Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah as a scribe of wahi

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Sayyidina Muawiyah as a scribe of wahi

 

The antagonists of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in addition to their other allegations against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, also assert that he was never a scribe of wahi. We will now clarify any misgivings on the matter.

In Makkah, when Islam first began amongst the Quraysh, there were only seventeen individuals who could read and write. The historian Al Baladhuri (d. 279 A.H) has written:

 

دخل الاسلام و فى قريش سبعة عشر رجلا كلهم يكتب عمر بن الخطاب و على بن ابى طالب و عثمان بن عفان و ابو عبيدة بن الجراح و طلحة و يزيد بن ابى سفيان و ابو سفيان بن حرب بن امية و معاوية بن ابى سفيان

When Islam first began, among the Quraysh there were only seventeen individuals who could read and write; (they were) ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[1]

 

What is the status of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu amongst these scribes? Molana Shah Mu’in al Din Nadwi highlights:

 

Besides his knowledge of Islam, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an expert in the field of Arab customs. Due to him being an expert in this field at a time when most of the Arabs were not even acquainted with it, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam chose him as his special scribe.[2]

 

It appears in Majma’ al Zawa’id:

 

ان معاوية كان يكتب بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رواه الطبرانى و اسناده حسن

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to write before Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[3]

 

In the books of historical biographies, where the scribes of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are mentioned, the name of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu can also be found.

Please refer to the following books for further explanation, (1) Al Isti’ab vol 3 pg. 470-471, (2) Zad al Ma’ad vol. 1 Pg 30, (3) Al Isabah vol. 1 pg. 121, (4) Musnad Ahmed vol. 1 pg. 335 and 291.

We will now present before you proof from a few of the renowned Muhaddithin and historians who have accepted Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a scribe of wahi.

 

Hafiz Ibn Hazm al Andalusi (d. 456 A.H):

 

كان زيد بن ثابت من الزم الناس لذلك ثم تلاه معاوية بعد الفتح فكانا ملازمين للكتابة بين يديه فى الوحى و غير ذلك لا عمل لهما غير ذلك

Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu took the greatest responsibility of recording wahi and after the conquest of Makkah, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu also took up this task. These two were always in the company of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to record wahi or anything that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam might instruct. This was their task and duty, they had no other duty besides this.[4]

 

Hafiz Abu Bakr ibn al Khatib al Baghdadi (d. 463 A.H):

 

معاوية صاحبه و صهره و كاتبه و امينه على وحى الله عز و جل

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the companion, brother in law, and scribe of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he was the one entrusted with wahi.[5]

 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al ’Asqalani (d. 852 A.H):

 

و معاوية بن ابى سفيان الخليفة صحابى اسلم قبل الفتح و كتب الوحى

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a khalifah and a Sahabi. He was favoured with Islam before the conquest of Makkah and he was a scribe of wahi.[6]

 

Hafiz Shams al Din al Dhahabi (d. 748 A.H):

 

و قد صح عن ابن عباس كنت العب فدعانى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قال ادع لى معاوية و كان يكتب الوحى

It has been established via an authentic chain that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu has said: “I was playing when Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam summoned me and said: “Call Muawiyah!”, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the one who used to record the wahi.”[7]

 

Allamah ‘Ali ibn Burhan al Din al Halbi:

 

قال بعضهم كان معاوية و زيد بن ثابت رضى الله عنهما ملازمين للكتابة بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فى الوحى و غيره لا عمل لهما غير ذلك

Some ‘ulama have written that the only occupation Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu had was to record both wahi and non-wahi in the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam . This was their only occupation.[8]

 

Hafiz Ibn al Kathir (d. 774 A.H):

 

معاوية بن ابى سفيان…خال المؤمنين و كاتب وحى رب العالمين…والمقصود ان معاوية كان يكتب الوحى لرسول الله مع غيره من كتاب الوحى رضى الله عنهم

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the uncle of the believers, the scribe of the wahi of Allah…the purpose of this is to indicate that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to record wahi for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam along with the other scribes of wahi radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[9]

 

Hafiz Ahmed Ibn Hajar al Haythami al Makki (d. 974 A.H):

 

قال المدائنى كان زيد بن ثابت يكتب الوحى و كان معاوية يكتب للنبى صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما بينه و بين العرب اى من وحى و غيره فهو امين رسول الله صلى الله صلى الله عليه و سلم على وحى ربه و ناهيك بهذا المرتبة الرفيعة

Madaʼini has stated that Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a scribe of wahi and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not only a scribe of wahi but was the one who also wrote letters on behalf of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the Arabs. His elevated status can be gauged by the fact that he was the one who was entrusted with recording the wahi.[10]

 

Imam Shihab al Din al Qastalani (d. 923 A.H):

 

معاوية بن ابى سفيان صخر ولد حرب كاتب الوحى لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the son of Sakhr ibn Harb, was a scribe of wahi for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[11]

 

Allamah Shihab al Din al Khaffaji (d. 1099 A.H):

 

معاوية صاحبه و صهره لانه اخو زوجته حبيبة بنت ابى سفيان ام المؤمنين و كاتبه لما ثبت انه احد كتابه صلى الله عليه و سلم و امينه على وحيه لانه بعد ان استكتبه كان يكتب ما ينزل عليه من الوحى و لو لم يستامنه ما استكتبه الوحى

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the Sahabi of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well as his brother-in-law, as the wife of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam- Ummi Habibah radiya Llahu ‘anha was his sister. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was also the scribe of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as it is proven that he was one of the scribes of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and one entrusted with recording wahi because he was instructed by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to write down the wahi that was revealed to him. Had he not been trustworthy he would not have been asked to record the wahi.[12]

 

Hafiz Ibn al ’Asakir (d. 1383 A.H):

 

معاوية بن ابى سفيان خال المؤمنين و كاتب الوحى رب العالمين

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the uncle of the believers and the scribe of the wahi of the Rabb of the universe.[13]

 

Molana ‘Abd al Shakur Lucknowi (d. 1383 A.H):

 

During the Battle of Hunayn, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the companion of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he was appointed to record wahi.[14]

 

Allamah ‘Abd al Hayy al Kattani (d. 1382 A.H):

 

قال القضاعى فان لم يحضر احد منهم كتب الوحى من حضر من الكتاب و هم معاوية و جابر بن سعيد بن العاص

Al Qada’i has stated that if the scribes of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were not present then those who were present would record the wahi. Amongst them were Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Jabir ibn Sa’id ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu and others.

 

He adds:

 

و انما كان اكثرهم مداومة على ذلك بعد الهجرة زيد بن ثابت ثم معاوية بعد الفتح

After hijrah, Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the most responsibility of recording wahi followed by Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the Conquest of Makkah.[15]

 

Allamah Muhammad al Khidri:

The names of those who are quite famous in writing down the wahi are as follows: Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, these two were constantly in the company of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recording the wahi and other things as well. They had no other work besides this.[16]

 

Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani :

 

The scribes of wahi number close to forty, but the most famous from amongst them are:

 

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Ubay ibn Ka’b radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Zubair ibn ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Khalid ibn Sa’id ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Aban ibn Sa’id ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hanzalah ibn al Rabi’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Ma’qib ibn Abi Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdullah ibn Arqam al Zuhari radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Shurahbil ibn Hassanah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdullah ibn Ruwahah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Amr ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Thabit ibn Qais ibn Shammas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Mughirah ibn Shu’bah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Khalid ibn Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[17]

 

Allamah Sayed Mahmud Ahmed Razwi Barelwi :

 

Allamah Sayed Mahmud Ahmed Razwi Barelwi, while making reference to their founder- Ahmed Rada Khan Barelwi, writes:

 

After accepting Islam, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu never remained aloof from the service of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He remained with Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and recorded the wahi. The respect he had for Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remained firm in his heart even after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[18]

 

Dr. ‘Abd al Rahman ‘Isa (Teacher at Jami’ah Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ud):

 

He has written a book entitled Kuttab al wahi, and in it he has categorised the scribes of wahi into two groups:

 

و هم كتاب التنزيل الحكيم و غيره و هم ستة … معاوية بن ابى سفيان يكتب فى التنزيل الحكيم و فيما بين النبى و بين العرب …وكان هو و زيد بن ثابت ملازمين للكتابة بين يدي رسول الله فى الوحى و غيره لا عمل لهما غير ذلك

Those who recorded wahi and that which was not wahi, they were six… Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu recorded the wahi and other correspondences between Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Arabs… Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu with great regularity wrote the wahi in the presence of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They had no other occupation besides this.[19]

 

Khatib Tabrezi (d. 743 A.H):

 

كان هو و ابوه مسلمة الفتح من المؤلفة قلوبهم و هو احد الذين كتبوا لرسول الله صلى اللن عليه و سلم الوحى

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his father accepted Islam on the day of the conquest of Makkah. They were from the Muʼalaffat al Qulub, and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was from those who recorded the wahi.[20]

 

Imam Abu Ishaq al Shatbi:

 

و ذكر اهل السير انه كان لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كتاب يكتبون له الوحى و غيره منهم عثمان و على و معاوية و المغيرة بن شعبة و ابى بن كعب و زيد بن ثابت و غيرهم

The scholars of sirah have stated that the scribes of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wrote both wahi and non-wahi. Amongst them were ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Mughirah ibn Shu’bah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Ubay ibn Ka’b radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[21]

 

Shah Mu’in al Din Nadwi:

 

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not lacking in knowledge and had great experience in writing. It was on account of this that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him as the scribe of wahi.[22]

 

Ahmed Yar Kha Gujarati Barelwi:

 

Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not only the Scribe of wahi for Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but also wrote the letters of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the kings that was dictated to him.[23]

 

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Taba Taba’i ibn Taqtaqi:

 

The well-known Shia historian Ibn Taba Taba’i has written:

 

و اسلم معاوية و كتب الوحى جملة من كتبه بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam and was part of that group of people who constantly wrote the wahi.[24]

 

It is evident from this explanation that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was indeed a scribe of wahi and since it is proven that he was a scribe of wahi, it stands to reason that he would be just and trustworthy, for no one would be chosen as a scribe except if he possessed these qualities.

It appears in a narration that this position was granted to Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the command of Allah. On one occasion Jibril ‘alayh al-Salam came to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said:

 

يا محمد اقرئ معاوية السلام و استوص به خيرا فانه امين الله على كتابه و وحيه و نعم الامين

O Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Convey my greetings to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and instruct him to do good, for he is the one entrusted with writing the wahi and he is an excellent trustworthy person.[25]

 

In another hadith, it is stated that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had consulted Jibril ‘alayh al-Salam whether Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu should be appointed as a scribe of wahi and Jibril ‘alayh al-Salam replied:

 

استكتبه فانه امين

Appoint him as a scribe, for he is indeed trustworthy.[26]

 

You may now decide for yourself whether the claims that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not a scribe of wahi are true or not? Whether being a scribe of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a common trait or not? And whether the words and the instructions of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are not indirect wahi?

 

The statement of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah when refuting such accusations from the Rawafid, should suffice for every skeptic:

 

فهذا قول بلا حجة و لا علم

This (that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not from the scribes of wahi) is a claim without any proof or knowledge.

 

Thereafter he lists the scribes of wahi:

 

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdullah ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Ubay ibn Ka’b radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Thabit ibn Qais radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Khalid ibn Sa’id ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hanzalah ibn al Rabi’ al Asadi radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Shurahbil ibn Hassanah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[27]

 
 

NEXT⇒ Closing remarks


[1]Futuh al Buldan of Al Baladhuri Pg. 477

[2]Siyar al Sahaba vol 6 pg. 131

[3]Majma’ al Zawaʼid vol 9 Pg. 596

[4] Jawami’al Sirah pg. 27

[5]Tarikh Baghdad vol. 1 pg. 224

[6]Taqrib al Tahdhib vol. 2 pg. 592

[7]Tarikh al Islam of al Dhahabi vol. 2 pg. 309

[8]Al Sirat al Halbiyyah vol. 2 pg.447

[9]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 119

[10]Tathir al Jinan pg. 10

[11]Al Nihayah pg. 18

[12] Nasim al Riyad vol. 3 pg. 430

[13]Tarikh Madina Damashq vol. 59 pg. 55

[14]Izalat al Khafa vol. 1 pg. 472

[15]Al Tartib al idariyyah pg. 117

[16]Tarikh al Tashri’ al Islami pg. 12

[17]‘Ulum al Qur’an pg. 179

[18]Shan-e Sahaba pg. 22

[19]Kitab al Wahi pg. 66

[20]Al Ikmal fi Asmaʼ al Rijal pg.617

[21]Al I’tisam vol. 1 pg.134

[22] Tarikh al Islam vol. 2 pg.43

[23]Amir Muawiyah pg. 47

[24]Al Fakhr fi Adab al Sultaniyyah vol. 8 pg.120

[25]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 120

[26]  Ibid

[27]Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 2 pg. 214