Accusation of Doubt in His Verification of Iman

The Incident of Qirtas and the Background
September 18, 2015
If it Were Not For `Ali, `Umar Would Have Been Destroyed
September 18, 2015

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Accusation of Doubt in His Verification of Iman


There is an objection from the Shia directed at Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu that is linked to the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. During the treaty of Hudaybiyyah (6 A.H) Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had signed a treaty with the disbelievers of Makkah, and the conditions of the treaty seemed to weaken the Muslims and strengthen the disbelievers. This worried the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu became especially concerned. Subsequently — as reported in certain narrations — Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:


والله ما شككت منذ سلمت إلا يومئذ

By Allah, from the day I embraced Islam I never doubted except today.


The critics of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum have tried to prove by this that Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had a doubt in nubuwwah, which is a sign of weak iman and more so a sign of hypocrisy.

Furthermore, in a journal called Yad-e Faruq, the Shia mention this accusation under the title, ‘the verification of iman by Hadrat Faruq’. In this, they attempt to prove that his iman was doubtful.



The treaty of Hudaybiyyah took place in 6 A.H. The authentic narrations regarding the treaty of Hudaybiyyah can be studied in the following works:

  1. Bukhari vol. 1, Chapter on the conditions of jihad
  2. Muslim vol. 2, Chapter on the treaty of Hudaybiyyah

The incident can also be found in the other books of hadith and sirah.

In the above narrations of Bukhari and Muslim, the concern and worry of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is mentioned without the words “By Allah, from the day I embraced Islam I never doubted except today”.

On this occasion, the worry and concern of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was on account of his support for din and consideration of the Muslims, because the conditions of the treaty between the two parties (the Muslims and the disbelievers of Makkah) seemingly favoured the disbelievers. In light of such conditions, the concern and worry of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was only natural. However, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu never had doubt regarding Islam or nubuwwah, as we shall explain in the following lines. The scholars of hadith have mentioned this under the commentary of these narrations. See al Fath al Bari vol. 5 p. 265, chapter on the conditions in jihad and treaties with those at war.

In short, Allah Ta’ala was aware that this treaty would prove to be expedient and beneficial for the Muslims in terms of the end result, but to the believers this was hidden and it apparently seemed to be detrimental to Islam. Looking at these apparent conditions, the worry and concern that arose from Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was rather a sign of complete iman. However, those opposed to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum classify this as a sign of weak or loss of iman, how astonishing.


Proof and Supporting Narrations

The proof and supporting narrations for the worry and concern of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu are:

Firstly, when Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu went to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this state of worry and stated his concerns. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu answered: “Indeed I testify that he is the Rasul of Allah.” In response, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said the same thing, “Indeed I testify that he is the Rasul of Allah.”

This means that Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu apprehension was regarding the conditions of the treaty, as he could not understand why Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted such subjugating conditions. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu doubted the consequences of this treaty, whether they would be beneficial or harmful, but he never doubted in the risalat and nubuwwah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is why he verified the risalat and nubuwwah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as mentioned above.

Secondly, it is reported that once the treaty was drawn up, then from amongst the Muslims, Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Sayyidina ‘Umar, Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidina ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Auf radiya Llahu ‘anhum signed as witnesses. Mukriz and Suhayl signed on behalf of the disbelievers. The scribe was Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This was also a sign of their complete iman and showed their strength in religion. Someone whose iman is doubted is not made a witness.[1]

Moreover, it must be made clear that the points mentioned above are present in the narrations of this incident. After finding this clear proof, it can never be permissible to doubt the iman and Islam of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.


Answer to the narration

The narration in which these objectionable words are found, “By Allah, from the day I embraced Islam I never doubted except today,” is reported by Ibn Jarir al Tabari rahimahu Llah (d. 310 A.H) in his Tafsir vol. 26 under Surah al Fath with a chain of narration. There is a narrator in this chain by the name of Ibn Shihab al Zuhri. The narration also repeatedly states: “Al Zuhri said”. These words are the statements of al Zuhri and have been added by al Zuhri (termed as Idraj[2]), and they are not found in the original narration. In fact, they are added by al Zuhri from his side.

There is an example of this action of al Zuhri, for example he also added words (made idraj) in the narration dealing with the request for Fadak:


قال (الزهري) فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه حتى ماتت

Al Zuhri said: “Fatimah left him and did not speak to him until she passed away.”


The above words were added into the narration by al Zuhri (as we have mentioned in Ruhama’ Baynahum, the Siddiqi section p. 125 to p. 138)

In short, the actual words which are the basis of this allegation are not present in the original narration, but were added by the narrator. In other words, this was the thought of the narrator. The principle in this regard is that the added portions, or afterthoughts of the narrator, are not proof upon others.

It must also be known that the Mufassirin who came after Ibn Jarir al Tabari rahimahu Llah and narrated this incident, have included these words in the narration as well. The reason being that they generally narrate from al Tabari rahimahu Llah. Hafiz Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah has mentioned a number of narrations on this occasion in his Tafsir and he finally writes:


وقد رواه أيضا عن عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن الزهري نحوه وخالفه في أشياء وفيه أغراب

‘Abd Razzaq narrates from Ma’mar and Ma’mar from al Zuhri in this way, and there are many things in this narration that contradict other narrations and there are inconsistencies in it, and it contradicts the well-known narrations.


We have spoken about the addition of the narrator before this. Thus the end results of both are the same.

The conclusion is that such objectionable things are found in the rare narrations and the narrations wherein additions were made by the narrator. Those opposed to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum use these narrations as a basis for criticism against the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, whereas there is nothing objectionable in the authentic narrations.

Lastly, that which holds more weight than the supporting narrations is that in His noble word, Allah verifies and establishes the iman and Islam of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in a number of verses and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is also among these Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, for example:


لَقَدْ رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ اِذْ یُبَایِعُوْنَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِیْ قُلُوْبِهِمْ فَاَنْزَلَ السَّکِیْنَةَ عَلَیْهِمْ وَ اَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِیْبًا

Certainly Allah was well pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you (O Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquility upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest.


اَلْزَمَهُمْ کَلِمَةَ التَّقْوٰی وَ کَانُوْٓا اَحَقَّ بِهَا وَ اَهْلَهَا

(Allah) Imposed upon them the word of righteousness, and they were more deserving of it and worthy of it.


Therefore, in the presence of the noble verses of the Qur’an, there is no room for anyone to object or create doubt regarding the iman and Islam of any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, especially Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If a person harbours enmity in his heart for him, then there is no treatment for this; this is an incurable disease. And Allah is the guide.


Answer to an Objectionable Narration

In some hadith narrations, there is an incident mentioned that in the khilafah of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, there was a difference of opinion that arose between Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the distribution of the fay’ and the wealth of the Banu Nadir, and this matter was presented to Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The view of Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was that whatever share they were to be given from the wealth, the land portions should be divided for them in exactly the same way, this should be given to them to administer separately.

Subsequently, in Sharh al Sunnah of al Baghawi rahimahu Llah, the following text is found:


انما اختصما اليه (عمر رضي الله عنه) في راى حدث لهما في أسباب الولاية والحفظ فراى كل واحد منهما التفرد

They came to Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding a dispute in the opinions they had regarding the guardianship and care; each one of them saw himself as sole guardian.[3]


Similarly, in Jami’ al Usul vol. 3, the following is written in the footnotes regarding this matter:


ان طلب علي والعباس رضي الله عنهما انما كان طلب تولى القيام بها بانفسهما وقسمتها بينهما كما سبق

Indeed the request of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a request to handle the affairs over it and that it be distributed amongst them as mentioned before.


Regarding this issue, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not divide the land between the two parties, so that no doubt would arise amongst those who would come later; with regards to distributing the inheritance of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Regarding this issue, both parties explained their side to Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and there was severity found in their speech.

Some narrations of this particular occasion state that Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu used the following harsh words for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

You thought about Abu Bakr as well as I that we are liars, sinful, treacherous and dishonest, whereas Allah knows that we are truthful, just and following the truth.


In some narrations, the words, ‘oppressor’ and ‘sinner’ are narrated. Subsequently, in these narrations, looking at the harsh nature of these words, some have raised the objection that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had these qualities and they attested to them. Therefore, it is no defect to mention these senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum with these qualities because they attested to this for themselves.

The same subject matter of this objection is found in the following books:

  1. Fulk al Najat vol. 1 p. 390,
  2. A’inah Mazhab Sunni p. 143, 144


It is the occupation of some that wherever they find anything in the hadith seemingly against the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, even though it may be a little, they give great importance to it and blow it up out of proportion. They give it the colour of an objection and they spread it far and wide. In this incident, which stemmed from a disagreement between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, some narrations mention that they spoke harshly against each other and harsh words were used against Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well (as mentioned above). They then quoted this as a severe allegation. The reality is that even though the above-mentioned narration regarding the mutual disagreement regarding the wealth of Banu Nadir etc., and the harsh words used against each other on that occasion are correct, the manner in which it has been understood is far from sound understanding and intelligence.

It is not uncommon for a person to use harsh words to refute the view of the opposite party. In this case however, some of the narrators when narrating this incident did so loosely (and not verbatim), adding in a few more harsh words that were not actually mentioned. These harsh words were not uttered in the original incident and there are supporting narrations to prove this.


Proof and Supporting Narrations

Many Muhaddithin have mentioned this incident in their works with a chain of narration. However, these harsh words (sinner, treacherous, and oppressor) are not found at all in their narrations. For example:

  1. Musnad Imam Ahmed vol. 1 p. 208
  2. Musnad Imam Ahmed vol. 1 p. 60
  3. Bukhari vol. 1 p. 435, 436
  4. Bukhari vol. 2 p. 992
  5. Al Sunan, Abu Dawood vol. 2 p. 55, 56
  6. Tirmidhi p. 250
  7. Shama’il Jami al Tirmidhi p. 601
  8. Al Sunan al Kubra vol. 4 p. 65-68
  9. Ibid vol. 6 p. 229-298

In all the above references, the senior Muhaddithin have mentioned the mutual disagreement but the harsh debated words are not mentioned at all. This is a separate proof that these words are additions by the narrators. Imam Nawawi rahimahu Llah in Sharh Muslim mentions this reason from al Mazari, it is also worthy of mentioning that some narrations contain the following words “Like this and like that”, when describing the comments exchanged.

The commentators of hadith have clarified, regarding this:


ان العباس رضي الله عنه وعليا رضي الله عنه جاء الى عمر رضي الله عنه يختصمان يقول كل منهما لصاحبه انت كذا وكذا ، ليس كنايته عن سب احدهما الاخر كما وهم بل المراد انت لا تستحق الولاية على هذه الصدقة ونحو نالك ما يذكم المخاصم في رد حجه خصمه من غير شتم ولا سب


‘Abbas and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma came to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu with a mutual disagreement, when each party was saying to the other ‘you are like this and this’. These words did not indicate swearing and speaking ill of each other (as some people think).[4]


However, these words mean that one group was telling the other that you are not worthy of handling this particular wealth etc. Just as a person who is arguing, refutes the proof of the opposite party harshly, without swearing. This means that the narrations of this particular incident, wherever the words, ‘like this and this’ are found, it does not refer to the common lewd talk or vulgar language, but it refers to harsh words that are used during a mutual disagreement. The summary is that the harsh words which the critics have used as a basis for objection, they are not present in the original incident, nor is it reported that they were used, but they are words added by the narrator. We have mentioned the reasons and supporting narrations for this above and it is not correct to level objections based on words added by the narrator. Added words cannot be a proof against others, and it is not necessary to accept it.

The reality is that the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not have these qualities (liar, sinner, oppressor, etc.) These contradict the good character, taqwa, high standing and religiousness of these luminaries. The verses of the Qur’an and authentic ahadith bear testimony to this. Therefore, it is out of place for the critics to level such objections which are baseless.

Note: – We have clarified the disagreement mentioned in the narration above in our work Ruhama’ Baynahum part 1 p. 95-96 with footnotes. However, the narration with harsh words was not mentioned there, nor was the reply given. Now it has, by the grace of Allah, as a reply to one of the accusations raised in this regard, and if one were to analyse matters justly then the objection is swiftly removed. However, there is no cure for the one who refuses to accept.


NEXT⇒ If it Were Not For ‘Ali, ‘Umar Would Have Been Destroyed


[1]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 4 p. 169

[2]Idraj: When the commentary or observation of a narrator is transmitted as part of the original narration.

[3]Sharh al Sunnah vol. 11 p. 134, al Fath al Bari vol. 6 p. 152

[4]Sharh Shama’il al Tirmidhi p. 285, Kitab Jamʿ al Wasa’il p. 285, Sharh Shama’il al Tirmidhi p. 296