• Counter :
  • 2551
  • Date :
  • 11/12/2011

Peshawar Nights: Ali appointed for conveyance of verses of Sura Bara’a (the immunity) of the Holy Qur'an

Tenth Session-part  4


*The wiping over the turban is against the Qur'anic ordinance

*Shias alone blamed for such differences

*According to Sunni ulema prostration on dry excrement and dung is lawful

*Prostration on floor coverings instead of the ground is against Qur'anic injunction

*Shias do not consider prostration on dust of Karbala compulsory

*Old age is no criterion for the Caliphate

*Ali appointed for conveyance of verses of Sura Bara'a (the immunity) of the Holy Qur'an



The verse clearly states "And wipe part of your heads" (after the washing of the face and the hands). On the basis of this Qur'anic injunction, the Shia jurists, following their Imams, insist that the head itself is to be wiped in performing 'wuzu'. The Shafi'i, Maliki, and Hanafi jurists concur. But Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Ishaq, Thawri, and Quza'i have said that wiping over the turban is lawful. This has been reported by Imam Fakhru'd-din Razi in his Tafsir-e-Kabir. Every sensible person knows that wiping the turban and wiping the head are quite different.



There are other serious differences among your jurists and among the four schools of law. Although most of them are clearly inconsistent with Qur'anic injunctions, you do not find fault with one another. Everyone of them is free to maintain his point of view.

You do not call Abu Hanifa and the Hanafis polytheists, when they allow wuzu to be performed with nabiz (fermented date liquor), nor do you condemn self-contradictory interpretation of laws which violate Qur'anic ordinances. But you object to Shias, who follow the progeny of the Holy Prophet. In fact, you call the followers of the exalted family, Rafizis and infidels! You have repeatedly said on previous nights that the practices of the Shias prove that they are polytheists.

You asked why we do not offer prayers like Muslims. We offer the same prayers that you and all other Muslims do: two units (rak'ats) of fajr (the morning prayer), four rak'ats of zuhr (the noon prayer), four rak'ats of asr (the afternoon prayer), three rak'ats of maghrib (the sunset prayer), and four rak'ats of 'isha (the evening prayer).

As for the differences in the articles of practice, they are present in abundance in all the sects of Islam. For example, there is a clear difference between Abu'l-Hasan Ash'ari and Wasil Bin Ata in the fundamentals and articles of practice. Also your four imams (Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi'i, and Ahmad Hanbal) and other great jurists like Hasan, Dawud, Kathir, Abu Sur, Quza'i, Sufyan Thawri, Hasan Basri and Qasim Bin Salam, etc. have differences among them. In the same way, the orders of the holy Imams of the Ahle Bait differ from the statements of your jurists. If the legal interpretations of the jurists and their different opinions can be criticized, why should the same criticism not be made against the different sects of Sunnis?



Many Sunni ulema accept legal interpretations which contradict the explicit ordinance of the Holy Qur'an, and yet they offer lame interpretations to clear ordinances. Other jurists give an opposite opinion. Still, you do not regard their interpretation or practice as infidelity. But in regard to our performance of sajda (prostration), you raise loud objections, saying that the Shias are idol worshipers, while you ignore the pronouncement of your own ulema that prostration on dry excrement is lawful.



The legal decisions of the Shia jurists, following the holy Imams, are clearly in accordance with the ordinances of the Holy Qur'an. For instance, your jurists consider wool, cotton, silk, and other floor coverings the same as earth. But it is obvious that these coverings are not the earth.

But the Shia, in obedience to their Imams of the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet say: "Prostration is not lawful on any thing except the earth or those things which grow from the earth and are not used for eating or wearing." For this you assail them and call them polytheists. On the other hand, you do not call prostration on dry excrement polytheism. It is quite evident that prostrating on the earth (as ordained by Allah) and prostrating on floor coverings are quite different things.

Sheikh: You people perform the sajda (prostration) on pieces of earth from Karbala. You keep the small blocks of earth from that land. They are like idols, and you consider prostration on them compulsory. Of course, this performance is against the principles and practices of Muslims.

Well-Wisher: It has become your second nature to follow your elders blindly, though it does not befit a just man like you to say that the pure dust of Karbala is like an idol.

Respected friend! Criticism of any belief must be based on proof. If you would consult the Shia books of theology, you would find the answer to your criticism, and you would not mislead our Sunni brothers with false objections.



If you can show us in any of our commentaries a single hadith or pronouncement that indicates prostration on the dust of Karbala is compulsory, we shall accept all your statements as correct. In fact, in all our books of religious practices, there are clear instructions that, according to the Qur'anic ordinance, prostration must be performed on pure earth. This includes dust, stone, sand and grass, provided that it is not a mineral. Moreover, prostration may be performed on those things which grow from the earth, provided that they are not used for food or worn.

Sheikh: Then why do you regularly keep small blocks of dust from Karbala with you and perform prostration on them at the time of the ritual prayer?



Well-Wisher: Prostration on clean earth is compulsory. The ritual prayer is generally offered in houses furnished with carpets. Even if the carpets are removed, the earth under them generally contains lime and other substances on which prostration is not permitted. Therefore, we keep a piece of earth with us so that we may prostrate on it. (Many Shia Mujtahids consider chalk, plaster, lime and mined stones such as agate to be permissible, in the absence of the preferable substances, but nevertheless they exclude actual ores and refined minerals. tr.)

Sheikh: What we notice is that all the Shias have tablets of the soil of Karbala and consider performance of sajda compulsory on it.



Well-Wisher: It is true that we perform the sajda on the dust of Karbala, but we do not consider it compulsory. In accordance with the instructions given in our books of jurisprudence, we consider sajda compulsory on clean earth. However, according to the Ahle Bait, prostration on the pure earth of Husain's burial place (Karbala) is preferable.

It is a pity that some people maliciously insist that the Shias worship Husain. They support their view by pointing out that Shias perform their prostrations on soil taken from Karbala. In fact we never worship Husain, Ali, or Muhammad. We worship only Allah, and it is in accordance with Allah's order that we perform sajda only on pure earth. Our prostration is not for Husain. But according to the instructions of the infallible Imams of the progeny of the Holy Prophet, prostration on the clean soil of Karbala leads to greater recompense for us, but it is not compulsory.

Sheikh: How can you claim that the earth of Karbala is possessed of special properties so that it deserves preference to other soil.



Well-Wisher: First, it is a fact that different places have different properties. Every piece of earth has special properties which only expert geologists know. Nonspecialists don't understand these things.

Second, the special characteristics of the soil of Karbala were known before the time of the Holy Imams. It was an object of special attention during the time of the Holy Prophet also, as had been recorded in authentic books of your own ulema.

In Khasa'isu'l-Kubra, by Jalalu'd-din Suyuti, a number of hadith of Ummu'l-Mu'minin Ummi Salma, Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha, Ummu'l-Fazl, Ibn Abbas, and Anas Bin Malik, etc. about the soil of Karbala have been narrated by your prominent ulema and reliable reporters, like Abu Nu'aim Ispahani, Baihaqi, and Hakim.

A report says: I saw Husain sitting in the lap of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet, who had a red block of soil in his hand. The Holy Prophet was kissing the dust and weeping. I asked him what that soil was. The Holy Prophet said: "Gabriel has informed me that my son, this Husain, will be murdered in Iraq. He has brought this earth for me from that land. I am weeping for the suffering that will befall my Husain."

Then the Holy Prophet handed the dust to Umme Salma and said to her: "When you see this soil turn into blood, you will know that my Husain has been slaughtered."

Umme Salma kept the soil in a bottle and kept watch over it until she saw on the Day of Ashura, 61 A.H., that it turned to blood. Then she knew that Husain bin Ali had been martyred.

It is recorded by your prominent ulema and by Shia jurists that the Prophet and the Imams paid special attention to the pure soil of Karbala. After the martyrdom of Imam Husain, Imam Seyyedu's-Sajidin Zainu'l-Abidin Ali Bin Husain picked some up, declared it to be sacred dust, and kept it in a bag. The Holy Imam used to perform his prostrations on it and made a tasbih out of it, and recited Allah's praises on it.

After him all the succeeding Imams considered that soil sacred and made tasbihs out of it and a small block to prostrate on. They persuaded the Shias to perform prostrations on them, with the understanding that it was not compulsory, but with a view to achieving greater recompense. The Holy Imams insisted that prostration before Allah must be on clean earth only and that it was preferable if it was performed on that earth of Karbala.

The great scholar, Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Hasan Tusi, reports in his Misbahu'l-Mutahajjid that Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq kept a little soil from Imam Husain's tomb in a yellow cloth which he opened at the time of prayers and performed his prostrations on it.

Shias for a long time have kept this earth with them. Then, fearing it might be desecrated, they kneaded it into small tablets or pieces, which are now called mohr. We consider it sacred and during prayers we prostrate on it not as a compulsory act but in view of its special nature. Otherwise, when we have no pure soil with us, we prostrate on clean earth, or clean rock. In this way our compulsory act is performed.

We are astonished at the behavior of your ulema, who do not find fault with the legal pronouncements of the four schools of Sunni law. That is, if Imam A'zam says that in the absence of water ablution should be performed with nabiz, the Shafi'is, Malikis and Hanbalis do not object to it. If Imam Ahmad Hanbal believes in the visibility of Allah or considers it lawful to wipe water over the turban in the ritual ablution, the ulema of the other sects do not criticize him. Similarly, they do not condemn other unique pronouncements like that of joining in wedlock with young boys while on a journey, prostration on dung or any polluted object, or copulation with mothers using a cloth wrapper.

But when we say that the progeny of the Holy Prophet have said that prostrating on the earth of Karbala is praiseworthy, you say that Shias are polytheists.



Now I will reply to your point. Talking about advanced age and consensus, you said that because of his age, Abu Bakr was entitled to preference. Even after ten nights, during which I have disproven your argument regarding "consensus" and preference based on age, you raise the issues again as if nothing has been said. Nevertheless, I will not leave you unanswered.



You have argued that Abu Bakr deserved priority because of his age and political astuteness. But how is it that some people decided that for a great cause it was necessary for a man to be old and politically astute, but Allah and His Prophet did not understand this. For conveying the first forty verses of Bara'a to the people, the Holy Prophet deposed Abu Bakr and sent the young Ali in his place.

Nawab: Respected Sir! Please don't leave this point vague. Let us know for what purpose Abu Bakr was deposed and Ali appointed in his place. When I asked these people (pointing to his ulema) about it, they gave only a vague answer, saying that it was an unimportant matter. Please explain this matter.

Well-Wisher: The Muslim community, including the ulema and historians of both sects (Shias and Sunnis), acknowledge the fact that when the initial verses of the Sura of Bara'a (The Immunity) were revealed in condemnation of the idol worshipers, the Holy Prophet called Abu Bakr and gave him the verses, ordering him to take them to Mecca and to recite them to the people of Mecca during the hajj.

Abu Bakr had gone only a short distance when Gabriel appeared and said: "Prophet of Allah! Allah sends His compliments to you and says that the matter of the Holy Qur'an should be conveyed either by the Holy Prophet himself or by one who is of him."

Accordingly, the Holy Prophet called Ali and said to him: "Overtake Abu Bakr and take the verses of Bara'a from him and read them to the idol worshipers of Mecca."

Ali set out immediately. He met Abu Bakr at Dhu'l-Halifa and conveyed the message of the Holy Prophet. He took the verses from Abu Bakr and, reaching Mecca, read them to the assembly of the people.

Nawab: Has this affair been recorded in our authentic books?

Well-Wisher: I have just told you that the whole community is unanimous on this point. I will give you some references at present so that when you think over the matter, you may know that it was a very significant affair.

The following eminent writers have reported this matter in their books and generally testified to its veracity:

Bukhari in Sahih, parts IV and V; Abdi in Jam'-e-Bainu's-Sihahi's-Sitta, part II; Baihaqi in Sunan, pp.9 and 224; Tirmidhi in Jam'i, vol.II, p.135; Abu Dawud in Sunan; Khawarizmi in Manaqib; Shukani in Tafsir, vol.II, p.319; Ibn Maghazili in Faqih-e-Shafi'i in his Faza'il; Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, p.17; Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.18; Muhibu'd-din Tabari in Riyazu'n-Nazara, p.147 and Dhakha'iru'l-Uquba, p.69; Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira Khawasu'l-Umma, p.22, Imam Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i (one of the Imams of Siha) in Khasa'isu'l-Alawi, p.14 (has reported six hadith relating to this point); Ibn Kathir in Ta'rikh-e-Kabir, vol.V, p.38 and vol.VII, p.357; Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Isanaba, vol.II, p.509; Jalalu'd-din Suyuti in Durru'l-Mansur, vol.III, p.208 (in commentary on the first verse of Bara'a); Tabari in Jam'u'l-Bayan, vol.X, p.41, (in commentary on Bara'a); Imam Tha'labi in Tafsir-e-Kashfu'l-bayan; Ibn Kathir in Tafsir, vol.II, p.333; Alusi in Ruha'l-Ma'ani, v. III, p.268; the fanatic, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq, p.19; Haithami in Majma'u'z-Zawa'id, v.VII, p.29; Muhammad Bin Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, p.125, ch.62 (reporting from Abi Bakr and Hafiz Abi Nu'aim and from Musnad of Hafiz Damishqi as reported by Abi Nu'aim in different ways); Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad, v.I, pp.3 and 151, v.III, p.283, and v.IV, pp.164-165; Hakim in Mustadrak, v.II, Kitab Maghazi, p.51 and in v.II of the same book, p.331; Mulla Ali Muttaqi in Kanzu'l-'Ummal, v.I, pp.246 to 249 and Faza'il-i-Ali v.VI, p.154.



Seyyed Abdu'l-Hayy: Why didn't the Holy Prophet, whose actions were from Allah, entrust this mission to Ali in the beginning?

Well-Wisher: Since no reason for this fact has been recorded, we do not know. But my impression is that this change was intended to show the superiority of Ali. At any rate, it certainly disproves the claim that age or political experience were reasons for excluding Ali from the caliphate.

If Ali had been appointed to this post in the beginning, it would have appeared an ordinary matter, and would not have been possible for us to prove to you Ali's superiority. If Abu Bakr's age and political ability proved his superiority, he should not have been recalled from such a mission. But the fact is that to convey the message of prophethood is the work of the Prophet or his caliph.


Seyyed: According to some reports, Abu Huraira says that Ali had been ordered to go to Mecca along with Abu Bakr to teach the people the rituals of Hajj. Ali was to read the verses of Bara'a to the people. Conveying the message of prophethood in this way indicated that they were of equal rank.

Well-Wisher: First, this is a forged report of the followers of Abu Bakr. Others have not narrated it. Second, the whole community agreed that Abu Bakr was called back and replaced by Ali. This fact has been consecutively reported in the authentic books of both sects.

Obviously, the consensus of the whole community is that we should rely on the frequently reported, and authentic hadith. If there is a single report at variance with authentic hadith, we should reject it. This view is held by all men of principles and by the traditionists. Ali's appointment, Abu Bakr's return in a sad and desperate state, the Holy Prophet's consoling him and satisfying him that it was Allah's will - all these are generally acknowledged facts.



There is another proof that the right of priority has no relation to age. The right of preference is achieved through wisdom and piety. Whoever excels in knowledge and piety shall deserve preference. The Holy Prophet said: "All men are dead, but the men of learning are alive."

Accordingly, the Holy Prophet gave Ali first place among the Companions and said: "Ali is the gate of knowledge." Evidently the Holy Prophet's gate of knowledge must supersede others.

Of course the other companions of the Holy Prophet who remained obedient to him were all virtuous people. We never deny the virtuous position of the companions, but their merits can bear no comparison to the merits of the Holy Prophet's gate of knowledge.



Your prominent ulema have written in detail about Ali being sent to Yemen to guide its people. Imam Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i has recorded six hadith concerning this point, in his Khasa'isu'l-Alawi.

Also Abu'l-Qasim Husain Bin Muhammad Raghib Ispahani, in his Mahadhiratu'l-Udaba, v.II, p.212 and others, have reported that when the Holy Prophet commissioned Ali to go to Yemen, Ali pleaded that he was young and felt some reluctance in being placed over old men of the tribe. The Holy Prophet replied: "Certainly Allah will guide your heart and give strength to your tongue."

If age was a requirement for preferment, why then did the Holy Prophet in the presence of older distinguished companions, like Abu Bakr, send Hazrat Ali to Yemen to guide the people there?

Source: al-islam.org

  • Print

    Send to a friend

    Comment (0)

  • Most Read Articles