Chapter Four: Nasibi criticisms of Taqiyyah
No matter how many attempts the Nawasib and Khawarij make to present the belief of Taqiyyah as alien to Sunni Islam, historical evidence proves that people have always practised Taqiyyah irrespective of their sect. In this chapter we will explain the Shia tradition that Nawasib quote, in the light of some incidents found in Sunni books wherein people practiced Taqiyyah. These are not the only incidents but in the later chapters we will cite many more such incidents.
The Sahabah became ‘Sahabah’ thanks to their practicing Taqiyyah
It is indeed unfortunate that that Nawasib who comprise overwhelmingly of Sahabah worshippers attack the Islamic belief of Taqiyyah whilst history attests that the Sahabah they venerate actually became Sahabah (companions of Holy Prophet) because they practiced Taqiyyah and kept living amongst the infidels pretending to be one of them. Had they not practiced Taqiyyah:
- they would have been harmed severely or killed and hence never would have never benefited from the companionship of the Holy Prophet (s)
- the present day Nawasib would have had no one to venerate!
We read the following account of Abu Dhar (ra) coming into the pale of Islam in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 725:
Narrated Abu Jamra: Ibn ‘Abbas said to us, “Shall I tell you the story of Abu Dhar’s conversion to Islam?” We said, “Yes.” He said, “Abu Dhar said: I was a man from the tribe of Ghifar. We heard that a man had appeared in Mecca, claiming to be a Prophet. ! said to my brother, ‘Go to that man and talk to him and bring me his news.’ He set out, met him and returned. I asked him, ‘What is the news with you?’ He said, ‘By Allah, I saw a man enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.’ I said to him, ‘You have not satisfied me with this little information.’ So, I took a waterskin and a stick and proceeded towards Mecca. Neither did I know him (i.e. the Prophet ), nor did I like to ask anyone about him. I Kept on drinking Zam zam water and staying in the Mosque. Then ‘Ali passed by me and said, ‘It seems you are a stranger?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He proceeded to his house and I accompanied him. Neither did he ask me anything, nor did I tell him anything. Next morning I went to the Mosque to ask about the Prophet but no-one told me anything about him. Ali passed by me again and asked, ‘Hasn’t the man recognized his dwelling place yet’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Come along with me.’ He asked me, ‘What is your business? What has brought you to this town?’ I said to him, ‘If you keep my secret, I will tell you.’ He said, ‘I will do,’ I said to him, ‘We have heard that a person has appeared here, claiming to be a Prophet. I sent my brother to speak to him and when he returned, he did not bring a satisfactory report; so I thought of meeting him personally.’ ‘Ali said (to Abu Dhar), ‘You have reached your goal; I am going to him just now, so follow me, and wherever I enter, enter after me. If I should see someone who may cause you trouble, I will stand near a wall pretending to mend my shoes (as a warning), and you should go away then.’ ‘Ali proceeded and I accompanied him till he entered a place, and I entered with him to the Prophet to whom I said, ‘Present (the principles of) Islam to me.’ When he did, I embraced Islam ‘immediately. He said to me, ‘O Abu Dhar! Keep your conversion as a secret and return to your town; and when you hear of our victory, return to us. ‘…”
If it is argued that the example of Abu Dharr was unique to his personal circumstances, and was not the same for all the Sahaba then we suggest that they ponder over the following tradition in Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 83, Number 5:
Narrated Al-Miqdad bin ‘Amr Al-Kindi:
An ally of Bani Zuhra who took part in the battle of Badr with the Prophet, that he said, “O Allah’s Apostle! If I meet an unbeliever and we have a fight, and he strikes my hand with the sword and cuts it off, and then takes refuge from me under a tree, and says, ‘I have surrendered to Allah (i.e. embraced Islam),’ may I kill him after he has said so?” Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not kill him.” Al-Miqdad said, “But O Allah’s Apostle! He had chopped off one of my hands and he said that after he had cut it off. May I kill him?” The Prophet said. “Do not kill him for if you kill him, he would be in the position in which you had been before you kill him, and you would be in the position in which he was before he said the sentence.” The Prophet also said to Al-Miqdad, “If a faithful believer conceals his faith (Islam) from the disbelievers, and then when he declares his Islam, you kill him, (you will be sinful). Remember that you were also concealing your faith (Islam) at Mecca before.”
Late Salafi scholar Maulana Waheed az Zaman Khan in his Urdu translation of the cited tradition, translated it in the following manner: “If a faithful believer conceals his faith from the disbelievers (practices Taqiyyah), and then when he declares his Islam…”
Can we estimate how many Sahaba were practising taqiyya when the mission of the Prophetic (s) was in its embryonic stage? The Sahaba Hudhaifa estimated the figure at seven hundred. We read in Sahih Muslim Book 001, Number 0275:
Hudhaifa reported: We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) when he said. Count for me those who profess al-Islam. We said: Messenger of Allah, do you entertain any fear concerning us and we are (at this time) between six hundred and seven hundred (in strength). He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: You don’t perceive; you may be put to some trial, He (the narrator) said: We actually suffered trial so much so that some of our men were constrained to offer their prayers in concealment.
This reference evidences the fact that the survival of approximately seven hundred Sahaba was on account of their practising Taqiyyah. Seven hundred is not a small figure to be mocked at. Remember in the battle of Badr, 313 Sahaba accompanied Rasulullah (s) on to the battlefield, and yet here a much larger number that would have no doubt included the same participants in Badr were opting to practice Taqiyyah on account of the hostile conditions that they were being subjected to! If Nawasib insist that hiding one’s faith has no nexus with the Deen, they will need to re-evaluate the actions of this large body of Sahaba, who faced with the hostile environment wherein they lived, felt compelled to worship in hiding. The above reference van only be interpreted in two ways, these Sahaba were either cowards that lived a life of fear or they legitimately practiced Taqiyyah as a mechanism with which to continue to practice their Deen.
Similarly, we read in Mirqat al-Mafateh, Volume 18 age 31 and Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashaad, Volume 4 page 49:
He (Abbas) had converted to Islam long time ago, but he converted to Islam in concealment, and he was forced to march along with disbelievers in the battle of Badr, thus the prophet said: ‘Whoever face Abbas he must not kill him because he has been forced to march’.
This reference speaks for itself. Abbas, uncle of the Prophet (s) stayed amongst the Kuffar of Makka, during the early days of Islam, even though he had accepted the Prophethood of his blessed nephew (s). Despite this fact, he was (as far as the Kuffar were concerned) one of their own, he never said or did anything that would suggest that he had accepted the message of Tawheed. He remained in the midst of the Makkan Kuffar, hiding the fact that he was Muslim, to the extent that he was even compelled to evidence his support for their cause, by joining the ranks in the battle of Badr! Rasulullah (s) was aware that he was practising Taqiyyah, which is why he (s) insisted that no harm be brought to him (s). Now if Taqiyyah is hypocrisy, why did Rasululalh (s) not insist that he (s) be executed for his deception? Rasulullah (s) both accepted this act of Taqiyyah and supported recognised its usage so how can Nawasib describe this as hypocrisy?
The Sahaba practised Taqiyyah during the reign of Caliph Umar ibn-al Khattab
One of those scenarios wherein Taqiyyah is practiced is in the face of persecution, and there can be no greater persecution than the threat of execution. When Umar became the Head of State following his direct appointment by Abu Bakr he decided to outlaw the Islamic practice of Mutah. We read in Mustakhraj Abi Auwanah, Volume 7 page 159 Hadith 2713:
“Yaqoob bin Sufyan – Amr bin Asim – Hamaam – Qatadah – Abi Nadhra said: ‘I said to Jabir bin Abdullah that Ibn Abbas permits Mut’ah while Ibn al-Zubair prohibits it. He (Jabir) replied: ‘It is through me that this hadith has been circulated, I performed Mut’ah along with Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and a verse was revealed regarding it but then when Umar bin al-Khatab become the caliph, he addressed the people and said: ‘The Quran is the same Quran, the apostle is the same apostle, and there existed two types of Mut’ah at the time of Allah’s apostle, I forbid both and will punish whoever performs them, one is the Mut’ah of Hajj, surely you have to separate your Hajj from your Umra, and the other is Mut’ah al-Nisa, if I catch any person who is married for an appointed duration (Mut’a), I will certainly stone him (to death).”
Caliph Umar through these firm words demonstrated that he meant business. Those that chose to challenge this edict of Umar, and point out that Mutah was the non-abrogated Sunnah of Muhammad, either by way of word or practice, did so at their own peril and risked the death penalty for doing so. What were the Sahaba to do in such an instance? Speaking out on Mut’ah by way of challenging Caliph Umar would have been ruled as an act of treason, so the Sahaba had only two choices, either speak out and risk the punishment that Umar had made clear or hide the reality, i.e. practice Taqiyyah. Faced with death, the Sahaba of Muhammad, adopted Taqiyyah as can be evidenced from the testimony of two such individuals. We read in Sahih Muslim Book 007, Number 2828:
Mutarrif reported: ‘Imran b. Husain sent for me during his illness of which he died, and said: I am narrating to you some ahadith which may benefit you after me. If I live you conceal (the fact that these have been transmitted by me), and if I die, then you narrate them if you like (and these are) : I am blessed, and bear in mind that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) combined Hajj and Umra. Then no verse was revealed in regard to it in the Book of Allah (which abrogated it) and the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) did not forbid (from doing it). And whatever a person (, Umar) said was out of his personal opinion.
Along similar lines we read in Musnad al-Rawyani, Volume 2 pages 259-260:
Reported Ubada bin al-Walid bin Ubada al-Samet who was one of the pious Ansar and from a pious family, that once Hassan bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Abi Talib said: ‘My family insist that this Mut’ah is permissibe and Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) allowed it, but you offer a contradicting view, let us go to Salama bin al-Akwa to ask him about it, surely he is one of the pious companions of the Prophet (pbuh).’
(Ubada said): ‘We then approached him, and met him in Marwan’s palace when he had lost his eye sight’. Hassan said: ‘Wait until my friend and I ask you about some hadith’. Salama said: ‘Who are you?’ He (Hassan) replied: ‘I am son of Muhammad son of Ali son of Abi Talib’. He (Salama) replied: ‘The son of my brother, well, who is the fellow with you and what do you want to ask me about?’ Hassan replied: ‘Mut’ah al-Nisa’.
(Salama) said: ‘Yes, yes my nephew, you two should keep my statement secret as long I am alive, if I die, then you can disclose it, if they (the people) wish to stone me, they would then (only be able to) stone my grave. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) allowed it and we used to perform it until he passed away, Allah didn’t reveal anything to abrogate it, furthermore Allah’s Messenger didn’t prohibit us’.
This was just the testimony of two Sahaba who responded when probed on the issue of Taqiyyah, can one imagine how many other Sahaba remained silent, fearing for their lives if the truth came out? If hiding a reality is an act of hypocrisy and evidences one’s weak beliefs, should we conclude that the Sahaba that remained silent, with full knowledge that Mutah was permissible were hypocrites? Clearly not, when faced with an untimely death, it is clear that Taqiyyah was the Sunnah of the Sahaba.
The Sahaba adopted Taqiyyah when Uthman was killed
We are citing from the following esteemed Sunni works:
- Majma al-Zawaed, by Haythami, Volume 9, page 95
- Al-Muj’am al-Kabir by Tabarani, Volume 1, page 79
- Al-Istiab, by Ibn Abdulbar, Volume 3, page 1048
- Tarikh Abu al-Fida, Volume1 page 261
We read in Majma al-Zawaid:
Malik bin Anas said: When Uthman was killed, his body was thrown in garbage for three days.
Imam Abi Bakar Al-Haythami said: ‘The narrators are reliable’. Moreover we read in Al-Istiab:
Malik said: ‘When Uthman (ra) was killed, they threw him in the garbage for three days’
We read in Tarikh Abu al-Fida:
“He remained three days without burial”
Ponder over the fact that Uthman was killed in Madina, a stated wherein thousands of Sahaba resided inclusing tose that (as per Sunni Hadith) were countered as the ten individuals guaranteed paradise. Is it therefore not unusual that the Head of State was murdered and his body was left unburied for three days? This leaves us with three options, these individuals were either:
- fearful for their lives and hid in their homes like cowards
- of the opinion that Uthman was guilty of major transgressions that merited his death
- practising unified Taqiyyah
One should not forget the Madinan residents included Talhah and Zubair, who would mount a campaign demanding vengeance for the slain Uthman, yet they sat by and allowed Uthman to remain unburied for three days. Where did their passion and exuberance for Uthman go whilst his body remained a victim to the elements? From a religious perspective there is a religious duty on the part of Muslims to arrange the burial of a Muslim as a matter of priority, they must fulfil this obligation forthwith. How then is it that the Sahaba stood around and allowed Uthman to remain unburied for three days? A few days later Ali (as) would take the reigns of power, and yet how is the greatest brave Islamic warrior chose not to exercise his battle prowess and force the burial of Uthman forthwith? This leaves with three options:
Option One: Uthman was not deserving of an immediate burial that does not seem logical, after all there was a duty to bury a Muslim, and Uthman was the leader of the Muslims.
Option Two: The Muslim residents of Madina intenationally allowed the Muslim Head of State to remain unburied, that would render them major sinners, that would conflict a Hadith the Ahl’ul Sunnah attribute to the Prophet (s): “My Ummah shall not agree upon error” – so they will have to accept there actions at the time was correct
Option Three: The Sahaba chose to avoid burying Uthman as they were fearful of the hostile environment and fitnah that engulfed Madina at the time and accordingly adopted Taqiyyah . This third option seems the most plausible.
People adopted Taqiyyah during the reign of the Banu Ummayya
Imam of Ahl ul Sunnah Dhahabi states:
“When Waleed ibn Abdul Malik bin Marwan came to power he entered the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina and saw an elderly man surrounded by people. Upon enquiry he discovered that the man was Saeed bin Musayyib. Waleed summoned Saeed but he did not go to him. This led to Waleed becoming furious. Amro bin Athim commented that during this time people practiced Taqiyyah and a few individuals in order to save Saeed bin Musayyib approached Waleed and pleaded with him, eventually Waleed abandoned his idea to kill Saeed”
Sira Alam al Nubla, Volume 4 page 227
It is clear from this tradition that during the Nasibi reign of the Banu Ummayya people adopted Taqiyyah to protect themselves. Allamah Dhahabi confirms this fact, and yet the Nawasib either through their ignorance or lies have sought to define this lawful practice as ‘calculated deception’.
“He who conceals his religion has saved it, and he who makes it public has destroyed it.”
Note that Islamzine had failed to even cite the source of this narration! What we know is that the Imam’s comments on ‘Taqiyyah’ were said in answer to queries at a time when people were being oppressed. One needs to recognize that during the reign of the Banu Ummayya throughout their vast domain, Imam Ali (as) was openly cursed on the mosque pulpits. The Imams (as Imam Ali’s direct descendants) and their adherents were likewise deemed the enemy of the State. What choice were the people left with? It was in such a situation that the Imams made clear comments endorsing Taqiyyah as legitimate, for to convey one’s belief openly would have lead to serious consequences.
To prove our point we shall cite a tradition from Usul al Kafi that is incidentally often quoted by the Nawasib:
An individual by the name of Muammar bin Khalid asked Imam Abul Hasan (as) how to respond to oppressive rulers? He replied our forefather Imam Muhammad Baqir stated: ‘Taqiyyah is the religion of our forefathers. Whoever does not practice Taqiyyah has no Deen’.
Now, we would ask the Nawasib – Your own esteemed scholar Dhahabi had cited the episode involving Saeed bin Musayyib, and stated that during that time the people ‘practiced Taqiyyah’ – clearly these people must have learnt this practice from their forefathers, they must have adopted this practice based on someone’s guidance. Why did these people with true faith respond to Waleed and the other Nasibi Banu Ummayya Khalifas by adopting Taqiyyah? Why did they not initiate jihad against them? Were all these individuals Shi’a? It should be remembered that this incident took place in Madina. Was this a calculated deception? Clearly not, these individuals were hiding their faith to protect their lives, in the same way that the Imams had advocated Taqiyyah as a way of protecting one’s Deen.
“Nine tenths of religion is Taqiyyah (dissimulation), hence one who does not dissimulate has no religion.” (Al-Kafi vol.9 p.110)
First of all, Nawasib should always consult their own books before bringing this tradition to mock at the Shia. We read in the esteemed Sunni work Kanz al Ummal:
Narrated Ali: Prophet (s) said: “One who does not practice Taqqiyah has no religion.’
Kanz al Ummal, Volume 3 page 96 Tradition 5665
Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti has also recorded this in his authority work:
Jam’e al-Saghir, Volume 8 page 281 Hadith 26050
Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah records a similar thing in his authority work Al-Musanaf, Volume 7 page 642 from Ibn al-Hanafiyah:
Wakee narrated from Israel from Abdulala from ibn al-Hanafia who said: ‘One who does not practice Taqqiyah has no Iman (faith)”
Wakee bin al-Jarah: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v2 p283). Israel bin Yunus: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Thiqah’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p88). Abdulala bin Amer: Ibn Hajar said: ‘Seduq’ (Taqrib al-Tahdib, v1 p551).
Moreover the incident wherein Sahabi Hudaifah performed Taqiyyah before Uthman also proves that Taqiyyah in a certain context means to protect one’s Deen (religion/faith). Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah records in Al-Musanaf, Volume 6 page 474:
Ibn Masud and Hudaifah entered on Uthman. Uthman said to Hudaifah: ‘I have been informed that you said such and such thing’. Hudaifah replied: ‘By Allah I didn’t say that’. When they left, Abdullah (ibn Masud) said to him (Hudaifah): ‘Why didn’t you say to him what I had heard you saying about him?’ Hudaifah replied: ‘I protected my Deen so that I don’t lose it’.
Secondly, this hadith also needs to be explained in terms of the context in which it was said. Islam had come as the all-encompassing Deen that would rule over the people, and thus ensure that they lived safe lives under the Sharia. Sadly, the situation at that time was so serious that tyrannical rulers were at the helm of the State, they dictated what the State religion was, and they had changed the entire face of the Deen. Religion had been turned on its head, and had in effect become unrecognizable, and to prove this we have the testimony of the Sahabi Malik bin Anas in Sahih Bukhari Volume 1 hadith number 507:
“Anas said, “I do not find (now-a-days) things as they were (practiced) at the time of the Prophet.” Somebody said “The prayer (is as it was.)” Anas said, “Have you not done in the prayer what you have done?”
Narrated Az-Zuhri that he visited Anas bin Malik at Damascus and found him weeping and asked him why he was weeping. He replied, “I do not know anything which I used to know during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle except this prayer which is being lost (not offered as it should be)”.
This well known Sahaba was testifying that the practices during the time of Rasulullah (s) had been completely lost, save Salat that was also now being changed. The question that we pose is, ‘what were the Sahaba doing at this time?’ Were they either endorsing these practices or had they simply gone underground and hidden their beliefs in their hearts? Clearly they must have also been practicing Taqiyyah. When our Imam (as) had declared that 9/10th of the Deen was Taqiyyah, it was because 9/10th of Deen that was being propagated by the State was NOT the Deen of Allah (swt), as had been vouched for by Malik – hence the actual 9/10th was hidden in one’s hearts it was Taqiyyah. Anyone who did NOT practice Taqiyyah and had in fact embraced the State practices was NOT following the Deen of Allah (swt) i.e., “one who does not dissimulate has no religion.”
“Mix with them (i.e. non-Shi’a) externally but oppose them internally.” (Al-Kafi vol.9 p.116)
Perhaps these Nawasib could answer us this, if you live in country where the vast bulk of the people are non Muslim, and where very few adherents of your thinking live near you – worse still you are surrounded by those hostile to you, what is the best option for an individual to pursue? This problem is particularly acute in this day and age, indeed since September the 11th 2001, where Muslims living in the West are being deemed ‘the enemy’ – and are frowned upon by ‘others’ as terrorists / extremists / fanatics. The hatred vented against Muslims has lead to many going in to hiding fearing verbal and physical abuse. Tell us Nawasib, in such circumstances what is a Muslim to do?
To understand the comment of the Imam Sadiq (as) here let us cite the words of famed companion Abu Dardah recorded by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih:
It has been mentioned that Abu Darda said: “We give a smile for some people while our hearts curse them”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3 page 95
Most relevant in this case are the words of Ibn Masud recorded by Imam Ibn Hayan Andlasi in Tafseer Bahar al-Muheet, Volume 3 page 190:
Ibn Masud said: ‘Live, compliance and behave with the people as they like but as for your religion, don’t harm it’.
Then we have the following Hadith in Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 80:
A man asked permission to enter upon Allah’s Apostle. The Prophet said, “Admit him. What an evil brother of his people or a son of his people.” But when the man entered, the Prophet spoke to him in a very polite manner. (And when that person left) I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! You had said what you had said, yet you spoke to him in a very polite manner?” The Prophet said, “O ‘Aisha! The worst people are those whom the people desert or leave in order to save themselves from their dirty language or from their transgression.”
Also see Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 152.
The meaning here is that one is permitted to use diplomacy to get along with people. The above tradition was narrated when a person-sought permission to see the Holy Prophet (s) and prior to his asking permission the Prophet (s) said that he was not a good man, but still I shall see him. The Prophet talked to the person with utmost respect, upon which A’isha inquired as to why did the Prophet (s) talk to the person with respect despite his character, upon which the above reply was rendered.
Now look at the statements of Abu Dardah, Ibn Masud and Holy Prophet (s) and tell us as to what is the objection with the words of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)? What is the difference between these three statements and the words of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)?
Abdullah Ibn Umar practiced Taqiyyah in the presence of Mu’awiya
We read in Sahih al Bukhari (English translation) Volume 4 hadith number 434 that:
Ibn ‘Umar said, “I went to Hafsa while water was dribbling from her twined braids. I said, ‘The condition of the people is as you see, and no authority has been given to me.’ Hafsa said, (to me), ‘Go to them, and as they (i.e. the people) are waiting for you, and I am afraid your absence from them will produce division amongst them.’ ” So Hafsa did not leave Ibn ‘Umar till we went to them. When the people differed, Mu’awiya addressed the people saying, “If anybody wants to say anything in this matter of the Caliphate, he should show up and not conceal himself, for we are more rightful to be a Caliph than he and his father.” On that, Habib bin Masalama said (to Ibn ‘Umar), “Why don’t you reply to him (i.e. Mu’awiya)?” ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “I untied my garment that was going round my back and legs while I was sitting and was about to say, ‘He who fought against you and against your father for the sake of Islam, is more rightful to be a Caliph,’ but I was afraid that my statement might produce differences amongst the people and cause bloodshed, and my statement might be interpreted not as I intended. (So I kept quiet) remembering what Allah has prepared in the Gardens of Paradise (for those who are patient and prefer the Hereafter to this worldly life).” Habib said, “You did what kept you safe and secure (i.e. you were wise in doing so).”
So we see here:
- Mu’awiya proclaimed his superiority to the Khilafath.
- Ibn Umar disagreed and wished to highlight the truth openly before the people.
- Ibn Umar chose not to challenge the claim as he was “afraid that my statement might produce differences amongst the people and cause bloodshed.
- Habib commented to Ibn Umar “You did what kept you safe and secure (i.e. you were wise in doing so).”
Ibn Umar’s silence to prevent bloodshed and Habib’s confirmation that he had adopted this stance to protect himself is clear proof that Ibn Umar was practicing Taqiyyah. Would Nawasib also deem this to be ‘calculated deception’ on the part of this Sahaba or was he practicing Taqiyyah in order to save his life and the lives of others? What is their fatwa here?
Why were the majority silent when Ali was cursed?
It is a well established fact that Muawiyah the son of Hind whilst Head of State introduced the shameless practice of publicly cursing Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as). This practice continued for decades and was quashed when Umar ibn Abdul Aziz came to power. We have evidenced this reality in our article on Muawiyah, the relevant chapter is here:
The time span of public cursing would have covered an area that the Sahaba, Tabayeen and Taba-Tabayeen lived through, generations that the Ahl’ul Sunnah deem the Salaf, the best of generations on account of their close contact with the Prophet (s). Despite living through this shameless practice, when we inspect the annals of history we see only one example of Sahaba openly opposing this practice, Hujr bin Adi and his supporters who challenged the Governor in Kufa when he cursed Ali (as) in the Friday prayer. Hujr and his like minded supporters were executed for their opposition upon the orders of Muawiyah. Were Hujr and his handful of supporters the only individuals displeased with the public cursing of Ali (as)? Not only did the remainder Salaf remained silent whilst Ali (as) against obscenities were being presented as public worship, they did not even bat an eyelid when the same Government preceded to change the Sunnah of Muhammad (as) as a means of furthering their anti Ali policy. Imam of Deobandis namely Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri in his work ‘Faiz ul Bari Sharh Sahih Bukhari’ Volume 2 page 359 highlights the following fact:
“The sunnah is to perform prayer before the sermon, but Marwan made it (the sermon) before the prayer because he used to abuse Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and the people would get up and leave”.
From history we learn that the sole individual that objected to this alteration was Abu Said al Khudri, and he openly spoke out against this change. This was a time when many of the Sahaba were still alive. No doubt they would have been fully aware that the Sunnah had been changed, so why did they remain silent on the matter?
Can today’s Salafis kindly answer this:
‘When the rightly guided Khalifa Ali (as) was being cursed from the Mosque pulpits (including the Mosque of the Prophet (s) in Madina) and the Sunnah of Muhammad (s) was being blatantly altered on the Day of Eid to enable this public vilification, why did the majority remain silent?’
Their silence can only be on account of two possible options:
Option One: The Salaf had become Nasabis that whole heartedly endorsed the public cursing of Ali (as) and the changed Sunnah to enable this as a virtuous act.
Option Two: All three generations were fully aware that this practice was wrong, but adopted silence, fearing repercussions from the tyrannical Ummayad rulers, had they challenged what they were witnessing.
These two options leave our detractors in a confused state which one is correct? If they opt for Option One, the entire Sunni belief system that the Salaf upheld the truth and stood for justice is undermined, since adhering to Nasb can never be viewed as adhering to a true and just belief system. The only answer that they can give so as to protect the Salaf is Option Two, and Sunni scholar Abu Zahra opted for just that; we are quoting his comments from Mufti Ghulam Rasul’s book ‘Imam Hasan aur Khilafat-e-Rashida’ page 168:
“Another incident that affected the Islamic values was the Sunnah of Ameer Muawiyah that involved the public cursing of the sword of Islam, Hadhrat Ali, the Lion of Allah. This act caused the Muslims to bear hatred in their hearts towards the Umawi rulers, as they were fully aware that cursing Ali was an act of hypocrisy. The contributions and act of Ali were in the hearts of the Muslims, as a result of this was that in accordance with the times (wherein they lived) their tongues were with the Umawis but their hearts hated them. How the people could cursed that truthful Imam about whom the Prophet (s) had said “Ali, only a believer will love you, and only a hypocrite will hate you (Imam Jafar Sadiq, page 189).”
Consider these words carefully “their tongues were with the Umawis but their hearts hated them” , if this is not a practical definition of taqiyya then what is it? If it is haraam to practice taqiyya before Muslims, were the entire corpus of the Salaf, with the exception of Hujr bin Adi and his associates practising hypocrisy, and were consciously committing this sin every time they entered the mosque? The Salafis should thank this act of Taqiyyah, had their ancestors adopted the position of Hujr bin Adi, their end would have been like him, Salafi teachings would have stopped in their tracks, who would have cascaded the teachings about keeping long beards, short trousers, using miswak etc? All of these teachings have reached today’s Salafis, due to the Salaf practice of Taqiyyah for which they should be eternally grateful. The next time Salafis speak out against the Shia practice of Taqiyyah they should stop and consider the blessing they have acquired thanks to their ancestors practising Taqiyyah. If they are indeed true to themselves and of legitimate ancestry that should suffice to silence them.
It is evident from the comments of Abu Zahra that all three generations of Salaf practised taqiyya for decades under Ummayad rule as a mechanism for survival. This reality has been aptly summarised by Sunni scholar Amro bin Bahr Jahiz in ‘al Bayan wa’l Tabayeen’ page 29:
“The discussion of people is still alive who have lowered their eyes due to fear of the next world, and this has caused their tears to shed, and such people are in a state that some of them are either dispersed and separate or some are sitting alone being afraid or some are waiting, supplicating humbly, and are aggrieved. Taqiyyah has kept them silent”.
In the same way that the Salaf adopted Taqiyya to protect themselves the Imams from the Ahle bayt (as) who were deemed a threat by the rulers of the time, also adopted similar protective measures to guard themselves from the oppressive regime that they lived under. They (as) were conscious of the need to propagate the true teachings of Islam whilst at the same time protecting their lives as well as those of their followers. They therefore took the decision to adopt Taqiyyah as a necessary response to the difficult times they lived in.
Nasibi criticism to the Shia stance of praying behind the opponents in Taqiyyah
Azam Tariq states in Khutbaat e Jail pages 227 to 228:
Whoever in Taqqiyah performed salat with the opponents in the first lane, its like he performed Salat behind Holy Prophet (s). Imam Jafar Sadiq has stated that whoever performed salat with the opponents in the first lane (because of Taqiyyah), its like he performed Salat in the first lance along with Holy Prophet (s).(Ahsan al-Fawaid fi Sharah al-Aqaid, page 630)
Performing Salat in the way of opponents in Taqqiyah is not a belief that should be condemned by Nawasib. Such directions were given by the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) and the Ahle Sunnah during the oppressive tyrannical rule of the Bani Ummayah. Had the Nasibi mullah ever bothered to read the books of his school, he would have never made an attempt to mock the above cited belief. Imam of Ahle Sunnah Ibn Abdul Barr records in his famed work Al-Tamheed:
The Holy Prophet (s) asked Abu Dharr: ‘How will you be when you will be ruled by rulers who will perform Salat belated?’ Dharr said: ‘Oh Holy Prophet (s)! What instruction do you give me?’ Holy Prophet (s) replied: ‘Just perform Salat at its time and if you find the time of Salat with those people, then perform (with them also), this will become your Nafal Salat’
Al-Tamheed, Volume 8 page 63
After recording similar kind of traditions, Ibn Abdul Barr states:
‘People used to offer Salat through sign language and whilst sitting because of the fear missing the prayers timings (and if they perform it separately) then they feared being killed or injured’.
Al-Tamheed, Volume 8 page 62
The Nasibi rulers of Bani Ummayah lead the Salat, therefore people hated offering Salat behind them and they opted to pray in their respective homes, but the cunning Nawasib used to take oath from the people to confirm that they had not performed prayers in their homes and should perform it with the rulers, that is why Ibn Abdul Barr records:
Rulers used to delay Salat during the days of Waleed bin Abdul Malik and they would take an oath from the people that ‘they had not prayed (in their homes)’. When Abdullah bin Abi Zakariya came, an oath was taken from him that he had not performed Salat. He swore that he had not performed Salat, when he had actually prayed (in his home). When Makhul [one of the jurists of Syria] came, the same thing was done with him, to which he said: ‘Why have we come here?’ Thus, he was released.
Al-Tamheed, Volume 8 pages 62-63
The Imam of the Deobandies Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri has likewise stated:
“There is no accountability if carelessness is shown in Salat in order to keep oneself safe from the oppression of cruel leaders. It has also been narrated from the Salaf that they would perform their prayers in their homes at the correct time and then for the purposes of avoiding sedition, they would then also perform prayers with the cruel leaders”
Anwar al-Bari, Volume 13 page 153
Such was the practice of common Muslims, but the Shi’a of Ahlulbayt (as) always attracted special attention from the Nasibi tyrants of Bani Ummayah, that necessitated a greater urgency to practice Taqiyyah. If people adopted this stance for the purpose of safeguarding the correct form of Islam and saving their lives and property, then logic demands a similar reward awaited them.
Azam Tariq al-Nasibi records in Khutbaat-e-Jail, page 290:
Mr. Khumeni in his book Tahreer al-Wasila, Volume 1 Kitan al-Salat while recording about the acts which make the Salat void stated:
The second act which makes the Salat void is to put a hand over the other, the way people other than us Shias do but yes, there isn’t any problem in doing so under Taqqiyah (page 186). The ninth act that voids the Salat is to deliberately say Ameen after Surah Fateha but it is permissible under Taqiyyah (page 190).
Nawasib should know that the main motive behind Taqiyyah is to save one’s life, honor and property, it can be performed by resembling others in the method of prayers and other forms of worship. As we pointed our earlier, during the reign of the Bani Ummayh, even famed (Sunni) jurists disliked performing prayers behind them, but the cruel rulers would ensure that all notable individuals were present in the mosque. There were many amongst the Sahabah and Tabayeen who deemed Hajjaj bin Yusuf a Kafir or Fajir, and yet they prayed behind him under Taqiyyah. In this connection, whilst narrating the hostile conditions during the era of Hajjaj bin Yusuf, Allamah Abu Uthman Amro Bahar Jahaz (d. 255 H) records:
And when you gave an account regarding his (Anas bin Maliks’) friendship with Hujjaj, indeed he certainly befriended Hujjaj and prayed behind him (in congregation) whilst considering him to be an infidel (kafir) let alone a deviant from the right path (fasiq). Thus with regards to seeking freedom / disassociation from him (al-bra’ah) and with regards to Taqiyyah, there is scope and in situations of fear (of loss of life, property…. etc) there is justification.
Kitab al-Uthmaniyah, page 153 (piblushed in Syria)
Imam of Nawasib Ibn Taymiyah has also recorded the fact that despite Hajjaj and Ibn Abi Ubaid being abominable, esteemed Sahabah and Tabayeen prayed behind them that proves that they practised Taqiyyah:
“Abdullah bin Umar and others amongst the Sahabah would pray behind Hajjaj similarly the Sahabah and Tabayeen prayed behind Ibn Abi Ubaid who was engulfed with atheism and was an inviter towards misguidance”
Majmoa Fatawa, Volume 3 page 281
Praying behind a Kafir and Fajir is of course unacceptable, yet esteemed Sahabah and Tabyeen reluctantly offered their prayers behind such rulers under Taqqiyah.
Azam Tariq’s criticising the Taqqiyah of Imam Zayn al Abdeen (as)
Azam Tariq states:
Imam Zayn al Abdeen while praying in his house used to say ‘Prayer is better than sleep’. Moreover in this very book (Al-Istibsar) under the discussion of Adhan: ‘Hussain bin Saeed narrated from Fadhala who narrated from Ala who narrated from Imam Baqir (as) that he used to say: ‘My father Imam Zayn al Abdeen in his house during the Adhan of morning used to say ‘Prayer is better than sleep’ and if I do not say this even then there is no harm. All traditions of this kind in which the saying of ‘Prayer is better than sleep’ is mentioned are understood in respect of Taqqiyah.
Khutbaat-e-Jail, page 307
Reply One – Taqiyyah is permissible
We should first of all point out that Shaykh Tusi did not cite the complete chains of narrations in Al-Istibsar and rather he quoted the remaining part of the chains in another book. Allow us to present the Arabic words of the tradition along with with the complete chain and correct English translation:
Hussain bin Ubaidullah from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar from his father from Muhammad bin Ali bin Mahbub from Ahmad bin Hassan from Hussain bin Saeed from Fudhalah from al-Alaa from Muhammad bin Muslim from Abi Jaffar (as) who said: ‘My father used to call in his house: ‘Prayer is better than sleep’. If you repeat that, there will be no problem’.
Al-Istibsar, Volume 1 page 308
Also in Al-Tahdeeb, Volume 2 page 63 Hadeeth Number 15
The word ‘Adhan’ does not appear in Arabic words of the tradition, therefore those Nawasib who make use of this tradition to prove that Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) believed in the recitation of Tathweeb i.e. the sentence ‘Prayer is better than sleep’ as the part of the Adhan, can not achieve their objective with this tradition. Unlike the Bidah introduced by the Salaf of Nawasib, according to the Shia view Tathweeb is not a part of the Adhan but there is no harm if someone says it away from the Adhan.
It should be known that Imam Zayn al Abdeen (as) led his life amongst the tyrants of Bani Ummayah who were staunch adherents of the Sunnah of the first three caliphs, and they bore a grudge against Ali bin Abi Talib (as). They utilized spies to ascertain whether the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) were ‘dissenting’ from State-propagated religion. They would have increased their propaganda against the Imam (as) had they came to know of their deviation from the State-sponsored religion. Therefore, even if Imam Zayn al Abdeen (as) recited Tathweeb and that too, not as the part of Adhan, it should not be a problem.
We should also mention that some of the Shi’a scholars have not authenticated one of the narrators in the chain namely Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar as Sayyed Khoei declared him Majhul (Mu’ajam al-Rijal, v3 p123), Ibn Dawood said: ‘Muhmal’ (Rijal ibn Dawood, p45), Jawahari said: ‘His authentication is not proven therefore he is Majhul’ (al-Mufid, p46) and Sheikh Fayadh said: ‘He is not authenticated’ (al-Aradi, p295).
Reply Two – Some other traditions on the topic
We will also take the opportunity to mention some other Shia traditions that the filthy Nawasib use in order to prove that the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) believed in the Biddah of Tathweeb in Adhan which was introduced by the ancestors of the Nawasib. One of such traditions used by Nawasib is:
Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Mahbub from Ahmad ibn Al-Hassan from Al-Hussayn from Hammad ibn Isa from Shu’ayb ibn Ya’qub from Abu Basir: “Imam Jafar said: … Al-Tathweeb (i.e. the statement of ‘Al-Salat Khayron Min Al-Nawm’) in Iqama is part of the Sunnat.
Al-Tahdeeb, Volume 2 page 62 Hadeeth Number 14
We should point out that Allamah Mirza Qumi declared this tradition weak in Minhaj al-Ahkam, page 179. Another tradition often used by Nawasib is from Wasa’el Al-Shia, Volume 5 page 427 Hadeeth number 6998:
“Imam Jafar (as) said: When you are in morning prayer say ‘Al-Salat Khayron Min Al-Nawm’ after ‘Hayye Ala Khayr Al-Amal’ in Adhan but don’t say it in Iqama.”
This tradition is taken from the book of ibn abi Nasr al-Bezanti who wrote his book when he was an adherent Waqifi Sect, therefore, any narrations recorded by him during that period are of no value and are accordingly rejected by the Shias. Sayyed Khoei said in Mujam al-Rijal, Volume 3 page 18:
“He was Waqifi and then he returned.”
Moreover, such traditions are of no use when we have authentic Shia traditions from the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) that Tathweeb is not part of Sunnah and it was a Bidah introduced by the Nasibi rulers. We will quote the actual views of the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) in the next reply.
Reply Three – The interpretation of the cited tradition in the light of the actual views of Imams (as) about Tathweeb
Whilst mentioning the tradition cited by the Nasibi author, later Shia scholars such as Sayyed Sabzawari in his book Zakhirat al-Mead, Volume 1 page 257 are of the view that Shaykh Tusi was mistaken that Imam Zayn al Abdeen (as) adopted Taqiyyah when reciting the Tathweeb as he (as) didn’t recite it as the part of Adhan but he (as) recited it before the adhan.
In the margin of al-Bahai al-Amili’s book Al-Athna Ashria, page 52, Muhammad al-Hasoon wrote:
“Some of our companions didn’t consider it as Taqiyyah, but they deemed it an announcement other than in the Adhan”
It would not be incorrect to reach such a conclusion about the tradition cited by the Nasibi author, when we have clear tradition from the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) about Tathweeb, for example we read in Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 81 page 173:
Imam Kazim (as) said: ‘Prayer is better than sleep’ is an innovation by the Bani Umaya, it is not a part of Adhan but there is no harm if a man wants to wake up the people by saying it, but without including it to the Adhan.
Moreover, we have the following authentic tradition in all four important canonical Shia works that suffice to to refute any attempt to prove that Imams of the Ahlulbayt (as) believed in the Bidah of Nasibi Salaf:
Mu’awiyah ibn Wahab asked Imam as-Sadiq about the Tathweeb [saying 'Prayer is better than sleep' between the Adhan and the Iqamah. He said: "It is unknown to us."
1. Al-Kafi, Volume 3 page 303
2. Al-Faqih, Volume 2 page 63
3. Tahdeeb, Volume 2 page 63
4. Istibsar, Volume 1 page 308
5. Wasa'il, Volume 5 page 426
6. Shaykh Baqir Majlesi in Mirat al-Uqool, Volume 15 page 83 and Sayyed Rohani in Feqh al-Sadeq, Volume 4 page 329 have declared it Sahih.
Azam Tariq's criticising the difference of opinion among the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) on fiqh issues due to Taqiyyah
Azam Tariq states:
Imam Baqir (father) deems something Halal in Taqqiyah and then Imam Jafar (son) declared the very thing to be Haram. We read in Furu al-Kafi, Volume 2 page 80 (published in Lucknow) that (Abaan) Ibn Tughlab narrated that he heard Imam Jafar Sadiq (as): 'My father used to give edicts during the time of Banu Umayah that the bird that has been killed by hawk or falcon was Halal. My father would practice Taqiyyah from Bani Ummayah but I don't and hence give the edict that the bird killed by hawk and falcon is Haram.
See, Imam Baqir in Taqiyyah gave the edict for a Halal thing being Haram and that Taqqiyah was not due to fear but that was a Ijtihadi issue, such issues in Ijtihad were dissimilar among the jurists of Ahle Sunnah yet nobody used to criticize the other” [Khutbaat-e-Jail, page 287]
The tradition can be read at:
Usool al-Kafi, Volume 6 page 208
Right from the era of Umayyad and Abbasid rulers until today, all irreligious rulers deemed hunting an entertainment and they would hunt birds through dogs and bigger birds bred for hunting. Sometimes, the birds bred for hunting smaller birds would kill them during the hunt; despite this the pathetic rulers would still deem the killed bird as Halal to eat. The Ruler must have contacted Imam Baqir (as) to ascertain his edict on this issue. Had Imam Baqir (as) declared it Haram, the tyrants would have responded ‘So you declare us to be Haram eaters!’ harmed and continued to believe it was Halal (as todays Nawasib do). What would be the logic behind endangering ones life before stubborn people who had no interest in adhering to Islamic principles and pretended to be the ‘owners’ of the religion? We would urge the Nawasib to ponder over the following chapter names found in the most authentic Hadith book of their school and then apply the stance of Imam Baqir (as) to these chapters:
“Whoever left some optional things, simple for the fear that some people may not be able to understand them and may fall into something more difficult”
And most importantly:
“Whoever selected some people to teach them (Religious) knowledge preferring them over others for fear that others may not understand it. And Ali said: ‘You should preach to the people according to their mental caliber and that they may not convey wrong things about Allah and His apostle”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1 page 95
Why do Nawasib criticize the stance of Imam Baqir (as), when this wasn’t something unique? You simply need to examine the pages of history, to see that number of great Sunni scholars that practiced Taqqiyah before the Abbasid ruler Mamun and hence issued an edict that supported his stance that the Quran was created. Allamah Shibli Numani in his biography of Mamun, records:
“The thing that had ruined all his merits was religious extremism. The influence of philosophy had made him Mutazili in some beliefs, that included the issue of the Quran being created, that had found a place in his heart with such intensity, that according to him, denying that belief constituted denying the Oneness of Allah (swt). When he was present in one of the districts of Syria in 218 H, he sent an order to the governor Baghdad namely Ishaq Khazai, whose summary was:
“Ameer al-Momineen has come to know that almost all Muslims cannot understand the complexities of Islam, adhere to the belief of the Quran being eternal, whilst this view is refuted by various verses of Quran itself, such people are the worst of men and are the tongues of Iblis. All the jurists of Baghdad should be gathered and be aware of this commandment and whoever opposes it should be declared as Saqit al-Adalat”
Mamun wasn’t satisfied by this alone, he then called seven huge scholars who possessed colossal authority in terms of Madhab, and talked to them face to face. All of them were opposed to Mamun on that issue but fearing the the sword, they said what their heart didn’t comply with. When those people affirmed what Mamun had said, then he wrote another order to Ishaq to ascertain the view of all the scholars and religious leaders of the Islamic provinces. The order was implemented and the views of all the people were written by their specific wordings and were sent to Mamun. Whatever Mamun then wrote in reply to that, was his religious extremism. Amongst all the Muhadatheen and jurists, no one was spared from the accusation of being a briber, a thief, dishonest, ignorant or stupid. The orders also contained the strict command: ‘Whoever doesn’t abandon this belief should be sent with his legs shackled so that I will personally rule on whether they live or die, after they present their final views before me’
Ishaq announced this commandment in public, and a fear shattered the most extremely steadfast of people and all of them abandoned truth and impudence and adopted Mamun’s view. Allamah Qawariri and Sajjad however remained steadfast to some extent, but when their legs were chained and were made to spend a night in that same condition. It was then proved that the pride that those people had regarding their commitment and resoluteness was incorrect, only Imam Ahmed and Muhammad bin Noah remained steadfast in this task and hence were sent to Tartus with their legs shackled. Mamun later came to know that those who had accepted the issue had actually practiced Taqiyyah, he became furious and ordered those people to be summoned, that comprised of a massive gathering that included Abu Hasaan Ziyadi, Nadhr bin Shameel, Qawariri, Abu Nadhar, Tamar, Ali bin Maqatil, Bashar bin al-Waleed etc”
Al-Mamun, page 162-163 (Published by Daarul Ishaat, Karachi)
Let us shed light on some of the Sunni jurists mentioned above. Qawariri (d. 235H), about whom Imam Dhahabi said: ‘Amongst the big scholars of Baghdad’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v2 p439). Al-Nadhr bin Shameel (d. 204 H) about whom Imam Dhahabi said: ‘Imam Hafiz Allamah…the scholar of Marw (city)’ (Tazkirat al-Hufaz, v1 p314). Abu Hasaan al-Ziyadi (d. 242 H) who has been decalred by Imam Dhahabi as ‘Imam Allamah Hafiz, the historian of the time, the judge of Baghdad’ (Siar alam alnubala, v11 p496). Bashar bin al-Waleed (d. 238 H) about whom Dhahabi stated: ‘Imam Allamah, truthful Hafiz, the judge of Iraq’ (Siar alam alnubala, v10, p673).
The above incident of Mamun proves that there is no benefit in risking one’s life and honor before a stubborn tyrannical ruler, no matter what edict you give him. Coming back to the issue of eating a bird that has been killed by hunting birds (falcon, eagle and other such birds), we should remember that the Imamate of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) was during the downfall of the Banu Ummayah and the rising of Banu Abbasiyah. Hence the Banu Ummayah’s attention was diverted from the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) and focused on resisting the Banu Abbasiyah. It became a bit easier for Imam Jafar (as) to talk about the innovations of Banu Ummayah, and he (as) then got the opportunity to spread the true teachings of the Ahlulbayt (as). That’s is why Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said that he didn’t perform Taqiyyah at that point in time.
According to another tradition of Imam Jafar (as) recorded in Al-Kafi, Volume 6 page 208:
Abi Ubaida al-Hada said: ‘I asked Abu Abdullah (as): ‘What you say about the hawk, falcon and eagle?’ He replied: ‘If you can slaughter (the prey) before it dies, so you can eat it, but if you cant slaughter it then don’t eat it.’
Majlesi said: ‘Hasan’ (Mirat al-Uqool, v21 p343)
In contradiction to this, according to Ahle Sunnah the bird that does of injuries inflicted by a hunting bird, is Halal to eat. We read in Noor al-Hidayah (the Urdu translation of Sharah Waqaya), Volume 4 page 85:
“If a falcon eats some flesh from the prey then it is permissible to eat that flesh, but according to the madhab of Ahlulbayt it is absolutely Haram”
After making all this discussion, we should point out that the tradition quoted by the Nasibi author from Al-Kafi is not reliable as Shaykh Majlesi graded it weak in Mirat al-Aqul, Volume 21 page 343.
Azam Tariq’s criticism to the change in edict by Imam (as) due to Taqiyyah
Under the heading ‘A change in a decision on a matter for few seconds, a strange attitude of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)’ the following tradition is quoted:
Salmah bin Maharaz states that it was asked from Imam Jafar Sadiq (as): ‘There was an Armanian man, who died and made me the executor of his inheritance’. Imam asked: ‘Who is called Armani?’. I replied: ‘There is a nation lives on mountainous region, and what you have to do with this, the issue is that he died and made me the executor of his inheritance and he has left a daughter behind him.’ Imam Said: ‘Give half to the daughter’. Salmah said that he mentioned the edict to Zararah to which he said: ‘Imam has practiced Taqiyyah from you, just give full to the daughter’. After hearing this Salmah then went to the Imam and said: ‘May Allah improve your situation, our companions state that you had practiced Taqiyyah’ Imam replied: ‘By Allah, I didn’t practice Taqiyyah ‘with’ you but I did it ‘for’ you so that you may not have to give ransom. Has anyone got to know about this edict?’. Salmah said: ‘No’. Imam said: ‘Alright, give the rest of the property to the daughter also’.
The tradition quoted by the Nasibi can be read at:
Usool al-Kafi, Volume 7 page 86
Firstly, Shaykh Majlisi graded the tradition as Majhul (Mirat al-Uqul, v23 p132). That means it would be futile to waste time on explaining such a tradition and answering the criticism of Nasibi Azam Tariq on Imam Jafar (as) for altering his fatwa. Whilst this tradition cites the change in Imam Jafar’s fatwa on account of Taqiyyah, that he (as) did ‘for’ the appointed Wasi of a deceased man, we see that Caliph Umar altered his fatwa due to ignorance about the the actual rules and regulations on a particular issue. Let us cite one such example from Sunan Abi Daud Book 38, Number 4385:
Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:
Ibn Abbas said: A lunatic woman who had committed adultery was brought to Umar. He consulted the people and ordered that she should be stoned. Ali ibn AbuTalib passed by and said: What is the matter with this (woman)? They said: This is a lunatic woman belonging to a certain family. She has committed adultery. Umar has given orders that she should be stoned. He said: Take her back. He then came to him and said: Commander of the Faithful, do you not know that there are three people whose actions are not recorded: a lunatic till he is restored to reason, a sleeper till he awakes, and a boy till he reaches puberty? He said: Yes. He then asked: Why is it that this woman is being stoned? He said: There is nothing. He then said: Let her go. He (Umar) let her go and began to utter: Allah is most great.
Although this should suffice to silence the Nasibism of our opponents allow us to present similar tendencies exhibited by their revered Imam Abu Hanifa who altered changes in the fatwa issued by him. We read the following account in Tarikh Baghdad, that has been declared as ‘Sahih’ by Sheikh Bashar Awad Maroof, the margin writer of the book:
Zafar Said: We used to dispute (over verdicts ) and would visit Abu Hanifa (to solve the problem) and with us were Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hassan. We would write to him and one day he (Abu Hanifa) said to Abu Yusuf: ‘Woe onto you o Yaqoob! Do not record my verdicts which you hear directly from me because I decide on something today, then I change later on and at a later date I shall change my decision again’
Tarikh Baghdad, Volume 13 page 424
Azam Tariq’s criticism of the Imamate of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)
In Khutbaat-e-Jail, pages 289-290 The filthy Nasabi wrote a title namely ‘Imam Jafar used to deny his Imamate openly’ and then records a tradition from al-Kafi, page 142 whose summary is:
Two men from Zaidiyah sect came to Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) and asked: ‘Are you Imam Muftaraz al-Ta’ya [Imam whose obedience is obligatory]?’ Imam replied: ‘No’. They said: ‘Some reliable men of your side have told us that you say so. They are such and such people. They are pious people and do not lie’. Imam got furious and said: ‘I didn’t tell instruct them about it’. Later, both of those men went form there
The tradition has often been used in the very manner by the Nawasib. By failing to quote the remainder of the tradition the Nasibi author adhering to his ancestral habit of deceit sought to prove that Imam Jafar (as) denied that he was the Imam. Allow us to expose his deceit by citing the remainder of the text:
Thus, Imam (as) asked Saeed bin Asamaan: ‘Do you recognize these two?’. He said: ‘Yes, these are among the people of our market and belong to Zaidiyah sect, and both of these believe that the sword of Holy Prophet (s) is possessed by Abdullah bin al-Hasan (the one who has the sword is Imam Muftaraz al-Ta’a)’. Imam (as) said: ‘These accursed men tell a lie. Neither Abdullah bin has ever even saw that sword from his eyes, nor his father. But if his father had seen that word with Ali bin al-Hussain then that is possible. If these people are truthful then they should tell the sign present at the handle of the sword and what signs are there on its blade? The sword of Holy Prophet (s) is with me, his (s) Raya and armor are with me…, in Bani Israil, the one who had Tabut in his house used to get Nabuwat while among us, the one who has the weapon of Holy Prophet (s) get Imamate….’
Al-kafi, Volume 1 page 232
The Nasibi author didn’t bother to cite this portion of the tradition according to which Imam Jafar (as) unequivocally presented the evidences of his Imamate. Logically, the two men of the Zaidiyah Sect may have been thugs that frequented the market place. Hence, by their initial tone of conversation, Imam (as) was able assess their nature and accordingly applied in the negative to avoid being exposed to vile behavior. Taqiyyah in order to save one’s honor is performed in this manner.
Shaykh Majlesi records about this tradition:
“This tradition is Majhul. He (as) stated ‘No’ , the denial was in Taqiyyah”
Mirat al-Uqool, Volume 3 page 41
- Definition of Taqiyyah
- Taqiyyah proven from Quran
- The statements of Prophet(s), Sahabah, Tabayeen & Sunni scholars on the legitimacy of Taqiyyah
- Nasibi criticisms of Taqiyyah
- Innovations in Taqiyyah introduced by Ibn Taymiyah
- Innovations in Taqiyyah introduced by Mufti Khalid Mahmood
- Nasibi criticism leveled at Maula Ali (as) for adopting Taqiyyah
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