Chapter One – Ahlus Sunnah – Shia Beliefs – Quran

Gift for the Shia – Hadiyyat al-Shia part 1- Ml. Qasim
December 23, 2014
Chapter Two – Khilafa – shia beliefs
December 23, 2014

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Chapter one

 

The Ahlus Sunnah are in Conformity with the Qur’an

The beliefs and teachings of the Ahlus Sunnah are in conformity with the Thaqalayn (i.e. the Qur’an and Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whereas the beliefs and teachings of the Shia faith opposes the Qur’an and Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The number of statements which the Imams made disparaging and demeaning the scholars of the Shia are such that it is impossible to list them all in this concise treatise but as a way of example a few will have to be mentioned, which will be easily understood by the level-headed. After discussing these examples, we will continue with refuting the letter (of the Shia scholar ‘Ammar ‘Ali). Allah Ta’ala mentions in the first chapter of the Qur’an:

 

اَلَّذِیْنَ اٰتَیْنٰهُمُ الْکِتٰبَ یَتْلُوْنَه حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهؕ   اُولئِكَ یُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِهؕ   وَمَنْ یَّكْفُرْ بِه فَاُولئِكَ هُمُ الْخٰسِرُوْنَ

Those to whom We have given the Book and recite it as it should be recited, they are the ones who believe in it. Whoever denies it shall certainly be the losers.[1]

 

After studying the implication of this verse there is no possibility for any person to ever doubt the Ahlus Sunnah being on the truth, and once he has no doubt then he has attained the first stage of conviction that the Shia are on falsehood.

 

The Implication of the Verse

To elaborate upon the assertion made above, this verse was revealed regarding a few of the Ahl al Kitab and even though revealed regarding them, it has made iman dependent on bringing faith in the Book of Allah: “Recite it as it should be recited, they are the ones who believe in it.” When this is the prerequisite for iman, we learn that the sign of iman is that one recites it abundantly, whichever Book of Allah it might be: Torah, Injil or Qur’an. An example of this is if an intelligent person understands something properly and quickly, and another then remarks: “This can only be understood by the intelligent.” Even though this praise was specifically for that person, in reality it will also be praise for every other intelligent person who understands that point in the same manner. Thus, this quality (even though it was directed to the Ahl al Kitab will testify to the iman of all those who possess it and it) can only be found in the Ahlus Sunnah and none of the other sects of Islam. The recitation of the Shia is something well-known to all.

 

The Shia Deprivation of Reciting the Qur’an

In fact, their recitation of the Qur’an is so well-known that they have become parables of failing to learn the Qur’an. This can only mean that they are unable to recite the Qur’an as it should be recited and they have failed to make that effort upon the Book of Allah which is required. As far as the Ahlus Sunnah are concerned and reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited; what need be said, their repeated recitation is such that chapters are memorised.

This verse also suggests that amongst the various sects of Islam, the sect on the truth will be the one which memorizes the Qur’an and the others will be unable to do so because if they were able to then it would necessitate them also being included in this praise despite them being on falsehood. Nevertheless, this bounty has been granted to the Ahlus Sunnah and all of the other sects have been deprived of it, such that up to this day you have never heard of any other sect having memorised the Qur’an, whether they be Khawarij or Shia (I mention these two only because there are no other sects in India but them). After the Ahlus Sunnah, the Shia are more in number such that there is rarely a village or town where they cannot be found. Not to mention Lakhnow, suburbs of Dakan and districts of Sindh; where in addition to being the majority, authority is also in their hands. Thousands of Shia ‘ulama reside therein and it is from here that Shi’asm has spread throughout India, yet you will not find a single hafiz amongst them. If any of them happened to have been accused of being a hafiz by the Shia then he replies that he had memorised it but his memory has gotten a little weak and he cannot recite at the moment. If he does recite then he recites one or two chapters and not that he recites the entire Qur’an, beginning to end.

Amongst the acclaimed huffaz (plural of hafiz) of the Shia is Jafar ‘Ali, the senior imam of Delhi, whose piety, taqwa, knowledge and excellence, if failing him to earn the title of Mujtahid al Zaman (Mujtahid of the era) most definitely earns him the title of a Mujtahid. What was the level of his recitation of the Qur’an before his illness? I have witnessed this with my very own eyes, along with the other attendees of the Shia faith, when he would recite in the qira’ah gatherings of Nawab Hamid ‘Ali Khan; he would recite while gazing into the Qur’an and then too he erred twice. Now see the manner in which Allah Ta’ala reveals the truth: in the same gathering there were huffaz of the Ahlus Sunnah, who were forced by the Shia to also recite the Qur’an and when they did, they recited from memory. Yet the Shia still fail to take lesson.

Hafiz ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, a Sunni who resides in Najibabad, informed me that he used to study a few books under Jafar ‘Ali. One day it just so happened that the book mentioned: “The Shia cannot memorise the Qur’an.” On hearing this Jafar ‘Ali asked him whether he would listen to him recite. Hafiz ‘Abdul ‘Aziz replied:

What difficulty is there in reciting it in two sittings or perhaps if asked to recite as much as you can in one gathering.

However, Jafar ‘Ali replied:

Can we not rather arrange for one juz’ (chapter) to be recited daily?

It should be borne in mind that some gifted individuals are able to memorise an entire juz’ of the Qur’an in one day from scratch. What kind of a hafiz is there who has not recited the entire Qur’an in one sitting? And I know that Jafar ‘Ali is unable to recite even one juz’ in one sitting. This was but an empty promise. Hafiz ‘Abdul ‘Aziz thought that this was a ruse and that he would memorise the chapters to be recited each day, which would prove my claim to be false or perhaps he might have memorised a few chapters, which he will recite and then escape from reciting the rest with some flimsy excuse or the other.

It should be noted by all that he did not memorise the Qur’an and to award him the title of hafiz is absolutely incorrect. If by chance one or two have memorised the Qur’an then this too is sufficient to break the pride of the Shia as it is common knowledge that in the cities and villages of the Ahlus Sunnah hundreds of huffaz can be found. At times the number of Ahlus Sunnah residing in a village is the same as the Shia yet amongst the Shia you will not find even a single hafiz whereas in the same village amongst the Ahlus Sunnah countless huffaz can be found. In areas such as Saharanpur, Panipat and Karanah this is the state of affairs. The reason for this failure to memorise the Qur’an (whereas the Shia often boastfully claim that never mind the Qur’an, the Shia memorise the entire Tafsir al Kabir as well) is that they are not of those who recite the Qur’an as it should be recited.

 

Why are the Shia Deprived of Reciting the Qur’an

The reason for this failure to recite the Qur’an, and Allah knows best, could be a result of the differences in the tastes of man. Just as the preferences of man differ from one to the other as far as food and nourishment is concerned; some having a taste for sweet while others have a greater inclination to bitter foods and that which is relished by some might be abhorred by others. Some dislike the smell of perfumes and spicy pickles with the mere smell of it let alone giving them a headache might render them ill. Worms on the other hand revel in the sight of faeces and other filth, whereas the smell of perfume does not attract them. In a similar manner, tastes and preferences differ with regards to the nourishment of the soul. Likes and dislikes vary, what brings pleasure to one causes discomfort to the other and to the Shia any effort upon the Noble Qur’an is tantamount to death for them.

Or perhaps the reason for this deprivation is that whichever student is disrespectful towards his teacher, it is the practice of Allah that such a student will be deprived of knowledge. The reason for this is perhaps that just as gratitude leads to an increase in bounty:

 

لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَاَزِيْدَنَّكُمْ

If you show gratitude, I will increase my bounty upon you.

 

Ingratitude leads to the bounty being rescinded. In addition to this Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said:

 

من لم يشكر الناس لم يشكر الله

Whoever does not express his gratitude towards people has not expressed his gratitude to Allah.

 

The bounty of knowledge is attained through the intermediary of a teacher and the teachers of the greatest bounty- the Noble Qur’an, were none other than the illustrious Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum, amongst whom Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu were the compilers of the Qur’an. Why then should a person not be deprived of the knowledge of the Qur’an on account of him showing disrespect towards them?

 

True Iman is Found in Those who Recite the Qur’an Appropriately

Just as the point above becomes apparent from the verse recited, so too do we learn that true iman is reserved for those people who recite the Qur’an in abundance as it should be recited. Those who are deficient in their recital of the Noble Qur’an or practice upon it according to their own personal understanding or even those who adhere to its teachings but recite it little — or not at all — are not in included. The reason for this restriction in favour of those who recite the Qur’an as it should be, is primarily because whoever will read a book repeatedly will understand it best and he will understand its true reality. Iman in the book of Allah means that one considers its laws and directives to be the truth. Whoever will follow them- those who recite the Qur’an as it should be recited and as a result have understood its true meaning, they too will not be deprived of true iman and will not be included amongst the sect referred to by the words:

Whoever denies it shall certainly be the losers.

Undoubtedly those who are deficient in their recitation and do not adhere to its teachings or intend to practice upon it according to their own interpretations; such people are often deluded by the laws of the British, which contains no subtleties, so what will they understand of the Qur’an which is a treasury of all knowledge and filled with subtleties? Such people who say one thing about the Qur’an when the Qur’an says something entirely different, they have disbelieved in the Qur’an despite their claims of bringing iman in it. They are those who are referred to by the words of Allah:

Whoever denies it shall certainly be the losers.

 

The following verse also refers to them:

 

يُضِلُّ بِه كَثِيْرًا

Allah Ta’ala leads many astray by (them misinterpreting) this Qur’an.

 

The Reason for Revelation Supports this Deduction

Supporting this deduction, aside from it being apparent, is that this verse was revealed in favour of those who recited the Book of Allah in abundance and as a result memorised the qualities of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that were mentioned in that Book, allowing every angle and aspect of it to become apparent to them. This resulted in them recognising Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as soon as they saw him. However, there is difference of opinion whether the Book referred to here is the Torah or the Injil and whether it refers to the Christians or the Jews.

 

The Majority will be Considered

It is apparent to those of knowledge that the entire Ahlus Sunnah is considered to be one and the entire Shia sect for that matter as well. Collectively the Ahlus Sunnah should be considered and collectively the Shia should be considered, and then it should be seen which of the two groups collectively recites the Qur’an abundantly, as it should be recited. When scrutinising any group collectively then one ruling will apply to the entire group, if it is little then it is for all and if it is abundant then too it will apply to all. This is akin to the arms, legs and other limbs of the body, whereby the actions of one will be attributed to the entire body, i.e. the person himself. If he has some ailment in his hand then he will say: “I have an ailment” or “A certain person has an ailment.” Similarly he says I saw, he saw, I hit, he hit, in all these cases the action of a part of the body is attributed to the person himself and not that part only. This is the rule of “Majority is equal to entirely” and is accepted by all, whereby the action or quality of the majority will be taken to be that of all. With this in mind, it is noted that the majority of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah recite the Qur’an abundantly as opposed to the Shia whose state of recitation is known.

 

The Shia Defence

It is possible that the Shia might attempt to save face by claiming that according to them, reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited means to recite it with concentration and deliberation; and what proof do you have that this is found amongst the Ahlus Sunnah but not amongst the Shia? Thus the Shia too are included in the above verse.

As far as concentration and deliberation is concerned we do not deny its necessity, because concentration and deliberation is attained either by firm belief upon the Qur’an or abundant recitation. The manner in which firm belief will lead to deeper concentration and deliberation is evident and requires no further explanation. As far as abundant recitation is concerned: the majority of man are negligent of Allah Ta’ala and more inclined to the world, in such a case a moment or two of dhikr or recitation of the Qur’an will not remove this negligence. However, if he spends hours upon hours, over a long period of time, it will create the light of attentiveness in his heart. This is when concentration and deliberation is attained. However, these differences can only be understood by those who perform dhikr and recite the Qur’an; it is uncertain whether the Shia will be able to understand it.

 

The Ahlus Sunnah have Firm Belief in the Qur’an

I mentioned that firm belief is a means of attaining concentration and deliberation or it is abundant recitation, rather it is that both together attain concentration and deliberation upon the Qur’an. One can only imagine the firmness of belief those who refer to the Qur’an as being the pages of ‘Uthman must possess (i.e. the Shia) whereas the Ahlus Sunnah regard the Qur’an to be the exact word of Allah, without any alterations, additions or subtractions. Much can be said but the Arabic proverb will be most apt here:

 

الاناء يترشح بما فيه

Only that which is contained in a vessel will flow forth.

 

Studying the conditions of the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia will allow us to determine which of the two have a firmer belief in the Qur’an. The condition of the Ahlus Sunnah is well-known: they regard the Qur’an as a part of one’s life. While the Shia may keep the Qur’an in their bags or in their homes, the Ahlus Sunnah keep it in their hearts. This is the reason why the Ahlus Sunnah give the greatest preference to the teaching of the Qur’an over all else. Children are first taught to recite the Qur’an and they are made to even memorise portions of it. Nothing overrules the Qur’an such that even hadith is only considered, if found to be in harmony with the Qur’an. If a contradiction is found then the blame rests upon the shoulders of the narrators as it is evident that they have erred in some way or the other. As for the Shia, their disregard for the Qur’an is such that Al Kulayni reported in his book- Al Kafi, (which is considered by them to be the most authentic book on hadith) such narrations regarding the Qur’an that if a person were to read them then he would discard the Qur’an altogether.

 

The Belief of the Shia Regarding the Qur’an

According to them, the Qur’an has been altered in the same way as the Torah and Injil were altered if not worse, such that they have replaced referring to the Qur’an as the Word of Allah with the term “Pages of ‘Uthman” and without verbally saying it, they believe that from the Thaqalayn (the two weighty things which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had left behind for the guidance of the ummah) they are unable to derive benefit from the Qur’an. It is evident that the Qur’an has no weight in the eyes of the Shia because if this were not true then what would the meaning of Shia statements such as these be:

Reciting the Qur’an is no less than smoking a pipe.

Nevertheless, the majority of the Shia bear testimony to the fact that the Qur’an has no worth in their eyes and amongst the Ahlus Sunnah a few might be found, whose proclamations of honour are not complimented with their actions. As far as abundant recitation is concerned, this requires no explanation, as the Shia themselves admit that this virtue belongs to the Ahlus Sunnah.

 

Concentration and Deliberation Belongs to the Ahlus Sunnah as Well

If the Shia were to claim that concentration and deliberation is implied by reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited then too we will not object as this too belongs to the Ahlus Sunnah, but what fault is it of ours that the wording of the verse implies abundant recitation? The reason being that the words “as it should be recited” is the maf’ul mutlaq (adverb) of the verb “Recite” and it is common knowledge that an adverb has to be from amongst the possible categories of that verb. Reciting abundantly is without a doubt of the categories of recitation but concentration and deliberation are not, rather they are external conditions. Recitation is an act of the tongue whereas concentration and deliberation are acts of the mind. It is also not correct to affix the result: “They are the ones who believe in it” to the statement: “Those who were given the Book” as the appropriateness of the sentence requires that the clause be affixed to the mentioned form of recitation. Those acquainted with the laws of balaghah (eloquence of the Arabic language) understand this well. This is also why the verb- “يؤمنون” (believe) is in the future tense and not the past tense.

 

If Concentration and Deliberation is Implied then the Order of Occurrence will be Switched

If the meaning of reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited is taken to mean reciting it with concentration and deliberation then the meaning will be switched. The explanation of this is as follows: iman either means the commonly implied meaning (belief that Allah alone is worthy of worship) or perfect and complete subjugation, referred to as iman-e kamil, or tasdiq (confirming) the intended meaning or purpose of Allah Ta’ala. In each of these cases the order of occurrence will be switched.

In the case of the commonly implied meaning, testifying that none is worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the rasul of Allah is understood by everyone to come before concentration and deliberation, i.e. concentration and deliberation will be dependent on the level of iman one has and not the other way around that iman itself is dependent upon concentration and deliberation.

As for iman having the meaning of iman-e kamil, this too precedes concentration and deliberation in recitation because it (iman) is the cause and concentration, etc is the result. The verse:

 

اَلَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوْبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللّٰهِؕ   اَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللّٰهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوْبُ 28

Those who have iman and whose hearts are contented with the dhikr of Allah. Behold! Hearts are contented with the dhikr of Allah.

 

Also suggests the same that iman-e kamil is the cause of abundant dhikr and the contentment of hearts, as contentment of the heart cannot be attained without Nafs-e Mutmaʼinnah, which is itself a result of iman-e kamil, which is manifest.

 

All that remains is iman having the meaning of tasdiq, which is clarified by the verse:

 

وَ اِذَا سَمِعُوْا مَا اُنْزِلَ اِلَی الرَّسُوْلِ تَرٰی اَعْیُنَهُمْ تَفِیْضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوْا مِنَ الْحَقِّۚ   یَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اٰمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشّٰهِدِیْنَ    83

When they hear what has been revealed to the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, you see their eyes flowing with tears because they recognise the truth.[2]

 

The concentration and deliberation referred to by “You see their eyes flowing with tears” in this verse is preceded by iman because the meaning of this verse is that when these people mentioned above heard the revelation that had descended upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, you will see their eyes filled with tears on account of them having understood the truth. This makes it clear that after having heard much about the Qur’an they requested to hear it for themselves and after hearing it, their eyes were filled with tears and their hearts filled with deliberation. It can never be that first they concentrated and cried and thereafter the truth dawned upon them. Thus, if the meaning of “Recite it as it should be recited” is said to mean reciting with concentration and deliberation (and not abundantly) then the order of occurrence will be changed (and the verse will mean that on account of concentration and deliberation they were blessed with iman whereas one is blessed with concentration and deliberation on account of iman).

 

If Abundant Recitation is Implied then the Meaning will be Correct

If “Recite it as it should be recited” is said to mean abundant recitation then the meaning will be correct in all three instances. Those without iman or possessing weak iman through abundant recitation will understand the meaning of Allah Ta’ala’s word, resulting in them being guided, their doubts removed and granting them true faith, which is the essence of iman.

If the commonly implied meaning of iman is implied then abundant recitation will also award one such iman. If iman-e kamil is implied then too one will be awarded it because through abundant recitation, negligence is removed and slowly one attains the required level of attentiveness, purifying his heart even further. As for the meaning of tasdiq of the intended purpose of Allah then this too is obvious as it is well-known to everybody that a person who reads a book more than others will have greater knowledge of that book.

 

A Doubt Regarding the Verse

One doubt still remains: the result- “They are the ones who believe in it”, is clearly attached to the clause- “Recite it as it should be recited”, for a few reasons. Firstly, because of the noun being affixed to the clause and the fact that the verb was in the future tense (“يؤمنون”) and not past tense (the verb “امنوا” was not used). But there is one possibility that this could be merely a sign of iman (that one recites it abundantly) and not a result of iman, as is the case with the signs of many things that the very sign of it is created from itself. An example of this will be smoke, which is a sign of fire but in itself is created from fire and its existence dependent upon the existence of the fire and not that the fire is dependent upon it. So what is wrong if recitation with consideration and deliberation is said to be a sign of iman but at the same time it is created from iman, and in this case Allah Ta’ala only intended to make mention of the sign.

The reply to this will firstly be that to abandon the best interpretation and rely upon such weak interpretations is itself a sign of poor understanding.

This is more so when we are dealing with the Qur’an, which will only have the best interpretation.

Secondly the purpose of mentioning a sign of something is to make it recognisable and distinguishable, thus if the sign is itself imperceptible and indiscernible then mentioning such a sign is futile, and the speech of Allah Ta’ala can never be futile. Concentration and deliberation are inner qualities which cannot be perceived so in making this a sign of iman, it would result in describing something vague with something also vague or something imperceptible with something also imperceptible. On the other hand, reciting the Qur’an abundantly is something perceptible and if this is said to be a sign of iman then it would make sense and this sign itself necessitates concentration and deliberation, which would make it correct for this to be just a sign, not affecting the meaning, order of occurrence or the adverb.

 

Another Benefit of this Verse

After having discussed the possible doubt regarding the interpretation of this verse, I wish to mention another benefit which it gives. It comes to mind that the clause- “Those to whom We have given the Book”, indicates that if any of those who were not given a Book, i.e. they deny it completely or misinterpret it after accepting it, were to become a hafiz then it is no problem or one can even say that they may recite similar to the manner in which it should be recited. However, as far as those who were given the Book are concerned, only those who are on the absolute truth will be granted the ability to recite it abundantly. The reason for this is that abundant recitation, which is the manner in which the Qur’an should be recited, is a sign of iman. Thus, it will only be seen in those who believe in it entirely and not in everyone. With this in mind, the famous tale of Burnus- the Christian, having memorised the entire Book of Allah will need not be doubted and may be accepted to be possible.

Nevertheless, we learnt from the sign of reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited that the glad tidings of “They are the ones who believe in it” is for the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia are described by:

Whoever denies it shall certainly be the losers.

 

Many Verses of the Qur’an Prove the Ahlus Sunnah are on the Truth

There are numerous verses of the Qur’an which prove the Ahlus Sunnah are on truth and the Shia on falsehood, and why should it not; when the majority of Shia beliefs oppose the Qur’an. The beliefs and practices of the Ahlus Sunnah however are in complete conformity with the Qur’an. The reason for this is that through abundant recitation they have understood the intention of Allah Ta’ala, whereas the Shia on account of not fulfilling the right of the Qur’an have been deprived of its understanding. Since this has all been proven from the verse of the Qur’an, those with intellect will understand that the verses of the Qur’an will oppose the religion of the Shia and the Ahlus Sunnah will conform to the Qur’an. In fact, not just a few but the majority of the Qur’an refutes the beliefs, practices and customs of the Shia and bears testimony to the veracity of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. How is it possible to explain all of these verses in this brief treatise, especially when each of these verses refutes the Shia and affirms the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah.

However, this one verse is capable of representing all of the other verses which is why I will suffice with it. It is possible that an obstinate Shia might object to this verse when understanding the guidance it contains and say: “So what if the Qur’an contains this one verse, it is but one. What credibility does the Qur’an have, it makes no difference if it opposes our beliefs. The words of the Qur’an have been altered and changed, additions and subtractions carried out, so it is not far-fetched to believe that this too was added by the Ahlus Sunnah.”

If they were to make such a claim then the reply would first be that according to the research scholars of the Shia either no additions or subtractions were made to the Qur’an, as is the believe of Sheikh al Saduq, or subtractions have occurred but no additions. Thus the Qur’an having no additions is a matter of consensus and the verse under discussion cannot be refuted. However, since both these standpoints of the Shia oppose the narrations of Al Kafi, which is considered to be the most reliable book by them, and the majority of Shia believe that additions and subtractions both occurred in the Qur’an; this reply will be insufficient.

The second reply will be that this doubt itself is proof of the falsehood of the Shia faith. By the testimony of the Shia themselves we have learnt that the Shia religion has no credibility because the first source of the laws of din is the Qur’an and when they have no reliance upon it, whichever aspects of their faith they manage to somehow prove from the Qur’an, it will not be accepted.

 

The Foolishness of not Relying on the Qur’an

The Thaqalayn, which is accepted by both groups, bears testimony that the Qur’an and ‘Itrah will always remain to grasp onto and save one from deviation. So accordingly if one cannot grasp onto the Qur’an then one cannot be saved from deviation and he has been cast far astray. Thus, for the Shia to present such an argument is tantamount to shooting himself in the foot.

There is no hadith in any of the sects of Islam that has reached the same level of authenticity as the Qur’an and there is no hadith regarding which the narrators are all in consensus regarding its wording as they are regarding the Qur’an. Furthermore, when one studies the conditions of the narrators of the Shia then he discovers new levels of unreliability. In summary, if any Shia were to present this as a counter argument, which they do most often, then we too have much to say in return.

 

This Proves my Point

The confession of the Shia themselves has proved the claim I made under the commentary of the verse, because when they have such a lack of reliance upon the Qur’an, claiming such phenomenal changes to have been enacted in it, that the Qur’an as we know it no longer remains the Qur’an. So now if a Shia were to memorise it or even recite it as it should be, he has not truly recited the Qur’an or memorised it.

 

The Practice of the Ahlul Bayt Negates any Changes Having Occurred in the Qur’an

All the narrations of the Shia mention that the Ahlul bayt recited this very same Qur’an, substantiated from it and cited its verses as proofs. They would also make commentaries on the verses of this very same Qur’an. The commentary on the Qur’an which has been ascribed to Hassan al ’Askari is a commentary of the same. The Ahlul bayt taught this Qur’an to others, their children and their servants and it was this same Qur’an that they recited in their salah.

 

The Lengths to Which it has been Narrated and Circulated is Proof of its Authenticity

In addition to this, imparting this Qur’an as it has been revealed and teaching it is compulsory upon the ummah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and there is consensus on this. We know for a fact that whenever any person embraced Islam in the life time of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he was first taught the Qur’an after which he would then teach it to others. In this manner, thousands learnt the Qur’an directly from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and in some battles up to seventy huffaz would be martyred. To this very day, even in the villages, recitation of the Qur’an is regarded as one of the greatest acts of worship, with people remaining engaged in its recitation night and day, in salah and out. When a child enters the Madrasa, the first thing he is taught is how to recite the Qur’an. In short, the Qur’an is not the same as the Al Kafi of Al Kulayni or Al Tahdhib which was narrated through taqiyah (dissimulation) and hidden away for centuries in some box. The Qur’an is available in abundance with thousands of copies easily at hand, as opposed to Al Kafi or Al Tahdhib, for which a search needs to be carried out in order to obtain a copy. Then too, even amongst the Shia, what will every Shia do with a copy of Al Kafi or Al Tahdhib, and not everyone is capable of understanding it as well. India and Iran aside, in other countries the name of Al Kafi or Al Tahdhib is not even known. If perchance you were to come across one or two copies then they would be riddled with errors. The case is different with the Noble Qur’an, it can be found in every country, city, town and village, such that no other book is available in such abundance. Every person has his own copy, with some homes having numerous copies. Such care has been taken that millions of huffaz have memorised it and even the verses, letters, diacritical marks and dots have been counted and recorded. Does it make sense to any sane person to believe that Al Kafi or Al Tahdhib of the Shia is free from alteration, such that they regard it to be the most authentic book, whereas the Qur’an is regarded to be tampered with and is claimed to no longer be reliable?

 

The Wide Availability of the Qur’an Clears ‘Uthman from all Accusations

The era in which the Qur’an could have been possibly altered, such is the Shia accusation against ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu; alteration could have been done in one or two copies and in no way could every single copy be seized from each Muslim residing in Syria, Persia, Yemen and Hijaz. All these countries came under the banner of Islam and its populace regarded the Qur’an as their means of salvation, reciting it night and day. In no way could all of these copies be seized and altered. These copies were written by huffaz: did Uthman alter the Qur’an in their hearts as well, such that it resulted in only altered copies coming into circulation? Considering all of this, no sane person will ever claim that the Qur’an has been altered. When the Qur’an is free from any change, addition or subtraction, when the commentary of Hassan al ’Askari is of the same Qur’an, then substantiating from the following verses will be absolutely correct:

Those to whom We have given the Book and recite it as it should be recited, they are the ones who believe in it. Whoever denies it shall certainly be the losers.

 

Certificate of Authenticity from the Qur’an Itself

If this is further supported by the Qur’an itself, then without a doubt the substantiation made will be correct and it will be compulsory to accept. When we searched through the Qur’an, we found numerous verses testifying to the fact that the Qur’an is as it was revealed with not a single change or variation. Its words are as they were revealed without any substitution. I think it necessary to only mention one of these verses:

 

اِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَ اِنَّا لَه لَحٰفِظُوْنَ  9

Without doubt only We have revealed the Reminder and We shall certainly be its protectors.[3]

 

Ponder over its meaning, the emphasis laid upon its protection; it is impossible to fathom that the third khalifa- ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, has altered it such that there remains absolutely no trace of the original Qur’an. Despite the immense power of Allah, he still managed to thwart the power of Allah, Allah forbid.

 

The Results of this Incorrect Belief

As for the assumption that Allah Ta’ala made a promise and then broke it, this is utterly impossible. It is impossible that Allah Ta’ala would make a promise with such emphasis and then go back on His word and not protect the Qur’an. Allah says in the Qur’an:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یُخْلِفُ الْمِیْعَادَ      9

Allah Ta’ala does not break His promises.[4]

 

Perhaps the Shia assume that the era in which ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu altered the Qur’an or whoever did it, Allah Ta’ala was asleep or maybe forgot his promise? The reply to this was given in the Qur’an as well, Ayat al Kursi is recited by the Shia as well, Allah says:

 

لَا تَاْخُذُه سِنَةٌ وَّلَا نَوْمٌ

Neither does sleep nor drowsiness overcome him.[5]

 

Allah says in Surah Maryam:

 

وَمَا کَانَ رَبُّکَ نَسِیًّا  64

Your Rabb does not forget.[6]

 

In Surah Taha, Allah says:

 

لَا یَضِلُّ رَبِّیْ وَ لَا یَنْسَی

My Rabb does not err nor does he forget.[7]

 

These verses remove all possibilities of Allah Ta’ala promising to protect the Qur’an and then erring in doing so, or in error began protecting something else. When all of these are impossible, this humble servant of the house of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wishes to ask the Shia; after this firm promise and nothing to impede its fulfilment, why then did Allah Ta’ala not protect the Qur’an? The only possibility then is that according to you, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu has more power and authority than Allah Ta’ala (I seek Allah’s protection from having to utter such statements) that Allah Ta’ala was prevented from fulfilling his desire. This means that you have such high consideration for Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu that you consider him even superior to Allah, should you then not side with him? (Allah forbid) If this is your belief than what protection can you hope for on the Day of Qiyamah, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu will just seize you all from beneath the ‘Arsh of Allah and begin punishing you.

 

The Falsehood of Al Kulayni

The only other option you have is to say that your belief is incorrect and that the narrations of Al Kulayni are all lies and fabrications.

 

عن هشام بن سالم عى ابى عبد الله ان القران الذى جاء به جبرئيل الى محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم سبعة عشر الف ايات

The Qur’an with which Jibril ‘alayh al-Salam came to Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam contained seventeen thousand verses.[8]

 

The present Qur’an in our possession consists of approximately six thousand verses but according to this Shia narration, two thirds of the Qur’an is missing. It would have been better if Allah Ta’ala had not made any promise to protect the Qur’an as it was on account of this promise that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had no concern about the Qur’an ever being altered. Perhaps if it had not been made then steps could have been taken to preserve it. Those who have studied the Torah and Injil, they too have not claimed it being altered in this manner. In fact after research it was found that the alterations in the Torah and Injil were not many, wherever they saw something supporting the claim of the Muslims they removed it and wherever there was a law causing difficulty to their leaders they would alter it, and Allah knows best the true reality. All the same, the gist of the Shia ideology is that despite the promise of Allah Ta’ala to protect the Qur’an, the Qur’an was not preserved and it has more changes and faults in it than even the Torah and Injil, whereas these Books had no protector, neither Allah, nor a rasul. Yes, their materialistic scholars were present, whose occupation it was to sell the verses of Allah and alter the laws of Allah. They only taught and listened to it, knew its laws and expounded it; they were never its protectors or guardians. Perhaps this is what the Shia sect implies when they say the Qur’an is worse than the Torah and Injil; that in unreliability the Shia surpass the ‘ulama of the previous nations.

 

Shia Interpretation of the Qur’an Being Safe-guarded

The scholars of the Shia provide two explanations to Allah having taken responsibility of protecting the Qur’an:

  1. It is protected in the Lowh al Mahfuz (Divine Tablet in the heavens).
  2. It is protected by the Imam in the cave- Surra man Ra’a.
 

In the first case, the answer is obvious. Firstly if:

We shall certainly be its protectors.

refers to the Lowh al Mahfuz then how does this assist us. What is the meaning of this promise? What would benefit us is a promise to protect this Qur’an which is in our possession, so that there will remain no doubt in deriving the laws of Allah Ta’ala from it.

Secondly, what need is there to safeguard it in the Lowh al Mahfuz? Yes, if it were possible for some trouble-maker to reach the heavens than it would most definitely need safe-guarding.

Thirdly, this verse first mentions its revelation (to the world) and thereafter the promise of protection is made, the eloquence of which dictates that the promise of protection is directed towards this revealed Qur’an and not the Qur’an which is already safe in the Lowh al Mahfuz.

Fourthly, if this is truly the meaning, that it has been safeguarded in the Lowh al Mahfuz, then this virtue is shared by the Torah and Injil as well; what supremacy will the Qur’an then have over the Torah and Injil? Also, why then was the promise of protection made for the Qur’an and not for the Torah and Injil? What meaning will this have?

Fifthly, this verse refers to the Qur’an, from its many names, by the name “Reminder” (i.e dhikr), and did not say the words of the Qur’an (that We have revealed the words of the Qur’an) or “Book” (that We have revealed the Book), etc, so that there remain no room to ever consider that it has been altered, changed, added to or subtracted from.

 

The Wisdom Behind Referring to the Qur’an by the Name “Reminder”

The point mentioned above requires some explanation, which makes it incumbent upon us to do so in order for the correct meaning to be understood. First one needs to understand that one item may have various names based upon its diverse uses, qualities and composition and each name will only be used in the most appropriate context and not mentioned arbitrarily. An example of this would be the manner in which one person may be a father, while at the same time he is someone’s son. Similarly he is a brother, nephew, uncle and a grandson. In essence one person may have different titles and each of them will not be used randomly but rather they will be used in context. A son will not address his father as son even though he is the son of another and similarly the father will not address his son as father, even though he may be a father to his own children.

A second example of this would be a governor, who may also be the treasurer and the magistrate. However, since the tasks of each of these posts are different, when he performs a task as governor then he will refer to himself as such, when carrying out a task as treasurer then he will refer to himself as the treasurer and as the magistrate when performing the duty of the magistrate.

In the same manner the Qur’an has many names and titles, each of them on account of a different quality and different perspective. For example the Qur’an is called the Qur’an because qira’ah (recitation) is made of it, it is called a Kitab (Book) or Mushaf (Manuscript) on account of it being written on pages. Similarly it is called Dhikr (Reminder) because it is a reminder for the ignorant, negligent and sinner. Therefore the usage of this title- “Reminder”, will only be correct when directed towards the ignorant, negligent and sinful. It is common knowledge that if any creation possesses these qualities then it is man, since the angels are free from such deficiencies. Therefore as long as the Qur’an was only present in the Lowh al Mahfuz, it was incorrect to refer to the Qur’an by this name as there were no ignorant, negligent or sinful creation present. If any creation was present at that time, it was only the angels. However, once revelation of the Qur’an began and it now came into the hands of man then it was correct to refer to the Qur’an as “Dhikr” because the purpose of its revelation was to advise and remind the negligent. When Allah then said:

We shall certainly be its protectors.

The personal pronoun (its) will refer to Dhikr (the Reminder), which would necessitate its protection being undertaken at the time it was given this name (Dhikr), which is only after revelation.

 

Negating the Second Shia Interpretation

As far as the second interpretation is concerned (that the Qur’an has been safeguarded with the alleged Imam al Mahdi in the cave Surra man Ra’a), firstly the entire legend of Imam al Mahdi taking refuge in a cave is a fairy tale. When the Qur’an has been deemed unreliable, despite the infinite number of narrators reporting it, then what reliability can be placed on a narration reported by a few deceitful individuals, especially when it is utterly illogical. No sane person will believe in such nonsense. In addition, those narrations which mention this fairy tale, do so in such a way that it makes it extremely difficult to believe that ‘Imam al Mahdi’ had even memorised the Qur’an.

This duty belongs to the Ahlus Sunnah, if you accept that Imam al Mahdi has a similitude to the Ahlus Sunnah, then based upon the narration:

 

من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم

Whoever bears a similarity to a nation is of that nation.

 

Yes, it is possible then, that he has memorised the Qur’an.

Imam al Mahdi concealing the Qur’an in this manner so that it may not fall under the gaze of the followers of the third khalifa Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, may be considered reasonable but then we ask those of understanding as to how this is different from the first interpretation as then it will be preserved in the cave Surra man Ra’a in the same way as it is preserved in the Lowh al Mahfuz. In that case, according to the fifth point mentioned above, this (Imam al Mahdi preserving the Qur’an in the cave as the Shia believe) will not fulfil the promise of safe-guarding the Qur’an. It will only be deemed correct to refer to the Qur’an as a “Reminder” when the Ummah reads and teaches it. Who goes to the cave Surra man Ra’a, who derives benefit from it? If there is a promise to protect the Qur’an then it is to protect this Qur’an before us, while it is in our midst. Furthermore, if the Qur’an of Imam al Mahdi is in accordance with this Qur’an then only is it the true Qur’an otherwise the Qur’an of the ‘Imam’ himself will be a forgery. In essence, ascribing such nonsense to Allah Ta’ala is an attempt to undermine the teachings of Islam.

It is indeed foolish to believe that Allah Ta’ala promised to protect the Qur’an so that the ummah of Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have no difficulty in determining the laws of Shari’ah tomorrow and keep the flame of Islam burning until the Day of Qiyamah but then, unfortunately, this plan was thwarted (Allah forbid). The implication of this claim that the Qur’an is safe-guarded in the cave Surra man Ra’a is that Allah Ta’ala could not foresee this. Imagine what this would lead a non-Muslim to think about Islam.

 

This Opens the Doors of Assault on Islam

We hope that no Shia will ever mention this belief to any Jew or Christian, if they mention it to us then we would keep it silent to save ourselves from disgrace. However, if the Jews were to be the first to hear such a thing then they would be able to say that there Torah has also been preserved in the Lowh al Mahfuz.

Apart from this, the verse of Surah al Ahqaf informs us that the Jinn had the actual Torah in their possession and they did not alter it like man because then they would not have said:

 

قَالُوْا یٰقَوْمَنَآ اِنَّا سَمِعْنَا کِتٰبًا اُنْزِلَ مِنْۢ بَعْدِ مُوْسٰی مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَیْنَ یَدَیْهِ یَهْدِیْۤ اِلَی الْحَقِّ وَ اِلٰی طَرِیْقٍ مُّسْتَقِیْمٍ  30

They (the Jinn) said: “O our people! We have heard a book that was revealed after Musa ‘alayh al-Salam which confirms what was before it and guides towards the truth and towards the straight path.[9]

 

The conviction they had of the Qur’an affirming what was said in the Torah could have only been attained if they had the actual Torah in their possession or if the Qur’an was affirming what the forged Torah contained. The second possibility (that the Qur’an was affirming what the forged Torah contained) is considered incorrect by the Shia as well because the recitation the Jinn heard was directly from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and not from Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu or any other.

However, if they do not fear criticism of the Jews and consider a portion of the Torah to still be authentic, believing only that portion has not been altered, just as the Shia believe that only Surah al Fatihah and Surah al Ikhlas have not been altered, and then boastfully say that our Qur’an is preserved in the cave- Surra man Ra’a, where is your Torah preserved, or they consider the possibility that the Jinn only heard those verses of the Qur’an which corresponds with that portion of the Torah that is authentic, and it is only on account of this correspondence that the Jinn deemed the Qur’an to be affirming what the Torah contains; then only can the Torah be altered as well and the Qur’an preserved in the cave- Surra man Ra’a, which makes it superior to the Torah. In such a case they will not have to bow their heads in shame before the Jews but still even this little form of superiority will be hard to prove.

 

If the Jews Overlook this, the Christians will not

Even if they are victorious over the Jews in this argument, how will they face the Christians because Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam — the hafiz of the Injil — is alive in the heavens (both Shia and Sunni agree on this). The Imam in the cave still has to fear that the followers of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu might chance upon his hiding place and steal the Qur’an from him or Allah forbid, even murder him. This will threaten his entire reason for concealment. Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam on the other hand is living in the fourth heaven with absolutely no worry whatsoever.

The only possibility whereby the Shia will be able to retain supremacy will be by them telling the Christians that firstly it is not proven that Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam was a hafiz of the Injil (even though the same can be said regarding the Imam or even more so since the Injil was revealed to Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam and it would be far-fetched to then believe that he was not a hafiz of it, as opposed to the Imam, who was not the one it was directly revealed to. In addition, memorising the Qur’an makes him similar to the Ahlus Sunnah whereas there is no similarity in memorising the Injil) and secondly we also believe that Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam will descend into the world once again but when he does, his memorisation of the Injil will be to no avail because it has been abrogated as opposed to the Imam, whose memorisation of the Qur’an will be of use to him after he makes his appearance. The Shia will finally have the actual Qur’an in their hands after having to rely on the pages of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu all these years, centuries of supplications will finally be accepted.

However, this victory over the Christians will only be possible if the Shia accept our beliefs (that the Qur’an is unaltered) and they not only distance themselves from beliefs such as the Imams having the authority to declare what is lawful and what is unlawful, etc but also entirely remove narrations such as these from their books:

 

عن محمد بن سنان عن ابى جعفر قال كنت عنده فاجريت اختلاف الشيعة فقال يا محمد ان الله تعالى لم يزل متفردا بالوحدانية ثم خلق محمدا و عليا و فاطمة و الحسن و الحسين فمكثوا الف دهرا فخلق الاشياء و اشهدهم خلقها و اجرى طاعتهم عليها و فوض امرهم اليهم يحلون ما يشاؤن و يحرمون ما يشاؤن

Muhammad bin Sinan narrates: “I was in the company of Imam al Baqir and I asked him about the reason for the many differences amongst the Shia.” He replied: “O Muhammad! Allah Ta’ala was always alone until he created Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Fatima radiya Llahu ‘anha, Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He then waited for a thousand years and then created everything else. He gathered all creation before them (these five) and made obeying them incumbent on creation and He then handed over authority of the affairs of creation to them. They make lawful whatever they desire and make unlawful whatever they desire.”

 

According to this narration, the differences amongst the Shia is on account of one of the five ruling something to be lawful and another ruling it to be unlawful, with some following one over the other. The second narration is also from Al Kulayni, and they need to absolve themselves from it as well.

 

عن محمد بن الحسن الميثمى عن ابى عبد الله قال سمعته يقول ان الله ادب رسوله حتى قومه على ما اراد ثم فوض اليه دينه فقال ما اتاكم الرسول فخذوه و ما نهكم عنه فانتهوا فما فوضه الله تعالى الى رسوله فقد فوضه الينا

Muhammad bin Hassan al Maythami narrates that he heard Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah say: “Allah Ta’ala taught his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam etiquette until He straightened him as He so desired. He then handed over the authority of His din to him and said:

Whatever the Rasul grants you, hold firmly to it and whatever he prohibits you from, abstain from it.

So whatever authority was handed over to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he handed over to us.”

 

The first narration only mentions the authority being handed over to the five (Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali, Fatima, Hassan, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum) and the second indicates that others also have been granted the same authority, since it refers to the same.

 

A Baseless Interpretation to a Baseless Narration

It is possible that some Shia may claim that the handing over of authority to decree halal and haram as deemed fit, described in this narration, actually refers to the usage of ijtihad (analytical reasoning), which is considered an accepted practice by the Ahlus Sunnah as well. So now if the Shia have adopted the ijtihad of these few infallibles what is the issue?

Or they may say: Allah Ta’ala granted them unique abilities and aptitude, with which Allah Ta’ala ordered them to assess things and decree the ruling according to their understanding, so what is the problem?

However, any person of intellect will understand that this interpretation is impossible with the first narration and also it opposes the Shia religion itself to accuse the Imams of performing such a thing as ‘ijtihad’, as they consider the decrees of the Imams to be divine revelation.

As for them being granted unique understanding, we might accept this but the Shia will not; let alone the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers), all the sects of the Shia believe that the Imams have the authority to change the laws of Shari’ah. If they were granted unique abilities with which to extract rulings then what is the meaning of changing rulings. The capability should conform to their ability; extract rulings, yes, but why change rulings. Either way these interpretations have no basis.

Even if these replies were to be left aside then too this narration will have no relevance because the Qur’an states:

 

تِبْیَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَیْءٍ

The Qur’an explains all things.[10]

 

This means that the Qur’an explains everything (all laws of Shari’ah), we might not understand it but it does definitely explain it and others do understand it, especially Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So when the Qur’an explains everything, what need is there to hand over authority of din? All one can do, even the Imams, is commentate on the Qur’an but not say a word of your own opinion.

 

Handing Over Authority to Others Abrogates the Qur’an

Our safety lies in erasing these narrations entirely, then only will we be able to save face before the Jews and Christians. If we fail to do so then they will point fingers at us saying that the Injil might have been abrogated by the Qur’an but not all of its laws were abrogated; many aspects pertaining to character as well as prohibitions and permissions were still maintained, and as far as beliefs are concerned then according to the word of the Muslims themselves there is no difference. The same beliefs have continued from Nabi Adam ‘alayh al-Salam to this very day. It is mentioned in Surah al Ma’idah:

 

وَ اَنْزَلْنَآ اِلَیْکَ الْکِتٰبَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَیْنَ یَدَیْهِ مِنَ الْکِتٰبِ

We have revealed the Book (the Qur’an) to you with the truth to confirm the Books before it.[11]

 

Now your Qur’an is the same as ours because your Imams changed many laws as they saw fit. The first narration makes this extremely clear as Imam al Baqir indicated that this is the reason for the differences amongst the Shia. So even if Imam al Mahdi does have the actual Qur’an with him it makes no difference as those laws have been changed. Instead another Qur’an should be made. If you fail to do so then just as you believe that Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam will descend in the last era and despite being a hafiz of the Injil it will not avail him, on account of it being abrogated; so too it is possible that when your Imam finally emerges, intending to practice upon the laws established by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it will not avail him as it has been abrogated as well.

 

The Laws wWich the Shia Imam al Mahdi will Enact

As for the possibility of (the Shia) Imam al Mahdi ruling in accordance with the laws passed by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, this has been refuted by a narration reported by Muhammad ibn Babuwayh al Qummi on the authority of Imam Jafar:

 

عن ابى عبد الله انه قال ان الله تعالى اخى بين الارواح فى الازل قبل ان يخلق الاجام بالف عام فاذا قام قائم اهل البيت ورث الاخ من الذين اخا بينهما فى الازل و لم يورث الاخ من الولادة

Imam Jafar has reported to have said: “Verily Allah Ta’ala created bonds of brotherhood between the souls one thousand years before creating man, When the al Qa’im (al Mahdi) of the Ahlul bayt will appear, the brother with whom bonds of brotherhood was formed before creation will be the one who inherits and not one who is brother by birth.”

 

This narration clearly indicates that Imam al Mahdi will not act in accordance with the laws of the Qur’an and the law that states that a blood brother inherits will be abolished. This narration also informs us that the law of a blood brother inheriting as mentioned in Surah al Nisa is no addition of the khalifa ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu but is the direct order of Allah Ta’ala because then why would its nullification be postponed until the emergence of the al Qa’im?

In short, until the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) do not refute the belief that their Imam al Mahdi has the authority to abrogate the laws of Shari’ah, they will not be able to present their case of the Qur’an being safe-guarded before the Christians as is clear from the verse:

Without doubt only We have revealed the Reminder and We shall certainly be its protectors.[12]

 

Affirming the Belief of Khatm-e Nubuwwah

The benefit of refuting these beliefs is not only restricted to victory over the Jews and Christians but it corrects and affirms the belief in Khatm-e Nubuwwah (Finality of Nubuwwah) mentioned in Surah al Ahzab. If they fail to do so then the reproach upon the Jews will be directed to them as well:

 

اَفَتُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِبَعْضِ الْکِتٰبِ وَتَكْفُرُوْنَ بِبَعْضٍۚ

Do you believe in one portion of the Book and disbelieve in another.[13]

 

The reason for this is that even the prophets’ were not allowed to abrogate laws of Shari’ah and prescribe others of their own accord. All of the prophets’ of the Bani Isra’il, from Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam until Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam, all acted upon the Torah. In addition, neither Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam nor Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam were granted the authority to decree the laws of din as they saw fit. Whatever they decreed, they did so on the instruction of Allah. Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam and Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam aside, even Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not given such authority as is stated in Surah al An’am:

 

قُل لَّآ اَجِدُ فِیْ مَآ اُوْحِیَ اِلَیَّ مُحَرَّمًا

Say (O Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “In the revelation that has come to me, I do not find anything forbidden (Haram)…”

 

This verse is explicit that the right to declare items halal and haram has not been given to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the basis on which halal and haram is declared is wahi (revelation). It is mentioned in another verse:

 

اِنِ الْحُكْمُ اِلَّا لِلّٰهِ

Authority belongs to Allah only.[14]

 

Then too if we were to accept (hypothetically) that Allah Ta’ala had indeed handed over the authority to the ummah then our Imams are no less than theirs. It is for the propagation of these laws that prophets’ and rusul were sent:

 

یٰاَیُّهَا الرَّسُوْلُ بَلِّغْ مَآ اُنْزِلَ اِلَیْکَ مِنْ رَّبِّکَۖ

O Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Propagate what has been revealed to you from your Rabb.

 

In this manner one will be saved from the criticisms of the Jews and Christians, and one’s own iman will be rectified.

 

Ibn Babuwayh was also Forced to Accept the Truth

Perhaps this is what Sheikh al Saduq, i.e. Ibn Babuwayh, understood and absolved himself entirely from such beliefs in his book- Al I’tiqadat, and according to me earned his title of Saduq. However when he did so, he attempted to absolve all of the Shia as well saying:

 

من نسب الينا انا نقول انه اكثر من ذالك فهو كاذب

Whoever claims that we have said that the Qur’an contains more verses than it does, he is a liar.

 

He intended by this statement to prove the Ahlus Sunnah to be liars but Allah Ta’ala is Truthful and always allows the truth to avail. Along came al Kulayni and proved al Saduq to be a liar, by reporting that the Qur’an contained seventeen thousand verses as has already been discussed. How much more injustice of the Shia must we discuss in this regard? I have not seen any intelligent scholar who has interpreted this verse:

Without doubt only We have revealed the Reminder and We shall certainly be its protectors.[15]

To mean anything else but the Qur’an is protected from all alterations and changes, whether it be from the first, second or third khalifa.

 

The Virtue of the Ahlus Sunnah

If this verse is studied with a perceptive eye then a great virtue of the Ahlus Sunnah can be seen. The details of this is that whenever any task is carried out under another or by their instruction then even though someone else may carry out the task, it will always be ascribed to the principal, director or governor. For example, if the president were to appoint a security force or regiment to protect the public treasury and each of them were to take turns guarding it, while he is sound asleep, then this action will still be attributed to the president since he is the one who ordered them to carry out this task.

Similarly, the Ahlus Sunnah in accordance with the order of Allah have stood guard over this treasure and since they could not protect it suitably when it was on paper, they took the liberty of engraving it on their hearts as well. In other words, they dedicated their lives to its protection, preventing shaitan and the irreligious from ever carrying out their evil intentions.

A thief will always accuse the guard of dishonesty, so here too the Shia instead of showing appreciation to the Ahlus Sunnah have opted to accuse us of dishonesty.

 

All Virtues Erased all that Remains is Sin

If the Ahlus Sunnah were to have asked the Shia for some recompense for having fulfilled this duty then perhaps they would have the right to make such an accusation.

Nevertheless, wherever we look in the world, we see the Ahlus Sunnah as guardians of the Qur’an, some towns having more than five hundred huffaz, but since this is all in accordance with the order of Allah, it should not be attributed to the Ahlus Sunnah but to Allah Ta’ala. The Ahlus Sunnah should be regarded as the special servants of Allah. This is why Allah Ta’ala attributed this protection to himself:

Without doubt only We have revealed the Reminder and We shall certainly be its protectors.

The Shia are akin to those disobedient to the government, such as cut-throats and thieves, because they are enemies of the guardians of the Book of Allah, which is more valuable than any treasury, and the enemies of those who guard the state treasury are none other than thieves and cut-throats.

In summary the verse:

 

اِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَ اِنَّا لَه لَحٰفِظُوْنَ      9

Without doubt only We have revealed the Reminder and We shall certainly be its protectors.

 

Also calls out loudly that the Ahlus Sunnah are on the truth and the Shia on falsehood, but ears are necessary in order to listen and the following verses fits them perfectly:

 

خَتَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلٰی قُلُوْبِهِمْ وَعَلٰی سَمْعِهِمْ

Allah has placed a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing.

 

Nonetheless, we should not become negligent in trying to make them understand. Perhaps just as Sheikh al Saduq has accepted one aspect, ‘Ammar ‘Ali and the other Shia may also do the same. However, since it is very difficult for a radical person to accept what you say the first time around, regardless of how clear and convincing your argument might be, it is possible that a Shia might say after reading this discourse that he believes the Qur’an to be true and unchanged in any way but where does it say that we have to accept Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu also. This is why I present the next verse:

 

اِلَّا تَنْصُرُوْهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّٰهُ اِذْ اَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْا ثَانِیَ اثْنَیْنِ اِذْ هُمَا فِی الْغَارِ اِذْ یَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهٖ لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

If you do not assist him, then indeed Allah had assisted him when the kuffar drove him out (of Makkah). He was the second of the two (the other being his bosom friend Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu) when they were (hiding from the kuffar) in the cave (outside Makkah) and he (Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told his companion (Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu): “Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.”[16]

 

Ponder over this verse with an open-mind and put aside your pride, does this verse pull you towards the Ahlus Sunnah or towards the home of the Shia? At this juncture a saying of Mirza Kathim ‘Ali al Lucknowi comes to mind, who was a senior Shia scholar and also respected by Dildar ‘Ali as well. The summary of of his statement is:

People can say what they like about whoever they want but whoever will speak ill of the first Khalifa, then even according to me he is a kafir.

A person from the gathering objected saying: “What are you saying, the beliefs of our religion contradicts this.” He replied:

I am not saying this, Allah is saying it. There is no difference between the word sahib and Sahabi, both have the same meaning and here Allah is bearing testimony to the first khalifa being a Sahabi because the word sahib, which appears in this verse, according to both Sunni and Shia refers to Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Glory be to Allah! This is how fair-minded people are, like Mirza Kathim ‘Ali, and he was no simpleton; the Shia themselves held him in high esteem. There is scarcely a Shia who does not know of him and follow him. He is not wrong in his deduction as well, whichever way you look at this verse, there is no room for any other interpretation.

 

Commentary of the Verse in Surah Taubah

The explanation of all of this is that the words “صاحبه” (companion) that appears in this verse has the same meaning as Sahabi in Arabic. In addition, the words “Do not grieve”, prove that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a lover and devotee of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well as a true sincere Muʼmin. The reason being that telling him not to grieve would have no meaning if he was not, because then he would have been rejoicing at that time as (according to the Shia belief) his enemy- Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was about to be captured. There would have been no need to even shout, the slightest flinch would have given them away.

Also understand that the fear Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had was not for his own life but only for the well-being of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, fearing what they might do if they discovered Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It was on this that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam consoled him saying: “Do not grieve! Verily Allah is with us.”

 

The Meaning of Grief

A few prejudiced individuals have said that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not fearful for the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he was fearful for his own. Such claims need to be thoughout carefully because it would mean that Allah Ta’ala is unfamiliar with the prose of the Arabic language and unacquainted with the eloquence of the Arabic language. It would render the miracle of the eloquence of the Qur’an into murmurings of the smitten.

The details of this is that any person who knows Arabic will be aware that the word “حزن” (grief) is used in times of sadness, when parting with a beloved or in a time of hopelessness, whereas when one fears for his life then the word “خوف” (fear) is used. There is no book more eloquent and articulate as the Qur’an. When Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam climbed atop Mount Tur and Allah asked him what is in your hand, he replied that it was his staff, with which he walks, leans on and herds his sheep. He was then ordered to throw it down and when he did, it turned into a huge serpent. Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam turned and ran, without looking back, on which Allah Ta’ala said:

 

اِنِّیْ لَا یَخَافُ لَدَیَّ الْمُرْسَلُوْنَ  10

Verily the messengers do not fear in my presence.[17]

 

This makes it clear that Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam feared for his life when he saw the serpent, which is why Allah Ta’ala said: “Do not fear” and Allah Ta’ala did not say: “Do not grieve” at this junture. Similarly when he un intentionally killed the Qibti, he fled fearing for his life, which is why Allah Ta’ala said:

 

فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا

He left the city in fear.

 

Aside from these verses, the word “خوف” (fear) was used many times in the Qur’an, whenever one feared for his own life. Wherever there was sadness then the word “حزن” (grief) was used. In Surah Yusuf where the sadness of Nabi Ya’qub ’alayh al-Salam is mentioned on his separation from Nabi Yusuf ‘alayh al-Salam, as well as his weeping continuously, which resulted in his family saying that you will weep for Yusuf ’alayh al-Salam until you also perish, he replied:

 

قَالَ اِنَّمَآ اَشْكُوْا بَثِّیْ وَحُزْنِیْۤ اِلَی اللّٰهِ

He replied: “I complain of my sorrow and my grief only to Allah.”[18]

 

In fact, there are many verses which prove that “حزن” (grief) and “خوف” (fear) have different meanings and one is not used in place of the other.

 

تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَیْهِمُ الْمَلٰٓئِکَةُ اَلَّا تَخَافُوْا وَ لَا تَحْزَنُوْا

Angels shall surely descend to them, “Neither have any fear nor grief.”[19]

 

In this verse both words were used, if they had the same meaning then what was the purpose of mentioning it twice? The truth is that fear and grief are two separate things; fear is used for something that is still going to occur and grief is used when the desire of the heart is lost. The opposite of grief is happiness and the opposite of fear is calm. I feel ashamed of having to explain the difference of grief, happiness, fear and calm, which are such simple things to understand. There is nothing complicated in it at all. What can a person do if someone fails to understand the difference? Nevertheless, it is possible that these prejudiced individuals still have not understood, so I will attempt once again. When a person close to you passes away, then the feeling you experience is called grief and not fear. However, when there is a possibility of you being killed, then the feeling you experience is called fear and this is not called grief. If your child climbs on the roof and is about to jump then you experience fear and this is not called grief. So in short, grief is the feeling you experience in times of difficulty and fear is the feeling you experience on the possibility of harm befalling you or one you love. They cannot be used in place of each other

 

The Understanding of the Shia

In a way they are also truthful as they have a rule of understanding things the other way around. For example, ‘Ammar ‘Ali understood falsehood to mean truth, as we have already explained. All of the Shia understand protectors to mean thieves, so if here too they were to do the same then the Ahlus Sunnah should not complain but rather rejoice because agreement has been reached regarding the meaning, the difference remains in the terminology.

The summary of this is that truth in the terminology of the Shia is called falsehood, protector is thief and grief is called fear. However, just as a Hindu and and Englishman when in a gathering of Muslims, hears one calling another “Baba”, then in accordance with their terminology; the Englishman will think it to mean child and the Hindu will think it to mean grandfather, here too if the Shia understands “Do not grieve” to mean “Do not fear” then it is no fault of theirs, it is incumbent on the Ahlus Sunnah to speak to them in their terminology. Is it not stated in hadith:

 

كلموا الناس على قدر عقولهم

Speak to people according to their mental capacity.

 

Even if we were to consider “Do not grieve” to mean “Do not fear”, as the Shia do, then too it does not harm us, as then “O Abu Bakr! Do not fear!” would mean that he did fear for his life because the kuffar hated him on account of him being a Muslim and having iman. If this were not so then what why would Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam comfort him? Then too by saying: “Allah is with us!” Allah Ta’ala only assists and aids – he is only “with” – the believers:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Allah is with the believers.

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ

Allah is with the pious.

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ

Allah is with those who do good.

 

The Qur’an is filled with such verses, the summary of which is that Allah is with those who are pure-hearted and nowhere in the Qur’an will you ever find Allah saying that he is with the disbelievers, or the evil-doers or the hypocrites.

 

The True Meaning of Allah Being “with” a Person

If any person were to say that Allah is with everybody, whether a believer or disbeliever, as it is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an:

 

اَلَآ اِنَّه بِكُلِّ شَیْءٍ مُّحِیْطٌ

Verily He (Allah) encompasses everything.[20]

 

Therefore, since Allah encompasses everything, it necessarily means that Allah is with everything.

 

The answer to this would be as follows, one can be with another in two ways:

  1. The first is when two people are in one place at the same time. Here they are only with each other physically and they both might abhor each other. An example of this would be a parrot living in the same cage with a crow.
  2. The second is where one is in the heart of the other. For example, if a king were to say to a destitute person, who is disliked by others: “Fear not, for we are with you.” The meaning of this statement is simply that your thought will be in our minds and your concern will occupy us such that we will assist you when required.

In the second instance, it is not necessary for the poor person and the king to be in the same place. He might not be with him physically but his assistance is definitely with him.

 

Therefore in the verse:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the pious.[21]

 

As well as the other verses mentioned above, the second meaning will be implied, as is known to all. If this were not the case then what sort of praise would this be for the pious and how will it console them? So too in the verse under discussion, it was only mentioned with the purpose of consoling and to re-enforce the promise of assistance made above.

 

The Verse Proves that Assistance Descended upon Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well

If one were to object further and claim that the verse above establishes that Divine assistance descended upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and not upon Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, we would reply that this is known to all and sundry that the humiliation and disgrace of a slave is considered a humiliation and disgrace upon his master. When a person harms the servants and workers of the British then why do they take it so personally that they call to arms, spilling the blood of thousands? Furthermore, we witnessed during the riots that whoever protected the government officials were considered to be loyal subjects of the government. Thus the assistance of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu falls under the assistance rendered to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When we were informed of this assistance, we were told:

 

فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّٰهُ

Indeed Allah had assisted him.

 

However, when the assistance arrived, it arrived for both because when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu about the assistance of Allah, he did so in the following manner:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

 

In other words when informing us about this incident, Allah only mentioned Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said: “And verily Allah assisted him”, however when Allah provided the assistance, He assisted both Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is for this reason that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu about Allah’s assistance in the following manner:

Verily Allah is with us.

A single word was used “مَعَنَا” (with us) and they were not mentioned separately: “مَعِى” and “مَعَكَ” (it was not said, Allah is with me and Allah is with you), which makes it apparent that Allah Ta’ala was with Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the same manner as he was with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

So based on this we learn that the Shia have unwittingly agreed with us in the fact that just as Allah was with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in terms of help, concern, love and assistance, so too was He with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

In addition, the wording:

 

ثَانِیَ اثْنَیْنِ

He was the second of the two.

 

Indicates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not alone at the time, but another was with him, namely Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Furthermore, it is the maf’ul (passive participle) of the verb preceding it:

 

اِلَّا تَنْصُرُوْهُ

If you do not assist him.

 

Which proves beyond all doubt that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was also included in the divine assistance.

If the Shia were to then argue that the statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

 

is in actual fact affixed to the sentence:

 

اِذْ اَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْا

When the Kuffar drove him out.

 

and is in fact its maf’ul (passive participle), rendering its meaning to be that at the time, when the disbelievers of Makkah drove Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam out of Makkah, he was not alone, rather his acquaintance was with him. In this manner it will have no connection with the يivine assistance. The divine assistance would only apply if it had been affixed to:

 

فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّٰهُ

Indeed Allah had assisted him.

 

To this rhetoric, we give the following answer: if this is the meaning of this verse then it is exactly what we desired. As in this case it would mean that the Shia too have learnt that the kuffar had the same enmity for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as they had for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

If anyone were to say that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not driven out by the kuffar but rather it was Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who asked him to accompany him then we ask the Shia to answer this, as this meaning was only expounded by us on account of them. If they were to have asked us its meaning in the first place then we would have related it to them. In addition, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not driven out according to the literal meaning of the word, whereby they dragged him along and expelled him.

 

The Actual Course of Events

The actual course of events was that the disbelievers had gathered at Dar al Nadwah, which was the courtyard in the home of Abu Jahal, at that time situated next to the Ka’bah, where the Hanafi Musallah was later built and today forms part of the Masjid al Haram. It was here where they consulted with each other as to what course of action they should adopt with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; should they imprison him; or was killing him more appropriate or perhaps even to exile him. Allah informed his beloved about their plans and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu with him as his companion and they set out for the Cave of Thowr, and after acquiring the necessary provisions they set off for Madina three days later. This incident is briefly made reference to in Surah al Anfal:

 

وَ اِذْ یَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْا لِیُثْبِتُوْكَ اَوْ یَقْتُلُوْكَ اَوْ یُخْرِجُوْكَ ۚ وَیَمْكُرُوْنَ وَیَمْكُرُ اللّٰهُۖ   وَاللّٰهُ خَیْرُ الْمٰکِرِیْنَ  30

When the Kuffar schemed against you to imprison you, kill you or exile you (drive you out of Makkah). They plan and Allah plans. Allah is the best of planners.[22]

 

Ponder over this incident! You will come to the conclusion that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not physically thrown out of his homeland. If one were to argue that constantly fearing exile is tantamount to exile itself, then we ask: what peace did Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoy from the kuffar? In fact, before this event they had already attempted to exile him, had it not been for the intercession of Ibn Daghinah, who warded them off. These narrations can be found in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. Furthermore, there is nothing illogical about things transpiring in this particular manner as the manner in which Allah Ta’ala makes mention of this in the Noble Qur’an:

 

اِذْ یَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهٖ لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

When he (Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told his companion (Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu): “Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.”

 

Informs us that the disbelievers hated Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well; if not then why would Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam console him and why would Allah be with him and then too in the same manner that He was with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

After listening to this discussion we are entirely convinced that the Shia will never mention that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only took Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu along so that he will be unable to inform the disbelievers of his whereabouts. This verse has ripped to shreds the entire basis of this possibility such that even if they were to labour until the end of days, they will never be able to construct it again.

Furthermore, the beloved messenger Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Allah forbid and we seek refuge in Allah, was not lacking in intelligence but rather his intelligence was legendary; did he not perceive the terrible outcome of informing Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu of his plans and instead rather keep him in the dark from the outset and not tell him: “I am going to take refuge in the Cave of Thowr.”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not an imam of the Shia, who was blessed with the knowledge of all that has passed and what will come to pass, such that he would have known of the plans of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whether he informed him of it or not. Furthermore, taqiyyah (dissimulation) would be most necessary in this circumstance and according to the Shia, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taking refuge in the cave is also a form of taqiyyah, the details of which will be discussed later. Nevertheless, according to the Shia paradigm taqiyyah is compulsory in such instances and to lie in such a circumstance is entirely permissible, but rather essential. Instead they claim that the praises which the illustrious Imams adorned the three khalifas with, as well as the other Sahaba, was in actual fact taqiyyah. Allah forbid! The actions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam negate any possibility of such deceit, as then what need was there to take Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu along with him to the Cave of Thowr. If he were to have gone on his own then he would have had no fear, but by taking him along the very fear because of which he was taking him along would multiply. What was there to prevent him from yelling out and giving away their position? This would then be a perfect example of the saying:

To avoid the rain, he stood beneath the tap

To safe himself from the sun, he jumped into the fire

 

Thus, if this was the wisdom of taking Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu along then this was extremely unwise indeed.

 

The Involuntary Rectification to the Truth

This is the reason why Mullah ‘Abdullah al Mashadi was forced to write in Ithar al Haqq that this possibility is indeed far-fetched. However, this is akin to the parable of the Hindu pundit, who denounced Hinduism after seventy-years but did not have the courage to announce it publicly out of fear for his own status.

Now listen to what I have to say, the statement of Mullah ‘Abdullah al Mashadi is absolutely correct and if it is on account of this that he has named his book Ithar al Haqq (declaration of the truth) then it has earned its title. We too are not afraid to accept this, even if he may be of the Shia faith. The problem however is that despite Mullah ‘Abdullah al Mashadi being a recognised leader of the Shia, by the Shia scholars and common masses alike, they are not prepared to accept his word. Instead they all claim: “What is astonishing about Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taking Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu along on this journey because he had given his daughter to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in marriage and he embraced Islam prior to many others, spending a great deal of his time in the service of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” The possibility of the Shia reforming is minimal but in fact it is highly possible that they will dissociate themselves from this scholar instead.

 

The True Events of Hijrah

Whether a person accepts or does not accept, the heart testifies, whether Ahlus Sunnah or Shia, that the only reason why Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was taken along on this journey was because the kuffar understood him to be the adviser, aide and supporter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They also knew him to be the close friend and beloved of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and why should they not? Ahlus Sunnah or Shia, none are ignorant of the fact that it was Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who suffered alongside Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at the hands of the kuffar, who defended Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, spent his wealth on him and endured great difficulty. He liberated Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the shackles of the disbelievers. Similarly, he sacrificed his entire family for the pleasure of Allah and His messenger.

This is why Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was convinced that the kuffar bore the same hatred for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as they bore for him and the very same punishment they had planned for him, they had planned for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He had challenged many of the kuffar and repeatedly informed them that the din of Islam is the true din, so abandon your worship of these idols. If success is what you seek then follow the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was convinced that if he were to leave Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu behind then the kuffar would most definitely execute him.

Without a doubt, if ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu were to be left behind then there would be no room for concern as the kuffar would not dare quarrel with him on account of the kuffar still having some form of regard for him, the most significant point of which would be that he was the maternal nephew of their leader- Abu Jahal, whereas the other Sahaba had no such privilege. Most importantly ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was capable of defending himself.

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the other hand was a thorn in the side of the disbelievers and they would writhe in anger at the mere sight of him. If he were to be killed then a great stalwart of iman and Islam would be lost. If he were to be killed then such a companion would be lost whose compassion and sincerity was exemplary, such sincerity and love that it would leave an indelible mark on the heart, influencing the actions of others.

Moreover such a dangerous journey cannot be undertaken without a companion , and the companion should be such that he has no concern for his own life, his familial love should not supersede his love for Allah and His messenger, he should be experienced in both summer and winter weather patterns, a seasoned traveller, intelligent, wise to the ways of the world, possessing great courage, of high disposition, forthright, one whose trustworthiness has been tested time and again, devout, one for whom the speech stored in the chambers of the heart is opened, a pure hearted soul, one in whose company, perplexity, strangeness and anxiety all dissipate. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw all these qualities only in Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and this is the reason why he went to his house in the afternoon, arranged all travel plans with him after which both arrived at the Cave of Thowr. ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the son of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, acted as a spy for them and related all information he could glean from the disbelievers to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his father.

 

Responding to the Shia Perception

If the family of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu bore any enmity to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then would such arrangements have been possible? If we were to hypothetically accept that this conspiracy was possible then what better opportunity could he have had to actualize his ‘enmity’ and fulfil his wishes by handing over Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the disbelievers? The Shia should study their own books and inform me if I have been false in relating this incident. If any difference is found then he is free to do as he pleases. A fair-minded person will be left with no other alternative but to acknowledge the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taking Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu along with him as his companion on hijrah (migration) is such a great virtue that it cannot be equalled by any other, such that even ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sleeping in the bed of Rasulullah cannot equal it.

All would have probably seen, during times of unrest, that when warrants of arrest are issued for the perpetrators, the others who reside in the house are not arrested. On the contrary, whoever is seen as his cohorts or accomplices are regarded to be equally guilty as the perpetrator himself.

It is of considerable regret that the testimony of Allah and his messenger in favour of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not accepted and then too only because they testify to his iman. If you do not accept the word of Allah then what will you accept? This is when you invent various illogical interpretations and are willing to believe the most far-fetched hypothesis such that if it is compared with what the Qur’an truly says then not even an atom of what the Qur’an says can be found in it.

 

The Fair-minded Interpretation of the Verse

We have no doubt that the Shia understand this verse to have the very same meaning as we have expounded; namely that if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was distressed at the time, then it was only because Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was defenceless and at the mercy of the kuffar at that time and he thought to himself: “What can I possibly do alone against these enemies, who will discover us with a simple glance towards their feet.”

However, such levels of helplessness and incapacity warrants the assistance of Allah as Allah Ta’ala says:

 

حَتّٰىۤ اِذَا اسْتَیْـَٔسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوْۤا اَ نَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوْا جَآءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا

Until the time came when (even) the rusul grew despondent and thought that they had erred in their understanding, then Our assistance came to them.[23]

 

Similarly, it was on account of the utter despondency of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu at this juncture that the assistance descended and the glad tidings of:

 

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

 

In other words, O Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu! Do not be despondent or sad. Be consoled that our Rabb is with both of us.

Essentially this promise came to pass and both were saved from the evil clutches of the kuffar, and they reached Madina safely. The manner in which the light of Islam shone forth from this point is common knowledge and clearer than the sun. Thus Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu deserves our utmost gratitude and supplications because had it not been for his concern and distress then this outcome would never have materialised. It was on account of this concern and distress that led to the lands of Iran being liberated from the hands of the kuffar, giving the Shia a homeland, but these unappreciative ilk, instead of expressing gratefulness, express such repulsive sentiment towards him, the likes of which no person will articulate for his benefactor.

 

Another Laughable Interpretation of the Shia and its Refutation

At times some become extremely prejudiced and say that up until this point in time Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was exactly as is understood from the Word of Allah but he did not remain the same thereafter. This pseudo-objection does not merit a response rather it would be better for the Shia to never utter such an allegation as this would prompt the Hindu and British to mockingly say: “Farewell to such a deity who is unaware of what is to transpire a few days from now.” Furthermore, if we were to hypothetically accept this (merely relating the outcome of their belief but not ascribing to it) that Allah was unaware of the crimes which Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would later perpetrate and only erroneously uttered these remarks, then it would demand that Allah Ta’ala prove His Word to be true and bring the ‘deceiving’ Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu back to the straight path, by force if need be. After all, this is the Lord and Master of the Universe we are talking about and not some ordinary person, who would sit idly by while his word is proven false. Allah Ta’ala said to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu: “I am with you”, and Allah has also said:

 

لَا تَبْدِیْلَ لِکَلِمٰتِ اللّٰهِ

There is nothing that can change the words (and promises) of Allah.[24]

 

مَا یُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَیَّ

The decision (order) that proceeds from Me shall never be altered.[25]

 

Both verses have the same meaning, which is that the word of Allah does not change. How then is it possible that Allah Ta’ala abandoned Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, such that shaitan then took hold of him or to put it more blatantly that Allah was with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu but then could not withstand the onslaught of shaitan and was forced to abandon him, Allah Ta’ala is indeed pure and above that. Instead it would be more prudent for the Shia to never utter such allegations.

 

The Wording of the Verse Utterly Silences any Shia Response

They fail to understand that firstly the statement:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

 

is such a sentence, that in accordance with Arabic prose, it denotes perpetuity. Those acquainted with Arabic and the laws of balaghah (eloquence) would be well-aware of this, and even to ‘Ammar ‘Ali, this much is absolutely certain.

Secondly, if we were to all accept that this verse does not prove any perpetuity then the Shia will have to admit to the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu jointly shared in the closeness and assistance at that moment. Now, it is absolutely impossible that Allah Ta’ala ever separated from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and abandoned being close to him and assisting him. This implies that the share of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the verse:

Verily Allah is with us.

was in fact perpetual, which would warrant that the share of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu also be perpetual. The reason being that both were referred to in one instance and not separately; the words “مَعِىَ”(with me) and “مَعَكَ” (with you) were not used.

Thirdly, even if we were to overlook all of the above, we will say that the statement of shaitan appears in Surah Sa’d as follows:

 

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَاُغْوِیَنَّهُمْ اَجْمَعِیْنَ  82    اِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِیْنَ    83

He (Iblis) said, “I swear by Your honour! I shall definitely mislead all of them except your sincere slaves amongst them.[26]

 

As they are beyond his reach on account of them being under the refuge of Allah. In Surah al Hijr, after the words: “Except your sincere slaves from amongst them”, Allah by way of attestation to the words of shaitan states:

 

اِنَّ عِبَادِیْ لَیْسَ لَكَ عَلَیهِمْ سُلْطٰنٌ

Indeed you will have no power over My bondsmen.[27]

 

In other words, shaitan is being told that you are truthful in your statement that whoever seeks refuge in Me, you will have no influence over them. Therefore ponder deeply over this verse:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

 

It clearly proves Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu having come into the refuge of Allah, in other words that he has come into the court or within the borders of Allah. So shaitan does not have the ability to remove anybody from this proximity, so then who is there who can remove Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu? If they respond by saying that Allah Himself has removed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then this is in itself incorrect as Allah has said:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یُغَیِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتّٰی یُغَیِّرُوْا مَابِاَنْفُسِهِمْ

Undoubtedly Allah does not change the condition of a nation until they change the condition within themselves.[28]

 

The Impossibility of his Condition Changing

Moreover it was impossible for the condition of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to have changed on account of satanic enticement or deception because it is evident, in fact clearer than the sun, that capability is required in order to carry out any action. In order for one to give charity, generosity is required. Similarly, to march into battle would first require bravery. The same applies in evil and sin as well, it too requires an ability or capability. Thus if that ability did exist within him then Allah Ta’ala removed it. Allah Ta’ala says it so beautifully in the Qur’an:

 

اَلْخَبِیْثٰتُ لِلْخَبِیْثِیْنَ وَ الْخَبِیْثُوْنَ لِلْخَبِیْثٰتِ ۖ     وَ الطَّیِّبٰتُ لِلطَّیِّبِیْنَ وَ الطَّیِّبُوْنَ لِلطَّیِّبٰتِۚ

Impure women are for impure men and impure men are for impure women. Pure women are for pure men and pure men are for pure women.[29]

 

In fact, the statement that was made at this juncture:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

 

establishes that Allah will not be separated from him. The reason being that if the statement:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the believers.

 

Were to have been mentioned after the words:

 

لَا تَحْزَنْ

Do not grieve!

 

Then too we would understand that Allah will only be with us as long as we have iman and iman is a prerequisite for the proximity of Allah. If one were to lose his iman then we would understand that he has lost the proximity to Allah as well. However in this instance, where Allah has not mentioned any condition for His proximity, it will mean that it is perpetual and will never be lost. The connection created through the bonds of blood can never be broken whereas those friendships based upon good character and goodness will remain as long as the good character and goodness prevails. This is the reason why friendships often break but familial ties remain intact. In essence, familial ties are attached to yourself whereas the ties of friendship are attached to acts of virtue. Therefore since Allah said:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

 

And not:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the believers.

 

Or any other expression, whereby it requires a particular quality, it becomes known that the ties of togetherness between Allah and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is attached to his person and not any particular quality (that may be lost tomorrow).

Thus, if the relationship were to change then it would change in accordance with the verse:

 

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یُغَیِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتّٰی یُغَیِّرُوْا مَابِاَنْفُسِهِمْ

Undoubtedly Allah does not change the condition of a nation until they change the condition within themselves.[30]

 

This stipulates that Allah Ta’ala changes the relationship on account of the qualities in a person changing. So when a change in relationship arises it will be on account of those qualities (on which the relationship was based) having changed and not without reason. The corollary of the Shia argument would be that Allah had committed a major oversight for failing to mention the quality upon which the relationship was based (i.e. in the verse: “Verily Allah is with us!”) and instead of saying:

Verily Allah is with the believers.

erroneously said:

Verily Allah is with us.

We seek refuge in Allah from such evil misunderstandings and from ever perceiving that Allah Ta’ala could err or forget. Verily Allah Ta’ala is as described by Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam:

 

لَا یَضِلُّ رَبِّیْ وَ لَا یَنْسَی

My Rabb does not err nor does he forget.[31]

 

The Status of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Objectively, if impartiality were to reign, then the words “With us” would be understood to accord Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu a status close too (but below) that of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is a level of proximity that he has conferred on both of them. This will make it incumbent to award him the title of “al Siddiq al Akbar” and that he be regarded as the most superior of not only this Ummah but of previous nations as well (aside from the prophets’). If it is said that the ceiling of his status was the floor level of that of nubuwwah, which is suitably provided by the fact that he was a partner to the messenger in a certain matter, then both the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia know that there is no station which is linked to the station of nubuwwah other than the station of Siddiqiyyah. The reason being that Allah makes mention of the Siddiqin immediately after the prophets’, which informs us that in every nation there will be a Siddiq whose status will be connected to that of the nabi and fall just under the status of that nabi. Since the nubuwwah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam surpasses that of the other prophets’ so too will the Siddiq of this nation surpass the Siddiqin of all other nations.

This should suffice for the objective and if Allah grants understanding to the prejudiced then only will they understand. Where is it possible for a weak person such as myself to make them understand? However, it is incumbent upon me to mention this much as an advice:

The enemies of those whom Allah has sided with are doomed.

 

Another Shia Diversion

After the discussion above, the only avenue left for one to adopt would be to say that:

 

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

 

is in reality not the speech of Allah but the speech of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Allah is simply narrating it and not speaking from Himself. Whatever emanated from the blessed tongue of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Allah quoted verbatim just as He quoted the statement of Fir’oun:

 

اَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْاَعْلٰی

I am your highest Rabb![32]

 

And the statement of shaitan:

 

اَنَا خَیْرٌ مِّنْهُ

I am better than him.[33]

 

Even though Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was a nabi, he was still a human being and as is well-known, man is prone to mistakes and forgetfulness. So it is not far-fetched that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could have made a mistake.

The answer to this assertion, which must be a source of great pride for the Shia and bringing no less joy for them than the celebration of ‘Id Baba Shaja’ al Din[34], and even though they are prepared to claim a donkey as their father to distance themselves from the truth expounded by the Ahlus Sunnah, they will have to listen to what I say, they need not read the entire Surah but merely this verse:

 

وَمَا یَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوٰی    3      اِنْ هُوَ اِلَّا وَحْیٌ یُّوْحٰی    4

He does not speak of his own desires. Whatever he says is revelation (which Allah has) revealed to him.[35]

 

There is no possibility of whims and fancies, no exaggerated praise or deception nor anything based upon personal understanding.

The third khalifa ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu (according to the Shia) removed verses upon verses from the Qur’an, which expound the virtues and superiority of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the ‘wasi of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’, never mind verses entire surahs proving the legitimacy of his caliphate were removed, so in response, if he were to have removed this one verse, which obviously establishes the excellence of the first khalifa Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then it would be no less then recompensing evil with evil the like thereof or even less than this, since this is all it establishes. So the removal of this one verse would in no way be equal to the removal of the thousands of verses in his honour, especially since the removal of this verse will not result in any right being usurped. Furthermore, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu managed to not only remove these verses from the Qur’an but also remove the honour of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the hearts of the people. Nevertheless, I have strayed far off the topic, this verse makes it clear that the statements of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are the statements of Allah, more so when it pertains to the knowledge of the unseen. Since proximity with Allah is not something visible to the eye it is of the first category of unseen knowledge. This includes the verse:

 

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

 

amongst the mutashabihat, which do not allow the application of logic in their interpretation. Thus, it is impossible for any person to say that many impending events are ascertained through the use of the intellect, such as the possibility of solar or lunar eclipses, so similarly in this case, what harm is there if Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deduced this by use of his intellect.

On the contrary if it were pertaining to some law of prohibition or permission in din then it would be possible to apply ijtihad and there would have been no harm in Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam doing so, just as the Imams of the past had done. The Ahlus Sunnah do indeed believe in the ijtihad of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but when it comes to the verse:

 

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

 

There is no other interpretation except what was clearly mentioned by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as it was all based upon revelation and not the personal opinion or ijtihad of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. There is no interpretation to this verse that can support the perception of the Shia because if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not accepted in the court of Allah, as the Shia believe, but rather he later turned to kufr then Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would never have comforted him in this manner. What would have prompted Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to lie in this manner?

 

The Lame Excuse of Taqiyyah

If anybody were to say that it was taqiyyah (dissimulation), then the response would be that taqiyyah takes place when there is some form of fear. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not a wrestler and nor was Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam a weakling. Leave alone one opponent, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam defeated many wrestlers. Many opportunities to kill Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu presented itself where no questions would be asked.

Secondly, if Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had practiced taqiyyah then he would have sufficed himself with compassionate and kind words. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not limited to these few words of re-assurance, but in terms of speech, he was equipped with great eloquence. After all he was the most eloquent of all, Arabs and non-Arabs alike. If it had been necessary for words of comfort to be used, then there are many other forms of expression at hand and what need was there for deceit.

Furthermore, we seek refuge in Allah that we should have to utter such a thing, but based on the Shia view, if he was coerced into such deceit, then our argument would be that he could have used an insinuation instead. In place of:

 

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

 

He could have said:

 

إِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the believers.

 

This would have served as an assurance and the matter would have been closed and resolved, and in so doing Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have been saved from deceit.

If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was indeed a hypocrite, Allah forbid, then by this statement he would think that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regards him as a believer and friend, and if on the other hand he was a true believer, who later abandoned Islam then Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would still be true in his statement. Allah Ta’ala never forgets, so as long as he would remain a believer Allah would be with him and once iman left his heart then Allah Ta’ala would have also abandoned him.

 

Explanation of the Term “صاحبه” and the Claim that it Does not Have the Same Meaning of Sahabi

After this explanation, I will conclude with a caution. It should be borne in mind that certain enemies of intellect might experience the following difficulty and claim that Allah Ta’ala says:

 

وَمَآ اَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَّسُوْلٍ اِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمهٖ

We sent every Rasul with the language of his nation so that he may clearly explain to them.[36]

 

Thus, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would then speak in accordance with the rules of the Arabic language and as a result of this principle we see that the Noble Qur’an also articulates itself in accordance with this usage. Thus the word “صاحب” (sahib) only means to accompany and it will be unjust to award it the same meaning as Sahabi, because the word Sahabi according to the Shari’ah refers to a person who has in a state of iman remained in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, whether it be for a little or long while. According to certain ‘ulama in order for a person to be considered a Sahabi, he would have had to remain in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for a long period. Whatever the case may be, the point is that the concept of iman is inherent to the word Sahabi and not to the word “صاحب” (sahib). In short, iman is synonymous with the word Sahabi and, firstly, the word sahib is no technical definition in the Shari’ah whereas in Shari’ah the word that is used is Sahabi. Secondly, even if we were to accept that the word sahib is also employed as a technical term, the fact remains that the Qur’an was revealed in conformity to the Arabic language and not in conformity to technical definitions. Thirdly, even if we were to believe that the companionship of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is established from the word of Allah and that it is also an implicit indication of his iman, where in this verse does it state that he will remain with iman until his death. Thus this verse will not refute those who claim that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had forsaken Islam later.

 

Even if Sahib Does not Have the Same Meaning as Sahabi There is no Harm

The answer to these arguments is that the establishment of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu iman and him remaining steadfast thereupon has been established through the connation of the blessed words:

 

اِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِیْنَ  82

Except your sincere slaves amongst them.[37]

 

As well as the words:

 

اِنَّ عِبَادِیْ لَیْسَ لَكَ عَلَیْهِمْ سُلْطٰنٌ

Indeed you will have no power over My bondsmen.[38]

 

This has already been discussed at length and there is no need for repetition. Thus, when his iman is established from the above mentioned verse and companionship is established from the word sahib in the verse, then what meaning of Sahabi is then found wanting? In this case, even if the word sahib does not have the same meaning as Sahabi it matters not. Furthermore, the meaning of the word sahib being known while the term Sahabi only being used in the technical sense; this usage is defined to this age only. Even if it did apply in the era of nubuwwah then too it would be similar to the manner in which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was known by the name Muhammad but Nabi ‘Isa ’alayh al-Salam gave the glad tidings of the coming of Ahmed, as is mentioned in Surah al Saff. In essence, when two words are synonymous, it is no problem for the less common word to be used instead of the more common one.

As far as the Qur’an being revealed in accordance with the common usage of Arabic diction, this does not mean that every word Allah Ta’ala uses has to carry the meaning which the Arabs commonly assign to it. The word salah, zakat, sowm and Hajj are all examples of words that do not have their literal meaning but rather a technical definition in Shari’ah. Thus the word sahib has been used in the same light.

 

The Correct Implication

The general rule is that whenever a new nabi is sent then he comes with new laws and many a time to understand these new laws, one needs to understand all related issues as well; since most of it was not known before. So it is not necessary for every word to have the same meaning that it is used for in that language. However, every language has its own laws. When it is difficult to convey a certain concept then it uses commonly used words of that language to convey its theme but now that word will have an additional meaning. Those well-acquainted with the Arabic language will understand both the old and new meanings of words like sowm, salah, etc. This is how the word sahib or Sahabi should be understood. Thus, one needs to understand the linguistic meaning of sahib and then its technical meaning in Shari’ah as well. Even though the word sahib is normally used in its linguistic meaning and the word Sahabi is used with the technical meaning, at the same time, the word sahib is also used for the second meaning (of Sahabi) but only if ascribed to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, there should be no confusion as to when the word sahib is used with the technical meaning in Shari’ah. The people who study the hadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will understand this easily.

Therefore any word mentioned in the Qur’an or hadith with the technical definition in mind; it would be utterly preposterous to then consider it using its linguistic meaning. Words like salah, zakat, sowm, etc, need to be understood according to their technical definition of Shari’ah and very rarely are they used with their linguistic meanings in mind.

If for arguments sake, we were to accept that the word “صاحبه” which is derived from the word sahib is not intended for its technical definition then too according to common usage it will still be attached to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, because during the time of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whenever the word was used, even by non-believers, they used it to refer to the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It did not mean that the person referred to was their companion, instead they meant that he was the companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They would say that he deserted our religion and chose the religion of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

The Word “Sahib” has Extra Merit when Compared to the Word “Sahabi”

In actual fact, the word “sahib” having its linguistic meaning here will add more meaning to the verse as opposed to its technical definition. The explanation of this is that in this instance the word “sahib” will only mean companion and it will refer to the companionship hinted at in the beginning of the verse:

 

اِذْ هُمَا فِی الْغَارِ

When they were in the cave.

 

In this instance the meaning of the verse will be:

Our support came when both of them were in the cave and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was saying to his companion…

It is obvious that such companionship is required at this time which is most sincere, and the sincerity and spirit of sacrifice shown by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu on this hour cannot be equaled by anyone nor can it be denied. If Allah did not make mention of this companionship here then too it would not matter as it had become so well-known that it had become an adage. The Shia can deny it and in their hearts they know that his companionship to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at this moment cannot be equaled by anyone. Even Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself did not regard anyone’s friendship to be greater than Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In the same manner the friendship and companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam outweighed all others in the eyes of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In this manner, he is considered to be the best amongst the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and why should he not when Allah Ta’ala has announced him being the companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the cave and his title of Al Siddiq has become so common that even his enemies know this to be his title.

 

Shia Attempts to Undermine the Right of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Caliphate

One might argue that even if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the best Sahabi, it does not matter as the right of caliphate belonged to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu since he was the cousin of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his son-in-law too, and according to the norms of society the son-in-law is as good as a son, therefore the caliphate belonged to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. At the least, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu should have made a bequest for the caliphate to pass to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu after his demise but he did no such thing. Instead he made a bequest in favour of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The reply to this is that such confusion comes about when one equates caliphate to the hereditary rule of a kingdom. However, for the people of understanding it is clear that caliphate after nubuwwah is one of the greatest pillars of din, whereas hereditary rule is one of the worst concepts in matters of worldly affairs. Therefore, one cannot equate the highest level of din to worldly matters when there is a distinctive difference between the two.

If one compares the khalifas of the prophets’ with the khalifas of knowledge then that analogy might work since knowledge is also a part of din. However, here too it is common knowledge that there is no hereditary rule. It is on account of aptitude and perfection that one is selected. The word caliphate too suggests the same, as it means deputyship. A deputy is one who is capable of fulfilling the duty of the represented individual. If a number of people are capable of carrying out this duty then precedence will be granted to the one who surpasses the others. Thus, when Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu has been established to be the best after the prophets’ then how is it possible for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be more deserving of the right to caliphate? Yes! Most certainly ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also deserves the post of caliphate but it will be in order of superiority. As for the accusation of usurping the caliphate, I ask you that when Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had the most right to be khalifa that what is wrong if he took the post? It was after all his right, so whose right did he usurp? Furthermore, those who are well-versed with the incidents of history, will be able to inform you whether the caliphate was thrust on his shoulders by the Sahaba or whether he snatched it all by himself?

As far as him appointing ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his successor after him, firstly it needs to be understood again that hereditary has no role in the appointment of a khalifa. If it did then Fatima radiya Llahu ‘anha and after her, Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have a greater right than ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As far as them being a woman or children then it should be noted that in many kingdoms women and children still rule while they are assisted by others.

In summary, even if caliphate were to be determined through ancestry, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would still not have the greatest right to rule and more so it would not have been his right at the time of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Furthermore, it would still not have been his right when he eventually became the khalifa, as Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu were both alive at the time. However, if caliphate is like nubuwwah and not akin to the hereditary rule of kingdoms, such that the most qualified and most superior are chosen to rule, then what is wrong with ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu suggesting that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu be the khalifa, if he had not done so then someone else would have? If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not the most superior then most certainly this objection would have merit.

 
 

NEXT⇒ Chapter Two


[1] Surah al Baqarah: 121

[2] Surah al Ma’idah: 83

[3] Surah al Hijr: 9

[4] Surah Al ‘Imran: 9

[5] Surah al Baqarah: 255

[6] Surah Maryam: 64

[7] Surah Taha: 52

[8]Al Kafi

[9] Surah al Ahqaf: 30

[10] Surah al Nahl: 89

[11] Surah al Ma’idah: 48

[12] Surah al Hijr: 9

[13] Surah al Baqarah: 85

[14] Surah Yusuf: 40

[15] Surah al Hijr: 9

[16] Surah Taubah: 40

[17] Surah al Naml: 10

[18] Surah Yusuf: 86

[19] Surah Ha Mim Sajdah: 30

[20] Surah Ha Mim Sajdah: 54

[21] Surah al Taubah: 123

[22] Surah al Anfal: 30

[23] Surah Yusuf: 110

[24] Surah Yunus: 64

[25] Surah Qaf: 29

[26] Surah Sad: 82

[27] Surah al Hijr: 42

[28] Surah al Ra’d: 11

[29] Surah al Nur: 26

[30] Surah Ra’d: 11

[31] Surah Taha: 52

[32] Surah al Nazi’at: 24

[33] Surah Sad: 76

[34] ’Id Baba Shaja’ al Din is a Shi’i custom wherein they celebrate and rejoice upon the martyrdom of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab I at the hands of the Zoroastrian Abu Luʼluʼ, whom they have awarded the honorary title of Baba Shaja’ al Din.

[35] Surah al Najm: 3,4

[36] Surah Ibrahim: 4

[37] Surah Sad: 82

[38] Surah al Hijr: 42

 

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