All praises belong to Allah, we have responded adequately to all the allegations of ‘Ammar ‘Ali. However, in response to his allegations and accusations regarding the Fadak Estate, we ought to have retaliated tit for tat, but it is not appropriate for us to stoop to such levels and utter that which intelligent and noble people would consider offensive or shameful.
Firstly, taking ‘Ammar ‘Ali to task for vilifying the three Khalifas is akin to somebody resolving to slap a dog for spitting at the sun or punishing someone who spits at the sun/moon by pouring urine on them. It is evident that the sun or moon is unaffected by such worthless gestures. Instead, such foolish antics only laud the lofty status of the sun or the moon, as filth and abuse cannot taint it. Secondly, whilst the sun and the moon remain in its splendour, dogs and those who stoop lower than that can only be condemned to their fate because they feel no shame upon their despicability, and besides wasting time and effort, they achieve nothing from their endeavours.
‘Ammar ‘Ali’s vilification of the three Khalifas can be compared to the above example; his filthy utterances only serve to establish the lofty status of the three Khalifas. The three Khalifas are radiant like the sun and the moon, and if dogs spit at them then what else could be expected from the dog? Secondly, like the dog has no relation to the radiant sun, ‘Ammar ‘Ali enjoys no status in relation to the three Khalifas whereby we could feel a sense of relief in retaliating for his vilification of them. The worst of his insults cannot tarnish their image in the least and devoting time to express disassociation to the three Khalifas and vilifying them is just a waste of time.
Lastly, responding to a fool magnifies his importance and we certainly do not wish to accord him such attention.
Love for the Ahlul Bayt is at the very core of our faith and we maintain that love for them and the Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are the two wings with which we soar and transcend. Just as it is impossible for a bird to take flight with one wing only, so too is it impossible for iman to be the means for achieving the ultimate success referred to in the following two verses:
وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُوْنَ
And it is those who are the attainers [of success].
فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيْمًا
Has certainly attained a great attainment.
In fact, iman without these two wings would be like the iman referred to in the following verse:
لَا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيْمَانُهَا
No soul will benefit from its faith.
Yes, if we were to follow in the footsteps of the Shia, who disparage the Sahabah in order to spite the Ahlus Sunnah, according to the idiom, cutting one’s nose to avoid the effect of the evil eye, thus destroying their iman, then, Allah forbid, we ought to have vilified the Ahlul Bayt to spite them and render our iman invalid as the Khawarij and Nawasib have done. However, it would be impossible for us to do so as we are governed by intelligence and that which has been divinely transmitted to us (‘aql and naql). As for the Shia, they have no limits and restrictions, like a stray camel wandering about aimlessly.
The reality is that both groups, the Sahabah and the Ahlul Bayt, enjoy the greatest significance and importance to us and they are like two eyes for us. If we destroy any one of our eyes, it would be to our detriment only. Imagine a person who has a beautiful face and features; if one of his eyes were to be disfigured, it would make the other eye also unattractive. Similarly, if the pupil from the defective eye were to be inserted into the good eye and the white area within the normal eye were now filled with blackness, it would be so odious and dreadful that anyone who may have had any attraction to this person would cringe at the mere sight of him. The person himself would be so disturbed by this reaction that he would desire that the defective eye remain as it is without its contents being implanted into the normal eye.
As absurd as this is, this seems to be the reality of the iman of the Shia. Nevertheless, reverence for the Sahabah and love for the Ahlul Bayt are like the two eyes of iman according to the testimony of the Qur’an and hadith (and which the reader of this book has already witnessed). As for the Shia, they have disfigured one eye completely and they have placed this eye and its contents into the socket of the correct eye.
The correlation is as follows: The Shia have disregarded reverence and love for the Sahabah, which is the fountainhead of iman and they have exaggerated the veneration for the Ahlul Bayt so much that they have dedicated the portion of reverence for the Sahabah to the Ahlul Bayt. They did not stop at this but just as in the example, the entire portion of the whiteness was replaced with blackness only, the Shia have done exactly the same.
Consequently, just as the eye comprises of a pupil and the whiteness around it, the word ‘Itrah—which refers to the Ahlul Bayt—refers to a few categories of relatives such as wives, offspring and kith and kin. This meaning of ‘itrah is unanimously agreed upon by linguists. Now consider that from the entire implication of this term, the Shia merely revere twelve individuals and a few others and reject the rest. Since they declare these twelve to be their leaders, they venerate them only and assign the portion of reverence and veneration due to the rest of the members of the Ahlul Bayt and the Sahabah to these twelve particular individuals. This explains the relation to the example cited above; whilst the normal eye has become enlarged, the whiteness has been substituted with blackness.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to elaborate and substantiate this point, lest the Shia consider it an allegation and misrepresentation of the facts. They could actually consider it an allegation due to saying: “A man judges other by his own standards.” They are then at liberty to verify this from their references and their scholars, and they would be left with no alternative other than attesting to the truth of what has been written here.
Consequently, the Shia do not even consider Sayyidah Ruqayyah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Sayyidah Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha to be the daughters of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This view is so commonly heard from the Shia that along with the masses, the learned among them also claim this. The error of the learned ones is worse since authentic Shia sources establish that they were indeed the daughters of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and this has been documented earlier on.
Similarly, the Shia do not include the honourable uncle of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, or his family to be among the ‘itrah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The same applies to Sayyidina Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Whilst Sayyidina ‘Abbas enjoys a very prominent relationship and link with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not many are aware of the close ties which Sayyidina Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoys. In fact, he could actually be considered a brother to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on account of his close links and ties. Firstly, Sayyidina Zubair’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu mother is Safiyyah radiya Llahu ‘anha who is the paternal aunt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His paternal grandmother is Halah bint Wahb ibn ‘Abdul Manaf, who is the true maternal aunt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (his mother’s sister). His father’s paternal aunt is Umm Habib bint al Asad, who is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam paternal grandmother and his paternal aunt is Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha, who is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wife. In addition to this, his wife is Sayyidah Asmaʼ, who is none other than the sister of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, the wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Finally, his ancestry links up with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at the fifth ancestor, Qusay ibn Kilab. Based on this, the scholars of ancestral lineage have written that no other Sahabi enjoyed closer blood ties with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than Sayyidina Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Notwithstanding such close ties, the manner in which the Shia conduct themselves makes apparent the enmity they truly harbour for the family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Despite Sayyidina Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu being one of the earliest Muslims and earliest emigrants, whose praise has been mentioned Noble Qur’an repeatedly, the Shia consider him to be among the disbelievers and hypocrites.
As for their vilification and hatred for the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—the Mothers of the Believers—it requires no elaboration. Such perceptions about the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is all the more repugnant considering that they are the actual and primary implication of the term “Ahlul Bayt”. What else would Ahlul Bayt mean other than the household of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or the members of his house? Even if he knows nothing else, ‘Ammar ‘Ali would certainly know that this is what Ahlul Bayt implies.
Secondly, when this term appears in the Noble Qur’an it appears in relation to the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As for Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, they are included by the broader connotation of the term Ahlul Bayt, or they were included by the personal request of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. For your satisfaction, the verse wherein this term appears will be quoted along with the context in which it appears so that both the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia will have no further misconceptions about this term. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِيْ فِيْ قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَعْرُوْفًا وَقَرْنَ فِيْ بُيُوْتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُوْلَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِيْنَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ الله لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا (33) وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَى فِيْ بُيُوْتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيْفًا خَبِيْرًا
O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdom. Indeed, Allah is ever Subtle and Acquainted [with all things].
This is the correct translation of these verses in its context. Any Shia is at liberty to refer to his scholars about the correctness of this translation. Nevertheless, the verses establish that the noble consorts of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are the primary implication of the term “Ahlul Bayt”.
Consequently, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gathered Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidah Fatimah, Sayyidina Hassan and Hussain, placed his sheet around them and supplicated thus: “O Allah, these are the members of my household.” The purpose of this was to include them in the merit announced in this verse of the Noble Qur’an.
The above is similar to the manner in which a magnanimous and appreciative king tells his minister: “I am going to allot land for the members of your household.” The minister realises that this naturally includes him, his wife and sons and that it does not refer to daughters or granddaughters, as they live their own lives and are under the authority of their husbands. However, seeing the opportunity; he requests the king to confer the bounty on his daughter and son-in-law too. Now, if the king were to enquire who these people are, then considering the fact that the son-in-law and the daughter are no less in relationship to him than his own wives, he will say: “These are members of my family too.” Now despite the king knowing that his son-in-law and daughter are not members of his own house, he overlooks this and allots land for them too.
Alternatively, it could be said that despite being revealed in relation to the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only, the term “Ahlul Bayt” collectively refers to the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well as Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his household.
This is similar to the use of the Urdu term “Delhi wala”—which means one who lives in Delhi —it refers equally to all those who reside in Delhi. Now, if someone sees two people from Delhi and say, “These are Delhi wala”, then even the most ignorant person will not conclude that these two people are the sole residents of Delhi.
It is clear from this explanation that the Qur’anic reference to the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as Ahlul Bayt and the hadith reference to the household of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by the same term is perfectly in order.
Nevertheless, despite the noble wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being the actual Ahlul Bayt and the Qur’an being revealed to establish this along with asserting that:
And his wives are [in the position of] their mothers.
The Shia still do not refrain from hurling abuse and vilifying them. However, if in response to the verse, His wives are [in the position of] their mothers, they were to reply: “They are mothers unto the believers, not unto us”, then we would accept that from them, but what would their response be to the verse which classifies them as the Ahl –Bayt?
By their rejection of their status as Ahlul Bayt the reader can gauge the sentiment which this sect has for the illustrious wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Despite their claims of love for the Ahlul Bayt, the Shia bear intense hatred for most of the progeny of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, criticising and vilifying them. Amongst them is Zaid rahimahu Llah—the martyr—who is the son of Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was exceptionally learned, Allah fearing, and pious. He was martyred by the forces of Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik.
As for his son, Yahya ibn Zaid, he is branded as apostate by the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers). The same applies to Ibrahim and Jafar, the two sons of Musa al Kazim. As far as Jafar, the Shia have given him the title “The Great Liar” despite him being a pious saint and friend of Allah. Jafar ibn Musa al Kazim is the spiritual mentor or sheikh of Bayazid al Bustami rahimahu Llah.
As for Jafar ibn ‘Ali, the brother of Imam Hassan al ‘Askari, the Shia also refer to him as “the Great Liar”. As for Hassan ibn Hassan al Muthanna, his son—‘Abdullah al Mahd—and his son Muhammad, Dhu al Nafs al Zakiyyah (the purified soul); they are considered to be disbelievers according to the Shia. They also regard Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah, Zakariyya ibn Muhammad al Baqir, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hussain ibn Hassan, Muhammad ibn al Qasim ibn al Hassan and Yahya ibn ‘Umar (the grandson of Zaid the martyr) all to be disbelievers and apostate. In addition to this, they consider numerous members of the Ahlul Bayt from the lineage of both Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to be deviates for recognising the status and merits of Zaid rahimahu Llah—the martyr. A brief look at the books of History and Ancestry would prove that almost all of the Ahlul Bayt members explicitly attested to the exalted position of Zaid rahimahu Llah.
The summary of this entire discussion is that they consider all the above individuals to be disbelievers and renegades, and they maintain that despite being from the progeny of the most honoured and beloved daughter of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam they are destined for the Fire of Jahannam for eternity. This is based on their view that whoever rejects the status of one of their Imams is a disbeliever of the same category as one who has rejected the Nubuwwah of any Prophet. Since this is the case, the position of the disbelievers is clear; they will abide in hell forever. This implies that all these illustrious members of the Ahlul Bayt are doomed to hell forever and they will never attain salvation. Allah forbid!
(To spare themselves from the implications of this allegation) Some do say that these illustrious people will be restrained at A’raf like Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the venerable uncle of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Others among them maintain that they will gain deliverance from the Fire after being subjected to the most painful torment, through the intercession of their illustrious ancestors.
However, both interpretations lack substance since according to them rejecting the doctrine of Imamah is an act of disbelief and there is no possibility of interceding for a disbeliever or him being restrained at A’raf. It is unanimously agreed upon that there would be no intercession for a disbeliever and that such intercession could never be accepted. Similarly, maintaining that the disbelievers would be restrained at A’raf also conflicts with the Noble Qur’an. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا وَمَاتُوْا وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا لَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْظَرُوْنَ
Indeed, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers – upon them will be the curse of Allah and of the angels and the people, all together, Abiding eternally therein. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved. 
Therefore, whilst the claim of love is so deafening, this is the reality of their relationship with the offspring and progeny of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his noble wives, the progeny of their Imams and brothers of their Imams. Consequently, there is no difference between them and the Nawasib. If there is any then it is the same as the difference between ten and twelve. This is because the Shia maintain the status of their twelve Imams and some of their close relatives whilst the Nawasib do not. However, their admiration and veneration of these personalities is also just a farce, since they criticise their very own Imams and pronounce these faults openly to one and all. Some of this has already been recorded in this treatise.
Whilst this is an appropriate juncture to elaborate on this, it is beyond the scope of this short treatise. However, I would record a few matters by way of example.
The Shia have documented such fallacies regarding Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that, Allah forbid, it depicts him as a person who was extremely immoral and a great liar. Consequently, he gave his daughter in marriage to a kafir and for fear of his life refrained from contesting the caliphate and drumming up support for the position which he was most eligible to. Instead, he performed salah behind those ‘disbelievers’ and maintained amicable ties with them for as long as they lived. When they passed away, he continued to praise them with such lofty words, a tenth of which he has not proclaimed in favour of the ‘actual’ believers. When this is their view about Sayyidina ‘Ali—the father of their Imams—then what could be expected about the rest of them? While the Khawarij and Nawasib revile Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they too do not stoop to this level.
Similarly, their claim of love has another extreme as they belittle the status of all the Prophets of Allah and raise the position of their Imams. Consequently, the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) maintain that each one of the Twelve Imams is superior to the all Prophets of Allah.
However, the Noble Qur’an repeatedly uses the terms Istifa and Ijtiba with reference to the Prophets of Allah. This means that they have been selected as the best individuals of the human race and others cannot equal them. Similarly, the list of the four favoured groups in the Qur’an commences with the Prophets of Allah. This also implies that they are superior to the remaining three groups. Since it is evident that the Twelve Imams were not Prophets, the Shia could have placed them in any of the remaining three groups. It could have been said that they were from the category of “Siddiqin”—which is our belief as well—which would place them below the Prophets.
However, it would be foolish for us to think that the Shia would accept the word of Allah. Let us instead prove them wrong using their own references so that they are compelled to confess to the truth. Shia scholars have laboured at length to fabricate reports about the superiority of the Imams but the truth will always come to the fore. Consider the following report:
روى الكليني عن هشام الأحول عن زيد بن علي: أن الأنبياء أفضل من الأئمة ، وأن من قال غير ذلك فهو ضالٌّ
Al Kulayni reports on the authority of Hisham al Ahwal that Zaid ibn ‘Ali said that the Prophets are superior to the Imams and whoever believes otherwise is a deviate.
Similarly, Ibn Babuwayh documents a lengthy narration with an authentic transmission (according to the Shia) in his Kitab al Amali pertaining to the marriage of Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It contains the following:
عن الصادق عن آبائه عليه السلام : إن الله تعالى قال لسكّان الجنة من الملائكة وأرواح الرسل ومن فيها: ألا ، إني زوّجت أحبّ النساء إليّ من أحبّ الرجال إليّ بعد النبيين
Imam Jafar relates from his forefathers that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala proclaimed to all the inmates of Paradise including the angels, the souls of the Prophets and whoever else was therein: “I have given the dearest female to me in marriage to the dearest man to me after the Prophets.”
It is astounding that the Shia maintain the superiority of the Imams over the Prophets whereas these narrations clearly establish the rank of Sayyidina ‘Ali below the rank of the Prophets.
The only apparent reason for this is that they have allotted the share of love for the Sahabah as well as the share of allegiance due to most of the Ahlul Bayt to a few individuals only. Since the love of these twelve odd personalities has been so compounded and multiplied, it has exceeded all limits. In doing so, the Shia have fallen prey to the error of the Christians; they exalted the status of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam to the extent of divinity.
This entire example fits perfectly with the description of the inappropriately proportioned one-eye given previously. Reflect again on a person who has a beautiful structure and form but one of his eyes have become disfigured. The defective socket and its contents are then placed where the correct eye is, enlarging it and to twice its size, filling the vacuum with blackness. In the same way, the Shia have maintained love for the Ahlul Bayt and have disassociated themselves from the Sahabah; and whilst they may maintain the love of the Ahlul Bayt, they have blown it out of proportion. Similarly, they have selected a few of the Ahlul Bayt and branded the rest as deviates and disbelievers. The allegiance that was due to all of them has been compounded and directed to a few personalities.
It is evident that just as an eye with such a description is most repugnant and unattractive, when one of the two, i.e. love for the Ahl-al Bayt and veneration for the Sahabah—which are like the two eyes of iman—exist without the other, then such iman is also void of any attraction.
Therefore, we are certain that even the Twelve Imams disapprove of such love and admiration. They would also wish that love for them be in due proportion so that it does not seem unsightly. Similarly, they would want the love for the Sahabah to be restored because the defect of one eye impinges on the beauty of the other eye. Thus, the beauty of Islam and iman can only be realised by maintaining both aspects.
Since the Ahlus Sunnah consider securing the pleasure of the Ahlul Bayt their greatest fortune, this humble servant of the Ahlul Bayt conveys this message on their behalf to all the Shia in general and to ‘Ammar ‘Ali in particular, that your extreme expression of love for the Ahlul Bayt is unacceptable unless it is accompanied with equal admiration and veneration for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Admiration and love is particularly due to his Companion of the Cave—Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq—from all the Sahabah, who was the one who was given the title of a being a Sahabi by Allah himself, and this verse was discussed at length earlier. Similarly, the Imams have testified to his exalted position of being al Siddiq and they have showered praise on him liberally. When this is the position he enjoys then vilifying him is nothing less than falsifying Allah and the Imams. In order to avert such an eventuality, one would have to overlook every fault and flaw of his—if any—and one would have to acknowledge that such flaws and faults are on account of one’s own short-sightedness. It is impossible for Allah and the Imams to be in error!
Instead, we ought to believe that what appears to be flaws are actually merits even though we do not comprehend it. We ought to accept that there is every possibility of lack of comprehension, intelligence, and wisdom on our part and there is nothing strange about this. Did not Musa ‘alayh al Salam, despite being endowed with the light of Prophethood and possessing perfect intelligence, not misunderstand Khidr’s ‘alayh al Salam actions? Did he not consider it oppressive when he damaged the ship and took the life of a young boy whereas these actions were perfectly in order and carried out by the approval of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala? Is it not strange that he objected to Khidr even after being directed by Allah to accompany Khidr and after he was made aware of the position of Khidr? This entire episode appears in Surah al Kahf.
Nevertheless, when a Prophet as exalted as Musa ‘alayh al Salam—who features prominently among the great Messengers and whose mention the Qur’an is replete with—could not appreciate the reality of Khidr’s actions, who was not a prophet of Allah according to the majority view and far lower in rank than Musa ‘alayh al Salam, then the Shia who are neither Prophets of Allah nor Auliyaʼ (pious servants)—but instead are bereft of all intelligence and wisdom—should never feel worthy of objecting to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
It is not farfetched for them to take objection to some of the actions of the leader of the Auliyaʼ of the Ummah; instead this is what logic dictates since this Ummah is the best nation and its Auliyaʼ are most superior in rank. What can be said of he who secured praise from Allah and from the Imams as well, he will most certainly be the best of all the Auliyaʼ without any doubt. Now, if the actions of one who is so exalted in stature cannot be understood even by the Imams and is not appreciated then too it is inconsequential and irrelevant as his rank is so elevated.
Still the Shia might insist that their Imams enjoy the most superior position according to them and even if Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is virtuous, he could never be better than them or their equal. Therefore, we would like them to first accept the testimony and tribute of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and their illustrious Imams regarding the merits of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then we will reply to this Shia chain of thought.
If we were to accept that the illustrious Imams are superior to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then what would be the response to those verses—which have already been recorded—in which Allah has explicitly declared the Muhajirin to be the best of this Ummah. Similarly, what would be the response to the verses which implicitly declare Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be the best of them all? If these verses are incorrect according to your wrong beliefs, then it is inconsequential because Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam also objected to Khidr because he could not understand the reality of his actions; he therefore considered kindness to be harshness and justice to be oppression.
Nevertheless, it is a demand of faith in Allah and respect for the illustrious Imams that the Shia mistrust their own intelligence and acknowledge the position of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu—due to the testimony of Allah and the tribute of the Imams, which is recorded in the beginning and middle of this treatise—despite your belief of him being a heretic and non-believer. They ought to have kept the incident of Sayyidina Musa and Khidr as an example so that their flawed intellect and warped understanding could be soothed by such a precursor. This incident has been recorded for moments such as these but the Shia are bent on harbouring ill-feelings for the selected servants of Allah, thereby incurring the wrath of Allah. How knowledgeable and merciful is Allah for relating this incident but it is of no purpose to them. At the least, they should have submitted to the demands of faith in Allah and respect for the illustrious Imams, but alas!
If the above request was too difficult for them to accept and they are bent on finding fault with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then surely it is not difficult for them to understand that certain people’s misdeeds would be converted to righteous deeds in the hereafter. This appears in the Qur’an in the following verse:
إِلَّا مَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ
Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good.
Some Shia may have reservations about this and confine this conversion of sins to those mentioned specifically in the verses before this and which were committed in the period of disbelief. Therefore, they could say that if any of Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s sins are converted to merits, it would only be those committed in the period before his reversion to Islam. As for those that were perpetrated later on, such as usurping the Fadak Estate which happened after the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we see no reprieve for him.
The answer to this would be that only those could entertain such misgivings whose hearts are filled with doubt and bereft of conviction. Even if the conversion of sins refers specifically to those perpetrated in the period of disbelief it nonetheless establishes Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala capacity to convert sins into merits. Similarly, the sins of the era of disbelief are usually more in number and of a graver nature, and if Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala would convert these to merits then the vices perpetrated in the period of Islam are far less and relatively lighter. What difficulty could there be in their conversion to merits? In addition to this, the person in question is one who has been praised by Allah and the illustrious Imams, so doubting such a person’s iman and virtue can only be the task of one who doubts Allah and the illustrious Imams. Therefore, when the iman and rectitude of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is established by Allah and the Imams then why would there be reluctance in accepting that his flaws would be converted to virtues?
If they protest that the conversion of sins to virtues is conditional upon the person repenting and we are not certain that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu repented. Firstly, if conversion of sins is conditional then so be it, but if this is viewed against the praise showered upon him by Allah and the illustrious Imams then this surely demands that his sin has been converted to a virtue even though he did not actually repent.
Secondly, if the conversion of sins is conditional then the testimony of Allah and the illustrious Imams provides ample evidence that he had repented before his demise. If he did not repent, then he would be deserving of criticism and scorn, not praise and compliments.
But if the Shia take objection and say that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praised him initially (and then too unknowingly) whereas these vices were perpetrated later on then we must admit that the lord of the Shia is such that he has no idea what would unfold in the future. As for our Lord, He possesses the knowledge of the unseen and all events are encompassed by His infinite knowledge of the infinite past and the perpetual future. Therefore, if according to their claim Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was evil, he would not have received praise from Allah. What need arose for Allah to make an incorrect statement and be embarrassed before the Shia?
If they do not have faith in Allah then they should at least accept the word of the illustrious Imams, who seem to enjoy a higher position than Allah according to them. As for Allah, He is a victim of their notorious dogma, Badaʼ, whilst the Imams are immune from this. In addition, the Imams have all-encompassing knowledge of the past and future. Thus, the only valid explanation for their praise of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that his vice has been converted to virtue.
If even this does not satisfy them then we have another response; Shia reports attest that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu repented from the crime of usurping the Fadak Estate. Allah willing, we will produce this record shortly, which states that Sayyidina Abu Bakr handed over Fadak to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It also states that she was pleased by this gesture. Well, if this is not considered to be repentance from an error then what does repentance mean?
If this also does not dispel the kufr from their hearts, then we have another response. The Shia would agree that after reckoning takes place on the Day of Resurrection, those whose good deeds are weightier would be admitted to Paradise and those whose bad deeds are more would be destined to enter Hell.
Just in case they have a doubt about this fact, we present a Qur’anic verse which happens to be from the last portion of the last Juz of the Qur’an. This is so because whilst they have no knowledge of the Qur’an, they would at least be familiar with the basic recitals from the Qur’an. Consequently, the following is from Surah al Qari’ah:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِيْنُهُ فَهُوَ فِيْ عِيْشَةٍ رَاضِيَةٍ وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِيْنُهُ فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا هِيَهْ نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ
As for one whose scales are heavy (with good deeds), he will be in a pleasant life. As for one whose scales are light, his refuge will be an abyss. And what do you know what that is? It is a fire, intensely hot.
Therefore, if one who has been praised by Allah and the illustrious Imams is sinful in any way, he would still be entitled to Paradise if his good deeds exceed his bad deeds. Now, despite all of this if one has reservations then it is similar to the saying:
مدعى سست گواه چست
The plaintiff is confident, the evidence weak.
Or like the Arabic saying:
رضي الخصمان و ما رضي القاضي
The claimant and defendant are satisfied but the judge still harbours a grudge.
Similarly, Allah is happy with him and so too are the illustrious Imams but the Shia still have qualms about the matter.
If this still offends the Shia then let us assume that Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu good deeds are not more than his evil deeds, then there is absolutely no doubt that he was from the early Muhajirin and among the first Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, whose merits and virtue are contained in the commentary of the verse:
وَالسَّابِقُوْنَ الْأَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُم 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.
This verse states that Allah is pleased with the forerunners of the Muhajirin and Ansar and they are pleased with Him and He has prepared Gardens of Paradise for them. Similarly, they have been promised the forgiveness of Allah and a tremendous reward from Him. So, assuming that his sins are excessive or worse that he was a compulsive sinner and transgressor, then too he cannot be criticised because the word of Allah is true and His promise must be fulfilled. Unlike the Shia whose religion is completely obscure and whose words have no value.
Nevertheless, these verses convince us that Allah is extremely pleased with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu even if the Shia are angry with him. Furthermore, their displeasure with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu only entitles them to the displeasure of Allah and their illustrious Imams.
It is impossible to fathom that the illustrious Imams know that Allah’s pleasure rests in a certain decision and they do not conform to it. Instead one can assert that on the basis of their nobility and purity, even if Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had infringed on their rights in any way they would willingly forego it and approve of all his actions, simply because they know that Allah approves of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Similarly, there is no need for the Ahlul Bayt to overlook his misdeeds or approve of him because if Allah is pleased with anyone, he will please all those people who have claims against him or ill-feelings for him. The Noble Qur’an therefore says:
وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ مِنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُتَقَابِلِيْنَ
And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other.
This establishes that such people would be united in Paradise who had previously harboured enmity or rancour towards each other. However, when Allah admits them to Paradise, He will remove these sentiments from their hearts and they would be like brothers unto each other. The same should be applicable in this context too.
Therefore, the Shia are compelled to accept that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is entitled to Paradise because of the testimony of Allah and the illustrious Imams. As for the Ahlul Bayt, the Sunni and Shia are unanimous about them being entitled to Paradise. However, considering their obstinacy, it would not be too farfetched to assume that the Shia could actually dispute their admission to Paradise [simply because they are unhappy about their testimony in favour of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu]. Nevertheless, when both groups will enter paradise, their grievances would be resolved and their enmity would be history.
If the followers of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ fail to understand even after such an elaborate response and they choose to be like the Bani Isra’il who were swayed by one deception of Samiri and began worshipping the calf despite witnessing the phenomenal miracles of Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam, as a result of which Musa ‘alayh al Salam was compelled to destroy the calf—which cried out after being touched by the dust of Jibril ‘alayh al Salam—so that it would bring them back to their senses and they could see that it was not an object worthy of worship. When it can be destroyed by a mere mortal how can it ever be regarded as an object of worship. In the same vein, if my elaborate arguments and evidence fails to make them understand then I should physically amputate the hands of ‘Ammar ‘Ali who can do no more than repeat the baseless allegations of the ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, so that it may serve as a lesson to those whom reason and logic does appeal to and display his lack of support.
As for the cunning manner in which ‘Ammar ‘Ali has presented his case regarding the Fadak Estate, it cannot stir the faith of those who are protected by Allah. Yes, the dim-witted, foolish followers of ‘Ammar ‘Ali—apologies if this seems offensive—do get ensnared in such traps. The details of this are as follows: In his correspondence to Mir Nadir Shah—which reflects no brilliance or any intelligence on his part—’Ammar ‘Ali states the following:
Consequently, Jalal al din al Suyuti (in al Durr al Manthur), ‘Ali Muttaqi (in Kanz al ‘Ummal), Abu ‘Ali Mawsili and the author of Madarij al Nubuwwah and many other scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah state that when the following verse was revealed, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked Jibril ‘alayh al Salam, who the “Dhu al Qurba” refers to and what was their right:
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ
And give the relative his right
Upon which Jibril ‘alayh al Salam said that the “Dhu al Qurba” refers to Fatimah, and that Fadak was her right. Consequently, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam assigned Fadak to Fatimah. The reports which these scholars record establishes that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave Fadak to Fatimah and that it belonged solely to her.
When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left this world and Abu Bakr succeeded him, he took Fadak away forcefully and deprived her of any rights to it. Is this not usurpation?
Now listen to our response which is presented hereunder. Firstly, did it not occur to ‘Ammar ‘Ali and his accomplices that the allegation of usurping Fadak is a rather old and worn out allegation which the Shia continue to unearth from time to time. Therefore, the Fadak issue is something which the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have responded to with conclusive evidence and stunning responses, such that it should deter any Shia from even contemplating to bring up the issue again. So, if al Sawa’iq—and al Sawa’iq is not available in print—then surely the Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Muhaddith Delhwi is available. If not, then Munazir be Badal—of Molana Haydar ‘Ali—is easily available in Lucknow. All the above have elaborate and unparalleled responses to the issue of Fadak. How inappropriate it is to repeat the allegation when the Shia are mute in their response to these books? Forget feeling ashamed before Allah—if they possess such shame—do they not feel ashamed before people for repeating the issue of Fadak when they have no response to our rebuttals?
No matter how silly someone maybe, if they receive a sensible and reasonable clarification to a misconception they are silenced and leave the matter to rest. However, this is the trait of cowards who can only wag their tongues and do no more than that. Whilst there is no need for us to repeat our response, it is important to uncover the reality since ‘Ammar ‘Ali has raised the issue with the perception that it is a valid allegation against the Ahlus Sunnah.
‘Ammar ‘Ali and his followers have no knowledge of the Qur’an and they never will have knowledge of it. If anyone wishes to prove this, then they should ask him in which Juz’ can the above verse be found in? Similarly, if he and the likes of him had any understanding of the Qur’an they would not have quoted this verse regarding the Fadak Estate at all. Consequently, the above verse appears twice in the Noble Qur’an; in Surah Bani Isra’il and in Surah al Rum and both were revealed during the Makkan period of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life. Whilst the above fact may be common knowledge to scholars, any unlearned person may pick up any copy of the Qur’an and confirm this status of these two chapters. If the Shia do not accept this testimony for any reason and they feel that the Qur’an would always be in favour of the Ahlus Sunnah, then we would provide evidence to them from their resources. Consequently, al Tabarsi states the following in Majma’ al Bayan
سورة الروم مكّية إلا قوله : فسبحان الله إلخ
Surah al Rum is a Makki Surah, with the exception of the verse: “So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning.”
Consequently, when al Tabarsi advocates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and he asserts that Surah al Rum is from the Makkan period, then we would like to ask him if there was any existence of Fadak at that time. The Fadak Estate only came into the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possession six or seven years after the migration to Madinah. Therefore, if for arguments sake any authentic Sunni reference were to suggest that this verse was revealed after the Conquest of Khaybar, then too the Shia should have rejected it, based upon what is stated by their scholars.
Thus, it is established that this is but an allegation of the Shia. However, if someone were to suggest that “Makki” also refers to a verse revealed in Makkah or in the precincts of Makkah after hijrah. Therefore, it is possible that these chapters are classified as “Makki” on account of being revealed during the Conquest of Makkah; we would say that the background for the opening verses of Surah al Rum as well as the circumstances relating to the following verse of Surah Bani Isra’il disprove this possibility:
وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ
And do not recite (too) loudly in your prayer.
In addition to this, Dildar ‘Ali’s only refutation of the Ahlus Sunnah’s reference to the following verse used to prove the prohibition of Mut’ah was that it is a Makki verse:
إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ
Except from their wives or those their right hands possess
Accordingly, his refutation will only be valid if the common meaning of the terms Makki and Madani are implied (that Makki refers to revelation before hijrah and Madani refers to revelation after Hijrah]. In this case, Dildar ‘Ali concurs with our view and any other explanation by the Shia has no merit.
Firstly, for those who insist that this is the correct meaning and interpretation of the words “Dhu al Qurba” and “their rights”, do they not realise the implications of this interpretation. Whilst the Ahlus Sunnah has the blessing of iman and conviction and they are aware that the Shia have fabricated this narration regarding Fadak, what about the perception that it creates for Jews, Christians and Hindus who may be conversant with Arabic, as they have no iman and no regard for the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam honour? Are the Shia not giving them the opportunity to accuse the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of hankering after worldly gains and using the reference of Jibril ‘alayh al Salam conveniently and cunningly so that nobody would contest what he has acquired for his daughter?
The reality is that their interpretation has absolutely no relationship with the verse of the Noble Qur’an. This is because al Qurba refers to every close relative and why should Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha be implied exclusively? The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam many close relatives include Sayyidah Ruqayyah, Sayyidah Zainab, and Sayyidah Umm Kulthum who are his biological daughters according to the testimony of the Qur’an and credible Shia references. Consequently, al Kafi of al Kulayni—the most authentic reference of the Shia—affirms that they were no less than Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in their relationship to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We have recorded this issue already. And if anyone were to say that their demise occurred prior to the revelation of this verse then we would refute it because they passed away in Madinah whilst the verse is Makki.
Secondly, we attest that Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina ‘Abbas, Sayyidina Hassan, Sayyidina Hussain, Sayyidina Jafar, and others were alive when the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam received the Fadak Estate and it is unanimously agreed upon that all of them were the very close relatives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Why then did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam hand over Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha only and deprive the rest of their due right? And if anyone doubts this, then we present ‘Ammar ‘Ali himself to testify to the meaning of this verse. He says: “And O Muhammad; give your relatives their due.”
The above establishes the meaning of al Qurba. As for confining the implication of “their right” to Fadak, it is completely baseless and meaningless. Does it not occur to them at all that whilst such flaws could certainly be attributed to them, what if this criticism actually goes against Allah and His Messenger? Perhaps these collaborators felt that if Allah and His Messenger do not conform to our views, we would attempt to force them to conform to it even against their wishes.
Thirdly, when they failed to give the Noble Qur’an its due for being the miraculous Word of Allah and when they failed to accord due honour to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam they committed such a foolish act and fabricated reports which lack substance even in the view of those who are not too learned, making them doubt the very eloquence and profoundness which the Qur’an is acclaimed for. They could actually suggest that the verse be re-phrased probably in the following manner so that it be eloquent and precise:
وآت فاطمة فدك
And give Fadak to Fatimah.
Fourthly, if the Fadak estate lawfully came into the possession of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha prior to the revelation of this verse and, Allah forbid, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam withheld it from her, then it would be correct to refer to it with the word “Their right” which means: “That which she is entitled to and which is her right.” This is because withholding that which is due to another is rightfully referred to as withholding the next person’s haqq. In this instance it would be justified if the word haqq is used and would be understood by common sense.
Therefore, if ‘Ammar ‘Ali’s interpretation were acceptable and it is assumed—despite it being impossible—that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam withheld it from her, then it implies that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha already acquired possession of Fadak before the revelation of this verse. However, this is in conflict with the Shia view as they also refute that she purchased it. As for her gaining possession of it as a gift from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—which is their stance—then they maintain that it occurred after the revelation of this verse. Their stance on Fadak is that it was a gift that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Based on this, it is known that prior to a probable gift it is regarded as the possession of the owner until it is actually made over to the one intended to receive it. And since it is in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possession, it would be incorrect to interpret “Their right” to refer to the Fadak Estate. This highlights the foolishness of the one who has concocted such a report.
Fifthly, if we were to entertain ‘Ammar ‘Ali’s explanation and concede that “Dhu al Qurba refers to Sayyidah Fatimah and “their right” refers to Fadak, then what would his response be if this implies that every instance in the Qur’an where al Qurba appears it refers to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha only. If so, it means that none of the Banu Hashim have any rights to the Khums with the exception of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. This is based on their interpretation of al Qurba and it appears in the following verse too:
وَاعْلَمُوْا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ ِللهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُوْلِ وَلِذِيْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيْلِ
And know that anything you obtain of war booty, then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for his near relatives (Dhu al Qurba) and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler.
The above distribution of the khums is ordained by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Muslims have no authority in this regard. Based on Dhu al Qurba referring to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha only, would it imply that none of her descendants or none of the Banu Hashim are entitled to it after her demise? This is in conflict with the Shia view as well which stipulates that half of the khums is for the Imam of the time and the remaining should be distributed to orphans, the destitute and travellers. Their reference to the Imam refers to one of the Twelve infallible Imams. Therefore, based on their interpretation, that which Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu received from the khums during his reign as the Khalifah, or that which Imam al Mahdi would take is all haram and unlawful.
If any Shia were to suggest that despite the khums being due to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha exclusively, the Imams have a share as they are her inheritors then I would say to them that is it not true that inheritors inherit according to the share allotted to them by the Noble Qur’an. Why then is the Imam entitled to half of the khums in exclusion to the rest of the Sayed progeny?
Sixthly, if we were to accept that these few individuals inherited due to being the legitimate heirs of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, then what about the spoils of war which were obtained during the era of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well as that which would be attained in the era of Imam al Mahdi? Surely this cannot be regarded as the property or estate of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha since possession and ownership demands that the person be alive. What would be the relevance of Allah’s words regarding the spoils of war then be if al Qurba refers only to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha?
Seventhly, when Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha did not have possession of it then how did the infallible Imams take a portion from it? Assuming that her heirs were not entitled to her share of the khums—which requires her possession over it first—but that they actually inherited her rights to the khums itself, then on what basis would the progeny of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha inherit the rights to the khums exclusively, whereas the progenies of the orphans, travellers and destitute who lived in the era of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are not entitled to the same? If inheriting the rights to the khums is valid for the Imams then it should also be applicable to the progenies of the orphans and destitute as well, irrespective of their financial status since inheritance after all is not governed by a recipient’s financial status.
Nonetheless, it goes without saying that the verse actually instructs the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to give all his relatives their full due and this meaning is clearly understood by anyone who has perception of the language.
Eighthly, if al Qurba refers to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Fadak is her due, it implies that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is absolved of his obligation to her simply by giving Fadak to her. As for the remaining wealth of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which he received before or after that, either as khums or as Fay’ (booty received through a covenant) or whatever else could be the purport of the word haqq, it should then be solely for the orphans, destitute and travellers. It is evident that Fadak is not even a thousandth portion of this entire sum. Therefore, based on the Shia view, Allah has been grossly unfair in this distribution as Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha simply inherits a tiny portion of her father’s estate and the rest is for strangers. Is it only the Fadak Estate which Allah desired her to have?
Even if this distribution of shares seems inappropriate, the Ahlus Sunnah have an adequate response to it because we maintain the following:
ذلِكَ فَضْلُ اللهِ يُؤْتِيْه مَنْ يَّشَاءُ
That is the bounty of Allah , which He gives to whom He wills
وَاللهُ يَرْزُقُ مِنْ يَشَاءُ
And Allah gives provision to whom He wills
But the Shia have an issue with this distribution as they maintain that it is obligatory upon Allah to be just and fair in matters of this nature. So how tragic is it, Allah forbid, that Allah was unjust by giving less to those who were more-deserving and more to those who were less-deserving?
Ninthly, if the Shia were to turn around and place the blame on the Ahlus Sunnah by saying that ‘Ammar ‘Ali has taken this report—of the meaning of this verse—from Sunni references and it is found in their very own books so if its implications are offensive then we are not guilty of any crime. In this case we would say to them that this report is actually reported in Majma’ al Bayan of al Tabarsi. Consequently, this report—which states that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam handed over Fadak to Sayyidah Fatimah upon the revelation of this verse—is transmitted from Abu Sa’id al Khudri and reported by Imam al Baqir and Imam Jafar al Sadiq.
As for this report appearing in Sunni references, the logical response to it is as follows: This report is a pure fabrication of the Shia and the discussion in the last few pages affirms this. It should also be known that the Ahlus Sunnah are not so gullible that they cannot discern between truth and falsehood. In addition to this, most of the Sunni scholars have memorised the Noble Qur’an and are therefore aware of the proper context of each verse; and they are also aware of all-resembling verses relating to any particular issue. In contrast to this, the Shia with their crooked minds and their inability to retain the glorious Qur’an or understand verses in its proper context generally misconstrue the facts. It is by the grace of Allah that the Ahlus Sunnah are immune from such folly and just as how gold and silver can be put to the test, the Ahlus Sunnah check reports and narrations against the word of Allah, determining authentic from weak. Why then would they record such a narration which besides lacking authentic transmission and being in conflict with the context of this verse suggests through its very wording and content that it is unreliable? Instead, this is the scheming and plotting of Shia scholars who thereby wish to sway simple-minded Sunnis from the straight path.
Firstly, this narration is in conflict with the context within which this verse appears and I plead to those who have any sense of justice and impartiality to pay attention to this elaboration simply for the sake of justice. Therefore, consider the second ruku’ of Surah Bani Isra’il which commences at
وَ قَضى رَبُّكَ
And your Lord has decreed
and continues till:
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى
And give the relatives
Is the address here specific to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or is it intended for the general Ummah? It is evident that the address is directed to the Ummah in general. This is because all the following words have the plural personal pronoun:
That you [plural] not worship
رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِيْ نُفُوْسِكُمْ
Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves.
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوْا أَوْلَادَكُمْ
And do not [plural] kill your children
Therefore, despite “When one of them nears old age” and “Give the Dhu al Qurba” appearing to be directed to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the reason for its singularity is simply because the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is being spoken to and because this is a continuation from “Your Rabb has decreed”. Therefore, the reality is that despite “Give the Dhu al Qurba” appearing to be an address to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only, “That you not worship” and the likes of it and the nature of these commands make it evident that it is a general address to one and all. The only difference between “That you not worship” and “Give the Dhu al Qurba” is that in the first case one address is directed to one and all but in the second case the address is repeated individually to each and every one to whom the address could be relevant.
If it is said that “Give the Dhu al Qurba” seems to be exclusively directed to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, since it is connected to “And your Lord has decreed”, then this matter needs to be referred to those who are acquainted with the science of ‘Ilm al Ma’ani, who will explain the issues relating to an Insha’ (a directive) being connected to a Khabar (a statement). Since there is no conformity between the two, it simply cannot be connected to each other. Similarly, the issue of a past-tense verb being connected to a direct command is also not in order. Therefore, if it is connected to anything then it (Give the Dhu al Qurba) is actually connected to “That you not worship”.
However, if it is said that “And your Lord has decreed” is apparently a khabar (information) but its implication is that of a direct command and this is based on “That you not worship” also being a direct command in the same passage then it would be said that just as “That you not worship” supports the fact that the khabar denotes a direct command, it also establishes that the command given here in these verses is all-inclusive and not exclusive.
It would then be relevant to ask why the address is not standard in the entire passage, if the address is meant for the entire Ummah? Why is a plural personal pronoun not used throughout the passage or why is the singular one not used? Therefore, it would be said that when multiple commands are being issued at once and one particular command is more prominent then the others, or when it is perceived that those who are being addressed may be complacent about a particular issue, then it demands that the address be made directly to each and every individual concerned. Consequently, since the folly of shirk and the importance of kindness to parents is logical, it was not deemed necessary to add emphasis or to warn about its importance in strong terms. However, its precedence over the rest of the commands issued thereafter does signify its added importance.
In this light, the rights of relatives are an issue which most people are complacent about. Based on this, it required added emphasis and the change of expression serves this requirement. Similarly, the command of Tawhid and abstention from shirk directs us about our relationship with Allah. As for the remaining verses regarding the rights of others and the prohibition of extravagance and waste it highlights the manner in which we should deal with the creation of Allah. Therefore, dealings are of two types: the manner of dealing with Allah and the manner of dealing with His creation. In the same manner, commands and prohibitions are also of two types.
Since the object of these verses is to rectify dealings, and dealings occur between two parties, whereas the relationship with Allah and dealing with Him, all the creation are equal in this regard and Allah is One only; His relationship with His creation is the same. Therefore, this could be considered as one standard form of transacting. As for people dealing with people, each person is unique in this regard since every person’s relatives are different and the relationship with each one differs. Therefore, the manner in which he deals with each one of them would be different. Consider then that when the relationship with Allah is one standard relationship, then one all-inclusive address was adequate and when the relationship with individuals is multi-faceted, then the address ought to be repeated and directed to each and every individual specifically.
If somebody stills has reservations after this explanation then it would simply be on the basis of being biased and prejudiced, but this would not affect our argument in any way because even if the address in “Give the Dhu al Qurba” is directed exclusively to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then too it would be applicable to the entire Ummah. Consider the next verse which is as follows:
إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيْمًا
Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began receiving revelation at the age of forty and he had lost both his parents by the time he was six years old. Now if this address is exclusively to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then all that could be said is that although Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is speaking to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the message is actually for the entire Ummah. Therefore, the situation with “Give the Dhu al Qurba” is the same as this.
Similarly, the philosophy of directing an address to the most prominent person is to emphasise its importance to all those who are lower in rank. A king may sometime direct an address to his most important minister or officer, thereby sending a clear message of its importance to the rest of his subjects.
Therefore, “Whether one or both of them reach old age” establishes that even though the address is exclusive, the implication is general.
The verse that follows regarding extravagance also proves that this is not some exclusive command for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only and that compliance is mandatory by one and all.
Similarly, this passage establishes that parents are included under “Dhu al Qurba”. In fact, their rights are highly emphasised here. “Give the Dhu al Qurba” can only be regarded as an all-inclusive command if “their rights” denotes kindness to relatives, which is the obvious implication of this word and not the Fadak Estate. If it refers to Fadak then how could every Muslim possess a Fadak Estate to be handed over to his relatives? Therefore, the context in which this verse appears in Surah Bani Isra’il refutes the validity of that report.
The same applies to this verse in the context in which it appears in Surah al Rum. If one has to consider the verses carefully from:
أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ
Allah extends provision
فَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ
So give the relative his right,
One would realize that although the address is to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the implication is general. Consequently, the passage commences by saying that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala grants ample provision to whomsoever He wishes and He puts whomsoever He wishes under financial constraints. Following on this, Allah then commands the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to grant the next of kin, the destitute and the travelers their due. Therefore, it is the wisdom of Allah which demands that people should experience financial constraints, thus their due must be given to them in the order in which they appear here. Allah then says that spending on these categories of people is better for those who believe in Allah and seek His pleasure, for they are the ones that will triumph. The verses that follow hereon also have a general implication. Consequently, from the manner in which “That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah” has been phrased establishes that this injunction is general. If this were said to refer to the granting of Fadak, then we can make no sense of it.
Therefore, the Shia argument regarding Fadak was based on this verse of Surah al Rum and its response has been provided.
If “their rights” truly refers to the Fadak Estate then there are two possibilities: either Fadak is the actual, literal meaning of the word “haqq” or Fadak is one constituent of the comprehensive meaning of “haqq”. This is like the case of a person having perception of a car, enquires about it from the next person. Incidentally a car goes by, whereupon the second person says, “This is a car.” Now it is evident that this is not a comprehensive and elaborate response. Instead, it is one example of a car so that he may have an idea of the basic composition and components of a car. Based on this, could it be possible to assume that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was unaware of the implications of the “haqq” (rights) of relatives whereby Jibril ‘alayh al Salam cited this example to give him an idea?
Let us refute both the above possibilities and seek a third possibility so that we may understand why Jibril ‘alayh al Salam gave the response of ‘Fadak’ to the enquiry of haqq? Perhaps the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was enquiring about the quantity that is due to relatives, whereupon Jibril salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam offered the above response.
It is evident that all three possibilities are irrelevant and inappropriate and that the term haqq is self-explanatory and requires no clarification.
As for the first possibility, who could ever claim that haqq means Fadak. Considering the second possibility, it could only be the audacity of ‘Ammar ‘Ali and the likes of him to entertain the idea of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being unaware of the meaning of the word haqq and it would be preposterous to assume that Jibril ‘alayh al Salam used the example of Fadak to give him an idea of what haqq could entail. As for the third possibility—that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was enquiring about the due portion to be given to relatives—whilst it can be a relevant possibility, it is also inadequate for a few reasons. Firstly, there is no limit to the rights of relatives and Ahlus Sunnah and Shia are unanimous on this. Secondly, if the question related to the portion due to relatives, the answer ought to have been given using fractions such as half one third, etc. Therefore, this possibility cannot be valid because the answer is not compatible with the question. If the Shia accept this as the correct possibility then just as the Ghurabiyyah (an old Shia sect) believed, they too ought to accept that Jibril ‘alayh al Salam was actually instructed to take the revelation to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he conveyed it to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in gross error. This is because attributing this shallow response to Jibril ‘alayh al Salam is similar to the other folly attributed to him by the Ghurabiyyah.
Therefore, all three possibilities are fundamentally flawed. Yes; if Fadak was in the ownership of Sayyidah Fatimah and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had taken control of it somehow, it would have been correct to interpret haqq as Fadak, but what can we do if not only the Ahlus Sunnah but the Shia too reject this idea of Fadak being in her possession before the revelation of this verse. It is unanimously agreed upon that Fadak belonged to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Just as these three possibilities are incorrect, the same three possibilities would be incorrect when attempting to justify the interpretation of Dhu al Qurba as a reference to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
Similarly, if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was unaware of the meanings of Dhu al Qurba and “their rights” then the words “destitute” and “traveller” are no less obscure. Especially if the question was about quantity, then such a question is more relevant in relation to the destitute and the traveller as there is no norm in society for allotting a share to them, whereas the rights of relatives are prevalent in all cultures and societies. So why did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam seek clarification on the quantity due to relatives but failed to enquire about the due of the destitute and traveller?
If it is conveniently stated that all these details have not been transmitted in this single report then we could accept it, but we would then ask you to produce the reports which stipulate the identities of these destitute people and travellers just as the identity of Sayyidah Fatimah had been stipulated. Such reports should also provide details about that which is due to them. This is because all three categories—Dhu al Qurba, the destitute and the traveller—feature equally in these verses as well as in the following verse of Surah al Anfal:
وَاعْلَمُوْا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُوْلِ وَلِذِيْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِيْنِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيْلِ
And know that anything you obtain of war booty, then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler.
If they are mentioned collectively then why was the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not concerned about that which is due to them as he was concerned about Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha?
Just as ahadith regarding kindness to the destitute and the traveller are profusely found in the reference books of Ahlus Sunnah and Shia, the ahadith regarding the merits of kindness to relatives are equally profuse. Therefore, if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was aware of their rights in light of these ahadith reported from him, then he was equally aware of the rights and dues of relatives by virtue of the ahadith reported regarding them. If there was no need to seek elaboration regarding the destitute and traveller, there was also no need for clarification regarding relatives.
And if it is stated that the ahadith regarding kindness to relatives were only uttered after the revelation of these verses then the same would be said regarding the ahadith related to the destitute and the traveller. However, no one has a historical record of such reports.
The discussion relating to this verse thus far was based on it being a Makki verse and this is the case as accepted by all scholars, especially Shia scholars. However, ‘Ammar ‘Ali has decided to differ with this view and has classified it a Madani verse, based on a report of Waqidi and Bashir ibn Walid. If we were to accept that it is Madani too and that it was revealed after the Conquest of Khaybar, then we would have a dispute over a particular issue. If we assume that this verse was revealed after Khaybar then there is no disagreement about the verse “And know that anything you obtain of war booty” being revealed before it and that all spoils of war were distributed according to the directives outlined in this verse.
If this is the case, then there was absolutely no need for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to seek clarification from Jibril ‘alayh al Salam as “Give the Dhu al Qurba their rights” has its precedent. Similarly, the preceding revelation of the verse of Surah al Anfal demands that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was familiar with the details relating to relatives, orphans, the destitute and the travellers.
Therefore, we have responded adequately to all possibilities regarding the narration of Fadak and for numerous factors it can be concluded that this narration is but a fabrication. The Ahlus Sunnah have no reservations about the true nature of this narration.
As for the verse “Give the Dhu al Qurba”, it is clear-cut and does not require elaboration from the likes of the Fadak narration. It simply advocates kindness and good treatment of relatives, orphans, travellers and the destitute. In the case of relatives, they enjoy rights according to the degree of closeness and love, courtesy and humility is due to all of them. Parents deserve to be honoured and served; children must be loved and reared correctly; brothers and sisters must be treated with noble character and generosity. Therefore, whilst the address is directed to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the implications are general and every Muslim must comply. In no way does this verse instruct the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to simply settle the issue of family rights by giving Fadak to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.
 Surah al Tawbah: 20.
 Surah al Ahzab: 71.
 Surah al An’am: 158.
 Surah al Ahzab: 32-34.
 Surah al Ahzab: 6.
 Surah al Baqarah: 161.
 Surah al Furqan: 70.
 Surah al Qari’ah: 6-11.
 Surah al Tawbah:100.
 Surah al Hijr: 47.
 Surah al Isra’: 26.
 Surah Bani Isra’il: 110
 Surah al Mu’minun: 6.
 Surah al Anfal: 41
 Surah al Jumu’ah: 4.
 Surah al Nur: 38.
 Surah Bani Isra’il: 23-31.
 Surah al Rum: 37-38.
 The actual example is about a horse. We have substituted it for a car.
 Surah al Anfal: 41.Back to top