Who is the Grand-Father of Ja`far al-Sadiq?

Answering the First Claim that Abu Hurayrah was a Staunch Follower of the Umayyads.
December 8, 2015
Secondly, The Viewpoint of The Shi`ah on the Sahabah of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam
December 8, 2015

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Who is the Grand-Father of Jafar al Sadiq?

 

Al Irbili (who is a Shia scholar) reproduces the lineage of Jafar al Sadiq in Kashf al Ghummah:

 

قال محمد بن طلحة: أما نسبه أبا وأما فأبوه أبو جعفر محمد الباقر، وأمه أم فروة بنت القاسم بن محمد بن أبي بكر. وقال الحافظ عبدالعزيز: أمه(ع) أم فروة بنت القاسم بن محمد بن أبي بكر وأمها أسماء بنت عبدالرحمن بن أبي بكر

Muhammad ibn Talhah says, his lineage from his father and mother is as follows; his father is Abu Jafar Muhammad al Baqir and his mother is Umm Farwah bint al Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Hafiz. Her (Umm Farwah’s) mother was Asma’ bint ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr.[1]

 

The mother of Jafar is Fatimah bint al Qasim ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, and her mother is Asma’ bint ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq. Therefore, Qasim is the maternal grandfather of Jafar, which means that Abu Bakr al Siddiq is the great-grandfather of Jafar al Sadiq. This is what al Sadiq was highlighting when he said, “Al Siddiq was the cause of my birth in two different ways.” Regarding this, al Sharif al Radi says:

 

وحزناً عتيقـاً وهو غايـة فخـركم          بمولـد بنـت القاسـم بـن محمــد

Grief over Atiq (a title of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu) who is the origin of your pride,

Due to the birth of the daughter of Qasim ibn Muhammad.

 

How is it possible that al Sadiq would curse his grandfather and command his followers to do so after every salah? To assume that he was proud of his grandfather in one sense, yet he cursed him defies logic. Inconsistent speech of this nature is not even expected from the most ignorant commoner.

Is it in any way permissible to criticise the khalifah using unethical statements, as is found in most of their books? Such statements which contradict all Islamic and ethical values. They even contradict the statement of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who praised and eulogised them. What is the view of those who claim to be his followers? Will they say that dissimulation was his religion and the religion of his forefathers? Those who claim to follow him were indeed the ones who played the greatest role in being offensive towards him and all the other alleged Imams, who they claim to have helped.

As for his statement,The majority have overlooked Abu Hurairah… in honour of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as he was among his companions. We, on the other hand have only criticised him in honour of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: Who is he to speak on behalf of the Shia and appoint himself the custodian of their creed[2]? Since when have the Shia criticised Abu Hurairah? Which book mentions this? Abu Hurairah was always accepted by all sects to be a reliable narrator besides the bigots who blindly followed their desires and the innovators, the likes of al Nizam, al Iskafi, Ibn Abi al Hadid, etc. None of their opinions hold any weight.

The fundamental books of rijal (hadith narrators) of the Shia like al Fihrist, Rijal al Tusi (both of which were authored by al Tusi), Rijal al Najashi by Sheikh al Najashi, Rijal al Kashshi by Abu ‘Amr al Kashshi, the revised version which was named Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al Rijal by al Tusi, Rijal al Ghada’iri, as well as other equally important books such as Rijal al ‘Allamah al Hilli. These are all the books which I turned every single page trying to find the biography, or at least some disparagement mentioned by the way of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The only book that does mention him is Rijal al Tusi[3]. Further, Rijal Ibn Dawood al Hilli[4] (who was born in the year 647 A.H) included his name in the first section of the book which is specifically regarding the praised narrators. He praised him in unequivocal terms:

 

عبد الله أبو هريرة،معروف ، من أصحاب الرسول

‘Abdullah, whose agnomen was Abu Hurairah. He was well known and from the companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Look at his lies and allegations, which he does not even hold back from the ‘Ulama of disparagement and commendation! He claimed, “We, on the other hand have only criticised him in honour of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” By using the word “We” he implied that this is not his own view, rather it is a representation of his school. Reality disproves this claim!

Who is he to disparage Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this belated era? Who is he to judge a Sahabi on the basis of his whims, he whom the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was pleased with when passing away? Undoubtedly, the innovation of attacking and belying Abu Hurairah was non-existent up until the era of Ibn Dawood al Hilli as you have seen, O honourable reader! Further proof of this is that Ibn Khuzaimah, in his defence of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu states:

 

“وإنما يتكلم في أمر أبي هريرة :إما معطل “جهمي” وإما “خارجي” أو “ قدري” ، أو “جاهل  يتعاطى الفقه “

Only the Mu’attal Jahmi’s, the Khariji’s, the Qadari’s and the ignorant ones who presume that they understand fiqh have negative remarks regarding Abu Hurairah.

 

Note that he did not mention the Shia. Thus, Ibn Abi al Hadid was the first to introduce this bizarre idea to the Shia. The rest of the Shia simply followed suit. We will, in the upcoming chapters prove that the former Shia would narrate from Abu Hurairah with their chain and act upon his fiqh and narrations without any hesitation just as the Ahlul Bayt, a great number of Shia from Kufah and the supporters of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted his narrations.

‘Abdul Hussain says:

 

بأنه لم يكن لنا بد من البحث عن هذا المكثر نفسه ، وعن حديثه كماً وكيفاً لنكون على بصيرة فيما يتعلق من حديثه بأحكام الله فروعاً وأصولاً …

We had no choice but to do research regarding the personality of this individual who narrates excessively. Added to that, we needed to research his narrations from the perspectives of quality and quantity. This was necessary so that we could have a good background of his ahadith relating to the primary and subsidiary commands of Allah.  

 

Our comments: He has created an impression for himself that the ahadith of Abu Hurairah are concoctions and fabrications, and that these concoctions have infiltrated the primary and subsidiary matters of din, without the Muslims being able to detect it! Thus, he considered it incumbent upon himself to defend the most sublime shari’ah and to protect it from lies and conjectures.

The building block of this would be a study on Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which would reveal the reality, as he claims. However, this study revealed something else, i.e. the hidden agenda in the hearts of the enemies of the Sunnah and antagonists of the Sahabah. It definitely revealed the hatred harboured by them against the Sahabah in general and specifically Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Any person who reads this book of his will be left doubtless that it is but a link in the chain of discussions initiated by the prejudiced orientalists and their followers who (due to ulterior motives) claim to be adherents of Islam. This is being done as a service to the enemies of Islam to halt the process of unity between Muslims.

‘Abdul Hussain believes that he has academically decrypted the reality of Abu Hurairah from all perspectives, which will enable us to fully grasp his matter with all our senses. Similarly, he believes that he has done a thorough study of his ahadith, concerning their quality and quantity. He says:

 

فلم يسعنا – شهد الله – إلا الإنكار عليه في كل منهما

We were left with no option—Allah be witness—but to disparage him regarding both of them.

 

He excessively disparages Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and questions his memory along with his abundant narrations. He also picks on him for being illiterate. Thereafter he says:

 

ونحن حين نحكم الذوق الفني والمقياس العلمي نجدهما لا يقران كثيراً مما رواه هذا المفرط في اكثاره وعجائبه

When applying the rationale of the subject and using the academic scale, we find that they do not corroborate with a great deal of that which was narrated by this person who was surpassed the limit in his excessive and weird narrations.

 

The author repeatedly attempts to decrease the status of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. One of the minor attempts are as follows:

 

فالسنة أرفع من أن تحتضن أعشاباً شائكة ، وخّز بها أبو هريرة ضمائر الأذواق الفنية ، وأدمى بها تفكير المقاييس العلمية

The Sunnah is too lofty to groom the thorny patch by means of which Abu Hurairah pierces the core of the rationale of subjects and spills the blood of the attitude of adopting academic scales.

 

This author claims ‘rationale of subjects’ and ‘academic scales’. What exactly is he referring to by these two terms? The entire Ummah, from the era of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam up until today, are unanimous regarding the absolute genius possessed by the Muhaddithin regarding the rationale of the subjects which was applied to their knowledge and methodology.[5] Their research and meticulousness is indeed proverbial.

They did not overlook any minor or major point. Everything was adequately explained; thus, they recognised the authentic, unreliable, sound, and questionable narrations. They were not influenced by emotions and desires, which allowed them to weigh all using their precise academic scale. This made them leading examples due to their sincerity and trustworthiness. There uprightness can be gauged from the fact that at times they would not narrate from their own fathers or brothers whose virtue and piety was beyond doubt and they would even explain this to people. An example of this is the statement of ‘Ali ibn al Madini regarding his father when he was asked about him. He said, “Ask someone else regarding him.” However, the questioner repeated his query. Thereupon he dropped his head and said, “This is a matter of Din, he is not reliable.”

Similarly, they would refuse to narrate from those whom they doubted despite their piety or status. Ahmed ibn Abi al Hawari says:

 

 جاء رجل من بني هاشم ليسمع من ابن المبارك فامتنع ، فقال الهاشمي لغلامه : قم بنا ، فلما أراد الركوب ، جاء ابن المبارك ، ليمسك بركابه ، فقال : يا أبا عبدالرحمن لا ترى أن تحدثني وتمسك بركابي .. !! ؟ قال : رأيت أن أذل لك بذلي ولا أذل لك الحديث !!

A man from the Banu Hashim came to Ibn al Mubarak to hear ahadith from him, but he remained tight-lipped.

The Hashimi then said to his slave boy, “Let us go.”

When he was about to mount his conveyance, Ibn al Mubarak stepped forward to hold the reigns of the conveyance. The

Hashimi exclaimed, “O Abu ‘Abdur Rahman! You do not deem it appropriate to narrate to me, yet you hold the reigns of my conveyance?”

Ibn al Mubarak replied, “I am happier to bring myself down to serve you instead of lowering the status of the hadith for you.”

 

These are the giants of knowledge and the men of the science, whose opinion we have accepted regarding Abu Hurairah. If they were aware of anything objectionable concerning him, they would have never remained silent about it despite the fact that he is a Sahabi. The Sunnah and Shari’ah are not compromised for any individual. The reality is that they did not find anything of a questionable nature regarding him. Instead, they found him to be a reliable and upright narrator, purely on the basis of academic scales and the rationale of the subject.[6]

Indeed, Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has punctured the core of those who seek falsehood by his true speech. He narrated from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that which suits neither their egos nor their beliefs. Thus, they selected him as their target of enmity. Could he have pierced the core of anything else, especially since these narrations, which this author rejects, have been narrated by the ‘infallible’ Imams? The details will appear shortly.

This author asserts, “When applying the rationale of the subject and using the academic scale, we find that they do not corroborate with a great deal of that which was narrated by this person who was surpassed the limit in his excessive and weird narrations.”

The response to this statement lies in the proverb:

She accused me of having her sickness and escaped.

 

Shia transmitters narrate much more than Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and their narrations contain such ridiculous information that no human has ever imagined. Notwithstanding this, they have the nerve to criticise Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, due to a few simple matters that he narrated from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which were narrated by them as well. Maybe ‘Abdul Hussain is referring to the criticism levelled against some of the ahadith narrated by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

He says, “There is no logic that justifies remaining silent regarding this innovation which taints the core and lofty spirit of Islam, which pleads for freedom and liberation from the shackles of despicable beliefs and corruption…”

Our comment: Yes, you have spoken the truth. There is no logic that justifies remaining silent regarding this innovation which taints the core and lofty spirit of Islam, which pleads for freedom and liberation from the shackles of despicable beliefs and corruption. However, there is nothing that can be done about them as these despicable beliefs and corrupt ideas have been narrated by those who you regard as infallible.

These are your exact remarks regarding them:

 

وأحسن ما جمع  منها الكتب الأربعة التي هي مرجع الإمامية في أصولهم و فروعهم من الصدر الأول إلى هذا الزمان ، وهي : الكافي ، و التهذيب ، والاستبصار ، ومن لا يحضره الفقيه ، وهي متواترة ومضامينها مقطوع بصحتها ، والكافي أقدمها و أعظمها و أحسنها و اتقنها

And the best of compilations that are based on them (the four hundred sources) are the four books, which have remained the references of the Imamiyyah in all their primary as well as subsidiary matters from the first century up until the present era. They are Al Kafi, al Tahdhib, al Istibsar and Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih. These books are mutawatir and their contents are undisputedly accurate. Al Kafi is the earliest of them, the greatest, best, and the most well-preserved.

 

As for the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, how are they ‘innovation which taints the core and spirit of Islam’? We, along with the entire Muslim Ummah, are prepared to defend Islam and to cleanse it, even from the traces of corruption, if there truly were any. However, what traces of corruption can be found in the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

The author, who paints a picture of himself being a target of oppression, realised the gravity of the subject matter being discussed. Thus, he says:

 

I say this while seeing faces frowning towards me, and emotions unjustifiably drawing away from me. This is bound to happen due to certain hereditary teachings, nurturing, and the environment. More so, when this discussion reveals a reality that was opposed by that which became the norm, i.e. honouring the Sahabah and believing in the integrity of every single one of them, without weighing their actions and speech on the scale set up by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for his Ummah. This is because according to them, suhbah (companionship) alone elevates one to the position of being beyond criticism. Whoever holds onto it cannot be condemned and no kind of disparagement affects him, even if he did what he did. This is certainly an encroachment upon logic and an indifference towards proofs.

 

Our comment: How is it possible that clean souls do not draw away from falsehood? How is it that a level-headed person who stands for the truth is not affected when seeing all of this drivel and fabricated claptrap being attributed to the Ahlul Bayt? Does he want from us that we remain cool and calm? How is it possible that clean souls do not draw away from falsehood? How is it that a level-headed person who stands for the truth is not affected when lies are forged against the Sahabah, who transmitted and safeguarded din? Does he wish that we remain undisturbed?

Further, who are those Sahabah who ‘did what they did’ and were looked upon as innocent by the majority? I have already explained that those whose integrity was disputed from amongst them can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Notwithstanding this, Ibn al ‘Arabi has written in defence of them and debunked the claims of the opposition.

We return to our previous discussion. Does freedom of thought mean that anyone may say anything at any time in any manner that he wishes? Or is freedom of thought, understanding the temperament of the subject and being honoured with intellect specific to a certain group? Or are they simply used as shields to defend a new argument irrespective of the correctness thereof? I do not believe that anyone will agree with the above. Academic thought and understanding the temperament of a subject are two such qualities which are based on strong foundations, which are not affected by emotions and desires. These foundations are general by nature and are not confined to any dogma and specific group. They are based on a methodology that is purely academic and free from inconsistencies.

This study, which was taken up by the ‘oppressed’ writer revealed the hidden agenda in the hearts of the enemies of the Sunnah and antagonists of the Sahabah. It definitely revealed the hatred harboured by them against the Sahabah in general and specifically Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Any person who reads the book of this author will be left doubtless that it is but a link in the chain of discussions penned down by the tails of the colonialists in the lands of Islam.

On page 10-11, he quotes a few ahadith of Abu Hurairah claiming that they infringe upon his intellect, beliefs, and moral law. We will soon mention these ahadith when refuting the section, ‘quality of his ahadith’, Allah willing.

On page 19, under the subject ‘His Name and Lineage’ he says:

 

كان أبو هريرة غامض الحسب، مغمور النسب ، فاختلف الناس في اسمه واسم أبيه إختلافاً كثيراً ، لا يحاط به ولا يضبط في الجاهلية والاسلام وإنما يعرف بكنيته ، وينسب الى دوس

Abu Hurairah was a person of unknown status and obscure lineage; hence, people have differed greatly regarding his name and his father’s name. It cannot be completely comprehended or distinguished, neither from the era of Jahiliyyah nor from the era of Islam. He is only known by his agnomen and he is affiliated with the Daws tribe.

 

Our comment: The author intended to decrease the status of Abu Hurairah and hide his lineage due to it not being well-known before Islam and due to the difference of opinion that people have regarding his name. If there is difference of opinion regarding the name of a person, does that taint his reputation and discredit him of his integrity? It is sufficient for us to know him by his agnomen just as we know Abu Bakr, Abu ‘Ubaidah, Abu Dujanah al Ansari, and Abu al Darda’, all of whom are well known by their agnomens due to which many are not aware of their names.

Further, we have never heard that lineage and social status affects a person’s academic standing. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was known by his agnomen from his childhood and was always referred to by it. So, what harm does it cause him that his agnomen is well-known and there is difference of opinion regarding his name? This difference of opinion is obvious and bound to happen, not only in the case of Abu Hurairah, but in the case of every person who is more well-known by his agnomen from his childhood.

When this is the reality, then why was there an attack on him in which the reader was left with the impression that his name cannot be completely comprehended or distinguished? Especially since there are only three opinions (‘Umair, ‘Abdullah, and ‘Abdur Rahman); as stated by Ibn Hajar. There were others whose names were disputed to a greater degree, yet none counted that as a reason to find fault or criticise them on account of that.[7]

Why was this attitude of ignorance adopted? We cannot fathom that a person who has self-honour, claims knowledge and awareness and is given the title ‘Ayatollah’ by his people stoops to this type of stance in disparaging a famous Sahabi. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was well-known by his contemporaries as well as the generations thereafter. We cannot understand the wisdom behind speech such as that quoted above.

How does this author reply to the ignorance that exists regarding the name of the mother of their awaited Mahdi? They cannot agree upon her name. At times she is said to be Narjis, at times Sawsan, and at times Saqil. Bihar al Anwar reports from Ghiyath ibn Asad:

 

 ولد الخلف المهدي(ع) يوم الجمعة وأمه ريحانة ويقال لها نرجس ويقال صقيل ويقال سوسن

The successor, al Mahdi was born on a Friday. His mother is Rayhanah who is also called Narjis, Sawsan, and Saqil.[8]

 

What will he say regarding those narrators who were famous, the likes of Zurarah ibn A’yan, whose grandfather was a monk? We have no information regarding him. Al Tusi says in his al Fihrist:

 

زرارة بن أعين واسمه عبد ربه ، يكنى أبا الحسن وزرارة لقب له وكان أعين بن سنسن عبداً  رومياً لرجل من بني شيبان تعلم القرآن ثم أعتقه فعرض عليه أن يدخل في نسبه فأبى أعين يفعله وقال له أقرني على ولائي ، وكان سنسن راهباً في بلد الروم

Zurarah ibn A’yan: His name is ‘Abd Rabbih. His agnomen is Abu al Hassan and his title was Zurarah. A’yan ibn Sinsin was a roman slave of a man from the Banu Shayban. He learnt the Qur’an and then set him free. He then offered to add A’yan to his lineage which was declined by A’yan who said, ‘Allow me to remain your freed-slave.’ Sinsin was a monk in the Roman lands.[9]

 

‘Abdul Hussain states on page 21, under the title, ‘His early life, Islam and companionship’:

 

نشأ في مسقط رأسه (اليمن ) وشب ثمة حتى أناف على الثلاثين جاهلياً لا يستضيء بنور بصيرة ، ولا يقدح بزناد فهم ، صعلوكاً قد أخمله الدهر ويتيماً أزرى به الفقر ، يخدم هذا وذاك ، وتي وتلك مؤجراً نفسه بطعام بطنه حافياً عارياً ، راضياً بهذا الهوان  لكن لما أظهر الله أمر نبيه  في المدينة الطيبة بعد بدر وأحد والأحزاب وبعد اللتيا والتي، لم يكن لهذا البائس المسكين حينئذ مذهب عن باب رسول الله  فهاجر اليه بعد فتح خيبر فبايعه على الاسلام وكان ذلك سنة سبع للهجرة باتفاق أهل الأخبار .أما صحبته فقد صرح أبو هريرة في حديث أخرجه بأنها إنما كانت ثلاث سنين

He (referring to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu) grew up in Yemen until he drew close to the age of thirty in the era of ignorance. He was bereft of the light of foresight and he was not granted any understanding as well. He was a loafer who was weakened by time and an orphan who was humiliated due to poverty. He served people randomly as a means of acquiring something to fill his belly. He remained without clothes and shoes, unaffected by this disgrace. However, when Allah made the matter of His Nabi dominant, after Badr, Hunayn, Ahzab, and other expeditions; this hopeless loafer found no better place of refuge than the door of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thus, he migrated to him after the Conquest of Khaybar and accepted Islam. This was in the seventh year after hijrah according to all historians. As for his companionship, he himself narrates that he spent only three years in the company of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

We leave it to the honourable reader to judge and deduce, in the light of the above passage, the inner sentiments of this author, who assumes that he is going to pass a fair judgement on behalf of Islam on the personality of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he will grant him his deserving position.

Do you think any honest person searching for the truth will accept such nonsense regarding Abu Hurairah after seeing the unadulterated truth of the matter which is not polluted by base desires, bigoted inclinations, and sectarianism that has been passed down from generation to generation? We accept academic scales and depth of the sciences which the author proclaims, thus we ask, ‘Since when was ignorance a reason to strip a person of his integrity?’ Does he suppose that everyone in the pre-Islamic times were students and scholars?

Were not many of the Sahabah ignorant and illiterate prior to Islam? Thereafter Allah expanded their bosoms towards iman and established it in their hearts. The result was that they awoke to be the luminaries, scholars, and intellectuals of their era. It is really strange how the author concluded that Abu Hurairah was bereft of understanding! Did he weigh him using the scales of memorisation and intelligence, or is this a display of the inner hatred and a calculated attack? Or is this a new theory which is not backed by any constructive thoughts?

How does this affect Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu if he was not well known across the globe? Was this a trait specific to him alone? Can the same not be said about Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, Sa’d, ‘Abdur Rahman, and majority of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as they were unknown before Islam? Is anyone bold enough to strip all of them as well as others on account of them not being famous prior to Islam?

He claims that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a sa’luk. This cannot be accepted from a vagabond like himself! If he means that which the present-day commoners understand it to be (a person who is lowly, despicable and one who eats off others without their permission) then he has judged him without any basis or proof. Alternatively, if he meant by this word poverty and destitution then there was no need to repeat the meaning, using the word faqr (poverty), for a second time in the same sentence. This is not becoming of one who considers himself worthy of writing a book, as unnecessary lengthening of a book becomes burdensome and is distasteful to the reader. A seasoned author will ensure that his readers are not put through this. Thus, it has become clear that he intended the first meaning which is quite repugnant.

Yes, Abu Hurairah was neither a wealthy nor an aristocratic person. He was one amongst the millions of poor people who lived honourable lives despite their poverty. Since when was poverty a lowly quality or a fault? We have never heard that in any era a person’s integrity was doubted and he was considered lowly simply on the basis of his poverty. This mentality only exists in environments of materialism, where the kids grow up on extravagance and wastage or a society which is overtaken by the habits of aristocracy and all that goes with it.

We did not expect this author to accuse Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of being lowly and despicable on account of his poverty. This is because we can say without any doubt that this is not from that which we have mentioned, which is his declaration in the preface of the book, that he will only judge by that which Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have judged and he will make the truth the object of his research. Hence, we ask, upon what was this judgement based? Is there any verse in the Qur’an or any hadith which highlights poverty as a reason to look down upon someone? This is nothing but an academic methodology that he has invented to suit his whims.

Further, is there any reason to disparage Abu Hurairah for working to earn his livelihood instead of being a burden upon his people? Was there ever a time where being a labourer was considered a defect? The Shia scholars who allege that they are the deputies of the absent Imam live of the perspiration of the hard-working labourers from their followers, in the name of “Khums Ahlul Bayt”, which they take—allegedly—on behalf of the awaited Imam. These scholars, like the author, have seated themselves in such positions which remind us of the popes and monks of the synagogues. The greatest paradox is that it is established from their ‘infallible’ Imams that they exhorted their followers to work for their living.

Here is a narration in which Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah explains to their followers that honour belongs to those who toil and work hard for their sustenance, not those who undeservingly devour the wealth of others in the name of din and live in luxury. Al Kulayni narrates with his isnad from ‘Abdul A’la Mawla Al Salim in al Kafi under the chapter, It is necessary to follow the Imams in making an effort to earn sustenance:

 

استقبلت أبا عبدالله في بعض طرق المدينة في يوم صايف شديد الحر فقلت : جعلت فداك حالك عند الله وقرابتك من رسول الله وأنت تجهد لنفسك في مثل هذا اليوم ؟ فقال : يا عبد الأعلى خرجت في طلب الرزق لاستغني عن مثلك

I met Abu ‘Abdullah on one of the streets of Madinah on a hot summer’s day.

I said to him, “May I be sacrificed for you, your position by Allah (is quite lofty) and you are closely related to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, yet you exert yourself for your sustenance on a day like this?”

He replied, “O ‘Abdul A’la, I have come out in search of my sustenance so that I can be independent from people like you.”[10]

 

He also narrates with his chain from Ayub, the brother of Adim:

 

 كنا جلوساً عند أبي عبدالله(ع) إذ أقبل العلاء بن كامل فجلس قدّام أبي عبدالله فقال : أدعوا الله أن يرزقني في دعة فقال : لا أدعو لك أطلب كما أمرك الله

We were seated with Abu ‘Abdullah when all of a sudden al ‘Ala’ ibn Kamil appeared and sat in front of Abu ‘Abdullah.

He said, “Ask Allah to make me rich instantly.”

Abu ‘Abdullah replied, “No, work for it as Allah commands.”

 

This author sits at home without doing any work and receives the wealth of the Shia and then squanders it according to his fancies. Thereafter he attacks Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to his poverty. Is this not a joke? He also narrates from Abu Hamzah:

 

رأيت أبا الحسن يعمل في أرض له قد استنقعت قدماه في العرق فقلت له : جعلت فداك أين الرجال ؟ فقال : يا علي قد عمل باليد من هو خير مني في أرضه ومن أبي فقلت له: ومن هو ؟ فقال: رسول الله  وأمير المؤمنين وآبائي(ع) كلهم كانوا قد عملوا بأيديهم وهو من عمل النبيين والمرسلين والأوصياء والصالحين

I saw Abu al Hassan toiling on a piece of land that belonged to him. His feet were drenched in perspiration.

I said to him, “May I be sacrificed for you, where are the other men?”

He responded, “O ‘Ali, people who were greater than me and my father worked on their lands.”

I asked, “Who were they?”

He replied, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Amir al Mu’minin, and the rest of my fore-fathers. All of them toiled to earn their sustenance. It is from the acts of the Prophets, Messengers, Successors, and pious.”[11]

 

This raises the question, ‘On the basis of which book or religion do they receive their funds?’ Every second person, such as this collector of Khums, devours the wealth of the commoners among the Shia who have no choice in the matter. In spite of all of this, he discredits Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu for not owning shoes and claims that he was naked and unaffected by this humiliation.

Another question that deserves an answer, ‘Did everyone have shoes and sandals?’ when did owning a sandal become the yardstick of integrity? We, who live in the twentieth century, have never heard of a man’s integrity being disputed due to not owning footwear, nor have we heard that a person is considered a man of integrity on account of him having footwear. There are thousands of people who are bare footed. There is no difference between the bare-footed and the one who has footwear. The differentiating factors are piety and good character, as Allah says:

 

إنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ أَتْـقٰـكُمْ

Verily, the most honoured of you in Allah’s sight is the one with most taqwa (piety).[12]

 

I am astonished by his claim that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was unclothed. I would like to know; how did he arrive at this conclusion? Who narrated it to him? Further, in all that passed, is there anything that indicates that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was lowly and despicable? I have already explained that poverty and destitution do not decrease the value of a human in any way, except according to the standards of those who are blinded by materialism.

Entrance into Jannat does not depend on clothes and a pompous lifestyle. One hadith states:

 

فرب أشعث مدفوع بالأبواب لو أقسم على الله لأبره

There are some who are dishevelled and rejected from the doors (of people), yet if they take an oath in the name of Allah, he will fulfil it.[13]

 

Maybe that author will reject this hadith as it is also narrated by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[14] He has forgotten, or he acts as if he has forgotten that the senior scholars of his creed, the likes of al Sheikh al Saduq, have narrated this hadith with their chains to Abu Hurairah. In al Amali, al Saduq narrates:

 

 عن الحسن بن عبدالله بن سعيد عن عبدالله بن محمد بن عبدالكريم عن محمد بن عبدالرحمن عن عمرو بن أبي بسلمة عن أبي عمر الصنعاني عن العلا بن عبدالرحمن  عن أبيه عن أبي هريرة  أن رسول الله  قال: رب أشعث أغبر ذي طمرين مدقع بالأبواب لو أقسم على الله لأبره

Hassan ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’id — ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Karim —Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur Rahman — ‘Amr ibn Abi Baslamah — Abu ‘Umar al San’ani — al ‘Ala ibn ‘Abdur Rahman — His father — Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu — the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

There are some who are dishevelled and rejected from the doors (of people), yet if they take an oath in the name of Allah, he will fulfil it.[15]

 

What are the views of this author? We have always known that some wealthy, famous and influential people look down upon the poor class. The enemies of the Prophets and those who opposed their missions have always said to them that which the people of Nabi Nuh ‘alayh al Salam said to him:

 

وَمَا نَرٰكَ اتَّبَعَكَ إلاَّ الَّذِيْنَ هُمْ أَرَاذِلُناَ بَادِيَ الرَّأْىَ

We see that only those people follow you who are of low class.[16]

 

It has always been the norm for aristocratic societies to look down upon the poor; belittling them and considering them to be worthless. We were aware of all the above realities. However, we did not expect it from this author. What logic is he using when he criticises Abu Hurairah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu poverty and lack of status? Is it the same logic that rejected the Prophets and Messengers of Allah? If he belongs to those who believe in Allah, His Messengers, and that which was revealed in His book, then Allah mentions the answer that Nabi Nuh ‘alayh al Salam offered to those who belittled his poor Muslim followers:

 

وَمَـا أَنَـا بِـطَارِدِ الَّذِيْنِ أٰمَنُوْا إِنَّـهُم مُّلٰقُوْا رَبّهِمْ وَلَـكِنِّى أَرٰكُمْ قَوْمًا تَجْهَـلُوْنَ

I cannot discard those who have iman. Surely, they will meet their Rabb. However, I deem you to be foolish people.[17]

 

وَلاَ أَقُوْلُ لِلَّذِيْنَ تَـزْدَرِىْ أَعْيُنُكُمْ لَن يُّـؤْتِـيَهُمُ اللّٰهُ خَيْرًا ، اَللّٰهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِىْ أَنْـفُسِهِمْ إِنّىْ إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِيْنَ

I cannot say concerning those whom you look down upon that Allah will never grant them good. Allah knows best what is in their hearts. In that case, I will certainly be of the wrong-doers.[18]

 

If he is adopting the logic of the affluent in Islamic civilisations, then he knows that Islam annuls all materialistic yardsticks by means of which people are judged. There is only one yardstick in Islam by means of which virtue is established, and that is Taqwa. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ أَتْـقٰكُمْ

Verily, the most honoured of you in Allah’s sight is the one with the most taqwa.[19]

 

Indeed, I find no justification for this author and his student’s impudent and humiliating view, which they have publicised, disparaging Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; purely on the basis of his poverty, hunger, and lack of possessions. Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the mu’adhin of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he is the one who ascended the Ka’bah to declare the word of Islam, leaving beneath him the leaders and influential personalities of Makkah on the occasion of its conquest. Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu would grant preference to the likes of Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Suhayb radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and other weak Muslims instead of influential individuals when they would seek permission to visit him.

It is well known that majority of those who accepted Islam in its early stages were from the weak, poor, and slaves. Did that decrease their status in the court of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in any way? Did that discredit them in the light of Islamic history, or were their confrontations in the path of Allah rejected? Did Islamic history not dedicate some of its most glorious pages regarding heroism, honour, sincerity towards the truth and self-sacrifice in the path of Allah, and spreading His din to these weak, poor, and few individuals who were despised by the kuffar of Quraysh and the likes of ‘Abdul Hussain and Abu Rayyah? How can those who were described by the kuffar of Quraysh and the likes of Abu Rayyah as ‘wealthy’, ‘leaders’ and ‘honourable’ ever reach the pedestals of glory occupied by them?[20]

As for the companionship of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which he himself had counted to be three years, it was not an exact figure. Little did he know that towards the end of time a bigoted extremist will count the days of his companionship against him, hunt for his mistakes, and disparage him due to his poverty, counting it to be amongst the causes of inferiority and disgrace. The reality is that the expedition of Khaybar took place in Muharram in the year 7 A.H, i.e. in the beginning of the year and it continued for thirty days. Abu Hurairah entered al Madinah, according to the most famous narration whilst Khaybar was being conquered and he saw the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam immediately after that, i.e. in the first ten days of Safar.

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away on Monday the 13th Rabi’ al Awwal 11 A.H. corresponding to June 633 C.E. Knowing the above allows us to understand that Abu Hurairah was in fact blessed with four years and thirty-three days of the companionship of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu intended to give an exact figure when saying that he spent three years in the companionship of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then this would be in the case of him deducting the time that he spent with al ‘Ala al Hadrami in Bahrain in the year 8 A.H.[21]

We have already stated that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam in the 7 A.H, during the Conquest of Khaybar. However, we now wish to expand by saying that he accepted Islam long before that, but only migrated to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at that time. We prefer this view on the basis of the following two proofs:

1. Ibn Hajar has stated in al Isabah, under the biography of al Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al Dawsi radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he accepted Islam before the hijrah and then returned to his people—the tribe of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu—to call them towards Islam, but none accepted his message except his own father and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. This is clear proof that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam many years before his arrival at the Conquest of Khaybar.

2. Al Bukhari, Muslim, and others report a dispute that took place between Abu Hurairah and Aban ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma at the time of distribution of the spoils of Khaybar. Aban radiya Llahu ‘anhu requested that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam allot a share for him upon which, Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu exclaimed, “Do not grant him a share, O Rasulullah; indeed, he is the killer of Qawqal (al No’man ibn Malik ibn Tha’labah whose agnomen is Qawqal ibn Asram).” This happened during the Battle of Uhud, when Aban was still an idolater.

This incident proves to us that Abu Hurairah was not a new-Muslim when he migrated to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at the Conquest of Khaybar. In fact, he had been following all the battles and incidents, due to which he knew that Aban ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was the killer of ibn Qawqal radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the Day of Uhud.

Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah has adopted the same view. The Islam of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was sincerely for the pleasure of Allah, just like the Islam of the rest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He heard of it for the first time from al Tufayl ibn ‘Amr and immediately began practising upon it. Thereafter, he ardently desired to migrate to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which finally took place whilst the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims were engaged in the Battle of Khaybar.

Most of the narrations state that his arrival was upon the termination of the conquest, while the booty was being distributed. Some narrations—which are more authentic—establish that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded the Muslims to set aside a share for him. Thereafter he remained attached to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the extent that his only occupation after that was to learn the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and relate it to the Muslims, forsaking everything of the world. It is obvious that his residence would be at Suffah, which was a portion of the Masjid reserved for those who detached themselves from everything occupying themselves only with knowledge and jihad. They did not have any wealth or family in Madinah. Some of the greatest Sahabah belonged to Suffah. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would honour them and encourage others to do the same.

This remained the lifestyle of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he remained with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and went with him wherever he went until Allah chose for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to return to Him. This continuous attachment from the year 7 A.H. onwards along with an exceptional zeal for acquiring the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from those who preceded him, as well as the honourable spouses of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, led Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to acquiring a distinguished collection of ahadith, which was unparalleled amongst the Sahabah. This should obviously be the case, as none freed himself to the same extent for the sake of hadith, and none accompanied the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam everywhere that he went (in the manner that Abu Hurarayh radiya Llahu ‘anhu did).

That is the reality of Abu Hurairah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Islam. Al Bukhari and others like al Dulabi (in al Kuna) have narrated the incident of his migration from the people of al Daws to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Madinah and then Khaybar. He would sing the following couplets on his way:

 

فياليلة من طولها وعنائها         على أنها من دارة الكفر نجت

O what a lengthy and tiring night, but it was salvation from the land of Kufr!

 

Further, a slave of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had escaped on route to Madinah. The slave re-appeared once he reached Madinah, so the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, “Here is your slave O Abu Hurairah!” He replied, “He is free for the pleasure of Allah, I set him free out of happiness that he met the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and pledged allegiance to him upon Islam.”

This story is undoubtedly a beautiful example of true love for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sincere embracement of Islam, and showing gratitude to Allah upon His favour of meeting the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and pledging allegiance to him. He freed the only slave that he owned. This definitely leaves the true believers content, satisfied, and sympathetic towards his personality.

The bigots, however, have filled their hearts with hatred for Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Thus, the incident of his acceptance of Islam was only seen by them as another example of a homeless person who was compelled by hunger to hop from city to city in order to fill his belly. Even his devotion and companionship were misinterpreted. They view him as a beggar, whose only purpose in life was to dispel his hunger and feed his greed.

How strange is their view! Would they be happy if they were viewed in the same light? Or if their children, or any of their associates, were viewed in that manner? How is it that they are comfortable with such a view regarding a Sahabi of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? The view of these few antagonists is meaningless, since the remainder of Muslims—with the scholars at the forefront—have always considered him a noble vessel who carried the trust of the knowledge of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[22]

‘Abdul Hussain writes on pages 22-27 under the title, “During the Era of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam” that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was afflicted with poverty and belonged to Suffah, who neither had any food nor any helpers. Did he forget to mention, or did he intentionally ignore the fact that they were the guests of Islam? They dedicated themselves to jihad in the path of Allah and acquiring knowledge. They were also the messengers of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the rest of the Muslims. If he ever needed to convey revelation or gather the Muslims for any other reason, he would send them to call the Muslims to congregate. Most of them belonged to the Muhajirin and amongst them were some of the leading Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would honour them and encourage others to do the same. He would even partake of meals with them on a regular basis.[23]

Thereafter he accuses Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of accompanying the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam simply to fill his stomach. He forgets or intentionally plays ignorant to the fact that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would hardly find low-quality dates by which he could satiate his own hunger? Al No’man ibn Bashir narrates:

 

لقد رأيت نبيكم  وما يجد من الدقل ما يملأ به

Indeed, I had seen your Nabi in such a condition that he did not even have low-quality dates by which he could satiate his hunger.[24]

 

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha narrates:

 

ما شبع آل محمد  من خبز شعير يومين متتابعين حتى قبض رسول الله

The household of Muhammad would not eat barley bread to their fill for two consecutive days until the demise of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[25]

 

Did he forget that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away and met with his Rabb whilst his shield was kept as guarantee (of payment) by a Jew as narrated by some? If this Ayatollah forgot about it, then let him be reminded now so that he does not repeat this mistake. If on the other hand, he is practising Taqiyyah, then the calamity is beyond our control! Their most reliable author, al Kulayni, narrates in his al Kafi from Abu ‘Ubaidah who narrates from Abu Jafar:

 

ما كان شيء أحب إلى رسول الله من أن يظل جائعاً خائفاً في الله

There was nothing more beloved to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then to remain hungry and fearful for the pleasure of Allah.[26]

 

Al Tuwaysirkani (Shia) narrates many a narration in his book[27] on the virtues of hunger. I will suffice on a few of them. He says:

 

I say, it is understood from this hadith and others of its kind that the harms of filling the belly with food and drink is worse for the din of a man than a container which is filled with alcohol, unlawful wealth, and other substances similar to them. Similarly, it is established from his previous statement that there is nothing more harmful for the heart of a believer than excessive eating. The degree to which it corrupts it is unmatched. His statement also included the following, “Jibril said to me: ‘Indeed my Rabb says to you, I take an oath on you, O Muhammad, I have never despised a filled container besides a filled stomach and that the furthest of the creation from Allah is the one who fills his belly and that the furthest that a person is from Allah is when his concern is his belly and his private part.”’[28]

Nabi Musa ‘alayh al Salam said, “O my Rabb I am really hungry!” Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala replied, “I am well aware of your hunger!” Nabi Musa responded, “O my Rabb, feed me!” He was given the answer, “Where do you wish to go?”

A man said to Ibn Sirin, “Teach me worship?” Ibn Sirin replied, “How do you eat?” He replied, “I eat to my fill.” Ibn Sirin replied, “That is the way of the animals; you should first learn the etiquettes of eating and then learn the etiquettes of worship!”

He also said, “Undoubtedly the closest people to Allah on the day of Qiyamah will be those who underwent the longest periods of hunger, thirst, and grief in the world. They are the pious ones who are hidden. When they are present, they are not recognised and when they are absent, they are not missed.”

Al Sadiq said, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never ate bread of wheat and he did not eat barley bread to his fill.”[29]

Another hadith mentions that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, “By the oath of Allah, I have not tasted food for the past three days.” He would tie stones to his belly due to severe hunger. At times it would become so severe that he would have to lie on his back and he would not have the strength to stand for salah.[30]

One narration states that a Sahabi entered upon the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whilst he had a stone tied to his stomach due to hunger and was laying on his back, unable to sit up. He was saying, “O Allah, I seek your protection from such sleep which is enhanced by a comfortable bed and distracts me from your worship.”[31]

 

Our comment: Hunger was not a difficulty that was confined to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rather, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself endured great hunger. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would also endure hunger to the degree that he once had to borrow a dinar to dispel his hunger. In fact, even his children, Hassan and Hussain, as well as his wife, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, would endure hunger. Thus, the criticism of this dishonest author and his mockery is not confined to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is directed to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the entire Ahlul Bayt as well. Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma narrates:

 

أن رسول الله توفي ودرعه مرهونة عند رجل من اليهود على ثلاثين صاعاً من شعير، أخذها رزقا لعياله

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away whilst his armour was given as guarantee (of payment) to a Jew for thirty sa’[32] of barley which he took to feed his dependants.[33]

 

Since we are discussing this subject, let us also add those narrations in which Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha described her condition to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

وفي رواية: قالت فاطمة (ع) : إنك زوجتني فقيراً لا مال له …

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha said, “You have married me to one who is poor, he has no wealth.”[34]

 

Another narration confirms the same:

 

وفي رواية: قالت فاطمة (ع) : إنك زوجتني فقيراً لا مال له …

Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha said, “You have married me to one who is poor, he has no wealth.”[35]

 

A third narration states:

 

قال : ما يبكيك يا بنتي؟ قالت: قلة الطعام وكثرة الهم وشدة السقم، قال لها: أما والله ما عند الله خيراً لك مما ترغبين إليه، يا فاطمة أما ترضين أن زوجتك خير أمتي و أقدمهم سلما وأكثرهم علما و أفضلهم حلما

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “What brings tears to your eyes, O my beloved daughter?”

She answered, “Insufficient food, excessive grief and severe illness.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Listen well! There is nothing better in the treasures of Allah for you than what you have. O Fatimah! Does it not bring joy to you that your husband is the best of my Ummah, the first Muslim, the most knowledgeable and the one with the greatest forbearance?”

 

We will suffice upon the following disturbing narration which adequately describes to us the hunger of Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain. Al Qummi narrates in his book Amali al Saduq:

 

… وعمدوا إلى ما كان الخوان فاتوه وباتوا جياعاً وأصبحوا مفطرين عندهم شيئ، قال شعيب في حديثه وأقبل علي بالحسن والحسين (ع) نحو رسول الله وهما يرتعشان كالفراخ من شدة الجوع،  فلما بصربهم النبي قال يا أبا الحسن  شد ما يسوءني  ما أرى بكم ، انطلق إلى ابنتي فاطمة فانطلقوا إليهما وهي في محرابها قد لصق بطنها بظهرها من شدة الجوع .

They desired that which the tablecloth lacked and spent the night hungry. They awoke the next morning searching for something to eat. Shu’ayb narrates: “‘Ali took Hassan and Hussain to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whilst they were shivering like nestlings due to severe hunger.

As soon as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw them he said, “It is quite distressing for me to see you people in this condition. Let us go to my daughter Fatimah.”

Thus, they went to her and found her in her cubicle; her stomach had drawn close to her back due to severe hunger.[36]

 

All of this is sufficient proof to exonerate the personality of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and establish his pure nature as well as his excellent mannerisms. However, hatred has already found its place in the heart of ‘Abdul Hussain, over and above his ignorance regarding the narrations of the Ahlul Bayt. Therefore, he attempted to paint a picture for his readers of a penniless and homeless pauper who would beg from the Sahabah and accompany the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only to fill his belly. He did not acknowledge his hunger for knowledge and his disinclination from the worldly possessions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

He created the impression that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a poor person, dying out of hunger, who would collect the left-overs from everybody’s table-cloths and desired nothing more than this worldly life. He ignored the other narrations which explain the real reason of his companionship of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his abstinence from this world, and his total dedication towards serving the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to acquire knowledge. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once asked him, “Will you not ask me for a portion of these spoils as your companions do?” Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “I ask you to teach me that which Allah has taught you.”

‘Abdul Hussain then mentions that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu praised Jafar ibn Abi Talib for being magnanimous towards the poor, honouring them, and sympathising with them. However, the author believes that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu preferred Jafar over everyone else after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on account of Jafar feeding him. This claim contains a number of fabrications, lies, and misguidance. His praise for Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was due to the fact that whenever he was asked to be hospitable, he would not reply except by taking him to his home.

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “He would take us and feed us all that was in his house to the extent that sometimes he would give us a fat container which we would tear and lick all that was in it.”[37] This is the reason why Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said regarding him that he was the best of people towards the poor. This is a fact. The magnanimity, generosity, and love that Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had for the poor was well-known to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companions. This is why the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave him the agnomen Abu al Masakin (father of the poor). Is Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu still worthy of criticism for praising Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, even after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam blesses him with the agnomen Abu al Masakin?

The narration in which Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said, “None who wore a sandal, mounted a conveyance, or walked upon sand is nobler than Jafar ibn Abi Talib, except the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,” should be understood in this manner. He was speaking about those who loved the poor and were compassionate towards the destitute. He did not intend to single out the most virtuous companion of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in a general sense. Thus, the claim of this author and his like, such as his student Abu Rayyah, that he deemed him more virtuous than Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and the rest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is baseless.

Our explanation is supported by the comments of Hafiz Ibn Hajar. After quoting the statement of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he says, “He was the best of people to the poor.” This detail ‘to the poor’ explains the general narration which is narrated by ‘Ikrimah from Abu Hurairah who said, “None who wore a sandal…”

‘Abdul Hussain says on pg. 28 under the title, “During the era of the two khulafaʼ”:

We have read up the narrations of the two khulafaʼ and covered all that took place during their eras. We found no mention of Abu Hurairah besides an incident which mentions that ‘Umar sent him as a governor to Bahrain in the year 21 A.H. He dismissed him in the year 23 A.H and replaced him with ‘Uthman ibn Abi al ‘As al Thaqafi. He did not just dismiss him, rather he also retrieved from him, on behalf of the Bayt al Mal, ten thousand which he claimed that he stole from the wealth of Allah in a well-known judgement. That which Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi has mentioned will satisfy you (under the chapter: Resolution and determination needed by a ruler, in the beginning of the first part of his al Iqd al Farid). He says whilst mentioning ‘Umar:

ثم دعا أبا هريرة فقال له : علمت إني استعملتك على البحرين وأنت بلا نعلين ثم بلغني إنك ابتعت أفراساً بألف دينار وستماية دينار قال كانت لنا أفراس تناتجت وعطايا تلاحقت ، قال : حسبت لك رزقك ومؤنتك وهذا فضل فأده قال : ليس لك ذلك قال : بلى والله وأوجع ظهرك ثم قام اليه بالدرة فضربه حتى أدماه ثم قال : ائت بها قال : احتسبها عند الله، قال : ذلك لو أخذتها من حلال وأديتها طائعا ، أجئت من أقصى حجر البحرين يجبي الناس لك لا لله ولا للمسلمين ؟ ما رجعت بك أميمة إلا لرعية الحمر

Thereafter, he summoned Abu Hurairah and said to him, “I know that I appointed you the governor of Bahrain when you did not even have shoes. Later, it reached me that you sold horses to the value of one thousand six hundred dinars (gold coins)?” Abu Hurairah responded, “We had horses which reproduced and many gifts which were added together.” ‘Umar said, “I calculated your sustenance and labour. This is an added benefit.” He replied, “You cannot do that!” ‘Umar then said, “Most definitely I can, and I will whip your back!” He then went towards him and whipped him until he bled. Further he demanded, “Go bring them!” Abu Hurairah said, “I seek the reward of it by Allah.” ‘Umar replied, “That would have been possible if you earned it lawfully and handed it in happily. Have you come from the furthest rock of Bahrain with the taxes of people for yourself, without giving it to Allah or the people? Umaymah will not return[38] with you except that you will be taking care of asses.”

Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi said:

In the hadith of Abu Hurairah, “When ‘Umar dismissed me from the governance of Bahrain, he said to me, ‘O Enemy of Allah and His Book, you usurped the wealth of Allah?’ I replied, ‘Neither am I the enemy of Allah nor am I the enemy of His Book. Rather I am the enemy of the one who has enmity for you. I have not usurped the wealth of Allah.’ He asked, ‘Then where did you get ten thousand from?’ I replied, ‘Horses who reproduced, gifts which were collected, and shares which kept coming my way.’ He then took it from me. Later, after I performed Salat al Fajr, I sought forgiveness on behalf of Amir al Mu’minin.’”

Ibn Abi al Hadid also narrated it when discussing a portion of the life of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in part three of Sharh Nahj al Balaghah. Ibn Sa’d has also narrated it under the biography of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his Tabaqat al Kubra from Muhammad ibn Sirin who narrates from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Umar said to me, ‘O enemy of Allah and His Book, have you stolen the wealth of Allah…’’’

Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani has also mentioned it under the biography of Abu Hurairah in his al Isabah, but he altered it out of compassion for Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This alteration twisted the reality that is established in accordance with the consensus of the people of knowledge. He did not realise the negative implications that are created as a result of this alteration regarding the one who struck his back and made him bleed, dismissed him, and took his wealth.

 

Our comment: He claims that he went through the narrations regarding the first two khulafaʼ and covered all that occurred during the two eras? And he found no mention of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu! This is a baseless claim and assertion. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu participated in the wars against the renegades in the era of Abu Bakr. Imam Ahmed narrates that which transpired between Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The narration goes on to state:

 

كانت الردة قال عمر لأبي بكر تقاتلهم وقد سمعت رسول الله يقول كذا وكذا ؟ قال فقال أبوبكر: والله لا أفرق بين الصلاة والزكاة ، ولأقاتلن من فرق بينهما ، قال – أبو هريرة  – فقاتلنا معه فرأينا ذلك رشداً

When the people turned renegade, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Will you kill them even though I have heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say such and such…?”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded, “By the oath of Allah, I will not differentiate between salah and zakat, and I will fight those who differentiate between them.”

Thus, we fought along with him and we deemed that to be a guided step.[39]

 

He would cherish the view of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he praised him for it. Al Bayhaqi and Ibn ‘Asakir have narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

والذي لا إله إلاّ هو … لولا أن أبابكر استخلف ما عبدالله تعالى ، ثم قال الثانية ، ثم قال الثالثة ، فقيل له : مه يا أباهريرة ! فقال: إن رسول الله  وجه أسامة بن زيد في سبعمائة إلى الشام ، فلما تزل بذي خشب قبض النبي ، وارتدت العرب حول المدينة، واجتمع إليه أصحاب رسول الله فقالوا : ردّ هؤلاء ، توجه هؤلاء إلى الروم وقد ارتدت العرب حول المدينة ؟ فقال: والذي لا إله إلا هو لو جرت الكلاب بأوجل  أزواج النبي ما رددت جيشا وجهه رسول الله، ولا حللت لواء عقده ، فوجه أسامة ، فجعل لا يمر بقبيل يريدون  الارتداد إلا قالوا :  لولا أن هؤلاء قوة ما خرج مثل هؤلاء من عندهم ، ولكن ندعهم حتى يلقوا الروم ، فلقوهم فهزموهم وقتلوهم ، ورجعوا سالمين فثبتوا على الاسلام

By the oath of the one besides whom there is no deity… if Abu Bakr was not appointed khalifah, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala would not have been worshipped. He repeated himself twice more so someone said to him, “Enough O Abu Hurairah!”

He replied, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam despatched Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhuma with an army of seven hundred towards Syria. As soon as they dismounted at Dhi Khashab, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away. The Arabs around Madinah then turned apostate. The Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam all came to him and said, ‘Call back that army! Are you going to send them to Rome even though the Arabs around Madinah have apostatised?’

He replied, ‘By the oath of the one besides whom there is no deity, if the wild dogs have to walk with the flesh of the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam I will not call back an army that was despatched by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and I will not untie a flag that was tied by him.’

Thus, he sent out Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This army did not pass any tribe who were on the verge of becoming apostate except that they said, ‘If these people did not have strength, an army of this size would not have been sent out by them. We will leave them to face the Romans.’

They went on to defeat the Romans, killed a large number of them, and returned safely. Upon seeing this, those tribes remained firm upon Islam.”[40]

 

During the era of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he remained occupied with acquiring and imparting knowledge. He even accompanied Amir al Mu’minin on Hajj when he narrated to him the hadith on wind when it became severe upon them. None besides him recalled it at that moment.[41] Similarly, he participated in the Battle of Yarmuk as mentioned previously. Thus, the narrations regarding Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the era of the two khalifas were not obscure. However, this author did not read them as he claimed to have done.

As for his governorship of Bahrain, which was narrated by Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi without an isnad and thereafter used as proof by him, he only accepted this narration because it suited his fancies. He ignored the narration immediately after this one, as it did not mention that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu beat up Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In fact, that narration mentions that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when the latter said him, “O enemy of Allah, you have devoured the wealth of Allah,” by saying, “I am not the enemy of Allah and His Book. Instead, I am the enemy of those who oppose them…”

The author has taken support from a narration that has no chain. If it had a chain, he would have at least afforded the opportunity of deducing its authenticity. The second narration—which he omitted—appears in many books (Hilyat al Auliya’, Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, Tarikh al Islam, al Isabah, and ‘Uyun al Akhbar) with authentic chains of narration. I have already mentioned all of this under his biography. The narration used by this author will have to be rejected as it contradicts a narration that is more authentic than it. If for argument’s sake, we were to accept its authenticity, then the narration following it does not mention that he was lashed by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Instead, it has the reply of Abu Hurairah to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, the explanation of how he acquired his wealth, as well as a refutation of the allegation levelled against him.

This narration corrects the errors and clarifies the previous narration as it quotes Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said, “Thereafter he took the dirhams from me, so I sought forgiveness on behalf of Amir al Mu’minin after I performed the Salat al Fajr.” Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu seeks forgiveness on behalf of Amir al Mu’minin who took away half of his wealth. This is despite him being fully aware that whatever was taken by Amir al Mu’minin was his rightful share and gifts that he had received. The point worthy of most attention at this juncture is that he did not hold any grudge against ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu for transferring his wealth to the Bayt al Mal; rather he simply considered himself wronged and sought forgiveness for his Amir.

All of the above will only apply in the case of that narration being proven correct. This is because the other narration states:

 

قال: فمن أين هي لك ؟ قلت: خيل نتجت، وغلة رقيق ل ، وأعطية تتابعت عليّ، فنظروا ، فوجدوه كما قال

‘Umar asked, “How did you acquire this?”

I replied, “Horses which reproduced the income of my slave and gifts that were sent to me, one after the other.”

Thereafter they calculated it and found it as he explained.[42]

 

According to some narrations, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu took from him twelve thousand.[43] I prefer the narration that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu divided his wealth and gave him half, just as he had done with many of his governors. However, he did not lash him. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi reports:

 

ولما عزل عمر أبا موسى الأشعري عن البصرة وشاطره ماله ، وعزل أباهريرة عن البحرين وشاطره ماله ، وعزل الحارث بن كعب بن وهب وشاطره ماله .. ودعا أبو موسى .. ثم دعا أبا هريرة ..

When ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu dismissed Abu Musa al Ash’ari and took away half of his wealth and he dismissed Abu Hurairah from Bahrain and took away half of his wealth and he dismissed Harith ibn Ka’b ibn Wahb and took away half of his wealth… he called Abu Musa… then he called Abu Hurairah…[44]

 

It is stated in Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d:

 

وقاسم عمر سعد بن أبي وقاص ماله حين عزله عن العراق

‘Umar divided the wealth of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas when he dismissed him from governorship of Iraq.[45]

 

Thus, we see that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not suspect Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, nor was he the only one whose wealth was divided. Rather, that was his policy with all his governors, so that no person begins to entertain hopes in the wealth of Allah and he remains wary of doubtful sources of wealth. His dismissal of governors was not on the basis of doubts. Instead, it was a result of his political strategy and sincere concern for the matters of the Muslims. It is reported that when he dismissed Mughirah ibn Shu’bah radiya Llahu ‘anhu through a letter that was sent with Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

أعن عجز أم خيانة يا أمير المؤمنين ؟ قال: لا عن واحدة منهما ، ولكني أكره أن أحمل عقلك على العامة

Mughirah asked, “Is it due to my inability or some corruption?”

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “None of the two. The reality is that I do not wish that your intelligence be utilised upon the masses.”[46]

 

The letter of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu to ‘Ala’ al Hadrami radiya Llahu ‘anhu confirms his policy, which he adopted towards all his governors. This letter states:

 

سر إلى عتبة بن غزوان – كان والياً على البصرة – فقد وليتك علمه ، وأعلم أنك تقدم على رجل من المهاجرين الأولين الذي سبقت لهم من الله الحسنى لم أعزله الا يكون عفيفاً صليباً شديد البأس ، ولكن ظننت أنك أعنى عن المسلمين في تلك الناحية منه ، فاعرف له حقه ، وقد وليت قبلك رجلا فمات قبل أن يصل، فإن يرد الله أن تلى وليت ، وإن يرد الله أن يلى عتبة فالخلق والأمر لله رب العالمين

Go to ‘Utbah ibn Ghazwan (who was the governor of Basrah at that time) as I have appointed you to his post. Know well that you are going to a man from amongst the very first Muhajirin, those whom goodness from Allah has already been decreed for them. I did not dismiss him due to some weakness. He is an unblemished, firm and extraordinary person; however, I am of the opinion that you will be more beneficial for the Muslims in that domain. Therefore, accept his rights. I appointed another person before you but he passed away before reaching there. If Allah wishes that you should be the governor then you will govern and if Allah wishes that ‘Utbah should remain the governor then the entire creation and matters are in the control of Allah.[47]

 

As for his claim that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu lashed him with a whip; we challenge him and all those who are entertain such boldness against Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to bring forward an unambiguous and reliable historic record from an authentic book to prove their claim. Neither should it be one of those books of fables which narrate all types of fabricated tales, nor should it be one of the books of the Shia which are well-known for their enmity towards Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and their accusations against him.

These books lack authenticity and have no value according to all those who have the faintest idea of academics. These bigots will exhaust themselves trying to find such a narration, but we can guarantee that it will never be found. Allah has refused that they should find it. If that narration appears in a book like ‘Uyun al Akhbar, Bada’i’ al Zuhur, al Iqd al Farid or from narrators such as Ibn Abi al Hadid and al Iskafi or accused persons such as al Nizam and company… then these books, narrators and critics have no link with knowledge and scholars!

Ibn Abi al Hadid is from those who call towards I’tizal[48] and Rafd and he participated in conspiracies against Islam. His condition is well-known. Al Iskafi is also among those who call towards I’tizal and Rafd. He lived in the third century and there is no chain that reaches him. This type of pointless narrations is to be found in abundance in the books of the Rafidah Nasibiyyah[49] and others. They disparage Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhum among others. Only those who have no understanding will cling to such narrations.

Ibn Abi al Hadid quoted some criticism regarding Abu Hurairah and others radiya Llahu ‘anhum from al Iskafi. Included in that, was a narration regarding a joke of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He then says:

 

قلت قد ذكر ابن قتيبة هذا كله في كتاب المعارف في ترجمة أبي هريرة وقوله فيه حجة لأنه غير متهم عليه

I say, Ibn Qutaybah has mentioned all of this in Kitab al Ma’arif under the biography of Abu Hurairah. His word is proof as he was never accused.

 

This is an indication towards the fact that al Iskafi had been suspected. Just as we do not suspect Ibn Qutaybah, similarly we do not suspect al Iskafi of concocting lies. However, we do suspect him of grabbing and holding onto lies that were fabricated by his Rafidah and Mu’tazilah companions. The people of knowledge do not accept narrations with incomplete chains even though they may be narrated by the greatest Imams of hadith. If that is the case, then what do you think of that which Ibn Abi al Hadid narrates from al Iskafi who narrates from someone who existed before him[50], who is not even reliable[51].

Thus, it is inconceivable that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu lashed Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as ‘Umar was aware of his position and status. As far as the alleged statement of ‘Umar to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “I made you the governor of Bahrain when you had no shoes,” this is not in conformity with reality. All the Muslims were of a decent financial standing during the reign of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The neighbouring countries were conquered and as a result abundant spoils of war and wealth poured into the Muslim lands. Added to that, none of the authentic narrations mention any of that.

Further, there is proof that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not suspect Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and also proves his uprightness and trustworthiness. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu went back to Abu Hurairah and asked him if he could appoint him as the governor of Bahrain for a second time to which he refused. This portion appears at the end of the narration quoted by the author; however, he discarded it so that the falsity of his claim does not become apparent and he may go ahead with his accusation against Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The narration also states:

 

فقال لي بعد ذلك : ألا تعمل ؟ قلت: لا . قال: قد عمل من هو خير منك يوسف صلوات الله عليه . قلت: يوسف نبي وأنا ابن أميمة ، أخشى أن يشتم عرضي ، وويضرب ظهري وينزع مالي

He said to me after that, “Will you not be a governor?”

I replied: “No.”

He said: “One who is better than you became a governor, Yusuf ‘alayh al Salam.”

I said, “Yusuf was a Nabi. I am the son of Umaymah, I fear that my honour will not be upheld, my back will be lashed, and my wealth will be taken.”[52]

 

This portion appears at the end of the same narration that the ‘trustworthy’ author quoted. However, he chose to omit it due to his hatred for the ‘narrator of Islam’. This portion also highlights that ‘Umar did not lash Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is because if it is true that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu lashed him, then he would have said, “I will not return, as my honour was tainted and my back was lashed.” In this way, Abu Hurairah has been proven innocent from the allegations which the author invented.[53]

‘Abdul Hussain states under the chapter: during the reign of ‘Uthman (page 30):

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu became loyal to the progeny of Abu al ‘As and the entire Banu Umayyah during the era of ‘Uthman. He joined up with Marwan and ingratiated with Ibn Abi Mu’ayt, which earned him a position. He was greatly elevated after the day of al Dar (the day ‘Uthman was martyred), when ‘Uthman’s house was surrounded by the enemy, and he remained in the house. These acts earned him fame after being downtrodden and raised his status in general. This provided him with a perfect opportunity to protect the house and score points with the progeny of Abu al ‘As, as well as the other Umayyads, their supporters and allies.

Thus, they removed his clothes of shame and replaced it with excessive mention of him. This is despite the fact that they were fully aware that he only handed himself over to those who were surrounding the house and he only entered the house after the Khalifah commanded his men not to retaliate in any way and he ordered that they should maintain peace. This command was issued purely on the basis of his own safety and the safety of his companions.

Abu Hurairah was fully cognisant that the rebels were only targeting ‘Uthman and Marwan. This is what prompted him to act brave and join those who were under siege. Whatever else took place is irrelevant. The crux of the tale is that he exploited this opportunity which then turned out to be an extremely profitable deal struck by him. From this day onwards, the Banu Umayyah and their allies held firmly onto his discourses and narrations. They left no stone unturned in spreading his narrations and using them as proof. He would then concoct for them any narration that they desired. Among his narrations for them is that he narrated that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

إن لكل نبي خليلا من أمته وان خليلي عثمان

Every nabi had a bosom friend from his Ummah and my bosom friend is ‘Uthman.

 

‘Abdul Hussain then comments in the footnotes:

 

The people of knowledge are unanimous upon the falsity of this hadith. However, the friends of Abu Hurairah have dumped the blame upon Ishaq ibn Naji’ al Malti, who is one of the narrators in the chain of transmission to Abu Hurairah. Al Dhahabi has narrated it under the biography of Ishaq in Mizan al I’tidal, expressing certainty regarding its falsity.

He also narrates that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “‘Uthman is extremely modest, even the angels are modest before him,” and “Every Nabi has a companion in Jannat and my companion in Jannat is ‘Uthman.”

 

Thereafter he comments:

 

This hadith is false according to everyone. The friends of Abu Hurairah attribute the forgery to ‘Uthman ibn Khalid ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Walid ibn Uthman ibn ‘Affan, one of those who appear in the unbroken chain leading up to Abu Hurairah. Al Dhahabi has mentioned it under the biography of the above-mentioned ‘Uthman ibn Khalid in Mizan al I’tidal and counted it amongst his unauthentic narrations.

 

They have also narrated the following from him with an unbroken chain:

 

أتاني جبريل فقال لي : إن الله يأمرك أن تزوج عثمان أم كلثوم على مثل صداق رقية

Jibril came to me and said, “Allah commands you to marry Umm Kulthum to ‘Uthman in lieu of the same amount of dowry to Ruqayyah.”

 

He adds his footnote:

 

Ibn Mandah narrated this and said, “A narration that is gharib (only narrated by one person at some point). Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman ibn Khalid al ‘Uthmani is the only one who narrates it. I say that Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani has also narrated this hadith at the end of the biography of Sayyidah Umm Kulthum at the end of the fourth part. He stated that it is gharib due to it being narrated by Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman ibn Khalid al ‘Uthmani alone. One may refer to it if he so wishes.

 

Our comment:

The innovators kept up their habit—which was exposed along the course of this book—by quoting fabricated and unauthentic ahadith which were wrongfully attributed to Abu Hurairah by those who falsely attributed statements to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Further, they used this to prove the dishonesty of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and accuse him of being responsible for those ahadith. All of this was done even though these narrations were taken by them from books which were compiled specifically with the purpose of refuting them and explaining their weak status.

They narrated these ahadith and created an impression in the mind of the reader that these are authentically transmitted from Abu Hurairah, overlooking the refutation that was mentioned along with it. However, the strange and new aspect of this legend, and indeed he is a legend in the field of deceit, is that he insists upon attributing a narration to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu even though it was proven to be forged in his name. Have you ever seen this kind of prejudice?

The greatest of scholars on the sciences of hadith scrutiny have exposed and pinpointed these narrators to be unreliable and liars, yet the enemy of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu finds no other way out except regarding them to be truthful and regarding the liar to be Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. By the oath of Allah, we have not heard of this even from the Jewish orientalists. The height of what they have done was creating the impression amongst people that certain fabricated ahadith were deemed authentic. Reflect upon the enmity displayed by this author!

We have never seen up until now, that a person narrates these fabricated and unauthentic ahadith, highlighting their lack of authenticity and yet still chooses to be dim-witted by accusing Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of lying and attributing false narrations to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In fact, he openly contradicts himself in a very unique manner, the like of which was never heard of before. He narrates ahadith which were falsely attributed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the exact manner as he narrated ahadith regarding ‘Uthman from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu which are found in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. He classifies these narrations—regarding the virtues of ‘Ali—as authentic despite them being fabrications, whilst he accuses Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of lying simply because those narrations are regarding the virtues of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Yet he authenticated such narrations which the scholars have classified as fabrications. Have you ever seen a ‘legend of the time’ such as this one? Indeed, he is a legend of lies and deceit!

The author narrates these ahadith and adds his footnote that the scholars of hadith criticism have regarded it to be a fabrication. Despite this he shamelessly accuses Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of lying. We will cite one example of this kind. The author says:

 

The Banu Umayyah and their allies held firmly onto his discourses and narrations. They left no stone unturned in spreading his narrations and using them as proof. He would then concoct for them any narration that they desired. Among his narrations for them is that he said the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

إن لكل نبي خليلا من أمته وان خليلي عثمان

Every nabi had a bosom friend from his Ummah and my bosom friend is ‘Uthman.

 

‘Abdul Hussain then comments in the footnotes:

 

The people of knowledge are unanimous upon the falsity of this hadith. However, the friends of Abu Hurairah have dumped the blame upon Ishaq ibn Naji’ al Malti, who is one of the narrators in the chain of transmission to Abu Hurairah. Al Dhahabi has narrated it under the biography of Ishaq in Mizan al I’tidal, expressing certainty regarding its falsity.

 

Over and above this allegation, this ‘genius’ has invented a new method of authenticating ahadith by saying, “The scholars are unanimous regarding the falsity of this hadith”. We have no idea as to who is he referring to when he says “the scholars”. It is perhaps those who have the same views as him like Ibn Abi al Hadid, al Iskafi, al Nizam, and their likes. The scales of true scholars would produce the same reading and conclusion as stated by al Dhahabi in the foreword of his Mizan:

 

أما الصحابة فلا أذكرهم لجلالتهم في هذا المصنف فإن الضعف جاء من جهة الرواة عنهم

As for the Sahabah, their glory does not permit that I should include them in this compilation. Weakness in transmission can only be traced to the narrators after them.[54]

 

O esteemed genius, this is the scale of the scholars! What do we now do with the author and his scale as we have not come across this type of methodology in deducing authenticity? None, as far as we know, have ever followed this methodology irrespective of whether they belonged to the Ahlus Sunnah or the Shia. The only ones who have adopted this methodology are those who possess a special magnifying glass which is used exclusively by them in their academic research and discussions. It is possible that this author owns one of them in his library by which he is able to pass verdicts regarding the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in accordance to his whims and fancies.

The author has admitted that this hadith is a forgery against Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as Hafiz al Dhahabi stated under the biography of Ishaq. Despite this, he still accuses Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of fabricating this hadith. This is the pinnacle of dim-wittedness. How can he be considered guilty if others have forged ahadith in his name, especially since al Dhahabi stated in the forward of his book Mizan that he will not criticise any of the Sahabah as discrepancies had only set in after them?

Is it justifiable to say, on the basis of the fabricated ahadith which he quoted on page 32 of his book, that ‘Ali (may Allah honour him) was a liar? Is it permissible for us to apply his methodology to the narrations attributed by the Shia to ‘Ali, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, Jafar ibn Muhammad and others? Their scholar, al Nuri narrates one thousand eight hundred narrations from the Imams to prove that adulteration took place in the Qur’an. Similarly, the best of their narrators, al Kulayni and al Kashshi have narrated many traditions to prove that with the exception of three Sahabah, the rest turned apostate. There are many other narrations of this type. Is it permissible for us to quote all these ahadith which have been fabricated in the names of these pure Imams and then claim, on the basis of this thoughtless methodology that all of them (‘Ali, al Sadiq, al Baqir) are great liars? (Allah forbid!)

The Ahlus Sunnah have not done this as this was never part of their methodology. The approach has been a consistent one. Thus, regarding those ahadith which are narrated exclusively by the Shia from the Imams and no other group of Muslims have heard such narrations—such as their view on Nass[55], Bada[56], Raj’ah[57], Mut’ah[58] etc.—they are considered the fabrications of those who claim to narrate from them, such as the likes of Abu Basir, Hisham, Shaitan al Taq etc. The Ahlus Sunnah do not accuse any of the Imams, be it al Baqir, al Sadiq, al Rida or any of the others of being liars and fabricators.

As far as the narrations on adulteration of the Qur’an are concerned, we hold al Qummi responsible for their forgery. The same applies to his student al Kulayni who asserts that all the narrations of his book al Kafi are authentic. We suspect him of falsely attributing these narrations to al Sadiq and al Baqir. Al Kashshi narrates under the biography of al Mughirah ibn Sa’id with his isnad from Yunus:

 

وافيت العراق فوجدت بها قطعة من أصحاب أبي جعفر (ع) ووجدت أصحاب أبي عبدالله(ع) متوافرين فسمعت منهم وأخذت كتبهم فعرضتها من بعد على أبي الحسن الرضا(ع) فأنكر منها أحاديث كثيرة أن يكون من أحاديث أبي عبد الله(ع) وقال لي: أن أبا الخطاب كذب على أبي عبد الله(ع) لعن الله أبي الخطاب وكذلك أصحاب أبي الخطاب يدسون هذه الأحاديث إلى يومنا هذا في كتب أصحاب أبي عبد الله(ع) فلا تقبلوا علينا خلاف  القرأن

I arrived at Iraq where I found a small group of the companions of Abu Jafar. However, there were many companions of Abu ‘Abdullah, so I heard narrations from them and took their books. Thereafter I presented them to Abu al Hassan al Rida who found it difficult to believe that many of those narrations were indeed the words of Abu ‘Abdullah. He said to me, “Undoubtedly Abu al Khattab lied in the name of Abu ‘Abdullah. May the curse of Allah be upon Abu al Khattab and his companions. Up until today, they continue to insert these narrations into the books of the companions of Abu ‘Abdullah. Do not accept anything from us if it does not conform to the Qur’an.”[59] 

 

The case of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was very similar. Unreliable narrators, liars, and fabricators have attributed baseless narrations or narrations from the Jews and Christians to him. Can he be held responsible for any of this? Is he any different in this sense to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who was aggrieved in this manner by means of Musaylamah the great liar, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was aggrieved by means Harith al A’war the propagandist[60] and ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, ‘Ali ibn al Hussain who was tested by means of the blasphemous Mukhtar, Muhammad al Baqir who was tested by Mughirah ibn Sa’id or Jafar al Sadiq who was tested in this regard by means of Abu al Khattab?

Al Kashshi narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan:

 

قال أبو عبد الله اناّ أهل بيت صديقون لا نخلو من كذّاب يكذب علينا ويسقط صدقنا بكذبه علينا عند الناس ، كان رسول الله  أصدق الناس لهجة وأصدق البرية كلها ،وكان مسيلمة يُكذّب عليه، وكان أمير المؤمنين (ع) أصدق من برأ الله بعد رسول الله وكان الذي يُكذّب عليه ويعمل في تكذيب صدقه ويفتري على الله الكذب عبد الله بن سبأ

Abu ‘Abdullah says, “We the Ahlul Bayt are truthful. However, we are not free from liars who forge sayings and attribute them to us, due to which our honesty is tarnished in the eyes of people. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the most truthful of all humans, but Musaylamah would attribute lies to him. Amir al Mu’minin was the most truthful person to worship Allah after Rasulullah. However, ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ would attribute lies to him.”[61]

 

Al Kashshi narrates from Habib al Khath’ami who narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

كان للحسن كذّاب يكذّب عليه ولم يسمه ، وكان للحسين كذّاب يكذّب عليه ولم يسمه ، وكان المختار يكذّب على علي بن الحسين وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذّب على أبي

There was a person who would attribute his lies to Hassan, but he did not name him. There was also a person who attributed his lies to Hussain, but he did not name him as well. Mukhtar would attribute his lies to ‘Ali ibn Hussain and Mughirah would attribute his lies to my father.[62]

 

It seems as if false attribution of ahadith to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is nothing new. Ibn ‘Adi narrates that ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Hurmuz and al A’raj said:

When anyone narrates from Abu Hurairah, we can immediately tell whether he is truthful or not.[63]

They were well-versed with the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Thus, they could immediately tell whether a tradition was narrated by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu or not. If false attribution of hadith to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not take place during their era, they would not have made such statements. They were the students of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but all the students of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu were not of the same calibre. There were some, who were an absolute minority, who were considered unreliable narrators and fabricators. They include Mina, the freed slave of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, who narrated from ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others. He was a liar as stated by Abu Hatim.[64]

Another fabricator who would lie in the name of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was Yazid ibn Sufyan Abu al Muhazzim. He was amongst those who studied under Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; however, he has been classified as unreliable. He is taken to be a person from Basrah and he is more well-known by his agnomen. It is said that his name was ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Sufyan. Shu’bah would narrate from him but later abandoned him. Hussain al Mu’allim ‘Abdul Warith and a group of others have narrated from him. Ibn Ma’in said that he is unreliable. Al Nasa’i said that he should be abandoned.

Muslim ibn Ibrahim said that he heard Shu’bah saying, “Abu al Muhazzim was a pauper in the Masjid of Thabit. If anyone gave him a coin, he would narrate for him seventy narrations.” Muslim said that he heard Shu’bah saying: “I saw Abu al Muhazzim. If he was given a coin, he would fabricate a hadith.” Thereafter he says that most of that which he narrates from him is not free from error. He also mentions an example of his fabrications in the name of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. A point that is worthy of reflection at this point is that this began in the era of the Tabi’in, not in the later periods.[65]

A study of the book Mizan al I’tidal fi Naqd al Rijal by al Hafiz al Dhahabi will reveal to a person the names of many liars who fabricated narrations and attributed them to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It will also reveal to him a number of their fabrications. There are also a number of narrators who have not been classified as liars; however, it is agreed upon that they are unreliable. These individuals also narrate unacceptable narrations in the name of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

‘Abdul Mun’im Salih states in his book Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah:

 

Since I have listed in the previous chapter a number of reliable chains to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu by which you can identify many of his authentic narrations, I wish to compile a similar list of the names of fabricators and liars as well as such narrators regarding whom it is agreed upon that they are unreliable. This will help you to identify the weakness of those narrations attributed to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to their appearance in the chain.

It will also enable you to identify them without much effort. This is because I have compiled them alphabetically, in the exact same order as al Dhahabi. This will add to those narrations which you already learnt are fabrications against Abu Hurairah or that they are highly unreliable. Al Dhahabi has also recorded the names of many other narrators in al Mizan, who fall under one of the following categories:

    1. The scholars of hadith criticism have not agreed upon them being unreliable but they have narrated unacceptable narrations from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
    2. He narrates something, the inaccuracy of which is quite apparent but none have stated that he is a liar.
    3. He was a negligent narrator, due to which he collected the narrations of fabricators.

Thus, there are many narrators mentioned by al Dhahabi in al Mizan; however, they cannot all be recounted here. Al Dhahabi has also mentioned the names of narrators who concocted thousands of ahadith without mentioning who they would attribute them to. There is a great possibility that a large number of them attributed their narrations to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. With these lists, you will be able to pinpoint the authentic narrations from Abu Hurairah and you will also be able to identify those narrations which are attributed to him but they are unreliable. It will be of great help to the reader who will be able to differentiate between the different narrations quoted in the books of the opposition.[66]

 

Thereafter ‘Abdul Mun’im presents a four-page list of the names of those liars who amount to approximately 155 narrators. These are only the most notable liars who attributed baseless narrations to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[67] We will conclude this chapter by refuting the misconception created by ‘Abdul Hussain, i.e. if a hadith is fabricated, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the one in whose name it was fabricated. This is nothing but ignorance.

As explained above, the problem is created by the one who allegedly narrates from that person. If the matter was as explained by the author, then most of the Sahabah would become subject to criticism. This would not be confined to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, rather it would even include Imam ‘Ali, Hassan, and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum, whom they have taken as the appointed deputies of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, we will conclude this chapter by citing a few examples from the books of the Shia followed by an acknowledgement of this very author regarding the correct methodology.

Their great scholar, al Hilli (who is one of their greatest hadith critics) states under the biography of Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al Hassan ibn Jafar ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib:

 

أبو محمد المعروف بابن أخ طاهر ، روى عن جده يحيى بن الحسن وغيره، وروى عن المجاهيل أحاديث منكرة .

وقال النجاشي : رأيت أصحابنا يضعفونه .

وقال ابن الغضايري : إنه كان كذاباً يضع الحديث مجاهرة ويدعي رجالا غربا لا يعرفون ، ويعتمد مجاهيل لا يذكرون ، وما تطيب الأنفس من روايته …والأقوى عندي التوقف في روايته مطلقا ..

Abu Muhammad: commonly known as Ibn Akhi Tahir (the son of the brother of the pure one). He narrates from his grandfather Yahya ibn al Hassan and others. He also narrates unacceptable narrations from unknown people.

Al Najashi says, “I have seen our scholars classifying him as unreliable.”

Ibn al Ghada’iri said, “He was a liar who would openly fabricate ahadith which he claimed were from strange men who were unknown. He relied upon unknown people who were not mentioned. His narrations do not sit well with the conscience. I believe that the strongest view regarding his narrations is that hesitance should be shown towards all of them.”[68]

 

If he lied despite being the son of the pure ones, then what should we expect from those who attributed lies to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the wretched ones?[69] Are they not the same as him in this sense, as he fabricated narrations in the names of his honourable, great and pure forefathers? ‘Abdul Hussain admits that our methodology is the correct one in his book al Fusul when defending anthropomorphists such as Hisham ibn al Hakam, al Jawaliqi, and Shaitan al Taq. His exact words were:

 

وقد أعرضنا عن بعض أولاد أئمتنا مع شدة اخلاصنا لهذا البيت الطاهر، وكفرنا جماعة ممن صحبهم وفسقنا آخرين وضعفنا قوما وأمسكنا عن قوم آخرين كما يشهد به الخبير بطريقتنا

We have turned away from some of the children of our Imams despite our great sincerity towards this pure household. We have considered some of their companion’s disbelievers and others sinners. We have classified a group among them and held back from commenting on another group. One who is well-versed with our methodology will stand witness to this.[70]

 

When this is his methodology then why has he chosen to be condescending, stubborn, and ignorant, to the extent that he has chosen to even oppose his own method in this instance?

Furthermore, let us study the claim of this author that “Abu Hurairah only done that to protect himself… Abu Hurairah was aware that the rebels were not seeking anyone besides ‘Uthman and Marwan. This is what prompted him to remain amongst those who were under siege.” Indeed, this author simply does not present the truth in his discussions. This is quite obvious from his portrayal of the trial in which the khalifah of the Muslims, ‘Uthman Dhu al Nurayn radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered.

When the Khalifah was held under siege, Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu still had two more options. He could have emerged or fled the scene. However, he chose to die along with the khalifah and he encouraged others to defend him as well. This author, on the other hand, found no better way of twisting the facts than saying: “Abu Hurairah only done that to protect himself and his companions. Abu Hurairah was aware that the rebels were not seeking anyone besides ‘Uthman and Marwan. This is what prompted him to remain amongst those who were under siege.”

I have no idea how he managed to read the feelings of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We cannot judge except on the basis of that which is apparent. He was under siege in the same house as ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair, Hassan, and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Therefore, whatever conclusions are reached regarding him should apply equally to the others. Will this author accept these allegations in respect of the two leaders of the youth of Jannat? Indeed, this judgement reflects an alarming amount of idiocy, yet it emanates from the one who is referred to as Ayatollah!

As for his statement: “The crux of the tale is that he exploited this opportunity which then turned out to be an extremely profitable deal struck by him. From this day onwards, the Banu Umayyah and their allies held firmly onto his discourses and narrations. They left no stone unturned in spreading his narrations and using them as proof. He would then concoct for them any narration that they desired. Among his narrations for them is that he narrated that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said…”

Our comment: Undoubtedly the iman of a person can never be intact if he has any disinclination from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Notwithstanding this, deceivers—such as this author—lie regarding Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to create the impression that he was an enemy of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his offspring, that he hated them and continuously conspired against them. This is contrary to the reality. He loved them dearly. In fact, he is the one who narrates the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt[71]. This will be elucidated upon under the chapter wherein the allegations against him ‘during the era of Muawiyah’ will be refuted.

Is it permissible for us to claim that since Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates ahadith on the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt that they are fabrications? The reality is as expressed in the proverb:

She accused me of having her sickness and slipped away.

 

The author disparages Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu for narrating ahadith regarding the virtues of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and claims that by this criticism he is defending the Ahlul Bayt. These are his claims even though they are the ones who have disparaged the Ahlul Bayt and fabricated all types of falsehoods and mendacities in their name.

‘Abdul Hussain goes on to claim under the title, ‘during the era of ‘Ali’ on page 34:

 

 خفت صوت أبي هريرة على عهد أمير المؤمنين واحتبى برد الخمول وكاد أن يرجج إلى سيرته الأولى حيث كان هيان بن بيان وصلعمة بن قلعمة قعد عن نصرة أمير المؤمنين فلم ينضو إلى لوائه ، بل كان وجهه ونصيحته إلى أعدائه .

وقد أرسله معاوية مع النعمان بن بشير – وكانا عنده في الشام – إلى علي (ع) يسألانه أن يدفع قتلة عثمان إلى معاوية ليقيدهم بعثمان ، وقد أراد معاوية بهذا أن يرجعا من عند علي إلى الشام وهما لمعاوية عاذران و لعلي لائمان … و أقام النعمان بعده عند علي ثم خرج فارا إلى الشام فأخبر أهلها بما لقي إلى آخر ما كان من هذه الواقعة

Abu Hurairah became extremely quiet during the era of Amir al Mu’minin and he adopted the garb of humility. He was very close to returning to his initial status when he was completely downtrodden and unknown. He chose not to support Amir al Mu’minin and, thus, did not enter under his banner. His alliance and advice were reserved for the enemies of Amir al Mu’minin.

Muawiyah sent him and No’man ibn Bashir, who were residing with him in Syria, to ‘Ali demanding that he hand over the murderers of ‘Uthman so that he may take revenge from them. Muawiyah’s intention in doing so was so that they could return to him in a state where they would regard him innocent and place the blame on ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. No’man stayed on in the company of ‘Ali and then fled from there towards Syria to inform the citizens thereof regarding all that took place.

 

Our comment: Al ‘Ajjaj says:

I have already proven that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not involved in any of the happenings after the death of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, the author insists upon using unreliable narrations to prove that he was involved in some of them. If only he had sufficed upon doing that much. Instead, he chose to take it one step further by mocking him. He says, “Abu Hurairah became extremely quiet during the era of Amir al Mu’minin and he adopted the garb of humility. He was very close to returning to his initial status when he was completely downtrodden and unknown. He chose not to support Amir al Mu’minin and, thus, did not enter under his banner. Rather, his alliance and advice were reserved for the enemies of Amir al Mu’minin.”

To support this, he quotes a baseless narration, the crux of which is that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Abu Hurairah and No’man radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to negotiate with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he hands over the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu so that the Muslims could be united. Thereafter No’man stayed with ‘Ali whilst Abu Hurairah {this is not apparent from the passage quoted two paragraphs ago} returned to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to inform him of what transpired.

 

The author goes on to claim:

 

فأمره معاوية أن يعلم الناس ففعل ذلك وعمل أعمالا ترضى معاوية

Thereafter Muawiyah ordered him to inform the people to which he duly complied. He continued to do certain acts with the sole purpose of gaining favour with Muawiyah.

 

This narration cannot be backed by any authentic chain. I could not find it in any book except Nahj al Balaghah. Furthermore, if this narration is accepted to be authentic, what sin is Abu Hurairah guilty of if he was the middle-man during a peace-process that would unite the Muslims? Ibn Qutaybah has mentioned that Abu al Darda’ and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma approached ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma advising the latter not to spill the blood of Muslims and speaking to the former regarding the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This narration despite its weakness indicates that they abstained from these trials and attempted to unite the Muslims.

Thereafter the author states:

 

وحين حمى وطيس الحرب ورد على أبي هريرة من الهول ما هزم فؤاده وزلزل أقدامه ، وكان في أول تلك الفتنة لا يشك في أن العاقبة ستكون لعلي، فضرب الأرض بذقعنه قابعاً في زوايا المخمول يثبط الناس عن نصرة أميرالمؤمنين بما يحدثهم به سراً ، وكان مما قاله يومئذ : سمعت رسول الله  يقول: “ستكون فتن القاعد فيها خير من القائم

When the fighting became intense, Abu Hurairah’s heart became overtaken with fear and his feet lost their grounding. At the beginning of this trial, he was convinced that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would emerge victorious. Thus, he kept his chin attached to the ground, withdrawing to the corner of obscurity. He tried to dissuade people from helping Amir al Mu’minin by narrating a few words to them in secrecy. Among his narrations during those days was that he told the people, “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘There will be such trials wherein the one who sits will be better off than the one who stands.’”

 

After looking at this passage, can there remain any doubt that the author is carrying out an attack against Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu? He claims academic research and professionalism and then allows his base desires to steer him in any direction and strike the ‘side of the wall’. He stubbornly refuses to accept the clear indications in the narrations that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu stayed away from all the conflict that took place between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

The author then attempts to deduce from the campaign of Busr ibn Artat against Hijaj and Yemen that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted governance of Madinah. He says:

 

وفي ختام هذه الفظائع أخذ ( بسر) البيعة لمعاوية من أهل الحجاز واليمن عامة ،  فعندها باح أبو هريرة بما في صدره واستراح إلى بسر من أرطأة بمكنون سره ، فوجد بسر منه إخلاصاً لمعاوية ونصحاً في أخذ البيعة له من الناس فولاه على المدينة حين انصرف عنها وأمر أهلها بطاعته

At the end of all of these tragedies, Busr ibn Artat took allegiance on behalf of Muawiyah from the people of al Hijaj and Yemen. At this point Abu Hurairah revealed his inner feelings. He found solace in relating to Busr ibn Artat his inner feelings who in turn found him to be a sincere well-wisher of Muawiyah due to him taking allegiance from the masses on behalf of Muawiyah. This resulted in him appointing Abu Hurairah as the governor of al Madinah when he departed from there and he instructed the people to obey him.

 

This is totally inaccurate. I have already explained the correct version under the section regarding the life of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[72]

 

‘Abdul Hussain then pens down even more falsehood at the following places:

  • Page 38, under the heading: “During the era of Muawiyah”,
  • Page 42, under the heading: “The favours of Banu Umayyah upon him”,
  • Page 25, under the heading “His exaggeration in repaying their favours”.

 

We will reproduce some of it below. Ustadh Muhammad al ‘Ajjaj rahimahu Llah has already exposed their lack of credibility in his valuable book.

‘Abdul Hussain says:

 

نزل أبو هريرة أيام معاوية إلى جناب مريع وأنزل آماله منه منزل صدق ، لذلك نزل في كثير من الحديث على رغائبه فحدث الناس في فضل معاوية وغيره أحاديث عجيبة

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu found himself at a lush pasture during the era of Muawiyah. He began seeing all his hopes materialising, which is why he altered many of his narrations to suit Muawiyah’s interests. Thus, he narrated to the people many ahadith on the virtues of Muawiyah and other strange subjects.

 

He then goes on to discuss the topic of hadith fabrication and its excessiveness during the reign of the Umayyads. He claims that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was from the first group to do so:

 

He narrated many unacceptable narrations which are recorded by Ibn ‘Asakir and others. He mentions some of these fabricated narrations which are neither acceptable by the intellect nor does the inner-self agree to accept them. These are the fabrications of the supporters of the Umayyads, who came after Muawiyah, who fabricated narrations out of hatred for the followers of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

However, the Ahlus Sunnah have already traced the ones who forged and fabricated these narrations. Whereas the ‘credible’ author says:

 

They did not hold Abu Hurairah responsible for this, rather they shifted the blame onto those who narrated it from him. This is what they have done in all those cases wherein they were unable to do anything else to defend him. He has many narrations which are recorded in the two authentic books, al Bukhari and Muslim, which are of the exact same level as the others.

 

Our comment: The author accuses Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of two heinous crimes. The first one being that he was a staunch supporter of the Umayyads. Secondly, he accuses him of fabricating narrations due to his love for them (i.e. he attributed lies to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It is for this reason that he added two chapters in his book to explain “the favours of Banu Umayyah upon him” and his “exaggeration in repaying their favours”. We will disprove these claims in the light of concrete evidence and reveal the truth.

 

NEXT⇒ Answering the First Claim that Abu Hurairah was a Staunch Follower of the Umayyads.


[1]Bihar al Anwar, 47/5-6, 42/162-163, 36/194; Hakimi: Lawla al Sanatan, pg. 23.

[2]  He claims that he is the custodian of the Imami school in his Fusul, pg. 203.

[3]Rijal al Tusi, the companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pg. 23. Refer to al Ardabili: Jami’ al Ruwat, 1/466.

[4]Rijal Ibn Abi Dawood al Hilli, category one, pg. 116, # 833.

[5]  The term Muhaddithin is not always confined to the latter day hadith scholars. The subject under discussion can be proven from the narrations of the Sahabah who would narrate ahadith. Many narrations point out to their scrupulousness and special care not to change the meaning in the slightest way.

[6]Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 163-164.

[7]Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 168-169.

[8] Bihar al Anwar, 15/51, 360.

[9]  Al Tusi: Al Fihrist; Ibn al Nadim: al Fihrist, pg. 308.

[10] Al Kafi, 5/74.

[11] Al Kafi, 5/75.

[12]  Surah al Hujurat: 13.

[13]Sahih Muslim.

[14]  Al ‘Ajjaj: Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 169-171.

[15]Bihar al Anwar, 36/72 and 75/143.

[16]  Surah Hud: 27.

[17]  Surah Hud: 29.

[18]  Surah Hud: 31.

[19]  Surah al Hujurat: 13.

[20]  Mustafa Siba’i: Al Sunnah, pg. 324-325.

[21]  Al ‘Ajjaj: Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 172.

[22]  Al Siba’i: Al Sunnah, pg. 325-328.

[23]  Al ‘Ajjaj: Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 173.

[24]Sahih Muslim.

[25]Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim

[26]Wasa’il al Shia, 16/408, chapter on the apprehensiveness of eating to ones fill and eating after satiation.

[27]Al La’ali al Akhbar, 1/144:

Chapter of the virtue of not eating to ones fill, pg. 145.

Chapter on establishing that satiation is the greatest harm to a person’s din, pg. 147.

Criticism of satiation and excessive eating, pg.149.

The story of Yahya with the devil in criticism of satiation, pg. 151.

The fruits of hunger and its wonderful benefits, pg. 152.

The narrations regarding the virtues of hunger, pg. 154.

The description of the eating of a mu’min and the statements of the predecessors regarding it, pg. 155.

The hunger of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his training by means of it, pg. 156.

The story of the hunger of Abu Juhayfah.

[28]Al La’ali al Akhbar, 1/145-146, pg. 152-153.

[29]Al La’ali al Akhbar, 1/155, 2/360.

[30]Al La’ali al Akhbar, 1/155.

[31]Al La’ali al Akhbar, 1/155.

[32]  A measurement of volume roughly equivalent to 2.5 litres.

[33]Makarim al Akhlaq, pg. 25; al Ihtijaj, pg. 120; Qurb al Isnad, pg. 44; Bihar al Anwar, 16/239, 17/297, 103/144.

[34]Al Irshad, pg. 16; Bihar al Anwar, 40/17, 18, 85, 178, 18/398, 37, 91, 37/91, 38/5, 43/139; Kashf al Yaqin, pg. 158; Amali al Saduq, pg. 356; Ta’wil al Ayat, 1/272; al Muhtadar, pg. 143; al Manaqib, 1/180; I’lam al Wara, pg. 164.

[35]Kashf al Ghummah, 1/84; Bihar al Anwar, 38/19.

[36] Al Saduq: Al Amali, pg. 215.

[37]Sahih al Bukhari.

[38]  He added a footnote to explain that the Arabic word used here is al Raj’ and al Raji’, which means faeces. He goes on to explain that they have been named as such because they transform into dirt after initially being food and fodder. I (the author) say; the lack of understanding and desires of this writer have lead him to explain this word in the way he explained it. The reality is that this word means; to return. Further, the context does not allow for any other meaning or interpretation, so why was there a forced attack? Is this the way of a balanced researcher? [Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 176]

[39]Musnad Ahmed, 1/181, with an authentic isnad.

[40]Al Bidayah wa l-Nihayah, 6/305; Al Suyuti: Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 74; al Kamil, 2/62.

[41]Musnad Ahmed, 4/521, with an authentic chain.

[42]Tarikh al Islam, 2/338; Hilyat al Auliya’, 1/380; Al Bidayah wa l-Nihayah, 8/111.

[43]Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, 4/59.

[44]Al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/33.

[45]Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, 3/105.

[46]Al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/60.

[47]Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, 4/78.

[48]  A deviant ideology which centres around the idea of granting supreme authority to the intellect.

[49]  The Rafidah Nasibiyyah are those who have rejected the caliphate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, criticised them, and abused them. They also attack the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the form of Aisha and Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. They accuse them of adultery and declared war against them. Both these traits are found in this prejudiced individual and his colleagues, like al Qummi, al Majlisi, al Bayadi, al Jaza’iri, al Bahrani, and others.

[50]Al Anwar al Kashifah, pg. 152-153.

[51]  Al ‘Ajjaj: Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 213.

[52]Al ‘Iqd al Farid, 1/34-35, 60.

[53]Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 175-178.

[54]Mizan al I’tidal, pg. 2.

[55]  The belief that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed as the immediate successor to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

[56]  The belief that Allah learns about events only as they occur.

[57]  A Shia doctrine that the hidden Imam will reappear.

[58]  Temporary marriage.

[59]Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 224, # 401, biography of al Mughirah ibn Sa’id.

[60]Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 441.

[61]Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 108, # 174.

[62]Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 226, # 404, biography of al Mughirah ibn Sa’id.

[63]  Ibn ‘Adi: Al Kamil, 1/14; al Tahdhib, 6/291.

[64]Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 4/395.

[65]Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah, pg. 442.

[66]Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah, pg. 443.

[67]Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah, pg. 447.

[68]Rijal al Hilli, pg. 214.

[69]Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah, pg. 482.

[70]  ‘Abdul Hussain al Musawi: Al Fusul al Muhimmah, pg. 170.

[71]  Refer to the book Ihqaq al Haqq of Ayatollah al Mar’ashi for more details. This book consists of 24 volumes. The virtues of the Ahlul Bayt are established in this book through Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Beyond the truth, there is only deviation.

[72]Abu Hurairah Rawiyat al Islam, pg. 179-181.

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