11. Tijani’s criticism of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar
Or by Abdullah ibn Umar, who was never close to Ali, and he was one of those who refused to pay homage to Ali despite the popular support he had received. Abdullah ibn Umar used to say that the best people after the Prophet were Abu Bakr then Uthman, and after that everybody was equal. Thus, he made Imam Ali like any other ordinary person, without preferences or virtues.
What was Abdullah ibn Umar’s attitude towards the facts that had been mentioned by the leading personalities of the nation that “No companion had as many virtues attributed to him as Ali.” Had Abdullah ibn Umar not heard about even one of Ali’s virtues? Yes, by Allah, he had heard and understood, but political intrigues tend to distort the facts!
Tijani denigrates ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma for merely relating a narration which—in Tijani’s mind—amounts to defamation of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Such an attitude could be anticipated from such a prejudiced mind; a mind which would merely reject the narrations in favour of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma for no logical or academic reason.
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma never intended to defame ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor he did not consider him without merit. However, in the aforementioned hadith he was referring to the rank of those Companions who were of the same generation. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in terms of his age, was of a generation younger than that. The narration is to be understood within the framework of best-suited for Caliphate. Ibn Hajar states:
This means superiority in terms of suitability for Caliphate. Therefore, Ibn ‘Asakir narrates from ‘Abd Allah ibn Yasar—from Salim—from ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar, who said, “Indeed, you all know that we used to say during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam time, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman—referring to the Caliphate.”
Similarly, ‘Ubayd Allah narrates from Nafi’—from Ibn ‘Umar, “We used to say during the Prophet’s time, ‘Who is the best person to take charge of this matter?’ And we used to say, ‘Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’
‘Abbas al Qummi, in his book al Kunna wa l-Alqab, confirms the merit and fair-mindedness of Ibn ‘Umar. He writes:
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar is a famous Sahabi. Ibn ‘Abd al Barr says about him in al Isti’ab, “He was of the people of piety, knowledge, and strict emulation of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was extremely cautious in issuing of rulings and in everything he undertook. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once said to his wife, Hafsah, ‘Umar’s daughter, ‘Indeed, your brother is a pious man. If only he stood for a portion of the evening (for salah).’ Ibn ‘Umar never missed Qiyam al Layl (after that).”
Even Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi cites Ibn ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrations in his book al Khisal validating them, as well as the editor who annotated and published the book.
If Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu considered ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu without virtue how is it that he narrates from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said:
الْحسن والحسين سيدا شباب أهل الجنة وأبوهما خير منهما
Hassan and Hussain are the leaders of the youth of Jannat. And their father is better than them.
This is in addition to what appears in Sahih al Bukhari from Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaydah, who said:
جاء رجل إلى ابن عمر فسأله عن عثمان فذكر عن محاسن عمله قال لعل ذاك يسوؤك قال نعم قال فأرغم اللٰه بأنفك ثم سأله عن علي فذكر محاسن عمله قال هو ذاك بيته أوسط بيوت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم قال لعل ذاك يسوؤك قال أجل قال فأرغم اللٰه بأنفك انطلق فاجهد على جهدك
A man came to Ibn ‘Umar and asked him about ‘Uthman. Ibn ‘Umar spoke highly of him mentioning some of his good actions and said to the man, “Perhaps these facts annoy you?”
He said, “Yes!”
Ibn ‘Umar said, “May Allah make your nose grovel in sand!”
Then the man asked about ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Umar spoke highly of him mentioning some of his good actions and said, “His house is the vastest of the Prophet’s houses.”
Then he said (to the man), “Perhaps these facts annoy you (as well)?”
He said, “Yes!”
He said, “May Allah make your nose grovel in sand! Move from here! Try your best to harm me (let us see how far you come)!”
This hadith has also been narrated by way of ‘Ata with a slightly varied wording:
The man said, “I hate him!”
Ibn ‘Umar said to him, “May Allah hate you!”
Ibn ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu statement that ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu house is the vastest of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam houses means, “The best of his houses.”
Do these ahadith indicate in any way that Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu carried a grudge against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or considered him without merit? Tijani’s lack of familiarity with the literature coupled with his bias and prejudice blinds him from these narrations. All that he is aware of is what fraudsters like al Sayed al Khu’i and al Sayed al Sadr have fed him in terms of narrations in this regard. Tijani’s ignorance was fuelled by his underlying prejudice. This resulted in ‘Then I was guided,’ to which we respond: Rather, misguided!
 Then I was guided, p. 141, 142.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 7, p. 21
 Al Kunna wa l-Alqab by al Qummi, vol. 1, p. 363, Maktabah al Sadr Publishers: Tehran.
 Al Khisal, p. 29, 31, 67, 72, 163, 184, 191.
 Sunan Ibn Majah, Bab Fada’il Ashab al Messenger H, Hadith: 118;
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Fada’il, Bab Fada’il ‘Ali, Hadith: 3501.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 7, p. 91; See also Khasa’is ‘Ali, p. 104-105, the examiner says, “authentic.”
 Fath al Bari, vol. 7, p. 91.