If the exclusion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not established from the tone of the verse, Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all) and the tone was such which indicated a general address, or if some dim-witted person claimed that the address was general; then too there is no difficulty in accepting the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be authentic. If the hadith is authentic it only qualifies the verse (serves as a Mukhassis), it does not contradict it. Qualifying the verse shows that there is an exception, whereas opposing the verse means contradicting it and there is a difference between creating an exception and being in contradiction.
An example of creating an exception is as follows: A person says: “Everyone came to me except Zaid.” Nobody considers this to be a contradiction (though he used the word “everyone” initially). However, when he says except Zaid, then the last part of the sentence qualifies the first part and creates an exception.
If somebody objects on account of the qualifying factor not accompanying the Qur’anic verse as is the case with the example cited above; where the exclusion occurs in words alongside the statement, then we would say that it is not necessary for it to occur in words alongside the text. Consider that the exclusion of Zaid in the above example appears in words, but the exclusion of billions of other individuals is also implied without occurring in words. One often makes a remark of this nature, but the word “everyone”’ has a very limited implication. It surely does not refer to all the people of the world. It may only refer to a small group, or the people of a little village or society. How is it that we understand and accept all these limitations in this speech without any reference to it in wording?
But if this example is not appealing to your understanding, then take another more concrete example. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
فَانْكِحُوْا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ
Then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four.
Consequently, the Ahlus Sunnah and the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) among the Shia are unanimous that four wives are the maximum for a Muslim male. So, if the command in Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all) is general without exception then the command of Fankihu (then marry) is also general. Where is the exception for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam alongside it in explicit terms? Therefore, just as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is considered exempt from it on account of other supporting texts, the same applies to Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all); other texts establish his exemption.
If they say that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclusion in the case of polygamy is established from a Qur’anic verse in Surah al Ahzab, which is as follows:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَحْلَلْنَا لَكَ أَزْوَاجَكَ اللَّاتِيْ آتَيْتَ أُجُوْرَهُنَّ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِيْنُكَ مِمَّا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمِّكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمَّاتِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَالِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَالَاتِكَ اللَّاتِيْ هَاجَرْنَ مَعَكَ وَامْرَأَةً مُؤْمِنَةً إِنْ وَهَبَتْ نَفْسَهَا لِلنَّبِيِّ إِنْ أَرَادَ النَّبِيُّ أَنْ يَسْتَنْكِحَهَا خَالِصَةً لَكَ مِنْ دُوْنِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا فَرَضْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيْ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ لِكَيْلَا يَكُوْنَ عَلَيْكَ حَرَجٌ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوْرًا رَحِيْمًا
O Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Nabi [and] if the Nabi wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
Therefore, if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was restricted to four wives then why did Allah list so many options of marriage for him? So just as this verse qualifies Fankihu (then marry) there should be a Qur’anic verse qualifying Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all). Where is it?
We respond to this by saying that it is not necessary that a Qur’anic verse qualifies the verse; this can also be accomplished by a hadith. Since both are revelation, what is the difficulty in accepting this. But if they refuse to accept this, then we too reject that the verse Fankihu (then marry) is qualified by the verse they refer to. This is because when presenting something as evidence, then such evidence must be absolute and concrete, without other possibilities being entertained by it. Therefore, we say that the evidence is not absolute because indeed We have made lawful could be like the verse:
وَأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ مَّا وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَنْ تَبْتَغُوْا بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ مُّحْصِنِيْنَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِيْنَ
And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse.
which simply lists the women one is allowed to contract marriage to on condition that dowry is given to them; it does not relate to number of wives. The fact that Surah al Ahzab was revealed before Surah al Nisa’ (and the verse Fankihu) establishes this possibility about the implication of the verse of Surah al Ahzab.
Consequently, in al Itqan under the discussion about the sequence of surah revelation, there is a sound hadith establishing this. Therefore, there was no revelation about limited polygamy (as the verse Fankihu establishes) when the verse, indeed We have made lawful, was revealed. When polygamy was not limited then the exclusion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has no relevance, it was still unlimited polygamy for all. Why reveal the verse (of Surah al Ahzab) to establish what is known? Therefore, they are compelled to say that Fankihu (then marry) has been qualified by some other factor.
But if they contest this and say that the sequence of revelation may only apply to the opening verses of the surah and it does not necessarily establish that every verse of Surah al Ahzab was revealed before every verse of Surah al Nisa’. Consequently, the hadith of al Itqan also gives some indication to this.
Well, this certainly does not silence us because it is not necessary for us to respond to all these possibilities. If they claim that Surah al Nisa’ was revealed before Surah al Ahzab, or if the particular verse of Nisa’, Fankihu (then marry), was revealed before indeed We have made lawful then they need to furnish evidence for it. Then only would their claim of Surah al Ahzab qualifying the verse of Surah al Nisa’ be correct.
We are not short of answers because the verse, Allah instructs you all, is qualified by another Qur’anic verse of Surah al Hashr, and Surah al Hashr according to the hadith of al Itqan was revealed after Surah al Nisa’. Consider the following verse:
مَا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُوْلِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُوْلِ وَلِذِيْ الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لَا يَكُوْنَ دُوْلَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنْكُمْ وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُوْلُ فَخُذُوْهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوْا وَاتَّقُوْا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيْدُ الْعِقَابِ
What Allah restored to His Rasul from the people of the towns, it is for Allah and for the Rasul and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveller; so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Rasul has given you, take; and what he has forbidden you, refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
Now to all the ‘Ulamaʼ of the Ahlus Sunnah and balanced Shia, it is evident that Allah has stipulated six shares from the wealth of al Fay’. Consequently, some maintain that the share of Allah must be spent on the Bayt Allah and Masajid. However, the majority maintain that the wealth of al Fay’ has five recipients only; it should be divided into five shares.
However, since the text for Allah and for the Rasul which appears here appears exactly in the same manner in the opening verse of the tenth juz’, under the recipients of khums, and the Shia consider it as five recipients there, so it would be the same five recipients here too in the verse of Surah al Hashr. In this case, the for Allah would mean that wealth which is dispensed according to the command of Allah and to the recipients designated by Allah. Since the wealth was given for the cause of Allah, it is referred to as Lillah. Since the recipients have been stipulated by Allah, it is also called Lillah.
Nevertheless, for Allah means that wealth belongs to Allah and it must be given to certain people for the pleasure of Allah. The reason for referring to Fay’ as the wealth of Allah is that Fay’ is such booty which comes into the hands of Muslims simply on account of the awe of the Muslim army, or by a peace treaty. Therefore, Allah has handed over such wealth by his grace to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the army did not engage in any battle prior to it.
But since the awe of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was augmented by the large army of the Sahabah, some of them could have desired a share of the Fay’. Subsequently Allah informed them that since their efforts were not utilised and that Allah had granted it to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as a bonus, therefore it was better to leave that wealth to be distributed according to the decree of Allah to the recipients cited in the aforementioned verse.
Whilst the words to His Rasul establish the rights of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over it for Allah qualifies this, and clarifies that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam administration is not on account of his milkiyyat (ownership), rather it is on account of him being given custody over it (become its mutawalli). Therefore, he was the treasurer and caretaker, not the owner and possessor. If he was the sole owner, then why were others allotted shares in it?
If we assume for a moment that the Fay’ is the sole property of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that stipulating a share for the recipients is like how a portion of zakat is claimed from the affluent person’s wealth, then even though this assumption is negated by the wording of this Qur’anic verse, it would imply, Allah forbid, that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left this world without discharging his obligation to the aforementioned recipients (since he did not allocate or demarcate their share of it). Such an implication can only be entertained by the Shia. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could not have been relieved simply by spending from its revenue on the specified recipients because the phrasing of the verse, And what Allah restored, shows that they have a tangible share of the Fay’ itself over and above its revenue. Therefore, we cannot entertain the possibility of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ownership.
In the light of the above repercussions one fails to understand how the Shia fabricated the hadith of gifting Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, or how do they adopt the view of his biological heirs being entitled to it solely. In fact, they consider Sayyidah Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha exclusive entitlement to it and criticise the Sahabah in general and the three Khalifas specifically. If they perpetrated this error on account of ignorance, then what is the delay in repenting and making amends now?
Yes, if we assume that Fadak did not come into the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possession as Fay’ (but in some other manner), or that Fadak was the piece leftover exclusively for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after having designated the balance of the land for the stated recipients, then their claim could have had merit. But ask them who can contest that Fadak was received as Fay’ or that it was not a dissected or cut up piece of land left for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
The idea of Fadak being the legal share of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the rest of the lands does not work out for the Shia anyway. This is because if many settlements were received on account of a truce with each different group then each settlement has to be dissolved between the recipients individually due to the manner in which the verse is phrased.
If some obstinate Shia decided to reverse the claim and instead say that Fadak was the fifth [khums] share which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam received as booty; it was not Fay’ then the same issues arise once again. This is because the verse which establishes the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam share of the Fay’ along with the remaining four recipients appears in the same format in Surah al Tawbah regarding khums. If they have any doubts about my statement on account of their ignorance of the Qur’an, then copies of the Qur’an are readily available for them to review.
Added to this is the fact that khums is the share from booty or spoils of war. So, if Fadak was booty that was received after a battle then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (along with the four recipients) is only entitled to khums, one-fifth, and the remaining is the share of the soldiers. Therefore, there is no way the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could have had ownership of the complete Estate of Fadak.
It is also not possible that Fadak refers to the leftover portion of the Estate which was solely for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam since historians and the author of al Qamus are unanimous about the definition of Fadak. Actually, the Shia also cannot dispute this. Therefore, the possibility of Fadak referring to the specific portion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from that Estate is null and void. It is likewise impossible to say that the Fay’ or khums estates belonged solely to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
There may be some who still dispute that Fay’ belonged to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that the other recipients can be likened to the obligation of zakat upon one’s wealth. Despite this interpretation not being supported by the verse, the word for Allah clearly establishes that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam does not enjoy sole ownership.
Secondly, if what Allah restored to His Rasul already denotes the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ownership, then what is the purpose of saying for the Rasul? Then instead of this, Allah could have phrased this verse and the verse of khums as follows without adding for the Rasul to it, as follows:
فَلِلَّهِ وَلِذِيْ الْقُرْبَىٰ
If someone says that ownership is not established from what Allah restored to His Rasul, instead, it is established from for Allah and for the Rasul, then this is more foolish than the first suggestion. This is because if the Lam in Li l-Rasu (for the Rasul) establishes ownership, then the same Lam appears in Li Dhi al Qurba (for the near relatives), etc. This implies that prior to it being received as Fay’ it was not in the ownership of the stated recipients (including Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala) and it only came into their possession after it was made over to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Consequently, prior to being handed over, it was in the possession of the kuffar and their control over it was legal and valid. Similarly, if they embraced Islam or accepted the jizyah, it would have remained in their custody. Therefore, the Fay’ was previously owned by kuffar (and according to their suggestion, it then came into the ownership of Allah and the other recipients after it was handed to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Similarly, if Lam denotes ownership, then the Fa, which is for Ta’qib (elucidation), implies that Allah was not the owner of this prior to that and this can only be entertained by the Shia. The meaning of Fa is that it was initially in the ownership of someone [i.e. kuffar] and thereafter it came into the ownership of Allah. And since two owners cannot have complete ownership over one item at the same time, it creates this impossible situation of saying that Allah had no ownership of it prior to giving it to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
This absurdity can only occur if the nature of Allah’s ownership and the nature of the kuffar ownership is considered the same. However, if the Shia assume the stance of the Mu’tazilah in this matter—who declare the human being the Creator of his voluntary actions and equate Him to Allah in this respect—then who can restrain them from such folly? Therefore, if they consider the nature of the ownership of the Creator and the creation to be equal, then who could restrict them? As for the Ahlus Sunnah, they consider Allah the actual owner whilst His creation has been given temporary administration over it and there is harmony between sole ownership and temporary administration, unlike sole ownership being declared for both the Creator and the creation.
If we dismiss the above implication which rises from the Shia interpretation and embrace the Sunni concept of ownership and temporary administration, then what about the temporary administration given to the other recipients, which is a result of considering the Lam for tamlik (ownership). This would imply that all the stated recipients enjoy temporary administration.
If they say that Dhu al Qurba (near relative) is attached to for the Rasul and these two then combine and become attached on Allah, then the meaning is still distorted. This would mean that Fay’ is equally owned between Allah and between His Rasul and the other recipients. This meaning cannot be entertained by any Muslim as it demands that just as booty is distributed among the participants in battle, Fay’ also ought to have been distributed among the stated recipients thereby according them the liberty to do as they please.
So, who is to bear the blame for the recipients not receiving their share in the manner stated above? Let alone the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Ahlus Sunnah cannot even entertain such a shortcoming on the part of his Sahabah. The Shia, however, do not have any difficulty in levelling such accusations and making these allegations. One who scans their resources will unearth far worse accusations than this.
Similarly, if the distribution were to be made then another problem arises. In the case of booty, the participants in battle are limited and known. As for the relatives, poor, destitute and wayfarer; their numbers are unknown and giving each one their share is impossible. Sharing the actual land between them all is unfathomable and even distributing its revenue to all as required is beyond the capacity of anyone.
Therefore, the revenue of Fadak did not reach each and every wayfarer, destitute and needy person, neither in the era of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam nor in the era of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If we limit the revenue to those among these four recipients who are Muslim only, then too it is a task that can never be accomplished.
If we assume that For Allah in this verse establishes absolute ownership of Allah, For the Rasul refers to temporary ownership and administration of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and for the near relatives till the end, lists the beneficiaries and recipients then the Ahlus Sunnah would have no difficulty with this assumption except that it would have negative implications for Allah as will be explained shortly.
Firstly, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam enjoys no exclusive ownership, it is just referred to as his ownership (as the beneficiaries are stipulated). Therefore, if his so-called ownership is transferred and inherited by his heirs, then his heirs cannot be entitled to the share of the beneficiaries too. If the share of the beneficiaries must be transferred, then it must go to the heirs of those who were its beneficiaries during his blessed lifetime.
This clarifies the reason for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu denying Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha request as she requested sole possession of it and she did not ask for administration of its affairs as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was instructed to administrate it. Therefore, the claim of Hibah or inheritance results in the rights of the remaining beneficiaries being trampled. The narration from Misbah al Salikin—some of which has appeared previously—bears ample testimony to this. Therefore, if it were not for requesting sole rights to it why would Sayyidina Abu Bakr refuse Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to administrate its affairs in a legitimate way. Why would he excuse himself by saying that he had seen the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam adopting a certain course with Fadak and he was bound to do the same.
Those who are genuine accept the truth even if is against them. So, when Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha realised the truthfulness and veracity of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, she was satisfied with his decision and his administration. This appears in the narration of Misbah al Salikin.
If the Shia cannot accept this, it proves their displeasure with Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and that they, falsely, use the Ahlul Bayt to incite enmity against the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
The above explanation is given in the light of Lam denoting absolute ownership for Allah, temporary administration for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and listing beneficiaries. This explanation suits us fine and accordingly Sayyidina Abu Bakr administrated Fadak after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and gave what was due to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
However, this consolation from the Ahlus Sunnah will not really help the Shia too much. What about all the other problems this interpretation creates? Firstly, if Allah really wanted to give ownership to his beloved Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then why make it so complicated that other beneficiaries are inextricably wound up with it? Secondly, the miraculous eloquence of the Qur’an remains unchallenged in even a short surah like al Kawthar. But if we accept this interpretation, then the Qur’an loses its miraculous eloquence because the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam receives ownership but he is denied of sole discretion and authority over what has been given to him. Similarly, (the multiple and diverse connotations of Lam) is something which is hard to accept. Instead, the opposite of that interpretation appears to be valid and nobody has perhaps elaborated on this impossible interpretation as I have.
Thirdly, if the Lam of Fa li l-lah (for Allah) cannot be for tamlik (granting ownership), simply because tamlik could only occur when there was no ownership prior to that, which cannot be so in the case of Allah, then this is acceptable. Then would the same be said about the Lam in Dhu al Qurba, etc. Surely these other recipients cannot be on par with Allah having perpetual and absolute ownership since ever.
Fourthly, if the ownership of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is like the ownership which humans have over their possessions then the link between the words demands the same type of ownership for the other beneficiaries too. But if the ownership of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is distinct like the ownership that Allah has, then just as how there is no inheritance in the possessions of Allah, there ought to be no inheritance in the possessions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Considering the second alternative, there are two factors supporting the notion that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possessions cannot be inherited. Firstly, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and every other Nabi of Allah is alive in his grave and a living person’s ownership does not terminate over his possessions. Just like how a person remains absent from his family for a period and they distribute his belongings, it remains his and he has every right over it. Their ownership is not established by distributing it amongst themselves. the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also remains confined to his grave and none can have ownership of his possessions. This is the reality behind the hadith transmitted by Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu but the Shia cannot understand.
If the Shia dispute this and disagree to the fact that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is alive in his grave then there is a second factor which is as follows: On account of the great insight into realities which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had, he realised the absolute ownership of Allah over everything all the time. He never considered anything to truly belong to him. This is just like how someone is invited for meals at another person’s home. He considers the food presented to him as being the possessions of the host, which he has been allowed to benefit from him according to his requirements. He has no authority to do as he pleases or take it away from the home for his dependants just as he has no authority over any of the furniture or decor of the home. If he had any degree of authority over it, it would not have been considered a flaw if he were to take it home or do anything else with it.
The Prophets also consider what has come into their possession in a similar manner. They consider such possessions to be in the actual ownership of Allah and that they have been allowed to benefit just as the guest helps himself to what is offered to him. Since they maintain that they have no real ownership and that it has been loaned to them, they maintain that their heirs have no entitlement to it. This is why the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة
We (the Prophets) are not inherited from, what we leave behind is Sadaqah.
If the possession of the Prophets is really not theirs on the basis of the above, then this would imply that their selling or purchasing any item should not be valid. It requires someone very foolish to assume this because in this world also we see that when there is a relationship of attachment and love between two people, then the one allows the other to sell his or her possessions if the need arises for him to do so. When there is a very close relationship between two people then permission is not required to do as one wishes, what then can be said about Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam based on the relationship between them. Therefore, one has free reign over the possessions of another, but despite this one would not consider oneself the owner or feel that one’s heirs should be entitled to inherit it.
Consequently, the intimate understanding of realities compels the Prophets to consider sole ownership of everything to Allah all the time, even in that which is given for their temporary disposal. They utilise of it as per requirements without considering themselves entitled to it at any time.
All humans besides the Prophets—despite their perfections and merits—cannot be on par with the Prophets in this perception. The comparison between the Prophets and normal people is like the comparison between children and elderly, wise people, or like the comparison between sane and insane people. Therefore, when a child or a fool gets control over an item that belongs to another person, they consider it to be theirs. If someone tries to draw it away from the child, the child throws a tantrum and gives a fight. This reaction from the child sometimes compels the owner to release ownership to the child.
Similarly, ordinary humans consider themselves the sole owners of material belongings which actually belong to Allah, but are given to them on a temporary basis. They may verbally acknowledge that everything belongs to Allah, but the attachment of their heart to it tells a different story.
If someone—in resembling the Prophets—really feels that it belongs to Allah, then firstly his perception cannot be as genuine as the perception of the Prophets. Secondly, how would anyone else be convinced about this truly being his inner state? Therefore, it cannot be said that his wealth should not be inherited like the wealth of the Prophets.
The summary of this discussion is that the ownership of the Prophets is just like the ownership of Allah, wherein inheritance is not established. If somebody feels that this discussion on the possession of the Prophets is biased, then so be it; there are other reasons why inheritance is not established in the possessions of the Prophets and this still creates a problem for those who claim that inheritance must be established. Similarly, if for the Rasul establishes the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam superficial ownership only, it does not have any negative impact for the Ahlus Sunnah, but does this interpretation really make sense? Therefore, the Lam in li l-Rasul (for the Rasul) and in li Dhi al Qurba (for the ear relatives) cannot establish milkiyyat (ownership) and istihqaq (entitlement) in the same manner as the Lam in
لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ
For the male, what is equal to the share of two females.
فَلَكُمْ رُءُوْسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ
You may have your principal amount.
If we say that the function of the Lam is to list the beneficiaries as is the case with the following verse, then even the Shia are compelled to accept this interpretation because it appeals to the intellect. Such as in the verse:
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَالْعَامِلِيْنَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوْبُهُمْ وَفِيْ الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِيْنَ وَفِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ وَاِبْنِ السَّبِيْلِ فَرِيْضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ
Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller, an obligation [imposed] by Allah.
But if they lack intelligence and do not understand, then let them consider the function of Lam in the verse of Surah al Anfal, i.e. the verse of khums:
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ
And know that anything you obtain of war booty, then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Rasul and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveller.
This Lam is for listing beneficiaries according to their scholars too. This is affirmed by Abu al Qasim referred to as Al Muhaqqiq—who is the author of Shara’i’ al Islam. Other Imamiyyah scholars also concur with this. In fact, this is transmitted from the Imams too.
Beneficiaries do not have ownership of anything before it is given to them just like how a destitute or needy person has no authority over zakat prior to receiving it.
Nevertheless, since the Lam is not for milkiyyah or istihqaq—but rather for listing beneficiaries—it explains why the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam always distributed from the revenue to the beneficiaries but he did not distribute the actual land and allot shares for the respective recipients. But if the Lam—which appears before the recipients—denoted milkiyyah and istihqaq then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have had to distribute the actual land because that is primarily the Fay’, not the income or revenue thereof. This fact requires no further clarification.
If they accept that the beneficiary has no prior ownership over what he has received but the words Ma Afa’ Allah (what Allah restored) demand that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam distribute the actual land among the recipients, and not its revenue. This humble scholar would say to them that the Ahlus Sunnah would give a logical explanation to this too, but let the Shia consider for a moment whom they are criticising. This criticism does not fall on the Ahlus Sunnah; it targets the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam directly.
As for the Ahlus Sunnah—on account of our iman in the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—we blindly accept his actions to be correct even if there is no evidence for it. But considering that we have laboured so intensely to defend the honour of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the rest of the Sahabah, why would we not defend the honour of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
Therefore, if out of enmity and hatred for the Sahabah, the Shia deem it appropriate to level criticism against the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by saying that the verse does not advocate distribution of revenue to the beneficiaries. It actually requires distribution of the land and if this is so, why did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not do so? Had he distributed it, he would have had sole ownership of a chunk of it and Sayyidah Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha claim of inheritance to this piece of Fadak would have been valid. Similarly, this would not implicate Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—who is infallible according to the Shia. She is implicated by seeking inheritance in something which actually did not belong to her father. Therefore, instead of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anha, this had led to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha being criticised whilst she is infallible.
Similarly, if an owner of an item [i.e. Allah] hands it over to one person and entrusts him with the task of distributing it between himself and the rest of the beneficiaries, then even though he has not distributed it, he has no entitlement to the share that would have been, had the distribution taken place. This is because the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia maintain that Hibah to multiple beneficiaries in one item does not accord anyone ownership unless qabd (taking possession) occurs and qabd cannot occur without distribution taking place. Therefore, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had qabd till the end of his life (without distribution). So, if any of the other recipients cannot have ownership prior to qabd, then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had qabd (without distribution) over the whole Fay’, including his portion. This establishes that his ownership cannot be finalised whereupon the claim of inheritance from Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha could be entertained.
Nevertheless, the Shia have two objections against the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for distributing its revenue and not the actual land. Firstly, his actions are in conflict with the verse. Secondly, it has become difficult for them to retain the claim of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha being infallible on account of his not effecting distribution of the land.
We are now compelled to respond and defend the honour of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Perhaps it will secure us a good position in the hereafter and it will silence the Shia forever.
 Surah al Nisa’: 3.
 Surah al Ahzab: 50.
 Surah al Nisa’: 24.
 Surah al Hashr: 7.
 Surah al Nisa’: 11.
 Surah al Baqarah: 279.
 Surah al Tawbah: 60.
 Surah al Anfal: 40.