Chapter Two – Was Shura the actual method via which the past caliphs were appointed?

 

We shall now set out to address the efforts of the Ahlelbayt.com (the website’s name is a misnomer) to negate the divine right of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) to rule the Ummah, by presenting it is as against the framework of equality upon which the Deen is based.

 Ibn al Hashimi states:

All four of the rightly guided Caliphs were selected by a system of Shurah (mutual consultation); furthermore, the general public gave their Bayat (pledge of allegiance) to show their acceptance of each of these nominations. As is apparent, this system of nomination was egalatarian in spirit and consistent with fairness.

Reply One – There is no Shura on matters ruled upon in the Quran and Sunnah, the concept of Shura is bid’a – an innovation

It is interesting to note that the author seeks to sell legitimacy of shura because this was practiced by some of the Sahaba, yet he fails to provide any evidence of the legitimacy of this method from the Qur’an or Sunnah of Muhammad (s). This is because no such evidence exists. Shur’a is a post-Prophet (saws) innovation by the companions. This is not surprising since Sunni Islam is a product of history, and not the Qur’an and Sunnah. If shura was the correct method via which to appoint an Imam, did Rasulullah (s) direct the Sahaba over this method? No. Should he not have guided the Sahaba and established some Shura committee as a mechanism for identifying and appointing the right candidate? If this was indeed the right method as Ibn al-Hashimi is suggesting then why did Rasulullah (s) himself not lead by example and implement this method of appointment? The failure of Rasulullah (s) to endorse this method, rather not to even give any basic directions pertaining to Shura to appoint a successor serves as the greatest proof that it has no basis under the Shariah. Shura to appoint an Imam is, by definition an innovation (bid’a). Further, as far as shura goes, the issue is a double contradiction in this matter. Not only is it innovation, but we also know that there is no shura in matters of Islamic law. There is no shura about whether or not salat is obligatory, for example. As such, how can there be any shura to determine whether or not it is obligatory to follow this individual, or that individual? Allah [swt] says in his Glorious Book:

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have an option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” [33:36]

Sadly this is precisely what many of the Sahaba did after they turned their back on the explicit and numerous injunctions by God and His Prophet (s) that Muhammad (saws)’s successor was Ali (as), culminating in the declaration of Ghadhir Khumm, as evidenced by innumerable Sunni sources and for which Sunnis scramble wildly to dilute the significance of. The above Surah clearly states that the affairs that should be decided by “Shura” can only be those in which Allah [swt] or the Messenger (s) has shown “no position”. This clearly excludes the idea of election / selection of Imams, Khalifas of a Prophet, as this requires the leader being appointed by Allah (swt), as we have previously demonstrated in the Imamate article. Imam Razi in Tafseer Kabeer Volume 4 page 445 stated:

المسألة الثالثة : اتفقوا على أن كل ما نزل فيه وحي من عند الله لم يجز للرسول أن يشاور فيه الأمة ، لأنه إذا جاء النص بطل الرأي والقياس

“The third principle: There is an agreement that every thing that has been revealed from Allah to the Messenger, it is not allowed for him to consult the Ummah because if there is a Nass, then the opinion and conjecture (Qiyas) becomes void.”

When there is clear nass relating to the divine appointment of Maula Ali (as) then the Shura that Ibn al-Hashimi is seeking to sell as legitimate has no validity whatsoever, it becomes an error, one upon which was tragically built the Sunni version of Islam he is so keen to defend. Imamate entails certain shar’ia obligations. If somebody is appointed by God, then he must be obeyed, and that is a fiqh ruling. How can there be shura, then, to say that it is obligatory on us to follow Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, or whoever? There is no shura on such issues. The duty to follow a leader is a matter for Allah (swt) to decide, and He (swt) did just that, after the Prophet (s) it was obligatory for us to follow Imam ‘Ali (as) and the eleven Imams from his progeny (as).

Even if in their narrow-mindedness and hypocrisy on the issue of Hadith, the doctrine of appointment of a successor by the Prophet (saw) is rejected by Sunni readers, the inescapable fact remains – Shura is bid’a and this is an inescapable conclusion. It has no basis in the Qur’an and Sunna, it came later in the post-prophet era and was a fabrication of the kings (caliphs) who forged Sunni Islam as detailed later. In distinction, to Shias belief in Imamate is vouched for by the Qur’an and Sunna whether the traditions are accepted as such or not by the Sunnis, our system remains a superior system in the eyes of the Shias having the endorsement of God and His Prophet (saws). Let us discuss these issues in more detail.

Reply Two –The egalitarian doctrine of Imamate through Shura cannot be proven from the Qur’an

Ibn al Hashimi prides himself on trying to disprove quite pathetically the Shi’a doctrine of Imamate from the Qur’an. To him the correct method for appointing an Imam was through Shura. One would therefore presume that the correctness of this position can be evidenced from the Qur’an. It tells us so much when we see Ibn al Hashimi arguing that appointing the Imam through Shura is egalitarian and correct, because this was done historically in the case of the rightly guided Khalifas. Let us see if this ‘legitimate method’ can be proven from the Qur’an.

Tell us Ibn al-Hashmi, is everything based upon consultation? Does Allah (swt) seek the consultation of the people in His works? Is the creation of man and woman on the basis of our consultation? Is rain, sunset, winds etc through the consultation process between the people and their Creator (swt)? Do we decide whether a couple will or will not bear children? In the same way that all these works of Allah (swt) are His (swt) alone, and man has no say in the process, exactly the same is the case with when He sends Prophets and the Imams to guide the Ummah after him (s). As we read in Holy Qur’an:

Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience. (42:13)

This verse isn’t giving just a simple message for the common people, but He (swt) in fact sets out His principle that it is not the public who chooses someone and then deems him to be the one chosen by Allah (swt) rather its only Allah (swt) who chooses.

We read further in 28:68:

And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they (in any matter). Glorified be Allah, and exalted above all that they associate as partners (with Him).
Translated by Dr. MT Al-Hilali & Dr. MM Khan. V7.9

This verse makes it clear that certain ranks are only through the power and decision of the Blessed Creator (swt). The station of Prophethood and Imamate are not in the hands of the people – since they are both connected with implementing the works of Allah (swt), and hence Allah (swt) knows who is best suited for this job.

Now consider this verse:

“And indeed We gave Musa the Book and We did appoint with him Harun as an Apostle and his Vizier” (25:35).

We see from this verse that Musa (as) was appointed a Prophet by Allah (swt). Why did He (swt) not leave the appointment of a Vizier in the hands of the Ummah, who could appoint on the basis of consultation? Would that not have been egalitarian in spirit? It is interesting that Sunnis say that Rasulullah (s) left no successor; rather the Ummah was free to do so, and (according to Ibn al Hasihmi) they did so accordingly via the democratic principles of Shura! Yet we see from the Qur’an that the Vizier of Prophet Musa (as) was appointed by Allah (swt), how can the Prophet (s) who is the best of the creation and the most exalted among all humans including Musa (as) leave the issue of appointment to the public and not Allah (swt)?

[Shakir 21:73] And We made them Imams who guided (people) by Our command.

This makes it clear that the appointments of the Imams are the right of Allah (swt), Shura does not even come into the equation and He chooses whoever He (swt) wants. That whom He (swt) chooses is the legitimate Imam.

Then consider this verse:

And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: “I will make thee an Imam to the Nations.” He pleaded: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.” [Yusufali 2:124]

Prophet Ibrahim (as) was already a Prophet but had (following the successful completion of these tasks) attained the rank of Imamate. The verse makes it clear that Allah (swt) appoints the Imam, not the people, He (swt) appoints whoever he likes as the Prophet or Imam.

If Ibn al Hasihmi objects saying that this refers to Prophethood then why did Allah (swt) not say “I will make thee a Prophet to the Nations”?
If Ibn al Hashimi attests that Imamate as a divine rank refers only to the appointment of Prophets then allow us to present the divine appointment of a non Prophet. We read in Surah Baqarah 246 – 247

YUSUF ALI: Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? They said to a prophet (That was) among them: “Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah.” He said: “Is it not possible, if ye were commanded to fight, that that ye will not fight?” They said: “How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?” but when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But Allah Has full knowledge of those who do wrong.

Their Prophet said to them: “(Allah) hath appointed Talut as king over you.” They said: “How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than he to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted, with wealth in abundance?” He said: “(Allah) hath Chosen him above you, and hath gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: Allah Granteth His authority to whom He pleaseth. Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things.”

When the Israelites expressed a desire to have an Imam to lead them into Jihad, they went directly to the Prophet, requesting that such a leader be appointed. If the duty to appoint the Imam was the self determination of the people they would have never turned to the Prophet with such a request, rather they would have themselves appointed an Imam, that is proof that the Imam is a divine appointment, Shura does not even come into the equation. The Bani Israil were fully aware of this, it was the established, known Sunnah that Allah (swt) appoints that individual that excels in knowledge and bravery amongst the Ummah.

The next portion of the verse Their Prophet said to them: “(Allah) hath appointed Talut as king over you” is clear evidence of Divine appointment, as it demonstrates that the appointment of the Imam, is not subject to the personal discretion of the Prophet (as), it is the right of Allah (swt) alone, the Prophet is responsible for conveying the divine appointment to the people.

When the Prophet (s) is challenged over the appointment, he makes clear that the Divine appointment was based on knowledge and bravery that again proves the doctrine of divine appointment on Imamate on the basis of superiority in the Ummah. There is nothing in this verse that would support the Ibn al-Hashimi theory that Imamate of non Prophets is valid when it is exercised through a Shura process, where the Ummah have a say in the process!

Reply Three – The egalitarian doctrine of Imamate through Shura was never the Sunnah for appointing those that Allah (swt) referred to as Khalifas – Qur’anic evidences

 

A. The first ayat of appointment which negates shura

We read in Surah Nur verse 55 of the general doctrine of appointment of a khalifa:

God had promised you those of you who believe and do good deeds that He will certainly appoint them Khalifas (thukhalifa) as He appointed successors (thukhalifa) those before him” (Surah Nur 55)

Who wrote the Qur’an? God did, not shura. So tell us Ibn al Hashimi were those that Allah (swt) termed Khalifas appointed through the egalitarian method of Shura or not for such a notion contradicts the sense of this ayat of the Qur’an itself? Ibn Hashimi is dangerously close to apostasy. God appoints the khalifa – he says so himself in the above ayat and many times more in the Book, as we shall show below. Yet only Shia Islam believes through Imamate that God appoints the Khalifa, Sunni Islam follows the innovations of the companion-kings who appointed themselves rulers (even shura when taken was taken at the point of a sword – give bayat or die).

B. The second ayat of appointment which negates shura

We read that Adam (as) was appointed khalifa by Allah (swt) not by man when we read the famous verses concerning the Creation of Adam (as) in the Qur’an:

[Shakir 2:30] And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.

It may be argued by those without firm faith in the Book and who seek to twist the words of God as they stand opposed to their ancestor’s beliefs that the word ‘Khalifa’ refers to the prophethood of Adam (as) as he was not the Khalifa (successor) of someone else, he was the first human being on earth. Then we need to understand the meaning of the word Khalifa. According to the Hans-Wehr English-Arabic dictionary page 257, it does not only mean successor, it means “Vicar, deputy; successor” . In this context it means succeed, occupying position, such as appoint someone to occupy a position. Thus Khaleefa does not equate with inheriting succession, it can also mean the first in a line of succession. Besides, God does not say prophet, He says Khaleefa, so let us move on from this ridiculous argument – if I use the name Peter I mean Peter not John, and if God says Khaleefa He means Khaleefa not Prophet, and God does not make mistakes.

We have seen in Nur verse 55 before that God appoints the Khaleefa, a fact that flies directly in the face of any concept of shura and which in fact undermines the authority of any caliph-king not appointed by God and hence Sunni Islam itself. One pathetic defence hinted at by the Sunni Imam Jalal-ud-Din Suyuti may be that when God says He appoints the khalifa, in some vague way this translated into the shura that led to the appointment of Abu Bakr by the Muslims when they gave him bayat (assuming this was even shura, which it was not since it was extracted at the point of a sword, but the principle is the same). But this ayat, 2:30, negates the fact that the divine doctrine of appointment can be translated into the establishment of a khalifa by anyone other than God himself – it is direct and clear-cut – God means God, not anyone else and not the shura process. Think very carefully and with all your attentiveness on this ayat. It’s actually quite straightforward and piercing what is being said here. Here in 2:30 God reiterates that He appoints the khalifa. He is talking about Adam (of course) here. Now, since there was no nation or Ummah when Adam was created as he was the first man, then how can it be interpreted that God’s command that HE appoints the khalifa translates into the shura by the nation? It cannot as there was no nation in the time of Adam (as), there was no other physical human other than Adam (as). In fact, when Iblees (Satan) opposed the command to appoint Adam (as) as Khaleefa (note the devil was thrown out not because he was jealous of Adam, but because he was jealous of the fact Adam was made khalifa whom He had to bow his head below), He was thrown out of God’s presence for refusing to accept God’s khalifa, and said he would tempt humans on this matter above all till Judgment Day – now look at the history of man – every prophet Khaleefa of Banu Israel had enemies inspired by Iblees, and God’s choice of Khaleefa through Muhammad (saws)’s verdict on Ali (as) was also attacked and the Muslims divided into factions on this – only the Shia followed the Divinely appointed Khalifa and successor Ali (as), the rest followed their own egos, and egos are the greatest temptation of Iblees! And nor did God listen to the angels who also questioned His decision to appoint Adam (as) khalifa. The attitudes and opinions of these other creations beyond the human nature was irrelevant, only God’s will counted. God dismissed the majority of creations and threw the egalitarian views of the angels and their and Iblis’s attempt at shura and consultation to appoint a Khaleefa in the rubbish-bin of Creation. Allah (swt) admonished the angels’ attempts at shura and consultation on this matter saying he hated it and gave his reason as: “Surely I know what you do not know” and they obeyed, and He cursed for eternity Iblees who continued to uphold the belief that shura and consultation decide the khilafat and God vows to throw Iblees and those like him in the fire for this failure and its consequences, and this would be the majority of men. This negates the view that the appointment of a khalifa by the Ummah or companions through shura or consultation (and indeed any non-divine means) can be construed as being in any way divine and shatters the legitimacy of shura or consultation in this process as a challenge to God’s words Himself. It is contradictory to the divine commandment which echoes through the aeons of man since God condemned shura and consultation in favor of His decision in appointing the khalifa. This is a shocking unveiling of the true level of disobedience of the early companions to God even though the religion they created was that of the majority of Muslims. The only person for whom divine appointment to the khilafat by God and His Prophet is advanced is Ali (as) and the other 12 Imams of the Shias who are the caliphs to the Seal of Prophets.

C. A third non-egalitarian ayat which negates shura

In the same way we read the appointment of Dawud (as):

“O Dawud verily We have you a khalifa in the earth” (The Qur’an 38:26)

Again if this referred to his appointment of Prophet why did Allah (swt) not use the term Prophet? Why did he use the term Khalifa? Why does God in the Holy Book keep coming again and again to the word KHALIFA and the fact HE appoints the khalifa? This was because of the same reasons we highlighted above because of the trend through human history, here with the people of Dawud (David) (as), in which Iblees is tempting people by trying to get them to oppose God’s chosen leader. And it is in the Qur’an as Allah (swt) obviously both KNEW it was on this issue the Muslims would divide and so He would note it even more in the Qur’an to guide them to the saved sect – the Twelver Shia who believe as in the Quranic injunction that God appoints the khalifa (Imam), and the Sunni who deviated and followed the self-styled post-prophet companion-kings who founded their own institution based upon a variety of modes of appointment, not one of them divine. Hadhrath Dawud (as) was the Khalifa of his father, he inherited the mantle of leadership after him (as). If Shura to appoint a successor is the correct method, then why did Allah (swt) appoint Dawud (as) without shura – this prevented the Ummah from the opportunity to decide on the matter themselves. Was the appointment egalitarian in nature? Clearly not, yet Allah (swt) brought it on Himself (swt) to appoint the Khalifa.

We hence discern quite clearly from the Qur’an that the appointment of a khalifa is non-egalitarian. It may not sound politically correct in today’s world, but that is the truth – khilafat is non-egalitarian, not open to all and sundry, and nor is Ibn Hashmi’s shura at the point of a sword open to all candidates, as he would like people to believe and as we shall later show. Indeed, while in Shia Islam God appoints the khalifa, all of whom were pure and pious men whether from Banu Israel or Banu Hashim, in Sunni Islam what is called shura is not only innovation but a ruse for political corruption as we shall come to (regrets if anyone feelings are hurt, that is not the purpose, but fact is fact…the early Islamic caliphate was a politically corrupt house even if it in lived Abu Bakr followed by Omar, after all it was a submission to the temptation of Iblees who rebelled against the caliphs appointed by Allah (sawt)).

D. A fourth non-egalitarian ayat negating shura

Further evidence of the non-egalitarian doctrine of appointment can be gauged from the appointment of the third Khalifa mentioned in the Qur’an, Hadhrath Harun (as). When Musa (as) went to Mount Tur, he appointed Harun as Khalifa directly.

“…And Musa said unto his brother Haroon: Take my place (as khalifa) among the people.” (The Qur’an 7:142)

In English the one Arabic word “ukhulfni” chosen by Allah in 7:142 has been translated, as above, as “Take my place…” . “ukhulfni” is the root origin of the Arabic word “Khalifa” (Caliph). The indirect transliteration is simply from a Sunni translator trying to hide the word khalifa. Musa (as) is acting on God’s instructions as His prophet.

Prophet Musa (as) didn’t apply any egalitarian principle, he did not tell the people to adopt Shura to appoint a Khalifa whilst he was absent. Rather than adopt a principle that Ibn al Hashimi dictates as fair and correct, he appointed Haroon directly, without any consultation from his people. The Ummah were given no say in the process. Even for this short period of absence of forty days, Musa (as) ensured that he has a Khalifa to lead the people in his absence. In Tafsir Maarif ul Quran, under his commentary of this verse, Mufti Muhammad Shafi Deobandi stresses the importance of appointing a deputy. Under the heading ‘Making one’s deputy when needed’ he writes as follows:

“The Prophet Musa (as) made it a point to appoint Sayyidna Harun (as) as his deputy when he intended to leave for the mount of Sinai and said that he should take responsibility of his people in his absence. This makes it imperative for those who hold some responsible office that they appoint someone to look after the work in their absence.

If it is imperative for those in office to appoint a deputy in their absence is it not of greater importance when the person in office is permanently departing from this world? Was the Prophet (saws) not fearful that because of his disputes, problems that would occur after him?

The Sunni doctrine of non-appointment will be mentioned though it is dealt with thoroughly in another work of ours. The cornerstone of contemporary Sunni Islam for hundreds of years is the doctrine of non-appointment. It is the absurdist of absurdities. It is that the Holy Prophet (saws) made no arrangements for his succession – despite knowing his departure from this world approached and despite it being mandatory to make a will in Islam, neither did the Holy Prophet (saws):

  1. appoint a successor
  2. arrange a system of succession e.g. council, voting, verbal direction

Yet EVERY leader has done one or both of the above as his departure from the world approaches as without a leader or system by which one be appointed society is left in a state of anarchy – leaderless – and that is the lowest and most desperate state of any society, so low that it ceases to be a true society. And while even the most incompetent leaders in human history have made arrangements for a succession, Sunni Islam would have us believe our great and enlightened Prophet Mohammad (saws) left none – despite him being even more in a position of responsibility to people – Mohammad (saws) was the Seal of Prophets, he was contending with civil war in central Arabia with apostates marching on Madina, foreign armies invading from Byzantium necessitating him dispatching the army of Usama, pus the day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute problems of governing a nation as its supreme leader in all affairs. The Sunni world however believes Mohammad (saws) did neither despite this great mantle of responsibility – neither did he appoint a successor or leave a system of succession – he did nothing, issuing no guidance though he was in fact more qualified to guide than any man. Instead the companions took over, and did what they had to. Shia Islam believes Mohammad (saws) on behalf of God as His Seal of Prophets (saws) was a most responsible leader who in accordance with these ayats we are discussing with regard to God’s direction in general and specific direction to His prophets:

  1. appointed a successor to the Seal of Prophets, mentioning Ali (as) as the Imam to succeed him in this role abundant times culminating in the formal declaration at Ghadhir Khumm
  2. arranged a system of succession – non-egalitarian appointment in the manner of the Imams of Banu Israel mentioned in the Qur’an – Imamate of 12 Imams from Ali (a) to Mohammad Mahdi (as).

The astonishing Sunni doctrine of non-appointment suggests a missing link in Islam and as it is so fundamental it is not surprising that the rest of the Sunni outlook is also prone to absences from reality and rationality entering the level of the absurd frequently. On the other hand the Shia doctrine is fully vouched for by the Qur’an.

Musa (as) foresaw of such a risk, even though he was leaving temporarily for Mount Tur, and yet Muhammad (s) it is suggested never envisaged such a risk despite the world fragmenting around him in his own lifetime with apostates rising in central Arabic against him and Byzantium invading. Amazingly the Sahaba are praised for their foresightedness by not attending the funeral of the Prophet (s) and giving the succession of Muhammad (s) a greater priority, a sign to many of their base insincerity and hunger for power over and above all else (in short Abu Bakr walked out on the funeral of the Holy Prophet (saws) to lead a coup d’etat and returned with a crown on his head as King of the Arabs, and we are expected to applaud this in Sunni Islam). Interestingly Muhaddith Shah Waliyullah Dehalvi states in Izalatul Khifa, page 52:

“The way Prophethood is not achieved by a man on endeavoring on his own, similarly the special Khilafat of prophet is also not achieved by someone becoming Khalifa by himself or people appointing him as Khalifa, nor can it take place automatically, rather it is in the hands of Allah that whoever He wishes, only he can be the rightful Khalifa”

This certainly was not the case with the appointment of Abu Bakr. Ponder over the concept carefully. The Khalifa is one that takes the position of another, one that implements the work on behalf of Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s). When God appoints a Prophet as Khalifa, he is implementing the Khilafat of God, and when a Khalifa is appointed following the Prophet (s), he is implementing the work of that Prophet (s). In both circumstances the appointment of both is the right of Allah (swt) exclusively and the term ‘Khalifa’ is common, and it refers to one that represents Allah (swt) or his Prophet, and the appointment of both are by Allah (swt) alone. No group whether they be people of power of influence, through ijmaa or Shura, have a say in the process, they were never allowed to appoint a Prophet and likewise they have no right to appoint the successor to the Seal of Prophets (saws), this right remains exclusive to Allah (swt) alone. Allah (swt) in the verse cited below chose the word ‘Khalifa’ which is general and didn’t use the words ‘prophet’ and this was to show that whether it is the Khilafat of Allah (swt) or the Khilafat of any prophet, its is Allah alone who reserves the right to make one . Allah has clearly stated:

033.036[YUSUFALI]:
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

Reply Four –The egalitarian doctrine of Imamate through Shura was not the Sunnah of past Prophets – historical evidences show the prophets practiced non-egalitarian appointment

For this reply it is apt to also address a challenge thrown down to us by the same Ibn al Hashimi in his article ‘Why Prophet Muhammad Did Not Have a Wasi’

Ibn al Hashimi states:

It should also be noted that the concept that “every Messenger had a Wasi” is simply false; the Shia have simply named two Messengers who were alive at the time of two other Messengers. Let them back up their claim: there are twenty-five Messengers mentioned in the Quran; how many of them had any such “Wasi” and if so what were their names? Simply naming two Messengers who were coincidentally alive at the same time as two others, does not at all prove the Shia’s doctrine. Where in the Quran is the word “Wasi” mentioned? In fact, the entire concept of “Wasi” is alien to Islam and it was brought into Islam by the likes of Ibn Saba whose purpose was to destroy the Finality of Prophethood. There was no concept of “Wasi” in Islam, and it was Ibn Saba who brought this blameworthy innovation into the faith of Islam.

If anything this proves the shocking lack of knowledge that this self proclaimed defender of the man made khalifa system is. All this Nasibi could have done was pick up any book of Islamic history to see that the doctrine of appointing a Wasi, rather than being alien to Islam, was the Sunnah of past Prophets!

If we look at the annals of Islamic history, we will find that the Khalifas of Prophets, and their executors were not appointed through any form of consultation process. They were divinely appointed. We will consider accepting the principle of Shura for the Khalifas of Sunni Islam as valid if it can be proved that previous Khalifas were appointed via the same process. If we can however prove that the Khalifas and Wasis (inheritors) of the Prophets were appointed by them directly, then the very substance of the Sunni argument falls apart, unless Sunni Muslims wish to deny intellectual reasoning. We proved this however from the Qur’an in the preceding sections, even pointing out how Sunni translators have sought to subdue the use of the word khalifa by God through mistranslating the original Arabic text so that a non-Arabic reader is misled. Here we show the proofs that Imamate comes from God as a divine covenant in Sunni history and which is reminiscent of the covenant between prophets and God in other sacred texts (Bible and Torat) i.e. is not a new theme.

We have already shown from the Qur’an that Allah (swt) appointed Adam as Khalifa. What followed was the doctrine of direct appointment. We read in the History of Tabari Volume 1 page 324:

“When Adam was about to die, he called his son Seth and appointed him as his heir…He wrote his last will addressed to him. Seth reportedly was the legatee of his father Adam, so after Adam’s death, political leadership fell to him”.
 History of Tabari Volume 1 page 324

Seth likewise appointed his successor:

إن شيئا لما مرض أوصى ابنه أنوش ومات

“When Seth fell ill, he reportedly appointed his son Enosh as his legatee”.
 History of Tabari, Volume 1 page 335

“After the passing of his father Seth, Enosh took over the political administration of the realm and the guidance of the subjects under his control in place his father Seth”
 History of Tabari, Volume 1 page 336

Enosh then appointed a successor:

“Enosh begot Kenan and numerous other children. Kenan was his legatee. He begot Mahalalel and other children in addition. Mahalalel was his legatee. He begot Jared (Yarid) and other children in addition. Jared was his legatee. He begot Enoch – that is, Prophet Idris –and other children in addition. Enoch begot Methuselah and other children in addition. Methuselah was his legatee. He begot Lamech and other children in addition. Lamech was his legatee”.
  History of Tabari, Volume 1 page 336

About Jared (Yarid) mentioned in between in the last reference, Tabari expands on him:

“He was the legatee and successor of his father, according to what his father Mahalalel had set down in his last will addressed to him when he made him his successor after his death”.
  History of Tabari, Volume 1 page 342

Similarly, Tabari expands about Enoch or Idris (as) in these words:

“He was the legatee of his father Jared and was exhorted to act in accordance with what his forefathers had stated in their last wills addressed to him, and to each other”.
History of Tabari, Volume 1 page 343

These last two explanations about Jared and his son Enoch are clearly pointing out the phenomenon of ‘Nass’ that we discussed earlier in the article.

In the list of messengers we cited earlier from Tabari, the last one was Lamech who was the father of Prophet Noah (as). Now if we move on to the appointment of Noah’s successor, Ibn Athir has recorded:

ولما حضرت نوحًا الوفاة قيل له‏:‏ كيف رأيت الدنيا قال‏:‏ كبيت له بابان دخلت من أحدهما وخرجت من الآخر وأوصى إلى ابنه سام وكان أكبر ولده‏.‏

When time of death approached Hadrath Noah, people asked to him: ‘How did you find the word?’. He replied: ‘Like a house which have two doors, I entered from one of those while I exit from the other and appointed my son Saam as my legatee’
Tareekh Kamil, Volume 1 page 29

Allamah Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Salehi al-Shami (d. 942 H) stated in his book ‘Subul al-Huda wa al-Reshad’ Volume 1 page 314:

قال النووي رحمه الله: لما حضرت نوحا الوفاة أوصى إلى ولده سام، وكان ولد قبل الطوفان بثمانية وتسعين سنة، ويقال كان سام بكره. قال ابن هشام: إنه كان وصي أبيه وإنه ولي أهل الأرض.

Al-Nawawi (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) said: ‘When death came to Noah, he appointed his son Saam as his legatee, he (Saam) was born before the flood by 98 years. It has been said that Saam is his elder son’. Ibn Hisham said: ‘He was the Wasi of his father and he is the Wali of the people of earth’.
 Subul al-Huda wa al-Reshad, Volume 1 page 314

Ibrahim (as) too appointed his Wasi as recorded by Mohammad bin Khawand Shah (d. 903 H) in Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 page 52:

“When the angel of death came to Ibrahim in order to seize his soul, Ibrahim demanded some time and specified a time for seizing his soul. Then he got busy in some religious and worldly matters. He deemed the completion of those matters as most important, and He appointed his son Isaac as his Wali and Khalifa in Syria.”

According to Mohammad bin Khawand Shah (d. 903 H) in Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 pages 62-63 Isaac appointed his son Yaqub as his Wasi. Then:

وأن يعقوب أوصى إلى يوسف عليه السلام

“Yaqub appointed his son Yusuf (as) as his legatee”
Tarikh Tabari, Volume 1 page 203

Then:

وأوصى إلىأخيه يهوذا

“He (Yusuf) appointed his son Yahoza as his legatee”
Tarikh Tabari, Volume 1 page 203

Prophet Ayub (as) too appointed his Wasi. As we read in Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 page 100:

“Close to his death, he appointed Homal as his Wasi and Wali, who was the most pious among his sons”

Tabari likewise recorded:

وأنه أوصى عند موته إلى ابنه حومل وأن الله عز وجل بعث بعده ابنه بشر بن أيوب نبيا وسماه ذا الكفل وأمره بالدعاء إلى توحيده وأنه كان مقيما بالشأم عمره حتى مات وكان عمره خمسا وسبعين سنة وأن بشرا أوصى إلى ابنه عبدان

“When Ayub reached to the age of 93, he appointed his son Homel as his legatee before death, and God sent after him his son Bashr- son of Ayub as a prophet and called him Zu-lkifl and ordered him to propagate the oneness of God, he lived in Syria for the whole of his life till he died, he died when he was 75 years old, and Beshr appointed his son Ebsan as his legatee”
Tarikh Tabari, Volume 1 page 195

Prophet Musa (as) likewise appointed his successor:

“Then Moses set out, making Aaron his vice-regent over the Children of Israel…”.
  History of Tabari, English translation Volume 3 page 72

But Harun (as) died during the lifetime of Musa (as) thus Musa (as) once again appointed his Wasi as recorded in Rauzatus Safa, Volume 1 page 128:

“On the 7th of the month of Azaar, Musa gathered his people and conducted a huge gathering, He (as) then appointed Yusha as his Khalifa and Wasi, after giving Bani Israil into the protection of Allah, He (as) handed them over to Yusha and instructed him to look after their affairs. After declaring the obedience and Hujjah of Yusha on them, Musa (as) said to them: ‘Among the people of God, I have appointed a man as Khalifa over you who is distinguished from you in terms of sincerity and have also taken Allah and his angels as witness. You people should not be careless about my will”

Then:

ثمّ توفّاه الله فاستخلف على بني إسرائيل كالب بن يوفنّا

“Allah appointed Kalb bin Yuftana (Caleb b. Jephunneh) as Khalifa over Bani Israil”
Tarikh Kamil, Volume 1 page

Mohammad bin Khawand Shah records about it in these words:

“Yusha bin Nun called Kalb bin Yaftana and gave him caliphate and died after making him his Wasi and vicegerent”
Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 page 134

Tabari records about it in these words:

“Caleb b. Jephunneh was the one in charge of the affairs of the Israelites after Joshua b. Nun, then Ezekiel b. Buzi after him…”
History of Tabari, English translation Volume 3 page 118

Then we read:

“When the signs of death appeared to Kalb bin Yaftana, he handed over the caliphate to his son Yusa Taus”
Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 page 135

Iliyas (as) too appointed his Wasi, as we read in Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 page 138:

“One day Allah (swt) revealed to Iliyas (as) that he was to hand over the caliphate to Yasi’e”

Then we read:

“When Yas’e realized that it (death) was imminent, he called Zul Kifl and handed over the caliphate to him and then gave his soul to God”

We read in History of Tabari, English translation Volume 3 page 121:

“When God took Caleb b. Jephunneh after Joshua’s death, He appointed as a successor among the Israelites Ezekiel b. Buzi”.

The successor of Hadrath Sh’eya was also not appointed by general public rather Allah (swt) appointed him, as we read in Tarikh Tabari, Volume 1 page 320:

استخلف الله عز وجل على بني إسرائيل بعد شعيا رجلا منهم يقال له ياشية بن أموص

After Sh’eya, Allah (swt) appointed a man from Bani Israil namely Yashebah bin Amus”

Prophet Isa (as) too appointed his successor on the orders of Allah (swt) rather than his nation interfering into the matter:

“Amongst the ‘wills’ left by Isa (as) a will was: ‘Allah has instructed me to appoint Shma’un (Simon) as caliph over you’. The people accepted his caliphate”
Rauzatul Safa, Volume 1 page 154

We see that Jesus’ companions had NO say in the matter – God told Jesus to appoint Simon Peter his successor as Imam and Jesus complied, just as Mohammad (saws) would do the same with Ali (as).

We see from these examples from Prophet Adam (as) until Isa (as) each appointed their successor directly, as instructed by Allah (swt). There is no evidence that previous Prophets and their Successors (whether prophets or khalifas) were appointed by the Ummah via consultation (Shura). A doctrine of appointment that Ibn al Hashimi deems ‘non egalitarian’ was the Sunnah of past Prophets. Why did this, without reason change when Prophet Muhammad (s) passed away? Of course it did not. Each past Prophet (s) openly declared who their successor would be, there is no evidence for abrogation of this practice with Muhammad (s)? This is all the more unbelievable when one considers this verse:

[YUSUFALI: 033.062]
(Such was) the practice (approved) of Allah among those who lived aforetime: No change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah.

Sural al Fath verse 12:

Such has been) the practice of Allah already in the past: no change wilt thou find in the practice of Allah.

Does Allah (swt) not say that no change will you see in the Sunnah – so why did this one change according to the Ahl’ul Sunnah? Certainly it didn’t. The fact that all previous Prophets appointed their successors directly as instructed by Allah (swt) and there is no change in the practice of Allah (swt). We now present the following verse:

“These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” (6:90)

The verse asks Prophet Muhammad (s) to follow what previous prophets did. Mufti Muhammad Shaafi Deobandi in Tafsir Maarif ul Quran, Volume 3 page 411 says as follows in his commentary of this verse:

“What then, would be the meaning of asking the Holy Prophet (s) to follow the way of the past Prophets and act in accordance with it? Keeping in view other Quranic verses and narrations of Hadith, the answer here is that the command here does not apply to the following of the way of past prophets in all partial and subsidiary aspects of injunctions. In fact, the purpose is to adhere to the basic principles of religion which include Tauhid (Oneness of Allah) Risalah (Prophethood) and Akhirah (Hereafter) as has been their way. They never changed in the law of any Prophet. From Sayidina Adam (as) to the Last of all Prophets (s), all Prophets have been adhering to one belief and one way”

If the Prophet (s) was being told to adhere to the Sunnah of the previous Prophets that remained the same throughout i.e. the generic theme that all followed, then exactly the same goes for the practice of appointing a successor. We have proven from the books of Tareekh that appointing a successor was through one sole method, that of direct appointment. We will once again quote the last sentence of Mufti Muhammad Shaafi “From Sayidina Adam (as) to the Last of all Prophets (s), all Prophets have been adhering to one belief and one way.” Hence, Prophet Muhammad (s) indeed didn’t abandon the guidance of previous prophets and when He (s) was instructed “And warn your tribe of near kindred…” (26: 214), He (s) summoned his close relatives and delivered this speech, the first call to Islam:

“Al-Fadl bin Sahl- Afan bin Muslim- Abu Awana- Uthman bin al-Mughira- Abi Sadeq- Rabeea bin Najed narrated that a man came to Ali and said: Oh commander of believers, why only you inherited your cousin without your uncle? He (Ali) replied: The messenger of Allah invited the children of Abdulmutalib and he cooked for them food, they ate till they get fulfilled and the food remained as if no one had touched it, then he (the prophet) brought water and all of them drank from it, but the water remained as if no one had touched it or drank from it.
Then he (the prophet) said: ‘Oh children of Abdulmutalib, I have been sent to you specially and to the people in general, and you saw the sign of that, therefore who among you give baya to be my brother, my companion, my inheritor and my minister.’
No one responded for that, hence I responded and I was the youngest among them, he (the prophet) said: ‘Sit down’ for three times. I responded and He say ‘Sit down’, till the third time he clapped by his hand on my thigh and said: ‘You are my brother, companion, inheritor and minister’. Hence I inherited my cousin without my uncle.”

Khasais by Imam Nesai, page 85

al-Fadal bin Sahl: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2, p11). Afan bin Muslim: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p679). Abu Awana: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah Thabt’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2, p282). Uthman bin al-Mughira: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p665). Abu Sadeq al-Azdi: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-tahdib, v2, p417). Rabeea bin Najed: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1, p298).

If Ibn al Hashimi tries to argue that the doctrine of Khilafat does not come under this then Surah Nur destroys such a notion since Allah (swt) takes personal responsibility to appoint Khalifas as he had done in the past. Let us look at that verse again:

“God had promised you those of you who believe and do good deeds that he will certainly appoint them Khalifas (thukhalifa) as he appointed successors (thukhalifa) those before him” (Surah Nur 55)

So was Adam appointed through some Shura process involving discussions between the Creator and his Angels? Was Dawood (as) appointed through some secret meeting inside a small meeting room? Was Harun (as) appointed through a Shura committee before Musa (as) set out to collect the Ten Commandments? The answer is no, all were appointed divinely.

No previous Prophet (s) allowed his successor to be appointed via Shura, he appointed his successor publicly during his lifetime. Rasulullah (s) would never have left an issue as important as Khilafat to the choice of the people through Shura. He just like the Sunnah of past Prophets declared his Khalifa before he left this earth. We believe that he appointed Imam Ali (as).

Reply Five – According to Sunni sources Rasulullah (s) said that Allah (swt) designates leadership

The early books that deal with Seerah and Tarikh record the invitation of Rasulullah to the Makkan tribes to embrace Islam, and support him. Some placed a conditional acceptance of the offer provided they be given the station of Khilafat after the death of the Prophet (s). Rasulullah (s) stated explicitly that he could not agree to any such condition, rather this was a matter that Allah (swt) alone rules on. In this regards we read in the History of Tabari Volume 6 page121:

He went to the Banu Amir b. Sa’saa’ah called them to God and offered himself to them. One of them called Bayharah Bin Firas addressed at him, “By God if I could take this young man from Quraysh I could conquer all the Arabs with him”. Then he said, “Do you think that if we follow you and God gives you victory over your opponents we shall have the command after you?”. He replied “Command belongs to God, who places it where He wills”.

This narration informs us that the Arab mentality at the time, they requested a share of the command ‘Amr’ namely a right to leadership after him (s). The reply of Rasulullah (s) to the Kuffar leaves us with no doubt that the decision to appoint the Imam to succeed Rasulullah (s) is based upon the appointment by Allah (swt) alone. If Imamate that succeeds the Prophet (s) was a right to the people, then why didn’t the Prophet (s) say ‘This matter will be left in the hands of the people, who will be given free to devise a process for appointing whoever they liked? The reply given by Rasulullah (s) renders the doctrine of man made appointed through methods such as self appointment, ijmaa, shura null and void.

Reply Six – The founding fathers of Sunni Imamate were not appointed through Shura

Turning to the assertion itself the advocacy skills of these Nawasib is so poor that they advance defenses for the hero clients that their posthumous clients never themselves even claimed, part of the cult of grossly exaggerated and unjustifiable reverence for the institution of the companions. Don’t take our word for it, allow us to produce the testimony of the chief architect of Saqifa, Umar ibn al Khattab – whose comments negate any suggestion of the legitimacy of the Shura system, for Umar himself notes that it was a system of might is right. Shura would suggest that people enter into some system of consultation to appoint a Khalifa, legitimacy is based on some group exercise whereby they collectively arrive at decision over the best man. This certainly did not occur in the case of Abu Bakr. The debate that took place in Saqifa was between the Ansar and three Muhajirin present in the thatched house of Saqifa (a former gambling den, brothel and liquor house on the outskirts of Madina where it was alleged such evil things still took place hidden away from the authorities – we are not saying the Sahaba were drinking there at the time of the meeting, but this is the nature of the venue for the meeting – it was a sordid venue far away from where pious Muslims might chance upon matters). Umar recommended Abu Bakr be given the bayya and others followed suit. There was no consultation with any other Sahabi, esteemed figures like Ali (as), Ibn Abbas (ra), Talha, Zubayr and others were never party to any form of consultation process. They didn’t even seek their opinions before setting out to the Saqifa. Umar sought to curb any efforts to replicate his method of appointment because it was devoid of consultation, saying:

… I have been informed that a speaker amongst you says, ‘By Allah, if ‘Umar should die, I will give the pledge of allegiance to such-and-such person.’ One should not deceive oneself by saying that the pledge of allegiance given to Abu Bakr was given suddenly and it was successful. No doubt, it was like that, but Allah saved (the people) from its evil, and there is none among you who has the qualities of Abu Bakr. Remember that whoever gives the pledge of allegiance to anybody among you without consulting the other Muslims, neither that person, nor the person to whom the pledge of allegiance was given, are to be supported, lest they both should be killed.
Sahih Bukhari, Arabic-English Volume 8 hadith number 817, page 540

Umar was making it clear that Abu Bakar’s election was a ‘sudden’ thing, devoid of invitation and consultation, and any efforts to repeat it would result in death. Curiously this penalty wasn’t devised till Umar became Khalifa, again in the absence of Shura. We have his own testimony when he responded to pressure to appoint a Khalifa:

If I would appoint my successor, (I would because) one better than me did so. (He meant Abu Bakr.)
Sahih Muslim Kitab al Amara Book 020, Number 4485

Notice that there is no shura in this statement, Umar is making it clear that his rise to power was through the direct appointment of Abu Bakr. The Sunni world is proud to say that as Abu Bakr lay dying on his deathbed, he said Umar would succeed him and that is how Umar became the second khalifa. The word of one man is not shura or a democratic process. So any attempt by Sunni Islam to pretend the appointment of their Khulafa-e-rashideen does not amount to shura, it is a conception of their imagination, with the exception somewhat ironically of Imam Ali (as) and Imam Hasan (as) appointed by general elections.

Ibn al-Hashimi has therefore lied to the Sunnis Muslims reading his article that the khulafa-e-rashideen were appointed by shura – how can Abu Bakr appointing Umar be shura (it was one king proclaiming his best friend the next king – no one else voted, it was Abu Bakr’s command that Umar succeed him, and that was that – no election, no committee, no constitutional or tribal process, nothing else).

Truly, Ibn al-Hashimi ’s gift is in the ability to make old wives stories superficially believable. When it came to the appointment of the third Khalifa, this was again formulated by Umar (the godfather of Sunni Islam), and it was at this point that for the first time a primitive but corrupt and rigged version of the shura system was invented to appoint the Imam. Prior to this there was no concept of the Shura Ibn Hashimi wants us to believe in – it’s simply Sunni fairytales. This process was the mastermind of the ijtihad of Umar, it never existed previously. Those who uphold the doctrine of appointing a Khalifa without justification from the Qur’an and Sunnah advance this Umar’s method as the correct one, even though neither Rasulullah (s) nor Abu Bakr implemented this method. This was not a concept that Umar was completely happy with, rather he viewed a lesser alternative to appointment by text. We have his frank admission:

“… If my term overtakes me, and Abu Ubaydah al Jarrah is still alive, then I would appoint him as Khalifa. If my Lord asked me, I would say, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying ‘Every Prophet has a trustworthy (companion), and my trustworthy companion is Abu Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah’. If my time overtakes me and Abu Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah has died, I would appoint Mu’adh ibn Jabal as Khalifas. If my Lord asked me ‘Why did you appoint him as a Khalifah’, I would say, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying ‘He will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection a distance in front of the men of knowledge’. They had both died during his Khalifah”.
 Tarikh’ul Khulafa, page 135

According to Umar had these people been alive, the notion of Shura would not have even come into the equation, he would have appointed them all directly. He was openly advocating appointing people through nass, so where does that leave the doctrine of shura? This admission proves that the shura process that Ibn al-Hashimi worships was not even fully supported by Umar!

Coming to the process the Umar engineered there is little evidence to suggest that a mechanism that condemned dissenting voices to death could ever be deemed egalitarian in nature! When he was dying we read his directions:

“To Suhayb he said ‘Lead the people in prayer for three days. Let into [the deliberations] ‘Ali, Uthman, al-Zubayr Sa’d, ‘Abd al Rahman b. Awf and Talah, if he arrives. Have Abdullah b. Umar present, but he shall have nothing to do with the matter [of the actual appointment]. Sat with them and if five agree to approve of one man, but one refuses, smash in his head, or strike it off with a sword. If four agree to approve of one man, but two refuse, cut off the [latters’ heads. If three approve of one of them, and three approve of another, get Abdullah b. Umar to make a decision. Let whichever party in favor of which he makes his judgment select one of themselves. If they do not accept Abdullah b. Umar’s judgment, be on the same side as Abd al Rahman b. Awf. Kill the rest if they do not go along with the general consensus”.
History of Tabari, Volume 14 pages 146-147

We appeal to justice. How is it just to have a process wherein the appointment of a Khalifa over the Muslims is restricted to six men from Madina, all of whom happy to be the Quraysh? Can this be deemed egalitarian in nature? Moreover a Shura wherein participant are under the threat of death of they do not support the majority can never fall within the definition of egalitarianism wherein all have a free choice in their choice of successor. If Ibn al-Hashimi questions why Imam Ali (as) participated in this unjust process, then we will say it was merely to expose how rigged the process was. We can evidence this, by citing his own statement:

“Al Abbas came to him, and [Ali] said, ‘(The caliphate) has slipped from us! (Al-Abbas) asked him how he knew. He continued, ‘Umar paired me with Uthman and told us [all] to fall in with the majority. If two approve of one, and two another [he said], we should be on the same side as Abd al Rahman b. Awf. Sa’d will not go against his cousin, Abd al Rahman who is related by marriage to Uthman. They will all (three) agree in their opinion. Abd al Rahman will appoint Uthman to the caliphate or Uthman will appoint Abd al Rahman.
History of Tabari, Volume 14 pages 147

When just as Imam Ali (as) predicted Abd al Rahman b. Awf gave bayya to Uthman, he said:

“You have always been partial in his favor! This is not the first time you have banded against us”

How can a rigged wherein appointment based on the familial ties of six men, be egalitarian?

Reply Seven – The Sahabi Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra) attested to the fact that the Sahaba ignored the doctrine of divine appointment

We shall now present to our readers a debate that can best be described as one of the earliest documented debates on the doctrine of Imamah, between Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra), and the chief architect of the doctrine of man made Imamah, Khalifa Umar ibn al Khattab. In it, Ibn Abbas affirmed that Alllah (swt) had appointed a Leader, but the Quraysh ignored this appointment. Al Tabari the discussion as follows:

“(Umar) said, “Do you know, Ibn Abbas, what kept your people from [being put] over (Quraysh) after Muhammad’s death”. I did not want to answer, so I said, “If I do not know then the Commander of the Faithful will tell me”. Umar said, “They were unwilling for you to combine the Prophethood and the caliphate, lest you magnify yourselves among your own people and be proud. Quraysh made the choice for themselves; they were right and have been granted success”. I said, Commander of the Faithful, if you permit me and not get angry with me, I shall speak”. He allowed me to do so, so I said “As for you saying, Commander of the Faithful, that Quraysh have made their choice for themselves and that they were right and have been granted success, if Quraysh had made the same choice for themselves as God did for them, then right would be theirs, unrejected and unenvied. As for your saying that (Quraysh) were averse to the Prophethood and caliphate being ours, God has described one people as being averse and said, “This is because they were averse to what God revealed, so He made their works fruitless’”. ‘Umar said, “Far from it indeed, Ibn Abbas. I used to hear things about you of which I was reluctant to inquire, lest they bring about your removal from your position with me”. I said, ….
The History of Tabari, Volume 14, English translation, by G. Rex Smith, p137-138

We can see from the tradition clearly that in the words of Umar, the Quraysh ‘were unwilling for you to combine the Prophethood and the caliphate, lest you magnify yourselves among your own people and be proud’ Then the stance of Umar ‘Quraysh made the choice for themselves; they were right and have been granted success’

The rebuttal of Ibn Abbas is particularly relevant to our discussion. He states: ‘if Quraysh had made the same choice for themselves as God did for them, then right would be theirs, unrejected and unenvied’. These words prove that the Quraysh had adopted an approach that did not concur with the choice that Allah (swt) had made. Ibn al Hashimi you can bark and scream all you like, and assert that the supposed Shura of Abu Bakr was legitimate, and that divine appointment is a nonsense, but the statement of Ibn Abbas destroys the house of Shura upon which your entire article rests! We see a clear acknowledgement from this renowned Sahaba that Allah (swt) had appointed from the Banu Hashim, a Khalifa over the Ummah, to succeed the Seal of al Prophets, Muhammad al Mustafa (s). It is interesting to note that Nawasib often claim that the doctrine of the divine appointment in relation to the Imamah, was concocted by Abdullah Ibn Saba, who appeared on the scene during the reign of Uthman ibn al Affan. Ibn Abbas made it clear to Umar that the succession to Muhammad was via divine appointment, so where did he attain this belief from? Was there some earlier proto type of Ibn Saba on the scene, or should we not accept the fact that Allah (swt) had indeed divinely appointed a Leader and the Quraysh chose to ignore that appointment? If the belief of Ibn Abbas, as is espoused by the Shi’a was something alien to Islam, why did Khailfa Umar not rebuke him, for adhering to a unislamic belief? Rather than switch to defaming the Banu Hashim would it not have been better to correct the devious beliefs of Ibn Abbas, in relation to the divinely appointed Imamah? The failure of Umar to correct this statement of Ibn Abbas serves as concrete proof that his belief that Allah (swt) appointed a Khalifa after Muhammad (sa) was a completely legitimate one. If (according to Ahl’ul Sunnah) all the Sahaba are just and truthful, then why do they not embrace the words of the just and truthful Ibn Abbas on the topic of divinely appointed Imamah? Ibn al Hashimi tell us what concept of Imamate should we adhere to? The man made doctrine advanced by Umar, or the divine one that Ibn Abbas mentions the Sahaba chose to ignore?

 

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