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  • 10/23/2011

Peshawar Nights: Holy Prophet preferred Ali to all other men

Fifth Session-part 4


*Reply to purported Hadith that Abu Bakr and A'yesha were preferred by the Prophet

*Shafi'i's acknowledgement that love for Ahle Bait is obligatory

*Misconception regarding Holy Prophet's love for A'yesha

*Holy Prophet preferred Ali to all other men

*Hadith of the roasted bird



Well-Wisher: Apart from the fact that this hadith is concocted by Abu Bakr's supporters, it is inconsistent with authentic hadith which are accepted by both sects. This hadith should be considered from two points of view: from the side of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha and from the side of Abu Bakr. The Prophet could not have said that of all women he loved A'yesha most. I have already stated earlier that this contradicts many authentic hadith in both Sunni and Shia books.

Sheikh: Which hadith does this tradition contradict?

Well-Wisher: There are many hadith about the mother of the Imams, Fatima Zahra, narrated by your own ulema, which contradict your statement. Hafiz Abu Bakr Baihaqi in his Ta'rikh, Hafiz Ibn Abdu'l-Bar in Isti'ab, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, and others of your ulema have reported that the Prophet said repeatedly: "Fatima is the best of all the women of my community." Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Musnad and Hafiz Abu Bakr Shirazi in Nuzulu'l-Qur'an Fi Ali narrate from Muhammad Bin Hanafiyya, and he from the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, Ibn Abdu'l-Barr in Isti'ab, in the account of Fatima, related from Ummu'l-Mu'minin Khadija, from Abdu'l-Warith Bin Sufyan and from Abu Dawud and Anas Bin Malik, Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Chapter 55 of Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda XIII - these and many other narrators of hadith have reported from Anas Bin Malik that the Prophet said: "There are four pre-eminent women of the world: Mary, daughter of Imran; Asiya, daughter of Mazahim; Khadija, daughter of Khalid; and Fatima, daughter of Muhammad." Khatib in his Ta'rikh Baghdad narrates that the Prophet declared these four women the best of all the women of the world. Then he pronounced Fatima to be superior to them all in this world and in the hereafter. Muhammad Bin Isma'il Bukhari in his Sahih, and imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad narrate from A'yesha Bint Abi Bakr that the Prophet said to Fatima: "O Fatima, I give you the good tidings that Allah made you superior to all the women of the world, and made you the purest of all the women of Islam." Also Bukhari in his Sahih, Part IV, page 64, Muslim in Sahih, Part II, in the Chapter "Merits of Fatima," Hamidi in his Jam'a Bainu's-Sahihain, Abdi in his Jam'a Bainu's-Sihahu's-Sitta - these and many others have reported on the authority of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha that the Prophet said: "O Fatima! Are you not happy that you are the chief of the women of all the world?" Ibn Hajar Asqalani has quoted the same passage in his Isaba in connection with the life of Fatima with the version: "You are the best of all the women of the world." Also, Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Tibrani, and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi - all have recorded this hadith.



In addition, Bukhari and Muslim, each in his Sahih, Imam Tha'labi in his Tafsir, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Tibrani in Mu'jamu'l-Kabir, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 32, on the authority of the Tafsir of Ibn Abi Hatim, Manaqib of Hakim, Wasit and Wahidi, the Hilyatu'l-Auliya of Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani, and Fara'id of Hamwaini, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, under verse 14 on the authority of Ahmad, Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 8, Tabari in Tafsir, Wahidi in Asbabu'n-Nuzul, Ibn Maghazili in Manaqib, Muhibu'd-Din Tabari in Riyazu'n-Nuzra, Mu'min Shablanji in Nuru'l-Absar, Zamakhshari in Tafsir, Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir Kabir, Seyyed Abu Bakr Shahabu'd-Din Alawi in Rishfatu's-Sadi min Bahr-e-Faza'il-e-Baniu'l-Nabi'i'l-Hadi, Chapter 1, pages 22-23 on the authority of Tafsir of Baghawi, Tafsir of Tha'labi, Manaqib of Ahmad, Kabir and Ausat of Tibrani and Sadi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin 'Amir Shabrawi Shafi'i in Al-'Ittihaf, page 5 on the authority of Hakim, Tibrani, and Ahmad, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ihya'u'l-Mayyit on the authority of the Tafsirs of Ibn Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Mardawaih, and Mu'jamu'l-Kabir of Tibrani; and Ibn Abi Hatim and Hakim - in short, most of your eminent ulema (barring a few staunch followers of the Bani Umayya and enemies of the Ahle Bait), have narrated from Abdullah bin Abbas and others that when the following verse of the Holy Qur'an was revealed: "Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein..." (42:23) a group of companions asked "O Prophet of Allah, who are those of your relatives whose love has been made obligatory on us by Allah?" The Prophet replied, "They are Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain." Some hadith contain the words "and their sons," meaning Hasan and Husain.



Even Ibn Hajar (a very intolerant person) in his Sawa'iq Muhriqa, page 88, Hafiz Jamalu'd-Din Zarandi in Mi'raju'l-Rasul, Sheikh Abdullah Shabrawi in Kitabu'l-Ittihaf, page 29, Muhammad Bin Ali Sabban of Egypt in As'afu'r-Ra'ghibin, page 119, and others have related from Imam Muhammad Bin Idris Shafi'i, who is one of your four Imams and the religious head of the Shafi'is, that he used to say: "O Ahle Bait of the Prophet of Allah! Love for you has been made obligatory for us by Allah, as revealed in the Holy Qur'an (referring to the above verse). It is sufficient for your dignity that if one does not send salutations to you in the ritual prayers, his prayers will not be accepted." Now I ask you, can the one-sided hadith reported by you stand against all these authentic hadith which have been accepted by both the Sunni and Shia sects?



In regard to the Prophet's love for you A'yesha, do you think that because of his sensual desires he loved A'yesha more than Fatima? It is true that A'yesha was his wife and therefore an Ummu'l-Mu'minin (mother of the believers) like the other wives of the Prophet. But is it conceivable that he loved A'yesha more than he loved Fatima, whose love was made obligatory in the Holy Qur'an, for whom the verse of purity was revealed and who was included in the Mubahala? Surely you know that the Prophet and the vicegerents were not motivated by sensual desires, and that they looked only to Allah. This dedication was particularly true for the last of the Prophets. He loved those whom Allah loved. Should we reject these authentic hadith which have been accepted by ulema of both sects, and which agree with the verses of the Holy Qur'an, or should we regard the hadith that you have just narrated as fabricated? You claim that the Prophet said that he loved Abu Bakr more than any other man. But this claim is also at variance with many other authentic hadith which have been narrated by your own ulema, who have insisted that, according to the Prophet, the most dearly loved man was Ali.



Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 55, narrates from Tirmidhi Buraida's hadith that, according to the Prophet, the most dearly loved woman was Fatima and the most dearly loved man was Ali. Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in his Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 91, reports on the authority of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha that she said: "Allah did not create any one whom the Holy Prophet loved more than Ali." He adds that this is the hadith which Ibn Jarir in his Manaqib and Ibn Asakir Damishqi in his translation have narrated from Ali. Muhyi'd-Din and Imamu'l-Haramain Ahmad Bin Abdullah Shafi'i relates from Tirmidhi in Dhakha'iru'l-Uqba that people asked A'yesha which woman was loved most by the Prophet, and she replied, "Fatima." Then she was asked about the man loved most by the Prophet and she replied, "Her husband, Ali bin Abu Talib." Further, he related from the Mukhalis of Dhahabi and Hafiz Abu'l-Qasim Damishqi and he from A'yesha that she said: "I have not seen a man more loved by the Holy Prophet than Ali, nor a woman more loved than Fatima." In addition, the Sheikh relates from Hafiz Khajandi and he from Ma'azatu'l-Ghifariyya that she said: "I went to have an audience with the Prophet in A'yesha's house while Ali was outside the house. The Prophet said to A'yesha, 'This (Ali) is the

dearest to me and the most honored among all men. Recognize his right and pay respectful regard to his position.'"

Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Amir Shabrawi Shafi'i, who is one of your prominent ulema, recorded in Kitabu'l-Ittihaf bi Hubbi'l-Ashraf, page 9, Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, and Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 6, from Tirmidhi, and he from Jami' bin Umar - all narrated the following: "I went to Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha with my aunt (father's sister), and we inquired of her who was loved most by the Holy Prophet. She replied, 'Among women it was Fatima and among men, her husband, Ali bin Abu Talib.'" This same hadith has been related by Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda II, with the variation that Jami' bin Umar said that he received this reply from his aunt.

Similarly, Khatib Khawarizmi has related this hadith from Jami' bin Umar, and the latter from A'yesha at the end of Chapter 4 of his Manaqib. Ibn Hajar Makki, in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, towards the end of Chapter 2, after recording 40 hadith on the merits of Ali, relates the following hadith from A'yesha: "Among women, Fatima was the woman most loved by the Holy Prophet of Allah and among men, her husband." Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i, in Matalib-us Su'ul, page 7, after recording several specific hadith on this issue, expresses his own conclusion in the following words: "These authentic and unequivocal narrations prove that Fatima was the most beloved of the Prophet above all other women. She is the highest in rank of all the women of Paradise and also the foremost of women of this community as well as the foremost of the women of Medina." These reliable hadith clearly establish that of all creatures, Ali and Fatima were the most loved by the Prophet. Another proof of the Prophet's preferring Ali to other men is the "Hadith of the Bird" (Hadith-e-Ta'ir). This hadith is so well known and so commonly accepted that we need not mention all its sources. I will mention only some of them.



Most of your prominent ulema, like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nisa'i, and Sijistani in their Siha, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l-Muhimma, and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 8, and a host of other reliable authors have recorded the hadith-e-Ta'ir in their works. They verify that this hadith was reported by 24 narrators of hadith from Anas Bin Malik. Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in his Fusulu'l-Muhimma writes about it in these words: "In the books of authentic hadith and reliable narrations, the hadith-e-Ta'ir from Anas Bin Malik is indisputably correct." Sibt Ibn Jauzi, on page 23 of his Tadhkira, and Sunan of Tirmidhi and Mas'udi on page 49 of Volume II of Muruju'dh-Dhahab, have focussed especially on the last part of this hadith which contains the Prophet's prayer and its acceptance by Allah. Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in the 9th hadith of his Khasa'isu'l-Alawi, and Hafiz Bin Iqda and Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari have all referred to the unbroken chain of narrators and to the authentic sources of this hadith, saying that it was narrated by 35 companions of the holy Prophet from Anas Bin Malik. In short, all your distinguished ulema have verified the authenticity of this hadith and have included it in their books. Allama Seyyed Hamid Husain has dedicated an entire volume of his Abaqatu'l-Anwar to this hadith. He collected all reliable sources from your distinguished ulema and clearly proved the authenticity of this hadith.

According to this hadith, one day a woman brought a gift of a roasted bird to the Prophet. Before eating it, the Prophet, raising his hands, invoked Allah thus: "O Allah! Of your whole creation, send the person who is the dearest to you and to me, so that he may partake of this roasted bird with me."

Ali then came in and ate the roasted bird with the Holy Prophet.

Some of your books, such as Fusulu'l-Muhimma of Maliki, Ta'rikh of Hafiz Nishapuri, Kifayatu't-Talib of Ganji Shafi'i, and Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal, etc., in which the hadith has been reported from Anas bin Malik, have recorded that Anas said: "The Prophet had not finished his invocation when Ali came into the house, but I kept the matter secret. When Ali stamped his foot the third time, the Prophet ordered me to let him in. When Ali entered, the Prophet said: 'Allah's Mercy be upon you; what brings you to me?' Ali then told him that he came to him three times but was allowed entrance only this time. The Prophet asked what made me behave like that, and I replied: "The truth is that, on hearing your invocation, I wished that such an honor might fall to the lot of someone of my tribe." Now I ask you respected people whether the invocation of the Holy Prophet was accepted or rejected by Allah.

Sheikh: Obviously Allah accepted it since He has promised in the Holy Qur'an that He would accept the Prophet's invocation. Moreover, Allah knew that the Prophet would not make an inappropriate request. So Allah always accepted his invocation.

Well-Wisher: Allah sent Ali, the most deserving person in His creation, to the Prophet. Your own scholars have confirmed this event. Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i has in his Matalib-us Su'ul, Chapter 1, Part 5, page 15, established the high position of Ali as the beloved of Allah and of the Prophet on the basis of the hadith of Ensign (Rayat) and the hadith of the Bird (Ta'ir). In that connection he says: "The intention of the Prophet was that the people should understand the unique and high distinction of Ali, who attained the highest pinnacle to be reached by the pious." Also Hafiz and Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i (died 658 A.H.) writes in his Kifayatu't-talib, Chapter 33, referring to the virtues of Ali Bin Abi Talib, that this hadith clearly proves that Ali was the dearest person in creation to Allah. Later he says that Hakim Abu Abdullah Hafiz Nishapuri related this hadith-e-Ta'ir of Anas from 86 narrators and also recorded the names of all 86 narrators. (See Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 32). That "hadith" quoted by you, in comparison with the hadith narrated by your own high-ranking ulema (excepting a few stubborn fanatics), cannot be relied upon and would be rejected by learned men.

Sheikh: I'm afraid that you have made up your mind not to accept what we say.

Well-Wisher: How can you attribute such bias to me? Can you cite a single instance in which you have put forward a cogent argument and I have unreasonably rejected it? I swear that in religious debates with the Jews, the Christians, the Hindus, and the Brahmins, the ignorant Baha'is in Iran, the Qadanis in India, and the materialists - in all of these circumstances, I never acted obstinately in my argument. I never adopted a refractory attitude towards these unbelievers - how could I do so with you, my brothers in Islam?

Sheikh: We read the account of your debate with the Hindus and Brahmins of Lahore in the newspapers. We were greatly impressed by it. Although we had not met you, we felt we were morally affiliated with you. I hope that Allah will lead you and us to the right path. We believe that if there is any doubt about a certain hadith, we should, according to your proposal, refer it to the Holy Qur'an. However, if you question the excellence of Caliph Abu Bakr and the mode of caliphate of the major caliphs, and if you consider the hadith dubious, will you also hesitate to believe an argument based on the verses of the Holy Qur'an?

Well-Wisher: May Allah not grant us the day when we doubt facts based on the Holy Qur'an or authentic hadith. However, when we have entered into a religious debate with any nation or community, they also argued from the verses of the Holy Qur'an to establish their point of view. Since the verses of the Holy Qur'an have various levels of meaning, the last Prophet, in order to guard the people against misunderstanding, did not leave the Holy Qur'an as the sole source of guidance. As has been acknowledged by both sects (Shias and Sunnis), he himself said: "I leave with you two great things: the Book of Allah (Qur'an) and my descendants. If you are attached to these two, never, never shall you go astray after me. Verily, these two shall never be separated from one another until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar." For this reason, the meaning of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an should be sought either from the Prophet, the primary interpreter of the Holy Qur'an, or after him, from the equals of the Holy Qur'an, the holy descendants of the Prophet. The Holy Qur'an says: "So ask you the people of the Remembrance if ye know not." (21:7)

Source: al-islam.org

Other Links:

Peshawar Nights: The position of Infallible Imams

Peshawar Nights: Discussion regarding Imamate

Peshawar Nights: The Sunni Ulemas condemnation of Abu Hanifa

Peshawar Nights: Authenticity of Hadith of Manzila from the usual sources

Pishawar Nights: Characteristics of Ali

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