6. Tijani criticises Abu Bakr for applying the Law of Allah

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6. Tijani criticises Abu Bakr for applying the Law of Allah

 

Tijani says:

 

The second incident that involved Abu Bakr during the early days of his caliphate, which the Sunni historians recorded, was his disagreement with the nearest of all people to him, Umar ibn al Khattab. The incident revolves around Abu Bakr’s decision to fight those who refused to pay Zakat [alms] and kill them, but Umar protested and advised him not to fight them because he had heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: I have been ordered to fight the people until they say, “There is no other god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” And he who says it can keep his wealth to himself and I have no right to his [blood], and he is accountable to Allah.

This is a text cited by Muslim in his Sahih: “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave the flag to Ali on the Day of Khaybar, and Ali said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, what am I fighting them for?” The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Fight them until they testify that there is no other god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and if they do that then they will prevent you from killing them and taking their wealth, except by justice, and they will be accountable to Allah.”

But Abu Bakr was not satisfied with this tradition and said, “By Allah, I will fight those who differentiate between the prayers and Zakat because Zakat is justly charged on wealth.” And also said: “By Allah if they refuse me a rope which they used to give to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam I will fight them for it.” After that Umar ibn al Khattab was satisfied and said, “As soon as I saw Abu Bakr determined I felt very pleased.”

I do not know how Allah could please somebody who is preventing the tradition of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [1]

 

Our comment:

Tijani objects to Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision to fight those who refused to give their Zakat. The basis of Tijani’s criticism rests on the hadith in which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructs ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to fight the Jewish tribes in the forts of Khaybar until they testify to the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; if they oblige in this then their lives and wealth become sacred and may not be taken except by valid cause. The question that needs to be asked is what did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mean by this?

 

Context of the hadith cited by Tijani

If we consider that this was a military engagement wherein the dominant party may claim the spoils, then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is simply defining the status of those who accept Islam among them. Those who accept Islam will be allowed to hold on to their possessions; whereas the possessions and wealth of those who do not accept Islam will form part of the spoils and will be distributed among the Muslims according to the discretion of the Muslim leader.

Tijani appears to have suddenly grown a conscience—despite his wanton rejection of ahadith throughout his book—and objects to Abu Bakr’s decision because it goes against the hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

I do not know how Allah opens the hearts of a people by their opposing the sunnah of their Prophet…

 

Fighting those who refuse to give Zakat

The decision to fight those who refused to give Zakat applies to a completely different set of circumstances. This is a situation where people who have already accepted the obligations of Islam refuse to uphold some of its most fundamental tenets.

We come to realise the soundness of Abu Bakr’s decision due to it aligning with the what is mentioned in the Qur’an as well as the established Sunnah; this in addition to the subsequent Ijma’.

Allah says in Surat al Tawbah:

 

فَإِذَا انْسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِيْنَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُّمُوْهُمْ وَخُذُوْهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوْهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوْا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍۚ   فَإِنْ تَابُوْا وَأَقَامُوْا الصَّلَاةَ وَاٰتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّوْا سَبِيْلَهُمْؕ   إِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَفُوْرٌ رَحِيْمٌ

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish salah, and give Zakat, let them (go) on their way. Indeed, Allah is All Forgiving and All Merciful.[2]

 

فَإِنْ تَابُوْا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاٰتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّيْنِؕ   وَنُفَصِّلُ الْاٰيٰتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَّعْلَمُوْنَ

But if they repent, establish salah, and give Zakat, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.[3]

 

Sunni Explanation

In these two verses the prerequisites for atonement are explained. The basic tenets which define the conditions of entering into Islam are the establishment of the salah and payment of Zakat. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu says:

You have been commanded with the establishment of the salah and the payment of the Zakat and not to distinguish between the two. The person who does not pay the Zakat has no salah.

 

Similarly, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma explains:

“But if they repent, establish salah, and give Zakat,” this verse forbids the blood of the People of the Qiblah (the Muslims).[4]

 

This clearly indicates that their failure to uphold the prayer and payment of Zakat is grounds to fight them, until they re-establish it completely. This is exactly how Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu chose to deal with those who refused to pay Zakat.

In his explanation of this verse Ibn Kathir says:

 

For that reason, Abu Bakr al Siddiq relied on this and other honourable verses as proof for fighting those who refrained from paying the Zakat. These verses allowed fighting people unless and until they embrace Islam and implement its rulings and obligations. He also alerted those he argued against about the hierarchy of actions; that the noblest after the shahadatayn is the salah which is the right of Allah, and after it the payment of the Zakat, which is a benefit for the poor and the needy, and it is the noblest of deeds connected to the creation. It is for that reason Allah often combines between the salah and the Zakat.[5]

 

‘Abd al Rahman ibn Zaid says:

 

Salah and Zakat were made compulsory together. They were not separated from one another. (Then he recited):

فَإِنْ تَابُوْا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاٰتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّيْنِ

But if they repent, establish salah, and give Zakat, then they are your brothers in religion.[6]

Allah refuses to accept the salah except with Zakat. (Then he said) May Allah shower His Mercy upon Abu Bakr; there was no one more knowledgeable than him.[7]

 

In the Sahihayn there is a hadith from Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

أمرت أن أقاتل الناس حتى يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله ويقيموا الصلاة ويؤتوا الزكاة فإذا فعلوا ذلك عصموا مني دماءهم وأموالهم إلا بحق الإسلام وحسابهم على الله

I was instructed to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and they establish the salah and pay the Zakat. When they do that they have protected their blood and their wealth except with the right of Islam and their judgement is with Allah.[8]

 

This authentic hadith clearly proves that sanctity of blood and wealth is a consequence of true iman. It further demonstrates that true iman is only realised with the establishment of salah and payment of Zakat. Therefore, when people refuse to pay the Zakat they deserve to be fought, thus it will be taken from those whose obligation is to give and it will be given to those entitled to it. This is what Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu decided to do; and this is what Tijani condemns him for.

 

Shia Explanation

It appears that Tijani is unaware of the view of the Twelver Shia in this matter. It is evident from what is recorded in their books that Zakat is exactly like salah. Either that, or Tijani has merely condemned Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu without grounds. The underlying relationship between salah and Zakat as understood from the Shia books support the position taken by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Muhammad al Hurr al ‘Amili, one of the senior scholars in the Shia tradition, says in his book, Wasa’il al Shia:

From Abu Jafar (al Baqir) and Abu’Abdullah (al Sadiq), they said, “Allah made Zakat compulsory along with salah.”[9]

 

Al Kulayni produced another narration from Abu Jafar:

Indeed, Allah combines the (ruling of) Zakat with salah. He says, “Establish the salah and give the Zakat.”[10] Therefore, whoever establishes the salah but has not given the Zakat has not established the salah.[11]

 

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Babuwayh al Qummi, referred to as al Saduq; whose book, Man La Yahduru al Faqih, is considered one of the four books upon which Imamiyyah law and belief is based, writes:

From Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq), “Whoever refuses to give an inch of Zakat is not a Mu’min and he is not a Muslim. That is what is meant by Allah’s words:

حَتّٰٓى إِذَا جَآءَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُوْنِ لَعَلِّيْٓ أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيْمَا تَرَكْتُ

Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, My Lord, send me back; that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.[12]

In another narration it appears, “No salah of his is accepted.”[13]

 

Abu Jafar (al Baqir) said:

One day while the Prophet was in the Masjid he said, “You stand, and you stand, and you stand,” until he hauled out five people. He then said, “Leave our Masjid and do not perform salah in it while you do not give the Zakat!”[14]

 

From Abu Basir—from Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq):

Whoever refuses to give a qirat (a dry measurement) of Zakat then let him die either as a Jew or a Christian.[15]

 

But Abu ‘Abdullah does not stop there. Rather, he explicitly permits such a person’s execution. It is narrated by way of Aban ibn Taghlib from al Sadiq that he said:

 

There are two bloods in Islam which are permissible by Allah and no one will judge concerning them (the two bloods) until Allah sends our al Qa’im from the Ahlul Bayt. When Allah sends our al Qa’im from the Ahlul Bayt he will judge them in accordance with the law of Allah. He will stone the zani muhsan (the married person who committed zina) and he will smite the neck of those who refuse to pay the Zakat.[16]

 

Tijani’s Conundrum

Tijani is left in an awkward position. The Shia say that al Qa’im (their Mahdi) will smite the necks of those who refuse to pay Zakat. Abu Bakr decided that those who desisted discharging their Zakat were to be fought against, not necessarily killed, until they decided to pay. Despite his claims of examining the matter from both perspectives, Tijani’s condemnation is unsubstantiated either way. No matter how hard Tijani tries to mask his hatred towards the Sahabah, the stench of his bias is unmistakeable.

 

‘Umar’s Questioning

‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu initial objection against Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is on account of him not realising the graveness of the situation immediately; as well as the basis for Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision. Therefore, he said, “How can you fight the people whilst the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘I have been instructed to fight the people until they say there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Whoever says there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, he has protected from me his wealth, blood, and life; except by valid cause and his judgement is with Allah’?”

‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu initial assessment of the situation was based on the general expression of the hadith without considering the words, “except by valid cause”. Abu Bakr made him realise that to fight those who differentiate between salah and Zakat is because Zakat is the right of the wealth; a valid cause. He equated the Zakat with the salah.

Abu Bakr’s understanding is further supported by the hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

I was instructed to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and they establish the salah and pay the Zakat. When they do that they have protected their blood and their wealth except with the right of Islam and their judgement is with Allah.[17]

 

Notice the words with which it ends, “except by the right of Islam”. The right of Islam, which guarantees the protection of blood and wealth, is a consequence of establishing of salah and discharging Zakat. Once ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu realised the premise of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision he retracted his view and supported Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he said, “By Allah, as soon as I realised that Allah has expanded the chest of Abu Bakr to fight them, I knew that it was the truth.”[18]

The hadith of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the Day of Khaybar is understood in a similar manner. The practise of the Sahabah further endorses the preponderance of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision.

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu displayed his humility by retracting his objections when he realised the error in his judgement. Some ‘objective researchers’ have no idea how absurd their arguments are. Blinded by their said ‘impartiality’, these researchers misconstrue verses from the Qur’an to support their outrageous presumptions:

 

This interpretation was used to justify their fight against Muslims although Allah had prohibited making war against them, and Allah said in His Glorious Book:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْٓا إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰهِ فَتَبَيَّنُوْا وَلَا تَقُوْلُوْا لِمَنْ أَلْقٰى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَامَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًاۚ   تَبْتَغُوْنَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَاؗ   فَعِنْدَ اللّٰهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌؕ   كَذٰلِكَ كُنْتُمْ مِّنْ قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللّٰهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُوْاؕ   إِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِيْرًا

O you who have believed, when you go forth (to fight) in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you (a greeting of) peace, “you are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You (yourselves) were like that before; then Allah conferred His favour (i.e. guidance) upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, acquainted.[19]

 

Our comment:

Tijani’s complete disregard for the sabab al nuzul is a clear indication of where his argument will be going. He does not disappoint in that he rarely strays from the trick of connecting isolated incidents and pulling an objection out of his hat.

The circumstances surrounding the revelation of this verse, which will elaborate on its original context, has been narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in Sahih al Bukhari:

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas says, “There was a man (standing) in his property. The Muslims met him and he greeted them but they killed him and took his property. Thereupon Allah revealed, ‘aspiring for the goods of worldly life,’ referring to that property.”[20]

 

As is evident this verse refers to a case where a person had been killed unjustly due to them being confused about the nature of his greeting, assuming it to be a mere ploy to save himself and not sincere. It is a generous stretch of the text to insinuate that it applies to Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision to fight those who refused to give Zakat. Bear in mind that fighting is not a death sentence. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu permitted fighting them, not because they were unbelievers but on account of them forsaking one of the duties of Islam. Those who refuse to pay the Zakat are rebels and it is necessary to take Zakat from them by force.

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not instruct the Sahabah to kill them on grounds of heresy as was the case with Musaylamah al Kadhdhab and al Aswad al ‘Ansi. The latter were those whom Abu Bakr considered unbelievers and subsequently took military action against them which resulted in their families becoming slaves as part of the spoils. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu acknowledged the legitimacy of these wars when he took a slave girl captured from the Banu Hanifah tribe. She bore him a son, Muhammad, who is sometimes referred to as Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah.

There is no evidence to suggest that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu fought those who refused to pay the Zakat for worldly gain. Rather, he fought them to preserve the integrity of this din.

With surgical precision, Tijani carefully carves out a new argument. There are no surprises that this argument is born out of a predisposed attitude of scepticism towards Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Tijani says:

 

Those who refused to give Abu Bakr their Zakat did not deny its necessity, but they only delayed it to investigate the matter. The Shiites say that these people were surprised by the succession of Abu Bakr, and some of them had been present with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at the Farewell Pilgrimage and had heard the text in which he mentioned Ali ibn Abi Talib. Therefore they decided to wait for a while until they obtained a clarification as to what had happened, but Abu Bakr wanted to silence them lest they spoke the truth. Because I do not reason with nor protest against what the Shiites say, I will leave this issue to somebody who is interested in it.[21]

 

Our comment:

Why is that Tijani, who had time to research petty issues, even from books that are falsely ascribed to authors, fails to produce even a shred of evidence to support his ridiculous claim that those who refused to pay the Zakat delayed in doing so in order to verify the matter but were surprised by the Caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu? The vast extent of Tijani’s imagination allows for his book to be published as a work of fiction!

He goes on to say:

 

However, I should not forget to note here that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had an encounter with Tha’alabah who asked him repeatedly to pray for him to be rich and he promised Allah to give alms. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed for him and Tha’alabah became so rich that his sheep and camels filled al Medinah, and he started to neglect his duties and stopped attending the Friday Prayers. When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent some officials to collect the Zakat, he refused to give them anything saying that it was a Jiziah [head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule] or similar to it, but the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not fight him nor did he order his killing, and Allah revealed the following verse about him:

وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ عَاهَدَ اللّٰهَ لَئِنْ اٰتَانَا مِنْ فَضْلِهٖ لَنَصَّدَّقَنَّ وَلَنَكُوْنَنَّ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ فَلَمَّآ اٰتَاهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهٖ بَخِلُوْا بِهٖ وَتَوَلَّوْا وَهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ

And among them are those who made a covenant with Allah, (saying), if He should give us from His bounty, we will surely spend in charity, and we will surely be among the righteous. But when He gave them from His bounty, they were stingy with it and turned away while they refused.[22]

After the revelation of the above Quranic verse. Tha’alabah came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam crying and asked him to accept his Zakat, but the Messenger of Allah refused to accept it, according to the story.

If Abu Bakr and Umar were following the tradition of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam why did they allow the killing of all these innocent Muslims just because they refused to pay the Zakat?

As for those apologists who were trying to correct Abu Bakr’s mistake when he interpreted the Zakat as a just tax on wealth, there is no excuse for them nor for Abu Bakr after considering the story of Tha’alabah who withheld the Zakat and thought of it as “Jiziah”. Who knows, perhaps Abu Bakr persuaded his friend Umar to kill those who refused to pay the Zakat because otherwise their call would have spread throughout the Islamic world to revive al Ghadir’s text in which Ali was confirmed as successor [to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam]. Thus Umar ibn al Khattab wanted to fight them, and it was he who threatened to kill and burn those who remained in Fatimah’s house in order to extract the acclamation from them for his friend.[23]

 

Our comment:

The truncated version of this narration provided by Tijani conveniently omits the following passages:

 

Tha’labah came to Abu Bakr after his appointment and said, “You know my position by the Messenger and my position amongst the Ansar, so accept my Zakat.”

Abu Bakr said to him, “The Prophet did not accept it from you. Should I accept it from you?”

Abu Bakr passed on and he did not accept it.

When ‘Umar became the khalifah Tha’labah came to him and said, “O Amir al Mu’minin, accept my Zakat!”

‘Umar said, “The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not accept it and Abu Bakr did not accept it. Do you expect that I would accept it?”

He passed away and he did not accept it.

Then ‘Uthman became the khalifah and he came to him, and asked him to accept his Zakat.

‘Uthman said, “The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not accept it, Abu Bakr did not accept it and ‘Umar did not accept it. Should I accept it?”

Tha’labah later died during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman.[24]

 

There is no prize for guessing why Tijani concealed this part of the narration. Instead we will save him the trouble since this narration is weak, both in terms of its chain of transmission and irregularities in the texts. Therefore, it is inadmissible as proof.

Let us begin by pointing out the flaws in the chain of transmission.

Central to the chain of this narration are two significant narrators: ‘Ali ibn Yazid al Alhani and ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd Abu’Uthman al Basri. Both of them are discredited as narrators by the experts in this science. These are the comments made by hadith experts regarding ‘Ali ibn Yazid:

 

Ibn Hajar says, “He is weak.”[25]

Al Bukhari says, “He is munkar al hadith (censured for transmitting uncorroborated narrations).”

Al Nasa’i says, “He is not reliable.”

Abu Zur’ah says, “He is not a strong transmitter.”

Al Darqutni says, “He is matruk (suspected of hadith forgery).”[26]

Yahya ibn Maʻin says, “‘Ali ibn Yazid—from Qasim—from Abu’Umamah, they (the narrators from this chain) are all weak.”

Ya’qubi says, “He is weak in hadith. He transmits many anomalies.”

Hakim says, “He is lenient in hadith.”[27]

 

As for ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd:

 

Ibn Ma’in says about him, “His hadith is not to be recorded.”

Nasa’i says, “Matruk al hadith (suspected of hadith forgery).”

Ayub and Yunus say, “He lies.”[28]

Ahmed ibn Hanbal, “He is not someone from whom hadith ought to be narrated.”

Yahya ibn Ma’in, “He is no good.” This statement has very damaging implications by Ibn Ma’in.

‘Amr ibn ‘Ali al Fallas, “Matruk al hadith and a person of innovation.”

Hatim says, “Matruk al hadith.”[29]

 

This is the status of the chain and there is not much that can be further added to this besides the fact that the scholars have graded this narration extremely weak. To name a few of these scholars who have graded it as such:

  1. Ibn Hazm
  2. al Bayhaqi
  3. Ibn al Athir
  4. al Qurtubi
  5. al Dhahabi
  6. al Haythami
  7. Ibn Hajar
  8. al Suyuti

The list carries on…

The text is problematic for the following reasons:

The story stands in stark contrast to the Qur’an since it is a core principle in the Shari’ah that Allah accepts the repentance of one who repents.

Allah says:

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللّٰهِ لِلَّذِيْنَ يَعْمَلُوْنَ السُّوْٓءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوْبُوْنَ مِنْ قَرِيْبٍ فَأُولئِكَ يَتُوْبُ اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِمْؕ   وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ عَلِيْمًا حَكِيْمًا ﴿17﴾ وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِيْنَ يَعْمَلُوْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِۚ   حَتّٰٓى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّيْ تُبْتُ الْأٰنَ وَلَا الَّذِيْنَ يَمُوْتُوْنَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌؕ   أُولئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance (or carelessness) and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. But repentance is not (accepted) of those who (continue to) do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now,” or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment.[30]

 

The established Sunnah also indicates that there is repentance for all sins. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

إن الله يقبل توبة العبد مالم يغرغر

Indeed, Allah accepts the repentance of the slave as longs as the soul does not reach the throat.[31]

 

The hadith is an explanation of the verse

 

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِيْنَ يَعْمَلُوْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِۚ   حَتّٰٓى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّيْ تُبْتُ الْأٰنَ

But repentance is not (accepted) of those who (continue to) do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them he says, “Indeed, I have repented now,”

 

The verse only excludes repentance in that condition and allows for repentance until the moment the person experiences the throes of death.

The story shows Tha’labah to be remorseful. So in addition to the severe weakness in the chain, the story of Tha’labah contradicts an established principle of the din. It also contradicts what the following verse indicates:

 

وَهُوَ الَّذِيْ يَّقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِه وَيَعْفُوْ عَنِ السَّيِّئَاتِ

And it is He who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons misdeeds.[32]

 

If it is claimed that Tha’labah was a munafiq; Allah has opened the door of repentance wide open for them also.

 

إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِيْنَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِۚ   وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا ﴿145﴾ إِلَّا الَّذِيْنَ تَابُوْا وَأَصْلَحُوْا وَاعْتَصَمُوْا بِاللّٰهِ وَأَخْلَصُوْا دِيْنَهُمْ لِلّٰهِ فَأُولئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَؕ   وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللّٰهُ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا ﴿146﴾ مَا يَفْعَلُ اللّٰهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَاٰمَنْتُمْؕ   وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ شَاكِرًا عَلِيمًا

Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire and never will you find for them a helper. Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to Allah, and are sincere in their religion for Allah, for those will be with the believers. And Allah is going to give the believers a great reward. What would Allah do with (i.e. gain from) your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative and Knowing.[33]

 

Allah also says about the munafiqin:

فَإِنْ يَّتُوْبُوْا يَكُ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ

So if they repent, it is better for them.[34]

 

The story of Tha’labah leaves the sinner in a state of despair and despondency in the mercy of Allah; and that is disliked by Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told people that if they came to Allah with sins equivalent to the earth; and then repented to Him, He would forgive them. He informed people that if they did not repent, Allah would replace them with people who committed sin and repented and He would forgive them.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

قَالَ اللّهُ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ إِنَّكَ مَا دَعَوْتَنِي وَرَجَوْتَنِي غَفَرْتُ لَكَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ فِيكَ وَلاَ أُبَالِي يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ لَوْ بَلَغَتْ ذُنُوبُكَ عَنَانَ السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ اسْتَغْفَرْتَنِي غَفَرْتُ لَكَ وَلاَ أُبَالِي يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ إِنَّكَ لَوْ أَتَيْتَنِي بِقُرَابِ الأَرْضِ خَطَايَا ثُمَّ لَقِيتَنِي لاَ تُشْرِكُ بِي شَيْئًا لأَتَيْتُكَ بِقُرَابِهَا مَغْفِرَةً

Allah says, “O son of Adam, as long as you call unto to Me and hope in Me I will forgive you no matter what sins you committed and it does not bother Me. O son of Adam, if your sins reached the clouds in the sky then you seek My forgiveness I will forgive you and it does not bother Me. O son of Adam if you should come to Me with an earth-load of sins having not associated partners with Me I will come to you with its amount in forgiveness.”[35]

 

وَالَّذِىْ نَفْسِىْ بِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُذْنِبُوا لَذَهَبَ اللّٰهُ بِكُمْ وَلَجَاءَ بِقَوْمٍ يُذْنِبُونَ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللّٰهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ

By the one whom my life is in his hand, if you did not commit sin, Allah would remove you and bring forth a nation who would sin and seek forgiveness from Allah and he would forgive them.[36]

 

These are among other factors that add to falseness of this story:

 

The year in which Tha’labah passed away is not known exactly. There are many opinions with regards to the year of his death. Those who narrate this story place his death during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman. That view, however, is rejected as it, as well as the story, comes from the same weak chain. The second view is mentioned by Ibn ‘Abd al Barr and Ibn Hajar placing his martyrdom at Uhud or Khaybar respectively. Therefore, he was martyred during the life of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which further contradicts the details of the story which claims that he died during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Tijani has nowhere to take this discussion. Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu position has been proven from the Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’, and even Shia law. Tijani has shown us that the façade of impartiality can only last for so long.

 

NEXT ⇒ 7. Tijani’s condemnation of Abu Bakr for how he dealt with Khalid ibn al Walid


[1]Then I was guided, p. 153-154

[2]  Surat al Tawbah: 5

[3]  Surat al Tawbah: 11

[4] Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 6, p. 328

[5]Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 2, p. 349

[6]  Surat al Tawbah: 11

[7]Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 6, p. 349

[8]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Iman, Bab: fa in Tabu wa Aqamu al Salah wa Atu al Zakat fa Khallu Sabilahum vol. 1, Hadith no. 25; Sahih Muslim with its commentary, Kitab al Iman, Hadith no. 22

[9]Wasa’il al Shia ila Tahsil Masa’il al Shari’ah by ‘Amili, vol. 6, p. 5-11, Kitab al Zakat, Abwab ma Tajib fihi al Zakat wa ma Tustahabb fihi; Refer also to Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih, vol. 2, p. 11

[10]  Surat al Baqarah: 43.

[11] Furu’ al Kafi by Kulayni, Bab Man’ al Zakat, vol. 3, p. 503, Hadith no. 23

[12]  Surat al Mu’min: 99

[13]Man La Yahduru al Faqih by Ibn Babawayh al Qummi, vol. 2, p. 12-13, Bab Ma Ja’ fi Mani’i al Zakat

[14]  Ibid, vol. 2, p. 13

[15]Furu’ al Kafi, vol. 3, p. 502

[16] Man La Yahduruh al Faqih, vol. 2, p. 12; Furu’ al Kafi, vol. 3, p. 500

[17]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Iman, Bab: fa in Tabu wa Aqamu al Salah wa Atu al Zakat fa Khallu Sabilahum vol. 1, Hadith no. 25; Sahih Muslim with its commentary, Kitab al Iman, Hadith no. 22

[18]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al I’tisam bi al Kitab wa al Sunnah, Hadith no. 6854

[19]  Surat al Nisa’: 94

[20]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Tafasir, Surat al Nisa’, Hadith no. 4315

[21]Then I was guided, 154

[22]  Surat al Tawbah:75-76

[23]Then I was guided, p. 154-155

[24]Al Mujam al Kabir by Tabarani, vol. 8, p. 218, Hadith no. 7873

[25]Taqrib al Tahdhib by Ibn Hajar, vol. 1, biography no. 4883

[26]Mizan al I’tidal by Dhahabi, vol. 3, p. 161, biography no. 5966

[27]Tahdhib al Kamal fi Asma’ al Rijal by Mizzi, vol. 21, biography no. 4154

[28]Mizan al I’tidal,vol. 3, p. 273, biography no. 6404

[29]Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 22, p. 123, biography no. 4406

[30]  Surat al Nisa’: 17-18

[31]Tirmidhi, Kitab al Da’awat, hadith no. 3537; Refer also to Sahih al Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 2804

[32]  Surat al Shurah: 25

[33]  Surat al Nisa’: 145-147

[34]  Surat al Tawbah: 74

[35]Sunan Tirmidhi, Kitab al Da’wat, hadith no. 3540; Refer also to Sahih al Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 2805

[36]Sahih Muslim with its commentary, Kitab al Tawbah, Bab Suqut al Dhunub bi al Istighfar, Hadith no. 2749