قُلْ لَّآ اَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَیْهِ اَجْرًا اِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِی الْقُرْبٰیؕ
I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.
Meaning that I do not ask any reward for conveying the Qur’an but consideration for ties of kinship (maintain family ties with me) and do not harm me.
Regarding this verse, some narrations are found in the books attributed to Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma stating: “When this verse was revealed, people asked: ‘O Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam !
من هؤلاء الذين وجبت علينا مؤدتهم؟ قال على و فاطمة و ابناهما
Who are these people we have to love?’ ‘‘Ali, Fatimah and their two sons,’ was his reply.”
In the light of this, the Shia deduce the following rulings, presenting this verse as proof.
The word kinship in the verse refers to four persons viz. Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidah Fatimah, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum and loving them is compulsory. And whoever’s love is compulsory, his obedience is compulsory. And whoever’s obedience is compulsory; he is the rightful imam and deserving of khilafah.
Secondly, in the above narration, only Sayyidah Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha name appears which shows that she is the only biological daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Had there been other daughters, their names would have appeared here as well as their husbands’ names who would all be included in kinship.
There is no inference whatsoever in the verse to khilafah, forget about an undisputed khilafah. Moreover, no mention is made of one or four daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this verse. Yes, the issue regarding love to the family members of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is discussed.
Firstly, we will mention the correct meaning and purport of this verse and then the answer to their narration followed by related issues.
The correct meaning and purport of this verse will be mentioned according to the consensus of the Mufassirin, Muhaddithin and senior ‘ulama’.
The verse instructs Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to inform the kuffar of Quraysh: I do not ask you for anything for conveying this message and advising you. However, I only desire this from you that you consider our family ties and stop harassing me and allow me to convey my message. If you cannot assist me, then at least consider our family relation and do not harm me.
Hafiz ibn Hajar in Fath al Bari has commentated on this verse in the following manner:
و المعنى الا ان تودونى لقرابتى فتحفظونى و الخطاب لقريش خاصة و القربى قرابة العصوبة و الرحم فكانه قال احفظونى للقرابة ان لم تتبعونى للنبوة و جزم بان الاستثناء منقطع
The meaning is: except that you love and befriend me due to my family relation, hence safeguard me (from your evil). The address is to the Quraysh specifically. And kinship is the kinship of close and distant family. As if he is saying that if you cannot follow my nubuwwah, then at least protect me (from your evil) due to family ties. He has emphatically mentioned that the istithna’ is munqati’.
For further detail, we reproduce the commentary of this verse from Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah. Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz writes:
عن ابن عباس نیز ایں روایت در بخاری موجود است و بتفصیل مذکور است کہ ہیچ بطنے از بطون قریش نبود الا آنحضرت را بایشاں قرابتی بود آن قرابت را یا دوہا نیدند و اداۓ حقحق آن قرابت لا اقل ترک ایذا کہ ادنی مراتب صلہ رحم است از ایشاں درخواستند پس استثنا منقطع است امام فخر رازی و جمیع مفسرین متاخرین ہمیں معنی را پسندیدا اند
The narration narrated from Sayyidina ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in Bukhari; therein it is mentioned with detail that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had family ties with all the tribes of Quraysh. Reminding them of this family relation, it was said to them to consider the rights of this relationship and at least abandoning causing harm which is the lowest form of maintaining family ties. Thus the istithna’ here is munqati’. Imam Fakhr al Din al Razi and the latter Mufassirin have preferred this meaning.
The narration of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz has quoted from Bukhari in Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah is also recorded in Musnad Ahmed. Peruse the following references.
The gist of this is that by the word ‘kinship’ not only four specific members are meant. Instead, the Quraysh is meant in general as explained above. Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu ‘immediate khilafah’ has no relation with this verse. The verse has a different purport.
The readers should remember that the narrations from Sayyidina ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu which are authentic and by which the purport of the verse becomes manifest have been quoted above under the commentary of the verse. This is reliable and is to be found in Bukhari, Musnad Ahmed, etc.
The narration attributed to Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which is quoted by the opposition from our books, wherein mention is made of those whose love is necessary, the following points are presented regarding it by which the baselessness and invalidity of their proof will be manifest. Senior ‘ulama’ have criticised this narration.
1. Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah has written at one place in Fath al Bari regarding this narration:
و اسناده ضعيف و هو ساقط لمخالفته هذا الحديث الصحيح
Its isnad is weak and it is invalid due to it contradicting this authentic narration.
Further on, Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah states:
و اسناده واه فيه ضعيف و رافضى
Its isnad is fallacious for it has a weak narrator and a Rafidi.
2. ‘Allamah Hafiz Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah writes regarding it:
هذا اسناد ضعيف فيه مبهم لا يعرف عن شيخ شيعى محترق و هو حسين الاشقر و لا يقبل خبره فى هذا المحل
3. The Shia have specifically quoted this narration from al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar al Haythami and have committed treachery by not mentioning the criticism of Ibn Hajar al Haythami adjacent to this narration. He writes:
و فى سنده شيعى غال
There is an extremist Shia in its isnad.
‘Allamah al Haythami has pointed out its flaw after narrating it, but the Shia have left out this portion.
The narrator is an extremist Shia. Thus, this narration cannot be a proof against us because it is unaccepted.
4. The criticism made by Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah on this narration in Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah will be quoted verbatim:
طبرانی و احمد از ابن عباس ہمیں قسم روایت کردہ اند لیکن جمھور محدثین ایں روایت را تضعیف نمودہ اندزیر انکہ ایں سورت یعنی سورہ شوری بتمامہا مکی است و دراں جا جا امام حسن و حسین نہ بودند و نہ حضرت فاطمہ را علاقۓ زوجیت با حضرت علی بہم رسیدہ بود و در سلسلہ ايں روایت بعضی شیعہ غالی واقع اند
Tabarani and Ahmed have related a narration from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma of this nature. However, all the Muhaddithin have deemed it as weak because the entire Surah al Shura is Makki and at that time neither Imam Hassan nor Imam Hussain were born as yet, nor was Sayyidah Fatimah married to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Moreover, there is an extremist Shia in its isnad.
Due to these reasons, the narration presented by the Shia is unacceptable.
In short, this narration opposes reality as stated by Ibn Kathir and Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah for the verse is Makki and at that time neither was Sayyidah Fatimah married, nor did Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma have any offspring. So it is neither correct for people to ask about them nor is it correct to answer in their favour. Even if we overlook this, this narration is still a fabrication of Shia narrators and has no authentic isnad, as mentioned by the senior scholars. Countless ‘ulama’ have criticised this narration. We have sufficed on reproducing only four.
It is have been clarified above that there is absolutely no mention of khilafah in the verse. Similarly, there is absolutely no trace of there being only one daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Love for the relatives is the only thing mentioned.
And the narration presented by the Shia to prove that there was only one daughter does not meet the standards of acceptance as explained above, i.e. its isnad has a disparaged narrator and an extremist Shia Rafidi.
If for arguments sake we accept the narration, then the mention of only Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha does not necessitate the rejection and denial of the other sisters. And if we accede to this proof, then the mention of only Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu will necessitate the denial of his other brothers viz. Sayyidina Jafar, Sayyidina ‘Aqil, etc. which even the Shia will not accept, as this contradicts reality. Therefore, this method of substantiation is totally flawed.
 Surah al Shura: 23
 Tafsir Ibn Kathir vol. 4 pg. 111, 112 – Under the verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship
 Fath al Bari vol. 8 pg. 458 – Under the verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.
 Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah pg. 205 – Under the commentary of the verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.
 Fath al Bari Sharh al Bukhari vol. 8 pg. 458 – Kitab al Tafsir; under the verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.
 Tafsir Ibn Kathir vol. 4 pg. 112 – Under the verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.
 Al Sawaʾiq al Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar al Haythami pg. 101 – under the 14th verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.
 Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah pg. 204 – Under the commentary of the verse, I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.