It is the covenant of the unlettered Prophet with me, that none shall love me except a believer and none shall hate me except a hypocrite.
This is responded to in two ways:
1. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not resist pledging allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu out of desire for the khilafah or rule, neither did he fight him for these reasons. Instead it was done demanding retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman.
Yahya ibn Sulaiman al Ju’fi, one of the teachers of al Bukhari, in his book, Siffin, and Ibn Hajar says in al Fath (13/86) with a sound chain from Abu Muslim al Khowlani that he said to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
Do you contest the khilafah from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; do you see yourself as an equal to him?” Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “no, I know very well that he is more virtuous than me and more deserving of ruling, but do you not know that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered unjustly, and I am his cousin and relative, all I seek is retribution for his blood? So go to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and tell him to hand over ‘Uthman’s murderers to me,” so they went to him and told him what happened to which ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded, “let him pledge his allegiance and leave the matter of the killers to me.” However, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu resisted so ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu went with his army from Iraq and stopped at Siffin; and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu also went there and this was in Dhu al Hijjah in the year 36 A.H. There was mutual correspondence, but nothing came of it and eventually the fighting occurred.
We have found the chain of narration for what has been reported from al Ju’fi — from Ya’la ibn ‘Ubaid — from his father — from Abu Muslim al Khowlani, as mentioned by al Dhahabi in al Siyar (3/140).
It is narrated Tarikh Dimashq by Ibn ‘Asakir (59/142) by way of Jarir ibn ‘Abdul Hamid — from al Mughirah who said:
When the news of the murder of ‘Ali reached Muawiyah he began to weep and his wife said to him, “you cry for him yet you fought him?” he said, “pity unto you, do you not know what the people have lost in terms of virtue and fiqh [jurisprudence], and knowledge.”
From this it become clear that Muawiyah had some discretional interpretation for fighting ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Al Qadi Abu Ya’la al Farra’ [d. 458 A.H] has stated in his book, Tanzih Khal al Mu’minin Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan min al Zulm wa al Fisq (pg. 83), when asked about what transpired between Muawiyah and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and whether it was valid to attribute to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu injustice and sin, he replied:
It is not permitted to attribute any of that to him. Rather, it will be said that he did ijtihad, and he is rewarded for his ijtihad and the basis for his ijtihad was this: two khulafa’ have appointed me prior to this and made me governor over Sham, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and I am upon what they had authorised me with until the ummah unifies upon a new leader and I will hand over to him what is under my control, but I am asking for retribution in the case of ‘Uthman since I am his cousin and relative, and most deserving of his affairs and Allah says in the Qur’an, And do not slay the soul [whose life] God has made inviolable, except with due cause. Whoever is slain wrongfully, We have certainly given his heir, a warrant; but let him not commit excess; for he is supported [by the Law].
Ibn Hazm said in al Fisal (3/75):
Muawiyah never ever denied the virtue of ‘Ali, nor the rightful claim that he was the khalifah. However, his ijtihad led him to put the revenge for ‘Uthman before the pledge of allegiance, and he saw himself more deserving of seeking retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman ibn Affan.
Al Ash’ari has stated in al Ibanah (pg. 78):
… likewise, what happened between ‘Ali and Muawiyah — may Allah be pleased with them both — occurred on account of ijtihad; and all the Sahabah are trustworthy; not accused in their religion. Allah has praised all of them and made it a religious duty to honour them all, and respect them all, and love them all, and to disassociate ourselves from anyone who ridicules any one of them. May Allah be pleased with them all.
2. The Sahabah who were present when the fighting occurred, whether from the camp of ‘Ali or Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, they did not understand what the Rafidah have sought to understand from the texts that they mention. Neither side accused the other of hypocrisy or heresy or departure from the religion.
Ibn Abi Shaibah has narrated in his Musannaf (37865) and Ibn ‘Asakir (1/346) in Tarikh Dimashq from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Urwah who said:
A man from those who witnessed Siffin said that he had seen ‘Ali leaving [his tent] and looking at the people of Sham and he used to say: “O Allah, forgive me and them.”
Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (362) by way of Sufyan — from Jafar ibn Muhammad — from his father who said:
‘Ali heard on the Day of Jamal or the Day of Siffin a person exceeding the bounds in what he was saying [against the opposing party] so he said: “Do not say anything except that which is good. All that they are is a people who claim that we have rebelled against them, and we say that they have rebelled against us; and on that we have fought them.”
In this chain there is interruption since Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain did not meet ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu,but there are many other reports from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which reinforce this incident.
From such reports is what Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (363) by way of Muhammad ibn Rashid — from Makhul that the companions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked regarding the companions of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “what is their situation?” He said: “They are believers.” Makhul did not hear from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu so the chain is interrupted.
Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (363) by way of ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn al Majishun — from ‘Abdul Wahid ibn Abi ‘Awn who said:
‘Ali passed by the martyrs at Siffin while leaning on al Ashtar and he found Habis al Yemani slain to which al Ashtar exclaimed, “to Allah do we belong and unto Him shall we return, Habis al Yemani is with them, O Amir al Mu’minin, he has the sign of Muawiyah. By Allah, I always assumed him to be a believer!” ‘Ali replied, “and now he is still a believer. Habis was from the people of Yemen, people of piety and exertion in worship.”
‘Abdul Wahid ibn Abi ‘Awn did not hear from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu therefore the chain is also interrupted.
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not charge the Khawarij with disbelief, despite what they were on in deviation and violating the religion and warmongering, then it is more deserving that he does not declare disbelief on those who rebelled against him.
Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (361):
‘Ali took responsibility for fighting the people who rebelled, and he narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding them all that he narrates, and he called them believers, and ruled them with the laws of the believers, and likewise ‘Ammar ibn Yasir.
Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (361) by way of Qais ibn Muslim — from Tariq ibn Shihab who said:
I was with ‘Ali when the fighting ended at Nahrawan and it was said to him, “are they polytheists?” to which he replied, “it was polytheism from which they fled.” Then it was said, “hypocrites?” and he responded, “hypocrites do not remember Allah, except a little.” Then it was asked what they were and he replied, “a group of people who rebelled against us and we fought them.”
Ibn Abi Shaibah (37854), ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed in al-Sunnah (1283), al Baladhuri in Ansab al Ashraf (5/58) and Ibn ‘Asakir in his Tarikh (59/61) all narrate by way of Mujalid — from al Sha’bi — from al Harith — from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:
Do not despise the leadership of Muawiyah for if you missed him you would have seen heads falling from their shoulders as if they were the fruit of Hanzal [a bitter fruit].
Al Harith al A’war is abandoned and Mujalid ibn Sa’id is not strong.
Al Qurtubi has mentioned:
Whoever has bad feelings towards some of the Sahabah — may Allah be pleased on them all — for reasons other than which we have described, but for some other reason or incident which occurred like not going against a view, or harm caused etc., he will not be a disbeliever or a hypocrite for that reason, because great differences did arise among them, and bloody wars, and despite that they did not call each other disbelievers, and neither did they accuse each other of hypocrisy for what happened between them. Instead there situation was like that of Mujtahids in legal rulings. Either they were all correct in what was apparent before them, or one party was correct, and the one who erred is excused, rather he is expected to act according to where he expects to be rewarded. And whoever finds bitterness towards them on account of any of this, then he is a sinner and it is necessary for him to repent from that and to exert himself to overcome his desires to eliminate all these feelings. He can do this by abundantly reminding himself about their virtues, and that they are the predecessors and that they have a right in terms of this world and the next over those who came after them, Since no good has come to anyone after them, whether be in terms of the worldy affairs or those of the hereafter has only come on account of their efforts, and all favours and blessings have come on their account and likewise the harms and disasters were warded off on their account. And for one to hate those who were a means of benefit in this world and the next is in essence a display of ingratitude.
Ibn Taymiyyah said in Minhaj al Sunnah (4/394):
… and for this reason the Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous that neither party can be described with violating religious and moral integrity, even if it is said of one of them that they are transgressors. That is because they were Muta’awwil and Mujtahid, and the Mujtahid who errs is not a disbeliever nor one without integrity; and if they intentionally rebelled then they committed a sin, and the evil effects of sins are lifted by a number of means.
Al Dhahabi said in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (12/510) regarding the narration, “it is the covenant of the unlettered Prophet with me that none shall love me except a believer and none shall hate be except a hypocrite”:
Its meaning is that the love of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from the faith, and hatred towards him is from hypocrisy; and faith is of many branches and likewise is hypocrisy. So a person with intellect will know that merely loving him does not mean a person is a believer in the absolute sense, and in contrast merely disliking him does not cause a monotheist to be an absolute hypocrite. Therefore, one who loves him and hates Abu Bakr will be in the same category of one who hates him and loves Abu Bakr. So hatred of both of them is misguidance and hypocrisy; and loving both of them is guidance and faith.”
He said in his book al Kaba’ir (413):
If the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said this in favour of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then Abu Bakr is more deserving since he is the best of creation after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the practice of ‘Umar and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was to punish a person who preferred anyone over al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his punishment would be eighty lashes.
 Sahih Muslim (78) — from ‘Adi ibn Thabit — from Zirr ibn Hubaysh — from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Maliki has stated that there is no doubt that Muawiyah was from those who hated ‘Ali and that he was one of the staunch enemies of ‘Ali, al Suhbah wal Sahabah by Hassan Farhan al Maliki.
 See also Tarikh Dimashq by Ibn ‘Asakir (59/132)
 See also al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (11/429)
 Surah Bani Isra’il: 33
 This chain is authentic.
 See ‘Umdat al Qari (1/152)
 Even though al Dhahabi considered this narration problematic since some people of no character loved him in excess and some from the Nawasib hated him. The editor has placed a footnote saying: “There is no problem since the intended love is the love sanctioned by the shari’ah, that which is considered before Allah, as for the love that encompasses those trials and disasters there is no consideration for it, in fact it is a disease upon the one who exceeds in his love as did the Christians with ‘Isa ‘alayh al-Salam.”Back to top