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The Tenth Narration

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu says:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خرج إلى تبوك واستخلف عليا فقال أتخلفني في الصبيان والنساء قال ألا ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنه ليس نبي بعدي

Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam set out for Tabuk appointing ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his deputy (in Madinah).

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “Do you want to leave me with the children and women?”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Harun to Musa? Except there will be no prophet after me.”[1]


Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:

  1. The honourable status of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam compared him to Harun ‘alayh al Salam in aspects besides prophethood.


  1. Prophethood is not something that can be achieved through any amount of effort. It is solely by the discretion and appointment of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. One can therefore, not hope for nor pray for such.


  1. The Ahlul Bayt should nor shirk from any good deed even though it may seem small.


  1. The desirability of following in the footsteps of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He is a role model for the ummah whose actions and character are worthy of emulation. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:


عليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين

Hold fast to my ways and the ways of the rightly guided Khalifas’.[2]


  1. This hadith establishes the fallibility of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has clearly declared prophethood to have ended.
  2. The fervour and love to go out and fight in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was entrenched in the heart of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Some narrations have recorded him crying on this occasion of not going out to fight with the Muslim army. Bravery and complete submission to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala were his defining characteristics.


  1. The desirability of deputising a pious and capable man of the Ahlul Bayt in the absence of the Imam.


  1. Leaving a pious man to take charge of the affairs whilst the Muslims are out in jihad does not negatively affect his status nor his piety.


  1. The narration states that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is in relation to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam how Harun ‘alayh al Salam was to Musa ‘alayh al Salam. Some have concluded through this that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu should have been the khalifah after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This conclusion does not seem logical though. For one, Harun ‘alayh al Salam was not the leader after Musa ‘alayh al Salam. Islamic and other sources place the passing of Harun ‘alayh al Salam before that of Musa ‘alayh al Salam.

Another point to consider is that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his deputy to see to the affairs of Madinah during the Tabuk campaign and not as the khalifah after him. Deputizing an individual to a specific task does not translate into anointing him as the khalifah. Many other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were at different times put in charge of Madinah. No one claims caliphate on their behalf!


  1. This narration is an example of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum defending the honour of the Ahlul Bayt. During the reign of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu a group called the Nawasib opposed him and spread horrible lies regarding him. Due to this the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum began expounding his virtues. Many traditions of this kind are narrated by different Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, this by way of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hafiz ibn Hajar writes in Fath al Bari:


قال أحمد وإسماعيل القاضي والنسائي وأبو علي النيسابوري : لم يرد في حق أحد من الصحابة بالأسانيد الجياد أكثر مما جاء في علي وكأن السبب في ذلك أنه تأخر ، ووقع الاختلاف في زمانه وخروج من خرج عليه ، فكان ذلك سببا لانتشار مناقبه من كثرة من كان بينها من الصحابة ردا على من خالفه

Ahmed, Isma’il al Qadi, Nasa’i, and Abu ‘Ali al Nisaburi have said, “The amount of narrations pertaining to the virtue of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that have been recorded with sound chains of transmission are much more than any of the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This was due to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum expounding his virtues in his era due to the extremists that opposed him.”[3]


  1. The scholars, wise, and pious should endeavour to expound the virtues of the Amir during times of discord. They should make an allied effort to instil within the people the respect and love of the Amir with the sole purpose of uniting the ummah and saving it from civil strife.


  1. The civilian population and activities of a nation whose armed forces are engaged in war should be under the supervision of a strong, trustworthy, and capable man. If such a candidate is found amongst the family of the Amir, then he should be chosen. The campaign of Tabuk heralded the greatest superpower the Muslims would face yet; the Romans. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam led this campaign and left behind a capable, trustworthy deputy, Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.


  1. Children and women do not have an active part to play in battle and war.


NEXT⇒  The Eleventh Narration

[1] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4154; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 4421.

[2] Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2619.

[3] Fath al Bari, Hadith: 3498.

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