Chapter Five – Does hereditary leadership contravene Islamic principles of equality?

 

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs did not utilize the system of absolute monarchy or hereditary kingship that was common during that time, namely because it was contrary to the spirit of Islam. Hereditary kingship entails that certain people are created superior to others based simply on who their parents are, and whose womb they come from. A prince becomes king simply because he was born from a mother who is a queen and a father who is a king. He could be the most wretched and vile person on earth, but this does not matter because he was born to the right family. Likewise, a person born to a peasant would “inherit” the status of peasant and could never rise to the rank of leader of the people.

Reply One – Allah (swt) placed divine leadership in the lineage of one family

This has nothing to do with superior bloodline, it is to do with whoever Allah (swt) blesses with Leadership. Allah (swt) says in his Glorious Book:

That was the reasoning about Us, which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will, degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided: and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron: thus do We reward those who do good.
Al-Qur’an, Surah 83, Ayah 84, translated by Yusufali

We also read:

And We granted him Ishaq and Yaqoub, and caused the prophethood and the book to remain in his seed, and We gave him his reward in this world, and in the hereafter he will most surely be among the good.
Al-Qur’an, Surah 29, Ayah 27

Relevantly, we read under the commentary of this verse in Tafsir Baghwi, Volume 3 page 465:

إن الله لم يبعث نبيا بعد إبراهيم إلا من نسله

“Verily God never sent a prophet after Ibrahim except from his descendants”

Imam Qurtubi in his Tafsir, Volume 13 page 340 stated:

فلم يبعث الله نبيا بعد إبراهيم إلا من صلبه

“The number of messengers are 313, all of them from Jacob’s progeny except 20 messengers”

This is why Allamah Alusi in Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, Volume 1 page 151 and Allamah Sharawi in Qasas ul Ambiyah, page 78 stated about Ibrahim (as) that:

وهو أبو الأنبياء

“He is the father of prophets”

While al-Nasafi in his Tafsir, Volume 3 page 256 stated:

“He is the tree of prophets”

Reply Two – Allah (swt) chose the Ahlulbayt (as) Imams as Guides for the Ummah and equipped them with all the necessary tools needed for the role

In any case we believe that the Creator has blessed the descendants of Muhammad (s) with perfection and knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah that makes their right to lead the Ummah to be an exclusive right. They were endowed with these skills, which is why Rasulullah (s) made it clear that they should be followed:

Whoever wants to board the boat of salvation, and take the firm handle, and grasp the firm Rope of Allah (swt) should love ‘Ali and be an enemy to his enemies, and from the lineage of ‘Ali he should follow the Imams of Guidance. Verily these are my Khalifas and the Proofs of Allah (swt) after me. These are the Chieftains of my Ummah and the Leaders of the Pious entering Paradise. This group is my group and my group is the group of Allah (swt). Their enemies group is the group of Shaytan”
 Yanabi al Mawaddat, pages 503-504

Allamah Suyuti in Jama’ul Jawameh Volume 7 page 174:

“Whoever wishes to live and die like me, and reside in the eternal Garden that my Creator has cultivated must love ‘Ali after me and love his friends, and must follow the Ahl’ul bayt after me, they have been created from the same clay as me, and they have been showered with my wisdom and knowledge, verily anyone that denies their virtues shall go to Hell, one that mocks them shall go to Hell, I shall not intercede for anyone that separates my descendants from me”.
 Jama’ul Jawameh, Volume 7 page 174

Does the author have an issue with these words, since Rasulullah (s) is indicating adherence to his relatives as guidance, does this not prove that guidance was a hereditary right placed upon the descendants of the Prophet (s)?

Reply Three – Rasulullah (s) appointed the Ahl’ul bayt (as) as Khalifas over the Ummah

If Ibn al Hasihmi tries to offer up some lame excuses to argue that the above texts do not refer explicitly to the right to lead the nation as Khalifas, then allow us to cite evidence that should shut his mouth once and for all. As a starting point we have this tradition in Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Imara Book 020, Number 4483:

The Islamic religion will continue until the Hour has been established, or you have been ruled over by twelve Caliphs, all of them being from the Quraish.

This tradition has fixed the period of Islam’s existence till the day of Qiyamat and also fixed the number of Khalifas for this Ummah as twelve. Now allow us to cite those traditions wherein the Prophet (s) made an explicit reference to the identity of those that He (s) deemed Khalifas.

ثنا أبو بكر ثنا عمرو بن سعد أبو داود الحفري عن شريك عن الركين عن القاسم بن حسان عن زيد بن ثابت قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إن تارك فيكم الخليفتين من بعدي كتاب الله وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض

Zaid bin Thabit said that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “I am leaving among you two Caliphs after me, the Qur’an and my progeny Ahlul’bayt, they will never separate from eachother until they meet me at the pool”.
1. al-Sunnah, by Ibn Abi Asim, page 337
3. al-Mujam al-Kabir, by Tabarani, v5, p154
3. Ma Ruwyah fi Khabar al-Hawz, by Imam Qurtubi, page 138
5. Zilal al-Janah, by Al-Albani who declared it ‘Sahih’, hadith 754

We read in Musnad Ahmad, Volume 5 page 182:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا الأسود بن عامر ثنا شريك عن الركين عن القاسم بن حسان عن زيد بن ثابت قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم انى تارك فيكم خليفتين كتاب الله حبل ممدود ما بين السماء والأرض أو ما بين السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي وإنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض

Zaid bin Thabit said the Prophet (s) said: “I am leaving among you two Caliphs, the book of Allah that is a rope connected to the heavens and the earth, and my progeny Ahlul’bayt, they will never separate until they meet me at the pool ”.

Shaykh Shu’aib al-Arnaout in his margin of the book Musnad Ahmed declared the tradition as ‘Sahih be Shwahedeh’. Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti in Al-Jame’a al-Saghir, v1 p402 and Imam Nasiruddin Al-Baani in Sahih al-Jame’a, Hadith 4222 declared it ‘Sahih’ while Imam Al-Haythami said: ‘The chain is Jaiyad’ (Majm’a al-Zawaed, v9 p162).

Imam Tabarani records in Al-Muj’am al-Kabir, Volume 5 page 154:

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بن مَسْعُودٍ الْمَقْدِسِيُّ ، حَدَّثَنَا الْهَيْثَمُ بن جَمِيلٍ ، وَحَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بن الْقَاسِمِ بن مُسَاوِرٍ الْجَوْهَرِيُّ ، حَدَّثَنَا عِصْمَةُ بن سُلَيْمَانَ الْخَزَّازُ ، وَحَدَّثَنَا أَبُو حُصَيْنٍ الْقَاضِي ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى الْحِمَّانِيُّ ، قَالُوا : حَدَّثَنَا شَرِيكٌ ، عَنِ الرُّكَيْنِ بن الرَّبِيعِ ، عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بن حَسَّانَ ، عَنْ زَيْدِ بن ثَابِتٍ ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : إِنِّي قَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ خَلِيفَتَيْنِ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَهْلَ بَيْتِي ، وَإِنَّهُمَا لَمْ يَفْتَرِقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ

Zaid bin Thabit said that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “I am leaving among you two Caliphs, the book of Allah and Ahlul’bayt, they will never separate until they meet me at the pool ”.

Imam Abi Bakar Al-Haythami said: “The narrators are reliable” (Majm’a al-Zawaid, v1, p170).

Can there be anything more explicit than texts wherein Rasulullah (s) explicitly refers to the Quran and Ahl’ul bayt (as) as Khalifas? Interestingly the first of the two traditions contains the words Itrati Ahl’ulbayt, meaning my Ahl’ulbayt descendants. So bringing these facts together we can see that Rasulullah (s) guaranteed the existence of 12 Khalifas until the Day of Judgment, Khalifas that would be his descendants. The Qur’an is the theoretical Khalifa, and the Ahl’ul bayt Imams (as) are the Khalifas for the Ummah at a practical level.

Notice how the Prophet (s) imposes these two Caliphs upon the people, making it clear that he is leaving them after him. Can there be anything more non egalitarian than this? If leadership was egalitarian in nature why did he not say “I am leaving among you two Caliphs, the book of Allah and whoever you choose to follow after?’ The very fact that Rasulullah (s) directed that the Ahl’ul bayt (as) would serve as Caliphs after him proves that the Shi’a doctrine that deems Imamate as the divinely appointed right of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) in complete conformity with the dictates of the Holy Prophet (s). If Ibn al Hasihmi has indigestion with such an assertion perhaps he could point us to any Sahih tradition wherein he (s) had referred to any Sahaba, whether individual or as a collective group as Khalifas alongside the Qur’an. If he is unable to do so then we suggest that he accepts the authority of the blessed Ahl’ul bayt (as) Imams who Rasulullah (s) designated as Khalifas over the Ummah.

Ibn al Hashimi ’s criticism of Imamate as a birthright

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Shia would have us believe that the leadership of the Muslims is to forever be a hereditary kingship. The title of “Imam” is passed down by birthright. As such, the Imam’s bloodline is inherently superior to everyone else. The son of the Imam automatically becomes the future Imam simply because he was fortunate enough to be born to the right womb.

Similarly Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Shia adamantly believe that the leadership of the Muslims cannot go outside one lineage, namely that of the Prophet (s). This concept of birthright is contrary to the spirit of Islam, which dictates that men work for their rank and position in this life, and that their lineage cannot possibly dictate their greatness. This would go against not only Islamic morals, but against our contemporary notion of fairness as well.

Reply– Imamate is restricted to the twelve Imams only, not every descendant of an Imam

This is nothing to do with superior bloodline, it is to do with whoever Allah (swt) blesses with Leadership. As Shia we believe that Allah (swt) has blessed the Ahl’ul bayt (as) with the tools of guidance and hence it is He (swt) that has ruled that leadership is restricted to the twelve perfect men from this lineage. We agree that lineage cannot dictate greatness since you can get sinners from the descendants of Muhammad (s) BUT in relation to Imamah we believe that Allah (swt) has given the twelve Ahl’ul bayt (as) Imams the rank and position to lead the Ummah, and purified them of all sins, thus ensuring they would never fall into any transgression. When He (swt) decides that Imamate is the right of the descendants of Muhammad (s) and he accordingly equips them with the necessary skills to implement that role, no one has the right to question their right to be Imams – since his is a divine right bestowed upon them by the Creator (swt). It is not an issue of being ‘fortunate enough to be born in the right womb’ – it is being blessed with the right to rule by Allah (swt). If this was the case then every descendant of Muhammad (s) have the right to be the Imam on account of bloodline, but this was not the case it was the divine right of twelve men. If the Shia did indeed believe that Imamate was linked to aristocratic blood lineage, then the doctrine of kingship would suggest that Imamate should have automatically gone through the lineage of the descendants of Imam Hasan (as) – but it did not, it was the will of Allah (swt) that it began with Maula Ali (as), then to his two sons Hasan (as) and Hussain (as) and then through the nine descendants of Hussain (as). The fact that the Imamate did not cascade through the descendants of Imam Hasan (as) does not in anyway mean that the blood lineage of Imam Hasan (as) was any different or lesser to Imam Hussain (as) – asthagfirullah. The fact is our Creator designates the station of Imamate to whomever amongst the Ahl’ul bayt (as) He (swt) appoints, it is not for us to pick and choose which Imam we like! Pertinent to this fact Mufti Ghulam Rasool of ‘Daar-ul-Uloom Qadriyah Jilaniyah, London’ stated:

“The chain of Imamate was placed in the progeny of Imam Hussain (as):

When Hadrath Ali; the Lion of Allah was referred to as Hadrath Harun (as) and the chain of the prophethood was put in the progeny of Hadrath Harun (as) and not in the progeny of Hadrath Musa (as) likewise the chain of Imamate was put in the progeny of Imam Hussain (as).

Therefore, Abdul Haleem Jundi writes that Muffazzal bin Umro asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) that since Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain are from the progeny of Holy Prophet (s), both of them are sons (sibt) and leaders of the youth of paradise then why the chain Imamate was placed in the progeny of Imam Hussain and not in the progeny of Imam Hassan. Imam Jafar Sadiq replied: “Both Musa (as) and Harun (as) were brothers and prophets. Allah (swt) placed the chain of prophet hood in the progeny of Harun (as) not in the progeny of Musa (as). Nobody can ask as to why Allah (swt) did so. Similarly Imamate which is the caliphate of Allah (swt) has been placed in the progeny of Imam Hussain. Allah (swt) is wise in his works and nobody can ask Him as to why he did so. [al-Imam Jafar Sadiq, page 147]”
  Tazkirah Imam Hussain, page 86

Ibn al Hashimi’s objection to the Shi’a rejection of the Imamate of Abu Bakr

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Shia says that Abu Bakr (r) has no right to the Caliphate because he was not related to the Prophet (s) and was not part of the Ahlel Bayt; they say that Ali (r) must be Caliph because he was related to the Prophet (s).

Reply – The Shia reject Abu Bakr because the Prophet (s) did not appoint him

The Shia say Abu Bakr had no right to the Caliphate because he was not appointed by Rasulullah (s) whilst Imam ‘Ali (as) was. The right of Ali (as) to be Khalifa was not because he was related to the Prophet (s), it was because he was appointed by Rasulullah (s) to be the Khalifa after him. He (s) likewise ordered the Ummah to follow the Ahl’ul bayt (as) because they had been appointed as eternal guides for the Ummah, that evidences their right to be rulers over the nation.

Ibn al Hashimi’s objection that Shias hate Mu’awiya due to his supposed father

Ibn al Hashimi states:

Likewise, they scorn Muawiyyah (r) because they say that he was born from the lineage of Abu Sufyan, and the Shia will never forget to mention this fact, as if this has any bearing on the nature of Muawiyyah (r).

Reply – The evil deeds of Muawiya are the reason that Shias find him abhorrent

As a starting point, this Nasibi should know that the Imam he calls “(r)” was not from the lineage of Abu Sufyan, rather he was the product of a four way sex orgy, with Abu Sufyan being one of the lucky entrants. It is therefore wrong to confidently assert the linage of the son of Hind, there was a one in four chance that Abu Sufyan was the father, let us just leave it at that.
Coming back to the Imam of Ibn al Hashimi himself, we scorn Muawiya due to his evil deeds, such as the cursing of Maula Ali (as), killing innocent Shias and committing numerous violations of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This aside, one’s nature can have an influence on a persons character, Muawiya was brought up in a household that hated Rasulullah (s) and Banu Hashimi – wherein his supposed father lead the opposition to Muhammad (s) and his popularly known whore mother ate the liver of Hamza (ra) – such attitudes did indeed have a bearing on his evil ways. Such ethical beliefs were in turn imbedded into the mind his beloved son Yazeed (la), as can be evidenced from his proclamation:

“… at the time of killing Husain and his companions, he approached the pulpit and said that he had avenged the death of his ancestors at Badr”.
Sharh Fiqh Akbar, page 77

Perhaps Ibn al Hashimi could explain who taught him about avenging the deaths of his kaafir ancestors? Considering Yazeed was brought up under the pupilage of his father Mu’awiya it is not too difficult to pinpoint who would have endowed cascaded such beliefs down to him.

Ibn al Hashimi’s claim that all familial ties shall be severed on the Day of Judgment

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Quran repeatedly holds each individual responsible for his or her own conduct. The actions of one soul cannot affect another, neither positively nor negatively. To do so would go against the egalitarian spirit of Islam, and would instead be a reflection of Jahiliyyah custom in which people thought they would be saved based on their familial connections as opposed to their Taqwa . The Quran categorically declares that on the Day of Judgement a person’s familial connections will be cut off: “so now all relations between you have been cut off” (Quran, 6:94)

Reply – The familial lineage of the descendants of Muhammad (s) shall not be severed on the Day of Judgment

The amusing thing is this Nasibi doest even bother to inspect his own books. He is suggesting that all family ties will be cut off on the Day of Judgment but actually that will be the case except for the descendants of the Prophet (s) and the very fact is sufficient to water down the Nasibi attempts of equating the progeny of Prophet (s) with those of common people and it proves that Allah (swt) have bestowed ‘special’ ranks to the Prophet (s) and his Ahlulbayt (as). Imam Tabrani records in his prestigious work “Al-Mu’ajam al-Kabir” Volume 11 page 194:

Ibn Abbas narrated that the messenger of Allah (s) said: ‘Every reason and relationship will be disconnected on the day of judgment except my relatives and progeny’

Al-Haythami said about this tradition: ‘The narrators are reliable’ (Majma al-Zawaid, v9 p173), Imam Jalaluddin Suyiti said: ‘Sahih’ (al-Jamea al-Saghir, v2 p280), Imam of Salafies/Wahabies Nasiruddin Al-Baani also graded it Sahih (Silsila Sahiha, v5 p58 H 2036) and so did Allamah Hassan Saqqaf (in the margin of Sahih Sharh Aqida Tahawia, p7).

Imam Tabrani also records in “Al-Mujam al-Kabir” Volume 3 page 45:

Jabir said: ‘I heard Umar bin al-Khatab (ra) saying: ‘I heard messenger of Allah (s) saying: ‘Every relation and progeny will be disconnected on the day of judgment except my relatives and progeny’’.

al-Haythami said: ‘The narrators are the narrators of Sahih (books) except al-Hassan bin Sahl, but he is Thiqah’ (Majma al-Zawaed, v9, p173 H 15019) Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti graded it Sahih (al-Jamea al-Saghir, v2 p280) ) and so did Shaykh Shu’aib al-Arnaoot (Marign of Siyar alam al-Nubala, v16 p85) and Nasiruddin Al-Baani al-Salafi (Silsila Sahiha, v5 p58 H 2036).

And why are we even citing this to the Nawasib since these are the people who have always been happily bringing the following tradition recorded by Allamah Abu Naeem Asfahani in “Ma’arfat Sahabah” page 231, in an attempt to prove the supposed marriage between Umar bin al-Khattab and Um Kulthum bint Fatima Zahra [sa]:

Al-Mustadhel bin Husain reported that Umar bin al-Khatab sent the proposal to Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) for his daughter Um Kulthum, he (Ali) rejected with the reason of her young age, he (Umar) said: ‘I don’t want the sexual intercourse, rather I heard Prophet (s) saying: ‘Every relation and progeny will be disconnected on the day of judgment except my relatives and progeny, every body has a father and to him he is related, except Fatima’s progeny since I am their father and to me they are related’.

This can also be read in Fadael al-Sahaba by Ahmad bin Hanbal (v3, p48), Jame’a al-Ahadith by Suyuti (v26 p96), Kanz al-Umal, v13 p624 and Subul al-Huda wa al-Reshad (v10, p458) by Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Salehi al-Shami (d. 942 H).

While this particular tradition is of no value to us, but the words of Umar is suffice to prove that although he was relative of Holy Prophet (s) being his father in law, yet he was not among those relatives of Holy Prophet (s) who have been bestowed with a special merit – their lineage will not be disconnected on the day of judgment, and thus Umar was dependent on the progeny of Ali bin Abi Talib (as). Let us also cite the words of Mufti Ghulam Rasul al Hanafi (d. October 2010) from his book ‘Hasab wa Nasab’ Volume 1 page 63:

“On the Day of Judgement lineages of all other people will be cutt off. Quran states: ‘Then when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no more relationships between them that Day, nor will one ask after another!’ The day a man will flee from his brother and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children. But on this day the lineage of the Prophet (s) shall remain intact, and this shall be beneficial for his progeny. Allamah Sayed Mahmud Alusi Baghdadi records: ‘On the day of Judgement, no lineage shall be of benefit, save the lineage of the Prophet (s)’. (Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani, Volume 9 page 65)”
 Hasab wa Nasab, Volume 1 page 63

Ibn al Hashimi’s absurd claim that the Prophet (s) fathering no son destroys the concept of a superior lineage

Ibn al Hashimi states:

Another interesting observation is that if Allah really wanted to exalt the lineage of Muhammad (s) in such a manner as the Shia do, then why was Ali (r) not the son of Muhammad (s)?

Reply

What a stupid and ridiculous conjecture (Qiyas)! The lineage of Imamate began with Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as). The lineage of Imamate continued through his eleven offspring from the union with Sayyida Zahra (as). Imam Ali (as) was the nafs (self) of Rasulullah (s) and the sons of Ali (as) were described by Allah (swt) as the sons of Muhammad (s) so that shall suffice to refute this absurd notion. There are also many traditions wherein Rasulullah (s) referred to Hasnayn (as) as His (s) sons. The lineage of Rasulullah (s) came through Imam Ali (as) as can be proven from Hadeeth materials. Mufti Ghulam Rasul records in ‘Hasab aur Nasab’ Volume 1 page 62:

“Allah (swt) placed every Prophets lineage in his loins, and has placed my lineage in the loins of Ali”
[Manaqib page 29, Ya Nabi al Mawadah page 266, Majma al Zawaid page 272, Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 73, Jami al Sagheer page 230, Tareekh Baghdad Volume page 316, Meezan al Itidal Volume 2 page 116, Lisan al Meezan Volume 3 page 429, Zakhair al Uqba page 68, Sharh Mawahib Ladunya Volume 2 page 6]

Allah (swt) had chosen this form of divine Imamate, he exalted the lineage of Muhammad (s) in this manner. We already cited the relevant comments of Allamah Dr. Tahir ul Qadri al Hanafi in his book ‘Zibeh-e-Azeem’ pages 41-42 in this regards:

“Hadhrath Ibrahim supplicated twice, firstly of that was ‘O Allah (swt) provide the Seal of Prophets from my lineage’ and second one was ‘Provide the position of Imamate to my ummah’. Thus, the Seal of Prophets appeared in the shape of Muhammad al Mustafa (s). With Prophethood ending on Muhammad (s) it was obligatory that the station of Muhammad’s Prophethood appear and move forward in the shape of Imamate and Wilayath. Wilayath then appeared in the lineage of Hadhrath Ibrahim (as). The Prophet (s) did not have a natural son, the station of Muhammad’s Prophethood appeared as the Imamate and Wilayath of al Mustafa, which is why it was necessary for it to be continue by a revered and respected family, those that may not be the natural son of the Prophet (s) but should be the body part of Rasulullah (s),. Therefore, Allah (swt) focussed on Hadhrath Ali (k) and the beloved daughter of Fatima al Zahra (ra) , Leader of the Women of Paradise for the same exalted position.

The Heaven’s decision of the marriage of Ali (ra) and Sayyida Fatima (ra)

“In accordance with Allah (swt) and the desire of the Prophet (s) decided on the marriage of these great personalities:
“Hadhrath Abdullah Ibn Masud narrates that the Prophet (s) said ‘Verily Allah (swt) has ordered me to marry Fatima to Ali” [Muajim al Kabir al Tabarani, Volume 10 page 156].
Rasulullah (s) said that the marriage if Ali and Fatima had been ruled on in the Heavens, this marriage was in accordance with the order of Allah (swt) because the Wilayath of Rasulullah (s) had to continue with Hadrath Ali, and he (ra) had to become the fulfilment of the supplication of Ibrahim, to attain this the King of the World (s) through him (ra) and Fatima (ra) attained a pure association”
  Zibeh-e-Azeem, pages 41-42 (Minhajj al Quran publications, Model town, Lahore)

Ibn al Hashimi’s attacking the Shi’a belief that Imamate is restricted to one lineage

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Shia adamantly believe that the leadership of the Muslims cannot go outside one lineage, namely that of the Prophet (s).

Reply

If we believe that leadership is restricted to one lineage it is because Allah (swt) and his Rasul (s) appointed these twelve men as such. At least we believe that in that position possess the excellences required with this post, excellences that the Creator has endowed them with, on account of their role as Imams. At least we believe the Shia doctrine of Imamate calls that Allah (swt) appoints that man who is the most superior in the Ummah, compare that to and the supposed egalitarian doctrine of Imamah that Ibn Hashimi is seeking to present. It isn’t based on anything that even resembles superiority it based purely on one being tribally affiliated to the Prophet (s). Here are just two traditions from Sahih Muslim kitab al imara ‘The people are subservient to the quraish and the caliphate is the right of the quraish’. We read in Sahih Muslim Book 020, Number 4473:

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: People are subservient to the Quraish: the Muslims among them being subservient to the Muslims among them, and the disbelievers among the people being subservient to the disbelievers among them.

We read in Sahih Muslim Book 020, Number 4476:

It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: The Caliphate will remain among the Quraish even if only two persons are left (on the earth),

This very tradition was cited by Abu Bakr to evidence his right to rule at Saqifa. The Sunnni Ulema have used this very tradition to argue that khilafat can only remain in one family, the tribe of Quraysh. We read in Sharh Mawafiq, page 732:

The conditions of Imamate are that the imam be from the Quraysh, this condition has been deemed obligatory by the Asharies, although the Jabayaan, the Khawarij and some Muttzilites are opposed to this”

Ibn Khaldun points to the discussion at Saqifa as follows:

“The condition of Qurashite origin is based upon the general consensus on this point that obtained in the men around Muhammad on the day of the Saqifah. On that day the Ansar intended to render the oath of allegiance to Sa’d b. Ubadah. They said “One amir from among us, and another from among you”. But the Qurashites argued against them with Muhammad’s statement, “The imams are from the Quraish”.
 The Muqaddimah, by Ibn Khaldun, translated by Franz Rosenthal, Volume 1 page 597 (Princeton University Press)

It is worth noting that most Sunnis are adherents of the Ashari creed. Ibn al-Hashimi might be willing to reject the assertions of these Ulema, but how can he dismiss the ruling of his own blessed Imam Ibn Tamiyah who in ‘Minhajj al Sunnah’ Volume 1 page 271 asserts:

كون الخلافة في قريش فلما كان هذا من شرعه ودينه كانت النصوص بذلك معروفة منقولة مأثورة يذكرها الصحابة بخلاف

“The caliphate should remain specific to the Quraysh because this is a part of the Shariah and Deen of Allah therefore the texts about this is renowned and narrated by the companions without any disagreement”.
 Minhajj al Sunnah, Volume 1 page 271

Another darling Imam of Salafies Ibn Qayim states in Hadi al-Arwah, page 289:

و الخلافة في قريش ما بقي من الناس اثنان و ليس لأحد من الناس أن ينازعهم فيها و لا نخرج عليهم و لا نقر لغيرهم بها إلى قيام الساعة

“Caliphate should remain in Quraish even if there remain only two people and no one among the people has the right to dispute them about it nor rebel against them nor recognize anyone for it other than them till the hour establishes.”

Imam of Ahle Sunnah Badruddin al-Aini records the statement of Imam Ibn Jawzi in Umadatul Qari, Volume 5 page 228:

قال ابن الجوزي : ….فإن الخلافة في قريش لا مدخل فيها لغيرهم

Ibn al-Jawzi said: ‘…Khilafa should remain in Quraish and there is no way for other than them’.

Imam Munwawi records in Faidh al-Qadir, Volume 3 page 687:

خليفة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من بعده إنما يكون منهم فلا يجوز نصبه من غيرهم

“Verily, after Him (s), the Khalifa of Allah’s Messenger (s) is from them (Quraish) and it is not permissible to appoint someone who is not from them.”

In light of the Hadeeth advanced by Abu Bakr and the subsequent ruling of the grand Sunni Ulema, we are much more entitled to make the same claim, namely:

The Sunnis adamantly believe that the leadership of the Muslims cannot go outside one lineage, namely that of the Prophet (s).

Ibn al Hashmi’s claim that anyone can become a Khalifa

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The idea that one lineage is superior to another runs contrary to the egalatarian spirit of Islam. The leadership of the Muslims cannot be confined to one family as the Shia claim it is, but rather it is open to any Muslim

Reply – Ibn al Hashmi failed to point out that Sunni Islam deems Khilafat the exclusive right of the Quraysh

The hilarious thing is that Abu Bakr would certainly not concur with this. He relied on a hadeeth that evidenced that the leadership of the Muslims must be confined to one family – the tribe of Muhammad (s) – the Quraysh. Taking this position on, does this not run contrary to ‘the egalitarian spirit of Islam’ that Hashimi claims? When (according to Abu Bakr) ‘The Imams are from the Quraish’ – a point that has lead to his leading advocates such as Mawardi and Ibn Khaldun stating that Imamate can only remain in this tribe then this automatically makes Imamate a Divine right to rule for the Quraish – and if Ibn Hashimi is honest to his readers he will have to accept that the Sunni doctrine of Imamate runs contrary to the egalatarian spirit, rather it is a divine right that falls only on the Quraysh, as this was the tribe of the Prophet (s), and Imamate is eternally linked to this tribe. Now look at the difference between these two stances of divine right that ibn al Hashimi is making a hue and cry over. The Shias have restricted the divine right of Imamate to a restricted number of people who are infallible. Infallibility is eternally linked to the divine right to rule. Those that Allah (swt) showered with infallibility are at a level that no one else in the Ummah possesses. If Allah (swt) bestowed such perfection upon twelve descendants of Muhammad (s) and placed them on the station of Imamah, then this divine right is indeed restrictive in nature, and limited purely to those that excel above all others in the Ummah. Compare this to the divine right in Sunni Islam that until the Day of Judgment remains a right linked to the tribe of the Prophet (s), a divine right without any other conditions that means:

  1. Imamah is the divine right of the Quraysh.
  2. When the Khalifa / Imam dies his position can only be occupied by one from the tribe of Quraysh
  3. Even if the world is populated with Muslims, the right of Imamah remains the divine right of the Quraysh, no one else
  4. The whole Ummah is dependent upon submitting the divine right of Imamah bestowed on the Quraysh
  5. If there exists on the earth a non Qurayshite with the excellences of piety, knowledge, religious devotion, agreed upon by Muslims, even then he has no right to lead the Muslims, since Imamah is the divine right of the Quraysh. The excellences of others are null and void, since they do not belong to the tribe of Quraysh.

The Shia that al Hashimi mocks believe in the divine right of the Ahl’ul bayt Imams (as) because they are the best in the Ummah, the Creator has bestowed upon them excellences and crucially their infallibility provides a guarantee to the Ummah that they will never get lead astray. Now consider the divine right that Ibn-al Hashimi mocks, to that which he adheres to, is this logical and correct? A divine right that is not based in any way on excellence in the Ummah, excellence does not even come into the equation rather the divine right to rule is linked exclusively due to sharing one’s tribal lineage with the Prophet (s).

Ibn al Hashimi ’s assertion that hereditary kingship has no association with Islam

Let us now look at some of the earlier claims he made:

Ibn al Hashimi states:

The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs did not utilize the system of absolute monarchy or hereditary kingship that was common during that time, namely because it was contrary to the spirit of Islam. Hereditary kingship entails that certain people are created superior to others based simply on who their parents are, and whose womb they come from. A prince becomes king simply because he was born from a mother who is a queen and a father who is a king. He could be the most wretched and vile person on earth, but this does not matter because he was born to the right family. Likewise, a person born to a peasant would “inherit” the status of peasant and could never rise to the rank of leader of the people.

Reply – Sunni Islam allows for hereditary kingship

As a starting point Ibn al-Hashimi is suggesting that hereditary kingship as he defines it has no correlation with Islam. The amusing thing is, in Sunni Islam this method of appointing a Khalifa through hereditary kingship is totally acceptable. If the Sunni Caliphates of the Ummayad and Abbaside Caliphates were not hereditary kingships what on earth were they? Have Sunni Ulema ever deemed these Caliphates as illegal because they were Hereditary Kingships? The Shia doctrine of then infallibility of the twelve imams means that the appointment of a wretched or vile person does not even come into the equation – Allah (swt) chooses the infallible leaders – that is it. His isn’t the case with the Sunni doctrine of Imamate that is the exclusive right of the Quraysh. To paraphrase Ibn Hashimi:

Hereditary kingship entails that certain people are created superior to others based simply on who their parents are, and whose womb they come from – namely the tribe of Quraysh. A prince becomes king simply because he was born from a mother who is a queen and a father who is a Quraysh king. He could be the most wretched and vile person on earth, but this does not matter because he was born to the right family – namely the Quraysh.

This is the Sunni stance on divine Imamate that Ibn Hashimi conveniently fails to mention a doctrine formulated by Abu Bakr, and then marketed into kingship by Muawiyah, who appointed ‘the most wretched and vile person on earth’ – Yazeed – but that was fine since he attained the bayya of some of the Sahaba! One of the Nasibi brethren website of http://www.ahlelbayt.com/ i.e. www.ansar.org stated:

Ansar.org states:

Mu’awiyah was eager for people’s agreement to give allegiance to his son Yazeed. He resolved to take allegiance to Yazeed as a crown prince. So he consulted the grandest companions, the masters of the people and the district’s governors. They all accepted. Delegations from the districts came with acceptance to give allegiance to Yazeed. Many Companions gave him the allegiance as well. Al-Hafedh Abdulghani Al-Maqdisay says: “His (Yazeed’s) caliphate is rightful, sixty of the companions of the prophet peace be upon him gave him the allegiance. Ibn`Umar was one of them.” [Qayd Al-Shareed min Akhbar Yazeed, by Ibn Khaldoun, p.70]

Ibn Hashimi, if you find the doctrine of hereditary succession devoid of morals abhorrent then you really need to issue that takfeer pen against your (spiritual) father Muawiyah who opened the door to this filthy custom. We have Ansar.Org’s own admission that Muawiyah appointed Yazeed as his crown prince. If this isn’t hereditary succession devoid of morals then what is it? In light of the comments of Ansar.Org let us just consider the method of appointment associated with hereditary kingship. It is where a successor is appointed without any consultation, but is imposed upon the people as the heir apparent, who are duty bound to obey him. Umar without any consultation gave bayya to Abu Bakr, making him the Khalifa, leaving the Muslims to give public bayya to the appointment. Abu Bakr likewise sought no consultation when he appointed Umar as his successor; he merely asked that the Sahaba give bayya to the appointment. What makes this method different to the bayya that was given to Yazeed and the other hereditary kings? Were the Sahaba not asked to give public bayya to Abu Bakr, without consultation, in exactly the same manner that they gave bayya to Yazeed. Is it not curious that when Abu Bakr and Umar attain power through this method, it is deemed the method to appoint a rightly guided Khalifa, but when Yazeed attains power through the same method he is described as a King, rather than a Khalifa? Why the blatant difference?

Ibn al Hashimi slurs on what he deems Imamate based ‘birthright’

 

Ibn al Hashimi states:

Conclusion
It is discomforting that the Shia trace Imamah through bloodline in the same manner as a hereditary kingship. The title of Imam passes down through the blood, and the progeny are considered superior to everyone else based on their birthright. They are born Imams, and this is a rank given to them based on no effort on their own part. Regarding the Imam, the Shia Hadith in Al-Kafi says: “He possesses all virtues and worthy attributes without any striving on his part, and he is adorned with all lofty characteristics.” (al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, Vol. I, p.200) Source: http://al-islam.org/leadership/

Reply – Imamate is restricted to the twelve Ahl’ul bayt Imams (as)

This would be a discomforting notion if the Shia were to believe that every descendant of Muhammad (s) inherited the title of Imam on account of his lineage, but this is not the case. The mantle of Imamate through lineage is a divine right restricted to 12 descendants of Muhammad (s), no one else can have that title. The entire progeny are not deemed most superior rather the 12 Imams are. They are indeed born Imams, and Allah (swt) showers them with excellences because they have been given the immense task of leadership for the Ummah in accordance with the dictates of the Quran and Sunnah. Just like Prophet Isa (as) and Prophet Yahyah (as) who were given such tasks from the time of birth and hence were given all virtues and worthy attributes (without any striving on their part) and they were adorned with all such lofty characteristics.

 

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