Chapter Four: Abu Bakr’s rejection of witnesses’ testimony

 

The author of ‘Fedak’ asserts:

Ibne Mutahhir Hilli, a famous Shi’i clergyman (who was educated by Ahlus-Sunnah ‘Ulema), states in his book, Minhaj al-Karamah, “When Fatimah said to Abu Bakr that Fedek had been bequeathed to her, Abu Bakr wrote an answer asking for witnesses. When no witnesses were produced he dismissed the case.” If this report is correct, the case of Fedek, like any other case pertaining to inheritance, gifting or bequeathing, lapses from Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu). So, there is no reason for blaming Hadhrat Abu Bakr even from their own books in addition to the actions taken by the Ahlul-Bayt A’immah.

The Nasibi author failed to provide details such as the topic name or the volume and page numbers of the reference he claimed. We will therefore not comment on it until the author or his Nasibi colleagues prove the existence of any such narration. On the contrary, Allamah Hilli in his book Nahaj al-Hak, page 537 records:

فجاءت بأم أيمن وأسماء بنت عميس مع علي عليه السلام فشهدوا بذلك

“She brought Umm Ayman, Asma bint Umays with Ali (as) and they testified for her.”

Similarly we read in another Shia text namely Tafseer al-Qumi, Volume 2 page 155:

حدثني أبي عن ابن ابي عمير عن عثمان بن عيسى وحماد بن عثمان عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال:….قالت فأشهد أن الله أوحى إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله “وآت ذا القربى حقه” فجعل فدك لفاطمة

My Father narrated from Ibn Abi Umayr from Uthman bin Isa and Hamaad bin Uthman that Abu Abdullah said: ‘…. she (Um Ayman) said: ‘I testify that Allah revealed to Allah’s apostle ‘{And give to the near of kin his due} thus he (s) gave Fadak to Fatima’.

The alleged narration cited by the Nasibi author contradicts all the major Sunni and Shi’a sources that confirm that witnesses were produced, and this was even acknowledged by a die hard Sunni scholar such as Ibn Hajr al Makki. We also know from Sunni and Shi’a sources that the Fadak dispute did NOT occur via written correspondence between the parties, it was face to face and there is a complete unanimity on this point with Ahl’ul Sunnah’s greatest masterpiece Sahih Bukhari confirming it. This comment is not in line with what has been acknowledged in Sunni and Shi’a works and is therefore without foundation. In the same article this mystery writer asserts confidently:

Claim
It is stated in a Hadeeth ash-Sharif, “What we leave behind is to become alms.” The so-called allegation of a will could not be true in light of this Hadeeth ash-Sharif. If there had been such a will and Hadhrat Abu Bakr had not heard about it, he would not have been held excusable unless it had been proven by testimony.

The irony of the matter lies in the fact that it was proven by witness testimony. Sayyida Fatima (as) brought forth witnesses to corroborate her claim, and he still struck it out. The scholars of Ahl’ul Sunnah do not deny that witnesses were presented (as this Nasibi is claiming). They state that (for various reasons) those testimonies were not accepted.

Abu Bakr sought witnesses that were produced but their testimonies were refused on different grounds

We read in Al-Awael by Askari, page 258:

أخبرنا أبو احمد عن الجوهرى عن محمد بن زكريا عن ابن عائشة، وعن أبيه عن عمه قال: شهد على وأم أيمن عند أبى بكر- رضى الله عنه- أن النبى- صلّى الله عليه وسلم- وهب فدكا لفاطمة

“Ali and Um Ayman testified before Abu Bakr that Allah’s apostle granted Fadak to Fatima”.

 Al-Aathmi records in Simt al-Nujoom, Volume 2 page 391: 

فَأَتَتْهُ فَاطِمَة رَضِي الله تَعَالَى عَنْهَا فَقَالَت لَهُ إِن رَسُول الله أَعْطَانِي فدك فَقَالَ هَل لَك بَينه فَشهد لَهَا عَليّ وَأم أَيمن

Fatima went to him and said: “Allah’s apostle granted me Fadak”, he (Abu Bakr) replied “Do you have a proof?” Thus Ali and Um Ayman testified in her favor.

 We read in Fatuh al Buldan, page 35:

Malik bin Jawuna narrates from his father that Fatima said to Abu Bakr: ‘Rasulullah (s) bestowed Fadak to me, so return it.’ Ali testified in her favour, Abu Bakr asked for another witness, and Umm Ayman testified in support of Fatima. Upon this, Abu Bakr said: ‘O daughter of Rasulullah (s), such testimony is unacceptable unless you have two males or one male and two females, upon hearing this Fatima left.’

We also read:

Jafar bin Muhammad said that Fatima said to Abu Bakr: ‘Return Fadak to me as it was given to me by Rasulullah (s)’. Abu Bakr demanded witnesses. Umm Ayman and Rabah the Servant of Rasulullah (s) testified in support of her claim. He said that such testimonies were unacceptable unless presented by one man and two women.

We also read:

Umm Hani states that Fatima daughter of Rasulullah (s) appeared before the Court of Abu Bakr and asked: ‘When you die who shall inherit you?’ He replied: ‘My family and descendants’. Fatima said: ‘What is your stance when you seize the inheritance of the Prophet (s) and do not give it to us?’ He said: ‘Oh daughter of Allah’s messenger, I did not seize your father’s gold and silver and this or that.’ Fatima then said: ‘Give us our share of Khayber, Fadak is our exclusive property’. He [Abu Bakr] replied: ‘Oh daughter of Rasulullah (s), I heard the Prophet (s) say that (Fadak) is a pillar that Allah (swt) has provided for me as a source of earnings during my life time, verily when I die, distribute this amongst the Muslims!.’

We read in Wafa al Wafa, Volume 3 page 999 Bab Sadaqat un Nabi:

“Fadak was that land that Fatima claimed Rasulullah (s) had given to me. Abu Bakr demanded witnesses. ‘Ali and Umm Ayman testified. Abu Bakr replied ‘Only the testimony of a man and two women are acceptable”.

Prominent Sunni scholars not only affirmed that testimonies of witnesses were rejected but they too have supported such rejection by Abu Bakr

It is indeed very strange to see that the new generation of the Nawasib are adopting new tactics and denying that Abu Bakr sought witnesses from Fatima Zahra (as) or that she produced those witnesses or that those witnesses were rejected by Abu Bakr for different reasons.  All of these three stages are documented in various Sunni books and prominent Sunni scholars have actually spent time, energy, ink and paper with the sole purpose of supporting rejection of these witnesses. Such efforts made by Sunni scholars shall suffice to remove those doubts being sown by those Nasibi seeking to challenge the notion that the demand for witnesses, the testimony of such witnesses and their subsequent rejection never happened.

The testimony of Imam Shareef Jarjani that witnesses were produced before Abu Bakar who rejected their testimonies

Imam of Ahle Sunnah Syed Sahreef Jarjani in his authority worked Sharah Mawaqif, page 735:

If it is stated that Fatima claimed that Rasulullah had bestowed Fadak to her and that Ali, Hassan, Husayn, Umme Kulthum testified in her favor,  but the Sahih view is that it was Umm Ayman who testified in her favor [not Umm Kulthoom], and Abu Bakr rejected their testimony which made him an oppressor, so we will reply that the testimonies of Hasan and Husayn were not accepted being her progeny and their being minors. As for the testimonies of Ali and Umm Ayman, they were rejected being short of the requirement.

Are today’s cyber generation of Nawasib trying to suggest that an exalted Imam of their cult was ignorant about whether Abu Bakr demanded supporting witnesses from Fatima (as) that she thereafter produced, and without a shred of evidence about the event went on to defend the stance taken by his caliph for the rejection of testimonies? Worthy of note is that fact that Jarjani at least acknowledge that Umm Ayman was produced as a witness.

The testimony of Ibn Hajjar Makki that witnesses were produced before Abu Bakar rejected their testimonies

If the pathetic Nawaisb remain unconvinced then we now present the admission of Ibn Hajr al Makki in his Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, pages 138 & 139. He defends Abu Bakr as follows:

In respect of claim made by Fatima that Rasulullah (s) had given Fadak to her, she could not present any witness in her favor apart from Ali and Umm Ayman , thus the criteria for witness numbers was not met. Moreover there are differences amongst the scholars as to whether a husband can testify in favor of a claim made by his wife. It can also be said that Fatima did not ask her witnesses to make a claim on oath. As for Hassan, Husayn and Umm Kulthoom testifying in support of Fatima’s claim, is incorrect, because the testimony of offspring or underage children is unacceptable.
 Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, pages 138 & 139

The testimony of Imam Fakhruddin al-Razi that witnesses were produced before Abu Bakar who rejected their testimonies

Imam Fakhruddin al-Razi states in his Tafseer Kabeer:

فلما مات ادعت فاطمة عليها السلام أنه كان ينحلها فدكا ، فقال أبو بكر : أنت أعز الناس علي فقراً ، وأحبهم إلي غنى ، لكني لا أعرف صحة قولك ، ولا يجوز أن أحكم بذلك ، فشهد لها أم أيمن ومولى للرسول عليه السلام ، فطلب منها أبو بكر الشاهد الذي يجوز قبول شهادته في الشرع فلم يكن

“After the death (of Rasulullah), Fatima raised the issue of Fadak that he (the Prophet) had granted it to her, Abu Bakr said: ‘…I don’t know if you are telling the truth, and I cant judge according to it (your claim).’ Then Umm Ayman and a male servant testified for her. Abu Bakr said: ‘bring forth another witness whose word is acceptable’.
 Tafseer Kabeer, Volume 10 page 506

The testimony of Allamah Halabi that witnesses were produced before Abu Bakar who rejected their testimony

Allamah Burhanuddin Halabi is also counted amongst those Sunni scholars that come to the aid of their caliph’s rejection of the witness testimonies produced by Fatima (as). We read in Seerat al Halabyah:

She asked for her share of inheritance in Fadak after she claimed that Allah’s apostle had granted her Fadak. He (Abu Bakr) said ‘Do you have any proof? ‘Ali gave testimony and so did Umm Ayman. Abu Bakr said the number of witnesses have not been met by the testimonies of a male and female. The Shias objected on Abu Bakr’s act and said that Fatima (r) was truthful in her claim because she is Masum according to the verse ‘{Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying}’ and the words of the Prophet (s) ‘Fatima is a part of me’, and also [they say] that Hasan, Husayn and Umme Kulthoom also testified. 
The reply to them (Shias) is that the people of the house include the wives of the prophet and they are not infallible, and the same are the rest of the people of the house. The Hadith which was said [about Fatima] was merely figurative and the meaning of it is related to goodness and mercy, as for the claim that Hassan and Umm Kulthoom gave testimonies, this is false [tradition] because there is no reliable tradition prohibiting the children from testifying in favor of their parents.
 Insan al-Ayun fi Sirat al Halabiyah, Vol. 3, page 487 & 488

Comment

We have cited the fact that various Sunni works that Sayyida Fatima made her claim to the estate of Fadak, and that Ali (as), Hassan (as), Husayn (as), Umme Kalthum (as), Umm Ayman and Rabah testified in her favor. Later in the chapter we shall evidence that partiality exhibited by Abu Bakr in Fatima Zahra (as)’s case as there was no solid reason for rejecting her claim, the witnesses presented during the dispute of Fadak were not short of the stipulated requirements since there had been cases wherein the Prophet and the four caliphs accepted the sole testimony of a Sahabi and accordingly ruled on the matter.

 

Status of Umm Ayman (ra)

For those who are unaware of the esteemed status of the female companion namely Umm Ayman, we shall cite that:

“Umm Ayman the Ethiopian, she was the slave of Allah’s messenger”
Siar alam alnubala, Volume 2 page 223

 

In fact, we read in Tabaqat al-Kubra, Volume 8 page 224 and Tarikh Damishq, Volume 4 page 303:

فقال رسول الله، صلى الله عليه وسلم: من سره أن يتزوج امرأة من أهل الجنة فليتزوج أم أيمن

Rasulullah (s) said: ‘Whoever wishes to marry a woman of paradise should marry Umm Ayman’

Abu Bakr’s demanding witnesses is proof that he did not deny her control of the land

Al Khider rejects the notion that Sayyida Fatima (as) had possession of Fadak during the lifetime of her father, if Abu Bakr held this view he would have no doubt told her and dismissed the case forthwith, after all why demand witnesses when you know she did not have existing possession of the land? Abu Bakr’s demanding witness testimony serves as proof that he did not dismiss that land belonged to Sayyida Fatima (as), and demonstrates his uncertainly over whether the land belonged to the Muslims.

Heirs have the right to demand witnesses on matters of inheritance, not a Judge

Abu Bakr had no right to reject the assertion that the land had been bestowed to Sayyida Fatima (as). This was a matter that concerned the heirs, let us give an example:

“The deceased is survived by two Heirs. One Heir makes a claim that my father had bequeathed this property to me, this claim affects the other Heir nobody else”.

Upon the death of Rasulullah (s) no other Heir challenged the claim that had been made by Sayyida Fatima (as), not then, nor at any other time. No other claimants came forward either, so what was the use in Abu Bakr seeking to locate witnesses? If it was only for the purposes of having a thorough investigation, he could have located the other Heirs, if they upheld the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as), then the matter would have been settled there and then.

An Executor administering the deceased’s Estate has the right to initiate inquiry not a Judge

We read in this Sunni Site:

‘Common errors and solutions pertaining to inheritance and winding up of estates’
 http://www.eastcoast.co.za/muawiya/inherit.htmlCached

A person who is appointed by someone to take charge of his affairs after his death is known as the wasiy’ (executor / trustee). The wasiy’ will be responsible for the winding-up of the estate of the deceased, which includes the payment of debts, distribution of the inheritance and taking care of matters relating to the family of the deceased.

The wasiy’ (executor) has an extremely delicate task to fulfil. His position is one of total trust. A person is only appointed as a wasiy’ by the deceased, due to his reliance upon the former and his trust in him. Since the one who appoints a wasiy’ realises that he will be in his grave when the executor takes charge, he very carefully selects such a person as a wasiy’ who he expects will work in the best interests of the heirs and who will ensure that all the matters are executed properly. Thus to abuse this position of trust is the height of deception and dishonesty. Therefore, in such a matter it is imperative to a much greater extent that one should at all times remember his being accountable to Allah Ta’ala.

Comment

There is no evidence that Abu Bakr had been appointed as the Executor of the Prophet (s) who would administer the distribution of his Estate after him. There is absolutely no Hadeeth to confirm this and we challenge the Ahl’ul Sunnah to produce us a single authentic Hadeeth proving that the Prophet (s) ordered Abu Bakr to take charge of his Estate as his Wasi after him. If anyone had been appointed as the Executor of Rasulullah (s) it was Maula ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) for the Prophet (s) declared at the at the Feast of Kinsmen before his close relatives the following about Hadhrat ‘Ali:

“This is my brother, Wasi (agent) and successor among you. Listen to him and obey him”.
1. Tareekh Tabari, (English translation) by W.M.Watt, Vol 6 pp 90-91
2. Tafseer Tabari Vol 19, p 121
3. Tareekh ibn Atheer, Vol 2 p 62
4. Musnad Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Vol 1 p 159
5. Khasais, by al Nasai, p 18

The Sunni website also says that paying debts is one of the main tasks of Wasi/executer. Now if we look who was given the authority of paying debts of Prophet(s), we will know who was His(s) true Wasi.

Imam Ali (as) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (as) saying:

I have granted in Ali five things, none of which was granted to any Prophet (s) before me. One of these is that Ali will repay my debts and will bury me.
1. Musnad of Imam Ahmed, v5, p45
2 .Musnad of Imam Ahmed, v6, p155
3. Kanz al-Ummal, v6, pp 153,155,404

We learn that Imam Ali (as) then fulfilled this duty as Wasi at a practical level following the death of the Prophet (s). We read in Tabaqat ibn Sad Volume 2 page 396:

“Muhammad ibn – ‘Abd Allah ibn Jafar – Abdul Wahid ibn Abi Awn – “When the Prophet died, ‘Ali ordered a crier to cry if there was any to whom the Apostle of Allah, owed anything or to whom he had made a promise, he should come to him. He continued to his death sending one crier to every Festival of Sacrifice al Al-’Aqabah to proclaim it. Then al Hasan ibn ‘Ali followed him (i.e. this practice) till he died. Then Al Husayn did it and the practise ceased after him”.

Hence the role of administering the Estate of the Prophet (s) fell on the shoulders of Maula ‘Ali (as), no one else. Abu Bakr had no right to intervene in this matter, appoint himself Executor, take control of the deceased’s land and refuse to return it to his legal heir. If any enquiry was to be conducted it had to be done by Hadhrat Ali (as) and no one else. If the argument is advanced that Abu Bakr’s role as Khaleefa made him the Executor of the Prophet’s Estate, the Prophet (saww) left no inheritance to be distributed, then we will say that this would make him the Wasi of the Prophet’s Seat [Khilafath] nothing else! The Prophet (s) explicitly appointed Maula ‘Ali (as) as his Wasi so if anyone was going to distribute the Prophet’s belongings / land subject to his wishes that was the duty of Maula ‘Ali NOT Abu Bakr! If Imam Ali (as) as the Wasi was unsure over an heir’s assertion that land had been bequeathed to them, then it was as Wasi perfectly within his rights to bring the matter to the court of law as it was his duty to distribute inheritance in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Prophet(s). This serves as clear proof that Abu Bakr interfered in a matter that he had no right under the Shari’ah to do.

Abu Bakr as Judge had no right to demand witness corroboration

Abu Bakr had no right to adjudicate over this matter. The claim of Sayyida Fatima (as) was against Abu Bakr, or at minimum was against the State, that was lead by Abu Bakr. In either case Abu Bakr came within both i.e. he was a party to the action. It is a settled rule of law that the Head of a State does not both contest and rule on a matter that is challenging his initial decision. No just legal system allows a party to an action to adjudicate over it. The basic concept of law is that a judge should not reside over a matter case wherein he has a personal interest. There must be nothing that may make it appear to the public that the judge is partisan, even if in fact he is not as to do so may lead to an assumption that he was improperly swayed.

We appeal to justice, was Abu Bakr not presiding over a matter case wherein he has a personal interest? Can there be a greater personal interest that one, wherein you are being asked to rule on your own personal decision? Would his deciding to rule over a matter wherein he was one party not lead to an assumption of partisanship from the ordinary man on the street? Place yourself in the shoes of Sayyida Fatima (as):

“You own a plot of land that your father had given to you as a birthday present. The land is rich in agriculture and supports the finances of you and your family. One morning you decide to visit the plot to see how the produce is harvesting, and notice that Council Officers are walking along the land, taking the produce away. You see a Notice on the land stating ‘This Property belongs to the Local Authority’. You are absolutely outraged and immediately make a formal complaint to the Chief Executive of the Local Authority, he replies ‘I as Chief Executive of the Local Authority have taken the decision to take charge of the land, as I was a close friend of your father, and he told me that he didn’t want to leave any inheritance, all that he owned should be handed over to the poor and destitute in the community’. You find this somewhat unusual; after all wouldn’t your father have conveyed this information to you? Angered you decide to challenge this assertion, the laws of inheritance make you the legal Heir of this property and you decide to challenge this confiscation in a Court of Law, setting out your case before a fair, impartial Judge. You enter the Court and find that the Judge is the same Chief Executive who annexed your land in the first place”.

Ask yourself:

  1. Would you deem this to be a ‘fair trial?’
  2. There is a principle enshrined in English Law ‘Justice should not only be done, but should undoubtedly and manifestly be seen to be done’ – Has justice been seen to be done here?
  3. Is it appropriate for a Judge to rule on the correctness of a decision taken by him?

In the same way that Abu Bakr would seek to resolve other matters by consulting the Sahaba, he should have gathered the Muslims in the Mosque, informed them of the dispute and appointed a Judge, where Khaleefa Abu Bakr would have been given the opportunity to advocate his stance. This was the approach of Rightful Khaleefa ‘Ali (as). During his reign a Jew obtained possession of his armour. Rather than exercise his power as Khaleefa and take it back, he (as) made a petition before a Judge, and presented his case as plaintiff in Court, representing himself. This is what we call justice.

Think about this from a logical point of view:

Witnesses are required when the testimony of the claimant is challenged. In this dispute the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as) could have been challenged by the wives of Rasulullah (s), Banu Hashim and other Muslims and yet not one of this group challenged the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as), nor did they make a claim to Fad.What right did the Khaleefa have to challenge the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as) and confiscate her land?

Look at the practice of the Secular West. When a claim is made against the Government, the matter is not decided by the State itself.Rather the Government has a representative, and the case is presented before the Court which decides the matter. The Government is prevented from ruling on the matter.

We ask the ‘jurists’ of Islam who defend Abu Bakr by stating that the testimony of children for their mother is unacceptable in Islam. Why have they failed to look at the fact that here a party to the action is also ruling on the dispute! Even if the claim was against the Government, Abu Bakr still had no right to adjudicate the matter.The matter was made more serious by the fact that the land had been directly confiscated by Abu Bakr making him the defendant, hence it was extremely important for just decision of the case that he removed his every influence from its adjudication. He should have said that ‘Fadak is land that all Muslims should benefit from, and I hold it for them – and I shall appoint an Independent Judge to pass judgement on my assertion’.

But ignoring the practice of Rasulullah (s) he deemed himself the rightful owner of Fadak and kept the property in his own hands. Not a single narration exists suggesting that Abu Bakr distributed Fadak amongst the Muslims. The clearest proof comes from the written instruction of Mamun al Rashid (that we cited earlier from Futuh ul Buldan), who deemed the descendants of Sayyida Fatima (as) the owners of Fadak in the same manner as his representative Mubarak Tabari was:

“Your subordinates should be informed that Muhammad bin Yahya and Muhammad bin Abdullah be treated in the same manner as you dealt with Mubarak Tabari”

As the land was under the personal ownership of the Khalifa’s Servant it was under his control. Sayyida Fatima (as)’s claim was against Abu Bakr’s control of the land, and accepting this claim was against Abu Bakr’s personal benefit.

The onus was on Abu Bakr to produce witnesses not Sayyida Fatima (as)

The rule of law is that the burden of proof is on the party who denies the ownership of party in possession.

So the question arises, which party had the burden to prove its case, which would in turn require it to bring forth witnesses to corroborate its claim?

Sayyida Fatima (as) already had this land in her control. The onus was therefore on Abu Bakr to prove the correctness of his decision to interfere and annex the land from her. Let us also look at this matter from another angle. Sayyida Fatima (as) made her claim as legal heir to her father’s property. The law of inheritance supported her stance. In contradiction to the Qur’anic injunctions on inheritance, Abu Bakr advanced a Hadith that was rejected by Sayyida Fatima (as). In these circumstances the onus of proving the authenticity of this Hadeeth was on Abu Bakr, as Sayyida Fatima (as) had textual evidence (the Book of Allah (swt)) to support her right of inheritance while Abu Bakr was seeking to negate this legitimate right on the basis of hearsay evidence. Obviously for textual evidence to be refuted clearer evidence needs to be adduced to show that a Hadeeth exists that makes verses on Prophetic inheritance null and void. The sole oral evidence of Abu Bakr(uncorroborated by any other witness) who also happened to be the Judge was clearly not satisfactory. It required others to come forward to confirm that the Prophets leave no inheritance. The onus was on Abu Bakr to prove that the Hadeeth he cited was correct not on Sayyida Fatima (as) to prove that she was heir to the Estate of the Prophet (s).

Although the settled rules of both Islamic and common law are sufficient to clarify our point, we here cite an example to further elaborate the position to readers who do not know the legal points in depth.

“You are one of the Tabi’een (generation after the Prophet) and wish to marry a Christian woman. On the day of the Wedding the Imam you had asked to perform the Nikah refuses to do so, stating that ‘he was told that the Prophet (s) said that marriage with ‘the people of the Book’ is haraam’.

Upon whom does the burden of proof lie? You or the Imam? The burden does not fall on you since the Book of Allah (swt) permits such a marriage, so you don’t need witnesses to corroborate your claim, the Book is your witness. The Imam has made a claim that contradicts the Book of Allah (swt). Therefore the onus falls upon him to summon witnesses who can confirm that they heard the Prophet (s) say these words that render this verse abrogated.

The same facts apply here, Sayyida Fatima (as) required no witnesses to prove her status as Heir, the Qur’anic verses on inheritance vouched for this. As Abu Bakr had made an assertion that in effect challenged the validity of a Qur’anic verse the onus fell on him to produce witnesses to support his claim.

Rather than demand witnesses why didn’t Abu Bakr allow the Muslims to rule on the matter?

If Abu Bakr was not the claimant then he should have referred the matter to those he deemed parties to the action. He was of the opinion that the entire Estate of Fadak belonged to all the Muslims, so he should have placed the matter into the hands of the Muslims.If they upheld the opinion of Sayyida Fatima (as) there would have been no need for summoning witnesses.This is what is in line with Islamic Fiqh. This entire matter was based on Fiqh, so why did he ignore the other claimants in the matter? Abu Bakr should have said, ‘Look Fadak is land that all Muslims should benefit from’ but the reality is he deemed Fadak to be the personal property of the Prophet (s), which is why he brought it under his own control. There is not a single narration from the books of Ahl’ul Sunnah that would suggest that the land of Fadak had been distributed amongst the Muslims. Of interest is the fact that Umar also held such a viewpoint, when it came to ruling on Muslim lands:

In Volume 2 page 51 of Hayatus Sahaba under the Chapter ‘The practice of seeking advice of the elite by Hadrat Abu Bakr (r)’ we read a narration transmitted by Ibn Abu Shaibah in Tarikh by al Bukhari, Ibn Asakir, Baihaqi and Yaqoob bin Sufyan:

“Ubaida reports ‘Aina bin Hasan and Aqra bin Habis approached Hadrat Abu Bakr (rad) and said ‘O Caliph of the Messenger of Allah!” There is some fallow land in out area. If you deem it considerable, give us the land so that we can cultivate it to earn our livelihood. He donated it to them and wrote a decree in support thereof. He also put down the name of Hadrat Umar (ra) on it as a witness. On seeing the document Hadrath Umar spat over it and erased its contents. Both of them grew angry and admonished Hadrat UImar (Rad). He replied ‘The Holy Prophet (s) infused love for Islam in both of you. It was the time when Islam was unstable, but now it has gained an honourable status. You therefore go and do as you like. May Allah allow you concession if you seek any. Both of them went grambling to Hadrat Abu Bakr (Rad) and said, ‘Tell us who is the Caliph, yourself or Umar? ‘In a way he (umar) is the Caliph, because he could become Caliph if he wanted to be so said Hadrat Abu Bakr (Rad). In the meantime Hadrat Umar said ‘Does te land you have donated to these two persons belong to you or to the Muslims as a whole? Hadrat Abu Bakr replied, ‘It is the property of the Muslims as a whole’ Hadrat Umar (Rad) said ‘What them made you to reserve this piece of land for these two persons ignoring the Muslims as a whole? Hadrat Abu Bakr (Rad) said, ‘The people around me had advised me to do so’. At this Hadrat Umar (Rad) said, ‘Had you consulted only the people around you or had you sought the opinion of all the Muslims who are the real owners of the property?’ Hadrat Abu Bakr (Rad) replied, ‘I had told you that you are stronger than me in matters of Caliphate, but you did ignore my pleas and put me as Caliph [Al Kanz (Volume 2 page 189)al Isabah (Volume 3 page 55) Al Bukhari (Volume 1 page 59). This Hadith has been mentioned by the above sources with a correct Isnad…]“.
 Hayat us-Sahaba, Vol. 2, Pages 51 & 52

To summarise the facts of this narration are as follows:

  1. Abu Bakr donated Muslim land to the Sahaba to aid them with livelihood.
  2. Abu Bakr arrived at the decision by seeking out advice of ‘the people around me’
  3. Umar overruled Abu Bakr, stating that the land was Muslim land and hence all the Muslims required consultation on the matter.

Clearly Umar’s opinion was also applicable here, so why did the Khalifa’s key adviser not advance this line of argument in the Fadak dispute? Like the land in the above scenario, Abu Bakr had also ruled that Fadak upon the death of the Prophet (s) had become land belonging to the Muslims – so why did Umar not insist that the opinion of all Muslims be sought on the matter? Umar’s approach on Fadak was indeed very different, we have already cited his approach as found in Seerah al Halbeeya Volume 2 page 488:

“Sibt ibn Jauzi narrates that after Fatima made her claim to the ownership of Fadak, Abu Bakr heard her claim and Abu Bakr left a written instruction that it be restored to her, then Umar came to Abu Bakr, and asked ‘Who is this document for?’ The Khalifa said ‘It’s with regards to Fadak this is a written document for Fatima in relation to her father’s inheritance. Umar said ‘then how will you spend for the Muslims, when the Arabs are preparing to fight you, Umar then took the document and ripped it up”.

Why did Umar not intervene in this matter and insist that as Fadak belonged to all Muslims the opinion of all Muslims should be sought? That was his line of argument when it came to Abu Bakr’s donating Muslim land to the Sahaba, but when it came to giving land to Sayyida Fatima (as) Umar deemed it his sole entitlement to rule on the matter, without the need to consult the Muslims! If anything this references serves as proof of the contradictory approach that Umar took when ruling on ‘Muslim lands’, showing clear prejudice towards Sayyida Fatima (as).

We read in Tabaqat ibn Sad Volume 2 page 451 [English translation], under the Chapter ‘The learned and those who gave Fatwas from among the companions of the Apostle of Allah, May Allah bless him:

“Muhammad ibn Umar al Aslami informed us; (he said): Jariyah ibn Abi Imran informed us on the authority of Abd al-Rahman Ibn al Qasim, he on the authority of his father; Verily when Abu Bakr confronted with an important affair about which he needed council of the wise and the jurists, he called some Muhajirs and Ansars. He called Umar, Uthman, ‘Ali, ‘Abd-al Rahman Ibn Awf, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Unayy Ibn Ka’b and Zayd Ibn Thabit, every one of whom gave Fatwas during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr. The cases of the people for Fatwas were referred to them(the companions). This continued till the end of Abu Bakr’s life”.
 Tabaqat Ibn Sa’ad, Vol. 2, Page 451 & 452

When Abu Bakr had a Council of scholars to clarify legal disputes then why did he not utilise this Panel of scholars during the Fadak dispute?

Either Abu Bakr deemed himself to be a claimant.

OR

He feared handing over the matter to the Muslims as claimants to the action since they may rule in favour of the claimant.

Sayyida Fatima was ‘Siddiqah’ hence it was Abu Bakr’s duty to accept her claim without demanding witnesses

Sayyida Fatima (as) was clear and firm in her claim, namely that Rasulullah (s) had given Fadak to her, and that she was entitled to her Share from Khayber and outskirts of Madina as Khums. She had a legal right to the property of Rasulullah (s).

Sayyida Fatima was convinced about the correctness of her opinion and did not believe that her truthfulness would be challenged. When witnesses were demanded she verified the truthfulness of her claim by producing the testimonies of Imam Ali (as), Imam Hassan (as), Imam Husayn (as), Umm Ayman, and Rabah the Servant of Rasulullah (s).

Why didn’t Abu Bakr accept the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as) in the first instance? Why did he ask for witness corroboration? If the court believes in the witness testimony, or that given by the claimant, then judgement can be passed. Additional witnesses are required to confirm the truthfulness of a claim, to convince a Judge. If a thing is truthful, then it remains true whether you have one witness or ten witnesses. The witness of a credible witness followed by many witnesses who are not as strong in no way weakens a case if the first witness’s credibility is proven. The Ulema of Islam have set conditions on the number of witnesses in general circumstances which refers to specific situations, but this does not apply where the Ruler has direct knowledge on a matter. Let us cite an example:

I am a Judge and I witness a man robbing another man, no other witnesses are present. Will I apply the Islamic penalty or shall I state ‘I demand two witnesses to verify what I saw’.Failure to do shall lead to me to dismiss the case’.

Witnesses are summoned as a matter of clarity, to arrive at a correct judgement. If a Judge does not have clear direct knowledge on matter then he can utilise reliance on witness testimony. Hadhrat Abu Bakr should have accepted Fatima’s belief in the correctness of her claim – after all Sunnis Fiqh stipulates that the testimony of one just Sahaba is all that is needed (Fathul Bari Volume 9 page 44). That is a general rule, but Sayyida Fatima (as)’s is far above that of any Sahaba, we read in Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work ‘Riyadh al Nadira’ Volume 3 page 220, Dhikr Fadail ‘Ali:

Rasulullah (s) said to ‘Ali ‘You have three virtues not possessed by anyone else
1. You have a father in law like me.
2. You have received my truthful daughter as your wife
3. You have received pious sons such as Hasan and Husayn

Comment

Three things are proven from this tradition

  1. No one other than Maula ‘Ali (as) was the son in law of Rasulullah (s)
  2. No descendents are superior to Hassan and Husayn
  3. Other than ‘Ali (as) no one has a truthful wife

The tradition testifies to the truthfulness of Sayyida Fatima (as).

Sayyida Fatima (as) is the example of Maryam (as)

We read in Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work Kanz al Ummal Volume 6 page 219 Bab Fadail Min Qism al Kaul:

“Rasulullah said ‘the first to enter Paradise shall be Fatima as she is the example of Maryam for this Ummah”

Dr Tahir al Qadri in ‘Al Durr’athul Baydha fee Manaqib Fatima al Zahra (as)’ page 106 also recorded this narration from Kanz, counting it as one of her virtues.
 Al Duratul Baydha fee Manaqib Fatima al Zahra (as), Page 106

Comment

In this Hadeeth Rasulullah (s) has compared Sayyida Fatima (as) to Hadhrat Maryam (as) that confirms her status as Siddiqah and Batool.

The truthfulness of Sayyida Fatima (as) and Hadhrat Maryam (as) is proven from the Qur’an

We read in Surah Maida verse 75:

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth.
Al-Qur’an, Surah 5, Ayah 75, translated by Yusufali

Comment

In the Hadeeth earlier we showed that Rasulullah (s) compared Sayyida Fatima (as) to Hadhrat Maryam (as) and the Qur’an confirms that Maryam (as) was Siddiqah as is the case with Hadhrat Fatima (as).

The testimony of Hadhrat Ayesha that Sayyida Fatima (as) was Siddiqah

As evidence we shall rely on the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. al Mustadrak al Hakim, Volume 3 page 161
  2. al Istiab, Volume 4 page 366
  3. al Kamil fi Isma al Rijjal al Isab al Mushkwaath, page 29 Dhikr Fatima binte Rasul (printed Kanpur)
  4. Hilayath al Awliya, Volume 2 page 42

Abdullah bin Zubair narrated from his father that whenever Ayesha mentioned Fatima the daughter of the Prophet, she used to say: ‘I never saw someone more truthful than her apart from the one that produced her (her father).’
 Al-Mustadrak al-Hakim, Vol. 3, page 160 & 161

Imam Al-HakIm said: ‘Sahih according to Muslim’s condition’ while Imam Dhahabi stated: ‘According to Muslim’s condition’.

Imam Abu Yala records in his Musnad:

عن عمرو بن دينار قال : قالت عائشة : « ما رأيت أحدا قط أصدق من فاطمة غير أبيها ، وكان بينهما شيء فقالت : يا رسول الله سلها ؛ فإنها لا تكذب

“Amro bin Dinar narrated that Ayesha said: ‘I never witnessed anyone more truthful than Fatima except her father. When a dispute arose between them (Fatima and Ayesha) she (Ayesha) said: ‘Oh Allah’s messenger ask her (Fatima) verily she will not lie’
 Musnad Abu Yala, Volume 9 page 465 Tradition 4850

Imam Abi Bakar Al-Haythami in Majm’a al-Zawaed, Volume 9 page 201 and Allamah Salehi al-Shami in Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Volume 11 page 47 said: ‘The narrators are of Sahih (books)’ .

Comment

We appeal to justice. Would you ever accept that Ayesha and Hafsa would lie to gain material possessions? If you could never accept that these mothers of the faithful and daughters of the Khaleefa would lie for worldly gain, then is it possible that the daughter of Rasulullah (s) would bring a false case and lie for worldly gain? We are talking about Sayyida Fatima (as) who shares her blood with Rasulullah (s), whose happiness and anger is on par with the happiness and anger of Rasulullah (s), whose truthfulness is declared by Allah (swt) in the Qur’an. The word of Rasulullah (s) is proof, and when this truthful woman made a claim for Fadak, how is it that Tafseer Kabeer suggests that Sayyida Fatima (as)’s claim was a lie (astaghfirullah).

Sayyida Fatima (as) is the example of Maryam (as), and Maryam verified the truthfulness of her claim by relying on the testimony of her infant son, and this testimony was accepted by her people. Sayyida Fatima (as) sought to verify the truthfulness of her claim by relying upon the testimonies of her young sons, and yet this did not convince Khaleefa Abu Bakr.

Sayyida Fatima Siddiqah (as) is Masum (Infallible)

For evidence we shall rely on the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Sahih al Bukhari Volume 5, Book 57, Number 61, Bab Fadail Fatima & Volume 7, Book 62, Number 157 Bab ul Nikah
  2. Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 6000 Bab Fatima Binte Rasul
  3. Mustadrak al Hakim Volume 3 159 Bab Fadail Fatima
  4. Kanza Thamil Volume 6 page 219 Kitab Fadail min Qism al Kaul
  5. al Isaba Volume 4 page 366
  6. Hilayath al Awliya Volume 20
  7. Ruzatul Ahbaab page 608

For the sake of brevity we shall cite only a handful of sources.

Sahih al Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 157 Bab ul Nikah:

“Fatima is a part of my body, and I hate what she hates to see, and what hurts her, hurts me.”

Sahih al Bukhari Volume 5, Book 57, Number 61, Bab Fadail Fatima:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Fatima is a part of me, and he who makes her angry, makes me angry.”

Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 6000 Bab Fatima Binte Rasul:

Miswar b. Makhramah reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Fatima is a part of me. He in fact tortures me who tortures her.

Commentary of the words “Fatima is a part of me”

In Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work Naseem al Riyadh, Shah Shifa Qadhi Khan Volume 4 page 565, the author Shuhabudin al Hanafi writes:

“The author of Nihaya said the words “Bazz’aa’ whether with ‘Fatha’ or Kasra are both acceptable but the Kasr is better known as Biza’ means a piece of flesh, the Hadeeth means that Fatima is a piece of me since Fatima is a part of Rasulullah (s), this Hadeeth proves the virtuous rank of Sayyida Fatima, one that no other woman can attain”

Commentary of the words “part of my body”

Qadhi Badradeen A’ini in his famous commentary of Sahih al Bukhari, Umdah thul Qari Volume 7 page 665, comments on this tradition as follows:

“Bayhaqi has deduced from the above Hadeeth, that anyone that swears at this lady is a Kaafir”.

Commenting on this Hadeeth at another place (Umdathul Qari Volume 9 page 514) A’ini states:

“From the above Hadeeth this ruling is proven that one whose pains Fatima, pains Rasulullah (s), inflicting even the slightest pain to them is haraam”

We have proven the authenticity of this Hadeeth from seven Sunni works, and we have produced the commentaries from two esteemed Sunni works ‘Naseem al Riyadh’ and ‘Umdah thul Qari’. The conclusion that can be deduced is that inflicting pain upon Sayyida Fatima (as), is haraam in the same way it is to pain Rasulullah (s) and that cursing Sayyida Fatima is Kufr as is the case with cursing Rasulullah (s).

The Hadeeth proves the infallibility of Sayyida Fatima al Siddiqah

The tradition proves that making Sayyida Fatima angry is on par with inflicting pain upon Rasulullah (s), both are haraam. When hurting Sayyida Fatima (as) is haraam, such a position can only occur when Sayyida Fatima (as) is infallible like Rasulullah (s). If Sayyida Fatima was not infallible then hurting her in certain scenario’s would not have been haraam, but hurting Fatima (as) whatever the circumstances are is haraam, and this can only be the case when Sayyida Fatima (as) is infallible.

If Rasulullah (s) said to Abu Bakr ‘this land belongs to me, so return it to me’ and Abu Bakr challenged his claim by insisting on witnesses this would constitute major disrespect, neigh it would be haraam. Similarly one should contemplate on Fatima’s infallibility like the Prophet (s) hence Abu Bakr’s demanding witnesses in the Fadak dispute was major disrespect and a sin on his part. By rejecting Sayyida Fatima’s claim on the grounds that witnesses’ criteria was not met caused pain to her, and one that pains Sayyida Fatima (as) pains Rasulullah (s).

Sayyida Fatima (as)’s infallibility is proven from the verse of purity

Note: Ansar.Org have written an article on this claiming that the verses refers to the wives of the Prophet (s). We shall Inshallah dedicate a separate article to refute their lies.

The Holy Book of Allah mentions Ahlul-Bayt and their exceptional virtue in the following verse which is known as “Verse of purity” (Ayah al-Tat’hir):

“Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O’ People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you with a perfect purification”.
Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 33

We shall now cite evidences to prove in whose honour this verse was descended:

  1. Sahih Muslim, Chapter of virtues of companions, section of the virtues of the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v4, p1883, Tradition #61.
  2. Jami al Tirmidhi Volume 2 page 589 Bab Manaqib Ahl’ul bayt (as)
  3. Tafseer Gharab al Qur’an Part 22 (Qur’an) page 11, commentary of Surah Ahzab
  4. Tafseer Kabeer Volume 6 page 579 commentary of Surah Ahzab
  5. Tafseer Rul al Ma’ani Part 22 (Qur’an) page 13, commentary of Surah Ahzab
  6. Tafseer Fathul Qadeer Volume 4 page 270
  7. Tafseer Ibn Katheer Volume 4 page 4 commentary of Surah Ahzab
  8. Tafseer Mazhari Volume 7 page 373
  9. Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 5 page 198 (printed Egypt)
  10. Tafseer Jauhar al Qur’an Part 22 (Qur’an) page 28, commentary of Surah Ahzab
  11. Tafseer al Itqan Volume 2 page 173
  12. Tafseer Asbaab al Nazool page 627
  13. Sharh Fiqh Akbar page 121
  14. Mishkat al Masabeeh Volume 2 page 254
  15. Mustadrak al Sahihayn, Bab fadhail al-ahlulbayt

 

The verse refers to a ‘specific’ household

If we analyse the verse we see that Ahl’ul bayt (as) are addressed with the masculine / plural term ‘Kum’ whilst in the Qur’an the wives of the Prophet (s) are addressed in the plural feminine ‘Kun’. We challenge the followers of Mu’awiya to show us a single verse of the Qur’an where the wives of the Prophet are addressed with a masculine term.

When Allah (swt) addresses the houses of the Prophet’s wives the terms ‘Bayootikun’ is used. “Bayoot” is the plural (3 or more) of ‘Bayt’ whilst the verse of purification makes reference to ‘Bayt’ (single) meaning a house. The verse refers to a house wherein the majority of inhabitants are male this cannot be the case with wives of the Prophet (s).We therefore need to analyse the books of Ahadeeth and Tafseer to understand in whose honour the verse has been descended.

Only five people were included in the cloak

We read in Sahih Muslim:

Narrated Ayesha:
One day the Prophet (PBUH&HF) came out afternoon wearing a black cloak (upper garment or gown; long coat), then al-Hasan Ibn Ali came and the Prophet accommodated him under the cloak, then al-Hussain came and entered the cloak, then Fatimah came and the Prophet entered her under the cloak, then Ali came and the Prophet entered him to the cloak as well. Then the Prophet recited: “Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O’ People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you with a perfect purification (the last sentence of Verse 33:33).”

We read in al Mustadrak al Hakim:

‘The narrator states, when the revelation descended, the Rasul (s) said, “call them to me, call them to me,” Safia asked the Rasul(s) “Ya Rasulullah whom shall I call” then the Prophet(s) replied “My family namely, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain”

When they came, the Prophet(s) wrapped them under the cloak and raised his hand in prayer and said “Ya Allah this is my progeny, send your blessings to me and my progeny”

Thereafter Allah sent down the revelation of Ayat ul Tatheer’

NB: This tradition can be summarised by the following four points

  1. The word “Ahl”(Family) is mentioned in this verse.
  2. The word Ahl’ulbayt.
  3. The revelation of Ayat ul Tathir is mentioned
  4. Four members of the family are also mentioned in this tradition.

So it becomes clear that this revelation has been revealed to those members of the family who are ‘Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain.

This tradition shows and proves beyond doubt that this verse has been revealed in the glory of the above mentioned members of the family. If there is a tradition that contradicts the glory of the Ahulbayt(s) then surely this tradition will hold no weight when brought in front of the Qur’an.

The Prophet(s) would recite this verse outside the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) for the next six – nine months (following revelation)

We shall cite the following proofs from famous Ahl’ul Sunnah scholars:

  1. Fathul Qadeer by Allamah Shukani page 271 Volume 4
  2. Tafseer Maraaghi, V7 P 22
  3. Tafseer Durre Manthur, V5, P199
  4. Tasfeer Khazan, P213, V54
  5. Mustadrak al Hakim P158, V3

al Hakim states:

Anas states: The Prophet(s) after fajr prayer recited the verse for the next six months outside the home of Sayyida Fatima.

Ahmad bin Mustafa al-Muraaghi (d. 1317 H) records in Tafseer Muraaghi:

Ibn Abbas states, we have witnessed that the Prophet (pbum), after every prayer used to visit Ali Ibne Abi Talib door and recited Ayatu Tatheer. He did this continuously for 9 months. He did this fives times a day.

There is absolute agreement that Sayyida Fatima (as), ‘Ali (as), and their two sons are counted as Ahl’ul bayt (as), while this consensus has not been established with regards to the wives. On the contrary their inclusion has been questioned. It is common sense that we embrace a matter that has no doubt and leave one that is doubtful.

The Prophet (s) visited his wives separately, but we find no evidence from the works of Ahl’ul Sunnah of him reciting the verse of purification before entering their homes.

The above evidence proves beyond doubt that the verse of purity has been revealed for the five members of the family.

The wives of the Prophet are not included in the Ahlulbayt

We cite the following proof:

  1. Tafseer Ibn Katheer, v4 p4 Al Azhab
  2. Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani, p22 V13
  3. Tafseer Kabeer, p213 Volume 5 [printed Egypt]
  4. Tafseer Durre Manthur, p189 Volume 5
  5. Nazool Al Ibrar, p58
  6. Zakhair al Uqba, P22

In this case we will only cite an extract of the book Nazool Al Ibrar by Allamah Badkhashani al-Hanbali:

Umme Salma said that Rasul was in my house, the servant told us the Ali and Fatima have arrived, the Prophet stated, “Oh Umme Salama, please go elsewhere as my Ahlulbayt(as) has arrived, Umme Salma stated that I got up and sat in one corner of the room. The Prophet took Hassan and Hussain in his laps and he put his hands on Ali and Fatima’s head and showed his affection toward them. He put the mantle on them and raised his hands to the sky and prayed, Oh Allah, for your sake me and my Ahlul Bayts(as)…

Points to consider

 

  1. The Prophet told Umme Salama that ‘my Ahlulbayt have arrived, please go elsewhere’. If the wife of the Prophet were a member of Ahlulbayt then Rasul would not have asked her to move away.
  2. It is stated in Tafseer Durre Manthur that Umme Salama asked the Prophet (s) whether or not she was included amongst the Ahlulbayt(as) The Prophet replied that you are amongst the wives of the Prophet(as). Abu Bakr and the wives of the Prophet are not included in the people of purity. If anyone does not accept this out of enmity then it is between him and Allah. We cannot see any clear Hadeeth that mentions the wives of the Prophet or Abu Bakr within the fold of the Ahlulbayt of the Prophet (as).

 

The final attempt of the Ahl’ul Sunnah to count wives as Ahl’ul Bayt (as)

We read in Surah Hud verse 73:

They said: “Dost thou wonder at Allah’s decree? The grace of Allah and His blessings on you, o ye people of the house! for He is indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory!”
Al-Qur’an, Surah Hud, Ayah 73, translated by Yusufali

When the Angels gave glad tidings to Lady Sarah that she would conceive a child, she was shocked on account of her old age, but if Allah wills then He can give progeny to a 90 year old mother of the Faithful whilst keeping an 18 year old mother of the faithful to be barren.

Objection:

The Ahl’ul Sunnah state in this verse that Lady Sarah (as) a wife of a Prophet is counted as Ahl’ul Bayt, as would be the case for the wives of the Prophet (s).

Reply One:

This point can only be made by those ignorant of research of Tafseer and their translations. Esteemed Deobandi scholar Allamah Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvee has translated the words in this verse as follows:

‘O people of this family’

Had Ahl’ul bayt (as) in this verse meant wife, then Thanvee would have translated the verse as ‘Zawaaj un Nabi’.

If the meaning of the word Ahl’ulbayt is linked to the wives of the Prophet only then the scholars should have addressed the wives as Zawaaj un Nabi (i.e. wives of the Prophet) instead of using the terminology Ahl’ulbayt.

Reply Two – the wife of Nabi Ibraheem (as) was included due to her blood lineage with future Prophets

Allamah Qadhi Thanaullah Panee Pathee al Hanafi in his esteemed Sunni exegesis of the Qur’an, Tafseer Mazhari Volume 5 page 38 [commentary of Surah Hud] stated:

“Rehmat means Prophethood, Burqath means loins of Bani Israeel, since all Prophets come from the loins of Bani Israeel, all are from the children of Sara”

Comment

Qadhi is making an important point:

Hadhrat Sara shared blood lineage with Hadhrat Ibraheem (as). She was his uncle’s daughter, was the mother of Prophet Isaac and the grandmother of Prophet Yaqoob (as). All Prophets come from Banu Israeel so she was counted as Ahl’ul bayt (as) due to the fact that she shared her blood lineage with the Prophets. Amongst the wives of the Prophet (s) only Hadhrat Khadeeja had such an honour, she was mother of the Leader of the Women of Paradise and was the grandmother of eleven Imams, all of whom traced their lineage back to her.

The Ahl’ul bayt (as) are exempt from all forms of Rijs

There are no contradictions in the words of Allah (swt). In the verse under discussion, Allah (swt) makes it clear that the Ahl’ul bayt (as) are those individuals that are exempt from all forms of Rijs. Rijs is a term that carries many meanings in the Holy Qur’an, wherein Allah (swt) identifies deeds such as Shirk and hypocrisy to be Rijs. Rijs is a term that includes physical and spiritual impurity. In the Hans Wehr dictionary of modern written Arabic page 327:

Rijs is defined as “dirt, filth, dirty thing or act, atrocity”.

Now were the wives of the Prophet (s) exempt from all forms of Rijs as Allah (swt) guaranteed to Ahl’ul bayt (as) in the verse of purity? If they were then they are indeed the Ahl’ul bayt. If they were not then they cannot come within this definition, for Allah (swt) would not deem a group to be free from all forms of Rijs when they are not. In Islam the state of Janub is a form of physical impurity in which a remedial action requires a complete Ghusl of the body. For men this is linked to the excretion of semen, it is required of married couples after sex. For women an additional form of Rijs innate in females is menstruation. Allah (swt) deems menses to be Rijs. A woman remains in this impure state until her period ends and she performs Ghusl.

Now if we analyse Bab ul Haidh in Sahih al Bukhari we see clear tradition showing that the wives also experienced this type of Rijs. Sayyida Fatima (as) was protected from this type of Rijs, Rasulullah (s) gave her the title ‘Batool’ that means purity from Menses. Shia scholar Shaykh Seduq records in Ma’ani al-Akhbar, page 64:

Ali bin Abi Talib said: ‘Once Allah’s messenger was asked: ‘What is batool? Oh Allah’s messenger, we heard you saying Mary is batool and Fatima is batool?’. He (as) replied: ‘Batool is the one who never saw blood, has never had a period, because the daughters of prophets are kept free of menses.”

Imam of Sunnah Tabarani records in Muajam al-Kabir, Volume 22 page 401:

Ayesha said: I saw Allah’s messenger (pbuh) kissing Fatima. Thus I said: ‘Oh Allah’s messenger! I see you doing some thing you never used to do before?’ He replied: ‘Oh Humayra, the night I was taken on a journey of the heaven, I entered the paradise, I stood next to a tree amongst the trees of the paradise and I never saw any tree looking better than it, nor better leaves than it, nor better fruit than it, hence I took one of it fruits and ate it, then it became a seed in my loin and then when I return back to earth, I had intercourse with Khadija thus she become pregnant by Fatima. Therefore whenever I miss the smell of paradise, I smell Fatima. Oh Humayra, verily Fatima is not like other women and she doesn’t have periods’.

As for the state of Janub, in his lifetime (s), only two people were protected from such a state, the Prophet (s) and Maula ‘Ali (as). In that there is no doubt and in this connection we shall rely on two traditions narrated by al Hafidh Jalaludeen as Suyuti in Tareekh ul Khulafa. We are quoting from the partial English translation of Abd as-Samad Clarke. On page 179 we read:

Sa’d said: The Prophet [p] said to ‘Ali ‘It is not permitted for anyone to be in a state of Janub (requiring the complete washing of the body known as Ghusl) in the Mosque apart from me and you’.
 Tareekh ul-Khulafa, Page 179

On page 180 we read the envy of Umar in this regards:

Abu Hurraira said: ‘Umar ibn al Khattab said, ‘Ali was given three qualities any one of which I should prefer the gift of over high-bred camels’. He was asked ‘And what are they?’. He said ‘He married him his daughter Fatimah, his dwelling at the mosque wherein what is not permitted to me in it is permitted to him; and the standard on the Day of Khayber’
 Tareekh ul-Khulafa, Page 180

The fact that Maula ‘Ali (as) and Sayyida Fatima (as) were exempt from such states is proof that this verse was in honour of them and their sons not the wives of the Prophet (s). If any doubt remains then allow us to cite this tradition recorded by a leading contemporary Hanafi scholar Dr Tahir al Qadri. In his book ‘Maraja al-Bahrayn fi Manaqib al-Hasnayn’ page 48, he records this tradition:

“Umme Salma (ra) narrates that she heard the Prophet (s) say ‘It is never halaal for a person in a state of Janaba or menstruation to enter this Mosque, apart from the Prophet of Allah (swt), ‘Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn. With the exception of them no one else is permitted to enter the Mosque of the Prophet (s). Go forth! I have told you the names to ensure that you are not lead astray”.
 Maraja Al-Bahrayn fi Manaqib al-Hasnayn, Page 48

The significance of this tradition lies in the number of esteemed sources that Qadri relied on:
1. Sunan Bayhaqi, Volume 7 page 65 Hadeeth number 13178-13179
2. Kanz al Ummal, Volume 14 page 101 Hadeeth number 34183
3. Tareekh Ibn Asakir, Volume 14 page 166
4. Fadail min al Seerah, Volume 1 page 283 [by Ibn Katheer]
5. Khasais al Kubra, Volume 2 page 424

Clearly rules apply to all. States of Janaba and Haidh require bathing and no person can enter the precincts of a Mosque before doing so. Rasulullah (s) would not have exempted himself, Sayyida Fatima (as), ‘Ali (as) and their sons unless they stayed aloof from such impurity. The fact that Rasulullah (s) named only these personalities is the greatest proof that they were protected from impurities innate in all other humans.

The verse of purity has been descended in honour of five individuals. Sayyida Fatima (as) is the only woman that came within this verse, Allah (swt) vouched for her purity from any form of error. One whose protection from wrong is guaranteed from Allah (swt) has no need to produce witnesses to support her claim. To demand witnesses from her is due to doubts about the truthfulness of her claim. One who demands witnesses from a woman, whose purity and perfection is assured by Allah (swt), is in effect mocking the Word of Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s).

When this verse of purity descended for Sayyida Fatima (as) then why did Abu Bakr deny her rights and question her claim by demanding further witnesses? Witnesses are only required when there is evidence that a person might be lying. Abu Bakr’s demanding witnesses in the Fadak dispute is a proof that he did not believe the truthfulness of her claim. By doing this Abu Bakr has gone against the rulings of Allah,and His Prophet (s) and has incurred the anger of Sayyida Fatima (as), Rasulullah (s) and Allah (swt) as a result.

When Sayyida Fatima (as) made a claim that her father had bestowed the land of Fadak to her, then Abu Bakr should have taken account of her truthfulness, purity and infallibility and not asked any further questions. Yet Abu Bakr for political reasons rejected her claim and counted it as land for all Muslims. Abu Bakr’s unlawful confiscation of Sayyida Fatima (as)’s land caused her extreme grief. Anyone that has a daughter has mercy, was Muhammad’s daughter not an acceptable mercy?

Question – Was a Masum’s sole testimony acceptable during the lifetime of Rasulullah (s)

Our answer to this shall be based on the following Sunni sources:

  1. Sunan Abu Dawood The Office of the Judge (Kitab Al-Aqdiyah) Book 24, Hadeeth Number 3600
  2. Hayaat al Haywaan Volume 2 page 155 Dhikr al Fars
  3. Tareekh Khamees Volume 2 page 125 Dhikr Khayl Rasulullah (s)
  4. al Isaba Volume 1 page 425 Dhikr Khudeema

We read in Sunan Abu Dawood:

Narrated Uncle of Umarah ibn Khuzaymah:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) bought a horse from a Bedouin. The Prophet (peace be upon him) took him with him to pay him the price of his horse. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) walked quickly and the Bedouin walked slowly. The people stopped the Bedouin and began to bargain with him for the horse as they did not know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had bought it.

The Bedouin called the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: If you want this horse, (then buy it), otherwise I shall sell it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stopped when he heard the call of the Bedouin, and said: Have I not bought it from you? The Bedouin said: I swear by Allah, I have not sold it to you. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Yes, I have bought it from you. The Bedouin began to say: Bring a witness. Khuzaymah ibn Thabit then said: I bear witness that you have bought it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) turned to Khuzaymah and said: On what (grounds) do you bear witness?

He said: By considering you trustworthy, Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him)! The Prophet (peace be upon him) made the testimony of Khuzaymah equivalent to that of of two people.

Comment

So, if here in view of the Prophet’s (PBUH&HF) truthfulness, one evidence in his favor was deemed to be equal to two, then could not the evidence of Ali and Umm Ayman be regarded enough for Fatima in view of moral greatness and truthfulness?

Logical proof that an infallible testimony is acceptable without the need for witnesses

You can have two types of evidence, clear strong evidence, and weak evidence. When a clear proof exists then weak evidence should be discarded. Testimony is needed when the truthfulness of a claim is called into question, and the claimant’s argument is weak. If a strong clear proof is presented then there is no need to summon witnesses. For example:

‘If someone accepts a person’s legal claim to land, then this is perfectly logical, no supporting witnesses are required’.

Infallibility is greater proof than both of these, and when you have such strong proof, then there is no need for weaker proof. The testimony was by an infallible person hence no witnesses were required.

This is clear from logic and text, that the testimony of an infallible being is acceptable without the need for witnesses.

Sayyida Fatima (as) was definitely Siddiqah, Masum, the verse of purity had descended in her honour. Hence when this great Lady asserted her claim that she was the legal owner of Fadak, it was incumbent on Abu Bakr to accept the word of this truthful woman without calling upon additional witnesses. This would have led him to avoid incurring the anger of Sayyida Fatima (as) and so that of Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s).

Three things are for certain in the Fadak dispute:

  1. A gift is not proven without actual possession
  2. Abu Bakr’s demanding witnesses clarifies the fact that Sayyida Fatima (as) had possession of the land at that time.
  3. The demand of witnesses suggests that Abu Bakr had doubts over whether the Prophet’s property belonged to Muslims.

Now let us present some examples of the way that Khaleefa Abu Bakr resolved disputes, readers can then ask themselves why he adjudicated over this matter differently…

When it suited him Abu Bakr would oppose a Qur’anic verse

We read in Surah al Maida verse 105:

O ye who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take) witnesses among yourselves when making bequests,- two just men of your own (brotherhood) or others from outside if ye are journeying through the earth, and the chance of death befalls you (thus). If ye doubt (their truth), detain them both after prayer, and let them both swear by Allah: “We wish not in this for any worldly gain, even though the (beneficiary) be our near relation: we shall hide not the evidence before Allah: if we do, then behold! The sin be upon us!”
Al-Qur’an, Surah 5, Ayah 105, translated by Yusufali

Comment

Some Nasibis claim that Abu Bakr was merely acting upon the Word of Allah (swt) as is stipulated in the Qur’an. We should point out that in the Fadak dispute this was satisfied by the fact that both Imam Ali (as) and the Servant Rabah testified in support of Fatima (as)’s claim hence the criteria of two just witnesses had been met. It should also be pointed out that Abu Bakr was not firm in his application of this verse, and this is evidenced by the esteemed Sunni work al Isaba Volume 1 page 195-196, Dhikr Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas:

“Thabit said ‘I shall give you a will and do not ignore it by deeming it a dream. When I am killed my armour has been taken by a person who resides in such a place, his tent contains a water pot containing an old rope. He also has a saddle, go to Khalid and tell him to get the armour back. Then go to Abu Bakr and tell him ‘I am in debt, so return what I owe to this child’. The man became anxious by the dream and told Khalid about it. Khalid got the armour and told Abu Bakr about the dream. Abu Bakr upheld his will as correct”.
 Al-Isaba fi tameedh al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, page 195 & 196

Comment

The Qur’an deems a will valid when two just witnesses confirm it. The fact that Abu Bakr upheld a will on the basis of a dream proves that Abu Bakr cared little about the law of inheritance as set out in the Qur’an.

We appeal to justice, a claim of Hadhrat Ali (as) can not be in violation of the Qur’an, hence in Fadak there was no possibility of Hadhrat Ali lying to obtain personal gain, his word should have meant that no further testimony was required. Abu Bakr’s willingness to accept the will on the basis of a dream without requiring any witnesses, whilst at the same time rejecting the testimony of Hadhrat Ali (as) shows clearly that he was unjust in his treatment of Imam Ali (as).

Abu Bakr in the Fadak decision contradicted nine verses of the Qur’an by his opposition to the stance of Hadhrat Ali and Sayyida Fatima (as).This is a clear proof that he was in error.

When Abu Bakr felt like it, he would accept a claim without the need for witnesses

As proof we have relied on the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 848: Book of Witnesses
  2. Sahih Muslim, Volume 2 page 291
  3. Sahih al Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 129
  4. Sunan al Kabeera, Volume 6 page 302
  5. Musnad Ahmad Hanbal, vol 3 p 307-308
  6. Tabaqat Ibn Sa’ad, vol 2 part 2 p 88-89
  7. Riyadh al Nadira, Volume 1 page 227
  8. Tareekh ul Khulafa, page 69 Fadail fi Abu Bakr

We read in Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Muhammad bin Ali:
Jabir bin Abdullah said, “When the Prophet died, Abu Bakr received some property from Al-Ala bin Al-Hadrami. Abu Bakr said to the people, “Whoever has a money claim on the Prophet, or was promised something by him, should come to us (so that we may pay him his right).” Jabir added, “I said (to Abu Bakr), Allah’s Apostle promised me that he would give me this much, and this much, and this much (spreading his hands three times).” Jabir added, “Abu Bakr counted for me and handed me five-hundred (gold pieces), and then five-hundred, and then five-hundred.”

Comment

All that it took was the word of Jabir that Rasulullah (s) owed him money; no witnesses were presented to corroborate his evidence. Abu Bakr’s opinion was that the money should be returned to Jabir, without the need for witnesses, he didn’t say anything that contradicted the Qur’an, yet when Sayyida Fatima (as) claimed that the land of Fadak was bequeathed to her as inheritance, he refused to grant her the land, on the premise that her words were questionable and the stipulated witnesses required to give evidence were not met.

If Jabir made a claim from the treasury, then by the same token Fadak also did not belong to Abu Bakr’s ancestors, rather it belonged to Sayyida Fatimah al Zahra (as), but the Khaleefa said that the land belonged to Muslims. If Jabir can receive monies from the Muslim treasury without the need of witnesses, then by the same token the Khaleefa could have also given Sayyida Fatima land from the Muslim treasury.

The narration informs us that Abu Bakr made the declaration at the time of the Hajj for people to come forward and make their claims in relation to whatever had been promised to them by Rasulullah (s). We ask those with brains, was Sayyida Fatima (as) a liar who presented false witnesses to substantiate her claim? Sayyida Fatima’s (as) testimony is false. The testimony of Imam Ali (as), and his two sons are also false, yet an ordinary companion’s claim without any witness corroboration is acceptable and he can attain property from the State treasury so as to prove the correctness of his claim.

The Ahl’ul Sunnah believe that the testimony of the Sahaba without witnesses is acceptable

In the annotations of this tradition, Imam Badruddin al A’ini in Umdatul Qari said:

وقال بعضهم وفيه قبول خبر الواحد العدل من الصحابة ولو جر ذلك نفعا لنفسه لأن أبا بكر لم يلتمس من جابر شاهدا على صحة دعواه

“Some (scholars) said that according to it (the tradition) the evidence of one just companion is accepted although it may be in his own favour, because Abu Bakr did not ask Jabir to produce any witness to prove his claim.”
 Umadat ul Qari, Volume 12 page 121

Comment

Subhanallah! If Jabir’s claim is acceptable without witnesses due to his station of being a Just Companion, then Sayyida Fatima (as) in addition to the rank of Sahaba and Just, had also attained the rank of purity and infallibility, and hence her exceptional testimony should have been accepted without question, yet Abu Bakr’s heart was not willing to concede to her claim, he considered her claim to be of lesser value than that of an ordinary Sahabi.

We also read in Umadat ul Qari, Volume 12 page 120:

“I say: By not seeking additional witnesses to back up Jabir’s claim was an adherence the principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah, since in the Qur’an Allah (swt) says that you are the Khayr ul Ummah (Best of Ummah’s), an wasat Ummah (Just Ummah) – if Jabir is not counted in the best and most just of Ummah’s then who is? He acted on a Hadeeth in this way, Rasulullah (s) said ‘Whoever intentionally attributes a lie to me shall enter Hell’ hence whilst the comments of a normal Muslim cannot be relied upon, it cannot be that a Sahabi would attribute lies to the Prophet (s). If this problem arose today it would be unacceptable without proof.”
 Umadat ul Qari, Volume 12 page 121

We should also highlight the fact that we read in Ahle Sunnah’s authority work Al Alam al Moqeen page 36:

“The truth is when you have just one witness; a ruling should be based on their truthfulness. It is established that the Prophet (s) ruled on the Abu Qathada’s killing a Pagan, on the basis of sole testimony, and rewarded him his armour on this basis, he did not even ask for the clear testimony of Abu Qatada, rather the testimony of a single witness was deemed acceptable”.

Comment

We appeal to justice – It’s hard to believe that a Sahaba neigh a common run of Muslim would ever attribute a false utterance to Rasulullah (s) which is why Jabir’s testimony was accepted by Abu Bakr without the need for witnesses. Then we have Sayyida Fatima (as) superior in rank than other Muslims, including the Sahaba, a woman in whose honour Allah (swt) sent down the verse of purity, who has been given the title of Sayyida tul-Nisa’ ul-Jannah [Leader of the Women of Paradise]. We cannot believe that this pure and truthful woman would attribute a false statement to her father Rasulullah (s). It was incumbent on Abu Bakr to immediately accept the claim that had been made by Sayyida Fatima (as).

Rasulullah (s) deemed his and ‘Ali (as)’s hand to be equal in dispensing justice

This is clear from the following Sunni sources:

  1. Tareekh Baghdadi Volume 5 page 37 Dhikr Ahmad ibn Ahmad bin Abu Bakr al Tamadh
  2. Manaqib by Ibne Maghazli al Shaafi page 98,
  3. Kanz al Ammal Volume 11 page 604
  4. Riyadh al Nadira Volume page 154

Tareekh Baghdad records as follows:

“Jaysh bin Janada states ‘I was sitting next to Abu Bakr and he [Abu Bakr] announced ‘Claim anything that the Prophet owed you’. One man said Rasulullah (s) promised me six handfuls of dates. Abu Bakr then summoned ‘Ali and told him the matter and asked that he distribute the dates with handfuls, he did do. Abu Bakr said ‘Gather them’ there were seven dates in each”

All four books then have the testimony of Abu Bakr:

“Verily Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) spoke the truth, I heard Rasulullah (s) say on the night of Hijrah as we left Makka ‘My hand and Ali’s hand are EQUAL in dispensing justice.

Comment

Abu Bakr accepted this person’s claim without recalling witnesses, perhaps he was one of his supporters (a Saqifite). From this instance and that of Jabir Ibn Abdullah we see Abu Bakr’s willingness to show laxity/compromise on the rules of Shari’ah, and hence on this same basis the testimony of the Sayyida Fatima (as) should also have also been accepted.

Rasulullah’s deeming Ali’s hand of justice to be on par with his own, serves as proof that both were equally just in words also. Hadhrat Ali (as) testified in Sayyida Fatima (as)’s favour, and Abu Bakr rejected this testimony, this serves as proof that on the issue of Fadak he was not prepared to accept the testimony of any just person.

Ahl’ul Sunnah believe that the testimony of a single person provided he is just shall suffice

We read in Sahih al Bukhari Chapter 52. Book of Setting Free, Hadeeth number 2481:

It is related from ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Mulayka that the two sons of Suhayb, the client of Ibn Jud’an, laid claim to two houses and a room, saying that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had given that to Suhayb. Marwan asked, “Who will testify to that on your behalf?” They said, “Ibn ‘Umar.” He summoned him and he testified that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had given Suhayb two houses and a room. Marwan judged in their favour on the basis of his testimony.

Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah Badrudeen Al-A’ini has given his commentary of this Hadeeth in Umdat ul Qari, Volume 13 page 177:

وقال ابن بطال كيف قضى مروان بشهادة ابن عمر وحده ثم قال فالجواب أن مروان إنما حكم بشهادته مع يمين الطالب على ما جاء في السنة من القضاء باليمين مع الشاهد

Ibn Batal said: ‘How did Marwan judge on the basis of Ibn Umar testimony only? The answer is that Marwan judged by his testimony accompanied by the oath of the claimant according to Sunnah in making judgment by a single witness and oath of claimant.

Comment

Here we see that one witness shall suffice to grant land, as was done by Marwan, hence the defenders of Abu Bakr are left in a confused state. When the Ahl’ul Sunnah admit that on the issue of Fay a Judge can exercise the right to grant it to whosoever he wishes as Marwan did with Banu Saeeb, we appeal to justice did Abu Bakr not possess greater powers than Marwan?

If this is the case then why did Abu Bakr choose to discard the testimony of Imam Ali (as)? Whilst we the Shi’a deemed Ali (as) to be Masum, Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi in Tauhfa Ithna Ashari stated:

“the Ahl’ul Sunnah believe that ‘Ali was Mahfuz [protected from sin]‘.

Imam Ali (as) had a high ranking station in the realms of justice, rather no one could exceed him as his justice was on par with that of Rasulullah (s). According to the madhab of Ahl’ul Sunnah, when Imam Ali (as)’s rank was so high in the field of justice, then all that a Judge needed to hear was his sole testimony in order to arrive at a decision. Applying this principle to the facts, when Imam Ali (as) testified to support the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as), then it was incumbent upon Abu Bakr to return Fadak to her. Unfortunately power is an opium that drives people away from the truth.

The testimony of any just person is acceptable

When it comes to testimony there is always a standard, there are different levels to measure a person’s truth, it is linked to an individual’s character. In this day and age there is a viewpoint that that a pious educated individual will not be a liar. The need for witness corroboration in court arises when the credibility of a witness comes into question. When a person is untruthful the individual’s character comes under scrutiny, a common accusation is that the individual will never say anything against his relatives. If we were to say to a member of Sipaa-e-Sahaba ‘Your leader Haq Nawaz Jhanvi spoke at a venue where he made a statement that was a lie’ they will resort to physical violence to protect their beloved Imam, because they deem of decent noble character. Perhaps al Khider could offer us some explanation as to which aspect of Sayyida Fatima (as)’s character was such that it caused Abu Bakr to question the truthfulness of her claim? Whilst Nawasib would never tolerate any questions on the truthfulness of their Imam, they should realise that their Khaleefa Abu Bakr considered Sayyida Fatima (as) a liar; and no ordinary one at that, one wherein she (falsely) claimed the Prophet (s) left land for her.

The Prophet (s) and all four caliphs would issue rulings based on the testimony of one person and swearing on oath by the claimant

We read in Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work Kanz al Ummal:

“Ali bin Abi Talib narrates that Allah’s messenger, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman would rule upon the witness testimony of one person and the oath of the claimant “.
 Kanz al Ummal, Volume 7 page 23 Tradition 17786

Similarly we read in Sunnan al-Darqutni, Volume 10 page 338:

Ali (ra) narrates that Allah’s messenger would rule upon the witness testimony of one person and the oath of the claimant. (Darqutni said) Ali would issue rulings in this manner in Iraq.
 Sunnan al-Darqutni, Volume 10 page 338 Tradition 4540

We read in Sunan ibn Majah:

Ibn Abbas narrates that Rasulullah (s) ruled on the basis of the testimony of a single witness and (a claimant’s) oath.
 Sunan ibn Majah, Volume 2 page 793 Hadith 2370

We read in Sunan Abu Dawud, The Office of the Judge (Kitab Al-Aqdiyah) Book 24, Number 360:

Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a decision on the basis of an oath and a single witness.

We read in Muwatta Imam Malik, Book of Judgements Book 36, Number 36.4.5:

Yahya said, “Malik said from Jafar ibn Muhammad from his father that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, pronounced judgement on the basis of an oath with one witness.”

Of interest is the fact that Ibn Taymiyah al Nasibi in Minhajj al Sunnah, Volume 4 page 125 also stated:

نعم يحكم في مثل ذلك بشهادة ويمين الطالب عند فقهاء الحجاز وفقهاء أصحاب الحديث

“Yes it can be ruled by the testimony of sole witness and the claimer’s oath according to the scholars of Hijaz and Ahlul Hadith”.

Imam Mawardi records in his authority work al-Ensaf, Volume 12 page 84:

حيث قلنا : يقبل شاهد واحد ويمين المدعي

We say: ‘The testimony of one witness and oath of the claimant is acceptable’

Comment

The land of Fadak was bestowed by Rasulullah (s) upon his beloved daughter Sayyida Fatima Zahra (as). Abu Bakr should have adopted his famous kind heartedness in this dispute, and if he wanted to uphold legal principles he could have asked Sayyida Fatima (as) to swear on oath that the property had been bequeathed to her, [as there was an absence of witnesses] and on this basis restored Fadak back to her. Worthy of note is the fact that Imam Malik in his Muwatta,Book of Judgements Section: Judgement Based on Oaths with One Witness, having cited the fact that the Prophet would pass judgement on the basis of the oath and testimony of a single witness, comments:

“The precedent of the sunna in judging by an oath with one witness is that if the plaintiff takes an oath with his testimony, he is confirmed in his right. If he draws back and refuses to take an oath, the defendant is made to take an oath. If the defendent takes an oath, the claim against him is dropped. If he refuses to take an oath, the claim is confirmed against him.”

Malik said, “This procedure pertains to property cases in particular”.

This was a property dispute and all that Khalifa Abu Bakr needed to do was take the sole testimony of Sayyida Fatima (as)(on oath) so as to confirm the truthfulness of her claim.

Sadly, Abu Bakr did not adhere to this principle, his objective was to make the Ahl’ul bayt (as) as weak as possible. Abu Bakr’s behaviour in the Fadak dispute proves that the Hadeeth ‘the most merciful in this Ummah is Abu Bakr’ is a fabrication – for he afforded harsh treatment to the daughter of the Prophet (s). If he (the supposed best friend of the Prophet) was so unjust what could be expected from the rest of the Ummah? Sayyida Fatima (as) was shocked by this treatment, she had not envisaged such a response which is why she initially presented her case without witnesses. When Abu Bakr refused to entertain her claim, she brought forth several witnesses who were:

  1. Imam Ali (as)
  2. Imam Hassan (as)
  3. Imam Husayn (as)
  4. The servant of Rasulullah(s) Rabah
  5. The maid of Rasulullah (s) Umm Ayman.

Hence the advocates can present as many excuses as they like.If there were not sufficient witnesses, it was still fine as Rasulullah (s) and the three Khalifas ruled on the testimony and oath of one person. If the stipulated number of witnesses had been satisfied then Abu Bakr had to rule in their favour. This was the case here as Imam Ali (as) and Rabah were both men and the testimony of two male witnesses satisfy legal criteria. Despite this Abu Bakr struck out the claim of Lady Fatima (as).

At this point it is most appropriate to analyse the comments of Bilal Philips in ‘Tafseer Soorah al Hujuraat’ page 63:

In his analysis of verse 6 of this Surah ‘O Believers if an unrighteous person comes to you with information, you should verify it’ wherein Allah (swt) warned Muslims against accepting the word of the Fasiq Waleed bin Utbah, Philips comments:

“It should be noted that based on this verse Islamic scholars have unanimously ruled that the testimony of one who is known to be unrighteous should be rejected as evidence in court unless verified. If his testimony can be confirmed it is obligatory to do so and if it cannot be confirmed it should flatly be rejected. The converse also holds true. The testimony of a just righteous person does not require verification except in special cases identified by the Qur’an or the Sunnah”.
 Tafseer Soorah al Hujuraat, Page 63

Perhaps Dr Philips could contribute to this debate and offer his valuable input as to whether he believes that the Leader of the Women of Paradise was a just and righteous person whose testimony required no further verification? If he does, then can he offer any explanation as to why her sole testimony was deemed as unacceptable in the Fadak case? Philips has dedicated his life to exposing the dangers of Shi’aism to the unsuspecting Sunni public, and has made it his mission to highlight the degrading / humiliating portrayal of the Sahaba from Shi’a works. Perhaps he could shed some light on the degrading / humiliating treatment that Abu Bakr afforded Sayyida Fatima (as), whose witness credibility was graded to be on par with that of a Fasiq (transgressor), to the point that the Khaleefa said blatantly ‘I don’t know if you are telling the truth’ [Tafseer al Kabeer, Volume 10 page 506]? We then see her humiliation compounded yet further when the witnesses she produces are also rejected! Were Maula ‘Ali, Rabah, Umm Ayman, Hasan, Husayn also Fasiq’s who had jointly conspired to secure land for Sayyida Fatima (as) that she had no legal right to?

We would like to ask Philips:

How would you feel if you walked into a Shariah Court lodging a petition to land, and the Judge despite knowing your esteemed rank and knowledge challenged the truthfulness of your claim and demanded witnesses. How would the Judge’s demand make you feel? Would you not feel humiliated by such a comment?

Let’s change scenarios, imagine that you are a Judge and Hadhrat Ayesha makes a petition to you for land that her father Abu Bakr left her. Would you contemplate demanding that she bring witnesses to corroborate her claim? Don’t you think it would be an insult to her if you told her to go and get witnesses? If so, why do you not have the same viewpoint when it comes to the treatment of Sayyida Fatima (as)?

The Sunni Ulema have graded the testimony of the killers of Husayn (as) to be superior to Sayyida Fatima (as)

Whilst these Nasabi have set out a vast array of defences to justify Abu Bakr’s demands for witness corroboration, they have failed to take stock of the fact that according to Sunni Fiqh the word of a Thiqah or a Seduq narrator requires no further witness corroboration. If for example there exists a chain, wherein a Tabieen narrated a Hadeeth on the authority of a Sahabi – if the Tabieen in the chain is Thiqah (Very reliable) then his exemplary truthful character means that no separate chain needs to be sought to corroborate ‘his’ claim. The only analysis that needs to be conducted is the chain down. Now we would like to ask all those that support Abu Bakr, what about the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as)? Was this a faulty chain? Sayyida Fatima (as)’s claim was based on what her father has said to her directly. The claim that Abu Bakr heard was based on this chain, her direct testimony. Could Abu Bakr’s advocates tell us if they believe that Sayyida Fatima was a Thiqah narrator? We are sure that no sincere Muslim would doubt this; in fact we have the testimony of the Ayesha that in effects proves that no one was more Thiqah than her. Tahir ul Qadri in his in ‘Al Durr’athul Baydh fee Manaqib Fatima al Zahra (as)’ page 110 recorded this tradition from Hilayath al Awliya Volume 2 page 41-42:

“Umro bin Dinaar narrates that Ayesha said: ‘Other than her father, no one is more truthful than Fatima in this world”.

When Sayyida Fatima (as vouched for by Ayesha) was the most truthful in the Ummah after the Prophet (s), why have the Ahl’ul Sunnah upheld Abu Bakr’s insistence that she produce witnesses to substantiate the truthfulness of her claim? It is indeed unfortunate that the Sunni scholars of Rijjal have graded the killers of Imam Husayn (as) – Umar ibn Sa’d and his likes to be Thiqah or Seduq narrators (see our article ‘Who killed Imam Husayn’). What conclusion should we reach about a school of thought that grades the testimonies of the killers of Imam Husayn (as) as superior to Sayyida Fatima (as)?

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr opposed the Qur’an by failing to side with the truthful

Allah (swt) says in Surah Tauba verse 19:

O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed).

We shall now rely on the following Sunni commentaries of this verse:

  1. Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 3 page 290
  2. Tafseer Mazhari Volume 4 page 320
  3. Ya Nabi al Muwaddah page 119
  4. Tadhkiratul Khawwas page 10, Bab Sha’afi
  5. Tafseer Fatah ul Qadeer Volume 2 page 529
  6. Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani Part 11 page 45

For the sake of brevity we shall only quote verbatim Fathul Qadeer, Mazhari and Durre Manthur:

“Ibn Abbas ‘to be with the truthful’ refers to Hadhrat Ali’
 Fatah ul Qadeer, Vol. 3, page 529

Comment

This verse refers to the progeny of Rasulullah (s) since you can interpret ‘Sadiqeen’ in any way you choose, but Ahl’ul bayt (as) will fall within this definition, others may come within this (but their identities are unknown) whilst there is no doubt that the Ahl’ul bayt are included here. It would be better for sensible people to leave that in which there is doubt and embrace that which is proven. The ‘truthful’ are those that are purified from sin, since there is no sense in having a man of truth that indulges in sins. Sadiqeen refers to the family of the Prophet and this is proven from their perfection/infallibility.The testimony of the truthful without need for witnesses should be accepted, if it is not then there exists no distinction between a man of truth and a liar.

Sayyida Fatima (as) was from the ‘Sadiqeen’, it was Abu Bakr’s duty to accept her claim without demanding supporting witnesses’ testimony. Hadhrat Ali (as) was also counted as amongst the Sadiqeen, again he could have accepted his word, but Abu Bakr threw out their claims, and hence in the process opposed the Qur’anic verse commanding us ‘to be with the truthful’.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr abandoned ‘the rope of Allah’

We read in Surah Aal-e-Imran:

Hold tight the rope of Allah and do not be divided amongst yourselves

We will rely on the following Sunni Tafseers to establish the identity of the rope:

  1. Sawaiqh al Muhriqa, Page 517, Ayat al Khum Fadail Ahl’ul Bayt
  2. Ya Nabi al Muwaddah page 116

We read in Sawaiq al Muhriqa:

“In Tafseer Thalabi it is narrated on the authority of Imam Jafar al Sadiq that the rope of Allah refers to the Ahl’ul bayt”
 Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, Page 517

Ya Nabi al Muwaddah states:

“Ibn Abbas narrates that we were sitting with the Prophet when an Arab approached and asked “Master I heard you say that we should grasp the Rope of Allah, what is the Rope of Allah? Rasulullah (s) placed his hand on ‘Ali’s and said ‘Obey him firmly’

Comment

A rope is flexible, it can bend in the same way that man can, and one can climb up and down it. Obedience of ‘Ali takes you from the foot upwards and opposition brings you to the ground, in a disgraced state.

Applying this Hadeeth to the facts, it was incumbent on Abu Bakr to obey the claim of Imam Ali (as) in the Fadak dispute. If he had , he would have attained a high rank in the process. Sadly Abu Bakr denied Sayyida Fatima (as)’s claim for Fadak, he rejected the testimony of Imam Ali (as) in the process and removed himself from gaining any respect.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr opposed the ‘people who know’

“Ask those who know”

Let us now turn to the Sunni commentaries of this verse:

  1. Ya Nabi al Muwaddah page 119
  2. Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani commentary of verse 23 of Surah Nail, page 148

We read in Ya Nabi al Muwaddah:

Jabir narrates from Ali,’the people of knowledge refers to us’

Comment

Dhikr refers to the Qur’an or the Prophet hence Ahl’ul Dhikr in either context refers to the progeny of the Prophet (s). When the verse of the Qur’an had a clear or hidden meaning, it was incumbent on Abu Bakr to seek clarification from ‘those who know’.

Both Hadhrat Ali (as) and Sayyida Fatima (as) were the Ahl’ul Dhikr, hence before ruling on the Fadak dispute it was incumbent on Abu Bakr to get clarification on what their position was on Fadak. Instead of doing so he rejected their positions and usurped the land, removing all rights that the progeny had over the Estate. In doing so Abu Bakr openly rejected the Ahl’ul Dhikr.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected one who testified to the Prophethood

We read in Surah Hud verse 17:

Is he (to be counted equal with them) who relieth on a clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him reciteth it, and before it was the Book of Moses, an example and a mercy?
Al-Qur’an, Surah Hud, Ayah 17, translated by Pickthal

The witness refers to Imam Ali (as) as has been vouched for in the following classical Sunni works:

  1. Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 3 page 586
  2. Tafseer Khazan Volume 3 page 183
  3. Ya Nabi al Muwaddah page 99
  4. Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani Part 12 al Hud page 28

We read in Ruh al Ma’ani:

“Rasulullah said ‘clear proof’ refers to the Prophet (s) and the witness refers to Ali”

We read in Dur al-Manthur:

“In the above verse, the witness refers to ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib and ‘Mina’ refers to Rasulullah (s) – and Ali was witness to this, as he remained with the Prophet (s),and in the end ‘Ali is Rasulullah’s immediate Khalifa”.
 Dur al-Manthur fi tafseer al-Mathur, Vol. 3, page 586

Comment

The individual claiming Prophethood is an esteemed personality, as is the one testifying to his Prophethood. When Allah (swt) made Ali witness to the Prophethood of Muhammad (s) then he is proven to have an esteemed rank. When such an esteemed figure who testified to the Prophethood (s) gives evidence in a dispute, can there be a likelihood of his testimony being fraudulent?

When Hadhrat Ali (as) testified that Fadak was the right of Sayyida Fatima (as) and his evidence was not upheld (inspite of the respect and digity Ali (as) enjoyed) it becomes clear that Abu Bakr bore some enmity towards the Ahl’ul Bayt (as). If the Khalifa had the slightest respect for these figures he should have accepted the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as) without demanding witnesses, when they were called he could have at least accepted the word of Hadhrat Ali (as). Sadly the faith that Abu Bakr had in the Sahabi Jabir Ibn Abdullah was not shared when it came to the purified members of Rasulullah’s household. Abu Bakr preferred the claim of common men to that of Sayyida Fatima (as), Leader of Women of Paradise, and of Hadhrat Ali ‘Witness to the Prophethood’.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected one who possessed knowledge of the Book

We read in Surah Rad verse 43:

The Unbelievers say: “No messenger art thou.” Say: “Enough for a witness between me and you is Allah, and such as have knowledge of the Book.”
Al-Qur’an, Surah Rad, Ayah 43, translated by Yusufali

The following Sunni sources have confirmed that knowledge of the Book refers to Imam Ali (as)

  1. Ya Nabi al Muwaddah, Chapter 3
  2. Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani page 166, Commentary of Surah Rad

We read in Ya Nabi al Muwaddah:

“Fadhil bin Atheer narrates from Imam Muhammad Baqir that this verse descended in the honour of Imam Ali, research has established that Rasulullah is the Aalim of this Ummah”

The text of Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani reads:

‘Min undh Ilm Kitab’ refers to ‘Ali and ‘Ali Nazeer Kitab’ refers to the Qur’an, by my life the entire knowledge of the Qur’an was with ‘Ali”
 Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani, page 166

Comment

The verse confirms that Hadhrat Ali had an absolute knowledge of the Qur’an.Imam Ali (as) recited verses on inheritance to prove that Fadak was the right of Sayyida Fatima (as). To rely on the poor commentaries provided by Ibn Katheer is to in effect suggest that Imam Ali (as) did not have the understanding of these verses, rather Ibn Katheer knew better! To interpret the verses in away that differed to Imam Ali (as)’s opinion is not only an insult to Hadhrat Ali it is also an insult to Allah (swt) for He (swt) praised his ‘Knowledge of the Book’ and yet this same man was unable to grasp the true meaning of the verses of inheritance. The verse and commentary proves that apart from Rasulullah (s), Hadhrat Ali (as) was the Sahabi who possessed the greatest knowledge of the Qur’an.

Imam Ali (as) possessed a greater knowledge the rules of witness testimony.When he testified in favour of his wife in the Fadak Case, ignorant of the conditions of witnesses, then there would be no substance in Allah’s (swt) words declaring him as one who possesses ‘knowledge of the Book’. Abu Bakr rejected Imam Ali (as)’s understanding of the Qur’anic verses of inheritance and in doing so rejected the Qur’anic verse confirming ‘Ali (as) as possessing ‘knowledge of the Qur’an’.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the opinion of the true possessor of the knowledge of the Sharia

 

The Sharia is made up of two components the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (s).  The one that excels on issues pertaining to Sharia is that individual whose command of the Quran and Sunnah is at excelled level.  Those with a knowledge of these sources tower above others due to their knowledge, their views.  The more expert one is ion these two sources, the more reliable his viewpoint on Shari matters becomes, the common man will have faith that what such a person has opined has been deduced on the basis of an accurate understanding of the Quran and Sunnah.  The greater the said individuals command of the Quran and Sunnah the greater his acceptance as the final word on a matter.  Anyone with a lesser degree that challenges one with greater knowledge will be frowned upon and will be the subject of ridicule.  With this in mind it is indeed incredible that Abu Bakar opposed the testimony of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) who without a doubt possessed a greater knowledge of the Sharia than any other companion of Holy Prophet (s) including Abu Bakar.

We read in Hulyat al-Awliya by Asbahani, page 33 as well as in Tarikh Dimashq, Volume 42 page 400:

 حدثنا أبو القاسم نذير بن جناح القاضي، حدثنا إسحاق بن محمد بن مروان، حدثنا أبي، حدثنا عباس بن عبيد الله، حدثنا غالب بن عثمان الهمداني، أبو مالك، عن عبيدة، عن شقيق، عن عبد الله بن مسعود، قال: ” أن القرأن أنزل على سبعة أحرف ما منها حرف إلا له ظهر وبطن، وأن علي بن أبي طالب عنده علم الظاهر والباطن ” .”

 Ibn Masoud Said: ‘Quran had been revealed in seven different ways and every way has internal and external meanings and Ali bin Abi Talib has the knowledge of both”

Similarly we read the following words of Holy Prophet (s):

 قال لي رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) قم بنا يا أبا بريدة نعود فاطمة فلما أن دخلنا عليها أبصرت  أباها ودمعت عيناها قال ما يبكيك يا ينية قالت قلة الطعام وكثرة الهم وشدة السقم قال أما والله لما عند الله خير مما ترغبين إليه يا فاطمة أما ترضين أني زوجتك أقدمهم سلما وأكثرهم علما وأفضلهم حلما “

Prophet (s) said: ‘Fatima! Are you not pleased that your husband is the foremost of my Ummah .in Islam, the most knowledgeable of them and also the most patient“.
1. Tarikh Dimashq, Volume 42 page 132
2.  Fadael al-Sahaba, by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, volume 3 page 32
3. Manaqeb, by Khawarezmi, page 106

We likewise read in Hulayat al-Awliya, by Asbahani, Volume 1 page 33:

” قسمت الحكم عشرة أجزاء، فأعطي علي تسعة أجزاء والناس جزءاً واحداً ”
 

Abdullah said: ‘I was sitting with the Prophet (pbuh) when he was asked about Ali. He replied: ‘Wisdom has been divided into ten parts; Ali has been given nine parts whereas the people have been given one part only’
Kinji Shafyyie said: ‘Hasan’ (Kifayat al-Talib, p171). Hafiz Ahmad bin Sidiq consider it authentic (Fath al-Malik, p69). This tradition is also recorded in  Tarikh Dimashq, v42, p384 and Shawahed al-Tanzil, by Hasakani, v1, p136.

We read in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Volume 3 page 33:

 حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا وكيع حدثنا فطر عن إسماعيل بن رجاء عن أبيه عن أبي سعيد قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ان منكم من يقاتل على تأويله كما قاتلت على تنزيله قال فقام أبو بكر وعمر فقال لا ولكن خاصف النعل وعلي يخصف نعله

 Abu Saeed al-Khudari narrated that Allah’s Messenger (s) said: ‘There is amongst you one who will fight for the interpretation of Quran just like I fought for it revelation’. Then Abu Bakr and Umar stood up. Allah’s Messenger said: ‘No, but it is the one who is mending my shoe’. And Ali was mending his shoe’.
Shu’aib al-Arnaoot said: ‘Sahih’. Albani said: ‘Sahih’ (Silsila Sahiha, v5, p486). Al-Haythami said: ‘The narrators are the narrators of Sahih’ (Majma al-Zawaed, v5, p186).

We read in Musanaf by ibn Abi Shayba, Volume 7 page 502: 

حدثنا عيدة بن سليمان عن عبد الملك بن أبي سليمان قال قلت لعطاء كان في أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أحد أعلم من علي ؟ قال: لا والله أعلمه

 Abda bin Sulaiman from Abdulmalik bin Abi Sulaiman who said: ‘I asked Atta: ‘Is there anyone from amongst the companions of the Holy Prophet who is more knowledgeable than Ali?’ He replied: ‘No, by Allah I don’t know anyone’.

Abda bin Sulaiman: Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Kashif, v1, p677). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqrib al-|Tahdib, v1, p628). Abdulmalik bin Abi Sulaiman: Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Kashif, v1, p665). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p615). Atta: Dahabi said: ‘Sheikh ul-Islam’(Siar alam alnubala, v5, p78). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p674).

 We read in Tarikh ibn Mueen, by Duri Volume 1  page 106: 

حدثنا يحيى قال حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن يحيى بن سعيد عن سعيد بن المسيب قال ما كان في أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أحد يقول سلوني غير علي بن أبي طالب

 Yahya ibn Mueen from- Sufyan ibn Uyyania from  Yahya bin Saeed from Saeed bin al-Musayab who said: ‘No one from amongst the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) would say ‘ask me’ save Ali bin Abi Talib.’ 

Yahya bin Mueen: Dahabi said ‘the imam of Muhadthin’ (Al-Kashif, v2, p376). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2, p316). Sufyan bin Uyyaina: Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Al-Kashif, v1, p449). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p371). Yahya bin Saeed: Dahabi said: ‘Hujja’ (Al-Kashif, v2, p366). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqrib al-|Tahdib, v2, p303). Saeed bin al-Musayab: Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah Hujja’ (Al-Kashif, v1, p444). Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thabt’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p364).

We read in Al-Mawaqif by Qadhi Eji, Volume 3 page 627:

وعلي أعلم الصحابة

 “Ali is the most knowledgeable of the companions”

 

Similarly we read in Sharh al-Maqasid by Taftazani, Volume 2 page 300: 

أنه أعلم الصحابة لقوة حدسه وذكائه وشدة ملازمته للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

 “He is the most knowledgeable of the companions due to his strong intuition, his extreme smartness and his closely accompanying the Prophet (s)”.

Knowing the internal and external meanings of the Holy Quran is not a thing that one can achieve by striving alone. This is an exalted spiritual status that can only be granted by Allah (swt) to his chosen ones. When a person who has been granted knowledge of both the internal and external meanings of the Holy Quran by Allah (swt) and  is holding firm to a particular interpretation of the Quranic verses relating to the inheritance of prophets and is not ready to accept the alternative interpretation being offered, who has the audacity to reject the words of such an individual?

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected one who was ‘Sufficient for Allah’

We read in Surah Anfal verse 62:

Should they intend to deceive thee,- verily Allah sufficeth thee: He it is That hath strengthened thee with His aid and with (the company of) the Believers;
Al-Qur’an, Surah Anfal, Ayah 62, translated by Yusufali

The ‘believers’ whom Allah (swt) deemed the strength of RasulAllah(s) refers to Hadhrat Ali (as). This is supported by the Sunni book Manaqib Murtazvi written by Allamah Muhammad Salaeh Kasjafi Tirmidhi al Hanafi page 31:

“The Hanbali Hadeeth scholars have commented that all the scholars of Tafseer are in agreement that ‘Manit’aa ba-ik’ refers to ‘Ali”

Comment

This verse proves that Hadhrat Ali was sufficient for Rasulullah (s), hence his every word would suffice for Rasulullah (s) – so why was his testimony in favour of Sayyida Fatima (as) not sufficient in the Fadak case? The Khalifa by rejecting the testimony of Hadrat Ali(as)in fact rejected this verse of the Quran.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the ‘one with the truthful tongue’

We read in Surah al Shuara verse 84:

“Grant me honourable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations);
Al-Qur’an, Surah ash-Shuara, Ayah 84, translated by Yusufali

Allamah Muhammad Salaeh Kashafi Tirmidhi al Hanafi in Manaqib Murtazvi Chapter 1 page 138 states:

“Manqan Ibn Murdhaya narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir that the truthful tongue refers to ‘Ali”

Comment

The tradition confirms that Allah (swt) referred to Hadhrat Ali as the truthful tongue. When Allah (swt) affirms a man as ‘truthful tongue’ that clearly means that he does not lie, in any circumstance. When this truthful tongue gave testimony supporting Sayyida Fatima (as)’s claim, then it was Abu Bakr’s duty to accept the word of Hadhrat Ali (as). Sadly Abu Bakr rejected the word of a man whom Allah praised as the truthful tongue and hence he also rejected this verse of the Qur’an.

Abu Bakr openly rejected 8 verses of the Qur’an in praise of Hadhrat Ali and Sayyida Fatima (as). The Qur’an and Ahl’ul bayt (as) were the two weighty things; one who opposes them has no rightful claim to the Khilafat.We the Shi’a don’t bear any personal grudge to Abu Bakr; we are angered at him because he usurped the legal right of the daughter of Rasulullah (s) and made her upset in the process.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the verse of purifity

We have already proved from numerous source that Hadhrat Ali (as) is included in this verse. The verse is in honour of the Ahl’ul bayt (as), and in Ahl’ul Sunnah’s esteemed work ‘Sawaiqh al Muhriqa’ page 85, Ibn Hajr al Makki, after collating the traditions concludes that the verse was in honour of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) of the Prophet (s). He then said:

“In this verse Rijs means sins, verily the Ahl’ul bayt (as) are aloof from all types of sin, and this is an illuminating proof of their supreme station… in every time Saints from the Ahl’ul bayt shall exist.
 Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, Pages 489 & 490

Comment

The verse proves the perfection of Sayyida Fatima (as), her husband and sons; hence it was incumbent on Abu Bakr to honour the testimonies of these individuals. By rejecting their testimony he put this verse of the Quran in contempt.

Now let us look at Abu Bakr’s decision in light of the Hadeeth of Rasulullah (s)…

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the Hadeeth of the ‘two weighty things’

For evidence we shall rely on the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Musnad Ahmad, H 10681
  2. Sunnan Tirmidhi, H 3720
  3. Sunnan Kubra, by Nisai, v5, p130
  4. Al-Mustadrak, H 4576
  5. Tarikh Dimashq, v42, p219
  6. Mujam Saghir, by Tabarani, v1, p131
  7. Musnad Abi Yala, v2, p1021
  8. Al-Sunnah, by ibn abi Asem, p336
  9. Silsila Sahiha, volume 4 page 355
Prophet (s) said:

يا أيها الناس ! إني قد تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا ؛ كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي

“O people! I am leaving among you what if you follow them, you will never go astray; the book of Allah and my Etra my Ahlulbayt’
Declared ‘Sahih’ by Imam Albaani in Silsila Sahiha, volume 4 page 355.

The renowned Hanafi scholar Mullah Ali Qari in his commentary of Mishkat al Masabih, Volume 11 page 376 writes:

“Thaqlayn the letter Thay and Kaaf are all conquering they carry two great orders, they are the Qur’an and Ahl’ul bayt, since these are the greatest. Thaql is a form of luggage that is placed on the back of a carrier, Jinn and Mankind have been referred to as Thaqlayn as they are a weight on earth. Qur’an and Itrat (progeny) are referred to in this tradition…Jinn and Man have been called Thaqlayn as they have a distinction and the Qur’an and Ahl’ul Bayt are distinct from other books and people”

If Nawasib try to advance the claim that Thaqlayn actually refers to adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah, then our reply is that both sources are silent and correct understanding comes from seeking knowledge of the Qur’an from Imam Ali (as) and the other Imams from the Ahl’ul bayt (as).

One who opposes Ahl’ul bayt (as) is from the Party of Shaytan and hence outside the Deen

al-Hakim on page 149, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak stated:

“The stars protect the inhabitants of earth against drowning, and my Ahl al­Bayt protect my nation against dissension. If a tribe among the Arabs differs from them, they will all then differ and become the party of Satan.” (Ibn `Abbas. Al-Hakim adds: “This is an authentic Hadeeth though they (both Shaykhs, i.e. Bukhari and Muslim) did not include it (in their books).”

Shah Abdul Aziz in Tauhfa Ithna Ashari page 130 also admitted:

“Shi’a and Sunni are in agreement that Rasulullah (s) said ‘I am leaving among you two things that are exalted…

Verily we can see that on the principles of Shari’ah, Rasulullah (s) gave the order to obey both, any madhab that on principles of aqeedah or practice opposes any one of them is a liar. Anyone who opposes the Qur’an and Ahl’ul bayt falls outside the realms of the Deen, we will see who amongst Sunni and Shi’a opposes adhering to the Qur’an and Ahl’ul bayt (as).”

Comment

Let us decide on the Fadak dispute in line with these comments:

  1. We have proven the authenticity of the Hadeeth Thaqlayn from several recognised Sunni works
  2. The tradition is authentic in terms of chain of narrators and is Muttawatir
  3. Tauhfa, Sawaiqh and Lughut al Hadeeth have proven that ‘Itrat’ refers to Sayyida Fatima (as), Imams ‘Ali (as), Hassan (as), Husayn (as) and their pure descendants.

Applying this to the facts, Sayyida Fatima (as) claimed Fadak as land that was her legal entitlement, and Imam Ali (as) and Hasnayn (as) also testified to support her claim. Hadeeth Thaqlayn made it Abu Bakr’s duty to obey the Ahl’ul bayt (as), but he opposed their position.The great advocate of the Sahaba Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi has stated that those who oppose the Itrat of Rasulullah (s) fall outside the Deen. Now its left to the Ahl’ul Sunnah to decide where the comments of this famed debater leave Abu Bakr.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected Hadeeth-Safina

This hadith has been mentioned in the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p343, v3, pp 150-151 [ chapter 'on the authority of Abu Dhar'.]
  2. Mishkat al Masabih Volume 2 page 258
  3. Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p786
  4. Tafseer al-Kabeer, by Fakhr al-Razi, under the commentary of verse 42:23, Part 27, p167 al-Bazzar, on the authority of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Zubair with the wording “drowned” instead of “perished”.
  5. al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p234 under Verse 8:33. Also in section 2, p282.
  6. Tareekh al-Khulafa and Jami’ al-Saghir, by al-Suyuti
  7. al-Kabeer, by al-Tabarani, v3, pp 37,38
  8. Hilyatul Awliya, by Abu Nu’aym, v4, p306
  9. al-Kuna wal Asma, by al-Dulabi, v1, p76
  10. Yanabi al-Muwaddah, by al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, pp 30,370

For the sake of brevity we are quoting directly from al Mustadrak and Mishkat:

Abu Dharr narrates that Rasulullah (s) said ‘Beware! My Ahlul-Bayt are like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarked in it is SAVED, and whoever turned away from it is perished’.

Since the ancestors of the present day Nawasib rejected this directive they have preferred to cast doubts on its authenticity. The case of Ibn al-Hashimi al-Nasibi is one such example:
 http://www.ahlelbayt.com/articles/hadith/safinah

Let us remind these children of Muawiyah that Al-Hakim recorded the tradition in his book ‘al-Mustadrak’ volume 2 page 343 and declared it as Sahih according to the condition of Muslim. Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti in his book ‘Al-Jame al-Saghir’ volume 2 page 533 declared it as Hasan. Imam Al-Sakhawi in his book ‘Al-Baldanyat’ page 186 declared it as Hasan. Moreover, the great Hanafi Imam Mullah Ali Qari in Mirqat Sharh Mishkat, Volume 18 page 48 explicitly writes:

أبو ذر أنا المشهور بصدق اللهجة وثقة الرواية وأن هذا الحديث صحيح لا مجال للرد فيه وهذا تلميح إلى ما روينا عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لا أظلت الخضراء ولا أقلت الغبراء أصدق من أبي ذر.

“Abu Dharr, narrated it, the same Abu Dharr with a truthful tongue. It is well known that he is Thiqah in narrating, this Hadith is Sahih, there is no room to refute it. About Abu Dharr it has been narrated by Abdullah ibn Amro bin al-Aas that Rasulullah (s) said: ‘Heaven has not shaded, nor has the earth carried a person more truthful than Abu Dharr’.
 Mirqat Sharh Mishkat, Volume 18 page 48

With regard to the meaning of this tradition let us quote the comments of Ibn Hajr al Makki in his anti Shi’a book Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 91:

‘Rasulullah compared his Ahl’ul bayt to the boat, since the boat was a means of salvation, and any person who loves the Ahl’ul bayt, shall respect them and act upon their knowledge and guidance, shall be protected from destruction and kuffar, whoever opposes them shall drown in misguidance”.

The comments of leading Deobandi Imam similarly loved by the Salafies, Shah Ismail Shaheed are also worthy of note. Having narrated this Hadeeth in his classical source ‘Taqwitatul Iman’ page 228, Chapter ‘The Companions and Ahl-e- Bait of the Messenger of Allah’ he offers his understanding of the Hadeeth:

“It is clear from this Hadeeth that those who follow the ways and modes of the ahl-bait (members of the Prophet’s house) are saved from Unbelief and Hell, like those who were saved by mounting on the Ark of Noah. Those who refused to be in the Ark were ruined, including a son of Noah who was also among the Unbelievers”,

Comment

Rasulullah (s) had set out how the Ummah could protect itself from error/ misguidance, by comparing the Ahl’ul bayt (as) to the Ark of Noah. In the same way that the Ark was a source of salvation for the Sahaba of Prophet Nuh (as), the Ark of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) was a source of guidance for the Sahaba and all generations that followed them.

We have cited 10 authentic Sunni sources to prove the veracity of the Hadeeth along with the commentaries of the tradition by three renowned Sunni scholars. We previously also cited the comments of Shah in Tauhfa, namely one who opposes the Ahl’ul bayt (as) is misguided. We have also shown the identities of the Ahl’ul bayt under the verse of purity, namely Sayyida Fatima (as), ‘Ali (as) and Hasnayn (as). Hence opposing them is misguidance.

The Shah said opposing them is misguidance we leave it to those with open minds where this leaves Abu Bakr who did just that.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the Hadeeth ‘Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali’

As evidence we are relying on the following authentic Sunni sources:

  1. Nuzul ul Abrar, page 24
  2. Kanz al-`Ummal, Volume 6 page 157 Chapter “Fadail ‘Ali” Hadeeth number3301
  3. Tauhfa Ithna Ashariyyah, page 216
  4. Tafseer Kabeer, Volume 1 page 180
  5. Jama Tirmidhi, Volume 2 page 573 Chapter “Manaqib ‘Ali Ibne ‘Abi Talib”
  6. Fara’id us Simtayn, page 174 Chapter 36
  7. Manaqib, by Khawarzmi Chapter 8 page 56
  8. Kanzul al Haqaiq page 160
  9. Seerath Halbeeya Volume 3 page 236
  10. Manaqib by Ibne Maghazli page 144

All these books contain this tradition:

“‘Ali is with the Truth and the Truth is with ‘Ali”

This Hadeeth is authentic and the great Sunni scholar Shah Abdul Aziz in Tauhfa Ithna Ashari page 211 said:

“The Ahl’ul Sunnah accept this and are prepared to place this on our eyes”

We read in Musnad Abu Yala, Volume 2 page 318:

Abu Saeed from his father said: ‘…Then Ali bin Abi Talib passed by us, hence He (s) said: ‘The truth with this one, the truth with this one.’
The margin writer of the book Hussain Salim Asad said: ‘The narrators are reliable’. So did Imam Al-Haythami in Majma al-Zawaed, Volume 7 page 235.

We read in Mustadrak al-Hakim, Volume 3 page 214:

Allah’s messenger said: ‘May Allah’s mercy be upon Ali, Oh Allah, rotate the truth wherever he rotates’.

Hakim said: ‘Sahih according to the condition of Muslim’

Comment

This is a crucial Hadeeth proving that attaching oneself to the teachings of ‘Ali (as) guarantees religious guidance. In this connection Sunni Imam Fakhruddin Al-Razi records:

Ali bin Abi Talib used to recite ‘Bismillah al Rehman al Rahim’ loudly in prayers and this is a proven fact that whoever followed Ali bin Abi Talib in religion, has been guided and its proof is that the Prophet (s) supplicated: ‘O Allah, turn the truth in the direction where Ali turns’.
 Tafseer Kabeer, Volume 1 pages 180-181

The fact that Imam Ali (as)’s position is always the correct one is clearly evidenced by this tradition, so when he (as) took the side of Sayyida Fatima (as) testifying to support her claim, then his position was indeed one of truth. Abu Bakr rejected this testimony of truth. Ahl’ul Sunnah need to decide with whom was the truth, was it with Imam Ali (as) or Abu Bakr?

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the Hadeeth ‘Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with ‘Ali’

As evidence we shall cite the following Sunni sources:

  1. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p124 on the authority of Umm Salama
  2. al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, Ch. 9, section 2, pp 191,194
  3. al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani; also in al-Saghir
  4. Tareekh al-Khulafa, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p173
  5. Kanz ul Ummal Hadeeth number 32912

All the above references contain these words of Rasulullah (s):

“‘Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with ‘Ali, the two shall not separate until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar”

Comment

We have relied on numerous Sunni sources containing this tradition that proves the exalted rank of Imam Ali (as). If Imam Ali (as) does the opposite, it renders the words of the Prophet(s) without any substance. According to the Hadeeth we are relying on, his testimony would be on par with the Qur’an, yet Abu Bakr rejected this testimony, he therefore rejected a Hadeeth of Rasulullah (s).Our opponents need to decide on the Fadak dispute, was the Qur’an with Hadhrat Ali (as) or was it with Abu Bakr?

In addition to this let us hear Imam Ali (as)’s own claim of superiority with regard to the knowledge of the Qur’an. These words can be located in the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Tareekh ul Khulafa (part English translation page 194, Dhikr ‘Ali)
  2. Hilayath al Awliya page 68 Chapter 7
  3. Kanz al Ummal Volume 6 page 405
  4. Nathajab Kanz al Ummal Volume 5 page 48
  5. al Istiab Volume 3 page 463
  6. Dhukhair al Aqba page 83 Chapter 112
  7. al Isaba Volume 4 page 503
  8. Fayz al Qadeer Volume 3 page 42 Chapter 23
  9. Tadhkirathul Khawwas page 28

We quote verbatim from Tareekh ul Khulafa:

“Abu Tufayl said: ‘Ali said ‘Ask me about the Book of Allah because there is no Ayah but that know where it was revealed, at night or in day time, on the plain or in the mountain’
 Tareekh ul-Khulafa, Page 194

Also on the same page of Tareekh ul Khulafa: we read:

“…’Ali said, By Allah, an ayah has not been revealed without me knowing about what it was revealed, when it was revealed, and about whom it was revealed. My Lord has given me a very intelligent heart and a true and articulate tongue”.

These words of Imam Ali (as) also appear in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d Volume 2 page 238, Chapter 8 and Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 13.

We read in Hilya tul Auwliyah, page 63 and in Tarikh Damishq, Volume 42 page 400:

Ibn Masud Said: ‘Quran has been revealed in seven different ways and every way has internal and external meanings and Ali bin Abi Talib has the knowledge of both’

Comment

The two claims of Imam Ali (as) attest to the superior knowledge of the Quran that Hadhrat Ali (as) possessed. He was aware of the dates, timing, places and reasons for revelation. In addition we have the testimony of Ibne Masud wherein he made it clear that Imam Ali (as) had a command of the clear and hidden meanings of the Quranic verses.

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the claim of Ali (as) ‘I am the great truthful one’

As evidence we shall rely on the following authentic Sunni sources:

  1. Sunan Ibn Majah Volume 1 page 69, (chapter Fadail ‘Ali ibn abi Talib)
  2. Al Riyadh al Nadira Volume 3 page 136 Part 3
  3. Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 74 Hadeeth number 30
  4. Kanz al Ummal Bab Fadail ‘Ali Volume 6 page 394

We quote verbatim from Ibn Majah:

‘I am a man of Allah, the brother of the Prophet, and the Great truthful one (Siddiq Akbar), anyone who claims this other than me is a liar, I offered Salat 7 years before anyone else’.
 Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Page 69

We read in Mansab-e-Imamate, page 105 by the Great Imam of the Deobandis Shah Ismail Shaheed:

“Imamate is the Shadow of the Prophethood. The Imam’s leadership is openly declared. Whereas history provides evidence of Saints that remained silent, the Imam announces whatever powers he possesses as Imam Ali did when he declared ‘I am the Siddiq al Akbar (The Great Truthful One) and whoever declares this after me is a liar and I am the talking Qur’an”.
 Mansab-e-Imamate, Page 105

Here we shall take the opportunity to refute all those pathetic Nawasib who try to create doubts over the authenticity of this tradition in their attempt to save the fake ‘Sideeq’ and ‘Farooq’ found in their camp. All such efforts are in vain since one of the beloved scholars of Salafis equally admired by Hanafies namely Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdulhadi al-Sindi (d. 1138 H) in the margin of the book Sunan Ibn Majah stated about this tradition:

قلت هذا إسناد صحيح رجاله ثقات

“I say that the chain is Sahih and the narrators are Thiqah”

Moreover we read:

قلت فكأن من حكم بالوضع حكم عليه لعدم ظهور معناه لا لأجل خلل في إسناده

“I say that it seems that those who criticize the reliability of this tradition do so because they couldn’t understand its meaning not because there is any error in the chain.”
 Hashyat al-Sindi, Volume 1 page 107

Another Sunni margin writer of Sunan ibn Majah namely Dr. Muhammad Fuad Abdulbaqi said:

“The chain is Sahih and the narrators are Thiqah”

Imam Buseri in his authority work Misbah al-Zajajah fi Zawaid Ibn Majah, Volume 1 page 61 Hadith 49 stated:

هذا إسناد صحيح رجاله ثقات

“The chain is Sahih and the narrators are Thiqah”

Qadhi Shawkani in his famed work Fawaed Majmo’a, Volume 1 page 344 records:

وقد أخرجه الحاكم في المستدرك. وقال: صحيح على شرط الشيخين

Al-Hakim narrated it in Mustadrak and said: ‘Sahih according to the conditions of the two Sheikhs’

Let us now quote the words of one of the great students of Ibn Hajjar Makki al-Haythami and Mullah Muttaqi Hindi namely Allamah Muhammad Tahir al-Sediqi al-Fatni (d. 986) from his work in Tazkirat al-Mawduat, page 96:

وصححه الحاكم على شرطهما

“Al-Hakim declared it Sahih according to their (Bukhari and Muslim’s) conditions”

Also the scan from the English version of Sunan Ibn Majah we provided confirms that Imam Hakim declared this tradition Sahih yet the shameless Nawasib have deleted the words of Imam Hakim from the current versions of the book Mustadrak. If the authentication of this tradition by Imam Hakim was not important then what made the Nawasib delete his grading of it? The Nasibi’s attempts to discredit the tradition receives a further blow when we see another tradition having words similar to the above. We read in Mujam al-Kabir by Imam Tabarani, Volume 6 page 269:

Abu Dhar and Salam, may Allah be pleased with them narrated that Allah’s messenger (pbuh) held the hand of Ali (ra) and said: ‘This is the first one who believed in my God, he is the first one who will shake my hand in the hereafter, he is the great truthful one (Sideeq al-Akbar), he is the Farooq of this nation, he distinguishes truth from falsehood, he is chief of believers while the money is the chief of the unjust.’
 Mujam al-Kabir, Volume 6 page 269 Hadith 6184

Qadhi Shawkani in his book Dar al-Sahaba, page 205 stated about this tradition: ‘The narrators are Thiqah’.

Comment

Despite this high rank of Hadhrat Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected his testimony in favour of Sayyida Fatima (as) in the Fadak dispute, Ahl’ul Sunnah will need to decide who the great truthful one was here, was it Imam Ali (as) or Abu Bakr?

By rejecting the testimony of Imam Ali (as), Abu Bakr rejected the Hadeeth ‘I am the City of Knowledge and ‘Ali is its Gate’

As evidence we are relying on the following Sunni sources:

  1. Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 201,637
  2. Kanz al Ummal, Volume 13 page 148 Tradition 36464
  3. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 126-127,226, Chapter Virtues of Ali, narrated on the authority of two reliable reporters: one, Ibn Abbas, whose report has been transmitted through two different chains of narrators, and the other, Jabir Ibn Abdullah al-Ansari.
  4. Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p635, Tradition 1081
  5. Jami’ al-Saghir, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v1, pp 107,374; Also in Jami’ al-Jawami’; Also in Tareekh al-Khulafa, p171.
  6. al-Kabeer, by al-Tabarani (d. 360); Also in al-Awsat
  7. Ma’rifah al-Sahaba, by al-Hafidh Abu Nu’aym al-Isbahani
  8. History of Ibn Kathir, v7, p358
  9. History of Ibn Asakir
  10. Tareekh, by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, v2, p337; v4, p348; v7, p173; v11, pp 48-50; v13, p204
  11. al-Isti’ab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v3, p38; v2, p461
  12. Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v4, p22
  13. Tahdhib al-Athar, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari
  14. Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p114
  15. Siraj al-Muneer, by al-Hafidh Ali Ibn Ahmad Azizi Shafi’i (d.1070), v2, p63
  16. Manaqib, by Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Tayyib al-Jalaabi Ibn Maghaazi (d. 483)
  17. Yanabi’ al-Muwaddah, by al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, in Chapter 14
  18. Tadhkirat al-Khawwas al-Ummah, by Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 654), p29
  19. Kunz al-Badradeen, by Shaikh Khathri
  20. al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 9, section 2, p189

We read in Tareekh ul Khulafa by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d. 911 AH), p. 170

“… al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim has quoted on the authority of ‘Ali who said: The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, said: ‘I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its gate’…”

Comment

Some modern day Salafis in line with their great Nasibi Imams Ibn Tamiyah and Ibn Jauzi have deemed this Hadeeth to be a fabrication. It is indeed shameful that they have the audacity to deem a Hadeeth weak
that a number of high ranking Sunni Imams have graded authentic. Al-Hakim recorded it in his book al-Mustadrak, volume 3, page 126 and declared it as Sahih. Imam Yahya bin Moin declared it as Sahih (Tahdib al-Kamal, v18 p72 Translation 3421). Imam Tabari in his book ‘Tahdib al-Athaar’ page 104 declared it as Sahih. Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani declared it as Hasan (al-Fawaed al-Majmoa, v1, p348 by Shawkani). We have provided the authentication of this hadith from various other Sunni scholars in our article on  Ibn Tamiyah.

These Nawasib should have some shame. Not a single Sahih Hadeeth exists in praise of Mu’awiya, which is why your Imam Bukhari did not compile a Chapter on the Fadail of Mu’awiya. Despite this the lovers of the Banu Umayyad regime, as part of their efforts to praise their Imam have devised a concept that weak Hadeeth can be evidenced when discussing Manaqib or Fadail. When this is the case why do they suffer from palpitations when asked to accept a Sahih Hadeeth in praise of Imam al Muttaqeen, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as)?

If the motive of Nawasib by casting doubts on the authenticity of this famed Hadith is to prove that Ali bin Abi Talib (as) wasn’t knowledgeable about Islam beside the Prophet (s), then we should point out that there are various other traditions which testify to the knowledge and wisdom possessed by Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and when we see Hadith Madina tul ilm in the light of such traditions, there remains no doubt about the veracity of the hadith. We read in Hilya tul Auwliyah, page 63 and in Tarikh Damishq, Volume 42 page 400:

“Ibn Masud Said: Quran has been revealed in seven different ways and every way has internal and external meanings and Ali bin Abi Talib has the knowledge of both”

Prophet (s) once said:

“O Fatima! Are you not pleased that your husband is the foremost of my Ummah in Islam, the most knowledgeable of them and also the most patient”.
1. Tarikh Damishq, Volume 42 page 13
2. Fadael al-Sahaba, by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Volume 3 page 324
3. Manaqib by Khawarezmi, page 106

Comment

This tradition clearly makes it clear that it was the duty of Imam Ali (as) to clarify the Shari’ah of Rasulullah (s). Since Shari’ah is made up of two components the Qur’an and Sunnah, Hadhrat Ali (as)’s ruling should be the final say in all disputes. When Hadhrat Ali (as) declared the Islamic position on Prophetic inheritance during the Fadak dispute relying on the Qur’anic verses it was imperative for Abu Bakr to accept the position of Imam Ali (as) .

“Uns narrates from Rasulullah (s), on all that has been revealed by Allah (swt) the one with the greatest knowledge is ‘Ali
Manaqib Sayyida ‘Ali by A’ini, page 12

Refuting the defences presented by Abu Bakr’s advocates regarding witnesses

The witnesses produced in the fadak dispute were chosen by Allah to testify on behalf of Rasulullah (s) during the Mubahila. Despite this these testimonies were rejected on the following grounds:

  1. The number of witnesses required to substantiate a claim were not met.
  2. Children cannot testify on behalf of their parents.
  3. Hassan and Husayn were too young to testify in the dispute.
  4. A husband cannot acts as witness for his wife
  5. Testimony of a slave is not acceptable

Let us analyse each of the points:

Defence One: The number of witnesses required to substantiate a claim were not met

 

Reply

We have already mentioned the fact that there is no need for further witnesses when no other claimant is challenging a claim. Witnesses are required by a Judge when he has no other means of ascertaining the truth. When a Judge is definite on a matter then there is no need for him to ask for witness testimony. The irony of the matter is that the stipulation for witness numbers had been met, there was Ali (as), Rabah, Umm Ayman, Hassan (as), Husayn (as).

Although they did not all give testimony at the same time, they testified when the need arose. If we accept that Imam Ali (as) and Umm Ayman testified in the first instance, then the witness stipulation had been satisfied, since Sayyida Fatima (as) and umm Ayman were both women and Imam Ali was a male. The argument that a claimant’s testimony cannot be included, (i.e. someone other than Sayyida Fatima (as) was needed) is baseless since independent witnesses are required when a plaintiff’s claim is being challenged by another party, this was not the case here.

No one came forward during the dispute to counter the claim of Sayyida Fatima (as) by making oath before Allah (swt) that he remained closely with Rasulullah (s) every day through his life, and at no time did he (s) make a declaration to bestow this land to Sayyida Fatima (as). If such a situation had arisen then this would have meant a direct challenge to Sayyida Fatima (as)’s testimony.In such a situation, the claim of the claimant and the rejection of a the plaintiff’s claim by a second party would negate the testimonies of both sides.It would then be necessary to summon witnesses other than Sayyida Fatima (as).

Abu Bakr was acting in the capacity of Ruler and without any knowledge, adopted a dictatorial mindset demanding witnesses.There were no other claimants nor was anyone challenging the claimant’s assertion hence in such a scenario the claimant’s lone testimony is perfectly acceptable. The testimonies of Imam Ali (as) and his two sons also fulfilled the requirement of witness numbers. If the excuse is provided that these children were under age the rule of law is that if a child possesses common sense and knowledge then his/her testimony is acceptable.

One should think that when on the Day of Mubahila Rasulullah (s) presented Sayyida Fatima (as), Imam Ali (as), Hassan (as) and Husayn (as) as witnesses to his Prophethood, the Christian delegation did not raise a hue and cry that the witness stipulation had not been met. Rasulullah (s) was also one of the witnesses, in exactly the same that Sayyida Fatima (as) was a witness in the Fadak dispute.

No further witnesses were summoned on the Day of Mubahila, their testimonies formed part of a Supplication, and if the challenge had been accepted the following claim would have been made in the first instance, that Rasulullah (s) was a truthful Prophet (s) and Esau (as) was Man selected by Allah (swt), the Christians would reject this notion then both parties would curse one another.

Their testimony was that Rasulullah (s) was a true Prophet (s) and Esau (as) was a Prophet, not the Son of God.

Defence Two – Children cannot testify in support of their parents

 

Reply One – No proof from Quran

There is absolutlely no proof from the Qur’an that would substantiate such a defence. In fact Qur’anic evidence is quite the opposite, wherein we see that an infant Hadhrat Esau testified in support of his mother Hadhrat Maryam (as). If we accept this argument then it forms a real mockery in the eyes of Non Muslims, who will state ‘Muslims are so unreliable that children cannot testify in favour of their relatives!’

If you look at the West we see how children’s testimonies have come to be seen as acceptable in a court of law. Not only can children testify in favour of their parents, they can even be claimants in a dispute. This in effect recognises that a child’s testimony is acceptable and can presented as evidence, the Ahl’ul Sunnah opposing view has only been formulated to protect Abu Bakr, it has nothing to do with Islamic justice.

Reply Two – The Khalifas children have narrated Hadeeth praising their fathers

There is no Quranic basis that stipulates that a child cannot testify in support of his/her parents claim. If this is indeed true then by the same token all the virtues of Abu Bakr and Umar that have been narrated by their offsprings such as Ayesha, Hafsa and Abdullah Ibn Umar should likewise be rejected.This is indeed concerning when we learn that the sole narrator of the famous tradition wherein Abu Bakr led the prayers during the last sickness of Rasulullah (s) was none other than Ayesha. Although a Prophet’s children cannot testify on behalf of their parents, The Khalifas children can.Their testimonies of their father’s virtues are acceptable and no one raises even an eyebrow of concern. Compare this to the Judicial rules that operate in the Christian West, where people’s interests are put on high station, not only can children testify in favour of their parents claims, the testimony of the claimant is also deemed evidence in his favour. Unfortunately our opponents love of principles, has in effect given ammunition to critics to attack our religion!

Reply Three – Imam Ali (as) presented his son as his witness in a court case

Imam Ali (as) knew the Shari’ah better than any other Sahabi .We read in Tareekhul Khulafa [partial English translation] page 193:

“The Qadi Shurayh said: When ‘Ali was setting out to Siffin, he found that he was missing a coat of armour of his. When the war was over and he returned to Kufa, he came across the armour in the hands of a Jew. He said to the Jew, ‘the armour is mine, I have not sold it or given it away. The Jew said, ‘It is my armour and it is in my hand’. He said, ‘Let us go to the Qadi’. ‘Ali went first, sat beside the Qadi…Suhyayh said, ‘Speak Amir al Muminin’. He said ‘Yes this armour which this Jew has is my armour; I did not sell and I did not give it away. Shurayh said, ‘What do you say Jew?’ He said ‘It is my armour and it is in my possession’. Shurayh said, Do you have any evidence Amir ul Muminin’ He said, ‘Yes. Qanbar and al Hassan will witness the armour is mine’. Shurayh said, ‘A son’s testimony is not acceptable on behalf of his father ‘A man from the Garden, and his testimony is not acceptable? I heard the Prophet may Allah bless him peace saying, ‘al Hassan and al Hussein are the two Lords of the youth of people of the Garden’…
 Tareekh ul-Khulafa, Page 193

Comment

If a son’s testimony in support of a parent is unacceptable then Imam Ali (as) would not have presented his son in this case. His testimony was presented because he was one of the people of Paradise. Sadly in the Fadak dispute Abu Bakr heard the testimonies of four people of Paradise Imam Ali (as), Hassan (as), Husayn (as) as well as the initial claim Sayyida Fatima (as). He rejected all of their testimonies! If the testimony of offspring for their parents is unacceptable then the testimonies of Ayesha, Hafsa and Abdullah Ibn Umar should also be rejected when it comes to narrating the virtues of Abu Bakr and Umar.

Reply Four – According to Sunni jurists it is correct if children testify in support of their parents

Imam Ibn Qudamah records in Al-Mughni, Volume 12 page 64:

وروي عن أحمد رحمه الله رواية ثابتة تقبل شهادة الابن لأبيه

It has been narrated in a reliable narration from Ahmad may Allah’s mercy be upon him stating that the testimony of the son to support the father is acceptable.

al-Hatab al-Ru’aini records in Muwahib al-Jalil, Volume 8 page 175:

شهادة الولد ذكرا كان أو أنثى لأحد أبويه على الآخر جائزة إن لم يظهر ميل للمشهود له

The testimony of the progeny whether male or female to any one of the parents is acceptable as long there isnt any inclination towards them.

Imam Tahawi records in Mukhtasar Ikhtelaf al-Ulama, Volume 2 page 409:

وقال عثمان البتي تجوز شهادة الولد لوالديه وشهادة الأب لابنه ولامرأته إذا كانوا عدولا

Uthman al-Batti said: ‘the testimony of the son to his parents and the testimony of the father to his son or wife is acceptable provided they are just.’

Qadhi Shawkani records in his famed work Nail al-Auwtar, Volume 9 page 203:

وقال عمر بن الخطاب وشريح وعمر بن عبد العزيز و العترة وأبوثور وابن المنذر والشافعي في قول له إنها تقبل لعموم قوله تعالى {ذوي عدل}

“Umar bin al-Khatab, Shuraih, Umar bin Abdulaziz, Itra (Ahlulbayt), Abu Thur, ibn al-Munder and Shafiyee say that it is acceptable because the verse {and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice} is general”

Defence Three – Underage children cannot testify in favour of their parents

 

Reply One – The superiority of the Awliya Allah in infancy

Hadhrat Yahya (as) was granted Prophethood whilst an infant.

We read in Surah Maryam verse 12:

(To his son came the command): “O Yahya! take hold of the Book with might”: and We gave him Wisdom even as a youth,
Al-Qur’an, Surah Maryam, Ayah 12, translated by Yusufali

Isa (as) was granted Prophethood whilst still a child and testified to counter the false allegations made against his mother

We read in Surah Maryam verses 29-30:

But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;
Al-Qur’an, Surah Maryam, Ayah 29 & 30, translated by Yusufali

A child testified to counter a false allegation made against Prophet Yusuf (as)

Allah (swt) in Surah Yusuf cites the failed efforts of the wife of Aziz to seduce Prophet Yusuf (as), and her efforts to absolve herself by falsely alleging that he (as) seduced her. Yusuf (as) was protected through the assistance of an individual within the palace.

We read in Surah Yusuf verse 26:

(Joseph) said: She it was who asked of me an evil act. And a witness of her own folk testified: If his shirt is torn from before, then she speaketh truth and he is of the liars.

Who was this witness? We read in Tafsir Ibn Kathir, under the commentary of this verse:

“(and a witness of her household bore witness)” He was a babe in the cradle. Similar was reported from Abu Hurayrah, Hilal bin Yasaf, Al-Hasan, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, that the witness was a young boy who lived in the `Aziz’s house. Ibn Jarir At-Tabari preferred this view.

Allah (swt) made Hassan (as) and Husayn (as) witnesses to the Prophethood whilst they were still infants

Allah (swt) declares in Surah Aal-e-Imran verse 061:

If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: “Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!”
Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-e-Imran, Ayah 61, translated by Yusufali

The above verse is clear proof that on the day of Mubahila, Rasulullah (s) was accompanied by Hassan (as) and Husayn (as) in order to testify to his Prophethood. It is therefore clear that you cannot compare these children to others via the use of Qiyas.The testimony of ordinary men requires them to be baligh, this was not the case here as Allah (swt) deemed these infant’s testimonies to be correct.

Imam Jafer al Sadiq (as) would explain the way of Allah (swt) when he was a child

We read in Ya Nabi al Muwaddah page 415:

Muhammad Ibn Arabi narrates that at a young age Jafer could converse on the realities of the ways of Allah (swt)

Imam Abu Hanifa testified to the superior knowledge of a young Imam Musa Kadhim (as)

We read in Tauhfa Ithna Ashari Part 82 page 69:

“Abu Hanifa was sitting down, when the son of Imam Jafer, Musa came out, he was not baligh [adult]. Imam Abu Hanifa stood up to honour the child, and afforded him respect, and then asked him a question. Upon hearing the answer he was astounded and said ‘Allah (swt) knows best with regards to the House wherein he sent Prophethood”

Imam Taqi (as) gave news of the unseen at a young age

For this we shall rely on the following two esteemed Sunni sources:

  1. Shawahid al Nubuwwa page 205, Bab Dhikr Imam Muhammad Taqi
  2. Sawaiqh al Muhriqa, Pages 682 & 683, Dhikr ‘Ali Raza

Mamun Abbasid went hunting, left an eagle and it went missing from his sight. When the eagle returned it carried a fish in his break. Mamun placed the fish in his handkerchief. On his return children of Baghdad were playing on the road, when they saw him they ran off save one boy. Mamun asked “Tell what’s in my hand, he said “God from his creations has created fish in the Sea, some Kings hunt them with eagles and via them the family of the Prophet are tested”.
 Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, Pages 682 & 683

Young Imam Askari (as) offered advice to Bahlool

We read in Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 687 Fadail al Askari:

“Bahlool once saw a child crying in the street where all the other children were busy playing with their toys. Bahlool said ‘Shall I purchase a toy for you?’ the child replied: “We have not been created to play!”

Bahlool asked ‘Why have you been created’. The child said to attain knowledge and perform Ibadah”
 Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, Page 687

Imam Mahdi (as) attained knowledge at a young age

As evidence we shall cite the following classical Sunni works:

  1. Sawaiqh al Muhriqa, Page 689, Fadail Abu Muhammad
  2. Ya Nabi al Muwaddah page 452

We are quoting verbatim from Sawaiqh:

Imam Mahdi was five years old when his father died, Allah (swt) bestowed wisdom on him at that age
 Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, Page 689

Reply Two – Young children are seen as innocent and truthful

We cited the fact that Nabi Esau (as) testified for his mother whilst still in the cradle. This verse reflects the common notion that young children as seen as pure and innocent, which is why their words are commonly accepted as fact, since young children will speak the truth without fear of the the consequences / repercussions of such a comment. In this regard we have the episode wherein an infant Imam Hasan (as) told Abu Bakr to move from his father’s pulpit.

Suyuti records that:

“Al Hassan Ibn Ali came to Abu Bakr when he was upon the mimbar of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said ‘Come down from my father’s seat’. He said ‘You have told the truth, it is your father’s seat,’ and he placed him in his lap and wept’. Ali said ‘By Allah this was not from my command’.
History of the Khalifahs who took the right away, by: Al Hafiz Jalaludin Suyuti. English translation by Abdasamad Clark Page 71. Taha Publishers

Rather than brush aside this comment as the mutterings of a child fantasist, he said to the infant Imam Hasan (as) ‘You have told the truth’, thus proving in Abu Bakr’s eyes that the testimony of an infant is acceptable.

By rejecting the testimonies of Hassan (as) and Husayn (as), Abu Bakr inflicted injustice on the Ahl’ul Bayt (as)

Anyone who rejects the high rank of the Awliya Allah possesses a weak Iman. These two young boys were not ordinary members of the Ummah, where a baligh testimony was required.Such rulings are not applicable to Prophets and Imams and we have already cited the example of Khuzamah ibn Thabit (al Bukhari, Abu Dawood) who was bestowed the title of ‘Dhul Shahadatayn’ (one whose evidence is equivalent to the evidence of two witnesses)

Reply Three – Abu Bakr’s daughter narrated the spiritual Mir’aj of Rasulullah (s)

We read in Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work Zaad al Maad, Volume 3 page 54, Dhikr Miraaj:

Ibn Ishaq narrated that Ayesha and Mu’awiya said: ‘The Isra was spiritual, His (s) body didn’t disappear. And same has been narrated the from al-Hassan al-Basri.
 Zaad al Maad, Volume 3 page 54

Comment

The Mir’aj occurred before the Hijrah in Makka, this was a time when Ansar.Org’s Imam Mu’awiya was a Kaafir, and Ayesha was a mere child, she was unmarried and was in her father’s home, and had never seen the bed of Rasulullah (s).

Reply Four – Infant Ayesha also narrated the events of Hijrah

We read in Zaad al Maad, Volume 3 page 45 as writtein in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 698:

Ayesha said: So we prepared their baggage and put their journey food In a leather bag. And Asma’ bint Abu Bakr cut a piece of her girdle and tied the mouth of the leather bag with it. That is why she was called Dhat-an-Nitaqaln.

Comment

Ayesha was not adult at the time of the Hijrah, yet as this event is a virtue of Abu Bakr, she is a narrator. We appeal to justice, at the time of Hijrah and Mir’aj, Ayesha had not attained puberty, rather she was a mere child, yet the testimony of this infant daughter of Abu Bakr is acceptable. Curiously the testimony of Hadhrat Hassan (as) and Husayn (as) was rejected by Abu Bakr in the Fadak case on the ground that they had not attained puberty. Is this not a proof of bias and double standards?

Reply Five – A three year old child becomes his mother’s Wali and performs her Nikah

We read in one of the most reliable Salafi/Wahabi books namely Zaad al Maad, Volume 1 page 102:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم خطب أم سلمة إلى ابنها عمر بن أبي سلمة فزوجها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وهو يومئذ غلام صغير

“Rasulullah (s) asked Umar bin Salma for his mothers hand in marriage, he then performed the Nikah of his mother, he was a child at the time”

Comment

Later in the same text Ibn Qayyim states that Umar was three years of age. We have proven from the books of Ahl’ul Sunnah that they accept the testimonies of children. We have the example of Ayesha who narrated the event of Mir’aj when she was a mere infant, yet for the sake of exalting the rank of her father Abu Bakr her words are perfectly acceptable. When it comes to such narrations the Ulema of Ahl’ul Sunnah blindly accept such narration’s, deeming them as part of their Iman. On the other hand the words of a family whose children have knowledge of the unseen, who can discuss the ways of Allah (swt) at the age of six, are completely rejected. Imam Hassan (as) and Husayn (as) were the Leaders of the Youth of Paradise and they testified to the truthfulness of their mothers claim to Fadak. Abu Bakr should have accepted their words, but did not and made the land a part of Muslim treasury; by doing this he undoubtedly opposed the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Reply Six – The esteemed grandson of Abu Bakr narrated the event of Khandaq at the age of three

We read in Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 5941:

‘Abdullah b. Zubair reported: When it was the Day of the Battle of the Ditch I and ‘Umar b. Salama were in the fort in which there were women, i. e. the wives of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) ; the rest of the hadith is the same.

Ibn Zubayr was born in the first Hijrah, the Battle of ditch occurred in the 4th Hijrah.

We have no idea what wrong the family of Ali (as) had perpetuated against the Muslims that lead them to rejecting the testimonies of Hadhrat Hassan (as) and Husayn (as) on the grounds that they were not adult. The testimony of Abu Bakr’s three year old grandson is acceptable, but the testimony of the grandsons of Rasulullah (s) that their grandfather bestowed the land of Fadak to their mother is unacceptable. If you accuse us of bearing enmity towards the Sahaba then let it be known that you bear enmity to the Ahl’ul bayt (as); this dispute shall ultimately be decided on the Day of Judgement. We bear no personal grudge towards Abu Bakr, but our affiliation is with the leader of the women of Paradise.

Defence Four – A husband cannot acts as witness for his wife

 

Reply – According to a group of Sunni jurists it is correct if a husband acts as a witness for his wife

If Imam Ali (as) was amongst those who on account of worldly gain and personal benefit preferred gathering at Saqifa to Rasulullah’s funeral then their might well have been grounds to question his testimony. The reality is Imam Ali (as) was a pious humble man and rejecting his testimony was a major injustice.

We appeal to such advocates, we all have to die one day and held answerable to God. Have you ever contemplated that your Imam Abu Hanifa or Muhammad Ismail Bukhari would lie to achieve some personal benefit ? If you believe that these individuals would never do such a thing then how do you believe that the Chief of the Pious, Hadhrat Ali (as) would lie to gain personal benefit?

In any case a husband is allowed to testify in support of his wife by your own scholars. Imam of the Nasibis Ibn Taymiyah in Minhaj al Sunnah, Volume 4 page 125 states:

“On a husband’s testimony there exist two views of scholars, there are two narrations from Ahmad, one of which says that it is not acceptable, and it’s the opinion of Abu Hanifa, Malik, Laith bin Saad, Awzai, Ishaq and others while it is acceptable according to Sha’afi, Abi Sawar, Ibn Mazazir and others”.

A clearer proof can be galvanised from Ahle Sunnah’s authority work Al Alam al Moqeen page 41:

“Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) never raised doubts over the testimony of a father for his son, or a brother or any other near relative. There exists no ijma’a amongst the Muslims refuting this notion.

Abdul Razzaq (narrates from this chain) – Abi Bakr bin Abi Samra – Abi Zanaad – Abdullah bin Umar bin Zubay who heard Umar ibn al Khattab (ra) say ‘The testimony of a father for his son, or vice versa, or by a brother for a brother is permissible. He also narrated without a chain from Zuhri that the Salaf had no objections to the testimony of a father for his or vice versa, or brother, or husband for a wife”

The tradition quoted above can be read in Musanaf Abdulrazaq, Volume 8 page 343 Tradition 15471.

Hanafi Imam Muhammad bin Ahmad Sarkhasi (d. 483 H) who enjoys the title of ‘Shams al-Aimah’ (Sun of Imams) in his esteemed and most acclaimed work al-Mabsut, Volume 16 page 123 records:

وكان سفيان الثوري رحمه الله يقول شهادة الزوج لزوجته تقبل

Sufyan al-Thawri may Allah’s mercy be upon him says that the testimony of husband for his wife is acceptable”

Ibn Abdeen in Hashyat Rad al-Muhtar, Volume 6 page 21 records:

شهادة الزوج على الزوجة مقبولة

“Testimony of the husband for his wife is acceptable”

Ibn Rushd in his famed work Bidayat al-Mujtahid, Volume 2 page 380:

وأجازها الشافعي وأبوثور والحسن وقال ابن ابي ليلى تقبل شهادة الزوج لزوجه

It is permitted by Shafifyee, Abu Thawr, al-Hassan. And ibn Abi Layla said: ‘The testimony of the husband for his wife is acceptable.’

Defence Five – Testimony of a slave is not acceptable

One of the witnesses in Fatima’s case was the slave of the Holy Prophet (s), Rabah. Although we have not come across any Nasibi argument saying that the testimony of a slave is unacceptable but since with the passage of time it may arise absolve their caliph from the crime he had commited, we shall present our reply as a pre-emptive strike.

Reply – According to the Sunni Imams the testimony of a slave is acceptable

Imam Ibn Hazm records in Al-Muhala, Volume 9 page 412:

وشهادة العبد والأمة مقبولة في كل شئ لسيدهما ولغيره

“The testimony of a male and female slave is acceptable in every thing towards their masters or others.”

Imam of Salafies Ibn Qayim records in Alaam al-Muwaqin, Volume 2 page 98:

الذي دل عليه كتاب الله وسنة رسوله وإجماع الصحابة والميزان العادل قبول شهادة العبد

“What the book of Allah (Quran) and Sunnah of Allah’s messenger (Hadiths) and the Ijma of Sahaba and justice refers to is the acceptance of the testimony of a slave”

In his another book Al-Turuq al-Hikmia, Volume 1 page 244, Ibn Qayim records:

وقبول شهادة العبد هو موجب الكتاب والسنة وأقوال الصحابة وصريح القياس وأصول الشرع وليس مع من ردها كتاب ولا سنة ولا إجماع ولا قياس

Accepting the testimony of the slave is based according to the book (Quran), Sunnah (hadith), statements of Sahaba, analogy (Qyas), the fundamentals of law (Sharia), while those who reject it neither have any (proof) from the book (Quran), nor traditions (Sunnah) nor Ijma nor analogy (Qyas).

 

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