There are four discussions in this section:
The negative results of the emergence of these political differences
The negative effects of the emergence of these theological differences
Even after the Battle of Jamal, and thereafter the Battle of Siffin, the entire Ummah was upon a unified theological path and one political course which was adhered to by both combatting armies. It was the path of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, i.e. the path which Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and his Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum were upon; they all remained steadfast upon guidance and the truth and did not alter that in anyway.
The Battle of Siffin can be considered the historical point of the emergence of sects with unique political tendencies, and more specifically the incident of the Arbitration which was a small flame which subsequently transitioned into a volcano. This is owing to the fact that this incident and whatever followed thereafter led to the rise of various sects, rather to the emergence of two courses each of which comprised of multiple sects, namely: Tashayyu’ and Khuruj. Each one of them was the product of a common flaw: extremism. But the extremism of each was diametrically opposite to the extremism of the other, and the extremism of one became a justification for the extremism of the other in the opposite direction.
This divergence and the clash that it resulted in thereafter led to the emergence of a neutral position which is normally found in any clash of similar characteristics. For it is from the established trends of society that a dispute between any two groups will result in the emergence of a third group that will be completely neutral. This was the Murji’ah who were unable to decisively adopt an opinion, follow it and support its proponents. They, as a result, gave preference to neutrality.
It is also crucial to note that those who diverged from the majority, or the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, were small groups and limited sects in whose ranks there wasn’t a single individual of merit and early contribution. Instead all of them were Bedouins and people who had in the very recent past reverted to Islam from the people of the conquered nations. So, across the three meritorious generations the innovators were nothing but swamps upon the banks of the great river of Islam. And not a single prominent authority from the scholars recognised by history was part of them, with the grace of Allah.
And even though these sects had emerged as an inexorable outcome of the blind Fitnah whereby the instigators thereof had plotted to destroy Islam, but, as a matter of fact, the belief of the Salaf did not get tainted at all. And the triumphant group continued combatting them and will continue to do so till the decree of Allah dawns upon us, as appears in a hadith:
لا تزال طائفة من أمتي على الحق لا يضرهم من خالفهم حتى يأتي أمر الله
A group of my Ummah will always remain upon the truth. Those who oppose them will never harm them till the decree of Allah comes.
The incident of the Arbitration between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhuma in the year 37 A.H/658 A.D. prompted the emergence of sects with unique political leanings. One of these sects was the Khawarij who refused to accept the Arbitration. This is because they said that there is no rule but for Allah, and that it was not permissible to divert away from the command of Allah to the decision of men; and the command of Allah regarding the rebelling group was that they be fought till they return to the command of Allah.
‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was the first to debunk this slogan of the Khawarij. It is narrated that one day they objected at him in the Masjid and said, “There is no rule but for Allah.” ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu replied by saying, “This is a slogan of truth which is being advanced for a sinister reason.” The sinister reason which they intended was that they said, “There is no ruler but Allah,” which is why ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu responded to them saying:
نعم لا حكم إلا لله، ولكن هؤلاء يقولون: لا إمرة إلا لله، وأنه لا بد للناس من أمير
Yes, there is no rule but for Allah. But what these people are actually saying is, “There is rulership but for Allah,” whereas the people require a ruler.
‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu intended to explain to them the shallowness of their thinking and the hollowness of their minds, as they have been described in a hadith: ‘People of foolish minds’. He thus gathered the people, asked for a copy of the Qur’an and started to strike it with his hand and say:
أيها المصحف؟ حدث الناس، فقالوا: ما هذا إنسان؟ إنما هو مداد وورق، ونحن نتكلم بما روينا عنه، فقال: كتاب الله بيني وبين هؤلاء، يقول الله في أمرأة ورجل: وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللهُ بَيْنَهُمَا وأمة محمد أعظم من امرآة ورجل، ونقموا علي أن كاتبت معاوية، وقد كاتب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سهيل بن عمرو، ولَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة.
“O Qur’an! Speak to the people.”
The people said, “This is not a human. It is only ink and paper. But we speak about what we narrate of it.”
He said, “The Book of Allah is between me and these people, Allah says regarding a woman and a man, ‘And if you fear dissention between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them.’ The Ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam is greater than a woman and a man. They are dismayed because I cooperated with Muawiyah, whereas Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam cooperated with Suhayl ibn ‘Amr, and indeed for you in the Messenger of Allah is a good example.”
This slogan has remained the distinguishing symbol of the Khawarij in spite of all their various sects and their multiplicity. Their interpretations thereof, however, have differed from sect to sect. Hence, the Khawarij on the basis of their warped understanding and their forced interpretation of the texts perpetrated many crimes, and wreaked havoc on the earth by killing and looting the wealth of the Muslims. They did this considering it to be permissible due to their belief that whoever opposed them was not a Muslim. And they are the predecessors of the excommunicating sects of this Ummah till today.
In order to explicate how this slogan fuelled havoc, it is enough to note the offences the Khawarij perpetrated because of it. It also divided the Khawarij themselves into more than twenty sects. The rationale behind this is quite clear; as long as the slogan ‘there is no rule but for Allah’ remains, as understood by the Khawarij, and as long as people, due to their disparate temperaments, will not agree upon accepting a specific understanding in each debated issue, then holding a different view will always be deemed rebelling against the rule of Allah or even disbelief. There will never be room for entertaining divergent opinions as long as clashes and debates between holders of disparate views remain, for each one will be considering himself as striving to establish the rule of Allah on earth.
Consequently, the books of their history are filled with strange examples of their beliefs and their methodology. For they would advance and be pushed to establish an issue which would be wrong from its very basis thinking that not establishing it was disbelief and deviance. And when later it would become evident to them that they were wrong they would admit and say, “We were wrong, in fact even disbelievers when we did that,” and subsequent to that they would revolt and go to extreme extents with more intensity in order to debunk what they previously established and now they would consider that to be disbelief.
Amidst all this advancement and retraction some would break away from others and would go to extreme extents in attacking the mother sect and excommunicating it due to its instability, sudden change, or because of one of the two views: the previous or the one that followed thereafter. In reacting to that, the mother sect would excommunicate them without any discretion due to detracting from it.
Then, in most instances due to the intensity of the feud between them a third sect would emerge which would have a moderate stance and would suspend judgement regarding the opinions of both. But very soon it would be excommunicated, because each sect demanded that it be with it or else it will be deemed disbelieving.
In this manner a whole series of blowing positions or individual Ijtihads, out of proportion, threatening the opponents, and defaming them came into existence amidst foundational detractions and complete separations.
Furthermore, one of the specialities of the sects of the Khawarij was Muruq (leaving the Din very quickly), fanaticism, exceeding of bounds and being nit-picky. They also held a distinguished identity due to their reactionary methodology which was characterised by hastiness and carelessness, and their swift ability to divide and instigate problems. Callousness was their temperament and narrow-mindedness was their speciality. Whenever they would be given a choice between two things, they would always choose the more difficult; whenever they coincidentally encountered two matters, they would choose the more unlikely; and whenever they saw two paths, they treaded the more challenging one.
Moving on, the Khawarij have splintered into multiple sects and all of them have only two principles in common:
The First principle: Passing judgement regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and the Khalifas who preceded him. They approbated Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu in the beginning of his rule, toward the end of his rule they denounced him. Likewise, they approbated ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu till he accepted the Arbitration, after the Arbitration they denounced him as well. In accordance with this principle they excommunicated ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, the people of Jamal, whoever was happy with the Arbitration from the people of Siffin, and whoever approbated one of the two groups or both of them.
And because the Khawarij were a breed of unique humans who were difficult, had very limited perception, narrow horizons, and an inability to understand differences, owing to which they would revolt for the most inessential of reasons without pondering over the catalysts and the ramifications thereof, and without deliberation; this induced them to excommunicate the entire Muslim congregation and display hatred and enmity for the denominations that opposed them.
The Second Principle: Revolting against a tyrannical ruler is an obligation which cannot be discarded. Hence, it is binding upon every capable person to revolt even if he is alone, and whether he is confident that his rebellion will produce a positive result or not. Thus, they do not place numbers and ability to change a vice as a requisite to revolt, which is why their history is filled with series of insurrections and incessant wars. In doing so they were extirpated or they were almost close to annihilation.
Furthermore, researchers have at length discussed the reasons for the phenomenon of Khuruj, but with cotemporary standards and with an imported methodology. Nonetheless, they have proposed various ideas. One of them is that the basis of Khuruj is the Caliphate, tribal chauvinism, and vying with the Quraysh for this lofty station. But, to a thorough and impartial researcher the Caliphate was but a secondary issue according to most sects; it was not the basis for the inception of all the sects, with the exception of the Shia who consider it to be a fundamental from the fundamentals of Din even though the basis of their inception was not the Caliphate itself. So it would be correct to aver that refusing to accept the confinement of the Caliphate to the Quraysh, and remonstrating against the oppression and transgression of the Banu Umayyah and the Banu ‘Abbas were from the distinguishing factors of the Khawarij in terms of ideology and practice; however, this came about from the natural development of the ideology and the movement. This is because in the beginning their demand was that someone like ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhu be elected; they said:
فلسنا نتابعك أو تأتونا بمثل عمر
We will not follow you unless you bring for us someone like ‘Umar.
Their demand was not that the Khalifah be from among them. But when they saw the Ummah condemning them for choosing ‘Abdullah ibn Wahb al Rasibi for ruling over the Ummah in spite of him being a Bedouin who urinated upon his heels, who did not enjoy the Companionship of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, did not have understanding, and about whose goodness no one attested, they began defending their action. In defending it they went to the extent of saying that the Caliphate is permissible for any Muslim to assume, whether Qurashi or non-Qurashi.
So this idea was conjured just to justify what had transpired, it was not a theological foundation upon which the reality could be constructed.
Also, interpreting their rebellion with tribal chauvinism and vying with the Quraysh is something that is rejected by historical facts which state that most of the Khawarij were from the Banu Tamim, a sub-tribe of Mudar; they were not from Rabi’ah or from Yemen. This necessitates that their chauvinism be for the Quraysh and not for their opponents, for the Quraysh also belonged to Mudar, as is categorically established according to the scholars of genealogy, and is established in a Sahih hadith from Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, as narrated by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu `anhu:
ما زلت أحب بني تميم منذ ثلاث: سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: هم أشد إمتي على الدجال-قال-وجاءت صدقاتهم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: هذه صدقات قومنا، وكانت سبية منهم عند عائشة فقال: أعتقيها فإنها من ولد إسماعيل.
I have always loved the Banu Tamim since three things occurred. I heard Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam saying, “They will be the staunchest of my Ummah against Dajjal.” And when their charities came, Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “These are the charities of our people.” And there was a female captive from their people by Aisha radiya Llahu `anha, so he said, “Free her, for she is from the children of Ismail.”
Likewise, it is also famously reported from the Banu Tamim that they boasted about Nubuwwah and Caliphate being in the progeny of Mudar. And Farazdaq and Jarir, two of the greatest poets of that era, would boast about their affiliation to the Banu Tamim and they would ridicule al Akhtal due to his tribe being Rabi’ah which was deprived of this honour. Jarir says the following in his poem:
إن الذي حرم المكارم تغلبا جعل النبوة والخلافة فينا
The one who deprived the Taghlib tribe from great accolades has placed Nubuwwah and Caliphate in us.
Another contemporary view is one proposed by the Ba’athis and some people of the left who are influenced by the western materialistic worldview. They suggest that the cause of the emergence of the Khawarij was the dry desert environment and the bitter reality which they had to live in, due to the hierarchical privileges which the Khalifas and their close people enjoyed.
This is an unacceptable opinion; because the Khawarij were the most disinclined from this world even in an environment where it was offered to them and was available for them. Their sternness in the Din and their extremism therein dictated to them a life of abstinence, difficulty, and aversion from the bounties of this world. Likewise, the great sacrifices that they made in holding up their principles without any ulterior motives and leanings based on personal interests is also one evidence of this.
The aforementioned opinion is also debunked by the fact that all the historical sources agree that the ideology of the Khawarij was based upon excommunicating on the basis of sin, a completely theological issue. Al Bukhari has in his Sahih cited all the narrations which discuss extremism, being difficult in the Din, and leaving the Din, thereby indicating toward the Khawarij.
In fact, even the Sahih hadith which discusses the origins of their ideology debunks this opinion. Al Bukhari narrates the following from Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu `anhu:
بينما النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقسم جاء عبد الله بن ذي الخويصرة التميمي فقال: اعدل يا رسول الله، فقال: ويلك، ومن يعدل إذا لم أعدل. قال: عمر بن الخطاب: دعني أضرب عنقه، قال: دعه، فإن له أصحابا يحقر أحدكم صلاته مع صلاته وصيامه مع صيامه، يمرقون من الدين كما يمرق السهم من الرمية… آيتهم رجل إحدى يديه- أو قال-ثدييه مثل ثدي المرأة أو قال: مثل البضعة تدردر، يخرجون على حين فرقة من الناس
Whilst Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was distributing [the spoils] ‘Abdullah ibn Dhi al Khuwaysirah al Tamimi came and said, “Be just, O Rasul Allah!”
He said, “Woe to you! Who can be just if I am not just?”
‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu `anhu said, “Let me chop off his neck.”
Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Leave him, for he will have such comrades that one of you will undermine your Salah when compared to theirs and your fasting when compared to theirs. They will exit the Din just as an arrow exits a targeted animal… Their sign will be a person one of whose hands, or he said: one of whose breasts, will be the like the breast of a woman, or he said, ‘Like a piece of flesh that is dangling.’ They will emerge at the time of the disunity of the people.”
This religious matter brought into existence, due to its role, a political position which stands upon splitting the unity of the Muslims and revolting against the Imam. Al Khattabi says:
فمعنى قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم يمرقون من الدين أراد بالدين أنهم يخرجون من طاعة الإمام المفترض الطاعة وينسلخون منها
So, the purport of his statement salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam: “They will exit the Din.” is that he intended by the word Din that they will leave the obedience of the Imam whose obedience will be necessary and they will withdraw from it.
All of this was happening during the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu before oppression, the tyranny of the rulers, and the hierarchical privileges came into existence. Hence, the real reason for the rebellion of the Khawarij was a purely psychological one; for the hearts of humans cannot always strictly abide by the moderate and neutral methodology, rather they lean, at times, toward the right and at times toward the left. And the eventual result is either exceeding of limits and destructive extremism, or assimilation and gross dereliction. The Khawarij were victims of the first.
The perfection of Islam, its balance, and its human-disposition-suitability is very evident from the approach it adopts in dealing with both types of deviances; so, because dereliction dominates most people, Islam has warned against it in the form of commandments and prohibitions and has reminded about them. It has also instituted enjoining of good, forbidding of evil, and mutual well-wishing amongst the Muslims, and has sounded warnings to the apathetic.
And because fanaticism by its very nature is something that can only be upheld by a very few people who adopt it based on a false assumption, and many a times become conceited and amazed at what they abide by, and because an onlooker might at times assume that this is the real representation of Din and its loftiness, the Shar’i texts rectify this assumption, correct understandings, expose the true traits of these people, and explain the misconceptions brought about by that assumption. This is why the Shari’ah has very emphatically warned against the Khawarij, deeming them to be a sect that will exit the Din and will have a distinct methodology in theology.
From the aforementioned, the error of the opinion that the emergence of the Khawarij was just a historical event which can be interpreted with local and limited interpretations has become clear. Because it is important to analyse it as a phenomenon and not just as a mere event. Khuruj is a theological ideology which can occur and affirm its presence in every time and every era. As such, it is a religious phenomenon which can be found in every religion and in every time, as is evident after doing a holistic study of all the texts regarding them.
Al Nasa’i narrates the following from Abu Barzah radiya Llahu `anhu:
يخرج في آخر الزمان قوم… يقرؤون القرآن لا يجاوز تراقيهم يمرقون من الإسلام كما يمرق السهم من الرمية، سيماهم التحليق، لا يزالون يخرجون حى يخرج آخرهم مع المسيح الدجال.
In the end of time there will emerge a people… They will read the Qur’an but it will not pass their collar bones. They will leave Islam just as an arrow leaves a targeted animal. Their distinctive sign will be shaving. And they will continue to emerge till the final batch of them emerges with Dajjal.
Extremism is a very big phenomenon in the history of nations and religions. To the extent that Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
إنما أهلك من كان قبلكم الغلو في الدين
Those who were before you were destroyed because of extremism in Din.
The deification of ‘Isa and ‘Uzayr `alayh al Salam and the monasticism of the Christians are nothing but examples of this same phenomenon. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
وَرَهْبَانِيَّةً ابْتَدَعُوهَا مَا كَتَبْنَاهَا عَلَيْهِمْ
And monasticism which they innovated; we did not prescribe it for them.
Moving on, some researchers have opined a different opinion. Hence, some of them have considered the Khawarij to be a completely political movement, whilst others have considered them to be a completely religious movement.
The rationale behind this is the distinction these people make between Din and between politics. A person who studies their writings will be amazed at the superficial contradiction between the understandings of Din and politics which has confused their opinions and has disoriented their ideas regarding the various Islamic sects, especially in case of the Khawarij. For they debate and ask whether the Khawarij were a religious sect or a political one.
Those who consider the Khawarij to be a purely political movement consider tribal chauvinism and what they call dictatorship to be the cause of the emergence of the Khawarij and the propellant of their movement. And those who consider them to be a purely religious movement have considered religious fanaticism and extreme abstinence from this world to be the real cause of their existence.
However, these people have forgotten that politics, as a very pertinent and foundational sphere from the spheres of Islam, cannot be separated completely from ideological leanings in the Islamic reality. Hence, all historical resources unanimously agree that the Khawarij, since their rebellion on the day of Siffin, always believed in the disbelief of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, due to him appointing men as arbiters in the Din of Allah. Thereafter they convened and appointed over them a leader.
Hence, it is the responsibility of those who consider them to be purely political to explain how they based their ideas upon the principle of excommunicating on the basis of sin. They have to explain under which clause of the many political clauses is excommunication on the basis of sin incorporated.
Likewise, it is the responsibility of those who consider them to be purely religious to explain why they convened to bring about an insurrection and pledge to one of them as the Amir al Mu’minin if it was a purely religious movement according to their secular understanding. So, they have to explain under which symbol of the many symbols of Din is this type of activity which came into being with their movement incorporated.
As a sidenote, although there is no impediment in the utilisation of these terms for purposes of technical division, as we have done in this discussion, but to make that a cause for or a methodology to arbitrarily distinguish between Din and politics would be a meaningless application. It is also important to point out the open error of those who apply the standards of this era and its principles to Islam and its outstanding history. So together with entertaining good assumptions regarding them, overlooking their blind following and their purposeful distortions, it would be plausible to aver that the mistake in their methodology lies in that they apply the reality of the current era and its conceptions to the previous era, whereas every era has its distinct specialities which in the academic research language is dubbed ‘the spirit of the era’.
So due to us living in an era wherein political clashes and utilitarian based political cliques prevail, these people went on to apply this reality to that era in which faith and principle were the driving factors for the activity of most groups, sects, and people. The reason for this is that contemporary writings of history, with the exception of few, have been tainted with the western methodology which is merely a product of its environment; an environment which is deeply steeped in the muds of materialism, suffers from the bitterness of utilitarian clashes, does not believe in morals values and principles and is, above all, deeply immersed in its bigoted hatred for Islam.
Al Tabari describes the Murji’ah in his book Tahdhib al Athar in the following manner:
فإن قال لنا قائل: ومن هم المرجئة؟ وما صفتهم؟ قيل: إن المرجئة هم قوم موصوفون بإرجاء أمر مختلف فيما ذلك الأمر؟ فأما إرجاؤه فتأخيره، وهو من قول العرب: أرجأ فلان هذا الأمر فهو يرجئه إرجاء، وهو مرجئه، بهمز. وأرجاه فلان يرجيه أرجا، بغير الهمز فهـو مرجيه، ومن قول الله تعالى ذكره: وَآخَرُونَ مُرْجَوْنَ لِأَمْرِ اللهِ. يقرأ بالهمزة و غير الهمز بمعنى مؤخرون لأمر الله، وقوله مخبراً عن الملأ من قوم فرعون: قَالُواْ أَرْجِهْ وَأَخَاهُ. فأما الأمر الذي بتأخيره سميت المرجئة مرجئة، فإن ابن عيينة كان يقول فيما حدثني عبدالله بن عمير الرازي قال : سمعت إبراهيم بن موسى – يعني الفراء الرازي – قال : سئل ابن عيينة عن الإرجاء ؟ فقال : الإرجاء على وجهين : قوم أرجوا أمر علي و عثمان ، فقد مضى أولئك . فأما المرجئة اليوم فهم يقولون : الإيمان قول بلا عمل . فلا تجالسوهم و لا تؤاكلوهم و لا تشاربوهم و لاتصلوا معهم و لا تصلوا عليهم.
If someone has to ask, “Who are the Murji’ah? And what are their characteristics?” It will be said to him, “The Murji’ah are a people who are described as suspending judgement regarding a matter which is disputed. As for the word Irja’ it means to defer, and it is from the speech of the Arabs who say: So, and so made Irja’ of the matter or is a Murji’ (with a Hamzah), or so and so made Irja’ of the matter or is a Murji (without a Hamzah). The following verse is from the same root: ‘And there are others deferred until the command of Allah.’ The word in the verse is read with a Hamzah and without a Hamzah and it means that decision regarding them is suspended till the command of Allah. And the following verse as well: ‘Postpone (the matter of) him and his brother.’
As for the matter due to the suspension of which the Murji’ah were dubbed the Murji’ah, Ibn ‘Uyaynah says, as narrated to me by ‘Umair al Razi who said, “I heard Ibrahim ibn Musa, i.e. al Farra’ al Razi, saying, “Ibn ‘Uyaynah was asked regarding Irja’. He said, “Irja’ is of two types: a people who postponed the matter of ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhuma, these people have passed away already. As for the Murji’ah today, they say, “Iman is confession without practice.” So do not sit with them, do not eat with them, do not drink with them, do not pray with them and do not perform their Janazah Salah.”
Among those to who the first type of Irja’ is attributed was Muharib ibn Dithar, the judge of Kufah, who passed away in 116 A.H/734 A.D. Ibn Sa’d says regarding him:
كان من المرجئة الأولى الذين كانوا يرجئون عليا وعثمان، ولا يشهدون بإيمان ولا كفر
He was from the early Murji’ah who would suspend judgement regarding ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhuma and would not testify regarding belief or disbelief.
Likewise, Khalid ibn Salamah al Fa’fa’ who narrates from al Sha’bi and from who Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah narrates. Al Dhahabi said regarding him:
كان مرجئيا ينال من علي رضي الله عنه
He was a Murji’ who would denigrate ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu.
And Ibn Hajar says:
صدوق رمي بالإرجاء والنصب
A truthful narrator who has been accused of Irja’ and Nasb.
The first person to talk about Irja’ was al Hassan ibn Muhammad al Hanafiyyah who passed away in 99 A.H/717 A.D. Ibn Sa’d has said the following in his biography:
وهو أول من تكلم في الإرجاء-ثم يذكر أن زاذان وميسرة دخلا عليه فلاماه على الكتاب الذي وضع في الإرجاء، فقال لزاذان: يا أبا عمر! لوددت أني كنت مت ولم أكتبه.
“He is the first person to talk about Irja’.” Thereafter he mentions that Zadhan and Maysarah visited him and reproached him for the book that was authored regarding Irja’. He said to Zadhan, “O Abu ‘Umar! I wish I died and I did not author it.”
أول من تكلم في الإرجاء الأول الحسن بن محمد، كنت حاضرا يوم تكلم وكنت في حلقة مع عمر عمي، وكان في الحلقة جحدب معه، فتكلموا في علي وعثمان وطلحة والزبير فأكثروا، والحسن ساكت ثم تكلم فقال: قد سمعت مقالتكم ولم أر شيئا أمثل من أن يرجى علي وعثمان وطلحة والزبير، فلا يتولوا ولا نترأ منهم، ثم قام وقمنا، فقال لي عمي: يا بني ليتخذن هؤلاء هذا الكلام إماما، قال عثمان:… فبلغ أباه محمد بن الحنفية ما قال، فضربه بعصا فشجه وقال: لا تتولى أباك عليا! وكتب الرسالة التي نبذ فيها الإرجاء بعد ذلك.
The first person to speak regarding Irja’ was al Hassan ibn Muhammad. I was present the day he spoke and I was with my uncle ‘Umar in another gathering. In the gathering Jahdab was with him. They began speaking regarding ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair radiya Llahu `anhum and they said a lot. All this time al Hassan remained silent, and when he spoke, he said, “I have heard whatever you have said, and I do not see anything more ideal than suspending judgement regarding ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair radiya Llahu `anhum. Hence, we should not associate with them nor disassociate from them.” He thereafter stood and we dispersed as well. My uncle told me, “O my son, these people are going to make this statement their guide.” ‘Uthman says, “… His father Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah learnt about what he said. He, thus, hit him and wounded him and said, “You are not going to associate with your father ‘Ali?” Thereafter al Hassan wrote his book in which he denounced al Irja’.”
Ibn Hajar commenting upon the aforementioned says the following in his Tahdhib:
قلت: المراد بالارجاء الذي تكلم الحسن بن محمد فيه غير الارجاء الذي يعيبه أهل السنة المتعلق بالايمان وذلك أني وقفت على كتاب الحسن ابن محمد المذكور أخرجه ابن أبي عمر العدني في كتاب الايمان له في آخره قال حدثنا إبراهيم بن عيينة عن عبد الواحد بن أيمن قال كان الحسن بن محمد يأمرني أن اقرأ هذا الكتاب على الناس أما بعد فانا نوصيكم بتقوى الله فذكر كلاما كثيرا في الموعظة والوصية لكتاب الله واتباع ما فيه وذكر اعتقاده ثم قال في آخره ونوالي أبا بكر وعمر رضي الله عنهما ونجاهد فيهما لأنهما لم تقتتل عليهما الأمة ولم تشك في أمرهما ونرجئ من بعدهما ممن دخل في الفتنة فنكل أمرهم إلى الله إلى آخر الكلام
I say that the Irja’ al Hassan ibn Muhammad proposed is other than the Irja’ which is reprehensible according to the Ahlus Sunnah which is related to Iman. I have come across the aforementioned book of al Hassan ibn Muhammad, it has been cited by Ibn Abi ‘Umar al ’Adani at the end of his Kitab al Iman. He says, “Ibrahim ibn ‘Uyaynah narrated to us from ‘Abdul Wahid ibn Ayman, “Al Hassan ibn Muhammad would instruct me to read this book to the people. (It contained the following), “We emphasise upon you to fear Allah,” and thereafter he goes onto advise about holding onto the Book of Allah and following what comes therein, and made mention of his belief and then said at the end, “We associate with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma and will strive to defend them; because the Ummah did not fight regarding them and did not doubt regarding them. And we suspend judgement regarding those who succeeded them of those who got involved in the Fitnah, we leave their matter to Allah…” till the end of his speech.
However, Ibn Hajar will have to be corrected in his view that al Hassan is blameless due to him not discussing the Irja’ which is reproachable by the Ahlus Sunnah, i.e. the one related to Iman. Because denying association with the Khalifahs ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhuma, or suspending judgement regarding them is condemnable and renders the proponent thereof blameworthy; for Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala has attested to them deserving Jannat, Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
And the first forerunners amongst the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with him, and he has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.
And ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Talhah, and al Zubair radiya Llahu `anhum were from the first forerunners. In fact, this verse in general encompasses all the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum, as narrated by Muhammad ibn Ka’b al Qurazi:
عن يزيد بن زياد أنه قال: قلت يوماً لمحمد بن كعب القرظي: ألا تخبرني عن أصحاب الرسول عليه السلام فيما كان بينهم؟ وأردت الفتن. فقال لي: إن الله تعالى قد غفر لجميعهم، وأوجب لهم الجنة في كتابه محسنهم ومسيئهم، قلت له: وفي أي موضع أوجب لهم الجنة؟ قال: سبحان الله! ألا تقرأ قوله تعالى: وَالسَّابِقُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ.
Yazid ibn Ziyad says:
One day I said to Muhammad ibn Ka’b al Qurazi, “Will you not inform me regarding the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, regarding what occurred between them?” thereby intending the Fitan.
He replied, “Allah has forgiven all of them and has made Jannat binding for them in his Book, for the good doers amongst them and for those who erred.”
I asked him, “Where has Allah made Jannat binding for them?”
He replied, “Subhan Allah, do you not read this verse of Allah: ‘And the first forerunners from the Muhajirin and the Ansar?’”
And al Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood have narrated the following from Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu `anhu:
قال: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: أبو بكر في الجنة، وعمر في الجنة، وعثمان في الجنة، وعلي في الجنة، وطلحة في الجنة، والزبير في الجنة، وسعد بن مالك في الجنة، وعبد الرحمن بن عوف في الجنة، وأبو عبيدة بن الجراح في الجنة، وسكت عن العاشر، وقالوا: ومن هو العاشر؟ فقال: سعيد بن زيد.
I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam saying, “Abu Bakr is in Jannat; ‘Umar is in Jannat; ‘Uthman is in Jannat; ‘Ali is in Jannat; Talhah is in Jannat; al Zubair is in Jannat; Sa’d ibn Malik (Ibn Abi Waqqas) is in Jannat; ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf is in Jannat; Abu ‘Ubaidah al Jarrah is in Jannat,”
Sa’id remained silent regarding the tenth, so they asked, “Who is the tenth?”
He replied, “Sa’id ibn Zaid.
And al Bukhari has narrated in his Sahih from Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu `anhu that he joined Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam by the well of Aris and was his door attendant for the day. Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam ordered him to give glad tidings to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu of Jannat with a calamity that will befall him.
Furthermore, why would al Hassan ibn Muhammad not be blameworthy (before his regret and repentance) when his father hit him and said, “Will you not associate with you father ‘Ali?” Thereafter he regretted, repented and wrote the book in which denounced Irja’.
Moving on, Irja’ originated at the boarders of Jihad and the outskirts of the cities where groups of the Muslims were fighting the disbelievers and were conquering cities. These groups did not know anything about how matters were progressing. Hence, when the disheartening news of the Fitnah reached them agony prevented them from thinking, and the longevity of the distance saved them from the evil of delving into the Fitnah. Thereafter they were surprised by even more events that followed, and were unable to formulate an opinion and follow it; they could not give preference to one side and support it. Hence, they gave preference to being at peace with both the combatant groups and inclined toward neutrality.
Ibn ‘Asakir has said the following regarding them from Maymun ibn Mahran:
انهم الشكاك الذين شكوا فكانوا في المغازي فلما قدموا المدينة بعد قتل عثمان وكان عهدهم بالناس وأمرهم واحد ليس فيهم اختلاف فقالوا تركناكم وأمركم واحد ليس فيكم اختلاف وقدمنا عليكم وأنتم مختلفون فبعضكم يقول قتل عثمان مظلوما وكان أولى بالعدل وأصحابه وبعضكم يقول كان علي أولى بالحق وأصحابه كلهم ثقة وعندنا مصدق فنحن لا نتبرأ منهما ولا نلعنهما ولا نشهد عليهما ونرجئ أمرهما إلى الله حتى يكون الله هو الذي يحكم بينهما
They are the doubters who doubted. They were in the campaigns. So, when they returned to Madinah, whereas prior to that they had only knew the people to be united without any differences, they thus said, “We left you when your matter was united and there was no dispute amongst you, and now we have come to you and you are disputing. Some of you are saying that ‘Uthman was wrongfully killed whereas he and his comrades were more deserving of justice. And others amongst you are saying that ‘Ali and his comrades were closer to the truth. Each of them is reliable and deemed truthful by us. So, we do not disassociate from them, we do not curse them, we do not testify against them, and we leave their matter to Allah till he be the one to decide between them.
It is clear from the above that the Murji’ah were a people who were unable to grasp the reality of the issue and it was beyond them to give preference to one of the two sides. They, thus, adopted a neutral stance between averring that they were people of merit and early contribution and between averring that they were upon the truth whilst that is in complete contrast with the disputing and fighting which ensued between them.
This stance according to them was the way out from this contention. So, they excused themselves from standing with or against any of them and they left the matter of all to Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala who will be the one to question all of them. In other words, they are under the will of Allah (if He wishes He will forgive them and if He wishes he will take them to task). Hence, they were diametrically opposed to most of the Khawarij who excommunicated the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum, the Shia who exceeded all bounds regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and denigrated and excommunicated ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu, and the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah as well in their stance.
Thabir Qutnah, the acclaimed poet of the Murji’ah, depicts the belief of the Murji’ah and their ideology in a poem wherein he has expounded upon the Irja’ related to the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhu, the Irja’ which is dubbed ‘the Irja’ of the first Murji’ah’. He says:
يا هند فاستمعي لي أنّ سيرتنا * أن نعبد الله لم نشرك به أحداً
نرجى الاُمور إذا كانت مشبهة * و نصدق القول فيمن جار أو عندا
المسلمون على الاسلام كلّهموا * والمشركون اشتتوا في دينهم قددا
و لا أرى أنّ ذنباً بالغ أحداً * مِ النّاس شركا إذا ما وحّدوا الصمدا
لانسفك الدم إلاّ أن يراد بنا * سفك الدماء طريقا واحداً جددا
من يتّق الله في الدنيا فإنّ له * أجر التقيّ إذا وفّى الحساب غدا
و ماقضى الله من أمر فليس له * ردّ و مايقض من شيء يكن رشدا
كلّ الخوارج مُخط فى مقالته * ولو تعبّد فيما قال و اجتهدا
أمّا عليّ و عثمان فانّهما * عبدان لم يشركا بالله مذ عبدا
و كان بينهما شغب وقد شهدا * شقّ العصا و بعين الله ما شهدا
يجزى عليّاً و عثماناً بسعيهما * و لست أدري بحق آيةً وردا
الله يعلم ماذا يحضران به * وكلّ عبد سيلقى الله منفردا
O Hind listen to me. Our way is that we worship Allah and we do not ascribe anyone as a partner to him.
We suspend judgement in matters when they are confusing, and we make truthful decisions regarding those who turn away from the path.
The Muslims are all upon Islam and the polytheists have divided their religion into sectarian groups.
And I do not consider any sin making a person reach Shirk as long as he believes in the oneness of the independent.
We do not shed blood unless the shedding of our blood is intended by others. (We do so) in order to tread the one straight path. (Thereby we will be saved from slipping and erring).
Whoever fears Allah in this world, for him will be the reward of his fear when tomorrow he has to give reckoning before Allah.
Whatever Allah has decreed can never be averted and whatever decision he makes is always good.
Each one of the Khawarij is wrong in his statement, even though he considers his statement to be an act of worship and strives to establish it.
As for ‘Ali and ‘Uthman, they were two servants who did not ascribe partners to Allah since they worshipped.
Between them there was some bickering and they witnessed the splitting of the unity, but they did not observe with the eye of Allah.
‘Ali and ‘Uthman will be rewarded for their efforts, and I do not know what the final abode of each of them will be.
Allah knows what they will come forth with, and every bondsman will meet Allah alone.
This poem very clearly represents the belief of the Murji’ah and their stance regarding the Fitnah. It states that they establish Iman for every person who displays it as long as he does not ascribe partners to Allah and does not apostasize. They also believe, contrary to the Khawarij, that sins and offences do not take a person out of the Din and thus according to them no Muslim will be excommunicated on the basis of sin, unless his sin reaches the extent of ascribing partners to Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala. Likewise, their default position is to desist from shedding the blood of Muslims unless fighting is required for purposes of self-defence. They deem the Khawarij to have erred irrespective of their devotion and exertion in worship due to them excommunicating the Muslims. They also believe Shirk has not been proven from ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhuma since they accepted Islam and, therefore, it is not permissible to excommunicate them. Yes, bickering had occurred between them, but Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala knows their internal conditions better and will recompense them for their efforts. They have both passed on to their Lord and we do not know who of them is from the people of Jannat and who of them is from the people of Hell-fire, for only Allah knows what they will come forth with on the Day of Judgement when every person will be questioned individually about his doings.
But contradiction is evident from the text of the poem. Because its compiler firstly emphatically deems the Khawarij wrong and establishes that a monotheist sinner will not be excommunicated, but thereafter he suspends judgement regarding ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhuma and doubts in whether they will enter Jannat or not. Notwithstanding that this is an extreme position and is completely against what is established in the Shar’i texts, as has passed already. It is very well known that there is consensus regarding the merit of ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhuma and that they have been promised Jannat. This is one of the innovations of the Murji’ah and their deviances.
Anyway, Sifr al Hawali says the following regarding the inception of al Irja’ (he proposes a different idea regarding their roots) in his book Zahirah al Irja’ fi al Fikr al Islami. He explains that the debate between the extremist Khawarij and their moderate ones regarding the combatants amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum led to the emergence of the Murji’ah Khawarij who averred that the matter of ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhuma be deferred. These people drifted very far from the starting point and shifted from the Khariji ideology to its complete opposite. In fact, some of them even opposed the Khawarij very strongly, as is always the case in the dissecting of dissecting sects, in spite of them still possessing a trait from their traits. He says:
وقد استوقفتني هذه الحقيقة كثيراً أعني: حقيقة أن أصل المرجئة هم الخوارج لا بطريق التضاد في الغلو بل ذاتاً، وحقيقة وليس سبب ذلك عدم ثبوتها، ولكنه عدم وضوح تعليلها الذي تبين بعد بالتتبع الدقيق لفرق الخوارج. ومن هنا ظهرت ضرورة التوسع في دراسة إحدى الظاهرتين، لمعرفة حقيقة الأخرى. وإذا ما أردنا الوصول إلى الحقيقة، فإن علينا أن نعرف تلك الظاهرة البارزة في تاريخ الخوارج، وهي الاختلاف والتشقق إلى أكثر من رأي عادة، وفي كل قضية تقريباً، وهو ما أنتج بمجموعه ثلاثة اتجاهات كبرى في مواقف فرق الخوارج، منذ حادثة التحكيم إلى بروز منهج الإرجاء قائماً بنفسه وهي:
الاتجاه الغالي المطرد في غلوه.
الاتجاه المتراجع إلى حد التساهل (نسبيا)
الاتجاه التوسطي أو المحايد (التوقف والتبين).
إذا علمنا ذلك برزت لنا حقيقة مهمة وهي أن طائفة من الخوارج تشمل فرقا أو بعض فرق تقف من الحكم على الأصحاب المختلفين في الفتنة موقفا متوسطا بين القول المحكمة والأزارقة الذين يكفرونهم، وبين قول الإباضية ونحوهم ممن يقول هم كفار نعمة، وهذا الموقف هو الوقف والإرجاء، أي إرجاء حكمهم في الآخرة إلى الله تعالى مع إثبات اسم الأيمان لهم في الدنيا بناء على الأصل الذي اتخذته أكثر فرق التوقف، وهو أن كل معصية دون الكفر لا يطلق على صاحبها اسم الكفر ولا ينفي عنه اسم الإيمان…
فإذا أرادوا تطبيق هذا الأصل على ما تقرر لديهم من كون الصحابة المختلفين في الفتنة مرتكبين لكبائر كانت النتيجة: أن عثمان وعليا وطلحة والزبير ومعاوية… مؤمنون، لأنهم لم يشركوا بالله، فلا ننفي عنهم اسم الإيمان، ولكن لا ولاية لهم ولا محبة نظرا لما ارتكبوه، ومقتضى ذلك كما رأينا من واقع انشقاقاتهم أن يقولوا: إن الخوارج مخطئون في تكفيرهم لهم.
This reality has made me pause a lot, I mean the reality that the roots of the Murji’ah are the Khawarij, not due to extremism in the opposite direction, but in terms of sharing the same being and reality. It has made me pause not because it is not established, but due to the vagueness of its rationale which is yet to explicate through a detailed study all the sects of the Khawarij. Therefore, there the need to expand in studying one of the two phenomena was realised in order to understand the reality of the other.
And if we intend reaching the reality, then it is incumbent upon us to know the most glaring aspect of the history of the Khawarij, i.e. differing and splintering into more than one view in most instances and in almost every issue. All of these as a whole produced three primary leanings in the stances of the sects of the Khawarij since the Arbitration till the inception of the methodology of Irja’. They are:
Once we know this, a very important reality will dawn upon us. The Khawarij (inclusive of some sects) adopted regarding the Sahabah who differed in the Fitnah a neutral position; a neutral position between the view of the Muhakkimah and the Azariqah who excommunicated them, and between the Ibadiyyah and their like who averred that they were deniers of the bounty of Allah. This position is the actual Irja’, i.e. deferring judgement on them to Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala in the afterlife coupled with affirming the title of Iman for them in this world. This is due to the principle which was adopted by most of the hesitant sects, which is that Kufr will not apply to any person whose sin is less than disbelief and Iman will not be removed from him.
Now when they apply this principle to what is established by them regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum being perpetrators of major sins the outcome is the following: ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Talhah, al Zubair, and Muawiyah… radiya Llahu `anhum are believers because they did not ascribe partners to Allah and, thus, they will not be denied the title of Iman. However, they do not deserve association and love owing to what they did. The necessary result of this according to what we have seen of their splintering is that they aver that the Khawarij are mistaken in their excommunication of them.
Nonetheless, whether Irja’ was an independent position which came about because of the Fitnah or it was a product of the Khariji ideology and its offshoot, it, due to it being a psychological position, that could have existed in this blind Fitnah and whatever followed. It can similarly come about in any other issue or offshoot from any other ideology. Because one of the trends of a society is that any debate between two sects or groups necessarily leads to the emergence of a third group which is impartial for whatever reason. Likewise, in the era of the Fitnah such people existed who adopted neutrality. But this neutrality is nothing but a negative stance which is followed by scepticism and doubt regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhu who were embroiled in the dispute.
The time after the first Fitnah also witnessed the emergence of the Shia who were likewise distinct in their views and their exclusive opinions in the political sphere. The Shia sect is primarily linked to a sentimental matter which is love for the Ahlul Bayt. This sentiment progressed and as a result the ideas which were born because of it started to become firmly grounded and take the form of a distinct school or a sect with unique ideas in the principles of Shari’ah, rulership, jurisprudence.
The word ‘Shia’ in language is only used to refer to followers of a person and his partisans. Hence, it is said, ‘So and so is from the Shia so and so’, i.e. he has the same leanings as him. Likewise, any people who converge upon a common matter are also knows as ‘Shia’. And any person who helps another person or supports him is his Shia. It emanates from Mushaya’ah which means to corporate and to follow.
Therefore, the usage of this word in the initial days of Islam was only in this sense, for it was used after the first Fitnah to refer to the followers of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and his partisans, and the followers of Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu and his partisans. The Shia of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu were those who considered him to be the fourth rightly guided Khalifah and deemed Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu and the people of Sham to be rebels whom it was necessary to subdue by way of the sword. And the Shia of Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu were those who felt that the killers of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu had sought amnesty in the army of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and, thus, pledging to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was not binding upon them till he executed them or handed them over.
However, the distinction of the Shia started when a group of the army of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu remained by his side after the detraction of the Khawarij, and expressed their support for ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu after the decision of the arbiters and said:
في إعناقنا بيعة ثانية، نحن أولياء من واليت وأعداء من عاديت
In our necks is a second pledge. We are the friends of those who you befriend and enemies of those who you oppose.
It would also be good to point out that the early Shia did not criticise the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum of Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, revile them, or denigrate them. In fact, they would give preference to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma over ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, as is mentioned by Ibn Taymiyyah:
كانت الشيعة المتقدمون الذين صحبوا عليا، أو كانوا في ذلك الزمان لم يتنازعوا في تفضيل أبي بكر وعمر، وإنما كان نزاعهم في تفضيل علي وعثمان. وهذا مما يعترف به علماء الشيعة الأكابر
The early Shia who accompanied ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, or lived during that time did not dispute in giving preference to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma. Their differing was only regarding preference between ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhuma. This is something acknowledged by the senior Shia scholars.
He says in another place:
ونقل عن واحد من الشيعة الأولى وهو شريك بن عبد الله أنه سأله سائل: أيهما أفضل أبوبكر أم علي؟ فقال أبو بكر: فقال له السائل: تقول هذا وأنت شيعي! فقال له: نعم، من لم يقل هذا فليس شيعيا، والله لقد رقى هذه الأعواد علي، قال: ألا خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر ثم عمر، فكيف نرد قوله وكيف نكذبه! والله ما كان كذابا
It is narrated from one of the early Shia, Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah, that someone asked him, “Who is better: Abu Bakr or ‘Ali?”
He replied, “Abu Bakr.”
The questioner asked, “You are saying this whereas you a Shia?”
He said, “Yes. Whoever does not say this is not a Shia. By Allah ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu ascended these steps and said, ‘Behold, the best of this Ummah after its Nabi was Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’ So how can we reject his word and how can we belie him. By Allah he was not a liar.”
Subsequent to that the Mufaddilah emerged who gave preference to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu over even Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma. It is categorically narrated that when ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu received the news he said:
خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر ثم عمر
The best of this Ummah after its Nabi is Abu Bakr and then ‘Umar.
And it is narrated from him with chains of transmission which are Hassan that he would say:
لا أوتى بأحد يفضلني على أبي بكر وعمر إلا جلدته جلد المفتري
No person who give preference to me over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar is brought to me, but that I will lash him just as an accuser is lashed.
Thereafter, Shi’ism took on novel and grave extremes, for now it was gripped by extremism, the denouncing of the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma, reviling the Sahabah of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, criticising them, claiming infallibility for the Ahlul Bayt, believing in Raj’ah (the return of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, the emphatic appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, and many other foreign beliefs which Islam does not approve of at all. This is when the Shia who followed this dogma were dubbed the ‘Rafidah’.
Moving on, it should be noted that several factors contributed to the development of the Shia dogma, some of them are the following:
Firstly, the historical events which led to the inception of the dogma and its perpetuation. These events were the evil consequences of the murder of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu by the Khariji ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Muljam, thereafter, the relinquishing of al Hassan radiya Llahu `anhu of the Caliphate, and the painful end of the march of Hussain radiya Llahu `anhu during the era of Yazid ibn Muawiyah. These events left indelible impressions in the hearts of the Shia that the times will never omit.
These events represented the historical catalyst which prompted increase in the sentiment of love and affiliation to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and his household. And that contributed to the Shia emerging as one of the strongest sects with political leanings. It distinguished them with such characteristics that nobody else has anything in common with them despite the multitudes of sects, their differences, and their disputes.
Secondly, the societal and cultural effects which came about because of the emancipated Persian slaves becoming part of the Muslims society. The most important impact was that these Persians supported the idea of Shi’ism and most of them embraced it for personal and historical reasons. One such reason was that the conquest of Iran which took place under the reign of ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhuma had shattered the groups of the Persians and had destroyed their strength, and the loss of their glory and dominion had deeply disturbed some of them. They, thus, entered Islam outwardly and inwardly concealed their Zoroastrian hatred. The martyrdom of ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhu at the hands of the Zoroastrian Abu Lu’lu’ is just one example of their deep-rooted hatred. Subsequent to that they embraced ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and his sons to reach their motives. Hence, they claimed to love the Ahlul Bayt and associate with them, and claimed that rulership and Caliphate were the prerogative of ‘Ali and his children. Especially because they believed that the blood which flowed in the vessels of ‘Ali ibn al Hussain (popularly known as Zayn al ’Abidin) and his progeny was Persian blood because of the blood of his mother Shaharbanu the daughter of the Persian king Yazdegerd who was from the Descendants of the Holy Sasanid Kings.
A Western researcher who stayed in Iran for a long time and sufficiently studied its history has the following to say in this regard:
من أهم أسباب عداوة أهل إيران للخليفة الراشد الثاني عمر، هو أنه فتح بلاد العجم وكشر شوكتهم، غير أنهم أعطوا لعدائهم صبغة دينية مذهبية، وليس هذا من الحقيقة في شيء
One of the main reasons for the hatred of the people Iran for the second guided Khalifah ‘Umar is that he conquered the lands of the Persians and destroyed their might. However, they gave their acrimony a religious and dogmatic form, and this has nothing to do with reality.
What is also worth noting is that the one belief which is found across all the Shia sects is the belief that ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was the best and that he was most deserving of the Caliphate. This is not something which is based on common interest and thus is left to the discretion of the general people, but is rather is pillar from the pillars of Din. In order to justify this belief, they conjured the Wasiyyah, i.e. the idea that Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam emphatically appointed ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu as his immediate successor after him. They went on to fabricate narrations to support this, such narrations about which Ibn Khaldun says, “They are unknown to the masters of the Sunnah and the transmitters of the Shari’ah.” In fact they are unknown even to the students of the science of Hadith, let alone the great Hadith experts and the narrators thereof.
They also aver that Caliphate after ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is confined to his posterity and shifts from one Imam to his successor by way of emphatic appointment. This is notwithstanding their debate as to the line of Imams who followed after ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu.
However, even though the Zaidiyyah consider ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu to be most deserving of the Caliphate, but they do not go to the extent of saying the Caliphate for him is established via emphatic text, as do the Imamiyyah. According to them Imamah is not something for which emphatic text is required, rather it is permissible for every scholarly Fatimi who is brave, an ascetic, and generous. Together with that he has the ability to fight and demand his right of rulership.
Imamah according to them is not a passive process, as it is according to the Imamiyyah who belief in an Imam who is in occultation in the basement of Surr Man Ra’a and will one day emerge and fill the earth with justice just as it was before that filled with injustice.
Overall, the emergence of these sects to the political realm had negative outcomes, for it instated the symptoms of division and disunity between the Muslims. And of course together with that it is a cause of weakness and helplessness. The clash between various sects intensified and directly impacted upon the hindrance of the progress of the Islamic conquests; because the incessant activity of the Khawarij and the Shia occupied the governors and barred them from sending reinforcements for the armies of conquest, even though for a while. As such, there was significant delay in the conquest of many regions.
The era which followed after the Fitnah stands out as the era of excessive disputes and many wars which were fuelled by movements that did not benefit whatsoever from it themselves. Because they had exhausted their energies and efforts in fighting the Muslims instead of utilising them in striving in the path of Allah. And their proponents like the Khawarij and the Shia displayed amazing courage and valour, but did not use them in their appropriate places, for they were not a torment for the disbelievers and the polytheists, but were a cause of violating the blood and the wealth of the Muslims instead.
A person who thoroughly studies the historical event of the Muslim world after the Fitnah will reach many definitive conclusions. He will realise that the external threat was not the greatest and the most difficult threat to deal with, rather the internal threat was the impending threat which was weakening the edifice of the Islamic empire. For the various movements and perpetual insurrections had exhausted the structure of this empire and had depleted its stored strengths.
There is no doubt that the memories of the Caliphate Rashidah were still before the eyes of the people who desired that matters revert to as they were. Hence there was a constant yearning for that Rashidi model of rulership and the ruler would always be measured with the standards of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma. As a result, movements would emerge one after the other because of the Caliphate transitioning to an oppressive monarchy which was filled with harshness and oppression, in spite of it possessing strength and striving against the enemies of Allah. Its example was like that of a person who has accumulated good deeds and equally evil deeds as well. However, not all movements had the reinstating of the Caliphate Rashidah at heart, instead some of them had other ulterior motives which concerned dominion, status, and wealth.
Notwithstanding that this transition from Caliphate to monarchism is the system of Allah in this live, and at times it can be a punishment for the Muslims because of their sins and the doings of their hands so that they may revert. Ibn Taymiyyah says:
ومصير الأمر إلى الملوك ليس لنقص فيهم فقط، بل لنقص في الراعي والرعيه، فأنه كما تكونوا يول عليكم، وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُوَلِّي بَعْضَ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضًا
The matter ending up by the kings is not because of deficiency in them themselves, but because of deficiency in the ruler and the subjects. For ‘As you will be, will be the rulers appointed over you’ and ‘In this manner do we make some oppressors rule over others.’
A person who deliberates over the movements which emerged after the Fitnah, as the immediate outcome thereof, will find that they were either opportunists or propelled by a true Islamic passion, although they were emotional and reactionary. As such, they vanished very quickly because they required good administration, planning, and deliberation over the outcomes and consequences. Nonetheless, they were a source of great loss for the Muslims in their blood, their wealth, and their unity of word.
The Shar’i texts, thus, indicate to the importance of obedience to the ruler whose rulership has been enacted and prevents against remonstrating against him even if he is tyrannical due to many problems coming about because of it.
Al Bukhari narrates the following from Abu al Minhal:
لما كان ابن زياد ومروان بالشأم ووثب ابن الزبير بمكة ووثب القراء بالبصرة فانطلقت مع أبي إلى أبي برزة الأسلمي حتى دخلنا عليه في داره وهو جالس في ظل علية له من قصب فجلسنا إليه فأنشأ أبي يستطعمه الحديث فقال يا أبا برزة ألا ترى ما وقع فيه الناس فأول شيء سمعته تكلم به إني احتسبت عند الله أني أصبحت ساخطا على أحياء قريش إنكم يا معشر العرب كنتم على الحال الذي علمتم من الذلة والقلة والضلالة وإن الله أنقذكم بالإسلام وبمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى بلغ بكم ما ترون وهذه الدنيا التي أفسدت بينكم إن ذاك الذي بالشأم والله إن يقاتل إلا على الدنيا وإن هؤلاء الذين بين أظهركم والله إن يقاتلون إلا على الدنيا وإن ذاك الذي بمكة والله إن يقاتل إلا على الدنيا
When Ibn Ziyad and Marwan were in Sham, Ibn al Zubair revolted in Makkah and the Qurra’ revolted in Basrah. I, therefore, went with my father to Abu Barzah al Aslami radiya Llahu `anhu till we entered his house. He was sitting in the shade of an upper room which was made of bamboo. We sat by him and my father started to solicit a conversation from him, he said to him, “O Abu Barzah! Do you not see what the people are embroiled in?”
The first thing he said was, “I am hopeful of reward from Allah for being disillusioned with the tribes of the Quraysh. O you the congregation of Arabs, you were previously in a condition known to yourself of humility, fewness of number, and deviance. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala rescued you by way of Islam and Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and made you reach the heights you see. It is this world that has corrupted you. That individual in Sham is not fighting but for the world, these people who are before you are not fighting but for this world, and that individual who is in Makkah is not fighting but for this world.”
This narration suggests that Abu Barzah deemed avoidance of the Fitnah and not getting involved in the feud of the Muslims to be ideal, especially because it was due to coveting kingdom. This was during the era of Fitnah and great unrest which swept across the cities; for the Umayyads had a dynasty, Ibn al Zubair had a dynasty, and the Khawarij had a dynasty as well, as has passed in the narration of Abu Barzah radiya Llahu `anhu.
This is why most scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah are not proponents of initiating insurrections against the rulers. Because the harms are always more than the benefits so long as they do not possess a strong clique that is able to change the rule without causing civil strife and shedding blood.
Here we have Anas radiya Llahu `anhu, when the people complained to him about the oppression, they were experiencing from Hajjaj, he said:
اصبروا فإنه لا يأتي عليكم زمان إلا والذي بعده شر منه حتى تلقوا ربكم، سمعته من نبيكم
Exercise patience, for no time will dawn upon you, but that the time that will follow will be worse than it till you meet your Lord. I heard that from your Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.
Likewise, Rabi’ah al Ra’y, the teacher of Malik, whenever he would be alone with his student he would cry and become emotional due to the Caliphate Rashidah ending. He would cry over the proliferation of oppression from those who succeeded them and would desire to see the day wherein he could freely enjoin good and prevent evil.
So, the conclusion is that the emergence of these sects and the events and political positions that ensued thereafter were very grave happenings which the Muslims encountered after the Fitnah. It opened the door of evil between them and drove their united congregation to division and disunity.
Furthermore, despite the fact that the year 40 A.H/660 A.D. was considered the year of the congregation; however, the congregation was not completely realised. For there always remained those who opposed verbally or through action the settling of events which transpired in the time after the martyrdom of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu and the prevailing circumstances of the Umayyad dynasty. Together with that there were those who overtly displayed agreement but covertly concealed dissension. This is evident from what Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu said to Aisha bint ‘Uthman when he came to Madinah after the year of the congregation; he entered the house of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu and his daughter Aisha started shouting, crying, and calling out to her father, whereupon Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu said:
يا ابنة أخي إن الناس أعطونا طاعة واعطيناهم أمانا، وأظهرنا لهم حلما تحته غضب، وأظهروا لنا ذلا تحته حقد، ومع كل إنسان سيفه ويرى موضع أصحابه، فإن نكثناهم نكثوا بنا لا ندري أعلينا تكون أم لنا.
O my niece! People have given us obedience and we have given them amnesty. And we have displayed for them forbearance under which is anger, and they have displayed for us subjugation under which is acrimony. With every person is his sword and he is always watchful of the position of his friends. So if we breach our agreement with them they will breach their agreement with us and we do not know whether the result will be for us or against us.
 The hadith regarding them is as follows:
خير القرون قرني، ثم الذين يلونهم، ثم الذين يلونهم
The best of generations is my generation, then those who follow them, and then those who follow them.
See: Sahih al Bukhari, 4/189, chapter about the merits of the Sahabah.
 This is clear from the conversation they had with ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. They said to him, “O Amir al Mu’minin! What are we waiting for regarding these people? Should we not go with our swords till Allah decides between us and them?” See: Musnad Ahmed (with the format of al Sa’ati), 8/587.
 Sahih Muslim, 7/173.
 Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 57.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 8/52, chapter regarding seeking repentance from the renegades.
 Surah al Nisa’: 35.
 A Sahabi radiya Llahu `anhu.
 Surah Ahzab: 21. And the narration is reported by Ahmed in his Musnad (with the format of al Sa’ati), 22/159; and Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah, 7/280-182. He has said that Ahmed is the only one that narrates it and its chain is Sahih.
 Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/84.
 See: al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 1/164-176-177-188.
 Al Baghdadi: al Farq bayn al Firaq, p. 55.
 Al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 1/189; al Baghdadi: al Farq bayn al Firaq, p. 55.
 Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/83.
 Ibn Hazm: al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Nihal, 4/157.
 This assumption of theirs is debunked in many Sahih hadith. Al Bukhari (8:105, chapter of rulings, sub-chapter regarding the rulers being from the Quraysh) has narrated the following from Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu:
إن هذا الأمر في قريش، لا يعاديهم أحد إلا أكبه الله في النار علي وجهه ما أقاموا الدين.
“This matter is for the Quraysh, no one will oppose them but that Allah will throw him headlong into the fire of Jahannam, as long as they establish the Din.”
And Ahmed narrates in his Musnad (4/421):
الأئمة من قريش
The rulers are from the Quraysh.
And al Bayhaqi and al Shafi’i (al Fath, 13/116) narrate through the transmission of ‘Ata’ ibn Yasar with an authentic chain that Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
أنتم أولى الناس بهذا الأمر ما كنتم على الحق، إلا أن تعدلوا عنه فتلحون كما تلحى هذه الجريدة.
You are the most deserving of the people of this matter, as long as you remain upon the truth, unless you divert from it whereafter you will be peeled just as this branch is peeled.
Likewise, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu made mention of the merits of the Ansar in the orchard of the Banu Sa’idah (See: Ibn Hisham: al Sirah, 4/339) and thereafter said to them:
ولن تعرف العرب هذا الأمر إلا لهذا الحي من قريش، هم أوسط الناس نسبا ودارا.
The Arabs will not concede this matter but for this tribe of the Quraysh. For they are the most noble of people in lineage and location.
All of the Ahlus Sunnah concur on this view due to a wisdom that demanded that, i.e. bringing about unity in the ranks of the Muslims.
 A tribe belonging to the ‘Adnaniyyah from the progeny of Ismail `alayh al Salam. See: Ibn al Athir: al Lubab, 3/222.
 Ibn Hazm: Jamharah Ansab al ’Arab, p. 11; al Qalqashandi: Nihayah al Arab fi Ma’rifah Ansab al ’Arab, p. 422.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 3/123, chapter of emancipating slave.
 Jarir: Diwan, p. 476.
 See: Shakir Mustafa: Dawlah Bani ‘Abbas, 1/36; Zahiyah Qadurah: al Shu’ubiyyah wa Atharuha al Ijtima’i wa al Siyasi fi al ’Asr al ’Abbasi al Awwal; ‘Ammar Talibi: Ara’ al Khawarij al Kalamiyyah, p. 52.
 See: Sahih al Bukhari, 8/51, chapter regarding seeking repentance from the renegades, 8/148, chapter of holding on to the Sunnah; Sahih Muslim, 7/174, chapter of Zakat, sub-chapter regarding the encouragement to fight the Khawarij.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 8/52, chapter regarding seeking repentance from the renegades.
 Hamd ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al Khattab al Busti, Abu Sulaiman. The hadith scholar who travelled extensively. Al Dhahabi said about him, “He was reliable, meticulous, and was a vessel of knowledge.” Some of his books are: Islah Ghalat al Muhaddithin, Gharib al Hadith, Ma’alim al Sunan, Sharh Asma’ Allah al Husna. He passed away in 388 A.H/998 A.D. See: Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 2/214; al Qifti: Inbah al Ruwat, 1/125; al Dhahabi: al Tadhkirah, 3/1018.
 The popular understanding of the term Din between the people today, a deeply rooted misconception due to the ideological war against the lands of the Muslims, does not exceed the relationship of a person with Allah whose boundaries are the symbols of worship. Correcting this understanding in light of language and Shari’ah is pivotal for those who subscribe to Islam but live as if in state of schizophrenia and live a life of grave ambivalence which has resulted in separating Din from politics and the empire. The retrogression, disunity, and the differences that the Muslims have suffered as a result can only be corrected with sound knowledge and holding onto the commands of Allah and his Shari’ah in all the spheres of life.
Din in the Arabic language means obedience. They say: Dana lahu Din, i.e. he obeyed him, due to the poem of the poet:
|وكان الناس إلا نحن دينا||ويوم الحزن إذ حشدت معد|
And on the day of grief when Ma’add gathered its people, and everyone besides us was obedient.
And al A’sha says:
|ن دراكا بغزوة وصيال||هو دان الرباب إذ كرهوا الدي|
He is the subjugator of the group when they disliked obeying him, by apprehending them with fighting and attacking.
Din also means the Shari’ah and the law of Allah due to the verse:
مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ
He could not have taken his brother according to the law of the king. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2/485]
It is also used in the meaning of reckoning, might, overpowering, authority, kingdom, rulership, and planning. Therefrom the name of Allah al Dayyan is derived, which means the Mighty, the Judge, the Ruler, the Administrator, the Reckoner, and the Compensator who will not neglect a single deed.
As for the Shar’i terminology, the word Din entails everything by way of which Allah is worshiped. It means abiding by his commands and his Shari’ah in all matters of life, humbling oneself before him, and not opposing him. al Tabari says under the verse:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ
Surely the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.
It means that obedience which is acceptable by Allah is obedience which entails abiding by his commands, acknowledging servitude to him with the tongues and the hearts, humbling oneself before him and becoming completely subservient to him in his orders and prohibitions. It means to humble oneself without displaying arrogance to him and diverting away from him and without ascribing any partners to him from his creation in worship. See: Tafsir al Tabari, 3/141.
And servitude to Allah means that Allah exclusively be considered the sovereign legislator, whether as rulers or as subjects, due to the verse:
وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed-then it is those who are the disbelievers.
And the verse:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
But no, by your Lord, they will not truly belief until they make you judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in (full, willing) submission.
It also means exclusively befriending Allah, due to the verse:
قُلْ أَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَتَّخِذُ وَلِيًّا فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
Say, “Is it other than Allah I should take as a protector, creator of the heavens and the earth?”
And the verse:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ
O you who believe, do not the Jews and the Christians as allies.
And the verse:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ
And the believing men and the believing women, some of them are the friends of others.
It also means exclusively worshipping Allah (i.e. only slaughtering for him, vowing for him, seeking help from him, supplicating to him, and interceding to him), due to the verse:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, lord of the worlds.
 Ibn al Athir: Jami’ al Usul, 10/97.
 ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu passed by the Khawarij and said, “May suffering be for you. The one who has deceived you has indeed harmed you.” They said, “O Amir al Mu’minin who has deceived them?” He said, “The devil and their evil selves who deceived them with hopes and has beautified for them sins and informed them that they are victorious.” Ibn al Athir: Jami’ al Usul, 3/348.
 Sunan al Nasa’i, 7/119, chapter regarding the impermissibility of shedding blood, sub-chapter regarding the one who unsheathes his sword and strikes the people with it. The annotator of Jami’ al Usul has deemed the hadith Hassan. See: 10/92.
 Sunan al Nasa’i, 5/268, chapter of Hajj; Sunan Ibn Majah, 2/1008, chapter of Hajj; Musnad Ahmed, 1/215; and al Albani has deemed it Sahih in his Sahih Sunan al Nasa’i, 2/640, Hadith: 2863.
 Surah al Hadid: 27.
 See: Ahmed Amin: Fajr al Islam, p. 259; Mahmud Ma’ruf: al Khawarij fi al ’Asr al Umawi, p. 59.
 See: Wellhausen: The Kharijites and the Shiites, p. 13-14; Nicholson: A Literary History of the Arabs, 207-213.
 See: Masadir Tafsir al Hawadith, 1/101.
 Surah al Tawbah: 106.
 Surah al A’raf: 111.
 I did not come across his biography.
 Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Yazid ibn Zadhan al Tamimi, Abu Ishaq al Razi al Farra’, famously known as al Saghir (the junior). Abu Zur’ah said about him, “He is more conversant than Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah and his hadith are more authentic.” And Abu Hatim said, “From the reliable men.” And al Nasa’i said, “Reliable.” Ahmed would condemn those who would call his al Saghir and would say that he is Kabir (senior) in his knowledge and greatness. He passed away in 220 A.H/835 A.D. See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/327; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 1/137; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 1/170.
 Al Tabari: Tahdhib al Athar, 2/658.
 See his biography in: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/307; Khalifah: al Tabaqat, p. 160; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 10/49.
 Al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 1/631.
 See his biography in: Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/144; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 2/1/154; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 1/631; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 3/95.
 Zadhan, Abu al Kufi al Darir al Bazzar. He was present in the sermon of ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhu in Jabiyah. He has narrated from a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum, some of them being: ‘Ali, Ibn Mas’ud, Hudhayfah, and Ibn ‘Umar, among others. Ibn Ma’in said regarding him, “Reliable, regarding someone like him no questions should be asked.” And Ibn Sa’d says, “He was reliable and has narrated many hadith.” And al ’Ijli said, “A reliable Tabi’i from Kufah.” He is also deemed reliable by al Khatib. And Ibn Hajar said, “He had Shia leanings.” He passed away in 82 A.H/701 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/178; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 2/1/328; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 4/258; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 3/302; and al Taqrib, 1/256.
 Maysarah, Abu Salih al Kindi al Kufi, the Tabi’i. He narrated from ‘Ali, and Suwaid ibn Ghafalah, and ‘Ata’ ibn al Sa’ib, Hilal ibn Khabbab, and Salamah ibn Kuhayl narrated from him. Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in his al Thiqat. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 5/303; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/598; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 5/426; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 10/387.
 Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 5/328.
 Yusuf ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf al Qudha’i al Kalbi al Mizzi, attributed to Mizzah which is a place on the outskirts of Dimashq, Abu al Hajjaj. From the great retainers of hadith and the leading scholar of Sham in his era. Some of his books are: Tahdhib al Kamal fi Asma’ al Rijal, and Tuhfah al Ashraf fi Ma’rifah al Atraf. His student al Dhahabi has praised him and has remembered him with the most lavish titles. He passed away in 742 A.H/1341 A.D. See: Ibn Taghri Bardi: al Nujum al Zahirah, 10/76; al Dhahabi: al Tadhkirah, 4/1498; al Kattani: Fihris al Faharis, 1/107.
 ‘Uthman ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Hatib al Jumahi al Qurashi. He saw Ibn ‘Umar and Sharik, Ya’la ibn ‘Ubaid and some of people of Iraq narrate from him. Abu Hatim said, “His narrations can be written for he is satisfactory scholar.” See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/2/212; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 6/144.
 Jahdab, or Juhdub al Tamimi. He has narrated from ‘Ata’ and al Thawri, and Qais ibn al Rabi’ have narrated from him. See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/255; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 2/551.
 Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, 1/279.
 Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Abi ‘Umar, Abu ‘Abdullah al ’Adani al Darawardi. From the retainers of hadith. He acted as a judge in ‘Adan and thereafter settled in Makkah. It is said that he performed Hajj 77 times. He was pious and a devout worshipper and would never get tired of performing Tawaf. Abu Hatim said, “He is pious but had a little bit of negligence.” One of his books is al Musnad. He passed away in 243 A.H/858 A.D. See: al Dhahabi: al Tadhkirah, 2/501; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 9/518; ‘Abdullah Ba Makhramah: Tarikh Thagr ‘Adan, p. 230.
 Ibrahim ibn ‘Uyaynah ibn Abi ‘Umar al Hilali al Kufi, Abu Ishaq. He has narrated from al Thawri, Shu’bah, and Mis’ar, and Ibn Abi ‘Umar al ’Adani, Ibrahim ibn Bashshar have narrated from him. His narrations appear in the Sunans of Abu Dawood, al Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah. Ibn Ma’in said, “He was a Muslim and was truthful, but was not from the experts of hadith.” And al ’Ijli said, “A truthful narrator from Kufah.” And Ibn Hajar says, “A truthful person who errs at times. He was from the eighth class.” He passed away in 197 A.H/812 A.D. And in the Tarikh of al Bukhari it is stated that he passed away in 199 A.H/814 A.D. See: Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 1/150; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/310; al ’Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 53; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 2/118; Ibn Hajar: al Taqrib, 1/41.
 ‘Abdul Wahid ibn Ayman al Makhzumi al Makki, Abu al Qasim. Ibn Ma’in said, “Reliable.” Abu Hatim said, “He is satisfactory in hadith.” And al Nasa’i says, “There is no problem with him.” and Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in his al Thiqat. See: Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/376; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/2/59; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 6/19; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 6/433.
 Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 2/320-322. Kitab al Iman has been published and the cited text appears on p. 148. But it is not as clear as Ibn Hajar has understood it and cited it. So, either Ibn Hajar cited the overall meaning of his speech and not the actual text, or he came across another manuscript other than the one we have before us and then the difference would be due to the interference of some of the narrators.
 Surah al Tawbah: 100.
 Muhammad ibn Ka’b ibn Salim ibn Asad al Qurazi al Madani. His father was from the captives of the Banu Qurayzah. Ibn Sa’d said regarding him, “He was reliable, was a scholar, narrated hadith excessively and was pious.” And ‘Awn ibn ‘Abdullah said, “I have not seen anyone more learned regarding the interpretation of the Qur’an than him.” And Ibn Hibban said, “He was from the virtuous people of Madinah in terms of knowledge and jurisprudence.” And al ’Ijli says, “He was a Tabi’i from Madinah who was reliable and was learned in the Qur’an.” There is difference of opinion as to when he passed away, some say in 120 A.H/737 A.D. and some suggest another date. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat (the section culminating the Tabi’in of Madinah), p. 134; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/536; al ’Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 411; Ibn Hibban: Mashahir ‘Ulama’ al Amsar, p. 65; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 9/420.
 Yazid ibn Ziyad, and some say: Ibn Abi Ziyad, al Madani al Makhzumi due to affiliation. Al Nasa’i has said, “Reliable.” And Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in al Thiqat. And al Bukhari says, “Yazid ibn Ziyad had a better memory than ‘Ata’ ibn al Sa’ib.” And Abu Hatim said, “He is not strong.” See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/2/334; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 9/265; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 4/423; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 11/328.
 Al Tabbani: Ithaf Dhawi al Najabah bima fi al Qur’an min Fada’il al Sahabah, p. 40.
 Sunan Abi Dawood, 4/211, chapter of Sunnah, sub-chapter regarding the Khalifas; Sunan al Tirmidhi, 5/315, chapter of merits, he has said that the hadith is Hassan Sahih; Khaythamah: Fada’il al Sahabah, slate no. 245; and al Albani has deemed it Sahih in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawood, 3/879, Hadith: 3886.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 4/201, chapter regarding the Sahabah of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.
 Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, p. 503.
 Thabit ibn Ka’b ibn Jabir al ’Ataki, Abu al ’Ala’, popularly known as Thabit Qutnah. He was given this title after his eye was injured in one of the battles of Khurasan whereupon he placed upon it a Qutnah (a piece of cotton wool), since then he was known by it. He was from the brave men of the Arabs and their horsemen in the Umayyad era. He continued fighting the Turks in the lands of Transoxiana till he was martyred in 110 A.H/728 A.D. See: al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/549; al Asfahani: al Aghani, 14/263; Ibn al Athir: al Kamil, 5/93.
 Abu al Faraj al Asfahani: al Aghani, 14/262.
 Al Zubaidi: Taj al ’Arus, 5/405.
 Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/64.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah, 1/4.
 Ibid, 13/34.
 Majmu’ al Fatawa, 28/473. A similar hadith appears in Sahih al Bukhari from Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma, 4/191.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 4/191.
 Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/143.
 Ibid, 5/162.
 Ibid, 5/400.
 Ahmed Amin: Duha al Islam, 3/209.
 Edward Brown: Tarikh al Adab fi Iran, 1/213.
 Ibn Khaldun: al Muqaddimah, p. 197.
 Al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 1/89.
 Al Shahrastani: al Milal wa al Nihal, 1/207.
 An ancient city of Iraq whose name was Samira. When al Mu’tasim revived it in 220 A.H/835 A.D. he named it Surr Man Ra’a. See: al Bakri: Mu’jam ma Ustu’jima min Asma’ al Mawadi’ wa al Bilad, p. 3/734; Yaqut: Mu’jam al Buldan, 3/215.
 It is mentioned as a Prophetic hadith, but al Suyuti says, “There is a break in its chain.” See: al Durar al Muntathirah fi al Ahadith al Mushtahirah, p. 162. The annotator has said the following in the footnotes; Abu Bakr al Turtushi says, “This hadith reached me ‘As you will be so will the rulers appointed over you be’ so I started searching for its chain, but I came across the following verse whilst I was reciting:
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُوَلِّي بَعْضَ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضًا بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
And thus, we will make some of the wrongdoers rulers of others for what they used to earn.
So, I sufficed upon the hadith.” See: p. 162. So, the Ayah is harmonious with the hadith in meaning.
 Surah al An’am: 129. Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 35/20.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 8/87, chapter of Fitan. Ibn Hajar says in Fath al Bari, Ibn al Tin has reported from al Dawoodi that he said, “The scholars suggest regarding the tyrannical rulers that if it is possible to dismiss him without a Fitnah and without oppression, then it is necessary to do so, otherwise it is incumbent to be patient.
 Sayyar ibn Salamah al Rayahi, Abu al Minhal al Basri. He narrated from Abu Barzah al Aslami, Sulaiman al Taymi, and others narrate from him. Ibn Sa’d has said, “He was reliable.” He has also been deemed reliable by Ibn Ma’in al Nasa’i. And Abu Hatim said, “A truthful narrator.” And al ’Ijli said, “A reliable narrator from Basrah.” Ibn Hibban has also made mention of him in his al Thiqat. He passed away in 129 A.H/746 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 7/236; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/244; al ’Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 212; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 4/335; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 4/290.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 8/99, chapter of Fitan.
 Ibid. 8/89.
 Muhammad al ’Abdah: Harakah al Nafs al Zakiyyah, p. 11.
 Abu Zur’ah al Dimashqi: al Tarikh, p. 188.
 Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi: al ’Iqd al Farid, 5/106.Back to top