The Manner in which the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia act upon this Hadith

The Meaning of Holding on to the Thaqalayn According to Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.
April 18, 2019
Narrators of the Ahlus Sunnah transmitted the Qur’an and the Sunnah
April 18, 2019

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The Manner in which the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia act upon this Hadith

 

The Ahlus Sunnah and the Thaqalayn

Let us submit, for argument sake, that the hadith is authentic and that there is no ambiguity in it. So who truly practices upon the hadith: the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah or the ’Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia?

 

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1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah transmitted the noble Qur’an:

We begin with that which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began with, which is the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. It is well established that the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has reached us via mass transmission from the chains of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, and there is no Shia Imami Ithna ‘Ashari (Twelvers) narrator in it. This is the current copy in circulation amongst the Muslims. So where are the Shia narrators from the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum of this copy?

It is known that Zurarah, Jabir al Ju’fi, and Hisham ibn al Hakam are of those who narrated many reports from Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah and others; so why did they not narrate the Qur’an from the Imams?

The one who narrated the Qur’an from Jafar al Sadiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is Hamzah al Zayyat, with an unbroken chain from the Ahlul Bayt to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam [1], and Hamzah al Zayyat was from the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.[2] Where are the narrators of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia?

Here is an example for further clarity:

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ

Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction.[3]

 

Do the Shia read the word Yudrikkum in this verse with one kaf or two?

If the Shia read it with one kaf then we ask who is the narrator whom they take this reading from? If they read it with two kaf’s then who is the narrator whom they take this reading from? Furthermore, the Shia do not have any chain of narration, they read the Qur’an as heard from the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

Therefore just as the Ahlus Sunnah are more knowledgeable than the Shia regarding the greater of Thaqalayn, which is the Qur’an, they are more entitled to be more knowledgeable than them regarding the smaller of the Thaqalayn, which is the ‘itrah.

These are the chains of narrations which have reached us via mass transmission from the Qurra’ al ‘Asharah, who are the Imams of Qira’ah according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. Twenty narrators have narrated from them, and they are the narrators of the noble Qur’an.

 

Imams of Qira’ah

Each Imam has two narrators:

 

  1. The Qari’ of Madinah was Imam Nafi’, Warsh and Qalun narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from six of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They are ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Zaid ibn Thabit, Ubay ibn Ka’b, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ayyash, and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  2. The Qari’ of Makkah al Mukarramah was Imam ibn Kathir, al Bazzi and Qunbul narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from five of the Companions. They are ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Zaid ibn Thabit, Ubay ibn Ka’b, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, and ‘Abdullah ibn al Sa’ib radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  3. The Qari’ of Basrah was Imam Abu ‘Amr al Basri, al Duri and al Susi narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from ten of the Companions. They are ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ayyash, ‘Abdullah ibn al Sa’ib, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Zaid ibn Thabit, and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  4. The Qari’ of Sham was Imam Ibn ‘Amir, Hisham and ibn Dhakwan narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and Abi al Darda radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
  5. The Qari’ of Kufah was Imam ‘Asim ibn Abi al Najud, Shu’bah and Hafs (Most Muslims today read the Qur’an via the narration of Hafs from his teacher ‘Asim). This reading is transmitted from six Companions. They are ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Zaid ibn Thabit and Ubay ibn Ka’b radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  6. Imam Hamzah al Zayyat, Khalaf and Khallad narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from six Companions. They are ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Zaid ibn Thabit, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, and Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  7. Imam ‘Ali ibn Hamzah al Kisa’i, Abu al Harith and Hafs al Duri narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from ten Companions. They are ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Zaid ibn Thabit, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ayyash, Abu Hurairah, and Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  8. Imam Ya’qub al Hadrami, Ruways and Rawh narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from ten Companions. They are ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Zaid ibn Thabit, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ayyash, ‘Abdullah ibn al Sa’ib, and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  9. Imam Khalaf al Bazzar, Idris and ’Ishaq narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from six Companions. They are ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Zaid ibn Thabit, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  10. Imam Abu Jafar al Madani, Ibn Wardan and Ibn Jammaz narrated from him. This reading is transmitted from five Companions. They are Zaid ibn Thabit, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ayyash, and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

 

These are the narrators of the noble Qur’an from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We didn’t find a single Ithna ‘Ashari (Twelvers) Shia amongst them. This is one of the miraculous features of the noble Qur’an, whereby Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has not placed in the transmission of the Qur’an a man who slanders the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum of His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—the first recipients who learnt, gathered, preserved, and transmitted the noble Qur’an. Can the Shia establish other than that?

 

Were ‘Asim and Hafs Shia?

The Shia claim that both ‘Asim and Hafs were Shia unlike what the Ahlus Sunnah say that all of the transmitters and bearers of the Qur’an are from the Ahlus Sunnah only.

 

The answer to this claim:

Firstly: This claim came was made once the Shia were unable to establish a chain of narration for the Qur’an from even one Shia from the Ahlul Bayt to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Secondly: The statement that the men of the chain of transmission of the Qur’an are all from Kufah and are Shia, this needs to be substantiated. The claimant has to produce the proof!

Thirdly: If the men of the chain of transmission of the reading of ‘Asim are indeed Shia then explicit mention of the same should be found in: 1) The books of Jarh wa Ta’dil (narrator criticism and approbation), as well as the books of biographies, with clear mention of the Ahlus Sunnah stating that ‘Asim and Hafs were of the Shia. 2) If they are not able to establish that from our books then they require to establish that and clarify its authenticity from the Shia books of Rijal, such as the Rijal of al Kashshi or al Tusi, or any of their other books of Rijal; so we can ascertain if they are truly considered as Shia or not.

Fourthly: Neither al Kashshi, al Najashi, Ibn Dawood al  Hilli, al Khaqani, nor al Barqi have documented the biography of Hafs ibn Sulaiman in their respective works. These are the most authentic and reliable books of rijal according to the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia.

The most of what is to be found in this matter is that al Tusi made mention of Hafs ibn Sulaiman in his rijal[4] under the companions of al Sadiq. Followed by Al Qahba’i in Majma’ al Rijal[5], and al Ha’iri in Muntaha al Maqal[6]; and both of them transmit from al Tusi. However none of them mention any criticism or disparagement, nor do they mention he was of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia.

Al Tustari has indeed documented the biography of Hafs in his book Qamus al Rijal[7] but he too did not allude to whether he was a Shia or not. He said:

و قد قلنا: إن عنوان رجال الشيخ أعم

And we said: Indeed the rijal of al Sheikh is more inclusive.

 

Referring to the Rijal al Tusi. So al Tustari has negated the fact that Hafs is of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia and not everyone who al Tusi has mentioned in his Rijal is Ithna ‘Ashari. Rather it is more inclusive, such that he even mentioned the Nawasib in his Rijal.

Fifthly: Is the statement of the Shia, “So and so is from the companions of al Sadiq,”[8] a verification of the said individual and is it proof that he was from the Imamiyyah? The Shia scholar al Tustari, states:

 

إن هذا لا يعتبر توثيقا للرجل، و لا حتى كونه من الشيعة الإمامية

Indeed this is not considered a verification for the person, nor that he is of the Shia Imamiyyah.[9]

 

Ahmed ibn al Khasib is considered to be of the companions of al Hadi despite being a Nasibi.[10]

 

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2. Do the Ahlus Sunnah take their legacy from the Ahlul Bayt?

The Imam of the Ahlul Bayt, through whom the Ahlul Bayt attained their virtue, is the master of the children of Adam ‘alayh al Salam, the Messenger of Guidance Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He is the ultimate proof, it is his statements, actions, and tacit approvals which are followed by the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. He is the second source after the Qur’an. When the word Sunnah is mentioned unrestrictedly then it refers only to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The claim that it is not permissible to take from other than ‘Ali, Hassan, Hussain and the rest of the Imams is open contradiction to what was revealed to our Imam Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Whereby Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has said:

 

وَ السّٰبِقُوْنَ الْأَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَ الْأَنْصَارِ وَ الَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بإحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَ أَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنّٰتٍ تَجْرِيْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَآ أَبَدًا ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ العَظِيْمُ

And the forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct—Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.[11]

 

It is a matter of consensus between the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia that none of the Ansar are from the Ahlul Bayt, yet Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has accepted from those who followed the Ansar who came after them as stated in the verse. So if it is not permissible to follow other than ‘Ali, Hassan, Hussain, and the rest of the Twelve Imams then it would not have been permissible for those who came after them to follow the Ansar. In addition to that is that there is no proof to restrict following to ‘Ali, Hassan, Hussain and the rest of the Imams of the Ithna Ashariyyah (Twelvers).

The Muhaddithin  of the Ahlus Sunnah have written books about the virtues and outstanding traits of the Ahlul Bayt, such as the book Fada’il ‘Ali and Imam al Nasa’i’s Khasa’is al Kubra. Even in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim there are many chapters regarding the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt, as well as in other books of the Ahlus Sunnah.

Thus, the one who looks carefully at the ahadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the relied upon books of the Ahlus Sunnah will see that the narrations of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu are more than the narrations of the other three khalifas.[12]

Will a sound minded person now say: The Ahlus Sunnah are the enemies of Abu bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum, or that they don’t take their fiqh from them because their narrations are less than that of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Ahlus Sunnah narrated more from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in their reliable books—specifically Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim—than what the Shia narrate in their greatest and most authentic book, which is al Kafi.

In Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim there are 163 narrations reported from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[13], while in al Kafi there are only 66 narrations from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Bearing in mind that whatever is narrated in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is established and authentic, contrary to the narrations found in al Kafi, regarding which their own scholars have stated that not everything in it is authentic.

Similarly, the Ahlus Sunnah have narrated on the authority of Imam Jafar al Sadiq on the authority of his father, al Baqir in Sahih Muslim the description of the Hajj of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is the fifth pillar of the pillars of Islam and it is the only hadith that in detail explains the rites of hajj, which the jurists of the Ahlus Sunnah rely upon despite the difference of their schools of thought up until this day of ours. Their worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in Hajj every year is based on this hadith, which Imam al Sadiq narrated from his father, al Baqir, from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Here is a question for every Shia: What is your position when the narrations from the Imams are contradictory—as is very common—to the statements of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and His actions?

As for myself after Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has guided me to the School of Ahlus Sunnah, I take the hadith of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Previously when I was a Shia, I would take what the Imam—allegedly—said without disputing it.

Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar has said:

 

عقييدتنا في المجتهد الجامع للشرائط، أنه نائب للإمام عليه السلام في حال غيبته، وهو الحاكم و الرئيس المطلق، له ما للإمام في الفصل في القضايا و الحكومة بين الناس، و الراد عليه راد على الإمام، والراد على الإمام راد على الله تعالى، وهو على حد الشرك باالله

Our belief regarding the mujtahid[14] who possess all the requirements is that he is a representative for the Imam ‘alayh al Salam in the state of his absence. He is the judge and unrestricted leader. He has what the Imam has in settling disputes and judging between people. Rejecting him is rejecting the Imam and rejecting the Imam is rejecting Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, and it is tantamount to ascribing a partner to Allah!![15]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah when the hadith is authentically transmitted from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam they leave the statements of anyone else whoever he may be. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the Imam of the Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum. So is anyone able to say after this that the Ahlus Sunnah left the fiqh of the Ahlul Bayt?

 

The Shia and the Thaqalayn

Do the Shia—may Allah guide us and them—practice on the hadith of Thaqalayn: Do they adhere to the Book of Allah and the ‘itrah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or not?

 

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1. The Shia and the Qur’an

Many Shia scholars have stated that the Qur’an is interpolated and incomplete. They claim that this statement is in fact the statement of the infallible Ahlul Bayt, whilst in actual fact they are free from such blasphemous statements— as is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

Any person of sound intellectual capacity knows full well that to slander the Qur’an, which is the greater of the Thaqalayn, is a greater crime and much more heinous sin than to slander the ‘itrah, which is the lesser of the Thaqalayn.

It is impossible for a Muslim who is pure in nature to ever believe that the Qur’an is interpolated, because he has conviction that there is none more truthful in speech than Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala:

 

وَعْدَ اللهِ حَقًّا وَ مَنْ أصْدَقُ مِنَ اللهِ قِيْلًا 

[It is] The promise of Allah, [which is] truth, and who is more truthful than Allah in speech.[16] 

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala also says:

 

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَ إِنَّ لَهُ لَحَفِظُوْنَ 

Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e. the Qur’an], and indeed, We will be its guardian.[17]

 

Despite finding clear authentic texts establishing that the Qur’an has been divinely protected from any addition, subtraction, decrease or change at the hands of the detractors—as being divinely protected negates the possibility of any of this occurring—we still find many of Shia scholars stating that the Qur’an has been interpolated.[18] Some of them have even said, “There are absurd verses in the Qur’an,” [19] Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala protect us.

The Shia claim that they follow and support the Ahlul Bayt whereas the Ahlus Sunnah follow and support their enemies. We ask: So does that mean that one who follows and supports the Ahlul Bayt has to believe that the Ahlul Bayt claim that the Qur’an has been interpolated? Indeed this is defamation of them and not supporting them! As for the Ahlus Sunnah they deny whatever is attributed to the Ahlul Bayt concerning the adulteration of the Qur’an; in defence of the soundness of the Qur’an and in defence of the Ahlul Bayt.

If you were to ask: Are there not some who do not ascribe such things to the Ahlul Bayt?

My answer would be: What is your view regarding those who openly believed that the Qur’an has been interpolated; do you absolve yourself from them? Prove your love to the Ahlul Bayt by absolving yourself from those who unjustly and incorrectly believe that the Qur’an is interpolated. The one who utters such blasphemies is indeed free from Allah and the Ahlul Bayt. This is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding such people, they sacrifice their lives in defence of the Ahlul Bayt.

So it is clear who truly loves the Ahlul Bayt and follows them.

An important question might be asked at this juncture: Did the Shia belief of interpolation of the Qur’an stem from nothing?

Most definitely it did not stem from nothing, rather the motives of the Shia scholars behind this blasphemous belief are many:

 

  1. There was no clear statement regarding the Imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Qur’an. Due to which they claim that ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu name was removed.[20]
  2. There was a need to avert the contradiction the average Shia would find in the Qur’an whereby it praises the Companions and the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while their own belief consists of disparaging the Companions and the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  3. The view of interpolation is a gateway for the view that the names of the Imams and their virtues were mentioned in the Qur’an.[21]
  4. Believing the Qur’an is free from interpolation necessitates that the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were indeed truthful, since how would it have been possible for the them to transmit the Qur’an to us free from any deficiency and interpolation if they were not steadfast on din?
  5. When a Shia is asked for Qur’anic proof of the infallibility of the Imams, they quickly recite the verse of purification. When it is pointed out that the context of the verse indicates that it is regarding the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the only response left is that it has been placed out of context for worldly objectives and gain.[22]
  6. There was a need to distance the average Shia from the Qur’an and relying on it as proof, which is plainly visible today.
  7. Believing Qur’an is interpolated gives the Shia scholars a sanctified and hallowed position as it means that only they are capable of knowing the truth. Their words now become the proof and not the Qur’an which has been tampered with!

 

So why have we not seen this correct Qur’an which the Shia speak of? The scholars of the Shia respond with a number of answers:

Firstly: The Hidden Qur’an will bring disgrace to whoever came before it, therefore its concealment is necessary.[23]

Secondly: When the detractors (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah) continue to disobey Amir al Mu’minin then they deserve disgrace.[24]

So what is the benefit of reading this Qur’an found today? Is it possible for a Muslim to believe in the interpolation of the Qur’an and have no source with which to ascertain the injunctions of Shari’ah? The contradiction is present and continues. It is a predicament that many who believe in the interpolation of the Qur’an fall into. However, there is an outlet which Ni’mat al Allah al Jaza’iri—one of the most senior scholars of the Shia—provided:

 

روي في الأخبار أنهم عليهم السلام أمروا شيعتهم بقراءة هذا الموجود من القرآن في الصلاة و غيرها، و العمل بأحكامه حتى يظهر مولانا صاحب الزمان، فيرتفع هذا القرآن من أيدي الناس إلى السماء، و يخرج القرآن الذي ألفه أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فيقرأ و يعمل بأحكامه

It is mentioned in the narrations that they—may peace be upon them—commanded their followers to read this existing Qur’an in salah and other than it, and to act on its laws until our Master the Awaited Mahdi appears. He will lift this Qur’an from the hands of the people to the Heavens, and then bring forth the Qur’an which Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam had written. It will then be read and its laws will be acted upon.[25]

 

We find the latter day Shia scholars trying to excuse those who said that the Qur’an is interpolated. They claim that they cannot be deemed disbelievers as they exercised ijtihad (analytical reasoning) and erred when doing so, as their statements were but a result of the proofs present before them.

In response we say: How can we even consider this to be ijtihad such that we seek an excuse for him and say he exercised ijtihad and erred, because of which we do not believe them to be disbelievers or even that this statement is disbelief? Would one say in a similar fashion that the Nawasib[26]—who slandered the Pure Ahlul Bayt—are also excused because the impermissibility of slandering the Ahlul Bayt did not reach them? How do we excuse the one who slanders the greater of the Thaqalayn but refuse to excuse the one who slanders the lesser of the Thaqalayn?

Should we then excuse those atheists who deny the existence of Allah due to some ‘proof’ they have by saying they exercised ijtihad and erred, because of which he has not fallen into disbelief since this is what his ijtihad led him too?

Without a doubt, this is mockery, destruction, and an eradication of the Shari’ah under various slogans! Just as Ijtihad is not permissible regarding the oneness of Allah it is not permissible regarding the Qur’an being free from interpolation. It is of those matters of the Din which are known by necessity and with conviction.

We ask the Shia: Those Shia scholars who exercised ijtihad and erred ultimately claiming that the Qur’an is interpolated—as the latter Shia scholars believe—what did they do when they found two ahadith contradicting each other?

Did they interpret it in line with the Qur’an they believe to be interpolated or did they interpret it in line with the other Hidden Qur’an which they believe is not interpolated? Were they not aware of the statement of Jafar al Sadiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

إن على كل حق حقيقة، فما وافق كتاب الله فخذوه، وما خالف كتاب الله فدعوه

Indeed for every truth is a reality, so whatever is in accordance to the Book of Allah take it! And whatever is contrary to the Book of Allah leave it![27]

 

All we ask is that the Shia scholars disparage those who hold the view of interpolation in the same manner as they have disparaged Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Fadl Allah for his ijtihad. He was rejected, rendered as misguided, and called to relinquish his status as an authority simply because he declared that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was too courageous and pious to have left his wife to be humiliated and not defend her [in the false Shia story of the attack on her house].[28] As a result, he was accused of deviating in ‘aqidah[29], despite him reaching this verdict through evidence and extensive deliberation.

Similar is the case with the Iraqi scholar Ahmed al Katib, who negated the concept of Imamiyyah in his book, Tatawwur al Fikr al Siyasi al Shi’i min al Shura ila Wilayat al Faqih (the development of Shia political thought from shura to Wilayat al faqih). He was then accused of Nasab[30] and disbelief[31] despite them knowing that the opinion of interpolation is a far greater crime than the many which Muhammad Hussain Fadl al Allah and Ahmed al Katib have perpetrated. As the preservation of the Qur’an is established with clear textual evidence, whereas that which Muhammad Hussain Fadl Allah and Ahmed al Katib differ in, is not.

 

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2. Do the Shia possess a reliable chain of narration for Hadith al Thaqalayn?

Are the Shia able to narrate the hadith of Thaqalayn with an unbroken chain containing only Shia narrators whose integrity and precision are unquestionable, and the chain free from inconsistencies and defects?

Some Shia scholars have attempted to examine the narrations in general in terms of its authenticity and weakness; however, he had to contend with a ferocious attack from his peers, similar to what transpired with ‘Allamah al Hilli—who is considered to be the first to critically examine the Shia chains of narration. The result of this revisionism was that more than two thirds of the narrations from the primary books were deemed inauthentic. Al Kafi, for example, which contains approximately 16199 narrations, but based on the revisionism of this Shia scholar only 5072 were found to be sound.[32]

Al Hilli had to contend with vicious antagonism from his own fraternity on account of his analysis; so much so that they say:

 

هدم الدين مرتين: إحداهما: يوم السقيفة وثانيهما: يوم ولد العلامة

The din was destroyed twice: The first was on the day of al Saqifah[33] and the second when ‘Allamah was born.[34]

 

Similarly when Muhammad Baqir al Bahbudi, a contemporary Shia, undertook the study of the four books and at the head of it al Kafi; he too had to contend with severe criticism from all quarters. Haydar Hubb Allah said:

 

أصدر البهبودي كتابه صحيح الكافي في مجلدات ثلاثة قال فيه : إنه إستوعب ضمنه تمام روايات الكافي أصولا وفروعا وروضة، الحائزة على وصف الصحة و من أصل ما يقرب من (16199) حديثا وضع البهبودي (4428) حديثا فقط أي أزيد من الربع بقليل مما أثار ضجة في أوساط المؤسسة الدينية آنذاك… و يذكر البهبودي أن رجال الدين ضغطوا على صاحب المطبعة لتغيير اسم الكتاب … ويرى البهبودي أن حملات النقد ضده كانت بسبب تسميته لكتابه ب (صحيح الكافي) إذ إن هذه التسمية أدت إلى تساؤل الناس عما يرويه العلماء و الخطباء ومدى صحته و سلامته… و لما نشر صحيح الكافي أصيب بإخراج فأخذ يمارس ضغطا

Al Bahbudi published his book as Sahih al Kafi in three volumes. He said that it encompasses the complete narrations of al Kafi in terms of the Usul, Furu’ and Rawdah, and bears the quality of authenticity. From the original compilation (consisting of 16199 narrations) al Bahbudi only included 4428 ahadith, just over a quarter; which has caused an uproar amongst the present day religious body… Al Bahbudi mentions that the key religious figures pressurised the publishers to change the name of the book. Al Bahbudi is of the opinion that the criticism against him was on account of him naming his book Sahih al Kafi because this name led people to question what the scholars and orators were narrating and the extent of its authenticity. When Sahih al Kafi was published he was harassed extensively and then pressured.[35]

 

In fact, the entire science of Mustalah al Hadith (Hadith categorisation and analysis) to the Shia is a new and innovated practice. They plagiarised it from the Ahlus Sunnah, not having this science before that, as the statement of al Hurr al ‘Amili—one of the senior scholars of the Shia—indicates:

 

و الإصتلاح الجديد موافق لإعتقاد العامة و إصتلاحهم، بل هو مأخوذ من كتبهم كما هو ظاهر بالتتبع

The new technical terminology is in accordance to the belief of the commonality (Sunnis) and in fact their technical terminology, rather it is taken from their books verbatim, as is apparent upon closer study.[36]

 

Al Hurr al ‘Amili mentions the rationale behind incorporating this science:

 

دفع تعيير العامة، بأن أحاديثهم غير معنعنة، بل منقولة من أصول قدمائهم

To counter the derision of the commonality (Sunnis, who say) because their ahadith are not hearsay but transmitted from the primary sources of their predecessors.[37]

 

It becomes clear from the above that the Shia science of Mustalah al Hadith is a new approach. Its objective is not to determine the soundness of a hadith but rather avoid criticism from the Ahlus Sunnah.

As a result, the Shia today have been divided into two camps: Akhbariyyah and Usuliyyah, as a result of this revisionism.

Akhbariyyah: They are those who deem the Qur’an and Sunnah as the only valid proofs. They deem everything that has been transmitted from the Imams a valid proof as it has been transmitted from the infallibles. They pay no attention to the status of these narrations, as long as it is found in their canonical works.[38]

Usuliyyah: They are those who derive Islamic law from four sources: Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’, and reason.[39]

Each group has slandered and attacked the other, producing endless publications refuting each other. Each accuses the other of deviating from the correct Shi’ism, to the extent that they pass verdicts of Kufr upon each other as well.[40]

 

NEXT⇒ Narrators of the Ahlus Sunnah transmitted the Qur’an and the Sunnah


[1] Ibn al Jazari: Al Nashr fi al Qira’at al ‘Ashr,1/133

[2] Al Dhahabi: Siyar ’A’lam al Nubala,7/90

[3] Surah al Nisa’: 78

[4] Rijal al Tusi, pg. 189.

[5] Majma’ al Rijal, 2/211.

[6] Muntaha al Maqal, 3/92.

[7] Qamus al Rijal, 3/582.

[8] From those important issues which are concealed from most of the lay Shia—the learned of them as well—is the issue of textual evidence regarding the Imams. They assume that the Twelve Imams were appointed by textual evidence from the time of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and even before it! However, the one who looks carefully will find that it was not clear from the outset. An example of this is that the companions of al Sadiq did not know who was the Imam after him. It was commonly believed in the lifetime of al Sadiq that the Imam after him would be his son, Ismail, but Ismail passed away during the lifetime of al Sadiq. Al Tusi stated in his book, al Ghaybah (pg.83):

 

إن الناس-أي الشيعة-كانوا يظنون في إسماعيل بن جعفر أنه الإمام بعد أبيه، فلما صارت لغيره علموا بطلان ذلك

Indeed the people—referring to the Shia—assumed regarding Ismail ibn Jafar that he is the Imam after his father. When the Imamah went to someone else they knew that it was invalid.

 

Most of the scholars of the Shia after the death of al Sadiq were Fathiyyah, meaning they professed to the Imamah of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar, as al Nawbakhti has stated in Firaq al Shia (pg.77). The Shia were divided after the death of al Sadiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu into five groups. Four of the groups claimed Imamah to other than Musa al Kazim, Firaq al Shia (pg.66-79). Similarly they were divided after the death of al ‘Askari into fifteen groups. All except one of them claimed Imamah to other than Muhammad ibn al Hassan al ‘Askari, Al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 96. So this indicates that if there was known textual evidence for the Imamah of the Twelve Imams then there would not have been disagreement and discord regarding the most important of the pillars of the Din! Abu al Qasim al Khu’i has stated:

 

الروايات المتواترة الواصلة إلينا من طريق العامة و الخاصة قد حددت الأئمة عليهم السلام با ثني عشر من ناحية العدد ولم تحددهم بأسمائهم واحدا بعد واحد!![صراط النجاة في أجوبة الإستفتاءات]

The mass corroborated narrations reached us via general and specific chains of transmission. It specified the Imams ‘alayh al Salam to twelve in terms of the number, but didn’t specify their names one after the other. (Sirat al Najat fi Ajwibah al Istifta’at, 2/453.)

 

Therefore if someone is said to be of the companions of Imam al Sadiq, this does not necessitate that he is an Ithna ‘Ashari (twelvers) Shia, simply because of the differences of opinion around this matter. For further enquiry refer to the book of Faysal Nur, Kitab al Imamah wa al Nass. 

[9] Al Tustari: Qamus al Rijal, 1/29-34, 180.

[10] Qamus al Rijal, 1/180.

[11] Surah al Tawbah : 100

[12] The narrations of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu amount to 1599 in the nine books, Muhammad Nur Suwaid: Musnad Al al Bayt, 1/57.

[13] Muhammad Nur Suwaid: Musnad ’Al al Bayt, 1/57.

[14] Independant researcher who is able to deduce rulings by going straight to the sources of law.

[15] ‘Aqa’id al ’Imamiyyah: pg.34-35

[16] Surah al Nisa’ : 122.

[17] Surah al Hijr : 9.

[18] Usul al Kafi, pg. 286; Muqaddimah Tafsir al Qummi, 1/36-37; Al Anwar al Nu’maniyyah, 2/357-358; Mir’at al ‘Uqul, 12/525; Fasl al Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab, pg. 29; Awa’il al Maqalat, pg. 80, no. 59; Ara’ Hawla al Qur’an, pg. 88-89, and others aside from the latter day scholars of the Shia.

[19] Hussain al Nuri al Tabarsi: Fasl al Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab, pg. 110.

[20] Al Fayd al Kashani: Tafsir al Safi, 1/49.

[21] Al Jaza’iri: Al ’Anwar al Nu’maniyyah, 1/97.

[22] Bihar al ’Anwar, 35/234.

[23] Al ’Anwar al Nu’maniyyah, 2/360.

[24] Habib al Allah al Khu’i: Minhaj al Bara’ah fi Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 2/220.

[25] Al Anwar al Nu’maniyyah, 2/360.

[26] Those who maligned and criticised Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Ahlul Bayt.

[27] Usul al Kafi, 1/69.

[28] Al Hawzah al ‘Ilmiyyah Tadinu al Inhiraf , pg. 27-28.

[29] Hiwar ma’a Fadl al Allah Hawla al Zahra’ al Hashim al Hashimi, pg. 30-33.

[30] Of being a Nasibi, those who maligned and criticised Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Ahlul Bayt.

[31] Subayt al Nayli: Al Shihab al Thaqib li al Muhtajj bi Kitab Allah fi al Radd ‘Ala al Nasib Ahmed al Katib.

[32] Lu’lu’at al Bahrayn, pg. 394; Kulliyyat fi ‘Ilm al Rijal, pg. 357.

[33] The day when Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed as Khalifah.

[34] A’yan al Shia, 5/401; Miqyas al Hidayah, 1/137; Al Haqa’iq al Nadirah, 1/170.

[35] Nazriyyah al Sunnah fi al Fkr al ’Islami al Shi’i, pg. 564-565.

[36] Wasa’il al Shia, 20/100.

[37] Ibid.

[38] A’yan al Shia, 1/93; Al Kashani: Al Wafi, 1/11; Tanqih al Maqal, 1/183; Al Babili: Rasa’il fi Dirayah al Hadith, 2/223.

[39] A’yan al Shia, 17/453; Ma’a ‘Ulama’ al Najf al Ashraf, pg. 10.

[40] Haydar Hub Allah has stated in his book, Nazriyyah al Sunnah fi Fikr al Imami al Shi’i (pg. 223):

 

ظهرت المدرسة الأخبارية الحديثية أولا في إيران ثم في البحرين ثم في كربلاء، و وقع الصراع بينها و بين مدرسة أصول الفقه- الأصولية- و لم يكن هذا الصراع عاديا، بل كان أشد ما يكون الصراع عليه من الإحتدام، كما تشهد به النصوص العنيفة و العاصفة في طرفيه جميعا، وتؤكده الفتوى التي قيل إن السيد محمد المجاهد (1242ه) المعروف أيضا بصاحب المناهل و هو ابن السيد علي الطباطبائ (1231ه) صاحب كتاب رياض المسائل هو أصدرها و معه جماعة من الفقهاء ضد الميرزا محمد الأخباري الذي يعد واحدا من أكثر الأخباريين تشددا، وقد دخلت إثر هذه الفتوى جماعة منزل الميرزا المذكور في بغداد لتقتله عام (1232ه) مع ولده و أحد تلامذته بعد تحريض الشيخ جعفر كاشف الغطاء (1228ه) القبائل العربية ضده…

The current school of the Akhbariyyah first emerged in Iran then Bahrayn, and then in Karbala’. Thereafter a tussle occurred between it and the school of the Usuliyyah, but this not an ordinary tussle but developed into a severe conflict as the harsh and demeaning texts of both parties bear testimony. This is best emphasised by the fatwa said to be issued by Sayed Muhammad al Mujahid (d. 1242 A.H)—commonly known as Sahib al Manahil, and is the son of Sayed ‘Ali al Tabataba’i (d. 1231 A.H) author of Riyad al Masa’il. He along with a group of Jurists published it against Mirza Muhammad al Akhbari—considered the most extreme of the Akhbariyyah. After this fatwa was issued, a group of people stormed the house of Mirza in Baghdad to kill him, in the year 1232 A.H, along with his son and one of his students. This was after Sheikh Jafar Kashif al Ghita’ (d. 1228 A.H) instigated the Arab tribes against him.

 

For further details on Muhammad al Akhbari please refer to Ayan al Shia, 9/427.

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