Debunking Doubts 6: Did the Imams Reject Their Position of Authority?

Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, wa ajjil farajahum wa la'n ada'ahum. Sallal Allahu alayka ya wali il Asr adrikni.

So I want to respond to maybe two or three more points that were raised by this imposter, by this individual just to demonstrate his hypocrisy, his duplicity, but perhaps more importantly, his deceptive nature and complete ignorance of the subject matter.

The first is a Hadith that he cites quite often, it seems in multiple videos where the context is you have two companions of your Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, one of whom is Al-Mu'alla ibn Khunais and the other is ibn Abi Ya'foor. And it appears that these two individuals get into an argument between them and the argument is left unsettled until they refer to Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, as the ultimate arbiter and they seek his advice and the Imam provides his advice.

And so this guy, when he cites this hadith, he presents it as evidence for his case. But we will see how that is most definitely not true. So I will read through the Hadith and then make some observations. So, the Hadith is narrated by Abi il-Abass il- Baqba'.

'Qal tadhakara ibnul Abi Yafoor wa Mu'alla ibn Khunais'. They had an argument, they had a discussion. ' Fa qal ibni Abi Yafoor, al-awsi'au ulama'u abraru al-atiqi'a. Ibni Abi Yafoor identified and described, the successors 'al-awsi'a' listen to these words very carefully, the successors as people who were scholars, they were learned, 'abraru al-atiqi'a' righteous and they were pious. So he's restricting the status of successors to being scholars who are learned to being righteous and to being pious. Ibn Khunais, on the other hand, Mu'alla, said to ibn Abi Yafoor, that's not the case. 'al-awsi'au anbiya' successors are in fact, prophets. So one says that successors are profets. The other says they're merely learned individuals who are also righteous and pious.

So they decide to take the matter up to Imam Al-Sadiq alayhi assalam, to seek his counsel and his advice. 'Qal fa dakhala ala Abi Abd Illah, alayhi assalam. Fa la mastaqarra majlisahuma'. They entered upon the Imam. As soon as they sat down, the Imam said to them, 'Qal fa bada'uhuma Abu Abd Illah, alayhi assalam'. Before they even spoke, Imam Al-Sadiq started speaking to them. He addressed them and said, ' Ya Abd Allah, abra'u min min qala inna anbiya'. O slave of God. Right. Abd Allah perhaps was the name of Ibn Abi Yafoor. He said' Ya Abd Allah, abra'u min min qala inna anbiya', I seek refuge, I disassociate from whoever says that we are prophets. Now a few critical observations to make from this hadith.

Number one, the position of Mu'alla Ibn Khunais is not necessarily wrong in and of itself. Allow me to explain. We do know according to the verses of the Holy Qur'an as well as other Ahadith that in previous times and previous prophets would appoint successors by God's order and that those successors would also be prophets. In other words, the original claim by Mu'alla ibn Khunais was what? 'al-awsi'au anbiya'. That successors in general are prophets.

Now, we also know, I am sure you have all heard this Hadith, this famous prophetic narration about the Commander of the Faithful, in which he [The Holy prophet (S)] says: 'Ya Ali, anta minni bi manzilati Harun min Musa.' 'You are to me, like Harun was, you are at the same station as Harun was to Musa'. 'Illa annahu la nabya ba'di.' Except meaning the difference between you and Harun is that there is no prophet after me. Now, what this suggests quite clearly is that Harun was not just the Wasi of Musa, not just the successor and an appointed heir of Musa, but also a prophet. So by default, the 'asl of Mu'alla ibn Khunais is referring to here is that, generally speaking, successors of prophets like Sheth to Adam, alayhi assalam, was that he was not just the successor, but also a prophet.

Ibn Abi Yafoor's response was that, no, they are merely learned individuals who are pious and righteous and very good people, right? Now, what does the Imam say? Listen carefully. The Imam simply does, he does two things, actually. The first is quite interesting. By initiating the conversation and addressing exactly the point that they were debating, the Imam proves what here? He proves 'ilm al-Ghayb'. So my first counter argument to this imposter, when you use this hadith, you deny 'ilm al-Ghayb' for the Imams. You believe the Imams do not have any 'ilm al-Ghayb'. The Hadith you are citing yourself proves that you are wrong. It proves that the Imam has 'ilm al-Ghayb'. Otherwise, how would the Imam know what they were talking about as soon as they sit down? 'Fa bada'uhuma', he initiated the conversation by addressing the problem at hand. That is point number one. So next time, just be careful which hadith you try to use to your advantage.

Number 2 the Imam is not taking any particular side in this argument. Listen carefully to what the Imam says. You have one companion who is lowering the station of the Imams, alayhum assalam, to that of righteous scholars, good people who are also very learned. You have the other one who may be suggesting we don't know exactly, but may be suggesting that the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt, the successors of the Prophet, are also prophets, just like previous successors who might have held both titles that were both successors as well as prophets.

We don't know if Mu'alla Ibn Khunais actually believe this because he wasn't talking about the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt. He was speaking broadly. He was speaking generally. But let us say that this is what he believed. Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, says 'Inni abra'u'. I disassociate from those who say that we are prophets, the Imam is not saying that the position of Ibn Abi Yafoor is accurate. 'Ithbat ush-shay la yanfi ma si'wa' as they say. Proving one thing does not negate another. The Imam is not taking any particular position. He is simply declaring that if anybody thinks that we are prophets, we disassociate from him. So that hopefully makes this clear. Next time when he uses this hadith, do not be fooled by that.

The second point I want to address is the one that has to do with Zurara and the reason I want to address this is number one to show how ignorant this person is. And number two, it is to address a problem that he raised. Right. First of all, I will start with Zurara. He said that Zurara died a death of ignorance because he died a few months, perhaps perhaps two or three months after the death of Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam. We know that according to several reports. So when Zurara fell, when Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, passed away, when he was martyred and killed by Mansur il- Dawaniqee, Zurara was already sick. He was bedridden. Right.

So he is saying that when Imam Al-Sadiq alayhi assalam, passed away, Zurara did not know who the successor of Imam Al-Sadiq was, and he sent somebody to find out who it was. But he never knew, never learned the result of the investigation. So he died not knowing the Imam of his time. And so his argument is that if you accept the Hadith of 'Min mata la yarif imam az-zamanahi mata mytatan jahiliyya', you have to say that Zurara died a death of ignorance as well. So how do you respond to this?

The first response is that according to biographers and according ulama il-Rijal, Zurara is identified as not just the companion of Imam Al-Baqir, Imam Al-Sadiq, but also Imam Al-Khadhim, alayhi assalam. So to say that he did not recognize the Imam of his time goes against these reports. For example, according to Sheikh Al-Tusi. This is in Mujam Rijal Al-Hadith, by the way, by Sayyid Al-Khoei. 'Wa a'dda'u fi rijalihi fi ashab Al-Baqir, alayhi assalam, qailan Zuraratu Ibn Ayyan Al-Shaybani mawlahum. He's considered among the companions of Imam Al-Baqir.

'Wa fi ashab Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, mithluhu ma'a zayadti qawlihi, kufiun yukanna Aba al-Hasan mata sanat mi'a wa khamseen, ba'da Abi Abd Allah, alayhi-salam.' And he is also classified as a companion of Imam Al-Sadiq, right. He was from Kufa he was called Aba al-Hasan. He died in the year one hundred and fifty after Imam Al-Sadiq. So shortly after the death of Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi-asalam.

'Wa fi ashab al-Kadhimi, alayhi assalam, qa'ilan.' And he is also considered among the companions of Imam Al-Kadhim the Seventh Imam. And he said 'Zuraratu Ibn Ayyan Al-Shaybani thiqatun'. He is trustworthy. 'Rawa an Abi Jafar wa Abi Abd Allah alayhi assalam.' So if he is considered as a companion of Imam Al-Kadhim, how do you say he didn't recognize the Imam of his time, who was Imam Al-Kadhim? Obviously he does.

'Wa a'ddahu al-Barqiyu aydhan fi ashab Al-Baqir, wa Al-Sadiq, wa Al-Kadhimi, alayhum assalam.' So Al-Barqe, who was one of the original and foremost Rajali's. He also says that Zurara was among the companions of Imam Al-Kadhim, alayhi assalam. That is point number one.

Point number two, there is a hadith, I will quote the one in Tafsir il-Ayashi, right. Which says, this hadith addresses two points, again, I will explain later. The previous one is in Ikmal ad-Din. Again, Ikmal ad-Din news flash, as per Bihar al-Anwar. 'Qal sa'altu Aba Abdullah, alayhi assalam, Hal yakunu an-nas fi hal la yarifu al-Imam?' He said, I asked the Imam, al-Harith Ibn Mughira. I said to him, is it possible that people would be in a state where they don't know the Imam of their time? 'Fa qala qad kana yiqalu dhalik. Qultu fa kayfa yasna'un?'. The Imam said, yes, that may happen. He said, I asked the Imam, so what do they do if they if they are in that position?

'Qala yata'allakuna bil amri al-awwal hatta yastabina lahum al-akheer'. They hold on to the first thing, meaning they hold on to the Imam that they knew last, the Imam that they recognized last, until matters clarify, until things become clear and they can recognize the Imam of their time, which means that it's OK if for whatever reason, you happen to be in a situation where you don't have access to the Imam of your time, you hold on to the last one until the dust settles and things begin to become clear.

The next Hadith is the one I want to draw your attention to. An Abi as-Sabah, qala qultu li Abi Abd Allah, alayi assalam'. And the sanad is is found. 'Qultul li Abi Abd Allah, alayhi assalam, ma taqulu fi rajulin du'iya ila hadha al-amr fa arfahu wa huwa fi il-ardhin munqati'a idh ja'a mawtu il-Imam. Fi bayna huwa yintadhar idh ja'a al-mawt, fa qala huwa waAllah bi manzilati min hajara ila Allah wa Rasulihi fi mata faqad waqa ajruhu ala Allah. Now, I will read the next Hadith because it it expands on this one so I won't translate this one per se.

'An ibni Abi Umayar. 'Qal wajjah Zurara ibnahu Ubaydan ila al-Madinati istkhabir'. When Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, passed away and there is a lot of details here but I don't want to get into them. Imam Al-Sadiq was under extreme pressure. And the taqiyya and dissimulation that was practiced by the Imam in terms of the appointment of the successor and making a public declaration about it was absolutely mind blowing. Right. It was a very, very difficult moment. You had al-Mansour al-Dawaniqi, la'anat Allahi alayh, who was who had sent spies, and he was trying to find out the successor of the Imam in order to incarcerate or kill him.

So the Imam, alayhi assalat wa assalam, had to leave in his will and testament, the one that was made publicly available. He appointed five individuals as his successors, each of which had a major problem so that anyone with a modicum of understanding and who had any kind of, if you like, employed the faculty of the intellect and referred to the original scriptures, was able to find out the true successor of the Imam. Ibn Abi Umayar says that when Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam, passed away, Zurara, was left for a few months, as we said earlier. In the meantime, Zurara was trying to explore and find out who the real legitimate Imam is. And in his mind, according to Ibn Abi Umayar, Zurara had only two options. He knew that the others would be ruled out for one reason or another, and he would be left with only two possible scenarios. Either it is Abd Allah al-Aftah or it would be Imam Musa Ibn Ja'far, alayhi assalam.

'An ibni Abi Umayar. 'Qal wajjah Zurara ibnahu Ubaydan ila al-Madinati istkhabiru lahu khabara Aba il-Hassan wa Abd Allah". In other words, he sent him to find out whether it's Imam Musa Ibn Ja'far, alayhi assalam, or Abd Allah al-Aftah. It, says "Fa ma taqqabla an yarja ilayh ibnuh". Zurara died before his son came back to report the results of his investigation. Zurara lived in Kufa, he sent his son to Madina by the time his son came back to tell him who the actual Imam is to investigate to find out the details, Zurara had already passed away.

"Qala Muhammad Ibn Abi Umayar. Hadhdhathani Muhammad ibn Hakim, qala qultu li Abi al-Hassan al-Awwal". So here is a companion who goes to Imam Al-Kadhim, alayhi assalam, and asks him about Zurara. " Fa dhakkartu lahu Zurara wa tawjiha ibnihi Ubaydan ila al-Madina". So I told him that Zurara sent his son to Medina to investigate. What is going to happen to Zurara, if Zurara didn't actually know that you were the Imam? "Fa qala Abu al-Hassan, alayhi assalam, inni la arju' an yakuna Zurara min man qala Allah: "wa min yakhurju min baytihi muhajaran ila Allah wa Rasulihi thumma yudriku il-mawt, faqad waq'a ajruhu ala Allah"(4:100)".

The Imam said, I wish and I pray that Zurara will be among those that Allah Subhana wa Tala includes in this verse: "he who leaves his home seeking migration to Allah and to his prophet and death comes to them, his rewards will be awarded to them by Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala"(4:100). Right. That's one thing which shows you a very, very important point, and that is that if someone for whatever reason, happens to be in a situation where they cannot recognize the Imam of their time, but they actively try to find him and recognize him and acknowledge him, then that is accepted. And we have multiple hadiths by that.

As a matter of fact, there is another Hadith in which somebody asks the Imam, he says to him, what happens to Zurara in this case? The Imam brings this example. He says that there was the fatra between Prophet Isa alayhi assalam, and Rasul Allah, this period of hundreds of years between Jesus and Muhammad, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. What happens to the people then? The Imam alayhi assalat wa assalam, explains Imam Al-Sadiq.

He says that those people who lived in that era in the fatra, as it is called. If they were actively seeking to recognize the Imam of their time, then that is accepted by Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. In other words, they hold on to their belief in 'Isa and they are waiting for the next prophet or they are looking for the next prophet anticipating the next prophet. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala will accept that from them. At the worst case scenario is that they will be categorized as 'Mustadhaf'. They had no way of knowing they were trying to, but they had no way of knowing.

So to try and use this example of Zurara and then say: oh so then he died a death of ignorance. The Imams themselves have explained that Zurara most certainly did not die a death of ignorance. As a matter of fact, there is another opinion, which is that Zurara definitely knew who the Imam of his time was. Notice that in these ahadith, it is other people who tell the Imam that Zurara was trying to find out. The Imam is not saying that Zurara didn't know.

We have other ahadith that state that Zurara knew but that he himself practiced taqiya. The authorities knew exactly who Zurara was. They understood his proximity to Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam. And so they were trying to find out from him what they failed to find out from Imam Al-Sadiq and his will. So they kept eyes and spies on Zurara. So Zurara didn't speak of the next successor of Imam Al-Sadiq, alayhi assalam.

And toward the end of his life, he said, Oh, Allah, I believe in whomever is your Hujja and your proof without actually naming Imam Musa Ibn Ja'far, alayhi assalam. And that definitely makes perfect sense. And it is in accordance with the previous reports that I mentioned which say that Zurara was not only someone who recognized Imam Al-Kadhim, but was also counted among the companions of Imam Al-Kadhim, alayhi assalam.

I will leave this discussion at this point here because I think we have provided enough evidence of the duplicity and hypocrisy of these individuals that try to lower the status of the Imams, alayhum assalam, try to make people doubt the appointment, the divine appointment of these Imams.

We have shown that they are either being deceptive, they are either lying or they are incredibly ignorant and really don't know the ABCs of Rijal. They don't know the ABCs of the sciences of Hadith and how the Imams, alayhum assalam, speak. They don't know anything about history. They don't know about it any anything, really. Not even Arabic grammar. Unfortunately, that PhD has to be thrown away, it would seem it's not worth the ink on the on the paper that it's printed on.

But the fact of the matter is that I think we have provided enough evidence to to demonstrate this to the dear brothers and sisters and community members so that they are aware of these things, so that they ensure that such individuals are not given a platform, that they don't fool the young, unsuspecting members of the community, and so that proper safeguards are put in place to ensure that the community is protected from these doubts and misconceptions inshaAllah.

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