Events after the Death of Rasool Allah(S.A.W.W) till Karbala

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SHAFAQNA – The Majority Of The Muslims Went Against The Ahādīth Relevant To Imāmate

We have already explained the evidences proving that mastership is the right of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in general, that the Twelve Imāms (‘a) from among them were to be the caliphs over the nation, starting with Imām Ali (‘a), following the departure of the Chosen One, Muhammad (ṣ), to the Most High Companion. One decisive question remains to be answered in order to remove a great deal of the ambiguity that coincided with the tale of the dispute between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Shī’ahs throughout the Islamic history. The question is: “If the previous texts truly prove the Imāmate of Ahlul Bayt (‘a), why and how did the caliphate become the lot of others? Were not the sahābah following the Prophet (ṣ) in everything in which he ordered them?”

In order to answer this question, we have to bring about some important historical events at the dawn of Islam which had the major impact in altering the direction of the Islamic history, letting the reader pass his own judgment thereafter. Among the weighty events were the following:

1. Some sahābah of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) prohibited him from writing his will.

2. Some sahābah lagged behind and did not join Usamah’s military campaign, casting doubts about his leadership.

3. Events of the Saqīfa and the swearing of allegiance to Abū Bakr

4. Caliphate of ‘Umar

5. Caliphate of ‘Uthmān

6. Battle of the Camel and the march of the Mother of the Faithful (‘a)

7. Battle of Siffīn and the rebellion of Mu’āwiyah

8. Martyrdom of Imām Ali (‘a)

9. Reconciliation treaty and the martyrdom of Imām al-Hasan (‘a)

10. Karbalā’ Revolution and the Martyrdom of Imām al-Husayn (‘a)

We will discuss each of these events in some details as follows:

I. Some Sahābah of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) prohibited him from writing his will.

In his Sahīh, al-Bukhāri records six narratives about this incident which took place four days only before the demise of the Prophet (ṣ). Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, is quoted as having said, “Thursday! What a Thursday it was! The pain of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) intensified, so he said, ‘Bring me something so I may write for you a document that will never let you stray thereafter.’

They disputed with each other, and nobody should dispute near a prophet. They said, ‘What is the matter with him?! Has he hallucinated? Inquire of him.’ They went to him, whereupon he said, ‘Leave me alone, for the pain in which I am is better than what you are attributing to me.’”[1]

In another narrative, Ibn ‘Abbās is quoted as having said, “When death approached the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), and there were men in the house, the Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Let me write for you a document after which you shall never stray.’ Some of them said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) has been overcome by pain, and you have with you the Qur’ān. Suffices us the Book of Allāh.’ The people of the house differed with each other and disputed.

Some of them said, ‘Come close to him so he may write you a document after which you shall never stray,’ while others repeated what ‘Umar had said. When their fuss and dissension intensified, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Get away!’” Ubaydullāh said, “Ibn ‘Abbās used to say, ‘The real calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) from writing that document for them because of their dissension and arguing.’”[2]

According to a third narrative, Ibn ‘Abbās said, “When death approached the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ), and there were men in the house including ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, the Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Let me write you something after (the writing of) which you shall never stray.’ ‘Umar said, ‘The Prophet (ṣ) has been overcome by pain, and you have with you the Qur’ān. Suffices us the Book of Allāh (ṣ).’

The people at the house disputed with each other and disagreed. Some of them were saying, ‘Get close [to the Prophet (ṣ)] so the Prophet (ṣ) may write you a book after which you shall never stray,’ while others repeated what ‘Umar had said. When their fuss and dispute near the Prophet (ṣ) intensified, the Messenger of Allāh said, ‘Get away!’ Ubaydullāh said, ‘Ibn ‘Abbās used to say that the calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) from writing them such a document because of their dispute and fuss.’”[3]

In Muslim’s Sahīh, their response was: “… they said that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was hallucinating.”[4]

In another narrative, the following is stated: “… ‘Umar made a statement indicating that the pain had overcome the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) then said, ‘We have with us the Qur’ān. Suffices us the Book of Allah.”[5] As you can see, the word “hallucinating” was replaced in this latest narrative with a more polite reference to pain.

Discerning the above-quoted narratives, we become certain that the first person who ascribed hallucination to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb and who was supported by some sahābah who were present there, causing the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) to be angry and to dismiss them with “Get away from me!”

The truth is that this incident gives the impression which permits no doubt that the dignity of the Gracious Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was harmed. This brought me a great shock when I came to know about it and, I believe, the vast majority of Sunnis are ignorant of it despite the horrors of its implications. Many individuals to whom I related this incident did not believe it because of the weight of the shock.

One of them even solemnly swore that if there was any possibility at all that such an incident is, indeed, recorded in Bukhāri’s Sahīh, he will never trust any other narrative in such Sahīh. Some of them believed this incident but, having come to know that caliph ‘Umar was the first to charge the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) with hallucination, became extremely angry and refused to believe it. They even went as far as not trusting al-Bukhāri nor any of the books of hadīth which narrate incidents such as this that tarnish the image of the “righteous ancestors,” according to his view.

The secret behind the amazement in this incident is that all the sahābah who were then present should have given priority, without any delay, to what the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had ordered them to do so that he could write for them his last will, the will that carried the destiny of including what would bring the Muslims after his demise security against straying, if they upheld and obeyed, as is clear from this narrative.

Who, from among the Sunnis, could expect that the last meeting between the Prophet (ṣ) and the senior sahābah would end up in his dismissal of them after they had bidden him farewell in such a pain-inflicting word which could have only one single implication? This implication is mentioned by al-Nawawi in his Sharh [commentary] of Muslim’s Sahīh. This implication is stated there as nothing other than “hallucination”; we seek refuge with Allāh.

According to Imām Sharaf ad-Dīn, “If you contemplate on the statement of the Prophet (ṣ) wherein he says, ‘Bring me something so I may write for you a document after [the writing of] which you shall never stray’ and his statement in the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things wherein he says, ‘I have left among you that which, if you uphold it, you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and my ‘itra, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a)’, you will learn that the objective of both ahādīth is one and the same.

During his sickness, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) wanted to write for them the details of what the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things obligates, but he changed his mind about writing it following their statement with which they surprised him and which forced him to change his mind lest some people should succeed in opening a gate to cast doubt about the Prophethood.

This is so because no effect for such writing remained except dissension and disagreement after him whether he “hallucinated” in what he wrote or not; we seek refuge with Allāh, since they disputed in this regard in his own presence as the previous traditions demonstrate.

They contented themselves with what they have of the Qur’ān, justifying their turning away from carrying out what the Prophet (ṣ) had told them to do as he was in a condition of sickness. It is as though they had forgotten what the Almighty had said about His Glorious Prophet (ṣ):

“… Nor does he say (anything) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by One mighty in power” (Qur’ān, 53:3-5)

as well as in the following verse:

“What Allāh has bestowed on His Prophet (and taken away) from the people of the towns belongs to Allāh, to His Prophet, and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarers, so that it may not be taken in turn by the rich among you. So take what the Prophet assigns to you, and abstain from what he withholds from you” (Qur’ān, 59:7)

as well as in this verse:

“Truly this is the word of a most honorable messenger, endowed with power, with rank before the Lord of the throne, with authority there, (and) faithful of his trust. And (O people!) your Companion is not possessed” (Qur’ān, 81:22).[6]

Ibn ‘Abbās described the latter situation very well when he said, “The calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh from writing that document for them because of their disputing and fussing.”

Despite all of this, and according to what Ibn ‘Abbās had narrated and what al-Bukhāri had included in his Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not die before making this statement: “… Leave me alone, for the pain in which I am is better than what you are attributing to me.” Then he enjoined them, by way of a will, to uphold three things: to get the polytheist people out of the Arabian Peninsula, to treat the envoy as handsomely as he [the Prophet (ṣ)] used to do, and he abstained from mentioning the third one, or he said he forgot it!”[7]

It is certain that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had articulated these recommendations in the presence of his family and some of his relatives, including Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās, his cousin, in one of the four days which followed the day of the calamity, the Thursday Calamity.

But what is odd is that the third item on the will, based on the integrity of al-Bukhāri, is not mentioned by Ibn ‘Abbās because he was too reluctant to do so. At any rate, the Shī’ah, according to the narratives of Ahlul Bayt (‘a), have stated that the “forgotten” issue or the one shrouded with silence is the appointment of Ali (‘a) as the caliph.

II. Some Sahābah Lagged Behind Usāmah’s Military Expedition and Cast Doubts about His Leadership

All Muslims know that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) tied the knot for the military expedition under the command of Usāmah son of Zayd to invade the Romans. Usāmah was then seventeen. This was the last military expedition during the life-time of the Prophet (ṣ). None from among the prominent Muhājirūn and Ansār, such as Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, Abū ‘Ubaydah, Sa’d and their likes, was excluded from being enlisted by the Prophet[8]. This fact is unanimously accepted by writers of biographies and of history books; it is taken for granted.

The Prophet (ṣ) ordered Usāmah to march, but they dragged their feet, and some of them cast doubts about his leadership, so much so that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) ascended the pulpit, as al-Bukhāri records according to his reliance on Ibn ‘Umar, to address them. The latter says, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) placed Usāmah as commander of the people. They cast doubts about such an appointment, so he (ṣ) said, ‘If you cast doubts about his appointment, you did, indeed, cast doubt about the appointment of his father before him. By Allāh! He [his father] was worthy of being in charge, and he was among the people whom I loved the most, and this one [his son] is the one I love the most after him.’[9]

Then he (ṣ) urged them once more to march and to hurry,” but they again dragged their feet. The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) passed away before they marched out.

From this incident, we deduct the following:

1. Some sahābah followed their own ijtihād despite the presence of a statement made by the Prophet (ṣ), objecting to his appointment of Usāmah over them on account of his young age although the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had tied his flag with his own hand. If we understand all of this, it will be difficult for us to understand how and why they followed their own ijtihād with regard to bigger issues such as the caliphate of Ali (‘a) and his being the Imām as you will see later.

2. The appointment by the Prophet (ṣ) of Usāmah as their military leader although he was only seventeen was a practical lesson for the sahābah in the issue of accepting the leadership of someone who is younger than them especially since signs of his extreme anger became evident when they cast doubts about his choice of the young man as their military field commander.

3. When the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) tied the knot for Usāmah, he knew that he was about to depart to the most Exalted Companion, and undoubtedly he was contemplating on the dispute over the caliphate that would follow; therefore, his extreme wisdom dictated that senior Muhājirūn and Ansār should be placed in that detachment which he (ṣ) ordered to march out only a few days before his demise so that there would be no time to dispute over the leadership issue, let alone using ijtihād in its regard.

Ali (‘a) kept the Prophet (ṣ) company during the entire period of his sickness. After the demise of the Prophet (ṣ), Ali (‘a) remained busy giving him his burial bath while the Muhājirūn and the Ansār went to the shed of Banī Sā’idah to dispute with one another about the issue of leadership after having dragged their feet and refused to march out in the military campaign of Usāmah in which they had already been enlisted apparently out of their own ijtihād and “worry” about what would happen in their absence after the death of the Prophet (ṣ)!

Thus, it is difficult to accept or to absorb the issue of the refusal of some sahābah to accept Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) as their Imām; otherwise, how can one interpret the refusal of the same folks of Usāmah as their leader and their casting doubts about it although it, too, was issued as an order by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)?

Since both incidents of the “Thursday Calamity” and the casting of doubt about the leadership of Usāmah took place during the life-time of the Prophet (ṣ), bearing in mind all the horrors of their implications, what would one expect to happen after his own demise (ṣ)?!

III. The Saqīfa Events and Abū Bakr’s Inauguration

While Ali (‘a) and those in his company from among the relatives of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) were busy making preparations for the burial of the Prophet (ṣ) after his departure from this life, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb announced his rejection of the notion that the Prophet (ṣ) had already died and threatened to kill anyone who said otherwise.

He did not believe that he (ṣ) had died till Abū Bakr returned from a place outside Medīna called al-Sankh. As mentioned by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, relying on ‘Ā’isha , the latter said, “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) died when Abū Bakr was at al-Sankh.” Ismā’īl says, “She means the highland.” ‘Umar kept saying, “By Allāh! The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) did not die!”

‘Ā’isha went on to say, “‘Umar also said, ‘By Allāh! Never did I like anything except that, and Allāh shall send him back, and he will cut off men’s hands and legs.” Abū Bakr came, uncovered the face of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) and kissed him.

Then he said, “By my father and mother, you are good alive and dead! By Allāh Who holds my soul in His hand, Allāh shall never permit you to taste death twice,” then he left as he said, “O one who keeps swearing [meaning ‘Umar]! Do calm down!”[10]

As for the Ansār, they met at their shed, that is, “the Saqīfa of Banī Sā’idah,” and nominated Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah to succeed the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) as the man in charge. When senior Muhājirūn (i.e. Abū Bakr, ‘Umar and Abū ‘Ubaydah) came to know about it, they immediately went there and announced that they themselves were more worthy of it. An argument arose between the Muhājirūn and the Ansār wherein a dispute erupted.

Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah, leader of the Ansār, stood up and said, “We are the supporters of Islam and its regiment while you, folks of the Muhājirūn, are his kinsfolk. A drummer from among your people has beaten her drum, hence they want to reduce us from our own roots and to hold us back from the matter.”[11]

Abū Bakr stood up and delivered a speech in which he referred to the merits of al-Muhājirūn, deriving his argument from their descent from Quraysh in order to prove their being more worthy of the caliphate as al-Bukhāri mentions in his Sahīh. “… so Abū Bakr al-Siddiq, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb and Abū ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh went to them. ‘Umar started to talk, but Abū Bakr silenced him.”[12]

Abū Bakr said, “… No; but we are the princes while you are the viziers. But we are the princes and you are the viziers. And they are the best among the Arabs in status and in lineage[13]…, and I have recommended for you one of these two men.”[14] So they swore the oath of allegiance to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb or to Abū ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh[15]. One of the prominent Ansārs, namely al-Habāb ibn al-Mundhir, responded to him by saying, ‘No by Allāh, we shall not do that! One of us shall be an amīr and one of you [too] shall be an amīr”[16]

In another narrative, the Ansār responded thus: “A speaker from among the Ansār said, ‘We are its cultivated stump and anticipated cluster. An amīr should be [chosen] from among us, and an amīr should be chosen from among you [too], O people of Quraysh!’ Voices of dissent rose and there was a lot of fuss, so much so that dissension was feared.”[17]

When the crisis reached such an extent, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb’s role came. Said he, “Far away it is for two to share one and the same horn! By Allāh! The Arabs shall never accept you as their amirs while their Prophet (ṣ) is not from among you. We have in this the argument against whoever dissents.”

Al-Habab ibn al-Mundhir, one of the Ansār dignitaries, responded to him by saying, “O folks of the Ansār! Unite your views; do not listen to this man’s statement or to that of his fellows, for you are more worthy of this matter.” But the Ansār, meanwhile, disagreed among themselves. Aseed ibn Hadheer, leader of the Aws tribe, who opposed Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah, leader of the Khazraj tribe, went and announced to the Muhājirūn his own support for them, promising them to swear the oath of allegiance to them.

It was then that ‘Umar stood up and said to Abū Bakr, “Stretch your hand so I may swear fealty to you.” ‘Umar swore the oath of allegiance to him and so did some Muhājirūn and Ansār. As al-Bukhāri, who relies on ‘Ā’isha, narrates, ‘Umar took the oath of allegiance for Abū Bakr through threats and intimidations.

He quotes ‘Ā’isha as having said, “Their address was rendered by Allāh as beneficial: ‘Umar scared people. There was hypocrisy among them, so Allāh responded thus to it.”[18] At the time, with regard to Sa’d ibn ‘Abādah’s refusal to swear fealty, and he was an old man, al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh saying that ‘Umar then said, “Rather, Allāh did kill him!”[19]

This much suffices to let the curtain fall down on the Saqīfa stage act of events which concluded with Abū Bakr being inaugurated after a publicly witnessed struggle between the Muhājirūn and the Ansār over the caliphate.

This struggle was tinted by a jāhili attitude as clearly appears from discerning the nature of the arguments between both parties and the arguments which each party used against the other. Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb admitted near the end of his life that swearing the oath of allegiance to Abū Bakr was “a slip, but Allāh protected us from its evil,” according to his own view.[20]

Everyone knows that Imām Ali (‘a) and all his supporters from among Banū Hāshim and other sahābah, such as al-Zubair, Talhah, ‘Ammār, Salmān, Miqdād, Abū Dharr, Khuzaymah (the man with the two testimonies), Khālid ibn Sa’eed, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Abū Ayyūb al-Ansāri and others, were not present at all during such a swearing, nor did they enter the Saqīfa that day at all because they were all entirely preoccupied with the great calamity: the demise of the Prophet (ṣ) and their performance of the obligation to prepare his corpse for burial and to lay his pure body to rest.

The fellows of the Saqīfa sealed that deal with Abū Bakr; therefore, Ali (‘a) and his followers had no choice except to express their dissent and to refuse to swear fealty as appears from the following narrative by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb: “… We were fully aware of the event when Allāh caused His Prophet (ṣ) to die, but the Ansār disagreed with us, and they assembled in their entirety at the Saqīfa of Banī Sā’idah. Among those who dissented were: Ali and al-Zubair and those with them.”[21]

Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) saw no result for protesting against them except dissension. He preferred to lose his own right rather than see such a dissension during such circumstances because of the serious perils that surrounded Islam from all directions. There was a danger against Islam from the hypocrites of Medīna and those around them from among the bedouins who felt emboldened after the departure of the Chosen One (ṣ).

Add to this the danger of Musaylamah the Liar, Tulayhah the mischief-maker and Sajāh, the woman of trickery, in addition to the Kaisers and Caesars and others who were lying in ambush against the Muslims.

There were other dangers threatening the very existence of Islam. It was only natural that Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) should sacrifice his right but not obliterating the argument of his being already nominated [by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ)] for it. He wanted to keep his right for the caliphate and the ability to argue against those who followed their own way of thinking.

He wanted to do all of this in order not to cause the dissension the opportunity for which the enemies of Islam wished to take advantage of. He, therefore, sat at home and did not go to participate in the inauguration. And so did those with him. This lasted for six whole months.[22]

Al-Bukhāri narrates another incident. It, too, proves that had Ali (‘a) had the sufficient force to extract his right by force at that time without dissension taking place, he would have done just that. ‘Ā’isha is quoted as having said, “She [Fātima (‘a)] survived the Prophet (ṣ) for only six months. When she died, her husband Ali (‘a) buried her at night. Abū Bakr neither called the adhān nor performed the funeral prayers for her. Ali (‘a) enjoyed prestige among the people during the life-time of Fātima (‘a). When she died, people turned their faces away from him, so he sought to reconcile with Abū Bakr and swear fealty to him.

During those months, he was never willing to do so. He sent a message to Abū Bakr saying, ‘You may come to visit us, provided nobody accompanies you,’ out of his concern that ‘Umar might be present. ‘Umar said, ‘No, by Allāh! You should not enter their house alone.’ Abū Bakr said, ‘Why not?! What do you think they might do to me?! By Allāh! I shall go to visit them.’”[23]

Imām Sharaf ad-Dīn [Sadr ad-Dīn al-Mūsawi] has interpreted this conduct of Imām Ali (‘a) by saying, “Had Ali (‘a) hastened to swear fealty to them at the time, he would not have driven his argument home, nor would have the argument of his followers, but he combined, in his action, both safeguarding the creed and keeping his own right for the caliphate.

The circumstances then did not permit resistance by the sword, nor debating one argument against another.”[24] This fact appears quite clearly when Abū Sufyān tried more than once to persuade him to uphold his right to the caliphate. He said to Imām Ali (‘a), “If you wish, I shall fill the land with cavalry and with infantry to confront them, and I shall block their exit therefrom.”[25]

But Imām Ali (‘a) refused such type of “assistance” every time because he knew what Abū Sufyān had in mind: igniting the fire of dissension and waging a war after which Islam would never stand on its feet.

Wrath of Fātima (‘a)

Fātima (‘a) passed away while being angry with Abū Bakr because he had deprived her of the inheritance left for her by her father, the Prophet (ṣ). Relying on the authority of ‘Ā’isha, al-Bukhāri quotes the latter as saying, “… Fātima (‘a) daughter of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was to receive the inheritance left for her from the fay’ [property gained as a peace offering from a hostile party] which Allāh had bestowed upon His Messenger (ṣ).

Abū Bakr said to her, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had said, ‘We [prophets] leave no inheritance; what we leave behind is charity;’ therefore, Fātima (‘a) daughter of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) became angry. She dissociated herself from Abū Bakr till she died.

She lived for only six months after the death of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).” ‘Ā’isha adds saying, “And Fātima (‘a) demanded that Abū Bakr give her the share to which she was entitled of the inheritance of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) from Khaybar, namely Fadak, and the Medīna charity, but Abū Bakr refused saying, ‘I shall not leave out anything which the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to do.’”[26]

Her anger with Abū Bakr was so great that it prompted her to go as far as leaving a will with Ali (‘a) that Abū Bakr should not perform the funeral prayers for her after her demise, nor to even walk behind her coffin. Imām Ali (‘a) buried her pure body secretly at night as al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh, relying on ‘Ā’isha who said, “… Abū Bakr refused that anything should be paid to Fātima (‘a).

Fātima (‘a), therefore, was extremely angry with him, so much so that she dissociated herself from him and never spoke to him till she died. She lived after the demise of the Prophet (ṣ) for six months. When she died, her husband buried her at night. Abū Bakr never called the adhān [to announce her death], nor did he perform the funeral prayers for her.”[27]

The land of Fadak which Fātima (‘a) demanded is a village in Hijāz which used to be inhabited by some Jews. When the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) commenced the conquest of Khayber, Allāh cast fear in the hearts of those Jews; therefore, they reconciled with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) in exchange for Fadak.

Thus, Fadak became the property of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) because neither cavalry nor infantry was ever involved in its conquest. Then he gave it to his daughter Fātima (‘a) in addition to what the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had owned out of the levy of the khums from Khayber and his own charities. All of these used to be the personal property of the Messenger of Allāh; nobody else had any right in it besides him.

Fātima (‘a), then, according to Abū Bakr’s view, was demanding to get what was not hers. She, according to this view, had to be doing either one of two things without any third possibility:

First: She was ignorant and did not know the rulings applicable to the inheritance of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) (while Abū Bakr knew), or

Second: She was a liar who coveted to take what did not belong to her.

The fact is that both are impossible to attribute to al-Zahra (‘a) for whose anger Allāh used to become angry, the Head of the Believing Women and of the people of Paradise that she was, the lady who was purified by Allāh Almighty from any sin or impurity as has already been stated above. According to what is recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “O Fātima! Are you not pleased with being the Head of the believing women or the Head of the women of this nation?!”[28] “Fātima (‘a) is part of me; whoever makes her angry makes me angry”[29] “Fātima (‘a) is the Head of the women of Paradise.”[30]

Even if we submit that Fātima (‘a) was like any other woman and did not have all such distinctions, as the narratives above indicate, her being the daughter of the teacher of humanity and the wife of the Commander of the Faithful Ali (‘a) for whom they testified that he was the most judicious of all, the most knowledgeable, it negates from her any possibility of being ignorant.

This is so because had Fātima (‘a) been demanding what did not belong to her, and that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) was not to leave any inheritance, according to the view of Abū Bakr, either her father (ṣ) or her husband (‘a) was supposed to inform her, especially since her anger with Abū Bakr lasted for six months. This was the entire period which Fātima (‘a) lived after the departure of the Chosen One (ṣ) from this world.

But far it is for Fātima (‘a) to be as such. We seek refuge with Allāh against thinking like that of her. When she came to know that Abū Bakr deprived her of her right of ownership of Fadak and the property which Allāh had bestowed upon His Prophet (ṣ) in Medīna, in addition to the khums of Khayber, she (‘a) went to meet him, and he was among a crowd of the Muhājirūn and the Ansār. She delivered a speech which caused the people to burst in tears, a speech from which we would like to quote the following:

… while you claim that we have neither inheritance nor any share; do you wish to implement the judgment of the days of jāhiliyya? Whose judgment is better than that of Allāh for people who have conviction? O folks of Islam! Does the Book of Allāh say that you can get your inheritance from your father while I have no inheritance at all? You will truly then bring about falsehood.

Then she recited the verse saying,

“Muhammad is no more than a Prophet: Many prophets passed away before him. If he died or were killed, would you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, he would not harm Allāh in the least, but Allāh (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Qur’ān, 3:144).

Then she went on to say, “O people of Qayla! Should I thus complain about the injustice of being deprived of inheritance from my father while you see and hear me?” up to the end of that speech.[31]

Moreover, the meaning of the statement “We [prophets] leave no inheritance” which the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) made does not convey the inapplicability of the laws of inheritance to prophets according to the ijtihād of Abū Bakr. The Holy Qur’ān states the following:

“And Solomon was David’s heir” (Qur’ān, 27:16).

Zakariyya [Zacharias] pleaded to the Almighty to grant him someone who would be his heir, so Allāh granted him Yahya [John the Baptist]:

“… ‘(one who) will (truly) inherit me, and represent the posterity of Jacob, and make him, O Lord, one with whom You are well pleased!’ (His prayer was answered:) ‘O Zakariyya! We give you glad tidings of a son: His name shall be Yahya (John): We have never conferred distinction on any by that name before’” (Qur’ān, 19:6-7).

Hence, the meaning of “… inherit me” in the previous verse does not convey the sense of inheriting his [Zakariyya’s] status as a prophet, for prophethood is not hereditary. Thus, the meaning of “We [prophets] leave no inheritance” in the statement of the Prophet (ṣ) means that prophets do not hoard gold and silver so it may be their legacy after them as do kings and those who seek the life of this world.

With Abū Bakr thus depriving Fātima (‘a) of inheriting the Prophet (ṣ) gave the opportunity to some people to claim that this was the real reason why Ali (‘a) was reluctant to swear fealty to Abū Bakr, not because he (‘a) saw himself as the legitimate claimant to the post of caliph. Had the matter been as such, how do you explain the reluctance of a large number of the sahābah to swear fealty to Abū Bakr while granting their support to Ali (‘a)?

And how do you explain this statement of ‘Ā’isha: “Ali (‘a) sent a message to Abū Bakr saying, ‘You may come to visit us, provided nobody accompanies you,’ out of his concern that ‘Umar might be present”? ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb had nothing to do with the issue of contention regarding the inheritance of the Prophet (ṣ), whereas he played a decisive role in ending the dispute at the Saqīfa in Abū Bakr’s favor.

Moreover, the issue of the inheritance is not considered a stumbling block or a justification under any condition for the refusal of Ali (‘a) and Fātima (‘a) to swear fealty to Abū Bakr or even for their reluctance to do so.

Did Fātima (‘a) Die the Death of Jāhiliyya?

Relying on the authority of [Abdullāh] ibn Abbās, al-Bukhāri has quoted the latter saying that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “One who detests something which his amīr does must be patient, for anyone who deviates the distance of a span from authority dies the death of the days of ignorance [jāhiliyya].”[32] And in his Sahīh, Muslim cites the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) saying, “One who dies without the responsibility of a fealty dies the days of jāhiliyya.”[33]

And in Ahmad’s Musnad, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) is quoted as having said, “Whoever dies without an Imām dies the death of jahiliyya.”[34] These three traditions prove decisively that anyone who dies without swearing fealty to an amīr or an Imām dies the death of jāhiliyya. There is no doubt that what is meant here is the Imām obedience to whom is obligatory according to the divine Sharī’ah and nobody else.

Fātima al-Zahrā’ (‘a) passed away without swearing fealty to Abū Bakr. Furthermore, she died while being angry with him, leaving a will that he should not perform the funeral prayers for her nor even walk behind her coffin according to what al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh, citing ‘Ā’isha relating about how Abū Bakr had deprived Fātima (‘a) of her inheritance from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ):

“Fātima (‘a), therefore, was extremely angry with him, so much so that she dissociated herself from him and never spoke to him till she died. She lived after the demise of the Prophet (ṣ) for six months. When she died, her husband buried her at night. Abū Bakr never called the adhān [to announce her death], nor did he perform the funeral prayers for her.”[35]

How, then, can anyone say that al-Zahrā’ (‘a) did not follow the Prophetic instructions in the previous traditions? Rather, she demonstrated her patience about what she saw and hated of caliph Abū Bakr’s action. She did not obey him. She objected to his caliphate. She was angry with him. And she left a will that he should not perform the funeral prayers for her, nor should he even walk in her funeral procession, something which pointed to the fact that not only did she distance herself from the authority of Abū Bakr for one span but rather many miles!

How can one say, therefore, that Fātima al-Zahrā’ (‘a) died the death of jāhiliyya? But Fātima (‘a), according to the consensus of all Islamic sects, was the Head of believing women, the Head of the women of Paradise, as al-Bukhāri confirmed in his Sahīh, citing the Prophet (ṣ) saying, “O Fātima! Are you not pleased with being the Head of the believing women or the Head of the women of this nation?!”[36]

Moreover, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) used to be angry whenever she was angry. This undoubtedly means that Allāh Almighty would become angry whenever she was angry according to this tradition: “The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘Fātima is part of me. Whoever angers her angers me (too)’.”[37] The Imām (or amīr) obedience to whom is obligatory, and one who does not swear the oath of allegiance to him dies the death of jāhiliyya, is surely neither Abū Bakr, nor Mu’āwiyah the blood-shedder, nor their likes.

IV ‘Umar’s Caliphate

When Abū Bakr became sick, he called ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān to his presence and said to him, “Write the following: In the Name of Allāh, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. This is a covenant from Abū Bakr son of Abū Quhāfah to the Muslims.” It was then that he became unconscious. ‘Uthmān, therefore, went on to write the following: “I leave as my successor over you ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, and I do not hide from you anything good.”

Then Abū Bakr regained his consciousness, so ‘Uthmān said to him, “I see that you feared lest the Muslims would dispute if I passed away during my unconsciousness; is that so?” Abū Bakr answered in the affirmative, whereupon ‘Uthmān said, “May Allāh reward you with goodness on behalf of Islam and Muslims.” The writing was kept where it had been.[38]

It is also narrated that ‘Umar was holding in his hand the sheet on which Abū Bakr named him as his successor on the day of the Saqīfa when he scared people and thus took from them the oath of allegiance for Abū Bakr through his coercion as has already been proven above, taking advantage of the split in the ranks of the Ansār and in the presence of those who held in their hands the legitimate right to be the caliphs and who were busy preparing for the funeral of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).

Abū Bakr also played the same role by installing ‘Umar as the caliph after him. It cost him nothing but a little ink. Despite the extreme pain of Abū Bakr’s ailment during the writing of that will, even during his unconsciousness at the time, nobody at all said that Abū Bakr was hallucinating regarding what was written.

Contrariwise, caliph ‘Umar and those who supported him did not hesitate to accuse the Prophet (ṣ) with such a painful word [“yahjur, hallucinating”] when the Prophet (ṣ) asked them to get him some writing material so that a statement would be written for them after the writing of which they would never stray.

Abū Bakr claimed that the reason why he named ‘Umar as the caliph after him was his fear lest dissension should take place after his death. Thus did the Sunnis accept his excuse after he had violated the principle of shūra which they claim should be the principle according to which the Muslims should elect their caliph. You will see later how they also accepted the caliphate of Mu’āwiyah and his son Yazīd after his death although these ascended to power through intimidation and the force of the sword, killing many Muslims in the process, especially the descendants of the pure ‘itra of Ahlul Bayt (‘a).

But the question which we wished to put forth here is this: “Why did the Sunnis refuse the notion that the Prophet (ṣ) did, indeed, name the caliph who was to succeed him as they did accept it from Abū Bakr especially since the dispute about the caliphate at the time of the death of the Prophet (ṣ) was much greater than those when Abū Bakr died, in addition to the clear texts about the importance of referring to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) whenever the Muslims disputed with each other after the departure of the Chosen One (ṣ)? And the caliphate of Ali (‘a)?!”

V ‘Uthmān’s Caliphate

When caliph ‘Umar was stabbed, he was told that his successor had already been named, so he said, “Had Abū ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh been alive, I would have named him as my successor. And had Sālim, slave of Abū Hudhayfah, been alive, I would have named him as my successor.” Then he said to them, “Some men say that the swearing of fealty to Abū Bakr was a slip from the evil of which Allāh protected us, and that the fealty to ‘Umar lacked consultation, and the issue after me is to be resolved through shūra.”[39]

Said he, “I have determined your issue to be resolved by a number of early Muhājirūn” whom he named saying, “Call to me Ali (‘a), ‘Uthmān, Talhah, al-Zubayr, Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf and Sa’d ibn Abū Waqqās. If four persons agree [to choose the same person], the remaining two must follow the view of the [first] four. And if the views are split between three and three, you should follow the view of Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf; therefore, listen [to him] and obey…”[40]

From the above narrative it becomes obvious that caliph ‘Umar arranged for the candidate to be named by Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf. This is a third portrait of the type of shūra which they [Sunnis] advocate… Caliph ‘Umar ordered Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf to require a condition in the candidate for whom fealty would be sworn. This condition is that he should act upon the line of both senior sahābis (Abū Bakr and ‘Umar) in addition to acting upon the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ).

As was expected, the six persons split into two parties: three persons and two candidates. The first three were: Ali (‘a), Talhah and al-Zubayr, and their candidate was Ali (‘a). As for the three in the other party, they were: Sa’d, ‘Uthmān and Talhah, and their candidate was ‘Uthmān. Imām Ali (‘a) rejected the condition of acting upon the line of both senior sahābis saying, “I shall follow the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ) and my own ijtihād,”[41] whereas ‘Uthmān accepted the condition, becoming a caliph accordingly.

Al-Bukhāri records a portion of this incident in his own Sahīh. He cites al-Hasūr ibn Makhramah saying, “Abd al-Rahmān [ibn ‘Awf] knocked at my door after a good portion of the night had already lapsed till I woke up. He said, ‘I see that you are asleep. By Allāh, my eyes have not tasted much sleep. Come, call al-Zubayr and Sa’d to my presence.’ I told them to meet him, so he consulted with them.

Then he called upon me and said, ‘Call Ali (‘a) to my presence.’ I invited him [Ali (‘a)] to meet with him. He talked privately with him till the night’s color started to fade. Then Ali (‘a) left him optimistically. Then he said to me, ‘Call ‘Uthmān to my presence.’ I did. He talked privately with him till the call of the mu’athin to the fajr prayers separated them from each other.

Having led the people for the morning prayers, and once the same individuals assembled near the pulpit [of the Prophet (ṣ)], he called to his presence those of the Muhājirūn and the Ansār who were present and also sent messages for the commanders of the troops to meet there, and these were all loyal to ‘Umar. Once they all gathered together, Abd al-Rahmān recited both testimonies [that “There is God except Allāh and Muhammad (ṣ) is the Messenger of Allāh], Abd al-Rahmān said, ‘O Ali! I have looked into the affairs of the people and found no peer among them for ‘Uthmān; so, do not put your own safety to jeopardy.’

To ‘Uthmān he said, ‘I swear allegiance to you according to the Sunnah of Allāh (ṣ) and His Messenger and [the line] of both caliphs [Abū Bakr and ‘Umar] after him.’ Thus did Abd al-Rahmān swear the oath of allegiance to him [to ‘Uthmān], and so did the people.”[42]

Thus it becomes obvious that when caliph ‘Umar preconditioned for the one to whom people must swear the oath of allegiance to act upon the way of both senior sahābis, in addition to acting upon the Book of Allāh (ṣ) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ), he had already determined the caliphate for ‘Uthmān right then because he knew the attitude of Imām Ali (‘a) vis-a-vis this condition in addition to his knowledge that Talhah and al-Zubayr would both side with Ali (‘a) because he had already noticed their stand, which was supportive of Ali (‘a), on the day of the Saqīfa. Add to all the above the fact that ‘Umar had already granted the right to make a preference in favor of Abd al-Rahmān ibn ‘Awf, thus it becomes quite clear to you what sort of shūra they claim…

Murder of Caliph ‘Uthmān

A great deal was said about how ‘Uthmān was assassinated. Many statements and narratives clashed with each other in this regard especially with reference to the group which used to urge others to kill him, the reasons which prompted them to do so and such events reaching their climax with his murder. The most rational explanations are embedded in the practices on the government level, the appointment of provincial rulers who were relatives of ‘Uthmān and the money these used to be given from the State’s treasury. All this prompted critics and rebels to turn against ‘Uthmān.

The famous writer, Khālid Muhammad Khālid, says, “We do not doubt that ‘Uthmān, too, used to realize that most of those who welcomed his appointment for the caliphate, rather than Ali, Allāh glorifies his countenance, wanted to be freed from life’s strictness and stringency from which people suffered for a long period of time and which could have added to their burdens had Ali (‘a) received the matters in his own hands. Through his strict system, exact justice, asceticism and piety, he (‘a) represented an extension of the strictness, justice, stringency and piety of ‘Umar…”[43]

The hands of the relatives of caliph ‘Uthmān from among Banū Umayyah played havoc with the State treasury to the extent that some people think that the Umayyad government started ruling since choosing ‘Uthmān as the caliph and swearing the oath of allegiance to him.

Here is Abū Sufyān supports this view when he says the following to caliph ‘Uthmān after the latter had received the oath of allegiance: “O Banū Umayyah! Receive it as a ball is received, for by the One by Whom Abū Sufyān swears, I remain optimistic that you (too) will receive it, and it shall be received by your children by way of inheritance.”[44] According to another narrative of the same statement, he said, “Receive it as a ball is received, for there is neither Paradise nor Hell…”[45]

Among those who opposed caliph ‘Uthmān were some of the best sahābah. The most famous of these are: Abū Dharr, may Allāh be pleased with him, Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd and ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir. The said caliph took a very fanatical stand against them, punishing them severely. As for Abū Dharr, he met his death in the [desert of] al-Rabatha as his punishment for opposing [the appointment of] Mu’āwiyah as the provincial governor [then self-declared absolute ruler] of Syria. Abū Dharr resented how Mu’āwiyah was hoarding gold and squandering money at the expense of the Muslims’ wealth. Zayd ibn Wahbah has said, “I passed by al-Rabathah and saw Abū Dharr, may Allāh be pleased with him, so I said to him, ‘What brought you [to such a pathetic condition of banishment] here?’

He said, ‘I was in Syria and had a dispute with Mu’āwiyah regarding the verse saying,

And there are those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend in the way of Allāh (Qur’ān, 9:34).

Mu’āwiyah said that it was revealed about the People of the Book. I said that it was revealed about us and about them; therefore, this was the source of disagreement between him and myself.

He wrote ‘Uthmān, may Allāh be pleased with him, complaining about me. ‘Uthmān wrote me ordering me to go to Medīna. I went there. Many people came to see me as if they never saw me before, so I mentioned this to ‘Uthmān. He [‘Uthmān] said to me, ‘If you wish, you may stay away nearby.’ This caused my present condition. Had they assigned an Ethiopian as an amīr, I would have listened to him and obeyed.’”[46]

As regarding Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd, the man in charge of Kūfa’s bayt al-māl, his ribs were broken as a result of being beaten by ‘Uthmān’s slave as his punishment because of his objection to the conduct of al-Walīd ibn Mu’eet, caliph ‘Uthmān’s brother by his mother and his wāli over Kūfa following the deposition of Sa’d ibn Abū Waqqās. This son of Abū Mu’eet took money from the Muslims’ bayt al-māl and never returned it.[47]

As for ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir, he became sick with hernia as a result of being severely beaten by ‘Uthmān’s slave as his punishment for having performed the funeral prayers for Ibn Mas’ūd without informing the caliph of it. Actually, ‘Ammār did so in honor of the will of Ibn Mas’ūd so that the caliph might not perform the said prayers service for him instead.[48]

Others are many among those who objected to the extravagance of the caliph’s relatives from among Banū Umayyah of the common wealth of the State. Marwān ibn al-Hakam, for example, took a fifth of the khirāj tax of Africa. Refer to more stories about caliph ‘Uthmān in the book titled Khilāfah wa Milookiyyah (caliphate and monarchy) by ‘allāma Mawdoodi.

A profound effect resulted from the anger of the Mother of the Faithful ‘Ā’isha and her objection to caliph ‘Uthmān, even to her instigation that he should be killed such as when she said, “Kill Naathal for he has committed apostasy.”[49] She did so after accusing him of altering the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣ). This aggravated the revolution against him. Many citizens of Medīna, as well as people who came from Egypt, Syria and Kūfa, gathered and collectively killed him.

Caliphate of Imām Ali (‘a)

After ‘Uthmān had been killed, people went in drones to Imām Ali (‘a) seeking to swear the oath of allegiance to him (as the caliph). They said to him, “This man [‘Uthmān] has been killed, and people have to have an Imām. Nowadays, we find none worthy of such an undertaking besides you.” The swearing of allegiance was completed.

Imām Ali (‘a) wanted to implement justice among the people, establishing equity between those who were weak and those who were mighty. He wanted to establish the rulings which Allāh revealed in His Book. Some of them objected. They enticed dissension and gathered troops, publically announcing their rebellion and mutiny against him. This let to many battles the most significant of which were those of the Camel and of Siffīn.

VI Battle of al-Jamal; Mother of the Believers Goes Out to Fight Ali (‘a)

When Mother of the Believers ‘Ā’isha came to know that ‘Uthmān had been killed and that people swore the oath of allegiance to Ali (‘a), she said to ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Kilāb, who informed her of it, “By Allāh! I wish this [heavens] had crashed with this [earth] if, indeed, the matter has been concluded to the advantage of your friend. Woe unto you! Look into what you are saying!” ‘Ubaydullāh said to her, “It is just as I have told you, O Mother of the Faithful!”

She pronounced statements expressing her frustration, whereupon he said to her, “Why should it concern you [so much], O Mother of the Faithful?! By Allāh, I know nobody more worthy of it [caliphate] than him [than Ali (‘a)]; so, why do you hate for him to be the caliph?” The Mother of the Faithful cried out, “Take me back! Take me back!” She returned to Medīna saying, “‘Uthmān, by Allāh, was killed unjustly. By Allāh! I shall seek revenge for the shedding of his blood!”

‘Ubaydullāh said to her, “Why?! By Allāh, the first person to legitimize the shedding of his blood is your own self! You used to say, ‘Kill Naathal for he has committed apostasy’.” She said, “They got him to regret, then they killed him. I have said what I said, and so have they, and my last statement is better than my first.” She went to Mecca and alighted at the Mosque’s door where many people gathered around her. She said to them, “O people! ‘Uthmān has been unjustly killed. By Allāh! I shall seek revenge for his murder.”[50]

The anger of Mother of the Faithful ‘Ā’isha agreed with the anger of Talhah and al-Zubayr after Imām Ali (‘a) had deposed them from their posts as the wālis of Yemen and Bahrain respectively; therefore, they both reneged from their oath of allegiance to Imām Ali (‘a) and went to Mecca to urge the same Mother of the Faithful to fight Ali (‘a).

They went out accompanied by a huge army under the military command of the Mother of the Faithful in the direction of Basra where a crushing war, known as the Battle of the Camel (harb al-jamal), took place. Victory was on the side of the army led by Imām Ali (‘a), and in it both Talhah and al-Zubayr were killed as well as thirteen thousand Muslims.

All these were the victims of the call ushered by the Mother of the Faithful to avenge the killing of ‘Uthmān. She claimed that the killers had found their way to the Imām’s army. No matter what, was she not supposed to let such issues be decided by wali al-amr especially since Allāh Almighty had ordered her to

“… stay in your houses” (Qur’ān, 33:33)   ?

And why should she have anything to do with that since ‘Uthmān is a man from Banū Umayyah while she is from [the tribe of] Taym except when there is another reason for her thus marching out?! Although the reality of this incident answers this question clearly, add to it the prophecy of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) about this dissension and his making a reference to those behind it.

For example, Abdullāh [ibn Abbās] has said, “The Prophet (ṣ) stood up to deliver a sermon. He pointed in the direction of the residence of ‘Ā’isha and said, ‘Dissension is right there,’ repeating his statement three times. He went on to say, ‘It is from there that Satan’s horn shall come out.’”[51]

‘Ammār ibn Yāsir considered obedience to ‘Ā’isha in such a deed as being at the expense of obedience to Allāh, the most Great, the most Exalted One. Ibn Ziyād al-Asadi has said, “… so I heard ‘Ammār saying, ‘‘Ā’isha marched out to Basra. By Allāh! She is the wife of your Prophet (ṣ) in the life of this world and in the Hereafter, but Allāh, the most Praised, the most Exalted One, has tested you in order to see whether you obey Him or you obey her.’”[52]

Long before this incident, ‘Ā’isha was very well known of being extremely spiteful of Ali (‘a). She could not even bear hearing his name mentioned. Abdullāh ibn ‘Utbah is quoted as having said, “‘Ā’isha said, ‘When heaviness covered the Prophet (ṣ) and his pain intensified, he sought permission of his wives to be treated at my chamber, and they granted him permission.

The Prophet (ṣ) went out assisted by two men, dragging his feet on the ground. He was between Abbās and another man.’” ‘Ubaydullāh went on to say, “I related this to [Abdullāh] ibn Abbās who asked me, ‘Do you know who the other man was?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘That was Ali.’”[53]

Perhaps what ‘Ā’isha had heard was what Ali (‘a) said to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) in her regard in the incident wherein she was charged. This was the reason for such spite and hatred. ‘Ubaydullāh ibn Mas’ūd has said, “… As for Ali ibn Abū Tālib (‘a), he said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! Allāh has not placed any pressure on you, and women besides her are numerous, indeed.’”[54]

The “prince of poets,” Ahmad Shawqi, has described ‘Ā’isha’s spite [towards Ali (‘a)] in poetic verses wherein he addresses Imām Ali (‘a) as follows: “O mountain! The weight that you carry is rejected by other mountains; what load did the Owner of the Camel [‘Ā’isha] throw on you? Was it the effect of ‘Uthmān causing her to grieve? Or was it choking the grief which was never extracted? Such was a rift none ever expected. Women’s schemes weaken mountains, and the Mother of the Faithful was only a woman. What got that pure and exonerated woman out of her chamber and Sunnah was the same spite that remains all the time.”

The Myth of Abdullāh ibn Saba’

The summary of this myth is: “A man named Abdullāh ibn Saba’, a Jew from Yemen, pretended to be a follower of Islam during the reign of ‘Uthmān in order to cause mischief to the Muslims. He moved about the main Islamic metropolises in Egypt, Syria, Basra and Kūfa, spreading the “glad tiding” that the Prophet (ṣ) would return to life, that Ali (‘a) was his wasi, and that ‘Uthmān was the usurper of the right of this wasi. Groups from among senior sahābah and tābi’īn such as ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir, Abū Dharr, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah and others. He was able to raise armies to kill caliph ‘Uthmān at his own house.”

Thus does the series of events of this fabricated myth continue till it ends with the Battle of the Camel when Abdullāh ibn Saba’ orders his followers to sneak into the army of Ali (‘a) and of ‘Ā’isha without their knowledge in order to stir a war, and “thus did the Battle of the Camel take place.”[55] Sayyid Murtadha al-’Askari[56], who stood to expose the fallacy of this imagined myth, states that “The person who fabricated this personality [Abdullāh ibn Saba’] is Sayf ibn ‘Amr al-Tamīmi al-Barjami al-Kūfi, who died in A.H. 170 (A.D. 786), and from him all other historians quoted it.

Then this fabricated incident gained fame and spread in history books acrossx the centuries and till our time, so much so that it has become one of the famous incidents the authenticity of which nobody doubts. The vast majority of writers and historians in the East as well as Orientalists have been blinded to the fact that this incident was the brainchild of one single narrator, a lone individual who acted on his own, and that this narrator, namely Sayf ibn ‘Amr, is very well known by ancient scholars of hadīth as a fabricator and is even accused of being an unbeliever.

Ibn Dāwūd says the following about him: “He is nothing; he is a liar.” Ibn Abd al-Birr says, “Sayf is rejected. We have cited his tradition only to inform you of it.” Al-Nisā’i says this about him: “His traditions are weak. He is not trusted, and nobody has any faith in him.”Yet this same lying narrator is quoted by al-Tabari, Ibn ‘Asākir, Ibn Abū Bakr, etc., and al-Tabari has been and is being quoted by all other writers and historians till our time.[57]

It is well known that incidents narrated by one single person do not satisfy the scientific thinking, nor can they be used as evidence. How is it, then, when this same narrator is not trusted and was famous for being a liar and an unbeliever? Can his narrative be accepted? How can one accept to pass a judgment against a large segment of the Muslims by simply relying on incidents related by lone individuals who have been proven to be liars while there are ahadīth that are consecutively reported [mutawātir] from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) which prove the opposite?

One of the greatest historical farces is to attribute Shī’ism to a mythical man, namely Abdullāh ibn Saba’, claiming he was the one who disseminated the concept of “Ali (‘a) the wasi” despite the existence of a huge number of authentic texts proving that Shī’ism has always been to follow Muhammad (ṣ) and nobody else.

Refer to the Imāmate texts on the previous pages to see where this Abdullāh ibn Saba’ fits. Is Abdullāh ibn Saba’ the one who said, “I am leaving among you that which, if you uphold them, you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my ‘itrat, my Ahlul Bayt”? Or is he the one who said, “Anyone who has accepted me as his master, Ali is his master”? Or is he the one who said that the Imāms are twelve in number?

What a ridiculous tale it is that says that a Jew has come from Yemen to hypocritically declare his acceptance of Islam then carries out all these extra-ordinary deeds which reach the limit of getting Muslim armies to battle each other without anyone discovering his true identity?! Is it reasonable to accept that Imām Ali (‘a), about whom the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, “I am the city of wisdom and Ali is its gate,” fall a victim to the trickery of this Jew? Surely one who says so has strayed far, far away from the right track.

VII The Battle of Siffīn and the Rebellion of Mu’āwiyah

Having achieved victory in the Battle of the Camel, the Imām (‘a) concentrated the effort of his army to eliminate the opposition led by Mu’āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān in Syria. Both armies stood face to face near the Euphrates. The Imām (‘a) tried to correct the situation through peaceful means, but the answer given by Mu’āwiyah to the deputation sent to him by the Imam (‘a) was this: “Get away from me, for I have nothing for you except the sword.”[58]

Thus, both armies were engaged in battle. When signs of victory for the army led by the Imām (‘a) became clear, Mu’āwiyah staged the “trick of the copies of the Qur’ān”. Mu’āwiyah ordered his soldiers to raise the copies of the Qur’ān on the tips of their lances and swords.

Although the Imām (‘a) stood to expose this plot which was intended to put hurdles in the path of the victory which dawned quite near the army of Imām Ali (‘a), those fighters in his army who were demanding a cease-fire did not respond to his repeated calls, forcing him to accept arbitration.

And the Imām (‘a) strongly protested the choice of Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari as the representative of his army during the arbitration process due to this man’s weakness and the feebleness of his views. Imām Ali (‘a) had said, “I do not see that you should grant Abū Mūsa such an official task, for he is too weak to confront the trickery of ‘Amr [ibn al-’Ās].”[59] Ali (‘a) had already deposed Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari from his post as the wāli of Kūfa.

There was a prior plan to raise the copies of the Qur’ān and to coordinate it with a movement supportive of Mu’āwiyah that had sneaked into the Imām’s army and which demanded the acceptance of the arbitration and the choice of Abū Mūsa al-Ash’ari [as the negotiator during the arbitration process]. The results of the arbitration, as the Imām (‘a) had expected, came in favor of Mu’āwiyah.

For the latter, the situation started to gradually stabilize in his own interest following this major rebellion and when the caliph of the Muslims was thus disobeyed, hoping he would earn a worldly pleasure of which he always dreamed.

In the past, I used to wonder about this incident in which more than ninety-thousand Muslims from both sides were killed. Whenever I asked [the Sunnis about it], the answer came as a cliche as follows: “It was merely a dissension between two great sahābis. Each of them followed his own ijtihād. The one whose ijtihād was right earned two rewards, while the one whose ijtihād proved wrong earned one. Nobody ought to think about it.

That was a nation that passed by; for it are the rewards of the good deeds which it earned, and for you are your own rewards.” They have other such answers whereby they close any door that may uncover the causes of this “dissension”, as they call it.

Thus does this issue remain according to Ahl al-Sunnah suspended like a mysterious riddle without a solution. This opened the door wide for Orientalist scholars to state their own views about our religion, so much so that some of them claimed that there is contradiction in Islam, pointing out to the tradition of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) wherein he said, “If two Muslims face each other with their swords in hand, both the killer and the killed shall be lodged in hell.”

This tradition contradicts the claim of the Sunnis that both parties during the Battle of Siffīn were Muslim, and their commanders were great sahābis! So, why such insistence on refusing to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong? Why should the truth not be said? Is it really that ambiguous?

Anyhow, anyone who is confused about the truth regarding Mu’āwiyah must carefully discern the following proofs, and let the reader issue his own judgment after that:

In his Sahīh, Muslim cites the following statement of Ali (‘a): “I swear by the One Who created the seed and initiated the breeze that the Ummi Prophet (ṣ) pledged that nobody except a believer loves me, and nobody except a hypocrite hates me.”[60] So, what would you say about one who raises armies to fight him (‘a)?! And what is the judgment of Ahl al-Sunnah regarding one who disobeys the Imām of the Muslims obedience to whom is obligatory?

In al-Bukhāri’s Sahīh, there are references pointing to the oppression committed by Mu’āwiyah. Abū Sa’eed al-Khudri is quoted as having said, “We were once carrying the Mosque’s blocks one by one while ‘Ammār was carrying them two at a time. The Prophet (ṣ) passed by him, rubbed the dust from his head and said, ‘What a pity for ‘Ammār! He shall be killed by the oppressive party; ‘Ammār invites them to Allāh while they invite him to the Fire.”[61] This prediction of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) proved true when ‘Ammār was martyred as he was fighting under the flag of Imām Ali (‘a) during the Battle of Siffīn.

In Al-Mustadrak ‘Alal Sahīhayn, relying on the authority of Khālid al-’Arabi, the author quotes the latter as having said, “I and Abū Sa’īd al-Khudri met Hudhayfah [al-Yamāni] and said, ‘O Abū Abdullāh! Relate to us what you have heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) say about the dissension.’ Hudhayfah said, ‘The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘Stick to the Book [of Allāh, i.e. the Holy Qur’ān] wherever it goes.’

We said, ‘If people differ with each other, with whom should we be?’ He (ṣ) said, ‘Look up to the group wherein the son of Sumayya [i.e. ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir] is and hold on to it, for he goes where the Book of Allāh goes.’ I heard the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) say to ‘Ammār, ‘O son of al-Yaqdhān! You shall not die till the oppressive group that lies in ambush kills you.’”[62]

The oppression and rebellion of Mu’āwiyah were all expected. Since he became the wāli of Syria during the reign of ‘Umar, wealth, authority and mansions which he had built for him followed, and he expanded such affluence during the reign of caliph ‘Uthmān. It was not easy for a man like him to give all of this up. He knew for sure that if Imām Ali (‘a) did not remove him from office, he would at least strip him off all what he had acquired at the expense of the Muslims’ bayt al-māl and that he would treat him on equal footing as he would any other Muslim.

What went on between him and the highly revered sahābi, Abū Dharr al-Ghifāri, during the caliphate of ‘Uthmān also proves what we have stated, that is, he was running after the wares of the life in this world and his squandering of the State’s public funds. The objection of Abū Dharr to Mu’āwiyah’s conduct resulted in caliph ‘Uthmān banishing him to al-Rabathah after having him brought to him in Medīna. Zayd ibn Wahab is quoted as having said, “I passed by Abū Dharr in al-Rabathah and asked him, ‘What brought you to this [desolate] land?’ He said, ‘We were in Syria.

The verse saying

‘And there are those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend in God’s way: Announce a most grievous penalty to them’ (Qur’ān, 9:34)

was revealed. Mu’āwiyah said that it was not revealed about the Muslims but rather about the People of the Book. I said that it was about us and about them as well.’”[63]

Thus was Abū Dharr punished with banishment despite the testimony of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) for him that he was truthful. The Prophet (ṣ) said, “No tree has shaded nor the desert has seen a man more truthful than Abū Dharr”[64] This incident makes it clear how Mu’āwiyah tampered with the meaning of the Qur’ān in order to cover his squandering of the nation’s funds, the funds with which he had no right to deal according to his own personal desires. The problem is that al-Bukhāri has stated in his Sahīh what “qualifies” Mu’āwiyah to be a faqīh!

Abū Maleeka has said, “Mu’āwiyah prayed one single rek’a for the witr prayers after the evening prayers, and a slave of Ibn Abbās was in his company. Ibn Abbās came and said [to his slave], ‘Leave him, for he was a companion of the Messenger of Allah’!”[65] In another version in the narration of this same incident, he [Ibn Abbās] said that Mu’āwiyah was a “faqih”![66]

If you come to know that Mu’āwiyah spent twenty years as “caliph” of the Muslims, and before that he was wāli [provincial governor] over Syria, the reader may imagine the extent to which Mu’āwiyah exercised his own influence on the fabrication and transmission of ahādīth attributed to the Prophet (ṣ) in order to justify his actions. Despite all the efforts which he exerted to cover them up, they have become quite clear in the books of hadīth and history in a way which leaves no room for confusion in getting to know the truth about this “caliph” whom they [Sunnis] also regard as the “commander of the faithful”!

The conduct of Mu’āwiyah with regard to his government and authority has its own roots in his Sufyāni family. His father [Abū Sufyān] said to ‘Uthmān after the latter had received the oath of allegiance, “Receive it as a ball is received, for by the One by Whom Abū Sufyān swears, I remain optimistic that you [Umayyads], too, will receive it, and it shall be received by your children by way of inheritance.”[67]

According to another narrative of the same statement, he said, “Receive it as a ball is received, for there is neither Paradise nor Hell,” thus pointing out to the true reason why this family pretended to have accepted Islam following the conquest of Mecca and when all Meccans embraced Islam. Look into the following incident to realize what sort of Islam they quite reluctantly embraced:

Abdullāh ibn Abbās has said, “Abū Sufyān said, ‘By Allāh! I remained in humiliation, feeling sure that his [Prophet’s] call would gain the upper hand till Allāh caused Islam to enter my heart against my wish.”[68] If Abū Sufyān’s tongue thus admits, imagine what his heart would say had it been enabled to speak about what it contains!

What the Prophet (ṣ) Said about Mu’āwiyah

The following is stated by Muslim in his Sahīh: “The Prophet (ṣ) one day sent him [Mu’āwiyah] Ibn Abbās inviting him to come to write something for him. Ibn Abbās found him eating. The Prophet (ṣ) sent him [Ibn Abbās] again to Mu’āwiyah, and Ibn Abbās again found him eating. This took place a third time. The Prophet (ṣ) said, ‘May Allāh never cause his [Mu’āwiyah’s] stomach to feel satisfied.’”[69]

Also in Muslim’s Sahīh is the following text: “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) said, ‘… As for Mu’āwiyah, he is a penniless and spiritless person.”[70] In Ahmad’s Musnad, the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) is quoted as having said the following about Mu’āwiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-Ās: “O Lord! Hurl them into dissension headlong, and lodge them into hell,” in addition to many other narratives exposing the truth about “commander of the faithful” Mu’āwiyah, son of the liver-eater, who sealed his deeds in the life of this world by installing his son, the drunkard and the debauchee Yazīd, as “caliph” over the Muslims after him.

Yazīd was then no more than twenty years old. Thus, Mu’āwiyah violated the reconciliation treaty which he had signed with Imām al-Hasan (‘a), actually going against the Commandments of Allāh (ṣ) and of His Messenger (ṣ) as well as violating the “sunnah” of both Shaykhs [Abū Bakr and ‘Umar] and all other traditions discussed by the “Ahl al-Sunnah”.

VIII Martyrdom of Imām Ali (‘a)

The last battle waged by Imām Ali (‘a) was that of al-Nahrawan. He fought in it the group which forced him to accept the arbitration in Siffīn but then regretted it a few days later, reneging from its covenant and violating the oath of allegiance to the Imām. Later on, these were called the “Khawāraj” [or Khārijites] or the “Māriqīn”.

He (‘a) scored a victory over them and was getting ready to fight the rebels in Syria following the failure of the arbitration talks, but the Imām (‘a) was martyred at the hands of a member of the Khawārijis named Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muljim who stabbed the Imām (‘a) as he was prostrating during his Fajr prayers at the Grand Kūfa Mosque in the morning of the 19th of the month of Ramadan, 40 A.H. (January 26, 661 A.D.), five years after having taken charge. The Imām (‘a) remained suffering from the attack for three days during which he handed over the Imāmate to his son al-Hasan (‘a), older grandson of the Prophet (ṣ), so that he might carry out after his own demise the duties in leading the nation.

This assignment of the caliphate was not based on the mere fact that al-Hasan (‘a) was a son of Ali (‘a) or on his being the most fit for it, in his own personal view, to be the caliph. Rather, it was done in obedience to the Command of Allāh Almighty Who chose the twelve successors of His Messenger (ṣ), as we have already stated, with Imām al-Hasan (‘a) being the second on the list.

IX The Reconciliation Treaty, Martyrdom of Imām al-Hasan (‘a)

After the martyrdom of Imām Ali (‘a), Imām al-Hasan (‘a) ascended the pulpit and the people of Kūfa swore the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of the Prophet (ṣ) and the Imām of the nation. But this did not last for more than six months.

When the news reached Syria that Imām Ali (‘a) had been martyred, Mu’āwiyah led a large army towards Kūfa in order to personally take charge of the leadership of the Muslims and to force Imām al-Hasan (‘a) son of Imām Ali (‘a) to surrender to him. Imām al-Hasan (‘a) found no alternative to reconciling and signing a treaty with Mu’āwiyah.

As regarding the reasons which forced him to sign such a reconciliation agreement, these were: the disintegration of his army, the internal and unstable domestic situation in Iraq, and the Roman Empire which was looking for an opportunity to attack Islam, having stood ready with a huge army to fight the Muslims.

Had a war been waged between Mu’āwiyah and Imām al-Hasan (‘a) under such circumstances, the winner would have been the Roman Empire, neither Imām al-Hasan (‘a) nor Mu’āwiyah. Thus, Imām al-Hasan (‘a), having opted for peace, removed a very serious danger against Islam. As for the terms of the Reconciliation Treaty, these were:

1. Al-Hasan (‘a) was to hand over the government and the management of affairs to Mu’āwiyah provided the latter should adhere to the Qur’ān and to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).

2. Caliphate after the death of Mu’āwiyah should be a right specifically belonging to Imām al-Hasan (‘a). If something happened to him, caliphate would then go to his brother, Imām al-Husayn (‘a).

3. All condemnations and insults against Imām Ali (‘a) should be prohibited, be they launched from the pulpit or from anywhere else.

4. Five million dirhams, which were then present at bayt al-māl in Kūfa, would be put under the supervision of Imām al-Hasan (‘a) and Mu’āwiyah was to send one million dirhams a year from the khirāj tax to Imām al-Hasan (‘a) for distribution to the families of those who were martyred in the battles of the Camel and of Siffīn on the side of Imām Ali (‘a).

5. Mu’āwiyah was to pledge that he would leave all people, regardless of their race or ethnic origin, and not chase or harm them, and he should also pledge to carry out the terms of this Agreement with precision and make the public his witnesses.

But Imām al-Hasan (‘a) was martyred in 50 A.H. (670 A.D.) as a result of his wife, Ju’da daughter of al-Ash’ath ibn Qays, having laced something which she had given him with poison. This wife belonged to a family which followed a course of living and believing contrary to that of the descendants of Imām Ali (‘a). Mu’āwiyah had instigated her to commit this terrible crime by sending her one hundred thousand dirhams and by promising her to marry her off to his son, Yazīd, if she poisoned her husband, Imām al-Hasan (‘a). Mu’āwiyah was elated when he heard about the martyrdom of Imām al-Hasan (‘a).

He saw in it the removal of the greatest hurdle in his way to achieve his objectives, thus firming the foundations of the Umayyad dynasty’s rule. Thus, Mu’āwiyah achieved all of that thereafter and was able to install his pornographic teenage son, Yazīd, over the nation by force. So, where does this fit in the Sunnis’ belief that caliphate must take place through consultation? Did they not reject the texts which mandate the caliphate of the Imāms from among Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in the pretext that such Imāmate must be through consultation?

Does this not prove that caliphate, according to their view, is not legitimate if not done through consultation? But why did they consider the “caliphate” of Yazīd as legitimate?! And how did they agree to call him “commander of the faithful”?!

Consider the following so you may view some black pages of our Islamic history. Consider a narrative of glittering glimpses of the life of “commander of the faithful Yazīd son of Abū Sufyān”!

X The Karbalā’ Revolution and the Martyrdom of Imām al-Husayn (‘a)

After the demise of Imām al-Hasan (‘a) in 50 A.H.(670 A.D.), the Shī’ahs of Iraq started writing al-Husayn (‘a) to request him to remove Mu’āwiyah from his self-installed post of ruling over the Muslims. But al-Husayn (‘a) stated in his answer to them that he had with Mu’āwiyah a treaty, an agreement, and that he could not violate it.

As for Mu’āwiyah, for the period of twenty years of his rule, he used to prepare to firm the foundations of the rule of his debauchee son, Yazīd, in order to make him a “commander of the faithful”, thus violating his treaty with Imām al-Hasan (‘a) to which he had agreed and, moreover, rejecting and violating what the Sunis had agreed upon, that is, their belief that the selection of a caliph is done through consultation with the condition that he must be righteous and pious.

If you consider all of this, you will see the extent of the crime committed by Mu’āwiyah against Islam and Muslims. His line of action was followed by the rest of Umayyad, Abbāside and Ottoman caliphs most of whom could not be distinguished from the Muslims’ debauchee and corrupt rulers of our time.

After the death of Mu’āwiyah in 60 A.H. (680 A.D.), Yazīd seated himself as the ruler. His palace was a nucleus of corruption and sin. He, according to the admission of all Islamic groups, used to publicly drink wine during his crowded night parties. Among his well recorded statements are shallow poetic verses from which we would like to quote the following:

Musical tones distracted me from the sound of the adhān,

Instead of the hūris, I took to myself an old hag in the chambers.

This does not surprise us. Yazīd was brought up by a Christian governess. He, as described by historians, was a reckless youth, a licentious, extravagant, immoral, short-sighted, off-guard young man who surrounded himself with luxury. He is always reported as having led the Friday congregational prayer service on a Wednesday [rather than Friday] and led the fajr prayers in four rek’ats [instead of two] because he was quite drunk. Other such incidents are reported about him the narration of which does not serve our purpose.

We have mentioned his violations in order to shed a light on the circumstances during which Imām al-Husayn (‘a) saw that an uprising and a revolution were necessary to resurrect Islam and the religious sunan after they had become threatened with distortion and extinction. The objective of Imām al-Husayn (‘a) behind his revolution was not to take control of the caliphate or run after authority, for he knew that the Umayyads were more prepared to secure it for themselves especially after the people of Iraq had reneged, fearing the Umayyads.

In one of his sermons near Karbalā’, Imām al-Husayn (‘a) states the reason behind his uprising as follows: “O people! Whoever sees an oppressive imām permitting what Allāh prohibits, violating Allāh’s covenant after confirming it, behaving contrarily to the Sunnah of His Prophet (ṣ), ruling among the servants of Allāh (ṣ) with sin and oppression, Allāh will hurl him together with the same person into the Fire.” In another statement, he said, “O people! They [Umayyads] obeyed Satan, disobeyed the most Merciful One, caused corruption in the land, suspended the implementation of the sunan, took to themselves what belonged to the Muslims, permitted what Allāh prohibits, forbade what Allāh permits, and I, more than anyone else, am more worthy of opposing them.”

When Imām al-Husayn (‘a) came to know about the reneging and violation of the covenant with him which took place in Kūfa, he gathered his companions and family members, who were in his company, and frankly said the following to them: “Our Shī’ahs have betrayed us. Anyone who likes to go away may do so; he is not obligated to us.” They dispersed from him right and left, so much so that only those who had come with him from Mecca and Medīna stayed. But Imām al-Husayn (‘a) kept upholding his decision and in the same determination whereby he set out from Mecca the Venerable.

As described by a poet, his condition was: “If the religion of Muhammad (ṣ) cannot stay straight except if I am killed, then take me, O swords!” He met with ‘Umar ibn Sa’d, commander of the army sent to fight him by the provincial governor of Kūfa,’Ubaydullāh ibn Ziyād, who was appointed by the Umayyad “caliph”, Yazīd, which was made up of thirty-two thousand strong, according to some narratives.

It was only natural for the force of the army of Yazīd son of Mu’āwiyah to be able to kill such a small numbered band. On that day, the tragedy of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) was personified, how they were wronged, in the most clear way. Yazīd son of Mu’āwiyah, in this massacre, was paying the “reward” which the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) had required him:

“Say: ‘I ask no reward of you for this [Islamic creed] except love for my near in kin’” (Qur’ān, 42:23)

… History narrates tragic scenes too difficult for anyone to describe as they were in reality.

One of them is the tragedy of the infant son of Imām Husayn (‘a), namely Abdullāh, whom the Imām carried to the battlefield asking for a drink of water for him after a blockade was enforced on Imām Husayn (‘a)’s camp, depriving him of any access to the Euphrates. Thirst, hence, took its heavy toll on them. The Imām carried Abdullāh asking for some water for him and to stir their conscience and human feeling. But they shot the infant with an arrow, killing him instantly. Martyrs from among the followers of Imām Husayn (‘a) and from his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) fell one after the other.

Al-Husayn (‘a) was the last to be martyred in that decisive battle. Yet they were not satisfied with killing the Master of the Youths of Paradise but severed his head from his body then carried it together with the heads of his companions as gifts to the killers, raising them on their spears on their way to Yazīd son of Mu’āwiyah in Syria. Some Muslims keep insisting on calling him “commander of the faithful”…; so, there is no will nor might except in Allāh…!

Having narrated these events, which clearly show the lofty objectives for which al-Husayn (‘a) started his revolution, a revolution which was described by a great Islamist, namely Dr. ‘Amr Abd al-Rahmān, thus, “The martyrdom of al-Husayn (‘a) is a thousand times greater than his staying alive.” But there are those who minimize the value of this great revolution because of their falling victim to the misleading Umayyad propaganda.

Such a propaganda has tried very hard to distort history. And they fell victim to contemptible sectarian fanaticism. They, thus, are forced to adopt such a shameful distortion of the facts such as the statement of so-called “shaikh al-Islam” Ibn Taymiyyah in this sense: “Imām al-Husayn (‘a), in his revolution, caused a dissension in the Islamic nation when he disobeyed the one who was in charge of the affairs of the Muslims”…!!!

If we ask this so-called “shaikh al-Islam” about Mu’āwiyah who disobeyed Imām Ali (‘a) (who was then in charge of the affairs of the Muslims), he will not see in it any dissension, nor will he see any sin in it for them. The same applies to ‘Ā’isha who disobeyed Imām Ali (‘a)… This is nothing but a norm of attempts to openly falsify our Islamic history; otherwise, how can we explain how most Sunnis ignore this historic tragedy in which the descendants of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ) were killed in the most horrible and painful way?

All the descendants of Mu’āwiyah and his son, Yazīd, followed in the footsteps of the Umayyads and of the Abbasides. They crushed any opposition to their authority, especially when it came from the Members of the Household of the Prophet (ṣ) who were always pursued with discrimination, banishment, killing and torture.

Such oppression was not confined to the Members of the Household of the Prophet (ṣ) alone. Among the victims of the Umayyad oppression from among those who did not belong to Ahlul Bayt (‘a) was, for example, Abdullāh ibn al-Zubayr. History has recorded the tragic scene inside the precinct of Mecca where Abdullāh ibn al-Zubayr was slaughtered and skinned.

The sanctity of that place which even people during the jāhiliyya period held as sacred and holy and did not permit the slaughter of animals, let alone of humans, inside it. And the Venerable Ka’ba could not help him against the Umayyad rulers when he clung to its curtains.

This same Ka’ba was bombarded with catapults during the time of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān who gave a free hand to his tyrant, al-Hajjāj, to kill people without a just cause. About both men, al-Hasan al-Basri said, “Had Abd al-Malik committed only the sin of [giving a free hand to] al-Hajjāj, it would have sufficed him [i.e. was sufficient for his condemnation].” And ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz said, “Had each nation brought forth its oppressor, and had we [Umayyads] brought forth al-Hajjāj, we would have out-weighed them [in the measure of oppressiveness].”

So, do these deeds qualify their doer to be a Muslim, let alone to being the caliph of the Muslims or the “commander of the faithful”??! Undoubtedly, we nowadays need to take a second look at our history[71] and to discern many of its events then ask to speak to us due to their strong ties to sketching the outlines of the Islamic sects to which the Muslims nowadays adhere.

They have in them what helps truly get to know this sect or that away from oppression and injustice. Because of those incidents, the Muslims slipped away from the original Islamic line of Muhammad (ṣ), becoming diverse sects and groups each one of which claims it is the one that will receive salvation. None of us needs to wait for Divine Wahi to tell him the name of this sect. Allāh, the most Great and the most Exalted One, has granted us the mind whereby we can distinguish what is foul from what is good, making it an argument against His servants, prohibiting us from blindly imitating others, saying,

“What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?!” (Qur’ān, 2:170).

He has also said,

“We have sent them admonishment, but most of them hate admonishment” (Qur’ān, 23:71).

He has required us to investigate and research before believing each and every one, saying,

“O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you should harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done” (Qur’ān, 49:6).


[1] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 511, in the book about military campaigns in a chapter about the sickness and death of the Prophet (ṣ).
[2] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 512, in the book of campaigns, in a chapter about the sickness and death of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣ).
[3] Ibid., Vol. 7, p. 389, in the book of the sick in a chapter about a sick person saying, “Get away from me!”
[4] Muslim, Sahīh, in the book of wills in a chapter about not leaving a will when one has nothing to leave behind, Vol. 4, p. 175.
[5] Abū Bakr al-Jawāhiri, Al-Saqīfa.
[6] Excerpted from Al-Muraja`āt of Sharaf ad-Dīn Sadr ad-Dīn al-Mūsawi.
[7] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 511, in the book of campaigns in a chapter about the sickness and the demise of the Prophet (ṣ).
[8] Khālid Muhammad Khālid, Men Around the Prophet (ṣ), p. 548, 8th ed. Al-Tabari, Tārīkh. Ibn al-Athīr. Ibn Sa`d,Tabaqāt.
[9] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 387, in the book of military campaigns in a chapter about the campaign of Zayd son of Hārithah.
[10] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 13, in the book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “… If you find no prophet, Abū Bakr… ”
[11] Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 541, in a book about the fighters from among the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning the woman who got pregnant through adultery.
[12] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 14, in a book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “… If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr…”
[13] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 14, in a volume about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “… If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr… ”
[14] Ibid., p. 8, p. 542, in a volume about the fighters from the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a women who got pregnant through adultery.
[15] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 14, in a volume dealing with the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “… If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr… ”
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 542 in the book about the fighters from among the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a woman who became pregnant through adultery.
[18] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 15, in a book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “… If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr… ”
[19] Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 542; Vol. 5, p. 14.
[20] Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 540 in a volume about the fightrs from the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a woman who became pregnant through adultery.
[21] Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 540 in the book of fighters from among the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a woman who became pregnant through adultery.
[22] Excerpted and edited from Al-Murāja`āt by Sharaf ad-Dīn Sadr ad-Dīn. (This important reference, Al-Murāja`āt, was translated directly from the Arabic into English by Yasin T. al-Jibouri for Imām Husayn Foundation and was published by the said Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon
and by Ansariyan Publications in Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran).
[23] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 382, in the book of military campaigns in a chapter about the invasion of Khayber.
[24] Excerpted and edited from Al-Murāja`āt by Sharaf ad-Dīn Sadr ad-Dīn.
[25] Khālid Muhammad Khālid, Khulafā` al-Rasool, p. 418, 8th edition.
[26] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 4, p. 208, in the book of khums in a chapter about obligations.
[27] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 382, in the book about military campaigns in a chapter about the invasion of Khayber.
[28] Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 202, in the book about seeking permission to enter in a chapter about one who addressed the people.
[29] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 75, in the book about the virtues of thesahābah in a chapter about the merits of Fātima, Allāh be pleased with her.
[30] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 74.
[31] Ibn al-Athīr, Manāl al-Tālib fi Sharh Tiwāl al-Gharā`ib, p. 501 (printed at Al-Madani press).
[32] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 9, p. 145, in the book of dissensions in a chapter titled “After me, you shall witness things which you shall abhor.”
[33] Muslim, Sahīh, in the book of imāra in a chapter about the necessity of supporting what the majority of Muslims support, Vol. 4, p. 517 (published by Dār al-Sha`b press].
[34] Ahmad, Musnad, Vol. 3, p. 446.
[35] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 382, in the book of military campaigns in a chapter about the invasion of Khayber.
[36] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 74, in a volume about the virtues of thesahābah in a chapter about the virtues of Fātima, Allāh be pleased with her.
[37] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 75, in a volume about the virtues of thesahābah in a chapter about the virtues of Fātima, Allāh be pleased with her.
[38] Al-Tabari, Tārīkh. Ibn `Asākir, Tārīkh Dimashq.
[39] Ibid.
[40] Ibid.
[41] Khālid Muhammad Khālid, Khulafā` Rasool Allāh, p. 272, 8th edition.
[42] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 9, p. 239, in the book of ahkām in a chapter about how an imām receives the oath of fealty from the people.
[43] Khālid Muhammad Khālid, Khulafā` Rasool Allāh, p. 276, 8th edition.
[44] Al-Tabari, Tārīkh. Al-Mas`ūdi. Ibn al-Athīr, Al-Istī`āb.
[45] Ibn al-Athīr. Al-Mas`ūdi. Al-Tabari, Tārīkh.
[46] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 2, p. 278, in the Book of Zakāt.
[47] Al-Balādhuri, Ansāb al-Ashrāf. Al-Wāqidi. Al-Ya`qūbi,Tārīkh.
[48] Ibn Abul-Hadīd, Sharh Nahjul-Balāghah.
[49] Al-Tabari, Tārīkh, Vol. 4, p. 277 (Cairo edition of 1357 A.H.). Ibn al-Athīr, Al-Nihāyah.
[50] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 172. Ibn al-Athīr. Ibn Sa`d.
[51] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 4, p. 217, in the Book of Khumsin a chapter about what went on in the houses of the Prophet`s wives.
[52] Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 171, in the Book of Dissensions in a chapter about a dissension that would move like high sea waves.
[53] Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 133, in the Book of Ablution in a chapter about the Prophet (ṣ) pouring water on someone who lost his consciousness.
[54] Ibid., Vol. 6, p. 252 in the Book of Tafsīr in a chapter about “… had you only heard him say it.”
[55] `Allāma al-`Askari, Ahādīth Umm al-Mu`mineen, p. 272.
[56] Besides him, a number of scholarly researchers, such as Taha Husayn in Vol. 1 of his book titled Al-Fitna al-Kubra(the great dissension) and Dr. Kāmil al-Shaybi in his book titledAl-Sila Bayna al-Tashayyu` wal Tasawwuf (the relationship between Shi`ism and Sufism), have all rejected the notion that such an individual ever existed in reality.
[57] Excerpted and edited from the book titled Abdullāh ibn Saba` by `allāma Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari.
[58] Ibn al-Sabbāgh al-Māliki, Al-Fusūl al-Muhimma, p. 83 (the Dār al-Adhwaa` edition).
[59] Al-Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Tathkirat al-Khawāss, p. 79.
[60] Muslim, Sahīh, in the Book of Imān in a chapter about love for Ali, may Allāh glorify his countenance, as a sign ofimān, Vol. 1, p. 262 (Dār al-Sha`ab edition).
[61] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 4, p. 52 in the Book of Jihād in a chapter about removing one`s dust seeking the Pleasure of Allah.
[62] Al-Mustadrak `Alal Sahīhayn, Vol. 2, p. 148 (Dār al-Kitāb al-`Arabi edition).
[63] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 6, p. 146 in the Book of Tafsīr in a chapter about this verse.
[64] Al-Tirmidhi, Sahīh, Vol. 13, p. 210 in a chapter about the merits of Abū Dharr (??).
[65] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 73 in a book about the merits of the sahābah in a chapter about Mu`āwiyah.
[66] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 74 in a book about the merits of thesahābah in a chapter about Mu`āwiyah.
[67] Al-Tabari, Tārīkh.
[68] Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 4, p. 122 in the Book of Jihād.
[69] Muslim, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 462 in the Book of Kindness, Charity and Etiquette in a chapter about one cursed by the Prophet (ṣ) (Dār al-Sha`ab edition) as cited in al-Nawawi`sSharh.
[70] Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 693 in the Book of Divorce in a chapter about a woman whose divorce is irrevocable not having the right for any financial support after the divorce (Dār al-Sha`ab edition).
[71] Take a look at the picture attacked to the cover of the book titled Haqaaiq an Ameer al-Momineen Yazīd [facts about the commander of the faithful Yazīd] so you may see to what extent some people have gone in their falsification of the Islamic history… !

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