PESHAWAR NIGHTS (Shiah Islam in Sunni Traditions) Volume one

ID Book

Peshawar Nights: A Public Debate Between Shi'a and Sunni

Author: Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi (Prince of Preachers from Shiraz)

Translation by: Hamid Quinlan and Charles Ali Campbell

Publisher: Pak Books, P.O. Box EE, Palisades, NY 10964, in 1996 and Reproduced with permission by the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project team and for the third time produced in different formats by the specialized center of Ghadirestan in Iran- Isfahan


Translator's preface

Translators' Preface

Recently the non-Muslim world has forcibly learned that Islam is divided into two sects, Shia and Sunni,

but there is so little material in languages other than Arabic and Persian on the Shia side of the issue that

real understanding is all but impossible. This is the consequence of the historical accident that Western

contact with Islam was almost entirely with Sunni communities, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ottoman Turkey,

most of Muslim India, etc. The present work corrects this imbalance in a most extraordinary way, for the

case for Shi'ite Islam is argued and supported virtually entirely from orthodox Sunni sources. The

political, juridical, and spiritual legitimacy of the Shi'ite position has been argued and documented in the

English language, and from sources that the West has largely overlooked.

In fact, it is shown here that the most authoritative source for interpreting of the message of the Prophet

Muhammad was his cousin and son-in-law, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, and the eleven other designated

successors after him, who constitute the Imams of the Ithna Asheri (Twelve Imam) Shias. At various

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times in history this fact has been more or less recognized by the Muslim world. As recently as 1959, for

example, Sheikh Mahmud Shaltut, late Rector of Al-Azhar University in Cairo and Grand Mufti of the

Sunni Sect, decreed that in addition to the four Sunni schools of Muslim canon law, Hanafite, Hanbalite,

Malakite, and Shafi'ite, the Ja'farite or Shia school of law was equally acceptable to Muslims. A brief

account of how this came about at the instigation of Imam Mohamad Chirri, Director of the Islamic

Center of North American in Detroit, Michigan, may be found in Chirri's book "The Shiites Under

Attack," published by the Center.

* * *

The present work is based on the transcript of a dialogue between several Sunni divines and a 31 yearold

Shi'ite scholar, al-`Abd al-Fani Muhammad al-Musawi Sultanu'l-Wa'izin, of Shiraz, Iran, held over a

period of ten nights in Peshawar, India, beginning on 27 January 1927. The dialogues were a model of

mutual respect, and in spite of the seriousness of the subject and the presence of an audience of some

200, there was no breach of decorum. The author refers to himself throughout the book as "Da'i," that is,

one who prays for or invokes a blessing upon someone, translated here as "Well-Wisher." His success is

indicated by the fact that at the end of the dialogue one of his Sunni opponents and five other dignitaries

in the audience publicly acknowledged their conversion to the Shia sect.

A condition of the dialogue was that only sources acceptable to both sects would be cited. The dialogue

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was held in Farsi, commonly understood in the city of Peshawar. The transcript, made by four reporters

and published in the newspapers daily, was published in book form in Teheran and soon became a

classic authority in the East. The present work is based on the fourth edition, published in Teheran in

1971, the year in which Sultanu'l-Wa'izin died at the age of 75 (1).

Although the dialogue was extemporaneous, such was the erudition of Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi (whose

name means "Prince of Preachers from Shiraz") that the transcript serves as a detailed bibliographic

reference to hundreds of Sunni treatises, well known and little known, in which the claims of the Shi'ites

are acknowledged. For this reason, many of the citations refer to the author's recognized sect or school, i.

e., "Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi," indicating an adherent to the Hanafite Sect, Sibt Ibn Jawzi Shafi'i, of the

Shafi'ite sect, and so on.

In spite of the acceptance of the thesis of this book in many parts of the Sunni world, it has also aroused

hostility and unfortunately has inspired misguided and even perverse meddling with the published

authorities. In his introduction to the fourth Persian edition, the author writes:

" is unfortunate enough that the selfishness of some of the scholars reached the point that their

commitment to their own belief overcame them, and they dared to meddle with the great works,

supposing that by changing or effacing certain studies the truth would be brought out!

And since the state of him to whom God Most High has entrusted the security and preservation of the

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truth (namely Sultanu'l-Wa'zain, who was near the end of his life at the time of writing tr.) does not

allow much time for writing an explanatory introduction to this treatise, confirmation of this mischief

will be indicated by one example below.

On page 301 of the third volume of the Commentary, Kashshaf, compiled under the direction of Sheikh

Mustafa al-Halabi (2nd edition, 1319 A.H. published by the Main Government Printing House of

Amiriah Bulaq of Egypt), verses appear in which Jarullah Zamakhshari, the commentator of the

Kashshaf, declared publicly his belief in the legitimacy of the Shi'ites. But in the edition of 1373 A.H.

from the printing house Istiqamah bi'l-Qahara the aforementioned poem is not to be found. This is a

sample of the actions of the gentlemen of the Sunnis. By the same token some references which we have

indicated in the text of this compendium (i.e., the present book - tr.) are not to be found in the newer

editions of those references. This is further indication of what has been said. For this reason some of

them have been quoted extensively so that you may read them in this summary."

We have heard that this kind of mischief is continuing today, with new, well-financed expurgated

editions of the basic collections of traditions, i.e., Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, etc., being offered

unsuspecting libraries, to replace the older, but complete editions! It is for this reason that the extensive

bibliographic references in the original have been retained here at the price of making the book more

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lengthy and less easy to read.

[Ed. For instance, see Tahrif! Investigating Distortions in Islamic Texts for a

few documented examples of such changes in Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-

Tirmidhi, and other books]

Thus, the work will find a place in every Department of Near Eastern Studies and every divinity school

concerned with ecumenical problems in the modern world. It should be closely studied by serious

students of political science and world history who are attempting to understand the emerging presence

of Islam in world affairs. And it should, of course, be of intense interest to all English-speaking Muslims

who wish to have confidence in the sources on which they depend for their understanding of Islam.

* * *

Among the topics treated in detail are the events surrounding the death of the Holy Prophet, his attempt

to make a written will, which was frustrated by Omar, and the secret election of Abu Bakr, the first two

successors or 'caliphs' of the Sunni Muslims. Also treated in detail are the events at Ghadir Khum at

which Ali is believed by the Shias to have been explicitly designated by the Prophet as his successor.

These are matters of incalculable significance to subsequent history and to the alignment of forces today.

Other topics concern misinterpretation of quotations from the Prophet used to argue that any one of his

companions was infallible, thus legitimizing the appalling oppression of the people by many subsequent

generations of 'successors,' misinterpretation of the presence of Abu Bakr in the Cave with the Prophet

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during his flight from Mecca to indicate a singular honor; Abu Bakr's unjust seizure of the property of

the daughter of the Prophet; the errors and weaknesses of the Caliph Omar, who acknowledged his

dependence upon Ali to interpret Islamic law (Shari'at), and his termination of the practice of

Muta' (temporary marriage) contrary to the decree of the Prophet, as supported by correct understanding

of the Qur'an; the cruelty the Caliph Uthman showed to distinguished Companions who supported Ali,

such as Abu Dharr; and the strange position of the Prophet's young wife, A'yesha, daughter of Abu Bakr,

who led a military campaign against Ali, husband of her contemporary, Fatima, the Prophet's own

daughter of whom she was fiercely jealous.

Fundamental to all of these is the question of the authority for transmission and interpretation of Islamic

law and science. This was codified among the Sunnis by four principle legalists in the second and third

centuries A.H. Their opinions contradicted each other incredibly on such issues as the lawfulness of

wine and eating dog's flesh, and permissibility of marriage to one's own daughter. By contrast, the Shia

transmission has been singular and consistent - and in reality was often quoted by Sunni authorities in

the past, a fact until now ignored, forgotten, or suppressed.

* * *

A word needs to be added regarding the transliteration of Arabic and Persian words. We have attempted

to follow a middle course between rigorous replication of the full range of the Arabic and Persian

sounds, and avoiding any forms that would be daunting to the non-Arabist. We have tended toward the

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latter, reasoning that the Arabist will recognize and resolve any ambiguities in the treatment, while the

non-Arabist needs forms that are recognizable and pronounceable.

Therefore we have not attempted to differentiate between aleph (long 'a') and fatiha (short 'a'), using 'a'

in all cases. Similarly we have shown yah (long 'i') and kasra (short 'i') as 'i' except for a few cases where

the words are commonly known one way or the other, i.e., 'Sulayman.' Nor have we attempted to

distinguish the two letters, 'sin' and 'sad.' Both are rendered as 's.' 'Tha,' another letter often transliterated

as 's,' we have shown as 'th' in, for example, 'Ibn Thabit.' Similarly 'zay' and 'zah' are both shown as 'z.'

The 'dhad,' rendered by some as 'z' we have distinguished by using 'dh' as in 'dhikr' or 'Ramadhan,'

instead of 'z.'

The Arabic and Persian 'qaf' is given as 'q' to distinguish it from the 'ghayn' which is given as 'gh.' There

is no true 'g' sound in Arabic, but when it appears in Persian words it is transliterated as 'g,' while the

'jim' which in Cairo is transliterated as 'g' and by the Encyclopedia of Islam as 'dj' is here simply 'j.'

The subtleties of the Arabic terminal 'ah', which in some contexts is pronounced like English 'ah' and in

others like 'at' have been largely effaced, the rendering being usually simply 'a'. In combination and in

certain plurals, however, 'at' is retained.

The Persian 'ezafeh', which is used to indicate possession by linking the possessor and the possessed (the

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Persians would say Ibn-e-Malik to indicated the son of the king, whereas the Arabs would say Ibni'l-

Malik) is difficult to handle. It is usually not written, but understood, and it is not readily apparent in

titles of works whether they are in fact Persian or Arabic. For example, 'Kifayatu't-Talib fi Manaqib-e-

Ali Ibn Abi Talib' appears to refer to a work in Arabic 'Kifayatu't-Talib' (Intensive Studies) on the

subject of the 'Manaqib-e-Ali', i.e., the virtues of Ali. This 'ezafeh' is variously given as 'i' or 'e', coupling

both words with hyphens or merely joined to the first with or without a hyphen. Thus you will see 'Ahle-

Bait' (the people of the house, referring specifically to the immediate family of the Prophet through his

daughter, Fatima, and her husband, Ali), and 'Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha,' 'Explanation of the Eloquent

Sermons' (by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid) regarding the addresses of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

* * *

Many of the sources quoted are obscure, not available in English, and often referred to in various ways

by scholars and sometimes even by the author, Sultanu'l-Wa'izin. Where possible, these problems have

been resolved, and the name of the work or author commonly used by scholars is given.

Although we have worked from the Persian edition, we would like to acknowledge the help of an

English translation published in 1977 by the Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust in Karachi. A similar debate,

but by exchange of letters, was published in 1936 and reissued under the title of 'The Right

Path' (originally 'al-Muraja'at) by Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust in 1972. A revised edition was issued by

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Zahra Publications, Blanco, TX in 1986. This exchange began in 1911 between the Sunni head of Al-

Azhar University in Cairo and an eminent Shia scholar from Lebanon, explaining the Shia beliefs. Its

publication no doubt laid the groundwork for the eventual formal recognition by Al-Azhar University in

1959 of the Shia Ja'farite school of jurisprudence, identified with the Shi'ite Imam Ja'far Sadiq,

mentioned above.

May Allah forgive our errors and accept our intention, and bless Muhammad and his family!

Hamid Quinlan

Charles Ali Campbell

11 Jamadi al-Awwal 1416 A.H.

7 October 1995


Short introduction of the Book


PESHAWAR NIGHTS Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi, an eminent scholar of Iran, visitedIndia in 1927 A.D (1345 A.H.) when he was 30 years old. He wasgiven a rousing reception everywhere he went. People benefitedfrom his knowledge of tradition, history, and commentary on theholy Qur'an. He was persuaded to enter into a religious debateon 23rd Rajab, 1345 A.H., with people of another belief in Peshawar,in what was then India and is today Pakistan. The discussion tookplace on ten successive nights. The two principal participantsfrom the opposite side were renowned scholars of Kabul, HafizMuhammad Rashid and Sheikh Abdu's-Salam. Four reporters recorded the discussions in the presence of approximately 200 people (Shiaand Sunni Muslims). Local newspapers published these accountseach following morning. Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi compiled the newspaper accounts of the discussions in a book in Persian, published in Teheran as Shabhaye-Peshawar, or Peshawar Nights. The following is a translation of that book.


THE FIRST SESSION (Thursday night, 23rd Rajab, 1345 A.H.)

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Hafiz Muhammad Rashid, Sheikh Abdu's-Salam, Seyyed Abdu'l-Hayy,and other scholars of that region were present. The discussionbegan in the presence of a large gathering. In the magazines andnewspapers, they referred to the writer as "Qibla-o-Ka'ba,"but in these pages I have referred to myself as"Well-Wisher"and to Hafiz Muhammad Rashid as "Hafiz." Hafiz: We are very pleased tohave this opportunity to discuss the basic points on which wediffer. We should first decide how we should proceed. Well-Wisher: I am willing toparticipate in discussions on the condition that we cast asideall preconceived ideas and discuss matters reasonably, like brothers. Hafiz: I may also be permitted to make one condition: that our discussions should be based on the injunctions of the Holy Qur'an. Well-Wisher: This conditionis not acceptable since the Holy Qur'an is so concise that its deep significance must be interpreted through reference to other facts and hadith. Hafiz: Right. This is sensible, but it is also necessary that reference be made to hadith andevents that are based on indisputable evidence. We should refrain from referring to doubtful sources. Well-Wisher: Agreed. For a man like me, who is proud enough to claim relationship with the Prophet, it is not fair to go against the examples set forth by my ancestor, the Prophet of Islam. He has been addressed in the Holy Qur'an as follows: "And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality." (68:4) It is also unbecoming to act against the injunctions of the Holy Qur'an which says: "Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner...." (16:125)

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Hafiz: Excuse me, you referto your relationship with the Holy Prophet. It is commonly known,but I ask that you let me know your genealogy so that I may knowhow your ancestral line reaches the Prophet. Well-Wisher: My ancestral linereaches the Prophet through Imam Musa Kazim as follows: Muhammad,son of Ali Akbar (Ashrafu'l-Wa'izin), son of Isma'il Mujtahidal-Wa'iz, son of Ibrahim, son of Salih, son of Abi Ali Muhammad,son of Ali (known as Mardan), son of Abi'l-Qasim Muhammad Taqi,son of (Maqbulu'd-din) Husain, son of Abi Ali Hasan, son of Muhammadbin Fathullah, son of Ishaq, son of Hashim, son of Abi Muhammad,son of Ibrahim, son of Abi'l-Fityan, son of Abdullah, son of Hasan,son of Ahmad (Abu Tayyib), son of Abi Ali Hasan, son of Abu Ja'farMuhammad al-Hairi (Nazil-e-Kirman), son of Ibrahim Az-Zarir (knownas Mujab), son of Amir Muhammad al-Abid, son of Imam Musa Kazim,son of Imam Muhammad Baqir, son of Imam Ali Zainu'l-Abidin, sonof Imam Husain, son of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali binAbi Talib. Hafiz: This line of descentreaches the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (may Allah bless him)although you have said that it ends with the holy Prophet. Infact, with this genealogy, you should call yourself among therelations of the holy Prophet and not among his direct descendants. A descendent is one who is directly linked with the Prophet.

Well-Wisher: Our ancestral linereaches the Prophet through Bibi Fatima Zahra, the mother of ImamHusain. I don't understand why you insist so much on this point. Hafiz: I think I am misunderstood.It is my point of view that descent is recognized from the maleside only. I quote an Arabic couplet: "My sons, grandsons,and daughters are from me, but my daughter's sons are not from me." If you can prove otherwise, please do so. Well-Wisher: There is strongevidence, both from the Holy Qur'an and from authentic hadith,to establish my point. Hafiz: Please relate it so thatwe may understand. Well-Wisher: While you werespeaking just now, I recalled a discussion between Harun ar-Rashid,the Abbasid caliph, and our Imam Musa Kazim on this topic. TheImam gave such a convincing reply that the caliph himself acceptedit. Hafiz: I would like to hearabout that discussion. Well-Wisher: Abu Ja'far MuhammadBin Ali, entitled Sheikh Saduq, in the fourth century A.H. inhis Uyun-e-Akbar ar-Riza (Major Sources for Riza), and Abu MansurBin Ali Tabarsi, in his Ehtijajj (Supports) give a detailed accountof the conversation that took place between Harun ar-Rashid andImam Musa Ja'far in the caliph's court. The caliph asked the Imam,"How can you claim that you are a descendant of the Holy Prophet? The Prophet Muhammad had no descendant. It is acknowledgedthat descendants are from the male side and not from the female side. You belong to the generation of his daughter. " The Imam recited verses 84-85 from Chapter VI of the Holy Qur'an:"And We gave to him Isaac and Jacob; each did We guide, and Noah did We guide before, and of his descendants David and Solomonand Job and Joseph and Aaron; and thus do We reward those whodo good. And Zakariyya and John and Jesus and Elias; every onewas of the good." (6:84-85) The Imam asked the caliph : " Who was Jesus's father? " Harun replied that Jesus had no father. The Imam said : " Therewas no one, and yet Allah included Jesus in the progeny of theprophets through Mary. Similarly, He has included us in the progeny of the holy Prophet through our ancestor Bibi Fatima. " Moreover, Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi, in his Tafsir-e-Kabir (Great Commentary), Bk IV, P. 124, Problem V, says regarding this verse that the verse proves that Hasan and Husain are the descendants of the Prophetof Islam. Since in this verse God has verified Jesus as a descendantof Abraham, and Jesus had no father, this relationship is fromthe side of the mother. In the same manner, Hasan and Husain aretruly the descendants of the Prophet. Imam Musa Kazim asked Harunif he wanted further proof. The caliph asked the Imam to continue. The Imam read verse 60 from Chapter III, "Al-e-Imran,"of the Holy Qur'an: "But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: come,let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your womenand our selves and your selves, then let us be earnest in prayerand pray for the curse of Allah on the liars." (3:61) He continued, saying that no one has ever claimed that on theoccasion of the spiritual contest (Mubahala) against the Christiansof Najran that the Prophet took with him anyone except Ali BinAbu Talib, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain. It follows, therefore that"selves" (anfusana) means Ali Bin Abi Talib. "Women"(nisa'ana) means Fatima and "sons" (abna'ana) meansHasan and Husain whom Allah has identified as the Prophet's ownsons. Upon hearing this argument, Harun exclaimed, "Bravo,O Abu'l-Hasan." Clearly, this reasoning proves that Hasanand Husain are the sons of the Prophet and that the Sa'dat Fatima (descendants of Bibi Fatima) are of the progeny of the holy Prophet.

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Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, one of your greatest scholars, in hisSharh-i-Nahju' l-Balagha (Commentary on the Peak of Eloquence [writingsof Commander of the Faithful, Ali]), and Abu Bakr Razi in hiscommentary, have cited the same verse, arguing that Hasan andHusain are, from the side of their mother, the sons of the holyProphet in the same way that Allah in the Holy Qur'an has includedChrist in the progeny of Abraham from the side of his mother,Mary. Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i, in his book Kifayatu't-Talib,and Ibn Hajar Makki on pages 74 and 93 of Sawa'iq Muhariqa fromTabrani and Jabir Bin Abdullah Ansari, and Khatib Khawarizmi inManaqib from Ibn Abbas - all relate that the Prophet said: "Allahcreated the progeny of every Prophet from his own generation,but my progeny was created in the generation of Ali." AlsoKhatib-e-Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'iin Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, in Musnad, and SulaymanHanafi Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda relate, in more or less thesame words, that the holy Prophet said: "These, my two sons,are two flowers of this world, and both of them are Imams (leaders),whether they are Imams openly or silently sitting at home."And Sheikh Sulayman Hanafi, in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, devotesChapter 57 to this topic and cites many hadith from his own learnedmen, like Tabrani, Hafiz Abdu'l-Aziz Ibn Abi Shaiba, Khatib-e-BaghdadiHakim, Baihaqi, Baghawi and Tabari - all relating in slightlydiffering versions that Hasan and Husain are the sons of the Prophet. Towards the end of the same Chapter, Abu Salih writes : HafizAbdu'l-Aziz Bin Al-Akhzar, Abu Nu'aim, Tabari, Ibn Hajar Makkion page 112 of Sawa'iq Muhriqa, from Muhammad Bin Yusuf GanjiShafi'i at the end of Part I after 100 Chapters of Kifayatu't-Talib,and Tabari in the narration of the life of Imam Hasan relatesthat the second caliph, Umar Bin Khattab, said: "I heardthe Prophet say that on the Day of Judgement every ancestry willbe disconnected except my generation. Every generation of a daughteris from the father's side except the generation of Fatima, whichis connected with me. I am their father and ancestor." SheikhAbdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Amir Shabrawi Shafi'i, in his book Kitabu'l-Ittihafbi Hubbi'l-Ashraf, quoted this hadith from Baihaqi and Darqutnifrom Abdullah Bin Umar, and he from his father, on the occasionof the wedding of Umme Kulthum. And Jalalu'd-din Suyuti quotingfrom Tabrani in his Ausat, has related from Caliph Umar and SeyyedAbu Bakr Bin Shahabu'd-din Alawi on pages 39-42 of Chapter IIIof Rishfatu's-sadi min Bahra Faza'il Bani Nabiu' l-Hadi (printedin Maktabi A'lamiyya, Egypt in the year 1303 A.H.), proving thatthe descendants of Fatima are of the progeny of the Prophet ofIslam. Hence, the couplet that you quoted has no force in the face ofall this contrary evidence. Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i,in his "Kifayatu't Talib," proves that the sons of theProphet's daughter are the sons of the holy Prophet. Our ancestralline goes back to Imam Husain; we are, therefore, descendantsof the Prophet. Hafiz: Your argument is reasonableand convincing. The people dispersed for the Isha prayer. During the recess Nawab Abdu'l-Qayum Khan, who belongs to a noblefamily of the Sunnis, asked permission to ask Well-Wisher somequestions.

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Nawab: Why do the Shias combinethe prayers of Zuhr and Asr and Maghrib and Isha? This is notin keeping with the practice of the holy Prophet.

Well-Wisher: In the first place,among your own learned men, there is much difference of opinionconcerning this issue. Secondly, you say that we go against thepractice of the Prophet. Here you are mistaken since the holyProphet used to offer these prayers in both ways, sometimes separatelyand sometimes together. Nawab Sahib, turning to his learned men,asked them if it was true that the Prophet offered the prayersin both ways. Hafiz: He did, but only whenhe was on a journey or when there was some other hindrance, likerain. Otherwise, when he was at home, he always offered his prayersseparately. Well-Wisher: It is recordedin your own hadith that the Prophet used to offer prayers separatelyas well as combined at home and without any obstruction. Manyhadith confirm this fact. Muslim Bin Hajjaj in his Sahih, in theChapter "Jam'a Baina's-salatain fi'l-Hazar," says thatIbn Abbas said: "The Prophet used to say Zuhr and Asr aswell as Maghrib and Isha prayers jointly without being constrainedto do so, or when he was at home." Again Ibn Abbas narrated:"We said eight rak'ats of Zuhr and Asr and later seven rak'atsof Maghrib and Isha prayers jointly with the holy Prophet."The same hadith has been related by Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in hisMusnad, Part 1, Page 221. Similarly, Imam Muslim quotes a numberof hadith concerning this issue. He quotes Abdullah Bin Shaqiqas having said that one day Abdullah Bin Abbas was reading anaddress after the Asr prayers until the sun set and the starswere visible. People cried, "Prayers, Prayers," butIbn Abbas paid no heed to them. Then one of the Bani Tamimi shouted"Prayers, Prayers." Ibn Abbas then said: "You remindme of the Sunna, but I myself have seen the Holy Prophet combineZuhr and Asr as well as Maghrib and Isha prayers." Abdullahbin Shaqiq said that he felt uncertainty about these words andwent to Abu Huraira to ask him about it. He verified what IbnAbbas had said. Through another chain of narrators, Abdullah binShaqiq has narrated from Aqil that once Abdullah bin Abbas spoketo the people from the pulpit. He remained there so long thatdarkness fell. When someone shouted thrice, "Prayer, Prayer,Prayer," Abdullah Bin Abbas became annoyed and said: "Woebe to you. You dare remind me of prayer, even though during theHoly Prophet's days we used to combine Zuhr with Asr as well asMaghrib with Isha prayers." Zarqani in Sharhe Mawatta' ofImam Malik, Part I, in the Chapter of "Jama'a Baina's-Salatain,"p. 263, states, "Nisa'i related through Amru Bin Haram from Abi Sha'atha that Ibn Abbas said his Zuhr and Asr prayers as well as Maghrib and Isha prayers jointly in Basra without any timelag or action between them. He said that the Holy Prophet offeredhis prayers in the same way. " Also Muslim in Sahih and Malikin Mawatta', Chapter "Jam'a Baina's-salatain" and ImamHanbal in Musnad quotes Ibn Abbas through Sa'id Bin Jabir thatthe Holy Prophet offered his Zuhr and Asr prayers together inMedina without being constrained to do so by fear or bad weather. Abu Zubair said he asked Abu Sa'id why the Prophet combined thetwo prayers. Sa'id said that he too asked Ibn Abbas thesame question. Ibn Abbas replied that he combined the two prayers so that hisfollowers might not be put to undue hardship and suffering. Also,in many other hadith, Ibn Abbas is related to have said that the Holy Prophet of Islam combined Zuhr and Asr as well as Maghriband Isha prayers without being constrained to do so. These hadithin your Sahih and in many other authentic books prove the permissibilityof the combination of the two prayers, both at home and duringtravel. Hafiz: There is no such quotationof hadith in Sahih Bukhari. Well-Wisher: Because all theauthors of Sahih, like Muslim, Nisa'i, Ahmad Bin Hanbal, and exponentsof the Sahihain, of Muslim, Mubhari, and other great Sunni scholarshave quoted these things, this is sufficient for us to win ourpoint. But in fact, Bukhari, too, has recorded these hadith inhis Sahih, but he has deceitfully put them away from their properplace, the section concerning the combination of two prayers. If you go through the Chapters "Bab-e-Ta'akhiru'z-zuhr li'l-AsrMin Kitabe Mawaqitu's-salat" and "Bab-e-Dhikru'l-Ishawa'l-Atma" and "Bab-e-Waqtu'l-Maghrib," you willfind all these hadith there. Recording these hadith under theheading, "Permission and Authorization to Combine Two Prayers"proves that it is the common belief of learned men of the twosects. The authenticity of these hadith has already been acknowledgedin the books of Sahih. Accordingly, Allama Nuri in Sharhe SahihMuslim, Asqalani, Qastalani, Zakariyya-e-Razi, in the commentariesthat they have written on Sahih Bukhari, Zarqani in his commentaryon the Mawatta' of Malik, and others related these hadith. Afterquoting the hadith of Ibn Abbas, they acknowledged their authenticityand admitted that these hadith are proofs of the acceptabilityof combining two prayers. Nawab: How is it possible thatthese hadith have been put into practice since the time of theHoly Prophet, but learned men have adopted a different path? Well-Wisher: This situationis not confined to this topic alone. You will see many such exampleslater. In this matter, Sunni scholars of jurisprudence, apparentlywithout much serious thought, or for other reasons which I donot understand, have given unintelligible explanations contradictingthese hadith. For instance, they say that perhaps these hadithrefer to situations involving fear, danger, rains, or winds. Someof your older scholars, like Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'i, and someother jurists of Medina gave the same explanation. This, despitethe fact that the hadith of Ibn Abbas clearly says that the twoprayers were offered without the constraint of fear or the possibilityof rainfall. Others have suggested that perhaps the sky was overcast, and thoseoffering prayers did not know the time. Perhaps, when they finishedtheir Zuhr prayers, the clouds dispersed, and they saw that itwas time for Asr prayers. So they had to offer Zuhr and Asr prayerstogether. I don't think a more unlikely explanation could be found. Perhaps these interpreters did not care to think that the personoffering prayers was the Holy Prophet of Islam. Clouds did notmean to him what they might to others. He understood all causes and effects. Apart from the fact that this explanation is unconvincing,the combining of Maghrib and Isha prayers rejects their explanation. At that time clouds have no relevance to this question. As we said: the hadith of Ibn Abbas clearly states that his addresscontinued so long that the audience repeatedly cried, " prayers,prayers." They reminded him that the stars had appeared andthat it was time for prayers. But he purposely delayed the Maghribprayer so that he might offer both Maghrib and Isha prayers together.Abu Huraira also verified this action, saying that the Prophetalso acted in the same manner. Such spurious explanations, inlight of clear guidance, are regrettable. Your own learned menreject them. Sheikhu'l-Islam Ansari, in his Tuhfatu'l-Bari fiSharhe Sahihu'l-Bukhari in the Chapter "Salatu'z-zuhr ma'l-Asrwa'l-Maghrib ma'al Isha," page 292, Part II, and similarly,Allama Qastalani, on page 293, Part II of Irshadu's-Sari fi SharheSahihu'l-Bukhari, as well as other exponents of Sahih Bukhariadmit that this kind of explanation is against the obvious meaningof the hadith and that to insist that every ritual prayer be offeredseparately is a groundless requirement. Nawab: Then how did this controversyarise so that the two sects of Muslims are after the blood ofeach other and condemn each other's actions? Well-Wisher: You say that thetwo sects of Muslims are inimical to each other, but I disagree. We Shias do not look down upon any of the learned men or commonpeople of our brothers, the Sunnis. We regret that propagandaof the Kharijis, the Nasibis, and the Umayyads have affected thehearts of some people. Unfortunately, some Sunnis regard theirShia brothers, who are one with them as regards the Qibla (Ka'ba),the Holy Book (Qur'an), and the Prophet, as Rafizis (dissenters),idolaters, and infidels. As for your question regarding how this difference originated,perhaps we can discuss this in later meetings. Concerning thesaying of prayers separately or together, Sunni legal scholarshave recorded hadith which permit the offering of Zuhr with Asr,and Maghrib with Isha prayers as a matter of ease, comfort, orsafety. I do not know why some do not consider it permissibleto offer the two prayers together in the absence of any obstruction.Some authorities, like Abu Hanifa and his adherents, forbid itunder any circumstances, whether there is any obstruction or not,or whether the prayers are said during travel or at home. TheShafi'ites, Malikites, and Hanbalites, with all of their differencesin essential and non-essential tenets, have permitted the combiningof the prayers during a lawful journey. But the Shia ulema, inobedience to the Holy Imam and the progeny of the Holy Prophet,have unconditionally permitted the offering of prayers together. Of course the offering of prayers at the time specified for eachritual prayer is preferable to praying in one interval, as hasbeen clearly stated in expository books dealing with problems of religious performance written by Shia ulema. Since people areoften busy with their own affairs and have their own cares andanxieties, they fear they might miss their prayers. Hence, fortheir own convenience and to avoid hardship and suffering, the Shias say their two prayers in one interval, whether early orlate, during the appointed time. Now I think this much is sufficientto enlighten our Sunni brothers who look at us with indignation. Perhaps we can return to our discussions about the fundamentals, after which the questions concerning practice will be solved.

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Hafiz Sahib asked Allama Sultanu'l-Wa'izin to tell him how hisancestors migrated from the Hijaz to Iran. He gave a history ofhis ancestors who were murdered in Shiraz on the order of theAbbasid King. Their mausoleums still attract pilgrims from distantplaces. Notable among them are Seyyed Amir Muhammad Abid, SeyyedAmir Ahmad (Shah Charagh), and Seyyed Alau'd-din Husain, all sonsof Imam Musa Kazim. The details concerning his family are omitted here.



Mention was also made of the discovery of the sacred grave of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali. Hafiz: But in what state was the grave of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, discovered 150 years after his death? Well-Wisher: Because Umayyad oppression was so intense during Ali's later life, he stipulated in his will that his body should be laid in a grave secretly at night and that no trace of the grave should be left. Only a few of his close companions and his sons attended the burial. On the morning of the 2lst of Ramadhan when he was to be buried, two conveyances were prepared. One was instructed to go to Mecca, the other to Medina. This is why for years his grave remained unknown, except to a few companions and his own sons. Hafiz: Why was the grave's location kept a secret? Well-Wisher: Probably out of fear of the irreligious Umayyads. They were particularly inimical to the members of the progeny of the Prophet. They could have desecrated the grave. Hafiz: But is it possible that a Muslim, even though an enemy, might violate the grave of a brother Muslim? Well-Wisher: Have you studied the history of the Umayyads? From the day this wretched dynasty came to power the door of oppression was opened among Muslims. Good Heavens! What atrocities they committed! What blood they shed, and what honors they spoiled! With deep shame, your eminent scholars recorded their many crimes. Allama Maqrizi Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad bin Ali Shafi'i recorded the heart-rending atrocities of the Umayyads in his book Annaza' Wa't-takhasum fima baina Bani Hashim wa Bani Umayya.

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As examples of what they were capable of, I will cite only two events: the martyrdom of Zaid bin Ali bin Husain, known as Zaid Shahid (i.e., the Martyr) and the martyrdom of his son, Yahya. Historians of both Shias and Sunnis recorded that when Hisham bin Abdu'l-Malik became the caliph, he committed many atrocities. With regard to the Bani Hashim, he was particularly cruel. At last, Zaid bin Ali, the son of Imam Zainu'l- Abidin and well known as a great scholar and a pious theologian, went to see the caliph to seek redress for the grievances of the Bani Hashim. But as soon as Zaid arrived, the caliph, instead of greeting him as a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet, abused him with such abominable language that I cannot repeat it. Because of this disgraceful treatment, Zaid left Syria for Kufa, where he raised an army against the Bani Umayyad. The governor of Kufa, Yusuf bin Umar Thaqafi, came out with a huge army to face him. Zaid recited the following war poem: "Disgraceful life and honorable death: both are bitter morsels, but if one of them must be chosen, my choice is honorable death." Although he fought bravely, Zaid was killed in the battle. His son, Yahya, took his body from the field and buried him away from the city near the river bank, causing the water to flow over it. However, the grave was discovered and, under Yusuf's orders, the body was exhumed, Zaid's head was cut off and sent to Hisham in Syria. In the month of Safar, 121 A.H., Hisham had the sacred body of this descendant of the Prophet placed on the gallows entirely naked. For four years the sacred body remained on the gallows. Thereafter, when Walid Bin Yazid bin Abdu'l-Malik bin Marwan became caliph in 126 A.H., he ordered that the skeleton be taken down from the gallows, burnt, and the ashes scattered to the wind. This accursed man committed a similar atrocity to the body of Yahya bin Zaid of Gurgan. This noble man also opposed the oppression of the Bani Umayya. He too was martyred on the battle field. His head was sent to Syria and, as in the case of his revered father, his body was hung on the gallows - for six years. Friend and foe alike wept at the sight. Waliu'd-din Abu Muslim Khorasani, who had risen against the Bani Umayya on behalf of Bani Abbas, took his body down and buried it in Gurgan, where it is a place of pilgrimage.

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In view of the misdeeds of this accursed dynasty, the body of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali was buried during the night, and no trace of his grave was left. The grave remained virtually unknown until the days of Caliph Harun ar-Rashid. One day Harun came hunting in the locality of Najaf, where deer lived in large numbers. When the hounds chased the deer, they took refuge on the mound of Najaf, a small hill which the hounds would not ascend. Several times, when the hounds retreated, the deer would come down, but when the hounds again leapt at them, the deer took refuge on the mound. Understanding that there

was a reason for the hounds' behavior, Harun sent his men to inquire in Najaf. They brought an old man to him and the caliph asked about the secret of why the hounds did not climb up on the mound.


The old man replied that he knew the secret, but that he was afraid to disclose it. The caliph guaranteed him safety, and the man told him: "Once I came here with my father, who went on the mound and offered prayers there. When I asked him what was there, he said that they had come there with Imam Ja'far Sadiq for a visit (Ziarat). The Imam had said that this was the sacred grave of his revered grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, and that it would shortly become known." At the caliph's behest that place was dug up, and the signs of a grave became apparent along with a tablet with an inscription in Syriac, meaning: "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This grave has been prepared by the Prophet Noah for Ali, the Vicegerent of Muhammad, 700 years before the Deluge." Caliph Harun paid respects to the place and ordered the restoration of the earth. He then performed two rak'ats of prayer. He wept much and laid himself on the grave. Thereafter, on his orders, the whole matter was disclosed to Imam Musa Kazim at Medina. The Imam confirmed that the grave of his revered grandfather, Commander of the Faithful, Ali, was at that place. Harun then decreed that a stone building be erected over Commander of the Faithful's sacred grave, which came to be known as Hajar Haruni, "The stone structure built by Harun." In due course, the news spread, and Muslims visited the holy place. Ibrahim Mujab, the great, great grandfather of Sultanu'l-Wa'izin (Well-Wisher) also left Shiraz for this holy visit, and after performing the Ziarat, died in Karbala. He was buried near the sacred grave of his great grandfather, Imam Husain. His grave is located in the Northwestern corner of his sacred mausoleum and is visited regularly by his admirers.

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DIFFERENCES ABOUT THE BURIAL PLACE OF THE COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL Hafiz: Despite these conclusive remarks, I think that the grave of Ali (may Allah bless him) is not located in Najaf. Scholars differ on this point. Some say it is in the State House in Kufa; some say it is in the Qibla of the Central Mosque of Kufa; some say that it is in the gate known as Bab-e-Kinda of the Mosque of Kufa; some hold that it is in Rahba in Kufa; still others say it is beside the grave of Fatima in Baqi. In our Afghanistan, too, there is a place near Kabul known as the Mausoleum of Ali. According ( 13 ) to one account, the sacred body of Ali was placed in a box and laid on the back of a camel and sent toward Medina. A party of men snatched the box, believing it contained valuables. On opening it, they saw the sacred body, brought it to Kabul, and buried it at this place. That is why people revere this place. Well-Wisher: These differences arose because of the details of his will, which stipulated that the arrangements for his burial obfuscate his burial place. It is related from Imam Ja'far Sadiq that at the time of his death, the Commander of the Faithful told his son, Imam Husain, that after burying him in Najaf, he should prepare four graves for him in four different places: in the Mosque of Kufa, in Rahba, in the house of Ju'da Hira, and in Ghira. The Shia agree that his sacred grave is in Najaf. Whatever they have learned from the Ahle Bait is authentic. The people of the house know best about what relates to the house. I really wonder at your scholars, who have neglected the sayings of the progeny of the Holy Prophet in every matter. They did not inquire about the location of the grave of the father from his own sons in order to learn the truth. It is certain that the children know more about the grave of their father than others do. If any of these current theories had been correct, the Holy Imams would have informed their followers of it. But they have confirmed the location in Najaf, visited the place themselves, and have exhorted their adherents to visit it. Sibt Ibn Jauzi has, in his Tadhkira, mentioned these differences. He says: "The sixth view is that it is in Najaf at the well known place, which is commonly visited. To all appearances, this is the correct view." Similarly, your other scholars, such as Khatib-e Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Muhammad bin Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha, Firuzabadi in his lexicon, Qamus, under the word Najaf, and others, have held that the Commander of the Faithful's grave is located in Najaf.

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SECOND SESSION (Friday night, 20th Rajab, 1345 A.H.) Hafiz: I was greatly impressed by your instructive conversation concerning your ancestral lineage. I admit that you are a descendant of the Holy Prophet, but I wonder how a man of your learning could be under the degrading influence of the enemies. Having left the ways of your illustrious ancestors, you have adopted the ways of the unbelievers of Iran. What I mean by the foolish ways of the enemies are those innovations which have entered Islam through the Israelites. Well-Wisher: Kindly explain what you mean.


Hafiz: The Israelites' whole history is stained with deceit. Abdullah Bin Saba' San'a'i, Ka'abu'l-Ahbar, Wahhab Ibn Munabba, and others professed Islam and pretended to accept the hadith of the Holy Prophet and thus created confusion among the Muslims. The third caliph, Uthman Bin Affan, pursued them, and they fled to Egypt, where they established a sect known as the Shia. They spread false reports about Caliph Uthman and fabricated hadith to the effect that the Holy Prophet had appointed Ali as caliph and Imam. With the formation of this sect, there was widespread violence, which led to the murder of Caliph Uthman and the assumption of the caliphate by Ali. A group inimical to Uthman stood high in Ali's favor. During the caliphate of the Umayyads, when the people of the family of Ali and his adherents were being killed, this group went into hiding. Still, some people, like Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr Ghifari, and Ammar Yasir, supported the cause of Ali. This struggle continued until the time of Harun ar-Rashid, and especially his son, Ma'mun ar-Rashid Abbasi, who subdued his brother with the help of the Iranians, and they then spread the idea that Ali was preferable to other caliphs. The Iranians, hostile to the Arabs who had conquered them, found an opportunity to challenge the Arabs in the name of religion. The Shia became powerful during the period of the Dailamites and the Safavid Kings and were finally recognized. They were then formally known as the Shia sect. Iranian Zoroastrians still call themselves Shias. In short, the Shia sect was founded by a Jew, Abdullah Bin Saba. Otherwise, there would have been no such word as "Shia" in Islam. Your grandfather, the Holy Prophet, hated the word. In fact, the Shia sect is a part of the Jewish faith. I wonder why you left the just ways of your ancestors and followed the path of your predecessors, who adopted Jewish ways. You should have followed the Holy Qur'an and the example of your grandfather, the Prophet.

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Well-Wisher: It is unusual for a learned man like you to base his arguments on utterly false grounds. There is no sense in your associating the name of Abdullah Bin Saba with the Shias. Abdullah Bin Saba was a Jew, and, according to Shia sources, a hypocrite and is harshly condemned. If for some time he appeared to be a friend of Ali, what connection did he have with the Shias? If a thief puts on the attire of a learned man, mounts the pulpit, and injures the cause of Islam, should you be averse to learning and call learned men thieves? In fact, Shia Muslims have never been merely a political party. They have always comprised a religious sect, which was not founded, as you say, in the time of Caliph Uthman, but was propagated through the words and commands of the Prophet during his own time. While you argue on the basis of the concocted evidence of enemies, I will cite for you verses from the Holy Qur'an and records of your own authors to establish the true position.


Well-Wisher: Shia, as you know, literally means "follower." One of your greatest ulema, Firuzabadi, in his Qamusu'l-Lughat, says, "The name 'Shia' commonly means every person who is a friend of Ali and his Ahle Bait. This name is peculiar to them." Exactly the same meaning is given by Ibn Athir in Nihayatu'l-Lughat. According to your own commentaries, the word Shia means "follower of Ali Bin Abu Talib" and was used in this way during the time of the Prophet. In fact, it was the Prophet himself who introduced the word Shia as meaning "follower of Ali Bin Abu Talib." And this word was used by the Holy Prophet about whom Allah says: "Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed." (53:3-4) The Prophet called the followers of Ali "The Shia," the "delivered," and the "rescued." Hafiz: Where is such a thing? We have never seen it. Well-Wisher: We have seen it, and we do not think it proper to conceal facts. Allah condemned concealers and called them companions of Hell. Allah says, "Surely those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance that We revealed after We made it clear in the Book for men, those it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them (too)." (2:159) "Surely those who conceal any part of the Book that Allah has revealed and take for it a small price, they eat nothing but fire into their bellies, and Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful chastisement." (2:170) Hafiz: If we know the truth and conceal it, I agree we deserve condemnation as revealed in these holy verses. Well-Wisher: I hope you keep these two verses in mind so that habit or intolerance may not overpower you. Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani is one of the most distinguished of your narrators of hadith. Ibn Khallikan has praised him in his Wafayatu'l-A'ayan' as one of the great Huffaz (men of wisdom), and one of the most learned narrators of hadith. He also states that the ten volumes of his Hilyatu'l-Auliya are among the most instructive of books. Salahu'd-din Khalil bin Aibak Safdi writes in his Wafiy bi'l-Wafiyat about him, "The crown of narrators of hadith, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim, was the foremost in knowledge, piety, and honesty. He enjoyed a high position in the narration and understanding of hadith. His best work is Hilyatu'l-Auliya in 10 volumes, consisting of derivations from the two Sahihs." Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Khatib praises him in Rijali'l-Mishkati'l-Masabih, saying that he is among the leading narrators of hadith whose narrations are utterly reliable. In short, this respected scholar and traditionist, the pride of your ulema, relates from Abdullah bin Abbas through his own chain of narrators in his book Hilyatu'l-Auliya relates: "When the following verse of the holy Qur'an was revealed: '(As for) those who believe and do good, surely they are the best of men. Their reward with their Lord is gardens of perpetuity beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein for ever. Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; that is for him who fears his Lord.' (98:7-8), the Holy Prophet, addressing Ali, said: 'O Ali, the best of creatures (Khairu'l-bariyya) in this holy verse refers to you and your followers (Shia). On the Day of Resurrection, you and your followers (Shia) shall attain such a position that Allah will be pleased with you, and you will be pleased with Him.'"

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Similarly, Abu'l-Muwayyid Muwafiq Bin Ahmad Khawarizmi in the 17th chapter of his Manaqib; Hakim Abu'l-Qasim Abdullah Bin Abdullahi'l-Haskani, in Shawahidu't-tanzil; Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, p. 119, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira, p. 31, Munzir Bin Muhammad Bin Munzir, and particularly Hakim, have related that Hakim Abu Abdullah Hafiz (one of the greatest of your ulema) said: based on the testimony of narrators reaching back to Yazid Bin Sharafi'l-Ansari, the scribe of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali Bin Abu Talib, that Ali said that at the time of the Prophet's death, the Prophet rested on Ali's chest and said: "You have heard the holy verse: 'Those who believe and do good deeds, it is they who are the best of creatures.' (98:7) These are your Shia. My and your meeting place shall be at the fountain of Kauthar (in Paradise). When all created beings assemble for reckoning, your face will be bright, and you will be identified on that day as the leader of the bright-faced people." Jalalu'd-din Suyuti, in his Durru'l-Mansur quotes Abu'l-Qasim Ali Bin Hasan (commonly known as Ibn Asakir Damishqi), who quotes Jabir Bin Abdullah Ansari, one of the greatest companions of the Prophet, as saying that he and others were sitting with the Holy Prophet when Ali Bin Abu Talib came in. The Holy Prophet said: "I swear by Him Who controls my life that this man (Ali) and his Shia shall secure deliverance on the Day of Resurrection." At that time the verse cited above was revealed. In the same commentary, Ibn Adi quotes Ibn Abbas as saying that when the above verse was revealed, the Prophet said to the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, "You and your followers (Shia) will come on the Day of Resurrection in such a condition that all of you will be pleased with Allah, and Allah will be pleased with you." In the Manaqib of Khawarizmi, the following is related from Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari: "I was in the presence of the Holy Prophet when Ali joined us, and thereupon the Holy Prophet said: 'It is my brother that has come to you.' Then, facing towards the Ka'ba, the Prophet took hold of Ali's hand and said: 'By Him Who controls my life, this Ali and his Shia will be delivered on the Day of Judgement.' Then he said: 'Ali is the foremost of you all in belief, the most regardful about Allah's pledges, the most just of you all in deciding matters of the people, the most equitable of you in distributing allowances among the people, and the highest of you all in rank before Allah.'" On that occasion, the verse cited above was revealed. In Chapter II of his Sawa'iq, Bin Hajar quotes Hafiz Jamalu'd-Din Muhammad Bin Yusuf Zarandi Madani (a great scholar of your sect) as saying that when the above verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet said: "O Ali, you and your Shia are the best of created beings. You and your Shias will come on the Day of Judgement in such a condition that all of you will be pleased with Allah, and Allah will be pleased with you. Your enemies will be resentful, and their hands shall be tied round their necks." Then Ali asked who was his enemy. The Holy Prophet replied, "One who is hostile to you, and who reviles you." Allama Samhudi,in Jawahiru'l-Iqdain,on the authority of Hafiz Jamalu'd-

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Din Zarandi Madani and Nuru'd-din Ali bin Muhammad bin Ahmad Maliki Makki, known as Ibn Sabbagh, who is regarded as one of your distinguished scholars and eminent theologians, in his Fusulu'l-Muhimma relates from Abdullah bin Abbas that when the verse under discussion was revealed, the Prophet said to Ali: "It is you and your Shias. You and they will come on the Day of Judgement fully pleased and satisfied, while your enemies will come in grief, with bound hands." Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i, one of your eminent scholars, in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, and the well known anti-Shia scholar, Ibn Hajar, in his Sawa'iq-e Muhriqa narrate from Ummu'l-Mu'minin Umme Salma, the wife of the Prophet, that the Holy Prophet said: "O Ali, you and your Shias will abide in Paradise; you and your Shias will abide in Paradise." The well known scholar of Khawarizm, Muwaffaq bin Ahmad, in his Manaqib, Chapter 19, relates on reliable authority that the Prophet said to Ali: "In my community you are like the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary." This statement implies that as the followers of the Prophet Jesus were divided into three groups: the true believers, known as hawari'in, the Jews, and the exaggerators, who associated him with Allah. In the same way Muslims would become divided into three groups. One of them would be the Shias, the true believers. The other group would be Ali's enemies, and the third group would be the exaggerators of his position.


The people then dispersed in response to the call for the Isha prayer. After the prayer, Mulla Abdu'l-Hayy returned with a commentary by Suyuti, Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, the Musnad of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, and the Manaqib of Khawarizmi. He read from them the hadith Well-Wisher had quoted in his discussions by way of verification. Since his references had been accurate, the expressions of all those in the opposite camp changed. In the meantime, in the Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, they came across another hadith. The Prophet said: "O Ali, on the Day of Judgement, you and your Shias will come before Allah fully satisfied and pleased, while your enemy will come in grief and with hands bound." Well-Wisher: These are clear arguments supported by the Book of Allah, by authentic hadith, and by history. Support for my position comes from the books of your own eminent scholars. These are in addition to the numerous narrations that exist in the books and commentaries of Shias. Using the books now before you, I could go on presenting arguments in support of the point under consideration until tomorrow morning, by the grace of Allah; but I think that what I have presented should be enough to dispel your doubts about Shias. Respected audience, we Shias are not Jews. We are followers of the Prophet Muhammad. The originator of the word "Shia" as meaning "the followers of Ali," was not the accursed Abdullah bin Saba, but the Prophet himself. We never follow any individual without authoritative arguments in his favor. You said that it was after Uthman that the word. "Shia" came to be used referring to the followers of Ali. In fact, even in the Prophet's day, several noted companions were called Shias. Hafiz Abu Hatim Razi, in his Az-Zainat, which he compiled for clarifying the meanings of certain words and phrases current among scholars, says that the first new word that came into general acceptance in Islam in the days of the Prophet was "Shia." The word was applied to four prominent companions: Abu Dharr Ghifari, Salman Farsi, Miqdad bin Aswad Kindi, and Ammar Yasir. Many more hadith were quoted in support of the same point. Now it is for you to consider how it was possible that during the time of the Prophet four of his chief companions were called Shia. If the Prophet thought it was innovation, why didn't he forbid the people to use it? The fact is that people had heard from the Prophet himself that the followers (Shias) of Ali were the inhabitants of Heaven. They were proud of it and openly called themselves Shias.

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You related a hadith from the Prophet saying: "Verily, my companions are like stars; whomever of them you follow, you will be properly guided." Abu'l-Fida writes in his history that these four men, who were companions of the Prophet, abstained, along with Ali, from paying allegiance to Abu Bakr, on the Saqifa day. Why don't you consider their refusal to pay allegiance to be worthy of emulation? Your own ulema have written that they were loved by Allah and His Prophet. We follow them, as they followed Ali. Hence, according to your own hadith, we are on the path of guidance. With your permission, and keeping in view the shortness of time, I present to you a few narrations in support of my contention that these men were loved by Allah and the Prophet. Both Abu Nu'aim Isfahani in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Vol. I, p. 172, and Ibn Hajar Makki in the fifth hadith of the forty hadith narrated in Sawa'iq-e Muhriqa in praise of Ali - both of these men narrated from Tirmidhi, and Hakim from Buraida, that the Prophet said: "Verily, Allah has commanded me to love four persons and has told me that He loves them." When the people asked who these four persons were, he said: "Ali bin Abu Talib, Abu Dharr, Miqdad, and Salman." Again, Ibn Hajar in Hadith No. 39 has narrated from Tirmidhi and Hakim from Anas bin Malik that the Prophet said: "Paradise is eager for three individuals, Ali, Ammar, and Salman." Isn't the action of these eminent companions of the Holy Prophet a model for other Muslims? Isn't it shameful that in your view the companions are restricted to those persons who played the game of Saqifa, or who acquiesced in it, while the others who opposed the strategy behind Saqifa are seen as being unreliable? And if that be so, then the hadith you have quoted should have been: "Verily, a few of my companions are like stars, etc."

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You have been unkind in saying that Shia'ism is a political religion, and that Iranian Zoroastrians accepted it in order to save themselves from Arab domination. You have said so in blind conformity to your predecessors. I have already proved that it is an Islamic religion, one which was commended by the Prophet to his followers. In fact, those who, without any sanction from the Prophet, laid the foundation of a Saqifa, were themselves politicians and not the followers of the holy family of the Prophet. It is characteristic of Iranians that they look into things. When they are convinced of their truth, they accept them, as they accepted Islam when Iran was conquered by the Arabs. They were not forced to do it. They gave up Zoroastrianism and sincerely embraced Islam. Similarly, when they were convinced by logic and by Ali's invaluable services, they accepted Shia'ism. Contrary to the assertion of many of your writers, the Iranians did not accept Ali during the caliphate of Harunu'r-Rashid or Mamunu'r-Rashid. They accepted Ali during the time of the holy Prophet. Salman Farsi was one of the most sincere followers of Ali. He reached the highest rank of faith. The ulema of both sects have unanimously written that the Prophet said: "Salman is from our Ahle Bait (i.e., he is one of the people of my house)." For this reason he was called "Salman Muhammadi" and he was admittedly the most staunch supporter of Ali, and a bitter opponent of Saqifa. If, according to your own books, we follow him, we are on the straight way. He heard the verses of the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet about Ali and clearly understood that obedience to Ali was obedience to the Prophet and to Allah. He repeatedly heard the Prophet say: "One who obeys Ali obeys me; and one who obeys me obeys Allah; one who is hostile to Ali is hostile to me; and one who is hostile to me is hostile to Allah." Every Iranian, however, who went to Medina and embraced Islam, whether during the time of the Holy Prophet or afterward, obeyed the orders of the Prophet. For this reason, the second caliph became intolerant and imposed several restrictions on Iranians. These hardships and sufferings bred enmity in their hearts. They questioned why the caliph denied them Islamic rights against the injunctions laid down by the Prophet.

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Apart from these conditions, Iranians were grateful to Ali for his compassion regarding the treatment of Iranian princesses taken prisoner by the Arabs. When the prisoners of Mada'in (Taisfun) were brought to Medina, the second caliph ordered that all the female prisoners be made slaves of the Muslims. Ali forbade this and said that the princesses were exceptions and were to be honored. Two of the prisoners were the daughters of King Yazdigerd of Iran and could not be made slaves. The caliph asked what should be done. Ali said that each of them should be allowed to select a husband from the Muslims. Accordingly, Shahzanan selected Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr (who had been brought up by Ali), while the other princess, Shahbanu, selected Imam Husain, the Prophet's grandson. Both went to the homes of these men after a lawful wedding. Shahzanan gave birth to a son, Qasim Faqih, father of Umme Farwa, who was the mother of our Sixth Imam, Ja'far as-Sadiq. Imam Zainu'l-Abidin, our fourth Imam, was born of Shahbanu. So the establishment of Shia'ism had no connection with the time of Harun and Ma'mun or with the rule of the Safavid Dynasty in Iran, as you said earlier. It was openly propagated seven centuries before the Safavid Kingdom (i.e., in the 4th century Hijri), when the Dailamites (the Buwayyids) were rulers. In 694 A.H. the Iranian Kingdom was ruled by Ghazan Khan Mughul (whose Islamic name was Mahmud). Since at that time, belief in the Prophet's Ahle Bait was commonly expressed, Shia'ism grew steadily. After the death of Ghazan Khan Mughul in 707 A.H., his brother, Muhammad Shah Khuda Bandeh became the ruler of Iran. He arranged a religious debate between Allama Hilli, a learned Shia scholar, and Khwaja Nizamu'd-Din Abdu'l-Malik Maraghe'i, the chief justice of the Shafi'ites and the greatest Sunni scholar of that time.

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The subject of this debate was the Imamate. The Allama put forward such cogent arguments to prove that Ali was the immediate successor of the Prophet, and so convincingly refuted the claims of the other side, that all those present were completely satisfied with the reasoning of the Allama. Khwaja Nizamu'd-Din acknowledged that the Allama's arguments could not be refuted. But he said that, since he was following the path of his predecessors, it was not proper to leave it. He felt that it was important to maintain solidarity among the Muslims.


The King listened to the arguments with keen interest, accepted the Shia position himself, and announced the legitimacy of Shia'ism in Iran. He subsequently proclaimed to the governors of the regions that the weekly Khutba's (sermons given in the Mosques) should proclaim Ali's right as the successor of the Prophet. He also ordered that the Kalima be inscribed on the dinars (gold coins) in this way: "La ilaha ill'allah; Muhammadan Rasulullah; Aliyyan Waliullah," meaning, "There is no God except Allah; Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, and Ali is Allah's Wali" (vicegerent or divinely appointed guardian of the people). In this way the roots of Shia'ism were firmly established. Seven centuries later, when the Safavid kings came to power, the clouds of ignorance and fanaticism were further removed, Shia'ism flourished everywhere in Iran. Yes, there are Zoroastrians in Iran and those who exaggerate the position of Ali and consider him Allah. But they should not be associated with the common Iranian people, who believe in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad as the last of the prophets. These follow Ali and his eleven descendants as commanded by the Prophet. Hafiz: It is strange that although you originally came from the Hijaz (Arabia) and have been living in Iran for a short time, still you support the Iranians, and call them the followers of Ali, who was himself obedient to Allah. But Iranian Shias, to a man, regard Ali as Allah. Here are some couplets from the works of Iranian poets indicating this view, while Ali himself condemned such beliefs. The last of these couplets shows Ali saying: "Who helps at the time of difficulties? It is I, who am Allah! It is I." A couplet of another poet says: "According to the belief of those who are intelligent and recognize Allah, Allah is Ali, and Ali is Allah." Well-Wisher: I wonder why, without making inquiries, you should accuse all Iranians of regarding Ali as Allah. Your own ulema have made fanatical claims of this sort. They have said that the Shias are the worshipers of Ali and as such they are infidels. Therefore, murdering them is obligatory. As a result, Muslims of Uzbekistan and Turkestan have recklessly shed the blood of Iranian Muslims. The common people among the Sunnis are often misguided by some of your ulema, and your people consider the Iranians infidels. In the past, your people, the Turkomans, have attacked Iranian caravans near Khorasan, plundered and murdered the people, and said that whoever killed seven Rafizis (Shias), would certainly go to Paradise. You should bear in mind that the responsibility of such murders rests squarely on your leaders, who tell ignorant Sunnis that Shias worship Ali.

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Referring to your first point that, since I was originally connected with Arabia, Mecca, and Medina, why should I support the Iranians, I tell you that I have no partisan spirit. Our Prophet said: "The Arabs should not boast that they are superior to non-Arabs and vice versa; and the whites should not boast of their superiority to the blacks and vice versa. Superiority lies only in knowledge and piety. In the Holy Qur'an, Allah says: 'O men! Surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty).'" (49:13) Also, in the same chapter in the Qur'an, He says: "The believers are brethren; therefore, make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you." (49:10) Accordingly, all Asians, Africans, Europeans, Americans of white, black, red, or yellow races who are Muslims are brothers, and no one can claim superiority to another. The greatest leader of Islam, the last of the Prophets, acted on this principle. He showed his special affection for Salman Farsi of Iran, Suhaib of Asia Minor, and Bilal of Abyssinia. On the other hand, he rejected Abu Lahab (whose name means 'Father of Flame'), his own uncle who was condemned by a chapter of the Holy Qur'an which said: "Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!" (111:1)

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The world has witnessed disturbances of the worst order in Western countries which were the result of racial discrimination. In those countries black people are not allowed in hotels, restaurants, churches, and other congregations meant for white people. Islam banned such cruel practices 1,300 years ago and proclaimed that all Muslims, regardless of race, color, or nationality are brothers. So if the Arabs go astray, I will condemn them, and I will be the friend of the Iranian Shias. Second, you have associated Iranian extremists with the Shias, who are steadfast monotheists and follow Ali according to the commands of the Prophet. We regard Ali as a pious servant of Allah and the divinely appointed successor of the Holy Prophet.


Moreover, we reject those whose beliefs are contrary to ours, like the Saba'iyya, the Khitabiyya, the Gharabiyya, the Alawiyya, the Mukhammasa, the Bazighiyya, the Nussairiyya, who are scattered throughout Iran, Mosul, and Syria. We Shias are distinct from them and consider them infidels. In all the books written by Shia ulema and legal scholars, the Ghalis (extremists) are included among the disbelievers, since their belief is against the tenets of Shia'ism. For instance, they argue that, since the infusion of the soul into a material body is possible (as Gabriel could appear before the Holy Prophet in the form of Dahiyya-e-Kalbi), it was Allah's will that His Holy Self appear in human form in Ali's body. For this reason they consider the position of Ali higher than that of the Prophet. Such a faction emerged during Ali's own time. Some people of India and the Sudan came to him and professed that he was Allah. Ali repeatedly forbade them to hold this view, but to no effect. Finally, as is recorded in many histories, Ali ordered them to be killed in wells of smoke. The details of this case have been given in Baharu'l-Anwar, Volume VII, by the great Alim, Agha Muhammad Baqir Majlisi. The Commander of the Faithful and other Imams bitterly condemned such people. Ali said: "O Allah, I scorn the group of Ghullat (extremists), just as Jesus scorned the Christians. May you forsake them forever." On another occasion he said: "There are two groups who will suffer humiliating death, and I am not responsible for them (since I disdain their deeds): those who exceed the lawful limits of love for me and are Ghullat (extremists), and those who, for no reason whatsoever, are hostile to me. I hate those who extol my position beyond its proper limit, just as Christ hated the Christians." He also said: "There are two groups associated with me who will suffer ignoble death: one is composed of those people who say they are friends and praise me beyond lawful limit; the other is composed of the enemies who degrade my rank." The Shias condemn those who praised Ali and his Ahle Bait beyond the limit ordained by Allah and the Prophet. Our ulema have unanimously held that they are all disbelievers. It is not permitted to attend their funerals or to marry them. They are also deprived of inheriting Muslim property; charity and religious taxes may not be given to them. The Holy Qur'an condemns them in these words: "Say: O followers of the Book, be not immoderate in your religion, and do not follow the low desires of people who went astray before and led many astray and went astray from the right path." (5:80) Allama Majlisi, in his Baharu'l-Anwar Volume III, which is the encyclopedia of the Shia faith, has recorded many hadith condemning the Ghullat (extremists). Imam Ja'far Sadiq is quoted as saying, "We are servants of Allah, Who created us and made us superior to the others of His creation. Certainly we shall die and shall stand before Allah for reckoning. He who is a friend of the Ghalis is our enemy; and he who is their enemy is our friend. The Ghalis are infidels and polytheists; curse be upon them." A great religious head of the Shias has also quoted the same Imam as saying, "Allah's curse be upon those who claim divinity and godhood for Ali. By Allah, Ali was an obedient servant of Allah. Curse be upon those who have slandered us; some people say things about us that we do not say ourselves. We declare that we have no connection with them." Sheikh Saduq (Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Ali), a highly respected Faqih (legal scholar) of the Shias, quotes Zarara Bin A'yun, a reliable Shia writer, who was a hafiz and companion of Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Ja'far Sadiq, as saying: "I told Imam Ja'far Sadiq that one of the persons known to him believes in Tufwiz (delegation of Divine authority). The Imam said: 'What is meant by Tufwiz?' I replied, 'The man says that Allah created Muhammad and Ali and then delegated to them His authority over the affairs of the people. So they are the creators, the givers of food; they are the animators, and they are the killers.' The holy Imam said: 'The enemy of Allah lies. When you go back to him, read him this verse from the Holy Qur'an: "....or have they set up with Allah associates who have created creation like His, so that what is created became confused to them? Say: 'Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Supreme.'" (13:16)

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We Shias are separate from the Ghalis (extremists). Let them claim that they are Shias. Allah, the holy Prophet, Ali, and their descendants hate them. Ali kept the chief of the Ghullat in prison for three days, and ordered him to repent for his wickedness. When he refused, Ali had him burned to death. If you cannot produce a single book in which the Ghalis have been praised, you should at least condemn the intolerant ulema who misguide the Sunnis about the Shias.


Hafiz: Your brotherly advice is worth consideration. But would you please clarify some other points? You have all along said that you do not unduly praise your Imams. You regard the Ghullat as contemptible and fit for hell, but you use inappropriate expressions regarding your Imams. You have said "Blessings of Allah be upon them," although you know that, according to the Holy Qur'an, this expression is reserved only for the Holy Prophet. The Qur'an says: "Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe, call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation." (33:56) Your practice clearly violates the injunction of the Holy Qur'an. Your expression is an innovation. Well-Wisher: This verse does not forbid us to bless any other person. We are enjoined to bless the Prophet. In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah says: "Peace be on the people of Ya Sin (Ahle Ya Sin)," a reference to the descendants of the Prophet. As for the other Prophets of Allah, blessings have not been given to their descendants anywhere in the Holy Qur'an. Blessings have been given only to the prophets of Allah. "Peace and Salutation to Noah among the nations." (37:79): "Peace and salutation to Abraham." (37:109): "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron. " (37:120).

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All commentators and scholars of your own sect admit that Allah has addressed the Prophet as Ya Seen. Hence, Ahle (the people of) Ya Sin means the people of Muhammad. Among others, Ibn Hajar Makki, a very intolerant Sunni scholar, says in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, under the verses quoted in commendation of the Ahle Bait, that a group of commentators quoted Ibn Abbas (commentator, and the chief of the believers) as saying that Ahle Ya Sin means Ahle Muhammad. Therefore, salaam, the greeting of peace, for Ahle Ya Sin means salaam for Ahle Muhammad. Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi writes: "The Ahle Bait of the Prophet are equal to him in five matters: 1) The salaam: salaam for the Prophet and salaam for Ahle Ya Sin (Ahle Muhammad) are the same thing. 2) The salawat (blessings) in ritual prayers for the Prophet and his Ahle Bait, which is compulsory. 3) Purity: Allah says in the sura of "Ta Ha" (20:1): "(0 Prophet) Clean and Pure:" The verse of purity was revealed in praise of the Ahle Bait. 4) Unlawfulness of charity: Charity may not be accepted either by the Prophet or by his Ahle Bait. 5) Love: Love for the Prophet means love for his Ahle Bait. Allah Almighty says, "Say: if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you..." (3:31) And about the Ahle Bait Allah says, "...Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives..." (42:23)

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Many of those relating hadith, particularly Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume III, and Muslim in his Sahih, Volume I, Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabiu'l Mawadda, and even Hajar in his Sawa'iq quotes Ka'b Bin Ajza as saying: "When the verse: 'Verily, Allah and His angels bless the Prophet...' (33:56) was revealed, we asked the Holy Prophet, 'How should we pray for our blessings for you, Apostle of Allah?' The Prophet replied, 'Pray for your blessings in this way: "O Allah, bless (the Prophet) Muhammad and Ahle Muhammad."'" Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi, in Volume VI of his Tafsir-e-Kabir, also narrates a similar hadith. Ibn Hajar, commenting on the tradition, indicates that it is clear from the hadith that praying for blessings for the Holy Prophet is equal to praying for blessings on his descendants as well. He also quotes the Holy Prophet as saying: "Don't be incomplete in praying for blessings for me." When asked what he meant by 'incomplete' blessings, he said: "Do not say, 'O Allah, bless Muhammad,' but say, 'O Allah, bless Muhammad and his descendants.'" Dailami writes that the Prophet said: "Our prayer remains obstructed unless we pray for blessings upon the Prophet and his people." Shafi'i says, "O Ahle Bait! In the Holy Qur'an Allah has made love for you compulsory for us. Regarding the loftiness of your rank and position, it is sufficient to know that if a man does not pray for divine blessings for you, his prayer is not accepted." If the prayer for blessings for the Prophet and his descendants is deliberately omitted, the ritual prayer is rejected. And the Prophet said: "The ritual prayer is the pillar of faith; if the prayer is accepted, all other deeds are accepted; if it is rejected, all other deeds are rejected." To pray for divIne blessings for the Ahle Bait is the sunna (commendable practice) and a mode of worship which was performed by the Holy Prophet himself. We are proud to do what the Holy Qur'an and the Holy Prophet have enjoined us to do.

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THIRD SESSION SATURDAY NIGHT,, 25TH OF RAJAB, 1345 A.H. Hafiz: Based on your talk last night, I conclude that the Shias are divided into a number of factions. Will you kindly let us know which of them you accept so that we may restrict our discussion to that faction.


I didn't say that the Shias are divided into factions. Shias are devoted to Allah and followers of the Prophet and his descendants. Of course some factions have assumed the name of Shia to mislead people. They took advantage of the name of the Shias, preached false beliefs, and spread confusion. Uninformed people have included their names among the Shias. There are four such factions, two of which have survived: the Zaidiyya, the Kaysaniyya, the Qaddahiyya, and the Ghullat.


The Zaidiyyas follow Zaid Bin Ali Bin Husain. They consider Imam Zainu'l-Abidin's son, Zaid, to be his successor. At present these people are found in large numbers in Yemen and its surroundings. They believe that of the descendants of Ali and Fatima, he is "The Imam who is learned, pious, and brave. He draws the sword and rises against the enemy." During the time of the oppressive Umayyad Caliph, Hisham bin Abdu'l-Malik, Hazrat Zaid rose against those in authority and courted martyrdom and was therefore acknowledged as Imam by the Zaidiyyas. The fact is that Zaid possessed a far higher position than that which the Zaidiyyin claim for him. He was a great Seyyed of the Hashimite dynasty, and was known for his piety, wisdom, prayers, and bravery. He passed many sleepless nights in prayer and fasted frequently. The Prophet prophesied his martyrdom, as narrated by Imam Husain: "The Holy Prophet put his sacred hand on my back and said: 'O Husain, it will not be long until a man will be born among your descendants. He will be called Zaid; he will be killed as a martyr. On the day of resurrection, he and his companions will enter heaven, setting their feet on the necks of the people.'" But Zaid himself never claimed to be an Imam. It is sheer slander for people to say that he did. In fact, he recognized Muhammad Baqir as the Imam and pledged his full obedience to him. It was only after Muhammad Baqir's demise that unknowing people adopted the doctrine that "he is not the Imam who remains sitting at home and hides himself from the people; the Imam is one who is a descendant of Hazrat Fatima, an Alim, and who draws the sword and rises against the enemy and invites people to his side." The Zaidiyyas are divided into five factions: 1) Mughairiyya; 2) Jarudiyya; 3) Zakariyya; 4) Khashbiyya; and 5) Khaliqiyya.

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The second faction is the Kaysaniyyas. These are the companions of Kaysan, a slave of Ali Bin Abu Talib, who had freed him. These people believe that after Imam Hasan and Imam Husain, Muhammad Hanafiyya, the next eldest son of Commander of the Faithful, Ali, was the Imam. But Muhammad Hanafiyya himself never claimed this. He was called the sincerest of devotees. He was known for his knowledge, piety, devotion, and obedience to divine commandments. Some ignorant men produced evidence of what they called his opposition to Imam Zainu'l-Abidin. They claimed that Muhammad Hanafiyya claimed to be the Imam. The fact was otherwise. He never claimed to be the Imam. He wanted to show his ignorant followers the rank and position of the fourth Imam, Zainu'l-Abidin. The result was that, in the same holy mosque when Hajaru'l-Aswad (The Black Holy Stone) affirmed the Imamate of Imam Zainu'l-Abidin, Abu Khalid Kabuli, chief of the followers of Muhammad Hanafiyya, along with all other followers, acknowledged Imam Zainu'l-Abidin as the Imam. But a group of cunning people misled the simple and ignorant people by saying that Muhammad Bin Hanafiyya had only shown modesty, that in the face of the Umayyads it was most desirable for Muhammad Hanifiyya to do as he did. After the death of Muhammad Hanifiyya, these people said that he was not dead, that he had hidden himself in a cave of Mount Rizwi, and that he would reappear in the future to fill the world with justice and peace. This group contained four sub-factions: 1) Mukhtariyya; 2) Karbiyya; 3) Ishaqiyya and 4) Harabiyya. But none of them exists today.

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The third faction,Qaddahiyya,calls itself Shia,but it is a group of infidels. This sect originated in Egypt by Ma'mun Ibn Salim (or Disan) known as Qada and Issa Chahar Lakhtan (Jesus of Four Parts). They took it upon themselves to interpret the Holy Qur'an and the records of history according to their own wishes. They hold that there are two codes of religion: one secret and the other manifest. The secret code was given by Allah to the holy Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet gave it to Ali, and he gave it to his descendants and to the pure Shias. They believe that those who know the secret code are exempt from prayers and the worship of Allah. They have founded their religion on seven pillars. They believe in seven Prophets, and in seven Imams, the seventh Imam being in occultation. They are awaiting his appearance. They are divided into two factions: 1) The Nasiriyya were the companions of Nasir Khusru Alawi, who through his poems, speeches, and books attracted a large number of people to infidelity. They were spread over Tabaristan in large numbers. 2) The Sabahiyya (known in the West as the Assassins). They were the companions of Hasan Sabba, a native of Egypt who came to Iran, and caused the tragic events of Alamut, which resulted in the slaughter of large numbers of people. These facts are preserved in the records of history.


The fourth faction is that of the Ghalis, which is the most debased of all sects. They are incorrectly known as Shias. In fact they are all unbelievers. They are divided into seven factions: 1) Saba'iyya; 2) Mansuriyya; 3) Gharabiyya; 4) Bazighiyya; 5) Yaqubiyya; 6) Isma'iliyya; and 7) Azdariyya. Not only we Shia Ithna Asharis (who believe in the twelve Imams), but all Muslims of the world reject their faith.

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This is the real Shia group, which believes in the twelve Imams after the Holy Prophet. The other factions have nothing in common with our group; they have only assumed the name Shia.


The Shia Imamiyya group believes in the Ever-Existing Almighty Allah. He is One, in the sense of the absolute oneness of His essential existence. He is One, with none comparable to Him. He is the Creator of everything in existence. There is no match or equal to Him in any respect. The holy prophets and messengers were sent to tell the people about Allah, how to worship Him, and how to know Him. All of the prophets preached and guided the people according to the tenets set forth by the five major prophets: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and last of all, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, whose religion shall last until the Day of Judgement.


Allah Almighty has fixed recompense for our deeds, to be given to us in Paradise or Hell. The day fixed for the recompense of our deeds is called the Day of Judgement. When the world's life ends, Allah Almighty will re-animate the beings of the world from the beginning to the end. He will let them gather in the Mashar, the place of the gathering of the souls. After a just reckoning, everyone will be given reward or punishment according to his deeds. These things have been foretold in all divine books: the Torah, Bible, and the Holy Qur'an. For us, the most authentic source of guidance is the Holy Qur'an, which has reached us from the time of the Holy Prophet without any change. We act upon the injunctions contained in the Holy Qur'an, and we hope to be recompensed by Allah. We believe in all those obligatory commandments which are contained in the Holy Qur'an, like Namaz (prayers), Ruza (fasting), Zakat and Khums (yearly religious taxes), Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka'ba) and Jihad (holy war).

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Similarly, we believe in the Articles of Practice of the faith, including the obligatory and optional practices and all other injunctions that have reached us through the holy Prophet. We are determined to abide by them and to perform them to the best of our capacity. And we refrain from all sins, large or small, like drinking, gambling, fornication, sodomy, usury, murder, tyranny, which have been forbidden in the Holy Qur'an and hadith.


We Shias also believe that, just as there is a messenger from Allah who { 32 } conveys to us orders and injunctions, and who is elected and introduced to us by Allah, there is also a successor, caliph or protector of religion, who is appointed by Allah, and is introduced to us through the Prophet of Allah. Accordingly, all prophets of Allah introduced their successors to their umma (followers). The last of the holy prophets, who was the most perfect and most exalted of all prophets of Allah, left for his followers guides to help the people avoid confusion. According to the established hadith, he introduced to the people his twelve successors, the first: Ali Bin Abi Talib. The last Imam, the Mahdi, who is present in the world but is in occultation, will appear at an unknown time in the future, when he will fill the seething world with justice and peace. The Shia Imamiyyas also believe that these twelve Imams have been ordained by Allah and have been introduced to us through the last Holy Prophet. The last of the holy Imams has vanished from sight (by divine command), just as other Imams disappeared, during the time of previous prophets, as stated in many books written by your ulema. This sacred being has been preserved by Allah Almighty so that he may one day fill the world with justice. In short, the Shia believe in all that is contained in the Holy Qur'an and in authentic hadith. I am grateful to Allah that I have adopted these beliefs, not merely in blind imitation of my parents but through logical reasoning and study. Hafiz: Respected sir, I am indeed obliged to you for having explained the Shia beliefs, but there are hadith and supplications in your books which run counter to your statements and establish the heresy of the Shias. Well-Wisher: Please be specific.

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Hafiz: In Tafsir-e-Safi, written by one of your high-ranking ulema, Faiz Kashi, there is a hadith that one day Imam Husain, the Martyr of Karbala, addressing his companions said: "O people, Allah Almighty has not created his servants but to know Him. When they knew Him, they worshipped Him, when they worshipped Him, they became adverse to worship of any other thing." One of the Companions said: "May the lives of my father and mother be sacrificed to you! O son of the Holy Prophet! What is the real meaning of knowing Allah?" The Holy Imam replied, "For every man to know Allah means to know the Imam of his time, who must be obeyed." Well-Wisher: First, we must examine the chain of narrators of the hadith in order to establish whether it is authentic. Even if it is correct with regard to the chain of narrators, yet the verses of the Holy Qur'an and the unquestionable hadith of the Holy Prophet in regard to the Oneness of Allah cannot be misconstrued because of the assertion of one man. Why don't you examine the hadith and sayings of our Holy Imams, and the religious dialogues between our religious heads and the atheists, which already prove the unity of Allah? Why don't you consult the chief books and commentaries of the Shias, such as Tauhid-e-Mufazzal, Tauhid-e-Saduq, Biharu'l-Anwar (Book of Tauhid) of Allama Majlisi and other books written by Shia ulema, which are full of continuous hadith (on Tauhid) by our holy Imams? Why don't you consult An-Naktu'l-I'tiqadiyya, by Sheikh Mufid (d. 413 A.H.), one of the Shia ulema, and also his book Awa'ilu'l-Maqalat fi'l-Mazahib wa'l-Mukhtarra or Ihtijaj by our famous Alim, Abu Mansur Ahmad Bin Ali Bin Abu Talib Tabrasi. If you had, you would know how our holy Imam Reza proved the unity of Allah. It is not fair to pick out some dubious report simply to malign the Shias. Your own books contain absurdities and whimsical ideas. In fact, ridiculous hadith exist in your most authentic books ù the Siha-e-Sitta, (i.e., the Six Books of Accepted Traditions). Hafiz: In fact, your words are ridiculous since you find fault with books whose greatness and authenticity are unquestionable, particularly the Sahih Bukhari, and Sahih Muslim. Our ulema agree that all the hadith contained in them are true. If someone rejects these two books, he rejects the real Sunni sect. After the Holy Qur'an, Sunnis rely upon the authenticity of these two books. Perhaps you have seen Ibn Hajar Makki's point in the beginning of his Sawa'iqe Muhriqa, chapter of "The Affairs" (affairs of the caliphate of Abu Bakr) as recorded by Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihain, which are the most authentic and reliable books after the Holy Qur'an, according to the unanimity of the followers (i.e., the umma, or community). He says that since the whole community is unanimous in accepting the hadith of these books, whatever the community holds with one accord is unquestionable. On the basis of this agreement, all the hadith contained in these books are undoubtedly acceptable. Hence, no one can have the courage to assert that these books contain absurdities or ridiculous matter.

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Well-Wisher: First, that these books are acceptable to the whole community is open to objection. Your claim with reference to Ibn Hajar is, itself, absurd since 100 million Muslims do not accept his point. Hence, the unanimity of the community in the matter is just like the unanimity claimed by your people in the matter of the caliphate. Secondly, what I say is based on valid reasons. If you study those books with an unprejudiced mind, you will be astonished. Many of your great ulema, such as Dar Qutni, Ibn Hazam, Allama Abu'l-Fazl Ja'far Bin Tha'labi in Kitabu'l-Imta' fi Ahkamu's-Sama', Sheikh Abdu'l-Qadir Bin Muhammad Qarshi in Jawahiru'l-Mazay'a fi Tabaqatu'l-Hanafiyya, and others, including all the Hanafi ulema, have criticized the Sahihain and have acknowledged that they contain a number of weak and unconfirmed hadith. The objective of Bukhari and Muslim was to collect hadith; not to consider their authenticity. Some of your research scholars, like Kamalu'd-Din Ja'far Bin Sa'lih have taken great pains in pointing out the defects and faults of the hadith and have set forth valid grounds in support of their findings. Hafiz: I would welcome it if you would put forward the arguments so that the audience may know the truth. Well-Wisher: I will cite only a few examples.


If you wish to study misleading hadith regarding the incarnation of Allah, which contend that He, as a physical being, can be seen in this world, or will be seen in the Hereafter, (as believed by a faction of the Sunnis, i.e., the Hanbalites and Asharites), you may refer to your own books, particularly Sahih Bukhari (Vol. I, in the Chapter "Fazla's-Sujud Min Kitabu'l-Adhan," page 100; Vol. IV, p.92 of Sahih Muslim, "Babu's-Sira Min Kitabu'r-Riqaq,"and also Sahih Muslim (Vol. I, in the Chapter "Isbatu'l-Ruyatu'l-Mu'minin Rabbahum Fi'l-Akhira," page 86); and Musnad of Imam Hanbal, Volume II, page 275. You will find sufficient information of this type in those books. For example, Abu Huraira says: "The clamor and violent rage of Hell will intensify, it will not calm down until Allah puts His leg in it. Then Hell will say, 'Stop, stop! It is enough for me; it is enough for me.'" Abu Huraira also narrates that a group of people asked the holy Prophet, "Shall we see our Creator on the Day of Judgement?" He replied, "Of course. At mid-day when the sky is free of clouds, does the Sun hurt you, if you look at it?" They said: "No!" Again he said: "During the nights when you see the full moon when the sky is clear, does it hurt you?" They said: "No!" He continued: "So when you see Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement, you will not be hurt, just as you are not hurt by seeing these (the sun and the moon). When the Day of Judgement comes, it will be announced by Allah that every community should follow it's god. So everyone who has worshiped idols or anything other than Allah, The One, shall be thrust into Hell fire. So shall everyone of the good and bad persons be thrown into it except those who worshipped Allah, the Absolute One. They shall lie in Hellfire. At that time Allah will appear in a particular form before the people so that they can see Him. Then Allah will tell them that He is their Allah. The believers will then say, 'We take refuge in Your Godhead. We are not among those who have worshiped anything except Allah the Absolute.' Allah will say in reply, 'Have you any sign between you and Allah so that you may see Him and identify Him?' They will say, 'Yes.' Then Allah will show them His bare leg. Thereupon the believers will raise their heads upwards and will see Him in the same condition as they saw Him for the first time. Then Allah will say that He is their Creator. All of them will acknowledge that He is their Allah." Now it is for you to judge whether this kind of statement is tantamount to infidelity or not, that Allah would physically appear before the people and would uncover His leg! And the strongest point in support of my argument is that Muslim Bin Hajjaj begins a Chapter in his Sahih about the proof of the visibility of Almighty Allah, and has quoted the fabricated reports from Abu Huraira, Zaid Bin Aslam, Suwaid Bin Sa'id, and others. And some of the leading ulema of your own sect like Dhahabi in Mizanu'l-I'tidal and Suyuti in his Kitabu'l-Lu'ualia'l-Masnu'a fi hadithu'l-Muzu'a, and Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Al-Muzu'a, have proved on reasonable grounds that these narrations are fabricated.

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Even if there had been no proof against the above assertions, the verse of the Holy Qur'an explicitly rejects the doctrine of the visibility of Allah. Allah says: "Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision_." (6:103) Again, when the Prophet Moses was compelled by the Israelites to go to his place of prayer and beseech Allah to "show Himself to him," the Holy Qur'an records the event as follows: " He (Moses) said: 'My Lord! Show me (Thyself), so that I may look upon Thee.' He said: 'You cannot (bear to) see me...'" (7:143) Seyyed Abdu'l-Hayy (Imam of the Jama'at Ahle-Sunna): it not a fact that Ali said: "I do not worship a god whom I do not see?" When Ali says such a thing, it means that Allah can be seen.


Well-Wisher: Respected friend, you have taken one sentence out of context. I will recite the whole text to you. This hadith has been recorded by the great Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Yaqub Kulaini in his Usul Kafi, Volume on Tauhid, as well as Sheikh Saduq in his Book on Tauhid, Chapter "Ibtal Aqida Ruyatullah." Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq is quoted as saying a Jewish scholar asked the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, whether he had seen Allah at the time of prayers. The Imam replied: "He cannot be seen by these physical eyes. It is the heart which sees Him through the light of the realities of conviction." It follows from Ali's reply that what he means by seeing Allah is not seeing Him with the eyes but through the light of sincere faith. There are many other proofs based on reason and recorded facts to substantiate our point of view. Moreover, apart from Shia scholars, your own ulema, like Qazi Baidhawi and Jarullah Zamakhshari, have proved in their commentaries that it is impossible to see Allah. One who believes in the visibility of Allah, in this world or in the Hereafter, believes that He is a physical being. To believe this is infidelity.

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You consider that your six traditional books, particularly those of Bukhari and Muslim, are like revealed books. I wish that you could look at them objectively and not exceed limits in your praise for them. Bukhari, in the Chapter "Kitab-e-Ghusl," and Muslim in Part II of his Sahih (in the Chapter on Virtues of the Prophet Moses), and Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Part II, page 315, and others of your ulema have quoted Abu Huraira as saying: "Among the Bani Isra'il it was customary to bathe together without clothes, so that they glanced at the genitals of one another. They did not consider it objectionable. Only the Prophet Moses went into the water alone, so that no one could see his private parts. The Bani Isra'il used to say that the Prophet Moses had defective genitals, so he avoided bathing with them. One day the Prophet Moses went to the river to bathe. He took off his clothes, put them over a stone, and went into the water. The stone fled with his clothes. Moses ran after the stone, naked, shouting: 'My clothes! O stone, my clothes.' The Bani Israel saw the naked Moses and said: 'By Allah! Moses has no defect in his genitals. The stone then stopped and Moses retrieved his clothes. Then Moses beat the stone so severely that six or seven times the stone shrieked in pain." Do you actually believe such a thing is possible for the holy Prophet Moses, or that a stone, an inanimate object, could take away his clothes? Surely it would be impossible for a Prophet to run naked before the people. I will relate another hadith recorded in the Sahih, which is even more ridiculous. Bukhari quotes Abu Huraira in his Sahih (Volume I, page 158 and Volume II, page 163) and again in the Chapter "Death of the Prophet Moses" and Muslim also quotes the same authority (Abu Huraira) in his Sahih, Volume II, page 309 in the Chapter "On The Merits of Moses" as saying: "The Angel of Death came to the Prophet Moses and asked him to accept the invitation of his Creator. Upon hearing this, Moses gave him such a slap in his face that he lost one of his eyes. So he went back to Allah and complained that he had sent him to a man who did not want to die and who had knocked out one of his eyes. Allah cured his eye and ordered him to go again to Moses and to tell him that if he wanted longer life, he should lay his hand on the back of a bull. He would live for as many years as the number of hairs that would be covered by his hand." Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Volume II, page 315, and Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari in his History, Volume I, under the heading "Death of the Prophet Moses," gave the same account from Abu Huraira with the addition that up to the time of Moses, the Angel of Death used to physically separate the soul from the body. But after Moses gave him a slap in the face, he came unseen. Now it is for you to judge what sort of nonsense this is which is included in the two collections of traditions, which you call the most correct of all books after the Holy Qur'an. The reports I have cited certainly insult the honor of the prophets of Allah. As for Abu Huraira, I am not surprised at his narrations. Your own ulema admit that in order to fill his belly from the dainty dishes provided by Mu'awiya, he fabricated reports. Because of his fabrications, Caliph Umar had him lashed. It is surprising that sensible people believe in such ridiculous stories. Now let's return to our discussion regarding the hadith you quoted. Obviously, a just man who sees a lone narration (narrated by only one person) would compare it with other authentic hadith. He would either correct it or reject it outright, rather than use it as a basis for attacking his brothers of another sect and calling them infidels. Since the Tafsir-e-Safi is not here with us, we cannot say anything about the authenticity of this hadith. Even if it is true, we should rely on the principle that if we know the effect, we can know the cause. That is, if we know the Imam as Imam, we certainly know the identity of Allah, in the same way that if one knows the prime minister, he knows the King. It is in reference to this principle that the chapter "Tauhid" and other verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed. Moreover, there are many hadith about the unity of Allah narrated by Imam Husain himself and other Imams. To know our Imam is a great form of worship of Allah. The same meaning has been given in Ziarat-e-Jami'a, which has come down to us from our Holy Imam. We may also interpret it in another way, as scholars have done in similar matters. Every performer of an action may be understood by the nature of his action. Since the Prophet and his descendants attained the highest level of human possibility, no others are as meritorious or virtuous as they. Since they are the most evident means of knowing Allah, anyone who knows them, knows Allah. As they have themselves said: "It is through us that Allah can be known, and it is through us that Allah can be served." We believe that the Prophet's family taught us knowledge about Allah and the proper way to worship Him. Those who have not followed them have lost the way.

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To stress the same point, the Prophet said in a hadith acknowledged by both sects, "O my people! I leave behind me for you two great objects (of authority): The book of Allah and my Ahle Bait. Should you remain attached to these two, never, never shall you be misled after me (for verily these two shall never, never be separated from each other until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar). Hafiz: We do not rely on this tradition, which you try to revise. There are many innovations in your books and examples of polytheism, like seeking fulfillment of our desires from the Imams rather than from Allah. What is polytheism? Polytheism means to turn to any other person or thing rather than to Allah for the satisfaction of our needs. It has been observed that Shias never invoke Allah. They invoke the Imams. It is nothing but polytheism. Well-Wisher: I am afraid you distort facts. Perhaps I may be allowed to tell you what polytheism is according to the great ulema of Islam and according to the verses of the Holy Qur'an.



Polytheism is of two kinds: open polytheism and hidden polytheism. Open polytheism means to associate someone or something with Allah's All-Perfect Self or with His attributes. Making partners with Allah means associating something with His Oneness and acknowledging this association with the tongue, like the Sanamiyyas (idol-worshippers) or the Zoroastrians, who believe in two principles: light and darkness. Christians also do this. They believe in the trinity and divide divinity into three parts ù father, son, and holy spirit. They believe in separate characteristics for each, and unless the three are united, the Divine self is not complete. The Holy Qur'an rejects this belief, and Allah Almighty declares His Oneness in these words: "Certainly they disbelieve who say: 'Surely Allah is the third (person) of three;' there is no god but the one Allah...." (5:73) Associating things with divine attributes means believing that His attributes, like His knowledge or might, are separate from, or in addition to, His All-Perfect Self. The Asharis of Abu'l-Hasan Ali Bin Isma'il Ashari Basari, are reported by your own leading ulema, like Ali Bin Ahmad in his book Al-Kashf and Minhaju'l-Adilla fi Aqa'idi'l-Milla (The Open Just Revelation of the Beliefs of Nations), page 57, to believe that the attributes of Allah are in addition to His All-Perfect Self, and are eternal. So anyone who believes that any quality or attribute of His is in any way an addition to His All-Perfect Self is a polytheist. Every attribute of His is essential to Him. Polytheism in one's actions means to associate someone with His Ever-Independent Will. The Jews believe that Allah created creatures and then kept Himself aloof from His creatures. In condemnation of these people, the following verse was revealed: "And the Jews say: 'The hand of Allah is tied!' Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out; He expends as He pleases...." (5:64) The Gallis or Ghullat (extremists) form another group of polytheists. They are also called Mufawwiza. They believe that Allah has delegated His powers or entrusted all affairs to the holy Imams. According to them, the Imams are the creators, and they also give us sustenance. Obviously, those who consider someone a partner in divine authority is a polytheist.

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Polytheism in prayer means deliberately turning one's attention during prayers toward a created being rather than toward Allah. If one intends to pray to a created being, he is a polytheist. The Holy Qur'an forbids it in these words. " ...whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not join anyone in the service of his Lord." (18:110) This verse shows that the fundamental article of faith is that man should do whatever is good and should not associate anyone with Allah in offering obedience and worship to Him. In other words, he who offers prayers or performs the Hajj, or does any good act merely to show to the public his righteousness, he is a polytheist. He has associated others with Allah in the matter of performing his deeds. The vain display of good deeds is minor polytheism, which negates our good actions. It has been reported that the holy Prophet said: "Abstain from minor Polytheism." People asked him, "O, Prophet of Allah, what is minor polytheism?" He replied, "Al-riya wa's-sama'" (i.e., to show people, or to let them hear of your worship of Allah). Also the holy Prophet said: "The worst thing which I fear for you is your hidden polytheism; so rise above it since among my followers polytheism is more secret than the creeping of the ant on a hard stone in the dark night." Again he said: "One who offers the ritual prayer in an ostentatious way, is a polytheist. One who keeps the fast, or gives alms, or performs the Hajj, or frees a slave to show to the public his righteousness or to earn a good name is a polytheist." And since this last line refers to matters of the heart, it has been included in hidden polytheism. Hafiz: We note of your own statement that if someone makes an offering to any created being, he is a polytheist. So the Shias are also polytheists since they make offerings to the holy Imams and their sons.

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Well-Wisher: If we wish to determine the faith of a community, we should not rely on the uninformed people of that community. We should study their reliable books. If you wish to study Shia'ism, don't start with Shia beggars on roads, crying "O Ali, O Imam Reza," and on that ground declare that Shias are polytheists. Similarly, if ignorant people make pledges or offerings in the name of the Imams or their sons, you should not slander all of Shia'ism. If you study Shia books of jurisprudence, you will find that there is not a single trace of polytheism, or absurdity. The insistence on the Oneness of Allah is manifest everywhere. The most famous books, Sharhe lum'a and Shara'i, are widely available and you may study them. In the Chapter "Offerings," the legal pronouncements of Shia jurists are cited, both in the two works cited above and in many other publications. Since nazr is a kind of prayer, it is essential that there should be an intention that it be for the sake of seeking nearness to Allah. There are two conditions for a valid nazr: intention of the heart and utterance or expression in prescribed words in whatever language it may be. Regarding the first condition, the intention of the heart must be for the sake of Allah. The second condition completes the first condition; the person who makes the offering (nazr) must say in words that it is for Allah. For instance, if he pledges to keep a fast or to give up drinking, he must make the intention using the prescribed words, which contain the word "Lillah" (for the sake of Allah), without which the offering is invalid.

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If we make an offering not in the name of Allah, but for someone else, whether he be dead or alive, or if we include him with the name of Allah, even if he is an Imam or his son, the offering is not valid. If this is done deliberately and knowingly then it is evident polytheism, as is clear from the verse, "...and not join anyone in the service of his Lord." (18:110) Shia jurists agree that to make an offering in the name of any person, including Prophets or Imams, is wrong. If it is done intentionally, it is polytheism. An offering must be made in the name of Allah, although we are authorized to do it whenever we like. For instance, if someone in the name of Allah takes a goat to a particular house or place of worship or to the tomb of an Imam or son of an Imam and sacrifices it, there is no harm in it. Also, if he pledges and gives money or clothes in the name of Allah to a certain Seyyed, a descendant of the Prophet, or gives alms to an orphan or beggar, there is no harm in it. Of course, if he pledges to make an offering simply for the sake of the Prophet or an Imam, a son of an Imam, or for some other person, it is forbidden. If done intentionally, it is polytheism. It is the duty of every prophet or religious authority to admonish people as the Holy Qur'an says, "Say: Obey Allah and obey the Apostle; but if you turn back, then on him rests that which is imposed on him and on you rests that which is imposed on you...." (24:54) It is people's duty to hear what the Prophet of Allah says and to act upon it. If, however, someone does not care to follow divine precepts and does not act on them, it does not harm the faith or the principles in which the faith is founded.

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The second kind of polytheism is hidden polytheism, such as making a display of our prayers or other forms of obedience to Allah. The difference between this polytheism and polytheism in prayers is that in the case of polytheism in prayers we associate some other thing or being with Allah. If someone directs his attention towards anything other than Allah, in the ritual prayer, or if, by the suggestion of shaitan, he has a picture of a false deity in his mind, or if his guide is the center of his attention, then he is a polytheist. Nothing except Allah, should be the object of attention in our worship. The Prophet said that if someone does a good deed and makes someone else a partner with Allah in it, then his whole deed is for the partner. Allah hates that action as well as its doer. It has also been reported that the Holy Prophet said that if someone offers the ritual prayer, observes a fast, or performs the Pilgrimage and has the idea that by his doing so the people will praise him, "then verily, he has made a partner with Allah in his action." It has also been reported from Imam Ja'far Sadiq that if someone performs an action for fear of Allah, or for the recompense in the hereafter, and includes in it the pleasure of a human being, then the doer of that action is a polytheist.


One kind of polytheism is that which relates to causation since most people base their hopes and fears on secondary causes. This is also polytheism, but it is pardonable. Polytheism means to think that power lies intrinsically in secondary causes. For instance, the sun nourishes many things in the world, but if one considers this power to be inherent in the sun, then this is polytheism. However, if we believe that the power of the sun is given to it by Allah, and that the sun is only a secondary means of His munificence, then this is never polytheism. It is rather a form of worship since to pay attention to the signs of Allah is a prelude to attending to Allah. A reference has been made in the verses of the Holy Qur'an to the fact that we should ponder the signs of Allah since this leads the attention toward Allah. In the same way, reliance on secondary causes (a tradesman's attention to trade, or a farmer's attention to his farm) make one a polytheist if he thereby diverts his attention from Allah. Based on the above explanation of polytheism, which of the examples cited do you consider to be applicable to Shias? In what way, from the point of view of prayer, faith, or the Shia traditions that you have seen, can they be charged with polytheism? Hafiz: I admit that all you have said is correct, but if you would just take the trouble to think for a moment, you will agree that to rely on the imams is polytheism. Since we should not seek any human means of approach to Allah, we should invoke Allah directly for help.

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Well-Wisher: It is strange that you ignore what I have been saying here all along. Is it polytheism to make requests of other people for the fulfillment of our desires? If this were true, the whole of humanity is polytheistic. If to seek help from others is polytheism, why did the Prophet seek help from people? You should study the verses of the Holy Qur'an so that you may know what is true and correct. The following verses are worth attention: "He said: 'O chiefs which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission?' One audacious among the Jinn said: 'I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it.' One who had the knowledge of the Book said: 'I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.' Then when he saw it settled beside him, he said: 'This is of the grace of my Lord....'" (27:38-40) The bringing of the throne of Bilqis (Queen of Sheba) to Solomon was impossible for every creature. Admittedly, it was unusual, and the Prophet Solomon, despite his knowing that it required divine power, did not ask Almighty Allah to bring the throne but asked mere creatures to help him. This fact shows that seeking others' help is not polytheism. Allah, the first cause, is the Creator of the causes of this world. Polytheism is a matter of the heart. If a man asks for someone's help and does not consider him Allah or His partner, it is not forbidden. This situation is common everywhere. People go to the houses of others and ask them for help without taking the name of Allah. If I go to a physician and ask him to cure me, am I a polytheist? Again, if a man is drowning, and he cries for help, is he a polytheist? So please be fair and do not misconstrue facts. The whole Shia community believes that if anyone considers the descendants of the Prophet as being Allah or partners in His Self, he is surely a polytheist. You might have heard Shias in trouble crying, "O Ali, help me!" "O Husain, help me!" This does not mean that they are saying "O Allah Ali, help me!" "O Allah Husain, help me!" But the fact is that since the world is a house of secondary causes, we consider them the means of deliverance from troubles. We seek the help of Allah through them. Hafiz: Instead of invoking Allah directly, why do you invoke the means? Well-Wisher: Our permanent attention regarding our desires, dis-

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tresses, and anguish is fixed upon Allah, the Absolute. But the Holy

Qur'an says that we should reach Almighty Allah, through some means of

approach. "O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and seek the 44 } means of approach to Him." (5:38)


We Shias do not regard the descendants of the Prophet as the solution to all our problems. We regard them as the most pious of the servants of Allah and as a means of divine bounty. We attach ourselves to that exalted family according to the injunction of the Prophet. Hafiz: Why do you say that the words "means of approach" in the above verse refer to the descendants of the Holy Prophet? Well-Wisher: In many hadith, the Prophet recommended to us that in our troubles we invoke his descendants as a means of approach to Allah. Many of your ulema, like Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani, in his Nuzulu'l-Qur'an fi Ali (Revelations in the Qur'an about Ali), Hafiz Abu Bakr Shirazi in his Ma Nazala mina'l-Qur'an fi Ali and Imam Ahmad Tha'labi in his Tafsir (Commentary) say that wasilat (means of approach) in the above verse means the descendants of the Prophet. This reference has been apparent from many hadith of the Prophet. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, one of your respected ulema, says in his Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume IV, page 79, that Bibi Fatima Zahra referred to the meaning of this verse in the presence of the Muhajirs and Ansars, while delivering her address in connection with the usurpation of her estate of Fadak, in these words: "I praise Allah for Whose Dignity and Light the residents of the skies and the earth seek means of approach towards Him. Among His creation we are the means of approach."

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Among the many accepted arguments about the lawfulness of our following the descendants of the Prophet is the Hadith Thaqalain, whose authenticity has been acknowledged by both the sects. The Prophet said: "If you keep yourselves attached to these two, never, never will you go astray after me." Hafiz: I think you are mistaken when you say that this hadith is authentic and that it has been accepted by all since it is unknown by our great ulema. To prove this I may say that the greatest narrator of hadith of our sect, Muhammad Bin Isma'il Bukhari, does not record it in his Sahih, which is the most authentic book after the Holy Qur'an. Well-Wisher: I am not mistaken about it. The authenticity of this holy hadith has been acknowledged by your own ulema. Even Ibn Hajar Makki, for all his intolerance and prejudice, accepts it as true. You should consult Sawa'iq Muhriqa (Part II Chapter II, pages 89-90, under verse 4) in which, after quoting the statements of Tirmidhi, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Tibrani, and Muslim, he says: "Know that the hadith concerning attachment to the Thaqalain (the holy descendants of the Prophet and the Holy Qur'an) has been narrated in many ways. The narrators of this hadith number more than twenty companions of the Prophet." Then he says that there is some difference in the manner in which this tradition has been narrated. Some say that it was narrated when the Prophet was on his last Hajj at Arafa; some say it was related in Medina, when the Holy Prophet was on his death bed, and his room was full of his companions; others say that it was narrated at Ghadir-e-Khum; and some say it was narrated after his return from Ta'if. After saying all this, he (Hajar Makki) himself comments that there is no significant difference in the hadith itself. As for all the different occasions, it is probable that the Prophet recounted this tradition time and again in order to emphasize the greatness of the Holy Qur'an and his holy descendants. You said that since Bukhari has not recorded this hadith in his Sahih, its authenticity is questionable. But this hadith, although not recorded by Bukhari, has been generally quoted by the major ulema of your sect, including Muslim Bin Hujjaj and other authors of the six collections of Traditions, who have exhaustively dealt with it in their books and do not rely solely on the collection of Bukhari. If you acknowledge the justice of all your own ulema, all of whom were recognized by the Sunnis of the past, you should accept as true the hadith, which for some reason has not been recorded by Bukhari. Hafiz: There was no motive behind that. Bukhari was very cautious in the matter of recording reports. He was a careful scholar, and if he found the hadith, from the point of view of its text or source, to be harmful or unacceptable to common sense, he did not record it. Well-Wisher: As the proverb goes: "Love for something makes a man blind and deaf." The respected Sunnis are mistaken here. You are too enthusiastic in your love for Imam Bukhari. You say that he was a very minute scrutinizer of facts, and that the reports of his Sahih are reliable and deserve the rank of revelation. But the fact is otherwise. The chain of reports mentioned by Bukhari consists of persons who are often condemned as liars. Hafiz: Your assertion is false. You denigrate Bukhari's learning and ability, which is an insult to the whole Sunni Sect. Well-Wisher: If criticism based on knowledge is an insult, then many of your own most distinguished ulema are men who have insulted the high position of learning and erudition. I would advise you to study for yourself the books written by great authors and ulema of your sect who have made comments on Bukhari's Sahih, e.g., Al-Lu'ali'l-Masnu'a fi hadithi'l-Muzu'a by Suyuti, Mizanu'l-Ibtidal and Talkhisu'l-Mustadrak of Dhahabi; Tadhkiratu'l-Muzu'a by Ibn Jauzi; The History of Baghdad, compiled by Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Ali Khatib Baghdad, and other books of Rijal (namely, treatises on the character of narrators of Traditions) by many of your great ulema. If you read these books, you will not dare say that I have insulted Imam Bukhari.

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What I have said is this: the two books, Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari, contain hadith narrated by liars. If you study Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari in the light of the books of Rijal, you will find that they have recorded many hadith reported from men who were great liars, e.g., Abu Huraira, the notorious liar, Ikrima Kharji, Sulayman Bin Amr, and others of the same category. Bukhari was not so cautious in recording hadith as you think. He did not record the Hadith-e-Thaqalain, which others have done, but he had no hesitation in recording ludicrous and insulting stories about the Prophet Moses slapping the face of the Angel of Death, the Prophet Moses' running away naked after a stone, and Allah's visibility. Consider another ridiculous and insulting story recorded by Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume II, Chapter ""Al-Lahr Bi'l-Harb," page 120, and by Muslim in his Sahih Volume I, quoting Abu Huraira as saying that on the Eid (a holiday) some Sudanese nomads gathered in the Mosque of the Prophet. They entertained spectators with their sport and performances. The Prophet asked A'yesha if she would like to witness the performances. She said she would. The Prophet let her mount on his back in such a way that she had her head over his shoulders and her face on the head of the Prophet. In order to amuse A'yesha , the Holy Prophet was asking the entertainers to stage a better dance. At last A'yesha became tired, and the holy Prophet let her get down on the ground! Judge for yourself whether such a story is not insulting. If Bukhari was so cautious about recording facts, was it fair on his part to record such foolish stories in his Sahih. But even now you characterize these books as the most authentic ones after the Holy Qur'an. Of course Bukhari took special care to omit the matter of the Imamate and the Vicegerency of Ali, as well as the matter of the Ahle Bait. Probably he feared such information might some day be used as a weapon against the opponents of the Ahle Bait.

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So when we compare the Sahih Bukhari with other Siha, we come to the conclusion that on this topic, the Ahle Bait, a hadith, however authentic and fully supported by writers in the light of the Holy Qur'an it may be, Bukhari has purposely failed to record it. For instance, there are many verses of the Holy Qur'an, revelations which have a direct bearing on the hadith (Hadith-e-Wilaya on the Day of Ghadir; Hadith-e-Inzar-e-Yaumu'd-Dar; Hadithu'l-Muwakhat; Hadith-e-Safina; Hadith-e-Babu'l-Hitta, etc.) which concern the respect for, and vicegerency of, the descendants of the Holy Prophet. These have been avoided scrupulously by Bukhari. And on the other hand, those so-called "ahadith" which humiliate the prophets, particularly our Prophet and his chaste descendants, are recorded in his book without the least consideration that they have been reported by liars.


As for the hadith of Thaqalain (two weighty things), which Bukhari has not included in his collection, the other authentic books of your sect have related it. In fact, even the great traditionist, Muslim, who is regarded as being equal to Bukhari, has also related it. The other scholars who have related this tradition are the following: Muslim bin Hajjaj in his Sahih, Volume VII, page 122; Abu Dawud in his Sahih; Tirmidhi in his Sunan, Part 2, page 307; Nisa'i in his Khasa'is, page 30; Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Volume III, page 14-17, Volume IV, page 26 and 59,and Volume V,page 182 and 189,Hakim in Mustadrak,Volume III,page 109 and 148; Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani in his Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Volume I, page 355; Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, page 182; Ibn Athir Jazari in his Usudu'l-Ghaiba, Volume II, page 12 and Volume III, page 147; Hamidi in Jama' Baina's-Sahihain; Razin in his Jama' Baina's-Siha-e-Sitta; Tibrani in his Ta'rikh-e-Kabir; Dhahabi in his Talkhis-e-Mustadrak;Ibn Abd Rabbih in his Iqdu'l-Farid;Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in is Matalibu's-Su'ul; Khatib Khawarizmi in Manaqib; Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter page 18,25,29,30,31,32,32,

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34, 95, 115, 126, 199 and 230, with slight narrations in words; ir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in the second Mawadda of his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharh Nahju'l-Balagha; Shablanji in Nuru'l-Absar, page 99; Nuru'd-Din bin Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l Muhimma, page 25; Hamwaini in Fara'idu's-Simtain; Imam Tha'labi in Tafsir Kashfu'l-Bayan; Sam'ani and Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in Manaqib; Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu'l-Talib, Chapter I, in the account of the authenticity of the sermon of Ghadir Khum and also in Chapter 62, page 130; Muhammad bin Sa'ad Katib in Tabaqa, Volume 4, page 8; Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir Kabir, Volume 3, under the verse of Etesam, page 18; Ibn Kathir Damishqi in Tafsir, Volume 4, under the verse of Mawadda, page 113, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa; pages 75, 87, 90, 99 and 136 with variations of words.

There are several other scholars of your sect whose names I cannot relate in this meeting because of the lack of time. Many of your scholars have related this important hadith from the Holy Prophet so commonly and with unbroken continuity of narration from one to the other that it has attained the status of a regularly narrated hadith. According to this hadith, the Prophet said the following: "I leave among you two weighty things: the Book of Allah and my progeny. If you keep yourselves attached to these two, never, never will you go astray. These two will never be separated from each other until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar." Based on this genuine hadith, we hold that we should seek adherence to the Holy Qur'an and the Ahle Bait of Muhammad. Sheikh: This hadith of the Prophet has been related by Salih Bin Musa Bin Abdullah Bin Ishaq, through his accredited chain of narrators saying that Abu Huraira reported it in this way: "I leave behind me two great things: The Book of Allah (the Holy Qur'an) and my sunna (tradition)...." Well-Wisher: You again quote the hadith from the same wicked person who has been rejected by critics of the Shia (like Dhahabi, Yahya, Imam Nisa'i, Bukhari and Ibn Adi, etc.). Aren't you satisfied with the reliable references that I have made from your own great ulema regarding this hadith? You quote an unacceptable version of the hadith even though both Shias and Sunnis have accepted that the Holy Prophet used the words "the Book of Allah and my progeny," and not "my sunna." In fact, "Book" (Qur'an) and "sunna" (tradition) both require interpretation. Traditions, therefore, cannot explain the Holy Qur'an. So the progeny of the Prophet, who are the equals of the Holy Qur'an, are the real interpreters of the Qur'an, as well as the traditions (sunna) of the Prophet.

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Another reason we seek attachment to the descendants of the Prophet is the authentic Hadith-e-Safina, which has been narrated by all of your great ulema, almost without exception, and with unbroken continuity. More than a hundred of your own scholars have related this hadith: Muslim bin Hajjaj in Sahih, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim in Hilyatu'l-Auliya; Ibn Abdi'l-Birr in Isti'ab; Abu Bakr Khatib Baghdadi in Ta'rikh-e-Baghdad; Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'uli; Ibn Athir in Nihaya; Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira; Ibn Sabbagh-e-Makki in Fusulu'l-Muhimma; Allama Nuru'd-Din Samhudi in Ta'rikhu'l-Medina; Seyyed Mu'min Shablanji in Nuru'l-Absar; Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir-e-Mafatihu'l-Ghaib; Jalalu'd-din Suyuti in Durru'l-Mansur; Imam Tha'labi in Tafsir-e-Kashfu'l-Bayan; Tabrani in Ausat; Hakim in Mustadrak, Volume 3, page 151; Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 4; Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda 2; Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iqu'l-Muhriqa under verse 8; Tabari in his Tafsir as well as his History; Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 100, page 233. Many other great scholars of your sect have related that the Holy Prophet said: "The likeness of my Ahle Bait is that of the Ark of Noah. He who gets into it is saved; he who turns away from it will be drowned and lost." Imam Muhammad Bin Idris Shafi'i has referred to the authenticity of this hadith in his couplets which Allama Fazil Ajib recorded in his Zakhiratu'l-Ma'al. Imam Shafi'i, who is recognized as one of the distinguished religious scholars of the Sunni sect, admits that our attachment to the purified family of the Prophet is the means of our deliverance because, of the seventy sects of Islam, the sect which follows the descendants of the Prophet is the only one to secure deliverance.

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You said that seeking means to reach Allah is polytheism. If this were true, why did Caliph Umar Bin Khattab seek Allah's help through the descendants of the Prophet? Hafiz: Caliph Umar never did so. Well-Wisher: In times of need Umar sought the help of the descendants of the Prophet, invoked Allah through them, and his wishes were fulfilled. I refer to only two such occasions. Ibn Hajar Makki writes in his Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa, after verse 14 (from The History of Damascus) that in the 17th year of the Hijra people prayed for rain but to no effect. Caliph Umar said that he would pray for rain the next day through the means of approach to Allah. Next morning he went to Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet and said: "Come out so that we may invoke Allah through you for rain." Abbas asked Umar to sit for some time so that the means of approach to Allah could be provided. The Bani Hashim (Ahle Bait) were then informed. Abbas then came out with Ali, Imam Hasan, and Imam Husain. Other Bani Hashim were behind them. Abbas asked Umar that no one else be added to their group. Then they went to the place of prayers where Abbas raised his hands for prayers and said: "O Allah, you created us, and you know about our actions. O Allah, as you were kind to us in the beginning, so be kind to us in the end." Jabir says that their prayers had not ended when clouds appeared and it began to rain. Before they could reach their homes, they were drenched. Bukhari also reports that once during the time of famine Umar Bin Khattab invoked Allah through Abbas Bin Abdu'l-Muttalib and said: "We betake ourselves to our Prophet's uncle with you; so Allah, send down rain." Then it began to rain. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali in his Sharh Nahfu'l-Balagha (Egyptian edition), page 256, writes that Caliph Umar went along with Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, to invoke Allah for rain. In his prayers for rain, Caliph Umar said: "O Allah, we betake ourselves to your Prophet's uncle and of his ancestors and of their remaining respectable men. So guard the position of your Prophet through his uncle. We were guided toward You through the Prophet so that we may seek their help and do repentance." If to seek out the descendants of the Prophet and to call upon them for our needs in the way of Allah is polytheism, then Caliph Umar was the first polytheist. The Ahle-e-Muhammad, from the time of the Prophet to this day, have been the means of approach in our prayers and invocations of Allah. We regard them only as very pious people and the nearest ones to Allah. Therefore, we consider them a means of our approach to Allah. And the best proof for this is our books of invocation prescribed by our infallible Imams. We accept the instructions of our Imams. I have two books with me: Zadu'l-Ma'ad by Allama Majlisi and Hidayatu'z-Za'irin by Sheikh Abbas Qummi, which I present to you for your consideration. (Both Hafiz and the Sheikh studied the books.) They read the Du'a-e-Tawassul (invocation of seeking nearness), and they found that the Prophet's family was part of the invocation. Everywhere they were mentioned as means of approach to Allah. At that time Mulla Abdu'l-Hayy read the whole of Du'a-e-Tawassul, prescribed by the purified Imams and quoted by Muhammad Bin Babawayh-e-Qummi.

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This is an invocation of Allah. Just as Ali has been addressed here, all of the Imams have been addressed in the same manner. The influence of the family of the Prophet is sought to approach Allah. They are addressed in this manner: "O our master and guide! We seek your help to reach Allah. O most respected in the eyes of Allah Almighty: recommend us to Him." The whole family of the Prophet has been addressed in a like manner.


When these invocations were being read, some Sunni gentleman exclaimed with wonder and sorrow at what a great misunderstanding people had created. Well-Wisher asked: "Is there any trace of polytheism in these invocations? Is not Allah's holy name present everywhere? How many of your ignorant and intolerant people have murdered poor Shias believing that they had killed an infidel? The responsibility of these affairs lies squarely on ulema like yourselves. Have you ever heard that a single Shia has ever murdered a Sunni? The fact is that the Shia ulema do not spread poison. They do not create enmity between Shias and Sunnis, and they regard murder as a great sin. In matters of difference of faith between them, they clarify positions through discussions based on knowledge and logic, and let it be known through their talk that the Sunnis are their brothers. "


On the other hand, the deeds of the fanatical Sunni ulema are noteworthy. The followers of Abu Hanifa, Malik Bin Anas, Muhammad Bin Idris, and Ahmad Bin Hanbal, who have significant differences, call the followers of Ali Bin Abu Talib and Imam Ja'far Bin Muhammad polytheists and infidels. A great many learned and pious Shias were martyred on verdicts given by Sunni ulema. Conversely, there is no such example of cruelty on the part of Shia ulema. Your ulema often utter curses on Shias, but you will not find anywhere curses on the Sunnis in the books written by Shia ulema. Hafiz: You are not fair. You are stirring up hatred for nothing. Give a single example of a learned Shia murdered on the verdict of our ulema! Who from our ulema has uttered curses on the Shias? Well-Wisher: If I were to go into the details of the deeds of your ulema or your common people, one meeting would not be long enough. I will refer only to a few examples regarding their deeds so that you may know that I am not stirring up hatred, but revealing facts. If you study the books of your fanatical ulema, you will find sections where they have cursed Shias. For instance, consult the books of Tafsir of Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi. Whenever he had the occasion, e.g., concerning the verses of Wilaya, he repeatedly writes "Curse be on the Rafizis, curse be on the Rafizis!" But our ulema have never written such things against our Sunni brothers. An example of the cruel treatment of your ulema regarding Shia men of learning is the verdict of two great Qazis of Syria (Burhanu'd-Din Maliki and Ibad Bin Jama'at Shafi'i) against one of the great Shia jurists, Abu Abdullah Muhammad Bin Jamalu'd-Din Makki Amili. That great jurist was known in his time for his piety and knowledge of jurisprudence. An example of his scholarship is his book, Lum'a, which he wrote in seven days without having with him any book on jurisprudence except Mukhtasar Nafi'. Moreover, the ulema of the four schools of law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali), were among his pupils. Because of the oppression by the Sunnis, this gentleman often practiced Taqiyya (dissimulation in the face of danger), and did not openly declare his Shia'ism. The great Qazi of Syria, Ibad Bin Jama'at, who nursed a grudge against him, spoke ill of him to the ruler of Syria (Baidmar) and accused him of being a Rafizi and Shia. This learned scholar was arrested. After suffering imprisonment and torture for a year, on the verdict of those two qazis (Ibnu'l-Jama'at and Burhanu'd-Din) he was murdered, and his body hanged on the gallows. Since they declared that a Rafizi and polytheist was on the gallows, the common people stoned the body. Afterward, the body was burned and the ashes scattered. Among the ulema and the pride of Shia jurists in Syria in the 10th century Hijri, was Sheikh Zainu'd-Din Bin Nuru'd-Din Ali Bin Ahmad Amili. He was well known among both friends and foes for his learning and integrity. A prolific author, he kept aloof from the world and wrote 200 books on various subjects. Although he led a secluded life, the Sunni ulema developed animosity towards him, jealous of his popularity among the people. The chief among his opponents was Qazi Sa'ida, who wrote to King Sultan Salim the following complaint: "Verily, there lives in the territory of Syria a man who is an innovator, one who does not belong to any one of the four schools of law." Sultan Salim ordered that this jurist be presented to the court at Istanbul. He was arrested in Masjidu'l-Haram and was kept prisoner in Mecca for forty days. On the sea journey to Istanbul, he was beheaded and his body was thrown into the sea. Only his head was sent to the king. Respected people! I beseech you in the Name of Allah to say whether you have ever heard of such behavior on the part of the Shia ulema towards a Sunni because he did not follow the Shia school of law. What argument can you advance to prove that if a man deviates from any of the four schools of law, he is an infidel and his murder is obligatory? Is it reasonable to follow schools of law which came into being centuries after the Prophet, while those who follow the law which has existed since the time of the Holy Prophet are ordered be murdered?

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For Allah's sake please say whether the four Imams - Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi'i, and Ahmad Bin Hanbal - were alive during the lifetime of the Prophet. Did they obtain the fundamentals of the faith from the Prophet directly? Hafiz: No one ever claimed this to be so. Well-Wisher: Was not the Commander of the Faithful, Ali a constant associate of the Prophet, and was he not declared to be the gate of the City of Knowledge? Hafiz: He certainly was one of the dignified companions of the Prophet, and in some respects he was superior to them all. Well-Wisher: Are we not justified, therefore, in holding that to follow Ali is obligatory? The Prophet himself said that obeying Ali was obeying him and that Ali was the gate of the City of Knowledge? The Prophet also said that whoever wanted to gain knowledge should go to Ali's door. Also, according to the Hadith-e-Thaqalain and the Hadith-e-Safina, which are recognized by both Sunnis and Shias, deviation from the path shown by the descendants of the Prophet will lead to our ruin. Dis-obedience to, or antagonism against, the family of the Prophet, is tantamount to disobedience to the Prophet himself. In spite of all this, the Shia ulema have never shown such intolerance towards even the common Sunnis, not to speak of their ulema. We have always exhorted the Shias that the Sunnis are our brothers in Islam, and we that should remain united. On the other hand, the Sunni ulema have often incited their people, saying that Shias are innovators, Rafizis, Ghalis, or Jews. They say that, since the Shia do not follow one of four Sunni jurists (Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi'i, or Ahmad Bin Hanbal), they are infidels. The fact is that those who follow the Prophet's progeny are rightly guided.

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The Turks, the Khawarizmis, the Uzbegs, and Afghans looted and murdered innocent Shias. Muhammad Amin Khan Uzbeg, known as Khan Khawa, and Abdullah Khan Uzbeg mercilessly murdered and looted Shias and admitted doing so. The Sunni ulema proclaimed that the Shias were infidels and that their lives could be taken according to religious law. The Amirs of Afghanistan acted in like manner. In 1267 A.H. on Ashura (the 10th of Muharram), the Sunnis attacked the Imambara in Qandahar, where the Shias were mourning the murder of the grandson of the Prophet. They brutally murdered many Shias, including children, and plundered their property. For years the Shias led miserable lives and were prohibited from observing their religious rites. On the day of Ashura, a few of them would go into underground halls and secretly mourn Husain's martyrdom and the others who were slaughtered on the plains of Karbala. It was King Amanullah Khan who removed the ban on Shias and treated them kindly.


In the cemetery of Akbarabad (Agra), India, there lies one of the most pious and learned jurists of the Shias, Qazi Seyyed Nurullah Shustari. He was savagely murdered at the age of 70 in 1019 A.H. by King Jahangir, following a verdict from the Sunni ulema that he was a Rafizi. Hafiz: You are attacking us without any reason. I am myself greatly shocked to hear the excessively harsh behavior of ignorant people, but the practices of the Shias, too, were responsible for such events. Well-Wisher: May I know what the Shias did which warranted murder? Hafiz: Every day thousands of people stand before the tombs of the dead and invoke them for assistance. Isn't this practice an example of worshipping the dead? Why do the ulema not object when millions of them put their faces on the ground prostrate in worship of the dead? I wonder at how you still call these things monotheism. As the discussion with Mawlana Hafiz continued, the Hanafi Jurist, Agha Sheikh Abdu-s-Salam, was studying Hidayatu'z-Za'irin. He said with great emphasis, "Look here! (pointing to the book). Your ulema say that when the pilgrims have finished their ziarat (pious visit) in the mausoleums of the Imams, they should offer two units of Namaz-e-Ziarat. Perhaps they do not intend it for the name of Allah; otherwise, what does Namaz-e-Ziarat mean? Is it not polytheism to offer the ritual prayer for the Imam? Pilgrims who stand with their faces towards the tomb and offer prayers are the best proof of their polytheism. This is your authentic book. Can you defend your position? Well-Wisher: You are indulging in childish talk! Have you ever been on such a pilgrimage and seen the pilgrims firsthand? Sheikh: No. Well-Wisher: So how can you say that the pilgrims offer prayers with their faces towards the tomb, and that this prayer of Ziarat is a sign of polytheism? Sheikh: This book says that they should offer Namaz-e-Ziarat for the Imam. Well-Wisher: Let me have a look at it. Let me read the instructions concerning Ziarat, until we reach the subject of prayer, which is the point of your objection. Whenever you find any trace of polytheism, please point it out. And if you find signs of monotheism from top to bottom, do not feel sorry for that, but say that you were under a misunderstanding. The book is here before you.

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The instructions are as follows: "When the pilgrim reaches the ditch of Kufa, he stands there and recites the following: 'Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, the Possessor of Greatness, Sublimity, and Eminence. Allah is Most Great, the Possessor of Greatness, Holiness, Glory and Grace. Allah is Most Great above that which I fear. Allah is Most Great. He is my Support; on Him do I rely and in Him lies my hope, and towards Him I turn.' When the pilgrim reaches the Gate of Najaf, he should recite: 'Praise be to Allah, who guided us to this. We would not have been guided if Allah had not guided us.' When he reaches the Gate of the Sacred Courtyard, he should recite, after praising Allah: 'I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, the One. He has no partner. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet. He brought us truth from Allah. I also bear witness that Ali is a servant of Allah and brother of the Prophet of Allah. Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great. There is no god except Allah, and Allah is Most Great. All praise is due to Allah for His guidance and His support to respond to what He has revealed on the way to Him.' When the pilgrim reaches the gate of the mausoleum, he should recite: 'I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One. He has no partner with Him....' until the end. When, after having asked permission of Allah, the Prophet, and the Imams, the pilgrim reaches the inside of the mausoleum, he recites various Ziarats which contain salutations to the Holy Prophet and the Commander of the Faithful. After Ziarat, he offers six rak'ats of ritual prayer ù two rak'ats for the Commander of the Faithful and two rak'ats each for the Prophets Adam and Noah, who are buried in the same precincts."

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Is the performance of the ritual prayer as an offering for the souls of parents and other believers not enjoined upon us? Are these injunctions polytheism? It is for humanity's sake also that when a man goes to see a friend he gives him some present. There is a Chapter in the books of both sects in which the Prophet enjoins us to offer presents to the believers. So when a pilgrim reaches the tomb of his beloved master and knows that the thing which he loved most was the prayer, he offers two rak'ats of prayer in his approach to Allah and offers the prayer as a present to the holy soul of the master. Is this polytheism? After having read the principles underlying the prayer, read also the invocation after the prayer, so that all your doubts may be removed.


The practice of the invocation is that after completion of the prayer at the head of the tomb of the buried Imam, with our faces towards the Ka'ba (not towards the tomb), we recite the following invocation: "O Allah! I have made a present of this prayer to my leader and master, your Prophet and the brother of your Prophet, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali Bin Abu Talib. O Allah, send your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny. Accept these two rak'ats of prayer from me and recompense me, as you would recompense the doers of good deeds. O Allah! I offered this prayer for Your sake and bowed down before You and prostrated in obeisance to You. You are One Who has no partner. It is not permissible to offer prayer or to bow down or prostrate before any but You. You are Allah, the Great, and there is no god except You." Respected gentlemen! For Allah's sake, be fair. From the time a pilgrim sets his foot on the soil of Najaf, until after he offers his Namaz-e-Ziarat, he is busy remembering Allah. Sheikh: It is strange that do you not see here written: "Kiss the doorstep and enter the haram (interior) of the mausoleum." We have heard that when the pilgrims reach the doors of the mausoleum of their Imams, they prostrate in obeisance. Is this prostration not for Ali? Is it not polytheism when we prostrate before someone other than Allah? Well-Wisher: If I were you, I would not say a word. I would keep quiet until the last meeting of this debate and listen to the logic of my responses. But I will tell you briefly once more that kissing the threshold or the floor of the mausoleums of the Imams is not polytheism. You have misinterpreted the word "kissing" and consider it equivalent to prostration. When you read the book in our presence and make such radical changes, I wonder how you will slander us when you are alone addressing the uninformed masses. The instructions contained in this book and in all other books regarding invocations and places of Ziarat are that the pilgrim, by way of showing respect, should kiss the threshold, not prostrate. How can you consider kissing and prostration the same thing? And, where have you seen, either in the Holy Qur'an or in any hadith, that kissing the threshold of the mausoleums of a prophet or an Imam is prohibited? So if you have no reasonable reply to this question, you should not waste our time. And, as you say, you have "heard" that the pilgrims prostrate in obeisance. You have not actually seen this. The Qur'an says: "O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then are sorry for what you have done." (49:6) According to this injunction of the Holy Qur'an, we should not rely on the statement of a wicked person. We should make strenuous efforts to know the truth, even undertake journeys if necessary in order to ascertain the truth of a report firsthand. When I was in Baghdad, I went to the tombs of Abu Hanifa and Sheikh Abdu'l-Qadir Jilani and saw what the people did. It was more serious than what you described regarding Shia practices, but I never talked about it. When I reached the tomb of Abu Hanifa at Mu'azza'm, I found a group of Sunnis repeatedly kissing the floor, instead of the threshold, and rolling on the ground. But since they did not appear to be malicious and because I had no grounds for condemning them, I never mentioned the incident to anyone. I understood that they were doing so out of love, not as worship. Respected sir! Certainly no pious Shia ever prostrated for anyone but Allah. If, however, we fall down on the ground in a manner similar to prostration and rub our foreheads on it (without intention of worship), this is insignificant. To bow down before a respected person without considering him Allah or to fall down on the ground and rub one's face on it, is not polytheism. It is the result of intense love. Sheikh: How is that when we fall down on the ground and put our forehead on it, that this action would not amount to prostration? Well-Wisher: Prostration depends on intention, and intention is a matter of the heart. Only Allah knows our heart's intentions. For example, we may see people lying down on the ground in the manner of ritual prostration. It is true that prostration to anyone but Allah is not proper, even though it be without any intention. However, since we are not aware of their heart's intention, we cannot call it ritual prostration.

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Therefore, prostration in a manner similar to the ritual prostration (but without its intention), to show reverence to someone is not polytheism. For example, the Prophet Joseph's brothers prostrated before him. At that time, two Prophets, Jacob and Joseph, were present, but they did not forbid them to do so. Allah says in the Chapter of Joseph in the Holy Qur'an. "And he raised his parents upon the throne, and they fell down in prostration before him, and he said: 'O my father, this is the significance of my vision of old; my Lord has indeed made it to be true....'" (12:100) Moreover, the Holy Qur'an says in several places that the Angels performed the prostration before the Prophet Adam. So if prostration is polytheism, then the brothers of the Prophet Joseph and the angels of Allah were all polytheists. Only the cursed Iblis (Satan) was a monotheist!


Now I want to reply to the respected Hafiz, who said that invocation before the tombs of the Holy Imams is tantamount to worshipping the dead. You ask why the Shia seek help at the tombs of the Imams. Perhaps, you believe that there is no life after death and say, "What is dead is annihilated." Allah describes in the Holy Qur'an this mistaken point of view, saying: "There is naught but our life in this world; we die and we live and we shall not be raised again." (23:37) As you all know, those who believe in Allah know that there is life after death. When a man dies, his body becomes lifeless, but, unlike the animals, his soul and sense of speech remain with similar, but purer bodies, and will be blessed or chastised in the transitory state (barzakh) or purgatory. Martyrs and those killed in the way of Allah enjoy special blessings. This has been narrated in the Holy Qur'an. "And reckon not that those who are killed in Allah's way to be dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided with sustenance from their Lord, rejoicing in what Allah has given them of His grace, and they rejoice for the same of those who, (being left) behind them, have not yet joined them, that they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve." (3:169-170) I focus on the words, "They are alive (and) are provided with sustenance from their Lord...." (3:169) They reply to us, but since our hearing is blocked by the veils of the material world, we do not hear their voices. Accordingly, in the salutation (ziarat) to Imam Husain, we say, "I bear witness that you hear what I say and that you reply." Have you read sermon No. 85 of Nahju'l-Balagha? The progeny of the Prophet are introduced as follows: "O, people, this is a saying of the Prophet: 'He who dies from among us is not dead, and he who decays (after dying) from among us does not really decay.'" (Nahju'l-Balagha, English translation, Volume 1, page 130, published by Peer Muhammad Ebrahim Trust, Karachi.) That is, in the realm of light and spirituality, the Ahle Bait live and remain imperishable. Accordingly, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali and Sheikh Muhammad Abduh, the famous mufti of Egypt, commenting on the above, say that the descendants of the Holy Prophet are not dead in the way others are. So when we stand before the tombs of the Imams, we do not stand before the dead, and we do not address the dead. We stand before the living and speak to the living. Hence, we are not worshippers of the dead. We worship Allah. Don't you believe that Ali, Imam Husain, and the martyrs of Badr, Hunain, Uhud, and Karbala sacrificed their lives in the way of Allah for the sake of truth? Didn't they face the tyranny of the Quraish, the Bani Umayya, Yazid, and his followers, whose aim was to obliterate the religion? Just as the firmness of the companions of the Prophet and the sacrifices of the martyrs of Badr, Hunain, and Uhud led to the defeat of infidelity, in the same way Imam Husain's firm resolve to sacrifice his life strengthened Islam. If the Imam had not stood firm against evil forces, the damned Yazid would have destroyed Islam and would have infused his infidelity into the Muslim community. Sheikh: It is surprising that you call the caliph of the Muslims, Yazid Bin Mu'awiya, an unbeliever. You should know that Mu'awiya Bin Abu Sufyan, appointed him caliph. The second caliph, Umar Bin Khattab, and the third caliph, Uthman the oppressed, appointed Mu'awiya Amir of Syria. Because of their ability and talent, people sincerely accepted them as caliphs. So your reference to the caliphs of the Muslims as unbelievers means that you have insulted not only all the Muslims who accepted them as caliphs but you have also insulted the previous caliphs, who sanction their being caliph or Amir. Of course they made a mistake, a pardonable mistake, which occurred during their caliphate. The Prophet's grandson, Imam Husain, was murdered, but this was forgiven. Since they repented, Allah, the Merciful, excused them. Imam Ghazali and Damiri have elaborately dealt with this point in their books and have proven the purity of Caliph Yazid. Well-Wisher: I never expected that your fanaticism would go so far as to defend the cause of damned Yazid. You say that since their predecessors thought it fit to make them Amir or ruler, that all Muslims should have accepted them. This statement makes no sense. We say that a caliph should be pure (absolutely free from all sin) and divinely commissioned, so that we may not have to endure oppression. You say that Ghazali and Damiri have defended the position of Yazid. But they were as fanatical as you are. No sensible person would every try to defend the actions of the cursed Yazid. You say that Yazid committed a "mistake" in murdering Imam Husain. But to murder the dearest son of the Prophet, along with 72 other people, including small children and old men, and to take the pious daughters of the Prophet prisoner bareheaded and barefaced, was not a mere "mistake." It was an unspeakable atrocity. Moreover, his crimes were not confined to this gruesome slaughter alone. There are many other instances of his infidelity.

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Among the facts proving Yazid's infidelity are his own poetic couplets. For instance, he writes: "If drinking (wine) is prohibited in the religion of Muhammad, let it be so; I will accept Christianity." "It is this world alone for us. There is no other world. We should not be deprived of the pleasures of this world." These couplets appear in the collection of his poetical works, and Abu'l-Faraj Bin Jauzi has recorded them in his Radd Ala'l-Muta'asibu'l-Anid. Again he says: "One who frightens us with the story of doomsday, let him do so. These are false things which deprive us of all the pleasures of sound and music." Sibt Ibn Jauzi writes in his Tadhkira, page 148, that when the descendants of the Prophet were brought as captives to Syria, Yazid was sitting in the second story of his palace. He recited the two following couplets: "When the camel litters carrying prisoners appeared, a crow cawed (a bad omen in Arabia). I said: O crow, whether you caw or not, I have taken vengeance on the Prophet." "Vengeance" refers to the fact that his elders and near relatives were killed in the battles of Badr, Uhud, and Hunain. He avenged their deaths by killing the sons of the Prophet. Another proof of his infidelity is that when he had a party to celebrate Husain's martyrdom, he recited the irreligious couplets of Abdullah Bin Uzza Ba'ri. Sibt Ibn Jauzi, Abu Raihan, and others have written that Yazid wished for the presence of his ancestors, who were all infidels, and were killed in the battle of Badr on the order of the Prophet. Yazid said: "I wish those of my clan who were killed at Badr, and those who had seen the people of the Khazraj clan wailing (in the battle of Uhud) on account of lancet wounds, were here. They would have hailed me with loud cries and said: 'O Yazid, may your hands never be paralyzed' because I have killed the chiefs of his (the Prophet's) clan. I did so as revenge for Badr, which has now been completed. The Bani Hashim only played a game with government. There has come no message from Allah, nor was anything revealed. I would not belong to the Khandaq family if I had not taken vengeance on the descendants of the Prophet. We avenged the murders of Ali by killing his son, a horseman and a brave lion."

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Most of your ulema regard Yazid as an infidel. Even Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and many other great ulema of your sect suggest that curses on him should be recited. Abdu'r-Rahman Abu'l-Faraj Bin Jauzi has written a book on this subject, Kitabu'l-Radd Ala'l-Muta'asibu'l-Anidu'l-Mani'an La'n-e-Yazid La'natullah. Only a few of the fanatical ulema of your sect, like Ghazali, have shown partiality to Yazid and have fabricated ludicrous objections in defense of him. However, the majority of your ulema have noted his irreligious, tyrannical behavior. Muslim states that as caliph, Yazid attempted to do away with religion. Mas'udi, in his Muruju'z-Dhahab, Volume II, says that the character of Yazid was like that of Pharaoh, but that Pharaoh was more just to his subjects than Yazid was. Yazid's rule brought disgrace on the fair name of Islam. His wickedness included drinking wine, murdering the Prophet's son, cursing the Prophet's successor, Ali, demolishing the House of Allah (Masjidu'l-Haram), and mass killings. He committed countless transgressions against divine law, sins which are unforgivable. Nawab: How was Yazid responsible for mass killings? Well-Wisher: Many historians have related this fact. Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, page 63, says that some of the people of Medina went to Syria in 62 A.H. When they learned of the sinful deeds of Yazid, they returned to Medina, broke their allegiance to him, cursed him, and turned out his Governor, Uthman Bin Abi Sufyan. Abdullah Bin Hanzala (Ghusilu'l-Mala'ikat) said: "O people, we did not revolt against Yazid until we verified that he was an irreligious man. He killed the descendants of the Prophet, illegally associates with mothers, daughters, and sisters, drinks wine, and does not offer the ritual prayer." When this news reached Yazid, he sent a large army of Syrians under Muslim Bin 'uqba against the people of Medina. The slaughter of Muslims continued for three days. Yazid's forces killed 700 noblemen of the Quraish, Muhajirs, and Ansars, and 10,000 common people. I am ashamed to say how the Muslims were humiliated. I will quote only one passage of Tadhkira, page 163, by Sibt Ibn Jauzi, reported by Abu'l-Hasan Mada'an: "After the mass slaughter of the people of Medina, 1,000 unmarried women gave birth to children."

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Sheikh: These accounts indicate his sins. Sins are forgivable and may be condoned, and Yazid did show repentance. Allah, who is the Forgiver of sins, forgave him. So why do you always curse him and call him wicked? Well-Wisher: Some lawyers go on arguing a client's case until the last moment because they have received fees from them, even though they know well the merits of the case. But I fail to understand why you are so interested in defending Yazid, in the face of his murders of Allah's Apostles and his slaughter of the people of Medina. Moreover, your assertion that he showed repentance is not proven. Don't his denials of the main principles of Islam, the Day of Resurrection, the revelation, and prophethood merit our condemnation? Hasn't Allah cursed the oppressors? If these arguments are not sufficient for the advocates of Yazid Bin Mu'awiya, I will, with your permission, quote two hadith from your distinguished ulema. Bukhari and Muslim in the Sahih, Allama Samhudi in Ta'rikhu'l-Medina, Abu'l-Faraj Bin Jauzi in Kitabu'r-Radd Ala'l-Muta'asibu'l-Anid, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira-e-Khawasu'l-Umma, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad and others quote the Holy Prophet as saying: "If anyone frightens and oppresses the people of Medina, Allah will frighten him (i.e., on the Day of Judgement). He will be cursed by Allah, by the angels, and by all humanity. And on the Day of Judgement, Allah will not accept any of his deeds." The Prophet also said: "Curse be on him who frightens my city (the people of Medina)." Didn't this mass slaughter frighten the people of Medina? If it did, then acknowledge along with the Prophet, the angels, and all the people that that wicked malefactor was cursed and will go on being cursed until the Day of Judgement. The majority of your ulema have cursed Yazid. Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Amir Shabrawi Shafi'i in Kitabu'l-Ittihaf be Hubbi'l-Ashraf Raji' ba La'n-e-Yazid, page 20, writes that when the name of Yazid was mentioned before Mulla Sa'd Taftazani, he said: "Curse be on him and on his companions and helpers." Allama Samhudi in his Jawahiru'l-Iqdain, is reported to have said: "The ulema in general have concurred that it is permitted to curse him who murdered Imam Husain, or who ordered him to be murdered, or who sanctioned his murder, or who agreed to his murder." Ibn Jauzi, Abu Ya'la, and Salih Bin Ahmad, arguing from the verses of the Holy Qur'an write that, "It is proven that cursing Yazid is permissible. It is the duty of all Muslims that they should know the rights that Imam Husain has over them, and how, with the strength of his suffering oppression and tyranny, he watered the tree of Islam with his own blood and the blood of his family. Otherwise, that blessed tree might have died because of the tyranny of the Bani Umayya. It was Husain who gave Islam a new life." I regret that, instead of recognizing the services that these holy people rendered for Islam, you raise objections about pilgrims who visit their tombs and call them worshippers of the dead. We often read that in the central places of countries, like Paris, London, Berlin, and Washington there are tombs honoring the "unknown soldier." It is said that, suffering the tyranny of the enemy and in defense of his country, he sacrificed his life. But there was no mark on his body or clothes to indicate his family or city. Because he gave his life in defense of his country, even though he was unknown, he is worthy of respect. When a king or any prominent personality visits such cities, he visits the grave of the unknown soldier and places wreaths of flowers on it. An unknown soldier receives much respect, but I regret that, instead of respecting the pilgrims who visit the tombs of learned, pious Muslims, we criticize them. Some of them knew the entire Qur'an by heart. They sacrificed their lives in the defense of Islam. These people include the trustees of Allah, the Holy Prophet, and descendants of the holy Prophet.

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Some Muslims have actually demolished such tombs and made tea on the chests placed over the graves! Such a tragedy occurred in 1216 A.H. on the Eidi'l-Ghadir, when most of the residents of Karbala go to Najaf for pilgrimage. The Wahhabis of Najaf attacked Karbala and murdered the Shias. They demolished the tombs of those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam. About 5,000 residents of Karbala, including the ulema, the elderly, women, children, were slaughtered. The treasury of Imam Husain was looted and precious stores, gold lamps, and valuable carpets were taken. The precious chest above the tomb was burned and tea was made on it. Many people were taken away as prisoners. Woe be to such Muslims! How regrettable it is that in all civilized countries the tombs of kings, intellectuals, and even unknown soldiers are respected, but Muslims, who are expected to show a better sense of the importance of the preservation of the tombs of those who are their pride, plunder and destroy them like savages. In Mecca and Medina the Wahabis destroyed the tombs of the martyrs of Uhud, including that of Hamza, the ancestors of the holy Prophet, like Abdu'l-Muttalib, Abdullah, and others. They also destroyed the tombs of the family of the Prophet, his sons, like Imam Hasan, Imam Zainu'l-Abidin, Imam Muhammad Baqir, Imam Ja'far Sadiq, Bibi Fatima, daughter of the Holy Prophet, and many others of the Bani Hashim and distinguished ulema. Still they call themselves Muslims. Of course they construct huge mausoleums for their own great men and kings. The fact is that the ulema of both sects have quoted many hadith inviting us to visit the graves of the faithful, so that the tombs may be saved from destruction. The Holy Prophet himself visited the graves of the faithful and invoked Allah for their deliverance.

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Do you think that the exalted family of the Prophet who gave their lives in the way of religion are martyrs? If you say they are not martyrs, what is your argument? If they are martyrs, how can you call them "dead?" The Holy Qur'an states: "They are alive (and) are provided with sustenance from their Lord." (3:169) So according to the Holy Qur'an and the hadith, those holy people are alive. Hence, we are not worshippers of the dead. We do not salute the dead, we praise the living. And no Shia, educated or uneducated, regards them as the sole remover of his difficulties. He regards them as pious servants of Allah and a means of approach to Allah. We place our desires before the righteous Imams so that they may invoke Allah to show kindness to us. When we say, "O Ali, help me," " Husain, help me," it is just like a man who wants to approach the king. He may go to the prime minister and ask him for help. He certainly does not consider the prime minister of the king as the final resort for removal of his difficulties. His only aim is to approach the king through him since, by virtue of his position, he can easily approach the king. The Shias do not regard the descendants of the Prophet as partners in divine actions; they consider them as his pious servants.

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Since they are the representatives of Almighty Allah, they submit the desires of the needy to Him. If the request is worthy, He accepts it. Otherwise, its recompense is given in the hereafter. One point should not be allowed to remain unexplained: the Shias regard the position of the faultless Imams as higher than that of the other martyrs of Islam. Hafiz: This statement requires an explanation. What is the difference between your Imams and all other Imams except that they are related to the Prophet? Well-Wisher: If you look at the position of the Imamate, you will see a clear contrast between the conception of the Imamate held by Shias and Sunnis.




FOURTH SESSION (Sunday night, 2nd Rajab 1345 A.H.) Well-Wisher: You good people are aware that the word "Imam" has many meanings. Literally

it means "leader." Imam-e-Jama'at means "one who leads the congregational prayers." He may also be the leader of men in political or spiritual matters. Imam-e-Jum'a means "one who leads the Jum'a prayers." Therefore, the Sunnis, followers of the four schools of law, call their leaders "Imams," such as Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'i, and Imam Hanbal. These theologians and jurists are their leaders in religious matters, and they have set forth religious laws based on their research or on their own speculation regarding the lawfulness of actions. Accordingly, when we study the books of jurisprudence of the four Imams, we find many differences among them concerning the fundamentals of faith and the articles of the practice of the faith. Similarly, all sects have such leaders, and among the Shias the ulema and jurists hold the same position. With the disappearance of our living Imam of the Age, they issue legal pronouncements based on their knowledge of the Holy Qur'an, the authentic sayings of the Prophet, and the apostolic Imams. But we do not call them Imams because the Imamate belongs exclusively to the twelve successors, descendants of the Prophet. There is another difference. The Sunnis later closed the door of ijtihad (striving to interpret the law). From the fifth century A.H. when, by order of the king, the opinions formulated by the ulema and jurists were collected, the so-called Imamate was confined to the four Imams, and the four schools of law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali) were established. People were forced to follow one of them, as is the practice at the present time. It is not known on what grounds following one Imam is preferable. What characteristics does the Imam of the Hanafis possess which the Imam of Malikis does not? What characteristics does the Imam of the Shafi'is possess which the Imam of Hanbalis does not? And if the Islamic world is forced to confine itself to following one of the four schools, then the progress of the Muslim community is totally blocked, even though Islam teaches us that we should move forward with the times. To do this, we need the guidance of the ulema. There are many matters in which we should not follow the verdict of a deceased mujtahid (from jihad, to strive, meaning in this case, one who strives to interpret and to formulate religious practice and law, as ijtihad refers to the process of striving) but should turn to the living mujtahid for guidance. Many mujtahids were born later among you who were of higher rank in learning than those four "Imams." I do not know why preference is given to the latter so that none but they may be followed and the right of others ignored. In Shia jurisprudence, mujtahids in every age until the appearance of the Holy Imam of our time have the right to practice. In regard to new problems, we cannot follow the verdict of a deceased mujtahid.

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It is strange that you call the Shias innovators and worshippers of the dead. They follow the injunctions of the twelve Imams, the descendants of the Prophet. However, it is not known on what grounds you attempt to force Muslims to follow the Ash'aris or Mu'tazalis regarding the fundamentals (usul) and one of the four Imams in the articles of the practice (furu') of the faith. Those who do not follow them are called Rafizis. Since Abu'l-Hasan Ash'ari, Abu Hanifa, Maliki Bin Anas Muhammad Bin Idris Shafi'i, and Ahmad Bin Hanbal were like many other Muslim ulema and jurists, and since there is no injunction from the Holy Prophet to follow them, the restriction to follow them alone is an innovation. If I were to make this charge, what would you say in reply? Hafiz: Since the four Imams possessed a high degree of devotion to Allah, piety, uprightness, and integrity, along with a vast knowledge of jurisprudence, it has become necessary for us to follow them. Well-Wisher: We are not compelled by logic to confine ourselves to follow them alone. Many others of your ulema possessed these same qualities. The restriction to follow them alone is an insult to other ulema of equal merit. We cannot be forced to follow any one person or persons without an authoritative instruction from the Holy Prophet. There is no such authorization by the Prophet about your four Imams. So how can you restrict religion to these four schools of law?

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Only a few nights ago you called the Shia sect "political," and said that since it did not exist during the Prophet's time - that it came into being during Uthman's caliphate - it was unlawful to follow it. The night before last we proved that Shia'ism was founded in the time of the Prophet on his own instructions. The chief of the Shias, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, was brought up and trained by the Prophet from early childhood and received his religious knowledge from him. According to the records in your own authentic books, the Holy Prophet called him the Gate of Knowledge. He explicitly said: "Obedience to Ali is obedience to me, and disobedience to Ali is disobedience to me." In a gathering of 70,000 people, he appointed him Amir and caliph and ordered all Muslims, including Umar and Abu Bakr, to pay allegiance to him. But it is not known how your four schools of law came to be established, nor which of the four Imams saw the Prophet nor whether any authorization has been reported from the Prophet about them so as to explain why Muslims should be forced to follow them. Without any compelling reason you follow your elders and offer nothing to authorize their Imamate except that they were great mujtahids, men of learning and piety. But, if these qualities are present to the highest degree in the progeny of the Prophet, then isn't it obligatory for us to follow them? Are these schools of law, which have no link with the Prophet, innovations, or is that sect founded by the Prophet and led by his descendant an innovation? In the same way, there are the other eleven Imams about whom there are separate hadith showing that they are the equals of the Holy Qur'an. In the Hadith-e-Thaqalain it is clearly stated that "Whoever is attached to these two is rescued, and whosoever stays away from them is lost." In the Hadith-e-Safina the Prophet said: "Whosoever keeps aloof from them is drowned and lost." Ibn Hajar in Sawa'iq (Bab-e-Wasiyyatu'n-Nabi, page 135), quotes a hadith from the Prophet saying that: "The Qur'an and my progeny are my Trusts; if you keep yourselves attached to these two, never shall you go astray." In support of this, Ibn Hajar quotes another hadith from the Prophet about the Holy Qur'an and his purified progeny: "Do not go beyond the bounds of the Qur'an and my progeny; do not neglect them. Otherwise, you will be destroyed. And do not teach my descendants since they know more than you do." After this, Ibn Hajar comments that the above hadith proves that the descendants of the Prophet are superior to all others in knowledge and in discharging religious responsibilities.

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It is, however, astonishing that, knowing that the progeny of the Prophet are superior to all others, the Sunnis follow Abu'l-Hasan Ash'ari in the fundamentals of Islam and the four Imams in the articles of practice of the faith. To follow such a course is due to fanaticism and arrogance. And even if we suppose what you say is true, that your four Imams are worthy of your allegiance because they were learned and pious, then why has each of them accused the other of infidelity? Hafiz: You are very unkind. You say whatever comes to mind. You malign our Imams. This statement is a lie. If anything has been said against them, it is from the Shia ulema. From our side nothing has been said against them. We have shown them respect. Well-Wisher: You apparently haven't read your ulema's books. Your own distinguished ulema have written books concerning their rejection. Even the four Imams have charged one another with violating divine laws. Hafiz: Who are those ulema? What are their statements? Well-Wisher: The companions of Abu Hanifa, Ibn Hajar (Ali Bin Ahmad Andalusi, who died in 456 A.H.), and others have always censured Imam Malik and Muhammad Bin Idris Shafi'i. Similarly, the companions of Imam Shafi'i, like Imamu'l- Haramain, Imam Ghazali and others have condemned Abu Hanifa and Malik. Let me ask you something: what sort of people were Imam Shafi'i, Abu Hamid Muhammad Bin Muhammad Ghazali, and Jarullah Zamakhshari? Hafiz: They were great jurists, learned scholars, pious men, and our Imams.

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Well-Wisher: Imam Shafi'i said: "There never was born a more damned person in Islam than Abu Hanifa." He also said: "I looked into the books of the companions of Abu Hanifa, and I found in them 130 pages containing matter in opposition to the Holy Qur'an and the Sunna." Abu Hamid Ghazali in his book Manqul fi Ilmi'l-Usul says: "In fact Abu Hanifa distorted the religious code, made its way doubtful, changed its arrangement, and intermingled the laws in such a way that the code prescribed by the Holy Prophet was totally disfigured. One who does so deliberately and considers it lawful is an infidel. One who does it knowing it to be unlawful is a sinner." According to this great scholar, Abu Hanifa was either an infidel or a sinner. Many other books condemn Abu Hanifa. Jarullah Zamakhshari, the author of Tafsir-e-Kashshaf and one of your pious ulema, writes in Rabiu'l-Abrar that Yusuf Bin Asbat said: "Abu Hanifa rejected at least 400 hadith of the Prophet of Islam." Yusuf remarked that "Abu Hanifa said: 'Had the Prophet of Islam known me, he would have accepted many of my sayings.'" Your own ulema have made similar criticisms of Abu Hanifa and the other three Imams. They can be found in Ghazali's Mutahawwal, Shafi'i's Nuqtu'sh-Sharifa, Zamakhshari's Rabiu'l-Abrar, and Ibn Jauzi's Muntazim. Imam Ghazali says in his Mutahawwal, "There are many mistakes in Abu Hanifa's work. He had no knowledge of etymology, grammar, or hadith." He also writes, "Since he had no knowledge of hadith, he relied on his own conjecture. The first being who acted on conjecture was Satan." Ibn Jauzi writes in his Muntazim, "All the ulema are united in condemning Abu Hanifa. There are three categories of such critics: one group holds that his faith in the fundamentals of Islam was uncertain; another says that he lacked a strong memory and could not remember hadith; a third believes that he acted on conjecture and that his opinion was always at variance with the true hadith." Your own ulema have criticized your Imams. The Shia ulema have not attributed anything to them except what your own ulema have said about them. On the other hand, there is no difference of opinion among the Shia ulema concerning the position of the twelve Imams. We regard the holy imams as the pupils of the same teaching. These Imams - all of them - acted according to divine laws which the last of the Prophets gave them. They never acted on conjecture or approved of innovations. What they said or did agreed with the sayings of the Prophet. Hence, there was no difference among them.

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According to the definition given by the ulema, the Imamate or Vicegerency of Allah, is one of the fundamentals of Islam. We believe that the Imamate is the Vicegerency of Allah for all of creation and the Khilafat-e-Rasul (successors of the Prophet) for this world and the hereafter. Therefore, it is obligatory for all mankind to follow its tenants in all matters, temporal as well as spiritual. Sheikh: It would be better if you did not declare categorically that the Imamate is included in the fundamentals of the faith, since the great ulema of Islam deny its inclusion. It is included in the articles of the practice of the faith. Your ulema have made it a part of the fundamentals. Well-Wisher: My statement is not confined to the Imamate of the Shias. Even your great ulema have the same belief. One of them is your famous commentator Qazi Baidhawi, who says in his Minhaju'l-Usul in connection with the discussion on narrations of hadith, "The Imamate is one of the fundamental principles of the faith, whose denial and opposition leads to infidelity and innovation." Mulla Ali Qushachi says in Sharh-e-Tajrid, "The Imamate is the general vicegerent of Allah for both the affairs of this world and religion, like the caliphate of the Prophet." And Qazi Ruzbahan, one of the most fanatical of your ulema, points to the same meaning. He says: "The Imamate, according to the followers of Abu'l-Hasan Ash'ari, is the vicegerency of the Prophet of Islam for establishing the faith and safeguarding the interests of the Muslim community. All the followers are bound in duty to comply with its dictates. Had the Imamate not been a part of the articles of the practice of the faith, the Prophet would not have said that 'Whosoever dies not knowing the Imam of his age, dies the death of ignorance.'" This has been quoted by your distinguished ulema, like Hamidi in Jam'i-Bainu's-Sahihain and Mulla As'ad Taftazani in Sharhe Aqa'id-e-Nasafi. Not knowing a single article of the practice of the faith would not be equivalent to ignorance stated by Baidhawi about not knowing the fundamentals, namely that ignorance of them is the cause of infidelity. Therefore, the Imamate is one of the fundamentals of the faith and is the completing stage of prophethood. Hence, there is a vast difference between the concept of our Imamate and those interpreted by you. You call your ulema Imams, such as Imam Azam, and Imam Maliki. But this is in the verbal sense. We also use the terms Imam-e-Juma'a, Imam-e-Jama'at. So there may be hundreds of Imams at one time, but in the technical sense in which we use the word "Imam," it means vicegerency of Allah. In this sense there is only one Imam at one time. The noble qualities of knowledge, magnanimity, valor, devotion to Allah, and piety have been perfected in him. He surpasses humanity in all merits and occupies a state of infallibility. The world shall not be without such an Imam until the Day of Judgement. An Imam of such excellence is at the highest stage of spiritual attainment. Such an Imam is divinely commissioned and is appointed by the Holy Prophet. He surpasses all creation, including the prophets of the past. Hafiz: On the one hand you condemn the Ghalis, and on the other hand, you yourself unduly praise the Imams and consider their position higher than that of the prophets. Common sense denies this, and the Holy Qur'an has also declared that the prophets are placed at the highest rank. Their position lies between Divine Self-Existence and the possible. Since your assertion is not supported by reason it cannot be accepted.

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Well-Wisher: You have not yet asked on what grounds I have made this statement, and therefore you say it is without reason. The best proof for my statement is the Holy Qur'an, which, narrating the life of the Prophet Abraham, says that, after giving him three tests (of life, wealth, and sons), Allah intended to make his rank more exalted. Since prophethood and the title of Khalil (Friend) did not apparently warrant a higher rank, the office of Imamate was the only office of a higher order to which even a Prophet of Allah could be entrusted. The Holy Qur'an says: "And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: 'Surely I will make you an Imam of men.' Abraham said: 'And of my offspring?' 'My covenant does not include the unjust,' He said." (2:124) This verse, which indicates the position of the Imamate, also proves that the rank of the Imamate is superior to that of prophethood, since the position of the Prophet Abraham was raised from prophethood to the Imamate. Hafiz: This means, according to your reasoning, that Ali's position was superior to that of the last Prophet. This is what the Ghalis believed, as you have yourself admitted.


Well-Wisher: I do not mean what you have concluded. As you know, there is a great difference between general prophethood and special prophethood. The rank of the Imamate is higher than the rank of general prophethood, but lower than special prophethood. The last Prophet is the highest stage of special prophethood. Nawab: Excuse my interruption. Weren't all the prophets sent by Allah? They are undoubtedly of the same rank. The Holy Qur'an says: "We do not differentiate between any of the prophets." (2:285) Then why have you differentiated between them and divided prophethood into two categories, general and special? WISHER: Of course this verse is true in its proper context. That is, so far as achieving the aim of prophethood is concerned (which means teaching the people about existence of Allah, the Day of Judgement, and the training of their minds), all the prophets from Adam to the last of the prophets, are equal. But they differ in their qualities, achievements, and rank.

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Is a prophet who was sent to guide 1,000 people equal to one who sent to guide 30,000 people, or to one sent to guide all of humanity? Let's take an example. Is the teacher of first-grade students equal to a teacher of fourth-grade students? Are the teachers of higher classes equal to professors or university teachers? All belong to the same administration and work under the same general program, their aim being to educate students. Yet, in view of the teacher's knowledge, they are not equal. Each is different from the other according to his learning, ability, and achievement. From the point of view of the aim of prophethood, all the prophets of Allah are equal. However, because of differences in rank and knowledge, they are different. The Holy Qur'an says: "We have made some of these Apostles to excel the others; among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank." (2:253) Your own Jarullah Zamakhshari says in his Tafsir-e-Kushshaf that the above verse means that our Prophet was superior in rank to all others because of his special merits, the most important of which was that he was the last of the prophets. Nawab: I am glad you solved this problem, but I have another question, though it is somewhat irrelevant. Please tell us briefly the main characteristics of special prophethood. Well-Wisher: There are many qualities peculiar to special prophethood, and there are innumerable reasons proving how one prophet of all of them is the special prophet of Allah. In fact, that stage concludes the cycle of prophethood. But these sessions are not arranged to prove the prophethood of Allah for Muslims. If we were to discuss this topic fully, we would drift from the topic of the Imamate. I will, however, briefly discuss the point.

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The perfection of humanity lies in the perfection of the soul. Moral and spiritual perfection cannot be attained without purifying the soul. This purification is impossible unless one is guided by the power of wisdom. One is then able to rise higher and higher with the force of knowledge and right action until he reaches the acme of humanity, as has been explained by Ali. He said: "Man has been created with the power of speech, which is the essence of humanity. If speech is adorned with knowledge and action, it resembles the existence of the ethereal realm, which is the origin of man's creation.When his speech reaches the place of temperance and is cleared of all physical matter, it becomes one with the ethereal realm. Then it leaves the animal world and reaches the highest stage of humanity." Man's power of articulation renders him superior to all existence. But there is one condition attached to it: that he cleanse his soul of all impurities with knowledge and right action. These two factors in man are like two wings of a bird, which fly higher according to the strength of the wings. Similarly, man's level of human attainment rises according to his knowledge and right action. To pass beyond the province of animality and to reach the sphere of humanity depends upon the perfection of the soul. The man who combines in himself the faculties of knowledge and right action and reaches the third of three classes of men (the common people, the elite, and the most elite), arrives at the lowest stage of prophethood. When such a man becomes the object of Allah's special attention, he becomes a prophet. Of course prophethood also has different stages. A prophet may reach the highest point in the highest of these three classes. This rank is the highest in the sphere of possibility, which the sages call the First Wisdom, and which is the First Effect or the First Consequence. There is no rank higher than this in the realm of existence. This position is occupied by the last of the prophets, who is second to none except the First Cause. When the Prophet was raised to this highest stage, prophethood was concluded. The Imamate is a stage lower than the highest stage of prophethood, but it is a stage higher than all other ranks of prophethood. Since Ali was raised to the stage higher than prophethood and was one in spirit with the Holy Prophet, he was endowed with the office of the Imamate and was thus superior to all previous prophets. Hafiz: The last part of your remarks is perplexing. First, you say that Ali was at the stage of prophethood; second, that he was one in spirit with the Prophet Muhammad; third, that he was superior to the other prophets. What are your arguments to prove the truth of your assertions?

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{ 75 } Well-Wisher: That Ali attained the rank of prophethood can be proven by the reference to the Hadith of Manzila (Tradition Regarding Ranks), which has been unanimously narrated in more or less the same words. The last of the holy prophets repeated a number of times and in different congregations: "Are you not content that you are to me what Aaron was to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me?" On other occasions he said to his followers: "Ali is to me as Aaron was to Moses." Hafiz: The authenticity of this hadith has not been proven. Even if it were proven to be true, it would be a single narration and therefore unacceptable.


Well-Wisher: In providing information regarding the genuineness of this hadith, I will refer to your books. It is not a single narration. It has been authenticated by your own distinguished ulema, like Suyuti, Hakim Nishapuri, and others, who have proved its reliability with unanimous sources. Some of them are the following: (1) Abu Abdullah Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume III, the Book of Ghazawa, Qazwa Tabuk, p. 54, and in his book Bida'u'l-Khalq, p. 180; (2) Muslim bin Hajjaj in his Sahih, printed in Egypt, 1290 A.H., Volume II, under the heading, "The Merits of Ali;" pages 236-7; (3) Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Volume I, "Grounds for Naming Husain," pages 98, 118, 119; and footnote of the same book, Part 5, page 31; (4) Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in Khasa'isi'l-Alawiyya, page 19; (5) Muhammad bin Sura Tirmidhi in his Jami'; (6) Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Isaba, Volume II, page 507; (7) Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, chapter 9, pages 30 and 34, (8) Hakim Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdullah Nishapuri in Mustadrak, Volume III, page 109; (9) Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa, page 65; (10) Ibn Abd Rabbih in Iqdu'l-Farid, Volume II, page 194; (11) Ibn Abdu'l-Birr in Isti'ab, Volume 2, page 473; (12) Muhammad bin Sa'd Katib Waqidi in Tabaqatu'l-Kubra; (13) Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir Mafatihu'l-Ghaib; (14) Muhammad bin Jarir Tabari in his Tafsir; as well as in his Ta'rikh; (15) Seyyed Mu'min Shablanji in Nuru'l-Absar, page 68; (16) Kamalu'd-Din Abu Salim Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 17; (17) Mir Seyyed Ali bin Shahabu'd-Din Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, to- wards the end of Mawadda 7; (18) Nuru'd-Din Ali bin Muhammad Maliki Makki, known as Ibn Sabbagh Maliki, in Fusulu'l-Muhimma, pages 23 and 125; (19) Ali bin Burhanu'd-Din Shafi'i in Siratu'l-Halabiyya, Volume II, page 49; (21) Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter and (22) Mulla Ali Muttaqi in Kanzu'l-Ummal, Volume VI pages 152-153; (23) Ahmad bin Ali Khatib in Ta'rikh Baghdad; (24) Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in Manaqib; (25) Muwaffaq bin Ahmad Khawarizmi in Manaqib; (26) Ibn Athir Jazari Ali bin Muhammad in Usudu'l-Ghaiba; (27) Ibn Kathir Damishqi in his Ta'rikh; (28) Ala'u'd-Daula Ahmad bin Muhammad in Urwatu'l-Wuthqa; (29) Ibn Athir Mubarak bin Muhammad Shaibani in Jami'u'l-Usul; (30) Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Tahdhibu't-Tahdhib; (31) Abu'l Qasim Husain bin Muhammad Raghib Isfahani in Muhadhiratu'l-Udaba', Volume II page 212. Many other eminent scholars of yours have narrated this grand hadith with slight variations in words from many of the companions of the holy Prophet, such as: (1) Umar bin Khattab, (2) Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas, (3) Abdullah bin Abbas, (4) Abdullah bin Mas'ud, (5) Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, (6) Abu Huraira, (7) Abu Sa'id Khudri, (8) Jabir bin Sumra, (9) Malik bin Huwairi's, (10) Bara'a bin 'Azib, (11) Zaid bin Arqam, (12) Abu Rafi', (13) Abdullah bin Ubai, (14) Abu Suraiha, (15) Hudhaifa bin Assad, (16) Anas bin Malik, (17) Abu Huraira Aslami, (18) Abu Ayyub Ansari, (19) Sa'id bin Musayyab, (20) Habib bin Abi Thabit, (21) Sharhbil bin Sa'd, (22) Umme Salma (wife of the holy Prophet), (23) Asma bint Umais (wife of Abu Bakr), (24) Aqil bin Abi Talib, (25) Mu'awiya bin Abu Sufyan, and a host of other companions. In short, all of them have related with slight variation of words that the holy Prophet said: "O Ali, you are to me as Aaron was to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me." Are all these great ulema - and there are many I have not mentioned - not sufficient to prove that this hadith has been unanimously accepted as true? Would you now confirm that you were under a misunderstanding? Since you assume an attitude of doubt in regard to the veracity of this hadith, you should consult Kifayatu't-Talib fi Manaqib-e-Ali Bin Abu Talib, chapter 7, compiled by Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i, who is one of the most prominent ulema of your sect. After quoting six hadith in praise of Ali, this author comments (page 149) on this hadith as follows: "This is a hadith whose authenticity has been acknowledged by all. It has been narrated by the most learned Imams and Huffaz (those who know the Qur'an by heart), like Abu Abdullah Bukhari in his Sahih, Muslim bin Hujjaj in his Sahih, Abu Dawud in his Sunan, Abu Isa Tirmidhi in his Jami', Abu Abdu'r-Rahman in his Sunan, Ibn Maja Qazwini in his Sunan. All of them have unanimously acknowledged its authenticity. Hakim Nishapuri has said that this hadith has entered the stage of continuity." I'm sure that I needn't present further evidence to show that this hadith is genuine. Hafiz: I am not an irreligious man, so I will not reject your sensible reasoning, but I draw your attention to the statement of the great scholar and theologian, Abu'l-Hasan Amadi, who has rejected this hadith. Well-Wisher: I wonder why a learned man like you, after hearing the views of your own distinguished ulema, would give any credence to the statement of a wicked man, who did not even perform the ritual prayers. Sheikh: Man is free to express his faith. If someone expresses his views, we should not slander him. It is unbecoming of you to malign him instead of giving a logical reply to his remarks. Well-Wisher: You misunderstood me. I do not unjustly censure anyone. I was not alive during the time of Amadi. Your own ulema have reported that he was an irreligious man. Sheikh: Where have our ulema said that he was irreligious man?

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Well-Wisher: Ibn Hajar Asqalani has written in Lisanu'l-Mizan: "Saif Amadi Mutakallim Ali Bin Abi Ali, the author, was banished from Damascus because of his irreligious views, and it is true that he did not offer prayers." And Dhahabi, who is also one of your prominent ulema, reported the same thing in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal. He said that Amadi was an innovator. If Amadi had not been a wicked and irreligious innovator, he would not have made slanderous remarks about all the companions of the holy Prophet, including your own Caliph, Umar Bin Khattab (one of the reporters of the hadith). It's not quite fair that you fault the Shias for not accepting hadith recorded in Siha. If a hadith comes from authentic sources, it is acceptable even if it is in the Siha. But if an established hadith, which is recorded by Bukhari, Muslim, and other authors of Siha, is rejected by Amadi, you find no fault with that. If you wish to know the complete arguments regarding the authenticity and sources of this hadith from the recordings of your own ulema, and if you are prepared to condemn people like Amadi, you may consult the volumes of Abaqatu'l-Anwar, written by the great scholar and commentator, Allama Mir Seyyed Hamid Husain Dihlawi. In particular, you should consider the hadith of Manzila so that you may know how this great Shia Allama has collected sources from your own legal scholars and established the hadith's reliability. Hafiz: You said that one of the reporters of this hadith was Umar Bin Khattab. I'd like to know more about that.

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Well-Wisher: Abu Bakr Muhammad Bin Ja'afaru'l-Mutiri and Abu'l-Laith Nasr Bin Muhammad Samarqandi Hanafi, in their books, Majalis, Muhammad Bin Abdu'r-Rahman Dhahabi in his Riadhu'n-Nazara, Mulla Ali Muttaqi in his Kanzu'l-Ummal, and others have reported from Ibn Abbas as saying that one day Umar Bin Khattab said: "Leave the name of Ali (that is, do not speak so much ill of Ali) because I have heard the holy Prophet saying that Ali had three qualities. If I had any one of these qualities, I would have treasured it more than anything on which the sun shines. Once I, Abu Bakr, Abu Ubaida, Jarra and some other companions were present, and the holy Prophet was resting against Ali Bin Abu Talib. He patted Ali's shoulders and said, 'Ali! so far as faith is concerned, you are the first of all the believers and so far as Islam is concerned, you have taken the lead.' Then he said, 'Ali! You are to me as Aaron was to Moses. And he is a liar who thinks he is my friend if he is your enemy.'" Is it permissible in your belief to reject the statement of Caliph Umar? If it is not permissible, why do you pay attention to the absurd statements of a man like Amadi?


I have yet to reply to one of your remarks. You said that this hadith is a single narration, and hence it is not acceptable. If we say such a thing according to the pattern of the men which we have in view, we would be justified. But it surprises me to hear such a thing from you because in your sect even a single narration is sufficient to establish the truth of a matter. If someone refuses to admit the authenticity of a single narration, he is, according to your ulema, an unbeliever. Maliku'l-Ulema Shahabu'd-Din Daulatabadi said in Hidayatu's-Sa'da': "If someone refuses to accept a lone report or conjecture and says that it is not acceptable, he is an infidel. If he says that this single narration is not correct, and this conjecture is not proved, he is a sinner, not an infidel." Hafiz:We have drifted from our main topic. Please let us know how you

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can prove through this hadith of Manzila that Ali occupied the rank of a prophet.




Well-Wisher: This hadith proves that Ali possessed three characteristics: (1) The rank of a prophet; (2) The rank of successor to the Holy Prophet; and (3) his superior position among all the companions of the Holy Prophet. Like the Holy Prophet, Ali's followers likened him to Aaron, who was a prophet, was invested with the caliphate of Moses, and was superior to all the Bani Isra'il. Nawab: Was Aaron a prophet? Well-Wisher: Yes. Nawab: Can you cite a verse from the Holy Qur'an in support of this point? Well-Wisher: Allah mentioned his prophethood in many verses. He says: "Surely We have revealed to you as We revealed to Noah, and to the prophets after him. We revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, and Jacob and the tribes, and to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon; and We gave to David Psalms." (4:163) And again He says: "And mention Moses in the Book; surely he was one purified, and he was an apostle, a prophet. And We called to him from the blessed side of the mountain, and We made him draw nigh, holding communion (with us). And We gave to him out of Our Mercy his brother, Aaron, a prophet." (19:51-53) Hafiz: So according to your reasoning, Muhammad and Ali were both prophets. Well-Wisher: I didn't express it the way you have. Of course, you yourself know that there is a great difference of opinion regarding how many prophets there have been. Some claim that there have been 120,000 - or even more. But all of them in their respective periods were divided into groups and were subordinate to a major prophet to whom a sacred book was revealed containing a new religious law. Five of them were major prophets: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the last of the prophets, Muhammad, whose rank is the highest. Aaron was one of those prophets who was not permanent or independent. He was subordinate to the shari'a (religious code) of his brother, Moses. Ali reached the rank of prophethood but was not elevated to the rank of prophet per se since he was subordinate to the shari'a of Muhammad. In this hadith of Manzila, the purpose of the prophet was to tell people that, just as Aaron had reached the rank of prophethood but was subordinate to Moses, Ali reached the rank of prophethood. The Imamate was conferred upon him, but he was subordinate to Muhammad.

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In his commentary on the Nahju'l-Balagha, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid says in connection with this hadith that by mentioning the rank of Aaron in comparison to Moses, the Prophet indicated that Ali Bin Abu Talib occupied that rank. Similarly, Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i, in his Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 19, after explaining the rank and position of Aaron, says: "The gist of the matter is that the position of Aaron in relation to Moses was that Aaron was his brother, his representative, partner in prophethood, and his successor or vicegerent when Moses was on a journey. The Prophet of Allah has also in this hadith indicated that Ali held the same position as Aaron held, except prophethood, which has been excluded by his saying: 'There will be no prophet after me.'" Therefore, it is proven that Ali was the Prophet's brother, wazir (assistant), representative, and his successor, as declared by the Prophet in his journey to Tabuk. This hadith is unanimously accepted as true. The same view has been expressed by Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in his Fusulu'l-Muhimma, page 29, and by many others of your prominent ulema. Hafiz: I think your claim that if our Prophet had not been the seal of the prophets, Ali would have held that office, is peculiar to you alone. No one else has said this. Well-Wisher: This claim is not confined to me and the Shia ulema. Your own ulema have held the same view. One of your great ulema is Mulla Ali Bin Sultan Muhammad Harawi Qari. In his Mirqat-e-Sharh bar Mishkat, he says, commenting on the hadith of Manzila, "There is an indication in this hadith that if there were any prophet of Allah after the last of the prophets, it would have been Ali." Another of your prominent ulema who has interpreted this hadith the same way is the well known scholar, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti. He writes towards the end of his Baghiatu'l-Wu'az Fi Tabaqatu'l-Huffaz, giving the chain of chroniclers up to Jabir Abdullah Ansari, that the holy Prophet told the Commander of the Faithful, Ali "Had there been any prophet of Allah after me, it would have been you!" In addition, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Faqih Shafi'i says in the second of the six Mawadda in his book Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, quoting a narration from Anas Bin Malik, that the Prophet said: "Verily, Allah made me superior to all the prophets, chose me for excellence, and made for me a successor, my cousin, Ali. Through him, He strengthened my shoulders, just as the shoulders of Moses were strengthened by Aaron. He, (Ali) is my vicegerent and assistant. If there were any prophet after me, it would have been Ali, but there will be no prophet after me." So you see that I am not alone in claiming the rank of prophethood for Ali. The Prophet and your own ulema have acknowledged it. Since he possessed the rank of Aaron, and since the era of prophethood had ended, Ali was the fittest person for the caliphate (vicegerency). One indication of Ali's exalted rank was that the Prophet permitted the door of Ali's house to remain open toward the mosque. These comments caused excitement and confusion among the Sunnis. Well-Wisher asked why it was so. Nawab: Last Friday we went to the mosque to offer prayers. Hafiz Sahib told us about the superiority of Caliph Abu Bakr. He said that he was permitted to keep the door of his house opened towards the mosque. We are surprised to hear you say that this permission was peculiar to Ali. Please clarify this point. Well-Wisher: (Turning to Hafiz Sahib) Have you made this statement? Hafiz: Yes. It is recorded in our authentic hadith, as reported by the pious and just companion of the holy Prophet, Abu Huraira. The Prophet ordered "That all doors opening towards the mosque be closed except the door of Abu Bakr's house, for Abu Bakr is from me and I am from Abu Bakr." Well-Wisher: Surely you know that because of the merit of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, the Bani Umayya made continued efforts through secret means and particularly through the servile flatterers of Mu'awiya, like Abu Huraira and Mughira, to fabricate such hadith. Moreover, the followers of Abu Bakr, because of their support of him, strengthened these fabricated hadith. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, in his commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume I, and again in Volume 3, page 17,

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discusses in detail that among the many fabricated hadith is the one

which tells about the closing of the doors of all the houses towards the mosque, except that of Abu Bakr. Contrary to this forged hadith, there are many authentic hadith, which are recorded not only in authentic Shia books, but also in reliable books of your own ulema, like Sahih. Nawab: Since it is a controversial issue, with Hafiz Sahib saying it is peculiar to Abu Bakr, and with you saying it is peculiar to Ali, we would appreciate it if you would quote from our books so that we may compare your references with those of Hafiz Sahib.


Well-Wisher: The following sources have narrated that the Prophet ordered that all the doors of the houses opening toward the mosque be closed except the door of Ali's house: Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad. Volume I, page 175, Volume II, page 26 and Volume IV, page 369; Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in Sunan and in Khasa'isi'l-Alawi, pages 13-14; Hakim Nishapuri in Mustadrak, Volume III, pages 117-125 and Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira, pages 24-25 have testified to the reliability of this hadith on the basis of chains of narrators of Tirmidhi and Ahmad. Again, Ibn Athir Jazri in Athna'l-Matalib, page 12, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, page 76, Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Fathu'l-Bari, Volume VII, page 12, Tibrani in Ausat, Khatib Baghdadi in his Ta'rikh (History), Volume VII, page, 205, ibn Kathir in Ta'rikh, Volume 7, page 342, Muttaqi Hindi in Kanzu'l-Ummal, Volume VI, page 408, Haithami in Majma'u'z-Zawa'id, Volume IX;, page 65, Muhibu'd-Din Tabari in Riyadh, Volume II, page 451, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim in Faza'ilu's-Sahaba and in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Volume IV, page 183, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa', page 116, in Jamu'l-Jawami', in Khasa'isu'l-Kubra, and in La'aliu'l-Masnu'a, Volume I, page 181, Khatib Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Hamwaini in Fara'id, Ibn Maghazili in Manaqib, Munawi Misri in Kunuzu'd-Daqa'iq, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, page 87, devoting the whole of Chapter 17 to this very issue, Shahabu'd-Din Qastalani in Irshad-e-Bari. Volume VI, page 81, Halabi in Siratu'l-Halabiyya, Volume III, page 374 and Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul and many others, particularly from among the prominent companions of the Holy Prophet, have narrated the same thing. For instance, Caliph Umar Bin Khattab, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abdullah Bin Umar, Zaid Bin Arqam, and Jabir Bin Abdullah Ansari have confirmed the reliability of this hadith. Some of your prominent ulema, in order to save the people from being misled by the Bani Umayya, have emphasized the truth of this hadith. Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i, in his book Kifayatu't-Talib, chapter 50, has dealt with this hadith under a special heading. Quoting from authentic sources, he says that since a number of doors of the companions of the Prophet opened towards the mosque, and since the Prophet had forbidden everyone to enter the mosque in the state of janaba or haiz (pollution making the ritual bath essential), he ordered that all doors of the houses be closed excepting the door of Hazrat Ali's house. He said, "Close all the doors; but let the door of Ali's house remain open." Muhammad Bin Yusuf Shafi'i says that it is peculiar to Ali that he was permitted to enter and stay in the mosque in the state of janaba. He goes on to say: "In short, the Holy Prophet's conferring this privilege exclusively on Ali was a great honor. It shows that the Prophet knew that Ali, Fatima, and their descendants were entirely free from impurity, as is clearly shown by the 'verse of purity' in the Holy Qur'an." These remarks of a Shafi'i scholar may be compared to the hadith mentioned by Hafiz Sahib. Leaving aside all the authentic sources we have quoted, if you have any proof of Abu Bakr's purity, please present it. The fact is that even Bukhari and Muslim in their collections of traditions have pointed out this fact that a polluted person cannot stay in the mosque. The Prophet said, "It is not permitted for anyone who is polluted to stay in the mosque except for me and Ali." Perhaps I may be allowed here to quote a hadith from the second Caliph, Umar Ibn Khattab, which has been reported by Hakim in Mustadrak, page 125, by Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda chapter 56, page 210, and by others, like Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Khatib Khawarizmi, Ibn Hajar, Suyuti, and Ibn Athir Jazri. He said: "Verily, Ali Ibn Abi Talib possessed three outstanding merits. If I possessed any one of them, it would have been better for me than red-haired animals (camels): (1) The Prophet gave his daughter in marriage to him; (2) The Prophet ordered that all the doors of the houses opening towards the mosque be closed except the door of Ali's house; (3) The Prophet bestowed upon him the flag (of Islam) on the day of the Battle of Khaibar." From these remarks, it is now clear that Ali was similar to the Holy Prophet in all respects, just as Aaron was to Moses. So when Moses found Aaron fittest for this office, he asked Allah to make him his associate in his mission, so that he might be his wazir (minister or assistant). Similarly, when the Holy Prophet saw that there was no one among all of his followers as deserving as Ali, he asked Allah Almighty to make Ali his minister and associate. Nawab: Are there further hadith regarding this issue? Well-Wisher: Yes, many exist concerning this matter in your own books. Nawab: I am prepared to listen to them provided you, too, (pointing toward the ulema of the other side) would like to listen. Hafiz: No harm. Listening to hadith is as devotional a deed as the narration thereof.

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Well-Wisher: Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi'i in his Manaqib, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Durr-e-Mansur, the renowned theologian, Ahmad Tha'labi, in Kashfu'l-Bayan, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkiratu'l-Khawasu'l-Umma, in connection with the verse of Wilaya quotes from Abu Dharr Ghifari and Asma Bint Umais (wife of Abu Bakr) that they said that one day they offered their noon prayers in the mosque when the Prophet was present. A beggar began asking for alms. No one gave him anything. Ali was bowing (in the ritual bow). When he pointed to his finger, the beggar removed the ring from his finger. The holy Prophet saw what happened, and raising his head towards the sky, said "O Allah, my brother Moses prayed to you: 'O my Lord, expand for me my breast and make easy for me my task. Appoint for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother.'" The verse was revealed telling Moses that his prayer was granted. Allah appointed for him a helper and strengthened his hands and gave them such power and authority that no one could overpower them. "...and Moses said to his brother Aaron: 'Take my place among my people, and act well and do not follow the way of the mischief-makers.'" (7:142)


Hafiz: You said that Aaron was an associate of Moses in prophethood. How was he then made his caliph? An associate in prophethood holds a position superior to that of a caliph or successor. If the partner is a prophet and he is made the caliph, this is a lowering of his rank. Well-Wisher: The principal prophethood belonged to Moses, and Aaron's prophethood was subordinate to that of Moses. But regarding preaching he was his associate, as is evident from Moses' requests, recorded in the Holy Qur'an: "He (Moses) said: 'O my Lord! Expand my breast for me, and make my affair easy for me, and loose the knot from my tongue, (that) they may understand my family; Aaron, my brother, strengthen my back by him, and associate him (with me) in my affair.'" (20:25-32)

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Similarly, Ali was one who, besides possessing the rank of a prophet, was an associate of the Prophet in all stages and special qualities. Hafiz: I am astonished to hear you exaggerating the position of Ali. We are all amazed. You just said that Ali possessed all the characteristics of the Prophet. Well-Wisher: These statements are not exaggerations. They are facts. The Prophet's successor should, according to common sense, be the model of the Prophet. Even your own great ulema have expressed similar beliefs. Imam Tha'labi, in his commentary, confirmed this point. And the great Sunni scholar, Alim Fazil Seyyed Ahmad Shahabu'd-Din, in his Tauzihu'd-Dala'il, has referred to this point as follows: "It is not a secret that the Commander of the Faithful resembled the Prophet of Allah in most good qualities, selfless actions, habits, prayers to Allah, and all other exalted ways of life. This has been proved by authentic reports and reliable sources and does not require any proof or argument. Some ulema have counted some of those qualities which Ali and the Holy Prophet possessed equally." Among the qualities shared by both is their lineal descent. And arguing from the verse of purity, we see that Ali is similar to the Holy Prophet in purity. (This verse was revealed in reference to five people: Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain.) Ali, like the Prophet, was the Vicegerent of Allah. According to both sects, the following verse was revealed in reference to Ali: "Only Allah is your Friend and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow." (5:55) Ali was similar to the Holy Prophet in the performance of the duties of prophethood and preaching, as the affair of the Sura of Immunity (Bara'a) shows. The Prophet gave certain verses of the Sura to Abu Bakr and instructed him to recite them to the people during the Hajj. The angel Gabriel soon appeared before the Prophet and told him that it was Allah's will that the matter of the Holy Qur'an should be conveyed either by the Prophet himself, or by one who was of him. Ali was identical with the Prophet in his role as Vicegerent of Allah. The Prophet himself said: "I have been commanded by Allah to announce this to you." Then he grasped the hand of Ali and said, "Know you all, of whomsoever I am the Maula (Master), Ali is also his Maula (Master)." Moreover, the self of Ali is declared to be the self of the Prophet. The 'Verse of Imprecation' (Mubahala) says: "But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: 'Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our selves and your selves; then let us be earnest in prayer and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.'" (3:61) To return to the time in the mosque when Ali gave the beggar his ring and the Prophet invoked Allah, asking Him to make Ali his associate in his prophethood. Then the Holy Prophet prayed: "O Allah! I am Muhammad, Your chosen one and Your Prophet. Expand for me my breast. And make easy for me my task and appoint for me a helper from my family, Ali. Strengthen my back through him." Abu Dharr related, "By Allah! The prayer of the Prophet had not ended when the angel Gabriel appeared and revealed this verse to him: 'Only Allah is your Friend and His Apostle and those who believe, those who maintain prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.'" (5:55) The Prophet's prayer was granted, and Ali was appointed his vizier. Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i, in Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 19, has dealt with this issue in detail. Furthermore, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani in Manaqatu'l-Mutaharin, Sheikh Ali Ja'fari in Kanzu'l-Barahin, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Seyyed Shahabu'd-din in Tauzihu'd-Dala'il, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Durr-e-Mansur, and other prominent scholars of your sect have narrated this in their works. Some of them have narrated from Asma Bint Umais (the wife of Abu Bakr) and some from other companions. The following was narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas: "The Prophet took me and Ali by the hand. He offered four rak'ats of prayer, and raising his hands toward the sky, said, 'O Allah! Moses, son of Imran, begged of you to appoint for him a helper and to make easy for him his task. I am Muhammad. I beg of you to expand for me my breast and make easy for me my task. Keep my tongue fluent so that the people may understand my speech. Appoint for me a helper from my family, Ali. Strengthen my back through him, and associate him with me in my affair.' I heard a voice saying, 'O Ahmad! I have granted your request.' Then the Prophet took Ali by the hand and said, 'Raise your hands towards the sky and pray to Allah so that He may bestow something upon you.' Then Ali raised his hands and said, 'O Allah, promise me on Your part that you will hold me in Your affection.' Immediately the angel Gabriel appeared and brought this verse of the chapter 'Mary': 'Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds upon them will Allah bestow love.' (19:96) When the companions of the Prophet were surprised at this, the Prophet said, 'Why are you astonished? The Holy Qur'an has four parts: One-fourth concerns us (the Ahle Bait); one-fourth concerns lawful matters; one-fourth is for unlawful matters; and one-fourth concerns commandments and ordinances. I swear by Allah that there are many verses in the Holy Qur'an which have been revealed in praise of Ali.'" Sheikh: Even if this hadith is taken to be authentic, it does not indicate a special rank for Ali. The same hadith has been narrated concerning Caliph Abu Bakr and Caliph Umar. Qaz'a Bin Suwaid has narrated from Ibn Abi Malika who quotes Ibn Abbas as saying that the Holy Prophet said, "Abu Bakr and Umar are to me as Aaron was to Moses." Well-Wisher: You should take into account the character of some of your narrators. Sometimes you argue from the reports of Amadi and sometimes from those of the notorious liar and forger, Qaz'a Bin Suwaid, even though your own leading ulema have discredited him. Allama Dhahabi, in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal, in the description of the affairs of Qaz'a Bin Suwaid and Ammar Bin Harun, rejects this hadith and says simply, "It is a lie." When your own ulema reject Qaz'a, the hadith that he narrates should be rejected. Compare this hadith of Qaz'a with the chain of hadith that I have quoted from the most prominent ulema of your sect and decide yourself which of the hadith you accept.

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(Tuesday night, 27th Rajab 1345 A.H.) Hafiz: From your eloquent talk last night, I conclude that you wanted to prove that Ali was the immediate successor of the Prophet, though in fact this hadith has only a specific significance. It was narrated during the journey of Tabuk. There is no proof that it has general significance. Well-Wisher: In this hadith the word "Manzila" (Rank) is used in the general sense. The word showing exception clearly proves that the reference is of general significance. The Prophet named Ali along with the word "prophet" and described his Manzila using the phrase 'except that there shall be no prophet after me.' Most eminent ulema and authors have quoted the hadith from the Prophet, who is reported to have said to Ali. "Are you not content that you are to me as Aaron was to Moses except that there shall be no prophet after me?" During his absence of forty days, Moses did not leave matters to the discretion of his followers. He appointed Aaron, the best man among the Isra'ilis, to act as his Caliph and successor. Similarly, the last prophet, whose religion is most perfect, had even greater reason to protect his people from the chaos of their free will. He preserved the code of religion so that it might not pass into the hands of the ignorant, those who would change it according to their whims. The ignorant people would depend on their own conjecture and create divisions in the matter of law. So, in this sacred hadith the Prophet says: "Ali is to me as Aaron was to Moses," confirming that Ali held the same levels of merit and authority as Aaron did. Ali was superior to the whole umma (community), and therefore the Prophet appointed him his helper and his successor. Hafiz: What you have said about this hadith is above question. But if you just consider the matter carefully, you will admit that this hadith has no general significance. Its significance is confined to the Battle of Tabuk when the Prophet appointed Ali his Caliph for a fixed time.

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Well-Wisher: You might have been justified in your remark if this hadith had been narrated at Tabuk only. But the Prophet repeated the same hadith on different occasions. It was narrated when brotherhood among different individuals among the muhajirs (refugees) was established in Mecca. It was also narrated in Medina when brotherhood was established between the Muhajirin and the Ansar. On each occasion the Prophet selected Ali as his brother, saying, "You are to me as Aaron was to Moses except that there shall be no prophet after me." Hafiz: So far as I have observed, the hadith of Manzila was narrated only at the Battle of Tabuk. The Prophet left Ali in his place, which caused Ali to worry. The Prophet consoled him with these words. I think you have been misled. Well-Wisher: No, I am not mistaken. Your own authentic books have narrated it. Among them are Mas'udi (a reliable reporter according to both sects) who writes in his Muruju'dh-Dhahab, Volume II, page 49, Halabi in Siratu'l-Halabiyya, Volume II, pages 26 and 120, Imam Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in Khasa'isu'l-Alawiyya, page 19, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, pages 13-14, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, chapter 9 and 17, and several others have narrated this hadith. They all say that, apart from the two occasions of establishing brotherhood, it has been narrated on many other occasions as well. Therefore, this hadith is not to be construed in a restricted sense or for a particular occasion only. Its general significance is an established fact. lt was through this hadith that the Holy Prophet declared on appropriate occasions Ali's succession after him. One of those occasions was the Battle of Tabuk. Hafiz: How is it possible that the companions of the Prophet heard this hadith in its general sense, knowing that it meant the succession of Ali was willed by the Prophet and yet, after the death of the Prophet, they became hostile and accepted another man as caliph? Well-Wisher: I have many references in support of my answer to your question, but the best response for this occasion is to consider the trials of Aaron in a very similar situation. The Holy Qur'an states that when Moses appointed Aaron his successor, he gathered round him the Bani Isra'il (according to some reports, 70,000 people). Moses emphasized that in his absence they should obey Aaron, his Caliph and successor. Moses then went up the mountain to be alone with Allah. Before a month passed, Samiri incited dissension among the Isra'ilis. He fashioned a golden calf and the Bani Isra'il, having left Aaron, gathered round the treacherous Samiri in large numbers. It had been only a short time before this that the same Bani Isra'il had heard Moses say that during his absence Aaron was to be his Caliph and that they should obey him. Nevertheless, 70,000 people followed Samiri. The Prophet Aaron loudly protested this action and forbade them from indulging in such sinful acts, but no one listened to him. The verse of Sura A'raf states that when Moses came back, Aaron said to him: "Son of my mother! Surely the people reckoned me weak and had well-nigh slain me..." (7:150)

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The Bani Isra'il themselves heard the clear instruction from Moses, but when Moses went up to the mountain, Samiri seized his opportunity. He fashioned a golden calf and misguided the Bani Isra'il.


Similarly, after the death of the Prophet, some people who had heard him say that Ali was his successor, turned against Ali. Imam Ghazali referred to this fact in the beginning of his fourth treatise in Sirru'l-'Alamin. He states that some people returned to the state of their former ignorance. In this respect, there is great similarity between the situation of Aaron and that of Ali. Like many of your own great scholars and historians, Abu Muhammad Abdullah Bin Muslim Bin Qutayba Bahili Dinawari, the well-known Qazi of Dinawar, in his Al-Imama Wa Siyasa, Volume I, page 14, narrates in detail the events of Saqifa. He says that they threatened to burn down Ali's house and they forcibly took him to the mosque and threatened to kill him unless he swore allegiance to them. Ali went to the sacred grave of the Prophet and repeated the same words of the Holy Qur'an which Aaron spoke to Moses: "He (Aaron) said: Son of my mother! Surely the people reckoned me weak and had well-nigh slain me..." (7:150) Nawab: When the succession of Ali had been established, why did the Prophet use words which only implied that sense? Why didn't he clearly announce that Ali was his successor, so that no objection could have been raised after him? Well-Wisher: I told you that the Prophet expressed the truth in both ways. This is evident from your own books, which have recorded numerous hadith in this regard. Literary people know that allusion is more impressive than a mere statement, particularly when the allusion is so deep-rooted that it contains in it a world of meaning. Nawab: You say that there are many clear hadith recorded by your ulema concerning the succession of Ali. Will you please tell us more about this? We are told that there is no hadith which proves Ali's succession. Well-Wisher: There are many hadith concerning the caliphate in your own authentic books.

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Of all the hadith concerning the vicegerency of Ali, the hadith of Invitation is the most important. On the day the Prophet proclaimed his prophethood, he also proclaimed that Ali was his successor. The ulema of your sect, including Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Muwaffaq Bin Ahmad Khawarizmi, Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali and a host of others have reported that when verse 214 of the Chapter Shu'ara: "And warn your nearest relations," (26:214) was revealed, the Prophet invited forty of the Quraish, to Abu Talib's house. He put before them a leg of goat, some bread, and a cup of milk. They laughed and said: "O Muhammad! you have not served enough food for even one man." The holy Prophet said: "Begin eating in the name of Allah." When they had eaten and were fully satisfied, they said to each other: "Muhammad has bewitched you with this food." The Prophet stood up among them and said: "O descendants of Abdu'l-Muttalib! Allah Almighty has sent me as a messenger to the whole of creation in general and to you in particular. I invite you to make two statements which are light and easy for the tongue, but on the scale of action they are heavy. If you make the two statements, you will be masters of the lands of the Arabs and the non-Arabs. Through them you will go to Paradise and will obtain immunity from Hell. These two expressions are: first, to bear witness to Allah's Oneness, and second, to bear witness to my prophethood. The one who first of all acknowledges my call and helps me in my mission is my brother, my helper, my heir, and my successor after me." The Prophet repeated the last sentence three times, and each time none except Ali responded to him, saying, "I will aid and help you, O Prophet of Allah!" So the Prophet declared: "This Ali is my brother, and he is my successor and Caliph among you."

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Besides the Shia and Sunni ulema of Islam, many impartial historians of other nations have given the details of this feast. They had no religious bias, being neither Shias nor Sunnis. One of these writers is the nineteenth-century British historian and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle. In his "Heroes and Hero-worship" he described the details of the feast at Abu Talib's house. After the Prophet's statements, Ali stood and proclaimed his faith in the Prophet. Therefore, the caliphate was bestowed on him. Other European writers have confirmed this fact, including George Sale of England and Hashim, a Christian of Syria, in his Maqalatu'l-Islam, and Mr. John Davenport in his Muhammad and the Qur'an. All agree that the Prophet, immediately after the proclamation of his prophethood, called Ali his brother, helper, successor, and Caliph. Moreover, several hadith confirm that the Prophet emphasized this fact on many other occasions.


(1) Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i in Mawaddati'l-Qurba towards the end of the fourth Mawadda, have recorded that the Holy Prophet said, "O Ali! You shall discharge responsibilities on my behalf, and you are my Vicegerent over my following." (2) Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Musnad, Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi'i in Manaqib and Tha'labi in his Tafsir (commentary) have reported that the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "O Ali! You are my brother, successor, vicegerent, and the payer of my debt." (3) Abu Qasim Husain Bin Muhammad (Raghib Ispahani) in Mahadhiratu'l-Udaba wa Muhawaratu'sh-Shu'ara wa'l-Balagha (printed in Amira-e-Shazafiyya, Seyyed Husain Afandi, 1326 A.H.), part II, page 213, quotes from Ibn Malik that the Prophet said: "Verily, my friend, helper, Vicegerent, and the choicest of men whom I am leaving behind, who will pay my debt and fulfill my promise, is Ali Bin Abu Talib." (4) Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, at the beginning of the sixth Mawadda, narrates from the second Caliph, Umar Bin Khattab, that when the Prophet established the relationship of brotherhood among the companions, he said: "This Ali is my brother in this world and in the Hereafter; he is my successor from among my kin and my Vicegerent among my umma; he is the heir of my knowledge and the payer of my debt; whatever he owes to me, I owe to him. His profit is my profit, and his loss is my loss; one who is his friend is my friend; one who is his enemy is my enemy." (5) In the same Mawadda, he quotes a hadith from Anas bin Malik, which I have mentioned earlier. Toward its end he says that the Holy Prophet said, "He (Ali) is my Vicegerent and helper." (6) Muhammad Bin Ganji Shafi'i quotes a hadith from Abu Dharr Ghifari in his book, Kifayatu't-Talib, that the Prophet said, "The flag of Ali, the commander of the believers, the leader of the bright-faced people, and my Vicegerent, will come to me at the Fountain of Kauthar." (7) Baihaqi, Khatib Khawarizmi, and Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i write in their Manaqib that the Prophet said to Ali: "It is not proper that I depart from the people without you becoming my successor since you are the choicest of the believers after me." (8) Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i, one of the Imams of the Six Books of Traditions, narrates in detail from Ibn Abbas the virtues of Ali in connection with hadith 23 in Khasa'isu'l-Alawi. After describing the rank of the prophet Aaron, the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "You are my Vicegerent after me for every believer." This hadith and others in which the Holy Prophet used the phrase "after me" clearly prove that Ali was his immediate successor. (9) There is the "Hadith of Creation," which has been narrated in different ways. Imam Bin Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in Manaqib, and Dailami in Firdaus have quoted the Prophet as saying: "I and Ali were created of the same Divine Light 14,000 years before Adam was created. From the loins of the Prophet Adam and through his holy progeny, the Light was inherited by Abdu'l-Muttalib, and from him it was divided and inherited by Abdullah, (father of the Prophet) and Abu Talib, (father of Ali). I was granted prophethood, and Ali was granted the caliphate." (10) Hafiz Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari (d.310 A.H.) writes in his Kitabu'l-Wilaya that the Prophet said in the beginning of his renowned address at Ghadir-e-Khum: "The angel Gabriel has conveyed Allah's command to me that I stop at this place and inform the people that Ali Bin Abu Talib is my brother, my successor, my Caliph (Vicegerent) after me. O men! Allah has made Ali your Wali (guardian), and Imam (guide). Obedience to him is obligatory on each one of you; his command is supreme; his utterance is truth; curse be on him who opposes him; Allah's mercy be on him who befriends him." (11) Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda reports from the Manaqib of Ahmad, and he from Ibn Abbas, a hadith which describes many of Ali's merits. I quote all of it. Ibn Abbas reports that the Prophet said: "O Ali, you are the bearer of my knowledge, my Wali and friend, my successor, the heir of my knowledge, and my Caliph. You are the trustee of the heritage of all the preceding prophets. You are the confidant of Allah on this earth and Allah's proof for the whole of creation. You are a pillar of Iman (faith) and the guardian of Islam. You are a lamp in darkness, a light of guidance, and for the people of the world you are a raised standard. O Ali! He who follows you is delivered; he who disobeys you will perish; you are the luminous way, and a straight path; you are the leader of pure men, and the head of the believers; to whomsoever I am Master (Maula), you are also his Master (Maula), and I am the Master of every believer (man or woman). Only he is your friend who is born of lawful wedlock. Allah did not transport me to the heavens to speak with me without telling me, 'O Muhammad! Convey my salutation to Ali and tell him that he is the Imam of my friends and the Light of worshippers.' Congratulations to you, O Ali, on this marvelous excellence." (12) Abu Mu'ayyid Muwafiqu'd-Din, the best orator of Khawarizm, in his Faza'il of the Commander of the Faithful, printed in 1313 A.H., Chapter XIX, page 240, quotes the sources who reported that the Prophet said: "When I reached Sidratu'l-Muntaha ('the farthest Lote Tree,' the highest station during the Mi'raj), I was addressed thus: 'O Muhammad! When you tested the people, whom did you find the most obedient?' I said 'Ali.' Allah then said, 'You have told the truth, Muhammad!' Further, He said, 'Have you selected a Vicegerent who will convey your knowledge to the people, and teach my servants from My Book those things which they do not know?' I said, 'O Allah! Whomever you select, I will select.' He said, 'I have selected Ali for you. I make him your Vicegerent and successor.' And He furnished Ali with His knowledge and forbearance. He is the Commander of the Faithful whom no one can equal in rank among his predecessors or successors." There are many such hadith in your authentic books. Some of your just ulema, like Nizzam Basri, have acknowledged this fact. Salahu'd-Din Safdi in his Wafa Bi'l-Wafiyya, in connection with the account of Ibrahim Bin Sayyar Bin Hani Basri, known as Nizzam Mu'tazali, says: "The Prophet of Allah confirmed the Imamate of Ali and appointed him the Imam (Guide). The companions of the Prophet were also fully aware of it, but Umar, for the sake of Abu Bakr, covered the Imamate of Ali with a curtain." It is clear from your own books, hadith, and Qur'anic commentaries that Ali occupied the highest position of virtue. Khatib Khawarizmi reports from Ibn Abbas in Manaqib, Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in his Kifayatu't-Talib, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l-Mawadda, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda V, quotation from the second Caliph, Umar Bin Khattab - all confirming with slight variations of words - that the Prophet said: "If all the trees were pens, if the seas were ink, if all the jinn and men were recorders - even then the virtues of Ali Bin Abu Talib could not be enumerated."

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Sheikh ABDU'S-SALAM: (Turning to Hafiz Muhammad Rashid Sahib) Allow me to say something briefly. (Turning to well-wisher). We never deny the high qualities of Ali, but to confine praise to him alone is not fair since the principal companions of the Holy Prophet were, one and all, men of virtue. You are indulging in one-sided talk, which misleads the people. Permit me to quote a hadith in their praise so that the truth of the matter may be revealed. Well-Wisher: I'm not concerned with personalities. The Qur'anic verses and authentic hadith lead us in one direction. I swear by Allah that I do not blindly love or hate anyone. I ask the audience to stop me if at any time I resort to anything which is against reason or common sense. hadith acknowledged by both sects should be relied upon. I do not deny the good qualities of the upright companions of the Prophet, but we should search among them for one who is superior to the whole community. Our discussion is not about virtuous men, as the virtuous are many. We should find out who was the most meritorious person after the Prophet so that we may follow him. Sheikh: You make unnecessary restrictions. In your books there is not a single hadith in praise of the caliphs. How can we argue on that basis? Well-Wisher: On the first night of our discussions, you will recall that Hafiz Sahib himself agreed to a debate on the condition that our arguments be based on verses of the Holy Qur'an and on hadith accepted by both sects. Since I have your authentic books, I agreed to it. As all of you will confirm, I have not deviated from that stand. In support of my points, I have cited only verses of the Holy Qur'an and hadith recorded in the authentic books of your own eminent scholars. When you made this condition, you did not realize that you would be trapped later on. Still, I don't want this condition to be taken absolutely. I am prepared to hear even your one-sided hadith if they are authentic. Then we can determine facts justly. I have no hesitation in accepting facts in comparing the merits of Ali. Sheikh: You cited a hadith concerning Ali's vicegerency but overlooked the fact that there are many hadith about Caliph Abu Bakr. Well-Wisher: Keeping in mind that your own prominent ulema, like Dhahabi, Suyuti, and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid have reported that the Amawi's and the followers of Abu Bakr have fabricated many hadith in praise of Abu Bakr, you may cite a hadith from many of those so that a just man may judge its authenticity.

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Sheikh: There is an authentic hadith narrated by Umar Bin Ibrahim Bin Khalid, who reports from Isa Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Bin Abbas, and he from his father, and he from his grandfather, Abbas, that the Prophet of Islam told that gentleman, "O uncle! Allah has made Abu Bakr Caliph of his religion. So listen to him and obey him so that you may secure deliverance." Well-Wisher: This is a rejected hadith. Sheikh: How is it a rejected hadith? Well-Wisher: Your own prominent ulema have rejected it. Because the reporters of this hadith were notorious liars and forgers, your ulema do not consider it worthy of acceptance. Dhahabi in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal, writing about Ibrahim Bin Khalid, and Khatib Baghdadi, writing about Umar Bin Ibrahim say, "He is a great liar." A hadith narrated by a liar is unacceptable. Sheikh: It is reported from reliable sources that one of the pious companions of the Prophet, Abu Huraira, narrated that Gabriel appeared before the Holy Prophet and said, "Allah sends His salutation to you. He says, 'I am satisfied with Abu Bakr; ask him if he too is satisfied with me or not.'" Well-Wisher: We should be very cautious about citing hadith. I draw your attention to a hadith which your own ulema, like Ibn Hajar (in Isaba) and Ibn Abdu'l-Bar (in Isti'ab) quote from Abu Huraira that the Prophet said, "There are many who misquote me, and one who misrepresents me has his abode in Hell. When a hadith is reported to you on my behalf, you should put it before the Holy Qur'an." Another hadith acknowledged by both sects, narrated by Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in his Tafsir Kabir, Volume lI, page 271, reports that the Prophet said, "When a hadith from me is reported to you, put it before the Book of Allah. If it agrees with the Holy Qur'an, accept it. Otherwise, reject it." The books of your own eminent ulema state that one of those who fabricated hadith in the name of the Holy Prophet was this rejected man, Abu Huraira, whom you have called pious. Sheikh: I didn't expect a man of your standing to make slanderous remarks about the Prophet's companions. Well-Wisher:You want me to be in awe of the word"Sahabi" (companion), but you are mistaken if you think the word "Sahabi" necessarily conveys honor. True, the companionship of the Holy Prophet enhances one's virtue, but this is based on the condition that the companion is obedient to the Prophet. If he acts against the instructions of the Prophet, then surely he will be rejected. Weren't the munafiqin (hypocrites) companions of the Prophet? Yes, and they were all cursed. Sheikh: It is not proved that they were rejected. If they were rejected, what is the proof that they will go to Hell? Is everyone who is rejected or cursed destined for Hell? A cursed person is one who, according to the explicit ordinance of the Holy Qur'an, or the saying of the Prophet, is declared as such.

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Well-Wisher: There are clear grounds to show that Abu Huraira was an unreliable man. Your own ulema have confirmed this fact. One of the reasons for his being cursed is that, according to the words of the Prophet, he was an associate of the cursed son of the cursed Abu Sufyan. Abu Huraira was one of the hypocrites. On some occasions in Siffin he offered prayers led by the Commander of the Faithful, Ali. At other times he sat at the dining table of Mu'awiya to eat his fancy food. As reported by Zamakhshari in Rabiu'l-Abrar and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in the commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, when Abu Huraira was asked the reason for his double-dealing policy, he said, "Mu'awiya's food is very rich and savory, and prayers behind Ali are preferable." Your own ulema, like Sheikhu'l-Islam Hamwaini in Fara'id, Chapter 37, Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Tibrani in Ausar, Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib (and a host of others) quote from this same Abu Huraira and others that the Prophet said, "Ali is with the Truth, and the Truth is with Ali." When he left Ali and courted the favor of Mu'awiya, was he not damnable? If one not only keeps silent at seeing the vicious deeds of Mu'awiya, but actually cooperates with him and helps him in order to advance his own worldly position and to fill his belly, is he not to be condemned? The same Abu Huraira himself narrates (as recorded by your own eminent ulema, like Hakim Nishapuri in Mustadrak, Volume II, page 124, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal Tibrani, and others) that the Prophet said, "Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with Ali. These two shall not be separated until they reach me at the Fountain of Kauthar. Ali is from me, and I am from Ali. He who profanes Ali, profanes me. He who profanes me, profanes Allah." Mu'awiya, in his address of the Jum'a prayers, cursed Ali, Hasan, and Husain. He ordered that in all congregations those revered people should be cursed. So if a man is so intimately associated with such damned people and is pleased with their actions, is he not to be condemned? And, while associating with such people, if he helps them by fabricating hadith and forces people to utter curses against revered people, is he not to be condemned? Sheikh: Is it reasonable for us to accept these slanders, that a sincere companion of the Prophet, fabricating hadith, may force people to curse Ali? Well-Wisher: Of course it is hard to believe that a sincere companion would do such a thing. If any of the companions has done such a thing, it means that he was not sincere. There are many hadith narrated by your own ulema that the Holy Prophet said, "One who profanes Ali, profanes me and Allah." Sheikh: To be frank, when you slander the companions of the Holy Prophet, saying that they fabricated hadith, how can we hope that you will not attribute evil motives to the high-ranking ulema of the Sunnis? You Shias have a remarkable tendency for slandering great men. Well-Wisher: You are unfair in attributing such things to us. Islamic histories of the past 1,400 years testify against it. From the beginning of the first century of Islam, the Umayyads abused the infallible Imams, the descendants of the Holy Prophet, and their adherents, the Shias . Even today, your prominent ulema record slanderous reports against the Shias in their books in order to mislead the people. Sheikh: Who of the Sunni ulema has slandered the Shias ?

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One of your great literary scholars, Shahabu'd-Din Abu Umar Ahmad Bin Muhammad Bin Abd Rabbih Qartabi Andalusi Maliki (died 48 A.H.), in his Indu'l-Farid, Volume I, page 269, has called the Shias "the Jews of this Umma." He says that, just as the Jews are enemies of the Christians, the Shias are enemies of Islam. He claims that the Shias, like the Jews, do not accept the fact that one may be divorced three times from the same person, nor do they accept the practice of 'idda (the prescribed period of chastity for women after divorce). Both the Shias here and the Sunnis who are familiar with their Shia friends will laugh at these claims. You will find in all books on Shia jurisprudence stipulations regarding three divorces and idda after divorce. He also alleges that the Shias, like the Jews, are the enemies of Gabriel, because Gabriel communicated Allah's commandment (wahi) to the Prophet, not to Ali. (Laughter among the Shia audience.) We Shias believe in the Holy Prophet. We believe that Allah's commandments were revealed to him through Gabriel, whose rank is far higher than that attributed to him by this worthless writer.


Another of your great ulema is Abu Muhammad Ali Bin Ahmad Bin Sa'id Ibn Hazm Andalusi (died 456 A.H.), who has recorded particularly queer notions about the Shias in his famous Kitabu'l-Fasl fi'l-Milal Wa'n-Nihal. For example, he says that the Shias are not Muslims. They are heretics, the followers of Jews and Christians. In Volume IV, page 182, he writes that, "According to the Shias, it is lawful to marry nine women." This report can be disproved easily by consulting Shia books which clearly state that it is unlawful to keep more than four wives in permanent marriage at one time. There are many other similar unfounded allegations and filthy things attributed to Shias in this book, which you would be ashamed to hear.

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One of your most irreligious ulema is Ahmad Bin Abdu'l-Halim Hanbali, known as Ibn Taimiyya (died 728 A.H.). He had extreme malice toward the Shias, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, and the descendants of the Prophet. His Minhaju's-Sunna is filled with his bitter enmity against Ali and the progeny of the Holy Prophet. Anyone who is even slightly acquainted with the facts would be astounded to hear his lies. For example, he writes that "There is no larger group of liars than the Shia sect, and it is for this reason that the authors of Siha's did not include in their books hadith narrated by them." In Volume X, page 23, he says that the Shias believe in four fundamentals of religion - tauhid (Oneness of God); adl (justice of Allah); nabuwat (prophethood); and imamate (vicegerency). In fact, in Shia books of faith, available everywhere, it is written that the Shia faith consists of three fundamentals: tauhid, nabuwat, and ma'ad (the Day of Judgement); adl is part of tawhid and the imamate is part of nabuwat. In Volume I, page 131, he states that the Shias do not gather in the mosques. They do not offer jum'a or congregational prayers. If they ever offer prayer, they do it individually. (Laughter among the Shias .) But of course we place great emphasis on congregational prayers. In many cities of Iraq and Iran, which are centers of the Shias, our mosques are crowded with worshippers offering congregational prayers. On the same page, he writes that the Shias do not make the pilgrimage to the Ka'ba. "Their Hajj (pilgrimage) consists only in visiting the tombs, which they consider superior to the Pilgrimage to Mecca. They condemn those who do not go for ziarat to the tombs." (Laughter.) Shia books of prayer contain a special Chapter for the Hajj prayer (Kitabu'l-Hajj). Shia theologians have written many books prescribing the rituals for the Hajj, wherein special instructions have been given to perform the Hajj rites. Many ahadith from our Imams insist that if a Muslim (Shia or Sunni) has the means, and yet fails to perform the Hajj, he is excommunicated from Islam. When he dies, he is told: "Die whatever death you can, be it the death of a Jew, a Christian, or a fire-worshiper." Can you believe that in the face of such instructions Shias would refrain from performing the Hajj? In addition to these misrepresentations, this wicked man has said that a great Shia Scholar, Muhammad Bin Muhammad Bin Nu'man (Sheikh Mufid), wrote Manasikhu'l-Hajj li'l-Mashahid. The correct title is Mansikhu'z-Ziarat, which is available everywhere and which contains instructions about the visit to the places of ziarat, including the holy shrines of the most revered Imams. If you consult these books of ziarat, you will find that a visit to the tombs of the Holy Prophet and the Imams is commendable, not obligatory. The best proof against the allegation of this irreligious man is the practice followed by Shias, who make the pilgrimage by the thousands every year. Another false accusation of this liar can be found in Volume I, page 11, where he says that the Shias call their dogs by the name of Abu Bakr and Umar and always curse them (Abu Bakr and Umar). (Laughter among the Shias .) This is ridiculous. According to the Shia belief, the dog is utterly polluted. A Muslim house with a dog is deprived of Allah's blessings. Therefore, Shia Muslims are strictly forbidden to domesticate dogs except under certain conditions (hunting, protecting the house, or herding sheep). One of the many reasons for discord between Yazid and the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husain, was that Yazid was fond of dogs and domesticated them without good reason. Ibn Taimiyya also writes that since the Shias are awaiting the reappearance of the last of their Imams, in many places, particularly in the sardab (underground hall) of Samarra (where the holy Imam disappeared), they keep ready a horse. They call for their Imam to appear, saying that they are fully armed to serve him. He also writes that the Shias turn toward the East during the last days of Ramadhan and call for the Imam to appear. Some of them even forego their ritual prayers, thinking that if they were busy saying their prayers and the Imam appeared, they might be deprived of their service to him (laughter by the Sunnis and the Shias ). We are not so much surprised at this wicked man's ridiculous stories. But we are surprised at the behavior of the present ulema of Egypt and Damascus who, without asking the Shias with whom they live, follow the absurdities of men like Ibn Taimiyya. It would be tiring to give a long list of the inaccurate reports of Ibn Hajar Makki, Hafiz, and Qazi Ruzbahan. Their books are known, although from the point of view of authenticity, they have no value. For instance, the Milal wa'n-Nihal of Muhammad Ibn Abdu'l-Karim Shahrastani (died 548 A.H.), in the eyes of scholars, has not the least value. One will not find anything in it except utterly false beliefs attributed to Shias, like the worship of Ali and belief in the transmigration of the soul. Obviously he was not a man of learning. Writing about Ithna Ashari Shias, he says that the tomb of Ali Ibn Hadi Muhammad Naqi, who came after Imam Muhammad Taqi, is in Qum. But even children know that the holy shrine of Imam Ali Naqi is located adjacent to the shrine of his son, Imam Hasan Askari, in Samarra. I don't think further references of this nature are necessary to prove that the Sunni ulema have concocted false reports concerning the Shias. And I am not alone in levelling charges against the integrity of Abu Huraira. The Sunni ulema have also exposed his bad character in their own books.

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Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, in his commentary on the Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume I, page 358, and in Volume IV, reports from his Sheikh and teacher, Imam Abu Ja'far Asqalani, that Mu'awiya Bin Abu Sufyan organized a group of companions of the Holy Prophet and the children of the companions for the purpose of fabricating hadith. Among those who concocted filthy hadith against Ali were Abu Huraira, Amir Bin As, and Mughira Ibn Shaba. Giving details of these stories, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid narrates that Abu Huraira once entered the Kufa mosque and saw a huge gathering of people who had come to welcome Mu'awiya. He shouted to the crowd: "O people of Iraq. Do you think that I would tell a lie in opposing Allah and His Prophet and buy Hellfire for myself? Hear from me what I have heard from the Prophet. 'Every Prophet has a Haram (sacred dwelling place) and my Haram is Medina. One who is responsible for innovation in Medina is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all humanity.' I swear by Allah that Ali was responsible for an innovation." (That is, Ali incited dissension among the people and so, according to the Prophet, should be cursed). When Mu'awiya learned of this (that Abu Huraira did such a thing for him and did it in Ali's capital, Kufa), he sent for him, gave him a reward, and made him the governor of Medina. Aren't his misdeeds sufficient to prove that he deserves condemnation? Is it proper that a man who mistreats the most noble of the caliphs should be regarded as pious simply because he had once been a companion of the Prophet? Sheikh: On what grounds do Shias consider him accursed? Well-Wisher: There are many arguments in support of our view. One of them is that one who abuses the Prophet is, according to both sects, condemned. According to the hadith which I mentioned earlier, the Holy Prophet said, "One who abuses Ali, abuses me; one who abuses me, abuses Allah." It is clear that Abu Huraira was one of those who not only abused Ali Bin Abu Talib, but who fabricated hadith to incite others to abuse him.

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We also condemn Abu Huraira for his collusion with Busr Ibn Artat in the massacre of thousands of Muslims. It has been reported by your own historians, including Tabari, Ibn Athir, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, Allama Samhudi, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Khallikan, and others that Mu'awiya Ibn Abu Sufyan sent the cruel Busr Ibn Artat with 4,000 Syrian soldiers to Yemen via Medina to crush the people of Yemen and the Shias of Ali. The assailants murdered thousands of Muslims in Medina, Mecca, Ta'if, Tabala' (a city of Tihama), Najran, Safa, and its suburbs. They did not spare the young or old of the Bani Hashim or the Shias of Ali. They even murdered the two small sons of the Holy Prophet's cousin, Ubaidullah Bin Abbas, the governor of Yemen, who had been appointed by Ali. It is said that more than 30,000 Muslims were killed on the order of this tyrant. The Bani Umayya and their followers committed these insane atrocities. Your beloved Abu Huraira witnessed this slaughter and was not only silent but actively supported it. Innocent people, like Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, and Abu Ayyub Ansari sought refuge. Even the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari, who was one of the Prophet's chief companions, was set on fire. When this army turned towards Mecca, Abu Huraira remained in Medina. Now I ask you to tell us, in the name of Allah, whether this deceitful man who had been in the company of the Holy Prophet for three years, and who narrated more than 5,000 hadith from the Prophet, had not heard those famous hadith regarding Medina. The ulema of both the sects (like Allama Samhudi in Ta'rikhu'l-Medina, Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira, page 163) have quoted from the Holy Prophet, who said repeatedly: "He who threatens the people of Medina with oppression will be threatened by Allah and will be cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by humanity. Allah will not accept anything from him. May he be cursed who threatens the people of Medina. If anyone harms the people of Medina, Allah will melt him like lead in fire." So why did Abu Huraira join the army which devastated Medina? Why did he fabricate hadith in opposition to the rightful successor to the Prophet? And why did he incite people to revile the man about whom the Prophet had said: "To abuse him is to abuse me"? You decide whether a man who fabricated hadith in the name of the Prophet was not cursed. Sheikh: It is unkind of you to call the most reliable companion of the Holy Prophet an irreligious fabricator.

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Well-Wisher: It is not I alone who am "unkind" to Abu Huraira. The first man who was unkind to him was the second Caliph, Umar Bin Khattab. Ibn Athir and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharhe-Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume III, page 104 (printed in Egypt), and several others have reported that after Caliph Umar appointed Abu Huraira governor of Bahrain in 21 A.H., the people informed the Caliph that Abu Huraira had amassed great wealth and had purchased many horses. Umar therefore deposed him in 23 A.H. As soon as Abu Huraira entered the court, the Caliph said: "O enemy of Allah and enemy of His Book! Have you stolen Allah's property?" He replied, "I never committed theft, but the people have given me gifts." Ibn Sa'ad in Tabaqat, Volume IV, page 90, Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Isaba, and Ibn Abd-e-Rabbih in Iqdu'l-Farid, Volume I, write that the Caliph said: "'When I made you the governor of Bahrain, you had not even shoes on your feet, but now I have heard that you have purchased horses for 1,600 dinars. How did you acquire this wealth?' He replied, 'These were men's gifts which profit has multiplied much.' The Caliph's face grew red with anger, and he lashed him so violently that his back bled. Then he ordered the 10,000 dinars which Abu Huraira had collected in Bahrain be taken from him and deposited in the account of the Baitu'-Mal." This was not the first time that Umar beat Abu Huraira. Muslim writes in his Sahih, Volume I, page 34, that during the time of the Prophet, Umar Bin Khattab beat Abu Huraira so severely that the latter fell down on the ground. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid writes in his commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume I, page 360: "Abu Ja'far Asqalani has said: 'According to our great men, Abu Huraira was a wicked fellow. The hadith narrated by him were not acceptable. Umar beat him with a lash and told him that he had changed hadith and had attributed false sayings to the Holy Prophet.'" Ibn Asakir in his Ta'rikh Kabir and Muttaqi in his Kanzu'l-Umma report that Caliph Umar lashed him, rebuked him, and forbade him to narrate hadith from the Holy Prophet. Umar said: "Because you narrate hadith in large numbers from the Holy Prophet, you are fit only for attributing lies to him. (That is, one expects a wicked man like you to utter only lies about the Holy Prophet.) So you must stop narrating hadith from the Prophet; otherwise, I will send you to the land of Dus." (A clan in Yemen, to which Abu Huraira belonged.) Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, in his commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume I, page 360 (printed in Egypt) reports from his teacher, Imam Abu Ja'far Asqalani, that Ali said, "Beware of the greatest liar among the people, Abu Huraira Dusi." Ibn Qutayba, in Ta'wil-e-Mukhtalifu'l-Hadith, and Hakim in Mustadrak, Volume III, and Dhahabi in Talkhisu'l-Mustadrak and Muslim in his Sahih, Volume II, reporting about the characteristics of Abu Huraira, all say that A'yesha repeatedly contradicted him and said, "Abu Huraira is a great liar who fabricates hadith and attributes them to the Holy Prophet." In short, it is not we alone who have rejected Abu Huraira. According to Caliph Umar, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha, and other companions and followers of the Prophet said that he was completely unreliable. Accordingly, the Sheikhs of the Mu'tazilites and their Imams and the Hanafi ulema generally reject the hadith narrated by Abu Huraira. Moreover, in his commentary on Muslim's Sahih, Volume IV, Nadwi emphasizes this point: "Imam Abu Hanifa said, 'The companions of the Prophet were generally pious and just. I accept every hadith with evidence narrated by them, but I do not accept the hadith whose source is Abu Huraira, Anas Ibn Malik, or Samra Bin Jundab." We reject the same Abu Huraira, whom Caliph Umar lashed and called a thief and a liar. He was rejected by Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha , Imam Abu Hanifa, and by many companions and followers of the Holy Prophet. We reject the same Abu Huraira who was rejected and called a liar by our master, the chief of the monotheists, Ali, and by the holy Imams and descendants of the Prophet. We reject Abu Huraira who was a belly-worshiper, who, despite knowing the superiority of Ali, ignored him. He preferred his patron, the damned Mu'awiya, sat at his table to relish dainty dishes, and concocted hadith in opposition to Ali. In view of our discussion so far, you and I are obliged to see to it that when a hadith from the holy Prophet is under consideration, we should first refer it to the Holy Qur'an. If the hadith agrees with the Qur'an, we should accept it, otherwise not.

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The hadith which you narrated earlier (although it is one-sided) may be referred to the Holy Qur'an. If there is no hindrance, we will surely accept it. One ayat of the Qur'an, however, says: "And certainly We created man and know what his mind suggests. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein." (50:16) You are aware that hablu'l-warid (jugular vein) is a common expression used to express extreme nearness. The meaning of this verse is that Allah is All-Knowing. Nothing is hidden from Him, however deep it may be in man's breast. Allah knows the secrets of our hearts. And in the Chapter of "Yunus" He says: "And you are not (engaged) in any affair, nor do you recite concerning it any portion of the Qur'an, nor do you do any work but We are witnesses over you when you enter into it. And there does not lie concealed from your Lord the weight of an atom in the earth or in heaven, nor anything less than that nor greater, but it is in a clear book." (10:61) According to these verses, and according to common sense, nothing is hidden from Allah. He knows what man does or thinks. Now compare this hadith with these two verses and see whether they can be reconciled. How is it possible that Allah Almighty would not be aware of the pleasure of Abu Bakr, so that He Himself might be obligated to ask him whether he was pleased with Him or not? Common sense and the Holy Qur'an indicate that this "hadith" is false.

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Sheikh: There is no doubt that the Holy Prophet said: "Allah will show Himself to all the people in general and to Abu Bakr in particular." He also said, "Allah did not put anything into my breast that He did not put into Abu Bakr's breast." He also said: "I and Abu Bakr are like two horses who are equal to each other in a race." Again he said: "In the sky there are 80,000 angels who pray for blessings for him who is a friend of Abu Bakr and Umar. And in the next level of the sky there are 80,000 angels who curse him who is an enemy of Abu Bakr and Umar." The Holy Prophet also said: "Abu Bakr and Umar are the best of all mankind from beginning to end." Abu Bakr's and Umar's rank can be assessed from the hadith in which the Holy Prophet said: "Allah made me from His light, Abu Bakr from my light, and Umar from Abu Bakr's light, and my followers from Umar's light. Umar is the lamp of the People of Paradise." There are many such hadith recorded in our authentic books. I have narrated only a few so that you may know the real position of the caliphs. Well-Wisher: The meaning of these hadith leads to heresy and infidelity, which clearly proves that the Holy Prophet could not have said such things. The first hadith implies that Allah has a body and it is infidelity to believe that Allah has a body. The second hadith indicates that Abu Bakr shared in what was revealed to the Holy Prophet. The third hadith implies that the Holy Prophet was in no way superior to Abu Bakr. The other hadith conflict with innumerable hadith, which are accepted by both sects, that the best people of the world are the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants. Apart from these clear facts, your own distinguished ulema, like Muqaddasi in his Tadhkiratu'l-Muzu'a, Firuzabadi Shafi'i in his Safaru's-Sa'adat, Hasan Bin Athir Dhahabi in Mizanu'l-I'tidal, Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Ali Khatib Baghdadi in his Ta'rikh, Abu'l-Faraj Ibn Jauzi in Kitabu'l-Muzu'a, and Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Al-Lu'ali'l-Masnu'a fi'l-Abadusi'l-Muzu'a - all concluded that these hadith are fabricated. They all insisted that these hadith are forged. They conflict with The Holy Qur'an and with common sense. Sheikh: But consider another hadith, which surely is authentic. The Holy Prophet said: "Abu Bakr and Umar are the masters of the old men of Paradise." Well-Wisher: If you would examine this supposed hadith more closely, you might find that, apart from the fact that your own ulema have rejected it, this hadith cannot possibly be from the Holy Prophet. Everyone knows that Paradise will not be inhabited by old people. There are no gradual changes there. There are many reports accepted by both sects which relate to this matter. One of them is the affair of Ashja'iyya, an old woman who came to the Prophet. In the course of his talk, the Prophet said: "Old women will not enter Paradise." The woman was deeply saddened and she said, weeping, "O Prophet of Allah, this means I shall not enter Paradise." Saying this, she departed. The Prophet said: "Tell her that on that day she will be young and will enter Paradise." Then he recited the following verse of the Holy Qur'an: "Surely We have made them to grow into a (new) growth, then We have made them virgins, loving, equals in age, for the sake of the companions of the right hand." (56:35-38) In another hadith accepted by both you and us, the Holy Prophet said: "When the inhabitants of Paradise enter Heaven, they will be youthful with pure clean faces, curly hair, charming eyes, 33 years of age." Sheikh: Your statements are true as they are, but this is a specific hadith. Well-Wisher: I don't understand. What do you mean by a "specific hadith"? Do you mean that Allah will send a group of old men to Paradise so that Abu Bakr and Umar may be their masters? Besides, your own prominent ulema regard this hadith as fabricated. The Prophet gave us a procedure for validating hadith. I stated earlier that any hadith which is not consistent with the Holy Qur'an is to be rejected. Our own scholars reject several hadith purported to have originated with the Prophet or with the holy Imams on the basis of the principle enunciated by the Prophet: "Whenever a hadith is reported as having come from me, refer it to the Holy Qur'an; if it is consistent with it, accept it; otherwise, reject

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{{ 107 } it." Accordingly, our scholars do not accept hadith which are inconsistent with the Holy Qur'an. I stated earlier that your own ulema have written treatises on the rejection of fabricated hadith. For example, Sheikh Majdu'd-Din Muhammad bin Yaqub Firuzabadi in Safaru's-Sa'ada (p. 142), Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Kitabu'l-Lu'ali, Ibn Jauzi in Muzu'a, Muqaddasi in Tadhkiratu'l-Muzu'a, and Sheikh Muhammad bin Darwish (Mashhur be Hut-e-Beiruti) in Asna'l-Talib - all have said that the chain of narrators of the hadith stating that Abu Bakr and Umar are the masters of the old men of Paradise includes Yahya bin 'Anbasa. Dhahabi says that this Yahya is an unreliable narrator, and Ibn Jan held that Yahya used to fabricate hadith. Thus, apart from my previous arguments, even your own ulema consider it a false hadith. In fact, it is probable that it was fabricated by the followers of Abu Bakr, the Umayya family. In order to humiliate the Bani Hashim and the progeny of the Holy Prophet, they used to fabricate hadith parallel to those authentically narrated in praise of the family of the Prophet. Men like Abu Huraira, in order to gain access to the ruling coterie of the Bani Umayya, often fabricated hadith. Because of their hostility to the descendants of the Prophet, they concocted hadith parallel to those accepted by both Shia and Sunni ulema. Nawab: Which is the accepted hadith in this case?


Well-Wisher: The authentic hadith is that the Prophet said: "Hasan and Husain are the foremost of the youth of Paradise and their father is superior to them." Many ulema have narrated this hadith. For example, Khatib Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Mir Seyyed Ali Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in Khasa'is-il-Alawi (three hadith), Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l-Muhimma, page 159, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 54, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira, quoting from Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Sibt Ibn Jauzi on p. 133 of Tadhkiratu'l-Mawadda, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Tirmidhi in Sunan, and Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 97, recorded this hadith and the latter added that the great narrator of

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hadith, Imam Abdu'l-Qasim Tibrani, also recorded this hadith in Mu'ajamu'l-Kabir and listed all its various narrators, such as the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, Umar bin Khattab (the second Caliph), Hudhaifa Yamani, Abu Sa'id Khadri, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Abu Huraira, Usama bin Zaid, and Abdullah bin Umar. Thereafter, Muhammad bin Yusuf has commented that it is an unquestionably genuine hadith. The unbroken continuity of the chain of narrators of this hadith is a proof of its being authentic. Further, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Ibn Asakir in Ta'rikh Kabir, Volume IV, page 206, Hikam in Mustadrak, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq Muhriqa - in short, all of your eminent scholars have confirmed the authenticity of this hadith. Sheikh: But consider this hadith, the authenticity of which no one will deny. The Holy Prophet said: "In whatever nation Abu Bakr lives, it is not proper that any other person be preferred to him." This hadith proves that Abu Bakr is superior to the whole umma. Well-Wisher: I regret that you accept a hadith so uncritically. Had this hadith been narrated by the Prophet, he himself would have acted upon it. But he gave preference to Ali in the presence of Abu Bakr. Was Abu Bakr not present at the time of Mubahala when Ali was chosen as the Prophet's self? In the Battle of Tabuk, when the older and more experienced Abu Bakr was there, why did the Prophet make Hazrat Ali his deputy and Caliph? Why was Abu Bakr deposed by divine command in favor of Ali when the older man had been sent to Mecca to preach Islam and to recite verses from the ninth Chapter of the Qur'an, "The Immunity"? While Abu Bakr was present, why did the Prophet take Ali with him to Mecca to break the idols, letting him mount his own shoulders, ordering him to smash the idol Hubal? Why, in the presence of Abu Baker, did the Prophet send Ali to preach among the people of Yemen? Finally, why did the Prophet make Ali his successor and Vicegerent instead of Abu Bakr? Sheikh: There is a very strong hadith from the Holy Prophet which cannot be contradicted. It is related by Amr bin As who said: "One day I asked the Prophet: 'O Prophet of Allah! Whom do you love most among the women?' He replied, ' A'yesha .' I said: 'Whom do you love best among the men?' He replied, ' A'yesha 's father, Abu Bakr.'" Since the Prophet preferred Abu Bakr over all other men, he was superior to the whole community. This fact in itself is the most compelling proof of the legitimacy of Abu Bakr's caliphate.

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Well-Wisher: Apart from the fact that this hadith is concocted by Abu Bakr's supporters, it is inconsistent with authentic hadith which are accepted by both sects. This hadith should be considered from two points of view: from the side of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha and from the side of Abu Bakr. The Prophet could not have said that of all women he loved A'yesha most. I have already stated earlier that this contradicts many authentic hadith in both Sunni and Shia books. Sheikh: Which hadith does this tradition contradict? Well-Wisher: There are many hadith about the mother of the Imams, Fatima Zahra, narrated by your own ulema, which contradict your statement. Hafiz Abu Bakr Baihaqi in his Ta'rikh, Hafiz Ibn Abdu'l-Bar in Isti'ab, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, and others of your ulema have reported that the Prophet said repeatedly: "Fatima is the best of all the women of my community." Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Musnad and Hafiz Abu Bakr Shirazi in Nuzulu'l-Qur'an Fi Ali narrate from Muhammad Bin Hanafiyya, and he from the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, Ibn Abdu'l-Barr in Isti'ab, in the account of Fatima, related from Ummu'l-Mu'minin Khadija, from Abdu'l-Warith Bin Sufyan and from Abu Dawud and Anas Bin Malik, Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Chapter 55 of Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda XIII - these and many other narrators of hadith have reported from Anas Bin Malik that the Prophet said: "There are four pre-eminent women of the world: Mary, daughter of Imran; Asiya, daughter of Mazahim; Khadija, daughter of Khalid; and Fatima, daughter of Muhammad." Khatib in his Ta'rikh Baghdad narrates that the Prophet declared these four women the best of all the women of the world. Then he pronounced Fatima to be superior to them all in this world and in the hereafter. Muhammad Bin Isma'il Bukhari in his Sahih, and imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in Musnad narrate from A'yesha Bint Abi Bakr that the Prophet said to Fatima: "O Fatima, I give you the good tidings that Allah made you superior to all the women of the world, and made you the purest of all the women of Islam." Also Bukhari in his Sahih, Part IV, page 64, Muslim in Sahih, Part II, in the Chapter "Merits of Fatima," Hamidi in his Jam'a Bainu's-Sahihain, Abdi in his Jam'a Bainu's-Sihahu's-Sitta - these and many others have reported on the authority of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha that the Prophet said: "O Fatima! Are you not happy that you are the chief of the women of all the world?" Ibn Hajar Asqalani has quoted the same passage in his Isaba in connection with the life of Fatima with the version: "You are the best of all the women of the world." Also, Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Tibrani, and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi - all have recorded this hadith.

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In addition, Bukhari and Muslim, each in his Sahih, Imam Tha'labi in his

{ 110 } Tafsir, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Tibrani in Mu'jamu'l-Kabir, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 32, on the authority of the Tafsir of Ibn Abi Hatim, Manaqib of Hakim, Wasit and Wahidi, the Hilyatu'l-Auliya of Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Isfahani, and Fara'id of Hamwaini, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, under verse 14 on the authority of Ahmad, Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 8, Tabari in Tafsir, Wahidi in Asbabu'n-Nuzul, Ibn Maghazili in Manaqib, Muhibu'd-Din Tabari in Riyazu'n-Nuzra, Mu'min Shablanji in Nuru'l-Absar, Zamakhshari in Tafsir, Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in Tafsir Kabir, Seyyed Abu Bakr Shahabu'd-Din Alawi in Rishfatu's-Sadi min Bahr-e-Faza'il-e-Baniu'l-Nabi'i'l-Hadi, Chapter 1, pages 22-23 on the authority of Tafsir of Baghawi, Tafsir of Tha'labi, Manaqib of Ahmad, Kabir and Ausat of Tibrani and Sadi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin 'Amir Shabrawi Shafi'i in Al-'Ittihaf, page 5 on the authority of Hakim, Tibrani, and Ahmad, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ihya'u'l-Mayyit on the authority of the Tafsirs of Ibn Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Mardawaih, and Mu'jamu'l-Kabir of Tibrani; and Ibn Abi Hatim and Hakim - in short, most of your eminent ulema (barring a few staunch followers of the Bani Umayya and enemies of the Ahle Bait), have narrated from Abdullah bin Abbas and others that when the following verse of the Holy Qur'an was revealed: "Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein..." (42:23) a group of companions asked "O Prophet of Allah, who are those of your relatives whose love has been made obligatory on us by Allah?" The Prophet replied, "They are Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain." Some hadith contain the words "and their sons," meaning Hasan and Husain.

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Even Ibn Hajar (a very intolerant person) in his Sawa'iq Muhriqa, page 88, Hafiz Jamalu'd-Din Zarandi in Mi'raju'l-Rasul, Sheikh Abdullah Shabrawi in Kitabu'l-Ittihaf, page 29, Muhammad Bin Ali Sabban of Egypt in As'afu'r-Ra'ghibin, page 119, and others have related from Imam Muhammad Bin Idris Shafi'i, who is one of your four Imams and the religious head of the Shafi'is, that he used to say: "O Ahle Bait of the Prophet of Allah! Love for you has been made obligatory for us by Allah, as revealed in the Holy Qur'an (referring to the above verse). It is sufficient for your dignity that if one does not send salutations to you in the ritual prayers, his prayers will not be accepted." Now I ask you, can the one-sided hadith reported by you stand against all these authentic hadith which have been accepted by both the Sunni and Shia sects?


In regard to the Prophet's love for you A'yesha , do you think that because of his sensual desires he loved A'yesha more than Fatima? It is true that A'yesha was his wife and therefore an Ummu'l-Mu'minin (mother of the believers) like the other wives of the Prophet. But is it conceivable that he loved A'yesha more than he loved Fatima, whose love was made obligatory in the Holy Qur'an, for whom the verse of purity was revealed and who was included in the Mubahala? Surely you know that the Prophet and the vicegerents were not motivated by sensual desires, and that they looked only to Allah. This dedication was particularly true for the last of the Prophets. He loved those whom Allah loved. Should we reject these authentic hadith which have been accepted by ulema of both sects, and which agree with the verses of the Holy Qur'an, or should we regard the hadith that you have just narrated as fabricated? You claim that the Prophet said that he loved Abu Bakr more than any other man. But this claim is also at variance with many other authentic hadith which have been narrated by your own ulema, who have insisted that, according to the Prophet, the most dearly loved man was Ali.

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Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 55, narrates from Tirmidhi Buraida's hadith that, according to the Prophet, the most dearly loved woman was Fatima and the most dearly loved man was Ali. Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in his Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 91, reports on the authority of Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha that she said: "Allah did not create any one whom the Holy Prophet loved more than Ali." He adds that this is the hadith which Ibn Jarir in his Manaqib and Ibn Asakir Damishqi in his translation have narrated from Ali. Muhyi'd-Din and Imamu'l-Haramain Ahmad Bin Abdullah Shafi'i relates from Tirmidhi in Dhakha'iru'l-Uqba that people asked A'yesha which woman was loved most by the Prophet, and she replied, "Fatima." Then she was asked about the man loved most by the Prophet and she replied, "Her husband, Ali bin Abu Talib." Further, he related from the Mukhalis of Dhahabi and Hafiz Abu'l-Qasim Damishqi and he from A'yesha that she said: "I have not seen a man more loved by the Holy Prophet than Ali, nor a woman more loved than Fatima." In addition, the Sheikh relates from Hafiz Khajandi and he from Ma'azatu'l-Ghifariyya that she said: "I went to have an audience with the Prophet in A'yesha 's house while Ali was outside the house. The Prophet said to A'yesha , 'This (Ali) is the dearest to me and the most honored among all men. Recognize his right and pay respectful regard to his position.'" Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Amir Shabrawi Shafi'i, who is one of your prominent ulema, recorded in Kitabu'l-Ittihaf bi Hubbi'l-Ashraf, page 9, Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, and Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul, page 6, from Tirmidhi, and he from Jami' bin Umar - all narrated the following: "I went to Ummu'l-Mu'minin A'yesha with my aunt (father's sister), and we inquired of her who was loved most by the Holy Prophet. She replied, 'Among women it was Fatima and among men, her husband, Ali bin Abu Talib.'" This same hadith has been related by Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda II, with the variation that Jami' bin Umar said that he received this reply from his aunt. Similarly, Khatib Khawarizmi has related this hadith from Jami' bin Umar, and the latter from A'yesha at the end of Chapter 4 of his Manaqib. Ibn Hajar Makki, in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, towards the end of Chapter 2, after recording 40 hadith on the merits of Ali, relates the following hadith from A'yesha : "Among women, Fatima was the woman most loved by the Holy Prophet of Allah and among men, her husband." Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i, in Matalib-us Su'ul, page 7, after recording several specific hadith on this issue, expresses his own conclusion in the following words: "These authentic and unequivocal narrations prove that Fatima was the most beloved of the Prophet above all other women. She is the highest in rank of all the women of Paradise and also the foremost of women of this community as well as the foremost of the women of Medina." These reliable hadith clearly establish that of all creatures, Ali and Fatima were the most loved by the Prophet. Another proof of the Prophet's preferring Ali to other men is the "Hadith of the Bird" (Hadith-e-Ta'ir). This hadith is so well known and so commonly accepted that we need not mention all its sources. I will mention only some of them.

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Most of your prominent ulema, like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nisa'i, and Sijistani in their Siha, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his commentary on Nahju'l-Balagha, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l-Muhimma, and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 8, and a host of other reliable authors have recorded the hadith-e-Ta'ir in their works. They verify that this hadith was reported by 24 narrators of hadith from Anas Bin Malik. Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in his Fusulu'l-Muhimma writes about it in these words: "In the books of authentic hadith and reliable narrations, the hadith-e-Ta'ir from Anas Bin Malik is indisputably correct." Sibt Ibn Jauzi, on page 23 of his Tadhkira, and Sunan of Tirmidhi and Mas'udi on page 49 of Volume II of Muruju'dh-Dhahab, have focussed especially on the last part of this hadith which contains the Prophet's prayer and its acceptance by Allah. Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in the 9th hadith of his Khasa'isu'l-Alawi, and Hafiz Bin Iqda and Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari have all referred to the unbroken chain of narrators and to the authentic sources of this hadith, saying that it was narrated by 35 companions of the holy Prophet from Anas Bin Malik. In short, all your distinguished ulema have verified the authenticity of this hadith and have included it in their books. Allama Seyyed Hamid Husain has dedicated an entire volume of his Abaqatu'l-Anwar to this hadith. He collected all reliable sources from your distinguished ulema and clearly proved the authenticity of this hadith. According to this hadith, one day a woman brought a gift of a roasted bird to the Prophet. Before eating it, the Prophet, raising his hands, invoked Allah thus: "O Allah! Of your whole creation, send the person who is the dearest to you and to me, so that he may partake of this roasted bird with me." Ali then came in and ate the roasted bird with the Holy Prophet. Some of your books, such as Fusulu'l-Muhimma of Maliki, Ta'rikh of Hafiz Nishapuri, Kifayatu't-Talib of Ganji Shafi'i, and Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal, etc., in which the hadith has been reported from Anas bin Malik, have recorded that Anas said: "The Prophet had not finished his invocation when Ali came into the house, but I kept the matter secret. When Ali stamped his foot the third time, the Prophet ordered me to let him in. When Ali entered, the Prophet said: 'Allah's Mercy be upon you; what brings you to me?' Ali then told him that he came to him three times but was allowed entrance only this time. The Prophet asked what made me behave like that, and I replied: "The truth is that, on hearing your invocation, I wished that such an honor might fall to the lot of someone of my tribe." Now I ask you respected people whether the invocation of the Holy Prophet was accepted or rejected by Allah. Sheikh: Obviously Allah accepted it since He has promised in the Holy Qur'an that He would accept the Prophet's invocation. Moreover, Allah knew that the Prophet would not make an inappropriate request. So Allah always accepted his invocation. Well-Wisher: Allah sent Ali, the most deserving person in His creation, to the Prophet. Your own scholars have confirmed this event. Muhammad bin Talha Shafi'i has in his Matalib-us Su'ul, Chapter 1, Part 5, page 15, established the high position of Ali as the beloved of Allah and of the Prophet on the basis of the hadith of Ensign (Rayat) and the hadith of the Bird (Ta'ir). In that connection he says: "The intention of the Prophet was that the people should understand the unique and high distinction of Ali, who attained the highest pinnacle to be reached by the pious." Also Hafiz and Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i (died 658 A.H.) writes in his Kifayatu't-talib, Chapter 33, referring to the virtues of Ali Bin Abi Talib, that this hadith clearly proves that Ali was the dearest person in creation to Allah. Later he says that Hakim Abu Abdullah Hafiz Nishapuri related this hadith-e-Ta'ir of Anas from 86 narrators and also recorded the names of all 86 narrators. (See Kifayatu't-Talib, Chapter 32). That "hadith" quoted by you, in comparison with the hadith narrated by your own high-ranking ulema (excepting a few stubborn fanatics), cannot be relied upon and would be rejected by learned men.

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Sheikh: I'm afraid that you have made up your mind not to accept what we say. Well-Wisher: How can you attribute such bias to me? Can you cite a single instance in which you have put forward a cogent argument and I have unreasonably rejected it? I swear that in religious debates with the Jews, the Christians, the Hindus, and the Brahmins, the ignorant Baha'is in Iran, the Qadanis in India, and the materialists - in all of these circumstances, I never acted obstinately in my argument. I never adopted a refractory attitude towards these unbelievers - how could I do so with you, my brothers in Islam? Sheikh: We read the account of your debate with the Hindus and Brahmins of Lahore in the newspapers. We were greatly impressed by it. Although we had not met you, we felt we were morally affiliated with you. I hope that Allah will lead you and us to the right path. We believe that if there is any doubt about a certain hadith, we should, according to your proposal, refer it to the Holy Qur'an. However, if you question the excellence of Caliph Abu Bakr and the mode of caliphate of the major caliphs, and if you consider the hadith dubious, will you also hesitate to believe an argument based on the verses of the Holy Qur'an? Well-Wisher: May Allah not grant us the day when we doubt facts based on the Holy Qur'an or authentic hadith. However, when we have entered into a religious debate with any nation or community, they also argued from the verses of the Holy Qur'an to establish their point of view. Since the verses of the Holy Qur'an have various levels of meaning, the last Prophet, in order to guard the people against misunderstanding, did not leave the Holy Qur'an as the sole source of guidance. As has been acknowledged by both sects (Shias and Sunnis), he himself said: "I leave with you two great things: the Book of Allah (Qur'an) and my descendants. If you are attached to these two, never, never shall you go astray after me. Verily, these two shall never be separated from one another until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar." For this reason, the meaning of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an should be sought either from the Prophet, the primary interpreter of the Holy Qur'an, or after him, from the equals of the Holy Qur'an, the holy descendants of the Prophet. The Holy Qur'an says: "So ask you the people of the Remembrance if ye know not." (21:7)

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The Ahle'dh-dhikr means the people of the Remembrance, Ali and the Holy Imams, his descendants, who are the equals of the Holy Qur'an. Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi-in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Chapter 39, quoting from the Tafsir-e-Kashfu'l-Bayan of Imam Tha'labi, narrates from Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari, who said: "Ali said: 'We descendants of the Holy Prophet are the people of the Remembrance.'" Since Dhikr, "Remembrance," is one of the names of the Holy Qur'an, this family contains the people of the Qur'an. As reported by your and our ulema, Ali said: "Ask me anything you like before I leave you. Ask me about the Holy Book (The Qur'an) since I know about every verse in it - whether it was revealed in the night or during the day, on a plain field or in the steep mountains. By Allah, no verse of the Holy Qur'an was revealed but I know about what it was revealed, where it was revealed, and about what person it was revealed. Allah Almighty has endowed me with an eloquent tongue and a wise mind." Therefore, basing arguments upon verses of the Holy Qur'an should be in accordance with their authentic meaning and the interpretations given by those capable of reliable commentary. Otherwise, everyone would give his own interpretation of the verses of the Qur'an, according to his scope of knowledge and faith, and that would only result in differences of opinion and conflicting ideas. With this in mind, I ask you to cite your verses.

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Sheikh: Allah clearly says in the Holy Qur'an, "Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking grace from Allah and (His) good pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration." (48:29) First, this verse proves the superiority of Abu Bakr. Second, it vindicates the position of the four caliphs as opposed to the claim of the Shia sect that Ali was the first caliph. This verse unequivocally states that Ali was the fourth caliph. Well-Wisher: Certainly this verse does not give any obvious indication about the mode of appointment of the caliphs or about the excellence of Abu Bakr. Therefore, you must point out at what place of the verse this meaning is concealed. Sheikh: In the beginning of this verse, the phrase "those who are with him" refers to that great man who was with the Prophet on the 'Night of the Cave.' The order of succession in the caliphate is also apparent from this verse. "Those who are with him" means Abu Bakr, who accompanied the Prophet in the Cave of Thawr on the night of Hijra. The phrase "strong against unbelievers" means Umar Bin Khattab, who was very harsh with the unbelievers. The phrase "compassionate to each other" refers to Uthman Bin Affan, who was very kind. The phrase "on their faces are their marks, the traces of their prostration" refers to Ali. It is clear that Ali is the fourth Caliph, not the first, since Allah mentioned him in the fourth place. Well-Wisher: I wonder how I should reply so that I may not be accused of self interest. No Qur'anic commentaries, including those of your great ulema have interpreted these words as you have. Had this verse been about the order of the caliphate, the first day after the death of the Prophet, when Ali, the Bani Hashim, and the distinguished companions of the Prophet raised objections and refused to swear allegiance to the Caliph, baseless arguments would not have been put forward. They could have given a silencing reply by citing this holy verse there and then. Hence, it is clear that your interpretation is an afterthought. None of the great commentators of your sect, like Tabari, Imam Tha'labi, Fazil Nishapuri, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti, Qazi Baidhawi, Jarullah Zamakhshari, Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi, or others have interpreted it thus. I fail to understand how you derive this meaning. Where and by whom was such a meaning given? This verse, from the literary and technical point of view, also goes against what you say. Sheikh: I never expected that you would stand so boldly in opposition to the obvious meaning of such a verse. Of course if you have anything to say against this you may let us know so that the real position may be established. Well-Wisher: Considering the grammatical construction of the verse, if we interpret its meaning as you have, it would either mean that Muhammad is Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali or that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali are Muhammad! Even beginning students know that this sort of interpretation is grammatically inaccurate. Besides, if this verse referred to the four caliphs, there would have been the conjunction "and" to coordinate words to give your meaning, but it is not so. All the commentators of your own sect say that this verse refers to all the believers. Moreover, the qualities enumerated in this verse apparently refer to one person only, who remained with the Prophet from the very beginning, and not to four persons. And if we say that one person was the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, it would be more appropriate according to common sense and hadith than naming any others.

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Sheikh: It is strange that you claim that you do not indulge in misleading arguments, although your views are quite perverse. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, "If you will not aid him, Allah certainly aided him when those who disbelieved expelled him, he being the second of the two, when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion: 'Grieve not, surely Allah is with us.' So Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see..." (9:40) First, this verse supports the previous verse and proves that the phrase "and those who are with him," refers to Abu Bakr who was with the Prophet in the cave on the night of the Hijra. Second, the fact that he was with the Holy Prophet is in itself a great proof of Abu Bakr's merit and his superiority to the whole umma. The Prophet could foretell that Abu Bakr was his successor, and that the existence of the Caliph after him was necessary. Therefore, he realized that he should protect Abu Bakr as he would his own. So, he took him with him so that Abu Bakr might not be caught by the enemy. Such treatment was not shown to any other Muslim. This clearly proves his right to the caliphate in preference to others. Well-Wisher: If you would look at the verse more objectively, you would see that your conclusion is wrong. Sheikh: Can you advance reasons against the conclusions that we have drawn? Well-Wisher: I should like you to pass over this issue at the moment because speech breeds speech. Some biased people may interpret our comments with ill will. I do not wish to incite hatred. One might conclude that we wish to dishonor the caliphs, though the position of each individual is fixed, and it is not necessary to make useless interpretations. Sheikh: You are being evasive. Be assured that reasonable argument does not breed contempt; it removes misunderstandings. Well-Wisher: Since you have used the word "evasive," I am constrained to reply, so that you may know that I am not avoiding the issue. I wanted to maintain the propriety of our debate. I hope that you will not find fault with me. You made a thoughtless assertion that the Prophet knew that Abu Bakr would be his Caliph after him. Therefore, it was necessary for him to save his life, and so he took him with him.

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Reply to your statement is simple. If Abu Bakr had been the only Caliph after the Prophet, such a view could be possible, but you believe in four caliphs. If this argument of yours is correct, and if it had been necessary for the Prophet to safeguard the life of the caliph, then the Prophet should have taken with him all four caliphs in Mecca. Why would he leave three others there, one of them in the perilous position of sleeping in the Prophet's bed, which was dangerous on a night when his enemies had gathered to murder him? According to Tabari (Part III of his History), Abu Bakr was not aware of the Prophet's movement from Mecca. When he went to Ali and asked him about the Prophet, he told him that the Prophet had gone to the cave. Ali told him that if he had any business with him, he should run up to him. Abu Bakr ran and met the Prophet on the way. So he accompanied him. This series of events indicates that the Prophet did not intend to take Abu Bakr with him. The latter accompanied him from the middle of the way without the Prophet's permission. According to other reports, Abu Bakr was taken on the journey for fear of his causing a disturbance and giving information to the enemy. Your own ulema have admitted this fact. For instance, Sheikh Abu'l-Qasim Bin Sabbagh, who is one of the well known ulema of your sect, writing in his Al-Nur wa'l-Burhan about the life of the Prophet, narrates from Muhammad Bin Ishaq, and he from Hasan Bin Thabit Ansari, that he went to Mecca to perform the Umra before the emigration of the Prophet. He saw that the Quraish unbelievers were railing at the Prophet's companions. The Prophet ordered Ali to sleep in his bed, and, fearing that Abu Bakr would disclose this fact to the unbelievers, the Prophet took Abu Bakr with him. Finally, it would have been better if you had pointed out what evidence there is in this verse to show the superiority of Abu Bakr or whether accompanying the Prophet on a journey is proof that one is entitled to the caliphate. Sheikh: The evidence is there. First, the companionship of the Prophet and that Allah called him the Prophet's companion is in itself a qualification. Second, the Prophet himself said: "Verily, Allah is with us." Third, the sending down of tranquility upon him from Allah, as mentioned in this verse, is the most compelling proof of Abu Bakr's excellence. Therefore, all of these points taken together indicate his superiority to others regarding the caliphate. Well-Wisher: No one hesitates to acknowledge the position of Abu Bakr, an elderly Muslim, one of the distinguished companions and the father of the wife of the Prophet. However, these reasons do not prove his superiority of the caliphate. If you try to prove your point with such statements before impartial men, you will be courting strong criticism. They will say that companionship with virtuous people is no proof of merit or superiority. For example, we often see that bad people accompany good ones, and hosts of infidels accompany Muslims on journeys. Perhaps you have forgotten what the Holy Qur'an says about the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph), who said: "O my two companions of the prison (I ask you): are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah, the One, the Supreme?" (12:39) Regarding this verse, commentators have said that when Joseph was taken to the prison, on the same day the King's cook and the wine bearer, both of whom were unbelievers, were also put into the prison with him. For five years these three men (both believers and unbelievers) lived together as companions. When preaching to them Joseph, called them his companions. Was this companionship of the Prophet ever made grounds for regarding the two infidels as virtuous or dignified? Did their companionship with the Prophet effect a change in their faith? The writings of the commentators and historians tell us that after five years of companionship, they were separated from each other in the same condition. Another verse of the Qur'an states, "His companion said to him while disputing with him: 'Do you disbelieve in Him who created you from dust, then from a small seed, then He made you a perfect man?'" (18:37) Commentators agree that this verse refers to two brothers: one was a believer, whose name was Yahuda. The other was an unbeliever whose name was Bara'tus. This fact has also been reported in the Tafsir-e-Kabir by Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi, who is one of your ulema. These two talked to each other, the details of which cannot be given here. Allah has, however, called both of them (believer and unbeliever) "companions." Did the unbeliever derive benefit from his companionship with the believer? Obviously not. Thus, companionship alone is no basis for claiming one's excellence. There are many examples in support of this view.

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You also said that since the Prophet said to Abu Bakr, "Allah is with us," that this is proof of Abu Bakr's excellence and his right to the caliphate! You might reconsider your views. People might ask, for example, "Does Allah remain with the believers and saints only, and not with the unbelievers?" Do you know any place where Allah does not exist? Isn't Allah with everyone? Suppose a believer and an unbeliever are together in a congregation. The Qur'an says: "See you not that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth? Nowhere is there a secret counsel between three (persons) but He is fourth of them, nor (between) five, but He is the sixth, nor less than that, nor more but He is with them wheresoever they may be." (58:7) According to this verse and according to common sense, Allah is with everyone. Sheikh: The expression "Allah is with us" meant that they were Allah's dearly loved ones because they traveled in the way of Allah for the purpose of preserving His religion. Allah's blessings were with them. Well-Wisher: But surely this expression does not prove that one possesses an eternal blessing. Allah Almighty looks at people's deeds. It has often happened that at one time, people performed good deeds and were recipients of mercy from Allah. Later they disobeyed Allah and were subjected to divine wrath. Satan, as you know, worshiped Allah for thousands of years and received kindness from Him. However, as soon as he disobeyed His Command, he was damned. The Holy Qur'an says: "He said: 'Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away. And surely upon you is a curse until the Day of Judgement.'" (15:34-35) Excuse me, there is no harm in citing examples. My purpose is to clarify the point. History contains many examples of those who were close to Allah but who, after being tested, were cursed. Bal'am Bin Ba'ur, for example, a contemporary of Moses, became so close to Allah that Allah revealed to him the Ism-e-A'zam (the greatest name of Allah, through which anything sought for is immediately granted by Allah). He invoked Allah by means of the Ism-e-A'zam and caused Moses to suffer in the valley of Tia! But at the time of trial, Bal'am was overpowered by his love for the material world. He followed Satan and was condemned. Commentators have given detailed accounts of this event. Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi in his Commentary, Part IV, page 463, has reported this matter from Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas'ud, and Mujahid. Allah in the Holy Qur'an tells us: "And recite to them the narrative of him to whom We give Our revelations, but he withdraws himself from them; so Satan overtakes him, and he is of those who go astray." (7:175)

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Or consider the case of Barsisa Abid, who originally worshipped Allah so much that he became Mustajabu'd-da'wa (one whose invocations are granted). However, when the time of trial came, he failed. Misled by Satan, he committed fornication with a girl, was sent to the gallows, and died an unbeliever. The Holy Qur'an refers to him in these words: "Like Satan when he says to man: 'Disbelieve,' but when he disbelieves, he says; 'I am surely quit of you; surely I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds.' Therefore, the end of both of them is that they are both in the fire to abide therein, and that is the reward of the unjust." (59:16-17) So if man has done good deeds at one time, it does not follow that his end will be good. It is for this reason that we are instructed to say in our invocation: "Let all our actions end in good." Sheikh: I really didn't expect an honorable man like you to cite the examples of Satan, Bal'am-e-Ba'ur, and Barsisa. Well-Wisher: Excuse me, I have already stated that there is no harm in citing examples. In fact, we must cite them in learned debates to prove facts. Let Allah be my witness: I never intended to defame anyone by citing these examples. My purpose is to prove my point. Sheikh: This verse clearly proves Abu Bakr's excellence because it says: "So Allah sent down His tranquility upon him..." (9:40) The pronoun here refers to Abu Bakr, which proves his superiority. WELL-Wisher: You have misunderstood it. The pronoun used after Sakina (peace) refers to the Prophet. Peace was sent to him and not to Abu Bakr, as is evident from the later sentence in which Allah says: "...and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see." (9:40) The fact is that the hosts of unseen angels were to aid the Prophet, not Abu Bakr. Sheikh: I admit that the divine help was for the Prophet, but Abu Bakr, being in company of the Prophet, was not without blessings.

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Well-Wisher: If the bestowal of divine blessings referred to two people, Arabic grammar would require that pronouns be used designating two people in all the phrases of this verse. But the pronouns refer to one person, the Prophet, and Allah's blessings were for him. If through him the bestowal had been intended for others as well, their names would have been mentioned. Hence, the sending down of peace in this verse is for the Prophet alone. Sheikh: The Prophet of Allah was independent of the divine bestowal of peace. He did not need it because he was assured of divine blessings. Hence, the bestowal of peace was for Abu Bakr. Well-Wisher: On what grounds do you say that the Prophet was independent of divine blessings? No person - Prophet, Imam, or saint - is independent of divine blessings. Perhaps you have forgotten what the Holy Qur'an says about the incident of Hunain. "Then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Apostle and upon the believers." The same thing has been said in chapter 48 (Fath) verse 26, of the Holy Qur'an. The believers are included after the Prophet in this verse, just as in the "verse of the cave." If Abu Bakr had been a believer who deserved the bestowal of peace, either the pronoun for two persons would have been used, or his name would have been mentioned separately. This matter is so clear that your own ulema admit that the pronoun connected with peace does not refer to Abu Bakr. You might consult Naqzu'l-Uthmaniyya, compiled by Sheikh Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Abdullah Iskafi, who is one of the prominent ulema and Sheikhs of the Mu'tazilites. That scholar completely refutes the absurdities of Abu Uthman Jahiz. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid also recorded some of those replies in his Sharh Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume III, pages 253-281. In addition, there is a phrase in this verse, the implication of which is contrary to your point. The Prophet said to Abu Bakr: "Fear you not." The phrase indicates that Abu Bakr was frightened. Was this fear praiseworthy or not? If it was, the Prophet would not prohibit anyone from doing a good deed. A vicegerent of Allah possesses certain qualities. The most important of them, as pointed out in the Holy Qur'an, is that he never fears the vicissitudes of life. He exercises patience and fortitude. The Holy Qur'an says: "Now surely the friends of Allah - they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve."(10:62)

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About center

In the name of Allah

Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
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-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
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Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library