A commoner from among them suddenly broke the silence and mockingly said: Allah is pleased with all the Companions including even Muawiyah?
I said: I would like to ask you a question.
The commoner: What is the question?
I said: Will you be pleased if your father is insulted?
The commoner: No.
I said: Will you be pleased if your paternal uncle is insulted?
The commoner: No.
I said: Will you be pleased if your maternal uncle, your mother’s brother is insulted?
The commoner: No.
I then faced the audience and said: None of us would be pleased to hear his maternal uncle being insulted, and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who this man is mocking is the maternal uncle of the believers because he is the brother of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife, mother of the faithful, Umm Habibah Ramlah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
In addition to this, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was one of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam scribes. He was famous for his deliberateness, magnanimity, intelligence and resoluteness. He is deservedly the best of all of the Muslim kings.
It was during his reign that Allah gave honour and power to this ummah. He established the first Muslim navy, Allah’s Word prevailed and the religion of Islam triumphed over other religions.
The commoner (angrily): We cannot keep quiet while Allah’s pleasure is being invoked on Muawiyah! (He faced me). You can then invoke Allah’s pleasure upon Yazeed (son of Muawiyah) also! Invoke Allah’s pleasure upon Yazeed now!
I said: The truth must be followed.
The commoner: Which truth? You have actually rejected the truth!
I said: Wait a minute and let me finish my word. You can thereafter contradict me with your proofs if you have any. The truth must be followed.
As regards the row that happened between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the nearest of the two parties to the truth and he was supported by the truth. There were, however, some unclear issues that led to opposition from Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu , Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the mother of the faithful ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha If not for the evil machinations of the vicious crisis-mongers, no Companion would have raised his sword against another Companion.
I am saying this to affirm some facts:
One: The fourth khalifah after ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was supported by the Islamic rules and he was on the correct side in the conflict. If the crisis were to repeat itself today, I would proudly be on the side of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
This does not necessarily mean that those who opposed him among the Companions. radiya Llahu ‘anhum were absolutely wrong. There were strong unclear issues that make the opposition of some Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum to him – in some way – justified. But we do not malign them for that or disparage them, for their actions were due to some ijtihad they made. And if a Muslim makes Ijtihad (jurisprudential deduction) and arrives at a wrong decision, he would still have a reward.
Two: The strongest of all these unclear matters was the existence of the leaders of evil and mischief who endeavoured to create crisis in ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu camp. They were the masterminds of murders and dissension.
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was excused for their existence in his camp because they were so powerful and resilient. They did not give him time to deal with them.
Three: All those who opposed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu-from among the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum only exercised their ijtihad, though they were mistaken. We therefore beseech Allah to give them their reward and to give ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu his double reward, in accordance with the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying.
Four: The Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum never wanted to fight one another. They were too great to do that. They rather maintained cordial relationship among themselves. However, the mischief-makers and the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu would not allow them to cordiality abide. The Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum were as innocent in that crisis as the wolf was in the blood of Prophet Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam. This is the reality which we believe in.
Five: The foundations of evil and mischief in this crisis were the followers of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, who started the crisis by murdering ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and after him Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They then sowed two poisonous seeds:
Tashayyu’ (Partisanship) and Khuruj (Revolt). The Shi’ah (who claim to be ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu supporters) exaggerated in their respect for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, while the Khawarij (those who revolted against the authority of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) killed him.
Six: The Ahlus Sunnah believe that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the nearest to the truth of the two warring sides and that his disagreement with some of his fellow Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not make them impious – as opposed to the opinions of the erroneous groups.
Seven: The Ahlus Sunnah invoke Allah’s pleasure on all the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum with no exception. They believe that they are all excellent and noble people and that they will be forgiven and shown mercy on the Day of Resurrection. All the followers of the Sunnah bear no ill-feeling against any of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. We beseech Allah to resurrect us in their group.
The commoner: What do you have to say about Yazid ibn Muawiyah? Invoke Allah’s pleasure upon him so that we can know your true picture!
I said: I can neither wade into the issue of Yazid nor endorse him being insulted. The scholars of his time had different opinions about him. Some of them like Ibn ‘Abbas and Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (Ibn al Hanafiyyah) praised him. Some scholars attested to his uprightness and refuted all the injustices attributed to him. And some others did not say anything about him, adhering to Allah’s saying:
تِلْكَ اُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۚ لَهَا مَا کَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَّا کَسَبْتُمْ ۚ وَلَا تُسْـَٔلُوْنَ عَمَّا کَانُوْا یَعْمَلُوْنَ
That was a nation which has passed, they shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn, and you will not be asked of what they used to do.
As far as I know, none of those who criticised him did endorse him being insulted or cursed,
The same man: I don’t know how I can endure this. This man (Yazid) killed Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu!
I said: Allah honoured Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu with martyrdom. But who killed him? His killers were those who deceived him and invited him to come to the so-called well-armed army. They sent him tens of thousands of letters. They then killed him for a paltry sum.
As for Yazid, he did not order the killing of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as far as I know. Rather, he was very distressed by his murder. It was a criminal called ‘Ibn Joushan’ who killed him because he hated members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family. He killed him in order to gain the favour of ‘Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, Yazid’s governor in Kufah.
Those who set out to fight Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu did so in their own interpretation of the saying of his grandfather salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Different evils will make their appearance in the near future. Anyone who tries to disrupt the affairs of this ummah while they are united you should strike him with the sword whoever he be.”
And his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “When oath of allegiance has been taken for two caliphs; kill the one for whom the oath was taken later.”
So they set out to prevent him from claiming the Caliphate, though in his own estimation, that was an act of martyrdom. He shall, therefore, be with his grandfather in Paradise as one of the two leaders of the youth.
What I can only say regarding the crisis of that time is Allah’s word:
تِلْكَ اُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۚ لَهَا مَا کَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَّا کَسَبْتُمْ ۚ وَلَا تُسْـَٔلُوْنَ عَمَّا کَانُوْا یَعْمَلُوْنَ
That was a nation who has passed away, they shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn, and you will not be asked of what they used to do.
Allah knows better about them and their intentions. It is only the people of desire and error who live off lies woven around these crises and regard them as the fundamentals of their belief.
Brothers, let me ask you a question: What is the benefit of recalling those pains and crises that we did not witness? Allah did not command us to delve into them. He only commanded us to worship Him alone, obey His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and follow the path of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum And He commanded us to love members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household. Couldn’t we allow ourselves to be united by these commandments instead of delving in differences and crises that brings us no good?
One of them: This is not correct! Allegiance to members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family necessitates renouncing their enemies, and their enemies are the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions upon whom you are invoking Allah’s pleasure!
I said: Do you know their real enemies? They are those who exaggerate in their respect for them; they were those who inconvenienced ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; they were those who set a trap for Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and invited him to come and then sold him off for a paltry sum.
Do you know their enemies? They are those who abuse the most favourite members of the Prophet’s family: ‘Aisha and Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, who are his wives. They are those who insult the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum who, together with members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household, built the glory of Islam.
These are their real enemies; and I am absolve myself from these enemies who pretend to love members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household while they engage in vices such as deception, hypocrisy, abuse and cursing.
One of them: We have arrived at a closed way at which there is no more benefit in the debate. We can endure anything from you except your invoking pleasure
on Muawiyah, Yazid and Bani Umayyah. The matters have now become clear. There is no further need for debate!
I said (after noticing that the time for Fajr prayer was close): The issue is not about Yazid, but your stand in respect to the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum makes me doubt your adherence to Islam as a religion.
What is successively narrated according to your authority and ours is that the Qur’an was collected by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, yet you regard these men as leaders of disbelief and misguidance. We now have before us two absolute issues:
One: Our stand concerning the Companions.
Two: Our stand concerning the Qur’an.
The two are intertwined. We should either declare that the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum apostatised and – at the same time – believe that the Qur’an had been altered because it was compiled by the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and apostates could not be entrusted with preserving the Book of Allah; or we should clearly state that the Qur’an was intact and guarded against any alteration, thereby showing gratitude to those who compiled it and acknowledging their due honour and leadership, especially since the Qur’an itself has praised them. That is how we can find a sound harmony that all people of intellect would agree to.
Therefore, you should make one of the above two declarations. If you make the first declaration, then it becomes clear that you have nothing to do with our religion, as it is clear to every sensible person.
And if you make the second declaration, then you are among the Muslims, and consequently, that erroneous foundation – including regarding the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum as disbelievers and apostates – upon which your predecessors built the religion of the Imamiyyah, is then destroyed.
One of them (who appeared to be on the verge of exhaustion): There is no correlation between the two things. Allah has undertaken the protection of the Qur’an by Himself. The Companions had done nothing in this regard. They rather apostatised after the Qur’an had been revealed after the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The Qur’an had been compiled during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life. It is narrated in the hadith that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam raised up the Qur’an at Ghadir al Khum and said: “I am leaving for you two things; you will never go astray as long as you hold unto them- The Book of Allah and my family.”
I said: The speaker’s statement reminds me of the saying of one our righteous predecessors: If I engage in debate with one thousand scholars, I would defeat them, but if one ignorant person argues with me, he will exhaust me.” He said this because you will be at your wits end in finding intellectual means to convince an ignorant person but he will understand nothing.
I am really sad that our debate can descend to this level of triviality and ignorance.
Be that as it may, I would like to tell the speaker in unequivocal terms: The successive, and indisputable narrations in your books and ours indicate that the Qur’an was compiled by the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
It is also indisputably reported, according to our sources and yours, that it was Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who compiled it following the advice of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and that it was compiled on objects such as palm leaves, planks and stone plates.
During the Caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he ordered that it be written in a book form. He then made four copies thereof and sent each to major Muslim regions. He ordered that whatever was left in people’s hand should be burnt so that there would no discrepancies in the Qur’an.
Thus did the three leaders of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum compile the Qur’an and get their reward in doing so.
It is also indisputable according to your sources and ours that the Qur’an that we have today is the complete one compiled by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu . We believe that no letter is added or omitted. And it is also a copy that all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum agreed upon.
And back to the brother who spoke without knowledge, none of the authentic narrations of the hadith you quoted ever mentioned that Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held the Qur’an, that was still being revealed, up in his hand.
By making the claim you just made now, you are destroying a very significant part of the narrations and beliefs of the Imamiyyah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah which you follow. As your books were filled with narrations which claim that after the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu spent six months in seclusion compiling the Qur’an in Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha room.
There were other narrations also from your books that claim that once he completed it, he presented it to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu for endorsement and both of them refused. He then vowed that it would never be seen again until the advent of ‘Al Qa’im’ – who shall be one of the descendants of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu– at the end of time. That is what your books claim.
Which claim then shall we accept?
Shall we accept the clearly mischievous claim of your scholars which casts a great doubt on the authenticity and divine protection of the Qur’an and cancels the wisdom for which it was revealed or the obviously ignorant and spurious claim of this brother that contradicts all the authentic narrations from our sources and yours?
Or we shall follow the clear truth that those who compiled the Qur’an were the
Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam noble, pious, righteous and successful Companions led by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, radiya Llahu ‘anhum?
In short, we are at crossroads: the road of Islam, which is the path of guidance and truth; and the road of disbelief, which is the path of falsehood
With all praise due to Allah, I have explained to you the two opposing paths. It is now up to you to take the one you like.
The path of the truth and guidance is clearly defined and the path of falsehood and error is also clearly defined so that those who were to be destroyed for rejecting the truth might be destroyed after clear evidence has been shown to them; and those who were to live as believers might live after clear evidence has been shown to them.
After saying this, I got up to leave because the time of the commencement of the fajr salah was near. It was then that my friend who convinced me to come, rose up and said: May Allah reward you with good, Abu ‘Abdullah (that is my nickname). All praise is due to Allah who revealed the truth and made the falsehood vanish through you.
He then faced the gathering and said: I have been with you for four months and listened to you throughout that period. You also should listen to me now:
For these months that I had been with you, I discovered that you are devils in human skin, who create misgivings in a person mind concerning his religion. Your way is to remove ones certainty of his belief in Allah, His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and replace it with uncertainty.
I know you as a group who removes a person from a good opinion about the sincere servants of Allah into having ill-feelings about them. I know you as a group who changes a well-mannered individual into a person whose main character is to curse and abuse others.
Throughout the period in which I was with you- and I wish I had never met you- I wished I was never born to this world because of the doubt, confusion and error you made me live in. But now, that heavy darkness has been removed from my heart and eyes and I have realised your true colours.
I feel obliged to tell you this:
Our religion is about worship and good manners, and not cursing and abusing others.
Our religion is about clarity and transparency and not falsehood, hypocrisy and deception.
Our religion is about worship, courage and gallantry and not cowardice and deceit.
Our religion is about the Qur’an and the Sunnah and not myths, superstitions and spurious narrations.
The place where you are now is the farthest place from the guidance of Allah’s houses, in which He permits that His Name should be remembered and elevated. You have filled it with images, thereby making it look like churches.
(He then turned to one of those sitting there and said): Allah has removed all my doubts and replaced them with certainty and iman. I wish for you the same of Allah’s favour that I wish for myself. So save your soul and come with us, and do not stay with the disbelievers.
(He turned to them again and said): I do not know you and you do not know me. I will never stay with you and you should never stay with me!
(He then offered me his hand and said): O you through whom Allah resurrected me from death and saved me from an imminent destruction, let us leave this ‘church’.
(At the door, when he saw the sky he said): All praise is due to Allah Who removed me from darkness to light!
We went to the Masjid together and performed the fajr salah and after that he asked me: What is your view about these people? Are they disbelievers or apostates?
I replied: They are rather disbelievers whose disbelief is very complex. The Imamiyyah Shi’ah were keen to be a composite of all kinds of disbelief professed by all the disbelieving peoples, all kinds of polytheism of the polytheists, all kinds of exaggerations of the Jews and the Christians and all kinds of heresy and errors professed by all erroneous sects.
They emulate the Jews in their meanness and the Christians in their error and excessiveness. Most of their beliefs are borrowed from the Zoroastrians, and their taqiyyah and hypocrisy are ‘cloned’ from the heretics.
My brother, if you want me to give you a thousand proofs then each one of their teachings is enough to declare them as disbelievers, I can do so, with all praise due to Allah. However, it is enough for you to know that their disbelief revolves around the following fundamentals:
One: Their excessive veneration of their so-called Imams and their claim that these Imams have knowledge of the unseen and that they have the power to benefit and harm and to give life and death.
Your mere glancing through the table of contents of their books such as Al Kafi or Bihar al Anwar will convince you of this.
Two: Their disbelief that manifests in their polytheistic and pagan activities. Just observe them at their Mashads and at the graves of their Imams to see how they call on the dead and seek their help.
Three: Their disbelief that manifests in their having doubt about the Qur’an and their claim that there are alterations in it. Glance through their books of tafsir such as the ones written by al Qummi, al ‘Ayyashi, Al Safi and Al Burhan, and see how they are dead sure that the Qur’an had been altered, and how they changed and omitted words of the Qur’an and added their own words.
Four: They disbelieved by rejecting the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam authentic Sunnah. They proudly and publicly declare that they reject all the authentic Sunnah conveyed to us by the noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Five: They disbelieved by regarding the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum as disbelievers.
Six: They disbelieved by declaring some of the most favourite members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family – ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha, who are our mothers, as disbelievers. They are disbelievers by every curse and abuse they utter against these pious women.
Seven: They disbelieved because of the wrong beliefs they hold about Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and the Pre-decree. It suffices you to know that they attribute weakness, ignorance and indecisiveness to Allah. They actually took this belief from their Jewish leaders. It also suffices you to know that they distorted the reality of the Day of Resurrection. And this they took from their Zoroastrian and Jewish leaders.
Eight: They disbelieved because they regard the entire Muslim ummah and the followers of the pure truth and the straight path – the Ahlus Sunnah wa l- Jama’ah as infidels. Therefore, they disbelieved with every Muslim they called infidel and with the blood, wealth and honour of every Muslim they violated.
At this point, my friend showed his consternation and said: Where do the advocates of reconciliation from among the Ahlus Sunnah stand in regard to these firmly-established facts?
I said: Do not say “advocates of reconciliation” but say “victims of deception” perfected by these liars and hypocrites.
He said: But knowledge is the weapon of these scholars. How strange that they could be entranced by these misguided people through ignorance?
I said: I think they should not be excused for failing to know about the reality of these people, but the hypocrites have perfected their taqiyyah. If not, hardly will you find a scholar or student of knowledge who would not declare them to be disbelievers.”
He said: How could they then be informed of the disbelieving ideologies that the Imamiyyah Shi’ah hold?
I said: It is your obligation and that of every Muslim who knows the truth to expose these people publicly and to show that they are disbelievers. This is one of the greatest acts of Jihad of our age and of the greatest acts of worship. It is also a way of spreading correct knowledge.
He said: I shall then proceed with Allah’s blessing, seeking His help.
I said: Go on. The sun has already risen.
He said (rather confidently): The sunrise of this world is not what is important. It is rather the sunrise of faith in our hearts and minds.
He then raised up his hands in supplication saying: All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!
(We then got up and hugged each other.)
He asked me where I was going and I said: I am going home to write this glorious and memorable battle, with Allah’s permission.
Compiled at the time of ‘asr on the day of Jumu‘ah, the 8th of Rabi‘ al-Akhir 1417, 22 August 1996.
 The Ahlus Sunnah are of the view that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was on the right in this conflict, but many of the scholars believe that maintaining neutrality and not joining any of the two sides in fighting is the safest stand.
 Surah al Baqarah: 134
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