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Peshawar Nights: Ali's argument based on Hadith of Ghadir in the mosque at Kufa

Eighth Session-part 5


*Sunnis' doubt about meaning of Maula

*Meaning of Maula as "guide", "master" in light of the verse "ya ayyuha'r‌rasul baligh"

*Revelation of verse "This day have I perfected for you your religion" at Ghadir‌e‌Khum

*Ali's argument based on Hadith of Ghadir in the mosque at Kufa

*Sad plight of those who did not confirm Hadith of Ghadir

*Companions' breaking their promise made on the day of Ghadir



Hafiz: Of course there is no doubt about the occasion and the text of this hadith, but at the same time it does not have the significance which your passionate eloquence suggests.

Apart from this, there are some doubts regarding the text of this hadith. For instance, the word "maula," you told us, means, "one who has a greater claim on others," although it is known that in this hadith "maula" means "lover, helper and friend." The Prophet knew that Ali had many enemies, and so he wanted to exhort the people that whomsoever he loved or was friend or helper to, Ali also loved him and was his friend and helper. The reason he demanded allegiance from the people was that he did not want them to cause Ali trouble.

Well-Wisher: I think you sometimes unnecessarily adopt the habits of your predecessors. If you would consider the facts carefully, the truth of this issue would become clear.

Hafiz: What are the facts which prove your point of view? Please let us know.



Well-Wisher: The first proof is the Holy Qur'an and the revelation of the verse:

"O Apostle! deliver that which has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people." (5.67)

Hafiz: How can you claim that this verse was revealed on that day and for this purpose?

Well-Wisher: All your reputable ulema have accepted it: Jalalu'd-din Suyuti: Durru'l-Mansur; vol. II, p. 298; Hafiz Ibn Abi Hatim Razi: Tafsir-e-Ghadir; Hafiz Abu Ja'far Tabari: Kitabu'l-Wilaya; Hafiz Abu Abdullah Mahamili: Amali; Hafiz Abu Bakr Shirazi: Ma Nazala mina'l-Qur'an Fi Amiri'l-Mu'minin; Hafiz Abu Sa'id Sijistani: Kitabu'l-Wilaya; Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya: Tafsir-e-Ayah; Hafiz Abu'l-Qasim Haskani: Shawahidu't-Tanzil; Abu'l-Fatha Nazari: Khasa'isu'l-Alawi; Mu'inu'd-din Meibudi: Sharh-e-Diwan; Qazi Shekani: Fathu'l-Ghadir, vol. III, p. 57; Seyyed Jamalu'd-din Shirazi: Arba'in; Badru'd-din Hanafi: Umdatu'l-Qari Fi Sharh-e-Sahih Bukhari, vol. 8, p. 584; Ahmad Tha'labi: Tafsir Kashfu'l-Bayan; Imam Fakhru'd-din Razi: Tafsir-e-Kabir, vol. III, p. 636; Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani: Ma nazala mina'l-Qur'an Fi Ali; Ibrahim Bin Muhammad Hamwaini: Fara'idu's-Simtain; Nizamu'd-din Nishapuri: Tafsir, vol. VI, p. 170; Seyyed Shahabu'd-din Alusi Baghdadi: Ruhu'l-Ma'ani, vol. II, p. 348; Nuru'd-din Bin Sabbagh Maliki: Fusulu'l-Muhimma, p. 27; Ali Bin Ahmad Wahidi: Asbabu'n-Nuzul, p. 150; Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i: Matalibu's-Su'ul, p. 16; Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i: Mawadda V from Mawaddatu'l-Qurba; Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi: Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch. 39.

In short, as far as I know, thirty of your leading ulema have written in their authentic books and in their own commentaries that this holy verse was revealed on the day of Ghadir-e-Khum in regard to Amiru'l-Mu'minin Ali.

Even Qazi Fazl Bin Ruzbahan, despite all his ill will and fanaticism, writes: "Verily it is proved in our authentic Sahih that when this verse was revealed, the Prophet of Allah holding Ali by the hand, said: 'To whomsoever I am the maula (master), this Ali is also his maula.'"

It is, however, very surprising the same perverted Qazi in Kashf Ghumma gives a strange report from Razi Bin Abdullah: "In the days of the Holy Prophet we used to read this verse thus: 'O our Prophet (Muhammad) deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord, that is, Ali is the master of the believers. If you do not, then you have not delivered His message.'"

Also Suyuti in his Durru'l-Mansur from Ibn Mardawiyya, Ibn Asakir and Ibn Abi Hatim from Abu Sa'id Khadiri, Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (one of the writers of Wahi - revelations) and Qazi Shukani in Tafsir-e-Fathu'l-Ghadir narrate that in the day of the Holy Prophet they also recited that verse in that very way.

In short, the warning contained in this verse says: "If you do it not then (it will be as if) you have not delivered His message (at all)..." shows that the message which the Holy Prophet had been ordered to deliver was of great importance. It was in fact essential to the completion of Prophethood itself. Therefore, the issue in question was surely the matter of the imamate, the conferring of authority on one who would guide the people according to the tenets of Islam after the death of the Holy Prophet.



The second circumstance which proves my point is the revelation of the verse:

"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed my favor on you and chosen for you Islam for a religion." (5:3)

Hafiz: But it is an admitted fact that this verse was revealed on the day of Arafa, and no one of the ulema has claimed that it was revealed on the day of Ghadir.

Well-Wisher: I ask you not to make undue haste in denying this fact.

Of course, I admit that some of your ulema have said that this verse was

revealed on the day of Arafa, but a large number of your reputable ulema have also said that it was revealed on the day of Ghadir. Also some of your ulema hold the view that perhaps this verse was revealed twice, once at the close of the day of Arafa and then again on the day of Ghadir.

Accordingly, Sibt Ibn Jauzi says in his Khawasu'l-Umma, p. 18: "It is probable that this verse was revealed twice, once on the day of Arafa and once on the day of Ghadir-e-Khum, just as the verse: 'In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful' was revealed twice, once in Mecca and then again in Medina."

Your trustworthy scholars, such as Jalalu'd-din Suyuti in Durru'l-Mansur, vol. II, p. 256 and Itqan, vol. I, p. 31; Imamu'l-Mufassirin Tha'labi in Kashfu'l-Bayan; Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani in Ma Nusala Mina'l-Qur'an Fi Ali; Abu'l-Fatha Nazari in Khasa'isu'l-Alawi; Ibn Kathir Shami in Tafsir, vol. II, p. 41, following Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya: Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari, scholar, commentator and historian of the 3rd century A.H. in Tafsir-e-Kitabu'l-Wilaya; Hafiz Abu'l-Qasim Haskani in Shawahid-ut-Tanzil; Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira-e-Khawasu'l-Umma, p. 18; Abu Ishaq Hamwaini in Fara'id-us-Simtain, ch. XII; Abu Sa'id Sijistani in Kitabu'l-Wilaya; Al-Khatib-e-Baghdadi in Ta'rikh-e-Baghdad, vol. VIII, p. 290; Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi'i in Manaqib, ch. XIV and Maqtalu'l-Husain, ch. IV, all have written that on the day of Ghadir-e-Khum the Holy Prophet appointed Ali by divine order to the rank of wilaya (Vicegerent). He told the people whatever he was ordained to say about Ali and raised his hands so high that the white of both his armpits was visible. He addressed the people thus: "Salute Ali because he is the amir (lord) of the believers. The whole Community complied with his order. They had not yet departed from one another when the aforesaid verse was revealed."

The Holy Prophet was highly pleased with the revelation of this verse. So, addressing the people, he said: "Allah is Great, He who has perfected for them their religion and has completed His favor on them and is satisfied with my Prophethood and Ali's vicegerency after me."

Imam Haskani and Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal have given the complete details of this event. If you, respected people, would leave behind your preconceived ideas on this matter, you would understand the holy verse and hadith, which show that the word "maula" means "wali" (master) i.e., one having authority over all others.

If "maula" or "wali" did not mean "one who has a greater claim on others," the latter phrase "after me" would be meaningless. And this sentence, which the Holy Prophet repeatedly uttered from his sacred tongue, proves that "maula" and "wali" mean "one who has greater claim on all others," because he said that rank in particular was granted to Ali after him.

Third, you might consider the circumstances. In that hot desert, where there was no protection for the travellers, the Holy Prophet gathered the whole umma. People sat in the shade of the camels, with their feet covered, in the scorching heat of the sun. In these conditions the Prophet delivered a long address, which Khawarizmi and Ibn Mardawiyya in their Manaqib, and Tabari in his Kitabu'l-Wilaya and others have narrated. Does it make sense to think that the Prophet would require thousands of his followers to spend three days in the blazing desert to swear allegiance to Ali merely to indicate that Ali was their friend? In fact there was no one in the whole Community who did not already know the close association between the Holy Prophet and Ali or had not heard about him (as I have already pointed out earlier). The revelation of the

Qur'anic verse in question for the second time, particularly in different

circumstances and with such serious instructions that people might be put to great inconvenience and suspense, could not simply mean that they should be friends of Ali. Either the Holy Prophet's performance was meant to indicate great significance or it was frivolous. And certainly the Holy Prophet is free from all frivolous actions.

It is reasonable to conclude therefore, that these arrangements were made not merely to indicate that people should befriend Ali. The event, in fact, marked the completion of the Prophet's message: the establishment of the Imamate, the source of the umma's guidance after the death of the Prophet.



Some of your reputable ulema have acknowledged that the primary meaning of "maula" is "master." Among them is Sibt Ibn Jauzi, who after giving ten meanings of the word in his Tadhkira-e-Khawas, ch. II, p. 20, says that none of them except the tenth one corresponds with what the Holy Prophet meant to say. He says: "The hadith specifically means obedience; so the tenth meaning is correct, and it means 'mastery over others.' Hence, the hadith means 'of whomever I am the 'maula' (master) Ali is also his 'maula' (master).'"

In the book Maraju'l-Bahrain Hafiz Abdu'l-Faraj Yahya Bin Sa'id Saqafi interprets it in the same way. He narrates this hadith with his own sources from his leaders, who said that the Holy Prophet, holding Ali by the hand, said: "Of whomsoever I am 'wali' or master over himself, Ali is also his 'wali' or master over himself."

Sibt Ibn Jauzi says, "The saying of the Holy Prophet that Ali has authority or is the master over the selves of all the believers clearly proves the Imamate or vicegerency of Ali and that obedience to him is obligatory."



Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i in his Matalibu's-Su'ul in the middle of Part V, ch. 1, p. 16, says that the word maula has many meanings, for instance: "master," "helper," "successor," "truthful one," and "leader." He then says that this holy hadith furnishes an inner interpretation to the verse of Mubahala. (3.61) In it Allah Almighty has called Ali the 'self' of the Holy Prophet. There was no separation between the self of the Holy Prophet and the self of Ali since He combined the two with the pronoun referring to the Holy Prophet.

Muhammad Bin Talha adds: "In this hadith the Holy Prophet indicated that whatever obligations the believers had in respect to him, they had also in respect to Ali. As the Holy Prophet was certainly master of the believers in all of their matters, their helper, leader, and chief - all of these being connotations of the word "maula" - then it follows that he meant the same thing for Ali (A.S.) also. And this is of course, an exalted position, an eminently high rank, which was specifically assigned to Ali. It is for this reason that the Day of Ghadir was a day of eid and rejoicings for the lovers and friends of Ali."

Hafiz: In view of your statement, since the word "maula has a number of meanings, it would be wrong to conclude that it was used in this case to indicate a single meaning, "master," to the exclusion of other meanings.

Well-Wisher: You are well aware of the basic principles of scholars that while a word may have different meanings, it has only one basic meaning and that the rest of the meanings are derived. The basic meaning of the word "maula" or "wali" is master. For instance, the "wali" of "nikah" (wedlock) means one who acts as attorney, or trustee. The "wali" of a woman is her husband, the "wali" of a child is his father, who has full authority over him. The "wali ahd" (heir apparent) of a king means "one whose right to rule cannot be denied if he outlives the ancestor."

Apart from this, your objection recoils upon you as to why you have restricted its meaning to "friend" and "helper" when it has many other meanings. So this specification without any specific object is void. The objection you have made comes back to you and not to us because the meanings that we have specified are not without the specified object. The verses of the Holy Qur'an, the hadith, and the opinions of scholars, all prove the same meaning which we have given. Among these are the reasons which your own prominent ulema, like Sibt Ibn Jauzi, Muhammad Ibn Abi Talha Shafi'i have given regarding its meaning. Moreover, it is narrated in a large number of hadith both from your sources and mine that this Holy verse was read thus:

"O Prophet of Allah! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord about Ali's wilaya (vicegerency) and his being master of the believers."

Jalalu'd-din Suyuti, who is one of your reputable ulema has collected these hadith in his book Durru'l-Mansur.



If this hadith and the word "maula" had not been proof of Ali as Imam and Caliph, Amiru'l-Mu'minin would not have repeatedly argued from it. In fact in the committees of counselors he referred to it as evidence for his Imamate, as Khatib Khawarizmi in his Manaqib, p. 217; Ibrahim Ibn Muhammad Hamwaini in his Fara'id, ch. 58; Hafiz Ibn Iqda in Kitabu'l-Wilaya; Ibn Hatim Damishqi in Durru'n-Nazim, and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol. II, p. 61, have recorded it. Particularly important is the evidence given by thirty companions at Rahba.

Many of your distinguished ulema have narrated the discussion Ali led with the Muslims at Rahba-e-Kufa (i.e., in the courtyard of the Kufa mosque). Following is a partial listing of those who recorded this event.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Part 1, p. 129; Ibn Athir Jazari in Asadu'l-Ghaiba, vol. III and vol. V, pp. 206 and 276; Ibn Qutayba in Ma'arif, p. 194; Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol. I, p. 362; Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, vol. V, p. 26; Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Isaba, vol. II, p. 408; Muhibu'd-din Tabari in Dhakha'ir-e-Uqba, p. 67; Imam Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in Khasa'isu'l-Alawi, p. 26; Allama Samhudi in Jawahiru'l-Iqdain; Shamsu'd-din Jazari in Asnu'l-Matalib, p. 3; Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch. 4; Hafiz Ibn Iqda in Kitabu'l-Wilaya.Ali stood before the people and asked them to bear witness about what they had heard the Holy Prophet saying about him at Ghadir-e-Khum. Thirty of the companions, including twelve Badris (those who had fought in the Battle of Badr), stood up and said that they saw on the Ghadir-e-Khum day the Holy Prophet holding up Hazrat Ali's hand and saying to the people:

"Do you know that I have greater claim on the believers than they have on their own selves?" All of them said: "Yes." Then the Holy Prophet said: "Of whomsoever I am "maula" (master), this Ali is his "maula" (master)."



Out of this gathering three men did not bear witness to the event. One of them was Anas Bin Malik, who said that because he had become enfeebled with old age he had forgotten all about it. Ali cursed the three. He said: "If you are telling lies, may Allah afflict thee with leprosy, which even your turban would not conceal." No sooner did Anas stand up from his place when leprosy appeared on his body. (according to some reports he became both blind and a leper.)



Well-Wisher: Fourth, the way in which the hadith has been narrated in itself proves that the work "maula" means "master." The Holy Prophet, in his address at Ghadir, asked the people: "Have I not a greater claim on you than you have on yourselves?" This refers to the words of the Holy Qur'an:

"The Prophet has a greater claim on the faithful than they have on themselves." (33:6)

Moreover, there is a reliable hadith in the books of both sects which records that the Holy Prophet said: "There is no believer on whom I have not a greater claim in this world and in the Hereafter, than he has on himself. All of them said with one voice that he had a greater claim on them than they had on themselves. After that the Holy

Prophet said: "Of whomsoever I am the "maula," this Ali is also his "maula." So from the context of his speech it follows that the Holy Prophet meant "authority" or "mastery over others" when he used the word "maula."

Hafiz: In many of the books there is no such record of the Holy Prophet having said these words: "Have I not a greater claim on you than you have on your own selves?"

Well-Wisher: In narrating the hadith of Ghadir, narrators have used slightly different words, but so far as the hadith of the Shias are concerned, all of the Ithna Ashari ulema say that the text and context of hadith of Ghadir are as narrated above.

And in most of the authentic Sunni books, written by your prominent ulema, like Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira-e-Khawasu'l-Umma, p. 18; Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad; Nuru'd-din Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l-Muhimma; and a host of others who have narrated hadith of Ghadir, the sentence "Have I not a greater claim on you than you have on yourselves" does exist.

Now for the sake of blessedness I submit the translation of this hadith which has been narrated by the Imam of the traditionists, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, in his Musnad, vol. IV, p. 281, on the authority of Bara'a Bin Azib. He said: "I was travelling with the Holy Prophet. We reached Ghadir. The Holy Prophet announced: 'Assemble for prayers.' It was customary when something serious was about to happen that the Holy Prophet ordered the people to assemble for prayers. When the people had assembled and prayers had been offered, the Prophet used to preach a sermon. A special place was provided for the Holy Prophet between two trees. After the performance of the prayers the Holy Prophet, raising Ali's hand above his head, spoke to the crowd: 'Do you not know that I am the master of the believers and have more rights over them than they

over their own selves?' All of them said, 'Yes, we know that.' He again said, 'Do you not know that I have greater rights over every believer than he has over his own self?' All of the answered, 'Yes, we know it.' Thereafter the Holy Prophet said, 'Of whomsoever I am the maula (master) this Ali is his maula (master).' Then he prayed to Allah: 'O Allah! Be a Friend of him who is a friend of him (i.e. Ali) and be an enemy of him who is an enemy of him.' Immediately following this, Umar Bin Khattab met Ali and said, 'Congratulations to you, O son of Abu Talib! You have now become maula (master) of all the believing men and women.'

Also Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda V; Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabi and Hafiz Abu Nu'aim in his Hilya have recorded this hadith with slight variations in the wording.

Hafiz Abu'l-Fatha, from whom Ibn Sabbagh also had quoted in his Fusulu'l-Muhimma, has narrated this hadith in these words: "O people! Allah Almighty is my "maula" (master), and I have a greater right over you than you have over yourselves. You should know that of whomsoever I am the 'maula' (master) Ali is also his 'maula' (master)." Ibn Maja Qazwini in his Sunan and Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in his hadith (pp. 81,83,93,24) have narrated this hadith in the same way. And Zaid Ibn Arqam writes in his hadith No. 84 that the Prophet of Allah said in the course of his address: "Do you not know that I have a greater authority over all believers, men or women, than they have over themselves?" All of them said: "We bear witness that you have greater authority over every believer than he has over his own self." At that time the Prophet said: "Of whomsoever I am the maula (master) this Ali is also his maula (master)." Then he raised the hand of Ali. In addition Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Al-khatib Baghdadi (died 462 A.H.), in his Ta'rikh-e-Baghdad, Vol. 8, pp. 289, 290, has narrated a detailed hadith from Abu Huraira that if any one fasts on the eighteenth day of Dhu'l-Hijja (The Day of Ghadir), he will be rewarded for sixty months of fasting. He then records the above hadith in the same way.



The fifth circumstance to prove the wilaya (vicegerency) of Ali is the reading of his couplets, which Hasan Bin Thabit read with the permission of the Holy Prophet, in the gathering in which Ali's rank of Vicegerent was announced. Sibt Ibn Jauzi and others have written that when the Holy Prophet heard those verses, he said, "Oh, Hasan! so long as you continue helping us or praising us with your tongue, ruhu quds, the holy spirit, will also be supporting you."

The well known commentator and narrator of hadith of the fourth century A.H., Hafiz if Ibn Mardawiyya (died 352 A.H.), in his Manaqib; the Chief of the Imams, Muwaffaq Bin Ahmad Khawarizmi in Manaqib and Maqtalu'l-Husain, part IV; Jalalu'd-din Suyuti in his Risalatu'l-Azhar fi ma Aqdahu'sh-Shu'ara and many of your scholars, narrators and historians report from Abu Sa'id Khadiri that on the day of Ghadir-e-Khum, after the address of the Holy Prophet and the appointment of Ali as his successor, Hasan Bin Thabit said: "Do you permit me to recite some couplets on this occasion?" The Holy Prophet said: "Yes, recite with Allah's blessings." So he stood up at a raised spot and recited spontaneously composed verses. The meaning of the verses is as follows:

"On the Day of Ghadir-e-Khum, the Holy Prophet called together the umma, and I heard his voice calling them. The Prophet said to the people, "Who is your maula and wali?" The people said clearly, "Allah is our maula (Lord) and you are our wali (Guardian) and no one denies this fact." So then the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "Stand up! I am content with your becoming the imam (vicegerent) and hadi (guide) after me. So of whomsoever I am the maula (master) this Ali is also his maula (master). Hence, all of you people should loyally and faithfully help him." Then the Prophet prayed to Allah: "O Allah! Be a friend of him who is a friend of him (Ali) and be an enemy of him who is enemy of him."

These couplets are a clear proof of the fact that on that day the companions of the Holy Prophet did not interpret the word "maula" in any other way except "imam" and that Ali would be the caliph after the Prophet died. If the word "maula" did not mean "imam" or master over others, the Prophet would have at once interrupted Hasan when he had recited the line: "I am content with your being imam and guide after me," and would have told him that he was mistaken and that he did not mean Ali to be the imam and successor after him and that he meant by the word "maula" "friend" or "helper." But in fact the Holy Prophet supported him by saying "Ruhu'l-Quds will also be supporting you." Apart from this, the Holy Prophet clearly explained the position of imamate or wilaya (vicegerency) of Ali in his sermon. You should study the sermon of the Holy Prophet, which he delivered on the Ghadir-e-Khum day and which has been reported in full by Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ibn Jarir Tabari (died 310 A.H.) in his book Kitabu'l-Wilaya. He writes that the

Prophet said: "Listen and obey. Verily, Allah Almighty is your maula and Ali is your imam. Until the Day of Judgment the imamate will belong to my progeny, the descendants of Ali."

Source: al-islam.org

Other Links:

Peshawar Nights: Characteristics of the Companions   

Peshawar Nights: Hadith that both Hasan and Hussein are foremost of youth of paradise 

Peshawar Nights: Holy Prophet preferred Ali to all other men  

Peshawar Nights: Argument from the Verse of Cave and its reply   

Peshawar Nights: 300 Hundred verses in praise of Ali  

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