A Detailed Examination of the verse ‘And give the relative his right’

Adversity in the Era of Nubuwwah
January 30, 2018
The inconsistencies and contradictions of Shia narrations regarding Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gifting Fadak to Fatimah
January 30, 2018

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A Detailed Examination of the verse And give the relative his right

This verse appears twice in the Qur’an, in Surah Bani Isra’il and in Surah al Rum. Both these Surahs are Makki. Where was Fadak at the time? It only fell into the hands of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the seventh year after hijrah.

Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz writes:

 

جمع کثیر از علماء ایشاں سعی بلیغ نمودہ اند و در کتب احادیث کہ شہرت ندارند و نسخ آں کتب متعڈ بدست نمی آید اکاذیب موضوعہ کہ مؤید مذہب شیعہ مبطل مذہب سنیاں باشد الحاق نمایند چنانچہ قصہ فدک در بعض تفاسیر داخل نمودہ اند و سیاق حدیث چنیں روایت کردہ اند کہ و لما نزلت و آت ذا القربی حقہ دعی رسول اللہ فاطمۃ و أعطاہا فدک امام بحکم آنکہ دروغ گورا حافظہ نمی باشد بیاد شاں نماند کہ ایں آیۃ مکی است و در مکہ فدک کجا بود

Majority of the scholars have exhausted their efforts to include fabricated and concocted narrations in non-famous books and non-existent books which falsify the Sunni religion and establish the Shia creed. For example, the incident of Fadak which has been included in some tafsir books and reported as follows:

When the verse And give the relative his right was revealed, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called Fatimah and gave her Fadak.

Since a liar does not realise, the Shia did not realise that this verse was revealed in Makkah and Fadak was not in Makkah. They have written that as soon as this verse was revealed, Fadak was gifted.[1]

 

In the footnote, the following has been quoted from Tafsir Majma’ al Bayan:

 

السورة الروم مكية إلا قوله تعالى فسبحن الله حين تمسون و حين تصبحون

Surah al Rum is Makki except the Sublime’s statement, Glory be to Allah in the evening and in the mornings.

 

Muhammad Qilli answers this in Taqlib al Makaid by saying:

 

There are many opinions of the Ahlus Sunnah mentioned in Majma’ al Bayan just for information sake. Moreover, labelling a Surah Makki is taking into consideration the majority of its verses and examples of this are plenty in the Qur’an. Furthermore, it is possible that the verse was revealed twice, first in Makkah then in Madinah just as Fakhr al Din al Razi wrote about Surah Fatihah. Makki refers to those verses that were revealed in Makkah, whether pre hijrah or post hijrah. It could have been revealed during the Conquest of Makkah or Hajjat al Wada’.

 

He then says:

 

و اگر ازیں ہمہ مراتب تنزل کنیم پس ممکن است کہ جواب دادہ شود کہ اگر چہ فدک در مکہ نبود لیکن چوں حق تعالی شانہ بعلم ازلی می دانست کہ رسول خدا را بعد از ہجرت بہ مدینہ و فتح جنگ خیبر از دست حق پرست امیر المؤمنین علی بن ابی طالب فدک بدست خواہد آمد حکم آں از پیشتر نازل کردہ و در نزول حکم امرے کہ در استقبال خواہد آمد از وقوع آں مما نعستے نیست و امثال آن بسیار ست و فخر الدین رازی در تفسیر کبیر در تفسیر قولہ تعالی و ما جعلنا الرؤیا التی أریناک إلا فتنۃ للناس گفتہ القول الثالث فی الرؤیا قال سعید بن المسیب رأی رسول اللہ بنی أمیۃ ینزلون علی منبرہ تعداد القردۃ فسائہ ذلک و ہذا قول ابن عباس رضی اللہ عنہما فی روایۃ و الاشکال فیہ ان ہذہ الآیۃ مکیۃ و ما کان لرسول اللہ بمکۃ منبر قال و یمکن أن یجاب عنہ بأنہ لا یبعد ان یری بمکۃ ان لہ بالمدینۃ منبر یتداولونہ بنی امیۃ

If we ignore the above, then too it is possible for the Shia to answer by saying that although Fadak was not in Makkah, but Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knew in His infinite knowledge that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after making hijrah to Madinah will conquer Khaybar with the help of Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu and take over Fadak. Allah revealed the command before the actual occurrence of the event. And it is not impermissible to issue a command regarding the occurrence of something in the future. There are many examples of this. Fakhr al Din al Razi writes in al Tafsir al Kabir in the commentary of the verse:

 

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِيْ أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ

And We did not make the sight which We showed you except as a trial for the people.[2]

 

Sa’id ibn al Musayyab relates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw the Banu Umayyah in his dream as monkeys jumping on his pulpit. And this upset him.

This is Ibn ‘Abbas’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu opinion. However, what is problematic is that this verse is Makki and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had no pulpit in Makkah. It is possible to answer by saying that it is not unlikely for him to be foretold that a pulpit will be constructed in Madinah.

 

Answer:

To claim that many opinions of the Ahlus Sunnah have been quoted in Majma’ al Bayan is not a satisfying answer. He should have at least established that this Surah is Madani, not Makki, through Shia narrations.

Moreover, it is not sufficient just to claim that a Surah is labelled Makki considering the majority of its verses without ascertaining which verses are Makki and which are Madani.

To claim that it is possible for this verse to be revealed twice, once in Makkah and then in Madinah is shocking since the verse was revealed twice, once in Surah al Rum and once in Surah Bani Isra’il but both are Makki. It would be better if he said that maybe the verse was revealed thrice.

To claim that Makki refers to those verses revealed in Makkah, whether pre hijrah or post hijrah during the conquest of Makkah or Hajjat al Wada’ is meaningless. Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was not given Fadak in Makkah, but rather in Madinah immediately after it was conquered.

The author found the last answer better than all the above so he said that although Fadak was not conquered then, yet Allah knew the future and issued a command accordingly. Meaning that when Fadak will be conquered then give it to Fatimah. However, this answer is not satisfying because the narrations clearly mention that upon the revelation of this verse, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam immediately summoned Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and gave her Fadak. In fact, Shia narrations openly declare that this verse was revealed after the conquest of Khaybar and after Fadak came into Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possession, not before that. Accordingly, it appears in Tafsir al Safi in the commentary of this verse:

 

و في الكافي عن الكاظم في حديث له مع المهدي أن الله تعالى لما فتح علي نبيه فدك و ما والاها لم يرجف عليه بخيل و ركاب فأنزل الله على نبيه و آت ذا القربى حقه و لم يدر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من هم فراجع في ذلك جبريل عليه السلام و راجع جبريل ربه فأوحى الله إليه أن ادفع فدك إلى فاطمة رضي الله عنها

It appears in al Kafi from al Kazim, regarding his dialogue with al Mahdi, that when Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala opened Fadak for his Messenger and its surroundings, horses and camels were not spurred onto the land. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala thus revealed upon His Messenger, And give the relative his right. However, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was unaware as to who they were. So he referred the matter to Jibril ‘alayh al Salam who in turn raised the matter with His Rabb. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then inspired him to hand over Fadak to Fatimah.

 

This hadith and other ahadith documented in ‘Uyun al Akhbar, etc., establish the fact that this verse was revealed after Fadak fell into Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possession. So to claim that this verse was revealed in Makkah as a prophecy to Fadak being conquered falsifies the Imams’s ahadith.

In short, the pieces of the puzzle are not fitting and from no angle is this fabricated narration making any sense. Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz’s statement aptly applies:

A liar does not realise what he is saying.

 

Context of the verse

Although the address in the verse And give the relative his right is directed towards Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, the context of the Qur’an indicates that the address is general. It is for the entire ummah, and not restricted to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The verse that appears in Surah Bani Isra’il discusses tawhid, ihsan (kindness), maintaining family ties, and good character. The verses preceding it and after it indicate towards generalisation, not specification.

The verses read:

 

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوْا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيْمًا وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِيْ صَغِيْرًا رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِيْ نُفُوْسِكُمْ إِنْ تَكُوْنُوْا صَالِحِيْنَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلْأَوَّابِيْنَ غَفُوْرًا وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِيْنَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيْلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيْرًا إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِيْنَ كَانُوْا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِيْنِ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُوْرًا وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّنْ رَّبِّكَ تَرْجُوْهَا فَقُلْ لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُوْرًا وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُوْلَةً إِلىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُوْمًا مَّحْسُوْرًا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيْرًا بَصِيْرًا

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], uff, and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small. Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves. If you should be righteous [in intention] – then indeed He is ever, to the often returning [to Him], Forgiving. And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveller, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Shaitan been to his Lord ungrateful. And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word. And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent. Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.

 

Prior to these verses were verses which prohibited shirk and sins. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declares:

 

لَا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلٰهًا آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُوْمًا مَّخْذُوْلًا

Do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity and [thereby] become censured and forsaken.

 

Allah first announced a severe warning against shirk and disobedience followed by the command of tawhid and worship. Thereafter, ihsan (kindness), maintaining family ties, and good character were commanded. Hence, these verse deal with tawhid, worship, maintaining family ties, imbibing good character, kindness, pleasant approaches, and fulfilment of rights. These have been listed for the guidance and regulation of the ummah. It is a set of noble morals and an encouragement to observe them. There is no evidence to prove that all the verses are general and are addressed to the entire ummah, but one small portion is solely and exclusively for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. There is no sign for this exclusiveness.

Al Tabarsi writes under these verses in Majma’ al Bayan:

 

كما تقدم النهي عن الشرك و المعاصي عقبه سبحانه بالأمر بالتوحيد و الطاعات فقال سبحانه و قضى ربك ألا تعبدوا إلا إياه

Allah follows the prohibition of shirk and sins with the command to observe tawhid and acts of worship. Accordingly, He subhanahu wa ta ‘ala announces: And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him.

 

He commentates on verse 23 to verse 27 by saying:

 

ثم حث سبحانه نبيه على إيتاء الحقوق لمن يستحقها و على كيفية الإنفاق فقال و آت ذا القربى حقه معناه و آتو القربات حقوقهم التي أوجبها الله لهم في أموالكم

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then encourages His Messenger to fulfil the rights of the deserving and the manner of spending. He declares: And give the relative his right. The meaning is and give (plural) relatives their rights which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has stipulated for them in your wealth.

 

After studying the context of this verse, it becomes evident that there is no specialisation for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in any specific matter. If the portion And give the relative his right is specified for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the entire paragraph will remain meaningless. The Shia have only found one reason to regard the verse as specific, i.e. the singular form of address was used. However, leave alone the masters of Ma’ani and Bayan, an ordinary person who just reads over a translation of the Qur’an will understand that the methodology of the Qur’an is such. Majority of places, the address is directed at Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but the entire ummah is intended. There is no need to go very far and search other places of the Qur’an to verify this. Just have a look at the ruku’ in which this verse appears.

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

لَا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلٰهًا آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُوْمًا مَّخْذُوْلًا

Do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity and [thereby] become censured and forsaken.

 

Will any Muslim think for a moment that this address is specific to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? The Shia Mufassirin themselves have understood the address to be general. Accordingly, al Tabarsi says:

 

إن الخطاب للنبي و المراد أمته

The address is directed at the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but his ummah is intended.

 

Another verse that appears in this ruku’ reads:

 

إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيْمًا

Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], uff, and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.[3]

 

Will any ignorant person regard this address specific to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lofty character is far beyond him needing to be reproached for bad behaviour. Moreover, his parents passed away when he was young and Allah’s speech was revealed 40 years later. It is manifest that this address is to the ummah.

Besides the above, the other commands are also general:

 

وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِيْ صَغِيْرًا

And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.[4]

 

وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيْرًا

And do not spend wastefully.[5]

 

وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُوْلَةً إِلىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ

And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely.[6]

 

No command in these verses is specific to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam despite the address being used in the singular form for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Shia cannot deny this glaring fact.

To specify a portion of a verse from this chain of verses for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without any reason of preference or specification is ludicrous. Especially when the first verse of this chain which deals with kindness of parents clearly shows that this is a string of commands which focus on morals, kindness, maintaining family ties, fulfilling rights, etc. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala begins by declaring that that no one should be worshipped besides Him, then commands kindness to parents, followed by enjoining the fulfilment of the rights of relatives, the needy, and travellers. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then instructs moderation; do not be extravagant nor miserly when spending in charity. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala also advises that if one does not have the capability to fulfil everyone’s rights, then at least display politeness and softness.

 

فَقُلْ لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُوْرًا

Then speak to them a gentle word.[7]

 

If giving the relative his right refers to gifting Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, then what is the meaning of?

 

وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيْرًا

And do not spend wastefully.[8]

 

This prohibition is then followed by stern words:

إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِيْنَ كَانُوْا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِيْنِ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُوْرًا

Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Shaitan been to his Lord ungrateful.[9]

 

Furthermore, if it really refers to the gifting of Fadak, then what does the following verse mean:

 

وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّنْ رَّبِّكَ تَرْجُوْهَا فَقُلْ لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُوْرًا

And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.[10]

 

It will remain insignificant then, may Allah forbid!

The Shia Mufassirin have stated that which supports our view. Al Tabarsi writes:

 

و إما تعرضن عنهم أي و أن تعرض عن هؤلاء الذين أمرتك بأداء حقوقهم عن مسألتهم إياك لأنك لا تجد ذلك حياء منهم ابتغاء رحمة من ربك ترجوها أي لتبتغي الفضل من الله و السعة التي يمكنك معها البذل بأجل تلك السعة و ذلك الفضل فقل لهم قولا ميسورا أي عدهم عدة حسنة و قل لهم قولا سهلا لينا يتيسر عليك و روي أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم كان لما نزلت هذه الآية إذا سئل و لم يكن عنده ما يعطي قال يرزقنا الله و إياكم من فضله

And if you [must] turn away from the needy i.e. if you turn away from these people [out of embarrassment] whose rights you have been commanded to fulfil after they ask you because you cannot find anything to give them; awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect i.e. in anticipation of grace from Allah and wealth which will allow you to spend; then speak to them a gentle word i.e. make a good promise to them and speak to them polite and gentle words which you are able to.

It has been reported that after this verse was revealed, whenever Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked and did not have anything to give, he would say, “May Allah provide for us and you from His grace.”

 

A thorough examination of the verses of Surah Bani Isra’il has been made.

Now let us ponder over the verses of Surah al Rum and the context there. The verses before and after it read:

 

وَإِذَا أَذَقْنَا النَّاسَ رَحْمَةً فَرِحُوْا بِهَا وَإِنْ تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ إِذَا هُمْ يَقْنَطُوْنَ أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّ فِي ذٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ فَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِيْنَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيْلِ ذٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِيْنَ يُرِيْدُوْنَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ وَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

And when We let the people taste mercy, they rejoice therein, but if evil afflicts them for what their hands have put forth, immediately they despair. Do they not see that Allah extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]? Indeed, in that are signs for a people who believe. So give the relative his right, as well as the needy and the traveller. That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will be the successful.[11]

 

Here also, specification is refuted. Allah mentions that He extends provision for whom He wills and restricts it for whom He wills. This is general. Immediately thereafter, Allah sounds the command: So give the relative his right, as well as the needy and the traveller.

It is glaring from the context, that the verse is general. In fact, the last portion of this verse certifies this:

 

ذٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِيْنَ يُرِيْدُوْنَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ وَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will be the successful.[12]

 

This sentence will only fit correctly when the command is general and the address is directed at all Muslims. Otherwise, the Qur’an – the epitome of eloquence and articulacy – will be regarded as meaningless. No one can ever imagine that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would hesitate in fulfilling the rights of the deserving and is in need of encouragement to practice. What is the object of the last portion then, That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will be the successful?

The meaning will only fit when the address is for the Muslims in general. The individuals of this ummah need encouragement and inspiration to fulfil the rights of others. They are advised in this beautiful way so that they do not give preference to self-motives and specific love.

In conclusion, the person who studies the Qur’an with a little contemplation and observes the context of this verse will not doubt that dhawi al qurba refers to general relatives.

 

كما قيل إنه خطاب له و لغيره و المراد بالقربى قرابة الرجل و هو أمر بصلة الرحم بالمال

As said: it is an address to him and others. The meaning of al qurba is a person’s relatives. This verse commands maintaining family ties with wealth.

 

If we accept that the verse is as the Shia claim, i.e. dhawi al qurba refers to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and her right is Fadak, then may Allah forbid, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not fulfil the entire command or Allah did not allow him to. The fact is that this verse commands the fulfilment of the right of 3 categories; viz. 1. the relative, 2. the needy, 3. the traveller. With regards to the relative, the Shia have claimed that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was unaware of who it refers to and what their right is, so Jibril clarified that it means Fatimah and her right is Fadak. However, the other two categories remain deprived. Moreover, the compound dhawi al qurba is general and includes all relatives so why was only one individual selected?

 

The compound dhawi al qurba at other places in the Qur’an

Furthermore, the compound dhawi al qurba does not only feature in this verse. In fact, it features 13 times in the Qur’an at different places in various Surahs. It features where the context is about fulfilment of rights and encouragement of the same. And at most places, it is coupled with others, e.g. the needy, the traveller, etc. This shows that wherever this word appears, it entails charity, assisting, and caring for these categories of people. For example,

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states in Surah al Baqarah:

 

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِيْ إِسْرَائِيْلَ لَا تَعْبُدُوْنَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبىٰ وَالْيَتَامىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَقُوْلُوْا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيْمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيْلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ مُّعْرِضُوْنَ

And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give Zakat.” Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing.[13]

 

The addressees here are the Bani Isra’il who broke the covenant. This verse serves as a warning to the ummah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not to perpetrate the same crime. Surah Bani Isra’il clarifies that this command is not specific to the Bani Isra’il. Instead, displaying good character, and upright social etiquette is necessary for every human. Although Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has been addressed, his entire ummah is intended. As if these verses are an elucidation of the verse of Surah al Baqarah.

 

1. Surah al Baqarah:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِيْ إِسْرَائِيلَ

And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them]

 

Surah Bani Isra’il:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ

And your Lord has decreed

The meaning of the two is almost the same i.e. we have made it obligatory upon them.

 

2. Surah al Baqarah:

لَا تَعْبُدُوْنَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ

Do not worship except Allah

 

Surah Bani Isra’il:

أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوْا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ

That you not worship except Him

 

3. Surah al Baqarah:

وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

And to parents do good

 

Surah Bani Isra’il:

وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

And to parents, good treatment.

 

Further clarification appears here; do not even tell them ‘uff’.

 

4. Surah al Baqarah:

وَذِي الْقُرْبىٰ وَالْيَتَامىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِيْن

Do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy.

 

Surah Bani Isra’il:

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِيْنَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيْلِ

And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveller,

 

Here, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala also enjoins moderation:

وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيْرًا

And do not spend wastefully.[14]

 

5. Surah al Baqarah:

وَقُوْلُوْا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا

And speak to people good [words]

 

Surah Bani Isra’il:

فَقُلْ لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُوْرًا

Then speak to them a gentle word.

 

See the similarity and coherence of these two verses. The verses of Surah Bani Isra’il elucidate on these verses.

 

Another place in Surah al Baqarah reads:

 

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَنْ تُوَلُّوْا وُجُوْهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ ولٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبىٰ وَالْيَتَامىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيْلِ وَالسَّائِلِيْنَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveller, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves.[15]

 

Here again, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala commands kindness and charity.

A verse in Surah al Anfal reads:

 

وَاعْلَمُوْا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِّنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُوْلِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبىٰ وَالْيَتَامىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيْلِ

And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveller.[16]

 

If the Shia have to reflect deeply on this verse, then their claim that verse 26 of Surah Bani Isra’il was revealed after the conquest of Khaybar will be awkward. In fact, there entire web will be torn apart.

No one doubts that verse 41 of Surah al Anfal was revealed prior to the conquest of Khaybar. Booty was acquired way before this and was divided among the Muslims in accordance to this verse. So from Badr to Khaybar, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave shares from the booty to the relatives, needy, and travellers. It follows that he already knew who they referred to. So why the need to clarify from Jibril ‘alayh al Salam after conquering Khaybar and acquiring Fadak as to who the relative is? Had he required clarification, he should have asked after verse 41 of Surah al Anfal was revealed so that he does not make any error.

Nonetheless, if for argument’s sake we agree that the word relative in verse 26 of Surah Bani Isra’il refers to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, then the same word in verse 41 of Surah al Anfal ought to refer to her as well. Khumus supposed to be her exclusive share then and the entire Banu Hashim tribe would then be deprived of the Khumus, whereas no one ever made such a ridiculous claim. The Shia themselves do not agree to this and state that half belongs to the Imam of the time and the other half should be distributed among the orphans, needy, and travellers.

Al Tabarsi writes:

 

اختلف العلماء في كيفية قسمة الخمس و من يستحقه على أقوال أحدها ما ذهب إليه أصحابنا و هو أن الخمس يقسم على ستة أسهم سهم لله و سهم للرسول و هذان السهمان مع سهم ذي القربى للإمام القائم مقام الرسول و سهم ليتامى آل محمد و سهم لمساكينهم و سهم لأبناء سبيلهم لا يشركهم في ذلك غيرهم لأن الله سبحانه حرم عليهم الصدقات لكونها أوساخ الناس و عوضهم من ذلك الخمس روي ذلك الطبري عن علي بن الحسين زين العابدين و محمد بن علي الباقر و اختلف في ذوي القربى فقيل هم بنو هاشم خاصة من ولد عبد المطلب لأن هاشم لم يعقب إلا منه عن ابن عباس و مجاهد و إليه ذهب أصحابنا

The scholars have differed with regards to the manner of distributing the Khumus and who is deserving of the same. One view is what our scholars have opted for, i.e. the Khumus will be divided into six shares; viz. one share for Allah, one share for the Messenger; and these two shares coupled with the share of the relative will be for the Imam who is the successor to the Messenger; a share for the orphans of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family, a share for their needy, and lastly a share for their travellers. None shall share with them because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has prohibited charity for them as it is the filth of people and substituted them with the Khumus. Al Tabari reported this from ‘Ali ibn al Hussain Zayn al ‘Abidin and Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Baqir. There exists difference of opinion regarding the relative. It is said that they are the Banu Hashim solely from the progeny of ‘Abdul Muttalib since Hashim has no issue except from this son of his. This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbas and Mujahid and our scholars have favoured it.[17]

 

فمن الغنيمة يخرج الخمس و يقسم على ستة أسهم سهم لله و سهم لرسول الله و سهم للإمام فسهم الله و سهم الرسول يرثه الإمام فيكون للإمام ثلثة اسهم من ستة و ثلاثة أسهم لأيتام آل الرسول و مساكينهم و أبناء سبيلهم

The Khumus will be taken out from the booty and will be divided into six parts. One share for Allah, one for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and one for the Imam. Allah’s share and Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam share will be taken by the Imam. Thus, the Imam will have three shares of the six. [The remaining] three shares will be for the orphans of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family, their needy, and their travellers. [18]

 

In short, by no stretch of imagination can it be perceived that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was unaware of the meaning of dhawi al qurba and their rights. Despite many verses mentioning the word dhawi al qurba, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was forced to enquire from Sayyidina Jibril ‘alayh al Salam its meaning; this is preposterous. More shocking is the claim that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala commanded Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to give Fadak exclusively to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the income of which was 24000 gold coins annually, thereby being absolved of his duty, and deprive the rest of his relatives, the needy and the travellers.

 

و كيف يجوز لأحد من المسلمين أن يتكلم بمثل هذا و يبدل كلام الله من تلقاء نفسه و يحرفه عن موضعه سبحانك هذا بهتان عظيم

How is it possible for any Muslim to utter such drivel, change the speech of Allah from his own side, and take words out of their context? Glory be to You, O Allah. Indeed, this is a grand slander!

 

Is it fathomable for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to give Fadak exclusively to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha whereas its annual income is estimated at 24000 gold coins?

For a moment, let us set aside all the narrations and incidents as well as the inconsistencies and contradictions and let us analyse this issue rationally. With a balanced and impartial attitude, let us ponder for a minute.

Evaluate all the booty, Fay’, and tax which the Muslim treasury was receiving at the time of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Now consider all the expenses in the propagation of Islam, protection of the Muslims, preparations for offensive and defensive Jihad, hospitality to the delegations and guests, and giving them gifts and donations. Now ask yourself: Was the Muslim treasury overflowing with money to the extent that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gives his daughter a land estimated at 24000 gold coins annually? Does it gel with the personality, behaviour, and lofty status of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to ignore the Muhajirin, Ansar, and general Muslims, allowing them to live in poverty and give one selected family member such an enormous amount of wealth?

If anyone just has to ponder over the above, he will realise the fallaciousness of the gift incident and will never imagine it to be in conformity with Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam position, habit, and general behavior.

Fadak fell into the hands of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the 7th year of hijrah. That was an era of want and need. Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam personal condition was that he spent days on hunger without any food, tying stones to his blessed belly to soothe the pangs of hunger. His household members did not have sufficient barely to bake bread and had no money to fulfil their basic needs and necessities. The Muhajirin were still living in the houses of their Ansari brethren who would help them, ignoring their own plight. Islam was been attacked from all four sides. Every day was an opportunity for Jihad and at every moment did the Muslims fear an attack from the enemy. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was perpetually concerned how to acquire weapons and arms to equip the Muslim army. Delegations were pouring in who needed to be entertained. They would come with gifts, and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam needed to reciprocate the favour. He would beseech the Muslims to donate generously for these noble causes and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revealed verses encouraging spending in His path. The Muslims contributed above their means and preferred to survive off a meagre amount and donated whatever they possessed happily in the path of Allah.

In such trying times, will any leader who truly cares for his subordinates and makes an effort to protect them ignore all the above essentials, and give all that he receives to his relatives? In fact, will he deprive all his relatives and give everything to one selected daughter of his? From a worldly perspective, will anyone consider such a person worthy of leadership? Will people accept him as their army general? Will he deserve respect in any of their hearts?

Everyone will regard him as selfish and self-seeking. This is unfathomable in respect of a pure soul who is the leader of the world in Islam, the special and selected servant of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala who was sent to perfect noble character and who plucked self-centeredness from its roots. At every juncture, he favoured others over himself and directed his relatives and friends to do the same. Their level of preference of others was of such a high degree that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala announced His happiness of it. They became examples for the entire world and their acts of kindness became proverbial, to the extent that the angles praised their selflessness. Can anyone ever imagine regarding such a noble personality that he will deprive all and favour one of his own? Can anyone believe that his daughter will watch everyone suffer adversity and keep her father’s gift for herself and her children? This is unimaginable and impossible.

In reality, if the Fadak narration is agreed to be sahih and its income was 24000 to 70000 gold coins, those who reject Nubuwwah will have a perfect opportunity to cast nasty allegations against Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is like handing over to the enemy a weapon of mass destruction. The Shia are so blind in the love for the Ahlul Bayt that they do not see the detrimental consequences of such absurdity. Their only concern is to indict the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum so they concoct narrations as they please to reach their objective. We get goosebumps just imagining such blasphemy and we distance ourselves from everything that will tarnish the noble Messenger’s image.

We will now establish the fact that it was an era of adversity and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not have sufficient funds to make adequate preparations for Jihad, which proved to be a cumbersome task. The Shia books are witness to this.

 

NEXT⇒ Adversity in the Era of Nubuwwah


[1] Tuhfah Ithna Ashariyyah, chapter two, kayd 32.

[2] Surah Bani Isra’il: 60.

[3] Surah Bani Isra’il: 23.

[4] Surah Bani Isra’il: 24.

[5] Surah Bani Isra’il: 26.

[6] Surah Bani Isra’il: 29.

[7] Surah Bani Isra’il: 28.

[8] Surah Bani Isra’il: 26.

[9] Surah Bani Isra’il: 27.

[10] Surah Bani Isra’il: 28.

[11] Surah al Rum: 36 – 38.

[12] Surah al Rum: 38.

[13] Surah al Baqarah: 83.

[14] Surah Bani Isra’il: 26.

[15] Surah al Baqarah: 177.

[16] Surah al Anfal: 41.

[17] Majma al Bayan.

[18] Tafsir al Qummi.

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