Table of Contents

Part 7: Why Did Al-Zahra’ Have To Open The Door?

In this Chapter, we will discuss points relevant to the following:

1. Ali’s zeal and manliness prohibit him from letting al-Zahra’ (sa) open the door to the assailants.

2. Ali’s courage prohibits him from letting al-Zahra’ (sa) face the danger as a result of opening the door before the folks.

3. Al-Zahra’ (sa) is ever confined to her chamber; how could she face the men?!

4. Why did al-Hassan or al-Husayn (as), Fidda, Ali (as) or al-Zubayr, or any of the Hashemites present inside, not open the door instead?!

5. Those seeking shelter inside the house were all armed; so, how could the Commander of the Faithful (as) expose her to danger?

6. Al-Zahra’ (sa) is the trust of the Messenger of Allah S; so, how could the Commander of the Faithful (as) thus expose her to danger?

7. Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) is a “personal matter” irrelevant to the caliphate, and the Prophet S never told Ali (as) not to defend himself or his family in personal matters. Rather, he told him not to initiate a battle on account of the caliphate which is a public issue related to the entire Islamic reality.

8. How could those present hear what was happening to al-Zahra’ (sa) and yet refrain from going to her rescue?

These are the points which we will tackle in this chapter. On Allah do we rely, and from Him do we derive help and guidance; we plead to Him for all of that.

Where were Ali’s Zeal and Manliness?

Someone is of the view that if Ali (as) sits inside the house and lets his wife open the door, this contradicts zeal and manliness. Can such a conduct come from Ali (as)?!

In answer, we would like to say the following:

FIRST: There is no doubt that Ali (as) is the Imam of the zealous, the man of manliness and of rushing to assist others. So are both al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as); they, like their father, are the Imams of the zealous. Imam al-Husayn (as) transported his women with him, including the wise lady Zainab (sa), to face the trials and tribulations, the hardships and calamities, because Allah, Glory is all His, willed to see them taken captive. They were taken from one country to another.

Those who were near and those who were distant were looking at their faces, being in the hands of enemies who never hesitated to commit the most heinous crimes such as killing the wasis of Prophets, slaughtering the children, and capturing the daughters born in houses where revelation descended.

Since the human huri, namely Zainab (sa), told Ibn Ziyad once, “Whatever pleases Allah pleases us, too, we Ahl al-Bayt,” Ali (as) was more apt to do likewise than his daughter; whatever pleased Allah, Glory to Him, pleased him, too.

It goes without saying that the Imam and Commander of the Faithful Ali (as) wanted this religion to continue strong and firm even if it would cost him his life, and he was always ready to tolerate all sorts of harm along this path. The response of al-Zahra’ (sa) to the assailants did not contradict zeal or manliness, nor was transporting Zainab and the women to Kerbala’ as captives.

SECOND: The Prophet S used to ask some of his wives, as well as Umm Ayman, to respond to the door when someone knocked at it1 when necessary. Had there been anyone more zealous than the Messenger of Allah S?!

THIRD: The assailants are the ones who transgressed and violated the tenets of the faith, the zeal, the manliness and even the customs of the days of ignorance. As for Ali (as), he did not do any of that. Rather, he carried out his responsibilities. So did al-Zahra’ (sa). The violators and the oppressors were the assailants.

Where is Ali’s Courage?!

Regarding the incident of the burning, Ibn Roozbahan has said, “Had this been true, it would have proven his (Ali’s) incompetence, and he is way above that, for the most incompetent is a man whose house and family are burnt as his wife is inside and he is unable to defend them.”2

Someone adopted the same conclusion and said that it was not tasteful for al-Zahra’ (sa) to open the door, nor to answer those folks, while Ali (as) was present with her inside the house. Then this same someone tries to stir emotions and excite feelings when he adds the following to the above: “What would people say about him had he done that? Would they say that he is a hero?! Or would they say that he is a coward? So, how can you attribute to Ali (as) the feats of capturing heroes on the battlefield while he does what you yourselves would not have agreed to do?!”

Then he underscores his statement by saying that once in a commemorative majlis held in Dubai, a reciter mentioned this issue. A Sunni man was present there and then and said to a Shi’a man, “You say that Ali (as) is a courageous hero who gave heroes many a headache; how come he did not defend his wife while she was a trust handed to him by the Messenger of Allah S?!” We say the following:

FIRST: This talk is not new to us. [Shi’a] Scholars have already responded to it, and so have Zaidi scholars as well. Ibn Hamzah has said, “He (as), the brave man that he was, did not neglect to look into the affairs of the nation, seeking the straightforwardness of the creed, staying aloof from whatever could make things worse.”3

SECOND: The same Ibn Hamzah, responding to someone, has also said, “There is no shame on him, were he to be overpowered because overpowering is not indicative of what is right or wrong, or what is cowardly. He is an Infallible Imam according to texts of hadith, and he does not behave on impulse or out of anxiety. Rather, he does what he is ordered to. He enjoined others to be patient, and he took to patience in obedience to the Command of Allah, Glory to Him, and to the order of the Messenger of Allah S not to be the first to take to anger, nor to lag behind out of cowardice.”4

THIRD: Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) is not the only incident of its kind in Ali’s long history with those folks. It has been transmitted that Ali (as) himself was exposed to beating, too, but neither by Abu Bakr nor by ‘’Umar, but from someone who was at the time much less prominent and influential, namely ‘Othman (ibn ‘Affan). In his book, al-Zubayr ibn Bakar5 has stated the following:

“Ali (as) ibn Abu Talib has been quoted as saying, ‘Othman ordered that I should have audience with him on a very hot day. I placed my garment on my head and went to see him. I entered, and he was on his bed, a rod in hand, surrounded by abundant wealth: two heaps of gold and silver. He said, ‘Take of this whatever you wish so you may have enough (i.e. buy enough food) to fill your stomach, for you have burnt me.’ I said to him, ‘You have surely been kind to your kin!

If this wealth is an inheritance which you have inherited, or a giver gave it to you personally, or you earned it from a trade deal, I would then be one of two: I may either take of it or simply thank you for your offer [but not accept it], or I may refrain so I may work hard (to earn my living). But if it is a wealth that belongs to Allah, and the Muslims are to partake of it, and so are the orphans and the wayfarers…, then by Allah, you have no right to give me any of it, nor do I have any right to take any of it.’ ‘Othman said, ‘I, by Allah, insist that you should do what you have refused to do.’ Then he kept hitting me with the rod. By Allah, I did not keep his hand away from me till he had enough. I pulled my garment over my head and went back home. I said, ‘Allah is between you and me if I enjoined on you to do what is right or prohibited you from doing wrong.’”6

Ali (as) was even exposed to assassination as well. We have discussed this issue in a section about the respect of the sahaba for al-Zahra’ (sa). It is narrated in Al-Kafi through an authentic isnad that Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said, “When ‘’Umar [ibn al-Khattab] sought the hand of Umm Kultham for marriage, Ali (as) said, ‘But she is only a child,’ ‘’Umar went and said to al-’Abbas, ‘I sought the hand of the daughter of your nephew, and he turned me down. By Allah, I shall damage the well of Zamzam, and I shall leave nothing precious belonging to you without ruining it, and I shall get two witnesses to testify that he stole, and I shall cut off his right hand.’ Al-’Abbas came and informed Ali (as) (of what ‘’Umar had said), asking him to let him take care of that matter, which he did.”7

This incident clearly reflects the extent of their daring against him, peace and blessings of Allah with him.

FOURTH: There is no doubt that none of us accepts his wife to be assaulted, or his mother, or his sister, while he sits idly by at home and says, “There is neither power nor might except in Allah...” Had one done so, people would have definitely labelled him as a coward, and so would we. But if the assailants wanted to drag him to a fight, or to provoke our own sentiments, so that we may react senselessly and without calculating the consequences of our actions, everybody would blame us if we were to comply with the wishes of these assailants and thus enable them to achieve their objectives.

The assailants wanted exactly to achieve such aims by provoking Ali (as). Had he responded to them, the opportunity to knowing the truth would have been lost, and they would have had the winning darts and all the means of distortion of the truth and of fabrication as we will explain by the Will of Allah.

The heroism of Ali (as) in such a situation manifests itself in his putting up with being harmed, and in his refusal to respond to their provocation. Ali (as) is the one who sacrifices everything in order to safeguard this religion, considering it his responsibility and religious obligation. He would not have sacrificed his religion for anything.

FIFTH: Let us, for the sake of argument, suppose that what this person says is true, that is, those folks respected al-Zahra’ (sa), why then did he not also suppose that the objective of al-Zahra’ (sa) from answering the door was to take advantage of her status in order to turn them away by the easiest and most readily available means?! Do you see whether her status and the respect awarded her kept the assault and the harm of those folks away?!

A Lady Confined to Her Chamber Never Opens the Door

Since al-Zahra’ (sa) was a lady confined to her chambers, how did she set out to open the door? One who neither sees men nor meets anyone does not do that. Here is the answer:

FIRST: Does a lady such as that have no right to defend herself if she, or her children, or her husband, or her honour, or her religion, or her message, is assaulted?!

SECOND: Was not Zainab (sa) a lady confined to her chambers? Why did Imam al-Husayn (as) take her with him to Kerbala’ to meet captivity, calamities, hostile men, to deliver speeches in Kufa and Syria before the tyrants of the land and of her time?!

THIRD: Does her being confined to her chambers prohibit her from responding from behind the door, or would such a response expose her to the public, so they would see of her what they are not permitted to see?!

FOURTH: If she responded to them from behind the door, this does not mean that she met them face to face. If they broke the door open, so she sought shelter behind it in compliance with her hijab, and they squeezed her between the door and the wall, would she still be responsible for all of that?!

What supports this is the fact that some texts state that she (sa) stretched her hand from behind the door, so they whipped both her hands.8

FIFTH: Is this not the same lady, who was used to being confined to her chambers, who delivered a sermon to people at the Mosque (of the Prophet (S)) as the inquirer himself admits, and those who were distant and near heard her voice?!

Does a woman who is used to being confined to her chambers have no right to defend a just cause and the truth even if she alone had to do it, and even if it required her to announce to the public that she was oppressed? Have not the faqihs made an exception in the way to defend one’s right for the voice of a woman to be heard even if it is said to be prohibitive?

How was it permissible for her to deliver a sermon at the Mosque but not to answer the knock on her house door from behind the door?! Does her confinement to her chambers prohibit her from defending the Imamate and show the truth to future generations when such a very serious task was confined to her (sa) alone? Does her confinement to her chambers block her from confronting the oppressors and the usurpers so that she would unveil their identity to people and expose their true intentions and how they dared to do things against Allah and His Messenger and how they went as far as harming women, nay, harming the most holy woman ever, the Head of the Women of Mankind and the only daughter of the greatest of all Prophets of Allah S even as soon as he died?

Is there any clearer argument than hers? Could we have come to know who the oppressor and who the oppressed, who the assailants and who the defenders were, any other way? Could we have come to know who dared to insult al-Zahra’ (sa) and the Messenger of Allah (S) about whom someone said that he was “hallucinating”? This is so despite those who deliberately distort the facts and commit fabrications.

SIXTH: What is really odd is the following statement made by someone:

“All narratives state that Ali (as) was not the only one inside the house when it was assaulted in order to get him out of it and to force him to swear the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr following the demise of the Messenger of Allah S. A crowd belonging to Banu Hashim was with him, including Fidda, al-Zubayr and al-’Abbas; so, why did any of them not open the door instead of herself (sa)?”

The answer:

The claim that many people from Banu Hashim were inside the house at the time of the incident is not known as a fact for the following reasons:

FIRST: The then government, as quoted (by historians), clearly indicated that ‘’Umar was shouting, “Burn her house with everyone inside it!” There were none at home except Ali (as), Fatima (sa), al-Hassan and al-Husayn, peace with them.9

His saying that, “There were none at home..., etc,” be it said by the compiler or author, suffices to support our argument, and it negates the presence of Fidda and al-Zubayr.

SECOND: If we take for granted the assumption that other individuals were present at certain times, the attack on the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) took place more than once. This is clear from the narrative stated in Al-Imama wal Siyasa.10 Many other narratives indicate the same especially when you gather and compare them, keeping in mind the particularities of events. Had there been persons at the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) during the first attack, it does not necessarily mean that they were there during the second attack or the one that followed it... What is the evidence?

THIRD: There is no narrative saying that all Banu Hashim were at the house. Yes, they say that Banu Hashim boycotted the inauguration, and the one saying so may be confused. He may have imagined that they boycotted it at the house of Ali (as) and did not pay attention to the word “boycotted” which simply means refrained from swearing fealty, not having a sit-in at the house of Ali (as) or at that of anyone else!

FOURTH: Some narratives have clearly referred to the presence of only al-Zubayr11 in addition to Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan and al-Husayn, peace with them all, without mentioning anyone else. Yet some narratives have referred to the presence of a number or a crowd of Banu Hashim, not all of them.12

These narratives, though not contradicting each other, since what is fixed therein does not contradict one another, but they, especially the last, deny the presence of all Banu Hashim at the house of Fatima (sa).

FIFTH: The house is small. It cannot hold all Banu Hashim, not even half of them, especially since the Prophet S was buried there, and its sanctity had to be respected.

SIXTH: What stopped Ali (as), Fidda, al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) from opening the door was the same cause which stopped al-Zubayr and all other members of Banu Hashim from doing the same as will be clarified when the following question will be answered, by the will of Allah.

Had Ali (as) Responded to Them

Someone claims that Ali (as) was supposed to open the door, or Fidda, or someone else. As for al-Zahra’ (sa), there was no justification for her going there to open the door rather than they.

Here is the answer:

There are two issues which have to be discussed:

One of them is this: Could Ali (as) or others have opened the door?!

The other is: Why did al-Zahra’ (sa), rather than anyone else, undertake such an action?

The answer to both questions is interwoven; therefore, we would like to present it thus:

FIRST: The Prophet S used to ask some of his wives to open the door when knocked, as we have already stated; so, there is nothing embarrassing in principle about Fatima (sa) responding when her house door is knocked.

SECOND: It is quite obvious that had Ali (as) been the one to open the door, or at least respond to the assailants even from behind the door, it would have implied a couple of things: He was either to do what they had ordered him, that is, swear the oath of allegiance to their man, Abu Bakr, so he in this case would have recognized the legitimacy of what they had committed, nay, it would have removed any proof that he himself had the right to it from the very beginning. Or he would have only responded to the assailants then refused to agree to their demand. This would have caused the assailants to argue with him and to try to coerce him with strong words, or with kind ones, or even try to get him out by force to swear the oath of allegiance. He would have given them the opportunity to distort the issue and to show it to be the opposite of what it actually was, and they would have claimed whatever they liked, so much so that they would have broken him and distorted the truth to the public, especially since they were the commanding rulers to whom flatterers looked up and tried to get close.

They would have said the following to people: “We went to express our condolences and to ask how the people were doing, but Ali (as) was the one who confronted us and whose tongue was sharp against us, or was violent to us, out of his jealousy of us, and due to his conceit, and to express where he stood, how strong he was, how close in kinship he was to the Messenger of Allah S, father of the Prophet’s grandchildren. So, he is the aggressor and we are the victims. He is the one who envied and who was malicious, the one who attacked us, the arrogant man, the one who laid a claim to something from which he himself announced his dissociation.” While being busy preparing for the burial and funeral of the Messenger of Allah S, it was rumoured that Ali (as) had expressed no interest in caliphate. This is so according to the testimony of al-Munthir ibn Arqam who said so at the saqifa where Abu Bakr gained momentum over Sa’d, and as the Ansar disputed among themselves; his words were:

“There is a man among them who, once laying a claim to this matter, will not be disputed by anyone; I mean Ali, the son of Abu Talib (as).”13

In a letter said to be written by ‘’Umar to Mu’awiyah, the first says the following about Abu Bakr: “I advanced him to the people to swear the oath of allegiance to him, and I kept him company in order to scare him and scare anyone who denied his fealty and said, ‘What did Ali (as) ibn Abu Talib do?’ so I would say, ‘He took it out of his neck and made it obedience to the public will, a minority ruling their majority;’ therefore, he kept sitting at home.”14

Yes, they would say to the people: Since Ali (as) turned away from this matter, and since there had to be order, fearing dissension, we took to doing it in order to safeguard Islam and protect the unity of the nation and the people’s dignity, and to regulate their lives because we wanted what is good for people, seeking nearness to Allah and nothing else. And when he confronted us with violence, we had no choice except to arrest him in order to avoid dissension and to safeguard the religion and the nation.

Who would have rejected their claim, seeking that they were rulers in full charge, and the rulers have whips and swords besides which there is wealth and position, and they could satisfy ambitions and aspirations? And their media remains to be the most heard because it strikes with the swords of money, power and might, with ambitions and desires. And there was the oppressive grudge of many people against Ali (as) and all those who shelter themselves under his wings or are related to him. They had to benefit from these grudges, too, in order to solidify their control and strengthen their authority.

When Fatima (sa) answered them, her answer was the surprise which caused them to lose the opportunity which they thought was there, so they confronted her with violence and force, with anxiety and recklessness, when they assaulted her ferociously an assault that revealed a conduct which had no justification except insistence on extracting authority by force even at the cost of killing al-Muhsin, violating the sanctity of her house (sa), assaulting her with heavy beating, the woman who had no ambitions that she was, nor was she envious nor conceited nor grudging nor a trouble maker...

She was only a woman who wanted to know who knocked at her door. She was not about to articulate reckless words without calculation, for she had no reason at all to do that, the orphan that she was who had just lost her father, the greatest Prophet S in the history of mankind, the man who took them out of the darkness and into the light. She was his only daughter, the human being who was distinguished as the very best of all the women of mankind from the early generations to the last, the woman for whose pleasure Allah is pleased and for whose anger He is angry.

Had they spoken kindly and politely when they went to her and said something like: “How do you feel, O daughter of the Messenger of Allah S? We have come here to see how you are doing, to inquire about your health, and to offer our condolences on the demise of the Messenger of Allah S; so, do you permit us to visit you in order to entertain Ali (as) and see how he is doing?,” would al-Zahra’ (sa) have met them with anything but pleasant Islamic ethics, with good words and would have welcomed them?!

Then she makes demands on them and argue with them when they try to confiscate the caliphate, or when Ali (as) demands it of them with wisdom and patience, away from the environment of force and violence, with swords and whips.

But the truth is that those folks wanted to hurry and get Ali (as) to swear the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr), for otherwise, it won’t be long before the lies which they told the public would be discovered and Ali (as) would not at all relinquish his right; so, how will they be able to answer the people when the latter ask them: “In the near past, you swore the oath of allegiance to Ali (as) on the Ghadir Day, then you told us that he resigned! Here shows your discrepancy, the opposite of what you claimed!” So they rushed to Ali (as) in order to obtain the oath of allegiance from him by force in a terrorist way in order to shun any opposition or resistance which might embarrass them and expose what they did not like to be exposed. Through this same terrorist environment did they present Ali (as) as a rebel against legitimacy, an outlaw.

The stand of al-Zahra’ (sa) took them by surprise. It robbed them of the ability to behave properly. It foiled their attempt to achieve their objective. So they behaved towards her recklessly, with anxiety and grudge, and she caused their matter to be scandalized by the public, unveiling their intentions and schemes. Where is the piety which they claim, and where is the love for goodness which they allege?! The people knew the truth of what they wanted to achieve, their false claims of putting an end to dissension and the establishment of Allah’s Commandments and the tenets of the religion which they professed.

What they did to al-Zahra’ (sa) stripped them of the ability to polish their image. Al-Zahra’ (sa) opening the door turned into a successful blow which wiped out their schemes and mischief, nullifying all attempts at forgery and distortion of the facts and realities.

How can the future generations be made immune to media forgery practiced by the rulers who possess great authoritative and materialistic potentials?!

Al-Ma’mun killed his brother, al-Amin, then his media apparatus painted him as a petty man, an ignorant and a stupid one as well as mentally retarded. Till now, researchers think of him on these same lines inspired by al-Ma’mun to people although the truth is that he was exactly the opposite. But his sin was that he lost, so he was killed.

We have in our belief in the Qur’an the criteria which enable us to discover many facts relevant to what they attribute to the Prophet S and to the Imams, peace with them. But for others who do not adhere to the Islamic creed, if these wish to discover the truth by studying the historical information available with them, this task will be extremely difficult.

If one of them reads that there was a man whose name was announced by the Prophet S as “... your master after me (after my demise),” so the crowd, especially the Ansar, shouted his name15, and they said at the saqifa that they would not swear the oath of allegiance to anyone but Ali16 (as), the man of courage and knowledge, the strong mujahid, the man who recorded many a magnanimous stand and offered great sacrifices, the Prophet’s son-in-law who was raised by the Prophet (S), his cousin and loved one...

... Then he reads in contrast that the opponents of Ali (as) took advantage of his absence from the field and confined the matter to themselves then went to his house and demanded that he endorse what they had usurped, surrender, recognize and submit to their will...

... Then he reads a third time hints regarding the existence of rumors circulated among the people saying that the man in charge quit and no longer demanded his right for personal or general reasons...

The researching judge Nur-Allah al-Tasatturi says, “Some of those who deviated from the line of Ali (as) insinuated to the public that he did not do anything at all to secure the caliphate for himself because he was too upset on account of the death of the Prophet (S), remaining at home, overcome by grief. Khuzaymah ibn Thabit al-Ansari went and said to his people from among the Ansar what he had heard about Ali’s condition, adding that nobody was more fit for caliphate than Ali (as) from among Quraish.

The Ansar were worried lest the problem should be compounded and a harsh man from Quraish might seek revenge against them, seeking retribution as was the case during the time of ignorance and due to the grudge nurtured in the hearts of many people on account of the Battle of Badr, so they went to Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah, master of the Ansar, and gathered with the crowd at the saqifa to request Sa’d to accept the post of caliph. But Sa’d refused to take Ali’s post, reminding them that it was the order of the Prophet (S) who did so in compliance with orders which he had received from Allah, the most Exalted One. When the Quraishites heard all of that, and they always were opportunist, they schemed and rushed their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr....”17

Then the same person may read the following in a fourth place:

This same person regretted having shunned the caliphate, the greed impulse woke up within him again, so he confronted them when they went to him to reject his request, declaring war against them; nay, he even faced them with condemnations and verbal abuses; he even reprimanded them for such high treason and very serious crime.

Then he reads on the following: They responded to being condemned with condemnations of their own, violence with equal violence, so much so that the matters deteriorated to collision and confrontation due to the intensity of the outrage.

A person reading all of this will accept and believe it. He will see before him a complete and harmonious picture and will tell himself that authority is sterile due to the power, wealth, posts, benefits, eminence and prominence. Anyone likes to obtain power with all of that and will seek, for the achievement of his objective, any proofs and evidences and amass witnesses, and he may even be unjust, oppress and forge “facts” to achieve this goal.

So, this person will never be able to discover the truth if he is offered authority or government for which two parties dispute with each other, each saying the following during such circumstances: I am the one who is oppressed and assailed, while the other party is the oppressor and the assailant. This is so because this person, as we have just said, does not have sufficient criteria which enable him to verify the truth and distinguish it from falsehood.

An Orientalist has expressed this same weighty truth when he said that he did not realize the extent of the oppression to which Imam al-Husayn (as) was exposed except on seeing how his infant son was killed. This is true because he has no key whereby he can open the gate to knowing the personality of Imam al-Husayn (as) except his emotional and human criterion. As for us, we have the Qur’an, and the speech of the Messenger of Allah S, and we have ideals and principles as well as facts whereby we measure matters and get to know the truth.

Thus, it becomes clear that had Ali (as) been the one to respond to the assailants, the truth would have been lost for many people, something which Ali (as) could never have sacrificed under any circumstance. They would have done what they wanted to do by forcibly entering the house and doing other things, and they would have been more fierce and savage, more violent and more oppressive, and people would have fallen in a greater tribulation.

The only window would have been closed before the people to know the truth especially those from among them who were distant from the circumstances of Medina, in addition to the next generations till our time. Could it have otherwise been possible to discover the follower of the truth from that of falsehood, the power hungry one, the over-powering and usurping assailant from the one who was oppressed, persecuted and whose right was usurped and about whom lies were circulated through rumours and innuendo?

Yes, had Ali (as) been the one to respond to the assailants, what is right, and the truth, would have been lost. Had one of us or, say, many of us, not been his Shi’as, nor knew his truthfulness and righteousness, we would have had a different discourse with this precious Islamic creed of ours.

Ali (as) was the Imam of the foremost and of those who followed, and he was responsible for safeguarding the future generations till the Day of Judgment against misinformation and forgery especially with regard to their creed, and he had to grant them the true opportunity to discover forgery wherever it might be or whoever was responsible for it.

What if Fidda Responded to Them?

Even if Fidda فضة had been the one to respond to their knocking at the door, the matter would not have been much different from what we have just stated. Her answer would not have acquainted the people with the truth of what those folks were hiding: the lust for power, the sure determination to usurp and confiscate right from its legitimate owner. They could have removed her from their path in a way which would not have played any role in clarifying the picture nor knowing the truth. They could have, in a rude or unethical manner, accused her of confronting them.

Fidda did not enjoy the prominent status enjoyed by al-Zahra’ (sa), nor did the Prophet (S) say about her that Allah is angered when she is angered. As for al-Zahra’ (sa), she is the woman who is infallible and purified according to the text of the Qur’an, and she is the one for whom Allah is angry when she is angered and is pleased when she is pleased.

Had it not been for al-Zahra’ (sa), the religion’s characteristics would have been obliterated and the grudging and hypocritical people, those who stood to attack this precious Islamic creed, would have achieved the most precious and sweet of their aspirations. Through her countable steps towards the door, al-Zahra’ (sa) safeguarded the right of Ali (as) to caliphate and protected the Imamate, not only the caliphate, from those who would subject it to their iniquity and forgery. She also enabled people, including non-Muslims, be they her contemporaries or those who succeeded them, from discovering the truth.

Contemplating on history provides us with the conclusion that every Imam has had a major role to play in safeguarding the foundation of Islam to the extent that the religion would have really been lost had it not been for the declaration of the Imamate on the Ghadir day, and had it not been for Imam al-Hassan’s peace treaty, and had it not been for the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn, peace with both of them. There is no exaggeration if we say that had it not been for the stand to which al-Zahra’ (sa) was exposed, to the harm she received, to the beating and to the miscarriage..., Islam would have retained nothing except appearances, names, forms and empty rituals.

An Example and a Witness

We would like here to mention two testimonies which enter into the sphere of what we have mentioned: the responsibility of the Prophet (S) and of the Imam (as) to safeguard the nation against falling a victim to media forgery. They are:

FIRST: The Prophet (S) had asked, on his sick bed, for a deer’s shoulder and an ink-pot to write for them something whereby they would never stray after his demise, although he had already named Ali (as) as the Imam on various occasions and stances prior to that, especially on the Ghadir Day where he secured for him the oath of allegiance from the people. But he, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his progeny, wanted to protect the nation against falling prey to forgery so that it would not be said that the Prophet (S) changed his mind, and new things came up and new circumstances which necessitated excluding Ali (as) from that issue.

This initiative by the Prophet (S) revealed the truth of what someone was hiding within himself and what intentions he was harbouring towards this issue in particular when he said, and the Prophet (S) heard it, that the Prophet (S) was “hallucinating or something like that. There was no room after that to make the excuse that his sahaba were sincere in their piety, were respectful towards the Prophet (S) and interested in carrying out his orders and earn his pleasure. His statement that the Prophet (S) was “hallucinating” exposed the extent of his insolence against the Holy Prophet (S). So, if their ambitions and interests prompted them to face the greatest Prophet with such daring, and if they were treating the greatest of all Prophets (S) with such a crude conduct, would they hesitate to beat women or hide the truth in order to achieve their objectives?!

SECOND: Al-Husayn (as) transported with him the women and the children to Kerbala’ so that the criminal rulers might not claim that highway robbers killed al-Husayn (as) or that he was lost in the desert, so he died of thirst there, as actually took place to the road guides of Muslim ibn ‘Aqil, or that wild beasts feasted on him, or anything like that. Then came those who forge the facts to bury his coffin with respect and veneration, pretending to be grieving for having thus lost him, deceiving people like that and underscoring their method of deviation and crimes.

For the same reason, Ali (as) went out of Mecca on the day of tarwiya, although he was supposed to go that day to ‘Arafa. Al-Husayn (as) was the only remaining offspring of the Prophet (S) and the symbol seen by people as responsible for safeguard-ing and looking after this religion and for teaching them its tenets. So, how could he thus leave and abandon them on a day when one of the greatest Islamic rituals was to be observed?! Instead of going to ‘Arafa, he went somewhere else! This would attract the attention of a lot of people and would raise numerous questions.

He left Mecca going somewhere else, from the ever-beating heart of Islam which embraced the greatest Islamic holy places to another place free of any holy place. And he did so during the pilgrimage season rather than during ordinary times and, particularly interesting, on the very first day of such a season. He was supposed to be the leader of the people and the authority to whom they referred to teach them the injunctions of their pilgrimage and its tenets.

Al-Husayn (as) is the same person for whom hearts and eyes longed to see, though once in a lifetime, in addition to the overwhelming happiness enjoyed by any Muslim for talking to him and sitting near him. Then he announced to all people to tell them that it was the Will of Allah to see him killed and his women taken captive.

There is a crime, then, an unusual crime, the crime of killing a magnanimous person during unusual circumstances. It is a crime that sought, at the time, the greatest human being on the face of earth in order to kill him in a devastating war wherein men, all men, from the Prophet’s offspring, and everyone with them, and the daughters who were born at homes where revelation used to descend, as well as the Prophet’s family, would all be taken captive.

So, people had to wonder about who the criminal was, and what kind of stand they should take, what responsibilities they shouldered in the face of such a very serious and bitter situation. And they were to wait for the crime report patiently.

Al-Husayn’s departure was not for the sake of a worldly glory or for authority, nor was it fleeing from a danger, nor to go on a vacation and have fun. Rather, it was for the sake of confronting danger of the greatest proportions and to face its challenge.

Those who heard al-Husayn (as) say so and who confronted such an event came from all Islamic lands, perhaps from every city and village, quarter and street, and they would return with impressive memories, emotions, faith that would shake their conscience and stir their awareness. They would tell those who visit them about such memories which would still be beating with life because, since their inception, they made them live in apprehension and anticipation.

All this would render the power of the oppressive authorities too weak to distort the truth no matter how hard they tried. Doubts and big question marks would face such distortion strongly no matter how devious and cunning it might be. So, blessings of Allah with al-Husayn (as), with the offspring of al-Husayn (as), and with the companions of al-Husayn (as).

Would they be too Afraid to Open the Door though Armed?!

There is another attempt exerted by someone in favor of the claim that there was no reason why al-Zahra’ (sa), rather than anyone else from among those who were inside, should open the door. He says, “If people come to arrest you, would you tell your wife to open the door, or would you open it yourself?!”

Those folks went to arrest Ali (as); so, why did al-Zahra’ (sa) open the door, especially since those inside her house were all armed and would not be too scared to face the assailants? Al-Zubayr came out carrying an unsheathed sword, so they broke it.

It seems that such confusion is learned from al-Fadl ibn Roozbahan who said the following:

“The apples of the eyes of Banu Hashim, the most prominent of Banu ‘Abd Manaf, and the most valiant heroes of Quraish were all with Ali (as), and they were all inside the house, armed with Yemenite swords. If they had heard that everyone inside the house was to be burnt to death, would they abandon their zeal and manliness and refrain from coming out with their swords to kill those who intended to burn them?”18

Here is our answer:

FIRST: I think that what I have already indicated above while answering the previous question suffices to explain the necessity of al-Zahra’ (sa) opening the door. The issue is not merely stopping the assailants from arresting Ali (as); rather, the issue is that Ali’s confrontation with them would have resulted in losing the opportunity to show others what was right, and it would have provided the assailants with the opportunity to achieve their objectives behind distorting history and falsifying the truth.

Exposing the reality of those folks, informing the people that they were the oppressors and the assailants, hinged on al-Zahra’ (sa), rather than anyone else, responding to them, not even on Fidda or any of the Banu Hashim.

It should be noted that although this issue is quite clear, someone uses vocabulary which is not conducive with this fact, such as saying “arresting Ali (as).” There will be other expressions which he uses such as “subduing the opposition,” “confronting the mutiny,” etc.

It is as if they saw Ali’s stay at home, and al-Zahra’ (sa) response to them, was in apprehension of such an arrest rather than a plan to foil what the assailants wanted to accomplish from their attempt. Both Ali and al-Zahra’ (as) succeeded a great deal in such foiling despite the price which they had to pay.

SECOND: It was quite obvious that confronting the assailants with swords and violence was exactly what the assailants had in mind, and it would have served their interests greatly. It was exactly what Ali (as) had feared and against which he was prohibited by the Messenger of Allah S as well.

The arguing person seeks evidence from the fact that Ali (as) was “checked by the will of his Brother [the Prophet S” not to use violence with regard to the caliphate issue. So, what is the meaning of Ali (as) expecting all of that to happen? Was it intended for him to disobey the order of the Prophet (S) and to surrender to the trap set up for him so that the nation would thus lose the opportunity to know the truth?!

THIRD: Not responding to the invitation for violence does not mean that those sought for the aggression should not take necessary precautions to defend themselves, should there be an evil intention against them or harm. Their reluctance to seek the caliphate is one thing, while self-defense when their blood was sought is another.

As regarding what al-Zubayr did, he did it when they took Ali (as) by force, and he could not tolerate standing idly by, so he tried to attack them in order to free Ali (as) whereon Khalid [ibn al-Walid] threw a stone at him which hit his back, and the sword fell from his hand. ‘’Umar took the sword and hit it on a stone, breaking it.19

In another text, ‘’Umar (ibn al-Khattab) came with a group of men. Al-Zubayr came out with his sword unsheathed. He stumbled, dropping his sword, so they leaped at him and took it.20

Doesn’t Ali (as) Defend the Trust of the Messenger of Allah S?!

Someone asks thus: “Since al-Zahra’ (sa) was the trust of the Messenger of Allah S in Ali’s hands, why did he not defend her?! Shouldn’t the trust be protected?!”

Here is the answer;

FIRST: The previous answer suffices here, too. Allah’s religion was a greater trust from Allah and His Messenger S to Ali (as). The trust had to be safeguarded, too, but this trust, namely al-Zahra’ (sa), never hesitated for one moment to defend, in person and with all what she had, the other trust, namely the religion of Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His.

SECOND: Ali (as) did nothing to undermine his safeguarding of the trust, and al-Zahra’ (sa) carried out her obligation and acted on her responsibility. The assailants were the ones who violated the commandments of Allah, assaulting the trust of the Messenger of Allah S. So, the question regarding safeguarding the trust should be first and foremost be directed at them.

As regarding the claim that Ali (as) let her face the challenge alone, and this was considered as delinquency from his part, it is not accurate at all; it is a stupid statement. Rather, it is very silly to say so because her responsibility was to defend the Imamate, and she did just that. His own responsibility was not to give them legitimacy nor to carry out their scheme. He was to protect the people’s opportunity to distinguish justice from injustice, not to give them an opportunity to assault al-Zahra’ (sa), nor to polish their image, nor to sanitize the ugliness of what they committed then pass it on to the public cunningly.

The assailants’ mission was to give credence to its perpetrators and not to incur the anger of al-Zahra’ (sa), that of Allah and His Messenger S. Both Ali (as) and al-Zahra’ (sa) carried out their respective responsibility very well to do what they had to do, and they could not do what they actually did. Anyone who carries out his legislative obligation cannot be labelled as being delinquent towards his trust and in violation of the Shari’a. Rather, delinquency was the lot of others.

Is Beating al-Zahra’ (sa) a “Personal Matter”?!

The same individual goes on in his “protests” to say:

“If you say that Ali (as) did not defend al-Zahra’ (sa) because of the Prophet’s will to him, so he was hand-tied because of this will, we say to you that the Prophet (S) simply told him not to initiate a battle for the sake of winning the caliphate. He did not tell him not to defend his wife. The beating of al-Zahra’ (sa) has nothing to do with caliphate because it is a personal matter. Al-Zahra’ (sa) herself does not have anything to do with caliphate.”

The caliphate issue is relevant to the entire Islamic reality.

Here is our answer to the above:

Before responding to the above, we would like to record the following observation:

The issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) with those folks is the issue of Imamate, then of caliphate, because those folks were installing themselves as the imams of the people, while Imamate is a Divine position which Allah had vested on others, not on them, and caliphate is one of the functions of Imamate. The proof for what we state here is their attempt to confine specifically to their own selves the right to legislate. When one of them was reprimanded for once issuing a legislation, he said, “I am a colleague of Muhammed S.”21 I have discussed some of what is related to this issue in my book about the political life of Imam al-Hassan (as), so refer to it.

Having pointed thus out, I would like to add the following:

FIRST: Those folks went to the house of al-Zahra’ (sa) in order to force the Commander of the Faithful (as) to swear the oath of allegiance to them to firm the foundations of their caliphate and underscore the fact that it would be solely theirs rather than his, and al-Zahra’ (sa) tried to stop them from realizing this objective precisely, and so did Ali (as). Those folks wanted to remove al-Zahra’ (sa) from their way in order to force Ali (as) to swear fealty to them.

So, this is a war waged by the enemies of Ali (as) for the sake of grabbing the caliphate, and the Messenger of Allah (S) had already told him not to wage a war over caliphate22 according to the admission of the same opponent; so, what is the meaning of his statement that al-Zahra’ (sa), and the fact that she was beaten, had nothing to do with caliphate? The truth is that the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) and what she went through is related to the whole Islamic reality.

Does this claimant think that her demanding Fadak to be returned to her was also for the sake of enhancing her standard of living, although her life before Fadak, with the acquisition of Fadak, and after she had lost Fadak, remained one and the same? She did not build a mansion from Fadak’s income, nor did she decorate herself with gold or silver, nor did she acquire better pieces of furniture, nor any valuables, nor did she treasure anything for the future, nor did she buy orchards or real estate, nor luxurious conveyances, as someone else did, and as others do. Rather, the income from Fadak used to be spent in the Cause of Allah to help the poor and the indigent.

The Fadak Factor

What proves the fact that the Fadak issue was political is a dialogue which went on between Imam al-Kazim (as) and Harun ar-Rashid. The latter used to say to Imam Musa ibn Ja’far, peace with both of them, “O father of al-Hassan! Accept Fadak so that I may give it back to you,” but he always used to refuse. Ar-Rashid kept insisting till the Imam (as) said, “I shall not accept it except when its boundaries are defined.” “What are its boundaries?,” ar-Rashid asked him. “O commander of the faithful,” responded the Imam (as), “If I define its boundaries, you will not give it back to me.” Ar-Rashid said, “I plead to you in the name of your grandfather (the Prophet (S)) to do just that.” The Imam (as)said, “The first boundary is ‘Aden.” Ar-Rashid’s face changed color and said, “Eh?!” The Imam (as) went on to say, “The second boundary is Samarkand.” Ar-Rashid’s face was clouded with outrage. The Imam (as) added, “And the third boundary is Africa.” Now ar-Rashid’s face became so dark, it looked black and said, “Eh?!” The Imam said, “And the fourth lies beyond the Caspian Sea and Armenia.” Ar-Rashid said, “Nothing remains for us; so, move over and take my seat on the throne.” Al-Kazim (as) said, “I have told you already that if I define it, you will not return it.” It was then that ar-Rashid decided to kill the Imam (as), handing over such a task to Yahya ibn Khalid...23

Yes, al-Zahra’ (sa) remained the same ascetic and adoring lady who used to sleep with her husband on a sheep skin on which they used to serve food to the animals during day-time...24

Because of the above, we do not agree with those who say that she addressed Ali (as) with an implied threat of reprimanding him of the harm that had affected her fetus while he sat in the chamber too reluctant to confront the aggressors till she said to him, “...Here is the son of Abu Quhafah usurping my father’s inheritance and what will belong to my sons thereafter.”25

But there is another meaning for this narrative which has not reached our comprehension, or there may be an evidence which has not reached us, or people did not properly quote what she had said. With the presence of such a possibility, we do not dare to judge the story as being definitely a lie as some people apparently state.

What is important is that we cannot imagine al-Zahra’ (sa) thinking in such a self interest-seeking way, the lady who was compensated by the Messenger of Allah S, instead of a servant, with a legislated tasbeeh which carries her name till the Day of Judgment, i.e. tasbeeh al-Zahra’ (sa). The severity of the address gives us the [wrong] assumption that she did not know that Ali (as) was right in all his stands, although al-Zahra’ (sa) was the most knowledgeable of all people that Ali (as) was with the truth, and that the truth was with him, revolving wherever he went. Had he did anything else, the creed’s features would have been obliterated.

If this fact is clear for anyone who studies Islamic history, a question comes up: “How can we, one thousand and four hundred years later, understand it, yet al-Zahra’ (sa), the infallible lady of knowledge, the Head of the Women of Mankind, the zenith of the religious, doctrinal, social and political awareness, did not know it?!”

The stands made by al-Zahra’ (sa) during her lifetime and after her demise reveal to everyone the richness of her knowledge, the depth and terseness of her way of thinking, and her extreme precision in conduct and affective stands.

To sum up, let us say the following:

FIRST: Al-Zahra’ (sa) did not consider her being beaten, or the confiscation of Fadak, as a personal matter, nor was her response to those folks from behind the door a personal conduct but a defense of Imamate and caliphate threatened with usurpation. She wanted to stop the legalization of such a usurpation then the removal of or the avoidance of its negative consequences.

SECOND: What they committed against al-Zahra’ (sa) and their comment, i.e. that the Prophet (S) was “hallucinating” during his sickness, in addition to other such things, were all for the sake of obtaining the most important and sensitive post and the most impacting on the whole Islamic reality. All this makes us conclude that anyone who did so was not qualified for the post which he was seeking. It makes it clear for us that he does not represent the best or the most suitable individual to be a Muslim ruler. Neither his stands nor his behavior reflect the precise Islamic vision in all matters.

So, the issue of al-Zahra’ (sa) is the most serious and the most impacting on the Islamic reality and was never a personal matter. Regarding it, the latter is underestimating it; it is a distortion of the truth.

THIRD: The indications pointing to the above-stated conclusion is that Allah, Glory belongs to Him, made al-Zahra’ (sa) the criterion for us to distinguish between right and wrong, between what is accurate and what is not. Through her can an oppressor and a sinner be distinguished from others. This is so because the Messenger of Allah S had clearly declared that Allah is angry when she is angry and is pleased when she is pleased; whoever harms her harms the Prophet (S), and whoever harms the Prophet (S) harms Allah, Glory to Him.

So, the type of one’s connection with al-Zahra’ (sa) determines the type of his connection with Allah, with His Messenger S, and with all values and principles. It is on such a basis that one can distinguish between what he should take and what he should leaves away and define his stand and the type of relationship with this individual or that.

Those Present Had to Help al-Zahra’ (sa)

Someone says:

“Let us accept that al-Zahra’ (sa) had to respond to those folks, but how could those present inside the house, such as Ali (as), al-Zubayr and others of Banu Hashim, see what she was undergoing without rushing to her help and, rather, preferring to sit idly by saying, ‘There is neither power nor might except in Allah’”?!

We say:

FIRST: How did the person thus arguing receive evidence that she was not helped?! Help does not mean initiating a battle with arms and starting a war.

SECOND: There is a text stating that she was the one who rescued Ali (as) when they arrested him, so they beat her. The text says: “Fatima (sa) intercepted them against having access to her husband at the house’s door, so Qunfath beat her with the sword..., etc.” Then the narrative describes the breaking of her rib and her miscarriage, peace and blessings of Allah be on her.26

THIRD: If rescuing her would cause the problem to worsen to the extent that the Prophet (S) banned Ali (as) from letting it worsen due to repercussions having an impact on the creed, such a rescue would become disobedience of the order of the Messenger of Allah (S) and treachery towards the creed and sacrificing what should never be sacrificed: the best interest of the nation, especially if it would provide the assailants with the opportunity to create a problem which would cause people to lose the knowledge of the truth.

The duty of both Ali and al-Zahra’ (as) was to equally safeguard the right of the nation and of the future generations to know the truth and to foil others’ attempt to distort the facts. This is exactly what Ali (as) actually did, the Infallible Imam that he is.

FOURTH: There is a text which says that Ali (as) rushed to her help, so the assailants fled away and did not confront him. The text is transmitted by ‘’Umar, and it states that ‘’Umar kicked the door with his foot, causing Fatima (sa) to miscarry. He then entered and slapped her on both her cheeks from outside her veil. Ali (as) went out. When she noticed that Ali (as) was there, she went outside the house. “I (‘’Umar) said to Khalid [ibn al-Walid] and Qunfath and those in their company, ‘I have been saved from a momentous danger!’”

In another narrative, ‘’Umar said, “I have committed a great crime because of which I shall never feel secure. Ali (as) came out of the house; neither I nor all of you collectively can subdue him. Ali (as) went out. She put her hands on her forelock in order to uncover it and thus complain to Allah from what had afflicted her..., etc.”27

Other texts from other references will be cited, by the Will of Allah, in the part dedicated to texts.

  • 1. Refer to al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, pp. 470-71. Kashf al-Yaqin, pp. 260-305. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 32, pp. 39, 90, 267, 347 and Vol. 90 starting from p. 272 and Vol. 37, p. 313 and Vol. 38, pp. 35, 121, 122, 126, 152, 349, 356-57. Al-Tara’if, p. 72. Ibn al-Maghazli, Manaqib Ali; al-Rawandi, Al-Da`awat, p. 47. Mashariq Anwar al-Yaqin. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 1, p. 91. Al-Khawarizmi, Manaqib, pp. 86-87. The biography of Imam Ali (A) in Tarikh Dimashq (edited by al-Mahmudi), Vol. 3, p. 164. Fara’id al-Simtayn, Vol. 1, p. 231. Kifayat al-Talib, p. 312.
  • 2. Ibtal Nahj al-Batil (published as part of Dala’il al-Sidq), Vol. 3, Part 1, p. 47.
  • 3. Ibn Hamzah, Al-Shafi, Vol. 4, p. 188.
  • 4. Ibid., Vol. 4, pp. 200-01.
  • 5. His full name is: al-Zubayr ibn Bakar al-Assadi al-Qarashi, a descendant of the famous sahabi Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam (3 – 73 A.H./624 – 692 A.D.), the first to be born in Islam after the Hijra. Al-Zubayr ibn Bakar was born in Medina in 172 A.H./788 A.D. and became a famous scholar during the Abbasid era. Ibn al-Nadeem lists 31 books which al-Zubayr ibn Bakar reportedly wrote some of which deal with history and others with literature. He died in Mecca in 256 A.H./870 A.D. at the age of 82 or 84 (depending on which calendar you prefer) when he was occupying the post of judge. – Tr.
  • 6. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 5, p. 346.
  • 7. Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol. 5, p. 346.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 293-95.
  • 9. Al-Shahristani, Al-Milal wal-Nihal, Vol. 1, p. 84. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 271. Bayt al-Ahzan, p. 124.
  • 10. Al-Imama wal Siyasa, Vol. 1, p. 12.
  • 11. Al-Mufid, Al-Amali, pp. 49-50.
  • 12. Al-Mufid, Al-Jamal (new edition), pp. 117-18.
  • 13. Al-Ya`qubi, Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 123.
  • 14. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 292-94.
  • 15. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 16, p. 215. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 2, pp. 354-55 quoting al-Dashtaki’s Tuhfat al-Ahbab.
  • 16. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 202 (Dar al-Ma`arif edition).
  • 17. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 2, pp. 347-48.
  • 18. Ibtal Nahj al-Batil (published with Dala’il al-Sidq), Vol. 3, p. 46.
  • 19. Al-Ikhtisas, pp. 186-87. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, p. 229.
  • 20. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-‘Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 202.
  • 21. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk, Vol. 3, p. 291 (Al-Istiqama edition). Al-Fa’iq, Vol. 2, p. 11.
  • 22. Al-Mufid has stated that Ali (as) quoted the Messenger of Allah (S) as saying the following to him: “If they total twenty, then you should fight them.” Al-Ikhtisas, p. 187. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 28, pp. 229, 270, 313. In this reference, the Prophet’s statement is: “If you found forty of them determined to harm you, you should fight them.” Al-`Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, p. 68. Tafsir al-Burhan, Vol. 2, p. 93. Refer also to p. 12, Vol. 3, of Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, pp. 188, 213. Al-Mustarshid fi Imamat Ali (as), p. 63. Also refer to the book of Sulaym ibn Qays (edited by al-Ansari).
  • 23. Refer to pp. 315-16, Vol. 1, of Rabi` al-Abrar. Al-Tara’if, p. 252. Refer also to Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 543. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 48, p. 144.
  • 24. Refer to Tathkirat al-Khawass, pp. 307-08. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, pp. 22-23.
  • 25. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 148 quoting p. 208, Vol. 2, of Al-Manaqib and Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 77.
  • 26. Al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, Vol. 1, p. 212.
  • 27. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 30, pp. 393, 395.