ف, F

Fadak فدك : a garden oasis in Khaybar, a tract of land approximately thirty miles from Medina, and it was known for its water-wells, dates, and handicrafts. When the Muslims defeated the people of Khaybar at the Battle of Khaybar, which took place in the year 628 A.D., the oasis of Fadak was part of the booty given to the Prophet Muhammad (ص). Upon his death, he bequeathed it to his daughter, Fatima. It became the object of dispute between Fatima and Abu Bakr (573 – 634 A.D.) after the latter had assumed power in the year 632 A.D. following the Prophet’s death.

A brief history of Khaybar tells us that in the 7th century, this oasis was inhabited by Arab Jews who pioneered the cultivation of the oasis and made their living growing date trees as well as through commerce and craftsmanship, accumulating considerable wealth. The oasis was divided into three regions: an-Natat, ash-Shiqq الشِّق, and al-Katiba الكتيبة, probably separated by natural diversions, such as the desert, lava drifts, and swamps. Each of these regions contained several fortresses or redoubts containing homes, storehouses and stables. Each fortress was occupied by a clan and surrounded by cultivated fields and palm-groves. In order to improve their defensive capabilities, the fortresses were raised up on hills or basalt rocks.

Prophet Muhammad (ص) led the march on Khaybar oasis on Thul-Qa’da 6, 7 A.H., corresponding to May 7, 629 A.D., with approximately 1500 men and one to two hundred horses. Primary sources, including the Seerat Rasool Allah (Biography of the Prophet) of Ibn Ishaq, describe the conquest of Khaybar, detailing the agreement of Muhammad with the Jews to remain in Fadak and cultivate their land, retaining one-half of the produce of the oasis.

This agreement was distinct from the agreement with the Jews of Khaybar, which essentially entailed the practice of share-cropping. It is not entirely clear how Muhammad managed his possession of Fadak. Some Muslim commentators agree that after the conquest of Fadak, the property belonged exclusively to the Prophet (ص). Various primary sources describe the acquisition of Fadak in the following way:

An account indicates that eleven fruit trees in Fadak were planted by the Prophet (ص) himself. Other scholars who accept the view of Fadak as belonging exclusively to the Prophet (ص) after the conquest of Khaybar include Ali bn Ahmed as-Samhudi, Ibn Hisham and Abul-Fida.

Upon the death of the Prophet (ص) on Rabi’ I 2 or 12, 11 A.H./May 31st or June 12th, 632 A.D., his daughter Fatima declared her claim to inherit Fadak as the estate of her father. The claim was rejected by Abu Bakr on instigation from Omer ibn al-Khattab on the grounds that Fadak was public property and arguing that the Prophet had “no heirs”. Sources report that Ali together with Umm Ayman testified to the fact that Muhammad granted it to Fatima when Abu Bakr required Fatima to summon witnesses for her claim. Various primary sources contend that Fadak was gifted by Muhammad to Fatima, drawing on the Qur'an as evidence. These include narrations of Ibn 'Abbas who argued that when the Qur'anic verse on giving rights to kindred was revealed, Muhammad called to his daughter and gifted the land of Fadak to her.

Various scholars commenting on the Qur'an, Surat Al-Hashr (Chapter 59), verse 7, write that the Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet (ص) and commanded him to give the appropriate rights to “Thul Qurba” (near kin). The verse reads:

مَّا أَفَاء اللَّهُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الأَغْنِيَاء مِنكُمْ وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

What Allah has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the towns, belongs to Allah, to His Messenger, and to (the Prophet’s) 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 Messenger assigns to you, and abstain from what he withholds from you. And fear Allah, for Allah is strict in punishment (59:7).

When asked by the Prophet (ص) about who those “Thul Qurba” were referred to in that verse, Gabriel replied: “Fatima” and that by “rights” was meant “Fadak”, upon which Muhammad called Fatima and presented Fadak to her.

When Omer became caliph, the value of the land of Fadak along with its dates was, according to some account, 50,000 dirhams. Ali again claimed Fatima’s inheritance during Omer's era but was denied with the same argument as in the time of Abu Bakr. Omer, however, restored the estates in Medina to `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib and Ali, as representatives of Muhammad's clan, the Banu Hashim.

During Othman's caliphate, Marwan ibn al-Hakâm, his cousin, was made trustee of Fadak. After Othman, Ali became caliph but did not overturn the decision of his predecessor. He maintained Marwan's position as trustee of the Fadak. During Ali's caliphate, Fadak was regarded to be under the control of the Prophet's family, so the caliph did not make a formal declaration of personal possession in order to avoid resurrecting old feuds and jealousies and thus the causing of disunity regarding.

Under the Umayyads (661 – 750 A.D.), Mu'awiyah, their first self-impose ruler, the latter did not return Fadak to Fatima's descendants. This way was continued by later Umayyad Caliphs until the time of caliph Omer ibn Abd al-Aziz. When Omer ibn Abd al-Aziz, known as Omer II, became Caliph in 717 A.D., the income from the property of Fadak was 40,000 dinars.

Fadak was returned to Fatima's descendants by an edict given by Omer II, but this decision was renounced by later caliphs and may have been the cause of Omer being killed as well. Omer II's successor, Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik (known as Yazid II) overturned his decision, and Fadak was again made public trust. Fadak was then managed this way until the Ummayad Caliphate expired.

Under the Abbasids (750 – 1258 A.D.), in 747 A.D., a huge revolt against the Umayyad Caliphate took place. The Umayyad's were eventually defeated by the Abbasid army under the rule of “Abu Abbas” Abdullah as-Saffah (as-Saffah means in Arabic “blood-shedder” which perfectly describes him and his dynasty just as it describes the Umayyads as well. The last Umayyad ruler, Marwan II, was killed in a lesser battle a few months after the Battle of the Zab of 750 A.D., thus ending the Umayyad Caliphate. Historical accounts differ about what happened to Fadak under early Abbasid rulers.

Most likely they collected its revenues and spent it as they pleased. There is, however, consensus among Islamic scholars that Fadak was returned to the descendants of Fatima during Al-Ma'mun's reign (831-833 A.D.).

Al-Ma’mun even decreed this to be recorded in his diwāns. Al-Ma’mun’s successor, al-Mutawakkil (847-861 A.D.), repossessed Fadak, confiscating it from the descendants of Fatima. Al-Muntasir (861-862 A.D.), however, apparently maintained the decision of al-Ma'mun, thus allowing Fatima's offspring to manage Fadak. What happened thereafter is uncertain, but Fadak was probably seized by again and managed exclusively by the ruler of the time as his own personal property, and thus do some people behave.

In the 7th century, the Khaybar oasis was inhabited by Arab Jews who pioneered the cultivation of the oasis and made their living growing date palm trees as well as through commerce and craftsmanship, accumulating considerable wealth. Some objects found by the Muslims following their conquest of Khaybar and its fortresses included a siege-engine, 20 bales of Yemenite cloth, and 500 cloaks, an indication of an intense trade carried out by those Jews.

The oasis was divided into three regions: an-Natat, ash-Shiqq الشِّق, and al-Katiba الكتيبة, probably separated by natural diversions, such as the desert, lava drifts, and swamps. Each of these regions contained several fortresses or redoubts containing homes, storehouses and stables. Each fortress was occupied by a clan and surrounded by cultivated fields and palm-groves. In order to improve their defensive capabilities, the fortresses were raised up on hills or basalt rocks.

One may wonder what brought those Jews to Medina. There are two theories. One says that those Jews were motivated by the desire to be the first to believe in the new Arabian Prophet whose name they have in their religious books and whose mission was about to start, so they made a mass immigration to Medina.

Their high rabbis told them that Medina would be the place where the new Prophet, Muhammad (ص), would be preaching the divine message. This view is supported by verses 40 – 103 of Surat al-Baqara (Chapter of the Cow, i.e. Ch. 2) which repeatedly admonishes the Israelites and strongly rebukes them for seeing the truth but turning away from it. According to this theory, those Jews with religious fervor had come from Jerusalem in particular and Greater Syria (Sham) in particular.

The other theory seeks an explanation from the historic events that took place in southern Arabia, particularly Yemen, concluding that those Jews had migrated from there seeking religious freedom and better economic conditions. This is how advocates of this theory reason:

The immigration of the majority of Jews into Yemen from abroad appears to have taken place about the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., although the province is mentioned neither by Josephus, better known as Yoseph ben (ibn, i.e. son of) Mattithyahu (37 – cir. 100 A.D.), a Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry, nor by the main books of the Jewish oral law, namely the Mishnah and Talmud. According to some sources, the Jews of Yemen enjoyed prosperity until the 6th century A.D.

The Himyarite King, Abu-Karib Asad Toban, converted to Judaism at the end of the 5th century, while laying siege to Medina. It is likely some of his soldiers preferred to stay there for economic and perhaps other reasons. His army had marched north to battle the Aksumites who had been fighting for control of Yemen for a hundred years. The Aksumites were only expelled from the region when the newly Jewish king rallied the Jews together from all over Arabia, together with pagan allies. But this victory was short-lived.

In 518, the kingdom of Yemen was taken over by Zar’a Yousuf, who was of “royal descent” but was not the son of his predecessor, Ma'di Karib Ya’fur. Yousuf converted to Judaism and instigated wars to drive the Aksumite Ethiopians from Arabia. Zar'a Yusuf is chiefly known by his cognomen “Thu Nuwas”, in reference to his "curly hair." The Jewish rule lasted till 525 A.D., only 85 years before the inception of the Islamic Prophetic mission.

Some historians, however, date it later, to 530, when Christians from the Aksumites Kingdom of Ethiopia defeated and killed Thu Nuwas, taking power in Yemen. According to a number of medieval historians, Thu Nuwas announced that he would persecute the Christians living in his kingdom, mostly in Najran, because Christian states persecuted his fellow co-religionists (the Jews) in their realms. This persecution, which took place in the year 524 A.D., is blamed on one Dimnon in Najran, that is modern al-Ukhdud (or al-Okhdood) area of Saudi Arabia.

Any reader of the Holy Qur’an must have come across verse 4 of Surat al-Buruj (Chapter 85) of the Holy Qur’an which refers to أَصْحَابُ الأُخْدُودِ, fellows of the Ukhdud, which is imprecisely translated as “the ditch self-destructed”. To the author of this book, my dear reader, “the ditch self-destructed” does not make much sense at all. Actually, this “ukhdud” was a long ditch filled with firewood. It was lit and the believers were thrown into it if they refused to abandon their faith.

Some ran away from this inferno, which may remind one of a similar situation which took place with Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) at the hands of Nimrud of 13th Century B.C. Assyria. The survivors, most likely Christians and Jews, fled up north in the direction of Medina which they made it home. The Almighty in 85:4 condemns this massacre in the strongest of terms.

According to some sources, after seizing the throne of the Himyarites, in 518 or 523 A.D., Thu Nuwas attacked the Aksumite (mainly Christian) garrison at Zafar, capturing them and burning their churches. He then moved against Najran, a Christian and Aksumite stronghold. After accepting the city's capitulation, he massacred those inhabitants who would not renounce Christianity in this ukhdud incident. Estimates of the death toll from this event range up to 20,000 in some sources. So, believers in God, Christians and Jews, had reasons to go somewhere else where they would practice their religion freely while enjoying better business opportunities among Arabs who, at the time, were mostly nomads.

Fa'izeen or Fa'izùn فائزين أو فائزون: winners, those who earn the Pleasure of the Almighty and His rewards

Fajir فاجر: unrepentant sinner, adulterer; according to p. 94, 94, Vol. 5 (Dar Sadir, Beirut, Lebanon, edition of 1997), of the famous lexicon Lisan al-Arab لسان العرب by Ibn Manzour, it also means one who commits too many sins while putting off repentance for them; another meaning is: wrongdoer

Fajr فجر: Daybreak, obligatory pre-sunrise salat, prayer rite; another meaning for it, according to p. 94, Vol. 5 (Dar Sadir, Beirut, Lebanon, edition of 1997), of Lisan al-Arab lexicon, is abundance of wealth.

Faqih فقيه: jurist, one who is knowledgeable in Islamic jurisprudence (law), the Shari`a

Farasikh فراسخ: plural of farsakh فرسخ, parasang (a loan Persian word), a measure of distance. According to Lisan al-`Arab lexicon, it may be three to six miles. "It is called so," the author of the famous lexicon goes on, "because one who walks one farsakh will have to sit to rest," suggesting that the original meaning of the word is to halt, to come to a standstill, to rest.

Fard فرض: something which is obligatory on a Muslim. It is sometimes used in reference to the obligatory part of salat.

Fasiq فاسق: one of corrupt moral character who engages in various sins without feeling any sense of shame or regret

Fatawa فتاوى: plural of fatwa, a religious edict or decision

Fatiha (al-) الفاثحه: The Prophet (ص) has quoted the Almighty as saying, "The prayers have been divided between Me and My servant: one half for Me, and one for him;" so when one recites it and says, "Alhamdulillahi Rabbil-'Alameen," the Almighty says, "My servant has praised Me." And when he says, ''Arrahmanir Raheem," the Almighty says, "My servant has praised Me." And when he says, "Maaliki YawmidDeen," Allah says, "My servant has exalted Me." And when he says, "Iyyaaka Na'budu wa iyyaaka nasta'een," Allah will say, 'This is a covenant between Me and My servant, and My servant shall be granted the fulfillment of his pleas." Then if he finishes reciting the Fatiha to the end, Allah will again confirm His promise by saying, 'This is for [the benefit of] My servant, and My servant will be granted the answer to his wishes.

The Messenger of Allah (ص) is quoted by Abu Ali al-Fadl ibn al-Hassan ibn al-Fadl at-Tibrisi الطبرسي, may Allah have mercy on his soul, saying that one who recites al-Fatiha will be regarded by the Almighty as though he recited two-thirds of the Holy Qur'an and as though he gave by way of charity to each and every believing man and woman. "By the One in Whose hand my soul is," the Prophet (ص) continues, "Allah Almighty did not reveal in the Torah, the Gospel, or the Psalms any chapter like it; it is the Mother of the Book and al- Sab' al-Mathani (the oft-repeated seven verses), and it is divided between Allah and His servant, and His servant shall get whatever he asks; it is the best Sura in the Book of the most Exalted One, and it is a healing from every ailment except poison, which is death."

He (ص) is also quoted by al-Kaf'ami الكفعمي as saying,

"He (Allah) bestowed it upon me as His blessing, making it equivalent to the Holy Qur'an, saying, 'And We have granted you as-Sab' al-Mathani and the Great Qur'an (Surat al-Hijr, verse 87).'

lt is the most precious among the treasures of the 'Arsh." Indeed, Allah, the most Sublime, has chosen Muhammad (ص) alone to be honored by it without doing so to any other Prophet or Messenger of His with the exception of Sulayman (Solomon) نبي سليمان, peace be upon him, who was granted the Basmala البسمله (see Qur'an, 27:30, i.e. verse 30 of Surat an-Naml, Chapter of the Ant).

One who recites it, being fully convinced of his following in the footsteps of Muhammad (ص) and his Progeny (ع), adhering to its injunctions, believing in its outward and inward meanings, will be granted by Allah for each of its letters a blessing better than what all there is in the world of wealth and good things, and whoever listens to someone reciting it will receive one third of the rewards due to the one who recites it.

من بعض أسرار سورة الحمد (الفاتحة)

كتب قيصر الروم كتابا إلى خلفاء بني العباس وجاء فيه (( جاء في كتاب الإنجيل أنه من قرأ سورة خالية من سبعة أحرف ، حرم الله جسده من نار جهنم ، وهذه الأحرف عبارة عن :(ﻉ) ث ، ج ، خ ، ز ، ش ، ظ ، ف (ﻉ) . وفحصنا كثيرا فلم نعثر على هكذا سورة في كتب التوراة والزبور والإنجيل ، فهل يوجد في كتابكم السماوي تلك السورة؟

فجمع الخليفة العباسي جميع العلماء وعرض عليهم السؤال فعجزوا عن الجواب وأخيرا طرحوا هذا السؤال على الإمام علي الهادي (ع) فأجاب عليه السلام قائلا : هذه السورة هي سورة الحمد التي تكون خالية من الأحرف السبعة .

فسألوا الإمام ما فلسفة خلو هذه السورة من الأحرف السبعة ؟ فأجاب الإمام عليه السلام :

إن حرف ( ث) إشارة إلى الثبور ، وحرف ( ج ) إشارة إلى الجحيم ، وحرف ( خ ) إشارة إلى الخبث ، وحرف ( ز ) إشارة إلى الزقوم ، وحرف ( ش ) إشارة إلى الشقاوة، وحرف (ظ ) إشارة إلى الظلمة ، وحرف ( ف ) إشارة إلى الآفة .

فأرسل الخليفة هذا الجواب لقيصر الروم ، وشعر القيصر بالفرح بعد حصوله على الجواب واعتنق الإسلام وخرج من الدنيا مسلما. فأكثروا من قراءة سورة الحمد. لا تقرأ سورة الحمد (الفاتحة) بسرعة ......... انظر لماذا؟

كثير من الناس يقرؤون سورة الفاتحة في الصلاة بسرعة وكأن الذئاب تلاحقهم ولا يعلمون ما فيها. روي عن رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وآله وَسَلَّمَ أنه قالُ: قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: قَسَمْتُ الصَّلاةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ فَإِذَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ: {الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ} قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: حَمِدَنِي عَبْدِي وَإِذَا قَالَ: {الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ} قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَثْنَى عَلَيَّ عَبْدِي وَإِذَا قَالَ: {مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ} قَالَ: مَجَّدَنِي عَبْدِي وَقَالَ مَرَّةً: فَوَّضَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي فَإِذَا قَالَ: {إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ} قَالَ: هَذَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ فَإِذَا قَالَ: {اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ} قَالَ: هَذَا لِعَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَل،،،،

Some mysteries about Surat al-Fatiha

One of Rome's Caesars wrote a letter to an Abbasid "caliph"—to use the word loosely since none of the Umayyads or Abbasid rulers deserved to be called a caliph but a despotic ruler with the exception of only Caliph Omer ibn Abdul-Aziz, but we will use it here since it is quite commonly referred to those corrupt folks—saying, "It is written in the Bible that if anyone recites a chapter which does not contain seven letters, God will prohibit the Fire of Hell from consuming his body. These letters are: We have carefully examined in the Torah, Psalms and Bible but could not find such a chapter; so, is there in your divinely revealed Book such a Chapter?"

The Abbasid caliph gathered all scholars and presented the question to them, but they could not provide an answer. Finally, they submitted this question to Imam Ali al-Hadi (ﻉ) who answered saying that such a chapter is Surat al-Hamd, the Fatiha, which does not contain these alphabetical letters. The Imam (ﻉ) explained the philosophy behind the exclusion of these alphabetical letters in the Fatiha Chapter as stated below, so the "caliph" sent this answer to Rome's Caesar who was very happy for having obtained it and immediately embraced Islam, departing from this world as a Muslim.

You, therefore, should recite Surat al-Hamd (Fatiha) quite often, but do not do so. Why? Many people recite the Fatiha in their prayers quickly as if the wolves are chasing them, not knowing what it really contains:

It has been narrated about the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his Progeny, has said, "Allah Almighty has said: 'I have divided the prayer (supplication) between Myself and My servant into two halves: Whenever the servant says

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds,

I say that My servant has praised Me. When he says

الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

I say that My servant has lauded me. When he says

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Master of the Day of Judgment,

I say that My servant has exulted me. In another narration of this tradition, the Almighty says, 'My servant has entrusted his (Hereafter) affairs to me'. When he says

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You do we worship, and Your aid do we seek,

I say: 'This is between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he pleads for'. And when he says

اهدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ، صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

Guide us the Straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who do not stray,

I say: 'This (too) is for My servant, and My servant shall be granted what he pleads for'."

Imam Ali al-Hadi (ﻉ) was asked about the philosophy behind the Fatiha containing none of these seven alphabetical letters, so the Imam (ﻉ) said: "The letter ( ث) refers to ثبور destruction." The Almighty refers to it in the Holy Qur'an in places such as these: 25:13 and 14, 84:11 and to one who is really ruined, Pharaoh, in 17:102. "The letter (ج)," the Imam (ﻉ) went on, "refers to جحيم, hell."

Numerous Qur'anic verses refer to hell, warning those who heed the call about its torment. Some such verses are: 2:119, 5:10, 5:86, 9:113, 22:51, 26:91, 37:23, 37:55, 37:64, 37:68, 37:97, 37:163, 40:7, 44:47, 44:56, 52:18, 57:19, 69:31, 79:36, 81:12, 82:14, 83:16, 102:6, 73:12, to name few.

The Imam (ﻉ) added saying, "The letter ( خ ) refers to خبث " which is any bad thing, deed, person, thought, etc. to which references in the Holy Qur'an exist in verses such as these: 7:58, 2:267, 3:179, 4:2, 5:100, 8:37, 24:26, 14:26, 7:157 and 21:74. The Imam (ﻉ) went on to say, "The letter ( ز ) refers to زقوم Zaqqoom)" which is a tree in hell of which the sinners eat and to which references in the Holy Qur'an exist in verses such as these: 37:62, 44:43 and 56:52. "The letter ( ش )," went on the Imam (ﻉ), "refers to شقاوة ", pain or suffering, a reference to the suffering of people, good or bad: The good people suffer in this life because of others unfairly and unjustifiably harming, hurting, oppressing belying them.

They also suffer as they see things taking place and people behaving in an ungodly way and feel sorry for them. Some ordinary persons may suffer also during the period of the barzakh برزخ so the Almighty may punish them in the grave and forgive them later, while bad persons may suffer in this life and in the hereafter as well for their bad deeds. Its derivations exist in many verses such as these: 20:2, 20:117, 20:123, 11:105, 19:4, 19:32. 19:48, 87:11, 92:15, 91:12 and 23:106.

The Imam (ﻉ) went on in stating why these letters do not exist in the Fatiha and said, "The letter ( ظ ) refers to ظلمة ", darkness, either physical, material, tangible, as is the darkness in the grave or in hell, or non-physical, immaterial, such as darkness of one's outlooks, attitudes, etc. Notice that the word ظلم which means oppression or injustice is associated with this same word ظلمة because people do not oppress others unless their mentality is dark.

Hundreds of references in the Book of Islam, the Holy Qur'an, refer to both types of such darkness and to people who oppress others or wrong them: These references are only few for you to check if you wish: 4:153, 13:6, 16:61, 4:75, 18:35, 25:27, 35:32, 37:113. This is just a drop in the bucket.

Explaining the last letter, the Imam (ﻉ) said, "The letter ف ) ) refers to آفة lesion, something which consumes, devours, spreads quickly like cancer cells, fire or a rash of bad deed in which many people are involved: This word fits many descriptions and applications, and it needs no further explanation.

The inquisitive reader may wonder who this Imam Ali al-Hadi (ﻉ) is; after all, not many are familiar with the immediate family of the Prophet of Islam (ﺹ); therefore, we have included his biography in this Glossary under "Hadi, al-" to which you may refer.

Fatwa فتوى: religious edict, which may be relevant to everyday matters or to the creed, issued by a mujtahid مجتهد

Fidya فدية: blood money, montary compensation for either murder or a crime as serious as murder

Fiqh فقه: knowledge of the science of Islamic jurisprudence, the Shari`a شريعة. The literal meaning of the word fiqh is: understanding, comprehension, knowledge and familiarity with Islam's jurisprudence. A jurist is called faqih, one who is an expert in Islamic legal matters. A faqih فقيه issues verdicts within the rules of the Islamic Law, the Shari`a الشريعه. Any action or step in Islam falls within the following five categories of fiqh:

1. Fardh فرض (must, obligatory, mandatory): This category is a must for the Muslim to undertake such as the performance of the five daily prayers. Performing the fardh counts as a good deed, and not doing it is considered as a bad deed, a sin. It is also called wajib.

2. Mandub مندوب (recommended, commendable): This category is recommended for the Muslim to do such as additional prayers after the performance of the daily prayers. Doing what is mandub counts as a good deed, while not doing it does not count as a bad deed or a sin.

3. Mubah مباح (allowed, permissible): This category is optional and is left for the individual to decide such as partaking of food, etc. Doing or not doing the mubah does not count as a good or bad deed. One's intention can change mubah into a fardh, mandub, makruh or haram. Other things can also change the status of the mubah. For example, any mubah becomes haram if it is proven to be harmful, whether physically or spiritually, and any necessary thing to fulfill a fardh is a fardh, too.

4. Makruh مكروه hated, not commendable: This category includes acts that are detested, hated, things which one must stay away from such as letting his fingernails grow or sleeping on the stomach, etc. Not doing what is makruh counts as a good deed while doing it does not count as a bad deed.

5. Haram حرام prohibited, banned: This category includes things a Muslim is prohibited from doing such as stealing and lying. Doing what is haram counts as a sin, a bad deed, while not doing it counts as a good deed. Views of Islamic scholars about all the above vary.

Firdaws فردوس: Paradise, heaven, abode of the blessed, place of eternal peace and happiness, the garden of bliss. Some linguists think this word is Persian, whether others think it is Babylonian in origin, that is, a loan word.

Firqa فرقة: group, party, sect, division

Fitna or Fitnah فتنه: sedition, something which creates division, discord, disagreement, dispute, etc. among people. Numerous references exist in the Holy Qur'an about fitna, warning the believers about falling into its traps.

One such verse is this:

الفتنة أشد من القتل

Sedition is harder than killing (Qur'an, 2:191),

a warning which apparently was not heeded even when Islam was still in its infancy: Some "Muslims" went as far as plotting to assassinate the Prophet of Islam (ﺹ) as he was returning from his last pilgrimage known as Hijjat al-Wadaa', Farewell Pilgrimage, as he himself points out in his Ghadeer sermon narrated for you in this Glossary.

During the lifetime of the Prophet (ﺹ), Muslims divided themselves into two communities: one following Ali (ﻉ) whom they saw as the embodiment of everything Islam stands for, and one followed a handful of very affluent and influential companions of the Prophet (ﺹ) in order to benefit from their money and prestige.

As soon as the Prophet (ﺹ) passed away, this division became much more evident: The first camp preferred to keep their pledge, which was made to the Prophet on Thul-Hijja 18, 10 A.H./March 19, 632 A.D., to obey Ali (ﻉ) as the Commander of the Faithful أمير المؤمنين as granted this title by the Prophet of Islam (ﺹ) who appointed him on that day at Ghadeer Khumm as his successor as ordered by the Almighty.

Details of this subject are recorded in this Glossary under the "Ghadeer" item below. That was one of the earliest fitnas that divided the Muslims of the world and its effects can still be seen in our time and will continue to be so till the end of time.

The fitna of the succession to the Prophet (ﺹ) almost led to Muslims killing each other, but Ali (ﻉ) preferred to submit his will to the Almighty rather than go out to demand the implementation of the Ghadeer wasiyya (will) of the Prophet (ﺹ). Abu Bakr, Omer ibn al-Khattab then Othman succeeded each other in ruling the Muslims, and during their governments many innovations found their way to Islam.

The deliberate reluctance to follow the Prophet's will delivered in his Ghadeer sermon below, in which he appointed Imam Ali (ﻉ) as his successor in response to a command which he had received from the Almighty, was later regretted as we know from the following text:

On pp. 428-9, Vol. 1/8 of the latest edition of Bihar al-Anwar, we read the following:

قال أبو الصلاح قدس الله روحه في تقريب المعارف: لما طعن عمر جمع بني عبد المطلب و قال: يا بني عبد المطلب، أراضون أنتم عني؟ فقال رجل من أصحابه: و من ذا الذي يسخط عليك؟ فأعاد اكلام ثلاث مرات، فأجابه رجل بمثل جوابه، فانتهره عمر و قال: نحن أعلم بما أشعرنا قلوبنا، انا و الله أشعرنا قلوبنا ما ... نسأل الله أن يكفينا شره، و ان بيعة أبي بكركانت فلتة نسأل الله أن يكفينا شرها.

و قال لابنه عبد الله و هو مسنده الى صدره: ويحك ضع رأسي بالأرض. فأخذته الغشية، قال: فوجدت من ذلك. فقال: ويحك ضع رأسي بالأرض. فأخذته الغشية، قال: فوجدت من ذلك. فقال: ويحك ضع رأسي بالأرض. فوضعت رأسه بالأرض فعفر التراب، ثم قال: ويل لعمر و ويل لأمه ان لم يغفر الله له.

و قال أيضا حين حضره الموت: أتوب الى الله من ثلاث: من اغتصابي هذا الأمر أنا و أبو بكر من دون الناس، و من استخلافي عليهم و من تفضيلي المسلمين بعضهم على بعض.

و قال أيضا: أتوب الى الله من ثلاث: من ردي رقيق اليمن، و من رجوعي عن جيش أسامة بعد أن أمره رسول الله (ص) علينا، و من تعاقدنا على أهل البيت ان قبض رسول الله أن لا نولي منهم أحدا.

Abul-Salah (man of righteousness), may Allah sanctify his soul, has said in Taqreeb al-Ma'arif تقريب المعارف the following: "When Omer [ibn al-Khattab] was stabbed, he gathered the descendants of Abdul-Muttalib and said, 'O sons of Abdul-Muttalib! Are you pleased with me?' A man from among his fellows said, 'Who would be angry with you?' He (Omer) repeated his statement three times, getting the same response from the same man whom Omer rebuked and to whom he said, 'We know best how we made our hearts feel. We, by Allah, made our hearts feel… what we plead to Allah to spare us its evil. Allegiance to Abu Bakr was a slip [from the Right Path] the evil of which we plead to Allah to spare us.'

"He (Omer) said to his son Abdullah, who was helping his father recline on his chest, 'Woe on you! Put my head on the ground.' He was overtaken by a swoon. He (Abdullah ibn Omer) said, 'I felt quite worried about it.' He (Omer) said, 'Woe on you! Put my head on the ground.' He was again overtaken by a swoon. He (Abdullah ibn Omer) said, 'I felt quite worried about it.' He (Omer) said [for the third time], 'Woe on you! Put my head on the ground.' He (Abdullah ibn Omer, a great reporter of hadith) said, 'I put his head on the ground. Then he (Omer) said, 'Woe unto Omer, and woe unto his mother if Allah does not forgive him.'

"He (Omer) also said at the time of his death: 'I repent to Allah three things: my sending the slaves of Yemen back, my abandonment of Usamah's army after the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ) had placed him in charge over us, and our agreement against Ahl al-Bayt (ﻉ) that if the Messenger of Allah died, we would not let any of them take charge.'"

Yet the most serious innovations, actually deviations from the right path of Islam, were practices by the government during Othman's time, so much so that Othman gradually lost all respect he had among the local Muslims and throughout the Islamic world. Among those who resented him was Mother of the Believers Aisha daughter of Abu Bakr and wife of the Prophet (ﺹ).

On p. 794, Vol. 1/8 of the latest edition of Bihar al-Anwar, we read the following:

علي بن محمد الكاتب، عن الزعفراني، عن الثقفي، عن الحسن بن الحسين الأنصاري، عن سفيان، عن فضيل بن الزبير، عن فروة بن مجاشع، عن أبي جعفر (ع) قال: جاءت عائشة الى عثمان فقالت له: اعطني ما كان يعطيني أبي و عمر بن الخطاب. فقال: لم أجد لك موضعا في الكتاب و لا في السنة، و انما كان أبوك و عمر بن الخطاب يعطيانك بطيبة من أنفسهما، و أنا لا أفعل. قالت: فاعطني ميراثي من رسول الله (ص). فقال لها: أو لم تحسبي أنت و مالك بن أوس النضري فشهدتما أن رسول الله (ص) لا يورث حتى منعتما فاطمه (بنت النبي) ميراثها؟ أبطلتما حقها، فكيف تطلبين اليوم ميراثا من النبي (ص)؟ فتركته و انصرفت، و كان عثمان اذا خرج الى الصلاة أخذت قميص رسول الله (ص) على قصبة فرفعته عليها، ثم قالت ان عثمان قد خالف صاحب هذا القميص و ترك سنته.

Ali ibn Muhammad the scribe quotes az-Zaafarani quoting at-Thaqafi quoting al-Hassan ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari quoting Sufyan quoting Fudayl ibn az-Zubair quoting Farwah ibn Mujashi` from Imam [al-Baqir] Abu Ja’far (ﻉ) saying: "Aisha went to Othman and said to him: 'Give me what my father [Abu Bakr] and Omer ibn al-Khattab used to give me.' Othman said: 'I found no place for you in the Book of Allah (Qur'an) or in the Sunna [that you should get paid from baytul-mal].

Rather, your father and Omer ibn al-Khattab used to give you out of the goodness of their hearts, and I do not do that.' She said: 'Then give me my inheritance from the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ).' Othman said to her: 'Did you not think about it when you and Malik ibn Aws an-Nadari testified saying that the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ) does not leave any inheritance, so much so that you prevented [through your testimony] Fatima (daughter of the Prophet (ﺹ)) from getting her inheritance?

You voided what was her legitimate right; so, how can you now demand any inheritance from the Prophet (ﺹ)?' So she left him. Whenever Othman went out to pray, Aisha used to hand the shirt of the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ) on a reed and raise it high, then she would say: 'Othman has violated the owner of this shirt and has abandoned his Sunna'."

And on the same page we also read the following:

روى في كشف الغمة أن عائشة قالت لعثمان: يا نعثل يا عدو الله، انما سماك رسول الله (ص) باسم نعثل اليهودي الذي باليمن، فلاعنته و لاعنها، و حلفت أن لا تساكنه بمصر أبدا، خرجت الى مكة. ثم قال: قد نقل ابن أعثم صاحب الفتوح أنها (عائشة) قالت: اقتلوا نعثلا، قتل الله نعثلا، فلقد أبلى سنة رسول الله (ص): هذه ثيابه لم تبل، و خرجت الى مكة.

It has been narrated in Kashf al-Ghumma that Aisha said to Othman, "O Na'thal! O enemy of Allah! The Messenger of Allah called you 'Na'thal' after the Jew in Yemen.' She cursed him and he cursed her, and she swore never to stay in the same city where he was staying at all; she went out [of Medina] to Mecca."

The narrator went on to say: "Ibn A'tham, author of Al-Fitooh [conquests], has transmitted saying that she (Aisha) said, 'Kill Na'thal, may Allah kill Na'thal, for he has worn out the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ): Here are his clothes yet to wear out.' She went out for Mecca."

In the 1426 A.H./2005 A.D. Arabic edition of تأريخ الأمم و الملوك (History of nations and kings) (published by Al-Amira House for Printing, Publishing and Distribution, Beirut, Lebanon; this is the edition used for this book) by imam Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari, which is more famous as Tabari's Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 135:

قال محمد بن عمر: و حدثني محمد بن صالح، عن عبيد الله بن رافع بن نقاخة، عن عثمان بن الشريد، قال: مر عثمان على جبلة بن عمرو الساعدي و هو بفناء داره و معه جامعة فقال: يا نعثل، و الله لأقتلنك، و لأحملنك على قلوص جرباء، و لأخرجنك الى حرة النار، ثم جاءه مرة أخرى و عثمان على المنبر فأنزله عنه.

حدثني محمد قال: حدثني أبو بكر بن اسماعيل عن أبيه عن عامر بن سعد قال: كان أول من اجترأ على عثمان بالمنطق السيء جبلة بن عمرو الساعدي، مر به عثمان و هو جالس في ندي قومه و في يد جبلة بن عمرو جامعة، فلما مر عثمان سلم، فرد القوم، فقال جبلة: لم تردون على رجل فعل كذا و كذا؟! قال: ثم أقبل على عثمان فقال: و الله لأطرحن هذه الجامعة في عنقك أو لتتركن بطانتك هذه. قال عثمان: أي بطانة؟! فو الله اني لأتخير الناس. فقال جبلة: مروان تخيرته! و معاوية تخيرته! و عبد الله بن سعد تخيرته! منهم من نزل القرآن بدمه، و أباح رسول الله دمه.

قال: فانصرف عثمان، فما زال الناس مجترئين عليه (يعني على عثمان) الى هذا اليوم.

Muhammad ibn Omer has said: "Muhammad ibn Salih has narrated to me citing Ubaydullah ibn Raafi` ibn Naqakhah from Othman ibn ash-Sharid who said: "Othman passed by Jiblah ibn Amr as-Saa'idi as he was in the courtyard of his home, and he had chains, so he said, 'O Na'thal! By Allah I shall kill you, and I shall carry you on a scabby she-camel (not yet trained to carry anyone or anything), and I shall get you out to the heat of the Fire.' Jiblah ibn Amr as-Saa'idi also went once and saw Othman on the pulpit (preaching), so he pulled him down it.

I [the author, at-Tabari, goes on to add] have been told by Muhammad who said: I have been told by Abu Bakr ibn Isma'eel who quotes his father citing Aamir ibn Sa'd saying: "The first person to verbally abuse Othman was Jiblah ibn Amr as-Saa'idi: Othman passed by him once as he was sitting in his folk's meeting place. Jiblah ibn Amr as-Saa'idi had a chain in his hand. When Othman passed by, he greeted [those present at the meeting place]. The folks responded [to the greeting], whereupon Jiblah said: 'Why do you respond to a man who has done such and such?!' Then he went to Othman and said: 'By Allah, I shall place this chain round your neck unless you abandon your train.'

Othman said, 'What train?! By Allah, I choose from among people [for my close companions].' Jiblah said: 'You chose Marwan [ibn al-Hakam, Othman's young cousin and bearer of his seal]! And you chose Mu'awiyah! And you chose Abdullah ibn Sa'd! Some of these have been condemned to death by the Qur'an, and some of them were condemned to die by the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ)!' He went on to say: 'Othman left, and people kept verbally abusing Othman till this day."

Why did the third caliph cause matters to deteriorate so badly? There is no room here to provide you with the detailed answer to this question, but we can refer you to a book written by one of Egypt's best intellectuals and scholars of the century, namely Dr. Taha Hussein, who worte الفتنة الكبرى The Greater Sedition. In it, you will find out that one of Othman's serious mistakes was giving his seal to his young and wreckless cousin Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as you will read under the item "Hadi, al-" below, who greatly abused the power that seal gave him.

Taha Hussein details how the public funds deposited at the State Treasury known then as baytul-mal بيت المال were plundered and distributed among Othman's family, relatives and supporters, so much so that Othman had three mansions built for him each of each cost more than three million dinars.

Arabs do not have the word "million" in their language; instead, they use the term "a thousand thousands" to describe the gold dinars and the silver dirhams spent on building mansions for Othman and for his wife, Naila daughter of al-Qarafisa, who had so much jewelry, her jingle could be heard from a distance.

Another fitna was the falsification of ahadith أحاديث, traditions, which make up one of the main sources of the Sunna which every Muslim must follow, the other being the Holy Qur'an. Abu Bakr prohibited the writing of hadith and most traditions were collected and burnt, so very few survived. Later, the Umayyad dynasty that ruled the Islamic world from 655 to 1031 A.D. was characterized by the flourishing of manufactures for making custom-designed traditions tailored to please various Umayyad rulers the first of whom was Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan ibn Harb.

On pp. 332-3 of the 1426 A.H./2005 A.D. edition of تأريخ الأمم و الملوك (History of nations and kings) by imam Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari, which is more famous as Tabari's Tarikh, we read the following:

و كانوا يعدون دهاة الناس حين ثارت الفتنة خمسة رهط، فقالوا: ذوو رأي العرب و مكيدتهم: معاوية بن أبي سفيان، و عمرو بن العاص، و المغيرة بن شعبة، و قيس بن سعد، و من المهاجرين عبد الله بن بديل الخزاعي.

Five men used to be regarded as the most cunning of all people when sedition erupted. People said that they were people of opinions and of scheming, and these are: Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, Amr ibn al-Aas, al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah and Qais ibn Sa'd, all from the Ansar, in addition to Abdullah ibn Budayl al-Khuza'i from the Muhajirun.

Who is this man, Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan ibn Harb?

On the 10th of Hijra/630 A.D., the date of the Conquest of Mecca, Abu Sufyan, father of this Mu'awiyah, had to choose either to accept Islam or be beheaded, so he pretended to accept Islam while all his actions and those of his family members proved that they never really did. Abu Sufyan was a wealthy and influential man who belonged to the Banu Umayyah clan of the once pagan tribe of Quraish of Mecca, Hijaz, that fought the spread of Islam relentlessly during the time of the Prophet of Islam (ص).

He was contemporary to the Prophet of Islam (ص) whom he fought vigorously. His date of birth is unknown, but he died in 31 A.H./652 A.D. “Abu Sufyan” is his kunya, surname; his name is Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayyah. He is father of Mu`awiyah and grandfather of Yazid.

Abu Sufyan led pagan Quraish in its many wars against Prophet Muhammad (ﺹ) and his small band of supporters, making alliances with other pagan tribes and with the Jews of Medina against the new rising power of Islam. He kept leading one battle after another till the fall of Mecca to the Muslims in 630 A.D. It was then that he had to either accept the Islamic faith or face a sure death for all the mischief he had committed against the Muslims, so he preferred to live in hypocrisy as a "Muslim," though only in name, rather than accept death.

He was the most cunning man in all of Arabia and one of its aristocrats and men of might and means. He saw Islam as the harbinger of the waning of his own personal power and prestige and those of his tribe, Quraish, not to mention the decline of his faith, paganism, and the pre-Islamic way of life to which he and his likes were very much accustomed, the life of promiscuity, lewdness and debauchery, with all the wine, women and wealth aristocrats like him very much enjoyed. His likes are present throughout the Islamic lands in our time and in every time and clime... This has always been so, and it shall unfortunately remain so...

Mu`awiyah son of Abu Sufyan was born out of wedlock in 602 A.D. during the jahiliyya, the time of ignorance, the period that preceded Islam. His mother, Maysun, was one of his father’s slave-girls. Maysun had a sexual intercourse with one of Mu`awiyah’s slaves and conceived Yazid by him. Mu`awiyah, in total disregard for Islamic or traditional Arab traditions, claimed Yazid as his son.

A testimony to this fact is the well-documented tradition of the Prophet (ﻉ) wherein he said, “The murderer of my [grand]son al-Husayn is a bastard.” This tradition is quoted on p. 156, Vol. 1, of Kanz al-`Ummal of al-Muttaqi al-Hindi. The stigma of being a bastard applies actually not only to Yazid but also to both Shimr ibn Thul-Jawshan and `Ubaydullah ibn Sa`d, the accomplices about whom the reader can read a great deal in my book titled Karbala’ and Beyond.

One glaring proof about the fact that Mu'awiyah never really accepted Islam is the following famous verse of poetry which Mu'awiyah composed:

لعبت هاشم بالملك فلا خبر جاء و لا وحي نزل

Hashim (clan) played with power:
Neither news came nor revelation descended.

Mu`awiyah played a major role in distorting the Islamic creed by paying writers to tailor design "traditions" to serve his interests and support his deviated views. He installed himself as ruler of Syria in 40 A.H./661 A.D. and ruled for twenty long years till his death at the age of seventy-eight. Shortly before his death, which took place in the month of Rajab of 60 A.H./May of 680 A.D., he managed to secure the oath of allegiance to his corrupt and immoral son Yazid as his successor.

He did so by intimidation once and once by buying loyalty and favours, spending in the process huge sums of money that belonged to the Muslims. The weak-minded majority of the Muslims of his time swore allegiance to him. This proves that the majority does not necessarily have to be right. Imam al-Husayn (ﻉ), together with a small band of devotees to the cause of truth, refused to bow their heads to the oppressive forces, hence this tale of heroism.

Mu`awiyah declared himself "caliph" in Syria when he was 59 years old and assumed authority by sheer force. He was not elected, nor was he requested to take charge. He did not hide this fact; rather, he bragged about it once when he addressed the Kafians saying, "O people of Kufa! Do you think that I fought you in order that you may establish prayers or give zakat or perform the pilgrimage?! I know that you do pray, pay zakat and perform the pilgrimage. Indeed, I fought you in order to take command over you with contempt, and Allah has given me that against your wishes. Rest assured that whoever killed any of us will himself be killed. And the treaty between us of amnesty is under my feet."

Mu`awiyah’s rule was terror in the whole Muslim land. Such terrorism was spread by many convoys sent to various regions. Historians have narrated that Mu`awiyh summoned Sufyan ibn Awf al-Ghamidi, one of the commanders of his army, and said to him, "This army is under your command. Proceed along the Euphrates River till you reach Heet. Any resistance you meet on your way should be crushed, and then you should proceed to invade Anbar. After that, penetrate deeply into Mada’in. O Sufyan! These invasions will frighten the Iraqis and please those who like us. Such campaigns will attract frightened people to our side. Kill whoever holds different views from ours; loot their villages and demolish their homes. Indeed, fighting them against their livelihood and taking their wealth away is similar to killing them but is more painful to their hearts."

Another of his commanders, namely Bishr ibn Arta’ah, was summoned and ordered to proceed to Hijaz and Yemen with these instructions issued by Mu`awiyah: "Proceed to Medina and expel its people. Meanwhile, people in your way, who are not from our camp, should be terrorized. When you enter Medina, let it appear as if you are going to kill them. Make it appear that your aim is to exterminate them. Then pardon them. Terrorize the people around Mecca and Medina and scatter them around."

During Mu`awiyah’s reign, basic human rights were denied, not simply violated. No one was free to express his views. Government spies were paid to terrorize the public, assisting the army and the police in sparing no opportunity to crush the people and to silence their dissent. There are some documents which reveal Mu`awiyah’s instructions to his governors to do just that. For instance, the following letter was addressed to all judges: "Do not accept the testimony of Ali’s followers (Shiites) or of his descendants in (your) courts."

Another letter stated: "If you have evidence that someone likes `Ali and his family, omit his name from the recipients of rations stipulated from the zakat funds."

Another letter said, "Punish whoever is suspected of following `Ali and demolish his house." Such was the situation during the government of Mu`awiyah, Yazid’s infamous father. Historians who were recording these waves of terror described them as unprecedented in history. People were so frightened, they did not mind being called atheists, thieves, etc., but not followers of Imam `Ali ibn Abu Talib (ﻉ), the right hand of Prophet Muhammad ((ﺹ, confidant and son-in-law.

Another aspect of the government of Mu`awiyah was the racist discrimination between Arabs and non-Arabs. Although they were supposed to have embraced Islam which tolerates no racism in its teachings, non-Arabs were forced to pay khiraj and jizya taxes that are levied from non-Muslims living under the protection of Muslims and enjoying certain privileges, including the exemption from the military service. A non-Arab soldier fighting in the state’s army used to receive bare subsistence from the rations.

Once, a dispute flared up between an Arab and a non-Arab and both were brought to court. The judge, namely Abdullah ibn `amir, heard the non-Arab saying to his Arab opponent, "May Allah not permit people of your kind (i.e. Arabs) to multiply." The Arab answered him by saying, "O Allah! I invoke You to multiply their (non-Arabs’) population among us!" People present there and then were bewildered to hear such a plea, so they asked him, "How do you pray for this man’s people to multiply while he prays for yours to be diminished?!" The Arab opponent said, "Yes, indeed, I do so! They clean our streets and make shoes for our animals, and they weave our clothes!"

Imam al-Husayn’s older brother, Imam al-Hasan (ﻉ), was elected in Medina on the 21st of the month of Ramadan, 40 A.H./January 28, 661 A.D. as the caliph, but his caliphate did not last long due to the terrorism promoted by Mu`awiyah who either intimidated, killed, or bribed the most distinguished men upon whom Imam al-Hasan (ﻉ) depended to run the affairs of the government. Finally, Mu`awiyah pushed Imam al-Hasan (ﻉ) out of power after signing a treaty with him the terms of which were, indeed, honourable and fair, had they only been implemented. Finding his men too weak or too reluctant to fight Mu`awiyah, Imam al-Hasan (ﻉ) had no alternative except to sign the said treaty with a man whom he knew very well to be the most hypocritical of all and the most untrustworthy.

This is the father. The mother is Maysun, Hind Having seen how his father, Abu Sufyan, became a "Muslim"—but never a Mu'min—, Mu'awiyah fled away to Bahrain where he sent his father a very nasty letter reprimanding him for accepting Islam.

Mu'awiyah son of Abu Sufyan was born out of wedlock in 602 A.D. during the jahiliyya, the time of ignorance, the period that preceded Islam. His mother, Maysun, was one of his father’s slave-girls. Maysun had a sexual intercourse with one of Mu`awiyah’s slaves and conceived Yazid by him. Mu`awiyah, in total disregard for Islamic or traditional Arab traditions, claimed Yazid as his son.

A testimony to this fact is the well-documented tradition of the Prophet (a) wherein he said, “The murderer of my [grand]son al-Husayn is a bastard.” This tradition is quoted on p. 156, Vol. 1, of Kanz al-`Ummal of al-Muttaqi al-Hindi. The stigma of being a bastard applies actually not only to Yazid but also to both Shimr ibn Thul-Jawshan and `Ubaydullah ibn Sa`d, the accomplices about whom the reader will read later; all of these men were born out of wedlock.

Mu`awiyah played a major role in distorting the Islamic creed. He installed himself as ruler of Syria in 40 A.H./661 A.D. and ruled for twenty long years till his death at the age of seventy-eight. Shortly before his death, which took place in the month of Rajab of 60 A.H./May of 680 A.D., he managed to secure the oath of allegiance to his corrupt and immoral son Yazid as his successor. He did so by intimidation once and once by buying loyalty and favours, spending in the process huge sums of money that belonged to the Muslims. The weak-minded majority of the Muslims of his time swore allegiance to him. This proves that the majority does not necessarily have to be right. Imam al-Husayn (a), together with a small band of devotees to the cause of truth, refused to bow their heads to the oppressive forces, hence this tale of heroism.

The greatest damage Mu'awiyah caused to the Islamic creed is through falsification, fabrication and manufacturing of hadith. He found in Abu Hurayra al-Dawsi his best tool to achieve this goal. Who is this Abu Hurayra, and why did he manufacture as many as three thousand traditions during the three year period when he was in the Suffa, a shelter for indigent Muslims, close to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina?

In the year 7 A.H./629 A.D., a young and very poor man from the Daws tribe of southern Arabia (Yemen), met the Prophet immediately after the battle of Khaybar and embraced Islam. He is well known in history as “Abu Hurayra,” the fellow of the kitten, after a kitten to which he was very much attached, reportedly carrying it wherever he went. His name shone neither during the lifetime of the Prophet nor of the four “righteous caliphs” but during the un-Islamic reign of terror of the Umayyads which lasted from 655, when Mu'awiyah seized power in Damascus, to 750 A.D., when Marwan II, the last Umayyad ruler in Damascus, died.

It was during that period that the Islamic world witnessed an astronomical number of “traditions” which were attributed, through this same Abu Hurayra, to the Prophet of Islam (ﺹ). Since these traditions, known collectively as hadith, constitute one of the two sources of the Islamic legislative system, the Shari`a, it is very important to shed a light on the life and character of this man even if some readers may consider this chapter as a digression from the main topic.

It is of utmost importance to expose the facts relevant to Abu Hurayra so that Muslims may be cautious whenever they come across a tradition narrated by him or attributed to him which, all in all, reached the astronomical figure of 5,374 “traditions,” although he spent no more than three years in the company of the Prophet, a fact supported by the renown compiler al-Bukhari, whenever such company did not involve any danger to his life, and despite the fact that Abu Hurayra did not know how to read and write...

The reader can easily conclude that this figure is unrealistic when he comes to know that Abu Bakr, friend of the Prophet and one of the earliest converts to Islam, narrated no more than 142 traditions. Omer ibn al-Khattab, the story of whose conversion to Islam is narrated earlier in this book, narrated no more than 537 traditions.

Othman ibn Affan narrated no more than 146 traditions. And Ali, the man who was raised by the Prophet and who was always with him, following him like his shadow, and whose memory and integrity nobody at all can question, narrated no more than 586 traditions. All these men, especially Ali and Abu Bakr, spent many years of their lives in the company of the Prophet and did not hide when their lives were in jeopardy, as is the case with Abu Hurayrah, yet they did not narrate except a tiny fraction of the number of “traditions,” many of which cannot be accepted by logic and commonsense, narrated by or attributed to Abu Hurayra.

This is why it is so important to discuss this man and expose the factories of falsification of hadith established by his benefactors, the Umayyads, descendants and supporters of Abu Sufyan, then his son Mu`awiyah, then his son Yazid, all of whom were outright hypocrites and had absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

Abu Hurayra's name is said to be `Omayr ibn Aamir ibn `Abd Thish-Shari ibn Tareef, of the Yemenite tribe of Daws ibn `Adnan 1. His mother's name is Umaima daughter of Safeeh ibn al-Harith ibn Shabi ibn Abu Sa`b, also of the Daws tribe. His date of birth is unknown, but he is said to have died in 57, 58, or 59 A.H., and that he had lived to be 78. This would put the date of his birth at 677, 678 or 679 A.D.

When he came to the Prophet (ﺹ), he was young and healthy and, hence, capable of enlisting in the Prophet's army. But he preferred to be lodged together with destitute Muslims at the Suffa referred to above. Most of the time which Abu Hurayra spent with the Prophet was during the lunches or dinners the Prophet hosted for those destitute. Abu Hurayra himself admitted more than once that he remained close to the Prophet so that he could get a meal to eat. Another person who used to shower the destitute of the Suffa with his generosity was Ja`fer ibn Abu Talib (588 - 629 A.D.), the Prophet's cousin and a brother of Ali ibn Abu Talib. He was, for this reason, called “Abul Masakeen,” father of the destitute.

This is why, Abu Hurayra used to regard Ja`fer as the most generous person next only to the Prophet. When the Prophet mandated military service for all able men in the Mu'ta expedition, Ja`fer ibn Abu Talib did not hesitate from responding to the Prophet's call, but Abu Hurayra, who considered Ja`fer as his patron, preferred not to participate, thus violating the order of the Prophet. History records the names of those who did likewise.

In 21 A.H./642 A.D., during the caliphate of Omer ibn al-Khattab, Abu Hurayra was made governor of Bahrain. After two years, he was deposed because of a scandal. The details of that scandal are recorded in the books of Ibn `Abd Rabbih, the Mu`tazilite writer, and in Ibn al-Atheer's famous classic book Al-Iqd al-Fareed. A summary of that incident runs as follows:

When Abu Hurayra was brought to him, Omer said to him: “I have come to know that when I made you governor of Bahrain, you did not even have shoes to wear, but I am now told that you have purchased horses for one thousand and six hundred dinars.” Abu Hurayra said, “I had horses which have multiplied, and I received some as gifts.” Omer then said, “I would give you only your salary. This (amount) is a lot more than that (more than your salary for both years). Pay the balance back (to baytul-mal, the Muslim state treasury)!” Abu Hurayra said, “This money is not yours.” Omer said, “By Allah! I would bruise your back!” Saying this, Omer whipped Abu Hurayra till he bled. Then he thundered: “Now bring the money back!” Abu Hurayra replied: “I am to account for it before Allah.” Omer said, “This could be so only if you had taken it rightfully and had paid it back obediently. I shall throw you back to your mother as though you were dung so that she would use you to graze donkeys.”

According to the sequence employed by Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat, Abu Hurayra ranks in the ninth or tenth class. He came to the Messenger of Allah near the end of the seventh Hijri year. Hence, historians say that he accompanied the Prophet no more than three years 2 according to the best estimates, while other historians say it was no more than two years if we take into consideration the fact that the Prophet sent him to accompany Ibn al-Hadrami to Bahrain, then the Messenger of Allah died while he was still in Bahrain.3

Abu Hurayra was not known for his jihad or valor, nor was he among those who were regarded as brilliant thinkers, nor among the jurists who knew the Qur'an by heart, nor did he even know how to read and write... He came to the Messenger of Allah in order to satisfy his hunger as he himself said, and as the Prophet came to understand from him, so he lodged him among the people of the Suffa to whom the Prophet used to send some food.

Yet he became famous for the abundance of ahadith أحاديث which he used to narrate about the Messenger of Allah. This fact attracted the attention of verifiers of hadith especially since he had not remained in the company of the Prophet for any length of time and to the fact that he narrated traditions regarding battles which he had never attended.

Some critics and verifiers of hadith gathered all what was narrated by the “righteous caliphs” as well as by the ten men given the glad tidings of going to Paradise in addition to what the mothers of the faithful and the purified Ahl al-Bayt, and they did not total one tenth of what Abu Hurayra had narrated all alone. This came despite the fact that among the latter was Ali ibn Abu Talib who remained in the company of the Prophet for thirty years.

Then fingers were pointed to Abu Hurayra charging him with telling lies and with fabricating and forging hadith. Some went as far as labeling him as the first narrator in the history of Islam thus charged. Yet he is called by some “Islam's narrator” and is surrounded with a great deal of respect. They totally rely on him, even go as far as saying “Radiya Allhu `anhu,” Allah be pleased with him, whenever they mention his name. Some of them may even regard him as being more knowledgeable than Ali due to one particular tradition which he narrates about himself and in which he says, “I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I hear a great deal of your hadith which I have been forgetting!' He said, `Stretch your mantle,' had created the heavens, the earth, and all creation in seven days. When Omer heard about it, he called him in and asked him to repeat that hadith. Having heard him repeating it, Omer struck him and said to him, “How so when Allah Himself says it was done in six days, while you yourself now say it was done in seven?!” Abu Hurayra said, “Maybe I heard it from Ka`b al-Ahbar...” Omer said, “Since you cannot distinguish between the Prophet's ahadith and what Ka`b al-Ahbar says, you must not narrate anything at all.”4

It is also narrated that Ali ibn Abu Talib has said, “Among all the living, the person who has told the most lies about the Messenger of Allah is Abu Hurayra al-Dawsi,” as we read on p. 28, Vol. 4 of Ibn Abul-Hadeed's work Sharh Nahjul-Balagha. Mother of the faithful Aisha, too, testified to his being a liar several times in reference to many ahadith which he used to attribute to the Messenger of Allah (ﺹ).

For example, she resented something which he had once said so she asked him, “When did you hear the Messenger of Allah say so?” He said to her, “The mirror, the kohl, and the dyestuff have all diverted you from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah,” but when she insisted that he was lying and scandalized him, Marwan ibn al-Hakam interfered and took upon himself to verify the authenticity of the hadith in question.

It was then that Abu Hurayra admitted, “I did not hear it from the Messenger of Allah; rather, I heard it from al-Fadl ibn al-`Abbas,” according to al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 232, in a chapter dealing with a fasting person who wakes up finding himself in the state of janaba, and Malik, Mawta', Vol. 1, p. 272.

It is because of this particular narration that Ibn Qutaybah charged him with lying saying, “Abu Hurayra claimed that al-Fadl ibn al-`Abbas, who had by then died, testified to the authenticity of that tradition which he attributed to him in order to mislead people into thinking that he had heard it from him, according to at-Thahbi's book Siyar A`lam an-Nubala.

In his book Ta'weel al-Ahadith تأويل الأحاديث, Ibn Qutaybah says, “Abu Hurayra used to say: `The Messenger of Allah said such-and-such, but I heard it from someone else.” In his book A`lam an-Nubala, at-Thahbi says that Yazid ibn Ibrahim once cited Shu`bah ibn al-Hajjaj saying that Abu Hurayra used to commit forgery.

In his book Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya البداية و النهاية, Ibn Katheer states that Yazid ibn Haroun heard Shu`bah ibn al-Hajjaj accusing him of the same, that is, that he forges hadith, and that he used to narrate what he used to hear from Ka`b al-Ahbar as well as from the Messenger of Allah without distinguishing one from the other.

Ja`fer al-Iskafi has said, “Abu Hurayra is doubted by our mentors; his narrations are not acceptable,” as we read on p. 68, Vol. 4, of Ibn Abul-Hadeed’s book Sharh Nahjul-Balagha.

During his lifetime, Abu Hurayra was famous among the sahaba of lying and forgery and of narrating too many fabricated ahadith to the extent that some of the sahaba used to deride him and ask him to fabricate ahadith agreeable with their own taste.

For example, a man belonging to Quraysh put on once a new jubbah (a long outer garment) and started showing off. He passed by Abu Hurayra and [sarcastically] said to him, “O Abu Hurayra! You narrate quite a few traditions about the Messenger of Allah; so, did you hear him say anything about my jubbah?!”

Abu Hurayra said, “I have heard the father of al-Qasim saying, `A man before your time was showing off his outfit when Allah caused the earth to cave in over him; so he has been rattling in it and will continue to do so till the Hour.' By Allah! I do not know whether he was one of your people or not,” as we read in Ibn Katheer's book Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, Vol. 8, p. 108.

How can people help doubting Abu Hurayra's traditions since they are so self-contradictory? He narrates one “hadith” then he narrates its antithesis, and if he is opposed or his previously narrated traditions are used against him, he becomes angry or starts babbling in the Ethiopian language.5

How could they help accusing him of telling lies and of forgery after he himself had admitted that he got traditions out of his own pouch then attributed them to the Prophet?

Al-Bukhari, in his Sahih, states the following:

“Abu Hurayra said once, ‘The Prophet said, `The best charity is willingly given; the higher hand is better than the lower one, and start with your own dependents. A woman says: `Either feed me or divorce me.' A slave says, `Feed me and use me.' A son says, `Feed me for the woman who will forsake me.'” He was asked, “O Abu Hurayra! Did you really hear the Messenger of Allah say so?” He said, “No, this one is from Abu Hurayra's pouch,’” as we read in Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 6, p. 190, in a chapter dealing with spending on the wife and children.

Notice how he starts this “tradition” by saying, “The Prophet said,” then when they refuse to believe what he tells them, he admits by saying, “... This one is from Abu Hurayra's pouch”! So congratulations to Abu Hurayra for possessing this pouch which is full of lies and myths, and for which Mu`awiyah and Banu Umayyah provided a great deal of publicity, and because of which he acquired position, authority, wealth, and mansions. Mu`awiyah made him the governor of Medina and built him the Aqeeq mansion then married him off to a woman of honourable descent for whom he used to work as a servant...

Since Abu Hurayra was the close vizier of Mu`awiyah, it is not due to his own merits, honor, or knowledge; rather, it is because Abu Hurayra used to provide him with whatever traditions he needed to circulate. If some sahaba used to hesitate in cursing “Abu Turab,” finding doing that embarrassing, Abu Hurayra cursed Ali in his own house and as his Shiites heard:

Ibn Abul-Hadeed says,

“When Abu Hurayra came to Iraq in the company of Mu`awiyah in the Year of the Jama`a, he came to Kufa's mosque. Having seen the huge number of those who welcomed him, he knelt down then beat his bald head and said, “O people of Iraq! Do you claim that I tell lies about the Messenger of Allah and thus burn myself in the fire?! By Allah! I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, `Each prophet has a sanctuary, and my sanctuary is in Medina from Eer to [the mountain of] Thawr; so, anyone who makes it unclean will be cursed by Allah, the angels, and all people, and I bear witness that Ali had done so.” When Mu`awiyah came to hear this statement, he gave him a present, showered him with his generosity, and made him the governor of Medina.”6

Suffices us to point out to the fact that he was created governor of Medina by none other than Mu`awiyah. There is no doubt that verifiers and researchers who are free from prejudice will doubt anyone who befriended the enemy of Allah and His Messenger and who was antagonistic towards the friends of Allah and of His Messenger...

There is no doubt that Abu Hurayra did not reach that lofty position of authority, namely the governor of Medina, the then capital of the Islamic domains, except by virtue of the services which he had rendered to Mu`awiyah and other authoritative Umayyads. Praise to the One Who changes the conditions!

Abu Hurayra had come to Medina with nothing to cover his private parts other than a tiny striped piece of cloth, begging passers-by to feed him. Then he suddenly became ruler of the sacred precincts of Medina, residing in the Aqeeq mansion, enjoying wealth, servants and slaves, and nobody could say a word without his permission. All of this was from the blessings of his pouch!

Do not forget, nor should you be amazed, that nowadays we see the same plays being repeatedly enacted, and history certainly repeats itself. How many ignorant indigent persons sought nearness to a ruler and joined his party till they became feared masters who do and undo, issuing orders as they please, having a direct access to wealth without being accounted for it, riding in automobiles without being watched, eating foods not sold on the market...?

One such person may not even know how to speak his own language, nor does he know a meaning for life except satisfying his stomach and sexual appetite. The whole matter is simply his having a pouch like the one Abu Hurayra used to have with some exception, of course, yet the aim is one and the same: pleasing the ruler and publicizing for him in order to strengthen his authority, firm his throne, and finish his foes.

Abu Hurayra loved the Umayyads and they loved him since the days of Othman ibn Affan, their leader. His view with regard to Othman was contrary to that of all the sahaba who belonged to the Muhajirun and the Ansar; he regarded all the sahaba who participated in or encouraged the killing of Othman as apostates.

Undoubtedly, Abu Hurayra used to accuse Ali ibn Abu Talib of killing Othman. We can derive this conclusion from the statement he made at Kufa's mosque and his saying that Ali made Medina unclean and that he, therefore, was cursed by the Prophet, the angels, and everyone else. For this reason, Ibn Sa`d indicates in his Tabaqat that when Abu Hurayra died in 59 A.H./679 A.D., Othman's descendants carried his coffin and brought it to the Baqee` to bury it as an expression of their appreciation of his having had high regards for Othman.7

Surely Allah has his own wisdom in faring with His creation. Othman ibn Affan, the master of Quraysh and their greatest, was killed although he was the Muslims' caliph bearing the title of “Thul-Noorayn” and of whom, according to their claim, the angels feel shy. His corpse did not receive the ceremonial burial bath nor was it shrouded; moreover, it was not buried for full three days after which it was buried at Medina's then Jewish cemetery.

Yet Abu Hurayra died after having enjoyed pomp and power. He was an indigent man whose lineage and tribal origins were not known to anybody. He had no kinship to Quraysh. Despite all of this, the caliph's sons, who were in charge of running the affairs during Mu`awiyah's reign, took to bearing his corpse and to burying it at the Baqee` where the Messenger of Allah was buried...! But let us go back to Abu Hurayra to examine his attitude towards the Prophet's Sunnah.

In his Sahih, al-Bukhari quotes Abu Hurayra saying, “I learned the fill of two receptacles [of ahadith] from the Messenger of Allah: I have disseminated only one of them; as for the other, if I disseminate it, this throat will be slit.”8

Here is Abu Hurayra revealing what erstwhile is hidden, admitting that the only traditions he quoted were the ones that pleased the ruling authorities. Building upon this premise, Abu Hurayra used to have two pouches, or two receptacles, as he called them. He used to disseminate the contents of one of them, the one which we have discussed here that contains whatever the rulers desired.

As for the other, which Abu Hurayra kept to himself and whose ahadith he did not narrate for fear his throat would be slit, it is the one containing the authentic traditions of the Prophet. Had Abu Hurayra been a reliable authority, he would have never hidden true ahadith while disseminating illusions and lies only to support the oppressor, knowing that Allah curses whoever hides the clear evidence.

Al-Bukhari quotes him saying once, “People say that Abu Hurayra narrates too many ahadith. Had it not been for two [particular] verses in the Book of Allah, I would not have narrated a single hadith:

`Those who conceal what We have revealed of clear proofs and the guidance, after Our having clarified [everything] for people in the Book, these it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them, too' (Qur'an, 2:159).

Our brethren from the Muhajirun used to be busy consigning transactions at the market-place, while our brethren from the Ansar used to be busy doing business with their own money, while Abu Hurayra kept in the shadow of the Prophet in order to satisfy his hunger, attending what they did not attend, learning what they did not learn.”9

How can Abu Hurayra say that had it not been for a couple of verses in the Book of Allah, he would not have narrated a single hadith, then he says, “I learned two receptacles [of ahadith] from the Messenger of Allah: I have disseminated one of them; as for the other, if I disseminate it, this throat will be slit”?! Is this not his admission of having concealed the truth despite both verses in the Book of Allah?!

Had the Prophet not said to his companions, “Go back to your people and teach them”?10

Had he not also said, “One who conveys is more aware than one who hears”? Al-Bukhari states that the Prophet urged the deputation of `Abd Qays to learn belief and scholarship “... then convey what you learn to those whom you have left behind,” as we read in the same reference. Can we help wondering: Why should the throat of a sahabi be slit if he quotes the Prophet (ﺹ)?! There must be a secret here which the caliphs do not wish others to know. Here, we would like to briefly say that “the people of the remembrance” was [a phrase in] a Qur'anic verse revealed to refer to Ali's succession to the Prophet.

Abu Hurayra is not to blame; he knew his own worth and testified against his own soul that Allah cursed him, and so did those who curse, for having hidden the Prophet's hadith. But the blame is on those who call Abu Hurayra the narrator of the Sunnah while he himself testifies that he hid it then testifies that he fabricated it and told lies in its regard, then he further goes on to testify that it became confused for him, so he could not tell which one was the statement of the Prophet and which one was made by others. All of these ahadith and correct admissions are recorded in al-Bukhari's Sahih and in other authentic books of hadith.

How can anyone feel comfortable about a man whose justice was doubted by the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib who charged him with lying, saying that among the living, nobody told more lies about the Prophet than Abu Hurayra?!

Omer ibn al-Khattab, too, charged him of the same; he beat him and threatened to expel him. Aisha doubted his integrity and many times called him a liar, and many other sahaba cast doubts about his accuracy and rejected his contradictory ahadith, so he would once admit his error and would sometimes prattle in Ethiopian.11

A large number of Muslim scholars refuted his traditions and charged him with lying, fabricating, and throwing himself at Mu`awiyah's dinner tables, at his coffers of gold and silver.

Is it right, then, for Abu Hurayra to become “Islam's narrator” from whom the religion's injunctions are learned?

Judaica and Jewish doctrines have filled the books of hadith. Ka`b al-Ahbar, a Jew, may have succeeded in getting such doctrines and beliefs included into the books of hadith, hence we find traditions likening or personifying Allah, as well as the theory of incarnation, in addition to many abominable statements about the prophets and messengers of Allah: all of these are cited through Abu Hurayra.

Mu'awiya was succeeded by his corrupt and equally sinner Yazid who is famous for staging the Karbala’ massacre of the immediate family, relatives and some supporters of Imam Husayn son of Ali son of Abu Talib, peace be with them all. The Imam felt obligated to rise against Yazid due to the depths to which the Islamic faith was driven at the hands of Yazid and his father Mu'awiyah, preferring to be martyred rather than endorse Yazid's illegitimate appointment as the "commander of the faithful" imposed on the Muslims.

Full details can be found in my book titled Karbala’ and Beyond and in many other books written on the Karbala’ epic of heroism to which I would like to refer the seeker of the truth. In order to demonstrate to the reader how hostile Yazid was not only to Imam Husayn but also to his father and grandfather, the Prophet of Islam (ﺹ), I would like to quote here verses of poetry which demonstrate this hostility:

كان يزيد جالسا في منظرة على "جيرون"، و لما رأى السبايا و الرؤوس على أطراف الرماح و قد أشرفوا على ثنية جيرون نعب غراب فأنشأ يزيد يقول:

لما بدت تلك الحمول و أشرقت تلك الرؤوس على شفا جيرون

نعب الغراب فقلت: قل أو لا تقل فقد اقتضيت من الرسول ديوني

Yazid was sitting at a surveillance outpost overlooking Jerun Mountain when he saw the captives with the severed heads planted atop spears as their throng came close and a crow croaked, so he composed these lines of poetry:

When those conveyances drew nigh
And the heads on the edge of Jerun,
The crow croaked, so said I:
“Say whatever you wish to say
“Or say nothing at all,
“From the Messenger have I today
“What he owed me he did repay.”

Notice the last couple of verses and how Yazid considered the Prophet (ﺹ) as owing him, and how what he did to Imam Husayn (ﻉ) was the "repayment" of that debt! An in-depth study of what Yazid had in mind will take the reader back to the Battle of Badr in which many relatives of Mu'awiyah were killed, so the Umayyads were hostile to Islam and Muslims, including the Prophet (ﺹ) himself, since then, and their actions prove that they really never accepted Islam wholeheartedly, and their offspring, who exist among us, in our time never will.

Fira فطره: the amount (in cash or kind) paid to the needy at the end of the month of Ramadan; see text on this topic in my book titled Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam for more details. Another meaning for this word, فطرة, is: nature, the human nature, the way the Almighty created it

Fuqaha' فقهاء: plural of faqih, jurist

Furoo’ or Furu’ فروع: branches (of the faith, teaching, tree, company or anything else)

  • 1. According to Al-Munjid fil lugha wal a`lam المنجد في اللغة و الأعلام, however, Abu Hurayra's name is recorded as `Abd ar-Rahman ibn Sakhr al-Azdi, and that he died in 59 A.H./678 A.D. The same reference indicates that this man spent “a long time in the company of the Prophet,” which is not true at all; he accompanied the Prophet from time to time for only 3 years. The Publisher of this Munjid, namely Dar al-Mashriq of Beirut, Lebanon, is sponsored by the Catholic Press of Beirut. Undoubtedly, the information about Abu Hurayra in this Arabic-Arabic dictionary must have been furnished by Sunnis who try their best to elevate the status of Abu Hurayra even at the risk of sacrificing historical facts and data.
  • 2. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 4, p. 175, where the author quotes Abu Hurayra talking about himself in a chapter dealing with the characteristics of Prophethood.
  • 3. This paragraph and the ones that follow are excerpted from my translation of Dr. Muhammad at-Tijani as-Samawi's book Shi`as are the Ahl as-Sunnah (New York: Vantage Press, 1996), pp. 207-215.
  • 4. Refer to the book titled Abu Hurayra by the Egyptian author Mahmoud Abu Rayyah.
  • 5. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 7, p. 31.
  • 6. Ibn Abul-Hadeed, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 4, p. 67.
  • 7. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 63.
  • 8. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 1, p. 38, in a chapter dealing with learning.
  • 9. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 37.
  • 10. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 1, p. 30.
  • 11. Abu Hurayra was bilingual. He spoke Arabic (his mother tongue) and Amharic. Historically speaking, during Abu Hurayra's time, Amheric was the language of “aristocrats” due to the fact that the Ethiopians had for many years colonized Yemen till they were kicked out of it at the hands of Sayf ibn Thi Yazun (or Yazin), Himyar's king who died in 574 A.D.