Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at

Doctrinal debates between Sunnis and Shia have existed for centuries. The religious discourse at the beginning of the 20th century warranted a cunning strategy to promote the Twelver Shia belief system; propaganda. `Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din al Musawi was a prominent Shia cleric who published what he alleges to be a series of correspondence between him and the then Sheikh al Azhar, Salim al Bishri, which he titled al-Muraja`at; at the end of which he eventually manages to convince of the truth of the Shia school. The mutual courtesy in these letters have blinded many readers not only to the fictitious nature of the correspondence, but also the glaring mistruths and forged evidence upon which the arguments are based.

While many exposes of al-Muraja`at have been penned in Arabic, this is the first comprehensive objective investigation to be written in English. This title seeks to expose the multi-layered deception in al-Muraja`at, and to provide – with Allah’s help – clarity and context to the spin in `Abdul Hussain’s tales.

 
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Introduction

 

Letter 1 and 2

Letter 1:

I. Greeting the Debater.

II.  Asking Permission to Debate.

 

Letter 2:

I.  Greetings Reciprocated,

II.  Permission to Debate Granted.

 

Letter 3 and 4

Letter 3:

I. Why do Shi’as not Uphold the Majority’s Sects?

II. The Need for Unity,

III. Unity Achieved Only by Adhering to the Majority’s Sects.

 

Letter 4:

I. Juristic Proofs Mandate Adherence to the Sect of Ahlul Bayt,

II. There is No Proof for Mandating Adherence to the Majority’s Sects,

III. Generations of The First Three Centuries Never Knew Those Sects,

IV. Possibility of Ijtihad,

V. Unity can be Achieved by Respecting Ahlul Bayt’s Sect.

 

Letter 5 and 6

Letter 5:

I. Admitting Our Argument

II. Asking for Detailed Proofs

 

Letter 6:

I. References to Proofs Mandating Following the ‘Itra

II. The Commander of the Faithful ‘alayh al Salam Invites to Ahlul Bayt’s Sect

III. Relevant Statement of Imam Zainul ‘Abidin

 

Letter 7 and 8

Letter 7:

I. Requesting Proofs from Statements by Allah and His Messenger

II. Proofs from Ahl al­Bayt are Circumventive

 

Letter 8:

I. Overlooking Our Previous Statements

II. Error in Necessity of (Logical) Cycle

III. Hadith of the Two Weighty Things

IV. Its Tawatur

V. Non­ Adherents to the ‘Itra Shall Stray

VI. Their Similitude to the ark of Noah, the Gate of Salvation, and the Security Against Religious Dissensions

VII. What is Meant by “Ahlul ­Bayt” in this Regard

VIII. Reasons for Similitude to Noah’s Ark and the Gate of Salvation

 

Letter 9 and 10

Letter 9:

I. Requesting more relevant texts

 

Letter 10:

I. A Glimpse of Sufficient Texts

 

Letter 11 and 12

Letter 11:

I. Admiring Our Clear Texts

II. Wondering at Compromising Them With the Majority’s Beliefs

III. Asking for Clear Signs from the Book

 

Letter 12:

I. Qur’anic Proofs

 

Letter 13 and 14

Letter 13:

I. Argument Regarding These Traditions Weak

 

Letter 14:

I. Fallacy of Opponent’s Argument

II. Opponents do not Know Shi’as

III. Distinction of Emphasizing Illegality of Falsifying Hadith

 

Letter 15 and 16

Letter 15:

I. A Flash of the Truth

II. Requesting Details on Sunnis Relying on Shi’a Authorities

 

Letter 16:

I. A Hundred Shi’a Authorities Relied upon by Sunnis

 

Letter 17 and 18

Letter 17:

I. Appreciating the debater’s sentiments

II. Admitting There is no Objection if Ahl ul-Sunnah Rely on Shi’a Authorities

III. His belief in the Miracles of Ahlul Bayt

IV. Dilemma at Compromising the Above with what Ahl Al Qibla do

 

Letter 18:

I. Sentiments Reciprocated

II. Debater’s Error in Generalizing Regarding Ahl al Qibla

III. The Nation’s Politicians are the Ones Who Turned Away from Ahlul Bayt

IV. The Imams of Ahlul Bayt are not Inferior to others

V. Which Fair Court Judges Calling Their Followers “Strayers”?

 

Letter 19 and 20

Letter 19:

I. No Fair Arbitrator Would Call Followers of Ahlul Bayt Strayers

II. Following Their Sects is Carrying out the Responsibility

III. It Could be Said that They Have the Priority to Lead

IV. Requesting Texts Relevant to the Khilafate

 

Letter 20:

I. A General Reference to the Texts

II. A Reference to the House on the Day of Warning

III. Sunni Reporters of this Hadith

 

Letter 21 and 22

Letter 21:

I. Raising Doubts about the Hadith’s Authenticity

 

Letter 22:

I. Proving the Text’s Authenticity

II. Why the Sheikhs Have Not Reported it

III. Whoever Knows These Sheikhs Knows Why

 

Letter 23 and 24

Letter 23:

I. Convinced of the Authenticity of this Hadith

II. Unreliability Based on Non-Sequential Narration

III. Its Reference to Restricted Succession

IV. Its Rebuttal

 

Letter 24:

I. Why Relying on this Hadith

II. Restricted Succession is Unanimously Rejected

III. Revocation is Impossible

 

Letter 25 and 26

Letter 25:

I. His Belief in the Text

II. Requesting More Texts

 

Letter 26:

I. Clear Texts Recounting Ten of ‘Ali’s Exclusive Merits

II. Why Rely Upon it

 

Letter 27 and 28

Letter 27:

I. Raising Doubts About the Status Hadith

 

Letter 28:

I. The Status Hadith Stands on Most Solid Grounds

II. Binding Proofs

III. Its Sunni Narrators

IV. Why al Amidi Suspects It

 

Letter 29 and 30

Letter 29:

I. Believing in Our Arguments Regarding the Hadith’s Sanad

II. Doubting its General Application

III. Doubting its being Binding

 

Letter 30:

I. Arabs Regard it General

II. Disproving Claim of Restriction

III. Disproving its Non-Binding Application

 

Letter 31 and 32

Letter 31:

I. Requesting Sources of this Hadith

 

Letter 32:

I. Among Its Sources: the Prophet’s Visit to Umm Salim

II. The Case of Hamzah’s Daughter

III. Leaning on ‘Ali

IV. The First Fraternity

V. The Second Fraternity

VI. Closing the Doors

VII. The Prophet Comparing ‘Ali and Aaron to the Two Stars

 

Letter 33 and 34

Letter 33:

I. When was ‘Ali and Aaron Described as the Two Stars?

 

Letter 34:

I. The Occasion of Shabar Shubayr and Mushbir

II. The Occasion of Fraternity

III. The Occasion of Closing the Doors

 

Letter 35 and 36

Letter 35:

I. Requesting other texts

 

Letter 36:

 

I. Ḥadith by ibn ‘Abbas

II. ‘Umran’s Hadith

III. Buraydah’s Hadith

IV. Hadith Recounting Ten Exclusive Attributes [of ‘Ali]

V. ‘Ali’s Hadith

VI. Wahab’s Hadith

VII. Ibn Abu ‘Asim’s Hadith

 

Letter 37 and 38

Letter 37:

I. “Wali” is a Linguistic Denominator; so Where is the Text?

 

Letter 38:

 I. Explaining the Implications of “Wali”

II. Proving its Connotation

 

Letter 39 and 40

Letter 39:

I. Requesting the Wilayat Verse

 

Letter 40:

I. The Verse of Wilayat and its Revelation in ‘Ali’s Honour

II. Why it was Revealed

III. Why Using it as a Testimonial

 

Letter 41 and 42

Letter 41:

I.”Mumins” is Plural; Why Apply it to the Singular?

 

Letter 42:

 I. Arabs Address the Singular Using the Plural Form

II. Testimonials

III. Quoting Imam al-Tibrisi

IV. Quoting al-Zamakhshari

V. What I have Stated

 

Letter 43 and 44

Letter 43:

I. Context Denotes “the Loved one” or the Like

 

Letter 44:

I. Context is not Indicative of “Supporter” or the Like

 II. Context does not Outweigh the Proofs

 

Letter 45 and 46

Letter 45:

I. Resorting to Interpretation Following in the Footsteps of the Predecessors is Unavoidable

Letter 46:

I. Believing in the Ancestors does not Require Interpretation

II. Interpretation is Impossible

 

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