The Testimonies of the A’immah Regarding the Virtues of the Sahabah – First Testimony

Second testimony
April 25, 2016
Objection 8 and 9
April 26, 2016

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The Testimonies of the Imams Regarding the Virtues of the Sahabah

 

First Testimony

 

It is recorded in Shia books from the Imams that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated:

 

اصحابى كالنجوم بايهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

My Sahabah are like the stars. Whomsoever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided.

 

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has also mentioned:

 

دعوا الى اصحابى

Leave my companions for me i.e. consider the rights they enjoy due to their companionship and do not take out their faults.

 

The wording and meaning of the latter of the two ahadith is accepted by the Shia scholars and the author of Istiqsa’ al Afham. However, there is a disagreement on the first hadith. I therefore state regarding the second hadith that when you accept the authenticity of it, then why do you not practice upon it? Why do you not accept that which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said regarding his Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum? Why do you not fulfil the rights they enjoy due to their companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and why do you not desist from taking out their faults and harbouring hatred for them, notwithstanding the intercession of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on their behalf?

I will present the statements of the Imams from Shia sources regarding the first hadith and verify its authenticity and disclose the corrupt interpretations and interpolations — both in wording and meaning — of the Shia and establish their falsehood.

 

It is written in ‘Uyun al Akhbar — a recognised work amongst the Shia:

 

حدثنا الحاكم ابو على الحسين بن احمد البيهقى قال حدثنا محمد بن يحيى الصولى قال حدثنا محمد بن موسى بن نصر الرازى قال حدثنى بى قال سئل الرضا عليه السلام عن قول النبى صلى الله عليه واله سلم اصحابى كالنجوم بايهم اقتديتم اهتديتم و عن قوله دعوا الى اصحابى فقال هذا صحيح

Someone asked ‘Ali al Rida ‘alayh al Salam regarding Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “my Sahabah are like the stars, whomsoever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided,” and “Leave my companions for me,” to which he replied, “This is sahih.”

 

It is learnt from this narration that the wording of the hadith, “my Sahabah are like the stars,” appears in Shia books as it appears in Sunni books. Moreover, Imam ‘Ali al Rida rahimahu Llah and the Shia scholars testify to its authenticity. This is not the only narration to verify it. In fact, Shia books are replete with narrations which verify it. After studying all those narrations, it will not be possible for any Shia to deny its authenticity — to deem it as a fabrication or to consider it a khabar wahid[1] and pay no attention to it — because Sheikh al Saduq[2] in Ma’ani al Akhbar, ‘Allamah al Tabarsi in Ihtijaj, Mulla Baqir Majlisi in Bihar al Anwar and Mulla Haydar Amli Ithna ‘Ashari in Jami’ al Asrar have attested to its authenticity. It is astonishing that until the Sunni scholars did not present this hadith from Shia books and did not verify its authenticity by the Imam’s statement, the early Shia scholars continued to make a hue and cry over its authenticity and blackened thousands of pages to prove its forgery and falsehood to the extent that Qadi Nur Allah al Shostari said with such vehemence in Ihqaq al Haq:

 

اما ما وراه من حديث اصحابى كالنجوم ففيه من اثار الوضع و البطلان مما لا يخفى

With regards to the hadith, “my Sahabah are like the stars,” there are so many signs of its forgery and falsehood which are not hidden.

 

Sadly, Qadi did not think that the very same hadith he is denying with such vehemence is recorded in his own books. He criticises the Ahlus Sunnah for fabricating it whereas it is established as authentic according to his own principles from the narration of the Imams. The only difference is that the Sunni narrators are weak and rejected while the Shia narrators are the blessed Imams. Thus, if according to the Sunni, the hadith is inauthentic or the Sunni have labelled the narrators as weak, then too there is no harm. If Qadi or anyone else has classified the hadith as a fabrication and denied it notwithstanding the testimony of Imam ‘Ali al Rida rahimahu Llah then he has destroyed his own din and has left the fold of iman by belying the Imam.

I will now produce the interpolations of the Shia scholars concerning this hadith.

The hadith, “my Sahabah are like the stars,” which I have quoted from ‘Uyun al Akhbar has an addition of these words:

 

يريد من لم يغير بعده و لم يبدل قيل كيف نعلم انهم قد غيروا و بدلوا قال لما يروونه من انه صلى الله عليه و سلم قال ليذادون رجال من اصحابى يوم القيامة عن حوضى كما تذاد غرائب الابل عن الماء فاقول يا رب اصحابى اصحابى فىقال انك لا تدرى ما احدثوا بعدك فيوخذ بهم ذات شمال فاقول بعدا لهم و سحقا افترى هذا من لم يغير و لم يبدل

He meant those Sahabah who did not change (their faith) or alter (the din) after his demise. Someone asked the Imam: “How do we know that the Sahabah changed and altered?” The Imam answered: “From the blessed tongue of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said, ‘some of my companions will be debarred from the pond of Kowthar on the Day of Resurrection just as stray camels are barred from water. I will say: Allah! These are my companions. These are my companions. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will answer: ‘You do not know what they did after you.’ They will then be dragged towards Hell and I will say, ‘Get lost! Get lost!’”

 

The purpose of adding these words is to exclude some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum from this hadith due to their ‘apostasy’. Nonetheless, this will not harm us in the least since we also believe that those who turned renegade after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are not included in this hadith whereas the accepted Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not change (their faith) or alter (the din) and are thus not excluded from this hadith. Furthermore, the Shia accede to the fact that the accepted Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are excluded from being the target of the pond hadith as the author of Istiqsa’ al Afham has written in answer to one objection of the second maslak of Muntaha’ al Kalam:

 

کہ ہر گز حدیث حوص در حق مقبولین اصحاب کرام جناب خیر الانام صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم وارد نیست و ہر گز ایں حدیث بر آنہا منطبق نمی تواندشد

The pond hadith is not concerning the accepted Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and this hadith does not apply to them at all.

 

I will prove in one of the discussions of this hadith in the chapter of the apostasy of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum that the righteous khulafa’, Muhajirin and Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum were the accepted Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Allah willing. And even if it is accepted that some of the accepted Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were among those who changed and altered then too the purport of the hadith applies to the majority of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum since the most eloquent and articulate — May Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala salutations and peace be upon him — used such a word of similarity which not only shows virtue but depicts abundance, i.e. the word stars. By Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stating, “my Sahabah are like the stars.” he showed their numerous number and only a foolish and dull person can understand the stars to apply to only a handful of people. Even if we accept that this hadith applies to only few Sahabah — in fact only three according to the Shia were saved from apostasy— then too the Shia belief of the Ahlul Bayt being compulsory to follow and following anyone else is impermissible is falsified. Moreover, it is proven that few are partners to them in being leaders, which was supposed to be exclusive to them. And no one has ever claimed this.

In short, when the Shia realised that this text is superfluous and it did not save them from the clutches of the Ahlus Sunnah, they adopted another interpretation claiming that the word “اصحاب” refers to the Ahlul Bayt as the author of Istiqsa’ al Afham wrote in answer to Muntaha al Kalam:

 

مراداز اصحاب در حدیث اصحابی کالنجوم بایہم اقتدیتم اہتدیتم اہل بیت علیہم السلام اند

“My Sahabah are like the stars, whomsoever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided,” the word “اصحاب” in this hadith refers to the Ahlul Bayt.

I will debunk this claim citing a few proofs.

 

First proof

For the word “اصحاب” to mean family members is a distortion of its meaning, since in common usage “اصحاب” refers to friends while Ahlul Bayt refers to household members. According to the shar’i definition, “اصحاب” refers to those who believed in Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and were his companions, while Ahlul Bayt refer to his household members and the descendants of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. In fact, it is clear from the ahadith and the statements of the Imams that these words refer to two different categories of people. Wherever there is a hadith or statement regarding the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the word “اصحاب” appears and when it concerns the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the word “اهل بيت” or “عترة” appears. Accordingly, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has stated:

 

انى تارك فيكم الثقلين كتاب الله و عترتى

Indeed, I leave amongst you two weighty items; the book of Allah and my family.

 

مثل اهل بيتى كسفينة نوح

The likeness of my household members is like Nuh’s ‘alayh al Salam ark.

 

Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin rahimahu Llah said in his supplication which is recorded in Sahifah Kamilah:

 

اللهم و اصحاب محمد خاصة الذين احسنوا الصحابة

O Allah! And especially the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who fulfilled the responsibility of his companionship.

 

If the word “اصحاب” was not specifically for the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and also referred to the family and household members of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then why were the words “اهل بيت” and “عترة” specially used in these ahadith and why did Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not say “كتاب الله و اصحابى” instead of “كتاب الله و عترتى” and “مثل اصحابى كسفينة نوح” instead of “اهل بيتى كسفينة نوح”? And why would Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say “سلام عليكم اهل البيت” instead of “سلام عليكم يا اصحابى” when going to the home of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha?

The crux of the above is that it is clear from the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the statements of the Imams that the words “اصحاب” and “اهل البيت” refer to two different classes of people, i.e. “اصحاب” refers to the companions and friends while “اهل البيت” refers to household members. The masses and scholars have always been using these words in this way. It is shocking that in millions of ahadith and thousands of statements, the word “اصحاب” is used to refer to the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the word “اهل البيت” is used to refer to his household members and there is not a hadith where one word is used to refer to the other except one hadith, namely “my Sahabah are like the stars.”? This is in stark contrast to context and common usage. And what is stunning is that those who commit this interpolation do not regard themselves as being the victim of

 

یُحَرِّفُوْنَ الْکَلِمَ عَنْۢ مَّوَاضِعِهٖ

They distort words from their (proper) usages.[3]

 

Deal justly! If a poor Sunni has to say that the pure wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are included in the Ahlul Bayt and are worthy of the virtue mentioned in “the likeness of my household members is like Nuh’s ark.” and are referred to by Ahlul Bayt in Ayat al Tathir — nay only included therein — then see how your scholars make an uproar and bring down the ceiling and scream so loud as to reach the divine Thrown and label that person a khariji, nasibi and enemy of the Ahlul Bayt and accuse him of interpolation whereas for Ahlul Bayt to mean wives is correct in common usage. On the other hand, they consider “اصحاب” to mean household members and consider friend and companion to mean brother, family and descendants and do not feel ashamed of this! Forget being ashamed; they boast and brag over such understanding! What is the cure for such understanding and the answer to such a claim?!

 

ایں سبزہ چشمہ و ایں لالہ و ایں گل آں شرح ندارد کہ بگفتار در آید

This is a vegetable, this is a spring and this is a flower

They do not allow such an interpretation which can be uttered

 

Nonetheless, every man with a little understanding and intelligence will understand that if Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam meant the Ahlul Bayt in this hadith then he would have used the words Ahlul Bayt saying:

 

اهل بيتى كالنجوم

My Ahlul Bayt are like stars.

 

Maybe the Shia will answer that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam practiced on Taqiyyah (Allah forbid) just to make the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum happy but when he came home and the Ahlul Bayt complained then he comforted them by saying that you are meant by “اصحاب”.

 

Second Proof

If we do not take the Shia to task for understanding the Ahlul Bayt from “اصحاب” and accept their interpolation of the meaning, then too this hadith will not fully apply to the Ahlul Bayt according to their belief since Ahlul Bayt refers to the twelve Imams according to them whereas “اصحاب” refers to only those people who sat in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And the other nine besides Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum were all born after Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise.[4] Hence, the word “اصحاب” cannot refer to them. Thus the hadith, “my Sahabah are like the stars,” will include only Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum and exclude the rest of the nine from this simile and following them will not be regarded as guidance. May Allah protect us from this!

Which Muslim will say such an absurd thing and think of the Imams in this way? Thus, it is learnt that “اصحاب” does not refer to the Ahlul Bayt otherwise Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have used the words “اهل البيت” instead of “اصحاب” so that no Imam is excluded. It is possible for the Shia to answer that although the nine Imams who were not born in the lifetime of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are excluded from the word “اصحاب” with regards to the physical realm but are included therein with regards to the realm of souls.

 

Third Proof

The text which comes thereafter, i.e. “He meant those Sahabah who did not change (their faith) or alter (the din) after his demise,” has closed the door of such an interpretation. The Shia thought that if they do not add some words to this hadith and leave it at as is, then they will not be saved from the Sunni’s clutches and will be thrown into a calamity due to the authenticity of these ahadith; so they added these words and related it to the Imam that “اصحاب” means those who did not change or alter din in any way, did not turn renegade, are not going to be dragged towards Hell and are not included among those concerning whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared his exemption. However, these words did not harm us in any way since we also exclude those who altered din and turned renegade from this hadith. And even if we try our best to include the righteous khulafa’, the Muhajirin and Ansar among the renegades, it just cannot happen which I will explain further on in the discussion of apostasy, Allah willing. But these words benefitted us handsomely and disclosed the interpolation and misinterpretation of the Shia, since had these words not been there they could have made themselves happy and taken “اصحاب” to mean Ahlul Bayt but these words have forced them not to take this meaning or else the words which appear thereafter will apply to the Ahlul Bayt, Allah forbid! Then the belief of the Shia will be that only those Ahlul Bayt are like the stars who did not change and alter din and did not turn renegade (to quote words of disbelief is not disbelief). So who will now claim that this hadith refers to the Ahlul Bayt and who will accuse them of changing the din and turning renegade? These words have proven the interpolation of the Shia and have shut the door of their misinterpretation. Subhan Allah! Glory be to Allah! How powerful is Allah that the same words they desired to use to silence us has silenced them and they attested to the text they wanted us to accept.

 

عدو شود سپ خیر گر خدا خواہد خمیر مایہ دوکان شیشہ گرسنکست

If Allah wills, the enemy can be a cause of goodness

The original capital of a glassmaker’s shop is stones

 

When the Shia scholars understood that their claim was not established and Ahlul Bayt cannot be meant by “اصحاب” in this hadith, they were forced to reject the authenticity of this hadith and opted to abandon their previous claim. However, we are extremely grateful that they did not reject the words of this hadith and did not belie the text which I quoted above. Instead, they misinterpreted the meaning and denied its authenticity by casting doubts and suspicions around it. Accordingly, the author of Istiqsa’ al Afham has written in answer to Muntaha al Kalam that the questioner asked regarding two ahadith and Imam ‘Ali al Rida rahimahu Llah answered by saying, “this is sahih. This answer only applies to the latter hadith and not the former one.

 

از ملا حظہ ایں حدیث شریف ظاہر ست کہ آنچہ مخاطب در ترجمۂ آں گفتہ کہ امام رضا علیہ السلام حکم بصحت ایں ہر دو حدیث نمود غیر صحیح ست زیراکہ ہر گز تصریح بہ صحت ہر دو حدیث دریں روایت صراحۃ کہ مدلول کلام اوست مذکور نیست بلکہ لفظ ہذا صحیح مذکور ست و جائز ست کہ آں متعلق بہر دو حدیث بنا شد بلکہ محتمل ست کہ گو سائل در سوال از دو حدیث استفسار کردہ بود مگر آنجناب در جواب یکے ازاں کہ حدیث اخیر ست بیان فرمودہ

After contemplating upon this hadith it is apparent that the translation and meaning which the translator wrote, i.e. Imam ‘Ali al Rida ‘alayh al Salam certified both ahadith as authentic, is incorrect since the wording does not refer to the authenticity of both the hadith. He said: “This is sahih.” Hence, it is very possible that these words do not apply to both the ahadith but only apply to the latter hadith notwithstanding that the questioner asked regarding both of them.

 

There are three errors in this explanation. Firstly, he does not state with conviction but says that it is very possible thus belying the hadith by casting doubts on it notwithstanding that it has the certification of the Imam. Secondly, this is only a possibility. When the questioner asked regarding two ahadith and the Imam answered by saying, “this is sahih,” then definitely the Imam verified the person’s question which applied to both ahadith. Hence, both ahadith are authentic. With regards to the doubt that if the Imam wished to verify both the ahadith, why did he not say, “both these ahadith are authentic”? This is not an issue since the object of the questioner was one i.e. regarding the statements in praise of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum so to use a singular harf al isharah[5] to indicate to this singular aspect does not oppose common usage. Thirdly, the questioner asked regarding two ahadith and the Imam said, “this is sahih.” If we accept that this answer only applies to the second hadith, then what is the response to the first hadith? Is it possible for a person to ask regarding two ahadith and for the Imam to give an answer to only one and not respond to the other one at all, neither authenticating it nor criticising it, and leave the questioner hanging by using an obscure word? Maybe the Shia will say that it is the practice of the Imams not to answer a person properly and never to abandon Taqiyyah and only utter ambiguous statements. Think a little, if someone asked the Imam regarding two ahadith and the Imam says, “this is sahih,” then what must the person have understood? This refers to both ahadith or only one? If he understood that it applied to only one hadith, he would have repeated the question regarding the other hadith and if he understood that it applied to both the ahadith, then either this was the intent of the Imam or the Imam intentionally deceived him. May Allah forbid!

Nonetheless, even if we accept that the Imam’s statement only applies to the second hadith, then too the Shia are not saved since the subject matter of this hadith is proven from other sources. If the Shia scholars do not accept the authenticity of this hadith, what will they do regarding other narrations? Will they continue rejecting the Imam’s statements? I will now prove the authenticity of this hadith through another chain.

Mulla Haydar Amili Ithna ‘Ashari has written in Jami’ al Istifsar that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has mentioned:

 

انا كالشمس و على كالقمر و اصحابى كالنجوم بايهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

I am like the sun; ‘Ali is like the moon and my Sahabah are like the stars. Whichever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided.

 

After the Shia scholars see this, I can just imagine how their hearts will come out of their mouths and how this will burn their brains. Yes, they will misinterpret it that “اصحاب” means Ahlul Bayt but I have answered this previously already and will speak about it here as well. However, before answering it, I would like to say that when this narration is authenticated, how will you deny the hadith which was approved by Imam al Rida rahimahu Llah and recorded in ‘Uyun al Akhbar and how will you attest to the authenticity of the words which were added there, i.e. “Those who did not change or alter after him?” Listen carefully to the interpretation of this narration. The narration of Mulla Ithna ‘Ashari is proof that “اصحاب” does not refer to the Ahlul Bayt. This is due to the fact that the narration has likened nubuwwah to the sun, imamah to the moonlight and the scholars’ knowledge to the stars.

 

و ورد فى اصطلاح القوم تسمية الولاية بالشمسية و القمرية و المراد بهما ولاية النبى و ولاية الولى و نسبة العلماء اليهما كنسبة النجوم الى القمر و الشمس الى قوله فكذلك لا يكون للعلماء قدرة و لا ظهور مع وجود الاوصياء و انوارهم من حيث الولاية و يؤيد ذلك كله ما اشار اليه النبى صلى الله عليه و اله سلم لقوله انا كالشمس و على كالقمر و اصحابى كالنجوم بايهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

It has been mentioned amongst the definitions of the sect that Wilayah may be referred to as Shamsiyyah or Qamariyyah, and the implication thereof is the Wilayah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Wilayah of the Wali (‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Imams) respectively. The relation of the scholars to both of them is akin to the relationship of the stars with the moon and sun… therefore the scholars will not have any ability nor recognition in the presence of the awsiya’ and their light as far as Wilayah is concerned. Supporting this entirely is what Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam indicated towards when he said, “I am like the sun, ‘Ali is like the moon and my Sahabah are like stars, whomsoever amongst them you will follow you will be rightly guided.

 

It is evident that the Imams are included in the Awsiya’, not in the scholars. And the example of the stars fits perfectly on the scholars, not the Awsiya’. Thus, it has been clarified by this ‘Allamah that “اصحاب” refers to the scholars and not to the Ahlul Bayt in “اصحابى كالنجوم”. Consequently, both our claims have been verified i.e. this hadith is authentic and “اصحاب” does not refer to the Ahlul Bayt. If this narration does not satisfy the Shia and they wish to hear the attestation from their other seniors, then listen to a third chain proving the authenticity of this hadith. Sheikh al Saduq has written in Ma’ani al Akhbar:[6]

 

حدثنا محمد بن الحسن احمد الوليد رحمه الله قال حدثنا محمد بن الحسن الصفار عن الحسن بن موسى الخشاب عن غياث بن كلوب عن اسحاق بن عمار عن جعفر بن محمد عن اباءه عليهم السلام قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و اله سلم ما وجد هم فى كتاب الله عز و جل فالعلم لكم به لا عذر لكم فى تركه ما لم يكن فى كتاب الله عز و جل و كانت فيه السنة منى فلا عذر لكم فى ترك سنتى و ما لم يكن سنة منى فما قال اصحابى فقولوا به انما مثل اصحابى فيكم كمثل النجوم بايها اخذ اهتدى باى اقاويل اصحابى اخذتم اهتديتم و اختلاف اصحابى لكم رحمة

Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah has narrated that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whatever you find in the Book of Allah, practicing upon it is incumbent upon you. You have no excuse to abandon it. And whatever is not found in the Book of Allah, then practice upon my Sunnah. You have no excuse to abandon my Sunnah. And if my Sunnah is not present, then say whatever my Sahabah say. The example of my Sahabah among you is like the stars. Whichever of them you hold on to, you will be rightly guided and whichever statement of theirs you follow, you will be guided aright. The differences of my Sahabah are a mercy for you.

 

No one has any objection on this narration’s authenticity since ‘Allamah al Tabarsi and Mulla Baqir Majlisi have authenticated it in Ihtijaj and Bihar al Anwar respectively. The meaning of this narration conforms to the previous narration. In fact, the statement, “the differences of my Sahabah are a mercy for you.” is an addition. It is now undoubtedly established that to deny the narration recorded in ‘Uyun al Akhbar is belying Imam Musa al Rida rahimahu Llah. Nonetheless, if we ignore the narration of ‘Uyun al Akhbar and only accept the narration which we have reproduced from Ma’ani al Akhbar, then too our target is not missed since the wordings in this narration support our view. I will also discuss the misconstruction and interpolation of the Shia scholars in this regard and expose all their misinterpretations.

It should be noted that Sheikh al Saduq has recorded this narration just as reproduced above coupled with the following addition:

 

فقيل يا رسول الله من اصحابك قال اهل بيتى

It was asked: “O Rasulullah! Who are your companions?” He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “My family.”

 

The author of Istiqsa’ used these words to prove his stance when he answered the previous narration. He answered the previous narration in this manner:

 

پس اگر در حدیث عیون جواب آنحضرت متعلق بہر دو حدیث باشد و معنایش آں ماشد کہ ازیں حدیث نجوم ہم مراد اصحاب اند مخالفت و مناقضت با حدیث معانی الاخبار و امثال آں لازم می آید لہذا بالبداہت قطعا ثابت شد کہ جواب امام رضا علیہ السلام متعلق بہر دو حدیث نیست بلکہ آنحضرت فقط حال حدیث دعوا لی اصحابی بیان فرمودہ و تفسیر آں با صحابیکہ متغیر و متبدل نہ شدند نمودہ زنگ شبہا از خواطر اہل ایماں زدودہ

In ‘Uyun al Akhbar, if the answer of the Imam is in answer to both the ahadith then this will mean that the stars in this narration refers to the Sahabah and this in contrary to the narration of Ma’ani al Akhbar. Therefore, only this is established that Imam Musa al Rida’s rahimahu Llah answer is not concerning both the ahadith. Rather he only mentioned the status of the hadith, “دعوا لى اصحابى” (Leave my Sahabah to me.) And only those Sahabah are meant who did not turn renegade thereafter. By saying this, he removed the rust of doubt from the hearts of the believers.

 

This answer is also flawed. Firstly, we know fully well that this added text is not authentic and is the alteration of Sheikh al Saduq who added these words so that they conform to his liking. We do not have evil thoughts of the man or slander him. In fact, his own scholars think of him in this way and regard him as a tutor in the science of interpolation. If anyone has a doubt, he should look at what Mulla Baqir Majlisi wrote in Bihar al Anwar regarding him. In one narration, the meaning of the words “جوابى بصير” to “شاء ما شاء” is recorded. Sheikh al Saduq interpolated the narration and added and subtracted some words and did not quote the exact text of al Kafi. Mulla Baqir Majlisi wrote this regarding him:

 

هذا الخبر ماخوذ من الكافى و فيه تغييرات عجيبة تورث سوء الظن بالصدوق و انما فعل ذلك ليوافق مذهب اهل العدل و فى الكافى هكذا

This narration is extracted from al Kafi. But there are many startling alterations therein which cause doubts in the mind regarding al Saduq. He only did this so that it conforms to the creed of the just. The wording of the narration in al Kafi is as follows…

 

Mulla Baqir Majlisi[7] then quoted the wording in al Kafi. Thus, from Mulla Baqir Majlisi’s acknowledgement, it is proven that Sheikh al Saduq alters the wordings of narrations for some reason and interpolates Shia ahadith so that they conform to his creed. So if he adds few words in this narration — which mentions the Sahabah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhum virtue and which will falsify the entire creed of Shi’ism if proven authentic — then this is not something farfetched. In fact, it is obvious that he added the last sentence. Had he not done so and accepted that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are like the stars and to follow them is binding, then how would he save his own false religion? We thus agree with what Mulla Baqir Majlisi has said and say the same thing regarding Sheikh al Saduq with regards to the added text in this narration:

 

انما فعل ذلك ليوافق مذهب اهل العدل

He only did this so that it conforms to the creed of the just.

 

If anyone is not satisfied with this and does not have conviction that al Saduq altered the wording as Mulla Baqir Majlisi has said then we will prove that those wordings are added.

 
 

Proof 1

Molana ‘Ali Bakhsh Khan Bahadur writes in one of his articles:

Was the word “اصحاب” a mystery, a riddle, an enigma which needed an explanation? Could the listener not understand it and needed to question, “who are your Sahabah” regarding it? This question in itself is proof that the narrator has added these words.

 
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Proof 2

The differences of the “اصحاب” are mentioned in this narration whereas according to Shia principles, there are no differences among the Ahlul Bayt. So how is it possible to take “اصحاب” to mean Ahlul Bayt for then what will be the meaning of, “The differences of my companions are a mercy for you?” Furthermore, Sheikh al Saduq states after quoting the above narration:

 

قال محمد بن على مؤلف هذا الكتاب ان اهل البيت عليهم السلام لا يختلفون و لكن يفتون الشيعة بمر الحق و انما افتواهم بالتقية فما يختلف من قولهم فهو التقيةو التقية رحمة للشيعة

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali — the author of this book — states: “The Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum do not differ among themselves. They issue verdicts to the Shia in accordance to the truth. However, they sometimes pass a verdict out of Taqiyyah. So the apparent contradiction in their statements is due to Taqiyyah. And Taqiyyah is a mercy for the Shia.”

 

Even though al Saduq and his disciples will be proud of this answer, but no intelligent person will favour such an answer. This is because Taqiyyah means to conceal the truth out of fear and to speak a lie. Who besides the Shia will regard speaking lies as mercy and state that the narration, “The differences of my companions are a mercy for you.” pertains to Taqiyyah? Nevertheless, if we accept that differences are the product of Taqiyyah then the meaning of the narration will be, “Whoever practices on any statement of my Ahlul Bayt will find guidance even though that statement contradicts others since the differences of my Ahlul Bayt are a mercy for you.” On the other hand, it is evident that there are innumerable ahadith and statements of the Imams which the Ahlus Sunnah accept and the Shia regard as the product of Taqiyyah. Now when Taqiyyah is regarded as mercy, then for the Ahlus Sunnah to practice on those statements — which the Shia have regarded as the product of Taqiyyah — is guidance through and through. If those who practice on Taqiyyah statements are in error and astray, then what is the meaning of this statement:

 

باى اقاويل اصحابى اخذتم اهتديتم و اختلاف اصحابى لكم رحمة

Whichever statement of theirs you follow, you will be guided aright. The differences of my Sahabah are a mercy for you?

 

No one should think that those statements and verdicts of the Imams which are the product of Taqiyyah are ambiguous and vague. They are very clear and emphatic. No one should think that when uttering those statements and passing those verdicts, the Imams did not understand that the questioner and listener will be misguided. In fact, they said that intentionally and with full understanding[8] that the questioner and listener will have conviction on them and will not have any doubt whatsoever with regards to its truthfulness. The Shia scholars have mentioned this very clearly. Mir Baqir Damad has mentioned in Nabras Ifiya’:

Those verdicts which the noble Imams passed in accordance to the concept of Taqiyyah, some are such that the objective behind them was to educate so that the permissibility of that action is stated and it can be practiced upon when the need arises and with the hope that mu’minin were told the truth. Some verdicts are such that the questioner was infatuated with his false religion and steadfast like a rock on his misguided creed. Thus, the Imams gave him a verdict in accordance to his false religion since there was neither hope of his guidance nor conviction of him coming to the straight path.

When the Imams intentionally and purposefully passed a judgement in accordance to the questioner’s religion, then definitely this verdict will contradict other narrations. However, on the strength of “the differences of my companions are a mercy for you,” this answer is mercy for the questioner and in accordance to, “whichever statement of theirs you follow, you will be guided aright,” those who practice upon this statement will be regarded as the rightly guided.

 
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Proof 3

The author of Istiqsa’ has mentioned this proof to deny the narration of ‘Uyun al Akhbar that if this narration is authentic, it will contradict the narration mentioned in Ma’ani al Akhbar. This proof is utterly pathetic because if we ignore the addition of Sheikh al Saduq then the subject matter of both the narrations will conform. The wording of the narration in ‘Uyun al Akhbar is:

 

اصحابى كالنجوم بايهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

My Sahabah are like the stars, whomsoever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided.

 

And the wording of the narration in Ma’ani al Akhbar is:

 

انما مثل اصحابى فيكم كمثل النجوم بايها اخذ اهتدى

The example of my Sahabah among you is like the stars, whichever of them you hold on to, you will be rightly guided.

 

We cannot understand the contradiction in meaning in these narrations. With regards to the added text i.e. “It was said to the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who are your Sahabah and he replied, “My Ahlul Bayt,” we regard it as the addition of Sheikh al Saduq which I have proven above. If we accept that Imam Musa al Rida rahimahu Llah deemed the narration “my Sahabah are like the stars, whomsoever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided,” a fabrication and unauthentic and Imam al Baqir rahimahu Llah authenticated it, then the statements of the Imams will be contradictory. Yes, if the narration in Ma’ani al Akhbar proved that the hadith “my Sahabah are like stars,” is fabricated, we would have accepted the answer of the author of Istiqsa’ according to his own principles. However, when it is authenticated in this manner as well, we fail to understand the benefit the author thought he was getting by mentioning the narration of Ma’ani al Akhbar except authenticating the hadith by the statement of another Imam.

Furthermore, another interesting point is that if the questioner did not ask who the Sahabah were, no one would have known that Sahabah refers to the Ahlul Bayt. It just does not make sense that if Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wished to mention something about the Ahlul Bayt, then why did he use such a word which does not refer to them in common language? More amazing is that the questioner did not understand the meaning and asked regarding it. There are numerous ahadith which mention the word “اصحاب” but none of them have the question as to who they refer to. For instance, have a look at “اصحابى كالنجوم” which the author of Istiqsa’ authenticated and Imam Musa al Rida’s attestation ends the discussion. There is no question as to who are meant by “اصحاب”. How is it possible that whenever the word “اصحاب” was used, no one asked Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam its meaning. But in this hadith, it is such a mystery that the listener could not understand it and was forced to ask. This is something that will amuse children.

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Proof 4

If we accept the additional text in the narration of Ma’ani al Akhbar as Sheikh al Saduq did and that the narration of ‘Uyun al Akhbar contradicts the narration of Ma’ani al Akhbar, then why is the narration of ‘Uyun al Akhbar regarded as false due to contradiction and not the narration of Ma’ani al Akhbar? In fact, there is no need to falsify any narration. If only the last added portion is removed, the contradiction will be removed. Furthermore, I am amazed at the practice of the author of Istiqsa’ that he falsifies a narration due to contradiction whereas his muhaddithin and scholars have not mentioned such ahadith and statements whose contradiction is not startling. The Imams continued to remorse over such contradictions and the later mujtahidin died in this concern but were unable to remove such contradictions. When the level of contradiction has reached its peak and the early scholars deemed their reconciliation an impossibility notwithstanding tiring themselves in this effort, then why does this author express guilt over the contradiction of a few narrations? Shame upon Istiqsa’s author! Did he not ponder over his great scholar Tusi’s testimony that Tahdhib has over five thousand narrations which have contradictions which cannot be reconciled notwithstanding thousands of interpretations and interpolations in the meaning? The declaration of this great scholar has been quoted by the author of Fawa’id Madinah:

 

و قد ذكرت ما ورد عنهم عليهم السلام من الاحاديث المختلفة التى يختص الفقه فى كتاب المعروف بالاستبصار و فى كتاب تهذيب الاحكام ما يزيد على خمسة الاف حديث و قد ذكرت فى اكثرها اختلاف الطائفة فى العمل بها و ذلك اشهر من ان يخفى

I have mentioned already that Istibsar and Tahdhib al Ahkam have over five thousand narrations of the Imams rahimahu Llah pertaining to jurisprudence which are contradictory. I have also mentioned the differences of the people with regards to practicing upon them. And this is very apparent and cannot be concealed.

 

No one should think that these differences are due to the reporters. In fact, the Shia themselves attest to the fact that these contradictions stem from the Imams. Accordingly, Mulla Baqir Majlisi has recorded in Bihar al Anwar:

 

عن محمد بن بشير و عزيز عن ابى عبد الله عليه السلام قال قلت له انه ليس شىء اشد على من اختلاف اصحابنا قال ذلك من قبلى

Muhammad ibn Bashir and ‘Aziz relate regarding Abu ‘Abdullah (Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah): “I told him, ‘there is nothing more burdensome upon me that our mutual differences.’ He replied, ‘This is from my side.’

 

عن زرارة عن ابى جعفر قال قال سالته عن مسئلة فاجابنى قال ثم جاء رجل فساله عنها فاجابه بخلاف ما اجابنى ثم جاء رجل آخر فأجابه بخلاف ما أجابني و اجاب صاحبى فلما خرج الرجلان قلت يا ابن رسول الله رجلان من اهل العراق من شيعتك قدما يسئلان فاجبت كل واحد منهما بغير ما اجبت بالاخر فقال يا زرازة ان هذا خير لنا و ابقى لنا و لكم لو اجمعتم على امر واحد لقصدكم الناس و لكان اقل بقائنا و بقائكم فقلت لابى عبد الله شيعتكم لو حملتموهم على الاسنة او على النار لمضوا و هو يخرجون من عندكم مختلفين قال فسكت اعدت ثلاث مرات فاجابنى مثل جواب ابيه

Zurarah narrates: “I asked Abu Jafar regarding something and he answered me. Then another person came and asked regarding the very same thing and he answered him differently to what he answered me and my friend. When both the men left, I asked him, ‘O son of Rasulullah! Two men from Iraq from your Shia came and asked you and you answered both of them differently?” He said to me: “O Zurarah! This is better for us and will keep you and me around longer. If you all had to unite on one thing, the people would have not spared you and our stay here would be shortened.” I then asked Abu ‘Abdullah (Imam Jafar): “Your Shia if you were to place them before spears or fire they would oblige, yet they leave your company differing with each other.” He remained silent. I repeated my question thrice upon which he answered me just as his father answered me.[9]

 

Furthermore, no one should think that the Imams would give two or three different rulings with regards to one aspect. In fact, sometimes these rulings would reach seventy. Bihar al Anwar has the narration:

 

عن ابى عبد الله قال انى لاتكلم على سبعين وجها لى فى كلها المخرج

It is reported from Abu ‘Abdullah (Imam Jafar al Sadiq) that he said: “I apply seventy angles to one aspect. I can escape from whichever I want to.”

 

Until when are we going to enumerate these differences? Whoever wishes to see the fruits of this garden should peruse the section of Bihar al Anwar; the chapter regarding concealing the din from strangers.

Now when this is the level of contradiction and the Imams themselves make up seventy angles of one aspect and give their sincere Shia two opposite answers to the same question thinking this to be best for them and their Shia, then why is the author of Istiqsa’ so amazed at the contradiction of two narrations and trying to reconcile them? The reality is that this contradiction has been caused by the hypocrites and liars who the Imams did not allow to come near them, who would defame the Imams, who would fabricate things and relate them to the Imams, and from whom the Imams would express their exemption, curse them and label them as liars and accursed. Yet, they would still fabricate things in the names of the Imams. I will prove this fact further on from Shia books, Allah willing.

 
 

NEXT⇒ Second testimony


[1]  A hadith narrated by one or two persons

[2]  His name is Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hassan ibn Babuwayh Qummi and his epithet is Saduq. He was born in the beginning of the fourth hijri century. He is reckoned among the senior and great muhaddithin of the Shia. His book Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih is among the canonical four ahadith books regarded as authentic and important by the Shia. He has many other books as well which are regarded as reliable sources. The Shia say that there is no one who possessed such a remarkable memory and vast knowledge like him in Qumm. He passed away in 381 A.H and is buried in Ray (Sheikh Muhammad Firasat)

[3]  Surah al Ma’idah: 13

[4]  Qadi Nur Allah Shostari writes in Majalis al Mu’minin: According to the widely accepted view, a Sahabi is that person who met Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the state of iman.

[5]  Word of reference

[6]  The devastation this narration has caused to the Shia by being recorded in Shia books is indescribable. The communication between Subhan ‘Ali Khan and his brother Nur al Din is testimony to this. I will produce an extract from his article al Makatib fi Ru’yat al Tha’alib wa al Gharabib printed in 1260 A.H. The extract of pg. 101 of the letter of Subhan ‘Ali Khan to Nur al Din reads: “The hadith “اصحابى كالنجوم” is replete in Shia books with Shia chains of narrators. When such a hadith’s chain is found with Shia narrators, then with which rock should we bust our heads?” Nur al Din answered, “If the chain of the stars hadith gets into the hand of a nasibi, it will be a matter of grave concern and worry. I have seen in one of the volumes of Bihar that some noble Imams wrote in answer to some of their disciples that in reality this hadith is narrated from their grandfather and the wording has not been interpolated.  Although, the nawasib have interpolated the meaning by applying it to the renegades thus drowning in the abyss of misguidance and deviation. Do they not know that whom the seal of the Messengers salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deemed as stars of guidance and viewed their following as a means of guidance are those whose condition remained the same in the lifetime of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and after his lifetime; not those who turned renegade and adopted disbelief after having brought iman. I am not astonished at the fact that (in this hadith) the following of certain individuals has been made compulsory. However, the reason for my astonishment is that after the changing of the ummah’s condition, how will we apply the two important aspects i.e. the Qur’an and the family of Rasulullah after considering that Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum viz. Abu Dharr, Salman, Hudhayfah, Miqdad and Ibn Mas’ud are the stars of guidance; whosoever of them you will follow, you will be rightly guided? Moreover, more astonishing is that some scholars say that it refers to the Ahlul Bayt and present few ahadith and narrations to support their view in conflict to what Sheikh Ibn Babuwayh has recorded in Hidayah I think. In this situation, leaving aside this difference, it will be in conflict to the first hadith or else those scholars will have to admit that – May Allah forbid! – the Ahlul Bayt are just like the Sahabah i.e. a group of them turned renegade and a group remained steadfast on their iman whereas no one ever claimed or said such a thing. Therefore, my astonishment in this respect is more than yours. I am in deep contemplation and uneasy due to my astonishment. The worry and concern of the servants are indescribable. Nonetheless, this is a religious worry.”

[7]  Mulla Muhammad Baqir ibn Mulla Muhammad Taqi ibn Maqsud ‘Ali Majlisi was born in the time of Shah ‘Abbas the first in 1037 A.H in Majlis, a village near Isfahan. Some say that his grandfather Maqsud ‘Ali was a great poet who would hold majalis (religious gatherings) they became known as Majlisi. He was a contemporary of Shah Sulaiman Safawi and Sultan Hussain Safawi. He was appointed by them as the Sheikh al Islam and leader of religious affairs in the capital Isfahan. He wrote many books in Arabic and Persian. The Shia say that after ‘Allamah al Hilli, he has written the most books. Among his books, sixty are well-known. His most prolific work is the encyclopaedia Bihar al Anwar which he wrote in 25 volumes in the Arabic language. His famous commentaries of Usul al Kafi are Mir’at al ‘Uqul in Persian, Hayat al Qulub, Jala’ al ‘Uyun and Haqq al Yaqin. His books hold more esteem in the eyes of the Shia than anyone else’s books. This can be understood from the fact that the leader of the Iranian revolution Ayatollah Ruh Allah Khomeini advised the Shia to read his books. He has vilified the Khulafa’ Rashidin in the most evil manner in his books. No one among the later Shia has been so vulgar in his approach in this regard. According to the famous view, he passed away in 1111 A.H. (Sheikh Muhammad Firasat)

[8]  The original text will be quoted in the discussion of Taqiyyah.

[9]Usul Kafi pg. 37 Shafi Urdu translation of Usul Kafi vol. 1 pg. 118

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