Misconceptions related to his integrity: Misconception 1 – Characterising him as treacherous

Section Three – Unknown Narrators in the Books of the Rawafid
December 2, 2021
Misconception 2 – His admitting to following his desires and being inclined towards the world at his death
December 8, 2021

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

Misconceptions related to his integrity

 

Misconception 1 –  Characterising him as treacherous

 

This is an issue that has been perpetuated and propagated in the books of those who seek to disparage ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The author of al Mi’yar wa al Muwazanah writes:

 

وإنما تراجع الناس إليه بعد الحكمين حين انكشف للناس غدر عمرو بن العاص

People fell back on him when they came to know of the deceit of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As at the arbitration.[1]

 

Muhsin al Amin said:

 

وبهذا انتهت مهزلة تحكيم الحكمين التي دبرها عمرو بن العاص وشری دینه بإمارة مصر

And with this the farce of arbitration, which ‘Amr ibn al ‘As engineered, came to an end. He sold his faith in this process for the governorship of Egypt.[2]

 

These statements are based on what has been recorded regarding the arbitration carried out by Abu Musa and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma on the issue of the differences between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It has been narrated by Nasr ibn Muzahim in his book Siffin — from ‘Umar ibn Sa’d — from Abu Janab al Kalbi as follows:

 

أن عمراً وأبا موسى حيث التقيا بدومة الجندل أخذ عمرو يقدم عبد الله بن قیس في الكلام ويقول إنك قد صحبت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قبلي وأنت أكبر منى فتكلم ثم أتكلم وكان عمرو قد عود أبا موسى أن يقدمه في كل شيء وإنما اغتره بذلك ليقدمه فيبدأ بخلع علي… قال فأخبرني ما رأيك يا أبا موسى؟ قال رأيي أن أخلع هذين الرجلين علي ومعاوية ثم نجعل هذا الأمر شوری بین المسلمين يختارون لأنفسهم من شاءوا ومن أحبوا فقال له عمرو الرأي ما رأيت … فأقبلا إلى الناس وهم مجتمعون فتكلم أبو موسى فحمد الله وأثنى عليه فقال إن رأيي ورأي عمرو قد اتفق على أمر نرجو أن يصلح الله به أمر هذه الأمة قال عمرو صدق ثم قال يا أبا موسى فتكلم فتقدم أبو موسى ليتكلم فدعاه ابن عباس فقال ويحك إني لأظنه قد خدعك إن كنتما قد اتفقتما على أمر فقدمه قبلك فيتكلم بذلك الأمر قبلك ثم تكلم أنت بعده فإن عمراً رجل غدار ولا آمن أن يكون قد أعطاك الرضا فيما بينك وبينه فإذا قمت به في الناس خالفك وكان أبو موسى رجلاً مغفلاً فقال إيها عنك إنا اتفقنا فتقدم فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال يأيها الناس إنا قد نظرنا في أمر هذه الأمة فلم نر شيئا هو أصلح الأمرها وألم لشعثها من ألا تتباين أمورها وقد أجمع رأيي ورأي صاحبي عمرو على خلع علي ومعاوية وأن نستقبل هذا الأمر فيكون شوری بین المسلمين فيولون أمورهم من أحبوا وإني قد خلعت علياً ومعاوية فاستقبلوا أمركم وولوا من رأيتم لها أهلا ثم تنحي فقعد وقام عمرو بن العاص مقامه فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال إن هذا قال ما قد سمعتم وخلع صاحبه وأنا أخلع صاحبه كما خلعه وأثبت صاحبي معاوية في الخلافة فإنه ولی عثمان والطالب بدمه وأحق الناس بمقامه فقال له أبو موسى مالك لا وفقك الله قد غدرت وفجرت وإنما مثلك مثل الكلب إن تحمل عليه يلهث أو تتركه يلهث إلى آخر الآية قال فقال له عمرو إنما مثلك مثل الحمار يحمل أسفاراً إلى آخر الآية

When ‘Amr and Abu Musa met at Dawmat al Jandal, ‘Amr at first gave ‘Abdullah ibn Qais (Abu Musa) precedence in speaking, saying himself, “You are the Companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and you are my senior. Speak and then I will speak!”

‘Amr had accustomed Abu Musa to think that he would give him precedence in everything, wishing thus to make him go first so he would take the initiative in deposing ‘Ali.

‘Amr then said to Abu Musa, “Tell me what you think.”

He answered, “I think we should depose these two men, ‘Ali and Muawiyah, and make the matter consultative between the Muslims, who will choose for themselves whomever they like.

‘Amr said to him, “I agree”.

They went toward the people who were gathered together. Abu Musa spoke and said, “I and ‘Amr have agreed on something by which we hope Allah will bring about peace to this Ummah!”

‘Amr said, “You have spoken the truth and kept your word, Abu Musa, go ahead and speak.”

Abu Musa went forward to speak, but Ibn ‘Abbas said to him, “Woe to you, I suspect that he has tricked you. If you have both agreed on something, let him go first and speak about that thing before you, and then you speak after him. ‘Amr is a treacherous man and I am not sure that he has perhaps given you satisfaction when it was just the two of you, but, when you stand among the people he will oppose you!”

But Abu Musa was a heedless man. He said, “We have agreed.”

Abu Musa went forward, praised Allah, extolled Him, and then said, “People, we have considered the affairs of this community and we do not think that there is anything that will be more beneficial for it or more conducive to resolving its difficulties than that upon which I and ‘Amr have agreed. That is, that we should depose ‘Ali and Muawiyah and that this community should confront the issue and appoint over themselves from among themselves whomever it is that they want. I have accepted the deposition of ‘Ali and Muawiyah, and now you confront the issue and give power over you to whomever you think is fitting for this matter!” He then stood aside and sat down.

‘Amr ibn al ‘As stood, took his place, praised Allah and extolled Him, then said, “This fellow has spoken as you have heard and declared the deposition of the one whom he represents. Similarly, I declare that he is deposed and I confirm my support for my candidate Muawiyah. He is the next-of-kin of ‘Uthman and the one who seeks vengeance for his blood. Of all the people, he has most right to take his place!”

Abu Musa said, “What are you doing, may Allah foil you? You have acted treacherously and wickedly. Your similitude is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants.

‘Amr responded, “Your similitude is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books].”[3]

 

Answer

The incident of the arbitration carried out by Abu Musa and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As in the differences between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is famed; recorded in books of history and literature.[4]

Additionally, due to its association with the politics of the Islamic State, it has garnered much significance. It therefore needs to be put under the microscope for further study and analysis. This is especially so since some—regarding it to be true—fall into maligning the stars of the Ummah, the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Whereas he said:

 

لا تسبوا أصحابي لا تسبوا أصحابي فوالذي نفسي بيده لو أنّ أحدكم أنفق مثل أُحد ذهباً ما أدرك مدّ أحدهم ولانصيفة

Do not curse my Sahabah! Do not curse my Sahabah! For by Him Who controls my life, if any of you were to spend the weight of Mount Uhud in gold, it still would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even one-half of it.[5]

 

Studying and analyzing this incident brings to the fore the invalidity of it. The fallaciousness of this story can be established in the following four ways:

 

1. Studying The Chains of Transmission

This incident has been narrated by Nasr ibn Muzahim in his book Waq’ah Siffin — from ‘Umar ibn Sa’d — from Abu Janab al Kalbi, that ‘Amr and Abu Musa met at Dawmat al Jandal… This chain of transmission is extremely weak due to four defects:

 

i. Nasr ibn Muzahim al Manqari

The author of the book, Nasr ibn Muzahim, is accused of forgery.

Abu al Farj ibn al Jawzi recorded the following statements of the hadith scholars regarding Nasr ibn Muzahim al Manqari al Kufi al ‘Attar:

  • Abu Khaythamah said, “He was a liar.”
  • Yahya said, “His narrations amount to naught.”
  • Abu Hatim al Razi said, “His narrations are weak and discarded.”
  • Al Darqutni said, “Weak.”
  • Ibrahim ibn Yaqub al Juzajani said, “He was astray from the truth.”
  • Salih ibn Muhammad said, “He narrated many discarded narrations from weak transmitters.”
  • Abu al Fath al Azdi said, “He was an extremist and his narrations weren’t praiseworthy.”[6]

 

ii. ‘Umar ibn Sa’d

His teacher, ‘Umar ibn Sa’d, is also unreliable. Abu Hatim said, “Suspected of forgery in Hadith.”[7]

 

iii. Abu Janab al Kalbi

Abu Janab al Kalbi is Yahya ibn Abu Hayyah al Kalbi, famously known as Abu Janab. They have deemed him weak due to his common practice of tadlis.[8]

 

iv. Inqita’: Abu Janab narrated the incident of arbitration whilst he passed away in the year 150 A.H. which is incidentally the same year Imam Abu Hanifah and Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar, the historian[9], passed away. Thus, between him and the incident is a gap of numerous years.[10]

This narration has also been recorded by al Tabari, without a chain of transmission [ta’liqan], from Abu Mikhnaf — from Abu Janab al Kalbi that ‘Amr and Abu Musa met at Dawmat al Jandal … He then mentioned the incident just as the other narration goes. At the end though, the following addition appears:

 

ثم انصرف عمرو وأهل الشام إلى معاوية وسلموا عليه بالخلافة ورجع ابن عباس وشریح بن هانئ إلى علي وكان إذا صلى الغداة يقنت فيقول اللهم العن معاوية وعمراً وأبا الأعور السلمي وحبيباً وعبد الرحمن بن خالد والضحاك بن قیس والوليد فبلغ ذلك معاوية فكان إذا قنت لعن علي وابن عباس والأشتر وحسناً وحسيناً

Then ‘Amr and the Syrians went back to Muawiyah and greeted him as Khalifah, while Ibn ‘Abbas and Shurayh ibn Hani’ went to ‘Ali. Whenever he was making the early morning prayers, ‘Ali would stand in supplication and say, “O Allah, put a curse on Muawiyah, ‘Amr, Abu al A’war al Sulami, Habib, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Khalid, al Dahhak ibn Qais, and al Walid.”

Muawiyah heard about that, and when he himself made supplication, he cursed ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbas, al Ashtar, al Hassan, and al Hussain.[11]

 

This chain of transmission is also extremely weak. Using it as evidence is not possible due to the following two defects:

 

i. Abu Mikhnaf Lut ibn Yahya

Al Dhahabi said about him, “A ruined historian. Not to be relied upon.”[12]

 

ii. Abu Janab al Kalbi

We have already discussed him under the first narration.

 

There is another chain of transmission for this incident:

Ibn Sa’d has recorded in al Tabaqat[13] and by way of his transmission Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq[14] as follows:

 

أنا محمد بن عمر حدثني أبو بكر بن عبد الله بن أبي سبرة عن إسحاق بن عبد الله بن أبي فروة عن عمرو بن الحكم قال لما التقى الناس بدومة جندل فذكر نحوه وفيه فقال سعد بن أبي وقاص ويحك يا أبا موسى ما أضعفك عن عمرو ومكائده فقال أبو موسى فما أصنع جامعني على أمر ثم نزع عنه

Muhammad ibn ‘Umar narrated — from Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Saburah — from Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah — from’Amr ibn al Hakam who said: When the people gathered at Dawmat al Jandal … he then mentioned the incident as the other narrations.

There is the following addition in this narration:

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas said, “Woe to you Abu Musa! How weak you have proven to ‘Amr and his deception!”

Abu Musa replied, “What can I do? We agreed on an issue and then he betrayed me.”

 

This chain of transmission is extremely weak due the following three defects:

 

i. Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn Waqidi

Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn Waqidi al Aslami al Waqidi al Madani, Judge, and resident of Baghdad. Though knowledgeable with [regards to history], he is suspected of forgery as established by al Hafiz ibn Hajar.[15]

 

ii. Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Saburah

His teacher, Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Saburah ibn Abu Rahm ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza al Qurashi al ‘Amiri al Madani. It is said his name is ‘Abdullah whilst others have opined it to be Muhammad. He is sometimes attributed to his grandfather.

  • Ahmed ibn Hambal said, “He amounts to nothing. He used to fabricate hadith.”
  • Al Nasa’i said, “Suspected of forgery in Hadith.”
  • Abu Ahmed ibn ‘Adi said, “Most of what he narrates are anomalous. He is from amongst those who would fabricate hadith.”[16]
  • Al Hakim said, “He brings about fabricated hadith attributing it to reliable narrators such as Hisham ibn ‘Urwah, Jafar ibn Muhammad al Sadiq, and others.”[17]

 

iii. Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah

The teacher of Ibn Abi Saburah, Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah is unreliable as well.

  • Ibn Sa’d said, “Ishaq narrated many hadith. He would narrate discarded hadith. His narrations cannot be presented as evidence.”
  • Baqiyyah ibn al Walid narrated — from ‘Utbah ibn Abi Hakim who said:

جلس إسحاق بن عبد الله بن أبي فروة بالمدينة في مجلس الزهري قريبة منه فجعل يقول: قال رسول الله : قال رسول الله و فقال له الزهري: قاتلك الله يا ابن أبي فروة ما أجرأك على الله ألا تسند أحاديثك تحدثنا بأحاديث ليس لها خطم ولا أزمة

Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah sat close to the learning circle of al Zuhri in Madinah and began saying, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said…, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said…”

Al Zuhri snapped, “May Allah destroy you, Ibn Abi Farwah! Oh how audacious you think yourself to be in relation to Allah, that you relate ahadith to us without a chain of transmission!

 

  • Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hakam narrated — from Muhammad ‘Asim ibn Hafs al Misri — who was amongst our reliable companions and a truthful narrator — who said:

 

حججت ومالك حي، فلم أر أهل المدينة يشكون أن إسحاق بن عبد الله بن أبي فروة متهم قلت له فيما ذا ، قال في الإسلام وفي رواية على الدين

I performed Hajj, and Malik was alive at that time. I did not see the people of Madinah having any doubt that Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah was accused.” I said to him [i.e. Malik], “In what (is he accused)?”

He replied, “In Islam.” And in another narration it is reported that he said, “In Din.”

 

  • Al Bukhari said, “They have discarded him [due to suspecting him of forgery].”
  • Ahmed ibn Hambal prohibited his narrations.
  • Ibrahim ibn Yaqub al Juwzajani said, “I heard Ahmed ibn Hambal saying, ‘I do not permit narrations from Ishaq ibn Abi Farwah.’ He also said, ‘He is not fit to take nor narrate from.’”
  • Yahya ibn Ma’in said, “A liar.”
  • Murrah said, “His narrations don’t amount to much. His narrations aren’t to be written.”
  • ‘Ali ibn al Madini said, “He transmits Munkar[18]
  • Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ammar said, “Extremely Weak.”
  • ‘Amr ibn ‘Ali, Abu Zur’ah, Abu Hatim, and al Nasa’i said, “Suspected of forgery in Hadith.”
  • Abu Bakr ibn Khuzaimah said, “His narrations are not fit to present as evidence.”
  • Al Daraqutni and al Barqani said, “Suspected of forgery.”
  • Abu Ahmed ibn ‘Adi said, “His narrations that I have recorded here with its chains of transmission aren’t corroborated by anyone else; neither the chains of transmission nor the content of the narrations. Those narrations that I have not included here are similar to the ones I have. Its weakness is quite clear.”[19]
  • Ibn Hajar said, “Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah al Umawi Mawlahum al Madani he is suspected of forgery.”[20]

 

Dear reader, the above discussion makes it quite clear that both the aforementioned chains of transmission do not establish anything. Further, they are not fit to be presented as evidence.

 

2. Studying the Content of the Narration

After concluding the invalidity of the chain of transmission attached to the incident, it should be borne in mind that there are other issues relating to the content of the narration that additionally indicate to its fallaciousness and invalidity. It proves how far from the truth the incident actually is. Consider the following points:

i. Looking at the context of the incident one finds the manner of dialogue recorded does not reflect the language of a normal believer forget that of the eminent Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Such language, in such a manner goes against the grain of the Sahabah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhum noble character.

Al Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al ‘Arabi writes in al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim:

 

قد تحكم الناس في التحكيم فقالوا فيه مالا يرضاه الله وإذا لحظتموه بعين المروءة دون الديانة رأيتم أنها سخافة حمل على تسطيرها في الكتب في الأكثر عدم الدين وفي الأقل جهل متین … هذا كله كذب صراح ما جرى منه حرف قط وإنما هو شيء أخبر عنه المبتدعة ووضعته التاريخية للملوك فتوارثه أهل المجانة والجهارة بمعاصي الله والبدع … ثم ذكر أن الذي رواه الأئمة الثقات الأثبات كخليفة بن خياط والدارقطني أنهما لما اجتمعا للنظر في الأمر عزل عمرو معاوية

People have developed certain ideas regarding the arbitration which go against the divine pleasure. Considering these ideas through a moralistic looking glass, one realizes they are merely feeble utterings, penned by irreligiosity or sheer ignorance. Such details are all clear fabrications, nothing of this sort occurred. Innovators and story-tellers fabricated these details and shameless men of notoriety brought it to light. Yes, the reliable scholars, such as Khalifah ibn Khayyat and al Daraqutni, have recorded ‘Amr deposing Muawiyah to be the conclusion of the arbitration.[21]

 

ii. Assessing the incident leads one to believe that the difference between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma revolved around the issue of who had a more rightful claim to the caliphate. The issue is not as presented. The subject of difference, which the historians have a consensus on, was regarding the qisas of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was of the opinion that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had not fulfilled his duty in bringing the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to justice. He had, thus, not obliged to his pledge nor his instruction. He opined the qisas to be more pressing than the pledge since he, as the relative of ‘Uthman, was the rightful seeker of retribution in the matter.

Due to the stance of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in postponing the pledge until qisas would take place and further not implementing the dictates of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Levant, he and the people of the Levant became, according to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, rebels to the office of caliphate. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was of the view that the pledge to his caliphate had been effected by the sanction of the Muhajirin and Ansar at Madinah. An establishment that duty-bound the rest of the Muslims within the Islamic realms to the pledge. Considering himself the Imam, he regarded Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his band in the Levant to be rebels to the office of caliphate which was reason enough to reel them back into unity, be it by force.

Understanding the difference in this manner—which reflects the reality—brings to the fore the fallaciousness of the ‘narration of arbitration’. It further destroys the notion which has been presented that the difference was regarding the office of caliphate and the arbitration a tussle to determine who it rightfully belonged to. In reality, it was to wrap up the issue of the qisas of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If the arbitrators had absconded this principle issue to the issue of caliphate, as alluded to by the scattered narrations, it would imply that they had not understood the issue of difference and had not comprehended the claim being made; a truly implausible notion.[22]

Ibn Hazm says in this regard:

 

إن عليا قاتل معاوية لامتناعه من تنفيذ أوامره في جميع أرض الشام وهو الإمام الواجب طاعته ولم ينكر معاوية قط فضل علي واستحقاقه الخلافة لكن اجتهاده أداه إلى أن رأى تقديم أخذ القود من قتلة عثمان على البيعة ورأى نفسه أحق بطلب دم عثمان والكلام فيه من أولاد عثمان وأولاد الحكم بن أبي العاص لسنه وقوته على الطلب بذلك وأصاب في هذا وإنما أخطأ في تقديمه ذلك على البيعة فقط

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu fought Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to him refusing to carry out his orders in the entire region of Sham despite him being the Imam obedience to whom was incumbent. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the other hand never denied the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the fact that he was deserving of the Caliphate. However, his Ijtihad induced him to give preference to seeking retribution from the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu over giving his pledge. He saw himself more deserving of seeking the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and of discussing the matter than even the children of ‘Uthman and the children of al Hakam ibn Abi al ‘As, due to his seniority and ability to seek. He was correct in this matter; however, he was incorrect in giving preference to it over pledging.[23]

 

The following three points strengthen this further:

Firstly, Yahya ibn Sulaiman al Ju’fi, one of the teachers of al Bukhari, narrates in Kitab Siffin from Abu Muslim al Khawlani that he had the following conversation with Muawiyah:

 

أنت تنازع عليا في الخلافة أو أنت مثله قال لا. وإني أعلم أنه أفضل مني وأحق بالأمر ولكن ألستم تعلمون أن عثمان قتل مظلوما وأنا ابن عمه ووليه أطلب بدمه فأتوا عليا فقولوا له يدفع لنا قتلة عثمان فأتوه فكلموه فقال يدخل في البيعة ويحاكمهم إلي، فامتنع معاوية فسار علي في الجيوش من العراق حتى نزل بصفين وسار معاوية حتى نزل هناك

“Are you disputing with ‘Ali regarding the Caliphate or are you his equal?”

He said, “No. I know that he is more virtuous than me and much more deserving of the matter. But don’t you know that ‘Uthman has been unjustly killed and I am his cousin and his guardian who is seeking retribution for his blood? So, go to ‘Ali and tell him to handover the killers of ‘Uthman to me.”

They, thus, came to him and spoke to him to which he responded saying, “He should enter the allegiance first and thereafter institute legal proceedings against them by me.”

Muawiyah refused.

Thus, ‘Ali moved with his army from Iraq until he landed at Siffin. And Muawiyah moved until he too landed there.[24]

 

Secondly, the narration recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah — from Waki’ — from Musa ibn Qais — from Qais ibn Rumanah — from Abu Burdah — from Muawiyah who said:

 

ما قاتلت علياً الا في أمر عثمان

I did not fight ‘Ali, except for the cause of ‘Uthman.[25]

 

Thirdly, the narration al Sharif, Abu al Hassan Muhammad ibn al Hussain al Musawi has recorded in his book, Nahj al Balaghah that Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said in his sermon:

 

وبدء أمرنا أنا التقينا والقوم من أهل الشام، والظاهر أن ربنا واحد ونبينا واحد، ودعوتنا في الإسلام واحدة ، ولا نستزيدهم في الإيمان بالله والتصديق برسوله ، ولا يستزيدوننا، الأمر واحد إلا ما اختلفنا فيه من دم عثمان ونحن منه براء

We faced off with the people of the Levant. Though it is clear that our Lord is one, our Prophet is one, and our call to Islam is one. We do not claim to have greater levels of faith in Allah and His Prophet and neither do they. We are unified. The only difference we have is regarding the blood of ‘Uthman, of which we are free.[26]

 

iii. The personality of both Abu Musa and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The notion that Abu Musa al Ash’ari fell victim to the treachery of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As at the arbitration goes against historical actualities that speak of his eminence, intelligence, jurisprudic abilities, and deep faith. Abilities that were given recognition by appointments to governorship and to the judiciary in various capacities from the era of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him as governor of Zabid, ‘Adn, and other regions of Yemen. When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away he came to al Madinah and took part in the conquests of the Levant where he witnessed the passing of Abu ‘Ubaidah. After deposing al Mughirah, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him as governor of Basrah. He was the one to conquer al Ahwaz and Asbahan. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu kept him on for a time and then replaced him with ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He then remained in Kufah where the people benefited from his knowledge and after the deposition Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was instated as governor.[27]

It is unfathomable to assume a man whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had relied upon and the Khalifas after him, would be duped in the manner related in the ‘narration of arbitration’.

Many of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum[28] and scholars of the Tabi’in attested to his deep-seeded knowledge, competency in enacting laws, intelligence, and astuteness in passing judgments.

Is it then possible for him to have been obtuse to the degree of not understanding the principal matter under discussion? And further passing a judgment that bears no harmony to the case, i.e. deposing the lawful khalifah without an actionable basis whilst at the same time deposing Muawiyah? And then there’s the matter of the exchange of words between him and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As; an argument loaded with profanities and vulgarities. A nonsensical assertion that goes against all that has been authentically related regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and their exemplary character.

When the fact of the matter is that the knowledge and judicial expertise of Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not have led him to making a blunder of such magnitude in the matter presented to him, the same can be said regarding ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu; a man deemed to be an intellectual force amongst the Arabs. In fact, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had instructed him to pass a judgment between a claimant and a defendant in his very presence. When he asked, “O Prophet of Allah, how can I pass judgment in your presence?” He was given the glad tidings of a twofold reward in the case of making a correct decision and a single reward if he faltered. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد ثم أصاب فله أجران، وإذا حكم فاجتهد ثم أخطأ فله أجر

When a judge passes a decision after exercising Ijtihad and reaching the correct conclusion he gets two rewards, and when he passes a decision after exercising Ijtihad and reaching the wrong conclusion he gets one reward.[29]

 

So, accepting this narrative would entail that ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a man who was driven by his ego in fulfilling his responsibilities. Owing to which his ego would override not only his intellect and experience, but also his piety and abstinence. Whereas he was from the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and their notables and enjoyed many merits and virtues.[30]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

 

و‏‏معاوية وعمرو بن العاص وأمثالهم‏ من المؤمنين لم يتهمهم أحد من السلف بنفاق بل قد ثبت في الصحيح أن عمرو بن العاص لما بايع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏ علي أن يغفر لي ما تقدم من ذنبي‏ فقال ‏‏ياعمرو، أما علمت أن الإسلام يهدم ما كان قبله‏ ومعلوم أن الإسلام الهادم هو إسلام المؤمنين لا إسلام المنافقين‏ وأيضًا فعمرو بن العاص وأمثاله ممن قدم مهاجرًا إلي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد الحديبية هاجروا إليه من بلادهم طوعًا لا كرهًا والمهاجرون لم يكن فيهم منافق وإنما كان النفاق في بعض من دخل من الأنصار وذلك أن الأنصار هم أهل المدينة فلما أسلم أشرافهم وجمهورهم احتاج الباقون أن يظهروا الإسلام نفاقًا لعز الإسلام وظهوره في قومهم‏ وأما أهل مكة فكان أشرافهم وجمهورهم كفارًا فلم يكن يظهر الإيمان إلا من هو مؤمن ظاهرًا وباطنًا فإنه كان من أظهر الإسلام يؤذي ويهجر

Muawiyah, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, and their like from the believers have not been criticized with the epithet of hypocrisy by the early scholars. Rather, it has been authentically narrated when ‘Amr ibn al ‘As pledged allegiance to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he placed the condition of forgiveness for his previous sins upon which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remarked, “O ‘Amr, do you not know that accepting Islam wipes out everything done before it.” It is quite evident that the Islam which wipes all out, is the Islam of a true believer. Not the fictitious acceptance of the hypocrites.

Besides, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and his like who migrated to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after al Hudaybiyyah, did so willingly and not under duress. Further, there were no hypocrites amongst the immigrants. Hypocrisy was to be found amongst some of those who pretended to enter the fold of Islam from the people of Madinah. When their leaders as well as the majority of their people became Muslim, the rest needed to join their ranks too—considering the might and wide spread acceptance of Islam—by pretending to accept Islam. As for the Makkan folk, their leaders and general community were disbelievers. Thus, only those made their Islam known who were truly believers, inside and out, since whoever did so was persecuted and banished.[31]

 

iv. Ibn Jarir has recollected at the beginning of this incident and the remarks of ‘Amr to Abu Musa wherein he said, “Do you not know that Muawiyah and the family of Muawiyah are his closest kin [auliya’]?” He answered, “Yes, indeed.” Amr continued, “Allah has said:

 

وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُوْمًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِۦ سُلْطَـٰنًا فَلَا يُسْرِفْ فِّى ٱلْقَتْلِ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ مَنصُوْرًا

And whoever is killed unjustly – We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law].[32]

 

He then spoke at length regarding the right of Muawiyah to the seat of caliphate. Abu Musa answered his queries in a satisfying manner but did not respond to the verse he presented; he accepted that claim.

Besides it is plainly evident that this verse cannot be presented as evidence in the claim of caliphate for Muawiyah due to several reasons.

Consider the verse itself. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, “let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law].” Oh what excess and what kind of support was there in the battles that left forty-five thousand dead in his army and in the army of ‘Ali twenty-five thousand. Oh what excess and what kind of support was he extended when the only way he side-stepped the annihilation of his army was by making a show of the Qur’anic manuscripts?

It is, thus, sheer ignorance for one to claim validity of his caliphate based on this verse. ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a scholar amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, advocating such is implausible. If for arguments sake, we accept that he did, then Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu was more knowledgeable, as can be understood from his engagement on the issue.[33]

 

v. The comment they have attributed to ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu wherein he said, “I confirm my support for my candidate Muawiyah…” raises two pertinent questions.

Firstly: Is he supporting the candidacy of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu for the caliphate? This is the natural conclusion one comes to by the context. This though is false through and through. No one from the house of Islam has claimed Muawiyah to be the khalifah before the arbitration so that he could be appointed to that position after the arbitration. In fact, he himself did not claim the caliphate before or after the arbitration and neither did he oppose ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu claim to it.

Secondly: Is he supporting the governorship of Muawiyah over Sham which he already had? Even though the narration is not authentic in the least, this alternative can be understood from studying the narration. However, this is Tahsil al Hasil, [obtaining what has already been obtained]. How would this in any way go to silencing Abu Musa or one-upping him? Would this have given Muawiyah a position he didn’t have before? Or would ‘Ali lose out on a position he held before?[34]

 

vi. This treachery did not demean ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or his followers in the least. Neither did Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu gain anything from it. Thus to make this incident one of political manipulation is worthless. The incident as presented reeks of child’s play; fruitless amusement which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala protected the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam[35]

 

vii. In the narration of Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwah, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas said, “Woe to you Abu Musa! How weak you have proven to ‘Amr and his deception!” To which Abu Musa replied, “What can I do? We agreed on an issue and then he betrayed me.”

This also proves the fallaciousness of the incident as Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas did not attend the arbitration as recorded by Ibn Jarir in his Tarikh[36] and attested to by Ibn Muzahim in Waq’ah al Siffin[37], Ibn Kathir in al Bidayah[38], al Dhahabi in al Siyar[39], and others. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas remaining detached from the fitnah is a matter that is well-known and authentically proven.

 

viii. ‘Amr’s statement to Abu Musa saying, “You are my senior” and in some narrations, “You are elder than me” is fictitious. Abu Musa passed away between the years 44 and 52 A.H at sixty-odd years of age whilst ‘Amr was over 80 at the arbitration! So how could he have been elder than Abu Musa.[40]

 

3. Other Narrations of Note

There are other narrations, some in Sahih al Bukhari, which paint a clearer picture for us in a manner that is in harmony with the personalities and character of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. In these narrations there is mention of promises to meet the following year for reconciliation. As such, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the people of the Levant came whilst ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was preoccupied in battle with the Khawarij. He, thus, sent Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and the arbitration was between Abu Musa from his side and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was appointed from the other side. They differed and could not reconcile, thus leaving each other without deposing either party as recorded in the narrations that have passed. Hereunder are the other narrations of note by which the inconsistencies of the previous one’s can be gleamed.

 

i. Al Tabari:

 

فكتب كتاب القضية بين علي ومعاوية فيما قيل يوم الأربعاء لثلاث عشرة خلت من صفر سنة سبع وثلاثين من الهجرة على أن يوافي علي ومعاوية موضع الحكمين بدومة الجندل في شهر رمضان مع كل واحد منهما أربعمائة من أصحابه وأتباعه فحدثني عبد الله بن أحمد قال حدثني أبي قال حدثني سليمان بن يونس بن يزيد عن الزهري قال قال صعصعة بن صوحان يوم صفين حين رأى الناس يتبارون ألا اسمعوا واعقلوا تعلمن والله لئن ظهر علي ليكونن مثل أبي بكر وعمر رضي الله عنهما وإن ظهر معاوية لا يقر لقائل بقول حق قال الزهري فأصبح أهل الشام قد نشروا مصاحفهم ودعوا إلى ما فيها فهاب أهل العراقين فعند ذلك حكموا الحكمين فاختار أهل العراق أبا موسى الأشعري واختار أهل الشام عمرو بن العاص فتفرق أهل صفين حين حكم الحكمان فاشترطا أن يرفعا ما رفع القرآن ويخفضا ما خفض القرآن وأن يختارا لأمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وأنهما يجتمعان بدومة الجندل فإن لم يجتمعا لذلك اجتمعا من العام المقبل بأذرح فلما انصرف علي خالفت الحرورية وخرجت وكان ذلك أول ما ظهرت فآذنوه بالحرب وردوا عليه أن حكم بني آدم في حكم الله عز وجل وقالوا لا حكم إلا لله سبحانه وقاتلوا، فلما اجتمع الحكمان بأذرح وافاهم المغيرة بن شعبة فيمن حضر من الناس فأرسل الحكمان إلى عبد الله بن عمر ابن الخطاب وعبد الله بن الزبير في إقبالهم في رجال كثير ووافى معاوية بأهل الشام وأبى علي وأهل العراق أن يوافوا فلما اجتمع الحكمان وتكلما قال عمرو بن العاص يا أبا موسى، رأيت أول ما تقضي به من الحق أن تقضي لأهل الوفاء بوفائهم وعلى أهل الغدر بغدرهم قال أبو موسى وما ذاك قال ألست تعلم أن معاوية وأهل الشام قد وفوا وقدموا للموعد الذي واعدناهم إياه قال بلى قال عمرو اكتبها فكتبها أبو موسى قال عمرو يا أبا موسى أأنت على أن نسمي رجلا يلي أمر هذه الأمة فسمه لي فإن أقدر على أن أتابعك فلك علي أن أتابعك وإلا فلي عليك أن تتابعني قال أبو موسى أسمي لك عبد الله بن عمر وكان ابن عمر فيمن اعتزل قال عمرو إني أسمي لك معاوية بن أبي سفيان فلم يبرحا مجلسهما حتى استبا ثم خرجا إلى الناس فقال أبو موسى إني وجدت مثل عمرو مثل الذين قال الله عز وجل واتل عليهم نبأ الذي آتيناه آياتنا فانسلخ منها ، فلما سكت أبو موسى تكلم عمرو فقال ايها الناس وجدت مثل أبي موسى كمثل الذي قال عز وجل مثل الذين حملوا التوراة ثم لم يحملوها كمثل الحمار يحمل أسفارا وكتب كل واحد منهما مثله الذي ضرب لصاحبه إلى الأمصار قال ابن شهاب فقام معاوية عشية في الناس، فأثنى على الله جل ثناؤه بما هو أهله ثم قال أما بعد فمن كان متكلما في الأمر فليطلع لنا قرنه قال ابن عمر فأطلقت حبوتى فاردت ان اقول قولا يتكلم فيه رجال قاتلوا أباك على الإسلام ثم خشيت أن أقول كلمة تفرق الجماعة أو يسفك فيها دم أو أحمل فيها على غير رأي فكان ما وعد الله عز وجل في الجنان أحب إلي من ذلك فلما انصرف إلى المنزل جاءني حبيب بن مسلمة فقال ما منعك أن تتكلم حين سمعت الرجل يتكلم قلت أردت ذلك ثم خشيت أن أقول كلمة تفرق بين جميع أو يسفك فيها دم أو أحمل فيها على غير رأي فكان ما وعد الله عز وجل من الجنان أحب إلي من ذلك قال قال حبيب فقد عصمت

The document regarding the matter between ‘Ali and Muawiyah was written, according to a report, on Wednesday, thirteen days having elapsed of Safar in the year 37 A.H. It was agreed that ‘Ali and Muawiyah would come to the place of the two arbitrators at Dawmat al Jandal in the month of Ramadan and each of them would bring 400 companions and followers.

According to ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed — from his father — from Sulaiman ibn Yunus ibn Yazid — from al Zuhri who said, when Sa’sa’ah ibn Sawhan saw the men contending with one another on the day of Siffin, he said, “Hear and understand! Know well, by Allah, if ‘Ali is triumphant, he will be like Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, but, if Muawiyah wins, he will not acknowledge any man’s word as truth!”

Al Zuhri said, “So it was that the people of the Levant displayed their Masahif and appealed to what they contained. The men of al Kufah and al Basrah were filled with awe, and at that they appointed the two arbitrators. The men of Iraq chose Abu Musa al Ash’ari and those of Sham ‘Amr ibn al ‘As. When the two had been appointed, the men at Siffin dispersed, and the two arbitrators stipulated that they should elevate what the Qur’an elevates and put down what the Qur’an puts down, that they should make a choice for the Ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that they would meet together at Dawmat al Jandal[41] or, if they did not meet for that, they should meet in the next year at Adhruh[42].

When ‘Ali went back the Haruriyyah opposed him and rebelled. That was the first manifestation (of their movement). They exhorted him to fight (against Muawiyah) and rejected his giving authority in arbitration to men in something that was a matter for Allah. They said, “Authority belongs to Allah alone.” and fought against ‘Ali.

When the two arbitrators met at Adhruh, al Mughirah ibn Shu’bah came to them among those of the men who were present there. The two sent for ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair asking them to come with many men. Muawiyah came with the people of the Levant, but ‘Ali and the Iraqis refused to come.

When the two arbitrators met and debated, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As said, “Abu Musa, I think that the first part of the truth we should determine is to decide in favour of those who fulfil their undertakings according to their fulfilment and against those who are perfidious according to their perfidy.”

Abu Musa asked, “What do you mean?”

‘Amr ibn al ‘As said, “Do you not know that Muawiyah and the people of the Levant have fulfilled their undertaking and come at the time and to the place upon which we pledged them?”

“Indeed yes;” said Abu Musa. ‘Amr told him to write that down, and he did so.

‘Amr said, “Abu Musa, do you accept that we should name a man who will have authority over the affairs of this Ummah? Give me a name, and, if I can accept your suggestion, I undertake to do so; otherwise, you must accept mine!”

Abu Musa said, “I suggest ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar” (Ibn ‘Umar was one of those who had stayed away from the fitnah).

‘Amr replied, “I suggest Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan.”

Their meeting ended in mutual vilification.

Then they went out to the people, and Abu Musa said to them, “I have found ‘Amr to be like those of whom Allah says:

 

وَٱتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ ٱلَّذِىٓ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فَٱنسَلَخَ مِنْهَا

And recite to them, [O Muhammad], the news of him to whom We gave [knowledge of] Our signs, but he detached himself from them.

 

When Abu Musa fell silent, ‘Amr spoke and said, “People, I have found Abu Musa to be like those of whom Allah says:

 

مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا ٱلتَّوْرَىٰةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوْهَا كَمَثَلِ ٱلْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا ۚ

The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on1 is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books].

 

And each one of them wrote down the simile he had coined regarding the other (to be sent to) the garrison towns.

Ibn Shihab said, “One evening Muawiyah stood and addressed the people. He praised Allah in suitable terms and then said, “Whoever has something to say on this matter, let him show himself to us!”

Ibn ‘Umar said, “I released my habwah for I wanted to say, “Men who fought your father in the cause of Islam have something to say about it; but then I was afraid to say anything that would divide the community, or about which blood would be shed, or in which I might become carried away, for what Allah promised regarding the gardens (of paradise) is dearer to me than that. When Muawiyah had returned to his dwelling place, Habib ibn Maslamah came to me and asked, ‘What stopped you speaking when you heard what the man was saying?’ I replied, I wanted to do so but then was afraid to say anything that would be divisive, or about which blood would be shed, or in which I might become carried away. What Allah promised of the gardens is dearer to me than that!”

Habib said, “You have been preserved by Allah from evil!”[43]

 

[This chain too suffers from weakness:]

 

Sulaiman ibn Yunus ibn Yazid

I could not find his bio-data and neither did I find any narrations from him in the books of Sunan or Masanid. Similarly, I did not find any other narrations in Tarikh al Tabari from him besides this one.

 

Al Zuhri

He was born at the end of the caliphate of Muawiyah. The scholars differ on the exact year of his birth. They put it between 50 and 58 A.H.[44] And Muawiyah passed away, according to the correct opinion, in Rajab the year 60 A.H.[45]

 

Sa’sa’ah

He lived to the caliphate of Yazid ibn Muawiyah. This has been supported by al Bukhari[46] and Ibn ‘Asakir[47]. Al Hafiz said, “He passed away during the caliphate of Muawiyah[48].” Al Zarkali said, “He passed away the year 56 A.H.[49]

Taking the view that al Zuhri was born in the year 50 A.H and Sa’sa’ah lived to the caliphate of Yazid, the possibility of the former having narrated from the latter exists. However, al Zuhri is a mudallis narrator [omits people he heard from] and he hasn’t been explicit in having heard it from him. As such, his narrations are not accepted unless he explicitly mentions having heard it.

Even though there are these weaknesses in this narration, it is still better than the narrations of Abu Mikhnaf and his ilk.

 

ii. Ibn ‘Asakir:

 

من طريق الأسود بن شيبان عن عبد الله ابن مضارب عن حضين بن المنذر قال لما عزل معاوية عمرو بن العاص عن مصر ضرب فسطاطه قريبة من فسطاط معاوية ثم جعل يتزبع له يقول معاوية قال فأرسل إليه فقال إنه بلغني عن عمرو بعض ما أكره فائته فاسأله عن الأمر الذي اجتمع هو وأبو موسى فيه كيف صنعا قال فأتيته فقلت أخبرني عن الأمر الذي اجتمعتما فيه أنت وأبو موسى كيف صنعتما فيه قال قد قال الناس ولا والله ما كان قالوا ولكن لما اجتمعت أنا وأبو موسی قلت له ما ترى في هذا الأمر قال أرى أنه في النفر الذي توفي رسول الله وته وهو عنهم راض قال فقلت أين تجعلني من هذا الأمر أنا ومعاوية فقال إن يستعن بكما ففيكما معونة وإن يستغن عنكما فطال ما استغنى أمر الله عنكما قال فكانت هذه هي التي نحيل منها معاوية نفسه قال فبعث إلى أبي الأعور الذكواني فأتاه في خيله قال فبعثه إلى عمرو وهو يقول أين عدو الله أين هذا الفاسق مرتين قال فلما رأى عمرو أنه إنما يريد حوباء نفسه عمد إلى فرس له مشدود بطنب الفسطاط فرفع رفرف الفسطاط وركبه عرية ثم ركضه إلى فسطاط معاوية وجعل يقول یا معاوية إن الضجور قد تحتلب العلبة قال يقول معاوية نعم وقد يزين الحالب فيدق أنفه ويكفأ إناه قال ثم أمر بالأعور فوزع عنه نقول رد عنه

Ibn ‘Asakir records from the chain of transmission of al Aswad ibn Shayban — from ‘Abdullah ibn Mudarib — from Hudayn ibn al Mundhir who said:

When Muawiyah deposed ‘Amr ibn al ‘As from Egypt, he came and erected his tent close to the tent of Muawiyah in an growling angrily.[50] His news reached Muawiyah and, thus, he summoned him.

He said, “Such and such has reached me regarding this person (referring to ‘Amr ibn ‘As) which I dislike. Go to him and ask him about the matter which he and Abu Musa took charge of.”

So, I came to him and said, “Inform me regarding this matter which you and Abu Musa took charge of, what did the two of you do about it?”

He said, “The people have said whatever they have said regarding it, by Allah the matter was not as they have said. But I asked Abu Musa, ‘What do you feel about this matter?’ He replied, ‘I see it to be the prerogative of those individuals who Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was pleased with when he passed away.’ I asked, ‘So where do you place me and Muawiyah?’ He replied, ‘If he seeks your assistance then you will surely be of assistance, and if he does not utilise you then the matter of Allah has always been independent from you.’”

‘Amr then said, “This is the reality of that which has caused Muawiyah discomfort.”

Muawiyah then sent for Abu al A’war al Dhakwani who came to him on horseback. He sent him off to ‘Amr where he reached saying, “Where is the enemy of Allah? Where is this fasiq?”

When ‘Amr saw that all he wanted was to seek harmony within himself, he took to his horse that was tied to the peg of his tent and rode it bareback to the tent of Muawiyah. Reaching there, he said, “O Muawiyah, the she-camels that grumbles much on being milked is sometimes milked with ease.[51]

Muawiyah remarked, “Yes, and sometimes the milker makes it seem easy until his nose breaks and his dish topples over.”

He then instructed A’war to leave.[52]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mudarib:

  • Ibn Hajar said, “He is from amongst the junior Tabi’in and is not known.”[53]
  • He said in al Taqrib, “It is actually ‘Ubaidullah ibn Mudarib. He is Maqbul (accepted).” What he means by Maqbul, is that that he is accepted when corroborated. Otherwise, he is considered weak as outlined in his foreword.

 

iii. Al Bukhari:

 

عن ابن عمر قال دخلت على حفصة ونسواتها تنطف قلت قد كان من أمر الناس ما ترين فلم يجعل لي من الأمر شيء فقالت الحق فإنهم ينتظرونك وأخشى أن يكون في احتباسك عنهم فرقة فلم تدعه حتى ذهب فلما تفرق الناس خطب معاوية قال من كان يريد أن يتكلم في هذا الأمر فليطلع لنا قرنه فلنحن أحق به منه ومن أبيه قال حبيب بن مسلمة فهلا أجبته قال عبد الله فحللت حبوتي وهممت أن أقول أحق بهذا الأمر منك من قاتلك وأباك على الإسلام فخشيت أن أقول كلمة تفرق بين الجمع وتسفك الدم ويحمل عني غير ذلك فذكرت ما أعد الله في الجنان قال حبيب حفظت وعصمت

Ibn ‘Umar said, “I went to Hafsah while water was dripping from her twined braids.

I said, ‘The condition of the people is as you see, and no authority has been given to me.’

Hafsah said, (to me), ‘Go to them, and as they (i.e. the people) are waiting for you, and I am afraid your absence from them will produce division amongst them.’”

So Hafsah did not leave him until we went to them. When the people differed.

Muawiyah addressed the people saying[54], “If anybody wants to say anything in this matter of the caliphate, he should come forward and not conceal himself, for we are more rightful to be a khalifah than he and his father.”

On that, Habib ibn Maslamah said (to Ibn ‘Umar), “Why didn’t you reply to him?”

‘Abdullah said, “I untied my garment that was going round my back and legs while I was sitting and was about to say, ‘He who fought against you and against your father for the sake of Islam, is more rightful to be a Khalifah,’ but I was afraid that my statement might produce differences amongst the people and cause bloodshed, and my statement might be interpreted not as I intended. (So, I kept quiet) remembering what Allah has prepared in the Gardens of Paradise.”

Habib said, “You did what kept you safe and secure.”[55]

 

This narration emphasises what has already been recorded in the narration of al Zuhri — from Sa’sa’ah and in the narration of Ibn ‘Asakir — from Hudayn [which is the best of the weak narrations], that ‘Ali did not attend due to being preoccupied with the Khawarij rebellion and that ‘Amr did not depose the Amir al Mu’minin and instate Muawiyah as has been attributed to him. The content of those narrations are in conformity to this one and show no discrepancy—besides the ill-speech recorded in the narration of al Zuhri.

How then can we give precedence to the narrations of deposition which are evidently much weaker and do not tally up with the character of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum?

This discussion makes it abundantly clear that the claim of deposing ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and instating Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu at the arbitration holds no water due to the inauthenticity of the chains of transmission; it is a claim that is fallacious and fabricated.

 

4. For Arguments Sake

Establishing the matter of deposition is impossible as explained. However, if you insist and maintain it did happen then you must ask yourself, what outcome do you wish to achieve by this insolence? And are you comfortable attacking the honour of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum?

It is imperative we take cognizance of the status and honourable position afforded to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum together with loving and praying for them for their service to this faith by way of their wealth and lives.

Yes, we do not consider them infallible from major and minor sins, yet we safeguard our tongue from attacking their honour. We say, ‘Their precedence of faith and status effaces such sins’. We further state:

 

تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ وَلَا تُسْـَٔلُوْنَ عَمَّا كَانُوْا يَعْمَلُوْنَ

That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.[56]

 

We also ruminate over the verse:

 

وَٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُوْ مِنْۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا ٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَٰنِنَا ٱلَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِٱلْإِيمَـٰنِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِىْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ ءَامَنُوْا رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

And [there is a share for] those who come after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”[57]

 

Really though, I have only mentioned this fourth point—for arguments sake—otherwise it is quite evident, as you dear reader have read, that there is no way it is established. The issue of deposing ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and instating Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his stead at the arbitration, as mentioned, is fallacious and a fabrication. The chain of transmission of those narrations are feeble and the narration repugnant.

There is another incident that some have mentioned in order to brand ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu as treacherous. It is the incident of him allegedly back-stabbing ‘Umarah ibn al Walid in the court of al Najashi after the latter attempted to have his way with his wife. This resulted in al Najashi instructing the magicians to bind him with a spell which left him insane and in the wilderness until he died.

Hereunder is the narration:

Ibn Abi Shaybah has recorded in his Musannaf[58], ‘Abd ibn Humaid in his Musnad[59], and al Ruyani in his Musnad[60] all with the chain of ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa who said:

 

أخبرنا إسرائيل ، عن أبي إسحاق عن أبي بردة عن أبي موسى قال أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن ننطلق مع جعفر بن أبي طالب إلى أرض النجاشي قال فبلغ ذلك قومنا فبعثوا عمرو بن العاص وعمارة بن الوليد قال وكان عمرو بن العاص رجلا قصيرة وكان عمارة بن الوليد رجلا جميلا قال فأقبلا في البحر إلى النجاشي قال فشربوا قال ومع عمرو بن العاص امرأته فلما شربوا الخمر قال عمارة لعمرو مر امرأتك فلتقبلني فقال له عمرو ألا تستحيي فأخذه عمارة فرمی به في البحر فجعل عمرو يناشده حتى أدخله السفينة فحقد عليه عمرو ذلك فقال عمرو للنجاشي إنك إذا خرجت خلف عمارة في أهلك قال فدعا النجاشي بعمارة فنفخ في إحليله[61] فصار مع الوحش

Isra’il narrated to us — from Abu Ishaq — from Abu Burdah — from Abu Musa who said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed us to migrate with Jafar ibn Abi Talib to the land of al Najashi. The news of this reached our people and so they sent ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and ‘Umarah ibn al Walid after us.

‘Amr ibn al ‘As was a short person and ‘Umarah was a handsome man. ‘Amr ibn al ‘As had his wife with him on this trip. When they boarded the ship they drank. When they became intoxicated with wine ‘Umarah said to ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, “Tell your wife to kiss me.”

‘Amr answered, “Do you not have any shame?”

‘Umarah grabbed him and pushed him overboard. ‘Amr implored him until he pulled him back onto the ship. ‘Amr developed feelings of resentment towards him over this.

[Sometime later] ‘Amr said to al Najashi, “‘Umarah has betrayed your trust with regards to your family.”

Al Najashi, thus, called the magicians who bound him with a spell after which he lost his mind, and he lived with the wild beasts.

 

Al Busiri said, “The narrators in this chain of transmission are reliable.”[62]

This incident which is at the end of the narration, is only found in the narrations of ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa. Though the man is reliable, he has been accused of harboring ill for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Abu Dawood, Yaqub ibn Sufyan, and al Saji have labelled him as extreme.

Abu al Hassan ibn Maymuni said:

 

وذكر عنده يعني عند أحمد بن حنبل عبيد الله بن موسی فرأيته كالمنكر له قال كان صاحب تخليط وحدث بأحاديث سوء أخرج تلك البلايا فحدث بها قيل له فابن فضيل قال لم يكن مثله كان أستر منه وأما هو فأخرج تلك الأحاديث الردية

‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa was mentioned in the presence of Ahmed ibn Hambal and I noticed signs of aversion to him. He commented, “He was a man who changed accounts and related evil narrations. He would take out those evils and narrate them to people.”

He was asked, “And what about Ibn Fudayl?”

He replied, “He was not like him. He was not extreme and removed those worthless narrations.”

 

Al Juzajani said:

 

عبيد بن موسى أغلى وأسوء مذهبا وأروى اللعجائب

‘Ubaid ibn Musa was an extremist with a most evil dogma who related astonishing things more than anyone else.

 

Fadl ibn Ziyad said:

 

سألت أبا عبد الله . قلت يجري عندك ابن فضيل مجرى عبيد الله بن موسى قال لا كان ابن فضيل أستر وكان عبيد الله صاحب تخليط وروى أحادیث سوء.

I asked Abu ‘Abdullah, “Is Abu Fudayl the same as ‘Ubaid ibn Musa in your opinion?”

He replied, “No. Ibn Fudayl was not extreme. ‘Ubaidullah would change accounts and relate evil narrations.”

 

It is for this reason Ibn Taymiyyah said:

 

وكان عبيد الله بن موسی في نفسه صدوقا روى عنه البخاري لكنه معروف بالغلو فكان الغلوه يروي عن غير الثقات ما يوافق هواه كما روى عن مطر بن میمون هذا وهو كذب وقد يكون علم أنه كذب ذلك وقد يكون لهواه لم يبحث عن كذبه

‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa was, himself, truthful such that al Bukhari narrated from him. However, he was well known for his extremism. He would, thus, narrate from unreliable narrators that which would suit his bias. Just as he narrated fabrications from Matr ibn Maymun, knowing well it is a lie. But he did not investigate the issue due to his bias.[63]

 

And, thus, the authenticity of the narration can be questioned due to the anomaly of ‘Ubaidullah ibn Musa and his known extremism.

If we were to accept this narration as authentic, the doubt arising from it could be answered in the following two ways:

  1. The incident alludes to ‘Umarah wanting to kill and strip him of his honour which he was saved from on the journey to Abyssinia. He had no guarantee of safety on the journey back to Makkah and, thus, saved himself in the manner which he did.
  2. If we discard the first explanation, then know well this was before his acceptance of Islam. There is no doubt that Islam effaces that what came before it. He accepted Islam and was received positively by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who held him in esteem and appointed him to positions of leadership as established.

 

Note:

  1. Some weak narrations[64] state that ‘Umarah had drank wine, had become intoxicated, and told ‘Amr to instruct his wife to kiss him which he did and she did. Besides this narration being weak, the text itself makes no sense. The Arabs were renowned for their ghairah (protective jealousy) and even for burying their daughters alive. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says regarding them:

 

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِٱلْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُۥ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيْمٌ . يَتَوَٰرَىٰ مِنَ ٱلْقَوْمِ مِنْ سُوٓءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِۦٓ أَيُمْسِكُهُۥ عَلَىٰ هُوْنٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُۥ فِىْ ٱلتُّرَابِ أَلَا سَآءَ مَا يَحْكُمُوْنَ

And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.[65]

 

And Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَإِذَا ٱلْمَوْءُۥدَةُ سُئِلَتْ بِأَىِّ ذَنبٍ قُتِلَتْ

And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked. For what sin she was killed.[66]

 

  1. Al Suhayli records the following in al Rawd al Unf:

 

أن عمراً سافر بامرأته فلما ركبوا البحر وكان عماراً قد هوي امرأة عمرو وهويته فعزما على دفع عمرو أو كان ذلك من عمارة على غير قصد فدفع عمراً

‘Amr journeyed with his wife on the ship. ‘Umarah had taken a liking to his wife and she had taken a liking to him. They, thus, either decided to overthrow ‘Amr or it was ‘Umarah who had done so without intending it.[67]

 

This narration is also incorrect. It contradicts authentic narrations. And if his wife was the mother of ‘Abdullah, then she accepted Islam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding her and her household:

 

نعم أهل البيت عبد الله و أم عبد الله

What a wonderful household: ‘Abdullah and his mother. [68]

 

  1. Some have regarded the death of ‘Umarah in Abyssinia as dubious as he is one of the seven Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed against in Makkah after they had unloaded the innards of a camel onto his back while he was in prostration.

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said:

 

فو الذي نفسي بيده لقد رأيت الذين عد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صرعي في القليب قليب بدر

By the one in whose control my life lies, I saw those whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had counted off strewn in the well of Badr.[69]

 

This issue has been explained by Ibn Hajar. He writes:

 

أن كلام ابن مسعود في أنه رآهم صرعى في القليب محمول على الأكثر، ويدل عليه أن عقبة بن أبي معيط لم يطرح في القليب وإنما قتل صبرة بعد أن رحلوا عن بدر مرحلة ، وأمية بن خلف لم يطرح في القليب كما هو بل مقطعة

The comment of Ibn Mas’ud in that he saw them strewn in the well will be considered as a statement referring to the majority of them. This is supported by the fact that ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt was not thrown in the well but was killed after having left Badr. Similarly, Umayyah ibn Khalaf was not thrown in as he was, but was dismembered.[70]

 

NEXT⇒ Misconception 2 – His admitting to following his desires and being inclined towards the world at his death


[1] Al Mi’yar wa al Muwazanah, pgs. 196-197.

[2] A’yan al Shiah, vol. 1 pg. 517. See, al Amini: al Ghadir, vol. 1 pg. 336.

[3] Waq’ah Siffin, vol. 1 pgs. 544-545; Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 1 pg. 255.

[4] Like, Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 71; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 46 pg. 172; ‘Iqd al Farid, pgs. 93-94; Nihayah al Arab fi funun al Adab, vol. 20 pg. 156.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, book on virtues, chapter on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: Had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3470; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the impermissibility of cursing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith: 2540. The wording is Muslim’s.

[6] Al Jawzi: Al Du’afa’ wa al Matrukin, vol. 3 pg. 160.

[7] Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 6 pg. 112.

[8] Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib: 7537. Tadlis: The practice whereby a transmitter (sometimes) transmits with obfuscation in his transmission; either intentionally or unintentionally narrating a Hadith in manner that obscures or omits transmitters in the isnad.

[9] Sulaiman al Rib’i: Tarikh Mawlid al ‘Ulama wa Wafayatihim, vol. 1 pg. 351.

[10] Translators Note: The arbitration occurred in the year 38 A.H.

[11] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 71.

[12] Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 4 pg. 492.

[13] Al Tabaqat, vol. 4 pg. 256.

[14] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 46 pg. 172.

[15] Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib: 6175.

[16] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 33 pg. 106.

[17] Su’alat al Sajzi, pg. 153.

[18]  A Munkar hadith in the early period of hadith criticism meant a hadith that was either uncorroborated or broken. In the later period, it came to mean a hadith that had only one chain of transmission without that isnad being strong enough to justify accepting it. [translator’s note]

[19] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 2 pg. 446.

[20] Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib: 368.

[21] Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim, pg. 179.

[22] Muhammad Amhazun: Tahqiq Mawaqif Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 224.

[23] Ibn Hazm: al Fasl fi al Milal wa al Nihal, vol. 4 pg. 160.

[24] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 86. Al Hafiz has deemed its chain of transmission to be sound.

[25] Al Musannaf, vol. 11 pg. 92.

[26] Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 17 pg. 141.

[27] Ibn Hajar: Al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 120.

[28] From amongst them, Amir al Mu’minin ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

Al Ash’ari sent me to ‘Umar. ‘Umar asked me, “In what condition did you leave al Ash’ari?

I replied, “I left him whilst he was teaching the people Qur’an.”

‘Umar commented, “He is an intelligent person. Don’t mention this to him though.”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu praised him too, saying:

He is a man immersed in knowledge. [Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pgs. 345-346]

Amir al Mu’minin ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a man inspired [mulham], whose opinions the Qur’an matched on various occasions, attesting to his intellect leaves nothing more to be said. The praise of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as mentioned above only serves to further drive this point.

[29] Al Hakim: Al Mustadrak, # 7004. On the authority of Farj ibn Fudalah — from Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul A’la — from his father — from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, “Two men brought their dispute to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam …” and he mentioned the narration. Al Hakim said, “This narration is authentic; however, al Bukhari and Muslim did not record it in this manner. Al Dhahabi said, “They have deemed Farj weak.”

[30] Muhammad Amahzun: Tahqiq Mawaqif Sahabah, vol. 2 pgs. 226 -230.

[31] Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 35 pg. 62.

[32] Surah Isra’: 33.

[33] Tahdhir al ‘Abqari min Muhadarat al Khadari, vol. 2 pg. 89.

[34] Ibid., 2/90.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Tarikh al Tabari, 3/111.

[37] Waq’ah al Siffin, 1/538.

[38] Al Bidayah iwa al Nihayah, 10/573.

[39] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 1/122.

[40] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 15 pg. 452; ‘Ali al Shuhud: Min Mashahir al Sahabah, pg. 213.

[41] Dawmat al Jandal is a place between Madinah and al Sham, closer to the latter. It is the border between al Sham and Iraq. The ‘dal’ is with a dhamm whilst the muhaddithin say it with a fath. Ibn Durayd said, “Fath is a mistake.” Al Misbah al Munir, vol. 1 pg. 277.

[42] Adhruh is a city at the end of al Sham. Al Bakri: Mujam ma Ista’jam, vol. 1 pg. 130.

[43] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 5 pg. 57.

[44] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 26 pg. 440.

[45] Ibn Hajar: Al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 114.

[46] Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, vol. 4 pg. 319.

[47] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 24 pg. 85.

[48] Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib: 2927.

[49] Al Zarkali: Al A’lam, vol. 3 pg. 205.

[50] In Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir it appears with the word yataraba’; however, the correct word is yatazaba’, as has been elucidated in some Hadith commentaries and dictionaries. The meaning of the word is to become enraged and/or to growl angrily. Refer to Ibn Salam: Gharib al Hadith, vol. 9 pg. 193; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 8 pg. 140.

[51] A proverb with one of two meanings:

One: Applied to miserly person from whom property is obtained by degrees, notwithstanding his miserliness.

Two: It is said regarding a normally difficult person who can be easy, sometimes.

[52] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 46 pg. 175.

[53] Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 3 pg. 363.

[54] Ibn Hajar commenting on ‘when the people differed’ said, “Meaning after the two arbitrators, Abu Musa from the camp of ‘Ali and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As from the camp of Muawiyah differed.  The narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq — from Ma’mar qualifies this explanation and establishes its occurrence to be at Siffin. Others have stated that this occurred at the last meeting between Muawiyah and al Hassan ibn ‘Ali. The narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq refutes this notion.”

Ibn Hajar then reproduced the statement of Ibn al Jawzi from his book Kashf al Mushkil wherein he states this occurrence have taken place during the era of Muawiyah when he intended to nominate his son Yazid.

Commenting on this assertion Ibn Hajar said, “He has said this without any backing. What can be relied upon in this matter is the explicit qualification found in the narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq. I also found the narration of Habib ibn Abi Thabit—from Ibn ‘Umar wherein he said, ‘On the day Muawiyah came to Dawmat al Jandal, Hafsah said to me, ‘It is not becoming of you to be absent from the reconciliation that Allah has allowed between the ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam seeing that you are his brother-in-law and the son of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab.’ Muawiyah came on that day with two huge she-camels and said, ‘Whoever desires this office, wishes for it, or wants to stretch his hands to it…’ and the rest of the narration goes on. It has been recorded by al Tabarani.” See Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 403.

Al Haythami states in Majma’ al Zawa’id, vol. 4 pg. 207, “Al Tabarani has recorded it in al Kabir and its narrators are Thiqat. Evidently, he intended the reconciliation of al Hassan ibn ‘Ali but a narrator erred.”

In actual fact, a narrator did not err. Rather, this speech of his was after the two arbitrators differed as qualified in the narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq. See Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, vol. 5 pg. 456. He has recorded it — from Ma’mar — from al Zuhri — from Salim — from Ibn ‘Umar. He has also recorded it — from Ma’mar — from Ibn Ta’us — from ‘Ikrimah ibn Khalid — from Ibn ‘Umar which is the very chain of transmission that al Bukhari narrated from but from Hisham ibn Yusuf — from Ma’mar.

‘Abdur Razzaq al San’ani is more accurate (awthaq) than Hisham as ‘Abdur Razzaq is Thiqah and Hafiz whilst Hashim is Thiqah. Refer to al Taqrib, 4064 and 7309.

‘Abdur Razzaq is also more accurate in narrating from Ma’mar than Hisham.

  • Ibn Ma’in said, “‘Abdur Razzaq is more accurate in the narrations of Ma’mar compared to Hisham ibn Yusuf. And Hisham with regards to Ibn Jurayj was well read. (Aqra’ li al Kutub). ‘Ali ibn Madini said to me, ‘Hisham ibn Yusuf, though ‘Abdur Razzaq was the most knowledge amongst us and the one with the best memory.’” See Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 312.
  • Ibn ‘Askar said, “I heard Ahmed ibn Hambal saying, ‘If the students of Ma’mar differ, take the hadith of ‘Abdur Razzaq.’”
  • Yaqub ibn Sahybah said, “‘Abdur Razzaq is more accurate in the narrations of Ma’mar and holds better recollection. See, Sharh ‘Ilal al Tirmidhi, vol. 2 pg. 702.

There is another narration recorded by Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 31 pg. 182 which strengthens the narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq. The narration with its chain of transmission is as follows:

أخبرنا أبو طالب علي بن عبد الرحمن أنبأ أبو الحسن علي بن الحسن الخلعي أنا أبو محمد بن النحاس أنبأ أبر سعید بن الأعرابي نا أبو یحیی زکریا بن يحيى الناقد نبأ صالح بن عبد الله الترمذي نا محمد بن الحسن عن العوام ابن حوشب عن جبلة بن سحيم عن ابن عمر قال : لما كان أمر الحكمين قالت لي حفصة إنه لا يجمل بك إلا الصلح يصلح الله بك بين هذه الأمة وذكر نحوه،

From Abu Talib ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdur Rahman — from Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn al Hassan al Khal’i — from Abu Muhammad ibn al Nuhas — from Abu Sa’id ibn al A’rabi — from Abu Yahya Zakariyya ibn Yahya al Naqid — from Salih ibn ‘Abdullah al Tirmidhi — from Muhammad ibn al Hassan — from ‘Awwam ibn Hawshab — from Jabalah ibn Suhaym — from ibn ‘Umar who said:

When there was the matter of the two arbitrators, Hafsah said to me, “It is not becoming of you expect reconciliation that Allah may reconcile by you the ummah…” and the narration goes on.

The narrators of this chain of transmission are authentic.

Muhammad ibn al Hassan:

He is Ibn ‘Imran al Muzani al Wasiti al Qadi, originally hailing from al Sham. He is accurate and reliable as in al Taqrib, 5818.

‘Awwam ibn Hawshab:

He is ibn Yazid al Shaybani, Abu ‘Isa al Wasiti. He is accurate, reliable, and noble as in al Taqrib, 5211.

Jabalah ibn Suhaym:

Kufi, reliable. His narrations from Ibn ‘Umar are found in the Sahihayn as in Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 4 pg. 498.

The view of Ibn Hajar is supported by al ‘Ayni in ‘Umdat al Qari, vol. 17 pg. 185, it is also the more famous view in the books of history such as Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 58; Tarikh ibn ‘Asakir, vol. 31 pg. 183; and Tarikh al Islam of al Dhahabi, vol. 3 pg. 553.

Perhaps those that have taken it to have been during the reconciliation between al Hassan and Muawiyah have been led to this conclusion based on the narration recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf. It is as follows:

من طريق أبي معاوية عن الأعمش عن حبيب عن هزيل بن شرحبيل قال خطبهم معاوية فقال يا أيها الناس إنكم جئتم فبایعتموني طائعين ولو بایعتم عبدة حبشية مجدعة لجئت حتى أبايعه معكم فلما نزل عن المنبر قال له عمرو بن العاص تدري أي شيء جئت به اليوم زعمت أن الناس بایعوك طائعين ولو بايعوا عبدا حبشياء مجدعة لجئت حتى تبایعه معهم قال فندم فعاد إلى المنبر فقال أيها الناس وهل كان أحد أحق بهذا الأمر مني وهل هو أحد أحق بهذا الأمر مني قال وابن عمر جالس قال فقال ابن عمر هممت أن أقول أحق بهذا الأمر منك من ضربك وأباك عن الإسلام ثم خفت أن تكون كلمتي فسادة وذكرت ما أعد الله في الجنان ، فهون علي ما أقول

From Abu Muawiyah — from A’mash — from Habib — from Huzayl ibn Shurahbil who said:

Muawiyah addressed them and said, “O people. You have come so pledge allegiance to me willingly. If you had come to pledge allegiance to a maimed Ethiopian slave, I would have pledged allegiance to him with you.”

When he descended from the pulpit ‘Amr ibn al ‘As said to him, “Do you know what you have done today? You think people are pledging allegiance to you willingly and if they pledge allegiance to a maimed Ethiopian slave you will have to come and pledge allegiance to him too.”

Muawiyah regretted his earlier statement, ascended the pulpit once again and said, “O people. Was there anyone who had more of a right to this office than me? Is there anyone who has more of a right to this office than me?”

Ibn ‘Umar was sitting there. [later] Ibn ‘Umar said, “I intended to say, the one more rightful to your claim is the one who fought you and your father and brought you into Islam. But then I feared my speech would lead to turmoil and recounted what Allah has prepared in the gardens of paradise; an easier option than speaking.”

The chain of this transmission is weak.

Habib ibn Abi Thabit:

He makes much irsal and tadlis. He is from the third category of narrators and thus his narrations would not be accepted unless he explicitly mentions having heard the narration. See, al Taqrib, 1084; and Tabaqat al Mudallisin of Ibn Hajar, pg. 38.

Even if we accept it to be authentic, it would be two different occasions and not a mistake of the narrator.

[55] Sahih al Bukhari, book on battles, chapter of Ghazwah Khandaq: 3882.

[56] Surah al Baqarah: 134.

[57] Surah al Hashr: 10.

[58] Vol. 7 pg. 350.

[59] Pg. 193.

[60] Vol. 1 pg. 331.

[61] [Translator: Some have said this refers to them injecting mercury into his generative organ which lead him to insanity]

[62] Ithaf al Khiyarah al Maharah bi Zawa’id al Masanid al ‘Asharah, vol. 5 pg. 29.

[63] Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 7 pg. 356.

[64] See, Ibn Ishaq: Al Sirah, vol. 2 pg. 148.

[65] Surah al Nahl: 55-59.

[66] Surah al Takwir: 8-9.

[67] Al Suhayli: al Rawd al Unf, vol. 2 pg. 107. He has recorded this from Abu al Farj al Asbahani. I found the following in Kitab al Aghani:

فلما انتشی عمارة قال لامرأة عمرو بن العاص قبليني فقال لها عمرو قبلی ابن عمك فقبلته وحذر عمرو على زوجته فرصدها ورصدته فجعل إذا شرب معه أقل عمرو من الشراب وأرق لنفسه بالماء مخافة أن يسكر فيغلبه عمارة على أهله، وجعل عمارة يراودها على نفسها فامتنعت منه

When ‘Umarah became intoxicated, he said to the wife of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, “Kiss me.” ‘Amr said to her, “Kiss your cousin.” She, thus, kissed him. ‘Amr was alarmed for his wife and they watched each other. When ‘Amr drank with him, he lowered the potency of the alcohol with water fearing he may become inebriated. ‘Umarah tried to seduce her but she refused to be enticed.

This narration mentions nothing of her having a liking for him. Besides, there are two issues with the chain of transmission too. Al Waqidi who is discarded as already established and Abu ‘Awn. Perhaps he is Ibn Abi Hazim. Abu Zur’ah said, “Madini, we do not know him.” Ibn Abi Hatim has mentioned him in al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 9 pg. 414 and said, “He narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair and ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Makhrami narrated from him.”

[68] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 269; Ibn al Athir: Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 355; al Nawawi: Tahdhib al Asma’ wa al Lughat, vol. 1 pg. 399; Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 661. The hadith appears in Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 1381.

[69] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 1 pg. 94; Sahih Muslim, vol. 3: 1418.

[70] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 1 pg. 351.

Back to top