First Case Of False Testimony In Islam
According to the report of Qays bin Hazm, Ibn Abbas, Aamir Shobi and Habib bin Umair have reported that when the caravan of ‘A’ysha, Talha and Zubair started from Mecca to Basrah to confront His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), when they reached Hawwab, the dogs started barking. At that time, ‘A’ysha ordered them to return from that place. The people asked her why she wanted to return. She replied that the Holy Prophet (S) had said that “one of my wives would rebel and the dogs of Hawwab will bark upon her.” Upon this Zubair said: “Be patient, Hawwab is very far away from here.” ‘A’ysha asked: “Do you have any witness to support your statement?” Zubair and Talha bribed fifty Arabs who swore that it was not Hawwab and ‘A’ysha’s caravan moved towards Basra. We should know that this was the first instance of false evidence in Islam. This caravan was marching to Basra to fight with His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). In this battle, ‘A’ysha was defeated and Zubair and Talha were killed. Barwan killed Talha and someone else killed Zubair. This battle was named the Battle of Jamal because ‘A’ysha participated in the battle on her camel and one of her camels was also killed in the battle. Now the writer requests attention to the following points:
(1) We came to know from this tradition that the Holy Prophet (S) knew from his foreknowledge of his prophethood that one of his wives would rebel against his successor, that is, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.); and he also knew that she would be ‘A’ysha. He also knew that when ‘A’ysha would reach Hawwab, dogs would bark at her caravan. He knew all these things and they came to be true. Since the Prophet and his executor have knowledge of the unseen, how can the Prophet’s prediction be wrong? It happened as the Prophet had stated.
(2) ‘A’ysha had heard about her rebellion from the Prophet and the Holy Prophet (S) told her that its sign will be that dogs would bark at her at Hawwab. Even though she knew all this, she did not desist from war with His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). Ahlul Sunnat consider this error of ‘A’ysha as an error of jurisprudence, but it does not seem to be so. Being informed by the Holy Prophet (S) she did all this knowingly. It was not a battle against His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), it was a battle against the Holy Prophet (S) himself.
Anyway, the decision of ‘A’ysha is in Allah’s hands. No one can say, what would happen and what not, but I want to ask Ahlul Sunnat that when Pir Dastagir has said that ‘A’ysha was the most prominent woman of the world, to be most prominent demands that one should fight with Allah and that no one can become most excellent without it?
(3) The statement of Zubair that she was very far from Hawwab was a white lie. The writer asks: “Is falsehood necessary to be among the blessed ten?” Allah, the Almighty has made falsehood a greater sin and has cursed the liars. Quran says:
“And pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.”1
Inspite of this, in the view of Ahlul Sunnat, Zubair holds a great status. Certainly, the religion of Ahlul Sunnat is entirely beyond human understanding. Allah curses the liars and Ahlul Sunnat think they are blessed!
(4) When evidence was needed, Zubair and Talha bribed fifty Arabs of the neighboring area who falsely swore that, that place was not Hawwab. Apparently, Zubair and Talha were from the ten blessed persons of Paradise and it is highly regretful that they instruct witnesses to give false evidence. Praise be to Allah! What pure and pious persons are included among the ten blessed ones of Ahlul Sunnat! If such persons cannot be heavenly, who can be? Really the religion of Ahlul Sunnat is beyond the understanding of rational people.
(5) In the view of Ahlul Sunnat all these deeds of Zubair and Talha are errors of jurisprudence and their war with His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) is also considered as error of jurisprudence. Everything has a limit after all! Clearly, they fought with Ali (a.s.) and also made ‘A’ysha fight against him and this is called error of jurisprudence! Indeed, in order to save them from blame, enemies of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) have created a nice trick of the error of jurisprudence. How can any intelligent person accept a religion that is having such illogical principles?
(6) The incident of Hawwab shows that ‘A’ysha remembered the words of the Holy Prophet (S) and wanted to return, but Zubair lied and bribed fifty persons to give a false testimony to prevent her. The writer thinks that it seems if Zubair and Talha would not have been there, ‘A’ysha was not capable to fight His Eminence, Ali (a.s.).
Certainly Zubair was a strange elder! First he was not prepared to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr after Saqifah and wanted to give it to Imam Ali (a.s.) and make other people also give allegiance to His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). But later he claimed revenge for Uthman’s blood and entered the battlefield to fight against His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). The fact is that he was not a man of principles and he was a slave of worldly pleasures. He had no concern with His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) or Abu Bakr, he was only interested in personal gains and because of it he was killed with his companion, Talha. Both swore allegiance to Imam Ali (a.s.) but later broke it and joined ‘A’ysha. They had taken oath at the Imam’s hand because they thought they would gain something; but after the oath, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) put out the lamp and it dawned on them that they could not benefit from His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) in a legal way. So they left Ali (a.s.) and joined Muawiyah and ‘A’ysha.
The incident of the lamp is that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) was checking the accounts of the Public Treasury in the light of a lamp which burnt the oil bought from public funds. Zubair and Talha came to meet the Imam for some worldly matter and His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) put out the lamp and began to speak to them.
They understood from this act of Imam Ali (a.s.) that when he was so careful about public funds, how can they get anything from him? After that the two seekers of the world had no option but to break the oath of allegiance and join the adversaries of Imam Ali (a.s.).
Thus, after paying attention to all these points the writer says that a religion cannot be said to belong to Allah if it considers such unprincipled persons as ones who are promised Paradise. Allah has given sense to human beings to discriminate between good and bad. If a man does not employ this sense, how can he call himself a human being?
- 1. Surah Aale Imran 3:61