A Glance At The Verse Of “Wallazeena Ma-Ahu” (And Those With Him)
Let it be understood that we have, from the verse of the Cave, shown above, that it does not prove any kind of praise or Caliphate or emirate of Abu Bakr or of any other person. Now we invite the attention of the readers to a verse, which is being loudly used as proof of the serial order of Caliphate of the four Caliphs. It is:
“Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces, because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Taurat and their description in the Injeel; like as seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward.”1
Supporters of Righteous Caliphate (Khilafate Rashida) say that, in this verse, ‘those with him’ means Abu Bakr, ‘firm of heart against the unbelievers’, means Umar, ‘compassionate among themselves’, means Uthman and ‘bowing down, prostrating themselves’, means His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) and that the Caliphate too has come to be established in the same order.
The truth is that this statement can deceive only ignorant people. So we find thousands of Muslims who have been deceived by it. May Allah grant them the ability to see the truth. O justice loving gentlemen, this verse is very clear. Neither unknown words have been used in it, nor its grammatical construction is so complex that it be difficult to understand.
The only purport of this verse is that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and the specialty of his companions is that they are ‘firm of heart…’ etc. till the end of the verse. And doubtlessly, the companions of the Holy Prophet (S), whose hearts were clean of polytheism and hypocrisy and who were truly faithful, did have these virtues as mentioned by the Almighty Allah in this verse. This verse never conveys that such and someone was ‘compassionate…’ that somebody was an frequent bower and prostrator upto the end.
Rather, this verse gives a true picture of the true companions of the Holy Prophet (S), which brings before all, their true appearance. But, alas; instead of leaving aside the simple and plain meaning of this verse, Shah Waliullah in Izalatul Khifa, with reference to Ibn Abbas, says that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ‘and those with him’ is Abu Bakr and ‘you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves’ is for Ali (a.s.), ‘seeking grace from Allah and pleasure’ are Talha and Zubair, ‘their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration’ are Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqqas and Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah.”
O just gentlemen! Can there be any answer to such nonsense? How pitiful that a scholar like Shah Waliullah can say such meaningless thing and include such weak matter in his books and allow its publication. Had such a thing been written by any non-scholar, it would have been taken as ignorance and readers would have taken no notice of it. But the appearance of such words from the pen of a great scholar, clearly shows that prejudice is a great calamity. Prejudice turns even the greatest scholar into an ignorant man.
While writing such things, Shah Waliullah did not think how meaningless things are being jotted down and, worse than that, the author takes its proof from Ibn Abbas. Ibn Abbas was a learned man who had obtained knowledge of Quran from Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.). There should be no doubt that neither Ali (a.s.) has made such a reckless change in the meaning of this verse nor Ibn Abbas. Obviously, the subject words, ‘those with him’ are subject and their predicates have come one after another and not that it is a list of different people, as seen from the writing of Shah Waliullah.
Similar explanations are found in other books of Ahlul Sunnat like Ghaniyatu Talibeen. How strange that such great scholars have come down to such an extent that they have tried to give wrong meaning to the obvious and clear words of the Divine verses! They have, with extreme selfishness, given up all rules of grammar and language. Now we throw a glance of research on each and every phrase of this holy verse and whatever comes up will be presented without any prejudice and partiality.
It should be clear that the first part of this holy verse, which has been made disputable, is ‘those with him’, which, according to Shah Waliullah, means Abu Bakr. Obviously, the Shah has taken this ‘Maahu’ (those with him) to be a reference to that Maeeyat (company) of the Holy Prophet (S), which has been discussed earlier with reference to the verse of the Cave. Doubtlessly, the companionship of the cave is no event of pride or prestige for Abu Bakr, as the writer has shown earlier with proof. Then, why should Allah remind of the company of cave in any other verse?
So, it is never likely that Allah Almighty has referred to the company of the cave in this verse. In such circumstances, stretching the meaning of the word
‘Maahu’ (those with him) upto companionship of the cave is nothing but a game of words. The fact is that searching for truth, seeing of truth and telling of truth has disappeared from the world. Actually, it is the duty of scholars to establish truth, but the deeds of some learned people appear to be quite contrary. Let these just people see as to what connection this ‘Maahu’ (those with him) has with the companionship of Abu Bakr in the cave. Had it any special relationship with Abu Bakr, then wherever the word ‘Maahu’ (those with him) is used, it would mean the company of Abu Bakr in the cave. Is this meaningful? It is the duty of man not to allow his tongue to have anything with lying or falsehood because as the Persian saying goes: “Eulogizing the word fire is the practice of Fire worshippers.”
In his book, Ghaniyatu Talibeen, Pir Dastagir says: “In the verse ‘Those with him…’ the Almighty has, very clearly, mentioned the summary virtues of the faithful companions of the Holy Prophet (S).” But Ghausal Aazam also, like other Ahlul Sunnat scholars, fixes the reference of ‘Maahu’ (those with him) with Abu Bakr.
Firstly, shedding light on the writing of the Pir, makes the grammatical construction of the Divine words appear weak, as can be easily seen by anyone who is well-versed with Arabic grammar.
Secondly, the explanation presented by him does not apply to the events of the Holy Prophet (S). According to the words of the Pir, the company of Abu Bakr with the Holy Prophet (S) is mentioned on four occasions: first company in ‘usr’ (difficulty), second companionship in ‘yusr’ (ease), third, companionship in the cave and fourth company is ‘Areesh’ (throne). Now let us see what is the truth behind these companies. ‘Maeeyat fil usr’ means the company of Abu Bakr with the Holy Prophet (S) in times of difficulty. This is not seen anywhere. Rather, many things appear contrary to it.
The first significant company of Abu Bakr with the Holy Prophet (S) is the company in the cave, as mentioned by the writer earlier. In fact, this company has no importance. A look into this company shows that it would have been better if this companionship had not been there and every nice soul would wish that the Holy Prophet (S) would have been better off without it. Shaykh Saadi has written a couplet in his famous prayer poem, Karima, that has rightly been popular all around the world, as it mentions the truth. This ‘Maeeyat fil usr’ also includes company in battles (Maeeyat fil ghazwaat).
Now, who will go into the details of Uhud, Khaybar, Khandaq and Hunayn etc. Since they are known to all knowledgeable persons, they need no repetition. In short, there is no important company of Abu Bakr with the Holy Prophet (S), which is distinct. Much can be said for the sake of saying, which is a different thing. Now we should see about ‘Maeeyat fil yusr’ (company in times of ease). The writer does not disagree with it at all. Undoubtedly, this word of the Pir is totally true which no one can truthfully contradict. The third company is the company in the cave, which has been looked into. It needs no repetition.
The last company, in the words of Ghausal Aazam is the company in ‘Arsh’. If, here, ‘Areesh’ means the throne (seat) prepared for the Holy Prophet (S) in the Battle of Badr (according to Suyuti), then in that matter too, the writer has nothing to say, as this company for Abu Bakr is like a company in ease. What has happened during the Battle of Badr was that Muslims had built a high seat of wood for the Holy Prophet (S) from where he, as the commander, could observe every activity in the war. Military top brass do need such elevated places as a general is the spirit or soul of the army, who has to keep a vigilant eye on his army’s movements. Though the fight is carried out actually by soldiers, it cannot succeed without the guidance and supervision of the commander-in-chief.
This was the position of the elevated seat, which was prepared for the Holy Prophet (S). Since Abu Bakr was not a man of war, he remained inactive with the Holy Prophet (S) upto the end of the battle. This is the fact. But Suyuti has painted the picture showing that Abu Bakr was an expert sword-wielder and he stood by the Prophet for his constant protection. Now, what Abu Bakr has to do with the sword? He was never known to be a warrior. He did not take up the sword either in Badr, or in Uhud, Khandaq, Khaybar, Hunayn or in any other battle.
The truth is that the virtue of telling the truth and only truth has been given only to the true lovers of Allah. This blessing is not bestowed on everyone. Those who have been granted this bounty look at the world in a totally different way. May Allah give this virtue of telling the truth to everyone, as it is the way to salvation.
Now we will look into ‘firm of heart against the unbelievers’ who did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives for carrying out the commands of Allah and His Prophet, who fought with the enemies of Islam wholeheartedly and who never turned back even if they had to give up their lives; who remained steadfast along with the Holy Prophet (S) in the battles for truth, who never tried to sit aside during a fight with the opponents of the Prophet, who had never fled from battlefield, were fully entitled to be called ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers).
Shah Waliullah and other Sunni scholars say that in the verse under discussion, ‘Ashiddaau’ (firm of heart) means Umar. In order to look into this claim, it is necessary to look into his life sketch. Reason demands and wisdom accepts that one can be called ‘Ashiddaau Alal kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers) only when one is brave and courageous. In this case, we must first discuss his courage; if he proves to be courageous and brave, he can be considered worthy of being called ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers).
The first thing to which a researcher is attracted is that when Umar was about to propagate a new religion, he became very angry and he remained furious for six years because of it. He was ever ready during this time, to kill the Messenger of Allah (S); but he could not achieve his ambition. However, one day he left home with a sword to kill the Holy Prophet (S) but on his way, somebody told him: “You are proceeding to kill Muhammad, but mind well that the people of Bani Zahra and Bani Hashim will take revenge from you.” Upon this, he gave up the idea. It seems that the intention was due to anger, but when he thought over its consequences, his intention changed and he gave up the idea.
Another example of Umar’s bravery, which is being hyped, is that he migrated from Mecca openly with courage and did not hide himself while going to Medina. Those who do not know the facts may wonder thinking that when the Holy Prophet (S) had to leave Mecca secretly, it must have been extraordinary courage of Umar that he could go directly and openly from circumambulating the sanctuary towards Medina. It must have needed a very brave heart; that it shows that Umar was so courageous that the people of Mecca could not dare obstruct him.
But this bravery of Umar could be considered as an exemplary courage, had his uncle Abu Jahl not given him protection, because of which no Meccan could harm him at all. This is the fact about his migration from Mecca to Medina. Now we should look at another event, wherein he had to go to Mecca from Medina but could not proceed.
The truth about it is that before the treaty of Hudaibiya, the Holy Prophet (S) had asked Umar to go to Mecca and assure the Meccan Quraish that they wanted to enter Mecca only to perform Umrah pilgrimage, but Umar could not carry out the order of the Holy Prophet (S). He replied that the Quraish would not leave him alive; that at that time, there was no sympathizer for him in Mecca. This excuse was indeed genuine, because Abu Jahl, because of whose protection he had dared to migrate from Mecca openly, had departed for Hell in the Battle of Badr. The truth is that the way in which he had courageously left Mecca, could not be adopted by him for going to Mecca again.
Everything has a time and circumstances do not remain same forever. Well, the author could not know of any other event of Umar’s courage, except these two occasions. Hence no comment is needed. Now we give below a brief introduction of his bravery in war:
Umar got opportunities to accompany the Holy Prophet (S) in some important battles. The first was in the Battle of Badr, in which his flight is not proved. Only his inactiveness is recorded, which was due to the fact that his maternal uncle, Abu Jahl, had come to fight against the Prophet. He could in no way fight against his uncle, as he did not want to tarnish his character by killing an obliging relative, so he refrained from fighting. In the battle of Khandaq (Ditch), he flatly refused to fight against Amr bin Abde Wudd.
This excuse also was not against wisdom, because that infidel was extraordinary in physique. He looked like a giant, not a man. To fight such a fellow was against reason. In the battle of Uhud, Muslims were forced into a very difficult situation when the Holy Prophet (S) was injured. Many Muslims ran away from the battlefield and Umar also was among them. When there are no guts for fighting, flight was the only way out. His confession of flight is clearly mentioned in Sahih Bukhari. So also his fleeing is proved from what is written in the books of Fakhruddin Razi and Nishapuri. It is mentioned therein that besides Umar, Uthman was also among the absconders.
Suyuti records Umar’s words about this running away: Umar himself says, “We fled from the battlefield…”Now about the flight of Abu Bakr. It is also proved from Umar’s words. What had happened actually was that when the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) ran away, leaving him alone and he fainted after being injured, someone shouted: “Muhammad has been killed, so all of you should turn back to your earlier religion (ignorance).” We find a hint of this in the Holy Quran also. It is mentioned in a verse:
“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Many messengers had come before him. So if Muhammad dies or is killed, would you then turn back from the religion of Muhammad? So whoever turns back like this will not harm Allah at all (he would harm only himself).”2
According to Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal, when His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) asked Umar: “Did you not give out the call that Muhammad has been killed, so you may revert to your religion of ignorance?” Umar replied: “Verily, Abu Bakr made this announcement.” This shows that Umar and Abu Bakr, during their flight were near one another at some place; that they were so near that Umar could easily say that the announcement was in Abu Bakr’s voice
This event has indeed a strange color and a number of consequences do come out from it, but I leave the matter here. Besides, in the said narration of Ahmad bin Hanbal, a word of Abu Bakr is also recorded in Tarikh Khamis, which shows that on the day of Uhud, Abu Bakr had also fled. He says: “All had left the Prophet on the day of Uhud, Abu Bakr had, like other people, went off leaving the Prophet in the battlefield; but when the runaways returned, he was the first among them.” It should not be understood by this that he returned to Medina after two or three days. In short, during the Battle of Uhud, except Bani Hashim and Helpers (Ansar) of Medina, all leading Emigrants (Muhajirs) had left the battle of Uhud.
There is no need to mention the steadfastness and courage of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). A voice came from the unseen: “Laa fata illa Ali…” (There is no brave youth, except Ali…) During the battle of Khaybar, Abu Bakr and Umar had returned to the tents of the Messenger of Allah (S) after being defeated by Harith for two consecutive days and the Jews pursued them during the said two days, right upto the camp…In my knowledge, these are neither allegations not talks of timidity. Neither Umar nor Abu Bakr were created for battlefields. No blames can be put on nature.
Allah had created His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), the Lion of Allah for such courageous and brave deeds. He performed the same deeds as per Divine Wish. In Hunayn also, neither Umar nor Abu Bakr could show any martial achievement. Like all other fleeing Muslims, both ran away from the battlefield. Here also, the sword of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) saved Islam. The heroic deeds, which were to be performed for Islam, were performed by the Lion of Allah.
During fighting, the deeds of Abu Bakr and Umar were similar and the fact is that the two Caliphs were not molded like warriors. It is a lie to say that Abu Bakr was ‘the bravest of men’ (Ashja-un-naas) and Umar, a great Arab hero (Shuja-ul Arab). Neither was a man of the battlefield.
During the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (S), they did not perform any martial deed, which can make them men of war. It is because of the talk of the partisans of these two fellows that they ascribe to them the virtues they never possessed. Such baseless talks are being framed to prove that their Caliphates were legal, according to the Holy Quran. It is a vain effort to support their Caliphate.
When the fact is that all these Caliphates were established through consensus, inheritance and force and power, it is illogical to try to prove their legality through the Holy Quran. Well, it is certain that during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S) no courage was shown by the two Caliphs that could make them ‘the bravest of men’ (Ashja-un-naas) or a great Arab hero (Shuja-ul Arab). But whatever the two Caliphs did after the demise of the Holy Prophet (S), can have no relevance with the verse under discussion.
Obviously, this verse pertains to the time of the Holy Prophet’s lifetime, not its aftermath. Now, we will look at the time following the demise of the Holy Prophet (S). No doubt, Muslims conquered many countries during the time of Umar and some also during the time of Uthman, but what is significant is that these victories were not like the victories in Badr, Khandaq, Khaybar, Hunayn… etc.
These victories of Muslims were like the victories gained by communities of Goths and Vandal against Byzantine (Roman Empire). As we mentioned earlier, the hungry Arabs came down like ants and flies on parts of the kingdom of Caesar and eastern Roman and snatched many countries from Iranians and Byzantines. There was no contribution of personal bravery of the Caliphs; any Caliph of Medina would have got these victories for Arabs. All the victories were possible at that time for Arabs. More than that was neither possible for the armies of Arabs, nor time was favorable for more.
Apparently, victories during the Caliphate of Uthman preceded that of Umar while it should have been vice versa. In short, these victories had nothing to do with the personal courage of these two persons. Of course, had the sword of Abu Bakr and Umar gained victories for the Holy Prophet (S) in the battles fought by the Prophet, no one could deny the courage and bravery of these two Caliphs.
In short, even after the time of the Holy Prophet (S), personal courage or heroism of Umar is not traceable anywhere. Thus, the virtue of bravery does not apply to him at any time. In these circumstances, how can he be considered a man to whom the virtues of ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers) can be attributed? Let just people decide. His being tough against the deniers is not established. However, since there was extremism in his nature, he never restrained himself from being tough towards the prisoners of war.
He was also very tough even with his friends, relatives, sons, sisters and family members and his extreme severity was against Lady Fatima (s.a.) and her husband as explained in detail by the writer earlier. Obviously, such extremism does not make a man ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers). However, anybody can raise any claim. Nobody can hold anyone’s tongue; but telling the truth and only truth, is a great bounty from Allah. May Allah not hold it from any of His slaves. Doubtlessly, only he is devoid of it, who is bound to taste the anger of Allah.
Now, it should be seen, whether or not there is any connection of ‘Ruhamaa Bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves) with Uthman. Basically, the life of Uthman is divided into four periods. The first part is that of disbelief, that is, the period of his life when he had not yet embraced Islam. Obviously, the praise for this part of his life cannot be seen in the Holy Quran. Ahlul Sunnah also do not claim that he was ‘Ruhamaa’ (compassionate) during that part of his life, when he had not yet embraced Islam.
The second phase of his life was the time between his becoming Muslim and the demise of the Holy Prophet (S). Verily, the captioned verse was also revealed during this period. But no distinct deed of the caliber of ‘Ruhamaa’ (compassionate) is ever seen to have been performed by Uthman in this period. Then how could the Lord ever remember him with this special virtue? No performance of any merciful deed or behavior with any of the companions of the Prophet is found. Hence ‘Ruhamaa’ (compassionate) by no stretch of imagination, can extend to him.
However, there is no doubt that in his tribe of Bani Umayyah and other Quraishi tribes who were polytheists before the fall of Mecca, Uthman did, even after his becoming a Muslim, enjoy influence and position as before, and his former relatives did maintain love for him as before. This was because he too had maintained his earlier affectionate relations with them. So he was able to move among those polytheists without any fear of life and also because of this love for them, they too loved him in reciprocation. That is why, he was a beloved man of Quraish. Otherwise, the existence of unity between a Muslim and a polytheist was unexpected.
Therefore, in view of this, a scholar says in a lighter vein; if the pronoun of ‘Bainahum’ (among themselves) is turned towards the polytheists of Quraish then of course, looking to actual events, his being ‘Ruhamaa bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves) will be established.
But if those who make such change in the pronouns in the text say that, in the word of Allah, there is no mention of Quraish in this ‘Bainahum’ (among themselves), then there is, before this ‘Ruhamaa Bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves), the word ‘al-Kuffar’ (the disbelievers). So they may gladly turn this pronoun ‘Hum’ (them) towards ‘Kuffar’ (the deniers). Then at least, he will be proved ‘Ruhamaa bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves) and it will also not go against history.
Obviously, this is a light oratory, nothing else. What Allah conveys is not ‘Ruhama bainal Kuffar’ (compassionate among the deniers). It is necessarily either Bainal Muslimeen (compassionate among Muslims) or Bain allazina maahum (compassionate among those who were with them). So this clarifies that ‘Ruhama bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves) also applies only to those whom ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers) had applied.
It applied only to those who confronted the deniers, who killed deniers and who saved Islam from destruction and helped the Prophet; who did not allow disrespect to the religion of Allah, who never hesitated in fighting for truth, who remained always steadfast, who never fled from the battlefield, leaving the Prophet and his companions; who protected the Muslims from the attacks and harms of deniers and who did not leave them to the mercy of the deniers, who saved them from being caught by the disbelievers; who did not allow attacks on women and children of the believers and left no stone unturned in serving their brothers and sisters in faith, who fought unceasingly in the Path of Allah, who confronted big giants among deniers; who never showed their back to the oppressors and who never cared for the safety of their own lives.
Such brave and courageous people were those to whom the phrase ‘Ruhama Bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves) and ‘Ashiddaau alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers) is applicable and not that one can be ‘Ruhama Bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves) but not ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers) and vice versa.
Now, it is for the wise and the just persons to decide whether Uthman was, or was not fit for being called ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers), so that he could also be called ‘Ruhama Bainahum?’ (compassionate among themselves). It has been historically proved above that he surely was never worthy of being called ‘Ashiddaau Alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the unbelievers).
So he also cannot be worthy of being attributed with the phrase of ‘Ruhama Bainahum’ (compassionate among themselves). History shows that neither Abu Bakr and Umar were worth being called ‘Ashiddaau’ (firm of heart…) nor Uthman, because all the three gentlemen are devoid of the attribute of ‘Ruhama’ (compassionate) too.
It is nothing, but sheer prejudice and undue insistence that they attach each of the attributes shown in the aforesaid verse, to one particular person; that is, they apply ‘Allazeena maahu’ (those who were with them) to Abu Bakr,‘Ashiddaau’ (firm of heart) to Umar and ‘Ruhama’ (compassionate) to Uthman.
The truth is that the clear meaning of this verse is that the virtues of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) are ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…), ‘Ashiddaau…’ (firm of heart…) etc. and never that such and such companion has this attribute and such and such has that.
Had these virtues to mention certain particular persons, Allah would not have made general mention of interdependent attributes and which were the essential attributes or virtues of the Holy Prophet’s faithful (not hypocrite) companions. Verily, this verse applies to those who possessed all the said virtues and their reward is Divine pleasure.
The third part of the life of Uthman is that which was spent during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar. Therein, nothing is found, which can make him worthy of being ‘Ruhama’ (compassionate).
Now remains the fourth part, which is the particular part of his own Caliphate. A glance at it gives the idea of his original nature. How did he behave with common Muslims and with the companions of the Prophet is seen in the events which took place during his Caliphate. Some such events are narrated below. Let the just people decide, how much he was deserving of being called ‘Ruhama’ (compassionate).
Event no. 1: The third Caliph dismissed Mughaira bin Shoba from the post of the governor of Kufa and replaced him by Saad bin Abi Waqqas, who was one of the Ashra Musbashshera (the ten who were given glad tidings of Paradise). This gentleman might have remained on that post when the Caliph replaced him by Walid bin Uqbah. A brief introduction of this fellow is that besides being from Bani Umayyah, he also was a step-brother (from maternal side) of the Caliph.
After becoming the governor, he used to remain drunk to such an extent that one day, being intoxicated, he entered the Masjid, led the Morning Prayer, making it four units (rakats) instead of two, then vomited wine on the prayer mat and asked the follower worshippers whether he should add some more units. People replied: “No need sir, this much is enough.”
It is mentioned in Al Uyoon Fee Seeratil Ameen wa Mamoon that after this event, Ibn Masood commented: “May Allah not give good either to you or to the one who sent you to us (meaning Uthman who had appointed Walid as the governor).”
This event is also recorded in Tarikh Abul Fida and Madarijun Nubuwwah of Shah Abdul Haqq Muhaddith. There is no doubt about its factuality. It should be understood that this Walid was a habitual offender. Giving such a sinful man this appointment, appears to be an amazing deed of the Caliph in an Islamic country. Moreover, no reason of the appointment of Walid need be mentioned as he was from Banu Umayyah and he also had family relations with the Caliph. That is why a man from Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten) could be humiliated. This man had no superiority over Saad bin Abi Waqqas except for family relations. His appointment only shows a help to his brother.
But what kind of help is it, which results in oppression of Allah’s creation and deviation from the path of the Holy Prophet (S)? It is indeed very strange that a criminal and sinful fellow should be made governor of an Islamic province. But, it seems, the prejudiced people say that this vain work of the Caliph was an act of Sile Rahmi (good behavior with relatives).
A scholarly gentleman tells me: The third Caliph, Uthman, appointed his relatives to high posts according to the Quranic command of behaving nicely with blood relations. How strange it is to hear such words from a learned man! None can utter such irrelevant words unless his interior has become perverted. Dear readers, for Allah’s sake, be just and decide whether Allah has, at any place, said: “Be kind to your relatives even if others are harmed and even if the commands of Allah and His Prophet are breached, let them be, but you must practice kindness to your relatives?” Let them explain whether the order of helping relatives relates to help from one’s own wealth or from the common public treasury of all Muslims?
In short, how can anyone say that whatever Uthman did to Mughaira and Saad can be called a kind act to relatives? Can he or can he not be called an example of ‘Ruhama…’ (Compassionate…) on account of the help he gave to his brother? Let the just people judge. I need not say anything more. Let the truth- loving people look at the behavior of Bani Umayyah. Most people of this cursed tribe are like Walid bin Uqbah. He was an example of the habits of his tribe. A man of this tribe cannot remain unnoticed even among thousands.
Abu Sufyan, Muawiyah, Yazeed and Marwan etc. were such men who could be traced very easily from among thousands, as each of them reflects the entire mentality of Bani Umayyah. Individuals identify their community. Likewise, Hashim, Abdul Muttalib, Abdullah, Abu Talib, Hamza, Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (S), Imam Ali Murtadha’ (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husayn (a.s.) and all the individuals of the families of the Imams, belonging to the Prophet’s progeny, are those who show the collective virtues of Bani Hashim.
Glory be to Allah! How virtuous Bani Hashim were. Had they not been so, prophethood would not have arrived in their tribe nor would Quran have been revealed to them. They were respectable due to their virtues. The Lord Almighty sends salutations and blessings on Bani Hashim. O Faithful, you also should invoke blessings on them.
Event no. 2: This Caliph appointed Abdullah bin Saad as the governor of Egypt. He was an apostate. Obviously, his kindness used to be only with such people. Walid, who was made the governor of Kufa, was a grave offender. This man, who was made the governor of Egypt was a known apostate. What type of kindness is it to make offenders and apostates governors of Muslim provinces? Can such kindness make one worthy of being called ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…)?
Event no. 3: Caliph Uthman dismissed Abu Moosa Ashari from the post of the governor of Basra and replaced him by his cousin, Aamir. This appointment too was based on the rule of family kindness (Sile Rahmi). Now let the just people decide whether or not the dismissal of Abu Moosa for the sake of a relative attracts the virtue of ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…) This companion, Abu Moosa was one of the Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten) of Sunnis. Can such behavior with such people be called kindness without any valid reason?
Event no. 4: There was a conflict between Saad bin Abi Waqqas, governor of Kufa and Malik Ashtar during the Caliphate of Uthman. The governor’s men beat Ashtar until he fainted. The leading people of Kufa got perturbed due to this happening and men like Thabit bin Qays began to talk against Saad in public meetings and he also spoke with disgust against Uthman. Saad sent a complaint against such people to Uthman and he drove all of them out of Kufa towards Syria. Not only this, they were pushed towards Hums so that the cruel- hearted ruler, Abdur Rahman bin Walid may deal sternly with them. Justice- loving people know that the time of Uthman was full of very strange events of corruption and cruelty.
The relatives of the Caliph were doing whatever unjust things they liked with the assistance of government machinery. Malik Ashtar was persecuted. Those who showed concern for him were also persecuted. These things show the cruel, not compassionate nature of Uthman. Can any wise and just person consider such a Caliph worthy of being called ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…)?
It may be remembered that Malik Ashtar was a well-known companion of the Holy Prophet (S) but at the same time he had also a ‘defect’ of being a friend of the family of the Prophet. He was an intimate friend of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). Of course, this was the greatest ‘defect’ at that time in the Islamic world. What happened repeatedly with the friends and companions of Ali (a.s.) during the days of Uthman and the days of Banu Umayyah is known to all. There is not a single person among the friends of Ali (a.s.) who was not either beaten up or extradited during that period.
Event no. 5: The treatment meted out to Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari during the Caliphate is very significant. The poor gentleman was a very sincere and well-known companion of the Holy Prophet (S). But he also had, like Malik Ashtar, Salman, Miqdad and Ammar bin Yasir (r.a.), the defect of being a friend of and having affection for the family of the Prophet. Unjust and oppressive treatment to the partisans of Ali (a.s.) was not at all unexpected during the days of Bani Umayyah.
So being angry with Abu Dharr (r.a.), Muawiyah wrote to the Caliph: “If you need the province of Syria, then send Abu Dharr away from Syria to any other place.” In response, the Caliph wrote to Muawiyah: “Send Abu Dharr to me here in Medina, making him ride the bare back of an untamed camel.” The order was carried out in toto. Readers may kindly see how much novelty is found in this way of punishing somebody and decide how much compassion can be traced in the heart of the Caliph?
Can ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…) be such people? Can they ever drive the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) on wild animals like this? It is a different thing how much pain the aged companion of the Holy Prophet (S) might have suffered during this torturous journey. What is surprising, is how he reached Medina alive at all! Only Allah was his protector, otherwise, his death during such torture was almost certain.
There is every likelihood of the Caliph’s intention being the same. But since his lifespan had not yet come to an end, he survived the cruelty. This event exposes cruelty (not kindness) of the Caliph and it also indicates that the attribute of modesty, which is being attached to him, was also imagined. No modest ruler can ever give such a punishment of putting an old man on a unbridled camel. As modesty comes in the way of the one who describes this event, it is recorded in history books for all to see.
Anyway, even after the aged and broken down companion reached Medina, the Caliph turned him away from there too. So Abu Dharr went to Rabaza.3 The Caliph had also issued orders that nobody should accompany Abu Dharr. So no one went to see him off, except Ali bin Abi Talib and Ammar bin Yasir (r.a.) who walked with that lonely traveler for some distance.
Biographers have written that when Abu Dharr got the extradition order, he said: “I have heard the Holy Prophet say that Abu Dharr will live a lonely life and die a lonely death.” So it happened like that. Whose heart does not move hearing the oppression suffered by Abu Dharr?
Only Allah can give him justice. It should be noted that all allegations made by the Caliph against Abu Dharr were totally baseless. He had denied all the allegations and recommendations of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) were also not acceptable to Bani Umayyah, so no one paid any attention and Abu Dharr (r.a.) was driven out of the town humiliated, despite being innocent. The only reason of all these oppressions was that he was ‘guilty’ of loving Amirul Mo-mineen and of praising his virtues.
Had he not been a friend of Ali (a.s.), he would not have suffered this trouble. Now, let the men of justice decide whether a man who could be so cruel to a sinless Abu Dharr can ever be regarded as ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…)?
Event no. 6: The wrong, which was done to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (r.a.) was that in the official letter to Egypt, the word ‘Aqbiluhu’ (welcome him) was turned into “Uqtuluhu” (kill him). Even if it is said that Marwan did this mischief, the Caliph cannot stand absolved of the allegation, as Marwan was his right hand. The Caliph himself had appointed him as his minister, who had everything to do with all state affairs and revenue matters. Hence, whatever good or bad Marwan was doing, was by the Caliph’s leave. The Caliph was squarely responsible for every act of Marwan.
The Holy Prophet (S) had driven this man (Marwan) out of all Islamic territories. Therefore, even the two Caliphs had not allowed him to enter the land of Islam during their Caliphate. But Uthman, due to his family bonds, called him to Medina and made him his minister and adviser.4
In this situation, the only person who was responsible for all the misdeeds done by the man who was externed by the Holy Prophet (S) himself was none but Uthman.
The cause of Marwan’s enmity towards Muhammad bin Abi Bakr was nothing but his partisanship with His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), despite his being the son of the first Caliph. This was enough to make the entire Bani Umayyah enemies of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. Otherwise, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr was such a man whose being a son of Abu Bakr would have been considered a merit by the opponents of Ali (a.s.). But anyway, it was Bani Umayyah who took the life of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. Muawiyah got him killed, got his dead body put in the skin of a donkey and then put to flames.5
Event no. 7: What a kind and merciful behavior was meted out to Ammar bin Yasir (r.a.) [who also was a companion of the Holy Prophet (S)] by Caliph is not unknown to the knowledgeable people. Be it understood that when the iniquities of Uthman crossed limits and the Muslim masses became very restless, fifty men from Helpers (Ansar) and Emigrants (Muhajireen) sent Ammar bin Yasir (r.a.) with a letter addressed to the Caliph. The subject matter of that letter was: “If the Caliph does not refrain from unjust things and harmful acts, he will be deprived of his Caliphate.”
As a result of this message, Ammar (r.a.) was so severely beaten up that he became a victim of hernia. Let the just people decide, whether this too was a merciful deed of the Caliph, which can make him worthy of being called
‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…). This ill treatment was also meted out to a companion of the Prophet. If the friends of the Caliph say that the Caliph himself did not beat Ammar (r.a.), one can very well ask as to why did he not of his community to high posts in various countries. It appeared that rule everywhere was only of Bani Umayyah, who did whatever they liked and the Caliph never stopped aiding them.
Government of Bani Umayyah was already established in Syria (Shaam) ever since the time of the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar, and the area around it had become almost a property of Bani Umayyah. During the days of the third Caliph, the entire Islamic territory had fallen in the hands of Bani Umayyah and these evil-doers had started blowing the bugle of ‘My Word is Law’ and hence all evils erupted in this area, without leaving any doubt to believe that things were being done by mischief-makers through the Caliph. All this goes to show that the third Caliph and his officers were doing only self-service at the cost of general common good, mercilessly throwing public interest to the winds.
Event no. 8: Abdur Rahman bin Auf, according to Ahlul Sunnat, is one of the Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten). He was one of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S), but he too was thrown out of Medina by the order of the third Caliph. Those who know are aware that Uthman was made Caliph with the help prevent the oppressors from that cruelty and even if he did not do so at that of Abdur Rahman bin Auf.6
Had this companion not been there, Caliphate moment, why did he not take any punitive action against the wrongdoers afterwards?
But the truth of the matter is that the oppressors had done this misdeed only in the interest of the Caliph, then how could he prevent them? How could he punish them and why? The truth is that we are taking these things lightly. Otherwise, such misdeeds were not only allowed during the Caliphate of Uthman but they were also considered necessary and sometimes he himself was not only carrying out such misdeeds, but was also planning them as had happened in the matter of seating Abu Dharr (r.a.) on the bare back of an unbridled refractory camel.
The cause of cruelty to Ammar (r.a.) too was that he was a friend of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). So here, they got an opportunity to do and did what they did. Knowledgeable people know very well that the Caliphate of Uthman was the time of a very strange anarchy. He himself was not qualified to rule a state and the people of his tribe (Banu Umayyah) were naturally inclined to evil. Whenever they got any opportunity to commit any evil, they committed it either themselves or through the Caliph. Because of his weak heart, the people of his tribe did whatever they wanted to do and Muslim masses were suffering a lot because of such misdeeds. Men of Banu Umayyah held all the high posts and the Caliph did whatever good he could do to them.
For example, the Caliph called Marwan back in the Islamic state and appointed him his vizier. He also allotted the Khums of Africa to him. Once, he gave a hundred thousand dirhams to Hakam bin Aas and ordered that every shopkeeper of Medina must pay 1/10th amount to his son, Harith. He appointed the people would have never reached Uthman, but despite this, what was done to him only shows that he got the punishment of his unjust deed by Allah’s will.
The fact is that soon after becoming the Caliph, Uthman showed displeasure in Abdur Rahman bin Auf. It was due to the fact that once Abdur Rahman had told the Caliph: “Had I known that you would behave like this, I would never have allowed you to become the Caliph.”
The story of this king-making is that when Umar received a fatal blow with the sword of Abu Lulu and he saw his death near, he made an arrangement, through which it was impossible for the Caliphate to reach His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). Not only this, the atmosphere was such that had His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) insisted, his being killed was almost certain.
Verily, Umar was a very cunning man. He did not allow Ali (a.s.) to become a Caliph before himself and also very beautifully prevented him from assuming the office after him. Indeed, his political mind was extraordinarily cunning. He passed the time during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and of himself with a very alert mind. It was his political influence, which brought Bani Umayyah to the top, in a very short time.
He not only weakened the strong tribe of Bani Hashim, but also brought it down to be kicked continuously in the future. His political acumen was indeed extraordinary. Even when he was almost on the deathbed, his political mind did not weaken and so he, very cunningly, left the matter of his succession to Shura (Consultation) Committee. He knew it well that other men on the board would, due to enmity, never support Ali (a.s.), thereby debarring him from Caliphate.
Along with this, he also put a very strange condition that anyone who opposes the Shura decision should be killed. It was never the work of an ordinary man’s brain to think of such intrigues at the last moment of one’s life. Well, Umar departed and the Shura began their maneuverings. Abdur Rahman bin Auf asked His Eminence, Ali (a.s.): “If you become the Caliph, will you run the administration according to Quran, Sunnah and Abu Bakr and Umar’s line or not?” His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) was a true man, so he replied: “To the best of my ability.”7
But the fact which came out after research is that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) had said: “I will act according to Quran and Sunnah and thereafter, what will be correct according to my knowledge. The behavior of Abu Bakr and Umar is nothing in my view.” This reply apparently displeased Abdur Rahman bin Auf. He told His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) that his reply was conditional. Then he put the same query to Uthman who very gladly concurred that he would readily do as he says.
Getting this unconditional affirmative reply, Abdur Rahman at once appointed Uthman as the Caliph of Muslims. His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) kept quiet and did not think it wise to endanger his life in an ignorant manner. Had he put up any opposition at that time, he would at once have been put to death as per the last will of the second Caliph, who was not mindful of stalling Ali (a.s.) even when he himself was about to die of wounds. What a cunning mind! However, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) too was wise enough to keep himself safe through foresight. Now, the knowledgeable people know how much Uthman acted in accordance with Quran, Sunnah and the line of Abu Bakr and Umar.
Event no. 9: When Uthman burnt the copy of Quran belonging to her father along with all other copies, ‘A’ysha became very sad and cried angrily: “Uqtuloo Nathala…” meaning ‘Kill Nathal’. Nathal was a Jew who looked very similar to Uthman. Or Nathal means a feeble old and foolish man. Some also say that Nathal means a hyena. Whatever be its meaning, this word speaks volumes of ‘A’ysha’s anger. What we want to convey by citing this event is that few people were happy with the deeds of the third Caliph.8 There are many more such examples, but they need not be narrated here.
With what wisdom the second Caliph had made Uthman his successor is not known to the writer. Uthman had no qualification at all of administering Caliphate. As a well-wisher of Islamic society, it was the duty of Umar to appoint a deserving person. The only reason behind leaving the affair to Shura seems that it could prevent Ali (a.s.) from becoming the Caliph, as it did. It is also doubtless that Umar never wanted that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) should be a Caliph either before him or after him.
But, because of this enmity, to put the entire nation of Islam to anarchy was in no way good for Islam and Muslims. In the matter of selecting the Caliph, it was the duty of Umar to forget totally his like or dislike.
Indeed, had Ali (a.s.) been selected by any means, he would have proved a far better Caliph. Many calamities and quarrels, which he had to see after becoming Caliph after Uthman, would have been averted had he become a Caliph after Umar. For example, the Battle of Jamal would not have occurred. Muawiyah would have been dismissed easily and all bloodshed, which happened because of him, would have been averted.
His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) would have been able to administer Caliphate peacefully and satisfactorily. No doubt, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) was a very able and wise gentleman and therefore, the ugly events that took place, would not have come up as mentioned due to Umar’s ‘love’ for Caliphate. Alas! Ali (a.s.) could not become the Caliph even after Umar, but became Caliph at a time of great troubles and upheavals and he got no time at all to reform civil affairs attentively.
Now, looking at all the above matters, let the just people decide how Shah Waliullah could ascribe the virtue of being ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…) to a Caliph who made an offender like Walid bin Uqbah, governor of an Islamic province, appointed a man like Marwan, who was driven out of Islamic territory by the Prophet, a minister, who gave away a lot of money regularly to Hakam bin Aas, who allotted a tenth of trade levies to Harith without any right,9 gave official posts to all mischief-mongers of Bani Umayyah, who unlawfully dismissed Abu Moosa Ashari and Mughaira who are among the Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten) in view of Ahlul Sunnat, who drove yet another man from Ashra Mubashera, viz. Abdur Rahman bin Auf, from Medina, who very mercilessly oppressed companions of the Holy Prophet (S), that is, men like Malik Ashtar, Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, Ammar bin Yasir, who planned or allowed planning for the killing of Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, who made ‘A’ysha unhappy by his misdeeds, who put leaders of Kufa to various troubles and who harassed the entire Muslim society by his unwise decisions?
The Shah is not the only person to say so. I have come across such observations in books like Ghaniyatu Talibeen also. It seems such misconceptions have come down right from the top. May Allah give His servants the good sense of seeing and speaking the truth, as salvation depends only on such truthfulness. One who follows falsehood, obviously cannot be a friend of Allah, nor can he succeed in the Hereafter. In short, Uthman was not worthy of being called ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…) in any part of his life.
Now, it should be seen, whether or not Ali (a.s.) was worthy of being considered as ‘Tarahum Rukkan Sujjadan’ (you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves). Obviously, no one can have any doubt about the intense worship of Imam Ali (a.s.).
The first company is that the Holy Prophet (S) and His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) are from one radiance (Noor), as the Holy Prophet (S) himself has averred: “I and Ali are from a single radiance.”10
No Muslim can have any objection to this tradition being true.
The volume of Abaqat wherein this tradition of Radiance (Noor) is recorded, is worth pondering. It will leave no doubt in the mind of any unprejudiced person.
In short, only Allah knows what kind of companionship it is and since when it came into existence. None but Allah knows it fully.
The second company is that according to a word of the Holy Prophet (S): Ali (a.s.) is the blood, flesh, heart and soul of the Holy Prophet (S). Which company can be closer than this? The exact words of the Holy Prophet’s words are: “Your blood is my blood and your flesh is my flesh and your self is my self.”
The third company is that, as per the words of the Holy Prophet (S): “O Ali! Your position to me is the same as Haroon had with Moosa (a.s.).” This tradition is present in Sahih Bukhari. This companionship is in no way less significant.
The fourth company is that, as per the words of the Holy Prophet (S): Ali (a.s.) is the brother of the Holy Prophet (S) both in this world and in the Hereafter. This shows that the company between the two is similar and equal in both the worlds. Which company can be greater than this?
The fifth company is that the verse of Malediction (Mubahila) mentions His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) to be with the Holy Prophet (S).11
The verse is as follows: “Then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our selves and your selves, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.”12
Glory be to Allah, may Allah be praised. This indeed is ‘company’!
The verse is: “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a (thorough) purifying.”15
What a wonderful company indeed!
The seventh companionship is seen clearly in the Holy Prophet’s words saying that whosoever’s master the Prophet is, Ali is also his master. Whatever meaning, people with vested interest may give to the word ‘maula’ (Master), it is certain that in that ‘mastership’, Ali (a.s.) is with the Holy Prophet (S). Is it a small matter?
The eighth companionship is when during the Ascension, Allah spoke with the Holy Prophet (S), His tone was like that of Ali (a.s.).16 The reason for this was that the Holy Prophet (S) may hear the voice with which he was accustomed. This shows that Almighty Allah took into consideration Ali’s company with the Holy Prophet (S). Let the just people keep this companionship in mind.
The ninth companionship: When the Holy Prophet (S) entered the Kaaba to break idols, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) was with him. On the order of the Prophet, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) climbed the holy shoulders to topple the idols, which rested on a higher level.17 Is there any parallel to this companionship? Glory be to Allah, this is companionship!
The tenth companionship is when the Holy Prophet (S) sat to eat the roasted bird, he prayed to Allah: “O Allah, send the one who is dearer to You for me so that he may accompany me in eating this feast.” There came up Ali (a.s.). Both then ate the fowl. What a tasty company indeed!18
The eleventh company is that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) did not run away in any battle leaving the Holy Prophet (S) alone. He constantly remained with the Holy Prophet (S) to help him fight the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Khaybar, and Hunayn etc. and continued to punish the enemies of Allah.19 How can others be so lucky in company, who had run away from battlefields? This company in battles is all the more significant, which none of the three Caliphs could have it, as all of them had fled leaving the Holy Prophet (S) in battlefield in the midst of enemies? This is the most valuable company, which they could not get due to their flight. How unlucky!
The twelfth company: Right from his childhood, upto the last day of the life of the Holy Prophet (S), His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) had been with the Prophet. This is called lifelong company. The example of childhood company is that during the initial days of prophethood, when the Prophet invited Bani Hashim to a feast and addressed them: “Who is there to be my brother, my legatee, my minister and my Caliph,” no one responded, but Ali (a.s.) arose and declared in a loud voice: “I will be your brother, legatee, minister and Caliph.20 Glory be to Allah, what a company! The truth too is that as long as the Holy Prophet (S) was alive, Ali (a.s.) never left his side.
The thirteenth company is that when the Holy Prophet (S) departed from this world, Ali (a.s.) was constantly with him during the entire funeral. Truly a true friend is he who does not separate till the last moment. This fortune too was reserved only for Ali (a.s.) who did not leave the corpse of the Holy Prophet (S) in search of material gains.
The fourteenth company was when the Holy Prophet (S) got a camel saddle stage erected and lifted Ali (a.s.) and said: “O Allah, love one who loves him.” Is there any answer to this company anywhere? In front of thousands of people, the Holy Prophet (S) gave place to Ali (a.s.) near him and granted him the position of the Master of believers. The blind may not be able to see this company, but the way able lookers view this companionship need not be described. Now let the just decide, whether the virtue of being a ‘companion’ ends with Ali (a.s.) or with anyone else?
Likewise, the adjective of being ‘Ashiddaau alal Kuffar’ (firm of heart against the disbelievers) also applied only to Ali (a.s.) perfectly. Islam is totally indebted to the sword (Zulfiqar) of Ali (a.s.). Islam became strong with the help of the strong arms of “Laa Fataa illa Ali” (there is no brave youth except Ali). This ‘Hand of Allah’ has broken the backbone of disbelief. The attribute of ‘Ashiddaau…’ (firm of heart…) can by no means go to either Abu Bakr or Umar.
These gentlemen have not even touched any infidel in any Jihad, what to say of killing one as they only ran away from every battle? The flight of both the Caliphs is confirmed by history in eight battles, most prominent being the battles of Khaybar and Hunayn.
The thing worth noting is that in every battle, in which the Caliphs either remained inactive or they refused to confront any sandow or when they preferred flight, it was only the sword of Ali (a.s.) that cut the roots of the enemies of Allah. In short, just as Ali (a.s.) is deserving of the attribute of companionship, so also he alone is worthy of being called ‘Ashiddaau...’ (firm of heart…) and we have already shown that Uthman can have no relation with ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…).
Now, we shall explain that this virtue is also related with only Ali (a.s.). For this virtue of ‘Ruhama’ (compassionate…), it is necessary for a person to be very kind-hearted and sympathetic. Also, as we said, the virtue of sympathy is not possible without being brave. The more a man is brave, the more he or she will be sympathetic. Sympathy is not separate from kindness and hence bravery and kindness are always close to one another.
Since Ali (a.s.) was the bravest of men, he was extremely sympathetic too and consequently very kind also. Ali (a.s.) never fled from the battlefield. He never left his companions in the midst of enemies. He never allowed Muslims to fall in the hands of infidels.
He left no stone unturned for the welfare of Islam nor did he ever care for his own life in this matter. He behaved extremely kindly with the faithful. No man could ever surpass him in such kindness. Then how can he not be regarded as worthy of being called ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…)?
From this angle also, the virtue of kindness also refers to His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) and it cannot be attributed to those who left their companions in battlefield in the midst of enemies and fled in such a way that they could not be traced for three days. Now let the just people see that since such men had no courage, they did not possess sympathy and as there was no sympathy, there was no kindness also in them.
How then they can be called ‘Ruhama…’ (compassionate…)? Briefly speaking, it is sheer injustice on the part of prejudiced people to consider His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) as only ‘Rukkan wa Sujjada’ (bowing and prostrating), whereas, in fact, he is worthy of all the titles mentioned in the verse under discussion and so also all those Helpers and Emigrants who followed the path of Ali (a.s.).
Ahlul Sunnat people say that according to this verse, the Caliphate of the first three persons was appropriate. This seems to be a baseless argument. This verse proves neither Caliphate nor its succession order. It only shows us the virtues of good and faithful companions of the Holy Prophet (S) and nothing else. It is mere a wrong insistence to harp that it proves the order of Caliphate; whereas, as mentioned above, it has no relevance to Caliphate.
This Caliphate, which is called the Rightful Caliphate by Ahlul Sunnat, is based neither on any verse of Quran nor on any saying of the Prophet. Undoubtedly, this Caliphate came into being by people’s will and that its truth is that first, it was Abu Bakr who was made a Caliph through ‘consensus’ as mentioned in Sharh Aqaide Nasafi and books of history and biography. Even if this ‘consensus’ is considered perfect, it is nothing more than the election of presidents.
The second Caliphate is that of Umar. It came about through succession.
Third is that of Uthman, which was directed by Umar through Shura (advisory board).
The fourth Caliphate is that of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). How it came about is not known and Ahlul Sunnat are silent in this regard. This writer could not, till today, find the name of the condition for the Caliphate of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). Hence I cannot say anything about this Caliphate.
In short, the Rightful Caliphate has no religious importance in view of the writer. The only position of this Rightful Caliphate in the opinion of researchers is that had there not been Umar and had he no grudge against the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), neither Abu Bakr would have been made the first Caliph through Saqifah nor he and Uthman would have become second and third Caliphs.
Since this Rightful Caliphate had come into being by the people, it was also quite possible that, in place of Abu Bakr, Zubair or Talha or any other fellow from the Helpers (Ansar) would have become the first Caliph. Incidentally, Umar’s cunning only settled the matter of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate. Obviously, such a Caliphate can be considered respectable, which is not made by men, but is divinely ordained, as is in the matter of the Twelve Imams (a.s.). Therefore, this Caliphate (Imamate) has a religious importance and position.
Because of such religious value, people like Shah Waliullah and some other Sunni scholars wish that the Caliphate of the four Caliphs should also be considered divinely ordained. But it has become clear from above writings that this Caliphate has no divine position.
Obviously, if it had been divinely ordained, it would not have been appropriate to call it a Caliphate of public consensus. In short, the divine Caliphate remained limited to the family of the Holy Prophet (S) and the first Caliph of this series is Ali al-Murtadha’ (a.s.), second is Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.), third is Imam Husayn, the Martyr of Karbala’ (a.s.), fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen (a.s.), fifth Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.), sixth Imam Ja’far as- Sadiq (a.s.), seventh Imam Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.), eighth Imam Ali ar-Reza (a.s.), ninth Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (a.s.), tenth Imam Ali an-Naqi (a.s.), eleventh Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) and twelfth Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, the master of the Age (a.j.).
The clear examples of man-made Caliphs and divinely appointed Caliphs is that of Yazeed and of Imam Husayn (a.s.). Doubtlessly, both were contemporary Caliphs of their time but one of them had the position of being divinely appointed and the other was man-made. Muawiyah appointed Yazeed the Caliph, hence his Caliphate was from men and Imam Husayn (a.s.) was the Caliph of the Holy Prophet (S) on the basis of being infallible, and therefore this Caliphate was divine.
It should be remembered that Sunni gentlemen like Shah Waliullah derive two objectives by using the above mentioned verses in their books: Firstly they want to prove the order of Caliphate and secondly, it appears, they try to give an impression that the notion of Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten) is also a divinely worded matter. It should be understood that in this Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten) of Ahlul Sunnat, four are these very four Caliphs viz. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). As regards the remaining six, they are Talha, Zubair, Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah and Abu Moosa Ashari. Usually, these ten gentlemen are regarded as the ten lucky ones. But a look at various Sunni books shows that these ten have no permanent position.
In Mishkat, the figure of thirteen is mentioned instead of ten and in those thirteen, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) is not seen. Moreover in it, Saeed bin Amr bin Nufayl is mentioned as the tenth man of Paradise. Again in some narrations, the names of Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah and Saeed bin Amr are not found. Similarly, contrary to all these narrations, a narration includes Saad bin Malik also. If all these sayings are considered, the figure of the blessed ones reaches twelve. So this is what is understood as Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten). Anyway, leaving aside Abu Moosa Ashari, Shah Waliullah says about the remaining five that ‘seeking grace from Allah and pleasure’ means Talha and Zubair.
If once glances at the life of these two persons, what is found is that they did not possess any virtue, except that of making mischief. Their nature was very strange indeed. The fact is that these two gentlemen had nothing to do with the desire of earning Allah’s pleasure. On one hand they gave oath of allegiance to the fourth Caliph, and on the other, broke that vow and went from Medina to Mecca. After reaching Mecca, they instigated ‘A’ysha against the Caliph of the time, thereby instigating the public against His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) and thus, to tell the truth, they started a high treason.
Then they joined ‘A’ysha in the Battle of Camel (Jamal), which took the lives of thousands of Muslims including themselves. Knowledgeable people are not unaware of the prophetic saying about the one who fights with His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). According to a tradition, both, who were killed by Ali (a.s.) and those who killed His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), are condemned to Hell. Obviously, haters of Imam Ali (a.s.) feel affection for them, because of their open opposition to His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). Sunni gentlemen say that it was a mistake of jurisprudence on the part of these two men. Such excuse is also put forth on behalf of Muawiyah. Nobody knows how and since when they became qualified to perform jurisprudence (Ijtihaad). O just people! Can treason, uprisings and revolt made by Talha, Zubair and Muawiyah be called mistakes of jurisprudence?
Ahlul Sunnat may give whatever name to the revolts of these three persons; the fact is that these three were doubtlessly rebels against the Caliph of the time. They had raised the flag of treason after treason, yet Sunni scholars have grasped a wonderful ploy of ‘mistake of jurisprudence’, which they always employ to protect the opponents of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) from serious allegations. O just gentlemen! Just think how anyone can, by way of divine command or according to reason, resort to jurisprudence for opposing the Caliph of the time?
Verily, this subject of ‘mistake of jurisprudence’ is such that it can never convince a man with reason who follows truth, sees truth and understands truth. Now, let the just people pay attention to ‘Seemahum…’ (their marks…), which also have been imaginarily applied to persons of their choice.
Shah Waliullah says: “Those meant by this part of the verse are Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqqas and Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah.” While the fact is that all the events of their lives never show how these virtues (mentioned in the verse) can ever be extended and applied to these three fellows. The honorable Shah also does not mention any distinct virtue, nor can the writer find any such thing despite deep thinking.
But here arises a question that if these gentlemen were so virtuous that Allah mentioned their distinction in this verse, then it was the duty of Uthman not to treat them with the harshness that he showed to them. How strange that the Caliph gives such bad treatment to those who in the view of Ahlul Sunnat, have earned Allah’s praise in the said verse of the Holy Quran!
Now, the just readers may kindly think over what has been said and then decide what is the aim of ‘Wallazeena…’ (those who are with him)? The writer has quite clearly proved that no particular persons are meant by this verse, in which Allah describes common virtues of the sincere companions of His Messenger (S). It neither mentions the order of Caliphate, nor such order has any relation with this divine verse.
Similarly, it does not show any relationship with the Ashra Mubashera (the lucky ten) of Ahlul Sunnat. How strange that Shah Waliullah mentions such weak things in his book, Izalatul Khifa. It seems he has merely copied without research, whatever he saw in books like Ghaniyatu Talibeen, regarding the said verse. What is the fault of the general public? The poor fellows think that whatever is said, is generally believed to be in support of Caliphate and its order. A large section of the Muslim world is caught in this misunderstanding but the responsibility for it lies with those scholars who inserted this wrong belief in the minds of the general public.
It should be kept in mind that I have written this book for those who can differentiate between right and wrong and who also believe that research is essential for making such decisions. My humble request to such gentlemen is that they may throw a thoughtful glance on whatever I have written and then they are free to either agree with me or not. To the best of my knowledge, I have mentioned truth and only the truth after deep thoughts in this book and I have not allowed prejudice to come in its way.
In my view, I am so far, away from prejudice that if I find that such and such course is correct and true, I do not hesitate to accept it without any excuse. What I have found after a thirty- year research is that no faith is better than the faith which I have adopted. The justice-loving gentlemen know that I have left no stone unturned in making research of faiths. The just people also know that I have worked very hard in research. Now, I feel that I shall leave the world with the beliefs, which I now follow.
Well, it seems essential to submit my thoughts about Caliphate and matters related to it for the attention of justice-loving people. The more one thinks about Caliphate, the more things come to mind. It should be understood that Caliphate has not come out of any Quranic injunction or saying of the Holy Prophet (S). There are traditions about Caliphate, but none that proves the Caliphate, which was established. There is no such satisfying tradition. Those who want to support the known Caliphate on the basis of Quran and Prophetic practice (Sunnah), appear to follow their prejudice.
As shown above, the ‘consensus’ (Ijma) for Abu Bakr and the Caliphate of Umar, Uthman and Muawiyah were through succession, consultative committee and high handedness. Similarly, all other Caliphs of Ahlul Sunnat also got Caliphate in that way. Of course, out of all the twelve Caliphs of Ahlul Sunnat, their fourth Caliph, His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) is such that the condition of his attaining Caliphate is not found in any of their (Ahlul Sunnat) books.
Nowhere is it mentioned in their books how (on what basis) he (His Eminence, Ali (a.s.)) became the Caliph. In these circumstances, it is obvious that it was not man-made. It is no secret that the Caliphates of Ahlul Sunnat are based on different systems. It also appears that the principles, if any, were formed after some persons became Caliphs in any possible manner.
The proper course was that if the first Caliphate of Abu Bakr was based on ‘consensus’ then all the remaining eleven too should have been in the same way. But what we see is indeed anarchy. How strange that Abu Bakr himself may become a Caliph as per consensus but leaving that rule, he may appoint Umar as his successor and pass away. If the rule had been followed, it was likely that Umar had not been elected. Had there been an election, Umar would not have come to power as easily as he himself (Abu Bakr) had come.
In turn, Umar also, at the last moments of his life, did not like to adopt the law of election, because in that case, Uthman would have hardly become the Caliph. So he left the affair to Shura (advisory council). Then he appointed advisors whose number did not exceed six and most of them were supporters of Uthman. At last, Muawiyah followed neither consensus, nor succession or advice, but grabbed the Caliphal seat by force. Therefore, his Caliphate is called a Caliphate of oppression. In short, a look at all these Caliphates shows that none of them can be called divinely nominated Caliphates and hence do not have any religious base either from the viewpoint of a divine word or through reason.
No wise person can consider them as true Caliphates (succession) of the Holy Prophet (S). Contrary to this, we see the belief of the Imamites about Caliphate. They consider Caliphate to be decided by divine will and also believe that infallibility is necessary for one to be a successor of the Holy Prophet (S). According to this principle, they believe that the Twelve Imams, being infallible, are Caliphs of the Holy Prophet (S), whose Caliphate has been decided and ordained by Allah and they are from Allah.
In this principle of Imamate, there is no confusion. Hence one sees no conflict or irregularity in the Imamate (Caliphate) of the twelve Imams. In other words, one and the same rule is applied to all the twelve. Obviously, these Caliphates have a totally religious color. Contrary to this, in the Caliphs of Ahlul Sunnat, political color is prominent.
Undoubtedly, it is due to this material business that some scholars of Ahlul Sunnat also do not find it convincing and hence some try to prove that they are in accordance with Quran and tradition. It is indeed difficult for them to prove it from any divine word (Nass), as I mentioned earlier. What to say of Quran, there is not even a single tradition, which supports Sunni Caliphate in the eyes of a wise man. It is for obvious reasons that Ahlul Sunnat do not find any occasion or chance by which they can prove that their twelve Caliphs have a spiritual aspect and hence their religious value does not rise. Everybody knows that no religion has, nor will ever have any value without spiritual weight.
It is no secret that spiritualism has a lot to do with Judaism, Christianity and various other religions. A lack of this aspect has made Sunnism poor, because mere material consideration does not provide religious weight to the Caliphs. So this necessitated the bringing in of spiritualism, which was done by taking recourse to Sufism. Sufism had already penetrated the Greeks. Iranians also had indulged in it for some centuries. This thing also came to Muslims through the sciences of Greeks and Iranians.
Thereafter, when Muslims came to India and met Indian Hindu saints, their spiritualism affected them to such an extent that slowly Sufism became a part of the religion of high class Ahlul Sunnat which resulted in promotion and development of Gnostic terms like remembrance (Zikr and Azkaar), and séances (Haal and Samaa) etc. Brief speaking, the shortage of right spirituality, which was felt in Ahlul Sunnat, was found in the mysticism of Iran and India. Contrary to it, Imamites had no need of importing Sufism from anywhere, as their faith was already having ample spiritualism and the teachings of their Imams were full of it. So they remained naturally in their original state. It is a misunderstanding that Imamites have no Sufism. They have it, but it is Sufism based on Quran, traditions and teachings of the Imams (a.s.) and which is the best kind of Sufism under the sun.
- 1. Surah Fath 48:29
- 2. Surah Aale Imran 3:144
- 3. Ref. Tarikh Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 525; Asim Kufi 220; Abul Fida, Pg. 401; Rauzatus Safa, Vol. 2, Pg. 19 and Rauzatul Ahbab.
- 4. Ref. Mahazirat Raghib Isfahani
- 5. Ref. Tarikh Tabari, Vol. 4, Pg. 592 and Abul Fida, Pg. 434
- 6. Ref. Tarikh Tabari
- 7. Ref. Tarikh Tabari
- 8. Ref. Suyuti’s Tarikh Khulafa and Tarikh Tabari
- 9. Ref. Sawaiqul Mohreqa by Ibn Hajar, Chapter Seven: Uthman, section three.
- 10. Ref. Sawaiqul Mohreqa by Ibn Hajar Makki.
- 11. Sawaiqul Mohreqa by Ibn Hajar Makki.
- 12. Surah Aale Imran 3:61.
- 13. Quran 33:33.
- 14. Ref. Mishkat Sharif.
- 15. Surah Ahzab 33:33
- 16. Refer to the biography authored by Maulavi Ubaidullah Amritsari.
- 17. Ref. Zainulfati Aazami
- 18. Ref. Mishkat Sharif
- 19. Refer to books of History.
- 20. Ref. Tarikh Abul Fida