Chapter Two: The First Fitnah Module One: Defining the concept of Fitnah and examining the Saba’iyyah Section One: Defining Fitnah

Section Three: His methodology in writing his Tarikh
October 9, 2019
Section Two: The Saba’iyyah, fact or fiction?
October 10, 2019

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Chapter Two: The First Fitnah

Module One: Defining the concept of Fitnah and examining the Saba’iyyah

Module Two: The personality of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and The circumstances surrounding his assassination

Module Three: The Fitnah in the scale of revelation and the stance of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and Tabi’in

~

Module One: Defining the concept of Fitnah and examining the Saba’iyyah.

Section One: Defining Fitnah.

Section Two: The Saba’iyyah, fact or fiction?

Section Three: The cause of fitnah during the caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

~

 

Section One

Defining the concept of Fitnah.

 

I. The linguistic definition of Fitnah[1]

Ibn al ‘Arabi[2] says:

الفتنة الاختبار، والفتنة المحنة ، والفتنة المال ، والفتنة الأولاد ، والفتنة الكفر ، والفتنة اختلاف الناس بالآراء ، والفنية الإحراق بالنار

Fitnah has the connotations of test, trial by wealth, offspring, disbelief, difference of opinion, and burning in the fire.[3]

 

Al Anbari[4] says:

 

قولهم فتنت فلانة فلانا أي أمالته عن القصد ، والفتنة معناها المميلة عن الحق ، والفنية العذاب ، نحو تعذيب الكفار ضعفى المسلمين في أول الإسلام لصدهم عن الإيمان ، والفتنة ما يقع بين الناس من القتال

The expression, she involved him in fitnah means, she averted him from his purpose. Fitnah means to be deterred from the truth. Fitnah also means torment, for example, in the context of the disbelievers tormenting the weak Muslims in the early Islamic period to deter them from iman. Fitnah can also refer to clashes between people.[5]

 

Ibn Faris[6] says:

 

الفاء والتاء والنون أصل صحيح يدل على ابتلاء واختبار ، من ذلك الفتنة . يقال : فتنت افتن فتا ، وفتنت بالنار إذا امتحنته ، وهو مفتون فتين .. والفتان : الشيطان ، يقال:

رخيم الكلام قطيع القيام أضحي فؤادي به فاتنا

 والفتن : الإحراق ، وشيء فتين : أي محرق ، ويقال للحرة فتين كأن حجارتها محرقة . والفتان : جلدة الرحل . وقولهم : العيش فتنان أي لونان :والعيش فتنان حلو ومر ، ويمكن أن يختبر ابن آدم بكل واحد منهما

Fa’ Ta’ Nun is a sound root which indicates testing or trial. From this root comes the word fitnah. Fattan is used to refer to Shaitan. It is said:

أضحي فؤادي به فاتنا

رخيم الكلام قطيع القيام

Sweet words leave one unable to stand;

By it my heart remains trailed.

Fatan means to burn. Fatin is what has been burnt. Empty plains are referred to as Fatin as though its stones are on fire. The hide of the saddle is known as Fitan. It is said, life is Fitnan, i.e. polarized. It is either sweet or bitter with each being a trial for the Son of Adam.[7]

 

Ibn Sidah[8] says:

 

الفتنة الخبرة لقوله تعالى : إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّالِمِيْنَ أي خبرة ، ومعناه أنهم فتنوا بشجرة الزقوم وكذبوا أنها كائنة لما سمعوا أنها تخرج في أصل الجحيم فقالوا : الشجر يحترق في النار، فكيف ينبت الشجر في النار ! فصارت فتنة لهم

Fitnah is an experience. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّالِمِيْنَ

Indeed, We have made it a torment for the wrongdoers.[9]

The purport of this verse is that they were tormented by the experience of the tree of Zaqqum after having denied its existence due to it being a tree issuing from the bottom of Hellfire. They said, “A tree burns in fire, how then could a tree grow in the fire.” It was thus made a tormenting experience for them.[10]

 

Al Raghib[11] says:

 

أن الفتنة تكون من الأفعال الصادرة من الله ومن العباد کالبلية والمعصية والقتل والعذاب وغيرها من المكروهات ، فإن كانت من الله فهي على وجه الحكمة ، وإن كانت من الإنسان بغير ما أمر الله فهي مذمومة . فقد ذم الله الإنسان بايقاع الفتنة كقوله : وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ( البقرة : ۱۹۱] وقوله : إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ فَتَنُوْا الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

Fitnah can be attributed to the doings of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala or the doings of a servant. An example of the former is trails and punishments and of the latter killings and other such objectionable acts. If it is attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala it is ascribed to his wisdom and if it emanates from a servant and is against the wishes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, it is reprehensible. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has censured humans falling into fitnah. He says:

وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ

…and fitnah is worse than killing.[12]

إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ فَتَنُوْا الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

Indeed, those who have tortured the believing men and believing women.[13]

 

Al Zamakhshari[14] says:

 

وبينهم فتنة أي حرب ، وبنو ثقیف يتفاتنون أي يتحاربون والناس عبيد الفتانين وهما الدرهم والدينار ، وفي الحديث : ابتليتهم بفتنة الضراء فصبرتم ، وستتلون بفتة السراء ، أراد فتنة السيف وفتنة النساء

Saying between them is fitnah means war, for example, the Banu Thaqif were involved in fitnah, i.e. in war. Saying people are slaves to the two fitnah means gold and silver coins. The hadith states, “You have been tested by the fitnah of difficulty and you displayed patience. Soon you will be tested by the fitnah of prosperity.” The former referring to war and the latter to women.[15]

 

The author of Lisan al ‘Arab[16] says:

إن جماع الفتنة في ما ذكر غير واحد : الابتلاء والامتحان والاختبار

Many have mentioned that fitnah comprises of tests, trials, and challenges.[17]

 

Al Hafiz ibn Hajar says:

 

أن أصل الفتنة الاختبار ثم استعملت فيما أخرجته المحنة والاختبار إلى المكروه ، ثم أطلقت على كل مكروه أو آيل إليه كالكفر والإثم والتحريف والفضيحة والفجور وغير ذلك

The principle meaning of fitnah is trial. It was then used to denote any harm resulting from trials and difficulties. It was further taken to denote any harm or action that would result in harm such as disbelieve, sin, distortion, humiliation, immodesty etc…[18]

 

It is narrated from Khalf ibn Hawshab[19] that people would recite the following couplets of ‘Amr ibn Ma’di Karib[20] at the time of fitnah (battle):

تبدو بزينتها لكل جهول

الحرب أول ما تكون فتية

ولت عجوزا غير ذات خليل

حتى إذا اشتعلت وشب ضرامها

مكروهة للشم والتقبيل

شمطاء ينكر لونها وتغيرت

The war in the beginning seemed very attractive, appearing with its beauty for every ignoramus.

But when it flared strongly, it became an old lady whom none accepts in marriage,

With grey hair and bad colour, disliked to be smelled or kissed.

 

II. Fitnah as is in the Qur’an

The word fitnah appears in the Qur’an with fifteen different applications:

  1. Polytheism:

وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ

And fitnah is worse than killing.[21]

 

وَقَاتِلُوْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُوْنَ فِتْنَةٌ

And fight them until there is no fitnah.[22]

 

  1. Disbelief:

ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ

Seeking discord.[23]

 

وَلَٰكِنَّكُمْ فَتَنْتُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ

But you afflicted yourselves.[24]

 

  1. Trials and tests:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوْا أَنْ يَقُوْلُوْا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُوْنَ

Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?[25]

 

وَفَتَنَّاكَ فُتُوْنًا

And tried you with a [severe] trial.[26]

 

  1. Punishment:

فَإِذَا أُوْذِيَ فِيْ اللَّهِ جَعَلَ فِتْنَةَ النَّاسِ كَعَذَابِ اللَّهِ

But when one [of them] is harmed for [the cause of] Allah, they consider the trial of the people as [if it were] the punishment of Allah.[27]

 

ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِيْنَ هَاجَرُوْا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا فُتِنُوْا

Then, indeed your Lord, to those who emigrated after they had been compelled.[28]

 

  1. Being burnt by fire:

إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ فَتَنُوْا الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

Indeed, those who have tortured the believing men and believing women.[29]

 

عَلَى النَّارِ يُفْتَنُوْنَ

Tormented over the Fire.[30]

 

  1. Killing:

إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا

If you fear that those who disbelieve may disrupt [or attack] you. Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy.[31]

 

عَلَىٰ خَوْفٍ مِّنْ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنَهُمْ

For fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them.[32]

 

  1. To Tempt:

وَ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوْكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ

And beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you.[33]

 

وَإِنْ كَادُوْا لَيَفْتِنُوْنَكَ عَنِ الَّذِيْ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ

And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you.[34]

 

  1. Misguidance:

وَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَنْ تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا

But he for whom Allah intends fitnah – never will you possess [power to do] for him a thing against Allah.[35]

 

مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ بِفَاتِنِيْنَ

You cannot tempt [anyone] away from Him[36]

 

Tha’labi says this means that you cannot misguide anyone away from him, the people of the Fire who are to remain misguided as in the knowledge of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.[37]

 

  1. Excuse:

ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُنْ فِتْنَتُهُمْ

Then there will be no [excuse upon] examination.[38]

 

  1. Insanity:

بِأَييِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُوْنُ

Which of you is the afflicted [by a devil].[39]

 

  1. Sin:

أَلَا فِيْ الْفِتْنَةِ سَقَطُوْا

Unquestionably, into trial they have fallen.[40]

 

  1. Chastisement:

أَنْ تُصِيْبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ

Lest fitnah strike them.[41]

 

  1. Illness:

يُفْتَنُوْنَ فِيْ كُلِّ عَامٍ مَّرَّةً

They are tried every year once.[42]

 

  1. Sentence:

إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا فِتْنَتُكَ

This is not but Your trial.[43]

 

  1. Lesson/Heed:

Al Damaghani[44] says, “Fitnah in the context of the verse (mentioned below) is a prayer that means ‘Do not lay upon us the enemies of Your faith by which they would theorise their superiority over us’ thus resulting in a lesson for us.”[45]

 

رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِيْنَ

Our Lord, make us not [objects of] trial for the wrongdoing people.[46]

 

رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا

Our Lord, make us not [objects of] torment for the disbelievers.[47]

 

III. Fitnah as in the Prophetic Traditions

 

  1. Fitnah in the ahadith comes in the meaning of conflict. Al Bukhari has narrated on the authority of Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who says:

 

أشرف النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – على أطم من آطام المدينة ، فقال: هل ترون ما أرى؟. قالوا: لا، قال: إني لأرى الفتن خلال بيوتكم؛ كمواقع القطر

Once Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood at the top of a fort amongst the forts of Madinah and said, “Do you see what I see?

They replied, “No.”

He said, “I see trials between your homes (and these trials will be) as numerous as raindrops.”[48]

 

Al Hafiz ibn Hajar comments:

 

إنما اختصت المدينة بذلك ؛ لأن قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه كان بهاء ثم انتشرت الفتن في البلاد بعد ذلك ، فالقتال بالجمل وبصفين كان بسبب قتل عثمان ،  والقتال بالنهروان كان بسبب التحكيم بصفين وكل فتال وقع في ذلك العصر إنما تولد عن شيء من ذلك أو عن شيء تولد عنه

Madinah has been singled out here, as the assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu would be in it; a prelude to the spread of fitnah in the other cities. The conflict at Jamal and Siffin was as a result of the assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whilst the fight at Naharwan was a result of the arbitration at Siffin. In short, every conflict that arose in that era was either a direct or indirect result of the assassination.[49]

 

  1. Fitnah in the ahadith also comes in the meaning of internal strife. Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports:

 

بينا نحن جلوس عند عمر إذ قال أيكم يحفظ قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الفتنة قال فتنة الرجل في أهله وماله وولده وجاره تكفرها الصلاة والصدقة والأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر قال ليس عن هذا أسألك ولكن التي تموج كموج البحر قال ليس عليك منها بأس يا أمير المؤمنين إن بينك وبينها بابا مغلقا قال عمر أيكسر الباب أم يفتح قال بل يكسر قال عمر إذا لا يغلق أبدا قلت أجل قلنا لحذيفة أكان عمر يعلم الباب قال نعم كما يعلم أن دون غد ليلة وذلك أني حدثته حديثا ليس بالأغاليط فهبنا أن نسأله من الباب فأمرنا مسروقا فسأله فقال من الباب قال عمر

We were one day in the company of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he said, “Who amongst you has preserved in his mind most perfectly the hadith of Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in regard to the fitnah?”

I said, “There would (first) be fitnah for a person in regard to his family, his property, his own self, his children, his neighbours (and the sins committed in their connection) would be expiated by fasting, prayer, charity, enjoining good and prohibiting evil.”

Thereupon ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I do not mean (that turmoil on a small scale) but that one which would emerge like the mounting waves of the ocean.”

I said, “Commander of the Faithful, you have nothing to do with it, for the door is closed between you and that.”

He said, “Would that door be broken or opened?”

I said, “No, it would be broken.”

Thereupon he said, “Then it would not ever close.”

I said, “Yes.”

We said to Hudhayfah, “Did ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu know the door?”

Thereupon he said, “Yes, he knew it (for certain) just as one knows that night precedes the next day.  And I narrated to him something in which there was nothing fabricated.”

We dared not ask Hudhayfah about that door. So we requested Masruq to ask him. So he asked him and he said: (By that door, he meant) ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[50]

 

Al Hafiz ibn Hajar commenting on this says:

 

وقول عمر : إذا كسر لم يغلق . أخذه من جهة أن الكسر لا يكون إلا غلبة والغلبة لا تقع إلا في الفتنة ، وعلم من الخبر النبوي أن بأس الأمة بينهم واقع ، وأن الهرج لا يزال إلى يوم القيامة كما وقع في حديث ثوبان مرفوعا : إذا وضع السيف في أمتي لم يرفع عنها إلى يوم القيامة

The comment of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu ‘Then it would not close’ was an indication that breaking of the door would only happen in the event of being overpowered which in turn would only occur in the instance of fitnah. He knew from the prophetic traditions that internal strife was to occur in the Ummah and that killings would continue to the Day of Qiyamah as inferred from the narration of Thawban radiya Llahu ‘anhu (narrating form Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), “When conflict arises in my Ummah, it will not end till the Day of Qiyamah.”[51]

 

  1. Killing:

Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

كنا عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فذكر فتنة عظم أمرها فقلنا أو قالوا يا رسول الله لئن أدركتنا لنهلكن فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كلا ان بحسبكم القتل قال سعيد فرأيت أخواني قتلوا

We were with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he mentioned fitnah and expressed its gravity.

We, or the people, said, “O Prophet of Allah, if we were to witness it we would perish.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “No, it is enough for you that you would be killed.”

Sa’id says, “And so I saw my brethren were killed.”[52] (Meaning Talhah, Zubair, and the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were killed in the fitnah).

 

The narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is also to this effect:

 

وتظهر الفتن ويكثر الهرج قالوا يا رسول الله أيما هو قال القتل القتل…

…afflictions will appear and there will be much ‘Al Harj.’

They said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is ‘Al Harj?’”

He said, “Killing! Killing!”[53]

 

Ibn al Athir says:

الهرج الاختلاف والفتن ، وقد جاء في بعض الحديث أنه القتل ، والقتل إنما سببه الفتنة والاختلاف

Al Harj is differences and fitnah. Some narrations indicate it to be killing. This is as killing is a result of fitnah and differences.[54]

 

  1. The result of differences that stems from power struggles wherein one cannot discern the true from the false.[55]

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

ستكون فتن القاعد فيها خير من القائم والقائم فيها خير من الماشي والماشي فيها خير من الساعي من تشرف لها تستشرفه فمن وجد منها ملجأ أو معاذا فليعذ به

There will be fitnah (in the near future) during which a sitting person will be better than a standing one, and the standing one will be better than a walking one, and the walking one will be better than a running one, and whoever will expose himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it.[56]

 

  1. Though not explicitly mentioned in the narrations, fitnah comes in the meaning of differences and factions:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said:

 

ستكون هنات وهنات ، فمن أراد أن يفرق أمر هذه الأمة وهي جميع ، فاضربوه بالسيف كائنا من كان

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.[57]

 

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is also reported to have said:

 

وستفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة

…and my Ummah will split into seventy-three sects.[58]

 

This is with the knowledge that sectarianism and differences that would occur in this Ummah will be due to the fitnah.

Consider the following sayings of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well:

 

ستكون بعدي أحداث وفتن واختلاف …

There will be major events, fitnah, and differences after me.[59]

 

ستكون فتنة وفرقة

There will be fitnah and divisions.[60]

 

  1. Imitating the disbelievers, internalising their way of thought and adopting their way of life.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

 

لتتبعن سنن من كان قبلكم شبرا شبرا ، وذراعا بذراع حتى لو دخلوا جحر ضب تبعتموهم ، قلنا : يا رسول الله ، اليهود ، والنصارى ، قال : فمن

You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit, so much so that even if they entered a hole of a lizard, you would follow them.

We said, “O Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! The Jews and the Christians?”

He said, “Whom else?”[61]

 

  1. The trial of wealth:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

 

فوالله ما الفقر أخشى عليكم ولكن أخشى عليكم أن تبسط عليكم الدنيا كما بسطت على من كان قبلكم فتنافسوها كما تنافسوها وتلهيكم كما ألهتهم

By Allah! I am not afraid that you will become poor, but I am afraid that worldly wealth will be given to you in abundance as it was given to those (nations) before you, and you will start competing each other for it as the previous nations competed for it, and then it will divert you (from good) as it diverted them.[62]

 

Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha says:

 

استيقظ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ليلة فزعا يقول سبحان الله ماذا أنزل الله من الخزائن وماذا أنزل من الفتن

Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam woke up one night in a state of terror and said, “Subhan Allah, how many treasures Allah has sent down! And how many afflictions have been sent down!”[63]

 

Ibn Battal[64] says:

وفي هذا الحديث أن الفتوح في الخزائن تنشأ عنه فتنة المال بأن يتنافس فيه ، فيقع القتال بسببه وأن ييخل به ، فيمنع الحق أو يبطر صاحبه فيسرف

This hadith points toward the fitnah of wealth and competing for it that would follow the conquest. Conflicts, miserliness, and wastage would rise as a result of it.[65]

 

  1. As a synonym for the tyranny and misguidance of the leaders:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

 

وإنّما أخاف على أمتي الأئمة المضلين، وإذا وضع السيف في أمتي لم يرفع عنها إلى يوم القيامة

I am afraid about my Ummah of those leaders who will lead astray. When the sword is used among my Ummah, it will not be withdrawn from them till the Day of Resurrection.[66]

 

Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman says:

 

كان الناس يسألون رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن الخير وكنت أسأله عن الشر مخافة أن يدركني فقلت يا رسول الله إنا كنا في جاهلية وشر فجاءنا الله بهذا الخير فهل بعد هذا الخير شر قال نعم فقلت هل بعد ذلك الشر من خير قال نعم وفيه دخن قلت وما دخنه قال قوم يستنون بغير سنتي ويهدون بغير هديي تعرف منهم وتنكر فقلت هل بعد ذلك الخير من شر قال نعم دعاة على أبواب جهنم من أجابهم إليها قذفوه فيها فقلت يا رسول الله صفهم لنا قال نعم قوم من جلدتنا ويتكلمون بألسنتنا قلت يا رسول الله فما ترى إن أدركني ذلك قال تلزم جماعة المسلمين وإمامهم فقلت فإن لم يكن لهم جماعة قال فاعتزل تلك الفرق كلها ولو أن تعض بأصل شجرة حتى يدركك الموت وأنت على ذلك

The people used to ask Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the good but I used to ask him about the evil lest I should be overtaken by them.

So I said, “O Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! We were living in ignorance and in an (extremely) worst atmosphere, then Allah brought to us this good (i.e., Islam); will there be any evil after this good?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “Will there be any good after that evil?”

He replied, “Yes, but it will be tainted.”

I asked, “What will be its taint?”

He replied, “(There will be) some people who will guide others not according to my tradition and guidance. You will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of some others.”

I asked, “Will there be any evil after that good?”

He replied, “Yes, (there will be) some people calling at the gates of the (Hell) Fire, and whoever will respond to their call, will be thrown by them into the (Hell) Fire.”

I said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Will you describe them to us?”

He said, “They will be from our own people and will speak our language.”

I said, “What do you order me to do if such a state should take place in my life?”

He said, “Stick to the group of Muslims and their Imam (ruler).”

I said, “If there is no group of Muslims?”

He said, “Then turn away from all those sects even if you were to bite (eat) the roots of a tree till death overtakes you while you are in that state.”[67]

 

  1. Sin, rebellion, and opposition:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

من حمل علينا السلاح فليس منا

Whoever takes up arms against us, is not from us.[68]

 

Abu Hurayrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

منعت العراق درهمها وقفيزها ومنعت الشام مديها ودينارها ومنعت مصر إردبها ودينارها وعدتم من حيث بدأتم وعدتم من حيث بدأتم وعدتم من حيث بدأتم شهد على ذلك لحم أبي هريرة ودمه

Iraq would withhold its dirhams and qafiz[69]; Syria would withhold its mudd[70] and dinar and Egypt would withhold its irdab[71] and dinar and you would recoil to that position from where you started and you would recoil to that position from where you started and you would recoil to that position from where you started, the flesh and blood of Abu Hurairah would bear testimony to it.[72]

 

This narration means that people would turn back on obeying. It gains strength from the statement of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as recorded by al Bukhari and Ahmed:

 

كيف أنتم إذا لم تجتبوا دينارا ولا درهما فقيل له وكيف ترى ذلك كائنا يا أبا هريرة قال إي والذي نفس أبي هريرة بيده عن قول الصادق المصدوق قالوا عم ذاك قال تنتهك ذمة الله وذمة رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيشد الله عز وجل قلوب أهل الذمة فيمنعون ما في أيديهم

What will your state be when you can get no Dinar or Dirham (i.e. taxes from the Dhimmis)?

Someone asked him, “What makes you know that this state will take place, O Abu Hurairah?”

He said, “By Him in Whose Hands Abu Hurairah life is, I know it through the statement of the true and truly inspired one.”

The people asked, “What does the statement say?”

He replied, “Allah and His Apostle’s asylum granted to Dhimmis, (i.e. non-Muslims living in a Muslim territory) will be broken, and so Allah will make the hearts of these Dhimmis so daring that they will refuse to pay what they were supposed to pay.”[73]

 

Al Bukhari has narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that he heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pointing towards the east, saying:

 

الا ان الفتنة ها هنا

Behold! Fitnah will emerge from here.[74]

 

This was as the signs of fitnah appeared from Kufah, east of Madinah. The wickedness of its people and their ingratitude towards their governors are well known. It was from here that the first fitnah emerged during the era of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

  1. The fitnah of women:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

ما تركت بعدي فتنة أضر على الرجال-وفي رواية على امتي- من النساء،

After me I have not left any trial more severe to men – and in some narrations, to my Ummah – than women.[75]

 

فاتقوا الدنيا واتقوا النساء

So beware of the beguilement of the world and those of women.[76]

 

  1. Separation between a man and his wife:

This is as in the hadith recorded by Imam Muslim wherein Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

 

إن عرش إبليس على البحر فيبعث سراياه فيفتنون الناس فأعظمهم عنده أعظمهم فتنة يجيء أحدهم ، فيقول : فعلت كذا وكذا ، فيقول : ما صنعت شيئا ، قال : ثم يجيء أحدهم ، فيقول : ما تركته حتى فرقت بينه وبين امرأته ، قال : فيدنيه منه ، ويقول : نعم أنت

Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension.

One of them comes and says, “I did so and so.”

And he says, “You have done nothing.”

Then one amongst them comes and says, “I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife.”

The Satan goes near him and says, “You have done well.”[77]

 

  1. Fitnah al Mahya[78], i.e. the temptations of life that present itself to a man throughout his life in the form of enticements and doubts.

 

  1. Fitnah al Mamat[79]: Questioning by the two angels in the grave.

 

  1. Fitnah al Dajjal[80]: The trials of Dajjal.

 

  1. Fitnah al Sadr[81]: The whisperings of the devil.

 

  1. Fitnah al Ghina[82]: Malice, miserliness, arrogance, extravagance, and squandering.

 

  1. Fitnah al Faqr[83]: Being unable to remain patient, not being content with the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, and displaying resentment.

 

  1. Fitnah al Nar: Being questioned by the keeper of Hell with absolute ridicule.[84]

 

  1. The fitnah of knowledge and being well versed:

Yazid ibn ‘Umairah[85] narrating from the companions of Muaz ibn Jabal says:

 

كان معاذ بن جبل لا يجلس مجلسا للذكر إلا قال حين يجلس الله حكم قسط هلك المرتابون . وقال معاذ بن جبل يوما : إن من ورائكم يكثر فيها المال ويفتح فيه القرآن حتى يأخذه المؤمن والمنافق والرجل والمرأة والصغير والكبير والحر والعبد ، فيوشك قائل أن يقول : ما للناس لا يتبعونني وقد قرأت القرآن ؟ وما هم بمتبعي حتى أبتدع لهم غيره

Whenever Muaz ibn Jabal sat in a gathering to impart knowledge he would say: Allah is a Just Arbiter; those who doubt would perish. One day Muaz ibn Jabal said: In the times after you there would be trails in which riches would be abundant. During these trails the Qur’an would be easy so much so that every believer, hypocrite, man, woman, young, grown up, slave and free man will learn it. Then a man might say: What happened with the people that they do not follow me while I read the Qur’an? They are not going to follow me until I introduce an innovation for them other than it.[86]

 

In summary, fitnah, in our discussion refers to those events of conflict, dissent, and discord that occurred between the Muslims in the early Islamic period.  As the issues that surrounded the differences were sensitive and complex, the stances adopted were polar and the views assumed were split.

To differentiate between the differing events and fitnah in that era, the early scholars termed them as ‘the first fitnah’, ‘the second fitnah’, and so on.

Al Zuhri is recorded to have said:

 

قد هاجت الفتنة الأولى وأدركت رجالا ذوي عدد من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

The first fitnah arose and I encountered a large number of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[87]

 

And Sa’id ibn al Musayyib[88] is recorded to have said:

 

ثم وقعت الفتنة الثانية ، فلم يبق من أصحاب الحديبية أحد ، ثم وقعت الثالثة ، فلم ترتفع وللناس طباخ…

… Then the second fitnah occurred—the incident of Harrah—and none of the Companions of Hudaybiyyah remained. Then the third civil strife took place and it did not subside till it had exhausted all the strength of the people.[89]

 

 

NEXT⇒ Section Two: The Saba’iyyah, fact or fiction?


[1] Fitnah is an Arabic word with extensive connotations of trial, affliction, or distress. A word with important historical implications. It has also been defined as trial, testing, or temptation; and by extension, treachery, persecution, seduction, enchantment, or disorder resulting from these things.

[2] He is Muhammad ibn Ziyad al Kufi, Abu ‘Abdullah. Famously known as Ibn al ‘Arabi. He is amongst the scholars of linguistics and genealogy. He would narrate the poetry of tribes. His teachers are al Kisa’i, Ibn al Sakayt, Tha’lab, and others. He is amongst the teachers of al Asma’i. From amongst his books are Al Nawadir, Tarikh al Qaba’il, and Ma’ani al Shi’r. He passed away the year 231 A.H/846 A.D His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 282; Al Nawawi: Tahdhib al Asma’ wa al Lughat, vol. 1 pg. 295; and Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 18 pg. 199.

[3] Ibn Manzur: Lisan al ‘Arab.

[4] He is Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Bashshar al Anbari, Abu Muhammad. A scholar of literature and historical traditions.

  • Yaqut says, “He was a scholar of hadith and historical traditions. A master of the Arabic language.”
  • Ibn Khallikan says, “He was a scholar of literature and reliable in narrations. Truthful and trustworthy.”

He has authored Sharh al Mufaddaliyat, Al Mu’annath wa al Mudhakkar, Al Amthal, Gharib al Hadith, and Khalq al Insan. He passed away the year 304 A.H 917 A.D His life has been recorded by Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 16 pg. 319; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 4 pg. 341; and Tash Kubra Zadah: Miftah al Sa’adah, vol. 1 pg. 146.

[5] Ibn Manzur: Lisan al Arab.

[6] He is Ahmed ibn Faris ibn Zakariyya al Qazwini al Razi, Abu al Hussain. Author of Maqayis al Lughah. An authority in linguistics and literature. Greats such as Badi’ al Zaman al Hamadhani and Al Sahib ibn ‘Ibad studied under his tutelage. He has written, amongst other books, Al Sahibi, Tamam al Fasih, Dhamm al Khata’ fi al Shir, Jami al Ta’wil, and Awjaz al Siyar li Khayr al Bashar. He passed away the year 395 A.H/1004 A.D His life has been recorded by Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba’, vol. 4 pg. 80; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al Ayan, vol. 1 pg. 118; Al Qafti: Anba’ al Ruwat, vol. 1 pg. 92 and Al Suyuti: Bughyah al Wuah, pg. 153.

[7] Ibn Faris: Mujam Maqayis al Lughah.

[8] He is ‘Ali ibn Ismail Abu al Hassan al Mursi al Andalusi. From amongst the masters of linguistics and literature. He was blind and had become famous by his books Al Mukhassas in linguistics and Sharh ma Ashkal min Shi’r al Mutanabbi. He passed away the year 458 A.H/1066 His life has been recorded by Ibn ‘Umairah: Bughyah al Multamis, pg. 405; Al Qafti: Anba’ al Ruwat, vol. 2 pg. 225; and Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 3 pg. 330.

[9] Surah al Saffat: 63.

[10] Ibn Manzur: Lisan al Arab.

[11] He is Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Mufaddal, Abu al Qasim. Famously known as al Raghib al Asfahani. Amongst the great scholars and literary experts. Amongst his books are, Muhadarat al Udaba’, Al Mufradat, Tahqiq al Bayan, Afanin al Balaghah, and Al Dhari’ah ila Makarim al Shari’ah. He passed away the year 502 A.H/1108 A.D His life has been recorded by Al Bayhaqi: Tarikh Hukama’ al Islam, pg. 112; Al Suyuti: Bughyah al Wuah, pg. 396; and Haji Khalifah: Al Tarikh, vol. 1 pgs. 36, 131, and 377.

[12] Surah al Baqarah: 191.

[13] Surah al Buruj: 10. Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 3.

[14] He is Abu al Qasim Mahmud ibn ‘Umar ibn Muhammad al Khwarizmi al Zamakhshari. A scholar of linguistics and tafsir.

  • Al Dhahabi says, “He was an authority in the Arabic language, rhetoric, and expression… He was also a proponent of the Mu’tazilah creed. May Allah forgive him.”

He has written Al Mufaddal, Mushtabah Asami al Ruwat, and Asas al Balaghah. He passed away the year 538 A.H/1143 A.D His life has been recorded by Al Sam’ani: Al Ansab, vol. 6 pg. 296; Al Qafti: Anba’ al Ruwat, vol. 3 pg. 265; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 5 pg. 168; and Ibn al Murtada: Tabaqat al Mu’tazilah, pg. 20.

[15] Al Zamakhshari: Asas al Balaghah, pg. 334. The hadith is mawquf (a narration attributed to a companion) as narrated from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu with the following wording:

ابتلينا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بالضراء فصبرنا ثم ابتلينا بالسراء بعده فلم نصبر

We were tested with difficulty in the era of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and displayed patience. We were tested with prosperity after him and did not exercise patience. See, Al Tirmidhi: Hadith: 2366.

[16] He is Muhammad ibn Mukarram ibn ‘Ali ibn Abu al Fadl Jamal al Din Manzur al Ansari al Ifriqi. From amongst the Imams of linguistics and literature. He served at the Diwan al Insha’ institute in Cairo after which he was appointed as judge in Western Tripoli.  Ibn Hajar says, “He was fond of abbreviating lengthy works of literature.” From amongst his books are, Lisan al ‘Arab, Mukhtar al Aghani, Surur al Nafs bi-Madarik al Hawas al Khams, and Al Muntakhab wa al Mukhtar fi al Nawadir wa al Ash’ar. He passed away the year 711 A.H/1311 A.D His life has been recorded by Al Safdi: Fawat al Wafyat, vol. 2 pg. 265; Ibn Hajar: Al Durar al Kaminah, vol. 4 pg. 262; Al Suyuti: Husn al Muhadarah fi Akhbar Misr wa al Qahirah, vol. 1 pg. 219; and Al Suyuti: Bughyah al Wuah, pg. 106.

[17] Ibn Manzur: Lisan al Arab.

[18] Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 3.

[19]  He is Khalf ibn Hawshab, Abu Yazid al Kufi al Abid. He narrates from a group of the senior Tabi’in and had the opportunity of meeting a few of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

  • Al ‘Ijli has deemed him reliable.
  • Al Nasa’i says, “La ba’sa bihi (there is no problem with him).”
  • Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah and al Rabi’ ibn Abi Rashid have praised him.

Al Dhahabi has recorded him being alive up to the year 140 A.H/757 A.D See, Al ‘Ijli: Al Thiqat, pg. 144; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 2/1/193; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 149; and Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 47.

[20] He is ‘Amr ibn Ma’di Karib ibn Rabi’ah ibn ‘Abdullah al Zubaidi al Yemeni. Poet and warrior. He was part of the Banu Zubaid delegation to Madinah in 9 A.H/630 A.D He proclaimed his conversion to Islam here in the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After the passing of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam he turned away from Islam with those that turned apostate though he did revert to Islam thereafter. He took part in the battles of Yarmuk and Qadisiyyah. Incidents of his bravery are extensive. He passed away the year 21 A.H/652 A.D His life has been recorded by Al Baladhuri: Futuh al Buldan, pg. 257; Al Marzubani: Mujam al Shu’ara, pg. 207; and Ibn Hajar: Al Isabah, vol. 3 pg. 18.

[21] Surah al Baqarah: 191.

[22] Surah al Anfal: 39.

[23] Surah Al ‘Imran: 7.

[24] Surah al Hadid: 14.

[25] Surah al ‘Ankabut: 2.

[26] Surah Taha: 40.

[27] Surah al ‘Ankabut: 10.

[28] Surah al Nahl: 110.

[29] Surah al Buruj: 10.

[30] Surah al Dhariyat: 13.

[31] Surah al Nisa: 101.

[32] Surah Yunus: 83.

[33] Surah al Ma’idah: 49.

[34] Surah al Isra’: 73.

[35] Surah al Ma’idah: 41.

[36] Surah al Saffat: 162.

[37] Ibn Manzur: Lisan al Arab.

[38] Surah al An’am: 23.

[39] Surah al Qalam: 6.

[40] Surah al Tawbah: 49.

[41] Surah al Nur: 63.

[42] Surah al Tawbah: 126.

[43] Surah al A’raf: 155.

[44] He is al Hussain ibn Muhammad al Damaghani. A jurist and commentator of the Qur’an. Perhaps he is the son of the famed jurist Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Damaghani, chief justice in Baghdad and Sheikh of the Hanafiyyah in his era. He has authored Islah al Wujuh wa al Naza’ir fi al Qur’an al Karim. See, Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, vol. 2 pg. 433 and Qamus al Qur’an, pg. 6 by ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Sayed Ahl.

[45] Qamus al Qur’an or Islah al Wujuh wa al Naza’ir fi al Qur’an al Karim: pg. 349.

[46] Surah Yunus: 85.

[47] Surah al Mumtahinah: 5. For further reading see, Al Damaghani: Islah al Wujuh wa al Naza’ir fi al Qur’an al Karim pg. 347; Ibn al Jawzi: Muntakhab Qurrah al ‘Uyun al Nawazir fi al Wujuh wa al Naza’ir, pg. 192; and Al Suyuti: Mu’tarak al–Aqran fi I’jaz al Qur’an, pg. 169.

[48] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pgs. 88-89.

[49] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 13.

[50] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 96.

[51] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 50. The hadith has been recorded by al Tirmidhi in his Sunan, vol. 3 pg. 332. He has classified it as authentic. Ibn Majah, vol. 2 pg. 1304 and Ahmed: Al Musnad, vol. 5 pg. 278 have also recorded it. Al Albani has deemed it authentic in Mishkat al Masabih: 5406 as narrated on the authority of Shaddad ibn Aws as recorded by Ahmed in his Musnad, vol. 4 pg. 123 and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih: 4570, with an authentic chain of narration.

[52] Abu Dawood: Sunan, vol. 4 pg. 105. ‘Abdul Qadir al Arna’ut comments in the footnotes of Jami’ al Usul that the chain of narration is authentic, vol. 10 pg. 37.

[53] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 89.

[54] Ibn al Athir: Jami’ al Usul, vol. 10 pg. 13.

[55] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 31.

[56] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pgs. 92.

[57] Sahih Muslim, vol. 12 pg. 241; Sunan al Nasa’i, vol. 7 pg. 92.

[58] Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 4 pg. 135. Al Tirmidhi says, “It is sound, authentic.” Abu Dawood has recorded it in his Sunan: 4596; Ibn Majah: Sunan: 3991/vol. 2 pg. 1321. Al Albani has deemed it authentic in his Sahih: 203, Sahih al Jami’: 1083, and others.

[59] Ahmed: Musnad, vol. 5 pg. 292.

[60] Ahmed: Musnad, vol. 3 pg. 493; Ibn Majah: Sunan, vol. 2 pg. 131. Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abdul Baqi says in al Zawa’id of al Haythami, “This chain of narration is authentic if be established the hearing of Hammad ibn Salamah from Thabit al Bunani.”

[61] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 151; Sahih al Muslim, vol. 19 pg. 219.

[62] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 172.

[63] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 90.

[64] He is ‘Ali ibn Khalf ibn ‘Abdul Malik al Qurtubi al Andalusi, Abu al Hassan, famously known as Ibn Battal. From amongst the scholars of hadith. He has authored, Sharh al Bukhari and Sharh al I’tisam. He passed away the year 449 A.H/1057 A.D His life has been recorded by Ibn Bashkwal: Al Silah, vol. 2 pg. 414; and Ibn al ‘Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 283.

[65] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 23.

[66] Abu Dawood: Sunan: vol. 4 pg. 98; Al Tirmidhi: Sunan, vol. 3 pg. 342; Ibn Majah: Sunan, vol. 2 pg. pg. 1304. Al Albani has deemed it authentic in Sahih Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 3 pg. 801/3577.

[67] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 93.

[68] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 90.

[69] The Iraqi qafiz; a unit of measurement for volume which amounts to 42.75 kg of wheat. Al Makayil wa al Awzan al Islamiyyah, pg. 66.

[70] The same as the Shami mudd: 2.84 kg of wheat or 3.673 litres. Ibid, pg. 75.

[71] Al Irdab: An Egyptian unit of measurement for volume amounting to 69.6 kg of wheat. See, ibid, pg. 85.

[72] Sahih Muslim, vol. 18 pg. 20; and Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 3 pg. 166.

[73] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 69; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 332.

[74] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 95.

[75] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 6 pg. 124; Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 2 pg. 325.

[76] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pgs. 19-22; Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 2 pg. 325.

[77] Sahih Muslim, vol. 17 pg. 156.

[78] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 1 pg. 202; Sunan al Nasa’i, vol. 3 pg. 57.

[79] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 2 pg. 102.

[80] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 2 pg. 103.

[81] Sunan al Nasa’i, vol. 8 pg. 255.

[82] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 159.

[83] Sahih Muslim, vol. 17 pg. 28-29.

[84] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 159.

[85] He is Yazid ibn ‘Umairah al Zubaidi al Kindi al Himsi. Abu Zur’ah has counted him amongst the senior level of those after the Sahabah.

  • Al ‘Ijli says, “A Shami Tabi’i. Reliable from amongst the senior Tabi’in.
  • Ibn Sa’d says, “He was reliable In Sha Allah.
  • Ibn Hibban has mentioned him in Al Thiqat.

See, Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 480; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 5 pg. 136; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 11 pg. 351.

[86] Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 4 pg. 202. The footnotes of Jami’ al Usul have deemed the chain of narration as authentic, vol. 10 pg. 44. Al Albani has deemed it authentic in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawood, vol. 3 pg. 872/3855.

[87] Al Bayhaqi: Al Sunan al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 173; ‘Abdur Razzaq: Al Musannaf, vol. 10 pg. 121.

[88] He is Sa’id ibn al Musayyib ibn Hazan ibn Abi Wahb al Qurashi al Makhzumi. Amongst the great jurists of the Tabi’in.

  • Qatadah says, “I have never seen anyone more knowledgeable about the permissible and impermissible than him.”
  • Al Maymuni relates the statement of Ahmed, “The mursal (A mursal narration is when a transmitter cites someone or the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without having actually met him) narrations of Sa’id are authentic to the degree that no other mursal narrations are more authentic.”
  • Al ‘Ijli says, “He was a pious man with deep understanding. He would not accept handouts. He had goods by which he would trade in olive oil.”
  • Abu Zur’ah says, “Reliable, an Imam.”
  • Abu Hatim says, “There was none amongst the Tabi’in more noble than him.”

He passed away the year 90 A.H/709 A.D His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 5 pg. 119; Ibn Ma’in: Al Tarikh, vol. 3 pg. 207; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 188; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 4 pg. 59; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 84.

[89] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 5 pg. 20; and Ibn Shabbah: Tarikh al Madinah al Munawwarah, vol. 4 pg. 1274.

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