Misconception: She set out to fight ‘Ali

The Incident of Jamal
March 1, 2018
Misconception: She acted in defiance to Allah’s command
March 1, 2018

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Misconception: She set out to fight ‘Ali

 

The Rawafid claim that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha set out to fight Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu oppressively and out of aggression and hostility. They substantiate their claim with a narration they attribute to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

تقاتلين عليا و أنت ظالمة له

You will fight ‘Ali tyrannically.

 

They also present another narration which al Majlisi records in Bihar al Anwar from al Sadiq rahimahu Llah from his father in the khabar al tayr (incident of the bird):

 

أنه جاء علي عليه السلام مرتين فردته عائشة رضي الله عنها فلما دخل في الثالثة و أخبر النبي صلى الله عليه و آله به قال النبي صلى الله عليه و آله أبيت إلا أن يكون الأمر هكذا يا حميراء ما حملك على هذا قالت يا رسول الله اشتهيت أن يكون أبي أن يأكل من الطير فقال لها ما هو أول ضغن بينك و بين علي و قد وقفت على ما في قلبك لعلي إن شاء الله تعالى لتقاتلينه فقالت يا رسول الله و تكون النساء يقاتلن الرجال فقال لها يا عائشة إنك لتقاتلين عليا و يصحبك و يدعوك إلى هذا نفر من أهل بيتي و أصحابي فيحملونك عليه و ليكونن في قتالك أمر يتحدث به الأولون و الآخرون

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu came twice but Aisha sent him back. After he entered on the third occasion and informed Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about it, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “You rejected that things turn out this way, O Humaira’! What prompted you to act in this manner?”

She said, “O Messenger of Allah! I wanted my father to eat from the bird.”

He told her, “This is not the first rancour between you and ‘Ali. I have discerned what your heart harbours for ‘Ali. If Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala wills, you will definitely fight him.”

“O Messenger of Allah,” she asked, “will women fight men?”

He confirmed, “O Aisha! You will definitely fight ‘Ali. And a group of my household and companions will accompany you and call you to this and they will incite you to accomplish it. Your fighting will give birth to an affair, the former and latter will speak about.[1]

 

Answer

a. These narrations are nothing but forgeries and fabrications of the Rawafid. All these reports they present and falsely attribute to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cannot be traced in any of the reliable books of ahadith. And they do not have any accepted isnads either. They are most certainly blatant lies.[2]

Ibn Taymiyyah says:

 

و أما الحديث الذي رواه و هو قوله لها تقاتلين عليا و أنت ظالمة له فهذا لا يعرف في شيء من كتب العلم المعتمدة و لا له إسناد معروف و هو بالموضوعات أشبه منه بالأحاديث الصحيحة بل هو كذب قطعا

With regards to the hadith he narrates, “You will fight ‘Ali tyrannically,” it cannot be traced in any of the reliable books of knowledge nor does it have any accepted isnad. It resembles fabrications more than it resembles authentic ahadith. In fact, it is definitely a blatant lie.[3]

 

b. The stance of Sayyidah Aisha and those with her which is recognised and determined is that they set out in order to make peace, not to fight.

 

فإن عائشة رضي الله عنها لم تقاتل و لم تخرج لقتال و إنما خرجت لقصد الإصلاح بين المسلمين و ظنت أن في خروجها مصلحة للمسلمين فلم يكن للصحابة قصد في الاقتتال يوم الجمل و لكن وقع الاقتتال بغير اختيارهم فإنه لما تراسل علي و طلحة و الزبير و قصدوا الاتفاق على المصلحة و أنهم إذا تمكنوا طلبوا قتلة عثمان أهل الفتنة و كان علي غير راض بقتل عثمان و لا معينا عليه كما كان يحلف فيقول والله ما قتلت عثمان و لا مالأت على قتله و هو الصادق البار في يمينه فخشي القتلة فحملوا على عسكر طلحة و الزبير فظن طلحة و الزبير أن عليا حمل عليهم فحملوا دفعا عن أنفسهم فظن علي أنهم حملوا عليه فحمل دفعا عن نفسه فوقعت الفتنة بغير اختيارهم و عائشة رضي الله عنها كانت راكبة لا قاتلت و لا أمرت بالقتال هكذا ذكره غير واحد من أهل المعرفة بالأخبار

Certainly, Aisha did not fight and did not set out to fight. She only travelled to create unity between the Muslims. She believed that there was benefit for the Muslims in her journey. The Sahabah had no intention to fight on the Day of Jamal. However, a battle ensued without their choice.

‘Ali and Talhah and Zubair exchanged correspondence and intended to unite and agreed that when they have the ability, they will demand the murderers of ‘Uthman, the conspirators.

‘Ali was not happy with ‘Uthman’s murder and did not assist therein. He would swear upon oath declaring, “By Allah, I neither killed ‘Uthman nor assisted in his murder.” And he is truthful and honest in his oath. However, the murderers were anxious. So they attacked the army of Talhah and Zubair. When this happened, Talhah and Zubair thought that ‘Ali attacked them so they attacked back in defence. ‘Ali thought that they are attacking him so he attacked back in defence. And this is how the fitnah occurred, without their choice and against their wishes. This is how many scholars who are experts in the field of ahadith have described the sequence of events.[4]

 

The following evidences substantiate that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha set out for reconciliation.

1. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha would say herself that she journeyed for unity. Al Tabari narrates via his isnad:

 

فخرج القعقاع حتى قدم البصرة فبدأ بعائشة رضي الله عنها فسلم عليها و قال أي أمه ما أشخصك و ما أقدمك هذه البلدة قالت أي بني إصلاح بين الناس

Al Qa’qa’ travelled until he reached Basrah. He began with Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. He greeted her with salam and asked, “O beloved Mother, what dispatched you and brought you to this city?”

She replied, “O my beloved son, reconciliation between people.”[5]

 

2. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha wrote that she only set out to create unity. Ibn Hibban narrates in his book al Thiqat:

 

و قدم زيد بن صوحان من عند عائشة معه كتابان من عائشة إلى أبي موسى والي الكوفة و إذا في كل كتاب منهما بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم من عائشة أم المؤمنين إلى عبد الله بن قيس الأشعري سلام عليك فإني أحمد إليك الله الذي لا إله إلا هو أما بعد فإنه قد كان من قتل عثمان ما قد علمت و قد خرجت مصلحة بين الناس فمر من قبلك بالقرار في منازلهم و الرضا بالعافية حتى يأتيهم ما يحبون من صلاح أمر المسلمين فإن قتلة عثمان فارقوا الجماعة و أحلوا بأنفسهم البوار

Zaid ibn Suhan came from Aisha. He had two letters from Aisha addressed to Abu Musa, the governor of Kufah. Both of the letters contained the following:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent Most Merciful.

From Aisha, Mother of the believers, to ‘Abdullah ibn Qais al Ash’ari. Peace upon you.

I praise Allah in front of you, besides whom there is no deity.

After praise, you are well aware of the murder of ‘Uthman and its disastrous consequences. I have come to create unity between the people. So command all of those from your side to remain at home and to be pleased with safety until they receive the delightful news of the unification of the matters of the Muslims. Most certainly, the murderers of ‘Uthman have distanced themselves from the jama’ah thereby inviting ruin upon themselves.[6]

 

3. Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha Accordingly, it appears in the books of history:

 

كان القتال يومئذ في صدر النهار مع طلحة و الزبير فانهزم الناس و عائشة رضي الله عنها توقع الصلح

The battle that day raged at daybreak with Talhah and Zubair. At the end, the army was defeated. On the other hand, Aisha was designing a compromise.[7]

4.

لما ظهر علي أي يوم الجمل جاء إلى عائشة فقال غفر الله لك قالت و لك ما أردت إلا الإصلاح

When ‘Ali was victorious, i.e. on the Day of Jamal, he came to Aisha and said, “May Allah forgive you.”

She said, “And you too. I only wanted unity.”[8]

 

It can easily be deduced from the above that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha did not travel to fight Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, nor to contest with him in the issue of khilafah. She only intended unity.

 

فإن عائشة رضي الله عنها لم تقاتل و لم تخرج لقتال و إنما خرجت لقصد الإصلاح بين المسلمين و ظنت أن في خروجها مصلحة للمسلمين ثم تبين لها فيما بعد أن ترك الخروج أولى فكانت إذا ذكرت خروجها تبكي حتى تبل خمارها

Certainly, Aisha did not fight and did not set out to fight. She only travelled to create unity between the Muslims. She believed that there was benefit for the Muslims in her journey. Thereafter, it became apparent to her that not setting out was better. So whenever she would recall her journey, she would weep until her scarf would become wet.[9]

 

Ibn Hazm clarifies:

 

و أما أم المؤمنين و الزبيرو طلحة رضي الله عنهم و من كان معهم فما أبطلوا قط إمامة علي و لا طعنوا فيها و لا ذكروا فيه جرحة تحط عن الإمامة و لا أحدثوا إمامة أخرى و لا جددوا بيعة لغيره هذا ما لا يقدر أن يدعيه أحد بوجه من الوجوه بل يقطع كل ذي علم على أن كل ذلك لم يكن فإن كان لا شك في كل هذا فقد صح صحة ضرورية لا إشكال فيها أنهم لم يمضوا إلى البصرة لحرب علي و لا خلافا عليه و لا نقضا لبيعته و لو أرادوا ذلك لأحدثوا بيعة غير بيعته هذا ما لا يشك فيه أحد و لا ينكره أحد فصح أنهم إنما نهضوا إلى البصرة لسد الفتق الحادث في الإسلام من قتل أمير المؤمنين عثمان رضي الله عنه ظلما

Regarding Umm al Mu’minin, Zubair, and Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and those with them, they never falsified ‘Ali’s leadership, nor criticised it, nor mentioned any flaw in him which makes him unworthy of leadership, nor invented another ledadership, nor pledged bay’ah to someone besides him. This is something which no one can ever claim from any angle. To the contrary, every man of knowledge will declare with conviction that none of this happened. When there is not the slightest of doubt in this, then it is undoubtedly and definitely correct to assert that they did not travel to Basrah with the intention to fight ‘Ali, oppose him, or break his bay’ah. Had they intended this, they would have invented another bay’ah besides his. This is a fact which no one can doubt, nor reject. Thus, it is evident that they travelled to Basrah to fill the crack caused in Islam by the unjust murder of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[10]

 

Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah explains:

 

و لم يكن قصدهم القتال لكن لما انتشبت الحرب لم يكن لمن معها بد من المقاتلة … و لم ينقل أن عائشة رضي الله عنها و من معها نازعوا عليا في الخلافة و لا دعوا إلى أحد منهم ليولوه الخلافة و إنما أنكرت هي و من معها على علي منعه من قتل قتلة عثمان و ترك الاقتصاص منهم و كان علي ينتظر من أولياء عثمان أن يتحاكموا إليه فإذا ثبت على أحد بعينه أنه ممن قتل عثمان اقتص منه فاختلفوا بحسب ذلك و خشي من نسب إليهم القتل أن يصطلحوا على قتلهم فأنشبوا الحرب بينهم إلى أن كان ما كان

Their intention was not to fight. However, when the war started, those with her had no choice but to fight. It has not been recorded that Aisha and those with her contested ‘Ali regarding khilafah or demanded that one of them be crowned khalifah. Instead, she and those with her disapproved ‘Ali’s refusal of killing the murderers of ‘Uthman and not taking revenge from them. On the other hand, ‘Ali was waiting for the heirs of ‘Uthman to appeal to him for a legal decision. Consequently, after it would be established against someone specific that he was among those who killed ‘Uthman, he would execute him. They differed in this regard. Those who were involved in the murder feared that they (‘Ali and Aisha and their armies) might unite to kill them. So they ignited the flames of war between them until the unfortunate series of events unfolded.[11]

 

The Shia go the extent to claim that she committed kufr by fighting Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu despite her knowledge of the hadith:

 

يا علي حربي حربك و سلمي سلمك

O ‘Ali, war with me is war with you and peace with me is peace with you.

 

And the hadith:

لا ترجعوا بعدي كفارا يضرب بعضكم رقاب بعض

Do not turn disbelievers after me, smiting each other’s necks.[12]

 

The answer to the first hadith:

 

هذا الحديث ليس في شيء من كتب العلماء الحديث المعروفة و لا روي بإسناد معروف و لو كان النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قاله لم يجب أن يكونوا قد سمعوه فإنه لم يسمع كل منهم كل ما قاله الرسول صلى الله عليه و سلم فكيف إذا لم يعلم أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قاله و لا روي بإسناد معروف بل كيف إذا علم أنه كذب موضوع على النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم باتفاق أهل العلم بالحديث

This hadith has no trace in any of the well-known books of the ‘Ulama’ of hadith, and is not narrated with an accepted isnad. Had Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared this, it will not be assumed that they heard it because not every one of them heard everything Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said. Then how about when it is not known whether Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said it and it is not narrated via an accepted isnad. In fact, how about if it is recognised as a blatant lie and fabrication against Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by the consensus of the masters of hadith.[13]

 

He says at another juncture:

 

من العجائب و أعظم المصائب على هؤلاء المخذولين أن يثبتوا مثل هذا الأصل العظيم بمثل هذا الحديث الذي لا يوجد في شيء من دواوين أهل الحديث التي يعتمدون عليها لا هو في الصحاح و لا السنن و لا المساند و لا الفوائد و لا غير ذلك مما يتناقله أهل العلم بالحديث و يتداولونه بينهم و لا هو عندهم لا صحيح و لا حسن و لا ضعيف بل هو اخس من ذلك و هو من أظهر الموضوعات كذبا فإنه خلاف المعلوم المتواتر من سنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من أنه جعل الطائفتين مسلمين اه

From the perplexities and greatest calamities of these humiliated persons is for them to establish a grand principle relying on a hadith which does not feature in any of the reliable compilations of the Muhaddithin. It cannot be traced in the Sihah, Sunan, Masanid, Fawaid, or any other source which the masters of hadith transmit and mutually share. It has not been categorised by them, neither sahih, nor hasan, nor da’if. In fact, it is worse than that. It is one of the most glaring false fabrications since it contradicts the mutawatir and acknowledged Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of regarding both groups as Muslims.[14]

 

Regarding the second hadith, interpreting kufr as the major kufr which takes one out of the fold of Islam is the interpretation of the Khawarij who regard the perpetrators of major sins as kuffar. It is understood that such a stance is manifest deviation which conflicts many established verses and narrations, inter alia:

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَنْ يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُوْنَ ذٰلِكَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.[15]

 

This ayah concerns one who does not repent because one who does repent from shirk is forgiven as established by the Qur’an and the consensus of the Muslims.

 

وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ اقْتَتَلُوْا فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا

And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two.[16]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala described them as Mu’minin despite their fighting. Allah thereafter declares:

 

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers.[17]

 

In a similar light, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala did not eliminate brotherhood from them.

The condition of people who misinterpret such ahadith like the Khawarij and their ilk is well-known, of them being the dogs of the inmates of Hell and Qur’an not passing their clavicles[18] as affirmed in authentic ahadith. The hadith they use as proof is not the only one on the topic. Rather, there are many similar sayings of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam like the following:

 

سباب المسلم فسوق و قتاله كفر

Swearing a Muslim is transgression and killing him is kufr.[19]

 

اثنتان في الناس هما بهم كفر الطعن في النسب و النياحة

Two actions of people are kufr: criticising lineage and wailing.[20]

 

The interpretation of these ahadith is just as Hafiz has explained in Fath al Bari in the commentary of the hadith, swearing a Muslim is transgression and killing him is kufr:

 

و لا متمسك للخوارج فيه لإن ظاهره غير مراد لكن لما كان القتال أشد من السباب لأنه مفض إلى إزهاق الروح عبر عنه بلفظ أشد من لفظ الفسق و هو الكفر و لم يرد حقيقة الكفر التي هو الخروج عن الملة بل أطلق عليه الكفر مبالغة في التحذير معتمدا على ما تقرر من القواعد أن مثل ذلك لا يخرج عن الملة مثل حديث الشفاعة و مثل قوله تعالى إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَنْ يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُوْنَ ذٰلِكَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ أو أطلق عليه الكفر لشبهه به لأن قتال المؤمن من شأن الكافر

There is no evidence in this for the Khawarij since the apparent meaning is not intended. As killing is more severe than abusing, for it leads to the annihilation of the soul, he expressed it with a word more severe than transgression, i.e. kufr. However, he did not intend the reality of kufr which is renouncing the religion. Rather, he referred to it as kufr, to exaggerate the warning. This interpretation is presented after considering the established principle that such actions do not take a person out of the fold of Islam, as conveyed in the hadith of intercession and Allah’s statement:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.[21]

Or he referred to it as kufr due to its resemblance, because killing a believer is the practice of the kafir.[22]

 

Hafiz has provided other interpretations as well to the hadith.

This only applies to one who transgresses, and oppresses and carries this out without a valid interpretation. As regards to the one who practices ijtihad, and is worthy of practicing the same, but errs, he is not included in the warning at all. Rather, he is included in the purport of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam assertion:

 

إذا اجتهد الحاكم فأصاب فله أجران و إذا اجتهد فأخطأ فله أجر

When a ruler practices ijtihad and reaches the correct conclusion, he receives double reward. And when he practices ijtihad and errs, he receives a single reward.[23]

 

Furthermore, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not label the Khawarij, whom he fought against, as kuffar; notwithstanding that they unanimously called him a kafir. He did not brand those whom Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam described as the dogs of the inmates of Hell as kuffar.

Tariq ibn Shihab[24] relates:

 

كنت عند علي حين فرغ من قتال أهل النهروان فقيل له أمشركون هم قال من الشرك فروا فقيل فمنافقون قال المنافقون لا يذكرون الله إلا قليلا قيل فما هم قال قوم بغوا علينا فقاتلناهم

I was present with ‘Ali after he finished fighting the people of al Nahrawan. He was asked, “Are they mushrikin (polytheists)?”

He replied, “They fled from shirk.”

It was asked, “Then munafiqin (hypocrites)?”

“The hypocrites do not remember Allah but a little,” he responded.

He was asked, “Then what are they?”

He explained, “A nation who committed rebelled against us, so we fought them.”[25]

 

This clearly confirms that he did not label them as kuffar despite their invalid interpretation. Nonetheless, the presence of misconception on their part prevented him from labelling them as kuffar.

So what about those who practice ijtihad and are worthy of practicing the same? Moreover, they never attributed kufr to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In fact, they did not intend fighting him in the first place as proven earlier.

 

NEXT ⇒ Misconception: She acted in defiance to Allah’s command


[1] Bihar al Anwar vol. 32 pg. 93; al Ihtijaj vol. 1 pg. 293; Madinat al Ma’ajiz of Hashim al Bahrani vol. 1 pg. 390, 391.

[2] Al Sa’iqah fi Nasf Abatil wa Iftira’at al Shia pg. 212, 213.

[3] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah vol. 4 pg. 316.

[4] Ibid pg. 317; Shubuhat Hawl al Sahabah Umm al Mu’minin Aisha of Muhammad Mal Allah pg. 14.

[5] Al Fitnah wa Waq’at al Jamal pg. 145; Tarikh al Tabari vol. 4 pg. 488; al Kamil fi al Tarikh vol. 2 pg. 591.

[6] Al Thiqat vol. 2 pg. 282.

[7] Al Fitnah wa Waq’at al Jamal pg. 168; Tarikh al Tabari vol. 3 pg. 52.

[8] Shadharat al Dhahab vol. 1 pg. 42.

[9] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah vol. 4 pg. 316.

[10] Al Fasl fi al Milal wa al Ahwa’ wa al Nihal vol. 4 pg. 153

[11] Fath al Bari vol. 13 pg. 56.

[12] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 121; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 65 – the narration of Sayyidina Jarir radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[13] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah vol. 4 pg. 496.

[14] Ibid vol. 8 pg. 533.

[15] Surah al Nisa: 48.

[16] Surah al Hujurat: 9.

[17] Surah al Hujurat: 10.

[18] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 3610; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 1064 – the narration of Sayyidina Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[19] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 48; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 64.

[20] Sahih Muslim Hadith: 67.

[21] Surah al Nisa: 48.

[22] Fath al Bari vol. 1 pg. 112.

[23] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 7352; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 1716 – the narration of Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu with the wording:

إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد ثم أصاب فله أجران و إذا حكم فاجتهد ثم أخطأ فله أجر

When a ruler passes judgement after practicing ijtihad and reaches the correct conclusion, he receives double reward. And when he passes judgement after practicing ijtihad but errs, he receives a single reward.

[24] Tariq ibn Shihab ibn ‘Abd Shams, Abu ‘Abdullah al Bajali. He had the great fortune of seeing Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but did not hear anything from him. He passed away in 82 or 83 A.H. (al Isabah vol. 3 pg. 510; Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 3 pg. 6)

[25] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah vol. 5 pg. 242 – from the narration of Muhammad ibn Nasr.

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