• Misyar Marriage

    is carried out via the normal contractual procedure, with the specificity that the husband and wife give up several rights by their own free will...

  • Taraveeh a Biad'ah

    Nawafil prayers are not allowed with Jama'at except salatul-istisqa' (the salat for praying to Allah to send rain)..

  • Umar attacks Fatima (s.)

    Umar ordered Qunfuz to bring a whip and strike Janabe Zahra (s.a.) with it.

  • The lineage of Umar

    And we summarize the lineage of Omar Bin Al Khattab as follows:

  • Before accepting Islam

    Umar who had not accepted Islam by that time would beat her mercilessly until he was tired. He would then say

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Did Imam Ali name his sons after the first three Caliphs ??

Some Muslims create an impression that Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) was pleased with the companions particularly the Shaikhain and accepted their caliphate without any reservations and he was never under any duress or compulsion.
As proof they advance some tame arguments like Ali (a.s.) naming his sons after the caliphs shows his love and admiration for them.


The names of some of the sons of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) coincided with the names of the previous caliphs. But only a very prejudiced and misinformed student of history would claim that this denotes affection of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) for the caliphs.
Our first question to these Muslims – is the name of the caliph the very first instance in the history of Islam of an infant being named such. For e.g. was Umar b. Khattab the first person to be named as Umar? If not they what leads these Muslims to believe that Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) named his son after Umar. It is established historically that these names were such that they were already commonly used in Arab culture. If someone named his son with one of these names it is because these names were acceptable in the culture at that time. It is a fallacy to assume (leave alone assert) that someone was named after someone.
It is only when Islam and Shiasm spread to other lands and cultures over a period of time and the followers of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in these foreign lands heard the names of the caliphs in a negative light of being the usurpers of the right of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) that the names of these caliphs became culturally unacceptable in the Shia society. For them these names did not represent Arab culture but instead represented negative icons.
Several Imams (a.s.) also named their daughters after Ayesha. Does this mean that the Imams (a.s.) were pleased with her while the most biased and weakest of historical reports are unanimous that she waged a six-day battle against Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) leading to the death of thousands of Muslims in Islam’s first ever civil war in Jamal?
Obviously, the answer lies in the practice of the time when the Imams (a.s.) refrained from doing anything to expose themselves and their Shias to the wrath of the despotic rulers of Bani Umayyah and Bani Abbas. For the same reason, Imams (a.s.) have also openly rebuked some of their chosen companions to spare them (companions) of the caliphs’ wrath. This rebuke cannot be taken as a sign that Imams (a.s.) were displeased with the companions just like naming the children after companions and wives cannot be taken as a sign that Imams (a.s.) were pleased with them.
That is also, why we find so many companions and their fathers with names like Umar (Mufazzal b. Umar), Ziyaad (Kumayl b. Ziyaad), Muawiyah (Muawiyah b. Wahhab).

Why don’t Shias follow their Imams in naming their children?

These Muslims taunt the Shias for ignoring the Sunnah (practice) of their Imams in naming their children. They demand that like their Imams, Shias must also name their children after the caliphs.
There is a manifold answer to this question.
1. As explained it is evident that names were given for reasons other than affection for companions and wives. It was clearly to ward off tyranny and oppression from the caliphs of the time. Since the Shias today do not witness the same tyranny and oppression from the kings and caliphs they do not name their children after the caliphs and companions. When the Shias do witness tyranny and oppression they name them after the caliphs. This is in fact preferable as commanded by the Imams (a.s.) since safeguarding one’s life is necessary when a situation does not call for jihad.
2. Shias prefer to name their children after an infallible rather than the son of an infallible unless the son was also an infallible. This is because intellect demands that we emulate the infallible right down to his name.
3. Shias believe as also affirmed by Sunni reports that the names of the infallibles were chosen by Allah Himself. According to Hadith-e-Lauh (Tradition of the Tablet) which is also recorded by Sunni scholars like Hammuee in Faraed al-Simtain (chapter 2 pg 137-139), Allah Himself chose the names of Imams and their titles. So if Allah chooses Jafar it does not mean Allah has chosen based on some Jafar who existed in history, unless He Himself specifies it. Likewise, when Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) selects the name Umar or Abu Bakr it does not mean that it is based on some historical figure unless Ali (a.s.) specifically mentions it as he has done in the case of Uthman b. Mazoon.
4. Rather than worry about why Shias don’t emulate their Imams in naming their children, Muslims should focus on why they don’t emulate the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and name their children Hasan and Husain, instead of naming them after the companions. There are widely reported Sunni traditions that Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) were named by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself based on Allah’s command. Hasan and Husain are Arabic derivations of the words Shabar and Shubair respectively who were the sons of Hazrat Haroon (a.s.), who were also named by Allah.

Why don’t Shias name their children after Yazid

Some Muslims insist on the names argument and demand that if culturally acceptable names were given why don’t we find names like Yazeed, Muawiyah, Ziyad and Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab, etc.
1. Among Arabs, we find that Yazeed was commonly used by Shias even after the incident of Karbala because for them it represented a culturally acceptable name and was not exclusively identified with the villain Yazeed who mercilessly martyred Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions and imprisoned the members of the holy Ahlul Bait (a.s.).

From Shia books of Rijaal (brief biographies of narrators of traditions) like: Rijaal-e-Toosi, Rijaal-e-Barqi, Rijaal-e-Kashi, Mojam al-Rijaal al-Hadith of Ayatullah Sayed Abul Qasem al-Khui (r.a.), we find numerous examples of die-hard Shias and enemies of Bani Ummayah named Yazeed.[i]
2. Likewise, we have seen companions and their fathers named after Yazid, Muawiyah and Ziyaad like Mufazzal b. Umar and Muawiyah b. Wahab (both amongst the closest companions of the Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.)) and Kumayl b. Ziyaad among the closest companions of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). Likewise Shias were named Hisham like Hisham b. Hakam (close companion of Imam Sadiq (a.s.)) and it is obvious that they were not named based on Hisham b. Abdul Malik – the one who poisoned Imam Ali b. Husain (a.s.) Zainul Abedeen. These are a few examples from the many in the books of Rijaal (narrators of traditions).
3. Shias are not interested in naming their children after Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab but these Muslims can do so.

Umar vs. Umar

1. Even if we assume that names were granted based on caliphs, it does not mean anything. Names do not determine one’s choices; ultimately a person’s actions determine whether he is affectionate or unaffectionate towards the caliphs. It is reported Umar b. Abdul Aziz was from Umar b. Khattab’s lineage and obviously named after him. But his actions do not indicate that he was happy with his ‘role model’ particularly on returning Fadak which Umar b. Khattab withheld from Fatima – the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) daughter. If indeed Umar II was named after Umar b. Khattab then he would have shown affection towards Umar by following his footsteps.
2. Likewise, if Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) named his son Usman after Usman b. Affan, then Usman b. Ali in Karbala should have refrained from fighting with Yazid since he was Usman b. Affan’s grandson. Or at the very least a general announcement should have been made before the Battle of Karbala that all those named after the caliphs should forcibly be evicted from the battle so as to not shed the blood of innocent!
Thus, it is established that just because the names of two people happen to be the same as they were from the same culture, it does not mean that one was named after another or his father loved the former.
Also, since the narrations of traditions were banned immediately after the martyrdom of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), it is very difficult to know today that for each son of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) whose name is common with some caliph, who actually he was named after. But some traditions do give us an indication (but not towards any caliph).

It is narrated from Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) that he said regarding the naming of his son, Uthman: I have named him after my brother Uthman bin Mazoon[ii].[who was an eminent companion of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) and is buried in the graveyard of Baqi]
However, there are no traditions indicating that Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) named his sons after the Shaikhain.
For other names, also possibilities exist that Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) has based them on some respectable companion (instead of the caliphs).

How Shias benefited from these names

The names of some of the sons of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) being common with those of some caliphs created an alibi for Shias later on to escape from difficult situations in the long and heart-rending history of oppression unleashed upon them by his (a.s.) opponents. Hence, we find instances when Shias were cornered by the enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). They would have surely been killed, but they escaped a sure death by praising these sons of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) which the enemies misunderstood to be the praise of the Caliphs. The Shias were thus able to practice ‘Taqiyyah’ (dissimulation) without resorting to any untrue statement. Over the years, it resulted in protection of the lives, wealth and progeny of many Shias.
According to the aforementioned details, now in this present age after the passage of fourteen centuries, we can conclude that names cannot be the criterion for relations between two sides. Other grounds should be searched to find the reason of enmity or friendship.

Did Hazrat Fatima Zahra’s (s.a.) house have a door?


1. Doors in the Holy Quran
2. Doors in the Sunnah
3. Door of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) 
4. Abu Bakr’s biggest regret
5. Reply to the report on Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)

Of all the doubts created by some so-called Muslims including those who accept the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) virtues is that the house of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) did not have a door.
They claim houses in the early period of Islam did not have wooden doors; instead the residents fixed curtains or mats as doors. Some, in order to prove their claim, advance certain traditions like:
It is narrated by Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.): And we are Ahle Bait of Muhammad. Our houses neither have roofs nor doors…
They claim – since the house had no door, how is it possible for Fatima Zahra (s.a.) to be crushed between the door and the wall?

Doors in the Holy Quran

It is misleading to suggest that houses of the time did not have roofs and doors. The Holy Quran clearly states that houses have doors and they should be locked.

a) The following verse states that houses have doors:

وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا
“…and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by their doors.” (Surah Baqarah (2):189)

b) This verse states that doors have keys:

…مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبَائِكُمْ…أَوْ مَا مَلَكْتُمْ مَفَاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَدِيقِكُمْ ۚ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا جَمِيعًا أَوْ أَشْتَاتًا
“…from your houses, or your fathers’ houses… or what you possess the keys of, or your friends’ (houses). It is no sin in you that you eat together or separately.” (Surah Nur (24):61)
This implies doors were of wood/iron or a solid material which could be opened with a key. This rules out curtains or mats as these so-called Muslims claim.

Doors in the Sunnah

a. Houses of Muslims had doors

Traditions clearly like the one mentioned below, talk of unlocking the door with keys and this shows that houses and rooms of that period had doors:
Dukain b. Saeed Muzni: I went to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and requested him for food. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Umar: Go and give food to them. Umar took us to the room upstairs; then he removed the key from his waist band and opened the door.
• Sunan-e-Abi Dawood, vol. 2 p. 527 H. 5,240
The well-known Salafi of our era – Shaikh Naasiruddin al-Albani – in his Sahih wa Zaeef Sunan Abi Dawood, H. 5,238 has validated this tradition as authentic.
Likewise Muslim has recorded in his Sahih that houses had doors during the early period of Islam. For instance, in a report Abu Hamid says: The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) commanded us to place containers of water in a corner and latch the doors at night.
• Sahih-e-Muslim vol 3 p. 1,593, H. 2,010

b. Door of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) house

Ibn Kathir Dimishqi – Ibn Taymiyyah’s leading student, quoting from Hasan Basri, says regarding the door of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) house: Rooms of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) were constructed by fastening branches of juniper tree together with thick hair. It is mentioned in Tarikh Bukhari that the door of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was knocked with finger tips and nails and this proves that there was no ring for knocking.
• Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah vol. 3 p. 221
Knocking with finger tips indicates that doors were of a hard material and not mat as these Muslims claim.

c. Door of Ameerul Momineen’s (a.s.) house

Numerous reports by scholars of both sects have documented the famous incident – closing of doors into the mosque by divine command excepting the doors of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s).
If houses did not have proper doors that could be opened and closed, such a divine command would be meaningless, which cannot be expected from Allah, the All-Wise.
So those who reject the presence of a door are in effect accusing Allah of being Unwise (we seek refuge in Allah).
Also, there are other traditions that show that the house of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) and Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) had a door.
For instance, in the description of the marriage of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) with Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), it is mentioned: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) summoned Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and recited the same rituals and supplications for Ali (a.s.) that he (s.a.w.a.) had recited for Fatima Zahra (s.a.)…after these supplications the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) rose and closed the door.
• Al-Musannaf vol. 5 p. 489 by Abu Bakr Abdul Razzaq b. Hamam Sanani (exp. 211 A.H.) – teacher of Bukhari and Muslim

d. Door of Ayesha’s house

Bukhari has written that the door of Ayesha’s house was made of wood of juniper or teak.
• Al-Adab al-Mufarrad, vol. 1 p. 272

Door of the Ahle Bait (a.s.)

There are  many reports that clearly state that the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) house had a door.
We list two well-known instances over here.
a. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) halts at the Ahle Bait’s door
انس بن مالك: ان رسول‏ اللّه صلّى اللّه عليه و آله كان يمر بباب فاطمة إذا خرج إلى صلاة الفجر و يقول:الصلاة يا أهل بيتي انما يريد اللّه، الآية.
Anas b. Malik – the slave of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) relates – The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to pass by the door of Fatima (s.a.) at the time of the morning prayers and announce – Salutations (on you) O my Ahle Bait (a.s.) – Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.
  • Al-Ehtejaaj vol 2 pg 515
b. The poor, orphan and the captive halt at the door 
Regarding the 8th verse of Surah Insaan (76), there are reports that on three successive days, the needy one, the orphan and the captive halted at the door of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).
ا إِذْ وَقَفَ عَلَى الْبَابِ مِسْكِينٌ‏ وَ قَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ، مِسْكِينٌ مِنْ مَسَاكِينِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَطْعِمُونِي أَطْعَمْكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ طَعَامِ الْجَنَّةوَقَفَ عَلَى الْبَابِ سَائِلٌ وَ قَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّد
When the needy one halted at the door and said – Salutations on you O Ahle Bait of Muhammad, a needy one from the needy Muslims. Feed me, Allah will feed you from the food of Paradise. The beggar halted at the door and said – Salutations on you O Ahle Bait of Muhammad…
  • Zaad al-Maad pg 227 of Allamah Majlisi (r.a.)
Reports carrying the same gist have been documented in:
  • Noor al-Saqalain under exegesis of Surah Insaan
  • Taa’weel al-Ayah al-Zahirah fi Fadhail al-Itrah al-Tahirah by Ali Astarabadi
Note the reports very clearly identifying the door of the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) house. If there was no door, the word (عَلَى الْبَابِ) – meaning ‘at the door’ would not have been mentioned.

Abu Bakr’s biggest regret

Authentic reports from the opponents have been recorded that when Abu Bakr was lying on his death bed, Abd al-Rahman Ibn Awf visited him. After inquiring about his well-being, Ibn Awf questioned the reason for the disconcertment writ large on the face of Abu Bakr. He replied, “I am distressed for nine reasons: Three things which I did I should not have done; three things which I did not do, I should have done and three things I did not ask the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), I should have asked.” Of these, the first thing which he mentioned was, “I should not have exposed the house of Fatima (s.a.) even if they had locked the door to wage a war against me.
(Kitaab al-Amwaal by Abu Ubaid al-Qasim Ibn Sallaam al-Khuzaaee exp. 224 A.H., p. 524, H. 351; Tarikh Tabari, vol. 2, p. 619, vol. 3, p. 430; Zahabi in Seyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 28, p. 17 in the biography of Abu Bakr and again Zahabi in Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 3, p. 118; Ibn Abdo Rabbeh Aandlusi in Eqd al-Fareed, vol. 1, p. 29 and p. 51; al-Tabaraani in al-Mojam al-Kabeer, vol. 1 p. 62; Zia al-Maqdesi in al-Ahaadees al-Mukhtaarah, H. No. 12 (beneath it, he writes that Haazaa hadisun hasanun an Abi Bakr); Ibn Abi al-Hadeed in Sharh Nahj, vol. 6, p. 51 and vol. 20, p. 24; Suyuti in Musnad-o-Fatemah (s.a.), p. 34 and numerous other references.)
So, you see, the culprit himself is confessing to the crime and the presence of the door but his cohorts are trying to exonerate him from the same! Unfortunately, today some of these cohorts are those who claim to be from the followers of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and are even leading prayers of the Shias! May Allah save us from the evils of the last era!

Reply to the report on Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)

As for the tradition advanced as proof of houses lacking doors, readers should know it is a lengthy tradition, not related in any way to houses and doors. On the contrary, it is about the condition of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and their simple lifestyle that did not allow them to wear lavish clothes and live in palatial houses like other wealthy Arabs. The tradition is actually about the virtues of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) vis-à-vis other Muslims. These so-called Muslims have conveniently extracted a portion with malafide intention of denying the attack on the house of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.)!
Let us first look at the tradition in context to understand this better. Being a lengthy tradition, we have extracted the portion relevant to our discussion.
Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) says: “…the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was very sympathetic with the people. He (s.a.w.a.) fed them and pleased them just as soon as they approached Islam and were about to run away from it. He (s.a.w.a.) gave them clothing, carpets and beds even though we ourselves as the members of the household lived in homes without roofs and doors. The walls of our homes were made of date palm branches and leaves. We neither had any carpets nor any blankets. Several of us shared one dress and took turns to pray with it. We remained hungry around the clock. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) even gave away the one-fifth levy (khums) that was our divinely-ordained right to others and assisted the wealthy Arabs with it…”
Any unbiased reader will conclude that the tradition is actually related to the virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and their simple lifestyle that did not permit them to live lavishly.
But those with mischievous motives derive the meaning to suit their objectives which is to reject the virtues of Ahle Bait (a.s.).
Can one imagine a house for the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) without a door and ceiling allowing passersby to catch a glance at the inmates of the house? Will the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) permit such a thing for his daughter – the chief of all women of Paradise – whose hijab and modesty in this world and on the Day of Judgment is without any parallel? Also, if we have to accept such a house for Fatima Zahra (s.a.), then we have to accept the same for the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) houses, since the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is a greater model than the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Can the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his wives live in such houses?
It is obvious from the context of the tradition that the houses of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) lacked the structure and amenities of other Muslims. Their houses had doors and roofs and walls, however, they were the bare minimum for survival and not as well constructed as other companions. Just like their clothing was the bare minimum for prayers and other obligatory duties and not for ostentation.
Again, this tradition only ends up showing the virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) vis-à-vis other companions, so bringing up this tradition has only backfired on those who attempt to reject the virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).
For those with mischievous intentions there is no shortage of such conveniently extracted excerpts.

Did Imam Ali(a.s.) defend Fatima Zahra (s.a.) when she was attacked?

Some Muslims claim that Ameerul Momineen – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) did not defend the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) daughter, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) when she was attacked. Being a brave and chivalrous person demanded that he should have defended her honour.


1. Truth is with Ali and turns with Ali
2. Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib’s (a.s.) protest
3. Controlled Retaliation
4. Choice between two options
5. Similarity with Past Divine Prophets (a.s.)
6. Usman Ibn Affaan does not defend his wife

Truth is with Ali and turns with Ali

It is apparent from the tone and tenor that such a question can only be raised out of hostility to Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and his Shias. The question is explicitly framed in a bid to trap the Shias. If they say that Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) defended Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) – these Muslims reply – but he was advised patience by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). If he did not defend her, then it means he was not brave enough and all the stories about his bravery are nothing but fables. Or, in order to prove the innocence of their leaders, they suggest that the attack did not take place at all (which is the real motive behind such a question).
Our primary response to such objections against Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) is that he (a.s.) can do no wrong. He is right under both conditions – whether he defends Hazrat Fatimah (s.a.) or not. For, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared in no uncertain words that,
Ali is with the truth (haqq) and the truth is with Ali. O Allah! Turn the truth wherever Ali turns.
The authenticity and reliability of this tradition is accepted by all Muslims. So, none can question any action of Ali b. AbiTalib (a.s.) even if apparently it seems strange and unacceptable to them. Just as no Muslim can question Allah the Almighty about his order to the angels to prostrate to Prophet Adam (a.s.), although it is apparently in violation of the basic tenets of monotheism. Can anyone teach divine monotheism to Allah? Likewise, can anyone teach the truth to Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)?

Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib’s (a.s.) protest

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) did defend Fatima Zahra (s.a.) from the attackers to show them that he can retaliate and has the power to do so. He warded off Umar Ibn Khattaab and overpowered him. Had he not retaliated, there was the strong likelihood that they might have gone further and killed Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Umar had already threatened that he did not care if the house is razed with all its inmates! Hence, premeditated murder could not be ruled out.
But since Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) was bound by the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) will to observe patience come what may if he did not get the required number of helpers and supporters – he (a.s.) never drew his sword. He (a.s.) once said, “If I just had men sincere to Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) equal to the number of these sheep (which were thirty), I would have deposed the son of the eater of flies (referring to Abu Bakr as the profession of both of his parents was to ward off the flies from the dining cloth of Abdullah Ibn Jud’aan al-Taimi. The remuneration for their efforts was not in cash but to either eat the remnants or the flies that they killed. Hence, he (a.s.) called him by this agnomen).”
(Al-Kafi, vol. 8, p. 31, H. 5 The Sermon of Taalootiyyah)    
He (a.s.) did what was necessary to complete the argument else later generations would have said – why didn’t Ali (a.s.) at least put up a token resistance so we would know that he (a.s.) was upset with the state of affairs.
He (a.s.) stopped short of killing Umar when he knew that he would be violating the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) will.
Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) cannot be blamed for his intention like Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) as the Holy Quran says,
And certainly she made for him, and he would have made for her; was it not that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord…
  • Kitab-o-Sulaim b. Qais al-Hilali, p. 568 of Sulaim b. Qais al-Hilali (exp. 80 A.H.)
  • Ruh al-Ma’ani fee Tafsir al-Quran al-Azeem vol. 3, p. 124 of Sayyid Mahmud Alusi Baghdadi (exp. 1270 A.H.)
  • Khasais al-Aimmah p.73, Abul Hasan Muhammad b. Husain b. Moosa al-Moosawi al-Baghdadi, Sharif Razi (exp. 406 A.H.), edited and compiled by Dr. Muhammad Hadi Amini

Controlled Retaliation

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) did not retaliate against the attackers like he did against the infidels of Badr and Ohod because he feared that such retaliation would lead to division among the Muslims and he would be held responsible. This is like the silence of Prophet Haroon (a.s.) when the Bani Israel worshipped the calf, thereby indulging in polytheism and idol-worship.
  • Al-Isteeaab fee Marifah al-As’haab, vol. 2, p. 497, Yusuf b. Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Abd al-Birr (exp. 463)
  • Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghah, vol. 1, p. 184, Abu Hamid Izzuddin b. Hibatullah b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Abil Hadid al-Madaaeni al-Motazeli (exp. 655 A.H.) 

Choice between two options

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) faced two options when his house was attacked crushing the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.)– either to retaliate, leading to divisions among Muslims or suffer oppression and save Islam from destruction. He (a.s.) chose the latter, which was in the best interests of Islam.
He narrates in the third sermon (of Shiqshiqiyyah) of Nahj al-Balaaghah:
Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are made feeble and the young grow old and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience, although there was pricking in my eye and suffocation (of mortification) in my throat.

Similarity with Past Divine Prophets (a.s.)

Patience under extreme tribulation was not new to Islam or the creeds of the previous divine Prophets (a.s.), who exhibited patience and tolerance under great difficulties and oppressions, leading to questions like the ones raised by these Muslims – why didn’t those Prophets (a.s.) retaliate against the oppressors?
Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) was asked – Why didn’t you fight Abu Bakr and Umar while you fought Talha, Zubair and Muawiya?
He (a.s.) replied – Certainly there is for me an example in six Prophets and from among them is Nuh when he said:
…Indeed, I am overpowered, so help. (Surah Qamar (54): 10)
  • Tafseer Noor al-Saqalain under Surah Qamar: Verse 10 narrating from al-Ehtejaaj of Shaikh Abu Mansoor Ahmad Ibn Ali al-Tabarsi (r.a.)
Prophet Lut’s (a.s.) house was also attacked and the assailants threatened to abduct the handsome youths (angels) if he did not hand them over. Hazrat Lut (a.s.) pleaded with them telling them to marry the daughters of his nation instead?
Why didn’t Prophet Lut (a.s.) defend his household members from the assailants with retaliation instead of showing patience? Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) dealt with the assailants likewise with patience rather than open retaliation.

Usman Ibn Affaan does not defend his wife

These Muslims, who raise many objections against Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), must read more about Islamic history to learn how others have reacted under similar circumstances. They will undoubtedly come across the attack on the house of the third pseudo-caliph Usman Ibn Affaan by the Muslims. They must object – why did Usman fail to defend his wife when the Muslims laid siege to his house and attacked him and his wife, cutting of her fingers and striking her teeth?
He was after all their chief with an army. Moreover, he had a cousin like Muawiya b. Abi Sufyan (l.a.), who had an army of his own and could have come in no time to defend Usman in Medina! So the more important question is – Why Muawiya did not defend Usman?

Who is the bigger oppressor – killer of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) or killer of Imam Husain (a.s.)?

The progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) have always been victims of oppression and tyranny. This is despite their proximity to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the sheer number of clear instructions from Allah the High and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to the Muslims to love and respect them (a.s.).
Two personalities from the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) in particular who were made targets of untold suffering and afflictions by the oppressors were Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) and Imam Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.).
The oppressors left no stone unturned in harassing, torturing and finally killing these two infallible personalities (a.s.).
It is worth evaluating who was the bigger tyrant – killer of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) or killer of Imam Husain (a.s.).
We highlight one incident each to underscore who from the two was the bigger tyrant.
Shimr’s cowardice
Muhammad Ibn Jurair al-Tabari records in his history: Shimr Ibn Zil Jawshan advanced until he reached a particular tent of Imam Husain (a.s.), and striking it with his lance said: Bring me fire so that I may burn it along with its inmates!
Hearing this, the women-folk started shrieking and came out of the tents in panic.
Imam Husain (a.s.) called out loudly: O son of Zil Jawshan! Do you ask for fire to be brought so as to burn the tent along with my family? May Allah burn you in the fire (of hell)!
Hameed Ibn Muslim relates: I said to Shimr Ibn Zil Jawshan, ‘Glory be to Allah! This does not befit you. Do you desire to taste the wrath of Allah by killing the children and ladies? By Allah! The commander will be pleased with you by killing the men only.’
Then Shimr asked me as to who I was and I said: I shall not disclose who I am.
I said this, for by Allah, I feared that he would complain about me to the ruler.
Thereafter, Shabath Ibn Rib’ee – may Allah curse him – came to Shimr, whose orders he obeyed more (than any other person), and said: I have not heard a more evil speech from you before, nor have I seen a more degraded situation that you have placed yourself into! Have you now started frightening the women?
Upon hearing this, Shimr relented and retreated.
  • Waaqeah al-Taff by Abu Mikhnaf al-Kufi, p. 229
  • Bait al-Ahzaan by Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi (r.a.), p. 138
In spite of being a foolish, empty-headed and shameless person, Shimr on being restrained by Shabath Ibn Rib’ee yielded to his orders and desisted from burning the tents.
However, the individual (who was more shameless than Shimr), came to the house of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and threatened to burn him and his family demanding – By Him in whose hands is my life! You should step out of the house to swear allegiance, failing which I will burn the house upon all of you!
Someone informed him – Fatima the daughter of Allah’s Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his two sons are also in the house! But I (the author) bear witness that he did not desist, nor was he ashamed but he did what he did (i.e. set the house afire).
  • Al-Ehtejaaj by Shaikh al-Tabrisi (r.a.) vol. 1 p. 105
Also refer books of the Ahle Tasannun regarding the incident:
  • Al-Musannaf, vol. 7, p. 432
  • Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 8, p. 291
  • Mizaan al-Etedaal vol. 1 p. 139
  • Al-Waafi be al-Wafayaat vol. 6 p. 17
  • Al-Farq bain al-Feraq p. 107
  • Al-Isteeaab fi Maarefah Al-As’haab, vol. 3, p. 975
  • Ansaab al-Ashraaf, vol. 1, p. 586
  • Al-Iqd al-Fareed, vol. 5, p. 13
  • Sharh Nahj al-Balaaghah vol. 4 p. 192
  • Al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbaar al-Bashar, vol. 1, p. 156
  • Taarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk, famous as Tarikh Tabari, vol. 3, p. 202
  • Al-Milal wa al-Nehal, vol. 1, p. 59
  • Kitaab al-Amwaal, p. 131
  • Al-Imaamah wa al-Siyaasah, vol. 1, p. 18
And the oppressors of Fatima (s.a.) turned so audacious that those who fled the battlefields until recently promoted themselves as ‘champions’ overnight as this incident shows:
‘And Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) did not have a helper or defender except what has been narrated about Zubair that when he witnessed the group drag Ali (a.s.) from his house, he unsheathed his sword and called out: O tribe of Bani Abdul Muttalib! Ali (a.s.) is being subject to this while you are alive? Then he fumed at Umar and lifted his sword to strike at him. Then Khalid Ibn Walid hurled a stone at him which caused the sword to fall down. Then Umar picked up his sword and broke it by slamming it against a stone.’
  • Behaar al-Anwaar vol. 28 p. 229
Oppression on Fatima (s.a.) was foundation for Karbala
Another response to the question on who was the bigger tyrant is available in traditions.
Traditions are categorical that the attack on Fatima Zahra’s (s.a.) house laid the foundation for all other atrocities on Aal Muhammad (a.s.) including Karbala.
Mufazzal Ibn Umar (r.a.) asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.): O Son of Allah’s Prophet, which is the day of retaliation (by enemies) that was most difficult for you?
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) – There is no greater difficulty for us than the Day of Karbala even though it was like the Day of Saqifah and the burning down the door on Ali – Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and Fatima (s.a.) and Hasan (a.s.) and Husain (a.s.) and Zainab (s.a.) and Umm Kulsum (s.a.) and Fizza and the killing of Muhassin (Mohsin) (a.s.) with a kick is greater and more bitter because it laid the foundation for the Day.
  • Hidayah al-Qubra p 417
This and similar traditions clearly prove that the killer of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was the bigger oppressor and laid the foundation for Karbala
Who is the bigger tyrant?
Based on the arguments, it does not take a genius to judge who was the bigger tyrant.
Shimr, on being rebuked, refrained from burning the tents and oppressing helpless womenfolk and children, at least till the time Imam Husain (a.s.) was alive.
However, the killer of Fatima Zahra (s.a.), showed no remorse or even humanitarianism. Of all women and children, he targeted those from the household of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He did not even spare the unborn Mohsin Ibn Ali (a.s.). He was not only personally engaged in burning the house; he even enlisted a mob for the cause, as if it was a great virtue to be performed in congregation!
The intellect judges that the killer of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was the bigger oppressor. Therefore, it is no wonder that the killer of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) will be the most humiliated and chastised person on the Day of Judgement.

Was Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) in favour of Tarawih?

The Muslim majority has adopted the Tarawih prayers based on the whims and fancies of companions turned caliphs. The Tarawih has no basis in the Holy Quran or even the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or even the righteous companions like Ameerul Momineen – Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).
The opponents who like to appropriate Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) as a Salaf and a follower of the sunnah of the Shaikhain cannot produce a single report that Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) offered the Tarawih.
The question the opponents must ask themselves is that if Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was indeed in favour of the policies of the Shaikhain why didn’t he extend his patronage to the Tarawih by offering it along with the other Muslims?
On the contrary we find many reports where Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) shows disgust for the Tarawih.

1. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) on the Tarawih

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) laments on the rigidness of the Muslims with regards the innovation of Tarawih prayers:
By Allah they would disperse from me if I were to command the people not to gather in the Month of Ramazan except for the obligatory prayers and inform them that their congregation for the supererogatory prayers (nawafil) is an innovation.
So some of the people in my army would call out to the ones who are fighting alongside me – O People of Islam! The Sunnah of Umar has been changed. He is preventing us from the supererogatory prayers in the Month of Ramazan and I feared that there would be a revolt in a section of my army.
  • Al-Kafi v 8 p 63
  • Kitab al-Sulaim (r.a.) v 2 p 723
  • Wasail al-Shia v 8 p 47
  • Behaar al-Anwaar v 34 p 174

2. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) refuses to entertain requests for Tarawih

It is the reported that the people of Kufa requested Ali (a.s.) to appoint an Imam for the Tarawih prayers. Ali (a.s.) prohibited them from it and informed them it was an innovation, in stark contrast to the Sunnah, then he (a.s.) left them alone.
Then the people mobilized and appointed a leader amongst themselves for the Tarawih.
Then Ali (a.s.) sent his son Hasan (a.s.) who entered the Mosque along with a whip. When the people saw him (a.s.), they rushed towards the door, screaming.
  • Nahj al-Haqq p 289-290
  • Taqreeb al-Maarif p 347 (with variation)
There are several traditions of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) prohibiting Tarawih in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). When there is not a single documented instance of either the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) praying Tarawih and in fact condemning it outright as a vile innovation (bidah), it is surprising how the Tarawih founds its way in Islam in such a big way, that too at the level of Sunnah Mu’akkadah! At least this proves that the innovation / bidah blame game cannot be restricted only to the Shias.

Did Allah forgive the companions for fleeing from battles?

The Muslim majority are constantly finding ways to defend the companions from blemishes. For this they mount vague defences like ‘Adalat-e-Sahabah’ i.e. the Companions can do no wrong. However, when very obvious wrongs like fleeing from battles (Uhud, Khaibar, Hunain,) is pointed out, they claim that although these were major sins, but Allah has forgiven them so we must also ignore them.
Either Adalat or sins – can’t have both
The Sahabah (companions) were prone to grave misdeeds, going by the apparent verses of the Holy Quran. Their fleeing from battles, apart from other misdeeds, is roundly condemned by Allah on many occasions. Bluntly put, they were just like other Muslims so arguments like special status of the Salaf and Adalat of Sahabah ring quite hollow.
The Muslims attempt to sanitize the companions by claiming they were forgiven for fleeing and other misdeeds.
Our point is when companions were forgiven then it proves they were not Adil, else why would they need forgiveness. And if they were in need of divine forgiveness just like others then how are they superior to Muslims of the past, present and future?
Is there forgiveness for fleeing?
The Muslims advance the verse of Surah Ale Imran: 155 to prove forgiveness:
‘(As for) those of you who turned back on the day when the two armies met, only the Shaitan sought to cause them to make a slip on account of some deeds they had done, and certainly Allah has pardoned them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.’ (Surah Ale Imran: 155)
This verse refers to the Battle of Uhud. Even if we admit their argument that companions were forgiven for abandoning the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in Uhud, what about the other battles.
After Uhud, companions fled from Khaibar and Hunain. Where are the Quranic verses that promise them forgiveness for escaping from these battles?
Or is there one Quranic verse that assures companions forgiveness for escaping from all past and future battles.
Perhaps that explains why they chose to flee ever so brazenly!
Umar’s confession
It is widely reported that Umar Ibn Khattab confessed in a Friday sermon while narrating the Quranic verse – (As for) those of you who turned back on the day when the two armies met… Surah Aal Imran (3): 155
….when we were defeated in the Day of Uhud, I (Umar) fled until I climbed the mountain…
  • Al-Durr al-Manthoor v 2 p 88 under Surah Aal Imran (3): 155
  • Tafseer al-Tabari under Surah Aal Imran (3): 155, trad. 8,098
  • Kanz al-Ummal trad. 4,291
Why did Umar have to confess when he was forgiven? It shows he was guilty, else who wants to remind others of one’s failures that too after assuming ‘caliphate’ on the pretext of superiority over Ansar and Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). Umar knew till the time Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), who never fled the battles, was in his midst, he – Umar – would never truly forget his past.
Why Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took the companions back
The Muslims presume that since the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) accepted the companions back it shows they were forgiven.
From the repeated misdeeds of the companions, it is clear that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not take them back as an affirmation of their correct Islam or certainty of Paradise. He let them attend his assemblies out of a moral imperative, raised as he (s.a.w.a.) on the highest ethics (خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ).
Just like Allah allowed Iblis, Prophet Moosa (a.s.) allowed Samiri and Prophet Esa (a.s.) allowed Yahuda (Judas, the betrayer) in their assemblies.
How else can one explain the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) permitting clear hypocrites like Muawiyah in his assemblies, who, he (s.a.w.a.) knew, would create trouble for his successor Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). This is also true for companions and wives like Talha, Zubair and Ayesha, who would go on to wage battle with Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), according to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Also, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was commanded to go by the apparent Islam of the companions. So although the companions committed many misdeeds and abandoned the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in many a battle, since they were apparently Muslims, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) accepted their excuse and took them back.
Why companions were driven away from the Pond
If indeed the companions were forgiven as the Muslims claim, then how do they explain reports like this:
While informing about the Day of Resurrection, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: Some men from my people will be brought and taken to the left (towards the Fire). I will say: ‘O my Lord! My companions!’
It will be said: You do not know what evil they introduced after you…
  • Sahih al-Bukhari while commenting on Surah Maidah (5) Chapter of ‘O Apostle! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from Your Lord… (Verse 67). Also commenting on Surah Anbiya (21)
Variants of the tradition have been recorded by the Ahle Tasannun in:
  • Sahih al-Bukhari ‘Book of  invocations’, Chapter  of  ‘At the Pool’
  • Ibn Maajah, ‘Book of Al-Manaasik’ Chapter on ‘The Speech on the Day of Sacrifice’, tradition 5,830.
  • Musnad Ahmad vol 1 p. 453, vol. 3 p. 28, vol. 5 p. 48
  • Sahih al-Muslim under the Chapter of Virtues of Companions
Surprisingly, this tradition has been recorded by Sahih al-Muslim under the Chapter of ‘Virtues of Companions’! If being driven to the Fire is from the virtues, only Allah knows what qualifies as evil!
Traditions like this prove that the companions and wives were not forgiven after all for their grievous misdeeds and sins.
If every fleeing and misdemeanour of the companions is forgiven then what is left for the Muslims to respect and honour in companionship of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? The Muslims of later ages who did not slip up in their Islam are decidedly superior even if they did not get the opportunity to spend time in the company of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

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