Refutation of A’lam al Nisa’

Refutation of Misconceptions – Marriage of Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain to Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman
December 3, 2019
Conclusion
December 3, 2019

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Refutation of A’lam al Nisa’

‘Ali Muhammad Dakhil in his book A’lam al Nisa’ rejects the marriage of Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan based upon feeble evidences which lack any academic rigour.

 

Misconception 1

Zubair ibn Bakkar and his uncle, ‘Ali, were opposed to the Banu Hashim

Dakhil says: The narrations which establish the union between Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman have been reported by way of Zubair ibn Bakkar from his uncle, Mus’ab; and their opposition[1] and enmity to the Ahlul Bayt is well known, as has been mentioned by the majority of those who penned their biographies.[2]

 

Answer

  1. If the narrations of the genealogists, biographers, historians, and scholars were to be discarded merely because they happen to be from the progeny of Sayyidina Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu or the Banu Umayyah then much of our historic legacy will have to be discarded. For example, Nasab Quraysh of the famed Mus’ab al Zubairi as well as al Muwaffaqqiyat wa Juz’ min Nasab Quraysh by Zubair ibn Bakkar, as well as many other literary works.
  2. The marriage of Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah has been reported by many others beside Zubair ibn Bakkar and Mus’ab al Zubairi. In fact, it has been reported by such a large number of scholars that it is practically impossible to assume that they all harboured enmity for the Ahlul Bayt, and the family of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in specific. More so when considering the different ages in which they lived, as well as residing in different cities, not to mention the polarity between their schools of thought.

It is especially worth mentioning that the marriage between Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman has been mentioned in more than 30 reliable sources and primary references of genealogy and biographies. We have already mentioned some of these sources:

Ibn Taqtaqi: Al Asili fi Ansab al Talibiyin. This has been researched by Mahdi al Raja’i, one of the most senior contemporary research scholars of the Shia.

Ansab al Ashraf. The second volume which contains the research of Muhammad Baqir al Mahmudi and has been published by Mu’assat al A’lami li al Matbu’at. This is besides what ‘Abbas al Qummi has mentioned repeatedly in Muntaha al Amal, which we quoted earlier.

I will include in the appendices a quote from the book Shajarat Tuba of Muhammad Mahdi al Ha’iri, which includes a discussion from one of the scholars of the Twelver Shia that establishes this marriage. Will Muhammad ‘Ali Dakhil disregard him too?

  1. As for Zubair ibn Bakkar: He is Abu ‘Abdullah al Madani Zubair ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Mus’ab ibn Thabit ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam al Qurashi al Asadi al Zubairi. He is from amongst the senior scholars who benefitted directly from the Taba’ Tabi’in (those who benefitted from the Tabi’in). He passed away in the year 256 A.H. Ibn Majah has reported his narrations.
    • Ibn Hajar al ‘Askalani said about him, “Thiqah.”
    • Al Dhahabi said, “A suduq (truthful) historian, ‘Allamah.”
    • Al Daraqutni said, “Thiqah.”
    • Al Khatib said, “He was Thiqah, sound, a scholar of genealogy, well versed with the histories of the previous generations and their reports. Ibn Hibban included him in his al Thiqat.

As for Mus’ab al Zubairi: He is Abu ‘Abdullah al Madani Mus’ab ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Thabit ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam al Qurshi al Asadi al Zubairi.  He settled in Baghdad. He is amongst the senior genealogists of the Taba’ Tabi’in. He passed away in 236 A.H. Al Nasa’i and Ibn Majah have reported his narrations.

    • Ibn Hajar said about him, “Suduq (truthful), well verses with genealogy.”
    • Al Dhahabi said, “Thiqah, he has been criticised for [allegedly] choosing a view of neutrality regarding the creation of the Qur’an.”
    • Al Daraqutni said, “Thiqah.”
    • Ibn Hibban included him in his al Thiqat.

This is the ruling of the specialists in narrator scrutiny regarding Zubair ibn Bakkar and Mus’ab al Zubairi; why then should we not rely upon their reports and narrations?

Misconception 2

There was enmity between the Banu Hashim and the Banu Umayyah

Dakhil says: Whoever considers the relations between the two houses—Hashimid and Umayyid—and of the age old enmity that existed, as well as that which ensued later of what the Umayyads did to Sayed al Shuhada’—confirms the impossibility of such a union.[3]

 

Answer

As for his claim that deep enmity and resentment existed between the Hashimids and Umayyads, and similarly between the Hashimids and progeny of Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu; this is a false claim in stark contrast with reality. I have mentioned in Asma’ wa al Musaharat[4] dozens of intermarital relations between the Umayyads and Zubairids with the Hashimids; to the extent that it becomes apparent that the majority of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu daughters were married to either an Umayyad or Zubairid.

 

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  1. Safiyyah bint ‘Abdul Muttalib, aunt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was married to al ‘Awwam ibn Khuwaylid. Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam was born from this union.
  2. Umm al Hassan bint Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  3. Ruqayyah bint al Hassan ibn ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was married to ‘Amr ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  4. Mulaykah bint al Hassan (al Muthanna) ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to Jafar ibn Mus’ab ibn Zubair.
  5. Musa ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali (Zayn al ‘Abidin) ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married ‘Ubaidah bint al Zubair ibn Hisham ibn Urwah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  6. Jafar (al Akbar) ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali (Zayn al ‘Abidin) ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Fatimah bint ‘Urwah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  7. ‘Abdullah ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali (Zayn al ‘Abidin) ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali bin Abi Talib married Umm ‘Amr bint ‘Amr ibn al Zubair ibn Amr ibn ‘Amr ibn al Zubair.
  8. Muhammad ibn ‘Awf ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Safiyyah bint Muhammad ibn Mus’ab ibn al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  9. Bint al Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib was married to Hamzah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair.
  10. Muhammad (al Nafs al Zakiyyah) ibn ‘Abdullah (al Mahd) ibn Hassan (al Muthanna) ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Fakhitah bint Fulayh ibn Muhammad ibn al Mundhir ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam. They were blessed with a son named Tahir.
  11. Hussain (al Asghar) ibn ‘Ali (Zayn al ‘Abidin) ibn Hussain (al Shahid) married Khalidah bint Hamzah ibn Mus’ab ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  12. Sukaynah bint Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to Mus’ab ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  13. Hussain ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Aminah bint Hamzah ibn Mundhir ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  14. ‘Ali (al Kharazi) ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Ali (Zayn al ‘Abidin) ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Fatimah bint ‘Uthman ibn ‘Urwah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  15. Fatimah bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to Mundhir ibn ‘Ubaidah ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.
  16. Ibrahim ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Buraykah bint ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad ibn Mundhir ibn Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam.

 

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  1. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, married Umm Habibah Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abdul Shams ibn ‘Abd Manaf.
  2. Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum, the pure daughters of the Final Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, were married to Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  3. Zainab, the pure daughter of the Final Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was married to Sayyidina Abu al ‘As ibn Rabi’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  4. Ramlah bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married Muawiyah ibn Marwan ibn Hakam.
  5. ‘Ali ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Ali (Zayn al ‘Abidin) ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Ruqayyah bint ‘Umar al ‘Uthmaniyyah.
  6. Zainab bint Hassan (al Muthanna) ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to the Umayyad Khalifah Walid ibn ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan.
  7. Nafisah bint Zaid ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to the Umayyad Khalifah Walid ibn ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan.
  8. Umm Abiha bint ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib was married ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan.
  9. Umm al Qasim bint Hassan (al Muthanna) ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to Marwan ibn Aban ibn ‘Uthman.
  10. Fatimah bint Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman.
  11. Ishaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Aisha bint ‘Umar ibn ‘Asim ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.
  12. Umm Kulthum bint ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib was married to Aban ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.
  13. Lubabah bint ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib was married to Walid ibn ‘Utbah ibn Abi Sufyan ibn Harb.
  14. Umm Muhammad bint ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib was married to Yazid ibn Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan.
  15. Ramlah bint Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib was married to Sulaiman ibn Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan ibn Hakam al Umawi.
  16. Khadijah bint Hussain ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to Ismail ibn ‘Abdul Malik ibn Harith ibn Abi al ‘As ibn Umayyah.
  17. Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Ruqayyah bint Muhammad (al Dibaj) ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.
  18. Hassan ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib married Khulaydah bint Marwan ibn ‘Anbasah ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As ibn Sa’id ibn al As ibn Umayyah.
  19. Lubabah bint ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to Sa’id ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As ibn Umayyah.
  20. Nafisah bint ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was married to ‘Abdullah ibn Khalid ibn Yazid ibn Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan ibn Harb.

All of these marriages are proven and established from reliably transmitted reports in the sources of the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia. After considering these marital relations between the two houses—Hashimid and Umayyid, and Zubairids as well—how can it be envisaged that enmity existed between these great families!

 

Misconception 3

Mansur did not ridicule the sons of Fatimah regarding this union

Dakhil says: Correspondences were exchanged between Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan and Mansur al ‘Abbasi, in which they utilised every possible excuse to belittle each other; if this union did indeed take place then Mansur would have definitely used it to belittle Muhammad and his father, as he mentioned many things even less than this.[5]

 

Answer

The fact that Mansur al ‘Abbasi never belittled Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan by disparaging the union of his grandmother, Fatimah bint Hussain, to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman makes perfect sense, as there is nothing in this union worthy of disparagement.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr was titled al Mutraf due to his remarkable good looks, and furthermore he is the grandson of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu to whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had wed two of his daughters. If Mansur were to mock this union as a means to belittle Muhammad al Nafs al Zakiyyah ibn ‘Abdullah then every marital association with the Banu Umayyah would be disparaged likewise. It is a matter of fact that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married two of his daughters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum, to ‘Uthman and his daughter, Zainab, to Abu al ‘As ibn al Rabi’; will the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also be belittled to score a few points? The marriage of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, grandfather of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, to the daughters of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has been attested to by Sheikh al Mufid in his book al Masa’il al Sarawiyyah, as well as many other scholars.

 

Misconception 4

The Hadith scholars of the Shia did not mention this union

Dakhil says: The senior Muhaddithin and historians of the Shia did not mention this union despite their vast research and inquiry. Ibn Shahar Ashub, al Tabarsi, and other scholars of the sect have not mentioned this.[6]

 

Answer

The scholars of the Shia, such as al Mufid, Sayed al Murtada, Ibn Shahar Ashub, al Tabarsi, and ‘Abbas al Qummi, not making mention of this union does not impugn the narration in any way. The principle is Lack of knowledge does not establish non-existence. Furthermore, the opinion of these scholars are not absolute and binding upon all others. They were not renowned for their knowledge in genealogy nor did they exert themselves in this science. Not a single one of them has penned any literary work on genealogy or ancestry, whether it be comprehensive or concise; this despite them being well-known for penning works in other fields such as Tafsir and Fiqh.           

In addition, we have previously cited portions from the work of ‘Abbas al Qummi, Muntaha al ‘Amal, which establish this marriage. Furthermore, we have cited many narrations from a number of genealogists proving the same.

 

Misconception 5

Yazid ibn ‘Abdul Malik cold not have showed protective jealousy for Fatimah bint Hussain

Dakhil then mentions the incident that transpired between Fatimah bint Hussain and Ibn Dahhak, when he proposed to her, and the subsequent anger of Yazid ibn ‘Abdul Malik at Ibn Dahhak. The incident is as follows:

When ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan passed away, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Dahhak al Fahri—governor of Madinah—proposed to her [i.e. Fatimah bint Hussain]. She replied, “I do not wish to marry, I have these sons of mine to take care of. She tried to ward him off and not quarrel with him. However, he continued to badger her.

He said, “By Allah, if you do not consent then I will lash your eldest son for drinking wine [unjustly],” referring to ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan.

While this was transpiring, Yazid ibn ‘Abdul Malik wrote to Ibn Hurmuz—who was in charge of the registry—to send his report of expenses and the register to him. Ibn Hurmuz thus came to Fatimah bint Hussain to bid her farewell and asked her if she requires anything.

She replied, “Inform the Amir al Mu’minin about what transpired with Ibn Dahhak and his threat to me.”

She then sent a messenger with a letter for Yazid to inform him of the incident, also mentioning their family relations, and then the threat of Ibn Dahhak.

Ibn Hurmuz and the messenger both reached Syria at the same time. Ibn Hurmuz entered upon Yazid and informed him about news in Madinah.

Yazid asked, “Has anything unusual happened?”

Ibn Hurmuz did not pass on the message of bint Hussain.

Just then the doorkeeper announced, “May Allah preserve Amir al Mu’minin, the messenger of Fatimah bint Hussain is at the door.”

Ibn Hurmuz said, “May Allah preserve Amir al Mu’minin, verily Fatimah bint Hussain gave me a letter to pass on to you the day I left,” he then informed him of what happened.

Yazid stood up and said, “May your mother be bereaved of you, I asked you if anything unusual happened, and you have this with you and still do not inform me.”

Ibn Hurmuz said that he had forgotten about it. The messenger was then permitted to enter, and Yazid took the letter and read it, all the time tapping his cane in his hand saying, “Verily Ibn Dahhak is taking liberties. Is there anyone who will ensure that I will hear his wailing while being punished?” He was told that ‘Abdul Wahid ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Bishr al Nadri is the man for the job. So he called for some paper and wrote to ‘Abdul Wahid al Nadri who was in Ta’if:

Peace be upon you.

I have appointed you over Madinah, so when you receive this letter go there immediately. Dismiss Ibn Dahhak and fine him 40 000 Dinars. Then punish him until I hear his wailing while I sit here.

The messenger took the letter and reached Madinah, but he did not go to Ibn Dahhak. So Ibn Dahhak summoned him and showed him 1000 Dinars under a cloth. He then said, “This 1000 Dinars is yours, as well as my guarantee of discretion and safety, if you inform me about the message you carry.” So he informed him.

The messenger waited three days before proceeding to Ta’if.

Ibn Dahhak went to see Maslamah ibn ‘Abdul Malik [brother of the Khalifah], and said to him, “I am under your protection.”

The next day Maslamah went to see Yazid, and softened him up after which he mentioned that he has something to ask from Yazid.

Yazid replied, “Whatever you ask I will see it fulfilled, as long as it doesn’t relate to Ibn Dahhak.”

Maslamah replied, “By Allah, it is about Ibn Dahhak!”

Yazid said, “I will never forgive him after he has done what he has done.”

Al Nadri then fined him 40000 dinars, punished him, and then paraded him in a woollen robe.

Dakhil comments on this saying, “I do not know how Ibn Dahhak could propose to Fatimah bint Hussain when he was the governor of Madinah for the Umayyads. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the political viewpoints of the rulers of that time would not do so. Even more strange is the protective jealousy Yazid displayed for Fatimah, and his anger towards Ibn Dahhak, to the extent that he did not even accept the intercession of his brother, Maslamah ibn ‘Abdul Malik. This is a fairy tale the like of which are told in Arabian nights, invented solely out of enmity for the Ahlul Bayt.[7]

 

Answer

Dakhil’s rejection of this incident reported by ‘Umar Rida Kahalah in A’lam al Nisa’ simply because he believes enmity existed between them is a strange proof indeed, especially when the reality was that no such enmity existed. In addition, the leader of the Muslims is answerable to those under his charge.

Yes, there were excesses from some of the Umayyad governors in dealing with the Hashimids and others who rebelled against Umayyad rule. However, this did not spill over to those of the Hashimids who did not rebel against them. Taking care of the women of the Ahlul Bayt is a noble deed, which does require any justification. Hereunder are a few more examples of the same:

When Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al Thaqafi wed the daughter of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Tayyar, whose name was Umm Kulthum and some have said Umm Abiha, ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan learnt of this and wrote to him, instructing him to divorce her and not question him in this regard. So Hajjaj divorced her.

 

Look at the protective jealousy of ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan for the Ahlul Bayt of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, unable to see them married beneath their dignity. This was despite Hajjaj ibn Yusuf being the sworn sword of the Umayyads who mercilessly pursued all those who rebelled against them.

This incident can be found in Sirr al Silsilat ‘Alawiyyah of Abu Nasr al Bukhari, pg. 97 (al Maktabah al Hadariyyah edition, 1962); Tarikh al Yaqubi, pg. 322; al Manaqib of Ibn Shahar Ashub, 2/223-224; Ansab al Ashraf, pg. 60-96, with the research of Muhammad Baqir al Mahmudi; A’yan al Nisa’ ‘Ibar al Usur al Mukhtalifah of Muhammad Rida al Hakim, pg. 20.

The mother of Umm Kulthum bint ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar is Zainab bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, whose mother was Sayyidah Fatimah al Zahra’ radiya Llahu ‘anha. This is the nobility of her lineage from her mother alone, add to that the nobility of her father.

Will ‘Ali Dakhil still choose to reject the protective jealousy of Yazid ibn ‘Abdul Malik for Fatimah bint Hussain, when his father possessed it to an even greater degree, simply because he assumes that enmity existed between these two houses?

It would have become apparent by now that all the proofs cited to deny the marriage of Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr rahimahu Llah have no basis and lack any sort of academic rigour, and rely entirely upon conjecture and assumptions.

 

Misconception 6

The bequest

Amidst the strange reports that are often quoted is that Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, before his martyrdom in Karbala’, handed over his will—which contained the instruction that the Imam after him would be his son, ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin—to his daughter, Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah. It has been reported by Muhammad ibn Yaqub al Kulayni in al Kafi :

Abu al Jarud reports from Abu Jafar, “When Hussain was faced with what he faced, he called his eldest daughter, Fatimah, and handed to her a sealed letter which contained his bequest. ‘Ali ibn Hussain was with them and suffering from an intestinal ailment which they thought he would perish from. Fatimah gave the letter to ‘Ali ibn Hussain, and then, by Allah, that letter reached us, O Ziyad.”

Ziyad asked, “What was in it, may I be sacrificed for you?”

Al Baqir replied, “It contains everything man is in need of from the day he was created until the day the world ceases to exist. It contains, by Allah, all the penalties even the penalty for a scratch.”[8]

 

The second narration reads:

A number of our companions—from Ahmed ibn Muhammad—from Hussain ibn Sa’id—from Ibn Shafan—from Abu al Jarud—from Abu Jafar…[the same narration][9]

 

The third narration reads:

A number of our companions—from Ahmed ibn Muhammad—from ‘Ali ibn Hakam—from Saif ibn ‘Umairah—from Abu Bakr al Hadrami—from Abu ‘Abdullah:

When Hussain ‘alayh al Salam went to Iraq he left books and a bequest in the trust of Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha. When ‘Ali ibn Hussain returned, she handed it over to him.[10]

 

The fourth narration reads:

In the manuscript of al Safwani ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim—from his father—from Hannan ibn Sudayr—from Fulayh ibn Abi Bakr al Shaybani:

By Allah, I was sitting with ‘Ali ibn Hussain, and with him were his sons, when suddenly Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al Ansari entered and greeted him. Then he grabbed the hand of Abu Jafar and took him aside.

He said, “Verily the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed me, ‘You will meet a person from my Ahlul Bayt named Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and his agnomen will be Abu Jafar. When you meet him then pass on my greetings to him.’”

Jabir then left and Abu Jafar returned and sat next to his father, ‘Ali ibn Hussain, and his brothers.

When we stood to perform Maghrib salah, ‘Ali ibn Hussain asked Abu Jafar, “Did Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al Ansari say anything to you?”

Abu Jafar replied, “He told me that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had said to him, ‘You will meet a person from my Ahlul Bayt named Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and his agnomen will be Abu Jafar. When you meet him then pass on my greetings to him.’”

‘Ali ibn Hussain said, “Glad tidings to you, O my son, for what was uniquely given to you from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from his Ahlul Bayt. Do not inform your brothers about this lest they plot against you as the brothers of Yusuf plotted against him.”[11]

 

Answer

When we scrutinise these narrations we find that in the second and third narrations it is reported from “a number of our companions”, who are these people and what is their status as narrators. In some prints of al Kafi, containing the annotations of ‘Ali Akbar al Ghifari—published by Muhammad al Akhundi—it is mentioned that wherever “A number of our companions” narrate from Ahmed ibn Muhammad[12] then it refers to Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Yahya al Attar al Qummi, ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn Jafar al Kumandani, Abu Sulaiman Dawood ibn Kawrah al Qummi, Abu ‘Ali Ahmed ibn Idris ibn Ahmed al Ash’ari al Qummi, and Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al Qummi. However, it cannot be determined who made this clarification, nor does it have any source or reference. Could it be the opinion of the researcher al Ghifari or the publisher al Ikhwandi, or some other Shia scholar?

In the chain of the first and second narration there is the narrator Abu al Jarud, who has been criticised by the Shia scholars. He is Ziyad ibn al Mundhir al A’ma al Kufi, titled Sarhub (a devil that resides in the ocean). He was blind and the Jarudiyyah sect of the Zaidiyyah is attributed to him. Al Tusi said, “Abu al Jarud was blind, blind in his sight and blind was his heart.”

What is astonishing is the statement of ‘Ali al Namazi al Shaharudi, “This Abu al Jarud is from the scholars of Usul upon which al Saduq relied, ruled to be authentic, and reported his narrations in his book al Faqih.”[13]

In al Rijal al Kashshi it is stated, “Abu al Jarud Ziyad ibn al Mundhir al A’ma al Sarhub was a founder of the Zaidiyyah, and the Sarhubiyyah denomination of the Zaidiyyah is attributed to him. Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam said, “Allah turned the heart of Abu al Jarud upside down just as this slave girl turned this bottle upside down; so what fault is it of mine?” He also said about him, “What has Abu al Jarud done? By Allah, he will only die astray.” In one narration, Abu ‘Abdullah mentioned Kathir al Nawa’, Salim ibn Abi Hafsah, and Abu al Jarud and then said about them all, “Flagrant liars, belied, kuffar! May the curse of Allah be upon them…”[14]

Thus the two narrations containing Abu al Jarud do not meet the criteria of acceptability.

As for the third narration: It mentions that the bequest was given to Sayyidah Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha, and not Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain rahimaha Llah. In addition, it also contains the flaw of being narrated from “a number of our companions” as we have discussed.

As for the fourth narration: In its chain is ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim al Qummi, one of the teachers of al Kulayni, who is the author of the infamous commentary of the Qur’an, Tafsir al Qummi, wherein he emphasises that the Qur’an has been adulterated.

Furthermore, he narrates from his father—from Hannan ibn Sudayr—from Fulayh ibn Abi Bakr al Shaybani.

 

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Hannan ibn Sudayr

It has been narrated about Hannan ibn Sudayr in al Kashshi, “I heard Hamdawayh saying on the authority of his teachers, “Verily Hannan bin Sudayr was a Waqifi[15] who met Abu ‘Abdullah but did not meet Abu Jafar.”[16]

Al Tustari has elaborated on his status in light of the opinions of the scholars.[17]

 

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Fulayh ibn Abi Bakr al Shaybani

As for Fulayh ibn Abi Bakr al Shaybani, al Tustari has reported this very narration after which he says, “On its right is the liar Fulayh ibn Abi Bakr al Shaybani—from Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam.”[18]

The researcher has added in his annotations on the fourth narration, “The narration is Hassan,” and it is known that the levels of Hadith according to the Shia are Sahih, Muwaththaq, Hassan, and Da’if. Thus, it does not reach the level of Sahih nor Muqwaththaq.

The narration itself is replete with grammatical errors, especially in the fourth narration, which would be unnecessary to mention [since it is already flawed in its chain].

 

Points to ponder

Why was it necessary to give the will or bequest to either Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain or Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma? Why was it not given directly to ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin rahimahu Llah? The fact that he was ill is not an obstacle from receiving a letter.

The narration, the first and second, also makes mention that it “contains everything man is in need of from the day he was created until the day the world ceases to exist. It contains, by Allah, all the penalties even the penalty for a scratch.” What then was the benefit of revealing the Qur’an which is before us? And where is this sacred letter which man is in such need of? If it is hidden then how is man in need of that which is meant to be hidden? If it is not hidden, then where is it so that man can benefit from it?

 

NEXT⇒ Conclusion


[1] Both of these scholars, Mus’ab al Zubairi and Zubair ibn Bakkar, are from the reliable genealogists.

[2] Muhammad ‘Ali Dakhil: A’lam al Nisa’, pg. 383.

[3] A’lam al Nisa’, pg. 382. Referring to the marriage of Sayyidah Fatimah bint Hussain to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman.

[4] The book is has been translated into English under the title Names and Marital Relations Between the Ahlul Bayt and Sahabah and can be downloaded from www.mahajjah.com.

[5] A’lam al Nisa’, pg. 283.

[6] Ibid, pg. 383.

[7] Ibid, pg. 386.

[8] Usul al Kafi, 1/360.

[9] Usul al Kafi.

[10] Usul al Kafi, 1/360, This narration mentions that the bequest was handed over to Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

[11] Usul al Kafi, 1/361.

[12] As it appears in the second and third narrations.

[13] Mustadrakat ‘Ilm al Rijal, pg. 454, # 5874.

[14] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 304, 305, # 413-417.

[15] Those Shia wo halted the line of Imamah at Musa al Kazim and did not believe in the Imamah of ‘Ali al Rida.

[16] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 598, # 1049.

[17] Qamus al Rijal, 4/71066, # 2495.

[18] Qamus al Rijal, 8/451, # 5959.

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