4.2 The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the Sahabah

Chapter Four – The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i and the scholars of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah – 4.1 Statements of the Ahlus Sunnah scholars regarding the Sahabah
February 15, 2022
Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 75 and 76
March 14, 2022

BACK Return to Table of contents


4.2 The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the Sahabah


The Imamiyyah enjoined the theory of “nass (textual evidence) on the Caliphate of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” In other words, they state that he was appointed as the Khalifah after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—without intermission—through direct textual evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. They made this theory the greatest pillar for themselves, as al Kulayni (d. 329 AH) narrated:


عن أبي جعفر محمد الباقر قال بني الإسلام على خمس على الصلاة والزكاة والصوم والحج والولاية ولم يناد بشيء كما نودي بالولاية وروى كذلك عن جعفر الصادق قال أثافي الإسلام ثلاثة الصلاة والزكاة والولاية لا تصح واحدة منهن إلا بصاحبتيها

On the authority of Abu Jafar Muhammad al Baqir: “Islam was founded upon five: upon salah (prayer), zakat (charity-tax), sawm (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage), and wilayah (successorship). Nothing was proclaimed as wilayah was.”

Similarly, he narrated on the authority of Jafar al Sadiq who said: “The founding structures of Islam are three: salah, zakat, and wilayah. One of them is not valid except with its two counterparts.”[1]


In fact, they made the doctrine of Imamah higher than the rank of Prophethood and that no prophet reaches the rank of Imamah—which is greater than Prophethood—except after having gone through tests. Makarim al Shirazi states:


إن منزلة الإمامة الممنوحة لإبراهيم عليه السلام بعد كل هذه الاختبارات تفوق منزلة النبوة والرسالة

The rank of Imamah granted to Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam was after these tests. This rank surpasses the rank of Nubuwwah and Risalah.


And he stated:


الإمامة آخر مراحل مسيرة إبراهيم التكاملية بما تقدم في بيان حقيقة الإمامة يتضح أنه من الممكن أن تكون لشخص منزلة النبوة وتبليغ الرسالة بينما لا تكون له منزلة الإمامة وهذه المنزلة تحتاج إلى مؤهلات كثيرة في جميع المجالات وهي المنزلة التي نالها إبراهيم (عليه السلام) بعد كل هذه الامتحانات والمواقف العظيمة وكانت آخر مرحلة من مراحل مسيرته التكاملية

Imamah is the last stage of Ibrahim’s path of completion because of what was already mentioned in explaining the reality of Imamah. Clearly, it is possible for an individual to reach the rank of Nubuwwah and Risalah, while not enjoying the rank of Imamah. This rank requires many qualifications in all fields. It is a rank that Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam reached after all of these tests and great positions he took. Imamah was the last station from the stations of his journey to completion.[2]


The sentiments of al Shirazi did not come out of a vacuum. This thought is narrated in al Kafi with a long narration that is centered on explaining the importance of the station of Imamah, and that had it not been for Imamah, the peoples’ religion would not be complete. In describing this narration, al Khu’i states:


رواية مبسوطة شريفة فيها بيان مقام الإمام عليه السلام وأن منزلة الإمامة منزلة الأنبياء، وأنها خلافة الله وخلافة الرسول صلى الله عليه وآله

A simple praiseworthy narration. In it is an explanation of the Imam’s ‘alayh al Salam rank, and that the station of Imamah is a station of the prophets, and that it is the Caliphate of Allah and the Caliphate of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[3]


The Imamiyyah’s statements explaining this thought and arguing in favour of it have been massively transmitted by them. Therefore, whoever opposes the Imamiyyah on the issue of Imamah is at odds with the basis of the religion and the most important of its foundations. It is for this reason they judged as apostates all of those who opposed them regarding Imamah; according to them, such people are contravening the religion’s very foundation. The first example of removing the legal right to appoint an Imam given by the Imamiyyah is the noble and truthful Sahabah. Their belief is that the Sahabah usurped the position of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a position that was originally appointed by Allah.

Based on this, the Imamiyyah regard the Sahabah as the evilest of creation and the first to introduce deviation in the religion. When we know this, it is possible for us to understand the position of the Imamiyyah regarding the Sahabah in terms of narration. They would consider them the first to conceal the ahadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which state the appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu! Ibn Hazm (d. 456 AH) transmits for us the following statement of Hisham ibn al Hakam:


كيف يحسن الظن بالصحابة أن لا يكتموا النص على علي وهم قد اقتتلوا وقتل بعضهم بعضا؟

How can there be a good opinion of the Sahabah (and say) that they did not conceal the text (stating the appointment) of ‘Ali when they fought and killed one another?[4]


The position of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah will become clear through the following (sections).


4.2.1 The opinion of the Imamiyyah on the apostasy of the Sahabah

The Imamiyyah judged the Sahabah to be apostates because of their opposing the belief of Imamah, as they claim. They based the Sahabah’s apostasy on their alleged concealing the mass transmitted texts (i.e., regarding the appointment of ‘Ali as successor). Al Mazandarani (d. 1081 AH) states:



والنصوص في خلافته بلغت حد التواتر معنى وقد سمعها السابقون منهم مشافهة ولم ينص أحد من الأنبياء على وصيه مثل ما نص به نبينا (صلى الله عليه وآله) أو عن بصيرة في الدين فدل على أنهم ارتدوا عن الدين بعد إسلامهم

The texts regarding his Caliphate have reached the level of mass transmission in meaning. The predecessors from them heard of it verbally. None of the Prophets stated his successor as our Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated it, or so deliberately in the religion. This shows that they apostatized from the religion after their Islam.[5]


In al Kafi, al Kulayni (d. 329 AH) stated:


عن حمران بن أعين قال قلت لأبي جعفر (عليه السلام) جعلت فداك ما أقلنا لو اجتمعنا على شاة ما أفنيناها؟ فقال ألا أحدثك بأعجب من ذلك، المهاجرون والأنصار ذهبوا إلا – وأشار بيده – ثلاثة

On the authority of Humran ibn A’yan who said, “I said to Abu Jafar ‘alayh al Salam, ‘May I be sacrificed for your sake. How few are we? If we gathered on a sheep, we would not be able to eat all of it.’

He said, ‘Shall I not inform you of something stranger than that? The Muhajirin and the Ansar all left except—and he indicated with his hand—three.’”[6]


By virtue of another narration in al Kafi, the names of these three are documented along with the inclusion of a few other Companions:


عن أبي جعفر (عليه السلام) قال كان الناس أهل ردة بعد النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) إلا ثلاثة فقلت ومن الثلاثة فقال المقداد بن الأسود وأبو ذر الغفاري وسلمان الفارسي رحمة الله وبركاته عليهم ثم عرف أناس بعد يسير

On the authority of Abu Jafar ‘alayh al Salam who said: “After the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the people became apostates save three.”

I said, “Who are the three?”

He said, “Al Miqdad ibn al Aswad, Abu Dharr al Ghifari, and Salman al Farisi, may the Mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon them. Then, after some time, the people came to know (i.e., that ‘Ali was more rightful to the position of amir than others).”


In explaining who remained and did not apostatize, al Mazandarani stated:


المقداد بن الأسود وأبو ذر الغفاري وسلمان الفارسي كما مر ولا حاجة إلى استثناء أهل البيت كما زعم لأن هلاك الناس بهم وبترك محبتهم فهم غير داخلين في المواضع ولا إلى استثناء من رجع عن الباطل ثانيا لأن المقصود إثبات الهلاك في الجملة وغير الثلاثة ارتدوا بعده وإن رجع قليل منهم فتاب

Al Miqdad ibn al Aswad, Abu Dharr al Ghifari, and Salman al Farisi, as mentioned. There is no need to exclude the Ahlul Bayt, as it is claimed, because the peoples’ ruin was on account of them and abandoning their love (i.e., having love for them). As such, they do not apply in the situations. There is also no need to exclude those who retracted from their false belief. The point (here) is to prove that everyone was ruined save these there; they all apostatized after him, even though some of them retracted and repented.[7]


Even those whose Islam remained intact—as evidenced—were not saved from people having doubts about their religion. Al Kashshi narrated that Abu Jafar stated:


ارتد الناس إلا ثلاثة نفر سلمان وأبو ذر والمقداد قال قلت فعمار قال قد كان حاص حيصة ثم رجع ثم قال إن أردت الذي لم يشك ولم يدخله شيء فالمقداد فأما سلمان فإنه عرض في قلبه عارض أن عند أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) اسم الله الأعظم لو تكلم به لأخذتهم الأرض وهو هكذا فلبب ووجئت عنقه حتى تركت كالسلعة فمر به أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) فقال له يا أبا عبد الله هذا من ذلك بايع فبايع وأما أبو ذر فأمره أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) بالسكوت ولم يكن يأخذه في الله لومة لائم فأبى إلا أن يتكلم فمر به عثمان فأمر به ثم أناب الناس بعد وكان أول من أناب أبو ساسان الأنصاري وأبو عمرة وشتيرة وكانوا سبعة فلم يكن يعرف حق أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) إلا هؤلاء السبعة

“The people apostatized except for three: Salman, Abu Dharr, and al Miqdad.”

I said, “And ‘Ammar?”

He said, “He doubted and then returned.”

Then he said, “If you are referring to the person who never doubted nor did any doubt enter him, then it is al Miqdad. As for Salman, he thought that Amir al Mu’minin had knowledge of al Ism al A’zam (Allah’s Great Name). He was thinking that had Amir al Mu’minin simply mentioned it, the earth would swallow them (i.e., those pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr instead of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. His clothes were tied around his neck (to be dragged) and he was struck such that it left a mark on him. Amir al Mu’minin passed by him and said, ‘O, Abu ‘Abdullah. This is for that (i.e., this is punishment for the negative thought you had). Pledge allegiance to him (i.e., to Abu Bakr).’ And so, he pledged allegiance. As for Abu Dharr, Amir al Mu’minin ordered him to remain silent. In matters of Allah’s religion, he did not fear the blame of the blamers. And so, he refused (i.e., the order) and intended on speaking. ‘Uthman passed by him and ordered to be done to him whatever he ordered. Thereafter, people began turning to the truth. The first of those who began turning to the truth was Abu Sasan al Ansari, Abu ‘Amrah, and Shatirah. They were seven. Only these seven knew the right of Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam.”[8]


Even those who were judged to be Muslim, they too were not free from people doubting their belief. This is why I say that the default position of the Sahabah after the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, according to the Imamiyyah, is apostasy from the religion. The Imami scholar, ‘Ali al Namazi al Shaharudi emphasizes this saying:


مقتضى الأخبار الكثيرة الناطقة بارتداد ما عدا الثلاثة أو الأربعة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم (صلى الله عليه وآله) هو كون الأصل في كل صحابي بقي بعد النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله) ولم يستشهد في زمانه (صلى الله عليه وآله) هو الارتداد، لتقديم غير المنصوص عليه بالولاية على المنصوص عليه أو الفسق بالتقصير في حقه فلا يمكن توثيق غير من استثنى إلا بدليل شرعي

What is necessarily understood from the many reports that speak about the apostasy of everyone save three or four after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is that the default state of every Sahabi that remained alive after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and was not martyred in his time is apostasy. The reason for this is because of giving preference to others who were not appointed by textual evidence for the position of successorship over someone who was appointed by virtue of textual evidence. Or, because of being sinful for neglecting his right. Therefore, it is not possible to make tawthiq of those who were not excluded except with legal evidence.[9]


I am amazed at the statement of al Mamaqani which emphasizes the fact that the default position regarding the Sahabah is apostasy, even though it cannot be proven in the case for an actual Sahabi. He states:


لا يقال أن من شهد بيعة الرضوان كان عدلا فيلزم استصحاب العدالة فيه إلى أن يثبت فسقه وارتداده ومن شك في ارتداده وفسقه فالأصل فيه العدالة

It cannot be said that whoever witnessed the Bay’at al Ridwan (i.e. the Pledge at Hudaybiyyah) has integrity and, as such, this state of integrity is presumed to have continued with him until his transgression and apostasy is proven, and that whoever’s apostasy and transgression is doubted, then the default is ‘adalah.


Thereafter, al Mamaqani continues:


إن أخبارنا قد تواترت بأنه ارتد بعد النبي (ص) جميع الناس بنقض البيعة إلا ثلاثة أو أربعة أو خمسة فمن يثبت توبته بعد ذلك وقوله بخلافة علي بلا فصل نعده حسن الحال، ومن شككنا في توبته فيصحبه الارتداد العام إلى أن يثبت خلافه.”

Our reports are mass transmitted in that everyone after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam apostatized by breaking the allegiance except for three, or four, or five. Thus, whoever’s repentance is established after that as well as his belief in the Caliphate of ‘Ali without any interruption, we regard him as having a good condition. And whoever we doubt regarding their repentance, then the general (state of) apostasy will remain with him until it is proven otherwise.[10]


‘Ali Khan al Madani (d. 1120 AH) states:


فمن علمنا عدالته وإيمانه وحفظه وصية رسول الله في أهل بيته وأنه مات على ذلك كسلمان وأبي ذر وعمار واليناه وتقربنا إلى الله تعالى بحبه ومن علمنا أنه انقلب على عقبه وأظهر العداوة لأهل البيت ع عاديناه لله تعالى وتبرأنا إلى الله منه ونسكت عن المجهولة حاله

Thus, if we know about his ‘adalah, his faith, and the fact that he protected the wasiyyah (bequest) of the Messenger of Allah regarding the family of his house, and he died on that (belief), such as Salman, Abu Dharr, and ‘Ammar, then we sympathize with him and we gain closeness to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala through loving him.[11] And he who we know that turned his back and expressed hatred toward the Ahlul Bayt, we show enmity towards him for the sake of Allah, absolve ourselves from him to Allah, and remain silent about his condition being unknown.[12]


What kind of excessiveness is this! The ruling on the entire generation is that they left the religion, or that they are all transgressors—despite the fact that the occurrence of their transgression is in opposition to the apparent meanings of the narrations that speak about apostasy and leaving the religion. And that this ruling will remain until each one of them can prove they are innocent from it? Al Mamaqani, al Shaharudi, and Khan forgot about all of the sacrifices the Sahabi made throughout his Islam. Based on this, if the Sahabi was on the front line in all of Islam’s wars, was among the first forerunners, witnessed Bay’at al Ridwan, made Hajj and ‘Umrah, travelled, spoke, and prayed with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and witnessed all of this, his default position (despite all of this) is apostasy after the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, even though in reality, his apostasy has not actually been proven?! This is because al Mamaqani, al Shaharudi, and the other Imami scholars were not sure of the veracity of his faith! To such an extent that they did not even presume his default state of iman—which was established with certainty! Rather, they preferred doubt over certainty. We seek refuge with Allah from such grave errors.

People of the Ahlus Sunnah: Do we not then have a similar right to say that the default of all Imami narrators after the death of al Imam Jafar al Sadiq is also apostasy since the view of their majority is that the Imam after Jafar is his son, ‘Abdullah al Aftah, who died a short while after his father? This illustrates to the Imamiyyah the falsity of their belief in the Imamah of ‘Abdullah to the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar. We also say that it is necessary for every narrator to have textual evidence proving his repentance and returning back to the truth because we do not know whether he apostatized or not. And whoever’s repentance we doubt, then the presumption of general apostasy will remain with him until proven otherwise!

These are the words of al Shaharudi and al Mamaqani. We have the right to apply them to every difference of opinion there is between the Imamiyyah at the death of every Imam. Stranger than this is the fact that many of their scholars accept the narrations of the non-Imami Shia, despite their apostasy due to not following the Imam of their time and period. And due to the inexistence of any textual evidence on the ‘adalah of any particular one of them. They do not apply the same standards to those who enjoyed the companionship of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam!

In explaining the different sects affiliated to Islam, Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri (d. 1112 AH), a student of al Majlisi states:


الإمامية قالوا بالنص الجلي على إمامة علي وكفّروا الصحابة ووقعوا فيهم وساقوا الإمامة إلى جعفر الصادق عليه السلام وبعده إلى أولاده المعصومين عليهم السلام ومؤلف هذا الكتاب من هذه الفرقة وهي الناجية إن شاء الله

The Imamiyyah believe in the Imamah of ‘Ali through explicit text. They make takfir of the Sahabah and slander them. They carry Imamah to Jafar al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam and then his infallible children ‘alayhim al Salam after him. The author of this book is from this sect—the successful (sect), Allah willing.[13]


Thus, al Jaza’iri explains to people what his sect is, the one that he boasts about. And he names them “the successful.” The sect to promote the ruling of apostasy on the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! I do not know what type of success the person is speaking about after he ruled that the Companions, the best of creation, as disbelievers!

In Kitab Sulaim ibn Qais, it comes that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:


إن الناس كلهم ارتدوا بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله غير أربعة إن الناس صاروا بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله بمنزلة هارون ومن تبعه ومنزلة العجل ومن تبعه فعلي في شبه هارون وعتيق في شبه العجل وعمر في شبه السامري

Everyone apostatized after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam except four. After the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the people became similar to the position of Harun and those who followed him and the position of the calf and those who followed him. Thus, ‘Ali resembled Harun, ‘Atiq[14] resembled the calf, and ‘Umar resembled al Samiri.[15]


Even the Ansar, those who helped the religion of Allah, were not free from being excommunicated. This is what al Kulayni (d. 329 AH) states:


عن عبد الرحيم القصير قال قلت لأبي جعفر (عليه السلام) إن الناس يفزعون إذا قلنا إن الناس ارتدوا، فقال يا عبد الرحيم إن الناس عادوا بعد ما قبض رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) أهل جاهلية إن الأنصار اعتزلت فلم تعتزل بخير جعلوا يبايعون سعدا وهم يرتجزون ارتجاز الجاهلية يا سعد أنت المرجاء وشعرك المرجل وفحلك المرجم

On the authority of ‘Abdur Rahim al Qusayr who said:

I said to Abu Jafar ‘alayh al Salam, “The people are alarmed when we say that the people all apostatized.”

He said, “O, ‘Abdur Rahim! All the people returned to Jahiliyyah after the demise of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Ansar withdrew but they did not withdraw in goodness. They pledged their allegiance to Sa’d, while singing the poetry of the period of Jahiliyyah, ‘O Sa’d! You are the man of our hopes, your mane is well-groomed and your steed runs hard.’”[16]


Al Mamaqani states:


وجود الفساق والمنافقين في الصحابة بل كثرتهم فيهم وعروض الفسق بل والارتداد لجمع منهم في حياته والآخرين بعد وفاته

The existence of transgressors and hypocrites among the Sahabah. In fact, there were many among them. There were displays of immorality from some of them. In fact, there was also apostasy by some of them in his life and others after his death.[17]


Muhammad al Jawahiri (d. 1266 AH) states:


أن عليا عليه السلام كان يجوز له قتل الجميع إلا خواص شيعته لأن الناس جميعا قد ارتدوا بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله يوم السقيفة إلا أربعة سلمان وأبا ذر والمقداد وعمار ثم رجع بعد ذلك أشخاص والباقون استمروا على كفرهم حتى مضت مدة أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان، فاستولى الكفر عليهم أجمع حتى آل الأمر إليه عليه السلام ولم يكن له طريق إلى إقامة الحق فيهم إلا بضرب بعضهم بعضا وأيهم قتل كان في محله إلا خواص الشيعة الذين لم يتمكن من إقامة الحق بهم خاصة والله العالم

It was permissible for ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam to kill everyone except for the select among his group. This is because everybody apostatized after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the Day of Saqifah except for four: Salman, Abu Dharr, al Miqdad, and ‘Ammar. Thereafter, a few individuals returned back (i.e., to the truth) and the remaining continued in their disbelief until the time of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman passed. Disbelief completely apprehended them until eventually the matter came to him ‘alayh al Salam. He had no way of establishing the truth amongst them except by making them fight one another. Whoever was killed, he was (rightfully killed) in his place, except for select members of the Shia; those with whom he was unable to establish the truth with. And Allah is the Knowledgeable.[18]


With this, it becomes clear to us the reason why there are so few whom the designation of suhbah, or companionship is true for, according to the Imamiyyah. This was because they were so scarce in relation to the entire group of Sahabah. Thus, when al Hilli mentions a Sahabi from among those who lived after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we usually find him doing so with the clause that “he returned back to Amir al Mu’minin.” In other words, he repented after his apostasy, or that “he has a narration proving his virtue.” This is a principle that al Shaharawi mentioned. That is to say that the default position on the Sahabah is apostasy, or fisq (transgression) as long as there is no evidence that removes this description from off of them. This is considering the multitude of narrations which they report. In fact, it is considering the fact that this meaning is mass transmitted according to them.

There are many such examples of this.

Under the biography of Abu Sa’id al Khudri, al Hilli states:


من السابقين الذين رجعوا إلى أمير المؤمنين

From the forerunners who returned to Amir al Mu’minin.[19]


He placed him in the first section.[20]

He stated something similar under the biography of Burayd al Aslami[21], Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al Ansari[22], Khuzaimah ibn Thabit[23], Zaid ibn Arqam[24], ‘Amr ibn al Hamiq[25], ‘Imran ibn al Hussain[26], ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf[27], ‘Ubadat ibn al Samit[28], ‘Adi ibn Hatim[29], Qais ibn Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah[30], and Abu al Haytham ibn al Tayyahan[31]. Al Hilli mentioned all of these Sahabah and stated their returning back to the rank of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. For this reason, he added them to the first section. Despite this, they also collected, at times, evidence proving their praise, or text stating that they did not continue in their apostasy, according to what the Imamiyyah believe.

What emphasizes this is what al Hilli mentioned under the biography of Usamah ibn Zaid:


قال الكشي روى أنه رجع ونهينا أن نقول إلا خيرا في طريقه ضعف ذكرناه في كتابنا الكبير والأولى عندي التوقف عن روايته

Al Kashshi stated, “He narrated that he returned. We have been prohibited to say nothing but good.” In its chain is weakness. We have mentioned him in our book, al Kabir. According to me, it is better to suspend judgement on his narration.[32]


If we deconstruct the doing of al Hilli, we will see him placing him in the first section. Despite this, as he stated above, because al Kashshi’s narration has a weak isnad, it is not proven, according to al Hilli, that he returned to Amir al Mu’minin. Therefore, he suspended judgement on him and did not definitively state he is weak. However, on the whole, he is unsatisfactory in narration, even though he placed him in the first section.

Under the biography of Jundub ibn Junadah Abu Dharr al Ghifari, al Hilli states:


إنه لم يرتد

He did not apostatize.[33]


Under the biography of Hujr ibn ‘Adi, he stated:


من أصحاب أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام

From the companions of Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam.[34]


He stated something similar under the biography of Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman.[35]

Under the biography of Sahl ibn Hunayf, he states:


كبّر عليه أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام خمسا وعشرين تكبيرة في صلاته عليه

Amir al Mu’minin made twenty-five takbirs over him in his salah on him.[36]


And for reasons like these, al Hilli placed these names in the first section. If we were to reflect over them, we would find them revolving around the relationship between ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu and that Sahabi. Either because of companionship he enjoyed with him, or returning to the truth after apostasy, or other such similar reasons. However, when he came to the biography of al ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, he stated:


عم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله سيد من سادات أصحابه وهو من أصحاب علي أيضا

The uncle of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. A leader from the leaders of his companions. He was also from the companions of ‘Ali.[37]


Al Khu’i responded saying:


لا إشكال في إسلام العباس، فلا مانع من التسليم عليه كرامة لرسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) على أنه لم يثبت صدور هذه الزيارة من المعصومين (عليهم السلام) وملخص الكلام أن العباس لم يثبت له مدح ورواية الكافي الواردة في ذمه صحيحة السند ويكفي هذا منقصة له حيث لم يهتم بأمر علي بن أبي طالب (عليه السلام) ولا بأمر الصديقة الطاهرة في قضية فدك معشار ما اهتم به في أمر ميزابه

There is no issue regarding the Islam of al ‘Abbas. As such, there is no impediment to saying salam over him [when visiting the greave of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] out of honour for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, it should be kept in mind that this is not proven from the Infallible Imams ‘alayhim al Salam. In short, there is no praise established in favour of al ‘Abbas. Al Kafi’s narration in criticizing him has an authentic chain. This is sufficient to diminish his status since he did not care much for the affair of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ‘alayh al Salam. And neither the affair of al Siddiqah, the pure, [referring to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha] on the issue of Fadak, even to a tenth of what he was concerned about his own gutter.[38]


Thus, al Hilli relied on the fact that he was from the companions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, al Khu’i was not satisfied with this. He regarded his lack of support for what happened to the Ahlul Bayt, as al Khu’i claims—despite his Islam—as a criticism in his narrations. In fact, al Khu’i regarded this as sufficient for diminishing his status. However, it is safer to submit and remain silent out of honour the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is for this reason that al Mamaqani states something similar to what al Khu’i stated about al ‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


ألف عين لأجل عين تكرم ولو بالسكوت عنه

Because of one eye, a thousand eyes are honoured, even if it is by remaining silent.[39]


Under the biography of ‘Abdullah ibn al ‘Abbas, al Hilli states:


كان محبا لعلي عليه السلام وتلميذه

He was a lover of ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam and his student.[40]


Thus, al Hilli does not accept from the Sahabah except when they return back to ‘Ali, or there is specific textual evidence in his praise, or they died before the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This proves to us what al Shaharudi stated in that the default position on the Sahabah is apostasy, as has already been mentioned.

Al Hilli did not mention many of the Sahabah, especially the seniors among them—all of them are seniors radiya Llahu ‘anhum. In fact, he placed ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud in the second section because, as he claims, was confused.[41]

If someone were to say: What do the Imamiyyah do regarding those whom they do not know their end result, did they apostatize or not?

The answer to this is clear from the statement of al Mamaqani. Under the biography of the great Sahabi, Ya’la ibn Murrah Wahb al Thaqafi, he states:


شهد الحديبية وبايع بيعة الرضوان وشهد خيبر والفتح و هوازن و الطائف وروى رواية في فضل الحسين ولم أعرف عاقبة أمره

He witnessed al Hudaybiyyah, pledged allegiance at Bay’at al Ridwan, and witnessed Khaybar, al Fath, Hawazin, and al Ta’if. He narrated a narration on the virtue of al Hussain. I do not know the end-result of his affair.[42]


Thus, after enlisting all of these sacrifices, efforts, and his narrating virtues of the Ahlul Bayt, despite all of this, al Mamaqani did not know his end-result? Therefore, when he mentioned a summary of his opinion, he stated:


صحابي مجهول

Unknown Sahabi.[43]


Al Mamaqani established a basis for his words saying:


من استشهد من الصحابة في إحدى غزوات النبي (ص) أو سراياه ولم يبق إلى زمان ارتداد من عدا الأربعة أو الثلاثة نبني على إيمانه وحسن حاله

Whoever of the Sahabah was martyred in one of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam battles or expeditions, and he did not remain until the time of apostasy—save the four or three—we build on their iman and uprightness of their condition.[44]


And like this, they emphasize the apostasy of the Sahabah. As for the Imami narrator Humran ibn A’yan, he never apostatized! Al Tusi narrates:


أن أبا جعفر قال لما ذكر حمران بن أعين لا يرتد والله أبدا، ثم أطرق هنيئة ثم قال أجل لا يرتد والله أبدا

Verily Abu Jafar said, when he mentioned Humran ibn A’yan, “He never apostatized, by Allah.”

Then he joyously bowed his head and said, “Yes. By Allah, he never apostatized.”[45]


The reason goes back to, as I mentioned, the belief in apostasy which took place after the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as the Imamiyyah claim. And which had a great affect on the acceptance or rejection of the Sahabah’s narrations.


4.2.2 Companionship with the Prophet does not indicate to virtue, according to the Imamiyyah

After the Imamiyyah regarded apostasy as the default position on the Sahabah, they held the view that a man’s companionship with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam does not indicate towards the virtue of a Sahabi. This is because companionship, or suhbah, did not protect them from apostasy. This opinion, in reality, stems from the view that most Sahabah apostatized.

Al Mamaqani states:


اتفق أصحابنا الإمامية على أن صحبة النبي (ص) بنفسها وبمجردها لا تستلزم عدالة المتصف بها ولا حسن حاله وأن حال الصحابي حال من لم يدرك الصحبة في توقف قبول خبره على ثبوت عدالته أو وثاقته أو حسن حاله ومدحه المعتد به مع إيمانه وخالفنا في ذلك جمهور العامة

Our Imami companions agree that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam companionship itself and it alone neither necessitates integrity of the person described with it nor does it necessitate that he has an upright condition. The condition of a Sahabi is like the condition of a person who did not have companionship in that judgement is suspended on their narration (and is lifted) based on establishing his integrity, or reliability, or uprightness of his condition and acceptable praise of him with his iman. The vast-majority of the ‘Ammah (Ahlus Sunnah) disagree with us on this.[46]


Hisham Al Qatif states:


المصاحبة وحدها لاتدل على فضيلة و شرف يميز صاحبها ويقدمه على الآخرين

Companionship alone is not indicative of virtue and nobility such that it distinguishes such a person and gives him preference over others.[47]


In speaking about Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Jafar Murtada al ‘Amili states:


أما جعله صاحبا للنبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فهو أيضا لا فضيلة فيه لان الصحبة لا تدل على أكثر من المرافقة والاجتماع في مكان واحد… فالصحبة من حيث هي لافضل فيها

As for him making him a companion to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, this too, is not a virtue in his favour. This is because companionship does not prove anything more than association and coming together in one place … Therefore, there is no virtue of companionship, as such.[48]


On the whole, this is the Imamiyyah’s position on the companionship of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Sahabah.



NEXT⇒ 4.3 The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the virtues of the Sahabah and its impact on their narrations

[1] Both narrations have been narrated by al Kulayni in al Kafi, 2/18, Kitab al Iman wa al Kufr, Bab Da’a’im al Islam, hadith no. 1 and 4. There are many similar narrations in the chapter.

[2] Nasir Makarim al Shirazi: al Amthal fi Tafsir Kitab Allah al Munazzal, 1/368-371.

[3] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 11/39, no. 6578. The narration is narrated in al Kafi, 1/199, Kitab al Hujjah, Bab Nadir fi Fadl al Imam wa Sifatihi, hadith no. 1.

[4][4] Ibn Hazm: al Fasl fi al Milal, 4/83. Al Imam al Dhahabi states, “Thus, Allah kept the Rafidah away. How misguided they are, and how strong their inner desires are! How can they acknowledge the virtue of one of them and disregard the rights of the nine and slander them by claiming they concealed the textual evidence of ‘Ali being the Khalifah. By Allah, nothing like that happened. And (they claimed) that they turned the matter away from him, according to their claim, and opposed their Prophet. And that they hastened to pledge allegiance to a man from Banu Taym who (merely) is a business man and earns. Not out of a desire for his wealth and reverence for his family and men. Woe unto you! Would a person with a little bit of intelligence do this? If this was permissible for one, it would not be permissible for a group. If its occurrence was permitted for a group, it would be impossible to occur when the condition is like this where there are thousands of leading Muhajirin, Ansar, cavaliers of the Ummah, and champions of Islam. However, there is no trick to recovering from, it is a chronic disease. And guidance is light that Allah places in the heart of whom He wants. Thus, there is no power save Allah.” (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 1/140). Ibn Taymiyyah states, “The original belief of the Rafidah is that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explicitly stated ‘Ali’s appointment as a deputy, and that he is an infallible Imam. And that whoever opposed him, disbelieved. And that the Muhajirin and Ansar concealed the textual evidence (i.e., stating his Khilafah), disbelieved in the infallible Imam, and followed their desires. They (also) changed the religion and altered the Shari’ah. They oppressed and transgressed. In fact, they disbelieved save a small group, around ten or more. Then they say that Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and their likes remained hypocrites. Some of they say that they initially believed, then disbelieved.” (Majmu’ al Fatawa, 3/356).

[5] Muhammad Salih al Mazandarani: Sharh Usul al Kafi, 5/221.

[6] Al Kulayni: al Kafi, 2/244, Kitab al Kufr wa al Iman, Bab Qillat ‘Adad al Mu’minin, hadith no. 6.

[7] Muhammad Salih al Mazandarani: Sharh Usul al Kafi, 12/348.

[8] Al Tusi: Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al Rijal (Rijal al Tusi), 11/24.

[9] ‘Ali al Namazi al Shaharudi: Mustadrakat ‘Ilm al Rijal (Introduction), 1:67 (no. 6.)

[10] ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 1/216.

[11] How few of them there are!

[12] ‘Ali Khan al Madani: al Darajat al Rafi’ah fi Tabaqat al Shia, p. 11.

[13] Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri: al Anwar al No’maniyyah, 2/244-245.

[14] Like this, they give nicknames to the Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Accordingly, by ‘atiq here, Abu Bakr al Siddiq is meant. The Sahabah have other nicknames. In exposing some of the nicknames of Taqiyyah, al Majlisi states, “On the authority of Abu Basir who said: ‘He will be brought to Jahannam. It has seven doors. The first is for the tyrant. He is Zariq. Its second door is for Habtar. The third door is for the third. The fourth is for Muawiyah. The fifth door is for ‘Abdul Malik. The sixth door is for ‘Askar ibn Hawsar. The seventh is for Abu Salamah. They are the doors for anyone who follows them. (Al Majlisi states:) The explanation: al Zariq is a metaphor for Abu Bakr since the Arabs would regard blue eyes as an evil portent. Al Habtar is ‘Umar. Al Habtar is a fox. Perhaps he was given this nickname because of his plotting and planning. In other narrations, it occurred in the opposite manner—and it is more evident (like this) since al Habtar as the first is more appropriate. It could be meant here as well. And the only reason why the second was preferred is because it is more wretched, harsh, and severe. ‘Askar ibn Hawsar is a metaphor for some of the khalifas of Banu Umayyah and Banu al ‘Abbas. Similarly, Abu Salamah. It is not farfetched that Abu Salamah is a metaphor for Abu Jafar al Dawaniqi. It is possible that ‘Askar is a metaphor for ‘Aisha and all the other people of Jamal since the name of ‘Aisha’s camel was ‘Askar. It is narrated that he was a shaitan.” (al Bihar, 8/301).

[15] Kitab Sulaim Ibn Qais, p. 162.

[16] Al Kulayni: al Kafi, 8/296.

[17] ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 1/213, al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, no. 28.

[18] Muhammad Hassan al Jawahiri: Jawahir al Kalam, 21/347.

[19] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 302, no. 1133.

[20] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 302, no. 1133.

[21] Ibid., p. 82, no. 165. Perhaps what is intended here is Buraydah ibn al Husayb al Aslami, the great Sahabi.

[22] Ibid., p. 93, no. 212.

[23] Ibid., p.139, no. 380.

[24] Ibid., p.148, no. 423.

[25] Ibid., p. 213, no. 698.

[26] Ibid., p. 218, no. 720.

[27] Ibid., p. 220, no. 720.

[28] Ibid., p. 224, no. 747.

[29] Ibid., p.226, no. 754.

[30] Ibid., p. 231, no. 784.

[31] Ibid., p. 302, no. 1134.

[32] Ibid., p. 76, no. 131. The origin of the narration is in al Kashshi, p. 39 no. 81.

[33] Ibid., p. 96, no. 215.

[34] Ibid., p.129, no. 343.

[35] Ibid., p. 131, no. 349.

[36] Ibid., p. 185, no. 461

[37] Ibid., p. 209, no. 676.

[38] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 10/254, no. 6189.

[39] ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 1/81.

[40] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 190, no. 586.

[41] Ibid., p. 369, no. 1455.

[42] ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 3/333.

[43] Ibid., 1/168.

[44] Ibid., 1/215.

[45] Abu Jafar al Tusi: Kitab al Ghaybah, p. 346. no. 296.

[46] ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 1/213, al Fawa’id al Rijaliyyah, no. 28.

[47] Hisham Al Qatif: Wa min al Hiwar Iktashafat al Haqiqah, p. 90.

[48] Jafar Murtada: al Sahih min Sirat al Nabi al A’zam, 4/25.