Tafseer of Surah al-Taubah: 40

Chapter Five – Shia Beliefs – Taqiyyah – Dissimulation
December 23, 2014
Answering the Shia misconception of Ibn Saba
January 5, 2015

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

اِلَّا تَنْصُرُوْہُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَہُ اللهُ اِذْ اَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْا ثَانِیَ اثْنَیْنِ اِذْ هُمَا فِی الْغَارِ اِذْ یَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبهٖ لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

If you do not assist him, then indeed Allah had assisted him when the kuffar drove him out (of Makkah). He was the second of the two (the other being his bosom friend Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu) when they were (hiding from the kuffar) in the cave (outside Makkah) and he (Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam) told his companion (Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu): “Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.”[1]

 

Ponder over this verse with an open-mind and put aside your pride, does this verse pull you towards the Ahl al-Sunnah or towards the home of the Shi`ah? At this juncture a saying of Mirza Kathim `Ali al Lucknowi comes to mind, who was a senior Shi`ah scholar and also respected by Dildar `Ali as well. The summary of his statement is:

 

People can say what they like about whoever they want but whoever will speak ill of the first Khalifah, then even according to me he is a kafir.

 

A person from the gathering objected saying: “What are you saying, the beliefs of our religion contradicts this.” He replied:

 

I am not saying this, Allah is saying it. There is no difference between the word sahib and Sahabi, both have the same meaning and here Allah is bearing testimony to the first khalifah being a Sahabi because the word sahib, which appears in this verse, according to both Sunni and Shi`ah refers to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu.

 

Glory be to Allah! This is how fair-minded people are, like Mirza Kathim `Ali, and he was no simpleton; the Shi`ah themselves held him in high esteem. There is scarcely a Shi`ah who does not know of him and follow him. He is not wrong in his deduction as well, whichever way you look at this verse, there is no room for any other interpretation.

 

Commentary of the verse in Surah al-Taubah

The explanation of all of this is that the words “صاحبه” (companion) that appears in this verse has the same meaning as Sahabi in Arabic. In addition, the words “Do not grieve”, prove that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was a lover and devotee of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam as well as a true sincere Muʼmin. The reason being that telling him not to grieve would have no meaning if he was not, because then he would have been rejoicing at that time as (according to the Shi`ah belief) his enemy- Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, was about to be captured. There would have been no need to even shout, the slightest flinch would have given them away.

Also understand that the fear Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu had was not for his own life but only for the well-being of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, fearing what they might do if they discovered Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. It was on this that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam consoled him saying: “Do not grieve! Verily Allah is with us.”

 

The meaning of grief

A few prejudiced individuals have said that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was not fearful for the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he was fearful for his own. Such claims need to be thoughout carefully because it would mean that Allah Ta`ala is unfamiliar with the prose of the Arabic language and unacquainted with the eloquence of the Arabic language. It would render the miracle of the eloquence of the Qur’an into murmurings of the smitten.

The details of this is that any person who knows Arabic will be aware that the word “حزن” (grief) is used in times of sadness, when parting with a beloved or in a time of hopelessness, whereas when one fears for his life then the word “خوف” (fear) is used. There is no book more eloquent and articulate as the Qur’an. When Nabi Musa `alayh al-Salam climbed atop Mount Tur and Allah asked him what is in your hand, he replied that it was his staff, with which he walks, leans on and herds his sheep. He was then ordered to throw it down and when he did, it turned into a huge serpent. Nabi Musa `alayh al-Salam turned and ran, without looking back, on which Allah Ta`ala said:

اِنِّیْ لَا یَخَافُ لَدَیَّ الْمُرْسَلُوْنَ

Verily the messengers do not fear in my presence.[2]

This makes it clear that Nabi Musa `alayh al-Salam feared for his life when he saw the serpent, which is why Allah Ta`ala said: “Do not fear” and Allah Ta`ala did not say: “Do not grieve” at this junture. Similarly when he un intentionally killed the Qibti, he fled fearing for his life, which is why Allah Ta`ala said:

فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا

He left the city in fear.

Aside from these verses, the word “خوف” (fear) was used many times in the Qur’an, whenever one feared for his own life. Wherever there was sadness then the word “حزن” (grief) was used. In Surah Yusuf where the sadness of Nabi Yaqub `alayh al-Salam is mentioned on his separation from Nabi Yusuf `alayh al-Salam, as well ashis weeping continuously, which resulted in his family saying that you will weep for Yusuf `alayh al-Salam until you also perish, he replied:

قَالَ اِنَّمَاۤ اَشْكُوْا بَثِّیْ وَحُزْنِیْۤ  اِلَی اللهِ

He replied: “I complain of my sorrow and my grief only to Allah.”[3]

In fact, there are many verses which prove that “حزن” (grief) and “خوف” (fear) have different meanings and one is not used in place of the other.

تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَیْهِمُ الْمَلٰٓئِکَةُ اَلَّا تَخَافُوْا وَ لَا تَحْزَنُوْا

Angels shall surely descend to them, “Neither have any fear nor grief.”[4]

In this verse both words were used, if they had the same meaning then what was the purpose of mentioning it twice? The truth is that fear and grief are two separate things; fear is used for something that is still going to occur and grief is used when the desire of the heart is lost. The opposite of grief is happiness and the opposite of fear is calm. I feel ashamed of having to explain the difference of grief, happiness, fear and calm, which are such simple things to understand. There is nothing complicated in it at all. What can a person do if someone fails to understand the difference? Nevertheless, it is possible that these prejudiced individuals still have not understood, so I will attempt once again. When a person close to you passes away, then the feeling you experience is called grief and not fear. However, when there is a possibility of you being killed, then the feeling you experience is called fear and this is not called grief. If your child climbs on the roof and is about to jump then you experience fear and this is not called grief. So in short, grief is the feeling you experience in times of difficulty and fear is the feeling you experience on the possibility of harm befalling you or one you love. They cannot be used in place of each other

 

The understanding of the Shi`ah

In a way they are also truthful as they have a rule of understanding things the other way around. For example, `Ammar `Ali understood falsehood to mean truth, as we have already explained. All of the Shi`ah understand protectors to mean thieves, so if here too they were to do the same then the Ahl al-Sunnah should not complain but rather rejoice because agreement has been reached regarding the meaning, the difference remains in the terminology.

The summary of this is that truth in the terminology of the Shi`ah is called falsehood, protector is thief and grief is called fear. However, just as a Hindu and and Englishman when in a gathering of Muslims, hears one calling another “Baba”, then in accordance with their terminology; the Englishman will think it to mean child and the Hindu will think it to mean grandfather, here too if the Shi`ah understands “Do not grieve” to mean “Do not fear” then it is no fault of theirs, it is incumbent on the Ahl al-Sunnah to speak to them in their terminology. Is it not stated in hadith:

كلموا الناس على قدر عقولهم

Speak to people according to their mental capacity.

Even if we were to consider “Do not grieve” to mean “Do not fear”, as the Shi`ah do, then too it does not harm us, as then “O Abu Bakr! Do not fear!” would mean that he did fear for his life because the kuffar hated him on account of him being a Muslim and having iman. If this were not so then what why would Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam comfort him? Then too by saying: “Allah is with us!” Allah Ta`ala only assists and aids – he is only “with” – the believers:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Allah is with the believers.

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ

Allah is with the pious.

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ

Allah is with those who do good.

The Qur’an is filled with such verses, the summary of which is that Allah is with those who are pure-hearted and nowhere in the Qur’an will you ever find Allah saying that he is with the disbelievers, or the evil-doers or the hypocrites.

 

The true meaning of Allah being “with” a person

If any person were to say that Allah is with everybody, whether a believer or disbeliever, as it is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an:

اَلَاۤ اِنَّهٗ  بِكُلِّ شَیْءٍ مُّحِیْطٌ

Verily He (Allah) encompasses everything.[5]

Therefore, since Allah encompasses everything, it necessarily means that Allah is with everything.

The answer to this would be as follows, one can be with another in two ways:

The first is when two people are in one place at the same time. Here they are only with each other physically and they both might abhor each other. An example of this would be a parrot living in the same cage with a crow.

The second is where one is in the heart of the other. For example, if a king were to say to a destitute person, who is disliked by others: “Fear not, for we are with you.” The meaning of this statement is simply that your thought will be in our minds and your concern will occupy us such that we will assist you when required.

In the second instance, it is not necessary for the poor person and the king to be in the same place. He might not be with him physically but his assistance is definitely with him.

Therefore in the verse:

اَنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِیْنَ

Verily Allah is with the pious.[6]

As well as the other verses mentioned above, the second meaning will be implied, as is known to all. If this were not the case then what sort of praise would this be for the pious and how will it console them? So too in the verse under discussion, it was only mentioned with the purpose of consoling and to re-enforce the promise of assistance made above.

 

The verse proves that assistance descended upon Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu as wellt

If one were to object further and claim that the verse above establishes that Divine assistance descended upon Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and not upon Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu, we would reply that this is known to all and sundry that the humiliation and disgrace of a slave is considered a humiliation and disgrace upon his master. When a person harms the servants and workers of the British then why do they take it so personally that they call to arms, spilling the blood of thousands? Furthermore, we witnessed during the riots that whoever protected the government officials were considered to be loyal subjects of the government. Thus the assistance of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu falls under the assistance rendered to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. When we were informed of this assistance, we were told:

فَقَدْ نَصَرَہُ اللهُ

Indeed Allah had assisted him.

However, when the assistance arrived, it arrived for both because when Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam informed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu about the assistance of Allah, he did so in the following manner:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

In other words when informing us about this incident, Allah only mentioned Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and said: “And verily Allah assisted him”, however when Allah provided the assistance, He assisted both Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu. It is for this reason that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam informed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu about Allah’s assistance in the following manner:

Verily Allah is with us.

A single word was used “مَعَنَا” (with us) and they were not mentioned separately: “مَعِى” and “مَعَكَ” (it was not said, Allah is with me and Allah is with you), which makes it apparent that Allah Ta`ala was with Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu in the same manner as he was with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

So based on this we learn that the Shi`ah have unwittingly agreed with us in the fact that just as Allah was with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam in terms of help, concern, love and assistance, so too was He with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu.

In addition, the wording:

ثَانِیَ اثْنَیْنِ

He was the second of the two.

Indicates that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was not alone at the time, but another was with him, namely Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu. Furthermore, it is the maf`ul (passive participle) of the verb preceding it:

اِلَّا تَنْصُرُوْہُ

If you do not assist him.

Which proves beyond all doubt that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was also included in the divine assistance.

If the Shi`ah were to then argue that the statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

is in actual fact affixed to the sentence:

اِذْ اَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْا

When the Kuffar drove him out.

and is in fact its maf`ul (passive participle), rendering its meaning to be that at the time, when the disbelievers of Makkah drove Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam out of Makkah, he was not alone, rather his acquaintance was with him. In this manner it will have no connection with the divine assistance. The divine assistance would only apply if it had been affixed to:

فَقَدْ نَصَرَہُ اللهُ

Indeed Allah had assisted him.

To this rhetoric, we give the following answer: if this is the meaning of this verse then it is exactly what we desired. As in this case it would mean that the Shi`ah too have learnt that the kuffar had the same enmity for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu as they had for Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

If anyone were to say that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was not driven out by the kuffar but rather it was Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam who asked him to accompany him then we ask the Shi`ah to answer this, as this meaning was only expounded by us on account of them. If they were to have asked us its meaning in the first place then we would have related it to them. In addition, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was not driven out according to the literal meaning of the word, whereby they dragged him along and expelled him.

 

The actual course of events

The actual course of events was that the disbelievers had gathered at Dar al-Nadwah, which was the courtyard in the home of Abu Jahal, at that time situated next to the Ka`bah, where the Hanafi Musallah was later built and today forms part of the Masjid al-Haram. It was here where they consulted with each other as to what course of action they should adopt with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam; should they imprison him; or was killing him more appropriate or perhaps even to exile him. Allah informed his beloved about their plans and Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam took Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu with him as his companion and they set out for the Cave of Thowr, and after acquiring the necessary provisions they set off for Madinah three days later. This incident is briefly made reference to in Surah al-Anfal:

وَ اِذْ یَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْا لِیُثْبِتُوْكَ اَوْ یَقْتُلُوْكَ اَوْ یُخْرِجُوْكَ ؕ وَیَمْكُرُوْنَ وَیَمْكُرُ اللهُ ؕ وَاللهُ خَیْرُ الْمٰکِرِیْنَ

When the Kuffar schemed against you to imprison you, kill you or exile you (drive you out of Makkah). They plan and Allah plans. Allah is the best of planners.[7]

Ponder over this incident! You will come to the conclusion that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was not physically thrown out of his homeland. If one were to argue that constantly fearing exile is tantamount to exile itself, then we ask: what peace did Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu enjoy from the kuffar? In fact, before this event they had already attempted to exile him, had it not been for the intercession of Ibn Daghinah, who warded them off. These narrations can be found in the books of the Ahl al-Sunnah. Furthermore, there is nothing illogical about things transpiring in this particular manner as the manner in which Allah Ta`ala makes mention of this in the Noble Qur’an:

اِذْ یَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهٖ لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

When he (Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam) told his companion (Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu): “Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.”

Informs us that the disbelievers hated Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu as well; if not then why would Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam console him and why would Allah be with him and then too in the same manner that He was with Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

After listening to this discussion we are entirely convinced that the Shi`ah will never mention that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam only took Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu along so that he will be unable to inform the disbelievers of his whereabouts. This verse has ripped to shreds the entire basis of this possibility such that even if they were to labour until the end of days, they will never be able to construct it again.

Furthermore, the beloved messenger Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, Allah forbid and we seek refuge in Allah, was not lacking in intelligence but rather his intelligence was legendary; did he not perceive the terrible outcome of informing Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu of his plans and instead rather keep him in the dark from the outset and not tell him: “I am going to take refuge in the Cave of Thowr.”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was not an imam of the Shi`ah, who was blessed with the knowledge of all that has passed and what will come to pass, such that he would have known of the plans of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam whether he informed him of it or not. Furthermore, taqiyyah (dissimulation) would be most necessary in this circumstance and according to the Shi`ah, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam taking refuge in the cave is also a form of taqiyyah, the details of which will be discussed later. Nevertheless, according to the Shi`ah paradigm taqiyyah is compulsory in such instances and to lie in such a circumstance is entirely permissible, but rather essential. Instead they claim that the praises which the illustrious aʼimmah adorned the three khulafa with, as well as the other Sahabah, was in actual fact taqiyyah. Allah forbid! The actions of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam negate any possibility of such deceit, as then what need was there to take Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu along with him to the Cave of Thowr. If he were to have gone on his own then he would have had no fear, but by taking him along the very fear because of which he was taking him along would multiply. What was there to prevent him from yelling out and giving away their position? This would then be a perfect example of the saying:

To avoid the rain, he stood beneath the tap

To safe himself from the sun, he jumped into the fire

Thus, if this was the wisdom of taking Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu along then this was extremely unwise indeed.

 

The involuntary rectification to the truth

This is the reason why Mullah `Abd Allah al-Mashadi was forced to write in Ithar al-Haqq that this possibility is indeed far-fetched. However, this is akin to the parable of the Hindu pundit, who denounced Hinduism after seventy-years but did not have the courage to announce it publicly out of fear for his own status.

Now listen to what I have to say, the statement of Mullah `Abd Allah al-Mashadi is absolutely correct and if it is on account of this that he has named his book Ithar al-Haqq (declaration of the truth) then it has earned its title. We too are not afraid to accept this, even if he may be of the Shi`ah faith. The problem however is that despite Mullah `Abd Allah al-Mashadi being a recognised leader of the Shi`ah, by the Shi`ah scholars and common masses alike, they are not prepared to accept his word. Instead they all claim: “What is astonishing about Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam taking Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu along on this journey because he had given his daughter to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam in marriage and he embraced Islam prior to many others, spending a great deal of his time in the service of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.” The possibility of the Shi`ah reforming is minimal but in fact it is highly possible that they will dissociate themselves from this scholar instead.

 

The true events of hijrah

Whether a person accepts or does not accept, the heart testifies, whether Ahl al-Sunnah or Shi`ah, that the only reason why Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was taken along on this journey was because the kuffar understood him to be the adviser, aide and supporter of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. They also knew him to be the close friend and beloved of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and why should they not? Ahl al-Sunnah or Shi`ah, none are ignorant of the fact that it was Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu who suffered alongside Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam at the hands of the kuffar, who defended Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, spent his wealth on him and endured great difficulty. He liberated Bilal radiya Llahu `anhu from the shackles of the disbelievers. Similarly, he sacrificed his entire family for the pleasure of Allah and His messenger.

This is why Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was convinced that the kuffar bore the same hatred for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu as they bore for him and the very same punishment they had planned for him, they had planned for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu. He had challenged many of the kuffar and repeatedly informed them that the din of Islam is the true din, so abandon your worship of these idols. If success is what you seek then follow the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was convinced that if he were to leave Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu behind then the kuffar would most definitely execute him.

Without a doubt, if `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu were to be left behind then there would be no room for concern as the kuffar would not dare quarrel with him on account of  the kuffar still having some form of regard for him, the most significant point of which would be that he was the maternal nephew of their leader- Abu Jahal, whereas the other Sahabah had no such privilege. Most importantly `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu was capable of defending himself.

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu on the other hand was a thorn in the side of the disbelievers and they would writhe in anger at the mere sight of him. If he were to be killed then a great stalwart of iman and Islam would be lost. If he were to be killed then such a companion would be lost whose compassion and sincerity was exemplary, such sincerity and love that it would leave an indelible mark on the heart, influencing the actions of others.

Moreover such a dangerous journey cannot be undertaken without a companion , and the companion should be such that he has no concern for his own life, his familial love should not supersede his love for Allah and His messenger, he should be experienced in both summer and winter weather patterns, a seasoned traveller, intelligent, wise to the ways of the world, possessing great courage, of high disposition, forthright, one whose trustworthiness has been tested time and again, devout, one for whom the speech stored in the chambers of the heart is opened, a pure hearted soul, one in whose company, perplexity, strangeness and anxiety all dissipate. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam saw all these qualities only in Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu and this is the reason why he went to his house in the afternoon, arranged all travel plans with him after which both arrived at the Cave of Thowr. `Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu, the son of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu, acted as a spy for them and related all information he could glean from the disbelievers to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and his father.

 

Responding to the Shi`ah perception

If the family of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu bore any enmity to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam then would such arrangements have been possible? If we were to hypothetically accept that this conspiracy was possible then what better opportunity could he have had to actualize his ‘enmity’ and fulfil his wishes by handing over Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam to the disbelievers? The Shi`ah should study their own books and inform me if I have been false in relating this incident. If any difference is found then he is free to do as he pleases. A fair-minded person will be left with no other alternative but to acknowledge the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam taking Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu along with him as his companion on hijrah (migration) is such a great virtue that it cannot be equalled by any other, such that even `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu sleeping in the bed of Rasulullah cannot equal it.

All would have probably seen, during times of unrest, that when warrants of arrest are issued for the perpetrators, the others who reside in the house are not arrested. On the contrary, whoever is seen as his cohorts or accomplices are regarded to be equally guilty as the perpetrator himself.

It is of considerable regret that the testimony of Allah and his messenger in favour of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu is not accepted and then too only because they testify to his iman. If you do not accept the word of Allah then what will you accept? This is when you invent various illogical interpretations and are willing to believe the most far-fetched hypothesis such that if it is compared with what the Qur’an truly says then not even an atom of what the Qur’an says can be found in it.

 

The fair-minded interpretation of the verse

We have no doubt that the Shi`ah understand this verse to have the very same meaning as we have expounded; namely that if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was distressed at the time, then it was only because Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was defenceless and at the mercy of the kuffar at that time and he thought to himself: “What can I possibly do alone against these enemies, who will discover us with a simple glance towards their feet.”

However, such levels of helplessness and incapacity warrants the assistance of Allah as Allah Ta`ala says:

حَتّٰۤی اِذَا اسْتَیْـَٔسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوْۤا اَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوْا جَآءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا

Until the time came when (even) the rusul grew despondent and thought that they had erred in their understanding, then Our assistance came to them.[8]

Similarly, it was on account of the utter despondency of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu at this juncture that the assistance descended and the glad tidings of:

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

In other words, O Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu! Do not be despondent or sad. Be consoled that our Rabb is with both of us.

Essentially this promise came to pass and both were saved from the evil clutches of the kuffar, and they reached Madinah safely. The manner in which the light of Islam shone forth from this point is common knowledge and clearer than the sun. Thus Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu deserves our utmost gratitude and supplications because had it not been for his concern and distress then this outcome would never have materialised. It was on account of this concern and distress that led to the lands of Iran being liberated from the hands of the kuffar, giving the Shi`ah a homeland, but these unappreciative ilk, instead of expressing gratefulness, express such repulsive sentiment towards him, the likes of which no person will articulate for his benefactor.

 

Another laughable interpretation of the Shi`ah and its refutation

At times some become extremely prejudiced and say that up until this point in time Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was exactly as is understood from the Word of Allah but he did not remain the same thereafter. This pseudo-objection does not merit a response rather it would be better for the Shi`ah to never utter such an allegation as this would prompt the Hindu and British to mockingly say: “Farewell to such a deity who is unaware of what is to transpire a few days from now.” Furthermore, if we were to hypothetically accept this (merely relating the outcome of their belief but not ascribing to it) that Allah was unaware of the crimes which Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu would later perpetrate and only erroneously uttered these remarks, then it would demand that Allah Ta`ala prove His Word to be true and bring the ‘deceiving’ Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu back to the straight path, by force if need be. After all, this is the Lord and Master of the Universe we are talking about and not some ordinary person, who would sit idly by while his word is proven false. Allah Ta`ala said to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu: “I am with you”, and Allah has also said:

لَا تَبْدِیْلَ لِکَلِمٰتِ اللهِ

There is nothing that can change the words (and promises) of Allah.[9]

مَا یُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ  لَدَیَّ

The decision (order) that proceeds from Me shall never be altered.[10]

Both verses have the same meaning, which is that the word of Allah does not change. How then is it possible that Allah Ta`ala abandoned Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu, such that shaitan then took hold of him or to put it more blatantly that Allah was with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu but then could not withstand the onslaught of shaitan and was forced to abandon him, Allah Ta`ala is indeed pure and above that. Instead it would be more prudent for the Shi`ah to never utter such allegations.

 

The wording of the verse utterly silences any Shi`ah response

They fail to understand that firstly the statement:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

is such a sentence, that in accordance with Arabic prose, it denotes perpetuity. Those acquainted with Arabic and the laws of balaghah (eloquence) would be well-aware of this, and even to `Ammar `Ali, this much is absolutely certain.

Secondly, if we were to all accept that this verse does not prove any perpetuity then the Shi`ah will have to admit to the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu jointly shared in the closeness and assistance at that moment. Now, it is absolutely impossible that Allah Ta`ala ever separated from Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and abandoned being close to him and assisting him. This implies that the share of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam in the verse:

Verily Allah is with us.

was in fact perpetual, which would warrant that the share of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu also be perpetual. The reason being that both were referred to in one instance and not separately; the words “مَعِىَ”(with me) and “مَعَكَ” (with you) were not used.

Thirdly, even if we were to overlook all of the above, we will say that the statement of shaitan appears in Surah Sa’d as follows:

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَاُغْوِیَنّهُمْ اَجْمَعِیْنَ  اِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ  الْمُخْلَصِیْنَ

He (Iblis) said, “I swear by Your honour! I shall definitely mislead all of them except your sincere slaves amongst them.[11]

As they are beyond his reach on account of them being under the refuge of Allah. In Surah al-Hijr, after the words: “Except your sincere slaves from amongst them”, Allah by way of attestation to the words of shaitan states:

اِنَّ عِبَادِیْ لَیْسَ لَكَ عَلَیْهِمْ سُلْطٰنٌ

Indeed you will have no power over My bondsmen.[12]

In other words, shaitan is being told that you are truthful in your statement that whoever seeks refuge in Me, you will have no influence over them. Therefore ponder deeply over this verse:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

It clearly proves Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu having come into the refuge of Allah, in other words that he has come into the court or within the borders of Allah. So shaitan does not have the ability to remove anybody from this proximity, so then who is there who can remove Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu? If they respond by saying that Allah Himself has removed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu then this is in itself incorrect as Allah has said:

اِنَّ اللهَ لَا یُغَیِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتّٰی یُغَیِّرُوْا مَابِاَنْفُسِهِمْ

Undoubtedly Allah does not change the condition of a nation until they change the condition within themselves.[13]

 

 The impossibility of his condition changing

Moreover it was impossible for the condition of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu to have changed on account of satanic enticement or deception because it is evident, in fact clearer than the sun, that capability is required in order to carry out any action. In order for one to give charity, generosity is required. Similarly, to march into battle would first require bravery. The same applies in evil and sin as well, it too requires an ability or capability. Thus if that ability did exist within him then Allah Ta`ala removed it. Allah Ta`ala says it so beautifully in the Qur’an:

اَلْخَبِیْثٰتُ لِلْخَبِیْثِیْنَ وَ الْخَبِیْثُوْنَ لِلْخَبِیْثٰتِ ۚ وَ الطَّیِّبٰتُ لِلطَّیِّبِیْنَ وَ الطَّیِّبُوْنَ لِلطَّیِّبٰتِ

Impure women are for impure men and impure men are for impure women. Pure women are for pure men and pure men are for pure women.[14]

In fact, the statement that was made at this juncture:,

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

establishes that Allah will not be separated from him. The reason being that if the statement:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the believers.

Were to have been mentioned after the words:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Do not grieve!

Then too we would understand that Allah will only be with us as long as we have iman and iman is a prerequisite for the proximity of Allah. If one were to lose his iman then we would understand that he has lost the proximity to Allah as well. However in this instance, where Allah has not mentioned any condition for His proximity, it will mean that it is perpetual and will never be lost. The connection created through the bonds of blood can never be broken whereas those friendships based upon good character and goodness will remain as long as the good character and goodness prevails. This is the reason why friendships often break but familial ties remain intact. In essence, familial ties are attached to yourself whereas the ties of friendship are attached to acts of virtue. Therefore since Allah said:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Verily Allah is with us.

And not:

اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the believers.

Or any other expression, whereby it requires a particular quality, it becomes known that the ties of togetherness between Allah and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu is attached to his person and not any particular quality (that may be lost tomorrow).

Thus, if the relationship were to change then it would change in accordance with the verse:

اِنَّ اللهَ لَا یُغَیِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتّٰی یُغَیِّرُوْا مَابِاَنْفُسِهِمْ

Undoubtedly Allah does not change the condition of a nation until they change the condition within themselves.[15]

This stipulates that Allah Ta`ala changes the relationship on account of the qualities in a person changing. So when a change in relationship arises it will be on account of those qualities (on which the relationship was based) having changed and not without reason. The corollary of the Shi`ah argument would be that Allah had committed a major oversight for failing to mention the quality upon which the relationship was based (i.e. in the verse: “Verily Allah is with us!”) and instead of saying:

Verily Allah is with the believers.

erroneously said:

Verily Allah is with us.

We seek refuge in Allah from such evil misunderstandings and from ever perceiving that Allah Ta`ala could err or forget. Verily Allah Ta`ala is as described by Nabi Musa `alayh al-Salam:

لَا یَضِلُّ رَبِّیْ وَ لَا یَنْسَی

My Rabb does not err nor does he forget.[16]

 

The status of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu

Objectively, if impartiality were to reign, then the words “With us” would be understood to accord Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu a status close too (but below) that of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, which is a level of proximity that he has conferred on both of them. This will make it incumbent to award him the title of “al-Siddiq al-Akbar” and that he be regarded as the most superior of not only this Ummah but of previous nations as well (aside from the ambiya). If it is said that the ceiling of his status was the floor level of that of nubuwwah, which is suitably provided by the fact that he was a partner to the messenger in a certain matter, then both the Ahl al-Sunnah and Shi`ah know that there is no station which is linked to the station of nubuwwah other than the station of Siddiqiyyah. The reason being that Allah makes mention of the Siddiqin immediately after the ambiya, which informs us that in every nation there will be a Siddiq whose status will be connected to that of the nabi and fall just under the status of that nabi. Since the nubuwwah of Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam surpasses that of the other ambiya so too will the Siddiq of this nation surpass the Siddiqin of all other nations.

This should suffice for the objective and if Allah grants understanding to the prejudiced then only will they understand. Where is it possible for a weak person such as myself to make them understand? However, it is incumbent upon me to mention this much as an advice:

The enemies of those whom Allah has sided with are doomed.

 

Another Shi`ah diversion

After the discussion above, the only avenue left for one to adopt would be to say that:

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

is in reality not the speech of Allah but the speech of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and Allah is simply narrating it and not speaking from Himself. Whatever emanated from the blessed tongue of the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, Allah quoted verbatim just as He quoted the statement of Fir’oun:

اَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْاَعْلٰی

I am your highest Rabb![17]

And the statement of shaitan:

اَنَا خَیْرٌ مِّنْهُ

I am better than him.[18]

Even though Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was a nabi, he was still a human being and as is well-known, man is prone to mistakes and forgetfulness. So it is not far-fetched that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam could have made a mistake.

The answer to this assertion, which must be a source of great pride for the Shi`ah and bringing no less joy for them than the celebration of Eid Baba Shaja` al-Din[19], and even though they are prepared to claim a donkey as their father to distance themselves from the truth expounded by the Ahl al-Sunnah, they will have to listen to what I say, they need not read the entire Surah but merely this verse:

وَمَا یَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْہَوٰی   اِنْ  هُوَ  اِلَّا  وَحْیٌ  یُّوْحٰی

He does not speak of his own desires. Whatever he says is revelation (which Allah has) revealed to him.[20]

There is no possibility of whims and fancies, no exaggerated praise or deception nor anything based upon personal understanding.

The third khalifah `Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu (according to the Shi`ah) removed verses upon verses from the Qur’an, which expound the virtues and superiority of `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, the ‘wasi of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam’, never mind verses entire surahs proving the legitimacy of his khilafah were removed, so in response, if he were to have removed this one verse, which obviously establishes the excellence of the first khalifah Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu, then it would be no less then recompensing evil with evil the like thereof or even less than this, since this is all it establishes. So the removal of this one verse would in no way be equal to the removal of the thousands of verses in his honour, especially since the removal of this verse will not result in any right being usurped. Furthermore, `Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu managed to not only remove these verses from the Qur’an but also remove the honour of `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu from the hearts of the people. Nevertheless, I have strayed far off the topic, this verse makes it clear that the statements of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam are the statements of Allah, more so when it pertains to the knowledge of the unseen. Since proximity with Allah is not something visible to the eye it is of the first category of unseen knowledge. This includes the verse:

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

amongst the mutashabihat, which do not allow the application of logic in their interpretation. Thus, it is impossible for any person to say that many impending events are ascertained through the use of the intellect, such as the possibility of solar or lunar eclipses, so similarly in this case, what harm is there if Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam deduced this by use of his intellect.

On the contrary if it were pertaining to some law of prohibition or permission in din then it would be possible to apply ijtihad and there would have been no harm in Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam doing so, just as the aʼimmah of the past had done. The Ahl al-Sunnah do indeed believe in the ijtihad of the Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam but when it comes to the verse:

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

There is no other interpretation except what was clearly mentioned by Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam as it was all based upon revelation and not the personal opinion or ijtihad of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. There is no interpretation to this verse that can support the perception of the Shi`ah because if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was not accepted in the court of Allah, as the Shi`ah believe, but rather he later turned to kufr then Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would never have comforted him in this manner. What would have prompted Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam to lie in this manner?

 

The lame excuse of taqiyyah

If anybody were to say that it was taqiyyah (dissimulation), then the response would be that taqiyyah takes place when there is some form of fear. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was not a wrestler and nor was Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam a weakling. Leave alone one opponent, Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam defeated many wrestlers. Many opportunities to kill Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu presented itself where no questions would be asked.

Secondly, if Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam had practiced taqiyyah then he would have sufficed himself with compassionate and kind words. Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was not limited to these few words of re-assurance, but in terms of speech, he was equipped with great eloquence. After all he was the most eloquent of all, Arabs and non-Arabs alike. If it had been necessary for words of comfort to be used, then there are many other forms of expression at hand and what need was there for deceit.

Furthermore, we seek refuge in Allah that we should have to utter such a thing, but based on the Shi`ah view, if he was coerced into such deceit, then our argument would be that he could have used an insinuation instead. In place of:

لَا تَحْزَنْ اِنَّ اللهَ مَعَنَا

Do not grieve. Verily Allah is with us.

He could have said:

إِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

Verily Allah is with the believers.

This would have served as an assurance and the matter would have been closed and resolved, and in so doing Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would have been saved from deceit.

If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was indeed a hypocrite, Allah forbid, then by this statement he would think that Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam regards him as a believer and friend, and if on the other hand he was a true believer, who later abandoned Islam then Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would still be true in his statement. Allah Ta`ala never forgets, so as long as he would remain a believer Allah would be with him and once iman left his heart then Allah Ta`ala would have also abandoned him.

 

Explanation of the term “صاحبه” and the claim that it does not have the same meaning of Sahabi

After this explanation, I will conclude with a caution. It should be borne in mind that certain enemies of intellect might experience the following difficulty and claim that Allah Ta`ala says:

وَمَاۤ اَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَّسُوْلٍ  اِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهٖ

We sent every Rasul with the language of his nation so that he may clearly explain to them.[21]

Thus, Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would then speak in accordance with the rules of the Arabic language and as a result of this principle we see that the Noble Qur’an also articulates itself in accordance with this usage. Thus the word “صاحب” (sahib) only means to accompany and it will be unjust to award it the same meaning as Sahabi, because the word Sahabi according to the Shari`ah refers to a person who has in a state of iman remained in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, whether it be for a little or long while. According to certain `ulama in order for a person to be considered a Sahabi, he would have had to remain in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam for a long period. Whatever the case may be, the point is that the concept of iman is inherent to the word Sahabi and not to the word “صاحب” (sahib). In short, iman is synonymous with the word Sahabi and, firstly, the word sahib is no technical definition in the Shari`ah whereas in Shari`ah the word that is used is Sahabi. Secondly, even if we were to accept that the word sahib is also employed as a technical term, the fact remains that the Qur’an was revealed in conformity to the Arabic language and not in conformity to technical definitions. Thirdly, even if were to believe that the companionship of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu is established from the word of Allah and that it is also an implicit indication of his iman, where in this verse does it state that he will remain with iman until his death. Thus this verse will not refute those who claim that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu had forsaken Islam later.

 

Even if sahib does not have the same meaning as Sahabi there is no harm

The answer to these arguments is that the establishment of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu `anhu iman and him remaining steadfast thereupon has been established through the connation of the blessed words:

اِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِیْنَ

Except your sincere slaves amongst them.[22]

As well as the words:

اِنَّ عِبَادِیْ لَیْسَ لَكَ عَلَیْهِمْ سُلْطٰنٌ

Indeed you will have no power over My bondsmen.[23]

This has already been discussed at length and there is no need for repetition. Thus, when his iman is established from the above mentioned verse and companionship is established from the word sahib in the verse, then what meaning of Sahabi is then found wanting? In this case, even if the word sahib does not have the same meaning as Sahabi it matters not. Furthermore, the meaning of the word sahib being known while the term Sahabi only being used in the technical sense; this usage is defined to this age only. Even if it did apply in the era of nubuwwah then too it would be similar to the manner in which Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was known by the name Muhammad but Nabi `Isa `alayh al-Salam gave the glad tidings of the coming of Ahmed, as is mentioned in Surah al-Saff. In essence, when two words are synonymous, it is no problem for the less common word to be used instead of the more common one.

As far as the Qur’an being revealed in accordance with the common usage of Arabic diction, this does not mean that every word Allah Ta`ala uses has to carry the meaning which the Arabs commonly assign to it. The word salah, zakat, sowm and Hajj are all examples of words that do not have their literal meaning but rather a technical definition in Shari`ah. Thus the word sahib has been used in the same light.

 

The correct implication

The general rule is that whenever a new nabi is sent then he comes with new laws and many a time to understand these new laws, one needs to understand all related issues as well; since most of it was not known before. So it is not necessary for every word to have the same meaning that it is used for in that language. However, every language has its own laws. When it is difficult to convey a certain concept then it uses commonly used words of that language to convey its theme but now that word will have an additional meaning. Those well-acquainted with the Arabic language will understand both the old and new meanings of words like sowm, salah, etc. This is how the word sahib or Sahabi should be understood. Thus, one needs to understand the linguistic meaning of sahib and then its technical meaning in Shari`ah as well. Even though the word sahib is normally used in its linguistic meaning and the word Sahabi is used with the technical meaning, at the same time, the word sahib is also used for the second meaning (of Sahabi) but only if ascribed to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, there should be no confusion as to when the word sahib is used with the technical meaning in Shari`ah. The people who study the hadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam will understand this easily.

Therefore any word mentioned in the Qur’an or hadith with the technical definition in mind; it would be utterly preposterous to then consider it using its linguistic meaning. Words like salah, zakat, sowm, etc, need to be understood according to their technical definition of Shari`ah and very rarely are they used with their linguistic meanings in mind.

If for arguments sake, we were to accept that the word “صاحبه” which is derived from the word sahib is not intended for its technical definition then too according to common usage it will still be attached to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, because during the time of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam whenever the word was used, even by non-believers, they used it to refer to the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. It did not mean that the person referred to was their companion, instead they meant that he was the companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. They would say that he deserted our religion and chose the religion of Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.

 

The word “sahib” has extra merit when compared to the word “Sahabi”

In actual fact, the word “sahib” having its linguistic meaning here will add more meaning to the verse as opposed to its technical definition. The explanation of this is that in this instance the word “sahib” will only mean companion and it will refer to the companionship hinted at in the beginning of the verse:

اِذْ هُمَا فِی الْغَارِ

When they were in the cave.

In this instance the meaning of the verse will be:

Our support came when both of them were in the cave and Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was saying to his companion…

It is obvious that such companionship is required at this time which is most sincere, and the sincerity and spirit of sacrifice shown by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu on this hour cannot be equaled by anyone nor can it be denied. If Allah did not make mention of this companionship here then too it would not matter as it had become so well-known that it had become an adage. The Shi`ah can deny it and in their hearts they know that his companionship to Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam at this moment cannot be equaled by anyone. Even Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam himself did not regard anyone’s friendship to be greater than Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu `anhu. In the same manner the friendship and companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam outweighed all others in the eyes of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu. In this manner, he is considered to be the best amongst the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, and why should he not when Allah Ta`ala has announced him being the companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam in the cave and his title of Al-Siddiq has become so common that even his enemies know this to be his title.

 

Shi`ah attempts to undermine the right of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu to khilafah

One might argue that even if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was the best Sahabi, it does not matter as the right of khilafah belonged to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu since he was the cousin of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and his son-in-law too, and according to the norms of society the son-in-law is as good as a son, therefore the khilafah belonged to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. At the least, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu should have made a bequest for the khilafah to pass to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu after his demise but he did no such thing. Instead he made a bequest in favour of `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu.

The reply to this is that such confusion comes about when one equates khilafah to the hereditary rule of a kingdom. However, for the people of understanding it is clear that khilafah after nubuwwah is one of the greatest pillars of din, whereas hereditary rule is one of the worst concepts in matters of worldly affairs. Therefore, one cannot equate the highest level of din to worldly matters when there is a distinctive difference between the two.

If one compares the khulafa of the ambiya with the khulafa of knowledge then that analogy might work since knowledge is also a part of din. However, here too it is common knowledge that there is no hereditary rule. It is on account of aptitude and perfection that one is selected. The word khilafah too suggests the same, as it means deputyship. A deputy is one who is capable of fulfilling the duty of the represented individual. If a number of people are capable of carrying out this duty then precedence will be granted to the one who surpasses the others. Thus, when Abu Bakr al-Siddiq radiya Llahu `anhu has been established to be the best after the ambiya then how is it possible for `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu to be more deserving of the right to khilafah? Yes! Most certainly `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu also deserves the post of khilafah but it will be in order of superiority. As for the accusation of usurping the khilafah, I ask you that when Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu had the most right to be khalifah that what is wrong if he took the post? It was after all his right, so whose right did he usurp? Furthermore, those who are well-versed with the incidents of history, will be able to inform you whether the khilafah was thrust on his shoulders by the Sahabah or whether he snatched it all by himself?

As far as him appointing `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu as his successor after him, firstly it needs to be understood again that hereditary has no role in the appointment of a khalifah. If it did then Fatimah radiya Llahu `anha and after her, Hasan radiya Llahu `anhu and Husayn radiya Llahu `anhu would have a greater right than `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. As far as them being a woman or children then it should be noted that in many kingdoms women and children still rule while they are assisted by others.

In summary, even if khilafah were to be determined through ancestry, `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu would still not have the greatest right to rule and more so it would not have been his right at the time of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Furthermore, it would still not have been his right when he eventually became the khalifah, as Hasan radiya Llahu `anhu and Husayn radiya Llahu `anhu were both alive at the time. However, if khilafah is like nubuwwah and not akin to the hereditary rule of kingdoms, such that the most qualified and most superior are chosen to rule, then what is wrong with `Umar radiya Llahu `anhu suggesting that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu be the khalifah, if he had not done so then someone else would have? If Abu Bakr radiya Llahu `anhu was not the most superior then most certainly this objection would have merit.

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter Two


[1] Surah Taubah: 40

[2] Surah al-Naml: 10

[3] Surah Yusuf: 86

[4] Surah Ha Mim Sajdah: 30

[5] Surah Ha Mim Sajdah: 54

[6] Surah al-Taubah: 123

[7] Surah al-Anfal: 30

[8] Surah Yusuf: 110

[9] Surah Yunus: 64

[10] Surah Qaf: 29

[11] Surah Sad: 82

[12] Surah al-Hijr: 42

[13] Surah al-Ra`d: 11

[14] Surah al-Nur: 26

[15] Surah Ra`d: 11

[16] Surah Taha: 52

[17] Surah al-Nazi`at: 24

[18] Surah Sad: 76

[19] Eid Baba Shaja` al-Din is a Shi`i custom wherein they celebrate and rejoice upon the martyrdom of `Umar ibn al-Khattab I at the hands of the Zoroastrian Abu Luʼluʼ, whom they have awarded the honorary title of Baba Shaja` al-Din.

[20] Surah al-Najm: 3,4

[21] Surah Ibrahim: 4

[22] Surah Sad: 82

[23] Surah al-Hijr: 42

Back to top