Just reflect on that Saleem. How the same proof accredited to Abu Bakr and Umar (that the
should stay in the Quraish tribe because they were closer in relation to him), is now ascribed to Ali as well!None can fault the reasoning of Ali, who uses the same evidence used by Abu Bakr and Umar in order toclaim his right to the
. This is the whole basis of the never-ending Shia-Sunni debate. Truth be told,given narrations like the one above, the Sunnis position becomes so weak that they cannot provide anysatisfying answer to the Shia’s objection. History has attached that reasoning to the very first and greatestkhalifas, Abu Bakr and Umar.Anyway, in response to Ali’s argument, Umar merely claimed “I am not going to let you go until youpledge your allegiance.” (
Abu Bakr Siddiq – page 122)
Ali then pointedly remarked “Umar, you eagerly milk the cow when part of that milk is going to beyours. You now aid Abu Bakr’s
today so that you can take it for yourself tomorrow. But I will neverpledge my allegiance to him.”Abu Bakr at this point began worrying that this tense matter would escalate and progress to a battle of harsh words. He then said “Ali, if you do not want to pledge allegiance, then I will also not force you into it.”At this, Abu Ubaida ibn Jarah turned his attention towards Ali and with the kindest words possiblesaid “Nephew! You are still young and these people are older. Neither are you experienced as they are, nor areyou yet as broad-minded. If there is one person in our nation successfully able to handle the duty of succeeding the Prophet, then that person can only be Abu Bakr. So, accept his
. If you live a long life,then your knowledge, level of religion, intelligence and understanding, and your being the nephew and son-in-law of the Prophet will all give you the right to the
.”Hearing this, there was no end to Ali’s rage. He angrily claimed, “Allah, Allah! Oh
! Donot take the office of the Prophet from his house and put it into your own homes. You must honor your
(family of the Prophet) and give them the rights befitting their status. Oh
! By Allah! We arethe rightful owners of the
because we are the
. We will be the rightful owners as long asthere are amongst us reciters and scholars of the Quran, scholars of the Prophet’s sunnah, and just and uprightleaders. By Allah, all these characteristics are within me, so do not become a follower of your own desires andfollow a misled path rather than Allah’s path. Do not go astray.” According to narrators, Bashir ibn Saad wasalso present at this occasion. When he heard these words of Ali, he said “Oh Ali! If the
had heard thesebefore they pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, they would not have pledged allegiance to anyone except you.”After this discussion, Ali went home in a fit of rage. At night, he sat Fatima on a mule and took her tothe
. As they went from house to house, Fatima would beseech help from the
. But everywhere theywent, they were met with the same reply, “Oh daughter of the holy Prophet! We have already pledgedallegiance to Abu Bakr. If your husband had come to us before, we surely would have pledged allegiance tohim instead.” Hearing this, Ali would angrily reply “What, should I have left the body of the holy Prophetwithout performing any funeral rites or ceremony, to fight and argue for succeeding him?”Fatima would also say “Ali did exactly what was appropriate. As for what the others did, Allah will surelybring them to account for their actions.” (same – 122-25)Haykal has related these events from various references. On this topic, Bukhari provides the followingnarration:Fatima stayed alive for 6 months after the Prophet’s death. When she died, Ali buried her alone andeven prayed the funeral prayer alone, without informing Abu Bakr. While Fatima was alive, Ali helda certain dignity in the eyes of the people. But after her death, Ali felt their attitudes had changed andtherefore, he finally decided to reconcile with Abu Bakr and to pledge his allegiance to him. So hesent a message to Abu Bakr requesting him to meet him at his house (Ali was not unaware of the factthat Abu Bakr may bring Umar along, and therefore asked Abu Bakr to come alone). At this, Umarsaid “No! By Allah, you cannot go to meet him alone.” Abu Bakr replied “What do you think? Whatcan he do to me? By Allah I will definitely go to him.” So Abu Bakr went to his house and Ali spokewith him and said “I now recognize your excellence and what favors Allah has graced you with, and Iam not jealous of any of them. But, in the matter of khilafat
, you have dealt unjustly with me. I feltthat because of my closeness to the Prophet, I should have a part in the
After Zuhr, Abu Bakr got up on the podium and gave a speech describing the circumstances andreasoning behind Ali’s change of heart. Then he prayed for forgiveness (and after that) Ali read hisspeech and praised Abu Bakr’s virtues. He said, “Whatever I have done until now, was not becauseof any jealousy towards Abu Bakr, nor did I reject his God given excellence and virtues, but rather Ifelt that I had a part in the
, and that Abu Bakr had dealt with me unjustly, and because of that, we were bitter in our hearts.”
(Bukhari – Book of Skirmishes)
From this narration of Bukhari’s, we note a few points worthy of great scrutiny:1)
Ali was so upset with Abu Bakr that he did not even give him notice of Fatima’s death and secretlyburied her during the night.2)
While Fatima was alive, Ali refused to pledge to Abu Bakr. But right after her death, he felt that inthe eyes of the people, he did not have the same prestige as before, and therefore felt it prudent tosimply pledge to Abu Bakr3)
To prove his right to the
, Ali claimed that he was the closest by relation to the Prophet.Just think Saleem! If we consider these reports from history to be true, then what picture is painted of the great
, Ali?According to history, Ali accused those people who kept him from the
of snatching it awayfrom him unjustly. This is the very “crime” upon which Shia Muslims base their belief that after the death of the Prophet, except for the few
who did not pledge to Abu Bakr, the rest all became apostates! Inresponse to this, Sunnis say that this belief is prejudiced. But what reply can they give when the followingnarration is contained within their own most reliable book of hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari:Ibn Abbas relates that the Prophet said “Naked, without circumcision, you will be gathered.” TheProphet then read the ayah “Kama bada’na awwala khalqin nu’eeduhu wa’dan alaina inna kunnafaaileen. (21:104)” And on the day of judgment, the first who will be clothed will be Ibrahim. And onthat day some of my companions will be taken to the left side (towards Hell). I will say, these are mycompanions! Then Allah will say that these people reverted to their old religion ever since you lefttheir midst [the actual word Bukhari uses is murtad (apostate)]. Then I will say as the pious servant of Allah (Jesus) said, “And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when you took me up, you were the watcher over them and you are a witness to all things. If you punish them, theyare your slaves and if you forgive them, verily only you are the all mighty the all wise5:117.”
(Bukhari – Book of the Prophets 1406
)Just think Saleem! How this hadith of Bukhari takes the discussion to a new low. These are those companionsregarding which the Quran declares that these are the true believers (8:74)! If the
of even those believerswas such that as soon as the Prophet turned his head, their iman wavered and broke, then what can we expectof others? And if any critic should say (and they certainly do) that “a tree is known by its fruits,” then think what kind of picture is painted of our beloved Prophet!At this point, the question must be boiling in your heart that if this is the condition of history, thenwhy is it not rejected or revised? Why is it forbidden to do such a thing? This a very logical thought, and thereshould not be any hesitation carrying out this task. But the problem is that our history was sanctified and putinto the position of religious doctrine. The belief regarding these narrations is that they were divinely revealedto the Prophet through unrecited revelation (wahi ghair matloo’). Not only that, but there is also a belief that if there is any discrepancy between the Quran and the hadith, then that item in the Quran should be consideredobsolete or replaced, and the hadith should receive precedence. One of Karachi’s religious organizations“
Tahqeeq e Haqq
” printed a pamphlet entitled “Fitna e Inkaar e Hadith (The corruption of the rejection of hadith),” written by Allama Hafiz Muhammad Ayyub Sahib Dehlwi. He writes,“It is wrong to claim that “fahkum baynahum bima anzalallah,” means the Prophet is being told togovern Muslims only according to the book of Allah, and therefore, the Prophet did not give usanything else to govern by. “Ma anzalallah” does not mean only the Quran, rather it means the Quranas well as the Hadith.” (page 20)
fter this, he writes that if the words of the Prophet are against the Quran, then the Prophet’s wordsshould take precedence. To prove this, he states that in verse 2:180, Allah says “It is prescribed whendeath approaches any of you, if he leave any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin.According to reasonable usage; this is due from the God-fearing.” But the Prophet in a famous hadithhas said “La wasiyyatu lil-warith,” that a will cannot be made for one’s family/successors (they canonly receive the estate through fixed inheritance laws). From many sources it is established thataction has been taken according to this hadith. So this shows how the words of the Prophet shouldtake precedence over the words of the Quran. (page 80)After this, he writes:Now if one does not understand how it is possible that the Prophet’s words could be against the Quran and thathis words could supercede those of the Quran, one should first remember that the Prophet’s words were nothis own. Rather, they were the words of Allah. The same way that the Quran is the words of Allah, theProphet’s words are actually the words of Allah. And in the same way that one verse of the Quran canoverride another verse, one type of Allah’s words (Prophet’s hadith) can supercede another type of Allah’swords (Quran). (page 86)Saleem, I previously said that we should take the piles of history from the first century, the era of the Prophetand those with him, and test that against the criteria of the Quran. Those items that are in accordance with theQuran can be kept, whereas those that are against its values and principles should be rejected. In response tothis, Hafiz Ayyub states:In the same way that it is not necessary for Allah’s words to be according to logic in order for us toaffirm them as true, it is also not necessary for the Prophet’s words to be according to the Quran inorder for us to accept them. That is because the Prophet’s words are also the words of Allah, and theQuran is also the words of Allah. So it is not necessary for Allah’s words that there be no variation, just as it is not necessary that his one action be a result of another action. On the one hand, themountain’s top reaches towards the skies, and on the other hand, its valley reaches way far below theearth. In the same way that his one action does not have to be according to another action, his oneword (in the Hadith) does not have to be according to another (in the Quran). (Page 51)There is a hadith recorded in Kitab-at-Tawdeeh wat-Talweeh (page 480), that states that the Prophet said“After me, there will be many hadiths ascribed to me. So if any hadith is narrated to you, test it against theQuran. If it is according to it, then accept the hadith; if it is not, then reject it.” There can be no doubt about thevalidity of this hadith, because it is exactly according to the teaching of the Quran. And none of the Prophet’swords or commands could ever be against the teachings of the Quran. But Saleem, do you know what these“scholars” claim when hearing this hadith? The group Ahl-e-Hadith’s monthly magazine “Raheeq” in its April1958 issue claimed that this hadith was introduced by heretics and these hadiths now are being propagated byfools who have plagiarized their ideas from heretics. Imam Khattabi
(Zafar al Mani ‘ala Mukhtasar alJarjani, page 267)
says in regard to this hadith, “Those heretics and enemies of hadith introduced thisfabricated narration for the purpose of disproving hadith and to create chaos in the religion and religioussystem. This hadith is refuted by the Prophet’s own words that ‘I have been given the Quran and somethingsimilar to it.’ Only hadith is similar to the Quran because in another narration it is said that the hadith aresimilar to the Quran (
Zafar al Mani page 267, and Dari page 140 volume 1).
(Note: The above hadith in question simply asks that hadiths at least be tested against the Quran beforeacceptance. Why are these scholars so scared of doing that?)The above scholar, for a total of 1009 pages, explained why the hadith should not be refuted. ImamKhattabi, Imam Shafi, Imam al-Muhaddithin abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi etc., also claim this hadith wasintroduced by heretics. Imam Baihaqi claims that any hadith made to be presented before the Quran is false.Allama Mistami writes if a narrator of hadith does this, he will be a forsaken denier of hadith (
Majmuah az-Zawaid vol 1 page 68).
So according to these individuals, the belief that whatever is according to the Quran is right and whatever isagainst the Quran is wrong was introduced by heretics and apostates!Given the above references, Saleem, it must be evident to you that certain things are contained in our books of
hadith and history that:1.
Are against the teachings of the Quran2.
Malign the character of our Prophet3.
Malign the character of our companions4.
Are even against common sense and wisdomAfter considering this, the following questions must rise in your mind:1.
How did these things appear in our books?2.
For 1000 years, why have these things been passed down? In other words, why didn’t people removethese things?3.
Why do there continue to be groups engrossed in forcing the acceptance of these things?These questions should arise in the heart of any person who takes his life seriously, with wisdom, andreflects deeply upon this matter. The first two questions (how did these things appear and why weren’t theyremoved) require a detailed discussion, and the proper time for that is when we inspect and revise our entirehistory from scratch (an abbreviated form of this is contained in Shahkaar e Risaalat). It’s obvious that thereisn’t room for this in one letter. For now, I’d like to present an explanation as to why there is such a push, eventoday, to make people accept these things.This point can be clarified by an anecdote. But before that, I find it necessary to tell you a few things.Saleem, you know that I am not associated with any religious denomination or political party, nor am Iinvolved with any other group. That is why, as you may have noticed, I have written very little regardingindividuals. But occasionally, in certain situations it becomes necessary for me to mention names. Now listenclosely to this.About two years ago, some authorities of Jamat e Islami separated to form their own group. Theseindividuals presented a very compelling reason for their separation. They claimed that in the initial stages of the Jamat e Islami, certain principles were proclaimed as a necessary part of the Islamic system. But after theestablishment of the group and its inception as an active force, some of those principles were ignored and evendiscarded (you can find details in Al-Munir Lailpur, 31 Jan 1958 and Tolu e Islam, March and July 1958). It isobvious that this objection was sound and the crime was serious. But the leader of Jamaat e Islami (MaulanaMaududi) claimed this was not an extraordinary action, and that even the Prophet himself (A’oothubillah),after the establishment and active implementation of Islam, bent the rules and values that he presented duringthe initial invitational period of Islam. For example, amongst the various principles of the Islamic system wasa movement to wipe out race and family as a means of discrimination amongst people, differentiating themonly on the basis of piety. After eliminating all such factors, Islam unites mankind into one brotherhood andcalls them to one message and one truth. This has been espoused in the Quran many times. The Prophet notonly proclaimed this message with his tongue, but also in action by attempting to free slaves and give themequality. But when the issue of the leadership of the entire nation arose, he changed his tune, claiming “Alaaimatu min quraish.” The leaders shall only be from the tribe of Quraish. Maududi goes on to claim that anyperson can see that this declaration was directly against the original basic principle. This, according toMaududi, shows how even the Prophet bent and changed rules as he wished.Did you see that Saleem! How the leader of the Jamaat e Islami took advantage of this one falsely insertedhadith that has been written down in our history books? Obviously, if only the Quran was considered thesource of proof and reference, then these kinds of leaders would have no evidence to support their fraudulentclaims. But unfortunately, “history” has been taken as the source of proof and reference (in some cases equalto or even more important than the Quran). Every imaginable account and story can be found in it, and everyaction or decision can be justified through it.But those separating from the Jamaat, in response, argued:
Brothers, please reflect on this matter. Imagine that the last Prophet of Allah had acted this way, andthe Islamic movement emulated the Prophet’s example and acted this way, and every group standingfor the establishment of the Islamic system acted this way; that after the Islamic system was finallyactively implemented, its leader reserved the right to change or make exceptions to the principles andvalues under which people were initially rallied (with the exception of fundamental principles such astawhid and prophethood). If those leaders annulled, at their discretion, whatever guarantees andpromises they made to the people during the initial stages that they now deemed harmful to theircause, then what is the difference between these Islamic movements and those fortune-seekingpoliticians with corrupt political campaigns? For the achievement of power they present very pureand lofty ideals and make very beautiful promises to the public, and on that basis, they gather thepublic’s trust and confidence. But as soon as they establish power, in order to maintain their power,they go back on their ideals and promises.In response to this, the leader of Jamaat e Islami goes on to say that for the important purpose of establishmingthe deen, making exceptions to and bending the rules is one thing, but even lying for that cause is not onlypermissible, rather it is necessary! He says that in Islam, truthfulness and plain-dealing is a very importantprinciple and lying is looked upon as evil, but in real life matters sometimes it becomes necessary to lie. Notonly is permission given for this, but in certain cases, it has been determined an Islamic duty by fatwa (legalruling). (
Tarjuman al-Quran, May 1958
)You must be shocked, by how these people dare to make such claims, and what kind of proof they can give tosupport their claims. But from that same history from which they presented their first proof, they find theirsecond proof as well.And so they presented a few hadith supporting the “duty of lying,” amongst which Asma bint Yazid relatesfrom the Prophet that lying is not permissible except in three cases. When a man talks to a woman in order towoo her, in war, and to repair relations between people. (
)And then they go on (A’oothubillah) to present examples from the Prophet’s uswa e hasana (perfect example),in proof of their claims. In their words:“Practical examples of this are found in hadith. When the Prophet asked Muhammad ibn Muslim to murderKa’ab ibn Ashraf, he asked the Prophet, “If it becomes necessary then may I lie?” And the Prophet in clearwords gave him permission to do so. (
)I hope you now understand why these gentlemen are so eager to make everyone accept such “history” andnarrations as an unchangeable part of Islam. It’s obvious that (as has been said before) if the Quran is the onlysource of proof and we reject any narrated history of the first century of Islam that is against the Quran, thenno one will find an Islamic proof for their lies and deceptions. History can only be abused when it is broughtinto religion, sanctified, and made to be accepted as an authority to justify one’s decisions and declarations.I do not mean to say that every single person accepted and made others accept this history for thesedevious ends. Most of them, in fact, wholeheartedly and sincerely believe that all these things are true. (Purelybelieving in something with sincerity and wholeheartedness is not a proof of that belief’s truth. There aremany idol-worshippers who worship idols with the utmost sincere intentions, but this fact does not make idol-worshipping right.) After centuries of accepting these beliefs on the basis of taqlid (blind following), people’sability to think for themselves has slowly withered away. They even claim critical thinking and reflection isnot permitted in religious matters, claiming that whatever has been accepted is what is right. There is no roomfor criticism. These people believe they are doing a great service to Islam by protecting these items. But thatdoes not stop the selfish from taking advantage of these beliefs, and in fact, they are the ones who initiatedthese beliefs and inserted them into our history. They are the ones who have propagated these beliefs forcenturies, and they are its biggest supporters today.Listen to this example! In the beginning, I mentioned that in the Islamic system, no one can storeextra wealth. Rather, it should be pooled together for the general betterment and improvement of the nationand mankind at large. In regards to this, the Quran is so clear, precise, and frank that there isn’t even room foralternative interpretations. It is also evident that the period of the Prophet (p) operated under such guidelines.But after this, when the
was turned into a monarchy and capitalism was solidly established, it becamenecessary to create proofs and authorities justifying these changes in the Islamic system. Of course, they could
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not derive this from the Quran because it is an unchangeable and protected book. So they devised aclever scheme to insert whatever ideas they wished through the back door of history. And so, they inserteddeceptive stories claiming that huge estates, landlords and the capitalist system were the Sunnah of theProphet or the precedent of the
.For example, in one narration Ibn Abbas relates that “The revelation of ayah 9:34-35 had a strongeffect on the Muslims. (Oh you who believe. There are indeed many among the priests and anchorites who infalsehood devour the wealth of men and hinder them from the way of Allah. And there are those who hoardgold and silver and spend it not in the Way of Allah. Announce unto them a most grievous chastisement. Onthe day when it will be heated in the fire of hell and used to brand their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs.This is the treasure you hoarded for yourself, taste the treasures you hoarded!) Meaning that they thought thiscommand was rather costly and excessive. Umar calmed the other Muslims saying, “I will relieve you of yourconcerns regarding this.” And so he went to the Prophet and said “Oh Prophet. This verse is rather weighty onyour
. The Prophet replied “Zakat was made mandatory on Muslims to purify their remaining wealth,and inheritance was made mandatory to spread your wealth amongst your successors.” Upon hearing this,Umar joyfully exclaimed “Allahu Akbar!” After this the Prophet said “Let me tell you a very good thing that aman can collect which will make him very happy, and that is a good woman. If the man looks at her, his heartfeels content, and when he gives her an order, she obeys, and when he is not present she takes care of hischildren and his wealth.” (
Abu Daood. Mishaat vol 1, page 309
).This narration resounds through-and-through that it was fabricated. Can even the thought occur to a Muslimthat Allah makes an order that is too hard for the
? And then, none other than Umar (renowned for hisstrict and steadfast character) goes to the Prophet in order to get the order repealed? And then the Prophetchanges the order such that as long as you pay 2.5% of your wealth every year, then it is permissible for you tohoard piles of silver and gold? Inspection of this narration can only lead us to believe that it was fabricated at atime when such a hadith was needed to corrupt the government of Allah. But since the current capitalistsystem gains support from this narration, those with self-interests declare it as the utmost truth. And when oneobjects, claiming that these teachings are against the Quran, he is silenced by the response “Do you understandthe Quran better, or did the Prophet (p) and
?”Since the purpose of this letter was not to summarize all of Islamic history, I will conclude having given theabove examples. Now, bring to mind once again the history of choosing the first
that has beendescribed in our books of hadith and other scholarly works, and then consider that if we accept this history asbeing true, then what dignity will Muslims and Islam have in this world, and what kind of chaos would beunleashed if Muslims attempt to follow that “holy” precedent?The real question is what can be done to rectify the situation. The answer is simple:1)
Our iman is that the Quran is Allah’s book, in its original pristine form right down to theletter.2)
The Prophet’s and the
lives were lived according to the Quran.3)
Therefore, if historical accounts claim things that are against Quranic teaching or that malignthe Prophet or
, then without hesitation we should declare those accounts as false.(Whether those accounts are in a book of hadith or in any other book)4)
In light of the above principles, we should compile a new history of that period. That historyshould illuminate in what way the Quran was put into action by the Muslims of that period.5)
After the blessed initial period of Islam, the Islamic system was corrupted. So the history wehave of that latter period to this day is likely the true history of Muslims. This history cannotbe called a true representation of Islam, nor can it be used as a proof or authority in Islam,nor is it worth our time to spend our energy in its defense. We are not obligated to anythingmore than acknowledging that these are they who have passed on (2:141).6)
As far as understanding the Quran is concerned, it is not subservient to outside historicalinformation. It can be understood in any time period. In the Islamic system, the Quran is the only authority and precedent, and only it is the measure of good or evil, and right or wrong.Whatever is according to it is the truth, and whatever is against it is wrong.Until we take the above principles into action, we cannot establish the true Islamic system. So did youunderstand Saleem? What history’s true position and value is and how we should deal with it? Take care myfriend.