Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 69 and 70

Section One – A Brief Biography of the Eminent Sahabi ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu
February 26, 2021
Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 71 and 72
March 4, 2021

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Letter 69

Safar 10, 1330

 

I. Argument of the Will’s Deniers

 

Those who follow the Sunnah and consensus deny this will simply because of what al­Bukhari has narrated in his Sahih where he quotes al­Aswad saying, “It was said once to Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had made a will regarding ‘Ali,1 and she responded: ‘Who said so? I have seen the Prophet, while I was reclining him to my chest, when he ordered a washbowl to be brought to him; I hardly noticed how fast he collapsed and died; so, how could he have made a will to ‘Ali?”2

In the same reference, the author quotes other sources citing ‘Ayesha saying, “The Messenger of Allah breathed his last while being between my stomach and under my chin,” and she is often quoted saying, “He died reclining on my chest,” and she may have said: “He died while his head was on my thigh.”3 So, had there been any will, she would have come to know about it. In Muslim’s Sahih, in a treatise on the subject of wills on page 14, Vol. 2, the author quotes ‘Ayesha saying, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left neither a dinar nor a dirham, nor a male nor a female camel, nor did he leave any will.”

In both sahihs, in a treatise on wills, Talhah ibn Masrif is quoted saying, “I asked ‘Abdullah ibn Abu ‘Awfah: ‘Did the Prophet leave any will at all?’ He answered: ‘No.’ I asked him: ‘How did he enjoin people to write their wills while he himself did not do so?’ He answered: ‘His will is the Book of Allah.’” Since these ahadith are more authentic than the ones which you have cited, and are included in both sahihs, while the ones you have cited are not, they can be brought forth as irrefutable arguments, Wassalam.

 

Yours,

S

 

  1. This hadith is quoted by al Bukhari in his treatise on “Al Wasaya (wills),” page 83, Vol. 2, of his Sahih, and in his chapter on the sickness and demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, page 64, Vol. 3, of the same book. It is quoted by Muslim on page 64, Vol. 3, of his Sahih, and it is also quoted by Muslim in his treatise of the Prophet’s will on page 14, Vol. 2, of his Sahih.
  2. You probably already know that both sheikhs have intentionally narrated this hadith while discussing the Prophet’s will to ‘Ali, for those who stated at that time that the Prophet had left a will to ‘Ali had not yet split from the ranks of the nation. They were either among the sahabah or the tabi’in who had the courage to reveal what would make the mother of believers unhappy and would oppose the politics of the time; for this reason, she, may Allah be pleased with her, was shaken a great deal when she heard their hadith. Such a reaction is seen in her own statement in response to it, a statement which is one of the most feeble of answers. Imam al Sindi, in his comment on this hadith in al Nisai’s Sunan, as indicated on page 241, Vol. 6 (the Egyptian Press at al Azhar), said: “It is quite obvious that such hadith [by the mother of the believers ‘Ayesha] does not rule out the existence of the will prior to her statement, nor does it prove that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had died suddenly without being able to leave a will or could have thought of doing so, since he came to know that his end was approaching even before falling sick, then he remained sick for days…,” up to the conclusion of his statement. If you scrutinize this statement, you will find it quite strong.
  3. Her statements “He died on my chest,” and “He died between my belly and chin,” are recorded in a chapter dealing with his sickness and demise salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Bukhari’s Sahih. As regarding her statement “He died while his head was on my thigh,” this exists in another chapter in which the author discusses his sickness and demise without an intervening chapter.

 

 

Letter 70

 

Safar 11, 1330

 

I. The Will Cannot be Repudiated

II. Why Denied

III. Deniers’ Arguments not Binding

IV. Reason and Intellect Require it

 

Safar 11, 1330

 

The Prophet’s will regarding ‘Ali cannot be repudiated, for there is no doubt that he entrusted him, having bequeathed to him his knowledge and wisdom, as indicated in Letter 66 above, to wash his corpse, enshroud it and bury it,1 and to pay his dues, fulfill his promise on his behalf, defray his outstanding debts,2 and explain to people after him whatever matters in which they differed regarding the commandments and injunctions of Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime.3 He also entrusted the nation to take ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam as his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam successor,4 brother,5 the father of his descendants,6 his vizier,7 confidant,8 the executor of his will,9 his vicegerent,10 the gateway of his knowledge, according to hadith number 9 cited in Letter 48 above, the gateway of his wisdom, according to hadith number 10 cited in Letter 48, the Gate of Salvation of his nation, according to hadith number 14 cited in Letter 48 above, its security and the ark of its salvation, as testified by the traditions we quoted in Letter 8 above. Obeying Ali is as important as obeying the Prophet himself: disobedience to him is a sin equal to that of disobeying the Prophet according to hadith number 16 cited in Letter 48 and according to others. Following him is equal to following the Prophet; abandoning him is abandoning the Prophet, according to hadith number 17 cited in Letter 48 above and according to others, that he [Prophet] is on peaceful terms with whoever is peaceful with him, and he is an enemy of whoever bears animosity towards him,11 the friend of whoever befriends him and the enemy of whoever antagonizes him;12 whoever loves him is loved by Allah and His Messenger, and whoever hates him does in turn hate Allah and His Messenger, according to ahadith 19, 20 and 21 cited in Letter 48 above and according to others. Whoever befriends him befriends them both, and whoever antagonizes him in fact antagonizes them both, according to hadith 23 cited in the same Letter; whoever harms him harms them too;13 whoever denounces him does in fact denounce both Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, according to hadith 18 cited in Letter 48 above, and according to others. He is the Imam of the righteous and the annihilator of the debauchees; whoever supports is in fact divinely supported, and whoever betrays him is betrayed by the Almighty, according to the first hadith cited in the same Letter and according to others; he is the master of Muslims and the Imam of the righteous, the leader of the pious among the most renowned men, according to ahadith 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Letter 48; he is the banner of guidance, the Imam of Allah’s servants, the lighthouse of whoever obeys Allah’s commandments, the Word which Allah has enjoined upon the pious, according to hadith 6 in the same Letter and according to others; he is the supreme Siddiq, the nation’s Faruq, and the believers’ chief, according to hadith 7 in the same Letter and according to others. His status is like that of the Great Furqan (Qur’an) and the Wise Remembrance.14

He is to the Prophet in the same position which Aaron held in comparison to Moses, as clarified in Letters No. 26, 28, 30, 32, and 34, and to the Prophet’s status with his Lord, according to hadith 13 of Letter 48, and according to others, and like the position of the Prophet’s head to his body, according to the hadith quoted in Letter 50 and to others, to which we refer you, suggesting that you may observe our comment. He is like unto his own self according to the verse of Mubahala and to the hadith quoted by Ibn ‘Awf which is reproduced in Letter 50.

Allah the Exalted and the Sublime cast a look at the inhabitants of the earth and chose him from among them as is clear from the traditions which we have quoted in our Letter 68. Suffices you his covenant on the standing day at ‘Arafat during the Farewell Pilgrimage, and that nobody discharges the Prophet’s responsibility other than the Prophet himself or ‘Ali,15 up to the end of so many such attributes which nobody else can claim other than a wasi, and those who enjoy a special status with the Prophet; so, how can any wise person deny the Prophet’s will, or overlook it, other than an interest­seeker? What is a will other than entrusting a person with some such matters?

 

2) As regarding the followers of the four sects, whoever denies it from among them does so thinking that accepting it will jeopardize the legitimacy of the caliphate of the three Imams.

 

3) We cannot accept their argument just because it is based upon what al­Bukhari and others have said. They quote Talhah ibn Masrif saying: “I asked ‘Abdullah ibn Abu ‘Awfah: ‘Did the Prophet leave any will at all?’ He answered: ‘No.’ I asked: ‘How did he enjoin people to write their wills while he himself did not do so?’ He answered: ‘His will is the Book of Allah.’”

This hadith is not confirmed through our sources; it is but a fabrication necessitated by certain politicians. Regardless of that, the sahihs of the purified progeny are mutawatir regarding the issue of the will; so, let all texts which disagree with them be discarded.

 

4) Yet the issue of the will does not even require any argument due to the dictates of reason and common sense.

If something elongates, it stands by itself – in form and hue;

For surely the sun dissipates all that seems to be untrue.

As regarding al­Bukhari’s narrative from Ibn Abu ‘Awfah who claims that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, has left the Book of Allah as his will, it is a statement the tail of which is cut off, for he, peace be upon him and his progeny, had recommended to his nation to uphold both Weighty Things spontaneously, warning it of the danger of straying if it did not do so, informing it that they both would never part from each other till they reached him at the Pool. Our sahihs in this regard are consecutively reported from the sources of the purified progeny; so, you may refer to other sahihs as quoted in our Letters No. 8 and 54,

 

Wassalam.

 

Yours,,

Sh

 

Footnotes

  1. On page 66, Part Two, Vol. 2, of his Tabaqat, Ibn Sa’d quotes ‘Ali saying: “The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had instructed that nobody other than myself should give him the ceremonial bath [for the dead].” Both Abul Sheikh and Ibn al Najjar, as stated on page 54, Vol. 4, of Kanz al ‘Ummal, quote ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam saying: “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had instructed me saying: ‘When I die, bathe me and use seven water skins.” Ibn Sa’d, while discussing giving the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam his last ceremonial bath, on page 63, Part Two, Vol. 2, of his Tabaqat, quotes ‘Abdul-Wahid ibn Abu ‘Awanah saying that when the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fell sick prior to his demise, he said: “O ‘Ali! You should bathe me when I die.” ‘Ali said: “I conducted the ceremonial bath for him, and each part of his body was very responsive to my touch.” Both al Hakim, on page 59, Vol. 3, of his Al Mustadrak, and al Thahbi in his Talkhis, quote ‘Ali saying: “I gave the Messenger of Allah his bath, and I waited to see how death would affect his body, but I sensed no change: his body smelt in death as fragrantly as it did when he was still alive.” This hadith is quoted by Sa’id ibn Mansur in his books of traditions, by al Marwazi in his Jana’iz, by Abu Dawood in his Marasil, by Ibn Mani’, Ibn Abu Shaybah in his books on traditions, and it is hadith number 1094, page 54, Vol. 4, of Kanz al ‘Ummal. Al Bayhaqi, in his books of traditions, quotes ‘Abdullah ibn al Harith saying: “‘Ali gave the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the ceremonial bath while the Prophet’s corpse was wrapped in a shirt,” and it is hadith number 1104, page 55, Vol. 4, of Kanz al ‘Ummal, and Ibn ‘Abbas is quoted saying: “‘Ali has four characteristics nobody else has had: he is the first to pray in the company of the Messenger of Allah; he accompanied him in all his campaigns; he remained with him when others ran away for their own lives, and he is the one who administered the ceremonial bath to him and placed him in his grave.” This is quoted by Ibn ‘Abdul Birr is his biography of ‘Ali in the Isti’ab, and by al Hakim on page 111, Vol. 3, of Al Mustadrak. He also quotes Abu Sa’id al Khudri saying that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said to ‘Ali: “O ‘Ali! You are the one who should bathe me, cancel my debts, and entomb me in my grave.” This is quoted by al Daylami, too, and it is hadith number 2583, page 155, Vol. 4, of Kanz al ‘Ummal. ‘Umar is quoted saying that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam once: “You are to bathe me and bury me,” according to the hadith on page 393, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal. In the footnote to page 45, Vol. 5, of Ahmed’s Musnad, ‘Ali is quoted saying: “I have heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘I have been granted five of my own wishes regarding ‘Ali the like of which no other Prophet before me had been granted regarding anyone. The first is that he is the one who would cancel my debt and bury my body…,” up to the end of the hadith quoted at the beginning of page 403, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal. And when he was placed on the bed and people desired to perform the ritual burial prayer rites, ‘Ali said: “Nobody should be the Imam in leading such prayer, for the Messenger of Allah is your Imam alive and dead.” People used to enter in groups and stand in prayers in a row without an Imam. They would make the takbir as ‘Ali stood near the corpse of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “Peace be unto you, O Messenger, and Allah’s Mercy and Blessings; we bear witness, O Mighty Lord, that he has conveyed what You have revealed unto him, provided advice to his nation, and struggled in the way of Allah till He, the Exalted, the omni-Scient, elevated His faith, and his mission was accomplished. O Lord! Include us among those who follow what You have revealed to him, make us strong in our conviction, and rejoin our souls in his company,” and people would respond with “Amin, Amin.” This continued till all men, then women, then children, said their prayers. This hadith verbatim is quoted by Ibn Sa’d in his discussion of how the Prophet was given his ceremonial burial bath in his own Tabaqat. The first who entered to pay respects were the descendants of Hashim, then the Immigrants (Muhajirun), then the Supporters (Ansar), then other people. The first men who performed the ritual funeral prayers on his departed soul were ‘Ali and al ’Abbas who stood beside each other and made five takbirs.
  2. Narratives in this regard are consecutively reported from the purified progeny ‘alayh al Salam. Suffices you what is quoted in Al Kabir by al Tabrani from Ibn ‘Umar, and by Abu Ya’li in his Musnad from ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam. The first quotes one particular hadith in which the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says: “O ‘Ali! You are my brother and vizier, and you shall pay my dues on my behalf, fulfill my commitment, and set my conscience to ease.” You can find this hadith on page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal narrated by Ibn ‘Umar. On page 404, Vol. 6, of the same reference, ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam is quoted stating likewise. Many have quoted al Buwaisiri saying that the narrators of this hadith are all trustworthy. Ibn Mardawayh and al Daylami, as stated on page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal, quote Salman al Farisi saying that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said: “‘Ali ibn Abu Talib fulfills my commitments on my own behalf, and he cancels my debt.” Al Bazzaz, as stated on page 153, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal, indicates the same. It is also quoted by Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal on page 164, Vol. 4, of his Musnad from Habashi ibn Janadah who says: “I have heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘Nobody pays my dues except I or ‘Ali.’” Ibn Mardawayh, as stated on page 401, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal, quotes ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam saying that when the verse “And warn thy near in kin” was revealed, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “‘Ali pays my debt, and fulfills my promise on my own behalf.” Sa’d says that on the Juhfa day, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, having taken ‘Ali by the hand, and delivered a sermon, praised and glorified Allah then said: “O people! I am your wali.” They said: “You have spoken the truth, O Messenger of Allah.” Then he raised ‘Ali’s hand and said: “This is the one chosen to be my wali; he shall pay my debt on my behalf.” Qatadah is quoted saying, “‘Ali has carried out after the prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam a few errands (on behalf of the Prophet) one of which is said to have been the payment of [debts totalling] five hundred thousand dirhams.” ‘Abdul-Razzaq was asked: “Did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam leave a will in this regard?” He answered: “Yes; I do not doubt at all that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has, indeed, left a will to ‘Ali; otherwise, nobody would have let him pay the Prophet’s debt all by himself.” This hadith is quoted by the author of Kanz al ‘Ummal on page 60, Vol. 4, who numbers it 1170.
  3. Authentic texts have unanimously stated that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has entrusted ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam to clarify to his nation whatever ambiguous matters in which they disputed after him. Suffices you for proofs ahadith number 11 and 12 quoted in Letter No. 48, in addition to others which we have already quoted, as well as others which we have not quoted due to their being too well-known.
  4. This is explained in Letters 36, 40, 54, and 56 above.
  5. The brotherhood between the Prophet and the wasi is mutawatir, and suffices you for proof for its authenticity what we have quoted in Letters No. 32 and 34.
  6. His being the father of his descendants is understood. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said to ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam: “You are my brother, and the father of my descendants; you shall fight for my Sunnah.” This hadith is quoted by Abu Ya’li in his Musnad, as stated on page 404, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal, and its narrators are all trustworthy as admitted by al Busairi. It is also quoted in Ahmed’s Manaqib, as stated at the conclusion of Section Two, Part 9, page 74, of Ibn Hajar’s Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has also said: “Allah has placed the progeny of every prophet in his own loin, and He has placed mine in ‘Ali’s loins.” This hadith is quoted by al Tabrani in his Al Kabir as narrated by Jabir, and by al Khatib in his Tarikh from Ibn ‘Abbas. It is hadith number 2510, page 152, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ‘Ummal. And he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said: “All descendants of women belong to the latter’s men except Fatima’s, for I am their wali and father.” This is quoted by al Tabrani from al Zahra’ ‘alayh al Salam and is included among the ahadith quoted by Ibn Hajar in Section 2, Part 11, of his Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa, page 112. It is also quoted by al Tabrani from Ibn ‘Umar as referred to on the same page. Al Hakim quotes something like it on page 164, Vol. 3, of his Al Mustadrak, adding: “The narrators of this hadith are trustworthy, though they [Bukhari and Muslim] did not record it.” He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said in one hadith quoted by al Hakim in his Al Mustadrak, and al Thahbi in his Talkhis al Mustadrak, both admitting its authenticity due to the endorsement of both sheikhs, “As regarding you, O ‘Ali, you, indeed, are my brother and the father of my descendants; you are of me and for me,” up to the end of the list of such authentic texts.
  7. Refer to the texts regarding ‘Ali’s government such as his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: “You to me are in the same status like that of Aaron to Moses,” as we explained in Letter No. 26, and in others. And also his saying salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the hadith of warning his household, “Who, then, among you would support me in my mission?” ‘Ali answered: “I, O Messenger of Allah, would like to be your supporter in this matter,” as quoted in our Letter No. 20. May Allah reward Imam Abu-Sayri for his poetic masterpiece in which he says:

And the vizier of his cousin in endeavours sublime,

And by their own households are viziers prime;

Uncovering the lid did not his conviction increase,

Like the sun, nothing can cause his rays to decrease.

 

  1. The nation’s consensus has decreed that there is one verse in the Book of Allah implemented by nobody other than ‘Ali till the Day of Judgment. It is the verse of elevation [najwa] in Surat al Mujadila. This is agreed upon by both his supporters and opponents who quote in this regard many texts held to be authentic according to both sheikhs, known by the pious among the nation as well as the libertine. Suffices you what is quoted by al Hakim on page 482, Vol. 2, of his Al Mustadrak, and by al Thahbi in his Talkhis al Mustadrak. Refer also to the exegesis of this verse as recorded by books of exegesis authored by al Tha’labi, al Tabari, al Sayyuti, al Zamakhshari, al Razi, and others. In the forthcoming Letter No. 74, you will come to know of two ahadith narrated by Umm Salamah and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar regarding the confidential dialogue between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam immediately prior to the Prophet’s demise, and you will be acquainted with their confidential discussion on the day of Ta’if, and the statement of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then: “It is not I who has confided in him; it is Allah Who has done so,” and also to their confidential talks during ‘Ayesha’s time; so, contemplate upon that.
  2. Suffices you for a text proving that he is his wali his statement salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, quoted by Ibn ‘Abbas and referred to in Letter No. 22: “You are the wali on my behalf in this life and the life hereafter.” This hadith stands on firm grounds according to the demands of the religion of Islam; therefore, there is no need to go into details.
  3. Suffices you of the texts of the will what you have heard in Letter No. 68.
  4. This is quoted by Imam Ahmed from Abu Hurairah’s hadith on page 442, Vol. 2, of his Musnad. He says that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked at ‘Ali, Fatima, al Hassan, and al Hussain, peace be upon them, then said: “I declare war on whoever fights you, and peace unto whoever is peaceful towards you.” In another authentic hadith, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has also said when he covered them with a blanket, “I declare war on whoever fights them, and peace unto whoever is peaceful towards them.” This hadith is transmitted by Ibn Hajar while explaining the first verse which he states to have been revealed in their honour in Section One, Part 11, of his Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqa, giving detailed explanation for his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: “Fighting ‘Ali is fighting me, too, and making peace with ‘Ali is making peace with me.”
  5. Refer to hadith 20 in Letter No. 48. His consecutive statement: “O Lord! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever sets himself as his enemy” should, by the Grace of Allah, suffice. You have heard in Letter No. 36 his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement as quoted by Buraydah: “Whoever hates ‘Ali hates me, too, and whoever abandons ‘Ali abandons me, too.” Another mutawatir hadith is his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: “Nobody loves him [‘Ali] except a believer, and nobody hates him except a hypocrite.” It is by Allah the covenant of the Ummi Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  6. Consider his statement salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is quoted by ‘Umar ibn Shash, “Anyone who hurts ‘Ali hurts me, too,” which is quoted by Ahmed on page 483, Vol. 3, of his Musnad, and by al Hakim on page 123, Vol. 3, of his Al Mustadrak, and by al Thahbi in Talkhis al Mustadrak where he admits its authenticity. Al Bukhari has quoted it in his Tarikh, Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat, Ibn Abu-Shaybah in his Musnad, and al Tabrani in his Kabir. It exists on page 400, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ’Ummal.
  7. Consider in this regard what you have heard in Letter No. 8 quoting Sihah al Thaqalain, for they show the truth to those who have eyes to see, and you have already come to know in Letter No. 50 that “‘Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with ‘Ali; they shall never separate from each other.”
  8. Reason alone rules it impossible that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would order something and strongly requires his nation to adhere to it while he himself is in dire need to act upon it. He needed a will in order to appoint his representative, and take into consideration the orphans who most badly need a care-taker. Allah is above neglecting his precious legacy, which includes Allah’s legislations and commandments, and Allah is above leaving his orphans and widows, who are residents of the earth far and wide, struggling in the dark, going and coming as they desired, without a qayyim through whom Allah’s argument becomes complete against them. Yet even common sense by itself rules that he should have left a will for ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam, since we have found the prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entrusting him to bathe and embalm his corpse, to clothe and bury it, then to pay his outstanding debts and clear his conscience, and clarify to people what they differ regarding their faith after him… etc., as referred to at the beginning of this Letter.

 

Discussions

‘Abdul Hussain cannot be singled out for rejecting the Ahadith of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa radiya Llahu ‘anhu as this is to be expected from the Shia in general. Similarly, Ahlus Sunnah are not bound by what appears in the Hadith tradition of the Shia; not simply on the grounds that they are Shia but because those narrations do not satisfy the objective criteria of acceptance. This appears—at face value—to leave the non-commited observer in a bit of a conundrum.

In order to proceed with an impartial analysis of this contentious issue, it is necessary to draw attention towards the reason offered by ‘Abdul Hussain for rejecting the narrations of ‘A’isha radiya Llahu ‘anha and ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa: they are in conflict with the Sahih, Mutawatir narrations of the purified progeny, and must, therefore; be discarded.

Our question is simple: are these Sahih, Mutawatir narrations any different from the forty narrations which he has cited in Letter 62? Instead of citing these ‘Sahih, Mutawatir’ narrations, he merely repeats a series of accolades for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which he has paraphrased from most of the narrations which we have already revealed as being either unreliable or outright forgeries!

Worse still, how does one engage with the audacious claim that for the matter of Wasiyyah one does not even require any argument; all that suffices is Wijdan[1]? Is there any room for sensible dialogue after this?

 

Confidence

The correspondence attributed to Sheikh Salim al Bishri throughout al Muraja’at rarely reflects the kind of discourse one would expect from a scholar at his level. It is not the purpose of these discussions to prove the fraudulent nature of these letters; this fact has already been established with absolute certainty. We only mention this from time to time so that it is known that the arguments put forward for the Ahlus Sunnah are cherry-picked by ‘Abdul Hussain with the aim to navigate the discourse in a particular direction; these arguments do not necessarily reflect the actual reasoning or evidence employed by the Ahlus Sunnah.

‘Abdul Hussain censures Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu for her statement about the Wasiyyah without realizing that he has indirectly conceded to the weakness of the argument of the Shia that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed at Ghadir Khumm, or any later assumed appointment. Why would Aisha deny the Wasiyyah during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam final moments if he had already unequivocally expressed his desire about who would be his successor publicly. The premise of her statement is that until the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam final moments it was not known that he had appointed any successor or made any bequest in respect to succession. During his final moments she was the only person with him yet she was unaware of any Wasiyyah made upto the moment that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam soul departed from his body. Naturally, the Shia would feel no shame in accusing her of lying as they have accused her of worse. However, the narrations about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being unaware of any Wasiyyah only moments before the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing vindicates her of any such accusation in this matter.

 

Al Sindi’s explanation

The explanation given by al Sindi—acknowledged in al Muraja’at as “convincing”—has been deliberately truncated. Al Sindi goes on to elaborate that if there were any Wasiyyah it was about adherence to the Qur’an and the Sunnah which was not exclusive for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; it could not have been about wealth since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not leave behind wealth that he needed to bequeath it.

We concede that his interpretation is strained and is entirely premised on the theoretical situation of their being some bequest unrelated to succession. The fact remains: ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu confirmation that there was no Wasiyyah in terms of succession renders al Sindi’s unconvincing interpretation redundant.

 

Was there any Wasiyyah?

During this ‘exchange’ ‘Abdul Hussain attempts to deflect a very strong argument with tact. His confidence has persuaded him to present an agreeable argument from the side of Sheikh al Bishri. Both narrations, the Hadith of Umm al Mu’minin, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as well as the Hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa are sound and unabmiguous on the fact that there was no Wasiyyah for ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu succession.

He does, however, reserve an insurance policy for himself in the form of withholding the most revealing evidence that negates the claim of Wasiyyah, and that is the Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which we have previously cited in response to the interpretation of the term Mawla. What can be extracted from this narration, in this context, is that it establishes a timeline of events before and after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise. Furthermore, the individual who establishes this timeline is no ‘state politician’ but an ‘infallible’ Imam.

 

‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu perspective on Wasiyyah

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas relates that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib emerged from the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam home during his final illness:

 

عن الزهري قال أخبرني عبد الله بن كعب بن مالك الأنصاري، أن عبد الله بن عباس رضي الله عنهما أخبره ، أن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه خرج من عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في وجعه الذي توفي فيه فقال الناس يا أبا حسن كيف أصبح رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أصبح بحمد الله بارئا فأخذ بيده عباس بن عبد المطلب فقال له أنت والله بعد ثلاث عبد العصا وإني والله لأرى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سوف يتوفى من وجعه هذا إني لأعرف وجوه بني عبد المطلب عند الموت اذهب بنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلنسأله فيمن هذا الأمر إن كان فينا علمنا ذلك وإن كان في غيرنا علمناه فأوصى بنا فقال علي إنا والله لئن سألناها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فمنعناها لا يعطيناها الناس بعده وإني والله لا أسألها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

The people said, “O Abu al Hassan; How is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam this morning?”

He said, “All praise be to Allah, he is well this morning.”

‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib took him by the hand and said to him, “I swear by Allah, in three days’ time you will be a subject. By Allah, I think that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will die of this illness. I recognise the look of death in the faces of the Banu ‘Abdul Muttalib when they are dying. Let us go to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask him who will take charge over this matter (Khilafah). If it is for us, then we will know that, and if it is for someone other than us, we will know and he can advise him to look after us.”

‘Ali replied, “By Allah, if we ask him for it and he refuses us, then the people would never give it to us afterwards. By Allah, I will not ask it from the Messenger of Allah.” [2]

 

From this narration we realise that until this moment in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life he had not done any Wasiyyah about who would succeed him. In the version of this Hadith narrated by way of Ibn Ishaq it is proven that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away that very morning.[3]

Ibn Sa’d relates an exchange between ‘Abbas and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma by way of al Sha’bi which is similar to the narration of al Zuhri. ‘Abbas asks ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to seek clarity on the matter of succession from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he refused to do so for the said reasons. Immediately after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu requested ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to extend his hand so that he [‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu] may pledge his allegience to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, thus initiating him as the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam successor; yet ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused, and withdrew his hand. This is yet another clear proof of the fact that there was no Wasiyyah, even according to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. What does this say about all ‘Abd Hussain’s ‘Mutawatir traditions’ on ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointment?

 

عن عامر الشعبي، قال: قال رجل لعلي في المرض الذي قبض فيه، يعني النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم:إني أكاد أعرف فيه الموت، فانطلق بنا إليه فنسأله من يستخلف، فإن استخلف منا فذاك، وإلا أوصى بنا فحفظنا من بعده، فقال له علي عند ذلك ما قال، فلما قبض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لعلي: «ابسط يدك أبايعك يبايعك الناس» ، فقبض الآخر يده

A man said to ‘Ali during his [the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] final illness: I can almost see the look of death. Let us go and ask him whom he will appoint as a successor. If he appoints one of us that is good, otherwise he can make a bequest for us to be looked after after he is gone.

So, after that,  ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to him whatever he had to say.

When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was taken, he [the man] said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Extend your hand so that I pledge my allegiance to you and then people will also do so.” The latter retracted his hand.[4]

 

عن عامر، هو الشعبي، قال: قال العباس لعلي بن أبي طالب، حين مرض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: إني أكاد أعرف في وجه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الموت، فانطلق بنا إليه، نسأله من يستخلف، فإن يستخلف منا فذاك، وإلا أوصى بنا. قال:

فقال علي للعباس كلمة فيها جفاء. فلما قبض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال العباس لعلي:

ابسط يدك فلنبايعك. قال: فقبض يده.

During the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam [final] illness ‘Abbas said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “I can almost recognize the look of death from the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam face. Let us go and ask him whom he will appoint as a successor. If he appoints one of us that is good, otherwise he can make a bequest for us [to be looked after after he is gone.]”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded to him harshly; so when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was taken, ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Extend your hand so that we may pledge allegiance to you,” ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu retracted his hand.

 

It is evident from this narration—which is also recorded by al Bayhaqi and is worded with a slight variation—that the conversation was between ‘Abbas and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[5] In both these narrations there is no mention of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha—on the grounds of which ‘Abdul Hussain may object or argue that politics were in play. Rather, this is a conversation between the most prominent members of Ahlul Bayt moments before, and immediately after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise.

Ahlus Sunnah therefore do not reject the claim of Wasiyyah because it is a convenient way to evade questions about the Khalifas who preceded ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They are in a position to account for events even if under the presumption of any Wasiyyah; ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu tacit approval proves that his appointment was not immediate. On the contrary, Ahlus Sunnah dismiss the claim of Wasiyyah on account of the absences of substantial evidence proving it; especially when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is chief amongst those who negate the existence of any Wasiyyah!

Shaqiq ibn Salamah relates

It was said to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Will you not appoint a successor for us?”

He responded, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not appoint a successor that I should do so. However, if Allah wishes good for the people he will unite them behind the best of them, just as he united the Ummah after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing behind the best of them.”[6]

We learn from this that the claim that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed as the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam successor was invented long after his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise. No doubt the propaganda of the Jewish conspirator, ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, played a major role in contriving this rumour. The successors of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ have merely advanced this line of reasoning over time. One needs to look no further than the outright rejection of the narrations of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa on the basis of Wijdan as evidence to this fact.

 

NEXT⇒ LETTER 71 and 72


[1] Wijdan refers to sentimental and emotional conviction. The translators of al Muraja’at have taken huge liberties and substituted the actual meaning of the term Wijdan with “reason” and “common sense”.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Maghazi, hadith no. 4182

[3] Sirah bn Hisham, vol. 4 pg. 262; Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 7 pg. 224

[4] Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 245.

[5] Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 7 pg. 225.

[6] Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 7 pg. 223.

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