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  • 10/5/2011

Peshawar Nights: Hadith-‌e‌ Thaqalain

Third Session-part 3


*Objection on Hadith of Ma'rifa (tradition of knowledge of Allah)

*Absurd reports in Sahihain (the two collections) of Bukhari and Muslim


*Polytheism and its kinds

*Concerning offerings or pledges



Hafiz: In Tafsir-e-Safi, written by one of your high-ranking ulema, Faiz Kashi, there is a hadith that one day Imam Husain, the Martyr of Karbala, addressing his companions said: "O people, Allah Almighty has not created his servants but to know Him. When they knew Him, they worshipped Him, when they worshipped Him, they became adverse to worship of any other thing." One of the Companions said:

"May the lives of my father and mother be sacrificed to you! O son of the Holy Prophet! What is the real meaning of knowing Allah?" The Holy Imam replied, "For every man to know Allah means to know the Imam of his time, who must be obeyed."

Well-Wisher: First, we must examine the chain of narrators of the hadith in order to establish whether it is authentic. Even if it is correct with regard to the chain of narrators, yet the verses of the Holy Qur'an and the unquestionable hadith of the Holy Prophet in regard to the Oneness of Allah cannot be misconstrued because of the assertion of one man.

Why don't you examine the hadith and sayings of our Holy Imams, and the religious dialogues between our religious heads and the atheists, which already prove the unity of Allah? Why don't you consult the chief books and commentaries of the Shias, such as Tauhid-e-Mufazzal, Tauhid-e-Saduq, Biharu'l-Anwar (Book of Tauhid) of Allama Majlisi and other books written by Shia ulema, which are full of continuous hadith (on Tauhid) by our holy Imams?

Why don't you consult An-Naktu'l-I'tiqadiyya, by Sheikh Mufid (d. 413 A.H.), one of the Shia ulema, and also his book Awa'ilu'l-Maqalat fi'l-Mazahib wa'l-Mukhtarra or Ihtijaj by our famous Alim, Abu Mansur Ahmad Bin Ali Bin Abu Talib Tabrasi

. If you had, you would know how our holy Imam Reza proved the unity of Allah. It is not fair to pick out some dubious report simply to malign the Shias. Your own books contain absurdities and whimsical ideas. In fact, ridiculous hadith exist in your most authentic books ù the Siha-e-Sitta, (i.e., the Six Books of Accepted Traditions).

Hafiz: In fact, your words are ridiculous since you find fault with books whose greatness and authenticity are unquestionable, particularly the Sahih Bukhari, and Sahih Muslim. Our ulema agree that all the hadith contained in them are true. If someone rejects these two books, he rejects the real Sunni sect. After the Holy Qur'an, Sunnis rely upon the authenticity of these two books. Perhaps you have seen Ibn Hajar Makki's point in the beginning of his Sawa'iqe Muhriqa, chapter of "The Affairs" (affairs of the caliphate of Abu Bakr) as recorded by Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihain, which are the most authentic and reliable books after the Holy Qur'an, according to the unanimity of the followers (i.e., the umma, or community). He says that since the whole community is unanimous in accepting the hadith of these books, whatever the community holds with one accord is unquestionable. On the basis of this agreement, all the hadith contained in these books are undoubtedly acceptable. Hence, no one can have the courage to assert that these books contain absurdities or ridiculous matter.



Well-Wisher: First, that these books are acceptable to the whole community is open to objection. Your claim with reference to Ibn Hajar is, itself, absurd since 100 million Muslims do not accept his point. Hence, the unanimity of the community in the matter is just like the unanimity claimed by your people in the matter of the caliphate. Secondly, what I say is based on valid reasons. If you study those books with an unprejudiced mind, you will be astonished. Many of your great ulema, such as Dar Qutni, Ibn Hazam, Allama Abu'l-Fazl Ja'far Bin Tha'labi in Kitabu'l-Imta' fi Ahkamu's-Sama', Sheikh Abdu'l-Qadir Bin Muhammad Qarshi in Jawahiru'l-Mazay'a fi Tabaqatu'l-Hanafiyya, and others, including all the Hanafi ulema, have criticized the Sahihain and have acknowledged that they contain a number of weak and unconfirmed hadith. The objective of Bukhari and Muslim was to collect hadith; not to consider their authenticity. Some of your research scholars, like Kamalu'd-Din Ja'far Bin Sa'lih have taken great pains in pointing out the defects and faults of the hadith and have set forth valid grounds in support of their findings.

Hafiz: I would welcome it if you would put forward the arguments so that the audience may know the truth.

Well-Wisher: I will cite only a few examples.



If you wish to study misleading hadith regarding the incarnation of Allah, which contend that He, as a physical being, can be seen in this world, or will be seen in the Hereafter, (as believed by a faction of the Sunnis, i.e., the Hanbalites and Asharites), you may refer to your own books, particularly Sahih Bukhari (Vol. I, in the Chapter "Fazla's-Sujud Min Kitabu'l-Adhan," page 100; Vol. IV, p.92 of Sahih Muslim, "Babu's-Sira Min Kitabu'r-Riqaq,"and also Sahih Muslim (Vol. I, in the Chapter "Isbatu'l-Ruyatu'l-Mu'minin Rabbahum Fi'l-Akhira," page 86); and Musnad of Imam Hanbal, Volume II, page 275. You will find sufficient information of this type in those books. For example, Abu Huraira says: "The clamor and violent rage of Hell will intensify, it will not calm down until Allah puts His leg in it. Then Hell will say, 'Stop, stop! It is enough for me; it is enough for me.'" Abu Huraira also narrates that a group of people asked the holy Prophet, "Shall we see our Creator on the Day of Judgement?" He replied, "Of course. At mid-day when the sky is free of clouds, does the Sun hurt you, if you look at it?" They said: "No!" Again he said: "During the nights when you see the full moon when the sky is clear, does it hurt you?" They said: "No!" He continued: "So when you see Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement, you will not be hurt, just as you are not hurt by seeing these (the sun and the moon). When the Day of Judgement comes, it will be announced by Allah that every community should follow it's god. So everyone who has worshiped idols or anything other than Allah, The One, shall be thrust into Hell fire. So shall everyone of the good and bad persons be thrown into it except those who worshipped Allah, the Absolute One. They shall lie in Hellfire. At that time Allah will appear in a particular form before the people so that they can see Him. Then Allah will tell them that He is their Allah. The believers will then say, 'We take refuge in Your Godhead. We are not among those who have worshiped anything except Allah the Absolute.' Allah will say in reply, 'Have you any sign between you and Allah so that you may see Him and identify Him?' They will say, 'Yes.' Then Allah will show them His bare leg. Thereupon the believers will raise their heads upwards and will see Him in the same condition as they saw Him for the first time. Then Allah will say that He is their Creator. All of them will acknowledge that He is their Allah."

Now it is for you to judge whether this kind of statement is tantamount to infidelity or not, that Allah would physically appear before the people and would uncover His leg! And the strongest point in support of my argument is that Muslim Bin Hajjaj begins a Chapter in his Sahih about the proof of the visibility of Almighty Allah, and has quoted the fabricated reports from Abu Huraira, Zaid Bin Aslam, Suwaid Bin Sa'id, and others.

 And some of the leading ulema of your own sect like Dhahabi in Mizanu'l-I'tidal and Suyuti in his Kitabu'l-Lu'ualia'l-Masnu'a fi hadithu'l-Muzu'a, and Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Al-Muzu'a, have proved on reasonable grounds that these narrations are fabricated.



Even if there had been no proof against the above assertions, the verse of the Holy Qur'an explicitly rejects the doctrine of the visibility of Allah. Allah says: "Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision_." (6:103)

Again, when the Prophet Moses was compelled by the Israelites to go to his place of prayer and beseech Allah to "show Himself to him," the Holy Qur'an records the event as follows: " He (Moses) said: 'My Lord! Show me (Thyself), so that I may look upon Thee.' He said: 'You cannot (bear to) see me...'" (7:143)

Seyyed Abdu'l-Hayy (Imam of the Jama'at Ahle-Sunna): it not a fact that Ali said: "I do not worship a god whom I do not see?"

When Ali says such a thing, it means that Allah can be seen.



Well-Wisher: Respected friend, you have taken one sentence out of context. I will recite the whole text to you. This hadith has been recorded by the great Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Yaqub Kulaini in his Usul Kafi, Volume on Tauhid, as well as Sheikh Saduq in his Book on Tauhid, Chapter "Ibtal Aqida Ruyatullah." Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq is quoted as saying a Jewish scholar asked the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, whether he had seen Allah at the time of prayers. The Imam replied: "He cannot be seen by these physical eyes. It is the heart which sees Him through the light of the realities of conviction." It follows from Ali's reply that what he means by seeing Allah is not seeing Him with the eyes but through the light of sincere faith. There are many other proofs based on reason and recorded facts to substantiate our point of view. Moreover, apart from Shia scholars, your own ulema, like Qazi Baidhawi and Jarullah Zamakhshari, have proved in their commentaries that it is impossible to see Allah. One who believes in the visibility of Allah, in this world or in the Hereafter, believes that He is a physical being. To believe this is infidelity.



You consider that your six traditional books, particularly those of Bukhari and Muslim, are like revealed books. I wish that you could look at them objectively and not exceed limits in your praise for them. Bukhari, in the Chapter "Kitab-e-Ghusl," and Muslim in Part II of his Sahih (in the Chapter on Virtues of the Prophet Moses), and Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Part II, page 315, and others of your ulema have quoted Abu Huraira as saying: "Among the Bani Isra'il it was customary to bathe together without clothes, so that they glanced at the genitals of one another. They did not consider it objectionable. Only the Prophet Moses went into the water alone, so that no one could see his private parts. The Bani Isra'il used to say that the Prophet Moses had defective genitals, so he avoided bathing with them. One day the Prophet Moses went to the river to bathe. He took off his clothes, put them over a stone, and went into the water. The stone fled with his clothes. Moses ran after the stone, naked, shouting: 'My clothes! O stone, my clothes.' The Bani Israel saw the naked Moses and said: 'By Allah! Moses has no defect in his genitals. The stone then stopped and Moses retrieved his clothes. Then Moses beat the stone so severely that six or seven times the stone shrieked in pain." Do you actually believe such a thing is possible for the holy Prophet Moses, or that a stone, an inanimate object, could take away his clothes? Surely it would be impossible for a Prophet to run naked before the people.

I will relate another hadith recorded in the Sahih, which is even more ridiculous. Bukhari quotes Abu Huraira in his Sahih (Volume I, page 158 and Volume II, page 163) and again in the Chapter "Death of the Prophet Moses" and Muslim also quotes the same authority (Abu Huraira) in his Sahih, Volume II, page 309 in the Chapter "On The Merits of Moses" as saying: "The Angel of Death came to the Prophet Moses and asked him to accept the invitation of his Creator. Upon hearing this, Moses gave him such a slap in his face that he lost one of his eyes. So he went back to Allah and complained that he had sent him to a man who did not want to die and who had knocked out one of his eyes. Allah cured his eye and ordered him to go again to Moses and to tell him that if he wanted longer life, he should lay his hand on the back of a bull. He would live for as many years as the number of hairs that would be covered by his hand." Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Volume II, page 315, and Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari in his History, Volume I, under the heading "Death of the Prophet Moses," gave the same account from Abu Huraira with the addition that up to the time of Moses, the Angel of Death used to physically separate the soul from the body. But after Moses gave him a slap in the face, he came unseen.

Now it is for you to judge what sort of nonsense this is which is included in the two collections of traditions, which you call the most correct of all books after the Holy Qur'an. The reports I have cited certainly insult the honor of the prophets of Allah. As for Abu Huraira, I am not surprised at his narrations. Your own ulema admit that in order to fill his belly from the dainty dishes provided by Mu'awiya, he fabricated reports. Because of his fabrications, Caliph Umar had him lashed. It is surprising that sensible people believe in such ridiculous stories.

Now let's return to our discussion regarding the hadith you quoted. Obviously, a just man who sees a lone narration (narrated by only one person) would compare it with other authentic hadith. He would either correct it or reject it outright, rather than use it as a basis for attacking his brothers of another sect and calling them infidels. Since the Tafsir-e-Safi is not here with us, we cannot say anything about the authenticity of this hadith. Even if it is true, we should rely on the principle that if we know the effect, we can know the cause. That is, if we know the Imam as Imam, we certainly know the identity of Allah, in the same way that if one knows the prime minister, he knows the King. It is in reference to this principle that the chapter "Tauhid" and other verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed. Moreover, there are many hadith about the unity of Allah narrated by Imam Husain himself and other Imams. To know our Imam is a great form of worship of Allah. The same meaning has been given in Ziarat-e-Jami'a, which has come down to us from our Holy Imam. We may also interpret it in another way, as scholars have done in similar matters. Every performer of an action may be understood by the nature of his action. Since the Prophet and his descendants attained the highest level of human possibility, no others are as meritorious or virtuous as they. Since they are the most evident means of knowing Allah, anyone who knows them, knows Allah. As they have themselves said: "It is through us that Allah can be known, and it is through us that Allah can be served." We believe that the Prophet's family taught us knowledge about Allah and the proper way to worship Him. Those who have not followed them have lost the way.



To stress the same point, the Prophet said in a hadith acknowledged by both sects, "O my people! I leave behind me for you two great objects (of authority): The book of Allah and my Ahle Bait. Should you remain attached to these two, never, never shall you be misled after me (for verily these two shall never, never be separated from each other until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar).

Hafiz: We do not rely on this tradition, which you try to revise. There are many innovations in your books and examples of polytheism, like seeking fulfillment of our desires from the Imams rather than from Allah. What is polytheism? Polytheism means to turn to any other person or thing rather than to Allah for the satisfaction of our needs. It has been observed that Shias never invoke Allah. They invoke the Imams. It is nothing but polytheism.

Well-Wisher: I am afraid you distort facts. Perhaps I may be allowed to tell you what polytheism is according to the great ulema of Islam and according to the verses of the Holy Qur'an.



Polytheism is of two kinds: open polytheism and hidden polytheism. Open polytheism means to associate someone or something with Allah's All-Perfect Self or with His attributes. Making partners with Allah means associating something with His Oneness and acknowledging this association with the tongue, like the Sanamiyyas (idol-worshippers) or the Zoroastrians, who believe in two principles: light and darkness. Christians also do this. They believe in the trinity and divide divinity into three parts ù father, son, and holy spirit. They believe in separate characteristics for each, and unless the three are united, the Divine self is not complete. The Holy Qur'an rejects this belief, and Allah Almighty declares His Oneness in these words: "Certainly they disbelieve who say: 'Surely Allah is the third (person) of three;' there is no god but the one Allah...." (5:73)

Associating things with divine attributes means believing that His attributes, like His knowledge or might, are separate from, or in addition to, His All-Perfect Self. The Asharis of Abu'l-Hasan Ali Bin Isma'il Ashari Basari, are reported by your own leading ulema, like Ali Bin Ahmad in his book Al-Kashf and Minhaju'l-Adilla fi Aqa'idi'l-Milla (The Open Just Revelation of the Beliefs of Nations), page 57, to believe that the attributes of Allah are in addition to His All-Perfect Self, and are eternal. So anyone who believes that any quality or attribute of His is in any way an addition to His All-Perfect Self is a polytheist. Every attribute of His is essential to Him. Polytheism in one's actions means to associate someone with His Ever-Independent Will. The Jews believe that Allah created creatures and then kept Himself aloof from His creatures. In condemnation of these people, the following verse was revealed: "And the Jews say: 'The hand of Allah is tied!' Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out; He expends as He pleases...." (5:64)

The Gallis or Ghullat (extremists) form another group of polytheists. They are also called Mufawwiza. They believe that Allah has delegated His powers or entrusted all affairs to the holy Imams. According to them, the Imams are the creators, and they also give us sustenance. Obviously, those who consider someone a partner in divine authority is a polytheist.



Polytheism in prayer means deliberately turning one's attention during prayers toward a created being rather than toward Allah. If one intends to pray to a created being, he is a polytheist. The Holy Qur'an forbids it in these words. " ...whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not join anyone in the service of his Lord." (18:110) This verse shows that the fundamental article of faith is that man should do whatever is good and should not associate anyone with Allah in offering obedience and worship to Him. In other words, he who offers prayers or performs the Hajj, or does any good act merely to show to the public his righteousness, he is a polytheist. He has associated others with Allah in the matter of performing his deeds. The vain display of good deeds is minor polytheism, which negates our good actions. It has been reported that the holy Prophet said: "Abstain from minor Polytheism." People asked him, "O, Prophet of Allah, what is minor polytheism?" He replied, "Al-riya wa's-sama'" (i.e., to show people, or to let them hear of your worship of Allah). Also the holy Prophet said: "The worst thing which I fear for you is your hidden polytheism; so rise above it since among my followers polytheism is more secret than the creeping of the ant on a hard stone in the dark night." Again he said: "One who offers the ritual prayer in an ostentatious way, is a polytheist. One who keeps the fast, or gives alms, or performs the Hajj, or frees a slave to show to the public his righteousness or to earn a good name is a polytheist." And since this last line refers to matters of the heart, it has been included in hidden polytheism.

Hafiz: We note of your own statement that if someone makes an offering to any created being, he is a polytheist. So the Shias are also polytheists since they make offerings to the holy Imams and their sons.



Well-Wisher: If we wish to determine the faith of a community, we should not rely on the uninformed people of that community. We should study their reliable books. If you wish to study Shia'ism, don't start with Shia beggars on roads, crying "O Ali, O Imam Reza," and on that ground declare that Shias are polytheists. Similarly, if ignorant people make pledges or offerings in the name of the Imams or their sons, you should not slander all of Shia'ism. If you study Shia books of jurisprudence, you will find that there is not a single trace of polytheism, or absurdity. The insistence on the Oneness of Allah is manifest everywhere. The most famous books, Sharhe lum'a and Shara'i, are widely available and you may study them. In the Chapter "Offerings," the legal pronouncements of Shia jurists are cited, both in the two works cited above and in many other publications. Since nazr is a kind of prayer, it is essential that there should be an intention that it be for the sake of seeking nearness to Allah. There are two conditions for a valid nazr: intention of the heart and utterance or expression in prescribed words in whatever language it may be. Regarding the first condition, the intention of the heart must be for the sake of Allah. The second condition completes the first condition; the person who makes the offering (nazr) must say in words that it is for Allah. For instance, if he pledges to keep a fast or to give up drinking, he must make the intention using the prescribed words, which contain the word "Lillah" (for the sake of Allah), without which the offering is invalid.

To be continued ...

Source: al-islam.org

Other Links:

The Tendency of Rationalizing the Laws of the Shari”²a

Peshawar Nights (perface)

Peshawar Nights: first session-part 1

Peshawar Nights: first session-part 2

Peshawar Nights: Second Session-part 1

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