In order to establish the veracity and credibility of Siddiq al Akbar radiya Llahu ‘anhu it is essential to elaborate on this matter too. However, I will firstly deliberate on the issue of contradiction between the hadith regarding the possessions of the Prophets not being subjected to inheritance and the apparent conflict with the verse:
فَهَبْ لِيْ مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا يَرِثُنِيْ وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوْبَ
So, give me from Yourself an heir, who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Yaqub.
Firstly, does the term Yarithu (inherit from) refer to wealth, on account of which this verse is said to oppose the hadith transmitted by Siddiq al Akbar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Secondly, Min Al Yaqub (from the family of Yaqub) could refer to its actual meaning or a metaphoric meaning. If it is in the metaphorical context, then Al Yaqub (family of Yaqub) refers to Yaqub ‘alayh al Salam himself; and this is common in Arabic dialogue where Al of so and so actually refers to that particular person. Or is Al Yaqub (family of Yaqub) actually referring to the apparent meaning (i.e. the family of Yaqub ‘alayh al Salam).
Therefore, if the metaphorical context is implied then it would mean that the estate of Nabi Yaqub ‘alayh al Salam was not distributed for a period of over 2000 years and that Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam knew that it would be distributed before his demise. But if this wealth was going to be distributed after his prayer and before his demise then there was no need to add the words Min Al Yaqub (from the family of Yaqub); instead Yarithuni (inherit me) was adequate since Nabi Yahya ‘alayh al Salam would inherit directly from Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam. Therefore, this part of the verse would be meaningless.
Nevertheless, this implies that Nabi Yaqub ‘alayh al Salam left this world over 2000 years ago and his Estate remained undistributed despite having so many relatives and heirs in this lengthy period. This surely does not make sense, unless of course it appeals to foolish minds.
If the literal meaning of Al Yaqub (family of Yaqub) is meant, then it implies that Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam was the sole inheritor of the entire wealth of each and every individual of the Bani Isra’il despite them numbering hundreds of thousands of individuals. It also implies that he enjoyed such familial ties with each one of them on account of which he would be the inheritor of his estate. Thirdly, it implies that every individual of the Bani Isra’il should expire before Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam and leave no dependants so that Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam could inherit everything as suggested by Min Al Yaqub (from the family of Yaqub). Therefore, this implication is more absurd and preposterous that the first one.
Therefore, both implications are impossible and they do not make sense at all. Why would Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam—being a Nabi of Allah—make such a statement and why would Allah record such meaningless words in the Qur’an, which is unparalleled in eloquence?
It is possible that someone may challenge what we have said above by saying that Min Al Yaqub (from the family of Yaqub) does not necessarily refer to every individual of the progeny of Nabi Yaqub ‘alayh al Salam. However, if the text was: Min Kulli Wahid min Al Yaqub (from every one of them of the family of Yaqub) it would have referred to each and every individual of this progeny and then this could have been a valid objection. But the intelligent understand that if Min Al Yaqub (from the family of Yaqub) only referred to one or two individuals then what was the need to even mention this when Yarithuni (inherit me) was adequate? In addition to this Al in Arabic dialogue refers to the entire group without exclusion of any individual.
Therefore, the Shia deduction of inheritance from the Prophets taken from this verse and subsequent criticism of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu for transmitting the hadith which is in conflict with this, is like the case of someone whose nose has been cut off, and he mocks at those who have noses. When the scholars of this group are steeped in such ignorance then what would be the condition of the laity.
Similarly, Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam mentions two words in his prayer; Wali (heir) and Yarithuni (inherit me). If Wali refers to a son, then Yarithuni (inherit me) is redundant because the son inevitably will be the inheritor. But if they say that he added Yarithuni (inherit me) to avoid his son doing one of two actions which would make him forfeit his father’s inheritance, such as reverting from Islam or taking his father’s life, then there is still no need for adding Yarithuni (inherit me) because the words, And make him, My Rabb, pleasing (to You), comes further on, and takes care of this apprehension.
As for saying that he added Yarithuni (inherit me) so that the child would not die before him, then this is a possibility that could only be entertained by those who have no knowledge of Allah. The fact that he sought a successor on account of him fearing the successors after him, implies that the son should succeed him. Similarly, the term Wali itself refers to a successor and inevitably he must live on after the demise of Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam.
Putting all these absurdities aside for a moment, there is enough evidence to prove that the inheritance of Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam was not material possessions because if it was material possessions then it tarnishes his image as a Nabi of Allah. Was he so covetous of wealth that he went to such lengths to preserve it for his son even though he could not get possession of it in his own lifetime? Did love for wealth actually make him ask for a son who could enjoy it? Such characteristics are associated with lovers of this world, not the Prophets of Allah.
The Shia are not content on criticising Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; they have surpassed that to the level whereby the Prophets are not even spared. Who can comprehend the level of the Prophets, before whom the world and its contents are not more than camel or goat droppings? Furthermore, Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam—with his unique position of austerity—would he go to these limits to secure a trivial portion of this worldly possessions? And would he put this matter before Allah, listing all the reasons why his supplications desperately need to be responded to?
Similarly, he adds:
وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِن وَرَائِي
And indeed, I fear the successors after me.
To enhance the urgency of his supplication so that there is no delay in response. Subhan Allah! This surely cannot be a Nabi, it must be the aspirations of worldly people. In fact, those who are steeped in love of this world also do not have such far-fetched ambitions. If Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam apprehended that his relatives would squander his wealth after his demise and this prompted him to say, “I fear the successors after me,” then this does not make sense because he is not responsible or answerable for their actions after he has left this world. If he really had this fear, he could have spent all his wealth for the sake of Allah, so that it would not be owned by corrupt relatives and he would accrue rewards for that. If his son was righteous and he spent it in the cause of Allah, then these rewards would be for his son, not him.
However, the thought of still living on and being dependant on his wealth could have deterred him from spending it all for the sake of Allah. So, if lack of patience and failing to adopt tawakkul (reliance on Allah) despite being a Nabi deterred him from giving his wealth away in noble causes, then it is a fact that Prophets do not leave this world without consenting to return to Allah. Therefore, he could have given it away when the notice of death came along and this would have protected it from corrupt relatives.
The conclusion to this entire discussion is that “inherit” in this verse cannot by any means refer to wealth and material possessions.
وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَانُ دَاوُوْدَ
And Sulaiman inherited Dawood.
In a similar manner, logic demands that the inheritance of Nabi Dawood ‘alayh al Salam, which was received by Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam cannot be material possessions. However, if the Shia do not see the logic, then it is a valid excuse.
Consequently, historians are unanimous that Nabi Dawood ‘alayh al Salam had nineteen sons. If it were material possessions to be inherited, then all nineteen were equally entitled. The verse which says that Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam inherited from Nabi Dawood ‘alayh al Salam implies that he was the sole inheritor, to the exclusion of the remaining eighteen. This cannot be valid. Similarly, when inheritance must pass on from father to son, then what is the purpose of saying this? Such interpretations render the word of Allah meaningless.
Similarly, since the discussion in this chapter revolves around the merits of Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam what merit is highlighted in saying that he inherited from his father when all sons—pious or impious—inherit from their father’s wealth.
Therefore, inheritance cannot refer to wealth and material possessions. It must now be ascertained what the inheritance of the Prophets is, because in the light of the above two verses it surely cannot be wealth and material possessions. In order to solve this, we first refer to the ‘infallible’ Imams and see what they say on this matter. We receive the following response from them:
ان سليمان ورث داود و ان محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم ورث سليمان
Verily Sulaiman inherited from Dawood, and Muhammad inherited from Sulaiman.
Al Kulayni records the above narration on the authority of Imam Jafar al Sadiq. Had the Ahlus Sunnah recorded such statements then the Shia could have objected. Nevertheless, it is established that the inheritance in this case refers to knowledge and Nubuwwah, because there was no blood relation between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam. Similarly, if it was wealth, then when did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam receive it? Therefore, the inheritance of Nabi Dawood ‘alayh al Salam to Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam was knowledge and Nubuwwah, and this is the same two which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam received.
The context of this verse and the verses before and after it clarify that inheritance refers to knowledge and Nubuwwah, not wealth. Any hafiz, who knows basic Arabic, is aware of this; but I will record it for the benefit of others. Consequently, the verse before this is:
وَلَقَدْ اٰتَیْنَا دَاودَ وَ سُلَیْمٰنَ عِلْمًا وَ قَالَا الْحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِیْ فَضَّلَنَا عَلٰی کَثِیْرٍ مِّنْ عِبَادِه الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ
And we had certainly given to Dawood and Sulaiman knowledge, and they said, “Praise (is due) to Allah, who has favoured us over many of His believing servants.”
If this verse is joined with the next verse, it implies that Nabi Dawood ‘alayh al Salam and Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam received knowledge from Allah. They thanked Allah on account of being favoured over many of His creation by virtue of this knowledge.
The next verse says that Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam inherited from Nabi Dawood ‘alayh al Salam and he said to the people:
وَ قَالَ یٰاَیُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنْطِقَ الطَّیْرِ وَ اُوْتِیْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ شَیْءٍ اِنَّ هٰذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِیْنُ
He said, “O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty.”
Now consider that Wa Waritha (he inherited) is attached to “And we had certainly given to Dawood” and the verse “He said, “O people we have been taught” is attached to “And Sulaiman inherited Dawood”. Since all are inter-connected and related to one another, it necessarily implies that Wa Waritha (he inherited) refers to knowledge, not wealth. Had this verse not been connected to each other then they would not have been attached to each other (by the conjunction “waw”). Those who have studied the discussion on fasl and wasl in the books, Mutawwal and Mukhtasar al Ma’ani, know well that the conjunction would not have featured if these were not interconnected. Therefore, the three sentences are connected and inheritance refers to nothing else but knowledge. Those who are familiar with the Qur’an know that this is the case in many instances, but the Shia are to be excused for ignorance of the Qur’an.
Consider the following examples where inheritance can refer to nothing but knowledge:
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِيْنَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا
Then we caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants.
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala also says:
فَخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ وَّرِثُوا الْکِتٰبَ
But there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture…
The first verse means that we have given the book as inheritance to those of our servants whom we have chosen. The second verse also pertains to inheritance of the Book, i.e. knowledge.
However, it is possible that some foolish Shia might consider the Book to be wealth (on account of its monetary value), and thereby deduce that inheritance refers to wealth. Whilst such an assumption is laughable and responding to it may be ridiculous but taking the level of understanding of the Shia, it is inevitable.
Therefore, consider that the first verse is followed by the classification of people in three groups, i.e. “among them is he who wrongs himself, etc.” The second verse is followed by:
یَاْخُذُوْنَ عَرَضَ هٰذَا الْاَدْنٰی
(while) taking the commodities of this life.
In the former case, “of our servants” establishes that the classification of people is in relation to them complying with the Book and following its teachings. Thus, some were oppressive to themselves, others, moderate and some excelled by the grace of Allah. This classification can only apply if inheritance refers to knowledge, not the monetary value of the binding and pages of the Book.
Similarly, (while) taking the commodities of this life—which follows on from the second verse—establishes that instead of holding on to the Book, they sold its teachings for trivial worldly gain and accepted bribery. This is supported by:
اَلَمْ یُؤْخَذْ عَلَیْهِمْ مِّیْثَاقُ الْکِتٰبِ اَنْ لَّا یَقُوْلُوْا عَلَی اللهِ اِلَّا الْحَقَّ وَدَرَسُوْا مَا فِیْهِ ؕ
Was not the covenant of the Scripture taken from them that they would not say about Allah except the truth, and they studied what was in it.
Consequently, they received bribes for selling knowledge, which establishes that the inheritance was knowledge. Nevertheless, this establishes that inheritance which occurs in the Qur’an denotes knowledge.
Perhaps some Shia may get technical and say that the reference of inheritance to wealth is its haqiqi (actual) implication, whilst its reference to knowledge is its majazi (metaphorical) connotation. And the general rule—which is the basis of his contention—is that the haqiqi meaning cannot be averted for the majazi one without a very valid reason. It is only acceptable when there are valid reasons.
Our response is that we do not accept that inheritance actually denotes wealth and that knowledge is its majazi meaning. We assert that inheritance refers to wealth or knowledge, both are the haqiqi meanings of this term. Therefore, inheritance denotes knowledge and wealth equally, and Warith refers to a successor. In fact, if it is said that inheritance actually refers to one who assumes ownership and possession of something, then this meaning is in harmony with the actual connotation of inheritance. We will prove this shortly, Allah willing.
However, since the Fuqaha’ utilise this word in the context of possessions that have monetary value, it has been wrongly deduced that inheritance refers to material possessions only. The reality is that inheritance can refer to knowledge, it can refer to assuming a post, and it can refer to possessions having monetary value. The proof that inheritance has come to be confined to a particular connotation despite it not being restricted to that is the instance in the Qur’an where inheritance cannot refer to knowledge because that which was received was wealth, but there are two differences between this instance and wealth received as inheritance. Firstly, unlike inheritance, this wealth was received from those who they had no familial ties with. Secondly, they received it from those who were following a religion other than Islam. Both these matters are in conflict with the principles of inheritance. Therefore, inheritance in this instance can only refer to succession and being successors, or it can refer to assuming control and possession of something. Consider the following verse:
وَ اَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِیْنَ کَانُوْا یُسْتَضْعَفُوْنَ مَشَارِقَ الْاَرْضِ وَ مَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِیْ بٰرَكْنَا فِیْهَا
And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed.
Therefore, the Bani Isra’il ‘inherited’ from the nation of Firoun. And not only were there no familial ties between them, there was a difference in religion too. Assuming that some familial ties did exist, there is no dispute about them being disbelievers, thereby making inheritance unlawful. This establishes that inheritance can only refer to being successors in this instance. It cannot denote knowledge—which they claim is the majazi connotation nor can it denote inheriting wealth, which they say is its haqiqi meaning. Consider the following verse as another example:
إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُوْرِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِيْنَ
Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah. He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.
In this instance too inheritance means, making them successors.
It is evident from the above that inheritance denotes succession. But if one were to consider carefully, inheritance actually denotes gaining possession and control over something. The following verse establishes this:
تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِیْ نُوْرِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَنْ کَانَ تَقِیًّا
That is Paradise, which we give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of Allah.
In this instance, inheritance can only denote assuming possession and control since Paradise was not previously possessed by anyone, whereby those who abide in it could be referred to as successors. But if one says that it is referred to as the inheritance of Nabi Adam ‘alayh al Salam—as he dwelt there initially—then the response is that whilst the actual owner is alive, his possessions cannot be inherited.
Therefore, the all-encompassing meaning of inheritance, which applies in every situation, is assuming possession and control over something. Therefore, if we have a general meaning which is applicable in every context then why should we prefer the view that inheritance sometimes denotes its actual meaning and sometimes its metaphorical meaning.
In addition to this, the laws of inheritance are age-old laws promulgated in every shari’ah of every Nabi. Therefore, inheritance in the context of inheriting wealth can be shari’ (legal) terminology, but the coining of a word for a specific meaning precedes legal terminology. Therefore, the meaning which it was actually intended to convey will always have preference over any legal connotation given to it later on. Nevertheless, we have established that inheritance denoting inheritance of wealth is its legal definition, its actual definition is something else.
Whilst being a legal definition, inheritance in most instances in the Qur’an cannot denote inheritance of wealth. This establishes that its legal definition is also restricted; it has not become more dominant than the actual definition of the word. Actually, the only places in the Qur’an where it could possibly denote its legal definition are the verses which the Shia use to establish inheritance from Prophets. However, the reality of that possibility has been exposed. So why divert from the primary meaning of a word to a secondary connotation? Yes, if inheritance, like salah and sawm, was a term initiated by Allah for a specific task, then it would have been a different matter altogether.
Consequently, we have established that knowledge and wealth are metaphoric meanings of inheritance.
If we assume—for a moment—that inheritance actually denotes inheritance of wealth and that succession in knowledge is its majazi meaning then too there is no objection because this [majaz] is now classified as Majaz Muta’araf, which is on par with the haqiqi meaning. Similarly, the following two verses establish this:
ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِيْنَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا
Then we caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants.
فَخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ وَّرِثُوْا الْکِتٰبَ
But there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture…
There is no doubt about inheritance referring to succession in knowledge in the above two verses. One can have no reluctance about this matter and this is what is meant by Majaz Muta’araf. Such a majaz is nothing less than the haqiqi meaning and there can be no objection about giving preference to Majaz Muta’araf over the haqiqi meaning. And to go one level beyond this, there is no problem with giving preference to majaz—Muta’araf or not—over haqiqat, when there are reasons supporting it. If this is not permissible, then there would be no need for majaz at all and no use for it.
What supporting reason could be greater for leaving the haqiqi meaning and adopting majaz then the hadith of al Kulayni, in addition to other logical and rational reasons?
This narration also establishes that inheritance in the supplication of Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam and in the case of Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam cannot refer to wealth; instead it refers to knowledge. Consequently, the Shia have no response to this narration and it seals the mouths. The narration is as follows:
روي محمد بن يعقوب الرازي في الكافي عن ابي عبد الله الجعفر بن محمد الصادق عليه السلام انه قال ان العلماء ورثة الانبياء و ذلك ان الانبياء لم يرثوا و لم يورثوا درهما و لا دينارا و انما اورثوا احاديث من احاديثهم فمن اخذ بشيء منها فقد اخذ بحظ وافر
Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah narrates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Verily the ‘Ulamaʼ are the inheritors of the Prophets, that is because the Prophets do not inherit nor do others inherit from them any dirhams or dinars; however, they inherit (from the Prophets) their ahadith. So, whoever holds onto a portion of it, has held onto a large share.
This narration clearly establishes that no one inherits wealth from the Prophets. However, the ‘Ulama’ inherit their knowledge. This is precisely the meaning of the hadith which the Ahlus Sunnah transmit from Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If ‘Ammar ‘Ali and other Shia scholars regard it as a fabrication, then this narration should be classified the same. But if this is a Sadiq transmission, and then that is a transmission from Siddiq. But liars don’t like the truth. If they consider our narration false, they may even consider Imam Jafar al Sadiq false, or they may disassociate themselves from al Kulayni. Nevertheless, whether they accept or not, we have the highest regard for the statement of Imam Jafar al Sadiq.
Consequently, on account of Innama—which the Shia also maintain denotes Hasr (confinement), as they contend in the verse:
إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ
Verily your wali is Allah…
—the Prophets have left behind nothing besides knowledge. Therefore, the inheritance would denote knowledge in two Qur’anic verses.
The Shia are now at liberty to call this its haqiqi meaning, or its majazi meaning or Majaz Muta’araf. And if they wish to spite us and say that it is Majaz Ghayr Mash-hur and Ghayr Muta’araf, we will gladly settle for that too. Since there are so many reasons for it not denoting wealth and there are so many factors demanding that it denotes knowledge this is surely the correct meaning, even if they refer to it as majaz. It has been established that it is a grave error to maintain that it denotes wealth and it is an interpretation which cannot be entertained.
It has thus been proven that in the verse relating to Nabi Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam, inheritance cannot be wealth; it must denote knowledge.
The same applies to the following verse; inheritance refers to knowledge not wealth:
فَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ
So, give me from Yourself an heir, who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Yaqub.
The second narration from al Kulayni also affirms that inheritance refers to knowledge, not wealth. The example of this narration as a response to the Shia is like the proverbial saying of being struck with one’s own shoes on one’s head.
Though the issue has been established but for the sake of delighting the Ahlus Sunnah and frustrating the Shia the following is worth considering. Consequently, if you look at the verse, And Indeed, I fear the successors after me, and the word Wali which is mentioned in the supplication, it becomes clear that Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam only sought a righteous and upright successor. When he made the supplication recorded in Surah Maryam, the desire was not there for a son, though he may have sought this at another juncture. Consequently, the word Wali according to linguists does not denote son; it denotes a successor and a deputy. This is also supported by the words after me. Consider the translation of these verses:
وَ اِنِّیْ خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِیَ مِنْ وَّ رَآءِیْ وَکَانَتِ امْرَاَتِیْ عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِیْ مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ وَلِیًّا یَّرِثُنِیْ وَیَرِثُ مِنْ اٰلِ یَعْقُوْبَ وَ اجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِیًّا
And Indeed, I fear the successors after me (that they are not worthy of succession after me. If they were to assume authority after me then they would alter the laws of din. As for myself, I have no hope of children on account of my old age), and my wife has been barren, so (I appeal to you to) give me from Yourself an heir. Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Yaqub. And make him, my Rabb, pleasing (to You).
It is evident that Mawali in the above instance can only refer to successors and deputies. Therefore, Wali, which is a derivative from the same root letters, would also denote successor. And assuming that Wali means a son, then Mawali (its plural) would mean sons, whereas Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam had no sons. If he had, why was he seeking another son, as all sons are entitled to inheritance, whether they are good or bad.
As for the possibility that the previous sons were not righteous and this supplication was for a noble and virtuous son, then (being a father) why not pray for their guidance and goodness? The same could be said about Mawali; if they were not virtuous and righteous, he could have made the same supplication for their guidance instead of seeking a son. But there is a difference, one’s feeling for one’s own children on account of which one’s supplication are heartfelt cannot apply equally to other relatives. However, the Shia are also aware that Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam had no sons until the moment of his supplication, righteous or misguided. Therefore Mawali “الْمَوَالِیَ” would necessarily refer to those whom he considered his possible successors.
Similarly, it seems apparent that the successor whom he was seeking was one who was not necessarily from his own progeny as he expressed his inability to have a child. Therefore, the ‘inheritance’ must denote knowledge, not wealth. And if this is not the case then the fact that Wali means successor is sufficient to conclude that ‘inheritance’ refers to knowledge, not wealth.
As for the word Dhurriyyah—which refers to children and progeny—appearing in the supplication of Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam at another instance, it does not determine that when making the supplication in Surah Maryam he was also seeking a son. He may have made different supplications on different occasions. It is possible that when he made the supplication recorded in Surah Maryam, he was despondent of having children and he asked for a successor instead. However, Allah was merciful to him and showed him that He had provided unseasonal fruits for Sayyidah Maryam radiya Llahu ‘anha and this spurred him on to pray for a child. Therefore, he may have made different supplications in different conditions and the verse under discussion cannot be conclusively a supplication for a son.
Similarly, Dhurriyyah does not have to refer to biological children. A compassionate teacher or Sheikh may refer to his students or associates as his children. And a father sometimes disowns a rebellious child and says that he is not his son. In fact, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has dismissed the biological relationship between Nabi Nuh ‘alayh al Salam and his son on account of his son’s unworthiness. Similarly, Allah has referred to the followers of Nabi Nuh ‘alayh al Salam as his family and he commanded him to board a pair of every kind of animal and his family of the ark. Thus, his family refers to his followers and his relatives only because it is not possible that arrangements were made for animals and not for the Muslims of his era.
Based on the above it is very possible that Dhurriyyah—in the supplication of Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam—refers to followers. It is also common in Arabic to refer to one’s group using the word Dhurriyyah or Al.
However, it is only fair to concede that Dhurriyyah in Surah Al ‘Imran refers to children, but Wali in Surah Maryam does not necessarily refer to a son. If it can be proven that Nabi Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam supplicated once only, then it would be fair to say that he supplicated for a son only. However, since there are two versions of the supplication in two different surah’s, it is justified to presume that multiple prayers were made. So why it is necessary to maintain that Wali refers to a son.
Yes, if considering any other meaning besides a son would render the sentence meaningless then it would have been a valid reason to rule out other possibilities. But in this case, considering it to mean a son has a negative bearing on the meaning since he says:
وَکَانَتِ امْرَاَتِیْ عَاقِرًا
And my wife has been barren.
Nevertheless, Wali refers to Wali ‘Ahd, i.e. a successor, on account of which inheritance would refer to knowledge not wealth. This clarifies the purpose of using the word Wali. Due to the above and the narration of al Kulayni, it is clear that inheritance denotes succeeding him in knowledge and in his position. This eradicates any misgivings about the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu conflicting with the two Qur’anic verses. In fact, the hadith is in harmony with the Qur’an. Similarly, based on the discussion on Allah instructs you all and And what Allah restored, even if this hadith is invalid it has no bearing on the Ahlus Sunnah as elaborated earlier on. Conversely, the Shia will soon realise that the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is supported by their own ahadith reports.
Since it has been established that the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not contradicting the Qur’an there is no need to further verify its authenticity, but for the sake of establishing the integrity of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu we will pursue the discussion.
Firstly, to say that this hadith is transmitted by one person only is invalid criticism because this only applies where the narrator has not heard the statement from the primary source directly. As for one who heard a statement from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam directly, his transmission is stronger than a thousand reports of those who did not hear it directly. Excessive transmission is deemed necessary to avert the possibility of lies, but when a person hears it directly then there is no need for excessive transmission. Therefore, though thousands may report a matter and it gives one some degree of conviction, it can never give the conviction that is derived from witnessing it personally. Therefore, though there are thousands of reports from people about Makkah, Delhi, London etc., the benefit of seeing it personally and hearing about it cannot be the same. So, when the sight of others cannot be equal to one’s vision, the hearing of others cannot be equal to one’s own hearing.
Therefore, the Shia objection to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu for practising on something which he heard personally—and no one else heard it besides him—reflects the flaw in their understanding. Every literate and illiterate Muslim knows that it was binding on a Sahabi to act upon a hadith which he heard personally from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, whether others heard it or not.
Shia and Sunni scholars of Usul al Hadith are unanimous that the classification of a hadith as Mutawatir, Mash-hur, Khabr al Wahid, etc., has relevance when those who transmit the hadith did not hear the hadith directly or witness the event personally. It has no relevance to those who heard it directly or who were eye witnesses to the events. The direct narration of a Sahabi from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is far weightier than a Mutawatir transmission. Thus, Sayyidina Abu Bakr practised upon what he heard. Therefore, this objection has no basis, unless of course one has no faith in Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, which is a different issue altogether.
However, if we have to speak to people on their level of understanding, then so be it. If multiple transmissions of a hadith makes it authentic, and not hearing it personally, then take note of the following; just as there are instances when a hadith would be considered invalid—when the narrators are liars and when the content blatantly conflicts naql (narration) or ‘aql (logic), similarly there are two instances which render a hadith valid, namely the integrity of the narrators are beyond any doubt and it is supported by the Qur’an, authentic ahadith, i.e. naql and/or ‘aql.
In the same manner, if a hadith is transmitted by very few individuals and that hadith conflicts minimally or substantially with more authentic ahadith, then the reliability of that narration would be compromised relevantly. Similarly, if a hadith has profuse transmission and it is in harmony with authentic ahadith then its reliability would be enhanced proportionately.
We have, thus, outlined the two instances when a hadith would be considered valid as well as the two factors affecting the reliability of a hadith.
Considering multiple transmissions, this hadith is not reported by Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu alone. There are more than ten other narrators of such integrity like has never been. Therefore, the criticism of the Shia—which ‘Ammar ‘Ali ignorantly records—about Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu denying Fadak on account of hearing a hadith is false and baseless. Consequently, the hadith is recorded in Sunni references on the authority of Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman, Abu al Darda’, Abu Hurairah, ‘Abbas, ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Sayyidah Aisha, ‘Umar al Faruq and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Now if the Shia do not accept the transmission of Aisha, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum, then what about the rest. Have they committed any crime besides speaking the truth in a matter which is highly sensitive to the Shia? But we plead with them not to ruin themselves just out of spite for the Ahlus Sunnah. Consequently, are they not aware of the fact that rejecting the words of an infallible Imam renders a Shia a non-Muslim. Therefore, in order to remain Shia they must accept the hadith as it is transmitted by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu too.
Similarly, rejecting the transmission of Sayyidina Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has negative consequences as well. Although he is not an infallible Imam, but in this case his transmission is no less than that of an infallible Imam. This is because Mullah ‘Abdullah Shahid records the hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Izhar al Haqq, which is as follows:
ما حدثكم به حذيفة فصدقوه
Attest to whatever Hudhayfah narrates to you.
Just in case someone doubts that this hadith is actually transmitted from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, I record the narration of Sahih al Bukhari, which is the most authentic book after the Qur’an. It is as follows, narrated by Malik ibn Aws:
حدثنا إسحاق بن محمد الفروي، حدثنا مالك بن أنس، عن ابن شهاب، عن مالك بن أوس بن الحدثان، وكان، محمد بن جبير ذكر لي ذكرا من حديثه ذلك، فانطلقت حتى أدخل على مالك بن أوس، فسألته عن ذلك الحديث فقال مالك بينا أنا جالس في أهلي حين متع النهار، إذا رسول عمر بن الخطاب يأتيني فقال أجب أمير المؤمنين. فانطلقت معه حتى أدخل على عمر، فإذا هو جالس على رمال سرير، ليس بينه وبينه فراش متكئ على وسادة من أدم، فسلمت عليه ثم جلست فقال يا مالك ، إنه قدم علينا من قومك أهل أبيات، وقد أمرت فيهم برضخ فاقبضه فاقسمه بينهم. فقلت يا أمير المؤمنين، لو أمرت به غيري. قال اقبضه أيها المرء. فبينا أنا جالس عنده أتاه حاجبه يرفا فقال هل لك في عثمان وعبد الرحمن بن عوف والزبير وسعد بن أبي وقاص يستأذنون قال نعم. فأذن لهم فدخلوا فسلموا وجلسوا، ثم جلس يرفا يسيرا ثم قال هل لك في علي وعباس قال نعم. فأذن لهما، فدخلا فسلما فجلسا، فقال عباس يا أمير المؤمنين، اقض بيني وبين هذا. وهما يختصمان فيما أفاء الله على رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم من بني النضير. فقال الرهط عثمان وأصحابه يا أمير المؤمنين، اقض بينهما وأرح أحدهما من الآخر. قال عمر تيدكم، أنشدكم بالله الذي بإذنه تقوم السماء والأرض، هل تعلمون أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ” لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة ”. يريد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نفسه. قال الرهط قد قال ذلك. فأقبل عمر على علي وعباس فقال أنشدكما الله، أتعلمان أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد قال ذلك قالا قد قال ذلك.
While I was at home, the sun rose high and it got hot. Suddenly the messenger of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab came to me and said, “The chief of the believers has sent for you.”
So, I went along with him till I entered the place where ‘Umar was sitting on a bedstead made of date-palm leaves and covered with no mattress, and he was leaning over a leather pillow. I greeted him and sat down.
He said, “O Malik, some persons of your people who have families came to me and I have ordered that a gift should be given to them, so take it and distribute it among them.”
I said, “O chief of the believers, I wish that you order someone else to do it.”
He said, “O man! Take it.”
While I was sitting there with him, his doorman Yarfa’ came saying, “‘Uthman, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, al Zubair and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas are asking your permission to see you; may I admit them?”
‘Umar said, “Yes.”
So, they were admitted and they came in, greeted him, and sat down. After a while Yarfa’ came again and said, “May I admit ‘Ali and ‘Abbas?”
‘Umar said, “Yes.”
So, they were admitted and they came in and greeted him and sat down.
Then ‘Abbas said, “O chief of the believers! Judge between me and him (i.e. ‘Ali).”
They had a dispute regarding the property of Banu al Nadir which Allah had given to His Prophet as Fay’.
The group, i.e. ‘Uthman and his companions said, “O chief of the believers, judge between them and relieve both of them of each other.”
‘Umar said, “Be patient! I beseech you by Allah by Whose Permission the Heaven and the Earth exist, do you know that Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Our (i.e. Prophets’) property will not be inherited, and whatever we leave, is Sadaqah, and Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam meant himself (by saying ‘we’)?”
The group said, “He said so.”
‘Umar then turned to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas and said, “I beseech you by Allah, do you know that Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said so?”
They replied, “He said so.”
It is evident from this narration that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu transmits this hadith. Therefore, if they were reluctant to accept this hadith because of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu transmitting it alone, then there is the testimony of so many Sahabah. And if they claim that it is in conflict with the Qur’an, then that is their short-sightedness and the reality is somewhat different, as elaborated on earlier. Similarly, if they object because he heard it directly from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then that issue has also been dealt with; one’s seeing or hearing is conclusive.
This hadith is transmitted by so many Sahabah that it is rare to find ahadith like this. Similarly, most of them are from the ‘Asharah Mubasharah. In fact, its transmission by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is equivalent to the transmission of hundreds of thousands of narrators—especially according to the Shia. Therefore, there can be no doubt about the validity of this hadith.
Therefore, the Shia should consider this hadith no less in weight than a Qur’anic verse. Then how was it possible for Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to dismiss this hadith and not act upon it? As for the Ahlus Sunnah, its transmission by such esteemed Sahabah makes it as conclusive as the Qur’an. Every individual Sahabi among them is so esteemed that his transmission is weightier than Mutawatir, so what can be said about them collectively.
As for its conformance with the Qur’an, it is evident. The Shia were demonstrating on account of Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all), but is has been proven that the Hadith is in harmony with the verse.
If any one feels that there is contradiction between the hadith and the Qur’an, then it is feared that such fools may go on to criticise the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in another matter. They may consider the ahadith which forbid zakat and Sadaqah upon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in conflict with the following verse:
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَالْعَامِلِيْنَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوْبُهُمْ وَفِيْ الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِيْنَ وَفِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ وَاِبْنِ السَّبِيْلِ فَرِيْضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ
Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah.
Therefore, they may accuse the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of opposing this verse. Consequently, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ‘poverty’ is well-known and his prayer to remain in humble conditions till the end of his life and be raised with those people is also well-known. Therefore, if he was the Leader of the people of less-means in this world then he was most deserving of sadaqah and zakat.
Similarly, there is no exclusion or takhsis in the verse above, whereby he is to be considered exempted. Unlike Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all), where the tone of address is to the Ummah and there is evidence of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclusion from that.
However, when both the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia are unanimous that the ahadith prohibiting charity for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are not in conflict with the verse, Zakat expenditures are only for the poor, then the hadith—what we leave behind is sadaqah—is in greater harmony with the Qur’anic verse. This is because the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclusion from the law of inheritance is understood from the context of the surah and the tone of Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all) itself, whereas the exclusion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from charity is not understood from Zakat expenditures are only for the poor.
If anything does establish his exclusion than it can possibly be the verse:
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَلْمِزُكَ فِيْ الصَّدَقَاتِ فَإِنْ أُعْطُوْا مِنْهَا رَضُوْا وَإِنْ لَمْ يُعْطَوْا مِنْهَا إِذَا هُمْ يَسْخَطُوْنَ
And among them are some who criticise you concerning the (distribution of) charities. If they are given from them, they approve; but if they are not given from them, at once they become angry.
which does not even appear directly before or after this. However, it is possible to extract the exclusion from it. The meaning is as follows; this verse establishes that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was authorised to distribute charity. The verse Zakat expenditures are only for the poor establishes that charity is for the poor and the destitute and that the hypocrites do not have rights over it. Therefore, since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was appointed to distribute it and the needy and destitute were declared the recipients and the hypocrites were to be dismissed, it implies that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was excluded from receiving anything from it. This is just how a person entrusts a person who is needy himself with the task of distributing something to poor people and to omit the wealthy. It is commonly understood that the person entrusted with the task is not supposed to receive anything. (This is the practical illustration of the above verses.) Consequently, this is the reason why for the Rasul has been mentioned explicitly in the verse of Khums and Fay’—to establish that along with the duty of distribution, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is entitled to his independent share.
Nevertheless, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclusion from Zakat expenditures are only for the poor is by an external factor and a verse disconnected from it. As for his exclusion from Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all), his exclusion is established from the verse itself and internal factors. Therefore, if the ahadith prohibiting zakat are established and they are not in conflict with Zakat expenditures are only for the poor then “what we leave behind is sadaqah,” is also established and in greater harmony with Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all).
Similarly, “what we leave behind is sadaqah,” is also not in conflict with an heir, who will inherit me and And Sulaiman inherited Dawood, because the verses refer to inheriting the legacy of knowledge whilst the hadith refutes inheritance of wealth. This discussion has been recorded in detail already.
As for the narration, “what we leave behind is sadaqah,” conforming to other authentic ahadith it must be said that this hadith enjoys such prestige that the Ahlus Sunnah do not regard it necessary for it to conform to other narrations. It is a criterion by itself. Despite this, it has multiple transmissions and all its chains are authentic and this is what is meant by conforming to authentic narrations.
As for the authenticity of a hadith, it is determined by the soundness of the chain of transmission. Similarly, multiple chains of transmission constitute multiple ahadith (even though the content is the same). Therefore, if one text is transmitted via multiple chains then each chain would be considered an independent hadith. Now that multiple transmissions has given us multiple ahadith—with slight variation in wording in some—and each one is in harmony with the other then it would be said that “what we leave behind is sadaqah,” is in harmony with authentic ahadith.
However, if the above evidence leaves anyone in doubt then it is surely the Shia. They need greater evidence; evidence from their texts that this hadith is in harmony with authentic narrations. Therefore, Shia scholars and laity are aware that no book has greater standing than the al Kafi of al Kulayni. Have we not alluded to the hadith recorded therein transmitted on the authority of Abu al Bakhtari from Imam Jafar al Sadiq which states the following:
ان العلماء ورثة الانبياء و ذلك ان الانبياء لم يرثوا و لم يورثوا درهما و لا دينارا و انما اورثوا احاديث من احاديثهم فمن اخذ بشيء منها فقد اخذ بحظ وافر
Verily the ‘Ulama’ are the inheritors of the Prophets, that is because the Prophets do not inherit nor do others inherit from them any dirhams or dinars; however, they inherit (from the Prophets) their ahadith. So, whoever holds onto a portion of it, has held onto a large share.
Consequently, this narration establishes exactly what is established from the narration of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In fact, on account of the devious nature of the Shia, Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah says that the legacy of Prophets is knowledge. Therefore, if the version, “we are not inherited from,” is considered then it implies that none inherits from them except the ‘Ulama’, who inherit their knowledge. This is because the Prophets also have not inherited fortunes from anyone. If the version, “the Prophets do not inherit,” is considered it implies that the ‘Ulama’ inherit their knowledge because they have not left behind wealth as inheritance. As for Fadak, it was not the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam personal possession as has been elaborated on previously.
As for other personal effects such as clothing, home and conveyance; the following should be noted: the homes of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which were simple rooms, were already in the possession of the noble wives according to the declaration of the Qur’an. Consequently, Allah said:
وَقَرْنَ فِيْ بُيُوْتِكُنَّ
And abide in your houses.
and He did not say, “in the homes of the Nabi”. It is thus established that these rooms belonged to them and that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave it to them.
However, someone could say that when speaking about the home one lives in, one refers to it as one’s own home despite it being rented or actually belonging to someone else. Therefore, it is not necessarily the case that those rooms belonged to them.
Well, we do not have a problem with that because even if it belonged to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till the end of his life it becomes charity immediately thereafter and the noble wives assumed authority over it just like how Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha received revenue from Fadak.
Nevertheless, we are not concerned with the technicalities revolving around the word, “your houses,” we are only concerned about keeping the contents of the hadith of Imam Jafar al Sadiq in mind. So, if the Shia have a problem with the meaning which we understand from the verse, then so be it. Either way, the homes were not the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam property or inheritance upon his departure from this world.
Yes, from his personal effects they may ask about his clothing and conveyance. However, one’s iman demands that since Imam Jafar uses the word Innama which denotes hasr—his legacy was nothing else but knowledge. Therefore, there should be no reservations at all. Whilst the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam may have left clothing behind, it is possible that he gifted it to someone in his lifetime and used it as a loan as long as he required it.
Even if this does not make sense to you, do not refute the words of the infallible Imam. Consider it a deficiency of your understanding instead. But for the sake of clarification for the Muslims it must be noted that “the Prophets do not inherit” does not mean that they did not leave any material possessions behind; it means that they did not leave anything inheritable. This makes it clear why the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “what we leave behind is sadaqah,” is correct. Since Imam Jafar was aware of the contents of this hadith, he added the word Innama to reinforce this meaning.
Therefore, if we analyse both narrations then the narration of Imam Jafar conveys the exact meaning of the narration of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu since he says that the Prophets do not leave any material possessions for inheritance. Actually, his narration expresses that they have only left behind knowledge and this fact is not contained in the narration of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore, the hadith of Imam Jafar expresses two matters whilst the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu expresses one only. Imam Jafar’s rahimahu Llah narration has substantiation as well so that his claim bears more weight. Whilst he was at ease about the Ahlus Sunnah, he was apprehensive of the Shia misunderstanding or distorting his words, so he clarified it thoroughly.
But it is no wonder that the Shia have forfeited their iman by rejecting the words of their Imam. They are even capable of disowning their own Imams. Only Allah can make them understand as no Sheikh, Imam, Sahabi or Nabi can achieve this. They should be ashamed of themselves; criticising the Sahabah on behalf of those who were in harmony and accord with the Sahabah. They have lost the celestial light of iman by vilifying the Sahabah and they have lost iman itself by rejecting their Imams. This is because they maintain that one who rejects the words of an infallible Imam is a kafir, and if this is transmitted in the most authentic book of al Kafi, then what can be said. Nevertheless, the hadith “what we leave behind is sadaqah,” is correct and in harmony with Shia hadith reports.
The above Shia narration is supported by a second hadith, which also appears in al Kafi. The hadith, which has passed earlier on along with its translation is as follows:
ان سليمان ورث داود و ان محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم ورث سليمان
Verily Sulaiman inherited from Dawood, and Muhammad inherited from Sulaiman.
It is evident from this that the inheritance of the Prophets is nothing else but knowledge. The discussions relating to this hadith have been submitted earlier on but we will make a brief reference to two logical evidences recorded earlier.
Firstly, the Prophets are alive in their graves and the possessions of a living person cannot be inherited by anyone. However, if the nature of those possessions is such that they cannot benefit from personally then their directives regarding it must be adhered to by their successors. Therefore, since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is alive in his grave—and this has been established—his material possessions are not inheritable. It was therefore the responsibility of his successor, who in this case happens to be Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, to carry out his orders regarding it and these are contained in the statement, “what we leave behind is sadaqah”. If some sceptic denies the life of the Prophets in their graves, then there is a second logical evidence which is as follows: inheritance cannot apply to the material possessions of the Prophets due to their strong conviction that everything belongs solely Allah and it was entrusted to them to use for a specific time like an item that has been borrowed. Therefore, when their time lapsed and they returned to Allah, their possession of it was relinquished instantaneously. Nevertheless, these two logical arguments have been discussed at length.
Whilst it is contested whether Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu withheld Fadak rightfully or oppressively it must be noted that he gave no share of it to Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Similarly, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not give any share of it to Sayyidah Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha. The laws of inheritance demand that both of them should have received a share as they were the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This establishes that not giving them was in conformance with the instruction of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; it was not withheld oppressively from anyone. If they really did oppress Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha then they surely would not have oppressed their own daughters.
Similarly, those who snatch the wealth and possessions of others are not characterised by abstention from this world and worldly things. Therefore, it makes no sense that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu usurped Fadak but he did not benefit in any way from it nor did he allow his relatives to benefit from it. This also establishes that withholding it was in accordance with the injunction of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Perhaps the Shia accuse him of fraud due to saying that a man judges’ others by his own standards.
Whilst they do criticise Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they do not level any criticism against the Ahlul Bayt on the same matter. Let us take a moment to analyse their activities in this regard.
Consequently, each one of them from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu till the last of them assumed administration of it without giving the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or the family of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu any share from it. If the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possessions were inheritable then his wives and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum were entitled to half of it. Why then did these infallible Imams tread on the path of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq? If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu committed an error then it was possible for him to do so, but what calamity befell the infallible Imams, leading them to such oppression?
Consequently, historians and hadith scholars are unanimous that Fadak was under the control of Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma during the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then assumed control to the exclusion of Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It then went to Sayyidina Hassan and then to Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Next came Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin rahimahu Llah and Hassan ibn Hassan rahimahu Llah. Thereafter it went to Sayyidina Zaid ibn Hassan—the son of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu—thereafter it went to the sons of Marwan and remained in their possession until ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz arrived. He released all rights and restored it to its original condition.
Thus, the practice of the illustrious Imams proves that the material possessions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are not subjected to inheritance. Instead, it was Waqf. This explains why the infallible Imams withheld it from the inheritors and this establishes that the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu (what we leave behind is sadaqah) is legitimate and sound.
Similarly, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu withholding it from Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is just like the infallible Imams withholding it from the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In fact, the integrity of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu seems purer than the integrity of the infallible Imams in the light of a criticism which can be levelled against them from the Khawarij. The Khawarij could say that they withheld it as they had their vested interests on account of being direct legitimate heirs. As for Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he had no vested interests as he was not entitled to any part of it. But despite the purity of his integrity, the Shia have not failed to say that he changed colours immediately upon the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and denied Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha what was lawfully hers.
Nevertheless, whilst Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu withheld Fadak and the infallible Imams also withheld it, there is a greater degree of dedication from Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In fact, his steadfastness upon the truth must be lauded for despite his devotion to the Ahlul Bayt and despite seeing the displeasure of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—which is sufficient to make anyone compromise—he conformed with the directive of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Shia, however, are blinded by their enmity and disbelief.
Therefore, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu complied with the prophetic injunction and there is no doubt that the hadith which he practised upon is valid. Consequently, the detailed analysis of its authenticity has passed and there is no room for doubt. This establishes that ‘Ammar ‘Ali’s comments about this hadith are baseless. He says the following:
In addition to this narration contradicting the Qur’an, the Prophet of Allah neither informed his daughter or any of his wives that his wealth would be disposed of in charity and they would have nothing of it, so they should not lay claims to it. How could the Messenger of Allah conceal this divine injunction from those concerned and reveal it to a stranger who has no one else to verify this report.
It has been established that what he claims to be in conflict with the Qur’an is actually in perfect harmony with it. As for claiming that it was transmitted to one Sahabi only, it has been established that more than ten Sahabah transmit it, including Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina ‘Abbas, and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Allah alone knows how many others heard this prophetic statement but did not have the opportunity to relate it. But if Molvi Ammar is unaware of these facts then what are we supposed to do about that. He either seems to be in a state of ignorance or intentional failure to acknowledge the reality.
As for saying that none of the inheritors were informed about this, if this statement is made in ignorance than he must be alerted to the reality. If someone is unaware of something it does not necessarily imply that the particular matter had not occurred. Nevertheless, his allegation would have been correct if Sayyidina ‘Abbas and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were not inheritors. As for Sayyidina ‘Ali, whilst he was not a direct inheritor but the most important person in this matter on account of his representation of Sayyidah Fatimah and on account of him possibly inheriting from her—transmitting the hadith to him is more appropriate than transmitting it to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. In addition to this, speaking about matters related to death to one’s closest relatives causes anguish and more so in the case of a daughter whose feelings for her father are most intense. Therefore, if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had to openly tell Sayyidah Fatimah that she was entitled to nothing of his worldly possessions after his demise—as ‘Ammar ‘Ali suggests—when the thought of his demise would already cause immense grief than would it be prudent or not to divulge this unfavourable news to her as well?
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was fully aware of the fact that if Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha took the initiative of addressing this matter with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu—whom he knew with certainty would be his successor—without the knowledge of Sayyidina ‘Ali, then Abu Bakr would never be so weak as to compromise the truth. Similarly, he also knew that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha would also not be so persistent about inheritance and ignore the truth which was related to her by Siddiq al Akbar.
Since it is humanly possible to err just as Musa ‘alayh al Salam erred when he took Harun ‘alayh al Salam to task, and if on account of this possibility Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha disputed the issue after hearing the hadith, then Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was always there to reassure her that the matter is at it stands.
Therefore, the claim that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not inform any of his inheritors is fraudulent and deceptive.
 Surah Maryam: 5, 6.
 Surah Maryam: 5.
 Surah al Naml: 16.
 Surah al Naml: 15.
 Surah al Fatir: 32.
 Surah al A’raf: 169.
 Surah al A’raf: 169.
 Surah al A’raf: 137.
 Surah al A’raf: 128.
 Surah Maryam: 63.
 A metaphorical meaning which has become the commonly understood connotation of the word.
 Surah al Fatir: 32.
 Surah al A’raf: 169.
 Surah al Ma’idah: 55.
 Surah Maryam: 5, 6.
 Surah Maryam: 5, 6.
 Surah Al ‘Imran: 38:
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِيْ مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيْعُ الدُّعَاء
At that, Zakariyya called upon his Rabb, saying: “My Rabb, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3094.
 Surah al Tawbah: 60.
 Surah al Tawbah: 58.
 Surah al Ahzab: 33.Back to top