The Wealth of fay’ and the Family of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam During the Reign of the Three Khulafa’

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The Wealth of fay’ and the Family of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam During the Reign of the Three Khalifas

 

After presenting the aspect of the distribution of Khums, I consider it important to elaborate on the aspect of the wealth of Fay’.

It is necessary that one bear in mind the difference between Ghanimah and Fay’. Ghanimah in Shari’ah refers to that booty which is attained by fighting the enemy and defeating them. Khums (one fifth) is taken out from this type of booty and is than further distributed into five portions. Fay’ refers to that booty which the Muslims attain without war. This type of booty is distributed in many portions, viz. a portion for Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a portion for the family of Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a portion for the orphans, a portion for the destitute and a portion for the travellers. This is mentioned in the 28th juz’ of the glorious Qur’an.

One should also bear in mind that wherever mention is made of the alms of Madinah, the wealth (which was taken as Fay’) of the Banu al Nadir, a Jewish tribe near Madinah, is also generally mentioned.

After presenting these preliminary aspects I now wish to state that the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam received their share from the wealth of Fay’ just as they received their share from the Khums of Khaybar and Fadak as was cited earlier. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was made in charge of the distribution of this particular share as well. A narration in this regard is mentioned in Sahih al Bukhari, Musnad Abi ‘Awanah, al Sunan al Kubra and Wafa’ al Wafa’. The last part of the narration is cited below in which it is clearly stated that the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was entrusted with the duty of distributing the wealth of Fay’:

 

وطالت فيه خصومتهما فأبي عمر أن يقسمها بينهما حتي أعفي عنها عباس فكانت هذه الصدقة بيد علي رضي الله عنه ثم كانت بعد علي بيد حسن بن علي ثم بيد حسين بن علي ثم بيد علي بن حسين وحسن بن حسن كلاهما كانا يتداولانها ثم بيد زيد بن حسن وهي صدقة رسول الله حقا.

The share of the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the land of Banu al Nadir (which was attained as Fay’) was under the administration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were disputing over it for some time[1]. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had decided not to distribute it among the two of them. Subsequent to which ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu relinquished his demand. Hence it thereafter remained under the administration of ‘Ali, then Hassan ibn ‘Ali, then Hussain ibn ‘Ali, then Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin and Hassan ibn Hassan and then Zaid ibn Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This was most certainly the alms of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[2]

 

The Shia scholars have also conceded in their writings that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in charge of the administration of these properties. The author of Nahj al Balaghah, Ibn Abi al Hadid, has cited a narration alluding to this under the discussion pertaining to Fadak. It is stated therein that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had said to one of his governors whose name was ‘Uthman ibn Hanif: “Fadak was definitely in our possession”[3]. Under this specific statement Ibn Abi al Hadid has formed three sub-chapters and has cited many reliable reports reported by Abu Bakr al Jowhari in the first of them. He has time and again conceded that Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and his children after him were in charge of the administration of these properties. I shall cite one report by way of example:

 

فغلب علي عباسا عليها فكانت بيد علي ثم كانت بيد الحسن ثم كانت بيد الحسين ثم علي بن الحسين ثم الحسن بن الحسن ثم زيد بن الحسن.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu overpowered ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It thus remained under his administration then the administration of Hassan then Hussain then ‘Ali ibn al Hussain then Hassan ibn al Hassan then Zaid ibn al Hassan.[4]

 

Deductions From the Previous Narrations

  1. The share of the Dhu al Qurba from the wealth of Fay’ was given to them in the reign of the three khalifas
  2. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in charge of their share.
  3. Based on these narrations we can undoubtedly conclude that all the narrations portraying the Ahlul Bayt to be deprived and oppressed are fallacies.
 

The Ahlul Bayt Sanctioned the Undertakings of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in This Regard

It has been presented in the previous pages that the three khalifas employed the very same method that was employed by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in administering the income of the lands of Fay’ and Khums and in distributing them to the Ahlul Bayt.

Further I shall present the approbation of acclaimed members of the Ahlul Bayt regarding their undertaking. It would thereafter become clear in no uncertain terms that the slogans that are chanted by a particular people are false, and baseless and are intended to create confusion in the ummah thereby fragmenting it and destroying its unity.

 

Approbation of Imam Muhammad al Baqir

1. Abu Talib al Ash’ari has stated in his book, Kitab Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq:

 

عن كثير النواء قال قلت لأبي جعفر أخبرني عن أبي بكر وعمر هل ظلما من حقكم شيئا قال لا ومنزل القرآن علي عبده ليكون للعالمين نذيرا ما ظلمانا من حقنا ما يزن حبة خردل.

Kathir al Nawa’ says: “I asked Abu Jafar (al Baqir) to inform me whether Abu Bakr and ‘Umar had deprived them of their rights or not.” He said: “I say in the name of the one who revealed the Qur’an upon his servant, they did not deprive us from not even that which is equal to mustard seed.”[5]

 

2. Sheikh Nur al Din al Samhudi has cited the following statement of Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah in his book Wafa’ al Wafa’. This narration is more detailed then the narration of Abu Talib al Ash’ari. The narration is as follows:

 

روي ابن شبة أيضا عن كثير النواء قال قلت لأبي جعفر محمد بن علي جعلني الله فداك أرأيت أبا بكر وعمر هل ظلماكم من حقكم شيئا أو قال ذهبا به من حقكم فقال لا والذي أنزل القرأن علي عبده ما ظلمانا من حقنا مثقال حبة من خردل قلت جعلت فداك أفأتولاهما ؟ قال نعم ويحك تولهما في الدنيا والآخرة وما أصابك ففي عنقي ثم قال فعل الله بالمغيرة وبنان فإنهما كذبا علينا أهل البيت

Kathir al Nawa’ states that he asked Imam Muhammad al Baqir: “May my life be sacrificed upon you please tell me, ‘did Abu Bakr and ‘Umar usurp your rights?’” He replied: “I take an oath in that being who has revealed the glorious Qur’an upon his servant they have not usurped our rights not even to the extent of a mustard seed.” I further inquired: “Should I love them or disassociate myself from them?” He said: “Love them in this world and in the hereafter. I am responsible if you happen to incur harm because of loving them.” He then said: “May Allah curse Mughirah and Bannan for ascribing such lies to us the Ahlul Bayt.”[6]

 

After presenting two references of the Ahlus Sunnah I shall present the very same theme from the books of the Shia. Ibn Abi al Hadid has cited a narration from Imam Muhammad al Baqir, via the transmission of Abu Bakr al Jowhari, whose Shia credentials are undoubted. The narration is as follows:

 

قال أبوبكر الجوهري وأخبرنا أبو زيد قال حدثنا محمد بن الصباح قال حدثنا يحي بن المتوكل أبو عقيل عن كثير النواء قال قلت لأبي جعفر محمد بن علي عليه السلام جعلني الله فداك أرأيت أبا بكر وعمر هل ظلمكم من حقكم شيئا أو قال ذهبا من حقكم بشيئ فقال لا والذي أنزل القرآن علي عبده ليكون للعالمين نذيرا ما ظلمنا من حقنا مثقال حبة من خردل قلت جعلت فداك أفأتولاهما ؟ قال نعم ويحك تولهما في الدنيا والآخرة وما أصابك ففي عنقي ثم قال فعل الله بالمغيرة و البنان فإنهما كذبا أهل البيت. [7]

(Translation same as above) In essence both Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated this statement of Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah.

 
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Deductions From This Narration

  1. This statement of Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah has made it evident that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had not oppressed the Ahlul Bayt.
  2. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had fulfilled all the rights of the Ahlul Bayt and had not usurped any of them.
  3. Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah encouraged the inquirer to love and venerate Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
  4. All narratives and narrations portraying them to be oppressors and usurpers are the fabrications of Mughirah ibn Sa’id and Bannan. Both of who are incorrigible liars.[8]
  5. It has also been established that there was no constant conflict between Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and the Ahlul Bayt. Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah would not have ordered the inquirer to love them had it been that way.
 

Approbation of Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain

After presenting the approbation of Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, I now present before you the approbation of his biological brother, Zaid rahimahu Llah, the son of Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin rahimahu Llah. The truthfulness, reliability, angelic propriety, and pure nature of these noble personalities is beyond doubt according to the majority of the ummah. Therefore, whatever they said is definitely accurate and should readily be accepted. They are not known to be prevaricators. Dissimulation does not befit them; it is not behoving of these lions of Allah to conceal the truth or avoid it evasively. Hence the opinion of Imam Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu undoubtedly holds weight in this regard.

He has so succinctly clarified these contentions that if one has to analyse his statement all doubts and disputes in this regard will automatically be dispelled. On condition he does so putting aside all prejudices,

Imam al Bayhaqi rahimahu Llah and Hafiz Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah have cited the following narration:

 

وقد اعترف علماؤ أهل البيت بصحة ما حكم به أبو بكر في ذالك قال الحافظ البيهقي أنبأنا محمد بن عبد الله الحافظ حدثنا أبو عبد الله الصفار حدثنا إسمعيل بن إسحاق القاضي حدثنا نصر بن علي حدثنا ابن داؤد عن فضيل بن مرزوق قال قال زيد بن علي الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب أما أنا فلو كنت مكان أبي بكر لحكمت بمثل ما حكم به أبو بكر في فدك.

Imam Zaid ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah is reported to have said: “If I were the khalifah in place of Abu Bakr, I would administer the income of Fadak in the exact same manner he had.” [9] (Imam al Bayhaqi has cited this narration through the transmission of Fudayl ibn Marzuq.)

 

It should be remembered that the Shia scholars have also cited this narration in their writings. Hence Ibn Abi al Hadid has in his book, Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, cited the following narration:

 

.[10] قال زيد بن علي بن الحسين وأيم الله لو رجع الأمر إلي لقضيت فيه بقضائ أبي بكر

By the oath of Allah, if I were given the option of administering these funds I would adopt the same method as Abu Bakr.”

 
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Deductions From the Statement of Imam Zaid

  1. One aspect that is clearly understood is that the method of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in seeing to the rights of the Ahlul Bayt and satisfying their needs through the land of Fadak was totally correct. He had not erred in his decision (even though he had refused to distribute it among the Ahlul Bayt) as attested to by Imam Zaid rahimahu Llah.
  2. This narration also establishes that he had administered the other rights of the Ahlul Bayt such as the share of Dhu al Qurba, a share of the Khums and their share wealth of Fay’ accurately. This is because if he had not erred in the administration of Fadak then most certainly he had not erred in the rest as well.
  3. One can also draw that these Imams valued and venerated Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; they had no reservations against him. If they had, then they would not have sanctioned his decisions in any circumstances.
 

Few More Corroborative Narrations

To further authenticate the theme of these narrations, I shall now present four narrations that appear in the books Shia scholars. These narrations will eliminate the doubts of any person who analyses them with fairness and deliberation.

 
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First Narration

Ibn Abi al Hadid[11] has stated the following in Nahj al Balaghah:

 

….كان أبوبكر يأخذ غلتها فيدفع إليهم منها ما يكفيهم ويقسم الباقي وكان عمر كذلك ثم كان عثمان كذلك ثم كان علي كذلك.

Abu Bakr would grant them enough to satisfy their needs from the income of Fadak and would distribute the rest among the poor. ‘Umar had done the same after him and so had ‘Uthman and ‘Ali.[12]

 
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Second Narration

Ibn Maytham al Bahrani[13] has likewise stated the following in his commentary of Nahj al Balaghah:

 

وكان أبو بكر يأخذ غلتها فيدفع إليهم ما كان يكفيهم ثم فعلت الخلفاء بعده كذلك.

Abu Bakr would, from the funds of Fadak, give the Ahlul Bayt enough to fulfil their needs and the khalifas after him had followed in his footsteps.[14]

 
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Third Narration

The third corroborative narration appears in al Durrah al Najafiyah, a commentary of Nahj al Balaghah written by Ibrahim ibn Haji al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn al Ghaffar al Danbali. He has cited the following narration under the commentary of the letter written by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to his governor ‘Uthman Ibn Hanif:

 

وكان يأخذ غلتها فيدفع إليهم منها ما كان يكفيهم ثم فعلت الخلفاء بعده كذلك.

He would, from the funds of Fadak, give the Ahlul Bayt enough to fulfil their needs and the khalifas after him had followed in his footsteps.[15]

 
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Fourth Narration

‘Ali al Naqi Fayd al Islam, the Mujtahid of this century according to the Shia, has stated the following in his Persian commentary of Nahj al Balaghah:

 

ابو بکر غلہ و سود آن گرفتہ بقدر کفایت باہل بیت میداد و خلفاء بعد از وھم بر آن اسلوب رفتار نمودند

Abu Bakr would give the Ahlul Bayt enough to fulfil their needs, and the khalifas after him had followed in his footsteps.[16]

 

Conclusion of These Narrations

  1. The Shia scholars have conceded in their writings that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had fulfilled the rights of the Ahlul Bayt from the assets of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, especially Fadak.
  2. The method of all the khalifas who succeeded Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the same as that of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in seeing to the rights of the Ahlul Bayt
  3. It can therefore safely be said that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not an expropriator nor an oppressor just as he was free from being disloyalty and maliciousness to the Ahlul Bayt. He was very meticulous with regard to fulfilling their rights and the promises he made to them. He was likewise very scrupulous about maintaining healthy and sound relations with them. Where on the one hand he had fulfilled the rights of all the Muslims under his reign and had been very compassionate and benevolent toward them he had on the other hand treated the Ahlul Bayt in the exact same manner.
  4. It is obvious from all these narrations that there existed brotherhood, mutual understanding, veneration, assistance and benevolence between Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Ahlul Bayt. For they interacted with each other; the Ahlul Bayt received their share of Fay’ and Khums. A share from the land of Fadak was kept aside for them. If, hypothetically speaking, they were at logger heads with one another they would never have interacted with each other and nor would the Ahlul Bayt ever have received their rights from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
 

A Reasonable Objection and an Apt Answer

There are many narrations that prove the diametrically opposite of the above cited narrations, whilst it is clearly understood from these narrations that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had fulfilled the rights of the Ahlul Bayt, it is at the same time understood from other narrations of the Sihah that he had not fulfilled their rights, for example:

 

فأبي أبوبكر عليهما ذلك/ فأبي أبوبكر أن يدفع إلي فاطمة منها شيئا و غيرها.

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had refused to satisfy the demands of Fatimah and did not give anything to her.

 

Therefore the question that arises is how do we reconcile between these two types of narrations?

 

Answer

By analysing all the narrations in which Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha demanded the left over assets of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu one comes to the conclusion that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused to hand them over to her as inheritance, not that he refused to fulfil her rights and satisfy her needs from those assets. In simple words it can be said that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was demanding the assets of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as inheritance and Abu Bakr was not willing to give them to her as inheritance due to the edict of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “We the prophets are not inherited from, whatever we leave behind is sadaqah. He did not deny her the fulfilment of her rights from these assets.

By contemplating over the narrations it is easily understood:

  1. It is stated in the narrations that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “The family of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will definitely benefit from these assets.”
  2. It is also stated that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had with a lot of emphasis mentioned that he will administer these assets in the very way Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had during his lifetime.
  3. He is also reported to have said that maintaining relations with the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is dearer to him than maintaining relations with his own relatives. This could have only materialised if he seen to their needs and fulfilled their rights.
 

The entire ummah unanimously concurs that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a man of his word. He was truthful and loyal. It was for this reason that he was given the title of Al Siddiq (the most truthful). Whoever concedes that he was truthful, loyal and painstaking about his word cannot deny that he fulfilled their rights. He had most certainly lived up to the promises he made to them, rather he had given preference to them over anyone else. Nevertheless, he had refused to give these assets to them as inheritance but he most certainly satisfied their needs and rights.

Furthermore one should take note of the fact that the three khalifas radiya Llahu ‘anhum had sustained the policy of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu with regard to the administration of these assets. To the extent that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had in his reign dealt with these assets accordingly.

When some people had suggested to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to reclaim the land of Fadak for himself and the Ahlul Bayt, he responded by saying: “I feel ashamed before Allah to reclaim that land which Abu Bakr had decided not to distribute and his decision regarding it was thereafter sanctioned by ‘Umar.” [17] The Arabic text reads as follows:

 

فلما وصل الأمر إلي علي بن أبي طالب كلم في رد فدك فقال إلي لأستحيي من الله أن أرد شيئا منع منه أبو بكر و أمضاه عمر.

 

In essence two Shia scholars, namely al Sayed al Murtada and Ibn Abi al Hadid, have cited this statement of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in their writings; which explicitly states that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was pleased with the decision of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sustaining the policy of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu during his caliphate is more than sufficient evidence of the fact that he approved of it. Can there be any evidence more compelling than this to prove that he had not oppressed the Ahlul Bayt and nor had he usurped their rights?

 

Another Reasonable Objection

What is clearly understood from these narrations is that the interactions and dealings between Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Ahlul Bayt were rosy and sound. They had valued each other and had been loyal to each other. However, a narration appears in Sahih al Bukhari and many other books in which mention is made of the fact that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha became somewhat distraught when Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had refused to give her share of inheritance from the left over assets of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This narration reads as follows:

 

فغضبت فاطمة فهجرته فلم تكلمه حتي توفيت.

Fatimah became angry. Hence she avoided him and did not converse with him till she passed away.

 

This narration explicitly states that things were not as good as they are understood to be from the previous narrations; there existed severe conflict between Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, and this had lasted till the final moments of her life. If things went wrong toward the end of her life than all sound relations and affairs that existed before do not really hold any value.

 

A Fitting Answer

Before delving into the answer itself a few points should be born in mind:

  1. The issue of Fadak is a very sensitive one. Throughout our history the ‘ulama’ have delved into it and discussed it at great lengths. My honourable teacher Molana Sayed Ahmed Shah Bukhari rahimahu Llah has likewise written a book regarding this particular issue. It is a book unparalleled by any other in these contemporary times. The ‘ulama’ and the commonality should both derive benefit from it. In preparing my discussion around Fadak, I have also extracted substantial amount of details from his book and have further endeavoured to cover all angles thereof. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, crown it with acceptance.
  2. I assume it would be appropriate to split this answer into two sections by presenting a very basic and simple answer for the commonality in the actual text of the book and a more detailed and intricate answer for the ‘ulama’ in the footnotes. I am confident that the ‘ulama’ will cherish my research, Allah willing, and will notify me if I happened to falter at any juncture.
  3. And lastly it should be remembered that the response of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the demand of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha regarding inheritance was that of a hadith of her father the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, i.e. “We the prophets are not inherited from, whatever we leave behind is sadaqah.”
 

The thought provoking aspect here is that was it really possible for Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to become angry upon this response of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu or not?

 

Firstly, it is inappropriate to display dejectedness upon hearing a hadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In this regard, Let us analyse these coming verses of the Noble Qur’an:

 

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَّلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللّٰهُ وَرَسُوْلُهٓ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُوْنَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْؕ وَمَن يَّعْصِ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوْلَهفَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.[18]

 

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُوْنَ حَتّٰى يُحَكِّمُوْكَ فِيْمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوْا فِيْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوْا تَسْلِيْمًا

But no, by your Rabb, they will not (truly) believe until they make you, (O Muhammad), judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in (full, willing) submission.[19]

 

Secondly, to believe that the children of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refused to accept his own ahadith and became dejected; defies religious principles and rationality. No sound mind can ever accept that.

When according to religious principles and rationality every Muslim man and woman is duty-bound to submit before the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it would be logically sound to say that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was also duty-bound to do the same. Based on this, it is only correct to conclude that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha after hearing the hadith of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam — regarding the prophets not leaving behind any inheritance — was not dejected and after grasping the reality of the issue opted to remain silent and not make any further demands.

I intend illustrating this by way of a narration. However, before that I intend dispelling all doubts regarding those narrations in which mention is made of her displaying displeasure upon the response of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Thereafter, it will become evident that there existed no ill feelings between them. Rather they tried to maintain a rapport with one another.

 

Clarifying the Narrations

The procedure deployed by the scholars of hadith in order to reach the core of any discussion is that they gather all the narrations related to that particular discussion. They then analyse them and make definitive conclusions. By adopting this procedure all angles of the discussion are covered, and any additions, mistakes or alterations that the narrators might have perhaps made are easily discovered.

This has always been the procedure adopted by the scholars. The people of knowledge understand this very well. I have, however, made mention of it here so that it may serve as an introduction for the laymen reading this book.

After presenting this introductory aspect I now wish to state the following:

First of all, I have tried my level best to procure all the different narrations in which mention is made of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha becoming angry with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and avoiding him for the rest of her life from all the prevailing works on hadith and history. I have managed to procure them from sixteen different works. By studying these different narrations (in which mention is made of the displeasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha) one learns that they have all been narrated through the transmission of Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn Shihab al Zuhri. Besides him, no other narrator who reports this incident has mentioned this particular aspect. This is the conclusion a person will reach after a detailed study of these narrations.

Secondly, the response that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha gave to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when he informed her of the hadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “we the prophets are not inherited from, whatever we leave behind is sadaqah,” is quoted in the following words:

 

قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه حتي ماتت

He said: “Fatimah avoided him and did not converse with him till she passed away.”

 

This basically implies that this portion of the narration is not part of the actual narration whose narrator is Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, rather it is an addition made by a narrator. The reason being that the verb “قال” means “he said” in Arabic, and hence cannot be the statement of a female, and is therefore not the statement of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha; for had it been her statement than according to the rules of Arabic morphology the verb should have been “قالت” which means “she said” and not “قال”. The narrator who has made this addition is Ibn Shihab al Zuhri as it has been discussed earlier that he is the only narrator who narrates this particular aspect.

Thirdly, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was pleased by the response of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and therefore opted to remain silent and make no further demands. This is what had really happened as opined by Hafid Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah:

 

وقد روينا أن فاطمة رضي الله عنها احتجت أولا بالقياس وبالعموم في الآية الكريمة فأجابها الصديق بالنص علي الخصوص بالمنع في حق النبي و إنها سلمت له ما قال و هذا المظنون بها رضي الله عنها.

The narrations inform us that Fatimah had initially substantiated her claim of inheritance by means of the general ruling in the Qur’an regarding it, and by way of rational reasoning. Abu Bakr had, however, supported his stance by stating that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was exempted from this ruling because of the hadith (We the prophets are not inherited from) and thus the laws of inheritance did not apply to him. Fatimah accepted his response and thereafter decided to remain silent. This is the stance we should choose with regard to the position of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in this issue.

 

Imam al Zuhri rahimahu Llah has, however, assumed the silence of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to be the outcome of her displeasure and therefore has stated as an addition from his side that she avoided him and did not speak to him till she passed away. Whereas at times silence suggests acquiescence and pleasure, as goes the famous proverb well known to everyone:

 

Silence is half the approval.

 

According to the scholars of hadith this is termed as Zan al Rawi, meaning: the assumption of a narrator. In each of the sixteen different narrations of this incident all the words such as “she became furious”, “she was distraught” or “she forsook him” are all the aftermath of the assumptions of al Zuhri.

Furthermore in six of these sixteen narrations the words “he said” are explicitly stated. And in the remaining ten they have been omitted by the students of al Zuhri. By doing an in-depth study of these narrations one will realise that the words that suggest that she was distraught and that she forsook him are only stated after the words “he said”. For the benefit of the scholars I have pointed out all these areas in a treatise which I will shortly present in the pages to come.

The crux of the matter is that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was not disillusioned whatsoever upon learning of the response of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Instead she was satisfied and opted thus to remain silent. As for those portions of certain narrations that suggest that she was disillusioned, they are not purely part of the actual narrations, but they are additions made by al Zuhri, who is the only narrator of these portions.

 

Concluding Remarks

I had promised to enlighten you with a narration from which it is understood that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was satisfied with the response of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore, I shall present before you the coming narration which appears in Musnad Imam Ahmed under the section relating to the narrations narrated by Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

حدثني جعفر بن عمرو بن أمية قال دخلت فاطمة علي أبي بكر فقالت أخبرني رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم أني أول أهله لحوقا به.

Fatimah came to visit Abu Bakr and said: “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed me that I will be the first to join him after his demise from his family.” [20]

 

Deductions From This Narration

  1. There was no enmity between these two great personalities, otherwise they would not have visited each other and socialised.
  2. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had not visited Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu for just a casual discussion. She rather visited him to relay to him a hadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Discussing the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam amongst one another was not considered to be an ordinary thing; it was considered to be pivotal and crucial. This is also manifest evidence of the veneration they had for one another.
  3. Furthermore the hadith which she told him was not a general one, instead it was a secret that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had told her. Had there been any type of rift between the two of them, she would never have told him this secret. But knowing that he was a dear friend of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam she informed him of it.
  4. Similarly this narration discredits all those narrations that suggest that she had not spoken to him till her demise, for it informs us of their warm conversations and meetings. Those narrations as was mentioned earlier were altered and additions were made in them.
 
 

NEXT⇒ Treatise Regarding the Narration Pertaining to the Demand of Fatimah


[1]  This part is the last part of the narration. The beginning of the narration states that they were disputing regarding the administration and appropriation of the funds of the land which was received as Fay’, the land of Banu al Nadir. On the one hand was ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and on the other was ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the uncle of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The dispute was thus raised several times to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In trying to end the dispute, they suggested that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu distribute these properties between them equally and grant each of them the authority to see over the funds of the portion given to him, but ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused to divide the land in this manner and said: “You will receive your share from them just as you had been receiving it during the lifetime of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but they will not be divided according to your request.” The scholars mention that the reason why ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had not distributed it among them is so that is does smack of the distribution of the inheritance of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned: “We the group of prophets are not inherited from…”

[2]   Al Bukhari: Sahih al Bukhari 2/5-6, chapter regarding the Banu al Nadir,

Yaqub ibn Ishaq al Asfara’ini: Musnad Abi ‘Awanah, vol. 4

Al Bayhaqi: Al Sunan al Kubra 6/ 299, chapter regarding the distributions of Fay’

Nur al Din al Samhudi: Wafa’ al Wafa’, chapter 6: subchapter 2 regarding the alms of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[3]  The Arabic text goes as follows:

بلي كانت في أيدينا فدك

[4]  Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah: 4/118

[5]  Abu Talib al Ash’ari: Kitab Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq

[6]Wafa’ al Wafa’ 3/1001, chapter regarding the sadaqat of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[7]Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 4/113, discussion regarding Fadak

[8]  They are unreliable sources even according to Shia scholars. The Shia scholars have cited their Imams cursing these narrators because of them being fabricators and liars. Hence it is mentioned is Rijal al Kashshi:

 

عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال سمعته يقول لعن الله بنان البيان إن بنانا لعنه الله كان يكذب علي أبي… وعن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال سمعته يقول لعن الله المغيرة بن سعيد إنه كان يكذب علي أبي…

It is reported from Imam al Baqir rahimahu Llah that he said: “May the curse of Allah be upon Bannan, verily Bannan, may the curse of Allah be upon him, would attribute lies to my father.”

It is reported that Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah said: “May the curse of Allah be upon Mughirah ibn Sa’id, he would attribute lies to my father.”

 

In conclusion they are deemed unreliable according to both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia.

There are many other Shia authors who likewise deem them as unreliable, such as al Ardabili in his book Jami’ al Ruwat, al Qahba’i in his book Majma’ al Rijal and the author of Muntaha al Maqal.

[9]Al I’tiqad ‘ala Mazhab al Salaf 181, al Sunan al Kubra 6/302, chapter regarding the spending of the shares of Fay’ after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, al Baidayah wa al Nihayah 5/290

[10]Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 4/113, narrations regarding Fadak. Narration narrated through the transmission of Abu Bakr al Jowhari.

[11]  Ibn Abi al Hadid: his complete name is Baha’ al Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al Hussain Abi al Hadid al Mada’ini. He was born in 586 A.H. He had authored this book in 646 A.H. he passed away in 656 A.H. He was a Shi’i and a Mu’tazili scholar. He had written this book for Ibn ‘Alqami who was Shia minister because of which he was rewarded greatly. The details of this incident are mentioned in the Rijal books of the Shia.

[12]Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 2/ 292, Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 4/111, chapter regarding Fadak

[13]  Ibn Maytham Bahrani: (d. 676 A.H) has written eighteen different notes regarding the letter ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had written to his governor, ‘Uthman ibn Hanif. Under the 8th note he has cited this narration which I have cited word for word above. The scholars should bear in mind that he has not criticised this narration after citing it. This narration and the likes of it are widely circulated among Shia scholars. However, they avoid mentioning it to the commonality for their own personal motives; if the narration was hypothetically considered a narration of the Ahlus Sunnah they would at least allude to that and refer to its Sunni source.

To narrate all such incidents which oppose their doctrine and are found in their books with words connoting its weakness is their habit.

[14]  Ibn Maytham al Bahrani: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 5/107

[15]Al Durrah al Najafiyah pg. 332

[16]  Commentary in Persian of Nahj al Balaghah 5/ 960

[17]  Al Sayed Murtada: al Shafi fi al Imamah, pg. 231, chapter regarding his response to those objecting on Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 4/ 130, chapter regarding Fadak.

[18]  Surah al Ahzab: 36

[19]  Surah al Nisa’: 65

[20]  Imam Ahmed: Musnad Imam Ahmed 6/283, narrations of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

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