Mode And Method Followed by the Prophet’s Legatees in Their Efforts Towards The Revival Of His Sunnah
In the previous discussions, we examined the manner in which the Caliphs treated the Prophet’s Sunnah. God-willing, in this discourse, we will review the mode and method followed by the Prophet’s legatees in their efforts towards the revival of his Sunnah.230 These reviews can be summarized on the following four basis:
(1) At Allah’s behest, the Holy Prophet inculcated and entrusted Hazrat Ali (a.s) with the actual interpretation of Quran, his Sunnah, various sciences and other vital informations. Hazrat Ali (a.s) devoted his entire life under the special training and guidance of the Holy Prophet (S).
Subsequently, Hazrat Ali passed on the trust to his eleven successors one after the other.
(2) For the safeguard and dissemination of Islam until the day of judgement, Allah appointed Ali and his eleven descendants as the Prophet’s legatees. The Holy Prophet (S) decisively and repeatedly introduced these 12 venerable persons to the Islamic nation so that they may recognize their leaders and guides. Thus the religion of Islam attained perfection and Allah completed his favours on the mankind.
(3) After the Holy Prophet’s demise, his legatees remained upright and protected the exegesis of Quran, the Prophet’s Sunnah and the Islamic precepts and beliefs from all kinds of distortions and misinterpretations.They relentlessly strived and struggled for three centuries and succeeded in conveying the trust of the Holy Prophet (S) including the true exegesis of Quran, the genuine set of Islamic traditions and the divine sciences and gnosis within the reach of the people of the world.
(4) Each of the infallible Imams (a.s.) endeavoured to protect Islam and remained accessible to the people until their last breath in this world. Their sacrifices and efforts for protection of Islam have made them indispensable.
By God’s Grace and Help, we shall discuss and explain these four important issues in the following discussions. 230 Sunnah is a set of sayings and actions of the Prophet (S). However, in the caliphate school, the actions of the first three Caliphs is reckoned to be the same as the Prophet’s actions and some like Imam Malikiah (Malik-ibn-Anas) reckon the Prophet’s companion’s actions too to be in line with the Prophet’s actions and consider them as the proof of the Islamic commandments.
In the Ahlul Bayt school, the sayings and actions of the twelve Imams who are the Prophet’s legatees are reckoned to be an exposition of the Prophet’s Sunnah.
First Discussion: By Divine Command, The Holy Prophet (S) Entrusted The Exegesis Of Quran And His Sunnah With His Twelve Legatees
Those who laid the foundations of a political caliphate after the Prophet’s demise had during the Prophet’s life-time maintained:
“No need to write the Prophet’s traditions, since he too is a human-being who speaks out of joy and anger! “
And during the final hours of his life, they did not allow him to put down his will in writing which could have saved his nation from deviation astray. Instead, they said:
`The Prophet is ill and (thus) speaks in delirium!! The Book of Allah is sufficient for us!!.’
Alas, what a great pain!!!
After the Prophet’s demise too, the act of writing down traditions had been banned (till the end of first century). Of course, until the first quarter of the century, it was an offense to even recount the Prophet’s hadith. Thus, they illtreated those companions of Prophet who related his traditions.
Notwithstanding, the embargo on Prophet’s traditions during the caliphs.’ regime, Prophet’s family members got busy in recording and preservation of his Sunnah.
It is must be noted that there are several historical evidences to substantiate the arbitrary behaviour of the caliphs regarding the Prophet’s Sunnah. Nevertheless, for an indepth understanding of Ahle-bait’s endeavours for preservation of Prophet’s Sunnah, we have to essentially delve into the historical accounts of Ahle-bait.
Scientifically speaking, this is the most logical method of research. Even earlier, during our discourse on caliphate, we had gleaned from those books that were regarded reliable on the subject of caliphate.
The regulation of hadith and Prophet’s Sunnah by the Ahlebait had begin during the life of the Holy Prophet. As explained earlier, the basic source of Islamic precepts and tenets is the Holy Quran. The responsibility of elucidation and interpretation of the Holy Quran vests with the Holy Prophet and his designated successors.
After every revelation, the Prophet use to dictate the verse of Quran and hadith explaining the same, to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) who scripted his teachings and compiled it for the posterity.
The Prophet’s (S) imparted his teachings to Ali (a.s.) in different gatherings the details of which are as follows:
Several authentic books of hadith have recorded the teaching sessions that Amir-ul-Mumineen, Ali (a.s.) had with the Holy Prophet (S). In this context, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) himself has been quoted in the book of `Kafi.’. Imam (a.s.) says:
“Verily, I am the only person who had a daily admittance to the Prophet (at least) once during the day time and once during the night when I used to be alone with him.
On such occasions, I had the honour to discuss with him on whichever subject he was inclined to talk. The Prophet’s companions were aware that none else except I enjoyed such a privilege with the Holy Prophet. Such visits would often take place at my house and the Prophet used to come to see me. When I was to enter any of his (Prophet’s) room to see him he would ask his wives to vacate the room for the sake of privacy with me and there would be none with him besides me.
But when the Prophet had his turn to visit my house for private conversation, he would not exclude Fatimah (my wife) and any of my sons from this conversation. In such meetings, he would reply to my queries and when I had exhausted my queries then he would initiate further discussions.
The Prophet never missed recitation of even a single verse and I did not miss writing any of his dictations. Similarly, the Prophet never skipped the mention of any revelation to me. Thus he taught me the basic import of each and every verse, its complete explanation including the verses that were abrogative and the verses that were abrogated, the clear verses and the ambiguous ones and also those verses that were general and specific.
And then the Prophet prayed to Allah to bestow upon me the true understanding of Quran and its unfailing memory. Ever since the Prophet had prayed for me, I never forgot a single verse from the Book of Allah, nor did I forget the knowledge which the Prophet had imparted to me and which I had written down’.’
It is a lengthy hadith. Before we proceed further with this tradition, let us mention another tradition at this juncture.
In this hadith, Zaid-ibn-Ali-ibn-al-Husain (died in.120 A.H.) has repudiated certain objections which often comes in some people’s mind. Zaid-ibn-Ali quoted Amir-ul-Mumineen (a.s.) as saying, “Sleep would not overtake me until the Prophet (S) had taught me whatever Jibrail had brought on that particular day, the commands about the lawful and unlawful things, permissions or prohibitions of actions regarding a particular person or certain act..’.’
Zaid was asked: “How could this be possible when these two were far from each other and spatial distance prevented them from seeing each other? “ Zaid replied, “The Prophet would remember the days on which he was unable to meet Ali and when the Imam would meet him next day, the Prophet said, `O Ali, on such a day, these points were revealed and on such a day these matters were revealed to me..’ He would continue until he would reach the day on which Imam had met him.’1
Now we shall continue with the earlier tradition of Imam Ali (a.s.).
“Nothing from what was revealed to the Prophet, the lawful and the unlawful; nothing from the divine imperatives and the prohibitions, nothing from what had been and what would be, and nothing from the books revealed previously to any of the Prophet regarding divine obedience and disobedience did the Prophet skip teaching me. I fully grasped it and did not forget a word from it. Then the Prophet put his hand over my chest and prayed to Allah to fill my heart with
knowledge and understanding, wisdom and enlightenment “ 2
This was a gist of Imam’s regular meetings with the Messengerof God.
Unlike earlier discussion in which we talked about regular meetings of Hazrat Ali with the Holy Prophet (S), in this discourse we will talk about those sessions, which were not unscheduled and indeterminate.
According to a tradition recorded in `Sunan Tirmidhi.’ and other authentic sources of the caliphate school, it has been narrated from Jabir-ibn-Abdullah Ansari3 who said, “In the battle of Taif, the Messenger of Allah (S) called Ali (a.s.) close to him and whispered a few words in his ears. The other companions cribbed, how long he has been whispering in his cousin’s ears.’ When the Messenger of Allah (S) overheard this remark, he said: “The act of whispering was not from my side. Rather it was Allah who resorted to such whisperings. “4
While explaining the hadith, Tirmidhi says: “Allah’s whispering “ Implies Allah’s command to His Prophet to whisper in his (i.e. Ali’s) ears. “ The reason behind such whispering especially that it took place in the battle of Taif could not be about a consultation on the battle since the Prophet never sought advise on war matters from any single person but rather preferred group consultation. The battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and others were clear examples of his group discussions on war strategies.
Thus, it is clear that this and such other unusual conversations5 between the two are in line with their daily regular meetings. Or perhaps these meetings are those very meetings which Zaid-ibn-Ali-ibn-Husain had explained that whenever the Prophet (S) and Ali (a.s.) got separated from each other for a few days, the Prophet (S) in his first contact with Ali (a.s.) would sit in private with him and say: .‘O Ali! On such a day, these matters were revealed to me....... which makes the reason for the Prophet’s long act of whispering with Ali (a.s.) evidently clear.
* * *
The purpose of all such regular or unscheduled meetings was that the Holy Prophet (S) imparted and entrusted with his cousin Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (a.s.) all the Islamic sciences related to beliefs, commandments and others important matters.
In Amali (of Shaikh Tusi), Basa.’er al-Darajat and Yanabi al-Muwaddah it has been narrated that, Ahmad, a son of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) has related from his great grandfather: ``The Messenger of Allah (S) asked Ali (a.s.), `Write down whatever I tell you..’
Ali (a.s.) said: .‘O the Messenger of Allah, do you fear that I will I forget if I don.’t write?
He (S) replied, “You are not forgetful and I have no such fear. I have pleaded with Allah to preserve these sciences in your memory so that you may never forget them. Rather, you record these for posterity for the benefit of your associates (in the affair of Imamat)..’
Ali (a.s.) inquired: .‘O the Prophet of Allah, who are my associates?
The Holy Prophet (S) answered: They are the Imams from your offspring through whom the Divine Mercy descends upon my nation. Through them, the prayers are answered and the disasters and calamities are averted from my nation. It is due to them that the Divine blessings descends from the heavens upon my nation. “
Then he pointed his blessed finger at Hasan (a.s.) and said: “He is the first of them. “ Thereafter, he pointed at Husain (a.s.) and said: “The Imams are from his progeny. “6
The commands of Allah to His prophet can be divided into two categories depending on the manner of communication.
First set of commands were those which the Prophet, deemed essential to be conveyed directly to the people without any intermediary, since he knew that it was the opportune moment and conducive circumstances for such an explanation.
The second sets of commands were those which the Prophet could not convey directly due to a variety of reasons and had to leave the matter for a future date. These were supposed to be carried out after the Prophet’s time. The Prophet (S) would teach these matters only to Ali (a.s.) and he in turn would record these matters in two separate books, as directed by the Prophet.
This recording and writing continued until the death of the Prophet (S). It is said that moments before the Prophet breathed his last, he conveyed the last of the divine commands to Imam Ali(a.s.) in absolute privacy.
Abdullah-ibn-Amr Aas says:
During his last illness, the Prophet (S) said: “Call my brother near me..’ At this, Ali got closer to the Holy Prophet (S). Then, the Prophet draped his garb over Ali and whispered something in his ears.7
This incident has been narrated by Umme-Salma too with a slight variation.
`I swear by the One in Whose Name I always take oath that verily Ali was the last one who conversed with the Holy Prophet (S)
`At dawn, we visited the Prophet. He repeatedly asked: “Has Ali come? Has Ali come? “ Fatimah (a.s.) said; `It seems you have sent him for some work!.’ Moments later, Ali arrived. I sensed that the Prophet had something very important to discuss with Ali and so I vacated the room along with the others. I was nearest to the door of the house than all others.
`The Messenger of Allah (S) drew Ali very close to himself and began conversing with him in a muffled voice, akin to a whisper. The Prophet passed away on the same day. Thus, Ali was the last person who conversed with the Prophet.8.’
Also, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) himself had talked about this last conversation.
``In his last illness, the Prophet (S) said, `inform my brother to visit me..’ When I went to him, he said: “Come closer to me. “ I went close to him. He leaned over me and in the same position, he talked to me for a while; often I could feel droplets of his blessed saliva on me until the time approached for his departure and he breathed his last on my bosom.….9
It has become crystal clear from these narrations that the Prophet (S) dictated all the Islamic sciences and gnosis to Ali (a.s.) and entrusted him with these sciences in the form of a compiled book so that Ali (a.s.) could pass on these records to his successors as a written proof of the Islamic sciences.
From the numerous traditions that have been narrated it becomes evident that Imam Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (a.s.) had maintained several books, which comprised the Islamic commandments and gnosis. In this discussion, we shall only mention one of his compilations known as “Jami’ah”, the assemblage. This book was dictated by the Holy Prophet (S) and written by Ali (a.s.) over the period of years. Apparently, those traditions, which referred to “The Book of Ali “ for all intent and purposes, implied towards this very book .
Abu-Baseer has narrated, `I approached Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) and asked:
`May my life be sacrificed on you! I have a question, though I don.’t want others to hear what I am going to ask?
Imam (a.s.) drew back a curtain that was between his room and the other room, and looked inside the room. When he was satisfied, he said reassuringly: .‘O Abu Muhammad! Ask whatever has occurred to you.’
I continued: ‘May I be made your ransom! Your Shias are saying that the Messenger of Allah (S) taught Ali (a.s.) a door (of knowledge) which opens a thousand doors? Imam (as) replied: .‘O Abu Muhammad! Verily, the Jami’ah is in our possession and what do they know what the Jami’ah is?’
I asked: May I be made your ransom! What is the Jami’ah?
He answered, ‘The Sahifah (scroll) whose length is seventy cubits, according to (the measure of) the cubit of the Messenger of Allah (S). The Holy Prophet himself had dictated each and every word, which was transcribed by Ali in totality. In it is every permitted thing and forbidden thing (halal wa haram), and every thing which people need, even the penalty for inflicting a scratch on somebody.’
Then he touched me in gesture of seeking permission, ‘Do you allow me, O Abu Muhammad?.’
I said: May I be made your ransom! Indeed I am yours, do whatever you desire!
Then, Imam (a.s.) pinched me with his hand and said: .‘Even the mulct of this..’
And then the countenance of Imam suddenly changed and he seemed to have become serious.
I said: .‘By Allah, this (itself) is knowledge!..............’.’
There have been several such traditions about “Jami’ah” and Imam Ali’s book. Now, we shall explain how the Imams after Ali (a.s.) would entrust all such compilations (particularly the “Jami’ah”) to their successors at the end of their respective eras.
Shaikh Kulaini has quoted from Sulaym-ibn-Qais12 in Usule-Kafi as follows:
“I witnessed the declaration of the will of Amir-ul-Muminin (a.s.) when he nominated his son, al-Hasan (a.s.) as his successor. At the time, he made al- Husain (a.s.), Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah, his other sons, the heads of his Shias and his entire household, as witnesses to the declaration of his will. Then he entrusted with him the book and the armour, and said to his son, al-Hasan (a.s.):
.‘O my dear son, the Messenger of Allah (S) commanded me to appoint you as my successor and to hand over to you the books and the armour which were in my possession just as the Messenger of Allah (S) appointed me as his successor and handed his books and armour over to me. He also ordered me to convey his instructions to you that, when you are close to death you should entrust the same to your brother al-Husain (a.s.).
Then he turned to his son, al- Husain (a.s.) and said: .‘And the Messenger of Allah (S) commanded you to hand it over to this son of yours.’. Then he took the hand of Ali-ibn-al-Husain (a.s.) and said to Ali-ibn-al-Husain: .‘And the Messenger of Allah (S) commanded you to hand it over to your son, Muhammad-ibn-Ali, and to convey greetings of the Messenger of Allah (S) as well as my greetings to him. “13
In another tradition from Kafi which is also related in Basa.’er al-Darejat, Humran14 has narrated:
“I asked Abu Jafar, that is Imam Baqir (a.s.) about the reports that the people were saying that a sealed sheet of paper had been entrusted to Umme Salmah. Imam Baqir (a.s.) replied: .‘When the Messenger of Allah (S) departed (from us), Ali (a.s.) inherited his knowledge, his armour and other bequests. Then they passed on the legacy to al-Hasan, which in turn was bequeathed to al-Husain. When we feared that we would be beleaguered (during the events of Karbala), al-Husain entrusted them to Umm Salmah (in Medina) which was later returned to Ali-ibn-al-Husain..’
I said: ‘so after your father it reached you.’.’
Imam Baqir (a.s.) replied in affirmative.’15
“I asked Abu-Abdullah Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) about the reports doing the rounds that a sealed sheet of paper had been entrusted to Umm Salmah. Imam (a.s.) said: .‘When the Messenger of Allah (S) departed (from us) Ali (a.s.) inherited his knowledge, his armour and other belongings. Then these bequests were passed to al-Hasan after whom al-Husain received it. I said: ‘subsequently the prophetic heritage was passed on to Ali-ibn-al-Husain who later on handed it over to his son. Finally the inheritance reached you..’.’
Imam (a.s.) replied in affirmative..’.’
Fuzail18 is quoted by Shaikh Tusi in Ghaibah, Ibn Shahre-Ashoob in Manaqib and Allama Majlisi in Beharul-Anwar that: .‘.‘Abu Jafar, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) told me that when Husain (a.s.) set out for Iraq, he entrusted the Prophet’s (S) will, books and other belongings to Umme Salmah and asked her that when his eldest son visits her, she should hand him over whatever Husain had entrusted to her..’.’
After Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom, Ali-ibn-Husain approached Umm-Salmah who returned to him Husain’s legacy (a.s.) that he had deposited with her.19
In another tradition which has been narrated in Kafi, A.’lam al-Wara, Manaqib Ibn Share Ashoob and Bihar al-Anwar which is narrated by Abu-Bakr Hazrami20 that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
“When al-Husain, may the Blessings of Allah be upon him, proceeded to Iraq, he deposited the books and the legacies with Umm Salmah, may Allah be pleased with her. When Ali-ibn al-Husain returned (to Medina), she handed them over to him. “21
Apart from the belongings with Umme Salmah, there were other essentials things (different from those which one Imam inherits from another) that Imam Husain had entrusted with his daughter Fatimah in Karbala who later handed them over to Ali-ibn-al-Husain (a.s.) who was seriously ill at that time.
In Kafi, A.’lam al-Wara, Basa.’er al-Darejat and Bihar al-Anwar traditions has been reported from Isa-ibn-Abdullah22 who related his father who turn had narrated from his grandfather that :
“When Ali-ibn-al-Husain (a.s.) was close to death he looked at his sons who all had gathered around him. Then he addressed Muhammad-ibn-Ali (Imam Baqir) and said: .‘O Muhammad, take this box to your house, ’ he continued: .‘Certainly, this does not contain dinars or dirhams, but it was filled with knowledge. “23
In Basa.’er al-Darejat and Bihar al-Anwar too, Isa-ibn-Abdullah-ibn-Omar has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who said:
“Before death overtook Ali-ibn-al-Husain (a.s.), he took out a coffer that was with him, and said: ‘O Muhammad, this belongs to you now.’.’
Imam Baqir had to summon help from four men to transport that coffer to his place. When he (Ali-ibn-al-Husain) passed away, my uncles came to him to claim what was in the coffer and said: ‘Give us our share from whatever is in the coffer.’
Imam Baqir (a.s.) replied: `By Allah, there is nothing in it that belongs to you.
Had there been something of yours in it, he (my father) would not have handed it over to me alone.’ The coffer comprised armour of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his books. “24
In Basa.’er al-Darejat, Zararah25 narrates from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) as follows:
“Imam Baqir (as) transferred these heritage and books to me during his lifetime. 26
In Ghaibah of Nu.’mani and Bihar al-Anwar of Majlisi it has been reported from Hemad Sa.’egh who said:
“I was present in the gathering where Mufazzal-ibn-Omar was questioning Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (a.s.). At that moment, Abul Hasan Musa (Imam Kazim) arrived. Imam Sadiq (as) turned to Mufazzal and asked: .‘Do you wish to see the owner of Ali’s book after me?.’
Mufazzal replied: What could be better than this!
Imam pointed at Imam Kazim and said: He is the heir and owner of Ali’s Book. “27
A tradition from Imam Kazim (a.s.) is narrated in Kafi, Al- Irshad of Shaikh Mufid, Ghaibah of Shaikh Tusi and Bihar al-Anwar in the following manner: “My son Ali is the eldest of my sons, he cherishes me more than they do, I love him more than all of them, and he refers the “Jafr” which cannot be browsed by anyone but the Prophet’s successors or his successors.’ successor. “28
The first ever Imam who mentioned about Amir-ul-Muminin’s book and spoke about it is Imam Ali-ibn-Husain Zain al-Abedeen (as). The fact has been widely reported in Kafi, Man-La-Yahzur-al-Faqih, Tahzeeb, Ma.’ni al-Ahkbar and Wasail. Here, we quote from the book “Kafi “:
It has been narrated from Aban-ibn-Tughlab29 who said:
“Ali-ibn-al-Husain (a.s.) was questioned about a person who had willed a part of his wealth (i.e. he had made his will in vague terms such that he had stated that a part of his wealth was to be donated to such and such person but had not specified its exact amount and had used expressions like: something from my wealth).
Imam (a.s.) replied: In the Book of Ali, “…” is counted as one-sixth..’30
Moreover, in Khesal, Eqab al-A.’mal and Wasail al-Shiah it has been related from Imam Baqir (as) who said:
In the Book of Ali (a.s.) it is narrated as follows: .‘The one who commits three mistakes will not die until he faces the consequences of his misdeeds during his life-time. These are bad temper, severing ties with relatives and taking false oath.’.’.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) too has quoted from Amir-ul-Muminin’s Book for evidence of new month through sighting of the moon.31
Apart from these instances, we have collected thirty-nine other instances where in, Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) have cited from Amir-ul-Muminin’s Book in their sayings.32
Moreover, often both the Imams have scoured through the Book and read33 out its exact text for some of their companions like Zararah, Muhammad-ibn-Muslim34, Omar-ibn-Uzainah35, Abu Baseer, Ibn Bukair36 Abdul Malik-ibn-A.’yan37 and Mu.’tab.38 Not to mention those instances where both the Imams kept the Book of Amir-ul-Muminin (a.s.) open in front of non-shias so that they may acquaint themselves with a few significant issues.
Najashi has written:
Azafer Sairafi39 and Hakam-ibn-Utaibah40 approached Imam Baqir (a.s.). Although, Imam (a.s.) disliked Hakam, he replied to his queries until it turned into an argument. Hakam refused to accept Imam’s explanation. Finally, Imam Baqir (a.s.) asked his son to bring the Book of Ali. The book that Imam’s son brought was a huge book, which looked like a scroll. Imam (a.s.) opened the Book and looked for the disputed issue.
Thereafter, he said: .‘This is the Prophet’s dictation and Ali’s handwriting..’ Then he turned towards Hakam and said:
.‘O Abu Ahmad! You, Salmah41 and Abul Miqdam42 may turn towards any direction (east or west) of your preference, yet I swear by Allah that you will not find anywhere the knowledge that we possess which has reached us through Jibrail..’43
Sometimes, the Imams (a.s.) would adjudicate on the basis of Ali-ibn-Abi Talib’s Book, while at times they delivered verdict without citing reference of the Book. We have explained this matter in the book “Ma.’lem al- Madrasatain “44
For this reason, all the hadith narrated by Imams possess a single chain of transmission and their traditions spring from a single source and thus are originally unique.
“All I narrate are the words of my father. And all the narrations of my father are the words of my grandfather. And all the narrations of my grandfather are the words of (my great grandfather) al-Husain. And all the narrations of al-Husain are the words of al-Hasan. And all the narrations of al-Hasan are the words of his father Amir-ul-Muminin Ali and all the narrations of Amir-ul-Muminin are the words of the Messenger of Allah. And all the traditions of the Prophet are
the words of Allah, the Almighty, the Great..’.’47
For this very reason, when Jabir-ibn-Abdullah requested Imam Baqir (a.s.) to mention the chain of narrators for every hadith, he said: “My father narrates from my grandfather who narrates from the Messenger of Allah who narrates from Jibrail who narrates from Allah, the Almighty, and the Great. The chain of transmitters is the same for every hadith I relate to you. “48
Nevertheless, Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (a.s.) addressed Hafas-ibn-Bukhtari49 as follows:
“Whatever you hear from me can be related on the authority of my father. Besides, you may attribute to the Messenger of Allah whatever you hear from me. “50
In this regard, a poet has poignantly observed:
“So make friendship and follow those whose sayings and hadith are like this: Our fathers have narrated from Jibriel who in turn has narrated from the Almighty Allah “.
At this juncture, we conclude our discussion on the subject that how the Imams substantiated their claim of being the heirs of Holy Prophet (S) and his heritage of knowledge and precepts to the Islamic nation which included a discussion on the Book transcribed by Ali (a.s.) at the behest of the Holy Prophet (S).
Contrary to an orderly procedure followed by the followers of the Ahl-ul-bayt, the collection of traditions by the followers of the caliphs was haywire and haphazard.
Recording or writing of the Prophet’s hadith was banned till the era of Omaribn- Abdul Aziz. However, after the instructions of Ibn Abdul Aziz, the embargo on hadith was lifted. Subsequently, the followers of the caliphate ideology began to compile hadith from the beginning of the 2nd century A.H. Until then whatever existed in the form of Prophet’s hadith were actually transmissions from several channels.
Traditionalists say, in the span of one century, a hadith is narrated via four classes of narrators:
For example, if a traditionist quotes a tradition of the Holy Prophet from Caliph Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz (died in 101 A.H.), who gave commands for writing down of hadith, then the chain of transmission of hadith in this case would be as follows:
1. Caliph Omar could have narrated this hadith from his father Abdul-Aziz-ibn- Marwan.
2. Abdul-Aziz-ibn-Marwan could have narrated this hadith from his father Marwan-ibn-Hakam.
3. Marwan-ibn-Hakam who during the Prophet’s era was an infant, could have narrated this hadith from his father Hakam-ibn-Abil Aas.
4. Hakam-ibn-Abil Aas who had seen the Prophet during adulthood could have narrated the hadith from the Prophet (S).
Thus, in the aforesaid example, the hadith has been narrated from the Prophet via four channels.
Can this tradition that is transmitted through four channels over a period of a hundred years be considered reliable?
Now let us discuss the above example with clear evidence in this regard:
Zuhbi and Ibn Kathir narrate from Basheer-ibn-Sa.’d who said `Fear Allah and practice self-control while narrating traditions! I swear by Allah I have seen people attending Abu-Huraira’s gatherings wherein Abu-Huraira would narrate hadith from the Prophet (S) and narrate hadith from Ka.’b al-Ahbar too.
Then he would leave the gathering. Later, I would hear some of the attendants attributing to Ka.’b al-Ahbar traditions, which Abu-Huraira had narrated from the Prophet. Conversely, they would attribute to the Prophet, the traditions that Abu-Huraira had narrated from Ka.’b al-Ahbar and hence narrate them in the name of the Prophet (S)..’.’51
We have not even discussed those traditions that were forged during Muawiya’s era or were altered to the benefit of the Caliphs. The issue was mentioned under the discussion `The role of Ayesha.’, particularly, the chapter on Muawiya. Even if we did not present any further evidence to our discussion that Prophet had got all sciences and knowledge recorded, those Muslims who want to conduct a comprehensive and indepth research had to refer to Prophet’s descendants and their explanations on the various aspects of Islamic creed and precepts.
Besides, following the Divine command, the Prophet (S) had clearly and decisively declared to the Muslims that the guides and leaders after him are his twelve legatees. We will now begin our discussion on the subject.
At the outset, it is important to analyze the difference in the basis of reasoning of the followers of caliphate vis-à-vis the followers of the Ahl-ul-bayt on the issue of Imamat.
Soon after the Holy Prophet’s demise, two divergent schools of thought had originated in the Islamic world:
(1) The Imamat school of thought and
(2) The Caliphate school of thought
The partisans of caliphate claimed that leadership is by selection while the believers in Imamat ideology maintain that the leaders and rulers of the Ummah are the Prophet’s legatees; and this position is by nomination and not by election.
The partisans of caliphat assert that a leader is determined on the basis of election and such an election takes place by means of the people and after the Prophet’s departure it is the people who determine and elect a ruler.
However, the believers in Imamat say appointment of a leader (the Prophet’s legatee) is through designation. And it is Allah who designates, not even the Prophet so leave alone the people and their election. The Almighty Allah nominates a leader and the Prophet (only) conveys the divine appointment and designation to the people.
Before going into the details of these two ideologies, it is necessary to remind you of two vital points in this introduction:
(1) The scholars from the caliphate school have access to books which covers topics like: Rules and methods concerning setting up a government; the upshot of this set up; the duties of a ruler; the rights of an Islamic government upon the people; the rights of the people upon the Islamic government; the manner in which a governor and minister is appointed; the manner in which a judge and leader of congregational prayer is selected; the mode of tax-collection; the measure of Zakat (alms), Kheraj (tax) and Jaziyah (tribute); those who are entitled to these; the manner by which they can receive such revenues and such other matters. On the basis of these very books and writings of reliable and renowned scholars from the caliphate school we shall discuss the views of the caliphate school concerning the appointment of a Muslim ruler and the manner of such an appointment.
(2) Another crucial point is the meaning and interpretations of word Khalifa or Caliph.
Ibn Athir says: A person who acts as a vicegerent and succeeds someone is called as Caliph.52 Ragheb Esfahani says: Caliphate is legacy from others.53 In a few verses of the Holy Quran, the words (Khala’ef) and (Khulafa) which are plural of (Calipha) have been used in this very literal sense. Verse 69 from Chapter A’raf says:
إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاء مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ
“He made you successors after Nuh’s people”. (Qur'an, 7:69)
In some of the Prophet’s sayings too, the word Caliph has been used in this very sense. For example, the Prophet says:
‘O Allah! Have Mercy on my Caliphs...........(he uttered this sentence thrice). The people asked: .‘O the Messenger of Allah, Who is your Caliph? He said:
Those who will succeed me and shall impart my Sunnah and hadith.....54
Earlier, it was explained that certain terms and expressions had gained currency during the era of Holy Prophet (S). These terms were either chosen by the Prophet himself or were proffered at the behest of Allah. These terms were later referred as Islamic idioms or religious proverbs.
Subsequently, the Muslims scholars coined certain expressions and terms, which later came into circulation and were referred as `Jurist idioms.’ and or the `Muslim idioms.’.
The word Caliph or Khalifa as commonly known (i.e. a ruler and statesman of the Muslims) is not a religious title. In other words, this term was not used during the Prophet’s era. This expression was used after the Holy Prophet (S) which means the Muslims had introduced the term. Initially, they limited the use of expression to whom they selected as rulers after the Prophet as “The Messenger’s Caliph “ ( خليفة الرسول ) and thereafter simply as “Caliph “ (خليفة). A few have also called some of the rulers and statesmen as “Allah’s Caliphs “ (خليفة الله).
According to the Islamic terminology and Quranic verses, it is evident that “Allah’s Caliph “ refers to someone who has been appointed by the Almighty Allah to preach “Islam “ to the people of his time. This person may either be the Prophet or the Prophet’s legatee.
In short, “Allah’s Caliph “ is the Imam of the Age in every era who bears the responsibility of preaching and safeguarding Allah’s religion and the divine commandments. It is for the people to recognize the Caliph appointed by God and considers him as their authority and Master.57
The discussion is outlined from the books which was pointed out in the beginning of our discussion and are called as “Al-Ahkam al Sultaniah”. Qazi Maverdi (died in 450 A.H.) and Qazi Abu Ya.’li (died in 458 A.H.) who were chief Judges during their respective times had discussed this matter in their books and had chosen the same name.
Imamat is actually caliphate after the Prophet and it can be concluded in three ways:
It means that if Harun al-Rashid appoints Amin and Ma.’mun as the Caliphs after him, then the Muslims shall become bound to follow him. These Caliphs are the legal and Islamic Caliphs and it becomes a divine duty for the Muslims to follow them. These two scholars say:
“There exists no dispute in this matter and acceptance of a Caliph in this manner is unanimous and by common consent. “
The argument these two scholars set forth for the validity of such type of appointment is this that Abu-Bakr appointed Omar as his successor and nobody opposed him in this matter. Acceptance by the common Muslims proves that this approach was approved by them and was by their consent. Thus, an appointment that takes effect by the preceding Caliph was rendered correct by Abu-Bakr’s action and the people’s approval. As far as its authenticity and validity is concerned, there exists no dispute in the caliphate school.58
About the caliph’s election, there has been a difference of opinion among the scholars of the caliphate ideology. Mavardi says: “Majority of the scholars are of opinion that a Caliph is appointed by means of five “resolvers of difficulties” i.e. the eminent and learned ones among the nation or by means of one person who is approved by the other four. “59
They support this view by referring to Abu-Bakr’s caliphate when five men swore allegiance to him. Thereafter, this allegiance became formal and gained acceptance. These five men were Omar-ibn-Khattab, Abu-Ubaideh Jarah, Salem the freed slave of Abu-Huzaifeh, Numan-ibn-Basheer and Usaid-ibn-Huzair. As such, allegiance took effect in Saqifa and Abu-Bakr gained the caliphate. Then, the selected Caliph was introduced to the people and the people too accepted him after initial hesitation.60
Thus, on this basis, (i.e. these few people’s course of action), a Caliph can be appointed by means of allegiance and consent of five “resolvers of difficulties”. Another reason propounded by them to support their view is the statement which Omar uttered in the Shura council set up for the appointment of his successor as such: If five amongst these six men appoint anyone as the Caliph, then that person shall indeed become the Caliph.
About this norm, there has been a consensus among the scholars of caliphate ideology.
Another group of scholars from the caliphate school say: Caliphate is like a marriage contract. Just as in a marriage contract, it is necessary to have one priest or notary and two witnesses, in the case of caliphate too, one person swears allegiance and two others give their consent. This number is enough for the appointment of a Caliph and ruler.61
However, a third group believes: Suffice it is if (even) one person swears allegiance to a Caliph. Election of one person and allegiance to that very person chooses the Caliph for the Islamic nation.
Abbas-ibn-Abdul-Muttalib said to Ali:“Stretch out your hand so that I may swear allegiance to you. The people shall (then) say: The Prophet’s uncle has sworn allegiance to his cousin. Thereafter, not even two people will oppose you “62
Second reasoning: Allegiance is like a judge’s verdict and decree, which is binding and any opposition to it unlawful.
According to these two arguments, even if one person swears allegiance to another, that person’s caliphate is established and his rule is formal and legal.63
As per this view, if government is overpowered by means of force and military conquest, the ruler becomes the just Caliph and his caliphate is Islamic and formal. According to judge Abu-Ya.’li: It is unlawful for the one who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement to pass his night and day but not consider him (i.e. the ruler) as Imam (Caliph) - whether the Caliph is criminal in nature or a pious one.64
About this type of caliphate, Fazlullah-ibn-Ruzbahn, a reliable jurisprudent belonging to the caliphate school writes in his book “Suluk al-Muluk “ As follows:
“The fourth means is through formation of kingship and Imamat, power and domination. Scholars have said that when an Imam dies and someone takes charge of the Imamat but with no allegiance and no support (by the people) and he employs force against the people then, his Imamat (without allegiance) is established - whether he is a Quraish or an Arab, a non-Arab or a Turk; whether he is fit for this position or not; whether he is a sinful and ignorant person or.....................and he can earn the title of Imam and Caliph. “65
If someone attains the caliphate by any of the afore-mentioned ways i.e. by force or allegiance by one, three or five people or by means of the preceding Caliph’s choice, then it is obligatory for the common Muslims to recognize his name and character and accept his caliphate just as it is obligatory upon them to recognize their Lord and His Prophet.
Besides this view, the majority believe that it is sufficient for the people to know who the Caliph is. They need not know other details about him; just a brief acquaintance is enough.66
The followers of the caliphate school quote traditions from the prominent narrators in their reliable books which say:
The Imam and Caliph of the Muslims is free to perform any act and even if he committs oppression, tyranny, injustice and debauchery it is forbidden for the Muslims to oppose and revolt against him with the sword. We reproduce some of those traditions as follows:
(1) Huzaifa narrates from the Prophet (S) as such:
“I will be followed by such leaders who will not follow my path and will not act upon my ways. A few of them will have hearts like the hearts of Satans even though apparently they will be humans!”
Huzaifa says: I asked: .‘O Messenger of Allah, if I come across such an era, what I should do?
He replied: “You should listen still adhere to him and obey him fully. Even if he hits at your back and plunders your wealth, you should still obey him and listen to his commands “67
(2) Ibn Abbas narrates from the Prophet (S) that:
“If someone witnesses anything unpleasant from his leader, he should bear patiently because if he keeps aloof from the caliphate and the Muslims even by one span and then dies in that state the he has indeed died a death of ignorance “68
(3) In another tradition, it has been narrated from Ibn Abbas who related from the Prophet (S) that:
“Nobody is supposed to revolt against the King and Imam of his Age and should not disobey his orders. If he does so and dies in that state he has indeed died a death of ignorance “69
One of the leading scholars from the caliphate school records traditions in a chapter titled “The necessity of obeying rulers “:
The common Ahl-Sunnah i.e. the jurisprudents, traditionists and theologians say that a ruler cannot be deposed because of his sins, tyranny and unjust dealing with the people. Basically, it is unlawful to revolt against him and rather obligatory to advise and admonish him and warn him of God and the Day of Resurrection. This is because traditions in this regard have been reported where the Prophet (S) has forbidden us from revolting against the ruler.
In short, revolt against the leaders and rulers (no matter how sinful and tyrant they may be) is forbidden which is unanimously agreed amongst all the Muslims.
According to this belief, it is forbidden to revolt against Yazid-ibn-Muawiya a drunkard, keeper of dogs, mass murderer and criminal. It is also forbidden to oppose Abdul-Malik-ibn-Marwan whose contingent of soldiers destroyed the Holy Kaa.’ba by catapult. It is also prohibited to object against Walid who showered Quran with a barrage of arrows!!
Regarding the above discussion, Nauwi, commentator of Sahih Muslim opined:
Numerous traditions support and substantiate this view. Besides, the Ahl-Sunnah have consensus that a sinful and lewd ruler cannot be dethroned from Imamat. “70
At this juncture, Nauwi proffers the Quranic verse to substantiate his opinion:
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
[Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you;] (Qur'an,4:59).
He also adds his comments that: “Since the rulers are patrons in the affairs, they should necessarily be obeyed. “
This was an extract of what has been reported in the reliable books of hadith from the caliphate school of thought.
In the Ahl-ul-bayt (AS) school of thought, Imamat is believed to be a divine office and needs an appointment by Allah. The leaders of this school as well as its scholars cite the following verse in support of their belief:
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَاماً
“And when His Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely, I will make you an Imam of men “ (Qur'an, 2: 124)
The words by which the Almighty tested Ibrahim were not made clear. Whether it was related to the sacrifice of his dear son Ismaeel or his struggle against Namrud, the evil king of his time? Or was it about his launch into Namrud’s fire? Quran let it remain vague.
Nevertheless, Ibrahim had successfully passed through ordeals and was blessed with the esteemed position of Imamat.
Ironically, Ibrahim was already a prophet and an exalted one at that, not to mention the honour of being Allah’s friend, yet when Allah bestowed Imamat on him he was so ecstatic that he requested the continuation of the same for his offspring.
Thus, he asked: « وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي » And what about my progeny?
Naturally, being human, he is fond of his children and wishes that they too should be equally blessed with this honour.
The Almighty Allah replied:
لاَ يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِين
“My covenant does not include the unjust ones “ (Qur’an, 2:124)
Who are the unjust ones? According to Quranic terminology, a person who does injustice to himself is branded as an unjust person. For instance, the one who worships idol or commits suicide has done injustice to himself and so Islam calls him an unjust one. Sometimes too, the one who oppresses others and transgresses their rights is called an oppressor like the one who grabs others wealth or demands usury from them or violates the chastity of women.
Generally, from the viewpoint of Islam and the Holy Quran, anyone who disobeys the Almighty Allah in any manner is termed unjust.71
Thus, the divine system judges that whoever does injustice to himself and others is an unjust person and is not eligible for receiving Allah’s covenant (i.e. Imamat).
On the basis of this Quranic precept, Imam should be infallible. Apart from this Holy verse, other verses also emphasizes that Imamat is a divine decree and an Imam is designated by Allah:
وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاء الزَّكَاةِ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ
“And We made them Imams who guided (people) by Our commands and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of the alms, and Us (alone) did they serve “ (Qur’an, 21:73)
وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ
“And from them We made Imams to guide by Our command when they were patient, and they were certain of Our communications “ (Qur’an, 32:24)
Therefore, in the Ahl-ul-bayt school, Imamat has been introduced as per the Quranic tenets and an Imam is designated only through divine appointment. The second significant issue of Imamat is the matter of Imam’s infallibility that has been stressed in verse 124 from Sura Baqarah (which was briefly explained in the discussion on Ibrahim’s Imamat).
Subsequently, we find in the Holy Quran that Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً
“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purification “ (Qur’an, 33:33)
The word أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ (Ahlul Bayt) used in this verse is a divine terminology which has been introduced by the Quran. The Holy Prophet (S) too has decisively determined the people belonging to this group.72
The Prophet (S) gathered Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husain under his cloak and proclaimed this Holy verse, which was revealed in their praise and in this manner clearly specified that the Prophet’s wives are not included amongst the Ahlul Bayt.73
Thus, `Ahlul Bayt.’ became the special name of this group and whenever the name of Ahlul Bayt is mentioned in Islam, it is exclusively about this very group. And above all, Quran has certified their infallibility.
As mentioned, Imamat in the Ahlul Bayt ideology is through designation by Allah. The Prophet’s mission is to disseminate the message; he is not responsible for appointing an Imam or recommending any ruler.
Just as the Holy Prophet (S) preaches about ‘sala’t.’ (prayer), ‘Haj.’ (pilgrimage) and such other obligatory acts, as only Allah’s Messenger and acts on divine commands, similarly he only conveys Allah’s message in the matter of Imamat as well. He propagates Imamat at the behest of Allah, while selection and nomination is done entirely at the divine decree. So, whatever the Prophet (S) said about Imamat is exactly the same as his sayings and explanations on Sala’t, Haj, Zakat and Jihad.
About Sala.’t, he taught the manner of recitation, the method of ablution; recitation of suras in the first and second units of prayers, mode of ruku (genuflection) and sajdah (prostration). Moreover, he specifies the number of units for each prayer and other paraphernalia. But the most important issue is that the Prophet on his own accord did none of these things but purely on Allah’s instance. Similarly whatever the Prophet has inculcated about Imamat is on entirely on the command of the Almighty Allah and not on his personal whim.
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
“Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed “ (Qur’an, 53:3 & 4)
Now, we shall divide a few of the Prophet’s hadith on Imamat into two distinct groups and discuss them briefly in the following two chapters.
In this set of traditions, none of the Imam’s proper name has been mentioned though, the Imamat of the Ahlul Bayt (as) has been discussed in general.
Below, we shall elaborate on two specimens of such traditions from this group:
The first tradition is narrated from Sahih Muslim74, which is also recorded in several other reliable books of the caliphate school of thought like Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Darami, Sunan Baihaqi and Mustadrak al-Sahihain75 Zaid-ibn-Arqam relates: On the way from Mecca to Medina (while returning form the Farewell Pilgrimage) close to a pool called “Khum “, the Prophet (S) delivered a sermon as follows:
.‘O people know that I am a human-being. Soon, I shall be summoned (towards the eternal world) and I shall respond to the Divine call.
I shall leave with you two precious things: The “Book of Allah “ wherein is found the guidance and the light. Do not abandon it but hold on to it fast. The other is my “Ahlul Bayt “ and I remind you of Allah about them!.’
(Mustadrak relates the tradition with an addition :) ‘Beware of how you treat these two things which I shall leave behind with you after me. These two shall not separate from each other until they meet me at the “Kauthar “ (a fountain in Paradise).’.
The Prophet’s hadith clearly indicate that one of the Imams from the Ahl-ulbayt (whose numbers too have been fixed in other reliable traditions) should possess such a long life that he remains alive till the end of this world alongwith the Book of Allah, so that the Prophet’s saying about the inseparable bond of these two comes true.
Jabir has narrated similar contents from the Prophet’s sermon of Arafat. He says: I saw the Prophet in Arafat during the Haj pilgrimage. He was astride his she-camel named “Azbah “ and addressed the people as such:
‘O people, I have left amongst you such a thing which if you cling to it and not forsake it, you would not go astray -- (they are) the Book of Allah and my progeny i.e. Ahlul Bayt.’.
Tirmidhi adds that Abu-Zar, Abu Saeed Khudri, Zaid-ibn-Thabit and Huzaifahibn- Usaid too have narrated this tradition.76 In this tradition, the Holy Prophet (S) has placed his Ahlul Bayt on par with the Quran and emphasized that guidance is achieved through them and the Holy Quran. He reiterated that holding fast to them brings decisive deliverance from deviation and error. He warns the people to be careful in their behaviour towards them and prophesizes that these two would never separate from each other and that they would meet him at the “Kauthar “ (the entrance for the fortunates ones on the Day of Resurrection).
The divine scriptures are the Imams of the people and from the theoretical viewpoint, they are the leaders of the people’s thoughts, beliefs, ethics and deeds, is indeed a Quranic matter.77
Thus according to this very principle, the placement of the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt on par with the Quran makes their Imamat more than evident. In other words, the theoretical aspect of Islam is explained and described in theHoly Quran, while the Ahlul Bayt have explained the practical aspect of the religion. Therefore, once we accept the Imamat of Quran in theoretical, we are bound to accept the Imamat of Ahlul Bayt in practical form.
Besides, considering the fact that guidance is confined to these two precious legacies (as per the Prophet’s statement) wherein Quran comprise of Islamic beliefs, ethics and practice thus it is imperative that the explanation of Quranic precepts will be the duty of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) so that guidance is imparted in its full and perfect form.
This tradition has been narrated in so many diverse forms and through various chains of narrations that reproduction of each and every tradition will need a separate volume. Our purpose is to elaborate the fact that the Messenger of Allah (S) through Divine commands has limited Imamat to his Ahlul Bayt and placed them on par with the Quran.
In another set of traditions, the number of Imams, Caliphs and rulers who are to succeed the Prophet is stipulated but without any reference to their names. We have come across these traditions from four of the Prophet’s companions, Jabiribn- Samareh being one of them. His narrations are recorded in Sahih Muslim, Sahih Bukhari, Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunane-Tirmidhi, Musnade Tayalesi, Musnad Ahmad and others.
Here, we shall narrate traditions from Jabir from Sahih Muslim.78 He related: .‘I approached the Messenger of Allah (S) along with my father. The Prophet said: “The religion shall survive until the advent of Day of Resurrection and until there remains among you, the twelve Caliphs who are all from the Quraish “.
In this tradition, nothing more has been mentioned whereas in Nahjul-Balagha, Amir-ul-Muminin (a.s.) refers to the omitted part and says:
“Surely, the Imams would be from the Quraish. They have been set in this branch from the household of Hashim. This position does not suit others and no ruler or statesmen (other than them) are suitable as heads of state. “79
In another tradition which has been reported in Musnade-Ahmad, Mustadrak- Hakem and others from a person named Masruq who is the narrator of this tradition says: .‘We were in the presence of Abdullah-ibn-Masoud in Kufa and he was busy teaching us the Quran. A man asked: .‘O Abdul-Rahman, didn.’t you inquire from the Prophet (S) concerning the number of Caliphs this nation will have?
.‘Abdullah replied: Since my entry into Iraq, nobody except you has inquired about this matter. Thereafter, he added: Verily, we did inquire from the Prophet about this issue and the Prophet had replied: “Twelve persons equivalent to the number of the chiefs of Bani-Israil “80
This tradition has also been narrated from Anas-ibn-Malik and Abdullah-ibn-Amr-ibn-Aas. Of course, each of these traditions has been narrated by various narrators as a result of which their narration enjoys successive transmission and certitude.
In such traditions, the interpreters and scholars from Ahl-Sunnah have reached a serious deadend and have miserably failed to interpret a meaning in consonance with the beliefs prevailing in the caliphate school and specify clearly the identity of these twelve people. They have also failed to explain how a group of twelve can remain and survive till the Day of Judgement. Moreover, they have failed to recognize the qualities possessed by this group such as that the exaltation and honour of Islam is interlinked to this very group. Can any ordinary person hold this esteemed position or it is absolutely necessary for a Caliph to be a just ruler?
Hereunder, we set forth a few specimens of their sayings:
The renowned jurisprudent Ibn al-Arabi says in Sharhe- Sunan-Tirmidhi:
“We shall enumerate the Caliphs who have come after the Messenger of Allah:
1- Abu Bakr, 2- Omar, 3- Uthman, 4- Ali, 5- Hasan, 6- Muawiya, 7- Yazid-ibn-Muawiya, 8- Muawiya-ibn-Yazid, 9-Marwan, 10- Abdul Malik-ibn-Marwan, 11- Walid, 12- Sulaiman, 13- Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz, 14- Yazid-ibn-Abdul Malik, 15- Marwan-ibn-Muhamm ad-ibn-Marwan, 16- Safah, 17-Manthur........... “
He continues counting the Caliphs and counts twenty-seven more till his own era (543 A.H.) and then adds:
“If we count twelve of them right from the beginning of caliphate and consider those who have possessed the prophet’s heritage in its apparent form, we shall realize that this figure (i.e. twelve) is completed with the counting of Sulaimanibn- Abdul Malik. However, if we count among them those who have possessed the prophetic caliphate in its true sense, (i.e. were just) we should consider only five of them who consists of the first four Caliphs and Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz.
Therefore, I fail to find any meaning for this hadith. “81
Regarding this question that: “A large number of people far exceeding twelve in number have attained the caliphate “, Qazi Aiyaz, a renowned traditionalist from the caliphate school says:
“This is a futile objection because the Prophet (S) has not said: .‘None shall attain the caliphate save twelve people.’. Nay, he has (only) mentioned that this number (of Caliphs) shall come after him, who have indeed come and his statement does not imply that Caliphs exceeding this figure will not follow. “82
Another scholar has said:
“The Prophet meant that twelve just Caliphs would exists during the entire period of Islam till the Day of Judgement and succession as a condition would not apply to this group.........Thus, the Prophet’s statement: .‘Thereafter shall follow chaos and disorder.’ refers to the preliminaries of the Day of Judgement and the troubles and seditions before Resurrection like: the uprising of Dajjal. “
He says: The twelve Caliphs refer to the first four Caliphs, Hasan, Muawiya, Abdullah-ibn-Zubair83 and Omar-ibn-Abdul-Aziz (totalling eight in number).Mahdi Abbasi (127-169 A.H.) too can be included since his case among the Abbasids is similar to the case of Omar-ibn-Abdul-Aziz among the Ummayads. We can also add Zaher (another Abbasid Caliph) because of his just and honest character. Two more remain, one being the Mahdi (The Promised One) who is from the Ahlul Bayt. “84 (And the other is unknown!?)
Moreover, they have said:
“In this hadith, the Prophet meant to say that twelve Caliphs shall exist in an era when the caliphate will be grand and honourable and Islam will be powerful and its affairs in order. Thus, from the viewpoint of the Prophet, the Caliphs are those during whose era Islam is held in high esteem and all the Muslims have one opinion about them. “85
After explaining the above view, Baihaqi a renowned commentator and traditionalist from the caliphate school says:
“This number (twelve Caliphs) possessing the afore-mentioned qualities became complete during the era of Walid-ibn-Yazid-ibn-Abdul Malik and thereafter, troubles and seditions became rife. Then, the Abbasids took charge of the affairs. Verily, if we overlook the aforesaid qualities, we shall have more than twelve Caliphs. The same is true if we take into account the Caliphs in the postturmoil and sedition period. “86
In elaboration of this view, they have said:
“Amongst those whose right over the seat of caliphate has been unanimous are the first three Caliphs. Following them is Ali until the matter of arbitration arose in the battle of Siffeen. Thereafter, Muawiya declared himself the Caliph (and the unanimity about Ali’s caliphate ceased to exist). After Imam Hasan’s peace treaty, all were unanimious in their opinion about Muawiya. Following him, there took no dispute regarding his son Yazid, Husain’s endeavours and caliphate too proved futile. Rather, Husain was soon killed. After Yazid’s death, once again dispute took place over the caliphate until Abdul-Malik-ibn-Marwan became the Caliph.
A common consensus existed about him. Undoubtedly, we know that this consensus became apparent only after Abdullah-ibn-Zubair’s assasination (73 A.H.). After Abdul-Malik, there occured no dispute with respect to the caliphate of his four sons namely Walid, Sulaiman, Yazid and Hisham. Later, as per Sulaiman’s will, Omar-ibn-Abdul-Aziz became the Caliph. The twelfth person from this group who gained the consensus of the people and ruled for four years is Walid-ibn-Abdul-Malik. “
Ibn Hajar, an eminent traditionalist and famous jurisprudent from the Shafaei sect says:
“This explanation is the best interpretation for the aforesaid traditions. “87
Ibn Kathir, a famous historian, traditionalist and interpreter of Quran from the eight century writes:
“The path adopted by Baihaqi and his supporters that this hadith refers to the Caliphs which have come in succession till the era of the wicked Walid-ibn- Yazid-ibn-Abdul Malik is a path which calls for great deliberation. The Caliphs coming in any order (and not in succession) till Walid’s era are more than twelve. Our reasoning: The caliphate of the four Caliphs i.e. Abu-Bakr, Omar, Uthman and Ali is unanimious and certain............Hasan-ibn-Ali too follows them since Ali had mentioned so in his will and the Iraqis too had given their allegiance to him..............until he entered into a peace treaty with Muawiya. “After Muawiya came Yazid followed by Muawiya-ibn-Yazid. Thereafter, the rulers and Caliphs who followed in succession were Marwan, Abdul-Malik-ibn- Marwan, Omar-ibn-Abdul-Aziz, Yazid-ibn-Abdul-Malik and Hisham-ibn-Abdul-Malik.
So, this group consists of fifteen people. Moreover, Walid-ibn-Yazid-ibn-Abdul Malik (who is counted by Baihaqi to be the twelfth in number) followed them. If we take into account Abdullah-ibn-Zubair’s rule before Abdul Malik they will total sixteen in number.
“Aside from all these complexities, Yazid-ibn-Muawiya is included in the group of twelve Caliphs recommended by the Prophet (on the basis of counting from the beginning of caliphate) while someone like Omar-ibn-Abdul-Aziz who has been praised and honoured by all the eminent ones has been omitted. This is while he has been counted among the “Khulafa-Rashideen “ (rightly-guided Caliphs) and all are unanimious about his justice and believe that his era has been the most justful era of Islamic rule. Even the “Rafezi “ (Shiite) admit this point.
“If someone says that we should take into account only those who have been favoured by the nation, we shall reach a stalemate where Ali-ibn-Abi-Talib and his son will have to be omitted from the list of Caliphs. This is because people were not unanimious about their caliphate and none of the Syrians gave allegiance to these two men. “
Ibn Kathir further adds:
“One of the scholars has included Muawiya, Yazid and Muawiya-ibn-Yazid in the list of the twelve Caliphs but excluded Marwan and Abdullah-ibn-Zubair because the “Ummah “ (nation) had no consensus about them. I say: If we accept this, we have to enumarate the Caliphs as follows:
Abu-Bakr, Omar and Uthman followed by Muawiya, Yazid, Abdul Malik, Walid-ibn-Sulaiman, Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz and Yazid-ibn-Hisham who become ten in number. After them comes Walid-ibn-Abdul Malik, the sinner. But this is something impossible to accept because we will then have to leave out Ali and his son Hasan from the list of Caliphs. This is against the principle which the Ahl-Sunnah and the Shiite scholars have emphasized. Moreover, it is contrary to the tradition which “Safineh “ has narrated from the Prophet who said: After me, the Caliphate shall continue for thirty years. Thereafter, you shall face bitter kingship “.88
Ibn Jauzi has attempted to explain these traditions in his book Kashf al- Mushkel with the help of following two rationales:
1) The Prophet (S) has pointed out in a tradition about the events that would occur after him and his companions. He prophesized about the governments that would come to power after him. He also pointed out the number of Caliphs in such governments. Perhaps, his words: ... لا يزال الدين89 implies that government is always active and powerful until the twelve Caliphs come to power.
Thereafter, the situation would be something different and conditions extremely difficult.
The first amongst the Prophet’s Caliphs from the Bani-Umayyah is Yazid-ibn- Muawiya and the last of them is Marwane Hemar and they are all thirteen in number.
Uthman, Muawiya and Abdullah-ibn-Zubair have been left out in this enumeration, because they are amongst the Prophet’s companions. Thus, if we omit Marwan-ibn-Hakam (because of the probability of being the Prophet’s companion or because he had attained the caliphate by force while the people of his time had given allegiance to Abdullah-ibn-Zubair of their own free will) the number of twelve people becomes complete (and thus the Prophet’s prophecy comes out true).
When the Bani-Ummayad were deprived from the caliphate, serious troubles and seditions took place. This continued till the time the Bani-Abbasids gained control over the caliphate. Thereafter too, the caliphate underwent turbulence and chaos. “90
Ibn Hajar repudiated the plausibility of such an explanation in his book “Fath al-Baari “.91
Concerning the second rationale in the analysis of these traditions, Ibn Jauzi says:
2) Perhaps, the caliphate of these twelve responsible figures refers to the period after Mahdi who shall emerge at the end of time. I have found in the book of Daniel as such: When Mahdi shall depart from this world; five stalwarts from the progeny of ‘sibt-Akbar.’ (Imam Hasan) shall gain power.
Thereafter, five stalwarts from the progeny of ‘sibt-Asghar.’ (Imam Husain) shall attain this position. The last person from this group shall state in his will that someone from the progeny of ‘sibte-Akbar.’ should succeed him. After him, his son will take over the caliphate. In this manner, the afore-mentioned twelve rulers becomes complete and all of them are the Imams, the guided ones (Mahdi). “ Ibn Jauzi adds: “There exists a tradition too which states that after him (i.e. Mahdi), twelve men shall come and rule, six from the progeny of Hasan, five from the progeny of Husain and the last one from the progeny of others. Then he shall die and time shall decay. “92
About this tradition, Ibn Hajar Haithami says: “This tradition is indeed a weak tradition. So one cannot rely on it. “93
Another group of scholars have opined:
In this hadith, it appears that Hazrat (peace and salutations be upon him) has informed about the strange events that would follow and has predicted the anarchy and turmoil that would occur during that era -- the era in which people would gather around twelve chiefs at one time. If the Prophet had meant otherwise, he would have said: There would be twelve chiefs where each would do so and so work. But, as he has not given such news about them it implies that the Prophet meant to say that all these Caliphs would come at one time.
They say that this prophecy (in the aforesaid sense) took effect in the fifth century because at that time, six people in Spain declared themselves the Caliphs. In addition, there were the Egyptian rulers (the Fatimid Caliph) and the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad (which become eight in number).
Besides, those who have claimed the caliphate have also to be taken into account. They comprise the Khawarij and the Alawites who started a rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphs during this era and staked their claim for the caliphate. After recording the tradition, Ibn Hajar Asqalani says:94
“This report is exclusive to those who are aware with Bukhari’s summarized tradition and have not seen the other side of this tradition (which speaks in length about the twelve Caliphs). Moreover, the existence of this numerous groups of Caliphs is itself an evidence of deviation and error which clearly proves that it is not what the Prophet had meant. “
These were the interpretations and explanations given by scholars from the Caliphate ideology regarding the twelve caliphs.
Let us analyze the correct meaning of the traditions, which will also expose the hollowness of these explanations.
1. The Prophet’s Caliphs and the Islamic leaders will not exceed twelve in number and will belong to Quraish. As it is decisively said by the Prophet, “There are twelve leaders for this nation who are all from the Quraish “95
“There shall come twelve Caliphs for this nation “96
“After me shall come twelve Caliphs who are all from the Quraish “97
Sentences like: “There are twelve Caliphs after me” and such other traditions distinctly specify that the number of Caliphs and leaders of this nation are twelve.
2. These leaders and Caliphs shall remain among the Ummah (nation) till the Day of Judgement.
As a proof, we quote from Sahih Muslim:
“If only two people remain on the earth, one of them will be a caliph who will belong to Quraish. “98
This tradition, which is recorded in the most reliable books of the Ahl-Sunnah, clearly announces the perpetuity of the Caliphs till the end of this world. In another tradition, which was also mentioned earlier, the Prophet has said: “Till the time the twelve Caliphs rule upon you, this religion will continue till the Day of Judgement. “99
This tradition conveys the glad-tidings about Islam’s continuity till the Day of Judgement. Besides, it also declares the caliphate of the twelve Caliphs. In other words, the Prophet (S) has proclaimed that throughout the duration of this world, one caliph must rule over the world where essentially the age of one of them should be prolonged to run parallel with the age of this world.
It is imperative to delve into the fact that how this tradition was not erased, distorted or censored by the enemies especially by Umayyids. Apparently, when this hadith was narrated for the first time by the Prophet’s companions the number of Caliphs at the time was barely few. Obviously, the rulers failed to foresee the complications they would face in the future in explaining such a hadith. If they had anticipated such troubles they would have ensured that it should not be recorded in the reliable texts of the caliphate school. Or they would set such manipulations into motion that the tradition was distorted beyond redemption, the way several traditions of the Prophet were distorted.
In other words, this hadith was narrated during the reign of Muawiya or Yazidibn- Muawiya and till then, the official Caliphs had not been more than four or five. Thus, the caliphate did not apprehend any danger from dissemination of this hadith. When the Caliphs exceeded twelve in number, it was impossible to prevent the spread of such traditions, leave aside the question of tampering or distorting the text of narration.
* * *
After browsing through the various speculations and baseless explanations about the traditions it becomes more than evident that the belief of Ahlebait’s ideology is the only proper and exact meaning of the tradition. In the end, it is important to know that this hadith gains extreme importance because it is recorded in most of the Sunni books of Sihah, Sunan, Musnad and others which is considered reliable and authentic among the sunni scholars unanimously.
In the aforesaid traditions, no reference is made about the Imams.’ and Caliphs.’ names. Now we shall discuss those traditions, which specifically and particularly mention the names of the Prophet’s successors.
The first time ever the Prophet announced his successor was in his first open invitation which is recorded as Hadith-Enzar or Hadith-Yaum.’ud-Daar. This hadith is reported in numerous authentic books of traditions as well as historical source books from the Sunni references including Tarikh-Tabari, Tarikh-Ibn Kathir and Abul-Fidah, Musnad-Ahmad, Kanz al-Ummal, Tarikh Ibn Wardi, Dala.’el-Nabuwah, Baihaqi and others. These books contain the same hadith though with minor variations.
We shall reproduce the hadith from Tarikh-Tabari, which is the oldest reference in this regard and is regarded as the most authentic historical text in the Sunni school of thought:
Amir-ul-Mominin (as) says: When the blessed verse:
وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ
[And warn your nearest relations] (Shuara/214) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (S) called me and said:
.‘O Ali! Allah commanded me to call my kith and kin towards Allah and warn them. I have undertaken this task, as I was apprehensive of my relatives.’ defiance. I deferred the mission until Jibraeel descended with the verse and said:
.‘O Muhammad, if you do not act upon that which you have been commanded (and delay further the matter) God shall punish you. Therefore, (O Ali, there is no reason for procrastination; hence) arrange for some food and............ Then gather the sons of Abdul-Muttalib (Bani-Hashim) so that I speak to them and convey that for which I have been appointed.100 “
Imam Ali (as) says:
I obeyed the Prophet’s commands and invited them for food. They were all forty in number. When everybody assembled around the Prophet, he ordered for the food that I had prepared. When I served the meal and laid it in front of them, the Messenger of Allah (S) picked a piece of meat and divided it into several pieces. Subsequently, he evenly placed it in front of his relatives. Thereafter, he said: ‘Eat in the name of Allah..’
The attendants ate to their full..........and I swear by Allah Who possesses my soul that the food served to them was actually meant for only one person though, the entire gathering had food to their hearts.’ content. Then the Prophet (S) said: .‘Give them to drink.’. I served yogurt with water and they drank to their full. I swear by Allah that the drink served by me was sufficient for only one person.
When the Messenger of Allah (S) wished to address them, Abu-Lahab took precedence and said: He has indeed cast his spell on you!
Following Abu-Lahab’s remarks, the gathering dispersed without the Prophet having uttered anything to them. The Prophet remained quiet and did not speak a word. He was responsible for inviting his near ones (to the divine path) and hence this gathering. However, in a gathering where his action was termed as .‘magic.’, it was no longer proper for him to say anything.101
Ditto, the next day, Imam was assigned the same task. The same people gathered and the same events prevailed. Of course, the Prophet did not allow Abu-Lahab to speak this time and addressed his near ones as such: .‘O the sons of Abdul-Muttalib! I swear by Allah, I do not know of any Arab youth who has brought anything better than that which I have brought as a gift for you. I have brought for you the goodness of this world as well as the Hereafter. The Almighty Allah has commanded me to call you towards Him.
Now, who among you is ready to become partner in my sufferings and my assistant in fulfilling my divine mission so that he remains my brother, vicegerent and Caliph amongst you? “
Total silence prevailed in the room and none responded to the Prophet’s call. But I, who at the time was the youngest amongst them answered the Prophet’s call :
‘O the Prophet of Allah, I am ready to be your vizier and helper in your affairs.’102
The Prophet laid his hands on my neck and said:
“He is my brother, vicegerent and Caliph amongst you. Follow his commands and obey his instructions “
The elders and the eminent men from the tribe of Bani-Hashim rose and sarcastically told Abu-Talib: Your cousin commands you to obey your son! (whereas you are the chief and leader of the Quraish!)103
This is the first day on which the Prophet (S) proclaimed Ali (a.s.) as the Imam of the nation. In the first ever official announcement, the Prophet had drawn people’s attention to three fundamental points:
1. The Almighty Allah’s message.
2. His own Prophethood.
3. Ali ibn Abi Talib’s status as his vizier, his caliph and executive of his mission.
The first title (i.e., viziership) is relevant to the Prophet’s lifetime, while the second and third title (i.e., caliphate and executorship) is relevant to the period after the Prophet’s demise.
The responsibility of being a vizier implies Ali’s total dedication to the Prophet in enduring the hardships of the mission during the Prophet’s lifetime. Caliphate and Executorship purports the responsibility of bearing this onerous burden alone after the Prophet’s demise.
It was mentioned that the Caliph of any responsible person performs the same task which that responsible person performs. The Prophet’s Caliph bears the responsibility of fulfilling the Prophet’s task; he is the Prophet’s assistant in his special mission i.e. propagation. After the Prophet’s demise too, his only aim is to continue the Prophet’s task and not to rule.
Of course, leadership and rulership is one of the (and not all) inseparable aspects of the Prophetic mission.104 Similarly, it is also one of the responsibilities (and not the only one) of the Prophet’s Caliph. The Prophet should be a ruler and none except him can be a legitimate ruler during his era. But the Prophet’s prime objective is not establishing a kingdom lest he fails to acquire the government it would harm his prophethood and his very purpose is destroyed. Hazrat Isa (a.s.) did not establish a government and attain material power during the entire length of his prophethood. However, he passed his entire life propagating the divine message.
Did this create a flaw in his prophethood!?
Before migration to Madina, the last Prophet (S) was neither a ruler nor did he possess power to rule over Mecca for a period of thirteen years. But, this did not undermine his prophethood in any manner.
Thus, taking into account Ali’s caliphate, it makes no difference whether he is the chief and ruler of the nation or not as the basis of his Imamat remains unaffected.
What was Prophet’s intention in declaring Ali (a.s.) as the Caliph? Did he intend to introduce him as the ruler and chief of the Islamic society after his demise?
No. He did not merely appoint a ruler. Rather, he established something greater and more superior than rulership. He appointed his legatee, vizier and emissary of the divine message after him. The Prophet’s caliphate, signifying a sublime position, includes:
i. the protection and dissemination of pure Islam
ii. the just Islamic rule
iii. the high position of adjudication as well as
iv. the leadership (Imamat) of Friday and congregation prayers
However, any one of the above by itself is not sufficient.
In yet another tradition which was quoted earlier (in the first section), it is narrated that the Prophet (S) had dispatched two contingents of soldiers to Yemen – one under the leadership of Ali (a.s.) and the other one under the command of Khalid-ibn-Walid. Moreover, he clarified that if both these contingents were merged, the command would go to Ali (a.s.).
Mean and cunning as he was, Khalid was outraged at the Prophet’s remarks.
Thus, when the mission was fulfilled, Khalid sent couriers to the Prophet carrying a grievance note against the Imam (a.s.). Bareedah, the letter-bearer says: I delivered the letter to the Prophet. The letter was read out to him. Its contents angered the Prophet so much so his countenance changed and anger was writ large on his blessed face.
Thus, I said: .‘O the Messenger of Allah! I seek refuge in you. Khalid has sent this letter and commanded me to forward it to you. I have obeyed him since he is my commander. The Prophet (S) said: “Do not speak ill of Ali! He is from me and I am from him. He is your custodian, guardian and master (of the affairs) after me “105
In one of the texts, there is an addition to the hadith: When Bareedah witnessed the Prophet’s wrath; he began to doubt his own faith and said: ‘O the Messenger of Allah! Stretch out your hand so that I swear allegiance to you anew and my sin is forgiven..’106
According to this tradition, Imam Ali (a.s.) is the guardian, man of authority and the master of the Muslims after the Prophet (S). In more precise terms, he is the Prophet’s successor, possessing mastership over the people’s life and wealth.
In another tradition related from Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (S) had addressed Amir-ul-Mumineen (a.s.) as follows:
“You are the master, guardian and an authority for every believer after me “107 In yet another tradition in which the narrator complains to the Prophet (S) about Imam (a.s.), the Prophet (S) said: ‘Never speak in this manner about Ali. After me, he possesses the greatest authority, judgeship and mastership over the people than any other men.108 It can be deduced from these traditions it becomes clear that the Prophet (S) confered positions like caliphate, viziership and executorship on Ali (a.s.). He introduces him with such exalted titles and says: .‘Ali is the master of all believers after me.’
Nevertheless, the incident concerning donation of a ring to a beggar in the mosque and subsequent revelation of the Holy verse,
إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ
Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed - those who establish prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in worship]. (Qur'an, 5:55)
substantiates Ali’s position and authority. A fact that is supported by numerous traditions recorded in several sunni books. These traditions quoted from reliable reference books of sunnis proves that the Prophet has made his will and testament during the various stages of his life.
We had discussed earlier about the Prophet’s desire of putting down his will in writing during the last moments of his life. At that crucial hour, the Prophet wished to write down his last will regard his successor who will be his caliph, legatee and ruler after him.
Whenever the Prophet wished to write a letter, he would ask one of his companions to do so. He would then affix his seal on the letter and call to witness this act. Thereafter, he would dispatch it to the Arab tribes or non-Arab chiefs.
The Prophet intended to do the same during the last moments of his life and wished to write a will that would prevent the people from going astray in the future. But his companions did not allow him to fulfill his wish and instead replied to him so impertinently and impudently that the Prophet preferred to adopt silence.
But as it was clarified that the issue of successorship was mooted not at the final hour. Rather, for all intent and purposes, the Prophet (S) made it a point that he repeatedly announced his successor during the entire length of his life including war, peace and at various other important occasions of his prophethood. Despite the censors, the massacres perpetrated by the despotic Ummayids and Abbasids rulers and their terror tactics, so that these narrations should never reach the future generations, all these traditions are found in the reliable texts from the caliphate ideology.
Before concluding the discussion, we narrate two traditions from the Sunni books which shed light on the issue of the Prophet’s legatee and will.
Tabarani and other eminent traditionalists from the caliphate ideology have narrated from Salman, the great companion of the Prophet as follows:
I said: .‘O the Messenger of Allah, for every Prophet there is a legatee. Who is your legatee?
The Prophet (S) did not reply until he called me later and said: .‘O Salman!.’
Hearing my name I rushed towards him and respondend, ‘Here I am.’.
He said: .‘Do you know who Musa’s legatee was?.’
I said: .‘Yes! Yushua-ibn-Nun.
He said: For what reason?
I said: Because he (Yushua) was the most learned man of his time.
The Prophet said:
So my legatee; the place of my secrets; the best man whom I shall leave after me and who will fulfill my promises and pay my debts is Ali-ibn-Ali Talib. “
An analysis of the hadith
The inquirer in this hadith is “Salman “ the Prophet’s great companion. Before becoming the Prophet’s companion, Salman lived in Isfahan and was the son of an eminent Magian. After coming into contact with a Christian caravan, he converted to Christianity and abandoned his home for the sake of joining their caravan.
Later, he lived in the monasteries in Syria and Iraq listening to the talks of the eminent Christian monks. He acquired knowledge of the past Prophets.’ Books (like the Torah, Evangel and Psalms) and the histories of Prophets, their legatees and nations. Under their guidance, he left for Medina for the sake of listening to the last Prophet’s words.109
After embracing Islam and turning into a close companion of the Prophet, he questioned from the Prophet (S):
For every Prophet there is a legatee. Who is your legatee?
The Prophet did not reply.
Was it difficult for the Prophet to fix a legatee for his nation or was he worried of his nation’s reaction?
Such instances were noticed even earlier like his marriage with Zainab-binta-Jahash, divorcee of Zaid (foster son of Prophet). Allah addressed the Prophet and resolved his anxiety: “And you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men. “110
The Prophet’s (S) silence in reply to Salman could be similar to the case of his marriage with Zainab. The Prophet (S) later met Salman and told him about his successor but only after inquiring from him about Musa’s legatee Yushua bin Noon who succeeded Musa because he was the most learned man among the Bani Israel.
Here, the Prophet says: ‘so my legatee; the protector of my secrets; the best man to remain after me who shall fulfil my promises and repay my debts is Ali-ibn-Abi Talib..’
In the Prophet’s answer, we find several explanations:
(a) Yushua bin Nun succeeded Musa because he was the most learned man.
(b) Similarly, the Prophet emphatically said, Ali is his legatee for the same.
(c) The objective of this dialogue between the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Salman was to apprise the Muslims that Ali’s status of legatee was a divine decree not because he was the Prophet’s relative and cousin otherwise, Abbas the Prophet’s uncle too was alive at the time.
Moreover, it was also not because Ali was the Prophet’s son-in-law; since the Prophet had another son-in-law too. It was also not due to his sacrifices in the battle with the polytheists; although none were like him in the battlefield.
It was also not because he had taken precedence over others in accepting Islam. It was also not because he had not worshipped (unlike the rest of the Prophet’s companions) any idol.
Although all the above as well as other factors were applicable to Ali (a.s.) and are counted among the unparalleled virtues in Islam, nevertheless, the Prophet’s legatee is responsible first and foremost to safeguard the Prophet’s Shariah (religious laws). So, he should be the most learned one in this regard. And amongst all the companions, Ali (a.s.) was the most learned man in Islam.
(d) Salman’s statement bears testimony to the fact that the past Prophets possessed legatees. To some Muslims, such a testimony on the part of Salman happens to be:
بَلَى وَلَـكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِي
"Yes, but [I ask] only that my heart may be satisfied “ (Qur'an, 2:260)
While for others who were among the hypocrites, this testimony was more enlightening than the Prophet’s remarks.
“Every Prophet has a legatee; Ali is my legatee and heir “.112
The significance of Ali’s immediate succession
Since centuries, the sunni scholars have been striving hard to interpret the Prophet’s hadith concerning Imam Ali’s Imamat (like hadith-Ghadir and hadith- Manzelat):
أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى
Their efforts are directed at underplaying the significance of Ali’s Imamat and cite these traditions as mere virtues of Ali rather than his successorship of the Prophet.
At the same time, they have fabricated and concocted traditions describing much higher and superior merits of other Caliphs. Thus the virtues of Ali pale in comparison with those forged traditions.113
However, the traditions have clearly indicated that these hadith do not describe them as virtues of Ali but evidently signify Imam Ali’s status as the Prophet’s successor and legatee.
For over seventy years, beginning from Ayesha’s era, the enemies of Imam Ali made every conceivable effort to conceal, distort and misinterpret the terms used in the traditions on Imam Ali’s (a.s.) imamat.
The machinations of the inimical scholars have resulted in absolute obliteration of the title, Al-Wasi meaning legatee which has been Imam’s most famous title. In the first section of the book, Ma.’lim al-Madrasatain114, we have already discussed ten such cases in more than 80 pages.
Insha’Allah, we shall discuss more such Ahadith that have been distorted and falsely attributed to the Prophet (S). These fabricated traditions have ruined the faith of numerous Muslim groups by leading them towards unfounded and false beliefs regarding the Divine attributes, the Prophet’s Seerah (way of life) and the Islamic precepts. Consequently, the Islamic doctrines, creeds and tenets are far from the original teachings of the Prophet.
On the contrary, we shall examine the endeavours of the Imams from the Ahl albayt (a.s.) in presenting the genuine traditions and true life history of the Prophet, and their efforts in restoring the true Sunnah to the Islamic society.
- 1. Basa.’er al-Darejat; page 197, tradition No 4. Three traditions in support of this hadith have come down in the caliphate school sources. Refer to Sunan Nesa.’ee 1/178 Chapter concerning: Clearing one’s throat in Salat (prayers); Sunan Ibn Majah; book concerning: Manners, Chapter: Seeking permission, tradition No 3708; Musnad Ahmad Vol 1/85, tradition No 647, Vol 1/107; tradition No 845, Vol 1/80; tradition No 608 and Tarikh al-Bukhari 4/2/121.
- 2. Kafi 1/62-63; Wasa.’el Shi’a (old edition) 3/396, tradition No 1; Mustadrak al-Wasa.’el 1/393; Ehtejaj Tabarsi page 136; Tuhof-ul-Uqul page 131-132; Wafi 1/63; Meraat al-Uqul 1/210.
In Ibn Sa.’d’s “Tabaqat “ (a Caliphate school reference) in the section concerning Imam Ali’s life-history 2/2/101 (European edition) three traditions in support of this hadith has been narrated where one of these has come down in a manuscript titled: “Faza.’el Ali-ibn-Abi Talib “ from Ahmad-ibn-Habal.
- 3. Jabir-ibn-Abdullah-ibn-Omar-Ansari was one of the companions of the Prophet who had lived right till the era of Imam Baqir (a.s.). He died in 70 A.H. in Medina. Taqreeb al-Tahzeeb 1/122.
- 4. Sahih Tirmidhi: Book: Al-Manaqib, Chapter: Virtues of Ali-ibn-Abi Talib Vol 13/173 and Tarikh Baghdadi 7/402. The same has also come down from Jabir-ibn-Abdullah in Tarikh Ibn Asaker 2/310 & 311; Tarikh Ibn Kathir 7/356 and Osd-ul-Ghaba 4/27. Almost similar contents has also been narrated from Jundab-ibn-Najiyah (or Najiyah-ibn-Jundab) in Kanz-ul-Ummal - Hyderabad print 1312 A.H. 6/399 and second edition 12/200, tradition No 1122 and Al-Riyaz al-Nazarah 2/265
- 5. Other similar meetings between Ali (a.s.) and the Prophet (S) took place in Medina. Reference to these has come down in the books on “Tafsir “ (Exegesis) below the verse on whispering (Mujadela/12,13). Refer to Ma.’lem al-Madrasatain 1/322.
- 6. Tusi’s Amali (Najaf 1384 A.H.) 2/56; Basa.’er al-Darajat, page 167; Yanabi al-Mawadda of Qunduzi and Darul Khilafa al-Othmania 1302 A.H. page 20.
- 7. Tarikh Ibn Asaker (Beirut edition 1395 A.H.) Translation of Al-Imam Ali (a.s.) 2/484; Tarikh Ibn Kathir 7/359; Kanz-ul-Ummal (First edition) 6/392.
- 8. This hadith has been described as correct in Mustakrak Hakim and Talkhis Zuhbi 3/139. Also in MusannafIbn Abi Shuibah 6/348; Majmah al-Zawaed 9/112; Kanz-ul-Ummal, second edition 15/128, chapter concerning, ‘he virtues of Ali-ibn-Abi Talib.’, tradition No 374 and Tazkerat Khawas al-Ummah narrated from “Faza.’el “ by Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal.
- 9. Tabaqat Ibn Sa.’d; European print Vol 2/
- 10. Two figures are well known by this name (i.e., Abu-Baseer). One is Yahya, son of Abul-Qasim alias “Abu Muhammad “, a companion of Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and he was strictly called “Abu Baseer “. Here, our reference is this very figure. Refer to Qamus al-Rijal.
- 11. Kafi 1/239, Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 151-152; Wafi 2/135. Ofcourse, this tradition is very lenghty and we have selected only some portion from it keeping in view our purpose. Another tradition too has been narrated from Abu Baseer which differs slightly in words from the aforesaid hadith. Refer to Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 149, Tradition No: 14; page 154, Tradition No: 1 and Wafi 2/135.
- 12. Sulaym-ibn-Qais Abu Sadiq al-Halali al-Aameri was amongst the companions of Amir-ul-Muminin (a.s.). He lived till the era of Imam Sajjad (a.s.) Qamoos al-Rijal 4/445.
- 13. Kafi 1/297-298; Wafi 2/79.
- 14. Abu-Hamza or Abul-Hasan Humran-ibn-A.’yan Shaibani was a follower (of Ali) and a trustworthy figure. He has narrated traditions from Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Refer to Qamoos al-Rijal (4/413).
- 15. Kafi 1/235, Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 177, 186 & 188; Wafi 2/132.
- 16. Abu-Hafas Omar-ibn-Aban Kalbi Kufi was amongst Imam Jafar Sadiq’s companion. Mu.’jam Rijal al-hadith 13/12.
- 17. Kafi 1/236, Basa.’er al-Darejat; page 177 & 184; Wafi 2/133.
- 18. Abul-Qasim Fuzail-ibn-Yassar the freed slave of “Bani-Nahd “ was amongst the companions of Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Qamoos al-Rijal 7/343.
- 19. “Al-Ghaibah “: Shaikh Tusi (Tabriz 1323 A.H.) page 128; Manaqib Ibn Share Ashoob 4/172 and Bihar al-Anwar 46/18, Tradition No: 3.
- 20. Abu Bakr Hazrami Abdullah-ibn-Muhammad was a renowned figure who has narrated numerous traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Qamoos al-Rijal 16/15.
- 21. Kafi 1/304, A.’lam al-Wara: page 152; Bihar al-Anwar 46/19, Manaqib Ibn Share Ashoob 4/172.
- 22. Isa-ibn-Abdullah-ibn-Omar-ibn-Ali-ibn-Abi Talib who was called Hashim was Imam Sadiq’s companion and has narrated numerous traditions from Imam (a.s.). Qamoos al-Rijal 7/275-276.
- 23. Kafi 1/305, Tradition No:2; A.’lam al-Wara, page 260; Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 44; Bihar al-Anwar 46/229 and Wafi 2/83.
- 24. Kafi 1/305, Tradition No: 1; Wafi 2/82; Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 165; A.’lam al-Wara, page 260 and Bihar al-Anwar 46/229.
- 25. Zararah Abul-Hasan called Abdullah was the son of A.’yan the freed slave of Bani-Shaiban Kufi. He has narrated traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and he died in 150 A.H. Qamoos al-Rijal 4/154.
- 26. Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 158, 180, 181 and 186.
- 27. Al-Ghaibah Nu’mani, page 177; Bihar al-Anwar 48/22, Tradition no: 34.
- 28. Usul-Kafi 1/311; Irshad-Mufid, page 285; Ghaibah-Shaikh Tusi, page 28; Wafi 2/83. Also, refer to Basa.’er al-Darejat, page 164, Tradition 7-9.
- 29. Aban-ibn-Tughlab-ibn-Riyah, Abu Saeed Bukri was from Bani-Jareer. He has narrated traditions from Imam Sajjad (a.s.), Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) To those who rebuked him for narrating traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) he said: How do you allow yourselves to reproach me for narrating traditions from a man before whom I have never asked any question except that he replied: The Messenger of Allah (S) said..............................
- 30. Kafi 7/40, Tradition No: 1; Man-La-Yahzar-ul-Faqih 4/151; Ma.’ni al-Ahkbar, page 217; Tahzeeb 9/211, Tradition No: 835 and Wasail al-Shiah 13/450, Tradition No: 1
- 31. Khesal Shaikh Saduq, page 124; Eqab al-A.’mal Shaikh Saduq, page 261and Wasail al-Shiah 16/119.
- 32. Istibsar-Shaikh Tusi 3/64 and Wasail al-Shiah 7/184.
- 33. Refer to Ma.’lim al-Madrasatain 2/336-339.
- 34. Abu-Jafar Auqas, Muhammad-ibn-Muslim-ibn-Riyah Tahan has narrated traditions from Imam Baqir (a.s.) and was the author of the book titled:
He died in 150 A.H. - Qamoos al-Rijal 8/378.
- 35. His name was Muhammad-ibn-Omar-ibn-Uzainah. He was Imam Sadiq’s companion - Mu’jam Rijal alhadith 13/21.
- 36. Ibn Bukair Abu Ali Abdullah-ibn-Bukair-ibn-A.’yan Shaibani. He was from and has narrated traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) - Qamoos al-Rijal 5/399.
- 37. Abdul-Malik-ibn-A.’yan Abu-Faras-Shaibani who has narrated traditions from Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.). He died during the era of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) - Qamoos al-Rijal 6/181.
- 38. Mu.’tab is the freed slave of Imam Sadiq (a.s.). By order of Mansur Dawaniqi, the Abbasid Caliph, Mu.’tab was given one thousand lashes as a result of which he died - Qamoos al-Rijal 9/47.
- 39. Azafer-ibn-Isa-Khaza.’ee Sairafi who has narrated traditions from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) - Qamoos al-Rijal 6/295.
- 40. Hakam-ibn-Utaibah Kufi who has narrated traditions from Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.). He died in 113 or 114 or 115 at the age of 60 odd years. The authors of “Sihah “ from the Caliphate school have narrated traditions from him - Qamoos al-Rijal 3/375 and Tahzeeb 1/292.
- 41. Salmah-ibn-Kuhail Abu Yahya Hazrami Kufi. He lived during the era of Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) - Qamoos al-Rijal 4/439.
- 42. Abul-Miqdam Thabit-ibn-Hormuz, an Iranian blacksmith. He lived during the time of Imam Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.). He as well as Salmah were from “Batriyah “ (sect) who called the people towards Ali’s Wilayat (mastership) but at the same time accepted the Imamat of Abu-Bakr and Omar too. On the other hand, they considered Uthman, Talha, Zubair and Ayesha as foes. They believed in the policy of revolt with the help of Ali’s offspring. In this regard, they would even enjoin good and forbid evil and considered any of Ali’s offspring who would rise and rebel against the ruling government as the Imam - Qamoos al-Rijal 2/287-289.
- 43. Rijal Najashi, page 279.
- 44. Ma.’lem al-Madrasatain, 2/344.
- 45. Hisham-ibn-Salem, Abu Muhammad Jawaliqi Kufi. He has narrated traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and has also written a book - Qamoos al-Rijal 9/357.
- 46. Hammad-ibn-Uthman Fazari has narrated traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), Imam Kazim (a.s.) and Imam Ridha (a.s.) - Qamoos al-Rijal 3/397.
- 47. Kafi 1/53; Irshad-Mufid, page257.
- 48. Amali-Mufid, page 26.
- 49. Originally a Kufi, Hafas-ibn-Bukhtari Baghdadi is among those who has narrated tradition from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.). He is also the author of one book. - Qamoos al-Rijal 3/355.
- 50. Wasail al-Shi’a 3/380, Tradition No: 86.
- 51. Abu-Huraira’s life-history has come down in “Sair A.’lam al-Nabalah 2/436 and Tarikh Ibn Kathir 8/109. The wordings of this hadith is in conformity with the narration of Ibn Kathir. Refer to Tafsir Ibn Kathir 3/104-105.
- 52. Nehaya al-Lugha; the term: “Khalaf “
- 53. Mufradat Ragheb; the term: “Khalaf “
- 54. Ma.’ani al-Akhbar, page 374 & 375; Uyoon Akhbar, Najaf edition 2/36; Man-La-Yahzur-al-Faqih, research by Ali Akbar Ghaffari 4/420 and Bihar al-Anwar 2/152, Tradition No: 7.
In connection with the Caliphate school sources, refer to Al-Muhadith al-Fasel (Ramhurmuzi), page 163; Qava.’ed al-Tahdith (Qasemi), second edition, page 48; Sharafo Ashab al-hadith (Khatib Baghdadi), page 30; Jameh Bayan al-Ilm (Ibn Abdul-Berr) 1/55; Akhbar Asbahan (Abu Na.’eem) 1/81; Wal-Fath-al-Kabeer (Suyuti) narrated from Abu Sa.’eed 10/233; Kanz-ul-Ummal (Muttaqi Hindi), second edition, 10/128,133 Tradition No: 1086 and 1127 and 10/181 Tradition No: 1407 and Al-Ilmah, (Qazi Aiyaz), page 11
- 55. O Davoud! Surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice.
- 56. .….….…I am going to place in the earth a Caliph.
- 57. In Vol 1 of Ma.’lem al-Madrasatain (another work from this author), a more detailed description about the term .‘Caliph.’ can be seen.
- 58. Mavardi /10, third edition, Egypt; Abu-Ya.’li Hanbali /25, second edition, Egypt. Also, refer to Qazi Ruzbahan: Suluk al-Muluk, command of Islamic government/44 &55, printed in Hyderabad, Deccan.
- 59. Mavardi/7 and Abu Ya.’li /23. Reference is made to mere “selection by people “ and not about other various sayings. Also, refer to Suluk al-Muluk / 43 & 44.
- 60. Mawerdi/7. For further information on Saqifa and its events, refer to Abdullah-ibn-Sabah 1/78-139, fourth edition, Tehran.
- 61. Mawardi: Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniah and Al-Wilayah-al-Deeniyah/7.
- 62. Tabaqat al-Kubra Vol 2 2/38; Masoudi 2/200 and Al-Imamah al-Siyaseh 1/4.
- 63. All these sayings can be found in Mawardi’s “Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniah / 7; Egyptian edition 1393 A.H.
- 64. Abu-Ya.’li /23
- 65. Suluk al-Muluk.–Command of Islamic government / 47; Hyderabad-Deccan edition.
- 66. Mawardi / 15.
- 67. Sahih Muslim 6/20-22, Chapter concerning Command for following the soceity; Muhammad Ali Subhi edition, Al-Azhar Cairo.
- 68. Muslim: Chapter concerning Command for following the society 6/22-60; Egyptian edition 1334 A.H.
- 69. Muslim: Chapter concerning Command for following the society 6/22-60; Egyptian edition 1334 A.H.
- 70. Nauwi’s commentary on Muslim, Chapter concerning Command for following the society 12/229. Also, refer to Sunan Baihaqi 8/158 and 159; Muntakhab Kanz-ul-Ummal-ala-Hamesh al-Musnad 2/146, 147, 148, 149 onwards; Musnad Ahmad 2/93, 306, 381, & 388; 3/114; 4/126 & 202; Abu Davoud 4/241 & 242, traditions: 4758, 4759 & 4762; Tirmidhi 4/488, tradition 2199.
- 71. “And whoever goes beyond the limits of Allah, he indeed does injustice to his own soul. “ (Talaq/1).
- 72. These are the same fourteen Infallibles i.e. the Prophet (S), his noble daughter Fatimah Zahra (a.s.) and the twelve Imams (a.s.).
- 73. Refer to “Hadith Kisa “ (another work from this author).
- 74. Muslim Vol 7/pages 122 & 123; Egyptian edition 1334 A.H.
- 75. Al-Mustadrak 3/109 & 148. For access to the remaining references, refer to Al-Mu.’jam al-Mufahares Alfaz al-hadith Nabavi.
- 76. Tirmidhi 5/662; tradition No: 3786.
- 77. Hijr/17 and Ahqaf/12.
- 78. Muslim 6/2-4; Bukhari 9/81; Tirmidhi 2/45, Indian edition and 4/501, Tradition No 2225 Egyptian edition. Abu-Davoud 4/106, 107 and Musnad Ahmad 5/86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 106, 107, 108.
- 79. Sermon 144, page 201. Research by Subhi-Saleh.
- 80. Musnad-Ahmad 1/398 and 406; Mustadrak al-Sahihain 4/501; Kanz al-Ummal 3/26 and 27; Muntakhab al-Kanz 5/312 in the margin of Al-Musnad; As-Sawaeq al-Muharraqa/20, second edition 1385 A.H; Majma al-Zawa’ed 5/190; Al-Jame al-Sagheer 1/75 and Tarikh al-Khulafa/10, Pakistan edition.
- 81. Shar Sunan-Tirmidhi 9/68-69.
- 82. Nauwi: Shar Muslim 12/201; Fath al-Baari Fi Shar Bukhari 16/339 and 341.
- 83. This man did not send salutations on the Prophet (S) in the forty sermons of friday-prayers and about the Prophet’s household, he would say: It is now forty years that I bear enmity and hatred against them. Muruj al-Zahab 3/79 and 80.
- 84. As-Sawaeq al-Muharreqa/19; Egyptian edition and Tarikh-Khulafa/16, Pakistan edition.
- 85. Fath-ul-Baari 16/338 and 341; Nauwi: Shar Muslim 12/202-203 and Tarikh al-Khulafa/12.
- 86. Ibn Kathir: Al Badayah wa-Nahayah 6/249.
- 87. Fath-ul-Baari 16/341.
- 88. Al-Badayah wal-Nehayah 6/250 Beirut edition.
- 89. As per the narration of Muslim 6/4, Egyptian edition 1334 A.H. i.e. “Till the time the twelve men remain the Caliph, religion would always reign supreme. In fact, the word religion which has come down in the tradition has wrongly been interpreted to mean government.
- 90. Fath al-Baari 16/340 narrated from "Kashf al-Mushkel".
- 91. Refer to Fath al-Baari 16/340.
- 92. Fath al-Baari-Fi-Shar Sahih Bukhari 16/341; first edition, Egypt.
- 93. As-Sawaeq al-Muharreqa/21; second edition, Egypt.
- 94. Fath al-Baari 16/338 and 339 and Shar Nu.’awi 12/202.
- 95. Kanz al-Ummal 13/27, hadith No 164, 165 & 166.
- 96. Ibid.
- 97. Ibid.
- 98. Sahih Muslim 6/3; Egyptian edition.
- 99. Muslim 6/4 and Kanz al-Ummal 13/27; tradition 162.
- 100. This is the first time that the Prophet’s call extended the limits of his house wherein lived the Prophet, Ali and Khadija. Till this day, the third year after the Prophet’s appointment, Islam prevailed in the Prophet’s house and the only Muslims on earth were the members of this house.
- 101. The most sensible reaction for the Prophet under the circumstances (where he is rejected even before he could utter a word) was to adopt silence. It was for this reason too, that the Prophet kept silent vis-a-vis Omar’s remarks who said: [This man speaks in delirium].
- 102. Just as Haroun was Musa’s vazier. Holy Quran: Taha 29/33 & Furqan / 35.
- 103. Tabari: Tarikh Al-Rasul wal-Muluk 2/319, 321. Daarul-Ma.’aref, Egyptian edition 1968; Tafsir Tabari 19/75-76 and Ibn Athir: Al-Kamal-Fi-Tarikh 2/41-42, Daarul-Kitab al-Arabi editon.
- 104. Here, the Prophetic mission refers to “Messengership “ which differs in meaning from Prophethood. It is likely that a Prophet may only be responsible for conveying one message during the entire period of his life and not have any other duty. But, as per the Quran (Nisa/64), a messenger bears the responsibility of propagating the divine Shariah (religious laws) and his obedience is obligatory. Therefore, governing the society is also a part of his dignity.
- 105. Musnad Ahmad 5/356; Khasa.’es Nesa.’ee/24; Majma al-Zawa.’ed 9/127 and Kanz al-Ummal 12/207 & 212.
- 106. Majma al-Zawa’ed 9/128.
- 107. Musnad Tayalasi 11/360.
- 108. Osd al-Ghabah 5/94 and Majma al-Zawa’ed 9/109.
- 109. Refer to Salman’s biography in “Al-Estiab, Osd al-Ghaba wal-Asabeh.
- 110. Ahzab/37
- 111. Bareedah-ibn-Abdullah Aslami’s agnomen is Abu-Abdullah. After the battle of Uhud, he migrated to Medina and had witnessed all the battles of the Holy Prophet. At the time of construction of the city of Basra, he migrated to that place. Thereafter, he participated in the battle of Khorasan and died in Marv. Osd al-Ghaba 1/175.
- 112. The chain of transmitters of these two traditions (from Salman and Bareedah) as well as other traditions about Imam Ali’s executorship along with the poems and debates which have taken place in this regard in the length of several centuries has come down in the first section of the book “Ma’lim al-Madrasatain “.
- 113. Refer to the previous discussions like the Ahadith on song and music, Uthman’s shame and Omar’s consent.
- 114. Outstanding examples can be found in Enclosure No 2.