The Fourth Narration

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January 20, 2016
The Third Narration
January 20, 2016

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The Fourth Narration

 

Wayh [an expression denoting sympathy] ‘Ammar, the rebellious party will kill him, he is calling them to Paradise and they are calling him to the Fire.[1]

 

This has been responded to with various explanations:

 

1. There are some of the scholars of hadith who have criticised this narration and this has been reported of Imam Ahmed, however, his final analysis was that the narration was reliable.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says in his Fatawa (35/76):

 

This narration has been criticised by a group of scholars, however Muslim has recorded it and it appears in some copies of al Bukhari.[2]

 

In al Muntakhab min al ‘ilal li al Khallal (pg.222) it appears:

 

Ismail al Saffar has related to us that he heard Abu Umayyah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim saying that he heard — whilst in the circle of Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma’in, Abu Khaythamah, and al Muti’ that they mentioned, “the transgressing party will kill ‘Ammar,” that they commented that there is no authentic narration to that effect.[3]

 

Yahya ibn Ma’in has said about the narration of al Daqqaq Yazid ibn al Haytham ibn Tahman (102):

 

Al Darawardi relates from al ‘Ala’ ibn ‘Abdur Rahman — from his father that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ammar, “the transgressing party will kill you,” it is not found in the book of al Darawardi. Someone who heard the book of al ‘Ala’ from al Darawardi — it was only a scroll — that this [narration] does not appear in it and it is only one incident that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam… as for al Darawardi, his memory is not all that, his book is far more reliable. He said, “I heard from ‘Abdullah ibn Ibrahim — who said — that he heard his father saying that he heard Ahmed ibn Hanbal saying there have been 28 narrations narrated regarding the killing of ‘Ammar by the rebellious group, none of which are sound.”

 

In Fath al Bari (2/494), Ibn Rajab al Hanbali said:

 

And this chain is not known, and the opposite has been reported from Ahmed. Yaqub ibn Shaibah al Sadusi has reported in his Musnad from the Musnad of ‘Ammar[4], have you heard Ahmed being asked about the narration, ‘the transgressing party will kill him,’ and Ahmed said it is as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “he will be killed by the transgressing party.” And he said in this there is no sound narration from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he disliked talking about it more than this.”

 

2. Most copies of al Bukhari do not mention this addition ‘the transgressing party will kill him’. Al Humaidi did not include it in his Jam’ bayna al Sahihayn and he said that al Bukhari did not mention it at all. He said: “Perhaps it does not appear in the narration of al Bukhari, or he deliberately excluded it.”[5]

 

Among those who negate the existence of this addition is al Mizzi in Tuhfat al Ashraf (3/427) he said:

 

It does not appear in it ‘the transgressing party will kill him.

 

However, a number of scholars have accepted it. Ibn Hajar states in al Fath (1/646) that it occurs in the narration of Ibn al Sakan, and al Karimah, and others besides these two, and in the copy of al Saghani which he mentioned that he proofread against the copy of al Firabri. This addition has also been narrated by al Ismaili and al Barqani from this hadith.[6]

 

3. This addition has also been flawed with the Idraj [insertion into the text].

 

Ibn Hajar said:

 

It appears to me that al Bukhari has omitted it [ the addition] and that for a subtle point, and that is that Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu acknowledged that he did not hear that addition from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which indicates that this addition was inserted into the texts, and the narration that expounds on this is not on the criteria of al Bukhari. It has been narrated by al Bazzar from Dawood ibn Abi Hind — from Abu Nadrah — from Abu Sa’id and he mentioned the narration of the construction of the Masjid, and that they each carried one brick at a time, so Abu Sa’id said: “My companions told me; I did not hear it from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said, ‘O son of Sumayyah, the rebellious party will kill you.’” And the son of Sumayyah is ‘Ammar, Sumayyah was his mother’s name. and this narration is on the criteria of Muslim, and Abu Sa’id has identified whom he narrates from. It is in Muslim and Nasa’i, by way of Abu Salamah — from Abu Nadrah — from Abu Sa’id who said: “One who is definitely superior to me, Abu Qatadah, has narrated to me…” and he mentioned the hadith. So al Bukhari sufficed with that which Abu Sa’id heard from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam directly, and not the rest. This is an indication of the detailed understanding and deep insight in identifying subtle flaws in narrations.

 

4. As for interpreting the narration that the killers were those who brought him and it was the group who fought alongside him, then this is a weak interpretation, and its flaws are clear. It implies, by necessity, that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his companions were responsible for the deaths of many of the martyrs like Hamzah and others.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned in his Fatawa (35/76):

 

It has been said that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu interpreted the killers to be those who were responsible for bringing him to the battlefield and not his opponents; and that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded to that interpretation by saying that it would imply that we are responsible for the death of Hamzah [since we brought him]. There is no doubt that what ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said was correct.

 

5. Some have adopted an interpretation using semantics since the expression “al Fi’at al Baghiyah” could translate as the transgressing, rebellious party or the party that was ‘seeking’ — seeking retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, since they used to say, “we seek ibn ‘Affan at the tips of our spears.” Ibn Taymiyyah mentions this in his Fatawa (35/76) saying, “it is nothing.” [i.e. this interpretation], and in Minhaj al Sunnah (4/390) he said: “This is a weak interpretation.”

 

6. The saying of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “the transgressing party will kill him,” does not indicate to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu directly. It can be understood to mean those troops who undertook killing him and that is a group within the army since Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not pleased with his murder.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says in his Fatawa (35/76):

 

Furthermore the narration, “‘Ammar will be killed by the rebellious group,” is not absolute in referring to Muawiyah and his companions. It can be understood to mean the troops who engaged him until they killed him, and they would constitute a group among the entire army. As for those who were pleased at the murder of ‘Ammar, their situation will be the same. What is known that there were many in the camp who were not pleased by the murder of ‘Ammar like ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and others besides him. In fact all the people [in that camp] were outraged at his murder, even Muawiyah and ‘Amr.

 

7. The hadith is taken on its apparent meaning, but it does not necessarily mean that the transgressing party is removed from the description of faith in Allah, or justifies cursing them. Allah says in the Qur’an:

 

If two groups of the believers fight each other, seek reconciliation between them. And if one of them commits aggression against the other, fight the one that commits aggression until it comes back to Allah’s command. So if it comes back, seek reconciliation between them with fairness, and maintain justice. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.[7]

 

Allah described both parties as believers in this verse, despite the fact that they fight each other.

 

Ibn Hazm says in al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Nihal (3/77):

 

The Mujtahid who errs, if he fights on account of what he believes to be the truth, seeking the grace of Allah with a sincere intention, not knowing that he is in the wrong, then he will be a rebellious party and he will be rewarded [for his ijtihad]. There is to be no implementation of the Hadd [legal punishment]. As for one who fights, knowing that he is in the wrong, then this is an enemy combatant upon whom the Hadd ought to be applied as well as retaliation. Such a person is attributed to sin and going against the leader, not a Mujtahid in error. The explanation for that can be found in the verse, “if two groups of the believers fight each other, seek reconciliation between them. And if one of them commits aggression against the other, fight the one that commits aggression until it comes back to Allah’s command. So if it comes back, seek reconciliation between them with fairness, and maintain justice. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.”

 

Al Nawawi, in his commentary of Sahih Muslim (18/40), says:

 

The scholars say that this narration is clear evidence that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in the right and that the other party were rebels. However, they were Mujtahids in this affair so there is no sin upon them for that as we have previously mentioned at many places, among them this chapter. And in this narration is a miracle from the miracles of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam through many ways: among them is that he predicted that ‘Ammar would be killed, and that his killers would be Muslims, and that they would be rebels, and that a fight would occur among the Sahabah, and that they would be two parties, one rebellious, the other not, and all of this happened just as light of dawn occurs — may the peace, mercy and salutation of Allah be conferred to he who does not utter anything of his own, all that it is is Divine revelation.”

 

Ibn Kathir mentions in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (4/538):

 

Even if they were rebels in that affair, they were Mujtahids as well in terms of what occurred in fighting; and not every Mujtahid is correct. In fact the Mujtahid who is correct acquires two rewards and the one who errs acquires one reward. As for those who add to the narration after the words, “the rebellious party will kill you,” may they be deprived of intercession on the Day of Judgement since that have falsely attributed this addition to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as he did not say that since it was not related by an any acceptable means.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah, in his Fatawa (35/76), states:

 

There is nothing in the fact that ‘Ammar will be killed by the transgressing party that negates what we have previously mentioned, for indeed Allah has said:

If two groups of the believers fight each other, seek reconciliation between them. And if one of them commits aggression against the other, fight the one that commits aggression until it comes back to Allah’s command. So if it comes back, seek reconciliation between them with fairness, and maintain justice. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.

So He has made them both — even though they fought and rebelled — believers and brothers. In fact by instructing to fight the rebellious party He has made them believers. Furthermore, not all transgressing, injustice and rebellion takes the general people out of the state of faith, neither does it warrant their being cursed; what about those who were such from the best generations? Every person who is a rebel, or unjust, or transgresses, or engages in what would be a sin, they are of two kinds: Muta’awwil (one who can explain his situation by a particular interpretation), the other cannot. The Muta’awwil is a Mujtahid, just as the scholars of knowledge and religion exercised their scholarly discretion and considered lawful some matters, whereas others considered it prohibited. Some considered lawful certain types of drinks, and some of them certain interest-based transactions, and some of them certain contracts of marriage and the like thereof. So this kind of example has prevailed in the earliest generations; and likewise these [the party of Muawiyah] were Muta’awwil and Mujtahid and the extent to what can be said of them is that they erred. Allah says in the Qur’an:

… Our Rabb, do not take us to task if were forget or err.

It has been established in the reliable narrations that this supplication has been accepted by Allah. Allah also told us about Dawood and Sulaiman R that they both ruled on the issue of the crops, but He favoured one above the other in knowledge and in judgement, although He praised both their knowledge and judgement. The scholars are the heirs of the Prophets, so if one understands something contrary to the other in a particular matter, its not blameworthy nor is it a hindrance from acknowledging their knowledge and religiousness. However, if the contrary practise was there despite full knowledge of the ruling it becomes a sin and an indictment, and persistence upon such is a major offense and whenever knowledge of it is absolutely essential then to consider it lawful would be considered disbelief. So transgression and rebellion is treated like this as well. That if a rebel was a Mujtahid, Muta’awwil and he did not realise that he is a rebel; and to the contrary believed he was on the truth even though he erred in his judgement then calling such a person a transgressor or rebel does not necessarily mean that the person is a sinner, let alone declaring such a person a violator of the law. As for those who call for fighting the rebels who are Muta’awwil they say that the instruction to fight these rebels is to eliminate the possible harms that might arise from their rebellion and there is no punishment for them; only preventing them from transgressing the limits. They further say that they are upon moral and religious integrity and they have not become violating sinners. They also liken them to those who are not under obligation, just as one ought to prevent the child, or one who has a mental impediment, or a sleepwalking person from causing harm, to the extent that even the animals are prevented from causing harm. At is compulsory for those who are killed in error from the believers that a diyah [blood money] be paid. Likewise those who are present before the ruler from people who deserve the legal penalties, and repents after having ability to fulfil it and the punishment is meted out to him, and one who repents from sin is like one who has no sin. The rebel who was a Muta’awwil is lashed according to Malik, al Shafi’i and Ahmed; and there are many similar cases. Thereafter under the assumption that the transgression and rebellion was without Ta’wil [justified interpretation] it would be a sin; and sins may be compensated for by following up with righteous deeds which wipe away sins, or by afflictions which are compensations for sins etc.

However, if one looks at the debates among scholars between whom there was no fighting or kingdom, and they had such interpretations which were far weaker than that of Muawiyah. So someone who makes such an interpretation will not consider that he killed ‘Ammar as he did not believe that he had transgressed in the first place; and such a person who does not believe himself to be a transgressor while he is one in reality he is a Muta’awwil who has erred. And the jurists none of them are of the opinion to fight those who killed ‘Ammar. However, they had two famous positions as was the position of the senior Sahabah — may Allah be pleased with them all. Some of them opined to fight alongside ‘Ammar and his group, and others refrained from fighting completely. In each of these two groups there were some of the most senior Sahabah. So, in the first group was ‘Ammar, Sahl ibn Hunayf, Abu Ayub and others; whereas in the second group there were likes of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Usamah ibn Zaid, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and others — and perhaps majority of the seniors were of this view. There were none from either camp after ‘Ali better than Sa’d; and he was from those who did not get involved. As for the ‘Hadith of ‘Ammar’ those who hold on to it as evidence for fighting, since the killers of ‘Uthman, if they are rebels, they need to be fought as Allah states: “… fight the aggressing party…” as for those who did not get involved they held on to the authentic prophetic narrations which warn against involvement when there is fitnah, and they interpret this fighting as fitnah. Furthermore, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not instruct with fighting neither was he pleased with it, all that he instructed with was reconciliation; and Allah instructed with responding to transgression but did not instruct with pre-emptive action against the transgressing party as He said:

If two groups of the believers fight each other, seek reconciliation between them. And if one of them commits aggression against the other, fight the one that commits aggression until it comes back to Allah’s command. So if it comes back, seek reconciliation between them with fairness, and maintain justice. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.

They said the initial phase of fighting was not a divine instruction, rather the fighting is only allowed in response to a transgressing party; and if one had to kill every transgressor one would reach disbelief, as many believers, rather most people have some form of injustice or transgression. However, if two parties from the believers fight, our duty is to bring about reconciliation; even though one party is not instructed with fighting; and if one party rebels after that, it ought to be fought against since it did not abandon fighting and did not respond to reconciliation; and the harms cannot be curtailed except with fighting. Their example is like the attacker whose crime can only be prevented by fighting him, as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “he who is killed protecting his own property dies a martyr, he who is killed protecting his own life dies a martyr, he who is killed protecting his religion dies a martyr and he who dies protecting his family dies a martyr.” They say further that assuming the entire camp to be rebels then we have not been instructed to engage with them first with fighting, rather we are instructed with reconciliation. Also, it is not allowed for us to fight them if there are among them those who would rather retreat and not engage since they are very argumentative and disobedient. The purpose of it all is that this narration does not permit cursing any of the Sahabah, neither does it necessitate violation of moral and religious integrity.[8]

 
 

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[1]  Narrated in Sahih al Bukhari (346) and (2657) with a slight variation in wording

[2]  See Minhaj al Sunnah (4/390), (4,405)

[3]  Al Khallal quotes it in al Sunnah (2/463)

[4]  See Minhaj al Sunnah (4/414)

[5]  See al Fath by Ibn Hajar (1/542)

[6]  See Minhaj al Sunnah (4/415) and Fath al Bari (2/490)

[7] Surah al Hujurat: 9

[8]  See also Minhaj al Sunnah (4/394) and (4/420) it is very important.

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