The reason for writing this is that one of my mentors, who is a manager of a landowner (Zamindar) and has a discerning eye as far as books are concerned, said to me one day that the Caliphate of the three Caliphs was acceptable to the family of the Prophet, so there could not be any doubt regarding the validity of that Caliphate. If it had not been so, Ali (a.s.) would not have shared the war booty in the way he did. He would not have taken Lady Shaharbano as a slave girl. This was not a new opinion of the manager.
Generally, people think on the same lines. That when Lady Shaharbano came as a prisoner of war, and because there was no need to perform marriage before having sexual relationship with slave girls, she remained under the charge of Imam Husayn (a.s.). In such circumstances, it is obvious that the children born to her, and till the present age, whatever of her progeny is present; all of them are continuous descendants. This proves that the family of the Prophet used to share the war booty from the wars undertaken by the three Caliphs. It also proves that the Caliphate of the three Caliphs had the approval of the Prophet’s family, thus their Caliphate was valid. If on the contrary they had considered their Caliphate invalid, they would not have shared the war booty.
It should be clear that the followers of Ali (a.s.) certainly believe that the Caliphate of the three Caliphs is not valid. But along with this, it is not the belief of this sect that all Islamic activities that took place during the tenure of these three Caliphs should be considered illegal. Rather, whatever activities were legal should be considered legal and whatever was illegal should be seen as illegal. For example, if a mosque was constructed during the reign of a Caliph, it could not be labeled illegal or if during the time of Caliph, some territories were annexed or booty obtained, it cannot be called illegitimate.
In the same way, there are many legal things that could be performed by an illegal Caliph. But since they are not illegal according to Islam, the followers of Ali (a.s.) could not deny their legality. On the basis of this principle, the sharing of booty by Ali (a.s.) was not against any law of Islam. Such action of Ali (a.s.) does not prove that Ali (a.s.) used to consider these Caliphates lawful. His considering the Caliphates illegal was right and his sharing the booty was also correct.
It is worth noting that when Ali (a.s.) came to the Caliphate seat, at that time many territories that were hitherto infidels had entered the dominion of Islam. After becoming the Caliph, he continued to retain these territories in his Caliphate. He indeed did not say that these territories were conquered during the Caliphate of the three Caliphs, so now they should be returned to their original rulers. And that only those territories shall be retained that were in the Islamic kingdom at the time of the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S).
The writer said by way of example to the manager: “Suppose you were to usurp all the property of your master and for a long time you have everything under your control. During this time you carry out many developments activities, like the digging of canals and building courts etc. You also purchase new properties and add them to the existing estate. But after a long time, the original owner is able to wrest control of his property from your hands. In such circumstances, would he be bound by law or common sense to demolish all the constructions that you had carried out? No sensible person will act in this way. Though you had illegally occupied the estate, your suitable activities could not be considered unlawful. Try to apply this example to the usurpation of Caliphate and the booty obtained during that period.”
Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan Bahadur has proved that the Holy Prophet (S) was not a slave child. His ancestor, Ismail (a.s.) was not the son of a slave girl. Hajra was not a slave girl, she was a princess. Now this writer would prove that the mother of the fourth Imam, Imam Zainul Aabideen (a.s.), was the proper married wife of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and not a slave girl. It is a pity that people who want to prove the legality of the three Caliphs are absolutely blind to other things.
Whether the eloquence of Holy Quran is rendered useless or not, where the laws of Quran are trampled upon, whether the Prophet (a.s.) is insulted, the Caliphate of the three Caliphs must be proved valid in any case. What type of an attitude is it? Who is preventing you to prove the legality of the Caliphate of the three Caliphs? But in the path of research, it does not befit a research scholar to include inequitable and irrelevant elements.
The view presented by the opponents not only proves that Allah forbid, Imam Zainul Aabideen was the son a slave girl, but it also alleges that, God forbid, he was illegitimate! The manager was having a similar view, but he was very surprised when I told him that even if the Caliphate of the three Caliphs was illegal, the relationship of Imam Husayn (a.s.) with Lady Shaharbano could not be considered illegal. She was not betrothed to Imam Husayn (a.s.) as a slave girl. It should be clear that there is difference of opinion regarding the period when Shaharbano is reported to have come to Medina as a slave girl.
Shaykh Mufid (a.r.) says that she came during the Caliphate of Ali (a.s.), Shaykh Ibn Babawayh says she came during the Caliphate of Uthman and Qutub Rawandi says she came during Umar’s Caliphate. Whatever may be the period of her arrival, the allegation of the opponents is not proved true in any case. The sharing of war booty by Ali (a.s.) cannot be said to be illegal as we have stated above. Their sharing of the booty does not prove that they had approved the Caliphate of the three Caliphs. The research of this humble slave says that just as Shaykh Mufid (a.r.) has written, Lady Shaharbano came to Medina during the Caliphate of Ali (a.s.).
The Shaykh says, “After the Chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husayn (a.s.), the next Guide is the Chief of Prostrators, Imam Zainul Aabideen (a.s.) His mother was Shahezanaan, the daughter of King Yezdgird, son of Shahryar, son of Choesroe. Some say that her name was Shaharbano. Ali (a.s.) had appointed Harith bin Jabir Juhfi as the Governor on some Eastern province. He took two daughters of Choesroe as prisoners and sent them to Ali (a.s.). Ali (a.s.) gave Shaharbano to Imam Husayn (a.s.) and the other one to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr.
Lady Shaharbano gave birth to Imam Zainul Aabideen and the other girl gave birth to Qasim Ibn Muhammad. Maulavi Sayyid Shah Muhammad Kabir Danapuri (r.a.) has certified the research of Shaykh Mufid (a.r.). The Shah writes in his well known book, Tazkeratul Kiraam, Tarikh Khilafa Arabo Islam1 that the above incident took place during the Caliphate of Ali (a.s.).
It should be clear that this book was based on various English and Persian books and published by Naval Kishore Press. The writer was a great scholar of the Sufi School. When the writings of Shaykh Mufid and the Shah prove that Shaharbano had come to Medina during the tenure of Ali (a.s.), any doubt contrary to this cannot be entertained.
Just as all activities of the time of Ali (a.s.) are considered valid, the union of Shaharbano with Imam Husayn (a.s.) shall also be considered valid. The objection of the manager in this regard does not hold any water. Now the writer also intends to prove that Shaharbano was properly married to Imam Husayn (a.s.) through Islamic marriage (Nikah). She was not joined to him as a slave girl obtained in a battle.
The same Shah has also written that Ali (a.s.) had appointed Harith bin Jabir Juhfi over some cities of Khorasan and he took three daughters of Yezdgird as prisoners: The three were Meherbano, Mahbano and Shaharbano. He sent them all to Ali (a.s.) and said that they were daughters of a king and they should be given to respectable people. Thus, Meherbano was given as a wife to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, Mahbano to Abdullah Ibn Umar and Shaharbano to the Chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husayn (a.s.), who gave birth to Imam Zainul Aabideen (a.s.).
This proves that Shaharbano was the legally wedded wife of Imam Husayn (a.s.). The word of ‘wifehood’ used by the Shah proves this. Shia books also prove that the Shaharbano’s marriage took place with Imam Husayn (a.s.) and by the order of Ali (a.s.), the Nikah sermon was recited by Huzaifah.
Thus, the above discussion proves that the sharing of war booty by Ali (a.s.) could not be blamed and that the relationship of Imam Husayn (a.s.) with Shaharbano was based on proper Nikah due to which Imam Zainul Aabideen Ali (a.s.) is safe from the label of “slave-child.”
Here, it is worth mentioning that according to the directions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), whatever booty is obtained through wars conducted without the permission of the Imam of the time, belong to the Imam of the time. Therefore, all the booty obtained during the time of the Caliphs actually belonged to Ali (a.s.). Thus, whatever Ali (a.s.) got from the booty was already his rightful property and others are responsible for whatever they had taken.
Apart from this, most of the time, Jihad was undertaken only after consultation with Ali (a.s.) and the correctness of Jihad is not a certificate for the validity of Caliphate. The fact is that Imam Zainul Aabideen (a.s.) is a prince from both his parents. His paternal lineage goes to Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (S) and Ali (a.s.), this is his religious princehood. His maternal lineage goes to Nausherwan Aadil, which is his worldly princehood. What can be said about Imam Zainul Aabideen (a.s.)? Only that will see him lowly who has been blind in the past and is still blind. May Allah bless Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad.
In the end, it is necessary to say that the writer, by writing all this, does not desire to hurt any person or sect. As far as possible, the writer relates the relevant incidents and always quotes only the authentic facts. Even then in a gathering some people said that this writer, writes the praises of some religious leaders. Now he will be dealt in the same manner as that particular writer of Patna was dealt with.
By Allah! Such dealing will not only be a favor on me, it will be salvation. The opponents of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) may be pleased to deal with me as they please, as it is proved that Lady Fatima Zahra, Ali (a.s.), Imams Hasan and Husayn (a.s.) are already wrongly criticized by the opponents. I am a slave of their slaves. It would be my fortune to suffer just as they had suffered. I would consider the suffering as a certificate for being a slave of their slaves. Indeed, I have no fear of persecution. When such great masters of mine were persecuted, how can I worry about my humble self? I am the one who keeps in mind the following verse:
“Say I do not demand of you recompense, except the love of the near kindred.”2
Obviously, one who keeps this in mind cannot have any fear of persecution. It is astounding that opponents of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) have always ignored this verse. And leave alone the love of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), they did not even have the slightest respect for them. The above writings have proved how the opponents persecuted and insulted the family of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
In order to maintain brevity and regard for the people of the time, the writer has hardly written anything about their behavior towards Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). If the writer had written in detail, this book would have been many times its size. The fact is that whatever ill-treatment was initiated from the time of the Prophet’s mortal illness, is still continuing. If all their calamitous circumstances were written, they would form a bulky book. Even today the world is not empty of opposition to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Though Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) themselves are not apparent, the opponents are bent upon persecuting the followers of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).