Chapter Twelve: Further injustices perpetrated against Sayyida Fatima (as)

 

Tragically the usurpation of Fadak was not the only injustice that Sayyida Fatima (as) suffered at the hands of the Shaykhayn. This chapter shall set out two further injustices.

First Injustice – The usurpation of Khums

 

The right of Banu Hashim to Khums has been proven from the Qur’an

Allah (swt) says:

Know that whatever of a thing you acquire, a fifth of it is for Allah, for the Messenger, for the near relative, and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer…
Al-Qur’an, Surah 8, Ayah 41, translated by Yusufali

The Ahle Sunnah have acknowledged that ‘Qurba’ in this verse refers to Banu Hashim. Suyuti in his commentary of this verse, in Tafseer Durre Manthur, Volume 4 page 69 stated:

Jubair bin Mutem [ra] narrated: ‘Allah’s Messenger gave the share of the kinsmen to Bani Hashim and Bani Abdulmutalib’

Similarly we read in Aysar al-Tafasir by Abu Bakr al-Jazaeri, Volume 2 page 604:

“Kinsmen means the close relatives of Allah’s Messenger and they are Banu Hashim and this is the opinion of Malik, while Shafiyee and Ahmad added Bani al-Mutalib”

We read in Al-Tafir al-Muyasar by Ayedh al-Qarni, page 222:

“The share of Allah’s Messenger’s kinsmen goes to Bani Hashim and Bani al-Mutalib”

Sunni scholars have also acknowledged that the reference to orphans and needy in this verse refers to the orphans and needy from Banu Hashim. As proof we have relied on the following Sunni sources:

  1. Tafseer Gharaib al Quran, page 6
  2. Tafseer Fatah ul Qadeer Volume 2 page 449

We read in Fatah al Qadeer:

روي عن زين العابدين علي بن الحسين أنه قال : إن الخمس لنا فقيل له : إن الله يقول : { واليتامى والمساكين وابن السبيل } فقال : يتامانا ومساكيننا وأبناء سبيلنا

It has been narrated from Zain al-Abdeen Ali bin al-Hussain that he said: ‘The khums is for us’. They said to him: ‘But Allah says ‘{the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer}’.’ He (Zain al-Abdeen) replied: ‘Our orphans, needy and wayfarer’.

Abu Bakr prohibited giving a portion of Khums to the orphans and needy from Banu Hashim

As proof we realy on Tafsir al-Kashaf, Volume 1 page 459:

وروي أن أبا بكر رضي الله عنه منع بني هاشم الخمس

“It has been narrated that Abu Bakr [ra] prohibited giving Banu Hashim Khums”.

Similarly we read in Tafseer Ruh al-Maani, Volume 2 page 11:

وروي عن أبي بكر رضي الله تعالى عنه أنه منع بني هاشم الخمس

“It has been narrated that Abu Bakr [ra] prohibited giving Banu Hashim Khums”.

Abu Bakr stopped giving Khums to the orphans and needy of Banu Hashim in violation to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (s), Sayyida Fatima (as) was angered at Abu Bakr’s denial of Khums in the same way she was upset at his confiscating the land of Fadak. She made a claim before Abu Bakr as a needy close relative of Rasulullah (s) and Abu Bakr rejected this. We read in Kanz al Ummal, Volume 5 page 580 Tradition 14108:

“Um Haani bin Abi Talib narrated that Fatima went to Abu Bakr asking him for the share of kinsmen, thus Abu Bakr replied: ‘I heard Allah’s messenger (pbuh) saying: ‘The share of kinsmen is for them only during my life time not after my death”.

This blanket prohibition on Khums has also been acknowledged by Shaykh of the Salafis Nasiruddin al-Albaani in his ‘Sahih Sunnan Abu Dawoud’ Volume 2 page 576 recorded the following ‘Sahih’ narration:

Jubayr ibn Mut’im narrated that he and Uthman ibn Affan went to the Messenger of Allah to complain about his method of distributing Khums, only between Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Mutalib. I (Jubayr) said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you give from the Khums to Banu Hashim and Banu Abdul Mutalib and you give us nothing while we are equal with them in being related to you?” The Messenger of Allah replied “Only the Banu Hashim and Banu AbdulMutalib are equal in relationship with me!”
Jubayr said: He never gave any share of the Khums to Banu Abd Shams and Banu Nawfil as he did to Banu Hashim and Banu AbdulMutalib. Abubakr used to distribute Khums in this manner too, except that he did not give the close relatives of the Messenger of Allah what the Messenger of Allah used to give to them. Umar and Uthman used to give him some of it however.

These references evidence Abu Bakr’s willingness to depart from the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) by dispossessing the near relatives of the Prophet (s) of their right to Khums. What gave Abu Bakr the right to discriminate against the blood relatives of the Prophet (s) in such a manner?

Umar also prohibited giving Banu Hashim any Khums

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

  1. Sunan Abu Dawood, Tribute, Spoils, and Rulership (Kitab Al-Kharaj, Wal-Fai’ Wal-Imarah) Book 19, Number 2976:
  2. Sahih Muslim Bab Ghazwa thal Nisa ma al Rijjal Volume 2 page 104

We read in Sunan Abu Dawood:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
Yazid ibn Hurmuz said that when Najdah al-Haruri performed hajj during the rule of Ibn az-Zubayr, he sent someone to Ibn Abbas to ask him about the portion of the relatives (in the fifth). He asked: For whom do you think? Ibn Abbas replied: For the relatives of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) divided it among them. Umar presented it to us but we found it less than our right. We, therefore returned it to him and refused to accept it.

The comments of Allamah Shibli Numani are indeed worthy of note in this regard. He states in his classical work ‘al Farooq’ Volume 2 page 277:

“It is said of Omar that he did not at all hold the relatives of the Holy Prophet to be entitled to any share in the Fifth and never gave any member of the Prophet’s family any share in it. Of the founders of the schools of law, Imam Abu Hanifa too, did not believe that the near of kin had any right to the Fifth”.

After this, Numani fails in his passionate defence of his role model’s actions, although here is not the place to refute each and every point, what we are seeking to prove is that Umar blatantly changed the Sunnah of Rasulullah (s) in this regards, for we have the admission of Numani in ‘al Farooq’ Volume 2 page 279:

“1. From among the near of kin, the Holy Prophet used to give shares only to the Hashemite and the Muttlabalites. Ta Bani Naufal and Bani ‘Abd Shams, though they were included in the ‘near of kin’ he never gave anything, though they demanded it”

If the edicts of the Qur’an are applicable until the Day of Judgement, then how can the share of Rasulullah (s) and his decendants become invalid after him, when this command is still in the Holy Qur’an? This is just a further example of the lengths that the Shaykhayn went to financially cripple the Ahl’ul Bayt (as). The prejudicial manner in which they were treated becomes all the more clear from the next two examples…

Second injustice – The assault on the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)

Sunni and Shia sources evidence how soon after the death of her father (s), the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) was attacked by Umar, to secure bayya for Abu Bakr. Difficult to digest certain Nasibi elements have set about denying the tragedy altogether, Ansar.Org are unsurprisingly at the forefront of such an approach:

The incidents as mentioned by these unscrupulous narrators-of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab threatening to burn down the house of Fatimah with her and her family inside

of ‘Umar ordering the door of the house to be broken, with Fatimah being wounded and losing her unborn child in the process, and six months later dying from that same injury

and of her husband, the valiant ‘Ali being dragged out of his house like a common criminal to give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr

all of these have to the Shi’i mind become undisputable and incontestible facts of history, no matter how spurious their origin, or how blatantly they clash with authentic historical facts.

The above is an example of the Pinocchio factor in Nasibi thought. By using impassioned words that stress the “them” (Shias) and “us” (the Nawasib) the impression is deliberately created that such forceful Nasibi rhetoric MUST in fact be correct and could not possibly be proceeding from a flawed premise i.e. that the persecution of Fatima (as) is not testified to by great Sunni sources.

The methodology used to ascertain facts when investigating a criminal offence

When the police are conducting an investigation there are five crucial questions that they will ask themselves:

  1. Does this report have any foundation to merit an investigation?
  2. Has a crime been committed?
  3. Is there an identifiable victim and perpetrator?
  4. Do we have any eye witness testimony to the event?
  5. Is the eye witness a man of truth?

If the answer to all the above is yes, then the next question they will ask themselves is whether there exists any supporting evidence is available to support the original report? This supporting evidence does not necessarily need to be as strong, the police already have a firm grounding to take forward a prosecution, and supporting materials might merely confirm what the main eye witness has stated. There might be conflicting accounts about the character of these witnesses, but the fact of the matter is they are merely confirming what the main witness saw; their testimony provides grounds with which to charge the suspect. Thereafter the main eye witness will form part of the prosecution case in court. The other witnesses will also give evidence, there character might be attacked in cross examination by Counsel for the defendant, but the crucial thing is they are supporting the account of the main eye witness that places the defendant at the crime scene and identifies him as committing the offence for whih he has been summoned before court.

If we want to truly assess the tragedy that befell Sayyida Fatima (as) one needs to look at the episode in two parts.

Part One - The conduct of Umar outside the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)
Part Two - The subsequent raid on the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)

Part One – The conduct of Umar outside the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)

When it comes to Umar’s conduct at the home of Sayyida Fatima (as), do we have any documentary evidence that highlights his conduct? The answer is yes, accounts of his conduct on that fateful day can be located in the following books:

  1. Musnaf of Imam Ibn Abi Shebah, Volume 7 page 432 Tradition 37045
  2. al Imama wa al Siyasa pages 18-30 Dhikr Bayya Abu Bakr
  3. Tareekh Abul Fida Volume 1 page 156 Dhikr bayya Abu Bakr
  4. History of al-Tabari, Volume 9 page 187
  5. al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr Volume 1 page 246 Dhikr Abdullah in Abi Quhafa
  6. Sharh ibn al Hadeed Volume 1 page 157
  7. Al Mihal wa al Nihal Volume 1 page 77, Dhikr Nizameeya
  8. Muruj adh-Dhahab by Abd al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn al Masudi Volume 3 page 198
  9. Izalat ul Khifa by Muhaddith Shah Waliyullah Dehlavi Volume 2 page 226 (Urdu translation, Qur’an Mehal publishers, Karachi)
  10. Tareekh Kamil by Ibn Atheer Volume 11 page 113
  11. Tareekh Ahmadi by Ahmad Husayn Khan pages 111-112
  12. Tauhfa Ithna Ashari, by al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi page 292 Dhikr Muthain Umar
  13. Al Murthada by Hafidh Abdul Rahman al Hanafi page 45 (Amritsar edition)
  14. Kanz al Ummal, Volume 2 page 184 (Egypt).
  15. Tahqeeq Mubashraab Sunni page 110 by Maulana Waheedudin Khan al Hanafi
  16. Ansar Ashraf, by al-Baladhuri, v1, pp 582-586
  17. Tareekh Ya’qubi, v2, p116
  18.  Qurat al-Aynayn fi Tafdhil al-Shaykhayn by Shah Waliyullah Dehlavi, page 88
  19. al Faruq, Volume 1 page 92 Dhikr Saqeefa Bani Sa’ada
  20. Ruh al Mustafai Volume 3 page 36
  21. Iqd al Fareed, Volume 3 page 273

Having provided a list of the above references, let us now build up a prosecution case, by asking two questions:

First Question: Are there any authentic Sunni references that highlight Umar’s actions at the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)?

The answer is there are. We read in Musnaf of Imam Ibn Abi Shebah, Volume 7 page 432 Tradition 37045:

“Narrated Muhammad bin Bashir from Ubaidllah bin Umar from Zaid bin Aslam that his father Aslam said: ‘When the homage (baya) went to Abu Bakr after the Messenger of Allah, Ali and Zubair were entering into the house of Fatima to consult her and revise their issue, so when Umar came to know about that, he went to Fatima and said : ‘Oh daughter of Messenger of Allah, no one is dearest to us more than your father and no one dearest to us after your father than you, I swear by Allah, if these people gathered in your house then nothing will prevent me from giving order to burn the house and those who are inside.’

So when Umar left, they (Ali and Zubair) came , so she (Fatima) said to them: ‘Do you know that Umar came here and swear by Allah to burn the house if you gather here, I swear by God that he (Umar) will execute his oath, so please leave wisely and take a decision and don’t gather here again.’ So they left her and didn’t gather there till they give baya to Abu Bakr.”

All the narrators are authentic as they are the narrators of Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim. Muhammad bin Bashir: Imam Al-Dhahabi said: ‘Thabt’ (Al-Kaashif, v2 p159), Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani said: ‘Thiqa’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2 p58). Ubaidllah bin Umar: Al-Dhahabi said: ‘Thabt’ (Al-Kaashif, v1 p685), Ibn Hajar Asqalani said: ‘Thiqa Thabt’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p637). Zaid bin Aslam: Al-Dhahabi said: ‘Hujja’ (Siar alam alnubala, v5 p316), Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani said: ‘Thiqa’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p326). Aslam al-Qurashi (the slave of Umar): Al-Dhahabi said: ‘Faqih, Imam’ (Siar alam alnubala, v4 p98), Ibn Hajar Asqalani said: ‘Thiqa’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p88).

It is worth noting the observation made in Qeraa fi kutub al-Aqaed, by Farhan Hassan al-Maliki, page 52

”However Ali’s party was smaller (in number) during the reign of Umar than the reign of Abu Bakr al-Sidiq due to his abandoning Ali on account of his breaking into Fatima’s home during Abu Bakr’s reign, and forcing some sahaba that were with Ali to give bayya to Abu Bakr, thus the memory of this dispute – that is proven via authentic chains – was deemed a painful memory which they did not like to recollect”

What is even more interesting is the commentary of the margin writer who states:

”I thought that the story of breaking into (Fatima’s house) was just a lie , until I discovered reliable chains of narrations for it, such as what is been recorded by Ibn Abi Shebah in the Musanaf, anyhow neither is (the story) an exaggeration in the manner that the extremist Shia claim nor can it be denied as is the approach of the extremist Hanbalis.”

So we have a Sahih chain evidencing Umar’s conduct outside the day in question, and a modern day Sunni scholar citing the same book as proof that the incident did indeed occur.

This episode can also be found in al-Bayana Izalatul Khifa, Volume 2 page 29 wherein Al-Muhaddith Shah Waliyullah Dehlavi states that the chain is ‘Sahih’ according to the criterion of authenticity that had been set by the two Shaykhs (Bukhari and Muslim). We yet again see Umar issuing the threat to set fire to the home of Lady Fatim (as) if bayya is not given to Abu Bakr.

Comment

This reference places Umar squarely at the scene, it shows that he was acting in the capacity of an agent for the newly installed Khalifah and evidences his use of threats to set fire to the home of Fatima (as). It evidences the complete disregard that he had for the beloved daughter of the Prophet (s).

Second Question: Are there any secondary Sunni references that support this authentic one?

The answer is yes. Other Sunni sources might not be as authentic in terms of chains as Musnaf but they should in no way be discounted for they place Umar at the crime scene and evidence his conduct on that fateful day. Crucially they corroborate the authentic Musnaf tradition.

First Supporting Reference – al Imama wa al Siyasa

Let us begin with Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Muslim bin Qutaybah (d. 276 Hijri) who in his famous book al Imama wa al Siyasa pages 18-28 states as follows:

Abu Bakr was after group of people who failed to give bayya and gathered with Ali, he sent Umar in their direction. He (Umar) called them to come out from the house of Ali, but they refused to come out. Thus (Umar) asked (his men) to bring wood, then he said: ‘I swear by He who controls the life of Umar, if you people do not come out of the house I shall set fire to it, and everyone inside shall perish. Some people said: ‘O Abu Hafs (Umar), Fatima is also in this house’. Umar replied, ‘I do not care’ Then the people came out from the house and gave bayya except Ali.
  Al-Imama Walsiyasa Page 12

Second Supporting Reference – Tareekh Abul Fida

Sunni historian Abul Fida in his discussion on the attack on the house of Fatima (as) recorded the event, in a very low key / cautious tone, but as a scholar of integrity and honesty he has refused to cover up history and has still acknowledged that the event did indeed take place and Umar threatened to burn Fatima (sa) alive:

ثم إن أبا بكر بعث عمر بن الخطاب إِلى علي ومن معه ليخرجهم من بيت فاطمة رضي الله عنها وقال : إِن أبوا عليك فقاتلهم .فأقبل عمر بشيء من نار على أن يضرم الدار فلقيته فاطمة رضي الله عنها وقالت : إِلى أين يا ابن الخطاب أجئت لتحرق دارنا قال : نعم أو تدخلوا فيما دخل فيه الأمة

Then Abu Bakr sent Umar bin Khattab to Ali and his companions with the objective that those ‘people gathered in the house of Fatima come out, and that if anyone objects to coming out then you should fight them’. Then Umar approached with fire in his hands to set the house ablaze. At this point Fatima approached and said: ‘ O son of Khattab, would do you dare?’ Do you wish to set my home on fire?’ Umar said: ‘Yes, unless if you give bayya to Abu Bakr and enter into that which the majority of the Ummah have agreed to.’
Tareekh Abul Fida [Arabic], page 235
Tareekh Abul Fida, Urdu translation by Maulana Karrem’ud Deen al Hanafi, pages 177-179

Comment

Again this reference is not at variance with the previous two. It again evidences Umar making threats to set fire to the home, if Ali (as) did not give bayya, the only difference is this reference mentions him carrying fire, that shows that he meant business. There is no contradiction here it merely demonstrates that Umar came equipped with the tools to carry out the threat if his demands were not met.

Third Supporting Reference – Iqd al Fareed

Ibn Abd Rabbah in his book Iqd al Fareed, Volume 3 page 273 states:

الذين تخلفوا عن بيعة أبي بكر – في والعباس والزبير وسعد بن عُبادة. فأما عليّ والعباس والزبير، فقعدوا في بيت فاطمة حتى بَعث إليهم أبو بكر عمرَ ابن الخطاب ليُخرِجهم من بيت فاطمة، وقال له: إِن أبوا فقاتِلْهم. فأقبل بقَبس من نار على أن يُضرم عليهم الدار، فلقيته فاطمةُ، فقالت: يا بن الخطاب، أجئت لتُحرق دارنا؟ قال: نعم، أو تدخلوا فيما دخلتْ فيه الأمة.

Those who fell behind giving the bayya of Abu Bakr were Abbas, Zubayr and Sa’d bin Ubada, amongst whom Ali, Abbas and Zubayr were sitting in the house of Fatima. At that time Abu Bakr sent Umar ibn al-Khattab with the order ‘that you remove those gathered in the house of Fatima, and if they refuse to come out then fight them’. Umar brought fire to the house of Fatima, then Fatima met him and said: ‘O Ibn Khattab have you arrived in order to set my home on fire?’. He (Umar) replied: ‘Yes, unless if you people give bayya to Abu Bakr as others have done’.
 Al Iqd al Fareed, Volume 3 page 273

Comment

We are sure that Umar did not simply go to the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) of his own accord. He was clearly carrying out instructions, and this reference confirms that he was acting on the orders of Abu Bakr. Like Abu’l Fida it confirms Umar came equipped with fire, thus evidencing his willingness to take extreme measures to carry through his desire that bayya be given to Abu Bakr. Like the previous references this confirms that the motive was to secure bayya for Abu Bakr, so it corroborates the previous texts.

Fourth Supporting Reference – Tareekh Tabari

The most renowned Sunni historian Ibn Jareer al Tabari also recorded this event. We read in al Tabari (English translation), Volume 9 page 187:

Ibn Humayd – Jarir – Mughirah – Ziyad b. Kulayb:Umar Ibn al-Khattab came to the house of Ali. Talha and Zubair and some of the immigrants were also in the house. Umar cried out: “By God, either you come out to render the oath of allegiance, or I will set the house on fire.” al-Zubair came out with his sword drawn. As he stumbled (upon something), the sword fell from his hand so they jumped over him and seized him.”
  History of al-Tabari, Volume 9 page 187

The academic and authoritative translator Ismail Poonawalla, in the footnotes of this event (same page), provides us with an interesting background to this event:

Although the timing is not clear, it seems that Ali and his group came to know about Saqifa after what had happened there. At this point, his supporters gathered in Fatimah’s house. Abu Bakr and Umar, fully aware of Ali’s claims and fearing a serious threat from his supporters, summoned him to the mosque to swear the oath of allegiance. Ali refused, and so the house was surrounded by an armed band led by Abu Bakr and Umar, who threatened to set it on fire if Ali and his supporters refused to come out and swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. The scene grew violent and Fatimah was furious.
Ansab Ashraf, by al-Baladhuri in his, v1, pp 582-586;
Tareekh Ya’qubi, v2, p116;
al-Imamah wal-Siyasah, by Ibn Qutaybah, v1, pp 19-20

Lest also attach the original text of Tarikh Tabari [Arabic], Volume 2 page 443 “The events of 11 Hijri”
 Tareekh Tabari [Arabic], Volume 2 page 443

Comment

Just like the previous references Tabari highlights threats issued outside the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) if bayya is not administered to Abu Bakr. It is in complete conformity with the authentic tradition of Ibn Abi Shaybah. Whilst Ibn Abu Shaybah’s narrative takes events from the threats to bayya, the reaction of Ibn Zubayr and his being seized upon should not be deemed a contradiction. This merely adds more flesh to the bones of the narrative of Ibn Abu Shaybah. It would not be illogical to believe that the threats courted the sort of reaction made by Ibn Zubayr, but the fact of the matter is Umar came with back up ready to apprehend anyone that took issue with his threats.

Bringing these references together

If we read these five supporting references alongside the authentic reference of Ibn Abi Shaybah, then Umar’s conduct at the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) is proven beyond all reasonable doubt. None of these references is at variance with another, rather two common facts can be located in all of them, namely that Umar:

  • threatened to set fire to the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)
  • justified his conduct on the basis that Maula Ali (as) and his supporters had failed to give bayya to Abu Bakr

Part Two – The subsequent raid on the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)

The matter did just not end there. If that was not bad enough we also know that the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) was raided by the newly formed state. al-Hafiz Diya al-Din Muhammad ibn al-Wahid al-Maqdisi (d. 643 H) in his authority work al-Ahadith al-Mukhtarat, Volume 1 page 88 stated:

عنهن فأما الثلاث اللاتي وددت أني لم أفعلهن فوددت أني لم أكن كشفت بيت فاطمة أو تركته وأن أعلق على الحرب وددت أني يوم سقيفة بني ساعدة كنت قدفت الأمر في عنق أحد الرجلين أبو عبيدة أو عمر فكان أمير المؤمنين وكنت وزيرا ووددت أني حيث كنت وجهت خالد بن الوليد إلى أهل الردة

Abubakr said: ‘I wish I never violated or abandoned the house of Fatima even if she had waged a war against me. I wish that on the day of Saqifah I had placed the affair (i.e. caliphate) on the neck of either Abu Ubaydah or Umar so that such would be the Commander of the believers while I remained his vizier’.
The margin writer of al-Ahadith al-Mukhtarat Abdulmalik bin Abdullah bin Duhaish has declared the tradition as ‘Hasan’.

Ibn Tamiyah also admitted that Abu Bakr broke into Lady Fatima’s house:

وغاية ما يقال إنه كبس البيت لينظر هل فيه شيء من مال الله الذي يقسمه وأن يعطيه لمستحق

“He broke into the house to see if there was some thing of Allah’s money to distribute it or give it to those who deserved it”
Minhaj al-Sunnah, Volume 8 page 291

Comment

Whilst the timing of this event is not clear from the Sunni sources our contention is that there is a nexus between Umar’s threats and the raid on the house, we after all know that Imam Ali (as) had refused to come out. The physical raid on the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) wherein according Ibn Tamiyah illegally held possessions were being hoarded (God Forbid) must have followed on from this refusal. It is logical that these episodes were interlinked, the event started out with Umar issuing threats, and ended with the house being raided, possession being taken and Imam Ali (as) being raided.

Assessing Umar’s conduct

One – Umar’s conduct violated all modes of decorum

Before conducting an analysis let us begin with the adulation of it by Shams al Hind Allamah Shibli Numani in al-Faruq Volume 1 page 92, states as follows:

“The learned Tabari in his Tareekh Kabir has narrated a tradition to the effect that Umar, standing at the door of Fatimah’s house, exclaimed ‘O daughter of the Prophet! I swear by God that we love you best of all but if your house continues any longer to be a rendezvous for conspiracy I will set fire to it on account of this.

The authority of this tradition is doubtful having not been able to glean particulars regarding its narrators, but there is no reason to deny the occurrence of this incident in the light of rationalisation. Umar was a man of hot and irrational temper and such an act would not have been inconsistent with his nature”.
  Al-Farooq, Volume 1 page 92

Despite his desire to distance himself from the narration his comment “there is no reason to deny the occurrence of this incident” speaks volumes. These eleven words serve as sufficient proof coming from who wrote it. This President of the International Umar Fanclub himself acknowledges that this persecution did indeed take place, and accordingly to Numani was understandable if one understands Umar’s short-tempered nature. Should this characteristics count as mitigation for a man that threatens to set ablaze the home of the pregnant daughter of the Prophet (s) if her husband and supporters fail to recognize Abu Bakr as the Head of State?

Did Umar not think about the consequences of his actions? He knew Sayyida Fatima (as) was in the house, if there was any doubt that her (as) remonstrating with him, confirmed this. Despite this he arrogantly replied to her and made his intention clear that he was willing to kill her and those in the house if bayya was not given to Abu Bakr. Just imagine a madman like that in your neighborhood – you would warn your wife and kids not to go anywhere near him. His actions would make the national news headlines “PSYCHO THREATENS TO BURN PREGNANT WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN TO DEATH”. Note that even in jihad, it is forbidden to terrorise women and children. So what was this man doing?

Even if you have a grievance with someone else, including even someone like Afriki, what justification can there be to threaten to set his house on fire, and that too with them inside, as is clearly the case from the Sunni sources that we have cited? What lovely Islamic Ahkam did Umar possess?

The references evidence the fact that Maula ‘Ali (as) and Sayyida Fatima (as) were both unhappy with Abu Bakr’s coming to power, Umar was fully aware of this and he deemed Sayyida Fatima (as)’s home to be a house of conspiracy. The true misrepresentation of history is that which is presented by the Sunni Ulema to the masses. On the one hand these men of truth paint this romantic image of the four khalifas who were the best of friends who worked together in an atmosphere of love and co-operation, and that Imam ‘Ali (as) deemed Abu Bakr to be the Khalifa of Rasulullah (s) and superior to him, and yet on the other hand they say that the house of Fatima (as) was where gatherings against Abu Bakr were taking place, and hence it was incumbent on the State to issue forceful threats to these insurgents and burn the residence down.

It sounds like something out of the most ruthless rebellions in history. For that’s what it was? Abu Bakr had usurped the Khilafat and was hell-bent on destroying all resistance from the opposition camp, even to the degree of exceeding the limits set down by Allah and His Prophet (saws) and burning people to death, even Prophet Muhammad (saws)’s daughter. This kind of thing went on in the dark ages, and it was going on here and being instigated by the founding fathers of Sunni Islam. It’s a dilemma for the Sunnis, not us. We follow Ali (as) and not these individuals. Ali (as) used his strength to fight the kuffar on the battlefields. That is manhood. These personalities sought to consolidate their grip on power by quashing the valid stance of their political opponents hence Umar’s threat to set fire to the home of the pregnant daughter of the Prophet (s). What models of manhood were these! Reeling from the death of her father, rather than console the poor woman Umar felt justified in standing outside her home, and threatening to set her and her family alight if they refused to accept Abu Bakr as Khalifa.

Two – Umar’s conduct contravened the respect afforded to the House of Fatima (as)

In Ahl’ul Sunnah’s leading Sunni scholar of Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 5 page 51, al Hafiz Jalaladeen Suyuti in Tafseer Durre Manthur, narrates from Ibn Mardewah – Anas bin Malik – Buraydah:

Anas bin Malik and Buraydah narrated that Rasulullah (s) recited this verse: ‘and amongst houses is a house that Allah has ordered to be exalted’. A man stood up and asked: ‘O Prophet of Allah which house is being referred to here?’ He (s) said: ‘This refers to the houses of Prophets’. Then Abu Bakr stood up and asked: ‘O Rasulullah is this house one of it?’ The house of Ali and Fatima’. Rasulullah (s) replied ‘Yes, it is one of the best’.

It is tragic that a house that Rasulullah (s) had testified to having such a rank, where guidance shone out from in Paradise, was attacked with Umar threatening to set it on fire! We ask those with open minds, can there be a more heinous act than that?

Three – Umar’s conduct violated the respect afforded by the Prophet to Sayyida Fatima (as)

We read in Sunan Abu DaudBook 41, Number 5198:

“Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:
I never saw anyone more like the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) in respect of gravity, calm deportment, pleasant disposition – according to al-Hasan’s version: in respect of talk and speech. Al-Hasan did not mention gravity, calm deportment, pleasant disposition – than Fatimah, may Allah honour her face. When she came to visit him (the Prophet) he got up to (welcome) her, took her by the hand, kissed her and made her sit where he was sitting; and when he went to visit her, she got up to (welcome) him, took him by the hand, kissed him, and made him sit where she was sitting.

We would urge those that love Ahl’ul bayt (as) to consider the rank that Rasulullah (s) gave Sayyida Fatima (as). He (s) would stand up to meet her, and yet Umar threw this respect aside and attacked Sayyida Fatima (as). This lady’s demeanour and personality were as gentle as her father’s was. Despite his awareness of the exalted rank of Sayyida Fatima (as), he was willing to push this aside and humiliate her and was prepared to set her home on fire.

Key questions that flow from this event

First question – Does this incident not prove the existence of two factions following the death of the Prophet (s)?

Of course, manner of excuse has been put forward by the Nasibi to defend the actions of Umar. Numani seems to suggest that this was a necessity as it was incumbent to quash any activities that were harmful to unity – the meetings in the house of Sayyida Fatima (as), were dangerous in that people were conspiring against ‘Abu Bakr.

We would also like to ask this question:

If the house of Sayyida Fatima (as) had become a meeting point where opposition to ‘Abu Bakr was being plotted does this mean that rebellion was being planned in the home of Ali (as) and Fatima (as), in their midst? If the answer is ‘yes’ this plotting was taking place in their presence then this alhamdolillah this provides immense support for the Shi’a since the following points are proven

  1. Sayyida Fatima (as) and Imam ‘Ali (as) did NOT deem Abu Bakr to be the rightful khalifa.
  2. Hadhrat Fatima (as) and Imam ‘Ali (as) deemed ‘Abu Bakr to be a usurper.
  3. Failure to regard Abu Bakr as the rightful khalifa bears no bearing on one’s iman, if it did then the Ahl’ul bayt (as) would have never indulged in such a sin.
  4. Abu Bakr was prepared to secure the bayya of Ahl’ul bayt by any means necessary
  5. Sahaba had gathered in the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) plotting to overthrow Abu Bakr.
  6. Ahl’ul Sunnah aqeedah is that ALL the Sahaba are pious and just, hence the conspiracy being hatched to remove Abu Bakr was also a just one.
  7. Rasulullah (s) had told his Ummah to follow the Qur’an and Ahl’ul bayt (as) as two sources of guidance after him. The Ahl’ul bayt (as) had rejected Abu Bakr’s khilafat hence their opinion supercedes ‘Abu Bakr’s concerns.
  8. Abu Bakr deemed every method to secure the allegiance to be lawful.
  9. If we for arguments sake accept that Abu Bakr’s coming to power was rightful, then that automatically means those that the Sahaba and Ahl’ul bayt (as) opposing him were wrong. Was their mistake in relation to a worldly or religious matter? In case of religion, it is impossible for Ahle Bait to make a mistake, while Rasool Allah [saww] himself has asked the Ummah to follow the Thaqalain after him, who will always be on Haq. And if it was a political mistake, then we have to accept that since the start of new government, there were differences between the policies of government and of Ahle Bait. Now we have the orders to stick with Ahle Bait , therefore, we come to conclusion that politics was related to Ahle Bait. And their enemies were on Batil.
  10. Even if we consider that the Khilafah of Abu Bakr was legal, still we have to see if the government tried to discuss and ask the problem from Ahle Bait before trying to burn them in their home

Second Question – Was a conspiracy being hatched against Abu Bakr?

Advocate of Umar Shibli Numani suggests that Umar’s actions were legitimate since the house of Sayyida Fatima (as) had become a meeting point where discussions were over how to overthrow Abu Bakr. The reality is the Banu Hashim and their supporters:

  • did not deem Abu Bakr to be the legitimate khalifa,
  • were displeased at his appointment
  • were angered by the way Abu Bakr came to power.
  • deemed this position to be someone else’s right.

If our assertion is incorrect then there is no reason why they failed to give bayya to Abu Bakr forthwith, and there certainly would not have been a reason for Abu Bakr to instruct Umar to take the necessary to steps to bring these gatherings to an end.

Not only is our assertion logical, it can also be proven from history that Banu Hashim deemed ‘Ali (as) to be the legitimate khalifa of Rasulullah (s). Worthy of note is the fact that voices in Saqifa itself also felt the same way. Their opposition led to them gathering in the home of Imam ‘Ali (as), in order to discuss what had transpired and what steps needed to be taken to redress the imbalance. Those involved in these discussions included prominent Sahaba such as Zubayr, all of whom had gathered to discuss their opposition to Abu Bakr’s unlawful Government, they were not prepared to accept that the destiny of the Ummah had been decided without prior consultation by the Ansar and 3 Muhajireen. The Sahaba and Ahl’ul bayt had been kept in the dark over the Saqifa meeting, individuals that had built the fabric of the Islamic State through their blood, sweat and tears.

Even leading members of the Quraysh such as Abu Sufyan felt that the discussions of a handful of individuals was a conspiracy, and hence they were voicing their objections, as Rasulullah (s) had said “Speaking the truth before an unjust ruler is the greatest jihad” The best fighting (jihad) in the path of Allah is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler [taken from Sunan Abu Daud Book 37, Number 4330].

The Banu Hashim and their supporters held Abu Bakr’s election to be unlawful and assertion is these meetings were lawful since people were voicing their objections against an unlawfully appointed khalifa.

Third Question – Was it lawful for Abu Bakr to act in the manner that he did?

Advocates of Abu Bakr claim that Abu Bakr was perfectly within his rights as legitimate khalifa to use whatever means he had at his disposal to quell insurgency. Whilst this might give comfort to the Ahl’ul Sunnah, we should point out that this also supports the Shi’a argument, namely that:

  1. There was open opposition towards the Ahl’ul bayt and the Sahaba that sided with them.
  2. The planning that was taking case against Abu Bakr in the house of Sayyida Fatima is clear proof as to the illegitimacy of Abu Bakr’s khilafat.
  3. Banu Hashim and Sahaba did NOT deem Abu Bakr to be the rightful khalifa of Rasulullah (s).
  4. Abu Bakr’s khilafat was NOT rightful and was in fact secured via political maneuvering and treachery. This can be concluded from the words of Rasulullah (s) declared “‘Ali is with the truth and the truth is with ‘Ali”, “Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with ‘Ali” “Whoever pains ‘Ali, pains me”, “Ali’s enemies are my enemies”. Those that opposed Imam ‘Ali (as) and sought to set his home on fire in order to secure his compliance had opposed the truth, the Qur’an and had become enemies of Rasulullah (s) in the process.
  5. There is a famous hadith of Rasulullah (s) “Whoever does not recognise his Imam of the time dies the death of one belonging to the time of jahiliyya”. From the attack on the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) it is clear that Ali (as) and Abu Bakr opposed each other. By failing to recognize Abu Bakr and not just that, by convening meetings to devise a means to oppose him, were the Banu Hashim and supporters lead by ‘Ali (as) indulging in Kufr? What is Afriki’s reply here?

The harsh reality is the Ahl’ul Sunnah can offer no decent answer to this point, particularly when this destroys the romantic picture that the Sunni Ulema paint of the four rightly guided khalifa’s working closely with one another, in an atmosphere of mutual love, understanding and co-operation. If all was fine and there was a completely smooth transition of power from the Prophet (s) to Abu Bakr, wherein he gained the unconditional baking of all the Sahabi why did his henchmen conduct a raid on the home of Sayyida Fatima (as)? Clearly there was some concern for Abu Bakr, that was so serious that the home of Sayyida Fatima (as) had to be attacked. Let us not forget the previously cited testimony of Ibn Taymiyya:

“He broke into the house to see if there was some thing of Allah’s money to distribute it or give it to those who deserved it”
Minhaj al-Sunnah, Volume 8 page 291

His defence of this action, with the words ‘He broke into the house’ means that entry was gained without the consent of the homeowner, an act that is a blatant violation of the Sunnah of the Prophet (s), for we read in al-Mu’ajam al-Kabir by Tabarani, Volume 8 page 104:

Abi Umamah narrated that the Prophet (s) said: ’… whoever testifies that I am the Messenger of Allah, should never enter on a people in their home without acquiring their consent and saluting them…’

It is worthy to note that something so perturbed Abu Bakr that he was willing to violate the sanctity of the home of Fatima (as), upsetting her and violating the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) at the same time. If it was not a threat to his coming to power then what else was it?

The Ahl’ul Sunnah assert that Imam Ali (as) deemed Abu Bakr to be more superior than him, but this tragic incident destroys this notion for here we have Imam ‘Ali’s open opposition and Abu Bakr’s attempt to secure acceptance via duress.

The consequences of Umar’s actions

It is indeed unfortunate that this violent act of Umar set a precedent for future khalifa’s, namely that a khalifa should secure bayya at all costs, and by whatever means he wishes albeit through intimidation, threats and violence. If threats could be made to the daughter of Rasulullah (s) then threats could be made to anyone. This is why the Salaf Imams / Khalifas that followed deemed Umar’s actions as a model of best practice; a precedent had been set namely that it was lawful for duress to be used to secure compliance.

That is why we had the fasiq 6th Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah Yazeed seeking to secure the bayya of Imam Husayn (as) who could point to Umar’s actions as proof of the correctness of such an approach – namely that it was perfectly okay to terrorise Ahl’ul bayt to get your way. It is indeed tragic that the fire that Umar brought to the house of Sayyida Fatima (s) set a chilling precedent, and left a trail that lit the tents belonging to Sayyida Fatima’s daughters on the 10th of Muharram.

Hajjaj bin Yusuf adopted similar methods of intimidation to quell opponents, and indeed this ‘legitimate approach’ continues until today. (Hajjaj bin Yusuf committed purges and genocide of men just like Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) did in Europe, women and children were killed, human beings insanely tortured though this is forbidden in Islam, killing hundreds of thousands of Muslims down to babies. He is applauded by many Sunnis today as he did some work on the grammar of the Qur’an! Oh yes, that forgives all, doesn’t it! He was just a boy having a tantrum!). If today the masses complain of oppression and intimidation by their rulers they should know that their rulers’ actions are perfectly lawful since they are adhering to the Sunnah of the Shaykhain.

The Arab world has been ruled by many terrorists who they have hailed as heroes and years later they have glorified them with romantic fairytales�history is, after all, written by victors, and the victors in this context were the Nasibis. You may applaud them, as some Nasibis have, but whatever you feel inside, terrorism is against the laws of Allah (sawt) and His Prophet, and the terrorist burns in Hell where Allah (sawt) will terrorise him.

Now we can see where Hajjaj, Saddam and Usama bin Ladin get their bad habits. There are some Muslims in this day and age who applaud terrorists who kill innocent women and children. There are others who don’t like to condemn them, even though deep down they know it’s wrong, simply because they get a kick out of getting their own back against their persecutors. There are others who will cover up their actions. And so it is with the Nawasib and their ugly past.

 

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