Authors Preface

Chapter One Responding to Those Ahadith Which Have Been Quoted in Criticism of Mu`awiyah
January 21, 2016
Preface by Shaykh `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Sa`d Part 2
January 21, 2016

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Authors Preface

 

All praise is due to Allah who has prepared for every era — after the interval of succession of Messengers — a few who remain from the people of [Islamic] learning who call those who have strayed, towards guidance; and who remain patient against trouble and harm. Who bring life to the deceased through the Book of Allah; and who make those who are blind see, by the Light of Allah. How many a victim of assassination by Iblis have they restored life to! And, how many a misguided, stray person have they given guidance to! So, how wonderful is their effect on mankind! And, how distasteful is the effects of mankind upon them! They dispel from the Book of Allah the distortion of the radicals, the plagiarism of the people of falsehood, and the misinterpretation of the people of ignorance; those who have hoisted the flags of innovation, who have set loose the clouds of fitnah. For indeed they are divided regarded the Book. They speak regarding Allah and His Book without any [sound] knowledge. They discuss the complex issues of doctrine and dupe the unsuspecting, uneducated people, thus confusing them. So we seek refuge in Allah from the trials of the ones who mislead.

I bear testimony that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah, alone, without any partner in His Divine, nor in His right to be worshipped, nor in His Names and Attributes. I also bear testimony that Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His slave, and His chosen Messenger, and selected Prophet. May the salutations and blessings of Allah be conferred upon him, and upon his family and companions, and upon those who follow them with excellence, until the Day of Reckoning.

How wonderful it is what Imam Ahmed[1] rahimahu Llah said in regard to those who collect the narrations and reports that seek to defame the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He has said, as reported in Kitab al Sunnah by al Khallal[2]:

 

If this was said about people whose ancestry is unknown I would have reproached it, how then if it is the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?! … I have not recorded these narrations!”[3]. Al Marrudhi[4] rahimahu Llah said: “I said to Abu ‘Abdullah, ‘so, if I know anyone who writes these foul narrations and collect them; is he to be renounced?’ He said, ‘yes, the people of such narrations deserve to be stoned!’[5]

 

You will be overcome by shock and struck by amazement when you see what some writers, from those who purport investigative academic research and the liberation of Islamic history from distortion and interpolation; the audacity they display in maligning the Sahabah of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the early generation of Muslims, defaming the Sahabah and mocking them; by limiting the status of companionship to the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and excluding the thousands who embraced Islam after the incident of Hudaybiyyah and the Conquest of Makkah from the status of companionship in terms of its definition in the shari’ah. Thereby, insinuating that the texts that have come in praise of the Sahabah do not extend to these individuals; in addition to defaming their moral integrity. So they are only companions in the lexical application of the word.

This is a newly invented view that has been introduced into the religion for which there is no precedent. It goes to the extent that the Rafidah [Twelver Shia] who declare apostasy and disbelief upon the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, with the exception of a few individuals among them [who did not renegade on their faith, according to them], yet they do not deny their companionship. However — all praise be to Allah, it is His Favour — their capacity to perform righteous deeds has come to an end, yet Allah wills that their rewards continue to increase.[6]

Not to mention the vilification of Ahlus sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. On the other hand having praise for the people of innovation and vain-desire and their invented practices. Furthermore, describing the books of the early generation as being books of anthropomorphism and criticising the books of Islamic doctrine. Besides that, there are other aspects which shall not be mentioned from these innovations and deviated practices that were not spelt out clearly at first, but their gradual progression towards deviance.

It is well known that the symbol of the people of vain-desire and innovation is their maligning of the Muslims of the earliest generation and the people of hadith; and designating titles to the Ahlus sunnah by descriptions that they are innocent of; very much similar to a famous idiom, a pot calling a kettle black. Abu Zur’ah[7] rahimahu Llah and Abu Hatim[8] rahimahu Llah have both said: “The symbol of people of innovation is defaming the people of athar [hadith][9].” Abu Hatim al Razi rahimahu Llah said: “The symbol of people of innovation is defaming the people of athar, the sign of the heretics is referring the people of athar as Hashwiyyah, and the sign of the Qadariyyah is referring to the people of athar as Mujabbirah, and the sign of the Jahmiyyah is referring to the people of athar as Mushabbihah.”[10]

 

Al Sabuni[11] rahimahu Llah said:

 

All of that is due to partisan prejudice and the people of Sunnah deserve no name accept one and that is the people of hadith [tradition][12].

 

Al Lalaka’i rahimahu Llah has narrated[13] from Maymun ibn Mihran rahimahu Llah who said:

 

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to me: “O Maymun, do not curse the early generation of Muslims and enter into paradise peacefully.”[14]

 

Many books have been written in refutation of these doubts and fabrications, and many of the people of [Islamic] learning and students of [Islamic] knowledge have been up in arms, with the aim of exposing these fabrications and propaganda, May Allah reward them all.

This book will be – with the Will of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala — a response to the confusion and fabrications that have been mentioned with regards to Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, since tens of pages have been blackened [with ink] with defamatory remarks and unsubstantiated criticism against him, which include:

  • Muawiyah initiated the practice of cursing ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the pulpits.
  • He traded in alcohol and intoxicants.
  • He concluded transactions based on interest.
  • He sold idols to the people of India.
  • He murdered 25 of the participants of Badr on the Day of Siffin.
  • Muawiyah was the first to change the prophetic Sunnah.
  • Muawiyah was pleased with the murder of ‘Ammar, and fought against him and had his corpse burnt.
  • Establishing that Muawiyah was cursed by the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam through narrations with sound chains.
  • The accusation of Seniors from the participants of Badr – like ‘Ubadah ibn Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu – that he was from the leaders of evil.
  • The accusation of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the belief of Muawiyah and his [‘Ammar’s] doubts regarding his [Muawiyah’s] Islam.
  • The accusation of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Muawiyah was from the hypocrites who planned the assassination of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the assassination attempt on his life salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after the expedition of Tabuk.
  • Muawiyah’s attempt to assassinate ‘Umar when he went to al Sham [Greater Syria].
  • Muawiyah’s attempted assassination of al Ashtar al Nakha’i and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Khalid ibn al Walid among others.
  • Muawiyah was the leader of oppressive rulers.
  • Establishing that many of the Muhajirun, Ansar and Tabi’in condemned Muawiyah and criticised him.
  • Muawiyah and his father would take false oaths.
  • Muawiyah extinguished many of the practices of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Among other offences that have been falsely conjured up by the slanderous liars[15], and among other distortions of fact by people who play with texts dishonestly by authenticating unreliable and fabricated narrations condemning Muawiyah, while declaring unreliable the authentic texts that expound on his virtues and accolades.

 

I am reminded by this, of the statement of Abu Towbah al Halabi, al Rabi’ ibn Nafi’ rahimahu Llah:

 

Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan is the veil covering the Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So, any man who lifts this veil will be bold [to attack] that which is behind the veil.[16]

 

And the statement of Waki’ ibn Jarrah rahimahu Llah:

 

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is like the door knocker, whoever moves it we accuse him of what lays beyond [i.e. the rest of the Sahabah].[17]

 

Likewise, the statement of ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak rahimahu Llah who said:

 

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, according to us, is a test. Whoever looks at him strangely, we accuse them of the entire community. I mean by that the Sahabah of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[18]

 

However, more terrible and distasteful than this is to criticise Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Anas ibn Malik, Samurah ibn Jundub, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and Abu Hurairah among others, May Allah be pleased with them all.

The third part of this trivet is the criticism of the scholars of Ahlus sunnah like Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah, Ibn al Qayyim rahimahu Llah, Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah, al Dhahabi rahimahu Llah, and those before and after them.

I had sincerely wished that the person who writes about such moral defects, that he begins with his own flaws, and save his heart from bearing enmity towards the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and save his tongue from speaking unfavourably about them.

 

وَالَّذِينَ جَآءُوْ مِنْۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَٰنِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَٰنِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوْا رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

As to those [believers] who come after them they [shall] say: Our Rabb! Forgive us, and our brothers who preceded us in faith. And let not into our hearts any malice towards those who believe. Our Rabb! Indeed You are Most Kind Most Merciful.[19]

 

Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah said:

 

Whoever belittles any of the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or bears any ill-feelings towards them on account of any incident that occurred, or mentions their flaws, then such a person is an innovator [in the religion] and will remain as such until he incurs mercy upon all of them and maintains a clean heart towards all of them.[20]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah has mentioned in al Wasitiyyah:

 

… from the foundation principles of Ahlus sunnah wa l-Jama’ah is that their hearts and tongues are free of anything against the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala described them:

As to those [believers] who come after them they [shall] say: Our Rabb! Forgive us, and our brothers who preceded us in faith. And let not into our hearts any malice towards those who believe. Our Rabb! Indeed You are Most Kind Most Merciful.

 

This book covers a number of topics:

  • A section dedicated to responding to those narrations that are quoted in criticism of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  • A section dedicated to responding to those narrations that have been declared unauthentic which mention the virtue and excellence of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  • A section dedicated to responding to the lies and propaganda against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  • A section dedicated to the virtues and excellence of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  • A section dedicated to the praise of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu by the earliest generations of Muslims.
  • A section dedicated to opinions of the earliest generations of Muslims regarding those who curse Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  • A section dedicated to the consensus of Ahlus sunnah on the obligatory duty of Muslims to remain silent as regards to what happened between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
 

The Muawiyah haters take every precaution in covering up the texts that have come in praise of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and mention his merit by distorting these texts or rejecting them, but how do they think they will get away with that? Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned in his collection of fatawa [legal verdicts]:

 

You shall never find an innovator except that he loves to conceal those texts that contradict him. He hates these texts just as he hates to bring them into the open or narrate them or speak about them, just as he hates those who do [mention these texts].[21]

 

For the sake of Allah, and then that of history, these fabrications and propaganda against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu have no basis. Were it not for the fact that these fabrications have blackened some pages, and the authors of such statements insinuating that this was investigative academic research, and the liberation of Islamic history, it would have been better to ignore these fabrications rather than delve into it. For indeed it is better for the extermination of such views, and muffling of the voices of those who utter them, that these baseless views be simply ignored, since the mention of them might alert people of ignorance.

I have named this book, The unsheathing of the arrowhead in defense of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. I ask Allah to make it beneficial, and that it is done solely for His sake.

Most exalted is your Rabb — the Rabb of Invincible Might — above all they ascribe [to Him], and eternal peace upon all the messengers, For all praise belongs to Allah [alone] the Rabb of all the Worlds.

And may Allah send blessings and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and all his Sahabah.

 
 

NEXT⇒ Chapter One


[1]  Abu ‘Abdullah, Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 A.H/ 855 CE)

[2]  Abu Bakr, Ahmed ibn Muhammad al Khallal (d. 311 A.H / 923 CE)

[3]Kitab al Sunnah (3/501)

[4]  Abu Bakr, Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Hajjaj al Marrudhi (d. 275 A.H / 888 CE)

[5]  Its chain is authentic. For further reference see Kitab al Ibanah by Ibn Battah (pg. 294) and Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ by al Dhahabi (10/92).

[6]  Ibn Taymiyyah — Taqi al Din Ahmed ibn ‘Abdul Halim — (d. 728 A.H / 1328 CE) has written in al Sarim al Maslul:

 

As for those who go beyond that by claiming that they turned apostates after the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam except for a few individuals whose number does not exceed twenty, or that they became transgressors collectively, for such a person as well there is no doubt in his disbelief since he is negating that which has been unequivocally statement in numerous places in the Qur’an in terms of [Divine] Pleasure being on them [the Sahabah] and their praises being mentioned. In fact, one who doubts the disbelief of such a person, then his disbelief [the one who doubts] has also been realised.

 

[7]  Abu Zur’ah, ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Abdul Karim al Razi (d. 264 A.H / 878 CE)

[8]  Abu Hatim, Muhammad ibn Idris al Razi (d. 277 A.H / 890 CE)

[9]  Narrated by al Lalaka’i — Abu al Qasim, Hibat Allah ibn Hassan (d. 418 A.H/ 1027 CE) — in his book Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus sunnah (1/179)

[10]  See Sharh al Sunnah by al Barbahari (pg. 109)

[11]  Abu ‘Uthman, Ismail ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Sabuni (d. 449 A.H / 1058 CE)

[12]  al Sabuni, ‘Aqidat al Salaf wa Ashab al Hadith (pg. 305)

[13] Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus sunnah (7/1325)

[14]  Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (61/249), al Mizzi in Tahdhib al Kamal (29/217)

[15]  See some of these fabrications and others a book, al Suhbah wa al Sahabah by Hassan ibn Farhan al Maliki.

[16]  Narrated by al Khatib in his Tarikh (1/209), and Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (59/209), see also al Bidayah wa al Nihayah by Ibn Kathir (11/450)

[17]  Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (59/210)

[18]  Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (59/211)

[19]  Surah al Hashr: 10

[20]  See ‘Manaqib al Imam Ahmed’ (pg 210) by Abu al Faraj, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Hassan Ibn al Jowzi (d.597AH/1201CE), ‘al Kifayah Fi ‘ilm al Riwayah’ (pg 51) by al Khatib al Baghdadi, Abu Bakr, Ahmed ibn ‘Ali(d.463AH/1071CE)

[21] Al Fatawa (20/161) by Ibn Taymiyyah.

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