Firstly; the following verse which appears in Surah al Hashr establishes that whether it is the question of the Fadak Estate or otherwise, all of this (booty) is unanimously classified as Fay’, and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not have sole possession over it. Allah Ta’ala says:
مَّا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُوْلِهِ
And what Allah restored to His Messenger
Therefore, it can be understood what category of Hibah (giving a gift) applies to the Fadak Estate if it is assumed that the narration of giving it to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is acceptable in the discussion relating to the inheritance of the Prophets. This is a discussion on the hadith:
لا نورث ما تركناه صدقة
We (the Prophets) are not inherited from, whatever we leave behind is charity.
In fact, it would be established with certainty that the narration of giving Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is baseless because this narration would be in conflict with the Qur’an. Any narration that is in conflict with the Qur’an is unanimously baseless.
Similarly, the reliable and popular references of the Ahlus Sunnah contain narrations which are more explicit about Fadak not being given to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha than the dubious narrations of ‘Ammar ‘Ali from unknown sources about it being given to her. So who would be so foolish to discard authentic, transparent, and explicit narrations for the baseless fabrications recorded by ‘Ammar Ali? And who besides ‘Ammar ‘Ali could have faith in such fables?
If you are not convinced about this, consider the following authentic narrations regarding Fadak:
The following narration appears in Mishkat, which is a very popular reference of the Ahlus Sunnah. It contains a report which is transmitted by Imam Abu Dawood on the authority of Mughirah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The report states that when ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Marwan became the khalifah, he gathered the prominent members of the family of Marwan and made the following address to them:
إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كانت له فدك فكان ينفق منها و يعود منها على صغير بني هاشم و يزوج منها أيمهم وإن فاطمة سألته أن يجعلها لها فأبى فكانت كذلك في حياة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى مضى لسبيله فلما ولي أبو بكر عمل فيها بما عمل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في حياته حتى مضى لسبيله فلما ولي عمر بن الخطاب عمل فيها بمثل ما عملا حتى مضى لسبيله ثم اقتطعها مروان ثم صارت لعمر بن عبد العزيز فرأيت أمرا منعه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فاطمة ليس لي بحق و إني أشهدكم أني رددتها على ما كانت يعني على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أبي بكر و عمر
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possessed Fadak. Therefrom would he spend, take care of the young of the Banu Hashim, and get their spinsters married. Fatimah asked him to give it to her but he refused. It remained like this during the lifetime of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until he passed on.
After Abu Bakr was appointed khalifah, he administered it just as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam administered it during his lifetime until he passed on.
When ‘Umar ibn al Khattab was appointed as khalifah, he administered him just as they had until he passed on.
Thereafter Marwan divided it. And now it has come into the possession of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. I felt that I do not have right over something the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prevented Fatimah from. I therefore make you witness that I have returned it to what it was i.e. during the era of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar.
This is the translation of the narration as it appears. However, someone with ‘Ammar Ali’s academic credentials should not think that Marwan assumed possession of Fadak immediately after Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as the apparent wording of this narration suggests. Rather, this is a summary of the narration and it implies that Marwan was the first person who made a change in the status of the Fadak Estate when he assumed the caliphate. Historians are unanimous that the Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu also dealt with Fadak like his predecessors.
Firstly, the evidence that this narration has been shortened is found from the Arabic word Aqta’aha. This word signifies that Marwan made it his personal possession and this could only be possible under his reign, which is apparent from the word for those who have any knowledge of Arabic. Naturally, this could only be the prerogative of the khalifah. Secondly, if the narration must be accepted as is then it implies that Marwan assumed the post of the khalifah immediately after Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he remained in this position until he was succeeded by ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. Anyone who is familiar with history knows that both of these facts are incorrect.
Nevertheless, the affairs of Fadak were then entrusted to Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu¸ where after it was overseen by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which is unanimously agreed upon by Sunni and Shia scholars. When Marwan came along, he took it as his personal property and dealt with it as such. Marwan was succeeded by many Khalifas until the matter of caliphate came to ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz.
Brevity of this nature is a common occurrence and it occurs frequently in the Noble Qur’an too. Consider the stories of Sayyidina Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam and Sayyidina Musa ‘alayh al Salam.
Nevertheless, the scholars, the historians, and Muhaddithin are unanimous that Fadak and other possessions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were overseen by Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma during the reign of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Ali then enjoyed complete authority over it with the exclusion of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. After the demise of Sayyidina ‘Ali, its matter was taken over by Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and then by Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It was then overseen by Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin and Hassan ibn Hassan. Finally, Zaid ibn Hassan—the brother of Hassan ibn Hassan—assumed control over its affairs and its returns were utilised according to them.
Having said this, it must be borne in mind that Mishkat is a popular reference which is known to one and all and Sunan Abi Dawood is one of the six canonical collections of hadith. When a narration is recorded in such acclaimed and authentic references then its authenticity speaks for itself. Similarly, this narration is so explicit about Fadak remaining in the possession of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till the end of his life and that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam withheld it from Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha despite her request for it. This is similar to the manner in which a wise doctor or nurse forbids a patient from something on account of its detriment. The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refusal to make over Fadak to the best of the Ahlul Bayt is of this nature. (Why would the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not withhold it from her when the actual revelation of the following verse occurred after demands for material provisions were placed upon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا
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.
Nevertheless, the above narration of Mishkat clearly rejects the claim of Fadak being officially and exclusively given to Sayyidah Fatimah as a Hibah (gift). As for the Shia narration which claims that it was given exclusively to her as a gift, it is not explicit in stating that it was a gift to her. This is because the Arabic term which appears in that narration, the translation of which has been provided by ‘Ammar ‘Ali is:
Gave to her.
The above word is general in its purport; it could refer to that which is regarded in the Shar’i terminology as Hibah and it could also refer to loaning an item or giving temporary use thereof to someone. The evidence for this is that its translation in Urdu (and in English) is: to give something. Therefore, if the exclusive term of Hibah is not used, then concluding that Fadak was given to her cannot be established from ‘Ammar Ali’s narration.
Now analyse these two reports; one appears in Mishkat and the other is recorded in ‘Ammar’s letter. Consider the authenticity, clarity and explicitness of the former against the weakness, ambiguity and lack of clarity of the other. Which narration is weightier? Even ‘Ammar ‘Ali would conclude that the worthier and more acceptable narration is that which appears in Mishkat, if he were rational and he applied common sense.
If by some impossible assumption the narration of Hibah of Fadak does appear in the references he recorded and the integrity, credibility and scholarship of its compilers is acceptable, and the word A’ataha refers to Hibah, then too it would be said that these compilers gathered these narrations as a rough manuscript with the intention of distinguishing and sifting that which is valid from that which is baseless. This is the case with many compilers and authors. However, they either passed on before accomplishing their objective or they did not get time to deal with it. Therefore, many fabricated Shia reports appear in their works and some people falter and err on account of being unaware of the true nature of events.
We are able to provide testimony about this from the writings of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, who was the greatest scholar of his era in the field of hadith. He states the following in his Tuhfah:
The author of Jami’ al Usul says that Khatib Baghdadi—one of the latter Muhaddithin of the Ahlus Sunnah—gathered the ‘ahadith’ of the Shia from Sharif Murtada—who is one of greatest scholars of the Shia—with the intention of assessing them for any traces of veracity.
Prior to this, Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz states that when the latter scholars of hadith found that their predecessors had successfully gathered all Sahih (authentic) and Hassan (sound) ahadith and there was no scope for additional research on this, they decided to direct their energies to those narrations which are either classified as Dha’if (weak), or a fabrication, or the text and chain of transmission of the hadith has been distorted. They subsequently gathered all these narrations intending to assess them thoroughly and clarify their position and perhaps sift the content which is sound and established from that which is baseless. In many instances, they either passed on before accomplishing their task or they did not have the liberty of time to do so. However, this task was undertaken by scholars of hadith who succeeded them. Ibn al Jawzi—whom ‘Ammar ‘Ali refers to as well—is one such Muhaddith. He has distinguished that which is fabricated from that which qualifies to be classified as Hassan li Ghayrihi. ‘Allamah Suyuti had the same ambition when gathering reports in his Tafsir, al Durr al Manthur, and he explicitly states this in the introduction to his work. Summarised from Tuhfah.
It would be evident to the reader by now that the Sunni references which ‘Ammar refers to are no more than compilations which record unacceptable and fabricated narrations in order to highlight their actual status. Shia scholars narrate these reports whereas the reality is that the compiler may have only succeeded in gathering them, not scrutinising them and clarifying their status.
However, there is reference made to books such as al Durr al Manthur and the books of Ibn al Jawzi. If these books do contain narrations which the Shia use in their arguments against the Ahlus Sunnah, then the appearance of these reports is just like how Tuhfah, Muntaha al Kalam, and Sawaqi’, etc. record the (false) narration of Fadak being given to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha as Hibah. Who does not know that Tuhfah does indeed record this narration but it classifies it as baseless at the same time.
‘Ammar ‘Ali is very shrewd because (he records references wherein these narrations appear but he does not state that these authors actually rejected them, but) he does not make any reference to Tuhfah or the compilations of Molana Haydar ‘Ali (who also recorded these narrations and expressed its true status). Had he recorded these books he could have scored two extra points; firstly, his list of Sunni references (in his favour) would be lengthier and his readership are well acquainted with these two personalities. The acquaintance which people have with Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz and Molana Haydar ‘Ali is greater than the acquaintance with the former scholars of Islam. Similarly, it is well-known that these two scholars played a great role in combating Shi’ism. Therefore, mentioning their references would not constitute a lie and the common Muslim would really be swayed by this thinking that if an acclaimed and world-renowned scholar like Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz has recorded these narrations then they must be acceptable.
However, since the books of Molana Haydar ‘Ali and the Tuhfah of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz are in Persian and there are many people who are well-versed in Persian, he apprehended that someone may actually get hold of these books and discover the actual reality.
Shame be upon this degree of integrity. If he wished to adopt fraud and deception as a profession, he could have used this skill for trivial material gains. Why blemish Islam and disfigure the religion of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? However, it is good that you intended to deceive the Ahlus Sunnah who are able to get rid of such frauds with utmost ease.
One could not predict what would be the fate of the Shia if they were subjected to such fraud and deception. When their esteemed scholars cannot distinguish the reason why a particular narration appears in a particular reference—for justification or for rejection—then it is very possible that ‘Ammar ‘Ali may soon go on to say that (Allah forbid) Allah calls His Messenger a magician, one who has lost his sanity, and one who fabricates. It is not far-fetched that the blinded Shia may embrace such a view not realising that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala quotes the words of the disbelievers in these instances for purposes of refuting it.
Nevertheless, no Muslim should be deceived by this shrewdness and cunningness. Many such Dajjals have attempted to distort the true teachings of Islam and the actual beliefs of Muslims. In pretending to be learned and proficient scholars of Islam, their errors give ignorance a complete new dimension.
Thus far, we have briefly examined the credibility of this narration, regarding the gifting (Hibah) of the Fadak Estate to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, in the references recorded by ‘Ammar ‘Ali. However, it would be appropriate for us to elaborate on this issue and put the matter to rest once and for all.
However, since the reputation of the book Al Durr al Manthur precedes itself and may leave one in doubt—let alone the common masses but even a few neophytes amidst the scholars—chiefly due to the reputation of the author, who carries the epithet of Seal of the Muhaddithin and Termination of the Mufassirin, and his numerous literary works, particularly his completion of the famed commentary on the Qur’an—Tafsir al Jalalayn, which has reached universal fame. Thus, I thought it only appropriate to elucidate upon the credibility of this narration in light of his own literary works (as opposed to any other).
Therefore, I commence by saying that the appearance of this narration in Al Durr al Manthur is irrelevant because the very purpose of this collection is to distinguish between authentic and forged narrations. So, let alone this particular narration, it has a host of fabrications besides it. But credit must be given to ‘Ammar ‘Ali for his brilliance and integrity for referring to such a text to support his argument against the Ahlus Sunnah. If this is what deductions are all about and if this is the manner of establishing facts, then tomorrow he may just end up saying that Nabi ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam is the son of Allah because it appears as such in the Qur’an (even if it may have been for the purpose of refuting this belief).
If on account of the scarcity of Tafsir al Durr al Manthur one is hesitant upon accepting this, then he may refer to Tafsir al Jalalayn or al Itqan which have been published and are widely available in this part of the world. Jalalayn is the more prominent of the two as it is a fundamental to the study of tafsir, just as Mizan al Sarf is to understanding Arabic grammar and etymology. So, let us see what explanation he has given to the word Dhu al Qurba and Haqqahu which appears in the following verse:
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ
And give the relative his right
Had the contentious narration been valid according to him, he would not have hesitated to document it and clarify its status. Assuming that brevity was the primary objective of Jalalayn and he could not accommodate detailed reports in it, he could at least have recorded “Fatimah al Zahra’’ after Dhu al Qurba and the word “Fadak” after Haqqahu. This is also the trend in Jalalayn that if the explanation of any verse or word is established from a hadith, brief reference is made to it in the manner described above. In fact, references to hadith texts are supplied at times too.
In addition to this, it can be established from al Itqan that the contentious narration is a fabrication. This is because under discussion on Makki and Madani chapters, Hafiz al Suyuti classifies the chapters of the Qur’an in two sections; those which are unanimously Makki or Madani, and those regarding which there is a difference of opinion about it being either Makki or Madani. As for Surah al Rum and Surah Bani Isra’il, it is unanimously agreed that they are Makki and Hafiz al Suyuti transmits this report with some sound chains of transmission. Therefore, Hafiz al Suyuti establishes that there is no disagreement about them being Makki.
Taking this discussion further, he then establishes which Makki chapter has Madani revelation and vice-versa. Once again, he establishes with sound transmission that there are no exceptions in the case of Surah al Rum and Surah Bani Isra’il; they are entirely Makki.
Similarly, if some scholars have a different view about some of their verses being Madani, the difference applies to verses besides the one in question. Therefore, there is no scope for contention regarding these specific verses and they are Makki without a shadow of doubt.
We, thus, pronounce that al Itqan establishes that these two chapters and the two verses in question are Makki without any difference on this matter among the scholars throughout the ages.
It is somewhat bemusing that Shia scholars are also in agreement on this fact. Consequently, we have already referred to the view of al Tabarsi—author of Majma’ al Bayan—that:
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.”
It is thus concluded from al Itqan that the following verse is Makki:
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ
And give the relative his right.
Therefore, it is impossible that Jibril ‘alayh al Salam clarified the purport of this verse by saying that it refers to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and that she is the sole heir to the Fadak Estate. Such folly cannot be attributed to Jibril ‘alayh al Salam. Yes, if he subscribed it to the Shia faith then such a folly could occur.
In the 69th section—which pertains to the qualifications of a Mufassir—Imam al Suyuti states the following in his discussion on differences in the commentary of a verse:
Tafsir [of verses or words] which is transmitted with authentic transmission are but a few. As for that which is transmitted from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it is even less.
He then commits to record all reports containing authentic tafsir in sequence. Commencing with the first surah, he proceeds till the end, recording all the authentic tafsir reports along with its references; but the contentious report neither appears in Surah Bani Isra’il nor Surah al Zumar. At the end of this process he says:
This is what is considered Marfu’ and which the scholars have considered to be marfu’. Despite it being marfu’, it is then either Sahih, Hassan, Da’if, even Mursal and Mu’dal at times. However, I have refrained from that which is baseless or fabricated.
Now taking his commitment into consideration, it implies that he was fully aware of what he has recorded and what he has omitted. Therefore, if the contentious narration does not appear, it means that it has been omitted intentionally and contemplatively. Hafiz al Suyuti classified is as baseless and fabricated, and accordingly discarded it. Had he even considered it da’if, mursal or mu’dal, he would have recorded it, which is the case with some of those narrations.
It is, thus, established that this contentious narration does not even enjoy the status of a da’if narration in Sunni references, nor is it transmitted with a chain that is da’if. Therefore, saying that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha upon the revelation of this verse is a pure fabrication. Actually, Fadak remained in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possession till the end of his life, which has been established from authentic reports.
If we were to overlook the issue of the validity of this narration for a moment, we have an argument in our favour—which is accepted in Shia traditions too—and it relates to the manner in which Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu dealt with the Fadak Estate. Consequently, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not distribute it to the heirs of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha when he assumed control over it; instead he dealt with it in the same manner as his predecessors had dealt with it. He treaded the same course which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Sayyidina ‘Umar, and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum treaded upon, by distributing its returns among the destitute, the needy and the traveller. Assuming that the portion he distributed was that which he was entitled to, the question stills begs an answer: Why did he deprive the rest of the heirs of their lawful share of it?
The Shia do not deny this fact and they have given four responses to it. I wish to record their responses to this question and clarify the issue so that the folly or fairness of Shia scholars may become evident to one and all.
Their first response is that the Ahlul Bayt always refrained from taking back that which was usurped from them. Consequently, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not assume possession of the home he left behind in Makkah after the polytheists took possession of it even after Makkah was conquered.
Firstly, it is difficult to establish the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sole ownership over that house because his father passed away in the lifetime of his grandfather. Secondly, did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam inherit anything from his father? If it is said that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not resume possession of his home, it could be acceptable.
If we accept that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did own the home because ‘Abdul Muttalib bequeathed it to him, then we agree that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not take possession of it again after Makkah was conquered. But how can the Shia establish the reason which they have offered as the actual reason why the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not take it back? Consequently, there could be many reasons for not taking it back one of which is that one often forgives the thief or usurper for taking one’s possessions. And forgiving the thief or usurper is only possible if one has the ability to reclaim possession. If one is unable to retrieve possession, then there is no meaning of forgiveness.
If what the Shia say is valid then it was not permissible for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to assume possession of his share of Fadak as the Ahlul Bayt do not take back what was usurped from them. And if he did not assume possession of it on account of forgiving the usurpers, then he was only entitled to forgive them for taking his share, but he had no right over the shares of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and their sisters radiya Llahu ‘anha. And if the Ahlul Bayt forgave the usurper then it implies that Fadak should have been left with those who usurped it and it would have remained in the custody of the usurpers’ inheritors; it was not supposed to come back into the possession of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
The second possibility—which is the correct interpretation in this is case—is that when the enemy [disbelievers] gain dominance and authority over Muslims lands and there is none to challenge them regarding the rights of previously owned Muslim land or property, then such authority becomes lawful and legitimate for them. Since they have wrested control from the Muslims, they may now dispose those valuables as they please and they enjoy the right to do so. If they sell those possessions to someone, the purchaser secures lawful possession of it. This law has to be applied and understood in this manner otherwise the human race will be subjected to immense difficulty and everybody would then be branded as consumers of haram.
International trade is inevitable and countries are dependent upon one another. If the disbelievers establish rule over a region, they would assume authority of its resources and their trade in those commodities would be legalised. If not, everybody’s possession over these materials becomes dubious, questionable and contaminated. Therefore, Islam upholds this law in this situation.
The ‘Ulama’ find the basis for this law in the noble Qur’an too and the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam abstention from assuming possession over his home is based on this interpretation. However, if not assuming possession was on the basis of discarding possession of that which had been usurped, then this would be incorrect by the testimony of ‘Ammar ‘Ali and all the Shia. Consequently, ‘Ammar’s letter expressly states that Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma laid claim to Fadak during the reign of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and even during the reign of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. So, if the Ahlul Bayt do not reclaim that which was usurped then why did Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu claim it?
If they say that their claim to it is only recorded in Sunni traditions and there is no justification of this claim in Shia tradition, then we would say to them the Shia cannot dispute that when Sayyidina Abu Bakr ‘usurped’ it and rejected Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha claim that it was given to her in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime then she re-claimed it as her inheritance. Once again, if the Ahlul Bayt do not re-claim what was usurped from them then why did Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha do so?
If (being left dumbfounded by this) the Shia irrationally assert that though these seem like two separate claims (the claim of it being given to her and the claim of it being her inheritance) it is actually one claim because it is muttasil bi–la fasl. And since Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused to hand it over to her, it is established that it was usurped. However, it was not usurped when she laid claim to it initially. The usurpation only materialises after he refused to hand it to her.
We would respond by ignoring these silly statements and this would be a gesture of mercy from us. The fact that Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha claimed it from him establishes that it was already usurped. It also establishes that their remark about the Ahlul Bayt relinquishing ownership of that which was wrongfully taken from them is a fallacy.
However, since the level of their intelligence is evident, we would deal with this false notion by stating the following: Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah assumed the rights to the Fadak Estate during the reign of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. It remained in his control until the ‘Abbasid Khalifas took control of it. Later in the year 22 A.H, Ma’mun ‘Abbasi wrote a letter to his governor, Qutham ibn Jafar, that the Fadak Estate should be made over to the progeny of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It was thus handed over to Imam ‘Ali al Rida’. Mutawakkil—the ‘Abbasid khalifah—then took control of it once again thereafter. Khalifah Mu’tadid restored it once again during his reign. This report on the Fadak Estate has been documented in Majalis al Mu’minin of Qadi Nur Allah, the Shia scholar. Had it been written by any Sunni scholar it would have had no credibility.
Let us dismiss this report from Majalis al Mu’minin for a moment because scholars are aware of the reality of this book and let us look at this fallacy from another perspective. Consider that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted the post of the khalifah after the martyrdom of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereas the post of caliphate was something that he was legitimately entitled to and it was snatched from him by the first three Khalifas; why did he take back that which was snatched from him? Similarly, why was Imam Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu desirous of wresting control over the caliphate from Yazid (if the Ahlul Bayt relinquishes rights over that which was wrongfully taken from them?) In fact, his endeavours for it led to his death.
If none of the above events (which establish the falsity of the Shia claim) occurred then too there is no dispute among those who have knowledge about the permissibility of taking back what was wrongfully snatched from one, as well as the obligation upon one and all to help restore the rights of the actual owner to what was usurped from him. Consequently, if the verse, “Give the Dhu al Qurba their right,” is a direct address to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding the rights of his relatives specifically, then restoring their rights is an obligation which rests upon all those in authority. In addition to this, the Qur’anic injunctions regarding justice and fairness are recorded repeatedly. Therefore, if the actual owner’s rights are still established in that which was snatched from him then it was obligatory upon Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to give the heirs of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha their dues when he assumed control of Fadak. But if they relinquish their rights and wilfully give up possession of that which was usurped from them then why is there all this criticism against Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu?
A second explanation—given by Shia scholars—for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu not assuming authoritative control over Fadak is that he opted to follow the course taken by Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in this matter. Therefore, he did not enjoy any benefits from it just as she did not benefit from it.
What a marvellous explanation from the Shia! One cannot fail to be bemused by such cunningness. Nevertheless, it is such a flimsy response that the response to it is self-explanatory to those who have understanding. One’s intelligence digests this response just as how the stomach was to inevitably digest a fly if circumstances warranted that.
However, since everyone is not on the same level of understanding we would say that why did the subsequent Imams assume authoritative control over Fadak later on, as Qadi Nur Allah has clearly expressed? Why did they not follow in the blessed footsteps of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha or even Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for that matter? Similarly, was it incumbent or optional for them to follow Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha? If it was incumbent then why did the remaining Imams not comply? If it was optional then—them being such glorious Imams of the Ahlul Bayt—it begs the question why they discarded such a meritorious optional deed which was not only the precedent set by Sayyidah Fatimah and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, but also by Sayyidina Hassan, Sayyidina Hussain, Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin radiya Llahu ‘anhum? Consequently, Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha found herself in a position where she could not benefit from Fadak, which was also the situation of the above-mentioned personalities.
Secondly, we respond to this explanation by asking why did Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu neglect his obligations to the remaining heirs of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha if he so ceremoniously opted to tread on the path she went on in the case of Fadak?
Thirdly, Iqtida’—which refers to following someone—applies only in that which they did by choice and free will. In no way does it govern such actions of the one who is followed which were carried out against their will, or in which they were victims of circumstances. If so, it would compel Imam al Mahdi to adopt the ominous Taqiyyah which his predecessors were compelled to adopt due to the circumstances they found themselves in. Similarly, it would have obligated Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu to follow Sayyidina ‘Ali (and adopt Taqiyyah instead of sacrificing his life).
Therefore, if Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was unable to benefit from Fadak, it was due to the circumstance she found herself in. It is baseless if Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu fails to exert his authority during his reign as the khalifah and instead opt to follow her. He may be justified in relinquishing his rights but what about negligence and failure to hand over the inheritance of Sayyidina Hassan, Sayyidina Hussain, and their sister radiya Llahu ‘anhum?
A third explanation provided by Shia scholars is that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not derive any benefit from Fadak simply to prove and establish that his testimony in this regard was purely for the sake of Allah; not for any personal gain.
This response also lacks substance like those preceding it. Those who allegedly doubted the integrity of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this matter were the very same people who rejected his evidence and they had already left this world when he assumed the role of the khalifah. Making a statement in this manner after their demise lacks sense and sensibility. It certainly would not leave any impression upon the dead since they cannot witness it. Similarly, their deaths would have already unveiled the reality of their stance upon them and they would have known conclusively that they were the oppressors and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was innocent. Therefore, failing to benefit from Fadak was pointless; Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu discarded lawful wealth and did not benefit from it by utilising it either for worldly causes or acquiring the rewards of the hereafter.
It could rightly be said that whilst the first three Khalifas were no longer alive, their sympathisers were still in large numbers, not forgetting the Nawasib—the enemies of Sayyidina ‘Ali. The answer to this is that this very suspicion against Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for his testimony recurs when some of his descendants assumed control over Fadak later on, and more specifically in the era of Ma’mun—who was sympathetic to the Shia cause and who handed over Fadak to Imam ‘Ali al Rida, as he maintained that they enjoyed sole rights over Fadak.
Would not his descendants assuming control over it stir the same sentiments within the Nawasib? After all, ancestors are known for having long-term ambitions for their progenies and for striving to secure their prosperity. The notorious Nawasib—in judging others by their own standards—would inevitably suspect Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu of impure intentions for his testimony. Perhaps he realised that he would not have control over Fadak but his testimony could bear fruits someday for his progeny.
Therefore, if Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was prompted by the desire to avert suspicion and misconduct, then he ought to have made a bequest to his progeny to also refrain from profiting from Fadak, lest it gives reasons for some to cast aspersions against his character.
The fourth explanation is that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was adopting Taqiyyah by not assuming control over Fadak.
Since every ploy has failed, they have inevitable resorted to their devious tenet of Taqiyyah. However, it is commonly said that a liar has a very poor memory. Consequently, they have forgotten that when the Imam is equipped, prepared, and occupied with jihad then Taqiyyah becomes haram upon him. This is the reason why Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not adopt Taqiyyah at all. Therefore, if Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu adopted Taqiyyah during his reign as the khalifah, then he has perpetrated a haram act.
A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.
It seems that in trying to rescue Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they have implicated him further.
To answer this, we ask: who was he adopting Taqiyyah from? If it is the three Khalifas, then they were no longer on the scene and even a coward does not fear his dead enemy let alone ‘Ali —the Lion of Allah.
If he was adopting Taqiyyah—and sparing his life—from the rest of the people, then they also fall in one of two categories. The first group comprises of his supporters and his army whilst the rest of his subjects fall in the second category. If Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu faced such a threat from his subjects then such confrontation could only come from the less-fortunate and under-privileged class, which compromises of the poor, the destitute, and the travellers. So, adopting Taqiyyah out of fear for them is also the lowest form of cowardice. Who else would have any motivation for challenging Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu whilst in his role as the khalifah over Fadak?
Assuming that the threat of confrontation was genuine, who are the ones who had the valour and bravery of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a formidable army to achieve this end? The only possible suspects could be Sayyidina Muawiyah or Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Did they not attempt and fail? Even if his taking control over Fadak led to any such uprising or revolt, its implications would be minimal. Such attempts seldom bear fruit.
Consider the situation of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu against the backdrop of the situation that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu faced. When he assumed the caliphate, it was only the Arabian Peninsula that was under the sway of Islam and the departure of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam led to an immediate revolt from multiple quarters at the same time. Besides being left only with the people of Makkah and Madinah at his side, a substantial chunk of the fighting force had been despatched on a mission with Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. But Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was fearless. When some of the Sahabah were apprehensive of confronting the rejecters of zakat, he said:
By the oath of Allah, if they withhold from me even a rope which they used discharge as zakat I will wage war against them.
In fact, he also said that he would face them all by himself if no one supported his decision. When Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was prepared to wage war all by himself at such a critical juncture for them withholding something as trivial as a rope, then Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was most renowned for his valour and bravery. In addition to this, he had a formidable army comprising many villains who had successfully brought down an established regime. Similarly, whilst Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was prepared to wage war for a trivial rejection—a rope—’Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have been fighting for the prized Fadak, which was also oppressively withheld from the innocent Ahlul Bayt, so what prevented him from taking control and instead opted for Taqiyyah?
Nevertheless, the futility and baselessness of their arguments is evident. They have failed miserably to support their stance. If anything, it has strengthened the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah, who maintain that he did not assume control over Fadak and retained its previous status. This is simply because the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not give Fadak to anyone and because the estate of the Prophets cannot be inherited. Allah willing, this matter—the estate of the Prophets—will be elaborated upon soon.
Therefore, now that we have established our stance, it becomes evident to one and all that the contentious narration, which is the very basis of their belief of Fadak being usurped, lacks all credibility. It is nothing but a fabrication, concocted by Shia scholars. It is merely a farce, failing the requirements for credible transmission (riwayah) and objectionable in content, thereby failing the requirements of dirayah.
The same applies for the fancy fairy-tale type report regarding Ma’mun ‘Abbasi gathering two hundred scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah after the progeny of Hassanayn laid claims to Fadak. If this report is not entirely false, then it is also not entirely accurate. There is evidence that Ma’mun did hand over Fadak to the illustrious progeny of Hassanayn on account of his sympathy to Shia tenets.
Nevertheless, since these tales are established fallacies it becomes clear that the allegation of usurping Fadak after it was gifted to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, and which ‘Ammar has been vociferously alleging is nothing more than a figment of his imagination. It is not necessary for us to prove its baselessness any longer. This much is conclusive evidence and Shia scholars are deafeningly silent in their response to this.
However, according to the principles of debate, taking the challenge of responding to something that is not necessary is recognised as a sign of one’s authenticity and it further justifies one’s stance. Consequently, the narration that Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha claimed Fadak was gifted to her does not even appear with a weak chain of transmission in the reliable references of the Ahlus Sunnah. This narration alleges that she did lay claim to it, whereupon Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu requested her to provide witnesses to support her claim. She subsequently presented Sayyidina ‘Ali and Umm Ayman, or Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum—according to the different versions—but Sayyidina Abu Bakr rejected the claim since the testimonies were inadequate, as the minimum requirement is one male and two females.
This entire report is a fabrication of the ‘learned’ Shia scholars, and in fabricating this report they have made themselves eligible to enter the fire of Jahannam and dwell in doom forever. What audacity! Having forged the narration, they present it as evidence and demand answers from the Ahlus Sunnah for its contents.
We would like to bring it to the attention of the sincere Muslim that it has never been a trait of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah to resort to lies and Taqiyyah in order to avoid a sticky situation. If Sunni scholars had access to the backdoor of Taqiyyah, they would have avoided many problems. However, they chose to report everything and narrate the facts as they are. This is why Sunni references quote the incident when Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha requested inheritance and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu declined (and this much of the report is valid). They also record the Incident of Qirtas and the Battle of Jamal, as these are realities which cannot be wished away. If lying was permissible, then they could have also refuted their authentic narrations just as Shia scholars often tend to do.
Despite this integrity, look at the level to which Shia scholars have stooped, simply because of their enmity for the Ahlus Sunnah, and due to their jealousy for the pristine pure din that the we have. Subsequently, they forged narrations and made these fabrications the basis of contention between the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia. Surely lying and deceit is so inherent within them that it can only be lies and forgeries which give them satisfaction, and since this is their devious nature—just to please them—we will also say that sure, whatever they say is true and correct.
Out of consideration for the people of truth, I would record two evidences establishing that their report is incorrect, so that they can be completely convinced and have no reservations. One evidence would be from the Ahl- al Sunnah and the other from the Shia. The evidence of the Ahlus Sunnah is the report from Mishkat—which has been cited earlier on—which records that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah dealt with Fadak as his predecessors had dealt with it.
We have highlighted the authenticity and veracity of this report earlier on. Mishkat is a renowned book of hadith and this particular narration is recorded therein from Sunan Abi Dawood, one of the six canonical collections of hadith.
Nevertheless, this is an authentic narration in Sunni references. Therefore, any report in conflict with it, especially when its chain of transmission and its reference falls well below the standard of the report contained in Sunan Abi Dawood, cannot be considered true and accurate.
Therefore, if anyone goes on to claim that Sunni references contain the narration of Fadak being gifted to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, then every Muslim should know that this is a false allegation. And if it does appear in any Sunni resource, it appears for the sake of refuting its validity and dismissing it as inaccurate. Or perhaps it was added to that reference by mischief makers, or the author collected all types of reports with the intention of scanning and assessing them but he could not accomplish his goal and the task was left incomplete. Shia scholars then cunningly sourced the narration from the Sunni reference and use it as evidence.
The second evidence is from the Shia, which would further implicate them and silence them, which is the fact that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also retained Fadak as it was previously, by distributing its benefits to the poor, the destitute and the travellers. Similarly, he neither benefited from it personally nor distributed the legitimate shares of the Ahlul Bayt, whom the Shia revere so highly. The Shia cannot deny the reality that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu dealt with Fadak in this manner and we have already elaborated on this. Though they have strived to challenge this, they have failed miserably. This fact remains uncontested and both sides have no option but to accept it and this along with the narration of Mishkat adequately establishes that the narration that Fadak was given to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is invalid.
When there is no basis to this report then why did they go on to say that Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—the infallible daughter of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam according to them but rather protected according the Ahlus Sunnah—went on to make false claims and also made Sayyidina ‘Ali and Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum give blatantly false testimony, which is akin to disbelief.
Nevertheless, this narration finds no expression in Sunni references, it is a fabrication of the Shia. It is then the high of folly and stupidity to make their own fabrication a point of contention between us and them and seek clarification or demand an explanation from us.
As for the remaining nine or ten references ‘Ammar ‘Ali records, it is nothing more than an old trick which has been transmitted to him from heart to heart by his predecessors. We have given the response to this quoting from Tuhfah of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz that Shia scholars trick people by making reference to rare books, the names of which are unfamiliar, and then alleging that these reports are to be found in them. However, these books are free of such reports and if one or two odd manuscripts of these rare books contain such a report, then these manuscripts have been forged by their scholars. Tuhfah has highlighted this scheme in detail.
But if all the manuscripts of a rare book concur in relation to such a report then it must be determined whether the author set out to record authentic reports only or was it his aim to gather all reports randomly. Consequently, the latter is true. Accordingly, in his treatise on the principles of hadith, Shah ‘Abdul Haqq has written that Imam Jalal al Din al Suyuti has collected narrations from approximately fifty books in his Jam’ al Jawami’, and he has recorded all narrations therein irrespective of its classification as sahih, da’if or hassan. This is the case with other references and authors too.
Since the objective was collecting reports in general these books have not been given the prominence which authentic books enjoy. Had the compilers intended to put forth authentic transmissions only, their works would have been recognised as the authentic works are recognised.
Even if we assume that these compilers intended to collect authentic narrations only, then too the classification of the status of a hadith does not depend entirely on the views of one scholar only, according to the academic traditions of the Ahlus Sunnah. In matters of this nature, whilst it is not necessary that the Muhaddithin would have unanimity on the issue, but a significant majority of hadith experts being in agreement on its classification is vital. Anyone can understand that this process of clarification and authorisation is vital.
In addition to this, many Shia scholars hid under the cloak of Taqiyyah and then went on to gain the confidence of people after spending considerable time with Sunni Muhaddithin. They then narrated the ahadith of those scholars and also transmitted their fabrications through the same chain of transmission. Since they seemed noble and righteous outwardly and they had recourse to Taqiyyah, they succeeded in transmitting their fictitious reports through established lines of transmission. Many simple-minded, albeit credible scholars, accepted their narrations on the basis of harbouring good thoughts for fellow Muslims and since they seemed righteous and they were transmitting these ‘facts’ from credible teachers. Thus, they were deceived.
However, the scholars who came later on realised this trick and unveiled the masked villains and declared their transmissions to be fabrications. Consequently, Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz states the following in Tuhfah, whilst dealing with the cunningness of the Shia:
The fifteenth ploy is that a group amongst the Shia scholars impersonated Sunni scholars of hadith and dedicated themselves to hadith acquisition. They attended the gatherings of credible Muhaddithin and captured their respective credible chains of transmission. They then adopted the ways of the righteous and pious ones thereby winning the confidence of the next generation of hadith seekers. They then transmitted their valid narrations and succeeded in transmitting their distortions too.
This treachery of the Shia scholars beguiled many scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah. What could be said about the general masses then. This is because the capacity to distinguish between a sahih hadith and concocted narrations is the specialised field of those who have mastery over the science of isnad. Since this treachery was a breach which surpassed the chain of transmission, the scope for detection was dramatically reduced, if not lost all together.
However, since the knowledge of the Ahlus Sunnah has been assured divine protection, the scholars of isnad were alerted at once and they discovered it and exposed it for what it really was. Subsequently, when the matter was resolved then Shia scholars acknowledged committing these forgeries.
Some of them denied the allegation but there is a certain common feature in these narrations by which they can be sniffed out. These narrations are preserved to this day in the various Ma’ajim, Musannafat, and Ajza’. Most of those who maintain that ‘Ali was superior—to all three Khalifas or to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu only, i.e. Tafdiliyyah—as well as those who have Shia inclinations tend to take support from these particular narrations.
The first person who was found guilty of this offence was Jabir al Ju’fi. When he was exposed, Imam al Bukhari and Imam Muslim declared him unworthy and rejected all narrations from him as a precaution. Imam al Tirmidhi, al Nasa’i, and Abu Dawood accepted those of his narrations wherein some other credible narrator corroborated what he had transmitted. As for the rest of these narrations, they were discarded.
Abu al Qasim Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah Ubay ibn Khalf al Qummi was another notorious character, skilled at the art of distortion. Many of those who lack insight into the science of isnad consider him to be one of our credible transmitters of hadith, which is incorrect. Al Najashi—an authority of Shia reporters—states that this person is the pride of Shia scholars and their most prominent jurist and scholar.
The above exposition by Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz is worth its weight in gold. His proficiency in knowledge and in history is uncontested by both sides. Let alone his proficiency and distinction as a Sunni scholar, he enjoys unparalleled insight about Shi’ism, which even Shia scholars were envious of. Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah is glowing evidence of this.
Even if these words were not from Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz and it were said by someone else, then too it would not be difficult to accept it considering that it is consistent with the idiosyncrasies of the Shia and their ominous Taqiyyah would actually obligate them to go to these lengths.
It appears from the declaration of Lisan al Mizan that many Shia scholars were guilty of this. One of them is Harith ibn Ghasin, who actually transmits from A’mash rahimahu Llah. Harith ibn Muhammad Ma’kuf is another such narrator, as well as Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Zakariyya ibn Salih Abu Sa’id ‘Adawi al Misri. The latter would transmit fictitious reports by ascribing it to credible chains of transmission.
Nevertheless, how long are we going to keep our tongues moist with the praises of the great Shia scholars, even one such example is excessive.
In case some simple-minded Muslim finds this exposition appalling, we would like to refer to the following verse of the Qur’an, which highlights this mischief of the Shia, and it almost seems as if its contents apply to them more than anyone else:
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ
And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah untruths.
It is evident from this verse that there are those who conspire and scheme in order to create turmoil and strife, and to deceive and mislead simple-minded people. None have excelled the Shia at this and why should this be surprising when deceit is the most fundamental tenet of their religion. Who else would speak lies if they do not? Actually, they have surpassed all limits in this aspect.
Therefore, if their dubious narration of Fadak has found its way in some Sunni books, it is purely due to the deceit which the Ahlus Sunnah were victims of on account of having good thoughts about those who hid behind the garb of Taqiyyah. Whilst the Muhaqqiqin unveiled this evil and publicised it, there efforts were not completely successful because it is impossible to recall a word once it has left the lips, just as the arrow that leaves the bow cannot return.
Inevitably the false narrations gained publicity and spread with rapid momentum, stirring confusion in the minds of the unwary and leading those who had inclinations to Shia beliefs and the Tafdili’s to misguidance and deviation. These distortions led to misguidance just as the distortions of the Torah and Injil led people astray.
However, with the revelation of the Qur’an these distortions were rectified and the light of guidance shown once again for those who were groping in darkness. Similarly, authentic narrations and the research of the Muhaqqiqin scholars rectified these distortions. Whoever had the capacity to embrace guidance embraced it, whilst those whose potential was inherently evil, remained astray.
So it is not far-fetched if ‘Ammar ‘Ali and the likes of him fail to accept reform and prefer to stubbornly conform to the misguidances of their deviant predecessors. They are like those whose hearts were sealed so that the truth of the Qur’an failed to penetrate it. So ‘Ammar ‘Ali is just like them as birds of a feather flock together. How true is the statement:
مَنْ يُضْلِلْ اللَّه فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ
Whoever Allah sends astray, there is no guide for him.
For arguments sake, let us accept that the Shia report regarding the gifting of Fadak is correct, then too it does not achieve the aims of the Shia.
This is because if their narration is sahih (authentic), our narration which appears in Mishkat is asah (most authentic). If their narration is strong, ours is stronger. Therefore, their narration cannot have preference over ours.
In case this logic of the stronger being preferred to the strong and the more authentic dominating authentic does not appeal to you, then this is the standard which all human beings apply equally all the time. But logic does not appeal to the Shia, because if logic appealed to them, they would have to forsake their faith and they are in bliss upon their devious path. They are bent on differing and the differences found within them are unlike any other. Those who have seen the Tuhfah, Muntaha al Kalam, and other compilations of Haydar ‘Ali would attest to this. Our treatise has also exposed some of these differences in a small way.
In fact, we do not have to go too far away. Have we not read that ‘Ammar ‘Ali maintains that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had one daughter only, whereas al Kulayni and Nahj al Balaghah clearly confirm otherwise, let alone the plural of daughters appearing in the Qur’an regarding the daughters of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
We would now like to ask ‘Ammar ‘Ali (to resolve this issue)—although he is lying, but asserts to be truthful and his followers have no alternative but to follow him in this matter—why he considers his narration to be authentic whereas al Kafi of al Kulayni is the most authentic Shia reference and Nahj al Balaghah is almost like divine revelation, and the Qur’an is nothing but divine revelation (and all these contradict his report)? So probably he would say that the Qur’an is incorrect as Allah is a victim of Badaʼ, whilst al Kafi and Nahj al Balaghah record the statements of the Imams, whose knowledge comes from Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and since Allah is prone to Badaʼ, the same possibility arises once again. So, you—who has now broken all links between yourself and Allah and His Rasul (due to Badaʼ), on what basis have you given preference to your narration about the daughters of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over the testimony of Allah and the statements of al Kafi and Nahj? Do you consider yourself right in giving preference in this manner or not? If you consider yourself right, then that is exactly what we are saying that all human beings give preference to more authentic facts over authentic facts, to stronger reports over strong ones. Otherwise you have to admit that your report is incorrect.
For those who believe that the less-authentic gains preference over the more-authentic, we will falsify this logic with the following words of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu from Nahj al Balaghah:
الزموا السواد الاعظم فان يد الله على الجماعة و اياكم و الفرقة فان الشاذ من الناس للشيطان كما ان الشاذ من الغنم للذئب
Follow the greater majority because the hand of Allah is with the group and avoid differing because the one who splits and is all by himself is vulnerable to Shaitan just as the lone sheep is more vulnerable to the wolf.
Based on the above, if we accept that ‘Ammar ‘Ali’s narration about one daughter only is correct and authentic at most, then in giving preference to this authentic narration we would be differing with the whole world on this issue and it would result in us being the victims of Shaitan. So, all the best to ‘Ammar ‘Ali if that is what he wishes for himself.
It seems as if Allah has created the Shia for being examples of steadfastness upon misguidance, since they do not desist despite such overwhelming evidence. Just like how the sunlight is of no benefit to the blind, these blind-hearted one’s cannot benefit from the light of guidance.
Therefore, only that person can doubt the preference of the narration of Mishkat who doubts whether it is day when the sun is shining brightly.
Even if they do not wish to accept, we must proceed, as we need to establish the truth. So, let us assume that their invalid report is authentic and let us then assume that despite being less-authentic, it has to be given preference over the more authentic narration of Mishkat, then too lies will ultimately fail and the Shia objective cannot be accomplished. This is because this devious narration which found its way in some unknown and unheard of Sunni references does not contain any such word whereby gifting Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha can be established. Instead, the word “a’ta” appears which equally denotes borrowing and gifting. To convince the reader, I will record the narration as it is.
Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah—which has been written by Ibn Hajar al Haythami in refutation of Shia beliefs—contains the following concocted report of the Shia, whereby they actually intended to criticise Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu but actually praised him on account of his good-fortune. And even though it praises him, it will still appear as condemnation only for ‘Ammar ‘Ali and his likes. The narration is as follows:
وأخرج الحافظ عمر بن شبة أن زيدا هذا الإمام الجليل قيل له إن أبا بكر انتزع من فاطمة فدك فقال إنه كان رحيما وكان يكره أن يغير شيئا تركه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأتته فاطمة رضي الله عنها فقالت له إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أعطاني فدك فقال هل لك بينة فشهد لها علي وأم أيمن فقال لها فبرجل وامرأة تستحقيها ثم قال زيد والله لو رجع الأمر فيها إلي لقضيت بقضاء أبي بكر رضي الله عنه
Hafiz ‘Umar ibn Shabbah transmits from Zaid—the illustrious Imam (the son of Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin)—that someone said to him that Abu Bakr had snatched Fadak from Fatimah, whereupon he said, “Abu Bakr was extremely compassionate (so how would he do something like that). (Actually) He disliked changing something that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had done. So, Fatimah came to him and said that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had given her Fadak. He asked: “Do you have any witness?” So ‘Ali and Umm Ayman testified. He said, “A decision cannot be made with the testimony of one male and one female.” Zaid then said, “By the oath of Allah, if this matter was brought to me, I would pass judgement according to the judgement of Abu Bakr.”
Now examine this report closely, despite it being a fabrication of outwardly righteous and inwardly impure people hiding in the garb of Taqiyyah, it has no mention of the Hibah of Fadak to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It miraculously contains certain truths too, but the actual term that was vital to establish her ownership eluded them. Consider also the glowing tribute paid to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu by this illustrious Imam, who is after all the son of the ‘infallible’ Imam.
Nevertheless, we were saying that even if this narration is free from every other defect and we equate it to the narration of Mishkat, then too the ownership of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha cannot be determined. If this narration is legitimate then we would say that Sayyidina Zaid’s response to them is classified as Mumashat ma ‘al Khasm, that if we were to accept that it was taken then it was because of such and such reason. Nevertheless, it is obvious that it does not prove Hibah in any way.
The word ‘Ata’ or A’ta translates as giving in English. It refers equally to Hibah—which is giving permanent ownership—as well as borrowing or allowing temporary benefit. The justification for this is found in an authentic hadith unanimously agreed upon by both sides, which is as follows:
أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال يوم خيبر لأعطين هذه الراية غدا رجلا يفتح الله على يديه ، يحب الله ورسوله ، ويحبه الله ورسوله
A day prior to handing over the flag to Sayyidina ‘Ali for the battle of Khaybar, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I will give the banner tomorrow to a person who loves Allah and His Rasul and he is also beloved to Allah and His Rasul.”
Now consider the word a’ta which appears here; no one claims that it suggests giving permanent ownership—i.e. Hibah—to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Instead, it denotes a temporary appointment and an amanah (trust) which has time constraints and it can be revoked or discontinued at any time. If a King appoints someone as the minister, or if he keeps someone in charge of his treasury and hands the keys over to them, it signifies that they have a temporary appointment, which can be discontinued at any time and they have been placed in a position of amanah.
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in the position of a general in all the battles he fought and handing over any assignment or task to any soldier by giving the banner to him was also a position of trust no different from any of the above instances.
Since it is evident from the above that ‘ata’ and a’ta’ could also denote giving as an amanah, it could also imply that when Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha said that Fadak had been given to her in the lifetime of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, she actually meant that she was allowed to benefit from its profits only as an amanah, and whilst she does not consider it to be her sole property, she merely requested that she be allowed to continue benefiting from its revenue after his demise and that it should not be disposed off to the poor, destitute, and wayfarer like the rest of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam material possessions.
As for Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu requesting evidence and testimony from Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha (despite him being extremely merciful according to the declaration of Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah and extremely merciful people cannot be so hard-hearted, especially towards Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha as mercy to her is incumbent more than ever on account of the mercy her father showed humanity) it should be put into its proper context. Therefore, it is probable that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did allow Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to benefit from the revenue of Fadak just before his demise and that this may have occurred without Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu having any knowledge of it as he had always known the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to have sole authoritative rights over it. As a result of this, Fadak ought to be disposed as the remaining possessions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, when Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha laid claim to its revenue all of a sudden, he found himself in a predicament. Pleasing Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was a crucial matter, but more so was following the Sunnah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding which Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah said, “That he disliked doing anything contrary to the manner in which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did.”
He was thus obligated to consider both dimensions. As for consideration for Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, this obligation also stems from the compulsion to follow and obey the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, whilst there is great emphasis on fulfilling the rights of the Ahlul Bayt, it ultimately cannot surpass the obligation of complying with the ways and manner of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Consequently, the verse which prohibits saying “‘uff” or its kind to one’s parents is not restricted to this utterance and it implies that the utterance of that which is worse than this is far more heinous.
Therefore, just as we would not displease the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in religious matters, we would consider it equally necessary to follow his directives in matters relating to the hereafter. This is because the actual purpose of sending the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is to rectify our religious affairs and our matters of the life of the hereafter. In the case of Fadak, which was a monetary obligation—in (handing over Fadak to Sayyidah Fatimah) there was a possibility of violating the practice of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as he distributed its revenue to the poor, the destitute, and the wayfarer.
But since Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu—in this delicate situation—could not fully accede nor could he openly reject her claim, he sincerely opted for a route whereby he could pacify her feelings too without compromising the truth at the same time. He, thus, asked her for witnesses so that perhaps her claim could be established that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had given special concession to her to benefit from its revenue whilst it retained its actual status of being a general Waqf. Therefore, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was reluctant to refuse blatantly on account of the relationship to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and at the same time he did openly express that he would continue to execute its affairs as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (which is what he was bound to do).
Therefore, Allah provided a solution whereby Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha would also not harbour bitter feelings. Consequently, she was unable to satisfy the legal requirement of witnesses, which absolves Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu of satisfying her wishes without implicating him in any way. Therefore, he had a legitimate excuse and noble people—among whom Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is the noblest—whole-heartedly accept the excuse of one who is not guilty of shortcoming. Even if his noble action—of requesting witnesses—does not extol his greatness, it certainly removes any ill-feeling from the heart of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha towards him (as he was just doing what he was obligated to).
Therefore, Sayyidah Fatimah was ultimately pleased with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which will soon be recorded from Shia references. Similarly, the declaration by Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah that he would pass the same verdict of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu also proves that Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was not grieved by Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu decision. If she was grieved initially, this was ultimately resolved and the matter was settled harmoniously. Had she left this world displeased with Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, not one of the Ahlul Bayt would have paid glowing tribute to him as is the case with this narration of Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah.
Therefore, if the Shia scholars accept that this report is a fabrication then that would be good. But if they consider it a legitimate report then too, it does not record anything contentious or incorrect, which should give them any reason to argue with the Ahlus Sunnah. But if they cannot understand the above explanation then what can they understand after all?
It is possible that they endeavour to twist the matter once again by saying that a’ta’ does denote temporary use or borrowing, but its actual (and true) meaning is not that and there must be some factor which necessitates this particular connotation. In the absence of such a factor, temporary usage cannot be determined as the implication of a’ta’.
We reject this altogether and condemn them for making claims without providing substantiation. Therefore, this claim is discarded.
If they are not pleased with this retort then just as they present an unjustified report and quarrel with the Ahlus Sunnah because of that, we would also respond by presenting a completely unsubstantiated claim by saying that a’ta’ equally denotes both meanings and both meanings can be expressed by the word a’ta’.
Actually, what they are saying is not completely incorrect. A word must imply what it has been coined for unless there are circumstances which warrant otherwise. Consequently, there must be additional factors preferring one meaning over the other. However, it is not necessary for such a motivating factor to be a verbal statement. Similarly, the need for a motivating factor is evident since it would prevent the person from misunderstandings and errors. Therefore, it is probable that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu assessed the material possessions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam upon assuming the caliphate. He then assessed the situation of Fadak and concluded that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam enjoyed sole authority over it till the end, which has also been confirmed by the admission of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and other members of the Ahlul Bayt, and they knew better as they are the immediate family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu subsequently decided to handle its affairs personally, but Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha intervened and informed him that (the benefits of) Fadak were given to her by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, though they do not have ownership, they should be entitled to retain its revenue.
Based on what he knew about Fadak, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu thus understood that a’ta’ denotes temporary benefit and use, not permanent ownership. Similarly, the manner in which she asked for Fadak also establishes that a’ta’ denotes temporary utilisation. Similarly, her request to continue benefitting from it was on the basis of the distinctively unique position of the Ahlul Bayt and the extra special loyalty of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to this illustrious household.
Had Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu not adopted this course of action, it would have been easy for any Sahabi to make claims upon the Khalifas in the name of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. What can then be said about the glorious members of the household and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in particular, when her claim is directed to none other than Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the most devoted servant of the household.
Sayyidina ‘Umar broke the conduit of Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu as it was in too close proximity to al Masjid al Nabawi. However, when Sayyidina ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu confronted him and asked him how he had the authority to break something that was installed by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then history records how Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu mended it with his own hands and reinstated it.
Therefore, whilst Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is perfectly entitled to make such a demand considering her unique position, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had to contend with the following words of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which we will discuss shortly:
ما تركنا صدقة
What we leave behind is charity
Similarly, the testimonies also fell short of the requirement and it did not bear favourably for her. Added to this was the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam continuous practice of allotting the shares of the needy, the destitute, and the wayfarer.
Therefore, even if we accept the fabricated Shia report in its entirety it does not bear negatively on the hadith of Mishkat nor does it establish any criticism against the Ahlus Sunnah. Conversely, it establishes the merit of Siddiq al Akbar. Now if they (cry foul and they) wish to consider this narration a fabrication, then by all means. But if they accept it as a valid narration, then they must accept it as explained in its proper context.
If they offer the unacceptable excuse that even though the narration is correct, Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah passed away, Allah forbid, as a disbeliever according to their view because the Imam at that time was Jafar al Sadiq and he had no business waging jihad and usurping the rights of the Imam. Since he did wage Jihad, it seems as if he considered himself the Imam and since it is only possible to have one Imam at one time, the other is an imposter and he is just like the person who makes a false claim of Nubuwwah. Since such a person is a kafir, or the worst type of kafir, the same is applicable in this case. So, what weight would his words have and how would he be able to represent the Shia creed adequately? However, had he stated that Fadak was gifted to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—which is against his view—it would have been accepted but the explanation of temporary usage does not permit this possibility too be entertained.
Nevertheless, listen to the defence of Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah presented by their own Qadi Nur Allah. Why should we bear the responsibility of establishing his merit? Nur Allah’s words have higher status that divine revelation and this is what he records in Majalis al Mu’minin on the authority of Fudayl ibn Yasar, who transmits from the transcripts of Sheikh ibn Babuwayh:
Fudayl narrates that he participated in the battle which Zaid fought against the rebellious forces of Hisham. He narrates that when he returned to Madinah and met Imam Jafar al Sadiq, who asked him: “Did you participate in the battle which my uncle fought against the people of Syria?”
I replied: “Yes.”
He asked: “How many Syrians did you slay?”
I said: “Six.”
He asked: “Do you have any reservations about it being lawful to take their lives?”
I said: “If I had reservations, why would I take their lives.”
Thereupon Imam Jafar said, “May Allah grant me a share of the reward of their jihad. By the oath of Allah, my uncle Zaid is a martyr along with his companions who have been killed and he has encountered a similar condition which ‘Ali and his companions encountered.”
Now consider the words of this Imam and his keen desire to be amongst those who fought this battle. Since Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah has been likened to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, there can be no possibility of considering him a kafir. Instead, he is among the cream of the Auliya’ and the esteemed martyrs. Otherwise there is no possibility of the Imam wishing to resemble him. This establishes that he was in conformity with the beliefs and principles of Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah in every way and that he bore resemblance to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his own way like the rest of the Imams, such as Imam al Baqir, Imam Jafar, Sayyidina Hassan, and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum. However, none of them could be completely like Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Nevertheless, the words of Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah would be considered final on this highly sensitive issue where both Sunni’s and Shia maintain that the group on the right path is entitled to Paradise and those who are wrong would be deserving of punishment.
Therefore, the contentious narration of gifting Fadak to Fatimah is a fabrication and despite this, it has made its way into some Sunni resources for reasons already deliberated upon. Secondly, we have used the fabricated report about Sayyidina Abu Bakr, from al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah against you, but will it ever be possible for those to understand who lack understanding so direly? How foolish of them to then rant and rave about something which actually is against them, and ‘Ammar ‘Ali then using it to deceive simple-minded Muslims is the height of shamelessness.
If the Shia refuse to bow down and shamelessly assert that whilst a’ta’ does denote temporary usage, the instinctively apparent meaning that comes to mind when this word is used is Hibah, and it should be the preferred connotation especially in this narration.
However, before agreeing to this, we would request them to first apply this same principle to the statements of the Imams, especially Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in praise of the Sahabah and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhum—some of which has appeared in this treatise—and thereby release themselves from the clutches of Shi’ism. Similarly, they should take the immediate implication of the Qur’anic words and verses in praise of the Sahabah and believe whole-heartedly in it. We have every right to make this request to them, and if they agree to it, then no matter what, we will also accommodate their request.
Secondly, we say to this that if every text must be considered by its superficial, cursory implications then what is the value of depth in understanding and wisdom. Is it not failure to understand matters in its proper context that gives rise to so many misconceptions?
The differences of the Imams of the Ahlus Sunnah and likewise the differences of the Shia mujtahidin also arise from this. The difference between the Akhbaris and the Usulis amongst Shia scholars also stems from this particular aspect. The Akhbari takes what appears to be the cursory implication, whilst the Usuli seeks to penetrate the depths and understand the objective of the shari’ah and he is not content with remaining on the surface.
So if ‘Ammar ‘Ali wishes to take Hibah as the apparent and immediate implication of the word a’ta’ and he wishes to remain embroiled in debate with us, then let him first disassociate himself from the Usuli position and embrace the Akhbari stance fully, so that we could really make him understand the baselessness of his beliefs.
Therefore, we say that we would accept that a’ta’ denotes Hibah in this contentious narration, but only what will ‘Ammar ‘Ali and all Shia scholars say about the fact that this narration is classified as Munqati’? There was no existence of Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah at the time when Fatimah requested Fadak, which must have been shortly after the departure of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Therefore, the narration of Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah is an unsubstantiated statement which deserves rejection. Yes, had Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah been a legitimate Imam of the Shia then his word could have been conclusive evidence for the Shia only, who maintain that the Imam has unseen knowledge. However, Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah does not enjoy this privilege. Let alone being an Imam, he is not classified as a believer according to them.
The Ahlus Sunnah are better off. Whilst they consider him to be among the high-ranking Auliya’, they would have to discard his statement because the principles of the Akhbari’s demands just that.
The possibility that he met a Sahabi and transmitted from him does exist, but if he transmits from a Tabi’i, then this is also questionable as the liars made their appearance already and who did he receive this from? If Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah met some very senior Sahabi then too we would need to verify if this Sahabi was narrating a first-hand account or he too relates it from someone. Who is this someone? Or did he just narrate something from someone who transmitted something which was commonly publicised as such. The possibilities are endless. How would we then determine that Fadak was gifted to her?
As for the narration of Mishkat, it is marfu’ and muttasil. As for the Qur’anic verse, it is mutawatir. However, it is possible for some ignorant person to claim that this narration is also baseless and disconnected since ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz was not alive when this episode occurred.
Since we have established that their report is baseless, it makes no difference if we consider our narration baseless too, but for the benefit of the Shia, we would not leave any matter unresolved. Therefore, though this appears as the statement of ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, it is actually transmitted from Mughirah ibn Shu’bah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When a Sahabi relates some action or utterance of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it is classified as a marfu’ transmission for those who are unaware of the principles of hadith.
In addition to this, there is another logical reason why ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz statement is correct. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz is explaining the reason for not taking control of Fadak, and he presents the fact that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not give it to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha as his reason for not taking control of it. He has no personal motive in this at all. Thus, if his intention was not to take it then just as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not giving it to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was a sufficient enough reason for him not to take, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gifting it to her would have also been a reason for him not to take it—if it were true that it happened—and in fact a greater reason.
So, if according to the Shia this verdict is incorrect, and instead the opposite of it being Hibah is correct, then we ask what need was there for him to cause such harm to himself, in this world—by depriving himself of Fadak and giving it away—and in the hereafter, by speaking such a lie. And that too against whom? Against the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Why would he attribute a lie to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the punishment for which is hell as recorded in perhaps the only hadith which is considered mutawatir in word and meaning:
من كذب على متعمدا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار
Whoever intentionally ascribes a lie to me, should take his seat in the Fire.
Nevertheless, the hadith of Zaid rahimahu Llah, even if we overlook the fact that it is fabricated, it still does not have an unbroken link to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
In addition to being a marfu’ transmission, the signs of authenticity are visibly clear in the narration of Mishkat. As for the other, in addition to being disconnected, the signs of fabrication and falsehood trickle from it. This is because historians are unanimous that Fadak remained under the administration of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till the end of his life and a gift for which one has not assumed possession of is not considered finalised and complete. In fact, it would be considered as the possession of the actual owner. Since it was the possession of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu knew that it must be regarded as Waqf after the demise of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Why would he then even bother to seek witnesses when there was no question of giving it. This is because if the witnesses fulfilled the requirements then it would not have been possible for him to claim that the gift was not complete since the beneficiary did not assume control and possession, and it would then be obvious that he was just looking for a way to avoid handing over Fadak. If this statement had any validity, why did he not express it at the outset?
If the Shia wish to consider his request for evidence a procedure for ascertaining the truth then what transpired thereafter should be justice and fairness as he merely did what he was compelled to, without establishing a new law on his own. If they accept what I have stated earlier on about the request for evidences and testimony then it surely would delight me, but can such a thought be entertained about those who are bereft of intelligence.
It has been established that Fadak remained under the administration of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till the end of his life and it is unanimous between the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah that the gifting of Fadak was incomplete, even if the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did give it to her. So why would Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—whom we consider protected, and they infallible—go on to make such a claim which results in taking what is due to others? If the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam material possessions are inherited then—in making such a claim—it deprives the remaining heirs. If not, then her claim would deprive the needy, the destitute, and the wayfarer. And if not them, then the estate would be considered Waqf, where the khalifah has the right to dispense its revenue or the actual item according to his qualified discretion. Assuming he decided to hand it over to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, how good would that have been? But surely Sayyidah Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha claim to it in this manner is not becoming of her.
Nevertheless, the signs of truthfulness are evident in the narration of Mishkat whilst the signs of falsehood are glaring from the contentious report. Those who have understanding can see the truth clearly like the brightness of the sun, but ‘Ammar ‘Ali and his associates should be excused. What fault is there of the sun if such blind one’s fail to see its brilliance?
Therefore, the narration in conflict with the one in Mishkat is not of that calibre which demands that it be preferred over that which is in Mishkat. Rather, according to the principles of hadith the conflict between a strong and weak report demands that the weak report be rejected especially when—in a case like this—the stronger one is ascribed to Abu Dawood, which enjoys a distinct position as one of the six canonical collections of hadith. Therefore, the narration ascribed to Sayyidina Zaid rahimahu Llah must be discarded.
If we assume that the narration is valid and that Sayyidah Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha claim that it was gifted to her is in place, then too both sides maintain that the beneficiary must assume control in order for the gift to be complete. Therefore, as long as the owner does not cease control over the item, it remains his sole property. Consequently, ‘Allamah al Hilli states the following in Matlab al Awwal, under the discussion on claims:
فلا تسمع دعوى الهبة مجردة عن دعوى القبض
The claim of Hibah will not be heard without the claim of possession.
And Fadak remained in the possession of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until his demise—according to the consensus of both groups—and throughout his life he maintained sole control over it, and Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha never once interfered with this. The historians of both parties—Ahlus Sunnah and Shia—are in agreement upon this, in fact so are the Muhaddithin of both parties.
Whilst it is not necessary to document the record of historians on account of easy access to historical journals, it is somewhat important to record the relevant hadith reports; because they may be inaccessible to most people and because hadith reports are weightier than historical reports.
The hadith of the Ahlus Sunnah is the very hadith of Mishkat which bears ample testimony to this. Secondly, Mishkat also records the hadith of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, transmitted by Malik ibn Aws ibn al Hadathan, regarding the wealth of Fay’, which comprised of Banu Nadhir, Khaybar and Fadak. It states that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam allocated its revenue to three specific recipients. As for Fadak, the Prophet reserved its revenue for the wayfarer.
Now according to the laws of debate, our reference to our authentic resources suffices us because an objection can only be considered detrimental if it has substance. Since the administration of Fadak was the prerogative of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till the end, the claim of Hibah is baseless as there was no handing over of control. So why should we take the responsibility of establishing from their resources, when the objection is baseless—since they agree that Hibah requires ownership.
However, silencing the opponent is one matter and giving them a satisfying response is another. Therefore, whilst this much silences the Shia, he has no confidence in the authentic narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah and thus still remains uneasy. Therefore, I quote an extract from Misbah al Salikin, which is a reliable reference of the Imamiyyah. This narration appears in other references as well and I will record the complete narration later on. Consider the following:
When Abu Bakr realised that Fatimah was keeping a distance from him and avoiding meeting him or mentioning anything about Fadak, then he became somewhat perturbed. He thus decided to please her. So, he went to her and said, “O daughter of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, your claim is true but what am I to do because I saw the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam giving you what sufficed for you from it, and giving the labourers their share. As for the rest of it, he distributed it to the needy, the destitute and the wayfarer.”
Fatimah replied, “Continue to do the same, just as my father, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did.”
Abu Bakr said, “I promise to do exactly as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did.”
Fatimah asked, “Are you making a promise to do the same?”
Abu Bakr promised once again.
Fatimah said, “O Allah, bear witness to this.”
Fatimah, thus, became pleased. Abu Bakr then gave her expenses and distributed the rest among the needy, the destitute, and the wayfarer.
Consider the excuse given by Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, that he witnessed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dealing with a Fadak in a specific way, which excused him from handing it entirely over to Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, and her agreeing to it and instructing him to continue executing its affairs in the same way. This as well as her pleasure at the end proves that Fadak remained in the custody of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till the end and she had no authority over its affairs.
Similarly, he did not reject her claim that it was gifted to her. He entertained it but then carried out his obligation of asking for witnesses so that he would not be giving it away unlawfully, nor would she be receiving it unlawfully. He also asked for witnesses so that if they could establish the claim, then although the possession had not occurred—which was a prerequisite—he could give her preference to Fadak, but what could he do if the required testimony fell short. As for not giving it to her solely because of her claim to it, the response to this will appear later.
Still, if some deviant Shia still has reservations and questions as to why Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was so intent on maintaining the rule of possession in gifts in relation to a gift given by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Is not an indication of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sufficient? Therefore, it seems as if he had devious motives.
The response is that only Allah can spare one from such thoughts. This is the type of thoughts which troubled the Jews, Christians, Hindus and fire-worshippers regarding the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and it bothered the Khawarij regarding Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Both these groups feel that the respective claims to Nubuwwah and to being the rightful khalifah was nothing more than a plan to gain worldly power and status. It was deviously hatched.
Friends! It gives one joy to reason with those who are balanced and fair, but debating with an ignoramus, biased, foul mouthed opponent is nothing more than mental exertion and exhaustion. The remedy for them is the whip or the baton, since the evidence of the Qur’an and logical arguments are futile. Never mind, if there are four fools gathered at one place then perhaps the fifth one with them has some sense. If we have lost hope in ‘Ammar ‘Ali then it would not be correct to say that all the Shia are like him? Who knows?
If the Shia report is correct and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did seek witnesses, then we have explained a possible reason for seeking witnesses. However, seeking witnesses could be for one of two reasons; firstly, the nature of the case was such that it demanded witnesses. If so, then the witnesses must meet all the requirements stipulated for the case to be effectively settled. So, let the Shia scholars notify us of the requirements for testimony as recorded in the Book of Allah. Similarly, does the Qur’an give any concessions or privileges in this regard? Similarly, the integrity of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is also established from the fact that when Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed him that he had taken permission from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to recall Hakam back to Madinah and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had agreed, then Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked if he had witnesses. If according to the Shia—Allah forbid—there was a hidden agenda against Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on account of which he asked her to substantiate her claim with witnesses then why did he not forego this requirement for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whom Sunni and Shia maintain he had an alliance and friendship with? This incident only serves to establish his steadfastness upon the truth and his integrity in his affairs.
Yet the Shia are victims of animosity and hatred. It has wreaked such havoc in their hearts and minds that right seems wrong and wrong seems right and the capacity to distinguish has been compromised irretrievably.
Secondly, witnesses could be required to establish the integrity of the claimant. So, if the claimant is innocent and not susceptible to falsehood then why should witnesses be required to verify his or her integrity. They should seek this answer from Allah because Allah has ordained a minimum of two witnesses in every case, irrespective of the integrity of the claimant or the nature of the claim. This law has not been formulated by the Ahlus Sunnah. The Ahlus Sunnah are only interested in carrying out the commands of Allah. If the Shia are disinterested, it is their discretion.
Had this not been the case then why would the Ahlus Sunnah maintain that if one person witnesses the crescent of Eid all alone, and his testimony is either rejected because of being one person only or because of his immorality and unscrupulousness, then he should observe fasting with the rest of the people. Similarly, what prevents them from accepting the testimony of a group of righteous women, when no male concurs with their testimony? For that matter there are many non-Muslims who are known to be far more truthful than many Muslims.
Therefore, the satisfaction of the individual is not the criterion, complying with the divine law is. It is an expression of servitude and submission to Allah.
The wisdom and purpose of this divine law is to ascertain and establish the truth. If this matter is left to the discretion of the ruler or khalifah, then firstly there would be the fear of favouritism. Secondly, everybody would lay claims and consider themselves truthful. This would lead to the breakdown of peace and harmony which is the fundamental the purpose for having rulers. Therefore, the law has been stipulated to maintain peace and harmony as far as possible. Even if it is not favourable to some, the law must still be applied unequivocally in all situations.
Therefore, seeking testimony from Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—whose integrity is unparalleled according to both groups—should not require added clarification. If anyone feels that such a request from her is akin to suspicion and mistrust that is the result of a flaw in their understanding. People of understanding are not intimidated by this.
Since we cannot dispute that complying with the commands of Allah is the standard for determining piety and righteousness, as Allah says:
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْ دَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ
Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.
It implies that Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha ought to have complied to the greatest degree. Similarly, she also ought to have the highest regard for others who complied with the divine command. Based on this, the request for proof must have brought immense pleasure to her and she must have been extremely delighted with the response of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. One wonders then, why the Shia are so up in arms about this issue. It is like the situation where the claimant and defendant have settled the matter, but the judge still seems grumpy over the matter.
It is evident from the above discussion that there is a difference between rejecting the testimony of the witnesses and not passing judgement according to their testimony. Rejecting their testimony means that they are not credible, whilst not passing judgement according to their testimony could be because of not meeting the requirement in respect of witnesses.
Therefore, in the absence of two credible male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses, it would be impermissible for the judge to pass judgement in favour of the claimant despite the claimant and inadequate witnesses being held in the highest repute and esteem. If some fool misinterprets this action of the judge to denote rejection of the witnesses, then it is up to him. However, if the required number of witnesses are available and then the judgement is not given in favour of the claimant then it could be because of the rejection of the witnesses and their being not credible.
If we look back at the Shia report, and consider it authentic, then it is apparent that Sayyidina ‘Ali and Umm Ayman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma do not satisfy the requirements as far as numbers of witnesses are concerned. And if according to the lies of ‘Ammar ‘Ali, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma also testified then they were also incapable of testifying as they were children who lacked physical maturity.
Therefore, not passing judgement in her favour does not imply that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu rejected the testimony of Sayyidina ‘Ali, Umm Ayman, and Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Instead, it expresses his steadfastness upon the shari’ah and the Sunnah. Fools consider this otherwise, but the coming of Prophets also failed to rectify some people, what then if we fail? It reminds me of an incident mentioned by Imam al Ghazali rahimahu Llah in one of his books:
One day Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam was seen running towards the mountain in a haste. Someone asked him why he was rushing so anxiously and he replied, “There is a fool coming this way.”
The person asked, “So how does that affect you?”
He replied, “There is no cure for foolishness, and it will not be removed by sound advice or the blessed company of a person; in fact, it has an adverse effect and may affect the latter.”
Someone said it so aptly:
الا الحماقة داء لا دواء لها
لكل داء و واء يستطب به
For every illness and condition there is a cure;
Foolishness though, is an illness with no remedy.
If the Shia still have a gripe about the issue and they still doubt the genuineness of Siddiq al Akbar, then let them be silenced for once and for all with the following narration from Minhaj al Kiramah, written by their ‘Allamah Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli, who is well known for his extensive writings against the Ahlus Sunnah.
Their own batons striking their own heads.
The Ahlus Sunnah are now absolved of responding since the Shia have settled the issue for them:
وَكَفَى اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ الْقِتَالَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ قَوِيًّا عَزِيْزًا
And sufficient was Allah for the believers in battle, and ever is Allah Powerful and Exalted in Might.
The narration goes:
لما وعظت فاطمة ابا بكر في فدك كتب لها كتابا ورده عليها
When Fatimah admonished Abu Bakr about Fadak, he wrote a document in her favour and restored it to her.
When this narration appears in such an authentic resource of the Shia and its author is none author than ‘Allamah Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli, then why argue with the Ahlus Sunnah? This narration leaves them flabbergasted. They have been ranting and raving about the inheritance issue and that she received it as gift and they have made some claims but this narration, and from where it appears, leaves them speechless.
It is worth noting that let alone being defeated by what appears in our resources, ‘Ammar ‘Ali is always falsified by what appears in his books. A number of instances have already passed of this nature. In this instance consider how he has brewed the fiction of ‘Ali and Umm Ayman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma testifying and dragging Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma into the issue. There is no mention of this fact in the entire library of Sunni resources, even in the fabricated reports which the Shia managed to get through. But if he alleges it does appear, then everybody can allege just about anything.
 Surah al Hashr: 7.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6346.
 Sunan Abi Dawood, Hadith: 2972.
 Surah al Ahzab: 33.
 A terminology in hadith verification.
 Surah al Isra’: 26.
 Surah al Isra’: 26.
 A marfu’ hadith is a narration elevated to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This, as opposed to a mawquf hadith, which is a narration raised to a Sahabi, and a maqtu’ hadith, which is attributed to a Tabi’i.
 Hassan is a term describing a hadith that, while not meeting the isnad requirements to be sahih, did not have flaws serious enough to be considered weak or enjoyed some form of bolstering corroboration.
 A mursal hadith is when a transmitter cites someone or the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without actually having met him.
 Mu’dal (confusing/problematic) report can refer to a hadith with an isnad that contains two or more missing consecutive links.
 Occurring immediately in succession.
 Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
 Surah al Saff: 7.
 Those who were of the opinion that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the most superior of all the Sahabah, while still maintaining respect and admiration for all the other Sahabah.
 Surah al A’raf: 186.
 Hypothetically agreeing with the plaintiff.
 Al Amali al Sheikh al Saduq, pg. 431.
 Al Yanabi’ al Fiqhiyyah, vol. 33 pg. 39-29.
 Surah al Hujurat: 13.
 Surah al Ahzab: 25.