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.
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,
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.
‘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? Is there any room for sensible dialogue after this?
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.
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.
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.
‘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.” 
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.
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.
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. 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.”
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.
 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”.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Maghazi, hadith no. 4182
 Sirah bn Hisham, vol. 4 pg. 262; Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 7 pg. 224
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 245.
 Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 7 pg. 225.
 Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 7 pg. 223.