The Incident of Jamal and the Misconceptions of the Rawafid – The stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the differences of the Sahabah

Misconception: ‘Aisha cursed ‘Amr ibn al ‘As
February 28, 2018
The Incident of Jamal
March 1, 2018

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The Incident of Jamal and the Misconceptions of the Rawafid


The stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the differences of the Sahabah

Prior to getting into the discussion of Jamal, it is appropriate to concisely mention the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the conflicts between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This is so that a Muslim is not entrapped from where he never imagined into studying the books of history in order to gain information of these trials which will ultimately result in him having reservations for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This will be the result especially considering that majority of the books of history have gathered authentic as well as unauthentic narrations, and very few historians pay attention to analysing and scrutinising reports.

Abu Bakr al Marrudhi[1] narrates:


سمعت أبا عبد الله يعني أحمد بن حنبل يقول إن قوما يكتبون هذه الأحاديث الرديئة في أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قد حكوا عنك أنك قلت أنا لا أنكر أن يكون صاحب حديث يكتب هذه الأحاديث يعرفه فغضب و أنكره إنكارا شديدا و قال باطل معاذ الله أنا لا أنكر هذا لو كان هذا في أفناء الناس لأنكرته كيف في أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم و قال أنا لم أكتب هذه الأحاديث قلت لأبي عبد الله فمن عرفته يكتب هذه الأحاديث الرديئة و يجمعها أيهجر قال نعم يستأهل صاحب هذه الأحاديث الرديئة الرجم و قال أبو عبد الله جاءني عبد الرحمن بن صالح فقلت له تحدث بهذه الأحاديث فجعل يقول قد حدث بها فلان و حدث بها فلان و أنا أرفق به و هو يحتج فرأيته بعد فأعرضت عنه و لم أكلمه

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah – i.e. Ahmed ibn Hambal – saying, “Some people record these nasty reports about the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

They quote from you that you said, ‘I do not disallow an author of hadith writing ahadith he knows of.”

He became angry and vehemently rejected it. He said, “Bunkum. May Allah forbid! I do not reject this? Had this been humiliating to common people, I would have disallowed it. What about when dealing with the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

He said, “I do not write these ahadith.”

I said to Abu ‘Abdullah, “If you know someone who records and gathers these offensive reports, would he be boycotted.”

“Yes,” he replied, “people who narrate these offensive reports are deserving of being stoned.”

Abu ‘Abdullah said, “‘Abdul Rahman ibn Salih came to me. I questioned him, ‘You narrate these ahadith?’

He began saying in defense, ‘So and so, and so and so narrate them. I treat them gently and they are worthy of being cited as proof.’

I saw him some time later. I ignored him and did not speak to him.”[2]


Ibn Taymiyyah has many beneficial scattered bits of information in this regard. We will overlook some of them, to obviate prolongation, and quote only those which deal specifically with Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. He says:


و نعتقد أن ما شجر بين أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أمرهم إلى الله و نترحم على عائشة و نترضى عليها

We believe that what occurred between the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; their matter lies with Allah. We will seek Allah’s mercy and His pleasure for Aisha.[3]


Allow me to quote two profound statements which were located in unlikely places. The first statement is of Imam al Zahid Abu al Muzaffar al Khuza’i[4]. Ibn al Mustawfi al Irbili[5] recalls:


أردت أن أسمع عليه كتاب مقتل عثمان رضي الله عنه لابن أبي الدنيا فأبى علي و قال لو رأيناه ما رويناه

I wanted to read the book Maqtal ‘Uthman (the murder of ‘Uthman) of Ibn Abi al Dunya to him. He refused and remarked, “Had we seen it, we would not have transmitted it.”[6]


The second one belongs to Ibn Taymiyyah’s contemporary Ibn Daqiq al ‘Id[7]. He comments:


ما نقل فيما شجر بينهم و اختلفوا فيه فمنه ما هو باطل و كذب فلا يلتفت إليه و ما كان صحيحا أولناه على أحسن التأويلات و طلبنا له أجود المخارج لأن الثناء عليهم من الله سابق و ما نقل عنهم محتمل التأويل و المشكوك لا يبطل المعلوم

With regards to what has been narrated regarding their conflicts and differences; those reports that are fallacious and false should not be considered while the sahih (authentic) reports should be given suitable interpretations and explained in appropriate ways. This is because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has already praised them and what has been reported about them is subject to interpretation. The doubtful cannot overshadow the confirmed.[8]


His statement resembles the statement of Habr al Ummah (the scholar of the ummah) Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who warned:


لا تسبوا أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم فإن الله عز و جل قد أمر بالاستغفار لهم و هو يعلم أنهم سيقتتلون

Do not revile the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as certainly Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – has commanded that forgiveness be sought for them although He had full knowledge that they will soon wrangle.[9]


There are some principles in this regard which the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah unanimously agree upon. Only people of innovation and prisoners of their own desires do not concur with them. Some of these principles are:

  1. Having good thoughts about the Sahabah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam especially those who have been guaranteed Jannat and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away while being pleased with them. Undoubtedly, Sayyidina ‘Ali, Aisha, Talhah, and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum are among them.
  2. We do not believe in the infallibility of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. It is possible for them to commit major sins, let alone minor ones and leave alone erring in ijtihad for which they will be rewarded.
  3. We regard reviling the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as forbidden and consider it a major sin. Criticising their integrity is criticising Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who has awarded them the glad tidings of Jannat. This is also casting suspicions on the pristine din which has been transmitted to us via them. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam alerted Sayyidina Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhum after he cussed Sayyidina ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu – one of the al Sabiqin al Awwalin (first forerunners):

لا تسبوا أصحابي فلو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما بلغ مد أحدهم و لا نصيفه

Do not abuse my companions. If any of you had to spend gold equivalent to mount Uhud, it would not reach their mudd, not even half of it.[10]

When this was told to the unsheathed Sword of Allah, upon whose hands Allah assisted the din and who is a Companion of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then what about those who have no worth in front of Sayyidina Khalid radiya Llahu ‘anhu and are not counted among the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Just as it is forbidden for a junior Sahabi to abuse a senior one, it is far more dangerous for someone ranking lower than the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to point a finger at them.

  1. Desisting from delving deeply into the Sahabah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhum We view the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in this regard to be either a mujtahid who is correct thus worthy of double reward, or one who erred and is deserving of a single reward.

NEXT ⇒ The Incident of Jamal

[1] Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al Hajjaj, Abu Bakr al Marrudhi, the Sheikh al Islam. He was an Imam in the Sunnah and an ardent follower of the same. He was also among the most reputable students of Imam Ahmed and was responsible for closing the latter’s eyes and giving him ghusl upon his demise. One of his works is: Ikhbar al Shuyukh wa Akhlaqihim. He passed away in the year 275 A.H. (Tabaqat al Hanabilah of Ibn Abi Ya’la vol. 1 pg. 56; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 13 pg. 173)

[2] Al Sunnah of al Khallal vol. 3 pg. 501

[3] Al Fatwa al Hamawiyyah of Ibn Taymiyyah 448; Majmu’ al Fatawa vol. 5 pg. 78; al Fatawa al Kubra vol. 6 pg. 658, vol. 3 pg. 445

[4] Al Mubarak ibn Tahir ibn al Mubarak, Abu al Muzaffar al Khuza’i al Baghdadi, the Sufi (mystic) and Muqri’ (teacher of Qur’an). He was born in 533 A.H. He was ascetic, scrupulous, and an ardent worshipper, who dedicated himself to teaching the Qur’an. He was a Shafi’i and disliked personal opinions and qiyas (analogy). He heard plenty of ahadith with investigation and verification. He passed away in 600 A.H. (Tarikh Irbil of Ibn al Mustawfi vol. 1 pg. 41; Tarikh al Islam vol. 42 pg. 482)

[5] Al Mubarak ibn Ahmed ibn al Mubarak, Abu al Barakat al Irbili, the ‘Allamah and Muhaddith. Born in the year 563 A.H., he mastered the sciences of literature, poetry, and Arab history. He was very religious in his worship and proficient in calculating the account books of the Islamic treasury. He also assumed responsibility over Irbil for a while. Among his books is: Tarikh Irbil. He passed away in 637 A.H. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 23 pg. 49; al A’lam vol. 5 pg. 269)

[6] Tarikh Irbil vol. 1 pg. 44

[7] Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Wahb, Abu al Fath al Qushayri, Ibn Daqiq al ‘Id, the Imam, Faqih, Muhaddith, and Sheikh al Islam. He was born in 625 A.H. and passed away in 702 A.H. He is reckoned among the intellectuals of his time. He possessed extensive knowledge and piety. He assumed the post of judge in Egypt as well. Some of his works are: al Iqtirah and Sharh ‘Umdat al Ahkam. (Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah vol. 2 pg. 225; Shadharat al Dhahab vol. 6 pg. 5)

[8] Tashnif al Masami’ of al Zarkashi vol. 4 pg. 842

[9] Al Hujjah fi Bayan al Mahajjah of Abu al Qasim al Asbahani vol. 2 pg. 395. Ibn Taymiyyah categorised its isnad as sahih in Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 2 pg. 22.

[10] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 3673; Sahih Muslim Hadith: 222 – the narration of Sayyidina Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

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