We begin by praising Allah, and sending salat and salam upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
In the beginning of this treatise, we stated that unconditional obedience, according to all the ‘ulamaʼ of the Ahlus Sunnah is necessary only with regards to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Whoever else is given any authority gets it in accordance to the dictates of the Qur’an and Sunnah. None besides the Qur’an and Sunnah are given the position of being unconditional authorities. The obedience of parents, rulers and scholars of Islam is established from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Obedience to them is conditional to their commands being permissible in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah. This is an accepted principle according to us.
The Shia have a different view. They believe that the Ahlul Bayt and ‘itrah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also need to be followed unconditionally, just as the Qur’an is followed. Just as the Qur’an is a definite authority in Islam, similarly the Ahlul Bayt are also a definite authority. In fact, their Imams are labelled ‘al Hujjah’ – the authority. A fair testimony to our claim can be found in the book, Usul al Kafi which contains a lengthy chapter titled, ‘The Book of The Authority’. These people believe that there is no difference between the Qur’an and the Ahlul Bayt as far as being an authority and being divinely protected is concerned. Refer to Tafsir Majma’ al Bayan of Abu ‘Ali Tabarsi, pg. 229 of the Iranian print, under the verse, “Those in authority amongst you,” as well as Tafsir al Safi of Mulla Muhsin al Kashani.
The strongest proof that these ‘saints’ have is the hadith of Thaqalayn which was discussed at length in part one. Far from being mutawatir or even mashhur, most of the asanid have been criticised. The most that can be said is that it is khabr wahid, the authenticity of which has already been explained. Besides the narration of Muslim and those which conform to it, the rest have been labelled munkar or da’if by the ‘ulamaʼ. Above that, this narration has no relevance to the belief that is being established from it. The best comparison by means of which we can understand the above situation is the famous saying:
We asked about wheat but we were told about chick-peas.
Our friends have done the exact same by presenting the hadith of Thaqalayn as proof for their belief.
Now we wish to expound on the proofs of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding their above-mentioned belief. May Allah enable us to complete the discussion. We will present most of the explanations regarding the matter.
1. We will begin the discussion by quoting twelve verses of the Qur’an which are explicit regarding the matter. Neither will there be a need for any deductions, nor will there be a need to add any narration in order to culminate the proof. Our ‘friends’ are habitual of this, i.e. they cannot prove anything from the Qur’an without adding a narration (whether it is sahih or not) to it. This according to them is a proof from the Qur’an. The reality is that they used the narration, not the Qur’an as proof!
2. Secondly, it should be understood that whilst the Ahlus Sunnah prove their view from the Qur’an, it is also supported by many ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We will even present the narrations that support this view, especially since they serve as explanations and clarifications of these ahadith. Therefore it will be well worth it for us to quote them here.
3. Since our ‘friends’ are fascinated with the number twelve, we will suffice for now, upon twelve narrations to support the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah that unconditional obedience is due only to the Qur’an and Sunnah. We will therefore quote twelve verses as well as twelve narrations to prove our stance.
4. We deem it appropriate to mention to the readers that this hadith is the famous bequest of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which has been narrated through many asanid. The meaning of this hadith is follows, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam advised the people saying:
O people! I am leaving amongst you two such things that you will never go astray as long as you hold onto them. They are the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.
This is a well-known hadith amongst the Muhaddithin. Many of the great Muhaddithin narrated it. Thus, we will simplify the matter for the readers by presenting a brief list of those who narrated it:
These great ‘ulamaʼ have included this narration in their books. In the forthcoming lines, we will present the exact wording with which each of them narrated it.
5. It will not be pointless for us to mention at this juncture that the above-mentioned ‘ulamaʼ are not those who quote from other sources, rather each of them have their own isnad. Those who quote from others cannot be counted. In every era, authors and commentators quoted this hadith in their books, thus it would be difficult to count all of them. Further, we have intentionally left out those ‘ulamaʼ, as that will definitely increase the volume of this book and lengthen the list of references; however, the real purpose, which is to mention as many asanid as possible will not be fulfilled. Any way, we did not adopt this unscholarly and deceptive manner, which is the hallmark of our ‘friends’. The book ‘Abaqat al Anwar would have been a fraction of its current size, if all these type of narrations had been left out.
6. When mentioning the proofs of this view of the Ahlus Sunnah, we will start off by presenting twelve verses of the Qur’an. Thereafter we will quote twelve ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam followed by twelve quotations from the books of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, which support the view of the Ahlus Sunnah. We hope that upholding the number twelve will have some impact in allowing the message to penetrate the hearts of our ‘friends’.
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