The heart of this unworthy author is ever-grateful to the Ultimate Awarder of all bounty and my tongue ceaseless with His praise and glorification, as Allah through His grace and Mercy, has awarded me the opportunity to defend the honour and enumerate the virtues of an esteemed Sahabi, recorder of wahi (revelation), blood-relative of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, uncle of the Ummah; Sayyidina Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In an effort to malign and discredit the noble status of this Sahabi, not only were the lines of fairness crossed ―which is normally expected from people of reason and intellect― but even the limits of integrity and humanity trampled upon.
Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu are amongst those personalities who have been treated extremely harshly in light of historical narration; their honour and status becoming blurred through the clouds of exaggeration and derision. Each party scrutinises these personalities through eyes of prejudice which their ideologies, beliefs and viewpoints bind them to. As a result, these two personalities have been depicted to be standing on two divergent paths, with opposing beliefs and motives. Each party, relying upon his own (limited) research and personal standards, raising one and discrediting another, asserting that this is the true reflection, despite how distant the true picture might be from it.
It is in these conditions that I have lifted my pen to enumerate the virtues of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and dispel the accusations against him. I have endeavoured to save myself from becoming ensnared by the thorns of exaggeration and derision, and to traverse this path unscathed to the shore was no easy task at all. Nevertheless, this unworthy author, with firm reliance on Allah and seeking His favour, embarked on this journey. In order to ensure safe passage, I undertook that I would not leave the hands of the pious predecessors but still, if any viewpoint might seem to divert from their own then I retract that beforehand.
The discourse at times took a lengthy course and the reason for it, I cannot help but mention. In reply to the efforts of the Rawafid in criticising and refuting the Sahabah, the industrious youth and young scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah (in fact even a few of those known to be scholars of repute) began pointing out (unfounded) faults of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, considering this to be a great scholarly service to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. In reply to this faux pas, another group, also ascribing themselves to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, (instead of replying to the unfounded accusations against these two saints and revealing the holes in the research of the latter) resorted to attacking Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Abu Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu on account of the misdeeds of Yazid, assuming this to be the most appropriate reply to the latter’s attack on Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Over time, this difference of opinion became opposition, inclination became prejudice, and slowly members of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah were described as being partial either to the Rawafid or the Nawasib, whereas the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah have always been opposed to both groups; since they belittle the beloveds of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, bringing pain to him, which could lead to one losing his iman. What difference will remain between us and the Rawafid and Nawasib, if so called members of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah today were to begin acting in the same manner?
The Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah have always differed with both the Rawafid and Nawasib, and the senior scholars of the Ummah always took care not to become ensnared by the thorns of either sect, maintaining respect for both the Sahabah and the Ahlul Bayt. The pious scholars replied to the accusations of both parties in such a substantiated manner that the entire Ummah expressed their gratitude to their invaluable services. How audacious is it that when replying to the Rawafid a tone is taken seeming to oppose the Ahlul Bayt or when replying to the Nawasib a tone is taken seeming to criticise the Sahabah? Such leanings to Rafidiyyah and Nasibiyyah, which some of the scholars have adopted in their writings today, is extremely lamentable.
In essence, despite their affiliation to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, both these groups are a far cry from the collective substantiated standpoint of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. Fairness and equality is the distinguishing feature of the Ahlus Sunnah: we do not exaggerate with the Rawafid nor deride like the Nawasib. We do not differentiate between the Sahabah and the Ahlul Bayt; regarding respect for both as compulsory and belittling any one of them worthy of lament and distances one from the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.
It is with a grieved heart and utmost concern that I extend my hand to both parties, pleading that for Allah’s sake, re-examine your stance. Ponder for a moment over your criticism of the Ahlul Bayt or Sahabah (even if not a Shia): whose resolve do you strengthen and whose foundation do you uproot and most of all whose blessed heart are you causing pain to. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam loved both his Ahlul Bayt and his Sahabah, who were first hand witnesses to his nubuwwah and risalah, the first to testify to his mission and propagate it with him, who fought alongside him and defended him, and who were proofs of his firm resolve and reformatory success. It is the unique honour of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah that we serve the Sahabah and the Ahlul Bayt. If the Sahabah are “Stars of Guidance” then the Ahlul Bayt are the “Ark of Success and Salvation”. They are all the fragrant flowers of the same garden of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, whose status might differ but between whom we do not discriminate, be they big or small, or late or early bloomers with iman. The entire Ummah of the past regarded following in their footsteps as a means of eternal fortune and success and the entire Ummah in the future is dependent upon the path they laid. If any unfortunate individual were to adopt a path other than theirs then he will not attain the objective.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala grant us a place at their feet, fill our hearts with true love for them, grant us the ability to follow them, as loving them and obeying them is the true success in this world and hereafter.
Whatever I wished to say regarding the extremities and overzealous approach of these two groups has been said and I have high hopes in both parties that they will read this book with a level-head and ponder over its contents. If they fail to do so then we appeal to Allah:
O Rabb! They have failed to understand, they have not understood my words
You grant them a heart capable of understanding what my tongue could not make them understand
As for the hastiness in which this book was compiled, I present my humble and sincere apology before the fair-minded and just scholars of this Ummah. I acknowledge that the use of language is a delicate issue and requires utmost care, therefore if this humble author might make sense then accept it and understand it to be a feat from the pious predecessors of this Ummah, but if some error is noted then please bring it to my attention.
I wish to express my gratitude to the honourable Muhaddith Molana Salim Allah Khan, Sheikh al Hadith Molana Zahid al Rashidi, Respected brother Amir ‘Uthmani, Molana Aslam Sheikhpuri (may we continue to benefit from them), who took out precious time to read through the work of this unworthy author and encouraged me with my effort. In addition, they took the time to increase the value of this book with words of praise and approval. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala accept their good opinion of me and allow it to be true. I would also wish to thank my friend, Sulaiman ‘Amir and brother Ghul Muhammad who assisted me in editing this book, may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reward them with the best of rewards.
In conclusion, and not for the last time, we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to accept this small effort in His court, make it a means of attaining the pleasure of Allah for the author, his parents and asatidhah, and allow it to serve the purpose for which it was written. If this book removes those doubts that have arisen on account of lack of knowledge, lingering in the heart of one with true iman and increases his love and admiration for the Sahabah, then the effort will have been fruitful. If, however, this effort (which is no achievement of the author but rather a reproduction of what is contained in the books of our seniors) successfully defends the honour of the Sahabah, especially the doubts and allegations made against Sayyidina Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then there can be no greater exhilaration. And if on account of this effort, the author is granted a place at the feet of the Sahabah and Ahlul Bayt then it would have achieved its ultimate goal. Lastly, to those who attack and criticise the Sahabah and Ahlul Bayt, I say:
O enemies of the Sahabah and Ahlul Bayt! Your efforts to remove the honour of those, who are the lanterns of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from the hearts of the Ummah is a fruitless task…
These are lanterns which cannot be extinguished with a breath of air.
Servant of the Sahabah and Ahlul Bayt
Muhammad Zafar Iqbal (May Allah forgive him)
by Sheikh al Hadith Molana Salim Allah Khan Sahib
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله الذى رضى لنا بالاسلام دينا و بخير الانام و صفوة خلقه نبيا و بصحابه نبيه اعوانا و انصارا و الصلاة و السلام على سيد الرسل و خاتم النبياء محمد المصطفى و المجتبى و على اله و صحبه الذين اختارهم الله تعالى لصحبة نبيه و اقامة دينه من جميع امته و بعد
Respected Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala increase his efforts and virtue, has compiled this book entitled- Sayyidina Muawiyah– Dispelling distortions of history. The author has not only fulfilled the right of research but has explained the necessity of honouring the Sahabah and loving them in such a manner that it will leave the fair-minded reader with no option but to acknowledge its veracity.
It is impossible to enumerate the excellence of this book in a few words, but one can say that this book is irrefutable and no comprehensive discourse of this nature existed before it. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala grant it acceptance, make it a means of salvation for the author and allow multitudes of people to derive benefit from this book.
Salim Allah Khan
Principal of Jami’ah Faruqiyyah Karachi
Head of Wifaq al Madaris al ‘Arabiyyah Pakistan
12 Dhu l-Hijjah 1425
23 January 2005
by Molana Aslam Sheikhpuri
What great foresight was the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam blessed with that he was able to discern that such malicious people will arise who will make his pure and noble Sahabah targets of criticism. Instead of pondering over their own mistakes and weaknesses, they will search for faults amongst the first group of the pious predecessors. This is why the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said with great emphasis:
Fear Allah! Fear Allah regarding my Sahabah! Do not make them a target for your criticism after me.
All of the qualities and character described by the Noble Qurʼan, all of the glad tidings mentioned, apply first to the Sahabah and then to others. If the Qurʼan addresses such people as true believers, pious, Allah-fearing, praying through the night, humble, and generous, promising them a grand reward, forgiveness, guidance, mercy, and Jannat then all of this before applying to the esteemed and illustrious Fuqaha, Muhaddithin and Mufassirin; it first applies to the Sahabah. If, Allah forbid, they were void of iman and guidance then no person on this earth attained iman and guidance.
The oppressed Sahabi, who is most often the target of such criticisms, was the recorder of wahi (revelation), Amir al Muʼminin Sayyidina Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It should have been more fitting to present his twenty years of caliphate and rule of the Ummah, the glorious conquests he achieved and progression which he led, that should be remembered with honour. It would have been more fitting to discuss his prowess and genius, iman and character but sadly the opposite has occurred. Instead, such filth has been flung at his person that one shudders to think of the sheer audacity. If it were to have been an outsider then it would have been expected but such allegations have come from within our camp that one even feels ashamed to take their names. This attack was not limited to this one Sahabi only, who was a blood-relative of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but it spilled over to the entire tribe of Banu Umayyah, such that all of them are depicted to be tyrannical oppressors and wicked usurpers. Those who have distorted the pages and narrations of history did not bother to even consider that they were biting the very hand who had sustained them, since the lands in which they live were brought under the banner of Islam either directly or indirectly by the Banu Umayyah. It was under their rule that the Islamic borders were expanded to Africa, Europe, and Asia, with distant lands glimmering with the light of Islam. Whatever expansions continued in these lands later also took place under the rule of the Banu Umayyah.
The respected Molana Zafar Iqbal (May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala increase his status) in this book has refuted all those allegations posed by those who might claim to be of the Ahlus Sunnah and lovers of the Sahabah, but whose words and writings fail to support their claim. Many people have faltered when lifting their pen against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu such that many a time, they even cause people to doubt and turn against Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is why Molana was extremely cautious in his refutation of such allegations, never straying from the path of fairness nor his use of language becoming degrading in any way. The respected author not only has control of his pen and tongue but also of the topic at hand, which is why his book succeeds in pacifying and convincing the reader. Whoever will read this book without prejudice will find himself agreeing with me entirely.
The lowly servant of the Sahabah
Muhammad Aslam Sheikhpuri
by Hadrat Molana Zahid al Rashidi
نحمده تبارك و تعالى و نصلى و نسلم على رسوله الكريم و على اله و اصحابه و اتباعه اجمعين
Amir al Muʼminin Sayyidina Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is amongst those noble personalities of Islam who expanded the borders and rule of Islam, rendering great services and sacrifices. His twenty years of caliphate, which was unique in its own right, was the principle reason for the great conquests and spread of Islam that occurred later. He was a Sahabi of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a recorder of wahi, blood-relative of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, renowned as one of the great political leaders of the Arab world. His tolerance, forbearance, and political insight were always acknowledged. The manner in which he steered the entire Ummah for twenty years is a glorious chapter in the history of Islam. In addition to being a leader and a politician, he was also a Mujtahid, whose status was acknowledged by the senior Sahabah as well. It is a well-known fact that when a Mujtahid applies his mind to a ruling then it has the possibility of being correct or incorrect. A few of his rulings might not have been accepted by his contemporaries and in such instances, he has the same right as all those who hold a contrary view. However, some people have made these differences of opinion an object of criticism and in fact a reason for rejection and abuse. This continues to this very day, which opposes both knowledge and fair-handedness, resulting in Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu becoming one of the most oppressed personalities of Islamic history.
The allegations then move from Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the entire tribe of Banu Umayyah, whereas the rule of the Banu Umayyah has the honour of having raised the banner of Islam until the borders of Africa, Europe, and Asia, spreading far and wide. It was under their leadership that the empires of Rome and Persia were brought to their knees, making the Arabs a force to be reckoned with. The manner in which Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu enforced the laws and teachings of Islam in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam can be easily gauged from the following narration in Tirmidhi:
On one occasion the Romans signed a temporary cease fire with Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As the time period drew to a close, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu left Damascus with his army for the Roman borders thinking that his troops will be ready to advance from the border as soon as the agreement terminates. As they were on route, the Sahabi of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, came speeding after them. He informed Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu about the hadith of the Messenger of Allah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that if you have any agreement (of cease fire) with another nation then as long as the agreement is in place, you should not even advance your soldiers. As soon as Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu heard this, he not only stopped advancing but ordered his troops to return to Damascus as well.
Similarly, Tabarani rahimahu Llah and Abu Ya’la rahimahu Llah have reported another incident, with their chain of narration, regarding which Al Haythami rahimahu Llah (in Majma’ al Zawaʼid vol. 5 page 236) has said: “The narrators are all reliable”. The incident is as follows:
Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu contrary to his normal routine said one Friday in his khutbah (sermon): “The distribution of the spoils of war and public treasury is subject to my discretion; I will give to whomsoever I please and will hold back from whoever I please.” After saying this no one gave any reply. The next week he said the same and again no one replied. However, on the third week when he repeated this, a person stood from the crowd said: “Never! The spoils of war and public treasury belong to all of the Muslims, whoever will become an obstacle between us and it, his fate will be decided with the sword.” After the salah, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu summoned the man before him. Assuming that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu might treat him harshly, others arrived in the court to intercede on his behalf. When they reached the court, they found that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had seated the man alongside him, thanking him for what he had said. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu then said to them: “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say that such leaders will come who will say whatever they please and none will object to them. Such leaders will be disfigured into apes and thrown into Jahannam. It was with this in mind that I said this in the khutbah, intending to see whether anyone will object or not. When no one objected, I became exceedingly worried and so I repeated it again the second week but again no one objected and my worry increased. But today when I repeated it for the third time, this man objected to me giving me solace that I am not amongst those rulers. He has given me life and may Allah also grant him life.”
Such a person, with such a personality, who commands his troops to return after hearing one hadith, who is so concerned of the warning of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he acts in the manner mentioned above, is it not but defamation to accuse him of altering the Qurʼan and Sunnah? Allah forbid! They have indeed left the realms of fairness.
It is with this that my good friend, Molana Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, lifted his pen in defence of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He has studied in detail the allegations made against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and proved many of them to be baseless accusations, a result of deep hatred and prejudice against him. Some of the allegations pertain only to issues of jurisprudence but the accusers overlook the status of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a Mujtahid and malign him for his opinions.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reward Zafar Iqbal; abundantly and grant him the ability to continue rendering services in this field.
Abu ‘Ammar Zahid al Rashidi
Secretary General of Pakistan religious council
10 March 2005
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
و صلى الله على النبي الكريم
There is a general principle without which no individual will be able to comprehend our system of accreditation, in other words the procedure by which recognition and status is granted. This principle is quite simple to understand, whenever an individual or entity is linked to Haqq (divine truthfulness), then this individual will not merely be praised on account of his personal attributes but rather because of the connection he shares with that divine link of truthfulness.
To put it differently, it is incumbent upon every individual to link himself to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in order to attain complete salvation. This link is the defining basis of recognition. Undoubtedly, the Ahlul Bayt and the noble Sahabah were unending fountains of righteousness but the defining characteristic, which raised them to the highest platform of excellence, was the link they shared with the beloved of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, Sayyidina Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, an honour enjoyed by them alone.
Most certainly, their personal attributes will contribute to their lofty prestige but it is not the fundamental criteria of recognition. Likewise, individual shortcomings will not degrade their lofty status. The principle one is required to understand is that there is no achievement that will surpass the status of being a Sahabi, and there is no shortcoming except disbelief which will degrade the status of a Sahabi.
Sadly, there are multiple factions who have shunned this fundamental principle and are treading farther away from the teachings of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Leave aside the misguided sects, from amongst the Ahlus Sunnah itself one will find such people who have disregarded the unquestionable status of the noble Sahabah.
Amongst these people are those who have veiled their intentions beneath the shroud of Tasawuf (Sufism), wherein the eminent Sahabi, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, holds a pivotal position.
These individuals possess such extreme love for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that in their ecstasy to prove their devotion to him, they fail to differentiate between extremism and apathy; more so when it pertains to Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In their minds hatred for Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a prerequisite for loving Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and these dogmatic dialogues are an integral part of their so-called spiritual gatherings, which in most instances contradict the teachings of the Qurʼan and Sunnah. Spiritual gatherings of this nature provide no benefit to the mentor or the disciple and stray far from the principles of Islam.
The dervishes who conduct these gatherings have no interest in the spiritual elevation of their disciples. Their only interest is to create a circle of devotees, who will ‘worship’ and revere them. In order to achieve this, they misuse the name of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, around whom a trail of legendary tales have been fabricated. The truth, however, is that these tales are baseless and mere concoctions of their wandering imaginations. These tales have no relation to the venerable personality of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Just as the tales regarding Prophet ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam, which the overzealous Christians fabricated, are fictitious, so too are the fanciful tales regarding Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which are mere deceptions fed to the uninformed.
In accordance with their limited logic and understanding they declare that if anyone from amongst the Sahabah had a disagreement with Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then it will be sufficient to cast that Sahabi out of the fold of Islam. On the other hand, disagreements with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu bear no consequence. The reason for this delusion is that they have attached certain attributes to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that can only be attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala or are specific to our Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The noble Sahabah are all equal as far as their status as a faction is concerned and it is justified for a Sahabi to disagree with another. These disagreements can be correct or incorrect as well. When a Sahabi can question the erudite Sahabi, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, on a particular ruling of mehr (dowry) then why is it wrong for Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to question the decision of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the murderers of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu?
It is incumbent to first establish whether Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had the right to raise questions regarding the murder of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu? Was this not a religious matter as well? Was it irreligious to probe this matter further? The most that one may prove is that they both disagreed on the basis of their ijtihad (analytical reasoning) as to how this issue – the murder of the khalifah – should be handled? Yes, they may have erred in the process and for that they will still be rewarded, which is the established stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. Alas! Only if Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was given the responsibility of rounding up and punishing all those who were involved in the murder of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then today many of the current matters of distrust and division would not exist and the conquests of Islam which ensued during the caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu would not have ceased. Undoubtedly, the martyrdom of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had broken the spirit of the Ummah, which neither Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu could mend.
When I came across the book- Sayyidina Muawiyah– Dispelling distortions of History, I was overcome with a deep sense of gratitude that by the grace of Allah, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal had fulfilled a necessary requisite of love for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Islam.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reward him abundantly for undertaking this initiative and ensuring its completion. May Allah raise him amongst the ranks of His most righteous servants.
I have not had the honour of meeting brother Muhammad Zafar Iqbal personally, but I do know that he was a devoted acquaintance of the esteemed Molana Yusuf Ludhiyanwi Shahid rahimahu Llah. He also benefited greatly from the august personality of Molana Salim Allah Khan and is amongst those who benefitted from the company and teachings of ‘Allamah Khalid Mahmud. He frequents the gatherings of many notable scholars and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has also blessed him with astute knowledge and those qualities necessary for the understanding of din.
The great Mufassir of the Qurʼan, Molana Ahmed ‘Ali Lahori rahimahu Llah once said:
There are two features which are of utmost necessity for the protection of iman and steadfastness on din. These two features are:
The reliance of brother Zafar Iqbal is evident from his book. Allah willing, his concern for the hereafter is commendable as well. I say this because the one who treads in the footsteps of the pious predecessors will not be void of concern for the hereafter. I have personally heard from my elders that the one who disregards the teachings of the pious predecessors will indeed become a slave of his carnal desires and will only focus on earning the pleasures of this mundane world. Such an individual always gives preference to worldly achievements over the hereafter. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala forgive all our shortcomings and may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala keep us steadfast on the path of the pious.
The purpose of the book before you is to answer a number of blasphemous and baseless allegations levelled against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The allegations are of such a contentious nature that no Muslim will ever tolerate it. A few of the baseless accusations levelled against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that will be clarified in this book are as follows:
The general criticism levelled against the Banu Umayyah and those specifically directed towards Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu arise on account of the misconception that praising or acknowledging Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Banu Umayyah is tantamount to slurring the Ahlul Bayt. In other words, love and respect for the Ahlul Bayt can only be true if one condemns and vilifies the Banu Umayyah and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu along with them.
Molana Zafar Iqbal has remarkably highlighted the errors of such bias and has meticulously proven the achievements and status of many individuals from the Banu Umayyah. Often the dogmatist, in his mistaken hereditary prejudice, embarks on a relentless mission of vilifying Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, such that it becomes necessary to remind him that whether the vilification is directed towards Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it demands refutation; a principle applicable to each and every Sahabi.
The three ahadith regarding the Banu Umayyah and Yazid often cited by the opponents of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in actuality proves that they are bereft of the necessary knowledge and aptitude required in the science of ahadith. If they possessed any knowledge, then they would never have depended on the reports of Al Hakim al Naysaburi. On the other hand, Molana Zafar Iqbal scrutinised all of the material and has methodically proven their unreliability.
The majority of the ahadith which make mention of manaqib (virtues and merit) are not on the level of sahih (authentic). Likewise, the extent of work that the Muhaddithin have carried out in scrutinising the authenticity of the narrations pertaining to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has not been carried out for any other Sahabi. In simple words, the amount of inaccuracies which the scholars of Islam have discovered in the chapters pertaining to the virtues of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is of such an extent that deniability is no more a choice in this matter. In spite of this, the scholars of Islam have never said that the status of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not proven. Why is the same sentiment and principle not applied with Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu?
Furthermore, Molana Zafar Iqbal has accurately discredited the narration used to substantiate the claim that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an innovator. In this light, the elucidation of Molana Muhammad Nafi’ is of such a calibre, that hopefully it will be a means of success and guidance for all the opponents of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
A common argument raised against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was that he initiated or incited the poisoning of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Molana Zafar Iqbal has refuted any and all misunderstandings in this regard.
Regarding the era of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the scholars are of the opinion that it does not form part of that caliphate classified as the Caliphate al Rashidah, but it does not mean that it was an era void of benefit to Islam and unworthy of being followed. Molana Zafar Iqbal also clarified the various doubts and allegations regarding the caliphate of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Amongst the common errors, the opponents of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu make in building their case against him, is the allegation that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not a scribe of wahi, but rather only a scribe for a few epistles of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Molana Zafar Iqbal once again refutes this allegation and presents an array of authentic and reliable narrations as well as commentaries which resolve this matter once and for all. Through the grace of Allah, I firmly believe that allegations such as these hold no value against the pioneers of knowledge such as Ibn Hazm rahimahu Llah, Al Khatib al Baghdadi rahimahu Llah, Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani rahimahu Llah and Al Dhahabi rahimahu Llah and their likes.
In short, the author, Molana Zafar Iqbal has shunned and dismantled all the baseless criticisms that the sceptics dare to present against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The presentation of indexes and academic style is a reminder of the works of the earlier scholars and this is what truly makes this book a masterpiece.
In conclusion, I would like to commend the disapproval that these sceptics might voice at times against Shi’ism, especially, when one considers the conditions surrounding them, whereby it is extremely difficult if not impossible to voice such sentiments, but at the same time one will realise that they too are guilty of the same crime as the Shia. Sadly, in this day and age giving precedence to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has become a fundamental belief within certain sects, at times their fanaticism leading to deviation. It is because of this belief that much blood has been spilled over the course of history and closing this door has become a shar’i (religious) requirement. This matter is of such a grave nature that some individuals have elevated Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu above the rest of the Prophets.
Indeed, it is a pre-requisite of iman to love and respect the noble family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but at the same time one must be careful, not to use this love for personal gain, as to do so will be an act of treachery and enmity against Islam.
Nonetheless, I am extremely pleased with Molana Zafar Iqbal for preparing this manuscript in defence of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which will (Allah-willing) be of great benefit to one and all. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reward him abundantly for his efforts and bless him with success in all his endeavours.
Jawid Amir ‘Uthmani
All praise is due to Allah, who is sufficient and may peace be upon His selected servants.
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala attributed that religion to the Sahabah, which He completed upon the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and He was pleased with as a religion for prosperity:
اَلْیَوْمَ اَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِیْنَكُمْ وَاَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیْكُمْ نِعْمَتِیْ وَرَضِیْتُ لَكُمُ الْاِسْلَامَ دِیْنًا
Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My favour upon you, and I am pleased with Islam for you as a religion.
The history of Islam begins with the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Their virtues and excellence were acknowledged by the previous Prophets, and the earlier nations would enhance their faith by recounting the praises heaped upon them:
ذٰلِکَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِی التَّوْرٰىةِ وَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِی الْاِنْجِیْلِ
This is their description in the Torah and their description in the Injil…
The din of Islam cannot advance a single step if the Sahabah are removed from the history of Islam.
عن عويم بن ساعدة رضي الله عنه ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال : أن الله تبارك و تعالى اختارني و اختار لي اصحابا ، فجعل لي منهم وزراء و أنصارا و أصهارا ، فمن سبهم فعليه لعنة الله و الملائكة و الناس اجمعين ، لا يقبل منه يوم القيامة صرف و لا عدل . (هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد و لم يخرجاه و قال الذهبي رحمة الله عليه صحيح )
Uwaym ibn Sa’idah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Verily Allah selected me and chose Sahabah for me. He made for me among them some as ministers, some as assistants and some as relatives through marriage. So, whosoever swears at them, may the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people be upon him. On the Day of Resurrection, no good deed will be accepted from him, be it compulsory or optional.”
Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:
إن الله نظر في قلوب العباد فاختار محمدا صلى الله عليه و سلم فبعثه برسالة و انتخبه بعلمه ، ثم نظر في قلوب الناس بعده ، فاختار له أصحابا ، فجعلهم أنصار دينه و وزراء نبيه ، و ما رآه المؤمنون حسنا فهو عند الله حسن ، و ما رآه المؤمنون قبيحا فهو عند الله قبيح
Allah glanced at the hearts of His servants and chose Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, He then sent him with His message and selected him with His knowledge. Thereafter, Allah glanced at the hearts of mankind and He selected companions for him. Allah made them the supporters of His religion and the ministers of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Whatever the believers collectively consider as good, is also good in the sight of Allah, and whatever the believers collectively consider as inappropriate, is also inappropriate in the sight of Allah.
It is understood from the aforementioned narrations that just as Allah selected the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from among the entire creation, likewise the most blessed people and the most fortunate souls from all of mankind were chosen for the companionship of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Apart from the Prophets these people are the most superior from the entire creation in their nobility, excellence, honour, qualities, status and rank. If there existed any other people in the creation more superior than the Sahabah, Allah would have chosen them for the companionship and friendship of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Reviling them, disrespecting and hurling scorn at the Sahabah not only derides their companionship with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but scoffs at the selection made by Allah.
Similar is the case of the Ahlul Bayt; together with enjoying kinship with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they are included among the Sahabah, as they too had the honour of remaining in the company of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, if they were amongst those who lived during his lifetime. It is obligatory to respect the Sahabah, and likewise it is essential to hold the Ahlul Bayt in high regard.
‘Allamah Khalid Mahmud writes:
Just as it is an essential component of the beliefs of a true Muslim to revere the Sahabah and the al Khulafaʼ al Rashidin, likewise whosoever reviles the Ahlul Bayt does not deserve to be considered part of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1034 A.H) writes:
How is it possible to assume that the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah do not adore the Ahlul Bayt, whereas love for the Ahlul Bayt is considered to be a component of iman, and attaining an easy death is dependent upon deep admiration for them. Love for the Ahlul Bayt is a hallmark of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, yet our adversaries are unaware of this reality and they are ignorant of the concept of moderate love for the Ahlul Bayt. They have adopted one extreme in this matter of love, while others have adopted another extreme by considering everybody else to be out of the fold of Islam.
They do not realise that between the two extremes is the moderate path that the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah have adopted. This is the essence of truth and the correct stance. May Allah appreciate their endeavours.
According to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah there is no separation between the Sahabah and the Ahlul Bayt. Wherever the word Sahabah appears in our discussion, the Ahlul Bayt are included in it.
The teachings and guidance imparted by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prepared the Sahabah to become the role models and guides for the entire world. They were the link between the message of nubuwwah and the Ummah. The Sahabah imbibed within themselves the magnificence and effulgence of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to such an extent that their lives became a component of the life of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is impossible to entirely mention the blessed life of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without mentioning the lives of the Sahabah, for the reason that the Sahabah are the testimony to the Messenger’s of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentorship.
After understanding their excellence, it would be appropriate to recognize the status of the Sahabah in light of the standards set by the Noble Qurʼan and Sunnah. Our misfortune has been such that we have begun to look at the Sahabah and their differences in the mirror of the disputes and circumstances of worldly political leaders. Whereas very often worldly leaders are willing to destroy the wellbeing of people in this world and akhirah as well, merely for the sake of power.
According to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, the Sahabah are the foundation of iman and Islam. It is a matter of belief for the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah that the differences which arose between the Sahabah, even if it led to war between them, were not based upon the aspiration for power. Each faction fought against the other on the premise of protecting and elevating Islam. All these personalities held the view that the stance of the opposing group was also based upon sound religious judgement. Thus, although each faction would consider the opinion or assumption of the other to be incorrect, they would not consider them to be imposters or disbelievers.
Additional details of this will be discussed in its appropriate place. This is the unanimous view of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. In all the books of ‘aqaʼid (beliefs), this topic has been discussed in a dedicated chapter: “The noble status and recognition of the Sahabah”. Hence their status cannot be ascertained and determined by a cursory glance at historical narration.
Whilst discussing the importance and the position of the subject of History, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ rahimahu Llah (d. 1396 A.H) mentions:
It is inappropriate to determine the character and status of the Sahabah solely on the basis of historical narration. In their role as the link between the message of nubuwwah and the Ummah, these individuals enjoy a special position in light of the Noble Qurʼan and Sunnah. Historical narrations do not have the same position as the Noble Qurʼan and Sunnah and thus the status of the Sahabah cannot be raised or lowered simply based upon historical narration. By no means is it implied that history cannot be relied upon completely and is useless. The reality is that there are variant degrees of credibility. The status of credibility which Islam has afforded to the Noble Qurʼan and to mutawatir ahadith, when compared to general ahadith and historical narration is not of the same standing. Likewise, the sayings of the Sahabah do not hold the same weight as the words of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. By the same token, the degree of reliability of historical narrations is not the same as that of the Noble Qurʼan, Sunnah or authentically established sayings of the Sahabah. If any connotation implied from a hadith, which is not mutawatir, conflicts with the text of the Noble Qurʼan, then it will be imperative to find an interpretation for that connotation. If a suitable interpretation cannot be found then it will be necessary to discard the connotation which contradicts the text of the Noble Qurʼan. In a like manner, should any issue, derived from a historical narration, be inconsistent with the understanding established from the Noble Qurʼan and Sunnah then the former will be discarded or a suitable interpretation sought, no matter the strength of authenticity of the historical narration.
After a few pages, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ rahimahu Llah writes:
It is the consensus of the entire Ummah that the significance of the Sahabah, their status and the differences which arose between them cannot be concluded as any general topic of history is concluded. The importance of the Sahabah is a fundamental component of the science of hadith, as has been clarified in the introduction of Al Isabah by Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah and in the introduction of al Isti’ab by Hafiz Ibn ‘Abdul Barr rahimahu Llah. The scholars of this Ummah have treated the subject of the status of the Sahabah, the varying ranks amongst them and the differences that arose between them as a separate theme in the science of ‘aqidah and have dedicated chapters discussing it in all the books of Islamic creed. In a matter related to Islamic creed, and upon the basis of which many Muslim factions came into existence, it is obvious sources such as the Qurʼan, Sunnah, and ijma’ (consensus of the Ummah) have to be utilised. If a deduction is to be made from any narration, it is fundamental that it be analysed according to the principles of hadith. Simply searching for a source among historical narrations and relying upon it, is a fundamental error. Even though history may have been compiled by reliable and authentic scholars of hadith, in essence it still remains history, and in history it is common practice to accumulate both the authentic and unauthentic.
Ibn Hajar al Makki rahimahu Llah (d. 974 A.H) states:
و الواجب أيضا على كل من سمع شيئا من ذلك أن يتثبت فيه و لا ينسبه الى أحد منهم بمجرد رؤية في كتاب أو سماعه من شخص، بل لا بد أن يبحث عنه حتى يصح عنده نسبته الى أحدهم، فحينئذ الواجب أن يلتمس لهم أحسن التأويلات
Whosoever hears anything regarding the differences and misunderstandings among the Sahabah, it is incumbent upon him to enquire regarding that matter. One should not merely apportion fault to any of them based solely on something read in a book or heard from another. It is vital to research the matter until it can be correctly attributed. It will be prudent at this point to seek the most befitting interpretation.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah (d. 728 A.H) while discussing the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah writes:
و يتبرؤون من طريقة الروافض الذين يبغضون الصحابة و يسبونهم و طريقة النواصب الذين يؤذون أهل البيت بقول أو عمل، و يمسكون عما شجر بين الصحابة و يقولون: أن هذه الآثار المروية في مساويهم منها ما هو كذب و منها ما قد زيد فيه و نقص غير عن وجهه، والصحيح منه هم فيه معذورون، إما مجتهدون مصيبون و إما مجتهدون مخطئون. وهم مع ذلك لا يعتقدون أن كل واحد من الصحابة معصومعن كبائر الاثم وصغائره، بل يجوز عليهم الذنوب في الجملة، و لهم من الفضائل و السوابق ما يوجب مغفرته ما يصدر منهم ان يصدر ،حتى انهم يغفر لهم من السيئات ما لا يغفر لمن بعدهم
The Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah stand exonerated from the methodology adopted by the Shia, who harbour hatred for the Sahabah and consider them as evil. Similarly, we are exonerated from the methodology of the Nawasib, who cause harm to the Ahlul Bayt verbally or physically. The Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah choose to adopt silence regarding the differences which arose between the Sahabah. They state that the narrations reported against the Sahabah vary; a number of those narrations are fabrications, while some narrations are such that certain alterations have taken place to the extent that their correct meaning has been adulterated. Yet there are also some narrations which are authentic. In these instances, the Sahabah are considered excused as they were either accurate in their ijtihad (analytical reasoning) or they erred even after following the correct analytical methodology. Similarly, the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah do not hold this belief that the Sahabah were infallible from committing any minor or major sin. Essentially there was a probability of them committing sin. Their virtues and merits are, however, so immense that it warrants their forgiveness even if a misdemeanour had to occur from them. In fact, forgiveness would be extended to them to a degree unachievable by those after them.
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1024 A.H) states:
The disputes and quarrels which arose between the Sahabah should be interpreted in a positive light, and it should be understood to be as distant as possible from individualistic or sectarian motives. These differences were essentially premised on analytical deductions and interpretations, and not upon desires. This is the standpoint of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah… It is important for us to maintain our beliefs in accordance with the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah and not to lend an ear to the statements of any simpleton. Founding one’s beliefs and ideologies upon the views of false people is tantamount to destroying one’s iman. It is vital to follow the path of those who will attain salvation, i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, so that one can be hopeful of earning salvation.
 Rawafid is a term that pejoratively denotes the Shia.
 Nawasib refers to those who harbour hatred for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
 Surah al Maʼidah: 3.
 Surah al Fath: 29.
 Sahih according to Al Dhahabi, Mustadarak al Hakim, vol. 5 pg. 632.
 Musnad Abu Dawood al Tayalisi, pg. 33.
 Ahlul Bayt al Kiram, pg. 4.
 Maktubat Imam-e Rabbani, journal 2, letter 36.
 Maktubat Imam-e Rabbani, letter: 96.
 Mutawatir: A hadith reported by such a large number of people that it is inconceivable for them to have all agreed upon a lie.
 Maqam-e Sahabah, pg. 14-15.
 Maqam-e Sahabah, pg. 35-36.
 Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, pg. 216.
 Al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 173.
 Maktubat Imam-e Rabbani, letter: 251.Back to top