Chapter Three – Status of Sahaba – Surah Fath

Chapter Two – Khilafa – shia beliefs
December 23, 2014
Chapter Four – Shia beliefs – Allah – Bada
December 23, 2014

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Chapter three

 

The lofty status of the Sahaba in the light of the verse of Surah al Fath

At this juncture, it is possible that some of the Shia might present the following argument:

 

We accept that the three Khalifas were on the truth and in their respective eras they were the most virtuous, however when the caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrived then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the most virtuous and the rightful khalifa, as per the verse discussed above:

 

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَیَسْتَخْلِفَنّهُمْ فِی الْاَرْضِ کَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِیْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِیْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضٰی لَهُمْ وَ لَیُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِّنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ اَمْنًاۚ   یَعْبُدُوْنَنِیْ لَا یُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَیْئًاۚ   وَ مَنْ کَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ هُمُ الْفٰسِقُوْنَ    55

Allah has promised those of you who have iman and who do good actions that He will definitely make them successors (rulers) on earth just as He had made those before them successors. And He will certainly grant (great) strength to the Din that He has chosen for them and will certainly replace their fear with peace (on condition that) they worship Me and do not ascribe any as partner to Me. Those who are ungrateful after this are sinful indeed.[1]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah also believe and accept this. Therefore, in this instance, we do not understand how his opponents can also be accepted servants in the court of Allah. We find the Ahlus Sunnah accepting all of the Sahaba, whether they opposed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or not, especially Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The Ahlus Sunnah also regard ‘Aʼishah radiya Llahu ‘anha to have been given glad tidings of Jannat.

 

Thus, it is necessary that the testimony of Allah in favour of the Sahaba be explained and the misconceptions of the Shia be cleared.

In Surah al Fath, Allah has praised and lauded Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Sahaba in the following manner:

 

مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِۚ   وَ الَّذِیْنَ مَعَهۤ اَشِدَّآ ءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآ ءُ بَیْنَهُمْ ۖ   تَرٰىهُمْ رُکَّعًا سُجَّدًا یَّبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَ رِضْوَانًا ۖ     سِیْمَاهُمْ فِیْ وُجُوْهِهِمْ مِّنْ اَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ ۚ

Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Allah’s Rasul and those with him (the Sahaba) are stern against the kuffar and compassionate among themselves. You will see them sometimes bowing, sometimes prostrating; seeking Allah’s bounty and His pleasure. Their hallmark (by which they are recognised) is their faces bear the marks of prostration.[2]

 

The crux of this verse is that Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the Rasul of Allah, his servant and messenger; he is not a magician or fortune-teller. His companions are severe and firm against the kuffar and are soft and compassionate to each other, you will see them bowing in ruku’ and prostrating in sajdah. Their objective always is the pleasure of Allah. There are signs on their foreheads due to the effects of their prostration.

 

The loftiest status after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is that of the Sahaba, and the status after risalat is that of “hating for the sake of Allah”

This was the meaning of the verse, now listen to the explanation of its purport by this unworthy one. Firstly, Allah praised Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and thereafter Allah praised the Sahaba. So we understand and can conclude from this that the Sahaba hold the loftiest rank in this Ummah after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Similarly the descriptive quality used in praise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was risalat, which is the loftiest quality, and thereafter the descriptive quality used when praising the Sahaba will accordingly be the loftiest quality thereafter. Here we notice that Allah used the word “Rasulullah” when describing Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but when describing the Sahaba, Allah mentioned:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَیْنَهُمْ

Stern against the kuffar and compassionate among themselves.

 

We understand from this that after risalat, the highest status is that of “loving for Allah’s pleasure” and “hating for Allah’s pleasure”, since hating or having enmity towards someone for the sake of Allah is the translation of “Stern against the kuffar” and loving for the sake of Allah is the translation of “Compassionate amongst themselves”.

This conforms to the hadith which is found in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah, the crux of which is:

The one who gives for the sake of Allah, who holds back for the sake of Allah, who loves for the sake of Allah, and who hates for the sake of Allah, has perfected his iman.

It is an absolute fact that the ahadith of the Ahlus Sunnah always conform in totality to the Noble Qur’an, whereas the so-called ahadith of the Shia are such that it always contradicts the Qur’an. The Qur’an says something and their so-called ahadith say the opposite, a few examples of such ahadith of theirs has already been given, regarding which the readers are already well aware.

 

The wisdom of first mentioning the quality of “Hatred for Allah” before the other qualities

Here is a sublime point which needs to be understood, in the hadith we find that “loving for the sake of Allah” is mentioned first and thereafter “hatred for the sake of Allah” but in the Qur’an we find the words referring to “hatred for the sake of Allah” (i.e. stern against the kuffar) mentioned first. What is the underlying wisdom behind this?

What comes to the mind of this person of low understanding, is that “loving for the sake of Allah” and “hating for the sake of Allah” are effects of the love one has for Allah.

In other words, when one‘s love for Allah has reached perfection then that love now spreads forth and wherever it finds anything which is attached or linked to Allah, then according to the degree of attachment it has with Allah, this person also begins to love it.

 

Loving those attached or linked to the beloved is also loving the beloved

For example, from all humans, the greatest link and attachment to Allah is that of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so when the person who has complete love for Allah hears about this link of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with Allah, then most definitely he will also begin to love him. Similarly, he will love those people who have an attachment and link with Allah, after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, according to the degree of attachment they have with Allah.

Similarly, the places that have a link and attachment to Allah will be loved by him as well. For example, the Ka’bah has the greatest link, so he will love the Ka’bah the most, thereafter the al Masjid al Nabawi, and thereafter al Bayt al Muqaddas. The same will apply to deeds and actions, character and etiquette.

In short, according to the degree of attachment that exists between a certain person or thing and Allah, accordingly, the lovers of Allah will be attached to those persons or things.

 

Loving those attached or linked to the beloved is actually part of the love one has for the beloved

For example, when it comes to superficial love, we see that when a person loves someone, he also loves the beloved’s relatives and well wishers. In fact, he also begins to love those residing in the same street or alley as the beloved. Just as the amount of sunlight entering a room from the window will be according to the size of the window, similarly the amount of love one has for the entities attached or linked to the beloved will be according to degree of attachment between those entities and the beloved. However, this love is not a separate love, rather it is part of the love one has for the beloved; just like the sunlight entering into the room is part of the sunlight which is out of the room and not a separate or different light.

 

Having hatred for those who intend evil for the beloved is not a part of loving the beloved but it is the necessary outcome of this love.

On the contrary, the enmity one harbours towards those who intend evil towards the beloved is the necessary outcome of this love, but it is not a part of that love. In other words, the love one has for the beloved demands that one also hates those who intend evil for the beloved, but this hatred is not an integral part of loving the beloved. In fact, it is not even of the same category. Just like a shadow, when there is some wall or other object blocking the sunlight then we find a shadow being created on the other side. This shadow is not part of the sunlight, in fact it is not even of the same genus as the sunlight, but it is definitely a necessary outcome of the sunlight, on condition that there is a barrier.

Based on the above discussion, we can understand that those who love Allah will most definitely hate those who are the enemies of Allah, but this hatred is not part of their love for Allah, rather it is the necessary outcome of this love for Allah.

The love one has for the auliya’ (friends of Allah) is actually part of the love one has for Allah, it is not some separate entity. Therefore when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised these qualities of “loving for the sake of Allah” and “hating for the sake of Allah”, he mentioned loving for the sake of Allah first and hating for the sake of Allah second, because this is the required sequence.

In the Noble Qur’an on the other hand, Allah is not praising these two qualities, instead He is praising those who have these two qualities.

 

When praising someone, the natural order is to begin with the lesser quality, then the greater one and finally the greatest quality

The general practice when praising a person who has different qualities is to begin with the quality which is of a lesser degree, then to mention the one of more importance or significance and thereafter the one which is most important or significant, so that each quality can be valued accordingly. If the most important or most significant quality is mentioned first, one will not value the lesser qualities mentioned thereafter, which are also part of the praiseworthy qualities being mentioned.

Also worth remembering is that a quality in itself is either good or bad, and the person himself is not good or bad; being good or bad depends on the quality found in him.

If good or evil qualities are being discussed then the most important or most significant quality will be mentioned first but when the good or evil qualities of a person are being discussed then it will be mentioned in sequence and the order will be reversed (i.e. the lesser quality will be mentioned first).

When the question is about the difference in status between two sets of qualities found in two entities, for example which one has more qualities or which one has less, or which one has better qualities and which one has lesser qualities, then this is in fact discussing and praising the qualities itself, therefore the order used will be the same order used when discussing just the qualities (whereby the most significant will be mentioned first). This is why Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was mentioned first and thereafter the Sahaba (in the verse under discussion).

In short, the first quality mentioned in the verse regarding the Sahaba is the lesser of their noble qualities enumerated in this verse, namely:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ

Stern against the kuffar.

 

To love is easy, but to hate is difficult, especially when it is one’s own relatives

Since loving is easy because one is naturally inclined towards the one who loves him, loving for the sake of Allah cannot be truly gauged. On the contrary, displaying hatred or enmity is difficult, especially since the one whom you have enmity for will in turn have enmity for you and oppose you.

Therefore hating for the sake of Allah is regarded as a sign of complete iman, especially when this hatred is for ones relatives, as this is even more difficult.

So if in general hatred for the sake of Allah is a sign of complete and perfect iman, then hatred for the sake of Allah when directed to one’s own relatives, will be regarded as a sign of extra-complete and absolutely perfect iman.

When we look at the verses prior to this we come to know that this hatred for the sake of Allah refers to hatred for ones relatives, since the verse before this reads:

 

لَقَدْ صَدَقَ اللّٰهُ رَسُوْلَهُ الرُّءْیَا بِالْحَقِّۖ   لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ اِنْ شَآءَ اللّٰهُ اٰمِنِیْنَ

Verily, Allah shall make the dream of His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam come precisely true, when Allah wills, you (Sahaba with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) shall definitely enter the al Masjid al Haram in peace.[3]

 

This was revealed to console and comfort the Sahaba and to remove their grief, and the grief at that point was the grief caused on the occasion of Hudaybiyyah.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned after signing a treaty with the kuffar and their hopes of entering the Haram were crushed, leaving their most ardent desire, especially of the muhajirin, unfulfilled. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had seen a dream that they were performing Tawaf around the Ka’bah in peace and safety, and they thought it would materialise that very year. As a result, the hearts of the Sahaba were filled with such joy and happiness as cannot be explained. However, all this happiness and joy was turned into grief and sorrow.

At that moment, the state of the Sahaba was such that if it were not for their obedience to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they would have attacked and destroyed all the kuffar of Makkah, without worrying about relations or considering family ties. The muhajirin, who were related to the kuffar of Makkah, were ready to kill them due to their intense love for Allah and in order to please Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

When the above incident, together with the previous verse and the verse under discussion:

 

مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِۚ   وَ الَّذِیْنَ مَعَهۤ اَشِدَّآ ءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآ ءُ بَیْنَهُمْ ۖ   تَرٰىهُمْ رُکَّعًا سُجَّدًا یَّبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَ رِضْوَانًا ۖ     سِیْمَاهُمْ فِیْ وُجُوْهِهِمْ مِّنْ اَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ ۚ

Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Allah’s Rasul and those with him (the Sahaba) are stern against the kuffar and compassionate among themselves. You will see them sometimes bowing, sometimes prostrating; seeking Allah’s bounty and His pleasure. Their hallmark (by which they are recognised) their faces bear the marks of prostration.

 

are read together, then the scenario is created of the Sahaba having intense anger at every disbeliever, who is an enemy of Allah and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but this verse especially points to their anger against the kuffar of Makkah on the occasion of Hudaybiyyah.

Since the muhajirin were the relatives of these kuffar of Makkah, the words:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ

Stern against the kuffar.

is a sign of their extra-complete absolutely perfect iman.

 

Furthermore, when we have understood that the first quality mentioned here is the lowest of their sublime qualities and that the lowest of their qualities in fact points to their extra-complete and absolutely perfect iman; what can be said about the remaining qualities mentioned thereafter?

Since we are all aware that the muʼminin with complete iman are few in number, it is not an easy task for every person to achieve this state of absolute perfection.

 

The Sahaba are stern against shaitan and their inner selves

Moreover making mention of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam first and the Sahaba second points out that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam holds the first position in the ummah and the Sahaba the second. So we can conclude that the Sahaba are the loftiest of the “sincere slaves” to such an extent that shaitan can never ever reach them. In fact, since shaitan is the chief of the kuffar and the Sahaba are:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ

Stern against the kuffar.

 

so they will be even more stern, firm and severe against shaitan. Similarly, the nafs (inner-self) is also the enemy of din, in fact it is the greatest enemy such that even shaitan takes the assistance from the nafs of man because if the nafs does not give in to shaitan, he cannot do anything.

In short, the Sahaba‘s enmity and sternness will be even more towards shaitan and the nafs, since hating the enemies of Allah is proportionate to the enmity these enemies have for Allah; the more their enmity, the more the Sahaba hate them.

As for other “sincere slaves”, shaitan has no sway over them, but for the Sahaba there was not even the fear of it happening, since the Sahaba rendered him helpless. No wonder he would flee from them. Perhaps, this is the reason that shaitan used to flee from the shadow of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, because he was a ‘fatal poison’ for the kuffar and the quality:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ

Stern against the kuffar.

 

was prevalent in him more than anyone else. Can shaitan ever mislead the one from whom he flees?

In this manner, the necessary outcome is that no difference will come in their ibadah (worship), and there will not be any show, insincerity, etc, since these spiritual sicknesses are the result of these two evil forces (shaitan and the nafs) and when these two have come under control, what is left to mislead man?

 

If someone errs due to some misunderstanding, not due to the effects of shaitan and the nafs, then too there is hope of him receiving reward

If any wrong action were to be committed, then it will only be due to misunderstanding. Therefore one should be rewarded on that also. For example: Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam grabbed the hair of Nabi Harun ’alayh al-Salam in anger, whereas there was no error on the part of Nabi Harun ‘alayh al-Salam. This is definitely not regarded as a crime, and there will be no punishment for such an action, instead there is hope of reward, since the cause for such an action was love of Allah and hating for the sake of Allah, and these two qualities are praiseworthy qualities. In fact, they rank as one of the highest amongst the praiseworthy qualities. On the other hand, we know that the true basis of an action is not determined on its outer form, as then everybody will be rewarded equally for their salah. We are therefore totally convinced that Nabi Musa  ’alayh al-Salam will be rewarded on his action.

Yes, this is also true that after being informed of the error there was regret. This regret was because of the error, and it does not mean that because there was regret, the action is evil to the extent that it demands punishment.

The reason being that the action in itself might have been wrong, but due to the overpowering good intention it becomes good, just like a slap is regarded as something bad, but the slap of a friend causes a type of freshness and awakening to a grieved heart, due to it being done out of love.

 

The disputes amongst the Sahaba were not due to the effects of shaitan and the nafs but due to this same hatred for the sake of Allah

In short, when it has come to light that shaitan and the nafs of the Sahaba were subdued, then if any inappropriate action did take place on their part, in all likelihood it stemmed from misunderstanding. In this instance the action in itself might have been bad but it was not driven by ill-will. Shaitan and the nafs, which normally has its part in inciting evil, did not have any part in this action coming about. Instead the power of their iman was the major factor which caused this to take place. So now because of the overpowering good intention and strength of iman, the evil of the action was overwhelmed, like a few grams of sugar or salt in a well or a river.

So just as Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam grabbing the hair of his brother was a result of hatred for the sake of Allah, similarly the disputes amongst the Sahaba were also based upon this same “Hatred for the sake of Allah”. However, just as Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam erred by using this “Hatred for the sake of Allah” in an inappropriate place, similarly the Sahaba erred by exercising this extreme “Hatred for the sake of Allah” and committed an error, as they did not understand the reality of the matter. In such an instance they will not be taken to task, instead they will be rewarded.

Yes, if such an act transpires which is not spurred on by hatred for the sake of Allah or by any other good quality, and instead it is such a thing upon which there can be no reward and it can only be regarded as permissible, then there will not be any reward. However, at the same time they will not be taken to task, on account of it having taken place due to a misunderstanding.

 

The nafs can be subdued, but its nature cannot change

There also exists this possibility that now and then, very rarely, due to the human instinct, an inappropriate act transpires. The reason for this is that although shaitan does not have any sway over the “sincere slaves” of Allah and the nafs may also have been subdued and it now obeys him, it is still just like an elephant which hates the human being but has been subdued and overpowered. It may obey the human being but the elephant after all is still an elephant, it did not transform into a human being by the human subduing it, so sometimes it still displays its true nature.

Similarly, the nafs although subdued and overpowered due to firm iman and intense love for Allah, after all it is still the nafs and naturally incites one towards evil and vice.

 

The basis of good is the ruh and the basis of evil is the nafs

Let us explain this in detail, when we find in the body the four different conditions: i.e. heat, cold, wetness and dryness, we learn that the body is made up of the root or basis of those four conditions, i.e. fire, air, water and sand. Similarly, when we see that the human is sometimes inclined towards good and sometimes inclined towards evil, we understand that the human is made up of the root or basis of these two conditions.

However, as in the case of the four elements, each element has its own special condition, the condition of another element is not found in this element, and if it has to be found then it would only be temporary, like water which gets hot. Similarly with regards to the basis or root of good and evil, each one has its own condition, and if one is found in the other then it is only temporary.

Once we have accepted this, now let us explain further:

The root of good is the ruh (soul) and the root of evil is the nafs. The ruh in itself is the root of good and if it is overpowered such that evil emits from it, then it will be said to be a temporary state. The nafs on the other hand is in itself the root of evil and if it gets overpowered such that good emits from it, then it will also be regarded to be a temporary state.

 

The ruh is an entity from the realm of malaʼikah and the nafs is from the circle of the shayateen

Going further, from the heat in the body we come to know of a ‘piece of fire’ found in the body, and we say that the root of this fire is the ‘region of fire’. Allah, through His unlimited power, has brought the ‘piece of fire’ from its origin and placed it within the body of the human being. Similarly, when we see the inclination to do good, firstly we understand that there is something within the human which is the basis or root of this good, thereafter we understand that it has its roots in the circles of the malaʼikah (angels), regarding whom Allah has declared:

 

لَّا یَعْصُوْنَ اللّٰهَ مَآ اَمَرَهُمْ وَ یَفْعَلُوْنَ مَا یُؤْمَرُوْنَ      6

They never disobey what Allah commands them and carry out exactly what they are instructed.[4]

 

The gist of this is that their speciality is doing good.

Furthermore, when we see a person inclined to evil, we firstly understand that there is within him a ‘piece’ of something which is specifically for evil, thereafter we figure out that the root of this ‘piece’ is from the circle of shayateen, regarding whom Allah says:

 

وَکَانَ الشَّیْطٰنُ لِرَبِّهٖ کَفُوْرًا    27

And shaitan was ever ungrateful to his Rabb.[5]

 

The gist of this is that shaitan was always disobedient to Allah, which means that shaitan’s specific quality is evil and disobedience.

In short, the ruh is something from the realm of malaʼikah and the nafs is from the circle of shayateen, and Allah has through His unlimited power gathered the two in one place, just like how a parrot and a crow are placed in one cage.

 

The various stages of good or evil through which the human passes are due to the effect of the angels or shaitan

Just as in the human body the four elements gain strength from its origin, similarly the ruh and nafs also gain strength from its origin, i.e. the malaʼikah and the shayateen. This is also borne out by certain ahadith. Logic also dictates that on different occasions, when either good or bad is dominant, it is either the effect of the malaʼikah or of the shayateen, because if this were not the case then only the natural inclination of man would have remained.

In short, if the natural condition goes away, then it goes away due to some outer force, so the inclination to do good can only be attributed to the assistance of the malaʼikah and inclination to evil can only be from the effect of the shayateen.

 

When the nafs is brought under control then the level of “Stern upon the kuffar” is attained

In light of this, if at any time the desire to do good becomes dominant and as a result one becomes absorbed in carrying out good deeds, resulting in the effects of the ruh rubbing off on to the nafs, just as when a fire is lit beneath a pot of water whereby the heat of the fire warms the water and removes its inherent quality of coolness. Here too the ruh assists the inner-self in the same manner and just as the water (after heating) is able to carry out the same task as the fire, so too here will the nafs be able to act in the same manner as the ruh. Thus, when the ruh is dominant then the nafs is controlled and one attains the level of “Stern against the kuffar”, wherein shaitan no longer has any grip upon a person. In this event the same control which he once had no longer remains.

 

When the nafs is controlled then too do not trust

However, just as we have no choice and control over another, such as in the case with a slave or servant whereby we can only instruct them to carry out a task but not will them to do it, and it is by their choice that they carry it out; so too shaitan desists from whispering to the nafs. Nevertheless, when the nafs is brought under control or suppressed it becomes submissive to the ruh. However, the nafs is after all the nafs, and just as water is still water regardless of how hot it may be, such that the hot water is still able to extinguish the fire in the same way as cold water, and the heat of the water too is temporary such that if the fire is extinguished or the pot removed from the fire then the water will immediately begin to cool; in the same manner, if the nafs is neglected for even a moment, it will return to its normal state.

 

A person can never remain in one state

It is impossible to remain in one state, especially such a creation regarding whom Allah Ta’ala has said:

 

وَ لَقَدْ عَهِدْنَآ اِلٰی اٰدَمَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَنَسِیَ وَ لَمْ نَجِدْ لَه عَزْمًا 115

We certainly commanded Adam ’alayh al-Salam before, but he forgot and We did not find him to be determined (to remember what We had told him).[6]

 

Since these qualities were found in Nabi Adam ‘alayh al-Salam, it will be found in varying quantities in all human beings. The reason for this is that in procreation certain qualities of the essence still remain. In human beings there is essence of human being; in horses there is the essence of horses and in donkeys there is the essence of donkeys and so on. When the essential quality remains then all those that will be the siblings created from it will have the same qualities like that of the source. Therefore all qualities of Nabi Adam ’alayh al-Salam will be found in varying quantities in all human beings. As the saying goes:

A child reflects the qualities of his father.

So if all human beings cannot remain in one state then at times one might slip in guarding the nafs and it may begin to incline towards its natural state, resulting in some error or the other being committed.

As far as the thought of changing the reality of the nafs to act permanently as the ruh, this is impossible. Allah Ta’ala says:

 

لَا تَبْدِیْلَ لِخَلْقِ اللّٰهِ

There can be no change to Allah’s creation.[7]

 

There is a vast difference between those sins committed when overpowered by the nafs and those committed when the nafs has been overpowered

In essence, one can never be free from forgetfulness or error but the sin committed in this case is not equal to the sin committed when the nafs is dominant and the ruh has no effect on it, and instead the nafs affects the ruh. The reason for this difference is that one was not deficient in any way as he is only required to make his ruh dominant and suppress his nafs. It is not his duty or in his capacity to transform the nafs into the ruh (such that it only commands him to do good), since this is beyond his capacity. When a person has done all in his capability, is he not worthy of forgiveness? Allah Ta’ala himself says:

 

لَا یُکَلِّفُ اللّٰهُ نَفْسًا اِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

Allah does not compel any one beyond his ability.

 

Therefore we have firm belief and conviction that in this case when one perpetrates sin in error, even though it is still a sin, Allah through His all-encompassing mercy and the afore-mentioned promise will forgive him.

It is possible that the errors in judgement committed by the prophets’ are of this category, for which they were reprimanded, or it may fall under the category- Hassanat al Abrar Sayyi’at al Mukarrabin, in other words what may be conspired to be commendable for the layman is deemed inappropriate for the close servants of Allah.

 

Those who are stern against the kuffar may err but shaitan cannot gain control over them

At this juncture, I wish to highlight that Allah Ta’ala praised the Sahaba with this description, that they are:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَیْنَهُمْ

Stern against the kuffar and compassionate among themselves.

 

and then too with such qualities that it ranks immediately after risalat. These qualities by no means indicate that they cannot commit any sin or error. It will only be impossible if those described to possess this quality were capable of changing the reality of the nafs. It is also evident that those who possess this quality cannot remain in one state, and how is it possible for them to remain in one state when they possess in themselves two opposing states which are literally enemies of each other? It suffices for them that shaitan cannot gain control over them and Allah Ta’ala will remove evil and vice from their path. Allah Ta’ala mentioned this to be the reason for removing evil and vice from Nabi Yusuf ‘alayh al-Salam, namely that he was a chosen servant of Allah.

 

کَذٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوْۤءَ وَالْفَحْشَآءَۚ     اِنَّه مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِیْنَ  24

In this manner, so as to avert evil and immorality from him. Indeed he was from Our sincere bondsmen.[8]

 

Thus, it is not necessary that those who are described as severe and stern against the kuffar and compassionate amongst themselves, should not and cannot have any faults.

 

The quality of being stern against the kuffar and compassionate amongst each other, necessitates sincerity and negates the possibility of boastfulness

At the same time it is necessary that they not be lethargic in performing ibadah and boastfulness should have no place in their actions. If he seeks anything from his ibadah then he seeks the pleasure of Allah, if his gaze is upon anything it is the virtues of Allah. This is why Allah Ta’ala followed mention of these two qualities (stern against the kuffar and compassionate amongst each other) with another two qualities:

 

تَرٰىهُمْ رُکَّعًا سُجَّدًا یَّبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَ رِضْوَانًاؗ   سِیْمَاهُمْ فِیْ وُجُوْهِهِمْ مِّنْ اَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ

You will see them sometimes bowing, sometimes prostrating; seeking Allah’s bounty and His pleasure. Their hallmark (by which they are recognised is) their faces bear the marks of prostration.

 

Even the most honourable at times can regard good to be evil due to misinterpretation

After having understood the above explanation, I wish to enlighten the Shia scholars that many a time even the most honourable and high ranking can misinterpret a good action to be evil. Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam who was the nabi of his time misinterpreted the action of Khidar ’alayh al-Salam damaging the boat to be wrong.

He understood this to be opposing the Shari’ah, so much so that he condemned him by saying:

 

لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَیْئًا اِمْرًا

Indeed, you have perpetrated a grave act.[9]

 

This was despite the fact that Khidar ’alayh al-Salam did nothing wrong, in fact he did something commendable. If he had not broken the boat then it would have been seized by the king.

In the same manner, if some Shia scholars have misinterpreted the actions of a few of the Sahaba, for example the issue of not giving the land of Fadak, or any other action for that matter, and regard it to be wrong, even though in reality it was not, then it would not be something unperceivable.

If one were to say that Khidar salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was under divine inspiration and therefore it would make sense for others not to understand him, whereas Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not under any divine inspiration, then we say that this line of thinking is also incorrect. We would like to remind you of the anger of Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam at his brother, Nabi Harun ‘alayh al-Salam, and the manner in which he grabbed hold of his head and beard, which he did because he was not aware of the actual events that had transpired. So if Fatima radiya Llahu ‘anha too had not been aware of the actual events, what harm is there? In this even there is no question of divine inspiration and Nabi Harun ’alayh al-Salam committed no error. If the Shia insist that such an error from her is impossible on account of her being infallible then it should be noted that Fatima radiya Llahu ‘anha is only considered to be infallible by the Shia, whereas Nabi Musa ’alayh al-Salam is regarded as such by both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia.

If you do not accept this as well then this unworthy one has clarified in the preceding pages that the pious and sincere servants of Allah at times can err and these errors in no way negates their piety. Piety is one matter and committing a sin is something else altogether.

The sin which would negate the wilaya (sainthood) of a person would be such a sin committed while the nafs remains dominant and the ruh subservient to it, and not an act committed by human error. This is why we cannot say regarding what has been mentioned regarding Nabi Adam ‘alayh al-Salam:

 

وَ عَصٰی اٰدَمُ رَبَّه فَغَوٰی

Adam ’alayh al-Salam (mistakenly) broke the command of his Rabb and deviated (from the way shown to him).[10]

 

Or in relation to Nabi Yunus ‘alayh al-Salam, Allah said:

 

فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَ لَا تَكُنْ کَصَاحِبِ الْحُوْتِ

(O Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam!) Be patient with the decision of your Rabb (to delay punishment) and do not be (hasty) like the person of the fish (Nabi Yunus ‘alayh al-Salam).[11]

 

And even in relation to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

مَا کَانَ لِنَبِیٍّ اَنْ یَّكُوْنَ لَهۤ اَسْرٰی حَتّٰی یُثْخِنَ فِی الْاَرْضِ

It is not befitting for a Nabi that he takes prisoners until he has thoroughly beaten (the enemy) in the land.[12]

 

What will the meaning of all these verses be? More so when they are all mentioned in the Book of Allah, thus there is no possibility of denying them as well. On the other hand, the errors of the Sahaba, if they are even regarded as errors and not misunderstandings, then too it has not been mentioned in the Qur’an nor in the mutawatir ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, making it possible that these reports are incorrect and not at all authentic. Yet I will say that they are not incorrect but whatever response you give in the defence of the prophets’, understand the same for the Sahaba. In fact, they are more excused as they were not infallible and they were not prophets’, yet Allah Ta’ala praised them so glowingly, so what reply is still required and what excuse needs to be given?

 

Such praise despite the possibility of error indicates Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure

In essence, such errors are not blameworthy and no sane person will ever accept that they will be taken to task or punished for it. We have already hinted that the mention of these qualities:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَیْنَهُمْ

Stern against the kuffar and compassionate among themselves.

 

does not necessitate that they never commit any error. Thus, when this is not a necessity and yet Allah Ta’ala has praised them, it indicates that these qualities are such that on account of it, they will not be taken to task for the errors they commit but rather they will be eclipsed by the beauty of this trait. In other words, this verse subtly hints towards their forgiveness, as praising a pig or even filth would be better than praising any dweller of Jahannam.

However a discerning mind is required, how is it possible for the Sahaba to be destined for Jahannam when they have been praised in such a manner? In this instance, one can ascribe a thousand sins to them, it will not harm them but instead it will destroy the future of the one who ascribes it to them.

 

Such praise despite the possibility of error is a slap in the face of their enemies

When a wise king who is concerned about the rule of his country and aware of the affairs of his subjects does not admonish a few of his governors for the errors they commit then it is a sign that he loves them dearly. On the other hand, if the king were to rather praise them (even though they may have erred) and show enmity to their enemies and enumerate their virtues to such an extent that the king announces that whoever possesses the same qualities as they do will be forgiven by me and in fact rewarded, then their will remain no other conclusion except that the king loves them dearly and he loves those who love them and he is the enemy of those who hate them.

 

One objective of praising the Sahaba is to offend their future enemies

By the grace of Allah, all of this can be understood by studying these verses. It begins with such praise for the Sahaba that there can be no higher praise for any other in this ummah and thereafter Allah Ta’ala says:

 

لِیَغِیْظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَؕ

So that the kuffar may be enraged by them.

 

In other words, whatever has been said above in praise of the Sahaba has been said to offend and anger the kuffar, i.e. their enemies.

Subhan ِAllah, Allah’s knowledge is so vast that he has indicated to what is still to transpire. Allah Ta’ala knew already that the Shia, Nawasib and Khawarij would show insolence towards the Sahaba and have no regard for their standing in the sight of Allah.

As far as the necessity for the words “أعداءهم” (their enemies) needing to be mentioned after the words “ليغيظ بهم” (to enrage, making the meaning: “So that their enemies may be enraged by them”); the reason why the word “kuffar” was mentioned is to indicate that only the kuffar can do such a thing. A muʼmin can never have enmity for such people, who have been praised by Allah Ta’ala and for whom Allah Ta’ala has announced his pleasure.

 

The Shia are indebted to the Sahaba as well

In other words, those enemies of the Sahaba who have had the good fortune of reciting the kalimah (testimony of faith) and consider themselves to be Muslims, they too are indebted to the sacrifices of the Sahaba. If the Sahaba had not made jihad then Islam would not have spread and the Qur’an would not have been recited as it is, such that even the Shia (despite the condition of their recitation) are also able to benefit somewhat from it. With this in mind, if one is not grateful to the Sahaba then who will gratitude be shown to and if disrespect is still shown towards them then who will they show respect to? Who can be a greater denier of the bounty of Allah than them? This is why Allah Ta’ala has referred to the enemies of the Sahaba as kuffar.

 

Enumerating the virtues of the Sahaba in the Qur’an foretells the coming of those who will bear enmity for them

Since Allah knew through his infinite knowledge that there will be people who will speak ill of the Sahaba as has been explained above, Allah Ta’ala also said:

 

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ مِنْهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةً وَّ اَجْرًا عَظِیْمًا    29

Allah has promised forgiveness and a grand reward for those of them who have iman and who do good deeds.[13]

 

In other words:

 

O you who deny the Sahaba! This group of Sahaba whom we have praised and regarding whom you do not desist speaking ill of, even if by chance they happen to be as you describe and did truly commit these errors then too what of it? I have promised that whoever amongst them has iman and does good deeds, I will forgive his sins and grant him a most gracious reward. When they are stern against the kuffar and compassionate amongst each other, always engaged in salah, seeking nothing else but the pleasure of Allah, then why should I not forgive their sins and why should I not reward them for their iman and righteous deeds? What greater form of iman and righteous deeds are there than this?

 

Promise of forgiveness and reward was unconditional

If it had been stated that in order to attain forgiveness and this gracious reward there is one condition and that is you should not commit any sin whatsoever, then perhaps the Shia might have had a leg to stand on, but there is no such condition mentioned here. Those with understanding know full-well that the word “منهم” (from amongst them) that comes after the word “عملوا الصالحات” (who do good deeds) was only mentioned as a response to those who deny (the virtues of the Sahaba). If one were to assume that some of them did indeed have iman and performed righteous deeds while others amongst them still remained firm on disbelief, Allah forbid, then we know that the Shia will not raise any objections after this verse, because they too know full well that it is impossible to call a person a disbeliever after Allah Ta’ala has called him a believer. Thus, Allah Ta’ala has first testified to their iman and performance of righteous deeds and in fact here Allah testified to them having the highest level of iman and them performing the best of actions, as there can be no greater iman that would warrant Allah Ta’ala declaring enmity with all those who bear enmity towards them and announcing friendship with all those who hold them dear.

 

The meaning of iman and the levels of conviction

The reason for the conclusion made above is extremely clear. Since iman means to believe in something after attaining conviction, the technical definition of iman in Shari’ah is to have complete conviction in the perfection of Allah and then submit to Him. For example, Allah is Ahkam al Hakimin (The Wisest of those who decree), so iman will first necessitate that one believe that Allah possesses this quality in absolute perfection and then submit to Him. Furthermore, submitting means that you do not go against the laws in anyway. The same applies to all the attributes of Allah.

 

The different levels of conviction

However there are different levels of conviction:

Ilm al Yaqin: This is the lowest level of conviction. An example of this is when a reliable person tells us about the existence of something in a specific place. This level of conviction is attained by every Muslim because Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who is without a doubt truthful, has informed us of the perfect attributes of Allah. If a person does not have at least this level of conviction then he does not have iman.

Ayn al Yaqin: This is the second level of conviction. This is the conviction attained when one sees with his naked eye what he had heard previously. This kind of conviction is higher than the first because hearing about something is not the same as seeing it for yourself. This is the reason why people do not fall in love with a person on mere mention of their beauty whereas the love which fills the heart after gazing at that beauty is obvious and needs no explanation. All know the stories of Layla, Shirin and even Nabi Yusuf ’alayh al-Salam but the tales of their beauty, despite being incredibly astonishing, does not cause one to swoon in a frenzy of love. Such that even after hearing of the beauty of Nabi Yusuf ‘alayh al-Salam, no one fell in love with him, but the moment the women saw him, they were mesmerised by his beauty. The reason for this is that merely hearing about something does not create love, as then Nabi Yusuf ’alayh al-Salam was after all Nabi Yusuf ‘alayh al-Salam.

Whatever is heard will only be understood in terms of what one has seen. For example, whenever a person sees something beautiful then he experiences a feeling of elation in his heart; now when he hears from another that a certain person is beautiful, he compares it to his previous experience and this creates desire to see the described person. If one does not have something to compare it to then mere words would do nothing for him. This is why a person born blind, who has never seen beauty and cannot differentiate between beautiful and grotesque, will never love a person for their looks (and descriptions of their beauty will have no meaning to him).

Haqq al Yaqin: This is the final level of conviction and is attained when a person makes use of what he has seen with his eye. For example, a person sees water and thereafter drinks it; after drinking it he is convinced that it is water and all doubts that it could possibly be urine or anything else besides water are all removed.

This level of conviction is higher than ‘Ayn al Yaqin and the love that was created by merely looking is increased tenfold.

 

Love is only created after Haqq al Yaqin

In reality, love is only created in this level (Haqq al Yaqin) because the love one has for water is only because it quenches the thirst, which was only learnt from drinking it. If for example there were to be a person who never heard of water before, nor saw it or ever drank it, and never experienced a need for it but suddenly he becomes thirsty and water is placed before him; how will he know the effects of that water and that it will quench his thirst? If Allah does not inspire his heart to drink the water or someone does not inform him of its effects then his mind will never consider drinking it.

Looking at the beauty of a person creates love because of the similitude to gazing at a beautiful flower, which brings peace to the soul, so too does gazing at the beauty of another do the same. In essence, logic dictates that love is attained with Haqq al Yaqin, which is evident. If I had not feared this discussion becoming excessively lengthy, I would have elaborated further on this point but with my full schedule and little time, I cannot do so and then too the reply to the letter is required quickly, therefore I will suffice with whatever has been said.

 

The Sahaba attained the level of Haqq al Yaqin and hating for the pleasure of Allah and loving for the pleasure of Allah was rooted in their hearts

In essence, love is attained with Haqq al Yaqin and this is the highest level of conviction. Thereafter the highest level of love is to love all those associated with the beloved and furthermore hate the enemies of the beloved. Thus, Allah Ta’ala testified that the Sahaba have hatred for the enemies of Allah and love for the friends of Allah, which establishes that they have the highest level of love for Allah.

One might say that it is not necessary that loving a Muslim is only for the sake of Allah as there are many reasons for love. One might love another on account of family relation or perhaps because of kindness or even friendship, as well as many other countless reasons. Similarly, there are many reasons for hating another. So as long as it cannot be proven that this love or hate was for the sake of Allah, your claim cannot be established.

The first answer to this is that whenever love, or hatred for that matter, is attached to a particular quality then the love or hatred is always understood to be on account of that quality. For example, if someone says: “I love good people” or “I love educated people” or even if he were to say “I hate arrogant people” or “I hate the kuffar”, then even the unjust would not misunderstand the reason for this love or hatred. It would be impossible for any person to still doubt the reason for his hatred and love. Allah Ta’ala also said:

 

اَشِدَّآءُ عَلَی الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَیْنَهُمْ

They are stern against the kuffar and compassionate among themselves.

 

In this verse, Allah said that the Sahaba are stern against the kuffar and the meaning of kafir is that he is an open enemy to Allah. This makes it clear that their hatred for them is on account of their kufr and no other reason. Therefore if their hatred is on account of kufr then their love is also for the sake of Allah. This is the purpose of:

 

رُحَمَآءُ بَیْنَهُمْ

Compassionate among themselves.

 

In other words, the compassion they have for each other is on account of them being in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and in his service; the gist of which is that they are all the beloveds of Allah and thus their compassion for each other will also be for the sake of Allah.

 

The purpose of the Sahaba was only to gain the pleasure of Allah

In addition to the above, the statement:

 

یَّبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَ رِضْوَانًا ۫

Seeking Allah’s bounty and His pleasure.

 

has beautifully established the reality of their actions that whatever they do they do solely for the sake of Allah. Therefore, hatred for the kuffar and mutual love and compassion for the muʼminin was all for the sake of Allah, and seeking Allah’s pleasure is the greatest sign of love for Allah. There is no other reason for seeking the pleasure of Allah except love for Allah. The majority of people who exert themselves in fulfilling virtuous deeds do so more in search of Jannat than in seeking Allah’s pleasure, just as one who is poverty stricken endeavours to please the affluent in search of a slice of bread. His purpose is not to seek the pleasure of the wealthy man but rather only desires a morsel to eat. Thus, truly seeking the pleasure of another is an act which can only be carried out by one filled with love for that person. In that light the hatred the Sahaba bore for the kuffar and the love they had for each other were all products of the love they had for Allah Ta’ala.

 

The love and submission of the Sahaba was of the highest level

Since love is only attained with Haqq al Yaqin, which is the highest form of conviction. The conviction which the Sahaba had in the Majesty, Might, Grandeur, Perfection and Beauty of Allah was of the highest, after which there is no greater conviction. Their submission was of such level that its signs were plainly visible, Allah Ta’ala says:

 

تَرٰىهُمْ رُکَّعًا سُجَّدًا

You will see them sometimes bowing, sometimes prostrating

 

If they had not submitted then why would they do these actions? These words together with:

 

یَّبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَ رِضْوَانًا۫     سِیْمَاهُمْ فِیْ وُجُوْهِهِمْ مِّنْ اَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ

Seeking Allah’s bounty and His pleasure. Their hallmark (by which they are recognised is) their faces bear the marks of prostration.

 

All these qualities inform us of their righteous deeds. Thus their iman is proven to be most perfect and their actions for which they were promised forgiveness and a gracious reward proven to be the best actions.

As for the claim that in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam there were some who were true believers and others who were not, which is why Allah Ta’ala added the words “منهم” (from amongst them, indicating that this promise is not for all of the Sahaba), this is such a claim which only a Shia can make, because if denying the obvious and accepting the impossible was truly prohibited in their religion then no Shia would turn away from the Ahlus Sunnah and adhere to Shi’ism. If I had not feared that the discussion will be prolonged, I would have mentioned more proofs to support my claim but if those with intellect were to understand this one point then it is sufficient.

 

Varying stages of Haqq al Yaqin

If someone were to argue that if the Sahaba had Haqq al Yaqin, which is the highest form of conviction, then what level have you left for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? You might as well call them prophets as well, why even refer to them as Sahaba?

The reply to this misconception is that if a person hears something from a hundred people and is convinced by them, this conviction is still termed ‘Ilm al Yaqin. Even if he were to hear it from a thousand people then too it will still be regarded as ‘Ilm al Yaqin even though in the second instance (when hearing from a thousand people) the conviction will be greater.

Similarly, if someone sees something from a distance, he still gains ‘Ayn al Yaqin and if he sees it a foot away from him, he will also still have only attained ‘Ayn al Yaqin but obviously the clarity in the second instance (seeing it up close) will not be equal to the first.

In the same manner, when a person drinks a little water he gains Haqq al Yaqin and if he drinks it a few times he has still attained Haqq al Yaqin. However, the conviction in the second instance is greater than the former. Many a time, by doing something once one will not attain complete familiarity of it but after doing it repeatedly, he will attain complete knowledge and familiarity of it.

It is not necessary that all people who have attained Haqq al Yaqin should be equal. Levels vary from person to person, many a time two people may look simultaneously at one beautiful thing but one might have love for that thing while the other not. If they both love the same person then their love will not be the same. Therefore, the love the Sahaba had for Allah did not surpass the love Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had for Allah.

 

Differences of opinion does not contradict having compassion for each other

One point remains to be discussed, it is possible that some Shia might say, in a desperate attempt to deny the piety of the Sahaba:

 

Since the Sahaba had grievous disputes with each other (which are related in the books of the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah) how can we say that they were compassionate amongst each other? The fact that they had disputes with each other on its own proves that they had no compassion for each other, so how can we conclude that they had complete and perfect iman? What we can conclude is that those who hurt and fought against Amir al Muʼminin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu are not included amongst those described by:

رُحمَآءُ بَیْنَهُمْ

Compassionate among themselves.

and furthermore they are not those described by the words:

الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ

Those who have iman and who do good deeds.

In fact the words “منهم” (from amongst them) which appears after has been mentioned specifically to exclude them.

 

The reply to this form of argument is in actual fact not our responsibility because this very argument can be brought by the Khawarij and Nawasib against the Shia, so they too will have to respond.

Nevertheless, to console both the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah we will reply.

 

The disputes of the Sahaba were also on account of their compassion for each other

Distress can be caused by two things:

  1. Animosity
  2. Love

The distress which arises on account of animosity is evident and is the same anguish and distress a person experiences from his enemy.

As for the distress one experiences on account of love: this is when a person acts contrary to the desires of his friend, the distress or anguish one feels in this instance is because of love. If a stranger were to have made such remarks then it would not have hurt, which makes it clear that the cause of this distress is love. If this love had not existed then there would have been no distress. If this can be understood in light of the Sahaba then much has been understood and the words of the Qur’an will have to be accepted.

We seek Allah’s protection, Allah Ta’ala is not deceptive and a liar similar to the likes of Zurarah ibn A’yun, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Ahwal (Shaitan al Taq), etc who were labelled as liars by the ‘infallible’ Imams and the books of the Shia (which will be discussed shortly). Those who have become accustomed to accepting such implausible narrations from such deceptive narrators, why will they ever accept the truth, even if it is spoken by the All-Truthful Allah?

 

The credibility of the narrators upon whose narrations Shi’ism is founded

Furthermore, according to the Shia, the books of the Ahlus Sunnah cannot be relied upon, but we would like to ask them about the condition of their narrators upon which their din is based and who are the link to their ‘infallible’ Imams. Their conditions are such that the likes of Hisham ibn Salim, al Maythami, al Ahwal al Taq, etc, who are the leaders, fore-runners and chief narrators of the Shia; cannot be discussed completely in this brief treatise. However as a way of example I will make mention of a few of these reports.

 

Al Kulayni reports in al Kafi:

 

عن ابراهيم محمد بن الخزار و محمد بن الحسين قالا دخلنا على ابى الحسين الرضا عليه السلام فقلنا ان هشام بن السالم و الميثمى و الصاحب الطاق يقولون ان الله تعالى اجوف الى السرة و الباقى صمد فخر لله ساجدا ثم قال سبحانك ما عرفوك و لا وحدوك فمن اجل ذلك وصفوك

Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn al Khazzar and Muhammad ibn al Hussain both narrate: “We entered upon Abu al Hussain al Rida rahimahu Llah and we mentioned to him that Hisham bin Salim, al Maythami and Sahib al Taq are saying that verily Allah is hollow up to the navel, and the rest is solid.” On hearing this, Imam Rida rahimahu Llah fell into prostration and supplicated: “Subhan Allah! They neither know You nor do they profess your Oneness, this is the reason why they describe You (in this manner).”

 

The second narration has also been narrated by al Kulayni.

 

عن على بن حمزة قال قلت لابى عبد الله عليه السلام سمعت هشام بن الحكم يروى عنكم ان الله جسم صمدى نورى معرفته ضرورة يمن بها على من يشاء من خلقه فقال عليه السلام سبحان من لا يعلم احد كيف ليس كمثله شىء و هو السميع البصير

‘Ali ibn Hamzah narrates that he said to Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah: “I heard Hisham ibn al Hakam reporting on your authority that Allah is a heavy strong body of celestial light, whose recognition is incumbent, which he grants to whomsoever He wishes.” Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah replied: “Glory be to that Being whose form is not known to anyone. There is nothing like Him. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.”

 

Just marvel at these narrations, the knowledge which these fore-runners of the Shia have ascribed to the illustrious Imams. In fact, some of these leaders, such as Zurarah ibn A’yun, Bakr bin A’yun, Sulaiman Jafari, Muhammad ibn Muslim, etc, believed that Allah Ta’ala is ignorant of the future. To what extent should I continue discussing their false beliefs? Such are the people who transmit crucial matters of din for the Shia and it is their narrations that they consider authentic. It is their fictitious tales which they gather in their books and then dubbed them with the title of Sihah (authentic books), which are then accepted by all their scholars.

Even if the Shia scholars, out of habit (for falsehood), happen to refute these narrations when in the presence of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah, they still believe in them firmly with their hearts.

All praise belongs to Allah! It is only the Ahlus Sunnah that when they say Sihah (authentic books) then be assured that those books comprise only of those narrations transmitted by reliable, credible and pious individuals. If any narrations have been transmitted from unreliable sources, then it was only to show the defects of those narrations so that people will be saved from being deceived by it, which is why they state thereafter that this narration is weak and that one is fabricated.

The crux of the matter is when this is the state of the fundamental narrations of the Shia faith then what need be said of the historical accounts (which are lesser in credibility). The narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah have already been deemed unreliable (by the Shia) so why then will those narrations reported about the disagreements of the Sahaba have any relevance against what has been stated in the Qur’an? At the end of the day, it is the Qur’an that is mutawatir.

Thus, when the Qur’an says that they were “Compassionate amongst each other” and according to your understanding (i.e. the Shia), this means that they had absolutely no disagreements with each other whatsoever, then in accordance with the principle that all those narrations which contradict the Qur’an are rejected; all those narrations which mention some disagreement between them will be deemed unreliable.

By the grace of Allah, after all necessary aspects of this verse have been discussed, it is incumbent upon us to present such a verse which testifies to the piety of the Sahaba, as clear as daylight, which can be easily understood and will also indicate their end being upon virtue. Therefore we present the sixth verse before you:

 

وَالسّٰبِقُوْنَ الْاَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهٰجِرِیْنَ وَالْاَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِیْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِاِحْسَانٍۙ   رَّضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَ اَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنّٰتٍ تَجْرِیْ تَحْتَهَا الْاَنْهٰرُ خٰلِدِیْنَ فِیْهَاۤ اَبَدًاؕ   ذٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیْمُ 100

Allah is pleased with the fore-runners of the muhajirin, the ansar, and those who followed them in doing good, and they are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them such gardens beneath which rivers flow, in which they shall live forever. This is the ultimate success.[14]

 

After this verse, if ‘Ammar ‘Ali truly seeks the truth then he will have no delay in doing so. Even one who has been indoctrinated for years with Shia beliefs will discover the truth after reading this verse. Why should they not accept the truth when Allah Ta’ala in his infinite wisdom left no avenue or doorway in this verse for those who argue against the Sahaba.

 

The reason for Allah’s pleasure in this verse rests only upon Hijrah

If iman or the performance of righteous deeds were mentioned to be the reason for attaining Allah’s pleasure then perhaps the Shia, Khawarij and Nawasib could have said that this promise is only for those who have iman and do righteous deeds and they did not have iman. The first three khalifas, Zubair, Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others being amongst the fore-runners of the muhajirin is nothing unknown that can be possibly denied or said to be a fabrication. More so for the first khalifa, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as his hijrah even precedes that of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he is regarded as the first of the fore-runners of the muhajirin. In this instance, this verse will point to his superiority because all the promises mentioned in this verse are on account of hijrah, so accordingly he who surpassed others in hijrah will also surpass others in deserving this promise being fulfilled for him. It is well-known that when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left his home to perform hijrah, he first came to the house of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and they left together. All others only left after them.

 

The difference between hijrah to Abyssinia and hijrah to Madina

Even though the hijrah to Abyssinia took place before the hijrah to Madina, it does not surpass the hijrah to Madina. The permissibility of migrating to Abyssinia was only on account of inability to endure the severe hardships being inflicted upon the Muslims. It had become very difficult to remain steadfast on din in Makkah and therefore the weak were permitted to migrate in order to preserve their iman and lives. This is why Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not permitted to migrate to Abyssinia, and even if someone were to present some far-fetched reason for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not being ordered to migrate, they will have no answer as to why those who did not migrate to Abyssinia were not rebuked.

On the other hand, the objective of migrating to Madina was for the sake of supporting and strengthening din, thus migrating to Madina cannot be termed to be a concession but was rather a strict order. This is why those who failed to migrate were severely reprimanded. The migration to Abyssinia being a concession and the migration to Madina being an instruction, aside from being common knowledge, is even clearer after this explanation. However, to further elaborate my point the difference between the two is understood from the fact that migrating to Madina was in effect taking a gamble with one’s life whereas migrating to Abyssinia was to save one’s life. Migration to Madina was to strengthen the din whereas migrating to Abyssinia was so one could perform his salah and sowm in peace. Migration to Madina was to support Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whereas the migration to Abyssinia left him alone in Makkah. In the case of migrating to Madina they were beaten, killed and had to fight against their own leaders and family, whereas when migrating to Abyssinia they saved themselves from the hands of the enemy and could live in peace. Thus the migration to Abyssinia is not worthy of praise and more so not the praise of Allah Ta’ala.

 

The verse refers only to the migration to Madina

This is the reason why neither of the two groups consider this verse to refer to the migration to Abyssinia nor did they regard it to be expounding its virtues. The reason for this apparently is that this verse as well as others like it were all revealed after the hijrah to Madina and these verses in addition to mentioning the virtues of the muhajirin also mention the virtues of the ansar. In Surah Hashar, the words:

 

يَنْصُرُوْنَ اللّٰه

They help the din of Allah.

 

also appear which indicate that these virtues pertain to the assistance and aid the ansar rendered to the muhajirin when they migrated towards them. If there was a hijrah that fits this description then it is only the hijrah to Madina. In the hijrah to Abyssinia there were no ansar nor was there any aid to speak of. Nevertheless, the precedence of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Talhah, Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others is something undeniable.

 

This verse does not make known the pleasure of Allah but also the highest level of iman and good deeds

On account of this precedence in hijrah, Allah Ta’ala says that He is pleased with them. This in itself is sufficient praise as there is nothing greater than attaining the pleasure of Allah. If Allah is pleased with a person then one can safely conclude that they have the highest form of iman, which cannot be described and their actions too of the highest calibre. Thus, it will corroborate entirely with the verse mentioned previously:

 

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ مِنْهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةً وَّ اَجْرًا عَظِیْمًا 100

Allah has promised forgiveness and a grand reward for those of them who have iman and who do good deeds.

 

This leaves no room to doubt them ever being forgiven because the revered personalities mentioned above were all with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at Hudaybiyyah (where this verse was revealed).

 

Continuous glad tidings of Jannat can only indicate one’s end being good

In addition to this, Allah stated that gardens of Jannat have been prepared for them wherein they will remain forever. If any person were to now doubt their piety, it can only mean that according to him piety means that Allah is displeased with a person and has prepared the fire of Jahannam for him. So those Shia, who speak ill against these noble personalities and instead regard their enemies to be pious, possibly do so on account of this definition of piety. However, in this instance it would necessitate that they absolve themselves from Amir al Muʼminin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well, since he is also amongst those who were given these glad tidings. What can be said about those who speak ill of these friends of Allah, who belie Allah Ta’ala as well; calling them (the Sahaba) sinners and kafir? This only results in them labelling themselves as sinners and kuffar.

One who claims the sun has no light

Does not testify against the sun but his own lack of sight

 

Whichever objections the Shia raise against the Sahaba can be raised by the Khawarij against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

I wish to also add to the above, it is possible that some prejudiced individual might say that Allah Ta’ala was pleased with the Sahaba at first but then became angry with them because of their opposition to the caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the fact that Jannat had been prepared for them does not necessitate that they will not be punished. In fact it is quite possible that they will be punished first and only thereafter enter Jannat.

In reality such an assertion needs no reply, especially when this question is raised by the Shia, because these same doubts may be raised by the Khawarij against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu such that they may also claim that the promise of forgiveness refers to the forgiveness that will be granted after punishment.

The hole he dug for others was the very same in which he fell

 

The Sahaba will not be disgraced on the Day of Qiyamah, and the kuffar and the sinful do not attain Allah’s pleasure

This is why it is said that it has been first mentioned in Surah al Tahrim:

 

یَوْمَ لَا یُخْزِی اللّٰهُ النَّبِیَّ وَ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مَعَه

On that Day (Qiyamah) Allah shall not disgrace the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Muʼminin with him.[15]

 

Thus, even the Shia cannot criticise their iman. Furthermore, Allah Ta’ala says:

 

فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یُحِبُّ الْکٰفِرِیْنَ

Indeed Allah does not love the disbelievers.

 

In another verse, Allah Ta’ala says:

 

فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یَرْضٰی عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفٰسِقِیْنَ    96

Indeed Allah is not pleased with the wrong doers.[16]

 

Therefore, if Allah is pleased with the Sahaba then there is doubt in their belief in Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In addition, there is no possibility of them having been pious only for a short period during the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thus, in accordance with the promise of Allah, they will be honoured and respected on the Day of Qiyamah with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So how then can they be punished on the Day of Qiyamah, when there is no greater disgrace then punishment on that Day? It is possible however that those with obscure understanding may understand this (honour being granted to the Sahaba) to actually be punishment.

 

Secondly, Allah Ta’ala says in Surah al Ambiya’:

 

اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُمْ مِّنَّا الْحُسْنٰیۙ   اُولٰٓئِكَ عَنْهَا مُبْعَدُوْنَ لَا یَسْمَعُوْنَ حَسِیْسَهَاۚ   وَ هُمْ فِیْ مَا اشْتَهَتْ اَنْفُسُهُمْ خٰلِدُوْنَ لَا یَحْزُنُهُمُ الْفَزَعُ الْاَكْبَرُ وَ تَتَلَقّهُمُ الْمَلٰٓئِکَةُؕ   هٰذَا یَوْمُكُمُ الَّذِیْ كُنْتُمْ تُوْعَدُوْنَ 101

Indeed those for whom We have ordained the best (Jannat), they shall be kept far from Jahannam. They will not even hear its whisper. They will live forever in whatever they desire. The greatest fright (Qiyamah) shall not distress them and angels will meet them (saying to them): “This is your day that you had been promised.”[17]

 

Now ponder, Allah has promised a great success for them and assured them with such comforting words; to now regard such people deserving of punishment can only be the assumption of the foolish. The promise being made before hand also clearly indicates the same, and in the hereafter they will be re-assured of the promise that was made to them. To now claim that they will still be punished is an accusation that Allah will not fulfil His promise, Allah forbid. Allah Ta’ala is not the same as the Shia, who practice taqiyyah (dissimulation) today and say whatever is required, then later go back on their word.

 

The disputes between the Sahaba does not necessitate kufr or sin of either party since both negate Allah’s pleasure

It is evident from the above that the battles or disputes that took place against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu will neither necessitate kufr nor sin, as the Shia assert. If so, then why did Allah Ta’ala declare his pleasure for them, when he said:

 

فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یُحِبُّ الْکٰفِرِيْنَ

Indeed Allah does not love the disbelievers.

 

فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا یَرْضٰی عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفٰسِقِیْنَ

Indeed Allah is not pleased with the wrong doers.

 

In fact, even denying the imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu does not necessitate kufr or sin because according to the Shia all the muhajirin and ansar, with the exception of a few, denied his imamah. Further supporting this is the narration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu reported in Nahj al Balaghah, one of the most relied upon works of the Shia. In this narration, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

اصحبنا نقاتل اخواننا فى الاسلام على ما دخل فيه من الزيغ و الاعوجاج

We fight our Muslim brothers on account of the crookedness and deviation that has entered into din.

 

This proves that those who deny his imamah and fought against him are not kafir and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, despite his denial of the imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and opposition to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which is well-known to all, was still a Muslim in the opinion of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Thus, if one wishes to secure the beliefs of the Shia faith, he will have to deny and refute all those narrations reporting disputes and disagreements between the Sahaba and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If they refuse to do so then they will have to deny these verses of the Qur’an. After all, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu concealed the virtue and right of imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by removing approximately eleven thousand verses of the Qur’an (according to the Shia paradigm), even though concealing the laws of din is a sin but deemed meritorious by the Shia belief of taqiyyah. So when fighting against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu does not necessitate kufr and even denial of his imamah does not render one a kafir or a sinner, even though this is the third part of iman of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia, the other sins which are definitely lesser than this; how will it necessitate kufr? In light of this, even Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his companions should be free from the slander of the Shia.

Nonetheless, the verse: “The fore-runners of the Muhajirin, the Ansar” has rendered a strong and crushing reply to the Shia argument, such that one cannot even claim that these three Sahaba (viz. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum) and others only embraced Islam after this verse was revealed because this verse is in Surah al Taubah, which was revealed two years before the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and these Sahaba all embraced Islam in Makkah. It is also not possible for anyone to attach the words ihsan (good deeds) as a clause to the muhajirin and ansar because ihsan is attached to the word “اتبعوهم” (those who follow them) which is a separate sentence.

 

The words of the verse: “Superior in Rank” establishes superiority of the Sahaba over the Imams

In addition to the above, this verse and a few others related to it establishes the superiority of the three Sahaba (viz. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum) and in fact all the muhajirin and ansar. This reduces to dust another belief of the Shia, namely that the Imams of the Shia are superior to the entire ummah and the prophets’ as well. This belief is refuted entirely by the Qur’an because the verse in Surah al Taubah states that those of the Sahaba who brought iman, performed hijrah, and waged Jihad in the path of Allah with their lives and wealth, they have surpassed every person in this ummah. This superiority is general and includes superiority over the Imams as well. We learn from this that besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu none of the Imams could reach the level of these Sahaba, let alone the status of the prophets’.

 

The verse which we refer to is:

 

اَلَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَهَاجَرُوْا وَجٰهَدُوْا فِیْ سَبِیْلِ اللّٰهِ بِاَمْوَالِهِمْ وَاَنْفُسِهِمْۙ     اَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً عِنْدَ اللّٰهِؕ   وَ اُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الْفَآئِزُوْنَ  20    یُبَشِّرُهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنْهُ وَ رِضْوَانٍ وَّجَنّٰتٍ لَّهُمْ فِیْهَا نَعِیْمٌ مُّقِیْمٌ  21    خٰلِدِیْنَ فِیْهَاۤ اَبَدًاۚ   اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عِنْدَهۤ اَجْرٌ عَظِیْمٌ    22

Those who have iman, who make hijrah and exert themselves in Allah’s path with their wealth and their lives are superior in rank according to Allah. These are the successful ones. Their Rabb gives them the good news of His mercy, pleasure and such gardens where they shall have everlasting bounties. They will live there forever. Undoubtedly with Allah is a great reward.[18]

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter Four


 [1] Surah al Nur: 55

[2] Surah al Fath: 29

[3] Surah al Fath: 27

[4] Surah al Tahrim: 6

[5] Surah Bani Israʼil: 27

[6] Surah Taha: 115

[7] Surah al Rum: 30

[8] Surah Yusuf: 24

[9] Surah al Kahaf: 71

[10] Surah Taha: 122

[11] Surah al Qalam: 48

[12] Surah al Anfal: 67

[13] Surah al Fath: 29

[14] Surah Taubah: 100

[15] Surah al Tahrim: 8

[16] Surah al Taubah: 96

[17] Surah al Ambiya’: 101

[18] Surah Taubah: 20-22

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