The Nikah of Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anha

Assessing the allegation of cowardice against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu
October 20, 2020
The Discussion Relating to the Fadak Estate
October 20, 2020

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The Nikah of Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anha


The third issue in his letter pertains to the marriage of Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha, who is the biological daughter of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Consequently, he states that she was married to Muhammad ibn Jafar al Tayyar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Whilst this response is correct, it is completely evading the actual objective of the questioner. The questioner actually wishes to verify if Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anhu had been married to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu or not, but ‘Ammar ‘Ali steers clearly away from the issue. Perhaps he did not realise the actual objective. Either way his shrewdness has been exposed.

One wonders how ‘Ammar ‘Ali could have forgotten his previous trick when responding to this question or did he find it convenient to do so. Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha would have to question him about his reason for severing the ties of kinship of her maternal aunts from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and depriving her of this benefit. Is she not one of the Ahlul Bayt, equally entitled to such a privilege? But I would take the liberty of answering on behalf of ‘Ammar ‘Ali sahib by saying that he considered the rule of “The seniors are more entitled to privileges”. Since this is an established rule, why should it be opposed?

‘Ammar ‘Ali thought that perhaps his critics would think that the marriage of Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha, daughter of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a unique issue and it has no resemblance to the marriages of Ruqayyah radiya Llahu ‘anha and Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha, the daughters of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore, he concealed the reality fearing that someone may draw resemblances from these two instances but let me make it known that both instances are equal according to the Ahlus Sunnah and there is no difference at all.

Now ‘Ammar ‘Ali should rectify his previous statement and write to Mir Nadir ‘Ali informing him that Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha was not the biological daughter of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, and he should not fear any reproach from the Ahlus Sunnah because the option of Badaʼ is always there for such errors. After all, ‘Ammar ‘Ali is certainly not greater than Allah than he cannot be a victim of the accursed Badaʼ. If despite his all-encompassing knowledge Allah Ta’ala has instances of Badaʼ then ‘Ammar ‘Ali is human after all.

Nevertheless, it would have been wiser to say that Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha is the biological daughter of Asmaʼ bint ‘Umays radiya Llahu ‘anha instead. If this is a blatant lie, then who cares? After all the relationship of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with his daughters was rejected, so what if his granddaughter’s ties of kinship are denied as well. When people speak so many lies for worldly gain what harm could there be in speaking a lie or two for the preservation of one’s din. Instead, lying in this case could be a tremendous virtue as it preserves the din and affords one the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of one’s seniors and illustrious Imams who lied freely under the pretext of Taqiyyah.


‘Ammar ‘Ali’s deception

Let us elaborate further on the response given by ‘Ammar ‘Ali. Whilst he has benefitted from his shrewd response, he has sustained some harm too. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says the following:


وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوْا الْحَقَّ وَاَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُوْنَ

And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].[1] 


وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ وَمَن يَّكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ

And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it, his heart is indeed sinful.[2]


Ponder over these two verses carefully, but before clarifying its implication I must make it known that I err in doing so because what tremendous effort has ‘Ammar ‘Ali not spared in portraying falsehood as truth and concealing the truth that he would now be deterred from doing so by these two verses. Could there be a greater misrepresentation of the truth than failing to mention the marriage of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anha? If he were to have refuted Umm Kulthum’s radiya Llahu ‘anha relationship with Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then it would not be classified as misrepresentation of the truth. Instead it would be rejection of the truth which is termed as Juhud in the Qur’an and the following verse will be applicable:


وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَّا كُلُّ خَتَّارٍ كَفُوْرٍ

And none rejects Our signs except everyone treacherous and ungrateful.[3]


As for the manner in which ‘Ammar ‘Ali responded, he has adopted the path which satisfies the listener without endangering his position. Similarly, he is not really at fault for this because misrepresentation is only evil if it deceives someone and this is not so because the Ahlus Sunnah have accessed those Shia reports which establish that Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha was indeed married to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If you are not convinced, then here are the reports for your inspection.


‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed her nikah

Qadi Nur Allah, al Shahid al Rabi’, states the following whilst writing about ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the uncle of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was very fond of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he would say that Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu is in the place of his father.


He then goes on recording many merits of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and says:

‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu presented ‘Umar’s proposal to ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam and ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam rejected it at first. He proposed for the second time on behalf of ‘Umar and this time ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam remained silent. ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu then performed Umm Kulthum’s radiya Llahu ‘anha nikah and she was married to ‘Umar. However, on account of Taqiyyah ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam could not prevent this from happening, so he remained silent.


This is what the Qadi states in his book.


‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be among those who will be on the A’raf according to the Shia

I have referred to ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu with honour by adding Radi Allah ‘anhu to his name but this does not occur in the actual text. Would the Shia even honour him? Whilst their enmity for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is known and their affiliation with the Ahlul Bayt is repeatedly proclaimed, they actually maintain that ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu would be on the A’raf on the Day of Resurrection. Their claims are hollow since everyone knows that one who was so dear to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could never be detained on the A’raf. In fact, the possibility of those who merely love him entering paradise is not far-fetched. Whilst this is their belief regarding the esteemed uncle of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they believe that those who love ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those whom he loves cannot be adversely affected by their sins, not even by being guilty of kufr.


The beloved of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in A’raf whilst Jews and Christians in Paradise?

Consequently, the Shia scholar Radi al Din declares the Christian, Zunayna ibn Ishaq to be an inmate of Paradise on account of a few couplets she recited in praise of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, even though the very same couplets attest to him being a Christian. The couplets are:

بسوء ولكني محب لهاشم

عدي وتيم لا أحاول ذكرهم
إذا ذكروا في الله لومة لائم

وما يعتريني في علي وأهله

وأهل النبي من اعرب واعاجم

يقولون ما بال النصاري لحبهم
سرى في قلوب الخلق حتى البهائم

فقلت لهم إني لأحسب حبهم

I do not make efforts to adversely mention the tribes of ‘Adi and Taym,

however, I am a lover of the Hashim tribe;

when ‘Ali and his family are mentioned I am not,

taken over by any sentiment of apprehension for the next;

they ask why is it the Christians love him,

as well as the Prophet’s followers both Arab and non-Arab;

I say to them, I believe the love for them,

has penetrated the hearts of all creation, even the animals.


Similarly, all the scholars of the Shia have high regards for Ibn Fadlun, who was a Jew, on account of the following couplets:

واعف عني بحق آل الرسول

رب هب لي من المعيشة سؤلي
سيد الأولياء بــعل بــتول

واسقني شربة بكــف علي

O Lord grant me the prayers of my life,

and forgive me by virtue of the family of the Prophet;

and give me to drink from the hands of ‘Ali,

the leader of the pious, the husband of Fatimah.


Nevertheless, what can be said about the rank of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; those who love him are entitled to Paradise despite their disbelief whilst the one whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam loved will be restrained from entering Paradise and held back on A’raf. His beloved in this instance is none other than his own uncle who was a great believer. If he had been a disbeliever, he would not even have reached A’raf, since the Qur’an says the following about the disbelievers:


إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِيْنَ سَلَاسِلَ وَأَغْلَالًا وَّسَعِيْرًا

Indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a blaze.[4]


 وَالَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا لَهُمْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يُقْضَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوْتُوْا وَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا ۚ كَذٰلِكَ نَجْزِيْ كُلَّ كَفُوْرٍ

And for those who disbelieve will be the fire of Hell. [Death] is not decreed for them so they may die, nor will its torment be lightened for them. Thus do we recompense every ungrateful one.[5]


Nevertheless, we should assess the claim of the learned Qadi: What did he claim and what does he actually establish through this claim? Surprisingly, his claim establishes that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also regarded ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be in the position of a father. Assuming that he was not willing to accept the proposal, ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not one who could be ignored. Therefore, he knew that it was best to honour him and accept the request. His silence was surely not on account of Taqiyyah.


‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu silence reflects his approval

We have established that Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anhu was certainly married to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As for the allegation of Taqiyyah, any sensible person knows that this is merely the imagination of the Shia. The narration itself discredits the possibility of Taqiyyah. Every Muslim knows that Taqiyyah has no relationship with ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu character at all. Would a lion ever fear a jackal? Would it ever be possible to conceive that he resorted to Taqiyyah in an issue as sensitive as this? Even a disbeliever who is immoral and unworthy by all standards would not tolerate such an episode. Similarly, it is impossible to imagine the beloved of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam committing such a heinous crime against the family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Similarly, the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam love for anyone determines that he is accepted and he is upon truth. So, when the beloved of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is upon truth would he ever commit the crime of handing the honourable granddaughter over to an enemy?

If we were to assume that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu approved of her marriage to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu on account of Taqiyyah then the crime that he is guilty of (by giving his daughter to an enemy) is more disgusting than the Taqiyyah itself. O Shia! If it is ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu that you hate, then why do you vilify ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu along with ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu?


If ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a kafir then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is no less

It should be noted that if ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a Muslim of perfect faith then the same applies to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, because ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave his daughter to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, if ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a disbeliever, then the same applies to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and if he not a disbeliever, then certainly a blatant transgressor for marrying his daughter to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu (who was a disbeliever according to the Shia). If he gave her in marriage by his own choice then there is no doubt about his kufr but if he was compelled then despite his capabilities, did he not even have the dignity and self-respect which even a lowly cobbler has?

O my Rabb; you are aware that I am in complete disagreement with such beliefs and I have written these lines about the marriage of the daughter of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha so that ‘Ammar ‘Ali may not harbour evil thoughts about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.


This marriage is established from Shia sources

We now undertake to prove Qadi Nur Allah wrong from the testimony of his very own Imami. Accordingly, the Shia sources contain reports which state that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had indeed married Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as he was worthy and deserving of this honour. He did not do so under duress. Read the following:


سئل الإمام محمد بن على الباقر عن تزويجها فقال: لولا إنه رآه أهلا لما كان يزوجها إياه ، وكانت اشرف نساء العالمين ، جدّها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وأخواها الحسن والحسين – سيدا شباب اهل الجنة ، وأبوها علي – ذو الشرف والمنقبة في الإسلام ، وأمّها فاطمة بنت محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وجدتها خديجة بنت خويلد رضي الله عنها

Imam al Baqir rahimahu Llah was asked about the reason for marrying her to him [‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu]. He said that if ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu felt that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not worthy and deserving of her then he would have never approved of the marriage. She was the most honourable woman in the world at that time. Her grandfather was the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; her brothers were Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the leaders of the youth of Paradise, her father was ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who has a prestigious position in Islam; her mother was Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, daughter of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and her grandmother was Khadijah bint Khuwaylid radiya Llahu ‘anha.


The Shia do not love the Ahlul Bayt and they hate the Sahabah

Consider the above narration against the allegations of their Qadi. How deceitful and cunning are they. They claim that their hatred for the Sahabah is on account of their love for the Ahlul Bayt. We feel that the actual reality is that they align themselves to the Ahlul Bayt due to their hatred for the Sahabah. However, the Ahlul Bayt do not seem to be drawn to them. Instead, they are inclining to this course, i.e. the path of the Sahabah and the Ahlus Sunnah. This is established from the words of Imam al Baqir rahimahu Llah and Taqiyyah was completely forbidden for him, as has been recorded previously with a quotation from their sources.

After he has set the record straight would they persist upon defaming ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the Banu Hashim by asserting that they were immoral and shameless and that they subjected the innocent and pure granddaughter of the Prophet to zina (fornication) despite her being exalted in the following verse:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللَّهُ 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.[6]


May Allah take such wretched ones to task! The Ahlul Bayt are certainly incensed and angry with them, even those with weak iman shudder at such blasphemy. How daring are they that they portray their vice as virtue and slander their Imams. They place the blame of their sins upon Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah and slander him and they use such words to absolve themselves of blame for this marriage that one fears to utter it. They say:


وهو أول فرج غصب منا

This was the first woman to be abducted from us.

(Note: This is not the literal translation of these vile words but a subtle indication of its shameful purport- translator)


O Allah! You are aware that I disassociate myself from entertaining such beliefs and I record these words with the understanding that reporting a statement of kufr does not render one a kafir. Perhaps one who has been deceived by the Shia may consider their wicked statements and return to the Straight Path.


If love of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu entitles one to Paradise then why not ties of kinship

It is tragic that the Ahlul Bayt suffered such misfortune on account of the Shia hatred for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu but ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not be forgiven and blessed by virtue of the sanctity of the Ahlul Bayt (with whom he was intimately associated with). Is his association of marriage less than the worth of the couplets of Zunayna ibn Ishaq—the Christian—and Ibn Fadlun—the Jew? Love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is so potent that kufr can be disregarded despite the Qur’an stating that hell is the abode of the disbelievers. Can love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then not secure the forgiveness of those related to him?

Nevertheless, the Shia scholars are unanimous about the marriage of Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, some ignorant ones state the truth, but their manner of expression is gross and uncouth (referring to the Arabic quotation recorded above). Moreover, we are bound to take what is correct and disregard that which is reprehensive on the basis of:


خذ ما صفا ودع ما كدر

Take what is pure and discard what is tainted.


As far as ‘Ammar ‘Ali is concerned, he has surpassed them all. He realised that expressing the truth about this marriage would jeopardise the entire Shia faith. Not only that, it would demand that the Shia revere ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu a thousand times more than what the Ahlus Sunnah revere him because he would then be a member of the Ahlul Bayt.

And in the case of Taqiyyah, despite it being a false allegation, the same problem arises. In fact, it is worse in this instance because accepting the wrongs of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu on account of the Ahlul Bayt is lesser than not listening to the Ahlul Bayt on account of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu having to be one of them.

And it was on account of this accusation of Taqiyyah that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was accused of being absolutely shameless, undignified, cowardly and weak in religious matters. Therefore, I feel that ‘Ammar ‘Ali was wise and he felt that since falsehood is itself bad, rather just avoid the truth as well.

On the whole this response reflects cleverness and perhaps we should take the opportunity of stating the reality so that if not all at once, perhaps it will gradually appeal to him.

It is also necessary for us to record additional narrations for two benefits. Firstly, it would decrease his rage and hatred for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and secondly, the fact that there are multiple narrations about this, would force him to be ashamed of himself and surrender, albeit reluctantly.

The narration is as follows:


روا إبن ابي الحديد شارح نهج البلاغة في قصة تزويج أم كلثوم ، فجاء عمر إلى مجلس المهاجرين بالروضة وقال : رفّؤني رفّؤني ، قالوا : بما ذا يا امير المؤمنين؟ قال : تزوجت أمّ كلثوم ن بنت علي بن ابي طالب

Ibn Abi al Hadid—the commentator of Nahj al Balaghah—records the following regarding the marriage of Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha: ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to a group of the Muhajirin who were seated in the Rawdah and said to them: “Congratulate me! Congratulate me!”

When they asked him why, he informed them that he had contracted a marriage with Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha, the daughter of ‘Ali bin Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.


This narration indicates that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu considered this marriage to be a great blessing. This narration is sufficient for those who are impartial, to make them have great regard for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is because he was celebrating his association with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam through this union. As for those who cannot understand this, we are not compelled to shove it down their throats.


‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu children from this union

Before terminating this discussion, it is important to highlight a fact just in case any Shia decides to save face by stating that ‘Umar had not consummated this marriage to Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha due to the intervention of a Jinn similar to the incident relating to Sarah radiya Llahu ‘anha, the wife of Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam. So even though this is established to be a lie on the basis of the unrealistic report attributed to Imam Jafar al Sadiq, it is nonetheless established through Tawatur that Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha bore a son from this union, whose name was Zaid. This child lived till the age of twenty and was then martyred in one of the internal feuds of the Banu ‘Adi. To Allah do we belong and unto Him shall we return. His mother passed away on the same day after succumbing to an illness. Nine people passed away on that dreadful day and the funeral prayers and burial proceedings were offered by Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha remained married to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu till the end of his life. Sarah radiya Llahu ‘anha cannot boast of being the granddaughter of someone as prestigious as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so when she was saved in an instant, Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha ought to have been released from this marriage even quicker than that.


NEXT⇒ The Discussion Relating to the Fadak Estate

[1] Surah al Baqarah: 42.

[2] Surah al Baqarah: 283.

[3] Surah Luqman: 32.

[4] Surah al Dahr: 4.

[5] Surah al Fatir: 36.

[6] Surah al Ahzab: 33.