4.3 The position of the Imamiyyah on the virtues of the Sahabah and the impact of that on their narrations

Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 75 and 76
March 14, 2022
4.4 A comparative analysis between the position of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah and their own reliable narrators from the Imamiyyah
March 17, 2022

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4.3 The position of the Imamiyyah on the virtues of the Sahabah and the impact of that on their narrations

 

After the Imamiyyah ruled all of the Sahabah to be apostates save a few, it is these few that became, in their view, the actual Sahabah. Whoever apostatized are not from the Sahabah, and they represented the vast majority of the Ummah [according to the Shia] at that time. Consequently, they became two groups with no third. The first are the people of faith and goodness. They are the followers of `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. The second are the people of disbelief, transgression, and sin. They are those who did not believe in the doctrine of Imamah, opposed, fought, or, did not support `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. As will be seen, this belief had a major impact on the acceptance or rejection of the Sahabah’s narrations.

After this, many narrations or positions indicating the virtue of one or a group of the Sahabah challenged the position of the Imamiyyah. On account of which such a Sahabi would be considered acceptable in narration. Consequently, they dealt with these narrations in such a manner whereby they would harmonize them with their beliefs, beliefs that preferred the view that the Sahabah possess no `adalah and that their narrations are to be rejected.

Thus, their belief in the apostacy or transgression of the Sahabah became a means to judge these narrations. Either by nullifying and completely rejecting their authenticity, or, by interpreting them in such a manner whereby they contradict the actual intended meanings therefrom and also alter them into something contemptible. There are many such examples of this.

 

4.3.1 Examples of the Imamiyyah denying established virtues of the Sahabah

There are numerous ahadith on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum. Some of them are sahih and others not. However, the Imamiyyah do not regard everything that has been narrated about their virtue as authentic.

Ibn Abi al Hadid (d. 656 AH), the Mu`tazili Shia, explains to us the reality of what is, in their view, referred to as virtues of the Sahabah. He mentions—without an isnad, obviously—that Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

كتب إلى عماله أن الحديث في عثمان قد كثر وفشا في كل مصر وفي كل وجه وناحية فإذا جاءكم كتابي هذا فادعوا الناس إلى الرواية في فضائل الصحابة والخلفاء الأولين ولا تتركوا خبرا يرويه أحد من المسلمين في أبى تراب إلا وتأتوني بمناقض له في الصحابة فان هذا أحب إلي وأقر لعيني وأدحض لحجة أبي تراب وشيعته وأشد عليهم من مناقب عثمان وفضله. فقرئت كتبه على الناس فرويت أخبار كثيرة في مناقب الصحابة مفتعلة لا حقيقة لها وجد الناس في رواية ما يجرى هذا المجرى حتى أشادوا بذكر ذلك على المنابر وألقي إلى معلمي الكتاتيب فعلموا صبيانهم وغلمانهم من ذلك الكثير الواسع حتى رووه وتعلموه كما يتعلمون القرآن وحتى علموه بناتهم ونساءهم وخدمهم وحشمهم فلبثوا بذلك ما شاء الله

Wrote to his governors that the hadith regarding `Uthman have increased and spread in every city, direction, and region. Therefore, when this letter of mine reaches you, call the people to the narrations on the virtues of the Sahabah and the first Khalifas. And do not leave a report transmitted by any of the Muslims regarding Abu Turab except that you bring me something regarding the Sahabah that contradicts it. This is more beloved to me, more pleasing to my eye, it invalidates even more the evidence of Abu Turab and his group, and it is severer on them than merely the virtues and merits of `Uthman. Thus, his letters were read to the people and countless reports were transmitted regarding the virtues of the Sahabah. Reports that were forged, not actual ones. People found these types of narrations to such an extent that they celebrated their mention on the mimbars, and it was given to the teachers of the schools. Then, they taught their children and young ones much of that to such an extent that they narrated and learnt it just as they learnt the Qur’an. And to such an extent that they taught it to their daughters and women, their servants and slaves. They remained like this as Allah willed.[1]

 

The Imamiyyah are of the view that Anas and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu `anhuma were among those who were exploited by the hypocrites and the accursed to invent ahadith. Muhammad Sadiq states:

 

حاولوا بواسطة أناس مثل أبي هريرة وغيره أوعزوا إليهم أن يختلقوا أحاديثا مثل هذا الحديث لكي يمحوا ذلك العار عن جباههم وبعد أن أدى أبو هريرة وظيفته قام أتباع أولئك الملعونين بنشر تلك الأحاديث وضبطها والاستفادة منها لخدمة عقيدتهم وقادتهم

They attempted to, via people such as Abu Hurairah and others, to instruct them to fabricate ahadith like this hadith in order to wipe the shame off their foreheads. After Abu Hurairah completed his task, the followers of those accursed began disseminating those ahadith, recording them, and benefitting from them in order to serve their belief and leaders.[2]

 

After mentioning a number of virtues of Abu Bakr al Siddiq—both authentic and otherwise—Muhammad Tahir al Qummi al Shirazi states:

 

أن هذه أخبار آحاد تفرد المخالف بنقلها وقد بينا في الفاتحة ضعف رواتهم وأن هذه الأحاديث وضعوها في زمن بني أمية والناس كانوا يتقربون إلى ملوكهم بوضع أمثال هذه الأحاديث وكانوا يتتبعون مناقب أهل البيت ويضعون للخلفاء الثلاثة ومعاوية بإزائها

These reports are ahad (singular). The opposition transmitted them. We have explained in the beginning the weakness of their narrators and the fact that these ahadith were fabricated in the time of Banu Umayyah. The people used to gain closeness to their kings by fabricating the likes of these ahadith. They would pursue the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt and fabricate in its opposition ahadith of the three Khalifas and Muawiyah.[3]

 

Speaking about the `adalah of the Sahabah, `Abdul Mun`im Hassan states:

 

هؤلاء الصحابة بأنفسهم يهدمون هذه النظرية من أساسها بأقوالهم و أفعالهم أما ما وضع من فضائل مكذوبة لهم فلا يحتاج أمرها إلى ذكاء خارق لمعرفة ضعفها ووهنها سندا ومتنا

These Sahabah themselves razed this theory from its very foundation by their own words and deeds. As for the lies that were fabricated regarding their virtue, its issue does not require extraordinary intelligence to know they are weak and feeble, both in terms of the sanad and matan.[4]

 

Al Mamaqani states:

احتج المخالفون في تعديل جميع الصحابة بعدة أخبار مجعولة عليها آثار الجعل

The opposition use a number of made-up reports to prove the `adalah of all the Sahabah. These reports have signs of being made-up.[5]

 

Thereafter, he cited several narrations, some of which are authentic and agreed-upon, and others not like that. Despite this, he regarded all of the ahadith as lies!

The Imamiyyah explain that the source of Abu Bakr’s virtues—which have no basis in their view—is his daughter, Aisha al Siddiqah radiya Llahu `anha, the daughter of al Siddiq!

Describing Umm al Mu’minin, `Ali al Milani states:

 

تدعي لأبيها ولنفسها ما لا أصل له

She claims for her father and herself that which there is no basis for.[6]

 

Muhammad al Tijani emphasizes this opinion and even adds Ibn `Umar among those who fabricated ahadith. He states:

 

فضائل أبي بكر المذكورة في الكتب التاريخية مروية إما عن ابنته عائشة وقد عرفنا موقفها من الإمام علي فهي تحاول بكل جهدها دعم أبيها ولو بأحاديث موضوعة أو عن عبد الله بن عمر وهو أيضا من البعيدين عن الإمام علي

The virtues of Abu Bakr mentioned in the books of history are either narrated by his daughter, Aisha—whose position on al Imam `Ali we already know. She tries her best to support her father, even if it be with fabricated ahadith. Or, they are narrated by `Abdullah ibn `Umar. He too, is among those who are far from al Imam `Ali.[7]

 

Al Nuri al Tustari (d. 1019 AH) states:

 

فمع ظهور عداوتها لأمير المؤمنين وكذبها عند الشيعة اتهامها بجر النفع والفخر لأبيها ولنفسها في خصوص هذه الرواية

Together with her visible hostility towards Amir al Mu’minin and her lying to the Shia, she is (also) suspected in this particular narration of drawing benefit and glory to her and her father.[8]

 

`Uthman ibn `Affan radiya Llahu `anhu was also not safe from being accused. Let us consider the position. Al Bukhari (d. 256 AH) narrates:

 

عن عثمان بن موهب قال جاء رجل من أهل مصر وحج البيت فرأى قوما جلوسا فقال من هؤلاء القوم فقالوا هؤلاء قريش قال فمن الشيخ فيهم قالوا عبد الله بن عمر قال يا ابن عمر إني سائلك عن شيء فحدثني هل تعلم أن عثمان فر يوم أحد قال نعم فقال تعلم أنه تغيب عن بدر ولم يشهد قال نعم قال تعلم أنه تغيب عن بيعة الرضوان فلم يشهدها قال نعم قال الله أكبر قال ابن عمر تعال أبين لك أما فراره يوم أحد فأشهد أن الله عفا عنه وغفر له وأما تغيبه عن بدر فإنه كانت تحته بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وكانت مريضة فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إن لك أجر رجل ممن شهد بدرا وسهمه وأما تغيبه عن بيعة الرضوان فلو كان أحد أعز ببطن مكة من عثمان لبعثه مكانه فبعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عثمان وكانت بيعة الرضوان بعد ما ذهب عثمان إلى مكة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيده اليمنى هذه يد عثمان. فضرب بها على يده فقال هذه لعثمان فقال له ابن عمر اذهب بها الآن معك

On the authority of `Uthman ibn Mawhim:

An Egyptian who came and performed Hajj of the Ka`bah saw some people sitting. He enquired, “Who are these people?”

Somebody said, “They are the tribe of Quraysh.”

He said, “Who is the old man sitting amongst them?”

The people replied, “He is `Abdullah ibn `Umar.”

He said, “O, Ibn `Umar. I want to ask you about something. Please tell me about it. Do you know that `Uthman fled away on the day (of the Battle) of Uhud?”

Ibn `Umar said, “Yes.”

The (Egyptian) man said, “Do you know that `Uthman was absent on the day (of the Battle) of Badr and did not join?”

Ibn `Umar said, “Yes.”

The man said, “Do you know that he failed to attend the Pledge of al Ridwan and did not witness it (i.e., Hudaybiyyah)?”

Ibn `Umar said, “Yes.”

The man said, “Allahu Akbar!”

Ibn `Umar said, “Let me explain to you (all of these three things). As for his fleeing on the Day of Uhud, I testify that Allah has excused him and has forgiven him. As for his absence from the Battle of Badr, it was due to the fact that the daughter of Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was his wife and she was sick then. Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said to him, ‘You will receive the same reward and share (of the booty) as anyone of those who participated in the Battle of Badr (if you stay with her).’ As for his absence from the Pledge of al Ridwan, had there been any person in Makkah more respectable than `Uthman ibn `Affan (to be sent as a representative), Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would have sent him instead. And so, Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam sent `Uthman. And the incident of the Pledge of al Ridwan happened after `Uthman had gone to Makkah. Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam held out his right hand saying, ‘This is `Uthman’s hand.’ He stroked his (other) hand with it saying, ‘This (pledge of allegiance) is on behalf of `Uthman.’ Then Ibn `Umar said to the man, ‘Bear (these) excuses in mind with you.’”[9]

 

Let us think about al Amini’s commentary on this narration. He states:

 

ألا تعجب من هذه الأعذار المفتعلة الباردة  وقد خفيت على الصحابة يوم بدر البالغ جمعهم ثلاثمائة وأربعة عشر رجلا وعلى الذين بايعوا تحت الشجرة و كانوا ألفا و أربعمائة أو أكثر لم يعلم بها إلا رجلين أحدهما ابن عمر الذي كان يوم بدر و أحد صبيا لم يبلغ الحلم وقد استصغره رسول الله في اليومين وكان له يوم بيعة الرضوان ست عشر سنة وثانيهما نفس عثمان الغائب عن هاتيك المواقف فالرواية مدبرة بين اثنين بين صبي وغايب

Are you not amazed by these cold, fabricated excuses, which were hidden from the 314 Sahabah on the Day of Badr, and (also) from the 1400 or more who pledged allegiance under the tree? Only two men knew of such excuses, one of them being Ibn `Umar who was only a young boy who never reached adulthood on the Day of Badr and Uhud. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam considered him too young (to join) on these two days. On the Day of the Pledge of Ridwan, he was sixteen years old. The second was the same `Uthman who was absent from these circumstances. Thus, the narration revolves around two people: a young boy and an absent person.[10]

 

The strange thing regarding al Amini’s behaviour with this narration is the fact that he did away with all of the principles of hadith and he obstinately attempted to invalidate the narration with excuses, all of which contain oddities. Let us critically analyze al Amini’s statements.

Al Amini’s statement: “(one of them being) Ibn `Umar who was only a young boy who never reached adulthood on the Day of Badr and Uhud. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam considered him too young (to join the battle) on these two days. On the Day of the Pledge of Ridwan, he was sixteen years old.”

What does al Amini condemn?

Firstly, we ask regarding `Uthman ibn `Affan’s fleeing the Battle of Uhud: Is this something specific to him, or did other Sahabah do the same?

Can al Amini specifically list those who fled from those who did not flee in order to make this a defect in so-and-so and not others? Also, what is the evidence for the Sahabah whom the Imamiyyah are pleased with of going out (in the Battle of Uhud) in relation to this proof?

Let us assume that fleeing impaired his credibility. Did Allah not forgive him and other Sahabah with His words:

 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوۡاْ مِنكُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡتَقَى ٱلۡجَمۡعَانِ إِنَّمَا ٱسۡتَزَلَّهُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ بِبَعۡضِ مَا كَسَبُواْۖ وَلَقَدۡ عَفَا ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهُمۡۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٞ

Indeed, those of you who turned back on the day the two armies met (at Uhud) – it was Satan who caused them to slip because of some (blame) they had earned. But Allah has already forgiven them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.[11]

 

Is this verse that clearly indicates forgiveness of the one who slipped on the Day of Uhud also from the lies of the young boy and the absent person?!

Secondly, al Amini’s disapproval of the fact that Ibn `Umar was a young boy on the Day of Uhud does not hold much weight. Al Amini himself acknowledged that Ibn `Umar was sixteen years old on the Day of the Pledge of Ridwan. If we were to ask: What was the age of this young boy when the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam returned him back on in the Battle of Uhud? Here is where it becomes problematic for al Amini and those who support him. Ibn `Umar was fourteen years old at the time. Al Bukhari narrates on the authority of `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu that “Ibn `Umar was presented to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam on the Day of Uhud and he was fourteen years old. He did not give him permission.” Thus, we say to al Amini: Is the narration of someone who reached sixteen years of age acceptable?! There is no doubt that the answer will be in the affirmative, unless his criticism as in relation to the person of Ibn `Umar and not his age—which is obviously the case—; however, he has to resort to creating doubts and concealing the truth.

Thirdly, al Amini’s statement, “Only two men knew of such excuses.” We ask him: Who stated that the story was only known by `Uthman and Ibn `Umar, where did this conclusion come from? The basis for this story is a conversation between Ibn `Umar and a man of provocation. There is no evidence to be found that mentions the story was unknown by everyone except for `Uthman and Ibn `Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma.

Based on al Amini’s rational, we can impose on him the argument that every story that is narrated by one person—and he is reliable—and no one else shares in narrating the story, then we can judge it to also be false. Nobody will say this. In fact, the narration that changed all the narrations that criticize Zurarah into Taqiyyah is the narration of his son! His children narrate it on the authority of the son. And no one in the Ummah knew of it except via the family of Zurarah!

Do we not have the right to say, as per the logic of al Amini, that the narration is rejected because in its chain is the son of Zurarah and he has no one to share in its narration?

And like this, the entire Ummah is made into liars. The Ummah that lived with the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and fought alongside him, and yet there remains nothing of their virtues except for lies or what is doubtful!

 

3.2 The Imamiyyah belying the Sahabah and describing them as liars

The Imamiyyah believe that the greatest lie against Allah and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam is the opinion that states the selection of other than `Ali ibn Abi Talib after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. And after they believed that the vast-majority of Sahabah believed in this lie, it was massively-transmitted after that that their scholars openly declared belying the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, especially those who narrate the most among them[12]. Some of their belying the Sahabah has already been mentioned. Here, I will also add the statement of al Majlisi about Aisha radiya Llahu `anha:

 

امرأة لم تثبت لها العصمة بالاتفاق وتوثيقها محل الخلاف بيننا وبين المخالفين وسيأتي في أخبارنا من ذمها و القدح فيها و أنها كانت ممن يكذب على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله

A lady whose infallibility is not established by consensus. Her tawthiq is a mater of dispute between us and the opposition. Later on (in the book), our reports will show criticism and disapproval of her, and that she was among those who lied against the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.[13]

 

To give credit to this opinion, the Imamiyyah attributed this to al Imam Jafar al Sadiq (d. 381 AH). He states in al Khisal:

 

حدثنا محمد بن إبراهيم بن إسحاق الطالقاني رضي الله عنه قال حدثنا عبد العزيز بن يحيى قال حدثني محمد بن زكريا قال حدثنا جعفر بن محمد بن عمارة عن أبيه قال سمعت جعفر بن محمد عليهما السلام يقول ثلاثة كانوا يكذبون على رسول الله أبو هريرة وأنس بن مالك، وامرأة

Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al Talqani narrated to us — `Abdul `Aziz ibn Yahya narrated to us — Muhammad ibn Zakariyya narrated to me — Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn `Ammarah narrated to us — from his father who said: “I heard Jafar ibn Muhammad `alayh al Salam say:

‘Three (people) would lie against the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam: Abu Hurairah, Anas ibn Malik, and a woman[14].’”[15]

 

The strange thing is that when al Khu’i came to the biographies of both Anas ibn Malik[16] and Abu Hurairah[17], he mentioned this narration as a proof to show that Anas and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu `anhuma were from the liars whose narrations are not acceptable. However, al Khu’i did not discuss the narration’s isnad, as is his practice with senior narrators of the Imamiyyah who have been criticized. He let it go as if it is was to be presumed as acceptable. In the isnad is someone who al Khu’i criticized. For example, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al Talqani. Regarding him, al Khu’i states:

 

وثاقته لم تثبت وليس في ترضي الصدوق عليه دلالة على الحسن، فضلا عن المدح

His reliability is not proven. Al Saduq being pleased with him is not an indication of his uprightness, let alone praise.[18]

 

This indicates a methodological defect in al Khu’i’s reasoning in dealing with narrators in problematic narrations. This is because, on the one hand, he uses every means to make tad`if of any narration that criticizes Zurarah[19], Yunus ibn `Abdur Rahman[20], or others from the Imami narrators, yet, on the other hand, when a narration criticizes the Sahabah, he lets it go and infers from it without any suggesting his opinion on its isnad!

Describing Aisha and the ahadith she narrates, Ghalib al Silawi states:

 

هذا لا يدل على الأعلمية بل كانت تكذب على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

This does not indicate towards (her) knowledgeability; rather, she would lie against the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.[21]

 

`Abdul Samad Shakir states:

 

إن عائشة تكذب و لا ترى حتى في كذبها على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حرجا وتضل حفصة و سودة وصفية وتشوقهن إلى الكذب فيكذبن و الكذب من المحرمات على أن الكاذب لا تقبل روايته

Aisha lies and she does not see it as a problem, even if it is against the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. She led astray Hafsah, Saudah, Safiyyah and lured them into lying. And so, they would (all) lie. And lying is from the prohibited acts. Besides, the liar’s narration is not accepted.[22]

 

This is the nature of their scholars with the house of the Prophet’s salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam family. In fact, Muhammad al Namazi al Shaharudi, the author of Mustadrakat `Ilm al Rijal, would not even mention Aisha radiya Llahu `anha by name; rather, he referred to her as the ‘Khati’ah (Sinner).’ Like his statement about Suhayb al Rumi:

 

أن الخاطئة أرسلته …

The Khati’ah (Sinner) sent it…[23]

 

And his statement about `Abdullah ibn Abi Khalaf al Jumahi:

 

قتل لعينا يوم الجمل وكان من أتباع الخاطئة

He was killed cursed on the Day of the Camel. He was from the followers of the Khati’ah (Sinner).[24]

 

And his statement about `Abdullah ibn Abi `Uthman ibn al Akhnas:

 

ملعون من جند الخاطئة

Cursed. From the army of the Khati’ah.[25]

 

The Imamiyyah have a similar position on Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu `anhu. Accordingly, al Hilli did not include him in his book. We have already seen some of this. Here, I add the statement of al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) about him. He begins his biography with:

 

أبو هريرة المعروف الكذاب

Abu Hurairah, the well-known liar.[26]

 

Similarly, `Abdullah ibn `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu was not safe from criticism. Therefore, al Hilli did not even mention him in al Khulasah. When al Khu’i came to his biography, he transmitted the following narration of al Kashshi:

 

عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال ألا أخبركم بأهل الوقوف؟ قلنا بلى قال أسامة بن زيد وقد رجع فلا تقولوا إلا خيرا ومحمد بن مسلمة و ابن عمر مات منكوثا

On the authority of Abu Jafar `alayh al Salam who said, “Shall I not inform you of the people of wuquf (i.e., the people that paused in pledging allegiance to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu)?”

We said, “Of course.”

He said, “Usamah ibn Zaid; he returned (i.e., to the truth). Therefore, do not say anything (about him) except for good. And Muhammad ibn Maslamah. Ibn `Umar died in disgrace.”[27]

 

Al Khu’i transmitted the narration and let it go as if it was presumed to be acceptable since the apparent meaning of it is a criticism of Ibn `Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma. However, when he wanted to make tawthiq of Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu `anhu, he mentioned it and explained that it is weak and disconnected.[28] Why did he not explain its condition when he inferred from it here? This proves the methodology of al Khu’i: authentication or rejection of narrations is based on his perceived benefit of the situation, nothing else.

Al Tustari attacked Ibn `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu at length. He described him as someone who does not follow Qur’an and the Sunnah, but rather, following his father.[29]

 

3.3 The Imamiyyah altering the virtues of the Sahabah into vices

Many of the Sahabah had praises and virtues mentioned about them that the Imami scholars did not let pass without expressing their opinion on them. This was done while explaining them in light of their ideological background that considers the Sahabah to be apostates. There are many such examples of this.

Commenting on a statement of one of the predecessors, al Burujirdi (d. 1313 AH) states:

 

ما سبقكم أبو بكر بصوم ولا صلاة ولكن بشيءٍ وقر في نفسه

Abu Bakr did not precede you with fasting and prayer; rather, with something that was settled inside of him.

 

Thinking it to be a hadith, al Burujirdi stated:

 

ومراده صلى الله عليه وآله هو حب الرئاسة التي صار مفتونا به ويزعم أتباعه الرعاع أن المراد به الخلوص والاعتقاد بالله ورسوله

What he salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam intended is (Abu Bakr’s) love of leadership that he became infatuated with. His hooligan followers claim that the meaning of his words is sincerity and belief in Allah and His Messenger.[30]

 

With what evidence did he change this clear text of admiration and praise to a criticism of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu? There is no evidence except that he commented on the hadith from the position of his belief in the apostasy of the Sahabah and, as such, converting their good deeds into despicable ones.

Another example comes from Muhammad Tahir al Qummi who used the following to prove that falsify Abu Bakr’s caliphate by claiming that he is a tyrant. According to him, even if he repented from his tyranny, he is still a tyrant! He states:

 

ومن ظلم الأول المنافي لإمامته أنه كان مشركا يعبد الأصنام والشرك أعظم الظلم ولفظة (الظالمين) عام يشمل جميع من ظلم سواء تاب بعده أو لم يتب

And from the tyranny of the first one to reject his Imamah is that he was a polytheist that worshipped idols. Polytheism is greater than tyranny. The word ‘tyrants’ is a general term that includes everyone who tyrannizes, whether he repented thereafter or not.[31]

 

Thus, the repentance of Abu Bakr al Siddiq is supposed to be a virtue for him. Through it, the ruling of tyranny is annulled–assuming that he used to worship idols before his Islam. This is because Islam erases whatever came before it. Despite this, the repentance of al Siddiq—which is regarded as being from his virtues—did not erase, in the Imamiyyah’s view, the characteristic of tyranny since it is inseparable from him. This is how the positions of the Imamiyyah towards the Sahabah are rooted, even if they contradict the clear texts of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the simplest of rational principles. Can it be said that Salman the Persian, the devout believer, was unjust throughout his life, even after his conversion to Islam, since he was a Magian and then a Christian? Who would say this?

This is another picture that explains how the scholars of the Imamiyyah dealt with what is normally understood as virtue and bravery of the Sahabah. Muhammad Tahir al Qummi states:

 

والعجب كل العجب أن أهل السنة عدوا من فضائل عمر أنه قال حين أسلم لا نعبد الله سراً بعد هذا اليوم ولعمري لو كانوا يطلعون على ما ذكرناه لجحدوه وكتموه لكن الله قد أعمى قلوبهم وختم على سمعهم كما قال تعالى

أَمۡ تَحۡسَبُ أَنَّ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ يَسۡمَعُونَ أَوۡ يَعۡقِلُونَۚ إِنۡ هُمۡ إِلَّا كَٱلۡأَنۡعَٰمِ بَلۡ هُمۡ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا

ومما يدل أيضا على أن إسلام عمر وقوله لا نعبد الله سرا كان على سبيل المخادعة أنه لم يكن من أهل الشجاعة وعظم القدر ومن الرؤساء المطاعين في قريش والعرب فلا وجه لمنعه عبادة الله سرا إلا ما ذكرناه من المخادعة ونقض ما أبرم الرسول صلى الله عليه وآله

The strangest thing is that the Ahlus Sunnah regard from among the virtues of `Umar the following statement of `Umar when he became Muslim, “We will not worship Allah in secret after this day.” By my life, if they only knew what we mentioned, they would deny it and conceal it. However, Allah has blinded their hearts and sealed their hearing. As Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala states, “Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except like livestock. Rather, they are (even) more astray in (their) way” (al Furqan: 44).

What also proves that the Islam of `Umar and his statement, “We will not worship Allah in secret.” was a hoax is that he was not from the people of bravery nor of high-standing, nor from the obeyed chiefs from the Quraysh and the Arabs. Therefore, there is no real benefit in his refusal to worship Allah in secret except for what we have mentioned of it being a hoax and a violation of what the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam concluded.[32]

 

If this report[33] is authentic, and we were to critically analyze the words of al Qummi, we would find him turning what is to be understood as a virtue, an act of bravery, and an open proclamation of the truth, into a hoax and an act of timidity! In doing so, he is attempting to question the intention (of `Umar) and claim knowledge of the innermost parts of the souls. This is something that is impossible to have knowledge of and it can never be subjected to a fair, academic analysis.

If a scholar were to reflect on the reason the Imami scholars criticized Suhayb al Rumi radiya Llahu `anhu, he will see something strange. Al Khu’i regarded the reason for his criticism a narration which contains:

 

أن صهيبا كان عبد سوء يبكي على عمر

Suhayb was an evil slave. He cried over `Umar.[34]

 

Al Hilli mentioned the same narration in al Khulasah under the biography of Bilal ibn Abi Rabah[35] radiya Llahu `anhu. Perhaps this is the main reason for not mentioning Suhayb al Rumi in the book, al Khulasah—despite the fact that Suhayb’s crying and sadness is regarded as a virtue for him according to all the Muslims.

The worst of what a person will come across is the book written by one of the senior Imami scholars. His name is `Abdur Rahman Ahmed al Bakri. He practices the most repulsive form of Taqiyyah. He titled the book “From the Life of the Khalifah `Umar ibn al Khattab” and depicts himself as a member of the Ahlus Sunnah in the introduction. Then he begins criticizing `Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu `anhu in a very disgusting manner. He justifies the criticism by saying it is found in the books of history! Of the things he regards as a criticism against `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu is what Ibn Sa`d narrated in al Tabaqat:

 

عن سالم بن عبد الله أن عمر بن الخطاب كان يدخل يده في دبرة البعير ويقول إني لخائف أن أسأل عما بك

On the authority of Salim ibn `Abdullah: `Umar ibn al Khattab used to insert his hand into the injured area (dabarah) of the camel and say, “Verily, I fear that I will be questioned about what has happened to you.”[36]

 

What did he intend with this narration?

The picture might become clearer when we narrate what the editor of Bihar al Anwar mentioned. He states:

 

نود أن نختم بحثنا هذا ببعض الكلمات المأثورة عن خليفة القوم

We wish to end this discussion of ours with some words transmitted from the Khalifah of the people.[37]

 

The Imami scholars regard this as an act of homosexuality by `Umar ibn al Khattab (we seek Allah’s protection from this statement) since, according to their claim, he placed his hand into the backside (dubur) of the camel and he was happy about it (we seek Allah’s protection from this statement). This is what they intended, and this is what I heard from them! If this is not the case, how did this become something that diminishes his status radiya Llahu `anhu?

The reality of the matter is that the narration Ibn Sa`d mentioned contains the word ‘dabarah,’ not ‘dubur.’ Going back to the dictionaries, we find that the former word is different to the latter. The former, as mentioned by al Zubaidi is as follows:

 

الدَّبَرَة: بالتَّحْرِيكِ: قَرْحَةُ الدَّابَّةِ والبَعِيرِ

Al Dabarah: the ulcer of an animal and camel.[38]

 

Therefore, they are ulcers that appear on the rear of the camel. Bird and crows peck at it causing it to bleed. It is among the well-known illnesses among the Arabs that affects the rear of a camel or animal. Ibn Manzur states, “A she-camel pressed, or squeezed, and having her flesh bruised by her load. A camel oppressed by the weight of a load, and squeezed; having his back or side by a heavy load, or bruised so that it is swollen, and galled; having his side squeezed by a heavy load so that a disease has been the consequence, which has disordered his lungs.”[39]

Here, we ask: What is wrong with `Umar placing his hand into the ulcer of the camel? How did this diminish his status!

This was from his humility, may Allah be pleased with him. Despite being the chief Khalifah of the Muslims, he would cure their camels by himself from these ulcers that would afflict them. He would tend to them himself while remembering Allah saying, “Verily, I fear that I will be questioned about what has happened to you.” May Allah have mercy on `Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu `anhu.

The thing that led these people so far away from the truth is both jealously of the great leaders of Islam radiya Llahu `anhum, and sheer ignorance of the Arabic language. If it is not because of a lack of knowledge of the language, then it is not far fetched that it was done with ill-intentions. May Allah grant us `afiyah (well-being).

From the examples of turning virtues into vice is what al Tustari (d. 1401 AH) commented on the virtue of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu `anhu. Al Bukhari (d. 256 AH) narrates on the authority of Anas radiya Llahu `anhu:

 

دخل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على أم سليم فأتته بتمر وسمن قال أعيدوا سمنكم في سقائه وتمركم في وعائه فإني صائم ثم قام إلى ناحية من البيت فصلى غير المكتوبة فدعا لأم سليم وأهل بيتها فقالت أم سليم يا رسول الله إن لي خويصة قال ما هي؟ قالت خادمك أنس فما ترك خير آخرة ولا دنيا إلا دعا لي به قال اللهم ارزقه مالا وولدا وبارك له فإني لمن أكثر الأنصار مالا وحدثتني ابنتي أمينة أنه دفن لصلبي مقدم حجاج البصرة بضع وعشرون ومائة

The Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam paid a visit to Umm Sulaim and she placed before him dates and clarified butter. The Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Return the clarified butter and dates to their respective containers for I am fasting.”

Then he stood somewhere in her house and offered an optional prayer and then he supplicated for Umm Sulaim and the members of her family. Then Umm Sulaim said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam! I have a special request (today).”

He said, “What is it?”

She replied, “(Please supplicate for) your servant, Anas.”

(Anas radiya Llahu `anhu narrates:) So, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam did not leave out any good of the world or the Hereafter except that he supplicated for it to Allah for me and said, ‘O Allah! Give him (i.e., Anas) wealth and children. And bless him.’ (Because of this supplication,) I am one of the richest of the Ansar. My daughter, Umaynah told me that when al Hajjaj came to Basrah, more than one hundred and twenty of my offspring had been buried.[40]

 

What is understood from this hadith is that the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam supplicated for Anas ibn Malik’s radiya Llahu `anhu goodness and Allah accepted the supplication of His Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Subsequently, Anas radiya Llahu `anhu was blessed in his wealth and children. This proves the love the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam had for Anas and his high-status with him salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. However, the Imami scholar, al Tustari, has another opinion. Let us see how he interprets the hadith. He states:

هذا الدعاء لم يكن له بل عليه فإنه – صلى الله عليه و آله – دعا لمن أعطاه من لبن غنمه بالرزق والكفاف ولمن منعه بالمال الكثير وقد قال تعالى فَلَا تُعۡجِبۡكَ أَمۡوَٰلُهُمۡ وَلَآ أَوۡلَٰدُهُمۡۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُم بِهَا فِي ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَتَزۡهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمۡ وَهُمۡ

 

كَٰفِرُونَ

This is not a supplication for him; rather, it is against him. This is because the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam supplicated for sustenance and for the right amount thereof for the one whom he gave milk from his sheep. And he (also) supplicated for the one who prevented him from having a lot of wealth. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala states:

“So let not their wealth or their children impress you. Allah only intends to punish them through them in worldly life and that their souls should depart (at death) while they are disbelievers.”[41][42]

 

This is a very strange and arbitrary course in turning something that is praiseworthy into a criticism. What did Anas radiya Llahu `anhu keep away from the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam for al Tustari to say, “And he (also) supplicated for the one who prevented him from having a lot of wealth”?!

In the hadith, Umm Sulaim radiya Llahu `anha presented dates and clarified butter to the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. This is a great display of hospitality. However, he salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was fasting. And so, he consoled her by offering salah in her house and supplicating for her and her family so that he could “return the favour” in a most beautiful manner and not have to break his fast. How can it be a criticism when he salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam supplicated for barakah with his words, And bless him.” Is al Tustari saying that a supplication for barakah is a criticism (against Anas radiya Llahu `anhu)? How did this praiseworthy act that Allah and His Messenger honoured Umm Sulaim radiya Llahu `anha and her son, Anas radiya Llahu `anhu, turn into something that diminishes his status? This is due to the ideological background of al Tustari that declares the Sahabah to be disbelievers.

Here, I have the right to ask al Tustari and those who agree with him: Did al Kashshi not narrate that the infallible Imam said to Bishr ibn Tarkhan:

 

أنمى الله ولدك وكثر مالك

May Allah increase your offspring and grant you abundant wealth.[43]

 

Al Tustari himself mentioned this narration under the biography of Bishr ibn Tarkhan in the same volume![44] He did not say what he said about Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu `anhu, “This is not a supplication for him; rather, it is against him. This is because the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam supplicated for sustenance and for the right amount thereof for the one whom he gave milk from his sheep. And he (also) supplicated for the one who prevented him from having a lot of wealth. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala states, “So let not their wealth or their children impress you. Allah only intends to punish them through them in worldly life and that their souls should depart (at death) while they are disbelievers.”

Why did this same supplication become something praiseworthy here and a form of criticism for Anas?

This is a clear contradiction in their dealing with the infallibles, according to them, and the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. The reason for this goes back to their interpretation of texts and judging the Sahabah through their preconceived notions of disbelief and hypocrisy, and arbitrarily interpreting texts contrary to their apparent meanings. All of this in order for it to be in line with their beliefs. We seek Allah’s protection.

 

NEXT⇒ 4.4 A comparative analysis between the position of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah and their own reliable narrators from the Imamiyyah


[1] Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 11/45. `Abdul Hadi al Fadli transmitted this in his work, Usul al Hadith, p. 137.

[2] Muhammad Sadiq al Najmi: Adwa’ `ala al Sahihayn, p. 254.

[3] Muhammad Tahir al Qummi al Shirazi: Kitab al Arba`in fi Imamat al A’immah al Tahirin, p. 507.

[4] `Abdul Mun`im Hassan: Bi Nur Fatimah Ihtadayt, p. 154.

[5] `Abdullah al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal, 1/214, no. 28.

[6] `Ali al Milani: Risalah fi Salat Abi Bakr, p. 44.

[7] Muhammad al Tijani: Thumma Ihtadayt, p. 168.

[8] Nur Allah al Tustari: Ihqaq al Haqq, p. 217. Similarly, he is referred to as Nur Allah al Shushtari. As mentioned by al Hurr al `Amili in Amal al ’Amal (2/336), he was killed in India because of writing this book. It is said that he died because he lied to the ruler of India when he claimed to follow the Shafi`i school and not be an Imami. Despite the fact that, at that time, the ruler did not differentiate between a Sunni and a Shia; rather, he would deal with them equally. And so, he got upset because he knew that Nur al Tustari lied to him. Consequently, he lashed him five times and subsequently died from the injuries he sustained. It is also said that he died for other reasons. See: Fayd al Ilah fi Tarjamat al Qadi Nur Allah of Jalal al Din al Hussaini, p. 29.

[9] Sahih al Bukhari,Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah – Bab Manaqib `Uthman”.

[10] Al Amini: al Ghadir, 10/71, “Akhbar Ibn `Umar fi al Manaqib”.

[11] Surah Al `Imran: 155.

[12] Ibn Kathir (d. 774 AH) transmitted on the authority of al Imam Ahmed that he said, “The Companions who narrated the most are six: Anas, Jabir, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, Abu Hurairah, and Aisha” (Ikhtisar `Ulum al Hadith; as mentioned in al Ba`ith al Hathith, p. 27 of Ahmed Shakir, the commentary of Ikhtisar `Ulum al Hadith.

[13] Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar, 28/149.

[14] In explaining who the intended woman is, al Majlisi states, “I.e., Aisha” (Bihar al Anwar, 2/217).

[15] P. 190. In the narration’s isnad is “Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn `Ammarah from his father.” I could not find a biography for this Jafar. However, al Shaharudi states in Mustadrakat `Ilm al Rijal (2/209), “They did not mention him.” This proves that there is no stated opinion of this individual in the Imamiyyah’s dictionaries of narrator criticism from the likes of al Khu’i, al Mamaqani, and al Ardabili. Based on this, the narration cannot be acceptable because of his condition being unknown. Also, in the isnad appears “from his father.” He is Muhammad ibn `Ammarah. Al Shaharudi states, “They did not mention him” (7/254). Which fair-minded person would infer from a narration such as this?

[16] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 4/149, no. 1566.

[17] Ibid., 11:79 (no. 6643).

[18] Ibid., 15:231 (no. 9961).

[19] Ibid., 8/225, no. 4671.

[20] Ibid., 21/209, no. 13863.

[21] Ghalib al Silawi: al Anwar al Sati`ah min al Gharra’ al Tahirah Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid, p. 216.

[22] `Abdul Samad Shakir: Nazarah `Abirah ila al Sihah al Sittah, p. 156.

[23] Mustadrakat `Ilm al Rijal, 4/271.

[24] Ibid., 4/468.

[25] Ibid., 4/468.

[26] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 11/553, no. 976.

[27] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 11/286, no. 7036. See: Rijal al Kashshi, p. 39, no. 81. In another narration, the word is ‘maknunan,’ meaning ‘(he died) on a path other than correct one because he did not return back to `Ali ibn Abi Talib.’

[28] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 3/184, no. 1091.

[29] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 6/538, no. 4448.

[30] `Ali al Burujirdi: Tara’if al Maqal, 2/600.

[31] Muhammad Tahir al Qummi al Shirazia: Kitab al Arba`in fi Imamat al A’immah al Tahirin, p. 510.

[32] Muhammad Tahir al Qummi al Shirazi: Kitab al Arba`in fi Imamat al A’immah al Tahirin, p. 578.

[33] Despite all of my efforts, I could not find a sanad for this report. Al Qurtubi transmits it without an isnad in his Tafsir under the verse, “O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people” (al Ma’idah: 67).

[34] Al Khu’i: Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 10/155, no. 5949.

[35] Al Hilli: Khulasat al Aqwal, p. 82, no. 166. The reason for mentioning the narration under the biography of Bilal radiya Llahu `anhu is because the text of the narration, as it appears in al Kashshi, reads as follows, “Bilal was a devout slave and Suhayb was an evil slave. He would cry over `Umar.” (p. 38, no. 79). It comes in the book, al Ikhtisas (p. 73), attributed to al Mufid, “May Allah curse Suhayb, for verily, he would be hostile towards us. In another narration, he ‘would cry over ra ma `a.’” By ‘ra ma `a,’ they mean `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu!

[36] Muhammad ibn Sa`d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, 3:286.

[37] Marginalia of Bihar al Anwar, 1:2809.

[38] Al Zubaidi: Taj al `Arus, 1/2809.

[39] Ibn al Manzur: Lisan al `Arab, 3/393. Although the author quotes Ibn Manzur’s al Lisan, the above definition was taken from Lane’s Lexicon for an easier read. (Translator’s note)

[40] Al Bukhari: Sahih al Bukhari, 2/699.

[41] Surah al Tawbah: 55. Al Tustari wrote the beginning of the verse with the letter waw. This is a mistake. It is supposed to be as I wrote it, with the letter fa’.

[42] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 2/201, no. 985.

[43] Al Tusi: Ikhtiyar Ma`rifat al Rijal (Rijal al Kashshi), p. 311, no. 563.

[44] Muhammad Taqi al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 2/331, no. 1121.

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