Another Point of Correction

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

Another point of correction

The lecturer, while presenting his proofs, falsely alluded that I do not love ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and members of his household by saying: “Perhaps Allah will open your heart for the love of Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”

I would like to say that we – the Ahlus Sunnah – love ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, invoke Allah’s pleasure upon him, greatly respect him and regard him as the fourth of the righteously guided khulafa’, whose paths and practices we tenaciously hold onto. Whenever we mention his name, we do so with great reverence and love. We also invoke Allah’s pleasure on all members of the Prophet’s household – in the wider sense of the word. We invoke Allah’s pleasure upon the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives, the righteous ones from the families of ‘Ali, Jafar, ‘Aqil and ‘Abbas, who are all members of the Prophet’s household radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

However, what we regard as calamitous is to exaggerate our love for them as the Christians do in respect to Prophet ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam to the extent that this led them to ascribing partners to Allah in His Lordship and His exclusive right to be worshipped. Two groups have indeed been misled in this aspect:

One: The Nawasib: They are those who hated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, regarded him as apostate, believed in the violability of his blood and hated the noble members of his household. The Ahlus Sunnah renounced this group. A cursory reading of the books of Ahlus Sunnah would attest to the fact that they love ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and invoke Allah’s pleasure on him.

Two: The Rawafid (Shia): These are those whose exaggerated love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu led them to raise him above his God-given status; a situation which he himself would not like.

This exaggeration led them to hate the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum whom Allah selected for him and to convey his message and support him. It led them to accuse the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum of preferring the life of this world to the hereafter and of depriving ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu of his right and committing injustice against him.

The situation of these people really surprised me. Who would be just if Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were not just? Who would be just if ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not just?

(There was a loud cry in the courtyard.)

A man from the audience stood up and pointed at me yelling: Are you saying: “May Allah be pleased with them” for these people who are apostates and changed the religion of Muhammad?

He then turned to the audience and said: “How can you leave this man invoking Allah’s pleasure upon these people without doing anything?”

Their leader tried to appease him and he requested him to sit down.

The man yelled again: Sayed, did you hear him insulting us? No, we cannot endure this!

(Their leader – who was already very annoyed – got up and complained that it was too late and that he needed to go. I also said that it was late and I needed to go as well, but one of them requested that they wanted to continue the debate. Their leader then told me that the gathering would like to continue with the debate with me and that he had to go. He promised that there was going to be another session of debate between us and he went away. After their leader departed, most of the audience also left but around fifteen of their young men stayed back.)

One of them said: Doctor, Let us set aside the proofs mentioned by the Sayed which you have adequately responded to. I want to ask you some questions.

I said: Go on.

The questioner: Who is the most knowledgeable of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum?

I answered: Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the most knowledgeable of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

The questioner: What is your evidence?

I answered: The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam presented him to lead people in the prayer when he was in his last illness, and it is known that the most knowledgeable of the people should lead them in prayers. Therefore, presenting Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lead the Muslims in prayer is the greatest testimony from the infallible Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he was the most knowledgeable and the best of all the people.

The questioner: Did the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not say: “I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its door”? This is strongest evidence that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the most knowledgeable of all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

I responded: This hadith is not authentic[1] as far as we are concerned. It can therefore not stand as a proof.

The Questioner: But this Hadith is in your recognised books.

I answered: According to the Ahlus Sunnah, the science of hadith is not a superficial science. It is rather a wide science on which innumerable books and works were written. Many of our scholars dedicated their lives to collecting ahadith and worked meticulously to distinguish the authentic from the spurious.

The books of hadith, according to our scholars, are of different categories as far as authenticity is concerned. The most authentic collections are those of Bukhari and Muslim. Mere mention that the hadith is from any of these two great collections is enough for a Muslim to accept it.

They are followed by the four Sunan collections: al Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, al Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. Mere quoting a hadith from any of these collections is not enough to guarantee its authenticity until it is subjected to the rules of the science of hadith and decisions of the scholars of al Jarh wa al Ta’dil.

The next category is collections such as: Sunan al Darmi, Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, Sahih Ibn Hibban and the Mustadrak of al Hakim. However, mere quoting of a hadith from any of these collections is not enough to establish its authenticity until the degree of its authenticity is explicitly declared.

Then we have Masanid which include the authentic, the weak and fabricated ahadith. When any of the ahadith of these collections is quoted, the degree of its authenticity should be mentioned.

In short, not all ahadith recorded in our books can be cited as proof. It is only the authentic that could be cited as proofs. The only ahadith that could be quoted without mentioning the degree of their authenticity are those found in the collections of Bukhari and Muslim, because the entire ummah accepts all the ahadith of the two collections as authentic (on account of the rigorous scrutiny employed by both authors).

In view of the above, the hadith you cited is not authentic. Even if I agreed with you that the hadith is authentic, it does not necessarily mean that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the most knowledgeable of all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

The most that could be inferred from the hadith is that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is one of the gates of knowledge, and not the only gate. As it is known to all, every city has a number of gates and entrances, otherwise it could not have been rightly called a city. So ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is only one of the doors of the city of knowledge. There are indisputably other gates, the greatest of which is Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu followed by the rest of the Prophet’s Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

I have told you earlier that the most knowledgeable of people has the greatest right to lead them in prayer, and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lead people in prayer in his last illness.

The questioner: The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam command for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lead the prayer is mentioned only in your book. We are not obliged to accept it.

I answered: Subhan Allah! You cited a hadith and I agreed to discuss it with you though it is not authentic and I am now quoting an authentic hadith that is in Bukhari and you are rejecting it?! Now tell me, what it the criterion for determining an authentic hadith according to you Shia?

The questioner: We are not obliged to accept any of your ahadith and we do not recognise them at all. I only cited it to you because I know you accept it as an authority.

I said: There is no power or might except with Allah! Are you dismissing with such casualness the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam hadith; a wisdom that emanated from the light of prophethood, meant to complement the Qur’an and elucidate on its meanings, and the sunnah for which our erudite scholars dedicated their lives to preserve?

I definitely know that we are the Ahlus Sunnah because of our belief in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sunnah and I certainly know that you are the Rafidah (rejecters) because of your rejection and denial of the sunnah. Now, my knowledge in this fact is strongly confirmed.

The questioner: We (the Shia) have our own ahadith and they are all from members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family, who are the rightful heirs to all knowledge. They are infallible and their knowledge is purely divine.

I responded: Your provision, as far as the knowledge of Hadith is concerned, is poor in quality. You are the furthest of all people from the hadith and its sciences. You know absolutely nothing about the sciences of hadith.

This is not my statement. It is rather a testimony from your own leaders and Imams. They mentioned that your ahadith are so full of discrepancies that you can hardly find a hadith without finding another that is diametrically contradicting it. One of your scholars would declare the same thing as obligatory, forbidden, lawful, and disliked at the same time without any justification. These bizarre contradictions are the clearest proof that your ahadith are fabricated and are falsely attributed to the members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household, who are rightly guided and are our guides. Remember, such flagrant contradictions are a sign of falsehood. Allah says:

 

وَلَوْ کَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَیْرِ اللّٰهِ لَوَجَدُوْا فِیْهِ اخْتِلَافًا کَثِیْرًا

Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradiction.[2]

 

My brother! The difference between the knowledge of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding Hadith and your knowledge about it, is as wide as the gap between the heaven and the earth. We are very proud – with all praise due to Allah – that our ahadith were reported from Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by about four thousand of his noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum who kept his company for more than twenty years and conveyed all his sayings, deeds, decisions, manners and his interactions with members of his household and the people to us. They also conveyed to us the stories of his wars and dealings with non-Muslims, and every other minute and great aspect of his meritorious life.

It is from these four thousand Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum that thousands of the Tabi’in (the generation after the Companions) learned the ahadith and they in turn conveyed them to the erudite scholars who came after them, until the entire Sunnah became documented in an exceptionally meticulous way that became a source of pride and superiority for us over all nations and over all deviant and erroneous groups.

As for you Shia, your hadith is an unequalled comedy; for you take sayings of your Imams as equal to those of the infallible Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who never spoke out of desire but only what was inspired to him. This is certainly enormous misguidance. This is the source of great contradictions that abound in your religion. For each Imam has his independent sayings and decisions.

It is ironically saddening and amusing at the same time that you take the largest part of your knowledge from a two-year old boy, Muhammad ibn Hassan al ‘Askari, whose very existence is seriously doubtful, even according to your own scholars.

Tell me, how can a reasonable person accept that your knowledge of hadith is learnt from a mythical two-year old boy? How I wish the Shia had taken their knowledge directly and verbally from the scholars. Rather they took it from tattered materials and papers hidden in a tree during the night and removed during the day.

Can these fables that even young children would not believe, stand as a viable chain of transmission for performing acts of worship to Allah?

Do you know why we are called “Ahlus Sunnah”? It is because of our tenacious adherence to the guidance of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Sunnah. We are – without being pompous – the adherents and preservers of the hadith. We know its texts and chains; and we surpassed all other people in this regard.

It is enough a pride for us that all our ahadith are narrated from the noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, whose main preoccupation was to memorise the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They did not leave anything of his Sunnah unrecorded.

The questioner (interrupted): The knowledge of Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is greater than the knowledge of all these (Companions), and we possess the knowledge of Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

I said: We want to be reasonable and logical. Is the knowledge of one Companion greater than the knowledge of four thousand Companions? In addition, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not accompany the Messenger of Allah radiya Llahu ‘anhu at all times. It is known that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would sometimes be alone with his wives who knew things about him that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not know. It is also known that he sent ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Yemen, and when he was going to Tabuk, assigned him to stay behind and take care of the women and children. During this period, he was definitely not in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam company. How then, could he be more knowledgeable than the four thousand Companions who were with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at all times?

The questioner: But the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu knowledge that he did not give to anyone among them!

I responded: This claim that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concealed some knowledge from his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum – though it is unlawful to conceal knowledge – is an insult to him. How could he have done so since it was to him that the following words were revealed:

 

اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ یَكْتُمُوْنَ مَآ اَنْزَلَ اللّٰهُ مِنَ الْکِتٰبِ وَیَشْتَرُوْنَ بِه ثَمَنًا قَلِیْلًا ۙ اُولٰٓئِكَ مَا یَاْكُلُوْنَ فِیْ بُطُوْنِهِمْ اِلَّا النَّارَ وَلَا یُکَلِّمُهُمُ اللّٰهُ یَوْمَ الْقِیٰمَةِ وَلَا یُزَکِّیْهِمْ ۚ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ اَلِیْمٌ

Verily those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book, and purchase a small gain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing but fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment.[3]

 

The questioner: Yes, Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has mystic knowledge directly imparted from Allah. He has infinite knowledge.

I said: You see. You have contradicted yourself. This is an exaggeration you Shia commit concerning the person of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, an eminent companion and one of the most knowledgeable of the Companions. This does not however mean that he had an exclusive knowledge that other Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not have. This is indisputably attested to by all those who know his history.

If he did indeed possess knowledge of the unseen – as your scholars claim – what happened in the Battle of Siffin would not have happened. The Khawarij would not have been able to give him troubles and one of them would not have been able to assassinate him.

Furthermore, it is the Ahlus Sunnah who possess ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu knowledge and that of the other Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. As for you, you have missed the knowledge of all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Even as far as ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu knowledge is concerned, which you claim to possess, the fact is that you have missed most of his knowledge that are narrated by the sagacious scholars of hadith among the Ahlus Sunnah.

The questioner: We have strayed from our topic. My question is about the most knowledgeable one among the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

I said: I have answered your question that the most knowledgeable companion is certainly Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in view of his being appointed by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to lead the other Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum in prayer in his last illness.

The questioner: Another question: Who is the bravest companion radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

I answered: The Companions. radiya Llahu ‘anhum are all brave. Bravery is a prominent attribute of the vast majority of them. Among the brave Companions. radiya Llahu ‘anhum are Hamzah – the Prophet’s uncle – ‘Umar al Faruq, ‘Ali and Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

(When he insisted that I mention the bravest of them all, I asked him about the benefit he wanted to derive from that.)

He kept quiet as if he was thinking and then said: The bravest of all brave people is Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

I responded: If we assume – for the sake of argument – that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the bravest companion, what does that have to do with our topic?

The questioner: It follows then that he has the greatest right to being the leader. For, leadership necessitates bravery and courage.

I said: We are talking about matters governed by Islamic rules. We are not talking about bravery in isolation. If not, we should leave the religion and talk about ‘Antarah ibn Shadad, who was the bravest man among the Arabs. Brother, leadership needs knowledge, astuteness, experience, wisdom, gentleness, bravery and courage.

The questioner interrupted: But Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had all these attributes!

I said: Yes, he had even more. He deserves to be attributed with all good qualities. But there are some people who excelled him in them, and they are three. He is the fourth rightly guided khalifah. We invoke Allah to be pleased with him. We love and respect him more than you, but we do so within the framework of Shari’ah without exaggeration or negligence. The consensus among Ahlus Sunnah, including all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, is that the rightly guided leaders and guides are the four Khulafa’ in the following order: Abu Bakr al Siddiq, ‘Umar al Faruq, ‘Uthman Dhu al Nurayn and Abu al Sibtayn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

Someone from among the audience screamed: Are you going to leave this man to invoke Allah’s pleasure on the Companions who are apostates and committed injustice against Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and intended to kill him and set his house on fire? Are you leaving this wolf to drag you into his path, and are debating incontestable facts with him? Are you abandoning Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam daughter, while this man invokes Allah’s pleasure on those who harmed her and beat her up so cruelly that she had a miscarriage and they set her house ablaze and wanted to kill her husband who is the Prophet’s brother, cousin and successor?!

He then faced me and said: Tell me, are there not narrations from your books confirming this? You are debating incontestable matters.

I responded: The brother’s statement includes a number of things that needs to be explained in some detail.

One: All narrations about threatening ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and beating up his wife are false. They should not be mentioned at all, let alone cited as proofs for anything. These narrations are fabricated by the crisis mongers and liars in order to depict the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum as primitive barbarians whose only concern was worldly materials, though they are actually too honourable to do that.

What is undoubtedly correct is the mutual love and affection that existed among all the Companions, including ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is also a clear and authentic fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu loved Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and he would praise them and ask Allah to be pleased with them. Nothing testifies to this more glaringly than his naming of three of sons after Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

Another glaring proof of this is that he was the judge of the city of Madinah during the Caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his daughter, Umm Kulthum, from his wife Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was married to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

It is a fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu loved ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and respected him greatly. Indeed, ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu major contribution in paying the bridal gift of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. is one of the most obvious signs of mutual love that existed between these two great caliphs. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would often recall this favour and he would ask Allah to be pleased with ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also loved the Muhajirin and the Ansar, and he would praise them. This is evident in Nahj al Balaghah’, a book that you rely upon, where ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said: “The Shura (consultation) belongs to the Muhajirin and the Ansar. Whoever they choose for the Muslims should be their leader and Allah will be pleased with their choice.”

It is also mentioned in the same book that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would criticise his followers on account of them not resembling the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum in their worship, piety, honesty and sincerity.

Therefore, all these facts unquestionably affirm that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu respected and loved all the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and they also loved and honoured him. Whatever is narrated in contrast to this is absolutely false and fabricated by the evil crisis-mongers.

The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum whom he trained with the guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and upon wisdom and an excellent example are too great to engage in those horrible things.

A man from the audience interrupted: Do you regard Nahj al Balaghah by Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be authentic?

I responded: Nahj al Balaghah is a book authored more than three centuries after the death of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by al Sharif al Radi, without any known chain of transmitters. Its attribution to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is greatly doubtful. The known fact is that more than a third of the book is falsely attributed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and it is in this part that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu were insulted and disparaging remarks made against them.

We can decisively conclude that this part was forged, especially since it contradicted texts of the Qur’an that praised the Prophet’s noble Companions.[4]

Another questioner: When did ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

I answered: After six months of assuming Caliphate.

The same questioner: “Then why did Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu delay his pledge of allegiance if it is true that there was love between them?

I responded: The fact of the matter is that ‘Ali was busy, along with ‘Abbas and Zubair ibn ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhum, preparing the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for burial while the Muhajirin and the Ansar convened and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah. So, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not pleased with that because he felt that he was left out and not consulted.

The questioner: This means that they conspired against Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and denied him his right. It shows that they were after leadership at all costs.

I said: Take it easy! This conclusion is uncalled for. If you study the matter carefully, you will realise that the truth is in Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu favour.

When the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum heard of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam death, they convened a meeting at Saqifah Bani Sa’idah to appoint a new leader for the Muslims. They knew that Islam could not be established without leadership. When Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma heard of that, they quickly went to the Saqifah. On their way, they met Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the trustee of this ummah[5], and the three of them proceeded to Saqifah.

When they arrived there, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu reminded the Ansar of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam hadith: “The leaders shall be from Quraysh”. He also reminded them that Allah described the Muhajirin as truthful and the Ansar as successful, and reminded them that Allah commanded the people to be with the truthful by His saying:

ياَیُّهَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَكُوْنُوْا مَعَ الصّٰدِقِیْنَ

O you who believe! Be conscious of Allah and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).[6]

 

The Ansar agreed with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who in an attempt to kill a potential controversy in its cradle suggested that either ‘Umar or Abu ‘Ubaidah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma should be appointed as the new leader. However, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu answered him: “As long as you are among us, none of us would agree to be appointed the leader. Give me your hand and let me pledge allegiance to you.” That was how ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and other Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were present there pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the new leader.

The following day, all the Muhajirin and the Ansar pledged their allegiance with the exception of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and some members of the Prophet’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu household such as ‘Abbas.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was displeased that the decision was taken in his absence, but Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was right, for the matter of appointing a new leader was so important that it could not be delayed lest there would be a crisis, the extent of which would be known only to Allah.

After six months, ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu anger died down, so he sent to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu informing him of his intention to pledge allegiance, and thereafter ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Masjid al Nabawi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam That was how their differences came to an end.[7] Is it then reasonable that we should be waging war against one another on behalf of two persons who had already settled their differences? This is strange indeed.

The questioner: Did Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr?

I responded: Take it easy! This is certainly a manifestation of such ignorance on your part that I least expected. Women are excused from personally pledging allegiance. However highly we respect Fatimah al Zahra radiya Llahu ‘anha, it should be made clear that she had nothing to do with the matter of leadership and caliphate.

Caliphate is a matter that needs intelligence, wisdom and courage. It is the responsibility of the wise and knowledgeable leaders of the community who know the right person for this position.

Since women naturally give in to the dictates of their emotions they are excused from this matter. This does not, however diminish the status of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. For, she remains the best woman in this world and the chief of the women of Paradise in the hereafter.

The questioner: What then is the cause of disagreement between Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Abu Bakr?

I responded: The disagreement was not as you perceived it to be because you take that disagreement as a means of maligning and cursing the Prophet’s noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. A disagreement could be due to different points of view in which each of the disagreeing persons would see that they are upon the truth.

The basis of disagreement between Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the issue of Fadak, which was a simple issue that should not have warranted disagreement in the first place.

The questioner: No, it was not a simple matter. What Abu Bakr did was that he deprived her of her right and harmed her, in spite of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “Fatimah is of me and I am of her. He who bothers her in fact bothers me and he who bothers me indeed bothers Allah.” It is not a simple matter. It is a fundamental of religion and faith!

I said: Is this disagreement a fundamental of religion on the basis of which you call the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum apostates? This is undoubtedly an absurd, excessive transgression that could remove one from the fold of Islam.

Do you know when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam uttered this statement that you are citing as evidence? Do you know that he addressed it to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and not to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu? You will come to realise this soon. Let us go back to the disagreement which you claim to be a fundamental of religion.

It was about a piece of land known as Fadak that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam earned as his share of the booty during the campaign of Khaybar. When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam died, Fatimah K came to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu asking for her share of her father’s property. But Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu told her that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Our property will not be inherited, whatever we (i.e. prophets) leave is Sadaqah (to be used for charity).[8]

While telling her this, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu swore to her that the members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household are dearer to him than the members of his own family, and that he only needed to carry out the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructions.

When she heard that, she was pleased. And there are authentic reports that he visited her before her death. Where then is the disagreement that the brother claimed to be a fundamental of religion?

What then is Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu sin in all this? Also if we thought over the matter deeply we would realise that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was also a stakeholder in the Fadak property because of the share of his daughter, ‘A’ishah radiya Llahu ‘anha, who is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife. But implementing the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instruction is greater than this world and its materials.

Then I need to ask you a question: Why did ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu not return the Fadak property to Fatimah’s children, Hassan, Hussain and Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anhum when he became the khalifah if he was not convinced that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was right in his decision?

Therefore, the matter which you depict as fundamental of religion was no more than a difference in points of view that ended with the dissenting party accepting the truth. The first person to disprove your lie is ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he approved Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the farthest person from sycophancy, hypocrisy and weakness when it comes to the truth.

As for your claim that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Fatimah is of me and I am of her. He who bothers her in fact bothers me and he who bothers me indeed bothers Allah.” I do not know this hadith in this version.

The version I know is: “Fatimah is part of me. He who disturbs her in fact disturbs me and he who offends her offends me.”[9]

As for the statement: “He who bothers me indeed bothers Allah.” I think it is a dubious addition, and I think it is falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And Allah knows best.

This hadith is a proof against the questioner, since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not address the statement to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu but to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who wanted to marry the daughter of Abu Jahl as a second wife. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said: “Fatimah is from me, and I am afraid she will be subjected to trials in her religion (because of jealousy).” The Prophet then mentioned one of his son- in-laws (i.e. Abu al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu) who was from the tribe of ‘Abdul Shams, and he praised him as a good son-in-law, saying: “Whatever he said was the truth, and he promised me and fulfilled his promise. I do not make a legal thing illegal, nor do I make an illegal thing legal, but by Allah, the daughter of Allah’s Messenger and the daughter of the enemy of Allah, (i.e. Abu Jahl) can never get together (as the wives of one man).”[10]

What then does the hadith have to do with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

One of them: Do you know the story of Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha death and who performed the funeral prayer on her?

I answered: She died like any other human being and her husband performed funeral prayer on her.

The questioner: Why did Abu Bakr not perform the funeral prayer on her?

I responded: This is not a Jumu’ah prayer. It is funeral prayer, and in such a prayer, the strong opinion of the jurists is that the nearest relative of the dead has the greater right to lead the funeral prayer on him or her – if he is knowledgeable. This is because he is the most sympathetic with the dead person and he is likely to be most sincere in supplicating and seeking forgiveness for him or her. This is the view of many of our jurists.

The questioner: That was not what happened. You are just being evasive!

I said: Subhan Allah! Anyway, evasiveness is better than insulting and cursing (the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum), now tell me what happened.

The questioner: What happened is that when Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha knew that the time

of her death was near, she had a bath and put on her shrouds and then laid down on her bed.

She instructed her husband to secretly perform funeral prayer on her and to bury her in the night so that Abu Bakr would not have the chance to perform funeral prayer on her. For she hated the prayers of this hypocrite.

I said: l wonder how you people could be so ensnared, blinded and infatuated by every superstitious and fabled story, supportive of every exaggeration and looking for every means of disagreement as sincere people would pursue the truth and harmony!

Then I asked him: Is it permissible to perform fajr salah before its time?

He said: No.

I said: Because its time has not yet come.

I asked him further: Is it permissible to perform ablution for fajr salah after ‘isha and then go to bed and wake up in the morning and perform fajr salah with that ablution?

(All those who were present laughed and) The questioner laughingly said: No, but what does this have to do with our topic?

I said: Why is it not permissible to perform ablution for fajr salah in the night though it would make you ready for the prayer upon waking up?

He said: Because sleeping would nullify the ablution. So it is useless.

I said: This is the link. It is also not permissible to bath a person before he dies. For, death will nullify that bath and another bath would become necessary after death. This is what your statement implies. You have nailed your own coffin. This is the first proof on the spuriousness of your hadith. Another proof is …

The man who had earlier abused me and threatened me then suddenly stood up and started shouting: This is a hypocrite! Did I not warn that you should not engage in any debate with him? He is evasive like a wolf, twisting around, rationalising and playing on you. He does not want the truth neither does he love the members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family!! (Allah then made him to utter these supplications:) O Allah, raise him up in the company of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar! O Allah, raise him in the company of these apostates and hypocrites!

I said (smilingly): Ameen! O Allah, raise me up in the company of these pure and righteous people who are the leaders of the faithful, the best of all mankind after the prophets and the leaders of the truthful, the martyrs and the pious.

The call was then made for fajr salah, and thus did the debate that took nearly six hours end.

I then said: It is time to go for fajr salah, but I would like to call your attention to the injustice which this man (I pointed to the man who insulted me) had done to me. He wrongly accused me that I did not want the truth and accused me of hypocrisy – and I seek refuge with Allah from hypocrisy and the hypocrites.

Allah knows that I did not come here but only to show the truth and defend it. If I were a hypocrite, I would not have debated with you with all this sincerity, clarity and frankness. I would also like to tell you that up till now I have not had the opportunity to show you the truth which I believe. Since I had been answering your questions and dispelling misconceptions. I have not yet said what I wanted to say. If I had been given the opportunity to say what I wanted to say, I would have shown you – with Allah’s permission – the clear truth.

My friend who had come to my house in the first place: Talk sheikh! Say whatever you wish and we will all listen.

I said: There is not sufficient time. It is already time for fajr. I have to take permission to go and perform the prayer.

My friend: Then suggest a time for continuation of the debate.

I said: As you like, though I do not think the brothers are very enthusiastic about another meeting. (But most of them declared that they were enthusiastically awaiting the next meeting).

We agreed that the next meeting should take place in the evening after ‘isha salah and I stipulated that their leader who was with us before should be present. They assured me that he would be glad to come.

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter Two


[1]  Instead it is a fabricated hadith (Mowdu’). When I returned home, I searched for the hadith and found that ibn al Jawzi included it in his book, Al Mowdu’at (collection of fabricated narrations).

[2] Surah al Nisa’: 82

[3] Surah al Baqarah: 174

[4] This questioner may have intended to use false narrations that are in this book against me, but when he discovered that more than a third of the book is fabricated he went silent.

[5] A title awarded to him by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

[6] Surah al Taubah: 119

[7] Much has been made – primarily by the Rafidah sect – concerning narrations which describe how both Zubair ibn ‘Awwam and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma delayed pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Almost all of those narrations, however, are not authentic; the one exception is a narration that was related by Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who said: “Verily ‘Ali, Zubair, and others who were with them stayed behind in the house of Fatimah bint Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. (Sahih al tawthiq fi Sirah wa Hayat al Siddiq, pg. 98) They were there for a reason: they were in charge of making preparations for the burial of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thier primary duties involved washing the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and wrapping him up in a shroud. This information is based, not on mere conjecture, but on a narration that was related by Salim ibn ‘Ubaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. According to that narration, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and to the other members of the Prophet’s household: “Busy yourselves with (the affair of (i.e. the burial preparations)) your companion.” Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then ordered them to wash the Prophet’s body. (ibid)

It is important to understand that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had just died, and so, yes, some people had to concern themselves with the future course of the Muslim nation; but others had to busy themselves with making preparations for the Prophet’ s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam burial. As a result, it was on the day after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam death, which was Tuesday – that Zubair ibn ‘Awwam and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhuma pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “When Abu Bakr climbed the pulpit, he looked at the faces of the people who were before him. Not finding Zubair ibn ‘Awwam anywhere among the crowd, Abu Bakr summoned for him to come. When Zubair came (a short while later), Abu Bakr said to him: “O cousin and helper of the Messenger of Allah, do you want to break the stick of the Muslims (i.e. do you want to be the cause of disunity)?” Zubair said: “There is no blame upon you (for what you say), O Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah.” after which he stood up and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr then looked in the faces of the crowd, and, not finding ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib anywhere among them, summoned for him to come. When ‘Ali came (a short while later), Abu Bakr said: “O cousin of the Messenger of Allah, do you want to break the stick of the Muslims (i.e. do you want to be the cause of disunity)?” ‘Ali responded: “There is no blame upon you (for what you say), O Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah.” after which he stood up and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” (Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (5/249), Ibn Kathir ruled that this hadith is authentic)

This authentic narration was deemed so important by Imam Muslim ibn aI-Hajjaj rahimahu Llah – the compiler of the second most authentic hadith compilation, Sahih Muslim – that he went to his Sheikh, Imam al Hafiz Muhammad ibn Ishaq al Khuzaimah rahimahu Llah, and asked him about it. ibn al Khuzaimah wrote out the hadith for him and read it for him. Speaking figuratively, Imam Muslim rahimahu Llah said: “This hadith is worth a Badanah (a large cow that is slaughtered in Makkah (i.e., this Hadeeth is something of great value)).” Ibn Khuzaimah responded: «This hadith is not equal to a Badanah only (but rather it is worth more); instead, it is equal to a Badarah (a bag that contains 1000 or 10,000 Dinars; or in other words, this hadith is a priceless treasure of great importance). Commenting on Abu Sa’id’ s above-mentioned narration, Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah said: “The chain of this narration is both authentic and correctly memorised.”

And the hadith imparts very important information: Either one or two days after the Prophet’s death, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. And this is certainly true, for (throughout the duration of Abu Bakr’s caliphate), ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu always remained in the close company of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; in fact, he never missed performing a single salah behind him. (AI-Bidayah wa al Nihayah (5/249).

According to another narration, Habib ibn Abu Thabit said: “‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in his house when a man went to him and said: “Abu Bakr has sat down in order to take pledges of allegiance (from the people).” At that very moment, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was (dressed casually) wearing only a long shirt, with no lower garment or robe above it. But he was in a rush, for he did not want to delay pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and so, without bothering to put on the rest of his attire, he went out the Masjid. Once there, he sat down and asked someone to bring his robe for him. Some people brought it for him, and he wore it over his shirt.” (Al Khulafa’ al Rashidun by al Khalidi pg. 56).

[8] Reported by Bukhari 3092 and Muslim 1759

[9]  Reported by Muslim (2449)

[10]  Reported by Bukhari (3110)

Back to top