Fatimah and ‘Ilm al Ghayb

Determining the Nature of the Inheritance of the Prophets
October 20, 2020
A summary of the answers to the objections of Fadak
October 20, 2020

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Fatimah and ‘Ilm al Ghayb

 

Actually, the allegation of concealing the hadith from Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha makes no sense at all. This is because there is no way something could have remained hidden from Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha; she is after all no less than the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt in any way. If the Imams have all-encompassing knowledge of past and present matters than Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha shares this characteristic. Therefore, it would be actually better to say that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam felt that there was no need to tell her because only those need to be told who are unaware.

However, if the commandments of the shari’ah are considered an exception from the all-encompassing knowledge of the Imams, or if Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is considered inferior to them in this respect then too the allegation of concealment is invalid, because if a few people from one group are informed of something it is just as good as everyone knowing about it. Therefore, when the merits of propagating knowledge are so profuse then how could it be possible for this command of shari’ah to remain obscure. After all, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not responsible for passing every message individually to every Muslim; he related information to some and the word gradually got around to the rest. Yes, if he had not charged those whom he had related the hadith to with the responsibility of propagating it to everyone then it could be said that law of the shari’ah was kept hidden.

Since it was most appropriate to convey this information to Siddiq al Akbar, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did just that. Similarly, it is evident that giving and receiving are two actions carried out by two individuals. If one party does not act, giving and taking cannot materialise. Therefore, by alerting one of the two parties, the act of giving and receiving would not occur. This is why it was sufficient to relate this information to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as he would be responsible for giving in this instance.

It could be said that based on this philosophy of giving and receiving it would have been better to relate the hadith to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, who is the possible recipient in this case. In fact, relating it to her would have averted the unpleasant disagreement altogether.

We do agree that it was possible to relate the information to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha instead, but there are certain benefits in the first case which cannot be found in the second situation.

These are as follows:

Firstly, making a bequest of this nature to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu indicates to the legitimacy of his caliphate. It automatically hints that he is selected as the khalifah, even if this is not expressed in clear terms. This hint is not the first of its kind. Actually, there are much more glaring indications contained in the Sunnah and some are even contained in the Glorious Qur’an. This deals adequately with the nonsensical remark of ‘Ammar ‘Ali of “reveal it to a stranger who has no one else to verify this report”. Therefore, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knew that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would be at the helm of affairs and he made the relevant bequests to him so that the caliphate could run on the course of Nubuwwah.

Similarly, there could be a disadvantage in only divulging information to the recipient, if the recipient becomes a victim of the impulses of the nafs, and withholds such information. Whilst this cannot be fathomed about Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on account of her being mahfuz or ma’sum, it is also a fact that distinct and special circumstances do not dictate the application of shar’i law. Therefore, if a matter in a court of law receives the testimony of only one person then despite that person being a saint of undisputed integrity, his testimony would have no implication on the case. In contrast to this, if two credible persons having less integrity than the first testify against his testimony, it would receive acceptance. This is because the benefit of general application of the law supersedes the rare instance of overlooking it in a specific instance. So, whilst the Shia do claim that it was better to notify Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha about the situation, the general rule in this case is that the giver should be prohibited from giving, not the recipient prohibited from receiving.

In the first place it is actually incorrect to say that notifying her would have averted the unpleasant disagreement that followed since there was no disagreement and conflict at all. This will be highlighted soon, Allah willing. It is nothing more than the mischief of the Shia, which they have publicised at length and it has no reality to it.

Secondly, when unpleasant incidents of this nature occur among the Prophets of Allah they are not really referred to as arguments. Sometimes such situations are unavoidable and the incident of Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam and Nabi Harun ‘alayh al Salam is known to one and all.

Similarly, an unpleasant event resolved soon after its occurrence is hardly ever taken note of and even if there is premonition of its possibility, one does not go to lengths to avert it. Surely Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq would have the dignity of apologising and refusing with politeness and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha would not be a victim of misguidance and deviation. Therefore, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not bother about these trivial matters and the narration of Misbah al Salikin proves that events turned out just as he would have expected. This narration—which will be recorded in due course—establishes that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did excuse himself and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was satisfied by his clarification. This resolved the matter and restored the relationship between them harmoniously.

Thirdly, to say that that if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had told Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha there would have been no disagreement is assuming that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had knowledge of the unseen. Many verses in the Qur’an refute the notion that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or for that matter anyone else has knowledge of the unseen. Consider the following verses:

 

قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِيْ نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيْرٌ وَبَشِيْرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ

Say, “I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.”[1]

And:

قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِيْ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَمَا يَشْعُرُوْنَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُوْنَ

Say, “None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.”[2]

 

The first verse discounts the notion that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had knowledge of the unseen whilst the second verse refutes the idea that anyone—angels, Prophets, Jinn, or humans—has knowledge of the unseen.

These issues are logical and can be understood quite clearly. If one then fails to understand due to lack of intellect, what can one do?

Fourthly, since the benefit in telling both would be accomplished by telling either one, it was appropriate for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be told as he would be the one tasked to discharge the affairs whilst Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was only a possible recipient. Further, by telling Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was primarily charged with discharging all the affairs, the issue under review was resolved from its roots. On the other hand, the issue in relation to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was a mere branch and thus telling her would not be as effective when surveying the larger picture.

In any case, the fact that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was to be the khalifah outlines the importance of telling him. Judgment in cases would be brought to him and in the case of inheritance from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he would pass judgment accordingly no matter who presented the case to him from the heirs: Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, or anyone else. By doing so a clear message would have been sent to the other heirs as well and, thus, they would not conduct any impermissible transaction within the inheritance. Aside from this, there was no element of impermissibility or sin in seeking the inheritance by the heirs whilst unaware that they had no right to it.

Furthermore, telling ‘Abbas and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would have sufficed too since together they would have received just less than half of the inherence had it been distributed. Thus, if Fatimah or Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were left unaware as well it would not have mattered. When the time came, the reality of the matter would have come to light. Leave all of this, let us assume that neither Abu Bakr, Aisha, or ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum, had any inkling of the matter and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the only one told (and as we have established he had knowledge of the matter) then too it was just as telling Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha because she was under his care and both their sons were yet children.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was fully aware that the issue of his inheritance would not be under consideration by only one or two people that it could be wrapped up in a clandestine manner. It was an impossibility that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha would go seeking her inheritance and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would be unaware. For arguments sake, if we assume that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was allotted a share of the inheritance, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would be the one to go and take possession of it. Besides, Aisha and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma weren’t strangers to her. The former was akin to her mother and the latter like a grandfather. With such close familial ties, the issue of inheritance would have been openly discussed between them. In making Aisha and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma aware, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and the other Noble Consorts of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would also become aware of the reality of the matter. If not at the time of his passing, then definitely at the time of seeking. Such matters are not kept a secret that no one would know.

In conclusion, the manner in which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam conducted this matter was in no way shrouded in secrecy. He had clarified it in front of ten/twelve and who knows how many more people. A point of note here is that amongst those that he made aware were Aisha, ‘Abbas, and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum; two direct heirs and the other an heir of an heir. Therefore, to claim that the divine law of prophetic inheritance was kept a secret from the heirs by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is nonsensical.

 

An example of the Shia keeping a divine law a secret

Shrouding a divine law with secrecy is what can be found amongst the false and fabricated narrations of the Shia wherein they suppose Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin kept the Imamah of Imam Muhammad al Baqir a secret from his son Zaid al Shahid. Secrecy that—according to Shia dogma—results in disbelief. Consider the following narration which forms the basis of their belief:

من لم يعرف امام زمانه فقد مات ميتة جاهلية

Whoever does not know the Imam of his time has died a death of ignorance.

 

Thus, according to the Shia, whoever does not know the Imam of his time—from the Twelve Imams—dies a death just like those before the Prophethood of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a death of ignorance doomed to the fire. To put this into perspective, they propose that Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin kept such a secret from Zaid al Shahid which is a fundamental belief of faith. This is keeping a secret of divine law! Not going to every heir and telling each one of them “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, is quite to the contrary!

Hereunder is the complete narration that outlines the above incident:

 

روى الكليني عن أبان قال: أخبرني الأحول أن زيد بن علي بعث إليه وهو مختف، قال: فأتيته فقال: يا أبا جعفر ما تقول إن طرقك طارق منا أتخرج معه. قال: فقلت له: إن كان أباك أو أخاك خرجت معه، فقال لي: فأنا أريد أن أخرج أجاهد هؤلاء القوم فاخرج معي، قال: قلت لا أفعل جعلت فداك، فقال: أترغب بنفسك عن نفسي؟ قال: قلت له: إنما هي نفس واحدة فإن كان لله في الأرض حجة فالمتخلف عنك والخارج معك سواء، قال: فقال: يا أبا جعفر كنت أجلس مع أبي في الخوان فيلقمني البضعة السمينة ويبرد لي اللقمة حتى تبرد شفقة علي ولم يشفق علي حر النار، إذ أخبرك ولم يخبرني به؟ فقلت له: خاف عليك أن لا تقبله فتدخل النار، وأخبرني أنا فإن قبلت نجوت وإن لم يبال أن أدخل النار،

Al Kulayni narrated from Aban who said:

Al Ahwal reported to me saying, “Zaid ibn ‘Ali sent for me while he was in hiding so I went to see him.”

He [Zaid] said to me, “O Abu Jafar [al Ahwal] what will you say if a knocker from among us knocks on your door [asking for your support], would you come assist him?”

I said to him, “If it is your father or your brother [al Baqir] I would set out with him.”

He [Zaid] said to me, “Verily I wish to rise up and fight these people so set out with me.”

I said, “No, I will not do so may I be made your ransom.”

He said to me, “Do you prefer your life over mine?”

I said, “It is only one soul [that I have], if Allah does indeed have a Hujjah [proof; Imam] on the earth then the one who stays back and the one who joins you are both the same. [There is no benefit in joining you in jihad,]”

He said to me, “O Abu Jafar I used to sit with my father to share a plate with him so he would feed me the choicest piece of meat and cool for me a hot morsel out of love for me but he did not love me enough to save me from the hell-fire! How could it be that he informed you [of the Imamah of Imam Baqir] and did not inform me?”

I said to him, “He feared for you that you would reject it and enter the fire, but he informed me [not caring either way], so if I accept, I am saved and he was not bothered that I enter the fire [if I reject].”

 

There are many aspects in this narration that lend support to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah; however, this is not the place for it nor do we have the time to expand on it. Our focus in this narration is Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin hiding the Imamah of Imam Muhammad al Baqir from his son Zaid al Shahid, whilst aware that knowing of his Imamah was pillar of faith.

Consider the Fadak Estate; materialistic wealth, in relation to knowing the Imam of the time; a pillar of faith. Then consider Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin keeping this from his son in relation to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informing more than ten people regarding the Fadak Estate with the intent of them passing it on. Further, understand the devastating and everlasting impact of Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin not informing his son Zaid al Shahid of the Imamah of Imam Muhammad al Baqir and mirror it to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not informing Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha or any other heir of the narration, ‘We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah’. Even if—as assumed by the Shia—the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only informed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu of it, does it lead to devastating or lasting impact as with the case Zaid al Shahid?

Taking provision from the adage recounting disbelief does not result in disbelief, the result in the case of Zaid al Shahid not being aware of the Imam of his time would be him becoming a disbeliever and be subject to everlasting punishment.

For arguments sake, if we assume that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not inform anyone, neither Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor any other heir of the status of his inheritance and as a result the heirs distributed his estate—which was waqf—amongst themselves, then too there would be no blame on them in this world or the next. In any case, weigh the above two cases and compare the secrecy within them as well as the resulting harm and see which end of the scale falls.

After reading the above discussion, anyone having even a modicum of intelligence will conclude, that in no way can the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam be accused of hiding a divine injunction whilst on the other hand—according to the Shia—Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin without a doubt kept a divine injunction a secret. Oh, how razor sharp is the intellect of Molvi ‘Ammar that he considers the former a gross injustice and secrecy of divine law whilst he glosses over the latter! I wonder who ever told him to insert his opinion in the matters of faith. Such nonsensical spewing of the ignorant aren’t even worthy of answering; however, keeping quiet in front of such atrociousness burns one from inside and thus I have written much and am bound to continue to do so.

 

Did Abu Bakr return the Fadak Estate to Fatimah

Molvi ‘Ammar ‘Ali states:

 

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha went to Abu Bakr more than once to seek her inheritance upon which he wrote out a document restoring the Fadak Estate to her. ‘Umar then appeared, snatched the document, and tore it to pieces.

 

These statements will be analysed and the truth of the matter clearly explained. In reality his assertion is a lie told to cover other lies. For his allegations he references Sibt ibn al Jawzi, al Waqidi, and Burhan al Din al Halabi al Shafi’i and others. This is all a farce in order to beguile the Ahlus Sunnah. The issue of Shia narrations within the books of the Ahlus Sunnah has already been discussed. There is no need to delve into it again, whoever wishes may refer to the section. However, then too, the references he has listed will be dealt with shortly.

The question of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha going back to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, advising him, his writing of a document restoring it to her, and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu tearing it is a fabrication of ‘Ammar ‘Ali. Even the staunch Shia have not gone to level he has gone to in his fabrications. Consider the following narration cited by Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli, a Shia scholar of note who no doubt had far more hatred for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Yet he too did not stupidly reproduce this incident of her going back to him and further ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu tearing it. Rather he says:

 

لما وعظت فاطمة ابا بكر في فدك كتب لها كتابا وردها عليها

When Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha advised Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the Fadak Estate, he wrote out a document restoring it to her.[3]

 

This much too, as asserted by al Hilli, is an attack on the integrity of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu insinuating he intended to withhold the Fadak Estate, returning it only after being offered counsel by Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It also attacks Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu real viewpoint on the issue since if the narration, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, was true, he would not have moved to restore it to her based on her counsel. It would be he, who would counsel Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Also, if the incident of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu tearing the document was factual according to al Hilli he would have certainly rebuked him to no end. If truth be told al Hilli has alleviated any concern for the Ahlus Sunnah in this matter. In any case Molvi ‘Ammar ‘Ali’s objection has been dealt with by the narrations of the Shia in this case. His seniors did not even dream of the fabrications he has thought up.

As far as al Waqidi is concerned, the scholars of hadith consider him to be amongst those who fabricated narrations. Ibn al Jawzi has penned a book specifically dealing with fabricated narrations. Reproducing from this book only strengthens our point. If for arguments sake one accords any merit to the narration, then too it must be contextualised as to what purpose the author produced the narration for to fully understand its relevance. Consider the following verse:

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَقِيرٌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَاءُ

Indeed, Allah is poor, while we are rich.[4]

 

Contextualising the verse would clarify it to be a statement of the Jews which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revealed to refute. The same answer would be given on behalf of Sibt ibn al Jawzi for reproducing the narration in question.

The intent to deceive the masses of the Ahlus Sunnah is quite evident from him referencing books that fall below the tier of acceptance. In order to create confusion and incite evil he has referenced these books illustrating them to be authentic. He also references books that were authored to expose such scams by reproducing fabricated narrations. Over and above this he fabricates narrations whilst referencing obscure books under the assumption that they would not be found or that no one would take on the headache of looking.

Molvi ‘Ammar brought the incident of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha going to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu on multiple occasions seeking her inheritance to the fore. This was probably to incite an outcry and claim a win of some sort.

Now consider some more of Molvi ‘Ammar’s foolishness. He states:

 

Similarly, if ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the rest of the Sahabah believed the fabricated narration of Abu Bakr regarding the inheritance of the Prophets then why did ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu raise this issue once again with ‘Umar during his reign as the khalifah? On that occasion, ‘Umar told them that they considered Abu Bakr to be a liar, a cheat, a deceiver and a transgressor and they harboured the very same thoughts about him, but he would do nothing more than what Abu Bakr had done about the matter. This narration is recorded in Sahih al Muslim.

The Musnad of Ahmed records that this matter was raised once again with ‘Uthman during his reign. Therefore, if Abu Bakr was truthful, they would never have claimed Fadak from him. This establishes that Abu Bakr forged the narration and he usurped Fadak from Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha due to his hatred for the Ahlul Bayt. Similarly, ‘Umar highlighted to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu that they considered Abu Bakr to be a fraud and a liar and they have the same sentiments for him. So, when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu considers them to be liars and cheats, then we will do the same. This is the true narrative regarding the Fadak Estate.

 

The Narration of Sahih Muslim

If one studies the narration of Sahih Muslim, one will come to the realization that the assertion Molvi ‘Ammar makes is built upon the need to deceive and a desire to misguide the masses. The meeting which he refers to, was convened to discuss the management of the lands, not its ownership. The narration he cited, the narration of Malik ibn Aws, and other narrations of Sahih Muslim make this quite clear. He did not grasp this either due to his dim-wittedness or as a result of blindly accepting and regurgitating the statements of his predecessors.

Citing these narrations would prove time-consuming as they require much explanation, especially the lengthy narration of Malik ibn Aws and time is of the essence. I will, however, provide a brief explanation in light of one of the narrations, to quell any nagging doubts. The narration of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha which appears a little after the narration cited, highlights the fact that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had given over management of those endowments to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which were in the vicinity of Madinah and its surrounds. As for the Fadak and Khaybar Estates, he had kept those under his own supervision. In the narration cited by Molvi ‘Ammar it seems as though ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is seeking an undertaking on an oath from ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to do just as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did. However, the narration of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha explains that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had taken over the managerial duties of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hereunder is the wording of the narration:

فأما صدقته بالمدينة، فدفعها عمر إلى علي، وعباس، فغلبه عليها علي

So far as the charitable endowments at Madinah were concerned, ‘Umar handed them over to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas, but ‘Ali got the better of him (and kept the property under his exclusive management).[5]

 

Since ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had taken over the exclusive management of the endowment which was initially handed over to both him and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they had a falling out. Both of them then approached ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu themselves to resolve the matter. They had also sent ‘Uthman, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhum before their arrival in order to facilitate a resolution. Molvi ‘Ammar has taken this and ran with it trying to prove a claim of inheritance from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu by them since they had an exchange of words with him at this time.

When these six individuals came to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and raised this matter, he asked them under oath if they knew that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had said:

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

They all responded in the affirmative that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had indeed said so. After much discussion ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

ثم جئتني أنت وهذا وأنتما جميع وأمركما واحد، فقلتما: ادفعها إلينا، فقلت: إن شئتم دفعتها إليكما على أن عليكما عهد الله أن تعملا فيها بالذي كان يعمل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأخذتماها بذلك، قال: أكذلك؟ قالا: نعم، قال: ثم جئتماني لأقضي بينكما، ولا والله لا أقضي بينكما بغير ذلك حتى تقوم الساعة، فإن عجزتما عنها فرداها إلي،

Then you as well as he came to me. Both of you have come and your purpose is identical.

You said, “Entrust the property to us.”

I said, “If you wish that I should entrust it to you, it will be on the condition that both of you will undertake to abide by a pledge made with Allah that you will use it in the same way as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used it.”

So, both of you got it.

‘Umar said, “Wasn’t it like this?”

They said, “Yes.”

‘Umar said, “Then you have (again) come to me with the request that I should adjudge between you. No, by Allah. I will not give any other judgment except this until the Last Hour. If you are unable to hold the property on this condition, return it to me.”[6]

 

Let us assume for a moment that ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma came to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu seeking inheritance and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu further apportioned for them the endowments as inheritance. Then why would ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu despite being ‘infallible’ [according to the Shia] usurp the share of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu? Do the Shia believe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be so lowly that whatever came his way he wolfed down? Or do the Shia perhaps believe infallibility gives one the licence to oppress with impunity.

 

‘Ali undertaking sole management proves the endowments ineligible for inheritance

Looking at this incident through the eye glass of impartiality and considering the fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu took over the managerial duties of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be the sole administrator of the endowments is clear evidence that the lands did not form part of any estate suitable for inheritance. The estate was in fact an endowment. This is notwithstanding one administrator taking over the administration of another, a resolution of prudence rather than oppression, based upon the vision of growth of the endowment in order to fulfill its original purpose; its proceeds a boon to the poor. This difference in vision for the endowment led to the conflict between ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

Having understood the above, it cannot be any clearer that the lands were under the administration of ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and not under their ownership. Thus, their fallout was based upon the administration which they took to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu to resolve. The resolution offered by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was simple; continue administrating as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had done. This was after them and the others having attested to it not being part of any inheritance. Reflect for a moment. What was the need for them to be given a set of instructions regarding the lands if they had ownership of it through the agency of inheritance? If one owns a land, he may do so as he pleases. The reality of the matter is that since they did not have ownership, rather only administration, they were bound by the rules of the endowment.

Further, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu stating he would not pass any other judgment till the Day of Judgment reinforces the notion that he had handed over the endowments to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to administer and not in ownership. If they had actually inherited the land, then the resolution to their conflict would have been to allocate to them their portion of land, an uncomplicated task. In reality his reasoning for not allocating specific pieces of land to administer was to avoid future generational claims of ownership to the lands. With the passing of time people may come to think of the lands to be the inheritance of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on whose behalf ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu spoke and of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, thus claiming ownership of lands that were in fact not theirs.

 

‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma attest to the honesty of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Upon being asked on oath, both ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma attested to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

Then based on what logic could they have sought inheritance from the Prophetic Estate? Only the Shia can come up with such convoluted mental gymnastics to reach such a conclusion.

Molvi ‘Ammar states, as discussed previously, that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had written a document restoring Khaybar to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha which ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu tore to pieces. If, for a moment, we consider this to be true then why would ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma go to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his reign seeking inheritance that he had already denied so strongly when he wasn’t in the seat of caliphate? It would be an obtuse assumption to think them so foolish to re-visit a discussion at time when they would have been at a significant disadvantage. It is therefore quite evident that their approaching him from the very first instance was in the capacity of administering the endowments and not to seek it as inheritance. The wording of the narration lends strength to this as well. They said:

ادفعها إلينا

Entrust the property to us.

 

Which shows that from the beginning they sought to administer it, not own it.

Still, the question of what benefit it was to them to administer the endowment remains. After much thought, the following comes to mind and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best. The relatives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held a preemptive share in the revenue generated from the prophetic endowments, and the excess going to the other categories of recipients, especially in endowments of fay’. An indication to this is made by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in mentioning them first amongst the recipients and the ahadith also suggest the same.

However, the khalifah was preoccupied in more pressing matters of the state and was not solely focused on the administration of the endowments. Further, those with a greater interest in a matter would give it its due right. Keeping the above in mind ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma petitioned to administer the endowment and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu acceded. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu also understood that ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would have a better idea of who was needy amongst the Banu Hashim and who was not and, thus, they were better suited to administer the endowment and its revenue. He also knew that there was no fear of someone thinking of this to be a transaction of ownership as the narration, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, was well known and widely circulated. He did, however, refrain from giving them specific shares within the endowment to administer, fearing future generational claims of ownership via the inheritance of Fatimah and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

Yes, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused handing over the administration of the endowments since the incident of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha having asked for her inheritance was fresh in the minds of people. The narration, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, was not well known and had he given over its administration it would have been construed as him giving over the prophetic endowments as inheritance.

 

The superlatives cheat, deceiver and, transgressor was hyperbole—a figure of speech

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu refuted suppositions and rejected misunderstandings that that had trickled down to the masses. By using hyperbole, he made clear that since ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted the narration:

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah

 

They did not actually believe Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a cheat, deceiver, and a transgressor. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu further stated the reality of the matter which they all agreed on by saying:

والله يعلم إنه لصادق بار راشد تابع للحق

And Allah knows that he was true, virtuous, well-guided, and a follower of truth.

 

Such figures of speech are quite common at times of misunderstandings between friends and family as well. If on the other hand ‘Ammar ‘Ali wants to misconstrue this and insinuate something else, then this is down to him singing untruths or due to him being innately dense.

Hyperbole and exaggeration are found even in Qur’anic verses and the ahadith. Take for example the following verse:

 

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوْا أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوْا جَاءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّيَ مَنْ نَّشَاءُ وَلَا يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِيْنَ

[They continued] until, when the Messengers despaired and were certain that they had been denied, there came to them Our victory, and whoever We willed was saved. And Our punishment cannot be repelled from the people who are criminals.[7]

 

From the apparent of this verse, it seems as though the Prophets despaired in the promises of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and came to think of the promises of His help to be false. However, the believers are acutely aware that such thoughts of despondency and dejection is far removed from the status of the Prophets. In the verses preceding this Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُوْنَ

Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.[8]

 

Then how can any believer think the Prophets would despair?

If we were to follow the logic of ‘Ammar ‘Ali in asserting Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a cheat etc., then considering Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is more truthful than ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu one would have to assert under the ruling of the above verse that the Prophets, due to their despondency, were in fact disbelievers. [May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala save us from such folly.]

Generally, the word Zann is used in the Qur’an to state false assertions that have entered the heart and have become belief. Consequently, the false assertion of the disbelievers that they will not be resurrected and that no one has the ultimate power to take life is referred to in Surah al Jathiyah using the same word:

 

إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّوْنَ

They are only assuming.[9]

 

The disbelievers had no doubt in this belief of theirs; however, due to the assertion being false, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala referred to it using the word Zann. Similar is the use in the verse:

إِنَّهُ ظَنَّ أَنْ لَّنْ يَحُوْرَ

Indeed, he had thought he would never return [to Allah ].[10]

 

If we apply this rule of use to the principle verse under discussion, were certain that they had been denied, then ‘Ammar ‘Ali would have to concede that the Prophets belief in the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was false.

On the other hand, if we take the colloquial meaning of the word Zann, which is used to denote either an overpowering thought or a doubt, then it would mean the Prophets had no conviction in the promises of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, rendering them disbelievers and anyone following them misguided and ruined. [May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala save us from such folly].

Another possible interpretation is that the Zann of Prophets was in relation to the delay of assistance and not in relation to the truth of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. If this is taken to be the case, it would reveal uncertainty on their part in the revelation. An allegation that neither we nor the Shia would be willing to accept, since if they don’t have conviction in the revelation then who would?

The only remaining explanation is that due to natural human instinct, a fear passed through the heart—which takes nothing away from their concrete faith—and was expressed with the word Zann—a figure of expression by way of hyperbole. Then this is exactly what we have been saying with regards to the statement of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

In conclusion, the verse does not establish despair in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala on the part of the Prophets ‘alayh al Salam nor does it insinuate doubt in the revelation they received. It was a figure of expression by way of hyperbole wherein lay advice to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to not fall into such thoughts or for some other reason. There are many other verses of this nature as well, which if taken out of context and without understanding its purport may be blasphemous.

Now contextualise the statement of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a similar manner. If due to natural human instinct, ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma felt slighted and their sentiments were exaggerated by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in order for them to realise the shallow nature of their negative sentiment, whilst affirming the positive attitude that always had, then there remains no issue. He used a method of expression found in the Qur’an.

Another point to note is that since it was ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu who made these statements, he could have been mistaken. Perhaps ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma did not feel slighted in the least.

 

Double standards

It is sad to see that without grasping the context, ‘Ammar ‘Ali is quick to point a nasty finger at Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu through an understated insinuation that could perhaps be attributed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Whereas on the other hand, when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself emphasises the virtue of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu by taking oaths, he turns a blind eye.

The disbelief and double standards of the Shia burns through here, the smoke of their deceit visible for all to see. When it comes to vilifying Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then even ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a worthy reference. And when it comes to praising him, then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu too is pushed aside. In the very same narration that ‘Ammar ‘Ali references, ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu uses the very same superlatives to describe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu used[11]. Why doesn’t he reproduce that portion of the narration as well? The intent is clear; all he wants is to vilify Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The manner in which the Shia conduct themselves is just like that of the Bani Isra’il. They saw thousands of miracles, but they refused to reform and yet they saw one trick of Samiri and they believed in him.

After this explanation ‘Ammar ‘Ali might have come to realise the foolishness of his idiotic objection. And if due to his stupidity, he fails to come to this realisation and persists that ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu statement is to be understood literally, at its face value, then we call on him to consider the following.

The incident of Musa ‘alayh al Salam returning to find the people worshiping the calf is famous. His could not see the law of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala being broken and the sentiment of his iman erupted. He saw the people worshiping the calf and he thought that perhaps Harun ‘alayh al Salam was complicit or that he did not try to prevent them. As a result of this misgiving he grabbed Harun ‘alayh al Salam by the hair of his head and beard. This act of Musa ‘alayh al Salam was not an emotional outburst, it was a result of a thought pattern which came to one of two suppositions; Harun ‘alayh al Salam being complicit or him not preventing the Bani Isra’il from falling into calf worship.

As we know, the conclusion Musa ‘alayh al Salam came to was incorrect—a misunderstanding. Harun ‘alayh al Salam was neither complicit nor did he shirk in his responsibility of preventing the people from calf worship. Nevertheless, based on his misunderstanding he reacted in the manner he did.

Now, reflect: If an infallible can have such misgivings regarding another infallible that it leads to a physical altercation, then what is the issue if ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had a suspicion regarding Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

The Ahlus Sunnah have no issue with such a possibility as they do not believe Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be infallible, nor do they believe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be infallible.

Further, this is only valid if what ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said was indeed the sentiment within the heart of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which in reality was the conjecture of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu at best, and that too an expression of conjecture by way of hyperbole!

Lay this conjecture on one side of the weighing scale and in the other place the unequivocal acceptance of the narration:

 

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

By ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu together with his over-reaching praise of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and decide. A foregone conclusion no doubt; ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a devotee of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

If ‘Ammar ‘Ali still persists, then by way of his logic he should clearly say that Harun ‘alayh al Salam was involved in polytheism and sin by being implicit in the worship of the calf or by not preventing anyone from doing so. And since the Shia believe that an infallible is infallible from misunderstandings too, they should slam Musa ‘alayh al Salam as well, since his act was based on a misunderstanding.

 

Intricate questions and answers—a dilemma

There is always a dilemma when addressing intricate questions with perhaps even more intricate answers. I am apprehensive that one may misunderstand the actual meaning of the content and—even unwittingly—lead themselves astray. However, the Qur’an and Hadith can also be subject to erroneous interpretation by which one may be led astray. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيْرًا وَيَهْدِيْ بِهِ كَثِيْرًا وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِيْنَ

He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient.[12]

 

Therefore, I have decided it prudent and necessary to pen down some further thoughts to expound on two objections that could be brought forth.

Our discussion will revolve around a portion the narration of Malik ibn Aws as recorded in Sahih Muslim. We have already dealt with some parts of this narration in answering the statements made by ‘Ammar ‘Ali. Our object of discussion is that part of the narration wherein ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

فلما توفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال أبو بكر أنا ولي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فجئتما تطلب ميراثك من ابن أخيك، ويطلب هذا ميراث امرأته من أبيها فقال أبو بكر قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما نورث ما تركناه صدقة فرأيتماه كاذبا آثما غادرا خائنا

When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, Abu Bakr said, “I am the successor of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

Both of you came, you (referring to ‘Abbas) seeking your inheritance from your nephew, and him (referring to ‘Ali) seeking inheritance on behalf of his wife from her father.

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had said, ‘We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.’ So, both of you thought him to be a liar, sinful, treacherous and dishonest.”[13]

 

This raises two objections against the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah.

 

Two Objections

1. The first objection is that the Ahlus Sunnah consider ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to be narrators of the hadith:

 

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

However, from here it seems as though they had no prior knowledge of the narration. If they were aware of it, why would they seek inheritance? The Ahlus Sunnah cannot fathom ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would seek inheritance whilst having heard this narration from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

2. The second objection is the wording your inheritance and inheritance on behalf of his wife, and in reply to which Abu Bakr narrated the hadith, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.”. This clearly shows that they came seeking ‘inheritance’. And since they were not aware of the narration, ‘We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah’ Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed them of it. Upon which they [supposedly] thought him a liar, sinful, treacherous, and dishonest for withholding their inheritance. This is because withholding someone’s inheritance is cheating them of it.

If the narration showed that they came seeking to administer the estates from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as they had sought from ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, there would be no issue since preventing one from administering is no oppression. There is no right to administer. The khalifah has a choice in the matter.

 

The second objection is dealt with first, followed by an answer to the first objection.

 

Answering the second objection

Consider the answers to these objections carefully.

 

The first answer

The literal (Haqiqi) meaning of Mirath is ‘to stand in place of’. However, in the usage of the jurists it has come to mean ‘inheritance’. As such there is nothing wrong in taking the meaning of the word in these exchanges in its original literal usage. If we do so, then there remains no objection. It would mean that they came to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu seeking to administer the estate and not to inherit it.

 

The second answer

If we do not take the word in its Haqiqi meaning, then it can also be in its metaphorical (Majaz Muta’araf[14]) meaning. The Qur’an has used this metaphorical meaning extensively. Consider the following verses:

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.[15]

 

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.[16]  

 

The explanation of the metaphorical usage within these two verses has already passed under the chapter: Inheritance also refers to successor.

Consider a third verse as well:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَرِثُ الْأَرْضَ وَمَنْ عَلَيْهَا وَإِلَيْنَا يُرْجَعُوْنَ

Indeed, it is We who will inherit the earth and whoever is on it, and to Us they will be returned.[17]

 

It is clear that this verse is not in the meaning of ‘inheritance’, it is in the meaning of ‘to be in place of’ which is the basic understanding of administering or managing. The manager is in the place of the one making the endowment.

According to this usage, in our case of your inheritance and inheritance on behalf of his wife ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is stating to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that they wanted to administer the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam estate.

The above two answers are considering the word Mirath to not be in its colloquial usage.

 

The third answer

If for the sake of the Shia we take the meaning of mirath in its colloquial usage and deem all other meanings far-fetched, then too it would continue giving the same meaning that we have already established. It is possible that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu referred to ‘administering’ as ‘inheritance’ by way of comparison (tashbih) to the close family relations. The common feature of which is quite evident.

Nonetheless, if one takes a meaning besides the original stipulated meaning and then finds any external factor that influences such usage, taking it back to its original stipulated meaning, then the word will accept such influence. In our study, the external influence is blindingly evident as just a few lines before ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma affirmed that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did in fact say:

 

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

An objection to the three answers

Question: We accept that all three answers have their merit; however, one question remains: Since ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were in fact seeking to administer the estate and not inherit it, why did Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu reply to their request with the narration:

 

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

Since there is no doubt that inherit in this narration is in its colloquial meaning, what relation does it have with administering?

 

Answer: There are two types of answers, Mutabiqi[18] and Iltizami[19]. In this instance the answer was given in the form of the latter to emphasise the importance of them not taking even the administration of the estate at that time as this could be misconstrued by others and by future generations as inheritance given. The consequence of this would be future generational claims of inheritance in an endowment.

 

Answering the first objection

If we assume, as the Shia do, that ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had come to seek inheritance, then why did they do so after having heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”?

The reason for this is simple. They had forgotten the narration and when Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated it they remembered. Forgetting something doesn’t put a blight on ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu integrity. Even the great Prophets forgot. Consider the following examples.

  • Nabi Adam ‘alayh al Salam

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says regarding Adam ‘alayh al Salam:

 

وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا

And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We found not in him determination.[20]

 

If Adam ‘alayh al Salam, being the Prophet of Allah, can forget an emphasised command of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in comparison is only an Imam. A child of Adam who had, as all children of Adam have, inherited his innate forgetfulness. The fact they forgot a general statement of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is not to their detriment in the least.

 

  • Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam

When Musa ‘alayh al Salam travelled under the tutelage of Khidr ‘alayh al Salam the latter impressed upon Musa ‘alayh al Salam not to question his actions until he himself explains. This incident has been mentioned at length in Surah Kahf. Nevertheless, when Musa ‘alayh al Salam saw things that did not make sense to him, he forgot that he had given his word to Khidr ‘alayh al Salam to not question him. When he saw Khidr damaging the vessel of those who had taken them aboard he said:

 

أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا

Have you torn it open to drown its people? You have certainly done a grave thing.[21]

 

He implored Khidr of the good they had done to them and the fact that he is repaying them by damaging their vessel! Khidr ‘alayh al Salam said to him:

 

أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيْعَ مَعِيَ صَبْرًا

Did I not say that with me you would never be able to have patience?[22]

 

Musa ‘alayh al Salam then presented his excuse stating:

قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذْنِيْ بِمَا نَسِيْتُ وَلَا تُرْهِقْنِيْ مِنْ أَمْرِيْ عُسْرًا

Do not blame me for what I forgot and do not cover me in my matter with difficulty.[23]

In essence, even though it was impressed upon him, he forgot so quickly. So then for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to forget a general statement after a lengthy period of is quite understandable and not at all implausible.

 

  • The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

If the Shia aren’t happy with the examples of Adam ‘alayh al Salam and Musa ‘alayh al Salam, then consider the example of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says addressing the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

وَاذْكُرْ رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيْتَ

And remember your Lord when you forget.[24]

 

This clearly shows the possibility of forgetting on the part of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In fact, the reason for the revelation of this verse was that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had promised to say something to the disbelievers the following day and forgot to say In Sha Allah (if Allah wills). Upon this Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala advised the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this manner.

Furthermore, the authentic Shia books such as al Kafi of al Kulayni and Tahdhib of Abu Jafar al Tusi mention, by way of chains of narrators considered authentic, that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made a mistake in salah, reading two instead of four. Well, if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could make a mistake in a matter related to Din, then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is but of his Ummah.

Thus, it is plainly obvious that ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma having heard the narration themselves, forgot; not remembering it at the time. The reason for this is also evident. Since in every single other case across the world inheritance is distributed to the heirs, it is quite plausible if the heirs of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgot and sought their inheritance.

However, when Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu reminded them, they remembered. This is why when ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu made them both administrators of the estate, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu took over the managerial duties of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If they really thought it to be inheritance, then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have foregone his right for the right of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the latter was an actual heir whilst ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not; he was a representative of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Over and above this, if he truly considered it to be inheritance, he would have distributed it amongst the heirs during his caliphate. He would have given the noble consorts of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam their shares, the children of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu their share and so on. He did not distribute any of it though. He administered it as it always had been administered.  This has already been established through sources of both the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia. There remains no other explanation besides this: When Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu reminded them, they remembered and they further affirmed this in the presence of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Why then the friction between them and Abu Bakr?

The final part of this puzzle is that why did ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu attribute resentment on their part for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu since there was no reason for it? The reason for this assumption of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was that although they knew they weren’t heirs to the endowments, they still did believe that they had the right to administer the endowments. However, as we know Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu retained administration of the endowment which led to this friction. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to know of this or deduced that they felt this way regarding this issue and so made the statement that he did. They on the other hand, opted to not respond knowing well the impartiality and reasoning of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. And Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best the truth of the matter.

This concludes the section discussing the hadith of Sahih Muslim and exploring all its angles. Anyone of sound mind who studies it, even if gone astray through foul company, will find his way to the straight path. And if not then we say:

 

مَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَيَذَرُهُمْ فِيْ طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُوْنَ

Whoever Allah sends astray, there is no guide for him. And He leaves them in their transgression, wandering blindly.[25]

 

There still remains the last bit of senselessness of ‘Ammar ‘Ali that needs to be addressed. We will respond in a manner that won’t only break the teeth of ‘Ammar ‘Ali and his elders but will completely stitch their mouths shut.

 

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha refused to speak to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and made a bequest that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma not attend her funeral

Molvi ‘Ammar ‘Ali states:

 

Sahih al Bukhari adds that when Abu Bakr refused to hand over Fadak then Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha became angry and refused to speak to him ever again. Similarly, Sahih al Muslim records that when she was leaving this world, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha made a bequest that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar should not attend her funeral ceremony

 

This is the last portion of the letter and the last of the tricks in his bag. Those with some understanding will clearly realize that after all that has been written, especially the indication of the verse, Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all), and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being excluded from its purport—as well as the verse, Ma Afa’ Allah (what Allah restored) which establishes Fadak and other estates to be endowments—there could be absolutely no reproach against Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu for not handing over Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Really though this should be ammunition for the Shia, Khawarij, and Nawasib to vilify Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha who requested inheritance from an endowment and further cut of relations with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. More so the Shia, who consider her infallible. The truth, however, can never be challenged.

The Ahlus Sunnah though, lay their cards bare. Just as they consider Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu beyond reproach in this matter, so too do they consider Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha beyond reproach. Neither of their actions render them blame worthy, nor does it affect the integrity of their faith.

 

The entire ummah is dependent on the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in understanding the Qur’an

Pay attention now. Fatimah al Zahra radiya Llahu ‘anha is not only the Queen of all women. She is in fact the leader of the pious. Her virtues are immense. True love for her is the way to eternal salvation and true faith in her raises one’s stages. However, she is still an individual of the Ummah, she was not a Prophet. Like the rest of the Ummah, she was also in need of Prophetic explanation to understand the purport of the Qur’an. Merely understanding the language and having a deep intellect does not allow one to understand the intricacies of the Qur’an. The only way to understand the correct meaning of the Qur’anic verses is through the explanation of the receiver of revelation, the seal of the Prophets, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيْكُمْ رَسُوْلًا مِّنْكُمْ يَتْلُوْ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيْكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ

Just as We have sent among you a Messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom.[26]

 

Contemplate over this verse. The first portion of the verse, i.e. reciting to you Our verses, represents the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam teaching the manner of recitation. The second portion of the verse, i.e. and purifying you, represents the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam rectifying and purifying the believers—an indication to reforming the internal self from maladies of the heart. The next part of the verse is and teaching you the Book and wisdom. Even if we do not consider the colloquial usage of Ta’lim being for the knowledge of meaning, the fact that it comes after reciting to you Our verses clearly demonstrate that this portion of the verse deals with the meaning of the Qur’an.

Further analysis of the verse shows that the pronoun in and teaching you applies to the entire Ummah and to a greater degree those Muslims who had the blessed opportunity of his Companionship. The word Minkum (from yourselves) is reminiscent of this. These points illustrate that everyone is dependent on the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in understanding the meaning of the Qur’an. Another notable point here is that true understanding of the meanings of the Qur’an can only be achieved by one who has purified his inner self. It is for this reason that and teaching you the Book came after and purifying you. There are many other verses of the Qur’an that support this as the people of knowledge will be aware.

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is excluded from the verse, And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala addressing all of mankind besides the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:

 

وَمَا أُوْتِيْتُمْ مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيْلًا

And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.[27]

 

The opening portion of this verse is clear in that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has been instructed to pass on this verse to the Ummah as a Messenger and is not included in its address:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوْتِيْتُمْ مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيْلًا

And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.”

 

Of course, we do not say nor do we believe that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam understands the intricacies and hidden meanings of the Qur’an as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does; however, there is no doubt that he understands the Qur’an much better than anyone else. Anyone who ponders over the Qur’an will find other verses too with the same subject matter.

 

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is dependent on the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in understanding the Qur’an

In any case, whether Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha being dependant on the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in understanding the Qur’an is directly established from the Qur’an or not, the Ahlus Sunnah undoubtedly believe this to be the case. No textual or logical proof can or has been presented in opposition to this. And how can it? Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha being dependent on the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the understanding of the Qur’an is clearer than daylight. It needs no proof.

Based on this, is it possible for her to have made a mistake in understanding a particular verse either due to not having heard its explanation from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or due to not having understood its finer details? This is not impossible by any stretch of the imagination.

Taking this into consideration, if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu or even any present-day scholar understands some finer detail of the Qur’an—based on Prophetic instruction—which Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha did not understand then what harm is it? This would not lower the status of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, and neither would it warrant others being superior to her.

If understanding one particle of knowledge that another does not, results in the former being superior to the latter, then Khidr would have been superior to Musa ‘alayh al Salam. Though Khidr damaged the vessel and killed the boy by the command of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, Musa ‘alayh al Salam did not understand its wisdom whilst Khidr did. Now as the scholars know, the correct view is that Khidr was not a Prophet and even if he was, then by the consensus of the Ummah, Musa ‘alayh al Salam is superior in rank to Khidr ‘alayh al Salam.

The incident of Dawood ‘alayh al Salam making a mistake in the case of the farmer and Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam understanding its correct judgment is well known and mentioned in the Qur’an. At the time of this incident Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam was not yet a Prophet whilst Dawood ‘alayh al Salam was, and at that one of the great Prophets. Further, Sulaiman ‘alayh al Salam was of a tender age since at the passing of Dawood ‘alayh al Salam he was only twelve and this incident occurred sometime before that. Thus, if there is a possibility of Dawood ‘alayh al Salam, one of the great Prophets and the Prophet of the time, making a mistake and a young boy understanding it correctly, then in a similar manner, is it not plausible that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha did not understand an indication in the meaning of the verse, Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all), which could only have been explained by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and yet Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did after having understood it from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

Gleaning from this, it is possible that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was not even aware of the Fadak Estate being fay’, as information of this sort is generally known to the warriors and those receiving the booty. Over and above this, the lands of fay’ not being under ownership is understood after pondering deeply on the verse, Ma Afa’ Allah (what Allah restored). Because of not being aware of these finer details, she sought her inheritance from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the passing of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. According to her estimation, before being aware of the finer details, she assumed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would fall under the general ruling of the verse of inheritance.

 

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha not speaking to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu explained

There are two possible reasons for this.

 

The first explanation

When Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated the hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was filled with remorse and grief. This is because when the Prophets and the devoutly pious do anything slightly out of their norm and are alerted to it, they become remorseful. Adam’s ‘alayh al Salam regret after consuming the wheat, Nuh’s ‘alayh al Salam remorse after praying for the deliverance of his son, and Musa’s ‘alayh al Salam shame after accidentally killing the Qibti are all mentioned in the Qur’an.

Due to this remorse her relationship with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu changed and their previous order of interacting no longer remained. This change though was not defined by a deliberate avoidance of talking and greeting, as such behaviour for more than three days is impermissible—thus extending it for the rest of their life was unthinkable. In any case, the Ahlus Sunnah do not criticize Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha for the discontinuation of speaking as mentioned in some narrations.

 

The second explanation

Another possible explanation for the narration that mentions her not talking is that after having heard the hadith:

 

لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة

We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.

 

Is that she never again raised this issue with him. And why would she? Then there would be no difference between Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and those who hanker after paltry material gains. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the other hand assumed she might have been upset with him and due to the deep seeded love he had for her, he sought ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to implore her on his behalf and she expressed her happiness. This assumption of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the same assumption that the people carried with them, thinking Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was angry with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Was Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha angry with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

If anyone finds themselves feeling uneasy that in some narrations, there is clear mention of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha being angry with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then they may heed the following answer. In the authentic narrations such as those of Sahih Muslim and Sahih al Bukhari, the wording that appears is fa wajadat Fatimah.  The word wajadat carries the meaning of ghadibat (anger) and also the meaning of Hazinat (sadness). One may refer to the lexicons and see for themselves. Since this is the case, what is the need to take it in the meaning of anger and stamp the seal of resentment upon Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha?

 

Discussing the preposition of Wajadat

If someone says that sure, we agree that the word wajadat is used in both these meanings. But if followed by the preposition ‘ala (upon), then it will give the sole meaning of anger and if followed by the preposition ba then there will be leeway to consider it in the meaning of sadness; but in our case wajadat is followed by ‘Ala.[28]

The answer to this is that every person understands the next person’s speech according to his own intellect. This is why Riwayah bi al Ma’na (Transmission of hadith by meaning) off all and sundry are not accepted and when accepted is not at the same level of Riwayah bi al Lafz (Transmission of hadith by exact wording), as it is possible that the reality of the matter is something whilst the narrator understood something else.

This is exactly what happened between Musa ‘alayh al Salam and Khidr ‘alayh al Salam and pondering over one’s daily dealings, no doubt proves that instances of this nature occur more often than not. It is therefore possible that the narrator said fa wajadat Fatimah and the one listening thought Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was not speaking due to her being angry instead of her being sad and remorseful. And when narrating, based on his understanding, the narrator added ‘ala Abi Bakr (upon Abu Bakr). In any case, as long as there remains the possibility of a credible interpretation, those of intellect should not think ill of the devoutly pious.

 

Searching for credible interpretation of the pious and entertaining good thoughts regarding them

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mentions the incident of Musa ‘alayh al Salam and Khidr ‘alayh al Salam in the Qur’an and the acts of Khidr, viz. damaging the vessel of those who had taken them aboard and killing the young boy. The objections of Musa ‘alayh al Salam to the perpetration of these acts has also been reproduced in the Qur’an. One of the insights gleaned from mentioning this, is to understand the manner in which one should react to such acts of the devoutly pious that apparently seem to be contrary to logic or the Shari’ah. The lesson learned is for one to attribute ill understanding to one’s own myopia instead of painting them in a negative light.

The premise of the following saying is the same:

ظنوا المؤمنين خيرا

Think good of the believers.

 

The intended audience of this saying are those who see complete believers do something which is apparently against the dictates of the Shari’ah. Yes, one should advise them in a suitable manner in case they have erred; however, the heart should remain free from any negative thoughts. There are verses of the Qur’an and authentic ahadith which discourage and prohibit suspicion [which in turn would mean entertaining good thoughts]. Such instructions only carry their meaning when directed against those who are involved in an act which apparently goes against the dictates of the Shari’ah. Otherwise what would the point be? In a similar fashion, the incident that occurred between Abu Bakr and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha will be looked at in a positive light, searching for credible interpretation. An exercise worthy of their stature.

If anyone does not agree, then they should first prove our premise wrong. Merely stating a disagreement is not enough of a counter argument. Let them destroy their hereafter in attempting such foolishness.

 

Assuming Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was displeased with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Assuming Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was displeased with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu over this matter does not make him responsible for it in a manner that seeks to put a blight on his personality. If anything is established by this, it is that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was mistaken in directing her anger at Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Prophets are infallible, they too have had such misunderstandings between them. Why would the pious then be immune? Harun’s ‘alayh al Salam innocence, in the matter of the calf worship that the Bani Isra’il were embroiled in, is proven from the Qur’an. Nevertheless, the incident of Musa ‘alayh al Salam becoming angry with his brother, to the extent of the altercation becoming physical, is also mentioned in the Qur’an. Forget Musa ‘alayh al Salam being taken to task in this matter, he will in fact be rewarded for his anger; a display of his deep-seeded love for monotheism and worry for the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Well, in a similar manner understand the issue that occurred between Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—the Queen of all women—and Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Both of them are beyond reproach in the matter; in fact, consider them to be rewarded for their actions. For a better understanding of this, turn some pages back and read our dissertation on the verse, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

 

If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu made a mistake, the Shia say he repented—discussing the narration of Misbah al Salikin

On the other hand, if we assume for a moment, as the Shia do, that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had made a mistake then he had repented and the one who repents has his mistake effaced. The following narration is famous:

التائب من الذنب كمن لا ذنب له

The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.[29]

 

If someone wants proof that he had repented, then let us provide such proof that even the Shia will tire themselves nodding their head in agreement. Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli states in Minhaj al Kiramah:

لما وعظت فاطمة أبا بكر في فَدَك، كتب لها كتاباً بها، وردها عليها

When Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha spoke to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding Fadak, he wrote out a document giving it over to her.

 

This narration has been recounted a few times now and as the couplet goes:

 

هو المسك ما كررته يتضوع

The more you apply musk, the more the fragrance.

 

I look for opportunities to recount this narration; a karamat of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. The Shia themselves have adequately answered the accusation they have made with this narration. By this narration, the Shia have expunged their own allegations be it against Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha or Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This narration has totalled their claims of Fadak being her ownership by way inheritance, a gift, a bequest, or any other avenue. This is a manifestation of the verse:

 

وَكَفَى اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ الْقِتَالَ

And sufficient was Allah for the believers in battle.[30]

 

If for arguments sake, we assume that this narration is not to be found in a book reliable to the Shia, then there is another that proves Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be innocent. The following narration, which I have been promising to reproduce for some time, appears in the book Misbah al Salikin—a book reliable to the Shia—and other books of the Shia:

 

أن أبا بكر لما رأى أن فاطمة انقبضت عنه وهجرته ، ولم تتكلم بعد ذلك في أمر فدك ، كبر ذلك عنده ، فأراد استرضاءها فأتاها فقال لها : صدقت یا ابنة رسول الله فيما ادعيت ، ولكني رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقسمها ، فيعطي الفقراء والمساكين وابن السبيل بعد أن يؤتي منها قوتكم والصانعين بها ، فقالت : افعل فيها كما كان أبي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يفعل فيها ، فقال : ولك الله على أن أفعل فيها ما كان يفعل أبوك ، فقالت : والله لتفعلن ؟ فقال : والله لأفعلن ذلك ، فقال : اللهم اشهد ، فرضيت ذلك ، وأخذت العهد ، وكان أبو بكر بعطيهم منها قوتهم ويقسم الباقي فيعطي الفقراء والمساكين وابن السبيل

When Abu Bakr noticed Fatimah had withdrawn from him and did not speak to him regarding the Fadak Estate again, it pained him. Intending to appease her he came to her and said, “O daughter of the Prophet, you are true in what you claim; however, I saw the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam distributing it; giving it to the poor, needy, and travelers after your provisions and the revenue workers’ earnings had been taken out.”

She said, “Continue doing as my father the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had done with it.”

He said, “I take an oath for you from Allah, to do as your father had done, I will do so.”

She asked, “By Allah, will you do so?”

He said, “By Allah, I will do so. O Allah, be my witness.”

She was pleased by this and took his oath. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would give them their provisions from it and distribute the rest amongst the poor, needy, and travelers.

 

This narration holds a few key pieces of information. Firstly, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not belie Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in that it was gifted to her. However, since a gift is incomplete until ownership is transferred—according to both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia—he excused himself from handing it over. Therefore, even if for arguments sake, the narration of it being gifted was authentic, the Shia complaint of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu belying Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is moot. ‘Ammar ‘Ali has blackened his name by arguing this in his letter to Mir ‘Ali. Secondly, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not personally gain even a grain from the Fadak Estate, distributing to the poor anything left after providing the needs of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Thus, it becomes quite clear. There was no material motive in not giving over the Fadak Estate. He had definitely heard something from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam due to which he held it back. The result of these two issues coming to the fore is clarity on the narration of Umm Ayman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It is no doubt a fabrication of the Shia. This is because the need for witnesses is only in the event of the possibility of the plaintiff lying.

And if there still remains any doubt of an ulterior motive inspired by not wanting to be hanged by public opinion then, firstly, there is no medication for obsessive doubts built on thin air and, secondly, why are the Shia making it an issue when Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha herself was pleased at how the situation worked out?

A third piece of key information we gain from this narration is that right till the passing of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Fadak Estate remained within his supervision and administration. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had no oversight or managerial duties of the Estate. Otherwise she would not have responded to his assertion of what the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to do by instructing him to carry on in the same manner. Rather she would have established her ownership and done as she pleased. Possession of the Estate would have been common knowledge and a multitude of people would have supported her claim.

Fourthly, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu sincerely wanted Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to have the Fadak Estate. Furthermore, he had no ill feelings towards her, otherwise her being upset would not have troubled him in the least and he wouldn’t have made the effort to please her. This premise has already been established under our discussion of the verse, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; one seeking another’s pleasure is a product of love. If someone were to say that his acts were motivated by public opinion, then this is refuted by the wording of the narration “… it pained him. Intending to appease her he came to her”. This portrays his anguish and his worry to please her.

Moreover, if he was worried of being labeled dishonorable, this would have been from the camp that disagreed with him, not from those who concurred with his decision, since the latter knew that Fadak was not in the ownership of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that there is no inheritance in the Prophets effects.  As he didn’t want any of it for himself, he would have given it over to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, thus silencing any critics. Only the feeble-minded Shia can mount such weak attacks that hold no weight. This narration is a display of his truthfulness and trustworthiness, provided the one reading is cognitively available. What was the need for him to feel troubled since he had complete autonomy to do as he pleased? This anguish of his was a result of his wish to please Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Taking into consideration him not keeping Fadak for himself, nor giving it to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha despite the deep love he had for her and the fact that it would have silenced his critics leaves only one logical explanation: His decision was based upon adhering to the law of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, following the command of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and taking into consideration the best interest of the faith and the state.

Adhering to the law of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was by understanding and imbibing within his decision the indications of both the verses Yusikum Allah (Allah instructs you all) and Ma Afa’ Allah (what Allah restored). Following the command of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was by following the command of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and by following the instruction found in the narration, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah.” The Shia narrations from the books they deem reliable concur and give strength to these two observances. As for considering the best interests, firstly, the laws of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the commands of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam brim with expediency. Secondly, if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had given over the Fadak Estate to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—based on the assumption of the narration of gifting being authentic—without the divine prerequisites regarding witnesses being fulfilled, in as far as the claim being supported by Umm Ayman, ‘Ali, and even Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum, it would have resulted in the establishment of discriminatory law practices based on societal status and a precedent of preferential treatment in Islamic canon till the end of time.

Additionally, since the Fadak Estate remained with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until his last, the gifting was not complete as ownership was not transferred—according to both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia. Therefore, based on the narration “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, it had become sadaqah. If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had given it to her then [Allah forbid] the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have come under the ambit of the hadith:

 

العائد في صدقته كالكلب يعود في قيئه

One who gets back the charity is like a dog who swallows its vomit.[31]

 

If the Shia then claim it was not gifted but it was inherited, then just as Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not give it to her in the assumption of it being gifted, similarly it was not possible for him to give it to her assuming it was inheritance. Since the narration “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, is authentic, we learn that on the passing of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam all his effects had become sadaqah. And if an item is not within the ownership of the deceased, it cannot be inherited. How could Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then embroil himself in such naivety? This would result in the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being subjected to the hadith mentioned above and that inheritance has been affected in an item that was not under ownership—resulting in Ijtima’ al Naqidayn [the coming together of two contradictories].

Furthermore, from the narration, “We [the prophets] do not inherit, what we leave behind is sadaqah”, we learn that the pleasure of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lied in none of his effects being inherited and the pleasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was in opposition to this. Stuck between the two Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave precedence to the wish of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and acted accordingly. He then made efforts to reconcile with Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and please her as explicitly mentioned in the narration above. This shows his complete adherence to the wish of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his ability to mend the relationship with Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. He went beyond the call of duty as he was not under obligation to please Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in fulfilling the wish of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Besides, if he had given anything over to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the Noble Consorts of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have also asked for their share rendering the hadith pointless and the caliphate feeble.

The fifth key point of note from the narration of Misbah al Salikin is that even though Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was displeased at some point, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu presented a valid excuse to her and she became pleased with him. It is quite evident that when the displeasure no longer existed and her being happy with him is explicitly mentioned, dredging up the issue of her displeasure makes no sense. All praise belongs to Allah, the issue of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha being pleased with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu has been proven from the narrations of the Shia themselves, that too from a book they consider reliable. Over and above that, the narration appears in other books of theirs as well besides it being recorded in Misbah al Salikin.

 

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is pleased according to the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah

The displeasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the agony of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and his seeking the intercession of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this regard which resulted in her becoming happy with him has been mentioned in the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah as well. Madarij al Nubuwwah, Kitab al Wafa’, al Bayhaqi, and Shuruh al Mishkat have recorded such narrations. Sheikh ‘Abdul Haqq has recorded in Shuruh al Mishkat Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu going to her home after the incident and standing in the sun at her door presenting his explanation, upon which Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha became happy with him. This incident has been mentioned at length in al Riyad al Nadirah as well as in Fasl al Khitab by way of al Bayhaqi on the authority of Sha’bi.

Ibn al Samman has recorded in his book al Muwafaqah Bayn Ahlul Bayt wa al Sahabah on the authority of al Awza’i that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu went to the door of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on a hot day and said, “I will not move from here till the daughter of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is pleased with me.” ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then went inside and took an oath from Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to be pleased with him which she acquiesced to. From this we can gleam that the Zaidi Shia narrations are also in conformity to the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah.

An impartial consideration of these narrations will lead one to conclude that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had absolutely no ill-feelings towards the family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Rather, he was fond of them and revered them to the extent of deeming himself their servant even whilst in the seat of caliphate. The character of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu shows his elevated status, complete truthfulness, and clean heart. If he was hankering after material gain, he would have not gone to such lengths to appease Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha nor would she have felt confident in displaying her feelings to him if he was a tyrant ruler.

 

Barring Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu from attending her burial

Taking the above discussions into account, there remains no doubt that if for arguments sake we assume for a moment that she made a bequest for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to stay away from her burial, it was due to her extreme modesty. Because she knew Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu held her in high esteem, he would definitely be present for her burial and so she singled him out. She was aware that he would not let the opportunity of showing solidarity with the Ahlul Bayt go by under any circumstance and so, as a testament to her modesty, had no other option but to make such a bequest. This was further necessitated as he was the khalifah, the one responsible for the congregational and funeral prayers.

 

Her bequest was general

Her bequest was general, barring all non-mahram men, which is why she made a bequest to be buried at night due to her modesty. Her high level of modesty in this matter is proven from authentic narrations in which Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha expressed her discomfort of her shrouded body being transported in front of strange men. The practice in that era was to transport the body of the deceased without a closed casket. Hearing this, Asma’ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha [the wife of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu] mentioned to her the practice of the Abyssinians of using a covered canopied structure made of date palm branches in which they would transport the deceased. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha requested one be made and showed to her, which Asma’ radiya Llahu ‘anha did. Upon inspecting it, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was elated and smiled; something she hadn’t done since the passing of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha then made a bequest to Asma’ radiya Llahu ‘anha that she be the one to wash her body with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being present not allowing any other person to be there. Consider now, how could Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu have been present at her ghusl? In fact, there was no way for anyone else to have been present, neither men, nor women. If she had so much modesty that she would not allow any other women to be present, then it is entirely plausible for to request no men be at her funeral. Owing to this, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu buried her at night without informing anyone.

To recap, she requested no man be present at her funeral without singling out Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. There is no single narration of the Ahlus Sunnah that alludes to her having barred Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu exclusively. Such false additions to the narrations are a result of the evil ploys of the Shia. Over and above that they have the gall to reference such fabrications to the books of the Ahlus Sunnah! ‘Ammar ‘Ali has traversed all boundaries of shame and academic honesty by referencing such a fabrication to Sahih Muslim. He states that narration of her making a bequest to bar Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma from her funeral is in Sahih Muslim. Only Allah knows where such immodesty stems from! Does he not have any shame in making claims that are clear cut lies? Sahih Muslim isn’t a rare book. There are thousands of copies available. Nowhere is this fabrication found. Hereunder is the narration under discussion:

 

فلما توفيت دفنها زوجها علي بن أبي طالب ليلا، ولم يؤذن بها أبا بكر، وصلى عليها علي

When she died, her husband. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, buried her at night. He did not inform Abu Bakr about her death and offered the funeral prayer over her himself.[32]

 

There is no mention of such a bequest for or after this in the narration. I am lost as to how ‘Ammar ‘Ali came to the conclusion of her bequest barring Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma from her funeral based on this. Subhan Allah! This is the honesty and trust of the Shia scholars.

In any case, the extent of what has been mentioned in the narration of Sahih Muslim is that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu buried Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha at night, did not inform Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu of her passing, and performed her funeral prayer himself. There is another view which states that ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a few of the Ahlul Bayt performed her funeral prayer and buried her at night. However, the narration of Sahih Muslim is only to the extent mentioned, there is no indication to the ‘supposed’ bequest.

If for arguments sake we assume there was any bequest of this sort, it would have been to bar all men from attending her funeral. In some narrations there is mention of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum going to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu the next day to console him. In this narration there is also mention of them complaining to him for not alerting them to her funeral because of which they missed the opportunity of being present for her funeral procession and prayer. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded to them citing the wishes of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to be buried at night so that no strange men will see my funeral procession. He stated his actions was in conformity to her wishes. These narrations clearly relay her wish that no strange men be present at her funeral. There was no exclusivity of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

The obsessive suspicious predisposition of the Shia is such that no matter the logical or textual proof in front of them, they will always attribute any action or lack thereof of the Ahlul Bayt to their hate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Their character has been summed up in the following poem:

When a dog is hit with a stone on its head,

he wags its tail, maybe it’s a bone; his daily bread.

And when it sees a dead body being carried by two,

he misconstrues it his lunch, to chew.

 

To conclude, there is no mention of Abu Bakr or ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma exclusively being barred.

 

Her funeral prayer was performed by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu

According to the narration of Fasl al Khitab the complete opposite is established. The narration states, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha passed away between Maghrib and ‘Isha on the Tuesday the 3rd of Ramadan six months after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, at the age of 28. Abu Bakr, ‘Uthman, and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhum were present at the time of ‘Isha and at the wish of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed the prayer with four extra takbir. This narration and the attitude of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu clearly rejects any notion of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha making a bequest to bar Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu from her funeral. ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu bravery was famed and Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu sublime conduct was well documented. If she had made such a bequest, he would not have shied away from implementing her wish to its fullest extent due to his bravery and there was no need for Taqiyyah in the face of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu sublime conduct. Thus, there is no narration that speaks of her wish to bar Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Yes, there are narrations that speaks of the general prevention of people from attending her funeral, and if for arguments sake there was any exclusivity for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then the reasons for such have already been detailed. Based on the assumption that such a narration exists that prevents ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well, then the reasons for her wish to bar him can be explained by the following. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoyed the status of being privy to the decisions of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his opinion was highly regarded; he was as a vizier is to a king. Thus, if we assume such a narration exists that specifically bars Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, it was due to the close relationship they had in the decision-making process [including that of Fadak] and in being with each other most of the time; it would not have been possible to prevent one without the other. Such a bequest would not have been based on any ill feelings or hatred towards Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

The logical proof of the premise that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha wished to prevent Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu from attending her funeral was due to her extreme modesty and not due to ill-feelings is as follows. If it was based on hatred and ill-feelings, it would have been to prevent Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to perform her funeral prayer; who was the khalifah and the one responsible for performing the five daily salah and the funeral salah. This does not make sense in any way because according to the consensus of historians, both of the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia, at the funeral of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his brother Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu indicated to Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu [Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu representative] to perform the prayer citing the Amir leading the funeral prayer is the sunnah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and had it not been so he would have not allowed him to lead the prayer. If Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had made the bequest to prevent Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu from performing her funeral prayer, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have definitely prevented Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu from performing Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu funeral prayer. This is besides the fact that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu held a much higher status in comparison to Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu and in particular in the aspect of leading the prayer. His superiority in leading the prayer is evident from his appointment by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to lead the Muhajirin and the Ansar some six months prior to Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha passing.

To conclude, all evidences, textual and logical, prove that the supposition of the Shia that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha could not tolerate Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu at her funeral is as a result of their nescience. And if we put aside all logical and textual evidences, the narration of Misbah al Salikin is sufficient to demonstrate our point. The said narration clearly shows that even if Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had any ill-feelings towards Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, these feelings were resolved and they were both happy with each other.

If any Shia goes a step further and presumes Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a hypocrite and her display of pleasure a mere front, then this is them projecting their own views. A presumption only they can make heads or tails of.

 

Nobody’s displeasure matters when Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are pleased.

If for arguments sake, we consider the Shia stance that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha left this world unhappy with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it doesn’t matter since Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were pleased with him. Whatever ill-feelings remained is taken care off by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says describing the manner in which the pious will enter paradise:

 

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِيْنَ

And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other.[33]

 

From this verse we learn that ill-feelings do develop between the pious; however, such ill-feelings do not harm them in the least. As they enter Paradise, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will remove any such feelings and any negativity between them will dissipate due to them being residents of Paradise. Thus, if we assume as the Shia, do that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha left this world displeased with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then this verse serves as a glad tiding to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his well-wishers and leaves the eyes of the Shia grating with grit.

Perhaps some hopeless Shia objects to this, stating anyone Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is unhappy with does not fall under the ambit of this verse due to the following narration which both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia accept:

 

الا ان فاطمة بضعة مني يؤذيني ما آذاها يريبني ما رابها فمن اغضبها اغضبني

Know well, Fatimah is a part of me, whatever harms her, harms me, and whatever bothers her, bothers me. Whoever angers her angers me.[34]

 

The answer to this is that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had already given consideration to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this hadith. See, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

فمن اغضبها اغضبني

Whoever angers her, angers me.

He did not say:

من غضبتْ غليه غضبتُ عليه

Whoever she gets angry with, I will be angry with.

 

There is no doubt that anyone who angers her would have done so intentionally by their actions or speech and it is foolish for anyone to think Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu angered her intentionally. In any case, those who were aware of this entire discussion know and those who were not are now in the know.

Looking at the narrations, one finds Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu addressing Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on many occasions saying:

 

والذي نفسي بيده، لقرابة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أحب إلي أن أصل من قرابتي

By the One in Whose hand is my soul, serving the relatives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are dearer to me than serving my own relatives.[35]

 

Since he did not intentionally anger her, in fact always trying to please her, how could he then fall under the warning featured in the above hadith. If there really was any sort of anger, it emanated from Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha based on natural predisposition. And if we overlook the details and explanations of such a supposition, it would mean the promise of the verse under discussion will apply to her and any resentment will be removed from the heart of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

 

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu angering Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on numerous occasions

If we assume that her mere anger is sufficient for one to fall under the warning of the hadith then the Shia have their work cut out for them. We do not claim Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be infallible. It is possible for him to have done an act due to which he falls under some warning. However, the Shia believe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be infallible. What do they say then about Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha becoming angry with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on numerous occasions regarding their household matters? In fact, if we look at the background to the narration, “Fatimah is a part of me…”, we find a disagreement between ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma led to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam making this statement. The gist of the incident as mentioned in the narrations is that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent a proposal to the daughter of Abu Jahal upon which Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha went to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam crying. Having heard what had transpired the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “… Fatimah is a part of me…” Thus, if by merely angering Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu came under the warning mentioned in the hadith, then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would also be under the same warning. This is because, firstly, the statement made by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in reference to him and, secondly, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was excused from giving Fadak due to divine law, [though he wished it remained by her if it wasn’t against the command of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala as understood from the narration of Misbah al Salikin] whilst ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu wasn’t forced to marry the daughter of Abu Jahal.

Similarly, on one occasion ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu left the house upset, and fell asleep in the masjid on the bare ground with no pillow or covering. When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to know of this he went to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and asked her of the whereabouts of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha responded saying he had an argument with her and left the house, not coming home for the afternoon siesta either.

Both these incidents have been narrated in books of the Ahlus Sunnah and the books of the Shia.

 

Sending a proposal was no sin and anger was a human reaction

Besides the point already extrapolated from the first incident, another issue comes to fore as well. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was human after all and she would become angry which is a natural human emotion. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not committing a sin by intending to marry the daughter of Abu Jahal, it was in conformity to the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Her becoming angry at his intent was as a result of human emotion. In fact, the common factor in both incidents is that even an ‘infallible’ can become angry as a result of them being human. Because both ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were ‘infallible’, neither of them can be taken to task for their arguments and anger. All that can be said is due to human predisposition one had a misgiving about the other which resulted in them inadvertently becoming angry and losing consideration of the others ‘infallibility’.

In a similar manner, it is not far-fetched to accept Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha became angry with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a result of her humanness. Nevertheless, what becomes abundantly clear is that if one did not intend to anger Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, they will not fall under the warning mentioned in the hadith. Besides, it is well noted that Musa ‘alayh al Salam became angry with his elder brother Harun ‘alayh al Salam; a Prophet in his own right, to the extent that he physically assaulted him by grabbing him by his hair and beard. It is also common knowledge that Harun ‘alayh al Salam did not intend to anger Musa ‘alayh al Salam since intentionally angering a Prophet is disbelief. Then too Musa ‘alayh al Salam evidently became angry.

From this we learn that if due to human nature one becomes angry with another, it is not considered making another angry. This is exactly the essence of the incident between Abu Bakr and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He did not anger her; if anything, she became angry. Conversely, one may tentatively undertake the assumption that if anyone made her angry, it might have been ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as he was her husband and would not have had the same amount of reverence for her that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu angering her is also supported by the context of the narration, “… Whoever angers her…”.

Hence, since Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not make her angry, to deem him under the warning of the hadith will land the one with this assumption under the warning of the hadith himself.

One adopting problematic and illegitimate beliefs will no doubt displease Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Further, it will displease the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam double-fold. Due to his own displeasure and due to displeasing Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. This, without a shadow of doubt, is making her angry and not her becoming angry due to human nature. It can therefore be unquestionably established that one who vilifies Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu falls under the warning of “…Whoever angers her…”. Those who adopted these illegitimate beliefs and died while having vilified Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu are gone. However, Molvi ‘Ammar ‘Ali and the rest of the Shia should worry about themselves and remove themselves from these erroneous beliefs. They should turn to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala seeking His forgiveness in a bid to make up for their transgressions. If they don’t listen, that’s their problem.

It is time to conclude now, as there is nothing left of ‘Ammar ‘Ali’s foolishness that hasn’t been sufficiently answered in this book, through the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Hence, I conclude with the following words:

 

الحمد لله رب العلمين والصلوة والسلام على سيّد المرسلين وعلى آله واصحابه وازواجه واهل بيته وذريته اجمعين – والمرجو منك يا ارحم الراحمين ان تتقبل هذه الرسالة مني وتجعله وسيلة لي الى رضائك ورضاء رسولك صلى الله عليه وسلم ورضاء اهل بيته ورضاء صاحبه في الغار سيّدنا ابي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه ومن سواه من اصحابه صلى الله عليه وسلم رضوان الله عليهم اجمعين وان تغفرلي وترحمني بهذه الاوراق في الدنيا والآخرة مغفرة ورحمة تحيط بها والدي وآبائى الماضين وذريتي واقاربي واحبابي خصوصاً من امرني بالقيام لهذا الامر العظيم برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Peace and salutations be upon the Master of the Messengers and upon his family, his noble consorts, and children. My hope from You, O Most Merciful of those who have mercy, is to accept from me this book and make it a means to attain Your pleasure, the pleasure of Your Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the pleasure of his family, the pleasure of his Companion in the cave Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the rest of his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. My hope from you, by the means of these pages, is to enshroud me, my forefathers, my children, my dear ones, and especially those who have instructed me to take on this great task with your forgiveness and mercy, O Most Merciful of those who have mercy.

 

NEXT⇒ A summary of the answers to the objections of Fadak


[1] Surah al A’raf: 188.

[2] Surah al Naml: 65.

[3] Minhaj al Karamah.

[4] Surah Al ‘Imran: 181.

[5] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1759.

[6] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1757.

[7] Surah Yusuf: 110.

[8] Surah Yusuf: 87.

[9] Surah al Jathiyah: 24.

[10] Surah al Inshiqaq: 14.

[11] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1757

فقال عباس: يا أمير المؤمنين، اقض بيني وبين هذا الكاذب الآثم الغادر الخائن

[12] Surah Baqarah: 26.

[13] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1757.

[14] A metaphorical meaning which has become the commonly understood connotation of the word.

[15] Surah al A’raf: 128.

[16] Surah al A’raf: 137.

[17] Surah Maryam: 40.

[18] A corresponding answer in harmony with the question posed.

[19] Presenting an answer as the necessary consequence of a claim in order to refute or affirm the claim itself.

[20] Surah Taha: 115.

[21] Surah Kahf: 71.

[22] Surah Kahf: 72.

[23] Surah Kahf: 73.

[24] Surah Kahf: 24.

[25] Surah al A’raf: 186.

[26] Surah al Baqarah: 151.

[27] Surah al Isra: 85.

[28] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1759.

[29] Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 4250.

[30] Surah al Ahzab: 25.

[31] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1620.

[32] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1759.

[33] Surah al Hijr: 47.

[34] The wording of Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2449, is:

فإنما ابنتي بضعة مني، يريبني ما رابها ويؤذيني ما آذاها

For my daughter is part of me. He who disturbs her in fact disturbs me and he who offends her offends me.

The wording of Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3714, is:

فاطمة بضعة مني، فمن أغضبها أغضبني

Fatima is a part of me, and whoever angers her, angers me.

[35] Sahih al Bukhari: 3712.

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