Category Archives: Shia/Raafidhi

Shia Slanders on Hadhrat Aadam (alayhissalaam)

Majlisul Ulama

Regarding  Hadhrat  Nabi  Aadam  (alayhissalaam)  the  Qur`aan  Majeed  says:

“And  (remember)  when  Allah  said  to  the  Malaaikah  (angels):  ‘Verily,  I  shall  be  creating  on  earth  a  Khalifah  (i.e.  representative).’”  [Surah  Baqarah]

After  Hadhrat  Aadam  (alayhi  salaam)  had  repented  for  having  committed  the  error  of  eating  from  the  forbidden  tree,  Allah  Ta’ala  forgave  him  and  elevated  him  to  even  higher  states  of  divine  proximity. Qur’aan  says:

“Then  his  Rabb  ennobled  him.  Thus  He  accepted  his  repentance  and  guided  him.”

Regarding  the  lofty  rank  of  Hadhrat  Aadam  and  other  Ambiyaa  (alayhimussalaam),  the  Qur’aan Majeed  declares:

“Verily,  Allah  chose  Aadam,  Nooh,  the  progeny  of  Ibrahim  and  the  progeny  of  Imraan  over  the  worlds.”

While  the  Qur’aan  and  the  Hadith  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  maintained  the  loftiness  Hadhrat  Aadam  (alayhi salaam),  Shiahs  accuse  and  slander  him  in  the  vilest  way.  They  accuse  him  of  rebellion,  jealousy,  malice  and  all  satanic  attributes.  They  irrationally  attribute  his  error  to  jealousy  for  the  Shi’i  Imaams,  hence  they  preach  that  the  Wrath  of  Allah  overtook him.  The  Shi’i  liar,  Shaikh  Ibn  Baabawayh narrates  in  Uyoon-e-Akhbaar-e-Ridhaa  the  following  falsehood  which  he  brazenly  ascribes  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam):

“Verily,  when  Allah  honoured  Aadam  with  the  prostration  of  the  angels  and  by  entering  him  into  Jannat,  he  said  to  himself:  ‘I  am  the  noblest  creation.’  Then  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  called:  ‘Raise  your  head,  O  Aadam!’ Look  to  the  leg  of  My  Arsh  (divine  Throne).’  He  lifted  his  head  and  saw  written on  it:

‘There  is  no  god  but  Allah;  Muhammad  is  Allah’s  Rasool,  Ali  is  Allah’s  Wali  and  Ameerul Mu`mineen,  his  wife,  Faatimah  is  the  leader  of  the  women  of  the  worlds;  Hasan  and  Hussein  are  the  leaders  of  the  youth  of Jannat.’

Aadam  said:  ‘O  My  Rabb,  who  are  these?’ Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  said:  ‘These  are  from  your  progeny.  They  are  better  than  you  and  My  entire  creation.  If  it  was  not  for  them,  I  would  not  have  created  you  nor  would  I  have  created  Jannat,  the  Fire,  the  heavens  and  the  earth.  Beware  of  looking  at  them  with  the  eye  of  hasad (jealousy),  for  then I  shall  expel  you  from  My  Proximity.’

However,  he  (Aadam)  looked  at  them  with  the  eye  of  jealousy.  Therefore,  Allah  overwhelmed  him  with  shaitaan  until  finally  he  ate  from  the  tree  which  Allah  had  forbidden  him.”

In  the  following  Shi’i  narration,  Hadhrat  Aadam  (alayhi  salaam)  is  likened  to  Iblees:

“Muhammad  Bin  Safaar  narrates  that  Abu  Ja’far  said  that  Allah  said  to  Aadam  and  his  progeny had  extracted  from  Aadam’s  back:

‘Am  I  not  your  Rabb?  And  these  are  Muhammad  Rasulullah,  Ali,  the  Wali  of  Allah  and  Ameerul Mu’mineen and  his  representatives  (i.e.  the  Imaams)  after  him,  the  administrators  of  My  law. Verily, the  Mahdi – I  shall take  revenge  through  his  medium  from  My  enemies;  I  shall  be  worshipped  through  his  medium  willingly and  unwillingly.’

They  said:  ‘We  accept  and  we  testify.’  Aadam  did  not  accept  nor  did  he  even  have  the  intention  of  acknowledging  this.’”

Thus,  the  Shiahs  have  assigned  Hadhrat  Aadam  (alayhissalaam)  to  the  level  of  Iblees,  who  had rebelliously  refused  to  obey  Allah’s  command.  But,  the  Qur’aan  upholds  and  explicitly  declares  the  lofty   status  of Hadhrat  Nabi  Aadam  (alayhi  salaam).  Even  the  Ambiyaa  have  been  expelled  from  the  fold  of  Imaan  by  the  Shiahs.

The  person,  Safaar  whose  son  narrates  this  kufr  was  a  Majusi  (fire-worshipper).  After  embracing Islam,  the  evil  of  his  Majusiyat  remained  in  him  and  his  children.  He  concealed  his  Shi’ism.  His  son  (Ibn  Safaar) attributes  such  narratives  to  the  Imaams,  which  severely  damage  their  integrity,  eg. Narrations  such  as  those  condemning  Hadhrat  Aadam  (alayhissalaam)  who  is  acknowledged  by  even the  Yahood  and  Nasaara.  While  the  Ahlus  Sunnah  detected  and  neutralized  the  evil  plots  of    the  fire-worshippers,  the  Shiahs fell  into  their  trap  and  ruined  their  Aakhirah.

Did Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) Deny Faatimah (Radhiyallahu Anha) her Inheritance??

[Majlisul Ulama]

Shiahs accuse Hadhrat Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu) of depriving  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) her inheritance. On this  issue Shiahs claim:

(a) In order to deprive Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) of  her inheritance, he gave  preference to his own statement,  viz. “I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) say: ’We are of  the group of the Ambiyaa. We do  not inherit from anyone nor does  anyone inherit from us.’”

(b) Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  claim is (according to Shiahs) in  conflict with the Qur’aan which says: “Allah, commands you  regarding your children. For a  male is a share of two females.”

This Aayat in its generality brings  Ambiyaa and non-Ambiyaa  within its scope.

(c) Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  action also conflicts with the  Qur`aanic Aayat: Sulaimaan also  inherited from Dawud.”

The Qur`aan also says: “Grant me from Your side an heir who will  inherit from me and inherit from  the progeny of Ya`qub.”

Thus, it is clear that the children  of Ambiyaa do inherit, i.e.  according to the Shiah claim.


This Shi`i claim and arguments  are baseless for the following reasons:

(1)  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) refusing to  comply with Hadhrat Faatimah’s (radhiyallahu anhu) request for  inheritance was on account of  the directive of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and not because of any hatred for  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) as alleged by Shiahs. If  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) had to inherit, it would  follow that the wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) were also heirs. Among  the Holy Wives, was Hadhrat  Aishah (radhiyallahu anha), the  daughter of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). All  of them were blocked from  inheriting. In terms of Shiah logic,it would have to be said that  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) maliciously deprived all the  wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) including his  own daughter, Aishah  (radhiyallahu anha) of inheritance. But this is ridiculous and has no  substantiation. But Shiahs are  silent on the issue of “depriving”  Hadhrat Aishah (radhiuallahu anha) and the other wives of  inheritance to which they would  be entitled if Hadhrat Faatimah’s (radhiyallahu anha) inheritance is  conceded. If inheritance for  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) had to be conceded, then  almost half of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) estate  would have been the inheritance  of Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), the paternal uncle. From  the very inception of the  Khilaafat, Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) was Hadhrat  Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) advisor and close companion. How can it be accepted that  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had deprived him too of  inheritance? The claim that  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu) had relied only on his own  statement is a pure lie. According  to the books of Hadith, the  Hadith of Hadhrat Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu) is
supported by the narrations of  Huzaifah Bin Yamaan, Zubair Bin  Awwaam, Abu Darda, Abu Hurairah Abbaas, Ali, Uthmaan,  Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf and  Sa`d Bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu anhum), all senior Sahaabah. Bukhaari narrated  from Maalik Bin Uwais Bin Hadhthaan Nasri that Umar  Bin  Khattaab stated in the presence  of the Sahaabah among whom  were Ali, Abbaas, Uthmaan,  Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf, Zubair Bin Awwaam and Sa`d Bin Abi  Waqqaas : “I give you an oath by  Allah, He with whose command  the heaven and earth operate!  Are you aware that Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:     ‘We (i.e. the Ambiyaa) have no  heirs. Whatever (assets) we leave  are Sadaqah.”  They (the  Sahaabah) said: “O Allah! Yes, so  it is.”  Then he (Umar) addressing  Ali and Abbaas, said: “I give both  of you an oath by Allah do you  know that Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) said so??”

They (Ali and Abbaas) said: “O Allah! Yes!”

Besides all these evidences of the  Ahlus Sunnah, even Shiah recordsconfirm that the Ambiyaa do not leave any estates to be inherited  by their relatives. The following  appears in Al-Kaafi, one of the most authentic books according  to the Shiahs: “Abul Bakhtari  narrates from Abi Abdullah Ja`far  Bin Muhammad Saadiq who said:  ’Verily, the Ulama are the heirs of the Ambiyaa. i.e. the Ambiyaa do  not leave inheritance.”

In one version it appears: “They  do not inherit Dinars and  Dirhams. Verily, they leave the  inheritance of their Ahaadith.  Thus, whoever takes a share of it,  has indeed taken a great Share.” In this narration of the Shiahs the term appears. This word, evenaccording to Shiahs, emphasises  the restrictive meaning, i.e.  “Only”. The sentence thus means: The Ambiyaa leave only the  inheritance of their Ahaadith  (and nothing else).

Furthermore, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) heard  the Hadith directly from  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), without the medium  of an intermediary. Hence,  assuming that he was the only  one who had heard the Hadith,  then too, following its directive  would be incumbent on him. But  as the situation stands, he was  corroborated by numerous senior  Sahaabah. For people of  knowledge, it will prove beneficial to remember the  following principle: The  categorisation of Hadith into  Mutawaatir and non-Mutawaatir  classes applies to those who did not acquire the Ahaadith directly  from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). It does not concern those who had heard the  Ahaadith directly from the  blessed lips of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This  principle is unanimously accepted  by both Sunni‘s and Shiahs.

Thus, a person who heard the  Hadith directly from Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is  under compulsion to act  according to its directive. For him  it has greater significance than  even the Mutawaatir category.  Hence, Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu) had no need to search for  corroboration from any other sources. The Shiah claim of  Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu  anhu) narration being in conflict  with the Qur`aan is baseless and  false. The pronoun (your) in the  first Aayat (stated above) refers  to the Ummah. It is not an  address directed to Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), while  the Hadith negating inheritance  of the Ambiyaa is a specific  address directed to the Ambiyaa.  It should not be viewed as  Mukhassis (i.e. a factor which  excludes members from a  general order this is a rule relating to Usool).

Even if it is accepted to be a  Mukhassis, there is no conflict  with the Aayat because  exceptions to this very Aayat has  been made in several respects,  e.g. the Kaafir children of Muslim  parents are excluded from inheriting; similarly are murderers,and slaves.

Furthermore, according to Shiahs  their “infallible” Imaams have  prohibited some heirs from  inheriting certain items of their  (Imaam’s) estates, e.g. sword,  Qur`aan, ring and bodily  garments. These items were excluded from the Shi`i law of  inheritance and reserved for the  new Imaam (i.e. the son of the  deceased Imaam). Now, while the  Shiahs assert the invalidity of  making exceptions to the  Qur`aanic Aayat in so far as Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) is concerned, they  themselves are guilty of making  similar exceptions.

Of great significance is the  attitude and direction adopted  by Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the estate of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he donned the  mantle of the Khilaafat. When he became Khalifah and the estate  devolved to his custody, he  excluded Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), his children  and the wives of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from inheriting in the estate of Nabi-e Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This is clear and glittering proof for the validity of Hadhrat  Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  action based on the Hadith he  had acquired directly from  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

If Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  had not concurred with Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu) and if he was of the opinion that the latter had  erred in his decision, he (Ali)  would most certainly have  rescinded the decision when he assumed the Mantle of Khilaafat.

He would have restored the  property to those who were  allegedly the rightful heirs. But  he did nothing of the sort. He  upheld what Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had decided  and instituted.

Let us now discuss the verse: “And Sulaimaan inherited from  Dawud.”

The Hadith pertaining to  inheritance in relation to the  Ambiyaa has already been  discussed. The Hadith explicitly  and emphatically negates  inheritance for the Ambiyaa.  Authoritative Shiah accounts  accept this fact as has already  been shown. Clearly, therefore,  this Aayat pertains to something  else. It does not have a literal  meaning. It refers to the  inheritance of Ilm and Nubuwwat as the Hadith states, not to the inheritance of tangible wealth  and property.

The Shi`i authority, Kulaini  narrates that Abu Abdullah  narrated:

“Verily, Sulaimaan inherited from  Daawud, and Muhammad  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  inherited Sulaimaan.”

This Shi`i exposition of the  relevant Aayat makes it  abundantly clear that the  meaning is inheritance of Nubuwwat, which Sulaimaan  (alayhisalaam) inherited from  Dawud (alayhisalaam).

Hadhrat Daawud (alayhissalaam)  had 19 sons. However, the Qur`aan describes only Hadhrat Sulaimaan (alayhisalaam) as the  heir of Daawud (alayhisalaam). If  the Aayat literally referred to inheritance of gold, silver and  tangible assets, it would not have  been restricted to Sulaimaan  (alayhisalaam) since all sons inherit equally. Thus, intelligence  confirms that the Aayat does  not refer to inheritance of  tangible assets. The inheritance  of Nubuwwat was restricted to  Sulaimaan (alayhissalaam).

Furthermore, it is common  knowledge that every son inheritsin his father’s estate. If the  meaning of the Aayat was  tangible assets, the statement  would have been superfluous  because the son being an heir is a known fact. But, it is  unimaginable that the Qur`aan the Word of Allah contains superfluous statements. This  further confirms that inheritance  in the context of the Aayat does  not refer to tangible assets or an estate of gold, silver, etc.

The Aayat pertaining to  Sulaimaan (alayhissalaam) lauds  the inheritance he had gained. If  this inheritance referred to gold  and silver, what is its peculiarity  and speciality? Why would the  Qur`aan laud an inheritance in  which every person on earth  participates which is common to  all men and women? This further reinforces the claim that the  inheritance in the context of the  Aayat is the inheritance of Nubuwwat.

Elsewhere, the Qur`aan Majeed  states:

“Then We made those whom We chose from Our servants to inherit the Kitaab…”

This Aayat explicitly indicates the  meaning of inheritance in  relation to the chosen servants  of Allah Ta’ala. Thus, “inheritance”  used in the Qur`aan does not  always mean the inheritance of  tangible wealth.

Regarding the verse: “He will  inherit from me and inherit from  the children of Ya`qub”, the  meaning is self- evident. Hadhrat  Zakariyya (alayhissalaam) was  supplicating for a son who would  be the Nabi after him. If the  meaning was inheritance of  tangible wealth, it will follow that  the tangible assets of the “Aal of Ya’qub” were still intact and un-distributed. But, this is absurd  since there was a span of 2,000  years between Ya`qub (alayhis  salaam) and Zakariyya (alayhis  salaam). From this lop-sided  logic of the Shiahs the conclusion is that Yahyaa  (alayhissalaam) – Hadhrat  Zakariyya’s (alayhissalaam) son – was the heir to the tangible  wealth and assets of the entire  Bani Israeel. The stupidity of this argument fallaciously raised on the basis of the Qur`aanic Aayat  is extreme.

Every person of even slight  intelligence will readily  understand that Nabi Zakariyya  (alayhissalaam) in his oldage had  supplicated for a son to succeed  him as the next Nabi. He did not  ask for a son for the purpose of  passing on the inheritance of  physical wealth – gold and silver.  Such supplication is not in  conformity with the lofty office  of Nubuwwat.

Should someone aver that the  Wives (Azwaaj-e-Muttahharaat)  inherited from Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the  rooms which were their  respective homes, We shall respond that this argument is baseless. The rooms/homes were  not acquired by the Azwaaj-e-Muttahharaat by way of inheritance. They were the  owners of their respective homes  during the lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Some Shiahs argue that if the  law of inheritance did not apply  to Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) estate, then why were  the sword, etc. of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) given  to Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)? Indeed, the reasoning of  Shiahs is surprising. Far from  proving inheritance, the contrary  is confirmed. If the law of  inheritance was applicable, then  in terms of the Shariah, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) would not  be Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) heir. His heirs would  have been Hadhrat Faatimah, the  Azwaaj-e-Muttahharaat and the  paternal uncle, Hadhrat Abbaas  (radhiyallahu anhum). 

The assets of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) after  his demise were in the category  of Waqf.

The Khalifah was entitled to  distribute such assets according  to his discretion. In the opinion  of the first Khalifah, these items  would serve a better purpose in  the possession of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), hence  ownership of the sword, etc. was  given to him.

Similarly, some of Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  assets were given to Zubair Bin  Awwaam (radhiyallahu anhu), the  paternal cousin of Rasulullah  (salaam alayhi wasallam). Even  Muhammad Bin Muslimah  Ansaari (radhiyallahu anhu) received some of the assets. This  further proves that the distribution of Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) assetswas not by way of inheritance.  None of the recipients were heirs  in terms of the Shariah’s law of  inheritance.


Shiahs claim that during his  lifetime Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made a gift of  Fadak to Hadhrat Faatimah ( radhiyallahu anha) However, after his demise, the Orchard was  denied to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) who had  even produced Hadhrat Ali and  Umme-Aiman (radhiyallahu anhuma) to testify in her favor. But Hadhrat Abu Bakr ( radhiyallahu anhu) rejected her  claim. She departed from him in great annoyance and anger.

There is no basis for this  accusation in any books of the  Ahlus Sunnah. Shiahs should  therefore not expect the Ahlus  Sunnah to accept such  fabrications. Regarding this matter, the following narration appears in Abu Dawud:

“ When Umar Bin Abdul Azeez  (rahmatullah alayh) became the  Khalifah, he assembled the  people of Banu Marwaan and  said: ‘Verily, Fadak belonged to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). He would spend from it. From it he would give to the  minor children of Banu Haashim  and from it he would spend for the marriage of widows.  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) had  asked him to give the Orchard to her, but he declined. This  position remained during the  lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) until he finally departed. When Abu Bakr ( radhiyallahu anhu) became the  Khalifah, he handled Fadak as  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) had acted during his  lifetime. After Abu Bakr departed,  Umar became Khalifah. He  handled it as his two  predecessors had acted until he finally departed. Thereafter,  Marwaan took custody of it (i.e.  he it took it into his ownership).  Then it came to Umar Bin Abdul  Azeez. I reflected that Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had  refused to give it to Faatimah ( radhiyallahu anha). Hence, I have no right to it. I make you witness  that I have returned it to the  state in which it was during the  time of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), Abu Bakr and  Umar (radhiyallahu anhum).” It is  thus conclusively established  that Fadak was never gifted to  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha).


According to both Sunnis and  Shiahs, hibah (gift) is valid only  if possession of the gifted item is taken. All sources agree that until  the end, Fadak was in  Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) possession. He utilised  it and its income according to his  discretion.

When Shiahs realised that their  claim of Fadak having been  gifted to Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) is not valid even in terms  of their own jurisprudence, some  of their scholars then fabricated  the claim that Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had  made wasiyyat (bequeathed)  Fadak to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). This claim is also baseless. There  is no evidence for this claim in  the books of the Ahlus Sunnah  nor in any authoritative book of  the Shiahs. According to Sunnis  and Shiahs, Wasiyyat (bequest) is the sister of Meeraath (inheritance). A bequest is valid  in such wealth (assets) in which  inheritance is valid. When inheritance is not valid in the  estate of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), it follows that  wasiyyat too is not valid. Furthermore, since Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had  declared:

“Whatever  we  leave  behind  is  Sadaqah”,

The wasiyyat argument has no  validity. It is simply another  legless and desperate attempt of  Shiahs to prove what cannot be  proven in anyway whatever. If for  a moment it is accepted that  wasiyyat was made and it is valid,  then what prevented Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) from  rectifying the position during his  Khilaafat? In fact, he continued to utilise the income of Fadak in  the same way as his predecessors  had done. According to the wasiyyat argument of the Shiahs,  it follows that Hadhrat Ali ( radhiyallahu anhu), their first “infallible” Imaam, had deprived  Hadhrat Hasan, Hadhrat Hussein  and their sisters from their  rightful inheritance, viz. Fadak,  the “property” of the mother,  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) according to the Shiahs. Shiahs have tried to respond to  this charge and argument of the  Ahlus Sunnah in four ways as follows:

(1)  The Ahle-Bait do not take  back usurped property. In  support it is said that after the  conquest of Makkah, Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did  not the take his usurped house  from the usurper. This argument  falls flat because Hadhrat Umar  Bin Abdul Azeez (rahmatullah  alaih) had handed Fadak to  Imaam Baaqir (rahmatullah alaih)  who was the “infallible” Imaam of  the Shiahs. He accepted it.  Thereafter it went into the  custody of the Abbaasi Khulafa.  In 220 A.H., the Abbaasi Khalifah,  Ma`moon instructed his governor, Qusham Bin Ja`far to  hand over Fadak to the children  of Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha).  Imaam Ali (the Imaam of the  time) accepted it.

Then the Abbaasi Khalifah,  Mutawakkil re-possessed Fadak.  The Abbaasi Khalifah, Mu`tahid  once again returned it. Muktafi,  the Abbaasi Khalifah, then  re-possessed it, only to be returned  by Muqtadir.

Qaadhi Nurullah has explained  the episode of Fadak in detail in  Majaalisul Mu`mineen. The falsity  of the Shiah assertion is thus  manifest. Also, why did Hadhrat  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) attempt  to retrieve his shield from the  Jew who had usurped it? Yet  Shiahs claim that the Ahle-Bait  do not retake usurped property!

(2)  In not taking back Fadak,  Shiahs say that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) followed in  the footsteps of Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). Since she did not derive benefit  from it, he too refused to acquire  its benefit. This argument too is  baseless. Others whom the  Shiahs consider to be their  infallible Imaams, had derived  benefit from Fadak. Why did they not deem it necessary to follow  in the footsteps of Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anhu)?

Let Shiahs answer: Was it  compulsory to follow Hadhrat  Faatimah’s action or not? If it  was Fardh (compulsory), then  the other Imaams who had taken  Fadak and its benefits were guilty of abandoning a Fardh. Why did  they do this? Yet they are  supposed to be infallible. If  following Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) in this matter was optional (not Fardh), then it follows that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) abandoned an obligatory Shar`i  demand for the sake of an  optional act. It is Fardh to restore  the right (Haqq) of the rightful owners. But, in terms of Shi`i  logic, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) failed in the execution of  this obligatory demand. The  argument of the Shiahs is indeed  stupid. According to them, Fadak  was usurped and denied to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). Thus, she had no option in  the matter. She did not  voluntarily refuse acceptance of  the benefits of Fadak. How can  Hadhrat Ali’s abstention be argued on the basis of something which was not in the control of  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha)?

(3)  Shiahs say that the  testimony of Hadhrat Ali  (radhiyallahu anhu) in favour of  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) was not for personal gain,  but was for the sake of Allah  Ta`ala. Firstly, it has already been  mentioned that the story of  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  testifying is a Shiah fabrication.

Secondly, according to Shiahs,  the orchard of Fadak was  usurped, hence the need for  Hadhrat Faatimah, Hadhrat  Ali  and Umme-Aiman (radhiyallahu  anhum) to testify. Now if we  accept this fabrication as being the truth, why did Hadhrat Ali  and Hadhrat Faatimah attempt  to re-possess usurped  property?  According to Shiahs, the  Ahle-Bait do not take what has been  usurped. They Shiahs indeed trip  and fall all over the show in the  contradictions which their fabrications breed. Thirdly, why  did Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) advise his offspring to  refrain from acquiring the benefits of Fadak to ensure that  they too follow him in his decision to follow Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha)? History records that the “infallible” Imaams did not follow  Hadhrat Faatimah’s example  allegedly followed by Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). In so doing, they violated the wishes and  Sunnah of Hadhrat Faatimah and  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu  anhuma).

(4)  In a desperate attempt to  save the skin of their credibility,  Shiahs claim that the action of  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was based on Taqiyah (the Shi`i  principle of holy hypocrisy). But,  they have forgotten their own  law in this regard. According to  Shi`ism when an Imaam emerges  for war then Taqiyah is Haraam. Hence, according to them Imaam  Hasan and Imaam Hussein ( radhiyallahu anhuma) did not  adopt Taqiyah. Rather, they  sacrificed themselves and were  martyred. Therefore, if Hadhrat  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) during his  Khilaafat had adopted Taqiyah, it  will follow that he was guilty of  having perpetrated a Haraam  act. This slander is the logical  conclusion of Shi`i arguments. It  is furthermore, not compatible  with infallibility. To crown all the  Shi`i conflict, self-contradictions  and confusion we have the  following explicit confession, of Sheikh Ibn Muttahhir Hilli in the  kitaab ‘Minhaajul Karaamat’:

“ Verily, when Faatimah  admonished Abu Bakr regarding  Fadak, he wrote to her a letter  and returned Fadak to her.” This  claim of Hilli clinches the Shi`i  cases regarding the issue.


At this juncture it is  appropriate  to discuss Hadhrat Faatimah’s  attitude which had developed in consequence of her claim of  inheritance. Initially, Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) was  annoyed on this issue. Hadhrat  Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had  to abide by the directive of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of which Hadhrat  Faatimah was unaware. Shiahs  endeavour to capitalise on her feelings to convey the idea because she was wronged, she  had directed that Hadhrat Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) should not attend her Janaaza and that  she remained angry with him  until her demise. Insha Allah,  these fictitious claims and  accusations of the Shiah will be  dispelled with solid arguments.

Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was not motivated by ill-feeling or malice for Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) in  the dispute regarding inheritance.In fact, placating her, he  frequently said: “By Allah!, Oh  daughter of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)! Kindness to the relatives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is more beloved  to me than my kindness with my  own relatives.”

According to both Sunni and  Shiah narrations, Hadhrat Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was  greatly by the developments and  by Hadhrat Faatimah’s  displeasure. He went to great  lengths to please her while remaining firm on the Shariah.  He went to her home, stood at  her door in the midday sun and  asked Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu  anhu) to be his intercessor in his  sincere attempt to placate and  please Hadhrat Faatimah ( radhiyallahu anha). Ultimately  she became pleased with him and accepted his decision. These narrations appear in Madaarijun  Nubuwwah, Kitaabul Wafaa, Baihaqi and in the commentaries of  Mishkaat (all authoritative  Kitaabs of the Ahlus Sunnah). Kitaabul Muwaafiqah narrates  that Anaani said:

“Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) came to the door of Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) said: ‘I shall in the midday sun and said: ‘I shall not leave from here as long as  the daughter of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  remains displeased with me.  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  came to Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) and giving her an oath  urged her to become pleased.  Then she became pleased (with Hadhrat Abu Bakr).”

Shiah records also confirm that  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) became pleased with  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu). The Imaamiyyah Shiah  author of Hujjaajus Saalikeen  states:

“Verily, when Abu Bakr saw that  Faatimah was annoyed with him,  shunned him and did not speak  to him after this on the issue of  Fadak,  he  was  much  aggrieved  on account of this. He resolved  to please her. He went to her  and said: ‘Oh daughter of  Rasulullah! You have spoken the  truth in what you have claimed,  but I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) distributing it  (i.e. the income of Fadak). He  would give it to the Fuqaraa,  Masaakeen and way-farers after  he gave your expenses and expenses of the workers.’ She  then said: ’Do with it as my father, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had done.’ Abu Bakr  said:’ I take an oath by Allah for  you! It is incumbent on me to do with it what your father used do  with it.’ Faatimah said: ‘By Allah!  You should most certainly do so.’

Abu Bakr said: “By Allah! I shall  most certainly do so.’ Faatimah  said: ‘O Allah! Be witness.’ Thus she became pleased with this  and she took a pledge from Abu  Bakr. Abu Bakr would give them  (Faatimah and others of the Ahle- Bait) expenses therefrom and  distribute the balance to the  Fuqaraa, Masaakeen and wayfarers.”

This narration is also in other  books of the Imaamiyyah Shiahs.  It confirms that Hadhrat Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) believed  that Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) was truthful in her  claim, but the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) convinced him that ownership was not given to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). The accusation against Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) is therefore pure slander.

Regarding the claim that Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) was averse to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) attending her Janaazah, is also baseless. She was buried secretly during the night by Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) in accordance with her wish. She was a Lady of extreme modesty and shame. She dreaded any ghair-mahram viewing her body even after death. According to authentic narrations she said during her last illness that she felt ashamed that her body be borne after death among ghair-mahrams without Purdah. In response, Asmaa Bint Amees (radhiyallahu anha) explained that she had seen in Abyssinia that the body was concealed with date-branches. Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) requested her to prepare such a receptacle in her presence. This she did. When Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) saw the purdah, she became delighted and smiled. This was the first occasion she had smiled since the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). She instructed Asmaa to give her body ghusl after death and besides Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) no one else should be present. This was the reason for the secrecy surrounding her burial. When Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar and other Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) complained the next day of not having been informed, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) explained that it was Hadhrat Faatimah’s wish that no ghair-mahram should look at her Janaazah, and that she should be buried at night.

According to another narration, although Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was not present at the burial, hein fact led the Janaazah Salaat with the consent of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu).

It is not conceivable that Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) had not wanted Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) to perform her Janaaza Salaat because she was aware that just six months prior to her death Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had ordered with great emphasis that Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) should lead the Salaat. She was aware of this command of her father. Thus, the circumstances surrounding her burial are unrelated to her earlier dispute with Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).

Who Poisoned Hadhrat Hasan (Radhiyallahu Anhu)??

Question: It has been alleged  that either Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) or his son  Yazid was involved in the  poisoning of Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). It is claimed  that one of them persuaded one  of Sayyiduna Hasan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) wives to  administer poison to him. What  is the truth of this claim?

Answer: Any claim of a historical  nature must be substantiated  with proof. An accusation made without providing proof is  slanderous, and should  accordingly be dismissed as such.

But even the mere presentation  of evidence is not sufficient to  prove the claim. There is one very  important condition that has to  be met, and that is authenticity. The onus rests upon the claimant  not only to provide evidence for  his claim, but also to  authenticate his evidence. For as  long as he fails to prove its  authenticity his claim is nothing more than an empty and worthless accusation.

This is a general rule which  applies to all historical claims,  and not only those to do with  alleged misdeeds of the Sahabah  (radhiyallahu anhu). Let us look,  for example, at the issue of the  “satanic  verses” which was so  maliciously taken advantage of by  the notorious Salman Rushdie (Shaitaan Khabees). Mr. Rushdie Khabees did not suck the  incident out of his thumb; he  found it in historical books.  However, what he failed to do  was to authenticate. Why? The  reason is obvious. He had his  own (satanic) agenda and his  own pre-conceived notions.

Thus when someone accuses  Sayyidunah Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) or anybody  else of poisoning Sayyiduna  Ḥasan (radhiyallahu anhu), and  does not care to examine the  authenticity of the evidence for  his accusation for no reason  other than the fact that he dislikes Sayyidunah Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), he is no less  guilty than Salman Rushdie Khabees and his satanic ilk. Let  not your enmity for a person  become your only motivation for  finding him guilty.

And do not ever let enmity for a  people carry you away into  injustice. Be just; that is closer to  piety. And fear Allah. Verily Allah  is aware of what you do. (al-Ma’idah: 8)

It is authentically narrated that  when Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) lay on his deathbed, dying from poisoning, his  brother, Sayyiduna Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) came to him and asked him: “Brother, tell me who  is the one who poisoned you.”  Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) asked: “Why? That you  may kill him?” Sayyiduna Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “Yes,” to which Sayyiduna Hasan  (radhiyallahu anhu) responded: “I  will not tell you anything. If it is  the one I think it is, then Allah’s  revenge is harsher. And if it is nothe, then by Allah, no innocent person will be killed on account of me.” [al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah  vol. 7 p. 41]

This authentic narration shows  that even Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) was not  exactly sure of the identity of the  poisoner. Over and above that, herefuses to tell his own brother  who he suspects. It is strange  that Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) himself displayed such great caution in  the matter, fearing that he might  be accusing an innocent person,  but that people today can blurt  out, without the blink of an eye, that “Mu’awiyah poisoned Hasan”.
The greatest concern Sayyiduna  Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) had  was the preservation of the ummah’s unity. It was on account  of this concern that he made peace with Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) in 41 A.H. It  was also this outstanding  accomplishment of his which was predicted by his grandfather, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), in the well known hadith:

This son of mine is a Sayyid, and  soon the time will come when  through him Allah will reconcile two great masses of Muslims.

He had this concern of not  causing strife in the ummah,  right up to the time of his  demise. It was his dearest wish to be buried with his grandfather,  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), in the room of  Sayyidah ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anha), but he instructed  Sayyiduna Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) not to resort to violence in the event Banu Umayyah tried to prevent his burial there, and to  bury him with his mother in  Jannah al-Baqi’. Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) was prepared  to sacrifice the things nearest  and dearest to him in order to preserve the peace and unity of the ummah.

Therefore, if it was Sayyiduna  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  whom he suspected of having  him poisoned he would rather  have been expected to tell  Sayyiduna Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) something like “I fear that  you will cause civil war if you try  to revenge yourself upon the one  I suspect”.  In the fact that he  does not allude to the prospect  of disunity and sedition at all, but  rather expresses fear at an  innocent person being killed on  account of him, we therefore have  reason to see that the one whom Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) suspected of poisoning him  was not Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah.

Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) lived for ten  more years after the passing of Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). In all that time the valiant  and fearless Sayyiduna Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) was alive, and  so was his brother, Muḥammad  ibn al-Hanafiyyah (rahimahullah),  his cousins ‘Abd Allah Ibn Ja’far  and ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhuma), and numerous  other members of the Ahl al-Bayt. However, not a single one of  them ever confronted Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) on the poisoning of Sayyiduna Hasan  (radhiyallahu anhu). In fact, they  maintained cordial relations with  him, especially Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) and ‘Abd Allah Ibn Ja’far (radhiyallahu anhu).  They never uttered a word about  Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah’s (radhiyallahu anhu) alleged  involvement in the death of  Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), neither in public nor to  their closest followers. This gives  us so much more reason to  dismiss the allegation against Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) as unfounded.
Now let us look at the material in  the books of history on the basis  of  which the allegation is made.  The only report in which Mu‘awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) is  implicated in the death of  Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) is narrated by the historian,  Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Waqidi. This report appears as follows: [Al-Waqidi] says: 

I heard some people saying that  Mu’awiyah secretly made one of his servants administer poison to him. [Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 6 p. 251]

As a report of history, this  narration suffers from two fatally  serious defects. The first is the  universally recognised  untrustworthiness of al-Waqidi.  Details of his unreliability as a  narrator would probably fill  several paragraphs, but all of it may be suitably condensed into a  statement by Imam al-Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh), who was his contemporary, and who knew him personally. Al-Shafi’i (rahmatullah alayh) has the following to say:

In Madinah there were seven  people who used to forge chains  of narration. One of them was al-Waqidi.  [Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 26 p.194]

The second defect is much more  glaring. Note that al-Waqidi does  not mention the names of his  informants, and that he merely  says “I heard some people say”. This particular report comes after  a number of other reports in  which al-Waqidi clearly mentions  the names of his informants.  When he comes to this one, he merely says “I heard some people  say”. Is it on the basis of such  flimsy evidence that people today  are bold enough to level an  accusation of murder? Indeed,  this smacks of a total disregard  for academic integrity for the  sake of nothing but personal sentiments and prejudice.

There is another report in which  the wife of Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), namely Ja’dah  bint al-Ash’ath, is implicated in  his murder by poisoning. This  report has it that it was Yazid ibn  Mu‘awiyah who set her up to do it, promising to marry her thereafter. This report is narrated  by Muhammad ibn Salam al-Jumahi. It is reproduced by al-Mizzi in Tahdhib al-Kamal as follows:

Muhammad ibn Salam al-Jumahi narrates on the authority of Ibn  Ju’dubah that Ja’dah, the  daughter of Ash’ath ibn Qays, was  the wife of Hasan ibn ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). A message  was sent to her in secret by  Yazid, telling her: “Poison Hasan and I will be your husband.” So  she did it. When Hasan died she  sent a message to Yazid asking  him to fulfil his pledge. But he  told her: “By Allah, we did not  approve of you as Hasan’s wife.  Shall we approve of you as our own wife?” [ibid. vol. 6 p. 253]

This is the way the report is  found in the history books. To  the uncritical reader who has no  knowledge of the criteria of  authenticity and their application,  it might well appear to be  acceptable evidence. To the one  whose emotions have already  caused him to be favourably  disposed towards Sayyiduna  Hasan, and unfavourably disposed  towards Yazid, it is nothing less  than incontrovertible evidence.  But the true scholar never lets  emotion make his decision for  him. He first weighs the  evidence, examines it and scrutinises it, and only if it merits approval and acceptance will he  accept it. To the discerning  scholar, emotions are shaped by evidence and not evidence by emotions.

Now we return to the report  under discussion. Ibn Ju’dubah,  who is Muhammad ibn Salam’s  source for this report, is properly  known as Yazid ibn ‘Iyad ibn Ju’dubah. He lived in Madinah  during the time of Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh). Imam Malik’s student, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn  al-Qasim, once asked his opinion  about a person called Ibn Sam’an.  The Imam replied: “He is a liar.”  Ibn al-Qasim then asked: “And Ibn  Ju’dubah?” Imam Malik replied: “An even bigger liar, an even  bigger liar.”  [ibid. vol. 32 p. 223] 

All other rijal critics who ever  expressed themselves on his  status as a narrator have concurred with Imam Malik in some way or the other.

Furthermore, Ibn Ju’dubah died  in the days of the ‘Abbasid  Khalifah, al-Mahdi, whose reign  came to an end in 169 A.H. If we  assume that he died in 165  A.H, and that he lived a life of 70  years, we could say he was born  in about 95 A.H. In other words,  by the time of his birth, almost a  half a century had passed after  the death of Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). The “Yazid-Ja’dah plot” therefore either  came to his knowledge through  sources whom he refrains to  mention, or it was the product of his own mendacious and fertile imagination.

In light of what his  contemporaries thought of him, Ahmad ibn Salih al-Misri, for  example says of him “I think he  used to invent hadith for the  people.” [ibid. vol. 32 p. 224]

one is inclined to believe that the  whole plot was of his own  invention. Looking at the times  in which he lived — the early  ‘Abbasid period —, we find more  reason to believe that the report  is a forgery by Ibn Ju’dubah.  During the early ‘Abbasid times  sentiments were running high  against the recently ousted  Umayyads, and a person like the notorious Yazid would have been the perfect scapegoat.

To come back now to the alleged  involvement of Ja’dah bint  Ash’ath: There is one other report  which implicates her in the  poisoning of Sayyiduna Hasan,  but it does not mention anything  about Yazid. [ibid. vol. 6 p. 253] 

It is narrated from Umm Musa,  who was a bondswoman of  Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). [Lisan al-Mizan vol. 7 p. 543 ]  The chain of narration  up to Umm Musa is reliable.  However, we might pose a  question here with regard to  Umm Musa herself: Did she  identify Ja’dah as the culprit out  of knowledge of her guilt, or  must her words here be  construed as the emotional  outburst of a bereaved woman  who simply must find someone to blame for the cause of her bereavement?

We do not pose this question out  of unnecessary scepticism. There  are two things which prompt us to ask it: Firstly, Sayyiduna Hasan’s (radhiyallahu anhu) own reluctance to name the person he  suspected. Keep in mind also  that he himself merely suspected,  and did not know it for a fact. Secondly, if there were reasonable grounds for suspecting Ja’dah  bint Ash’ath, no man would readily marry her, especially a  man of the Ahl al-Bayt. But with  Ja’dah we find that after the  demise of Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) she was  married by his father’s cousin  Sayyiduna ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu), and that she  bore him a son, Muhammad, and  a daughter, Quraybah. [al-Tabaqah al-Kubra’ vol. 5 p. 241] 

From  the  above discussion we may then draw the following conclusions:   

»  The report implicating Mu‘awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)is  narrated by an extremely unreliable narrator— al-Waqidi— from unnamed people.

» The report implicating Yazid and Ja’dah are narrated by a known liar— Ibn Ju’dubah—  who was born almost  50 years after the incident and names no sources at all. His report comes into  circulation during the early  ‘Abbasid period in which anti-Umayyad sentiments, and more  particularly anti-Yazid sentiments, are common.

» The report from Umm Musa which implicates Ja’dah is more likely the emotional outburst of a  bereaved woman than an  allegation based on factual knowledge.

» Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) himself refused to disclose  the identity of the one he  suspected. He restrained his  brother Sayyiduna Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) from taking any action.

» After the death of Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) the Ahl al-Bayt maintained good relations with Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) in Damascus.

In light of the above we fully  endorse the statement by Ibn  Kathir that none of these reports  are authentic. [Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah vol. 7 p. 41] 

We hope that this demonstration  — of how the words of a  bereaved woman, a report by  unknown reporters, and a forgery  by a known liar came to be  regarded as factual history — will  bring to light the need of  critically examining historical  sources before levelling  accusations against anybody.

Then who poisoned Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu)??

Various parties have been accused of poisoning Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), with the most famous being that it was his wife, Ja’dah bint Ash’ath,
instigated either by Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), with the promise of marrying her to his son, Yazid, or instigated by her own father Ash’ath ibn Qais, who in turn was instigated by Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu). Despite this view being mentioned in many unverified historical narrations, the accusations against Ja’dah and Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) fails to answer the following questions:

a) What benefit Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) could ever derive from from the assassination of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu)? In fact, as long as Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) remained alive, there remained no fear of the Iraqis instigating Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) , since it was common knoqledge that Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) was totally against in-fighting, and for that very reasonhad agreed to hand over the Caliphate.  Had hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) been alive at the time when Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) decided to elect his son, Yazid, as the next Caliph, there is a great possibility that he would have ensured that none opposed Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), since his life ambition was to keep the unity of the Ummah, and to seal all the doors that could lead to in-fighting.

In attempting to answer this, certain narrations have been concocted to show that in the truce made between Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). It was agreed that after the death of Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), the caliphate would be returned to Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu).  Hadhrat Mu’awiyah’s (radhiyallahu anhu) motive in having him assassinated (radhiyallahu anhu) was thus to protect himself from having to fulfil this condition. (Na’udhubillah) The stupidity and absurdness of this ‘made-up motive’  is more than evident, since if such a condition had ever been laid, it would have been common knowledge amongst all the Sahaba and Tabi’een present during that era, and it would surely have found some mention in authentic narrations.

b) Why can no narration be found wherein Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) accuses Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) of having killed his brother? Rather, what can be found is even after the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) would visit Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) atleast once a year, and accepting from him gifts, just as he would do during the lifetime of his brother.

c) The wife of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), Ja’dah, was herself a princess, being the daughter of Ash’ath bin Qais, chief of the famous and mighty tribe of Kindah, and loyal friend of Hadhrat ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). She had the honour of being in the marriage of the prince of both the worlds, the most handsome man of the time, the grandson and beloved of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  a man who every woman desired of that time desired entering into his wedlock. Due to being the wife of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu),  she was also blessed to be the daughter-in-law of Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (radhiyallahu anha), and of the close household of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Having acquired all this prestige and honour, what benefit could there now possibly be for her to forfeit all this glory and honour, merely so that she could be married to Yazid, who was absolutely no match whatsoever in front of the leader of the youth of Jannah, Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu)!.

d) Had Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) or Yazid ever thought of poisoning Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), they would have never done it through his wife. Would they ever take a chance of having themselves humiliated in front of the entire Ummah, and branded as traitors, knowing full well the wife’s love for her husband, especially a husband like that of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), would surely have her exposed their evil intentions? When no weak-minded man would ever take such a chance, where then could such an unwise plot ever emit from the mind of Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), who has been declared as one of the most wise of the Arabs.

e) If the motive behind the assassination of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) was to clear the path for his son, Yazid, to become Caliph, why then did Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) also not make some sort of effort to have the few standing in opposition to Yazid’s election also murdered. Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) was well aware that the only true opposition that Yazid would have to face was that of Hadhrat Hussain and Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhuma). If assassination Hadhrat Hasan was so easy, why did he then not have the same done with these illustrious two as well?

f) Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) would yearly present himself, together with his brother, in front of Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu). Had Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) ever intended having him assassinated, he could have easily ordered that they be ambushed during one of the journey’s and killed. In this way, their would be no fear of a woman ever exposing the men behind the killing, nor any concern of Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) standing up for any retaliation.

g) According to one narration, the father of Ja’dah, i.e. Ash’ath ibn Qais, having been bought off by Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), instigated his daughter to poison Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). From all the narrations, this one is the most preposterous, since Ash’ath ibn Qais passed away approximately nine years before the demise of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), and according to some narrations, Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) himself performed his Janazah Salah.

Due to the above eight factors (a-g) it seems only right that Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), Yazid and Ja’dah ibn Ash’ath be absolved from having played any role in the assassination of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), and other subjects now be brought under investigation. The suspects with the greatest motive, who would attain the most benefit throught the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) would obviously be none other than the very ones who had been behing all the wars and assassinations thus far, i.e. the Satanist/Persian/Khawarij/Jewish forces operating primarily from Iraq, but whose forces of hypocrites had now spread all over the Muslim world.

Their motive would be obvious, i.e. only with the removal of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) could their hopes of re-ignitong the flames of war ever be realized. Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) had already made it clear that he was never going to lend support to any Iraqi movement, and as long as he was alive, he would ensure that Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) too never inclines towards them.

A narration, with a sound and strong chain, which supports this  in which Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) expressed concern that in his absence he feared that the people of Iraq would easily instigate his brother against the present government and thus re-ignite the flames of war amongst the Ummah.

Another indicating factor towards the involvement of this group is the fact that as soon as the news of the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) spread, letters from parties in Iraq started pouring in, expressing regret over his death, but at the same time instigating Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) to join them in opposing the government. An example of this has also previously passed, the gist of which is as follows:

(When the news of the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) reached the people of Kufa, the leaders of Kufa sent their condolences to Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) via letters, Ja’dah ibn Hubeira, who would display the most love for the Ahle-bayt, wrote,

Such friends of yours are present here (i.e. in Kufa and Iraq), who are eagerly awaiting your coming, who regard none as your equal! They are well aware that the opinion of your brother, Hasan, was to avoid war, whereas you are a man who shows kindness to friends and severity against the enemy, a man who fights bravely for the Deen of Allah. Thus, if you are desirous of achieving these goals, come over to Kufa immediately, for we have, in your service, handed ourselves over to death!)

As for Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), no real change in his manner of governing occurred after the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), which could in some way have indicated that he was just waiting for the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) to carry out some new idea. It was only seven years later, when he felt that his death was fast approaching, that he began considering having Yazid elected as Caliph after him. Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) passed away in the 49th year after Hijrah, whilst the issue of having Yazid elected only began in the 56th year after Hijrah, four years before the death of Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu).

The crux of this discussion is that the accusation made against Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) and Yazid regarding their involvement in the murder of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), this accusations have no real basis, and common logic also defies it. In fact, suring the entire era of Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), not a word was ever mentioned regarding his, or his son’s possible involvement in the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). Hadhrat Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) for the next nine years, continued making his annual visits to Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), but not for once did he even raise the issue of the death of his brother.

It was only years later that the evil segments had this absurd claim propagated, and without any verification, the simple-minded believers began repeating it, as though it was a decided truth. As for those against whom there definitely was some form of case, i.e. the liars of Iraq, their mention was hardly ever made in the lists of possible suspects.

As with regards to the women accused of poisoning Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), Ja’dah bint Ash’ath, despite famous historians having painted her as the killer, without making any indication whatsoever that this accusation too has never been verified, if one were to merely ponder over her life-history alone, it would be more than sufficient to expose the fact that the accusation laid against her, forget not being proven, was never even mentioned during her lifetime.

A summary of her life, as mentioned in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, and other sources, show:

1) She was the maternal niece of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).

2) She was married to Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), while Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was still alive. She thus had the privilege of remaining in the wedlock of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) for over 9 years, getting separated only due to his death. Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) was well known for his habit of retaining women in his marriage for only short periods of time, and thereafter divorcing them and accepting others into his wedlock, merely with the intention of allowing more and more woman the opportunity of having some sort of share to be from the family of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Despite this habit, Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) kept Ja’dah till the end. Why?

Can it be conceived that a man of such wisdom and foresight remain blinded from the evil hidden within this woman, thereby keeping her back and sending so many other righteous and pious women? Does the love and inclination which Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) expressed for this woman not offer any indication towards her nobility, piety, righteousness and sincerity? Has Qur’aan not hinted that the inclination, love and admiration expressed by a pure believing male for his female partner should be considered as a significant sign of the purity of the female herself? [Here the reference is being made to the verse 26 of Surah Nur, Wherein Almighty Allah says: “And pure souls shall surely only be inclined  to that which is pure”]

3) After the death of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), Ya’qub ibn Talha, the son of Hadhrat Talha ibn Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhu, one of the ten who received the glad-tidings of Jannah during his life) extended his hand of marriage towards her. She remained with him in Madinah Munawwarah, till his death, and bore him three children. Ya’qub ibn Talha was a high-ranked Tabi’i, famous for his generosity. Would such a man ever think of marrying a woman who had been accused of poisoning Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), and thereafter residing with her in the very city in which Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) had passed away?

4) During her stay in Madinah Munawwarah, with her new husband, a time came when the people of Madinah, including her husband, pledge their allegiance to Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhu). During this time, why did Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhu) not have her brought to trail? The only reason that comes to mind  is that during that time, in Madinah Munawwarah, not a single accusation had been levelled against her by anyone, thus the need of an investigation never arose.

5) After the death of Ya’qub, the eldest son of Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) married her, from whom she bore two children. Knowing the close relationship between Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu and the family of Hadhrat Hasan ibn Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), could one ever imagine his eldest son marrying a woman accused of poisoning Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). The fact that he married her and kept her with him in Shaam clearly shows that during that era, no accusation had been levelled against her, neither in Hijaz, nor in Shaam.

From the above, one can clearly gauge that during the era of the Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum), no accusation had ever been made against Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), nor againsy Yazid, and neither against Ja’dah, at least not in the lands of Hijaz and Sham. No trail was ever held, no evidence was ever heard, and in fact, no finger was ever pointed at any of these three, regarding having played amy role in the murder of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). When this is the case, could one ever now dare lifting the finger of accusation against any of these three individuals, especially after being aware of the strict verdict of the Shariah regarding accusing without any valid proof!

To recogize who these Iraqis/Satanists are and how they created fitnah in a broader scope, please continue reading this article: Karbala – A ‘Bloody’ Conspiracy and The Secrets Behind it

Karbala – A ‘Bloody’ Conspiracy and The Secrets Behind it [Part-2]

Refuting the Baseless arguments of the Shia’ on the ‘non-existence’ of Abdullah ibn Saba’

[Note: The Shi’i texts and statements are been quoted in red for readers convenience]

A letter from the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran

In the name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful

In the last issue of “Al-Rasheed” an article entitled Abdullah lbn Saba: Founder of Shi’ism was published in which unfortunately some accusations were made against Shi’ism.

The article, the author of which is not known, tries to, through some false accusations made against Shi‘a Ulamah, establish that the Jew Abdullah ibn Saba is the founder of Shia’ism, and that Shi’ism is based on Judaism.

While the truth is that the quoted phrase is tampered with in a way which reflects an understanding completely opposite to what the source reads.

Shi’ism, with millions of followers throughout the world, and having a historical background of over 1400 years is based on Quran and Holy Hadiths by our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). For example to prove the Caliphate of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Shi’ites have had recourse to some Quranic verses and hadiths of the Holy Prophet. Of course these hadiths, most of which are also accepted by Sunnism, have not been understood by the two denominations in the same way.

It is regrettable that in an era when the Muslims need to more than ever unite against their fierce enemies; especially so amongst the two main schools of thought namely Sunnis and Shia’s; such disturbing accusations are spread out; not giving enough time and means to Shia’s and their beliefs.

Below I have enlisted a number of books as sources for seekers of truth and followers of scientific and historic debates for their reference:



SHl’A by Allamah Tabatabai


A copy of these books is available in the Embassy’s library. I do not know however of the existence of other copies elsewhere in the country.

Those interested are hereby invited to make use of our library to find out for themselves the scientific and logical way in which the said unscientific accusations have been responded.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at the following number to arrange for such facilities.

OFFICE TEL: (012) 342 8880/1

FAX NO: (012) 342 4790



I 6 AUG 1999


Mr. M.H. Borjian Yazdi

Cultural Attaché

Iranian Embassy



Receipt has been taken of your letter dated 15 August 1999, in which you voiced dissatisfaction with the article Abdullah ibn Saba: The Founder of Shi‘ism. Your concern as the diplomatic representatives of Iran over an article of this nature is understood. Understood too, are the sentiments you express where you say that “it is regrettable that in an era when the Muslims need to more than ever united against their fierce enemies; especially so amongst the two main schools of thought namely Sunnis and Shia’s; such disturbing accusations are spread out not giving enough time and means to Shia’s and their beliefs.”

Sunnism & Shi‘ism

However, as much as one would want to gloss over the differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah, the fact of the matter is that the differences do exist, and that by their very nature they make each group’s claim to the Truth an exclusive one.

It is precisely for this reason that the propagation of Shi‘ism has continued unabatedly in Sunni societies, more often than not with funding from, and the sanction of, Iran. To the best of our knowledge your government has never expressed the least reservation over the huge amount of Shi‘I propagationist literature flowing to Sunni communities out of Iran, nor about the activities of missionaries actively engaged in the propagation of Shi‘ism amongst Sunnis, with financial backing from Iranian foundations.

This has given rise to a situation where the Ahl as-Sunnah have become so alarmed by the rate of proselytising in their communities that calls of people like yourself for “Muslim unity in the face of the fierce enemies of Islam” have come to be seen as a smokescreening device intended to create the diversion under cover of which Shi‘i missionaries will penetrate into Sunni societies. If this assertion could once upon a time be dismissed as an unfounded assumption, it has now found a basis for itself in two decades of bitter experience, in South Africa and elsewhere.

It is not intended here to deny you the right to propagate your beliefs, since the constitution of our country upholds freedom of belief. Our intention is to bring it to your notice that when the Shi‘ah have opted to exercise their right to propagate their faith, they should not be surprised or express regret at the inevitable consequences.

When Iran declared Ithna ‘Ashari Shi‘ism the state religion, it set itself up as the champion of Shi‘ism.

(Incidentally this is also the reason why you, as the cultural attaché of your country, took exception to the article Abdullah ibn Saba: The Founder of Shi‘ism.) Therefore it is fully comprehensible to us why Iran will not permit Sunni missionary groups to operate on Iranian soil. But we become completely mystified when we see the double standards of Iran itself sending missionaries, or acquiescing to the funding and sending of missionaries to communities such as ours who are not in a position to defend its faith through political or legal power.

Crux of the issue

This issue does not revolve simply around Ibn Saba. It goes much further than that. It has to do in the first instance with each group’s claim to being the true form of Islam, and by logical extension, with the way in which each group accounts for the existence of the other.

The Shi‘ah and the Ahl as-Sunnah both claim that their form of Islam is the true one. This assertion is probably beyond contention from either side. The real problem lies in the implication of these respective claims. If “A” lays claim to the truth, it is simultaneously claiming that the claim of “B” is false, and vice versa. We know that this perspective of the relationship between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah is an extremely sensitive one, but it is a question that must be addressed if we are to have an appreciation of all the various dimensions to this issue.

Shi‘ism makes no secret of the fact that it regards the faith and practice of the Ahl as-Sunnah as the corruption of Islam by the Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi  wasallam) primarily, and the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties secondarily. References to support this contention abound in the books of the Shi‘ah, some of which are now quoted here:

God knows what misfortunes Islam has suffered from its inception down to the present at the hands of these evil ‘ulama! Abu Hurayra was one of the fuqaha, but God knows what judgements he falsified for Mu‘awiyah and others like him, and what damage he inflicted upon Islam. (Ayatullah Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini, p. 114, translated and annotated by Hamid Algar)

We conclude here that the Shi‘ah are the true followers of the Prophetic Sunnah… Whereas the Ahl as-Sunnah have expressly contradicted the Prophetic Sunnah. (Muhammad Tijani Samawi,The Shi‘ah: The Real Followers of the Sunnah p. 314, Ansariyan Publications, Qum 1995) It is self evident that the Khulafa ar-Rashidun (except Imam ‘Ali) have practised ijtihad with their opinions against the Prophetic Sunnah. (ibid. p. 315)

The religion was exploited for the political needs. Both the Omayyids and the Abbasids deepened and strengthened sectarian and religious prejudices among the Muslims in order to use them for their own purposes. They exaggerated and amplified the idea of seniority of persons other than Ali in the matter of the Caliphate. In these efforts of theirs, they were helped by those Ulema (scholars) who cared much for the worldly positions. The rulers spent money on such scholars who in turn reported fabricated Traditions suitable to the rulers, especially during the Omayyid period, as we have already said. People follow the religion of their kings. They also said what their rulers did. Then came those who were not aware of the real situation. saw these fabricated traditions and made-to-order injunctions and took them for true ones. They further passed them on in their books. Those who came later found these Traditions in the books attributed to great personalities which made them accept them as true. Thus these traditions got disseminated between the people. Everyone read them, talked about them in their gatherings and discussed them in their classes and schools. In this time passed on and such ideas got currency amongst the common masses so much so that those who knew the truth were swept away by the pressure of public opinion and these false ideas, which it is proper to discuss, took the form of a regular creed. (Hasan ul-Amine, Shorter Shi’ite Encyclopaedia, pp. 78-79, Ansariyan Publications, Qum, 1997)

(For further reference, see the books an-Nass wal-Ijtihad by ‘Abd al-Husayn Sharaf adDeen, and Ma‘alim al-Madrasatayn by Murtada al-‘Askari.)

We hope that notice will have been taken here of the fact that the quoted sources were published in Iran within the last five years. If the Shi‘ah thus have a freedom of using the printed word for disseminating their own opinion about the origin of Sunni faith and practice, we are baffled as to why umbrage should be taken when the Ahl as-Sunnah express their honest opinion about the origins of Shi‘ism. If Iranian sensors find nothing objectionable in literature such as the quoted sources, why should Sunnis be expected to practice reservation? And, if such inflammatory statements do not give you, the Shi‘ah, reason to regret that “in an era when the Muslims need to more than ever unite against their fierce enemies; especially so amongst the two main schools of thought namely Sunnis and Shia’s; such disturbing accusations are spread out”, why are we, the Ahl as-Sunnah, being told that making accusations like this spells disaster for Muslim unity? Surely the authors of the quoted sources were also not “giving enough time and means to Sunnis and their beliefs”.

For as long as the Shi‘ah will persist to view Muslim unity as a one-way street in which they alone have the exclusive right to fling the stones and hurl the sticks, it will remain the mirage it presently is.

If, on the other hand, it is argued that these are things that are historically verifiable, we would submit that if the act of verifying the truth is supposed to have a preconceived result, it is a meaningless exercise. On the other hand, if it is going to be a completely objective process, it will inevitably threaten the Muslim unity whose destruction you fear. But let us, for the sake of demonstration, engage in just one such exercise.

Abdullah ibn Saba

Let us discuss, first of all, the historical existence, and thereafter, the role of Ibn Saba, in order to ascertain whether the Sunni position that he was the founder of conventional Shi‘ism is based on scientific research, or unfounded accusations.

The existence of Ibn Saba

Murtada al-‘Askari’s entire argument for denying Ibn Saba’s historicity rests upon the fact that Ibn Jarir at-Tabari’s Tarikh, as the major reference for historical material on Ibn Saba, uses Sayf ibn ‘Umar at- Tamimi as his sole source for describing the character and exploits of Ibn Saba. He states on page 20:

All historians agree that the story [of Ibn Saba] was told first of all by Sayf.

He then gives a list of 22 historians, all of whom have relied, directly or indirectly, upon the information supplied by Sayf, and remarks:

The above list gives evidence to the fact that the story of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba’ has been started by Saif and cited primarily from Tabari. (Murtada al-‘Askari,‘Abdullah ibn Sabaand Other Myths, Part One, p. 21, second edition, published by A Group of Muslim Brothers, Tehran 1981)

This is exactly the Achilles’ heel of al-‘Askari’s research. He has—intentionally or unintentionally— displayed myopic scholarship by asserting that Sayf ibn ‘Umar is the only source for the existence of Ibn Saba. A mere look at the biography of Sayf in Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani’s Lisan al-Mizan (vol. 4 p. 22 of the edition published by Dar Ihya’ at-Turath al-‘Arabi, and edited by Muhammad ‘Abd ar-Rahman al- Mar‘ashli) would have revealed to him just how erroneous his assertion is. The sources from which Ibn Hajar has drawn, such as the 70 volume Tarikh Madinat Dimashq by Ibn ‘Asakir, and the Musnad by Abu Ya‘la al-Mawsili have been published, and by means of their chains of narration that pass through authorities other than Sayf ibn ‘Umar, eloquently testify to the intellectual deception practiced by al-‘Askari. (See Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq vol. 29 pp. 3-10, where he has filled seven pages with information on Ibn Saba.)

Al-‘Askari did in fact make mention of the history of Ibn ‘Asakir in his survey of the historical sources that mention Ibn Saba. However, in his eagerness to create the (false) perception that all the historical threads link up to Sayf ibn ‘Umar, he committed the deception of singling out one of the twelve independent accounts as being derived by Ibn ‘Asakir through Sayf, and making as if the remaining 11 reports do not exist. (See ‘Abdullah ibn Saba and Other Myths, p. 47) The fact is that 10 of the remaining 11 reports pass through authorities other than Sayf, but that is a fact that al-‘Askari conveniently chose to overlook.

The term “intellectual deception” might seem a bit too harsh a description for a researcher who was probably not informed about that wealth of information. But it appears very justified when it is considered that the existence of Ibn Saba is attested to in the legacy of the Shi‘ah themselves, and by the Imams of the Shi‘ah themselves. If it could be pleaded that al-‘Askari was ignorant of the historical information documented by Ibn ‘Asakir and others, there is no way that same plea could ever be accepted in terms of the legacy of the Shi‘ah. After all, a learned researcher who spent so much time and effort fine-combing the voluminous works of history is definitely expected to encompass the contents of his own legacy first.

In his survey of historical works, which he purports to be exhaustive, not a single mention has been made of the literature of the Shi‘ah. Not a single classical Shi‘i source features on the chart he gives on page 50. The fact is that the existence of Ibn Saba is attested to in almost every Shi‘i biographical work. Dr. Sa‘di al-Hashimi in his book Ibn Saba: Haqiqah La Khayal (pp. 25-28, Maktabat ad-Dar, Madina 1406) has listed over 20 Shi‘i sources that testify to the existence of Ibn Saba. We might mention by way of example just one of those works. Incidentally the book happens to be one of the books contained in the list you mentioned in your letter. The only difference is that your copy is computerised, while ours is a printed book. The book we refer to is Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal, which is Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi’s recension of Abu ‘Amr al-Kashshi’s 4th century biographical dictionary of Shi‘i hadith narrators. In this book the entry for Ibn Saba spans a full two pages (323-324), and consists of five separate reports, their numbers running from 170 to 174. Below we give you a list of the Imams with whom these five reports originate:

170: Imam Muhammad al-Baqir

171: Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq

172: Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq

173: Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin

174: Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq

(See Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal, pp. 323-324, ed. as-Sayyid Mahdi ar-Rijali, published by Mu’assasat Al al-Bayt, Qum, 1404)The reporters of these narrations are all of the Shi‘ah. Therefore, if we were to apply al-‘Askari’s hypothesis to these reports documented by al-Kashshi, we would have to conclude that Sayf ibn ‘Umar even succeeded in pulling wool over the eyes of these venerable Imams by making them believe that ‘Abdullah ibn Saba, who is supposed to be a figment of his own imagination, actually existed. I think you will agree that such a conclusion is highly absurd. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure that the source of that absurdity is al-‘Askari’s hypothesis, “that the story of‘Abdullah Bin Saba’ has been started by Saif and cited primarily from Tabari”.

Another book you have listed The Origins and Early Development of Shi‘a Islam by S.H.M. Jafri. Please be informed that Jafri does not make any definitive conclusions about Ibn Saba. His words are:

Whether ‘Abd Allah bin Saba, to whom the history of the ghulat is traced, was a real personality or not, the name as-Saba’iyya is often used to describe the ghulat in Kufa who believed in the supernatural character of ‘Ali. (Jafri, The Origins and Early Development of Shi‘a Islam, p. 300, Ansariyan Publications, Qum)

We have thus far had one Shi‘i writer—al-‘Askari—who completely denies the historicity of Ibn Saba, and another—Jafri—who is undecided. We will add a citation from the work of a third contemporary Shi‘i writer who categorically affirms the existence of Ibn Saba. Shaykh Muhammad Husayn az-Zayn al-‘Amili writes in his book ash-Shi‘ah fit-Tarikh:

However it may be, Ibn Saba definitely existed and manifested ghuluww (extremism), even though some people doubt his existence and made him out to be an imaginary character created by personal interests. As for us, on grounds of the latest research we have no doubt concerning his existence and his extremism… Yes, Ibn Saba exhibited extremism in his religion. This innovation of his seeped into the thinking of a group that was by no means small, and that group was named after him. (Muhammad Husayn az- Zayn, ash-Shi‘ah fit-Tarikh, p. 213, Dar al-Athar, Beirut, 1979)

Here we have three different positions on the existence of Ibn Saba. All three belong to Shi‘i writers. Two of them are listed by you as “sources for seekers of truth and followers of scientific and historic debates”. Do we have the freedom of choosing the one which seems most likely to be the truth, or is the selection of the true opinion the prerogative of the Shi‘ah?

The role of Ibn Saba

Now, having dealt with the problem of Ibn Saba’s existence, we may move on to discuss his role in the historical development of Shi‘ism.

Ibn Saba is held responsible for the introduction of many phenomena which later developed into hallmark aspects of Shi‘ism. The Shi‘ah (or at least those of them who accept his existence, like Shaykh Muhammad Husayn az-Zayn al-‘Amili) admit that he exhibited extremist tendencies. In the Tarikh of Ibn ‘Asakir he is on record as having:

Ib vilified Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (Ibn ‘Asakir vol. 29 pp. 8,9) believed the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to have imparted to ‘Ali special knowledge which was not known to anyone but him. (Ibn ‘Asakir vol. 29 p. 9) believed ‘Ali to have been the Dabbat al-Ard, the creator and the giver of sustenance (Ibn ‘Asakir vol. 29 p. 9)

The first two of these beliefs are common features of Ithna ‘Ashari Shi‘ism, while the third one with its extremist overtones is more reminiscent of the Ghulat. We have already seen what Jafri has written about Ibn Saba’s role in the origin of the Ghulat. That particular aspect of Ibn Saba’s role finds further corroboration in the Shi‘i biographical literature. Al-Kashshi, for example, reports the following:

Hisham ibn Salim reports that Abu ‘Abdillah (Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq) told his companions the story of Ibn Saba, and his claims of divinity for Amir al-Mu’minin. He said: When he made those claims Amir al-Muminin asked him to repent. He refused to repent, so Amir al-Mu’minin burnt him fire. (Ikhtiyar Ma‘`rifat ar-Rijal, vol. 1 p. 323)

Extremist tendencies like these were originally introduced by Ibn Saba. Before him no one, not even the little group of Sahabah like Abu Dharr and Salman al-Farisi, whom the Shi‘ah look upon as the early Shi‘ah, ever made such claims, neither did any one of them ever speak ill of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. This too, was invented by Ibn Saba.

Extremism did not die with the death of Ibn Saba. It persisted, and the centre of its activities, as Jafri tells us in The Origins and Early Development of Shi‘ah Islam (p. 300), was the city of Kufa. Here we stand before an interesting observation that was brought to light by Jafri. He writes:

There is another important point that must be discussed here briefly. A considerable number of traditions are to be found, especially in the earliest Shi‘i collection of hadith, Al-Kafi, which describe the Imams as supernatural human beings. What was the origin of these traditions, and to what extent are the Imams themselves responsible for them? These traditions are reported, as indeed are all Shi‘i traditions, on the authority of one of the Imams, in this case from Al-Baqir and Ja‘far. But were these Imams really the authors of such traditions, which describe their supernatural character? The first thing which must be noted in this connection is that while Al- Baqir and Ja‘far themselves lived in Medina, most of their followers lived in Kufa. This fact brings us to a crucial problem. Kufa had long been a centre of ghulatspeculations and activities. Whether ‘Abd Allah bin Saba, to whom the history of the ghulat is traced, was a real personality or not, the name as-Saba’iyya is often used to describe theghulat in Kufa who believed in the supernatural character of ‘Ali. According to the heresiographers, Ibn Saba was the first to preach the doctrine of waqf (refusal to recognise the death of ‘Ali) and the first to condemn the first two caliphs in addition to ‘Uthman. (Jafri, The Origins and Early Development of Shi‘a Islam, p. 300, Ansariyan Publications, Qum)
This same Kufa, which was the hotbed of Shi‘i activities and ghulat tendencies, was also the home of the most prolific narrators of the hadith which the Shi‘ah ascribe to the Imams, and which are documented in their hadith compendiums such as al-Kafi, Man La Yahduruhu al- Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam and al-Istibsar. Since it is upon this corpus of narrated material that the entire edifice of Shi‘ism rests, it would be of interest to see what kind of people were these men on whose authority it is narrated from the Imams.

Some of the most prolific narrators of the Shi‘ah are

Zurarah ibn A`yan Muhammad ibn Muslim at-Ta’ifi Abu Basir Layth ibn al-Bakhtari al-Muradi Al-Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar al-Ju‘fi

All four of these men were from Kufah. Let us take a closer look at these men:

Zurarah ibn A‘yan

Sayyid Bahr al-‘Ulum states that the family of A‘yan, of which Zurarah was a scion, was the largest Shi‘i family of Kufa. (Rijal as-Sayyid Bahr al-‘Ulum, a.k.a al-Fawa’id ar-Rijaliyyah, vol. 1 p. 222)

Zurarah has always posed a problem in Shi‘ism, because while is on the one hand regarded as the most prolific narrator from the Imams al-Baqir and as-Sadiq, the Imams are also recorded as having cursed and excommunicated him. The Shi‘ah attempt to reconcile these two contradictory attitudes through the dubious and completely unconvincing explanation of taqiyyah by the Imams.

Regarding the wealth of narrations which Zurarah reports, we are informed by al-Kashshi that had it not been for Zurarah, the ahadith of al-Baqir would have been lost. (Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal vol. 1 p. 345) Sayyid Abul Qasim al-Khu’i has counted 2094 of his narrations in the four books, all of them from the Imams al-Baqir and as-Sadiq, (al-Khu’i, Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadithvol. 7 p. 249)

On the other hand, al-Kashshi records that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq cursed Zurarah. The following quotation is but one of several places where his cursing of Zurarah is on record: By Allah, he has ascribed lies to me! By Allah, he has ascribed lies to me! By Allah, he has ascribed lies to me! May Allah curse Zurarah! May Allah curse Zurarah! May Allah curse Zurarah! (Ikhtiyar Ma‘`rifat ar-Rijal, vol. 1 p. 361) Despite Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq’s cursing of Zurarah, he is still accepted by the Shi‘ah as the most prolific and reliable authority for the ahadith of the Imams. He hails from Kufa, the centre of the successors of Ibn Saba; he is cursed by the Imam as Ibn Saba was cursed by Sayyiduna ‘Ali; and yet he is respected as a trustworthy and reliable narrator of the ahadith which form the basis of Shi‘ism!

Muhammad ibn Muslim

Muhammad ibn Muslim is another Kufan narrator whose credentials as a narrator are extremely suspect, but who is accepted by the Shi‘ah as a reliable narrator all the same. This Muhammad ibn Mus, who claims to have heard 30 000 ahadith from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, and a further 16 000 from his son Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq (See Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijalvol. 1 p. 391) is also recorded by al- Kashshi to have been cursed by Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq (vol. 1 p. 394) just as Ibn Saba was cursed by his great-grandfather!

Abu Basir al-Muradi

In Abu Basir we have another very prolific Kufan narrator whose character fails to convince anyone of his trustworthiness. He, together with Zurarah, is regarded of those who preserved the legacy of the Imams al-Baqir and as-Sadiq. He is one of a very select group of narrators about whom it is said that “there is consensus amongst the Shi‘ah to accept what is authentically narrated from them.” (See al- Mamaqani, Miqbas al-Hidayah vol. 2 p. 171)

However, Mir Damad in his annotations toRijal al-Kashshi notes that the Shi‘i hadith critic Abul Husayn ibn al-Ghada’iri said of him:

Abu ‘Abdillah (Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq) used to get annoyed and upset with his presence, and his companions are in disagreement amongst themselves about him. I (Ibn al- Ghada’iri) believe that he was cursed on account of (matters pertaining to) his religion, not his narrations. To me he is a trustworthy narrator. (Ikhtiyar Ma‘`rifat ar-Rijal, vol. 1 p. 397. See also al-Ardabili, Jami‘ ar-Ruwatvol. 3 p. 43)

Again we have here a most prolific Kufan narrator who was cursed by Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq just like Ibn Saba was cursed by Sayyiduna ‘Ali!

al-Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar

Here we have another Kufan narrator who is regarded by eminent Shi‘i hadith critics as a reliable transmitter of the Imams’ hadith. Al-Ardabili in Jami‘ ar-Ruwat (vol. 2 p. 258) records that Shaykh Mufid mentioned al-Mufaddal as belonging to the “inner circle, reliable and pious Fuqaha” of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq’s followers. Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi too, is quoted as having mentioned al-Mufaddal amongst the mamduhin (praiseworthy).

But Imam Ja‘far is recorded by al-Kashshi to have addressed by calling him, “You Kafir! You Mushrik!” (See Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal vol. 2 p. 612) Another lengthier narration of al-Kashshi runs as follows:

‘Abdullah ibn Miskan says: Hujr ibn Za’idah and ‘Amir ibn Judha‘ah al-Azdi came to Abu ‘Abdillah [Imam Ja‘far] and told him: “May we be ransomed for you! Mufaddal says that you [the Imams] determine the sustenance of the people.” He [Imam Ja‘far said]: “By Allah, no one besides Allah determines our sustenance. One day I needed food for my family. I was under difficult circumstances and thought hard about it, until I managed to secure food for them. Only then did I feel content. May Allah curse him and disown him.” They asked: “Do you curse and disown him?” He replied: “Yes, so you too, curse him and disown him. May Allah and His messenger disown him.” (Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal vol. 2 p. 614)

The above narration clearly identifies al-Mufaddal with the heresy originally introduced by Ibn Saba. In the biography of Ibn Saba given in al-Kashshi’s Rijal, Imam al-Baqir is reported to have stated that Ibn Saba claimed himself to be a prophet, and ‘Ali to be Allah (See Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal vol. 1 p. 323). If we return to al-Mufaddal’s biography in the same book we find the following:

Al-Kashshi says: The extremist Tayyarah mention in some of their books on the authority of al-Mufaddal that he said: “Seventy prophets were killed with Abu Isma‘il, meaning Abul Khattab, each one of whom had seen and announced his prophethood.” [They also say] that he said: Twelve of us were admitted to the presence of Abu ‘Abdillah [Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq]. Abu ‘Abdillah started greeting each one of us, calling each of us by the name of a prophet. To some he said, “Peace be upon you, O Nuh.” To some he said, “Peace be upon you, O Ibrahim,” To last one he greeted he said, “Peace be upon you, O Yunus.” Then he said, “Do not distinguish between the Prophets.” (Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifat ar-Rijal vol. 2 p. 614)

This Mufaddal, whom al-Kashshi says was of the extremist Khattabiyyah sect, the followers of Abul Khattab, whose beliefs derived directly from Ibn Saba himself—this Mufaddal is exonerated by contemporary Shi‘i scholars such as Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Mamaqani, and Sayyid Abul Qasim al-Khu’I as a most reliable and trustworthy transmitter of the knowledge of the Imams. Al-Mamaqani gives a lengthy explanation about what exactly constitutes ghuluww (See Tanqih al-Maqal vol. 3 p. 240 and Miqbas al-Hidayah vol. 2 p. 397) and concludes that the kind of things on account of which al- Mufaddal was labelled as a ghali has since become of the undeniable tenets(daririyyat) of Shi‘ism.


We have used the above three narrators merely as a specimen of the men upon whose narrations the edifice of Shi‘ism rests. We consistently find disturbing points of resemblance between them and Ibn Saba. They are cursed by the Imams just as Ibn Saba was cursed by Sayyiduna ‘Ali. Some of them held beliefs that are identical to Ibn Saba’s innovations. They hail from Kufa, which Jafri tells us was the stronghold of the Saba’iyyah.

Thus, after we have proven the historical existence of Ibn Saba, this investigation into the men responsible for the narration, or creation, of the hadith legacy of the Shi‘ah leads us to the unequivocal conclusion that what exists today as Shi‘ism, and specifically Twelver Shi‘ism, contains a substantial chunk of the original heresy of Ibn Saba. We therefore feel that we have quite convincing reasons to look upon ‘Abdullah ibn Saba as the Founder of Shi‘ism.

If this conclusion fails to find favour in Shi‘i circles, that cannot be helped. Just as the concern of the Shi‘ah for Muslim unity in the face of the vicious enemies of Islam has never constituted an impediment for them to state exactly how and what they perceive the faith and practice of the Ahl as- Sunnah to be, similarly, we feel that it is only fair if the Ahl as-Sunnah too, can exercise the right to publish their viewpoint on the origin of Shi‘ism, without anyone, and least of all the Shi‘ah, demanding from them to consider the danger that poses to Muslim unity.

If the state of Iran and its diplomatic representatives in South Africa are sincere in their concern for Muslim unity, we suggest that they take a very serious look at the extent to which Shi‘ism is being propagated in South Africa, as well as the provenance of the funding that supports those missions. Only when you have proven your sincerity for the cause of Islam by removing that essential stumbling block would we feel that your protest against the publication of an article like Abdullah ibn Saba: the Founderof Shi‘ism deserves something more than a decisive dismissal.

Yours in the service of Islam

The reasons for un-Islamic ideas being mixed into True Islamic Tasawwuf

Just as iman and Islam are two independent branches of deen, on the same line, ihsan too is an independent branch attending to the perfection of deen which begins with:

انما الاعمال بالنيات

Actions are judged by intentions.

and finally manifests itself with:

ان تعبد الله كانك تراه

To worship Allah with complete consciousness as if you are seeing Him.

Our history of Islam is replete with examples of the concurring existence of the teaching of the Qurʼan and the Sunnah together with the rectification of the inner soul and heart which gradually adopted the name of Tasawwuf. Tasawwuf has many other names as well, such as Tariqah, Suluk, Ihsan, ‘Ilm al-Akhlaq, ‘Ilm al-Qalb, etc, but it is more commonly known as Tasawwuf. In essence, some actions pertain to the outer limbs and some pertain to the inner. The aforementioned category is known as Amal Zahirah (outward actions or Shari‘ah) and the latter is known as Amal Batinah (inward actions or Tariqah). The position of the outward actions is like the similitude of the body, while the inward actions playing the role of the soul. In this way, each component is in need of the other.

Shah Wali Allah Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahimahullah) states:

Shari‘ah without Tariqah is a mere philosophy and theory and Tariqah without Shari‘ah eventually leads to apostasy and infidelity. [Tashil Qasd al-Sabil pg. 8]

What is the reality of this Tasawwuf or Tariqah, for this we will reproduce a comprehensive definition from Allamah al-Shami (rahimahullah):

هو علم يعرف به انواع الفضائل وكيفية اكتسابها وانواع الرذائل وكيفية اجتنابها

Tasawwuf is that branch of knowledge which deals with the varieties of noble character together with its method of attainment and the varieties of ill-traits and how to abstain from it. [Radd al-Muhtar vol. 1 pg. 127]

The extent to which purifying ones heart is necessary can be well understood from the following quote of Moulana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah)  (d. 1366 A.H):

The aspect of Shari‘ah which deals with inward actions is called Tasawwuf or Suluk and the aspect dealing with outward actions is called Fiqh. The subject matter of Tasawwuf concerns reformation of character and the objective is attaining the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The methodology adopted is complete adherence to the laws of Shari‘ah. So to say, Tasawwuf is the soul and perfection of deen which purifies a person’s soul from ill-traits and bad manners and beautifies his character with virtuous actions and upright morals and ethics, thereby acquiring attentiveness to Allah, which is the objective of life. Therefore, Tasawwuf and Tariqah are definitely not contrary to Shari‘ah; rather it is necessary for every Muslim to be a sufi, without which he cannot become a complete Muslim. [Shari’ah wa Tasawwuf pg. 16]

It is a reality upon which the sufiyyah and the ‘arifin have unanimously agreed; just as that Tasawwuf which is taught and recommended by Islam is a means of guidance for the universe, in a like manner that Tasawwuf which is adopted from other sources besides Islam (which entered into the ummah after the fourth century) demolishes and destroys the fabric of a Muslim’s iman. It is for this reason that we find from the likes of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) (d. 728 A.H) and Hafiz Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah)  (d. 751 A.H) to the likes of Moulana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) (d. 1366 A.H) and Moulana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (rahimahullah) (d. 1377 A.H), and every other reformist of the ummah, that they zealously called for jihad against all un-Islamic forms of Tasawwuf and repeatedly warned the Muslims of its harms. The poem of Dr. Iqbal Marhum very aptly discusses this un-Islamic Tasawwuf:

This is a very delicate matter, so guide me to your pleasure

Protect me from falling into your displeasure through this path-(Tasawwuf)

Just as Islam remains un-blemished through the wanderings of a few individuals, similarly a blanket rule cannot be placed over Tasawwuf due to the deviation of a few sufiyyah.

How did un-Islamic Tasawwuf find its way into Islam? Hereunder we mention the explanation of Professor Salim Chishti (rahimahullah):

At the time when the Karmathians (or Qaramitah) began their efforts of propagation, Tasawwuf had already begun amongst the Muslims and (its) various schools had already been established. For the sake of being accepted in the circles of the sufiyyah, the Karmathians portrayed themselves to be the same, i.e. they began misleading the sufiyyah in the garb of Tasawwuf. Thus, mixing un-Islamic beliefs into Tasawwuf, they laid the foundations for un-Islamic Tasawwuf in Iran, which gradually spread amongst all the Muslims and became merged into Islamic Tasawwuf, to the extent that it had become impossible for the general masses to distinguish between Islamic and un-Islamic Tasawwuf. [Islami Tasawwuf mein Ghair Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish pg. 31]

On the one hand, the Karmathians (imposters and heretics) accustomed the Muslims to un-Islamic Tasawwuf. On the other hand, with great dexterity, they interpolated the works of upright sufiyyah and with it misled the Muslims with their false beliefs. The great thinker of Islam-Moulana Sayyid Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah) (d. 1420 A.H), writes in the biography of Hafidh Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) (d. 728 A.H):

Some incautious and denominationally prejudiced authors have attributed such statements to him which necessitate kufr (disbelief) according to the general belief system of the Ahl al-Sunnah and the vast majority. Such statements have been attributed to him which denote disrespect and disparagement of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) (May Allah save us and all the Muslims from such an act). Such treatment has not only been meted out to Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) but other elders of the ummah have also been subject to this ploy of the antagonists. Not only has such statements and beliefs been attributed to them of which they were completely innocent, but such content has been introduced into their books which necessitates disbelief and deviation. [Tarikh Dawat wa Azimat, vol. 2, pg. 157]

These enemies of Islam have went a step further, by themselves authoring separate books (that contained statements of disbelief) and attributing them to well-known sufiyyah, after which they circulated it among the masses. Moulana Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah) says:

The same approach was faced by Hujjat al-Islam Imam al-Ghazzali (rahimahullah). A very large group of the scholars believe that Al-Madnun bihi ala Ghayr AhlihiAl-Madnun bihi ala Ahlihi, Maarij al-Quds and Mishkat al-Anwar are books which are unfounded and attributed to other than their actual author. The adversaries and evil-wishers of Imam al-Ghazzali (rahimahullah) authored them and thereafter attributed them to him.

Imam al-Sha‘rani (rahimahullah)  and others believe this practice to have been carried out and interpolation to have taken place in the contents and subject matter of the books of Shaykh Muhiyy al-Din Ibn al-‘Arabi (rahimahullah). [Ibid pg. 158]

The great mystic, Imam al-Sha‘rani (rahimahullah) (d. 976 A.H.) writes in connection with his own book, an interesting incident which serves as an eye-opener. He states in Al-Yawaqit wa l-Jawahir:

وكذلك دسوا عليّ أنا في كتابي المسمى: البحر المورود، جملة من العقائد الزائفة وأشاعوا تلك العقائد في مصر ومكة نحو ثلاث سنين، و أنا بريء منها كما بينت ذلك في خطبة الكتاب لما غيرتها وكان العلماء كتبوا عليه وأجازوه فما سكنت الفتنة حتي أرسلت إليهم النسخة التي عليها خطوطه ، وكان ممن انتدب لنصرتي الشيخ الإمام ناصر الدين الكتاني المالكي رضى الله تعلى عنه، ثم إن بعض الحسدة أشاع في مصر ومكة أن علماء مصر رجعوا عن كتاباتهم على مؤلفات فلان كلها، فشك بعض الناس في ذلك فأرسلت نسخة للعلماء ثالث مرة فكتبوا تحت خطوطهم:كذب والله من ينسب إلينا أننا رجعنا عن كتابتنا على هذا الكتاب وغيره من مؤلفات فلان، وعبارة سيدنا ومولانا الشيخ ناصر الدين المالكي – فسح الله تعالى في أجله – بعد الحمد لله وبعد، فما نسب إلى العبد من الرجوع عما كتبته بخطي على هذا الكتاب وغيره من مؤلفات فلان باطل باطل باطل.

Similarly, they have interpolated against me as well, in my book named Al-Bahr Al-Mourud, a collection of deviated beliefs and they have spread such beliefs in Egypt and Makkah for close to three years, whereas I am free of it (i.e. these beliefs that they have interpolated) as I have clarified in the prologue of the book when I edited it. The scholars have written regarding it (i.e. what I have written) and consented to it. Thus, the crisis only subsided, when I dispatched to them (i.e. these scholars) the copy which had on it their handwritings. From amongst those who rose to support me was Shaykh Imam Nasir al-Din al-Kattani  (rahimahullah), the Maliki scholar. Thereafter, some jealous individuals promulgated in Egypt and Makkah that the scholars of Egypt had retracted what they had written with regards to all the works of so-and-so. Hence, (as a result of such propaganda) some people doubted in that (matter). So I dispatched the copy to the scholars for the third time. Thus, they wrote below their handwriting: “By the oath of Allah, whoever attributes to us that we have retracted our support for this book and others that the author has written has lied upon us.” The words of Sayyiduna Moulana Nasir al-Din, the Maliki scholar – May Allah increase his lifespan – after praising Allah were: “As for what follows, that which has been attributed to the servant (i.e. referring to himself), viz. retracting from what I have written (with my own hand) regarding this book and others from amongst the works of so-and-so is false, (it is) false.” [Al-Yawaqit wa l-Jawahir vol. 1 pg. 7]

There are many examples of this interpolation and falsification (which the Karmathians and heretics effected within the writings of the noble sufiyyah) which may be observed in the book of the honourable Professor Salim Chishti (rahimahullah), Islami Tasawwuf mein Ghayr Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish (The Mixing of un-Islamic ideas into Islamic Tasawwuf).

The reason for the interpolation in the books of the sufiyyah

Due to the fact that the honourable sufiyyah were overwhelmed with observing good thoughts of others, many matters according to them were excluded from (the aspect) of academic criticism, even though the worldly abstinence of these people (i.e. the sufiyyah) is accepted by one and all. Professor Salim Chishti (rahimahullah) writes:

The weakness of these sufiyyah was that they were neither scholars of hadith nor were they historians. Over and above that, as a matter of fact, according to these people (i.e. the sufiyyah) academic criticism and scholarly appraisal – all of it – entered into (the domain of) disrespect. The Tasawwuf of Junayd  (rahimahullah) was: “We will evaluate every issue, making the Qurʼan and Sunnah the criterion. If anything contradicts the Qurʼan and Sunnah, then it is rejected, regardless of whoever’s tongue it was emitted from. However, in the ninth century after hijrah, with the wicked endeavours of the Karmathians, the mindset of the Sunni sufiyyah changed and instead of observing whether the statement was good or evil, they began looking at the one who stated it. In other words, no matter how mentally or reportedly incongruous a narration was, if it was attributed to any pious person, then by this mere attribution to him it was considered worthy of being relied upon; while academically reviewing and examining it would be construed as disrespect. It is for this reason that for centuries false narrations continued to be passed down and today no person has the moral courage to declare them untrue, and thus relinquish his popularity and reputation. [Islami Tasawwuf mein Ghayr Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish pg. 84-85]

Moulana Najm al-Din Islahi  (rahimahullah), the khalifah  (spiritual vicegerent) of the Shaykh of the Arabs and non-Arabs- Moulana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (rahimahulah), writes in the sub-notes of (the book) Maktubat-e-Shaykh al-Islam:

In the books of the sufiyyah (the statement): “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad” has been asserted as being an authentic hadith. However, Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (rahimahullah) reports that Imam Nasaʼi (rahimahullah) said it to be the words of Ibrahim ibn Ulayyah. The assertion of the words is a strong indication that this cannot be the words of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Furthermore, such an eminent scholar of hadith such as Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (rahimahullah) has not seen it in any of the books of hadith. Thus, the decision of (what is) hadith and (what is) not hadith should be made in light of the principles and standards of the scholars of hadith, because if the opinion of a master in the field is not accepted then immunity will be lost and the Shari‘ah will continue to lose its credit. The unfortunate sufiyyah who were overtaken by maintaining good thoughts (of people), where did they have the time to critically examine (statements)? Nor was it their habit (to do so). Whatever they heard or witnessed, they believed to be true. By this (concept) of theirs of maintaining good thoughts (of people), the words of any person being the statement of Rasulullah  (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will not be established. [Maktubat-e Shaykh al-Islam vol. 1, p. 324]

Mujaddid Alf-e Thani  (rahimahullah) writes:

One should know that in each of those issues wherein a difference of opinion exists between the scholars and the sufiyyah, if one examines them carefully then it would become apparent that the truth is on the side of the scholars. The underlying reason for this is that the basis for following the ambiya according to the scholars is their perfection of nubuwwah which encompasses their knowledge as well, whereas according to the sufiyyah it is their perfection of wilayah and is confined to their knowledge. Hence, the knowledge derived from nubuwwah will undoubtedly be superior and true compared to that which is derived from the wilayah.  [Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 266]

The condition of Moulana Jami’s books

Moulana ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami (rahimahullah) (d. 898 A.H.) is recognised in the circles of the Ahl al-Sunnah as a sufi, eloquent poet and a linguist; more so when his poems of love and reverence for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) are recited by the orators in their unique way, wherein an ecstatic atmosphere is created. Nevertheless, the question which needs to be asked: Are the books of Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) free from interpolations like the books of other sufiyyah, or did the Shi‘ah distort them as well; inserting statements contrary to the belief system of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah? The late Professor Salim Chishti (rahimahullah) writes:

The plague of interpolation and falsification had become so widespread in the poems of the sufiyyah that when Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) arrived in Baghdad, there was a throng of Rawafid present there. They raised a few objections against Moulana’s book Silsilat al-Dhahab. A certain Rafidhi wrote some poetry, filled with exaggeration with regards to the status of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and attributed it to Moulana.

A debate was arranged in the Jami‘ Masjid of Baghdad, the purpose of which was for the Rawafid to present their objections. Nevertheless, the first objection raised was against those poems which the Rafidhi attributed to Moulana. It was the Ahl al-Sunnah who raised the objection against those poems. [For further details of this incident, refer to Hayat al-Jami by Dr. Ali Asghar Hikmatp. 83]

From this incident, I merely wish to point out that a favourite pursuit of the Isma‘iliyyah, Qaramitah and Rawafid was to distort the words of the sufi poets; inserting poems filled with exaggeration regarding Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu), and at times declaring the divinity of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) (or disparagement for Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah radiyallahu ‘anhu).

Other than this, the Imamiyyah beliefs of Imams being Omnipresent (Hazir Nazir), to have power over universal affairs (Ikhtiyar al-Kul & Mukhayyir al-Kul) have somehow been deceitfully crept into the books of the sufiyyah, through which some of the people of Sunnah have deviated and adopted such beliefs from Shi’i interpolation of the books of pious sufiyyah.

One might ask how they (the Qaramitah) dared to do such a thing and the response will be that all schools and followers of the sufiyyah – without exception – admire Sayyiduna ‘Ali  (radiyallahu ‘anhu), honour him and regard him worthy of reverence. The specific reason for this is that from amongst the four links (of Tasawwuf) three links culminate from Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu). It is for this reason that wherever the sufi poets impressively praised the merits of the three khulafaʼ, they expressed even greater praise for Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Therefore, the Rawafid and Qaramitah did not find it difficult to make insertions to their poems. Suppose Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) compiled a poem regarding the status of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) comprising of twenty-one verses; if anyone were to discreetly insert two or three verses into this poem raising Sayyiduna (‘Ali radiyallahu ‘anhu) to a deity, it would easily pass unnoticed. [Islami Tasawwuf mein Ghayr Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish, p. 45-46]

A few examples of interpolation in Shawahid al-Nubuwwah

We will now present a few references to the book of Moulana Jami (rahimahullah)-Shawahid al-Nubuwwah. You be the judge whether these are the beliefs of the Shi‘ah or of the Ahl al-Sunnah.

1) Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) mentions in his book the incident of a monk embracing Islam at the hands of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and writes that when becoming a Muslim he recited the following:

أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله وأشهد أنك علي وصي رسول الله

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is His servant and Rasul, and I bear witness that you- ‘Ali, are the wasi of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). [Shawahid al-Nubuwwah, p. 155, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid]

Is the belief of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) being the wasi of the Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) the belief of the Shi‘ah or that of the Ahl al-Sunnah?

Moulana Jami might have intended to say that just as it is necessary to bear witness to the oneness of Allah and the nubuwwah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) when becoming a Muslim, so too is it necessary to recognise the virtue and merit of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu), which is why Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) mentions this incident without any criticism or doubt under the karamat (miraculous feats) of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu).

2) Moulana Jam’i (rahimahullah) writes:

Amir al-Muʼminin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu ‘anhu) is the first of twelve Aʼimmah. [Shawahid al-Nubuwwah, p. 150, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid]

Is the belief in twelve Aʼimmah a belief of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah or that of the Ahl al-Sunnah?

3) Moulana Jam’i rahimahullah writes:

After the martyrdom of Amir al-Muʼminin Imam Husayn (radiyallahu ‘anhu), Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah (rahimahullah)  came to visit Sayyiduna Zayn al-‘Abidin (rahimahullah) one day and said to him: “Due to the fact that I am elder than you and I am also your uncle, thus I am more deserving and worthy of khilafah than you are. Therefore hand over the weapons of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to me.” Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (rahimahullah) retorted: “O my uncle! Fear Allah. Do not quarrel regarding what you have no right to.” After much discussion, they both accepted to make the al-Hajr al-Aswad (Black Stone) the arbitrator and sought a judgment from it. Thus the al-Hajr al-Aswad (Black Stone) bore witness to the leadership of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (rahimahullah).  [Summarized from Shawahid al-Nubuwwah, p. 169, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid ]

The belief of Imamah being a divine decree of Allah is a Shi‘i concept and the exact words mentioned above can be found in the most relied upon Shi‘ah books such as Usul al-Kafi vol. 1 pg. 48, and Al-Shafi vol. 2, p. 314. The Ahl al-Sunnah have no connection to this false belief.

4) Moulana Jam’i (rahimahu Llah) has mentioned in his book that the birth of Imam Mahdi took place in the home of Imam Hasan al-‘Askari (rahimahulah). Furthermore he has mentioned that he spoke in his childhood. [ Shawahid al-Nubuwwah, p. 198,Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid]

This too is a belief of the Shi‘ah. For further details, refer to the book of Moulana Diya al-Rahman al-Faruqi al-Shahid  (rahimahullah) (d. 1417 A.H.)- Imam Mahdi, and for a exhaustive rebuttal refer to Mirqat al-Mafatih, the commentary of Mishkat al-Masabih by Mulla ‘Ali Qari (rahimahullah (d. 1041 A.H.) vol. 10, p. 179-180.

5) Moulana Jam’i (rahimahullah)  has written in Shawahid al-Nubuwwah that Sayyiduna Hasan (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was poisoned by his wife- Ja‘dah, on the instruction of Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) [Shawahid al-Nubuwwah pg. 163], whereas Allamah Ibn Khaldun (rahimahullah) (d. 808 A.H.) writes:

And what has been reported that Mu‘awiyah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) poisoned him in conjunction with his wife- Ja‘dah bint al-Ash‘ath is from the fabricated narrations of the Shi‘ah. It is farfetched that Mu‘awiyah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) would carry out such an act. [Tarikh Ibn Khaldun vol. 2, pg. 1135]

6) Contrary to the majority of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah, the opinion of Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) regarding Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) is that he committed a grave error which – Allah forbid – necessitates a companion of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) becoming a fasiq, which in itself is a fundamental tenet of the Shi‘ah faith.

I will suffice on these six points and will address the issue again if necessity arises. Ultimately, our readers should make the decision for themselves whether it is possible for a stringent follower of the Ahl al-Sunnah to hold these types of beliefs. If these texts were written by Moulana Jami himself then no doubt Moulana Jami is a Shi‘ah. However, if he did not write this then our claim is proven that some deviants inserted these words in Moulana Jami’s works. Allah alone knows the number of Muslims in the last six hundred years who were ruined by such writings on account of the prominence and virtue of Moulana Jami (rahimahullah). Even if these texts were to be accepted as interpolated, still the enemies of Islam have succeeded in their objective, and even if these interpolated texts were to now be erased, it would be tantamount to:

Stitching silk over coarse cloth

The status of Moulana Jami

There is significant difference of opinion regarding the personality of Moulana ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami (rahimahullah). Some have classified him to be from amongst those who were inclined towards Shi‘asm, while others have openly stated that he was amongst those who practised taqiyyah (dissimulation) and a far cry from being a member of the Ahl al-Sunnah but rather a Shi‘ah in his beliefs and doctrines.

Furthermore, they claim that the poems he composed in praise of the four khulafaʼ are all also based on taqiyyah, as the beliefs Moulana Jami (rahimahullah)  propagated in his books, especially in Shawahid al-Nubuwwah, are clearly Shi‘i beliefs. Sayyid ‘Arif Naushahi in his biography of Moulana Jami (rahimahullah)- entitled Jami [Mizan al-Kutub by the late Moulana Muhammad ‘Ali, pg. 511-513] writes under the chapter of the beliefs of Moulana Jami:

He was a Shi‘ah inclined towards the Ahl al-Sunnah. [Jami pg. 254] Briefly, in light of the content of the above-mentioned book (Shawahid al-Nubuwwah) it is clear that the author is a Sunni, whose heart is free from sectarianism and together with this, he is inclined towards the beliefs of the Imamiyyah sect. [Ibid pg. 255] In the ideas of Jami there is proof of a mixture of Shi‘ah and Sunni beliefs. [Ibid]

Iranian Shi‘ah who hold Jami in high regard, will go out of their way to prove Jami to be a devout Shi‘ah. He will regard these poems and statements of Jami which mention praise for the three khulafaʼ as taqiyyah.

Consequently, they refer to the following part of his final poem in his book- Sajjat al-Abrar, wherein he criticizes the three khulafaʼ and praises ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) by implication and insinuation:

پنجہ در كن اسد اللہى را  * بيخ پر كن دو سہ روباہى را

The lion of Allah extended his claws

Towards the three, who were more cunning than foxes. [Ibid. 256]

The Shi‘ah scholar ‘Abbas al-Qummi writes in his Al-Kuna wa l-Alqab regarding Jami (rahimahullah):


المولى عبد الرحمن بن أحمد بن محمد الدشتي الفارسي الصوفي النحوي الصرفي الشاعر الفاضل … ويقال له الجامي لأنه ولد ببلدة جام من بلاد ما وراء النهر سنة 817 ه … وله سبحة الأبرار وشواهد النبوة في فضائل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والأئمة عليهم السلام … وهل هو من علماء السنة كما هو الظاهر منه بل من المتعصبين كما هو الغالب على أهل بلاد تركستان وما وراء النهر ولذا بالغ في التشنيع القاضي نور الله مع مذاقه الوسيع، أو أنه كان ظاهرا من المخالفين وفي الباطن من الشيعة الخالصين، ولم يبرز ما في قلبه تقية كما يشهد بذلك بعض أشعاره، منها ما عن سبحة الأبرار قوله:

پنجہ در كن اسد اللہى را  * بيخ پر كن دو سہ روباہى را

واعتقده السيد الأجل الأمير محمد حسين الخاتون آبادي سبط العلامة المجلسي (وينقل) حكاية في ذلك مسندا وحاصلها أن الشيخ علي بن عبد العالي، كان رفيقا مع الجامي في سفر زيارة أئمة العراق عليهم السلام وكان يتقيه فلما وصلوا إلى بغداد ذهبا إلى ساحل الدجلة للتنزه فجاء درويش قلندر، وقرأ قصيدة غراء في مدح مولانا أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام ولما سمعها الجامي بكى وسجد وبكى في سجوده، ثم أعطاه جائزة ثم قال في سبب ذلك اعلم أني شيعي من خلص الإمامية ولكن التقية واجبة وهذه القصيدة مني وأشكر الله أنها صارت بحيث يقرأها القارئ في هذا المكان. ثم قال الخاتون آبادي: وأخبرني بعض الثقاة من الأفاضل نقلا عمن يثق به أن كل من كان في دار الجامي من الخدم والعيال والعشيرة كانوا على مذهب الإمامية، ونقلوا عنه أنه كان يبالغ في الوصية بأعمال التقية سيما إذا أراد سفرا والله العالم بالسرائر.

Moula ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Dashti al-Farsi al-Sufi al-Nahwi al-Sarfi, the poet and scholar. He was called Jami because he was born in Jam, a town in Ma Wara al-Nahr, in the year 718 A.H. Amongst his works are Sajjat al-Abrar and Dalaʼil al-Nubuwwah, which discusses the virtues of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the honourable Aʼimmah. Was Jami a scholar from the Ahl al-Sunnah as is apparent or more precisely an extremist Sunni, as is famous in Turkistan and the areas of Ma Wara al-Nahr, which could be the reason why, despite being inherently lenient, he severely reprimanded Qadi Nur Allah al-Shostari. Or perhaps he might have outwardly portrayed himself to be from the opposition (Ahl al-Sunnah) and inwardly was a devout Shi‘ah and out of taqiyyah did not expose what he truly believed? This (second possibility) is endorsed by some of his poetry such as the following poem in Sajjat al-Abrar:

پنجہ در كن اسد اللہى را  * بيخ پر كن دو سہ روباہى را

The lion of Allah extended his claws

Towards the three, who were more cunning than foxes

This is further supported by the story mentioned by Amir Sayyid Husayn al-Khatun Abadi, the grandson of Mulla Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi. The summary of this narration is as follows:

Shaykh ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-’Ali once accompanied Jami on a journey towards Iraq to visit the graves of the saints. He would embark on these journeys by means of taqiyyah. When they reached Baghdad both went to the shores of the Tigris River. Meanwhile a dervish arrived and recited a few heart-rendering couplets in praise of Moula Amir al-Muʼminin ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu). When Jami heard this poem, he began sobbing and fell into prostration, reduced to tears. He further gave the poet a gift and told him: “You should be aware that I am a Shi‘ah and a devout follower of the Imamiyyah but taqiyyah is necessary. These poems are my collection and I thank Allah that he has spread it to this extent.” Thereafter Muhammad Husayn al-Khatun Abadi said: “An authentic exemplary narrator has reported this to me on the authority of authentic narrators that the entire household of Jami, near and far, are all upon the beliefs of the Imamiyyah and have been given strict orders by Jami to practise taqiyyah; especially when he undertakes journeys and Allah alone is the Knower of secrets.” [Al-Kuna wal-Alqab vol.2 pg.138-9]

The story narrated by ‘Abbas al-Qummi can also be found in Diwan Kamil Jami Bakhshish Dahm pg.194.

Our stance

Due to the fact that wherever Shi‘ah beliefs are mentioned in the books of Moulana Jami, it is also accompanied with the beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunnah, no precise conclusion can be made. However, since the senior ‘ulama of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah always accepted Moulana ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami (rahimahullah) as a Sunni sufi and counted him as one of the Muslim poets, always praising him and entertaining good thoughts regarding him; we too will not accept the irrational conclusions the Shi‘ah have arrived at regarding him. As far as these references are concerned, my claim is as follows:

The Sabbaʼiyyah (those who curse the Sahabah), Batiniyyah and enemies of the Sahabah have deliberately created doubts in the beliefs of the famous sufiyyah, thereby confusing those who hold them in high regard with the doubt that they could have adopted taqiyyah or that they had inclinations towards Shi‘asm. The purpose of such ploys would be to incline others towards Shi‘asm as well, making it easier to convert them to what they would refer to as the “Religion of your fore-fathers”. This claim will be proven in due time. The tombs of majority of the Sunni saints in Pakistan have been taken over and are cared for by people of the Imamiyyah sect and they inform their ignorant followers that these saints were in actual fact followers of the Imamiyyah. What a strange spectacle it has become that the tomb of a Sunni is now being taken care of by a Shi‘ah trustee! Without doubt, this is the ‘poisoned apple’ which this sect has used for the past thousand years, claiming that the sufiyyah and auliya were followers of the Imamiyyyah sect, so that the general masses will be inclined to follow in their footsteps.

Basic principles to protect oneself from Shi‘ah conspiracies by Moulana Qasim Nanotwi

Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi (rahimahullah) has mentioned in his famous book-Hadiyyat al-Shiah, six basic principles to be applied before accepting the words of any book or author in order to protect the ummah from the evils and conspiracies of the Shi‘ah. It is imperative that we scrutinize any reference given by the Shi‘ah or anyone affected by them using these principles. If the reference conforms to these principles then it will be accepted by all means, and if not then it will be rejected or alternatively interpreted. He says:

Firstly, as a precaution, the book at hand must be that of a notable and trustworthy author. Just as there are many grades of authors old and young, trustworthy and untrustworthy, those with understanding and those without, in the same way books are also of many grades. The unfaithful and irreligious have written the names of many great scholars in their works but have also filled their books with hundreds of false claims and narratives. Likewise, most of the great works of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah for the benefit of the people were left in their unedited form so that they could be reviewed but due to circumstances, this revision did not take place and eventually this unedited magnum opus fell into the wrong hands. Some of these books were considered extremely rare and valuable and others were even considered lost. However, these were later found in the hands of irreligious and like-minded people. They eventually added their fabricated narrations to these books and attributed it to them when debating the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah in order to silence them. Referencing such books is a common practice amongst the Shi‘ah. Therefore it is of utmost importance to first question a reference when debating with them. Thereafter it should be seen if the reference is reliable. Gauging the reliability is based upon the six basic principles:

Principle 1

The purpose of the author must be to explain and expound upon facts and not merely to gather whimsical fairy tales or storytelling. If this is not the case then a genre of flowery and colourful stories, fairy tales, strange and fictitious narrations will become widespread.

Principle 2

The author should be unbiased, and his accuracy and trustworthiness in narration should also be well-known such that no doubts arise at the mention of his name. If this is not the requirement, then should not the volumes of heroic tales sung by the young girls in praise of their forefathers and the cowardice of their enemies also be accepted? And what is the value of any narration if the words of every individual is taken into consideration? If we unify our call and accept every deviant belief and the Ahl al-Sunnah begin to accept the Shi‘ah chain of narrators and vice versa, turning a blind eye to differences in the strength of narrators and weaknesses as well as differences in their memory and truthfulness etc, then what reliance would remain in narration?

Principle 3

The author should possess an acceptable degree of expertise on the topic at hand regardless of his truthfulness or reliability. He should not be a personification of the proverb:

Half a Mulla is as dangerous for iman as half a doctor is for health

Principle 4

The fourth principle to be considered is that any book despite possessing the afore-mentioned qualities should be well-known and accepted by the earlier generation of scholars, who also possess the afore-mentioned qualities and it should be passed down through a reliable chain. If this were not the case then the Bible and Torah should have been as reliable as the final revelation of the Noble Qurʼan.

Principle 5

The fifth principle is that the author must make it a precondition upon himself to only narrate authentic and established narrations, like those from the Sihah Sittah (i.e. BukhariMuslimTirmidhiAbu DawudNasaʼiIbn Majah); whose authors placed the condition of only narrating what is authentic (according to them) because of which they are called “Sihah”. So if any book has been compiled in an unedited form by the author with the intention that he will in due time differentiate between right and wrong, true and false and delete any unauthentic narrations (as was done by Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) and Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) or that he will explicitly mention which narrations are authentic, fabricated, or weak following the narration (as Imam Tirmidhi  rahimahullah had done) but coincidentally fate did not allow the author the opportunity to fulfil this desire and his soul was taken prior to completing his task, then the book will not be considered reliable because every author compiles his book all-encompassing with the intention of sifting through it later. There are many narrations mentioning that Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah)  sifted through six hundred thousand ahadith to compile his Sahih. Imam ‘Abd al-Razzaq  (rahimahullah) narrates from Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) himself that he compiled all of these ahadith in an unedited form on three different occasions before settling on the Bukhari of his Sahih. This is mentioned in the second or third chapter of the foreword to Sahih al-Bukhari’  printed in Delhi by Ahmadi Publications. In any case, these types of unedited masterpieces attributed to great scholars of hadith do exist. If Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) had compiled all of his Sahih al-Bukhari and before sifting through them left this temporary abode, would we still consider it reliable even though it would be the work of Imam Bukhari  (rahimahullah) himself? Everyone knows that if this were the case then Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) would not have undertaken the job of sifting through them. Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) is himself testifying to the fact that the unrevised version of his book is unreliable. So why should we rely upon the work of any scholar of hadith solely based on the attribution of a hadith or narration to him without a secondary revision? If any book of this sort is found, no matter how great a scholar the author may be, it is considered unreliable and unacceptable; not only to the scholars but even to the common layman. In any case, this point should be kept in mind that many people may fall into this trap merely because of the name of a great scholar.

Principle 6

If several narrations differ from each other, reaching a level of contradiction and it cannot be conclusively established which of them is not authentic then preference will be given based on the strength of the chain of narrators. If this were not the case then the Shi‘ah would have to accept that their narrations and the narrations of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah are both correct. [Hadiyyat al-Shiah pg. 255-258]

Moulana Qasim Nanotwi  (rahimahullah) speaking further on the topic says:

These tricks of the Shi‘ah have been carried out with ease in books which are uncommon. For this reason, the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah consider their books like the Bible and the Torah in severity and have deemed them unreliable. Their narrations will be gauged against the narrations from the reliable books of the Ahl al-Sunnah. Those narrations which will conform with our narrations will be upheld and those contradicting our narrations will be considered deceitful innovations. As for narrations which are not categorized as being conformist or contradictory to our narrations but stand alone, they are the same as those narrations that contradict our narrations, if they disagree with logical reasoning. The reason being that even though it may not contradict our narrations, they definitely do not lend support to them. Subsequently, even if a narration appears in any of their works and there is no apparent meddling by them nor does this contradict a narration of the Sihah, even then this narration will be approached with scepticism and not used as a proof by us, it will be considered similar to a narration of the Bible or the Torah i.e. we will not negate nor affirm it. [Hadiyyat al-Shiah pg. 260-261]


The above mentioned details make it clear that the ijtihad of Moulana Jami (rahimahullah) cannot be used as a proof against the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah. According to the scholars of Islam, Moulana Jami  (rahimahullah) is regarded as a great sufi, a poet, and an imam in the sciences of grammar and language. However, he is not considered to be a muhaddith, muffasir or a faqih. The scholars of Islam have agreed that the opinions of the sufiyyah will not be considered as a valid proof in Shari‘ah regarding matters of halal and haram. Mujaddid Alf-e Thani (rahimahullah) (d. 1024 A.H) said it most beautifully:

The actions of the sufiyyah regarding halal and haraam are not a proof. It is sufficient for us to consider them excused and not rebuke them leaving their matter to Allah. Here we shall consider what Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah), Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah), and Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) have to say and not what Abu Bakr al-Shibli or Abu al-Hasan al-Nuri said. [Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 266]

The rule of Imam Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimahullah) is no secret:

إذا وقع في الإسناد صوفي فاغسل يديك منه

When a sufi appears in the chain of narration then dust that narration off your hands. [Al-Alalat al-Najiah pg. 77]

Moulana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (rahimahullah) (d. 1377 A.H) said:

The reality is that these are great scholars in the field of Tasawwuf and Tariqah, but not scholars of the external and Shari‘ah. The Aʼimmah of this field are Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah), Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah), and Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) and the fuqaha. It is their opinions which will be upheld as proof in this field. The legal verdicts of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (rahimahullah),  Shaykh Junayd al-Baghdadi (rahimahullah), Shaykh Khawajah Bahaʼ al-Din al-Naqshbandi (rahimahullah), Shaykh Khawajah Muhiyy al-Din al-Sanjari (rahimahullah) will not be considered as reliable proofs although they may have been giants in the field of Tariqah.

لكل فن رجال

Every field has its experts. [Maktubat-e Shaykh al-Islam vol. 3 pg. 225]

Allamah Qadi Ibrahim al-Hanafi (rahimahullah) (d. 1000 A.H) says:

Those ascetics who are not of the people of ijtihad will be viewed as laymen. Their opinions will not be relied upon. If their opinions conform to reliable books then we will take them into consideration. [Nafaʼis al-Izhar tarjama Majalis al-Abrar pg. 127]

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Delhwi (rahimahullah) (d. 1025 A.H) writes:

The way of any sufi shaykh is not a proof, rather a proof will be drawn from the Qurʼan and Sunnah. [Akhbar al-Akhyar pg. 93]

It was said most beautifully by one of the ascetics:

The saying and actions of any shaykh is not a proof, rather hold fast to the sayings of Allah and the actions of Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

It becomes clear from the above that the words of the sufiyyah are not a proof in the rulings of halal and haram except when in conformity to the Shari‘ah. When we are not allowed to draw proof from their words in matters of fiqh then how can we draw proof from their words in the matter of ‘aqidah (beliefs)? Especially in one as delicate as the differences of the Sahabah and more so where their opinions contradict the opinion of the majority? In such a case, a sahih hadith will not even be taken into consideration. Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi said:

With regards to beliefs, the sahih ahadith of Sahih al-Bukhari  and Sahih al-Muslim will be put aside when they are not explicit or mutawatir, so what can be said about weak narrations. Hypothetically, if Jami had not been accused of being a Shi‘ah and even if the additions of the Shi‘ah had not been established in his book, then too his words would still be rejected because of his contradiction of the vast majority of the scholars. [Fatawa Ridwiyyah vol 2 pg. 505]

The Roots of Sunni-Shi’i Differences in Fiqh

[Abu Muhammad al-Afriqui]

It is often alleged by the protagonists of Sunni-Shi‘i unity that differences between the two schools are not more grave or serious than the differences that exist within the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence. Sunni-Shi‘i differences should therefore be treated with the same tolerance and acceptance as Hanafi – Shafi‘i differences, and it is in the spirit of this proposed “mutual tolerance” that the advocates of unity speak of the Shi‘i Ja‘fari school of jurisprudence as nothing more than a “fifth madh-hab“.

It is therefore only normal for the average Sunni lay person who has come into contact with advocates of Sunni-Shi‘i unity to wonder about, or even be taken in, by such a claim. How serious are the differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah really? Could they ever be reconciled? If not, could there at least be an amicable agreement to disagree, just like the Hanafis disagree with the Shafi‘is, or the Malikis with the Hanbalis? It is these questions that this article sets out to answer.

Full reconciliation between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Ithna ‘Ashari Ja‘fari Shi‘ah is not merely elusive, it is simply an impossibility. Anyone who knows the reality of the issues that separate the Shi’ah from the Ahl as-Sunnah is bound to agree. Nothing sums up the truth of the situation better than the words of Hamid Algar—an ardent admirer of Khomeini and the revolution—, who describes Sunnism and Shi‘ism as “two parallel lines that cannot meet”. The endeavour to bring about reconciliation between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah is therefore a wasted effort. The next best option is thus mutual tolerance and acceptance.

In order to test the viability of tolerance and acceptance between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah we will have to look more closely at the issues that separate the one from the other. These issues can be categorised into two groups:


1. fundamental differences,

which include articles of faith, and all such issues that could be termed “differences in principle”, that by their nature give rise to differences in secondary matters;

2. secondary differences,

i.e. difference in matters of jurisprudence, like the way salah is performed, or that marriage and divorce take place, etc..

Each of the fundamental issues of difference would require a separate study to see how they affect compatibility between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. In this article it is our intention to look more closely at the type of difference that is usually dismissed as “secondary”, and thus “unimportant”. Are differences in fiqh between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah really so insignificant that we can jusitifiably turn a blind eye when we encounter them?

There can be no doubt that this question is anathema to the propagators of Shi‘ism amongst the Ahl as-Sunnah, as well as to those who have fallen prey to their propaganda. Yet, if it is truth we seek, we cannot allow the preferences of such obviously biased persons to deter us. The “unity” such people strive to achieve, and which they accuse others of trying to destroy, is a unity forged in ignorance. How much do we really know about the Shi‘ah? We have taken them on face value, and on grounds of what we have thus learnt about them we proceed to create unity. The naivety of such a position in a matter of far reaching religious implications is far too obvious. A unity founded upon ignorance is a very precarious unity indeed. Like a mirage, it seems very real when seen from afar, but as soon as you approach it, it slips out of existence.

There are two levels at which one can look at the differences in jurisprudence between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. The first is the level of external appearance. When the differences in fiqh are inspected at this level they do not seem any more alien than the differences that exist between the various schools of Sunni jurisprudence. In fact, in many, or even most cases one will find the Shi‘i position to be conformity with at least one of the four Sunni madhahib. This is illustrated in the following three examples:

In the salah, the jalsat al-istirahah is held to be sunnah by the Shi‘ah. In this they concur with the view of the Shafi‘i madhhab. [Yahya ibn Sa‘id al-Hilli: al-Jami‘ lish-Sharai’ p.75 (Mu’assasat Sayyid ash-Shuhada’, Qum 1405)]

In marriage the majority of Shi‘i jurists hold the view that khalwah, i.e. valid seclusion, has no effect on the mahr (dowry) nor upon any other aspect of the marital contract. In this they are once again agreement with the Shafi‘is, but differ from the other three schools. [Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah: The Five Schools of Islamic Law p. 319 (Ansariyan Publications, Qum 1995)] If the husband is unable to pay the mahr the wife is not entitled to divorce according to the Shi‘i and the Hanafi schools. The Malikis, the Shafi‘is and the Hanbalis all have different views. [ibid]

It is on this level that most people view the differences that exist between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. Even certain `ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah, looking at the matter on this level, have been known to express the view that “differences between the Ahl as- Sunnah and the Shi‘ah are no more serious than the differences that exist between the various schools of Sunni jurisprudence”.

However, when we confine ourselves to viewing the problem of Sunni-Shi‘i differences on this level we are in effect closing our eyes to the most important aspect of those differences: THE ROOT. The true nature of Sunni-Shi‘i differences can never be appreciated or understood in full without comprehending the reasons for their existence. It is only when the problem has been viewed and grasped on the level of the reasons for difference, and not merely the external appearance of difference, that one is justified to take further steps.

When the Shi‘ah differ from the Ahl as-Sunnah, it is not the same as when one Sunni school differs from the other. This is because the various Sunni schools all trace their roots back to the same legacy. They share a common heritage in the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). When differences do occur, they occur not because one madhhab bases itself on a legacy other than the legacy of the other. Both believe in and hold on to the same legacy. Their differences are caused by secondary factors, like whether certain categories of hadith possess binding authority or not, or the divergence in the methods they regard as valid to interpret the legacy and extrapolate from it. The following two examples illustrate how such differences occur:

The mursal hadith (a hadith with an interruption in its chain of narrators between the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Tabi‘i), for example, is deemed to possess binding authority by the Hanafis, while the Shafi‘is do not accept it except if it is supported by any one of a number of external factors. If we imagine a mursal hadith that is not supported by any of the factors the Shafi‘is stipulate, it is only logical to expect that the Shafi‘i ruling on the issue the hadith pertains to will differ from the Hanafi ruling.

Spoken words are sometimes accompanied by implied meanings. For example, when it is said, “Stay awake,” this also means “Don’t sleep”. This unspoken opposite meaning is termed mafhum al-mukhalafah. The Shafi‘is accept it as a valid means of extracting meaning from a text, while the Hanafis do not. If the former extract such meaning from a text and base a ruling upon the meaning inferred by this method, and the latter base their ruling upon some other grounds, there is bound to be a measure of difference in the outcome of their respective views.

Sunni-Shi‘i differences, on the other hand, are fundamentally distinct from inter-Sunni differences. While it may rightly be claimed that the Shi‘ah, too, have their particular principles of extrapolation, it would be incorrect to describe those principles as the root cause of difference between them and the Ahl as-Sunnah, the reason for that being that while the Sunni schools each have methods of extrapolation particular to themselves, they all apply their respective methods to the same legacy. The Shi‘ah, on the other hand, have not only their own set of principles, but also a legacy distinct from the legacy of the Ahl as-Sunnah. When there are differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah, they arise not on account of differences in interpretation or methods of extrapolation, but because the source from which the Shi‘ah draw their law is a source other than the source of the Ahl as-Sunnah.

What is this “legacy”, the reader may well ask. It is embodied in the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). As far as the Qur’an is concerned, although history is witness to alot of Shi‘ite calumny against the inviolability of the Qur’an, most contemporary Shi‘i scholars, and even many of their classical ‘ulama who staunchly believe in its interpolation, will admit the Qur’an’s status as the prime source of legislation. (A Shi‘i scholar of the present century, Muhammad ‘Ali Tabataba’i, reconciles belief in the interpolation of the Qur’an with acceptance of the Qur’an as a source of legislation by saying that “interpolation occured specifically in those verses relating to Imamah.” [Tafsir al-Qummi] Verses with a legal purport are thus left uncorrupted.) Since the Qur’an is thus “agreed upon” between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah, there remains only the other part of the legacy we inherited from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam): the Sunnah.

Essentially, the difference lies in the concepts each have of what constitutes the Sunnah. According to the Ahl as-Sunnah the Sunnah is everything narrated from the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam), as long as the transmitters are trustworthy. The Shi‘ah, on the other hand, will only accept as the Sunnah that which is transmitted by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and the rest of the twelve Imams, and that which is narrated from these Imams by their Shi‘ah followers. Forget what the rest of the Sahabah narrate, not even the narrations of other members of the household of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), his daughters besides Fatimah (radiyallahu ‘anha), his wives, his cousins or uncles, are considered part of the Sunnah by the Shi‘ah. That is the first observation.

The second is the way the Shi‘ah regard the legacy upon which the foundations of Sunni fiqh rests. Since the days of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) the Sunnah of the Prophet was handed down from generation to generation. The Sahabah narrated it to the Tabi‘in, they to the generation after them, and so on, until it came to be compiled in what we know today as the hadith literature. To the Shi‘ah, when this legacy is found to be in contradiction to what is supposedly narrated from their Imams, the reason behind it is that the Sahabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were guilty of wilfully distorting and corrupting the Din of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Thus, where inter-Sunni differences amount to nothing more than technicalities, Sunni-Shi‘i differences are differences in historical perspective.

To use an example: In salah, the Malikis let their hands hang by their sides, while the Hanafis, Shafi‘is and Hanbalis fold their hands. The Shi‘ah too, let their hands hang by their sides. In this single issue of fiqh we thus have an inter-Sunni difference as well as a Sunni-Shi‘i difference. Between the Malikis and the other three madhahib the difference is a mere technicality. The Malikis accept the validity of folding the hands in salah (after all, Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) himself in the Muwatta’ narrates a hadith that supports the folding of the hands), but prefer letting the hands hang for the reason that in Imam Malik’s day this was the practice of the community in Madinah. The other madhahib take into consideration that the Companions of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) who narrate his Sunnah were not exclusively settled in Madinah. Many of them resided in the Makkah, ‘Iraq, Syria and Egypt. Ahadith to the effect that it is sunnah to fold the hands have been authentically narrated from a number of Sahabah (amongst whom ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu ‘anhu), and therefore this, and not the practice of the people of one particular city, takes precedence. Between the Sunni schools this difference is a technical one, one that amounts to giving preference to one view over another. But between the Shi‘ah and the Ahl as-Sunnah the issue assumes much more serious proportions. From a question of mere technical preference it turns into an acrimonious indictment of the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum). Traditions in the book Tahdhib al-Ahkam, one of the four major collections of Shi‘i hadith, describe the folding of the hands in salah as “an act of kufr” and “something that is only done by the fire-worshippers”. Here one would have to ask: How could an alien practice like this creep into Islam? The answer is given by Ayatullah Khomeini himself, in his treatise at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih, wherein he quotes the following tradition from the book ‘Ilal ash-Shara’i‘ by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi:

(Ja‘far as-Sadiq) asked: Do you know why you are commanded to act contrary to the`Àimmah (the Ahl as-Sunnah)?

I replied: I do not know.

He said: Verily, the Ummah contradicted ‘Ali in each and every aspect of his religion, intending thereby to destroy his cause. They used to ask him about things they did not know, and when he gave a ruling they would invent an opposite verdict from their own side to mislead the people.  [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih by Ayatullah Khomeini, p. 82, cited in Dr. Zayd al-‘Is:al-Khomeini wal-Wajh al-Àkhar p. 131]

In the Shi‘i perspective of Islamic legislative history the fact that the Sahabah deliberately corrupted and distorted the teachings of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is such a fundamental truth, that is came to be looked upon as a criterion of truth in itself. This position is reflected in the way they deal with the phenomenon of Shi’i narrations that contradict one another. Abu Ja‘far al-Kulayni, in the introduction to al-Kafi, the most important of their four canonical hadith collections, expresses it in the following terms:

Know… that no one can distinguish narrations of the Possessors of Knowledge (the Imams) by his opinion; except according to the words of the Possessor of Knowledge: ‘Compare them to the Qur’an. Accept that which is in accordance with it, and reject that which contradicts it,’ and his words: ‘Abandon that which is in accordance with the people (the Ahl as- Sunnah), for truly, guidance lies in being different to them’. [al-Kafi  vol. 1 pp. 55-56 (Dar al-Adwa’, Beirut 1992)]

This particular perspective has persisted in the Shi‘i psyche over the centuries since Kulayni and his teacher Qummi, until it became, in the opinion of Khomeini and all other Shi‘i jurists, one of the two principal methods of juridical preference in cases of conflicting narrations. In light of the alarming frequency with which contradictions occur in the ahadith of the Shi‘ah (one of their four major hadith sources, al-Istibsar, is devoted to the phenomenon of contradiction) the importance of a principle of this nature is evident. We reproduce here from Khomeini’s works various Shi‘i narrations in which he and other Shi‘i mujtahids find justification for their view:

1. Hasan ibn Abil Jahm asked: If something is narrated from Abu ‘Abdillah (Imam Ja‘far), and something contrary to it is also narrated from him, which should we accept?

The Imam answered: Accept that which is in contradiction to the people, and avoid that which is accordance with them. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p.80]

2. Abu ‘Abdillah said: Our Shi‘ah are those who submit to our command, who accept our words, and who act contrary to our enemies. Whoever is not like that is not of us. [Tahrir al-Wasilah p. 83, from al-Fusul al-Muhimmah by al-Hurr al-‘Amili p. 225]

3. ‘Ali ibn Asbat narrates that he asked Imam Rida: (What should I do in case) an incident occurs for which I am need of a juridical opinion, but nowhere in the city do I find anyone of your partisans (the Shi‘ah) whom I can ask?

He replied: Go to the (Sunni) faqih of the city and refer your case to him. Then take the opposite of whatever answer he gives you, for verily, therein lies the truth. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p.82, from ‘Uyun Akhbar ar-Rida by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi, vol. 1 p. 275]

It is on account of these and other similar narrations which the Shi‘ah claim to emanatefrom their infallible Imams that the mujtahids of the Ja‘fari madhhab were led to formulate the principle Khomeini expresses in these terms:

In cases of conflicting reports, contradiction of the Ahl as-Sunnah is a factor of preference … In fact, it is the most common and widespread factor of preference in all chapters of fiqh and upon the tongues of the fuqaha. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p. 83]

There is no ambiguity with regard to the issue of contradicting the Ahl as- Sunnah being a factor of preference in the case of conflicting narrations. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p. 84]

The factors of tarjih (preference) are limited to two: conforming to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and contradicting the Ahl as-Sunnah. [at-Ta‘adul wat-Tarjih p. 84]

All of these quotations show a definite obsession with being different from the Ahl as- Sunnah. We therefore ask: If so much importance is attached to being different, to the point of it being regarded as the criterion of truth, why should there be such a noise and clamour for unity? Why should the Shi‘ah seek unity with people whose version of Islam they regard as the corruption of the Din of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) wrought by the hands of his Companions? And even if the Shi‘ah do manage to create a semblance of such unity, how much goodwill and sincerity can be expected of them if one considers their particular perspective of the legacy which forms the basis of our faith and practice?

We have chosen Khomeini’s views as representative of Shi‘i opinion for a very special reason, and that is the fact that in the contemporary world it is he and his successors who are the most vociferous proponents of Sunni-Shi‘i unity, and who dismiss Sunni-Shi‘i differences as negligible. In more than one of his public addresses he takes to task those who attempt to create mischief amongst the Muslims by “misleading” them into believing that there are substantial differences between the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. However, closer scrutiny of his jurisprudential works reveal that such condemnations are nothing but political rhetoric. When we remove the image he projects as Leader of the Revolution, we are left with merely another Shi‘i scholar imprisoned by the fundamentals of his faith. In his eyes, and likewise in the eyes of generations of Shi‘i scholars before him, the legacy of the Sunnah upon which their Sunni “brothers” base their practice of Islam is the product of the envious mischief and the disbelief of the Sahabah, who in the hope of destroying the cause of the Ahl al-Bayt distorted every teaching of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) they could lay their hands upon. If this is how they regard the very basis upon which the foundations of our Deen rests, what remains to be said for unity?