Chapter Ten: Was Mu’awiya a Momin or Munafiq?


We have already presented to our objective readers the wonderful deeds of Mu’awiya, what should we say of his Iman?

The sign of a Munafiq is hatred of ‘Ali (as)

As a starting pointing let us consider the words of ‘Ali (as):

“By him who split up the seed and created something living, the Apostle (may peace and blessing be upon him) gave me a promise that no one but a believer would love me, and none but a hypocrite would nurse grudge against me’.
Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter XXXIV, p46, Tradition #141

Its is little wonder that we have the testimony of Abu Saeed al Khudri:

“We recognized the hypocrites by their hatred of Ali.”
1. Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p639, Tradition 1086
2. al-Isti’ab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v3, p47
3. al-Riyad al-Nadirah, by al-Muhibb al-Tabari, v3, p242

Salafi scholar Dr. Wasiullah bin Muhammad Abbas in his margin of the book ‘Fadail al-Sahaba’ published by the the second largest Salafi/Wahabi university namely Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, decalred the tradition as ‘Sahih’:
Fada’il al-Sahaba, Volume 2 page 549 (Published in Makkah Mukkarmah, Saudi Arabia)

One of the pioneer Sunni scholars Imam Ali bin Muhammad al-Hemayri (d. 323 H) who has been referred to as “Imam, Faqih and Allamah” by Imam Dahabi (Siar alam al-nubala, v15 p13) has also recorded this tradition with different chain of narration in his book ‘Juzu al-Hemayri’ page 34 Hadith 38:

ثنا هارون بن إسحاق ثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن الزهري عن يزيد بن خصيفة عن بسر بن سعيد عن أبي سعيد الخدري قال ما كنا نعرف المنافقين على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إلا ببغض علي

Harun bin Ishaq – Sufyan bin Ayyna – al-Zuhari – Yazid bin Khusayfa – Busr bin Saeed – Abi Saeed al-Khudri said: ‘During the time of Messenger of Allah (pbuh), we used to recognize the hypocrites through their hate towards Ali’.
Juzu al-Hemayri, page 34 Hadith 38

All the narrators in the chain are authentic. Harun bin Ishaq: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2 p257), Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Kaashef, v2 p329). Sufyan bin Ayyna: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p371), Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Al-Kaashef, v1 p449). Al-Zuhari: Ibn Hajar said: ‘There is an agreement about his magnificence & mastery’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2 p133), Al-Dahabi said: ‘The Imam, the Hafiz of his time’ (Siar alam alnubala, v5 p326). Yazid bin Khusayfa: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2 p327), Dahabi said: ‘Thiqah’ (Al-Kaashef, v2 p386). Busr bin Saeed: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p125) while Dahabi have recorded various accolades given to him by Sunni scholars (Tarikh al-Islam, v6 p302).

One wonders how Abu Sulaiman and his Nasibi brethren can prove that Mu’awiya loved ‘Ali (as). Let us look at some other traditions before concluding on Mu’awiya. The Messenger of Allah said:

“Whoever hurts Ali, has hurt me”
1. Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, p483
2. al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p263

The Messenger of Allah said:

“Whoever curses Ali, cursed me”
1. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p121, who mentioned this tradition is Authentic
2. Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v6, p323
3. Mishkat al-Masabih, English version, Tradition 6092
4. Tarikh al-Khulafa, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p173

Rasulullah (s) said:

“Whoever leaves Ali, leaves me, whoever leaves me, leaves Allah” [Kanz ul Ummal, hadith numbers 32974 - 32976, narrated by Abdullah ibne`Umar {through two chains} and Abu Dharr Ghaffari (ra).
al Mustadrak al Hakim, Vol. 3, Page 146

As we have already cited earlier Rasulullah (s) also said:

"Whoever obeys 'Ali, obeys me, whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, whoever disobeys 'Ali disobeys me, whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah" [Kanz ul Ummal, hadith numbers 32973]

So these hadith tell us:

  1. The sign of a Munafiq is hatred of Ali (as)
  2. Whoever leaves, disobeys and curses ‘Ali – in fact leaves, disobeys and curses Allah (swt)

Having proven that Mu’awiya cursed Imam Ali (as), perhaps it is time that Abu Sulaiman breaks free from his Nasibi ideology and answers this:

  1. Did Mu’awiya leave, disobey and curse ‘Ali?
  2. Is an individual who leaves, disobeys and curses Allah (swt) a Muslim?

This being the case could Abu Sulaiman kindly explain why it is that he has throughout the article insisted on giving Mu’awiya the title (ra)? Is Allah (swt) pleased with someone that disobeys and curses him?

Committing this sin of cursing Imam ‘Ali (as) as an individual is bad enough, one wonders how Allah (swt) will deal with the fact that Mu’awiya introduced this practice through his empire thus leading thousands of Muslims (three generations) to commit this ijtimali (combined sin). Will Allah (swt) appreciate this innovation?

It is not permissible to refer to a Munafiq as Sayyidina

In ‘al Adhab al Mufrad’ Imam Muhammad bin Ismaeel Bukhari records on page 300 Chapter 325:

“Rasulullah (s) said ‘Don’t say Sayyidina to a munafiq, because that would make that munafiq your Chief (superior), and in the process you will be upsetting your Creator”.

In al-Nasa’ih al-Kaafiyah page 111 this tradition of Rasulullah (s) is quoted:

Burayda narrates that the Prophet (s) said, “When you refer to a munafiq as ya sayyidina you incur the wrath of your Creator”

One hopes that our readers are able to appreciate the consequences of using this title when describing Mu’awiya. We would urge our Sunni brethren to refrain from such actions.

‘Ali (as)’s testimony – Mu’awiya is my enemy

Despite the efforts of the Nasibis to limit the differences between Mu’awiya and ‘Ali as nothing more than differences in thinking, ‘Ali (as)’s views on Mu’awiya’s iman gives us an insight into his thoughts. If enmity of ‘Ali is a sign of a munafiq then consider these words of ‘Ali (as), taken from Suyuti’s “Tareekh ul Khulafa” rendered into English by Abdassamad Clarke as “The khalifas who took the right way”. He records this sermon of Imam ‘Ali (as) on page 184:

“Praise belongs to Allah Who made our enemy ask about something that had occurred to him in the matter of his deen. Mu’awiya wrote to me asking about the ambiguous hermaphrodite…”
History of the Khalifas who took the right way (Part English translation of Suyuti’s Tarikh’ul Khulafa” page 184)

An enemy of Ali (as) is an enemy of Allah (swt)

We read in Riyadh al Nadira, Volume 3 page 111 that Rasulullah (s) declared:

“O Allah, ‘Ali is my beloved friend, and my beloved friend is a beloved friend of Allah. ['Ali] Your enemy is my enemy, and my enemy is Allah’s enemy. O ‘Ali destroyed are those that incur your wrath”.
Al Riyadh al Nadira, Page 111

One who fails to accept ‘Ali as his Maula is not a Momin

In Sawaiq al Muhriqa page 177, Imam of Ahl ul Sunnah Ibn Hajr al-Makki al-Haythami records this event that took place during Umar’s khilafath:

“Once two land owners approached Umar with a dispute. Umar called ‘Ali and asked that he resolve the matter. Imam ‘Ali resolved the dispute, and one of the individuals said, ‘This man ['Ali] is going to decide between us?’ Upon hearing this Umar grabbed the individual by the collar and said ‘Don’t you know who this individual is? He is the Maula of me, you and all Momin’s, and whoever does NOT take him to be his Maula is not a momin (believer)”

This incident has also been recorded in exactly the same way in Riyadh al Nadira, Volume 3, Page 115.
Al Riyadh al Nadira, Vol. 3, Page 115

The key difference between Sunni and Shi’a on the topic of Imamate is in relation to the meaning of Maula used by Rasulullah (s) about Imam ‘Ali (as). We do not intend to delve in to the matter here, suffice it to say Ahl’ul Sunnah deem Maula to mean friend Shia define it as Master. The question that we pose for Abu Sulaiman and his fellow advocates is, did Mu’awiya EVER deem Imam ‘Ali (as) as his Maula? If it means Master did he ever recognise Imam ‘Ali (as) as his Master, rather he rejected his Leadership and openly rebelled against him, refusing to give bayya to him and as has already been mentioned, al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz had stated that in the eyes of Ahl’ul Sunnah from the khilafath of Imam ‘Ali to peace with Imam Hasan, Mu’awiya was a baghi – i.e. he rebelled against the rightful Imam (did not accept Ali (as) as his Maula). If we are to accept the definition as one of friend, then perhaps Abu Sulaiman could inform his flock as to what type of friendship he showed to Imam ‘Ali (as). Was opposing Imam Ali (as), inciting sedition against him and then going to war against him proof that he deemed ‘Ali (as) his friend? Did he further endorse this friendship after Imam ‘Ali (as)’s death by instituting his cursing throughout his empire? Do these actions prove that Mu’awiya deemed Ali (as) as his Maula as in friend? Clearly not! Rather than defend Mu’awiya, we would urge Abu Sulaiman to at least embrace the fatwa of their authority figure Umar, who stated, “One who does NOT deem ‘Ali his Maula, is not a believer.


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