Through a historical analysis, we come to the conclusion that there were some companions of Prophet Muhammad (S) who engaged in the act of invoking malediction against other companions.
In a letter which he wrote to Muʿawiyah, Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr (the son of Abu Bakr) mentioned that he (Muʿawiyah) and his father were both individuals who were imprecated against and the way in which Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr addressed him was as follows: “You are the imprecated and the son of the imprecated – both you and your father rose up in rebellion and insurrection against the Messenger of God (S) and both of you sought to extinguish the light of God.”1
In regards to an individual named Naʿiman or Nuʿman, it has been mentioned that he was one who imbibed alcohol and was even given the legal punishment in Islam [for drinking alcohol] many times while the Messenger of God (S) was present.
It has been noted in the historical texts that: “Some of the companions said: ‘May the malediction of God be upon him due to these excesses seen from him…’”2
After a certain event which took place, Abu Musa al-Ashʿari said to ʿUmru ʿAs: “‘May the imprecation of God be upon you as your similitude is that of a dog; if you go towards him, he sticks out his tongue; and if you leave him alone, he still sticks out his tongue.
Umru ʿAs replied to him: ‘May the imprecation of God be upon you and indeed your similitude is like the example of a donkey carrying a heavy weight upon itself!’”3
In addition, even ʿUmar b. al-Khattab imprecated against Khalid b. Walid when he killed Malik b. Nuwayrah.4
Finally, we see that ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar imprecated three times against his own son.5
- 1. Muruj al-dhahab, vol. 1, pg. 352; Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 1, pg. 351; Waqaʿat al-siffin, vol. 1, pg. 119; Sharh Nahj al-balagha, vol. 3, pg. 189 [أَنْتَ اللَّعِینُ بْنُ اللَّعِینُ، لَمْ تَزَلْ أَنْتَ وَ أَبُوکَ تَبْغِیَانِ لِرَسُولِ اللّهِ (صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَیْهِ وَآلِهِ) الْغَوَائِلِ، وَ تَجْهُدَانِ فِي أَطْفَاءَ نُورُ اللّهِ]
- 2. Ihya al-ʿulum al-din of al-Ghazali, vol. 3, pg. 162. This tradition has also been mentioned in the Sahih of al-Bukhari and al-Istiʿab of Ibne ʿAbd al-Barr. [فَقَالَ بَعْضُ الصَّحَابِهِ: لَعَنَهُ اللّهُ مَا أَكْثَرَ مَا يُؤْتِي بِهِ]
- 3. ʿUqd al-Farid, vol. 4, pg. 146; The History of Tabari, vol. 3, pg. 313; al-Kamil of Ibne Athir, vol. 3, pg. 158; Bidayah wa Nihayah, vol. 7, pg. 248 [لَعَنَكَ اللّهُ فَإِنَّ مَثَلَكَ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ. إِنْ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثُ أَوْ تَتْرُكُهُ يَلْهَثُ. قَالَ عُمْرُو: لَعَنَكَ اللّهُ فَإِنَّ مَثَلَكَ كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَاراً]
- 4. The History of Tabari, vol. 2, pg. 241 as narrated in the book, Shiʿa Shinasi wa Pasukh bi Shubuhat, pg. 594
- 5. Jamiʿ al-bayan al-ʿilm wa faḍhluhu, vol. 16, pg. 414, tradition 45174 as narrated in the book, Shiʿa Shinasi wa Pasukh bi Shubuhat, pg. 594