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  • 10/22/2011

Peshawar Nights:  Characteristics of the Companions

Fifth Session-part 2

ali-imam

*Characteristics of the Companions

*Hadith in praise of Abu Bakr

*Abu Huraira's character and his condemnation

*Ibn Abd Rabbih's slanders against the Shias

*Slanders by Ibn Hazm

 

Sheikh ABDU'S-SALAM: (Turning to Hafiz Muhammad Rashid Sahib) Allow me to say something briefly. (Turning to well-wisher). We never deny the high qualities of Ali, but to confine praise to him alone is not fair since the principal companions of the Holy Prophet were, one and all, men of virtue. You are indulging in one-sided talk, which misleads the people. Permit me to quote a hadith in their praise so that the truth of the matter may be revealed.

Well-Wisher: I'm not concerned with personalities. The Qur'anic verses and authentic hadith lead us in one direction. I swear by Allah that I do not blindly love or hate anyone. I ask the audience to stop me if at any time I resort to anything which is against reason or common sense. hadith acknowledged by both sects should be relied upon. I do not deny the good qualities of the upright companions of the Prophet, but we should search among them for one who is superior to the whole community. Our discussion is not about virtuous men, as the virtuous are many. We should find out who was the most meritorious person after the Prophet so that we may follow him.

Sheikh: You make unnecessary restrictions. In your books there is not a single hadith in praise of the caliphs. How can we argue on that basis?

Well-Wisher: On the first night of our discussions, you will recall that Hafiz Sahib himself agreed to a debate on the condition that our arguments be based on verses of the Holy Qur'an and on hadith accepted by both sects. Since I have your authentic books, I agreed to it. As all of you will confirm, I have not deviated from that stand. In support of my points, I have cited only verses of the Holy Qur'an and hadith recorded in the authentic books of your own eminent scholars. When you made this condition, you did not realize that you would be trapped later on. Still, I don't want this condition to be taken absolutely. I am prepared to hear even your one-sided hadith if they are authentic. Then we can determine facts justly. I have no hesitation in accepting facts in comparing the merits of Ali.

Sheikh: You cited a hadith concerning Ali's vicegerency but overlooked the fact that there are many hadith about Caliph Abu Bakr.

Well-Wisher: Keeping in mind that your own prominent ulema, like Dhahabi, Suyuti, and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid have reported that the Amawi's and the followers of Abu Bakr have fabricated many hadith in praise of Abu Bakr, you may cite a hadith from many of those so that a just man may judge its authenticity.

HADITH IN PRAISE OF ABU BAKR

Sheikh: There is an authentic hadith narrated by Umar Bin Ibrahim Bin Khalid, who reports from Isa Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Bin Abbas, and he from his father, and he from his grandfather, Abbas, that the Prophet of Islam told that gentleman, "O uncle! Allah has made Abu Bakr Caliph of his religion. So listen to him and obey him so that you may secure deliverance."

Well-Wisher: This is a rejected hadith.

Sheikh: How is it a rejected hadith?

Well-Wisher: Your own prominent ulema have rejected it. Because the reporters of this hadith were notorious liars and forgers, your ulema do not consider it worthy of acceptance. Dhahabi in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal, writing about Ibrahim Bin Khalid, and Khatib Baghdadi, writing about Umar Bin Ibrahim say, "He is a great liar." A hadith narrated by a liar is unacceptable.

Sheikh: It is reported from reliable sources that one of the pious companions of the Prophet, Abu Huraira, narrated that Gabriel appeared before the Holy Prophet and said, "Allah sends His salutation to you. He says, 'I am satisfied with Abu Bakr; ask him if he too is satisfied with me or not.'"

Well-Wisher: We should be very cautious about citing hadith. I draw your attention to a hadith which your own ulema, like Ibn Hajar (in Isaba) and Ibn Abdu'l-Bar (in Isti'ab) quote from Abu Huraira that the Prophet said, "There are many who misquote me, and one who misrepresents me has his abode in Hell. When a hadith is reported to you on my behalf, you should put it before the Holy Qur'an."

Another hadith acknowledged by both sects, narrated by Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in his Tafsir Kabir, Volume lI, page 271, reports that the Prophet said, "When a hadith from me is reported to you, put it before the Book of Allah. If it agrees with the Holy Qur'an, accept it. Otherwise, reject it." The books of your own eminent ulema state that one of those who fabricated hadith in the name of the Holy Prophet was this rejected man, Abu Huraira, whom you have called pious.

Sheikh: I didn't expect a man of your standing to make slanderous remarks about the Prophet's companions.

Well-Wisher: You want me to be in awe of the word "Sahabi" (companion), but you are mistaken if you think the word "Sahabi" necessarily conveys honor. True, the companionship of the Holy Prophet enhances one's virtue, but this is based on the condition that the companion is obedient to the Prophet. If he acts against the instructions of the Prophet, then surely he will be rejected. Weren't the munafiqin (hypocrites) companions of the Prophet? Yes, and they were all cursed.

Sheikh: It is not proved that they were rejected. If they were rejected, what is the proof that they will go to Hell? Is everyone who is rejected or cursed destined for Hell? A cursed person is one who, according to the explicit ordinance of the Holy Qur'an, or the saying of the Prophet, is declared as such.

 

ABU HURAIRA'S CHARACTER AND HIS CONDEMNATION

Well-Wisher: There are clear grounds to show that Abu Huraira was an unreliable man. Your own ulema have confirmed this fact. One of the reasons for his being cursed is that, according to the words of the Prophet, he was an associate of the cursed son of the cursed Abu Sufyan. Abu Huraira was one of the hypocrites. On some occasions in Siffin he offered prayers led by the Commander of the Faithful, Ali. At other times he sat at the dining table of Mu'awiya to eat his fancy food. As reported by Zamakhshari in Rabiu'l-Abrar and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in the commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, when Abu Huraira was asked the reason for his double-dealing policy, he said, "Mu'awiya's food is very rich and savory, and prayers behind Ali are preferable." Your own ulema, like Sheikhu'l-Islam Hamwaini in Fara'id, Chapter 37, Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Tibrani in Ausar, Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib (and a host of others) quote from this same Abu Huraira and others that the Prophet said, "Ali is with the Truth, and the Truth is with Ali." When he left Ali and courted the favor of Mu'awiya, was he not damnable? If one not only keeps silent at seeing the vicious deeds of Mu'awiya, but actually cooperates with him and helps him in order to advance his own worldly position and to fill his belly, is he not to be condemned?

The same Abu Huraira himself narrates (as recorded by your own eminent ulema, like Hakim Nishapuri in Mustadrak, Volume II, page 124, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal Tibrani, and others) that the Prophet said, "Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with Ali. These two shall not be separated until they reach me at the Fountain of Kauthar. Ali is from me, and I am from Ali. He who profanes Ali, profanes me. He who profanes me, profanes Allah." Mu'awiya, in his address of the Jum'a prayers, cursed Ali, Hasan, and Husain. He ordered that in all congregations those revered people should be cursed. So if a man is so intimately associated with such damned people and is pleased with their actions, is he not to be condemned? And, while associating with such people, if he helps them by fabricating hadith and forces people to utter curses against revered people, is he not to be condemned?

Sheikh: Is it reasonable for us to accept these slanders, that a sincere companion of the Prophet, fabricating hadith, may force people to curse Ali?

Well-Wisher: Of course it is hard to believe that a sincere companion would do such a thing. If any of the companions has done such a thing, it means that he was not sincere. There are many hadith narrated by your own ulema that the Holy Prophet said, "One who profanes Ali, profanes me and Allah."

Sheikh: To be frank, when you slander the companions of the Holy Prophet, saying that they fabricated hadith, how can we hope that you will not attribute evil motives to the high-ranking ulema of the Sunnis? You Shias have a remarkable tendency for slandering great men.

Well-Wisher: You are unfair in attributing such things to us. Islamic histories of the past 1,400 years testify against it. From the beginning of the first century of Islam, the Umayyads abused the infallible Imams, the descendants of the Holy Prophet, and their adherents, the Shias . Even today, your prominent ulema record slanderous reports against the Shias in their books in order to mislead the people.

Sheikh: Who of the Sunni ulema has slandered the Shias ?

 

IBN ABD RABBIH'S SLANDERS AGAINST THE SHIAS

One of your great literary scholars, Shahabu'd-Din Abu Umar Ahmad Bin Muhammad Bin Abd Rabbih Qartabi Andalusi Maliki (died 48 A.H.), in his Indu'l-Farid, Volume I, page 269, has called the Shias "the Jews of this Umma." He says that, just as the Jews are enemies of the Christians, the Shias are enemies of Islam. He claims that the Shias, like the Jews, do not accept the fact that one may be divorced three times from the same person, nor do they accept the practice of 'idda (the prescribed period of chastity for women after divorce). Both the Shias here and the Sunnis who are familiar with their Shia friends will laugh at these claims. You will find in all books on Shia jurisprudence stipulations regarding three divorces and idda after divorce. He also alleges that the Shias, like the Jews, are the enemies of Gabriel, because Gabriel communicated Allah's commandment (wahi) to the Prophet, not to Ali. (Laughter among the Shia audience.) We Shias believe in the Holy Prophet. We believe that Allah's commandments were revealed to him through Gabriel, whose rank is far higher than that attributed to him by this worthless writer.

 

SLANDERS BY IBN HAZM

Another of your great ulema is Abu Muhammad Ali Bin Ahmad Bin Sa'id Ibn Hazm Andalusi (died 456 A.H.), who has recorded particularly queer notions about the Shias in his famous Kitabu'l-Fasl fi'l-Milal Wa'n-Nihal. For example, he says that the Shias are not Muslims. They are heretics, the followers of Jews and Christians. In Volume IV, page 182, he writes that, "According to the Shias, it is lawful to marry nine women." This report can be disproved easily by consulting Shia books which clearly state that it is unlawful to keep more than four wives in permanent marriage at one time. There are many other similar unfounded allegations and filthy things attributed to Shias in this book, which you would be ashamed to hear.

Source: al-islam.org


Other Links:

Peshawar Nights: Third Session-part 6

Peshawar Nights: Martyrdom of Shahid-e Thalis

Peshawar Nights: The position of Infallible Imams

Peshawar Nights: Discussion regarding Imamate

Peshawar Nights: The Sunni Ulemas condemnation of Abu Hanif

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