Section Three: The Stance of those who avoided the Fitnah, they form Majority of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum

Section Two: The Stance of those who called for exercising patience in exacting the retribution till conditions settle, like ‘Ali, al Qa’qa’ and those who concurred with them
November 30, 2020
Module Three: The Second Fitnah – Section One: The Qurra’, the predecessors of the Khawarij
November 30, 2020

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Section Three: The Stance of those who avoided the Fitnah, they form Majority of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum

 

Those Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who avoided the Fitnah did so on the basis of a Shar’i principle which is established from the emphatic statements of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Some of these statements are binding on each individual to whom they were directed. This principal is avoiding fighting in the Fitnah.

Al Bukhari has narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

ستكون فتن القاعد فيها خير من القائم، والقائم فيها خير من الماشي، والماشي فيها خير من الساعي، من تشرف لها تستشرفه، فمن وجد منها ملجأ أو معاذا فليعذ به

Soon Fitnahs will occur. The one sitting in them will be better than the one standing; the one standing in them will be better than the one walking; the one walking in them will be better than the one running. Whoever will peer into them they will grip him and destroy him. Hence, whoever finds any place of refuge or security should seek refuge therein.[1]

 

Ibn Hajar says:

ففي الحديث تحذير من الفتنة والحث على اجتناب الدخول فيها، وإن شرها يكون بحسب التعلق بها

In this narration there is a warning sounded regarding the Fitnah and it entails an exhortation to avoid entering it. It also informs that its evil will be according to the engagement in it.[2]

 

And Muslim and Abu Dawood have narrated the following narration from Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

إنها ستكون فتنة يكون المضطجع فيها خير من الجالس، والجالس فيها خير من القائم، والقائم خيرا من الماشي، والماشي خيرا من الساعي، قالوا: يا رسول الله، ما تأمرنا؟ قال:  من كانت له إبل فليلحق بإبله، ومن كانت له غنم فليلحق بغنمه، ومن كانت له أرض فليلحق بأرضه، قالوا فمن لم يكن له شيء من ذلك؟ قال: يعمد إلى سيفه فيضرب بحده على حرة، ثم لينج ما استطاع النجاء

There is going to be a Fitnah in which a person who is lying down will be better than the one sitting; a sitting person will be better than the one standing; a standing person will be better than the one walking; a walking person will be better than the one running.

They asked, “O Rasul Allah, so what do you order us to do?”

He replied, “Whoever has camels should go to his camels; whoever has sheep should go to his sheep; and whoever has land should go to his land.”

They asked, “What about a person who has none of that?”

He replied, “He should take his sword and strike its sharpness upon a rocky land and thereafter he should run for as long as he is able to.”[3]

 

And al Tirmidhi narrated from Umm Malik al Bahziyyah that she said:

 

ذكر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فتنة فقربها، قالت: قلت: يا رسول الله! من خير الناس فيها؟ قال: رجل في ماشية يؤدي حقها يعبد ربه، ورجل آخذ برأس فرسه يخيف العدو-الكفار- ويخوفونه

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made mention of a Fitnah and gave the impression that it was near.

She said, “O Rasul Allah! Who will be the best of people therein?”

He replied, “A person in his livestock who fulfils their right and worships Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, and a person holding the head of his horse and therewith threatens the enemy (the disbelievers) and they threaten him.”[4]

 

Likewise, al Bukhari, Malik, and al Nasa’i have narrated from Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

يوشك أن يكون خير مال المسلم غنم يتبع بها شعف الجبال ومواقع القطر يفر بدينه من الفتن

Very soon the best wealth of a Muslim will be sheep with which he will follow the top of the mountains and the places of rain. He will do so in order to flee with his Din from the Fitnahs.[5]

 

And al Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood narrated from Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding the Fitnah:

 

كسروا فيها قسيكم، وقطعوا فيها أوتاركم، والزموا فيها أجواف بيوتكم، وكونوا كابن آدم –هابيل-

Brake in it your bows, and cut in it your ropes, and remain in it in the centre of your homes, and be like the son of Adam (Habil).[6]

 

And ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit narrates the following from Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

كنت خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  حين خرج من حاشي المدينة، فقال: يا أبا ذر أرأيت أن الناس قتلوا حين تغرق حجارة الزيت من الدماء، كيف تصنع؟ قال: قلت: الله ورسوله أعلم، قال: تدخل بيتك، قال: قلت يا رسول الله فإن أتى علي، قال: تأتي من أنت منه، قال: فأحمل السلاح؟ قال: إذا شاركت القوم، قلت، فكيف أصنع يا رسول الله؟ قال: إن خفت إن يبهرك شعاع السيف فألق طائفة من ثوبك على وجهك يبوء بإثمك وإثمه

I was riding behind Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he left the orchards of Madinah. He asked, “O Abu Dhar! What do you think of a time when the people will fight and as a result the stones of oil will be drenched with their blood, what will you do?”

I said, “Allah and his Rasul know best.”

He said, “You should enter your house.”

I asked, “If someone intrudes upon me?”

He said, “You should proceed to the people you belong to.”

He asked, “So should I take up weapons?”

He said, “You will then be part of the people in their crime.”

I asked, “So what should I do, O Rasul Allah?”

He replied, “If you fear that the brilliance of the sword will astound you then place a portion of your clothes upon your face and let him return with your sin and his sin.”[7]

 

And al Bukhari narrates from Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that whilst Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was delivering a sermon Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu came and so he said:

إن ابني هذا سيد، ولعل الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين

This son of mine is a leader, and probably Allah will bring about conciliation at his hands between two major groups of the Muslims.[8]

 

Commenting on this narration Ibn Hajar says:

 

واستدل به على تصويب رأي من قعد عن القتال مع معاوية وعلي رضي الله عنهما، وإن كان علي أحق بالخلافة وأقرب إلى الحق، وهو قول سعد بن أبي وقاص وابن عمر ومحمد بن مسلمة وسائر من اعتزل تلك الحروب

This narration has been used to substantiate the stance of those who stayed away from the strife between Muawiyah and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, in spite of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being more deserving of the Caliphate and closer to the truth. This was the view of Sa’d ibn Waqqas, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, and all those who avoided those wars.[9]

 

And al Bukhari narrates under the chapter regarding becoming a Bedouin in the times of Fitnah from Yazid ibn Abi ‘Ubaid[10] that he said:

 

لما قتل عثمان بن عفان خرج مسلمة بن الأكوع من البدريين إلى الربذة وتزوج هناك امرأة وولدت له أولادا، فلم يزل بها حتى قبل أن يموت بليال نزل المدينة

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered Salamah ibn al Akwa’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu—from the veterans of Badr—went to Rabadhah and married a woman there who bore a few children for him. He remained there and only moved to Madinah a few nights before he passed away.[11]

 

He thereafter passed away in the abode of migration as an honour from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala approx. forty years after the martyrdom of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the year 74 A.H/693 A.D.[12]

Furthermore, from the outstanding jurisprudential prowess of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the fact that they differentiated between the legitimacy of the rule of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the obligation to fight by his side, rather the validity of fighting the people of the Qiblah. For although he was a Shar’i ruler it did not necessarily follow therefrom that his fighting against the people of Siffin and Jamal was absolutely right and completely correct.

It is important to note that most of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum had avoided the Fitnah. At the head of them was Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. On the day of Siffin there was no one who was more virtuous than him besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Likewise, Sa’id ibn Zaid (one of the ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were given glad tidings of Jannat in one gathering), Zaid ibn Thabit, ‘Abdullah ibn Mughaffal, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Abu Barzah al Aslami, Abu Bakrah, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, Usamah ibn Zaid, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar—among others—had also avoided the Fitnah.

Al Tabari has narrated from al Sha’bi that he said:

بالله الذي لا إله إلا هو ما نهض في تلك الفتنة إلا ستة بدريين ما لهم سابع أو سبعة ما لهم ثامن

By Allah, besides who there is no deity, no one rose in the Fitnah besides six Sahabah of Badr to who there was no seventh, or seven to who there was no eighth.[13]

 

Likewise, ‘Abdur Razzaq and Ahmed have narrated with an authentic chain of transmission[14] from Muhammad ibn Sirin the following:

 

هاجت الفتنة وأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عشرات الألوف فلم يحضرها منهم مائة بل لم يبلغوا ثلاثين

The Fitnah erupted and the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were tens of thousands in number. But not even a hundred of them participated therein, in fact no even thirty.[15]

 

And Ibn Battah narrates the following from Bukayr ibn al Ashajj:

 

أما إن رجالا من أهل بدر لزموا بيوتهم بعد قتل عثمان فلم يخرجوا إلا في قبورهم

Behold many men of Badr remained in their homes after the martyrdom of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and did not leave only to their graves.[16]

 

And Shu’bah narrates:

سألت الحكم هل شهد أبو أيوب صفين قال: لا ولكن شهد النهر موقعة النهروان

I asked al Hakam,[17] “Did Abu Ayub participate in Siffin?”

He said, “No. But he was present in the Battle of Nahrawan.”[18]

 

Likewise, al Hakam was asked, “Did Khuzaimah ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu witness the Battle of Jamal?” He replied:

 

ليس به ولكنه غيره من الأنصار، مات ذوا الشهادتين في زمن عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه

It is not him but another person from the Ansar (with the same name). Dhu al Shahadatayn (the Sahabi whose testimony was equal to the testimony of two) passed away during the time of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[19]

 

And Saif narrates the following from his teachers:

 

لما خطب علي في أهل المدينة يدعوهم إلى الخروج معه إلى الشام، تثاقل الناس خشية قتال المسلمين، وأجابه فقط رجلان من أعلام الأنصار أبو الهيثم بن التيهان-وهو بدري- وخزيمة بن ثابت وليس ذو الشهادتين إذ مات ذو الشهادتين في زمن عثمان

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu delivered a sermon in Madinah wherein he exhorted the people to march with him to Sham the people were reluctant due to their fear of fighting against Muslims. Only two men from the prominent Ansar answered his call: Abu al Haytham ibn al Tayyihan (a Badri Sahabi) and Khuzaimah ibn Thabit, but not Dhu al Shahadatayn, for he passed away during the reign of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[20]

 

And Ibn ‘Asakir narrates in his Tarikh with his chain of transmission to al Hasan al Basri that he said:

 

لما كانت تلك الفتن جعل رجل يسأل عن أفضل أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في أنفسهم لا يسأل أحدا إلا قالوا له: سعد بن مالك، قال: وقد قيل له: إن سعدا رجل إن أنت رفقت به كنت قمنا أن تصيب منه حاجتك، وإن أنت حرقت به كنت قمنا إلا تصيب منه شيئا، قال: فجلس إليه أياما لا يسأله عن شيء حتى عرف مجلسه واستأنس إليه، ثم قال: أعوذ بالسميع العليم من الشيطان الرجيم:  إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَىٰ مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ. قال: قال سعد: مه لئن قلت: لا جرم لا تسألني عن شيء أعلمه إلا أخبرتك به، قال: فقال له: ما تقول في عثمان؟ قال: كان إذا كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من أحسننا وضوءا وأطولنا صلاة وأعظمنا نفقة في سبيل الله عز وجل ثم ولي المسلمين زمانا لا ينكرون منه شيئا ثم أنكروا منه أشياء، فما أتوا إليه أعظم مما أتى إليهم، فقلت له: هذا علي يدعو الناس، وهذا معاوية يدعو الناس وقد جلس عنهما عامة أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. فقال سعد: أما وإني لا أحدثك ما سمعت من وراء وراء ما أحدثك إلا ما سمعته إذناي ووعاه قلبي، سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: إن استطعت أن تكون عبد الله المقتول، ولا تقتل أحدا من أهل القبلة فافعل.

When those trials transpired a person started inquiring about the best of the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam amongst them themselves. Whoever he would ask, they would say to him, ‘Sa’d ibn Malik,’ and he was also told, “Sa’d is a person with whom if you are soft you are most likely to obtain your need from him, and if you are harsh to him you are most likely to not get anything.” Hence, he sat by him for a few days without asking him anything till Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu became acquainted and comfortable with him.

He then said, “I seek the refuge of the All-Hearing and the All-Knowing from the accursed devil. Surely those who conceal what we sent down of clear proof and guidance after we made it clear for the people in the book, those are cursed by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and are cursed by those who curse.”[21]

Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded, “Hold on, if this is what you are saying, then whatever you will ask me I will surely inform you about it.”

He thus asked, “What do you say about ‘Uthman?”

He replied, “He was, when we would be with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the best of us in ablution, the one who performed the longest prayers, and the one who spent the most in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Thereafter he ruled the Muslims, for a while the people did not condemn any of his doings but subsequent to that they did. But what they did to him was graver than what he did to them.”

I asked him, “This is ‘Ali calling upon the people to join him and this is Muawiyah calling upon the people to join him, but most of the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have sat away from them.”

Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “Behold I am not informing you of something I heard from distant people, I am only telling you what my ears heard and my heart preserved; I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “If you are able to be the slain servant of Allah and not kill anyone of the people of the Qiblah then do so.”[22]

 

And Hussain ibn Kharijah[23] says:

 

لما قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه أشكلت علي الفتنة فقلت: اللهم أرني الحق أتمسك به. فرأيت فيما يرى النائم محمدا وإبراهيم صلى الله عليهما وسلم عنده شيخ وإذا محمد يقول: استغفر لأمتي، قال: إنك لا تدري ما أحدثوه بعدك. إنهم هرقوا دماءهم وقتلوا أمامهم ألا فعلوا كما فعل خليلي سعد؟ فقلت: قد أراني الله رؤيا لعل الله ينفعني بها أذهب فأنظر من كان سعد معه فأكون معه، فأتيت سعدا فقصصتها عليه، فما أكثر بها فرحا وقال: قد خاب من لم يكن له إبراهيم خليلا، فقلت: مع أي الطائفتين أنت؟ قال: ما أنا مع واحدة، فقلت: فما تأمرني؟ قال: هل لك غنم؟ قلت: لا، قال: فاشترها فكن فيها.

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred the Fitnah became difficult for me to understand, so I said, “O Allah show me the truth so that I may hold on to it.” I, thus, saw a dream wherein I saw Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam as an old man by him. Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Seek forgiveness for my Ummah.” He replied, “You do not know what they have innovated after you; they spilled their blood and killed their leader. Why didn’t they do what my friend Sa’d did?”

I, thus, said that this is a dream which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has shown me hopefully he will benefit me with it. Let me go and see the individual Sa’d is with so that I may join him.

I came to Sa’d and related the dream to him and he became extremely happy and said, “He whose friend is not Ibrahim has indeed failed.”

I asked, “With which group are you?”

He replied, “I am not with any of them.”

I asked, “What do you order me to do?”

He asked, “Do you own sheep?”

I said, “No.”

He responded, “So buy some sheep and be with them.”[24]

 

And Ibn Sa’d, Abu Nuaim, and al Tabarani have narrated the following from Ibn Sirin:

 

لما قيل لسعد بن أبي وقاص رضي الله عنه ألا تقاتل؟ إنك من أهل الشورى، وأنت أحق بهذا الأمر من غيرك؟ قال: لا أقاتل حتى يأتوني بسيف له عينان ولسان وشفتان يعرف المؤمن من الكافر، فقد جاهدت وأنا أعرف الجهاد

When Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu was asked, “Don’t you want to fight? You are from the people of the council, and are more deserving of this matter than those besides you.”

He replied, “I will not fight till they bring me a sword that has eyes, a tongue, and two lips, and is able to differentiate between a believer and a disbeliever. I have fought in Jihad and I know what Jihad is all about.”[25]

 

And Ibn ‘Asakir narrates from Zaid ibn Wahb:

 

جاءنا قتل عثمان، فجزع الناس من ذلك، فخرجت إلى صاحب لي كنت أستريح إليه، فقلت: قد صنع الناس ما ترى، وفينا رهط من أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم  فاذهب بنا إليهم، فدخلنا على أبي موسى، وهو أمير الكوفة فكام قوله نهيا عن الفتنة والأمر بالجلوس في البيوت.

The news of the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu reached us. Subsequent to that the people were disturbed. I, thus, came out to a friend of mine by who I would normally relax and said, “The people have done what you see and amongst us there is a group of the Sahabah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so go with me to them.”

We thus visited Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the governor of Kufah. Part of what he said was that he prohibited from joining the Fitnah and ordered to remain at home.[26]

 

Likewise, when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Ibn ‘Abbas and al Ashtar from Dhi Qar to Kufah to induce the people to march, Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu stood up and addressed the people saying:

 

أيها الناس إن أصحاب النبي صىلى الله عليه وسلم الذين صحبوه في المواطن أعلم بالله وبرسوله ممن لم يصحبه وإن لكم علينا حقا، فأنا مؤديه إليكم، كان الرأي ألا تستخفوا بسلطان الله عزوجل، ولا تجترئوا على الله عز و جل، وكان الرأي الثاني أن تأخذوا من قدم عليكم من المدينة فتردوهم إليها حتى يجتمعوا… فأما إذا كان ما كان، فإنها فتنة صماء النائم فيها خير من اليقظان، واليقظان فيها خير من القاعد، والقاعد فيها خير من القائم، والقائم خير من الماشي، فكونوا جرثومة من جراثيم العرب، فاغمدوا السيوف وانصلوا الأسنة واقطعوا الأوتار، وأووا المظلموم والمضطهد حتى يلتئم الأمر وتنجلي الفتنة.

O people the Sahabah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who accompanied him in the campaigns know Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam better than those who did not accompany him. You have a right over us and so I am here to fulfil your right. The ideal position was that you don’t undermine the authority of Allah and don’t become bold against Allah. And the second position was that you take those who came to you from Madinah and return them back till they unite… But now that whatever has happened has happened, know that this is a deaf Fitnah. A sleeping person in it is better than an awake person, and awake person is better than a sitting person, a sitting person is better than a standing person, and a standing person is better than a walking person. So be a pure essence from the essences of the Arabs. Sheath your swords, remove the sharp iron of your spears, cut the ropes of your bows, give refuge to the oppressed and the persecuted till the matter normalises and the Fitnah clears up.[27]

 

He also said:

 

إنا أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم  أعلم بما سمعنا، إن الفتنة إذا أقبلت شبهت، وإذا أدبرت تبينت، وإن هذه الفتنة باقرة كداء البطن تجري بها الشمال والجنوب والصبا والدبور، فتسكن أحيانا فلا يدرى من أين يؤتى تذر الحليم كابن أمس، شيموا سيوفكم، وقصدوا رماحكم، وأرسلوا سهامكم، واقطعوا أوتاركم، والزموا بيوتكم

We, the Sahabah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, are more informed regarding what we hear. When the Fitnah approaches it is confusing and when it subsides it becomes clear. This Fitnah is a stabbing one like the sickness of the stomach which is carried by the north blowing wind, the south blowing wind, the cool breeze, and the destructive wind; at times it is calm and, thus, it is not known how a person can be afflicted with it. It leaves a forbearing person like a person of yesterday. Sheath your swords, break your spears, release your arrows, cut your ropes, and stay in your homes.[28]

 

And when a person from the successors stood in the Masjid, ‘Abd Khayr al Khaywani, he said, “The people are in four groups: ‘Ali and those who are with him in Kufah, Talhah and al Zubair in Basrah, Muawiyah in Sham, and a group in Hijaz that is not fighting and is not in any predicament.” Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

أولئك خير الفرق، وهذه فتنة

That is the best of groups, and this is a Fitnah.[29]

 

And al Bukhari narrates in his Tarikh that ‘Amir ibn Rabi’ah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a veteran of Badr, stood in prayer at night, and this was during the time when people started criticising ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he was approached in his dream[30] and was told:

 

قم فاسأل الله أن يعيذك من الفتنة التى أعاذ منها صالحي عباده

Stand and ask Allah to grant you refuge from a Fitnah from which he has granted refuge to his pious bondsmen.

 

He, thus, stood in Salah and thereafter fell ill as a result of which he did not leave his house but when his burial departed therefrom.[31]

And Sulaiman ibn Yasar[32] narrates that Abu Usayd al Sa’idi, a Sahabi radiya Llahu ‘anhu, lost his sight before the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. So, he said:

 

الحمد لله الذي من علي ببصري في حياة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلما قبض الله نبيه أراد الفتنة في عباده كف بصري

All praise to Allah who blessed me with sight during the lifetime of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Then when he took the soul of his Nabi and intended that a Fitnah ensue in his servants he withheld my sight.[33]

 

And ‘Abdur Razzaq has narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

يايها الناس أظلتكم فتنة كقطع الليل المظلم أنجى الناس فيها-أو قال منها- صاحب شاء يأكل من رسل غنمه، أو رجل جاء وراء الدرب آخذ بعنان فرسه يأكل من سيفه

O people, a Fitnah has dawned upon you which in its darkness is like the different sections of a dark night. The one who will flee the furthest from it will be a man of sheep whose milk he will consume, or a man who will come from behind the path, will hold the reigns of his horse and will eat from the booty of his sword.[34]

 

He has also narrated with his chain of transmission from ‘Umarah ibn ‘Abd[35] from Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

إياكم والفتن ألا شخص لها أحد، والله ما شخص فيها أحد إلا نسفته كما ينسف السيل الدمن، إنما مشبهة مقبلة حتى يقول الجاهل: هذه سنة، وتبين مدبرة، فإذا رأيتموها فاجثموا في بيوتكم، وكسروا سيوفكم، واقطعوا أوتاركم

Save yourselves from Fitnahs, no one should rise to it. For by Allah no one will rise to it but that it will wipe him out just as a flood wipes out the remains of a place. These Fitnahs are confusing when they occur, to the extent that an ignorant person will say that this is the Sunnah, and becomes clear only as they subside. So, stay in your houses, break your swords, and cut the ropes of your bows.[36]

 

And Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates from ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Rufay’[37] that he said:

 

لما سار علي إلى صفين استخلف أبا مسعود رضي الله عنه علي الناس، فخطبهم يوم الجمعة، فرأى فيهم قلة فقال: ايها الناس اخرجوا، فمن خرج فهو آمن، إنا نعلم والله أن منكم الكاره لهذا الوجه-الشام- والمتثاقل عنه، اخرجوا، فمن خرج فهو آمن، والله ما نعدها عاقبة أن يلتقي هذان العراءن يتقي أحدهما الآخر، ولكن نعدها عافية أن يصلح الله أمة محمد ويجمع ألفتها… وقام إليه ناس من الناس فقالوا: لو عهدت إلينا يا أبا مسعود فقال: عليكم بتقوى الله والجماعة، فإن الله لا يجمع أمة محمد على ضلالة.

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu set out for Siffin, he appointed Abu Mas’ud al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his deputy over the people. He addressed them on Friday and found that they were only few in number. He said, “O people go out, for whoever will go out will be safe. We know, by Allah, that amongst you some dislike this trip (Sham) and some are reluctant. Go out, for whoever will go out will be safe. By Allah, we do not consider this to be a punishment in which these two armies will encounter each other and will be wary of each other, but we consider it to be well-being wherein Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will reform the Ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and unite their love…”

A certain group of people stood up to him and said, “Would it be fine for you to advise us?”

He said, “Hold on to the fear of Allah and to the congregation of the Muslims, for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will never unite the Ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam upon deviance.”[38]

 

And Ahmed and al Tirmidhi narrate from ‘Udaysah bint Uhban ibn Saifi[39] from her father that when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to Basrah he sent a message to him and asked, “What prevents you from following me?” He replied:

 

أوصاني خليلي وابن عمك فقال: إنه ستكون فرقة واختلاف، فاكسر سيفك، واتخذ سيفا من خشب، واقعد في بيتك حتى تأتيك يد خاطئة أو منية قاضية، ففعلت ما أمرني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم.

My friend and your cousin advised me saying, “There will be disunity and difference of opinion, so break your sword and make (for yourself) a sword of wood. Sit in your house till a hand of an evildoer comes to you (to kill you) or a decisive death.” I am, thus, doing what Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has told me to do.”[40]

 

And Ahmed has narrated from Sahl ibn Abi al Salt[41] that he said:

 

سمعت الحسن يقول: إن عليا بعث إلى محمد ين مسلمة فجيء به فقال: ما خلفك عن هذا الأمر؟ قال: دفع إلي ابن عمك يعني النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم سيفا فقال: قاتل به ما قوتل العدو، فإذا رأيت الناس-المسلمين- يقتل بعضهم بعضا فاعمد به إلى صخرة فاضربه بها، ثم الزم بيتك حتى تأتيك منة قاضية أو يد خاطئة. قال- أي علي- خلوا عنه

I heard Hasan saying, “‘Ali sent a message to Muhammad ibn Maslamah and, thus, he was summoned.

‘Ali asked, ‘What has kept you away from this matter?’

He replied, ‘Your cousin (i.e. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave me a sword and said, “Fight with it as long as the enemy is fought. Then when you see the people (the Muslims) killing each other take it to a bolder and strike it upon it. Thereafter stay in your home till decisive death or a hand of an evildoer comes to you (to kill you).’

He (‘Ali) said, ‘Leave him alone.’”[42]

 

And al Bukhari narrates in his Tarikh the following from Abu Burdah:[43]

 

مررنا بالربذة زمن الفتنة فإذا فسطاط محمد بن مسلمة، قلنا: لو خرجت إلى الناس فأمرت ونهيت فقال قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: اجلس في بيتك

We passed by al Rabadhah in the time of the Fitnah and we suddenly saw the tent of Muhammad ibn Maslamah. We asked him, “If only you went out to the people and enjoined good and prohibited evil.”

He said that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Sit in your house.”[44]

 

Likewise, Usamah ibn Zaid, despite his strong bond with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his freed slave Harmalah has the following to say regarding him:

 

أرسلني أسامة إلى علي وقال: إن سيسألك الآن فيقول: ما خلف صاحبك؟ فقل له: يقول: لو كنت في شدق الأسد لأحببت أن أكون معك فيه، لكن هذا أمر لم أره-أي قتال أهل القبلة

Usamah sent me to ‘Ali and said, “He will ask you now and will say, ‘What kept your master behind,’ so tell him, ‘He says, “If you were in the jaw of a lion, I would love to be with you in it. But this is a matter I have not seen before,”’ (i.e. fighting the people of the Qiblah).[45]

 

Ibn Hajar quotes Ibn Battal saying that the rationale for the stance of Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was the vow that he took upon himself after he killed the person who proclaimed the testimony of faith that he will never thereafter kill a Muslim.[46]

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma likewise adopted a stance of avoidance and separation and did not take part in any fight which ensued between the Muslims. Al Bukhari narrates from Sa’id ibn Jubayr:[47]

 

خرج علينا عبد الله بن عمر فرجونا أن يحدثنا حديثا حسنا، قال: فبادرنا إليه رجل فقال: يا أبا عبد الرحمن! حدثنا عن القتال في الفتنة والله يقول: وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ، فقال: هل تدري ما الفتنة ثكلتك أمك، وإنما كان محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم يقاتل المشركين، وكان الدخول في دينهم فتنة وليس كقتالكم.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar came out to us. We were hoping that he would narrate a beautiful hadith to us. But a man hastened to him and said, “O Abu ‘Abdur Rahman! Tell us regarding fighting in the Fitnah, for Allah says, “Fight them till there is no Fitnah.” He, thus, said, “Do you even know what the Fitnah is, may your mother cry your loss? Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would fight the polytheists and embracing their religion was the actual Fitnah, not like your fighting.”[48]

 

As for Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he did not merely suffice upon withholding his hand, instead he prevented others and even condemned those who participated in the fighting. Al Bukhari and Muslim narrate from al Hasan al Basri that al Ahnaf ibn Qais informed him that he emerged with his weapons wanting to fight in the Fitnah, and that his intention was to side with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Battle of Jamal. But Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu met him and prevented him from participating.[49]

These are some examples of the stances of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who avoided the Fitnah and withdrew from fighting due to holding on to the emphatic narrations which have reached us in this regard; narrations which prevent against fighting between the Muslims knowing that avoidance was more prudent and reconciliation was more ideal. In summary, this is the stance of all the scholars of hadith, and whoever will reflect over it will realise the strength of its proofs and the practicality of its consequences.

Ibn ‘Asakir has narrated in his Tarikh that Jafar ibn Burqan[50] was asked regarding the disputing of the people regarding ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Talhah, al Zubair, and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and regarding the opinion of the general scholars about them. He said the following:

قال ميمون بن مهران: إن الناس افترقوا عن قتله-أي عثمان- على أربع فرق، ثم فصل منهم صنف آخر فصاروا خمسة أصناف، شيعة عثمان، وشيعة علي والمرجئة، ومن لزم الجماعة، ثم خرجت الخوارج بعد حيث حكم علي الحكمين، فصاروا خمسة أصناف. فأما شيعة عثمان فأهل الشام وأهل البصرة، قال أهل الصرة: ليس أحد أولى بطلب دم عثمان من طلحة والزبير، لأنهما من أهل الشورى، وقال أهل الشام: ليس أحد أولى بطلب دم عثمان من أسرة عثمان وقرابته-يعنون معاوية- إنهم جميعا برئوا من علي وشيعته، وأما شيعة علي فهم أهل الكوفة، وأما المرجئة فهم الشكاك الذين شكوا… قالوا: نحن لا نتبرأ منهما-من عثمان ومن علي- ولا نلعنهما ولا نشهد عليهما، ونرجئ أمرهما إلى الله، حتى يكون الله هو الذي يحكم بينهما، وأما من لزم الجماعة فمنهم سعد بن أبي وقاص وأبو أيوب الأنصاري وعبد الله بن عمر و أسامة بن زيد وحبيب بن مسلمة الفهري وصهيب بن سنان ومحمد بن مسملة في أكثر من عشرة آلاف من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  والتابعين لهم بإحسان، قالوا حميعا: نتولى عثمان وعليا ولا نتبرأ منهما، ونشهد عليهما وعلى شيعتهما بالإيمان، ونرجوا لهم، ونخاف عليهم. وأما الصنف الخامس: فهم الحرورية قالوا: نشهد على المرجئة بالصواب، ومن قولهم حيث قالوا لا نتولى عليا ولا عثمان، ثم كفروا بعد، حيث لم يتبرؤوا ونشهدعلى أهل الجماعة بالكفر. قال ميمون بن مهران: وكان هذا أول ما وقع الاختلاف، وقد بلغوا أكثر من سبعين صنفا، فنسأل الله العصمة من كل هلكة ومزلة، وقد كان بعض من خرج من هذه الأصناف دعوا سعد بن أبي وقاص إلى الخروج معهم، فأبى عليهم سعد قال: لا، إلا أن تعطوني سيفا له عينان بصيرتان ولسان ينطق بالكافر قأقتله، وبالمؤمن فأكف عنه. وضرب لهم سعد مثلا فقال: مثلنا ومثلكم كمثل قوم كانوا على محجة، والمحجة البيضاء الواضحة، فبينا هم كذلك يسيرون هاجت ريح عجاجة فضلوا الطريق، والتبس عليهم، فقال بعضهم، الطريق ذات اليمين فأخذوا فيه فتاهوا وضلوا، وقال الآخرون: كنا على الطريق حيث هاجت الريح، فننيخ، فأناخوا، وأصبحوا، وذهبت الريح، وتبين الطريق فهؤلاء هم أهل الجماعة، قالوا: نلزم ما فارقنا عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى نلقاه، ولا ندخل في شيء من الفتن حتى نلقاه، فصارت الجماعة. والفئة التى تدعى فئة الإسلام ما كان عليه سعد بن أبي وقاص وأصحابه الذين اعتزلوا الفتنة حتى أذهب الله الفرقة وجمع الألفة، فدخلوا الجماعة ولزموا الطاعة وانقادوا لها، فمن فعل ذلك ولزم نجا، ومن لم يلزمه وشك فيه وقع في المهالك.

The people were divided into four groups after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They were thereafter followed by a fifth group and so they became five: 1) the partisans of ‘Uthman, 2) the partisans of ‘Ali, 3) the Murji’ah (those who suspended judgement), 4) and the group that held onto the congregation; 5) thereafter the Khawarij emerged when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed the two arbitrators. Hence, they were five groups. As for the partisans of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they were the people of Sham and Basrah. The people of Basrah said, “There isn’t anyone more deserving of seeking the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu than Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma due to them being from the members of the council (appointed by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu).” And the people of Sham averred that no one is more deserving of seeking the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu than his family and his relatives (referring to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They had pronounced their disassociation from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his partisans.

As for the partisans of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they were the people of Kufah.

As for the Murji’ah, they were the doubters who had doubted… and said, “We will not disassociate from them (‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma), will not curse them, will not testify against them, and will suspend their matter and leave it to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala till he decides between them.

As for the group that held onto the congregation, amongst them were Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Abu Ayub al Ansari, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Usamah ibn Zaid, Habib ibn Maslamah al Fihri, Suhayb ibn Sinan, and Muhammad ibn Maslamah, amongst ten thousand and some odd Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and those who followed them with meticulousness. They all said, “We will align with ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and will not disassociate from them. We testify regarding them and their partisans that they are people of iman. We are hopeful for them and fearful regarding them as well.

As for the fifth group, they are the Haruriyyah, the Khawarij. They said, “We testify that the Murji’ah are correct.” They would also aver that we do not align with ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma for they disbelieved subsequently due to not disassociating, and they said, “We testify against the people of the congregation being disbelievers.”

Maymun ibn Mahran said, “This is only when the dispute first rose, (now) they have reached seventy groups, so we ask Allah for safety from every destruction and error. Some of these groups had invited Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu to join them. But Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused and said, ‘No. Unless you give me a sword that has two eyes and a tongue which spells out a disbeliever so I can kill him and a believer so I can withdraw from him.’ Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave them an example and said, ‘Our example and your example are like a people who were treading upon a clear path. Whilst they were travelling a severe sand storm rose and, thus, they lost their path and it became complicated upon them. Hence, some of them said, “The path is to the right and they moved in that direction but ended up lost and astray.” And the others said, “We were upon a path when the wind rose, so we will halt.” Thus, they settled and they stayed there till morning when the wind had subsided and the path became clear to them. These are the people of the congregation.’ They said, ‘We will hold onto that upon which Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam parted from us till we reunite with him, and will not get involved in anything of these Fitan till we meet him.’ They thus became the congregation.

The group which is dubbed the group of Islam is the group which Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas and his comrades were part of; those who avoided the Fitnah till Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala eliminated the disunity and brought about love. Subsequent to that they joined the congregation of the Muslims, obeyed and became subjects to the authority. Hence, whoever will do this will attain salvation and whoever does not hold on to this and doubts will fall into the pits of destruction.[51]

 

This is the position adopted by the Imam of the Ahlus Sunnah Ahmed Ibn Hambal as well. And it was upon this position that he based his stance regarding the discarding of revolting against the Abbasid dynasty.

Al Khallal[52] narrates the following from him:

 

ابن عمر وسعد ومن كف عن تلك الفتنة أليس هو عند بعض أحمد؟ هذا علي لم يضبط الناس، فكيف اليوم والناس على هذا الحال… السيف لا يعجبني.

Ibn ‘Umar, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and those who stayed away from the Fitnah, was not their approach more praiseworthy according to some? Here we have ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was unable to control the people, so what about today when this is the situation of the people… I do not like the sword.[53]

 

And Abu Bakr al Marrudhi[54] says:

 

سمعت أبا عبد الله وقد ذكر عنده عبد الله بن مغفل رضي الله عنه، فقال: لم يتلبس بشيء من الفتن، وذكر رجل آخر فقال: مات مستورا قبل أن يبتلى بشيء

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah (Ahmed) saying when mention was made of ‘Abdullah ibn Mughaffal before him, “He did not get involved in anything of the Fitan.”

And when another person was mentioned he said, “He died with his reputation undisclosed before he was trialled with anything.”[55]

 

And Sufyan al Thawri said:

نأخذ بقول عمر في الجماعة، وبقول ابنه عبد الله في الفرقة

We will take the stance of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu at the time of unity, and the stance of his son at the time of disunity.

 

And he would also emphatically say:

لو أدركت عليا ما خرجت معه

If I lived during the time of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu I would not have marched with him.

 

Yahya ibn Adam[56] says that he relayed this to al Hasan ibn Salih[57] and the latter said, “Tell him that this will be narrated from him.” Sufyan replied, “Announce it on my behalf from the minaret of the masjid.”[58]

Withdrawing from the Fitnah was also the position of al Bukhari. The titles of the chapters of the section of Fitan clearly suggest this. Likewise, Muslim and other scholars of hadith also authored their books following the style and method of al Bukhari.

And al Tabari says:

وإن أشكل الأمر-اي اشتبه ولم يكن التمييز فيه بين الحق والباطل- فهي الحالة التي ورد النهي عن القتال فيها

If the matter is complicating (and it is not possible to decipher truth from falsehood) then it is this condition in which the prohibition of fighting has occurred.[59]

 

This is, similarly, the position which Ibn Taymiyah has supported in various places in his writings. In his book Minhaj al Sunnah he cites the statements of the scholars; one such statement is the following:

 

ومنهم من يقول: كان الصواب أن لا يكون قتال، وكان ترك القتال خير للطائفتين، فليس في الاقتتال صواب، ولكن علي رضي الله عنه كان أقرب إلى الحق من معاوية رضي الله عنه، والقتال قتال في فتنة، ليس بواجب ولا مستحب، وكان ترك القتال خيرا للطائفتين مع أن عليا كان أولى بالحق، وهذا قول أحمد وأكثر أهل الحديث وأكثر أئمة الفقهاء، وهو قول أكابر الصحابة والتابعين لهم بإحسان، وهو قول عمران بن حصين رضي الله عنه وكان ينهى عن بيع السلاح في ذلك القتال ويقول: هو بيع السلاح في الفتنة، وهو قول أسامة بن زيد ومحمد بن مسلمة وابن عمر وسعد بن أبي وقاص، وأكثر من بقي من السابقين الأولين من الأنصار والمهاجرين رضي الله عنهم.

Some of them suggest that the correct thing was that no fighting should have occurred, and that avoiding fighting was better for both the groups. For there was no correctness in fighting, but ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was closer to the truth than Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Fighting in a Fitnah is not necessary nor is it recommended. Avoiding fighting was better for both the groups, but despite that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was closer to the truth. This is the view of Ahmed and most of the scholars of hadith and the jurists. This was also the view of the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and those who followed them scrupulously. It was also the view of ‘Imran ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu who would forbid the selling of arms in that strife and would say, “This is selling arms in the Fitnah (which is not permissible).” It was also the view of Usamah ibn Zaid, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Ibn ‘Umar, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and most of the remaining forerunners from amongst the Muhajirin and the Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[60]

 

He also says in his Fatawa:

 

والذين قعدوا عن القتال هم أعيان الصحابة كسعد وزيد وابن عمر، ومحمد بن مسلمة، وأبي بكرة، وهم يروون النصوص عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم  في القعود عن القتال في الفتنة… ولا يختلف أصحابنا أن قعود علي عن القتال كان أفضل لو قعد، وهذا ظاهر من حاله في تلومه في القتال وتبرمه به، مراجعة الحسن ابنه له في ذلك، وقوله ألم أنهك يا أبت؟…

Those who sat away from the fighting were the prominent Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum like Sa’d, Zaid, Ibn ‘Umar, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, and Abu Bakrah. They were the ones who narrated the hadiths of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding avoiding fighting in the Fitnah… Our scholars do not differ in that it was better for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to stay away from fighting. And this is obviously understood from his condition, i.e. from his lamenting, his frustration about it, and his son Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu confronting him regarding it and asking him, “Did I not stop you, O my father?”[61]

 

He also says:

 

ولإجل هذه النصوص لا يختلف أصحابنا أن ترك القتال كان أفضل، لأن النصوص صرحت بأن القاعد فيها خير من القائم، والبعد عنها خير من الوقوع فيها، قالوا: ورجحان العمل يظهر برجحان عاقبته، ومن المعلوم أنهم إذا لم يبدأوه بقتال، فلو لم يقاتلهم لم يقع أكثر مما وقع من خروجهم عن طاعته، لكن بالقتال زاد البلاء، وسفكت الدماء، وتنافرت القلوب، وخرجت عليه الخوارج، وحكم الحكمان، فظهر من المفاسد ما لم يكن قبل القتال، ولم يحصل به مصلحة راجحة…

Because of these texts our scholars undisputedly aver that avoiding fighting was ideal. Because the texts emphatically state that a person who will sit in it will be better than the one standing, and that staying far from it is better than becoming ensnared by it. They say that the preference of an action is contingent on the desirability of its outcome. And it is a known fact that if they did not fight him and initiate the war with him and he did not fight them there would not have occurred more than what already transpired due them resisting his rule. But the problem worsened due to the fighting; blood was shed, the hearts developed hatred, the Khawarij rebelled against him, and the arbitrators were appointed. Hence, such problems surfaced which were non-existent before the fighting, and even after the fighting an overwhelming benefit was not achieved.[62]

 

Likewise, he says:

 

إن الأمر بقتال الطائفة الباغية مشروط بالقدرة والإمكان، إذ ليس قتالهم بأولى من قتال المشركين والكفار. ومعلوم أن ذلك مشروط بالقدرة والإمكان، فقد تكون المصلحة المشروعة أحيانا هي التألف والمسألة والمعاهدة، كما فعله النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم غير مرة، والإمام إذا اعتقد وجود القدرة ولم تكن حاصلة، كان الترك في نفس الأمر أصلح.

The injunction of fighting the rebellious group is contingent upon strength and ability. For fighting them does not take precedence over fighting the polytheists and the disbelievers, and it is a known fact that that is contingent upon strength and ability. Sometimes the Shar’i interest is to reach affinity, peace, and a pact; as did Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam do on several occasions. Also, if the Imam believes the presence of strength but in actual fact it is non-existent, then too it would be better to leave the fighting.[63]

 

Hence it is clear that Ibn Taymiyah averred that withholding from fighting and avoiding the Fitnah was better, and that in the situation of warfare between two groups of the Muslims peace and negotiation is praiseworthy, as is established from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in an authentic narration that he said regarding Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

إن ابني هذا سيد عسى الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين

This son of mine is a leader. It is hoped that Allah will bring about peace because of him between two major groups of the Muslims.

 

The praise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to this peace was because what he was going to accomplish was that which was loved by Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; for in it is the preservation of the blood of the Muslims. If the fighting which transpired between the Muslims was what Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had ordered the matter would be otherwise and Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu would be discarding his responsibility or at least that which is more preferred by Allah. This emphatic and authentic statement clearly states that what Hasan radiya Llahu ‘anhu did was praiseworthy and loved by Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The validity of this position became even clearer when the people loathed fighting in the Fitnah and they realised that those who were advocating avoidance and resistance from fighting were well-wishers for the Muslims. And probably this is what propelled ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to appoint Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the representative of Iraq in the arbitration, i.e. the solution he was calling to was the ideal one, and, thus, he was summoned and taken out of his isolation.

In conclusion, the fighting in the Fitnah which occurred between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum was one thing, and fighting the Khawarij was something different altogether. In the Battle of Nahrawan approximately four thousand of the Khawarij were killed, but no one lamented over them. Whereas in the battle of Jamal, Ka’b Ibn Sur was martyred and that prompted both the parties to grieve. Then what can be said regarding Talhah, al Zubair, and ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The instigators of havoc are the closest people to the Khawarij and no one felt any apprehension in fighting them, nor is there any resultant harm or disunity feared due to fighting them. In fact, in doing so is the preservation of the unity of the Muslims and their security and averting the attack of the transgressive attacker.

Hence, the statements regarding repelling the transgression of the Khawarij and mischief makers has reached us through mass transmission. As for a person choosing to be the slain servant of Allah instead of being the slaying servant of Allah, to adopt such a position in a Fitnah which ensues amongst the Muslims who differ with one another on the basis of their differing Ijtihad is completely permissible.

Again, this position is the strongest of the positions and the most preferred of them due to it being substantiated by the Shar’i texts and the statements of the pious predecessors which have previously been cited. It is stronger than the position of those who felt that the correct stance was to fight with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and more so it is stronger than the position of those who felt that it was correct to fight alongside those who opposed him.

 

NEXT⇒ Module Three: The Second Fitnah – Section One: The Qurra’, the predecessors of the Khawarij


[1] Sahih al Bukhari: chapter of Fitan: sub-chapter: there will be a Fitnah in which the one sitting will be better than the one standing: 8/92.

[2] Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 13/31.

[3] Sahih Muslim, chapter of Fitan and the signs of Qiyamah, sub-chapter regarding Fitnahs coming down like rain, 18/9; Sunan Abi Dawood, chapter of Fitan, sub-chapter regarding the prohibition form striving in the Fitnah, 4/99.

[4] Sunan al Tirmidhi, chapter of Fitan, sub-chapter regarding how a person should be in the Fitnah, 3/320. ‘Abdul Qadir al Arna’ut has deemed it Hassan in the footnotes of Jami’ al Usul, 10/16; and al Albani has deemed it Sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, p. 234, hadith no. 1769.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, chapter of Fitan, sub-chapter regarding going into outskirts (and living like a villager) in the Fitnah, 8/94; Sunan al Nasa’i, chapter of Iman, sub-chapter regarding fleeing with ones Din from the Fitan, 8/123; al Muwatta’, chapter regarding seeking permission, p. 829.

[6] Sunan al Tirmidhi, chapter of Fitan, 3/333; Sunan Abi Dawood, Chapter regarding Fitan, sub-chapter regarding the prohibition of striving in the Fitnah, 4/100. Al Arna’ut in Jami’ al Usul has deemed the narration Sahih (10/9) and al Albani has deemed it Sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, 2/241, hadith no. 1795.

[7] Al Khallal: Kitab al Iman of Ahmed, slate no. 12.

[8] Sahih al Bukhari, chapter of Fitan, 8/98.

[9] Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 13/6.

[10] Yazid ibn Abi ‘Ubaid, Abu Khalid al Aslami, the freed slave of Salamah ibn al Akwa’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ibn Sa’d said, “He was reliable and narrated many narrations.” Al Ajurri quoted Abu Dawood saying, “Reliable.” And Ibn Ma’in has deemed him reliable and al ‘Ijli said, “A Tabi’i from Hijaz who is reliable.” He passed away in 147 A.H/764 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, p. 359; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 479; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/765; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 11/349.

[11] Sahih al Bukhari, chapter of Fitan, 8/94.

[12] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 4/308.

[13] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/308.

[14] Ahmed (reliable and a great retainer. al Taqrib, 1/24) narrates from Ibn ‘Ulayyah (an authority and a leader. al Kashif, 1/69) from Ayub al Sakhtiyani (reliable and an authority. al Taqrib, 1/89) from Ibn Sirin (a reliable Tabi’i. al Thiqat of al ‘Ijli: p. 405).

[15] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, 11/357; Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah, 7/253.

[16] Ibn Shabbah: Tarikh al Madinah al Munawwarah, 4/1242; Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah, 7/253.

[17] Al Hakam ibn ‘Utaybah al Kindi al Kufi, Abu Muhammad. Mujahid ibn Rumi said, “I saw al Hakam in Masjid al Khayf and the people were dependent upon his knowledge.” And Jarir ibn Mughirah said, “When al Hakam would come to Madinah they would free for him the pillar of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he would read Salah toward it.” And ‘Abbas al Duri said, “He was a person of worship and merit.” And Ibn Mahdi said, “Al Hakam ibn ‘Utaybah is reliable and authentic.” And al ‘Ijli said, “Reliable in hadith. He followed the Sunnah meticulously.” Ibn Ma’in, Abu Hatim and al Nasa’i have deemed him reliable. And Ibn Sa’d said, “He was reliable, a jurist, a scholar, an honourable and a great narrator of hadith.” Al Fasawi said, “He was reliable and a jurist.” He passed away in 113 A.H/731 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/331; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/332; al Fasawi: al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, 2/16-21; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 126; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/125; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 2/432.

[18] Ibn Abi Shaybah: al Musannaf, 15/303; Khalifah: al Tarikh, p. 196.

[19] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/447.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Surah Baqarah: 159.

[22] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, p. 484-485.

[23] Hussain ibn Kharijah. A Tabi’i who narrated from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas and from who Nuaim ibn Abi Hind narrated. See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/382; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 3/51.

[24] Ibn Shabbah: Tarikh al Madinah, 4/1251-1252; Mustadrak Hakim, 4/452. He has deemed the transmission Sahih and al Dhahabi has concurred.

[25] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 3/101; Abu Nuaim: Hilyah, 1/94; al Haythami says in Majma’ al Zawa’id: al Tabarani has narrated this narration and the men of its chain are the men of Sahih: 7/299.

[26] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, p. 487-488.

[27] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/482.

[28]Ibid. 4/483-484.

[29] Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah, 7/237.

[30] Ibn al Athir: Usd al Ghabah, 3/122.

[31] Al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Saghir, 1/64.

[32] Sulaiman ibn Yasar al Hilali, Abu Ayub al Madani, the freed slave of Maimunah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

[33] Ibid. 1/82.

[34] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, 11/368.

[35] ‘Umarah ibn ‘Abdul Kufi. Al ‘Ijli said regarding him, “A Tabi’i from Kufah who is reliable.” Al Juzajani quotes Ahmed saying, “A man of accurate narrations.” Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in al Thiqat. See: al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 354; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 5/244; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 7/420.

[36] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, chapter of Fitan, 11/359.

[37] ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Rufay’ al Asadi, al Makki al Ta’ifi, Abu ‘Abdullah. From the Tabi’in. Ahmed, Ibn Ma’in, Abu Hatim, and al Nasa’i have deemed him reliable. Al ‘Ijli said, “A reliable Tabi’i.” And Yaqub ibn Shaybah said, “His hadith can be used as authority.” And Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in his al Thiqat. He passed away in 103 A.H/721 A.D. See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/2/11; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/365; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 304; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 5/123; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 6/373.

[38] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/301-302.

[39] ‘Udaysah bint Uhban ibn Saifi al Ghifariyyah. She has narrated from her father and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, and ‘Ubaidullah al Mu’adhdhin and Abu ‘Amr al Qasmali have narrated from her. Ibn Hajar has said regarding her, “An acceptable narrator from the third generation.” See: al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 3/431; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 12/438; al Taqrib, 2/606.

[40] Ahmed: al Musnad (according to the sequence of al Sa’ati), 23/138; Sunan al Tirmidhi, chapter of Fitan, sub-chapter regarding making a sword of wood, 3/332, he has deemed the narration Hassan.

[41] Sahl ibn Abi al Salt al ‘Ayshi al Basri al Sarraj. Al Bukhari and Muslim said, “He was reliable.” The same is averred by al Ajurri from Abu Dawood. Abu Hatim said, “A person of satisfactory hadith with who there is no problem.” And al Duri quotes Ibn Ma’in saying, “Reliable.” And al Saji said, “Truthful.” And Ahmed said, “There was no problem with him.” See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 2/2/101; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/241; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 4/254; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 2/239.

[42] Musnad Ahmed, 4/225. Its chain of transmission is inconsistent between al Hassan al Basri and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, it is corroborated by the previous narration and also by the narration of Abu Burdah from Muhammad ibn Maslamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu which appears in: Musnad Ahmed, 3/493; and Sunan Ibn Majah, chapter of Fitan, sub-chapter regarding being wary in the Fitnah, 2/131, hadith no. 3962. Hence, the hadith is Sahih in light of its multiple transmissions, as averred by al Albani in al Silsilah al Sahihah, 3/368, 369, hadith no. 1380.

[43] Abu Burdah ibn Abi Musa al Ash’ari, the jurist. He narrated from his father, ‘Ali, Hudhayfah, ‘Abdullah ibn Salam, Aisha, and Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhum amongst others. Ibn Sa’d said, “He was reliable and narrated a lot of hadith.” And al ‘Ijli said, “A Tabi’i from Kufah who is reliable.” Ibn Khirash said, “Truthful.” He was the judge of Kufah after Shurayh al Qadi during the era of the Banu Umayyah. He passed away in 104 A.H/722 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/268; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 491; al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 3/273; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 12/18.

[44] Al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Saghir, 1/80.

[45] Sahih al Bukhari, chapter of Fitan, 8/99; al Fasawi: al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, 1/221.

[46] Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 13/68.

[47] Sa’id ibn Jubayr ibn Hisham al Asadi al Walibi, Abu Muhammad al Kufi. The teacher of the Qur’an, the jurist and one of the prominent scholars. He was from the senior Tabi’in and was a student of Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He is one of the earliest exegetes of the Qur’an. He would finish the recitation of the Qur’an every two nights. ‘Amr ibn Maymun said, “Sa’id ibn Jubayr died when there was no one of the face of this earth but that he was in need of his knowledge.” And Abu al Qasim al Tabari said, “He was reliable, a leader, and an authority.” He passed away in 95 A.H/713 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/256; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Saghir, 1/210; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 181; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 4/11.

[48] Sahih al Bukhari, chapter of Fitan, 8/95.

[49] Sahih al Bukhari, 8/92; Sahih Muslim, chapter of Fitan, 18/10.

[50] Jafar ibn Burqan al Kilabi al Raqqi, Abu ‘Abdullah. Yaqub ibn Shaybah quoting Ibn Ma’in said, “He was reliable, accurate and truthful; his narrations from Maymun ibn Mahran and his students are very authentic.” And ‘Uthman al Darimi said quoting Ibn Ma’in, “Reliable.” And Ibn Sa’d said, “He was reliable and precise and was a person of narrating hadith, jurisprudence and Fatwa.” He has been deemed reliable by Ibn Numair, al  Fasawi, al ‘Ijli and Ibn Hibban. And al Daraqutni said, “As for his narrations from Maymun ibn Mahran and Yazid ibn al Asam they are established and authentic.” And Marwan ibn Muhammad would say, “Jafar ibn Burqan the reliable and upstanding narrated to us.” He passed away in 451 A.H/770 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 7/482; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/186; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 96; al Fasawi: al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, 2/455; al Darimi: al Tarikh, p. 85; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 6/136; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 2/84.

[51] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, p. 503-505.

[52] Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Harun ibn Yazid al Baghdadi, Abu Bakr al Khallal. The great scholar, retainer of hadith, jurist, and one of the leading scholars of the Hanabilah. Al Khatib says in his Tarikh, “Al Khallal gathered the knowledge of Ahmed and sought it. For that reason, he travelled, gathered, and compiled his rulings in books. There was no one who subscribed to Hambali School who collated them better than him. He wrote his book al Jami’ fi al Fiqh which comprised of the verdicts of Ahmed in twenty volumes. Likewise, he wrote al ‘Ilal comprising of the statements of Ahmed in three volumes, amongst other books that he authored. He passed away in 311 A.H/923 A.D. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 5/112; al Shirazi: Tabaqat al Fuqaha’, p. 171; Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, 2/12; al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, 3/785; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 14/297.

[53] Al Khallal: Kitab al Iman, slate no. 12.

[54] Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al Hajjaj, Abu Bakr al Marrudhi al Baghdadi al Khawarizmi. The student of Ahmed. Al Dhahabi said the following regarding him, “The leader, the exemplar, the jurist, the scholar of hadith and the Sheikh al Islam… He was an authority in the Sunnah and meticulously followed it. He enjoyed unique prominence in Baghdad.” And al Baghdadi said, “He is the preferred student of Ahmed due to his piety and virtue. Ahmed would enjoy his company and would be casual with him.” And Abu Bakr ibn Sadaqah said, “I have not seen anyone who defended the Din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala more than al Marrudhi.” He passed away in 275 A.H/888 A.D. See: al Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, 4/423; al Shirazi: Tabaqat al Fuqaha’, p. 170; Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, 1/56; al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 13/173.

[55] Al Khallal: Kitab al Iman, slate no. 12.

[56] Yahya ibn Adam ibn Sulaiman al Kufi Abu Zakariyya. ‘Uthman al Darimi has cited Ibn Ma’in saying that he is reliable. Likewise, al Nasa’i and Ibn Sa’d have deemed him reliable. Abu Hatim said, “He was a jurist and was reliable.” And Yaqub ibn Shaybah said, “Reliable and has narrated hadith excessively. I heard ‘Ali ibn al Madini saying, “May Allah have mercy upon Yahya ibn Adam, for indeed he possessed astounding knowledge.” And he flattered him.” And al ‘Ijli said, “He was reliable, and had amassed knowledge, was intelligent and reliable in hadith.” And Yahya ibn Abi Shaybah said, “Reliable, truthful, meticulous, and an authority.” He passed away in 203 A.H/818 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/227; al Darimi: al Tarikh, p. 402; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 468; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 9/128; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 11/175.

[57] Al Hassan ibn Salih ibn Hayy al Hamdani al Thawri. Ibn Sa’d said, “He was a devout worshipper, a jurist, and authority in hadith who narrated it in abundance and had Shia leanings.” Al ‘Ijli said, “A reliable and ascetic from Kufah. A pious person who had a good grasp of Fiqh, and the Qur’an would be finished in his house every night; his mother would read a third, ‘Ali would read a third, and Hassan would read a third. After his mother passed away the two of them would complete the Qur’an. Thereafter ‘Ali passed away so Hassan would complete the Qur’an every night.” Ibn Hibban said, “Hassan ibn Salih was a jurist, was pious, and lived a hard and coarse life. He was of those who had devoted themselves to worship and had avoided leadership completely.” And Ahmed said, “al Hassan ibn Salih was accurate in his narrations, was a jurist and protected himself in matters of hadith and piety.” And ‘Uthman al Darimi has cited Ibn Ma’in saying that he is reliable.” And Abu Hatim said, “Reliable, a memoriser of hadith, and an expert.” He passed away in 199 A.H/814 A.D. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 6/375; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/295; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 3/18; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 6/164; al Darimi: al Tarikh, p. 93; al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 13/261.

[58] Al Khallal: Kitab al Iman, slate no. 12.

[59] Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, 13/31.

[60] Ibn Taymiyah: Minhaj al Sunnah, (Bolaq publication), 2/219-220

[61] Ibn Taymiyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 4/440.

[62] Ibid. 4/441.

[63] Ibid. 4/441.

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