Conclusion

Chapter Five – The stance of the remaining Shia scholars
October 13, 2022

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Conclusion

 

In conclusion, I would like to point out that whenever we mention the treachery of Ibn al ‘Alqami and al Tusi, it does not mean that the fall of the Caliphate is confined to this, rather the reasons here are numerous and worthy of discussion. However, just as one has to be wary of these reasons, it is necessary to be wary of this type of viziers and advisors, who are driven by the ideological beliefs and fundamentals of their creed even if it may be harmful to those in power. We then draw the attention of Sunni rulers, that their policy of keeping them close to prevent their evil is a policy with unfavourable results. The Banu Umayyah had adopted it and it proved to be a cause of their empire’s annihilation. One of them has commented regarding this in the following words:

 

قربنا عدونا لنأمن شره وأبعدنا القريب ثقة بمود ة فعادانا القريب وتقوى علينا العدو

We brought our enemies close to be saved from their evil and distanced the close ones while relying on friendship. The close ones became hostile to us while the enemy overpowered us.

 

Islamic shari’ah has given special importance to the position of ministership in a regime. The following verses of the Qur’an mentioned by Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam indicate the same:

 

قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي وَاجْعَل لِّي وَزِيرًا مِّنْ أَهْلِي هَارُونَ أَخِي اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِي وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًا وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيرًا إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيرًا قَالَ قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَيْكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَىٰ

Musa ‘alayh al Salam said, “O my Lord, expand my chest. And ease my task for me. And untie the knot from my tongue. So that people may understand my speech. And appoint for me a minister from my family. My brother Harun. Increase my strength with him. And let him share my task. So that we may glorify you abundantly. And remember you copiously. You are most certainly watchful over us.” Allah said, “O Musa, your request has been granted. And we have once again conferred upon you a favour.”[1]

 

From the many wisdoms of having a minister is that it empowers the ruler to increase in obedience and good deeds due to the presence of an appointed reminder and supporter. The presence of an appointed righteous minister is regarded as a great gift in the sight of Allah which he grants to pious servants.

Below are authentic Aahadith on this subject:

The following appears in Sahih al Bukhari on the authority of Abu Sa’id al Khudri that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

ما استخلف خليفة إلا له بطانتان بطانة تأمره بالخير وتحضه عليه وبطانة تأمره بالشر وتحضه عليه والمعصوم من عصم الله

Every Khalifah has two groups of advisers; the first commands him with good and encourages him to follow through, while the other commands him with evil and encourages him to follow through. Protected is he whom Allah protects.[2]

 

The following appears in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Mulayl who says:

 

سمعت عليا رضي الله عنه يقول سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ليس من نبي كان قبلي إلا قد أعطي سبعة نقباء وزراء نجباء وإني أعطيت أربعة عشر وزيرا نقيبا نجيبا سبعة من قريش وسبعة من المهاجرين

I heard ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying that he heard Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Every Nabi prior to my coming was given seven assisting excellent advisers. I have, however, been given fourteen of them. Seven are from the Quraysh and seven from the Muhajirin.”[3]

 

The following appears in Sunan Abi Dawood and Sunan al Nasa’i on the authority of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا أراد الله بالأمير خيرا جعل له وزيرا صدق وإن نسي ذكره وإن ذكر أعانه وإذا أراد الله به غير ذلك جعل له وزير سوء إن نسي لم يذكره وإن ذكر لم يعن

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “When Allah intends good for a leader, he appoints a truthful vizier for him who reminds him when he forgets and assists him when he remembers. But when Allah intends for him other than that, he appoints for him an evil vizier who does not remind him when he forgets and does not assist him when he remembers.”[4]

 

As for the importance of ministership in establishing the foundations of governance, the greatest importance is given to scholars who advise the leaders. Ibn Qutaybah mentions the following on this topic:

 

وفي التاج أن أبرويز كتب إلى ابنه شيرويه من الحبس ليكن من تختاره لولايتك … ولا تجعله امرأ أصبته بعقوبة فاتضع عنها ولا امرأ أطاعك بعد ما أذللته ولا أحدا ممن يقع في خلدك أن إزالة سلطانك أحب له من ثبوته

It is mentioned in al Taj that Parviz wrote the following to his son Shērōē from prison, “Choose your team carefully… Do not appoint one who you have punished and he became humble by it, nor anyone who has obeyed you after you disgraced him, and nor anyone who merely comes to your mind [but not your heart], as the destruction of your empire is more pleasing to them than its establishment.”[5]

 

The leader and author, Ibn Munqidh mentions:

 

وقالوا إن السلطان إذا كان حازما ووزراؤه وزراء سوء منعوا خيره من الناس فلم يجتر عليه أحد ولم يدن منه وإنما مثله في ذلك كالماء الصافي الطيب الذي فيه التماسيح فلا يستطيع أحد وإن كان سابحا وكان إلى الماء محتاجا أن يدخله وانما حلية الملوك وزينتهم أصحابهم ان يكثروا ويصلحوا

If a king is determined but his ministers are evil, they will stop his good from reaching the people which will result in people not being drawn to him and neither coming close to him. His example is like that of pure and clean water that has crocodiles. Even if one can swim and is in need of the water, he is not able to enter it. Plentiful righteous companions are the ornaments and decorations of kings.[6]

 

He also mentions:

 

إياك والثقة بعدوك إذا صالحك وأظهر لك غاية النصح فإن صلح العدو لا يسكن إليه ولا يغتر به فإن الماء لو سخن فأطيل اسخانه لم يمنعه من إطفاء النار إذا صب عليها و إنما صاحب العدو المصالح كصاحب حية يحملها في كمه

Be wary of trusting your enemy when he reconciles with you and portrays utmost well-wishing, as he cannot be trusted nor believed. For even if water is heated for long time, it will still be able to extinguish a fire by being poured over it. Having a well-wishing enemy is similar to carrying a snake in your sleeve.[7]

 

روي أن بعض ملوك الفرس سأل حكيما من حكما ئهم… فما صلا ح الملك قال: وزراؤه أصوله فإن هم فسدوا فسد وإن هم صلحوا صلح

It is mentioned that a Persian king once asked one of their wise advisers, “How can a king be righteous?”

He replied, “His ministers are his foundation. If they are corrupt then so will he, and if they are righteous then so will he be.”[8]

 

وقال أ دشير حقيق على كل ملك أن يتفقد وزيره ونديمه وحاجبه وكاتبه فإن وزيره قوام ملكه

Ardashir once mentioned, “It is a must for a king to survey his minister, confidant, doorman and scribe. His minister is certainly the foundation of his empire.”[9]

 

وقال بزرجمهر من حق الملك أن يستوزر من يحفظ دينه ويستبطن من يحفظ سره

Buzurjmahr once said, “It is the duty of a king to employ as a minister one who will protect his religion and to confide in one who will safeguard his secrets.”[10]

 

وأربعة لا يثبت معها ملك : غش الوزير  وسوء التدبير وخبث النية وظلم الرعية

A king should not tolerate four things: Treachery of the minister, mismanagement, malicious intent, and oppression of masses.[11]

 

لا تقطع قريبا وإن كفر ولا تأمن عدوا وإن شكر

Never sever ties with a close one although they may be ungrateful. And never trust an enemy although he may be grateful.

 

قال أبو الحسن الصاغاني في الاستعانة على حسن السياسة آفة الملوك سوء السيرة وآفة الوز اء سوء السريرة

Abu al Hassan al Saghani mentions in al Isti’anah ‘ala Husn al Siyasah, “Misconduct is the downfall of kings and ingenuity is the downfall of ministers.”[12]

 

من خانه الوزير فاته التدبير

The one who is deceived by the minister has lost his ability for management.[13]

 

Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi has mentioned:

 

وقال الأحنف بن قيس : من فسدت بطانته كان كمن غص بالما ء ومن غص بالماء فلا مساغ له ، ومن خانه ثقاته فقد أتي من مأمنه

Al Ahnaf ibn Qais once said, “The one whose secret has been divulged is the one who has been immersed in water and there is no way out for such a person. The one whose confidant deceives him has been attacked from within.”[14]

 

Al ‘Abbas ibn al Ahnaf mentions:

 

قلبي إلى ما ضرني داعي       يكثر أحزاني وأوجاعي

كيف احتراسي من عدوي إذ ا       كان عدوي بين أضلاعي

My heart calls me to what has harmed me,

Increasing my grief and pain.

How am I supposed to guard myself from my enemy,

When my enemy is between my ribs.[15]

 

May Allah grant our leaders strength to do good and inspire them with guidance and the truth and may He bestow abundant peace and salutations upon our Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his family, and Companions. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

 

 


[1] Surah Taha.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, 6611.

[3] Musnad Ahmed, 1/88.

[4] Sunan Abi Dawood, 2932; Sunan al Nasa’i, 4209.

[5] ‘Uyun al Akhbar, 1/15.

[6] Lubab al Adab, pg. 41; al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/33.

[7] Lubab al Adab, pg. 47.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/23; Rawdah al ‘Uqala’ wa Nazhah al Fudala’, pg. 275.

[15] Ibid.

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, I would like to point out that whenever we mention the treachery of Ibn al ‘Alqami and al Tusi, it does not mean that the fall of the Caliphate is confined to this, rather the reasons here are numerous and worthy of discussion. However, just as one has to be wary of these reasons, it is necessary to be wary of this type of viziers and advisors, who are driven by the ideological beliefs and fundamentals of their creed even if it may be harmful to those in power. We then draw the attention of Sunni rulers, that their policy of keeping them close to prevent their evil is a policy with unfavourable results. The Banu Umayyah had adopted it and it proved to be a cause of their empire’s annihilation. One of them has commented regarding this in the following words:

 

قربنا عدونا لنأمن شره وأبعدنا القريب ثقة بمود ة فعادانا القريب وتقوى علينا العدو

We brought our enemies close to be saved from their evil and distanced the close ones while relying on friendship. The close ones became hostile to us while the enemy overpowered us.

 

Islamic shari’ah has given special importance to the position of ministership in a regime. The following verses of the Qur’an mentioned by Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam indicate the same:

 

قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي وَاجْعَل لِّي وَزِيرًا مِّنْ أَهْلِي هَارُونَ أَخِي اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِي وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًا وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيرًا إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيرًا قَالَ قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَيْكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَىٰ

Musa ‘alayh al Salam said, “O my Lord, expand my chest. And ease my task for me. And untie the knot from my tongue. So that people may understand my speech. And appoint for me a minister from my family. My brother Harun. Increase my strength with him. And let him share my task. So that we may glorify you abundantly. And remember you copiously. You are most certainly watchful over us.” Allah said, “O Musa, your request has been granted. And we have once again conferred upon you a favour.”[1]

 

From the many wisdoms of having a minister is that it empowers the ruler to increase in obedience and good deeds due to the presence of an appointed reminder and supporter. The presence of an appointed righteous minister is regarded as a great gift in the sight of Allah which he grants to pious servants.

Below are authentic Aahadith on this subject:

The following appears in Sahih al Bukhari on the authority of Abu Sa’id al Khudri that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

ما استخلف خليفة إلا له بطانتان بطانة تأمره بالخير وتحضه عليه وبطانة تأمره بالشر وتحضه عليه والمعصوم من عصم الله

Every Khalifah has two groups of advisers; the first commands him with good and encourages him to follow through, while the other commands him with evil and encourages him to follow through. Protected is he whom Allah protects.[2]

 

The following appears in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Mulayl who says:

 

سمعت عليا رضي الله عنه يقول سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ليس من نبي كان قبلي إلا قد أعطي سبعة نقباء وزراء نجباء وإني أعطيت أربعة عشر وزيرا نقيبا نجيبا سبعة من قريش وسبعة من المهاجرين

I heard ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying that he heard Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Every Nabi prior to my coming was given seven assisting excellent advisers. I have, however, been given fourteen of them. Seven are from the Quraysh and seven from the Muhajirin.”[3]

 

The following appears in Sunan Abi Dawood and Sunan al Nasa’i on the authority of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا أراد الله بالأمير خيرا جعل له وزيرا صدق وإن نسي ذكره وإن ذكر أعانه وإذا أراد الله به غير ذلك جعل له وزير سوء إن نسي لم يذكره وإن ذكر لم يعن

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “When Allah intends good for a leader, he appoints a truthful vizier for him who reminds him when he forgets and assists him when he remembers. But when Allah intends for him other than that, he appoints for him an evil vizier who does not remind him when he forgets and does not assist him when he remembers.”[4]

 

As for the importance of ministership in establishing the foundations of governance, the greatest importance is given to scholars who advise the leaders. Ibn Qutaybah mentions the following on this topic:

 

وفي التاج أن أبرويز كتب إلى ابنه شيرويه من الحبس ليكن من تختاره لولايتك … ولا تجعله امرأ أصبته بعقوبة فاتضع عنها ولا امرأ أطاعك بعد ما أذللته ولا أحدا ممن يقع في خلدك أن إزالة سلطانك أحب له من ثبوته

It is mentioned in al Taj that Parviz wrote the following to his son Shērōē from prison, “Choose your team carefully… Do not appoint one who you have punished and he became humble by it, nor anyone who has obeyed you after you disgraced him, and nor anyone who merely comes to your mind [but not your heart], as the destruction of your empire is more pleasing to them than its establishment.”[5]

 

The leader and author, Ibn Munqidh mentions:

 

وقالوا إن السلطان إذا كان حازما ووزراؤه وزراء سوء منعوا خيره من الناس فلم يجتر عليه أحد ولم يدن منه وإنما مثله في ذلك كالماء الصافي الطيب الذي فيه التماسيح فلا يستطيع أحد وإن كان سابحا وكان إلى الماء محتاجا أن يدخله وانما حلية الملوك وزينتهم أصحابهم ان يكثروا ويصلحوا

If a king is determined but his ministers are evil, they will stop his good from reaching the people which will result in people not being drawn to him and neither coming close to him. His example is like that of pure and clean water that has crocodiles. Even if one can swim and is in need of the water, he is not able to enter it. Plentiful righteous companions are the ornaments and decorations of kings.[6]

 

He also mentions:

 

إياك والثقة بعدوك إذا صالحك وأظهر لك غاية النصح فإن صلح العدو لا يسكن إليه ولا يغتر به فإن الماء لو سخن فأطيل اسخانه لم يمنعه من إطفاء النار إذا صب عليها و إنما صاحب العدو المصالح كصاحب حية يحملها في كمه

Be wary of trusting your enemy when he reconciles with you and portrays utmost well-wishing, as he cannot be trusted nor believed. For even if water is heated for long time, it will still be able to extinguish a fire by being poured over it. Having a well-wishing enemy is similar to carrying a snake in your sleeve.[7]

 

روي أن بعض ملوك الفرس سأل حكيما من حكما ئهم… فما صلا ح الملك قال: وزراؤه أصوله فإن هم فسدوا فسد وإن هم صلحوا صلح

It is mentioned that a Persian king once asked one of their wise advisers, “How can a king be righteous?”

He replied, “His ministers are his foundation. If they are corrupt then so will he, and if they are righteous then so will he be.”[8]

 

وقال أ دشير حقيق على كل ملك أن يتفقد وزيره ونديمه وحاجبه وكاتبه فإن وزيره قوام ملكه

Ardashir once mentioned, “It is a must for a king to survey his minister, confidant, doorman and scribe. His minister is certainly the foundation of his empire.”[9]

 

وقال بزرجمهر من حق الملك أن يستوزر من يحفظ دينه ويستبطن من يحفظ سره

Buzurjmahr once said, “It is the duty of a king to employ as a minister one who will protect his religion and to confide in one who will safeguard his secrets.”[10]

 

وأربعة لا يثبت معها ملك : غش الوزير  وسوء التدبير وخبث النية وظلم الرعية

A king should not tolerate four things: Treachery of the minister, mismanagement, malicious intent, and oppression of masses.[11]

 

لا تقطع قريبا وإن كفر ولا تأمن عدوا وإن شكر

Never sever ties with a close one although they may be ungrateful. And never trust an enemy although he may be grateful.

 

قال أبو الحسن الصاغاني في الاستعانة على حسن السياسة آفة الملوك سوء السيرة وآفة الوز اء سوء السريرة

Abu al Hassan al Saghani mentions in al Isti’anah ‘ala Husn al Siyasah, “Misconduct is the downfall of kings and ingenuity is the downfall of ministers.”[12]

 

من خانه الوزير فاته التدبير

The one who is deceived by the minister has lost his ability for management.[13]

 

Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi has mentioned:

 

وقال الأحنف بن قيس : من فسدت بطانته كان كمن غص بالما ء ومن غص بالماء فلا مساغ له ، ومن خانه ثقاته فقد أتي من مأمنه

Al Ahnaf ibn Qais once said, “The one whose secret has been divulged is the one who has been immersed in water and there is no way out for such a person. The one whose confidant deceives him has been attacked from within.”[14]

 

Al ‘Abbas ibn al Ahnaf mentions:

 

قلبي إلى ما ضرني داعي       يكثر أحزاني وأوجاعي

كيف احتراسي من عدوي إذ ا       كان عدوي بين أضلاعي

My heart calls me to what has harmed me,

Increasing my grief and pain.

How am I supposed to guard myself from my enemy,

When my enemy is between my ribs.[15]

 

May Allah grant our leaders strength to do good and inspire them with guidance and the truth and may He bestow abundant peace and salutations upon our Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his family, and Companions. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

 

 


[1] Surah Taha.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, 6611.

[3] Musnad Ahmed, 1/88.

[4] Sunan Abi Dawood, 2932; Sunan al Nasa’i, 4209.

[5] ‘Uyun al Akhbar, 1/15.

[6] Lubab al Adab, pg. 41; al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/33.

[7] Lubab al Adab, pg. 47.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/23; Rawdah al ‘Uqala’ wa Nazhah al Fudala’, pg. 275.

[15] Ibid.