Safar 17, 1330
I. Mother of the Believers is not Ruled by Emotions
II. The Pleasant and the Ugly are Denied by Reason
III. Why Oppose the Claim of the Mother of Believers?
1) The axis upon which your argument, regarding the mother of the believers in her frank hadith denying a will to ‘Ali, revolves is two folded:
One is your allegation that her biased indisposition against the Imam bids her to deny the will. Our rebuttal is that those who are familiar with her lifestyle deny the allegation that she yields to emotion while narrating hadith about the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, or that she seeks a special interest; so, she cannot be accused while quoting the Prophet’s hadith, albeit if the subject matter of such hadith is someone she likes or someone she does not.
God forbid that interests dominate her mind to the extent that she lies while quoting hadith from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, preferring to promote her own interest rather than telling the truth.
2) The other is that reason alone refuses your claim that this hadith is authentic, for it is neither logical nor permissible to conclude that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, would leave the religion of Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime, in its cradle, while Allah’s servants are following a new creed, without having made a will instructing them regarding their affairs.
The answer to your claim is that this matter is based on rational goodness and ugliness, and the Sunnis disclaim it, for reason according to their judgment does not at all determine whether something is pleasant or ugly; rather, they believe that jurisdiction is the one that determines it. They believe that whatever the jurisdiction labels as good, they accept it as good, and whatever the jurisdiction describes as bad, they consider it as such, and reason cannot be relied upon at all in such matters.
3) As regarding what you have mentioned at the conclusion of your Letter 74, concerning your rejection of the claim of the mother of believers that the Prophet died on her chest, we are not familiar with any hadith narrated by Sunnis which disproves it; so, if you are aware of any such hadith, please oblige and state it, Wassalam.
Safar 19, 1330
I. Her Yielding to Sentiment
II. Rationale Regarding the Pleasant and the Unpleasant
III. Rejecting the Claim of the Mother of Believers
IV. Preference of Umm Salamah’s Hadith over Hers
1) You have stated, while dealing with the first issue, that it is wellknown from the lady’s lifestyle that she does not yield to emotion, and that she does not seek any special interest. Please free your own self from the shackles of convention and sentimentality and carefully and studiously research her method of dealing with those whom she liked, as well as with those whom she did not like, for there you will see sentimentality most manifestly.
Do not forget her dealing with ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan by word and deed,1 her secret and public schemes against ‘Ali, Fatima, al Hassan and al Hussain ‘alayhim al Salam, and her behaviour towards other mothers of the believers; nay, even with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, himself; for in these there is a great deal of manifestations of her sentiments and interest seeking.
Suffices you for a proof what we, proving how sentimentality tempts some people into misbehaving, have cited regarding the masters of conspiracy and purgery, out of animosity towards Lady Mary [the Copt, consort of the Prophet] and her son Ibrahim, peace be upon him, till Allah, the Almighty and the Exalted One, cleared them of such unjust accusations at the hands of the Commander of the Faithful ‘alayh al Salam, in a manner that is tangible and clear:2
“And Allah turned the spiteful disbelievers back empty handed.” (Qur’an, 33:25).
If you desire, I may recount more proofs and state the fact that, following her own sentiments, she once said to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, “It seems as if you reek of the odor of maghafir [odorous tiny flowers],”3 so that he might not taste some honey at the house of the mother of believers Zainab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with her.
If a trivial reason like this permits her to address the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, in such a manner, how can she be relied upon when she denies that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left a will for ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam? Do not also forget her yielding to sentiment when Asma’ bint al No’man was wedded to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny.
She said to her: “When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam weds a woman, he likes to hear her say: ‘I seek refuge with Allah against you,’”4 aiming thereby to turn the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, against his wedding altogether and make him hate the poor woman, as if she allowed herself to attribute statements to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, as long as such statements served her own purpose, even when her purpose was petty or prohibitive.
Once he, peace be upon him and his progeny, asked her to see how a particular woman was doing, and she informed him of the opposite of what she had observed, seeking her own self interest.5
Once she complained about him, peace be upon him and his progeny, to her father, succumbing again to her sentiments, saying, “Do not now be biased,”6 whereupon her father slapped her so hard that her clothes became soaked with her blood. Once, having felt angry with him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, she said: “… and you claim to be Allah’s Messenger…,”7 in addition to many such incidents the narrative of which would require a much larger space, and what we have quoted here must suffice.
2) You have said, while commenting on the second point, that Sunnis do not subscribe to what is called rationally pleasant or unpleasant, etc. I think of you as being above making such a statement which is reminiscent of sophists who deny even concrete facts. Among our deeds are those of whose goodness we are quite sure, and they are praiseworthy and rewardable due to their own merits, such as charity and fairness, since we know what they are, while there are others with whose ugliness we also are familiar, and they demand repudiation and punishment because of their own evil, such as injustice and aggression, since they are what they are.
The wise know that there is a need that necessitates such judgments, and the wise are as certain regarding these matters as they are certain that the single is half the pair. Simple common sense always determines the distinction between your treatment of someone who is good to you and of someone who is not. Reason determines the goodness of the first person’s treatment to you and its being praiseworthy by you, as well as the ugliness of the second and its being worthy of renunciation and punishment. Whoever doubts this is a rebel against his own reason.
Had the goodness or the evil of what we have mentioned here been matters of the legislative code, then they would not have been adopted and implemented by those who denied all divine codes such as atheists and secular rulers. In spite of their denial of religion, the latter still condone equity and goodness, determining thereupon their praise and rewards, without doubting at all the ugliness of injustice or aggression, nor the necessity to denounce such deeds and to punish their doers.
Their criterion in their judgment is nothing other than reason; so, talk no more about those who belittle reason and conscience, nor of those who deny what all wise men know, ruling in the contrary of what the human nature dictates, the nature which Allah, the Praised One, has created and embedded within His servants.
He has enabled them thereby to realize facts that are discernable by their faculty of reason, just as He made them able to recognize matters through their senses and feelings. Their nature, then, demands that they should be able to rationally judge equity and the like as good, and injustice and its peers as ugly, just as being able to distinguish through the sense of taste between the sweetness of honey and the bitterness of colocynth [citrullus colocynthis], and through their sense of smell can they distinguish between the fragrance of musk [chenopodium botrys] and the stink of cadaver, and through their sense of touch can they distinguish between what is soft and what is rough, and through their faculty of seeing can they tell the difference between a pleasant and an ugly view, and through their faculty of hearing can they tell the difference between the music of the pipe and the braying of a donkey. Such is the nature which Allah has created:
“He created people in such a way; indeed, there is no way anyone can change His creation; this is the straight religion, though most people do not know.” (30:30)
The Ash’aris desired to exaggerate the power of faith in the legislative system and the attitude towards a total submission to its judgment; therefore, they denied the judgment of the wise, saying that there is no judgment other than what is legislated.
Thus, did they become oblivious of the absolute rational theory stating that “Whatever a wise person decides should be the decision of the legislator,” and heedless of the fact that they by doing so in fact left no excuse for their own selves, thus discarding any criterion whereby they might ascertain a legislative code or discard it altogether.
This is so due to the fact that to arrive at such a conclusion through legislative proofs is like running in a circle, and no pretext can be applied therewith. Had there been no authority for reason, implementing tradition or consecutively reported hadith would have been rejected. Nay! Had there been no intellect, nobody would have worshipped Allah nor come to know Him. Expounding in this subject has been recorded in a library containing works of our renowned scholars.
3) As regarding the claim of the mother of the believers that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, died on her chest, it is a claim which we reject based upon sahihs sequentially reported by members of the purified progeny ‘alayh al Salam. Refer to what others have stated as quoted by Ibn Sa’d. He quotes ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam saying: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, during his ailment [preceding his demise], said: ‘Fetch me my brother,’ so I came to him and he asked me to come closer, and so did I; thereupon, he reclined on me.
He continued reclining on me thus and talking to me, so much so that some of his saliva fell on me, then the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, breathed his last;” as stated on page 51, Part Two, Vol. 2, of the author’s Tabaqat, in a section about those who said that the Messenger of Allah died in ‘Ali’s lap. It is hadith number 1107 on page 55, Vol. 4, of Kanz al ’Ummal.
Abu Na’im in his Hilyat al Auliya’, Abu Ahmed al Fardi in his Naskh, and many other authors of books of traditions have all quoted ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam saying: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, taught me,” meaning during that sickness, “a thousand doors each one of which leads to a thousand others.” It is hadith number 6009 quoted at the end of page 392, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ’Ummal. Whenever ‘Umar ibn alKhattab was asked about anything regarding these matters, he would say nothing other than: “Ask ‘Ali, since he is the one who can handle it.”
Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah alAnsari is quoted saying that Ka’b al Ahbar once asked ‘Umar: “What were the last words of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny?” ‘Umar answered: “Ask ‘Ali.” Ka’b did so, and ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam said: “I let the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, recline his head on my flanks till he finally uttered: ‘Prayers! [i.e. uphold prayers] Prayers!” Ka’b said: “This, indeed, is the call of all prophets, and for this purpose are they sent.” Then Ka’b asked ‘Umar who gave the ceremonial funeral bath to the Prophet’s corpse, and his answer was again: “Ask ‘Ali.”
When Ka’b asked ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam, ‘Ali answered that it was he who did so, as stated by Ibn Sa’d on page 51, Part Two, Vol. 2, of Tabaqat, and it is hadith 1106 in Kanz al ’Ummal quoted on page 55, Vol. 4. Ibn ‘Abbas was asked once: “Have you seen when the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, died, if his head was on anyone’s lap?” He answered: “He died reclining on ‘Ali’s chest.”
It was said to him that ‘Urwah narrates a tradition from ‘Ayesha saying that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam died reclining on her chest, and Ibn ‘Abbas denied it, asking the person who put the question forth: “Do you believe it?! By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, died reclining his head on ‘Ali’s chest, and Ali is the one who gave him his bath,” as quoted by Ibn Sa’d on the same page mentioned above, and it is hadith number 1108 of the ones enumerated in Kanz al ’Ummal, page 55, Vol. 4.
Ibn Sa’d cites Imam Abu Muhammad ‘Ali ibn al Hussain Zainul’Abidin ‘alayh al Salam saying: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, breathed his last while his head was in ‘Ali’s lap,” as quoted by Ibn Sa’d on page 51.
Traditions documenting this subject are consecutively reported from all Imams of the purified progeny ‘alayh al Salam. Many of those who opted to deviate from their path admit that, too, so much so that Ibn Sa’d has quoted al Sha’bi saying: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, passed away while his head was in ‘Ali’s lap; and it was ‘Ali who gave him his [funeral] bath,” as mentioned on the page referred to above in Al Tabaqat.
The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, used to declare the same publicly; therefore, you may refer to his statement in one of his sermons where he says: “Custodians of the hadith among the companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, know very well that I never hesitated to implement the commandments of Allah, nor lagged in discharging the orders of His Messenger, not even for one hour. I, by the Grace of Allah, on many occasions risked my own life defending his, when even heroes retreated and feet slowed down, and he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam breathed his last while his head rested on my chest, and even his saliva fell on my hand, whereupon I rubbed it on my face. I took care of washing his corpse, the angels assisting me, and the house and its courtyards became full of the noise of angels descending and ascending…, and I never ceased hearing their prayers unto him, till we buried him; so, who is more worthy of him alive or dead than I?” as stated at the conclusion of page 196, Vol. 2, of Nahjul Balaghah, and on page 590, Vol. 2, of Ibn alHadid’s Sharh Nahjul Balaghah.
So is his soliloquy when he, peace be upon him, was burying the Mistress of all Women, peace be upon her. He said:
“Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah, from me and from your daughter who has come now to be your neighbour, rushing to reunite with you… My patience, O Messenger of Allah, about the death of your chosen one has run out, and my consolation has waned and withered. Deep, indeed, is my grief for being separated from you, and great is the calamity, while the extent of your grief is a source for consolation, for I laid you to sleep in the tomb of your grave, after your soul had parted from your body that was resting on my chest; therefore, we are God’s, and unto Him is our return,”
up to the end of his statement which is stated at the end of page 207, Vol. 2, of Nahjul Balaghah, and on page 590, Vol. 2, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul Hadid. Umm Salamah has also narrated an authentic hadith saying: “By the One by Whom alone do I swear, ‘Ali was the closest to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam upon his death. We [she and Ali] visited him one afternoon, and he happily and repeatedly said: ‘Ali has come! ‘Ali has come!’ Fatima ‘alayh al Salam inquired whether ‘Ali had been sent on an errand.
Later on, ‘Ali came again, and I thought that probably he needed to have some privacy with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; so, we came out and sat at the door. I was closer to the door. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bent his head over ‘Ali and started talking to him confidentially, addressing him affectionately, till he passed away; so, ‘Ali was the last person to be with him before his death.”8
Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrates the following:
“During his sickness, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, asked that his brother be fetched; so, Abu Bakr came in, but he turned away from him and reiterated his request. This time ‘Uthman was brought in, but he turned away from him, too.
Then ‘Ali was called in his presence. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam covered him with his own robe and reclined on him. When he came out of his room, people asked him what the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had said, and he answered: ‘He taught me a thousand subjects each one of which leads to a thousand others.’’9
You know that this hadith portrays a behaviour typical of prophets, while the other one portrays a man ruled by his lust. If a shepherd dies on his wife’s chest, between her chin and navel, or on her thigh…, having laxed in looking after his herd, he would surely be labelled as wreckless and irresponsible. May Allah forgive the mother of the believers. I wish that she, while denying ‘Ali such a will, had attributed the denial to her father, whom she thinks is more worthy of such a will, but her father was already in the army raised by the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, under his own honourable patronage; he was in Usamah’s army which was then camping at Jurf.
Anyhow, the claim that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam died in her lap is attributed to nobody other than ‘Ayesha, whereas the claim of his demise, may I sacrifice my parents for his sake, is narrated through ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam, Ibn ‘Abbas, Umm Salamah, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, alSha’bi, ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ‘alayh al Salam, and all Imams of the progeny of Muhammad ‘alayh al Salam, thus making it more reliable and more fit of the personality of the Messenger of God salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
4) Had ‘Ayesha’s hadith been disproved by Umm Salamah alone, the latter’s hadith would have been preferred over hers for many reasons besides the ones mentioned above, Wassalam.
1.Refer to page 77, Vol. 2, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by the Mu’tazilite scholar, and pages 457 and its succeeding pages of the same volume, and you will find her conduct towards ‘Uthman, ‘Ali and Fatima depicting sentimentality in its most manifest forms.
2.Whoever wishes to be familiar with the details of this calamity must research the biography of Lady Mary [or Mariyya, the Copt, wife of the Prophet, S], peace be upon her, on page 39, Vol. 4, of al Hakim’s Al Mustadrak, or to his Talkhis by al Thahbi.
3.From what al Bukhari has quoted in his explanation of Surat al Tahrim in his Sahih, page 136, Vol. 3; so, refer to it and be amazed. There are several ahadith quoted from ‘Umar stating that the two women who conspired against the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were ‘Ayesha and Hafsa. There is a lengthy hadith dealing with this issue.
4.As quoted by al Hakim in his biography of Asma’ in his Sahih Al Mustadrak, page 37, Vol. 4, and is quoted by Ibn Sa’d who discusses her biography on page 104, Vol. 8, of his Tabaqat, and the incident is very well known. It is narrated in the biography of Asma’ by both authors of Isti’ab and Al Isabah, and it is quoted by Ibn Jarir and others.
5.The details of this incident are preserved in the books of traditions and history; so, refer to page 294, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ’Ummal, or page 115, Vol. 8, of Ibn Sa’d’s Tabaqat, where he also states the biography of Sharaf daughter of Khalifah.
6.This issue is quoted by the authors of books of tradition and history; so, refer to hadith number 1020 of the ones narrated in Kanz al ’Ummal, page 116, Vol. 7, and it is quoted by al Ghazali in the third section of his treatise on marriage on page 35, Vol. 2, of Ihya’ul-’Ulum. It is also quoted in section 94 of his book Mukashafatul Qulub, at the conclusion of page 238.
7.As quoted by al Ghazali in both sections of the books cited above.
8.This hadith is quoted by al Hakim at the beginning of page 139, Vol. 3, of his authentic Al Mustadrak, succeeded by his comment: “This hadith is authentic, but they [Bukhari and Muslim] did not publish it.” Al Thahbi, too, has admitted its authenticity when he quoted it in his Talkhis al Mustadrak. It is also quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah in his Sunan, and it is hadith number 6096, page 400, Vol. 6, in Kanz al ’Ummal.
9.This is quoted by Abu Ya’li through a chain of narrators including Kamil ibn Talha, Ibn Lahi’ah, Hay ibn ‘Abdul-Maghafiri, Abu ‘Abdul-Rahman al Habli, ending with ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar. It is quoted by Abu Na’im in his Hilyat al Auliya’, by Abu Ahmed al Fardi in his own version as stated on page 392, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ’Ummal. Al Tabrani, in his book Al Tafsir al Kabir, has stated that when the Ta’if campaign was underway, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took his time in confiding with ‘Ali, so much so that when Abu Bakr passed by them, he said: “O Messenger of Allah! Your confidential talk with ‘Ali has lasted for quite some time.” He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “It is not I who has confided in him; it is Allah…” This is hadith number 6075, page 399, Vol. 6, of Kanz al ’Ummal. He often used to sit with ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam and confide in him. Once ‘Ayesha entered and found them engaged in a confidential conversation. Said she: “O ‘Ali! I spend one day out of nine [in the company of my husband]; so, why don’t you, son of Abu Talib, leave me alone on that day?” The Prophet’s face immediately showed the redness of anger. Refer to this incident at the beginning of page 78, Vol. 2, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by al Hamidi.
Despite its polemical nature, al Muraja’at is a work wherein the author has made a noticeable effort to observe some semblance of decorum in most of his correspondences—regardless of the fact that they are forgeries in of themselves. To draw attention to the tone of increasing hostility in the latest rounds of correspondence is to state the obvious. Equally obvious, is that the strategy employed by the author remains constant: half-truths clothed in the veneer of objectivity.
The notion that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha cannot be trusted because she resorted to schemes to achieve her own ends; or that she contrived plots to trick and deceive the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or demerit her alleged enemies from the Ahlul Bayt, stands in stark contrast to historical fact. What scheme was she playing at when she narrated Hadith al Kisa? If she considered the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam daughter, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, her enemy why would Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha confide in her the last words spoken to her by her own father salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?
Insolence aside, at its core, the current discussions, whether written in the name of ‘Abdul Hussain or what he has written with the pen of his interlocutor, is the issue of ‘Adalah (integrity) of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. ‘Abdul Hussain deftly navigates the discourse in a direction away from the objective historical truths, and almost magically reconstructs the discourse in a framework where he allows for a line of enquiry that deliberately ignores the canon of ‘Adalat al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
The underlying principle of ‘Adalat al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam companions are beyond suspicion of deliberate misrepresentation when transmitting his Sunnah. Commenting on the alarming consequences of disregarding this canon, Abu Zur’ah al Razi offers the following trenchant observation:
إذا رأيت الرجل ينتقص أحدا من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فاعلم أنه زنديق وذلك أن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم عندنا حق والقرآن حق وإنما أدى إلينا هذا القرآن والسنة أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وإنما يريدون أن يجرحوا شهودنا ليبطلوا الكتاب والسنة والجرح بهم أولى وهم زنادقة
If you happen to observe someone belittling any of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions then realize that that person is infact a heretic. This is due to the fact that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Qur’an are both truths for us. [It is well-established that both the Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah have been passed on to us by none other than the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions. Essentially, these people have their sights set on subverting the [authority of] Qur’an and Sunnah, and [part of] their strategy is to cast aspersions on the integrity of those who have transmitted it to us. In the end, these people are actually worthy of such aspersions, and no doubt they are heretics.
We can momentarily ignore ‘Abdul Hussain’s aversion for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and focus on the epistemological premise for this canon. To proceed from Abu Zur’ah al Razi’s statement: dismissing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is equated to the dismissal of the transmitted tradition of the Qur’an. We do not have an unbroken line of transmission except that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anha are the central node.
To adumbrate the nature of discourse in the discussions ahead it is prudent to give due attention on the issue of ‘Adalat al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum such that the necessary framework be established and the discourse be anchored on firm principles; to avoid it devolving into arbitrary randomness.
If only he, and others who share his theological aberrance, had surrended themselves to the Words of Allah:
لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ الَّذِيْنَ أُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنصُرُوْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُوْنَ وَالَّذِيْنَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيْمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّوْنَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُوْنَ فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوْا وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ
[A share of these spoils] belongs to the needy Emigrants who have been expelled from their dwellings and dispossessed of their wealth seeking bounty from Allah and His good pleasure, and supporting [the cause of] Allah and His Messenger. It is these who are the truehearted.
As for those who were already settled in the Abode (Madinah), and [were firm in] Faith, they love those who emigrated to them and find no covetous want in their chests for what [the Emigrants] have been given. Rather, they give [them] preference over their own selves even when they themselves are in pressing need. And whoever is safeguarded from the avarice of his own soul then it is these who are the truly successful.
As to all those who come after them, they [shall]say, “Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who preceded us in faith; and let not allow any malice to develop in our hearts toward those who believe [Muhajirun and Ansar]. Our Lord! Indeed You are All-Kind, Ever-Merciful.”
These three verses categorize believers in three groups:
1. The Muhajirun – The Emigrant Muslims
Let us reflect on the features with which Allah describes them:
2. The Ansar – The Nascent Muslim community of Madinah
3. Those who come after them – they seek forgiveness from their Lord for their own mistakes as well as supplicate for their brothers in faith who preceded them asking Allah not to allow malice to occupy their hearts lest they hold ill-will towards the believers
In light of these very verses a respected member of the Ahlul Bayt, a personailty whom ‘Abdul Hussain even takes as an infallible Imam, ‘Ali ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, also known as Zayn al ‘Abidin, reprimands a group of people from Iraq for having spoken ill of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions. This incident is recorded in Shia sources no less.
عن علي بن الحسين قال أتاني نفر من أهل العراق فقالوا في أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان رضى الله عنهم فلما فرغوا قلت لهم ألا تخبرونني أنتم المهاجرون الأولون الَّذِيْنَ أُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنصُرُوْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُوْنَ قالوا لا
قال فأنتم وَالَّذِيْنَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيْمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّوْنَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُوْنَ فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوْا وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ قالوا لا
قال أما أنتم فقد تبرأتم أن تكونوا من أحد هذين الفريقين ثم قال أشهد أنكم لستم من الذين قال الله عز وجل وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ اخرجوا فعل الله بكم.
A group of men from Iraq came to visit me and they began to speak ill of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum. When they had said whatever it is they wished to say, I said to them:
Tell me: Are you from the earliest Emigrants who have been expelled from their dwellings and dispossessed of their wealth seeking bounty from Allah and His good pleasure, and supporting [the cause of] Allah and His Messenger. It is these who are the truehearted?
“No,” they replied.
He then proceeded to ask them: In that case are you among those who were already settled in the Abode (Madinah), and [were firm in] Faith, loving those who emigrated to them and find no covetous want in their chests for what they have been given. Rather, they give preference to them over their own selves even when they themselves are in pressing need. And whoever is safeguarded from the avarice of his own soul then it is these who are the truly successful?
To which they replied, “No.”
He went on to say: If you refuse to associate with these two parties, then I am afraid that I have to state that I am a witness to the fact that you are not from those about whom Allah says, “Those who come after them, they [shall] say, “Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who preceded us in faith; and let not allow any malice to develop in our hearts toward those who believe [Muhajirun and Ansar]. Our Lord! Indeed You are All-Kind, Ever-Merciful.” Be gone! May Allah deal with you [as you deserve]!
The vindication of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum is not restricted to this single passage from the Qur’an. Below are a number of verses wherein Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, through His Eternal speech, dispels the notion that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum could not be trusted.
It is well-known that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not participate in this campaign at the instruction of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and in response to the taunts of the Munafiqun the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam likened him to Harun ‘alayh al Salam in the absence of Musa ‘alayh al Salam. This particlar Hadith has been dealt with in considerable detail early on in our discussions. What we wish to draw attention to presently is the glowing manner in which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala describes the believers, attesting to their genuineness and sincerity, and contrasting their actions to the miserliness and cowardice of the Munafiqun on the expedition of Tabuk.
لَٰكِنِ الرَّسُوْلُ وَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا مَعَهُ جَاهَدُوْا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الْخَيْرَاتُ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيْمُ
But the Messenger, and all those who believed with him, strove with their wealth and their persons. Thus, it is these for whom all good things [are assured], and it is these who are the [truly] successful. Allah has prepared for them Gardens, beneath which rivers flow, wherein they shall abide forever. That is the magnificent triumph.
In the verses below Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala refers to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as believers and confirms that they were both a form of support and protection for Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and by extension Allah’s religion. If they were good enough to be praised by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala for both these qualities, why should we doubt their integrity when it comes to conveying from the individual whom Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala attested that they were his support and protectors?
وَإِن يُرِيْدُوا أَنْ يَخّْدَعُوْكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللَّهُ ۚ هُوَ الَّذِيْ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ
If they (Mushrikun) intend to deceive you, then, Allah is Sufficient for you. He is the One who supported you with His help and with the believers.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَسْبُكَ اللَّهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ
O Prophet! Sufficient for you is Allah and those who follow you among the believers.
In Surah al Hashr, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praises the Muhajirun and Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum and praises those who come after them and hold the in high esteem. In the verse below Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declares those who follow the Muhajirun and Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum are also worthy of His divine pleasure just as He confirms that they indeed are pleased with Him.
Denying this by declaring the Prophets salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions unworthy of transmitting his Sunnah and casting doubts on their integrity would be equivalent to saying that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was not aware of their latent potential for deviance. The heretical doctrine of Bada posits that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does not have comprehensive knowledge, and that He only comes to know of the consequences of actions upon occurrence. The damning consequences of this doctrine is self-evident. Since ignorance is inherently not possible for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, it requires no stretch of the imagination to realise why He praised the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions in the way that He did.
وَالسَّابِقُوْنَ الْأَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيْمُ
And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala attests to the genuineness of belief in the hearts of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum added to the fact that He refers to them as believers, a timeless description of the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. These verses were revealed in the context of those who were present at Hudaybiyyah. The doctrine of ‘Adalat al Sahabah does not entail their infallibility; all it entails is their sincerity of faith, along with moral and religious integrity such that they are beyond any suspicion in terms of conveying the religion as they had received it.
هُوَ الَّذِيْ أَنْزَلَ السَّكِيْنَةَ فِيْ قُلُوْبِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ لِيَزْدَادُوْا إِيْمَانًا مَّعَ إِيْمَانِهِمْ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيْمًا حَكِيْمًا لِّيُدْخِلَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا وَيُكَفِّرَ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ فَوْزًا عَظِيْمًا
He is the One who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers so that they might increase in faith to their well-firm faith. For to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth. Indeed, ever is Allah All-knowing, All-wise. And, thus, shall He admit the believing men and believing women to the gardens beneath which rivers flow, to live therein for ever, and so that He may expiate their errors, which is a great achievement in Allah’s sight.
Not only has Allah filled their hearts with tranquilty and Iman, He has tested these hearts on fear of Him and piety such that they are determined to be pure by Divine attestation. These hearts were the ones upon whom He entrusted the slogan of faith, the Word of Taqwa, and He above all declares them worthy and most entitled to it!
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِيْنَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوْبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۚ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَّأَجْرٌ عَظِيْمٌ
These are the ones whose hearts God has tested has tested for piety; for them there is forgiveness, and a great reward.
إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا فِيْ قُلُوْبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِيْنَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُوْلِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَىٰ وَكَانُوْا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيْمًا
When the disbelievers developed in their hearts indignation, the indignation of ignorance; then Allah sent down tranquility from Himself upon His Messenger and upon the believers, and enjoined upon them the Word of Piety, for they were most worthy of it and entitled to it. And Allah is All-Knowing about every thing.
Only the possessors of such hearts are worthy of pledging their allegiance to Allah’s religion, placing their hands into those of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and having the timeless declaration that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is eternally pleased with them.
إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يُبَايِعُوْنَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُوْنَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيْهِمْ
Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you in fact, pledge allegiance to Allah. Allah’s Hand is over their hands…
لَّقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُوْنَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِيْ قُلُوْبِهِمْ فَأَنْزَلَ السَّكِيْنَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِيْبًا
Very truly, Allah is well-pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you,[0 Muhammad] under the tree. For He knew what was in their hearts. Thus, did He send down tranquility upon them. Moreover, He shall reward themwith an imminent victory.
The description of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum was not restricted to the Qur’an. In the previous scripture their glowing portraits were painted in the hue of Divine approval. From the inner recesses of their hearts to their outward actions, even the radiance on their faces through abundance of worship have been attested to in previous scriptures. Previous nations and Prophets were already introduced to the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِيْنَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيْمَاهُمْ فِيْ وُجُوْهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنجِيْلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوْقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيْظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَّأَجْرًا عَظِيْمًا
Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard on the disbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down in Ruku’, prostrating themselves in Sajdah, seeking grace from Allah, and (His) good pleasure; their distinguishing feature is on their faces from the effect of Sajdah (prostration). This is their description in Torah; and their description in Gospel Injil is like a sown crop that brings forth its shoot, then makes it strong, then it grows thick and stands straight on its stem, looking good to the farmers, so that He may enrage the disbelievers through them. Allah has promised forgiveness and a huge reward to those of them who believe and do good deeds.
If the ‘Adalah of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in general has been established through numerous verses in the Qur’an, what can be said of the Mothers of the Believers specifically! While the verse below presents with a spectrum of meanings, we have translated it to accommodate this spectrum.
وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَىٰ فِيْ بُيُوْتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيْفًا خَبِيْرًا
Be ever-mindful of [and mention to others] of what is recited in your homes of the verses of God and of the Wisdom [Prophet’s sunnah]; indeed, ever is Allah subtle, All-Aware.
The following incident involving ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is further testimony to the application of this verse in the real events of history. Rifa’ah ibn Rafi’ relates the following incident that transpired in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Masjid during the caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
عن رفاعة بن رافع قال بينا أنا عند عمر بن الخطاب إذ دخل عليه رجل فقال يا أمير المؤمنين هذا زيد بن ثابت يفتي الناس في المسجد برأيه في الغسل من الجنابة فقال عمر علي به فجاء زيد فلما رآه عمر قال أي عدو نفسه قد بلغت أن تفتي الناس برأيك فقال يا أمير المؤمنين بالله ما فعلت لكني سمعت من أعمامي حديثا فحدثت به من أبي أيوب ومن أبي بن كعب ومن رفاعة فأقبل عمر على رفاعة بن رافع فقال وقد كنتم تفعلون ذلك إذا أصاب أحدكم من المرأة فأكسل لم يغتسل فقال قد كنا نفعل ذلك على عهد رسول الله ﷺ فلم يأتنا من الله تحريم ولم يكن من رسول الله ﷺ فيه نهي قال رسول الله ﷺ يعلم ذاك قال لا أدري فأمر عمر بجمع المهاجرين والأنصار فجمعوا له فشاورهم فأشار الناس أن لا غسل في ذلك إلا ما كان من معاذ وعلي، فإنهما قالا إذا جاوز الختان الختان فقد وجب الغسل فقال عمر هذا وأنتم أصحاب بدر وقد اختلفتم فمن بعدكم أشد اختلافا قال فقال علي يا أمير المؤمنين إنه ليس أحد أعلم بهذا من شأن رسول الله ﷺ من أزواجه فأرسل إلى حفصة فقالت لا علم لي بهذا فأرسل إلى عائشة فقالت إذا جاوز الختان الختان فقد وجب الغسل فقال لا أسمع برجل فعل ذلك إلا أوجعته ضرب
Whilst I was seated with ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu a man entered suddenly and exclaimed, “O Amir al Mu’minin! Zaid ibn Thabit is here in the Masjid, issuing Fatwa’s about ghusl from major ritual impurity based on his own discretion!”
‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “Bring him to me.”
So he was brought before ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and when he was within view ‘Umar reprimanded him, “O enemy of your own self! Do you think that we have reached a point where you can issue verdicts on your own whims?”
He responded saying, “O Amir al Mu’minin; By Allah this is not the case! I heard my uncles—Abu Ayub, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, and Rifa’ah ibn Rafi’ radiya Llahu ‘anhum—saying something about this and that is what I was relating to the people.”
So ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu appraoched Rifa’ah and asked him outright, “Was this your practise; that if you did not ejaculate during sexual intercourse with your wives you would not take the ceremonial bath (Ghusl)?”
He responded, “We used to do that during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime and nothing about it being forbidden has reached us from Allah, nor did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibit us.”
‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked, “Was the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam aware of this [that you did not take a bath after penetrative sex without ejaculation]?”, to which he replied that he was not sure whether the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was aware of this or not.
So ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu sumoned the Muhajirun and Ansar to enquire further on this matter and in the course of their discussions it emerged that most of the Companions understood the rule to be similar to that [which was expressed by Rifa’ah]. The only exceptions being ‘Ali and Muaz radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who said that penetration alone brings about the obligation for the ceremonial bath. Whereupon ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu exclaimed, “If you, the participants of Badr were to differ on this, then those after you will only differ further.” [Thus a conclusive decision on this matter is absolutely necessary].
So ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu suggested that he enquire from the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives what should be done as none would be more knowledgable about this than his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives, especially if they had a report from him on this issue.
So ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent word to Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha if she knew anything [decisive on this matter] and her response was in the negative. He then sent message to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha who confirmed the Prophetic imperitive was that Ghusl was necessary from penetration alone. ‘Umar then declared that anyone found contravening this rule would be subject to disciplinary action.
We notice that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu suggested that the issue be resolved in light of what the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives were privy to; in complete harmony with what was revealed in Surah al Ahzab.
Had Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha been ruled by her emotions, bore enmity towards the Ahlul Bayt, and decided to conceal the details of Wasiyyah upon which the fate of the Ummah depended, as alleged by ‘Abdul Hussain; why would ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu concede to consulting her on something of seamingly less significance?
Furthermore, if she were opposed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the manner that ‘Abdul Hussain describes, why would she ratify the position of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The correctness of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu understanding was validated by what Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha narrated. Before this matter is further debated, let it be known that this particular matter of law is consistent with the Fiqh of the Imami Shia.
At this point, to present an argument from the side of the Sheikh al Azhar in light of Tahsin and Taqbih is beyond ludicruous, to the extent that the translator encountered difficulty in making sense of where the argument is going or what its purpose is; the translation itself is revealing.
The question of the Shari’ah’s moral ontology, also known as the issue of Tahsin and Taqbih is nothing what its made out to be in al Muraja’at. Simply put, the question seeks to address whether actions themselves have intrinsic moral value in terms of good or evil, and whether or not actions intrinsically carry consequences in the next life based on the determination of human intellect alone? Or does it require Divine intervention in terms of Wahi, such that the consequences of actions are determined on the basis of Revelation? Phrased differently, it could be understood to answer the question of whether there is moral accountability for actions in the next life in the absence of Revelation.
The esteemed reader is most certainly intelligent enough to realize why this issue has absolutely no relevance in the context of Wasiyyah to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The underlying rational argument is not whether or not ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed a successor, but whether the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had fulfilled his mission being the final Prophet of Allah. Having established that, the matter of who succeeds him in leading the Ummah is of secondary importance considering that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam departed from this world having completedly conveyed all that is required and left his Ummah upon a clear path. To insist that only a dozen of named individuals may succeed him else the Ummah risks straying from the Truth, and that this mandate to lead was Divinely Revealed, undermines the finality of the Prophethood.
Throughout our discussions we have established that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has no issue in accepting the narrations of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was prepared to confide in her. It was Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha who nominated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a candidate for caliphate after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Both ‘Ali and ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhuma confirm that she is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife in this world and the next despite being in a military conflict with her, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu reconciles with her after Jamal and sends her home having resolved all misunderstanding. Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu seeks her permission to be buried in her chambers to which she initially agrees, in addition to the fact that she has narrated a number of Ahadith on the virtues of ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
Taking all of this into consideration the only obvious conclusion is that whomsoever decides to discredit Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, regardless of whether it happens to be ‘Abdul Hussain or anyone else, such an individual is being stubborn in the face of reality and inevitably has cast a shadow on their own integrity and ability to objectively respond to reason. It follows that the absurdity in the historical context of what appears in this round of al Muraja’at can be easily accounted for: it is the result of bias and stubbornness in the face of truth.
‘Abdul Hussain alludes to a dubious report referenced to the Mustadrak of al Hakim which wasn’t even printed at the time of the alleged correspondence, wherein it is alleged that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha indirectly accused the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam slavegirl, Mariyah al Qibtiyyah of infidelity. Whilst he avoids accusing Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha of slander outright, he cites a verse from Surah al Ahzab that was revealed in reference to the disbelievers and he applies it in the context of the rumour cast about the parentage of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam son, Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu, implying that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha falls under the purview of this verse!
وَرَدَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا بِغَيْظِهِمْ لَمْ يَنَالُوْا خَيْرًا
And Allah drove back the disbelievers in their rage, totally empty-handed.
The incident in question is found in the Mustadrak with the following chain:
‘Ali ibn Hamshad – Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Abbar – Hassan ibn Hammad Sajjadah – Yahya ibn Sa’id al Umawi – Abu Muaz Sulaiman ibn Arqam – al Zuhri – ‘Urwah – Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:
Mariyah was gifted to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and her cousin accompanied her. After the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam having shared a bed with her, she became pregnant and she resided separately close to her cousin.
Incidentally, it so happened that People of slander began to spread rumours that in his desperation to have a child, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam falsely claimed the unborn child as his own [Allah forbid!].
His mother did not have sufficient milk to nourish him so she purchased a goat to provide milk which resulted in the child gaining weight.One day he was brought before the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he asked me, “What do you say?” and I responded saying that anyone nourished with goats milk would gain weight. He then asked if I saw a striking resemblance, and as any jealous co-wife would, I said, “I don’t see a resemblance.”
She went on to say that when the false rumours actually reached the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam he sent ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to investigate the matter telling him to take his sword and strike the neck of Mariyah’s cousin wherever he was found.
So ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu proceeded and subsequently found him plucking fresh dates in a date orchid. The mere scene of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu approaching sword in hand, frightened him so much that his lower garment fell off revealing that he had no male genitalia.
Appearing in this chain is Abu Muaz Sulaiman ibn Arqam whom the scholars unanimously consider unreliable.
Abu Muaz Sulaiman ibn Arqam
Abu Nuaim relates a similar worded narration with a chain converging upon al Zuhri by way of Layth ibn Sa’d. However, the narrator from Layth ibn Sa’d, despite being named at the time of narration, appears to have his identity redacted by other narrators further down the chain. They simply refer to him as ‘a man whom he named.’
Neither of these two versions satisfy the criteria of acceptance for Prophetic Ahadith. The first on account of a weak narrator and the second due to the anonymity of the narrator from Layth ibn Sa’d. While both these narrations have their roots in an event that is historically accurate, they diverge from the well-documented version of the event and the role of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is merely one of numerous embellishments that are absent in the rigourously authentic version which meets the objective criteria of acceptance.
The sound version of this incident is narrated by way of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu and appears in Sahih Muslim:
عن أنس أن رجلا كان يتهم بأم ولد رسول الله ﷺ فقال رسول الله ﷺ لعلي اذهب فاضرب عنقه فأتاه علي فإذا هو في ركي يتبرد فيها فقال له علي اخرج فناوله يده فأخرجه فإذا هو مجبوب ليس له ذكر فكف علي عنه ثم أتى النبي ﷺ فقال يا رسول الله إنه لمجبوب ما له ذكر
Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that a man was accused of fornicating with the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam slavegirl. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali, “Go and strike his neck.”
‘Ali set off in search of him and found him in a well, cooling down his body. ‘Ali summoned him to exit and as he took hold of his hand to bring him out, he observed that his sexual organ had been removed. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu refrained from striking his neck and instead came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, his sexual organ has been remove, he doesn’t even have one.”
If we were to momentarily ignore the disparity between the two version of events and assume that the first version was remotely correct, that does not necessarily imply that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was untruthful. All it would imply was that Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha despite her admission of jealousy did not find any physical resemblance between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his newborn son. If anything, it would speak to Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha truthfulness; why would she seek to discredit herself by delibeartedly admitting to a lie?
Worse still, why would she involve herself in scandalous slander when she was at the receiving end of it a few years prior to that. The entire incident of the Ifk and all related verses dealt with her ordeal. Why would she seek to put the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam through the humiliation of slander? Would the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not seek to get rid of her if she was proven guilty of what ‘Abdul Hussain is accusing her of? How is it then that she would be the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife in Paradise as attested to by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu?
Manipulating the narrative by filling in the perceived gaps for the reader might work sometimes, but it is eventually going to reveal itself at some stage. Luckily, this strategy has been long identified. It comes as no surprise to read an embellished version of an event that has some historical accuracy; only do notice that it is animated with artistic bias by ‘Abdul Hussain.
The incident in question is sound and is perhaps the only incident that would appear against her favour, in part at least. However, ‘Abdul Hussain has resorted to the age old strategy of embellishing the story and conjuring up an alternative narrative within which it is told. The discussion on this Hadith and related incident will be dealt with in the next round of correspondence as it is the context in which the verses of Surah al Tahrim are revealed.
Once again, the incident cited in al Muraja’at is an unreliable version of an event that had some historical basis. A half-truth is more difficult to excuse than a full-blown lie. The incident cited by ‘Abdul Hussain was rejected by al Dhahabi due to the presence of Hisham al Kalbi in the chain.
Hisham, like his father, Muhammad ibn Sa’ib al Kalbi is described as being a Rafidi who cannot be relied upon in Hadith.
Ibn Salah acknowledged that this incident is based on true events, it is just that the versions of this incident which imply that the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives had any role to play in this womans utterance have been appended to falsely.
The correct version of events does not indicate any role on the part of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha or any of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives for that matter. As a matter of interest some versions imply that the woman did not even know that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was enquiring about her, nor did she recognize whom it was that she was addressing.
عن أبي أسيد رضي الله عنه قال خرجنا مع النبي ﷺ حتى انطلقنا إلى حائط يقال له الشوط حتى انتهينا إلى حائطين فجلسنا بينهما فقال النبي ﷺ اجلسوا ها هنا ودخل وقد أتي بالجونية فأنزلت في بيت في نخل في بيت أميمة بنت النعمان بن شراحيل ومعها دايتها حاضنة لها فلما دخل عليها النبي ﷺ قال هبي نفسك لي قالت وهل تهب الملكة نفسها للسوقة قال فأهوى بيده يضع يده عليها لتسكن فقالت أعوذ بالله منك فقال قد عذت بمعاذ ثم خرج علينا فقال يا أبا أسيد اكسها رازقيتين، وألحقها بأهلها
وعن عباس بن سهل، عن أبيه وأبي أسيد قالا تزوج النبي ﷺ أميمة بنت شراحيل فلما أدخلت عليه بسط يده إليها فكأنها كرهت ذلك فأمر أبا أسيد أن يجهزها ويكسوها ثوبين رازقيين
Abu Usayd radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates: We went out with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to a garden called Al Shawt, we proceeded until we reached a point between the two gardens [or two walls] where we sat down. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam addressed us all saying, “Sit here,” and entered (the garden). The Jawniyyah (a lady from Banu Jawn) had already been brought and housed in a residence made of date-palm trunks: the home of Umaymah bint al No’man ibn Sharahil, she was present along with her wet nurse or governess.
When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered upon her, he said to her, “Hand yourself over to me (in marriage).”
She said, “Can a princess give herself in marriage to an ordinary man?”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam extended his hand to pacify her.
She said, “I seek refuge with Allah from you.”
He said, “You have sought refuge with One Who gives refuge.”
Then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came out to us and said, “O Abu Usayd, give her two linen dresses to wear and take her back to her family.”
Sahl and Abu Usayd radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relate that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married Umaymah bint Sharahil, and when she was brought to him, he extended his hand towards her. It seemed that she disliked that, whereupon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered Abu Usayd to prepare her and to provide her with two linen dresses.
Notice that there is no role attributed to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Additionally, the name of this woman differs with the varying versions of this incident.
The version as related by Sahl ibn Sa’d al Sa’idi radiya Llahu ‘anhu is as follows:
عن سهل بن سعد قال ذكر لرسول الله ﷺ امرأة من العرب فأمر أبا أسيد أن يرسل إليها فأرسل إليها فقدمت فنزلت في أجم بني ساعدة فخرج رسول الله ﷺ حتى جاءها فدخل عليها فإذا امرأة منكسة رأسها فلما كلمها رسول الله ﷺ قالت أعوذ بالله منك قال قد أعذتك مني فقالوا لها أتدرين من هذا فقالت لا فقالوا هذا رسول الله ﷺ جاءك ليخطبك قالت أنا كنت أشقى من ذلك قال سهل فأقبل رسول الله ﷺ يومئذ حتى جلس في سقيفة بني ساعدة هو وأصحابه ثم قال اسقنا لسهل قال فأخرجت لهم هذا القدح فأسقيتهم فيه
An Arab woman was mentioned before the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam [as a suitable marriage candidate]. He instructed Abu Usayd radiya Llahu ‘anhu to send a message to her and he (accordingly) sent a message to her. She obliged and settled in the fortresses of Banu Sa’idah. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam set out to meet her and when he approached she was sitting with her head downcast. When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam talked to her, she said, “I seek refuge with Allah from you.”
Thereupon he said, ‘I (have decided to) keep you away from me.’”
Those around her said, “Do you know who he is?”
She said, “No.”
They said, “He is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He came to you in order to propose to you in marriage.”
She said, “In that case I am the most unfortunate woman because of this.”
Sahl said, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then proceeded to the Saqifah of Banu Sa’idah where he sat down and joined his Companions. He then said to Sahl, ‘Serve us something to drink.’”
Sahl said, “I brought out for them this very bowl (containing drink) and served them this.”
Not only does this report corroborate the ones cited earlier, but it also demonstrates the additional accuracy and precision in these versions as Sahl could even recall the utensil as well as what he served the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his companions to drink immediately after the awkward episode.
Once again, ‘Abdul Hussain is resorting to propaganda to achieve his long elusive goal of descrediting Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha by giving a spin to an otherwise true event. It would appear that he is prepared to rewrite history simply to portray Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha as a scheming liar. Fortunately, our history is documented in a manner where it can be traced and verfied, and in every instance we find that she is vindicated.
The incident in question is narrated with a number of chains that converge upon Sufyan al Thawri, whereuopn the chains vary:
Al Daraqutni considers the chain from Ibn Mahdi to be the accurate chain in comparison to the alternative modes with which the narration is reported. Combined in this chain is the fact that Sufyan al Thawri narrates it by way of Jabir al Ju’fi, whom we have established is extremely unreliable and the fact that the chain is interrupted. Additionally, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Sabit is a reliable narrator but he is known for excessive Irsal.
Taking all these into consideration the Isnad does not meet the required standard.
Viewed from the perspective of the text alone we find that ‘Abdul Hussain’s treacherous pen does not fail to deceive. The extent of the narration is that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to see a particular woman whom he was interested in. When she returned the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked her what her opinion was and she replied that she saw nothing of benefit. To which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “You saw a mole on her cheek which made your hair stand on end?” To which she replied humourously, “No secret can be kept from you, O Messenger of Allah.”
What was nefarious about her behaviour? She noticed a facial feature that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would probably not find attractive. Not wanting to speak ill of the woman in her absence she simply stated that it would not be in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam interest to marry this woman. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then elaborates on the precise reason for Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha relctance. If anything, she had the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam best interests at heart rather than her own.
Both incidents that are cited are referenced to al Ghazali along with later works like Kanz al ‘Ummal.
About the first incident, where Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu allegedly slapped her until she began to bleed, Hafiz Zayn al Din al ‘Iraqi dismisses it as unreliable saying, “Al Tabarani and al Khatib both narrate it with an unreliable chain.”
The second incident is narrated by way of Ibn Ishaq and is found in the Musnad of Abu Ya’la.
عن عائشة أنها قالت وكان متاعي فيه خف وكان على جمل ناج وكان متاع صفية فيه ثقل وكان على جمل ثقال بطيء يتبطأ بالركب فقال رسول الله ﷺ حولوا متاع عائشة على جمل صفية وحولوا متاع صفية على جمل عائشة حتى يمضي الركب قالت عائشة فلما رأيت ذلك قلت يا لعباد الله غلبتنا هذه اليهودية على رسول الله ﷺ. قالت فقال رسول الله ﷺ يا أم عبد الله إن متاعك كان فيه خف وكان متاع صفية فيه ثقل فأبطأ بالركب فحولنا متاعها على بعيرك وحولنا متاعك على بعيرها قالت فقلت ألست تزعم أنك رسول الله قالت فتبسم قال أو في شك أنت يا أم عبد الله قالت قلت ألست تزعم أنك رسول الله أفلا عدلت وسمعني أبو بكر وكان فيه غرب أي حدة فأقبل علي فلطم وجهي فقال رسول الله ﷺ مهلا يا أبا بكر فقال يا رسول الله أما سمعت ما قالت فقال رسول الله ﷺ إن الغيرى لا تبصر أسفل الوادي من أعلاه
Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha relates that her luggage which was relatively light was carried on a sturdy, swift camel, whilst Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha, whose luggage was quite weighty was being carried on a slow camel which was delaying the entire caravan. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Transfer Aisha’s luggage to Safiyyah’s camel, and Safiyyah’s luggage to Aisha’s camel.”
When Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha observed this she said, “O slaves of Allah! Has this Jewess managed to win her way over us with Allah’s Messenger?”
The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained, “O Umm ‘Abdullah, your luggage was light whereas Safiyyah’s was heavy and was delaying the caravan. So, we transferred her luggage to your camel and yours to her camel.”
[Appealling to what she perceived as injustice] She reacted in protest, “Aren’t you meant to be the Messenger of Allah?”
To which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded [with humour], “Are you in any doubt about this O Umm ‘Abdullah?”
She responded, “Aren’t you meant to be the Messenger of Allah? Why would you not demonstrate justice?”
Abu Bakr heard this and he was very strict, so he approached me and gave me a slap.
The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded, “Take it easy, O Abu Bakr.”
Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded, “Did you not just hear what she said?”
The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded graciously, “When women experience jealousy they cannot see the bottom of the valley from its top.”
If one were to proceed from the conclusion of al Busiri, the discussion ends here. However, from the conclusion of Ibn Hajar there are a number of observations that are worthy of mention.
Primarily, it demonstrates the honesty of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Were it the case that she was manipulative and scheming as ‘Abdul Hussain is going out of his way to demonstrate; why would she narrate an incident that potentially portrays her in negative light? Had she been dishonest, she would have the incentive to portray herself without fault or flaw. On the contrary, if she openly admits to her mistakes—and Ahlus Sunnah do not claim ‘Ismah (Infallibility) for anyone beside the Prophets ‘alayhim al Salam—it is only proof of the fact that she his genuine and can be trusted.
Secondly, it demonstrates the manner in which prejudice affects ones judgement. What ‘Abdul Hussain has done with Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha here is no different from what the Nawasib have said about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he refused to obey the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instruction to reword the treaty of Hudaybiyyah.
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam preventing Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu from taking further action indicates that he excused Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, in fact empathized with her sense of being prevailed over, not that it was the case. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dismissed her protest with humour and did not reprimand her; this clearly indicates that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not find anything untoward in the sense that she would seek injustice. Were it the case that she had violated the Shari’ah it would have been the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who reprimanded her before Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
‘Abdul Hussain cites a number narrations that are meant to disprove Aisha’s radiya Llahu ‘anha report that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away in her lap.
From Tabaqat ibn Sa’d: During his final illness the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Summon my brother..”
Muhammad ibn ‘Umar [al Waqidi] – ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib – from his father [Muhammad] – from his grandfather…
This narration has been dealt with in detail earlier. It is not the first time that ‘Abdul Hussain is citing this unreliable narration.
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From Abu Nuaim and Abu Ahmed al Faradi : The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu a thousand chapters of knowledge on his deathbed, each chapter with a thousand sub-chapters.
The narration has been cited via a secondary source and not a primary source. In Kanz al ‘Ummal the narration is meant to trace back to Abu Nuaim’s Hilyat al Auliya but it cannot be found in the published version of the text.
Conveniently, the additional comment in Kanz al ‘Ummal has been omitted. After referencing this narration to Abu Ahmed al Faradi and Abu Nuaim, ‘Ali Muttaqi adds that this chain is unreliable on accound of al Ajlah [al Kindi] who is an extremist Shia, citing al Mughni.
‘Ali ibn al Madini and Yahya al Qattan both favoured Mujalid, who was unreliable, over al Ajlah, whilst al Fasawi and Ahmed ibn Hanbal inclined to the view that they were on par each other. He also compared Ajlah to Fitr ibn Khalifah,this is in all likelihood a comparison in terms of Tashayyu’. Yahya ibn Ma’in held a more favourable opinion of him.
Imam Ahmed furthers adds that there are a number of repudiated narrations attributed to Ajlah. If we factor this statement, it is not farfetched that this particular narration happens to be on of the Munkar narrations that he was known to have narrated as we shall demonstrate a little later.
Abu Hatim al Razi says that his memory and accuracy of narration is not very strong that they be independantly relied upon, but they are useful for documenting and comparison. He thus implies that the narrations from Ajlah, are not rejected outright by default.
We are able to trace the chain from Abu Ahmed al Faradi through the intermediary of a later work that cites this narration, the Mujam of al Dabusi. The chain is cited as follows:
Abu al ‘Abbas Ahmed ibn ‘Uqdah – Ahmed ibn Hussain ibn ‘Abdul Malik – Ismail ibn ‘Amir al Bajali – ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Aswad – al Ajlah Abu Hujayyah – Zaid ibn ‘Ali – his father – his grandfather – ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam: Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught me a thousand chapters [of knowledge], each chapter opens up another thousand.
Ismail ibn ‘Amir al Bajali is considered Majhul, and is known to be a Shia. He is the brother of ‘Asim ibn ‘Amir al Bajali, who along with another brother of theirs were three Shia narrators from a single family that al Daraqutni had identified.
‘Abdur Rahman ibn Aswad is a name shared by a number of narrators of that period. The most likely candidate is ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Aswad al Yashkuri, who is a Shia from Kufah as documented by al Tusi.
The combination of three Shia narrators in succession with the fact that two of them are Majhul, in addition to Ajlah having been crticized as a narrator is sufficient reason to dismiss this narration simply from the study of its Isnad.
It becomes evident that this narration has no basis whatsoever when we consider the inconsistency in the Matn.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu is on record on multiple occasions, with numerous rigourously authenticated chains of transmission, denying having exclusive knowledge from Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
عن أبي جحيفة قال سألت عليا رضي الله عنه هل عندكم من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم شيء ليس في القرآن فقال والذي فلق الحبة وبرأ النسمة ما عندنا إلا ما في القرآن إلا فهما يعطى رجل في كتابه وما في الصحيفة قلت وما في الصحيفة قال العقل وفكاك الأسير وأن لا يقتل مسلم بكافر
I asked ‘Ali, “Do you have any other knowledge from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam besides what is in the Qur’an?”
‘Ali said, “No. I Swear By Him Who caused the seed to split and created the soul, we have nothing besides the Qur’an except the gift of understanding the Qur’an, which Allah gives a man, besides what is written in this scroll.”
I said, “What is in this scroll?”
‘Ali said, “The regulations of Diyah (Blood money), the ransom for captives, and the ruling that no Muslim should be killed in Qisas for killing a disbeliever.”
عن إبراهيم التيمي عن أبيه قال خطبنا علي بن أبي طالب فقال من زعم أن عندنا شيئا نقرأه إلا كتاب الله وهذه الصحيفة قال وصحيفة معلقة في قراب سيفه فقد كذب فيها أسنان الإبل وأشياء من الجراحات وفيها قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة حرم ما بين عير إلى ثور فمن أحدث فيها حدثا أو آوى محدثا فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين لا يقبل الله منه يوم القيامة صرفا ولا عدلا وذمة المسلمين واحدة يسعى بها أدناهم ومن ادعى إلى غير أبيه أو انتمى إلى غير مواليه فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين لا يقبل الله منه يوم القيامة صرفا ولا عدلا
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu addressed us in a sermon and said, “Whoever claims that we have something that we read apart from the Book of Allah and this scroll—and he said that scroll was tied to the scabbard of his sword—is lying. In it [the scroll] are the ages of camels [to be given as diyah or blood money] and rulings concerning injuries, And in it the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is on record having said, ‘Madinah is a Sanctuary, covering the area between ‘Ayr and Thawr. Whoever commits heresy or gives refuge to a heretic, will incur the curse of Allah, the Angels and all people, and on the Day of Resurrection Allah will not accept from him in recompense any obligatory or voluntary act of worship.’”
عن قيس بن عباد قال انطلقت أنا والأشتر إلى علي رضى الله عنه فقلنا هل عهد إليك نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم شيئا لم يعهده إلى الناس عامة قال لا إلا ما كان في كتابي هذا فأخرج كتابا من قراب سيفه فإذا فيه المؤمنون تكافأ دماؤهم وهم يد على من سواهم ويسعى بذمتهم أدناهم ألا لا يقتل مؤمن بكافر ولا ذو عهد بعهده من أحدث حدثا فعلى نفسه أو آوى محدثا فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين
I set off with al Ashtar to go to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. [When we met him] We asked, “Did the Prophet of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam inform you of things exclusively, that he did not tell to all the people?”
He replied, “No, except what is in this document.” He brought forth a document [kept] in the sheath of his sword. In it was written: “The believers are equal in respect of blood and they are one against their enemies; protection given even by the least among them is to be honoured, but no believer is to be killed (in retaliation) for a disbeliever and no one who has a covenant is to be killed whilst the covenant is in effect. Whoever commits a heresy or gives refuge to a heretic, incurs upon himself the curse of Allah, the Angels and all people.”
عن الأشتر أنه قال لعلي إن الناس قد تفشغ بهم ما يسمعون فإن كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عهد إليك عهدا فحدثنا به قال ما عهد إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عهدا لم يعهده إلى الناس غير أن في قراب سيفي صحيفة فإذا فيها المؤمنون تتكافأ دماؤهم يسعى بذمتهم أدناهم لا يقتل مؤمن بكافر ولا ذو عهد في عهده مختصر
“What the people have been hearing about you has become widespread. If the Messenger of Allah told you anything [exclusive], then tell us as well.”
He responded saying, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not tell me anything that he did not tell the people, except that in the sheath of my sword there is a parchment [which might be something that I have which others don’t], in which it was written, ‘The lives of the believers are equal in value, protection given even by the least among them is to be honoured, but no believer is to be killed (in retaliation) for a disbeliever and no one who has a covenant is to be killed whilst the covenant is in effect.’” It is an abridgement of it.
عن أبي حسان قال قال علي ما عهد إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بشىء دون الناس إلا في صحيفة في قراب سيفي فلم يزالوا به حتى أخرج الصحيفة فإذا فيها المؤمنون تكافأ دماؤهم يسعى بذمتهم أدناهم وهم يد على من سواهم لا يقتل مؤمن بكافر ولا ذو عهد في عهده
“The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not inform me of anything in secret that he did not tell the rest of the people, except what is on a scroll in the sheath of my sword.”
They kept pestering him until he brought out the scroll, and in it (were the words), “The lives of the believers are equal in value, protection given even by the least among them is to be honoured. but no believer is to be killed (in retaliation) for a disbeliever and no one who has a covenant is to be killed whilst the covenant is in effect.”
عن أبي الطفيل قال سئل علي أخصكم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بشىء فقال ما خصنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بشىء لم يعم به الناس كافة إلا ما كان في قراب سيفي هذا قال فأخرج صحيفة مكتوب فيها لعن الله من ذبح لغير الله ولعن الله من سرق منار الأرض ولعن الله من لعن والده ولعن الله من آوى محدثا
‘Ali was asked whether Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had disclosed anything to him exclusively. Thereupon he said, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not disclose anything in secret to us which he did not make public, save that which lies in the sheath of my sword. He drew out the written document wherein it was written, ‘May Allah curse whomsoever sacrificed for anyone else besides Allah; and may Allah curse whomsover stole the signposts [showing people directions]; and may Allah curse whomsoever cursed his father; and may Allah curse whomsoever gave sanctuary to an innovator (in religion).’”
These are six narrators all corroborating one another that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu denies any claim that he received secret knowledge from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. During his journey towards Iraq and in the aftermath of the internal battles, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to glorify Allah and say, “What the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said is true!” Probably in relation to the prophecies of internal strife that began to afflict the Ummah, etc. Consequently, people began to spread the rumour that Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had told ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu many things in secret which no one else knew—the notion of the thousand chapters of knowledge, each opening a further thousand was thus born.
In order to put the issue to rest ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu repeatedly stated in no unequivocal terms, on different occasions and settings, that he was not privy to any secret knowledge which the rest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were unaware of.
If we investigate the claim of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu receiving a thousand chapters of knowledge prior to the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing, what happened to that knowledge. The Shia barely relate Hadith from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ahlus Sunnah narrate more Hadith from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu than the Shia. Worse still, from those thousand chapters of knowledge, ‘Abdul Hussain could not even cite 40 narrations in support of his own doctrine which stands up to the criteria of acceptance of the Shia themselves.
Bearing the criticism of the Matn of the narration cited by ‘Abdul Hussain in mind, the narration he cites further on by way of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma with a similar wording is clearly problematic as well.
Appearing in that chain is ‘Abdullah ibn Lahi’ah whom we have elaborated on previously. Independently, scholars are inclined to dismiss his narrations and he was known for having been duped by his students who would present false narrations to him and he would narrate them without realising their error. This seems to be the case here as well.
Al Dhahabi says that this is more likely a forgery; and came into circulation due to the carelessness of ‘Abdullah ibn Lahi’ah.
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From Ibn Sa’d: Hadith of Jabir that Ka’b al Ahbar asked ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu what the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam final words were and he refered him to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam rested his head on my shoulders and said, “Uphold the prayer, uphold the prayer.”
The narration doesn’t specify that this was at the time of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam soul leaving his body. It could easily refer to the times that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu helped him walk to the Masjid to pray behind Abu Bakr, or even at his home during his final sickness. To infer that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the last person to see him alive requires a stretch of the imagination.
Notwithstanding that, appearing in the chain of this narration is Haram ibn ‘Uthman al Madani, about whom al Shafi’i said, “Narrating from Haram is Haram [Forbidden].”
He was severely criticized by the scholars of Hadith including Malik, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Yahya, Ibn Ma’in Yahya al Qattan, Ibn al Madini, and so many others.
Ibn Hibban said, “He was a commited Shia; known for switching chains of transmission and citing interrupted chains as though they were connected.”
Ibn Hajar declares this narration significantly weak on account of both al Waqidi and Haram. We have established previously that there is no credibility to reports from al Waqidi if they are uncorroborated. 
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From Ibn Sa’d: Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away in the arms of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Appearing in this chain is Sulaiman ibn Dawood ibn Hussain, who is considered Majhul. Added to the fact that al Waqidi is the only narrator to cite this from him is confirmation that its an unreliable narration without a shred of doubt.
Ibn Hajar states forthright that this narration is extremely unreliable as are all the narrations that claim that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam departed from this world resting his head on the chest or the lap of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
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We have already established that this narration is unreliable under our discussions on Letter 34. The main reason for its weakness was the presence of al Waqidi as well as the interruption in the chain.
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From the Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d:: A Narration attributed Al Sha’bi.
Al Waqidi – Abu al Huwayrith – his father – al Sha’bi
Firstly, the narration of al Sha’bi if accepted here, ought to be accepted in terms of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu refusal to accept the Bay’ah of his uncle al ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well. We have demonstrated through a narration by way of al Sha’bi that al ‘Abbas wanted to initiate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam successor after his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise, yet ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused.
Nevertheless, this particular narration is flawed on account of the interrupted chain as well the presence of al Waqidi.
Additionally, there is a narrator Abu al Huwayrith. There are two narrators who share this Kunyah:
Hisham ibn ‘Umarah is Majhul as well as his father.
‘Abdur Rahman ibn Muawiyah is too old to be al Waqidi’s teacher, and even if he were the narrator, he is considered weak by most of the critics. Additionally, we have no information on his father as a narrator of Hadith.
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From Musnad Ahmed: The narration of Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
The discussion on this Hadith will be on the next round of correspondence. ‘Abdul Hussain picks up his discussion from this Hadith.
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The narration of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As which has already been dealt with under Narration Two.
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From Ibn Abi al Hadid. A narration from a Shia source is hardly evidence in polemics. The onus is upon ‘Abdul Hussain to demonstarte the reliability of those chains. Suffice to say, the Matn of the report from Nahj al Balaghah undermines the Shia narrative of history. We do not doubt the courage and valour of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for even a second; his courage and bravery has become idiomatic. However, if it were the case that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during his final moments and Wasiyyah was indeed made for him to lead the Ummah further, why did he not demonstrate his bravery against those who were nominated Khalifah before him? Why did he take Bay’ah to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the presence of the entire community of Madinah at the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam pulpit if it were indeed the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam pledge to him that he would succeed?
All that remains is the discussion on the Hadith of Maghafir and the Hadith of Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha, which will be discussed in the next round of correspondence.
 Al Kifayah, pg. 49
 Surah al Hashr: 8-10
 Kashf al Ghummah, vol. 3 pg. 15-16
 Surah al Hashr: 8-10
 Hilyat al Auliya, vol. 3 pg. 137
 Surah al Tawbah: 88-89
 Surah al Anfal: 62
 Surah al Anfal: 64
 Surah al Tawbah: 100
 Surah al Fath: 4-5
 Surah al Hujurat: 3
 Surah al Fath: 26
 Surah al Fath: 10
 Surah al Fath: 18
 Surah al Fath: 29
 Surah al Ahzab: 34
 Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 1 pg 519-522; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 35 pg. 21, Hadith no. 21096
 Surah al Ahzab: 10
 Al Kulayni: Al Kafi, vol. 3 pg. 46.
 We have established in Discussions under Letters 25-26 that the Mustadrak was only printed after the demise of Sh Salim al Bishri. It was not possible to have those references at the time of correspondence.
 Surah al Ahzab: 25
 Refering to the Munafiqun.
 He was born without a male organ.
 Al Mustadrak, vol. 4. Pg. 41.
 Al ‘Ilal, vol. 1 pg. 236.
 Tarikh ibn Ma’in Riwayat al Duri, vol. 2 pg. 228.
 Al Du’afa al Saghir, bio 142; al Jarh wal Ta’dil, vol. 4 pg. 100-101; Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 11, pgs 351-354.
 Al Majruhin, vol. 1 pg. 328.
 Tarikh al Islam, vol. 4 pg. 398.
 Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 6 pg. 3247.
 Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Tawbah, Hadith no. 2771.
 Al Mustadrak, vol 4. Pg 37
 Mizan al I’tidal vol. 4 pg. 304
 Talkhis al Habir, vol. 3 pg. 278
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Talaq, Hadith no. 5255.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Talaq, Hadith no. 5256.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Ashribah, Hadith no 5637; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Ashribah, Hadith no. 2007.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol.8 pg 160; al ‘Ilal wa Ma’rifat al Rijal li al Imam Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 570; ‘Ilal al Daraqutni, vol. 11 pg 264; Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 2 pg. 133.
 Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 17 pg. 123.
 Al Mughni ‘an Haml al Asfar fi al Asfar, vol. 2 pg. 43.
 Musnad Abi Ya’la, vol. 8 pg. 129.
 Al Ithaf, vol. 3 pg. 153.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 9 pg. 325.
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 263.
 The actual reference is to Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 6 pg. 392-393.
 Diwan al Du’afa wa’l-Matrukin, pg 23.
 Al Ma’rifah wa’l-Ta’rikh, vol.3 pg. 17 83.
 Al ‘Ilal wa Ma’rifat al Rijal li al Imam Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 413.
 Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 2 pg. 227.
 Al Jarh wa’l-Ta’dil, vol. 9 pg 163; Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 2 pg. 227.
 Al Jarh wa’l-Ta’dil, vol. 9 pg 164.
 Mujam al Dabusi, Hadith no. 10.
 Su’alat al Sulami li al Daraqutni, pg. 235.
 Al Muttafiq wa al Muftariq, vol. 3 pg. 1488.
 Rijal al Tusi, pg. 235
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Jihad, Hadith no. 3047; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 36, Hadith no. 599 [The wording is from Musnad Ahmed]
 Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Jizyah, Hadith no. 3172; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Manasik, Hadith no. 1370.
 Sunan Abi Dawood, Kitab al Diyat, Hadith no.4530; Sunan al Nasa’i, Kitab al Siyar, Hadith no.4734.
 Sunan al Nasa’i, Kitab al Qasamah, Hadith no. 4746; Musnad Ahmed, vol.2 pg. 267 Hadith no. 959.
 Sunan al Nasa’i, Kitab al Qasamah, Hadith no. 4745.
 Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Adahi, Hadith no. 1978; Sunan al Nasa’i, Kitab al Dhaba’ih, Hadith no. 4422.
 Al Majruhin, vol. 2 pg. 14.
 Al Kamil, vol 2. Pg. 450.
 Al ‘Ilal al Mutanahiyah, vol. 1 pgs. 217-218.
 Tarikh al Islam, vol. 4 pg. 672, Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 1 pg. 624; Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 2 pg. 482-483.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 5 pg. 363.
 Tanzih al Shari’ah, vol. 1 pg. 386.
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 8 pg. 24-26.
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2. Pg 201.
 Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 1 pg 468-469.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 8 pg. 139.
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 263.
 Al Jarh wa’l-Ta’dil, vol. 4 pg. 111.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 8 pg. 139.
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 263.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 8 pg. 139.
 Al Tabaqat, vol. 2 pg. 263.
 Talkhis al Mutashabih, vol. 2 pg. 520; Tahdhib al Kamal, vol 17. pg. 415.
 Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 17 pg. 414-416.Back to top