to caliph ‘Uthmān after the latter had received the oath of allegiance: “O Banū Umayyah! Receive it as a ball is received, for by the One by Whom Abū Sufyān swears, I remain optimistic that you (too) will receive it, and it shall be received by your children by way of inheritance.”84 According to another narrative of the same statement, he said, “Receive it as a ball is received, for there is neither Paradise nor Hell...”85
Among those who opposed caliph ‘Uthmān were some of the best sahābah. The most famous of these are: Abū Dharr, may Allāh be pleased with him, Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd and ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir. The said caliph took a very fanatical stand against them, punishing them severely. As for Abū Dharr, he met his death in the [desert of] al-Rabatha as his punishment for opposing [the appointment of] Mu’āwiyah as the provincial governor [then self-declared absolute ruler] of Syria. Abū Dharr resented how Mu’āwiyah was hoarding gold and squandering money at the expense of the Muslims’ wealth. Zayd ibn Wahbah has said, “I passed by al-Rabathah and saw Abū Dharr, may Allāh be pleased with him, so I said to him, ‘What brought you [to such a pathetic condition of banishment] here?’
He said, ‘I was in Syria and had a dispute with Mu’āwiyah regarding the verse saying,
And there are those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend in the way of Allāh (Qur’ān, 9:34).
Mu’āwiyah said that it was revealed about the People of the Book. I said that it was revealed about us and about them; therefore, this was the source of disagreement between him and myself.
He wrote ‘Uthmān, may Allāh be pleased with him, complaining about me. ‘Uthmān wrote me ordering me to go to Medīna. I went there. Many people came to see me as if they never saw me before, so I mentioned this to ‘Uthmān. He [‘Uthmān] said to me, ‘If you wish, you may stay away nearby.’ This caused my present condition. Had they assigned an Ethiopian as an amīr, I would have listened to him and obeyed.’”86
As regarding Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd, the man in charge of Kūfa’s bayt al-māl, his ribs were broken as a result of being beaten by ‘Uthmān’s slave as his punishment because of his objection to the conduct of al-Walīd ibn Mu’eet, caliph ‘Uthmān’s brother by his mother and his wāli over Kūfa following the deposition of Sa’d ibn Abū Waqqās. This son of Abū Mu’eet took money from the Muslims’ bayt al-māl and never returned it.87
As for ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir, he became sick with hernia as a result of being severely beaten by ‘Uthmān’s slave as his punishment for having performed the funeral prayers for Ibn Mas’ūd without informing the caliph of it. Actually, ‘Ammār did so in honor of the will of Ibn Mas’ūd so that the caliph might not perform the said prayers service for him instead.88
Others are many among those who objected to the extravagance of the caliph’s relatives from among Banū Umayyah of the common wealth of the State. Marwān ibn al-Hakam, for example, took a fifth of the khirāj tax of Africa. Refer to more stories about caliph ‘Uthmān in the book titled Khilāfah wa Milookiyyah (caliphate and monarchy) by ‘allāma Mawdoodi.
A profound effect resulted from the anger of the Mother of the Faithful ‘Ā’isha and her objection to caliph ‘Uthmān, even to her instigation that he should be killed such as when she said, “Kill Naathal for he has committed apostasy.”89 She did so after accusing him of altering the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ). This aggravated the revolution against him. Many citizens of Medīna, as well as people who came from Egypt, Syria and Kūfa, gathered and collectively killed him.
After ‘Uthmān had been killed, people went in drones to Imām Ali (‘a) seeking to swear the oath of allegiance to him (as the caliph). They said to him, “This man [‘Uthmān] has been killed, and people have to have an Imām. Nowadays, we find none worthy of such an undertaking besides you.” The swearing of allegiance was completed.
Imām Ali (‘a) wanted to implement justice among the people, establishing equity between those who were weak and those who were mighty. He wanted to establish the rulings which Allāh revealed in His Book. Some of them objected. They enticed dissension and gathered troops, publically announcing their rebellion and mutiny against him. This let to many battles the most significant of which were those of the Camel and of Siffīn.
When Mother of the Believers ‘Ā’isha came to know that ‘Uthmān had been killed and that people swore the oath of allegiance to Ali (‘a), she said to ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Kilāb, who informed her of it, “By Allāh! I wish this [heavens] had crashed with this [earth] if, indeed, the matter has been concluded to the advantage of your friend. Woe unto you! Look into what you are saying!” ‘Ubaydullāh said to her, “It is just as I have told you, O Mother of the Faithful!”
She pronounced statements expressing her frustration, whereupon he said to her, “Why should it concern you [so much], O Mother of the Faithful?! By Allāh, I know nobody more worthy of it [caliphate] than him [than Ali (‘a)]; so, why do you hate for him to be the caliph?” The Mother of the Faithful cried out, “Take me back! Take me back!” She returned to Medīna saying, “‘Uthmān, by Allāh, was killed unjustly. By Allāh! I shall seek revenge for the shedding of his blood!”
‘Ubaydullāh said to her, “Why?! By Allāh, the first person to legitimize the shedding of his blood is your own self! You used to say, ‘Kill Naathal for he has committed apostasy’.” She said, “They got him to regret, then they killed him. I have said what I said, and so have they, and my last statement is better than my first.” She went to Mecca and alighted at the Mosque’s door where many people gathered around her. She said to them, “O people! ‘Uthmān has been unjustly killed. By Allāh! I shall seek revenge for his murder.”90
The anger of Mother of the Faithful ‘Ā’isha agreed with the anger of Talhah and al-Zubayr after Imām Ali (‘a) had deposed them from their posts as the wālis of Yemen and Bahrain respectively; therefore, they both reneged from their oath of allegiance to Imām Ali (‘a) and went to Mecca to urge the same Mother of the Faithful to fight Ali (‘a).
They went out accompanied by a huge army under the military command of the Mother of the Faithful in the direction of Basra where a crushing war, known as the Battle of the Camel (harb al-jamal), took place. Victory was on the side of the army led by Imām Ali (‘a), and in it both Talhah and al-Zubayr were killed as well as thirteen thousand Muslims.
All these were the victims of the call ushered by the Mother of the Faithful to avenge the killing of ‘Uthmān. She claimed that the killers had found their way to the Imām’s army. No matter what, was she not supposed to let such issues be decided by wali al-amr especially since Allāh Almighty had ordered her to
“... stay in your houses” (Qur’ān, 33:33)?
And why should she have anything to do with that since ‘Uthmān is a man from Banū Umayyah while she is from [the tribe of] Taym except when there is another reason for her thus marching out?! Although the reality of this incident answers this question clearly, add to it the prophecy of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) about this dissension and his making a reference to those behind it.
For example, Abdullāh [ibn Abbās] has said, “The Prophet (ṣ) stood up to deliver a sermon. He pointed in the direction of the residence of ‘Ā’isha and said, ‘Dissension is right there,’ repeating his statement three times. He went on to say, ‘It is from there that Satan’s horn shall come out.’”91
‘Ammār ibn Yāsir considered obedience to ‘Ā’isha in such a deed as being at the expense of obedience to Allāh, the most Great, the most Exalted One. Ibn Ziyād al-Asadi has said, “... so I heard ‘Ammār saying, ‘‘Ā’isha marched out to Basra. By Allāh! She is the wife of your Prophet (ṣ) in the life of this world and in the Hereafter, but Allāh, the most Praised, the most Exalted One, has tested you in order to see whether you obey Him or you obey her.’”92
Long before this incident, ‘Ā’isha was very well known of being extremely spiteful of Ali (‘a). She could not even bear hearing his name mentioned. Abdullāh ibn ‘Utbah is quoted as having said, “‘Ā’isha said, ‘When heaviness covered the Prophet (ṣ) and his pain intensified, he sought permission of his wives to be treated at my chamber, and they granted him permission.
The Prophet (ṣ) went out assisted by two men, dragging his feet on the ground. He was between Abbās and another man.’” ‘Ubaydullāh went on to say, “I related this to [Abdullāh] ibn Abbās who asked me, ‘Do you know who the other man was?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘That was Ali.’”93
Perhaps what ‘Ā’isha had heard was what Ali (‘a) said to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) in her regard in the incident wherein she was charged. This was the reason for such spite and hatred. ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Mas’ūd has said, “... As for Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a), he said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! Allāh has not placed any pressure on you, and women besides her are numerous, indeed.’”94
The “prince of poets,” Ahmad Shawqi, has described ‘Ā’isha’s spite [towards Ali (‘a)] in poetic verses wherein he addresses Imām Ali (‘a) as follows: “O mountain! The weight that you carry is rejected by other mountains; what load did the Owner of the Camel [‘Ā’isha] throw on you? Was it the effect of ‘Uthmān causing her to grieve? Or was it choking the grief which was never extracted? Such was a rift none ever expected. Women’s schemes weaken mountains, and the Mother of the Faithful was only a woman. What got that pure and exonerated woman out of her chamber and Sunnah was the same spite that remains all the time.”
The summary of this myth is: “A man named Abdullāh ibn Saba’, a Jew from Yemen, pretended to be a follower of Islam during the reign of ‘Uthmān in order to cause mischief to the Muslims. He moved about the main Islamic metropolises in Egypt, Syria, Basra and Kūfa, spreading the “glad tiding” that the Prophet (ṣ) would return to life, that Ali (‘a) was his wasi, and that ‘Uthmān was the usurper of the right of this wasi. Groups from among senior sahābah and tābi’īn such as ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir, Abū Dharr, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah and others. He was able to raise armies to kill caliph ‘Uthmān at his own house.”
Thus does the series of events of this fabricated myth continue till it ends with the Battle of the Camel when Abdullāh ibn Saba’ orders his followers to sneak into the army of Ali (‘a) and of ‘Ā’isha without their knowledge in order to stir a war, and “thus did the Battle of the Camel take place.”95 Sayyid Murtadha al-’Askari96, who stood to expose the fallacy of this imagined myth, states that “The person who fabricated this personality [Abdullāh ibn Saba’] is Sayf ibn ‘Amr al-Tamīmi al-Barjami al-Kūfi, who died in A.H. 170 (A.D. 786), and from him all other historians quoted it.
Then this fabricated incident gained fame and spread in history books acrossx the centuries and till our time, so much so that it has become one of the famous incidents the authenticity of which nobody doubts. The vast majority of writers and historians in the East as well as Orientalists have been blinded to the fact that this incident was the brainchild of one single narrator, a lone individual who acted on his own, and that this narrator, namely Sayf ibn ‘Amr, is very well known by ancient scholars of hadīth as a fabricator and is even accused of being an unbeliever.
Ibn Dāwūd says the following about him: “He is nothing; he is a liar.” Ibn Abd al-Birr says, “Sayf is rejected. We have cited his tradition only to inform you of it.” Al-Nisā’i says this about him: “His traditions are weak. He is not trusted, and nobody has any faith in him.”Yet this same lying narrator is quoted by al-Tabari, Ibn ‘Asākir, Ibn Abū Bakr, etc., and al-Tabari has been and is being quoted by all other writers and historians till our time.97
It is well known that incidents narrated by one single person do not satisfy the scientific thinking, nor can they be used as evidence. How is it, then, when this same narrator is not trusted and was famous for being a liar and an unbeliever? Can his narrative be accepted? How can one accept to pass a judgment against a large segment of the Muslims by simply relying on incidents related by lone individuals who have been proven to be liars while there are ahadīth that are consecutively reported [mutawātir] from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) which prove the opposite?
One of the greatest historical farces is to attribute Shī’ism to a mythical man, namely Abdullāh ibn Saba’, claiming he was the one who disseminated the concept of “Ali (‘a) the wasi” despite the existence of a huge number of authentic texts proving that Shī’ism has always been to follow Muhammad (ṣ) and nobody else.
Refer to the Imāmate texts on the previous pages to see where this Abdullāh ibn Saba’ fits. Is Abdullāh ibn Saba’ the one who said, “I am leaving among you that which, if you uphold them, you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my ‘itrat, my Ahlul Bayt”? Or is he the one who said, “Anyone who has accepted me as his master, Ali is his master”? Or is he the one who said that the Imāms are twelve in number?
What a ridiculous tale it is that says that a Jew has come from Yemen to hypocritically declare his acceptance of Islam then carries out all these extra-ordinary deeds which reach the limit of getting Muslim armies to battle each other without anyone discovering his true identity?! Is it reasonable to accept that Imām Ali (‘a), about whom the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “I am the city of wisdom and Ali is its gate,” fall a victim to the trickery of this Jew? Surely one who says so has strayed far, far away from the right track.
Having achieved victory in the Battle of the Camel, the Imām (‘a) concentrated the effort of his army to eliminate the opposition led by Mu’āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān in Syria. Both armies stood face to face near the Euphrates. The Imām (‘a) tried to correct the situation through peaceful means, but the answer given by Mu’āwiyah to the deputation sent to him by the Imam (‘a) was this: “Get away from me, for I have nothing for you except the sword.”98
Thus, both armies were engaged in battle. When signs of victory for the army led by the Imām (‘a) became clear, Mu’āwiyah staged the “trick of the copies of the Qur’ān”. Mu’āwiyah ordered his soldiers to raise the copies of the Qur’ān on the tips of their lances and swords.
Although the Imām (‘a) stood to expose this plot which was intended to put hurdles in the path of the victory which dawned quite near the army of Imām Ali (‘a), those fighters in his army who were demanding a cease-fire did not respond to his repeated calls, forcing him to accept arbitration.
And the Imām (‘a) strongly protested the choice of Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari as the representative of his army during the arbitration process due to this man’s weakness and the feebleness of his views. Imām Ali (‘a) had said, “I do not see that you should grant Abū Mūsa such an official task, for he is too weak to confront the trickery of ‘Amr [ibn al-’Ās].”99 Ali (‘a) had already deposed Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari from his post as the wāli of Kūfa.
There was a prior plan to raise the copies of the Qur’ān and to coordinate it with a movement supportive of Mu’āwiyah that had sneaked into the Imām’s army and which demanded the acceptance of the arbitration and the choice of Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari [as the negotiator during the arbitration process]. The results of the arbitration, as the Imām (‘a) had expected, came in favor of Mu’āwiyah.
For the latter, the situation started to gradually stabilize in his own interest following this major rebellion and when the caliph of the Muslims was thus disobeyed, hoping he would earn a worldly pleasure of which he always dreamed.
In the past, I used to wonder about this incident in which more than ninety-thousand Muslims from both sides were killed. Whenever I asked [the Sunnis about it], the answer came as a cliche as follows: “It was merely a dissension between two great sahābis. Each of them followed his own ijtihād. The one whose ijtihād was right earned two rewards, while the one whose ijtihād proved wrong earned one. Nobody ought to think about it.
That was a nation that passed by; for it are the rewards of the good deeds which it earned, and for you are your own rewards.” They have other such answers whereby they close any door that may uncover the causes of this “dissension”, as they call it.
Thus does this issue remain according to Ahl al-Sunnah suspended like a mysterious riddle without a solution. This opened the door wide for Orientalist scholars to state their own views about our religion, so much so that some of them claimed that there is contradiction in Islam, pointing out to the tradition of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) wherein he said, “If two Muslims face each other with their swords in hand, both the killer and the killed shall be lodged in hell.”
This tradition contradicts the claim of the Sunnis that both parties during the Battle of Siffīn were Muslim, and their commanders were great sahābis! So, why such insistence on refusing to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong? Why should the truth not be said? Is it really that ambiguous?
Anyhow, anyone who is confused about the truth regarding Mu’āwiyah must carefully discern the following proofs, and let the reader issue his own judgment after that:
In his Sahīh, Muslim cites the following statement of Ali (‘a): “I swear by the One Who created the seed and initiated the breeze that the Ummi Prophet (ṣ) pledged that nobody except a believer loves me, and nobody except a hypocrite hates me.”100 So, what would you say about one who raises armies to fight him (‘a)?! And what is the judgment of Ahl al-Sunnah regarding one who disobeys the Imām of the Muslims obedience to whom is obligatory?
In al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, there are references pointing to the oppression committed by Mu’āwiyah. Abū Sa’eed al-Khudri is quoted as having said, “We were once carrying the Mosque’s blocks one by one while ‘Ammār was carrying them two at a time. The Prophet (ṣ) passed by him, rubbed the dust from his head and said, ‘What a pity for ‘Ammār! He shall be killed by the oppressive party; ‘Ammār invites them to Allāh while they invite him to the Fire.”101 This prediction of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) proved true when ‘Ammār was martyred as he was fighting under the flag of Imām Ali (‘a) during the Battle of Siffīn.
In Al-Mustadrak ‘Alal Sahīhayn, relying on the authority of Khālid al-’Arabi, the author quotes the latter as having said, “I and Abū Sa’īd al-Khudri met Hudhayfah [al-Yamāni] and said, ‘O Abū Abdullāh! Relate to us what you have heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) say about the dissension.’ Hudhayfah said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Stick to the Book [of Allāh, i.e. the Holy Qur’ān] wherever it goes.’
We said, ‘If people differ with each other, with whom should we be?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘Look up to the group wherein the son of Sumayya [i.e. ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir] is and hold on to it, for he goes where the Book of Allāh goes.’ I heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) say to ‘Ammār, ‘O son of al-Yaqdhān! You shall not die till the oppressive group that lies in ambush kills you.’”102
The oppression and rebellion of Mu’āwiyah were all expected. Since he became the wāli of Syria during the reign of ‘Umar, wealth, authority and mansions which he had built for him followed, and he expanded such affluence during the reign of caliph ‘Uthmān. It was not easy for a man like him to give all of this up. He knew for sure that if Imām Ali (‘a) did not remove him from office, he would at least strip him off all what he had acquired at the expense of the Muslims’ bayt al-māl and that he would treat him on equal footing as he would any other Muslim.
What went on between him and the highly revered sahābi, Abū Dharr al-Ghifāri, during the caliphate of ‘Uthmān also proves what we have stated, that is, he was running after the wares of the life in this world and his squandering of the State’s public funds. The objection of Abū Dharr to Mu’āwiyah’s conduct resulted in caliph ‘Uthmān banishing him to al-Rabathah after having him brought to him in Medīna. Zayd ibn Wahab is quoted as having said, “I passed by Abū Dharr in al-Rabathah and asked him, ‘What brought you to this [desolate] land?’ He said, ‘We were in Syria.
The verse saying
‘And there are those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend in God’s way: Announce a most grievous penalty to them’ (Qur’ān, 9:34)
was revealed. Mu’āwiyah said that it was not revealed about the Muslims but rather about the People of the Book. I said that it was about us and about them as well.’”103
Thus was Abū Dharr punished with banishment despite the testimony of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for him that he was truthful. The Prophet (ṣ) said, “No tree has shaded nor the desert has seen a man more truthful than Abū Dharr”104 This incident makes it clear how Mu’āwiyah tampered with the meaning of the Qur’ān in order to cover his squandering of the nation’s funds, the funds with which he had no right to deal according to his own personal desires. The problem is that al-Bukhāri has stated in his Sahīh what “qualifies” Mu’āwiyah to be a faqīh!
Abū Maleeka has said, “Mu’āwiyah prayed one single rek’a for the witr prayers after the evening prayers, and a slave of Ibn Abbās was in his company. Ibn Abbās came and said [to his slave], ‘Leave him, for he was a companion of the Messenger of Allah’!”105 In another version in the narration of this same incident, he [Ibn Abbās] said that Mu’āwiyah was a “faqih”!106
If you come to know that Mu’āwiyah spent twenty years as “caliph” of the Muslims, and before that he was wāli [provincial governor] over Syria, the reader may imagine the extent to which Mu’āwiyah exercised his own influence on the fabrication and transmission of ahādīth attributed to the Prophet (ṣ) in order to justify his actions. Despite all the efforts which he exerted to cover them up, they have become quite clear in the books of hadīth and history in a way which leaves no room for confusion in getting to know the truth about this “caliph” whom they [Sunnis] also regard as the “commander of the faithful”!
The conduct of Mu’āwiyah with regard to his government and authority has its own roots in his Sufyāni family. His father [Abū Sufyān] said to ‘Uthmān after the latter had received the oath of allegiance, “Receive it as a ball is received, for by the One by Whom Abū Sufyān swears, I remain optimistic that you [Umayyads], too, will receive it, and it shall be received by your children by way of inheritance.”107
According to another narrative of the same statement, he said, “Receive it as a ball is received, for there is neither Paradise nor Hell,” thus pointing out to the true reason why this family pretended to have accepted Islam following the conquest of Mecca and when all Meccans embraced Islam. Look into the following incident to realize what sort of Islam they quite reluctantly embraced:
Abdullāh ibn Abbās has said, “Abū Sufyān said, ‘By Allāh! I remained in humiliation, feeling sure that his [Prophet’s] call would gain the upper hand till Allāh caused Islam to enter my heart against my wish.”108 If Abū Sufyān’s tongue thus admits, imagine what his heart would say had it been enabled to speak about what it contains!
The following is stated by Muslim in his Sahīh: “The Prophet (ṣ) one day sent him [Mu’āwiyah] Ibn Abbās inviting him to come to write something for him. Ibn Abbās found him eating. The Prophet (ṣ) sent him [Ibn Abbās] again to Mu’āwiyah, and Ibn Abbās again found him eating. This took place a third time. The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘May Allāh never cause his [Mu’āwiyah’s] stomach to feel satisfied.’”109
Also in Muslim’s Sahīh is the following text: “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘... As for Mu’āwiyah, he is a penniless and spiritless person.”110 In Ahmad’s Musnad, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) is quoted as having said the following about Mu’āwiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-Ās: “O Lord! Hurl them into dissension headlong, and lodge them into hell,” in addition to many other narratives exposing the truth about “commander of the faithful” Mu’āwiyah, son of the liver-eater, who sealed his deeds in the life of this world by installing his son, the drunkard and the debauchee Yazīd, as “caliph” over the Muslims after him.
Yazīd was then no more than twenty years old. Thus, Mu’āwiyah violated the reconciliation treaty which he had signed with Imām al-Hasan (‘a), actually going against the Commandments of Allāh (ṣ) and of His Messenger (ṣ) as well as violating the “sunnah” of both Shaykhs [Abū Bakr and ‘Umar] and all other traditions discussed by the “Ahl al-Sunnah”.
The last battle waged by Imām Ali (‘a) was that of al-Nahrawan. He fought in it the group which forced him to accept the arbitration in Siffīn but then regretted it a few days later, reneging from its covenant and violating the oath of allegiance to the Imām. Later on, these were called the “Khawāraj” [or Khārijites] or the “Māriqīn”.
He (‘a) scored a victory over them and was getting ready to fight the rebels in Syria following the failure of the arbitration talks, but the Imām (‘a) was martyred at the hands of a member of the Khawārijis named Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muljim who stabbed the Imām (‘a) as he was prostrating during his Fajr prayers at the Grand Kūfa Mosque in the morning of the 19th of the month of Ramadan, 40 A.H. (January 26, 661 A.D.), five years after having taken charge. The Imām (‘a) remained suffering from the attack for three days during which he handed over the Imāmate to his son al-Hasan (‘a), older grandson of the Prophet (ṣ), so that he might carry out after his own demise the duties in leading the nation.
This assignment of the caliphate was not based on the mere fact that al-Hasan (‘a) was a son of Ali (‘a) or on his being the most fit for it, in his own personal view, to be the caliph. Rather, it was done in obedience to the Command of Allāh Almighty Who chose the twelve successors of His Messenger (ṣ), as we have already stated, with Imām al-Hasan (‘a) being the second on the list.
After the martyrdom of Imām Ali (‘a), Imām al-Hasan (‘a) ascended the pulpit and the people of Kūfa swore the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of the Prophet (ṣ) and the Imām of the nation. But this did not last for more than six months.
When the news reached Syria that Imām Ali (‘a) had been martyred, Mu’āwiyah led a large army towards Kūfa in order to personally take charge of the leadership of the Muslims and to force Imām al-Hasan (‘a) son of Imām Ali (‘a) to surrender to him. Imām al-Hasan (‘a) found no alternative to reconciling and signing a treaty with Mu’āwiyah.
As regarding the reasons which forced him to sign such a reconciliation agreement, these were: the disintegration of his army, the internal and unstable domestic situation in Iraq, and the Roman Empire which was looking for an opportunity to attack Islam, having stood ready with a huge army to fight the Muslims.
Had a war been waged between Mu’āwiyah and Imām al-Hasan (‘a) under such circumstances, the winner would have been the Roman Empire, neither Imām al-Hasan (‘a) nor Mu’āwiyah. Thus, Imām al-Hasan (‘a), having opted for peace, removed a very serious danger against Islam. As for the terms of the Reconciliation Treaty, these were:
1. Al-Hasan (‘a) was to hand over the government and the management of affairs to Mu’āwiyah provided the latter should adhere to the Qur’ān and to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
2. Caliphate after the death of Mu’āwiyah should be a right specifically belonging to Imām al-Hasan (‘a). If something happened to him, caliphate would then go to his brother, Imām al-Husayn (‘a).
3. All condemnations and insults against Imām Ali (‘a) should be prohibited, be they launched from the pulpit or from anywhere else.
4. Five million dirhams, which were then present at bayt al-māl in Kūfa, would be put under the supervision of Imām al-Hasan (‘a) and Mu’āwiyah was to send one million dirhams a year from the khirāj tax to Imām al-Hasan (‘a) for distribution to the families of those who were martyred in the battles of the Camel and of Siffīn on the side of Imām Ali (‘a).
5. Mu’āwiyah was to pledge that he would leave all people, regardless of their race or ethnic origin, and not chase or harm them, and he should also pledge to carry out the terms of this Agreement with precision and make the public his witnesses.
But Imām al-Hasan (‘a) was martyred in 50 A.H. (670 A.D.) as a result of his wife, Ju’da daughter of al-Ash’ath ibn Qays, having laced something which she had given him with poison. This wife belonged to a family which followed a course of living and believing contrary to that of the descendants of Imām Ali (‘a). Mu’āwiyah had instigated her to commit this terrible crime by sending her one hundred thousand dirhams and by promising her to marry her off to his son, Yazīd, if she poisoned her husband, Imām al-Hasan (‘a). Mu’āwiyah was elated when he heard about the martyrdom of Imām al-Hasan (‘a).
He saw in it the removal of the greatest hurdle in his way to achieve his objectives, thus firming the foundations of the Umayyad dynasty’s rule. Thus, Mu’āwiyah achieved all of that thereafter and was able to install his pornographic teenage son, Yazīd, over the nation by force. So, where does this fit in the Sunnis’ belief that caliphate must take place through consultation? Did they not reject the texts which mandate the caliphate of the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in the pretext that such Imāmate must be through consultation?
Does this not prove that caliphate, according to their view, is not legitimate if not done through consultation? But why did they consider the “caliphate” of Yazīd as legitimate?! And how did they agree to call him “commander of the faithful”?!
Consider the following so you may view some black pages of our Islamic history. Consider a narrative of glittering glimpses of the life of “commander of the faithful Yazīd son of Abū Sufyān”!
After the demise of Imām al-Hasan (‘a) in 50 A.H.(670 A.D.), the Shī’ahs of Iraq started writing al-Husayn (‘a) to request him to remove Mu’āwiyah from his self-installed post of ruling over the Muslims. But al-Husayn (‘a) stated in his answer to them that he had with Mu’āwiyah a treaty, an agreement, and that he could not violate it.
As for Mu’āwiyah, for the period of twenty years of his rule, he used to prepare to firm the foundations of the rule of his debauchee son, Yazīd, in order to make him a “commander of the faithful”, thus violating his treaty with Imām al-Hasan (‘a) to which he had agreed and, moreover, rejecting and violating what the Sunis had agreed upon, that is, their belief that the selection of a caliph is done through consultation with the condition that he must be righteous and pious.
If you consider all of this, you will see the extent of the crime committed by Mu’āwiyah against Islam and Muslims. His line of action was followed by the rest of Umayyad, Abbāside and Ottoman caliphs most of whom could not be distinguished from the Muslims’ debauchee and corrupt rulers of our time.
After the death of Mu’āwiyah in 60 A.H. (680 A.D.), Yazīd seated himself as the ruler. His palace was a nucleus of corruption and sin. He, according to the admission of all Islamic groups, used to publicly drink wine during his crowded night parties. Among his well recorded statements are shallow poetic verses from which we would like to quote the following:
Musical tones distracted me from the sound of the adhān,
Instead of the hūris, I took to myself an old hag in the chambers.
This does not surprise us. Yazīd was brought up by a Christian governess. He, as described by historians, was a reckless youth, a licentious, extravagant, immoral, short-sighted, off-guard young man who surrounded himself with luxury. He is always reported as having led the Friday congregational prayer service on a Wednesday [rather than Friday] and led the fajr prayers in four rek’ats [instead of two] because he was quite drunk. Other such incidents are reported about him the narration of which does not serve our purpose.
We have mentioned his violations in order to shed a light on the circumstances during which Imām al-Husayn (‘a) saw that an uprising and a revolution were necessary to resurrect Islam and the religious sunan after they had become threatened with distortion and extinction. The objective of Imām al-Husayn (‘a) behind his revolution was not to take control of the caliphate or run after authority, for he knew that the Umayyads were more prepared to secure it for themselves especially after the people of Iraq had reneged, fearing the Umayyads.
In one of his sermons near Karbalā’, Imām al-Husayn (‘a) states the reason behind his uprising as follows: “O people! Whoever sees an oppressive imām permitting what Allāh prohibits, violating Allāh’s covenant after confirming it, behaving contrarily to the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ), ruling among the servants of Allāh (ṣ) with sin and oppression, Allāh will hurl him together with the same person into the Fire.” In another statement, he said, “O people! They [Umayyads] obeyed Satan, disobeyed the most Merciful One, caused corruption in the land, suspended the implementation of the sunan, took to themselves what belonged to the Muslims, permitted what Allāh prohibits, forbade what Allāh permits, and I, more than anyone else, am more worthy of opposing them.”
When Imām al-Husayn (‘a) came to know about the reneging and violation of the covenant with him which took place in Kūfa, he gathered his companions and family members, who were in his company, and frankly said the following to them: “Our Shī’ahs have betrayed us. Anyone who likes to go away may do so; he is not obligated to us.” They dispersed from him right and left, so much so that only those who had come with him from Mecca and Medīna stayed. But Imām al-Husayn (‘a) kept upholding his decision and in the same determination whereby he set out from Mecca the Venerable.
As described by a poet, his condition was: “If the religion of Muhammad (ṣ) cannot stay straight except if I am killed, then take me, O swords!” He met with ‘Umar ibn Sa’d, commander of the army sent to fight him by the provincial governor of Kūfa,’Ubaydullāh ibn Ziyād, who was appointed by the Umayyad “caliph”, Yazīd, which was made up of thirty-two thousand strong, according to some narratives.
It was only natural for the force of the army of Yazīd son of Mu’āwiyah to be able to kill such a small numbered band. On that day, the tragedy of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) was personified, how they were wronged, in the most clear way. Yazīd son of Mu’āwiyah, in this massacre, was paying the “reward” which the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had required him:
“Say: ‘I ask no reward of you for this [Islamic creed] except love for my near in kin’” (Qur’ān, 42:23)
... History narrates tragic scenes too difficult for anyone to describe as they were in reality.
One of them is the tragedy of the infant son of Imām Husayn (‘a), namely Abdullāh, whom the Imām carried to the battlefield asking for a drink of water for him after a blockade was enforced on Imām Husayn (‘a)’s camp, depriving him of any access to the Euphrates. Thirst, hence, took its heavy toll on them. The Imām carried Abdullāh asking for some water for him and to stir their conscience and human feeling. But they shot the infant with an arrow, killing him instantly. Martyrs from among the followers of Imām Husayn (‘a) and from his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) fell one after the other.
Al-Husayn (‘a) was the last to be martyred in that decisive battle. Yet they were not satisfied with killing the Master of the Youths of Paradise but severed his head from his body then carried it together with the heads of his companions as gifts to the killers, raising them on their spears on their way to Yazīd son of Mu’āwiyah in Syria. Some Muslims keep insisting on calling him “commander of the faithful”...; so, there is no will nor might except in Allāh...!
Having narrated these events, which clearly show the lofty objectives for which al-Husayn (‘a) started his revolution, a revolution which was described by a great Islamist, namely Dr. ‘Amr Abd al-Rahmān, thus, “The martyrdom of al-Husayn (‘a) is a thousand times greater than his staying alive.” But there are those who minimize the value of this great revolution because of their falling victim to the misleading Umayyad propaganda.
Such a propaganda has tried very hard to distort history. And they fell victim to contemptible sectarian fanaticism. They, thus, are forced to adopt such a shameful distortion of the facts such as the statement of so-called “shaikh al-Islam” Ibn Taymiyyah in this sense: “Imām al-Husayn (‘a), in his revolution, caused a dissension in the Islamic nation when he disobeyed the one who was in charge of the affairs of the Muslims”...!!!
If we ask this so-called “shaikh al-Islam” about Mu’āwiyah who disobeyed Imām Ali (‘a) (who was then in charge of the affairs of the Muslims), he will not see in it any dissension, nor will he see any sin in it for them. The same applies to ‘Ā’isha who disobeyed Imām Ali (‘a)... This is nothing but a norm of attempts to openly falsify our Islamic history; otherwise, how can we explain how most Sunnis ignore this historic tragedy in which the descendants of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) were killed in the most horrible and painful way?
All the descendants of Mu’āwiyah and his son, Yazīd, followed in the footsteps of the Umayyads and of the Abbasides. They crushed any opposition to their authority, especially when it came from the Members of the Household of the Prophet (ṣ) who were always pursued with discrimination, banishment, killing and torture.
Such oppression was not confined to the Members of the Household of the Prophet (ṣ) alone. Among the victims of the Umayyad oppression from among those who did not belong to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) was, for example, Abdullāh ibn al-Zubayr. History has recorded the tragic scene inside the precinct of Mecca where Abdullāh ibn al-Zubayr was slaughtered and skinned.
The sanctity of that place which even people during the jāhiliyya period held as sacred and holy and did not permit the slaughter of animals, let alone of humans, inside it. And the Venerable Ka’ba could not help him against the Umayyad rulers when he clung to its curtains.
This same Ka’ba was bombarded with catapults during the time of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān who gave a free hand to his tyrant, al-Hajjāj, to kill people without a just cause. About both men, al-Hasan al-Basri said, “Had Abd al-Malik committed only the sin of [giving a free hand to] al-Hajjāj, it would have sufficed him [i.e. was sufficient for his condemnation].” And ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz said, “Had each nation brought forth its oppressor, and had we [Umayyads] brought forth al-Hajjāj, we would have out-weighed them [in the measure of oppressiveness].”
So, do these deeds qualify their doer to be a Muslim, let alone to being the caliph of the Muslims or the “commander of the faithful”??! Undoubtedly, we nowadays need to take a second look at our history111 and to discern many of its events then ask to speak to us due to their strong ties to sketching the outlines of the Islamic sects to which the Muslims nowadays adhere.
They have in them what helps truly get to know this sect or that away from oppression and injustice. Because of those incidents, the Muslims slipped away from the original Islamic line of Muhammad (ṣ), becoming diverse sects and groups each one of which claims it is the one that will receive salvation. None of us needs to wait for Divine Wahi to tell him the name of this sect. Allāh, the most Great and the most Exalted One, has granted us the mind whereby we can distinguish what is foul from what is good, making it an argument against His servants, prohibiting us from blindly imitating others, saying,
“What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?!” (Qur’ān, 2:170).
He has also said,
“We have sent them admonishment, but most of them hate admonishment” (Qur’ān, 23:71).
He has required us to investigate and research before believing each and every one, saying,
“O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you should harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done” (Qur’ān, 49:6).
The issue of the sahābah and the degree of their justice is one of the most contested issues and the most sensitive. The Sunnis are of the view that ALL the sahābah are fair and just and cannot be charged of any wrongdoing whatsoever. They cannot be criticized or doubted with regard to their views about the traditions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
Thus, Sunnis adhere to everything a sahābi narrates. According to the Sunnis, as mentioned by al-Nawawi in the Introduction to his Sharh Sahīh Muslim, the sahābi “... is any Muslim who saw the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) even for a moment. This is accurate, and it is the line of Ibn Hanbal, al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, and of all traditionists.”1
As for the Shī’ahs, they are of the view that the sahābah are not all equal in the degree of their justice and equity, and they are liable to be criticized and critiqued, relying on convincing proofs from the Glorious Book and the Purified Sunnah. As regarding the lie that the Shī’ahs consider all the sahābah as unbelievers, in addition to cursing and condemning them, it is an outrageous lie and nothing else. Criticizing a sahābi does not mean calling him unbeliever as some idiots propagate.
If such a criticism is based on convincing proofs, why should anyone be angry, and why such a fuss? Among the sahābah are believers whom Allāh praised in the Holy Qur’ān saying,
“Allāh was pleased with the believers when they swore fealty to you [O Muhammad!] under the tree [at Hudaybiya]: He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down tranquility upon them, and He rewarded them with a speedy victory” (Qur’ān, 48:18).
As ‘allāma Lutfallāh al-Sāfi has stated with regard to this verse, Allāh Almighty specifically meant those who believed from among the attendants of the fealty ceremony under that tree, and [His Pleasure] was not extended to the hypocrites who also attended it such as Abdullāh ibn Ubayy and Aws ibn Khawli, etc.
There is no clue in the verse that it was in reference to ALL those who swore fealty, and it does not indicate the good outcome of all believers who swore it. The verse does not convey any meaning beyond the Pleasure of Allāh with them for having sworn this fealty [to His Messenger]. That is to say, He accepted such an oath, and He rewards for it.
The Pleasure of Allāh with those who swore this fealty does not obligate His Pleasure with them for eternity. The evidence for this is what He, the Almighty, said about them:
“Truly those who pledge their fealty to you [O Muhammad!] do no less than pledge their fealty to Allāh: the hand of Allāh is above their hands” (Qur’ān, 48:10).
Had some of those who swore fealty not renege in his oath, and had the Pleasure of Allāh been with them forever, there would have been no use for this verse of the Almighty:
“... Then anyone who violates his oath does so to the harm of his own soul” (Qur’ān, 48:10).
Among the sahābah were those predicted by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) to revert to pre-Islamic beliefs after the Prophet’s demise and would perish on the Day of Judgment. We know this from the following tradition which al-Bukhāri cites in his Sahīh with the isnād to Sahl ibn Sa’d who said, “I heard the Prophet (ṣ) say, “I shall precede you at the Pool [of Kawthar]. Whoever reaches it will drink of it, and whoever drinks of it shall never taste of thirst. People whom I know and who know me shall meet me there, but a barrier shall be placed between us.” Sahl goes on to say that the statement of the Prophet (ṣ) had additional details. The Prophet (ṣ) would then say, “But they are my companions!”
It will be said to him, “You do not know what alterations [to the creed] they did after you.” The Prophet (ṣ) shall say, “Crushed, may anyone who makes changes (to the creed) after me be crushed.”2 Abdullāh [ibn Abbās] is quoted as having cited the Prophet (ṣ) saying the following to some sahābah: “I shall precede you at the Pool. Some of you, men, shall be raised to me. If I try to hand them [water], they shall not be able to reach me. I shall say, ‘Lord! But these are my companions!’ He shall say, ‘You do not know what they introduced [into the creed] after you.”3
As a testimony to both past traditions which point out to alterations and innovations introduced into the creed, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) compares some of his sahābah to Jewish and Christian nations that altered the Word of Allāh from its rightful place. Abū Sa’īd al-Khudri says that the Prophet (ṣ) has said, “You shall follow the ways of those before you the distance of a span, the distance of a yard, [and so on]. Even if they enter the hole of a lizard, you will still follow them there.” We [the sahābah] said, “The Jews and the Christians?!” He (ṣ) said, “Who else?!”4
And among the sahābah are those about whom the Almighty said the following in His Glorious Book:
“But when they [some sahābah] see some bargain or amusement, they disperse headlong to it and leave you standing” (Qur’ān, 62:11).
This verse was revealed about the sahābah who left the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) delivering his Friday sermon when they heard about a trade caravan that had come from Syria, leaving with him only twelve men from among all the other thousands of sahābah.
Jābir ibn Abdullāh [al-Ansāri] is quoted as having said, “A trade caravan came on a Friday while we were with the Prophet (ṣ). People left save twelve men; thereupon, Allāh revealed this verse:
‘But when they see some bargain or amusement, they disperse headlong to it and leave you standing’ (Qur’ān, 62:11).”
In another narrative, he said, “While we were praying with the Prophet (ṣ), a caravan came carrying foodstuffs. They turned to it, leaving with the Prophet (ṣ) only twelve men; therefore, this verse was revealed:
‘But when they see some bargain or amusement, they disperse headlong to it and leave you standing’ (Qur’ān, 62:11).”
The same number of sahābah remained with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) after all the rest had fled away in the Battle of Uhud, prompting the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) to dissociate himself from their action. Al-Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib has said, “My uncle, Anas ibn al-Nadar, was absent during the battle of Badr, so he said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! I was absent the first day when you fought the polytheists. If Allāh permits me to be present during the fight against the polytheists, Allāh will see what I shall do.’ When the battle of Uhud approached and the Muslims dispersed, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Lord! I seek Your excuse for what these have done,’ meaning his sahābah.” 5
Add to the above what happened during the battle of Hunayn. The flight of the sahābah left a more bitter taste. They numbered in the thousands. The Holy Qur’ān reprimanded them for their abominable action thus: “Assuredly Allāh did help you on many battle-fields and on the Day of Hunayn: Behold! Your great numbers elated you, but they did not avail you at all: The land, for all its vastness, constrained you and you turned back in retreat.
But Allāh poured His calm upon the Prophet and upon the believers and sent down forces which you did not see: He punished the unbelievers: Thus does He reward those without faith” (Qur’ān, 9:25-26).
And among the sahābah were those about whom the Almighty said,
“It is not fitting for a Prophet to take prisoners of war until he has thoroughly subdued the land. You look on the temporal goods of this world, but Allāh looks to the Hereafter, and Allāh is Exalted in might, Wise. Had it not been for a previous ordinance from Allāh, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that you took” (Qur’ān, 8:67-68).
This verse was revealed in reference to a band of the sahābah who were of the view that they should take on the said caravan and what Abū Sufyān’s caravan was carrying, preferring it over fighting when the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) consulted them before the battle of Badr in order to gauge their readiness and will to fight.
And among the sahābah were those who were rebuked by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for their tribal attitude and their jāhiliyya-type attitudes. It also becomes clear from what is narrated by Jābir ibn Abdullāh [al-Ansāri] who said once, “We were invaders in a campaign. Sufyān was once in an army when a man from the Muhājirūn assaulted a man from the Ansār. The Ansāri man said, ‘Who supports an Ansāri man?’ and the man from among the immigrants said, ‘Who supports a Muhājir man?’ The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) heard about it, so he said, ‘What a Jāhili call?!’”6
This jāhili call almost caused a war between both tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj which formed the bulk of the Ansār. ‘Ā’isha is quoted as having said, “... so Sa’d ibn Mu’ath stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! I shall spare you having to deal with him! If he is one of the Aws, we shall strike his neck with the sword. And if he is from among our Khazraj brothers, you shall order us, and we will carry out your order.’
Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah, master of al-Khazraj, who was before then a good man but his [tribal] zeal may have overcome him, said, ‘You have lied, by Allāh! We shall kill him, for you are a hypocrite trying to argue on behalf of the hypocrites.’ Arguing intensified between the Aws and the Khazraj, and the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was at the time on the pulpit. He descended and cooled their anger till they kept silent while he, too, became cool.”7
And among the sahābah were those who hated Ali (‘a) hatred towards whom is a sign of hypocrisy, as we have already stated. Abū Buraydah has said, “The Prophet (ṣ) sent Ali to Khālid [ibn al-Walīd] to receive the khums tax, and I used to hate Ali who had just had his ghusul, so I said to Khālid, ‘Don’t you look at this?!’ When we went to the Prophets (ṣ), I mentioned the same to him. He said to me, ‘O Buraydah! Do you hate Ali?’ I said, ‘Yes’. He (ṣ) said, ‘Do not hate him, for his share of the khums is a lot more than that.’”8
And among the sahābah were those who doubted the wisdom of the decisions of the Prophet (ṣ) as it became obvious when they doubted his wisdom in selecting Usāmah ibn Zayd [as commander of an army]. Some people doubted his leadership. The Prophet (ṣ), therefore, said, “Do not doubt his authority, for you all used in the past to doubt the authority of his father.”9
And among the sahābah were those whom the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) kicked out of his meeting place when they objected to his order to write his last will and who, instead, described him as hallucinating. Sa’īd ibn Jubayr quotes [Abdullāh] ibn Abbās saying, “Thursday! And what a Thursday it was!” Sa’īd went on to say that Ibn Abbās kept weeping till his tears wetted the pebbles. “So I said,” went on Sa’īd ibn Jubayr, “O Ibn Abbās! What is it with Thursday?!”
Ibn Abbās said to him, “The pain [of sickness] of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) intensified, so he said, ‘Bring me a shoulder so I may write for you something after which you shall never stray.’ They disputed among themselves, and there must be no dispute in the presence of a Prophet. They said, ‘What is wrong with him?! Has he hallucinated?! Ask him for an explanation,’ so he (ṣ)said, ‘Leave me alone, for I am better than what you attribute to me.’”10
And among the sahābah were those who quarreled over authority following the demise of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), so much so that some of them went as far as asking for the appointment of two rulers, one from the Muhājirūn and one from the Ansār. This proved they did not relinquish their tribal ways of thinking which had been common during the time of jāhiliyya despite their acceptance of Islam as we explained while discussing the events of the Saqīfa.
Among the sahābah were Abū Hurayra and Mu’āwiyah for whom I dedicated special chapters in other places of this research.
Perhaps the exaggeration of the Sunnis in raising the status of a sahābi stems from the honor of his having accompanied the Prophet (ṣ), but this is not more honoring than marrying his daughter, for Allāh Almighty has said the following about the women of the Prophet (ṣ):
“O consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allāh. But any of you who is devout in the service of Allāh and His Prophet, and does righteous deeds, to her We shall grant reward twice [as much] and We have prepared a generous sustenance for her” (Qur’ān, 33:30-31).
Similarly, He has said the following about the disobedience of the Prophet (ṣ) of ‘Ā’isha and Hafsa: “ If both of you turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; but if you back each other up against him, truly Allāh is his Protector, and [so is] Gabriel and the righteous among those who believe!and the angels too. It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allāh will give him consorts better than you in exchange!who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allāh in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for faith) and fast, previously married or virgins.
O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which stern (and) strong angels are appointed, (angels) who do not flinch (from executing) the commands they receive from Allāh, but do (precisely) what they are commanded. (They will say,) O you unbelievers! Make no excuses this Day! You are only being requited for all that you did!
O you who believe! Turn to Allāh with sincere repentance: In the hope that your Lord will remove your ills and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow!the Day that Allāh will not permit the Prophet and the believers with him to be humiliated.
Their light will shine before them and on their right hands, while they say, “Lord! Perfect our light for us, and grant us forgiveness, for You have power over all things. O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell!a (truly) evil refuge.
Allāh sets forth, as an example to the unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot:
They were (respectively) under two of Our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they benefitted nothing before Allāh on their account but were told, “Enter the Fire along with (others) who enter!” (Qur’ān, 66:4-10).
What we are trying to say is that keeping a lot of company with the Prophet (ṣ) does not necessarily mean a higher degree of imān for such companions, in addition to the past narratives about the companions of the Prophet (ṣ). What is narrated about the wives of the Prophet (ṣ) is similar if not more perplexing and harsh. For example, Ibn Abbās is quoted as having said, “I kept for a whole year trying to ask ‘Umar about the couple of women who disobeyed the Prophet (ṣ), but I kept fearing him.
One day, he went to a house, and when he got out of it, I asked him. He said, ‘They were ‘Ā’isha and Hafsa.’ Then he added saying, ‘During the time of jāhiliyya, we held women as worthless, but when Islam came and Allāh made references to them, we realized that we have some obligations towards them without our having to force them to do anything. My wife and I had an argument, so I became rough with her and said, ‘You are such and such.’ She said to me, ‘Do you say this to me while your own daughter harms [the feelings of] the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)?!’ I, therefore, went to Hafsa and said, ‘I warn you against disobeying Allāh and His Messenger!’”11
‘Ā’isha has also said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had a honey drink served to him once by Zainab daughter of Jahsh, and he stayed with her. I and Hafsa conspired that if he (ṣ) visited either of us, he would be told that he had eaten Maghafir [plant] and that he smelled of Maghafir. When he was told, he said, ‘No, but I had a honey drink at the home of Zainab daughter of Jahsh, and I shall not do so again.’ He (ṣ) asked her to swear not to tell anyone about it.”12
‘Ā’isha also said, “The wives of the Prophet (ṣ) used to form two parties. One of them included ‘Ā’isha (herself), Hafsa, Safiyya and Sawda, and the other included Umm Salamah and the rest of the Prophet’s wives.”13
‘Ā’isha has also said, “I used to feel jealous of the women who offered themselves to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and say, ‘Does a woman really offer himself?!’ When the following verses were revealed:
‘There is no blame on you if you make an offer of marriage or hold it in your hearts. Allāh knows that you cherish them in your hearts, but do not make a secret contract with them except on honorable terms, nor should you sign the marriage contract till the prescribed term is fulfilled. And be informed that Allāh knows what is in your hearts, and take heed of Him, and be informed that Allāh is oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing’ (Qur’ān, 2:235),
I said (to him), ‘I can see how your Lord is swift in fulfilling your heart’s desires.”14
‘Ā’isha has also said, “Hāla daughter of Khuwaylid, sister of Khadīja, sought permission once to visit the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) who recognized how Khadīja used to seek permission, so he was quite upset about it and said, ‘Lord! I hope it is Hāla!’ I, thereupon, felt jealous and said, ‘Why do you still remember one of Quraysh’s old women with red eyes who has for some time been dead since Allāh has replaced her for you with someone better than her [meaning herself]?”15
In yet another narrative, ‘Ā’isha made a reference to Khadīja who distinguished herself from all other wives of the Prophet (ṣ). She believed in the message of the Prophet (ṣ) while people then called him a liar. She offered all her wealth to him when people deprived him of theirs. And he was blessed with children by her. All this explains why ‘Ā’isha was so jealous of her especially since the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to always mention her virtues even after her death, and this contradicts the claim of ‘Ā’isha that Allāh had granted the Prophet (ṣ) a woman better than her [than Khadīja].
‘Ā’isha is also quoted as having said, “I never felt jealous of the Prophet’s wives as much as I felt jealous of Khadīja. Although I never saw her, the Prophet (ṣ) used to mention her quite often. He may slaughter a she-camel then cut the meat into pieces then send them to Khadīja’s friends. I may say to him that it was as though there was no woman in the world except Khadīja, and he would say that she was such and such, and that Allāh granted him children by her.”16
Those who believe in the “justice” of all the sahābah base their belief on their claim that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “My companions are like the stars: Whomsoever you emulate, you shall be guided.” In another such narrative, the wording states: “... If you follow the statements of any of them..., etc.”
Although the Sunnis do not openly advocate that all the sahābah were infallible, yet anyone who claims the authenticity of this narrative must necessarily believe in the infallibility of all of them. This is so because it is not possible that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) should order the absolute emulation, without any term or condition, as this supposed narrative claims, of someone who may disobey him.
Hence, the past traditions which call for a serious reconsideration and contemplation of the “justice” of many sahābis are mostly in reference to those who kept company with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for a long period of time; so, what would you say about the “justice” of those who were labeled as “sahābah” for merely seeing the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) even for one moment? And why should there be such an exaggeration anyway?! Can one acquire “justice” and “piety” by merely seeing the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for one moment, or can it be acquired by obeying the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and emulating him with good intentions and sincerity?
Such a contradiction, which is rejected by sound reason and by the human nature, may become gloriously obvious in the way how some Sunni “scholars”, such as Ibn Taymiyyah, preferred Mu’āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān over the ascetic caliph ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz for no reason except that Mu’āwiyah was a “sahābi” and ‘Umar was a “tābi’i” despite the fact that ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz was very famous for his piety and justice, unlike Mu’āwiyah who was famous for creating the greatest dissension among the Muslims in Siffeen and for disobeying the Commander of the Faithful Ali (‘a) as we have already stated.
Add to this the fame which ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz acquired as the fifth righteous caliph according to the Sunnis themselves, something which by itself proves that Mu’āwiyah was not a righteous caliph at all. Thus, nobody can be called “righteous” only because he was a companion of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
It is useful to ask in this regard: Who occupies a higher degree: those who believed in the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) after having witnessed scores of divine miracles with their own eyes or those who believed in Islam without seeing any of them?! The fact is that I could never see an explanation for such an exaggeration in the degree of “piety” of the sahābah and the publicity for the concept that they were all just except to close the door in the face of anyone who criticizes some sahābis who worked hard to push caliphate away from its rightful owners. Thus, many Sunnis reject all the irrefutable proofs that Ahlul Bayt (‘a) were more fit to be the Imāms of the Muslims for no reason except they believe in the “justice” of all the sahābah. They, therefore, consider anything which these “sahābis” had done as “correct.”
As regarding those who worked hard to disseminate this wrong concept, they did so because they regarded the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a) as posing a danger to their thrones due to their knowledge that those Imāms were right in their claim. There was a need, therefore, to apply a sort of smoke-screen and confusion to such traditions and Qur’ānic verses which highlighted the status of these Imāms (‘a) while raising the status of ALL the sahābah so that the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a) would not have the distinction which qualified them to be the choice of Allāh Almighty as well as that of the majority of the Islamic nation following the demise of the Chosen One (ṣ).
Hence, the wordings and meanings of the above-cited alleged tradition which says that ALL the sahābah are “stars” are modeled after a tradition of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) which says, “The stars offer security for the people of the earth against drowning, while my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) offer them security against dissension [with regard to religious issues]; therefore, if an Arab tribe opposes them, they will differ and become the party of Eblis.”17
One of the most significant negative effects which came as the outcome of believing in the “justice” of ALL the sahābah is the existence of such a huge quantity of erroneous narratives in the books of hadīth. These include what is cited through Jewish and Christian sources and other myths which are all used to cast doubts about the Islamic creed. Such narratives have been accepted and held as being authentic merely because they were narrated by the sahābah despite all the latter’s deeds which can be criticized as we explained about many past narratives.
Shī’ahs believe that “The Qur’ān is the Divine wahi revealed by Allāh Almighty to His greatest Prophet (ṣ) in order to explain everything. It is His eternal miracle which has proven that humans are unable to challenge its oratory and clarity. While it contains facts and sublime knowledge, no falsehood can approach it nor can its words be replaced, changed or distorted. What we recite is the same Qur’ān which was revealed to the Prophet (ṣ). Anyone who claims anything else different from this is a violator or a promoter of falsehood or simply confused, and all these are not on the path of guidance.
It is the speech of Allāh (ṣ) which no falsehood can approach from before it or from behind it.”1 The mentor of traditionists, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Qummi, who is given the title “al-Sadūq” [the truthful], says, “Our belief in as far as the Qur’ān which was revealed by Allāh Almighty to His Prophet Muhammad (ṣ) is concerned is that it is the one in existence among both branches of the Islamic nation [Sunnis and Shī’ahs], and it is what people have in circulation and nothing more. Anyone who claims that we [Shī’ahs] say anything more than this is a liar.”2
The above is underscored by Prof. al-Bahinsāwi, one of the intellectuals of Al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn [the Muslim Brotherhood], who adds saying, “The Shī’ah Ja’fari Twelvers are of the view that anyone who distorts the Qur’ān about which all the nation agrees since the dawn of Islam... The book [Qur’ān] which exists among Ahl al-Sunnah is the same in existence at mosques and homes of the Shī’ahs.” He goes on to say the following in the field of rebutting the claims of Zahir and a-Khateeb: “What is known among the Muslims is that the Qur’ān has never suffered any distortion, and that what we have is all the Qur’ān revealed to the greatest Prophet.”3
As for Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazāli, he says the following in his book titled Difā’ an al-’Aqeeda wal Sharī’ah dhidd Matā’in al-Mustashriqeen (a defense of the faith and the Islamic legislative system against the charges of the Orientalists): “I heard someone at a scholarly meeting saying that the Shī’ahs have another Qur’ān which is more and less than the well known Qur’ān. I, therefore, said to him, ‘Where is this Qur’ān? And why neither mankind nor the jinns have seen a copy of it throughout this lengthy history? And why such a charge is created? Why should there be lies against people and against the wahi?’”4
As regarding the erroneous “traditions” upon which some people may depend and which claim that the Qur’ān has been distorted and which exists among the Shī’ahs in the books of hadīth, these charges are totally rejected. They are indicted and rejected because their likes exist in the books which the Sunnis consider as containing authentic traditions.
Al-Bukhāri has traced a tradition to ‘Ā’isha saying, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) heard a man reciting a [Qur’ānic] chapter at night, so he said to him, ‘May Allāh have mercy on him! He has reminded me of such-and-such a verse in such-and-such a chapter...”5 Of course, nobody can believe what this “tradition” means and which points to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) NOT knowing the Qur’ān in full by heart, or to his having forgotten some of its verses...! Following are proofs that they found a portion of Surat al-Tawba only with Khuzaymah al-Ansāri during the compilation of the Qur’ān according to what al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh:
Zayd ibn Thābit has said, “When we recorded the tablets, I missed a verse from Surat al-Ahzāb which I used to hear the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) recite and which I found with none except Khuzaymah al-Ansāri whose testimony the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) equalled to that of two believers: ‘... Men who proved true to their promise to Allah...’”6
And in another narrative by Zayd ibn Thābit, the latter said, “... So I traced the Qur’ān, collecting its text from sheets, shoulders and leaves and also from men’s memory till I found from Sūrat al-Tawba a couple of verses with Khuzaymah al-Ansāri which I found with nobody else.”7 So, how can one compromise this narrative with the fact that the Qur’ān has been transmitted consecutively?!
And among the numerous traditions recorded by al-Bukhāri and other Sunni traditionists in their books of “Sahīh” (authentic) traditions and “Musnads” (reliable sources) and which openly claim that the text of the Holy Qur’ān is distorted is one narrated about caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, with the narrator relying on the authority of Abdullāh Ibn Abbās as follows: “‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb went out. When I saw him coming, I said to Sa’īd ibn Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nafeel, ‘Tonight, he [‘Umar] will say something which he never said since he became caliph.’ He did not like what I said and responded by saying, ‘What could he tell you what he never said before?’
‘Umar sat on the pulpit. Once the caller to the prayers finished calling the adhān, ‘Umar stood up then sat on the pulpit. He praised Allāh as He deserves then said, ‘Having said what I have said, I am going to make a statement which I am destined to say. I do not know; perhaps I am saying it before my demise. Anyone who understands it and who realizes its significance should disseminate it wherever his destination may be. And if one is afraid he will not realize it, I do not permit him to tell a lie about me.
Allāh sent Muhammad (ṣ) with the truth. He revealed the Book to him. Among what Allāh revealed was Ayat al-Rajm [the verse of stoning], so we recited it, understood it and absorbed it. The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) stoned, and we stoned after him. I am afraid if a long period of time passes by, someone may say, ‘By Allāh we do not find the verse of stoning in the Book of Allāh.’ They will thus go astray by abandoning an obligation mandated by Allāh. Stoning in the Book of Allāh is right against married men or women once the evidence is established, or when there is a pregnancy, or when one confesses it.”8
The other narrative, which is also recorded by al-Bukhāri, explains that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb wished to add that verse which he, according to his claim, was dropped by himself, but he was afraid of what people might say: “‘Umar said, ‘Had it not been for the possibility that people may say that ‘Umar increased the text of the Book of Allāh, I would have written the verse of stoning with my own hand and thus back what instruction the Prophet (ṣ) had had regarding stoning an adulterer in the presence of four witnesses.’”9
As for this alleged “verse,” it supposedly says the following: “As for the mid-aged [sheikh] man or woman, if he or she commits adultery, you should absolutely stone them.”10 Ibn Mājah, too, has narrated the same in his Sahīh. Since we unequivocally believe that the Qur’ān in our hands has never suffered any diminution or addition, caliph ‘Umar must have been confused, and the source of this confusion may be the existence of the stoning verse not in the Holy Qur’ān but in the Torah of the People of the Book as this becomes evident from the narrative of Ibn ‘Umar who says, “A Jew and a Jewess who had committed adultery were both brought to the Prophet (ṣ).
He (ṣ) asked the Jews, ‘What do you do to them?’ They said, ‘We blacken their faces and expose them to shame.’ The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Bring me the Torah and recite it if you are telling the truth.’ They came with a one-eyed man of their own choice whom they asked to recite. When the man came to a certain place in the verse, he put his hand on it. The Prophet (ṣ) told him to raise his hand. When he did, the stoning verse became quite evident. The man said, ‘O Muhammad! They are to be stoned, but we have been hiding it among ourselves.’ The Prophet (ṣ) ordered them stoned.”11
What strengthens the possibility that ‘Umar was confused between the Wise Book of Allāh and the Torah of the People of the Book is what al-Jazā’iri says in his book titled “This is my advice to every Shi’a man”. He says the following: “... and how can such distorted and altered books be recited while the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) rebuked ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb holding in his hand a sheet of the Torah, so he (ṣ) rebukes him saying, ‘Have I not brought it [Islam] to you white and pure?!’? The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not accept that ‘Umar should even look at one page of the Torah.”12
It is also narrated that caliph ‘Umar had also said, “We used to recite the following in the Book of Allāh: ‘If you turn away from your parents, it is apostasy if you turn away from your parents,” or “It is apostasy in you if you turn away from your parents.”13
It is not a secret that neither this verse nor its predecessor exists in the Book of Allāh. As for Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd, it is narrated about him that he used to add both words “al-thakar” (the male) and “al-untha” (the female) to this sacred verse:
“By the night as it conceals (the light)” (Qur’ān, 92:1). ‘
Alqamah has said, “... How does Abdullāh recite ‘By the night as it conceals (the light)’? I recited to him the following: ‘By the night as it conceals (the light), and by the daytime when it manifests itself, and by the male and the female...’ He said, ‘By Allāh! [Thus did] the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) recite it to me; from his mouth to mine.”14
Thus does al-Bukhāri, who records this incident, let us fall into a new contradiction because he also narrates saying that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) ordered the Muslims to learn how to recite the Qur’ān from Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd. For example, a narrative from Ibn ‘Umar says that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to say, “Learn the recitation of the Qur’ān from four men: Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd...,” thus starting by his name, or he said, “Learn the Qur’ān from four men: Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd, Sālim slave of Abū Hudhayfah, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Mu’ādh ibn Jabal.”15
So, how can the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) order us to learn how to recite the Qur’ān from those who do not memorize it very well?! We leave the answer to this question to al-Bukhāri, of course, and to those who follow in his footsteps and who believe everything in his Sahīh.
As for Muslim, the same is found in him, too. ‘Ā’isha is quoted as having said, “From among what was revealed in the Qur’ān this: ‘ten known sucklings.’ The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) passed away and they were still recited as part of the Qur’ān.”16
This claim of ‘Ā’isha contains a clear answer to those who advocate narratives such as these have been fabricated; otherwise, what does she mean when she claims that the recitation of such verses went on despite the death of the Prophet (ṣ)?!
Abū al-Aswad quotes his father saying, “Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari sent a message to those who recited the Qur’ān in Basra, and they were three hundred men. From among what he said to them was this: ‘We used to recite a Chapter which we used to liken in its length and strength to [Sūrat] Barā’a, but I memorized from it only this: ‘Had the son of Adam had two valleys full of wealth, he would have desired a third, and nothing fills the stomach of the son of Adam except dust’.”17
In the book titled Al-Itqān fi ‘Uloom al-Qur’ān by al-Suyūti, it is stated that some narratives indicate that the Qur’ān has only 112 sūras (Chapters), or they add two other chapters: those of Hafd and of Khal’18 or other such narratives from which we believe we have cited enough.
Having stated all the above, is it fit for a Shī’ah to say that the Qur’ān of the Sunnis is incomplete, or it has an addition, due to the narrative advocating the same in their books of hadīth? Certainly not. The consensus of the Sunnis is to say that the text of the Qur’ān has never been altered.
As for the issue of the existence of narratives saying that such a text has been altered and which exist in books of “Sahīh” (authentic) traditions, especially those recorded by al-Bukhāri and Muslim and which the Sunnis have taken upon themselves to accept in their entirety in the pretext that all what is narrated in them is regarded by them as authentic, the interpretation of it is one of two possibilities without the existence of a third: 1) Such narratives are “authentic” but they contain confusion which took place to those who narrated them as is the case with the stoning chapter, or 2) These narratives are not authentic as is the case with the other narratives which we mentioned above. Thus, there is no alternative to reconsidering the labeling of both books by al-Bukhāri and Muslim as the two “Sahīh” (authentic) books.
How can we, then, explain such a rabid campaign undertaken by writers such as Zahir, al-Khateeb and their likes who accuse the Shī’ahs of distorting the text of the Qur’ān because of the existence of weak traditions in their books of traditions which make such a claim and which they themselves reject especially since their likes are many traditions recorded by Sunni traditionists in their “Sahīh” books?! One whose house is made of glass should not throw stones at others’ houses.
One of the lies circulated against the Shī’ahs by some fools is that Shī’ahs reject the Sunnah of the Chosen One, peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him and his progeny, a nonsense beyond which there is no other nonsense. Following we would like to transmit some views of Sunni scholars about the stand of the Shī’ahs with regard to the Purified Sunnah.
In his book titled Al-Imām al-Sādiq (‘a), Shaykh Muhammad Abū Zuhra says, “Consecutively reported Sunnah is to them an evidence in the validity of which there is no contention, and consecutive reporting to them obligates decisive knowledge... Denying the cherished Prophetic Sunnah, which is consecutively reported from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), is apostasy because it means denying the Message brought by Muhammad (ṣ). As regarding denying the use of statements by the Imāms as evidence, it is much less than that; it is regarded as straying from the right path, not apostasy.”1
Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazāli, in his book titled Difā’ an al-’Aqeeda wal Sharī’ah dhidd Matā’in al-Mustashriqeen (a defense of the doctrine and the Sharī’ah against the charges of Orientalists), says the following: “Among these liars are those who propagate saying that the Shī’ahs are followers of Ali (‘a), that the Sunnis are the followers of Muhammad (ṣ), that the Shī’ahs are of the view that Ali (‘a) was more worthy of the [Prophetic] Message, or that it was erroneously diverted from him to others, and all of this is ugly rubbish and shameful fabrication.”
Then he goes on to say, “Shī’ahs believe in Muhammad’s Message and realize the honor of Ali (‘a) in his kinship to this Messenger and in upholding his Sunnah. Like all other Muslims, they see no human being, from the early generations or from the last, greater than the Truthful One, the most Trusted one; so, how can such hallucination be attributed to them?!”2
There is no contention between the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs about the status of the Purified Prophetic Sunnah and that it has to be acted upon, but they have differed [from the Sunnis] about the method of how to transmit such a Sunnah to generations which succeeded the Prophet’s generation or how to verify it. Sunnis suffice themselves by transmitting the isnād of the hadīth by quoting one trusted person who cites any member of the sahābah in whose justice they believe, and they believe in all of them.
To them, the traditions recorded in the Sahīh books of al-Bukhāri and of Muslim are never to be doubted, so much so that these books have become as though they were on par with the Holy Qur’ān in as far as accuracy is concerned; otherwise, what is t he meaning of the vast majority of Sunnis taking upon themselves to accept all what these Sahīh books contain?!
In order to underscore this, let us quote the view of Shaykh Abū ‘Amr ibn al-Salāh in the Introduction to al-Nawawi’s Sharh of Muslim’s Sahīh as follows: “ALL what is decided by Muslim, may Allāh have mercy on him, as being authentic in his book [Muslim’s Sahīh] is absolutely authentic. The same applies to what al-Bukhāri decided in his book as being authentic. This is so because the nation has received such an acceptance, with the exception of those whose contention is disregarded, through consensus.” He adds saying, “The view of an infallible person cannot miss, and the nation in its consensus is [thus] protected against falling into error.”3
As for the Shī’ahs, they precondition, first and foremost, the rendering of isnād of hadīth to any of the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a), basing their argument on the following statement of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ): “I have left among you that which, if you uphold it, you shall never stay: the Book of Allāh and my ‘itrat, my Ahlul Bayt.”4 and also on this verse of the Almighty:
“Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, O members of the family (Ahlul Bayt), and to make you pure and spotless” (Qur’ān, 33:33).
As for the other conditions, the most important among them is to compare the narrative with the text of the Book of Allāh (ṣ) then to look into its context and isnād then compare it with others the decisive tawātur (consecutive reporting) of which has already been fixed and, finally, judging it through reason. Following any narrative which lacks any of these conditions is to be seriously considered and contemplated.
The major ahādīth book with the Shī’ahs are four: Al-Kāfi, Man lā Yahduruhu al-faqīh, Al-Istibsār and Al-Tahdheeb, and all the narratives in these books are subject to investigation [rather than taking them for granted as is the case with our Sunni brethren]. They contain what is lean and what is fat, and Shī’ahs do not consider all the narratives in these books as being accurate, for the Shī’ahs see no book which can be compared with the Book of Allāh in as far as accuracy is concerned as is the case with both Shaykhs, namely al-Bukhāri and Muslim, with regard to their Sahīh books.
For example, in the book titled Masādir al-Hadīth ‘inda al-Shī’a al-Imāmiyya (sources of hadīth according to Imāmite Shī’ahs) by the critic Sayyid Muhammad Husayn al-Jalāli, who classifies the traditions in Al-Kāfi, we read the following: “The number of ahādīth in it is 16,121 of which 9,485 are weak, 114 are good, 118 are confirmed, 302 are strong and 5,702 are authentic.”
This clearly demonstrates how Shī’ah scholars themselves consider thousands of ahādīth in Al-Kāfi; so, where is this “fact” which comes out of the mouths of some liars such as Zahir and al-Khateeb who claim that Al-Kāfi is regarded by the Shī’ahs just as al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh is regarded by the Sunnis, then they claim that its title is ‘Sahīh al-Kāfi”?! This is an outrageous lie which they repeat in their poisoned books with the objective to mislead the reader by labeling weak traditions which they derived from Al-Kāfi or other Shī’ah books of hadīth as “authentic” in order to use this as an argument against them and to indict them...
While some people with vested interested in addition to some liars circulate erroneous rumors by saying that the Shī’ahs prefer their Imāms over the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), as many Sunnis think, I have found, from my research, that the Shī’ahs sanctify the Prophet (ṣ) to a degree that is by far greater than that viewed by the Sunnis. Shī’ahs sanctify the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ) and are of the view that anyone who denies a ruling mandated by the Prophet (ṣ) is an apostate.
They see the Prophet (ṣ) as the very best of the first generations and of the last. They simply regard upholding the Twelve Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a) based on their being the most authentic to transmit the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ). They reject any and all doubts and hearsay about the Prophet’s infallibility. In their view, he is infallible with regard to the matters relevant to the creed and to life, prior to his Prophetic mission and thereafter.
As for the Sunnis, they, too, prefer the person of the Prophet (ṣ) over all early generations and the last, but they see his infallibility limited to theological matters only. These, in their view, are matters related to conveying the Message and nothing more. As for anything less than that, he is like all other human beings: He may be wrong, or he may be right.
Before we rebut the latter view, we would like to show the reader portraits of what the Sunnis believe with regard to the Prophet’s infallibility so that we may clearly and truly see their stand in this regard and from what they regard as the most accurate books next to the Book of Allāh.
‘Ā’isha has said, “... till the truth took him by surprise at the Hira cave. In it, the angel came to him and said, ‘Read!’ (Or ‘Recite!’). The Prophet (ṣ) said to him, ‘I am not a reader.’ [The Prophet (ṣ) went on to say] He took me and covered me till I was exhausted then released me. Then he released me and thrice said, ‘Read!’”
‘Ā’isha goes on to say, “He returned shivering till he entered Khadīja’s chamber and said, ‘Cover me.’ He was covered till fear abandoned him. He then said, ‘O Khadīja! What is wrong with me?’ Khadīja took him and set out to Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn Abd al-Uzza ibn Qusayy, cousin of Khadīja, [son of her uncle] her father’s brother, a man who embraced Christianity during the jāhiliyya, and he used to write in Arabic.
He used to write the Bible in Arabic whatever Allāh wanted him to write, and he was an old man who had lost his eye sight. Khadīja said to him, ‘O cousin! Listen to your nephew!’ Waraqah said, ‘O cousin! What do you see?’ The Prophet (ṣ) informed him of what he saw. Waraqah, therefore, said, ‘This is the same Code which was revealed to Moses! How I wish I could be alive when your people get you out [of Mecca]!’ The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Shall they really get me out?’...”5
Is it accepted by reason that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not know that what was revealed to him was the Prophetic mission and that Waraqah ibn Nawfal, the Christian, was more knowledgeable than him and that he was the one to tell him?!
‘Ā’isha goes on to finish her narrative and to state what is more strange than this and from which the bodies shiver: “... Waraqah then died and the revelation ceased to come, so much so that the Prophet (ṣ) grieved very much. We came to know that his grief took control of him to the extent that many times he used to go to high mountain summits in order to throw himself down from there. Whenever he reached the summit of a mountain in order to throw himself down from it, Gabriel came to him and said, ‘O Muhammad! You truly are the Messenger of Allāh!’ He, therefore, would enjoy some calm, then he would return. If the revelation took too long to visit him, he would do the same. So, if he then went to the summit of a mountain, Gabriel would come to him and say the same to him.”6
And can a Muslim believe that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not know the Qur’ān in its entirety? Look, then, to what al-Bukhāri states, relying on the authority of ‘Ā’isha who said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) heard a man reciting the Qur’ān at the mosque, so he said, ‘May Allāh have mercy on him! He reminded me of such-and-such a verse which I dropped from such-and-such a Sura!’”7
As regarding their claim that it was acceptable to believe that the Prophet (ṣ) used to forget, it is narrated on the authority of Jābir ibn Abdullāh [al-Ansāri] that during the Battle of Khandaq (moat), ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab went to him and said, “O Messenger of Allāh! I was about to perform my prayers when the sun had almost set after a fasting person would break his fast.”
The Prophet (ṣ) said, “By Allāh, you have not then performed it.” ‘Umar goes on to say, “The Prophet (ṣ) went down to valleys in my company. He made his ablution then performed the Asr prayers after the sun had already set, then he prayed the Maghrib thereafter.”8
Abū Hurayra is quoted as having said, “Prayers were called for, rows were prepared standing, so the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) came out to us. As soon as he stood up in his prayer area, he said he had janāba (uncleanness due to seminal discharge), so he said to us, ‘Stay where you are.’ He returned and made his ghusul. Then he came out and his head was dripping. He made the takbeer and we prayed with him.”9
Abū Hurayra is also quoted as having said, “... so the Prophet (ṣ) led our noon prayers in two prostrations [apparently qasr, shortened], then he went to a wooden board in the forefront of the mosque and put his hand on it. Among the people were Abū Bakr and ‘Umar. They felt too much respect for him to ask him about it. People went out quickly.
They said, ‘Were the prayers shortened?’ Among the people was a man whom the Prophet (ṣ) used to call ‘the man with two hands’ and who said to the Prophet (ṣ), ‘O Prophet of Allāh! Why did you shorten the prayers?!’ The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘I did not forget, nor did I shorten them.’ They said, ‘You did, indeed, forget, O Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)!’ He then said, ‘The man of the two hands has said the truth.’”10
Imagine! They go as far as claiming that a Jew was able to expose the Prophet (ṣ) to his magic, so the Prophet (ṣ) imagined doing something which he did not do! And that he had to ask ‘Ā’isha whether the wahi had descended upon him or not! Or he might forget whether he had an intercourse with his wife or not!
‘Ā’isha has said, “The Prophet (ṣ) remained for a period of time imagining that he had cohabited with his wife but he in reality had not. One day he said to me, ‘O ‘Ā’isha! Allāh passed His verdict to me with regard to something about which I sought His verdict. Two men came to me. One of them sat near my foot while the other sat near my head. The one near my foot said to the one near my head, ‘What is wrong with the man?’ He said, ‘He is enchanted.’ ‘Who enchanted him?’, asked the other.
He said, ‘Labeed ibn A’sam.’”11 ‘Ā’isha has also been quoted as having said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was enchanted, so much so that he would imagine doing something which he never did till one day, while he was with me, he kept praying to Allāh then said, ‘Have you felt that Allāh has issued a verdict about something for which I sought His verdict?’”12
Shaykh Muhammad Abdoh rejected these narratives which claim that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had fallen under the effect of sorcery because they contradict this verse:
“The wicked ones say, ‘You follow no one other than a bewitched man’” (Qur’ān, 28:8).
As regarding the Prophet’s control of his carnal desires, al-Bukhāri has stated in his Sahīh a narrative through Abū Hishām saying, “When the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was sick, he kept going in a circle around his women and saying, ‘Where am I supposed to be tomorrow? Where am I supposed to be tomorrow?’ out of his concern for ‘Ā’isha. ‘Ā’isha said, ‘When it was my own turn [to cohabit with the Prophet (ṣ)], he calmed down.’”13
‘Ā’isha has also said, “Whenever the Prophet (ṣ) was about to make a trip, he would cast lots about his women. Anyone chosen by the lot he used to choose to go out with. And he used to divide for each woman her day and night, but Sawda daughter of Zam’ah granted her day and night to ‘Ā’isha wife of the Prophet (ṣ).”
Anas ibn Mālik said, “The Prophet (ṣ) used to spend one hour making a round of his wives in the night and the day, and they were eleven.” Anas was asked, “Was he able to manage all of that?!” Anas said, “We used to talk and say that he (ṣ) was granted the stamina of thirty men!”14
Sunnis claim that the following sacred verses were revealed to rebuke the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for having frowned at Abdullāh ibn Maktoom, who was blind, and that the reason behind his turning away from the man, as the Sunnis narrate, was his being busy talking to ‘Utbah ibn Rabī’ah, Abū Jahl ibn Hishām, al-Abbās ibn Abd al-Muttalib, Ubayy and Umayyah ibn Khalaf inviting them to believe in Allāh and hoping they would embrace Islam.
Ibn Maktoom had asked the Prophet (ṣ) then to recite something from the Holy Qur’ān and to teach him from what Allāh had taught him till hatred surfaced on the face of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) because his speech was interrupted and he said to himself, “These prominent persons would say that he [the Prophet (ṣ)] is followed only by the slaves and the blind,” so he turned away from him and paid his full attention to the folks to whom he was talking.
These verses are:
“He frowned and turned away, because the blind man came to him, (interrupting). But what could tell you that he might grow (in spiritual understanding)? Or that he might receive admonishment, and the teaching would benefit him?” (Qur’ān, 80:1-4).
The Shī’ahs reject this story entirely saying that these verses were revealed about a man from Banū Umayyah, not the Messenger of Allah, who had turned away from that same blind man. ‘Allāma Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai, in his exegesis titled Al-Mizan, has said the following: “These verses are not at all clearly indicative that they were addressed to the Prophet (ṣ).
Rather, it is a mere narrative not directly telling who it implicates. Rather, they contain an indication that someone else [other than the Prophet (ṣ)] is meant because frowning in the face of others is never a habit of the Prophet (ṣ) even with his own enemies who differed with him, let alone the believers who seek more guidance. Moreover, the individual implicated in them is described as paying attention to the rich and turning away from the poor, and this does not fit the Prophet’s gracious manners.
Instead, Allāh has described his manners as being great, saying, even before the revelation of this chapter [Chapter 80 quoted above], ‘You surely are endowed with great manners;’ so, how can anyone believe that Allāh grants him recognition for his great manners at the start of his Prophetic mission then He turns to rebuke him for what he did and speak ill of him such as describing him as courting the rich even when they are unbelievers and turning away from the poor even when they are believers and are seeking guidance.”15
Based on the above-quoted narratives and their likes, the Sunnis derived their belief that the infallibility of the Prophet (ṣ) included only matters relevant to the religion and the message. But Allāh ordered us to emulate His Messenger absolutely and without any term or condition:
“Nor does he say (anything) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him” (Qur’ān, 53:3-4).
Add to this the following verse:
“Take what the Prophet assigns to you, and abstain from what he withholds from you. And fear Allāh, for Allāh is strict in punishment” (Qur’ān, 59:7).
These verses prove that his infallibility is not restricted but absolute. Had it been permissible for the Prophet (ṣ) to err, Allāh would then have ordered us to follow error. This is something from saying it we seek Allāh’s protection.
The infiltration of narratives casting doubts about the infallibility of the Prophet (ṣ), besides their being the work of forgers, so that they may be used to cast doubt about the Islamic creed, may have other reasons as to why they were fabricated, so that they may support the stand of some sahābah, the same sahābah who claimed that the Prophet (ṣ) was “hallucinating” during his last sickness when he asked them to bring him some writing material so he would dictate to them the writing of something after the writing of which they would never stray.
So, it is not odd after that to find some narratives describing one of the sahābah as being right while in its regard the Prophet (ṣ) was wrong, as those who promote such narratives claim. One of them is what is attributed to him regarding the revelation of the verse about the veil after ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb had pointed out to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) the importance of his women being veiled! Anas has said, “‘Umar said, ‘I said: O Messenger of Allāh! The good and the bad persons come to see you.
Perhaps you ought to order the mothers of the faithful to veil themselves.’” According to another narrative, ‘Umar said to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), “Veil your women.” She [‘Ā’isha] said, “He did not; therefore, Allāh revealed the verse of veiling.”16
Also among what the Sunnis attribute to him (ṣ) regarding performing the funeral prayers for the hypocrites, they say it was revealed in support of a stand by ‘Umar after the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had insisted on performing it on [Abdullāh] the son of Ubayy, the hypocrite.
It is narrated that Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar said, “When Abdullāh ibn Ubayy died, his son went to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)! Give me your shirt so I may shroud him in it, and do perform the funeral prayers for him and seek forgiveness for him.’ He (ṣ) gave him his shirt and said to him, ‘Once you are through with him, call the adhān.’ When he finished calling the adhān, he (ṣ) came to perform the funeral prayers for him, whereupon ‘Umar pulled him (aside) and said, ‘Has not Allāh prohibited you from performing funeral prayers for the hypocrites?’
‘Whether you ask for their forgiveness or not, (their sin is unforgivable:) If you ask seventy times for their forgiveness, Allāh will not forgive them because they have rejected Allāh and His Prophet, and Allāh does not guide those who are perversely rebellious’ (Qur’ān, 9:80),
so this verse was revealed: ‘
Nor should you ever pray for any of them who dies, nor stand at his grave, for they rejected Allāh and His Prophet and died in a state of perverse rebellion’ (Qur’ān, 9:84),
so he (ṣ) abandoned the idea of praying for them.”17
In another narrative from ‘Umar himself, he said, “... so I was very surprised at my own daring with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).”18
The truth in that incident is that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was given the option to pray for the hypocrites and to seek forgiveness for them by the token of the verse saying,
“Seek forgiveness for them or do not seek it; even if you seek forgiveness for them seventy times, Allāh will not forgive them” (Qur’ān, 9:80).
The Prophet (ṣ) opted to pray for that particular hypocrite due to the great benefit, tot he anticipated interest and to win the hearts of the man’s own people, the Khazraj, from among whom one thousand men embraced Islam. His prayers (ṣ) for that hypocrite took place before the prohibition had descended.
The verse saying, “Seek forgiveness for them or do not seek it..., etc.” does not convey the prohibition which ‘Umar understood and because of which he objected to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and whom he saw as “wrong”. The revelation of the verse prohibiting praying for the hypocrites does not at all prove that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was wrong in praying for Abdullāh ibn Ubayy, Allāh forbid; so, it would have been wrong had he done so after its revelation and not before.
This incident does not serve a purpose except to demonstrate how wrong ‘Umar was and how strongly he objected to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ). ‘Umar himself admits the same; he is quoted as having said, “I slipped in Islam a slip worse than which I never slipped when the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) wanted to pray..., etc.”19
Similar to it is the incident of accepting blood money from the captives in the aftermath of the Battle of Badr. This verse:
“It is not fitting for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has thoroughly subdued the land. You look on the temporal goods of this world, but Allāh looks to the hereafter, and Allāh is Exalted in might, Wise. Had it not been for a previous ordinance from Allāh, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that you took” (Qur’ān, 8:67)
was revealed, according to the view of the Sunnis, in order to rebuke the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for having accepted ransom from the prisoners of the Badr war instead of killing them at the time when ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb wanted to kill them all, so this verse was revealed supporting ‘Umar’s opinion. They narrate what supports their opinion, statements which they themselves have said then attributed to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) regarding the meaning of the previous verse which contains a threat of a severe punishment. But what was that threat really for?!
The Sunnis narrated saying that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to weep with Abū Bakr who said, “We almost were subjected to a great penalty on account of the disagreement of the son of al-Khattāb, and had a penalty descended, only the son of al-Khattāb would have slipped from it.”20 The truth about this incident is as follows:
The past verse was revealed before the Battle of Badr rebuking the sahābah who preferred the trade caravan and what Abū Sufyān’s trade caravan was carrying over fighting when they were consulted by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) who wanted to see how ready they were and how willing to fight the polytheists.
The prohibition in the verse is not absolute regarding the Prophet (ṣ) taking war prisoners. Rather, it prohibits taking war prisoners without [first] fighting the polytheists, as was the desire of some sahābah who were consulted by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) to either take the trade caravan from them or to fight them. How can it be reasonable to believe that this verse, which threatens those who do not wish to fight, was revealed to rebuke the Prophet (ṣ) who had already killed the polytheists?! Seventy war heroes from Quraysh were killed in that battle.
Due to the large number of ahādīth narrated by Abū Hurayra, I decided to shed some light on his personality. Traditionists have unanimously agreed that Abū Hurayra narrated more traditions about the Messenger of Allāh than anyone else although he did not keep the Prophet (ṣ) company except for one year and nine months or, according to some narratives, three years. The Sahīh books of the Sunnis have included 5,374 traditions of which al-Bukhāri narrated 446.
As for Abū Hurayra himself, he has said, “No companion of the Prophet (ṣ) narrated more traditions than I have except Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar, for he can write and read [whereas I cannot].”21 But all what Ibn ‘Umar transmitted are 722 traditions from which al-Bukhāri quotes only seven and Muslim only twenty...
As for the reason why Abū Hurayra kept the Prophet (ṣ) company so much, he himself answers this question when he says, “They say that Abū Hurayra narrates too many traditions, and Allāh is the One Who promises; and they say, ‘Why do the Muhājirūn and the Ansār not narrate as he narrates?’
My brothers from among the Muhājirūn kept busy making transactions at the market, and my brothers from among the Ansār kept busy by their money being invested, and I was a poor man who kept company with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) in order to fill his belly. So I was present when they were absent, and I remembered when they forgot.”22
He also said, “People say, ‘Abū Hurayra has narrated too many [traditions].’ I used to keep the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) company in order to satisfy my stomach, so that I do not have to eat what is prohibitive nor wear silk nor be served by this man or by that woman. And I used to tie a stone to my stomach on account of acute hunger, although I would recite a verse with me so that he might feed me.
The most kind man to the destitute was Ja’far ibn Abū Tālib. He used to take us to feed us whatever he had in his own house, so much so that he used to bring us a container which had nothing it, so we would tear it and lick what is in it.”23
Abū Hurayra expressed his appreciation of the food charity of Ja’far ibn Abū Tālib by saying the following about him, “Nobody who ever put on sandals, or ride animals, or tread the dust after the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was better than Ja’far ibn Abū Talib.”24
So, what criterion did Abū Hurayra apply in favoring Ja’far ibn Abū Tālib over all other sahābah?!
In his Sahīh, Muslim has narrated saying that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab beat Abū Hurayra when he heard him quoting the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) as having said, “Whoever says, ‘La ilaha illa Allāh’ [there is God except Allāh] enters Paradise.”25
Ibn Abd al-Birr has quoted Abū Hurayra himself saying, “I have brought you traditions which, had I narrated them during the time of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, Umar would have beaten me with the club.”26
The traditionist-faqīh Rasheed Rida has said, “Had ‘Umar’s life-span extended till the death of Abū Hurayra, such numerous ahādīth would not have reached us.” Mustafa Sādiq al-Rāfi’i, therefore, says, “He, meaning Abū Hurayra, was the first traditionist in Islam to be charged [with fabricating hadīth].”
When the Battle of Siffīn took place, Abū Hurayra sided with Mu’āwiyah and was rewarded with plenty of money for doing such a “good job” in narrating hadīth and for supporting the Umayyads. Marwān ibn al-Hakam, for example, used to appoint him as his own deputy in his job as the wāli [governor] of the city. His conditions, hence, improved a great deal.
Ayyūb ibn Muhammad is quoted as having said, “We were once with Abū Hurayra, and he was wearing two beautiful linen garments. He blew his nose, so he said, ‘How can this be?! Abū Hurayra blows his nose while wearing linen?! I remember being the very last one in the distance between the pulpit of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and the chamber of ‘Ā’isha, losing my consciousness. One would come and put his foot on my neck, thinking I am mad. I was not mad; I was only hungry.”27
What is linked to his support for the Umayyads is his deliberately keeping silent about some traditions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) because narrating them would have jeopardized his own life [not just his pocket]. Abū Hurayra himself has said, “I learned from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) two pouches [of ahādīth]. As for one of them, I disseminated it. As for the other, had I disseminated it, this throat would have been cut off.”28
Where does this statement stand in comparison to this following statement by Abū Hurayra himself: “People say that Abū Hurayra has narrated too many traditions. Had it not been for two verses in the Book of Allāh, I would not have narrated a single hadīth:
‘Those who conceal the clear (Signs) and the guidance We have sent down after We have made it clear for the people in the Book!the curse of Allāh, and the curse of those entitled to curse, shall be upon them, except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the truth): I turn to them; for I am oft-Returning, Most Merciful’ (Qur’ān, 2:159-160).”29
From all these irrefutable proofs, the truth becomes quite clear about Abū Hurayra and his “integrity” in narrating hadīth and which makes him similar to the “sultans’ preachers” in our own time. And it becomes quite clear why the Shī’ahs turn away from his traditions: It is their answer to the Sunnis who exaggerate in accepting Abū Hurayra’s traditions, charging anyone who is critical of him.
In the book titled Ikhtisār ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth [summarizing the sciences of hadīth], Ibn Hanbal, Abū Bakr al-Hameedi and Abū Bakr al-Sayrafi are all quoted as having said, “We do not accept the narration of one who tells lies about the traditions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) even if he repents thereafter.”30 Al-Sam’āni has said, “One who tells a lie in one single narrative, all his previous narratives must be dropped.”31
Following we would like to display some of the “traditions” narrated by Abū Hurayra which al-Bukhāri has recorded in his Sahīh:
Let us start with Abū Hurayra claiming that Moses, peace be upon him, gouged the eye of the angel of death!!! Abū Hurayra has said, “The angel of death was sent to Moses, peace be on him. When he said to him [to accompany him], he pushed him back, so he [the angel] returned to his Lord and said, ‘You sent me to a servant who does not want to die.’
Allāh answered him by saying, ‘Go back to him and tell him to put his hand on the back of a bull, for then he will be granted for each hair one more year to live.’ He said, ‘Lord! What after that?’ Allāh said, ‘Death.’ He, therefore, asked Allāh to bring him close to the holy land the distance of a stone’s throw.”32
Abū Hurayra has said, “... It will be said to hell: ‘Are you now full?’ It will say, ‘Is there any more?’ It will then be the time when the Lord, Praised and Exalted is He, would put his foot on it, and it would say, ‘Now, only now, am I full.’”33
Abū Hurayra has said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Our Lord, Praised and Exalted is He, descends every night to the lower heavens during the last third of the night and says, ‘Who is there to plead to me, so I shall grant him? Who is there to seek My forgiveness, so I shall forgive him?’”34
The latest narrative contradicts what the Sunnis believe of Allāh (ṣ) firmly established on the ‘Arsh. His descending to the lower heavens of the night, as Abū Hurayra claims, implies His staying there for the 24 hours of the night and the day on account of the presence of another time of the night in another area of the earth, in various places, since the earth is like a ball! Had Abū Hurayra known that the earth looks like a ball, would he have narrated “traditions” like these?!
Abū Hurayra has also said, “The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘The Children of Israel used to bathe in the nude, so each one of them would look at the other, but Moses used to bathe by himself, so they said, ‘By Allāh! Nothing prohibits Moses from bathing with us except that he has no sexual organs.’ Moses went once to bathe. He put his garment on a rock. The rock rolled down, carrying his garment with it. Moses chased the rock saying, ‘Bring my garment back, O rock! Bring my garment back, O rock!’ till the Children of Israel saw Moses and said, ‘By Allāh! There is no harm in [the body of] Moses!’ He took his garment and started beating the rock [to discipline it!!!].’” Abū Hurayra went on to say, “By Allāh! He asked six or seven other [rocks] to beat that rock with him.”35
Abū Hurayra has also said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘When the call for the prayers is made, Satan would then run away. He would keep farting so that the adhān may not be heard. When the call terminates, he returns till the prayer is held; it is then that he will run away again. Once it is over, he returns and so on. One would keep telling himself, ‘I remember such-and-such! I remember such-and-such [things or people, etc.]!’ He would keep telling himself like that till he does not know how he prayed.”36
In fact, the past “traditions” exist in the books of the Israelites which Abū Hurayra used to quote quite often. This was due to keeping company so much with Ka’b al-Ahbar, the Jew who pretended to have embraced Islam.
About entering Paradise, Abū Hurayra has narrates saying, “I heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) say, ‘A group from among my nation will enter Paradise who are seventy thousand in number; their faces will shine like the moon.’ ‘Akkāshah ibn Muhsin al-Asadi stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! Do pray for me so that Allāh may let me be one of them!’ He (ṣ) said, ‘O Lord! Do let him be among them!’
Then a man from among the Ansār said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! Do pray for me so that Allāh may let me be one of them!’ The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘‘Akkāshah has already beaten you to it!’”37
Abū Hurayra also says, “While we were in the company of the Prophet (ṣ), when I was asleep, I saw myself [in a vision] in Paradise. I found a woman making her ablution beside a mansion. I inquired, ‘To whom does this mansion belong?’ They said, ‘To ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb.’ I remembered then how jealous he is, so I fled away. ‘Umar wept and said, ‘I am jealous only for your own sake, O Messenger of Allāh!’”38
We would like to conclude Abū Hurayra’s “traditions” by citing some fatwas narrated about him and attributed to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) whom he quotes as having said, “If anyone looks inside your house without your permission, and if you threw a rock at him and gouged his eye, you will not then be blamed.”39
As for other “fatwas” from Abū Hurayra, one says that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) has said, “None of you should walk wearing only one single sandal. Let him wear them both or take them off both.”40
It has become necessary to cast a look, though swift, at al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh as the most accurate of all the books of hadīth according to the Sunnis who, on one hand, believe in the authenticity of all what is narrated in it. On the other hand, it contains many narratives by Abū Hurayra and such a huge quantity of the narratives which cast doubt about the infallibility of the Prophet (ṣ) in addition to other such narratives.
Al-Bukhāri recordsahādīth which, according to him, are authentic from among 600,000 (six hundred thousand) traditions, as narrated about him. He himself has said, “I have not included in this book except what is authentic, and what I have not included of such authentic ahādīth is even more numerous.”
The first objection which we have against al-Bukhāri, the mentor, is his reliance on the “justice” of a series of traditionists as the only condition for fixing the authenticity of the narrated hadīth and without considering its context, what meanings it contains, etc. This explains the presence of instability, error and contradiction in many narratives which he has recorded.
Even if the narrator is just, this does not stop him from forgetting a portion of one hadīth which he had heard in addition to the possibility of his narrating the hadīth according to its meaning, not in the wording which he had heard. This causes the hadīth to lose some of its original wording which may have another meaning to which the narrator did not pay attention especially since the series of the narrators is so lengthy and may sometimes include seven or eight persons.
If we add the difficulty of verifying the “justice” of traditionists, especially the hypocrites from among them whose inner secrets are known only to the Lord of all, the greatest fault with al-Bukhāri’s procedure in recording traditions becomes quite obvious. Underscoring this point, Ahmad Amin has said, “Some traditions whose traditions he recorded are not trustworthy. Huffāz (those who know the Qur’ān by heart) have deemed about eight [out of ten] of those quoted by al-Bukhāri as weak.”41
Following are some of the traditions which al-Bukhāri labels as “authentic” (Sahīh) and, as time passed by, the Sunnis adhered to their contents:
Abū Sa’īd al-Khudri is quoted as having said that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), with regard to Judgement Day, said the following, “... so they shall keep falling (into hell) till only those who used to worship Allāh, be they righteous or sinners, remain, and it will be said to the latter, ‘What keeps you while all other people have gone?’ They will say, ‘We parted with him, and we this Day need such parting the most, and we heard a caller saying that all people should join those whom they used to worship; we, therefore, are waiting for our Lord.’
The Mighty One will come to them not in the form in which they saw Him the first time, and He will say, ‘I am your Lord.’ They will say, ‘You are our Lord,’ and only the prophets will speak to Him. One will ask them, ‘Is there between yourselves and Him any sign whereby you identify Him?’ They will say, ‘It is the leg,’ so He will unveil His leg, and every believer will prostrate to Him...”42
Jarīr ibn Abdullāh is quoted as having said, “One night, we were sitting with the Prophet (ṣ). He looked at the moon when it was the fourteenth of the month and said, ‘You shall see your Lord just as you see this [moon], and you shall not be blamed for seeing Him.’”43
Suffices to rebut these past two “traditions” what al-Bukhāri himself records when he relies on the isnād of Masruq who says, “I asked ‘Ā’isha, ‘Mother [of the faithful]! Did Muhammad (ṣ) ever see his Lord?’ She said, ‘My hair stood up on account of what you have said. Where do you stand with regard to three things which, if anyone mentions them to you, he lies? Whoever told you that Muhammad (ṣ) saw his Lord lies. Then she recited the following verse:
‘No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp encompasses all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet He is acquainted with all things’ (Qur’ān, 6:103),’
‘It is not fitting for a man that Allāh should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil or by sending a messenger to reveal, with God’s permission, whatever Allāh wills, for He is Most High, Most Wise’ (Qur’ān, 42:51).”44
‘Allāma al-’Askari says, “The verse saying,
‘Some faces that Day will beam (in brightness and beauty), looking to their Lord’ (Qur’ān, 75:22)
means they look in anticipation for the Command of their Lord [to be lodged in Paradise], that is, they are expecting it. It is like the context of the following verse about what the sons of Jacob who said to their father:
‘Ask the town where we have been’ (Qur’ān, 12:82),
that is, ‘Ask the people of the town.’ Thus, interpreting the verses in the light of their outward meaning leads to Allāh, the most Praised, the most Exalted One, has a body.”45
Among the other Israelite concepts found in al-Bukhāri’s book is one narrated about Abdullāh saying, “A rabbi went to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and said, ‘O Muhammad! We find [in our books] how Allāh will place the heavens on a finger, the trees on a finger, the water and the earth on a finger and all other creation on a finger, then He will say, ‘I am the King!’ The Prophet (ṣ) laughed till his molar teeth became visible on account of testifying to the truth of what that rabbi had said. Then the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) recited this verse:
‘They did not estimate Allāh as He deserves’ (Qur’ān, 6:91).”46
[Abdullāh] Ibn ‘Umar is quoted as having said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘If the sun’s arch comes out, abandon saying the prayers till the sun comes out [completely]. And when the sun’s arch sets, abandon the prayers till it sets, and do not time your prayers with the rising of the sun or with its setting, for it rises between both horns of the devil.’”47
I do not know how anyone can believe such superstitions!
Here is another from Abū Dharr al-Ghifāri who is supposed to have said, “The Prophet (ṣ), when the sun set, said to Abū Dharr, ‘Do you know where it went?’ I [Abū Dharr] said, ‘Allāh and His Messenger know best.’ He (ṣ) said, ‘It truly goes till it prostrates under the ‘Arsh. It will seek permission, and it will be granted permission, and it almost prostrates under the ‘Arsh, so it seeks permission, and it is granted permission.
And it almost prostrates, but it is not accepted from it. It seeks permission, and permission is not granted to it. It will be said to it, ‘Return from where you have come,’ so it rises from its setting place. This is a reference to this verse of the Almighty:
‘And the sun runs its course for a period determined for it: That is the decree of the One Exalted in might, the all-Knowing One’ (Qur’ān, 36:38).’”
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab is quoted as having said, “Have you not come to know that the deceased person is tormented by the living weeping over him?” despite this verse of the Almighty:
“No bearer of the burden (of sins) bears the burden of someone else” (Qur’ān, 17:15).
Abdullāh is quoted as having said, “The name of a man was pronounced in the presence of the Prophet (ṣ). It was said that he kept sleeping till the morning and did not wake up for the prayers. The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Satan urinated in his ears.’”48
Jābir ibn Abdullāh (al-Ansāri) is quoted as having supposedly said, “Put lids over your pots, cover your drinks, close your doors and keep your children at home during the night, for the jinns spread and snatch. Put out the lamps when you go to bed, for the oil lamp’s tape may burn and may cause the house to burn.”49
We find this much of such narratives sufficient, and others are quite numerous, causing a large question mark to be placed before al-Bukhāri and his Sahīh. The first that is based on our proving the error of the common claim that all what is recorded in this Sahīh is accurate is that any tradition in it deserves to be used as evidence simply because al-Bukhāri granted it the adjective “authentic.”
We, therefore, have to cast a second look at the beliefs which were derived based on some of this book’s traditions such as the possibility of seeing Allāh Almighty, His placing His foot in Hell, the infallibility of the Prophet (ṣ) being incomplete, the Prophet (ṣ) not memorizing the entire text of the Qur’ān, Moses gouging the eye of the Angel of Death and many, many such stuff which has occupied a place of prominence and in which [some] people believe despite the doubts and superstitions which it carries and which can be used to level charges against the Islamic faith itself. The same applies to other books of hadīth as well.
As a result, we are obligated to refer to our Islamic history and cast another look at a great deal of what al-Bukhāri and other traditionists have narrated about the status of a sahābi, be he this person or that, especially with the presence of the disputes among these sahābah and which stirred a dissension the results of which are apparent in our own time: the presence of different sects which divided and weakened the Muslims.
It is a woman marrying a man according to an agreed upon dower and for a pre-determined period of time stated in a marriage contract which incorporates all the conditions of a marriage regarded by the Sharī’ah as sound.
Its format is that a woman says the following to the man after they both agree and accept the dower and the period of time: “I married you to myself on such-and-such a dower and for the known period of time” where this period is named exactly. The man’s answer will be: “I accepted”.
Representation in this contract is accepted just as it is in any other contract. According to the terms of the contract, the woman becomes the wife of the man, and the man becomes her husband till the end of the period specified in the contract. They may renew it to a different period of time or even forever if they wish.
The wife has to observe the ‘idda (waiting period) after the period terminates. The duration of the ‘idda will be two months if she still goes through the menstrual cycle; otherwise, it is forty-five days. The child, male or female, born out of a mut’a marriage belongs to his/her father.1
This type of marriage is used to scandalize the Shī’ah because the latter believe in its legality, but the questions here are:
Where did the Shī’ahs come up with this sort of marriage?
Is this sort of legality subject to what a mujtahid deems as permissible or prohibitive?
And what are the proofs for its legality from the Glorious Book and the Purified Sunnah?
In order to answer all these questions, we say that all Muslims, in their various sects, are unanimous in their view that this sort of marriage was legislated in the dawn of Islam. Al-Bukhāri, quoting [Abdullāh] Ibn Abbās, cites the latter saying, “We used to participate in military campaigns with the Prophet (ṣ), and we did not have our women with us, so we said to him, ‘Could we have eunuchs [for sex]?’
But he prohibited us from doing that and later permitted any of us to marry a woman by giving her as simple [a dower] as a garment. Then he recited the following verse: ‘
O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allāh has made lawful for you...’ (Qur’ān, 5:90).”2
The verse saying
“... seeing that you derive benefit [mut’a, enjoyment] from them, give them their prescribed dowers” (Qur’ān, 4:24)
had already been revealed about this type of marriage. Most Sunni scholars of exegesis have explained “enjoyment” in this verse as the mut’a marriage. But Ibn Abbās, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Sa’īd ibn Jubayr read this verse as though it says: “From whoever among them you derive a pleasure for a pre-determined period, you must give them their dowers.”3
Explaining this verse in his Tafsīr, Ibn Kathīr said the following: “It is far-fetched that these should believe in the distortion of the Qur’ān; therefore, it must be intended for interpretation rather than recitation...”4
But Islamic sects differed about the continuity of permitting this sort of marriage, and the problem became: Was the mut’a marriage prohibited or did it remain as is? The following hadīth proves beyond any doubt that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) passed away without having prohibited the mut’a marriage:
‘Imrān is quoted as having said, “The verse of mut’a was revealed in the Book of Allāh (ṣ), so we acted upon it in the company of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), and no verse was ever revealed prohibiting it, nor did he (ṣ) ban it till his death. A man [apparently referring to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb] said according to his own personal view whatever he wanted to say.”5
It is stated in Sharh al-Bāri ‘ala Sahīh al-Bukhāri that the man referred to in the hadīth cited above is caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb.6 This supports what Muslim narrates in his Sahīh relying on the authority of Abū Nadra who has said, “I was with Jābir ibn Abdullāh [al-Ansāri] when someone came to him and said, ‘[Abdullāh] Ibn Abbās and [Abdullāh] ibn al-Zubayr differed with each other about both types of mut’a.’ Jābir said, ‘We did them both in the company of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), then ‘Umar prohibited us from doing them; so, we did not return to doing them.”7
Also in Muslim’s Sahīh, with isnād traced back to ‘Atā’ who has said, “Jābir ibn Abdullāh came to perform the ‘umra. We, therefore, went to his house. People asked him about things, then they mentioned mut’a. He said, ‘Yes, we did perform the mut’a during the time of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and during that of Abū Bakr and of Umar.’”8
Muslim, relying on the isnād of Jābir ibn Abdullāh, also narrated in his Sahīh that the latter had said, “We used to contract mut’a for a handful of dates and flour for a few days during the time of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and that of Abū Bakr till ‘Umar banned it with regard to ‘Amr ibn Hareeth..”9
The story of ‘Amr ibn Hareeth is that a poor woman knocked at the man’s door once pleading to him to give her something to satisfy her hunger, but the man refused to give her anything unless she let him have her way with her, claiming that it was the mut’a marriage. The woman accepted this condition against her will. Caliph ‘Umar came to know about it, so he was very angry. This prompted him to ban it.
Moreover, he decreed to stone anyone who practiced this type of marriage as is clear from a narrative recorded by Muslim in his Sahīh the isnād of which is traced to Abi Nadra. The latter said, “Ibn Abbās used to enjoin the mut’a, and Ibn al-Zubayr used to prohibit it, so I mentioned this to Jābir who said, ‘We used to practice mut’a when we were in the company of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
When ‘Umar came [to power], he said, ‘Allāh makes lawful for His Messenger whatever He wills; so, complete the hajj and the ‘umra and stay away from marrying these women. If a man is brought to me who had married a woman off to a man, I will stone him.’”10
And in al-Tirmidhi’s Sahīh, while quoting Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar who was asked by a Syrian about the mut’a. He said, ‘It is lawful.’ The man said, ‘Your father [‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb] banned it.’ [Abdullāh] Ibn ‘Umar said, ‘Do you see that my father banned it although the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had permitted it, should you abandon the Sunnah [of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)] and follow what my father says?!’”11
The nation’s scholar, Abdullāh Ibn Abbās , was famous with regard to his view that the verse relevant to mut’a was never abrogated. Al-Zamakhshari says the same in his tafsīr titled Al-Kāshif where he cites Abn Abbās saying that the verse of the mut’a is among the fixed ones. In al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, too, there is a testimony to this fact. Abū Jamrah says, “I heard Ibn Abbās being asked about the mut’a of women; he permitted it.
Mawla said to him, ‘Such is done during a harsh circumstance and when there is a shortage of women,’ or something like that, whereupon Ibn Abbās said, ‘Yes.’”12 Both al-Tabarāni and al-Tha’labi, each in his own tafsīr book, rely on the authority of Ali (‘a) saying, “Had ‘Umar not banned the mut’a, nobody would have committed adultery except a wretch,”13 that is, only few would have committed it.
Despite the clarity of all these proofs that are as clear as the midday sun regarding the continuity of the mut’a marriage being halāl, most Sunnis nowadays see the opposite, claiming that the verse relevant to this type of marriage was abrogated. They also differed regarding what [or who] abrogated it. Some of them say it was abrogated by a Qur’ānic verse, while others say that the revocation came from narratives in the Sunnah. We rebut both views with the above-cited traditions the authenticity of which is already fixed and which prove that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) died without prohibiting the mut’a.
As regarding those who say that it was abrogated by this verse:
“... who guard their private parts, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond” (Qur’ān, 23:5-6),
this verse is Mecci (revealed in Mecca) while the mut’a verse is Medenite (revealed in Medīna) [i.e. revealed after the Hijra].
The ruling for the legislation of the mut’a marriage is Medenite, and what precedes cannot abrogate what follows. As regarding those who say the abrogation came from the Sunnah which is narrated about the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), the “traditions” which they claim to be abrogating contradict each other. Some of them say it was abrogated in Khayber, another in Awtas, a third when Mecca was conquered, a forth in the Tabūk campaign, a fifth in the ‘umra of qadā’ and a sixth in Hijjatul-Wadā’ (farewell pilgrimage)...!
The inconsistency of these narratives and their contradiction is a clear proof of their inaccuracy. Add to this the fact that such narratives are no more than transmissions each one of which was related by one single person and do not qualify to abrogate a ruling fixed in a Qur’ānic verse and the legality of which is proven according to the consensus of the Muslims because abrogation cannot take place through one single person’s narrative, and a Qur’ānic verse cannot be abrogated except by another verse of the Qur’ān by virtue of the verse saying
“We neither abrogate any of Our revelations nor cause them to be forgotten without substituting [them with] something better or similar” (Qur’ān, 2:106).
Besides the existence of all these clear texts which prove the legality of the mut’a marriage and that the Prophet (ṣ) never banned it but stayed till caliph ‘Umar banned it during his caliphate, we cannot find a solution for this complex except that caliph ‘Umar followed his own ijtihād in order to achieve a [social] benefit which he, according to his own insight, saw the Muslims of his time and days required him to prohibit the mut’a a civil prohibition, in order to serve a temporal interest, not a religious prohibition, since caliph ‘Umar is greater and is Islamically above prohibiting what Allāh has permitted or incorporating in the religion what has nothing to do with the religion.
He knew that what Muhammad (ṣ) deemed as halāl remains permissible till the Day of Judgment, and what Muhammad (ṣ) deemed as harām remains prohibitive till the Day of Judgment. It has, therefore, to be a civil prohibition, not a religious one. His strict stand vis-a-vis the mut’a marriage is not the first of its kind, for he is known to be tough and harsh in all his affairs and applies his personal ijtihād seeking the higher benefit, in his view, for Islam and the upholding of the Sharī’ah.14
One example of ‘Umar applying his own ijtihād in some ruling and his strictness in their regard is when he ordered the Muslims to perform the nafl prayers during the month of Ramadan (what is known as “salāt al-tarāweeh”) in a congregational manner after it had been performed during the time of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and that of Abū Bakr individually. Relying on the authority of Abū Hurayra, al-Bukhāri states the following: “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘One who stands in prayers during the month of Ramadan out of a firm belief and a sincere desire for rewards, his past sins shall be forgiven.’
Ibn Shihāb said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) passed away and people were thus doing [praying during the month of Ramadan the nafl prayers singly], and it remained so during the caliphate of Abū Bakr and the dawn of the caliphate of ‘Umar, may Allāh be pleased with them both. I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, may Allāh be pleased with him, in a night during the month of Ramadan to the Mosque and saw the people scattered, each praying on his own, each man praying by himself. A man would pray on his own, while others see a man pray so they pray like him.
‘Umar said, ‘I am of the view that if I gather these to pray behind one qāri, it would be better.’ He gathered them all to pray behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b. I went out with him in another night and I saw the people following the prayer of their qāri. ‘Umar said, ‘How good this bid’a (invention in the creed) is! And the one after which they sleep is better than the one after which they stand,’ meaning the one performed at the end of the night is better, and people used to stand for the prayers at the beginning of the night.”15
Even with regard to this same nafl prayer ritual, he [‘Umar] followed his personal ijtihād, increasing the number of its prostrations to twenty. ‘Ā’isha has said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) never increased the number of prostrations over eleven neither during the month of Ramadan nor in any other month.”16
But some of those who were contemporary to caliph ‘Umar, in addition to some naive traditionists after him, when the latter were unmindful of the reason why the caliph banned the mut’a marriage, found it quite serious that he should ban what Allāh had permitted, so they were forced to find a justification for it. They could not find anything other than the claim that the Prophet (ṣ) abrogated it after permitting it, thus falling into confusion, and their statements contradicted each other so much.
Look into the following narrative so you may see the extent of such confusion and contradiction about which we are talking. More calamitous is that those who fabricated the following narrative attributed their fabrication to Ali, peace be upon him:
Al-Bukhāri, in his Sahīh, has stated the following: “Someone said the following to Ali, may Allāh be pleased with him, Ibn Abbās finds no fault with the mut’a of women.’ Ali (‘a) said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) banned it in the Battle of Khayber and banned eating the meat of domiciled donkeys.’ Some people said, ‘If one applies trickery till he has mut’a, his marriage is invalid.’ Some other people said, ‘The marriage is permissible, but the condition is nil.’”17
Had these folks understood the reason why the caliph [‘Umar] had banned it, they would not have had to resort to such an effort and such a confusion. Mut’a has been looked into above from both its theological and historical aspect.
As regarding looking into it from the ethical and social standpoint, its legislation came as a mercy to people and to provide an ease to many, especially to those who travel seeking knowledge, or trade, or jihād, or guard a border..., situations in which a permanent marriage is not possible because of its consequences and requirements which do not agree with the conditions of travelers especially while they are young and the desire in them is fiery.
They face one of two options: They may either remain patient and declare a jihād against their own self, something which brings about a great deal of hardship which may lead to malignant ailments and lethal psychological ills and other harms with which people are familiar. Or they may fall into adultery which has filled the world with corruption and harm.
These reasons are the same that prompted one of the Gulf preachers named Shaykh Ahmad al-Qattan to issue a fatwa to Arab students in the Philippines to practice temporary marriage under a different name which he called “marriage with the intention to divorce.” The condition in this marriage is that the husband intends to divorce his wife without anyone knowing about this intention, that is, that his marriage is in his mind temporary, while according to the knowledge and intention of the wife, it is permanent. The husband divorces his wife at the end of the period which he had in mind.
Although those who invented this sort of marriage admit that it contains lying to the wife and cheating her, and although there is no evidence for it in the Qur’ān or in the Prophetic Sunnah, they justify it in their own legislation by saying that its harm, at any rate, remains much less than the harms of adultery!
Our Shaykh named above issued such a fatwa when he was asked about the mut’a marriage and about Ibn Abbās legalizing it. He answered by saying that this kind of marriage is prohibitive and that Ibn Abbās was wrong in his verdict. He added commenting thus: “Had we followed the scholars’ slips, we would have turned apostates!”
Thus became the bid’a of a “marriage with the intention to divorce”, according to the view of al-Qattan, a substitute for the mut’a marriage which was brought in the Book of Allāh and in the Sunnah:
“Will you exchange what is better for what is worse?!” (Qur’ān, 2:61);
so, there is no power nor might except in Allāh.
As for the mut’a of the hajj, it was practiced by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) who enjoined it in accordance with the verse saying:
“If anyone wishes to continue the ‘Umra on to the Hajj, he must make an offering, such as he can afford; he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This is for those whose home is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque” (Qur’ān, 2:196).
It is described as “enjoyment during the time of Hajj” due to the pleasure of permitting what the ihrām prohibits during the period from both ihrāms (the ihrām for the ‘Umra and the ihrām for the Hajj)18, and this, too, was detested by caliph ‘Umar and which he banned despite the fact that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) died without having banned it. Al-Bukhāri, relying on the authority of Sa’īd ibn al-Musayyab, has stated the following: “Ali (‘a) and ‘Uthmān, may Allāh be pleased with them both, differed with regard to their views about the mut’a. Ali (‘a) said, ‘You only want to prohibit something which the Prophet (ṣ) had personally done.’ When Ali (‘a) saw that, he permitted both.”19
And look into the following hadīth which al-Bukhāri records in his Sahīh and which clearly shows that there were those who followed their own ijtihād with regard to clear statements made by the Prophet (ṣ):
Al-Hakam has said, “I saw both ‘Uthmān and Ali, may Allāh be pleased with them both. ‘Uthmān used to ban the mut’a and ban one from combining both. Ali (‘a) permitted both saying, ‘Labbayk for an ‘umra and hajj!’ He said, ‘I shall never abandon the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ) simply because someone said something.’”20
The “someone” to whom Ali (‘a) referred in his statement above is ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb as we clarified in previous places. As for the excuse of ‘Uthmān with regard to his view, when allegiance was secured for him as the caliph, Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf, as ordered by caliph ‘Umar before the latter’s death, preconditioned on him to act upon the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ) and the way of both sheikhs [Abū Bakr and ‘Umar].
Banning both types of mut’a was considered as part of the way of both sheikhs and to which ‘Uthmān could not apply his own ijtihād; otherwise, he would not have become caliph if he refused to accept that condition. It is consecutively reported about caliph ‘Umar that he has said, “Two types of mut’a which used to be in effect during the time of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and which I now ban,”21 meaning the mut’a of women and of hajj.
This statement by caliph ‘Umar shows that dealing with their own rulings came only from him, not from anyone else. He admits that both types of mut’a were in existence during the time of the Prophet (ṣ), and he does not indicate at all that the Prophet (ṣ) had banned them; rather, he here is admitting banning them himself saying, “... and which I now ban.”
May Allāh have mercy on one who said the following about the previous statement by ‘Umar: “We accepted his testimony [that the Prophet (ṣ) never banned these mut’as] and did not accept his prohibition thereof.”
The fact is that anyone who reviews our Islamic history subjectively and away from fanaticism will find many other rulings (besides those relevant to both mut’as and to the taraweeh) which came to exist out of the ijtihād of caliph ‘Umar and despite the existence of fixed statements by the Prophet (ṣ) which oppose them. But the Sunnis accepted these ijtihād rulings across the centuries thinking they came from the Prophet (ṣ)...!!!
All Islamic groups agree on a man who appears at the end of time to fill the world with justice and equity and establish the government of righteousness over all parts of the earth as a testimony to this verse:
“Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the message (had been given to Moses): My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth” (Qur’ān, 21:105),
and also this verse:
“And We wished to be gracious to those who were being oppressed in the land, to make them leaders (in faith) and to make them the heirs” (Qur’ān, 28:5),
and also this verse:
“They would fain extinguish Allāh’s light with their mouths, but Allāh will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the unbelievers may detest (it). It is He who has sent His Prophet with guidance and the religion of truth to proclaim it over all religions, even though the pagans may detest (it)” (Qur’ān, 9:32-33).
The Chosen One (ṣ) clarified that this awaited man is from among his own family; he (ṣ) said, “The world will not come to an end before the Arabs are ruled by a man from among my own family whose name is similar to mine..., etc.”1
Abū Sa’īd al-Khudri is quoted as having said that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “The Hour shall not come till the earth is filled with oppression, suppression and animosity, then will come out of my family one who will fill it with equity and justice after being filled with oppression and transgression.”2
Abū Hurayra is quoted as having cited the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) as saying, “If only one day remained of the life in this world, Allāh, the most Exalted One, the most Great, would have prolonged it till a man from among my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) rules the Daylam Mountain and Constantinople.”3
Umm Salamah is quoted as having cited the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) saying, “Al-Mahdi is from among my offspring, from the offspring of Fātima (‘a).” The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said that Jesus, peace be upon him, would appear at the end of time and would pray behind al-Mahdi. Abū Hurayra quotes the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) as saying, “How will you be if the son of Maryam (Mary) descends among you and your own Imām is your king?!”4
Al-Hāfidh, in Sharh Sahīh al-Bukhāri, has said, “Narratives are consecutively reported that al-Mahdi is from this nation, and that Jesus son of Mary will descend and pray behind him.”5 The Fiqh Assembly of the Muslim World League (Rabitat al-Aalam al-Islami) issued the following fatwa (verdict) dated May 31, 1976 about the Awaited Mahdi: “Al-Mahdi, peace be upon him, is Muhammad ibn Abdullāh al-Hasani al-Alawi al-Fatimi al-Mahdi, the Awaited One. The time of his appearance is at the end of time, and it [appearance] is one of the signs of the Great Hour.
He shall come out from the west, and he will receive the oath of allegiance in Hijaz, in Venerable Mecca, between the Rukn and Maqam [of Ibrahim], between the Honored Ka’ba and the fixed Black Stone. He will appear when there is a great deal of corruption, when disbelief spreads and when people oppress, and he will fill the earth with justice and equity just as it was filled with injustice and oppression.
He shall rule the entire world and everyone will be his subject, once through conviction and once through war. He shall rule the earth for seven years, and Jesus, peace be upon him, will descend after him and kill the Dajjāl [anti-Christ] or descends with him and helps him kill him at the Ludd Gate on the land of Palestine. And he is the last of the twelve righteous caliphs about whom the Prophet (ṣ) spoke as recorded in the Sahīh books... The belief in the appearance of al-Mahdi is obligatory, and it is one of the tenets of the followers of Sunnah and Jamā’ah and is not denied except by one who is ignorant of the Sunnah and one who brings an innovation into the creed.”6
Hence, Sunnis agree with the Shī’ahs that Imām al-Mahdi (‘atfs) is the last of the Twelve Caliphs about whom the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) gave the glad tidings, and both parties agree on most other points relevant to the Awaited Imām. As regarding their differences in his regard, these are:
First: Most Sunnis believe Imām al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will be born at the end of time, while the Shī’ahs believe he was born in 255 A.H. (869 A.D.) to his father Imām al-Hasan al-Askari (‘a), the twelfth among the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a), but Allah Almighty veiled him from the eyes for a wisdom which He decreed, and he remains alive and will come out at the end of the time.
Second: Sunnis, as in the above-quoted fatwa, believe al-Mahdi (‘atfs) is a descendant of al-Hasan (‘a) and the name of his father is Abdullāh based on a narrative recorded by them: “... His name shall be similar to mine, and the name of his father similar to my father’s,” whereas Shī’ahs believe al-Mahdi (‘atfs) descends from Imām al-Husayn (‘a) and was born to his father al-Hasan al-Askari. (‘a).
The latest narrative they report as follows: “... His name shall be similar to mine, and his father’s name similar to my son’s”, a reference to the Prophet’s grandson al-Hasan (‘a). Some Sunni writers tried to criticize and charge the Shī’ahs for their belief in the birth of the Awaited Imām and in his holding the reigns of Imāmate at the age of five.
This criticism is mostly rendered to fanaticism due to their own conviction. Anything contrary to their conviction or to what they have been accustomed to or have inherited, they immediately pass their judgment on it as “invalid” without looking into the arguments of others. Our response to this is:
First: There are many Sunni scholars who believe al-Mahdi (‘atfs) is Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Askari (‘a), and that he is still alive [and in occultation] till Allāh permits him to come out. They, thus, are in agreement with what the Imāmite Twelver Shī’ahs say. Among these scholars are:
1. Muhyi ad-Dīn ibn al-’Arabi in Futūhāt al-Makkiyya.
2. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi in his book Tadhkirat al-Khawāss.
3. ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Sha’rāni in his book Aqā’id al-Akābir.
4. Ibn al-Khashshāb in his book Tawarīkh Mawālīd al-’Aimma w Wafiyyātihim.
5. Muhammad al-Bukhāri al-Hanafi in his book Fasl al-Khitāb.
6. Ahmad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Balādhuri in his book Al-Hadīth al-Mutasalsil.
7. Ibn al-Sabbāgh al-Māliki in his book Al-Fusūl al-Muhimma.
8. The man of knowledge Abd al-Rahmān in his book Mir’āt al-Asrār.
9. Kamāl ad-Dīn ibn Talhah in his book Matālib al-Su’ūl fī Manāqib al-Rasūl.
10. Al-Qandūzi al-Hanafi in his book Yanābī’ al-Mawadda.
And there are others, too.7
Second: There is no evidence from the Sharī’ah proving the opposite. The occultation of the Awaited Imām has many similar miracles about which the Holy Qur’ān informs us. Noah, peace be upon him, remained in his people for 950 years calling them to the way of Allāh:
“... and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty” (Qur’ān, 29:14).
He, of course, lived longer than that. The Fellows of the Cave remained asleep for 309 years. Allāh Almighty raised Jesus, peace be on him, to Him, saved him from being killed and will send him back to this world at the end of time. Al-Khidir, too, peace be upon him, remains alive veiled from our eyes.
As regrading the tender age of al-Mahdi (‘atfs) when he received the reigns of Imāmate following the death of his father, al-Hasan al-Askari (‘a), the eleventh in the series of the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a), there are similar and even greater miracles than that. Allāh made Jesus son of Mary, peace be upon him, a prophet even as he was a suckling infant in the cradle:
“But she pointed to the babe. They said, ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?!’ He said, ‘I am, indeed, a servant of Allāh: He has given me Revelation and made me a prophet...’” (Qur’ān, 19:29-30).
And Allāh granted authority to Yahya (John the Baptist) while still a child: “‘O Yahya! Take hold of the Book firmly.’ And We granted him wisdom even as a youth” (Qur’ān, 19:12).
If anyone says that these miracles were for the prophets, we say that there is no evidence from the Sharī’ah pointing to miracles coming to a halt after the demise of the greatest Prophet (ṣ). Miracles are not only for prophets. The fellows of the cave were not prophets.
Even the master of devils, Iblis, Allāh extended his life-span till the Hour. On the other hand, those who object to the belief in the occultation of the Awaited Imām, their objection is rendered to their ignorance of his status and the truth about him. Al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will be the Imām of Jesus, peace be upon him, whom Allāh made a prophet even while a suckling babe in the cradle.
Thus, had the Sunnis come to know and realize that Allāh Almighty is the One Who chose the Twelve Imāms from among the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) to be the successors of the Prophet (ṣ) and the custodians of Muhammad’s Message, their astonishment about the care with which Allāh surrounded the seal of these Imāms–till He brings him back and completes His victory for the clear righteousness and make his creed dominate all other creeds–will surely disappear and will have no excuse.
Most Sunnis are not surprised about what they have accepted through their own avenues, or from anything with which their sect agrees; rather, they accept it and take it for granted whether it be about these miracles mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān and about which nobody of course can raise any doubt, but this consideration includes what they have taken from the narratives in the Sahīh books of both al-Bukhāri and Muslim.
As they narrate, for example, Allāh descends to the lower earth at the end of the night; He uncovers His leg; He puts His foot in Hell on the day of Judgment (we seek refuge with Allāh against such beliefs), or the possibility of the Prophet (ṣ) forgetting or falling under the influence of wizardry or his forgetting the text of the Qur’ān, or Moses, peace be upon him, gouging the eyes of the Angel of Death, or the imān of Abū Bakr weighting greater than that of the entire nation..., or the vision of ‘Umar piercing through thousands of miles in what is known as the incident of Sariya which is famous among the Sunnis, or their statement that “Had there been a prophet after me, he would have been ‘Umar,” or their saying that the angels are shy of ‘Uthmān..., in addition to many, many such tales which most of them accept as they are and despite the existence of many faults in them. As regarding what others believe, they reject it altogether, denying it without even looking into it or researching it.
I am sure had the belief in the occultation of the Awaited Imām been incorporated in their doctrine, the Sunnis would not have surrounded it with any doubt, nor would they have questioned it! In this regard, I recall many interesting incidents which I encountered as I talked with some brothers. One of them, while denying the legitimacy of the mut’a marriage, which the Shī’ahs believe as legitimate, he did not know that Islam did not ban slavery, so he was attacking it because it [slavery] did not agree with his mentality.
And when I explained to him that all the Sunnis believe in its being harām, he immediately expressed his agreement with them. As for the mut’a marriage, and although he never saw anything supporting banning it in al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, he insisted he was not convinced of it for no reason except that all the Sunnis believe it is harām!
What is more funny than this, I used to tell others during my defense of the guidance which I received and the following of the Straight Path of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) that the Shī’ahs believe the Prophet (ṣ) forgot some verses of the Qur’ān or that a Jew was able to bewitch him or the story of the encounter between Moses and the angel of death, etc., they strongly rejected all of that and ridiculed such beliefs!
And When I explained to them that these are the same beliefs because of which the Shī’ahs criticize the Sunnis and which are fixed in the most “authentic” Sunni books of hadīth, such as al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, for example, some of them used to turn to defend them and to find a justification for them, insisting on upholding them, and this is nothing but what is called a blind sectarian fanaticism.
Nothing will avail in confronting it when one comes face-to-face with the truth because closing the eye about them does not mean their non-existence. The similitude of such people is, as you know, that of the ostrich.
Contrary to what some people imagine, the Awaited Imām (‘atfs), despite the belief of all Islamic sects of his appearance at the end of time, they will differ about him when he does appear, and this will be the subject of a great test for all the Muslims, even for all those who follow heavenly creeds, for the Jews and the Christians, too, believe in the coming of a Promised Savior.
Narratives have told the Muslims that they will be tested with regard to the Dajjāl who will fight al-Mahdi (‘atfs), so much so that many of them will fight on the side of this Dajjāl whom some narratives describe as the one-eyed Dajjāl.
The truth, as I see it, is further than what some Sunnis believe, that is, that on the forehead of this Dajjāl, the word “Kāfir” [unbeliever] will be written. In such a case, it is highly unlikely that any Muslim will be tested in his regard so long as he can read this word which tells the truth about him. As for the claim of some of them that only a believer will be able to read that word on the Dajjāl’s forehead, this, too, is rejected because the result of the test will then have been determined even before seeing that Dajjāl.
There is no sense in such a case in the dissension to which the narratives have referred. The same applies to their claim that he will be one-eyed. For this reason, I used to wonder in the past about: How can the Muslims not swear the oath of allegiance to al-Mahdi (‘atfs) when he appears, or how can they even fight him despite their waiting for his appearance and their conviction that Allāh will grant him victory??!!
But I, after conducting my research in the issue of the difference between the Sunnis and the Shī’ahs, came to know that the strong tie this man enjoys according to the beliefs of the Shī’ahs, especially their belief that he is their Twelve Imām. This dissension became more clear than before. When the Awaited Imām appears according to the descriptions of the Shī’ahs, they will swear the oath of allegiance to him at the same time when the fanatics from among the Sunnis will immediately say that this Mahdi (‘atfs) is Shi’i and not the one for whom we have been waiting who undoubtedly should be Sunni!
We can feel the effects of this same dissension in our contemporary life through the criticism and the charges launched by Sunni fanatics against the Islamic revolution in Iran and against the man who exploded it. In most cases, they winked at him for no reason whatsoever except his being a Shī’ah!
They did so without their knowledge of those behind this dissension, those who fuel it from among our own people whom the enemies of this nation have employed for this contemptible purpose. This is so despite the fact that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had already given us glad tidings about such a blessed renaissance and those behind it in one hadīth recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh where he relies on the authority of Abū Hurayra who has said, “We were sitting with the Prophet (ṣ) when the Jum’a [Friday] Sūra [Qur’ānic Chapter] was revealed:
‘... As well as (to confer all these benefits upon) others who have not already joined them’ (Qur’ān, 62:3).
I said, ‘Who are these people, O Messenger of Allāh?’ He did not answer till we asked him about them three times, and Salmān al-Fārisi was present among us. The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) put his hand on Salmān then said, ‘Had [the means to acquire] imān (conviction) been in Venus, it would have been acquired by men [or a man] from among these [Persians].’”8
Allāh Almighty has also referred in His Exalted Book to these folks when he said,
“Behold! You are those invited to spend in Allāh’s way, but some among you are stingy. Yet any who are stingy are so at the expense of their own souls. But Allāh is free of all needs, and it is you who are needy. If you turn back (from the path), He will substitute another people in your place; then they will not be like you!” (Qur’ān, 47:38).
Abū Hurayra has said that when the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) recited this verse, he was asked, “O Messenger of Allāh! Who are these people who, if we run away [from our religious obligations], they will replace us and will not be like us?” He (ṣ) patted Salmān’s thigh then said, “This man and his people. Had the creed been in Venus, men from among the Persians would have acquired it.”9
The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) also drew attention to the group of people that will take upon itself to create dissension among the Muslims in our time. Ibn ‘Umar has said, “The Prophet (ṣ) once said, ‘O Allāh! Bless our Syria! O Allāh! Bless our Yemen!” They asked him, “What about our Najd?!” He (ṣ) said, ‘O Allāh! Bless our Syria! O Allāh! Bless our Yemen!’ They again asked him, ‘O Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)! What about our Najd?’ I believe his third statement included the following: ‘It is there that shall be earthquakes and dissensions, and it is from there that the horn of Satan shall come out.’” 10
I could not interpret the dissension referred to in this hadīth except with Wahhabism whose inventor, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, was born in one of the villages of Najd called ‘Uyayna. This group of people hid under the cover of Tawhīd which they used as a forefront to hide the vile objectives behind charging other sects, especially the one that follow Ahlul Bayt (‘a), with apostasy and shirk.
For example, they regard pleading to Allāh through the medium of the prophets and righteous servants of His as a great innovation despite the presence of what contradicts this belief in al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh and in what caliph ‘Umar had done.
Anas has said, “‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, may Allāh be pleased with him, used to seek help from al-Abbās ibn Abd al-Muttalib in praying for rain. He said, ‘Lord! We used to plead to You in the name of our Prophet, so you would grant us water, and we now plead to You in the name of the uncle of our Prophet , so do let rain water descend upon us.’ And they would thus get rain water.”11
As for the reason why Wahhabism has so much concentrated on this issue, it is because the followers of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) were known more than others to uphold and to respect the sanctity of the person of the glorious Prophet (ṣ) and the infallible Imāms after him because they realize their great status with Allāh Almighty. They are the ones without whom mankind would not have been guided to the Straight Path of Allāh, and mankind would have kept their ignorance and misguidance.
Suffices for an answer to Wahhabism and to its inventor what is recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) has said, “Some people will come out from the east and recite the Qur’ān; it will not go beyond their throats. They abandon the creed as swiftly as an arrow abandons its bow, then they shall not return to it till the arrow returns to its bow.” He was asked, “What is their mark?” He said, “Their mark is tahleeq (shaving),” or he said “al-tasbeed” (shaving the head)12.
The meaning of “tasbeed” is the same as has been quoted in this sacred hadīth: “Ibn Abbās came and his head was musbad,” that is, shaven13. This has become the “trade mark” of the Wahhabis as is known from their history.
Al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will come to support the downtrodden on earth against all arrogant powers; so, what do you expect from his enemies? Will they not try to use the hypocrites from among the Muslims, the sultans’ preachers and the imāms of misguidance to fight this new comer? Can you not see how in our own days, how the ruler of Iraq, who earned a reputation for his sins and apostasy, was able to deceive millions of Muslims who went out shouting his name when he pretended to have imān and to rely on Allāh and announce jihād against the unbelievers and the polytheist people till many naive people thought this Dajjāl became the Muslims’ Imām in truth?!
This suffices to point to what the conditions of the Muslims can be once they are exposed to greater and harder events. The Chosen One (ṣ) explained what the Muslims should do in order to guarantee their salvation from drowning in the swamp of these dissensions after his departure from this world: by upholding His Book and [at the same time] by following the Pure ‘Itra from among his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) as we explained in the first Chapter.
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamān has said, “People used to ask the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) about goodness, and I used to ask him above evil, fearing it might involve me. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! We used to be in jāhiliyya and in evil, then Allāh brought us all this goodness. Will there be evil after this goodness?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘And will there be after that evil goodness?’
He (ṣ) said, ‘Yes, and it will have smudge in it.’ I asked him (ṣ), ‘What is its smudge?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘People guide others without themselves being rightly guided. What you will know about them you will detest.’ I said, ‘Will there be after such goodness evil?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘Yes, callers at the gates of hell; whoever responds to their call to it they hurl him into it.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! Describe them for us.’
He (ṣ) said, “They are from our own folks and they speak our [Arabic] tongue.’ I said, ‘What do you order me to do should I live to see that?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘Uphold the Muslim masses and their imām.’ I said, ‘What if they have neither masses nor an imām?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘Then stay aloof from all these groups even if you have to bite on a tree’s root till death comes to your rescue and you are in such a condition.’”14
This hadīth clearly explains to us the obligation of upholding the Muslim masses and their imām, and that when there is confusion about the issue, and when one cannot know the truth, the Prophetic instruction directs us to remain silent. This hadīth also makes it clear that the callers stand at the gates of hell; whoever responds to their call, they hurl him into it, that they are not from among the non-Arabs but from among the Arabs, something which stresses what the previous ahādīth have stated regarding the innovating group of people.
The fact is that this dissension in which we pass nowadays and against falling into its nets did the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) warn us, we are obligated to take extreme caution by selecting the path which safely helps us reach the Sunnah of the Chosen One (ṣ), especially when there are so many paths the number of which reaches seventy-three–according to some narratives–and each one of these paths (sects) claims it is on the right track. But the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) explained to us that only one of them will receive salvation; others will not.
Allāh has promised to support the saved group. Says the Prophet (ṣ), “A group from among my nation shall remain on the path of righteousness; they are not harmed by those who differ from them, till Allāh’s command comes.” A Muslim nowadays has become perplexed, feeling strange about all what takes place around him of this great fuss, of the grand dissension, seeing himself required to take a second look at his Islamic creed and likewise at many significant events in our Islamic history, something which is considered as a testimony to what the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) has already said: “Islam started foreign and shall return foreign just as it started...”
Undoubtedly, anyone who takes a discerning look at our Islamic history and at our status quo, contemplating upon what Ahlul Bayt (‘a) had to endure, especially the Imāms from among them, at the calamities, trials and tribulations, at the persecution to which they were exposed, and if he thinks about the reason why the truth has become lost among the Sunnis..., he will realize the meaning of Islam returning foreign.
It seems such a return has already taken place especially during the last few years. A part of the darkness which the oppressors spread on following this path, across centuries, and in testimony to what the Chosen One, the Guide (ṣ), has already articulated thus: “We are members of a Household for whom Allāh has chosen the Hereafter over the world.
My Ahlul Bayt (‘a) shall face after me discrimination, hardship and exile in the land till some people rise from there–and he pointed with his hand towards the east–people who carry black flags; they will ask for what is right, but they will not be given it, so they will fight and achieve victory; they will be given whatever they want, and they will not accept it till they pass it on to a man from among my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) who will fill it with justice just as it was filled with oppression. Anyone who lives to see that taking place, he must go to them even if he has to crawl on ice.”15
Lord! Do hasten his honorable ease and make us among those who march behind his flag. And the last of our supplication is: Praise be to Allāh, Lord of the Worlds, and greetings and salutations upon our master, Muhammad, and his good and pure Progeny.