Chapter Two – Khilafa – shia beliefs

Chapter One – Ahlus Sunnah – Shia Beliefs – Quran
December 23, 2014
Chapter Three – Status of Sahaba – Surah Fath
December 23, 2014

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Chapter two

 

The Promise of Succession and Authority

It is also established from the Noble Qur’an that whatever transpired was correct and in order. If you are not convinced then here is the fourth verse:

 

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 مِّنْۢ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ اَمْنًاۚ   یَعْبُدُوْنَنِیْ لَا یُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَیْئًاۚ   وَ مَنْ کَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ فَاُولٰٓئِكَ 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]

 

For those who understand the Qur’an, the purport and implication of this verse is evident. As for those who are not equipped, they may refer to one of the many translations of the Qur’an, which are freely available.

 

This verse contradicts Shia beliefs

Take a moment to analyse this verse. The promise is specifically being made to the believers of that era and it is not a promise to Muslims in general. Since   “الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا” (those who believe) is followed by “مِنْكُمْ” (from amongst you), it refers specifically to the Sahaba. The addition of “مِنْكُمْ” excludes all Muslims who were yet to come into existence. Consequently, this verse has no relationship with the authority and rule which Imam al Mahdi will attain.

Similarly, the promise is not made to all the believers at that time; it is a select few only and this is also established from the function of “مِنْ” (from) in the word “مِنْكُمْ” (from amongst you). This is so because when “مِنْ” (from) is attached to a personal pronoun then it either signifies tab’id (portioning) or ibtidaʼ (beginning). Since the option of ibtidaʼ (beginning) is unanimously ruled out, we are left with tab’id (portioning) because those who are eloquent and well-versed with Arabic never use “مِنْ” attached to a personal pronoun to denote bayan (explanation), which is the third possible function of the word “مِنْ”.

If we assume for a moment that despite it being impossible for “مِنْ” to denote bayan (explanation), in which case we would have to momentarily disregard that the Qur’an is the miraculous and unparalleled word of Allah Ta’ala, and instead consider this construction to be like that of some Urdu-speaking student who has only studied until Hidayat al Nahw and committed gross grammatical errors, but still it would not solve the problem of the Shia. In this instance, “مِنْكُمْ” (from amongst you) would refer to all the Sahaba including the three Khalifas, because they were classified as believers at the time of the revelation of the verse and they had not turned apostate as yet (according to the Shia claim). If some of these individuals were hypocrites who had never embraced Islam at all then the verse would still refer to those whom the Shia claim turned apostate after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Shia maintain that all verses dealing with the apostates refer to these Sahaba who left the fold of Islam after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

If this interpretation is to be considered, it would mean that Allah made a promise to these apostates that He would establish the chosen religion for them but He then went against His promise because if He established the din then how could their inner-selves and shaitan lead them to apostasy? In addition to this, Allah says that when the promise would be fulfilled, they would worship Him alone without ascribing partners to Him. This phrase of the verse could either be regarded as a promise or as khabar (expressing a fact). Whether it be a promise or a khabar, it implies that they would remain steadfast on the path which they were upon, i.e. iman and righteous deeds, by virtue of which they ultimately were entitled for this reward. Those who understand the implications of the phrase:

 

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ

Allah has promised those of you who have iman and who do good actions.

 

extract this meaning from the verse, i.e. that the Sahaba were being foretold of their succession and dominance on account of believing in Allah and doing righteous deeds.

Considering the meaning of the verse thus far, it makes one wonder how they became apostates. This could only signify one of two things: either Allah went against His promise or He erred in the information given,

 

الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ

Those of you who have iman.

 

A false promise

Conversely, consider the meaning of this verse in the light of Shia belief, and assume that “الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ” refers to the four or five individuals who remained Muslims after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and did not turn apostate. If “مِنْ” denotes bayan (explanation) then it implies that the promise of succession is made to everyone of these four or five individuals since all of them embraced Islam prior to the revelation of this verse. However, it appears that the promise was fulfilled in respect of only one individual, i.e. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As for Abu Dhar, Salman al Farsi, Bilal, Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum, the promise made to them was false. The hollowness of the promise with regard to Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu requires no elaboration. As for Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, though he did assume the role of khalifa for six months, the promise of establishing din (i.e. of the Shia) did not materialise at all. This is more evident according to the Shia view since they maintain that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who rejected the position of imamah of the Imams, was in control of the caliphate and there was no security and peace for Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If this is not correct then why did he surrender the caliphate to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and chose to pass his entire life in taqiyyah?

As for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Ahlus Sunnah still maintain that he had authority and dominance but this is not true according to the Shia stance. This is because the Shia religion remained obscure throughout his reign and he lived in taqiyyah all along. In fact, he continued to praise the first two khalifas publicly, even though they were deceased and he did not have to fear them at all. Never did he get a single opportunity to proclaim the truth and unmask his real identity. As for the promised state of security and peace, this was also not achieved according the Shia, because ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was constantly in a state of fear from the ‘disbelievers’. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was there all the time to frustrate him and he eventually snatched a considerable portion of rule away from him.

The summary of this discussion is that if the promise was made to all of them, by asserting that “مِنْ” denotes bayan (explanation), then the word of Allah will be left meaningless and false.

 

The attempt to misinterpret its meaning

If we were to consider that “مِنْ” denotes bayan (explanation), despite it being incorrect to attach the personal pronoun to it in this case, and then assume that istikhlaf (granting authority) refers to tawattun (granting a residence) as some Shia scholars have suggested, then too the meaning of tawattun (granting a residence) cannot be established. This is because istikhlaf is attached to the clause “في الأرض” and it can only imply authority and dominance over the land, and not a residence. Similarly, “Those who do good actions” would then have no relevance because residence on earth is enjoyed equally by the righteous and the transgressors. In fact, the transgressors have more advantages in this matter. Moreover, “Those who believe” would also be redundant since there is no shortage of disbelievers enjoying the benefit of residency on earth.

Nevertheless, they have subjected the word of Allah to such futile interpretations in order to avert the consequences of this verse, but the Qur’an is far beyond such foolishness.

 

The verse denotes dominance and authority

Refusing to surrender, some Shia scholars have said that, “Those who believe and do good actions” refers to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the plural form has been employed to signify his exaltedness. If not, then it refers to him and his progeny. Assuming that this interpretation has any credibility despite it being incorrect to state that the plural form refers to an individual when there is no need for such an interpretation, and despite it being forbidden to change the plural meaning to an individual one when the plural meaning has validity, then too we would say that none of these people, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or his progeny, ever enjoyed a state of security and peace as they all lived under taqiyyah.

Therefore, the function of “مِنْ” (from) can only be tab’id (portioning) and istikhlaf can only denote authority and dominance on earth. Since “Those who believe and do good actions” is plural, it requires three individuals at least (namely Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum) but if a fourth is added to it (‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) it could certainly accommodate it.

We have thus established the meaning of this verse as follows: Allah Ta’ala has promised the Sahaba that at least three individuals amongst them, who possess iman and do righteous deeds, would definitely assume authority and control on earth; Allah will establish that din for them which He has preferred for them and throughout their period of rule, the din will suffer no deficiency. Allah will change their condition to one of security and stability after the period of fear they experienced from the enemy. The phrase that follows this could either be a continuation of the promise or it could be foretelling a future event. Either way, it implies that despite enjoying the benefits of authority and leadership and the challenges that come with it, they will continue to worship Allah sincerely and devotedly, without becoming victims of shirk and rebellion.

 

The correct tafsir of this verse

It is my humble assertion to the Shia scholars that the promise of Allah can never be false and invalid. Therefore, the individuals to whom this promise was fulfilled necessarily possessed the above mentioned qualities and by the testimony of Allah they certainly had perfect iman and acceptable good deeds. In fact, these individuals surpassed their contemporaries in these two traits (i.e. iman and good deeds) because the reward was promised on the basis of these two traits and it is only logical for it to be conferred to those who excel in these traits. If not, then Allah forbid, this would attribute injustice to Allah, since it implies that the one who was unqualified enjoyed the reward.

According to the view of the Ahlus Sunnah, Allah is at liberty to do as He wishes and He has the authority to give what rightfully belongs to one person to another but his wisdom is so perfect that He always grants the benefits to those who are deserving of it. This is the precise implication of the verse which states that Allah does not oppress anyone in anyway. Similarly, Allah Ta’ala says:

 

اَعْطٰی كُلَّ شَیْءٍ خَلْقَهٗ ثُمَّ هَدٰی

He Who granted each thing its (appropriate) form and then guided it.[2]

 

Allah creates everything in proportion and with specific dimensions and characteristics and then directs it to fulfil appropriate functions and purposes. However, the Shia maintain that Allah is deprived of the free will of doing as He pleases and justice is incumbent and binding upon Him. Considering their view it would mean that there was absolutely no possibility of anyone surpassing the three khalifas in the two traits stated above. Instead they surpassed and excelled the rest of the Sahaba.

 

The sequence of caliphate is also established from this verse

The natural implication of the above discussion would be that from the three khalifas, the individual who surpassed his colleagues in these two traits should precede them in assuming authority. This correlation is necessary so that recognition is given on the basis of merit and achievement. Therefore, since this promise was fulfilled to the al khulafa al Rashidin, and it was fulfilled in a particular sequence, it serves as a testimony from Allah that the four khalifas surpassed the rest of the Sahaba in iman and good deeds. It also testifies that whilst they were alive, nobody else was more deserving of assuming authority and that the sequence by which they assumed their roles establishes their distinction and merit as far as iman and good deeds are concerned. Therefore, the first of them achieved the highest position, then the second and the third to be khalifa was third in rank and so on.

 

This verse refers to the four Rightly Guided Khalifas

Whilst Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is considered to be among the Rightly Guided Khalifas, his caliphate is not associated with the promised authority contained in this verse. This is because he was a child when this verse was revealed and he did not experience the fear referred to in this verse. It is the seniors who had apprehension of harm from the enemy, not the minors. Instead, his inclusion among the Rightly Guided Khalifas is separate from the promise which was fulfilled to the four khalifas. This is why his caliphate did not require establishment of authority otherwise referred to as tamkin

As for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who did achieve establishment of authority, it was a political authority and not a religious authority. Those who are well-versed with history are aware of the considerable difference between the nature and circumstances of the first four khalifas and that of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Whilst they were abstemious and simple, the manner of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was more similar to the ways of pious kings and men of power and influence. This is why despite him being an illustrious Sahabi, the Ahlus Sunnah maintain that he did not qualify to the status of a khalifa (with the full implications this word carries), but he was more of a pious king and righteous ruler. However, all kings are not the same; consider the difference between Anusherwan and Genghis Khan.

By saying that he resembled a king, it means that if he were compared to the Rightly Guided Khalifas then he would be considered a worldly ruler. This is similar to the manner in which Nabi Sulaiman ’alayh al-Salam is considered to be a man of wealth and affluence, as opposed to the rest of the prophets’. By this classification of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu it should not be inferred that he was like common worldly rulers; oppressive, tyrannical and unscrupulous. On the contrary, his tolerance and compassion for his subjects, and service to them is well documented in history.

In addition to this, he cannot be listed along with the Rightly Guided Khalifas because he was not among those who lived in fear of the disbelievers and suffered insecurity. This condition only passed upon the initial muhajirin to Madina Munawwarah, and even Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not witness this period. The fear and hardship which the four Rightly Guided Khalifas experienced was not witnessed by others and these facts are recorded in the books of history.

This is why they received the reward and the promise was fulfilled for them exclusively. Their state of fear was brought about due to their accepting iman and doing righteous deeds and it was only on account of these two matters that they became victims of the enmity of the disbelievers. Similarly, the enmity of the disbelievers was proportionate to the intensity of their faith and their quality of their righteous deeds. Their intensity of faith and good deeds determined the degree of fear they were subjected to. Love for Allah and devotion to him is tested in times of fear and suppression, and this is the criterion for measuring devotion to Allah. So whoever is subjected to greater fear is subjected to it on the basis of excelling in iman and righteous deeds.

Nevertheless, it is established that the period of fear was specifically experienced by the first muhajirin and that Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not witness this test. As for Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he was an infant whilst Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not yet a Muslim.

 

The basis of this verse is the sacrifices of the muhajirin

If one were to ponder over the meaning of this verse he would learn that the only reason for this promise is that the Sahaba of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, especially the muhajirin, despite their lack of provisions and small number in the early years of Islam, opposed a much larger group of the kuffar, all in search of Allah’s pleasure and the establishment of din. In so doing they created enemies with this larger group and as a result had to endure untold torture, abuse and persecution. They lived in fear for many years, such that a time soon came when their homes no longer remained safe-havens and they were forced to leave everything they held dear and migrate to another land. This too did not satisfy the kuffar and many battles ensued thereafter, wherein many of the muhajirin and the ansar were martyred. Once they were thoroughly tested by Allah Ta’ala, His immense Mercy knew no bounds and Allah Ta’ala resolved to reward them in this world as well. In recompense for all the difficulties and hardships they had to endure, Allah Ta’ala showered his bounties upon them and granted them peace and comfort. On account of the kuffar having authority over them, which was the principle cause of all the hardships and persecution, Allah Ta’ala granted them the caliphate. On account of the kuffar having authority over them, fasts, salah and praises of Allah could not be made, which resulted in them having to bear anguish in their hearts, in fact this too was the reason for their exile. In recompense for this sacrifice, Allah Ta’ala established His din for them and fear was replaced with peace. This explanation should make it clear that the Ahlul bayt of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam undoubtedly have a unique virtue but this virtue alone does not make them deserving of caliphate, this is the fruit of the very sacrifice mentioned above.

 

This verse also reveals the secret behind caliphate being reserved for the Quraish

The reason for caliphate being reserved for the Quraish is also learnt from this verse. In other words, the meaning of the hadith, which advocates that the right of caliphate belongs to the Quraish and the ansar have no right to it, is learnt from this verse. The reason for this is that Caliphate is in actual fact a reward and recompense for the sacrifices of the muhajirin, and since the muhajirin are from the Quraish, caliphate should be restricted to them. However the positions of assistance such as that of the qadi, etc, can be held by the ansar. This also makes it clear that the caliphate attained by Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not the fulfilment of the promise made in this verse. In addition, it is also clear to those of understanding and the fair-minded that whatever laws of din came to the fore or became common practice during the reign of these khalifas, such as Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu not handing over Fadak to Fatima radiya Llahu ‘anha, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu prohibiting Muta and establishing Tarawih and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu adding another adhan to the Jumu’ah salah; are all desired by din and a realisation of the verse:

 

دِیْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضٰی لَهُمْ

And He will certainly grant (great) strength to the din that He has chosen for them.

 

In a similar manner, whatever ruling they come to consensus and agreement on, it is without a doubt correct and whoever discards it has discarded the din chosen by Allah and whoever denies it, denies the truth.

 

This verse proves the innocence of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Furthermore, aside from the sentence:

 

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَیَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِی الْاَرْضِ

Allah has promised those of you who have iman and who do good actions that He will definitely make them successors (rulers) on earth.

 

being a clear proof for the legitimacy of the caliphate of the first three khalifas, it also totally annihilates the Shia presumption that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu prevented Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from writing the declaration for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as khalifa in his final illness. Those with perception will understand that the words:

 

وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِیْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضٰی لَهُمْ

And He will certainly grant (great) strength to the din that He has chosen for them.

 

removes any possibility of this because when the caliphate of the first three khalifas is the promised caliphate then the establishment of their caliphate will be the establishment of the din chosen by Allah. With certainty, if caliphate were not a matter of din, then this substantiation would not have been possible. Thus, the Shia cannot deny this as then they will have to declare ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his progeny to be desirous of worldly possessions, Allah forbid. In essence, this accusation and many others which the Shia and Khawarij make against the al khulafa al Rashidin, on account of their misconceptions will be refuted. Even though all these accusations, according to those with foresight, are the result of flawed understanding. Allah willing, this will become more apparent in the discussion on Fadak which will be discussed shortly. It might not have been necessary to discuss the incident of the pen and paper at this juncture, as it is out of place and has no link to the actual discussion, but since it is one of the major accusations that the Shia make against the al khulafa al Rashidin, I will elaborate on it briefly, based upon the principle that if the primary evidence is shattered then the case itself has ended.

 

The reasons why the order of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could not be fulfilled

Firstly, it is not mentioned in any narration that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the person who prevented the pen and paper from being brought. In fact, when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked for it, then ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was amongst many who were in the room at the time. They differed as to what the cause of action should be; some said the instruction should be carried out and others felt that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam should not be put into any further pain. As a result of this difference of opinions, much shouting erupted. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was of the opinion that this instruction was not one of obligation but rather out of concern and compassion for the Ummah, as Allah Ta’ala had already previously said:

 

اَلْیَوْمَ اَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِیْنَكُمْ وَاَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیْكُمْ نِعْمَتِیْ وَرَضِیْتُ لَكُمُ الْاِسْلَامَ دِیْنًا

Today I have perfected your din for you, completed My bounty upon you and chosen Islam as your religion.[3]

 

Since Allah has perfected and completed the din of Islam, this is no new matter of din that needs to be written nor any further elaboration of any law. It is not anything fundamental that requires writing at that precise moment, rendering it compulsory to write, but instead it was the concern and care of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that prompted him to make this request. So when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam showed such concern for us in such a time of difficulty then is it not befitting that we too show the same concern for him in his pain and distress? In fact, etiquette would necessitate that it not be considered and the moment be allowed to pass. If a father in a time of extreme hunger were to hand over his portion of food to his son and urge him to eat, then would it be appropriate for the son to show no concern for his father and consume it greedily? Instead in such a time, etiquette would demand that the son not listen to his father and regard his ‘disobedience’ to be a means of his own salvation. It is for this reason and also so that the noise would be put to an end that he said:

 

حسبنا كتاب الله

The Qur’an is sufficient for us.

 

So then why is there a need to cause harm to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this manner? If some narration in some rare volume that proves beyond any doubt that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first person to make this objection were to be presented by some Shia then aside from whether that narration is authentic or not and not some fabrication, it will have no bearing on account of the reasons stated above. Nevertheless, this accusation is based upon lack of understanding, poor insight and obtuseness. When one peruses through the outcome of this event then he will conclude that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was indeed correct. When the noise level increased, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam addressed the entire congregation, asking them all to leave. If this were a divine instruction, compulsory or incumbent, then Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have repeated his instruction with more authority. In a similar manner if the noise was not the reason for Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam distress, as understood by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then he would have never asked them all to leave.

 

The weight of Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu opinion

It can also be said that just as on many occasions the opinion of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, even though contrary to that of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was in accordance with the opinion of Allah Ta’ala, resulting in wahi (revelation) descending in agreement with his opinion, here too the opinion of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in accordance with the opinion of Allah. If this were not the case then just as when the kuffar would question Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and wahi would descend affirming the word of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so would it have descended here as well, affirming the instruction of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Unquestionably, this much still remains that in this instance no wahi descended affirming the opinion of Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu either perhaps after affirming his opinion approximately sixteen times previously, it was regarded to be sufficient and therefore on this one occasion wahi did not descend. Furthermore, in light of the verse:

 

اَلْیَوْمَ اَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِیْنَكُمْ وَاَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیْكُمْ نِعْمَتِیْ وَرَضِیْتُ لَكُمُ الْاِسْلَامَ دِیْنًا

Today I have perfected your din for you, completed My bounty upon you and chosen Islam as your religion.

 

This was not any necessary law of din, as already discussed. In addition, this was the final moments of the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a time where all attention and focus is directed to Allah, how then would it have been appropriate to occupy Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with something that was not compulsory. Thus, even though revelation did not descend affirming the opinion of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the truth of his words, these accusations still do not have any basis. The words of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu are worthy of praise from any person having sound intellect.

 

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not the one instructed to bring the pen and paper

If any person still finds it hard to accept, on account of his own prejudice, that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked for the pen and paper out of concern for this ummah and still regards this instruction to have been compulsory to obey, then the accusation will not fall on ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu alone but all of the Ahlul bayt and all the Sahaba will be equally guilty. In fact, the Ahlul bayt will be the most guilty since any instruction or prohibition of a sick person is firstly directed to his household. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a guest, who had come to visit for a moment or two. If there was any fear for him then they could have waited until he left and there was no one to prevent them from fulfilling the order. Moreover, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lived a few days after this, and if this instruction had been compulsory, as the hearts of the Shia so desire, then it would make Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the most guilty, Allah forbid, because just as it is incumbent upon us to obey Allah and His Rasul, it is more incumbent upon the Nabi to propagate the laws of din. Allah Ta’ala says:

 

یٰاَیُّهَا الرَّسُوْلُ بَلِّغْ مَآ اُنْزِلَ اِلَیْكَ مِنْ رَّبِّكَۖ     وَ اِنْ لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُۚ

O Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Propagate what (everything that) has been revealed to you from your Rabb. If you do not do so, then you have not conveyed Allah’s message.[4]

 

The verses of the Qur’an and ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam all attest to the same, which is why we can say without any doubt that the propagation of the laws of din is more incumbent upon the nabi than us practicing upon on it. It is also evident that the propagation of din will only be fulfilled when it is propagated in words. Simply asking for a pen and paper to be brought and having it written, that if you act on this then you will not go astray, will not fulfil the obligation of propagation. If in this case there was any sort of shortcoming from ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then too his obedience to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will not have been tainted. If the Shia will ascribe such shortcomings to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Ahlul bayt, Allah forbid, then we too have no qualms of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu being included with them.

 

Where did the Shia learn of the intention of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

How did the Shia conclude from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asking for a pen and paper that he desired to write a decree in favour of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as khalifa? The apparent wording of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam suggests that he wished write such a summary of the tenets of Islam that would serve as a fortress for the iman of Muslims or list those practices which are absolutely essential in din, after all Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did say: “If you practice upon it then I bear witness that you will never go astray.” Signalling a particular person out for the caliphate will not fulfil the condition stipulated, which is obvious. This only prompts far-fetched and impossible interpretations, which any person is capable of doing. Even if we were to hypothetically accept that this was a decree making the caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu incumbent upon all, then for how long was this to last? No mention is made of anyone after ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu whereas the narrations clearly state that you will never go astray ever after that. Let us say, hypothetically, that this was a decree for caliphate; where does it state that it was for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had left both logical and verbal proof for the caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If you ask where the verbal proof is then it can be found in the Sihah Sittah[5] of the Ahlus Sunnah, where Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

I desired to write in favour of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu so that no desirous person may desire but Allah will not be pleased with anyone besides Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and nor will the muʼminin.

 

The caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be the most logical conclusion

This narration establishes that if Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did intend to make a decree regarding the caliphate then it would have been in favour of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and not ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If you ask what is the logical proof then listen well. According to the norm, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam must have been aware that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu might have been hopeful of being his successor and his other relatives and close family would have endeavoured for the same, which would result in this right never reaching the one deserving of it, i.e. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. On the other hand such hopes would not have occurred to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, according to all people of intellect, nor is there any proof of it or even a hint. If such hopes are proven then it is proven to have been from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which is why Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was so perplexed and worried. Thus to the good fortune of the Shia, this thinking of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam turned out to be correct and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu still remained a candidate for the caliphate and the prediction of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also turned out to be true; Allah and the muʼminin were not pleased with anyone but Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In summary, if the name of anyone was to be written as khalifa then it was the name of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu that was going to be written. If anyone has the right to complain against ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then it should be Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, why do the Shia complain? It is as the saying goes:

They always see two and two equalling to four loaves bread

And a cat only sees birds in his dreams

 

Thus the Shia, regardless of what the context may be, will always see the caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Imams.

 

This was just mentioned by the way. Our actual discussion was that the words:

 

وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِیْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضٰی لَهُمْ

And He will certainly grant (great) strength to the din that He has chosen for them.

 

replies all objections raised against the four al khulafa al Rashidin. In short, this verse establishes the legitimacy of the caliphate of the first three khalifas and also makes apparent their virtue, status and piety. This in itself proves the veracity of the Ahlus Sunnah and the falsehood and deviation of the Shia.

 

This bounty was in actual fact granted to the four khalifas and it is through them that it was attained by others

In order to emphasise my point further, I wish to add that the pronoun “لهم” (for them) indicates that the desired din will be established by those who will be appointed as khalifa and this great bounty will be first granted to the khalifas and through them others will benefit from it. They will be the primary recipients and others will attest to it. However since this could not be understood by the Shia merely from the words:

 

وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنّ

And He will certainly grant (great) strength to the din…

 

Allah added the pronoun:

 

لَهُمْ

…for them.

 

This establishes that even if others were to render services to din, it would all be in assistance to them. Thus in whichever manner the desired din was established, however fear was transformed into peace; it was all on account of these four khalifas. Just as when a president is invited to a feast, his close attendants are also invited on account of him and they partake of the same food as the president. The difference between the two will be the honour awarded to the president.

In this case too, this great bounty was awarded to these four khalifas specifically but through them all the Sahaba were encompassed by it. Every Sahabi, whether poor or bedouin was granted authority and leadership over the kuffar accordingly. In summary, this bounty of caliphate was specifically for these four beloveds of Allah but all shared in its fruits and all the Sahaba shared in the favours mentioned in this verse, through the blessings of the four al khulafa al Rashidin. The Sahaba are the example of the close attendants of the president and whoever had already embraced Islam at the time when this verse was revealed, such as the forerunners of the muhajirin, who are the closest of all and in fact akin to a blood brother. The tabi’in are like the servants and bodyguards of the president and even though all shared in this bounty, the difference will be the honour that was awarded to the khalifas.

 

“Those who are ungrateful…” refers to the ingratitude of the Shia and is a miracle of the Qur’an

It is also apparent that when the attendants and relatives benefit from the favours showered upon the president then the president need not be thankful and grateful towards them, instead it is the servants and attendants who should express their gratitude towards the president. The ungrateful and bitter instead of expressing their gratitude for the bounties they have enjoyed will always remain scornful and rather throw thorns in the path of the president.

The same applies here with the great bounty of caliphate, whatever victories, success and growth of Islam occurred from the era of the al khulafa al Rashidin to this day, are all the fruits of their caliphate. However, since these fruits were going to be enjoyed by the Sahaba as well as the Muslims of present day and even by the kuffar until the present day, Allah Ta’ala wished to distinguish the status of these four khalifas from that of their enemies, and so He said:

 

وَ مَنْ کَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ فَاُولئِكَ هُمُ الْفٰسِقُوْنَ

Those who are ungrateful after this are sinful indeed.

 

In other words, whoever benefits from this bounty, bestowed through these four khalifas and do not recognise the source of it, showing ingratitude and even worse yet disrespect, then they are the true sinners and no other sinner can equal them. It is obvious that the final portion of this verse fits no other but the Shia, Khawarij, Nawasib, the murderer of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as well as the murderers of ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. However since the Shia are the enemies of those who are the primary source of this bounty, the sin resting on their shoulders, on account of their ungratefulness, will be greater that any of the other sects.

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a few other Sahaba did oppose ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu but their opposition was like the disagreement between two brothers. Their example and that of the four khalifas will be like that of rich brothers and poor brothers, that despite their disagreements with each other they all benefit from the rich brother. In essence, failing to express gratitude while still appreciating the generosity of the affluent brother, is not commonly termed to be ingratitude but rather pride instead. In this instance, whereby all the brothers benefit from the success of one, the graceful act would be for the affluent brother not to become arrogant and spiteful towards those whom he aids. In fact, even if the other brothers were to harm him or show ingratitude towards him, it would still befit him to be gracious and not seek retribution from them and still regard them to be his brothers at the end of the day.

In summary, it is the practice of the people of righteousness that they do not harm their brothers who show ingratitude towards them but rather whatever Allah Ta’ala grants them of worldly and spiritual bounties, they appreciate and do not become boastful. In fact, they act the opposite to those who show ingratitude and instead become more generous. However, if the servant or attendant persists with his insults and hurtful sentiments then he most definitely becomes deserving of punishment.

The Shia have abandoned the fundamental rules of Shi’asm and discarded obedience to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Instead they have opted to follow in the footsteps of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The reason for this is that when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was informed that the companions of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu were cursing them, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu prohibited his army from cursing Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is reported in the most recognised Shia works as well, but sadly the Shia have opted to follow Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu instead and made tabarra (absolving themselves) from the Sahaba their unique trait. Most certainly they have not followed the practice of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu of not speaking ill of others but then where was he theirs to follow in the first place; following the Sunnah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the practice of the Ahlus Sunnah.

Subhan Allah, what a miraculous verse that it has not left any aspect uncovered. Allah Ta’ala made a promise to the Sahaba and thereafter hinted towards, or rather clearly mentioned their virtues, also reprimanding those who oppose the Sahaba and then too in such a manner that the description fits them from head to toe.

 

This verse draws a tight circle around the virtue of the Sahaba, protecting it from all sides

Undoubtedly if the following words were not mentioned:

 

یَعْبُدُوْنَنِیْ لَا یُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَیْئًا

They worship Me and do not ascribe any as partner to Me.

 

And the words “after this” did not appear following the statement, “Those who are ungrateful”, then there would be scope for interpreting the verse to mean that after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Sahaba turned apostate (as per Shia belief) and that this verse refers to real kufr (i.e. disbelief) and not showing ingratitude for the bounties of Allah. However, Allah Ta’ala has not left anything to pass in his Book.

The people of intelligence have already understood that such iman and deeds, which are beloved to Allah and which passed the test with such success that Allah awarded them great bounties on account of it; it is impossible that such iman could ever change into kufr, since such iman is only the lot of the “Sincere Slaves”, regarding whom shaitan was forced to admit:

 

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَاُغْوِیَنّهُمْ 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.”[6]

 

And Allah has also declared:

 

اِنَّ عِبَادِیْ لَیْسَ لَكَ عَلَیْهِمْ سُلْطٰنٌ

Indeed you will have no power over My bondsmen.[7]

 

In fact, it is from the Noble Qur’an that we come to understand that these “Sincere Slaves ” are either mahfuz (protected) from sin or are ma’sum (infallible or incapable) of sin.

 

The reason for this is the following verse:

 

کَذٰلِکَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوْٓءَ وَالْفَحْشَآءَۚ   اِنَّهٗ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِیْنَ  24

In this manner We averted evil and immorality from him. Indeed he was from Our sincere bondsmen.[8]

 

And since it has just been mentioned that the four khalifas are also from the “Sincere Slaves” of Allah, who are either mahfuz (protected) from sin or are ma’sum (infallible or incapable) of sin, then how is it possible for the words “Those who are ungrateful after this” to apply to them?

 

Thereafter, for those of lesser understanding, Allah added:

 

وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِیْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضٰی لَهُمْ

And He will certainly grant (great) strength to the din that He has chosen for them.

 

So that they do not pollute their tongues and minds by running down the Sahaba, which will result in them destroying their din and iman, and on account of their cursing the Sahaba earn the curse of Allah in return.

 

Furthermore, to make the explanation even clearer for the truly dull and ignorant, Allah mentioned further:

 

یَعْبُدُوْنَنِیْ لَا یُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَیْئًا

They worship Me and do not ascribe any as partner to Me.

 

So that any further doubt of apostasy can also be removed, and on account of their warped understanding and low aptitude should not apply the next portion of “Those who are ungrateful after this” to the Sahaba.

 

With certainty, the verse:

 

یَعْبُدُوْنَنِیْ لَا یُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَیْئًا

They worship Me and do not ascribe any as partner to Me.

 

has completely uprooted any possibility of apostasy, which by assuming the impossible might have occurred, since this verse mentions their condition till the end of their lives.

The qualities which Allah has mentioned have been found to be prevalent to the highest degree in the four khalifas, to such an extent that the Shia themselves are forced to acknowledge the fact that the first three khalifas, especially ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, followed the laws of Shari’ah to the letter and made tremendous efforts to spread the din. Undoubtedly they surpassed all in taqwa and zuhd (abstinence).

Sharif al Murtada (a renowned Shia scholar) in his book Tanzih al Prophets’ wa l-A’immah and many other Shia scholars as well have also written the same. Although they have not desisted from their usual evil practice and as the saying goes:

 

المرء يقيس على نفسه

One judges others according to his own standard.

 

They claim that all of this was only done as a show. However, when we read the verse, “They worship Me” and the words before it, it all points to their sincerity.

Thus, this false accusation returns directly back to them.

 

Accusing the first three khalifas of apostasy is tantamount to accusing Allah of deceit

The words “after this” has utterly disgraced the Imamiyyah sect (the Shia) because, if by assuming the impossible, we suppose that the three khalifas had turned apostate after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as the Shia assume, then it would mean (Allah forbid) that Allah did not even understand as much as the Shia understood.

Instead of saying: “Those who disbelieve after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam”, He rather chose to say: “Those who are ungrateful after this” and is thus responsible for deceit.

If however the statement: “Those who are ungrateful after this” is correct then it lends no support to the meaning which the Shia attempt to extract from this verse. Instead it will contradict what they are saying because if this applies to the three khalifas, for example, then this will mean that the kufr occurred after the promised favour of Allah had been completed.

In this instance, denial or rejection of the imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu immediately after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (which according to the Shia, all of the Sahaba are guilty of, more so the first three khalifas) does not constitute kufr. The reason being that, firstly this notion of the Shia that rejecting the imamah is tantamount to the rejection of nubuwwah and constitutes kufr is absolutely baseless.

Secondly, it will mean that rejecting the right of the three khalifas to caliphate, which has been established from this verse, will in fact constitute kufr. In this case we have no problem.

 

Who does “Those who are ungrateful after this” refer to?

The context of this verse informs us that the correct meaning is that the words: “Those who are ungrateful after this” actually refers to the enemies of the khalifas and not the khalifas themselves.

In addition, the word “kufr” employed in this verse refers to ingratitude for this bounty and not kufr which means disbelief, unless we laboriously endeavour to grant it that meaning.

The reason why its meaning is ingratitude in this context is that mention is made here of the person who witnesses all these favours of Allah in the form of unseen assistance to the din from the side of Allah, and thereafter commits “kufr” then such a person is a true transgressor, so normally ingratitude is used when a favour is discussed and not disbelief.

In short, “Those who are ungrateful after this” applies to the enemies of the khalifas, but we have given some concession and have taken “kufr” to mean ingratitude, and if the Shia are not pleased with this concession and insist on taking the meaning of disbelief and thereby regard themselves as true disbelievers, then by all means they may go ahead and do as they please.

 
 

NEXT⇒ Chapter Three


[1] Surah al Nur: 55

[2] Surah Taha: 50

[3] Surah al Ma’idah: 3

[4] Surah al Ma’idah: 67

[5]Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah

[6] Surah Sad: 82

[7] Surah al Hijr: 42

[8] Surah Yusuf: 24

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